* * *
"Your skin is so green," Glinda murmured. She had Elphaba's hand in her own, and was rubbing her thumb against Elphaba's wrist. They had arrived in the Emerald City only yesterday, and would meet the Wizard tomorrow, but after a bath and a night's rest, Elphaba felt almost physically prepared.
"I've noticed," Elphaba said.
Glinda ignored her and went on. "Do you think there's more green skin out there? Shades of it? Dusky, like trees at night. Or bright, like algae--"
"Why plant metaphors?"
"Oh, Elphie. Don't take it personally. If you were to describe me, it would be pink like the petals of roses, or blonde like the sand, or sunrise on a balmy day. Nature is just the language of the day. But you could describe anyone like that."
Elphaba raised her eyebrows.
Glinda asked, "Is it terribly frightening to be unique? It's terribly frightening to be ordinary. I would think that the very opposite is, well, the same."
Glinda's free hand traveled up Elphaba's arm, stroking with just the tips of her fingers. Elphaba's hand was in her lap. Elphaba had trouble concentrating on anything else. Glinda had touched her before, and in far more interesting places. Her body certainly remembered.
But they weren't in school anymore. Elphaba's skin had taken on a different sheen in the Emerald City. Glinda, too, seemed to glow in the more decadent setting. She seemed on the cusp of transformation.
Elphaba just felt ordinary.
Glinda squeezed her wrist. "Elphie. Stop being pensive."
"I'm sorry," Elphaba said. "I was thinking about tomorrow."
"You were not. You were thinking about me."
Elphaba frowned and turned to meet Glinda's gaze.
"See?" Glinda leaned forward, so that there noses were nearly touching. "Things are going to get better after tomorrow. Not worse. The Wizard will fix everything, and then you and Fiyero can stop pouting."
"We don't pout," Elphaba said.
"Do too." Glinda touched the corner of Elphaba's mouth.
"Right there. Pouting. Is that the only thing you've learned from me? Really, Elphie."
"Not the only thing," Elphaba said. She leaned in, traveling the inch to Glinda's lips, and kissed her.
"I taught you that," Glinda said, her eyes closed, her lips parted, when Elphaba pulled back.
"In a manner of speaking," Elphaba said.
Glinda let go of Elphaba's hand. She wrapped her arms around Elphaba's neck, drawing her close. She kissed the corner of Elphaba's mouth. "What else did I teach you?" she asked.
"Let me show you," Elphaba said. She stood and pulled Glinda to her feet.
Glinda let Elphaba undress her without comment, without suggestion, without a guiding hand or a coquettish kiss. Elphaba undressed herself--a far more simple task--before taking Glinda to bed. The fineness of the sheets made her feel guilty, somehow, for what she was about to do on them. But the rich fabric also reminded her of Glinda's bed, and Glinda reinforced that by being right there, wrapped in those sheets, wearing an expression of anticipation.
"Let me touch you," Glinda murmured, not really a request because her hand was already on Elphaba's breast, and Elphaba's hands were on her in encouraging fashion, touching her hips, her belly, her neck, her hair.
Elphaba said, "People never wanted to touch me, for fear they'd turn just as green."
"Oh, One can only hope," Glinda said. And then her tongue was in Elphaba's mouth and Elphaba could lodge no protest.
And then Glinda's hand was between her thighs and she no longer wanted to.
Despite the sheets, and the city outside, and the train, there was girlish abandon in the way Glinda touched her. Elphaba allowed Glinda to lull her into believing that nothing had changed, and thus, nothing could.
The fact that Glinda was deliberately enchanting her, probably to distract her from thinking about the Wizard all night, was nothing new. Everything Glinda did was deliberate. When they had settled again, Glinda rolled onto her stomach, and allowed Elphaba to trace patterns on her back.
"Don't worry about tomorrow," Glinda said. Her eyes drifted closed. Her lips curled into a smug smile.
"I'm not," Elphaba said. "Really. After all, we'll always have tonight."
* * *
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