Galinda looked out the window nervously as the rain pounded against the windowpanes, nearby trees scraping against the glass in an attempt to keep up with the winds that whipped through the air. A clap of thunder resonated inside the classroom and Galinda jumped to attention, immediately facing front again to see the elegant dress of a perturbed Madame Morrible.
"Sorcery is an art, my dear," said the Head, "the rain does not teach it as well as I do," her voice sounded slick with liquid poison as it curled around Galinda's ears.
Madame Morrible resumed her lecture, turning around to return to the front of the classroom. Galinda reached over and pinched Elphaba, who had been sniggering, in a most uncharacteristic fashion, at Galinda's scolding. Elphaba yelped and Morrible whirled around to find Galinda half out of her seat and Elphaba nursing her arm.
"Is there a problem, girls?" Galinda froze.
"N-no, Madame, not at all."
"Miss Upland, you are in this class for only one reason, and you have just managed to injure her wand arm."
Galinda broke the forceful gaze, flicking her eyes to look down at her shoes. "Sorry, Madame."
Morrible clicked her tongue and began writing notes on the board, Galinda shot Elphaba a look, and Elphaba grinned in return. Galinda could not help but smile.
The bell sounded over the wind, and Galinda and Elphaba packed up their things.
"Madame Morrible," Galinda flitted over to the Head's desk charmingly, "since weather is your specialty, and you are ever so perfect at it, would you know of a way to make the rain stop for a while?" Galinda smiled her flattering smile and Elphaba rolled her eyes.
"Why, Miss Upland," Madame Morrible looked at her with a facetious expression to be challenged by no one, "it hasn't rained in months. I could hardly deny the grounds a little water. Off with you both. Miss Galinda, your hair will survive."
Galinda frowned and opened her mouth to remind Madame Morrible that it had rained only the week before but Elphaba fastened a painful grip on her arm.
"Thank you, Madame Morrible," Elphaba said quickly, releasing Galinda's arm to grab her hand and drag her out of the room.
"Are you trying to get us killed?" Elphaba threw Galinda's hand away and towered over her when they reached the safety of the hallway.
"I have never met anyone so full of-"
"She can hear you."
"I mean, the nerve-"
"What?" She looked out the door leading back to their dormitory. "Oh, my hair." The thunder rumbled a response.
It looks like you may have to sacrifice those gorgeous curls, Galinda." Elphaba reached up to tweak a blonde strand of tousled hair.
Galinda ruffled and glared at her, trying to look offended. "You know, that's not really all I think about, Elphaba."
Elphaba coughed. "Don't call me Elphaba to punish me, and I know, you think about Fiyero too." Elphaba finished with a sarcastic tone that yanked Galinda's attention away from the pouring rain outside back to the green face. Galinda eyed her suspiciously.
"What does that mean? Do you like him too?"
Elphaba erupted into a coughing fit that only subsided after Galinda stopped stomping her feet in frustration to clap her on the back. Quite roughly, actually, for she was growing increasingly irritated to this reaction to Fiyero's name.
"Me?" Elphaba sputtered, once the hacking had passed. "You want to know if I have feelings for Fiyero? The thought is amusing, surely, but I do not, Galinda. You've guessed the wrong person, I'm afraid." She winked at her roommate and opened the main door to the wind and the storm. "After you, my dear."
Galinda, although flustered, seemed to somewhat regain her composure and she disdainfully stepped outside. Elphaba joined her and the two began running through the sodden ground to their dorm.
When they reached the Astronomy building, Galinda signaled a shortcut though a slightly wooded area. They turned and began running, shoes squelching and soaked through to the skin.
"Why are we going through the woods? What's the matter with you? You've never been in the woods in your life, much less know your way through them," Elphaba screamed, jumping over a fallen branch and running to keep up with Galinda.
"Oh, shut up, Elphie," she glared back at her roommate, but slowed until she had caught up.
"I didn't know you could run that fast in those ridiculous heels," Elphaba quipped, smirking at the ruined shoes.
Galinda huffed. "Oh I shouldn't have waited for you at all."
"I think we're lost."
"Leave me alone." Galinda turned to walk away and Elphaba stared after her. Her face had been wet, but whether it was from rain or tears, Elphaba could not tell.
She started walking again. "Galinda, what did I do now?"
"You're being you again."
Elphaba's mouth twitched, "When have I ever been anyone else?" She tried to say it warmly, as she was aware that it was a sensitive moment, but Galinda heard the sarcastic undertone and whipped around, the water flying from her hair.
"You always do this. When you have something important to say, you always hint around it, like you want me to guess what it is, and then as soon as I start trying to figure it out you change the subject and never come back to it. When I ask about it again, you tease me and tell that it isn't important. You make fun of me constantly and compare me to some stereotypical upper-class, stone-hearted bitch! I thought you saw me for who I am, and not what everyone thinks I'm like. You're not the only one who doesn't like to be made fun of."
Elphaba stood, stunned, and watched as Galinda made her way through the muck and fallen branches. She looked almost endearing, her shoes positively ruined, her fine Gilikin dress sodden and her once perky curled hair now a dripping mess. She reached up to touch her face and Elphaba's stomach clenched, for she knew it was not rain the girl was wiping away. The wind blew and Galinda shuddered, jumping at a large cracking noise. Elphaba's eyes flew up and she pounced on Galinda and held her fast to the trunk of the nearest tree.
The ground shook and the girls jumped closer together as the main branch of a Quoxwood tree was ripped off its trunk and hurtled to the ground. Galinda shrieked and buried her face in Elphaba's shoulder, her anger and tears instantly forgotten, and Elphaba cradled her protectively, trying not to shudder at the rush of air against her back as the branch thundered past. She looked up once more, eyes scanning the canopies for more fickle branches.
"Are you all right?" Her question was answered as soon as she looked down at Galinda, who was shaking violently and trying to press herself further into Elphaba, clawing at her back with trembling hands. She reminded Elphaba of a child at that moment, as the watery blue eyes met hers, the perfect picture of unblemished innocence with heartbreaking eyes that could tame a lion.
"Come on, we should get home." Elphaba pulled at Galinda's hand, but the girl bucked and whimpered and Elphaba's heart broke.
Elphaba wrapped an arm around Galinda's waist and the girl pressed herself into Elphaba, but followed her step, refusing to open her eyes or tear her face away from Elphaba's shoulder.
When they finally reached their room, both soaked to the skin and quivering from the chill, Elphaba pushed Galinda lightly into the bathroom to change while she quickly dried the water from her skin. As she was buttoning up her nightgown, Galinda emerged from the bathroom, a timid, hesitant look upon her face, instead of the pearly smile that was usually in its place.
"You're still cold, aren't you?" Elphaba asked her, keeping her tone soft and low.
Galinda nodded, aware that her attempts to mask her shivering were futile while Elphaba was around, for she could see through Galinda seemingly without trying.
Galinda wordlessly joined Elphaba on a chair in front of the fire.
"Elphie," her voice was small, as her mind had already projected an answer to her approaching question, but she couldn't let herself think of it, "Elphie, if it's not Fiyero that you like, who is it?"
Elphaba smiled fondly at Galinda as the girl arranged and rearranged herself on the chair until she finally seemed to declare herself comfortable sitting sideways across Elphaba's lap. She looked up at her roommate expectedly, that tentative look on her face seemed magnified in her blue eyes and Elphaba found she could not break the gaze.
"That's for another day, my sweet." She leaned in and pressed her lips to Galinda's forehead, then placed a lingering kiss on her cheek, both attempts at enticing a smile back to the beautiful face. And there it was, for a moment, but it disappeared when Galinda yawned and kissed the underside of her chin. She laid her head in the crook of Elphaba's neck, and maneuvered herself closer to Elphaba, who drew her in protectively.
"Read to me, Elphie," Galinda murmured, nuzzling her head further into Elphaba.
And as Elphaba picked up a book and began to read to the girl snuggled in her arms, the girl's eyes began to close until sleep took her completely and she could hear the soothing voice no more. In years to come, when Glinda would try in vain to hear that comforting voice once more, she would always think back to that night in front of the fire. It was her curse that all she remembered about that night was her fright in the woods, and her comfort in Elphaba's lap, for if she could remember any more of it, she would have remembered the storm and the rain, and how the water had not affected Elphaba any further than making her wet. If she had remembered this, she would have surely realized that a bucket of water could not possibly have killed her friend, and therefore, it was probable that Elphaba was alive. But poor Glinda was renowned for her goodness and for her unspeakable beauty; her logic had to be coaxed by the one who had evaded it so completely.