AN: Just a little one-shot to get us through the torture this week, written on a whim. Happy back to school...sigh.


"What in Oz are you doing?"

Galinda peeked up, her beautiful blonde curls dusted with the same brown powder that freckled her face. "Elphie! You're home early." She tried to hide the bowl she'd been cradling by stuffing it behind her back, and she flashed her most mesmerizing smile. The kind typically reserved for cute boys or shiny tiaras. Elphaba eyed the devastation littering their bedroom suite. A toppled bag of sugar, splatters of milk, the remains of an eggshell…

"Are you…baking?"

Caught, the blonde returned to whisking the contents of the bowl. "It was supposed to be a surprise, but since you're so observifying…it's pudding! Happy half-birthday!"

Elphaba gaped at that sentence, not sure where to start. She decided to work backwards. "Half-birthday?"

"My own creation. Exactly half the year between one birthday and the next." As if that's the part that had been curious. At her roommate's look, Galinda sighed. "Well, you forbid me to celebrate your birthday after the last one, but you didn't say anything about half-birthday."

Elphaba cringed at the memory. She would never look at Boq the same way. Or the color pink. "Perhaps because the concept hadn't been invented?"

"But it has now. So…Happy Half-Birthday!" Galinda's dramatic gesture had slung a stream of brown goo from the end of her whisk to splatter the ground at Elphaba's feet. "Oops. Sorry."

"What is that?"

She grinned. "The most fantastible chocolate pudding you've ever eaten in your whole life."

"That'll be easy. I've never had chocolate pudding."

"Never?" Galinda stopped whisking with an appalled expression. "Oh, Elphie, that's terrible. I can't imagine a life without chocolate pudding."

"I know. How did I manage to live?"

"You're teasing." She beat the whisk through the pudding with a subtle pout. "Well, wait till you try it. Then you'll be eating those words."

"Assuming it's edible." Galinda stuck her tongue out and set the metal bowl on a hot plate she'd rigged out of several cannibalized straighteners. "What is that? Did you…did you make that?"

"You needn't sound so shocked. I've always been very resourceful."

"True. But typically your resourcefulness is used in beads and glitter. Or boys and credit cards."

She stirred her mixture without sparing a look. "I won't hold this against you once you taste my delicious gift and beg my forgiveness."

"You're right," Elphaba offered, struck by a thrum of guilt. "Thank you for making me a Half-Birthday present. It was very considerate."

"Of course." Galinda beamed proudly. "You're my bestest friend. And I didn't even throw you a party, even though I reeeeally wanted to."

"Wow." That probably killed her inside. Elphaba offered a very sincere, "I should be making you a present, then."

The liquid started to bubble, and Galinda pulled it off the hot plate. She submerged the bowl in a waiting chest of ice. "Just a few minutes to cool, and we'll have the bestest dessert ever made in a dorm room." Elphaba helped her roommate collect the stack of dirtied dishes and plop them in the bathroom sink. They eyed the stack, then each other. "Later," they said in unison, and fell against each other giggling.

"The pudding should be done."

"Already?" Elphaba lifted her eyebrows. "Doesn't it have to cool?"

Galinda led the way to the makeshift icebox and drew out the fog-frosted bowl. "I might have used a little charm. On the ice, not the pudding," she rushed the words at her roommate's face. She scooped a cup into the brown goop, and then another for herself. She handed the larger one to Elphaba with a proud grin.

Elphaba stared in her cup at the mixture with uncertainty. She shook it, and it globbed to the left. Her face must have expressed her reservations because Galinda whined, "Elphieeeeee, I spent a lot of time on that, making the charm and the hotplate and the whisking. Do you know how much effort it is to whisk? You can't not even try it!"

Elphaba drew a deep breath and nodded. "Hand me a spoon."

"Spoon?" Galinda gaped at her. "You don't eat pudding with a spoon. Spoons are too dignified. Pudding is liquid fun." She dunked a finger and lifted it with triumph, only to have a sizeable chunk plop back into her cup. "Well, almost liquid. More…goopy. That's it. Goopy fun." She popped the finger in her mouth happily, and motioned for Elphaba to do the same. "It's okay to be a little messy once in a while, you know."

Elphaba studied the pudding. A finger, huh? She remembered seeing children eat that way in Munchkinland with a certain degree of envy. It had seemed so…frivolous. And her childhood had been many things, but none of them frivolous. She'd been far too responsible caring for Nessarose and avoiding Frexspar's disapproval to consider such a luxury. No, her childhood had been spent in books and studies, just as her college days were.

Except for Galinda. Silly, giddy, and definitely frivolous Galinda.

Elphaba grinned at her roommate with a newfound depth of affection. She plunged her fingers into the pudding and hauled them up, covered with the brown goo. It felt surprisingly cool against her finger, like Galinda's cucumber-avocado mud facial she'd had inflicted on her. Hesitantly, she brought them to her lips and licked at the mixture. "This is really good," she said with surprise, and Galinda giggled.

"Told you."

Elphaba stuck her fingers into her mouth and sucked the rest of the rich pudding off. "No, really. This is very good. It's absolutely delicious." She scooped up another fingerful, relishing the silly mess it made of her hands and face. Galinda giggled and matched her friend's pace. "How have I never had chocolate pudding before?"

Galinda shrugged, mouth full of puddingy fingers.

"I always thought it would taste like it looks – kind of disgusting. But it's so…" Elphaba dug another glop of the heavenly goo.

"Sugary?"

"Yes. And wonderful."

"I know." Galinda sighed happily, chocolate smeared over her lips and chin. Elphaba laughed, though no doubt her face was in a similar state. "It's splendiferous."

"Galinda?" Fiyero called her name, knocked and opened the door all in one motion, as much at home in their room as his own. "Avaric wants to know if we want to-oh." He eyed the chocolate spattered girls and frowned. "Um, everything alright?"

It took his look of confusion to remind Galinda of her appearance, and she shrieked, "Fiyero! Out. You can't see me like this." When he didn't move, she bolted to the bathroom and called through the door. "Elphie, make him go. I'm not presentable."

"You look fine," she muttered around her mouthful of chocolate. "It's just Fiyero."

"Gee, thanks," he grumbled and Galinda groused her own complaints. Elphaba offered him her cup of pudding in apology, and he dipped a finger in. He gave an appreciate grunt at the taste.

"He's my boyfriend, Elphie." She rolled her eyes. As if she didn't know. "I can't be seen covered in chocolate."

Fiyero pursed his lips. "Oh, I don't know about that." He winked at Elphaba. "I think women should often be seen by their boyfriends covered in chocolate. In fact, it should be a requirement."

"Galinda, come out already," Elphaba complained. "I want more pudding."

"It's in the icebox. Tell me when Fiyero's gone."

She lifted the lid and scooped another cupful of pudding for Fiyero. "He's gone."

"Really?"

"Yep." She swirled the cool mixture around her finger and sucked it in her mouth happily, oblivious to the eyebrows Fiyero raised. The rich chocolate smoothed down her throat, and she gave a sigh of contentment.

"You're not lying to me?"

"Nope."

Galinda cracked the door open to peek her head out, and squealed when she saw Fiyero lounged in Elphaba's desk chair. "Elphie! You lied to me." When there was no answer, she sent a grumpy, "Fine. If I can't trust you, I guess I'll have to stay in here all night."

"You're not going to stay in there all night. Where would you sleep? The shower?"

"If I have to."

"Don't be stubborn. Just wash off the chocolate and come eat pudding with us." Elphaba knew Galinda had just realized that obvious solution and was now pondering a way to consent without losing face. "Pleeease, Galinda? It's my Half-Birthday," she cooed in a perfect imitation of her bubbly roommate.

She could practically see Galinda's smile. "Well, it is your Half-Birthday. I wouldn't want to ruin it."

"You're so goodly, Galinda," Fiyero flattered in encouragement, and then he whispered to Elphaba, "Half-birthday?"

She shrugged and popped another chocolaty finger in her mouth.

"You're right. Give me a few minutes, and I'll be right out." She heard the water turn on, and settled in for the blonde's ridiculous half-hour routine. Not that it bothered her. So long as the pudding didn't run out.

Fiyero watched her pop another finger in her mouth and lick it clean with an odd expression. He leaned over and whispered huskily, "You want to stop doing that?"

"What?" she pouted, guarding her pudding as if he might lunge for it at any moment. Instead, he dunked a finger in his own cup and with a ridiculous overacted moan, licked his fingers clean in the sexiest way anyone could manage dessert. "What are you doing?"

"What are you doing?"

"I'm not doing anything," she snapped. "I'm just eating my pudding."

She licked another finger with a challenging glare, and his jaw tightened. "That is not eating pudding. That is-"

"What?" she shot back. "What am I doing that's so annoying?"

He abandoned his chair to scoot closer to her. "Not annoying." He swallowed as she did, eyeing her fingers hungrily. "More…enticing."

"Mine's the same as yours. Eat your own."

He licked his lips, presumably to clean them of chocolate, and she shuffled back. "Are you sure it's the same?" he asked in a voice as smooth as the pudding. "I don't think it is."

"Of course it is. You saw me scoop it out."

"Still." He swirled his finger around the cup, coating it in the creamy concoction. "Hadn't you better check?"

She frowned, uncertain where the joke was, but she reached for his cup to play along. He shook his head and held out his finger. She leaned forward hesitantly and lapped at the chocolaty digit. His eyelids drooped, and he sucked in a ragged breath when she pulled the finger between her lips. Her tongue cleaned the pudding off, surprised that it did, indeed have a different flavor. Better. Like it had been rimmed with salt, enhancing both flavors. She released him and licked her lips, uncertain whether to admit her discovery.

The intensity in his expression, so serious for such a frivolous game, took her by surprise, as did his sudden lean forward. He swallowed and nodded toward her cup. "My turn."

Something told her this was a bad idea. Probably the way Fiyero suddenly looked like he wanted to eat her finger instead of the pudding. Was he a cannibal? She'd never noticed it before.

He grabbed her wrist, unwilling to suffer her hesitation any longer, and dipped her finger in the dessert. Then he tugged her to him hard enough that she had to grab the post of her bed not to fall on him. His tongue flicked forward to draw a line through the chocolate, and an unexpected warmth ran through her at the contact. But that was nothing compared to the wave of feeling when he sucked her finger into his mouth.

She gasped and clutched the post until her knuckles turned white, shocked that it should make her feel so…not frivolous, that was for sure. His scorching look made much more sense as he caressed her finger with his tongue, so warm and wet and sinful. He continued until all the chocolate was gone, and then some, and she felt her breath coming in uneven gasps. Finally, he released her. "Mmm, delicious," he murmured, more seductive than any man had right to be. "Definitively better than mine."

She couldn't answer, or tear her wide eyes from his hooded ones. Instead, she swallowed, and he watched the action as if enthralled. His fingers plunged into her cup again, and with a gulp of his own, he painted her lips with the gooey pudding. She licked it off, both emboldened and terrified of the visceral reaction he had to that. He clutched her arm, pulling her closer, heedless of the chocolate he smeared into her skin and clothing. She dunked her own finger and trailed the chocolate over his soft lips, swallowing hard herself. He didn't behave as well as she had, nipping and sucking at her finger as it attempted the tempting task. His tongue swirled around her index finger, drawing a soft shudder from her that he definitely did not miss.

He crowded her a step back until they teetered over the edge of her bed and only the arm he crashed around her hips kept her from falling back on it. He sunk his fingers into her cup for the last of the pudding with ravenous eyes and coated her lips again with the delicious temptation. She shivered as he leaned forward to wipe it off with his own, his hand clutching her jaw with a ferocity that weakened her muscles and boiled her blood. But before his mouth could connect, the bathroom door opened.

Fiyero released her with a curse and threw himself to her chair, a book in his lap to hide an unmistakable arousal, and she blushed. Deeply. Galinda sauntered in, freshly washed and made up, and still Elphaba stayed frozen, wide-eyed and shaking at what had almost happened. "Where's my pudding?" Galinda chirped, and the others stared at her guiltily.

"It's all gone," Fiyero croaked, his eyes caressing Elphaba from across the room. She nodded too fast to be calm, and Galinda squinted at her.

"Elphie, you've got pudding in your hair." She tilted her head. "And…is that a handprint?"

Elphaba gaped at them, her mouth working uselessly, but Fiyero answered. "It was really good pudding."

"You must really have liked it, huh?" Galinda shook her head in surprise. "I know I said it was okay to be messy, but I didn't mean to smear it all over yourself." Fiyero gave a strangled groan, and she whirled to face him. He swallowed. "Did you like the pudding, Fifi, dear?"

He winced at the name, but he nodded, his eyes seeking out Elphaba's. "Oh yes," he breathed. "I liked the pudding very, very much."

"Me, too," she whispered back, and a sexy smile spread across his face.

Galinda toss a look back, her head tilted in confusion. "I thought we already decided that. Though it is better as a dessert than a fashion accessory." Elphaba bit her lip and nodded, desperate to avoid the heated looks Fiyero kept shooting her. Galinda flounced to her bed, content to revel in their praise for her marvelous present, and after several long minutes of staring at the ground, Elphaba recovered enough to start clearing away the mess. She felt the warmth of Fiyero's gaze burning through her, making every innocent task seem erotic. Each time she had to bend over, she blushed, deeply aware of the provocative aspect of her simple housework despite her intentions, and she rushed through them stiffly.

When she wiped up the last spill and threw away the towel, she sighed in relief. "I'll get started on the dishes."

Galinda beamed at her, both for the cleaning and the privacy with her boyfriend, but said boyfriend rose from his seat eagerly. "I'll help," he offered, halfway to the bathroom already. Galinda stood to follow, but he frowned. "What are you doing?"

"We're doing dishes," she stated, confused by his confusion.

"No," he blurted out. He ran a hand through his hair. "I mean, you cooked. We clean."

"I don't mind."

"I do." He steered her firmly to her bed, and she beamed at him.

"Oh, Fiyero. You're so chivalrous." She fluttered her eyelashes and leaned up to kiss him…only to meet empty air. She opened her eyes to see the bathroom door closing.

Elphaba jumped as the door closed behind her, and she spun to face Fiyero. Before she could protest, he hauled her against him, kissing her deeply. His lips moved over hers hungrily as his fingers dug into her hair, her back, her hips, her neck, wherever he could find purchase. They moved over her ceaselessly, trying to feel her everywhere at once. She tried to get the breath to pull back, talk some sense into him, and herself, but it was a lost cause. He crushed her to him and pressed her into the door, hooking her leg around his hip. "You," he growled against her neck as he attacked it with fierce fervor, "are intoxicating. Teasing me with that pudding, as if I didn't want you enough already. Lurline, you're the most delicious thing I have ever tasted."

She swallowed. "What about the pudding?"

He licked at her earlobe, teasing it between his teeth and drawing a shuddering moan from her. "Definitely you." He whirled them to the sink, both hands groping at her ass as he set her on the counter. He wiped the last of the pudding from the mixing bowl and smeared it on her collarbone. Then he descended on the sensitive flesh with a desperate intensity. "Chocolate covered Elphie – my favorite flavor."

"What are we doing?" she gasped. "Galinda's-"

He stopped her with a fiery kiss. "Later. We'll deal with that later." He swiped a finger around the rim of one of their cups, transferring the chocolate in a long line down her neck. "Right now, we have some dishes to clean."