Disclaimer: Gregory Maguire, be my lover . . . I'll cover you. Wicked is obviously not mine.
By Elizabeth Odessky
"I said no, Glinda."
"I mean it, Glinda."
"Fine. I'll get Pfannee to go with me."
Elphaba looked up over the top of her Ozian History textbook to stare at her roommate. Glinda had been in a huff for the past thirty minutes and simply refused to let her be – she kept nattering on about a new pub and her yearning to 'learn the ways of the world through exploration.' Elphaba suspected that Glinda just wanted a cheap high and the alcohol at such a pub would serve that purpose quite easily. As would the adrenaline rush of sneaking out with her emerald-hued roommate instead of a chaperone, she supposed.
"Go ahead. I'm sure Miss Pfannee will have no objection to such an outing."
Glinda glared at her. "Fine then. I'll just go alone. I am fully capable of taking care of myself." With that, she grabbed her hand bag and made it across the room to turn the doorknob before, just as she had expected, overprotective Elphaba spoke up.
"Don't be ridiculous. You can't go alone."
Glinda turned around to look at Elphaba, trying to keep from smirking at how well her plan was working. "Well, I don't have an Ama and you won't go with me, so I'll just go by myself. I'll be fine."
Elphaba snapped her book shut and placed it on her side table before frowning at her roommate. "I'm not stupid, you know."
Glinda nodded, seemingly oblivious, so Elphaba continued. "Then why must you tiptoe around the issue by trying to guilt me into coming with you."
The blonde threw her hands up in frustration before bringing them down to rest on her hips, glaring at Elphaba. "One night out won't hurt you any."
"I have an exam tomorrow. I need to study."
"No you don't – you always pass. It's sickening, really, the grades you get without even trying," Glinda huffed, tapping her foot in impatience.
"Who says I don't try? I study every night," Elphaba protested, pointing at the textbook she had just sat aside for emphasis.
"You don't actually read that thing," Glinda shot right back.
"Then precisely what do I do instead of studying?"
"How am I supposed to know that? You're always staring off into space or watching me. I can't read your mind!"
For once, Elphaba didn't have a biting reply. Instead, she turned her gaze to her hands, her cheeks turning a slightly darker color, affecting what Glinda could only think of as a blush. However, before Glinda could push the topic, Elphaba quickly unfolded herself from her sitting position and grabbed her bag, slinging it over her shoulder and nearly hitting Glinda with it in her haste. "Come on, lets go," she snapped as she grabbed her roommate's shoulders and pushed her gently towards the door.
Deciding to drop the subject, Glinda fumbled with her keys and locked the door before hurrying after Elphaba, who was already at the end of the hall. "Thank you, Elphie," she gushed as she followed her roommate down the stairs and out into the chilly night, right into another dilemma – the front gates of Crage Hall.
"Elphie, how are we going to get out? Morrible has the gates locked after nine."
Elphaba shot her an incredulous look. "Didn't you think of that before you hounded me to death about sneaking out with you?"
Glinda shook her head.
"We'll just climb the wall," Elphaba said, shaking her head in disbelief.
"Are you kidding? We are proper young women. We don't hop fences."
"Then how do you expect to get into town?" Elphaba asked as she sized up their obstacle. She walked forward and grabbed a handful of the vines that were abundant on the eastern-facing side of the wall, tugging on them for a moment before beginning to climb.
"What? The wall isn't that high and it's easier than it looks." Her roommate still looked doubtful, so Elphaba clambered back down to her level. "Look, I'll give you a hand up. All you have to do is hold on and I'll help pull you up." She offered a green hand to Glinda, who took it after a moment of hesitation, grasping it like her only lifeline as Elphaba struggled to pull her to the top of the wall and helped lower her back down the other side.
"Now, that wasn't too difficult, was it?" Elphaba asked as she brushed off the leaves that had gotten snagged in the fabric of her skirt.
"Leave me alone, Elphie. You know how I don't like heights."
"Really now? And here I thought that all that labored breathing was brought upon by my presence alone."
"It's not proper to mock, Miss Elphaba."
"And since when am I proper?" Elphaba shot back, letting forth a burst of raucous laughter at the scandalized look on Glinda's face. "Oh hush, you know what I meant."
They continued their walk in silence – the only noise coming from the carriages rattling past and the clacking of their shoes on the cobblestones. Elphaba was partial to this companionable silence, while Glinda, to her roommate's amusement, seemed determined to break the stillness; she bounced along, opening her mouth every once in a while before thinking better of it and closing it again.
As the two neared the outskirts of the city, Glinda nudged closer to Elphaba, leaning away from the decrepit figures huddled along the roadside. In this situation she could easily cover up her yearning to simply be closer to Elphaba with a seemingly biased fear of the beggars and street performers of the city.
They were just about to round the corner to turn onto the main thoroughfare when a toothless old man lunged into their path, a ceramic mug grasped in one shaking hand. Glinda took the opportunity to attach herself to Elphaba's side, wrapping both of her arms tightly around Elphaba's right one.
"A penny for the poor, missies?" he asked, shaking his mug before them. No sound came from the empty container, and Elphaba smiled sadly at the man.
"Take this," Elphaba replied as she reached into one of the pockets of her dress jacket and pulled out several coins, letting them fall with a jingle into the man's cup. "Go find yourself somewhere warm to sleep and get a good meal."
Before the man had a chance to say anything in response or walk away, Glinda released one of her arms from around Elphaba and reached into her hand bag, pulling out several bills and adding them to Elphaba's donation. She smiled herself in response to the man's own elated grin, toothless as it was.
"Thank you, missies!" he cried as he excitedly shook his mug and wandered off down the alleyway, counting his earnings under his breath.
"That was very sweet of you, Miss Glinda," Elphaba commented as they turned onto the main street, one of Glinda's arms still linked with her own.
"What can I say? You set a good example."
"I hardly believe that," Elphaba scoffed as she paused to look around, realizing that she had no idea as to where this 'wondrous' pub was. "I'm more caustic than sweet."
"This way," Glinda said as she tugged Elphaba towards the end of the thoroughfare and on to yet another side street. "It's over here."
Sure enough, after walking a few moments more, Elphaba could make out the writing on a large wooden sign: The Peach and Kidneys, it read in glossy black lettering. The building itself was fairly unremarkable – made of red stone and tarnished wood, it hardly stood out from the others on the street. What set it apart, though, was the teeming crowd and sounds of music emanating from inside the pub.
As the first few patrons turned to stare at Elphaba with either blatant disgust or curiosity, she paused, letting Glinda continue on alone. Noting that her company had stopped, Glinda turned around and sauntered over to her roommate. "What's wrong, Elphie?"
Elphaba looked panicked as she stared down at Glinda. "I shouldn't have come," she mumbled. She was fidgeting with the strap of her bag – a habit that, especially coupled with her words, Glinda knew meant that her friend was extremely uncomfortable.
Taking Elphaba's hand in her own, she grinned up at the green girl. "Come on, Elphie. Have a drink with me!" Not giving Elphaba a chance to protest or twist away, Glinda drug her through the front door of the pub. She ignored the disgruntled looks of the other clientele as she pushed her way through the crowd and over to a niche in the far corner. Tuning out Elphaba's continued objections, she pushed her roommate roughly into one of the wooden chairs at the table, settling much more gracefully into the chair opposite it.
"See, it's not that bad, Elphie," she gushed as a dark-haired man at another table winked at her.
Elphaba rolled her eyes; so long as someone was looking at her, Glinda was happy. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Elphaba knew that regardless of her appearance and flighty ways, Glinda was actually quite intelligent and kindhearted once she dropped her façade. It was this pretense lacking Glinda, which Elphaba had glimpsed on a few occasions, that had caused Elphaba to change her preconceived notions and allow herself to see her roommate go from unbearably annoying to unbearably endearing.
It had finally hit her during the impromptu makeover Glinda, then Galinda, had given her: She, Elphaba Thropp, had fallen for her pompous, insufferably perky roommate, Glinda Upland, the most popular girl in all of Shiz. The very girl that flirted with every testosterone filled being that crossed her path and who, Elphaba was sure, would never look to her to be more than a friend.
Determined not to ruin one of the few friendships she had, Elphaba had accepted the fact that Glinda enjoyed the company of men, not women, and obligingly filled the role of best friend. The closeness helped, but it didn't stop the hurt that she felt every time Glinda was caught with a boy or came back to their dorm room late, in various states of inebriation, lipstick smudged, skirt wrinkled, and intricate hairdo in complete disarray.
Elphaba snapped back to the present to Glinda waving a drink back and forth in front of her face, sipping from her own with a straw. "I got you a drink." Glinda grinned as she sat the glass down in front of Elphaba and went back to nursing her own beverage, watching Elphaba to see if the other girl would give in and take a sip.
She did. And then promptly spit it back out again, choking on the liquid she had not managed to expel. "Wha- What is this stuff?" she sputtered, wiping a bit of the drink off her chin with a napkin.
"I'm not sure." Glinda said, discarding her straw and taking a swig from the mug itself, all propriety lost. "But it was cheap."
"Is that all you care about?"
"When it comes to alcohol, yes. Not with clothes, Elphie."
"Somehow, I'm not surprised," Elphaba said, placing her drink as far away from her as the table would allow.
"Come now. It's not that bad. You get used to it after a while."
"You mean once the buzz sets in."
"Oh loosen up, Elphie! You spend all day with your nose in a book. Have some fun for once!" Glinda finished off her first drink and began to wave the sever over to refill her glass. Elphaba caught her arm and drug it back down. Glinda huffed and glared at her roommate. "At least let me have some fun."
Elphaba sighed and released her as the waiter wandered over. He refilled Glinda's drink and ambled off with a smile. Glinda watched him go, eyes on his lower half. "Now he has a tight one."
"Glinda!" Elphaba sputtered, reaching over to swat Glinda lightly on the arm. Glinda looked at her and giggled. She paused to take another sip from her drink, and then let out a very unladylike snort.
"I was just joking, Elphie. I was experimenting."
"Seeing how far I would have to go to prompt a reaction from you." To Elphaba's surprise, Glinda reached across the table to give one of Elphaba's hands a quick squeeze. "Now, if you'll excuse me. I see some wonderful prospects and must go introduce myself." With that, the blonde was gone, half-stumbling across the crowded room, bumping into a different person with each step.
Deciding that following Glinda would result in a fairly awkward conversation, Elphaba turned her gaze to the other patrons. She recognized several Shiz students – mostly upperclassmen – that she did not know by name, and even one of the younger professors. Behind the bar, a troupe of faerie acrobats operated the levers on the kegs and a Lion assisted the man that she assumed was the proprietor serve drinks. Other than a pair of Beavers a few tables over, there were no other Animals in the pub. The rest of the crowd was made up of young and middle-aged humans, loitering and chatting over their drinks.
After a few minutes of crowd watching, Elphaba returned her gaze to the bar. Glinda, it seemed, was flirting up a storm. The blonde and a fair-haired older man were sitting at two opposing barstools. He was leaning in close, staring at her cleavage instead of looking her in the eye as she spoke animatedly about something or another. Glinda had yet another drink in one hand, the other inching its way up the stranger's thigh. To her credit, Elphaba didn't think that Glinda was sober enough to be fully aware of her actions. Elphaba heaved a great sigh before standing and making her way over to the two, deciding to pull Glinda away before she did something to compromise her dignity.
But she was too late. By the time Elphaba had managed to push her way through the crowd and over to where Glinda was sitting, the unknown man had his hand partway up Glinda's skirt, her hand on his wrist. "Sto- Elphie!"
"Glinda, what are you doing?"
Glinda ignored her, instead opting for using her companion's temporary shocked state at seeing Elphaba to her advantage, putting her drink down and using both of her hands to push his away. Before he had a chance to grab for her again, she twisted away to stand beside Elphaba, looking up at her apprehensively.
Elphaba was fuming – her nostrils flaring with each breath and her hands clenching into fists. Not taking Elphaba's anger at face value, the older man stood to tower over the green girl, hoping to intimidate her. "Just what do you think you're doing, butting in to all our fun?"
Elphaba didn't back down. "I don't think she was having much fun. We'll be leaving now." Suppressing the urge to knock the man senseless, Elphaba took Glinda by the arm and led her back to their table. "Did he hurt you?" she asked once they were seated again.
"I'm fine," Glinda replied as she took a sip, this time from the drink Elphaba had discarded. "You really are sweet."
"No, I mean it. You were going to knock that sleaze's lights out." She giggled, swaying a little bit in her seat.
"Okay, I think it's about time we head back," Elphaba said as she gently pried the glass from Glinda's fingers. "You've had enough," she added when Glinda tried to take the glass back, pouting. Elphaba rose to leave when Glinda grabbed her arm, pulling her to a stop.
"One last thing," she said, seeming surprisingly clear-headed to her friend.
That is, until she began to wave her arms around, trying to gain the attention of the man whom Elphaba had pulled her away from at the bar.
"Glinda!" Elphaba hissed, trying to tug her out of the pub, but to no avail.
"Hey mister!" the blonde shrieked. When the man finally tore his gaze away from his drink to look at Glinda, the blonde tugged Elphaba around to face her. "She's my sister," she yelled before rising up on her tiptoes with surprising agility for her drunken state, grabbed the front of Elphaba's jacket, pulled the green girl down to her level, and pressed their lips together.
Elphaba stood stock still, expecting Glinda to pull away once she realized what she was doing. To her surprise, the blonde looped her arms around Elphaba's neck as she pressed her lips harder against those of her roommate. Leaving caution to the wind, Elphaba angled her head to deepen the kiss and tangling one hand in Glinda's hair, surprising herself with her own daring. Only when they parted for breath did they become aware of their surroundings.
The bar, as full as it was, had gone completely silent after Glinda's joking proclamation. The man she had directed her comment at had disappeared, probably out of embarrassment, and the crowd was buzzing with conversation, patrons sneaking quick glances at the two girls before turning to whisper to their companions.
"Glind-" Elphaba started once she caught her breath, but Glinda cut her off.
"Let's get out of here." Once again, to Elphaba's surprise, she didn't look at all like the other girl had expected. Glinda was practically glowing, a ridiculously happy smile plastered across her face. She didn't look taken aback or disgusted, as Elphaba would have assumed she would be after kissing her repulsive, unpopular roommate in front of dozens of people. Maybe it was the alcohol, though, despite the several drinks she had had, Glinda looked totally coherent.
Elphaba's stomach knotted; did Glinda actually care for her? She didn't get a chance to ask as said blonde was already across the room from her, standing in the middle of the exit. "Elphie! Come on!" she cried, waving at her, smile still radiant. Glinda ignored the irritated looks from the other patrons who were trying to leave; she continued to stand her ground until Elphaba waved her off.
Taking one more glace around the pub before she left, Elphaba's gaze paused on the half finished drink she had discarded earlier that night, which she had just taken from Glinda. With only a moment of hesitation, Elphaba grabbed it and downed the rest of the drink like a shot before following her roommate out into the night.
She had a feeling she was going to need it.
And there we go - my first Wicked fic. I'm not totally pleased with how it turned out, but it was driving me insane not posting it. This sad little one-shot that might become a two-shot is the result of a challenge issued by my sister to use that particular line from La Vie Boheme.
Now see that little button down there to the left of your page? A review would be much appreciated, flames aside.