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She opened the door to their small apartment and walked inside, turning to close and lock it before calling out, "Babe? What are we doing for dinner I'm starving." She walked further into the apartment, removing her coat and placing it over the back of the couch. "Jamie, are you home?"

She reached down and rubbed her ever growing belly. They had an ultrasound apointment in the morning and Nicole was excited because they would be learning the sex of their baby. She walked into their bedroom to find it empty. She took out her phone and dialed Jamie's number, unfortunately it went right to her voicemail.
"Babe, I thought you were off today. Anyway, hurry home because I've got something I want to ask you. Love you." She hung up and reached into the pocket of her hospital scrub shirt and took out the small box and opened it to reveal the ring inside. She smiled and closed the box, putting it into the top drawer of her dresser.

She took a quick shower and changed her clothes, walking out into the living room and discovering that Jamie still wasn't home. She picked up her phone and dialed Jamie's number again, still no answer. She hung up and noticed a piece of paper laying on the counter in the kitchen. She picked it up and took it into the living room and as she slowly read the letter her knees buckled, the air leaving her lungs as she landed on the couch.

She felt the tears coming as the words from the letter struck home:

Cole,
I'm so sorry but I can't do this. I thought that I wanted a family but I've come to realize that I'm not ready. I hope you can find it in you to forgive me someday. I'll always love you,
Jamie.

Nicole sat on the couch, tears streaming down her face wondering what she was going to do and now facing the daunting task of being a single parent. This had been Jamie's idea, not that Nicole didn't want to have a baby but she had wanted to wait until she was done with her residency. She reached down and rubbed her belly, her ittle one would be arriving in a couple of months and Nicole wasn't sure what she was going to do, but she did know one thing, she loved this baby more than anything and she was determined to show him or her everyday that they were loved.

*****

There was a commotion in the hall outside of her office and as the noise grew it forced Nicole from her thoughts. She didn't like to think about what had happened almost five years ago, it was still a source of pain for her. The pain had made her focus on her career and her daughter because in Nicole's mind those two things were the only things that mattered to Nicole. Nothing else was as important to her and her daughter would always come first. She had dated off and on but she hadn't allowed herself to get to serious with anyone, she couldn't risk getting hurt again. She sighed and got up out of her chair, stretching as she walked towards the noise, determined to find out the source.

Working in the emergency department for five years during her surgical residency had prepared her to deal with some really interesting situations and it took alot to shock Nicole. But when she opened the door leading out of her office her mouth dropped open in surprise.

She gasped when she saw the two women in the hallway, both of them covered in blood. Her eyes traveled back and forth beteween them as she tried to determine exactly which one of them the blood was coming from. She got her answer as the taller of the two women slumped over, knocking them both to the ground.

The shorter woman looked up and Nicole could see panic in her eyes, "Please, can you help my sister, she's been shot." Nicole was slow to react so she shouted up at her, "Don't just stand there, get a doctor!"

This snapped Nicole out of the trance she had found herself in, "We need some help down here!" She shouted down the hallway. She knelt down to examine the bleeding woman, "I need you to tell me what happened?" She opened the injured woman's shirt and asked, "Is that a gunshot wound?"

The smaller woman struggled to get out from underneath her sister, eventually winning the battle and sitting up, "I...I can't believe he shot her, I..."

Nicole briefly noticed that despite the fact that she was covered in blood the distraught woman was actually quite beautiful. She shook those thoughts from her head and refocused on the task at hand, now was not the time to admire pretty girls when there was a life in danger. Nicole reached over and grasped her arm, "I need you to calm down and tell me what happened, miss...?"

"Waverly, my name is Waverly."

"And, her name?"

"Wynonna." She looked up at Nicole with wide eyes, "Please, she's all I've got, you've gotta help her."

"Okay Waverly, where did your sister get shot?"

"In the chest," Waverly's face turned white for a moment, "There's so much blood, is she gonna be okay?"

When the hospital staff finally descended on them Nicole stood up, "We're going to do the best we can." She turned and said to the nearest nurse, "Get her a pair of scrubs and make sure she's comfortable."

"Yes doctor."

*****

Waverly watched as her sister was wheeled down the hall, not sure if she would see her again. The thought of losing her sister was almost too much for her to bear and her knees became weak. As a wave of nausea washed over her she quickly sat down onto the nearest chair. Waverly heard someone approaching and she looked up to find a nurse approaching her with a pair of hospital scrubs under her arm.

"Would you like to put these on?"

At first she was confused by the question but as she glanced down at herself, Waverly found that her clothes were soaked through with Wynonna's blood. She nodded and took the scrubs from the nurse, giving her a small smile of thanks before standing up determined to find the nearest restroom so that she could change out of her ruined clothes. Before she got to the restroom the nurse stopped her and led her even further down the hall to a room just past the nurse's station.

"You can shower and change in here and if you'd like I can get you something to eat."

"Thank you but I don't think I can eat until I know that she's okay." She reached up to wipe away the fresh tears that fell from her eyes.

The nurse reached out and squeezed her hand, "Your sister is in very good hands, Dr. Haught is one of the very best trauma surgeons I've seen and I've been at this hospital for fifteen years."

"Dr. Haught?"

"She's the one who took your sister in, you met her in the hallway."

"Oh, okay, thanks."

The nurse handed her a plastic bag for her blood-soaked clothes and after she left the room, Waverly took a shower and scrubbed the blood off of her arms and face. She changed into the scrubs that the hospital had provided for her and took a seat on the couch to await news of her sister's condition.

She waited for what seemed like hours and her eyes were growing heavy. She yawned and lay down on the couch, losing the battle with sleep. As she drifted off to sleep she thought she caught a glimpse of red hair coming from the direction of the doorway.

*****

Nicole walked out of the operating room rubbing the back of her neck. She had been in surgery for more than two hours and she was tired. She was happy to report that she was able to repair all the damage to Wynonna's chest and that she would make a full recovery. Nicole walked through the double doors so that she could find Waverly and give her the good news.

As she walked down the hall she heard the unmistakable sound of little feet running towards her and she couldn't help but smile as she recognized the high pitched squeal of her daughter as she charged full speed towards her.

She braced herself as she held out her arms because she knew what was coming.

"Mommy!" She flinched as her daughter launched herself at her, almost losing her breath as the little girl hit her square in the chest.

She caught her, "Hey monkey, what are you doing down here?"

"They were tryin to make me go to sleep and I wanted to go on an adventure and guess what mommy?"

"Maddie! What have I told you about running off from the daycare center?"

The little girl scrunched up her forehead as if she was deep in thought, "I'm not supposed to leave until you come get me, and mommy, my name is Merida." She began to bounce up and down in Nicole's arms, "Guess what?" She quickly answered before Nicole could get a word in, "I saw a real live princess mommy."

"You did?"

Maddie nodded, "Uh huh, she was beautiful mommy, she was sleeping and I couldn't even talk to her. I know she was a princess."

Nicole laughed, "A princess huh? How about we go and get some pizza after mommy gets off of work?"

"I love pizza!"

Nicole carried her as they walked down the hall, "I know you do baby and when we get home we can watch a movie."

"I wanna watch Brave!"

"Hmm... I never would have guessed." They got to the nurses station and Nicole left Maddie with the charge nurse as she went to find Waverly. She found her in the nurse's lounge asleep on the couch, and as her eyes fell on Waverly's face she was once again struck by how beautiful she was. Nicole stopped and stood in the doorway, not wanting to wake her from her peaceful sleep but she knew that Waverly would want to receive the good news as soon as possible. And to be perfectly honest, Nicole really wanted to go home and spend some quality time with her daughter, which was something that she'd had little time to do since arriving in Purgatory a month ago.

She walked softly over to the couch and reached out to gently shake the sleeping woman awake. At her touch Waverly's eyes flew open and she quickly sat upright, clearly startled by Nicole's intrusion.

"What..what's going on?"

Nicole gave her a gentle smile, "I'm sorry to wake you but I thought you'd like to hear the news sooner rather than later. You're sister made it through surgery and is in recovery, when she wakes up she'll be moved to a private room. We're going to closely monitor her over the next couple of days and if there are no complications she should be fine. She suffered some damage to her lung and lost a lot of blood so she has a long recovery ahead of her."

Waverly threw her arms around Nicole's shoulders and hugged her, "Thank you so much doctor, I owe you one."

"Nah, I'm just doing my job." As Waverly released her she took a step back, "If there are any changes in her condition they are to call me at home but I'm going to give you my number, if you need anything or have any concerns please feel free to call me." She reached into her pocket and handed Waverly a slip of paper.

Waverly could hear some giggling coming from behind Nicole and she looked past her to see a mini version of the doctor standing in the doorway.

Nicole turned around and followed her gaze until she saw her daughter dancing in place in the doorway, "Mommy! You found the princess and rescued her! When you rescue the princess you have to kiss her!"

Nicole's face reddened as Waverly looked over at her. "Maddie, I told you to wait with the nurse."

"I got bored and I was waiting to go get pizza and to watch Brave, you said you were coming back."

Waverly watched the two of them interact and she was amazed by the resemblance between mother and daughter. They both had flaming red hair and when they smiled they had matching dimples in their cheeks. The only difference that Waverly noticed between them was that the little girl had bright green eyes while her mother's eyes were brown. "Your daughter is beautiful doctor."

"Thanks, but she's a handful too." She picked up Maddie and turned back around towards Waverly. "If you'll excuse me I have a date with this one, we're doing dinner and a movie tonight."

Maddie looked over at Waverly, "Are you really a princess, because you look like a princess. My name's Merida but Mommy says it's really Maddie. Do you want to watch Brave with us?"

Waverly looked at the little girl with affection, and she had to admit that she found her adorable. "Oh honey, I wish I could but I have to stay here and check on my sister."

Maddie became serious, "Is she hurt?"

Waverly nodded, "Yes she is but your mommy fixed her."

Maddie turned her head and reached out to cup her mother's face with her much smaller hands, "Mommy you're a hero."

Nicole gave her daughter a hug, "You really think so?" She looked over at Waverly, "If you need anything give me a call, okay?"

"I'll do that and Doctor, thank you again."

Waverly followed Nicole and Maddie from the room and stopped at the nurses's station to ask where she could find her sister. As the nurse pulled up the information Waverly turned her head and watched the tall, redheaded doctor move down the hallway and towards the front door. The nurse interrupted her thoughts as she gave her Wynonna's room number, before turning to go Waverly thanked her and stepped away from the counter. As she walked towards her sister's room her thoughts wandered back to the doctor. There was something about her that drew Waverly towards her. She could feel a pull towards the Doctor that seemed to increase with each passing minute the two of them had occupied the same space.

She stopped and looked at the slip of paper that she had handed to her. She looked at it and grinned, speaking softly to herself, "Dr. Haught, why yes you are.".

Chapter Text

Waverly came to the hospital every day for the next month, and every day it was the same thing, Wynonna was still asleep. She hadn't woken up after her surgery and the doctors couldn't figure out why.

Waverly was sitting next to her sister's bed, reading a book to her and hoping that somehow Wynonna would hear her and wake up. So far, it hadn't happened and Waverly sat back in her chair and sighed. She reached out and squeezed her sister's hand, "Well Wyn it's getting late and I need to go, I have to work in the morning. I'll be back tomorrow evening. I love you sis."

As she walked from the room she was immediately plowed into by a very tiny yet very solid little body. Waverly saw a flash of red and instinctively reached down, grabbing the little girl before she went sprawling onto the floor. "Whoa there, where are you going in such a hurry?"

Maddie looked up at her with huge eyes, "I don't wanna take a nap. So I went to find Mommy."

Waverly knealt down in front of the little girl, "How come you don't want to take a nap sweetie?"

"Maddie looked into Waverly's eyes and whispered, "Sometimes I have bad dreams and I get real scared."

"It's okay," Maddie continued to stare at her as she continued, "Sometimes I have bad dreams too."

Maddie looked at her in wonder, "Really?"

Waverly nodded, "Really, I do." She looked up as a woman came speeding around the corner.

"Madeline Haught! I've been looking everywhere for you!" She noticed Waverly standing there with the little girl, "Thank God you found her, she ran off from the daycare center when my back was turned."

"It's okay, we were just talking, Maddie and I have met before..." Her voice trailed off and she looked up as Nicole rounded the corner from the other direction.

She looked worried but when her eyes fell on her daughter a look of relief washed over her face. She reached down and scooped Maddie up into her arms, "Madeline Rebecca Danielle Haught, how many times do I have to tell you not to run off from..."

Maddie threw her arms around Nicole's shoulders, "I'm sorry mommy, I had a bad dream and I was looking for you."

Nicole's features softened as she hugged her back, "I'm so sorry baby, you want to talk about it?"

Maddie shook her head and buried her face into Nicole's neck. "Can we go home now mommy?"

Nicole's face fell and Waverly's heart broke for them both. Nicole softly rocked her back and forth in her arms, "I'm so sorry baby but mommy has to work a little longer."
She looked up as she heard a soft voice coming from behind her, "I can watch her, it wouldn't be any trouble."

Nicole looked towards the voice to find Waverly standing outside of her sister's room. "You'd do that? I don't want to impose on any plans you might have."

Waverly shyly smiled over at Nicole, "It wouldn't be an imposition at all, I was just going to go home and read. I promise I'll take good care of her."

Nicole looked at Waverly, she didn't know her that well and she silently debated if she should trust a virtual stranger with her daughter. Waverly's soft expression as she met Nicole's eyes gave her the impression that she could trust her. And if she were being honest with herself the shorter woman intrigued her like nobody had before.

The woman had come to the hospital everyday for the past month and she would sit for hours by her sister's bedside, reading. Nicole wasn't familiar with the history of the Earp family and she was curious to find out more about the tiny brunette. She had asked several people at the hospital about Waverly and to her relief they mostly had good things to say about her. However, some of the things that she had learned about Waverly's sister were less than flattering. She had been surprised to learn that the person who had shot Wynonna was Champ Hardy, an old boyfriend of Waverly's.

She took a step towards Waverly, "Okay, it's Friday night and I usually let her stay up a little later than usual, but bedtime no later than nine o'clock. She has a key to our apartment on a chain around her neck. I have a surgery that shouldn't take more than a couple of hours so I should get home around eleven, is that too late?"

"I have to work in the morning but it's okay, I haven't really been sleeping since Wynonna..." Her voiced trailed off.

Nicole smiled at her before her tone turned serious, "I"m trusting you with my daughter, if anything happens to her..."

"I teach at the local school during the school year, I'll take really good care of her, I promise."

Nicole turned her attention back to her daughter, "Maddie, this nice lady is going to take you home and will stay with you until I get home. Be a good girl and listen to her okay?"
Maddie bounced up and down excitedly, "I get to go home with the princess!" She stopped bouncing and leaned in towards her mother's face and whispered loudly, "She has bad dreams too mommy."

"Well, we don't need to talk about that," She pulled her into a hug, "Mommy will be home in a little while so you go with Waverly, she's going to take good care of you." She put her down on the floor.

"Okay." She grasped Nicole's legs and hugged them, "I love you Mommy!"

Nicole put her hands on Maddie's head, "I love you too monkey." She turned her gaze towards Waverly, "If there are any problems you can call the hospital."

"Everything will be okay, you don't need to worry Doctor Haught."

"It's Nicole, please call me Nicole."

Waverly took a piece of paper out of her purse and scribbled something on it before handing it to Nicole, "Here's my phone number, feel free to call me anytime," Her face reddened when she realized what she said.

Nicole involuntarily grinned at her, Waverly was blushing and she found her adorable. She raised an eyebrow, "Anytime huh?"

Waverly's eyes widened, "Well, I uh...you know if you need to.." She stopped as Nicole drew her bottom lip into her mouth. Waverly swallowed hard, her mouth suddenly going dry.
Nicole folded the paper and put it in her pocket, "I might take you up on that." She winked at Waverly before turning around and walking down the hall.

Waverly watched her walk away and her eyes wandered down over Nicole's body, pausing over her backside before beginning to wander down those long legs, her hospital scrubs she wore leaving nothing to the imagination. She snapped her head around as she felt someone tug on her arm. She looked down she found Maddie staring up at her. Waverly cleared her throat and tried not to let her discomfort show at getting caught staring at Nicole's ass. Composing herself she smiled at the little girl and held out her hand, "Are you ready to go, sweetie?"

"Yes, can we get ice cream?" Maddie asked excitedly, taking Waverly's hand.

"We'll see," said Waverly as she led her down the hall.

Waverly tried to keep up as Maddie asked her several things in a row but her last question caught Waverly's attention, "Do you think my mommy's pretty?"

She stopped and looked down at the little girl, "Why do you ask that?"

"You were staring at her and most people stare at her cause they think she's pretty. I think you're pretty and a princess. You know what?"

Waverly smiled at her, "What?"

"Mommy's a hero, she saves people's lives."

"Yes she does, and can I tell you a secret?" Maddie looked at her with wide eyes and nodded, "I think you're mommy is very pretty."

They left the hospital and walked down the sidewalk towards Nicole's apartment, Maddie asking her questions the whole way.

 

*****

 

By the time she put Maddie to bed Waverly was an expert on the movie, Brave. They had watched it three times and Waverly could just about quote the entire thing. The little girl had been surprised to find out that Waverly had never seen it and she insisted that they put it on as soon as they finished eating their dinner.

Each time the movie started Maddie had jumped up and down in excitement and Waverly laughed as she acted out certain scenes and by the third viewing they were both singing along at the top of their lungs with Merida and the other characters in the film.

The tiny girl yawned and when Waverly told her it was time for bed she wasn't surprised that the girl didn't protest. She was so tired that she fell asleep as soon as her head hit her pillow. Waverly tucked her in and went back out into the living room to wait for Nicole to get home from the hospital. She stopped next to a table sitting against the wall and looked at the pictures that were sitting on it. Most of the pictures were of Maddie at different stages of her life, reaching out she picked up a picture sitting near the wall. Looking at it she smiled as she realized that it was a picture of Nicole holding her baby daughter. The red head looked so happy as she gazed down at the sleeping infant in her arms, Waverly couldn't resist reaching out and tracing a finger down the image of Nicole's face as she stared at the photo. It was truly a beautiful moment and Waverly put the picture down quickly as a sudden feeling that she was invading the woman's privacy swept through her.

She walked back to the couch and sat down, She picked up the remote and flipped through the channels on the televison before settling on an old black and white movie. It wasn't long before her eyes became heavy and she was nodding off to sleep.

 

*****

 

Nicole unlocked the door to her apartment, intending to apologize to Waverly for getting home so late. The surgery had taken longer than she had anticipated and she had run into an unexpected complication which had added almost two hours onto what should have been a routine procedure.

She closed the door behind her and instinctively turned the lock on the door. Turning around she took a step into the living room to find the television on and Waverly Earp asleep on the couch with a sleeping Maddie snuggled against her.

Nicole reached out and gently picked her daughter up off of the couch. She wasn't really surprised to find her sleeping with Waverly, over the years she had lost count of the number of times she had woken up to find her daughter sleeping in her bed with her. She smiled down at her as she carried Maddie into her room. She put her back into her bed and quietly closing the door behind her as she left the room.

Nicole grabbed a blanket out of the hall closet and walked back into the living room. Waverly looked so peaceful that she didn't have the heart to wake her up. She stood and studied her features for a minute before covering her with the blanket. Nicole reached out and turned off the television before shutting off the light and leaving the room.

She made her way to her bedroom and as she changed for bed her thoughts drifted to the brunette who was currently asleep in her living room. Waverly was beautiful and from what she had heard from some of the hospital staff very sweet. If she hadn't heard such wonderful things about the other woman she would have never trusted her with Maddie.
Maddie had taken to Waverly quickly and that in itself spoke volumes about Waverly's character. Her daughter was usually shy around strangers but Maddie had found something in Waverly that had drawn her to the woman.

Nicole stretched and sighed, wincing at the ache in her lower back. At times like these she wished she had someone to rub the pain and tension from her back. She pushed those thoughts from her mind as she climbed into bed, telling herself that she was perfectly content with the way her life had turned out. She had her daughter and for Nicole that was enough.

She had dated off and on since Maddie was born but she had always quickly ended things before the relationship could become too serious. The thought of letting someone get too close to her scared the hell out of her and she couldn't risk getting hurt again. She had her daugter to think about had caused her to come to a decision long ago, she'd be damned if she let someone get close to her daughter if all they were going to do was leave them in the end.

She yawned and as she felt her eyes growing heavy she found herself thinking about long brown hair and what it would feel like to run her fingers through it. As she drifted off to sleep she admitted to herself that she definetely wouldn't complain if Waverly Earp ever wanted to share her bed. She'd never complain about holding a beautiful woman close during the night.

 

*****

 

Nicole woke up the next morning to the sounds of laughter and singing coming from somewhere in her apartment. She recogonized her daughter's laughter immediately but the other voice, she couldn't place at first. She shook her head in an attempt to force the sleep from her brain and it took her a moment to register exactly who was in the kitchen making her daughter laugh.

She got out of bed and made her way to the kitchen, stoppping in the doorway to take in the scene before her. Waverly was standing in front of the stove, Maddie kneeling next to her on one of the kitchen chairs. They were making pancakes into different shapes and Maddie was giggling as Waverly attempted to make one in the shape of a horse.

"That doesn't look like a horse, it looks more like a dog!"

Waverly laughed, "I think you're right!"

Maddie began to bounce up and down, "We should go get mommy! She loves pancakes!" Maddie hopped down off of the chair and turned towards the doorway stopping her tracks as she noticed Nicole standing there. "Mommy!" She ran towards Nicole who held out her arms towards the little girl.

"Hey Monkey." Nicole scooped Maddie up into her arms and gave her a hug. She looked over at Waverly, "Good morning."

Waverly looked over at Nicole, her mouth going dry as her eyes swept down over the doctor's long bare legs. Her eyes traveled back up and she jumped as she met Nicole's questioning eyes. Waverly's face reddened as she realized that she had been caught checking Nicole out. She silently groaned and her face flushed a deeper shade of crimson as a lopsided grin formed on Nicole's lips. She cleared her throat and somehow managed to say, "Um, I hope you don't mind that we, uh, made breakfast."

"Why would I mind?" She walked into the kitchen and Waverly stared as she watched Nicole reach out and take a mug out of the cabinet. She continued to stare as Nicole walked over to the coffee pot filling up the mug before turning towards the dining room. Her breath hitched as Nicole said over her shoulder, "You'll get no complaints from me when a beautiful woman wants to cook for me." She turned her head back around and gave Waverly a wink before moving from the room.

Maddie ran after her mother and Waverly swallowed hard before picking up the plate of pancakes and joining them in the other room.

 

*****

 

They sat around the small dining room table and listened to Maddie telling Nicole all about her evening with Waverly as they ate their breakfast.

"Mommy, can you believe that Waverly never saw Brave before? We watched it three times!"

Nicole smiled at her, "You did?"

Maddie nodded, "Uh huh." She took a bite of pancake and turned towards Waverly, "You wanna watch it again?"

Nicole looked over just in time to catch a small pained expression cross Waverly's face and decided to take pity on her, "I think Waverly has to work today, isn't that right?"

Waverly met Nicole's gaze, "Actually my boss called and said he doesn't need me today, so I'm free." She kicked herself mentally as Maddie's head snapped towards her."

"You can stay here and watch Brave! Can she mommy?"

Nicole grinned, "You'll have to ask Waverly sweetie, but remember we were going to go to the park today. Why don't you go pick out an outfit and I'll come in and help you get dressed."

"I can do it myself mommy!" She jumped down from her chair and ran from the room, stopping briefly to ask Waverly is she wanted to come with them.

Nicole leaned back in her chair and looked over at Waverly, "So, do you want to come...to the park, with us?"

"I don't want to intrude on your time with Maddie."

" You wouldn't be and besides, she adores you. She doesn't usually take to strangers this quickly, I'm impressed." She looked up as Maddie stumbled back in the room. She had managed to get one arm into her shirt but unfortuantely her shirt was stuck on her head. Nicole got up and helped her daughter get unstuck before looking back over at Waverly, "And, I wouldn't mind if you come with us." She said, dropping her eyes for a moment.

Waverly stared over at her, "I'd love to come with you but do you mind if I stop off at my house to change?" She glanced down at her clothes, "I mean, I've been in these since yesterday."

Nicole wrinkled her nose, "Oh, is that what that smell is...I was wondering." She grinned at Waverly, showing off her dimples.

Waverly stared at those dimples and it took her a moment to realize that Nicole was teasing her.

"Mommy, that wasn't nice!"

Waverly smirked over at Nicole, "Yeah, that wasn't nice."

Nicole gave a small laugh, "I'll get dressed then we can head out."

Waverly watched her swagger out of the room and she found it very difficult to tear her gaze from the departing redhead's figure. Each moment she spent with Nicole made Waverly want to get to know her better, she couldn't deny that she was attracted to Nicole and frankly she didn't want to. Nicole was beautiful and so sure of herself that Waverly found herself drawn to the redhead more than she had ever been drawn to anyone before.

Nicole reentering the room broke Waverly from her thoughts and she smiled as Nicole asked, "Are we ready?"

Maddie reached up out and took Waverly's hand, "Come on, let's go!"

 

*****

 

Nicole and Waverly sat on a blanket and watched as Maddie played with some other kids on the playground equipment. Waverly laughed as she watched the little girl swing higher and higher into the air. She was so wrapped up in watching the girl play that she didn't notice Nicole staring at her.

Waverly turned her head to say something to Nicole and the redhead quickly looked away when she realized that she'd been caught staring. Waverly opened her mouth to say something but they were interupted by Maddie who came running over crying, tears streaming down her face.

"What's wrong sweetie?" Waverly asked her with a soft tone.

Maddie sniffed and said between sobs, "I...I fell down and hurt my knee." She threw her arms around Waverly and cried into her neck.

"Can I take a look at it? I promise I'll be careful." Maddie nodded and took a step back as Waverly looked down at her injury. "Oh, it's not so bad." She reached into her purse and took out a small tube of antibiotic and a bandage.

Maddie eyed the medicine, "Is that gonna sting?"

Waverly shook her head, "No sweetie, it's going to make it feel better, I promise."

Maddie held up her hand, "Pinky swear?"

Waverly reached out and wrapped her pinky around the little girl's finger, "Pinky swear."

Maddie sat down and leaned back against her mother who sat there, looking on in awe at the scene in front of her. The fact that Maddie had gone to Waverly instead of her had shocked Nicole a little. She watched as Waverly quickly cleaned and bandaged her daughter's knee and her heart skipped a beat as Waverly glanced up and met her gaze.

They stared at each other, both of them reluctant to break their gaze. Maddie standing up and hugging Waverly unfortunately forced her to look away from Nicole. The girl broke away and ran back over to the playground equipment as if nothing had happened and Waverly chuckled as she continued to play.

Looking back over at Nicole she found herself being drawn into those deep brown eyes that continued to stare over at her. She raised an eyebrow and softly asked, "What are you staring at?"

"At you Waverly Earp."

"I can see that but, why?"

Nicole blinked and drew in a deep breath, "Because you are an extraordinary woman, you know that right?"

Waverly blushed and looked away, "I'm nothing special."

Nicole reached out and took her hand, softly rubbing her thumb across the back of it, "Are you kidding me? My daughter adores you, so that in itself makes you pretty special in my book."

Waverly looked backed up at Nicole and smiled shyly at her, "You're just saying that."

Nicole shook her head, "It's true, you're a beautiful person Waverly. I could tell from the moment I met you. Maddie thinks you're a princess and I'm starting to think she may be right." She grinned and winked at Waverly. "I'd like to take you to dinner sometime, that is if you want..."

"I'd love to have dinner with you." She cringed inwardly as she realized how quickly she'd answered Nicole but looking into her eyes Waverly really didn't care. It had been awhile since a beautiful woman had shown any interest in her and Waverly was definetely interested in getting to know the red-headed doctor better.

"So, how about tomorrow night? I can get a sitter for Maddie."

"Let me check my calendar...yep, I'm free."

Nicole smiled, "So, where should I pick you up?" She watched as Waverly took out a piece of paper from her purse and wrote on it.

"Here's my address and phone number, what time should I expect you?"

"I'll pick you up at six, is that a good time?"

It was Waverly's turn to smile, "Perfect. Wait, where are we going?"

Nicole smiled at her, "Dinner and maybe something else."

Waverly was intrigued, "Something else, like what?"

Nicole shook her head softly, "It's a surprise, you'll just have to wait and see."

"It's a good thing I like surprises then."

"Good, because I like giving them." She stood up and held out her hand to Waverly, helping her to her feet after she took it. "You want to grab some lunch?" She called Maddie over before turning her attention back towards Waverly.

Waverly nodded, "After lunch can you drop me off at the hospital? I uh, need to visit my sister."

"Of course, I'll take you anywhere you need to go." She bent over and picked up the blanket, folding it over her right arm. Maddie came over to her and took her left hand before reaching up and taking Waverly's right hand.

As they walked towards the car a middle aged woman walked towards them, she smiled and said, "What a beautiful family, how old is your daughter?"

Waverly opened her mouth to correct her but she stopped as Nicole spoke, "Thank you, she's four."

"She's a pretty young lady, you both must be so proud."

"We are, now if you'll excuse us." Nicole flashed her a dimpled smile before leading them away from the woman.

Nicole opened Waverly's door for her and waited while she climbed into the passenger seat of the car. Waverly waited while Nicole strapped her daughter into her and as she settled behind the wheel she glanced over to find Waverly looking at her. "What?"

"I'm just curious why you didn't correct that woman."

Nicole shrugged, "It just seemed easier then trying to explain."

Waverly opened her mouth to speak but changed her mind and let it go. The truth was a small part of her didn't mind that the woman thought they were a family. There were a lot worse things that people could and did think about her because of her family name, so if someone thought she was a part of something beautiful then who was she to argue with that?

"Are you okay?" Nicole's question broke her from her thoughts and Waverly smiled at her before nodding her head.

Nicole reached out and squeezed her hand before putting the car into drive and heading down the road.

 

*****

After lunch Nicole dropped her off at the hospital and Waverly spent the next hour telling Wynonna all about her day with Nicole and Maddie. As she drove home that night she realized that she was happy, happier than she'd been in a long time. It had been ages since anyone had asked her out to dinner and she really hadn't dated anyone since Champ.

Their breakup had been less than amicable and in the six months since she had ended things with him she had thought that Champ had finally gotten over things. The events that had taken place last month had proven how wrong she was about that. Champ had come over to their house and begged her to take him back, she had declined of course and he had become angry.

Waverly had slammed the door in his face and walked into the house towards the kitchen but the sound of arguing coming from the front porch made her stop in her tracks. Then she heard the gunshot and her blood had turned cold as she ran towards the door.

Flinging it open she found her sister laying in an ever widening pool of blood and Champ standing over her with a pistol in his hand and a stunned expression on his face.

"I...I didn't mean to...Waves I'm so sorry!" He backed away from her before turning and running to his truck.

Waverly had dropped to her knees beside her sister and Wynonna looked up at her with panic in her eyes as she struggled to breathe. She somehow had gotten Wynonna to her feet and into her Jeep, driving at reckless speeds begging her sister to hold on the whole way to the hospital.

Waverly shook her head and pushed those memories into the back of her mind as she pulled into the driveway of the house she shared with Wynonna.

She went inside and made sure that everything was locked before climbing the stairs to her bedroom. She climbed into bed and as she drifted off to sleep she realized that this was the first time since Wynonna's shooting that she wasn't thinking about that night. Instead her thoughts were filled with images of Nicole and she was filled with a sense of warmth and safety that she hadn't felt in a long time.

Chapter Text

Waverly looked at herself in the full length mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door. She had changed her clothes several times before settling on her royal blue dress that hugged her curves in all the right places.

She really liked Nicole and she couldn't deny that she was attracted to the redhead. She had enjoyed spending time with both Nicole and her daughter Maddie and she hoped to spend more time with them both in the future.

She touched up her lip gloss and looked at her watch, Nicole would be arriving soon and Waverly smiled as she anticipated their upcoming date. She was anticipating getting to know the doctor better and wondered where Nicole was taking her on their date. She was still trying to figure out what Nicole meant by dinner and something else when the doorbell rang.

She walked out of her bedroom and down the stairs stopping in front of the closed door to smooth her hands over her skirt and let out a nervous breath. Waverly opened the door to find Nicole standing on the porch, a bundle of flowers in her hand. Waverly let her gaze travel down the length of Nicole's body, taking in her blue button down shirt and black linen trousers before returning her gaze upward to meet Nicole's amused expression.

"I was going to say that you look amazing, but that was before you started checking me out." Nicole's words made Waverly blush and she ducked her head downward.
Waverly cleared her throat and gestured towards the flowers in Nicole's hands, "Are those for me? "

Nicole grinned, "Nah, they're for the other pretty brunette I have a date with tonight." Nicole winked at her and said, "Of course they're for you."

"Thank you they're beautiful, do you want to come in?" She opened the door wider and stepped aside so Nicole could enter the house.

Waverly took the flowers into the kitchen as Nicole looked around the living room. The house was tiny but there was a place for everything and it was spotless. There were several pictures hanging on the wall and Nicole glanced over at them. Most of them were of Waverly and her sister but the picture in the middle also had an older couple in it as well.

Nicole turned as a voice came from behind her, "Those are my parents, they died a few years ago and it's just been me and Wynonna ever since."

Nicole looked over at Waverly, she wished that her sister's outcome would have been different. If for nothing else than Waverly's sake, it had been clear since that first night how important Wynonna was to her sister. She shook those thoughts out of her head and smiled over at the shorter woman, "Are you ready to go?"

Waverly nodded and followed Nicole out of the house, turning and locking the door behind her. Nicole led her to her SUV and opened the door, waiting for Waverly to get inside before she closed the door. Waverly watched her as she walked around the front of the car before climbing into the driver's side.

Nicole started the car and they engaged in small talk as they drove towards the restaurant. When they pulled up in front Waverly gasped out loud and looked over at Nicole.
Witnessing her reaction Nicole asked her, "Is this place okay? If not we can go somewhere else."

"No, this place is fine, I've always wanted to go here. I heard that the food is to die for."

Nicole grinned and got out of the car, she tossed her keys to the valet and walked around to open Waverly's door for her. Nicole opened the door to the restaurant and followed Waverly inside.

They sat at their table sipping wine and making small talk as they waited for their meals to arrive. Waverly talked about her job as a preschool teacher and Nicole told her that Maddie would be starting preschool in fall. "She'll probably be in your class."

"I'm looking forward to it, she's an amazing little girl and so smart." Waverly paused as their salads arrived. After the waiter left she asked, "So, what made you want to be a doctor?"

"I've always wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember, but a good friend of mine died in an accident when were sixteen and that cemented the decison for me." She took a bite of her salad and swallowed, "I decided to become a surgeon while I was in medical school, I love a challenge and it's the most challenging part of practicing medicine."
Waverly reached over to take a piece of bread the same time as Nicole and she blushed as their fingers touched. Nicole noticed her expression and grinned before taking the bread and offering it to Waverly.

Waverly cleared her throat and took the bread, "Thanks."

Before she could say any more their food arrived, as they ate their meal Waverly asked her more questions about Nicole's past and the more she learned the more attracted to Nicole she became. Nicole was funny and super smart, she felt like she could talk to her about anything and she found herself getting lost in those deep brown eyes more than once throughout the evening.

They finished dinner and Nicole casually placed her hand on the small of Waverly's back as she escorted her outside. As they waited for the Valet to pull her car around Nicole's phone began to ring. Nicole took her phone out of her purse and looked at who was calling, "It's Maddie's sitter, I have to take this."

Waverly nodded, "Of course."

Nicole took a few steps away and Waverly got into the now waiting car. Nicole climbed into the her car and looked over at Waverly with a worried expression on her face. "I'm sorry, Maddie is really sick and I need to go home and check on her. I don't want to cut our date short but..."

Waverly reached over and took Nicole's hand, "It's okay, even if you decided not to go home I would have insisted. Nothing's more important than your daughter."

Nicole squeezed her hand and held onto it as she pulled away from the restaurant, "Thank you for understanding."

"You don't have to thank me, I really care about her, she's a special little girl."

Waverly kept her hand within Nicole's all the way to Nicole's house. She had insisted on going home with Nicole to check on Maddie rather than going home to an empty house. She knew that it was serious as soon as she saw the look on Nicole's face.

She was interrupted from her thoughts by Nicole, "I was going to take you dancing, I guess we'll have to go there the next time, that is if you want to go out with me again." She glanced over at Waverly out of the corner of her eye to see a smile forming on the other woman's face.

"I would love to go out with you again."

Nicole gave her hand a squeeze as she pulled into her parking spot. She turned off the engine and turned towards Waverly, giving her a dimpled grin, "I'm glad because I had a really nice time tonight."

Waverly stared back at her, "Me too."

Nicole cleared her throat and broke the spell, "We uh, better go inside."

Waverly nodded and let go of Nicole's hand so that she could open her door. She walked around the car and Nicole reclaimed her hand as they walked up to her apartment. They walked inside and Nicole greeted Maddie's sitter and asked her what happened as she reluctantly let go of Waverly's hand.

"She's running a high fever and I gave her the medicine you left in the bathroom but it didn't seem to help."

"What was her temperature?"

"The last time I checked it was 102 and that's when I called you."

Nicole looked really concerned, "Thank you Becky," She turned towards Waverly, will you get my wallet out of my purse and pay her please?" She didn't even wait for a response before quickly walking to her daughter's room.

Waverly paid Becky and closed the door behind her before walking toward's Maddie's room. Nicole was kneeling next to the girl's bed and was holding a cloth to her forehead. "I gave her more medicine but she's still so hot."

Waverly looked down at Nicole with tenderness, "When I was a little girl and would get sick my mom used to put us in a warm bath, it would always make me feel better." She put her hand on Nicole's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, "Would you like to try that?"

Nicole reached up and grasped her hand, "She's never been this sick before, I'm so worried."

Waverly could see that Nicole was scared, she didn't have a child of her own so she couldn't begin to understand the bond between a parent and child. What she could do is be there to help Nicole when she needed her, "I'll go run the bath." She went into the bathroom and started to fill the tub, she was concerned for Maddie and what made her even more concerned was the fact that Nicole, who was a doctor was so worried.

She heard a noise behind her and looked back to find Nicole holding Maddie, standing in the doorway. Maddie was awake, she had her arms around Nicole's neck and her head laying on her shoulder. Waverly moved aside as Nicole removed Maddie's pajamas and put her in the bathtub. The two of them knelt down by the tub and bathed the small girl together and a few minutes later Nicole wrapped her daughter in a towel and left the room.

Waverly drained the tub and walked into Maddie's room, finding it empty she walked further down the hall towards Nicole's bedroom. Nicole was laying on the bed with Maddie snuggled up next to her.

Nicole looked over at Waverly, "Do you mind staying with her while I get her some pajamas?"

"Stay there, I'll get them."

Nicole nodded and reached out to feel Maddie's forehead, it felt a little cooler so she reached over and grabbed the thermometer that was sitting on her bedside table. Maddie's temperature had dropped a little but it was still at 100 degrees. She sighed and fought back tears, she hated feeling helpless and being unable to help her child made her feel that way.

She glanced up as Waverly reentered the room carrying a pair of Maddie's pajamas, Nicole noticed which ones they were and she gave a little smile, "How did you know those are her favorite?"

Waverly answered her with a small shrug, "They were the only pajamas I could find that had Merida on them, I know how much she loves that movie."

"That makes sense," Nicole sat up and began to put the pajamas onto Maddie flinching as the little girl let out a whimper in her sleep at the contact. "I just wish there was something I could do, I feel like..."

Waverly reached out and took her hand, "You're a great mom Nicole, it's not your fault she's sick. I know you're worried but she's going to be okay, do you hear me?"

Nicole nodded and this time she couldn't keep the tears from spilling out of her eyes. Waverly reached up and wiped the tears from her cheeks with her thumbs and whispered softly, "She's going to be okay."

Nicole drew in a deep breath and gestured towards the far side of the bed, "Will you stay here with us tonight? She adores you and I...I don't want to be alone."

"Of course I'll stay, I really care about her you know."

"I know you do. I have some clothes you can borrow to sleep in," she gestured towards her dresser, "Third drawer down."

Waverly walked over to the dresser and took out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt before heading to the bathroom to change. When she came back she found Nicole laying on her side in bed, Maddie was snuggled up against her mother. Waverly walked around to the other side of the bed and climbed beneath the covers.

She reached over to turn off the lamp sitting on the bedside table but paused as she heard Nicole's voice, "Thank you."

Waverly smiled over at her, "You don't have to thank me Nicole, I'd do anything for that little girl." She turned off the lamp and settled in for the night but sleep wouldn't come easy for her. Eventually she did fall asleep and her dreams were filled with images of the three of them doing things together as a family, and she was filled with a sense of contentment.

 

*****

 

Nicole lay awake for a long time after Waverly turned off the light. She could hear Waverly's steady breathing and wished that she could join her in sleep but her concern for Maddie made that impossible.

For the first time since Jamie had walked out on her Nicole could feel herself letting her guard down. Jamie abandoning her and their unborn child had destroyed Nicole and she didn't have anyone to turn to her in her hour of need. Her parents had long since cut her out of their lives, they told her that they were ashamed that they had a lesbian daughter and couldn't support her lifestyle. Not even Nicole giving them a grandchild had changed their minds and this disinterest in even getting to know their granddaughter made Nicole give up on them as well. She could handle their rejection of her but when it came to Maddie this was absolutely unacceptable and unforgivable.

None of the women that Nicole had dated over the years had showed any interest in Maddie, they seemed to only care that Nicole was a doctor and good looking. It wasn't really a surprise that none of these relationships had lasted more than a couple of dates. And if she were being honest she hadn't really cared to take things to the next level with any of them.

She lay on her side and stared over at Waverly who was fast asleep. Her hair free from it's usual braid, cascaded across her pillow and Nicole found herself fighting the urge to reach over and run her hands through it. She didn't know what it was about Waverly Earp, they hadn't known each other long but Nicole felt a connection with this woman that she hadn't felt with anyone else in a long time. That connection scared the hell out of her and the fear rose up into her chest, the fear that she was setting herself up to get hurt again.

Maddie stirred and Nicole reached up to feel her forehead to see if it was any cooler. It was to her great relief that it felt cool to the touch, Maddie's fever had finally broken. Nicole leaned down and placed a soft kiss onto her forehead and finally with this weight lifted she was able to drift off to sleep herself. Before sleep completely overtook her an image of Waverly smiling up at her entered her mind and Nicole involuntarily sighed and let the feeling of happiness wash over her as the world faded to black.

Chapter Text

Waverly stretched and opened her eyes to find herself in unfamiliar surroundings. She was laying on her side and at the sound of soft snoring she rolled over on her back and looked over towards the other side of the bed. She smiled at what she saw, Nicole was sleeping on her back while Maddie lay sprawled across her chest fast asleep.

Waverly couldn't help but smile at them, she couldn't get over how much Maddie resembled a mini version of her mother right down to the adorable dimples in each of her cheeks. She lay there and stared at Nicole's face, tracing every inch of her features. She noticed that Nicole had a scar on her left cheek and wondered to herself how she had gotten it. She let her eyes wander down, admiring Nicole's long legs before bringing her gaze back up to the redhead's face. Waverly jumped as she found Nicole's eyes open staring back at her. She dropped her own eyes briefly before returning them to Nicole's, quickly losing herself within the depths of those dark brown eyes.

The moment was shattered as Maddie began to wake up. The little girl wrapped her arms tighter around her mother who returned he embrace. Nicole reluctantly tore her gaze away from Waverly and placed a soft kiss onto the top of her daughter's head. As her daughter continued to stir she looked back over at Waverly.

Waverly glanced at Maddie and whispered, "How's she doing?"

Nicole yawned and answered, "Her fever broke late last night and she seems like she's feeling better."

Waverly smiled, "That's great news!" She noticed that Maddie had opened one eye and was looking over at her, "Hey there, how are you feeling sweetie?"

Maddie blinked and buried her face into Nicole's neck. The steady breathing of her daughter soon lulled Nicole briefly back to sleep and Waverly couldn't help but stare as peaceful look washed over the redhead's face.

Waverly reached over and rubbed Maddie's back, "We were so worried about you, I hope you're feeling better."

Maddie turned her face towards Waverly and gave her a dimpled smile before opening her mouth to speak, "Hi princess Waverly, can we watch Brave? Did you sleep over?" She scooted away from her mother closer to Waverly and whispered loudly, "My mommy likes you but I wasn't supposed to tell."

Waverly's eyes involuntarily rose up past Maddie towards Nicole's face and her cheeks pinkened when she saw that Nicole was awake and looking back at her. Waverly bit down softly on her lower lip as she stared over at Nicole whose face was now a deep shade of crimson that almost matched her hair.

She turned her attention back to Maddie and whispered back to her, "Can I tell you a secret?" At Maddie's nod she continued, "I like her too, and you, little one, I like you a lot!"

Maddie reached out and threw her arms around Waverly, hugging her, "I like you too Waverly, you're pretty and nice!" She climbed across Waverly's body and landed feet first onto the floor, "I'm going to start the movie, come on!"

Waverly watched her run from the room and instead of getting up to follow her she lay in bed and stretched before rolling over on her other side. She found Nicole laying on the other side of the bed on her side as well, and they were now facing each other.

They lay staring at each other across the empty expanse of the bed and finally Waverly broke the silence with a question, "So, you like me huh?"

Nicole smiled softly at her, "And you like me." She slowly slid her hand across the bed towards Waverly, stopping halfway there.

Waverly reached over and wrapped her hand around Nicole's as she continued to stare into her eyes. "Maybe a little." She said with a teasing tone as she began to rub her thumb across the back of Nicole's hand, smiling she softly said, "Yeah, I do, more than I thought I would."

Nicole blinked and drew in a deep breath, "Really, and how much is that? You know you can always just show me." She cocked an eyebrow and a smile began to form on her lips as Waverly began to move towards her.

Shouting coming from the direction of the living room shattered the moment, "Mommy! I'm waiting, are you coming?"

At the sound of Maddie's voice Waverly stopped, the realization of what she was about to do sinking in. She was suddenly very nervous, "Uh we should probably, uh go out there before.." she released the other woman's hand and began to move away from Nicole.

Nicole reached out and grasped her arm, "Waverly, hold on a minute." She paused as she saw the expression on Waverly's face, it was unmistakeable and Nicole knew that if she continued they wouldn't be able to stop.

Waverly looked down at the hand wrapped around her arm, her skin burned where Nicole's hand made contact with her arm and she found herself fighting an internal battle. All she wanted to do at the moment was throw caution to the wind and allow Nicole to pull her into her body. Her eyes rose up to Nicole's full red lips and she swallowed as she imagined what it would be like to capture those lips with her own. Nicole's powerful gaze held onto Waverly and she was found that she was unable to tear her gaze away from the woman in front of her.

Neither of them knew how long they stayed that way, the longer they stared, the more the tension built between them. It felt like electricity and Waverly felt something stirring from deep within her, willing her to close the gap between them. She was powerless to reisist the force that seemed to draw her towards Nicole and before she knew what was happening she found herself mere inches away from the object of her desire.

They were so wrapped up in each other's prescence that they didn't hear the rapidly approaching footsteps coming from outside of the bedroom until it was too late. Before their lips could meet they were startled apart by Maddie who had launched herself onto the bed, somehow landing into the impossibly small space that existed between the two women.
Waverly blinked and jerked away from Nicole, the color rising in her cheeks as she realized what had almost happened. They had been on the verge of kissing, which if she was being honest with herself, was something that she had wanted to do ever since she had met the beautiful doctor. Waverly was certain of one one thing, her feelings for Nicole had developed quickly into something that was now rooted deep within her, just how quickly it had happened scared her more than a little.

Maddie was bouncing up and down on the bed and tugging on her mother's arm, obviously trying to get Nicole out of bed. As much as she loved spending time with her daughter, a part of her wished that Maddie had gotten lost in the movie. Every inch of her screamed at her to reach over and pull Waverly Earp into her body and do things to her that were not suitable for children. She smiled down at Maddie but it was taking everything within her not to bang her head on the wall in frustration at being interrupted.

Waverly climbed out of bed and cleared her throat, "I should probably get going, I need to visit Wynonna."

Her words brought a look of disappointment to Maddie's face, "Do you have to? I want to watch Brave with you!"

At the sight of tears forming in Maddie's eyes, Waverly lost her resolve to leave, "You know what, I can go over to the hospital later today." She held out her hand towards the small child and smiled, "Come on, let's go watch the movie."

Maddie climbed off the bed and took her hand, she led Waverly from the room, calling over her shoulder, "Mommy! You need to come too!"

"I'll be right there Monkey." She watched them walk from the room and the sight of Waverly with her daughter made her heart swell. Something felt natural about the sight of the two of them together, like they had known each other for years instead of the short time they actually had. She sat up, swinging her long legs around the edge of the bed until her feet hit the floor. She sat there for a few minutes an internal battle raging within her. She groaned and put her head in her hands, she was attracted to Waverly and couldn't deny that she was feeling a deep connection with her. She hadn't felt a connection on this level for a long time, not since Jamie. And, if she were being perfectly honest with herself this connection seemed to run deeper than even the one she had shared with her former partner.

"What am I going to do?" She asked herself. These strong feelings she had towards Waverly were tearing her in two. On the one hand Waverly was an amazing woman who cared deeply for her daughter and Nicole could totally see building a future together. On the other hand, Nicole felt that familiar flash of fear gripping her heart. What if she let Waverly into her life, into her heart only to have the other woman leave her in the end. Could she afford to take that chance? To put her hope into the hands of someone she had just recently met scared her more than anything else in the world. It was why she had remained single since Jamie had left. Part of her felt like she could trust Waverly but the larger part of her that was consumed by the fear of getting hurt was determined not to let that happen.

She got up out of bed, groaning out loud before making her way to the kitchen, she started the coffee pot and opened the refrigerator to determine what to make for breakfast. Nicole had to be at work in a couple of hours so she closed the refrigerator, deciding that they could stop at the diner for breakfast on her way to the hospital. Nicole walked into the living room and handed Waverly a mug full of coffee and she swore that her heart skipped a beat as Waverly smiled up at her.

Waverly tipped the mug at Nicole, "Thank you."

Nicole nodded and sat down on the opposite end of the couch from Waverly, Maddie sat between them and they watched the rest of the movie in silence. Nicole sat and drank her coffee, not really paying attention to the movie. She was lost in thought, trying to decide what she was going to do in regards to her emerging feeligs for Waverly. She felt eyes on her and she glanced over to find Waverly staring over at her.

Nicole met her gaze and stared back for a moment before closing her eyes and looking away. Maybe she should put a stop to this before things went to far. It was her deepest fear that she would let Waverly into her heart and the other woman wouldn't return her feelings. She just couldn't risk that for her and she really couldn't risk it for her daughter. Nicole would not allow her daughter to get attached to someone who wasn't going to stick around.

After the movie Nicole dropped Waverly off at her house and went to the hospital. Before going up to her office she and Maddie stopped off in the cafeteria for breakfast.
Nicole ordered pancakes for Maddie and coffee for herself. She picked up a danish for herself and paid and the two of them sat down at a table to eat. She sipped her coffee and stared off into space, she was developing feelings for Waverly that she wasn't prepared to have and she began to question her own motives in regards to the other woman. Nicole knew that out of self preservation she should probably stop seeing Waverly altogether before things went too far.

"Mommy?"

Nicole looked over at her daughter, "Yes baby?"

"Know what?"

"What?"

"I really like Waverly, is she gonna sleep over again?" She paused and took a bite of her pancake, "Cause she laughs at my jokes and she's real funny too. Are you sure she's not a princess?"

"We'll see Monkey, now finish your pancakes cause Mommy needs to go to work." Nicole took another drink of her coffee as she watched her daughter go back to eating.

Madddie looked up from her pancakes at her mother and quietly asked, "Do you have to really? I miss you."

Nicole's heart broke a little at her expression, "You know I have to baby, mommy has important things to do. And I promise that on my next day off we'll go to see a movie, just the two of us, okay?"

Maddie got up and ran around the table, Nicole barely had enough time to put her coffee cup down before the little girl was throwing her arms around her neck. "I love you mommy!"

Nicole returned her hug, "I love you so much too!"

A few minutes later they were taking the elevator upstairs to the daycare center and soon after Nicole made her way to her office. She had patients to check on and her caseload was heavy because she had taken a couple of days off. She sighed as she put her labcoat on and walked out into the hospital and towards the patient rooms.

 

*****

 

Waverly walked into the hospital that afternoon with a spring in her step. Even though it had been an extremely long day of waiting tables, she wasn't even tired. She had come to a realization after Nicole had dropped her off at her house that morning. She was taking a shower and thinking back to the previous evening and what had almost happened that morning. If they wouldn't have been interupted by Maddie Waverly knew that she would have kissed Nicole and she was sure that it may have led to other things.

She had been lonely and the few dates she had been on hadn't led to anything, it would seem that Champ was right, nobody wanted to date an Earp girl. When she had broken things off with him it wasn't because he was a terrible person, it was because he was the wrong gender. He had taken the news badly and even gone so far as to tell her that he should have listened to everyone and not dated someone from her crazy family.

She shook off the thoughts of her ex and her mind wandered to other more pleasant topics, namely Dr. Nicole Haught. There was something about her that captured Waverly's attention and drew her in. She had felt it the moment they met in that hallway as she half carried her sister looking for help. Whenever they were in the same room together she felt drawn to Nicole, the feeling was almost like a gravitational pull that she was helpless to resist.

Waverly was curious about her and wanted to ask her a million questions, she wanted to know everything about the red-headed doctor but she also didn't want to bombard her with so many questions that she drove her away. She could sense that Nicole was holding back and at times could be quite reserved. The only time that Nicole seemed to let her guard completely down was when she was with her daughter.

The elevator doors opened and Waverly made her way to her sister's room, waving to the nurse on duty as she passed the station. Waverly entered Wynonna's room and sat down in the chair next to her bed.

Sighing she reached out and took her older sister's hand in hers and gave it a squeeze, "I met someone Wyn, she's gorgeous and smart and she's got a daughter. I don't know what it is buy I feel drawn to her, like I could talk to her for hours about anything and nothing at all. I know what you would say, you would tell me not to get my hopes up because if she seems perfect then there's something wrong. But sis, I think that I could really fall in love with her."

She let go of her sister's hand and took out the book she had brought, she began to read to her sister but it wasn't long before she had drifted off to sleep.

She wasn't sure how long she had slept but voices coming from just outside the door woke her up and Waverly only half listened until she realized that the person the two people were discussing was Nicole.

"Well, you didn't hear this from me but I hear Dr. Hotpants has a new conquest and you'll never guess who." Came the first woman's voice from the hall.

"Who?" asked the second woman. "It's not like she hasn't gone through half the nursing staff here so I can't imagine who it could be."

"Oh no, she's not dating anyone who works in the hospital and If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it. I saw here last night having dinner with Waverly Earp."

"What? Tell me you're making this up."

The first woman continued with her gossip, "I wish I was, maybe someone needs to warn the good doctor about that girl's family and how she should stay away from her." She paused for a moment, "I mean, come on with the Earp's history of..."

The woman's voice trailed off and Waverly was curious as to why until she heard a familiar voice addressing the two women, "Have you checked this patients vitals yet?" The woman must have shaken her head no because the new voice became irritated, "Well maybe instead of standing out here discussing people's private lives you should go in there and do your job."

"Yes Dr. Haught."

Waverly heard footsteps and she looked up as a nurse hurried into the room to check her sister's monitors. At first the other woman didn't notice Waverly sitting in her chair as she went about her duties but as soon as she turned around the nurse stopped in her tracks at the sight of her.

Waverly didn't say a word, she just looked over her book at the other woman. She was trying her best to not let her see that the conversation she had overheard was bothering her, even though it was. She really liked Nicole and Waverly was afraid that she would listen to people like the nurses and decide not to have anything to do with her.

The nurses's face reddened and she hurried from the room.

Waverly watched her go and put the book on the table, she leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes with a sigh. She got up and went into the bathroom to splash some water on her face, when she came back out into Wynonna's room she stopped in her tracks. Nicole was standing next to Wynonna's bed, staring down at her with a frown on her face.
She didn't look up but somehow she knew that Waverly was standing there looking at her, "I don't know why she won't wake up, it doesn't make any sense. The surgery went well, we repaired everything but damn it, she won't wake up." She threw her hand up in frustration, "It doesn't make any sense!"

"It's not your fault Nicole, sometimes these things happen but believe me, no one wants her to wake up more than I do." Waverly walked over and stood right next to Nicole who continued to stare down at Wynonna.

Nicole sighed, "I know but, she should have woken up by now."

Waverly reached out and lay a hand on Nicole's arm, "My sister is stubborn, she'll wake up when she's ready, you'll see."

Nicole looked over at Waverly, "You think so?"

Waverly smiled at her, "I know so."

Nicole reached across her body and placed her hand on top of Waverly's, she gave it a squeeze before dropping her hand, "I have other patients I need to check on."

"Yeah, I should probably head home, I have to work in the morning." Waverly walked over and gathered her jacket and picked up her purse, "Have a good night Nicole."

"You too." Nicole briefly closed her eyes and took a deep breath, opening her eyes she saw Waverly getting ready to walk out the door, "Waverly, wait."

Waverly stopped and turned towards Nicole, giving her a questioning look.

Nicole stared back at her and seemed to struggle to find the words she was searching for, "I just wanted to say...that, I mean I really want to..."

Waverly seemed to sense what she was trying to stay and took a couple of steps towards Nicole, "What is it Nicole?"

Nicole took the remaining steps towards Waverly and stopped mere inches from her, "I just want to..." she cut herself off as she reached out and cupped Waverly's face. She let out a breath and whispered Waverly's name as she slowly lowered her head in order to capture Waverly's lips with her own.

There was a soft thump as Waverly's purse hit the floor followed by her jacket as she reached out and wrapped her arms around Nicole's waist, pulling her closer as the kiss deepened.

As quickly as the kiss started it ended as Nicole came to her senses and pulled back, "I'm sorry, that shouldn't have happened."

Waverly looked confused, "Nicole?"

Nicole took two steps back and rushed from the room, saying over her shoulder, "I can't, I'm sorry."

Waverly stood in the middle of her sister's hospital room, she brought her hand up to her mouth, she could still feel Nicole's lips on hers despite Nicole's reaction she smiled to herself. She was falling hard and now she was more determined then ever to capture the heart of Dr. Nicole Haught.

Chapter Text

Nicole rushed from the hospital room, the feel of Waverly's lips still fresh on her mouth. She was feeling conflicting emotions but the panic was currently overwhelming everything else and Nicole did what she always did, she ran. She ran everytime someone entered her life who would get too close, doing this had never failed her and it always kept her safe and protected from getting hurt.

She had let her guard down and Waverly had made it so easy for her to forget the promises that she had made to herself when Jamie left. She had promised herself that she would never let herself be hurt by anyone else again and she had built walls around her heart. Nicole had decided that even if it meant that she would be alone for the rest of her life then so be it. Her focus for the past five years had been on her daughter. She had put Maddie as well as her career first and she had fooled herself into thinking that those two things were all she would ever need to be happy. And then Waverly Earp had happened and the petite brunette had terrified Nicole in a way that nobody else had during her entire life, even Jamie.

Nicole walked into her office and sat down on the couch that sat against the wall just inside the door. A fresh wave of panic rose up inside her as she realized that Waverly Earp had gotten under her skin. She had fooled herself into thinking that all she wanted from the other woman was to just get her into bed but she now realized that nothing could be further from the truth. Deep down inside she knew that Waverly could never just be a piece of ass to her, she was so much more. The thing that confused her was that she hadn't known Waverly that long, it had only been a couple of months since they had met in that hallway, right outside of that door.

She didn't want to hurt Waverly but her sense of self preservation was kicking in and it was stronger than anything else at that moment. She took a deep breath and pushed down her ever growing feelings towards Waverly, it was going to be tough to limit how much time she spent with Waverly because Maddie adored her. In her mind, this made things more difficult, Maddie had become attached to Waverly in a way she had never done with anyone before and it was going to be hard to distance herself from the other woman.
She sighed and steeled herself, determined to not give in to her desires because in the end everyone leaves her. First her parents by disowning her when she came out and second her former partner who Nicole thought she would spend the rest of her life with, the person she would raise their child with. But that wasn't meant to be and ever since Nicole had refused to let anyone else into her heart. Even if that someone was Waverly Earp.

 

*****

 

Waverly sat in the chair next to her sister's hospital bed and wished now more than ever that Wynonna would just wake up already. She needed her, especially now with Champ Hardy's trial happening in three days and the last thing that Waverly wanted was to face the man who put her sister into this hospital bed alone. She wanted to see him pay for what he had done but she didn't know if she had the strength to see it through. Her mind wasn't in the right place and it hadn't been since she had met Nicole Haught.
It had been almost two weeks since Nicole had kissed her in this very room and Waverly could still feel Nicole's soft lips pressed against her own. The red head had done her best to avoid Waverly over that time frame and she was left confused because she thought that Nicole and her had shared a connection. The morning that they had woken up next to each other, Waverly was sure that if they wouldn't have been interrupted then something would have happened between her and Nicole. She had read it in Nicole's eyes, they had been filled with desire and want and Waverly had found herself getting lost in them and she knew in the back of her mind that it wouldn't have taken much for Nicole to persuade Waverly to give in.

And she would have done it willingly because her feelings toward Nicole were very strong and she couldn't fight them, nor did she want to. Waverly had always known who she was, to Waverly it didn't matter the gender of the person she dated she was attracted to the person and she was definitely attracted to Nicole. Actually what she felt for Nicole was more than attraction and it hadn't taken her very long to realize that the beautiful doctor was someone that mattered.

She looked over at Wynonna and the familiar sense of guilt rose from within her. She blamed herself for what had happened to her sister. After all she was the one who had briefly dated Champ Hardy and she had been the one to end things with him when he had started to become posessive over her. It had scared Waverly a little and she had ended things with him, much to his disappointment. He had taken the news badly and Waverly had gotten a restraining order against him because he had begun to stalk her. Then that night he came to their house and Wynonna had confronted him and he had put a bullet into her chest.

Waverly sat back in her chair and closed her eyes, trying not to think anymore about that night. The one and only good thing about that night is that it had brought her here to this hospital. If the events of that evening hadn't taken place then she would have never met Nicole and that was something Waverly would always be grateful for.

 

*****

 

The night before Champ's trial Waverly couldn't sleep, and when Waverly couldn't sleep she paced. The fact that it was pouring rain outside didn't help either. She had always hated storms and when they were kids she would end up in bed with Wynonna on those nights. Even to this day whenever it would storm Waverly would seek out her sister for comfort. Unfortunately for Waverly her sister wasn't there on that particular night, she was laying in a hospital bed in a coma thanks to Champ Hardy.

She was suddenly overcome with an emotion she prided herself in rarely feeling, anger. She was angry at Champ Hardy for taking her sister away from her for so long, she was angry at Nicole for seemingly shutting her out and she was angry with herself for letting her.

Waverly walked down the stairs and entered the kitchen, not stopping until she was standing in front of the cabinet where her sister kept her booze. Waverly rarely drank but all of the anger she was feeling was giving her the urge to drink. That and her nervousness at having to sit in that courtroom and face the man who shot her sister.
She poured herself a drink and swallowed the whole thing at once, a decision that she imediately regretted as the alcohol burned its way down her throat causing her to choke and cough. After she finished coughing she poured herself another drink, this time drinking it slower. The more she drank the more anxious she became and since she couldn't confront Champ Hardy she would confront the one person that she could.

If Waverly was sober she never would have done what she about to do but emboldened by the alcohol she took out her cellphone and tapped on Nicole's number, impatiently waiting for her to answer the call. The call going to voicemail only increased her anxiety level and Waverly began to ramble into her phone, "I just want you to know that I think you're so pretty and Nicole, I really like you, I mean a lot. More than I've liked anyone else my entire life. It's not easy for me to talk about this stuff but I want you to know that you and me, there's something there and I can feel it whenever I look at you. And, and I really care about you and I wish you could see it because you are a great person Nicole. Okay, bye." She ended the call and went to get another drink.

It wasn't long before Waverly was laying face down on the couch, fast asleep, with no recollection of the message she had left on Nicole's phone.

 

*****

 

Nicole leaned against the counter at the nurses station filling out charts and trying not to pay attention the nurse who was currently flirting with her. Nicole glanced up at her and gave her a little grin, enjoying the attention that the nurse was giving her. The nurse, Frankie, walked towards the on call room and before she went inside gave Nicole a seductive look over her shoulder. Nicole placed her charts behind the counter and looked around before walking towards the on call room.

Nicole walked inside the room and shut the door behind her, reaching down to lock it. Turning around she found Frankie leaning against the far wall watching her and Nicole's mouth went dry as Frankie's tongue slowly snaked out of her mouth, wetting her bottom lip. Nicole slowly crossed the room and placed a hand on the wall next to Frankie's head, leaning in she softly whispered into the other woman's ear, "You need something?"

"You and I both know what I need Doc." Nicole's breath caught as Frankie's hands made their way inside her scrubs, "Oh yeah, I think it's been way too long."

Nicole didn't say a word, she just lowered her head and captured the other woman's lips. Without breaking their kiss Nicole grasped Frankie by the shirt and moved her towards the closest bed. She let go of Frankie's shirt and gave her a push, the other woman landed on her back. Nicole pulled her shirt over her head before lowering herself on top of the other woman her hands wandering over Frankie's body as Nicole kissed her hard on the lips. Frankie began to moan and Nicole closed her eyes the vision of a face swimming into view. Nicole opened her eyes and pulled away as she realized that the face she had seen in her head wasn't Frankie's, it belonged to the one person that Nicole had tried so hard to avoid.

Nicole was determined to make Waverly's image disappear and she leaned in once again and began to kiss Frankie once again. The harder she tried to get rid of the image the more it burned into her brain and Nicole realized that she couldn't do this. Nicole pulled away once again and sat up on the edge of the bed, her head in her hands.

Frankie raised up on her elbow, "What's wrong?"

"I'm sorry, I can't do this."

Frankie reached out and placed a hand onto Nicole's arm, "This has never been a problem before, did I do something?"

Nicole raised her head and looked over at Frankie, "No, and I know this is going to sound cliche but it's not you, it's me."

Frankie smiled over at her, "Hey, it's okay, we both agreed that there wouldn't be any strings and we were just having fun."

Nicole nodded, she didn't quite know what to say and instead of responding she reached out and grabbed her shirt, pulling it back over her head. She got up and walked over to the door, apologizing once again before leaving the room. She hurried down the hall and entered Wynonna's room, sitting down in the chair next to the bed and let out a deep breath.

 

*****

 

Nicole stared over at the sleeping woman, wondering what she was like, who she was as a person. Waverly loved her and was completely devoted to her sister, the fact that she would sit in this very chair and visit every single day was a testament to that fact. Nicole told herself that if the woman laying in that bed was even half the person that Waverly Earp is then she must be pretty remarkable because in the short amount of time that she had known Waverly Earp she had come to the conclusion that the woman was extraordinary.

She wasn't sure how long she sat there, watching Wynonna Earp sleep. She envied her at that moment, what she wouldn't give to just sleep and not have to worry about anything. Not having to live with the constant fear of rejection hanging over her head sounded like heaven right about then but these thoughts washed away as her daughter's sweet face swam into view.

Over the years Maddie had become her reason for getting out of bed each morning. Her daughter was the most important person in her life and Nicole loved her more than anything. Deciding to become a mother had turned out to be the best decision she could have ever made.

She loved her daughter unconditionally but something was missing from her life. Empty one night stands filled with meaningless sex just wasn't helping anymore and Nicole was aware that she was getting quite the reputation among the women in the hospital. That had never been her intention, she had just wanted to feel something, to touch and be touched. She just couldn't let anyone get close to her, couldn't risk getting her heart ripped out again.

She leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes and Waverly Earp's face swam into view, just as it always did whenever she closed her eyes. The woman intrigued Nicole like nobody else ever had, not even Jamie. She wanted to get to know everything about her, wanted to spend time with her and not just in a sexual way. She had genuine feelings for Waverly and this terrified her because it meant that Waverly had the power to destroy her and Nicole knew that if that happened she would never recover from it.

Nicole groaned and said out loud, "What am I going to do?" It was a question not meant for anyone in particular but it was a question that she seemed to constantly plague her whenever she thought about the beautiful brunette. She sighed and stood up, it was past time for her to go home and all she wanted to do was collect her daughter and leave the hospital and Nicole did just that.

As she climbed into bed that night she picked up her phone and saw that she had a missed call from Waverly along with a voicemail. As she listened to it a grin involuntarily grew on her lips. Waverly was rambling and Nicole found it all really cute, she put her phone down on her side table she remembered that she had the day off and she decided to go see Waverly in the morning. She and Maddie would offer to take Waverly to breakfast and at the thought of spending time with the other woman again made her heart race. She fell asleep with a smile on her face and for the first time in awhile felt at peace.

 

*****

 

Waverly sat on a bench in the hallway outside of the courtroom, she felt nervous and anxious as she waited to be called inside. The thought of facing the man who had shot her sister made the bile rise into her throat. As the minutes ticked by she began to feel less and less confident that she would be able to go through with her testimony. The only thing keeping her from getting up off of that bench and bolting from the courthouse was the thought that her sister needed her. Wynonna couldn't be here to tell her side of the story so it was up to Waverly to be her voice.

She was the only witness to what had happened that night and the burden of proving Champ Hardy was resting squarely on her shoulders, it was a weight that she wasn't sure she would be able to bear much longer and she was terrified that she was going to screw it all up.

She hung her head and waited, wishing that her turn would come up already, the waiting was killing her. She had been alone in the hallway for a good amount of time and the feeling of a presence standing in front of her startled her from her thoughts. She raised her head to find herself staring into the softest, most sympathetic dark brown eyes she had ever seen. Waverly looked on in wonder and asked, "What are you doing here?"

"Maddie and I went to your house this morning so that we could take you to breakfast and you weren't home. I read about the trial in the newspaper and I figured you could use someone in your corner today so here I am." Nicole reached out and lay a hand on Waverly's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze, "I didn't want you to have to go through this all by yourself so if it's okay with you I'd like to stay and be here for you."

Waverly involuntarily reached up and placed her hand on top of Nicole's, tears were forming in here eyes and she nodded her head, "I'd love that, thank you."

Nicole sat down next to her on the bench, "You don't have to thank me Waverly, you shouldn't have to deal with this alone and I'm going to be here the whole time for you." The urge to comfort and protect this woman felt overwhelming to Nicole but she pushed down those feelings because the only thing that mattered to her at that moment was Waverly. She reached out and wiped the tears from Waverly's cheeks with her thumbs and before she knew what was happening, Waverly was in her arms and she was holding her tight.
The tears eventually stopped and Waverly reluctantly pulled back from Nicole's warm embrace. As she left the circle of Nicole's arms the feeling of safety and warmth remained with her as the thought of having Nicole by her side gave her a sense of comfort she hadn't felt from anyone else before.

The two of them looked up in unison as the door to the courtroom opened and someone called Waverly's name. Nicole stood up and offered Waverly her hand, helping her to her feet. They walked into the courtroom together, Nicole releasing her hand only when Waverly left the viewing area and walked towards the witness stand.

As she took a seat her confidence wavered as she looked at Champ Hardy, an arrogant look on his face. His father was a state senator so Champ had little doubt in his mind that even if he was found guilty his father would keep him out of doing any kind of time in jail. The thought of him getting away with what he'd done with a slap on the wrist made Waverly sick and the urge to bolt from the stand surged up inside of her until she looked out into crowd and met Nicole's gentle gaze. The redhead nodded her head and gave her a smile and Waverly knew at that moment that she could do this.

Waverly gave her testimony and when she was done she walked past Champ Hardy with her head held high before taking a seat next to nicole amongst the sea of spectators. Sitting there while Champ's attorney had cross examined her had made her angry. The defense had tried to make it look like it was Waverly's fault that he had shot Wynonna. He had tried to get Waverly to admit that she had led Champ on and when he had come to confront Waverly that night, Wynonna had attacked him and that he had acted in self defense.

Despite her rising anger at this she had managed to keep her cool and answer all of the questions, denying that she and Champ had meant more to each other than what they had. She and Champ had gone on only two dates and Waverly knew by the end of the second date that nothing would ever take place between them. The only thing she felt towards Champ was disgust over his attitude towards women in general and she had told him as much when he had dropped her off after their date.

Champ had practically stalked her after that, not being able to believe that Waverly Earp of all people had the nerve to reject him. The restraining order she had filed against him should have been enough to keep him away but in the end he had violated it in order to claim what he felt was "his."

The two attorneys gave thier closing arguments and the judge announced that he would deliberate and make a decision. Everything was now in the judge's hands and Waverly immediately feared for the worst as soon as she left the courtroom. Men like Champ Hardy rarely were made to pay for anything that they did, no matter what it was. This was a hard lesson that Waverly had learned after the accident that had claimed her parent's lives and the drunk driver who had caused it walked away with merely a slap on the wrist.
Nicole reached out and reclaimed Waverly's hand as they walked from the courthouse. She walked over to where her car was parked and opened the passenger side door for Waverly, "Come on, I'll take you home."

Waverly climbed into the car and waited for Nicole to join her and as she climbed inside, taking her place behind the wheel Waverly reached out with a shaky hand towards Nicole. "I don't want to be alone, I don't think I can handle it."

Nicole took her hand once again and turned her head towards Waverly before asking, "Do you want to come to my place? I know someone who will be very happy to see her favorite princess."

Waverly nodded, "I'd like that very much, and Nicole?" She took a deep breath and shyly met Nicole's questioning gaze, "I know you said I didn't need to thank you, but I do. It means the world to me that you were here today and I'll never be able to thank you enough." Waverly leaned over and placed a soft kiss onto Nicole's cheek, "You're pretty special you know that, right?"

Nicole blushed and started the car, as they drove towards her home she kept her hold on Waverly's hand, liking the way it felt within her own.

 

*****

 

Maddie had been excited to see Waverly and her spirits soared at the look of pure joy on the child's face as she followed Nicole into the living room. As the three of them sat on the couch together eating pizza and watching Brave for the millionth time it hit Waverly how natural it felt to be sitting there with these two people. She felt at home and looking over at Nicle's profile she could picture herself, years from now, in this exact same scenario with a now teenage Maddie sitting between them on the couch. In that moment she knew with every fiber of her being that Nicole was the person she had been waiting her whole life for. She also knew that if they had never met then Waverly would have spent her life searching for the missing piece of her life.

Spending time with Nicole and her daughter felt right to Waverly, she felt like this was where she belonged and when she had walked through that door with Nicole she felt as if she was coming home. She didn't know when exactly it had happened but she knew one thing and one thing only at that moment, she was totally and completely in love with Nicole Haught.

The biggest problem she faced in this whole situation is that she wasn't sure that Nicole felt the same way about her. She could sense that Nicole felt something for her but what exactly that was she didn't know. Waverly came to a decision right then and there that she would be there for Nicole, no matter what, just as she had been there for her.
She could sense that something had happened to Nicole in the past, something that had caused her to put up walls around her heart. What or who could have hurt Nicole that badly? She wanted nothing more then to reach out and sooth that hurt from her, to show her that she would never hurt her intentionally.

She broke from her thoughts to find Nicole staring back at her with an intense gaze. Nicole had caught her staring and Waverly's face flushed a deep shade of red as she looked away. She couldn't help herself and she chanced a glance back over at Nicole and to her relief noticed that she had turned away and was watching the movie.

When the movie ended Nicole took a sleepy Maddie into her bedroom and tucked her in for the night. She returned shortly carrying two glasses of wine, handing one of them to Waverly who nodded her head in appreciation. As they sipped their wine, they made small talk and got to know each other a little. She felt at peace but as they fell into an almost awkward silence Waverly began to feel fear rise within her. She was afraid that the judge would find Champ Hardy innocent of shooting her sister and then what if he came after her. What if Wynonna never woke up from her coma? Waverly began to shake, the fear building to an almost unbearable level.

Noticing the change in Waverly's demeanor Nicole set her wine glass on the coffee table before standing up and taking the glass from Waverly. "Hey, are you okay?"

Waverly looked down at her feet, refusing to look up and unwilling to let Nicole see the terror in her eyes. She felt two strong hands grasping her arms and she didn't resist as she was pulled to her feet. She couldn't speak, the terror was gripping her so tightly she was having trouble breathing. She was so overwhelmed by the feeling of panic that she barely registered the fact that she was now encircled within Nicole's arms and she was holding onto her tightly.

Nicole began to place soft kisses on the top of Waverly's head and whispering over and over again, "It's gonna be okay Waves, it's gonna be okay." She placed a kiss onto her temple and squeezed her tighter, "Shhh...calm down, it's gonna be okay. I'm not gonna let anything happen to you, it's gonna be okay."

The soothing tone of Nicole's voice began to break through the panic and Waverly fed off of her energy. Nicole's presence grounded her enough where she could feel as if she was beginning to calm down. The shallow rapid breaths she had been talking were steadily becoming slower and deeper and soon Waverly was wrapping her own arms around Nicole's waist. She had never experienced anything like that before and she hoped that she never would again and she counted herself lucky that Nicole had been there when she needed her. She didn't even want to think about what would have happened if Nicole wouldn't have been there to calm her down.

Nicole could feel Waverly's body begin to relax against her's but still she kept her grip on the smaller woman. She needed to be sure that she had calmed down enough before she released her hold on her. Waverly's rapid heart rate began to slow and she was breathing easier and still Nicole held on. It wasn't the first time she had witnessed someone having a panic attack but that didn't make it any less frightening to her.

She lay her chin onto the top of Waverly's head and whispered softly against her hair, "I'm going to let you go now."

Waverly whimpered and tightened her arms around Nicole's waist, "I don't want you to."

"I know, but I think you would be more comfortable if we got you out of these clothes," She paused realizing how that must have sounded and quickly added, "And into pajamas."

"But, I don't have any pajamas Nicole."

"You can borrow something of mine." She slowly released her hold on Waverly, reaching out she took her hand, leading her into the bedroom. Waverly stood by the foot of the bed and watched as Nicole walked across the room and opened one of her dresser drawers. She took out an old t-shirt and pair of sleep shorts and walked back over towards Waverly, holding them out to her.

"Why don't you take these into the bathroom and change," At the look on Waverly's face she reached out and squeezed her hand, "I'll be right here when you get back, I promise."
Waverly reluctantly let go of Nicole's hand and made her way over towards the attached bathroom, glancing over her shoulder wo make sure Nicole hadn't disappeared before entering the bathroom. She quickly changed into the clothes Nicole had provided her and she reached up, releasing her hair from her braid, letting it cascade down her back. She splashed cold water on her face and used the new toothbrush that she found sitting on the vanity next to the sink. Finishing in the bathroom she walked outside to find Nicole standing in the exact same spot where she had left her, as promised.

"I'm going to get ready for bed and I'll take the couch," she turned towards the bathroom but stopped as she felt Waverly grasp her arm.

"I don't want you to do that, can you please, just stay in here with me? I don't want to be alone."

Nicole looked down into her eyes, "Waverly," she let out a sigh, "Yeah, I'll stay, for you."

Waverly smiled up at her and climbed into bed as Nicole entered her bathroom. When she walked back out she noticed that Waverly was pulling back the covers and she climbed into bed. She reached over and shut off her bedside lamp before settling in for the night. She lay on her back and it wasn't long before she could feel Waverly snuggling into her side.

Nicole wasn't sure how long she lay awake listening to Waverly's steady breathing, she was just relieved that Waverly was able to calm down enough to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a long day of waiting and Nicole vowed to be there every moment until the judge made his decision. Waverly's arm tightened around Nicole in her sleep and she turned her face, inhaling the scent of Waverly's hair, it's intoxicating scent finally lulling her to to sleep.

Chapter Text

"Guilty!" As Waverly heard that one word come out of the judge's mouth she cried out in relief and reached over to grasp Nicole's hand. Champ Hardy was guity as charged, he was going to prison and finally being made to pay for what he had done to her and Wynonna.

Nicole squeezed her hand and Waverly turned towards her, throwing her arms around Nicole's neck and pulling her into a hug. Wrapping her arms around the other woman's waist Nicole returned the hug, hoping to express how happy she was for Waverly through this gesture. She felt immense relief for Waverly, Nicole knew that she had struggled with a huge amount of fear while awaiting Champ Hardy's trial, and now she would be able to go back to her life. The only thing that was missing for her was her sister Wynonna, and Nicole hoped everyday that somehow Wynonna would wake up from her coma. Waverly had told her once that Wynonna was her best friend and Nicole knew that the brunette needed her sister in her life, that she needed that sense of family.

As they walked from the courtroom Waverly felt lighter than she had in a long time, it was as if a weight had been lifted from off her shoulders. As she glanced at Nicole out of the corner of her eye she was overcome by a feeling of happiness which was blossoming inside her chest. Her feelings towards the redheaded doctor were very clear to her and she had taken care to send subtle signs to Nicole regarding them. She suspected that Nicole had feelings for her but Waverly wasn't sure that Nicole realized that she did. It was obvious to Waverly by the way that Nicole treated her and especially in the way she looked at her. She was hoping that if she showed Nicole by her actions exactly how much she cared for her, then it would somehow allow Nicole to admit to having feelings of her own towards Waverly.

Waverly took a deep breath and decided to take the leap, "Nicole?" When Nicole looked her way she continued, "I was wondering if you're busy tonight? I'd like to make you dinner to thank you for everything you've done for me."

Nicole reached out and took Waverly's hand, "You don't have to thank me for any of that Waverly, I like spending time with you and I knew that you really needed someone, I'm just glad that I could be there for you."

Waverly looked up into Nicole's eyes and smiled, "I like spending time with you too," She gave Nicole's hand a squeeze, "I feel so safe when I'm with you, like I can do anything, and I don't have to be afraid."
Nicole's face reddened at this and she tried to turn away but Waverly wouldn't let her, "I would really like to make dinner for you tonight so, please say you'll come, it would mean the world to me."

Nicole stared into Waverly's eyes, she was slowly and begrudgingly finding it harder and harder to deny the other woman anything, "In that case, then yes, you can make me dinner." She couldn't stop the goofy grin from forming on her lips at the happy expression on Waverly's face, "What time should I come over and do I need to bring anything?"
They arrived at Nicole's car and as Nicole opened her door for her Waverly said, "How about seven and if you want to bring a bottle of wine I won't complain."
Nicole watched her climb inside and said, "Seven it is, I guess it's a date then." Before Waverly could respond she closed the door and walked around the car, her step a little lighter than before.

 

*****

 

"Wow, mommy you look so pretty!" Nicole looked up to find Maddie standing in the doorway to her bedroom.

She smiled over at her daughter, "Thank you monkey." She turned back towards the mirror and checked her makeup one last time, "I want you to be good for Chrissy tonight, and no soda or sweets after dinner or you'll be up all night."

Maddie walked into the room and climbed up onto Nicole's bed, "But I want to stay up until you get home."

Nicole knelt down in front of her, "I wont be home until way after your bedtime honey and I need you to listen to me, when Chrissy says it's bedtime you are to go to bed, okay?"
Maddie reached out and wrapped her arms around Nicole's neck, "Yes mommy, I will." The doorbell rang and Maddie let go of Nicole before rolling off the bed and running towards the living room, "Yeah! Chrissy's here!"

Nicole got up and went out into the living room to let Chrissy in, "Thanks for coming over and watching Maddie tonight, I know it was short notice."

"It's okay Dr. Haught, I have a ton of studying to do tonight and no classes tomorrow so I'll be fine."

Nicole went into the kitchen and took a bottle of wine out of the refrigerator, walking back into the living room she placed a kiss onto the top of Maddie's head. Before she left she left she turned towards Chrissy and said, "I might be really late..."

Chrissy held up her hands, "Say no more I understand, and I can crash here if I need to its a lot quieter here than in my dorms."

"Thanks I owe you one," She turned and walked out the door with an extra spring in her step.

 

*****

 

Waverly checked her appearance in the mirror for what seemed like the millionth time, she was nervous because there were things she wanted to talk to Nicole about, mainly regarding her feelings towards the redhead. She had spent the day making up her mind on whether or not she was going to make that leap and lay her feelings out on the table. Putting the ball into Nicole's court terrified her a little because Nicole had so many walls up around herself that Waverly was worried that once everything was out there, Nicole would push her away.

Waverly had spent her whole life wondering what it was she wanted and as soon as she met Nicole she finally knew what it was. Nicole made her feel safe and unafraid and Waverly felt like she could accomplish anything when they were together. She missed her sister like crazy but Nicole's presence seemed to fill the void she felt from Wynonna's absence. She was in love with Nicole and although the thought of telling her made her nervous as hell she was determined to tell Nicole how she felt.

Waverly walked into her kitchen and opened the oven to check on their dinner, noticing that it was done she turned the oven down to warm. The doorbell rang and Waverly smiled as she left the kitchen to answer the door. She paused in the hallway to check her appearance one last time in the mirror hanging on the wall and turned to open the door.

She opened the door to find Nicole standing on her porch, a bottle of wine in one hand and a bouquet of roses in the other. Waverly allowed her eyes to quickly travel up and down the length of Nicole's body before returning them to her face. What she found was that dimpled grin on the other woman's face that she adored, "Wow, you look amazing."

 

Nicole blushed, "You don't look so bad yourself."

Waverly took a step back and motioned for Nicole to come inside the house, Nicole handed her the roses and Waverly smiled, "Thank you those are beautiful," She leaned up and placed a kiss onto Nicole's cheek before whispering into her ear, "And so are you."

Nicole could feel the heat rising in her face as she reached out and took Waverly's hand within her own. "Well, I've got nothing on you though."

Waverly blushed and dropped her eyes towards the floor as Nicole's words made her heart skip a beat, "Thank you." She whispered as her gaze returned to find Nicole staring at her with an expression on her face that Waverly couldn't quite read. She reached out and took Nicole's hand, leading her into the dining room. She gestured towards a chair, "have a seat and I'll go get dinner, it's ready."

Nicole sat down and Waverly went into the kitchen returning shortly with two plates full of food for them. Nicole poured the wine as Waverly sat down in the chair next to her as the redhead commented on how great everything looked. As they ate they asked each other questions so that they could get to know each other better and after finishing eating Nicole picked up their glasses and the bottle of wine and went into the living room as Waverly cleared the table.

Waverly came back into the room and joined Nicole on the couch and smiled as Nicole handed Waverly her wine glass. "So, what do you want to do now? Do you want to watch a movie or something?"

Nicole put her wine glass down and reached out to take Waverly's hand within her own, "Or something."

Waverly swallowed hard and choked on her wine at Nicole's words, she coughed and eventually she found her voice again so she could ask, "What?"

Nicole gave her a look of innocence but it wasn't hard for Waverly to notice that she also had a hint of mischief in her eyes, "I just meant that I'd rather just talk to you, wait a second, what did you think I meant?"

"Oh, well..um," Her face flushed crimson and it didn't help that Nicole was looking at her with that damn dimpled grin plastered on her face.

Nicole reached over and took her hand, giving it a squeeze, "You're adorable, you know that, right?"

Waverly shook her head in denial and dropped her gaze towards their joined hands, "No, I'm not."

"Waverly, you are." She gave her hand another small squeeze, "You are adorable, beautiful, smart, the complete package." When Wavery still refused to look up, Nicole reached out with her free hand and placed her finger under Waverly's chin tilting her face up so she could look her in the eye. "I mean it Wave, you are gorgeous inside and out and one thing you'll learn about me is that I never say anything I don't mean. Do you believe me now?"

Waverly stared at Nicole, she searched her face trying to determine whether or not there was any truth in what she said. Nobody in all of her twenty-two years had ever said such sweet things to her and she was finding it difficult to believe what the red-headed doctor was saying. She closed her eyes for a second and when she opened them again she found that Nicole was still staring at her and her breath hitched as Nicole began to run her thumb softly across Waverly's cheek. She wasn't sure how long they sat like that but the entire time they stared at each other Waverly fought the urge to close the gap between them and capture those soft lips with her own.

Waverly couldn't have known that Nicole was fighting an internal battle of her own. Her eyes dropped towards Waverly's lips and she felt an overwhelming urge to pull the other woman into her body so that she could kiss her senseless. She closed her own eyes, afraid that if she kept looking into those beautiful hazel eyes that she would lose all of her resolve and give in to her desires. And oh how she wanted Waverly Earp more than she'd wanted anyone in a long time. She felt drawn to her like there was some kind of gravitational pull and when they were apart she found herself thinking about Waverly and what she was doing.

"Nicole?" The question broke through Nicole's thoughts and she opened her eyes to find Waverly giving her a questioning look, "What's going on here?"

Nicole looked startled, "What do you mean?"

Waverly took a deep breath and let the words just flow out of her mouth, "I need you to tell me what you're thinking because I feel like you want to be with me but at the same time you don't. I need to know one way or the other because in case you can't tell I have very strong feelings for you and I need to know what you want Nicole."

Nicole looked at her for a moment, briefly dropping her gaze before bringing it back to Waverly's face, "Wave..." She began before Waverly interrupted her.

"I just want you to know that these past few months have been some of the best of my life and it's because of you. You make me a better person Nicole and I really, really like you a lot."

Nicole continued to stare at Waverly and it took her a moment before the words came, "Waverly...I, I like you too but I don't want to hurt you." Waverly opened her mouth to speak but Nicole held up her hand to stop her so she could continue, "And before you say that I won't, I can't guarantee that. I don't know that I can give you what you need, if all you wanted was a physical connection then I'm all in because I'm extremely attracted to you, but I honestly don't think that that's what you want. If it's more than that then I don't know if I can give you that Waverly and that is why I say that I don't want to hurt you."

Waverly could feel the tears forming in her eyes, "I don't believe that Nicole," She reached out and cupped Nicole's face within her hands, "I've seen the way you look at me and I know that I mean something to you and I think that you're just too scared to admit it. I don't know what happened to you in the past but I want you to know that I would never hurt you Nicole. I care too much about you and I would never do anything to..."

Her words were cut off as Nicole grasped her wrists and softly pulled her face closer so that she could press her lips to Waverly's, the urge to kiss the brunette overwhelming her to the point where she was unable to hold back any longer. The kiss began softly but it wasn't long before Nicole's hands had moved to Waverly's hair, fingers weaving within it and pulling her even closer to her so that she could intensify the kiss.

Waverly could feel the heat in her lower belly growing and she groaned against Nicole's mouth as she felt the redhead's tongue running across her lips, seeking entrance into her mouth. Waverly parted her lips and as Nicole's tongue slipped inside her welcoming mouth, she lost all sense of reason as she became increasingly aware of the heat that was engulfing her body.

The sound of a cell phone ringing shattered the moment and Nicole reluctantly pulled away from Waverly. "This better be important," Nicole said as she got up and took her phone out of her pocket, "I'm sorry it's the hospital, I have to answer it."

Waverly nodded her head in understanding but all she could think about was how good Nicole's lips had felt on her own and how much she wanted to get up off the couch, walk over to Nicole and take her phone away so that she could continue to kiss her. The only thing stopping her was the look on Nicole's face as she spoke to the other person on her phone.

Nicole ended the call and looked directly at Waverly, "Wave..." "What's wrong Nicole?" She got up off the couch and walked over to her, "Nicole, what's wrong?"

Nicole looked down at Waverly, "I'm sorry but we need to cut this short, I have to head over to the hospital." At the disappointed look on Waverly's face Nicole reached out and took her hand. "As much as I'd like to stay here and continue this, I can't. I have to go and Waverly, I need you to come with me."

"You're starting to worry me here, is it Maddie? Did something happen to her?"

Nicole reached out and grasped Waverly's hand, "No, Maddie's fine. Waverly, it's your sister, she's awake."

Waverly looked stunned, "What did you say?"

"Wave, Wynonna's awake and she's asking for you, we need to head over there."

"Of course," She walked over and grabbed her purse and coat before stopping in her tracks, "Oh my God Nicole, I can't believe after all this time, she's awake!" Turning she threw her arms around Nicole's neck, kissing her on her cheek, "I can't wait to see her!"

Nicole allowed Waverly to pull her out of the house and she waited while Waverly locked the door before walking her to her car and opening the door so she could climb inside. Shutting the door behind her she walked around the car and joined her inside before starting the car and driving towards the hospital, she held Waverly's hand the entire trip to the hospital.

 

*****

 

When they got to the hospital Nicole stopped off in her office in order to grab her labcoat before she headed up to Wynonna's room to examine her. Riding the elevator up to Wynonna's room she suddenly became very nervous at the thought of meeting Waverly's sister. She knew how important Wynonna was to Waverly and for some reason it was very important for Nicole to make a good impression on the woman. "What are you doing Haught?" The question invaded her thoughts, the self doubt returning to the forefront, "You're getting too close, maybe it's time to back off before everyone gets hurt. She's going to need to concentrate on her sister now and I'll just be in the way because she can't do that with me taking up her time." These thoughts began to overwhelm her as her anxiety and fear battled with her heart. Waverly had been right about the fact that she felt something for the brunette, whenever they were together Nicole would find any excuse to touch Waverly, even if this meant simply holding her hand.

As she walked into Wynonna's room she pushed those thoughts aside and put on her professional face, the one she reserved for her patients. She saw Waverly out of the corner of her eye, sitting next to her sister's bed but she refused to make eye contact with her because she knew that if she looked at her then Waverly would see the truth written on her face, that she did indeed have strong feelings for her.

Wynonna was propped up in a sitting position and as Nicole approached Wynonna's hospital bed she held out her hand to her, "Hello, I'm Doctor Haught, it's nice to finally meet you."

Wynonna looked over at her sister who was busy staring at Nicole, she raised an eyebrow and shook her head before returning her gaze towards the doctor, "Well hello there Dr. Dimples, how the hell are ya?"

Nicole took her comment in stride, "I'm doing good but the real question here is how are you? You've been asleep for quite some time." She could feel Waverly's eyes on her and she fought the urge to look back over at her. "The next few days we'll develop a rehab plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible because I know that you want to get out of here as soon as possible."

Wynonna glanced back over at her sister and said, "Yeah, I'm sure that babygirl over here has been lonely without me," Noticing where Waverly's gaze had returned to, she noted the darkening shade of red on Waverly's cheeks and a thought hit her, "Or, maybe she's been keeping herself busy."

Nicole seemed oblivious to Waverly's attention, at least on the outside. She closed Wynonna's chart, "The nurse will be in shortly to examine you and run some tests and I will see you in the morning." She turned to leave and as she did she briefly allowed her gaze to fall onto Waverly who gave her a tiny smile full of promise. Nicole didn't return her smile, instead she turned and walked from the room.

Waverly watched Nicole walk from the room, a frown now replacing the smile on her lips. Her attention was pulled back towards her sister as Wyonna repeated her name for the third time, "Waves?" Waverly turned her head towards Wynonna and the frown she now wore spoke volumes to the woman in the hospital bed, "So, what's going on between you and the Haught Doc?"

Waverly couldn't hide her shocked expression, "What, what do you mean?"

"Come on Waves, you've never been able to hide your feelings, your poker face has always been pretty pitiful." She reached out and took Waverly's hand, "I've never seen you look so love struck before."

Waverly sighed, "It's that obvious huh?" Looking down at the floor she reluctantly admitted, "Honestly, I don't know what's going on between us. I know how I feel but I'm not so sure about her. She just won't let me in and I think she's scared of getting hurt and I just wish she would realize that I'm not going to hurt her."

Wynonna sighed, "Oh, babygirl, you got it pretty bad, you love her don't you."

At Wynonna's words Waverly looked up at her sister and nodded, tears beginning to fall from her eyes. She whispered out a reply and Wynonna had to strain to hear her, "I don't know what I'm going to do Wyn."

"Hey," She squeezed Waverly's hand, "You love her then go get her! Waves, you are a brave and strong woman and you should go for what you want. It's obvious to me exactly what that is, so no more tears!" She reached up and wiped them from Waverly's face, "Go! I'll be here and waiting for a full report!"

Waverly threw her arms around her sister's shoulders, "I've missed you so much Wyn and I love you! Thank you and I'll be back, I promise!"

"I love you too you adorable psycho, now go get your girl!" She struggled against Waverly's iron grip, "You're killing me here Waves, I can't breath, seriously!"

Waverly let her go and rushed out of the room, a huge smile on her face. Wynonna shook her head and reached for the television remote, determined to catch up on some of the programs she had missed while she was sleeping.

 

*****

 

Nicole sat at her desk and finished updating Wynonna's chart. She made notations in it including her plan for the woman's rehabilitation and future recovery, when she was done she closed the folder and sat back in her chair. Sighing she hung her head over the back of her chair and her thoughts turned towards Waverly as they so often did. This was something that was occurring more and more often and Nicole was powerless to stop it. She was beautiful, smart and everything Nicole could wish for in a partner and she felt comfortable when she was around her, but she was also terrified her a little bit. She was terrified that Waverly would take a close look at the person Nicole is, that she would see her flaws and walk out the door, breaking her heart once again.
Jamie had walked out on her and left her alone and pregnant, it had destroyed her and she was never the same again. In Nicole's heart of hearts she knew that she wanted to be with Waverly but she couldn't bear the thought of Waverly walking out on her and leaving her all alone once again. This constant thought continued to run through her mind and it was preventing Nicole from giving her heart to Waverly.

She glanced up at the clock and noticed that it was getting late and she should probably head home. She was techincally off tomorrow and had planned on spending the day with her daughter but with Wynonna waking up her plans had changed. She would have to come back to hospital in the morning to set things up and after that she and Maddie would have the rest of the day to stay together.

She was in the process of gathering up her things when the door to her office flung open and a small ball of pure energy surged into her office. Before she knew what was happening the door was being abruptly slammed shut and Waverly was launching herself into Nicole's arms.

Waverly looped her arms around Nicole's neck and the air was knocked out of her lungs as she felt the brunette's lips crashing into her own. A small part of Nicole wanted to pull away but she quickly lost all desire to do so as Waverly tilted her head and slipped her tongue inside Nicole's mouth.

Nicole groaned against Waverly's lips and wrapped her arms around Waverly's waist, pulling her into her body. All coherent thought left her brain and all she could think about was how good Waverly's lips felt pressed to hers and how much she wanted her at that moment, how the fire was building inside her to an almost intolerable level.

Nicole's legs began to feel weak and she was struggling to catch her breath as Waverly continued to kiss her. All of her senses were tuned in to the woman in her arms and the outside world was ceasing to exist. She didn't know how, she couldn't remember moving but somehow they had ended up tumbling onto the couch together, Waverly landing on top of Nicole.

Waverly pulled back, needing to catch her breath for a moment and she reached out, tracing her finger down Nicole's cheek before running it along Nicole's lips. Her breath hitched in her throat as Nicole wrapped her lips around her finger and drew it into her mouth. She was mesmerized by the sight of Nicole sucking on her finger and when she released it with an audible pop it caused all of the blood in her body to rush into her lower belly and she could feel her desire pooling between her legs.

She immediately swooped her head down and crashed her lips into Nicole's, her desire for this woman building to the point that she was almost consumed by it. All she wanted to do was feel her bare flesh pressed against Nicole's and her hands moved to the buttons of the redhead's shirt as she continued to kiss her senseless.

Two strong hands came up and suddenly stopped her from opening Nicole's shirt, she gasped in disappointment and reluctantly tore her lips away from Nicole's soft mouth, "What..what's wrong, don't you want..."

Nicole smiled up at Waverly, "Of course I do, it's just I don't want to do this here, in my office, where anyone could disturb us." She wrapped her hands into Waverly's hair and brought her head back down so she could kiss her again, "The things I want to do to you are best left for when we have more privacy and without interruption."

Waverly buried her face into Nicole's neck and began to place kisses onto the soft skin she found there, words escaping her. She reluctantly pulled away and stood up holding her hand out to help Nicole to her feet. When Nicole stood up Waverly reached out and wrapped her arms around Nicole's waist, pressing her face into Nicole's chest she said, "Take me home now Nicole, I don't want to wait another minute to be with you."

Waverly stepped away and Nicole reached out taking her hand as they walked out the door together.

Chapter Text

The air was knocked out of Waverly's lungs as her back hit the front door to her house. She was struck by a bolt of pain and wondered if it would bruise, but as Nicole's mouth found her's once again she quickly forgot about any discomfort she may have been feeling. She found herself losing focus on anything that didn't include the redhead who was currently pressing her body into her own. Somehow she was able to gather her senses long enough to realize that they were standing on her front porch when all she wanted to do was drag Nicole inside so that she could remove her clothes. Pulling up the tiny amount of resolve that remained in her mind she brought her hands up, pushing Nicole off of her.


"What are you doing?" Nicole asked breathlessly as Waverly turned towards the door, reaching into her purse and searching for her keys.

Waverly found them and reached towards the lock nearly dropping them as Nicole wrapped her arms around her from behind and kissed the back of her neck. Gasping for breath at the feel of Nicole's lips she somehow managed to unlock the door. As the door opened they both tumbled inside and Waverly grabbed the side table to steady herself as Nicole slammed the door shut with her foot. She quickly spun around and stared up into Nicole's face, her breath hitching as she saw the desire in her eyes. She closed the gap between them, reaching up to cup Nicole's cheeks with her hands. Raising onto her toes she reached up to capture Nicole's lips as she removed her hand to reach behind her locking the door.

As Nicole kissed Waverly a tiny shred of doubt began to creep into her brain and she paused, pulling back for a moment to meet the confused looked she found in Waverly's hazel eyes. She mentally pushed the thoughts back down and brought her head back down, the desire to keep kissing Waverly helping to overcome them.

As much as Waverly was enjoying kissing Nicole, the building heat in her lower body caused her to reluctantly tear her lips from Nicole's and she stepped back, grasping Nicole's hand and pulling her toward the stairs. She led the redhead up to her bedroom, eager to take things to the next level.

As they stood at the foot of her bed a wave of nervousness washed over Waverly and she dropped her eyes, not wanting Nicole to see any faltering of her resolve. Nicole reached out and placed a finger beneath Waverly's chin, slowly raising her head, "We don't have to do anything you don't want to do."

Waverly smiled as she stared up into Nicole's eyes, "No, I want this Nicole, I want you. I don't think I've ever wanted anything more than this right now."

Nicole exhaled sharply at Waverly's words, she hadn't realized until that moment that she had been holding her breath but now she was filled with emotions that both terrified and comforted her at the same time. What she felt for Waverly went beyond desire and as she stared back at the other woman she knew that somehow Waverly had gotten in, she had pushed past Nicole's walls and had entered her heart.

As Waverly leaned up to capture Nicole's lips with her own, all coherent thoughts left Nicole as she was overcome with the need to feel Waverly in her arms. Just the thought of what it would feel like to have Waverly's body pressed into her own as she touched every part of her warm flesh turned her insides into molten lava.

Nicole's hands shook as she reached out and slowly unbuttoned Waverly's shirt, when the shirt hung open Nicole raised her hands and softly pushed it from her shoulders. Her hands moved around onto Waverly's back and Nicole had to fight the urge to pull her close, instead she brought her fingers to the clasp of Waverly's bra, "May I?" She asked with a slight tremor in her voice.

Words escaped Waverly and she simply nodded her permission, shivering as she felt Nicole undo her bra. When it was free she shrugged her shoulders forward and the bra joined her shirt on the floor. She reached down and unfastened her pants, pushing them along with her underwear past her hips and onto the small pile of clothing that now lay at her feet.

As Nicole stood there and took in the sight of Waverly standing before her she could only stare, seeing Waverly Earp in all her naked glory was without a doubt the most exquisite sight Nicole had ever seen. "God, you are so beautiful."

Nicole had said this so softly and with so much awe that Waverly wasn't sure that she had said anything at all. "Yeah?"

Nicole could only nod her head as she continued to take in the breathtaking sight in front of her. Two very capable hands tugging at her clothes broke her out of the spell she had been under and she gave no resistance as Waverly removed the clothes from her body. When her clothes were gone she shivered as Waverly stepped into her personal space. She closed her eyes as Waverly wrapped her arms around her neck and slowly leaned her body into Nicole's.

At the feel of Waverly's silky smooth skin against her own, Nicole felt a jolt of heat shoot straight to her core and she groaned out loud.  Wrapping her arms around Waverly's waist, Nicole pulled her closer into her body as she lowered her head to capture Waverly's lips. Nicole had intended for the kiss to be soft and slow but she found that she couldn't stop herself from deepening it as she ran her tongue across Waverly's lips, seeking entrance and to her great pleasure Waverly opened, giving Nicole permission to slide it inside.


Waverly dropped her hands down and grasped Nicole's arms, pulling her towards the bed.  They tumbled onto it and Nicole grunted as Waverly fell on top of her. Waverly began to apologize but the words died on her lips as Nicole tangled her fingers in her hair and drew her head down. She briefly kissed her before beginning to trail hot kisses along Waverly's throat and collarbone while her hands wandered down the bruenette's back before stopping to cup her perfect ass, pulling Waverly's hips tighter into her own.

Waverly was finding it hard to concentrate as she was lost in the sensation of Nicole's lips sucking on her pulse point, she knew that it would leave a mark but she really didn't care. The fire that had started in the pit of her belly had quickly spread until it was completely engulfing her. She brought her own hands up and wrapped them into Nicole's red locks and when she had a firm grip she pulled, effectively bringing Nicole's head back so that she could swoop down and kiss Nicole hard.

Nicole groaned into the kiss and shifted her body weight, flipping them until she lay fully on top of Waverly. She slid her leg between Waverly's and pressed upwards, she found that she was both surprised and elated to feel the warmth and wetness that was slowly coating her thigh. She was swiftly losing all reason as she was consumed by the desire to feel Waverly come undone beneath her.

She trailed kisses once again across Waverly's throat, only lingering there for a short amount of time before kissing a line down towards Waverly's breasts. Nicole wrapped her lips around a pink nipple as she brought her hand up to palm the other. She could feel Waverly's grip on her hair tighten once again as the brunette sucked in a breath at the contact.

As Nicole increased the pressure of her mouth on Waverly's nipple, the brunette gave off a loud moan as the heat built to an inferno between her legs. "Please Nicole, please just touch me." Waverly moaned as she tightened her grip on Nicole's hair, "Please, I need you."

Nicole released Waverly's nipple with an audible pop and returned to capture Waverly's lips with her own. The kiss enflamed Waverly even more and she ground her hips up into Nicole's body seeking relief from the intense throbbing between her legs. Her breath hitched as she felt Nicole's hand traveling down her body and she tensed up in anticipation of that hand reaching it's goal.

Nicole paused her hand's descent as she felt Waverly stiffen beneath her, "Just relax Wave, we'll get there," She breathed softly into her ear. She could feel Waverly relax and shiver as she pulled her earlobe into her mouth and sucked before continuing her hand's descent to where it was needed the most.

Nicole didn't know who moaned louder as she finally reached her destination and felt the proof of Waverly's desire for herself.  When she finally slipped inside and brought Waverly to her release it felt like she was coming home.

 

*****

 

Waverly lay beneath Nicole, her body shuddering and her brain scrambled as she struggled to regain her senses after the intense orgasm she had just experienced. At the thought that it had been Nicole loving her she was overcome with emotion and tears began to fall from her eyes.  She wrapped her arms tighter around Nicole's back and began to sob into her neck.

Nicole began to place soft kisses into Waverly's hair, "Hey, what's wrong?" Waverly didn't answer, she just continued to sob into Nicole's body and the redhead was becoming concerned. She leaned back and gently removed Waverly's face from her neck.

"Hey, it's okay." She reached out with her thumb and wiped away Waverly's tears before placing soft kisses on her nose and cheeks.

Waverly sniffled and cracked a small smile as she looked up at Nicole, "I...I'm sorry, it's just that..." She dropped her gaze, not looking at Nicole.

Nicole reached out with her finger and placed it underneath Waverly's chin, raising her gaze up to meet her own, "You don't have to apologize for anything Wave."

Waverly stared into Nicole's eyes, "I...I know it's just that I lov...like, I like you so much." She tried to squash the rising panic and searched Nicole's gaze, hoping that she hadn't heard her little slip-up.

Nicole shot her a grin, dimples fully on display, "Oh, I like you too." She leaned in and kissed Waverly, "So, so much."

Waverly looked up at her in wonder, "Yeah?"

"Yeah." Nicole breathed into Waverly's ear causing a fresh wave of arousal to rush to her core. She reached up and softly ran a finger along Nicole's jawline. She stared directly into Nicole's eyes in wonder, no longer caring that the love she felt for the redhead was clearly shining through. Wrapping her hands in Nicole's hair once again she drew her head down in order to capture her lips.

Waverly shuddered in anticipation as images of Nicole coming undone beneath her flooded into her mind. As the heat began to rise within her again she deepened their kiss and slid her tongue inside Nicole's welcoming mouth.

Nicole seeming to sense what Waverly needed shifted and rolled, groaning as Waverly's weight settled on top of her. Waverly's hands traveled down Nicole's body, not stopping overly long on any one spot as she quickly explored the supple body beneath her. As she reached her destination, Waverly ran her fingers through Nicole's wet heat and she gasped as she felt how ready Nicole was for her. She instinctively knew that it wouldn't take long for Nicole to come undone and she didn't want to keep her waiting any longer.

Waverly was right and it wasn't long before Nicole was digging her blunt nails into her back as her release washed over her. Waverly placed soft kisses onto Nicole's face as the redhead came down from her high and as her breathing steadied and Nicole opened her eyes she found the most beautiful sight looking back at her and deep down inside she knew that her life was never going to be the same.

 

*****

 

Waverly woke up the next morning and reached her hand out towards the other side of the bed. Instead of finding the warm body that should have been laying beside her, she found only an empty space where Nicole should have been. A feeling of disappointment grew within in her at the thought of Nicole leaving her after what they had shared.


As she thought about the events of the previous night, a grin broke out on Waverly's face. She stretched and winced at how sore her muscles, along with other parts of her body were. It came as no surprise to her that her body was in its current condition considering how the both of them had practically been insatiable, finally falling asleep a few short hours ago. Nicole had wrapped her arm around Waverly from behind and the feel of her steady breathing on the back of her neck had lulled Waverly to sleep.

She opened her eyes to find a bit of color on the pillow next to her and it didn't take her long to realize that the rose that was sitting there had come from the bouquet that Nicole had given her. As she brought the flower to her nose the soft scent of it filled her nostrils, she sighed and began to look around the room looking for any clue as to the whereabouts of the redheaded doctor.

Thinking that she may be in the adjoining bathroom Waverly sat up in bed and called out, "Nicole?" Getting no answer she huffed and sat back against the headboard to her bed. She glanced back over towards the far side of the bed and something on the nightstand caught her eye. Waverly reached over and snatched up the piece of paper and smiled as she read what Nicole had written on it.

 

Waverly,

 

Even thought I wanted to stay in bed and wait until you woke up to say good morning I needed to go to the hospital.  I had a certain patient that I needed to take care of this morning so I thought you might understand that this was the only thing that could have taken me from your bed.  When you wake up please send me a text and if you'd like, maybe we can have lunch together with Maddie, she's been dying to see you.

P.S. you are even more beautiful while you're sleeping.

XXXOOO

Nicole

 

Waverly glanced at her phone and saw that it was nearly eleven o'clock. She sent a quick text to Nicole saying that she would love to have lunch with her and Maddie and hurried into the bathroom to take a shower. Afterward, she came out and checked her phone again to find that Nicole had responded that she would be there shortly to pick her up.

The doorbell rang as Waverly finished getting dressed and she rushed downstairs to answer it, eager to see Nicole again. As she opened the door she found two sets of dimpled smiles on the other side.

She couldn't help but smile back at them and she blushed slightly as she looked up at Nicole, "Hi." She breathed out softly a blush rising in her cheeks. Maddie rushed forward and threw her arms around Waverly's waist, causing her to take a half step backwards.

"Waverly, I missed you!"

Waverly brought her arms down to hug Maddie but she found she couldn't tear her eyes away from Nicole, "I missed you too baby."

"Mommy said we're gonna go eat lunch, you ready?"

Waverly gave Maddie a squeeze before the little girl let go of her, "Lead the way." she said as she gestured towards the outside. She watched and chuckled as the little girl ran out to the car and climbed into the backseat. Feeling Nicole's gaze on her she glanced over to find Nicole looking at her with barely concealed desire in her eyes. "I woke up and you were gone."

Nicole reached out and took her hand, "I'm sorry about that, I really didn't want to leave you, especially since you were so beautiful..."

"Oh please," Waverly interrupted her, "I'm sure I was drooling."

"Nicole leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, "No, you weren't drooling.  You're beautiful Waverly and I hope we can do this again soon." Leaning back Nicole gave her a dimpled grin.

"What's that, go to lunch with your daughter?"

Nicole's eyes darkened and her tone dropped as she whispered into Waverly's ear, "I think you know what I mean, last night was fantastic, I can't stop thinking about it."

"Really?"  Waverly went to step past her, "Then maybe we can."

Nicole reached up and grasped Waverly's arm, "Maybe? Well, if you're interested I'm free tonight."

Waverly couldn't help but smile up at her, "Why Dr. Haught, are you propositioning me?"

Nicole reaised an eyebrow at her, "If I say yes, will it get me anywhere?"

Waverly shrugged as she walked past her, "Maybe." Laughter trailed behind her as she made her way to the car.

Nicole shook her head and smiled as she closed the door to Waverly's house and hurried towards the car. She was feeling content and found herself wanting to spend more time with the brunette. There was no longer any doubt in her mind, She had feelings for Waverly and for the first time in a long time she wasn't scared by them.

Chapter Text

For the first time in as long as Nicole could remember she was happy. She had a great job, an amazing daughter and now she had someone in her life who she truly cared about. After years of keeping herself closed off from others Nicole was finding it easier and easier to open herself to Waverly Earp. There was something about the tiny brunette that made Nicole want to be a better person, she was finally beginning to heal and to put the past behind her.

She was sitting in her office, staring off into space and thinking about Waverly when the text tone sounded on her phone. She picked up her phone and smiled at the message that Waverly had sent her. They had a date that night and the two of them were planning on taking Maddie to the aquarium the following day on Nicole's day off. Maddie would be starting preschool soon and Nicole wanted to spend as much time as she could with her before the school year started.

Nicole sat back in her chair and smiled. Tonight would be the first time that Waverly would be spending the night at her home. It had been almost a month since they started sleeping together and Nicole hadn't been ready for Maddie to know about them untill now. The fact that Maddie loved Waverly as much as she did went a long way to Nicole letting Waverly into her heart, especially since Waverly loved the little girl too.

Waverly had scaled back on her shifts at the bar since school was starting soon and she needed to get her classroom set up. Once she began teaching again, Nicole hoped that Waverly would be able to quit that job altogether. She didn't feel like she had a right to tell Waverly what she could and couldn't do but the thought of other people staring at Waverly and treating her as an object made Nicole feel things she hadn't felt before. She felt protective of Waverly and only wanted people to treat her with the respect she deserved.

It had been so long since Nicole had put such deep trust in another person and a small part of her was afraid that Waverly would leave her and if that were to happen she didn't know what she would do. She knew that she wanted to be with Waverly, she wanted this more than she had ever wanted anything, she just couldn't shake the feeling that something would happen and Waverly would no longer be in this for the long haul.

She shook those thoughts from her head and got up from her desk, stretching the kinks out of her back. She knew that keeping accurate records was important but the antiquated system that they used at the hospital here made her miss her old hospital who had all their records kept on computers. She had a meeting the next afternoon with the hospital adminstrator regarding that very subject and she was hoping that she would be able to convince him that by using computers and tablet and actually bringing the hospital into the twenty-first century would save them alot of time as well as being way more efficient.

Reaching down she closed the file on her desk, smiling at the thought that Wynonna would be going home in the morning. Nicole had been worried that the woman would never fully recover from the shooting and she was very pleased with her progress. The plan was for her to bring Waverly to the hospital and she would drive the sisters home in her larger SUV so that Wynonna would be more comfortable on the ride home.

She took out her phone and sent Waverly a text letting her know she was on the way to come pick her up from work. Waverly's response of several unicorn and heart emojis made her smile as she walked out of her office.

 

*****

 

Waverly woke up the next morning to the feel of Nicole pressed up against her back. She was laying on her stomach and Nicole was asleep with her head resting on Waverly's back, her arm and leg were thrown across Waverly's body. She was trapped, but in a good way. She felt safe and protected with Nicole wrapped around her and she felt content and there was no place else she'd rather be then in this moment. She smiled as she felt a soft kiss land between her shoulder blades and she sighed as Nicole wrapped her arm tighter around her waist.

"You know this isn't going to last much longer, we're going to be interupted real soon." Nicole began kissing Waverly's shoulder, "So we should probably put on some clothes."
Waverly rolled over onto her back and looked up at Nicole, reaching up she wrapped her arms around Nicole's neck, "Well, I think that we should just make the most of this time, it's still early so..." She pulled on Nicole's neck so that she could bring her head down and she had to fight the urge to whine in frustration when Nicole resisted.

"Wave, we seriously need to..." She was interupted as Waverly persistently tugged on her, finally giving in and dropping her head down to capture Waverly's lips. They were so wrapped up in each other they didn't hear the sound of running feet until the door was flying open and a flash of color was making a beeline for the bed. They quickly broke apart and Waverly pulled the sheet up underneath her chin to cover her bare chest.

Nicole reached over and grabbed her shirt from off the floor as Maddie launched herself onto the bed and into her mother's lap. "I was waiting for you to come make me breakfast Mommy!" the little girl shouted practically into Nicole's ear. She looked over as if she were noticing Waverly for the first time, "Princess Waverly, what are you doin here? Did you and mommy have a sleepover?" She turned back towards Nicole, "Are you doing the washing mommy?"

Nicole tilted her head, "Why do you ask?"

"Cause Waverly doesn't have her clothes on mommy and she don't have a bag like when you..."

Nicole's face turned red, "Uh, Monkey, why don't you go turn on some cartoons and we'll be out in a minute to make some breakfast, okay?"

Maddie bounced on the bed, "Can we have pancakes, I love pancakes!" She jumped off the bed and ran from the room.

Nicole watched her leave, she turned towards Waverly and noticed that she was staring back at her with a raised eyebrow. "What?" Nicole asked at her inquiring look.

Waverly continued to just look at her, "I was just wondering...." She ran her finger down Nicole's bare arm and smirked as she saw Nicole shiver at her touch.

"About?" Nicole breathed out.

Waverly leaned in and place a kiss on Nicole's cheek, "Just," she kissed Nicole's other cheek, "How many," she placed another kiss onto Nicole's forehead, "Sleepovers," she placed a kiss onto Nicole's lips as she finished her questioning, "you've had."

Nicole pulled away and looked Waverly in the eye, "Including you?" Waverly nodded and Nicole continued, "I've never had anyone spend the night with me in my home before, I've always..." Stopping, she reached down and grasped Waverly's hand, "I never wanted anyone to spend the night before and I've never cared enough to let someone get close to my daughter like this, I hope you know how much you mean to me."

Waverly sat up in bed and reached out, cupping Nicole's cheek within her palm. She moved her thumb and ran it along Nicole's bottom lip and stared at Nicole in awe at her declaration. "You mean alot to me too Nicole, and I..."

Nicole's hand wrapped around Waverly's wrist as she leaned in to place a soft kiss onto Waverly's lips. "I haven't felt this way about anyone for a long time, not since..." She shook her head and stopped, "We should probably get up, Maddie needs to eat and I'm starving." She moved to get off of the bed but Waverly pulled her back.

Waverly was concerned about Nicole's sudden shift in mood, "Hey, are you okay?"

"After last night I am amazing, thank you very much." She leaned in and kissed Waverly on the forehead, "I need to go make sure that Maddie isn't up to something, it's awfully quiet out there."

Nicole got out of bed and walked over to her dresser, opening a drawer she took out a tshirt and a pair of sleep shorts. As she turned around she noticed that Waverly was staring at her. "You want to ah, close your mouth there and get dressed Waverly." Nicole said with a smirk which promptly died as Waverly let the sheet drop, baring her chest.
Waverly raised an eyebrow, "See something you like?"

Nicole swallowed and rasped out, "Now, that just isn't fair." She tossed the shirt in her hand to Waverly as she heard the brunette chuckle. "Please, do us both a favor and put that on."

"Not fair, huh, miss strut across the room naked," Waverly laughed even harder as Nicole's face turned a brighter shade of red and she continued to laugh as she made her way into the bathroom.

Nicole shook her head and pulled on her shorts, taking a new shirt out of the drawer she was pulling it over her head as Waverly walked back out of the bathroom. She reached out and took Waverly's hand and they walked out of the room together and into the kitchen to make breakfast.

 

*****

 

Nicole sat down on the couch in her office and lay her head on the back of it, she was exhausted and was feeling a little discouraged. All she wanted to do was go home, take a hot shower and go to sleep. It was days like this that made her question her decision to become a surgeon. She remembered her mentor telling her that sometimes there was nothing you could do to save the patient. "It doesn't matter how good you are or how long you operate Nicole sometimes people just die, despite our best efforts."
Nicole hadn't accepted that and so far she had only lost one other patient and that was a gunshot wound that had blown a six inch hole into a man's chest. After that she hadn't lost a single patient, until today.

In her experience car accident victims were the worst, you never really knew the extent of their injuries until you opened them up and then that was when the adrenline would kick in and the plan to repair the damage would form. But when she had opened up the man on the table and saw the extent of his injuries her heart sank and she knew in the back of her mind that saving him would be damn near impossible.

And she had tried to save him, tried everything in her power for over six hours but it was to no avail. In the end the patient didn't make it and Nicole had to tell the man's wife the news. She had to stand there and explain to that poor woman that she had failed to save her husband. This was always the worst part of her job and thankfully it wasn't something that Nicole had to do all that often.

Nicole was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, all she wanted to do was go home and spend some quality time with her daughter. She got up and walked over to her desk, logging off her computer and grabbing her coat.

She looked up as the door to her office opened and a very welcoming sight walked inside. Waverly approached her quickly and wrapped her arms around Nicole's waist, "I heard what happened, I'm so sorry Nicole. Is there anything I can do?"

Nicole wrapped her own arms around Waverly's back and buried her face into the shorter woman's hair, inhaling the familiar scent of Waverly's shampoo. "You're doing it, this is all I need."

They just held each other for a few minutes before Nicole placed a quick kiss onto the top of Waverly's head, "I was just getting ready to go upstairs and get Maddie, you want to come with me? Afterward, Maybe stop on the way home, pick up something to eat and watch terrible movies. Fall asleep in each other's arms?"

"That sounds like heaven, but I can't stay over tonight. I need to get up early and bring Wynonna in for her physical therapy session before I head into work, luckily I only have an afternoon class tomorrow."

Nicole was disappointed but she was happy to just be in Waverly's company even if it was for only a short amount of time. As they walked out of her office Nicole shut off the light and closed the door behind her. She reached out and took Waverly's hand as they headed towards the elevevator. "I'm thinking about enrolling Maddie in your school, I heard that there's a really fantastic preschool teacher who works there."

Waverly smiled at Nicole's comment and stepped onto the elevator, Nicole following close behind.

 

*****

 

Nicole sat at a table in the cafeteria and sipped her coffee, she set the cup onto the surface and frowned down at it. She was visibly upset and her feelings were a jumbled mess. Of course Waverly would choose this weekend to go out of town, the one weekend that Nicole acutally had off in over a month. To say that Nicole was disappointed was an understatement but she understood that Waverly and her sister needed this time together. The thing that bothered her the most about this whole situation is that Waverly wouldn't tell her where they were going, just that it was some sort of family tradition.

They hadn't had a lot of time together over the past few weeks as Waverly's time was split between teaching her preschool classes and still taking shifts at the bar. And to make matters worse she was having to go home and help her still recovering sister and Nicole was extremely pleased that Wynonna was out of her wheelchair and walking with the assistance of a cane.

Nicole had been putting in long hours at the hospital and with Maddie being in preschool rather than the daycare center in the same building, she was spending extra time driving over to the school to pick her daughter up. By the time she would get home at night she would fix a quick dinner before falling into bed, drifting off to sleep almost immediately.
The truth of the matter is that she missed Waverly, she enjoyed her company more than she liked to admit and she was getting to the point where she couldn't imagine her life without the brunette in it. The fact that she was beginning to suspect that her daughter loved Waverly more than her didn't even bother her as much as she thought it would.

Nicole got up and walked to the elevator, she needed to check on a patient before she left for the weekend and she was eager to go home and spend some much needed time with her daughter. Walking past the nurses lounge Nicole stopped as she heard her name coming from inside.

"I still can't believe that Dr. Haught is dating that Earp girl, I wish she would wake up and see that she's no good for her."

A second voice followed, "I went to school with Waverly Earp and let me tell you, she would date someone for a short amount of time and get them to fall in love with her, after that she would dump them and move on to the next. Look what she did to poor Champ Hardy, drove him to do such a horrible thing."

The first person added, "I didn't know she was that bad, it's such a shame, Dr. Haught is such a nice person and doesn't deserve this. I just hope that when she discovers what Waverly is really like that she doesn't get too depressed and heartbroken."

At this point Nicole had heard enough and walked away, shaking her head. She could never understand people's need to gossip about others and she considered it a pointless waste of time.

After checking on her patient she made her way back down to her office and decided to give Waverly a call. The sisters had left early that morning and they should have made it to their destination and gotten settled in by now. The phone went to voicemail and Nicole left a brieg message asking Waverly to call her back. She hung up and left the hospital, swinging by Maddie's favorite pizza place on her way home.

 

*****

 

Nicole spent the majority of the next day on the couch with her daughter watching movies. They hadn't spent the day like this, just the two of them together since before she had started seeing Waverly. She loved spending the day with Maddie but she couldn't help feeling as if something, or someone was missing.

After she put Maddie to bed she went into her room and put her phone on the charger. She bit her lip and contemplated on wether or not she should call Waverly again. She was worried that she hadn't heard back from the other woman but she also didn't want Waverly to feel as if she were smothering her.

She changed into her pajamas and climbed into bed and her eyes were instantly drawn back to her phone. She picked it up and dialed Waverly's number and this time someone answered it, but it wasn't who Nicole expected. Someone Nicole had never spoken to answered the phone with a quick, "hello?"

Slowly losing the battle to push the panic down she asked, "Who is this, can I speak to Waverly please?"

"She's um...busy right now, you havta call back later." Nicole could tell the woman was clearly intoxiated by the way she was slurring her words and she was growing more irritated as the minutes went on.

She could here the sound of Waverly laughing loudly in the background and she began to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach that quickly turned into full on dread when the woman shouted into the phone, "Hey Waverly, baby there's someone on the phone for you." There was a pause and Nicole's heart sank as the woman said, "She can't come to the phone, she's occupied right now."

Nicole could feel her anger rising, "What do you mean occupied, put her on the phone."

Nicole could hear Waverly's voice in the background and her heart sank, "Who is it Rosie?"

"Wow, you're pretty bossy there...I don think I wanna talk to you." and before Nicole could respond the woman hung up but not before she could here Waverly's laughter one last time.

Rosie, as in Rosita an old girlfriend of Waverly's had answered her phone. Now it was clicking into place why Waverly wouldn't tell her where she was going this weekend. Waverly was off with her sister but also with an old flame and Nicole could feel her stomach starting to churn as she fought down the urge to vomit.

Nicole sat in bed willing Waverly to just call her back, but the call never came and with each passing moment Nicole was getting more and more upset as her imagination ran wild. With what she had overheard earlier coupled with the call to Waverly's phone that her former girlfriend had answered was making Nicole think the worst of Waverly.

As she sat there and thought about things, really thought about it there was really only one decision she could come to. She needed to end this before her heart was completely in shreds. She had envisioned this weekend going much differently, she was going to finally tell Waverly how she felt about her but now, she wasn't so sure that giving her heart fully to the brunette was the best thing. She had already given her enough of it and now it was breaking. She sent Waverly a quick text that read, We need to talk. Nicole turned off her phone, shut off the light and curled up into ball under the covers, eventually crying herself to sleep.

*****

Early Monday morning Nicole knocked on the door to Waverly's house and stood there shuffling her feet as she waited for the brunette to come open it. She dreaded what she knew in her mind she needed to tell Waverly and it was killing her. The door opened and Waverly stood there with a huge smile on her face, she held out her hands to Nicole but the redhead just stood there, looking down at her feet.

Nicole looked up at Waverly and softly said, "Can I come in?"

Waverly dropped her hands and nodded, her forehead creasing into a frown as she stepped aside and Nicole brushed past her. She watched as Nicole took two steps into the living room and stopped, not turning around.

Waverly stared at Nicole's back and asked, "Nicole? What's wrong?"

"I...can't do this Waverly."
I'
"Can't do what?" Waverly walked over to Nicole and touched her arm, "Nicole, look at me."

Nicole slowly turned around and Waverly could see tears streaming down her face, "I can't be with you anymore Waverly, I...I can't be with someone I don't trust. I'm sorry"

Nicole tried to walk past her but Waverly reached out and grabbed her arm, "What are you talking about Nicole?"

Nicole tried to pull her arm away from Waverly's grip, "Let go of my arm Waverly!"

"NO! You don't get to come in to my house and drop a bombshell like this onto me with no explaination!" Waverly tightened her grip on Nicole's arm, "You owe me that at least Nicole!"

Nicole shook her head, "I thought I could trust you, but you're keeping things from me!" She snatched her arm away from Waverly and stood there looking at her, the torment she was feeling written all over her face, "You left, you didn't tell me where you were going and you cheated on me with your ex Waverly!"

Waverly was dumbfounded by Nicole's words, "What? I would never cheat on you Nicole."

"I know that you did Waverly so just admit it!" Nicole was beyond reason as her emotions took over, "Your just as bad as Jamie, only thinking about yourself and not giving ashit..." She cut herself off before she revealed too much and strode toward the door but Waverly's voice made her pause.

"I'm not Jaime Nicole. I would never hurt you like that."

Nicole began to cry and as she walked towards the door Waverly followed her, "Nicole, I would never do that to you, you have to believe me, I love you."

Her words made Nicole stop for a moment as she reached for the door handle, but instead of turning around she whispered, "I'm sorry Waverly I can't." She opened the door and didn't look back as she got into her car and drove away.

Waverly watched Nicole's car as it disappeared down the street, she felt numb and helpless and willed Nicole to turn around and come back. She wasn't sure how long she stood there but after a time she finally turned and entered the house, closing the door behind her. The numbness gave way and she collapsed to the floor as a wave of anguish washed over her. She lay there in the front hall sobbing uncontrollably unsure of what to do next.

Chapter Text

Wynonna stood in the doorway leading into their living room and watched as her sister sat on the couch and watched the movie, The Notebook for what seemed like the millionth time. She shook her head as Waverly began to sob uncontrolably as the movie ended. She walked into the room and sat down onto her recliner and stared over at Waverly, waiting for her to calm down. This had gone on almost everyday for the past two weeks and Wynonna was at her wits end. "Wave?" Her sister looked over at her and she leaned forward and continued, "I love you but if I have to watch that damn movie or listen to Nothing Compares to You one more time I'm going to strangle both you and Haughtdoc."

"I'm sorry Nonna," Waverly's breath hitched and she sighed, "I...I just don't know what else to do, I love her and..."

"I know you do babygirl and I'm worried about you. It's not like you to not fight for what you want."

"How can I fight for her when she refuses to see me, or even talk to me!"

"Waves, you need to make her see that you didn't do anything wrong, she..."

Waverly stood up and paced back and forth across the room, "She thinks I cheated on her! Why would she think that, I would never do something like that." She stopped and gave her sister a sharp look, "I should have told her where we were going and why, and I shouldn't have let you take my phone from me!"

Wynonna held up her hands, "How many times do you need me to apologize for that?"

"One or two may help." Waverly sighed and her shoulders slumped, "I'm going to bed, I have to work in the morning."

Wynonna grasped her sister's wrist as she walked by, "Hey, try to get some sleep and we'll figure out what you're going to do to win Nicole back okay?"

Waverly nodded and left the room. As she listened to Waverly ascend the stairs Wynonna decided that she was going to have to take matters into her own hands. She was worried that if she didn't then her sister would be miserable for the rest of her life and pining after her lost love. She sat back in her chair and said to the empty room, "Well Doc guess I'll be seeing you in the morning, Waves is miserable and this shit needs to stop. Time to nut up or shut up Red."

 

*****

 

Nicole walked down the hallway towards the elevators and let out a tired sigh. Reaching up she ran her fingers through her hair as she removed her scrub cap and slowly rubbed the back of her head and neck to work the kinks out. She had just spent the last twelve hours in the operating room and all she wanted to do was go home, take a shower and sleep. But, before she could do that, she needed to stop by the waiting area and let the family know that her patient would be fine.

After speaking to the family member's of her patient, Nicole rode down the elevator towards her office. Today was her day off and Maddie had a play she was performing in at school so Nicole was determined to leave the hospital so she could get a few hours of rest before heading over to the preschool. Disappointing her daughter by not showing up was not something she wanted to do today and Lord knows that Nicole had disappointed Maddie plenty during the last two weeks.

The constant questions that Nicole had endured from her daughter since she had broken things off with Waverly had been almost too much for her to bear. She was miserable and she missed Waverly so damned much and the thought of not seeing her again broke her heart all over again. Waverly had been secretive and Nicole being overly cautious hadn't even given the brunette the chance to explain what had happened. As she took the last few final steps towards her office she did what she had done almost constantly over the past few weeks, she thought about Waverly Earp and how things could have been different.

She had told Waverly that she didn't trust her and if she were being completely honest with herself, that just wasn't true. She had been jealous and hurt at the thought of Waverly being with someone else and comparing her to Jamie was all kinds of messed up. Waverly wasn't anything like Jamie and Nicole knew it. Jamie had been self centered and uncaring at times and Waverly Earp was anything but those things. Nicole loved Waverly and no matter how many times she told herself that she didn't, she couldn't stop loving the brunette and deep down inside she didn't want to.

She opened the door to her office and walked inside towards her desk, the sound of the door slamming behind her made her jump right out of her skin and Nicole spun around, her heart jumping into her throat as she came face to face with an angry looking Wynonna Earp.

She brought her hand up to her chest, "Jesus Wynonna you scared the shit out of me!"

Wynonna's expression was almost unreadable as she stared at Nicole and her voice was surprisingly calm as she spoke, "Did I? Did I scare you red?" She took a step towards Nicole and a small smile broke out on her lips as she took another one towards the startled doctor.

Nicole began to feel uneasy and she found herself powerless to move as she watched Wynonna slowly moving towards her. "What do you want Wynonna, we don't have an appointment until next week and..." She paused as Wynonna arched an eyebrow as she continued to stare at Nicole with those piercing blue eyes, "Something tells me you're not here to talk about your recovery."

Wynonna shook her head, "I'm here to find out what the hell you said or did to my sister." Nicole opened her mouth to speak and Wynonna held up her hand to stop her before continuing, "I'm not one to interfere with someone's relationship but when it comes to my sister I'll make an exception. I don't know what you think happened that weekend and I can understand that you're upset but you didn't even give Waverly a chance to explain!" She took another step and was now standing a few inches away from Nicole, reaching out she poked Nicole in the chest as her anger towards the doctor began to climb higher, "You didn't even give her the benefit of the doubt, just jumped to conclusions and ran away, like a chickenshit!"

Nicole didnt answer her, she just stood there, fighting back the tears that she knew were coming.

Wynonna huffed out a breath and took a step back, "Look, I know how you feel about Waves, I have eyes and God help me I have ears. I like you but I'm telling you that what Waverly needs is someone who's going to be there no matter what, not someone who runs at the smallest hint of trouble. She's been through so much in her life and she's only twenty-one years old and whatever shit you're dealing with is not half of what that woman has been through in her lifetime." Wynonna walked over towards the door and opened it but before she walked through it she turned back towards Nicole and said, "If you think that my sister is the kind of person who hurts someone she so obviously cares about then you don't know her at all."

Having said her piece Wynonna spun on her heel and walked out of Nicole's office without a backwards glance.

Nicole released the breath she hadn't even realized that she had been holding and quickly sat back onto her desk as Wynonna's words sunk in and her knees gave out. She sat there thinking over what Wynonna had said and a part of her knew that what Wynonna had said was true, she had run away without letting Waverly explain. But another part of her was still filled with doubts, she was torn and didn't know what to do. She still had such strong feelings for Waverly but she wasn't sure if she could risk opening herself back up to her and the heartache that may come with letting the brunette back in.

 

*****

 

Nicole rushed into the auditorium and looked around for a seat. Spotting one near the front she quietly made her way towards it and stopped, her face falling as she noticed who was occupying the chair next to it. Staring down at the brunette Nicole's heart began to race as Waverly smiled softly up at her.

She watched as Waverly patted the seat next to her, "I won't bite you know, please sit down, Maddie's class is next."

Nicole nodded and took the seat, feeling a strange mixture of apprehension and elation at being so close to Waverly for the first time in over two weeks. They were sitting so close to each other that Nicole could smell the subtle scent of Waverly's perfume and she inhaled deeply, feeling a familiar stirring within her belly. Waverly shifted in her seat and Nicole could feel the smaller woman's hand brushing subtley against her leg. Nicole closed her eyes at the feel of the contact and against her better judgement, didn't move away from Waverly's touch. She couldn't deny that she still wanted Waverly, she missed touching her and being able to show her the affection she felt whenever she was in the brunette's presence.

She opened her eyes and looked on in pride as her Maddie's class took the stage and began to sing to the audience. Maddie stood in the center of the group and sang her heart out while swinging her arms and dancing. In the end Maddie stole the show, at least she did within Nicole's mind, and as they group finished their performance Nicole leapt to her feet and cheered. Glancing over to her left she noticed that Waverly was on her feet as well, clapping wildly.

Nicole watched as Maddie hopped off the stage and ran towards her. She held out her arms to her daughter as the little girl ran headlong into her legs wrapping her arms around them. "Mommy, you came!"

Nicole bent down and wrapped her arms around her daughter, "Of course I did, I wouldn't have missed this for anything."

Maddie looked over and noticed Waverly standing next to them and her face lit up as Waverly smiled down at her, "Waverly!" Maddie let go of her mother and quickly threw her arms around Waverly. "Can we go to your house and watch Brave?"

Waverly's heart dropped and she put her arms around Maddie, trying to keep the little girl from seeing the sadness that was written all over her face. Waveerly took a deep breath before saying, "I would love that but that's up to your mommy."

Maddie looked hopefully up at her mother and said, "Mommy, can we go to Waverly's house? I want to see Nonna, she's funny and she said she wanted to watch Brave too."

Nicole stared down at Maddie, the last thing she wanted to do was break her daughter's heart but she couldn't do it. She couldn't spend the evening in Waverly's company, she wasn't ready and wasn't sure if she ever would be. She steeled herself and did one of the most difficult things she had ever had to do. She had to disappoint the little girl, "Monkey, I thought it was just going to be you and me tonight."

"But Mommy, I miss Waverly and I want to watch Brave with her!"

Nicole squatted down so she could look her daughter in the eye, "I know you do but I'm sure that Waverly has plans and doesn't want to be pestered..."

"Actually I don't." Waverly answered before she could stop the words from tumbling out. At Nicole's look Waverly sighed and said, "I don't have any plans and she could never pester me Nicole."

Nicole stood up and looked down at Maddie, "Baby, why don't you go over there and say goodbye to your friends?"

"Okay mommy!" Maddie turned and ran back to the stage.

Nicole watched her go before turning her attention towards Waverly who just stood there staring back at her. Waverly took a step forward but stopped as Nicole raised her hands with her palms out towards her.

"Nicole..."

Nicole shook her head, "Waverly I can't, I just can't." She began to back away from the brunette.

"Nicole, please I just want to talk to you." Reaching up Waverly began to wipe the tears from her eyes.

Nicole shook her head again and turned to leave but stopped midstep as Waverly quietly said, "I'm not going to give up on you Nicole, on us."

Nicole briefly glanced over her shoulder towards Waverly before turning her head and walking over to her daughter. She picked Maddie up and walked out the door with her, mentally preparing herself for the rest of her evening spent in the company of a very upset and disappointed little girl.

 

*****

 

Maddie was relentless and Nicole was at the end of her rope. The constant questions about Waverly and why the little girl couldn't see her was driving her crazy and she needed a break. Nicole was currently laying in her bed seeking peace from not only her daughter but the outside world as well. She needed time to think and to process her feelings towards Waverly Earp.

Wynonna's words tumbled over and over again in her brain about how she had jumped to conclusions and had run instead of finding out what really happened. There was truth in what Wynonna had said, she had acted like a chicken shit. She had let past events influence her thinking and she had believed the worst without sticking around to find out the truth.

She felt guilty for running out on Waverly that day without letting her explain. And the worst thing was that Waverly had told her that she loved her and she had simply run away without a backward glance. She let her fear overwhelm her and she had ruined what should have been an extremely happy occasion. Waverly loved her and if she loved her, how could she have possibly cheated on her. The logical answer was that she hadn't.

These weeks without Waverly in her life were miserable. She had tried so hard to avoid the brunette but it would seem that fate had other plans. She had encountered Waverly at the coffee shop, several times at Maddie's school and even at the grocery store. Each time they had run into each other Waverly had tried to talk to her but Nicole had found an excuse to get away from the brunette even though it broke her heart to do so.

As Nicole lay there she knew that what she needed the most was something to distract her from her misery. A couple of nurses from the hospital had approached her and she had allowed them to talk her into going out to the local bar the next evening. Surprisingly she found that she was actually looking forward to going. She needed a night out to take her mind off of not only her daughter's incessant questions but Waverly Earp as well.

 

*****

 

The doorbell rang and Waverly continued to lay on her bed looking at pictures of Nicole on her phone. Wynonna was home and Waverly assumed that she would answer the door, but when it rang a second time Waverly huffed out a breath in irritation as she flung her phone onto the mattress beside her. The person ringing the bell obviously wasn't going to go away so she got up and headed down the stairs to see who had come to their door.

As she opened the door her eyes widened and she let out a squeal as she saw her high school best friend Chrissy Nedley standing on their porch. Waverly was so happy to see her friend that she launched herself forward and threw her arms around Chrissy's neck in a hug, "Oh my God! What are you doing here?"

Chrissy returned her hug, "I came to visit my dad and you of course. How are you, I hear that you're dating someone new."

Waverly pulled back, "Who told you that?" She stepped back inside the house and motioned for her friend to come inside.

As they walked into the living room Chrissy simply said, "Wynonna, she said she's never seen you this happy but Waves, you don't look very happy to me."

Waverly sat down on the couch and as Chrissy joined her she admitted, "We kind of broke up."

Chrissy raised an eyebrow, "Kind of? What happened?"

"She thinks I did something that I didn't do, she thinks I cheated on her. She dumped me without letting me explain."

"Why would she think that? That doesn't make any sense, did you do something to make her think..."

Waverly held up her hand and stopped her, "Why don't we talk about this over dinner, I haven't eaten since breakfast and I'm starving." She got up onto her feet and moved towards the stairs, "I'll just change real quick and be right back down. Help yourself to anything in the fridge."

Chrissy watched as Waverly ascended the stairs and she turned her head as Wynonna entered the room from the kitchen, "So, you and Waves are going out?"

Chrissy nodded her head, "Yeah we're going to dinner." Wynonna gave her a look and Chrissy's expression changed, "Or do you think we should go somewhere else?"

"You should take her to Shorty's after dinner."

"Shorty's, I haven't been there in years." She lowered her voice and leaned in closer to Wynonna, "I'm starting to think that this isn't the best idea and maybe we shouldn't meddle in their relationship."

Wynonna sat down in her recliner, "Look, Waves is miserable, Red is miserable and by default I'm miserable. Those two idiots belong together and they just need a little push in the right direction. All I want is for my sister to be happy and whether I like it or not, Nicole is who's going to make her happy. She's your friend and I need your help to pull this off, so the question is, are you in?"

Chrissy sighed and sat back against the couch cushions, "So, what did you have in mind?"

Wynonna leaned forward, lowering her voice as she spoke and Chrissy smiled as Wynonna's plan began to unfold.

 

*****

 

Chrissy and Waverly walked into Shorty's and made their way over to a table that was marked reserved. For the first time in weeks Waverly was having a good time and she knew that her mood was a result of the couple glasses of wine that she had drank over dinner as well as the company of her best friend.

As Chrissy went over to the bar to order them a couple of drinks Waverly looked around the room and was delighted to see the sign that it was karaoke night. She hadn't done karaoke in years and she missed doing it. Before Chrissy had gone off to college the two of them had been an unstopable duo, winning almost every competition that was held at this very bar.

Chrissy set a glass of wine in front of her and said, "I signed us up, I hope you don't mind."

"Not at all, if you didn't do it I was going to go up there and do it myself." Taking a sip of her wine she smiled over at Chrissy and reached over, squeezing her hand. "Thanks for this, I really needed to get out of the house."

Chrissy reached over and placed her hand on top of Waverly's, "I'm glad I could help, so are you going to tell me about this mysterious woman you've been dating, or do I have to guess?"

Waverly withdrew her hand and sighed before taking another sip of wine, "Nicole is a doctor, a surgeon actually. We met on the night that Champ shot Wynonna and she saved my sister's life."

Chrissy grimaced at the mention of Champ Hardy, "God Waves that whole thing with him was just awful and I'm so sorry I wasn't here for you during all of that."

"It's fine, I know you were busy getting your legal practice up and running and besides, Nicole was here for me during the trial. She was so supportive and I think it's when I..."

At Waverly's hesitation Chrissy quietly asked her, "When you what?"

"When I began to fall in love with her." Waverly took another drink of her wine and continued to tell Chrissy about Nicole, "She's gorgeous Chris, deep brown eyes that I can get lost in for days and the most adorable dimples. When she smiles the whole room lights up and I could listen to her talk for days and never get tired of listening to her. She's so smart and knows alot of stuff, sometimes I think she even knows more than I do."

Chrissy was surprised by this statement, "I highly doubt that, you were the valedictorian of our class after all, and the smartest person I know."

Waverly didn't seem to hear what Chrissy had said as she continuted to talk about Nicole and inwardly Chrissy could feel that the plan was working. Glancing over Waverly's head she noticed an unfamiliar face settling in at the bar. The woman turned and Chrissy's eyes widened as she realized that she was looking right at the object of Waverly's affection. The mane of red hair that hung loosely across her shoulders was a dead giveaway to her identity. As she stared over at Nicole she could only hope for the sake of her friend that after this night everything would work out for the best.

Her attention returned back to Waverly in time to hear her say, "I've never met anyone like her, and did you know that she has a kid? Her daughter is like a mini version of her and she's just precious and I adore her."

Chrissy reached out and squeezed Waverly's hand, "She sounds like an amazing woman Waves."

A grin broke out on Waverly's face, "She really is."

A voice over the loudspeaker interrupted their conversation and they turned their attention to the stage as the announcer called the first participent up onto the stage. Neither of them even attempted to hide their disgust as Pete York took to the stage and began to sing an off key version of the song Baby by Justin Bieber. Waverly cringed as Pete began to not only butcher an already bad song but began to hold out his hand towards their table trying to get them up on stage with him.

Waverly mouthed the word no as she shook her head and Chrissy began to giggle as Pete continued to make a fool out of himself on the stage.

When it was their turn to take the stage Waverly excitedly danced in place as the music started up and the two began to sing Wannabe by the Spice Girls. Singing with Chrissy was such a familiar and natural thing that Waverly couldn't help but keep her silly grin plastered onto her face the entire time they were singing.

When the song ended Chrissy turned to Waverly and said, "Your turn, I hope you don't mind the song I chose for you."

Waverly looked at her friend in confusion as the much taller woman reached over and grabbed a chair for Waverly to sit on but as the music began she understood why Chrissy had gotten it for her. Waverly waited for her cue to start singing and looked around at the faces in the crowd as they sat looking back at her.

Right before she began to sing she noticed a familiar face in the crowd and locked eyes with the object of her affection. Determined not to let the butterflies in her stomach faze her Waverly began to sing as she continued to stare directly at Nicole.

For you, there'll be no more crying.
For you, the sun will be shining.
And I feel that when I'm with you,
It's alright, I know it's right.

To you, I'll give the world.
To you, I'll never be cold.
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you,
It's alright, I know it's right.

And the songbirds are singing, like they know the score.
And I love you, I love you , I love you, like never before.
And I wish you all the love in the world.
But most of all, I wish it from myself.

And the songbirds keep singing, like they know the score.
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before, like never before, like never before.

As Waverly finished her song applause broke out from everyone who had witnessed her performance but Waverly barely heard it, the noise was drowned out by the pounding of her heart that was threatening to beat right out of her chest as she continued to stare at Nicole.

The redhead finally broke away from Waverly's gaze and Waverly dejectedly returned to her table downing the rest of the wine in her glass as she continued to look longingly over towards Nicole.

"That was awesome Waves." At the lack of response from Waverly Chrissy looked over in time to see Nicole shoot Waverly a look of longing before she quickly turned back towards the bar. She knew that she should feel guilty for interfering but all she and Wynonna wanted was for Waverly to be happy, and Wynonna was right about Nicole being the one to make her happy. When Wynonna had told her that Nicole was coming to Shorty's tonight, they knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to get the two of them to at least begin talking to each other again. She reached out and nudged Waverly with her elbow and wasn't all that surprised when Waverly didn't even turn her head to acknowledge the contact. "Go talk to her Waves, what do you have to lose?"

"Everything." She had uttered the word so softly that Chrissy had to strain to hear it, "She doesn't want to talk to me."

"Waverly Earp, go over there and tell her what you need to say and don't let her walk away. Do you love her?"

Waverly nodded, "More than anything."

"Well then, fight for her Waves." She brought her hand up and placed it softly on the small of Waverly's back and gave her a light shove, "Go to her, because if you don't and you let her slip away from you, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. I've known you since we were five years old Waverly, I know you almost like I know myself and I'm telling you that you need her, so go." She gave her another light shove and Waverly took the plunge and walked quickly over towards Nicole who had stood up and was paying her bill.

As Waverly approached Nicole she could feel her heartrate elevating with every step she made towards her. As Nicole finished paying her bill she turned and took a step towards the door stopping abruptly as she nearly collided with the tiny brunette who was now mere inches away, and blocking the path towards the door.

Nicole closed her eyes and a small part of her wished that when she opened them that Waverly would be gone. A larger part of her hoped for the opposite and Nicole was currently waging an internal battle between her head and her heart as her eyes popped open and she saw that Waverly hadn't budged from her spot.

"What do you want Waverly?" Nicole softly asked.

"I just want to talk to you Nicole, I want to explain what happened."

Nicole gestured with her head towards Chrissy, "Won't your date be jealous that you're talking to another woman?"

Waverly was stunned for a moment, "Uh, we're not on a date. Chrissy is my best friend and," Waverly leaned forward and was dangerously close to invading Nicole's personal space, "I don't want to be with anyone else but you Nicole."

"Waverly we can't be together, I can't be with someone who isn't honest with me, you need to just let me go." With that Nicole stepped around her and walked towards the exit and out through the door.

Waverly stood rooted to the spot for a moment before a wave of determination rose in her chest, Nicole Haught wasn't going to walk away this time, not without hearing what she had to say.

Waverly spun around and ran towards the door, flinging it open and rushing out into the parking lot. Her eyes scanned the parking lot before landing on the retreating frame of Nicole walking towards her SUV.

"Nicole!" Waverly notice the redhead flinch at the sound of her voice but she didn't stop walking so Waverly tried again. "Nicole Haught!"

Finally, Nicole stopped and turned slowly towards her, not saying a word. Waverly opened her mouth to speak but mother nature picked that moment to interupt her as the skies opened up and the rain poured down on the both of them as they stared each other down, both of them not knowing where to start.

Chapter Text

The rain poured down over the two women as they stared across the parking lot at each other. Waverly's clothes were soaked but at that moment she really didn't care. She wasn't going to let Nicole leave without saying what she needed to say and she'd be damned if Nicole wouldn't let her speak.

"Nicole..." She began to speak and Nicole shook her head before beginning to turn away. "Nicole Haught, don't you dare turn away from me!" She strode towards the redhead with a look of determination on her face, reaching out she grabbed Nicole's arm and spun the startled doctor back towards her.

Nicole looked down at the furious brunette and her brow furrowed as she tried to snatch her arm away from Waverly's iron grip. "Let go of me!"

"No, you don't get to do this Nicole, not anymore. You don't get to come into my life, with your dimples and your adorable daughter and make me fall in love with you and just wallk away without a second thought!"

Nicole's eyes widened at Waverly's admission but in her mind she wasn't going to let it sway her, "I told you that I can't..."

Waverly shook her head as her anger finally rose to the surface, "I know what you said and I'm calling bullshit! You...you just jumped to conclusions and didn't even give me a chance to explain, you...." She shivered as the chill from her soaking wet clothes seeped into her skin.

A look of concern washed over Nicole's face, "Waverly, you're cold, we should get you out of this rain." She reached out towards Waverly but the smaller woman gave her a look and Nicole quickly withdrew her hand, "You're going to get sick Waverly."

"Really Nicole, what do you care? You've made your feelings towards me perfectly clear." Waverly began to cry, she couldn't help it and she couldn't stop her emotions from spilling forward. "I gave you my heart and you stomped all over it." She turned to leave but at the sound of Nicole's voice she stopped and faced the redhead.

"Waverly, wait." At the brunette's questioning look Nicole sighed and continued, "Can we go somewhere and talk, really talk, just the two of us?"

"So now you want to talk! I've tried to talk to you for weeks and you haven't been interested in hearing what I've got to say! Well maybe I'm not interested anymore Nicole."

"Waverly..."

"You know what Nicole, Fuck you! Just fuck you!" She angrily turned away from the redhead but gave a small cry of surprise as Nicole grabbed her arm and pulled Waverly into her body. Before Waverly could react Nicole's head was swooping down and her lips were pressing roughly against Waverly's.

At first she tried to resist and pull away from Nicole but as the redhead wrapped her hands within the strands of Waverly's wet hair to hold her in place she gave in and began to kiss her back. Nicole pulled back so she could catch her breath and looked deep into Waverly's eyes.

Nicole loosened her grip on Waverly and pulled her towards her SUV and to her surprise Waverly offered up no resistance. They climbed inside and Nicole started the car before turning the heat all the way up and backing out of her parking space. She threw the car into drive and peeled out of the parking lot, cutting a path through the pouring rain.

 

*****

 

The door to the hotel room slammed against the wall as Waverly and Nicole stumbled into the room, wrapped in each other's arms with their mouths pressed together. Nicole briefly broke their embrace so that she could reach out and close the door, making sure that the lock was fullly engaged before turning back towards Waverly.

Waverly had moved across the room and was now standing next to the bed shivering and the two of them stood there for a moment, staring at each other from across the room. Waverly wrapped her arms around herself and continued to shake with not only cold but desire for the red headed woman staring back at her.

A look of concern washed over Nicole's face as she finally moved and walked towards Waverly she said, "Wave, we need to get you out of your wet clothes and warm, I'll start the shower."

As Nicole tried to move past Waverly the brunette grasped her arm, "Nicole, I just want...I just want you to..." She reached up with her free hand and placed it on the back of Nicole's neck, pulling her head down into a blazing kiss.

Nicole's hands trailed down Waverly's body and slipped underneath her shirt and she groaned as her fingertips brushed across Waverly's bare skin. Breaking their kiss she grasped the hem of Waverly's shirt and pulled it over her head. She dropped her head down and began to kiss a path across Waverly's shoulder before trailing up her neck and returning to those soft lips. As she continued to kiss Waverly, Nicole reached behind the brunette and unclasped her bra. Nicole pulled back and gasped as Waverly's bra fell to the floor, exposing her perfect breasts to her gaze. "You are so beautiful Wave, I've missed you so much."

Waverly didn't speak as she looked into Nicole's warm brown eyes that were darkening as her desire grew. Instead, she unfastened her pants and it wasn't long before her pants and underwear had joined the rest of her clothes on the floor. Without breaking her gaze away from Nicole, Waverly pulled down the covers and lay down on the sheets.

Nicole's hands shook as she quickly shed her clothes and joined Waverly on the bed. As she settled in next to her, Waverly wrapped her arm around Nicole and pulled her flush into her body, rolling until she was laying on top of Nicole. She stared down at the redhead beneath her in awe, tracing Nicole's jaw with her thumb Waverly softly said, "You are so lovely, I missed you so much." Her voice trailed off as she leaned down to kiss Nicole once again. She kissed Nicole over and over again, each kiss becoming deeper and as she continued to kiss her, Waverly's hand begain to wander across Nicole's soft curves as she became reacquainted with Nicole's supple body. She shifted her body and straddled Nicole's thigh, pressing her own into Nicole's center and she gasped at the heat and wetness she found there.

Waverly pressed her leg tighter against Nicole as she teased Nicole's breasts with her hands and mouth. Nicole threw her head back and moaned as Waverly sucked her nipple into her mouth. She hissed as Waverly pinched the other nipple between her thumb and forefinger and she wrapped her hands in Waverly's hair and pressed her head closer to her chest. Waverly released Nicole's nipple with an audible pop and returned once more to capture Nicole's lips and slide her tongue inside Nicole's welcoming mouth.

Nicole was so wrapped up in the feel of Waverly's invading tongue that she wasn't even aware that the brunette's hand had left her breast until she felt a finger trailing through her folds, seeking out her clit. She tightened her grip in Waverly's hair and drew her tongue deeper into her mouth as Waverly circled her clit with her finger before dipping down to her entrance and pushing inside. Nicole tore her mouth away and cried out in pleasure as Waverly began a steady rhythm, each thrust bringing her closer and closer to orgasm.

As Waverly continued her pace she ground down on Nicole's thigh, spreading wetness all over her creamy skin. She could feel Nicole getting close to release and she began to grind faster, seeking her own orgasm. Nicole was moaning and panting in her ear as Waverly pressed kisses wherever they landed. She brought her mouth to Nicole's pulse point and as she bit down hard Nicole let out a scream as her orgasm hit her. Waverly gave one final snap of her hips against Nicole's leg and found herself falling over the edge as well. All the strength left her limbs and she collapsed on top of Nicole.

 

*****

 

Waverly felt movement beside her and opened her eyes to find Nicole leaving the bed. She stretched and winced slightly at the soreness in her lower body, leaning up on her elbow she stared over at the redhead who was quietly stepping away from the bed and cleared her throat. At the sound Nicole stopped and turned back towards the bed, "So, where are you going?" Waverly asked with a raised eyebrow."

Nicole gestured with her head towards a closed door, "Bathroom, I didn't mean to wake you." She took a few steps before pausing and looking over at Waverly again, "Did you think that I was going to leave?"

"It may have crossed my mind."

"I'm not going anywhere Waverly, at least not until we've talked, really talked. I promise." She gave Waverly a smile before heading into the bathroom.

After a few minutes Nicole returned and Waverly got out of bed and took her turn. When she walked back out into the room, she found Nicole wearing a robe and standing in front of the window staring outside at nothing in particular.

Waverly put a robe on and walked around the bed, softly approaching Nicole from behind. Stopping behind her Waverly wrapped her arms around Nicole's waist and pressed her face into her back. "I want you to know that what I said last night, I meant it. I love you Nicole."

Nicole leaned back into Waverly's body, "I know Waves."

She pressed her face even tighter into Nicole's back and tightened her grip around Nicole's waist before stepping away and saying, "I'm sorry that you feel like you can't trust me and I'm sorry that I didn't tell you what was going on, I was so stupid for keeping you in the dark." She walked over to the bed and sat down, "I can't apologize enough for hurting you."

Nicole turned around and stared at Waverly, "So I was right, you did cheat on me." She dropped her head at the thought and couldn't look at Waverly anymore. "I feel sick."
Waverly stood up and took a step towards Nicole shaking her head, "That's not what I meant when I said I hurt you. When I said that I love you I meant it Nicole, I'm all in and I would never betray you like that."

Nicole looked up and Waverly's heart broke as she saw the tears in her eyes, "Part of me doesn't believe you, when I called your phone and your ex girlfriend answered I was devestated at the thought that you..."

Waverly rushed forward and took Nicole's hands within her own, "I am so sorry Nic, I should have just told you what we were doing and because of my bad judgement I've managed to screw everything up." She rubbed her thumb across the back of Nicole's hand and looked her in the eye before continuing, "The thought of you being hurt is killing me."

"Then why didn't you tell me what happened?"

Waverly looked at Nicole, "Because you didn't give me a chance, you left and wouldn't talk to me for weeks. Let me ask you something, do you doubt that I love you?"

"No." Nicole said it so softly that Waverly had to strain to hear it.

Waverly tugged on her hands and pulled Nicole towards the bed with her, "Please sit and let me explain what happened that weekend, okay?"

Nicole nodded and sat down on the foot of the bed as Waverly stood before her, keeping her grip on Nicole's hands she began to speak, "I'm not sure why I just didn't tell you what Wynonna and I were doing that weekend but when I told you it was tradition I was telling you the truth." She swallowed, took a deep breath and continued, "That weekend was the anniversary of our parent's deaths. Every year Wynonna and I go up to our family's cabin at the lake and get drunk and talk about what it was like before they died."

A look of understanding washed over Nicole's face, "So you felt like you couldn't tell me about something that important..."

Waverly held up her hand, "Let me finish please and after that you can ask me anything okay?" At Nicole's nod she continued, "It's always just Wynonna and me and I had no idea that she had invited other people until they started showing up. I had been drinking and Wynonna took my phone away from me because I wanted to call and talk to you. Sometimes my sister can be a real dick and she wouldn't give it back to me, she hid it. I was so drunk and I vaguely remembered hearing my phone ring and Rosita answering it but after that I passed out."

"Waverly, I left you a bunch of voicemails and you never called me back. She told me you were busy and didn't want to talk to me."

Waverly looked confused, "The only voicemail on my phone from you was the one saying that we needed to talk." She got angry for a moment, "She must have deleted them, I'm going to kill her when and if I ever see her again." Waverly knealt down on the floor in front of Nicole, "I swear to you that this will never happen again, you have my heart Nicole Haught and I've never given it to anyone else before. It was so stupid of me not to just tell you what we were up to and I won't make that mistake again. Can you ever forgive me?"

Nicole's face softened and she reached out and cupped Waverly's cheek with her hand, "I already have baby." She ran her thumb across Waverly's bottom lip, "I promise you no more running when things get tough. I knew from the moment I met you that you were someone special and it scared me because everyone in my life that I've cared about have left me. First my parents and then..."

"Jamie, you compared me to Jamie."

Nicole could feel tears forming, "I'm sorry I did that, I was upset and Waverly believe me when I tell you that you are nothing like her."

Waverly squeezed Nicole's hand, "What did she do to you Nicole? She obviously hurt you."

"She left me when I needed her the most. She wanted to start a family then decided she wasn't ready. I was seven months pregnant with Maddie and I came home to find her gone, she just left and never looked back."

Waverly began to cry, "Oh baby, I can't imagine what you went through and it breaks my heart."

Nicole reached up with her thumbs and wiped away Waverly's tears, "I'll never forgive myself for comparing you to her. You are nothing like her and it's not fair to you."

Waverly surged up and placed her hands on the sides of Nicole's face before bringing her lips to Nicole's and kissing her softly. Ending the kiss briefly she whispered against Nicole's lips, "I love you so much Nicole."

Nicole ran her fingers through Waverly's hair, "You're a special woman, you know that Waverly Earp?"

"I'm yours Nicole and I don't want anyone else."

Nicole leaned her forehead against Waverly's, "I don't want anyone else either, only you Waves, only you." She moved her head down and captured Waverly's lips, the overwhelming urge to kiss the brunette causing her to deepen it. As she slanted her mouth over Waverly's, Nicole could feel a pair of hands tugging at the belt to her robe but she pulled back before Waverly could open it completely.

"Wave, we um have to check out soon." She gasped as Waverly kissed a trail across her throat and as the heat began to build within her she was finding it harder and harder to stop. "Wave..."

Waverly lowered her eyes and looked at Nicole through her eyelashes, "But, I want you Nicole, don't you want me to touch you?"

"God, more than anything but..."

Waverly put a finger up to Nicole's lips, "No buts and no more talking, just feel." She tugged on the belt to Nicole's robe again and opened it, her eyes darkening as Nicole's bare skin was now exposed to her gaze. "You are so beautiful and I am so lucky." Waverly breathed out before pressing her lips to Nicole's.

A persistent knocking on the door startled them apart and they both jumped as the door began to open, "Housekeeping."

Waverly rushed over to the door, "Um, we're not checked out yet, can you come back?"

"Yes miss, I'm sorry to disturb you." The cleaning lady pulled the door shut and Waverly leaned her forehead against it before turning back towards Nicole who still sat on the bed with her robe hanging open.

Waverly felt a fresh wave of arousal building within her as she looked at Nicole but struggled to contol it as she spoke, "I...I guess we should get going." She turned towards the bathroom and said over her shoulder, "I'm taking a shower, care to join me?"

Nicole got to her feet and let the robe drop to the floor as she rushed to follow her naked girlfriend into the bathroom.

 

*****

 

Wynonna looked over at Waverly, who was busy putting candy into an oversized bowl, "I thought you and Red were taking her rugrat trick or treating tonight."

Waverly looked up at her sister and shook her head, choosing to ignore the comment about Maddie for the time being and said, "Nonna we talked about this. Nicole is taking Maddie to the Halloween Party at the hospital and then they are coming over here to watch movies."

"So, are they staying the night again?" Wynonna paused and gave her sister an innocent look that told Waverly that what she was thinking was anything but innocent. "What?"

Waverly crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow, "Is that going to be a problem?"

Wynonna took a deep dramatic breath as she sat down in her chair and turned on the television, "No, I just need to know if I need to get out my heavy duty ear plugs because...Hey!" Her sentence was interupted by one of the many decorative pillows from the couch being thrown into her face, "What the hell Waves?"

"Look, just because you don't have a sex life doesn't mean that you can make rude comments about mine."

"Rude comments?" Wynonna looked incredulous, "Baby girl, I'm only speaking the truth, I don't get alot of sleep whenever Nicole "Sleeps" over."

Waverly's eyes narrowed as Wynonna used air quotes to emphasize the word. "You need to get out of the house and tend to your own garden instead of worrying so much about mine."

Wynonna held up her hands, "I love you Waves but I don't want to hear anything about Nicole tending to your garden."

The doorbell rang and Waverly grabbed the candy bowl off the table and as she walked towards the front door she said over her shoulderr, "You're just jealous cause my garden has been tended to on a regular basis."

Wynonna made a gagging sound as she watched Waverly leave the room, "Ew, no more talk on the subject or I will get sick." She leaned back in her chair and couldn't help but smile at the sound of Waverly's laughter coming from the hallway. Her sister was finally happy and that meant the world to Wynonna.

 

*****

 

An hour later Waverly picked up the now almost empty candy bowl and headed towards the door as the doorbell rang again. She opened the door to find the most adorable red haired girl accompenied by an adult in a bear suit.

"So, who are you supposed to be little one?" Waverly asked while barely containing her laughter.

The little girl giggled and waved her bow and arrow at Waverly as she pratically shouted, "Princess Waverly, I'm Merida from Brave and this is..."

"Mama bear?" said Waverly with a lopsided grin on her face as she stared up at the person in the bear suit. "Why don't you both come inside? Wynonna's been waiting for you to get here." She turned and watched Maddie run into the living room, barely registering the sound of the front door closing. Two very strong and furry arms wrapped around her waist from behind and Waverly turned and leaned back within the circle of those arms. "You know, I'm not really into bears and I hate to break it to you but my heart already belongs to someone else Mama bear."

A muffled sound came from inside the bear head and Waverly watched as Nicole reached up and removed it so she could speak. "And who is this person who's stolen your heat milady?"

Waverly reached up and wrapped her arms around Nicole's neck, "Well, she's tall, has the most gorgeous flaming red hair I've ever seen in my life and her dimples make me swoon. But the thing I love best about her is her heart."

Nicole looked thoughtfully down at Waverly, "She sounds pretty great."

"She's my best baby and I love her with everything I am."

Nicole stared down into Waverly's eyes and she could see that love for her shining through and it was at the moment that Nicole decided to finally tell Waverly how she felt about her. As she opened her mouth to speak she saw movement at the end of the hall and she quickly closed it again, bracing herself for what she knew was coming from Wynonna.

Wynonna let out a soft whistle and took a step towards them as she said, "Holy shit Waves, I figured you two were into some kinky stuff but I never pegged you for a furry."

Waverly's mouth dropped open and Nicole glared at Wynonna as the older brunette continued, "I mean, seriously Waves I thought only gay men were attracted to bears."

Waverly dropped her arms from around Nicole's neck and stepped in front of her sister, "Nonna, I love you but you need stop, especially if you want to get any sleep tonight." She reached out and tweaked Wynonna's nose and smiled at her sister before turning back, taking Nicole by the hand and leading her back into the living room.

As she walked past Wynonna, Nicole flashed her a grin, "You coming?"

Wynonna rolled her eyes and sighed before following them into the other room.

 

*****

 

Nicole woke up suddenly from a deep sleep. Waverly was asleep with her head on Nicole's chest and Nicole was holding her close within her arms.

She wasn't sure what had woken her up but she suspected that the dream she had just had was the main reason why. The memory of the dream was fading but it had left Nicole with a feeling of uneasiness.

Nicole began to run her fingers through the brunette's hair as she lay there and thought back to the activities from earlier in the evening.

After watching movies and finally cutting her daughter off from eating any more candy they had put Maddie to bed in the guest room. As they tucked her into bed and kissed Maddie good night, the little girl wrapped her arms around Waverly's neck and whispered something into her ear. Waverly whispered something back before kissing Maddie on the forehead and telling her goodnight.

After they had retired to Waverly's bedroom, Nicole had intended to ask Waverly what Maddie had said to her but that plan went out the window as Waverly began to remove Nicole's clothes as she placed soft kisses along her exposed skin.

"Nicole?" Waverly's sleepy voice pulled her from her thoughts and she looked down to find Waverly staring back at her with her head propped up on her hand and a concerned look on her face, "Baby what's wrong, why are you awake at three o'clock in the morning?"

"I'm not really sure, I had a dream and I don't remember exactly what it was about but I know that it made me really sad."

"You want to talk about it? Maybe you'll remember what it was about." Waverly leaned up and placed a soft kiss on Nicole's lips, "Or, do you want to continue what we started earlier before you fell asleep."

Nicole's face turned red, "I'm sorry about that but I was really, really tired. Walking down every single street with a four year old who insists on going to almost every house in Purgatory for candy is exhausting." Nicole leaned in and kissed her back. "She wore me out."

Waverly could barely hide her amusement as she listened to Nicole speak, "Really, I thought that I was the one who wore you out."

Nicole blushed again, "I may take you up on your offer, but I want you ask you something first."

Waverly propped her chin on Nicole's chest and looked her in the eye, "This sounds serious but sure, you can ask me anything Nicole."

Nicole ran a finger through Waverly's hair, "What were you and Maddie talking about earlier tonight? You two seemed to be deep in conversation earlier."

Waverly dropped her eyes for a moment before looking back up at Nicole, "Well, basically she told me that she loves me and asked me if I'm going to be her mommy too."

Nicole swallowed "She did?" At Waverly's nod she asked, "What did you say?"

"I told her that I love her too." She ran her finger along Nicole's collarbone, "And, I told her that I love you very much. After that she said that she wants me to be her mommy and she really wants a baby brother or sister."

Nicole's face went white, "I'm so sorry Wave, I don't know why she said that to you."

Waverly moved up until her face was directly over Nicole's, "I told you before Nicole that I'm all in, as long as you want me and I'm not going anywhere. I love you and I always will."

Nicole reached up and wrapped her hand around the back of Waverly's neck and pulled her down into a kiss, rolling until Waverly was laying beneath her. She pulled back as her feelings began to overwhelm her and looking down into Waverly's face she knew that despite her fears that everything would be okay, that she didn't need to be afraid anymore. "Waverly I..." She swallowed and took a deep breath, "I've never felt this way about anyone before, I love you Waverly Earp more than I ever thought possible." She leaned down and softly kissed Waverly again while whispering against her lips, "I love you."

Waverly kissed her back, smiling against her lips. She was blissfully happy, happier than she remembered ever being before. She was in love with someone who loved her back and she felt like her world was now complete. Their lovemaking was slow and Waverly savored every kiss and every touch. And much later as she lay wrapped in Nicole's arms Waverly drifted off to sleep knowing that she was safe and loved.

Chapter Text

Nicole looked over at the woman who was currently occupying the passenger seat of her car. "Wynonna, are you listening to me?"

Wynonna looked up from her phone, "What?"

"I asked you if you're sure you're going to be okay taking care of Maddie while we're gone. I've had this weekend planned since before..."

Wynonna rolled her eyes and held up her hand, "I know, since before I almost screwed everything up for the two of you. Look red, I know I messed up and I can't apologize enough so I owe you big time. If you want to trust your kid with me, I won't let you down."

"I know you won't Wynonna." Nicole pulled the car over to the curb and shut off the engine, "I know how much Maddie loves you."

Wynonna looked out the window, noticting the store they were parked in front of she turned back towards Nicole with a confused look on her face, "You said we were picking up Waverly's Christmas gift."

Nicole shrugged her shoulders, "We are."

"But we're at the jewlery store," Wynonna gasped before reaching over and grabbing Nicole's arm, "Are you going to ask my sister to marry you?"

Nicole looked down at Wynonna's hand before raising her eyes to meet the other woman's piercing blue ones, "You know that they sell things other than rings here, right?"

Wynonna released a nervous laugh before answering, "Well, yeah. Duh."

Nicole hung her arms over the steering wheel and sighed, "I have actually thought about it you know, asking her to marry me. But neither of us are ready for that step yet." As she glanced back over at Wynonna she noticed that the other woman had an odd look on her face, "What..what's that look on your face?"

Wynonna looked away and opened the car door, "Nope."

Nicole got out of her car and hurried around it towards Wynonna, "Wait a second, what do you mean nope? Do you know something I don't know."

"I'm not one to interfere with matters of the heart when it comes to my sister, so nope."

Nicole stood and stared at Wynonna's back as she walked towards the jewelry store and shook her head, "Fine Wynonna, don't tell me."

"Wasn't planning on it." Wynonna tossed the comment over her shoulder as she went inside the store.

Nicole rolled her eyes and followed Wynonna inside.

 

*****

 

Thirty minutes later they were exiting the shop with Waverly's gift inside Nicole's jacket pocket. "Waves is really gonna love it Red."

Nicole glanced over at Wynonna and tried to squash the feeling of anxiety that was threatening to bubble to the surface. She wasn't worried about the gift for Waverly that Wynonna knew about, rather she was worried about Waverly's reaction to the gift that she had managed to hide from Wyonna. The last thing she wanted was for Wynonna to blab to Waverly about her surprise.

As they drove back to the Earp's house she thought about how happy she was with Waverly. She loved her more than she'd ever loved anyone before and she couldn't help but worry that something would go terribly wrong. A small constant whisper in the back of her mind kept telling her that she would screw things up with Waverly, that she would never be good enough.

Nicole pulled to a stop in front of the house and shook her head as she pushed those thoughts back down deep inside. She knew what she wanted without a doubt, she wanted a life with Waverly by her side. Just the thought of being close to Waverly was enough to calm the thoughts that would often flood Nicole's brain, Waverly made her feel special and that she could accomplish anything. She reached into her pocket and absentmindley rubbed her thumb over the box inside it.

She was rudely brought out of her thoughts by a hand clapping down on her shoulder, "Hey Red are you going to just sit there stroking yourself?"

Nicole turned her head and stared at Wynonna in shock, "What?"

Wynonna nodded towards Nicole's arm and the hand that had disappeared into her pocket, "Has Waves been neglecting you or something? Because if that's the case then I completely understand but for God's sake don't do that in front of me." As Nicole continued to stare over at Wynonna the other woman continued without pausing, "If you want me to talk to my sister for you I will, I mean seriously."

Nicole closed her eyes, refusing to be baited into saying something to Wynonna. She sighed and shook her head before opening her eyes and opening the door to Wynonna's truck and climbing out. Slamming the door she stalked towards the house and could feel her irritation rising as she heard Wynonna chuckling as she followed Nicole towards the house. The woman seemed to take great pleasure in making her uncomfortable and Nicole wanted no part of it that night. She entered the house and found Waverly and Maddie on the couch, the little girl was sleeping with her head in Waverly's lap.

Waverly looked up from her book as Nicole entered the room and smiled up at her, "Hi baby, I was just going to take her up to bed," Her brow crinkled as she noticed the expression on Nicole's face, "Oh no, sweetie what's wrong?"

"Nothing important, I'm going to take her upstairs then head to bed."

Nicole bent down to pick up her daughter and Waverly reached out and gently grasped her wrist, "Hey, I know when somethingis bothering you, did something happen?"

Nicole leaned in and kissed her on the forehead, "I promise you Wave it's nothing." She picked up Maddie and walked with her towards the stairs as she approached the doorway she brushed past a smirking Wynonna and walked up the stairs.

Waverly frowned as she took in Nicole's body language as well as the smirk on her sister's face. As Nicole disappeared upstairs, Wynonna turned around with a smug look of satisfaction on her face. "Wynonna, Nicole is upset, do you know anything about that?"

Wynonna shrugged, "How the hell should I know," She entered the room and plopped down in her chair, "Don't look at me like that Waves."

Waverly stepped in front of her sister, "And don't blow smoke up my ass Wyn, what did you do to her?"

Wynonna held up her hands, "I didn't do anything to her."

"Okay, then what did you say? She's obviously upset and there has to be a reason for it."

Wynonna sat back in her chair, "Look, if Doctor Haughtass can't handle a little teasing..."

Waverly threw up her arms in exasperation, "Jesus Christ Wynonna I wish you would learn when to stop! You just keep pushing and pushing until you've pushed to far." Waverly huffed out a breath, "I fought like hell to get her to open up to me and stop running away and I'll be damned if I stand by and let you drive her away from me!"

Wynonna rested her head on the back of the chair and closed her eyes, "I'll apologize to her tomorrow."

"You will do more than apologize Wynonna! You are going to stop the teasing and the inappropriate comments." Waverly took a deep breath and continued, "I love her and she means everything to me."

Wynonna opened her eyes and looked up at her sister, "I know how much you love her Waves, the walls are thin."

Waverly's eyes narrowed, "This is what I'm talking about! You can't be serious for one freakin minute, always with the jokes and..." her voice trailed off and she waved her hands around as she searched for the words that would get through her sister's thick skull. "She's it for me Wynonna and I can't lose her because of something you said or did to her, do you understand?"

"Yeah I get it Waves."

"Good, I don't want to have to choose between my sister and my love." Waverly turned to leave and stopped abruptly as she noticed Nicole standing in the doorway to the living room. "Nicole..."

The redhead reached up and rubbed the back of her neck, "I, uh, came down to uh get a drink but I think I'll just head back upstairs and..." She turned back towards the stairs and went up them without saying another word.

Waverly called up after her retreating form, "Nicole, wait!" She rushed up the stairs after Nicole without a backward glance. She rushed down the hall towards her bedroom, reaching it she flung it open to find the redhead sitting on the bed with her head hanging down, "Nicole?"

She approached the bed and stopped in front of Nicole who wouldn't raise her head to look at Waverly as she spoke, "I don't want to come between you and your sister Waves, she's your family and I don't want to be the reason why..."

Waverly reached out and placed her finger under Nicole's chin, raising her head so she could look her in the eye. Looking into the redhead's tear-filled eyes she began to speak, "Sweetie, I love my sister." She moved her hand to cup Nicole's cheek while she softly ran her fingers through Nicole's hair, "You and Maddie are my family too and I love you Nicole, I really love you, more than I've loved anyone before. I don't want you to ever doubt my feelings for you, okay?"

Nicole nodded and reached out, wrapping her arms around Waverly's waist. She pulled her close and buried her face into the brunette's chest. Waverly continued to run her fingers through Nicole's hair as she held her. "It's okay Nic, it's okay."

Nicole leaned back and looked up at Waverly, "I love you Waves."

Waverly leaned in and kissed Nicole on the forehead before pulling away and walking over to close and lock the bedroom door. As she turned back around she pulled her shirt over her head. Taking a step towards Nicole she reached behind her and unclasped her bra, letting it fall to the floor. By the time she reached the bed she had shed all of her clothes and stood quietly in front of Nicole, "Just so you know..." reaching out she began to unbutton Nicole's shirt, "I'm going to spend the rest of night showing you just how much I love you."

"Yeah?" Nicole's eyes raked over the vision in front of her.

Waverly nodded as she opened Nicole's shirt and pushed it off her shoulders, leaning in she began to place kisses along Nicole's throat before trailing down to her collarbone. Nicole moaned as Waverly sucked a mark into her flesh and the brunette couldn't hold back any longer. The need to capture Nicole's soft lips overwhelmed her and she raised her head and swooped in, pressing her lips to Nicole's as she pushed her down onto her back.

Much later as she lay nestled within the safety of Nicole's arms, Waverly felt like the luckiest woman alive. As she drifted off to sleep she was filled with a sense of contentment and she knew that she was home.

 

*****

 

Waverly glanced over at Nicole from the passenger seat and saw the worried expression on the redhead's face. She reached over and took Nicole's hand within in her own, giving it a squeeze in reassurance. "She's going to be fine with Wynonna, you don't have anything to worry about. I know that you're worried but Wynonna has our numbers and strict instructions to call if anything happens." She brought their clasped hands up to her mouth and placed a soft kiss onto the back of Nicole's hand, "I'm so looking forward to having you to myself for three whole days."

Nicole glanced over at Waverly and smiled, her apprehension fading, "Me too."

"So sweetie, where are we going exactly?"

"You'll find out when we get there babe, it's a surprise." Sensing Waverly shifting towards her and the brunette's mood changing, Nicole quickly added, "And no trying to get it out of me while I'm driving."

Waverly sat back in her seat in a huff and crossed her arms, "Fine, ruin all my fun."

Nicole reached over and ran her hand along Waverly's thigh, "I'll make it up to you later, I promise."

Waverly's breath hitched at the contact, "You keep this up and we'll be getting there really late tonight."

Nicole smirked at Waverly, "Guess I better keep my hands to myself then." She started to pull her hand away but Waverly reached out and reclaimed it, placing it back on her leg. Nicole chuckled, "Maybe not."

"Nicole, can I ask you something?"

"Of course baby."

Waverly took a deep breath, "We've been together for awhile now and I was wondering...since you know that you're over all the time anyway..."

Nicole cocked an eyebrow at Waverly's rambling, "So is there an actual question in there?"

"I was getting to it! Anyway, I was wondering what you thought about moving in with me? It doesn't have to be right now Nicole, maybe down the road. I just know that I love you and I like being with you and I don't sleep good when you're not there." She looked over at Nicole who was staring straight ahead out the front widow of the car, not saying a word and her face fell. "It's okay if you don't want to Nicole, I completely understand and we can keep things the way they are..." Her voice trailed off as Nicole pulled the car over onto the side of the road.

Nicole put the car in park and looked over at Waverly, "Baby look at me." When Waverly turned her head towards her she continued, "I love you Waverly and it's not that I don't want to move in together, I just have a lot to consider and I need to consider what's best for my daughter."
She dropped her head and looked down at her lap, "It's okay Nicole, I understand."
Nicole reached out and tenderly ran her fingers down the side of Waverly's face, "Hey, I love being with you but it's just a lot to think about and it's a big step. Give me some time to think about it okay?" She leaned in and placed a soft kiss on Waverly's lips, "I love you Wave." She ran her thumb across Waverly's cheek, "We have another hour and we'll be there."
Waverly nodded and sat back into her seat, closing her eyes to hide her disappointment at Nicole not saying yes to moving in with her. As Nicole pulled back onto the road she turned her head and stared out of the window, watching the scenery go past. Within a few minutes she was drifting off to sleep and remained that way until they reached their destination.

 

*****

 

Waverly stepped out of the shower the next morning. After toweling off, she slipped on a robe that she found hanging on the back of the door and walked into their bedroom. She looked over towards the bed to find it empty, Nicole having gone downstairs already. A wave of sadness washed over her as she thought about Nicole's reaction to her question, she was afraid that Nicole would one day wake up and realize that she didn't want to be with her and that she would leave.

Sighing she pushed those thoughts down deep inside of her and walked over to the double doors that led out onto the balcony. Opening them she stepped outside and instantly sucked in her breath at the cold air outside. Bracing herself against the cold she stepped outside and took in the breathtaking view that lay before her.

Nicole had rented them a cabin at the base of the mountains and as she looked out she could see a valley filled with trees. There was nobody else around for miles and they were completely alone. Waverly shivered from the cold and stepped back inside, closing the doors behind her as she reentered the bedroom. Her stomach rumbled with hunger and she decided to go downstairs and find Nicole and see about breakfast.

Shrugging out of her robe she opened her suitcase and took out a pair of yoga pants and a t shirt, she got dressed quickly and stepped into a pair of slippers before leaving the room and heading down the stairs. The downstairs area of the cabin contained one large room that consisted of the living space as well as a good sized kitchen off to the side. Lining the back wall were floor to ceiling windows that showed off the same view that Waverly had seen from the balcony upstairs.

Waverly descended the stairs and when she reached the half way point she stopped, her breath catching in her throat as she saw Nicole lounging on the couch. The redhead was leaning against the arm of the couch reading a magazine and hadn't yet registered Waverly's prescence on the staircase as she continued to read. The mere sight of Nicole wearing nothing but an oversized white button down shirt that barely covered her lady parts with her long bare legs streched out with the right one slightly bent was enough to make Waverly's mouth go dry as all of her blood rushed south to gather between her legs.

The feeling of want and desire she felt at the moment almost overwhelmed her and she walked down the rest of the stairs as if in a trance. She was pulled in the redhead's direction and before she knew what was happening she was reaching out and snatching the magazine out of Nicole's hands and tossing it to the floor behind her, effectively startling Nicole and alerting her to Waverly's presence.

"Waverly, what are you doing?"

The brunette didn't say a word as she straddled Nicole on the couch and pulled her shirt over her head. Leaning in she began to place kisses along Nicole's jaw before pressing her lips onto Nicole's. Pulling back she traced a path of kisses up towards Nicole's ear, sucking the lobe into her mouth and saying breathily, "I can't help myself, I saw you there and you looked so freakin hot, I wanted you so bad, I still do, She grabbed Nicole's hand guiding it inside her pants and between her thighs. Nicole groaned as she could feel the proof of Waverly's desire coating her palm and she groaned even louder when Waverly began to whimper and move against her hand, "Please Nic, I need you."

Nicole pulled Waverly in for a kiss, running her tongue along the brunette's bottom lip until she opened up to her. Nicole thrust her tongue inside of the warm confines of Waverly's mouth at the same time she entered her warm and waiting center with first one and then two fingers. Nicole began a steady pace and it wasn't long before Waverly was calling her name and collapsing against her chest.

Nicole placed a soft kiss on to the side of Waverly's face, "Wave that was...incredibly hot."

Waverly buried her face into Nicole's body and hummed her approval as she came back down to earth. She moved her head up and placed a kiss on Nicole's pulse point, Nicole's breath hitching as she sucked it into her mouth. Waverly's hands snaked down and slowly worked the buttons holding Nicole's shirt closed.

Waverly's phone began to ring but there was no way either of them were going to answer it. They were wrapped up in each other and too far gone in the moment. Waverly had opened Nicole's shirt and was currently trailing a path down the redhead's body with her lips, teeth and tongue.

Waverly's phone rang again and she paused for a moment before continuing what she was doing. Her voicemail alert sounded and she sighed as she pulled back from Nicole, "I'm sorry sweetie but it could be Wynonna. I need to make sure that everything's okay, it could be about Maddie."

Nicole stared up at Waverly, "Relax baby, if it was about Maddie, your sister would have called my phone." She pulled Waverly back into her body, "I'm sure everything's fine."

"Are you sure Nicole..." Nicole interupted her by pressing their lips together and sliding her tongue inside Waverly's mouth.

She pulled her lips away and murmured against Waverly's mouth, "The only thing I know is that if you don't touch me soon I'm going to explode."

Waverly smirked as she pulled back and ran her hands down Niocle's body, "Well, we wouldn't want that now."

Nicole was so worked up and turned on by Waverly's attentions that when her phone began to ring she didn't even hear it, forgetting that she had shut the ringer off and not turned it back on.

 

*****

 

After they showered together they lay in bed wrapped in each other's arms, looking out the window and watching as the snow came down outside the window. "It's really starting to come down out there."

Waverly turned in Nicole's arms so that she could face her, "Well I'm glad that you're here to keep me warm." She leaned in and placed a kiss on Nicole's forehead, "And, I'm glad that we're here together, alone."

"Me too Wave, its kind of nice not having to worry about anyone interupting us." She placed a kiss onto Waverly's forehead, "And we can be as loud as we want." Nicole began to laugh at the expression on Waverly's face but she flinched as the brunette reached out and pinched her hip. "Hey! That hurt."

"Oh did it?"

"Yeah it did and baby, there's going to be some payback." Nicole rolled Waverly onto her back and began to tickle Waverly until she was begging Nicole to stop. Nicole stopped and leaned in to kiss Waverly, "I'm going to fix us some food." She got up off of Waverly and sprung to her feet.

Waverly heard Nicole's footsteps on the stairs, her heart filled with love for the redheaded doctor. She had never been happier before and if she were being honest with herself she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Nicole. Glancing out the window she could see it snowing even harder than before and there was no sign that it was going to let up any time soon.

Waverly got up and followed Nicole downstairs, stopping off in the living room to pick up her phone. She had three messages from Wynonna and as she listened to them her eyebrows raised as the messages became more and more frantic, asking her to call immediately.

"Hey Wave, food's almost ready." Nicole called from the kitchen.

Waverly glanced over at the kitchen and called out, "I'll be there in a sec, I need to call my sister." She dialed Wynonna's number and after what seemed like forever Wynonna answered. "Hey sis, what's going..."

"Waves..." Waverly was met by static.

"Wyn I can't hear you."

"Waverly, you need to come home, now."

Waverly's brow crinkled, "Did something happen? Is it Maddie?" Waverly began to pace back and forth, "I don't know if we can even leave, have you seen it out there?"

Wynonna's voice began to raise, "Waverly for God's sake listen to me, you need to come home, it's not safe there. Something happened and you two are in danger."

"Nonna, just tell me, I'm starting to get a little scared here."

Waverly could hear Wynonna take a deep breath, "Wave, Champ Hardy es..." A wave of static interrupted Wynonna and the line went dead.

"What? Wynonna are you there?" Waverly frowned as she tried to work out what her sister was trying to tell her, "Champ Hardy? He's in prison so why would she be calling me about him?" Waverly began to pace again and she stopped midstride as she realized what Wynonna had been trying to tell her. "Nicole!"

She looked up as Nicole hurried into the room, a look of concern on her face, "Baby, what's wrong?"

"We need to get out of here, now." When Nicole didn't move Waverly repeated what she had just said, "We need to go now."

Nicole stopped in front of Waverly, "Are you going to tell me what's going on?"

Waverly's knees began to give out as fear washed over her and she reached out, grasping Nicole's arms, hoping to steady herself. Dropping her gaze she said, "We're not safe Nicole, we need to go, we're not safe."

Nicole could see the fear in Waverly's eyes and she could hear the rising panic in her voice and she didn't know why, "Wave?"

Waverly looked back up and as her eyes met Nicole's she said, "Champ Hardy escaped from prison."

Chapter Text

Nicole looked down into Waverly's panic-filled eyes, "What...what did you say?"

Waverly's voice raised an octave like it always did whenever she was upset or worked up about something, "He escaped Nicole, and he's coming here."

Nicole squeezed Waverly's arms and tried to remain calm, "Wait, did Wynonna tell you that? What exactly did she say?"

"We don't have time for this Nicole, we need to get out of here," She began to pull away from the redhead but Nicole reached out and grasped her arms again.

"Waverly, I need you to calm down for a moment. Hey, look at it out there." She gesutred towards the window where she could see the snow coming down heavily outside. "Even if he was heading this way it's almost impossible for anyone to get through that, there must be about two feet of snow on the ground out there."

Waverly knew that what Nicole was saying made sense but she was terrified by the prospect of Champ Hardy being anywhere near her. She began to cry as an ever rising feeling of panic built inside of her and she began to shake in fear. Nicole wrapped her arms around the trembling woman and held her tight.

The redhead ran her hands up and down Waverly's back and placed soft kisses on top of the brunette's head, "Shh, it'll be okay Wave. I'm not going to let anything happen to you, I promise."

Waverly shook her head, "You don't know that Nicole, you can't know that."

"Baby, do you trust me?"

"Of course I do Nic but how can you be so sure that everything will be okay. You don't know him like I do, you don't know what he's capable of."

"Wave I..." Nicole stopped talking as the power went out and it grew dark inside the cabin, "Damn it, I had a feeling this was going to happen, usually does with storms this bad. It's going to get really cold in here, I'll make a fire."

Despite Nicole's assurances Waverly still felt uneasy and she jumped, digging her fingers into Nicole's arms as something struck the window. "What was that?"

Nicole kept her tone even, hoping it would reassure Waverly that everything was fine. "Stay here and I'll go check it out." She let go of Waverly and walked over to the window. Looking out she saw what had made the noise, "It's okay Wave, the wind just blew something against it."

Waverly stood in the middle of the room and wrapped her arms around herself, it was beginning to get cold in the room and she began to shiver. She smiled up at Nicole as the taller woman wrapped a blanket around her before moving over towards the fireplace so that she could get a fire going. It wasn't long before the flames were roaring and Waverly moved to stand in front of the fire to warm up. She was still feeling uneasy but as Nicole brought the food that she had cooked for them into the room and she began to eat, some of that uneasiness began to lift.

 

*****

 

A little while later they lay together on and under a pile of blankets in front of the fireplace. Nicole had fallen asleep some time ago and despite the chill in the room Waverly was warm, wrapped within the safety of the redhead's strong arms. Her uneasiness was still there, rolling around in the pit of her stomach but it seemed to lessen with each minute that passed without incident.

Waverly buried her face into Nicole's neck and breathed in her scent, vanilla dipped donuts with a touch of cinnamon. She reached out and placed her hand on Nicole's chest, the feel of Nicole's heartbeat against her palm and the steady beat of it reassured her. The truth of the matter was that Nicole always made her feel safe. Even when she was terrified that Champ wouldn't go to prison for shooting Wynonna, just having the redhead close to her was enough to calm her. She placed a soft kiss on Nicole's throat and smiled as Nicole stirred and sighed in her sleep.

As the fire began to die down Waverly could feel the chill in the air getting colder, she placed another kiss onto the redhead's neck before getting up and wrapping a blanket around herself to throw another log into the fireplace. It wasn't long before the fire was roaring again and Waverly held her hands out towards the heat. Two strong arms wrapped around her from behind and she leaned back into the soft body behind her.

Nicole leaned down and placed a kiss behind Waverly's ear on the spot that always drove her crazy, "I love you Waverly Earp," she shivered as Nicole whispered the words that she would never tire of hearing into her ear.

Waverly turned in her arms and held the blanket open in invitation. Nicole stepped into her space and Waverly wrapped the blanket around Nicole, "Baby, you're cold."

"Maybe you should warm me up." Nicole dropped her head and captured Waverly's lips with her own, her hands pulling the brunette into her body.

A loud bang coming from outside followed by the sound of Nicole's car alarm going off startled them apart. "Nicole, what the hell was that?"

Nicole could see fear in Waverly's eyes, "Hey, it was probably just a tree branch falling onto the car, there's nothing to be afraid of. I'll go check it out."

As Nicole began to move away from her, Waverly reached out and grasped her hand, "I don't want you to go out there, I have a bad feeling about this."

"It's going to be fine baby, I'll be back before you know it." Nicole said with a wink.

"You better." Waverly watched as Nicole walked over towards the door and stepped into her boots before grabbing her coat and her keys off of the hook by the door. "Nicole..." Waverly swallowed and tried to push her sense of dread down at the thought that something else had happened outside. "Be careful, okay?"

Nicole gave her a reassuring smile, "Everything will be fine, you'll see. I'll only be a few minutes." She turned and flashed a dimpled grin at Waverly before opening the door and walking outside.

 

*****

 

Waverly was pacing back and forth across the room. Nicole had been gone too long and with each passing minute she could feel her nervousness rising. She was worried and she decided that she was going to go outside and find Nicole because she knew deep down inside that something had happened to the redhead.

She didn't have any time to waste so Waverly took the stairs two at a time as she went up to the bedroom to change her clothes. She quickly threw on some warm clothes before grabbing Nicole's suitcase and opening it up. Nicole had a gun and Waverly remembered that she had brought it with her in case there was an emergency.

Waverly reached into the pocket inside the bag and her hands closed on something small and square, she pulled it out and gasped at what she found. "Nicole, what have you done?" She stared at the ring box in her hand and internally debated whether or not she should open it and look inside. In the end she decided against it and put it back where she found it. "Hopefully I'll see it soon enough."

She put the box back where she found it and continued searching for the gun and sighed in relief as her fingers closed around the grip of Nicole's pistol. She pulled it from the bag and held it in her hand, it was heavy but Waverly had learned from a young age how to correctly handle firearms. Her father had taught them to shoot a pistol because he wanted them to be able to defend themselves if the sitaution warranted it.

Waverly checked the gun and found that it was indeed loaded, breathing out a sigh of relief at not having to dig around Nicole's suitcase to find bullets. Setting it down on the bed, Waverly pulled on one of Nicole's sweatshirts and was instantly engulfed in her comforting scent. She came to a decision right there and then that she was ready to spend her life with Nicole and as soon as she was ready to propose Waverly would be ready with her answer.

She loved Nicole more than she had ever loved any other person in her life. The woman was her soulmate and she had felt their strong connection from the moment that they met, the fact that Nicole wanted to marry her made Waverly love her even more. The thought of spending the rest of her life standing at her side as Nicole Haught's wife made her heart feel full and she knew that she would do anything to protect her.

She picked up the gun and hurried back downstairs. As she put on her coat and reached out to open the front door she froze as she heard shouts coming from outside. Something from deep inside told her to move, Nicole was in trouble and she was running out of time.

 

*****

 

The snow crunched underneath Nicole's boots as she walked towards her SUV. She had thought that a tree branch had fallen onto her car during the storm but she could clearly see that that wasn't the case. Someone or something had smashed in the windshield along with the headlights and grill and she looked on in disbelief as she found huge dents in the hood of the vehicle.

She cautiously approached the car and pushed the button on the remote to silence the alarm. Surveying the damage and frowned as she realized that someone had deliberately damaged her car. Her foot bumped against something and she looked down to find a piece of wood laying in the snow. Bending down she retrieved a piece of a broken baseball bat.

Nicole heard approaching footsteps and she looked up expecting to find Waverly walking towards her. It wasn't Waverly and her eyes widened and she moved to rise up to confront the man now standing in front of her but she was too late as a fist slammed into the side of her face, knocking her into the side of the car before she bounced off and fell to the ground.

Her brain was fuzzy and she was struggling to make sense of what was going on as she felt herself being yanked back onto her feet by the front of her coat. Her vision began to clear as she choked on the overpowering smell of whisky as Champ Hardy puffed out a breath of hot air directly into her face.

As she realized who her assailant was she felt a mixture of fear and anger rising up within her as she found her voice, "Get your hands off of me Hardy."

"Shut up you dyke bitch!" Champ snarled into her face, "You think that I'm just going to let you take Waverly from me, she belongs to me and nobody is ever going to change that!"

Nicole was struggling to remain calm in the face of her rising anger, "Waverly doesn't belong to anyone you asshole, she's her own person."

"That's what you don't get," His voice was almost calm as he spit the words into her face, "She belongs to me, she's mine, and nothing," He shook her violently, "And no one is going to keep her from me!"

Nicole felt a surge of adrenline rush through her and she gave him a shove, effectively pushing him away. "You aren't ever going to get near her again, do you understand me. I'll kill you first."

Champ stared her down, "You don't have the balls for that Doc, it's against everything you believe in."

Nicole glared at him and kept her voice even as she said, "When it comes to Waverly I'll make an exception."

Champ chuckled as he reached inside his jacket, "I thought you might say that bitch, so now I'm going to have to kill you. And after you're dead, Waverly and I can finally be together." Nicole's eyes widened as he reached into his coat and took out a hunting knife from inside. "It's a shame really, to leave that little girl of your's all alone in the big bad scary world." He took a step towards Nicole as he said it.

"You will not touch Waverly and you will not touch my daughter." She felt a weight in her hand and glanced down to find the broken bat, registering that it was still in her hand. Noticing how close Champ was to her she shouted, "Back off!"

He continued to slowly walk towards her as he waved the knife back and forth and as he got close Nicole swung the bat but he raised his arm and deflected the blow, knocking it away. Nicole backed away from him, the adrenaline was wearing off and she could feel fear rising up to take it's place. She stumbled and he reached out grabbing her coat before she could hit the ground.

Nicole struggled to free herself from his grasp but she stopped struggling when she felt a horrible pain in her stomach. Looking down she saw blood, so much blood and her head began to swim as Champ twisted the knife that he had plunged into her gut. After he pulled the knife free she fell to her knees in the snow, no longer having the strength to stand on her own.

Champ raised the bloody knife until Nicole was looking directly at it, "You should have left well enough alone, you're going to die and nobody can stop it from happening!"

As Nicole's conciousness began to fade, she was vaguely aware that things were happening around her. Someone screamed her name before a shot rang out and something heavy landed in the snow. Everything faded to black and Nicole fell face first into the snow, the last thing she heard before the darkness enveloped her was Waverly crying and saying her name.

 

*****

 

Waverly opened the front door of the cabin and stepped out onto the porch, her eyes searching for Nicole. What she saw instantly chilled her blood and terror overwhelmed her as she saw Champ Hardy approaching Nicole. She was frozen in place and felt helpless to stop him as he plunged the knife into the redhead's stomach, the sickening noise it made finally snapping her out of it. Nicole was helpless and Waverly knew deep down inside that if she didn't act now Nicole would die at his hands.

Her only thought was that she needed to get to Nicole, to save her. Her own safety was the furthest thing from her mind as she approached Champ Hardy from behind. He raised the knife again and Waverly screamed Nicole's name, hoping to distract Champ before he could finish her off.

Champ turned around and smiled, he smiled at her and Waverly became angry, without thinking she found herself raising the pistol and pointing it at Champ's face. Waverly didn't give him a chance to speak, he didn't deserve it after everything that he had done to her, to Nicole. Waverly just pulled the trigger and stared as a hole appeared in his forehead as he fell with a thud to the ground and didn't move.

Her attention returned back towards the redhead and as Nicole fell forward Waverly rushed past Champ's body so that she could get to her. Nicole needed her help and Waverly's eyes widened as she took in the spreading pool of blood that was seeping out from underneath Nicole's body as she lay still in the snow.

She knealt down and sobbed Nicole's name, "Baby, don't die, please you can't leave me. I love you Nicole Haught, you hear me? You aren't going anywhere." This was her fault, Champ had attacked Nicole because of her and the guilt and anguish she was feeling was almost more than she could bear.

She took out her phone and prayed that this time it would work, she just needed a signal so she could call for help. Nicole's life depended on it and she would to do everything in her power to save her, she needed to make this right.

Chapter Text

"Stay with me Nicole, help is coming."

Waverly was losing her internal battle to stay calm. The cloth she was pressing onto Nicole's wound had quickly become saturated with her blood, rendering it nearly useless. The blankets she had found in the back of Nicole's SUV were covering Nicole's lower half in an attempt to keep that part of her warm and avoid the redhead getting hypothermia. As she put more pressure on the wound she huffed out a tiny laugh, the irony of the situation she was in hitting her. The truth of the matter was that the one person who could actually save the woman currently bleeding out into the snow was Nicole.

"Just hang on baby, they'll be here soon." She leaned down and placed a kiss onto Nicole's forehead and prayed for the ambulance to hurry up. It had been a miracle that she had finally gotten enough of a signal to reach the 911 operator and she had desperately begged them to hurry. Taking in the almost gray pallor of Nicole's skin she was left with little doubt that Nicole didn't have alot of time left and she'd be damned if she let her die without trying everything in her power to save the redhead. "I love you Nicole Haught, you hear me? You're my world so you gotta fight, for me and for Maddie, we need you."

Waverly looked up and glanced towards the main road, "Where the hell are they?" She looked back down at Nicole, the redhead was so still but she found it to be a small comfort that her chest continued to rise and fall. Waverly took this as a sign that Nicole was not only still with her, but she was also fighting to stay alive. Even though she knew that Nicole was fighting to survive, she also knew that if help didn't arrive soon that Nicole was edging dangerously close to drawing her last breath.

"Excuse me, can I help?" Waverly jumped as a voice came from behind her out of nowhere and she turned to find a man with graying hair standing a few feet away.

"Jesus Christ! You scared the shit out of me!"

He held up his hands with his palms facing Waverly, "I didn't mean to startle you, I live a couple of miles from here and I was coming over to check on the place since it's usually empty and..."

Waverly didn't have time for this, "Look, I don't mean to be rude but I really can't talk right now but if you can help in any way I would appreciate it."

He walked over and knealt down in the snow next to Waverly, "I was a medic in the army and from what I can see she's lost a lot of blood." At Waverly's suspicious look he continued, "I promise you I'm here to help, can I take a look?" Waverly nodded and he asked her to gently remove the blood soaked cloth from Nicole's abdomen. As Waverly lifted it he sucked in a breath, "That's a nasty wound, she's going to need surgery and soon."

"An ambulance is on it's way, I wish they would hurry up and get here."

The man pressed the cloth back onto the wound, "I need you to go to my truck and bring me my bag from underneath the driver's seat. I can help her but I'm going to need my stuff."

Waverly ran to the truck and opened the driver's side door, finding the bag where he told her it would be. She pulled it out and hurried back over to where the stranger was reapplying pressure to Nicole's wound.

"Open the bag and hand me the bottle that's inside. We used to use this stuff in the field but it's not exactly approved by the government so if you don't want me to use it on her, I'll understand."

Waverly looked at him, really looked and studied his face to see if he had any bad intentions. When she found him looking back at her with kindess she nodded, "I'm trusting you with her life but I'm warning you, if whatever you're doing hurts her in any way you'll join that asshole over there, do you understand me?"

The man nodded his head, "I understand and believe me, it's going to hurt her but it will stop the bleeding until she can get to the hospital." He opened the bottle and began to pour a powder into Nicole's wound. Waverly flinched as Nicole let out a moan but to her relief it wasn't long before the bleeding had slowed down considerably. "Hand me some bandages." Waverly pulled some out of the bag and handed them to him and he pressed them onto the open wound, "Tape, I need tape." She handed it over to him and he secured the bandages, "Try not to move her, keep her warm, this should hold until the paramedics get here."

Waverly sighed as she finally heard the distant sound of sirens getting closer. She reached out and hugged the man, "I can't thank you enough, thank you so much for your help." She let go of him and smiled for the first time since Nicole had gone outside to check on her car.

He walked over to his truck and placed the bag back inside of it. As he began to climb inside the truck Waverly realized what he was doing and she called out, "Wait, are you leaving? You need to stay here and explain to them what that stuff is that you used on Nicole, and I don't even know your name."

"I'm J.C. and don't worry, everything will be okay."

Waverly looked down at Nicole and when she looked back up, he was gone. She didn't give it a second thought as the flashing lights from the ambulance caught her attention and she waved them over to where they were. After examining Nicole the Paramedics loaded Nicole into the ambulance, Waverly climbing in after them and soon they were speeding towards the hospital and Nicole's salvation.

 

******

 

Whatever J.C. had done to Nicole had saved her life. The powder he had used in her wound had stopped the bleeding, buying her enough time for Nicole to get to the hospital and into the operating room. Waverly lost track of time as the doctors worked to save Nicole's life, it didn't matter to her that she had killed Champ, it didn't matter that she was covered in Nicole's blood and it especially didn't matter that her sister had tried over and over again to get her to sit down and eat something. The only thing that mattered to Waverly was the condition of the woman she loved and whether or not she came out of that room alive. It was to her immense relief that when the doctor finally, after many hours, came out to the waiting room to let her know that Nicole had made it through surgery and barring any infection would make a full recovery.

Waverly collapsed to the floor and sobbed in relief as the events of the evening finally caught up to her. Nicole had come so close to dying and Waverly couldn't help but feel as if it was her fault, Champ had come after her and Nicole, sweet Nicole had gotten caught in the crossfire. Waverly had almost lost her and the thought of not having Nicole in her life was something that Waverly couldn't live with. She wrapped her arms around her legs and rocked back and forth as she cried out her tears of relief. Feeling a hand on her shoulder, she looked up to find Wynonna standing over her, a look of concern on her face.

Wynonna dropped to her knees in front of her sister wrapping her arms around her in an attempt to comfort the sobbing woman in her arms. In response Waverly pressed her face into Wynonna's shoulder and cried into it until she had no more tears to shed. "Shhh baby girl it's going to be okay, Red made it through, she's strong and much too stubborn to give up."

Waverly leaned back in Wynonna's arms, "I love her Nonna, more than I've ever loved anyone. If she would have died, I....I"

"Hey, you can't think like that Waves." She paused for a moment before asking, "You want to tell me what happened out there? I overheard the doctors saying they didn't know how she survived considering the circumstance you were both in.

Waverly reached up and wiped her eyes, "There was so much blood, I thought she was going to die, and then he showed up out of nowhere and he saved her."

Wynonna looked confused, "Wait, who saved her?"

Waverly shook her head, "He said his name was JC and he gave her something, he put it in her wound and she stopped bleeding." She scrunched up her forehead in thought as she tried to recall what had happened, "I don't know, it was all a blur. I was so caught up in getting Nicole to the hospital that I don't even remember if I got the chance to thank him."

"When we know that Nicole is out of the woods, we'll go back and find him, okay baby girl?"

Waverly nodded, "I don't know if I can go back there Nonna, not after..."

"Then we don't go back there, it's up to you." Wynonna paused and looked Waverly in the eye, "Wave, the police want to talk to you about Champ."

Waverly drew in a deep breath of air, "Nonna, he stabbed Nicole. I came outside and I saw it happen and I needed to protect her." She dropped her voice, "I'm not sorry I did it, I'm not sorry he's dead."

Wynonna grasped the sides of her sister's face in her hands, "And you shouldn't be, he hurt our family so much Waves. He tried to take so many things from you baby girl and you stopped him, you were so brave and I'm so proud of you."

They looked up as a nurse approached them, "Ms. Waverly Earp?" At Waverly's nod she continued, "Ms. Haught hasn't woken up yet but you can go back and see her, follow me please."

Waverly looked back over at Wynonna and the older woman smiled at her, "Don't worry, the officer didn't seem like it was urgent for you to speak to him right now, so go."

Waverly reached out and squeezed her sister's hand before following the nurse out of the waiting room and down the hall.

 

******

 

Nicole opened her eyes slowly. Nothing made any sense to her and she blinked her eyes attempting to bring all the fuzzy things into focus. She could hear a beeping noise coming from her left and she turned her head towards the monitor that was displaying her vital signs, suddenly finally realizing that she was inside of a hospital room. The sound of whimpering coming from her other side instantly drew her attention in that direction, she looked over to find that she was staring down at a mass of long chestnut hair.

Opening her mouth to speak she discovered that she could not utter anything more than a whisper. She swallowed and licked her lips in attempt to wet her extremely parched mouth, failing miserably. "Way..." She rasped out softly. "Way...verly." Reaching out she touched the brunette's soft hair and Waverly snapped awake, bolting upright in her chair.

"Nicole?" Her eyes widened as she met by a most welcoming sight, Nicole's soft brown ones staring back at her. Reaching out she gently grasped Nicole's hand unable to stop the huge smile that broke out on her face, "You're awake, oh my God you're awake. I'll get the doctor." She began to stand but a firm pressure on her hand made her pause.

"Waverly, wait."

Waverly began to rub her thumb across the back of Nicole's hand, "What is it Nicole?"

"Water, I need..."

Waverly let go of Nicole's hand and went to the sink to fill a cup with water, she held it out and helped Nicole take a drink from the straw.

Nicole swallowed the water before drawing in a breath of air, "Thank you, I needed that." She held up her hand as Waverly opened her mouth to speak, "What happened? I can't remember." Waverly's eyes dropped down towards her hands, not wanting to look Nicole in the eye because she couldn't bear to think of Nicole blaming her for what had happened. "Well, You got hurt baby and had to have surgery to save your life." Waverly leaned in and kissed Nicole on the forehead, "Why don't you rest and I'll explain everything later, when you're stronger." Nicole nodded, "You always take such good care of me Wave and I just want to say that I...I love you and..."

"I love you too." Waverly interupted the redhead, leaning in she lay her forehead against Nicole's and whispered, "I was so scared, I thought I was going to lose you."

Nicole smiled up at her, "I'm not going anywhere."

Waverly moved back and stared at Nicole a look of adoration on her face, "Me either, except for getting the doctor. I'll be right back, okay?"

Nicole nodded and she sighed as she watched Waverly leave the room. Looking around the room she spotted her cellphone sitting on the table next to her bed. Reaching out for it, she realized her mistake too late as she instantly regretted her decision as an intense pain ripped through her gut. "Ow, son of a..." She recoiled back onto her bed clutching her stomach and groaned, pushing down the urge to vomit as the intense pain washed over her. "I won't...do that...again." She said between breaths.

Waverly walked back into the room and taking one look at Nicole's pained expression she rushed over to her bedside. "Baby, what happened, are you okay?"

Nicole opened her mouth to answer but she immediately closed it again as a tall man in a white coat followed Waverly into the room, "Ms. Haught, I'm Dr. Parker."

Nicole looked back at the man, "It's Dr. Haught."

"Of course." He looked down at the tablet in his hand and typed in a few notes before he returned his attention back towards his patient, "Do you remember what happened to you?"

Nicole reached out towards Waverly and the brunette wrapped her hand around Nicole's as she spoke, "I remember we were at the cabin and going outside but after that I don't remember much." She paused as the doctor shone a light in her eyes and checked on her eye movement. When he stopped she continued, "I know that I got hurt somehow, it would explain why I'm here." She looked up at Waverly, seeking strength from her.

Dr. Parker looked up from his tablet and spoke, "You received a blow to your head that would account for your memory issues as well as pretty serious stab wound to your abdomen, there were severe lacerations to your liver and small intestine as well as a puncture wound to your stomach. We managed to repair all the damage but unfortunately there will be some scarring." He reached out to the hem of her hospital gown and at Nicole's questioning look he said, "I need to check your incision, make sure there's no infection."

The redhead nodded and watched as he peeled back the bandages to reveal a six inch incision running jaggedly across her abdomen, her eyes widened as she looked at the shoddy job he had done. It would leave an ugly scar and she wasn't sure how much permanent muscle and tissue damage that she would have to endure . Nicole made a decision at that moment that when she got home she would seek out Dr. Evans, a brilliant plastic surgeon to see if there was any way to repair the external scars. She flinched as the doctor roughly removed the rest of the bandage and replaced it with a new one.

Nicole gave him an icy glare as he walked from the room, "I don't know where in the hell he went to medical school but he has a lot to learn about patient care, his bed side manner sucks." She looked over towards Waverly to find the brunette crying with her hand pressed to her mouth. Becoming alarmed Nicole hastily asked, "Baby, what's wrong? I'm okay, I promise. The damage can be fixed and I'll be fine, don't cry."

Waverly sobbed before blurting out, "This is all my fault, if it wasn't for me you wouldn't have gotten hurt."

Nicole reached her hand out to Waverly, "How can this possibly be your fault? Unless you're telling me that you stabbed me and we both know that you would never do something like that. We were alone up there..." Her voice trailed off as a memory came to her of Waverly growing pale and holding her phone. Nicole's hand dropped to her side as the truth began to surface, "Waverly, tell me who did this." As she remembered Waverly telling her that Champ Hardy had escaped from prison, a sudden wave of panic arose from within her, "How did he find us Wave? Is Maddie in danger, please tell me she's safe. I swear if he lays one finger on her I'll kill him!"

Waverly reached out and grasped Nicole's hand, "Nicole!" The redhead looked up at Waverly and she continued softly, "Maddie's safe, he can't hurt her or anyone else for that matter, ever again."

"But how do you know Waverly? He could be out there right now! He could be outside of this hospital just waiting to make his move, I need you to call your sister and make sure they're safe Wave, please I need you to do it now." Panic was rising within her and she was helpless to stop it.

Waverly reached out with her other hand in an attempt to calm Nicole down with soothing strokes along the side of her face, "I know because he's dead Nicole. I...I shot him, and he's dead." At Nicole's gasp Waverly pulled her hand away from the redhead's face but held on to her hand to gather the courage to tell her what happened, "You were gone so long and I was worried, so I ran upstairs to get the gun that I saw in your bag earlier that day because I felt that you were in trouble, somehow I just knew that something was wrong. I took the gun from your suitcase and when I went outside I saw him standing in front of you. I'll never forget the sickening sound of the knife plunging into you and I think I was in shock because I froze as you fell to your knees. He turned towards me and he smiled, he actually smiled at me and tried to tell me how we could be together and all I could think about was getting to you. I looked past him and there was so much blood and I knew that you were hurt really bad and I needed to help you. When he saw the gun he was afraid Nicole, but I didn't care and the next thing I knew I heard a shot and he was falling forward into the snow and he wasn't moving."

"Oh, God Waves, I'm so sorry, I can't imagine what you wen through. Are you okay?" Her brown eyes looked into Waverly's hazel one's with such tender concern that the fear that she had been carrying with her that Nicole would find out what she had done and walk away from her vanished.

"Considering I killed someone..."

Nicole squeezed her hand, "You listen to me Waverly Michelle Earp, you have done nothing wrong, you saved me and it was self defense and if the police think any differently then we'll hire you the best lawyer money can buy because clearly..."

Waverly cut her off by swooping in and capturing Nicole's soft lips with her own. She pulled away and whispered against those lips, "I love you Nicole Haught."

Nicole pulled back and softly breathed out, "I love you too. Marry me?"

Waverly looked stunned, "What did you say?"

Nicole grinned, "I said, marry me." At Waverly's continued silence she said, "Do you have my suitcase? Waverly nodded and walked to the cupboard to grab it. "Bring me the box from inside it please."

Waverly took out the familiar box and walked it over to Nicole, still too stunned to say anything.

Nicole opened it to reveal the ring inside and turned it in her hand until it was facing Waverly. "Waverly Michelle Earp, I've never loved anyone the way that I love you and I can't imagine not spending the rest of my life with you by my side so I'll ask you again, will you do me the great honor of marrying me?"

Waverly stared at the ring in Nicole's hand and as she brought her eyes up to Nicole's face she could only see love and devotion written all over it. Releasing the breath that she didn't realize that she had been holding, she finally opened her mouth to speak, "Nicole..."

She was cut off as the door to Nicole's hospital room was flung open and a flash of red streaked past her and launched itself at Nicole's hospital bed. Instinctively she reached out and grabbed the flying child before she could land on top of her mother.

"Mommy!!! I missed you!" the little girl squealed as she struggled within Waverly's arms.

They both looked towards the door as a huffing and puffing Wynonna joined them within the room, "Maddie, I told you to wait and under no circumstances were you to even attempt to jump on your mother!"

"But Auntie Nonna..."

Wynonna stopped next to her sister and reached out to ruffle Maddie's hair in a sign of affection, "No buts kid, you need to be careful, I told you that your mommy got hurt and..."

Waverly sat Maddie softly down on the bed next to Nicole and the little girl looked up at her mother, her bottom lip beginning to quiver and tears forming in her eyes, "Mommy?"

"Hey monkey, come here." She gently pulled the little girl into her side and wrapped her arm around her.

Maddie buried her face into her mother's side, "Auntie Nonna and Waverly said you were hurt and I was so worried mommy."

"Shhh, I'm okay baby." She placed a soft kiss onto the top of Maddie's head, "I'm glad you're here, both of you."

Wynonna reached out and squeezed Nicole's shoulder, "I'm glad you're all right Red."

Nicole squeezed Wynonna's hand before she pulled it away and cleared her throat, choking back her emotions.

"I'm glad you're both here because I just asked Waverly a question and..." She looked up at Waverly, "I'm still waiting for her answer."

Waverly took a deep breath and looked down at the pair on the bed before glancing over at her sister and receving a puzzled look from her. Her gaze returned to Nicole and so much love filled her heart at that moment that she couldn't help the huge smile that broke across her face, "Nicole Rayleigh Haught, I love you so much and I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else, so my answer is yes," Nodding her head for emphasis and not stopping the happy tears that flowed from her eyes she leaned in and kissed Nicole's waiting mouth, pulling back she softly whispered against her lips, "Yes, I'll marry you."

 

*****

 

The next couple of weeks was a flurry of activity and Nicole was a captive audience from her hospital bed as Waverly went into full wedding planner mode. By the end of the second week Nicole was over the endless albums of flower arrangements, color choices and cake flavors. All she wanted was to spend time just talking to Waverly, her recovery had been slow but earlier in the day her doctor had told Nicole that she was finally being discharged in the morning.

As she sat there listening to Waverly go on and on about wedding venues the urge to roll her eyes was strong within her. She no longer had any desire to hear about this any longer and she looked up at Waverly and spoke for the first time since the brunette had walked into her hospital room more than two hours ago, "Wave." She received no response and Waverly continued to drone on and on, completely oblivious to her fiance's increasing irritaion. "Wave!" The rise in her voice making the other woman finally stop her rambling.

Waverly put her book down, getting up she crossed the room stopping next to Nicole's bed. Reaching out she ran a hand through her fiancé's hair, a look of concern on her face, "Sweetie, what's wrong?"

Nicole reached up and ran her thumb along the inside of Waverly's arm, "Nothing baby, can we take a break from the wedding planning for tonight? I just want to spend time with you, we have plenty of time to plan our big day, we haven't even set a date yet." Nicole reached out and cupped Waverly's face with her hands, "I love you Waverly and I can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together, and I can't wait to get the hell out of here and go home."

Waverly leaned in and placed a soft kiss on Nicole's lips, "Ok, but tomorrow we're talking about where we're going to register for gifts..." Her voice cut off as Nicole pulled her in for a kiss. Pulling back Waverly smiled down at Nicole, "Message received, no more wedding talk tonight."

The redhead stared up at Waverly, "I don't want you to think that I don't appreciate everything you've done so far, I really do and honestly there isn't a better wedding planner out there."

"I know that I can be overenthusiastic sometimes Nicole but I came really close to losing you and it was terrifying. I'm going to spend the rest of my life loving you and I'm never letting you go."

Nicole looked at Waverly with a soft, loving expression as she scooted over in the narrow bed, "Join me please, I want to feel you in my arms."

Waverly nodded and kicked off her shoes before carefully climbing onto the bed next to Nicole, snuggling into Nicole's side and laying her head on the redhead's shoulder. She sighed as she felt Nicole's arm wrap around her and it wasn't long before she was drifing off to sleep, safe within her love's arms, smiling as she felt a soft kiss on the top of her head.

Chapter Text

Spring was in the air and for Nicole Haught things were slowly getting back to normal, at least on the surface. Their wedding was fast approaching and in a few short weeks she would be walking down the aisle with the love of her life. The thought of commiting to Waverly gave her a sense of peace and quieted the thoughts that had been her constant companion since the attack. It had taken months of therapy and she still hadn't been cleared to return to work and to make matters worse she had been waking up on a nightly basis with horrible nightmares.

The dreams varied. Sometimes she would relive her own attack and other times she would wake up screaming, drenched in sweat, with the memory of the nightmare of coming home to find Waverly, Maddie or Wynonna dead, and to her absolute horror, sometimes it was all three of them. Those dreams were the worst and Waverly would hold her in her arms as she sobbed out her grief, the the thought of losing all the people she loves filling her with terror.

The therapy was helping but Nicole was becoming frustrated that her progress was so slow. Ever since she came home from the hospital she hadn't allowed Waverly to see her without clothing. They would start to be intimate but Nicole would freeze up just as things would get heated. The doubts would creep up and a part of her would succumb to the fear that Waverly would take one look at the deep scars across her abdomen and leave her. Of course she knew that Waverly loved her, if she didn't she wouldn't have agreed to spend the rest of her life with Nicole. Although she knew this was true she couldn't help the doubts from creeping up into her mind.

As Nicole drove home from her latest therapy appointment she thought about what the doctor had said to her. She had vented her frustration at not being able to be intimate with Waverly and the doctor had responded by telling Nicole that it would take time and she wouldn't be able to let Waverly back in until she had fully dealt with what had happened to her. As soon as Nicole let go of her fear at what had happened then she would be able to fully heal.

Nicole drew in a deep breath, some of the events from that night were still hazy and there was a lot more that she couldn't remember and she knew in the back of her mind that she was better off not remembering the actual attack. From the amount of damage her body had sustained she was fully aware from a medical viewpoint how brutal it had been. The only reason she had survived was because Wavely had saved her, a fact that she would never forget.

Nicole pulled into the driveway and parked next to Waverly's new car. Nicole had insisted on buying it for her, insuring her that since they were getting married it wasn't just Nicole's money, it was their money. They had gone to the dealership together and due to the extensive damage that Champ had inflicted onto her car they had each left with a new car that afternoon.

She sat behind the wheel of her new SUV and thought about their plans for the next day, house hunting. Their agent had emailed her over a brand new listing and from what she had seen of it, Nicole had a feeling that this could be their forever home. She had fallen in love with the pictures of the two story, four bedroom house with the wrap around front porch and large backyard. If it turned out that this house wasn't the one then they would need to keep searching because there was no way that she would be able to permanetly live with Wynonna after she and Waverly got married. She loved her future sister-in-law and considered her the sister she never had, but there were only so many bad jokes and teasing from the woman that she was willing to endure.

The sound of the front door opening broke her out of her thoughts and Nicole looked up to find Waverly standing on the porch smiling at her. Her heart soared and she smiled back at her before getting out of the car, pausing to grab the flowers she had bought for Waverly from the passenger seat. She took the few steps towards the house, holding the boquet of wildflowers out in front of her as she approached. Stepping up on the first step she stopped and grinned as she noticed that from this level they were the same height, Leaning in she placed a soft kiss on Waverly's lips in greeting before handing her the flowers. "For you milady."

Waverly looked down at the flowers before returning her gaze to meet Nicole's "They're beautiful, thank you."

Nicole reached out and took Waverly's free hand, "Yes, but not half as beautiful as you."

Waverly blushed, "Sweet talker." She tugged on Nicole's hand, "Come inside, dinner is ready."

Nicole followed Waverly inside the house and as she closed the door behind her and turned she found Waverly staring at her, "Baby, is something wrong?" She could feel the concern rising within her, after all she hadn't been the only one dealing with what happened and Waverly had also gone to therapy for a time to deal with the events of that night as well. Nicole had felt immense relief that at least one of them had been able to cope with the events of that night and was able to function on a day to day basis without having nightmares and being afraid all the time.

Waverly set the flowers down on the side table and stepped into Nicole's personal space, wrapping her arms around her waist and burying her face into her chest. "I just love you, that 's all." She pulled her face away for a moment to ask, "You know that, right?"

Nicole leaned down to place a soft kiss onto the top of Waverly's head, "Of course I do Waves, and I love you too." Her brow creased and she sighed, "I'm sorry I've not been able to..."

Waverly reached up and placed a finger onto Nicole's lips to quiet her. Looking up into Nicole's eyes she said, "You've got nothing to apologize for Nicole Haught, and I don't want to hear it. You went through something traumatic and it's going to take time for things to get back to the way they were, and we both know that things may never go back to that, but I'm telling you right here and now that the only thing that matters to me is that you are here with me. We're getting married and I'm commited to spending the rest of my life with you by my side. For better or worse, right?"

Nicole nodded and closed her eyes, her mind kept telling her over and over that she didn't deserve this amazing human standing before her, that Waverly was only telling her what she wanted to hear. She opened her eyes to find nothing but adoration in Waverly's eyes. "I love you Nicole and nothing could change that, you are the one that I want and only you."

Nicole could feel tears forming in her eyes and she looked down towards the floor so Waverly wouldn't see them, "I don't deserve you."

Waverly put her finger underneath Nicole's chin and tilted her face up so she could look her in the eye, "Nicole, listen to me, you deserve everything and I'm so in love with you. You are my world and I never want to hear you say that you don't deserve me because I would be lost without you." She reached out with her thumbs and wiped away Nicole's tears, "You have my heart and nothing could make me stop loving you."

Nicole wrapped her arms around Waverly and pulled her into a hug, "You are the best thing that's ever happened to me, I'm just so afraid that..."

Waverly returned the hug and whispered against the taller woman's chest, "Sweetie what are you so afraid of? I'm not going anywhere and to me you are perfect, in every way."

Nicole buried her face into Waverly's hair, "I love you Wave." She gave Waverly one last squeeze and stepped back, "Something smells really good."

"I made you dinner," She took Nicole's hand and led her toward the kitchen, "And Wynonna and Maddie are staying at your apartment tonight so we can have some alone time."

Nicole smiled at Waverly as she sat down and watched the brunette dish out their food. "Some alone time, huh."

Waverly placed Nicole's plate in front of her and dropped a kiss onto the top her head, "Yep, alone time."

Nicole took a bite of her food and changed the subject, "So the doctor says I'm making good progress and I should be able to go back to work soon."

Waverly sat down in her chair and began to eat her own meal, "That's great news Nicole, I'm so proud of you." She reached across the table and squeezed Nicole's hand. "Jane was asking me where we are going on our honeymoon."

"Did she now?" Nicole took a sip of her wine, "Well, when you go into work on Monday you can tell Jane that you still have no idea. I told you it's a surprise, you put me in charge of making the arrangements and I'm not telling you where we're going. It's a surprise."

Waverly gave Nicole her best pouty face, "You're not going to give me even one little hint?"

"Nope." Nicole got up and took their empty plates over to the sink, "Since you cooked, I'll clean up the kitchen. Why don't you relax and get ready for bed and I'll be up in minute."

As Nicole began to wash the dishes Waverly came up behind her and wrapped her arms around her waist, pressing her face into Nicole's back. "I'm going to take a shower, If you'd like to join me when you're done down here I can wait." She could feel Nicole tense up so she pressed a kiss between her shoulder blades before turning and leaving the room.

Nicole stood still and listened as Waverly went up the stairs. She was filled with two very different feelings, taking a shower with Waverly filled her with anxiety at she thought of Waverly seeing her scars, but on the other hand she was also feeling a deep arousal thinking about Waverly's wet, soapy and very naked body. She quickly finished washing the dishes and drew in a deep breath before heading upstairs.

 

*****

 

Waverly walked out of the bathroom securing her robe, she was slightly disappointed that Nicole hadn't joined her in the shower but that feeling quickly disappeared as she found the object of her affection sitting on the foot of the bed with her head hanging down. She could sense the fear coming off of Nicole as she slowly crossed the room towards her and the feeling was confirmed when Nicole didn't even look up at her as she approached, "Sweetie?" When she got no reaction she tried a different tactic, "I was kind of hoping you would join me, I miss you."

Nicole sighed, "I wanted to, I really did but...I just couldn't."

Waverly looked down at her, reaching out she ran her fingers through Nicole's hair, "You can talk to me sweetheart, I wish you would just tell me what it is so I can help."

Waverly continued to stroke Nicoles hair and after a time the redhead looked up to find Waverly staring back at her with a look filled with tenderness. At that moment she could feel something inside of her give way and her resolve finally broke. "I'm afraid Waves."

She had spoken so softly that Waverly had to strain to hear what she had said, "What are you afraid of?"

Nicole closed her eyes and the truth came spilling out, "I'm afraid that you'll take one look at my scars and leave me because they are so ugly and I want to be perfect for you and I can't be when I have these." She said as she gestured down towards her stomach. "I couldn't bear it if that happened."

Waverly knelt down in front of Nicole and took her hands within her own, "Nicole, don't you know me by now? I love you more than anything, more than my own life. How can you think that something like a few scars would change the way I feel about you? Listen to me, when I saw him stab you I thought you were going to die but I fought to keep you with me. You are perfect to me in every way and I will never stop loving you, nothing could ever make me stop."

Nicole opened her eyes slowly, she was terrified that when she looked at Waverly that there would be no truth in her words but what she found in the brunette's eyes made her heart melt. They were filled with nothing but a deep devotion that Nicole could feel all the way into her soul. All of her fears and doubts were beginning to leave her and she felt an overwhelming urge to kiss Waverly right then.

Leaning in she pressed her lips to the brunette's and it wasn't long until she had her fingers wrapped up in Waverly's hair, pulling her closer. Things quickly became heated between them and it wasn't long before Nicole was reaching down to pull the ties of the brunette's robe open, her lips dropping to suck a mark into the side of Waverly's neck.

Waverly moaned as Nicole continued to mark her flesh, it had been too long since they had been together like this and she felt like everywhere Nicole touched was on fire. She had an overwhelming need to feel the smooth skin of Nicole's body pressed up against her own and without thinking she reached down to remove Nicole's shirt. She was stopped as two strong hands came down to wrap around hers and she looked up to find fear in Nicole's eyes. Leaning in she placed soft kisses on the redhead's cheeks to reassure her that she wasn't going anywhere, "It's okay Nicole, I love you and I won't hurt you. Do you trust me?"

Nicole nodded and relented, removing her hands from off of Waverly's she swallowed as her love slowly removed her shirt. She felt exposed as Waverly's gaze dropped down to her abdomen before reaching out and delicately running a finger across the largest, deepest scar. Waverly could feel Nicole tremble as she touched her and she brought her other hand up to cup Nicole's face within it. "You are the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on and nothing will ever change that for me."

At Waverly's words, Nicole let out the breath that she didn't even realized that she had been holding, "I love you Waverly Earp, you are everything to me too." Lowering her head she brought her lips to Waverly's and put all the love she was feeling into that kiss. She was so lost in the overwhelming feelings that their kisses were bringing out in her that she wasn't even aware that Waverly had removed the rest of her clothing and was lowering her onto the bed, until the cool air of the room had touched her bare skin.

Nicole moaned as Waverly pressed all her weight onto her body and she wrapped her fingers once again into her long brunette hair, drawing her head down to capture her soft lips in a blazing kiss. She gave out several more breathless moans as Waverly's lips traveled down her body before sinking into the heat between her legs. It wasn't long before Nicole was calling out Waverly's name as her release crashed down on her in waves of molten pleasure.

As Nicole slowly came back down to earth, Waverly crawled slowly back up Nicole's body, pausing to drop tender kisses along the scars that crossed the redhead's stomach until she was once again laying fully on top of Nicole. She rose up onto her elbows so that she could look down at Nicole to find the redhead staring back at her with a look of pure desire. Leaning down Waverly kissed Nicole deeply and before she knew it she was being flipped onto her back. Nicole's hands trailed a path down until she found the wet heat that she had been seeking out, she gasped at just how much she could feel that Waverly wanted her and as she sank inside of the brunette's core she felt like she was coming home once again.

Much later as Nicole lay snuggled within Waverly's arms she felt safe for the first time since the attack. Waking up the next morning she woke to the feeling of Waverly's naked body pressed fully against her own. Moving her head to the side she inhaled the delicious scent of Waverly's hair she realized that she had slept the entire night without nightmares. She sighed and thanked her lucky stars that this amazing woman was by her side.

 

*********

 

Wynonna watched as Nicole paced nervously back and forth across the room and she sighed as she watched the redhead tug on her suit jacket for what seemed like the millioneth time since Wynonna had entered the room. Wynonna reached into her purse and took out a flask, "Red, take a drink of this, it will calm you down."

Nicole stopped pacing and stared at Wynonna, "Why do you think I need to calm down Wynonna?"

"Because you have practically worn a path in the carpet and all that pacing is making me nervous so take a drink to steady your nerves before you make us both crazier than we already are." Wynonna took a drink from the flask before handing it to Nicole, "Look Red, you're getting married today and that can be some scary shit but dude, you're marrying my baby sister who is the best person I know. You've got nothing to worry about."

"What if I screw up my vows, I don't want to ruin this day for Waves." Her eyes grew wide and before she could give it another thought she took a long drink from the flask in her hand.

"I don't think you could actually do anything to ruin this day for her. She looks at you like you are the ice cream to her apple pie so you totally got this." Nicole opened her mouth to speak and Wynonna held up her hand to stop her, "I'm telling you that you got this, even if you are wearing a kilt. Here, take on of these," Wynonna took the flask back and handed Nicole a mint, "You know just so Waverly doesn't smell the booze."

Nicole nodded and popped it into her mouth, "Good idea." Pausing she turned towards Wynonna, gesturing towards her lower half, "Wait, you don't like the kilt?"

Wynonna shrugged, "I suppose since you are a Scot that it's fitting but dude I swear if there are bagpipes as Waves is walking down the aisle..."

Nicole shook her head and rolled her eyes at Wynonna, opening her mouth to respond but instead found herself being cut off as the door to the room flew open. Nicole grinned as Maddie ran into the room wearing a tiny suit jacket and kilt that matched her mother's. She and Waverly had decided that the little girl would stand next to Nicole as they made their vows to each other and she reached up without thinking to make sure that the folded papers were safely tucked within the inside pocket of her jacket.

Maddie crashed into Nicole, almost knocking her down as the little girl threw her arms around Nicole's legs, "Mommy Auntie Nona said that Waverly will be my new momma, is that true?"

Nicole bent down and picked her daughter up into her arms, "Why are you asking me that? We talked about this already."

Maddie put her arms around Nicole's shoulders, "I know mommy, and I can't wait cause soon I'm going to be a big sister cause when people get married they have a baby."

"Is that so?"

Maddie nodded, "Uh huh, you go on a trip and you come home with a baby in your belly."

Nicole looked past her daughter at a smirking Wynonna and didn't have to guess where Maddie had heard that bit of information. She shook her head in exasperation before returning her attention to the child in her arms. "That's something that we'll talk about later but right now we have to head outside, "Are you ready?" Maddie nodded and Nicole put her down on the ground, taking her daughter's hand she led her outside of the house and into the backyard where the ceremony would be taking place in a few minutes.

Nicole bent down and spoke softly to her daughter as she waited for everything to get underway, "Okay, so remember what I told you, stand next to me and try to stay as quiet as possible because this is an important day for me and Waverly and..."

Nicole's voice trailed off as Maddie let out an ear piercing squeal. "Mommy, I told you she was a princess, she's so pretty!"

The Redhead stood and her mouth dropped open as she saw Waverly for the first time that day. She couldn't stop the tears that began to fall from her eyes as she took in the vision slowly making her way down the aisle towards her, with her sister by her side. Waverly indeed looked like a princess in her wedding dress of lace and silk and Nicole quickly became lost in the hazel eyes that were staring back at her.

Before she knew it Waverly was standing by her side and Wynonna was leaning in to whisper in Nicole's ear, "Take care of my baby girl Red."

"Always." Nicole didn't even look at Wynonna as she responded, she was too busy staring at the beautiful woman who was standing by her side. She turned to face Waverly her face lighting up with Joy as she realized that soon they would be joined together forever, she was never letting her go. Leaning in she whispered, "You're so beautiful Wave."

Waverly's face lit up at Nicole's words and she whispered back, "You clean up pretty good too, are you ready to do this?"

Nicole nodded and they turned together to face the minister to begin the ceremony. It was short but sweet, both of them pledging themselves to the other and as she slipped the ring onto Waverly's finger Nicole felt complete, it was as if she had finally come home. From the moment she had met Waverly she had felt a strong pull towards the brunette and it was inevitable that they would end up here on this day together, becoming one.

As they sealed their union with a kiss Waverly could feel a pair of tiny but strong arms wrap around her legs and she reluctantly pulled away from her new wife to find Maddie grasping onto her as if her life depended on it. She bent down and picked her up, holding her in her arms while she kissed the tiny girl on the cheek.

She reached out and linked her other arm with Nicole's and the three of them walked down the aisle together as a family for the first time. Wynonna followed them and when they reached the doorway to the house Nicole asked Wynonna to take Maddie inside until everything was set up for the reception. Taking Waverly's hand she led her inside and into a room off to the left of the back door, quickly closing the door behind them.

 

*****

 

Nicole took a deep breath and turned around to face her new wife.

Waverly took a step forward and reached out to take Nicole's hand before leaning up to place a soft kiss on her mouth. Pulling back she stared up into Nicole's dark brown eyes before asking, "So, I'm assuming that since you pulled me into Wynonna's room it isn't to..."

Nicole's eyes grew wide and she shook her head, "No, no it isn't."

"Then why are we in here instead of celebrating out there with our family and friends?"

Nicole swallowed and took a deep breath, "I, uh have something for you, a gift." She reached into her jacket and took out the papers from her inside pocket, "I know we talked about doing this so I contacted my attorney and made it official." Handing them over to Waverly she stood and watched for her wife's reaction.

Waverly's eyes widened as she read over the papers, "Nicole, does this mean that Maddie..."

"Is officially your daughter, yes." She drew in a deep breath and nervously continued, "I hope it's okay that I went ahead and took care of this because I wanted to ensure that if anything ever happens to me that she's got someone I trust to take care of her, and she already thinks of you as her mother."

Waverly began to cry and she reached up to cup Nicole's face within her hands, "This is more than okay and makes me love you even more. I love you Nicole, so so much and you couldn't have given me a better gift. I'm so very lucky because I get both a wife and a daughter on the same day and I couldn't be happier." Leaning up she kissed Nicole, putting all the love she was feeling behind that kiss.

Their kisses became heated and Waverly pressed Nicole up against the door as she ran her hands up underneath her wife's jacket. A sudden pounding on the door startled them apart and Waverly pressed her face into Nicole's chest and groaned at the untimely interruption.

Before Waverly could open her mouth to respond, Wynonna's voice came booming through the door, "Hey you two, quit touching each other's boobies and whatever else you're doing and get your asses out here and celebrate! Two of my favorite people just got hitched and their gurests are waiting on them."

Nicole wrapped her arms around Waverly and pulled the brunette into her body before dropping a soft kiss onto her head. "We better get out there, she's not gonna leave us alone until we do."

Waverly sighed against Nicole's chest, "Fine, but later when we're alone nobody's going to stop me from doing everything I want to you." Leaning back within her wife's arms she looked up and gave her a wicked grin, "I hope you aren't tired because we aren't getting a lot of sleep tonight."

Nicole smirked down at her, "Is that so Mrs. Haught?" She raised an eyebrow, "Just remember that we have to get up early tomorrow when we leave for...our honeymoon."

"Are you finally going to tell me where we're going?"

Nicole shook her head, "Nope, not getting it out of me, my lips are sealed."

Waverly moved up slowly, bringing her lips towards Nicole's, "I bet I can unseal those lips." She was so close to capturing Nicole's lips but almost screamed as Wynonna beat on the door again.

"You two better not be banging in there and keeping us all waiting."

Waverly looked past Nicole's head and shouted at the door, "Go away Wynonna, let me be alone with my wife for five freakin minutes!" She sighed again, "Come on, let's go." She took Nicole's hand and led her out the door, pushing past her sister, Waverly gave her a dirty look before they made their way out into the backyard to greet their guests.

 

*****

 

The DJ announced their arrival and Nicole and Waverly waved to their guests, they walked to the center of the lawn and Waverly signaled for the DJ to play the song for their first dance. She wrapped her arms around Nicole's neck and the two of them began to sway to the music, Nicole's face softened as she heard the song that Waverly had chosen for them.

I found a love for me,
Darling just dive right in, And follow my lead
Well I found a girl beautiful and sweet
I Never knew you were the someone waiting for me
Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was, I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you're holding mine

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

Nicole leaned down and kissed Waverly on the forehead, overcome with emotion as the song played on. As she held Waverly she began to sing along with the song,

Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I'll share her home
I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own
We are still kids, but we're so in love, Fighting against all odds
I know we'll be alright this time, Darling just hold my hand
Be my girl, I'll be your man, I see my future in your eyes

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When I saw you in the dress, looking so beautiful
I don't deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don't deserve this
You look perfect tonight

As the song ended Nicole pulled Waverly into a kiss, "Not to sound cliche but that really was the perfect song for us baby."

They walked off the dance floor hand in hand and took their seats at their table. Waverly brought Nicole's hand to her lips and placed a soft kiss onto it, "I wanted us to dance to a song that summed up our relationship and I meant it when I said you are perfect to me Nicole."

Nicole looked at Waverly with adoration, "Have I told you lately how much I love you?"

"Maybe once or twice, but it wouldn't hurt to hear it again."

"I love you Waverly and I am so honored that you chose me to share your life, I'm so lucky."

Waverly could feel the tears coming and she leaned in and whispered, "I'm the lucky one and I'm so proud to be able to call you my wife." She looked past Nicole and gestured towards someone behind her, "I promised someone I'd dance with her and here she comes."

"Princess Waverly!" Nicole flinched as Maddie shouted in her ear, "Are we gonna dance now? You promised we would!"

Waverly smiled down at Maddie, "I was just coming to find you, she held out her hand and the little girl took it within her own and led Waverly out onto the dance floor."

Nicole watched as the two people she loved most in the world danced together in the middle of the crowd and her heart swelled with the love she was feeling. She got up and joined them on the dance floor, taking a hand from each of them within her own and they danced in a circle and Maddie giggled as her mother leaned in and kissed Waverly on the cheek. Nicole reached down and scooped Maddie up, holding her against her left side, reaching out she pulled Pulled Waverly into her other side and she held onto her family, keeping them close.

 

*****

 

Later that night after the cake was cut, the dinner was served and the two of them had reluctantly left their daughter with Wynonna, Nicole lay naked on her stomach across the bed asleep. Waverly was on top of Nicole snuggling into her back as they had finally collapsed, exhausted from celebrating their marriage so many times that Waverly had lost count. Waverly breathed in Nicole's scent and stared down at side of Nicole's face, she studied her profile and grinned to herself at the thought that this gorgeous woman was her wife. She could hardly believe it but as she glanced down at the ring on her left hand she knew that it was true and she snuggled herself tighter into Nicole's back.

"Waves?" The question came from beneath her, Nicole's voice thick with sleep.

Waverly reached up and ran her fingers softly through Nicole's hair, "Did I wake you?"

Nicole nodded but before Waverly could apologize she said, "I don't mind, but we do need some sleep, or..." She paused as a grin broke out on her face, "We can sleep on the plane tomorrow." She suddenly shifted her body and Waverly let out a surprised squeak as the redhead quickly moved, effortlessly flipping her onto her back and pinning her arms down by her sides.

Nicole stared deeply into Waverly's eyes before lowering her head to capture her lips in a soft kiss that quickly became heated. She leaned back and released Waverly's arms, the brunette instantly reached up and ran her fingers along the sides of Nicole's face. Nicole closed her eyes at the feel of Waverly's soft touch and when she opened them she found herself looking into a pair of eyes that were filled with nothing but love and devotion. "I love you my sweet wife, so so much." Lowering her head she placed soft kisses on the corners of Waverly's mouth, "I'm going to spend the rest of my life showing you just how much I love you."

Waverly smiled up at her and said, "I can't wait," as she pulled Nicole down into another kiss.

"Do you know how much I adore you?" Nicole breathed against Waverly's lips.

Waverly smiled up at Nicole, "Je t'adore en retour, tu es l'amour de ma vie."

Nicole's breath hitched, "I'm not sure what that meant but baby you know how much I love it when you speak French to me, I'm so glad you took those language classes in college."

"Well, if I get that reaction when I speak French I should do it more often."

Nicole's eyes darkened with desire, "It will definetely come in handy where we're going."

Waverly let out a squeal of excitement, "France? Are we going to France."

"Maybe." Nicole rolled her eyes and huffed out a breath in exasperation, "I didn't want to tell you, see this is what you do to me Waves. You make it impossible for me to keep secrets from you."

Waverly gave her a serious look, "Do you want to keep secrets from me Nicole, because I..."

Before she could finish her sentence Nicole interupted her, "No, I never want to keep secrets from you baby, I want to share everything with you."

Waverly tangeld her fingers into Nicole's red locks, "Me too, me too, and right now there's something I'd like to share with you that involves a lot less words and a lot more of something else." She pulled her wife's face down towards her and kissed her with all the love that lived within her heart.

 

*****

 

Waverly stood on the beach staring out at the vast expanse of the water that lay before her as far as her eye could see. Seeing the ocean was on her bucket list but she woulld have to wait a week before they would move to their next destination along the coast of Spain so that she could see the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean for herself. She stared out at the sea as she dug her toes into the sand and basked in the last rays of the sun as it went down on the horizon.

She felt two strong arms wrap around her waist and she leaned back into the body that was pressed against her back. She sighed in contenment as her wife dropped a soft kiss on her shoulder. "It's so beautiful here Nicole, I've always dreamed of coming here to Cannes, I just never thought I would ever get here."

Nicole hummed in agreement and Waverly turned in her arms as she softly said, "I want to make all your dreams come true Wave."

Waverly wrapped her arms around Nicole's neck, "You already made my dreams come true, the day I married you." She stopped and shook her head, "Actually i think it was the day we met."

Nicole raised an eyebrow as she stared down into Waverly's soft hazel eyes, "Really? We met under the worst possible circumstances, and I seem to recall that you were covered in your sister's blood."

"That's true, but Nicole, from the moment I first locked eyes with you I could feel a pull towards you, it was if we had known each other our whole lives." She leaned up and placed a quick kiss on the redhead's lips, "As morbid as this may sound, I think everything happened for a reason and Champ shooting Wynonna was fate's way of putting us together."

"You're right Wave, that is pretty morbid." At the pout that had suddenly appeared on Waverly's face she continued, "But I can't argue with fate, can I?"

Waverly shook her head, "No you can't."

Nicole dropped her head to give Waverly a soft kiss before pulling back, "You're going to miss the sunset, I heard the sunsets here are gorgeous and unlike anywhere else in the world."

"I'd rather look at my gorgeous wife and wonder how I got so lucky to call you mine."

Nicole stared down at her with a look of pure adoration, "I'm the lucky one Waves, you never gave up on me and for that I'll be forever grateful."

"You know what I think?"

"What's that?"

"I think it's time we both got lucky because it's been like four hours and I'm really, really missing you and if you keep looking at me like that I might just jump your bones right here where anyone could see us."

Nicole chuckled, "We wouldn't want that now. How about we race back to our room and the winner gets to choose the evening's activities."

"Oh, you are so on, Haught." Waverly pulled away and started running across the sand, calling over her shoulder, "I hope you're ready for what I've got planned."

Nicole watched as Waverly got further away before her eyes widened as a million different scenarios crossed through her mind. Shaking her head she began to run towards her wife, feeling the pull in her direction, it felt like gravity and Nicole would never have it any other way.