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This Unexpected Sunlight

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I.

“You could come with me!” The words come out of Waverly’s mouth in a rush of triumph in the middle of a fight with Nicole about how Waverly should definitely not be investigating a dangerous criminal without Wynonna and Dolls.

Nicole stutters to a stop, thrown by the sudden switch from indignant Waverly to enthusiastic Waverly.

This particular tactic almost never works on Wynonna anymore. (It worked on Champ but somehow that was never as fun.)

It’s that moment Waverly stops being angry at herself for getting caught, because Nicole’s forehead has gotten adorably scrunchy as she eyes Waverly with suspicion.

“Well it just so happens that this guy, Adam Rain,” Waverly says, waving his picture in front of Nicole’s face, “is going to be at a party tonight, just fifteen minutes outside of Purgatory. You could come with me! Be my undercover date!” She leaves out the fact that Rain has been delivering regular packages of some sort to the revenant camp for the past month because it seems like a lot to explain.

Luckily, Nicole seems stuck on the undercover date bit instead of questioning the motives for the surveillance.

“Your…” Nicole’s eyes widen. Sensing an opening, Waverly takes a step closer and gives Nicole her best pleading pout.

“My undercover date,” Waverly repeats. “Come on, wouldn’t that be so much easier than arguing with me not to go, when you know I’m going to go anyway?”

“You’re so stubborn,” Nicole says. But the corners of her mouth are curling upward like she’s trying really hard not to smile and losing the battle.

“So you’ll pick me up at 8 and save yourself another fifteen minutes of debate?” Waverly asks hopefully, letting her own smile shine bright.

“Fine,” Nicole relents with a sigh.

 

II.

Waverly pauses on the first step of her front porch. Nicole has jumped out of her truck and she’s wearing a pale green strapless knee-length dress with a small tie at the waist. Her hair is down and curled and there’s a lot of pale freckled skin and legs that Waverly has not seen before and now would like to look at forever.

There’s a flash in her mind of Nicole from weeks ago, the words, “Waverly Earp smiling at me from her front porch.”

Waverly is sure there’s nothing tentative about her smile this time. Something in her heart feels less tentative, too.

When she reaches Nicole her hand moves forward of its own accord. She longs to place a hand on Nicole’s shoulder, trail her fingers against smooth pale skin. She settles for adjusting the bow at Nicole’s waist before she moves both hands behind her back and clasps them together in an effort to still them.

“You look… so… wow,” she says. Which admittedly is not the most elegant sentence to ever come out of her mouth but seems to please Nicole, who grins and looks down, kicking a highheeled foot into the dirt before looking back up at Waverly.

“I cannot possibly look as wow as you,” Nicole responds.

And there’s that flip in her stomach again that Waverly’s starting to associate solely with Nicole whose eyes are now traveling up Waverly’s frame until they land on her face. Then Nicole smiles almost shyly before gesturing Waverly toward the car and escorting her around to the passenger side,opening the door to usher her in.

 

III.

Nicole asks her three times if Waverly is warm enough, fiddles repeatedly with the heat in the truck despite Waverly’s assurances that the temperature is absolutely perfect.

“So, what’s the plan?” Nicole asks.

“Oh,” Waverly responds.

“Oh?” Nicole parrots, a teasing tone entering her voice.

“I kind of thought we’d just, you know, check him out. Give him the eyeball.” Waverly says, turning toward Nicole and gesturing from her eyes to Nicole’s own.

Nicole glances away from the road long enough to take in Waverly’s gesture and roll her eyes.

“Wow, I was so wrong. You clearly didn’t need me to accompany you. You’ve obviously really thought this through.”

“Shut up,” Waverly responds. She reaches forward to turn on the radio and turns up the volume, then leans back in her seat and crosses her arms.

When she looks over at Nicole a few minutes later though Nicole has an easy smile on her face and Waverly finds her irritation quickly fading.

 

IV.

“This is my favorite,” Waverly exclaims when she takes the drink from Nicole’s hand.

“Yeah, I know.” Nicole responds and Waverly looks up from her drink to see her blushing. “You made it for yourself one night after your shift at Shorty’s when I was in. I heard you say, it was your favorite.”

“It’s nice that you pay attention to me,” Waverly says, taking a sip of her drink. It doesn’t taste as good as it might have if she’d made it but is somehow all the more satisfying because Nicole remembered and got it for her.

“You’re nice to pay attention to,” Nicole says.

Waverly regards her in silence for a moment, words that have been dancing around in her head for days moving dangerously close to the tip of her tongue.

“Oh, there he is.” Nicole whispers excitedly, leaning closer to Waverly so they aren’t overheard.

“Where?” Waverly whispers, trying to ignore the heat radiating off Nicole’s body, trying not to be so aware of their sudden nearness.

“Behind you, 2 o’clock.”

“I have never understood what that means. Like where is 12 o’clock? I need a frame of reference. I literally do not have enough information to work with here,” Waverly complains, leaning closer to Nicole as she says it.

“Oh for god’s sake. He’s over your left shoulder next to the woman with the short blonde hair and the hot red dress,” Nicole says.

Waverly quickly turns her head. “Damn, girl” she says in response to the woman and dress in question. Then she remembers where she’s supposed to be looking. “Yep, that’s him, totally our guy.”

“We should dance,” Nicole says. “To blend in and move closer to our target,” she offers quickly, as Waverly turns to face her in response. Then she pauses, takes a deep breath and adds, “And because you look gorgeous in that dress and it would be a shame if someone didn’t ask you to dance.”

“Yeah, totally,” Waverly agrees. And there’s that flip in her stomach again, only this time it’s evolved from a flutter to a full on riot.

Nicole holds out her arms and Waverly slips into them, leans in as Nicole slides one hand around her waist and rests the other on her shoulder. She picks up easily on the rhythm Nicole sets, as she guides them across the floor and closer to Rain. Waverly is trying to focus on their mission but she’s also trying to pinpoint Nicole’s perfume – which smells a little bit like heaven and sex.

Oh fuckballs. She is so gone for this woman.

“What?” Nicole asks, breaking Waverly out of her thoughts.

“What?” Waverly repeats.

“Did you just say ‘oh fuckballs’?”

“Out loud? I sincerely hope not,” Waverly says, but of course she must have because Nicole guessing, ‘oh fuckballs’ if she hadn’t said it out loud seems pretty unlikely.

“Is something wrong?” Nicole asks, voice thick with concern. She leans back in their embrace to study Waverly’s face like she’s looking for a clue.

Just as Waverly opens her mouth to say something in response – hopefully something a little more eloquent than ‘I was pretty sure I wanted to bang you, but now I know with 100% certainty I want to bang you, and also, I have warm squishy love type feelings about you.’ – she spots her sister.

Of all the fucking people.

Wynonna is sitting at a table about ten feet away with Officer Dolls. When Waverly makes eye contact with her, Wynonna pops a cocktail shrimp in her mouth, winks, and waves.

Damnit.

“My sister is here,” Waverly says, disbelief mixed with a bit of relief at the distraction from the conversation that was about to be at hand.

“Where?” Nicole asks.

“I don’t know,” Waverly says with a sigh. “2 o’clock or something? Over there,” she clarifies, spinning Nicole around so she has a clear view.

 

V.

“What are you doing here?” Waverly demands of Wynonna, words coming out through teeth clenched together in a less than convincing smile.

“Well I suspect Dolls and I are doing the same thing you are, minus the sapphic twist, of course,” Wynonna responds, nudging Waverly with her shoulder as she says it.

Waverly opens her mouth to respond, then closes it again.

Wynonna, in a rare move, seems to take pity on her and let her off the hook. “Hey, kid, I can totally get behind it. Actually, so much makes sense now. And Officer Haught is several steps up from your wannabe frat boy. Like, probably almost good enough for my baby sister. And hot. I mean, if I could get into girls...”

“Wha..” Waverly says, because this isn’t entirely where she imagined this conversation going.

“She told me I had a nice ass, once,” Wynonna continues, a thoughtful look on her face.

“What? She’s never told me I have a nice ass,” Waverly protests.

“Chill, Waves. It’s probably a compliment. She wants to write tender love sonnets about your ass, not just give it a one off compliment,” Wynonna says, as she grabs another shrimp and pops it into her mouth.

“I am so done talking to you about this.” Waverly spins on her heel and walks away, back to Nicole.

 

VI.

“Everything okay?” Nicole asks, when Waverly stalks up stamping one foot and glaring back over her shoulder at Wynonna.

“Oh, yeah. Just my sister being my sister.”

“Was she mad you came after this Rain guy without her?” Nicole asks.

“Oh, we didn’t even really get to that,” Waverly replies, realizing she might have dodged at least one conversational bullet tonight.

“What were you talking about then?”

“She was kind of stuck on the fact that I was here with you,” Waverly mumbles, eyes watching the floor instead of focusing on Nicole.

“Oh, you mean,” Nicole gestures between the two of them, “Oh! I can talk to her. Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

“Wait,” Waverly says. Hand clamping onto Nicole’s shoulder to stop her movement.

“Really, it’s no problem,” Nicole says. “I don’t want to make anything weird for you. I can explain it to her. You know that this was just for the case and you’re not actually into girls, or me.”

“That’s really sweet,” Waverly says, takes a deep breath and decides to go all in. She’s not sure she ever had any other choice. “But, that’s not exactly true.”

“It’s… What?” Nicole’s looking at her with a curious mixture of fear and hope.

“I can’t blame you for thinking that, because it’s what I thought too, but tonight – and well honestly for a while now, I’ve been realizing how very wrong about that I was. I like you, Nicole. More-than-friend like you.”

“Oh,” Nicole lets out a long breath. And what Waverly sees in her eyes is enough to calm any fears she had about the confession. “I more-than-friend-like you, too.”

“Cool. So, I could kiss you now?” Waverly asks, bouncing twice on her heels as she says it.

Nicole swallows, nods enthusiastically.

Waverly grabs her by the shoulders and pulls her closer. Nicole moves forward willingly until their faces are centimeters apart. Waverly takes a second to memorize the moment – the rhythm of Nicole’s breath, the heat of her skin under Waverly’s fingertips -- and then she closes the distance until their lips meet. Nicoles lips are soft but insistent against her own, and Nicole’s hands settle at Waverly’s waist, gripping at her like they want to pull her closer.There’s no closer left. And Waverly’s thinking how she never wants this to end, and wondering how she could have possibly gone without this so long and mostly how she wants more and things likely not appropriate for a public dance floor.

When they finally pull away from each other, they are both flushed, breathing slightly uneven.

“So Wynonna and Dolls are here. They’ve probably got the surveillance thing covered,” Waverly suggests.

“Let’s go,” Nicole responds, grabbing Waverly’s hand and tugging her in the direction of the exit.