Carol stood on one of the many landing platforms of Avengers Tower watching as the sun came up over the New York City skyline. She almost never stayed there overnight, preferring the privacy of her home inside the Statue of Liberty. But last night Jess had been there. At least, Carol thought she had stayed there. There had been a fight with lots of shouting and accusations of selfishness. Well, it had started like that. After ten minutes or so, it had dissolved into Carol stuttering excuses faster than she could fly and Jess shaking her head in disappointment and looking dejected. When they were yelling, Carol had been fine; she could handle the yelling. She couldn't handle the look of abandonment in Jess's eyes. The fight had been brought to an abrupt halt with no resolution when Carol suddenly flew out the window. Jess had quietly muttered, "But why does it have to be you?" and Carol had paled. Without a word, she jumped out the window and took off into the night sky leaving Jess alone in Carol's apartment.
The whole ten minutes had been a nice response to her announcement that she would be spending a year in space. Loving, supportive girlfriend and all. Carol couldn't understand why Jess was so against the space trip. Missing Carol was a half assed excuse at best, they were Avengers and they went on separate missions all the time. And besides, Carol needed this after everything she had been through recently. Carol had spent months relearning what it meant to be Carol Danvers and eventually felt comfortable enough to take up the mantle of Captain Marvel full time. She was mostly back, but there was still something missing and Carol knew that space would do her good. So why couldn't Jess see that?
With a sigh, Carol covered her face with her helmet and activated the built-in music player. She'd have to thank Tony for that before she left. Carol took a few steps back before running forward and leaping from the platform. As she pulled up and flew forward, familiar lyrics filtered into Carol's ears.
"Elphaba why couldn't you have stayed calm for once, instead of flying off the handle? I hope you're happy! I hope you're happy now!"
Carol groaned; of course this song would play right now…
"I hope you're happy how you hurt your cause forever, I hope you think you're clever!" Glinda sang-shouted at Elphaba.
"I hope you're happy! I hope you're happy too! I hope you're proud how you would grovel in submission to feed your own ambition!" Elphaba spat back.
"So though I can't imagine how, I hope you're happy right now," The pair harmonized as Carol ducked and wove around buildings.
Carol could picture her and Jess shouting those lines at each other and it seemed fitting, if Carol was being honest with herself. She'd have to bring it up with Jess the next time they were on better terms. Now who would be Glinda….?
"Elphie, listen to me. Just say you're sorry. You can still be with the Wizard, what you've worked and waited for. You can have all you've ever wanted…" Glinda sang as Carol reached for the next button on her helmet.
"I know, but I don't want it. No…. I can't want it anymore… Something has changed within me, something is not the same." Elphaba replied, causing Carol to pause and hang in midair. "I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. Too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep. It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes. And leap. It's time to try defying gravity. I think I'll try defying gravity, and you can't pull me down."
Something about those lines resonated with Carol, resulting in a wide smile. She took off flying straight up, allowing the wind to rush by as the music continued, her mind oddly at ease despite the argument last night.
"I'm through accepting limits cause someone says there's so. Some things I cannot change, but til I try I'll never know!" Elphaba sang as Carol did a loop-de-loop before rocketing forward, racing over the city with renewed energy. "Too long I've been afraid of losing love, I guess I've lost. Well if that's love, it comes at much too high a cost!"
The wind rushed through the hair that poked up through Carol's helmet and Carol laughed out loud, feeling lighter than she had felt in a long time. This was Carol's choice, she could do whatever she wanted. She was Captain Marvel for God's sake! As Carol flew parallel to a particularly tall building, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to fantasize about being in space. Her own ship, her own missions. After she took the unconscious alien girl back to her own planet, she could do whatever she wanted. Carol briefly entertained the notion of asking Natasha if she'd take care of Chewie for her, but Natasha didn't have time to take care of her own cat, let alone Carol's. She would just have to take Chewie along.
"Glinda, come with me. Think of what we could do -together!" Elphaba said. "Unlimited, together we're unlimited. Together we'll be the greatest team there's ever been - Glinda! Dreams the way we planned 'em…"
"If we work in tandem," Glinda chimed in.
"There's no fight we cannot win!" the pair harmonized, giving Carol an idea. "Just you and I, defying gravity. With you and I defying gravity."
"They'll never bring us down!" Elphaba finished, sounding confident.
Carol came to a halt near the top of the building and landed on the edge. She paused the music player in her helmet and activated the com function in her ear.
"Call Jessica Drew," Carol said as she sat down, watching the city below.
There were a few rings, making Carol think Jess was ignoring her. After the fifth ring, the line connected with a groggy, "'Lo?"
"Jess? It's Carol," Carol said as she scratched the back of her neck and ignored the mental image of her girlfriend just barely waking up. "I wanted to talk to you about last night…"
There was a shuffling noise on the other end, Carol assumed it was Jess sitting upright in whatever bed she was lying in, before Jess replied, "I'm listening."
"Um…. I know that you're going to hate me saying this, but I'm going to space Jess. There's nothing that can stop that from happening. After everything that's happened with the time travel and the losing my memories, I need the year in space. I need a break from Earth. That doesn't mean that I need a break from you."
Jess was silent on the other end of the line, so Carol continued, "In fact, I want you to come with me. To space. I want you in space with me."
"You want me to do what?" Jess whispered.
"I want you to come to space with me," Carol repeated. "I want to wake up with you in some cramped bunker as we fly through the galaxy. I want to be able to touch your face as you sit next to me in the cockpit. I want you there next to me as we kick ass, go to space and represent the human race. As we boldly go where no Carol and Jess have gone before."
There was silence, followed by the most attractive snort Carol had ever heard out of her girlfriend and loud, boisterous laughter. Carol grinned as her girlfriend laughed, feeling better about this phone call already.
"Carol Danvers, you absolute nerd," Jess hiccupped as she got her laughter under control.
"So is that a yes?" Carol asked, hopeful.
Jess went quiet again for a moment before she let out a sigh, "Carol, I do appreciate the offer, I really do. But I can't. And before you try to talk me into it, it's not that I don't want to, it's honestly that I can't. I don't like the idea of you going, but I'm not going to try to stop you from going on your own. Just… come back to me in one piece, alright?"
Carol's face fell, tears welling up in her eyes. She quickly brushed the tears away with the back of her hand and replied, "I promise that I will. Try not to get your ass handed to you while I'm gone. I want to come home to find my girlfriend safe and sound."
"No promises, but I'll do my best," Jess responded.
Carol chuckled a bit before she said, "Hey, I love you. I hope you know that."
"Of course I do," Jess replied. "And I love you too. I'll see you when you come home."
Jess hung up and Carol let out a sigh. She definitely felt better now that she had Jess's blessing. Carol got to her feet and activated the play function on the music player once more.
"Well, are you coming?" Elphaba asked.
The music changed to a sadder tone as Glinda replied, "I hope you're happy, now that you're choosing this…"
"You too. I hope it brings you bliss." Elphaba replied as tears welled up once more in Carol's eyes.
"I really hope you get it, and you don't live to regret it. I hope you're happy in the end. I hope you're happy my friend." The pair sang as Carol took several steps back before running forward.
As the music reached its crescendo, Carol leaped off the building and rocketed upward. As she passed up through the Troposphere into the Stratosphere, Elphaba's voice kept her company, "So if you care to find me, look to the Western sky! As someone told me lately: everyone deserves the chance to fly! And if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free! To those who ground me, take a message back from me!"
Carol burst through from the Mesosphere into the Thermosphere and from the Thermosphere into the Exosphere as Elphaba sang, "Tell them how I am defying gravity! I'm flying high, defying gravity! And soon I'll match them in renown!"
Once she was on the edge of the Exosphere, Carol stopped, just hovering in space as she surveyed her home for the next year. She gazed at the stars and smiled wide as she imagined the possibilities of the freedom the void had to offer. As she did so, Elphaba's promise to Oz rang in her ears, "And nobody in all of Oz, no Wizard that there is or was, is ever gonna bring me down! Bring me doooooooown! Aaaaaaaaaah!"
"Down!" The citizens of Oz sang as the song came to an end.
With one final look, Carol closed her eyes, tilted backwards and allowed gravity to pull her back down towards Earth. Nobody was going to bring her down. She was too busy defying gravity.