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Come What May and Hell to Pay
By mel


Part I: Silent Confessions

Glinda and Elphaba stumbled off the coach after their first full day of travel from Shiz to Oz and stood in front of a bland, entirely forgettable inn. The walls of the hostelry looked like they were less than solid, the gaps between the boards a stark black against the peeling yellow paint of the facade, and the faded sign above the door creaked softly as it swayed in the breeze. There was nothing about the building that, from appearance alone, was inviting, but it was shelter and they were tired from traveling. At this point, anything was more enticing than spending even one more minute in the carriage.

The front door opened to a crowded dining room, full of long tables that were stacked together end-to-end in long rows for maximum seating. While practical, the setup provided essentially zero privacy for diners and, after spending the last eight hours in a small space with a handful strangers, both women wished for nothing more than a respite, no matter how temporary, from the never-ending commotion of traveling. In an attempt to garner even a sliver of privacy, Glinda and Elphaba huddled together at the far end of the table nearest the stairs, where their only neighbor was an old crone who must have arrived on a different coach. They bolted down their dinner in silence, and as soon as the last bites of their meager meal were consumed they stood and began eagerly collecting their things that they'd set at their feet.

The stairs thanked to the second floor were narrow and squeaked when tread upon, and the hall at the top of the steps was equally narrow and dimly lit by wall sconces that were mounted every ten feet or so along the length of the corridor.

Elphaba looked at the heavy iron key shed collected from the man running the inn and nodded thoughtfully to herself as she began scanning the doors on either side of the hall for their room number.

Three... Four... Five...

The odd numbered rooms were on the left with left the evens on the right, and it didn't take too much effort for her to determine that their room - room number eight - was the last door on the right. Elphaba used her hip to hold her old carpetbag up against the wall as she forced the key she'd been given into the lock. The bolt tumbled over loudly and the knob squeaked loudly when it was twisted, but the door swung open easily enough with only the lightest of shoves. Elphaba tipped her head and waved a hand at Glinda to enter first, and swooped her bag up under her arm as she followed the blonde into their room.

They stopped just far enough inside the room for Elphaba to close the door behind them and stood shoulder to shoulder, matching expressions of dismay on their faces as they took in their lodgings for the night.

Glinda, with her love of opulence, elegance, and general frivolity was struck aghast at the spartan furnishings. The quilt on the bed was threadbare at best, and it looked like it would prove to be useless in its task of keeping whomever was beneath it warm. The floor was bare, the boards worn and uneven, and a few looked like they might collapse if one were to tread directly upon them. The lone window cut into the wall opposite the door was completely naked, with nothing they could use to close it off for privacy. Not that there was any way for somebody to realistically be able see inside the third-floor window, but she still found the lack of proper curtains to be one injustice too many. Surely even third-class travelers deserved better lodging than this!

"This is terrible," Glinda muttered, huffing indignantly as she dropped her bags onto the floor beside a rickety looking chest of drawers that she didn't dare open for fear of what might she might find hiding inside it. "I mean, really."

Elphaba was certain that Glinda was not seeing the same problem with the room that she was, but she indulged her anyways. "I see one glaring issue myself, but what is it about our current situation that vexes you so, Miss Glinda?"

Glinda snorted rather inelegantly and shot her companion an exasperated look. "You needn't mock me, Miss Elphaba. And... look around you. I swear, this cell that is masquerading as a room makes our dormitory at Shiz look downright regal."

Elphaba smiled. A real, honest smile. It was a relief, after the stress of Doctor Dillamond's murder and the subsequent mysterious illness that had befallen Ama Clutch, to see a glimpse of the materialistic girl who she had, against her better judgment, fallen for. "Of course."

Glinda rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest defiantly as she turned to glare at her companion. "And you mock me still. Tell me, then... what is it that you find so distressing about our current situation?"

"Well," Elphaba drawled, as she waved at the furniture, "the fact that there is only one bed and two of us should be cause enough for concern, but I'll agree that the decorative touches are also lacking." Really, she could give a shit about the decorations, she was most concerned about having to contain her attraction to her oblivious roommate while they shared a bed.

Glinda licked her lips and reassessed the room in front of them. The fact that there was only one bed - and a very small looking one, at that - should have been a cause for concern, but she honestly didn't mind the idea of sleeping beside Elphaba. If anything else, the warmth of a familiar body might be enough to ward off the faint chill that permeated the space. "I hardly think that's something we need worry about. We should both fit easily enough, though it might be a little cramped. Now, let us change out of these traveling clothes and into something appropriate for bed, and then we can retire for the night."

Elphaba let out a quiet huff and nodded as she set her bag down onto the bed and began digging through it for the nightgown she'd brought for the trip. She unfurled the charcoal sheath and, with her back to her beautiful companion, hurriedly stripped herself of her clothes and pulled on the nightwear. Once her modesty was restored, she carefully folded the skirt and blouse she'd worn that day and set them onto top of her bag, which she'd set on the floor beside the door. "Do you have a preferred side of the bed?" she asked Glinda, silently willing the other woman to just answer her question without attempting to engage in a full-blown conversation.

"The side furthest from the door, actually," Glinda answered softly, as she pulled a baby blue nightdress over her head. It was one of her favorites, because it was impossibly soft and the color of the fabric perfectly matched her eyes. She didn't wear it very often because it was the least modest of her nightclothes and she didn't want to be labeled by the gossiping masses at Shiz as  one of those types of girls; however, after a full day of traveling, she didn't care so much about what was an appropriate amount of skin to show. She just wanted to be comfortable, and she knew that Elphaba would never judge her.

The sight of so much pale, perfect skin on display made Elphaba's heart skip a beat as she watched the blonde turn to face her. Glinda was always a beauty, but the daringly low plunging neckline of her nightgown pushed her past beautiful and straight into ravishing.

And, oh, how she wanted to ravish her.

Elphaba swallowed thickly and tipped her head in assent. "Very well," she said, pleased to note that her voice was only slightly huskier than usual. "In you get, then, Miss Glinda," she murmured, waving at the bed. She averted her eyes as the blonde climbed between the sheets and only looked at her companion when she heard her delicately clear her throat.

"Surely I'm not so hideous that you can't look at me," Glinda teased, propping herself up on her elbow as she looked at her companion.

Elphaba licked her lips and stalled for a moment as her heart dared her mind to answer honestly. On any other night she would have replied with a quip dripping with sarcasm that was designed to keep the other woman at a distance, but, for some reason, tonight she didn't have the energy to lie. "You are the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on," she whispered, dark eyes bravely holding blue captive. She drew a shaky breath and smiled shyly. "That does not, however, give you permission to steal the covers."

Inordinately pleased by the compliment, Glinda just smiled and tipped her head. "I make no promises, but I shall try my best to share." She lifted the quilt that was draped over her hips. "Come on, you silly thing. It's late and we've got to be on the coach again at dawn."

Thankful that her compliment was well-received and that Glinda didn't push her on the matter, Elphaba slipped beneath the rough cotton sheets and laid stiffly on her back beside the blonde. She was barely on the bed, in fact, half of her left buttock was hanging off the side of the mattress, but she dared not move closer. "Have you enough room?"

With a great roll of her eyes, Glinda reached out and pulled the green girl closer. "I don't bite, Elphie," she teased, sighing contentedly as she snuggled closer to her companion.

Elphaba smiled tightly and nodded as she allowed Glinda to get comfortable however she pleased. Which meant, when all was said and done, that the blonde's head was resting on her shoulder and her right arm was wrapped awkwardly around the smaller woman's back so that her hand was resting upon her companion's hip.

"Sweet dreams, Elphie," Glinda murmured as she burrowed closer, fisting her hand in the fabric of Elphaba's nightgown.

A lifetime spent on the fringe of everything and everybody left Elphaba with little reference for the situation she now found herself in. Even her mother had never held her like this, so she was completely flummoxed as to what she should do. She did, however, know that she should do something, so she flexed her arm that was holding Glinda close in what she hoped would be interpreted as an affectionate gesture and whispered in a soft, warm voice, "Sweetest of dreams for you, Glinda."

The blonde hummed softly and snuggled closer, and Elphaba released a soft sight of relief that she had behaved appropriately. She reached out with her left hand to turn off the small light on the even smaller bedside table, and felt a wave of relief wash over her as darkness surrounded them.

This, darkness, she was used to.

Minutes bled into hours and dark eyes roamed listlessly over the moonlit room as Elphaba kept watch, her body tensing as if preparing for battle in response to every unfamiliar sound that rattled through the inn. She had dragged Glinda along with her on this impetuous adventure, the least she could do was make sure that the blonde remained safe. Glinda would occasionally fuss or flail in her sleep, either from fitful dreams or simply her body's awareness that she wasn't sleeping in the safest of locations, jolting Elphaba from her thoughts as she hurried to calm the blonde with a hushed 'I have you, you're safe' and a reassuring squeeze of her arm that was still looped around the smaller woman's waist.

At some point between disturbances, in an unconscious attempt to quell her rising urge to move, Elphaba found herself drawing indistinguishable patterns on Glinda's back. She was mildly surprised to learn that the contact calmed the sleeping girl better than her whispered reassurances did, and she spent the rest of the night scribbling random patterns atop smooth fabric and muscle. She found as much comfort in the soothing touch as Glinda seemed to, and with every swipe of her fingers she found herself feeling lighter than she ever had before. Swooping swirls became small pictures - a heart, a flower, a cloud - and eventually she found herself writing out the one thought she held most dear as she scrawled 'I love you' in imaginary ink down the blonde's spine.

It wasn't the most romantic of confessions to be sure, but it was the only kind Elphaba had the courage to make and she found a small measure of relief in having shared her feelings with Glinda, even if they weren't spoken and the woman they were meant for was fast asleep.


Part II: A Decidedly Awkward Admission

Three days on the road had left its mark on both Glinda and Elphaba, and they smiled wearily at each other as they once again queued to gather at the back of the carriage to wait for their bags to be handed down from the roof. Elphaba carried both her bag and the largest of Glinda's, so that the smaller woman would have an easier time of things, and made their way to the front door of the inn that would serve as their home-away-from-home for the night. Neither of them even bothered to glance at the homely sign hanging above the door as they entered, as neither particularly cared what the proper name of the evening's way station was. The name would undoubtedly be something predictably trite and, in the end, both doubted there would be anything particularly memorable about the place for them to ever want to return.

The dining room was just as loud and crowded as the last two had been and they took what had become to be their spot near the stairs. They offered their harried server small, grateful smiles as steaming bowls of stew were placed in front of them and they waited until she had gone to deal with the other travelers before they began to eat. Glinda handed Elphaba the loaf of bread that had also been set out in front of them, knowing that the girl had become vegetarian as a way to protest the treatment of Animals and therefore wouldn't eat the beef stew that was the evening's fare.

"Thank you," Elphaba said, breaking into the loaf gratefully. She reached for the tureen of butter and cast a speculative glance at her companion. "Would you like some?"

Glinda smiled and shook her head. "You need it more than I do, Elphie," she murmured. "I'll make do with the stew and I'll be fine enough until breakfast in the morning."

Elphaba looked at the tiny loaf in her hands, hating the idea of Glinda going hungry. "I don't need all of this. There's enough for us to share."

"Nonsense," Glinda argued, smiling as she reached a hand out to push the green girl's offering away. "That's barely enough for one, let alone two. If the stew is passable and I'm still hungry after eating my serving, I'll just tuck into yours. Would you like me to see if they have any vegetables or cheese or something in the back? I'm sure they have to have something else that you could eat."

Touched by the blonde's thoughtfulness, Elphaba shook her head. "I'm fine with just the bread," she said softly, as she began spreading a thick swath of rich, yellow butter across one-half of the loaf. She could tell that Glinda didn't believe her, so she made a show of taking a large bite and smiling as she chewed. "See?"

Glinda chucked softly and nodded as she dipped her spoon into her bowl of stew, gracefully scooping up a large piece of carrot and a generous amount of broth. "I most certainly do, you silly thing."

As had become their custom, neither woman dawdled over their meal and before long they were once again climbing a set of loud, creaking stairs to the rented room that would be their haven for the next twelve hours or so.

Glinda followed Elphaba down the narrow hall that ran across the back of the inn and took a deep breath as she steadied herself what they might find when the door to their room was opened. And she wasn't disappointed. Or pleasantly surprised, for that matter, either. As she'd come to expect after two nights of less than spectacular lodging, the room was plain and unimpressive; but instead of grumbling about it, she just smiled tiredly and nodded, saying without words that all was as she expected it to be.

After changing into her nightclothes, this time donning a lovely little lavender sheath with thin spaghetti straps at the shoulder, Glinda eased between the cold sheets and rolled onto her side so that she was facing away from the door. A tremor of anticipation rolled through her when the room's lights were extinguished and she licked her lips as she felt the bed dip behind her. A quiet sigh spilled from her lips as she felt Elphaba's thin arm wrap protectively around her waist and she sank into the embrace, relishing the now familiar angles and curves that were molded to her own.

"Sweet dreams," Elphaba murmured against blonde silk, as she welcomed Glinda's weight. A lot had changed in the last couple nights and her hold on the smaller woman was no longer hesitant or shy as she wrapped a strong hand around the blonde's hip and held her close. She hadn't a clue what it meant, that Glinda would allow her to hold her thusly, but she gratefully accepted the opportunity to do so.

"Sweet dreams, Elphie," Glinda whispered, with a soft smile tweaking her lips.

They laid together in silence as the din from below quieted to nothingness and neither of them moved a muscle as the doors on either side of theirs opened and shut as their fellow travelers retired for the night.

Glinda gazed upon the room around them with a discerning eye, noting the way the moonlight cutting through the grime-covered window cast a decidedly eerie tint over everything inside the modest cell. But, surprisingly, she couldn't find it in her heart to care about the depressingly squalid condition of their lodging.

Because she was lying wrapped in Elphaba's arms.

She wasn't sure how she came to love the acerbic woman. The process certainly hadn't been anything as she'd always imagined falling in love would be. There had been no symphony. No fireworks. But the absence of such things wasn't enough to deny that she did.

Love her, that is.

Three days on the road had provided plenty of time for self-introspection as her companion slept the day away beside her in the cramped, increasingly uncomfortable carriage. Their fellow travelers were polite enough, sure, but any conversations had where superfluous at best. General complaints or pleasantries shared in quiet exchanges over the thump and bump, and the creak and groan of the carriage as it rumbled along. She was polite when spoken to, of course, but she didn't seek out conversation. For the first time in her admittedly young life, she welcomed the quiet, as it gave her time to think. Time to contemplate how, exactly, she came to love the woman who cuddled into her side as exhaustion finally overtook her.

The more she thought about it, the more she realized that loving Elphaba was a gradual process. She was honest enough with herself to admit that she'd been initially repulsed by her roommate's odd colored skin and abrasive personality, but that initial distaste had eased faster than she'd been able to recognize.

Somehow, she had learned to love without being conscious of doing so. Distaste had turned to annoyance, which had waned to acceptance, and acceptance had morphed into appreciation before she had even realized what was happening. It was as if she were taking a series of baby steps down the rocky road of awareness, each wobbly step forward bringing her closer to Humanity, closer to herself, and her trip had only reached fruition when Doctor Dillamond was so viciously murdered.

Until that awful night, she had only seen moments of beauty, brief flashes of the woman who hid behind a quick wit and a finely honed sarcastic tongue that kept the real Elphaba hidden from those who didn't care enough to look for her. But now... now all she could see was the passionate woman who wanted nothing more than to be loved for who she was; who wanted nothing more than to be accepted despite her appearance.

She smiled as the arm around her waist tightened, pulling her back into the taller woman's angular frame, and she sank into the embrace willingly.

Yes, she felt sorry for those poor souls who couldn't see the beautiful creature lurking behind the brash and brusque exterior. Because, when one took the time to truly see the woman hiding behind the mask, the beauty awaiting the seeker was undeniable. And, really, if there were ever a person who needed a champion, who needed somebody to tell them 'I believe in you', it was Elphaba.

The hand upon her stomach began rubbing small, comforting circles on her abdomen through the thin material of her nightdress, and she sighed contentedly as she rolled onto her back to look into dark, introspective eyes. "Don't stop," she whispered, placing her hand atop Elphaba's and holding it in place before Elphie could pull it away.

Elphaba gave Glinda a small, sad smile, but acquiesced to the smaller woman's wishes and left her hand resting motionlessly upon her stomach. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize you were still awake."

Glinda smiled, her teeth flashing white in the gloom. "Why do you wait until I'm feigning asleep to touch me?"

Elphaba licked her lips nervously and answered the blonde's question with one of her own. "Why do you feign asleep?"

"Because I wish for nothing more than your touch," Glinda answered unabashedly. She had matured enough beyond the simplistic, superficial girl she'd been when she'd first set foot on campus at Shiz to be able to admit to that without too much embarrassment. Sure, she was afraid that her affections wouldn't be returned, but she was no longer denying them.

There was something incredibly liberating in no longer caring about others' perception of oneself.

"Miss Glinda," Elphaba sighed. "It's late, and I've no patience for games."

"And I am not playing," retorted Glinda petulantly.

The green girl's indulgent look turned distant. "Well, surely you're not serious... so what else can this be but a game?"

Glinda rolled her eyes and lifted her hand to gently cradle Elphaba's face in her palm. She took a moment to appreciate the contrasting yet complementary colors of their skin together before she whispered, "Let's call it a decidedly awkward admission."

Elphaba smiled, the grin tweaking her lips before she could contain it. "Shall we, now?"

Glinda huffed exasperatedly. "You are so incredibly frustrating. Here I am, telling you that I like your hands upon my body, and you're making jokes."

"Well, what else can I do?" Elphaba argued, albeit gently. Even slightly frustrated, she couldn't find it in herself to truly snap at the blonde. "There's no reason for you-"

"For me to, what, exactly?" Glinda interrupted.

"Want me to touch you," Elphaba whispered, her voice breaking slightly with emotion. She had long since recognized that her feelings for her roommate were anything but platonic, but she had also long since resigned herself to the fact that her affections would only ever be one-sided.

"Well, why wouldn't I?" Glinda countered. "You're-"

"Ungainly? Bookish? Too stubborn for my own good?" Elphaba offered with a self-deprecating smile.

Glinda rolled her eyes and let out a quiet huff. "I was going to say beautiful, incredibly intelligent, and passionate." She frowned as she watched Elphaba shake her head. "Why can't you believe me?" she asked in a small voice.

"Because," Elphaba replied simply. Her answer might have been only a single word, but it held the weight of a thousand words within it. Because nobody's ever told me that I'm beautiful. Because nobody has ever liked, let alone loved, me for me. Because, out of everybody in this cruel world, you alone have the power to break me.

Glinda smiled sadly and smoothed her thumb over Elphaba's chiseled cheekbone. She could see the doubt in the green girl's eyes but she could also see a tiny ember of hope shining there as well. She knew her companion well enough to know that Elphaba was more than capable of debating with her all night long, and she had no desire to engage in a verbal repartee at the moment. So, instead of saying anything that would beget an argument, she simply said, "I want to kiss you."

"You..." Elphaba's voice trailed off into a disbelieving silence.

"Want to kiss you," Glinda repeated, smiling softly. She tightened her grip on Elphaba's face ever so slightly, holding the wide-eyed girl in place. "May I kiss you, please?"

Elphaba licked her lips and swallowed thickly as she stared into swirling blue eyes that were growing steadily darker, much like the sky did in the face of an oncoming storm. And, oh, what a brewing storm this was. The air around them crackled with electricity as they stared at each other and when she finally tipped her head in assent, the storm that had been building around them broke free.

Soft moans marked the moment their lips came together for the first time, the quiet sounds reverberating through them like thunder rolling across the open plain. Walls that had long ago been erected to protect fragile hearts tumbled down in a crash of whimpers and quiet groans, leaving them both open and exposed in the face of their desire.

Pale fingers threaded themselves in rich, ebony locks as a verdant hand cradled a petite hip reverently, each grasping and tugging in their unconscious effort to bring the other closer. Glinda gasped as Elphaba's tongue swept hesitantly across her lips and she was helpless to contain the rumbling groan of pleasure that reverberated in her throat when Elphie's tongue stroked lazily against her own. She felt as if she'd been struck by lightning. Every nerve ending in her body was tingling with electricity.

With need.

With want.

Oh, how she wanted. She tugged at the thin strands wrapped around her fingers as she met Elphie's kiss more forcefully, and she groaned when she felt the taller woman's body press into hers. Yes. This, this was definitely better. Oh sweet Lurline, more... please give me more of this heavenly feeling, she thought as their breasts rubbed together.

Their need for air finally drove them apart, gasping for breath, and they smiled shyly at each other, both surprised by the power of their connection. Hearts pounded in heaving chests as lust-darkened eyes stared unblinkingly at each other. It was as if the universe and all its magic was pulsing around them, feeding both their arousal and their affection, sealing their souls together.

Both were loathe to shatter the tenuous spell that had befallen them and they were more than willing to silently bask in the moment, so they just lay there, staring at each other. Elphaba sighed contentedly as she dipped her head to rest her forehead against Glinda's, the soft smile tweaking her lips growing broader as the fingers tangled in her hair began massaging her scalp ever so gently.

"Elphie," Glinda purred, smiling as an angular nose nuzzled her cheek and hot, gasping breaths cascaded against her ear. Minutes had passed since they'd broken apart, and yet her heart was still racing. She could literally hear her pulse pounding in her ears, and she felt like she was flying. It was, without a doubt, the single most amazing feeling she had ever experienced.

"Mmm?" Elphaba hummed, as she closed her eyes and brushed the softest of kisses across Glinda's rosy cheek, lingering in the connection as she breathed-in the blonde's unique scent. "Yes, my sweet?"

Glinda pressed her hand gently against the back of Elphaba's head, trying to pull the hovering woman's mouth back down to her own. "Kiss me again."

Elphaba's eyes flashed open to find Glinda's storm-tossed blue orbs staring beseechingly into her own, and her breath hitched in her throat at the emotion roiling in the blonde's gaze. For so long she had dreamt of Glinda looking at her with such unfettered desire, but she dared not believe it might ever happen.

And yet, it was.

She smiled and nodded as a wave of affection for the blonde rolled through her. "For as long as you'll let me, my sweet," she breathed, as she ghosted her lips across a pale cheek and recaptured the blonde's swollen, expectant lips in a slow, deep, sensual kiss.

Unskilled hands began to roam with a deliberate hesitancy as their kisses grew deeper and more demanding, slowly ghosting over curves, lightly grasping, kneading, and massaging until a groan or a moan encouraged a firmer touch.

Glinda panted into Elphaba's mouth as she felt the green girl's hand snake slowly up her stomach. Strong fingers pressed into her skin, leaving a burning heat in their wake as they moved higher and higher; slowly, purposefully higher up her body. It was glorious, and she couldn't help but wish she knew a spell that would make her nightgown disappear because she wanted nothing more than to feel Elphaba's hand against her naked skin. She bit her lip and groaned as Elphie's fingertips danced over the curved ridge of her rib cage, and her nipples tightened in anticipation as she waited for that teasing hand to continue on its northward journey.

And then it did.

A low, plaintive mewl spilled from her throat as she felt the backs of Elphaba's fingers brush against the underside of her breast, setting here entire body aflame and causing a flood of desire to settle wetly between her thighs.

Elphaba stilled her hand, unsure as to whether or not the sound her touch had just elicited was a positive one or not. "Too much?"

"Sweet Lurline, no," Glinda moaned, reaching down with her left hand to capture Elphaba's thin wrist and pull the green girl's hand up onto her breast. She arched into the touch, groaning as strong fingers wrapped around the mound, and husked, "Not enough. Please, Elphie. Touch me." Had she been less aroused, she would have been embarrassed by the wanton need that laced her words but, as it was, she could hardly care that she sounded desperate.

She was desperate.

Dark eyes grew wide with understanding as Elphaba licked her lips and nodded ever so slightly. "My sweet, sweet Glinda," she murmured, her gaze dropping down to where her hand lay wrapped around the blonde's breast. She squeezed the mound gently, delighting in the way it fit perfectly in her hand and savoring the feeling of the smaller woman's nipple straining against her palm.

Glinda moaned and lifted her head off of the pillows to capture Elphaba's lips in yet another kiss that was instantly hot and wet and hungry, and she whimpered as an emboldened thumb brushed over her nipple, making her hips buck wildly in search for more.

Elphaba hummed softly and pulled back to gaze lovingly down at Glinda's flushed face. The blonde's porcelain skin was tinted a flattering shade of pink and she felt her heart swell at the sight. "So beautiful," she murmured, as she brushed her thumb over the nipple she'd been toying with again, drawing a quiet hiss from the blonde's lips. She watched the way Glinda's pulse pounded in her neck and licked her lips as she considered what she really wanted to do.

Moaning softly, she trailed a line of kisses down over Glinda's jaw, sucking lightly at the sweet hollow beneath the blonde's ear and raking her teeth over the sensitive flesh as she basked in the throaty moans that spilled from Glinda's lips. She braced herself on her elbows as she dipped down to pepper the sensitive spot with kisses, nips, and licks, reveling in the enchanting sounds her touch elicited from the blonde. Glinda's hips began rolling more and more steadily beneath her and she sighed as she pressed one last lingering kiss to the blonde's slightly bruised skin before she moved onward. She laid a meandering trail of wet, open-mouthed kisses down the regal column of Glinda's throat until she was able to dip her tongue into the enchanting V at the base of the blonde's throat. She fluttered the tip of her tongue over the soft skin and smiled at the breathy sigh that fell from Glinda's lips at the touch. Yes, that was absolutely divine. But she forced herself to move on, brushing her lips over the plane of Glinda's chest until her chin brushed against the fabric of the blonde's nightdress. Her eyes dropped of their own volition to Glinda's heaving chest, where the sight of the blonde's nipples straining against the flimsy material of her nightgown had her unconsciously licking her lips as they tingled with the need to kiss, to taste. "Can I...?"

The way Elphaba's eyes were locked onto her chest as the green girl's tongue continued to swoop over her lips, left little room for doubt as to what she desired, and Glinda nodded eagerly, wanting nothing more than to feel Elphie's mouth upon her body. "Please."

Green lids fluttered closed, blocking dark eyes from view as Elphaba drew a ragged breath and tried to calm her racing heart. After a moment, she opened her eyes to find Glinda looking at her with so much warmth, so much desire, and so much affection, that it stole the breath from her lungs. "You truly are exquisite," she sighed, smiling shyly as she dipped her head to brush a kiss over the blonde's erect nipple. Spurred on by the sinfully erotic groan that was ripped from Glinda's throat at the touch, she dipped her head again to paint a broad lick over the nub and she couldn't help but marvel at the way she could feel the engorged tip pressing against her tongue.

It was perfect.

And she wanted more.

She closed her eyes and wrapped her lips around the hard bud, tugging at it lightly before she gave it the gentlest of sucks. She moaned at the feeling of Glinda arching up into her mouth, and she cradled the blonde's ribs in her hands, holding the smaller woman in place as she played at her breast.

"Elphie please," Glinda whimpered, her eyes rolling back in her head as Elphaba sucked more forcefully against her. "Don't tease me so."

Smoldering brown eyes flashed up to land on storm-tossed blue and a conversation was had in a glance where Elphaba silently sought permission as Glinda just as silently begged for more.

"You're sure?" Elphaba whispered.

Glinda nodded, a small, adoring smile tweaking her lips as she trailed a finger over Elphie's lips. "Yes."

Elphaba took a deep, shuddering breath and smiled shyly at Glinda as she sat up and reached for the blonde's nightgown. The fabric was impossibly under her touch, the sight of her fingers slipping beneath the hem of the lavender sheath was utterly hypnotic, and she had to glance up at Glinda's face to remind herself that this wasn't a dream. That she really was touching the blonde so.

Her gaze flashed down to watch as she ghosted her hands higher, gliding over the soft skin of Glinda's thighs and causing the fabric of the blonde's nightgown to gather at the back of her wrists. Her pulse quickened in her veins as more and more of Glinda's body was exposed to her and she bit her lip to stifle the moan that rumbled in her throat when the blonde lifted her hips off the mattress so she could push the gown up over her hips.

"Sweet Ozma," Elphaba breathed, her voice unabashedly awed as her eyes landed on Glinda's panties. They were a pale blue that reminded her of the afternoon sky and she whimpered softly when she noticed the large wet spot that stained the material covering the blonde's center. Her body reacted viscerally at the sight, her nipples hardening to tight points as a flood of moisture settled wetly between her thighs, and she couldn't resist the almost magnetic pull of that stain as she reached out to touch it.

Glinda's eyes rolled back in her head as Elphaba ran a finger up and down over her throbbing center. The almost hesitant touch was absolutely heavenly, and she groaned loudly in protest when Elphie's touch glided across the top of her panties to slowly trace that delicate line between her protruding hipbones where the soft skin of her belly and the fabric of her panties met. She could feel Elphaba's eyes raking over her nearly naked body and she had to fight the urge to cover herself, as she knew that, were their positions reversed, she'd be savoring the moment as well.

"Stunning," Elphaba breathed, as she leaned down to drop a soft kiss to Glinda's stomach. The scent of the blonde's arousal hung thick in the air, so sweet and intoxicating, and she moaned softly as her mouth began to water. She hadn't a clue what she was doing, really, but that did little to curb her desire to touch and to taste what she had coveted for so long.

She dropped one last lingering kiss to Glinda's navel before she moved higher, brushing her lips up and over the blonde's toned and trembling abdomen as she pushed her nightgown higher and higher. Her breath hitched in her throat and her heart beat an irregular staccato in her chest as Glinda's breasts were revealed to her, pert and proud and topped with hard rosy nipples that practically begged her to take them in her mouth and suckle them.

"Beautiful," she breathed, as Glinda impatiently tugged at her to move higher. She smiled dipped her head to brush the softest of kisses to each tip, the gentle caress a silent promise that she would return and grant them the attention they deserved, before she moved on, drawing a lazy line up Glinda's sternum with the tip of her tongue as she worked her hands higher and higher until she was able to drop the blonde's nightgown off the side of the bed.

Nearly naked and absolutely burning with desire, Glinda reached for Elphaba's nightgown and ripped it off over her head. They both chuckled at the lack of fanfare involved in the green girl's disrobement, but all laughter died when Elphaba leaned down to capture the blonde's smiling lips in a hungry kiss and their naked torsos touched for the first time.

If their kisses had been electric, then the feeling of their bare breasts rubbing against each other could only be described as magical.

Elphaba shifted as they kissed so that she was lying between Glinda's legs, her hips nestled snugly between the blonde's thighs as their mouths came together with an almost violent desperation. Their tongues stroked sensuously together in an erotic dance as their hands began to roam, touching everywhere they could reach as their hips began to instinctively rock together.

Glinda was the first to push them past their newly established baseline and she did so boldly, hooking her left leg up over Elphaba's hip as she dug the fingers of her right hand into a firm buttock and pulled. Elphaba's hips ground deliciously into her and she moaned as she eagerly canted her hips up into the green girl for more contact.

Elphaba groaned as she once again rocked herself into the blonde. Glinda's panties were absolutely soaked and she could feel the heat and the wetness burning and slipping against her stomach. "My sweet, sweet Glinda," she purred in a low, rich voice, as she pushed herself up to gaze lovingly into the blonde's eyes.

Glinda's eyes dropped to the space between them, her keen blue orbs focusing on Elphaba's breasts. They were smaller than her own, but far more visually stunning. Or so she thought and, really, she figured that, in this instance, her opinion was the only one that really mattered anyways. The skin covering the mounds was a slightly softer green than on Elphie's face, probably due to sunlight exposure, she thought, and the nipples were a rich forest green. She licked her lips as she lifted her hands to cover the mounds, noting the way they fit perfectly in her small hands, and sighed as she felt Elphaba arch into her. She bit her lip as she shifted her hands to brush her thumbs over those dark green nipples, her eyes flicking back and forth from her hands to Elphie's face, and she moaned softly at the guttural cry that rumbled in Elphaba's throat at the touch.

Feeling brave, she looked up into her hovering lover's eyes as she closed her fingers around the tips, pinching the buds between her thumb and forefinger. A fresh wave of desire settled between her thighs at the smoldering, almost dangerous look that flashed in Elphie's eyes at the rougher touch and she smiled impishly as she pinched the captured nubs again. "Good?"

Elphaba chucked and nodded. "Amazing. But, I'm not done with you yet, Miss Glinda." She smiled as she dipped her head to nuzzle the blonde's cheek, doing nothing to dislodge the hands upon her breasts. She rolled her hips into the smaller woman as she husked, "May I make love to you?"

Glinda swallowed thickly and nodded, a quiet whimper spilling from her lips as Elphie's tongue traced the shell of her ear. The touch was foreign yet incredibly erotic, and she couldn't help but imagine what else that skillful tongue might be capable of.

"Thank you," Elphaba breathed, dropping a wet, lazy kiss to the hollow beneath Glinda's ear.

"Oh, Elphie," Glinda sighed appreciatively as the mouth upon her neck moved south, blazing a burning trail of kisses down her throat, over her collarbone, and down to her breast. She tangled her fingers in silken ebony locks as Elphie took the time to swirl her tongue around each of her nipples, lavishing the erect buds with attention. "Darling, please..." she cajoled, when it began to feel like Elphie might never move from her position.

"Patience, dearest," Elphaba murmured, smiling as she acquiesced to the blonde's wishes with one last kiss to each nipple. Her pulse was pounding in her ears as she moved on, down Glinda's stomach. She dipped her tongue in the blonde's navel as she passed by it and grinned at the way Glinda giggled at the touch. "Mmm, sweet girl," she purred, as she dipped her fingers beneath the waistband of the blonde's panties.

Glinda moaned and lifted her hips, silently begging Elphie to get on with things. Though she wanted it, a brief flash of panic shot through her as she felt the fabric begin to slip down her thighs. She had never been laid bare like this before anyone before and she was half-afraid that Elphie wouldn't like what she saw; but the 'Oh, Glinda' that she heard Elphie sigh as her panties were tossed aside soothed any worries she might have had.

Elphaba licked her lips as she gazed upon her naked dream, drinking in the sight of pale skin flushed with want, blue eyes dark as the sea at midnight, and the most beautiful, delicate shell-pink lips swollen and glistening with desire. "So beautiful," she murmured to herself as she ran her hands up Glinda's legs, her thumbs tickling the backs of the blonde's knees. She could feel the weight of Glinda's hungry gaze upon her, but she couldn't tear her eyes away from the sight of her hands slipping higher and higher up the blonde's thighs until her thumbs were combing through soft golden curls.

Glinda's eyes snapped shut and she threw her head back into the thin pillow as she felt Elphaba's finger slip between her folds for the first time. She moaned softly, her entire body thrumming with the electricity of her lover's cautious ministrations, and she fisted her hands in the sheets as Elphie's touch grew more confident. "Oh yes, darling," she murmured encouragingly, her hips rolling forward beseechingly as Elphaba's finger slid higher to press firm circles against the sensitive bundle at the apex of her sex. The motion and pressure were achingly similar to how she would touch herself, and even as she moaned and writhed under Elphaba's hand, she couldn't help but marvel at their compatibility. At how Elphie intuitively knew just how to touch her so perfectly.

Her hips fell into a steady, languid rhythm against Elphaba as she rubbed firm circles against her, each tight swoop ratcheting up her desire until her heartbeat pulsed deafeningly in her ears and her body strained to find its release. It was perfect. The absolute perfect combination of force, tempo, and pattern to drive her right to blissful insanity.

And then, the touch against her changed.

It was still incredibly pleasurable, but it was softer.



Oh yes, it was certainly eager, and she moaned loudly, loud enough that the people in the rooms around them could most definitely hear her, when she opened her eyes to see a beautiful verdant face nestled between her legs. The touch was different because it was Elphaba's tongue that was now driving her closer to the euphoric edge of ecstasy. "Oh, Elphie," she moaned, rolling her hips eagerly into her lover's mouth.

Brown eyes held blue captive as the cries filling the room grew louder and more desperate and, when Elphaba was certain that Glinda's yells were more than loud enough to carry through the thin walls that surrounded them, she replaced her tongue with her fingers and moved to capture the blonde's mouth in a deep, probing kiss so that she was able to swallow her screams.

She shuddered at the way Glinda's tongue swept boldly into her mouth to taste herself on her tongue and she was helpless to contain the growl that rumbled in her throat as their tongues rolled roughly together.

The cries falling from Glinda's lips grew more and more desperate and Elphaba could tell from the way that the blonde's hips were rocking frantically against her hand that she was right on the edge and needed just that little bit more to reach her climax. So she changed her approach, moving her thumb down to press against the pulsing bundle she'd been massaging as she eased her middle finger down to push lightly against the blonde's opening.

She teased the ring of muscle with a series of feinting thrusts to make sure that the touch was one Glinda desired before she finally acquiesced to the blonde's frantically rocking hips and eased slowly inside. A low groan reverberated in her chest as she felt Glinda's walls wrap around her, so hot and wet and so impossibly, impossibly soft. She stroked her slowly at first, letting her get used to the sensation before she increased her pace and set a steady tempo as she tried to touch her everywhere, committing to memory each spot that made Glinda whimper, moan, and scream, and endeavoring to hit those spots on every stroke.

And hit them she did.

Glinda's hands scrabbled across the sheets as each of Elphaba's thrusts stoked the fire burning low in her hips, each plunge and retreat of the long, long finger's pumping inside driving her closer and closer to release. A kaleidoscope of colored stars flashed behind her eyes as her body was overwhelmed with sensation and, while she wanted nothing more than to reach that explosive release her body was literally straining toward, she never wanted the feeling of Elphaba moving inside her to end. She whimpered into Elphaba's mouth as the warmth in her belly began to spread, up into her chest and down into her thighs, and she rolled her hips harder and faster against the hand between her legs, meeting Elphie thrust for thrust as the blood rushing through her veins drowned the rest of the world out in a buzz of blissful white noise.

It was so much yet not quite enough, and then the finger inside her curled just so and she was sent flying.

Elphaba moaned softly at the feeling of Glinda's strong inner walls clenching around her finger and she gentled her stroke as she eased the blonde through her orgasm. She smiled when unfocused blue eyes finally found her again and she leaned in to press a soft, tender kiss to Glinda's lips as she finally withdrew her fingers from the blonde. "I love you."

The confession was soft, the words floating through the air like the gentle beat of a butterfly's wings, but Glinda heard them as if they'd been shouted from the tallest tower at Shiz. She smiled and reached up to cradle Elphaba's face in her palm as she whispered, "I love you too, Elphie." Her smile grew wider as green cheeks grew darker, as that was the way Elphaba's skin reacted to a blush, and she giggled happily as she lifted her chin to capture her lover's lips in a sweet, adoring kiss.

"You are amazing," Elphaba murmured contentedly as she nuzzled the blonde's cheek.

A slow, entirely wicked grin tweaked Glinda's lips as she rolled her hips and flipped them over so that she was now straddling her surprised lover. "I do believe," she drawled, as she ran palmed Elphaba's breasts possessively, "that I have yet to do anything to earn that praise. But, I have every intention of doing so now."

Elphaba smiled and shook her head as she gazed adoringly up into sparkling blue eyes. "You don't have to do anything but simply exist to be amazing, my sweet."

A delicate pink flush spread up the blonde's chest, neck, and face at the sweet words and she rewarded them with an even sweeter kiss. "You are quite the charmer, Elphaba Thropp. But I still wish to endeavor to earn that title," she whispered against verdant lips as she shifted so that she was able to remove the panties Elphaba was still wearing.

She mewled softly at the way Elphaba's arousal trailed after the fabric, glistening like the fine threads of a spider's web covered in dew, and she forced herself to take a deep, calming breath once she was finally able to toss the ruined garment aside. She had never seen anything so beautiful in her life and she whispered as much as she reached out to gently stroke her fingertips over Elphie's legs. She smiled reassuringly as she slipped her hands between the green girl's knees and pulled them apart, giving her her first real look at her lover.

"Exquisite," she murmured reverently, her thumbs absently rubbing the inside of Elphaba's thighs as she eased between her long legs. Her eyes raked hungrily over rich black curls and impossibly pale green lips that were so lightly colored that she could detect a pink tint in them. Exquisite wasn't a pretty enough word to describe what she saw, but she wasn't of a mind to particularly care about her vocabulary at the moment.

Elphaba moaned softly as Glinda's eyes raked over her sex, feeling both self-conscious and incredibly aroused by the blonde's heated stare. She bit her lip as she drank in the sight of Glinda nestled between her legs, the blonde's perfect alabaster skin a stunning contrast to her own. It seemed as if she laid there for a lifetime, waiting for Glinda's touch, and when she finally felt the blonde's finger slip intimately between her folds she was helpless to contained the pleasured hum that rumbled in her throat.

Glinda moaned softly as her finger eased through a veritable sea of desire. Soft, swollen folds wrapped around her finger, caressing the digit much in the same way she was caressing Elphaba. It was simultaneously similar and entirely different from what she felt when she touched herself, and she found herself instantly addicted to the sensation of silken skin gliding against her finger. "You feel so good," she murmured, almost reverently, as she rubbed a light circle to the erect bundle of nerves at Elphaba's apex.

Elphaba chuckled and shook her head as she reached out to lovingly stroke the backs of Glinda's arms. "I do believe that is my line," she teased, even as she rolled her hips into the blonde's hand.

Glinda smiled indulgently at the raven-haired woman as she lowered herself to her stomach between her parted legs. She licked her lips as she dipped her head to kiss Elphaba intimately, letting her tongue peek through her lips to dip into the moisture that awaited her. A low, rich moan rumbled in her throat at the taste and she eagerly laid a broad, slow lick through Elphaba's folds.

"Oh, Glinda!" Elphaba yelped, her hips bucking wildly off the bed as the blonde's tongue swept heavily across her apex. Bringing the blonde to climax had her already deliriously close to the edge herself and, while she wanted this moment to last for an eternity, she had little doubt that she wasn't going to be able to hold off for long. Every swipe of Glinda's tongue was electric, sending bolts of lightning coursing through her body until she wasn't sure where she ended and the rest of the universe began, and her hips rocked hard against the blonde's mouth as she both chased and tried to evade that inevitable euphoric crash.

Pleased with the reaction her touch elicited from her lover, Glinda repeated it again and again, experimenting with the angle and pressure delivered to the bud to see what Elphaba liked the best. It was, without a doubt, the most enjoyable research she had ever conducted and she was almost disappointed when strong fingers tangled themselves in her hair and a rough voice groaned, "Mmm, just like that, my sweet."

So, while she wanted to extend the moment for an eternity, she settled into the motion that Elphaba had requested, drawing tight figure-eights with the very tip of her tongue against the hypersensitive bundle of nerves. Elphie's soft gasps and cries grew in volume as the bud beneath her tongue pulsed and twitched and, when the sounds escaping Elphaba grew in volume to the point that decency required they be quieted, she replaced her tongue with her fingers and captured Elphie's lips in a deep, searing kiss. "My Elphie," she murmured, as she used two fingers to press firm circles against her lover's bundle of nerves. "Let yourself fly, my love."

Glinda's touch already had Elphaba balancing precariously along the edge of release, but it was the blonde's soft words, urging her to let go that sent her toppling over into ecstasy and tore Glinda's name from her throat as her orgasm ripped through her. She was vaguely aware of soft kisses raining down on her cheeks as she rode the warm, relaxing waves of her release and when it finally ebbed, she found a pair of smiling sapphire eyes looking down at her with so much love that her heart skipped a beat.

"I love you," Glinda whispered, smiling as she kissed Elphaba softly.

"As I love you, my sweet," Elphaba purred contentedly and wrapped her arms around Glinda's waist, pulling the smaller woman down onto her. She laughed at the slightly exasperated huff the move garnered from her lover as she buried her face in blonde curls. She drew a deep, shuddering breath as she soaked in the moment, committing every detail to memory so that she would never forget any of it.


Part III: Intuition

Glinda looked unseeingly out the small, square window of the coach as it rolled along the Yellow Brick Road into Oz. It had been yet another long day of travel and the sun was finally beginning to inch toward the horizon, which meant that they would soon be arriving at their sixth and final way-station of their journey. And, while Glinda wished for nothing more than to be done with the crowded coach and to get away from the prying, judgmental eyes of their fellow travelers, she was conflicted over whether or not she should be pleased that their trek would soon be coming to an end.

She and Elphaba had spent the last three nights making love in beds that were too small, in rooms whose walls were entirely too thin, and they had been the best three nights of her existence. And they only had one night left on the road. One night left to them where they could be just Glinda and Elphaba, students from Shiz on an impetuous expedition to Oz. They were scheduled to arrive in the great capitol city just after midday the following afternoon and, while she sincerely doubted that they would manage to procure an appointment with the Wizard on such short notice, she had no idea exactly how long they would have to wait to be seen.

And it was that lack of knowledge that had her stomach in knots.

Because, while she was rather looking forward to seeing the great green city and getting her first real taste of society, she knew – deep down, in the recesses of her heart that intuitively knew the truth of the matter before it ever came to fruition – that however their audience with the Wizard was concluded, it would undoubtedly change their futures forever. She wanted to believe that they would simply return to Shiz to be formally reprimanded for leaving school without permission and missing an ungodly number of classes, but she couldn't help feeling that they wouldn't be so lucky.

She sighed and turned to press a soft kiss to Elphie's brow, lingering in the connection for the space of a few heartbeats as she soaked in her warmth, inhaling her unique scent… just, relishing the fact that, however improbable it might seem to others, that she had found her other half. And, now that she knew what it was like to fall asleep wrapped in Elphaba's thin, deceptively strong arms, her muscles weak and her body sated after hours of lovemaking, she didn't want to ever be without it. She was absolutely certain that she simply couldn't exist without it.

Without Elphaba.

She normally wasn't such a pessimist, but she couldn't shake the feeling that she was somehow going to lose the wonderful woman who was, at that moment, curled up against her side, fast asleep. Yes, that was what truly had her heart sinking leadenly into her stomach. She could suffer through a multitude of fates, but not the one that might rip Elphie from her life.

"FIVE MINUTES!" The driver's voice bellowed, echoing through the small compartment and startling Elphaba and the other slumbering passengers awake.

The green girl sat up slowly and discretely wiped at the corners of her mouth with the back of her hand in case she had inadvertently drooled while she'd slept, and when she spoke her voice soft and rough with the last vestiges of her slumber. "How long have I been asleep?"

"Most of the day, darling," Glinda replied, smiling as she reached out to cradle her lover's face in her hand. She smoothed her thumb over the lines pressed into flawless green skin from where Elphie's cheek had rested against her shoulder and, completely ignoring the looks they were getting from their fellow travelers, leaned in and kissed her softly. She felt Elphaba smile into the kiss and she held it for a moment longer than was necessarily proper, but she didn't care. She was happy and proud – yes, proud – to call Elphaba hers.

And it was in that moment, that seemingly innocuous moment where her fingers were curled around sleep-warmed skin as their lips pressed so intimately together, that she vowed to do everything in her power to hold on to this magical, beautiful creature.

Elphaba ducked her head once their kiss broke, hiding from the prying eyes of the other people inside the coach behind the curtain of her hair that had fallen around her face. "Not that I didn't enjoy that," she murmured, looking up through her lashes into surprisingly serious blue eyes, "but what in Oz brought it on?"

Glinda licked her lips and smiled as she reached out to tuck her lover's raven locks behind her ear. "Am I not allowed to kiss you?" she hedged teasingly, as she tried to tamp down the roiling fear that had once again resurfaced and set her stomach fluttering most uncomfortably.

Elphaba's brow furrowed and she nodded slowly. She could tell that there was something going on in Glinda's head, but for the life of her she couldn't fathom what it might be. "You most certainly are, my sweet. However-"


Sensing that Elphaba's curiosity would not be easily denied, Glinda pressed a finger to her lover's lips and said, "Later, my love."

Glinda's blue eyes were open and honest, if not slightly haunted, and Elphaba gave her a small smile as she kissed the finger upon her lips and tipped her head in agreement. "Okay," she murmured, when the blonde finally pulled her finger away.

"Thank you," Glinda whispered. She smiled gratefully at Elphaba before she tore her eyes away from her lover's penetrating, questioning gaze to begin gathering what things she'd pulled out to try and stave off the mind-numbing boredom that accompanied a day on the road.

They had just finished repacking their things when the coach pulled to a slow stop in front of the inn, and neither Glinda nor Elphaba gave the building more than a cursory glance as they climbed out of the coach and moved to the back of the carriage to wait for their bags to be lowered to them. Their appraisal of the building was so brief, in fact, that they barely registered the fact that it was the most well-maintained hostelry they had yet visited.  Both of their thoughts were otherwise occupied with more pressing thoughts, Elphaba trying to discern what it was that was bothering the blonde while Glinda tried her damndest to make the fluttering unease in her stomach disappear.

Neither were particularly successful, but it did help distract them from the biting wind that buffeted them as they huddled together for warmth, watching as bag after bag was handed down to everybody but themselves. Once again, theirs were the last three bags to be delivered – the coachmen were unashamedly prejudiced against Elphaba's unique coloration – and while Glinda wanted to give the men a stern talking-to as she had the night she'd realized that she and Elphaba would always be served last, Elphaba just took the bags and smiled a politely annoyed smile at the men.

"Come, my sweet. Let's get out of the wind," Elphaba said, as she handed Glinda the smallest of their bags.

Glinda huffed indignantly and set her right hand on her hip as she prepared herself to argue. "But-"

"Glinda," Elphaba interrupted her. She smiled at her companion's obvious indignation and shook her head sadly. She was, unfortunately, too used to the sort of treatment that Glinda was finding so upsetting, and she also knew that there was nothing they could say or do to change it. She was different, and people were always afraid of different. "It's our last night, love. Just… let it go."

If it weren't for the fact that Glinda could see Elphaba already beginning to shiver slightly in the bitter autumn wind that ripped over the plains, she would have stood her ground and given the men a piece of her mind. But her concern for Elphie's health and safety outweighed her desire to tear into the rude men who were treating her sweet Elphie like she was a second-class citizen. "Fine," Glinda muttered, as she hefted her bag and glared pointedly at the two men who were wise enough to shrink away from her piercing stare.

Pleased that Glinda was letting the matter drop for now, Elphaba hurried the blonde toward the inn and held the door open for her, ushering the smaller woman inside with an outstretched arm and a small smile. The temperature change was immediate as they stepped over the threshold and they both let out quiet sighs of relief as the warmth of the inn surrounded them. They made their way carefully through the dining room to an empty table and set their bags down on the floor beside the table before taking opposing seats so they could look at each other as they dined. They both reached greedily for the steam cups of tea that were set in front of them by a scrawny, pimply-faced kitchen boy, and they smiled their thanks at the young man when he left them with a promise to return shortly with their meal.

Dinner was surprisingly good, there was even a salad provided alongside the fresh bread and roasted chicken, so, compared to poor Elphaba's previous dinners, this one was a veritable feast. The dining room was larger than they'd grown accustomed to so it wasn't nearly as loud, but neither woman felt compelled to linger over their meal. The food was a necessity, and had their stomachs not been rumbling angrily, they would have both gladly skipped dinner to gain more time alone together. When their bellies were full, they took off for the second-floor, and they both felt their spirits lift as they ascended the stairs at the back of the building.

Elphaba double-checked the number on the key they'd been given against the door at the very end of the hall before she fitted the key into the lock and pushed the door open. The room was once again small, though it was better appointed than any of their other previous lodgings. The window had actual drapes that could be closed to help ward off the night chill, and the woven rug that filled the center of the cozy space looked to be almost new. The rich crimson, gold, and ivory hues from the rug were repeated in the bedding and it all combined to give the room a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

They set their bags down against the wall beside the door before heading back down the hall to the bathroom for their nightly ablutions, which they completed in companionable silence before heading back to their room. Once the door was locked behind them, separating them from the world, they shed their clothes, both paying only half a mind to their own disrobement as they adoringly watched the other undress. When they finally slipped between the cream-colored sheets of the predictably tiny bed, they both sighed contentedly at the familiar, welcoming feeling of the other's skin against their own.

Glinda purred happily as Elphaba rolled them over so that she was pinned beneath the taller woman and she smiled as she lifted her head to kiss her softly. The feeling of Elphie's lips wrapping around her own had her heart stuttering in her chest and she groaned as Elphaba shifted so that their legs scissored together, the soft curls covering Elphie's mound brushing against her thigh as the firm muscle of the green girl's leg pressed against her most deliciously. "Oh, Elphie."

Verdant lips quirked in a pleased grin as warm brown eyes stared adoringly into blue. "I love you."

"Mmm, I love you," Glinda sighed, tangling her fingers in Elphaba's ebony locks and drawing her head down for another kiss.

Elphaba hadn't forgotten their earlier aborted conversation in the carriage, but she couldn't particularly find it in herself to care so much about it as she ran her left hand up Glinda's stomach to palm a pale, perfect breast possessively. She smiled as she felt the blonde's nipple press into her hand and she wasted no time shifting her grip so that she was able to tease the nub with her thumb. They had the rest of the night to talk, if they needed, but for now she wanted to simply make love to the woman who had stolen her heart.

"Oh, Elphie," Glinda moaned, as Elphaba's thumb flicked back and forth across her nipple, sending small tremors of desire rolling through her. She arched into the touch and lifted her right leg ever so slightly so that she was able to press against Elphaba's center, and she groaned as Elphie's hips rolled against her, spreading a trail of hot, sticky arousal on her skin.

"I need you," Elphaba husked, nipping at Glinda's plump lower lip. "It's only been a day since I touched you last and yet I ache to feel you again. Let me have you?" she pleaded, resting her forehead against Glinda's as she tugged lightly on the blonde's nipple.

Glinda licked her lips and swallowed thickly as she stared into smoldering mahogany eyes that were overflowing with love and brimming with desire. "I am yours, my darling," she whispered, canting her hips beseeching toward Elphaba.

"My sweet, sweet Glinda," Elphaba murmured, dipping her chin and claiming the blonde's mouth with her own. She sucked lightly against Glinda's lower lip before releasing it with a wet pop. She teased the bruised flesh with the tip of her tongue and was helpless to contain the moan that rumbled deep in her throat when Glinda's mouth opened to her and she was able to taste more of the addictive blonde.

They began to rock slowly together as their tongues danced and dueled in the shared air between their parted lips, and the languid pace of their grinding hips increased as their kisses grew deeper and hungrier. It felt so good, so right to be together like this, and though Elphaba longed to dip her head down and take the taut peak she was teasing with her fingers into her mouth and suckle it, she was conscious enough of their surroundings to know that if she did, Glinda's cries would ring through the tiny inn. For someone so small, the blonde really did have a most powerful voice.

Glinda dragged her blunt nails down Elphaba's back as the fingers upon her breast tweaked and rolled her nipple more roughly and the wave building inside her threatened to break. And then, Elphie's fingers left her breast to skate down the plane of her abdomen, sending tiny bolts of lightning shooting through her as her legs opened wider without her even thinking about doing so.

She tore her mouth away from Elphaba's to let loose a rumbling, primal moan as long, talented fingers pressed deftly inside her. She tried to mimic the touch, to plunge her fingers deep inside her lover, but Elphie's hips wouldn't lift to allow her access. She whimpered at the denial and tried again and again, only abandoning her attempt to reciprocate when Elphie murmured, in a low, rich voice that was positively dripping of sex, "Later, my sweet. Now is my time for you."

Elphie smiled as she felt Glinda's body relax beneath her signaling the blonde's submission and she rewarded the concession by increasing the force and pace of her thrusts until the heel of her palm was slapping lightly against Glinda's bundle of nerves and she was once again forced to capture the blonde's mouth with her own to swallow her screams. She could tell by the way the walls around her fingers were beginning to flutter and by how much harder she was having to work to maintain her pace that the blonde was indeed nearing her climax, and she could feel her own orgasm building low in her hips as she continued to grind herself against Glinda's thigh. She used her hips to help her thrust more forcefully into the blonde and she groaned into Glinda's mouth at the feeling of the blonde's fingers digging into her shoulders as the smaller woman's hips lifted completely off the bed in an attempt to take her deeper.

Everything about the moment was heart-stoppingly perfect, and Elphie knew that when Glinda did finally tumble over the edge that the feeling of the blonde's walls clamping around her fingers and the sound of the blonde's muffled cries would send her flying as well. Most of the time, she tried to prolong their lovemaking for as long as possible, but there was an almost frantic desperation to the way Glinda's hips were rocking against her hand that had Elphaba ignoring her usual restraint and she drove herself hard into the blonde as she curled her fingers just so, so that she was able to massage the hidden ridges that never failed to send Glinda flying. She rocked the heel of her hand against the straining bundle at the apex of the blonde's sex and she groaned as the muscles around her fingers began to spasm.

Heaven. It was absolute heaven.

Desperate to try and remain anchored as the orgasm she'd been chasing crested and broke, Glinda dug her fingers into Elphaba's back, hard enough that there would undoubtedly be eight small patches of darker green evident in the morning, and held on tight. She let loose a loud moan as her body spasmed around Elphie's fingers, her hips continuing their blind rocking against the green girl's hand as wave after wave of ecstasy washed over her.

As the force of Glinda's climax began to ease, Elphaba broke their kiss and pulled back to watch the blonde ride out the tail end of her orgasm, and she moaned at what she saw. Glinda was absolutely stunning with her eyes shut, her mouth hanging open to allow hungry lungs to gulp at the air, and her skin flushed pink with pleasure. She continued to thrust slowly into the blonde, wanting to draw-out her release for as long as possible, and she dropped her forehead to rest against Glinda's, moaning softly as her own release finally washed over her. She trembled above the blonde, her breath falling in short gasps against rosy lips as she came down from her high.

They laid together like that for quite some time, until Elphaba finally shifted off to the side and carefully pulled her fingers from their warm sheath. Glinda whimpered softly as Elphaba's fingers disappeared from inside her and she curled herself into the taller woman, who was now drawing swirling patterns upon her stomach. She buried her face in the green girl's neck, and pressed a lingering kiss to Elphie's prominent clavicle as she purred contentedly. "I love you."

Elphaba smiled and dipped her head to drop an affectionate kiss to messy blonde silk. "As I love you, my sweet." Her smile grew wider as Glinda hummed softly and burrowed closer, and she wrapped her arms protectively around the blonde's waist. Her heart fluttered in her chest as she felt Glinda's lips brush against the hollow of her throat and she sighed, basking in the moment. "I could do this forever," she murmured.

"Do what?" Glinda asked, finally pulling away from the haven of Elphaba's embrace to look at her. She reached up to push gently on the taller woman's shoulder and she beamed as the green girl obligingly flopped onto her back to look up at her. She reached down with her left hand to draw the sheet and quilt up over them and braced her head on her right as she arched a brow expectantly and waited an answer to her question.

Elphaba licked her lips and reached up to tuck and errant strand of hair behind Glinda's ear. "Make love to you. Hold you. Kiss you. You are quite addicting, you know." It was still so strange for her to feel comfortable enough to truly say what she was feeling, but she also found the entire experience to incredibly invigorating as well.

Glinda smiled and ducked her head, inordinately pleased with Elphie's confession. But, before she could lose herself in the poetic words, the disquiet she'd experienced earlier that evening reared its head and she couldn't help asking, in a small, almost childlike voice, "Do you think we'll have forever?"

There was enough uncertainty in Glinda's tone to give Elphaba pause and she sighed as she pulled her closer. "What's going on in that beautiful head of yours?" she murmured as she brushed a soft kiss over the blonde's brow.

Glinda shrugged. "I don't know. I just…"

Seeing that Glinda was struggling for words, Elphaba hooked her finger under the blonde's chin and lifted it gently so she could look into her eyes. "I can't envision a future where I don't love you. You have stolen my heart, my sweet, and I don't ever want it back."

The quiet honesty in Elphaba's voice made Glinda smile and she drew a ragged breath as she reached up to trace the line of the green girl's lips with her fingertip. "I feel the same way," she murmured, and leaned in to kiss Elphie softly. "It's just… it feels like we're existing outside of time at the moment. Like, this is a brief respite from reality and that once we finally meet with the Wizard and you plead your case for the Animals it will shatter. I feel… almost as if we're living in a bubble, a happy, contented bubble of reality that is certain to pop sooner or later. Am I being silly?"

Elphaba sighed and shook her head. She had been experiencing the same feeling of unease these last few days, but she had attributed it to her mind valiantly fighting against the unaccustomed notion of being happy. But, if Glinda was having those same sinking feelings… there was most likely trouble waiting for them once they reached Oz. She had learned to never doubt Glinda's intuition when it came to people and situations – the blonde had an almost uncanny knack to see things others didn't, couldn't, or wouldn't – but she hated seeing that worried look on her face and wanted nothing more than for it to disappear.

So, while she wasn't sure of what their future held any more than Glinda was, she endeavored to put the blonde's fears at ease. "You are very rarely silly when you are away from the mind-numbing presence of the vast majority of our schoolmates, my sweet. And, no – I do not believe that you are being so now." She sighed as she head a soft whimper fall from Glinda's lips and she leaned in and kissed her tenderly. "I agree that we have been living outside the real world these last few days, and though I do not show it, I am equally concerned about how our meeting with the Wizard will go. But, I do not doubt my love for you. Nor do I doubt the fact that I will do anything and everything I can to protect you. I guess…"

Glinda waited for Elphaba to finish her thought, and when that didn't happen she prodded, "What?"

Elphaba smiled shyly, her dark eyes softening as she gazed lovingly at the blonde. "I guess we'll just have to keep faith that the universe won't dare try and break us apart. I don't know what lies ahead for us, Glinda. I wish I did. All I know is that my life is better because of you. And that I won't give you up without a fight."

Glinda ran a tender hand over Elphaba's jaw as she leaned in and kissed her softly. "I feel the same way about you," she whispered against verdant lips that quirked in a pleased smile beneath her own. "We'll face whatever happens together, yes?"

"Mmmhmm," Elphaba hummed, rubbing the blonde's back reassuringly. "Together we are unlimited, my sweet. Now, why don't you lay your head down and get some rest. I'm sure you were awake all day looking out for me while I slept and you must be exhausted."

Glinda yawned and nodded. "I am," she admitted, smiling as she dipped her left hand beneath the covers. Her smile grew wider at the barely perceptible shiver that rolled through Elphie as her fingers slipped down over the green girl's stomach. "But you promised me 'later' and I would very much like to collect on that offer, if you don't mind."

Elphaba chuckled and shook her head as she obligingly rolled her right leg out to the side. "As if I could ever deny you anything, my sweet," she murmured, moaning softly as she felt Glinda's nimble fingers dip between her legs to swoop slowly through the slick arousal still gathered there. "I am yours, Glinda. Forever and always yours. Do with me what you will."


Part IV: Standing on the Precipice of an Uncertain Future

As it turned out, obtaining an audience with the Wizard required much more effort than either Glinda or Elphaba had ever imagined. It took them a grand total of four days just to get past the guardsmen manning the gate and a veritable horde of secretaries, all of whom believed themselves to be much more important than they actually were, to get an appointment to see the Commander-General of Audiences. And they weren't able to see him until their fifth full day in Oz.

They sat for hours waiting for their three-minute appointment, and when they were summoned into the Commander-General's office they found themselves face-to-face with a most unpleasant looking man in the most hideous pea green suit Glinda had ever seen. After having spent the better part of the last four days of sitting in office after office, being processed through the redundant political system upon with Oz was built, the blonde had developed a keen sense of how things worked and she took an instant dislike to the man. He positively reeked of bureaucracy and she knew he would do anything in his power to thwart their attempt to see the Wizard.

He didn't even bother to look up at them as they stood in front of his desk. "Misses Thropp and Upland I presume?" His tone was completely disinterested, and he didn't even wait for them to confirm their identities before he continued on with his usual spiel. "As I'm sure you can appreciate, his Holiness the Wizard has an incredibly busy calendar and it is up to me to make sure that his precious time is not wasted. So, if you could please succinctly state your reasons for wishing to see His Eminence... I shall determine whether or not you are worthy of his time."

Glinda looked expectantly at Elphaba, for it was she who had dragged them all this way to see the Wizard, but the green girl was just staring at the Commander-General. She smiled apologetically at the man as she discretely elbowed Elphaba in the ribs, trying to silently spur the woman to speak, but it accomplished nothing.

Fine, she thought as she smoothed her hands over the front of her dress, then I guess it is up to me. "Commander-General, sir," she said in the sickly-sweet tone of voice that she had quickly learned brought about the most positive results with the palace personnel, "we seek a meeting with the Wizard because my... friend, here, has information that she believes will be most useful to the Wizard in regards to the recent Animal Banns."

The glorified secretary scoffed and leaned back in his chair, folding his hands over his rotund belly as he shook his head at them. "Girls," he droned condescendingly, "the Wizard had much more important things to worry about than-"

"Madame Morrible," Elphaba spluttered, interrupting the secretary before he could delve into what Glinda was certain would be yet another canned speech.

Glinda bit her lip as she glanced from Elphaba to the Commander-General to see how her companion's interjection would be received. He looked like a man who didn't appreciate having what power he possessed challenged, and she was feared that Elphie's outburst would prove to be the final nail in their coffin.

"Well," the Commander-General hummed, sitting up and pulling his calendar ledger closer to his big, beefy face, "why didn't you say so? Tomorrow at eleven. You will have four minutes between the Ambassador to Ix and the Matron of the Ladies' Home Guard Social Nourishment Brigade. Dress code is formal."

He scribbled their appointment information on a small card similar to the ones they'd received from every other person they'd interviewed with at the palace, and held it out expectantly.

Glinda, being closer to the desk than Elphaba, reached for the card and inspected it quickly. On the back there was a list of regulations that, having come without appropriate courtly attire, they would be forced to ignore. "Thank you so much for your time," Glinda drawled, dipping into a completely disingenuous half-curtsy before she turned and wrapped her hand in the crook of Elphaba's arm and bodily steered the taller woman out of the secretary's office.

Once they were back on the street Elphaba seemed to come back to herself so that Glinda was able to stop pulling on the green girl's arm to make her move and was instead able to simply walk beside her. The crowd of Ozians that milled about the narrow road, flitting in and out of shops and grocers, paid them no mind as they wandered arm-in-arm to the small inn where they had taken a room while they were playing politics and trying to gain an appointment with the Wizard. Glinda kept a close eye on her lover as they walked and, by the time the sign for their temporary home came into view, she could tell that Elphaba had relaxed enough for her to be able to ask, "What happened back there?"

"Oh, Glinda," Elphaba sighed. In the back of her mind, she couldn't help but think that it had something to do with their headmistress, but whatever it was, she couldn't put her finger on it. "I wish I knew. I'm just thankful that you were able to keep your head about you in there."

"Well, yes, I am quite spectacular, aren't I?" Glinda drawled with an affected air.

Elphaba chuckled and nodded. "Indeed you are, my sweet. So, as it would appear that this is our last night in Oz, is there anything in particular that you would like to do?"

"I'm assuming you mean besides you," Glinda purred, smirking as she reached out to press the pad of her finger to Elphaba's lips. She laughed at the scandalized look on Elphie's face and shook her head. "You are just too easy sometimes, darling," she chortled. "But, I don't know…" She pursed her lips thoughtfully as she considered their options.

Really, for as much time as they'd wasted sitting on their behinds waiting for some secretary or another to pass them on through to the next one, they had also seen quite a lot of Oz as well. Neither she nor Elphaba particularly liked the city – she found the architecture to be incredibly gaudy and pretentious, while Elphie was absolutely distraught by the lack of Animals and the overwhelming number of indigents that littered the city's alleyways – but they had found places that they did rather enjoy. There was a quaint outdoor eatery they had visited their second night in the capitol that had a lovely patio surrounded by beautiful flowers that spanned every color of the rainbow, and there was the large amphitheatre where they had sat and listened to an orchestra play, so it wasn't as if the entire city was wretched.

Just the heart of it was.

Of course, Glinda's favorite part of Oz was hers and Elphaba's ridiculously tiny room on the third floor of a nondescript inn that was located between a bakery and a cobbler's shop in the first district of the great capitol city. Out of all her time in Oz, she most treasured those blissful moments where they sequestered themselves from the world and surrendered themselves to the passion that burned white hot between them, both of them helpless to resist the pull of the other's lips, her skin, her touch, her everything.

Glinda licked her lips as she remembered the sinfully intoxicating taste of Elphaba's arousal and a decidedly wicked smile creased her face as she replayed the breathy sounds the green girl made as she teased her slowly, so incredibly, blissfully slowly with light flicks of her tongue. The only sound better was the rich, rumbling moan that would spill from Elphie's lips when she plunged her tongue as far inside her as she possibly could.

The longer Glinda remained silent, the more amused Elphaba became – as she knew from the faraway look in the blonde's beautiful blue eyes exactly where her mind had wandered off to. And, for as surprised as she was by Glinda's offhand comment only moments before, she couldn't deny that she too wished to spend their last night in Oz wrapped in Glinda's arms.

Though neither of them had again brought up the quiet, lurking threat of unavoidable change still hovered around them, tinting even their happiest moments with the gray tones of unease, they both felt the specter of its presence haunting them. Elphaba knew that Glinda was trying to avoid thinking about it as much as she was, and she knew from the way that the blonde whimpered fitfully in her arms as she slept at night that the smaller woman was failing at ignoring it as miserably as she was. She wasn't blind, she knew that things were bound to change depending on how their meeting went the next morning, but she was still hopeful that all their fears might end up to be for naught.

Elphaba smiled as Glinda's silence continued to stretch even through her own wandering thoughts and she dipped her head so that she could brush the softest of kisses across the blonde's cheek as she whispered, "Or, we could take our dinner in our room tonight and just… stay in? Just the two of us," she murmured, purposefully letting her voice drop into the smooth low tones that she knew drove Glinda wild.

She knew they would have another week's worth of travel to get back to Shiz, but it seemed fitting to her that they spend their last night in Oz alone together, enjoying the feeling of soft skin under their fingertips and basking in the euphoric sounds that spilled from kiss-swollen lips as their bodies clenched and trembled with ecstasy. Not that being back at the University would force them to put a halt to their relationship, but it would be different. People would talk. Gossip. She was used to it, but she didn't want to put Glinda in front of the judging masses like that. So there would be no more holding hands as they walked down the street. No more hugs just because, no kisses just because the urge struck and they were helpless to contain it. All of those signs of affection would have to be saved for their dormitory room where they would be safe from prying eyes, eavesdropping ears, and vicious gossiping tongues.

"Elphie!" Glinda laughed, slapping playfully at the green girl's stomach. "You ask me a question like that and then you don't have the decency to listen to my answer!"

"I'm sorry, my sweet," Elphaba murmured. "My thoughts ran away with me, I suppose. What did you say?"

"I said," Glinda drawled, her eyes twinkling happily, "that I rather like your idea. Although, if you're going to disappear into your thoughts and leave me alone to entertain myself, perhaps we should dine out. Goodness knows this is most likely the last decent supper we'll have until we get back to Shiz."

Elphaba nodded and pretended to think about the blonde's proposition, which worked the petite blonde into a flustered state that was rather enjoyable to witness. "I'm joking," she chuckled, when she couldn't contain her laughter any longer. "I would, of course, love nothing more than to spend the evening alone with you, Miss Glinda." She opened the door to the inn they were staying at with a mock-bow and a flourish, and grinned as she asked, "Shall we retire for the evening, then?"

 "We shall," Glinda agreed with an authoritative tip of her head for emphasis as she sashayed through the door Elphaba was holding for her. She rather liked the gentlemanly gestures the other woman had taken to gracing her with and she couldn't resist discretely dragging the fingers of her right hand across Elphie's thighs as she passed. "Should I arrange for our supper to be brought up to the room later?"

Elphaba bit her lip and nodded. "Whatever you'd prefer, my sweet," she husked as she eased past the smaller woman and headed for the stairs. "I expect I'll see you shortly?"

"I expect you will," Glinda purred, licking her lips as she smiled at her verdant lover. She couldn't contain the laughter that bubbled in her chest at the way Elphaba blushed – she was growing quite adept at recognizing the way her normally grass-green cheeks would grow perceptibly darker – and she decided to be nice and take pity on her. She had the rest of the night for her to make Elphie blush, after all. "I'll secure our meal and then I'll be up, darling. Wait for me there?"

Elphaba smiled and nodded. "I will wait for you forever, my love," she whispered, reaching out to lightly run the tips of her fingers down the delicate line of the blonde's jaw before she turned and headed for the stairs.

While Glinda was discussing their dinner options with the innkeeper, Elphaba busied herself with digging through what clothes she had brought with her to figure out what she should wear for their meeting the next day. Formal attire wasn't her cup of tea to begin with, Lurline knows her father had never seen fit to bestow her with any clothes pretty enough to be considered 'formal' – not that she would have worn them anyways, but that was, in a way, besides the point – but she had brought along a black dress with long sleeves that was, pathetically enough, the nicest outfit she owned. She didn't doubt that Glinda had something much more appropriate packed away to be worn the next day, but it seemed appropriate for Glinda to garner all the attention while she just stood in the background.

Glinda was, after all, much easier on the eyes than she was.

While she folded her clothes neatly and set them aside for the next day, she let her mind wander, allowing herself to actually imagine a day where she and Glinda might govern together – either at Nest Hardings or in the Arduennas, where didn't matter so much as the fact that they did so together – with her going over policy and other such matters of state behind closed doors while Glinda went about the more public side of being in charge. They would be quite the team, she and Glinda, and she longed for the day that they could put their school years behind them and strike off on their own.

The sound of the door opening drew her attention away from the skirt of her dress that she had been smoothing her hands over and she couldn't contain the soft smile that tweaked her lips as her eyes landed on Glinda's petite frame. She had grown so used to being constantly by the other woman's side that even these brief moments of separation felt like an eternity, and she wondered how she would ever survive returning to their regular schedule at Shiz where she would oftentimes go all day without seeing the winsome blonde. "Did you get it all sorted?"

Glinda nodded and smiled as she closed the door behind herself and locked it. "Was there any doubt?" She chuckled and shook her head as she looked up at her lover through her eyelashes. "He will have a kitchen boy bring up a tray in two hours or so. I told him that we were quite exhausted from all of our politicking at the palace, so the boy will just knock on the door and leave the tray in the hall for us."

Elphaba smiled and pushed herself up to her feet, where she proceeded to stretch her arms languorously over her head. She smirked as she noticed the way Glinda's bright blue eyes raked over her body, the look in them unabashedly hungry and wanting, and she couldn't resist teasing her just a little. "I didn't realize today had taken so much out of you. Do you wish to nap before supper?"

"I wish," Glinda drawled, biting her lip coquettishly as she lifted her hands to play with the pearl buttons that lined the front of her dress, "to spend the rest of the day in bed with you."

"I see," Elphaba husked, her eyes focused on the way Glinda's small fingers worked her blouse open.

Glinda chuckled and made a production of opening the next button as she enjoyed the way Elphie's dark eyes seemed to grow even darker as the green girl watched her undress. "Would you care to join me or shall I entertain myself?"

Elphaba swallowed thickly and nodded as she flashed a wolfish smile at the blonde. "I would love nothing more than to spend the day in bed with you, Miss Glinda." Her eyes twinkled with mirth as Glinda chortled her amusement, and she strode purposefully across the room until she was standing right in front of the blonde. She hummed softly as she gently batted the blonde's hands away from her blouse and slid her own into their place. "Allow me," she murmured.

Glinda sighed and reached up to lightly grasp Elphie's elbows, holding the green girl close as button after button was opened. She purposefully ignored the quiet voice in the back of her mind that was whispering malevolently – telling her that she was standing on the precipice of an uncertain future and warning her that she was sprinting headlong into heartbreak – and she smiled as she lifted herself onto her toes to capture Elphie's lips in a slow, sweet kiss.

The future could wait. For now, she had everything her heart desired.


Part V: As Long As You're Mine

Glinda awoke slowly the next morning, her body lax and sated after yet another night of torpid lovemaking, to find herself alone in their small, lumpy bed. She pouted and buried her face into the pillow as she rubbed her hand over the sheets where Elphaba should have been, and she sighed as she forced her eyes open so she could determine if she had been just left alone in bed, or if Elphie had gone completely.

"I wouldn't dare leave without letting you know where I was going," Elphie said softly as she watched Glinda's arm flop rather inelegantly atop the bed. She had finally given up on attempting to sleep about thirty minutes earlier and instead made use of the quiet to attend to herself, rubbing the scented oil she used to bathe with over her skin. She had finished her legs and torso – it was a rather time consuming process as she had to wait for each part of her body to dry before she covered herself back up or else the oil would stain her clothes – and she was now sitting on the edge of the foot of the bed with a towel wrapped around her body as she began to smooth the warm liquid over her arms.

Glinda blinked sleepily and frowned with confusion. "What are you doing?"

Elphaba shrugged and looked down at her arm as she swept her hand up over her bicep to massage the oil into her shoulder. "I figured it'd be best if I at least bathed before we went to see the Wizard later this morning."

Glinda nodded slowly. She'd been introduced to her roommate's unusual routine during their journey to Oz, so she didn't need to ask what the scented oil was for. So, she instead asked, "May I help?"

Brown eyes widened with surprise as Elphaba looked up at Glinda, who was now sitting up in bed with her feet tucked under her and the sheet that had covered them as they slept was draped rather immodestly across her lap. She had been initially surprised by the blonde's blatant lack of modesty but she would be lying if she ever said that she didn't enjoy it. "You would like to help?"

"Of course," Glinda replied, smiling as she scooted toward the foot of the bed and reached for the small tube of oil that Elphaba had set onto the quilt. "In case you haven't noticed, I do rather enjoy touching you."

"I've noticed," Elphaba murmured, licking her lips as she watched the way Glinda's hands rubbed together, smoothing the oil between the blonde's palms. "In case you haven't noticed, I rather enjoy having you touch me."

Glinda smirked as she watched Elphaba's gaze become locked on her hands and she chuckled softly at the way the taller woman's head craned around to watch her as she sidled in behind her. "Oh, I've noticed, darling," she drawled. She pushed herself up onto her knees to be able to better reach the taller woman's shoulders. "And, as we are seeing the Wizard in…" her voice trailed off as she looked at the modest clock that sat atop the dresser.

"Four hours," Elphaba supplied.

"Right, four hours, we have some time to just enjoy ourselves as we try and remain relaxed before our meeting."

"Relaxed," Elphaba aped, her body sinking back into Glinda's touch as the blonde's hands worked up and down her arms in tandem. She would have loved to have responded more intelligently, as she did so enjoy the verbal repartee she and Glinda would often engage in, but she was distracted by the subtle press of the blonde's naked breasts against her.

"Yes, relaxed," Glinda purred, as she slipped her right arm over Elphaba's shoulder to untuck the flap of the green girl's towel that was shoved down between her breasts. She smirked as she let the towel drop and wasted no time leaning forward to press herself up against Elphie's back.

Elphaba shivered at the feeling of Glinda's nipples pressing into her skin and she swallowed thickly as the blonde husked in her ear, "Turn around, Elphie." She moaned softly as she did as requested, and her eyes fluttered shut as Glinda's hands immediately latched onto her breasts and began kneading them gently.

White teeth bit into a pink lip as pale hands worked atop verdant mounds, and Glinda smiled as she leaned in to brush a soft kiss across Elphaba's lips. "Lie down, sweetheart," she murmured.

"The sheets…" Elphaba protested weakly.

"We are leaving this afternoon, are we not?" Glinda asked, as she shifted her grip so that she was able to drag her thumbs over Elphaba's nipples.

"We… are," Elphaba groaned.

"Then don't worry about the sheets," Glinda purred as she pinched the forest green nubs under her hands and gave them a gentle tug. She would wire the innkeeper whatever price he wished for the sheets should he make a fuss, she just wanted to touch Elphie one last time before they left for the palace. She wanted to reassure herself that what they had was real. She needed to reassure herself that what they had was lasting. "I want you."

Elphaba groaned and dove forward, crashing her lips against Glinda's as she tangled her finger's in the blonde's hair. The kiss they shared was wet and sloppy and needy and perfect and she never wanted it to end. The hands upon her breasts began pulling and pushing against her more forcefully and she eventually allowed herself to be steered back onto the bed so that she was looking up at Glinda. "Have I ever told you that you look like an angel when you hover above me like that?"

The blonde chuckled throatily as she straddled Elphaba's waist. "Surely no angel would do this," she said, as she gave the petite mounds under her hands a good squeeze.

"Mmm, says you," Elphaba groaned, closing her eyes and arching her chest into the blonde's touch. She bit her lip and moaned softly as Glinda's fingers closed around her nipples and gave the buds a rough tweak. "I think you'd qualify."

The sight of Elphie so open beneath her still never failed to steal Glinda's breath from her chest and the blonde sucked her lower lip between her teeth as she gentled her touch upon Elphie's breasts. She stroked her fingertips lightly around the small mounds and sighed as she bent forward to capture Elphie's lips in a slow, sweet kiss. "I love you."

Elphie smiled into the kiss and reached up to grab hold of the blonde's hips. "I love you, Glinda. So much that I cannot find the words."

A low purr rumbled in Glinda's throat as she pulled back to stare into Elphie's open, honest gaze. Her heart skipped a beat at the love she saw shining up at her and she swallowed thickly as she lifted a hand to lightly trace the angular line of the green girl's jaw with the backs of her fingers. She smiled as she saw the corner of Elphie's lips quirk with amusement, or embarrassment, or both, and she sighed as she leaned in again to kiss her softly, lingering in the gentle connection as she settled herself atop her lover.

There was no reason to rush. They had four hours, after all, before they were to see the Wizard.

From the moment they managed to find their way through the maze of corridors and antechambers to the throne room the next afternoon, Glinda just knew that things weren't going to end well. It didn't help, of course, that Elphie was once again tongue-tied and staring with abject terror at the stage where an oddly-shaped, cobbled-together skeleton bounced and shook in the most obscene dance she had ever witnessed. She had to fight to keep from rolling her eyes at her companion's silence because, really, what had happened to her normally confident and well-spoken lover? What was it about this repulsive emerald palace that stole the words right from her throat? She took a deep breath as she lifted herself up onto her tiptoes, so that her mouth was at least closer to Elphaba's ear, and elbowed the taller woman sharply in the ribs as she hissed in her ear, "Elphie!"

But Elphie didn't blink or flinch or do anything to suggest that she heard her. It was incredibly frustrating for Glinda as she hadn't a clue what it was that Elphaba wanted to say to the wizard. She had come along on this impetuous journey because Elphie had seemed so close to breaking the night of Ama Clutch's funeral that the idea of saying 'no' hadn't even crossed her mind. Elphaba needed her support, so she gave it. But now… now she needed Elphie to step up and grasp the reins of responsibility because she honestly hadn't a clue what she should say to best present Elphaba's case to the Wizard.

Elphie's silence was incredibly frustrating for Glinda, as she knew their allotted time was quickly ticking away the longer they remained standing around doing nothing, and she decided with a rather annoyed huff to try and get the ball rolling for them with the hope that Elphaba would soon be able to jump in and direct the conversation where she wanted it to go. Of course, once she had decided to take charge for the time being, the issue became, where should she look? And whom should she address? Surely she wasn't expected to speak to the ridiculous skeleton that was now turned away from them and jovially slapping its own backside?

She shook her head. No. She had too much pride to reduce herself to that.

So she took a deep breath and instead directed her attention to the darker than average area that was just to the left of the stage. "I'm Glinda Upland from Froticca, if you please, your Highness."

The Wizard's voice boomed around them. "And if I don't please?"

Glinda didn't even bother to try and not roll her eyes at that, and even had she wanted to contain the scoff of annoyance that fell from her lips she wouldn't have been able to. "Seriously? How like a child," she muttered under her breath.

The only positive thing about the completely juvenile exchange was that it seemed to snap Elphaba from her trance and the green girl stood straighter as she addressed the throne. The stage. The dais.


"I'm Elphaba Thropp, and we come from Shiz with important information," she said in a loud, remarkably steady voice.

Of course, that was news to Glinda – she hadn't realized they had important information to share, she just thought that Elphie wanted to entreat upon the Wizard to reconsider the Banns. She turned to gape at her lover in surprise but Elphie ignored her and continued speaking as if she hadn't interrupted.

However, where Glinda had hoped that Elphaba taking charge of the conversation would direct it toward serious and intelligent topics, the complete opposite happened. The Wizard completely disregarded Elphie's opening statement out of hand, claiming to know all about Doctor Dillamond's research and debunking it as being nothing but Animal propaganda. And, as if that virtual backhand to the legacy of Doctor Dillamond and his brilliant, ground-breaking research weren't enough of an insult to Elphaba's pride and loyalty, from that point the conversation somehow managed to take a turn toward the absurd that even Crope and Tibbett would have been amazed by.

Whereas Glinda was annoyed and, admittedly, a little confused by the Wizard's response, Elphaba was completely stunned by his refusal to discuss facts and scientific results. Etiquette dictated that she not speak over the Wizard so she remained quiet, but when he began talking about his desire to hear the latest gossip, she was struck mute with fury. Gossip! As if they were Glinda's ridiculous cronies back at Shiz. All fluff and no substance. It was insulting. Insulting that, after the ordeal they had to endure just to be allotted four measly minutes of his time, that he wanted to gossip and lecture them like they were a couple of brainless idiots.

The entire experience was demeaning and offensive, and Elphaba felt her ire rise with every ridiculous word that fell from the Wizard's mouth. Wherever it was. The fact that he couldn't even find the grace to address them directly as he lectured was another point of contention to Elphie and she seethed as she stared at the ridiculous stage production being put on in front of them, glaring daggers at the stupid toy skeleton tap that was now dancing in a manufactured rainstorm to the beat of artificial thunder.

She ground her teeth together as her anger pulsed violently through her, and her hands shook with the effort it took her to not reach out and completely dismantle the Wizard's pet skeleton that was now pulling its teeth from its head and tossing them onto the empty throne. Each tooth landed in a rainbow colored explosion and seemed to shout at her the truth that was no longer undeniable.

The wizard didn't care about what was right. He only cared about maintaining his power and control over Oz.

"Beware whom you serve," the Wizard's voice boomed, and then the entire farce of a presentation ended.

Bile rose in Elphaba's throat and she swallowed it down thickly as tears stung at her eyes. She blinked them back instinctively and glared at the stage that was now silent. Silence descended upon them and the only sound to be heard in the entire room was that of the water from the Wizard's earlier display of a rainstorm dripping wetly down the drain in the middle of the dais. She found it utterly appalling that he actually believed that this mockery of a demonstration counted as governing anything, and she couldn't believe how naïve she had been to think that being in charge meant taking care of every citizen under your power to ensure that they thrived.

It was the feeling of Glinda's small hand wrapping itself around her elbow that finally drew her eyes away from the empty, dripping dais, and she nodded as she felt the blonde tug at her arm. A soft sigh fell from her lips as she turned her back on the Wizard's throne and she recognized the gesture as being symbolic of the fact that her heart and mind had already done the same thing.

She allowed Glinda to guide her out of the throne room and through the myriad of corridors and antechambers until they were once again standing in the Commander-General's office. She didn't meet the secretary's eye as she passed by his desk to silently pull their bags from the wardrobe in which they'd stored them. She handed Glinda the smallest of the bags and took the other two herself as she nodded tightly at the blonde and tipped her head at the door.

It was time to go.

Glinda kept a wary eye on Elphaba as they stepped through the front gates of the palace. They hadn't spoken a word since they were so rudely dismissed by the Wizard, but she could practically feel Elphie's anger radiating off of her in waves. She wanted to do something, to say something to take away her lover's pain, but for the life of her she hadn't a clue what she should do. She didn't know what words she could utter that Elphaba would accept.

Of course, Elphaba never gave her the chance to say anything. As soon as they were clear of the Gale Force guards who were manning the front gate of the ostentatiously pretentious emerald palace Elphaba muttered, "Well, at least we should still be able to make the three o'clock carriage."

Glinda frowned. She had expected Elphaba to rant and rave about the Wizard's refusal to listen to her case. She expected, not tears, exactly, because she knew how Elphie rarely cried because of the pain involved with the act, but she expected some sort of response. Some sign that her impassioned, intelligent, fiery lover still had some fight left in her. Yes, she had been prepared for a multitude of things, but certainly not this apparent apathy that Elphaba had seemed to adopt. "And you are okay with that?" she asked gently.

Elphaba bit her lip and nodded, but couldn't force herself to meet Glinda's gaze. She knew that she would never be able to look the blonde in the eye and lie. The Wizard's outright refusal to listen to reason left her no viable options except the extreme, and she knew what her next step would have to be. She also knew that she could never ask Glinda to take that step with her. No matter how much she loved the blonde – and she loved her with every molecule of her being, to the point that even contemplating leaving her was making her heart ache as if it were being ripped in two – she couldn't ask Glinda go with her to seek out the resistance. No, Glinda didn't deserve a life on the run as a rebel against the Wizard.

Though Glinda wasn't above playing dumb to gain an advantage, she was far from a fool and she knew that Elphaba was keeping something from her. She knew it from the way Elphie refused to meet her gaze, and she knew it by the way her sixth sense was tingling – telling her in no uncertain terms that something bad was going to happen, and that it was going to happen soon. She pulled the taller woman to a stop in the middle of the crowded street so she could look at her. "Are you okay?"

Elphaba smiled sadly and nodded. "I am as well as can be expected," she answered honestly. She wasn't fine at all, but she was doing as well as anyone could possibly presume to be when faced with the prospect that they would soon be forever separated from the woman they believed to be their soulmate.

Glinda frowned and tilted her head to the side questioningly as she gazed into Elphie's guarded eyes. She reached up with her left hand, the one that wasn't weighed down with her luggage, to gently cup the taller woman's face in her palm. Her heart stumbled in her chest at the look of resignation and pain that flashed across the green girl's face as she turned into her touch, and she couldn't help but whisper, "Talk to me, Elphie."

Elphaba closed her eyes to block the view of Glinda's pleading eyes and sighed. "Later, my sweet. We need to hurry if we're to make the carriage in time."

It was obvious that there was something more to Elphie's mood, something dark and twisted and mysterious that was lurking inside her mind, but Glinda naïvely hoped that whatever it was, Elphie would talk to her about it later. So, rather than pushing the issue then and there, in the middle of a crowded street as strangers bustled about around them, Glinda simply nodded and lifted herself up onto her toes so that she could brush a soft kiss across the verdant lips she so adored. "I love you."

Elphaba swallowed thickly and whispered, "I love you, Glinda." She sniffed softly as she leaned in to kiss the blonde again and she tried her best to smile as she pulled away, though it ended up looking more like a grimace. "Come now. We mustn't dawdle if we're to make it to the station in time to board," she said, holding out an elbow for Glinda to tuck her hand into.

They somehow managed to not only make it to the platform in time to board, but there was also enough time for Elphaba to go off in search of food to hold them over for the afternoon ride; and Glinda took her spot on the forward-facing bench and fought off everyone who dared attempt to steal the seat next to her. That seat was for Elphaba and, though she was disappointed that they hadn't been able to accomplish much in regards to the Animals, she was far from disappointed in how their journey ultimately played out.

How could she be, when she had managed to find the woman with whom she had every intention of spending the rest of her life with?

Her eyes widened and she sat up straighter in her seat as she spotted Elphaba pushing her way through the crowd, her sharp elbows flying at anyone who dared step in her way as her drab black cape whipped wildly in the wind behind her. She smiled as Elphie leapt onto the side-step of the carriage and instinctively inched to the side to make more room for her.

Her smile fell, however, when a small loaf of bread, an orange, and a lump of cheese was thrust into her hands. "Elphie?"

"This will have to hold you until dinner," Elphaba said, glancing somewhat apologetically at the meager rations.

Glinda gaped. "Me? Me?" she spluttered. "What about you?" she demanded, ignoring the way the driver was impatiently snapping the reins at the front of the carriage, and her heart felt like it shattered into a million pieces at the sad smile Elphaba gave her.

"I expect I'll be eating something worse," Elphaba murmured, glancing up at the driver who was now waving and hollering at her to either get in or get off. "This is goodbye, my sweet. I'm not going to go back with you to Crage Hall."

Glinda shook her head in disbelief as she reached for her lover's hands and she felt her breath catch in her throat at the way Elphie pulled away from her. "Elphie! NO!"

Elphaba closed her eyes and took a deep breath, steeling her will to say the words she needed to say. "You'll be all right." She opened her eyes and felt her heart clench at the tears that were beginning to build in Glinda's eyes. She had wanted to leave Glinda with that, with a positive thought that she would be okay in the long run, but she couldn't resist leaning through the window to press one last lingering kiss to the blonde's lips. "Hold out, my sweet. Hold out if you can," she murmured, kissing her one last time before she jumped back to the ground and took off into the crowd, desperate to find some kind of privacy before her tears spilled over and she cried even harder because of the pain that resulted from shedding them.

Glinda stared out the window at Elphie's retreating form, giant tears coursing down her face as she watched her love disappear into the throng of meandering Ozians that filled the small square. Her heart, already shattered, somehow managed to break even further as she lost sight of her love's black cape and she sobbed as she felt the carriage jerked into motion.

Elphaba was gone, and she was sitting in a carriage that was headed back to Shiz and a life she no longer wanted.

"NO!" The word was torn from her throat without thought and she covered her mouth with her hand to hide her shock. And then the flimsy dam that was holding back her emotions broke and she jumped to her feet as she started shouting and banging on the door of the carriage, "NO! STOP THE CARRIAGE! STOP! NOW! PLEASE! NO!"

Her frantic screaming must have been enough to gain the driver's attention because he yanked on the reins to jerk the horses pulling the coach to a loud, whinnying halt and bellowed, "WHAT IN THE NAME OF OZMA IS THE PROBLEM IN THERE?"

But Glinda didn't hear him. She was instead fighting with the lock on the inside of the carriage door, a task that was made more difficult by the tears that blurred her vision, and she sobbed with relief when she finally managed to throw it open. She leapt to the ground, her heeled boots landing with a loud thwack on the cobblestone street, and she took off running in the direction she'd seen Elphaba go, her only conscious thought being that she had to find her.

She screamed Elphie's name over and over at the top of her lungs as she ran pell-mell through the crowed, and paid absolutely no mind to the stares her antics received. A part of her was aware enough to realize that she must have looked quite mad running through the streets and shouting at the top of her lungs, but she could honestly care less what all these faceless strangers thought of her.

She needed to find Elphaba.

She had to find Elphaba.

Her tears were blinding her and she was thankful for the fact that her bizarre behavior had everybody jumping out of her way. She ran and ran, screaming for her lover with every step, and she let out a loud oompf when she smacked into a hard body that hadn't had the foresight to get out of her way. She pushed at the obviously oblivious person and slapped at their shoulders roughly as they wrapped their arms around her waist to keep her upright as she shook with the force of her sobs. "Please get out of my way, I have to find her! Please! Let me go! I need her! I have to stop her!"

And then the unidentified person in front of her spoke, and she felt her knees give way. "No you don't, my sweet. I'm right here. I've got you. I'm right here."

Glinda rubbed her tears from her eyes and looked up into her lover's face, which was shining with tears much the same as she knew hers had to be. She shook her head and reached up to cradle Elphie's angular jaw in her hands, holding the taller woman still as she made sure that she was really there and that she wasn't hallucinating. Her heart soared in her chest and she felt a fresh set of tears spring forth as she realized that Elphie was really there in front of her, this time from relief rather than sorrow, and she did the first thing that came to mind.

She pulled back and punched Elphaba soundly in the chest. "HOW DARE YOU LEAVE ME LIKE THAT!" She punched her again as her tears coursed hotly down her cheeks. "HOW DARE YOU!" Another punch, this time to the taller woman's shoulder, as her body shook with anger and frustration. "YOU LEFT ME!"

Elphaba fought to control Glinda's wildly swinging fists and finally ended up wrapping the smaller woman in a crushing embrace, pinning the blonde's arms between their bodies. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry," she murmured softly, over and over again against the blonde's ear as she rocked them both from side to side.

Glinda's wracking sobs eased as she sank into the familiarity of Elphie's embrace and she stopped struggling against her hold as what fight had been in her evaporated. "You left me. I can't believe you left me."

"I didn't want to," Elphaba murmured, her voice ringing with regret. "I didn't want to, my sweet. It was for the best. You don't deserve my fate, beautiful girl. You deserve so much more than the life that I am destined to lead."

Glinda swallowed thickly and leaned in to wipe her face off on Elphaba's cape, thinking that, after the hell she went through watching her walk away, the least the woman could do was let her do was dirty her clothes a bit. She took a deep breath as she looked up into her lover's eyes and shook her head defiantly at her. "You don't get to choose my fate, Elphie," she husked, her voice rough from screaming and crying.

Elphaba nodded and ducked her head, properly chastised. "I know, my sweet. But…"

"No buts," Glinda interrupted, reaching out to place a silencing finger upon Elphaba's lips. "Do you remember what you told me back in Shiz before we even left on this harebrained journey?"

It took Elphaba a minute to recall what she'd said, and she licked her lips and nodded as she finally remembered. "I told you that we were going to see the Wizard come what may and hell to pay."

Glinda nodded and smiled. "Yes. And do you remember what you told me when we were cuddled together in that tiny bed on the last night of our journey here?"

Elphaba nodded. "That we would face the future together."

"Exactly," Glinda murmured, leaning in and brushing the softest of kisses across Elphaba's lips. "Together. As in, you and I." She smiled as she kissed Elphie again, beyond relieved that she actually could do it. "Look at me," she cajoled gently.

Sorrowful brown eyes lifted to meet determined blue and Elphaba sighed. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

"Me too," Glinda breathed, tears brimming in her eyes as she stood on tiptoe to kiss Elphaba again. "But, remember this – so long as you're mine-" she smiled and arched a brow challengingly at the taller woman in a way that let her know that that would be for a very, very long time "-come what may and hell to pay, we will face the future together."

Elphaba smiled and dropped her forehead to rest against Glinda's. "I love you."

"I love you too, you silly, impulsive thing," Glinda murmured. "And don't you forget it."

"I won't," Elphaba breathed. She pulled Glinda into her and tucked the smaller woman's head under her chin. "I won't."

The End

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