Fandom: Wicked bookverse
Summary: In which there is a return of wet neked Glinda. What else do you need to know?
Notes: The last crackalicious part of a birthday present for vampire_cookies. Give her some love, y'all!
On Friday nights, the Peach ‘N’ Kidney’s did a roaring trade.
This particular night, however, was a Wednesday, and the tavern was mostly empty, save for a raucous table near the back that kept earning the glares of the waitstaff. The students seated at it had been there for hours already, and, despite closing time being half an hour ago, were showing no signs of leaving. The waiters pointedly packed up the tables and chairs around the group, and were determinedly ignored.
“So,” Tibbett said to the table at large, “we promised the gent we’d show him back to his hotel, but wouldn’t you know it; we got lost too, and somehow ended back in our dorm room!”
“Lovely chap,” Crope agreed. “Promised to keep in touch when he left the next morning.”
Avaric gave a snort of something like laughter. Boq spluttered into his beer.
“I must say,” Glinda said, an amused smile on her lips, “I’m glad Nessarose didn’t choose to accompany us tonight. I think she’d find your story rather less than hilarious.”
“Oh, dear Nessie,” Crope said with a fond smile. “A headache, wasn’t it?” His gaze swept rather pointedly over Elphaba and Glinda, sitting close together at the table with their elbows touching. “I hope you two haven’t been keeping her up by being too loud.”
Avaric crowed, reaching out to clap Crope on the back. “Of course they have,” he smirked. “When our Elphie’s passionate about something, she’s rarely quiet about it, are you Elphie?”
“If you don’t be quiet, Avaric,” Elphaba snapped, “I’ll throw you in the canal. Then I’ll watch with pleasure as you drown.”
“Oh, dear,” Tibbett said cheerfully. “Now you’ve gone and made her cranky. Have some more beer, Elphie, that’ll cheer you up.”
“No, thank you,” Elphaba replied stiffly. “I’ve had quite enough as it is. Anymore and I’ll be parched until summer. Pass me that jug of water, Boq.”
“You can drink water then?” Crope asked, watching as she poured it carefully into her glass, making sure not to spill any.
“Don’t be ridiculous, of course I can drink it,” Elphaba replied tartly. “What do you imagine I am made of? Sin and sacrifice?”
“Well,” Crope said, shrugging amiably, “it’s always been my belief that you couldn’t touch the stuff.”
Elphaba blinked, tensing just a fraction. “What are you talking about?” she snapped. “Crope, I think that ale has gone to your head.”
“Nonsense,” Tibbett put in. “If it had, he’d have his hands all over Boq there.”
Crope smirked, reaching quickly for the boy in question.
“Oh!” Boq exclaimed, catching Crope’s hands and shoving them away from him. “Stop that, you pig!” Wrestling Crope away, he turned to Elphaba. “Is it true?”
“Is what true?” Elphaba asked, annoyed. “That Crope is a pig? Yes, I’d say he is.”
“Can it, Elphie, you know what he was asking,” Avaric said. “And now that Crope has brought it up, I’ve always thought there was something odd about you and water.”
“Yes,” said Tibbett, “like how you refuse to go bathing -,”
“– and skip class when it rains,” added Crope.
“- and flinch away from droplets on the table -,”
“In fact,” Avaric said thoughtfully, “last week when you and Glinda disappeared from class for half an hour, I thought I saw a mark just above your upper lip.” He grinned at them. “How could it have gotten there, I wonder.”
“Oh, stop it,” Glinda said, her cheeks flushed a little red. “We were simply attempting to escape having to listen to Nikidik for a second longer.”
“But are you allergic, Elphie?” Tibbett wanted to know. “Or do you simply dislike water?”
Elphaba stood abruptly, lips pursed into a thin line. “Come on, Glinda,” she muttered, catching her by the arm. “Let’s leave these bastards to it, shall we? Nessa and Nanny will be expecting us anyhow.”
“Oh come, Elphie, we were only asking,” Boq protested. When she simply scowled at him, wrestling her coat on, he frowned and hit Crope smartly on the back of the head.
“Ouch!” Crope said, rubbing it. He looked wounded. “What did I do?”
Avaric groaned. “They’re leaving, dolt, and we shan’t have any entertainment for the rest of the night!”
“Looks like you’ll have to entertain yourselves tonight, boys,” Elphaba said curtly. “I wish you luck of it.”
“Goodbye,” Glinda added hurriedly as Elphaba took off towards the door. “Thank you for a lovely evening.”
Avaric rolled his eyes. “Tell your prickly Miss Elphaba to lighten up a little,” he called. “Elsewise even we shan’t be able to put up with her.”
Elphaba made a rude gesture at him from across the tavern. Crope and Tibbett exploded into laughter.
Glinda caught up to Elphaba just outside the door. Elphaba was stalking ahead towards Crage Hall, arms folded across her chest.
“Elphie, slow down,” Glinda said, hurrying to keep up. Impishly, she added, “it’s not as if it’s about to rain.”
Elphaba glanced sharply back at her. “Don’t you start,” she warned, but there was something of a smirk on her lips, and she slowed her steps a little. “Those fools are bad enough as it is.”
“I know,” Glinda said with a smile. Shyly, she took Elphaba’s hand and linked their fingers, enjoying the way Elphaba’s cheeks flushed at the contact. “But I love them really, don’t you?”
Elphaba made a sound that could have been either agreement or scorn. They fell silent for a while.
“So,” Glinda finally said, as they entered the doors of Crage Hall, “is it really true? I mean, I know you like to wash with oils instead of water, but I always thought that was a matter of personal taste, not necessity.”
She chanced a look at Elphaba, whose jaw had tightened.
“Water has an unfortunate habit of burning my skin to blisters,” Elphaba said shortly. “I learnt to avoid it the day I was born.”
Glinda stared. “But Elphie, that must be terribly difficult!” she gasped. “All your life, having to avoid all types of water in all forms!”
“Not a bit,” Elphaba said stiffly, withdrawing her hand from Glinda’s as they began to climb the stairs. “Don’t feel sorry for me, my dear Miss Glinda, for I assure you it isn’t necessary.”
Stung, Glinda pulled away from Elphaba as they entered their room. “I’m pleased to hear it,” she said tartly. “I shan’t bother my head about you.”
Elphaba sighed, reaching out a conciliatory hand. “Glinda…”
“I’ll be in the washroom,” Glinda interrupted, moving deliberately away from Elphaba’s extended hand. She didn’t look back as she snatched up her nightgown and went into the little adjoining room.
As she ran the bath, Glinda sat on the vanity unit, watching the water swirl. How dreadful it must be for Elphaba to have to avoid water all her life, and how difficult. Although, Elphaba being Elphaba, she would never admit that she faced any hardship.
As Glinda turned off the tap, she heard Elphaba bidding goodnight to Nessa and Nanny. Their adjoining door closed, and she heard the creak of Elphaba’s bedsprings as she presumably settled herself down.
A slight smirk made its way over Glinda’s face as she dipped her hand in the water, testing its warmth. Quickly, she shed her dress and undergarments, sliding into the bath. She allowed herself to relax for a moment, enjoying the warmth, and then washed quickly. Once she was done, she sat up a little, angling herself toward the door.
“Elphaba!” she called, just loudly enough so that Nessa and Nanny wouldn’t hear. “Are you there?”
There was a short pause, and then she heard Elphaba’s voice from right outside the door. “What is it?”
“I’ve forgotten my towel,” Glinda said toward the closed door. “Won’t you bring me one in?”
She heard Elphaba sigh. “Yes, alright.”
A few seconds went by, and then the door opened a fraction. A green arm poked through, holding Glinda’s towel. “Here you are,” Elphaba said, still behind the door.
Glinda hid a smile. “Oh, Elphie, you can bring it all the way in, you know.”
The door opened, and Elphaba slipped in. Her eyes rested for a second upon Glinda, still relaxed in the bath, and she flushed immediately, looking away. “Glinda!” she hissed, staring determinedly at the wall. “I thought you’d be dressed!”
“Well, what a silly thing to think,” Glinda countered. “You know I always bathe before bed.”
Elphaba said nothing. Glinda’s urge to smile grew.
“Well, bring the towel over here,” she said. “Come on.”
Elphaba glanced over for a second, and then away again, taking a half step towards her. Her jaw twitched.
“Oh, silly me,” Glinda said smoothly. “Of course, I forgot – you don’t want to get too near the water, do you? That is why you’re so very hesitant to come over here, isn’t it?”
She saw Elphaba swallow. “Yes, I – yes it is.”
“Tell me,” Glinda said. She stood without shame, letting the water run down her body in streams. “Is it very trying not being able to touch the water?”
Elphaba made a sound in the back of her throat. She handed the towel to Glinda and then quickly retreated, casting her eyes towards the floor. Her cheeks were a decidedly red colour now. Glinda smirked.
“You didn’t answer my question,” she reminded Elphaba, laying the towel about her shoulders without hiding any of her body. “Don’t you ever wish, just a little, that you didn’t have this silly allergy?”
“I think I hear Nessa calling,” Elphaba said suddenly. She looked up for a fraction of a second, her gaze fixed firmly on Glinda, and then bolted from the room.
As the door closed behind her, Glinda allowed herself to grin. Slowly, she toweled herself dry and slipped her nightgown over her head, leaning down to let the water out of the bath.
As it drained, she rubbed moisturizing cream into her skin, and carefully arranged her hair in the mirror. Once she was satisfied, she picked up her things and went back out into their room.
Elphaba was on her bed, a biology textbook held dangerously close to her face. She glanced at Glinda, and refocused on her book. She licked her lips.
“Was Nessa alright?” Glinda asked as she put her things away into the cupboard. “She didn’t need you, I hope?”
“What?” Elphaba asked. Her fingers clenched tighter around the textbook. “Oh – no. She’s fine.”
“Good,” Glinda said. She paused for a moment, eyeing Elphaba, and then stepped close to her, taking the book and tugging it away from her face. “Hello,” she whispered.
Elphaba looked up at her, and jumped at the proximity. “Hello,” she said, a touch of shakiness in her voice.
“Thanks ever so much for bringing me the towel,” Glinda said, her voice low in her throat. She leaned forward slightly. “Otherwise I should still be absolutely dripping wet.”
Elphaba made a small noise. Glinda licked her lips, her eyes fixed on Elphaba’s.
“I’m all dry now,” she murmured.
Elphaba swallowed hard. “Yes,” she managed. Her eyes flicked down to Glinda’s lips.
Glinda turned suddenly, straightening up. “Well, I’m off to bed,” she said brightly. “Thanks again, Elphie.”
She slid under the covers and blew out her candle. “I won’t forget this, you know,” she added. “Every time I’m wet from now on… I’ll be thinking of you.”
Elphaba made a sudden movement. She snatched up her textbook again, hiding behind it.
“Goodnight, Glinda,” she managed.
“Have sweet dreams,” Glinda returned. As she turned over, hiding beneath the covers, she added, “I know I will.”
Behind her, Elphaba’s book clattered to the floor.