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15 December 2010 @ 11:04 am
Somewhere Over The Moon (13.0/?) -- Wicked/RENT  
Fandom: Wicked / RENT
Rating: PG-13 (whole series)
Warnings: See chapter one
Pairings: Elphaba/Glinda, Boq/Nessarose, Crope/Tibbett, Fiyero/female!Shell
Disclaimer: I do not own Wicked or RENT.

[ chapter 1 ] [chapter 12 ]

13, Part 1.

It was strange, Fiyero decided, being at the Ozdust again after all these years. The last time he had been here, he had been a new student at Shiz, happy to be away from home, but not so happy to be at school. He couldn’t remember much of what had happened at any of those school parties. He couldn’t remember the names of any of the girls he had danced with, or any of the boys he had hung out with – except for Crope, Boq, and Avaric, of course, but he only remembered them because he had lived with them for so long. Everything else seemed like a blur, the way most of his life pre-Sarima seemed now. All that was clear anymore was what had happened since Lurlinemas Eve. It was almost as though he had danced his way through life, and now that dancing was fading into memory.

Fiyero could barely imagine himself as a college student. He looked at the students now and couldn’t see himself in them at all. He had been naïve and cocky back then, though not so much as Avaric. Fiyero had at least been willing to change; Avaric had always been, and would always be, a complete asshole. He wondered whether the current students would turn out anything like him, or whether they would be more like Avaric. Or, perhaps, they might turn out more like any other one of his friends. They could be like Boq, loyal and kind, but afraid to act; like Glinda, bubbly and flirtatious and too affectionate for her own good; like Tibbett, sweet, but proud, despite being misunderstood; like Nessa, struggling to define herself and defy her limitations; like Elphaba, bold and cynical, but fiercely loyal; or even like Shell, confident in herself but fully aware of her own failings and shortcomings. They were all so different, yet they fit together perfectly. Fiyero couldn’t imagine any of these current students could possibly be happier than he was right now.

Of course, Fiyero didn’t believe there was a single person in Oz who could be happier than him right now. After all, no one else in Oz was dancing with Shell Thropp in his arms. Fiyero believed Shell looked unbelievably gorgeous all the time, but he had to admit, she looked especially beautiful tonight. The dress she wore was exactly the perfect shade of blue to compliment her skin, and it made the four diamonds on her cheek seem to glow even more than usual. The dress even seemed to make her deep brown eyes seem deeper and more mysterious than he had ever seen them. All that he needed now was the moonlight, which always radiated off her in such a way that it made her seem to be an angel. If such a thing as perfection existed, Shell Thropp was its definition. And she loved him. How could any man be so lucky?

“Yero?” she asked after a while. Her voice was low and soft, like a murmur.


“I’m a little thirsty. I think I’ll get myself a drink.”

“I can get it for you,” Fiyero said quickly. He moved to head in that direction, but Shell stopped him.

“I can get my own drink,” she said. “I need a short break from dancing, anyway. I’ll only be a few minutes.”

Fiyero hesitated. As the gentleman, it was his responsibility to get the refreshments. But Shell was a Thropp, and Fiyero had learned by now that the Thropp women – all three of them – were extremely stubborn. Far be it from him to cause an outcry because of a drink.

“Okay,” he said finally. “As long as you get me something, too.”

Shell smiled. “It’s a deal,” she said. She kissed him on the cheek, directly over a diamond tattoo, and then stepped back. “I’ll be back in a minute.” She pulled away from him and began to gracefully maneuver through the crowd toward the table of refreshments.

For a few minutes, Fiyero waited there. The loss of Shell left him feeling lonely. It also left a feeling of awkwardness, as he was now the only one around him who had no partner. He was not used to having no partner. He may not have remembered all his old dance partners, but he distinctly remembered always having one. To be without a date on the dance floor, even for a few minutes, felt very unpleasant. This must be what girls feel like when their dates go to fetch them a drink, he thought. How do they bear it?

Fiyero tried very hard to wait patiently, but the pressure was too great. Finally, he became so overwhelmed that he had to move. Shell wouldn’t appreciate it if he went all the way to the refreshment table, but coming partway surely wouldn’t bother her. He began to head in that direction, being careful to stay behind other dancers so Shell wouldn’t see him if she should happen to glance over. He was stopped by Boq and Nessa at one point. They had apparently seen some of the commotion with Crope and Tibbett and wanted to know what had happened. Glad for a distraction, Fiyero began to relay the tale.

He had just finished repeating Tibbett’s last words when the view to the refreshment table suddenly became clear. Without meaning to, his attention shifted to what he saw there, and his words began to die away. Shell was still at the table, clutching a drink tightly in one hand. But she was not alone. Standing next to her was Avaric, all dressed up in his finest suit, learning in to whisper in her ear.

Fiyero felt anger and jealousy bubbling up inside him. He managed to say, “Would you excuse me?” to Boq and Nessa as his body pulled him toward the table. That bastard Avaric had always gotten any girl he wanted, but Fiyero was not going to let that happen tonight – not with Shell.

So maybe Shell hadn’t been completely honest with Fiyero. She was thirsty, yes, but that wasn’t the real reason she had wanted to slip away. Well, wanted wasn’t really the right word – needed was more like it. She couldn’t tell Fiyero that she was slipping away to talk to some other guy, now, could she?

It wasn’t what it looked like. Shell had no interest in Avaric whatsoever – not as a friend, and definitely not as a romantic partner. But she had noticed him staring at her at various points throughout the evening. She might have worked in a place where men stared at her all the time, but she was very good at knowing when any one man did too much staring. It either meant he was genuinely interested or he was imagining her naked, and she had a pretty good idea which of the two categories Avaric fell into.

Shell was sick of Avaric’s staring. She only knew one way to stop it. Unfortunately, that required talking to him. So, she told Fiyero she needed a drink and slipped away. Avaric would follow her; she knew it.

So it was no surprised when his voice appeared just after she had finished pouring herself a drink. “Well, well, if it isn’t the most beautiful woman in the room. It must be my lucky day.” He stepped up beside her and poured himself a drink as well.

Shell didn’t turn to look at him. “It won’t be so lucky if your wife finds out you said that.”

“My wife is too busy with her gossipy friends to worry about me. She is really such a bore at parties.”

“A pity, then, that she married you – the biggest bore of all. She’ll never improve.”

“And here I thought you thought more highly of me, Shell.”

“On the contrary, Avaric – of you, I happen to think less.”

“No need to be so harsh. Here I am, a simple man trying to give a woman a compliment, and she turns around and insults me.”

“What do you want, Avaric?”

“Who says I want anything?”

“I do. Now tell me what it is so I can continue with my evening in peace.”

“You haven’t said please.”

“And I don’t intend to. But this will all go much more smoothly if you tell me what you want right now.”

“What if I said all I want is to talk to you?”

“I’d say you were lying. Try again.”

“What, I’m not allowed to want to talk to you?”

“I’m not stupid, Avaric. I know you want more than that.”

Avaric stepped closer to her and leaned his head in toward hers. “Are you implying that you want more than that?”

Shell somehow managed to keep herself from shuddering with revulsion at his nearness. She carefully stepped away. “I am implying nothing of the kind. I am in love with Fiyero; I detest you.”

“Ah, but isn’t there such exhilaration in detestation? I’ve always thought so.”

She still had no interest in him, but she had to admit, if only to herself, that he had a point. Loathing was just as powerful an emotion as loving, and powerful emotions had a tendency to cause a certain kind of exhilaration. It felt strangely good to loathe Avaric, almost as much as it felt good to love Fiyero.

Avaric moved toward her again. He leaned in again and began to whisper in her ear. “Haven’t you thought about us? About that night – about how wonderful it was? We could be that way again, you know – and precious Fiyero would never have to know. All you have to do is say the word, and I’m yours.” He reached a hand to her face and delicately stroked her diamonds.

Shell recoiled away from him, but she was speechless. Responding to his words was hard enough; responding to his touch was even more difficult. Ever since she had gotten those diamond tattoos, her skin there had been super sensitive. Apparently, Avaric knew that, and he was using it to his advantage.

“You liked that, didn’t you?” Avaric asked. He advanced on her, lust in his eyes. “I can do so much more.” He began to raise a hand to her cheek again.

Shell tried to back away, but her feet wouldn’t move. She raised one of her hands, preparing to slap Avaric’s hand away. “Don’t touch me,” she said, but her voice was far less authoritative than she would have liked. She felt as though she were being backed into a corner with nowhere to go.

“You know you want this,” Avaric said, his voice low and deep.

“No, I…”

“Get your fucking hands away from my girlfriend!”

When Avaric reached up to touch her diamonds, a fresh wave of rage hit Fiyero. How dare that bastard touch her like that? And what was worse, why was she apparently letting him? She was perfectly capable of resisting him, so why did her attempts only look half-hearted?

But it was when Avaric whispered, “You know you want this” that Fiyero snapped.

“Get your fucking hands away from my girlfriend!” he shouted, storming his way toward them. Shell and Avaric immediately turned to look at him, and so did several other couples nearby.

“Fiyero, wait…” Shell began, but Fiyero didn’t really hear her. He was too busy getting ready to beat the hell out of Avaric. Without hesitating for a moment, he marched straight up to Avaric and punched him in the nose as hard as he could. He heard the sounds of bones breaking as he pulled back.

“Oh, sweet Oz!” Avaric moaned, clutching at his nose and getting blood all over his hands. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Teaching you to keep your hands off my girl, you fucking bastard.”

“Shell came to me, you idiot,” Avaric retorted. “She knew I’d find her the moment she was alone, so she made sure that happened.”

Fiyero turned to look at Shell. “No, that’s not…” she began to protest.

“Isn’t it?” Avaric cut her off. “You weren’t surprised when I showed up at the refreshment table. You were waiting for me to come.”

“No, I… Yero that’s not true, I…” But Shell couldn’t finish the sentence.

“You bastard,” Fiyero said again to Avaric. He didn’t want to believe that Shell had anything to do with this; she couldn’t have. It was all Avaric’s fault – it had to be. “You lying bastard.” He stepped forward again to throw another punch, but Avaric was ready this time. He ducked away from Fiyero’s arm and threw a punch of his own, hitting Fiyero squarely in the jaw. Now even angrier, Fiyero went after Avaric again. He ignored Shell’s attempts to get in-between them to stop the fighting. His only thought was to teach this bastard once and for all not to mess with his girl. He continued to throw and avoid punches, wanting very badly to knock Avaric to the ground and kick the shit out of him.

But suddenly, strong arms were grabbing him and pulling him away from Avaric, despite his protests. When Fiyero finally calmed down enough to see who it was, he realized that these were Gale Force officers. Two held tightly to Fiyero, but only one held Avaric, and he was not holding tightly at all.

“What’s going on here?” asked one of the other officers, who seemed to be the one in charge. He was speaking only to Avaric.

“I was getting a drink and speaking to this young lady here when he came up and punched me,” Avaric said calmly. “I must have been speaking to his date by accident. Still, I don’t believe he had to go and break my nose. Had I known the young lady was already taken, I would have backed off, the way a true gentleman would.”

“Bullshit,” said Fiyero, earning him punch in the stomach. Rage seethed in him again. The officers didn’t even bother to ask him or Shell to confirm Avaric’s story; they automatically believed him because of who he was. Fiyero wanted very badly to punch the bastard again.

“My apologies for your pain, sir,” the head officer told Avaric. “We shall certainly pay for any hospital bills necessary to have your nose restored.”

“Thank you, officer,” said Avaric, bowing his head in gratitude as the officer restraining him let him go.

“As for you,” the head officer continued, turning to Fiyero, “unless this man wishes to press charges, we’ll let you go. But I’m afraid the party’s over for you – you’ll have to be escorted outside.”

“No charges are necessary, officer,” Avaric said. “Just get him out of here so he won’t hurt anyone else.”

“Fine then, sir,” said the head officer. “Men, take him outside.”

“Right away, sir,” one of the officers holding Fiyero replied. They began to push Fiyero toward the exit of the ballroom. Only now did Fiyero realize how many people had stopped to watch the proceedings. He only hoped word of this didn’t spread too far; he’d never hear the end of it from his parents if they found out.

When they reached the door, the officers shoved Fiyero out into the snow. “Stay out, trouble-maker. We’ll be watching,” one said. The other laughed and they slammed the door shut as they retreated back inside. Fiyero didn’t care that he was sitting in the snow without a coat. All he could think about was Avaric and how mad that bastard made him.

Only a few minutes passed before the door opened again. This time, it was Shell who came out the door. She had her coat on and was carrying his. She quickly dropped to his side and wrapped his coat around him. Then she helped him get to his feet so he wasn’t sitting in the snow any longer.

“Yero, I’m so sorry,” Shell said after they had stood for a minute or two in silence. “I shouldn’t have gone to get a drink. It was stupid.”

Fiyero stared at her. “So it was true, then – what he said about you coming to him?”

Shell squirmed, hesitating. “Sort of,” she admitted. “But it wasn’t like he said,” she added quickly. “He was staring at me all night, and I knew the only way to get him off my back was to talk to him. That’s why I needed to be alone – he wouldn’t have come as long as you were with me.”

“Why does this guy care so much?” I mean he barely knows you, right?” Fiyero looked to Shell for confirmation, but she didn’t give it. Instead, she looked away from him. “What? What is it?”

Shell continued to look away. When she finally turned her head back to him, there was a strange hardness in it. She suddenly looked more like Elphaba than Fiyero had ever seen her before. “I slept with him once, about three months before I met you.” Her words contained no emotion; they were as matter-of-fact as it was possible to be. Yet he still somehow suddenly felt sick. “I was drunk and overly self-conscious that night, and he was able to work his charms on me. After that, I didn’t see him again until Lurlinemas Eve. I blew him off because I had you. No doubt that overly-large ego of his wasn’t happy that I was choosing you instead of him. That’s why he’s after me, I suppose – he’s too damn proud to admit that he can’t have me.”

Fiyero wasn’t sure what to say. Shell’s words made sense, but that didn’t change the sick feeling in his gut. He wanted to only be angry at Avaric, but he couldn’t get rid of the anger he now felt toward Shell. He knew it wasn’t really her fault, that she didn’t deserve his anger, but he couldn’t help it. Avaric was gorgeous, wealthy, and powerful, where he was broken and battered and a prince who didn’t want to be a prince. Avaric had even finished school, while Fiyero was only a drop-out. What guarantee did he have that Shell wouldn’t choose Avaric over him in the end?

Shell seemed to notice his feelings of uncertainty. She leaned in and kissed him. “I love you, you know,” she said. “You and only you.”

Fiyero decided to push away his misgivings for now, in favor of loving Shell. He kissed her back, pulling her toward him, clinging tightly, as though he were claiming her. “I love you, too.”

“I’m yours,” Shell whispered. “Always.”

They continued to kiss as the snow fell around them. Fiyero pulled away as he felt Shell begin to shiver. “Was that arousal, or are you cold?” he asked.

Shell chuckled. “A little of both.”

“Maybe we should get out of the cold.”

“We can’t go back in the ballroom.”

“No, that would be a very bad idea.”

“So where do you want to go?”

Fiyero paused. “I know a quaint little café not far from here. It’s on the way to the station, so we’ll be able to see the others when they pass by.”

“Do they have hot cocoa?” Shell asked.

“Most definitely.” Fiyero grinned at her, and she grinned back.

“Then I’m in,” she said. “I’ll just run in and let someone know where we’ll be.”

“Okay,” said Fiyero. “Hurry back.”

Shell smiled and pulled him in for a kiss. “I will.” Then she let go of him and disappeared back into the Ozdust.

As she vanished from his sight, Fiyero felt that sense of loss once again. But this time, it was coupled with stifled anger – a very unpleasant feeling, to say the least. He would have taken the awkwardness of standing alone on the dance floor over this feeling any day. He tried to focus on the fact that he would be spending more time with Shell tonight – that she was choosing him, and so he had won, in a way. But he couldn’t quite shake the feelings of uneasiness. He suddenly understood why Elphaba was so uneasy with Glinda all the time. It wasn’t easy loving someone who was clearly out of your league. He just had to keep loving her and hoping she would love him back. There was nothing more he could do beyond that. He just hoped it would be enough.

[ chapter 13, part 2 ]

Mood: awakeawake
Theme Music: 15 Pounds (Away From My Love) - Stephanie J. Block