Glinda could be ditzy at times, but she knew when someone liked someone else. The way Elphaba stared at the new boy during life sciences was very obvious and she didn't see why no one else had figured it out. Enough people liked Glinda that she found it irritating, but perhaps Elphaba had never known the flattering feeling of being adored. Perhaps? No, she was sure Elphaba had never known that feeling. So she decided to do something about it. But what could she do? She wasn't particularly close with the Vinkus boy, Fiyero, but Boq was, and Boq would do anything she asked. First, though, she had to get Elphaba to admit to her crush on Fiyero, and that would be the most difficult part.
One night, Elphaba was sitting at her desk studying and Glinda sat at her vanity, staring at herself idly, when she decided it was a good time to bring up the subject of boys.
"You silly prissy girls and your obsessions with boys," Elphaba mocked, "What, may I ask, is so wonderful about them?"
"Elphie, you can't be telling me you've never liked a boy." Carefully, she snuck and looked over Elphaba's shoulder. All Elphaba had been doing was drawing diamonds in blue ink.
She stuck her nose in the air. "I haven't."
"Come on, Elphie! You have to have had a crush on someone."
"How? How can I have a crush on a boy when most of them don't talk to me?"
"Some of them do. Boq, Avaric, Fiyero, Crope and Tibbett all talk to you."
"First of all, Crope and Tibbett are most definitely not interested in any girl for any reason other than borrowing their clothes. Second of all, Avaric makes fun of me. And Boq, well, he likes you, and he's Boq, that'd just be wrong."
"What about Fiyero?" She was going to sneak that out of Elphaba's notebook, those diamonds, to corner her if it got that far later.
"He doesn't say much."
"That doesn't mean he's not a good person for you." Glinda argued.
Elphaba stood up and gathered her books. "I think I'll go to the library."
She was gone.
Well, she wouldn't get away that easily. Glinda was determined to prove, at least to herself and to Elphaba, that Elphaba liked Fiyero. So, when they were all at the café later that week, Glinda said, "Who wants to play a nice round of ERS? There are two people per team, except for a group of three, in our case. Let me set this up." She pretended to think. "Avaric and Pfanee. Boq and I. Crope, Tibbett and Shen-Shen. Oh, and… Elphaba and Fiyero."
Elphaba shot Glinda a look and almost got out of her seat, but Fiyero smiled lightly at her and she stayed. "Fine, then Glinda. Do you have the cards?"
"Right here." She'd been plotting this for a day or two. "Go off and meet with your partners and come up with a code." Glinda sighed and pretended to listen to Boq while she really watched Elphaba and Fiyero.
Neither one of them said anything for a moment. Elphaba broke the silence and said, "So, I'm sorry you're stuck with me."
"Why?" Fiyero asked innocently. "You should feel bad about being stuck with me. I'm not very familiar with this game. We're probably going to lose."
"That doesn't matter, anyway. Here, let me explain." She began a long explanation using many hand gestures, acting as if the cards were on the table. Suddenly she realized she was falling right into Glinda's trap. But he was looking at her without judgment in his eyes and she wasn't used to that. It unnerved her, actually.
He smiled at her again. "That makes a little more sense. Thanks. And I've got an idea."
Glinda watched Fiyero and Elphaba talking as she nodded obliviously at what Boq was saying. Elphaba definitely had a thing for Fiyero. There was no mistaking that. She was never that nice to anyone. "All right, let's play this game!"
Fiyero and Elphaba snuck glances at each other from behind their cards during all three rounds of the game and Glinda was sure to make note of it. They had some sort of secret between them, and it wasn't just their code that was between them, though they won every round.
"Nice job! And you said we were going to lose." Elphaba smiled at him.
"We would have, too. But you explained it really, really well." He cocked his head at her. "What?"
She'd been staring again. "Nothing. Nothing." Damn those diamonds.
"Hey, Elphaba!" Glinda called, remembering the doodles all over Elphaba's life sciences notes. "What's your favorite shape?"
Still staring at Fiyero a little, she replied, "Diamonds." She realized what she'd said and her cheeks went scarlet. Glinda had known what she was staring at… The diamonds on Fiyero's face and neck. There was no way she was going to let Glinda get away with this. Angrily, she slid out of the booth in which half of them were sitting and stormed out of the café.
She'd expected Glinda to follow her, but she hadn't. "Look, I'm sorry, I just… I… I didn't mean to…"
"To what?" Fiyero stood looking at her with nothing more than confusion. He hadn't understood what Glinda had done to her.
She sighed in relief. "Walk out of there like that. Glinda can be a bitch sometimes, that's all."
"What did she say?"
"Are you all right?"
"Angry, but I'm not upset."
"All right. Come back, then."
He wanted her to come back in? Glinda must've put him up to this. "No thank you. I'd better be going back to my dorm."
"If you insist." He turned around.
Rain started to fall and she ran back to the porch of the café, where he'd been standing. "I don't do well in rain."
"Did you get wet?" He asked, concerned.
"Just a little. I'll be fine." She realized she'd left her cloak inside and she shivered. "Damn. My cloak's inside. I will not go in there and face that bitch again right now."
Fiyero shrugged off his jacket. "Here."
"No," she waved it away. "You'll get cold."
"I'm used to this sort of weather. I don't even feel cold very often anymore." He held the coat out to her.
"Are you sure?"
"Sure." He sat down on the bench outside of the café, his eyes imploring her to sit next to him.
Feeling absurd, she held his jacket around her and sat down on the bench, glad for the porch, and watched the rain. "I hate water."
"How do you survive?"
"It just can't touch my skin. I can drink liquid, though I'd rather drink something other than pure water, just in case. I have to keep clean using oil, and even that stings." She blushed, realizing that what she'd said was a bit intimate, but he didn't seem to care. "Anyway, you can go back inside, if you want. You don't have to sit out here with me."
"I know that. But I like sitting here with you. I mean, I like everyone else inside, but sometimes with too many people, it just gets awkward. And I know Avaric makes fun of me."
"I hate him. He's so vain, you know?"
He nodded. "He doesn't like people who are different."
"Me, too." He reminded her. "It's so odd being around everyone. They don't mean to act different towards me because of my skin, but they'll stare and be affected by it, I can tell."
She looked at him sympathetically. "You've never been stared at like that before, have you?"
"All of my life until now I've been among others who look similar, so no one stared because of my skin, they might've stared, but only because of my being a prince."
"It's hard to get used to being stared at, isn't it?"
"I expected it a bit, I guess. But you, everyone has always stared at you, haven't they?"
"There are no others like me. I'm not even part elfish. People have never seen a regular sized, crooked nosed green person who's allergic to water before." Elphaba shrugged, staring at her hands. "You have many others like you in all of your otherness, your…" she paused, realizing she'd almost said beauty, "different but not necessarily bad skin. There's no one to share in my ugliness."
"Do you really think you're ugly?"
"Do I have the choice to think otherwise? Everyone else thinks so."
She looked at him and then looked away. All at once she got up and tossed him his coat. "I'd better go in and get my cloak. I have to go." Before he could say goodbye, she was back inside. He hadn't even gotten to the table when she'd left the building again.
"What was that about?" Glinda asked politely, batting her eyelashes.
"I don't know. We were talking and then she just ran off."
"What were you talking about?"
"We're both kind of outsiders because of skin color. So we were talking about that and then she said something about everyone thinking that she's ugly and I told her that not everyone felt that way and then she ran off."
Glinda shook her head. "I don't know what is wrong with Elphie." Quietly, she said to Boq, "Can you do me a favor?"
"Find out if Fiyero likes anyone. I'm not asking for me, I promise."
"All right, then. I'll see what I can do."
When Glinda reentered their dorm room she looked at Elphaba and said, "Diamonds?"
"Leave me alone!" Elphaba snapped, slamming her books shut.
Glinda grabbed the papers she'd torn from Elphaba's notebook out from beneath her pillows. "Blue diamonds, huh, Elphie?"
"Where'd you…? You… you've been going through my things! How dare you!"
"So you admit that you've been doodling blue diamonds all over your notes, especially in life sciences?"
"I… I… well, I… oh, damn you to hell!"
"Why did you run away from him, Elphaba?"
"Run away from who?"
"Why does it matter to you?"
"He looked a little hurt seeing you run off, that's all."
"It was probably more of a relief than a hurt."
"I don't think so."
"It doesn't matter."
"Don't you like him, Elphie?"
"He's a nice person. But so are a lot of people."
"I meant, do you have a crush on him? Come on, just admit it."
Glinda sighed. "Listen, Elphie, do you ever want to have love in your life?"
"You never want to have sex? To be kissed?"
"I've resigned myself to the fact that it'll never happen for me." Elphaba said. "I'm going to die a virginal old maid."
"Don't you want to know what it feels like, Elphaba? Don't you want to know what it is that makes so many people love? Don't you want to know if sex is any good or if it's all just a myth?"
"I really don't care."
"You do care. If you had the choice of not being loved at all or being loved by the person you love, you would choose the second, right?"
"No. That's a fantasy. I don't have fantasies. They're not real. I'm not going to fool myself and tell myself that things like that are worthwhile in dreaming about when they'll never happen."
"What if Fiyero liked you, Elphaba?"
"I'm tired of all of these impossible hypothetical situations. Just leave it alone."
Glinda slammed down the papers of blue diamonds on the desk in front of Elphaba. "You can't just pretend you don't feel!"
"I'm not pretending that much. I'm saying I don't care about love."
"No! He will never like me, or love me, and I don't want to waste my time pretending that he does."
"But you do waste your time, don't you? You wish he did, don't you?"
"Yes!" She yelled. "Fine! Just leave it alone!" Elphaba went into the bathroom and changed for bed. Before she fell asleep, she picked up the scattered drawings of blue diamonds and smoothed them out. After she put them neatly in a pile in a drawer, she closed the drawer and went to sleep.