A/N: Bookverse, set at Caprice-in-the-Pines. Suspend your disbelief for just one moment.
"Oh no, you aren't leaving us so soon, are you?" Pfannee leaned against Elphaba's open door, watching as the latter packed away the handful of possessions she'd bothered to bring with her. She pretended to pout as Elphaba steadfastly ignored her, dusting a fleck of imaginary dirt off her valise with painstaking precision.
"We will be dreadfully sad to see you go, Miss Elphaba," Pfannee continued when it became apparent that no reply was forthcoming. "And think of all the fun you'll be missing! Master Avaric has graciously offered to row us out to the island this afternoon for a picnic. There's ample room in the boat for a featherweight such as yourself."
Pfannee wrinkled her nose in distaste as Elphaba help up a drab nightgown, folding it neatly into an off-white square.
"Miss Shenshen and I have been wondering - how do you keep such a trim figure? Is there some special diet you live by? Or are you descended from a garden rake?" Pfannee gave a false laugh as Elphaba ignored her in favor of neatly rolling up her undergarments. "Goodness me, are those stockings?"
Elphaba unwound the pair she had just balled, holding one up with a look of pure amazement. "Fancy that, they are! And here I was thinking they were a Sunday hat."
Pfannee rolled her eyes at the green girl's attempt at humor, unable to suppress a smirk when Elphaba extracted a cropped singlet from the drawer beside the bed. Before she could pack it, Pfannee whisked it out of her grasp, holding it up in front of herself daintily.
"Oh how darling - I haven't worn one of these in years! I never knew they made them in adult sizes." She grinned when Elphaba calmly snatched back the vest. "How I envy you, Miss Elphaba, being small enough to wear such clothes. No, perhaps 'small' is not the word I am looking for. 'Flat', maybe."
"I do remember you, you know," Elphaba replied casually as she looped a belt around her suitcase, buckling it tightly.
"I don't know what you -"
"Tag the greenfly!" Elphaba shrilled in a mocking voice as she made her bed. She turned to face Pfannee, picking up her case and night valise. "May I pass? Or do you wish to assist me in carrying these downstairs?"
Pfannee recoiled, a look of frightened disgust on her face. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said loudly, and Elphaba smiled apologetically.
"Perhaps I don't either," she agreed. "My brain and mouth may be working at cross-purposes. I may suddenly begin to speak in fluent Scrow, without even realizing I am doing so. I apologize in advance for this possible occurrence. Miss Pfan-pfan," she added, after a beat.
As Elphaba stepped forward, Pfannee grabbed her arm tightly. Elphaba regarded the pale fingers on her elbow with cool regard.
"Well, will you look at that. Over three seconds of contact and you're not even beginning to resemble a frog. What do you make of that?"
"How much do you know?" Pfannee hissed, and Elphaba's eyes narrowed as she considered this.
"Why, we've not yet begun our sophister year - I can't say my knowledge is as yet extensive, but I do try."
"You know to what I refer," Pfannee growled. Elphaba frowned for another second, before her eyes widened in sudden understanding.
"Oh, you mean how Pfann Hall was naught but a derelict hut fifteen years ago, after the lady of the house ran out on her husband and children?"
Pfannee flinched, feeling herself shrink before her fellow Munchkinlander. Despite her small stature, she had never before felt diminutive to any of her fellow students - until now.
"Yes, I did hear about that," Elphaba mused. "And then how very lucky it was that the husband's ruby gamble paid off, netting him a rather hefty fortune, a fifth of which he generously handed over to Gawnette in return for her years of dedicated service."
"You can't tell anyone!" Pfannee gripped Elphaba's arm harder, as Elphaba gave her a look of pure confusion.
"Why would I want to do that? I'm not attempting to blackmail you, Miss Pfannee," she replied, shrugging Pfannee's hand away. "I was merely letting you know that I do remember you from our childhood playgroup, and was actually quite intrigued when you showed no signs of recognizing me last semester. I don't believe myself to be a particularly memorable person, but I am not completely unaware of my peculiar skin tone." Elphaba gave Pfannee a slight smile, making her way out into the hall. Desperately, Pfannee scurried after her.
"What do you want?" she cried out, terror etching her porcelain features. "Name your price, I'll do whatever you want. Within reason," she grimaced. "The others would be far too suspicious if I suddenly claimed you as my best friend."
"I didn't want your friendship then, and I don't want it now," Elphaba replied scathingly. "For one with such a humble upbringing, you certainly have tickets on yourself."
"Then what else?" Pfannee pleaded, bounding in front of Elphaba as they came to the stairs. "What in heaven's name do you want?"
"Is that how you girls work?" Elphaba asked in surprise. "Favors for silence?" She appeared to mull this over for a few seconds, before shrugging and brushing past Pfannee without further recourse.
"Of course it is! Everyone has something on someone else - it's what makes the world go round!"
"Interesting," Elphaba said. "Even whilst on vacation I'm learning something new each day."
"You bitch," Pfannee spat out. "You're just going to tell them, aren't you?"
"Why should I waste more of my breath on the likes of you? I've already wasted enough on this ridiculous discussion," Elphaba replied. "I'll need to take a vow of silence until the middle of next week so that I can recover."
Pfannee watched helplessly as Elphaba descended the wooden staircase, easy tears forming in her eyes as the serrated voice continued.
"Honestly, I would have done much better if I had just kept my thoughts to myself. I only said what I did because for this past year, you seemed to be under the impression that I had forgotten you and your brother. I merely wished to set the record straight."
"You utter bitch," Pfannee hissed again, racing after Elphaba. "Now you're just going to tell everyone, aren't you? Spill everything about the poor little rich girl -"
"You have me confused with someone else," Elphaba replied calmly. "I don't go in for pointless gossip, and doubt I ever will. So your secret is as safe with me as it ever was - but I honestly can't comprehend why you care so deeply. Nothing in your past changes who and what you are now, does it?"
"You don't understand," Pfannee protested, and Elphaba looked at her shrewdly.
"For once, I have to agree with you. I don't understand. Perhaps that's why I have no friends - I don't understand the way 'friendship' works." Elphaba smiled at Pfannee, continuing down to the kitchen. "My kindest regards for your invitation, though. This holiday, however brief, has been rather enlightening."
Feeling just a little bit smug, Elphaba strode into the kitchen, setting about making herself a cup of tea. She really had no idea the way relationships between girls worked. But perhaps she was learning.