Pairing: Elphaba/Galinda, Elphaba/Fiyero
Disclaimer: These characters are property of Gregory Maguire, Winnie Holzman, Stephen Schwartz, and all others involved in the book and musical production of Wicked
Warnings: Nothing vile. Tame chapter...
Summary: A carriage ride for Elphaba to remember and catch up with Shell and Nanny
Dedications: To _galindafied for being my squishy always and forever, to sidewayslove for making me melt on a daily basis, to rather_b_dancin for being an awesome little sister, to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for not nagging the shit out of me when it took me four fucking months to update this shit, and of course to Melissa Fahn for making me the happiest Jackie I've been in a long time... you never cease to amaze me, girlie.
Note: Merry Christmas, and thank you ALL for your wonderful patience. Chapter 23 within the week, I mean it this time.
When I came to, I was moving, my cheek resting against a warm, yet knobby and bouncing shoulder. I looked up into a swirling mass of grey, blinking slowly.
“Alas, she wakes. Good morning, Elphaba... What did you do to yourself with that bothersome book that make you pass right out like that? You’ve been out cold for twelve hours, we had to start the journey whether you were awake or not.” Nanny’s voice creaked softly like old steps as she spoke, or maybe it was the carriage as it rolled over roots and rocks in the unfamiliar wood.
“Where are we?” I queried.
“Headed west, toward the Vinkus. To your lover’s castle. We should be upon Kumbricia’s pass by nightfall,” Shells’ still unfamiliarly mature voice floated back from his seat at the reins, punctuated by the loud cracks of the whip over the horses’ backs.
I shivered and curled closer to Nanny’s warm thickness as a wind cut through the carriage. “You’re still weak,” she observed. “Shell, stop at the next village so I can get some food and keep your sister alive back here.”
“Of course Nanny. We’ll be at a village soon,” came his reply.
My mind was swirling like Nanny’s grey hair in the wind. Fiyero in the custody of the Wizard? My poor sweet Glinda lying to keep me safe? I had killed Morrible, some of her blood was still crusted under my light green fingernails like some stale Lurlinemas cake left forgotten. The Grimmerie and my looking glass form Turtle Heart lay on the opposite bench in the carriage. When I sat up to look at them, it was as if some out-of-tune band had suddenly clanged together behind my eyes and my head exploded with dizziness.
Nanny clucked her tongue loudly, “tut, tut Fabala, you’re still quite weak. Close your eyes and rest a while, don’t be so eager to wear yourself out again.”
I sighed and resigned myself to staring out the portal that was once a window, now warped to where the glass no longer fit and it was just a hole in the wood. I watched the trees pass by, some apple, some willow, all blending together as the sky darkened with an impending storm. I squinted to see better, watching small rustic cottages pass by, and as we drew closer to town, I picked out a blacksmith’s shop. The smith, out working, raised his head with a nod and a wave at Shell, who, I’m sure, returned the gesture. The rain began to fall and lightning lit up the woods with light and shadow, allowing the fear of what lay ahead creep out and manifest in the dark. I shrunk away from the portal, hissing softly as a drop splashed onto my skin with a tingling burn.
Between lightning flashes, the shadows moved so languidly, it almost appeared that the trees had come to life, reaching, grabbing, and occasionally flinging their branches, leaves, needles, and apples at the carriage and the ground. I closed my eyes, shivering again, as I drew the blanket closer. The lightning flashed again, and I jumped when it lit up a tin woodsman in the woods... I had to blink and clear my head, thinking I saw a familiar face in the polished tin, but by then I was too late and the light had faded, and all I saw was shadow where the face had been. I closed my eyes tightly, willing the memory of Fiyero and Glinda’s faces to dance across the blackness, to remember every curve and muscle on their bodies. The carriage slowed to a stop, and Nanny, assuming I was asleep, eased out from beneath me, stepping out of the carriage to fetch us some food.
Shell crept into the car, pulling the black blankets and robes closer around me. He kissed my forehead and touched my stomach, still keeping its infant a secret, and smiled. He began to sing softly, a song my father used to sing after Mother and Turtle Heart had passed. He tucked a stray hair behind my ear and sang louder, drumming out a steady beat with his feet, singing to his unknown niece or nephew deep within me, struggling as much as I to stay alive and keep hope.
Just as I started to drift off in my younger brother’s arms, Nanny re-entered the carriage weighed down with breads and a jug of some soup or stew. “Wake ‘er up will you, Shell? We’ve got to eat and get on if we’re going to make that pass by night fall!” Shell shook me gently and I sat up with a yawn, hunger winning out over sleep for the time being.
We ate silently, and I could feel myself regaining my strength, enjoying the silence. Shell sat back, licking his lips after taking a swig of the sweet wine Nanny’d found. “So... who’s the father? I mean, if he’s a Winkie he must be pretty damn powerful for them to not attack us when we enter their land...”
“His name is Fiyero,” I began softly, “and he’s prince of the Arjiki tribe.”
“Our Fabala knocked up by a prince? Your mother’d die of shock if, Lurline rest her soul, she weren’t dead already!” Nanny clucked with a chuckle. Shell swatted her knee and motioned for me to continue.
“He and I met at Shiz, and despite my best efforts to hide in the city after I left, Fiyero found me. So did Glinda... we sort of... became a love triangle...” I blushed lightly, memories of our sordid affairs flickering through my cobwebbed memory.
“I could always tell, right from when you were a wee tyke, that you’d fancy women. You were always beating the tar out of that poor... oooh what’s his name again? The thin, sickly munchkin boy? Nic? Bic? Knock?”
“Yes, that’s it, Boq. He attended Shiz didn’t he? I believe he and Nessa dated briefly... He was always chasing your little girly friend’s skirt if I’m not off.” She clucked again, taking a ravenous bite of stew.
I nodded, “Yes, Boq loved Glinda but she never had feelings for him... we were both kind of... surprised when we discovered feelings for each other. And... Things with Yero just kinda... happened!”
“Got drunk?” Shell prodded, grinning proudly.
“Sod off!” I yelled, chucking a bit of bread at him.
“Alright you two, break it up. Shell, get back up and man those reins, we have a pass to reach by sundown and a storm to beat. Lets get to it!” Nanny pushed at him until he stood and exited the carriage, pulling a face at me. “Now, no Nanny needs to hear about her little ones sex lives, having so little of one themselves, so why don’t you just finish your stew and rest some more. You’re eating for two, so you’d best finish what’s left or I’ll force feed you like when you were a tot.”
I grimaced at the memory of Nanny forcing a cold minnow into my mouth, narrowly averting disaster with my sharp teeth; Mother watching, horrified.
I finished the food and curled against the wall, opening the Grimmerie to see what new spells I could decipher to save my lovers and protect what little I had left.