"Why, Miss Elphaba, look at you, you're beautiful."

She looked into the mirror Galinda had placed in her hands. It was different, if nothing else. Her hair was down and shiny, black as midnight and smooth as silk. The color of her lips, which had always been as green as the rest of her now leaned toward a pinkish red. Her cheeks were flushed from the whole ordeal and Galinda's bright pink hair clip, which Elphaba had previously found most obnoxious now appeared to compliment her nicely. Her most startling observation, however, was the irrepressible grin she saw smiling back at her.

"I have to go." She got up and rushed out of the room, somewhat overwhelmed with all that had happened.

"What? Why? Elphie!" Galinda called after her, but she was already gone. The blonde's smile faltered, her face taking on a bewildered, if not slightly offended look, but she recovered quickly after a quick reminder of the successful beautification she had done.

-

"Tell me a secret," Galinda had said to her not an hour before. "Tell me a secret and I'll tell you one," Galinda stood up and walked over to Elphaba's bed, sitting down next to her. The proposal seemed innocent enough, and with a persuasion of Galinda's pretty features beaming up at her, Elphaba tried to come up with something that wasn't too embarrassing.

"A secret?"

"Yes, Elphie. Friends tell each other secrets. It is a vital component of a healthy friendship." Elphaba had to smile at the cute, if not flawed logic, and the pleading puppy look in Galinda's eyes.

"I don't have any secrets- did you just call me Elphie?"

Galinda's face lit up and she giggled, her eyes gleaming when she looked back at Elphaba. "Can I?"

"It's kind of perky."

"Perfect."

Elphaba rolled her eyes, but smiled. She nodded at Galinda, whose eyes lit up once more at the affirmative.

"I know you have secrets, Elphie; I can see it in you. You can tell me, and I solemnly swear never to tell another soul." Elphaba shrugged. Galinda's eyes narrowed. "What's this little green bottle for?"

Elphaba lunged at the bottle Galinda had slipped out from under her pillow. "Give that back!"

Galinda dodged her, growing more and more excited. "What is it?"

"Give it back!" Elphaba's voice became more desperate as she chased Galinda around the room.

"Tell me what it is, Elphie!" Galinda cried out, giggling madly as Elphaba tackled her to the bed. Elphaba snatched the bottle out of her hands and cradled it protectively.

"It was my mother's. That's all."

-

Elphaba shivered as she ran outside, looking left and right for somewhere to go. She started down a path that led down to the gardens, and she remembered how Galinda had sobered and quickly apologized. She had listened to Elphaba's story intently, in a way Elphaba had never thought her capable. In fact, Galinda had been the first to tell her that she, Elphaba, was not to be blamed for her past.

Elphaba shuddered as a gust of wind tore across the gardens, billowing through her jacket that she had managed to grab on the way out. She hugged the fabric close around her and looked up at the window of the room from which she had just fled. Galinda had turned out okay, she thought, even though she was utterly spoiled and amusingly inept with a wand. She had a certain kind of charm and a certain kind of smile that Elphaba found she could resist no better than anyone else. She had depth, too, Elphaba argued as she turned a corner. She had a side that was kind and playful and completely opposite the cold, snobbish front she put up for her friends.

She had felt strange at first, telling secrets about her past she had never voiced aloud to someone who had hated her not two hours before. She was different though, Elphaba reasoned with herself as she turned to head back, much different.

She opened the door cautiously, as if walking normally would shatter the wooden floor. She edged into the room and shut the door, heading to the bedroom of Galinda's would-be private suite. Elphaba entered the bedroom as quietly as before, the soft muffled noises from the far side of the room confirmed that Galinda had finally fallen asleep.

Elphaba shed her coat and went into the bathroom, reemerging in her nightgown and heading to bed. She rolled over to set her alarm so she could leave in the morning before Galinda awoke. Perhaps avoiding confrontation altogether would be easiest until she came up with an adequate excuse for fleeing from the room. She reached toward the clock in the darkness and Elphaba felt her hand hit something, which promptly fell to the floor, rattling loudly upon impact.

"Elphie?" Elphaba winced.

"Go back to sleep, Galinda," Elphaba said softly, trying to keep the strain from her voice.

"Did you hurt yourself?" Galinda rolled over to face her.

"No, I'm fine, my pretty."

"Are you sure?" Galinda sat up.

"Go to sleep, Galinda."

She heard Galinda lay back down and she relaxed. Elphaba took the bright flower out of her hair and placed it on the nightstand.

"Elphie, are you mad at me?"

Elphaba sighed and rolled over to find Galinda standing over her, a worried expression confusing her pretty features. Elphaba moved over and Galinda sat on the edge of the bed and began running the top sheet through her fingers.

"Why would you think that?"

Galinda shrugged and turned away. She plucked the pink flower off of the nightstand and twirled it in her hands. The girl's mouth opened and closed several times before she laughed nervously and shrugged again.

"Well you left- before, and I- I was so awful to you with that hat, and… everything," she finished lamely and became fascinated with the flower in her hand, whose petals were surely becoming dizzy from being spun so ruthlessly.

Elphaba propped herself up on her elbows and looked at her roommate through an observing eye. If Galinda felt those eyes on her, she made no indication other than avoiding them and the face that held them. Elphaba, for her part, was taking in this change in, or perhaps this secret personality confined in her roommate. A side that was subdued and self-conscious and shy, a side that cared what people thought not because it would reassure her ego, but because the opinions could shatter her. The information had not been transferred through speech, but rather through subtle hints in body language; the fixation on the flower, a stutter, a blush, a light chuckle, a rushed tuck of golden hair behind a jeweled ear.

"I was afraid Elphie, that's my real secret." The nervous chuckle made its reprise appearance; her fingers nearly crushed the flower. "You're so powerful, literally and mentally, I was intimidated. I'm sorry."

She then finally looked up and met Elphaba's eyes, and she found that it wasn't as frightening as she'd thought it would be. The harsh black eyes her mind had drawn were warm and smiling and beautiful, and she realized her clandestine fear had been foolish.

"Well then," Elphaba said, pulling her into a light hug, "let's not be afraid anymore."