Author's note: This came about when I stripped all the fun Shiz-based mega-fluff Gelphie bits from my previous story and decided to build them their own fic. It's not quite a story as such but they are connected more than one shots. Updates will be every few days, just short chapters. I'd love to hear your thoughts so please do review – I reply to them all.
Background: There was no trip to the Emerald City and everyone is just enjoying their final year at Shiz.
Finally: Consider yourself disclaimed.
In which Elphaba waits for a train
Elphaba was practically writhing in her chair.
"Oh Elphaba stop it, you look as if someone had dumped a bucket of water on you." Nessa said sharply.
"I imagine there would be more steam, were that the case."
"What is it now, Miss Fidget?" Nanny asked her only slightly more seriously.
"She's just sulking."
"I want you to hurry up so we can leave." They were in Nessa's room. Still. And Elphaba was impatient.
"Now then," Nanny fussed. "The train isn't for two hours and it only takes twenty minutes to the station."
"You could walk there and back twice in that time." Nessa considered that more seriously. "In fact, maybe you should."
Elphaba certainly had the energy for it. Going down the stairs of Crage Hall she was taking two steps forward and one back, racing away then returning to urge Nessa and Nanny down faster. She ploughed right in to the road to hail a carriage, it stopped less due to her arm waving and more so that it would not knock her down.
Finally they were at the station on the platform for Northern arrivals. Elphaba paced up and down.
"Elphaba stop stalking around so. You look quite demented." Nessa was of course sat calmly on a bench, Nanny holding up a lemonade to her.
The straw was white with a red spiral and Elphie decided to confiscate it for her own use once Nessa was finished. And so she did, diligently picking it apart and leaving a trail of wax and paper up and down the platform. Nessa just rolled her eyes.
"Sometimes I would like a holiday from you," she observed.
"Well maybe next summer you can go to Frottica and Glinda can stay here with me. Here, I mean. You know what I mean."
Elphaba's ebullience was beginning to give way to frustration. It did give way when she saw Boq, Crope and Tibbett heading down the platform.
"What in Oz?"
"Hullo!" Boq was all cheerfulness. "My, you are early."
"Elphaba would have had us camp out," Nessa added.
"That's not entirely true," Elphaba felt compelled to counter the accusation. "Can I not be concerned for Glinda's welfare? After a long train ride the last thing you would want is to arrive with no escort home. Though this is turning in to more of a committee than an escort."
"Well, we wanted to welcome Miss Glinda back in to our midst after the long, hideously boring summer holidays. A welcome now, and later, at the pub." Tibbett looked eager and the others nodded.
Elphaba was not impressed by that idea. "I had assumed a quieter night in." Then, as the more plausible motivation behind that she added "Due to all the travelling."
"Now Elphie, you shan't keep Glinda all to yourself," Crope scolded. "You two can catch up at your leisure. The rest of us are not lucky enough to be roomies with her."
"I don't see what they can possibly have to say to one another," Nessa sniffed. "They were writing to each other by return of post. Sheets and sheets." She turned on Elphaba. "And I know sometimes you sent two letters in a day, though they would only arrive together. You probably chronicled our lives in greater detail than she would have known were she actually here."
At turns Elphaba considered throwing them all on to the tracks. But that would only delay Glinda's return, so she did not. And that was the only reason.
Finally the train appeared. With an extreme advantage of height Elphaba scoured the train windows for sight of Glinda and was easily spotted by the blonde in return.
Glinda swung herself out on the step whilst the train was still coming to a standstill. Her heart skipped a little beat as she saw her friends and she waved. Elphie's face was a picture.
She had waved goodbye at the end of last term loving Elphie desperately and now, two months later, was waving hello desperately in love. It was different, but really, it wasn't different at all.
Hopping off the second the train did come to a stop she was almost immediately in excitable company.
"Why, everyone! How lovely of you!" She hugged Boq, Crope and Tibbett and did the same to Nessa and Nanny with the addition of a kiss on the cheek.
Elphaba was suddenly struck dumb as Glinda had disembarked and hung back despite her previous over-enthusiasm. She felt almost shy. Which was ridiculous, quite ridiculous. And yet here was Glinda now, stood in front of her, flushing away.
By Oz Elphaba had missed her.
"Hello," Elphaba said quietly and they hugged briefly, almost perfunctorily, their arms loose around each other.
A porter dumped Glinda's luggage. The boys swarmed to it but Elphaba, now released, knocked them out the way.
With Nessa and Nanny chatting away to Glinda they headed out to the main road. The gentlemen were in high spirits and it was some time before they all dispersed, nattering about their evening plans and news from the summer.
In their absence Glinda sought out Elphaba. "Oh Elphie," Glinda said as she turned, the first proper interaction they'd had since their – so Elphie felt – botched greeting. "My valise, are you quite alright?"
"This is a good deal more than an overnight bag, my dear," Elphaba felt compelled to point out as she lugged it along and up in to the carriage.
"You should have had the boys help you."
"And what could that collection of weaklings have done that I could not?"
"Nothing," Glinda agreed happily and sat exceedingly close to Elphie all the way back.
At Crage Hall Glinda parted from Nanny and Nessa in the corridor. "I shall have a quick nap and get washed up ready for tonight. See you later." She was desperate to get in to her room.
Glinda closed the door and stood back against it, smiling over at Elphaba. "Quite the welcome party."
"Everyone has missed you shockingly."
"I have missed everyone." It was true, Glinda had missed everyone. But she had more than missed Elphaba.
Glinda slid in to waiting arms and they held on to each other for much longer than they had at the train station and much more intimately. Her face was pressed in to Elphaba's neck, Elphie put a hand to her hair. She couldn't resist a quick kiss to Elphie's cheek and after a moments pause Elphaba pressed a slightly longer one to her forehead.
Running her hands up and down Elphie's arms Glinda took a step backward, taking Elphie's hands and holding them out.
"Let me look at you."
Elphaba smiled sheepishly under her gaze. "Have I grown? Shall you pat me on the head and tell me what a big girl I am now?"
"I wouldn't be surprised if you had grown. But perhaps you've shrunk." Glinda gave her a quick poke in the ribs. "Has Nanny neglected you?"
"I've found myself with more energy to burn than usual," was Elphaba's explanation, whatever that were supposed to mean. "I'm afraid I have overly irritated Nessarose. You shall have to do some mediating for me."
"I have no doubt," Glinda said fondly.
"But you look extraordinarily well."
Glinda curtsied. "All that home cooking. You shall have to do some dieting for me."
"Never," Elphaba said solemnly. "You are quite perfect. You look radiant."
They looked at each other and found themselves hugging, again.
They shifted on to Glinda's bed, definitely not sat but not quite laying. Elphaba was on her back and had an arm around Glinda's shoulder, Glinda lay pressed up against her friend on her side, with an arm over Elphie's stomach: cuddling, for want of a more accurate word
After a while Elphaba spoke. "Was it horrible, my pretty?"
"Quite, yes. I missed you. That was horrible. I missed being here with you. Did you have a wonderful time?"
"I was short a rather essential ingredient to make it that. The silver lining was that I very much liked your letters."
Glinda squirmed. She had missed Elphaba so and the distance combined with absence had loosened something inside her. Some of the letters had been, she thought now in hindsight and back with Elphie, embarrassingly affectionate.
"And I yours. You do write excessively charmingly. Where I can actually read it."
Elphaba conceded that point. She nuzzled down in to Glinda's hair. "You smell different."
"Of home, I suppose. Don't worry, I'll be back to usual soon. Your Glinda. Of course Mother thinks I have let myself go horribly and I'm afraid you have taken the brunt of the blame for that."
"And you wonder why I did not want to come."
"I would never have made you. For your own sake I am glad you didn't. It was only me being selfish and wanting you there. But never mind, I'm home now."
Elphaba thought that were curious as the whole point was that Glinda had just been home all summer. Where was this other home? Shiz? Crage Hall? Their room?
Musing on that for a while she could feel Glinda relaxing and her breathing falling in to a sleepy pattern. "Are you going to get cleaned up?"
"Later," Glinda said drowsily. "I am quite happy here for now."
Glinda tightened her arm around Elphaba and presently Elphaba felt her twitch. "You're falling asleep," she said gently.
"Sleep with me, then," was Glinda's mumbled solution.
Elphaba didn't mind if she did. Nanny would come and get them when it was time to leave anyway. They could just be late. She wasn't going to move on anybody's account.
A funny thing had happened, over the summer. A warm little part of Elphie had crawled away and gone in to hiding. Now it was back and it wasn't little or warm at all. It was big. And it smouldered.