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
They didn't kiss again for several days, because of two big exams rather than a lack of desire. In a strange twist of events, it was Elphaba who had trouble concentrating on her notes, whilst Galinda threw herself into her studies. They shared a bed whilst studying, and were anybody to barge in during the evenings, they would see Galinda sprawled on her stomach reading while Elphaba sat beside her against the head of the bed. Not that they had many visitors. Nessa came by occasionally, but not often, and Pfanee, Shenshen and Milla only talked to Galinda during the day, and gossiped about it at night.
The day before their last exam, Galinda finally threw her book down and leaned against Elphaba's shoulder. She'd been sitting next to her roommate in order to share the book. She looked up at Elphaba, expecting some sort of response, and caught her staring off out the window. Grinning, she crawled into Elphaba's lap so that she could meet her startled gaze with her own. Eyes mischievous, she kissed her intently, waiting until Elphaba started to respond. When she felt hands lightly rest on her hips, she pulled back. "Hi," she murmured, watching Elphaba's eyes drop to her mouth. She licked her lips and giggled when the hands on her hips tightened and pulled her closer.
Galinda followed the movement and pressed her mouth against Elphaba's once more. She kept her eyes open briefly, and then closed them as she pressed against her roommate more fully. Her hands, which had been on Elphaba's shoulders, slid down her sides until they rested just below the other girl's breasts, which were pressed against her own. As her fingers brushed the edges of Elphaba's breasts, the other girl wrenched away and off the bed, leaving Galinda sprawled on her side on the bed. She was breathing heavily and her eyes were wide as she wrapped her arms around herself. "What are you doing?" she gasped out, her green skin flushed dark.
Rolling over onto her back lazily and looking at her through half-closed eyes, Galinda replied, "Kissing you."
"Why?" Elphaba's eyes were wild and she backed up until she was against the wall.
"Wanted to," Galinda said cheekily. She sat up and patted the blanket beside her. "Come here." When Elphaba didn't move, she sighed and held out her hand. "Elphie come here. Please?"
Elphaba shakily walked to the bed and sat, a foot of space between them. She let her hands drop into her lap and she stared at them for a few minutes, hyperaware that Galinda was looking at her. She twisted her fingers in her skirt, and then clasped them tightly together. Without looking at her roommate she whispered, "I'm sorry. I don't know what I'm doing and I I'm sorry."
Galinda got off the bed and stood in front of her. When Elphaba didn't look up at her, she touched her fingers to her chin to tilt her head up. "Elphie, look at me," she commanded softly. When Elphaba raised her eyes, she smiled softly and rubbed her thumb across her bottom lip. "Elphie " she started, making sure she had her attention. "If I am moving too fast, tell me. I know I want to kiss you; I know I like being with you, but if you aren't sure, that is ok." It felt weird to be the one so sure in the room. She was used to Elphaba's confidence in school and herself overshadowing even her own social confidence.
Dropping her hand, she pulled at her skirts and knelt on the bed, knees on either side of Elphaba's hips. "Do you want to kiss me, Elphie?" she asked quietly, suddenly shy and uncertain.
For all her terror, there was no hesitation in Elphaba's whispered "yes."
"Do you like kissing me?" Elphaba nodded once. "Kiss me, Elphie," she whispered, her mouth millimeters away from Elphaba's.
The other girl, entranced, closed her eyes and leaned forward. They kissed, at first just a touching of the lips, and then Elphaba tentatively traced Galinda's lips with her tongue. Galinda pressed closer and wrapped her arms around her. Elphaba felt Galinda's heat against her hands, and she quickly moved them. She wrapped her arms around the blonde girl in her lap, and let herself focus solely on the lovely mouth against her own. Long moments later they separated, and Galinda rested against her shoulder; Elphaba could feel her breath on her neck and she shivered.
"Want to go shopping?"
Elphaba looked down at her. Galinda was playing with a fold in her dress, running her fingers over the black material. "We've got that test tomorrow." It wasn't a "no," and they both knew it.
"We've been studying for days, and you know you've not been concentrating well. Let's go shopping, eat lunch out. Take a break. It's such a beautiful day Elphie, we shouldn't waste it."
Elphaba hated to admit it, but it sounded fun. And she would like to eat somewhere other than the Crage Hall dining room. "I'd like to eat out with you."
Minutes later, they were walking down the path towards the gates to the university. There were a few other people about, lying on blankets on the grass studying, eating lunch or just talking. Galinda was chatting away about some dress she'd seen weeks before but hadn't bought, only because at the time, Shenshen was thinking of getting a dress in the same color for the dance. They passed a few of their year mates seated on a bench just outside the gates, but didn't pay them much attention. One of them said, just loud enough to be heard, "Never thought she'd lower herself to the vegetable bin," and the group laughed hysterically.
The only sign Elphaba gave that she heard was a tightening of her lips and a subtle move away as they walked. Galinda did not appear to have heard at all as she grabbed her hand and squealed, "Ooh! Elphie!" She pulled her closer and turned so that she was walking backwards in front of her. "There's the Turtle Dove, we have to go there for lunch! They have this amazing chocolate cheesecake that you just have to try. I haven't been there in ages!"
This shut up the people laughing instantly, because none of them had the family clout to automatically get a table at the most popular café in Shiz. Before she turned back to walk beside Elphaba, she spared them a look of derision, then forgot about them. She glanced up and smiled when she saw that her roommate had relaxed.
"Do you want to eat first or shop?" she asked, tucking her arm through Elphaba's and pressing against her side.
"Eat first," she responded, lips quirking into a small grin. "I'll need my strength." Galinda laughed out loud, and bumped hips with her.
Lunch was wonderful. Although Elphaba had never been there before, the host and the waiters treated her normally, though they fawned over Galinda more than her. Which she was perfectly fine with; she still wasn't used to Galinda, she wouldn't know what to do with other people. At Galinda's insistence, they shared a slice of the chocolate cheesecake that she had raved about. It was amazing, and they fought over the last bite. Elphaba won, but when Galinda pouted at her, she handed her the fork with the cake on it. Galinda daintily took a bite, and held the fork out to her with half the piece left on it. When she reached for it, it was pulled back.
She stared at her roommate, confused, as she continued to hold out the fork. It slowly dawned on her just what she wanted, and she blushed. Their gazes locked, she leaned forward in her chair and closed her lips around the fork, taking the last bite from it. A flash of triumph went through her when she saw Galinda's face flush and her breathing get faster.
From the café they went to the dress shop Galinda had been talking about. They'd been there before, and Elphaba found herself mildly interested in a few outfits the shopkeeper directed her to. She was fingering the bead work on a blue skirt when Galinda got her attention.
She turned and her jaw dropped slightly. The gown Galinda had on was beautiful. Galinda was breathtaking in it. The corset emphasized her figure, and the coloring, a pale blue with an intricate embroidery of flowers, flattered her blue eyes. She had difficulty tearing her gaze away from Galinda's curves to look back at her face. As it was, she lingered briefly at the low neck line of the gown, taking in the sight of the pale, creamy skin and the hint of her roommate's generous cleavage.
When their eyes finally met, Galinda curtsied low and rose slowly. "Do you like it?" she asked. She'd seen Elphaba's reaction and reveled in it. She constantly worried that her roommate really had no interest in her and was only going along with her actions for whatever reason she might have. Anytime she got a reaction like now, or at the café, she felt better. She wanted Elphaba to want her, to love her.
"You look beautiful." You always look beautiful, but now The thought lingered in Elphaba's head as she continued to stare. With the blonde hair, pale gown off the shoulder, and the delicate lines of her face, Galinda looked like a bride on her wedding day. She tried to banish that thought, but it stayed, and expanded to "a bride, and she is here with me." She repeated again softly, "You look beautiful."
"Thank you." Galinda came over to her and touched her hand. Pressing against her arm, she looked beyond her at the skirt she had been looking at. "Ooh, Elphie, that's pretty!" She pulled the skirt off the hanger and held it up against her roommate's stomach. Looking around, she spotted a white blouse with three-quarter length sleeves and a pretty design along the edge and held it above the skirt. "You should try this on!"
She continued to hold the outfit out to her, and Elphaba took them hesitantly. She followed Galinda to the dressing room and stepped in side. Before she shut the door, Galinda murmured, "Come out and show me, please?" Inside the dressing room, she set the clothes down on top of Galinda's pile and stared at herself in the mirror. She couldn't see anything good about herself, though she supposed her eyes were nice. Shaking her head at the blonde girl's attempts to make her pretty, she quickly undid the buttons of her dress and hung it up carefully. She knew her roommates impatience very well. She'd just pulled the skirt on when there was a knock on the door.
"I'm almost done," she replied, hurriedly tugging the shirt over her head. She didn't look at herself in the mirror when she was done, just opened the door to her roommate, who took her hands and pulled her out of the small room.
Still holding her hands, Galinda stepped back to look at her. The effect of the new outfit was visible immediately. Elphaba's curves were noticeable now. All her other dresses, including what Galinda had talked her into in previous weeks, hid more than they showed. The cut of the blouse emphasized Elphaba's femininity and the coloring flattered her greenness. It was an outfit that Galinda would never wear, style-wise, but on her roommate it was beautiful.
She grinned happily and pulled Elphaba into a hug. "Gorgeous, Elphie!" she said, pulling back. Turning to face the large shop mirror, she wrapped an arm around Elphaba's waist and leaned against her. They made a picture, Galinda in her gown and blonde ringlets and Elphaba in her blue and green. They fit, and Galinda sighed contentedly and pressed closer. "We look so pretty," she murmured.
Elphaba shook her head, still staring at their image. "You do."
Galinda tightened her arm around Elphaba's waist and looked at her. "We do." She turned, curled a hand around Elphaba's neck and kissed her. "You are beautiful, Elphaba Thropp," she said as they parted. "Even without the clothes, you are beautiful." She kissed her again, and they would have stayed in each other's arms for eternity if the shopkeeper hadn't cleared her throat. When Galinda looked at her, she was watching them disapprovingly.
She met her gaze evenly and didn't look away until the older woman did. She pressed her lips to Elphaba's neck briefly and looked up at her. "You should get that, Elphie. It's very pretty." With that she stepped back, squeezed her hand, and went to change.
The shopkeeper was huffy when they paid, but said nothing outside the context of her job. They arranged to have their packages delivered to Crage Hall, and as they were leaving, Galinda asked if there was anywhere that Elphaba wanted to go to. So, they found themselves in Elphaba's favorite bookshop, where Elphaba went off to look at history texts and Galinda, keeping an eye on her roommate, asked the shopkeeper if he had any books on the Kumbric Witch. He pointed to a dark corner out of her roommate's view. Pulling up a stool, she sat and looked through the titles in front of her. There was one book that Boq had mentioned once that had a drawing of a Kumbric Witch in it, and that was what she wanted to see.
She couldn't remember the title (she hadn't really been listening to that conversation anyway), so she gave up and just started flipping through pages. In the sixth book she found something she wasn't expecting. On facing pages were drawings of the Kumbric Witch and St. Glinda, and she couldn't help but stare at them: the Witch with her green skin and down turned head and black gown on one side, and the Saint and her blonde hair and pretty gown and sparkly jewels on the other.
It could be them, she thought, enchanted by the images. Peering around the bookcases, she saw Elphaba poking her nose into various books, so she held the book to her chest and hurried to the counter to pay for it. Handing it over to the shopkeeper, she blushed when he looked at the title and then back at her with is eyebrows raised.
"Some would say that this book is not appropriate for a girl of your standing, Ms. Upland. The author has some... scandalous ideas about our beloved Saint."
Fighting off the blush, she responded shortly, "I'll take it just the same, and judge for myself."
He just shrugged and wrapped the book for her, glancing at her roommate, who was making her way to them. "Perhaps you will." Handing the book to her, he held out his other hand for the books Elphaba had brought up. "One day, my dear, you should own a bookshop of your own, if only so that you could get your own copy of every book you sell."
"Maybe I will, someday. Or I could just work for you and read all your books, Master Tricket." She looked away, embarrassed, as he wrapped up one book in particular, glancing at her and then Galinda in turn before shaking his head and muttering, "Kids." Not that her roommate noticed, as she stood next to her, clutching her package to herself and looking down at the ground. Keeping an eye on her as she paid, she took her books, and then gently led Galinda outside.
Somewhere between the dress shop and the bookshop, Elphaba gained a confidence she'd not felt in weeks. Maybe it was the way Galinda had stared down the dressmaker or the way she didn't hesitate to kiss her in public, but something had changed within her during those few minutes. Looking at the blonde girl in the sunlight, she was once again struck by her beauty, and told her so before she realized what she was saying.
Whatever had made her roommate shy at the bookshop seemed to disappear at her words, and Galinda looked up at her, smiling brilliantly. Elphaba touched her cheek, kissed her lightly on the mouth, and took her arm as they cheerfully made their way back to Shiz.
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