It was December. A blanket of new snow had fallen over Shiz leading to an appearance similar to that of a childhood winter wonderland. The trees were frosted in white, and cheeks were dusted pink and a laughter and merriment filled the air. It was soon to be time for Lurlinemas, time to go home for a well deserved break from hectic college life. The students joked and caroused, throwing snowballs and decorating rooms for the upcoming celebrations.
Elphaba hurried to her room, eager to get out of the cold air, and to rid herself of the boots that were slowly becoming wet with snow. She turned the key and entered; a quick glance around told her that Galinda had beaten her there, as the girl had placed herself gently in between the two beds on the floor with numerous books and pages spread around her. Elphaba was well aware of a silent pact the girls had made to keep to themselves, a pact which she was very pleased with, as it almost always assured a quiet environment that was perfect to read in. She walked past Galinda and set her books down before changing into drier shoes.
She took out one of her textbooks and began to work on the same tedious assignment she assumed Galinda was straining herself over as well. She looked it over, deciding it wasn't nearly has awful as she'd thought it was, and began to plow through it. She stood up nearly an hour later, and stretched, and when she had cleared her notes away from her bed, she laid back down with a book.
Galinda glanced over to her roommate, who had already become transfixed by the text in front of her. She bit her lip and looked back down at her notes, scrunching her forehead. Droughts and the many rebellions, it was all quite complicated and for the first time she found herself envying the green girl, though only for her ability to absorb limitless amounts of information and spew it back flawlessly on to a sheet of paper several days later. The words looked foreign to her, a tongue she could see but was not able to comprehend.
She knew they had an exam the next day on the material the class had been covering in the past week. She could understand enough of it, but when it came to explaining her thoughts, her attempts became fatal tries to string words together and she had become quite irritated by it.
Galinda looked back over to Elphaba, who had not moved since the last time Galinda had checked on her. She was so curled it looked almost uncomfortable, knees pushed to her chest in such a tight ball Galinda briefly wondered if she'd ever be able to unravel herself.
"Miss Elphaba?" her voice was soft, uncertain, as though she'd never spoken before.
Elphaba looked up at the noise, a confused expression etched upon her face. The dark eyes settled on the ridiculous heap of pink ruffles and she raised an eyebrow, allowing herself to chuckle at the absurdity of her roommate's choice of wardrobe.
Galinda winced, her pride that was already hurt at the prospect of asking the green girl for help was now shattered because the latter had laughed at her. Her cheeks flushed and she bowed her head, turning away.
"Never mind," the voice softer now than it had been before.
Elphaba rolled her eyes, "No no, what is it then?"
Galinda looked back up cautiously, then down at her scattered papers, motioning a manicured hand towards them.
"I don't get it."
Elphaba looked down at her bewildered roommate from her perch on the bed, as if contemplating how to handle the situation. Galinda's face was one of apprehension, one of someone treading on unstable ground, her face a mixture of nervousness and embarrassment, as though she wished she hadn't asked for help at all.
"What don't you get?"
Galinda chuckled uneasily, twirling a blonde lock around her fingers. Her first conversation with her roommate was not supposed to be concentrated on one of her weak spots.
"All of it."
Elphaba's eyes widened in disbelief and slight annoyance as she looked down over her nose at the blonde girl on the floor.
"We have an exam tomorrow, Miss Galinda, why didn't you ask for help earlier?"
Galinda bit her lip and shrugged, running a delicate hand over the carpet.
Elphaba sighed and closed her book before lowering herself down to the floor opposite Galinda. She turned some of the papers around so she could read them right-side up and glanced over the homework she knew Galinda couldn't understand.
"You're timeline is horribly out of order. It goes like this."
Galinda crawled over to sit beside Elphaba as the green girl rearranged her pieces of paper and spent many hours answering all questions that tumbled endlessly from the pink glossed lips. Elphaba continued to explain, in detail, the effects of the Wizard's reign when she looked over to see the top of a curled blonde head. The girl's head drooped to her chest and Elphaba gave her a slight tap on the shoulder.
"What? I'm awake! I'm listening," The blonde head shot up and the blue eyes flew open, and then shut halfway again.
Elphaba was not irritated that her words had gone unheard, but quite amused at the flustered, yet exhausted, state of her roommate. The clock on Galinda's nightstand told her it was well past 2 in the morning, and she looked back at the girl who was beginning to drift off again.
"All right, all right, go to sleep," Elphaba chuckled when Galinda looked drowsily at her and murmured a barely coherent "Whuh?"
Elphaba stood up and stretched, four long green limbs extended then relaxed as one does when one just awakes. She bent down and scooped the near-sleeping girl off the floor and carried her toward the pink bed. The girl clung to Elphaba's sleeve in her state of near unconsciousness and felt a giving, comfortable mattress underneath her at last. She felt her shoes pulled gently off her feet and a blanket tucked around her tired frame. She felt her fingers untangled from the black fabric of Elphaba's dress, and she heard the 'click' as the lights went out.
The days passed, and though the tension in the room had been lifted sufficiently, neither girl had made a decent conversation that did not involve school in some form. Galinda had gotten a high mark on her test, and had shown it to Elphaba, a beaming proud smile on her face, and Elphaba had smiled slightly, though Galinda could hardly tell if it was real or not. But Elphaba was proud. Proud that the girl had done well, and proud that she had taken the information Elphaba had given her and used it on her own as well. It certainly showed improvement.
It was a week or so later, and the sun had already begun to set as Galinda paused in the doorway, looking back at Elphaba who was once again curled in an almost fetal position on her bed, reading deeply into her book.
"Are you sure you won't come down to dinner, Miss Elphaba?"
"I'll go later. I find the number of people and the noise level in the dining hall is quite unbearable, and I prefer to eat my dinner in a more peaceful environment."
"Oh," Galinda said softly. She lingered in the doorway a while longer, then closed it gingerly.
She came back not ten minutes later holding a tray with dinner for two. The smells caused the hungry Elphaba to look up from the text and she eyed Galinda curiously as the girl sat down in front of her. She folded a page down and put the book aside, helping Galinda to arrange the plates.
"I do not think it is appropriate for someone to eat by his or herself, so, therefore, I have decided that I will eat with you and save you from the tragedy that is unsocialness in its full effect," she finished with a flourish and beamed at Elphaba, who raised an eyebrow.
"Eloquently put," Elphaba said sarcastically, but she appreciated the gesture greatly, and gave the girl a small but genuine smile to show it.
And for once Elphaba didn't eat in silence, though she herself was silent much of the time, for Galinda babbled on incessantly. She talked about everything from childhood stories to the injustices of college life; the latter was focused mainly on the exam region, though the girl admitted with a grateful smile that she believed she had been doing better since Elphaba started throwing small tips at her.
She continued until they both grew weary, then stood, announcing that she had to return the tray to the kitchens before she prepared for bed. Elphaba stood and smiled. She took the tray from the girl, assuring her that she'd done enough for one night.
Galinda smiled pleasantly and hopped over to her dresser. She opened the drawer that held her nightgowns, and, once dressed, she crawled into bed.
She was asleep by the time Elphaba returned, and when the latter reentered the room, she slipped into her bed noiselessly, flicking the light off once more.
She lay in bed, awake, as she often did at night. She looked over to where Galinda slept peacefully, blonde curls spilling over her pillow as did a pale arm over the side of the bed. She was pleasantly clumsy in the way she slept, almost as if she had been dropped onto the mattress from up above, spinning and twisting in the air to land upon the bed in a random array that looked quite impossible to achieve when one drifted to sleep in a normal position. Elphaba smiled as the girl's pose changed again, a hand over her head and the other hanging off the opposite side of the bed as it had before.
She began to think, her brain processing the events that had happened just in the past few days. How she could not only begin to talk to her roommate after months of silence, but become friends with her as well? Elphaba had figured the girl out long before, as she'd learned the girl's body language so well she could almost predict what she was going to say, that is, if they had been on speaking terms. Yet, now that they had talked, now that they were actually progressing towards what looked to be a considerable friendship, Elphaba was discovering that she'd greatly underestimated her tiny roommate.
The girl was capable of many things, of that, she was certain, though Elphaba felt that she'd made the wrong assumption about the girl. She'd thought that she was just too preoccupied with boys and make-up to pay attention to anything else when, actually, she had a brain in her head; a brain that appeared to be a good one when she chose to use it.
The next morning Elphaba was dressed, ready as always for the upcoming day of classes and exams when she looked to see a rumpled pile of pale limbs draped haphazardly over pink sheets. Galinda had slept through her alarm and once again made the green girl wonder amusedly how she managed to change in her sleep so that her feet wound up on her pillow, and the blonde curls were somewhere underneath a mussed pile of blankets.
She shook her head and walked over to the bed, realizing, yet not quite caring that she was beginning to look out for her peculiar roommate, beginning to make sure she was on the right track and she was beginning to realize that she didn't mind it anymore.
She poked her head under the blanket to find Galinda's head and she put a hand on the girl's shoulder shaking her lightly, rousing her from her previous state of gentle slumber. The blue eyes looked up at her, filled with sleep, and closed as the blonde ignored the lingering fact that she had a pressing agenda that was to begin in an uninvitingly short amount of time.
Elphaba tried, though unsuccessfully through lack of experience, to awaken the pink bundle. She tapped the shoulder a few times before narrowing her eyes in search of new tactics. She knew she shouldn't bother, really, as it was in fact none of her business, but she was strangely intrigued at the potential friendship that had been hovering in the air, so she tapped at the nose that was all but smothered in the pink sheets.
Galinda giggled, but refused to move during their little game. Elphaba prodded her stomach, causing her to giggle once more, and the eyes began to open, losing their sleepiness as they gazed up playfully at the green creature that now stood at the foot of her bed.
Elphaba yanked the blankets off the bed and Galinda shrieked at the sudden coldness, but stood, knowing that she'd lost round one. She gave Elphaba a glare of pretended anger as she wobbled sleepily over to the dresser and opened Elphaba's drawer by mistake.
Several stumbles, a stubbed toe, and a half hour later, the girls emerged from the room, running down the hallway to class where they burst through the door, pink-cheeked and slightly snowy. Both received a disapproving glare from the teacher, who then told them to make their way to their seats.
And Elphaba thought it odd, though she didn't say a word, that Galinda should choose to sit next to her instead of her friends who had looked at her expectedly, and were now, no doubt, looking at her with a gaze of surprise and distaste. Galinda didn't notice the looks from her friends, nor did she seem to notice anything unusual about the seating arrangement of the day, for she had already focused deeply on the lesson, perhaps interested in her studies. Elphaba simply smiled.