I am always on the look out for Gelphie Stories... I found this amazing story by chance on another site and wanted to share it with everyone on

Credit of course goes to the writer... Mbard

DISCLAIMER: Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West belongs to Gregory Maguire and Wicked the musical belongs, in the main, to Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holtzman. No infringement of copyright was intended in the writing of this fic.
SPOILERS: A blend of musical and bookverse but with no real spoilers for the enjoyment of either for the first time.

Fire
By Mbard

Part 1

There were few places upon her person where she had been touched during her 19 years of living. Quite unaccustomed to green skin playmates recoiled during games of Tag You're It during childhood, which at least invariably led to her never actually being 'it', whatever 'it' was that particular day. And parents, her own included, were weary of a child who had deep dark eyes and skin as luminous a green as the firs that adorned the big houses during Lurlinemas each year. Avoidance of touch was practised on a daily basis, a scraped knee repaired by the fleetest of rubs, a cry in the night visited with a stiff pat on the head, the terror of bathing her naked skin swiftly solved by nature afflicting her not only with her distinctive verdigris but an acute aversion to water. The oils that were anointed to get past this further problem she could deftly handle herself by age 3, so the touches that had been transitory to begin with became even rarer as the years grew old.

Because she hadn't known otherwise she didn't really miss the feel of warm skin connecting with her own. A handshake or a hug they were both the same to her: elusive, ponderous, a waste of kinetic energy, and quite wholly against her solitary nature to indulge in. So it was much to her chagrin that she found herself longing for the gentle touches so easily bestowed on others, by the volcano of blonde curls that had erupted in her life a few months ago. Having never before so much as pined for a reassuring squeeze of her shoulder by those closest to her (such a list wasn't long, Nanny headed it with her father and siblings somewhere near the bottom) it was beyond all comprehension, and not in the least terribly vexing, to now want to feel the hands of Galinda Arduennas of the Uplands upon her person.

This wasn't to say that there hadn't been a minimum of contact between the green skinned girl and her paler roommate up till now. Of course inhabiting such a small space (admittedly by Shiz standards small was a bit of an exaggeration, the room had two fitted wardrobes, two not inconsiderable sized beds, a vanity for each girl, an en-suite bathroom and a window seat replete with velvet cushions and rooming capacity for two) an involuntary brushing of body parts was inevitability going to happen. However it wasn't the involuntary or the brushing aspect of their contact that was causing Elphaba such incommodious thoughts towards the blonde girl. It was the yearning she felt each time such elliptical contact was made. A yearning for it to be extended. To last longer than a fleeting arm resting against her own when sitting together at mealtimes. To be more concrete than a brush of a curvy figure against her gangly frame when they passed in a narrow hallway. To mean more than the arbitrary touch shared between two almost friends, where a glance of hands as they reach for the same sorcery book only results in shy giggles and polite inferences of ownership.

All of which, the giggles, the shyness, the very fact she was capable of being polite, a skill which hadn't availed itself to her up to this point in time, caused the green skinned girl further vexation than she already felt at the hands, or rather not at the hands, of her popular roommate. After all, if she could count on one hand how many times she had received a tender touch in her life it didn't take many more digits to accrue the amount of times she'd blushed. Or giggled (giggled?) for no real reason. Or been so conciliatory and, well, outright nice to give the blonde free reign of the only copy of A Sorceress' Guide to Change: How Magic Can Save the Morally Corrupt. Even though the green skinned girl had desperately needed it for her term paper, and suspected that Galinda had only wanted to borrow it in order for the uneven legs of her vanity to be brought in alignment, so her reflection didn't list to the left any longer.

There was just no use. No matter how hard she tried Elphaba simply could not unravel the reasoning behind the sensations she found herself experiencing every time Galinda was near. Her acute scientifically inclined mind appeared to have no recourse in which to file such sensations, nor hypothesis towards removing herself from them. They just kept on coming. As relentless as the rains that had begun to fall, marking the changing season and necessitating sturdier footwear and more care to be taken in the grounds of Shiz University by the green skinned one. But to at least the rain she could protect herself in advance and be ready for when it came by surprise, as rain in Oz often can. To her roommate there were no such layers of defence Elphaba could employ in order for further confusion and turmoil to be surmounted.

The way Galinda had begun to make her feel always surprised her, just as everything the effervescent blonde girl did came as a surprise to her polar opposite roommate. And lately Elphaba Thropp came to the conclusion that she didn't like surprises, especially blonde ones.

Something needed to be done.

Just as a fire starved of fuel will eventually die out the green girl took a chance that rudimentary physics could be applied to her own situation. If she didn't feed the thing inside her, then surely it would wither and die, she'd be left in peace.

"I assume from your lackadaisical position you are intent on occupying these quarters all evening Miss Galinda?"

It's back to Miss is it? Wonder what's twisted her knickers lately the blonde heiress thought turning slightly away from the window she was sat by to catch a quick glimpse of the green girl's face, before it was swiftly facing the other way. Galinda had noticed lately, even if it was beyond most people's comprehension that she could possibly do such a thing, that Elphaba rarely met her gaze anymore, could no longer address her for more than the briefest of times eye to eye before turning away, like she did just then. To say it vexed the blonde was no more than the truth. To say she paid it more thought than which fashionable garment from her gargantuan supply she would wear next, would have been stretching that same truth somewhat.

"If by lackadaisical you are referring to my relaxed repose in some derogatory manner, I would kindly ask you to take into consideration that I had Madame Morrible for a double Magicks 101 seminar last thing this afternoon, and she was quite the tyrant in her proclamations."

Galinda wished that when talking with her roommate it didn't always require quite so many words or syllables to express herself, she'd had quite an exhausting afternoon as it was. Still it was no good to show the green girl a weakness to be exploited by her quicker and far more extended vocabulary.

"So as you can imagine, I feel a few moments of quiet reflection and contemplation after such an afternoon is the least I deserve."

Elphaba resisted the urge to look up as Galinda spoke, it was much easier to remain angry if it was just that annoying slightly too high a pitch voice she had to deal with, and not the entire girl whom she had begun to think of as, well in the very least, as a friend. The green girl didn't have many of those. And yet if she was to remain resolute on her path to putting out the fire of whatever it was within her that made her want to reach out and touch the girl before her, she knew she had to keep her eyes averted, and her will strong. How few friends she had didn't even come in to it.

"Furthermore," a little known skill all the Uplands' possessed, once they were on a roll there was no stopping them. "In regards to your actual question in discerning my whereabouts for the evening, no doubt you asked this simply from a selfish perspective as I imagine you were hoping to have our room all to yourself, in order for you to bury your head in that pile of books I see you dragged back from the library."

This time Elphaba did look up as Galinda gestured with a pale, but perfectly manicured hand over to the very pile of books the green girl had been meticulously arranging in the interim period of entering their room and finding Galinda without a care in the world gazing out of the window, to asking the question in her usual accusatory manner that Galinda now felt compelled to throw back at the green girl's sharp face.

"Well I hate to disappoint you Miss Elphaba," emphasis on the B Galinda thought as the name fell from her lips with a little more vehemence she'd ever uttered before. "I have no more a desire to set foot out in that torrential squall as you do, and taking into consideration that any other location for my habitation this evening," Galinda could feel herself waning, that sentence had far too many ations in it, "would require me to cross at least twice, what did pass as a perfectly walkable courtyard this afternoon but now resembles a fast moving riverbed," she gestured again with that pale perfectly manicured hand of hers (why did the green girl find it so mesmerising all of a sudden when she did that?) out the window she looked upon, "I can say in all confidence that the answer to your enquiry is yes. I shall be occupying these quarters all evening."

Elphaba, not quite prepared to have caused the upset she did with what she thought of was a fair and just line of questioning (even though her intention had been to create a level of animosity between them she didn't think she'd achieve her goal quite so quickly) had only one response to Galinda's well formulated reply.

"Sheesh, I was only asking."

An expelled puff of frustrated air blew the blonde's curls away from her eyes as she turned back to the window in significant a huff at the green girl. Why were things so difficult with Elphaba lately? Galinda couldn't begin to fathom it out. And right now, she didn't have much inclination to. Crossing her arms and scowling for good measure, just in case green skin was thicker than it looked.

Two can play at this game Galinda thought, throwing another cross pout of pink lips the green girl's way, noticing with some surprise that caught off guard Elphaba wasn't wearing her usual smirk of superiority, instead was that regret flashing in hazel brown eyes?

The blonde's resolve began to weaken.

"Elphie?" she began, her voice returned to the soft yet perky pitch of usual.

The tall green girl quickly turned her back on her roommate, re-ordering once more the books she'd already rifled through twice, no wiser to which tomes she'd actually chosen that afternoon in the darkened library, so worried about the storm that was brewing outside and the storm already doing damage inside her. One tempest she'd managed to avoid so used was she to battling the elements of Oz, she found it increasingly difficult to avoid the other one when it was sat in her very room, peering at her with those big blue eyes. She willed herself not to respond to the gentle plea she could hear in Galinda's voice. Elphaba straightened her frame, sharp angles and gangly limbs creaking and cracking as she did so, steeling her mind to ignore the blonde woman behind her, or more specifically, to ignore the way Galinda made her feel.

"I really wish you wouldn't call me that," though less harsh than her earlier entreaty to her roommate she couldn't get her voice to fully soften with her words, Elphaba supposed that was a skill someone as prickly as she would need years to acquire.

"If you insist on dropping the honorific Miss Galinda then I must insist you address me by my given name. Although I don't personally hold much in the way of feelings for the people who gave it me, it is the name I was bestowed with at birth. I do hope you will remember that and address me accordingly."

Galinda struck dumb by her roommate's sudden dark demeanour towards her sat with her mouth agape, a frown taking over from the pout of before. Anger inside her, a not uncommon feeling admittedly but one she avoided because she'd heard it caused wrinkles, started a slow burn.

Although not one of Shiz's brightest thinkers (well not on the surface, but both she and her roommate knew Galinda had what it takes) the blonde had been secure in her assessment that since the whole hat-makeover thing, where they'd shared secrets and Galinda had finally gotten her hands on that austere braid that had been driving her mad with the wasted potential of the hair tightly woven in it, that the two of them had become, albeit tentatively, friends. They'd take their meals together in the food hall if timetables allowed, and during joint classes Galinda wouldn't always immediately sit with the disruptive and vacuous (in that order) presence of Shenshen and Pfannee but seek out the green girl in the black dress. Because, to her surprise and gentle astonishment, she found she paid more attention to things with her roommate around. If she concentrated on what the teacher was bleating at the front of the class it would mean that in the evening in their shared room, silence and awkwardness would not necessarily prevail for they'd have a common subject on which to touch upon. In the most oblique and abstract fashion to begin with, Galinda had discovered if she let the green girl drone on about politics or science for long enough and remain engaged and present in the conversation, then eventually the two of them would fall in to a more natural cadence of conversational topics, such as those normally shared between friends. And it was more than a pleasant surprise, in fact you could say she was quietly thrilled, to discover that she enjoyed getting to know the green girl.

It had dawned on her early on that in all likelihood there hadn't been many friends in the green girl's life before she came to Shiz, frankly there weren't many friends in the green girl's life since coming to Shiz Galinda conceded, which made the tentative steps of friendship the two of them were making now all the more precious. No matter how well the blonde heiress carried out the actions and vocalisations of a shallow empty-headed spoiled little rich girl, deep down underneath it all, well in reality I suppose you could say, that wasn't who she was at all. And the one person to spot such an important hidden truth was the green girl before her, hence the shared intimacy of friendship which Galinda offered. Hence the meals together, the loaning of books, the creation of a name only she could address the green one by. Hence Elphie.

Galinda sighed, a watery sound that was her signal tears would follow shortly if she didn't contain them the way she'd learnt to do growing up in the lonely halls of Upland Manor. No-one likes a cry-baby she remembered her mother saying.

"Well Miss Elpha..." she was no more than those few utterances into her response when a sob broke out from no-where, catching her unawares, giving her pause in the middle of what had become such an important name.

The green girl looked on, shock and concern warring in her deep brown eyes as she saw the permanently frivolous Galinda acting in a most un-frivolous manner.

"Miss Thropp," beginning again with more control of her emotions Galinda pressed on quickly, not daring to look at her roommate directly for fear the smirk and heart-chilling cackle were moments away from appearing. "You can rest assured that I will only address you in the future when directed to, and always in the proper manner. I wished no harm with my previous familiar invocations but as I see harm has been done, I apologise."

Galinda turned away from the tall gangly girl and looked back to the window, the evening outside undistinguished amongst the heavy rain and battering winds. In the time of their strained exchange it had grown dark in the room, the small lamp on her vanity the only illumination. It cast a pale glow behind her, shadows appeared on the walls, their long dark form echoing the foreboding which had suddenly engulfed her heart. Had she just lost the first person she really counted as a friend? Galinda sighed again, thinking that time was a strange master. For it only seemed that a moment ago everything between her and Elphie...her and Elphaba rather, had been fine. How swift feelings and situations can change, just like the rain clouds in Oz. Coming from no-where, obliterating the landscape. Making everything dull and grey. The heiress sighed once more, dull and grey was exactly how she felt inside.

Elphaba stood stock still, rigid as any time she thought she heard a sound when creeping out after curfew over the kitchen's garden wall. A nauseous feeling was swilling around inside her, which she wanted to think was from the stale saffron cream she'd had with her tea at lunch that day, but was smart enough to know that it was to do with the blonde girl sat by the window. Her intention hadn't been to hurt Galinda's feelings, just to calm the ones that were inside of her. What was she thinking saying all that in the manner she did? Why did she find human contact so difficult? Well there was a rhetorical question if ever there was one, because human contact wasn't the problem, it was Galinda contact that had her all in a twirl.

She looked to the blonde again, her back was turned to her, she'd been gazing out into the dark night for minutes now without moving. Stock still just like the green girl. If she wasn't seeing it with her own eyes Elphaba would have doubted the effervescent blonde could ever keep so still for so long. She could just make out the blonde's features, blurred a little though they were, in the reflection of the window glass. She frowned at what she saw, was that? No surely not. Their exchange was curt yes, but surely it hadn't, had it been that bad? Were those? It couldn't be. Elphaba blinked hard just once as if to clear a mist that had covered her eyes and when she opened them again she'd know she had been mistaken in what she'd seen. Only there had been no mistake, admittedly she hadn't been convinced of that fact at first, what with the heavy rain streaking the outside of the window in fat droplets, distorting Galinda's reflection somewhat. But closer inspection by the green girl did unfortunately confirm what she had feared at first. And that nauseous tumult of feelings that had sparked inside her moments ago was joined by a dead weight of regret that seemed to fall directly from her heart to the pit of her stomach.

All she'd wanted to do was relieve the confusing emotions she'd been having when thinking of her blonde roommate lately. All she craved was a little distance from her, a return to the normality of their daily lives as they had been before the Oz Dust. What she hadn't wanted, what she actually now discovered was the antithesis of all that she had wanted in relation to the blonde by the window, was for that very blonde to be sat crying.

Elphaba had caused that. Had caused sadness to dull the always cheerful persona which greeted her every day in the shape of the pretty blonde Gillikin girl. She hadn't meant for that to happen. And if she thought that her feelings and thoughts towards Galinda had been confusing and bewildering before she'd made her cry, it almost took her breath away to suddenly realise that the same thoughts and feelings ran much deeper, became much more confusing and a lot more bewildering as she looked upon the tears she had caused to fall.

What is happening to me? Elphaba thought. Wave upon wave of emotional flotsam crashed around inside her as she watched Galinda wipe at stained blue eyes, clearing them of their saltwater.

Water was supposed to put out flames not fuel them and yet here she was, just as on fire as all the other times when she considered how she felt in the presence of the blonde girl. Only it seemed the flames had been forced higher in her own misguided way of dealing with them. If there wasn't so much tension in the atmosphere of their room at that point Elphaba was sure she'd cackle at the irony of it all. As it was she looked on the crying girl and all she wanted to do was make things right.

Whatever right was between the two of them the green girl didn't know, she only knew that she wanted to get back to it as soon as possible.

Something needed to be done.

And this time around Elphaba decided that rudimentary physics, bio-mechanics or any of the sciences she knew so much about couldn't help her quell the flames within her. In fact the green girl didn't have the faintest idea what would help her in her current predicament, having never been in such a situation before nor versed in the necessary history to base a best line of approach on. So for once in her life she decided to trust her instincts, and take a leap of faith where Galinda Arduennas of the Uplands was concerned.

Elphaba only hoped that it was a faith, and a leap, well placed.

Part 2

When asked Elphaba Thropp always claimed she had no use for such archaic and divisive (her words) belief systems as those extolled and practiced by her father and sister. She would dismiss the teachings of each deity Oz had to offer in swift, articulate turn.

The Unnamed God too unyielding.

The Cult of Kumbricia too abstract.

The Pleasure Faith too convenient.

She had no desire, so the green girl said, to ponder the possibilities of whether she had a soul, and if she did which trumped up selfish undeserving god she had to thank for it. There simply wasn't time to debate whether a person would move from this life to the next with the power of prayer, and a healthy donation in the weekly collection plate. Or even a desire to question if there was a next life to move to in the first place (last place?). The green girl just didn't care.

In short then one could say, and often the pious amongst the student body actually did say, that Elphaba Thropp, daughter of a preacher, sister to a religious zealot, had very little, if indeed any, kind of faith at all.

So finding herself in the position of suddenly needing faith in something, not just something in fact, but someone living and breathing and sat across the room from her gently crying still, placed Elphaba in the curious situation of being stuck, probably for the first time in her life, for precisely what words to express herself with.

It was all very well for her father to be struck with inspiration by the Unnamed God when he was dragging her around the swamps of Quadling Country holding court. (Albeit a confused and inept one, the Quadlings having little use nor comprehension for the kind of piety Frex had to offer.) It was quite another matter however, for Elphaba to do the same with her new found faith in the golden haired girl she shared a room with.

How does one go about taking a leap of faith anyway? Elphaba sighed to herself in frustration. Doubting she had the skills to follow through with this.

The night was tick-tocking on and the tension in their room permeated like a thick fog over the hinterlands in winter. Neither girl speaking, each lost in thoughts of the other. At least one girl trying desperately to think of a way to break the silence and the other girl wishing her tears would just stop falling already.

Elphaba grew increasingly ill-tempered with herself for her lack of articulation. Each time she thought of what it meant to place her faith in the Gillikin girl, to trust her instincts which were just screaming out inside her to break the silence with an out of character apology and an even more out of character confession of affection. Well each time Elphaba contemplated what all this meant her words were stripped away from her, as if she knew none to begin with. Her mouth dried arid and her heart began to beat fast in her chest at the very idea that she could feel the affection she was feeling towards Galinda, let alone say it out loud.

If she'd had more experience in matters of this kind, and by that it needs to be qualified as any experience at all in matters of this kind, then perhaps Elphaba would recognise the physical reactions ones body went through when they wanted to express their love for another. Not that this was, is, could be love you understand (the green girl hadn't figured that far ahead yet) but it was something. And something to a naïve, socially awkward, conspicuously coloured 19 year old girl was a very big thing indeed.

The heart palpitations, the dry throat and ragged breathing were all perfectly normal of course. But this was little comfort to the green girl who didn't have the faintest acquaintance with normal, hadn't in fact been in the same vicinity of normal her whole life.

Pulling fidgety hands through her ebony hair, dislodging thick strands from their captive braid, allowing them freedom to frame her face smoothing the sharpness somewhat, Elphaba thought again just how one took a leap of faith. Recognising in part the reason for some of her reticence was because she wasn't at all sure Galinda would be there to catch her when she did. For the blonde wasn't showing any signs of moving from the plush window seat she occupied with her back still turned, and offering Elphaba a get-out-clause-from-awkward-situations the way she had that night on the dance floor. So maybe Galinda really didn't care so much for Elphaba after all.

If that were the case, Elphaba wondered, why did Galinda cry so?

It was a question the blonde herself was trying to reach a conclusion to. Just as Elphaba wrestled with herself over things that weren't making a whole lot of sense between the two of them that night, so Galinda sat pondering the sudden ache she felt at the green girl's admonishing words.

She'd surely fallen foul of a friend's naïvely vicious tongue before. The Misses Shenshen and Pfannee may lack the wherewithal in the classroom to even turn up for the correct lesson, but they certainly came out tops in the bitchiness stakes, on this all of Shiz University were agreed. And when such barbed retorts and acerbic rejoinders were directed the blonde's way, simply because Shenshen and Pfannee and Galinda too for that matter, knew the three of them did not share a friendship, just a mere acquaintance, thusly each of them were deemed fair game, well such acidic remarks were like water off a duck's (Duck's?) back to the heiress. After all she hadn't grown up with her mother's daily dose of caustic barbs without developing immunity to such behaviour now.

Yet she didn't feel immune to the markedly less biting word's Elphaba spoke to her that night. Nor did she appear to be immune to the detached, sharp tone in which she said them.

The blonde swallowed a deep sob, more out of regret for the action in the first place than wanting to hide the fact she was crying still. For surely the green girl wasn't so unfeeling she could not see Galinda's distress? The thought that Elphaba could very well see her distraught manner and was still unaffected by it only brought Galinda more misery, and once again she asked herself why had Elphaba's actions towards her upset her so much?

She hadn't been as cruel as Pfannee could be, or deliberately obtuse like Shenshen. Galinda thought on reflection that actually Elphaba had been very….well Elphaba like when she acted the way she did. And usually Galinda could counter such spiky behaviour from her roommate with her own endearing perky forthright (some called it pushy) personality until at least a small smile would break out on that stern green visage.

But not tonight it seemed.

Maybe it was the mounting storm that had darkened their moods so much? Maybe the lesson with Morrible had taken more of its toll on the heiress than she had first thought? Given that lately under Elphaba's influence she had actually begun to care a little about her studies, and found herself concentrating on the fish-like woman at the front of the class. What would come naturally to her – brightness and frivolity to counterpoint darkness and seriousness – just couldn't be drummed up right now, all thanks to Morrible and the blonde's new found work ethic.

But Galinda suspected these weren't the reasons for the sudden awkwardness, the newly formed ache in her heart or the few tears that still continued to mar her flawless skin. She suspected it ran deeper than just the surface of things. Because she'd discovered over time that things with Elphaba generally did.

She didn't want to admit it, had positively discounted the theory on numerous occasions, finding clearer focus in re-arranging her shoe closet or testing herself on how many shades of pink she owned in her wardrobe. But now faced with no such distractions, a clarity of thought came to the blonde she could only wish for in Doctor Dillamond's science class. Possessing it now however left her churning inside, as if the storm that raged outside had moved into her body, a tumult of hitherto hidden emotions settling inside her as it did. A rush of fading memories added weight to the feelings which up till now she would have sworn were impossible for her to feel. But that sharpness of clarity, as sharp as the girl in question Galinda thought, made even the impossible solidify into truth.

The blonde recalled a pained expression in hazel brown eyes as they surveyed a room full of laughter and spite aimed at her. She remembered the steely look of determination replace the hurt, and the squaring of shoulders in a resolute act of defiance by the green girl who would not let the laughter drive her away. She felt again the awfulness of having ever suggested wearing such a silly hat to begin with, and how by deciding to fix her own mistakes for once the blonde found forgiveness in the eyes of the green girl when she joined her on the dance floor. Most importantly she remembered afterwards, the two of them alone together. The shared intimacy of silly secrets (what had she been saying about that vacuous Winkie prince?) The slow breaking of Elphaba's will so that first smile appeared, softening pointed features. The first innocent brush of body parts as Galinda leaned over and started to undo that austere braid.

She remembered the silky smoothness as it passed through her small hands. The stark but beautiful contrast of pale against green, when she swept the ebony aside exposing a sinewy green shoulder, resting her hand for a moment upon it. She remembered the night being warm so could not explain the sudden shiver that had ran down her spine the moment she had touched the soft, emerald skin, but was rather relieved that as soon as she removed her hand the sensation left her.

Galinda remembered thinking a split second before saying it that she thought her roommate was beautiful. Surprised at herself for being able to feel such a thing for the social misfit, yet knowing it was the absolute truth when she looked again, placing a pink flower in the dark hair.

A small smile from the green girl was all it took, the blonde remembered now. She was staring up at Galinda, a little incredulous that she'd allowed another so close Galinda thinks she thought at the time, but she smiled nonetheless. At the closeness they shared or maybe in spite of it? It didn't really matter, because there it was. The blossom of feeling in Galinda's heart. The secret that Elphaba had been keeping all this time which only the heiress had eyes to uncover.

Elphaba Thropp was beautiful.

Galinda had told her so.

And what the sheltered, privileged blonde girl from Gillikin thought was impossible became a kernel of truth the moment she did. It became the reason for her tears now, the reason why Elphaba's offhand, rude, usual manner had upset her so much.

You see it wasn't just that Elphaba was beautiful, it was that Galinda found her beautiful. And like most things we find beautiful in this world, we want to touch them, and hold them, and tell them (if it's at all possible) that they are beautiful.

Galinda had been brave and done the telling part, in fact that had come so naturally, happened with so little thought and surprised the blonde so much that she'd said it in the first place, that it had knocked the two other things Galinda had wanted to do right out of her pretty blonde head.

Until now.

Now she remembered.

She'd wanted to touch the green girl in a way Galinda had thought at the time wasn't entirely the way two friends touched each other. She'd wanted to hold Elphaba in a way she knew to be different to the way she might hold Shenshen or Pfannee in an embrace. This kind of embrace would definitely linger longer Galinda remembered thinking at the time.

She could remember it all now. All those surprising, new, tingly sensations that had begun with a pink flower and a smile came flooding back, and the blonde marvelled at them having ever gone away in the first place.

How could one forget such feelings as this? She thought to herself as another fresh memory sparked within her - Elphaba fleeing their room that night after Galinda had called her beautiful.

She supposed amidst the concern she felt for Elphaba when she fled like that, along with the general excitement those first few weeks of life in Shiz generated, coupled with the growing need to focus on more than one thing at once now being a student actually mattered to her, it was quite easy for one to forget feelings that were new and confusing, and rather welcome but unsettling at the same time because they made so little sense. Galinda supposed then, given such extenuating circumstances as these, and also given that although far more emotionally mature that those silly boys Biq hung around she was, after all, only 19 years old and couldn't be expected to process and comprehend every new sensation that came along, that it was all highly likely she would forget such monumentally important sensations as those she'd experienced with Elphaba Thropp the night of the Oz Dust dance.

All that mattered, the blonde concluded, was that she had remembered them now.

And having remembered them all now, a fresh wave of tears broke free. It really was ridiculous, she considered rather angrily, how much she could cry in one sitting. Yet no matter how unwanted the tears were the cause of them made her breath hitch in her throat, and the flow of them to not wane in the least. For up till her moment of insight and remembrance all Galinda had thought was in jeopardy between Elphaba and herself that night had been their burgeoning friendship which in itself was heartbreaking enough, but now she realised that it wasn't just a burgeoning friendship that was at stake. It was a burgeoning something not easily defined at 19 that was at stake now. Something that was to do with how fast her heart would beat when she caught a glimpse of glistening emerald skin in the morning, when a threadbare nightdress was discarded for an equally lifeless looking dark dress, and sinewy naked green flesh flashed quickly before her eyes. Something related to finding the tall green girl beautiful, a truth so rooted inside the blonde now she felt she had always known it.

Something that Galinda had lost without even realising she had had it in the first place.

This is so not fair the blonde opined, beginning to pout in between her tears.

She wasn't the kind of person who lost such auspicious things of this nature, not that she was exactly sure what nature, she only knew she wasn't happy losing it.

So what are you going to do about it Cry Baby?

The manner her inner self asked that particularly pertinent question could have matched the best taunts from her so called friends Misses Shenshen and Pfannee, but there was only one person who ever called her by that name. And Galinda didn't particularly appreciate mommie dearest's challenge to her now.

I'm going to fix this.

She thought in answer to her own question.

Just how she was going to fix this she had no idea, but at least the thought of doing so had stopped her tears from falling. And that had to be a good start, didn't it?

She wiped the tears away as gently as she could. The saltwater left watery stains on her cheeks that she knew only proper grooming would alleviate. She also knew she didn't have time for such an effort. She checked her reflection as best she could in the window glass, fearing the worse about her appearance and only being half wrong after she'd seen the damage.

Well I'll just have to do this looking au natural she thought. The do what of that thought being conveniently overlooked.

So she took a deep breath and steeled herself for the wrath or in the very least, the mild annoyance, she knew Elphaba would level at her when interrupted by the blonde.

And as she turned to finally face her roommate she told herself...

...I can do this.

Do what exactly, Galinda had no idea.

Part 3

It was an imperceptible sound. A cough, a scuffing of heavy boots against the wooden floor, even a loud sigh would have been enough to have obliterated the sound of movement on the window seat behind her.

So it was just as well all Elphaba was doing was standing rigid, facing the door to their room, holding an internal debate with herself on the merits of fleeing to the Magicks lab to see if there was a potion for turning back time to start her evening over, as she'd pretty much given up on Galinda ever moving from her perch by the window and speaking with her that night, or any other night for that matter.

But there it was. A light rustling of frills as the blonde turned, a creak of her gentle weight against the wooden seat. Elphaba's hawk like hearing, honed by years of playing alone in the dangerous forests of her youth, where sharp toothed animals (definitely not Animals) wouldn't care if their food came to them green, noticed the sound immediately.

And her desire to flee was momentarily put in abeyance as she waited for what move her roommate would make next.

Galinda hadn't been expecting Elphaba's back to be turned to her. And she certainly hadn't expected her to be poised in front of the door ready to leave. She'd assumed with how quiet the room and more importantly the other person in it had been, that her bookworm of a roommate had simply gotten on with her favourite - often infuriating - pastime of reading. The blonde was caught terribly off guard to not find her green friend ensconced beneath some worthy tome, making that frowny motion with dark angled brows as hazel eyes swallowed hungrily the text before her. It just wasn't like Elphaba to be otherwise occupied in their room Galinda conceded. And before she allowed her tangential thought process go down the path asking why Elphaba was standing rigid with her back to her, poised to leave (fleeing again?) Galinda took the rather golden opportunity presented before her of addressing the sharp spiky girl as her back was turned.

Because she doubted she'd have the courage to do it if she was looking into those steely hazel eyes.

"You know Miss Elphaba," Galinda didn't know her voice could sound so unsteady, it must have been her racing heart that made it so.

"You can really hurt a girl's feelings when you try."

She said it gently, wanting to impress upon her roommate that her behaviour had hurt the blonde, but also not wishing to sound too admonishing in case Elphaba bolted through the door, as it appeared she wanted to.

Galinda, only capable of alleviating awkward situations with her frivolous...well frivolousness, hoped her words wouldn't cause an eruption of green temper. Because she was quite wholly without anything else to say at that point, and rather meticulously she started to mentally count down the seconds of silence which permeated their room once more. Hoping Elphaba's infamous dry wit would offer itself any moment now, and put the heiress out of her misery.

She sighed as the seconds dragged on, Elphaba obviously summoning up all her anger and not just the normal surface level anger she carried around with her every day. Was she preparing to unleash it all on the blonde girl? Once again it seemed she had said the wrong thing to her roommate Galinda thought, swallowing a sob at the realisation, steeling herself for the green girl's wrath.

"I'm sorry."

Elphaba's deep timbre which usually filled the room with ease, sounded small and lost when she finally broke the silence she had forced between them.

But though it was unusually quiet for the taller girl, that didn't mean Galinda hadn't heard her words.

The blonde, who had imagined many possible sharp rejoinders from her roommate (had received many sharp rejoinders from her roommate in the past) but the one she had actually just received, opened her mouth to speak only to promptly shut it again when she realised all her words had taken a sabbatical, no longer swimming haphazardly about her brain but were off in the Eastern Kells or some other place else miles away.

Elphie just apologised. Galinda realised rather dimly. I didn't even know she knew how!

She wished the tall one would turn around so she could see her eyes and know if she really meant it. But maybe, as was the case with her own facing up to things the blonde considered with rare insight, Elphaba found it easier to address Galinda with her back turned.

"I'm sorry Galinda." Having said it once, Elphaba found that she needed to hear it again in order for her to believe she'd finally had the courage to utter the words at all.

And she found by saying those few it had unlocked all the other words within her.

Finally, the green girl sighed.

The desire to speak was actually matched with the skill.

"I didn't mean to hurt your feelings Galinda," Elphaba began. "I fly off the handle sometimes, well actually a lot of the time."

There was a measure of the old her coming through in her voice, the confident manner in which she usually spoke was trying to break the surface Elphaba was glad to acknowledge.

"Hard as it is to believe, I say things without thinking them through. It's an unfortunate habit or so I'm told. One that has followed me from childhood and doesn't look like it's going to leave me any time soon. No doubt it has helped create my reputation on campus for being a remote, well that is to say, a rather cold person."

The strength was leaving her voice again, the words difficult to say.

"Despite this," she continued, though her voice faltered in a way Galinda had never heard from the confident woman before.

"Please believe me when I tell you I didn't mean to make you cry. I didn't."

She finished softly, swallowing down an unfamiliar lump in her throat as the notion struck her that the blonde might not believe her. What was she supposed to do then?

"I don't think you're cold Elphaba," Galinda said from just behind the taller girl.

The green one gave a little start at the proximity of the voice, unusually for her she hadn't heard the graceful girl's approach from the other side of the room. A deep breath she didn't even know she held expelled itself in a tremulous sigh on hearing the kindness of the blonde's words.

"And I don't think you meant to make me cry," Galinda continued staring at the back of square set shoulders, the tension in them obvious.

She wanted to reach out and ease her friend's clear distress with a hand on her shoulder, as she had done that first night of shared confidences between them. She held back though, fearing it might startle the girl before her, scaring her into a silence Galinda so desperately wanted filled with what the green girl was taking such pains to try and say. Going against every instinct to reach out and wrap Elphaba in a strong embrace of reassurance, and so much more the blonde dimly realised, the smaller woman contented herself with remaining on the slightly intimate side of close to the taller girl. Waiting for what would happen next.

"You don't?"

Elphaba barely whispered in reply, incredulous that so soon her fears of being disbelieved could be assuaged by the blonde. Could it be a trick? She'd had plenty of those played on her in the past.

"No I don't," Galinda responded firmly, confirming her stance with a decisive nod of her head, even though the gesture was lost on the girl before her with her back still turned.

"Oh," was the green girl's somewhat less than loquacious response. She hadn't quite expected that.

So far Elphaba considered, frowning as she did so, this was all going unexpectedly well. Granted she seemed rooted to the spot, unable to turn a mere 180 degrees in either direction in order to put herself face to face with the girl she was actually trying to talk to. For some reason the dark wooden door was a more yielding audience right at that moment. Elphaba dimly realised that in part this was because it offered an escape. The exit strategy of earlier hadn't been entirely discounted yet despite how well speaking was going. After all, Nanny had always taught her it was good to have a back up plan. There weren't many lessons Elphaba had taken from the stout old woman which she actually agreed with, but she had always thought that was one was rather apt.

So far so good Elphaba thought quite relieved, but as she recognised what was next on her list of things to tell Galinda her buoyant mood began to deflate.

Apologise, done that. Tell her you feel something for her...gulp. A loud swallow emanated from the tall girl's throat, quickly followed by all the moisture inside her mouth disappearing, heading south if her suddenly watery feeling legs were to be believed. All of which happened marginally before her heart palpitations began to echo the racing pace of earlier that evening.

Oh not this again.

Elphaba berated herself, now recognising that leap of faith feeling, appreciating it less despite its familiarity. In this case, familiarity does indeed breed contempt the green girl concluded.

The words she'd so recently recovered were slipping away again. The feelings of helplessness and confusion closing in on her. She felt trapped. Trapped by the darkened room about her, trapped by the girl so close behind her when Elphaba breathed in she could detect a faint scent of the perfume – patchouli with a hint of jasmine the green girl so adept at natural oils detected - Galinda had put on that morning before classes. She felt trapped by her very own feelings, which perhaps infuriated the dark haired girl the most.

Elphaba Thropp was not known for indecisiveness and inaction. She had never shied away from anything in her life, not awkward situations (just remember the Oz Dust!) or difficult conversations (wasn't it she who raised the Animal issue at every chance she got?) Nanny always said she was a head-strong, iron-willed girl, facing her demons head on because like afflicting her with the unique verdigris tint of her skin that was just how nature had made the eldest Thropp girl. But what Nanny didn't know, what none of them knew, was nature hadn't made Elphaba that way, she had had to become that way in order to survive.

How else had the unwanted child (you could go as far as to say unloved) made it into young adulthood if it hadn't been for facing her family's disapproval – a microscopic version of the disapproval waiting for her in the rest of society - with a nonchalant turn of her head and resolute indifference to their lack of affection? How else had she stepped through those awesome front gates of Shiz University to face the (not so fresh) crème de la crème of Oz high society's offspring if she hadn't buried her fears of ridicule and rejection deep down and marched forthrightly forward, believing she belonged there too?

It was simple survival instinct that had led the green girl through every path her life had crossed up to this point in time. And now her instinct was telling her to put all that self-reliance, all that faith in herself (for you see Elphaba Thropp did have faith in something, she had always had faith in herself) into Galinda Arduennas.

Irritating, frivolous, silly, thoughtful, sweet, beautiful Galinda.

Well it's no wonder the green girl felt a little trepidation when she put it like that. How she could swing from one set of feelings to another had her head in a spin she dimly thought.

"This has got to stop now," Elphaba huffed at herself, momentarily surprised at how loud her own thoughts could sound – had she become so adept at conversing with herself now – until she heard a gasp from behind her, and detected a shuffling of feet as the blonde moved a step away from her.

"If that's what you want." Galinda responded, her voice dull and low.

All the fight of earlier, the resolve to fix things that she'd felt sitting by the window realising she had feelings for her green friend left her the instant she heard Elphaba's frustration. Clearly it was aimed at the blonde, and clearly it indicated that as suspected, the apology from the green girl had been an anomaly in otherwise normal Elphaba behaviour. Galinda backed another step away, a hollow feeling in her heart which she thought expanded on the feeling of dullness she felt earlier in the evening settled itself inside her, and she now wanted to be anywhere but here alone in this room with someone she wanted but couldn't have.

For a moment a thought flashed like fire through her mind that she if she really wanted the green girl she should fight for her, the way the heroes in the romance novels she loved to read fought for the maidens they wanted.

But you're no hero cry baby she heard her mother say.

And like a bucket of water with just that one thought the fire inside her was put out.

Part 4

It was yet another new sensation the green girl didn't particularly like experiencing. Coupled with the already erratic beating of her heart, and the all but shallowest of breaths her lungs were managing to create, she also believed it was a sensation that actually might kill her if she didn't get it under control.

Panic. It was definitely panic.

She was feeling all the classic signs of that most human of emotions when events spiral out of our control, which she arrogantly assumed (as only she would) that she'd never felt before because of the usual tight control she always maintained on situations. But there it was, the unavoidable heart hammering, the short sharp breaths accompanying it, the tingly sensation of all the blood in her body rushing to the surface of green skin, prickling it like a thousand tiny needles.

Yes, that was panic alright. All because Galinda had misinterpreted what she'd unknowingly said aloud.

Of all the times for Galinda to start paying attention to me she had to pick that one!

And now the blonde was walking away from her. The indescribable warmth that she'd felt from having the blonde girl so close was being ripped away from her before Elphaba was entirely ready to let it go.

"Don't!"

The anguished word filled the room in Elphaba's unmistakable deep voice, stilling the blonde, who was mid-turn, in one fell swoop. Or was it the hot hand of the green girl grasping her wrist, just above her own hand, that had caused the Gillikin girl to lose all motor function? Along with a few other functions too she vaguely realised as the sensation of Elphaba's hand on her skin caused that shivering phenomenon up and down her spine, the way it had the first time they had touched.

Oh my goodness was the only fathomable thought circulating under blonde curls right at that moment.

"Don't." Elphaba repeated in a slightly less desperate tone, but no less impassioned one. "Please, don't walk away from me."

Oh goodness me followed the green girl's words as Galinda tried yet failed again to comprehend the sensations and feelings coursing through her. It seemed her mental processes had been caught in the same freeze as the rest of her body, the blonde ruefully realised how similar her thoughts of the last few moments had been.

Hazel eyes scrutinised the suddenly still girl before her, trying to judge which way her heartfelt plea would be taken. Her scrutiny hit a slight snag though, and her concentration wavered when she noticed how the juxtaposition of the gentle yellow glow of the lamp, resting towards their left on Galinda's table, was meeting with golden hair that fell loosely on a rounded shoulder, sloped down a perfectly proportioned neck where a redness was suffusing the pale skin (was the blonde blushing?) to finally finish at the scoop of the low cut pink dress Galinda had chosen to wear that day. The whole effect, even hindered as it was by the blonde not facing her fully, was one of mesmerising beauty the green girl concluded. Elphaba simply could not remember Galinda look so adorable in any other light before.

She swallowed hard as sensations and feelings that had hitherto only been hinted at within her body came rushing to the surface. A palpable tension existed now inside her, no longer wondering what it was she felt for Galinda for she could definitely identify desire there now, and it was joined with a healthy dose of want and need to reinforce the feeling beyond all reasonable doubt. The tension merely intimated how hard it would be if the blonde prevented her from expressing those feelings.

The way she'd expressed them with the clasping of a pale wrist by a green hand.

Elphaba had no idea she was going to do it, reach out and touch the blonde girl. Perhaps subconsciously she had known it would finally break down whatever walls she'd placed, or tried to, between her rational mind and the fire within her that she could only feel for the Gillikin girl. Perhaps, therefore, her subconscious mind had wanted those walls broken down and knew a conscious, controlled, highly strung Elphaba would never think of doing the same and reach out to touch Galinda. Not that touch was entirely an accurate description when looked at more closely. Grasp would be a more likely portrait. A desperate act of preventing further distance, further misunderstanding between the two girls.

However you put it, whatever way the motion of green connecting with pale skin is to be described, Elphaba only knew she'd not planned on doing it at all. She hadn't known. She had simply acted on instinct.

Huh, so this is how it feels she dimly thought as she watched Galinda slowly reverse the turn she had been making to come face to face (finally!) with the taller girl.

The light, barely there though it was, glistened in the powder blue eyes before her, and Elphaba found her breath was caught somewhere in her throat, or she suspected further south in her body, when the blonde completed her turn and shyly looked up to hazel eyes.

Beautiful the green girl affirmed, waiting for the desperate need for oxygen to kick in as she was sure she hadn't taken a breath since Galinda began to move.

Simply beautiful she thought again, absently wondering why that particular thought couldn't be overheard.

Blue searched hazel for the longest of moments, prying, searching, testing, it seemed, for a sign of something but what Elphaba didn't know. Before she could fathom the look that had overtaken the eyes before her, making them slightly darker maybe, more thoughtful definitely, those same eyes were cast away from her. Galinda tilted her head a little so the green girl had no choice but to follow where the blonde's gaze led.

She found puzzled blue eyes locked on their joined flesh.

Elphaba had almost forgotten about that.

She felt her lungs finally cave in and crave air. A big deep breath swallowed desperately as she tried to make out on Galinda's lightly illuminated features, so much of her still in shadow, whether the touch was welcome or not.

As the moments dragged on, in reality not lasting longer than a few seconds, but to the green girl they were eternal, Elphaba's thoughts went from being sure that the blonde girl wanted her hand upon her skin to perhaps not minding it being there, to finally reaching and settling on the most negative of outcomes because after all, that was what the green girl was used to. That of Galinda being abhorred by the touch of green skin, like so many others were.

"I'm sorry."

That damned word again, did she know no others?

Her grip of Galinda's arm began to ease, which finally brought blue back up to hazel, this time with a question in them for the tall girl.

Elphaba swallowed hard under the questioning gaze, she could feel her muscles tighten, her heart, only just recovering from the panic of earlier, ricocheted up a notch as she struggled to find the words that would fix things between them. The futility of that struggle lost on the green girl for she hadn't realised yet that nothing needed to be fixed.

"I didn't…" Her breath hitched in her throat, like an echo of the same sensation that had occurred earlier that evening in Galinda as she tried to explain things. Her vision had suddenly become foggy, there was a light prickling film of…of something covering her eyes. Something that made her throat feel constricted, the sudden lump in it as alien to her as the sensation of wetness in her eyes.

"I didn't mean to…" she tried again, and as she did all the strength left the hand that was barely holding on to Galinda now, her arm falling listlessly to her side.

"You didn't mean to do what?"

Galinda had been silent for too long. Silent and confused. Her own heart hadn't exactly been behaving normally ever since green became linked with her paler skin. When Elphaba decided to cause it to jackhammer a second time by apologising, then removed the very contact that had caused such discombobulating heart rhythms in the first place, well Galinda realised hero or not, she needed answers from the green girl.

"You didn't mean to do what Elphaba?"

Her voice was not exactly the sweet honey cadence that Elphaba savoured hearing each day, in fact she thought she detected a level of ire in the blonde's tone. It sobered tearful thoughts inside the angular girl at least.

"You didn't mean to hurt my feelings but you did."

The blonde pointed out, with none too soft a poke of slim pale finger against a black clothed - amazingly bony to the touch - chest of the girl in front of her.

Elphaba looked down with surprise at the motion, barely registering the automatic step backwards the move had caused her to make.

"You didn't mean to make me cry but you did."

There was another poke, and perhaps a slight rising of the ire she thought she detected earlier in the blonde's voice. The green girl couldn't quite decide what tone she was hearing from her roommate as she was forced one more step backwards, a vague assumption that soon her not very cushioned behind would meet with the very hard edge of the brass door handle to their room.

"You didn't mean to make me stay just now. Is that what you want to say?"

Breathing became difficult as blonde anger, no wait, as blonde fire was unleashed fully on the green girl. A girl whose hazel eyes she searched now for signs of refuting her accusations, for anything to tell her no, she was mistaken. It wasn't like that at all. But all Elphaba could do to contest the blonde's question was shake her head in a rather muted gesture of denial. The surprise of Galinda actually touching her, the shock at the fury that rose from the smaller woman as she inched her way closer to the green girl, knocked all other means of communication from Elphaba's head. And if she had thought to do so, she would have scowled ruefully at the acknowledgement that that was a phenomenon which seemed to occur often in her roommate's presence.

Unfortunately losing one's communication skills did not seem to be a problem for Galinda at the moment. That torrent of exposition the Arduennas were all famous for once more getting an airing that night.

"Is there anything you actually do mean anymore Elphaba?"

There really was no where else to go now as the last poke of pale finger forced the tall girl up against the dark wooden door, a bony hip narrowly missed the hard edge of the brass handle by a mere millimetre, or so the green girl surmised as she felt it dig in slightly against the ill-fitting pleats of her dress.

"Because I have to tell you, I simply cannot begin to comprehend what it is you mean. I'm at an absolute loss as to what is happening between the two of us this evening."

Well not an absolute loss the blonde conceded. Her wayward thought process went off on a tangent as she took in a deep fortifying breath. Releasing it with enough vehemence the blonde curls of her fringe fretted for a moment before resuming their usual perfect alignment.

Somewhat contritely, Galinda had to acknowledge that she at least knew some of what was happening between them this evening. She knew she wanted Elphaba to touch her again. She knew she wanted Elphaba to explain the desperate plea for her to not walk away. She knew that she wanted to do her own share of touching and explaining as she'd set out to do but had gotten waylaid by the feel of green skin. She knew that if she didn't give the tall girl a chance to even answer one of her plaintive pleas she'd probably be right back to square one, because green patience would have worn thin, for green patience wasn't very fat to begin with.

"If all this is some elaborate hoax," the blonde continued promising to herself she'd let Elphaba speak soon. She just needed to get this off her chest first.

"If you are actually trying to tell me that you are not sorry, that in fact you enjoy seeing my distress, because believe me it wouldn't be the first time someone has taken pleasure in goading me to tears."

Her breath hitched with that last line.

Where had that come from?

A memory of home flashed through her mind, of taunting words and broken promises from those that should never break such a thing to a child, before the blonde clamped the lid of that particular box firmly down and refocused on the present. But the slight slip in her resolve had happened, no matter how much she wanted to pretend otherwise. The gap in her emotional armour was too wide not to step through and the blonde found herself once again with the sting of tears in her eyes.

The change in demeanour of the girl before her didn't go unnoticed by the tall green girl backed up against the door, thinking she should feel trapped and should be making a plan of escape by now, but wanting to do the exact opposite when she saw the blonde's face crumble just a little when she spoke again.

"If this is just some joke to you….if you are toying with me…."

Galinda's sweet voice cracked. There were sentences she wanted to say but they were lost behind the painful lump that had formed in her throat, the tears that would follow imminent once more.

By the Unnamed God I will not cry again.

Yet blonde curls fell forward as Galinda hung her head with shame when she felt the first spill of tears brim over the lower lids of her eyes.

Oh what's the use?

She opined, expecting any moment to be pushed forcefully away from the green girl, who seemed to have an allergy to all things that held water, only noticing now through blurred vision that she'd gotten so close to her tall roommate for that allergy to kick in at any second.

So it surprised her, if that wasn't too much of an understatement which in actual fact it was, outright shock and incredulity were a better phrase to use, when soft green fingers gently reached up beneath the blanket of curls to tilt a down set chin upwards.

Hazel met watery blue, and in the eyes of her friend, even through the blurriness Galinda could see the compassion they held for her.

"I am not toying with you Galinda."

Green fingers lightly caressed from jaw to wet cheek, if the tears stung (which they did) Elphaba didn't notice them. So important it had become to assuage the unsettled emotions of the girl before her.

"I would never knowingly hurt you in order to see your distress," the deep voice soothed as she peered closely into crystal blue orbs, the look in them slightly glassy now.

"Who would do such a dreadful thing?"

Galinda took in a deep breath, a sad sigh if ever there was one, as she thought of exactly who would do such a thing.

"Well whomever has done such a heinous thing in the past," Elphaba continued, never leaving Galinda's gaze or letting her hand still in its gentle caress of her soft face. "Will have me to answer to if they do it again in the future my sweet."

Galinda, although swept up in a multitude of emotional tides right then – bliss at the feel of a warm hand cup her face the way Elphaba's did, trepidation at the proximity of their bodies being too much of a temptation for her to resist embracing the taller girl the way she desperately wanted to – was fully intending on explaining to her roommate that she'd just unknowingly threatened her mother when the last few words Elphaba had uttered finally penetrated her somewhat overtaxed, at least on an emotional level, brain.

Huh? Did she just say?

"Did you just call me…?"

The blonde found she couldn't finish the question. Her heart was pounding too rapidly in her chest, her breath was shallow and too fast, the closeness of the green girl – there really were only inches separating them now – was all to much for the Gillikin girl.

"My sweet," Elphaba finished for her. Smiling as she did at the puzzled yet she hoped approving expression in the clear blue eyes before her.

"I though that's what you said," offered the blonde in a voice that seemed to come from far away, dreamlike even to own ears.

Instinctually she curved into the touch as the taller girl once again trailed soft fingers from jaw to cheek. Noting to herself how her face didn't feel wet from tears anymore in a rather absent manner, as there were more pressing things on her mind right then.

The green girl's face was so close to her own, one could say within perfect kissing distance should one want to do such a thing. Admittedly there was a good few inches of height difference between them still but if Galinda was adept at anything, it was stepping up on delicate toes to reach something she desperately wanted to reach. Like the dark green lips hovering close above her own. What a beautiful shade they were up close.

"Did you mind?"

The girl with the dark lips interrupted Galinda's thoughts. Having watched her companion glass over for a moment in a wistful sort of way, the blonde's eyes focusing not exactly on her own but a part of her features a little lower, caused the green girl to swallow quite audibly and quickly interject. She wasn't sure she was ready for what she thought came next.

"Hmm?"

Galinda hadn't processed the question. She'd been moments away from reaching up to soft looking lips and…

"Did you mind me calling you my sweet?"

Elphaba clarified, the answer to that question suddenly the most important answer in all of Oz. She stilled her hand on Galinda's cheek, trying to get the blonde to concentrate on her again. Or in the very least, to drag her eyes back up to her own.

Galinda realising there was going to be further conversation between them whether she approved of it or not took in a deep breath. Steadying herself somewhat and standing up a little straighter, unaware she'd practically been leaning into the taller girl all this time.

"Did I mind you calling me my sweet?" She repeated the question back to Elphaba.

All the green girl managed was a slight nod of her head as agreement, words caught somewhere inside her along with the breath she was holding.

"No Elphie, I didn't mind."

Even though the name was banned, despite a slight twinge of nerves when saying it, Galinda knew of no other way to answer her roommate's heartfelt question, nor other way of addressing the girl that had out of no-where, insinuated herself without even trying into Galinda's affections.

And to think at first I thought I loathed you, marvelled the blonde girl, once again gazing at dark lips that were fast becoming her only focus.

"Well that's somewhat of a relief," Elphaba breathed out, able to think again after Galinda's soft answer assuaged some of the tumult of trepidation she was feeling inside right then.

A smile quite unused to appearing on green features began to emerge as she gazed down at the blonde, who was doing her fair share of smiling a hitherto never seen before smile back at the green girl.

"Is it a relief?"

Galinda asked, her voice that faraway intonation of earlier. She was still reeling, in the best possible terms of course, from the warm open palm that was resting gently against her cheek still. When you coupled that with the growing sense that her roommate might actually share in the feelings only so recently discovered by the blonde girl, Galinda thought it a miracle that she'd actually managed to speak at all.

"Yes, it's most definitely a relief my sweet," Elphaba reiterated feeling confidence seep back into her bones.

She fluttered her green fingers up the blonde's jaw line once more, an errant curl her goal. She brushed it ever so gently behind a delicate pink ear, the small gasp of surprise from the blonde a pleasant reaction. Dark lips curled into a seductive smile neither girl would have thought she was capable of, the blonde one melting just a little at the sight of it on green features.

There was that need again. Need to touch the tall girl in a way she knew she didn't want to touch her other (so-called) friends. She suspected she wanted to touch Elphaba in a way she'd never wanted to touch anyone before. The feelings coursing through her veins along with the rush of blood from a racing heart certainly felt brand new to her. If she could only close the last few inches of distance between them she vaguely thought, not realising that she was doing just that as she reached up on tip toes.

Pink lips loomed closer to her own much darker ones, Elphaba didn't think she'd ever seen another's lips so close to hers before. It was slightly dizzying, and not in the least surprising to find that she didn't really know what to do at that moment. Even though it was startlingly obvious what the blonde girl wanted. What she wanted let's be truthful now.

Despite protesting to herself that she didn't know entirely what to do, her hand seemed to be more aware as on its own volition (so Elphaba would later swear) she saw it guide the blonde closer to her.

How was it doing that?

Some rational part of the taller girl's mind asked. No answer was forthcoming though as not only had her hand developed it's own set of actions devoid of her brain, but now her head had somehow cut ties with the complicated muscle held within it, and begun to lean down in the general direction of pink lips.

The inches shrank to centimetres then to bare millimetres of space between dark and pink lips. Breath shallow and warm brushed the other's jaw, and two hearts raced in time the way hearts will do in moments like this.

A green hand began to tremble upon a pale cheek, the shivering sensation spreading out from long bony fingers down her arm to the rest of her angular body. Elphaba had never experienced such feelings before, didn't know why her body would react so viscerally to the close proximity of her roommate, or more accurately to her roommate's very pink, very close lips.

Was it supposed to feel like this?

Having had absolutely no experience with another person's lips before, and no reason to believe such an experience would ever happen in her lifetime thus never researched the appropriate books for the relevant information, Elphaba felt at a loss as to how to go about stopping the shaking of her entire body. The shallow breathing and racing heart she was sure was going to cause a rupture somewhere also needed to be addressed. She supposed that under any other circumstances, conceding immediately she didn't quite know what those circumstances would have to be to warrant such a ploy, she would have asked her more experienced – at least where other people's lips were concerned – roommate how to go about doing this. Alas, considering Galinda was the very person Elphaba wanted to experience this with, it didn't seem appropriate to stop proceedings and ask her what was correct etiquette in circumstances such as these.

Guess it's back to instinct then she thought, swallowing down a nervous trembling sigh, hoping all this was going to end okay.

Following the blonde's example, at least getting that much of a clue, the tall girl closed her hazel eyes, knowing she'd find the lips so tantalisingly close to her own now even if she were suddenly rendered blind. A wet tongue unconsciously ran along very dry lips, her hand pressed firmly along the blonde's very hot cheek.

Instinct had indeed taken over Elphaba Thropp dimly realised, as she paused for just second.

Finally ready to place all her faith in the girl before her.

Part 5

There had been few instances during her 19 years of living when she'd actually had to wait for something she wanted to happen to actually...well happen. It was simply unheard of for the (somewhat) spoiled little rich girl to have to endure a long, tortuously agonising wait for that which she so desperately wanted. Her requests never denied, her whims always met, her wants always fulfilled. And always in a timely and appropriate fashion. That was the existence of a pretty blonde heiress after all. So taking into account that nothing like the tortuously agonising wait she was currently experiencing had ever occurred in her existence before, because frankly there hadn't been a moment like this of wanting something so desperately as she wanted the luscious dark lips hovering so close to her own to complete their journey and meet with her equally luscious lips, Galinda Arduennas of the Uplands was at an utter standstill as to how to cope with this new sensation.

Patience, from the Gillikin girl's viewpoint, was not a virtue.

She didn't think she could take much more. Anticipation could be wildly exciting but really, this was getting ridiculous now. She could feel Elphaba so close yet she stayed away still. Did she not want this as much as the blonde girl?

The trembling warm hand, the shallow hot breaths gently bathing her face from the girl so close before her told Galinda that Elphaba did want this. For the tall girl mirrored the reactions of her own excited body, blonde curls bouncing as her body shivered with anticipation and fear and there was a healthy mixture of want and need mixed in there too. Galinda knew she wanted to feel dark lips upon her own and if she could deduce the same from how the green girl trembled, so it seemed Elphaba shared in this want.

So why the wait?

More to the point, why wasn't the more experienced heiress doing something about it?

It was not as if Galinda was unaccustomed to what came next when two bodies were as close as the green and the pale girl were now. Which is not to say the blonde was awash with experience (certainly not as much as errant green thoughts imagined anyway) she was, after all, the daughter of an Arduennas with all the trappings of decorum and reputation such a name carried with it. But there had been moments like this in the past. When lips hovered close to her own only to pause at the very last moment - out of fear, trepidation, plain shyness who could tell?- wherein Galinda, impatient, giggly, popular Galinda, would sweep up and finish the job, so to speak, and make the connection herself.

So why couldn't she do the same now when perhaps it mattered most?

As tangential as blonde thoughts were beginning to become – what in Lurline's name is wrong now? Does my breath smell? Have I done something wrong? If someone comes along now and knocks on that door I will deprive them of a vital organ without the use of magic – the one resounding thought that could make sense of her uncharacteristic reticence in completing the connection between them, was so simple in its reasoning the blonde marvelled at not thinking of it in the first place.

Kiss me, Elphie. Please kiss me.

The blonde's thoughts all merged into that one desire repeated over and over inside. She wanted Elphaba to kiss her. She needed the taller girl to make that last move and brush soft dark lips against her own, she couldn't do it the other way around this time. She couldn't be the one to be bold, to take what she wanted first.

She wanted Elphaba to be the one to kiss her.

It may be a small matter of semantics to most people who found themselves in a similar position, and really she supposed it probably didn't matter to the majority of people who kissed whom, but to Galinda it was incredibly important to make that distinction known.

This wasn't like those other times she had come to realise. Nothing that had gone before this moment, no kiss, no intimate embrace such as the one they were on the verge of sharing even compared, could even be said to occupy the same category as what she was experiencing, what she was feeling right now.

This was simply unique, this moment. Just like the girl she was sharing it with. And for that reason alone Galinda wanted Elphaba to be the one to initiate it. Because then she'd know the moment was real, and if it was real there was a chance it might last.

"Kiss me Elphie. Please kiss me."

The thought whispered out loud wasn't an accident, though on later reflection Galinda might have liked a little less desperation to come out in her tone.

She just wanted to let the girl so tantalisingly close to her know, in case there was any doubt which really was ridiculous because she was standing there with her eyes closed and lips ready for Kumbricia's sake! Nevertheless she wanted to let Elphaba know that this was something she wanted too.

"Kiss me." She whispered again.

The green girl only needed telling twice.

Elphaba unconsciously wet dry lips once more, unaware with her eyes closed that Galinda had done the same thing. All doubt and delay disappeared on hearing Galinda's soft, slightly desperate plea. The tall girl closed the last of the millimetres of distance between them, still with a trembling hand upon a pale cheek. She brushed dark lips softly, reverently against the pale ones beneath hers, finally completing the connection, the journey, she now thought she had always been destined to make with her roommate.

It was soft and warm beneath her touch, Elphaba had never known such a thing before now. She brushed her lips once more over the willing pair beneath hers, with only the barest of pressure at first. It was all she dared to do in the face of all the unknowable, not to mention unfathomable reactions she was having when soft lips responded to her own.

Warmth emanating from Galinda's lips seemed to suffuse Elphaba's entire body, making her aware of all the places she'd felt cold in the past, and certain places that had held heat before burned with a new intensity, as she realised that instead of the brief kiss with the lightest of pressure she had intended to perform, she was pressing a little harder on the soft pink below.

Lips were becoming a little moist for both dark and light now. The added pressure from the green girl an entirely welcome progression, building up a friction between them which pragmatically Elphaba knew to be the simple results of the physics of the situation, but when she boldly darted her tongue along Galinda's bottom lip so she could taste for the first time lips that were not her own, she knew there was nothing simple or scientific about it.

She knew she'd never find a formula in a book to explain how she felt in that moment of tasting Galinda's lips. This was something Elphaba was discovering for herself without the aide of her precious library, and was all the more thrilling for it. The more pressure she placed on Galinda's lips she realised the more there was to discover about these new sensations. Sensations she had had no idea existed in the world before now. Or in the very least if that sounded implausible - for surely a girl of Elphaba's intelligence knew the basics of human sexuality? - she had no idea such things existed inside of her before now.

Such things as the urge to deepen her kiss further with the first tantalisingly delicious taste of Galinda's lips. She let her tongue swim along the soft lips of the blonde in a few more gentle strokes before insisting, in the most unabashed and commanding manner (at least for a girl who's never done this before) that she be let entry. The moaned response, all Galinda could manage as she parted for Elphaba no doubt in her mind that as first kisses went this was the most heated, the most beautiful one she'd ever experienced, was like pouring fuel on the fire within the green girl. Immediately she felt her body respond in a way she might have dreamed about once, after a little too much Vinkus wine had caused Galinda to unselfconsciously remove every item of clothing before bed, in front of a shocked yet wildly fascinated Elphaba. But if her dream had felt exactly like this she knew she would never have awoken again.

She wanted more from Galinda. She wanted to give more to the blonde girl which was perhaps the most startling of the two raw emotions raging through her body right then. Elphaba Thropp wasn't known for her giving nature. Not that she was selfish (self-absorbed perhaps) she had just never been in a position before where she wanted to give anything of herself to another person. Well really there had been no need in the past. No need for a show of affection to her family as they showed so little to her, no need to demonstrate with exaggerated affections that she was happy to see a friend in the halls of Shiz as she had no friends at Shiz (Boq didn't count as he boarded at Queen's, and was too small to demonstrate friendship with anyway) So although there had been no need for it in the past, a truth which stung the green girl as much as water upon her skin, that did not mean she would ignore that need now.

With the minimal of thought before it, her actions and movements now born of instinct more than anything else, Elphaba raised the hand that had been sat delicately in the curve of a hip all this time to join its opposite on Galinda's hot-to-the-touch face. A firm yet gentle pressure holding the blonde in place, thrilling her with the propriety of the action whilst green lips deepened their passionate kiss.

To steady increasingly unsteady legs Galinda finally reached out to the girl before her, her limbs up till now had been caught in a mesmerised spell of inactivity, probably due to all her brain power being diverted to the feel of green lips upon pink ones. It was somewhat of a relief to find that her arms still worked, placing slightly shaky hands on the slender hips of the taller girl. The bony outline of a slim waist unmistakable beneath the drab dress Elphaba wore. The urge to feel beneath the rough fabric, place her innocent hands against naked skin would have shocked the heiress as soon as she thought of it, if a second later she hadn't also thought how right it was to be touching Elphaba at last. A natural progression of that touch seemed perfectly reasonable to her.

Even if she didn't have the courage to progress things right then. Even though at that very moment her mind and the myriad of thoughts inside it were swept away when Elphaba once more begged entry to her mouth, possessively holding her in two firm hands as she darted a strong tongue across now swollen lips. Even if the desire to touch green skin always remained a desire and not transferred into an act committed time and again, the fact of the matter was, it just felt right between them.

This exchange, this moment, this kiss was right. Galinda had never been so sure of anything in her life before. She grasped slender hips a little tighter when a wave of fire flared through her body at the insistent green tongue battling with her own. Yes this was most definitely right, she acknowledged once more, hands roaming up a surprisingly muscled back, the thin fabric of the taller girl's dress thankfully leaving little to the imagination. Sinewy muscles glimpsed in the half light before sleep were now tantalisingly taut beneath desperate fingertips.

If this was an example of how first kisses felt from the green girl, Galinda had the vague thought when the hands clasped to her face began to roam a little lower, tracing a very flushed neck, back up to golden curls to then reach for the nape of her neck again, bringing them closer if that were even possible, then the blonde simply couldn't wait for how a second kiss might feel. Not that she wanted this kiss to end you understand, it being the most sensuous, beautiful, momentous first kiss she'd ever experienced (and she had experienced a fair few let's be honest now) But the blonde was quite aware, in that vague it's-in-the-back-of-my-mind kind of awareness, that in order to initiate a second kiss, a first one had to be broken.

Well this is a dilemma.

She pondered, almost losing the thought entirely as Elphaba changed pressure again – or had it been Galinda this time? – and began placing gentle slow strokes of her tongue against the other's, nipping playfully every now and then the willing lips below her with teeth that were on the sharper side of sharp. The sensation seemed to link directly with the fire Galinda had noticed growing in her lower abdomen which was certainly a new experience for her even if she'd been kissed before now, and as it ratcheted up a notch further at Elphaba's sensuous explorations with her tongue, whether the blonde wanted to break their first kiss in order to initiate a second one became a moot point. For as that fire grew it appeared to strip the oxygen from her body, most acutely felt in lungs that needed air and legs that had grown suddenly weak. Soon she'd have no choice but to pull away, in fact said lack of choice was fast approaching when Galinda realised she needed to take in a breath if she was going to go on standing.

With a gargantuan effort of willpower she never knew she possessed the blonde girl tore her mouth away from Elphaba. Much needed air clamoured desperately down her throat, hitting her lungs in a burst of activity, causing breath to be expelled in short, sharp bursts.

She pulled back only slightly from the taller girl, who still had her hands tangled in blonde hair and her mouth tantalisingly close to her own so in effect she couldn't move that far away even if she wanted to. She didn't. She kept her blue gaze fixed on the hazel before her, what she now recognised as Elphaba's look of panic quickly overriding the raw desire she'd caught a glimpse of moments ago. The green girl's movements became slightly agitated too, the hands that had so desperately held her fell away to a more safer position of resting gently against Galinda's sides.

She had a feeling this might happen. The blonde really wasn't as dim as most people thought.

Finally finding her voice after the tempo of her breathing had returned to normal enabling her to speak without fear of hyperventilating, Galinda moved a hand up from bony hip to gently cup a smooth exquisitely defined cheek as she whispered her reassurance, quite marvelling at the notion it was she who had to reassure Elphaba of something. Her roommate knew everything after all.

"Don't worry Elphie, you haven't done anything wrong."

With her free hand Galinda reached for the green one resting on her hip. Entwining fingers together for the first time, a natural interlocking of pale and green as if the two friends had been doing it for a lifetime and not just this once.

"On the contrary," Galinda continued seeing that look of panic not completely dispel from deep brown eyes.

"What you did was so right, felt so wonderful, you literally took my breath away."

She ran a hot thumb gently over dark swollen from kissing lips, hoping she was doing enough to reassure the taller girl.

"Is that why you…?" Elphaba's voice was thick with the desire she'd had to bank when Galinda pulled away from her. It startled her to hear such rich deepness coming from her own mouth. She found she couldn't finish the question for fear her voice would crack with the burning she felt inside for the other girl.

"Pulled away so I could breathe?" There was a smile playing on Galinda's pink lips as she intuited the green girl's thoughts. It was completely devoid of mirth or malice, she simply found it enchanting that confident, assured, Elphaba needed reassurance from her this way.

"Yes Elphie darling," the endearment didn't go unnoticed no matter how softly spoken.

A sharp dark brow rose up in question of the remark but was soon tamed by the smile that broke out on green features as she realised she liked the term. She had never been anyone's darling before, and whilst she wasn't sure the assessment wholly suited such a spiky character as she, coming from Galinda it did sound awfully appealing.

"I thought it prudent," continued the blonde as soon as she saw Elphaba had accepted her phrasing, "to obtain oxygen when I began to feel my head become light and my legs grow weak."

The blonde couldn't resist the thorough explanation, figuring that Elphaba would appreciate the detail, hoping she'd see the huge compliment that lay within it. But just to make sure…

"….You do, you know." Galinda almost whispered, looking deep in to hazel eyes. A wave of desire coursed through her when she saw the barely masked look of need in the other girl's gaze.

"Do what my sweet?"

Elphaba asked her voice soft and tentative this time. The panic within her that all this had been a mistake finally abated. Leaving in its wake a desire for the girl before her which she acknowledged rather ruefully, with just a smidgeon of irony, it had been there from the moment they had first met. It was only now that it was allowed a voice and freedom to express itself.

"Make my legs go weak."

With her words Galinda slipped both hands so they looped around the taller girl's neck. The difference in height necessitating a reach up from the smaller girl which had the dual result of bringing them closer together once again, and for remarkably ample breasts to press against the chest of the green girl.

Elphaba felt the sensual contact and thought her heart might explode when blood and nerve endings and whatever those fibres were springing to life inside her making her abdomen and lower parts ache with a new fire, all joined in a silent cacophony of feeling and sensation within her.

She adjusted her hold on the blonde girl slightly, feeling a little weak herself but absolutely unwilling to let this intimate embrace waver. Green hands slipped down to a curved waist, softer and more womanly than her own she knew, liking the way her hands fit perfectly in the curve of Galinda's hips.

"Do your legs feel weak now?"

She husked in a low voice. Wanting so much to follow the question with another kiss, but settling for drawing their cheeks close together, brushing gently the soft skin of a reddish pink cheek.

It took a few moments for Galinda to gather herself enough to form words in reply to Elphaba's question. The sensual feel of the girl's cheek rubbing her own was sweeping her away again.

"Well as a matter of fact…" she began unable to resist the opportunity of a bared cheek Elphaba had placed in front of her mouth when she shifted position slightly. She placed a rather chaste kiss (by the standards already set that evening anyway) on the warm skin before continuing.

"…I do feel a little weak in the knees."

Another kiss on hot skin. This time it was Elphaba finding the place where jaw curved into neck too irresistible on the blonde. Needing to pay it homage before further thought or speech could prevent her. That one kiss quickly turned into another placed just a little further down a slender neck, Galinda let out a sensual moan at the feel of lips upon a part of her she'd never felt lips before.

Oh my goodness the heiress fell back on her favourite exclamation as Elphaba took it upon herself to explore more fully the sensations that caused Galinda to moan so.

In between languid licks and nips of her neck, the blonde aiding and abetting the action by tilting her head back allowing full exposure to the task, the green girl in a surprisingly seductive voice which she had no idea she were capable of whispered a response to Galinda.

"Perhaps my sweet, if you are feeling too weak to stand, we should carry on with this activity in bed?"

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

Part 6

There are decisions we make in life which are thought through and prepared. Which have been considered from several perspectives and innumerable outcomes premised before reaching the decision one eventually reaches. They may range from the mundane. Which tie goes with this suit? Tea with saffron cream or without? Or be of such importance that the decision reached, should it be the incorrect one, will throw you down a path in life you never thought you'd tread, let alone dared to. Follow blindly the Wizard's doctrine or question where all the Animals have gone could be one such example. Either kind of decision can require fierce activity of thought before it. Especially from those conscientious practitioners of the art who pride themselves on being well prepared, knowing exactly what they will do and why they will do it.

Then there are the decisions we make in life without much forethought or planning. That are made within a split second of the idea for the decision coming to our minds in the first place. They are impulsive and often surprise us, as if they have been made without our knowledge and immediately we panic that they are the wrong decisions to make. We may even think to ourselves, given more time, we might have made a different decision entirely. Time being that great purveyor of wisdom, or so the saying goes. What seemed right at the time and all that can look like a terrible decision in the dawning light of a new day. When the cost and consequence of the impetuous choice have been laid bare and we realise we may have been wrong. How awful the quick decision can seem then, how we wish we'd had more time to think it through.

How easy we forget that acting on instinct and making decisions in the shortest of seconds often leads us to those moments that change one's life for the better, and always for good.

Did that really just happen?

Elphaba wasn't contemplating the complexities of her decision making process when her seductive suggestion was met by the air about them turning thick from a new kind of tension, and Galinda's soft breathing took on a more staccato rhythm. One could call it panting if one wanted to envisage the blonde in that needy, lust-filled role, and let's face it Elphaba kind of did.

Did that really just happen?

The tall girl was stuck on the very suggestion she'd voiced moments ago so if anyone was to ask her where the decision had come from and why she'd spoken it in the first place - and rest assured if it wasn't for the fact that Galinda's brain had gone into permanent hibernation all it's power diverted to keep her lungs functioning and her heart beating she would be asking Elphaba why she'd said that in the first place – then the green girl would be unable to answer such a simple (are you kidding me?) enquiry.

Because she couldn't quite believe she'd asked it to begin with.

Did that really jus…do not say that again.

Elphaba was many things but repetitive was not one of them she sternly told herself. Stilling the looping thought till it was no more than an echo she could easily tune out when she focused on her present, and the luscious girl in her arms.

There was no distance between them, despite the surprising nature of what Elphaba had just uttered silencing the room the two girls still held each other with intimate ease. The panicked reaction of pulling away in case none of this was wanted had at least been dismissed in both their minds, so Elphaba could remain with her dark lips tantalisingly close to the pink ear she'd just whispered in. The pale arms of the smaller girl could remain wrapped around a strong green neck, her curvaceous form up just an inch on tip-toes in order for them to sit comfortably, it was as if they belonged there. The swell of full pert breasts tenaciously pressed against the rather receptive chest of the taller girl as Galinda's breathing regulated to a mid-tempo in/out in/out action. It drew heady desires of want and need from Elphaba, which even though she was new to this she wasn't so naïve as to not acknowledge how such feelings had played a part in making the decision she so quickly made, following that through with the suggestion of it spoken out loud in that sensual tone neither girl knew Elphaba was capable of. And now she drew in a deep breath as once more hard peaks pressed closer then receded. Galinda's perfume infused her senses, mixed in with a heady aroma created from an entirely different but equally enticing source. The tall girl thought she might combust from the heat all these new sensations were creating within her.

All debate of did this really just happen was swallowed up by the fact that this, however this was to be defined, was really happening. Right now. And that was all that mattered. A moist tongue snaked from sensitive ear over a throbbing pulse to find purpose at the juncture of neck and shoulder, lips and sharp teeth joining the advance party when the sensual moan the whole move caused escaped the blonde girl in her arms.

"Oh my goodness."

The heiress exclaimed aloud for once, unable to prevent a natural inclination of her head backwards in order for more expanse of neck to be offered to the girl kissing her with complete abandon.

If this counted as a second kiss from Elphie it was definitely on a par with the first she thought. Flames of desire and need licked up higher inside her, growing in their intensity, causing a not unpleasant liquid heat to swell in between the juncture of her thighs.

"Oh my goodness," she said again as strong hands took a hint from the inquisitive mouth and joined in the exploration of Galinda's body, that hadn't yet been touched in quite the same way as Elphaba began touching her now.

Green hands inched boldly around Galinda's waist, squeezing and wrestling with the ridiculously priced cloth of her dress which kept Galinda's pale flesh hidden for the time being. One arm led its inquisitive fingers up the curve of the blonde's spine, dancing across the bared shoulder blades and upper back beautifully exposed by the latest fashion trends. Elphaba reached up higher to place a forceful hand to the back of blonde curls, urging her roommate's tilted head back to her waiting, urgent mouth. As exquisite as it was lavishing kisses upon Galinda's neck, the green girl soon grew impatient to feel those luscious pink lips on her own again.

Caught in the molten heat of a searing kiss Galinda, vaguely aware of the hand cupping her head bringing them closer, had little room to think where Elphaba's other hand might have travelled, until she moaned into the taller girl's mouth words that might have been 'oh my goodness' when she felt the strong hand of the green girl quite firmly cup her ass, squeezing one cheek and then the other.

As it seemed the blonde approved of her most recent exploration born from actions the green girl was literally making up on the spot, following some sort of instinctual pattern nestled deep inside her which she was filing away in the back of her brain for later thought and research, Elphaba all crashing lips and questing tongue, felt again the rounded pleasantly firm rear of the smaller girl. Unable to stop herself from going further when she felt Galinda's tongue fight her own for dominance inside her mouth, eventually receding that particular battle to the smaller girl as it just felt too good not to, Elphaba reached lower on Galinda's body. Inching the blonde's (thankfully) short dress up in order for at least one barrier between hand and skin to be removed.

In breathless moments of languid kisses, moans of delight and desire escaping both girls, the barrier was breached. A scalding hot hand met with equally feverish skin for the first time. If either girl had eyes open to see, both would admit the beautiful contrast of a green hand against the pink tinged smooth flesh of Galinda's thigh. The touch was tentative and light but wanted by both of them.

It was a moment both girls had perhaps been unknowingly waiting for ever since that first fleeting touch of soft hand against bared skin. When Galinda had touched Elphaba's shoulder the night of the Oz Dust dance, the pull of glistening emerald irresistible in the low lamplight of their room. It had probably been that moment more than any of the others that had led both girls to where they were now. A hot tangle of lust and need, of wet kisses and tentative touch, a cumulative reaction of all the moments shared since that very first one. Distilled into now. This moment of need.

A moment which might have been savoured a lot longer, and led to further explorations than the slow and not so slow squeezing and touching Elphaba was performing upon Galinda's thigh, if it had not been for the blonde's desperate surge of emotion for the green girl, manifesting itself in an ill-thought out repositioning of her arms wrapped around the taller girl's neck, which inadvertently changed the delicate axis of balance between the two girls. With Elphaba leaning quite far into the smaller girl in order to reach the luscious expanse of thigh, and Galinda's own perilous stance on tip-toes not being the most secure basis for keeping upright, when pale arms moved from green neck in order for them to start their own journey of exploration along a body previously not explored, the world suddenly began to tilt backwards.

Barely breaking their kiss because it was the kind of kiss which mere gravity could not defy, Galinda and Elphaba pawed at each as the floor of their room loomed close. Either not aware it was looming close, or not having a care in all of Oz of the impending impact.

Some instinctual part of the green girl reached out with her hands that had been so busy tangled in blonde curls and the blonde's dress to try and break some of their fall. The instincts of the heiress were to cling on as best she could, if she was going over then Elphaba was most definitely coming with her. It all added to the inevitability of the moment, just as each moment before it seemed inevitable now, and only did they break their passionate kiss when a blonde ass met firmly with a hard floor, and sharp bony angles of the green girl landed on top of her.

The thump and clatter of the fall sounded surprisingly loud in a room that up till moments ago had only been filled with heavy breathing and moans of pleasure from both occupants.

"Are you alright my sweet?"

It was the green girl who recovered her senses, or at least the sense to recognise that it could have been painful for Galinda to fall the way she did, first. She began to rise off the prone girl, acutely aware of the way legs had tangled in their far from graceful fall. A firm thigh insinuated as if by design between the slightly parted thighs of the blonde girl. Elphaba was surprised that although her head kept urging her to move, her body seemed intent on keeping her where she was. Contracting into itself and pushing further the thigh that was so dangerously placed.

When it made even closer contact with the blonde's already sensitive, quite possibly overly stimulated centre, the hands of the heiress, which had all this time been wrapped around Elphaba's slender waist, clutched a little tighter. The wind finally coming back to her lungs, Galinda halted the green girl's half-hearted attempt at extricating herself, her upper body almost out of Galinda's reach though their lower limbs were still entwined. The heiress with a firm tugging of the spare fabric of her drab dress urged Elphaba back down to her.

"Are you hurt?"

Elphaba tried once again to steer their unspoken topic along a safer path. There was a look in Galinda's eyes not witnessed before. Radiant blue had darkened somewhat, narrowed as if in deep concentration of something. It made the green girl nervous, her heartbeat quickening, her body suffused with fresh fire. Pale hands crept up her spine, the way they had begun to wander when both were vertical. Tangling in a now very unkempt braid, long strands of inky black hair thread through Galinda's fingers, the leather tie always present loosening with the blonde's every touch.

It was taking all of Elphaba's will, not an arena in which the green girl lacked strength, to not give in to whatever new desire had erupted between them ever since she had fallen on soft flesh, able to feel every lovely curve, every exquisite nuance of Galinda's body beneath her own. And although she was at an absolute loss, so it seemed, to prevent her thigh from pressing against Galinda in a building rhythm she was quite sure she'd never known about before this moment, she was still determined enough to bring them both back from the dangerous place they teetered the edge of.

"Miss Galinda I really must insist you tell me of your injuries."

She had aimed for firm and just the right level of spikiness she knew drove her roommate to distraction. What came out however was a husky intimation belying the words she said, and fuelling Galinda's quest to fully unravel dark flowing locks, to join their mouths together in a lingering soulful kiss.

"I am not injured Elphie darling," finally Galinda responded with something other than her wayward hands and a mischievous glint to her eye. Though when focused upon more fully the glint was still there, as were the wayward hands which were guiding the green girl's stubborn face closer to her own.

Elphaba swallowed hard. In the maelstrom of bubbling emotions and raging hormones that made up the uninitiated teen her body wasn't doing anything her head was telling it to. Hands she'd insisted push her off the blonde were lowering her upper body towards her, and hips and thigh she really had told to cease all momentum paid no attention whatsoever. It was as if everything inside her, all the nuances and reasons for her doing anything at all in life had suddenly switched allegiances. And instead of listening to her head, all of a sudden Elphaba Thropp had begun to listen to her heart.

A heart that wanted the girl whose lips were so close, and whose need so apparent Elphaba felt powerless to deny her anything.

Their kiss had the assuredness of having happened before, both girls quite used to the shape and taste of each other now. But still it felt different, it felt new somehow. Galinda wondered if that would always be the case. Not thinking about it too much as there was far greater importance in focusing on the present, and on the girl who less rigidly now held herself aloft above her, lower bodies entangled in a dance even Galinda didn't know the next steps to. But briefly the blonde tried to recall if other kisses from her past felt like it did kissing Elphie. It didn't take her long to reach the conclusion that none had, and formulate the hypothesis (the studious green girl really was having a positive influence on her) that perhaps the reason each kiss felt exciting, different, new was because that was simply how it felt to be kissed by this amazing beautiful creature. The only way she could ever find out if that would change, if it would always be the case or they would eventually settle in to more prosaic levels of intimacy, was to keep on kissing the green girl. At least for as long as Elphaba allowed such a thing.

Galinda had no problem with that plan, putting it into action immediately focusing back to the present and the very hot lips that touched her own. Her hands tangled deeply in ebony hair pressing rather forcefully upon the neck and head of the green girl, urging her closer. She wanted to feel Elphaba's entire body against her own. Whatever was happening further south between strong and parted thighs began to cause an ache within the blonde girl. A tingling suffusion of heat raced up her body. Its source she suspected was the juncture of her thighs awakened for the first time by what the green girl was doing, and it's goal seemed to be to settle in the hardened peaks of her breasts, which desperately ached to meet with the smaller ones above her, the way they had brushed against them when the two girls were standing.

If only she could get Elphie to just lower herself those final inches!

Another searing kiss, a pale darting tongue licking the green lips above hers and then a mouth sucking in the dark lower lip caused Elphaba to let out her first audible moan of the night. Her resolve to keep their desire banked finally crumbled as she did.

Slowly she lowered her upper body down upon the eager waiting girl below. Her arms screaming with the exertion of keeping herself at a safer distance for so long welcomed the reprieve, tangling almost immediately in to the blonde curls spread haphazardly before her.

The full contact between them brought a whimper of desire from the blonde. Feeling the gentle weight upon her chest she could detect her roommate's reaction to it all, her arousal unmistakable as Galinda felt the exquisite pressure of firm nipples brush against her own. It caused a flood of emotion to coil through her body, her veins set on fire and her breath to fall into the panting rhythm of earlier as she realised that the green girl felt as she. Or in the very least given that the situation they were in, more particularly the position they were in, was an entirely new experience for both girls, Galinda only hoped that what she was feeling pressed so close to Elphaba was also being felt by the taller girl.

She ran shaky hands up and down a sinuous back barely covered by the thin cloth of her dress, clinging on more desperately now as languishing kisses were bestowed between the two. Trying to banish all doubt and fear to the back of her mind as she concentrated on the heat building up between her legs, vaguely wondering how such heat could ever be cooled down. Even more vague was the consideration that she didn't particularly want it to be.

The need for air separated the two of them for a few breathless moments. Each taking the opportunity to look over the other's features, discerning from hooded eyes alone the desire in them unmistakable, that neither had made a wrong move yet. Galinda smiled at Elphaba, a sensuous and sincere gift of how much she felt for the green girl but could not yet say aloud. Elphaba's heart kicked against her ribs at the sight. Never had she imagined someone would look at her with such open honest affection in their eyes. Fear yes, mistrust definitely, revulsion even and that not always from strangers, but not affection, not desire, not a look in the perfect sea blue of Galinda's eyes which Elphaba hoped might turn into something more one day. Something that might last.

Green lips swept over the pink ones again. A soft sensuous exploration as Elphaba shifted gently, relieving some of the burden of her weight, insignificant as it was, upon Galinda and allowing both girls a little more freedom of access to each other's bodies. The strange comfort of their position, which shouldn't be comfortable at all given the hardness of the wooden floor and the cold that lived in the floorboards all year round, was perhaps aided by the gentle and not so gentle caresses each girl tentatively allowed.

A shaking hand followed the sharp curve of Elphaba's waist. The folds of fabric which kept such a sensuous incline hidden under normal circumstances were bunched tightly around the green girl's back. Galinda had the vague thought that tomorrow she would buy Elphaba some new clothes. Something that accentuated the unknown curves of the slim girl, and perhaps a tad lighter shade. Pink perhaps? Galinda clutched at the narrow curve even tighter, her wayward thoughts interrupted by the very girl she was having them about. Curious green hands had strayed again, languishing on the slope of a pale shoulder and fluttering dangerously close on a bared upper chest. There really were only a few deep breaths between the heiress unveiling herself to a curious and needful Elphaba, so strained was the pink cloth keeping her breasts captive. Elphaba's hands danced on the edge of that cloth, bestowing soft quick kisses each time her fingers fluttered over the taut fabric.

"Please."

The soft plea whispered with urgent sincerity could have come from either girl. Both of them shared in its need to be fulfilled. So it didn't really matter that the second time it was uttered, again indeterminate which girl had breathed the word, a pale hand reached up and held gently the green hovering so close above hardened peaks.

The green girl's eyes leapt up to find the blue ones gazing at her, a mixture of shyness and outright need burning bright in them.

Did they do this now?

Both as inexperienced as they were knew that the next step, should it be taken, was likely to be an irreversible one. Not that either girl even wished to contemplate going back on anything previously shared that night, and it wasn't really a conscious thought now. It was more like instinct in both girls. They just felt that everything would be different after. It would all be changed.

Galinda held Elphaba's slightly shaky hand in her own not exactly still one. The heat of their combined skin was surely going to create steam to rise off them soon. She swallowed hard, focusing completely on the wide brown eyes so close to her own.

Elphaba was so beautiful. The thought ran free through her mind. It made the heiress smile slightly, the warmth of emotion the thought caused emanating from her chest and moving to points south.

All movement had stilled between them. The air charged with particles of need and want. Something deeper, something much bigger than the urgent quick fumbling of two teenage college girls passed between them. And both Galinda and Elphaba recognised, rejoiced even, when the moment was felt and knew it could not be turned away from. Neither girl wanted to turn away now.

"Please Elphaba," for a third time Galinda's voice broke the charged atmosphere.

The green girl swept over soft lips gently in response.

"What is it my sweet?" she whispered when the kiss ended.

"Touch me." It was an urgent whisper Galinda hadn't uttered before. There had been no-one she had wanted to say it to before now.

Their eyes blazed desire back at each other. If there was an iota of doubt or uncertainty in the blue Elphaba could not detect it.

"Are you sure?" She asked softly. Needing the touch as much as her companion but giving Galinda one last chance to steer them both away from this...this moment which could not be taken back.

Galinda smiled beatifically up at the green girl in answer. Drawing their lips together once again, the kiss full and hard. She pulled back, caressing the soft emerald skin with a shaky palm.

"Yes my darling, I'm sure. Are you?"

The trembling hand stilled on Elphaba's cheek. Fingertips curling around her sharp jaw, resting on green lips that tentatively kissed them, easing the shake a little.

"Oh Galinda," the green girl whispered, bestowing a quick kiss on waiting lips. "I'm sure my love. I'm so sure."

There was little left to say.

If either girl had previously imagined this moment happening between them, and it was quite possible each girl had fantasised though doubtful their fantasies had travelled as far as their reality had led them, then it was a fairly certain bet, in fact you could say it was a sure thing, that neither girl's fantasy had involved lying upon the polished floor of their own room. The heiress just wasn't the cold hard floor type and to Elphaba the impracticality of the situation would have ruled it out. Though there was one time when she daydreamed in the library about a particular secluded spot in the history section...but perhaps that's a story for another day.

Here they were, all tangled lips and playful kisses. Ignoring the hard surface they rolled around on, the cold as it bit into gradually unadorned skin. They were a mesh of heat, slow movements and speeded up touches. The fire between them which had begun so small, just the smallest of embers feeding it, had reached its zenith with flames licking at their very souls each time a hand caressed the other's slick heat. They paused for breath, to gaze longingly, lovingly into hazel and blue only for the dance to begin again and hands quickened in their urgency. They moved in time with each other, perfect partners to a melody only they could hear. The crescendo cried out in a muffled scream, one's voice a slightly lower timbre but the feelings and the meaning behind it were equal.

Elphaba drew in a deep breath, smiling down at the blonde girl as she propped her head up by one hand. Galinda's face was flushed, a becoming pink infused her soft cheeks, bright blue eyes sparkled and then darkened as the desire hit her again. She traced green fingertips of her free hand over bruised and swollen lips, Galinda kissing each soft digit in turn, causing a low growl to emanate from the back of the taller girl's throat when the heiress decided to suck her index finger into her mouth, licking the salt and sweat and the taste of herself off the green skin.

"You know my sweet," Elphaba uttered in a voice far huskier than she intended. Galinda slowly released the captive finger, the deep husky voice crawled into every inch of her body making her shudder. Elphaba couldn't help but smirk at the reaction.

She lazily trailed her hand down a flushed neck, brushing gentle over nipples which hardened instantly at the touch, to then move on and rest gently on a firm taut stomach.

"When I suggested," she continued, her voice soft now in the quiet room but no less sexy. "We should carry on with this activity, I did specify we should aim to do so in bed."

The green girl smirked, one of her I-find-myself-amusing looks which was joined by a raised dark brow when Galinda smiled knowingly in return. Pale hands began their own lazy wandering around a green body, skin sheathed in a light layer of sweat cool apart from where Galinda's hand roamed.

"Well Elphie darling," the blonde responded, teasing a pert dark nipple, making Elphaba's breath draw in sharply at the touch. Her superior smirk slipped from view.

"Who said we aren't going to carry on with this activity in bed?"

Galinda smiled in triumph at for once having the last word where Elphaba was concerned, and to prevent the spiky girl from rebounding with a clever retort the blonde swept up and captured dark lips in a searing kiss, driving all sane thoughts from the green girl's mind with its intensity.

Only one thought managed to break through the rush of feeling and need and desire that was starting anew in Elphaba's body. It was a thought she'd previously never had before. One could say it was a thought that under normal circumstances was far better suited to come out from under blonde curls. But as soon as it flashed through her mind the green girl couldn't help but smile into the kiss, and she didn't mind in the slightest that it was a very un-Elphaba thing of her to think.

Oh my goodness.

She wrapped her arms around the waist of the blonde, heaving them over with the minimalist of effort so she lay upon the floor, adorned by a naked impatient heiress with questing hands.

They would make it to bed that night eventually. They would hear the rush of the rain and thunder beat against their window, drowning the noise out with their own rush of ecstasy over and over again. They would rest satiated in each others arms and watch as the dawn broke, sweeping the storm away. And as the sky burnt orange with a new day, neither girl felt the hollow stone of regret which could have settled inside them as their impetuous actions were seen in a new light. They only felt comfort next to one another. They only felt safe and protected. For each of them, and for very different reasons, it was the first time in both girls lives they could truly say they were happy.

"What happens now Elphie?" Galinda asked in a sleepy voice as she snuggled in even closer to the bony crook of a green neck, tangling her legs with the other girl, placing a propriety hand over her waist.

Elphaba kissed the top of soft curls and huddled down under the covers, an almost asleep heiress safely in her arms as she did. She frowned only slightly as she thought about Galinda's question. Not sure she had an answer for her.

"Now we sleep my sweet. Now we sleep." She breathed in deeply the scent of the woman next to her and the musky scent of the air in their room, a pleasant after affect of their hours of lovemaking.

Galinda yawned, not satisfied with that answer in the slightest but lacking the tenacity to really protest too much.

"And after sleep?" She managed to get out before succumbing to its hold on her.

Elphaba sighed, watching as her partner slipped under the spell of exhaustion. She bestowed one last kiss to Galinda's brow, the girl seemed to smile in her sleep at the touch.

"I don't know what happens next my sweet." Elphaba confessed, letting her own hold on consciousness slip from her grasp.

"I only know everything has changed."

She smiled with the thought, finally following Galinda in sleep. Clutching the girl tightly to her when she felt Galinda squeeze close.

Yes everything had changed. The green girl's last thoughts played out before dreams overtook her unconsciousness, and for better or worse, they had changed for good.