This very late chapter is dedicated to Carlie who suggested this topic and honestly I can't even remember why I let her choose it (probably something to do with Feb. 16, IDK). Anyway, this is her temporary birthday (May 23rd) (Yah, I know when your birthday is now) (Pwnd) (Also, it's the day the water park here opens but that's irrelevant mostly...)

Right, so Carlie, I love you, Vinkun Wildflower, hahaha, Boq's balls, hope you enjoy the chapter. Please excuse any and all mistakes. I refuse to correct them until you update.

Hardcore.


The note was under a vase in her kitchen, the same place it'd been since she moved into this house. It had been folded every which way, and the bottom left corner had been burned off. The writing was was sloppy anyway, but the smudge marks only caused it to be more illegible. Not that it mattered. Elphaba had memorized it long ago.

Elphaba-

I can't do this. I've been thinking, and I just can't do this right now. It's not anything you did, I promise. I love you and I always will, but I'm not ready to marry you. I hope you can forgive me.

I love you,
Fiyero

For months after she found the note, Elphaba wondered what the most heartbreaking part of it was. Was it the fact that he called her Elphaba instead of Fae – a name they'd both grown accustomed to? Was it the clipped sentences and the overuse of the word 'I'? Was it the fact that it was, simply, a break-up letter? Or was it, and Elphaba thought this was the most feasible, that he had the nerve to say "I love you," as his parting words?

Over the course of their relationship, there wasn't any particular reason to say the words every day, or even every week. Their exchanges of the words weren't used in desperate situations or fight, but rather, they were saved for moments when nothing was wrong in their lives. "I love you," was said during a long hug after a date. It was said between moments of laughter and teasing.

This "I love you," was not a statement made from a man who truly believed he loved her. This was a last hope at forgiveness, "I love you." This was a plea. A cry of desperation. It was an apology. It was the exact opposite of what it'd been the first time he's said that he loved her.

"…and then Milla got really angry and told me that I should shove the shoe-"

"Galinda, this story isn't making me any more comfortable with the fact that you're waving a curling iron around," Elphaba interrupted, looking up from her History homework. Galinda glanced at the iron before shrugging and going back to her curling.

"Well, I wouldn't be doing my own hair if you would let me do yours for your date tonight," she huffed. The blonde had been nagging Elphaba all day about how with a little bit more wave in her hair, she'd be the most beautiful girl on campus – excluding herself, of course.

With a roll of her eyes, Elphaba replied, "We're just getting some coffee. I don't need my hair done up."

"Matter of opinion…" she heard Galinda mutter. A brisk tapping on the door interrupted Elphaba's laughing.

"Hey," the green girl breathed as she opened the door to find her boyfriend standing expectedly on the other side. Fiyero feigned disappointment.

"Didn't Galinda want to do your hair tonight?" he whined. Elphaba cackled as she grabbed her bag while Galinda scowled at them both.

"You go ahead and laugh now-"

"We will!" Elphaba chuckled.

"-But one day, you'll wish you'd have let me fix you up a little bit!" Galinda shouted vengefully as the room's door closed.

"Do you think we're too mean?" Fiyero asked as the two of them strolled through campus, hands to themselves.

"She'll get over it by the time I get back. Trust me, she'll be wanting to know all the excruciating details," Elphaba replied sarcastically.

The two walked, arms linked, to a nearby chain coffee shop. In the morning, there could be a line of college students waiting for their coffee fix that trailed right out the door. But now, in the late evening, Fiyero and Elphaba were almost alone.

"You'd better go grab us a seat before this place gets more crowded," Fiyero told Elphaba sarcastically. The two laughed before Fiyero continued, "Nah, seriously. You go ahead and get a table. I'll order our drinks… What do you want?"

"Yero, we come here four days a week," Elphaba remarked blankly. "How do you not know my order?"

"It's like… You like... coffee, right? With… sugar?" he guessed weakly, giving her a pleading look. He was embarrassed, to say the least. You'd think that after acing almost half his classes (a huge improvement upon his grades that shocked everyone), Fiyero would have better luck with memorizing something as trivial as a drink order. But alas, it turned out (in Fiyero's reasoning mind) that the better you got at school, the worse you got at life.

"Decaf," Elphaba corrected good naturedly.

Fiyero cursed under his breath as Elphaba walked to a booth awkwardly. "Can't do anything right… Might as well be a sack of straw…"

After paying for and receiving the drinks, Fiyero headed over to Elphaba with a slightly sheepish expression.

"Oh, please," Elphaba almost scoffed, "I'm not actually bothered by a drink order."

"But I should know it, shouldn't I?" Fiyero snapped, stirring the cream into his own coffee begrudgingly. "We've been dating for five months. I don't even know your favorite color, for Oz sakes!"

"Green," Elphaba plainly said, though there was a wide grin on her face. Fiyero sipped on his coffee somberly in response. "Come on, Yero. You know me plenty. And Oz knows you've told me every unimportant detail in your past dating escapades – most of them against my will… Where's this coming from?"

Fiyero sighed. "My parents keep talking about my future as king in their letters," he answered quietly, looking down at his drink. "They keep mentioning all this political stuff I have to know and… I don't even know the most basic stuff about my girlfriend, you know? How am I supposed to run a country if I can't order coffee for my girlfriend?"

"You'll run it quite well after banning coffee in the Vinkus," Elphaba replied with an easy smile. "And then you'll just have to worry about remembering everything else, like the names of your kids."

Fiyero laughed a bit at that, and Elphaba smiled softly to herself.

"I love you," he blurted out, with a goofy smile on his face. Elphaba, in shock, spat her coffee back into the cup. With a loud gag, she looked at him with wide eyes. Suddenly, she started laughing.

"That's not funny," she cackled, wiping a nonexistent tear from her eye. "Damn, you almost had me there."

"I'm serious. I'm in love with you, Fae," Fiyero said bluntly, looking at her with a purer look than she'd ever seen in his eyes.

"You're serious," Elphaba stated, though her face was covered in confusion.

"I'm serious," he confirmed, still grinning widely.

"Are you sure?"

"Absolutely."

"Alright then…" she said, nodding as she breathed deeply. "Okay."

"Okay."

"Okay."

"Okay?" Fiyero asked.

"Okay," Elphaba repeated.

"Are you getting ready to faint?" he asked warily. Elphaba's eyes were looking past his head, as if gazing at something far away. With a shake of her head, she snapped back into reality.

"Of course not," she said tartly.

"So then do you want to… say it back?" Fiyero asked awkwardly, scratching the back of his head with one hand, holding his coffee cup with the other. Elphaba looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Say what?"

"I love you."

"I love you... too?"

"Wait, really?" Fiyero asked, his face lighting up. Elphaba blushed slightly as she stirred her coffee. "You mean it?"

"Am I someone who would joke about this kind of thing?" she asked vacantly, even though her face was quickly turning from green to pink.

"Uh, no, no of course not… I just… Well, it's a nice thought," he said, obviously flustered.

"Wait until Galinda finds out," Elphaba said with a nod. "I'll never hear the end of it."

"You talk about it like it's a curse," Fiyero accused her, smiling regardless.

"Well, just promise me that this won't change anything," Elphaba conditions. "It's an 'I love you,' today, but tomorrow it could very well be a marriage proposal."

"Oh, Oz," he sighed miserably. "You're already so expectant. Can I take what I said back? Ya know, that thing about loving you?"

"No, you may not," Elphaba replied with a laugh. "You're stuck with me forever, I'm afraid."

"Damn you, mouth. Always saying things," Fiyero swears, pounding his fist on the table.

Their sarcastic banter went on for twenty minutes longer before Elphaba looked down at her watch.

"I have a final in the morning. I should probably be getting back," she said.

The walk back to Elphaba's room seemed shorter than usual. But it was no different than the other times they'd walked back after a date hand in hand. But it was. Fiyero knew it, Elphaba knew it. Oz, even Galinda knew it. There was something different in the air. Nobody could put their finger on it just yet. Everyone was happy.

But then a heart stopped.