TITLE: Writer's Block
WORD COUNT: 1360
SUMMARY: Elphaba is trying to write fanfiction, but Glinda is singing out of tune.
AN: Several months later I have decided to finish part 2 of my bizzaro story where Elphaba is a writer of Gelphie fanfic. It was 85% done for ages, but hated the "bridge". Hopefully that part is better now. Seems to have blown up in length from its origins as comment!fic.
Inspired by Vampire Cookie's brilliant 'The Narrative Strain' and general prompting is from the comments section on one of her chapters.
I cannot for the life of me find the first chapter on LJ (hello LJ search function- you suck) so at least I can offer the FF link, b/c if you haven't you really ought to read it. And if you have, you ought to read it again:
The Narrative Strain
The cords of Elphaba’s forearm muscles stood out in relief as her fists clenched.
Lurline, the Unnamed God, and whoever else might hold sway in the Cosmos, I know I am not usually on speaking terms with any of you…
Her nails bit into her palms sharply and her whole body began to tremble.
But I will give up my atheism and submit myself as the lifelong disciple to whoever intervenes and makes this insipid noise stop!
And finally the pen she’d be holding snapped under the strain. She threw it down in frustration as the ink spread all over her desk.
“Dammit Glinda! Would you desist!?” She snapped as she quickly moved her journal out of harm’s way and attempted to blot up the pooling ink.
Glinda’s own concentration was broken and she looked up from where she was buffing her nails, sitting propped up on the pillows of her bed, “Desist what?”
“Gah! What do you think? Your singing!”
“I am not singing… “ Elphaba threatened to interrupt, but Glinda continued unflustered. “I’m humming.”
“Either way, it is inane.”
“It is the 4th symphony of the Emerald City Orchestra thank you kindly.”
“Well then you have butchered it fully. You are so horribly off-key!”
“I am not!” Glinda shot back defensively.
“All of your ‘las’ are half a step sharp and your ‘dees’ are so flat they defy quantification. It is completely distracting. How am I supposed to write the end of my fiction if I cannot concentrate?” Her words came forth so quickly that the admission she’d been working on that particular fiction was past her lips before she could close them.
“You are writing your fiction?”
Elphaba tried to mask her surprise at the sudden shift in Glinda’s tone, but allowed it to soften her own reply.
“Yes. I am working on the final chapters.”
Glinda seemed to take that as a signal to get out of her bed, make her way across the small room and perch herself on the edge of Elphaba’s desk.
“So… “ she drawled, “Do I die in a ditch somewhere? Naked of course, or close enough as to make no difference, and tormented by my dream demons?” Elphaba was quickly trying to decide to decide if she was being mocked. She was far more comfortable with doing the mocking, and though she was naturally inclined towards suspicion, Glinda’s voice had seemed strangely lacking in scorn so she did not fight when Glinda took the journal from her hands and daintily traced a finger along the edge.
“You know about that?”
“What? Of course I know. And what’s more is I know that you know that I have been reading along. You kept moving your journal. Always so that I had to work to find it, but never so it couldn’t be found. I rather think you enjoyed baiting me.”
“Hmm…” she mumbled noncommittally, but with a soft smirk that, for her, was almost a smile. “So you thought it was good enough to keep searching for?”
“Parts of it were quite entertaining. I particularly like where I slapped you in chapter 14. Though I thought your prose meandered a bit there and lost most of the righteous indignation that my character was feeling at the time. “
“Meandered?….” Elphaba was about to protest further when she saw the grin spreading across Glinda’s face and knew she was being teased and for perhaps the first time in her life, not in a malicious way.
“And chapter 25? Why Miss Elphaba I would never, never ever have guessed you could write something like that? That was really quite scandalous,” she mimed fanning herself, “if artfully done. But I wonder, does such an elixir exist? We could make a fortune selling that to the public.”
Seeing Elphaba flushing a darker shade of green and at a total loss for words, Glinda broke into a laugh. Elphaba tried to resist for a moment, then shook her head and joined in.
To Glinda, the other girls eyes seemed to dance and was a little taken aback by the realization. Glinda had only rarely glimpsed Elphaba’s dark eyes; disdain, indifference, simple physical distance and a host of other reasons she was too embarrassed to admit. To be sure she’d been on the receiving end of more than a few of Elphaba’s glares and could feel the palpable intensity of Elphaba’s gaze whenever it deigned to fix her in its path, but up until that particular moment she was suddenly aware that she wouldn’t have been able to even guess at the girl’s eye color.
“So…” Glinda began hesitantly. She had wanted to say something of import, but couldn’t find any words, so she just trailed off.
“So?” Elphaba echoed a little too harshly. The green girl, for her part, seemed to have realized that some barrier had fallen and was scrambling to put it back into place.
“How does it end?”
“Oh I don’t know. I probably won’t finish it. It was just… it was just an exercise. A distraction… It isn’t even any good. I didn’t… I shouldn’t…” She was growing uncomfortable under the perceived scrutiny and began to pile her books and stood as if to leave… or escape, but Glinda stood as well, and though smaller effectively blocked her path with satin and sparkles.
“But you have to finish!” Glinda exclaimed. She was a little embarrassed by the outburst, but tried not to let it show.
“I do not have to do any such thing. I clearly have more important things I should be working on, so if you will excuse…”
But Glinda would not move herself. “Why do you do that?”
“Do what?” she snapped.
“Run away! Dismiss me when we were having a perfectly good conversation. For Oz’s sake, we were laughing only a moment ago. I have hardly ever seen you do anything other than scowl and am certain I have never seen you laugh before, not genuinely anyway. It was… it was… “ Captivating. But Glinda felt herself floundering and so changed course. “I dare say Miss Elphaba that you make it extremely difficult for a person to like you.”
Elphaba laughed again, but it wasn’t the same and it only served to annoy the girl in front of her.
“I’m very serious!”
She peered down at Glinda with eyes that were now inscrutable and a little vacant.
“Is it easier?”
“What?” Elphaba was beginning to feel trapped and her own thoughts were so deafening that she barely recognized she was being addressed.
“I asked if it was easier to make people dislike you. To push everyone away rather than be bothered by any of us mortals.”
“No.” she said, firmly taking her journal back from Glinda’s grasp and placing it on the stack of her other gathered books. Then only just barely audible, and against her better judgment she whispered, “It is safer.” And the enormity of her admission hit Glinda much harder than all her usual insults ever did or could.
“Is that why you abuse me so in your writing?” Elphaba wouldn’t look at her and so Glinda continued, “Do you really think I could only like you if I were insane and tormented by dream demons? Do you truly think so little of me? No, do you think so little of you?”
Elphaba peered at her curiously, like she wanted to believe in something, but wasn’t sure what. Her green hand seemed to float of its own accord towards Glinda’s face, where it hovered so close that Glinda could feel its warmth. Though when her mind finally registered the embarrassment of what she was doing, she let her hand quickly drop back to her side where it was met by a tiny, pale one. Glinda guided Elphaba’s hand back to where it had been, pressed it to her cheek and held it there.
“So,” Glinda began, voice only just above a whisper, “How does it end?”
“Wouldn’t want to spoil you,” Elphaba replied meekly while brushing her thumb across a soft cheek in the faintest of caresses… inadvertently leaving behind a light blush of black ink.