|Emerald Limelight by Lumiére & Callita. R 18/28
||[Feb. 1st, 2008|08:44 pm]
Title: Emerald Limelight 18/28|
Authors: Lumiére and Callita
Rating: R (language)
Pairing(s): Idina/Kristin, Elphaba/Glinda (& more)
Summary: Idina has to deal with sibling rivalry gone mad, while Elphaba learns what it's really like to be a 'green girl'.
Disclaimer: This is an entirely non-profit work of fiction. We do not claim ownership of the world or any of the characters we write about. They are either real people, or are fictional characters belonging to Gregory Maguire and the copyright holders of the Wicked musical.
Wordcount: 5, 655
Chapter 2, Part 1 Chapter 6, Part 1
Chapter 2, Part 2 Chapter 6, Part 2
Chapter 3, Part 1 Chapter 7, Part 1
Chapter 3, Part 2 Chapter 7, Part 2
Chapter 4, Part 1 Chapter 8, Part 1
Chapter 4, Part 2 Chapter 8, Part 2
Chapter 5, Part 1 Chapter 9, Part 1
Chapter 5, Part 2
Chapter 9, Part 2
Elphaba sipped the hot drink in her hands and closed her eyes in bliss. For weeks now she’d been drinking the bitter, pre-ground coffee everyone here seemed to love so much, and, though it had turned out not to be as bad as she’d expected, drinking something she would never touch back home did not make her feel hugely relaxed. But finally! A cup of good, strong mineral tea! Made with proper crushed leaves and no trace of sugar! Elphaba had found the tin out on the counter of the theatre kitchenette, and had decided no one would notice if she took a few spoonfuls. Already she was feeling calmer and more clear-headed, ready to face the challenges the day might bring.
Norbert wandered in, scanning the room for possible beverages. His eyes settled on the steaming cup in her hands, then flicked to the open tin, and back again.
“Please tell me you’re not drinking that,” he said in a warning tone, a look of abject horror on his face as he indicated the tea.
“Yes…” Elphaba said slowly. “I’m sorry, I thought I could just take a little. I didn’t think anyone would mind.”
“You’re drinking Eden Espinosa’s Herbal Tea Of Doom!” he gasped. “Quick, spit it out! It may already be too late.”
“But… I like it?” Elphaba took another sip and swilled it around her mouth before swallowing.
“Don’t do that! Careful, Dee, you’re still suffering from amnesia. You have no idea what that could do to you! It’s toxic – you could be dead in a second!”
“It doesn’t taste toxic,” Elphaba said slowly. “It tastes like perfectly good mineral tea. Very soothing.”
Norbert regarded her with a look of utter amazement. Elphaba shrugged at him, then smiled. He grabbed a bottle of water, still looking suspicious, before joining her leaning against the counter.
“So, poisoned tea aside, how’s it going?” Elphaba mumbled into her mug. “Come on, you can talk to me. If rehearsals are getting you down, or if Joe’s being… Joe, let me know. From what the others tell me, you’re doing great. Eden says you’re really getting the hang of the lines, and Kristin—” Elphaba’s hands tightened around the cup “—thinks your grip of the character is perfect, almost better than before your accident!” He laughed, and, after a second’s pause, so did she. A second that was, sadly, too long. “What’s up, Dee? You’ve gone all weird again. And it seemed like your amnesia was getting better. Is it your rib? Or the Vicodin?”
Elphaba shook her head. “I’m fine, really.” Norbert did not look convinced.
“It’s Kristin, isn’t it?” He sighed. “I’m sorry, I really am. I thought you two were getting it together.”
“We were—are, I mean. We’re fine. She’s been helping me.” Elphaba felt suddenly flustered, remembering the way Kristin had leaned in towards her, possibly tried to kiss her even. Elphaba hadn’t seen her since. She blushed, and for once wished for her skin to be green so it wouldn’t show. Norbert just shook his head.
“She cares about you so much you know. We all do, but Kristin in particular is focussed on helping you recover. You shouldn’t push her away like that.”
“Now’s your chance to sort things out,” Norbert continued over her. “Whatever happened that night, let it go.”
“Nothing happened!” Elphaba protested. Norbert raised his eyebrows.
“You sure about that? You sure there wasn’t something on your mind just before your accident? Because there was definitely something on Kristin’s.”
“Has Laura put you up to this?” Elphaba asked, trying to sound casual when her heart was racing.
“Put you up to what?” Laura asked, entering with the short haired Melissa who was munching on an apple. She waved to Elphaba, then swung her head in an alarmingly violent way.
“What the hell are you doing, Mel?” Norbert asked.
“Practising!” Melissa insisted. “The toss-toss. Laura’s teaching me how to do it without hands.”
“Toss-toss no hands,” Laura explained, demonstrating by sharply turning her head both ways, so her loose hair flicked expertly over each shoulder.
“But you’ve got short hair,” Norbert pointed out to Melissa. “You look ridiculous!”
“I’ll have a wig when I’m onstage!” Melissa said indignantly.
“What does it matter how you toss your hair? Isn’t the whole point to just make it exaggerated and totally over-the-top?” Norbert seemed genuinely puzzled. Melissa and Laura looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
“Honestly,” Melissa sighed. “Thinks he knows it all because he has both girls fall in love with him, but doesn’t even see the importance of a good hair toss.”
“Tell me about it.” Laura grinned. Elphaba was confused; which Melissa was this? True, they looked very different, but she could still never remember exactly which one had done what, and it was making her head spin.
“You’re the Glinda understudy,” she said slowly. “If Kristin and Laura are both ill, you take over.”
“Toss-toss,” Melissa replied in answer, then collapsed into laughter, almost choking on her apple. “Okay okay, enough tossing. I’m going to go find Michael, he owes me chewing gum.”
“Does it really matter which way you toss your hair?” asked a bemused Norbert.
“Does it matter how you do the opening dance moves to Dancing Through Life?” Laura countered.
“Well, yeah! But that’s different. It’s personal choreography, totally shapes the character.” Laura raised an eyebrow. “Okay, I get it. Behold the Glinda Hair Toss. Now can we get back to convincing Dee to sort things out with Kristin?”
Laura shot Elphaba a look of suspicion, weighing her up, as if trying to decide how much she knew compared to what Norbert knew. Elphaba tried to look as confused and out of her depth as possible, which was not hard. She tried a quick influencing spell, sending mental messages to Laura, begging her not to go any further. But whether it was the lack of magic here or Laura’s firm persistence, needless to say, it did not work.
“You really should, you know,” she told Elphaba. “Make things up with Kristin. I know how hard all this must be for you, and you’re doing fantastic, really. But there’s no way you can do this without Kristin, and it’s not like she’s unwilling.” No, Elphaba thought darkly, ‘unwilling’ was definitely not a word she would use to describe Kristin, not after the episode in the dressing room. “I just don’t understand what’s wrong,” Laura went on. “It’s affecting her too, Eden told me. She wasn’t her bouncy, glowing self in last night’s performance.”
“Surely I can’t be blamed—”
“No one’s blaming you for anything,” Norbert said gently. “But we care about you. You know that.”
“Could you possibly test me on my lines?” Elphaba asked desperately, indicating the script she’d left on the counter. Anything to get them off the subject of Kristin. “I’m still not as fluent as I’d like to be. Just start anywhere and I’ll see if I can follow.”
“Well, it seems the beautiful only get more beautiful,” cackled a voice from the doorway. “While the green just get greener.” Elphaba blinked in confusion – wasn’t that one of her lines? – but then Michelle appeared and everything made sense. “What have we here? Fiyero and Glinda and Elphie – oh my! But no Nessarose invited to this charming little lovers circle? I’m hurt. I might even think—oh my god you’re drinking Espinosa’s poisoned tea!”
Michelle lunged forward to grab the tea out of Elphaba’s hands, but she misjudged the distance, sending the mug clattering to the floor. There was the chalky sound of china breaking, and Elphaba watched sorrowfully as the remains of her tea trickled across the kitchenette floor. Norbert and Laura fixed Michelle with disapproving frowns.
“What?” she said shrugging. “I didn’t want Dee to die. She’s obviously lost her mind, poor thing.”
“Maybe I just like the tea?” Elphaba suggested tentatively, but the resulting looks of shock and suspicion were enough for her to decide that it wasn’t worth it. Maybe she could secretly ask Eden to give her some instead?
* * *
By the time Idina reached Nanny and Nessarose's door, she was in a full panic, with the green skin tingling and her throat tight. Her worry for Glinda's well-being and the excitement of having actually done magic had culminated into something almost debilitating. She pounded on the wood, breathlessly calling for the woman. Glinda was by herself, passed out. Idina cursed. She shouldn't have left her... she shouldn't have hit her with whatever it was – but, damn it, she shouldn't have left. “Nanny!” Idina howled, and finally the door swung open, revealing the confused old woman.
“Fabala pet, what's—”
“It's Glinda. She... I,” Idina gasped, choking. “She's hurt!”
Nessarose came into view with a scowl already in place. “You hurt her?” She wedged herself in the doorway between Nanny and the frame. “You hurt her!”
“It was an accident!”
“Where is she?” asked Nanny, trying to peer past Idina.
“She's... I left her—”
“And you left her!” Nessarose cried indignantly.
“She's unconscious. Didn't know what to do—”
“Calm down,” Nanny said, speaking too slowly for Idina's liking. “Where is she?”
Idina motioned to the side, “Down there. Please, you have to—”
“I'll follow you.” Nanny said, and moved into the hallway. “Nessa, you stay here.”
Idina had already begun to hastily retreat her steps. Nanny tutted, and closed the door behind Nessarose, who had lurched through, before following after Idina. “Don't make more of a scene, you,” Nanny reprimanded in advance, but Nessarose ignored her.
A few corridors down, they found Glinda crumpled on the floor. She could have been asleep, if not for Idina's obvious panic. “I didn't know if I should move her, or...” Idina tried to explain. Nessarose glared at her, while Nanny nodded, and slowly crouched down, wincing as her old joints creaked. “We should get her to the infirmary,” she muttered, before reaching out toward Glinda, and hefting her up.
“Oh my God!” Idina cried. “You'll drop her!”
Nanny only straightened, and somehow with absurd strength enough, began the journey with Glinda cradled in her arms. Idina walked beside her, never taking her eyes off the unconscious blonde.
“Is she dead, Nanny?” Nessarose asked. “Has the demon killed her?”
“Of course she's not dead, child,” Nanny grunted, and adjusted her grip. They reached the staircase and Nanny had to pause for breath.
“I can't believe you attacked her,” Nessarose whispered venomously, directing a piercing glare at Idina. “If I only had arms, demon.” But, again, Idina ignored her. She watched Glinda's face intently as Nanny began to wheeze. “Should I take her?” she asked, not sure if Elphaba's body was even strong enough. She felt she had to do something. Her arms were out, all long and stick-like, as if ready to catch Glinda should Nanny have a mishap.
“Just ready the door for me,” Nanny murmured between wheezes.
“The door? The door where?”
“The... floor below.”
“Right.” Idina quickened her pace, flying down the last of the steps, and down the second set. She heaved open the door, wincing as it clattered against the wall. She heard Nessarose speaking, presumably to Nanny about how evil Idina was. When they rounded the corner, for the last of the steps, Idina heard a soft groan. “Is she waking up?” she called, but Nanny only grunted, then eventually reached the landing.
“Nanny?” Glinda whispered.
“Glinda! How do you feel?” Idina said, wanting to rush to Nanny's side.
“No thanks to you,” Nessarose remarked.
“Where... does it... hurt?” Nanny just about managed.
“Can... you walk?”
Glinda slowly nodded, and bit her lip as Nanny let her down at the doorway. She stumbled and Nanny aided her, guiding her through the threshold.
They walked haltingly, with Glinda cradling her right arm. She winced with her every step, her face deathly pale and slicked with sweat. “Glinda, I'm so sorry,” Idina said. “I didn't mean to. I don't know what happened.”
“It's fine,” Glinda whispered.
Nanny tutted, muttering how the nurse had better be there. “Don't think I haven't heard about her; she's been off with that cleaner. She's probably in a cupboard somewhere, cleaning the pipes—Oh, my joints.”
“How bad's the pain?” Idina asked, noting Glinda's shallow breaths. “Glinda...”
“Enough for me to... feel... sick.”
“See, that's what happens when people get possessed,” Nessarose pointed out with a curt sniff. “People get hurt, and some people die. Honestly, Glinda. You're lucky you didn't die.”
“Here we are,” Nanny cooed. “Now, you just be careful, my pretty – here, don't walk into anything. Mind the door – Elphaba, could you...”
Idina lunged forward, “Sure,” with her jagged angles and ragged haste. She hurriedly opened the heavy infirmary door, allowing Nanny to amble past, guiding Glinda whose eyes were nearly closed, and her hair beginning to fall limply down her face in sodden sweaty tendrils. As if strengthened by Glinda's new weakness, Nessarose stood taller and was the last to go through, but she paused in front of Idina. Her eyes narrowed further and her nostrils flared, but with Idina's mind still on Glinda, she didn't entirely notice until Nessarose actually spoke. Once again demanding attention. “Where are your wings?” And once again saying something tiresomely absurd.
Idina sighed, then jerked her head for Nessarose to step away from the door so she could release it. “I don't know what you're talking about.”
“Your wings. I've read about things like you. From the other land, filled with damnation.” She gave a smug smile when Idina looked startled. “I've also read that you eat babies.”
“I don't eat babies,” Idina hissed. “Are you mad?”
“Well you've possessed my sister, and you won't leave! What else am I to think? Masquerading around as if you're not here to damn us all!”
“I'm not a demon! Christ, Nessa. Just fucking leave me alone!” Idina tried to pass her, but despite the armless state of the Thropp sister, and both their slight frames, it proved harder than expected. Nessarose was quick on her heels, like a terrier, Idina thought.
“What had you hoped to do? Kill her? Then steal her body too?”
“It was an accident,” Idina sighed, as she emerged from the entryway, to the initial section of the infirmary. It was spacious, with an ornate coffee table and chairs in an alcove to the side, then a large cluttered desk stacked with books and papers against another wall. To the right, looked like an examining table, on which Glinda was sat with the uniformed burly nurse hunched over her. There was a huge window towering behind, setting Glinda in a soft beam of light. Even when ailing, Glinda looked amazing.
“I'll notify Madame Head,” Nanny said, stepping away from the table.
“It'll be a week or so before she can attempt to write,” the nurse called behind her, “A day for the medicine to wear off.”
Nanny passed Idina and Nessarose on her way out, and instructed Idina to look after Glinda. It made Nessarose pipe up again. Idina tried to ignore it as she advanced toward the table. The nurse straightened and regarded them before turning back to Glinda, whose eyes were closed. “Are they your friends?”
“Yes,” Glinda whispered.
She nodded and retreated. “Excuse me for a moment.” The nurse then disappeared through an oversized open doorway, in the back wall, through which Idina could glimpse beds. Turning back, she now saw Glinda's arm confined in a sling.
Nessarose cleared her throat, and decided to take it upon herself to apologize. Of course, not for her own behaviour, but for Idina's. She began with: “I'm sorry to see you hurt, Glinda. Really, it's quite terrible.” She affected a look of sympathy, despite Glinda's eyes still being closed. She would have patted her ineffectually on the shoulder, if she had arms. “But one must look forth and see the advantages to such an unfortunate occurrence – for, you see, there is one—”
“Nessa,” Idina groaned, palming her face.
“You've now seen this demon for what she is. An aspiring sadistic killer, masquerading as my sister.”
“Nessa! Christ! This is bad enough without you preaching!” Idina hissed, while Glinda groaned.
“Maybe I am preaching,” said Nessarose hotly, “but awareness of the evil you possess can lead to only good! Maybe then you will be driven out!”
“I'm not a demon!”
Glinda's eyes finally opened. She sighed, and swallowed as if her throat hurt too. Idina turned, noticing her, but Glinda shook her head glumly. “If... you would both... please... shut up.”
Nessarose gasped. Idina frowned. “Glinda, she's—”
“I mean it. I'm in... so much pain... I can barely think straight.”
“Glinda,” said Nessarose after a pause, “I'm sure you are aware I only have your best interests in mind—” Idina had begun laughing, “Look... at... that!” Nessarose jerked her head to Idina, “Laughing, even! Finding amusement in your predicament!”
“Oh, oh,” Idina bent and held a hand to her chest, as if that would calm her down. “This is rich... coming from you, Nessa. Since when do you care about... anyone other than yourself and – what was it? – the Unnamed God?”
“I care that you are terrorizing us all!”
“You care only about yourself!”
Glinda groaned again, just as the nurse returned, holding a small case and looking angry. “I have anaesthetic to ease the pain,” she said, “but you two need to leave.”
“But I—” Nessarose tried to argue.
“Now. Sort out whatever qualms you have with each other outside.”
Nessarose stomped her foot and scowled. “It's her you need to expel from this room! She's—”
“Nessa! Come on!” Idina began pushing her 'sister' out, who was still loudly arguing. “I'm sorry, Glinda,” she said, with a heavy heart and significant embarrassment. “I'll be back soon. I hope.”
“Damn you!” Nessarose cried as she was none too gently shoved through the door.
* * *
Another afternoon spent at the theatre, rehearsing lines with Eden. It was a routine already set, despite Elphaba's decision to 'reprise the role' only having been days earlier. However, this time, it was an intermittent recital as Eden was steadily being slathered in green yet again. She needed the script to read for Fiyero, and most other characters, but it proved an impossible task when clouds of powder were flying about the face, and eyelids were being painted. Even more disruptive, however, was Eden's worsening nerves as performance time drew closer. Eventually their reciting had to stop because Eden was on the verge of hyperventilating, and no coaxing from Elphaba or Joe could help the situation.
The make up, however, continued until soon, it was finished, and the absurd Shiz costume and wig had been donned. Eden stooped at the vanity, still trying to control her breathing, while Joe half heartedly cleared up the supplies. “Okay,” she kept repeating, as a sort of mantra. “You'll do great.” Over and over again until she seemed to calm. Elphaba was thankful, for fear of the woman keeling over from chronic attack of the nerves, but the upturn in demeanour was quickly dashed when the five minute call sounded and Eden suddenly whirled round, a flush to her painted green cheeks and her eyes wide and panicked. “Do you think I warmed up enough?” she as good as shrieked at Elphaba. “My throat feels tight. I'll squeal!”
Rather than pointing out that she hadn't the slightest clue exactly how long one was expected to ready the voice, Elphaba ended up saying, “I'm sure you'll be fine.” It seemed enough as Eden nodded, sucking another breath in, and glancing around. Her hands fluttering about the costume, as if grabbing hold would somehow ground her.
Joe hummed, and glanced at Elphaba, before closing more vials and pans of make up. “You should do a few stretches, though,” he suggested. “Considering last time.”
“Right,” Eden breathed. Her hands dropped and she teetered momentarily, then bent over at the hip, reaching toward the ground in an ungainly fashion, fingertips searching for the floor. The sleeves of the jacket rose and Elphaba watched as more green was revealed, then noticed just how unnatural the fingernails were – a pearly sort of lighter shade. Obvious varnish that couldn't be further from her dull nails when in her own body.
Straightening seemed an arduous task, as Eden breathed heavily and swayed, before twisting to the side and bending her arms at the elbow. One pushing the other back. “I think I'm okay,” she said, though it was at odds with her trembling.
Joe shrugged, but his eyes were, again, on Elphaba's reflection. “Okay.” With all his tattoos and stubble, and apparent interest in her, he set Elphaba on edge... more so than she already had been. She continued to resolutely ignore him.
Someone clomped past the door just outside the dressing room; Eden glanced, but she made her way to the sofa, smoothing her hands over the Shiz skirt, until Joe cleared his throat, and she stopped. “I'll be back during interval,” Eden said hopefully. “We could... maybe continue? More lines. It's up to you – you're doing well. You don't have to. If you want to go.”
Elphaba smiled as reassuringly as she could. “I'll be here,” she said, and motioned to the booklet. “A lot to learn before the blocking starts.”
“Yeah,” Eden said, and glanced at the door again.
“Eden,” Joe prodded, and Eden nodded before stepping toward the door.
“Well, see you in a while.”
“See you,” Elphaba responded, and Joe trilled, “Good luck!” before Eden disappeared from sight.
Elphaba was going to study the script again, or let her anxieties overwhelm her, but immediately after they had been left alone, Joe grinned, then drawled: “Hey, girl. Come on over.” He motioned with one of his tattooed arms, and Elphaba squinted.
“Why?” she asked, cautiously.
“Why do you think!” Joe laughed, seeming suddenly very jolly. “I'm going to greenify you!” He stepped back and motioned to the chair as if it were a holy artefact. He didn't straighten or move while Elphaba frowned at him, heart thumping. He eventually cleared his throat, then told her she'd 'better get off her ass, quick' because his back was in danger of 'seizing up'. So Elphaba stood and Joe grinned as she finally crossed the small distance to the make up chair.
“I knew you cared,” he said with a smile, before turning and retrieving the brushes and sponges that were spare. Elphaba realized he hadn't finished putting them away.
“You planned this?” she stared as he opened a miniature vial of something pale.
“All of ten minutes ago, yeah.” He grinned again, then said, “Face up.”
“Tilt your head back a little. We're doing the foundation – oh, wait.” He left her side, then reappeared with a small towel, which he draped over her shoulders, circling her neck. “Don't want to get you all messy,” he said.
“Thank you.” Elphaba then tilted her head back, and twitched at the first touch of something cool and moist again her skin, though it quickly warmed. She craned her neck to the side, an intense look on her face as she regarded Joe. “This isn't a good idea,” she said with conviction enough to have him pause.
“All of it.”
Joe shook his head, waving the sponge in the air. “Ah. See? I knew you had hang ups about the green—”
“I do not have hang ups.”
“You do have hang ups, honey. I saw you watching Eden getting green... like a hawk. Morbid curiosity.” Joe bobbed his head to and fro and waved the sponge about again, as if conceding some point. “And, yes, you have amnesia. You can't remember being green, right?”
“I remember a fair bit,” Elphaba muttered.
“But not enough.” Joe squatted next to her, and laid the sponge-less tattooed hand on her forearm. He looked up at her, with saddened blue eyes, looking like a child that had lost his favourite toy. “We need you back to normal in a week,” he whispered. “You need to get used to things. Joe's not going to back down on this – you know what he's like – so we need to get you as comfortable as you can be.” He nodded over to the array of make up. “That includes the green. Embrace it.”
He talked as if she weren't trying. Elphaba couldn't help but be aware of that, and despite his good intentions, she also resented him for that. They all acted as if they were taming a petulant child that was simply being stubborn. If they knew exactly who she was, there wouldn't be this pressure. While Idina, an icon as she was, received immediate respect and adoration from most, Elphaba was sure she would get a different kind of respect in this strange place that had given her fame. They would be amazed. They would allow her time to adjust, or find a way back home. Surely. “Alright, I suppose.” But what if it proved too much and she was rejected? That was as much a possibility as any. She watched Joe smile again, as he got up, and she wondered what his reaction would be. Greenifying the green girl. Would he laugh, or would he run?
Her eyes rarely strayed from the mirror as pale skin was coated in a green mess. She looked like a child playing dress-up, but her heart was heavy. She was then powdered, bright make up was added, more green in missed difficult areas. The garish imitation stole her breath.
“How is it?” Joe asked, stepping back.
Now the question arose: Had Elphaba become so used to normal skin that didn't burn when wet? Skin that wasn't green? This face that she had stared at for weeks now, seemed odd. As if trying to morph into her old face.
How was she meant to feel?
“Jarring,” Elphaba whispered.
* * *
Idina opened her eyes, focusing on Nessarose's rigid back just in front of her. How her head tilted up as she looked through the corridor window that was mottled with sunlight and the flying clouds. The sunkissed morning was quickly becoming a dreary afternoon that pricked her skin, and made the windows rattle. But at least, for now, they had calmed a little.
Idina resettled herself against the wall, and folded her arms, ignoring the discomfort of bone on bone. “It doesn't help, you know,” she said. “If you care about Glinda so much, it makes sense that you focus on her. Not me and your suspicions.”
“Me and my suspicions directly involve Glinda.”
Nessarose didn't turn, or even really move. Neither of them did. Idina only lazily rolled her head to the side, looking along the deserted corridor. “Have you considered that your suspicions might be wrong?”
“I have faith on my side. Do you suggest my faith is wrong too?”
“Not wrong,” Idina said, turning back, “just... it might not be enough for you to be certain of a situation like this.”
“A situation like this.” Nessarose turned, but stepped back so she too was leaning against a wall, albeit carefully. They faced each other, both quiet and assessing. Or maybe tired of their squabbling. Or the calm before the storm. “You admit this is a situation.”
Idina shrugged. Her bony shoulders jerking inelegantly. “Glinda's in the infirmary. It's a situation as any.”
“But you put her there.”
“An accident. I told you.”
“You did. But I wouldn't put it past you to lie.”
Idina rose suddenly from her semi-reclining perch as if some invisible cord had plucked at her. Her thin lips thinned even further as she succumbed to a new wave of anger. “What do you see, Nessa? Huh? What is it that's not me?”
But it was only her that had been bated. Nessarose didn't move; she didn't smile; she didn't frown. All she said was, “Everything.”
The door opened and the nurse paused upon noticing them. “You're still out here?” she queried.
“Evidently so,” Nessarose said.
“You seem calm enough.”
“It's a sister thing,” Idina said, watching her temporary sibling. “A passionate relationship. We argue, then we stop. Isn't that right, Nessie?”
Nessarose's eyes narrowed briefly, almost to the degree of no longer being open. “Quite,” she said.
“So you're sisters,” the nurse said, regarding Idina once more. “I wouldn't have known.”
“The fact that I'm green, and she happens to be armless? You should see our brother. Quite the oddity.” Idina forced a smile. “How's Glinda?”
“Oh, I told her she's free to go, but it's best if she's assisted. Her arm is sprained, but it's the anaesthetic that'll likely take its toll. I was going to get someone—”
“We'll do it,” Nessarose said. “Or, she will, obviously. I'll offer moral support.”
The nurse nodded. “In that case, I'll be off. Matters to attend to.”
“No more arguing around the poor girl, alright? I imagine she's had enough drama for the day.”
“Wouldn't dream of it,” Idina said. The nurse bid them goodbye and good luck, for whatever reason, then left. They both watched her go, before Nessarose crossed the corridor to Idina's side. “You know about Shell?” she whispered.
“Of course I know about Shell.” Idina had mind enough to act affronted. She hoped this was a blessing in disguise to eradicate the girl's unwavering accusations, but it was quickly dismissed.
“Glinda must have spoken of him.”
Idina sighed. “Well that's great. Shall we?” She passed Nessarose and opened the door, then held it open for her. “Try to control yourself with the demon accusations,” she whispered. “I know it's hard...”
“Don't mock me.”
It was Nessarose that entered the main area of the infirmary first, and just as she did, there was a loud squeal of, “Nessie!” which gave Idina pause.
“Glinda,” the girl said, still advancing. Wholly unfazed. “How are you feeling?”
Idina frowned. “What are you – are you high?”
“A little,” Glinda said, and swung her dangling legs.
“Didn't mean literally,” Idina grumbled, stepping closer.
“We've come to take you back,” Nessarose said.
“Or wherever you want to go,” Idina said.
They both turned to Glinda, who was grinning and swinging her legs even more. “It's like my birthday.” She held out her free arm, and to Idina's horror, said, “Idina! Help me. Thank you.”
Nessarose jerked her head to Idina, while a blush rose to green cheeks that may or may not have shown it. Idina chuckled tensely. “Wow, you come up with some strange words sometimes. Nicknames. Is that a nickname? How funny. Here.” She helped Glinda down from the examining table, who beamed up at her. “You're high.”
Glinda only blinked at her.
“Idina?” Nessarose repeated, staring between the two. Glinda was holding onto a green hand, and playing with the fingers. “Glinda, what's an 'Idina'?”
“An Idina is an Idina, I suppose,” Glinda said, then pouted as Idina snatched her hand away as it began to sweat.
“And that would be...?” Nessarose prodded.
“You're asking her a million questions!” Idina said too harshly. “She's on meds—”
“Well she's Idina, isn't she?”
Idina tried to laugh. “I'm Elphaba. I'm Elphaba, and you're not in your right mind.”
“Glinda...” Nessarose said beseechingly. She stepped closer to the blonde, smiling gently. It was then that Idina realised just how manipulative Nessarose could be.
“She's on meds,” Idina said. “Don't do this.”
“I'll do what I like – Glinda. Why is she 'Idina'?”
“Nessa...” Idina warned.
“Why... is... she... Idina?”
Idina held her breath. She watched Glinda – really watched her, as if seeing the start of the revelation, would cease it altogether. It seemed too unfair that her secret could be told so quickly and easily. Of course it wouldn't happen this way – least of all to Nessarose. Glinda was more thoughtful than that. With or without medication that made her act... like a... child...
Glinda made a popping noise with her mouth. “She switched with Elphaba from the other world. Isn't that funny? That's funny.” She ambled past the two shocked 'sisters' toward the door. “I'm famished.”
“My,” Nessarose said, her voice shaking as she stared at Idina. “Aren't you quite the demon. You even have a name.”
“She's not a demon!” Glinda called. “She's an actress!”