Pairing: Elphaba/Galinda, Elphaba/Fiyero (Though no interaction here)
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: Shift in POV (I dunno how much of a warning that is), Glinda is a grown up with grown-up problems.
Summary: Glinda puts on a façade
Dedications: To _outtonight, whose birthday it was when I posted the last chapter; To softershade, whose brithday it is today; To midnight_united, because we're totes getting married; To miss_chemistry, for strawberries and ladyfingers--there really is nothing better; Again to everyone who hasn't abandoned me; and of course to my heart family--jarofhoney, mama, papa, and all of my accumulated sisters and brothers.
Glinda tapped her delicately polished nails gently on the equally well polished table at the ritzy Tavern on the Emerald while the reporter from the Daily Ozmopolitan scratched down every word she spoke... as well as every swish of her hair, every breath she drew and every bat of her eyelashes. "The new travel restrictions will be posted in every train station, carriage depot and rental stable in The Emerald City and all of its suburbs and related cities under the rule of his Wizardship." More scratching of pen against paper. Glinda closed her eyes and smiled a little half smile, remembering how Elphaba used to sit up by candle light doing her homework, thinking Glinda was asleep. That very sound would eventually lull the blonde there.
The small man cleared his throat and Glinda shook her head, her very bouncy curls bouncing against her cheek with a flourish and shimmer of glitter. "Was there anything else, Master Lymond?"
A blush crossed the man's cheeks just above his ridiculous barbell moustache and he twittered a little giggle that betrayed his munchkin heritage, "Not for the interview, Lady Secretary." He leaned in and dropped his voice to a whisper, "Though, I believe your ladyship asked for any information that we had regarding the rebellion movement? The sort of which the Wizard has asked us to refrain from printing to avoid a panic amongst the denizens of Oz?"
Glinda smiled her trademark smile, "Why Master Lymond, I was beginning to think you'd forgotten our bargain!"
Lymond pulled out a fat envelope of blurry photographs, smeared ink notes and neatly typed articles etched with the customary censor's red "Not Fit To Printificate!" He set them gingerly on the table. "If the Gale Force knew I'd smuggled these out..."
"They won't. This is for the good of the people, of course. It..." She scrunched up her nose in the way Elphie used to tease her for because it betrayed that she was thinking up a fib, "It's part of my new duty as his press secretary to assure that you are doing your duty in censoring this horrifible prop...propa...bad stuff."
"Yes. Thank you, Master Lymond."
"Now... our arranged payment?" A smile grew behind the offensive facial hair and Glinda held back the cringe that so desperately wanted to surface.
"But of course." Glinda withdrew a crisp 100wiz bill and set it beside the package before picking it up. The little man let out a little grunt intended to snare the Lady's attention, though it only served to churn her stomach further. "Oh, of course, silly me." She leaned over, placing a gentle kiss on the small man's rosy cheek. As she sat back, she caught his eyes flitting away from the clear view he had down her bodice and she fought back the bile creeping up her throat. ' The things I do to find information about you, Miss Elphaba, I mean, Really,' she thought to herself.
"You know, Lady Glinda... There are many people who believe that the Wicked Witch is alive," He smiled at Glinda's mouth twitching in distaste at his use of her moniker, "I also included some information on contacts who wish to exonerate her. In case you wish to get in touch with them in your search for her."
Glinda gasped, "I have no idea what you're insinuating, Master Lymond but I--"
"It's alright, Lady Glinda... I was at the Philosophy Club that night. I recognize the virgin of Shiz... you have my silence, for now... But I know... why you are looking for her." With a twinkle in his eye and a flourish of his hat be bowed and dissappeared into a crowd of Gillikin tourists visiting the city, marveling at the tapestries on the walls of the tavern.
Glinda's pulse was racing, 'His silence... for now? Am I being blackmailed?' She pressed the bundle into her handbag and left a note for the waiter to put the meal on the palace's tab.
Glinda locked the door to her chambers at the palace, her stunningly beautific prison where she was being "guarded" from the so-called Wicked Witch after the assassination attempt. She leaned back against the locked door and breathed a sigh of relief, dipping her hand into the handbag to remove the bundle that begged her so silently to untie its string, so she could look at the blurry photographs and half-sober reports that she had been spotted, here, there, everywhere. As if it wasn't bad enough that every shadow that dared to chase across her window pane caused her to jump out of her skin.... it wasn't bad enough that every fleck of green in this Ozma-forsaken city of goddamn GREEN made her gasp... that every wanted poster made her loins tingle inappropriately.... Now bundles were talking to her.
She laughed softly to herself, walking over to her armoire, opening the doors to reveal more blurred photographs and a crisp, smooth wanted poster with an exact likeness of her former lover. She sat very delicately on the floor, crossing her legs as she pulled the strings on the bundle, the photos and paper scraps falling haphazardly into her skirt. She sorted diligently through photos, tossing aside ones that looked more like someone's wife's steamed artichoke than Elphaba and neatly stacking the remaining photos, ones that showed a fleck of green with a pointed black hat, mounted on a broom, a crooked green nose peeking out from below the brim of the same pointed black hat leading out of the same apartment building she'd run to, breathless, after the reports that Fiyero had been captured. She paused at the last picture. A young maunt, apparent by the prudish grey and black garments with the violet insignia of the Mauntery of Saint Glinda embroidered slipshod on the aprons and sleeve cuffs. A green hand emerged from the black sleeve, grasping a thick, worn book with foreign words on it, a small light brown skinned boy with striking green eyes peeking out from behind her, his mouth forming a small 'O' of surprise, though his eyes sparkled with the boyish 'I see you' that she had seen so many times when Fiyero walked in on her and Elphaba in one of so many entanglements... only his eyes were blue. And that broom in his hand... "Fiyero..." Glinda snapped her mouth shut, realizing she'd uttered that bit aloud.
She stuffed the papers and other photos into a lockable drawer and clicked the key in a hurry, stuffing that last picture into the sash about her bodice, closing and locking the armoire. There as a soft sliding and clicking noise just as she turned the key and she turned with a jump to see the Wizard sliding the secret door shut behind him, the one that led to his office through a secrified passage. "Hello, there, Glinda!" He said with a smile and a flourish as he sat in her plush armchair. "I trust your interview about our new travel restrictions went off without a hitch."
Glinda beamed her trademark smile, "Without a hitch or a switch, sir!" She replied.
"Oh, Miss Glinda... please don't give me that smile, it only reveals that you're hiding something. What is it?"
"Nothing your Ozness... it's just become so second nature..." She twisted her fingers together, the smile faltering, "I just..."
"Now, now, you needn't tell me what the problem is, I already know," The wizard started into his usual bit.
"Now who's giving who the public smile and nod?"
"Oh, but I do know. You're as easy to read as a picture book, M'lady. Now now, don't make such a face of distaste. It's true. You miss her. You want to find her, not to ensure her silence but to have your friend back. It's been so long."
"Why would I remain friends with someone who tried to kill me?"
"If she wanted to kill you, I wouldn't be talking to you. She let you go and we both know it. Elphaba Thropp does not make mistakes. You of all people should know that. Though, I must say, falling in love with you might have been her only mistake. It made her weak." The thinning moustache beneath his nose twitched with his nose as he snorted.
"Picture book." He stood slowly, revealing the aging old man beneath the smile, twinkle and flourish. "When you find her, say your goodbyes, for the Gale Force won't be far behind you. And you'll be saving me a lot of time and manpower in finding her for me. Keep that in mind. You find her, I find her. I trust that from now on, you won't be paying off reporters for trinkets and keepsakes of a lost lover and will instead do simply the jobs I ask of you."
She hung her head in resignation and nodded, "Yes sir. I understand entirely."
The wizard smiled his broad smile once again, "Good! Then we have an agreement. I'll see you at dinner! We're having pheasant and corn from the local growers in Munchkinland. Golden Corn from the Golden Yellow Brick Road!" He chuckled as he slid the door back open and disappeared.
Glinda pulled the photograph back out and stared at it for a few moments before drawing it to her lips, kissing the picture gingerly, so as not to smudge it with her gloss. "I will find you," she whispered, "And together we will escape from this horrible little man and his horrible little army." She sat on her bed and drew the familiar pink blanket into her arms, the same blanket she'd salvaged from Elphaba's apartment before it was destroyed. The small grey cat that was curled up in it mewled in protest and Glinda smiled, "Oh Malky. Don't you worry, we'll find her."