AN: I have revised the first several chapters of this story to a) fix some typos, b) try to tone down the Galinda-speak in places where it interrupts the flow of the story. No major changes here, just some tidying up.
Warnings and disclaimers: This is, in essence, a love story between two female characters. It starts out as Gliyero but transforms into Gelphie as the story progresses. There is sexual content of both a F/M and F/F nature. If any of this makes you uncomfortable, I suggest that you back slowly away and don't make any sudden movements.
I don't own Wicked in any of its incarnations, or the characters contained therein. I just like to borrow them and make them do silly things. This story is for entertainment purposes only, and I hope you are as easily entertained as I am.
Please be assured that any egregiously spelled or misused words are intentional. I've had several epic battles with my spell check throughout the writing of this fanfic.
Chapter One: Don't Touch My Socks
I imagined my first day at Shiz might go better than this. I was snubdicated by the headmistress when I asked about her Sorcery seminar which I have long inspired to, but she is going to be giving private lessons to that vulgar green-skinned Thropp girl, the same girl who is now to be my roommate. How could this happen? I was supposed to have a single room. It was secured months in advance! And if my privacy absolutely must be compromised, I would rather share a room with… well, anyone, to be blunt.
Thankfully my misfortunaries have worked to my advantage. I just about fell apart after room assignments were given and many were moved to comfort me. Now, a nice Munchkin boy is helping me carry my luggage to my dorm on the top floor of Crage Hall. It is one of the largest rooms, complete with extra closet space. But it was supposed to be mine alone!
When I arrive, the doorway is propped open and the maintenance man has just wheeled in a second bed. Oh hell.
"I believe you made a mistake," I say, batting my eyelashes at him. It is an act of desperation. "I had reservations for a single. You may want to try the room across from me."
"Morrible's orders," he answers gruffly, depositing the bed far too close to the other one and crisping my last fragile hopes.
"Thank you for your help, Biq," I say to the Munchkin. "Now I will be needing to unpack. I will see you around."
"I hope to see you around soon, Miss Galinda," he replies. I recognize the look on his face. It is one of deep and earnest infatuation. I should have never indulged his attentions, despite my distressment. Now he will be impossible to shake off.
After the Munchkin is out of sight, the maintenance man takes a long hard look at my legs. Such admirers I have already. I make a loud gagging sound as he walks out the door, making sure he hears it. Nothing is going my way, but I must take control of this situation the best that I can while I have the opportunity.
The Green One is presumably helping her invalid sister get settled into Madame Morrible's quarters. I imagine the Thropp girls getting chummy with the headmistress over tea and scones, positioning themselves to become her favorite students, and frankly it makes me sick. But it buys me some time.
I quickly test both the beds, finding the one on the right side of the room to be considerably softer. I take out my pink satin sheets to mark it as my own. Then, with all my might, I push the other bed as far to the other side of the room as it will go. For a moment, I consider pushing it into the closet. Tragically, the closet isn't quite that big. Such a pity, really, all that wasted space! I could have kept both my summer and winter wardrobes in this room. Now I'll have to rotate them between here and my home in Frottica.
I have secured some heavy tape from the janitor's room which I use to make a line down the center of the dorm, dividing it in half. I will have my side and Greenie will have hers. Perhaps, given time, I can even hang a curtain so I don't have to look at her.
I've transferred all of my clothes into my closet and I am two thirds of the way through unpacking my shoes when she finally makes her entrance. She tosses her satchel onto her bed and flops down beside it in a rather unladylike manner. I fuss with my luggage for a few more moments before I actually look up to acknowledge her. She's sitting on her bed, watching me quietly. I set down a pair of silver sequined heels and look her in the eye.
"As you may see, I have sectionated the room with this tape," I say. "That side is yours, this is mine. You may not intrude upon my side with your belongings, though I see that won't be much of a problem, given that you don't actually seem to own anything." I laugh. She says nothing, but makes a very ugly face.
"You may also not intrude upon my side with your person," I add. "I don't want your grubby hands on anything of mine." I imagine her parading around in my shoes and shudder.
"Point taken," she says, rolling her eyes dramatically as she begins unpacking her bag. "Don't touch my socks," she mutters sarcastically, clutching a dark balled-up pair to her chest. "They are very dear to my heart."
I will not even honor that with a response. I roll my eyes in turn and go back to arranging my shoes on the shelves behind my bed. Bottom row, dressy casual. Second row, casual dressy. Third row, dressy, but not dressy, if you know what I mean. Fourth row, all-holds-barred fantabulistically dressy: the kind of shoes you would wear for an audience with the Wizard. The top shelf will be adorned with handbags.
Greenie hangs a few dark dresses in her closet, leaving the majority of it empty. The wasted space one again makes me bristly. She puts drab brown sheets on her bed, pulls a stack of books out of her suitcase and sets them on a shelf. Her other shelves remain empty. It's apparent that she's finished unpacking. She perches on the edge of her mattress, gangly legs crossed at her ankles, and stares off into space. Then she notices me watching her. She sticks the toe of her boot over the line of tape and smiles at me.
I try to ignore it and focus my attention on organizing my hairclips in the top drawer of my vanity. I look back and she's got her entire foot over the line. She holds it in the air, wiggling it menacingly. Then she laughs, a horrible obnoxious cackle which makes me cover my ears.
"Oh Miss Upland, we're going to have so much fun together!" she sneers. I lift my empty suitcase and all but throw it into my closet before I walk out of the room. I am quite loath to leave her alone with my things, but I need some time to cool down before my actions become even less sophisticated, so I wander to the café in search of friendly, normal-colored faces.
Miss Pfannee is very well dressed, and her coloring is normal enough, though her foundation is far too orangey for her pale skin. I'm more bothered by this than I should be. Her childhood friend and roommate Shenshen is much more adept at applying makeup, though Pfannee is definitely the prettier of the two girls, and also the more dominant. She is tall, slender and poised. Shenshen is equally well dressed, but she is also shorter, heavier and plainer. Her nose is a little big on her face.
I am sure that Shenshen is keenly aware of her friend's poor makeup choices, but she is also aware that by failing to point them out, she's leveling the field between them. These observations make me smile because they remind me of my friends back home. It comes as little surprise to me that Pfannee and Shenshen are from Settica, just a train stop South of where I grew up.
I've been sitting with them for more than an hour and we've long-since finished our lunches. We are consolating Shenshen, who is sad about leaving her boyfriend of six months in order to attend Shiz. Actually, consolating is a relative term. Shenshen's boyfriend is now working in his father's office as some sort of lowly errand boy. Pfannee is possibly indignant that Shenshen can even think of him, given the delicious buffet of boys that are available to us here: boys from far richer and more successful families. Finally, the conversation shifts to me.
"How about you, Miss Galinda?" Pfannee asks. "Do you have a boyfriend back home?"
"Good girl," she says when I shake my head no. "Has anyone caught your eye yet?"
"Not yet, but I am notoriously picky," I respond, before I notice Biq walking with some other boys. "Unfortunately, I've caught a few more eyes than I'd like… That Munchkin is quite taken with me." I duck behind Pfannee so he won't see me.
"Excuse me Miss Galinda, can you spare some change? I wanted a soda, but I'm afraid I've come up short," Pfannee whispers pointedly as she glances at Biq. Shenshen and I both giggle as he wanders out of the cafeteria with his friends, beverage in hand. I sigh with relief that I've avoided his attention.
"Now Galinda, love is blind," Shenshen chimes in. "Well, for him, love is blonde." I groan at the pun.
"Now, I'm sure some are quite jealous of the attention you're receiving, Miss Galinda," Pfannee says, "In fact, I think they might be a bit green with envy."
Shenshen's eyes twinkle in utter delightment at her friend's facilities for wordplay, but it is all I can do not to bash my head on the table. "Great Oz," I mutter, "is there no one that doesn't know that Galinda Upland is stuck with the green girl? The two of you are so lucky, getting to room together. I have the worst luck in all of Shiz!"
"Oh dearie, it is rather awful. It was wrong of me to joke about it," Pfannee says. Shenshen pats my shoulder. Now I am the one being consolated, which is exactly the way things should be.
I spend the rest of the afternoon engaged in all manner of consoliation and conversation with Pfannee, Shenshen and numerous visitors to our table. But eventually I must return to Crage Hall where far less pleasant company awaits. I plan to turn in fairly early; I don't want to be exhausted for my first day of classes. I have not seen the Green Wonder all day. I assume she's been hiding out, which is what any green person should rightfully do. I am all too aware that by storming out earlier I have given her a sort of victory over me and I am determined to regain the footing I've lost. I don't want her to think she can send me running from my own room whenever it suits her fancy.
She is hunched over a book at her desk and doesn't seem to notice when I come in. I clear my throat and put my hands on my hips, giving her my most intimidating gaze. "Go stand outside," I say.
"I'm reading," she says, not bothering to look at me.
"Then you'll just have to read in the hallway," I answer. "I am going to change into my bedclothes, and I will not have you staring at me with your weird, creepy eyes while I am disrobing."
"Ha! I could see a better show in a coin booth," she says, her dark eyes meeting mine. I clench my fists, digging my nails into my palms.
"Oh, Miss Upland," she says with a smirk, "you're turning quite red. Aren't we a colorful pair right now? Though red and green tend to clash and are a bit too reminiscent of Lurlinemas for my tastes." She gives an ugly cackle. The sound is absurdly befitting of a person like her. I'm too angry to speak.
"Out, now!" I finally manage between clenched teeth.
She rises from her desk, but she takes her time leaving. Her eyes are fixed on me until she shuts the door behind her. I imagine a mangy black tail swishing in her wake and a horrible thought occurs to me. What if she really does have mange or lice or some other sort of parasite? I tiptoe to her bed, turning back the corners of the covers, inspecting for any sort of eggs. I don't see anything, so I lift up the pillow. There are no bugs, but there is a small, empty green glass bottle. I uncork it and sniff, getting only a vague aroma of something I've never smelled before. My roommate doesn't have fleas or ticks; she has secrets.
I return everything to the way it was and take an extra long time putting on my nightdress, just to spite her. Before I let her back in, I'll sit on my bed for a bit, fluff my hair, maybe stare at the ceiling… As I lean back against my pile of pillows, the door opens.
"I trust you are decent by now," my roommate says, walking in my direction. One corner of her mouth turns up in a twisted half-smile at my surprise. "Believe it or not, they gave me a key too."
"You are completely over the line!" I shout, standing up to face her.
"Out!" she shouts, grabbing my shoulders and shoving me toward the door. "I am going to change into my, ahh, bedclothes, and I don't want you staring at me with your creepy eyes!"
"Don't touch me, you brute!" I snap, folding my arms over my chest and marching out of the room. "You probably have back hair! I have no desire to see that!"
I exit the room and hear the lock click behind me. Unfortunately, I left my key behind, and after a moment I start pounding on the door. My roommate lets me back in with a scowl. She has traded her ugly boots and cap for a nightdress that looks like a potato sack. The hemline reaches to mid-calf, revealing an inch of scrawny green legs above thick wool socks that are not unlike the ones my grandpa wears. I make an audible gagging sound before I sit down on my bed to begin my nightly beauty routine.
I brush my hair and lay out my stash of skin care products. As I start to open the jar of moisturizer, I hear a obnoxious clicking sound. I look over to my roommate.
"What?" she snaps. As soon as I turn away, the sound starts up again. I'm certain she's making it. I can't give her the satisfaction of getting to me, but grrr, the noise! How am I supposed to moisturize with this racket? I give up and angrily push the little jars of crème from my mattress to the floor.
My roommate smiles smugly and snuggles up in her bed, long legs pulled up against her chest. For someone so tall and conspicuously gawky, she looks very small under the covers, coiled and green like a snake. I turn out the lamp on my bedside table and pull my covers tight around me, facing away from her. Suddenly, I feel homesick and very lonely. I have chatted and mingled all day long, but I've still ended up in this place, alone in the dark with the green girl.
"Miss Upland," Ms. Spinel says, "please sit down. I asked for a brief introduction, with emphasis on the word brief. You don't have to give us your whole life story." She chuckles like she thinks she's funny, but she's really just rude. I was in the middle of a sentence, and I happen to think that it was a rather good one.
"Excuse me, Professor, but isn't this a public speaking class?" I ask.
"We are striving for quality, Miss Upland, not quantity," she answers tersely.
"This is preprosperous," I whisper to Floren, another first-year student, right before Ms. Spinel calls on her to introduce herself. Floren gets her leg stuck on her desk when she tries to stand up and nearly trips. She also trips over her words as she makes an appropriately brief speech. I don't get why everyone else is so nervous. It's not like this class requires any thinking.
All you have to do is talk. Unfortunately, the ordeal has put me in a sour mood which continues into my next class, Ozonomics. Ozonomics is a terrible bore and my final class of the day, Introduction to Ozian History, promises to be equally boring.
I arrive at my history classroom early, so I take out my compact and start touching up my makeup. I think it has been flaking from boredom. I feel a pair of arms drape over my shoulders from behind me and I jump.
"Well, hello to you too, Galinda!" Pfannee says with a laugh.
"Pfannee!" I squeal, leaning back against her shoulder for a moment. "You're in my class! Sit next to me, sit next to me!" I pat the seat beside me excitedly. Pfannee obeys and we begin trading stories about our earlier classes. The room starts to fill up. People are talking and laughing amongst themselves until a sudden hush comes over everyone.
"Gross. Is it some kind of disease?" I hear the girl behind me whisper. A lump forms in my throat, because without even turning around to look, I know who has just walked in. I do my best to ignore Elphaba as she takes a seat on the far side of the room. It won't be so bad, if I just pretend she's not there.
"So, this weekend, I'd like to go downtown and check out some of the boutiques… " I say, continuing my conversation with Pfannee. "My dorm room is a little drab, and I want to buy some things for the walls, perhaps a curtain..."
"You can't be serious," she mutters under her breath.
"Serious?" I ask, "About shopping?" I'm confused by her response until she gesticulates to the podium where our professor has just set down his briefcase. Our professor is a Goat.
"Oh," I whisper, "this is patternedly absurd."
"Now class," the Goat says to dumbfloundered stares, "my name is Dr. Dillamond and I am honored to be teaching you. As you may have noticed, I am an Animal. I know most of you are not used to having Animal professors. But hopefully, as the term progresses and we get to know each other better, that will not be as much of a distraction to you as I am sure it is now. A fascinating semester awaits us, so let's jump right in, shall we? Only five hundred years ago, our lovely land of Oz was nothing but unpopulated forests and marshes. Would anyone care to tell me who became the first Ozians? How about you Miss…"
"Elphaba," comes the answer. I cringe at the sound of her voice. "And they were from the nomadic tribes of Quox. A change in their climate forced them South into the Glikkus and what is modern-day Munchkinland."
"Why, I'm impressed," Dr. Goat replies. From that point, all hopes of ignoring my roommate fly out the window. Every time Dr. Goat poses a question, she raises her hand to answer. Once she answers, she asks questions of her own, which send him off on all manner of tangents about the Quoxian migration.
"You were right," Pfannee whispers to me, "not that I doubted you. But she is truly insufferable. They should get a room."
"Bow chikka bow wow!" interjects a boy to our left and we try to stifle our laughter. The dialogue between Elphaba and the Goat continues amongst a sea of eye rolls and groans until I finally raise my hand.
"Miss… Gllll-inda, do you have something to add to our discussion of hunter-gather societies?" Dr. Goat asks.
"It's Ga-linda, with a 'guh.' And class ended fifteen minutes ago," I answer sternly. Elphaba shoots me a nasty look.
"Oh my, I do apologize, Miss Gllll-inda, sometimes the time gets away from me. Anyway, you all are dismissed."
"Thank you!" sighs Pfannee exasperatedly. She has to rush to her Chemistry lab. I'm disappointed. I wanted to spend more time with her. But Elphaba is apparently sticking around to continue her rousating conversation with her new best friend. On the bright side, I will have the dorm to myself.
I look up at the ceiling above my bed and shake my head with astoundishment. I suppose that when one doesn't have a social life, options for entertainment are… limited at best. Between classes, Elphaba has entertained herself by removing the tape I used to divide the room, ripping it and arranging it in the crude shape of a mouth, nose, and eyes with angry slanted brows. As I lay back on my mattress, it scowls down at me. I wonder if I should be flattered.
Not to be outdone, I rip down an eyebrow. I grab a book from Elphaba's desk, climb up on her bed, and tape it to her ceiling. I am going to do this with her entire collection, but I think better of it. I'm getting into dangerous territory and putting my own things at risk. I think about taking the book back down, but as I remember, she was very specific. She told me not to touch her socks. In that respect, she has nothing to worry about. But anything else should be fair game, so I leave the single book dangling open in the air.
I need to get back to my plan for relaxation. A long, hot shower is exactly what I need right now. I change into my pale blue bath robe and gather a towel… shampoo, conditioner, facial soap, body wash, loofah, back brush, pumice stone, lotion, and all manner of tooth implementations. I head off toward the communal bathrooms, arms full of bathing necessities. I keep stopping to pick up things I've dropped along the way, and I manage to spill some conditioner in the hall, but eventually I reach my destination. Perhaps a tote of some sort is in order.
"Please help conserve water by limiting showers to five minutes," reads a sign on the door. Yeah, right. Once I've pulled the curtain shut over my stall, I hang my robe over the rod and turn on the water, adjusting the temperature to be as hot as I can stand. I take a handful of gardenia-scented shampoo and work it into a lather on my head. Actual baths are a luxury that I will sorely miss here, but I will make due.
After close to an hour, I am clean and glowing from head to toe. I am back in my soft blue robe and my wet hair is wrapped securely in my towel. I'm brushing my teeth in the steamy mirror when who should come walking in but my green roommate, wrapped in a dull gray robe? Is there any reprievement from her?
"Fancy meeting you here, Miss Elphaba," I say. "I wouldn't have pegged you as the showering type. In fact, I would have assumed that water might have some adversary effect on you…" I laugh. She stares at me for a moment, then leans against the counter.
"I see your point," she smiles. "It looks like the university is trying to conserve water, and it would be wasted on someone like me. I guess I give up on bathing," she cackles and sniffs her own underarm. Gross. "Pity anyone who has to share a room with me…" She smirks, makes a completely disgraceful pirouette and leaves. What have I done?
Anyhow, dinner. It is dinnertime. I go back to the dorm just long enough to dress again, reapply my makeup, and head to the cafeteria. I grab a bowl of soup, a plate of fruit, and wait at the table I shared with Shenshen and Pfannee yesterday. I wait, poking at my food with my fork.
"Hello, Galinda," says a voice behind me. It's Biq.
"Hello," I say halfheartedly.
"Are you looking for some company?" he asks.
"Actually, I am waiting for my friends," I say coldly, "but thank you for the offer." He says an awkward goodbye and goes to sit with some boys I don't recognize. I wait, and wait. Finally, I see Milla, who lives just across the hall from my friends. I was introduced to her yesterday. I wave her over.
"Miss Milla, have you seen Miss Pfannee or Miss Shenshen?" I ask her.
"They went to dinner some time ago," she says, "in town." Milla excuses herself in a hurry and my heart sinks. I stare at my plate for a few seconds, then look over to Biq and his friends. For a moment, I even think about joining them. No, I will not sink that low. I've lost my appetite, so I dump out my food, and with a sigh, I head back to my dorm room.
Elphaba is there, sitting in her bed with a fork and a tin of smoked and salted fish. "I see that your plans to stink up our room are already underway," I groan.
It's the middle of the night. I cannot sleep. There is laughter and shuffling in the room above me: the sounds of girls who have only just met forming friendships that will follow them through essays and exams, boyfriends and breakups, holiday breaks and drunken escapades. I think of Pfannee and Shenshen and I know that, petty makeup sabotages aside, I will never be as close to either of them as they are to each other. They've known each other for too long. Maybe it would have been nice to have a roommate… a sort of somewhat human one, that is.
Eventually, the noise overhead stops and there is only silence. Silence, and the soft, even sound of my inhuman roommate's breath. Air is entering and exiting her lungs: air which ignores boundaries drawn in tape and admonitions. We are breathing in tiny particles of each other. The thought is unnerving. A few tears well in my eyes and long for the comfort of the familiar, of my bed and my room at home, or at least someone who really knows me. I miss my group of friends, none who were so inclinated to follow me here. Did I ever mean that much to them? My throat tightens as I wonder.
I take one of the pillows out from under my head and wrap my arms around it, pressing its silky surface to my face. A sniffle escapes me before I can control it and my roommate's breathing quiets. I get the odd sense she is listening to me, still as a viper in the dark. There will be no more sniffles; I can't give her that satisfaction. After a moment, her breath returns to normal. After a few more moments, I hear what can only be a snore. It is an ugly sound, but at least, somewhat human. I relax a little bit.
This is a trial but I must rise above it. I will hold myself with grace and dignity, and I will fight my way to the top of Shiz's social stratosphere. I will garner Madame Morrible's favor, and I will put Elphaba in her place. I am better than to let a stalk of asparagus get to me like she has.
A sound breaks me out of my thoughts: the sound of a book falling from the ceiling and hitting a sleeping green girl. There isn't a sweeter sound in the world. She groans softly, tosses it to the floor and keeps on snoring. I stifle a giggle and bring my fingers to my cheek to wipe away the last of my tears. My new resolutions carry me off to sleep.
I sit up in bed and rub my eyes. I've been dreaming of home, and it takes me a moment to remember where I am, until the green blur on the other side of the room comes into focus.
Elphaba woke and dressed before me. She's sitting on her bed in an awkward jumblefication of limbs, reading while absently munching on a bagel. Her range of activities seems to be limited to reading and tormenting me. I wonder what torments she has in store today. When I rise, she meets my eye, but nothing more. She slowly shuts her book, sets the uneaten part of her bagel on its cover, and leaves the room without a sound. It would be a shame to waste a good opportunity, so I take the opportunity to select my outfit for the day.
There was a light green dress I was thinking about, a fluttery gauze sort of thing, but the color doesn't sit so well with me anymore. Of course, there is pink, the old standby. I choose a knee-length skirt and matching jacket in a pale rose shade. Once I'm dressed and properly accessorated, I peek out the door to see if my roommate is still there. Unfortunately, she is. She quietly follows me back inside and looks at me, almost if she wants to say something. I want to shout at her to stop being creepy.
"Out with it!" I finally snap, causing her to jump. She looks down at her hands, then back into my eyes.
"Miss Galinda, perhaps I've been a bit too… antagonistic to you," she says, and I am more antagonized by her sudden
sincerity than I was by her uncivilized behavior. Not knowing how to respond, I turn away from her. She notices the book that was taped to her ceiling now laying on the floor and makes an odd face, softly muttering, "I've been looking for that…" She picks it up, places it on her shelf and goes back to her breakfast.
The realization is sharp and sudden as a wave of embarrassment washes over me. She's acting the way she's acting because she heard me crying! Instead of taunting me about it, she's being sympathetic, and that's worse. The green girl pities me! As if I need pity from the likes of her. I turn up my nose and go to my mirror.
"Do avoid leaving crumbs, Miss Elphaba" I say as I begin to style my hair, "You may be on a familiary basis with rodents, but I prefer not to be." Half a bagel comes flying at my head, knocking a precarious bobby pin out of place. Before I can respond, Elphaba slings her satchel over her shoulder and marches out the door. I smile. This is exactly the way that things should be.
Next up: The night of the Ozdust and after. Elphie struggles with receiving attention that isn't negative, and Galinda struggles with her own motives. Stay tuned!