DISCLAIMER: Wicked and its characters are the property of Gregory Maguire and L. Frank Baum. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: If you have not seen the musical this does give away the ending so be warned. Also I am of the school of thought that in the musical Fiyero is right and the idea that water can harm Elphaba is just so much propaganda so a few tears are not only necessary but harmless.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By layla


"Fiyero you aren't listening to me," Elphaba was frustrated at having this same fight again and it showed in the sharp edge of her tone.

"Look, I know you miss her but it's not safe, for her or for you to go back to the Emerald City," Fiyero's expression portrayed as much concern as was possible with his painted on features, "We need to stop having this conversation." His tone softened as he finished, he knew better than anyone how much Elphaba missed Glinda. He had watched the tears the green woman had tried to hide, he had heard her talk in her sleep and, all rumors to the contrary, he was not a stupid man.

He loved Elphaba intensely and he knew that she loved him too, but he also knew that what they shared was always over-shadowed by the mysterious bond that existed between the green woman and the perky blond. They were perfect opposites that together were made far better by the existence of the other, darkness and light, anger and joy and together they were amazing. He had seen it more clearly than either of them ever had. And it was only proven every couple of months when Elphaba would come up with some new way to sneak back into the Emerald City and back to the palace and back to Glinda.

"I can't stop having this conversation," Elphaba threw back at him; "she's…." the words were bitten off through clenched teeth. She didn't want to say the rest of the sentence out loud as though speaking it would make it happen. She also knew that talking about leaving again would hurt Fiyero and she couldn't do that to him, she had done so much of that already. She would never be able to make up for what she had done to so many people. She had never wanted to hurt anyone, least of all those she loved and yet somehow she had hurt all of them.

There had been no choice for herself or Fiyero, they had to escape. The idea of the Wicked Witch of the West had long ago taken on a life of its own. It had nothing to do with her, with Elphaba, it was bigger than she was and if she had stayed it would have crushed her and anyone near her. She had made Glinda promise not to clear her name; she couldn't allow the other woman to be caught up in the whirlwind and witch hunts that would assuredly follow in the wake of her death. If there was one thing she could do it would be to keep one person from being destroyed by Elphaba's own good intentions. Elphaba had long since forced herself not to examine too deeply why that person had been Glinda.

"What is it, what has changed this time?" Fiyero's words cut into her thoughts drawing her back to the conversation at hand. "I know it's always about her, there's always an excuse," he knew his jealousy was coloring his words he was only human after all. He had long ago accepted that he would always be second in Elphaba's heart but that didn't make it easy.

Fire flashed in dark eyes at Fiyero's words, a moment of anger, of protectiveness, that was quickly doused by guilt. She didn't understand what she was feeling; she didn't know why she couldn't just be happy with the rather quiet life she and Fiyero had built. There were so many old aches in her heart, regrets and could have beens and what ifs, it wasn't as though this one should weigh so much more heavily, but it did. And the news that Chistery had sent had somehow changed everything. Elphaba knew it was both foolish and dangerous to stay in touch with the flying monkey, but she couldn't help herself she knew he looked in on Glinda from time to time and she needed to know Glinda was alright.

"Fiyero, she's…she's getting married," the words were choked through tear constricted vocal cords.

He knew those words did, in fact, change everything. Looking in those dark eyes he knew so well there was no question any more. He could feel the first true pain he had felt since his transformation, the pain of his heart finally breaking. He had always told himself he would be happy for the time he had been given with this fascinating, brilliant, beautiful green girl, but he now knew that feeling would be a time in coming. There would be pain and heartache and loss to get through before he could again cherish all he had been given. There was no choice but to let her go, he loved her too much to do anything else, but he wasn't going to push her out the door, he couldn't, not yet. "What are you going to do?"

"Oh, Fiyero," any further words were cut off by the look in his eyes; she didn't think his scarecrow visage could possibly hold that much hurt. It was out there now even she couldn't keep denying what it was. She loved Glinda the Good, no she loved Glinda and had even, for reasons far beyond her understanding, loved Galinda the silly, vain, ditzy blond she had been forced to room with at Shiz. "What have I done?" The question sounded so desperate and plaintive even to her ears.

Fiyero reached out to take her hands in his; they trembled slightly as he grasped them. "My love, you have only ever done what you thought was best for those you love, me included," a small self-deprecating laugh escaped him, "I've always known, always, since that first time I saw you Galindafied in class, really since I saw the two of you dance together at the Oz Dust. I have played second fiddle to that, but don't think I didn't know what I was doing. Though there are many reports to the contrary I'm not an idiot."

"I know, you are the wisest man I've ever known," she meant it with all her heart her love for him was real, she knew it had always been this way. And in this moment she had no idea what she had done to deserve the love of this man. He had saved her life in so many ways, and on so many occasions she knew there was no way to repay him, "how can I-."

He cut off her words by placing his fingers to her lips, "Don't thank me, or make me out to be nobler than I am, if I thought it was within my power to stop you I would. I still think this is incredibly dangerous, and perhaps even foolhardy, but I know you. There is perhaps only one person in the world who knows you better and your heart has always led you. You may be more well-known for your intellect and power but we both know what fuels those." His fingers dropped from her lips allowing her to speak again.

"How do I do this Fiyero, how? I don't want to hurt you; it kills me to think of it. How do I go to her after all this time?" Suddenly the reality of this was baring itself to her. She was considering returning to a land that had celebrated her death for weeks, where she was now a morality tale to scare small children into behaving. Not only was she returning to Oz she was going to attempt to break into the palace and steal the heart of Glinda the Good, ruler of Oz.

"You've already worked out the plan. I know you. You wouldn't have brought it up again if you hadn't already gone over contingencies and eventualities. You know you have the power to return undetected. Just because you haven't used it since we left doesn't mean the power has left you."

"I thought you always told me there was no way I could do it safely," she gently reminded him.

"I told you I'm not entirely noble, I didn't want you to leave me," his honesty only made her ache for him more but she also knew that ache of regret she felt was outweighed by the deeper ache she felt at having lost Glinda when she escaped Oz.

"I haven't used that power since, it only ever resulted in pain and loss," her voice was once again strained with unshed tears and old regrets, "damn it!" She began to pace with unspent emotion.

"It saved my life," the softness of Fiyero's voice as he said these words stopped her in a way no shouting could have, "and now you should use it this once to save your own."

Glinda sat in her office, if this huge and opulently appointed salon could qualify as something as base as an office. There were many official duties she should be attending too, decree's to sign, libraries to build and too many tedious ministerial requests to number but for a moment she was indulging in her own thoughts. It would be easily assumed from her outward appearance that those thoughts were of shoes and gowns and astonishing hair products, but they were not. She stared out the window looking to the new buds coming on the trees the beautiful green of spring always reminded her of only one thing, of only one person.

Even after five years it seemed she felt the loss of Elphaba, no her Elphie, as keenly on this day as the day it had happened. She never had quite been able to understand what had happened. She had tried to save her friend, tried to convince her to allow Glinda to save her. But Elphaba's pride and strength couldn't have allowed her to be saved or redeemed or pardoned not after everything that had happened. Glinda had always found Elphie's intense pride and strength to be equal parts infuriating and infatuating. It had broken her heart to say goodbye and to promise never to clear Elphaba's name, but what choice did she have.

She had done quite enough to hurt Elphaba, had betrayed her by placing Nessarose directly in the wizard's sights, though she hadn't brought that tornado down upon her Glinda would forever feel responsible for Nessa's death. There was no way Glinda would ever again do anything that could be seen as a betrayal. Though she was the only one who would ever know she kept that promise that was enough. Besides carrying the knowledge that the Wicked Witch of the West was in fact a beautiful woman and caring friend kept her alive a little for Glinda. She could keep Elphie all to herself in the private corners of her heart if no one else knew her.

Glinda had to laugh at herself for using the word friend still in her own mind. She had known her feelings for Elphie had long been more than friendship; it had taken every ounce of her strength not to kiss those dark beautiful lips when they had said their last goodbye. She shook her head at her own cowardice, she had never been brave. Elphie had always been the brave one.

Glinda remembered her anger when Fiyero had left her for Elphaba, how easy it was to let everyone, including herself believe she was angry with him. She completely understood why he had chosen Elphaba, it was obvious. Her anger had not been at him it had been at herself, and at Elphaba for choosing him, not that she had ever had the wherewithal to give her another option. All those late nights at Shiz running her fingers though her roommate's thick black hair as they studied together, all those missed opportunities, regret upon regret.

And now here she was with everything she'd ever said she wanted. She was Glinda the Good ruler of all of Oz, loved and adored by all just weeks away from marrying a handsome, dashing, extremely wealthy man and yet here she sat indulging in flights of memory and melancholy. In her darker moments she would admit all of it was completely meaningless when your heart had died leaving only this long dull ache from dawn to dinner time. She had told herself over and over again as the years passed that she should let it go, get over it, Elphie was dead and not coming back these thoughts and pains were useless. Somehow, though, her heart would never listen.

A brisk knock at the door drew Glinda abruptly out of her reverie as she looked up to see her assistant in the door way, "Your Goodness, the finance minister is here to discuss the new library, he says the stones you ordered for the entrance are going to push it substantially over budget."

"I haven't the time nor patience for his trivialities today, tell him those stones will line the walk to the entrance, this is not a negotiation and I don't want to hear about it again," with that it was obvious that the man in the doorway was dismissed. Glinda was not going to change a bit of her plan for that library, it was her monument, her memorial to the most brilliant and beautiful person she had ever known and it would be precisely as she wanted it.

She had always been awed by the intensity of Elphaba's intellect when they were in school Elphaba had seemed to absorb knowledge and was able to see connections and intricacies with a quickness that was nearly dizzying to those around her. Glinda would watch her as she studied pouring over pages with a singular focus that she, herself, could not possibly accomplish. Elphaba had always seemed at home in the library as nowhere else and that was the Elphie that Glinda wanted give a legacy to, the bright, hopeful soul that had been so lost and misunderstood.

Glinda entered her chamber, an even more extravagant concoction than her office. Her bed filled one wall, a mass of silk cushions and ruffles and voluminous hanging fabric, her dressing table was lined with every sort of cream, powder, or perfume, her windows were draped with thick brocade curtains, her wardrobe was filled with the most ostentatious yet fashionable gowns, but the walls were the most telling for they had been painted in the most peculiar soft shade of green. The color always calmed her; it made her feel centered and brought a small measure of peace to her aching heart.

Why was the constant hole in her heart paining her so much today, she couldn't come up with a reason. It was just one of those days she supposed, they happened periodically when the loss weighed so heavily upon her she wasn't sure how she would make it to the next sunrise. Her memories would plague her on those days. She would berate herself for never grasping love when it was in front of her and then she would feel it, this sensation that despite everything she knew to be true there was some chance that she would see Elphie again. Glinda knew that after all these years that was ridiculous but she couldn't convince her heart. There was this spark inside her that insisted that Elphaba would return one day.

There was no solution for these days but to put on her nightgown and silently cry herself to sleep let loose some of the pain inside, let it pour from her until she was so drained all there was for her was the welcome darkness of sleep. She unhooked the ties that held up her heavy drapes closing them over the spring sunshine needing her world to be as dark as she felt. She could feel the burning of tears behind her eyes as she did so but she refused to let them fall yet, she needed to be rid of this dress and tiara and all the trappings of being Glinda the Good before she could embrace her private pain.

After removing the layers of skirt and silk and taffeta and boning that protected her from the world she slid between her sheets and buried her face in her pillow letting the first sob escape muffled into its softness wishing it was a warm green shoulder that in her memory smelled faintly of spring flowers and something unmistakably Elphaba, clean and earthy. At the thought, the memory of that scent, her tears came in earnest pouring forth in an unstoppable torrent of grief and loss. Glinda made no effort to stop them, there was no way to do so they would come until they stopped and then for a bit she would sleep.

Elphaba had only used the spell once, to visit her sister Nessa, but she remembered it clearly enough. It would allow her to appear in Glinda's wardrobe, allowing her to enter her private chamber undetected where she hoped she could find a few moments alone with her to explain. Explain what she wasn't so sure, why she left, how it had all been to protect Glinda from the disasters that seemed to follow in Elphaba's wake, how her biggest regret in all of them was having not kissed her when they last said goodbye. How sorry she was for everything. How much she loved Glinda. This had seemed much easier in theory than in practice, but as had happened so often in Elphaba's life the ball was set in motion and she had to see it to the end, hopefully the result would be better this time. The sharp featured, green woman noted as she had the thought that it had been a very long time since she had hoped for anything.

She began the chant that had buried itself in her memory the one that would teleport her to the place where she would either find her dreams or her nightmares fulfilled but either way she would know and she would stop hiding, not from those who would wish her harm, but from herself. She could feel the rush of power come over her skin the electric charge of magic as the spell took hold of her and took her into her future. There was nothing between leaving the small farm house in which she had spent the last five years with Fiyero and the dark perfumed interior of Glinda's wardrobe.

Elphaba thought she might burst into uncontrollable sobs as her nostrils were filled with that scent, the one that was the underpinning to all the fine perfumes Glinda had always applied the soft feminine fragrance that was uniquely Glinda, it made one think of the freshness of new fallen snow or spring rain it was crystal clear and beautiful much like the woman herself. Elphaba collected her thoughts and took a moment to listen for any rustle of activity on the other side of the door, either some member of the palace staff or Glinda herself. Her keen ears picked up no sound and no light coming in around the edges of the door so she ventured to push it open revealing the only slightly lighter interior of the room.

The fall of her boots was silenced by the thick carpet as she stepped around to take in what she could see of her surroundings. She couldn't help but smile at how Glinda it all was, the dressing table, the bed, the drapes seemed to have a certain sparkle even in the tiny bit of light coming in around the edges of the window dressing. A movement in the bed caught the corner of Elphaba's eye and her breath came in a gasp. She was suddenly reminded of where she was and why she had come.

Glinda was lying in her bed her blond hair spread around her head managing to look perfect even as she slept; Elphaba stepped closer to look at the sight she had ached to see for so long now. As she took a step she saw the streaks of dried tears on her cheeks the traces of grief around the corners of her eyes even as she slept and Elphaba's heart clenched in her chest. What could she have been crying over so recently, what could be causing her such pain that it couldn't be erased by sleep?

Unbidden Elphaba's long fingers reached to brush the ghosts of tears from the soft curve of cheek. The warmth of her skin, the realness of Glinda was nearly enough to overwhelm her senses. She brushed the lightest of touches across the other woman's forehead barely brushing back a stray lock of hair. This slight touch still caused Glinda to stir from her dream a softly mumbled word on her lips that made Elphaba's heart skip a beat.

"Elphie," Glinda could still sense that memory of a scent, even stronger now somehow, as she was drawn awake. She blinked awake still slightly disoriented from her fitful dream filled sleep; it took a long moment before she realized there was a dark cloaked figure standing over her. An almost embarrassingly girly squeal of fear slipped from her as she sat upright trying to scramble up from the mass of bed clothes.

"Glinda, don't be afraid, it's me," Elphaba stepped forward shrugging off her cloak to reveal herself more readily. Her heart was now pounding in her chest a million emotions rising in her chest each fighting for supremacy and expression. She knelt by the edge of the bed both to allow Glinda to see her and because she was certain her knees would give out soon enough anyway.

Glinda refused to believe her eyes, this was some cruel dream that would leave her feeling even more shattered when she awoke. There was no way Elphaba, her Elphie, had come back, it was completely impossible. Glinda kept staring at the earnest face, those dark eyes she had so longed to see and felt an inexplicable anger rise in her chest at whatever had caused this apparition to appear before her. Before she knew what she was doing she sat up straight in her bed pulled back her hand and slapped this lying image across one perfect, angular, green cheek.

It would be difficult to determine which of them was more shocked, Elphaba at the sting spreading across her cheek or Glinda that her hand had contacted anything at all. She had expected her action to send the image swirling into mist of lingering dream not offer real resistance to her swing. She shook the surprising pain out of her palm and stared in shock as long fingers rubbed at the spot she had just struck.

"Who are you," the question came out strangled and course as Glinda's glinting blues eyes demanded an explanation for this cruel joke.

"My sweet," the endearment sliding from Elphaba's lips as though she had said it every day for the last five years, "it's me, I promise."

Glinda still refused to believe, it just couldn't be. She continued to stare as she finally untangled herself from her bed clothes and stood now looking down at the woman kneeling on the floor next to her bed. "It can't be you, you died. I saw it," her voice was drawn tight with warring emotions. "You can't be here."

Elphaba remained kneeling, "but it would seem that I am here, I can explain everything if you would like." Her head was spinning with the reality of all she had done in the last few hours. She had left Fiyero, with his sort of blessing, she was back in Oz. She was sitting on the plush carpet of the private chamber of Glinda the Good the love of her life. Maybe saying she could explain everything was somewhat of an overstatement.

"There is no way you can explain this, this doesn't make any sense. If you weren't dead then I can't believe you would have left me in this state for so long. How could you?" This was all beginning to be too much for Glinda the tears she thought she had exhausted were now spilling forward again and she made no move to stop them.

The question stabbed through Elphaba's heart, the pain that was laced through Glinda's voice brought tears to her own eyes, "I had to protect you," it seemed to be such a small answer to a much larger question. "Everything was so out of control Glinda, you know that as well as anyone. They were out for my blood, mine and anyone close to me. I had to put an end to it and there was only one way to do that. The wizard would have used me otherwise and I would have had no control over it. He would have used my name to enslave more Animals and people I would have been an excuse for more atrocities than had already happened. If you would have known my plans to fake my death you would have been in grave danger and if I had continued to fight it would have caused more pain and anguish than I could bear. And there was no way I was going to risk you there was no way I could add that to my list of unforgivable mistakes. So I left knowing with unwavering certainty you were strong enough to do all the things I had failed to do."

The words hung in the air between them, Glinda still couldn't quite grasp the reality of Elphaba telling her all of this in person, but she was finding herself less and less able to deny the sound of that voice she thought she'd never hear again, the sight of those sharp, sparkling eyes, the aura that Elphie had always had around her. "But, I don't understand," it was clear Glinda didn't just mean how Elphaba had escaped but the entire situation.

At this Elphaba stood again gaining her full height above Glinda who seemed even smaller without her skirts and petticoat. She tentatively took one of Glinda's small white hands in her larger green gently running her thumb over the other woman's knuckles staring down at the motion collecting her thoughts. She had succeeded in convincing Glinda she was real that was a step in the right direction.

"It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life you know," as she spoke Elphaba lifted her eyes to meet Glinda's baby blues still sparkling with unshed tears.

"What was," she hoped she knew what Elphaba was referring to but hope was quiet unbearable at this point.

"Leaving you behind," it was the simplest truth she had ever spoken. With those words she took a step closer to Glinda still holding her hand clasped firmly in her own. "I have so many regrets Glinda, so many." Her voice dropped low weighed down by past choices.

"You aren't alone in that, sweetheart," Glinda didn't even realize she'd used the endearment until after it had passed her lips, and even with all that had happened it brought a blush to her cheeks.

"What could you have to regret, you are Glinda the Good. You've saved Oz from itself, you've begun to heal the wounds of the world, you've done all I knew you would. You overthrew the wizard," there was an undeniable note of pride in her voice as she spoke.

"Yes, I have done those things, but only because you were gone and I was all that was left. I stole your strength; I never had much of my own. And I have so many regrets, so many things I should have said and done differently. Oh Elphie, are you really here?" The last words came out as a plea as Glinda took a step forward and buried her face in Elphaba's neck tears again falling.

Elphaba brought her arms up around Glinda and held her as she cried her own tears falling into golden curls as waves of emotion crashed over her at the rightness of this embrace. How she had ever convinced herself that she could go her whole life without this was a mystery to her now. Her own foolishness never ceased to amaze her, for some one of such intelligence she could be such an idiot. But she had come here to move forward not stay in the past.

"We have both done things and made choices that we are not proud of and we both know there is plenty of blame to share," Elphaba began murmuring these words into Glinda's hair not wanting to give up a moment of this embrace, "but now is not the time to dwell on ancient history."

"It is difficult not to when so much of what we've done is History now," Glinda said in to Elphaba's chest but even with its muffled quality Elphaba easily picked up on the implication of her words, "we are after all Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West."

Elphaba laughed to herself at the irony of their lives, "no, we aren't we are just Elphaba Thropp and Glinda Upland of the Upper Uplands, we know each other too well to believe the rest of that nonsense."

Glinda sniffled a little and pulled back a bit to look up into Elphaba's face, "How did we ever get here? Imagine if someone had come up to us at Shiz and told us we would be here one day."

"I probably would have slapped them across the face," Elphaba smiled through the words.

Glinda took in a small breath and reached up to touch the cheek she had earlier struck, "Oh Elphie, I'm sorry about that."

"It's truly alright, I probably deserve much worse," touches of guilt still colored Elphaba's words regardless of her talk about not dwelling on the past.

"No, you don't," Glinda suddenly grew serious putting a wealth of meaning into those three simple words.

"Why Miss Glinda, I didn't know you cared," Elphaba teased in a feeble attempt to lighten the mood.

"Elphie, I do care, so much more than I ever had the courage to tell you," Glinda stopped suddenly realizing what she had said she took a step back not quite ready to make these sorts of declarations while still in the circle of the other woman's far too tempting arms.

Silence now stretched between them extending as neither one of them knew what to say. Elphaba couldn't believe her own cowardice; she had come all this way, risked everything including herself to see Glinda again and here she stood on the precipice of saying all that she had come to say and the words seemed lodged somewhere between her heart and her lips. Glinda was berating herself just as mightily. She had told herself that if only she had had one more chance to tell Elphaba everything she would bare her soul and open her heart. And here she stood silent and terrified.

Glinda was the first to speak, or release a heavy sigh of frustration at least, as she started to pace between the bed and the still curtained window. Elphaba watched as Glinda moved back and forth trying hard not to be amused by how much the blond looked like she had looked back in school when she had been wrestling with some problem. She would stalk around their room muttering to herself a litany of possible solutions to whatever social crisis she was mulling over and though Elphaba had always feigned irritation she found it quite endearing.

As suddenly as she had started Glinda stopped and faced Elphaba just inches away from her and met dark eyes with her own blue, steelier than they had ever been. Glinda had come to a decision and she wasn't going to stop until she had seen it to fruition. "This is ridiculous. I have already lost you once and have been living an empty life for the five intervening years and still I stand here too tongue tied and afraid to tell you all the things I have regretted never saying, completely ridiculous."

"Glinda, I-,"

"Hush, I am not done speaking," a bit of Glinda the Good ruler of all Oz had slipped into her voice and Elphaba could hardly do anything but stop speaking, "Don't you have any idea how I feel about you, how I have always felt about you? Ever since I gave you that hat and we danced at the Oz Dust, quite possibly even before that maybe even from the first time I saw you when we arrived at Shiz. You were so fascinating and brilliant and exotic and beautiful and you made me work for you. You didn't just throw yourself at my feet and tell me how lovely and good I was, for the first time I had to earn respect and friendship and I knew that once I had it, it was because of who I was not what I looked like or who I pretended to be. Elphie, did you never, ever see how much I love you?"

"That wasn't rhetorical," Glinda said when the silence had draw out to an unacceptable length and Elphaba still looked stunned.

"I'm sorry, I-," Elphaba had no words; everything she had thought to say now seemed redundant so she made another choice, action. She raised her hands to gently cup Glinda's face and draw her closer as she leaned forward softly joining their lips. Glinda's hands reached out and pulled Elphaba's hips closer with insistent pressure until their bodies were pressed together and the kiss deepened. Elphaba's long slender fingers slid into Glinda's soft golden curls as her tongue was granted entrance into warm sweetness. A moan escaped from one of them but neither was sure which.

After long moments and only due to necessity they separated foreheads touching breathing ragged. They continued to hold tight to one another as though at any second this would all end and they would both again be lost and hurting and alone. The electricity crackled between them as it never had before, as they had never allowed it to before. In this moment there was no past no future just the glorious present.

"I couldn't go another moment of my life without knowing what it felt like to kiss you," Elphaba's words were now heavy with passion and love the guilt and longing left behind in the tidal wave of sensation that had accompanied the first meeting of their lips.

"You still haven't answered my question," Glinda teased in an attempt to keep words flowing for a moment so she could regain some semblance of control.

"Truthfully my sweet, no I had no idea. I knew you cared for me and that we were truly best friends but nothing in my life had ever given me the idea that someone like you would love someone like me," the words were softly spoken as Elphaba began to run her fingers through soft curls not letting any of the contact between them waiver.

"Oh Elphie, how could I not love you, you had such strength and bravery, integrity, passion, so many things that I never had I always felt so plain next to you," upon saying the words she knew they were true though she hadn't ever acknowledged them.

Elphaba actually threw back her head and laughed that full, forceful boisterous laugh she so rarely allowed free reign. "You felt plain? You? Glinda the Good the most beautiful woman in all of Oz felt plain next to me? You were always so graceful and beautiful and you saw so much good everywhere. You practically glow from the inside with wonder and joy. And you were always the strong one, you didn't have to be my friend, you didn't have to stand up for me you could just as easily have turned your back on me and never looked back and you never did."

"I couldn't do that Elphie, I never could. I was truly and well captured by you long before I knew what was happening," as she spoke now her voice softened intimately as her hand moved from Elphaba's slender hip to brush a lock of silky black hair behind her ear, "do you know how much I used to love playing with your hair, I was always so shocked when you'd let me do it."

"My big secret was I loved letting you," Elphaba smiled softly as she looked into blue eyes she had missed more than life.

"Why did it take so long, Elphie? Why did we take so long?" Glinda stretched upward now meeting Elphaba's lips again this time insisting upon immediate access. So much time had been wasted between them the idea of another moment passing without making certain that Elphaba knew exactly how she felt was completely unacceptable.

Elphaba could recognize the difference in Glinda's kiss, the passion, the urgency, the love and she returned each feeling in kind reveling in the wonder of it, the magic of it. She could feel Glinda's fingers deftly working the buttons of her dress and she made no move to stop her, there was no need and no desire to stop. Remarkably quickly, for Glinda knew how to make quick work of getting in and out of dresses, Elphaba was freed of her dress and underskirt as she was Glinda pulled back slightly and gasped softly.

"Why Miss Elphaba, look at you. You're beautiful," as she said the words she knew she had spoken them before, a lifetime ago, but they were even truer now. Elphaba's luminescent complexion was amazing and was so soft to the touch her skin was like the rarest silk. Glinda wanted to touch all of the bared green in front of her; she lowered her lips to the dip between collar bones hands roaming freely over newly exposed flesh.

Elphaba threw her head back allowing more access reveling in the feel of Glinda's hands and lips on her skin. Her own hands reached out to tug at Glinda's nightgown wanting the same access to the other woman's more curvaceous figure. Glinda stepped back making quick work of her own garments as Elphaba sat on the edge of the bed to remove her boots. Glinda saw what she was doing and hurriedly batted hands away, "Let me do that," she commanded, "I can't believe you still wear these clunky things. You know a nice pair of flats would have been a great deal quicker to get you out of." Glinda removed the boots and then stood between Elphaba's slightly spread thighs resting her arms on thin shoulders as strong hands rested on her full hips.

"Leave it to you to give fashion advice at a moment like this," Elphaba teased, "Glinda you are so – beautiful," the last word was uttered in a tone that was the closest to a prayer Elphaba would ever manage in her life as she pulled Glinda with her onto the mattress.

Glinda took advantage of this new position pinning Elphaba's hands over her head and kissed her with a slow languid passion that was designed to build the fire that already raged between them. Glinda was amazed at the perfection with which they fit together just as their hearts were halves of a whole it seemed their bodies were as well.

Elphaba reveled in the kisses they shared, let the sensations crash through her body as her legs wrapped around Glinda drawing her, somehow, closer. When their lips parted Elphaba spoke, "I love you, Glinda, so much," as she spoke the words she felt a tear track from the corner of her eye into her hair as she had no way to wipe it away.

Glinda lost herself in the words and the look in those fathomless eyes, "I love you, too Elphie. I always have." She loosened her grip on Elphaba's hands and again buried her head in the crook of the other woman's neck. "Do you promise this isn't just a dream? I'm not about to wake up to my lonely empty life am I?"

As Glinda spoke the words Elphaba wrapped her arms tightly around her as if to offer the solid reality of her body as an answer, "This isn't a dream, my sweet. I am here and I'm not leaving. We have both waited too long to let this slip away now. I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow but I do know that whatever it is we will face it together as we always should have."

"Oh Elphie, you truly are such a secret romantic," Glinda couldn't resist poking a little fun even now, "but I don't think I want to spend too much time on these questions right now not when I have you right where I want you."

"Oh, do you now?" Elphaba raised an eyebrow at the comment.

Glinda shifted her weight in such a way as to show Elphaba the undeniable truth of the situation eliciting a most delicious moan from deep in her throat. "Yes, I do," she answered in all seriousness as she then set about showing Elphaba exactly what she meant.

Some hours later Elphaba woke to find blond hair spread across her chest and a warm weight half on top of her. It was the most amazing feeling of rightness, of goodness the two of them together like this. There was no doubt, no question when she held Glinda sleeping in her arms. She knew how insane that sounded to every painfully logical part of her brain. She was still the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda was still the ruler of Oz who was soon to be married in a very public ceremony but none of that mattered.

Elphaba felt herself smiling a way she hadn't since before she had met the wizard and learned of his lies the way she hadn't since she had arrived at Shiz. It was as though the only way to overcome the past and all of their mistakes was together. It had been necessary to leave when she did, it would have been too dangerous to stay, but it was equally necessary for her to return.

Glinda stirred from her human mattress lifting her head to look up into dark eyes, to reassure herself that they were real. There were so many questions that still needed answers and so many decisions to be made in the coming days but not in this moment. Right now it was time to celebrate the feeling of completeness that had grown in place of the emptiness in her heart. Besides now that the two of them were truly together they were unstoppable.

"Hi," Elphaba said still smiling radiantly.

"Hi," Glinda answered her own smile surfacing.

"So what should we do now," Elphaba asked knowing it was an almost unanswerable question.

Glinda just continued to look at her for a long time allowing her heart to fill with love and wonder at this surprising turn of events. Until Elphaba spoke again, "that wasn't rhetorical."

Blue eyes sparkled with laughter at that, "I don't know sweetheart, you and I, the options seem unlimited." With that Glinda shifted upward and ended any further conversation with the insistent press of lips.

They would worry about all of the things that take up so much space and seem so big later. Right now all that concerned either of them was the far larger and far more important truth of love.

The End

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