"I could but why do you want to know?" She questioned, wondering why the girl would care so much about her green skin since not many people usually cared.
"I suppose…I’ve never known anyone to have this in common with Elphaba before." Nessarose paused, lips pressed together, careful not to cause offence. It was difficult, after years of hearing her sister’s self-deprecating remarks, to remember that this woman might not be so self conscious, and she so desperately wanted some kind of explanation. "And Father never did find out what had caused it, exactly."
"I…" though Fiyero should’ve been expecting such a question from Elphaba’s sister, he had not been.
"No. I didn’t dislike her as much as the others seemed to- her presence never proved to be altogether unpleasant in my experience."
And, of course, he still did not dislike her nearly as much as everybody else- they seemed to hate her.
"But you are hunting for her.” Now it was clear that Fiyero was willing, at least, to have a discussion surrounding Elphaba, Nessarose found her confidence growing. “Leading the search, if I’ve heard correctly. So could I correctly presume that your opinion changed?”
"Aren’t you a little young to be practising….is this sorcery?"
Melena looked over at her daughter, frowning. “What are you doing over there?”
"Nanny’s cooking." Nessarose said slowly, unused to anything that could be considered a scolding and unsure how to react. "And Father’s working and Elphaba’s reading. So I thought I’d sit outside for a little bit with my prayer book…if I’m allowed to."
"Baby Animals are more like human babies, so maybe that’s just it," Elphaba noted with confidence, though her knowledge of the whole subject was limited to any books she could get her hands on, if Frex wasn’t around to keep a weary eye out. If Animals could speak like people could, then wouldn’t their developments as they aged work in the same way?
Elphie shrugged off any further thoughts on the matter, but the way in which Nessarose leaned forward in her chair to catch a better glimpse of the ducklings — or Ducklings, if that were true — and granted them a little goodbye of her own made this entire outing worth every second of Frex’s berating, every harsh word he had sent shooting her way with the ever present intonation of disappointment. It always remained with her, that reminder that Nessa was delicate and had to be looked after. That it was her job. It was all because of her.
With that thought pushed to the back of her mind for the moment, happily buried away, Elphaba nodded with a small smile all of her own. There was an unknown gratitude there, and the green girl felt herself relax somewhat. “Shall I fetch some bread, then? I don’t think Nanny would mind the gesture so much. It’s barely a waste.” As long as father does not find out.
"Oh." She paused, face scrunched up slightly as this new information was taken in. "How…how are there two different kinds of the same thing? There aren’t two different kinds of us.”
A small part of her brain wondered whether her father would approve of this topic - she hadn’t heard it discussed before and that usually meant that he had deemed the subject inappropriate - but for once her curiosity trumped her desire to be obedient. “I haven’t heard about Animals in the Holy Books, either.” This in itself confused the younger Thropp, who normally did not take time to consider the things outside of her religious texts. She glanced away from the birds, towards her elder sister, waiting for Elphaba to offer an answer, still under the naive assumption that her sister’s knowledge of the subject must be nearly infinite. She was older than Nessarose, after all, and already knew so much more about the Animals.
She nodded eagerly as Elphaba offered to fetch bread for the, a contented smile already spreading across her face at the thought of spending an afternoon outside. It seemed a rare enough treat not to be cooped up indoors, and it wasn’t until her stomach rumbled that she remembered her hunger, and tugged on her sister’s sleeve to add, “And can you bring the food too, please? For us?”
"Yes, that is true." She nodded. "Yes, whatever the potion was, it was the cause of me having green skin. I know, we can’t change things and it’s better not to dwell on things. It’s sad enough to think of how things could have been different. There is no reason to make it worse, because we can’t do anything about it. It is what it is." Elphaba knew Nessa held their mother high in regard and she didn’t want her to think differently. Things had been bad enough and there was no reason to make it work. So if she had to blame it all on the Wizard, then so be it. She knew it was the fault of many others, but she didn’t want to see Nessa more hurt than she was.
"Maybe. I suppose I wouldn’t have minded a few hugs when I was younger." She softly admitted. The reason she had spend many years not wanting to be touched, was because she never got any contact when she was growing up. They never hugged her. The only time they came close to her was because they needed to feed or change her, which she had started to learn to do herself when she was young. She knew when she was been infant she had very, very sharp teeth and didn’t hesitate to bite anyone, so she could understand they were cautious. Yet it stung that they kept that up even when she changed teeth and had gotten normal ones.
"I agree with father on that. I don’t think you were ever meant to be a housewife. You are too strong to just sit around and look pretty. No, you always had been destined for more and., you are. Maybe it’s not how you imagined, but.. you know what you are doing. And.. I will be honest, I may not always agree on how you do things, but.. I am proud of you. That you are still strong and independent. And still manage to stay pretty." She joked lightly. "I am happy that you are able to take care of yourself, Nessa. Though part of me is sad you don’t really need me." She was so used to having to take care of Nessa that it felt strange she didn’t have to do so anymore.
There was a kind of discomfort that always arose when Elphaba spoke of feeling unwanted, as Nessarose found herself unwilling to admit her father’s favouritism and afraid that Elphaba had viewed herself as some kind of slave to her younger sister. She frowned, not wanting to feel any stab of guilt, and persisted, “I never shied away from you, Elphaba. If you had wanted affection you only needed to ask.”
This was true enough; Nessarose had never felt as wary of Elphaba as others did and although she would have been baffled at such a request, having presumed that Elphaba didn’t want or need such comforts, it was unlikely that she would have denied it.
She smiled slightly upon hearing of her sister’s ambitions for her, ducking her head and finishing the last strawberry in her hasty attempt at a fruit salad before replying. “I am glad you’re proud and I hardly expected us to agree on everything. We never have.” With a little nod, Nessarose gave her sister a tight smile and hoped that this would end the discussion. Of course Elphaba wouldn’t approve of her methods - goodness, even Nessarose could see that she caused some harm - but changing them now that she’d established power and could keep Boq so close…it was unthinkable. Her brow furrowed slightly at Elphaba’s confidence in her independence as she struggled to find a response. Nessa wanted to be independent, desperately so, but she didn’t feel it. She had not anticipated all the uncertainty that came with having to make decisions alone, or the desperate need to keep others nearby - even letting Elphaba return to the Emerald City was a difficult prospect. Still, it was nice to know that her sister believed she was managing, and Nessarose had no desire to dispel her illusions. She forced another smile, smoothing a slight crease in her skirt. “Still, it is nice when you visit - especially since you’ve been absent for so long. How are you adjusting to stability, Elphie?”
Boq glanced down at the large, expensive bouquet in his hands. It had taken a good number of weeks to save up for the cluster of fancy roses, and there really was no question as to whom it was for. He opened his mouth, but hurriedly shut it again a moment later.
He swallowed nervously and attempted a wobbly smile.Elphaba would kill him.
"W-why, they’re…erm…they’re for you, of course! Miss Nessa," he said, shoving them a little reluctantly at the girl.
Despite his flushed attempts to hide it, Boq still appeared more than a little relieved by Nessa’s response. It seemed- and he dearly hoped for this- that they could all continue as they were for just a little while longer, without anyone getting hurt. Boq still had his chance to impress Miss Galinda, without incurring the wrath of Miss Elphaba Thropp alongside it.
His relief allowed his shoulders to drop, and his pose to finally relax somewhat. The Munchkin even squeezed Nessa’s hand in reply, as she reached out to entwine her slim fingers with his own. He managed to work up a timid little smile, still feeling the pulsing resentment of being unable to give his expensive gift to his beloved. At last he had managed to save for something worthy of Miss Galinda’s beauty and…and
…and he was being selfish again. Nessarose looked, well, she looked happy. Now that her suspicions had been successfully skirted, Boq found himself wondering if the chair-bound girl was used to Valentines gifts. She was pretty, even the love-struck Munchkin could see that- but she had, well. She had Elphaba.
"But I…I wanted to," he managed to reply, still with the nervous little smile spread across his lips. It didn’t quite meet his eyes, and it seemed a little glazed, but Boq still felt a jab of guilt for his earlier thought. Even if he hadn’t vocalised it, he had still thought it.
Her smile grew. He wanted to spend money on her, to give her the presents and attentions she, in a somewhat romanticised fashion, had imagined would accompany any kind of relationship. She ducked her head down again, partly to hide her flushed cheeks, forgetting how she could ever have felt unhappy about this occasion - it was a wonderful day, Boq was wonderful, and Nessa was certain she couldn’t be happier.
"Well…thank you," she said once more, finally shifting the bouquet delicately into the crook of her right are, taking the utmost care not to do so much as crumple one of the petals. Once the flowers were finally resting in one arm she reached to take Boq’s hand, fingers grabbing hesitantly at the air as she waited for him to accept. "They’re perfect."
Nessa always felt nervous around Boq, the butterflies in her stomach only serving to emphasise the constant worry that he was tired of her company. It was difficult to allow awkward silences, and she remained quiet only a moment longer before adding, in a somewhat higher tone, “We could perhaps…spend some time together? By the lake, maybe - you said you needed to borrow my notes?”
Nessarose was quickly beginning to regret her attempts to assert her independence. It had seemed so simple in the bar to assure Elphaba that she didn’t need to be accompanied back to the university, but now she was alone in the streets Nessa found herself longing for the company. It was only a short walk away, but it was a short walk through dark, relatively unfamiliar streets, and although Nessa had insisted on going alone she was beginning to feel slightly abandoned by the circle of friends who remained inside. Nonetheless, the bar had proved to be significantly less enjoyable for the youngest Thropp, who insisted on sobriety and had not allowed herself to laugh at the drunken antics of others, deciding to view them instead with a pious disapproval. Her bedroom felt like the preferable option, with her prayer books for company, and her spirits lifted as she drew closer.
That is, they had been lifting before she saw the shadowy figure lurking ahead of her, at which her stomach dropped and she froze. It was impossible that she had gone unnoticed - they were alone in the alley, after all - and she wasn’t sure whether it would be best to turn around. It took her a noticeable moment’s pause to properly discern the size of the figure in front of her and Nessarose only dared move forwards as she noticed that he seemed scrawny, likely still a child, and even then she moved tentatively.
((okay, so in my attempt to get somewhat back on track with rping, I’ve tried to count up my drafts and I know that I owe:
- tin-hearted (here, here, here and here)
- elphiethedelirious (here, here, here and here)
- i-am-flying-high-defying-gravity (here, here and shiz-verse)
- it-s-all-about-popular (here and here)
if I owe you and it’s not on here then please send me an ask and I’ll add that to my drafts, because if that is the case I’ve definitely lost it. I’ll try to get started on these now, and hopefully write up a starter later and get Red and Kate Monster back on track too
I’ll probably still be somewhat slow and I’m really sorry!