"Miss Galinda!" Elphaba snapped. Galinda looked up from her sorcery essay, marked with a large FAIL in red ink, and frowned at Elphaba.

"Miss Elphaba, please, I am trying to find out what the matter was with my essay." Galinda returned to perusing her essay and popping her gum loudly like a cow. Elphaba dug her fingernails into her thighs to keep herself from strangling the stupid girl there and then.

"Please," Elphaba put a specific strain on the word, "Miss Galinda, I cannot concentrate with you chomping on that idiotic gum of yours. If you would kindly toss it out, I will not have to stick it where the sun does not shine!" Galinda blushed furiously and jumped to her high-heeled feet.

"Miss Elphaba, really! There is no reason for you to address me in such an unladylike manner!"

"Then spit out that infernal gum!" Elphaba's voice had gone screechy and she balled her hands into fists. She stood up, towering over Galinda by a good twelve inches. Galinda, for her part, did not run screaming.

"Miss Elphaba," Galinda's almost unsteady voice was nearly a whisper compared to the shrieking they had done earlier. "If you will excuse me." She clicked away on her pointed heels and Elphaba tried to imagine she had not seen Galinda bury her face in her hands as she ran to the bathroom.

"I'll never hear the end of this now."


"Ohh, Miss Galinda," Pfannee crooned, stroking Galinda's hair back gently. "Don't cry, dearest. That Miss Artichoke has nothing to do with you."

Shenshen entered the room in a towel, whistling, when Pfannee motioned to her to come to Galinda. Shenshen made a crude "G" with her hands, indicating "greenbean" as they called her. Pfannee nodded and grinned evilly.

"What's wrong with poor Miss Galinda?" Shenshen called from across the room. Galinda looked up, her face tearstained.

"Miss E-Elphaba." Galinda stated simply. Shenshen made a soft "Awh" noise in the back of her throat and walked forward, reaching out a slightly damp hand stroking the side of Galinda's face. Galinda unconsciously leaned into the touch, sniffling and closing her eyes.

"L E S B I A N." Shenshen mouthed to Pfannee, whose eyes opened a little wider and glanced down at her own hand which was still resting on Galinda's back. She carefully picked it up as Galinda opened her eyes and smiled reassuringly.

"We'll put spiders in her soup, Miss Galinda. She shan't bother you again any time soon." Pfannee promised, kissing the air above Galinda's cheeks by way of farewell.

"Yes, indeed, she'll learn her lesson." Shenshen kissed Galinda's cheeks the same way, smiling at Pfannee over Galinda's shoulders.

"Learn her lesson." Pfannee repeated.


Galinda returned to the room a good deal calmer, quickly spitting out her gum into her handkerchief, and opened the door carefully.

"Miss Galinda." Elphaba's tone was icy and unrepentant. Galinda bristled.

"Miss Elphaba." Galinda continued through the room to her bed and flopped down, picking up her essay again. Her second failing essay. She thumbed through the pages, not seeing a single correction mark. The only thing Madame Lettins had written on her paper was the FAIL. Galinda fought back more tears as she grumbled to herself, trying to decipher her own curly handwriting.

"Miss Galinda, the muttering is almost worse than the gum-popping. Unfortunately, I cannot stick words where the sun doesn't shine, so I advise you find something less noisy to do before I resort to drastic measures." Elphaba didn't so much as look at Galinda as she delivered her speech. Galinda's eyes filled with the tears she had been hiding and she bolted up, whipping Elphaba's chair around and grabbing the armrests, getting into Elphaba's face.

"Miss Elphaba," Galinda almost spat on Elphaba's face, so great was her fury, "I am currently trying to save my grade in Sorcery, so if YOU don't mind, I'd like to continue that! If you can offer any help, be SURE to comment. If not, shut your uneducated verdant mouth!" Galinda stormed away, practically punching holes in the carpet with her heels.

Down the hall three doors, Shenshen was snickering to Pfannee, "Sounds like those two are at it again."

"Miss Galinda. . . " For once in her life, Elphaba had no thorny comeback. Instead, she turned her chair around and buried herself deep into the work she had been trying to do. She found that with Galinda not talking or popping gum, she couldn't concentrate. Swearing under her breath, she packed up her papers and pulled out a book.


"You didn't mean what you said about the spiders, did you?" Galinda asked meekly of Shenshen and Pfannee at the next lunch table meeting. They looked at each other slyly, then shrugged simultaneously. "Oh no, you two! She's going to kill me." Elphaba, speak of the devil, was walking through the lunch line, ignoring the rude comments passed her way, and making her way to an empty table that, as soon as she sat, would stay empty the rest of the day.

Elphaba lifted a spoonful of soup, staring at it contemplatively. She had seen something other than anger in Galinda's eyes. Had it been a spark of desire? She could recall that same spark in Melena's eyes when she looked at Turtle Heart. Galinda was not a Kumbric witch, surely there could be no desire in her eyes for Elphaba. And Elphaba certainly didn't desire that pink poufy thing. A small black spider crawled stickily out of her tomato soup and up the handle of her spoon. She shrieked in surprise and dumped the bowl of soup in the nearest garbage can. A plague of spiders emerged from the bowl, crawling and swarming. Elphaba darted out of the lunchroom followed by many laughing eyes.

"Oh. . . " Galinda said under her breath, staring after Elphaba. She turned back to Shenshen and Pfannee and blinked a couple times. "Damn."