The Suffering of Incapability by Chudley Cannon
Disclaimer: Maguire and Baum own these characters and story - sucks for me.
Notes: While trying to work on chapter three of "The Week of Ill Repute," I hit a block and wrote this instead for three reasons - 1) I love Gelphie, 2) I'm creepy and 3) there was an insane desire within me to attempt to decipher bits of Glinda's characterization, this beautiful and wonderful character that Maguire made so frustratingly ambiguous - so as to drive me crazy, I think.
Elphaba was a careless lover, a sometimes mean lover, an always secret lover. Glinda would come into their room at late hours and she would never know what she was facing, what sort of mood her Elphie would be in. Elphie was often reading and sometimes she would not greet Glinda when she entered or sometimes she would grunt some sort of indeterminable greeting, and other times she might look up and say "Hello" and even smile. All times, though, Glinda would undress and dress in her nightclothes and slide into bed, and would not know exactly what sort of mood Elphie was in unless the green girl eventually put her book aside and slipped into bed with her. She would kiss her on the forehead and be as sweet as she was capable and then they would make love, sometimes for hours, sometimes not. If Elphie enjoyed it, she would stay with Glinda and hold her close and kiss her hair and her neck and her ears and anywhere else that struck her fancy. If she had not enjoyed it, which happened several times, she would quietly slip out and go to her own bed and mumble a good-night. Glinda always enjoyed it and she always waited and hoped that Elphaba would join her in bed every night.
And she learned early on that she could never request that Elphaba join her, for that was a surefire way to keep Elphie out of her bed. "Elphie, aren't you going to come over here?" she'd ask, and even if it was on a day that Elphie had greeted her with a hello and a smile, the green girl would still look up from her book with mild surprise and annoyance and say, "Well, dear girl, don't I look to be reading?" And so if, at this point, Glinda thought to say, "Well, after you're done reading, then – will you join me?" Elphaba would reply with a scathing, "No, I expect to be tired then, and will go to sleep."
And she would do exactly that and Glinda would lie in bed and feel sad and rejected and pretend that tomorrow, when they were getting ready for class or something, she would casually say to Elphie, 'I don't think this is working – let's just be friends.' She imagined a big scene where she, Glinda, was composed and cool and casually tossed heartbreaking lines around like Elphie did, and that Elphaba would fall to pieces and beg for Glinda to not leave her. 'I promise anything!' she would cry. 'I'll be your willing slave, my lovely and perfect Glinda, anything! Just do not leave me!' And Glinda, who saw herself as a very benign and forgiving person would consider and then say, 'All right, Elphie. I will not leave you. But you must never refuse me anything.' And Elphaba would agree.
When morning came, though, Glinda did no such thing and would forgive Elphaba entirely when she would come over to Glinda and kiss her on the cheek and say, "Have a good class, then, and see you for tea," because Glinda would blush and giggle and be silly for her entire trek to class.
This night, however, Elphaba had greeted her with one of her customary grunts and so Glinda did not know what sort of mood she was in, so she climbed into bed and wondered what would ever happen if she just, one day, slid into Elphie's bed and caught her off guard and seduced her. Glinda admitted, of course, that she lacked the necessary skills it took to seduce someone, but she was willing to try. She was just thinking about how to properly go about doing this and had imagined a scene of getting out of bed and tripping over something on her way over, when Elphaba's book closed and she put out her light.
Glinda held her breath and let it out in a slow whoosh of air when she heard the sound of Elphie's feet on the floor, nearing closer, and then the covers pulled back and Elphaba slipped in and whispered a "Hello" and wrapped her arm around Glinda's shoulders. The blonde girl snuggled happily against her and smiled when that wonderful kiss was bestowed upon her forehead, and here came the small-talk part.
"What did you read?" asked Glinda as Elphaba undressed her, and the girl answered distractedly, "The textbook. We have exams coming up."
"What sort of exams?"
"The life science type that doesn't involve silly, frivolous things like floating candles across a room," replied Elphaba, kissing the spot behind Glinda's ear that made her lose her breath.
"We're done with candles," said Glinda defensively, sliding her hands up Elphaba's nightgown and rubbed her back for circulation. "We've moved onto larger things, like furniture."
"Oh, that's fine. It is no doubt representative of your stature of having moved onto bigger and better things. I do hope this skill proves useful for you."
"Perhaps I'll move my bed next to yours. Won't that be useful?" She giggled against Elphie's mouth as the girl sucked on her lower lip, skimming one cool hand down the flesh of her abdomen, leaving goose bumps in its wake. "Your hands are cold."
"I won't even dignify that with a response," said Elphaba as her lips moved lower and her lips were not cold at all. Warm even, and moist and lovely. All Glinda could see was the top of her head, the long, luxurious black hair that tickled and aroused her naked flesh and smelled of everything good and different that was Elphaba. "It will never be determined whether it is my hands that are cold or your skin that is overheated, so let us not discuss it further."
"Huh?" said Glinda, who had not remembered what they were talking about. She trembled. Elphie's hair was like silk sliding down her body, lower and lower, like being wrapped in silk sheets. Like making love with silk.
They made love and Elphie kept her hand over Glinda's mouth because she was loud and although Nanny was half-deaf, Nessarose wasn't and there had been questions ("Why does she moan so? Are they nightmares? Do you abuse her, Elphaba?") so Elphie would shush her as she cried out and say, "Quiet, you silly girl; this is no time for such noises," and Glinda would try her very, very best to be quiet.
She would cry, usually, out of happiness or sorrow she did not know. Elphie would dry her tears with the edge of the sheet and kiss her and they would cling together. Sometimes Glinda would say stupid things like, "I love you," and that would make Elphaba all quiet. So Glinda would pretend she didn't mean it and hum quietly to herself. It was only a song she had begun to sing, not an admission. She would wrap herself around Elphie and it felt good that Elphie was perhaps a bit too skinny and her ribs would poke, but it felt good. And it felt good to lay her head upon Elphie chest and hear her heartbeat because sometimes she truly wondered about that.
She was never able to watch Elphie sleep, for she was would not drop off until it seemed Glinda was asleep, and in the morning when Glinda awoke, she was already out of bed and dressed. And so Glinda had plans, schemes, where she thought she might be able to catch Elphie sleeping and so would pretend to sleep, eyes closed, body curled. She'd even pretend to dream and would mumble nonsensical things so as to add to the realism of it. But her Elphie was too smart, too logical, and when Glinda would venture an eye open to see if perhaps her ruse had worked and Elphie had dropped off, she'd find herself looking into the dark eyes of someone wide-awake, someone with a smile that was perhaps loving, perhaps adoring, perhaps amused... and the smile would say, "Lovely, beautiful girl. Go to sleep." A hand would run over her mussed curls. Glinda had no choice but to go to sleep and try another day.
She did not understand this event, this idea, for surely before she and Elphie had begun their affair, she had looked at the green girl sleeping countless times. Sometimes Elphie would doze off into her book and Glinda would come in and find her hunched, neck crooked, book open. This had not happened since the beginning of their tryst and she regretted never having properly looked at the image and filed it away.
Theirs was a passionate, secretive, quiet affair that was not apparent or even thought of in the daytime and became irresistible in the nighttime. For a moment in time, these two lives coexisted separately, where Glinda could almost forget during the day and could lose herself in Elphie at night. When the day came that these lives could no longer coexist for her, when her night life began to bleed into her day life, she became worried. She could not sit next to Elphaba when they would join their friends for lunch or dinner because the girl's proximity made her tremble and want her. It was difficult to go for walks with Nessarose and Nanny for sometimes Elphaba would stand too close and perhaps her hair would brush against Glinda's arm and Glinda would become flustered and lightheaded, much to her mortification. It was a giddy, girlish feeling like that of your first childhood infatuation, but much, much more. It left her breathless to think about, it left her inarticulate and stupid. She loathed and adored it all at once.
One night, it was too much to handle and the tears came far too quick to warn Elphie about and they stung the poor girl's upper arm, of where Glinda had nestled her face against. Elphie sat up and cursed and Glinda warbled apologies, but she could not keep the tears at bay. It was ridiculous, embarrassing even. "What is it, poor dear?" whispered Elphie into her ear when they had settled back down and Glinda had attempted to dry her eyes.
"Oh, Elphie Elphie," she cried. "I love you too much! It's too much, Elphie, it is, and I want you to say you love me back, that you could love me back. Oh, do you? Could you?"
Elphaba was quiet and her stature had not changed. It was as if Glinda had proposed a question akin to 'What's the weather to be like tomorrow?' and it had not had one ounce of effect on Elphaba at all. She was contemplative and pensive as always and Glinda shivered against her because her skin was cold and because she wanted to be loved.
And Elphie said, "My sweet Glinda, you are too beautiful for me to love. You are lovely and wonderful and have earned the love of many, and will no doubt earn the love of many more in years to come. But don't you see?" And here she kissed away the tears that were forming against Glinda's eyes, ignoring the burn against her lips, willing that the pain be equal between them. "It is beyond my capacity to love someone such as you. I'm incapable of it. Please, don't ask again."
She didn't. They continued as they always had and Glinda held her tongue. She thought it often enough and it would bring her to tears, but she never said it aloud and that was for the best. They went on and one day went to the Emerald City, where Elphie left her. And years passed and Elphaba had fallen swiftly and painfully in love with Fiyero and Glinda found herself married and realized that she too, maybe, perhaps – she was incapable of love now, as well.