A/N: This is an optional secondary piece to Midnight Snack. Even though they may each stand on their own, I thought I would post them together as that was how they were originally intended to be read. I'm much more pleased with MS than I am with this, but it was fun to write, so here it is. Thank you, everyone, for all the support you've shown me so far! I'm flattered!
Oh, and this more than hints at the Gelphie. It's there - you don't have to read hard.
Galinda did her best not to moan as she released the pent up air from her lungs and felt again felt the constricting sensation around her waist. Lurline this was torture! Furiously, she whipped her head around, her clutch on the edge of the vanity never faltering, and glared severely at the periwinkle dress on her bed. Mockingly, the rhinestones glinted back at her, twinkling their delight in her pain.
"Measure me, will you, Miss Elphaba?" she gasped, turning back to her mirror, as the dress was far too much of an annoyance to be worth the effort of her loathing. Elphaba, standing awkwardly behind Galinda, with her legs spread, one hand firmly pulling the laces of the whalebone corset and the other bracing Galinda's lower back, huffed loudly and reached for the tape measure on the vanity, her hand roughly brushing the corseted waist and bare underarm. Elphaba took the measurement quickly, knowing well the number they were aiming for by now.
"Just another half inch, my pretty. You're nearing the twenty-six mark now." Galinda heaved a dramatic sigh. Another half inch? She felt as though her insides were ready to burst already. She wouldn't be able to eat so much as a cracker the whole day! Elphaba had dropped the tape measure unceremoniously to the floor and repositioned herself behind Galinda's bent and well curved frame, waiting for the nod that would tell her to strain the laces to their breaking point and suffocate her despairing roommate. The nod came and Galinda once again relinquished her breath.
Galinda, her body suffering from lack of oxygen, focused herself fully on her image in the mirror in front of her. The beige corset was trimmed in ivory lace that barely covered her heaving breasts and was embroidered with black silk along the piping. It was one of the most beautiful pieces she owned (pity no one should ever see it) and she feared Miss Elphaba's tugs might rip it apart at the seams. Or perhaps that was her own fault, for not fully following her diet plans. She would've been fine had it not been for that cream. And the breadstick with dinner the next night. And that cream cheese on the bagel (the one she shouldn't have had in the first place, as she should have had only the carrot sticks) hadn't helped either. The one time Miss Elphaba had to be concerned about her well being, it was while she was on a diet. How perfectly typical. How wonderfully Elphaba.
Galinda nearly screeched as Elphaba gave another tug at the strings, cursing and praising that grip in the same thought. However, she found there was no allowance for a breath deep enough to merit screeching, or really much in the way of noise at all. Elphaba, oblivious to Galinda's heaving attempts at breaths, grabbed the measure once again and thrust it around Galinda's waist once more, her arm jostling the bursting breast this time.
"Twenty six inches, minus a mark or two. Now if only you could walk." Elphaba exclaimed, sneering through her own gasping breaths. She had never imagined the effort of pulling in a waist by a mere three inches could be so much work. Surely the dress would have fit over her anyway.
"I can walk, Miss Elphaba," Galinda panted, "and the effort would hardly have been so great had you not thrown me from my diet." With great difficulty, she turned around and faced the green girl, who had toppled onto Galinda's bed exhausted.
"I'd hate to think of you getting that thin naturally. You'd be having fainting spells all over the place I imagine," came the serrated voice from below a lavender puffed pillow.
"You're one to talk," Galinda hissed as she deliberately made her way toward the dress. It really was beautiful, white lining with a sheer periwinkle tulle gathered at the shoulders and waist, rhinestone diamonds glistening along the bust line and hem. "Help me get this on."
Elphaba raised herself up, grunting with effort and stared blankly at Galinda for a moment.
"You're quite the sight, you know that. I say you should simply walk out into the halls right now and see what they think of you." The smirk was visually lost in a curl of lip, but its presence pervaded the atmosphere nonetheless. Galinda was in no mood for this.
"They'd think me to be Kumbricia herself, I suspect. Now you promised to help, so for Lurline's sake don't mock me!" Galinda scowled. Still cackling, Elphaba snatched the dress from beside her on the bed and crudely lifted it over Galinda's head. Galinda raised her arms, much to her discomfort and aided the dress onto her form, hands flailing from under the fabric. At first, the dress slid on easily. However, it began to bunch over Galinda's breasts, bulging as they were under the stress of the corset, and eventually neither girl could coax it any further down.
"You'd think I was sweating so much it'd simply slip on down," Galinda heaved.
"I have some oil, if you think that'll work." Galinda considered this carefully. It would probably help the fabric slide on her skin, but would it hurt the dress? Lurline, haven't I been through enough already?
Elphaba ran for the oil, and Galinda attempted to sit down for a moment. Unfortunataly, not matter how hard she tried, she simply couldn't bend enough at the hips to manage it. The comfort of the chair eluded her. Instead, she followed her roommate's earlier example and flounced onto the bed (she had to jump up a bit so as not to miss or slide back off onto the floor). When Elphaba returned with her oils, she stopped in the doorway to the bathroom and stared. For a few peculiar moments, she thought perhaps that a cloud had decided to perch itself on top Galinda's head, and only her legs were left, poking out oddly from beneath the blue. Chuckling to herself, Elphaba strode over to her roommate, but decided not to mention her thoughts to Galinda, flushed and ruffled as she was.
"If you use a small amount, it shouldn't even touch the dress. It'll work like hand lotion on a tricky ring." Galinda struggled to sit upright.
"Wherever did you learn of that trick?"
"I had a mother once, a Nanny now, and you for a roommate. I was bound to pick it up eventually." Elphaba grinned, handing Galinda the oil. Galinda, after moment's fight with the lids, began to pour a bit of it into her hands, but found it terribly difficult. She writhed and twisted, trying to manage her hands around the inhibiting pouf of fabric that seemed to be engulfing her.
"Miss Elphaba," She huffed finally, "If I can't get this oil in my hands properly, however will I get it where it needs to go for the dress?"
Elphaba began to prepare a snide retort, but suddenly flushed instead, realizing quickly that society did not permit Galinda to ask her directly for help in this matter. Wordlessly, (for no other reason than she didn't trust her voice) Elphaba took back her oil and rubbed a small amount on the very tips of her fingers and gingerly placed them on Galinda's breasts. At first, the green fingers were very light with their work, hardly touching the exposed flesh in the slightest and rubbing in tiny circles over the same area. Galinda felt her face heat up as Elphaba eventually became braver with her oils, openly rubbing her palms firmly into the ample flesh. Even as she leaned away from the touches and Elphaba removed her hands, Galinda became acutely aware of the heat from her face spread down her body and settled near her chest and stomach. She was also mildly aware of an unexplainable panging sort of sensation further down. Her breathing already inhibited, and her cheeks flushed before, Galinda prayed to Lurline that her roommate wouldn't notice. Elphaba, her eyes averted, crossed her arms and pretended that she didn't. The dress slid down easily.
Galinda squirmed out of the bed and just managed to touch her bare feet to the floor. She wobbled over to her vanity (she was getting better at moving about in the constricting garment), and reached out obstinately for a hairbrush, one hand gripping the edge of the dresser, just in case. Elphaba's features softened and her eyes lifted, though she did not move. She simply watched Galinda, her hands falling limply to her sides. Her eyes followed Galinda as she struggled to accommodate her morning routine to her new method of breathing.
"Galinda," She began, as the mass of curly hair began to tame slightly, "You look like a queen."
"Not yet, I don't, but I will once--"
"No." It was the controlled force of the simple word that made Galinda stop and actually face her roommate, "You're simply beautiful. Regal even." There was a longing in her voice, a pang of sorts. The sort of tone used by the likes of ShenShen and Pfannee when they came across a particularly nice pair of shoes, a pair just out of the price range. Galinda had never heard it coming from Elphaba before, never envisioned the green girl wanting anything. She always seemed content with what was there, because nothing else was needed. Oh yes, she'd heard Miss Elphaba speak of things she wanted, a new book from the library, a drink from a pricy restaurant, a good report on her latest paper, but those things were well within Miss Elphaba's reach. It occurred to Galinda, that perhaps her roommate desired this sort of beauty, and honestly believed she couldn't have it.
"Well, I can take you shopping, silly. I know this wonderful little boutique that produces gowns I couldn't dream of fitting in, but – Miss Elphaba, are you listening to me?" No, she wasn't. With a shake of her head and a half-smirk, Elphaba had turned back to her own morning routine and was steadfastly gathering books into her arms. Galinda dropped the hairbrush to her side and watched her roommate intently. She was an odd thing, scuttling about her bed, trying to collect the week's books that were due back at the Crage library. Anticipating the next step, Galinda walked across the room, fumbling despite her bare feet, and stepped in front of the door, shutting it softly behind her. Elphaba, having gathered what she needed and slung it all into her pack, walked pointedly to the door, not even noticing Galinda until the two girls bumped noses with each other. Galinda, determined not to let her roommate leave her alone for the remainder for the morning, did her best not to jump or wobble at the sudden contact. Elphaba, on the other hand, started, having only just realized the obstacle in her path. But she merely bristled and did not step back, daring Galinda to make the first move. Galinda pointedly refused this dare and continued to look her roommate hotly in the eyes. Several clock tics passed this way.
"Miss Elphaba," Galinda finally gritted, "would you kindly back up a bit? You're stealing the little bit of air I can force into my lungs right now." Elphaba took one small deliberate step backwards, but otherwise gave no response. Galinda huffed, but swooned a bit from the effort it took.
"Don't faint," came Elphaba's voice, "You'll muss your hair and bruise your pretty face."
"I'll do my best," Galinda retorted, giving Elphaba her best glare, "but you really mustn't simply drop out of a conversation like that. It's incredibly rude." Elphaba shot her own withering glare at Galinda, who couldn't help but shrink back, although she quickly recovered.
"The term 'conversation' implies two or more parties speaking together on the same subject. I wasn't aware that that had been the case, as I was not talking about shopping." She attempted once again to slide past Galinda, who in turn jutted out her hip to block the way.
"No, we were speaking of beauty, a rare enough subject for you so I'm not going to drop it, and I was offering to help you buy some pretty things before you shut me off." Elphaba laughed softly, and Galinda saw that half-smirk again.
"Oh, my sweet," No, it wasn't a smirk at all. It was a smile. A half-smile, a sad smile, but it was there. Galinda's heart almost melted at the sight of it. "I don't want to buy pretty things. That is not the sort of beauty that interests me."
No, it wasn't and Galinda knew that full well. Then why was Miss Elphaba's tone so wistful? Why were her eyes distant and glazed? What sort of beauty could she – Oh. Natural beauty. Something in which she was severely lacking. The sort of beauty that brought longing stares, rather than the scandalized and scornful looks that Miss Elphaba was surely accustomed to (Galinda herself had given her roommate those looks once.) A kind of beauty which Galinda was full of, overflowing in, actually (this thinking was not vanity, it was fact. Galinda knew she possessed more than her fair share of society's beauty.) 'My Pretty' Miss Elphaba called her. My Pretty. It was more than just a nickname. She should have known. Miss Elphaba never did anything for only one reason, and she was not given to cute nicknames. And certainly one could claim Miss Elphaba to be exotic or intriguing in her looks, but these terms of implied beauty would always fall short of their mark. There was simply no denying the harshness of those features, the sharpness of those angles, the sketched anger on the brow. Galinda tried to catch her roommate's eye, but Miss Elphaba's gaze was trained sternly on her boots. For a moment, all was silent.
"How often do you wash those, Miss Elphaba?"
"Every day on the outside, every week on the in," was the monotonous reply.
"And your frocks?"
"As they need it."
"Would you consider wearing one of my scarves today, my beauty?" Elphaba started and looked up for the first time, her jaw slack. She mouthed Galinda's words silently for a moment, as though not believing her ears, "If you are to give me an endearment, I shall have to give you one as well. It's only fitting."
"No, my sweet, it's not particularly fitting," Elphaba sighed, her smirk returning.
"What would you prefer I call you then? 'My little bookworm' or 'my surprise,' perhaps?" Galinda was grinning now and regaining a bit of her energy. Elphaba shook her head slowly.
"I don't know. Nanny used to call me 'little frog' or sometimes 'devil demon.'" Galinda couldn't tell if she was joking or not, "The children always preferred 'lizard girl' but I was never terribly fond of that."
"I can imagine not!" Galinda, though not an expert of the subject, could not detect any of Miss Elphaba's customary sarcasm. Although Miss Elphaba seemed to not be bothered by the apparent harshness of these endearments, Galinda could not help but feel pity towards her roommate. Bucking up her courage, Galinda reached out her arms and made to hug her roomie.
Unfortunately, the shift in her balance was all Galinda needed to finally lose her footing under the pressure of her corset. The lack of oxygen had made her legs weak, and she toppled forward, managing to reach Elphaba, but collapsing into her. Elphaba, startled at the sudden burst of movement, was unable to catch Galinda and together they tumbled to the floor.
Legs kicked, arms flailed, and the girls struggled wildly to disentangle themselves from each other. Galinda was greatly inhibited by her corset and found herself still quite unable to bend at the hips. Eventually, Elphaba pushed her over and she lay panting on the ground. Galinda knew she could not get up in time to stop Elphaba's certain escape into the hall, and resigned herself to the fact that she would probably not see her roommate for the rest of the day. But Elphaba did not stand up either. She stayed seated on the floor, legs out in front of her chest and bent at the knees, heaving from exertion as well.
"I had no idea that fashion took this much effort in the morning," she gasped, "I think I'll stick with my frocks, thanks." Galinda giggled despite herself. Leaving her pack on the floor, Elphaba stood and pulled Galinda to her feet. She led Galinda over to the chair at the vanity, supporting a great deal of Galinda's weight, and tried to coax the blonde to sit for a moment. Galinda tried sliding into the chair several times before finally just leaning back with her rear on the very edge of her chair, and her back tilted in a straight line to rest against the chair back. Uncomfortable as the situation was, Galinda was glad to rest her legs and try to breathe again.
Once she had made certain that Galinda was not going to topple out of the chair, Elphaba restacked her books roughly in her arms and made for the door. Galinda didn't try to stop her.
"Will you be able to get up on your own?" came Elphaba's voice from the doorway. She did not look around or face Galinda.
"I suppose I shall simply have to shout for assistance when I need to move," Galinda sighed dramatically. A small chuckle of sorts came from the girl in the doorway and her shoulders shook.
"I pray that a friend shall come to your rescue," Elphaba retorted in much the same tone. Galinda quivered with giggles, knowing full well that to pray would be the last thing her roommate would do. Unable to come up with a suitable response, Galinda heaved a theatrical sigh and made to wave Miss Elphaba through the door.
Miss Elphaba turned, gave a quick smile, and dashed out the door.
Galinda smiled in return and shut her eyes. She would worry later about how she could manage herself through the day. For now, she didn't care if she was still sitting propped up in this same chair when Miss Elphaba returned at the end of the day. Maybe she wouldn't move an inch.
After all, there were no better arms to be caught in, should she fall on the way.