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: Disney could have written this chapter... or maybe lifetime...
Summary: Elphaba does what she does best--abandons her family.
Dedications: To my squishy family, Squishy Mama, Squishy Sister and Squishy Dad, To unlimited because RLY!!!111!, and to everyone here for NOT nagging me even though it's been over a year since chapter 22. I'm trying to be better. I will finish this. I promise.
The carriage wheels ground to a stop against the cobblestone and I opened my eyes slowly. Nanny was snoring loudly, drool dripping from her slightly moustached lip onto her full aprons. I could hear Shell talking with someone and the horses moved restlessly. The weight of the carriage shifted and it bounced gently. Shell was getting off? I blinked blearily and peered out of the portal. The rain had stopped and Shell was following a man into a tavern, counting the coins in the purse Nanny had left with him.
My heart swelled because I knew this was it. I couldn't lead my family, the only family I had left who still loved me, blindly into danger... It only seemed natural that abandoning them was the best for them. It looked as if we were in Gillikin country, the small peninsula of the north state that dipped between The Vinkus and Northern Munchkinland. If I left them here, they'd never have to set a toe across the line between the Vinkus and Gillikin. I decided it then, I had to leave while I had a chance. I grasped the heavy book and slid it noiselessly into a bag, a half of a hard loaf of bread and my smooth green plate of glass following soon after it. I pulled Glinda's black hat down over my blueblack plait, grabbed the broomstick from beside Nanny and pushed open the heavy carriage door, slipping out into the night, the black of my dress blending effortlessly with the oily darks of nighttime shadows against wet tree bark and slick black muddy ground. I would be miles away before a frantic Shell would shake poor drooling Nanny awake...
It hadn't occurred to me to try to fly again. All I could think to do was run, run, run. Past cornfields, through back yards, over more flagstone, over smooth red bricks and through forests, I ran. My feet hurt dreadfully by the time I stopped, leaning against a tree, my chest tight as I took deep gasping breaths, my head spinning. I slid down to the ground against the tree, pulling the book from my bag. I flipped it open to the first page I could come to, reading the words to myself, lips moving as my fingers traced the fluid letters, drifting and skipping across the pages like syrup over hot pastries. My stomach grumbled loudly at the thought. Perhaps I shouldn't have left when Shell was getting food... I closed my eyes tightly, letting my mind clear before reopening them to focus on the swirling text before me. The words slowed familiarly and I began to read them quietly to myself, whispering the unfamiliar words, focusing on them while trying to put the hunger out of my mind. I didn't even know what I was reading. The words broke up and swirled away, as if knowing that the spell was complete and a ripe crisp apple broke from its branch, feet above me and landed softly in the plush grass, rolling to my side. It was as if the book knew what I needed and granted it to me in my words. I picked the apple up and took a hearty bite of it. As I chewed slowly, I stared at the apple. The book could feel my desires... I'm connected to it.. so if what I read is the book channeling my inner desires... I took another bite of the apple before setting it aside. With my new discovery, I had more important things than food to think about, though my stomach sorely disagreed.
I closed my eyes and thought about Glinda, picturing her in the back of my mind safe, that the wizard and his forces believed she was nothing but good, with no ties to me, the Wicked one... I opened my eyes and the text slowed at my finger tips and slowly I began to whisper the words, not noticing that the words were beginning to blur along with the rest of the world around me. The words broke away, once again and I slammed the book shut, pushing it back into its bag. I stood, stumbling a bit as I regained my footing. Thunder was rumbling around me and lightning flashed in the distance. My mind was spinning and soon I couldn't tell up from down, left from right, or north from west, I simply let my feet run and my delirious eyes see whatever they would land on for a split second. Lightning tore open the sky and lit up a cornfield beside me and I stopped, blinking, sure that I had seen Fiyero standing in the tall ghosts of stalks left over from the harvest. The lightning flashed again and lit up nothing more than the blue tinged burlap face of a scarecrow propped amongst the dying crops of Nearwinter season. My stomach convulsed and snapped me from my ecstatic reverie, threatening to rise up as the world spun around me again. I looked up or down the road, I'm not certain which, and saw the faint glow of candles against window panes. Shelter, my mind screamed, shelter. And so my feet obeyed, and I ran toward the glow as the sky opened and the rain started to fall, hissing against my olive skin. A church. I could barely make it out. Nanny once told me that churches were sanctuaries for anyone who needed it, even the vilest of criminals, the deepest of sinners... The lightning flashed again and lit up a statue inches from me and I knew this would be my respite. The Mauntery of Saint Glinda. I reached forward and grasped at the stone ruffles in her dress, letting my other hand grasp at the glowing marble smile, face looking down at me sympathetically. I think I smiled... I could almost hear her voice whispering a song to lull me to sleep as the darkness engulfed me, my body crumpling against the stone statue of the saint.