"So, you landed in a pool and nothing happened?"
"No. No pain at all."
"This is just like what happened before, except last time you stayed green."
Elphaba sighed and lowered the ice pack she had been holding against her head. "It just doesn't make sense. Amnesia only affects a person's memory. There is no reason for my water allergy to just… go away, or for my skin to not be green anymore."
"But… isn't this what you've always wanted? I mean… you're not green anymore."
Elphaba looked up, detecting the hint of sadness in the blonde's voice. "Does that make you upset?"
"Would you be mad if I said yes?"
Elphaba sighed. "Galinda… you have to look at this from where I'm standing. I mean, I've gone my whole life being teased and looked down upon just because my skin lacked its normal pigmentation. And I've always wondered and dreamed about what it would be like to be… normal."
"Is that really what you want though? To be… like everyone else?"
Elphaba stood up and approached the blonde. "Galinda… just because I'm the same color as you now doesn't mean I'm that much changed. I'm still Elphaba Thropp and I'm still as sarcastic as I used to be."
"Yes… but you're not my Elphaba," the blonde muttered to herself.
Elphaba was slightly taken aback by that comment, which she was sure Galinda didn't expect her to hear. "Galinda… I'm sorry."
"Why are you sorry? It's not like this was your fault."
Elphaba sighed. "I… I'm going to put this away," she said, holding up the ice pack. She left the room and made her way into the kitchen, setting the ice pack in the sink. She reached for the faucet handle hesitantly. Even though she had already survived falling into a pool of water, she was still unwilling to test her luck again. Elphaba started to withdraw her hand, but quickly turned the handle before she could change her mind again. The water poured out and Elphaba slowly put her hand into the stream. The water ran over her skin and hit the sink bottom. She marveled at the fact that she still felt no pain.
"I always wondered what you would look like if you weren't green."
Startled, Elphaba pulled her hand from the stream as she turned to face Nessa. "You… you recognize me."
"Of course. You're my sister, and I can tell who you are no matter what color you are."
"So… what do you think?"
"It's different… but I can't say it suits you."
"You… you don't like it?"
"I said it didn't suit you, but you can't just take my word for it. I've seen you green all my life."
Elphaba looked down. "Galinda doesn't like it."
"Elphaba, it isn't just your skin that has her upset. That's just the finishing touch."
"What do you mean?"
"You lost your memories of you and her being together, so she lost you in that way. Now that you've lost your green skin, she has nothing left of the woman she fell in love with."
Elphaba stared at her sister. "Wow. I, uh… that's something I would usually say."
"But what can I do? I realize that Galinda and I were together once, but I just don't have those feelings for her anymore, and I'm afraid that I just can't love her the way she wants me to. It wouldn't feel… right, and it would be unfair to her."
"Well, I can't say I'm exactly on Galinda's side…"
"Nessa, not now. I can't deal with your stubborn beliefs."
"Fine. I need to get some rest anyway. Tomorrow I'm meeting with the council and—"
"Yes. You do remember that I took your place as the Eminent Thropp?"
"Sure… yeah… how did I manage that?"
"That is something you never told anyone, and it's probably what got you into this mess."
"Do you really think so?"
"Only you would know, Elphaba," the brunette said as she wheeled away.
Elphaba looked down at the floor as her mind wandered back to what her captor had said to her earlier.
"You employed our services. Now it's time to pay up."
What in the world would she have employed them to do? Those men seemed like they were mercenaries more than anything else. It just didn't make any sense.
If I still had my memories, this would be much easier.
If she still had her memories, she wouldn't be in this mess. If she still had her memories, then Galinda…
Elphaba shook her head, clearing those thoughts from her mind. What was done was done, and there was no going back and changing it now. She had to deal with this new problem before someone else got hurt. Especially Galinda.
Elphaba left the kitchen and headed up to her bedroom. She sat down on her bed and took her glasses off with a sigh, placing them on the bedside table. She put her face in her hands as the pain from her earlier beating started to catch up with her. She lowered her hands and extinguished the lamp before she climbed into the bed, pulling the blanket over herself. There were a few seconds of silence in the pitch-black room and Elphaba was just starting to drift off.
Elphaba let out a startled yell and jumped from the bed, which resulted in her becoming tangled in the blankets and toppling over the edge of the bed, hitting the floor with a solid thud.
Galinda's face appeared, looking down at the once green girl with curious sapphire eyes. "But where am I supposed to sleep then?"
Elphaba let out a breath, her heart racing. She untangled herself and stood up. "Oz, Galinda, at least let me know you're going to be in my bed before—"
"You used to like it when you found me in your bed."
Elphaba's face turned pink, a color the blonde found cute. "Galinda, I… we've talked about… I'm sleeping on the couch."
"Elphaba, wait, please," Galinda said, grabbing her arm before she could leave. Elphaba looked back at the blonde. Galinda stood up and their eyes met. Their faces drew closer and soon, their lips were mere inches apart. Elphaba knew she had to stop the blonde before she got hurt, but somehow… she just couldn't. She had to let the blonde try. She had to see for herself if there really could be… something between them.
The first time their lips met, the kiss was gentle and hesitant. When Galinda didn't sense resistance, she took her chance and kissed Elphaba again, a little more passionate and deeper this time. When they did break apart, Galinda sat back down on the bed, lying down. Before she could stop herself, Elphaba joined the blonde, crawling on top of her. She leaned down and their lips met again, and Galinda knew that she was going to get her way this time.
It was only when Elphaba started to reach for the ties that held Galinda's dress up that she realized what she was doing… what they were doing.
"What the hell is going on?" she suddenly shouted, pushing herself off the bed. Galinda sat up, feeling very confused. What had just… hadn't they just been…?
"I told you, I don't feel what you feel towards me! Stop making this harder on me!"
"No! Enough, Galinda! I can't take this anymore!"
Elphaba saw the hurt in Galinda's eyes, but she had to remain firm on this subject.
"I have enough to deal with right now, and I can't have you forcing me to wrestle with my feelings as well! I'm sorry, but this needs to end. Right. Now," she continued.
Galinda looked down, trying to hide the tears that were forming in her eyes. "All right, Elphaba. I understand. There… there will never be an us ever again, and it's time for me to just give up."
Seeing Galinda have to force herself to say that out loud… Elphaba found that it pained her, but she knew it was for the best. Galinda had to come to that realization before she got hurt further.
"It's for the best, and you know that," Elphaba said. She picked the blanket up off the floor and set it back the bed. "I'll be downstairs if you need me." She turned and started to leave the room.
"I beat Fiyero up for you."
Elphaba stopped and looked at the blonde over her shoulder. Galinda was looking at her with sad eyes.
"After you left for your trip… and you gave me the ring… he insulted you. And I beat him for it."
Elphaba looked down, not sure how to respond. In all the time she could remember from Shiz, Galinda had drooled over the prince, even going as far as to tell Elphaba that she planned to marry him someday. Elphaba left the room without saying anything, leaving Galinda behind to break out into the tears she had been fighting to hold back.