The room was dark, being only illuminated by the small lamp on the nightstand. Two single beds stood side by side, one pink, fluffy, filled with pillows and ruffles, the other grey, plain and mended; were separated by a shared nightstand, having on one side stood a pile of books that could easily belong to a scholar, and on the other a single book covered by a brush and a hand-mirror.
On one of the beds stood a green girl with her lanky legs bent in front of her, using them as a book support, reading one of her many books. Who knew this girl also knew of her to be immensely curious, thirsty for knowledge, and Elphaba found satisfaction for this hunger in reading, but of late something seemed to have changed within her.
Elphaba recalled well the night at Ozdust when Galinda, her roommate, had come forward to defend her, even dance with her, and how it had changed things. From that moment on they had become close friends. At first it had been strange and awkward, mostly with her not knowing how to behave with the blonde – Galinda was her first friend ever after all – and the heiress not knowing how far she could go so to avoid making the brunette feel awkward, but with time and coexistence they learned to care for and protect each other. Now it seemed easy and natural to be around each other, talk and even have friendly arguments about… well almost everything. It was the touching that was starting to become hard.
It wasn’t like Elphaba and Galinda minded the other touching, or didn’t like the other or themselves to do so. It was, actually, the other way around. At least in her case, she felt like the touching was never enough, or wasn’t the way she wanted it to be. Whenever Galinda would hug her, or kiss her cheek, or hold her hand, or even accidently brush her fingers against hers, the young witch would feel short of air, her stomach would be filled with butterflies, her hands would start shaking, and her heart seemed to skip a beat. Even now as she tried to focus on her book, her mind flew to her blonde roommate, who was at some party with her boyfriend.
Elphaba threw her book to the end of her bed, allowed her naked feet to touch the carpeted floor and started walking around the room wonder if she should just chill out, or if she should go to the gym and punch the punching-bag and blow off some steam. Either way she hated to be this out of control.´
Having made her decision, she changed from her jeans and put on a tracksuit and some sneakers, grabbed a towel and was off her dorm room. As she made her way to the gym she could see some couples making their way back from some party or other, laughing and talking, while throwing her the odd glared she had become used to.
“Miss Thropp…” she heard somebody say as a door clicked close behind her. She looked around and saw one of the college keepers. “Is a little late. Why don’t you return to your dormitory? I’m about to close the gym.”
“You wouldn’t be willing to lend me the keys so I can train a little? I promise to close everything once I’m finished.” She said looking at the man before her.
“Madame Morrible would have my head if I did such a thing.” the man answered plainly. Elphaba sighed and offered a weak nod, leaving right away. If she couldn’t punch a bag then she would go for a run. That should keep her mind of her roommate and her prince. No. Running, literally or otherwise, had never solved anything for her so she just went back to her room.
When she arrived to the room she shared with Galinda, she heard someone whimpering inside the room. She knew she had locked the door and the only other person that had a key to the room was the heiress. The green girl felt her heart tighten inside her chest as she turned the knob and went inside.
“Glin, are you alright?” she asked, allowing her towel to fall on the floor as she ran to her friends side.
“Oh… I’m fine. I return home heartbroken and you were nowhere to be found.” Glinda answered getting up from her bed and walking around like a wounded animal in a cage. “Where were you anyway?” Elphaba felt her heart stop, fearing what would come next if she told the truth.
“I was having some issues, but I’m unimportant.” The young witch decided upon. “Please tell me what afflicts you so. I can’t bear to see you cry, my sweet.”
Galinda opened her mouth but found that she couldn’t speak, as her body was wrecked by sobs. Elphaba pulled her friend to her and hugged her tight, feeling h rest her head against her chest. The young witch brought the blonde to sit on the pink bed, never letting go, and even if she wanted to let go she would not be able. The Frottican girl was clinging to her as if her life depended on it.
Not knowing what to do besides waiting, Elphaba allowed her to rest her head on her shoulder, pressing a gentle, comforting kiss to her forehead, and drawing calming circles on her back.
“Sweetie, I know I wasn’t here when you arrived, but I’m here now.” She whispered into her ear, and the small shiver that went through the heiress did not go unnoticed. “You can talk to me. You are my friend.” This only seemed to intensify the other girl’s crying, even as she clung ever closer.
“Oh, you wouldn’t understand!” Galinda sobbed into her friend’s chest.
“Try me.” The young witch whispered to her pressing another kiss to her temple. The other girl shivered once again and pulled away to look into her friend’s chocolate brown eyes.
“Well… I… Fiyero…” she managed to say pulling completely away.
“If he did anything to you I swear…” Elphaba said feeling her blood starting to boil.
“Elphie calm down. He did something, just not directly to me.” Galinda continued holding Elphaba’s hands in hers. “I found him kissing another girl and broke up with him.”
“That ping! Wait! Let me rephrase that. Calling him a ping is an insult to Pings.” The brunette got up. This time her blood was really boiling. “That vermin. Does he even realise what a treasure he has in you? That ass. I can’t believe he would do that to you.”
Galinda bit her lower lip feeling her heart throb. She had yet to tell her best-friend the real reason why she was upset. Yes finding out Fiyero was having an affair was damaging, but only to her ego. If she was to be honest to herself she had just been looking for a good reason to breakup with the prince of Vinkus. The truth was that she was falling in love with her roommate, and she was terrified of telling her.
“Galinda? Are you listening?” Elphaba asked kneeling before her blonde roommate. The heiress looked at her friend in the eyes, then at her lips, wondering how they would feel against her own pink ones.
“You will find it very strange, but I’m not upset that Fiyero cheated on me. At least not as upset as I would expect to be.” Galinda confessed worrying her lower lip.
“How? Don’t you love him? I clearly remember a night in the last semester when you professed you were going to marry him.” The other girl said bluntly, making Galinda flinch in the process.
“Well I can’t marry someone I don’t love, Miss Elphaba, and I don’t love Fiyero.” Galinda almost shouted in frustration, feeling the truth almost slipping from her grasp. “I love… someone else.”
“Oh.” Elphaba felt her heart ache inside her chest as traitorous tears stung her eyes. Her friend’s upset mood was due to a wounded pride that was clear enough for the green girl, but knowing that the Frottican’s heart belonged to someone else was far more than she could stand. “Then why were you crying? Shouldn’t you run to the one you love and confess?”
“I would but I’m afraid. I did try though, but this can change everything between us.” Galinda confessed, never daring to say the words that rested just beneath her tongue. “You see I’m in love with someone I can’t have.”
“Galinda, you can have whoever you wish.” Elphaba told her as she sat on her own bed, completely defeated. “You are smart, drop-dead gorgeous, and those eyes put shame to the blue sky above our heads. Anyone would find themselves lucky if blessed with your love.” ‘And I envy them’ she did not say as she felt her heart break a little more.
“Elphie…” Galinda was closer now making the young witch feel that if she just stretched her fingers, she would be able to touch the fabric of the blonde’s jeans. “Elphie look at me.” The other girl could now feel her friend’s hand cup her cheek, but still she would not look. She would not breakdown in front of the woman she loved.
“Do you really think so?” Galinda asked kneeling down before Elphaba.
“I know so.” But still the girl would not look.
“Then why won’t you look at me?” the heiress pressed on, not moving her hand from her friend’s cheek. The caress felt so natural and easy, like it was meant to be shared between the two of them, and so she had not the heart to put an end to it. Shyly she saw Elphaba look up to meet her eyes with the warm chocolate within her own, and she could see something that made her heart both race and ach but she could not identify what it was. Galinda then looked at her friends lips once again. This time, before she could even think about it, she kissed her love, feeling the velvet of her lips brush against her own.
The first few seconds that the kiss last Elphaba’s eyes were wide with shock as her heart ached with longing, but then she kissed Galinda back, closing her eyes to better enjoy the contact while it lasted. Surely the heiress would soon return to her senses and feel ashamed of what she had done, and whom she had done it with. The kiss, however, lasted, tender and loving as the one of a lover, making the green girl realise that if she didn’t break the kiss, Galinda would not be the one to do it. She cupped the blonde’s cheek, caressed it, and gently pulled away, just enough to be able to speak.
“Galinda, what…” she could not bring herself to continue. Her breath seemed to be caught in her throat, effectively silencing her, and she could feel Galinda’s breathing brushing against her skin.
“I just freaked you out, didn’t I?” the Frottican asked, worriedly looking for answers in the other girl’s eyes, but not daring to pull further away.
“It’s quite unexpected, yes, but not unwelcome. Truthfully I’m just wondering why.” Elphaba answered, her eyes cast down and a small sad smile on her lips. “You just said that you were in love with someone else.”
“Elphie, you are home to me. Why do you think you found me crying? When I came home after breaking up with Fiyero, and you weren’t here I… I was afraid…” The heiress caressed the green skin beneath her hand, relishing the feeling of her skin against her own.
“Galinda, I beg you. Tell me plainly.” The brunette pleaded, keeping her voice in check so it would not break. “Why did you kiss me?”
“Because I’ve been wanting to do it for weeks now. Because I love you.” Galinda’s voice never went above a whisper, as if her own voice could ruin everything.
“Not that I’m complaining or anything, but are you sure?” Elphaba pulled her a little closer as if testing the waters.
“Mmm-hmm.” The hairess smiled shyly as got a little closer still. “I’m pretty sure. I mean… just kissing you…” a green hand brushed a curl off the girls face, making her smile. Elphaba smiled back pressing a small kiss to the corner of the blonde’s lips, and allowed the girl before her to sit on her lap. “Elphie…” the blonde nuzzled at Elphaba’s nose with a needy whine. “Please… I need to know what’s going through your mind. I think I’ll go insane if I don’t.”
“I’m thinking so many things I wouldn’t know where to start.” She confessed drawing circles with her hand on Galinda’s back, but she knew this would not suffice. “I don’t know how to put words to how I feel. I’ve loved you from afar, never daring to dream that I would ever be blessed enough to have you in my arms, yet here you are.”
Galinda smiled feeling her cheeks slightly burn. She knew exactly how her green roommate was feeling. She could remember all the times she had stolen glances at her studious roommate, memorising every single line visible to the naked eye. She would see the lean finger push her glasses up her nose after being on its tip for a few minutes, and her friend would remain oblivious, closed inside her small little world of ink and knowledge. Sometimes she would even feel jealous of the little bound, very flammable pages that seemed to get more attention from her roommate than herself.
For a moment or two Elphaba found herself distracted by how the light would illuminate and enhance the different bright colours within the golden curls. She allowed her long fingers to run over the delicate locks as she venture to gently kiss her love’s cheek. She heard Galinda sigh and felt her undo her braid so she could return the caress.
“Elphie… where do we stand now? I mean, you will always be my best-friend, but… I want us to be more.” Galinda confessed as her fingers tips massaged the tension at the base of the young witch’s neck.
“I don’t think you know what you’re asking.” Elphaba casted her eyes down, allowing her hands to fall from their resting place on the girl’s body. “I cannot ask you to forsake everything for me, for us… you would be bullied and I will not stand for it.”
“And you would give up on us?” The socialite’s voice went a pitch higher than usual as she got up from her love’s lap. Elphaba looked at the girl before her, and took a deep breath to calm herself.
“Lindy, that’s not what I said.” She got up and thought about going to Galinda’s side, but did not move. “I’m just trying to protect you.”
“Then don’t. If my so called ‘friends’ don’t like me being with the woman I love, then screw them. I don’t need them anyway.” Galinda proclaimed as she returned to Elphaba’s side and held her hands. “I love you and you are my best friend. The only friend that truly matters. I don’t need you protecting me from a decision I have made. I need you to stand by my side.”
“Of course I’ll stand by your side, baby. Come here.” The green girl pulled the smaller girl into a protective hug, and pressing a kiss to her forehead, to which Galinda sighed approvingly. “I’m just saying that it won’t be easy. People won’t make it easy for us to be together. It will be a tough fight…”
“My momsy always says that the best things in life are the ones that are worth fighting for, and I happen to think that she is right.” Galinda put her arms around the other girl’s neck, and played with her hair. Elphaba smiled as her arms rested on the other’s girl's waist, and gently rested her chin on top of her head, allowing her own senses to be invaded by the blonde’s presence, least this be a dream and she would wake up too soon. The shorter girl’s laughter broke the taller from her musings.
“What’s so funny?” the witch asked not moving an inch.
“It think we just had our first fight as a couple.” The heiress looked up with a bright smile on her lips.
“I’m not going to argue with you on that.” The young witch joked, grinning. “We should go to bed, though.”
“Of course we have classes tomorrow and we’ll become officially a couple.” Galinda was so excited she tightened her hold on Elphaba’s neck a little too much.
“Galinda… choking… not breathing.” She managed to say, and Galinda backed away in a snap of fingers.
“I’m sorry, sweetie. I think I got a little too excited.” The heiress offered and shy apologetic smile. “I don’t intend to back down on my affections in public though.”
“Good to know.” The green girl felt her cheeks become warm. “So… bed.”
“Yours or mine?” and that made the green girl’s cheeks become warmer and darker. Galinda couldn’t help but find her… - were they a couple? Elphaba had yet to say anything on the matter – roommate incredibly cute when she got bashful.
“Relax, I’m joking.” She saw her friend visibly relax. “I’m going to get ready for bed in the bathroom. See you soon.” She went on her tip-toes and pressed a gentle kiss to the corner of Elphaba’s lips.
“See you soon.” The brunette answered with a goofy smile on her face as the blonde left the room with her pyjamas in hand.
As Galinda entered the bathroom she sighed and leaned against the door. She could not believe what had just happen. Not in a million years would Galinda Upland dare to dream that Elphaba Thropp, the most intelligent person in Oz would ever love her back. Sure she was beautiful and popular, but she doubted that she had what it took to be loved by someone like her.
Before Elphaba had come into her life, the young heiress though the world was just being popular and knowing the right people. She though that being smart and knowing things was simply trivial, that they did nothing to better oneself, that only served for those who had no other way to move around, but the green girl had proven her wrong. Elphaba rationalised that someone beautiful, popular, with the right connections and smart could do far more then someone with just popularity and looks, or even someone who was just smart, giving herself as an example for the latter case. What she didn’t see was how beautiful she truly was, at least for Galinda.
Sure, Elphaba was green, but it was in a beautiful shade of emerald, a little darker then the lights that used to shine over Frottica in the winter, and her skin was smooth. She was on the toned side with sharp features, which were extremely pleasant and flattering even if they weren’t what most people would call obviously beautiful; her hair was black as the night sky, straight and shiny as well-spun silk; her eyes had the most stunning shade of drown like dark, melting chocolate that would shine with intelligence and determination and sometimes they would shine even with anger; and her lips, thought thin, were beautifully shaped and in a slightly darker shade of green, like crystallized fig on top of a cake. Just thinking about them made Galinda’s knees go weak.
Having pulled her hair back in a ponytail, the socialite pressed a wet washcloth against the hot skin in her neck, trying to cool herself down. This kind of thoughts had plagued her for weeks, perhaps months, but now every dream, every thought didn’t need to be lived alone. The way Elphaba had answered to her kiss, the sweet caresses she had given her, the raw love she could feel in them were overwhelming prove that she wasn’t alone in this love.
Galinda was still lost in her thoughts when she came out into their room, brushing her hair. Inside her bubble, the blonde was completely unaware of Elphaba’s eyes on her every move.
“I don’t get it.” The brunette said only to see Galinda jump into awareness.
“What?” the blonde tossed her hair over her shoulder and looked at Elphaba, how did she got to the her wardrobe without bumping into anything she did not know.
“How do you manage to look so lovely even in some shorts and a comfy shirt?” Elphaba asked getting her own things to wash up for the night. Galinda just looked at her, feeling quite surprised with the complement, still unsure if it was actually a complement, and blushed. She had not noticed that she had even gone for comfortable instead of what she would usually ware in hopes of provoking her roommate.
Inside the bathroom, the said roommate was hopelessly looking at herself in the mirror, searching for any physical change that could have made the young heiress inside the room want to love her. Needles is to say that she found nothing. Elphaba Thropp remained her usual green self. High cheekbones, sharp chin, boring brown eyes… yap! It was all still there, yet Galinda had told her that she loved her and kissed, not exactly in that order but it still had happened.
To Elphaba, Galinda was like the distant angel that no way in hell would ever share the same feelings. Sure at the beginning she thought her petty and unsubstantial, like most girls with whom Galinda got along, but then she found that she had been wrong and the other girl turned out to be quite different. Now every single time Elphaba looked at her roommate and friend she saw a passionate girl completely in love with life; a smart girl who had never had her curiosity encouraged, which tended to lead to laziness; a kind soul hidden behind a mask of superficiality that had fallen long ago; a daughter striving to make the parents that had spoiled her, proud; a girl desperate for true friendship; someone who had everything, from friends to looks, still feeling desperately alone, but always putting a brave face to the world. With time, the green girl learned how to see the blonde’s imperfections as what they were. Galinda was a very innocent and protected person, untouched by cruelty, and that did nothing but make Elphaba want to protect her, and love her even more.
Elphaba looked once again in the mirror and moan in desperation. In all of Oz, out of all the people that Galinda could have fallen for… How did she managed to fall for the most freakish person of all? She was the toad, the green bean, the artichoke, as Galinda had call her herself sometime ago. Why would the blonde love her? Why would she love her when all that Elphaba saw on the mirror as everything people had always told her it wasn’t worth loving? All her life being told that she was a freak of nature, an abomination, a mistake, a dishonour to her family; being told that the true reason why her mother had died giving birth to her sister was because her father didn’t want another freak, being told that most people took for granted would never happen to her, would never be given to her, and her was this angel claiming to love her.
Overwhelmed by her emotions Elphaba leaned against the sink, her hands sporting her straight, and bowed her head, starting to cry. She was completely unaware that in her own bed, Galinda could hear her cry, that the blonde had gotten up, or even that she had opened the door. The green girl only returned to herself when she felt two arms go around her waist from behind, pulling her into a protective hug.
“Elphie, what’s the matter?” a bell-like voice asked as gentle hand caressed her loose hair. The brunette gave no answer as she allowed her tears to continue to fall as she closed her eyes. She had no will or strength to fight her own emotions any longer, but Galinda didn’t press her to speak. The girl was worried, that was clear enough in the way the heiress led her friend back into the room and to the lonely grey bed. She helped the girl to lay down on the bed and rested her head on her own lap, caressing the long black hair. After sometime, Elphaba finally managed to pull herself together and tenderly held Galinda’s, stopping her caresses completely.
“Thank you.” Elphaba said looking up at the blonde now smiling down at her.
“You would have done the same for me.” Galinda answered lovingly. “Anyone would do the same.”
“No. No one would do for me what you just did, my sweet.” The green girl told her as she got up. “You have been more kind to me in a day then my family or anyone else as ever been all my life.”
“Well, some people are just… infuriating.” Galinda reached up to caress the green cheek before her. “People are what they are, and some people won’t look at you twice if they don’t see some profit in it, then there’s people like me and for that I apologise. I shouldn’t have judge you right away. I should have taken my time to know you sooner, but your own family? They should love you for who you are. They should care and protect you, not treat you like crap.”
“Galinda, relax.” Galinda smiled lightly at her friend’s concern. “I’m not trying to give you a guilt trip. That’s water under the bridge for us, and if we must go over it then I must apologise as well. I should have made an effort to see behind the blonde bimbo.”
“I totally deserved that.” Galinda hissed mid-laughter.
“I love to hear you laugh.” Elphaba confessed absent-mindedly.
“Aww. Thank you sweetie.” Galinda leaned forward and pecked the green girl’s lips. Elphaba kissed back, but blushed deep green. She had not realised she had spoken out loud.
“We really should go to bed.” The embarrassed girl said getting up.
“And just where are you going?” the blonde asked with an amused smile. “This is your bed, remember?”
“Oh… right.” The brunette nodded awkwardly. “Do you want to stay over?”
“Why, Miss Elphaba! What a deliciously improper suggestion!” Galinda remarked faking a shocked expression. “Are you quite serious about it?”
“I wouldn’t be asking if I wasn’t.” Still Elphaba would not look up to meet her friend’s blue eyes.
“Elphaba, I’m serious. Are you sure you want this?” the blonde got up and rested her hands upon the other girl’s shoulders. “I mean, you haven’t even told me what you think about us. I just assumed…”
“You assumed… do you even know what you truly want?” the other girl’s voice as low almost as if she was afraid to be heard.
“What I truly want? That’s the question of the century isn’t it?” Elphaba looked at her friend right in the eyes as Galinda continued. “I want you. I want to be everything for you. I want us to be together, but the true question is ‘What do you want?’”
“I was never allowed to dream or yearn for more. I know my place and who I am. I’ve learned to take what people are willing to give me.” The brunette confessed sitting down on her own bed. “Why do you think I was crying moments ago? Your kindness to me, your confession of love for me, they overwhelmed me. I can’t make you go through the suffering that awaits you if people realise that we are a couple, but I know how much more it will hurt you, and me, if I turn you away. I want you to be mine. I want us to belong together, even if we don’t see eye to eye sometimes. I want us to be the real thing… that is, if you will have me.”
“Oh Elphie. That has to be the most romantic confession I’ve ever heard, and yes. I would gladly have you as my girlfriend.” Galinda smiled broadly as she put her arms around Elphaba’s neck, pulling her into a hug. “Just promise me something. If there is anything you desire or yearn for, share it with me. I may not be able to fulfill them all, but at least you get to know that someone cares and wants to dream with you.”
“There is nothing I could wish for. I have you in my life, my sweet.” Elphaba raised her hand to undo the blonde’s ponytail. She ran her long fingers through the golden curls, electing a faint moan from the other girl’s lips, and gently traced her creamy jaw with her fingertips, delighted with her love’s reaction. The green sat down upon her bed once again pulling the blonde to sit on her lap. “Oz, you’re beautiful.”
Galinda smiled tenderly as she ran her own finger through her girlfriend’s hair glad with the comfortable silence that had settled between them, and feeling quite flattered by her complement. Amazing how many times people had actually said that to her but it only became meaningful when Elphaba said it.
“I love you so much.” Elphaba whispered into next to Galinda’s ear. “So much. My father will probably disown me.”
“Your father is a jerk, and I don’t want us talking about him. I know it gives you dreadful nightmares and we are about to go to bed.” The green girl closed her eyes and rested her head upon the blonde’s shoulder and nodded. Right now she was at peace. For the first time in many months she was at peace.
“You’re right. Let’s to bed.” Elphaba slowly nuzzled her head on her girlfriend’s neck as tiredness started taking over her. Galinda pressed a small kiss against her temple, and pushed her back so the young witch was already lying down and had to readjust herself once the blonde joined her. Remembering that they had not pulled the covers, both girls maneuverer themselves so one could pull the covers over the two tired bodies.
Galinda rested her head upon Elphaba’s chest as her own arm went possessively around her waist. She heard her girlfriend sigh contentedly as her arm pulled her closer by her shoulders, and felt her pressing a loving kiss to the top of her head.
“I love you.” Galinda slurred feeling herself be rocked to sleep by Elphaba’s heartbeat. “Good night.”
“Sleep tight my love.” Elphaba gently caressed the golden curly locks. “I love you too.”
It took Elphaba longer than it took Galinda to fall asleep, but that was the first night when Elphaba started to sleep soundly, knowing she had someone who truly loved her by her side.