Title: Atmospheric Disturbance
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, in any of their incarnations, and I don’t claim to do so. I don’t make any profit. I just like to take them out to play.
Archiving: This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper.htm. Thanks to Kim for hosting it.
A/N: This isn’t much more than a PWP. Water porn, maybe? I’ll be at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to comment.
“We should do this more often, Elphie,” Galinda said happily, almost beaming up at her taciturn roommate.
“What, lug a twenty pound basket out into the middle of nowhere, just to fight off the ants scrambling for my dinner? Of course we must,” Elphie replied archly, and Galinda’s nose scrunched up in perplexity as she tried to decipher whether or not the statement had been said in jest. She finally decided that it really didn’t matter, as Elphie’s jest was just as liable to be serious as anything else.
Instead, she sighed, conjured up an appropriately angry glare, and crossed her arms over her chest. “Where’s your sense of adventure, Miss Elphaba,” she teased. “Tonight, we communed with nature.”
“You communed with nature,” Elphie snorted. “I believe I communed with a rather determined mosquito.”
With a pout, Galinda fell silent. Elphie really was terribly vexing, and no matter how much effort she put into her master plan to make the other girl acceptable, it seemed like Elphie took five steps back for every single step forward simply because it was in her contrary nature to do so. But, Galinda thought with a smile, should contrariness ever come into fashion, the laws of nature would spite Elphie by making her the most popular girl around.
“Well, I’m nervous,” Elphie drawled, eyeing Galinda warily. “Not only haven’t I heard a peep out of you for a good minute, but now you’re smiling at the voices in your head. It’s the first sign of insanity, Miss Galinda. Is that to be your next great leap?”
Galinda gave Elphie a glare, and, for good measure, a poke in the ribs. The fact that it probably did more damage to her finger than it did to Elphie only served to make her angrier. “Now you listen here Miss Elphie…” she began, already on the fourth stanza of her great rant in her head when she felt the first fat drop of rain land squarely on her nose.
“Oh dear,” she cried, instantly distracted as she swatted away the pesky droplet. “We’ll get soaked. It’s a good quarter mile back to Crage Hall, and by that time, my hair will be completely ruined.”
She was so caught up in the contemplation of routes to utilize that would allow her to sneak back to their room without being seen doing an impersonation of a drowned rat that she almost didn’t notice Elphie’s distress. But, it was rather hard not to notice, when Elphie tripped and sent the contents of their basket flying as she scrambled desperately for one of the thick blankets they had brought with them.
“Miss Galinda, please,” she said, surprising her companion with the note of something nearing panic in her voice. The storm was moving up quickly, having turned the haze of dusk into threatening darkness in the span of minutes. Wind whipped through the trees, sending leaves scurrying in eddies, their rustle suddenly loud in the absence of the cacophony of the nighttime sounds of animals preparing for bed. And there was Elphie on her knees, trying to wrench a blanket from the basket, whippets of dark hair pulling free of her braid to snap across her face.
“Don’t force it,” Galinda said irritably, reaching out to unhinge the snag that had been keeping Elphie from her goal. “And now we’ve got to repack everything, or else the cooks will have our heads.”
Snatching up items from the ground, she was faintly aware that Elphie was in the process of wrapping the blanket around herself like a giant full body turban. “Come on,” Elphie snapped, wrapping long fingers around Galinda’s upper arm and giving a sharp tug. “We can come back for that tomorrow.”
Surprised at the strength in the limb that jerked her to her feet and into a half run, Galinda nearly lost her grip on the basket. “Slow down, Miss Elphie,” she said forcefully, trying unsuccessfully to wrench her arm away from the other girl’s fierce grip.
Elphie shot her a serious glare from the depths of her blanket. Rain drops were falling faster now, thick drops that plopped loudly where they landed against her dress. “We have to make it back,” Elphie hissed, jerking her hand away as a large drop landed on exposed green skin and Galinda watched in amazement as the other girl began to run in earnest, arms pressed tightly to her side as long legs propelled her awkwardly forward so that she looked rather like a lurching penguin.
As if it had decided that the time for teasing was over, the sky suddenly opened up fully, sending a cascading torrent of rain down in a sheet so thick that Galinda had difficulty keeping Elphie in her sights. She watched her roommate stumble, almost slipping before righting herself with the quickest of touches to the wet grass before veering off to the side. Galinda followed, basket banging painfully against her hip, her much shorter legs leaving her a good 20 steps behind her companion.
She’d never noticed the shack before, and her assumption that it was a gardener’s shed was confirmed as she stepped inside. Tools hung along the walls, ominous shadows in the darkness, and she shivered, both from cold and apprehension. “Miss Elphie, I don’t think…”
“Ah,” Elphie cried out, the sound one of pain and not frustration, and Galinda turned her attention to the strange sight before her. Elphie was attempting to shrug out of her wet clothes, touching them for only the briefest of seconds before pulling her fingers away as if burned. “You must help me, Miss Galinda. Please.”
The note of pleading in her voice shook Galinda, and she stepped forward, easily finding the row of buttons holding Elphie’s dress together. She didn’t realize the oddity of her actions until black cloth started giving way to pearly green skin, when it registered fully that she was undressing her normally taciturn roommate as if she were a baby.
“Miss Elphie, what is…”
“It burns, Miss Galinda. Please hurry,” Elphie said, voice strained. “Please.”
And with Miss Elphie asking so nicely, Galinda decided she could reserve her questions for later. “Step out of it then, Miss Elphie,” she said gently, lowering the black dress down. As she knelt, she decided to roll down the thick black stockings Elphie normally wore as well, pulling them gently from slim green feet. “And the rest?”
Elphie nodded tersely, and Galinda tried not to think of the intimacy of the act as she slid down underwear made slightly damp from its contact with the soaking black dress. The other girl wore nothing else beneath her dress, and so when Galinda stood, it was in front of a completely naked Elphie. It was the first time she had seen her roommate in such a state, as the other girl always seemed to be up and dressed before she properly awoke in the mornings, and switched into her nightgown either before Galinda returned to their room for the night or after the candle was extinguished.
Long fingers curled around thin arms, rubbing vigorously, and Galinda determined that her roommate was probably freezing. “I think there’s another blanket,” she said gently, reaching into the depths of the basket until she found the second of the two blankets they’d packed when leaving Crage Hall. The other had been thrown into the corner by an Elphie desperate to get it away from her.
Turning to face her roommate, Galinda couldn’t help but make a comparison between the shivering girl staring at her balefully from beneath long hanks of jet black hair and a frightened foal she’d seen one afternoon while out riding in her carriage. Both trembled like a leaf in the storm, all spindly limbs and large eyes, and Galinda felt the same surge of overprotective concern for Elphie that she’d felt for the foal.
“Here then,” she murmured, shaking the blanket out before approaching Elphie slowly. Ignoring the lack of space between them, she reached behind Elphie to draw the blanket around her shoulders, letting long fingers grip it tightly in the front. “Why don’t you warm up while I hang your things.”
Tools lost their homes as pegs became temporary clothes hooks as Galinda spread Elphaba’s clothes out to dry. Then, feeling a chill begin to settle in her bones and confirming with a glance the continuing deluge outside the rather dirty window, sighed and began to disrobe herself.
“This dress may never be right again,” she said dolefully. “I’m not sure the laundering instructions included immersion in several gallons of water.”
“Indeed,” Elphie croaked, and Galinda nearly jumped out of her skin in surprise. “It seems like nature decided to commune with us in return.”
“Well then,” she said smartly, trying not to blush as she removed a slightly sodden brassiere, “you’re not dead after all.”
“No,” Elphie acknowledged ruefully, “though it was a close call. Water and I share an aversion to one another. Whenever we come in contact, I seem to have a rather severe allergic reaction.”
“Then it seems as if the aversion is one sided,” Galinda pointed out, barely able to keep her hands from covering up her private areas as she finally shed the last of her soaked clothing. “And now we’re truly a pair. Cold, without a suitable wardrobe for replacement clothes, and holed up in a gardener’s shed. I’m beginning to think you might have had the right idea about picnics, Miss Elphie.”
Unwrapping the blanket from her shoulders, Elphie held it out unashamedly. “Here. Dry yourself on one side only, and we’ll share the other.”
“Share?” Galinda squeaked as she gave herself a brisk, yet somehow dainty, rubdown.
Looking at her roommate expectantly, Elphie muttered, “Unless you can manage to pull another blanket from the magic picnic basket, then yes. Share. But you did only pack the two, did you not?”
“One for you and one for me,” Galinda said dully, giving the square of cloth she was holding a dubious look. Even stretched out to its fullest, it seemed remarkably smaller than she remembered.
The floor was dirt, packed solid after countless years of use. If she hadn’t been able to feel the odd grain of it against her soles, Galinda would have assumed she was standing on flooring, but despite the fact that the shed was, as sheds go, not so bad didn’t do anything to allay the sense of apprehension she was feeling.
“Perhaps I should return to Crage Hall and search for the largest umbrella in existence,” she muttered as Elphie slid the blanket around her shoulders once again before sinking down to the floor against the wall furthest away from the window.
Face pinched, Elphie said tightly, “You may do as you wish. I only offered since you’ve been so kind until now.”
“Oh, don’t pout,” Galinda muttered, moving so she was standing in front of Elphie and consciously ignoring her embarrassment. “How do we go about this anyway?”
“Well,” Elphie said slowly, “I imagine you can sit in front of me and we can wrap the blanket around the both of us. There’s not much of it, and I don’t think it’d cover us if we sat side by side.”
“Even thin as you are,” Galinda said with a hint of sarcasm, not quite sure she was ready to settle into the position Elphie had described, despite the rather chilled condition of her toes. It just seemed… well, rather intimate.
“Or,” Elphie added stiffly, “you may sit in back if you would be more comfortable that way.”
“Actually,” Galinda replied without really thinking, “I think I would prefer that.”
The proclamation necessitated another awkward round of blanket exchange and quite a few minutes of agitated maneuvering until they were settled in as best they could manage. Noting the chill dampness of Elphie’s hair, Galinda pulled the mass of it back and over her shoulder as Elphie stiffly reclined back against her.
She managed to completely ignore the way it felt to have Elphie’s slim hips nestled between her thighs and the way the skin of Elphie’s back seared into her front. The position actually was not at all intimate, or so she reassured herself, as it was driven by necessity.
“I had noticed that you seemed to have a rather antagonistic relationship with water,” Galinda said nervously a few seconds later, hands resting on top of her thighs though the position put an awkward strain on her hips. She wasn’t entirely sure where else to put them, however, and didn’t dare loop them around Elphie’s waist.
A sudden loud crack of lightening solved the problem for her as she instinctively wrapped her arms tightly around Elphaba’s midsection and hid her face against a bony shoulder blade in terror. The move caused Elphaba to stiffen abruptly in shock, chin almost knocking against Galinda’s forehead as she whipped her head around to see what had happened.
“Galinda…” she began crossly, then heard her roommate’s sniffle and stopped with a sigh. A little more gently, she added, “It’s only a storm. We’re safe in here.”
Galinda nodded but didn’t loosen her grip. Once she got past the startled burst of anxiety the snap of lightening had caused, she found that she was quite comfortable with her cheek pressed against Elphaba’s skin, which was far softer than it looked. To her surprise, it smelled faintly of roses, and without quite thinking about what she was going to do before she did it, Galinda drew her nose against the sweet-smelling bit of flesh. Elphaba’s resulting startled jerk sent a bony shoulder blade crashing into her, sending Galinda’s head reeling back with a yelp.
It then struck that what she’d just done was decidedly odd.
“Miss Galinda?” Elphaba’s voice held a note of question along with a fine, thin tremble. Galinda found it unaccountably appealing. Something about a vulnerable Elphaba engendered a hint of feeling deep within Galinda that she was fairly certain wasn’t at all appropriate to the situation. Elphaba was always strong, confident and in control. If she had a weaker, softer side, then Galinda had yet to see it. Then again, Elphaba also had a habit of shying away from situations in which such vulnerability might show, and Galinda had ever reason to believe that this was one of the few that might bring it out.
During their time together at Shiz, Galinda was certain that she’d never seen Elphaba touch anyone, nor be touched in return, aside from an accidental brush in an overcrowded hallway. Even that was rare, as students tended to give the green girl a wide berth, hugging the edges of the wall if necessary.
“Elphie, has anyone ever really touched you? On purpose, I mean. And, aside from your family.”
Elphaba would have found the question offensive had it been asked by anyone else. But, she was used to Galinda’s thoughtlessness and so was unfazed. Besides, she’d been known to be a bit blunt herself.
So instead of protesting, she gave the question careful thought. As a child she’d had few playmates. Not only had her father moved them about the countryside as if they were a rare nomadic tribe, thus not allowing her to remain in any one place long enough to form close friendships, but she doubted that even a permanency she’d never experienced would have led to that particular outcome. Children followed parents in shying away from her. In some of the more remote regions they’d visited, the local folk had regarded her as something stepped straight from their long-lived myths.
Often, the myths had not been pleasant ones.
Her mother and father had never been overly affectionate, either. She supposed that they had done their duties when she was an infant, helpless in the way that babies were, but soon after they had Nessa to care for – with her lily white skin and missing limbs. An armless baby required more care than a green one, she supposed, and so for the most part she’d been left to Nanny’s care when Nanny was available.
When Nanny wasn’t available, she’d been left mostly to her own devices.
And so, “No, I don’t think I have.” The words were measured, toneless, the rational response to an irrational question.
Galinda considered this carefully, giving the words their due weight. She’d been a beloved baby, passed around from relative to relative. She’d grown up surrounded by adoring adults who loved to comment on her beauty, her rosy cheeks and her platinum curls. Childhood praise had shifted into adolescent admiration. Girls simultaneously hated her and aspired to be her, and boys showered her with gifts and attention in hopes of earning her favor or, at least, her smile. It hadn’t taken her very long to find her niche at Shiz, either, culling from the numerous devotees a more select group of individuals who were allowed to bask in her wonderfulness.
When she tried to imagine Elphaba’s childhood, one apparently mostly if not completely devoid of the kind of careless affection that she had always taken for granted, she found the thought so foreign as to be incomprehensible. Everyone show know what that felt like, that easy familiarity of touch that came with acquaintance or more. She and Elphaba were certainly acquainted. Elphaba, as prickly as she could sometimes be, had even grown into something close to a friend. If nothing else, Galinda felt a hidden spark of admiration for the one person in the world who seemed to lack it for her. All of her other friends and admirers had come to her without any effort. For reasons she couldn’t quite understand, she’d had to work for Elphaba’s companionship. And, maybe there was a part of her that was drawn to her taciturn roommate in ways that she’d never fully confess, the ways opposites couldn’t help but attract. Maybe this storm was some sort of intervention from on high, designed specifically to provoke just this sort of bonding.
Or maybe she was just coming up with convenient rationalizations for the thoughts swirling around in her head. Either way, Galinda wasn’t overly upset with the implications.
She discovered, much to her bemusement, that during her musings her fingers had loosened themselves from their painful grasp on Elphaba’s sides, sliding apart so that they were teasing the flat plane of the other girl’s belly with barely there touches.
“Then I’ll teach you what it feels like,” she said with a hint of blithe determination.
Elphaba resolutely ignored the way the feather light touches made her abdomen quiver. “That’s quite unnecessary,” she said coldly, suddenly acutely aware of the near full body contact she was sharing. She supposed that if she hadn’t been so traumatized by the storm, which had come upon her quickly and without warning, and the subsequent desperate flight to escape it and rid herself of her wet clothes, she might have noticed it earlier. At the very least, she would have paid far more attention to her situation. As it was, she was pressed tightly against Galinda, the other girl’s inner thighs cradling her, the curve of her buttocks brushing against the tease of soft hair. In fact, Galinda was soft all over, covered with a thin layer of baby fat that contrasted sharply with the poke and jut of Elphaba’s bony frame. It was an almost disturbing realization.
For her part, Galinda chose to ignore Elphaba’s protestations. After all, Elphaba was always protesting something. If she listened to everything the other girl said, she’d never do anything.
And so she found, much to her delighted surprise, that when she traced the edge of her short nails down Elphaba’s arms, the other girl shivered and her skin broke out in goosebumps. It made her feel almost like a scientist, testing hypotheses and carrying out experiments. For example, the way Elphaba’s head fell forward slightly, the pose a seemingly subtle request for more, was a most unanticipated discovery. Not one to disappoint and suddenly relishing her role as grand explorer, Galinda expanded the scope of her investigation, scraping her nails along Elphaba’s sides and across her belly. When no protests were issued, she pushed further, trailing her fingers down the other girl’s ropy thighs and then up along the length of her spine to the nape of her neck.
Elphaba’s moan made her smile.
“You see,” she said, easing her fingers over the curve of Elphaba’s shoulders to glide along the regimented rows of her collarbones, “it’s not so bad.”
Despite the cool of the room, Elphaba found she’d broken out into a sweat. She wasn’t sure if all human touch had the effect of Galinda’s but she could only assume that it didn’t. Otherwise, people would never be able to accomplish anything, not with the pleasant fluttering of their bellies and shivers racking their spines.
A second later, Galinda further discovered that she had managed to cup Elphaba’s smallish breasts in her hands. She hadn’t meant to, really, had been more intent on simply exploring the safer areas of soft green skin momentarily available to her. But once her palms brushed the tips of hardened nipples, she found herself reflexively closing her fingers over the flesh.
They both froze, each from their own kind of shock, before Elphaba exhaled shakily.
“I’m sorry,” Galinda said contritely, though she’d yet to remove her hands.
Elphaba, having decided that this moment would cease to exist once it was over as she was determined to bury it within the deepest recesses of her mind, did nothing to remove them. Instead, in what she would undoubtedly later view as a burst of insanity, she decided to become an active participant in the game.
Galinda gasped aloud as she felt Elphaba’s long fingers tracing a path down her thighs, smoothing over the curve of her knees only to retrace where they’d been. “I haven’t had much experience with this side of the equation either.”
The sound of the rain pinging off the tin roof of the shed was a gentle contrast to the harsh rasp of breath that was soon coming from twin sets of lips. Elphaba’s reach was limited but Galinda considered that she was making the most of it, eliciting sensations she’d never felt before despite her more expanded history with touch. She quite liked those sensations and liked even more that it was Elphaba who was causing them.
It was a momentous decision, but Galinda made it with barely a second thought. “Elphie, perhaps you’d like to…” She trailed off shyly, not quite used to being so forward despite her tactile forthrightness.
Elphaba understood and, frankly, was shocked. She knew just what Galinda was suggesting. The fact that she’d done so with such candid, if appropriately shy, openness was a surprise. As was the fact that Elphaba couldn’t find a reason to say no. After all, life had taught her that chances came few and far between, at least for her. She also wasn’t overly burdened with the puritan mindset that gave events such as the one Galinda was obliquely suggesting such revered status, or at least that’s what she told herself.
Galinda decided Elphie was a mind-reader when, with only the slightest encouragement, she shifted in her grasp. The new positioning required a bit of adjusting, but somehow Galinda managed to ease the blanket beneath them as she stretched out on her back, unwilling to have the event she was fairly certain was about to occur happen with her skin pressed against the worn down dirt of the floor.
They shared a gasp as Elphaba eased herself down so that she was covering Galinda, the cradle of her hips insinuating itself between spread thighs. Her breasts brushed Galinda’s much fuller ones, eliciting a strange sort of exhalation.
Galinda’s hands were around her neck, fiddling with her bound yet now dry hair, and seconds later it tumbled forth over her shoulder. Galinda laughed in delight as silky strands of it brushed against her cheek and shoulder.
“I think you might ought to kiss me Elphie, before we go any further.”
Elphie obliged, trying to hide her inexperience in the lightness of her touch. But, Galinda’s arms were around her neck again, a small hand winding through the hair at her nape to press her down, and soon she found herself caught up in the embrace. Galinda was a wellspring of girlish gasps and whimpers, each hitting her squarely in the belly, and Elphaba forgot her normal self-consciousness long enough for passion to hit her unawares.
“Oh my,” Galinda murmured, wriggling in delight as Elphie’s sharp teeth nibbled carefully at her earlobe.
She’d thought that Elphie’s skin was soft before, but now it was warm and burning to the touch, like a liquid silk that Galinda couldn’t quite contain. Her hands were everywhere – tracing down the jutting ladder of Elphaba’s ribs, sliding up the cogged track of her spine. While she certainly had more experience with touch than did Elphaba, this had long ago left the realm of her expertise. With the nakedness and the passion, they’d entered a place where they were both equals, neophytes in every sense of the word.
Despite that, she had an instinctive desire to slide her fingers between the thick ebony curls at the juncture of Elphaba’s thighs, to taste her skin with the flat of her tongue. She wasn’t sure where the thoughts had come from, but as soon as she had them, Galinda was overwhelmed with the compunction to put them into action.
So, with little fanfare, she pushed Elphaba onto her back by catching her by surprise, and soon Galinda had bathed the spot where the other girl’s shoulder met her neck, had tasted the pert tip of a forest green nipple. She’d run her cheek along the soft skin of Elphie’s belly and let her hand cup the other girl’s sex.
Elphie almost looked distressed when Galinda began to rub her cupped palm over soft hair, a single finger slyly dipping into the wetness within. But then the distress turned into something else, something like wonder and enchantment, and so Galinda tried something new.
“Oh my,” Elphaba unconsciously echoed, feeling the fleeting tease of the tip of Galinda’s finger brushing against the small area of flesh that seemed to have the ability to draw tight the muscles of her entire body. And Galinda, quite delighted by the response she’d evoked, did it again.
Elphaba thought faintly that it wasn’t that she didn’t know about these things in the abstract. Her father had led a life-long crusade against seekers of the Pleasure Faith and, as such, she’d come to know quite a bit about her father’s supposed enemy. It was more that she’d somehow expected that knowledge to remain in the abstract and not in the here and now.
The here and now, she decided, was infinitely better.
She couldn’t keep her fingers from digging into Galinda’s shoulders, couldn’t keep her hips from bucking upward in search of Galinda’s touch. She couldn’t keep the quiet, keening moans behind her teeth. And besides, she didn’t particularly want to.
The release of all the tension Galinda had evoked left her feeling vulnerable and raw, and she drew the other girl to her in a tight embrace, needing to hold onto something.
After a few long minutes, during which she recovered her breath and tried to reorganize her mind to reason, Galinda began to shift restlessly. “You can try out that other side if you want,” she finally said, voice a bit petulant. It took Elphaba a moment to decipher her meaning, but when she did, she cackled.
“Certainly, my sweet,” she murmured, giving Galinda a wicked smile before turning all of her attention to testing out her newfound knowledge.