A/N: Feedback is very much appreciated! :)

It was late when Glinda arrived at her room in Crage Hall. So late, in fact, that Elphaba had long since returned from her evening visit to the library and was settled into her bed for the night. She had even changed into her nightgown and crawled under her covers with a book. But one thing stopped her from focusing on the words.

Where in Oz was Glinda?

The blonde was always back first, usually before the sun had completely set. Yet it had been dark for hours, and still there was no sign of here. Elphaba put her book down with a sigh and rubbed her forehead. Where was she? Did something happen? Should she go look for her?

But before she could do anything more than get out of bed, the door had opened and in walked a short, tiny blonde.

"Where have you been?" Elphaba cried, throwing her hands up in exasperation.

Glinda ignored her green friend and closed the door behind her. The room was dim, the only light coming from a lamp between the beds. She turned her head away, trying to hide her face from her roommate.


The blonde walked over to her desk and set her bag down. Her shoulders were hunched and her hair hung limply around her face. "I…I lost track of time. That's all."

"You're lying," Elphaba said. But her voice had softened, and when she walked over and grabbed Glinda's shoulder, it was with all the tenderness in the world. "What happened?"

The blonde spun without warning and buried her face into Elphaba's chest. She mumbled something, but the words were thick with tears and muffled by the dark nightgown. Still, it wasn't hard for the green girl to guess what had happened. She wrapped her arms around Glinda and pulled her closer.

"Don't listen to them," she said softly, pressing her lips to golden hair. "Those girls are completely obsessed with gossip, but that doesn't make any of it true."

"H-how could they hate me so fast?" Glinda cried. "What did I ever do to them?"

You stopped conforming, Elphaba thought. But instead of saying that, she leaned down and kissed the blonde's temple. "You know it's not your fault, Glinda. And the people who really matter…they know it, too."

Glinda didn't answer. She just wrapped her arms around Elphaba's waist and inhaled the scent of fresh wood. After a minute or two the green girl pulled back. She cupped Glinda's face in her hands and wiped away the last of the tears, ignoring the blonde's mumbled protests about her water allergy.

"Come on. It's late. Let's get you ready for bed. Okay?"

For a moment, Glinda just stood there, losing herself in Elphaba's voice. It was low and coarse, yet somehow still gentle and smooth, like water gliding over rocks in the bottom of a stream. The sound and pitch was mildly intoxicating, and the blonde was content to let her head spin with it all. But Elphaba was watching her, concern growing in her eyes, so she bit her lip and blinked a few times.

"Right. Bed." Glinda let the green girl go, but not before standing up on her toes and pressing a kiss to her dark green lips. Elphaba's fingers reached for her as she walked away, not wanting to let her go.

Glinda slipped into the bathroom and changed quickly into her nightdress. The air was too cold without Elphaba. She could still hear her used-to-be friends' taunting, the horrible names they called her and her roommate…

The blonde shook her head and looked in the mirror. She scowled slightly at her reflection. Her eyes were red and puffy. Her makeup was smudged. Her hair had fallen out of its elegant twist and was hanging messily around her tear-stained face. She wrapped her arms around herself and walked out of the bathroom, holding back more tears. Glinda had once been the prettiest girl at Shiz, and now—

A green hand cupped her chin and tilted her face up, and suddenly she was losing herself in rich brown eyes. A warm light danced in Elphaba's gaze, and Glinda could just make out her reflection. That's when she realized it. She was still beautiful. No, she was even more beautiful now, because Elphaba saw who she really was. Elphaba knew everything about the blonde, and yet she still looked at her like she was the most precious thing in the world.

And just like that, Glinda melted.

She put a hand on the back of the emerald neck and brought their lips together, whimpering softly as Elphaba instantly deepened the kiss. She felt hands at her waist, pulling her closer, and she wove her fingers into the silky raven hair.

The girls moved back until they were sitting on top of Glinda's bed, leaning in to each other. Glinda could feel her heart pounding, beating away the hurt of all the gossip. Her hand moved to Elphaba's shoulder, then slid down to rest over her heart. She smiled slightly when she felt the rapid pulse.

Elphaba tightened her grip on Glinda and pulled her closer, pressing their bodies together. Glinda clung to her, exploring their interlocked lips with her tongue. Elphaba let out a soft moan, and the blonde nearly hummed with bliss.

But all too soon, it was over. Glinda let out a small sigh as Elphaba's mouth left hers. The green girl smiled as she pulled away. "You're tired, my sweet. I am, too." She made to stand, but a pale hand grabbed her wrist.

"Don't go," Glinda said softly, the weight of her empty bed already pressing down on her. "Stay with me."

Her whisper filled the room and left Elphaba with no choice. Her brown eyes were glowing as she settled down again, pulling the blonde close. "Always," she breathed.

Glinda had never felt safer than she was at that moment. Green arms curled around her, hugging her to Elphaba's chest. They breathed in unison, the blanket rising and falling with one steady motion. Elphaba shifted one hand to Glinda's head, running her fingers through the shining curls. It wasn't long until both girls were asleep, wrapped together in an embrace that could keep out all of Oz.

Glinda had never felt happier than she did at that very moment. She could feel her best friend's arms around her long before she was fully awake. When she finally opened her eyes, the sunrise was shining through the window, painting their room a thousand different shades of gold and purple. It was a Saturday, which meant most of Shiz was still asleep. In their quiet room, it felt as if they were the only people in the world. And for the moment, the blonde was perfectly fine with that.

Elphaba's arms squeezed her gently, letting her know she was awake. Glinda ran her fingers up and down the green skin, smiling when her roommate shivered slightly. Everything was perfect. From the sunrise, to the quiet peacefulness, to the embrace that made her feel safe, comforted, loved.

"I love you, Elphaba," Glinda whispered.

The arms around her tensed.

Glinda turned around, staring up at her roommate's face. The green girl sat up, looking away. "I, uh…" She cleared her throat and jumped up from the bed. One hand flew to her hair, pushing it away from her face. Glinda felt her chest squeeze. How could she have been so stupid?

"Elphie." The blonde reached out and grabbed Elphaba's wrist before she could start pacing. "Look at me."

Her roommate swallowed, eyes glued to the floor.

"Elphie, you don't have to say it."

"I'm sorry," she mouthed, but no sound came out. She still wouldn't look up.

Glinda shook her head, standing up. She put a hand to Elphaba's cheek and tilted her head so they were facing each other. "Don't be. I love you. I want you to know that. But you don't have to say it back."

The dark eyes widened, just a little bit. "I…"

Glinda sat back down on her bed, patting the spot next to her. Elphaba's eyes flashed around the room. She didn't sit, but her fingers caught Glinda's and didn't let go.

"I just…" Elphaba's free hand came up to hug her elbow. "I've never told anyone…and no one's ever said to me…"

The blonde furrowed her brow. "No one? What about Nessa? Or Nanny?"

The green girl simply shook her head, her eyes darkening. Silence hung in the room.

Finally, Glinda had had enough. She tightened her grip on Elphaba's hand and tugged. The green girl let out a surprised yelp and fell onto the bed next to her. "Wha—?"

Before she could even finish the question, Glinda's lips met hers. Her hands cupped the green face, pulling her close. She pulled away after a long moment, giggling at the dazed look in the dark eyes.

Glinda pressed her forehead to Elphaba's, growing serious once more. "Then I'll say it now, and I don't care about a response. Elphaba Thropp, you are my best friend, my favorite person in all of Oz. And if I could take away every hardship you've had or will have to face, I would do it with a flick of my wand. But in a way, I'm glad that I can't. Because everything that you have endured, and everything that we've endured together," she laced her fingers through Elphaba's once more, "Has led to this moment. This beautiful, perfect moment where I can be alone with you—" She kissed the green cheek "—and hold you—" Her hand squeezed gently as her lips brushed Elphaba's jaw "—and kiss you—" Her lips met green, and Elphaba made a soft sound, somewhere between a sigh and a whimper "—and tell you I love you." Glinda pulled away only slightly, keeping their faces within inches of each other. She stared into Elphaba's eyes, losing herself in the tendrils of black and dark golden tinge and the endless warm brown.

Elphaba could feel her heart pounding as she searched Glinda's face. "I…" Once again, she faltered, but this time it was due to the fact that she had met the fathomless sapphire eyes, sparkling at her, welcoming her in a way no one ever had before. Maybe Elphaba couldn't say anything, but she suddenly had an answer. She leaned forward and kissed Glinda, wrapping her arms around the blonde. One hand stayed at the small of her back while the other found its place in the golden hair. She could feel Glinda melt, and it wasn't long before she opened her mouth and deepened the kiss. Her own hands moved up the skinny green body, fingers twirling in the raven hair and tracing the curve of her collar bone, her arched cheeks and sharp jaw.

They pulled back, both girls panting. "I love you," Glinda mouthed. The sunlight danced in her eyes.

Elphaba nodded, then kissed her again.