Galinda sat bolt upright in bed, sweat dripping from her face. "Elphie?" she squeaked, "Elphie!" Breathing hard, she looked across the dark dorm room, but she couldn't see Elphaba's silhouette in her bed. Before she could cry out for her girlfriend again, Elphaba's arms were encircling her, pulling her close, and wiping her sopping brow. Galinda clung to her, and Elphaba murmured soothing words in her ear.
"What's wrong, my sweet?" Elphaba queried.
"Bad--bad dream," Galinda gasped, trying to control her breathing, "Thank you for--" Galinda shrieked and clutched her side.
Very concerned, Elphaba sputtered unanswered half-questions. "What's wro--Is there anything I can--Should I get the nurs--Galinda?" Elphaba laid her girlfriend gently back on her pillow, but Galinda didn't seem to hear or notice her. She just continued to cry out and hold her left side.
Elphaba started to ask Galinda where it hurt, but realized that even if Galinda were coherent enough to answer her, it would be a stupid question. She gently grasped the blonde's face in an attempt to get her to focus on her. "Galinda? Galinda, my sweet, I'm going to go get the nurse. I'll be back as soon as I can, please just hang on!" She briefly toyed with the idea of scooping Galinda up and carrying her with her, but she was afraid to risk hurting her even more, and the nurse's station was halfway across the Shiz campus. She pressed a kiss on Galinda's forehead, and hurried from the room.
There was a clock just down the hall from their room, and Elphaba cursed when she saw that it was a little past three in the morning. The nurse's station was supposed to be manned 24/7, but she also knew that the nurses often left before midnight and didn't come back until six.
Elphaba sprinted across the courtyard, her nightgown flapping in the cool night air and her bare feet slapping the ground. She had not even thought about getting more suitably dressed before leaving, and she didn't care.
Reaching the nurse's station, she pounded on the door, and bounced nervously from foot to foot as the seconds dragged by. She pounded again and shouted, "Please, someone's injured! I need help!"
After three very long minutes passed, a tousle-headed, yawning nurse opened the door and blinked at Elphaba sleepily.
"My roommate. She's hurt, and I need help. Please, let's go!" Elphaba said impatiently.
The nurse followed her--not as quickly as she would have liked--back to the dorm. Along the way, she questioned Elphaba.
"What happened? Broken bones, that kind of thing?"
"No. I don't know what happened. She just woke up very upset, and then she started screaming. She was holding her side."
"Which side? Can you remember?"
Elphaba thought for a moment without slowing her stride. "Left, I think. Could it be appendicitis?"
"No, the appendix is on the right side. She probably has a kidney stone. A nasty one, by the sounds of it."
Elphaba had never had a kidney stone, but she remembered Frex having several when she was young. He would be bedridden for days, always muttering things about "punishment from the Unnamed God" whenever she brought him his meals.
Upon reaching the room, Elphaba threw open the door, and was sitting beside Galinda, holding her hand and stroking her hair, before the nurse even managed to get inside. Galinda looked to be even less lucid than when Elphaba left her, but her hands were still solidly locked on her side. She was moaning softly, but she managed a small, "Elphie?"
"I'm here, Darling. Don't worry. I'm going to make it go away," Elphaba told her huskily, placing a kiss on her hand.
The nurse raised her eyebrows but did not comment. She shooed Elphaba away from Galinda's side, and Elphaba retreated, reluctantly, to stand at the head of the bed where she could continue to stroke Galinda's cheek.
The nurse pried Galinda's hands from her side, and squeezed carefully. Galinda gasped and tears began streaming down her face.
"Be careful! Can't you see that you're hurting her?!" Elphaba berated the nurse. She ignored her burning fingers as she wiped the tears from Galinda's eyes.
"Miss Elphaba, I'm just trying to do my job. I'm being as careful as I can," she said patiently.
Elphaba started to speak, but Galinda squeezed her hand and gave her a warning look. Elphaba bit back her retort.
The nurse asked Galinda the same questions she had asked Elphaba on the way over, and then she stood. "Yes, she has a kidney stone."
"Well, you can get rid of it, right?" Elphaba asked anxiously.
"I'm afraid not. There's nothing to do but wait for it to pass."
"But there has to be something you can do!"
The nurse pondered a moment. "Well, I suppose I can perform a sleeping spell on her. Other than that, there's not much I can do." The nurse chanted a quick spell and Galinda's eyes immediately drooped.
"If her pain persists, perform this," the nurse said, handing Elphaba a slip of paper. It was headed "Painkilling Spell."
"But I'm not very good at--" Elphaba started, but the nurse was already gone, on her way back to bed.
"Bitch," Elphaba muttered.
Knowing she wasn't going to be able to sleep, Elphaba paced the room, studying the spell and glancing at Galinda's sleeping form every few seconds.
Hardly any time had passed before Galinda cried out in her sleep. Seeing her in pain brought Elphaba to her knees by the bed.
"Oh, Galinda. You know I'm no good at this stuff," Elphaba said softly, but she brought the paper in front of her face and read the words as accurately as she could. As she finished, she held her breath, waiting to see Galinda's reaction. The blonde's face smoothed and her cries softened and then disappeared. Ultimately relieved, Elphaba settled down to wait until Galinda awakened.
A matter of hours later, Galinda stirred and looked confusedly around the room. Elphaba, who had been sitting head-in-hands on her bed, lightly dozing, snapped awake as Galinda shifted.
"How are you feeling?" she asked breathlessly.
Galinda paused a moment to survey her body and said, "Okay, I tink. Wha happen?"
"You have a kidney stone. The nurse put you to sleep."
"My tongue ith numb."
"My tongue. I can't theel it. She muth have uthed a painkiller thpell on me too," Galinda explained.
"Um, actually, that was me," Elphaba said sheepishly, "You were crying in your sleep."
Galinda's eyes widened. "That'th highly complicated maddic, Elphie. I'm tho pwoud of you!" She tried to sit up, but fell back down. "Wow, dithy…"
"Relax, my sweet," Elphaba said, still blushing from the compliment, "don't strain yourself."
"I think I need to go back to thleep," Galinda said groggily, "will you thing to me?" she patted the empty space on the bed beside her.
"Thing to you?" Elphaba asked, "Oh! Sing! Um, I guess I can." Elphaba tenderly climbed into bed beside her girlfriend and wrapped her arms around her. Very quietly, she began singing a Munchkinlander lullaby her father used to sing to Nessarose.
Galinda sighed contentedly, and said sleepily, "You thould be a docta, Elphie."
Elphaba smiled. "I wouldn't want to cuddle with all my patients."
"How many would you want to cuddle wiff?" Galinda asked suspiciously.
"Just one," Elphaba said, kissing her girlfriend's lips.
"Hey, no fair!" Galinda pouted, "I can't theel it!"
Elphaba laughed gently. "Don't make me spell you to sleep."
Galinda started to make a comment back, but she fell asleep before she could, her head resting against Elphaba's breast.
"I love you, Galinda Upland," Elphaba told her sleeping roommate, "Kidney stone and all."