DISCLAIMER: Characters and places belong to Gregory Maguire, musical references to Steven Schwartz and Winnie Holtzman.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was kindly beta'd by katrin and mystic_meg_gal. This fic is sort of a mix of bookverse and musicalverse. Just worked out well that way, there are bits and pieces pulled from each, but Galinda and Elphaba are more their musical characters than the book ones.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
After the Oz Dust
After the dance at the Oz Dust, Elphaba took to wearing the hat Galinda had given her. The other students had laughed at her wearing it, but her roommate had apologized for trying to embarrass her, and she'd done it in front of everyone. She'd even complimented how it looked on her, and blushed as she said it. It became her favorite article of clothing. They danced together a few times then she left, begging homework to do. She was surprised a few minutes later, as she was walking back to Shiz, when she heard rapid footsteps behind her.
She turned in time to catch Galinda as she slowed and stumbled. They ended up a tangle on the ground, and Elphaba got a mouthful of blonde curls and the realization of just where Galinda's head had ended up. She kept her arms around her as they stood, and she was surprised to see her blushing again. She decided she liked the natural color more than the false one she'd seen Galinda apply earlier that evening.
"What are you doing?" she asked, releasing her from her embrace and lightly holding her elbows instead. She wanted to ask why she had left Fiyero, but found herself not wanting to know the answer.
"I uhh " Galinda stuttered, looking rapidly around before meeting her eyes shyly. "I was wondering if you would help me study for history. We have that exam next week."
Elphaba couldn't hide her surprise at her words. "Sh sure." She risked a glance back towards the club and dropped her arms. She was even more surprised when, as they began walking again, a small hand slipped into hers, but all she did was curl her fingers around it lightly.
After that, things changed. Elphaba endured (she refused to admit, even to herself, that she enjoyed the attention) Galinda playing with her hair and dragging her clothes shopping. The giggling blonde had succeeded in convincing her to purchase a few dresses in colors which were not black, but she refused the makeup. Galinda tried her best, but she wouldn't budge.
Over the following weeks to the end of term, Galinda pulled away from her friends, spending more and more time with her roommate. Ever since that first moment they'd touched on the dance floor, she'd been unable to stop touching her. Touching her hair, her hands, once her knee. A few nights, she fell asleep on Elphaba's shoulder while on her bed doing homework, and woke to find her self in her own bed once more. She couldn't help herself, she needed to touch her. And she never thought about it.
Her withdrawal got to the point where Fiyero actually came to Elphaba to see if there was something he had done to make Galinda mad at him. She'd not been able to tell him anything; she had too much to think about. Like how gentle Galinda was when she ran her fingers through her hair. And the shape of her lips as she bit into an orange. And the slope of her shoulder as she changed into her nightgown. It was a sight she saw frequently, as Galinda had taken to sitting next to her on her bed to do her homework and proved to be a (pleasant) distraction when she pushed her hair back behind her ear.
One night when she had to finish an essay, she moved to her desk and was working there when Galinda came in late from dinner. She didn't look up at her, but she heard her pause for a moment, then hesitatingly walk to her bed and sit down. She could feel her eyes on her, but she forced herself to ignore them and continue writing. All she wanted was to gather her things and sit next to Galinda and feel her curl up against her. And she couldn't let that happen.
Galinda bounded up the stairs, rushed because she'd been held up at dinner by Shenshen and Pfanee. They'd wanted her to come with them to Caprice-on-the-Pines at the end of term. She had refused immediately, but couldn't escape them quickly enough for her taste. So she rushed up to her room, eager to get her work done so that she could try something she'd been thinking about all day. She knew where Elphaba would be: sitting against the headboard of her bed with books around her, writing her paper on the economy of the Munchkinlanders. She would make room for Galinda on one side of her so that she could join her on the bed.
But Elphaba wasn't there. She actually had to look around the room for her, and found her at her desk. The desk that had never been used for more than book storage since the day they'd moved in. Confused and thrown off track, Galinda slowly sat down on her own bed and watched her. Her roommate gave no sign that she had noticed her presence at all.
After a few minutes of watching her write and flip through pages of her notes, she ventured to get her attention. "Elphie?" Her roommate ignored her. She tried again, "Elphie, what's wrong?" When the only response she got was the scratching of the quill on paper, she fought back the tears that formed in her eyes and walked over to her. Touching her shoulder, she whispered again, "Elphie?"
Elphaba forced herself to shrug off Galinda's hand, hating herself when she heard the tears in her voice. All her instincts were to turn around and take Galinda in her arms, but she forced it away. Mad at herself, she answered more curtly than she'd intended. "What."
Galinda drew her hand back, stung. "Are you ok?" She wanted to ask if she'd done something wrong but couldn't bring herself to do it.
"I'm busy. Why don't you go play with Fiyero or Shenshen or Phanee." She heard her roommate gasp and run out of the room. Whether she was more hurt by the sneering tone or the words themselves, she didn't know. She didn't know a lot of things, like why she wanted to be with Galinda, to hold her, to touch her lips, to feel her skin under her dress. She didn't know, and she was terrified and forced it away. Galinda hadn't returned two hours later when she finished her paper (she'd managed to finish in between guilty thoughts). It was not her best work.
She turned around for the first time and looked at her roommate's bed. The other girl's cloak was strewn there, left behind when she'd fled the room. She looked out the window and saw that even though the rain had been very light earlier, it was now falling harder. Cursing, she grabbed the cloak and rushed out the door. She knew she wouldn't find Galinda indoors.
She searched the grounds for half an hour before she finally found her, tucked away in the architecture of a small corner of the science building, not well shielded from the rain. She'd curled herself up and buried her head in her knees. Keeping Galinda's cloak under her own, she knelt down next to her and, carefully, brushed her fingers over the wet, blonde hair. "Galinda," she said, "Galinda, my sweet, I'm sorry." Galinda looked up at her with red-rimmed eyes, and Elphaba hated herself for making her cry. She reached out and wiped the tears and rain from her cheeks gently, fascinated by the contrast her green skin made to the flushed cheeks and blue eyes of her roommate.
Galinda sniffed and shivered, and Elphaba remembered the cloak she carried. She stood, and gently pulled on the blonde girl's elbow gently until she stood as well, then wrapped the mostly dry article around her. Settling it on her shoulders, she quickly did up the buttons, then pulled her close to her. She held Galinda to her and whispered again, "I'm sorry." She felt, after a moment, small hands slide under her own cloak to rest on her hips and the smaller body press closer to her, and she relaxed a little.
"Why were you mad at me?" Elphaba heard against her chest.
"I wasn't. I'm not." She took a deep breath and settled, rapidly debating how truthful she would be. But, she answered before she decided anything. "I'm confused, scared. I don't know what is going on, but I know I want things that I don't understand." She pulled back enough to see Galinda's face, and tilted her chin up with her fingers so that she could see her eyes. Her hand slid around to rest on the back of her neck. "I'm sorry."
The words were barely out of her mouth when Galinda pushed herself up and pressed her mouth to hers. Elphaba gasped, and Galinda slipped her tongue in. Elphaba had never been kissed before, had never known what it felt like to press so fully against someone. She responded uncertainly, unsure of what she should do, and was startled when Galinda moaned into her mouth. She pulled back, eyes wide and breathing heavy.
Galinda stared back at her, hair dripping water, eye make up leaving tracks down her cheeks, pink lips slightly swollen, and Elphaba thought she'd never looked so pretty. She followed a drop of water from her hairline to her neck, where it disappeared into the edge of the cloak. "We uhh we should go back to the dorm. It's raining," she said dumbly. She pulled away completely, missing Galinda's warmth immediately.
They walked quietly back to their room, only stopping once, near the doors to the kitchens, when Elphaba suddenly turned to Galinda and kissed her. It was quick, with no tongue, and just as suddenly she turned away and continued walking. She didn't see the happy smile that graced her roommate's face, but she felt the tiny hand once more slip into her own.
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