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The Sweetest Sounds I'll Ever Hear Are Still Inside My Head

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Glinda rarely heard music in her head growing up- all her friends got nursery rhymes and school songs, but Glinda didn’t hear a thing most days- except Sundays. On Sunday morning’s her head was filled with hymns, all sung in a soft uncertain voice. Even as a child, Glinda could tell that her soulmate wasn’t thrilled with this music, and as they aged things only worsened. The voice became grumpier, more sullen. It was a pity, she thought. The songs had pretty enough lyrics, and the voice was more than pretty, but the singer always sounded so unhappy.

I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.

While she’d never had any trouble singing her own songs to fill the silences her soulmate left, Glinda actually begun making sure she was up early on Sunday mornings to hear her soulmate’s uncertain, unhappy songs of praise. Her family didn’t go to church, but she had enough friends who did that she could assume what was happening.

Her father noticed that she’d be out of bed for it, and once she told him why it became their tradition. They weren’t religious people, but every Sunday morning they’d get up early, her father would take her to a cafe in town and she’d sit there with a plate of strawberry pancakes piled up in front of her listening to her soulmate sing.

Master grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

She was fifteen when the singing stopped entirely. There had always been the odd week when her soulmate was too sick for church, and Glinda would wind up missing the sweet voice, but this time it never returned. After a month of silence, she asked her mother why the music had stopped, and tried not to feel too unsettled by the way her face fell at the question.

Her mother told her that her soulmate must just not feel like singing and then bought her a milkshake which Glinda felt far too sick to drink.

Glinda knew what that expression meant. Her soulmate was probably gone.

 


 

Elphaba’s father detested music.

She doubted that it had always been the case as she had vague memories of early childhood, and a worn out CD player sitting on her parents dresser which her mother would sing along to, but, since Nessa came along and they’d lost her mother, their house was devoid of song. Her father had lost his soulmate, and Nessa’s mind had been silent her whole life.

Neither of them had anyone to call to, and as far as her father was concerned there was no way that someone as impure as Elphaba could have a soulmate if her perfect little sister didn’t. He didn’t even seem to think she had a soul most weeks, and so their house stayed silent, and Elphaba held her tongue.

What her father didn’t know, was that Elphaba did have a soulmate. She might have told him, but as a child, it felt so exciting to have a secret, and as she got older, she realised what a bad idea revealing she had another girl’s voice in her head would be.

Still, Elphaba’s soulmate had a very sweet voice, and clearly liked to sing a lot. Elphaba would sit there and listen as her soulmate sung along to her school song in a morning, or after school, to tv shows she wasn’t allowed to watch.

I’ll shed no tears, I’ll only keep on waiting.
If no one cheers well I can keep on waiting.
Who cares how loud the silence rings?
You’ll find me waiting in the wings.

She had a very vivid memory of one night when she was eight years old, her father had been particularly cruel to her about some slight she was supposed to have committed, and she’d wound up curled up in her bed with her empty stomach gnawing at her. It was almost a half an hour into her desperate attempt to sleep that her soulmate started singing quietly to some song about rainbows. It was simple, and it wasn’t one Elphaba remembered ever hearing her sing along to before, but she could hear the smile in the girl’s voice, and when she closed her eyes she could imagine some vague yet pretty, figure sitting in front of a tv set and singing along.

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

It was such a simple thing, and she doubted whoever the other little girl was had even had a clue what she was doing had been such a comfort to anyone, but Elphaba could never quite forget that song.

Elphaba’s ‘peculiar condition’ paired with Nessa’s delicate one, prompted her father to home school the pair of them, so she was under his thumb at all times. The only time she ever really left the house was for Sunday Mass, and in honesty she doubted her father would have allowed her to attend and show herself to his congregation if  Nessa didn’t need the help to participate. He seemed to swing back and forth as to weather she was some soulless creature who needed to be cast out, god’s punishment on her mother for her infidelity, or a poor creature who with enough faith and piety might be healed. Then again, Elphaba swung back and forth on whether he was a delusional fool, or just the malicious old bastard who’d spent her whole life blaming her for coming out the wrong colour and using religion as a weapon against her, so she supposed that they were even.

She learned young that no matter how much she knelt and prayed for normality, she’d stay as green as ever. She didn’t hate her father’s faith. For the most part the people in his congregation were kind, and she was happy that it brought comfort to her sister, she just couldn’t believe in it herself.

 


 

Glinda wasn’t sure why her soulmate always sounded so sad when she got to hear her, but, her soulmate sang so rarely that it wasn’t really a problem. The real problem was that their connection was apparently a little too strong.

 She was only five years old the first time that she’d felt that strange, heavy feeling in her chest she couldn’t quite explain. There was no reason for the sudden onset of upset- she’d been sitting down at her kitchen table, scribbling in a colouring book and chattering away to her mother when some sudden, inexplicable wave of grief hit her like a truck, and she was in tears.

The crushing feeling in her chest had lasted for days on end, and her parents had seemed worried out of their minds, eventually taking her to a doctor, who could find nothing physically wrong, and eventually concluded that she was one of a rare group of people who got a sense of their soulmate’s most extreme emotions. Glinda had been too young to understand at the time, but her parents seemed to think that, in the long run, this would be a good thing for her.

The raw pain of a loss she hadn’t experienced faded after a few days, and Glinda almost got to forget about it. Every now and then, she’d be hit with waves of anger, or sadness, though they were never as bad as that first one. She wondered, occasionally, who, or what, her soulmate had lost which caused that much pain when they were so young, but it wasn’t as though she had any way to ask, and her mother always just shook her head when she wondered aloud about it.

As she got older and learned to recognise them, Glinda found herself starting to try and make things better. She’d sit down, and try to sing something cheerful or calming. It was all she could really do at this point. She wanted to help, and so she would just do her best to make her soulmate feel better using the only thing she had at her disposal.

She was eleven before another wave of overwhelming emotion hit her. This time it wasn’t grief, so much as it was a wall of sheer panic. She found herself curled up in her bed, trying to ignore the sensation, her eyes tightly closed and the covers pulled up over her head to try and block out a light which seemed far too bright since her lilac curtains did little to darken the room.

The music inside of her built so quietly, and seemed so out of place that it caught her off guard. One moment she seemed to feel a warmth in her chest, and then the very beginnings of song reverberating through her skull. It was a song she’d been singing earlier in the day, but she didn’t really have the time to wonder about whether that was why her soulmate had decided to sing along or not.

Lets go in the garden, you’ll find something waiting,
Right there where you left it laying upside-down.
When you finally find it you’ll see how it’s faded,
The underside is lighter when you turn it around.

Her soulmate’s voice seemed to falter slightly as she moved on, and Glinda could still feel those bubbles of panic rising up inside her which seemed to burst and send cold terror running down her spine. She didn’t know where her soulmate was, but- whatever was happening, she was terrified.

Even as young as she was, Glinda knew that there wasn’t much she could do to help, and so she just tried her best to be a comfort, picking up the melody where her soulmate seemed to be faltering, just so that whoever she was knew that no matter what was happening, someone was thinking about her, somewhere.

 


 

Elphaba was eleven the first time her father left her alone to look after Nessarose for the night. She’d been so excited at first- it was the first time her father had ever trusted her alone with something important, and she had some strange idea in her mind that she might be able to impress him enough that he’d actually start to care about her.

Nessa had already been sick when he left, but it hadn’t been anything Elphaba had been worried about- just a bad cold, and she’d had those enough times that she’d felt comfortable looking after her sister, getting her medicine, and getting her tucked into bed. She knew, deep down, that they were probably a little too young to be left home alone, but she was just so proud at her father finally thinking she was worth trusting that she couldn’t bring herself to question his judgement on the matter.

It was only in the middle of the night, when Nessa’s fever had spiked that Elphaba grew truly scared, sitting on the edge of her sister’s bed and dabbing at her forehead with a wet rag, trying her best to cool her down. She found herself inescapably reminded of the state her mother had been left in after Nessa’s birth, her face just as reddened and sweaty, her hands just as clammy.

Her mother hadn’t lasted a night in that state.

She’d called their father, but he hadn’t picked up, and she found herself just sitting there, trying her best not to cry as she tried to get her half-delirious little sister to sleep.

 In the end, she resorted to singing one of the softer songs her soulmate seemed fond of, stroking Nessa’s hair and just trying to get her to sleep so she wouldn’t look like she was hurting so badly anymore. She was about halfway through, fumbling for the lyrics when she realised that, wherever she was, her soulmate was singing along. It was the first time they’d ever ended up singing along together, but the warm glow it left burning in her chest was what Elphaba needed to get her through the night until their father returned the next morning.

Everything stays right where you left it,
Everything stays, but it still changes,
Ever so slightly, daily and nightly,
In little ways, when everything stays.

 

Nessa’s fever had broken in the night, and rather than thanks for her efforts Elphaba found herself being scolded for not getting help (the fact that she’d tried to call him repeatedly and had had no response evidently wasn’t enough of an effort), but still. She may not have gotten paise from Frex, but that slight glow her soulmate had left in her chest was enough to get her through the callous treatment.

It was that day she came to terms with the fact that, no matter what she did, Elphaba was never going to be good enough for Frex. In the same way she’d learned young that praying didn’t make her less green, she learned that being his daughter didn’t make him hate her less, and so she gave up trying.

By the time she was twelve years old she’d already learned to check out of his zealous sermons, when they were out of the house, and to just stay out of his way as much as possible when they were in it. Elphaba was good at keeping up the motions to keep him from getting angry- she’d clean at home, help with Nessa, and study, and at the church, she’d stand and kneel when she was told to, and she’d sing along at the right times, but her mind was a thousand miles away.

Come bow before him now,
With reverence and fear.

She was fifteen when she finally began refusing to participate. She’d go along, help Nessa into her seat in the front pew, since Nessa seemed to lap up every scrap of her father’s piety, and then she’d find a seat in the darkened back room and try to read through the service. Frex wasn’t happy with it, but he was so rarely happy with Elphaba that it didn’t much affect her life. Being grounded wasn’t much of a punishment when you weren’t allowed outside to begin with, and Elphaba had long since gotten used to going to bed without dinner.

 


 

Glinda supposed, in a way, that she was lucky. Her head had always been so quiet that it was easier to deal with the sound cutting out entirely. She didn’t even miss it most of the week, and- well. She still had breakfast with her father to take her mind off of things on Sundays. Still, after a few weeks, she missed that quiet, sad singing enough that she convinced her father to take her to the church instead of the cafe, hopeful it might soothe something in her heart.

Church, Glinda quickly found, was unbearably dull. She was sitting somewhere near the back in a neat pink sundress, her hands folded in her lap just listening to the miserable old man up at the front rant and rave about god’s wrath and piety and whatever else. Her eyes glazed over within the first ten minutes, and while the songs were familiar to her, she didn’t know the words well enough to join in, especially since she couldn’t make a guess at the latin. She could feel a few eyes on her at her silence, but she just shut her own, hoping desperately for that strange reverberating feeling that the music was coming from inside her.

It didn’t come.

Ave Maria,
Gratia plena,
Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu.

She’d known that it was a mistake as soon as she heard the first one- they sounded a lot less beautiful sung by a crowd than they had when it was that single, haunting voice.

Glinda had zoned out so badly that at first she didn’t realise that the service was over. It was only when the preacher wondered over to try and accost her and her father that she snapped back to reality. Looking up at the pair of them she felt a slight pang of guilt- she got the impression her father was about to get an earful about joining the congregation, and she wasn’t about to sit there for it. She leant up, squeezing her father’s wrist gently to get his attention.

“Excuse me a moment, daddy, I just need to use the restroom.” She murmured in her sweetest voice before disappearing off to where she hoped the toilets stood.

Pushing the heavy old door open, Glinda was a little disappointed to find herself in what seemed to be a glorified store room- nothing but an old broom some spare linins and vases, a mop leaning precariously against a dusty lamp, and a teenage girl sitting on an upturned mop bucket with a book in her lap.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-“ She stammered, backing off towards the door quickly, though she stopped in her tracks when she got a good look at the girl. Despite the weak light in the room all coming from that grimy lamp, there was no missing the woman’s peculiar appearance. She already looked a little different to the other girls there, wearing a grey button-up and black dress pants rather than a dress- still smart enough to be presentable around the congregation, but clearly separating herself from them at the same time. Glinda had to admit that the effect of the outfit paired with her dark hair hanging lose down her back might have created a pretty picture if it wasn’t for the odd green tinge she had to her skin.

“Shit, are they done already?” The stranger spoke up, snapping Glinda out of her own head- not that she had the chance to try and process what was happening, since almost as soon as she spoke the green girl’s eyes widened and she snaped her book shut. She moved quickly, stashing it under a pile of spare alter linins and then quickly bolting past Glinda into the main body of the church, muttering something about a ‘Nessarose’ under her breath.

Glinda blinked after her, watching as she set about trying to help a little girl who couldn’t have been more than eleven years old out of her seat and into a wheelchair, unaware she was even staring until her father’s hand on her shoulder tore her eyes away. Her cheeks flushed slightly as he scolded her for staring at them, unable to explain her fascination with the green girl beyond the fact that her unusual appearance made her stick out.

Despite the stern look her father was still giving her, she allowed him to lead her out to the car, thoughts of green skin and striking brown eyes still swimming through her mind.

She didn’t return to the church the next week.

 


 

Somewhere around the age of seventeen Elphaba realised just how done with Frex’s shit she was. She loved Nessarose, she really did, and she was happy enough to help her when she needed it, but Nessa wasn’t a little girl anymore, and Elphaba was getting very sick of doing everything for her. Elphaba had never had any friends, she’d hardly even been allowed out of her house- she’d never had a life outside of taking care of Nessarose, and keeping her pretty little secret quiet.

The voice in her head had never stopped- just changed from singing along to kids shows to pop music which Elphaba was sure would set Frex off on one of his rants.

Got a figure like a pin-up, got a figure like a doll.
Don’t care if you think I’m dumb, I don’t care at all.
Candy bear, sweetie pie, wanna be adored.
I’m the girl you’d die for.

Elphaba knew that there was a girl out there with the prettiest voice she’d ever heard just wanting for her, and she also knew that she didn’t have a hope in hell of finding her if she sat around in her room reading and staying on call for whatever Frex and Nessarose needed their glorified maid for.

By seventeen, Elphaba was already readying herself to run.

She dressed simply for her first trip out- mostly because she didn’t have much that wasn’t simple to wear. Most of her clothes came from the church jumble sale. She settled on a comfortable pair of faded and torn jeans which had once been black, and a well-worn grey shirt with a large dream catcher printed on the chest.

The lock on her window was flimsy enough- the house was old and her father had never maintained it well- so it was easy enough to jimmy it open on a night. Climbing down was a little trickier, but there the old fashioned, overly ornate stonework of the building was her friend, giving her a good enough hold for her fingertips until she could hop down onto the grass, and grab her mother’s old bicycle from the rusted shed.

The sky was dark, and Elphaba didn’t have a clue where she was going, but it was her first real trip out of her house, so she wasn’t about to let that scare her. She headed through the darkening streets first just aiming for the lights of the city, and once she reached them she just tried to find something that struck her fancy.

The shops windows were all darkened, and she sped past the dodgy looking take out places and tattoo parlours without even slowing until she passed the Emerald City Lounge. She eventually came to a stop outside The Ozdust. It was the kind of establishment she was sure would have given Frex a heart attack, with loud music blaring and flashing lights visible through the grimy window on the half-open door, it’s peeling sign barely readable in the half light. Yes, she was sure Frex would hate this place, so it was just perfect for Elphaba.

She locked the bicycle up in a side ally, shoving her fingers through her hair to try and mess it up a little before swanning into the club, trying her best to project an air of confidence. She needn’t have bothered- the bouncer on the door looked half asleep, barely looking her over once before letting her past.

Within fifteen minutes Elphaba had decided that The Ozdust was amazing.

The music was loud, and not at all like what her soulmate listened to. This had an angry edge to it- the kind of psudo-punk stuff that she’d have probably wound up out on her ass if she tried to play it at home.

If we’re all just Christians or lions,
Then I think I’d rather be,
On the side with sharper teeth.
I don’t need saving.

The people were a real mix- mostly teenagers and twenty somethings sporting tattoos and piercings and outfits which drew the eye. Between that and the flashing coloured lights making Elphaba’s greenness harder to see, nobody seemed to find her to be of much interest at all.

For the first time in her life, Elphaba was amongst people without being an oddity, and she was loving it.  

“Nice shirt. I love that band.”

The voice raised over the music behind her startled her slightly, and Elphaba whipped around, finding herself face to face with a very pretty boy with kind eyes, dark skin, and intricate blue diamond designs tattooed around his eyes. She looked him over quickly- he was wearing ripped jeans, and a shirt for a band she didn’t recognise with heavy combat boots and a leather jacket. It was all pristine and looked expensive, and he gave off the distinct vibe of a rich boy trying to look cool, but then, Elphaba supposed she was putting on just as much of a front.

“Oh, thanks.” She said simply, trying to hide her own ignorance at the fact- she wouldn’t have known that the shirt was anything but a pretty design if he’d not mentioned it. She hoped that the flashing lights would cover her blush.

“You here alone?” He raised an eyebrow at her, glancing towards the crowded dance floor and the group of friends he’d left to talk to her. Elphaba just nodded, shifting uncomfortably when she noticed his friends looking at them. His smile was kind then, and he jerked his head over towards the bar. “Can I buy you a drink? I’ll introduce you to some people.”

Elphaba paused for a moment, unsure of whether or not to accept, but- well, he seemed friendly enough, and she knew enough to watch her drink.

“Sure.” She eventually nodded, resisting the urge to stick her hand out for him to shake like she’d been taught to do. She got the feeling that wouldn’t seem very fitting in this setting. “I’m Elphaba, by the way.”

He grinned at her, leaning out to grab her hand so they could make their way through the crowd, and making her heart leap in the process. “Nice to meet you Fae.” He shot her a wink, “I’m Fiyero.”

 


 

Two years of silence had passed quicker than Glinda had ever thought it could. She barely noticed the lack of a voice at this point, and life for her was on as perfect a course as ever. She’d made the cheer squad, eventually making it to vice-captain alongside her older cousin, and she’d gotten the lead in the school show (mostly due to Crope’s constant insistence that she join him).  Her popularity had skyrocketed, and Glinda found that even without that little voice in her head, it was tricky to feel lonely. She’d even joked once or twice during practice that it was a good thing- she was sure that she’d be driving her soulmate insane with her constant rehearsing.

I knew I’d be with you one day even not knowing who you were.
I feared you’d never come, that you’d been called away,
That you’d been killed, had the plague, were in debtors jail
Trampled by a horse, gone to sea again, arrested by the-
Kiss me.

With her father’s encouragement she’d even started taking some art classes on the weekends.

She was laying in bed after one of these classes, trying to remember the specifics of the technique that they’d been learning when the voice had started up again. It’d been two years since she’d last heard a peep from her soulmate, and the voice seemed so changed that at first Glinda was convinced she was hearing something out of her window, but the familiar echoing of it through her whole being soon set in.

There’s no chance for you tonight.
You won’t escape this bitch named Karma,
Catch up with you, she’ll set it right.

Still, she got the impression that whatever had silenced the little voice for so long had made a change in her soulmate. The voice sounded lass timid- less sad and with an angry edge that seemed to suit her. She was a little offkey but didn’t really seem to care, and there was a slight slur of alcohol in her voice, but it was enough to make Glinda smile nonetheless. It was probably the most carefree she’d ever heard the voice sound.

She managed to resist the urge to run to her mother and tell her right away, her sketching technique forgotten, instead just laying in bed and letting her mind be filled with the sounds of her soulmate- whoever she was- having fun.

It might have been a very different vibe to Glinda’s usual taste in music, but between the revelation that her soulmate was alive, and the sheer joy in the tipsy stranger’s voice, Glinda was quite sure it was the sweetest sound she’d ever heard.

 


 

Fiyero, as it turned out, was a very good friend. As much as their first encounter had ended with Elphaba pressed against a club wall with their lips locked and hands wondering, the pair of them had realised early on they made better friends than lovers.

Her initial thoughts about him had been right- his family were filthy rich, not that you’d always know it just by talking to him. He was genuinely sweet, if a little opinionated, and he was always willing to help out his friends.

Despite only being a year older than Elphaba, he already had a place of his own, something which came in handy in terms of giving them somewhere other than the Ozdust to hang out.

It wasn’t just her and Fiyero now, either. For the first time in her life, Elphaba had friends.

Aside from Fiyero, she was probably closest with Tibbett, a tall, dark haired boy who Elphaba was sure would have looked just as at home in a suit and tie as he did in his heavy boots and heavier eyeliner. He was a drummer for a local group, and had a tendency to get tipsy and wind up gushing about his showtune-loving soulmate with the voice of an angel. She was a little less sure about Boq, a sweet, short statured boy who seemed just a little out of place in their group. He was Elphaba’s age, and while he did seem to enjoy the music at the Ozdust, she also knew he was a music theory student, who was a part of the school marching band and probably would have been at home anywhere music was being played. He was fairly soft spoken, and while he’d seemed wary of her at first Elphaba was definitely beginning to warm to him over time.

And then there was Avaric. It wasn’t necessarily that Elphaba disliked Avaric- she just found him obnoxious compared to the others. At eighteen he was tall, blonde, and muscular. A football player at the local highschool (though Elphaba couldn’t have named his position on the team if she’d tried), Avaric was well aware of how handsome he was, and seemed to be used to girls falling all over him. Elphaba got the impression he wasn’t as sure how to handle someone as disinterested in him as her. He also played the guitar, and seemed pretty insistent that they should all know just how good he was (though he’d shut up about it a little since discovering that Fiyero could outplay him).

It got to the point that Elphaba was sneaking out every night to visit either Fiyero’s or the Ozdust. Some nights it was just the two of them, and they’d watch movies Elphaba had never been allowed to watch, or listen to music. Fiyero was helping her to learn the bass (she was actually getting pretty good), and she’d help him with his collage work for Shiz. Nights like this, however, they were all packed into Fiyero’s living room, stereo blaring and a bottle being passed around.

Elphaba was beginning to recognise more and more of the music which they played, and since she was already half-drunk and brimming with liquid confidence she found herself teetering on Fiyero’s coffee table in her mismatched socks, dancing and singing along to one which was quickly becoming a favourite of hers.

It’s not over ‘til you’re underground
It’s not over before it’s too late
This city’s burnin’
It’s not my burden
It’s not over before it’s too late.

“There is nothing left to analyse.”

It took Elphaba a moment or so to realise that the others had stopped singing along, and to not the look that Fiyero and Tibbett were giving her.

“What?” She raised an eyebrow, hopping down off the table with a loud thud, and stealing the bottle from Avaric’s hand, taking a swig while still swaying to the music.

“Nothing, nothing.” Fiyero had dropped down on the couch so that he was looking up at her for once. “You just never told us you could sing like that, Fae.”

 


 

It was odd what a change a year could make.

After a lifetime of silence, Glinda now found her soulmate hard to shut up. Of course, it wasn’t an unwelcome intrusion. Over the months after the voice returned, the singing got more confident, and more polished, as well as more frequent, especially since September.

Right now she was singing something loud, and vaguely familiar, which Glinda was having a hard time allowing to fade into the background to focus on Crope, who was sitting opposite her with her little spaniel puppy curled up in his lap, practically begging her to come along and see his soulmate’s band play.

I kept making a scene
I kept raising hell
Now they call me a queen
And now you’re under my spell

Glinda had earned a place at Shiz University, studying architecture. She could probably have gone further afield if she’d wanted to, but she had her life here, and she was perfectly happy to stick around. After all, if she’d gone away who else would Crope drag along to local shows for bands she’d never heard of?

“Come on, Glin, please? For me? I only just met my soulmate and he invited me to come see his band and I don’t wanna show up alone.”

“Mean Green Thing?” She raised an eyebrow, looking over the flyer that he’d just pushed at her, trying to keep it away from where her dog was trying very hard to chew it. “Really? Is your soulmate the grinch?”

Crope snatched the flyer back, pouting at her. Somehow that paired with how badly his red curls needed to be cut made him look even more like a puppy than the actual puppy in his lap, who was now happily sat chewing on the edge of the flyer.

“Okay, so, A. My soulmate is totally hot and perfect and shut up. And B. I don’t know why they’re called that. He said it’s something to do with their singer- who, is hot, apparently. And single. And bi. So, you know.” He nudged her with his elbow, electing an annoyed little yap from the dog, who wasn’t thrilled at being moved, “You should tag along and go for it, you funky little lesbian.”

Glinda rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. She was genuinely happy he’d finally found his someone. “You’re not gonna drop this unless I agree to go, are you?” He shook his head, and she laughed. “Fine, but you owe me a drink.”

 


 

Elphaba looked in the cracked mirror, her lips twisted up in a grin.

“If Frex could see me now.” She smirked slightly, fingers raking through her hair.

It was strange, really. She’d been begging for it cut for years, and now she had the chance, it was longer than ever. Well, the side of it she hadn’t shaved was. She was wearing a dress, and while Frex had been trying to talk her into one of those for years this one was short with a ragged hem, and a deep purple colouring which complimented her greenness, rather than trying to cover as much of it as she could. She also couldn’t see daddy dearest being keen that she’d paired it with dark makeup, fishnets, and a set of pleather boots- in fact, she was fairly sure she’d become the kind of woman her father would have crossed the street to avoid when they were children.

For the first time in her life, Elphaba was learning to love the girl in the mirror.

“Quit preening Fae, or we’ll have to start calling you Avaric.”

She hadn’t quite noticed Fiyero approaching, but once she saw him it didn’t take her long to lean up and mess up the curls she knew he’d spent a long time trying to get to sit in that well-crafted mess. He smacked her hand away, but the pout he gave her was more than worth it.

“You should be nice to me.” Elphaba said, her tone light-hearted even as she stepped to one side of the mirror to let him fix his hair, leaning forwards slightly to reapply her plum lipstick. “You did rope me into your band after all.”

“And I also let you live at my house.” Fiyero bit back quickly, though there was nothing behind the words that suggested he begrudged his new roommate.

“You’d miss me if I wasn’t there.” Elphaba stepped away from the mirror entirely, tossing the lipstick over to where her jacket was resting on a chair in the corner, and hopping up to sit on the grimy countertop, just watching him. “Are you sure this is-“ She began.

Fiyero didn’t let her finish.

“We’re good, Fae. This is gonna be great.” He paused, glancing over through the doorway, where Tibbett was just about visible screwing around with their equipment. “Besides, you can’t back out now, loverboy’s invited his soulmate along.”

Elphaba snorted at that, and snorted even harder when she noticed Tibbett flipping Fiyero off from the hallway.

She stood back up, grabbing one of the hands that Fiyero was using to fix his hair and tugging him out into the hall.

“Stop preening, ‘Yero, or we’ll have to start calling you Avaric.” She parroted his own words back to him in the most condescending tone she could muster, “We’re on in five.”

 


 

“Oh I cannot believe we’re about to be late. They’re only the opening act, it’s not like they’re gonna be on for long.” Crope was dragging Glinda through the street towards the Ozdust so quickly she was worried she was going to ruin her new outfit; though once she got close enough to read the peeling sign- which by this point just said the ozd--t- she began to think that the pretty, bubblegum-pink mini-dress she had on might look a little out of place.

“Hey, it’s fine. We still have like,” She glanced at her phone, and suppressed the urge to swear. They were already two minutes late and they weren’t even at the doors yet. “…We’re not that late. It’s fine.”

She sped up considerably at the look Crope gave her.

They could just hear music beginning to spill out of the open doors in front of them when Glinda heard it. It began in a way that was so familiar she might not have noticed it- a few dull notes reverberating around in her chest, before she actually heard the music start up, in her head as well as spilling through the Ozdust’s doors.

Something has changed within me.
Something is not the same.

Glinda froze in place for a moment, before she broke into a run, heels be damned. The music grew louder as she burst through the door, trying to fight her way through the small crowd who’d come to watch until she got a good look at the stage. She saw Tibbett on the drums- she’d heard enough about him by this point to be able to pick him out, and Avaric on guitar- she vaguely recognised him from her days on the cheer squad. She recognised the kid they had on keyboard too, though mostly just as ‘that short guy Milla had a thing for’, she couldn’t have named him if she had to- Biq, maybe? The other guitarist was handsome enough, but it couldn’t be him, so her eyes fell on the singer and- Oh.

Well. The band’s name made a lot more sense to her now.

She looked a million miles away from that shy fifteen-year-old that Glinda had once stumbled across reading in a broom cupboard, and yet she recognised her right away. Not only did her skin still have that emerald hue that was so unlike anything else she’d ever seen, his she had those same rich, dark eyes which had seemed to see straight into Glinda’s soul all those years ago. She looked confident up there, though something in the way she was clutching a little too hard to the beaten-up bass guitar in her hands betrayed nervousness.

She was moving somewhat erratically on the stage, jumping around the stage in a way which had Glinda worried she was going to trip over a wire and fall, her hair fanning wildly around her as she sang.

She might not have been conventional, but she was beautiful.

Glinda became vaguely aware that the pretty-boy guitarist had taken over on vocals when the music no longer seemed to be coming from inside of her but she couldn’t care less. She couldn’t take her eyes off of the singer- her soulmate- for a moment, to the point she felt almost relieved when she started to sing again.

Unlimited.
My future is unlimited.
And I’ve just had a vision almost like a prophesy

The sensation of hearing both the voice in front of her, and inside of her at once, was enough to overwhelm Glinda to the point that the rest of the short set passed in a blur. She was still caught up in her thoughts even as she felt Crope pulling her through a tattered curtain and into a shabby looking room backstage, the sound of the main act taking the stage blocking out most of what he was trying to stay to her. She was only brought back into herself a moment later when she felt a hand on her shoulder, and looked up to see the guitarist with the odd tattoos smiling at her.

 


 

Elphaba had never expected that being in front of people could feel that good. As much as the Ozdust had always been a place she could come to if she didn’t want to be stated at, the fact that there had been so many eyes on her and hearing cheers not jeering had left her with a grin on her face she wasn’t sure would go away for a week. She got backstage, running off to grab her water bottle and being accosted by Tibbett, who was desperate to introduce her to his soulmate- who, of course turned out to be a real sweetheart. By the time they were distracted enough with Boq she made it back into the main room. She noticed Fiyero flirting it up a storm with who had to be one of the prettiest girls Elphaba had ever seen, and decided to go over and save him before he managed to make a fool out of himself.

“Hey, you’re Crope’s friend, right? Ignore this one, he flirts with everyone.” She noticed the look Fiyero was giving her, and just poked her tongue out at him while the blonde wasn’t looking. “Seriously though, it’s great to meet you. I’m Elphaba.” She offered Glinda a hand- because hey, old habits died hard- only to jump back when the blonde actually touched her, and the strange, sparking warmth seemed to spread from the point she’d touched up through her entire being.

“Everything okay, Fae?”

She could hear Fiyero speaking, but her dark eyes were fixed on the blonde’s blue ones, blown wide enough she was sure she must have looked comical. All at once it was like she could hear a lifetime of songs about rainbows and bubblegum, and lost toys, and kiss me running through her head, and she didn’t need to hear her sing again to confirm it. She just knew.

“It’s you.” She murmured once she had control over her voice again, and the stranger- her soulmate- managed a little laugh, though she looked just as shellshocked as Elphaba felt.

“Glinda.” The stranger said after a moment, and Elphaba was struck by just how pretty her speaking voice was- it was soft and sweet, and almost as pretty as her singing voice. “I mean- uh. My name is Glinda.”

“Glinda.” She repeated back stupidly, blinking a few times before adding, “I’m Elphaba.” With a little smile. She realised after a moment or so that- of course, she’d already said that. “I- I said that already didn’t I?”

Glinda giggled, and suddenly Elphaba found it hard to feel stupid, because anything that could lead to a smile that pretty a smile could never be stupid. The blonde edged a little closer, and Elphaba was vaguely aware of Fiyero still standing nearby, and looking thoroughly confused, but all of that flew out of her mind when Glinda’s fingers curled around hers, and she realised that the blonde had gotten so close that all Elphaba would have to do was lean down and close the gap.

“Can I call you Elphie?” Glinda asked, and Elphaba found herself grinning again, lacing their fingers together more tightly, her other hand moving to push the blonde’s curls out of her eyes.

“You can call me anything you like…” She managed, a little half-laugh escaping her even as she gave in, eyes drifting shut as she lent down to steal that kiss she’d been thinking about for so long.