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Let's Get Married

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1:26 AM 

Haught_ShitWe should get married 

7:32 AM 

ICall-Sh0tgunI'm sorry what? 

Waverly stared at her phone screen for a long time before she got out of bed to get ready for the day. Had her roommate been drunk when she'd sent the message? 

7:58 AM 

ICall-Sh0tgun: You do realize I'm dating Champ right? 

ICall-Sh0tgunWhere are you anyway? 

Haught_ShitI went out with Wynonna and Dolls last night and crashed at their place 

Yeah, she was definitely not sober when she sent that message. 

ICall-Sh0tgunOkay well we both have class in an hour so get your ass back here 

There was a knock on the door to their shared dorm room and Waverly got up to answer it, finding a very disheveled Nicole standing there in her clothes from yesterday. 

"Way ahead of you," Nicole said in reply to Waverly's text. 

"Get in here, Haught. You look like you just crawled out of a dumpster." 

"Good morning to you too." 

The playful smirks on both of their faces showed that they were just being sarcastic with each other, as always. They'd been good friends and roommates at the University of Purgatory since their freshman year last year. Sarcasm and assholery were what made their friendship great. 

"How are you not hungover right now?" Waverly asked. Usually, Nicole would get trashed when she went out with Wynonna. 

"Never got drunk. I did have a pot brownie though, and that was quite the experience." 

"Did you bring me one?" 

Nicole unbuttoned the chest pocket on her flannel shirt and pulled out a plastic bag containing a leftover brownie from the night before. She threw it on Waverly's bed before removing her snapback and grabbing clothes so she could go shower. 

"You can have it if you bring back my favorite breakfast," Nicole offered, slipping out the door to head to the showers. 

Waverly shook her head and laughed. She'd only asked for the brownie as a joke, but she wasn't stupid enough to pass up a (almost) free pot brownie. She hid the brownie in her safe and left the room to go get breakfast from the cafeteria. 

*** 

When Waverly got back to the room, Nicole was sitting on her bed reading the assigned chapters for their English class. The same one that started in twenty minutes. 

"You know we have a quiz on that today," Waverly mentioned. 

Nicole put a finger to her lips. 

"Shhh... I'm reading." 

Waverly rolled her eyes and put Nicole's two bagels, two small containers of cream cheese, and cup of coffee on her desk 

"Or you could stop reading and eat your breakfast while I explain the important parts that you need to know for the quiz." 

There was some shuffling and a muttered fuck yeah before Waverly started explaining the material they needed to know for the quiz. Most people would never consider just summarizing the important information for their roommate, friend or not, because it would make them feel like they were doing all the work. Waverly just saw it as an opportunity to make sure she knew the material well enough to ace the test. It was a win-win for both of them since Nicole seemed to pay way more attention to Waverly when she was teaching the material than their actual professor. 

They left for the class as soon as Nicole finished her bagels, and Waverly found it to be the perfect time to ask her roommate about her sudden marriage proposal from early that morning. 

"Are you aware that you suggested we get married at one o'clock this morning? Probably while you were high off your ass." 

Nicole blushed and brushed it off with a laugh. 

"Oh, yeah, that. I was hoping I could talk to you about that over dinner tonight..." she trailed off. 

"Sorry, but I can't tonight. Champ is taking me to go watch some rodeo that's going on in the next town over." 

"Coffee tomorrow morning then?" 

Waverly loved Nicole to death, but only as a friend. She wasn't even ready to get married to her boyfriend of five years, let alone her best friend of one year. Though, she did want to hear Nicole's explanation for the proposal. 

"Sure, coffee tomorrow morning." 

They entered the classroom and took their seats next to each other.

Chapter Text

The campus coffee shop was as busy as always the next morning. Nicole and Waverly had fallen into rhythm after the first month of being roommates where, every time they went to the shop together, one of them would buy the coffee and the other would go find a table for them to share. They alternated who would pay and who would get the table after every visit (Waverly always made a note in her phone in case Nicole forgot, which was rare).


Waverly was ready to pay for the two of them when they went to discuss Nicole's marriage proposal since Nicole payed last time, but the redhead insisted that Waverly go find the table instead. She was the one that invited her to go get coffee, so it'd be rude of her to make Waverly pay. Plus, she looked exhausted from whatever it was she was doing with Champ the night before.


"You want your usual, yeah?" Nicole asked to clarify.


"Yes, please."


Nicole nodded and held the door open for her roommate, who left to look for a table as soon as she entered. It wasn't surprising to see how long the line was to order since it was a Friday morning. There were at least six people in front of her and just as many waiting to receive their drinks. She was actually glad the wait was so long since it’d give her time to explain what she’d meant when she asked her roommate to marry her.


She hadn’t exactly told Waverly about her family’s financial struggle yet. Waverly knew she came from a small town in South Carolina, but she didn’t know that Nicole’s family lived in her grandparents’ basement for a vast majority of her childhood. It was a miracle she was even able to attend college, getting just enough scholarships so that she wouldn’t have too much debt when she started her own life. Now her father was without a job and the amount of money they were able to supply her with was dwindling.


Waverly was struggling financially as well since it was just her and Wynonna. She had gotten a slew of academic scholarship offers, and any college would have been lucky to have one of the world’s smartest women on their campus, but Wynonna was constantly in and out of jobs. Since Wynonna and Dolls had gotten together, Dolls had been more than willing to help the two sisters pay for Waverly to go to college. Having a little extra financial aid wouldn’t hurt her either.


“I’ll take the next in line!” one of the cashiers announced and Nicole hadn’t even realized she was next to order.


“I need a caramel macchiato, a chai tea latte, and two plain bagels,” Nicole ordered.


“That’ll be ten dollars and thirty four cents.”


Nicole pulled her wallet and took out eleven dollars, telling the cashier to keep the change.


Her order was ready a few minutes later, and she took it to a small table in the back corner of the shop, where Waverly was waiting for her. There was something about the way the sunlight shined through the window onto her waiting roommate that took her breath away. Waverly was pretty, really pretty, but it didn’t mean anything. She was gay, not blind. Waverly being pretty was just another plus that came with them possibly getting married.


She set the chai latte down in front of Waverly and pulled one of the bagels from the paper bag she held, placing it on a napkin for her.


“You didn’t have to get me a bagel."

 
Nicole smiled and sat down at the table.


“I wanted to. You haven’t had breakfast yet and it’d be rude of me if I just got one for myself.”


“That’s really sweet, thank you.”


Waverly took one of the small cream cheese packages and started putting the spread on her bagel.


“You gonna tell me why you asked me to marry you at one AM on a Thursday while you were high with my sister?”


“Oh, yeah, that…” She took a sip of her coffee and continued. “I’m in a really tight spot financially and I might not be able to attend college next year. So, I did some research and you get extra aid if you’re married to someone.”


Waverly nodded and motioned for Nicole to continue.


“I wasn’t exactly sure who to marry, or who I’d want to marry, for this until Wynonna mentioned something about you guys struggling too. I figured that since we’re roommates, and really good friends, that you’d be the one I wanted to marry.”


There were a few moments of silence before Waverly set her bagel down and answered Nicole.


“Nicole, I would love to marry you and help you out, but I’m dating Champ and that’d kinda be like cheating on him.”


“That’s the good part, though! This isn’t going to be a permanent marriage, obviously, so it’ll give us a reason to divorce after we graduate.”


There was another pause in conversation as Waverly considered her options. On one hand, she would be getting more financial aid, but she’d also be cheating on Champ. Of course, being legally married to your roommate isn’t exactly the worst way to cheat, especially since it was just Nicole.


“Give me a few days to think about it.”


“Thank you.”


They sat there for a little while longer to finish their coffee and bagels, changing the subject to their classes. If Waverly was being honest with herself, she would say it was better than any date Champ had taken her on. Maybe getting married to Nicole would be good for her.

Chapter Text

It took Waverly about a week to make up her mind about getting married to Nicole. She knew better than to bring it up to Champ, who already didn’t like Nicole in the first place, and all Wynonna said was to do what she wants. The problem was, she didn’t know what she wanted. In the end, there were five big reasons that made her want to say yes.


1. Champ was kind of oblivious to everything that wasn’t about him, so chances of him noticing were slim.


2. Nicole was probably one of the sweetest people Waverly knew, and she deserved to achieve her dreams of becoming a forensic scientist more than most of the people in her program. Marrying her would help her accomplish those dreams.


3. Wynonna wouldn’t have to worry about their financial situations more than she already does.


4. It’s not really cheating since they’re just doing it for financial purposes as friends, nothing romantic about it.


5. It’d be a fun story to tell her kids some day.


She decided to take Nicole out to dinner and set down some rules about how the marriage is going to work. If they were going to get married, they definitely needed to talk about it a little bit more. Since Nicole had already paid for a nice morning out, Waverly figured dinner might be the best way to go.


12:47 PM


ICall-Sh0tgun: Dinner tonight?


1:15 PM


Haught_Shit: Sounds good! Where at?


ICall-Sh0tgun: I’m not sure


ICall-Sh0tgun: You pick?


Haught_Shit: Is Shorty’s okay?


ICall-Sh0tgun: Yeah I’ll pick you up at 7


Haught_Shit: Waverly we live together you know that right


Haught_Shit: Pretty sure you don’t need to pick me up


The two looked at each other from their spots on their respective beds and smiled at each other. They were supposed to be studying, hence the texting back and forth instead of talking to each other, but math is hard and psych can get pretty boring, so they stayed quiet to make it feel like they were studying. All it ever really did was make them more anxious about their upcoming midterms.


***


Wynonna could be such a shit ticket sometimes. As soon as she texted Wynonna about her plans for the night, Waverly regretted it.


3:19 PM


ALLtheAlcohol: im totally coming to see how everything goes


ICall-Sh0tgun: It’s not even a real date


ALLtheAlcohol: ur telling her u wanna marry her


ALLtheAlcohol: it’s a date


ICall-Sh0tgun: Fine believe what you want but don’t show up


Waverly isn’t even surprised when she sees Wynonna sitting in a booth with Dolls over in the far corner of the small diner. She made sure she was facing the door so she could see when they walked in and was holding a menu over her face as if Waverly wouldn’t recognize Dolls. The only other person Dolls would be at the diner with was Doc, and he had no reason to be holding the menu ridiculously high over his face. Plus, she would have seen that damn cowboy hat he wears constantly.


7:12 AM


ICall-Sh0tgun: I thought I told you not to show up


ALLtheAlcohol: Dolls asked me out so not my fault


ICall-Sh0tgun: Sounds fake but okay


ICall-Sh0tgun: Just don’t interfere please this is important


It didn’t look like Nicole had noticed the couple in the corner yet, so Waverly dragged her to an open table as far away from them as she could. She refused to let Wynonna intrude in what would probably be a very important conversation. Well, maybe not too important, but she would like to set things straight with Nicole about their marriage without being interrupted. She was sure Nicole would have her own rules and conditions to set up as well.


“Do you wanna share something?” Nicole asked. “Wynonna took me to get donuts after class today, so I’m not all that hungry.”


That fucking shit ticket.


“Yeah, sure, we can do that. Pick whatever you want.”


“Are you sure? I don’t wanna make you eat something you don’t like.”


“Positive”


They placed their shared order and sipped at their drinks before Waverly decided to speak up.


“I think I’ve made my decision on the whole marriage thing.”


Nicole had such a happy and hopeful look on her face when she looked up that Waverly was glad she had decided to say yes.


“I’ll marry you, Nicole.”


“Really?”


Almost as if on cue, Marry You by Bruno Mars started playing on someone’s phone. Waverly wanted to believe it was Wynonna’s doing, but it was just a video someone behind them was watching of a marriage proposal. She ignored the music and replied to Nicole.


“Yes, but I think we need to talk about it a bit more and set down some rules.”
Nicole nodded.


“Of course.”


“First, we don’t tell anyone we don’t have to about this. I don’t want it getting back around to Champ. Second, this only lasts until we graduate. After that, we get a divorce and go our separate ways. Finally, we can go out on ‘dates’ more often so it’s more believable that we’re married, but no lovey stuff.”


“All things I can easily handle and understand.”


Waverly hadn’t expected any less from her roommate. Nicole was incredibly understanding and respectful of Waverly’s wants and needs. It was surprising to come home to sometimes after being with Champ all day.


“We may need to get rings too,” Nicole added.


“Right, rings.”


Nicole reached into her bag and pulled out two silver wedding bands along with the required paperwork.


“Can’t be married without these right?”

 

7:32 PM


ALLtheAlcohol: [spongebobmeme.jpeg] ItS NoT evEn A ReAl dAte

Chapter Text

3:45 PM


ALLtheAlcohol: what time do u get out of class today


Haught_Shit: Last one gets out at 4:45


Haught_Shit: Why?


ALLtheAlcohol: bc donuts r on sale and we need to talk


There was nothing more nerve wracking to Nicole than Wynonna wanting to talk about something. Wynonna wasn’t one to sit down and talk, so she wondered if maybe something had happened to Waverly. She’d only been away from the room for an hour, ever since Champ showed up to spend time with his girlfriend. He never treated Waverly right and didn’t deserve Waverly. Nicole could have, and would have, treated her better.


It didn’t even cross her mind that Wynonna might have known about the marriage proposal until she was starring at their marriage license paperwork. Of course Waverly would have gone to Wynonna for help during the decision making process.


“Grab a doughnut and take a seat,” Wynonna instructed, turning the box of doughnuts towards Nicole.


There were a variety of doughnuts to choose from, but Nicole narrowed in on the only sprinkled doughnut in the box. She pulled it from the box and smirked at Wynonna as she sat down and took a bite. Sprinkled doughnuts weren’t her favorite, she actually kind of hated them, but the glare she received from Wynonna made it all worth it.


“I hope you don’t treat Waverly like this.”


“Waverly doesn’t even like doughnuts.”


Wynonna rolled her eyes.


“You know what I mean.”


The cashier interrupted them momentarily with two cups of coffee in her hand.


“Ma’am you left your coffee up at the counter,” she said to Wynonna.


“Oh, shit, thanks!”


The coffee was placed on the table and the cashier went back to her position at the register. Wynonna lifted the lid off of one of the cups and slid the closed one over towards Nicole.


“Two sugars and three creams, right?”


Nicole nodded and picked up the warm cup.


“A little birdie told me that you requested my sister’s hand in marriage.”


“I’m guessing it was Waverly since she was the only other person that knew," Nicole said.


With a simile and nod, Wynonna continued.


“Mind if I ask why?”


There’s an awkward pause between them and Nicole blushes. Wynonna clearly knows why, she just wants to hear it from Nicole before she gives her the big sister blessing to marry Waverly.


“Honestly, I shouldn’t even be here right now. My family has no money and right now my dad is without a job, my mom works four different jobs, and my younger brother is working two just so he can help support them. I don’t get near enough financial aid so I started doing research and applying to scholarships. I asked your sister to marry me because if I marry her, we’ll both be able to receive more financial aid.”


“I think there might be another reason you chose my sister.”


Nicole’s blush deepened and she shifted uncomfortably in her chair.


“It’s okay if you like her, Nic. If I were in your situation, I'd much rather marry someone I liked as opposed to someone I didn't. In fact, I’d rather she be with you than with Champ any day. He’s looking to propose to her soon and I would feel much better if she had a reason to say no.”


Wynonna’s reassuring smile made Nicole realize she must have looked as confused as she felt. She didn’t know how in the loop Wynonna was about Champ and Waverly’s relationship, and she really didn’t know that her crush on Waverly was so obvious. The Earp sisters were both oblivious to that sort of thing, so she assumed Dolls had been the one to point it out. However, none of that explained how Wynonna had gotten the marriage license papers.


“How did you get these?” Nicole asked, pointing to the papers.


“I went and asked like a normal person. I got you guys these too.”


Two silver bands were suddenly placed on the table on top of the papers.


“Shit, Wynonna, you really didn’t-”


“Don’t worry about it. They weren’t too expensive and I know you don’t really have the means to get some.”


“Thank you so much.”


“No problem. Now, go get ready for your little date with Waverly.”

"It's not a date."

Wynonna knew better than to believe that. She'd been told by Dolls how those two look at each other and how they talk about each other when they were drunk. They liked each other, even if Waverly still hadn't realized it yet. She really hoped the marriage would bring the two together once and for all.

Chapter Text

That weekend, Nicole and Waverly found themselves at the nearest courthouse making things official between them. Nicole had been the one to drive them since Wynonna had Waverly’s Jeep for the weekend, and Nicole was sure it was just another one of Wynonna’s schemes. They probably would have carpooled anyway, though, since it’d be weird to show up separately when marrying your significant other. They’d even walked into the office holding hands and leaning into each other as if they really were dating and happy to be getting married.

The way they were acting made Nicole’s chest tighten. She wished that everything they were doing was happening under different circumstances. Even if it was a real relationship, would she have asked Waverly to marry her like this? What if they stayed together? Would they get a divorce and get remarried so that they could have the real experience or would they just leave it as is? As they got closer and closer to the room they were supposed to be in, Nicole started to think that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

“Hey, try not to look so nervous on our wedding day,” Waverly smiled up at her and Nicole couldn’t help but smile back. “It’s not like it’s the real deal. Well, it is the real deal, but you know what I mean.”

“I do.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Very.”

Waverly squeezed her hand and opened the door to the room they were supposed to go into. They turned in all their paperwork to get the marriage license the day after their conversation at Shorty’s, so everything was ready to go. They’d even prepared vows, with the help of Wynonna and Dolls, that they could say to each other. There was no turning back now.

***

After they left the courthouse, the newlywed couple made their way over to Shorty’s for a late lunch. The diner was quiet, only a few groups of people around still eating their lunch or drinking their coffee. Nicole preferred this sort of setting whenever she came to Shorty’s. There was just something so calming about being in a diner during their slow hour with Waverly that made her heart race.

“Feel free to sit wherever you’d like,” the waitress told them out of habit. “Oh, hey, Waverly!”

“Hey, Chrissy!” Waverly greeted.

Chrissy poured more coffee for a man sitting at the table nearest to the entrance and came to talk to her friend.

“I heard the news from Wynonna, about you two. Congrats!”

Nicole and Waverly both smiled at each other nervously.

“Yeah, well, as soon as we met I knew she was the one for me.”

“I’m so glad you finally dumped Champ. He was such a dick to you.” Chrissy looked up at Nicole and narrowed her eyes at her. “If you hurt her in anyway, I will make your life hell.”

Nicole subconsciously reached for Waverly’s hand and was rewarded with a comforting squeeze. Waverly wasn’t sure why the gesture felt so natural to her.

“Anyway, take a seat and I’ll be right with you to take your order. I’m so happy for you!”

The couple let out a sigh of relief and went to their usual table at the back of the diner, right next to the window. Waverly wondered if she should tell Chrissy the truth behind the marriage, just in case Champ found out. She ultimately decided against it since Chrissy never saw Champ and probably wouldn’t open her mouth about it anyway.

Waverly could only imagine the things Champ would do to her if he found out. He’d never actually gotten violent with her before, but that was only because she always did as he said when he threatened her. Even though many people thought she was badass, Waverly still struggled in her relationship with Champ. His violent threats were the only reason she was still with him. That was something she hoped she’d never have to explain to Nicole or her sister.

“Who else do you think Wynonna told?” Nicole asked. She was sure the oldest Earp sister wouldn’t mention it to anyone who couldn’t keep their mouth shut about it. It was probably a good thing that some people knew, mainly because it made the marriage seem more real.

“Probably just Chrissy. I don’t have too many friends who know how to keep things to themselves, so… Maybe Doc too?”

The conversation continued for the rest of their time at the diner and the drive back to their dorm. Who they were going to tell about their marriage had yet to come up in their conversations before they decided to say ‘I do.’ It was a large mistake on their part that they hadn’t even thought about.

Family, well, Nicole’s family would be kept in the dark for as long as possible about it so they could prepare answers to questions they knew they were going to get. Anyone who already knew would be told to keep it on the down-low until further notice. They couldn’t get the financial aid for it until the next semester, so they would wait until then before they got too coupleish.

Chapter Text


Waverly slipped up really badly after the fall semester ended. It was the week of finals, and Waverly found out Nicole wasn’t able to go home for the holidays. She talked to Wynonna about it and asked if Nicole could stay over the break. She hated the thought of the redhead sitting all alone in the dorm room on Christmas because she couldn’t afford to go home.


“Are you sure?” Nicole asked when Waverly invited her. “I don’t want to invade on family time with you and your sister.”


“Of course I’m sure! No one deserves to be alone on the holidays. Besides, we’re married now, right? It’d make sense for one of us to have the over for the holidays.”


A small smile found its way onto Nicole’s face and she nodded. It warmed her heart that Waverly didn’t want her to be alone.


“Yeah, I’ll come home with you.”


***


The Earp homestead was the same as it had always been whenever Nicole visited, except something was off. She walked in before Waverly did and narrowed her eyes in suspicion. Wynonna didn’t clean. In fact, Nicole’s pretty sure Wynonna’s never cleaned up a room a day in her life, and now she’s standing in an incredibly clean home.


When Waverly walked in, she didn’t pay any attention to the cleanliness of the house. She just carried her bags up to her room before coming back to get Nicole’s. The drive wasn’t a long one, only about half an hour, but it was late and Waverly really just wanted to go to bed.


“I didn’t know Wynonna knew how to clean,” Nicole joked when Waverly came back down stairs the second time.


The youngest Earp stopped and finally took a minute to look around at the unusual organization. Waverly wasn’t sure how she missed it before, but she just laughed it off.


“She probably hired somebody to do it for her,” Waverly thought aloud. "Or Dolls did it for her.”


The house is pretty quiet for a Friday night and Waverly thought that Wynonna and Dolls went to visit Doc at the local bar. It wasn’t until she went to take Nicole to the guest bedroom that she heard the bed creaking and muffled noises that sounded a lot like moans of pleasure coming from behind the door. Her face went bright red and she quickly dragged Nicole up the stairs into her own bedroom.


“I’m not making you sleep in there,” Waverly said. “You can take my bed. I’ll sleep on the couch.”


Nicole opened her mouth to protest, but Waverly gave her the don’t argue with me look, so she closed her mouth and decided to get ready for bed instead. Waverly grabbed her own pajamas and headed downstairs to the bathroom to change and brush her teeth. She passed the couch on the way there, the couch that was currently occupied by none other than Doc Holliday. He was sprawled out with his left arm and leg dangling off the side. Waverly continued her way to the bathroom then back upstairs to alert Nicole that maybe the couch was occupied as well.


11:56 PM


ICall-Sh0tgun: Thanks for taking the spare bedroom and not warning me about Doc


1:29 AM


ALLtheAlcohol: no problem ;)


“You would have been miserable all night anyway,” Nicole mentioned. “Every time you sleep on the couch you always complain about your back hurting and make me massage it.”


“I don’t make you,” Waverly countered.
Nicole raised an eyebrow and Waverly surrendered.


“I guess we can just share my bed then.”


Right, the bed. The twin bed in which Waverly slept in. The bed put there specifically for Waverly to sleep in. Waverly’s bed…


“Will we even fit?”


“Well we can try.”


Nicole ended up facing the wall, her front practically touching it, and Waverly’s back pressed up against hers. It’s not the most comfortable position, but they’re both tired enough to pass out five minutes later.


They woke up the next morning to the smell of something burning downstairs. Nicole was now lying on her back with a light weight on her chest and something warm pressed into her side. She opened her eyes to find Waverly curled up into her side with her head resting on Nicole’s chest. The position they were in now was way more comfortable than the one they had fallen asleep in, but it made Nicole nervous.


“What’s that smell?” Waverly mumbled in her half asleep state. She enjoyed the position she was in with Champ until she realized that Champ hated cuddling and wasn’t the person she had fallen asleep with the night before. “Shit!”


Waverly practically flung herself out of bed and away from Nicole, the memories of the night before coming back to her. The woman in the bed cocked her head to the side and looked at her as if she did something wrong.


“It’s not you. I just thought you were Champ is all,” Waverly explained. “Let’s go make breakfast before Wynonna burns it all.”


***


Nicole leaves the bed to sleep on the floor that night so she doesn’t startle Waverly again. She hardly slept all night, and woke up with the worst back pain she’d ever had in her life, but at least Waverly didn’t freak out again.


“You could have stayed and cuddled again,” Waverly said when she woke up. “I really didn’t mind it. It was kinda nice actually.”


And so she does sleep cuddled up with Waverly every night up until Christmas Eve.


***


Christmas Eve in the Earp family involved a lot of drinking and a white elephant gift exchange that Nicole had only just been warned about the day before. She wasn’t quite sure what to get for the exchange, until she remembered the general love of booze the small group back at the Earp homestead had. She decided on a peppermint vodka to go with the Christmas theme.


She ended up getting two packs of boxers that Wynonna bought as a gag gift, but Nicole was planning on wearing them as pajama shorts. One of the packages had little dinosaur designs and the other was superhero themed. Nicole was extra excited about the ones with the dinosaurs on them.


Waverly got the bottle of peppermint vodka, and they shared some of it later that night in her room. They were already rather drunk from all the whisky and beer that Doc brought from the bar, but just a little more vodka wouldn’t hurt.


“You’re so pretty,” Nicole whispers.


Waverly’s smile was kind of lopsided and her cheeks were rosy from the amount of alcohol she’d had, but it didn’t matter. Their close proximity wasn’t making Nicole’s heartbeat any slower, and neither was the fact that Waverly was slowly getting closer. Nicole bends down to meet her lips, and the kiss is everything she imagined, even as sloppy as it was. It’s over just as soon as it started when Waverly realized just who she was kissing.


Nicole slept on the floor of the guest bedroom that night.

Chapter Text

“I kissed her, Wynonna!”

“Well, she is your wife. You’re supposed to do that sort of thing.”

“It’s not like that though, I cheated on Champ.”

“You were both drunk and it was the heat of the moment. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“It means something because I liked it. If it had just been a kiss I wouldn’t care but there was something about it that made the pit of my stomach all warm. I’ve never felt that kissing Champ, or really anyone for that matter. In fact, I almost did it again.”

“Don’t think about it too much okay? It’s Christmas. Just relax and worry about it later.”

“I guess. Let’s go wake her up.”

***

Nicole woke up the next morning to an airhorn being blown in her face and a hangover to end all hangovers. She was surprised that she had even been able to keep up with Wynonna and Waverly last night with how much they’d had to drink. Shit, Waverly. The events from the night before came rushing back to her, as blurry as they might be, but the one thing that stuck out was the fact that Waverly Earp kissed her. Waverly Earp kissed her and it felt so right. She was fucked.

“Jesus, Haught, would you get off the damn floor?” Wynonna demanded, waving the airhorn around in her hand.

“What time is it?” Nicole’s voice didn’t go above a whisper. She really wished Wynonna wouldn’t be so loud.

“Time for you to get off the floor. It’s Christmas!” Waverly exclaimed.

Nicole finally opened her eyes and looked out the window, ignoring the fact that Waverly wasn’t acting weird about their kiss. She could just barely see the sun starting to rise on the horizon.

“If I’d known you two were going to get me trashed, then wake me up at the ass crack of dawn, I would have just stayed in the dorm.”

She pulled the towel she got from the closet (she thought it was a blanket at the time) over her face and tried to go back to sleep. Waverly got a pillow from the bed and threw it at the woman on the floor.

“Fine, okay, I’m getting up!”

Waverly and Wynonna were out of the room before Nicole could even sit up. She wondered if Waverly even remembered their shared kiss, but that was a conversation for another time.

Breakfast was already set up when Nicole walked into the kitchen, and everyone was sitting around the table waiting for her. They were all still in their pajamas, reminding Nicole of when she was a little kid. Her parents always made her and her siblings eat breakfast before they could even think about opening their presents. She wondered how long they’d been up waiting for her.

There was a plate heaped full of pancakes that Wynonna had moved closer to herself when she thought no one was looking, a plate of french toast, a pot of coffee, a bottle of whiskey, a pitcher of orange juice, and a plate of bacon and sausage all sitting on the table. It was a ridiculous amount of food, and Dolls and Waverly had to wake up extra early to make it, but it was worth it. The pancakes were light and fluffy (something about a secret ingredient Dolls refused to give away), the bacon was extra crispy, and Nicole was pretty sure she’d never had such a good breakfast in her life.

Somehow, they managed to clean all the plates and empty both the pot of coffee and pitcher of orange juice. The bottle of whiskey was half empty, mainly being used to pour into the coffee in place of cream and sugar. Nicole stood at the sink with Waverly, washing the dishes while Waverly dried them. Doc, Dolls, and Wynonna were sitting in the living room talking about what Doc could do to improve his bar. It was simple, it was domestic, and it honestly made Nicole feel like she was at home. Though, the kiss from last night was burning in her mind, and she really wanted to talk to Waverly about it.

“Hey, Waves,” she said softly. “Do you remember anything that happened last night while we were in your room?”

“You mean the reason you were sleeping on the floor in the guest room?”

“Yeah, that.”

Waverly finished drying the plate she was holding and put it in the cabinet with a sigh.

“I remember that it was me that kissed you, and I remember that you kissed me back.”

“Are you two almost done in there?” Wynonna interrupted from the living room. “I wanna open presents.”

“What are you, five?” they heard Dolls ask.

The couple looked at each other and decided that maybe it was not the right time to discuss something so serious. They could save it for later.

“Coming!” Waverly replied to the impatient woman in the living room.

“That’s what she said!”

They finished up the last couple of dishes and headed out to the Christmas tree that was sitting in the living room. It was a pretty small tree, Nicole was taller than it was, but it did its job well enough. The white lights wrapped around it brightly lit up the surrounding array of ornaments on the tree. As organized as the tree was, the presents underneath were haphazardly thrown about and wrapped in several different types of paper, including a Star Wars wrapping paper Wynonna swore up and down wasn’t hers (it was).

“Fucking finally.”

Presents were opened, and Doc got a Colt Python from Wynonna, so he dragged her and Dolls outside to try it out. Nicole and Waverly were left alone again in awkward silence. They were both staring at each other’s socks, waiting for the other to start up where they left off in the kitchen. Waverly decided to start with something else.

“I got you this,” she said, holding out a perfectly wrapped present to Nicole.

The redhead almost didn’t want to open it because the paper was done so nicely, but she was curious to see what was inside. She tore open the paper to find a clothing box. Inside, was a navy blue sweater with a large golden N on the front.

“I know you love Harry Potter, and I thought you might like your own Weasley Christmas sweater.”

Nicole let out a small laugh.

“Is it because I have red hair?”

“Of course it is, silly! It’ll suit you well.”

It was really hard to hide her excitement about actually wearing the sweater. She actually used to pretend she was a Weasley when the books first came out.

“Thank you, Waves. That was really sweet.”

Nicole reached under the tree and grabbed the only remaining present, a small box with a bow on top.

“I’ve actually had this since before I asked you to marry me, so don’t be too weirded out about it.”

She handed the box to Waverly, who removed the bow and opened the box carefully. A gold wraparound arrow ring sat in the box and it brought a smile to Waverly’s face.

“I wasn’t sure if I should give it to after we got married, and then the stuff that happened last night, but I saw you looking at it when we went shopping one time. I went back the next day and got it for you.”

An unexpected gunshot came from outside, causing the couple still in the living room to jump from surprise. Cheering and a second gunshot followed soon after.

“I guess Doc likes his new gun,” Waverly mentioned.

Nicole nodded and went back to staring at the floor.

“Can we just forget about the kiss?” she asked suddenly. “We were both drunk and it probably didn’t mean anything, so can we just forget it?”

“Yeah, I was going to tell you before Wynonna interrupted that I tend to get really touchy and lovey when I’m really drunk. I’m sure you kissing me back was just a reaction anyway.”

Disappointment filled Nicole as she thought about the kiss being a normal habit of drunk Waverly when it had felt so good to her. She really hoped that the disappointment didn’t show on her face.

They slept in Waverly’s bed again that night, backs to each other again instead of cuddled up like they had been before. When they woke up, their positions hadn’t changed.

Chapter Text

Nicole’s family started asking her where all the extra financial aid was coming from two weeks into the spring semester. She considered lying to them and saying that she had talked to one of the financial aid counselors, until she was video messaging her parents one night.

It wasn’t unusual for her parents to call her over Skype every once in a while to check up on her. They just wanted to make sure school was going well and remind her how proud they are of her. Waverly would typically leave the dorm room to study and give the family a bit of privacy.

The Skype call had just been another check up on Nicole, who had forgotten to remove her wedding band before answering. The questioning about financial aid started up again, just like Nicole knew it would, before her mother noticed the ring on her finger. She only caught it because Nicole had started mindlessly fidgeting with it.

“Nicole, honey, what’s that on your finger?” her mother asked.

Everything started to click into place for her parents after she sat there in stunned silence for a few moments. Their daughter had gotten married and she hadn’t even told them. She asked them to wait for her partner to get there before she started explaining everything and sent a quick text out to Waverly.

7:16 PM

Haught_Shit: Come back to the room please?

Haught_Shit: My parents found out about the marriage and I want you to be here when I explain it to them

Waverly had hardly been in the dorm room since they came back from the homestead, and it made Nicole nervous. She’d leave early in the morning and come back well into the night. There was still an air of awkwardness about them from the Christmas Eve kiss, even though they’d agreed to forget it ever happened. She almost expected Waverly to say no.

7:18 PM

ICall-Sh0tgun: Be there in five

Conversation between her parents continued on to other topics to pass time, like what classes she was taking now and if she’s been eating properly. She eventually decided to just let her parents go and explain the marriage to them later after fifteen minutes had passed with no sign of Waverly. She told them it was because it was getting late where her parents were (time zones could be a bitch), but she was really just worried about where Waverly was. When Waverly said she’d be somewhere in five minutes, she was always there in five minutes or less.

Nicole tried to call her several times to make sure she was okay, each time getting her voicemail. Even with the awkwardness between them Waverly still answered her phone when Nicole called. She was starting to think that maybe Waverly’s absence had to do with something other than the kiss. Looking at the clock, she decided she would give Waverly another hour to get there before going out to look for her, just in case something really had come up that wasn’t life threatening. She decided to play a game on her phone to keep her mind off of all the horrible scenarios she was thinking of.

Fifteen more minutes passed before Waverly finally walked into their shared dorm room, and Nicole just about had a heart attack. Nicole could immediately tell something was off. Waverly’s hair was covering the right side of her face, but Nicole could easily see the tears that slid down her cheeks. Her bag hung limply at her side and she just looked so tired and defeated.

Nicole opened her mouth to speak, but Waverly beat her to it.

“I caught Champ cheating, broke up with him.”

She certainly wasn’t expecting that.

“Shit, I’m really sorry.”

Nicole stood up and walked over to Waverly. She raised her hand to push Waverly’s hair behind her ear and saw the smaller woman flinch at the movement. Her hand quickly dropped to her side and anger boiled within her.

“Tell me what happened?” Nicole phrased it as a question to let Waverly know she didn’t have to say anything if she didn’t want to.

Waverly nodded and moved to sit on her bed so she could remove her shoes and Nicole sat beside her. The way she winced when she bent down to undo the laces didn’t go unnoticed by Nicole.

“I’ve been going to the frat house a lot during the day now,” Waverly began. Nicole had never heard her sound so small. “Someone told him about us over the break, and he got so mad, Nicole.” Her tears were falling freely now and Nicole held her hand for support. “I told him that as soon as break was over I’d spend more time with him to make it up to him. He was drunk when I got there tonight and I found him on the couch with some girl I’ve never even seen before. He started yelling, told the girl to leave, and when I broke up with him, he thought it was because he was with the other girl. He told me that I had cheated on him and that I was being selfish. I turned to leave and he-”

Waverly couldn’t bring herself to say it, so she pulled back the hair in front of her face. Her bottom lip was swollen, split, and still bleeding. Her eye was already turning a dark purple, and, now that Waverly was in better light, she could see purple marks in the shape of a hand starting to form on her neck and arm. Nicole was struggling to hide her anger, the fear of scaring Waverly being the only thing keeping her somewhat calm.

“He said I deserved it.”

“No, Waverly, you really don’t deserve that. No one deserves that sort of treatment from someone like that.”

Nicole slowly reached out to Waverly again, showing her what she was doing so she wouldn’t flinch away, and tilted her chin so that their eyes met. Her voice was so quiet it was almost a whisper.

“You deserve so much better than him.”

“Thank you, Nic. It means a lot.”

The nickname was new to Nicole, but she liked it coming from Waverly.

“Anytime. Now, let’s go get you cleaned up.”

She was going to have a long talk with Wynonna later about Champ the Chump and setting him straight.

***

2:07 AM

ALLtheAlcohol: do you have the silly string?

Haught_Shit: Yeah

Haught_Shit: You have the toilet paper and eggs?

ALLtheAlcohol: yep

ALLtheAlcohol: lets try not to get caught

***

Champ showed up at Nicole and Waverly’s dorm around noon that day pissed off as hell. Unfortunately for him, Nicole and Wynonna were the only ones there while Waverly was out with Chrissy. He didn’t even get a chance to complain about the frat house being covered in silly string, eggs, and toilet paper before he was pulled into the dorm room.

Wynonna grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and threw him down on Nicole’s bed, straddling his hips and pulling a knife out of her jacket pocket. She slowly dragged it across his chest and smiled sweetly at him.

“So, I heard you beat up my little sister,” she informed the boy-man. “That doesn’t sit well with me or Nicole here.”

“She cheated on me with that ginger dyke, got married to her while we were still together. She deserved it,” he spat.

Wynonna pushed down harder on the knife and Nicole backhanded him across the face.

“No, she didn’t deserve any of that, and you certainly didn’t deserve her, but you deserve this.”

A few minutes later, Champ ran out of their room with his tail between his legs, looking a whole lot worse than Waverly did when she came home the night before. Nicole’s knuckles hurt like a bitch and had already started swelling, but it was worth it. That asshat wouldn’t be going near Waverly ever again.

***

“So you and Wynonna threw eggs and toilet paper all over Beta Omega Iota then sprayed it with silly string to lure my assailant back here so you could threaten him and beat him up?”

“Yep.”

Waverly smiled at how protective Nicole was of her. Champ never would have done something like that for her.

“My hero.”

 She took Nicole’s hands into her own and inspected the swollen knuckles.

“Did you ice them?”

“Yeah, they were a lot worse earlier.”

Waverly went over to her side of their shared closet and pulled out a tube of Icy Hot, gauze, and some ace bandages. She sat down on the bed again and started tending to the injuries the same way she used to with Wynonna when she would get in bar fights. For once, the silence between them wasn’t awkward.

They took the time to take each other in since they hadn’t seen much of each other in the past two weeks. Despite the split lip and the black eye, Waverly was still as beautiful as ever in her oversized t-shirt and sleep shorts she wore to bed every night. She looked relieved now that Champ was no longer a problem, which made Nicole wonder how long she had been planning to break up with him.

Nicole had yet to change out of her clothes from the day, and Waverly noticed it was the same flannel, henley, snapback, and jeans she was wearing the night she proposed marriage. A simple outfit, but it suited Nicole so well she was kind of sad she hadn’t taken the time to appreciate it before.

“There, all done,” Waverly announced as she finished wrapping Nicole’s hands.

She looked up, meeting Nicole’s eyes, and couldn’t believe she hadn’t noticed how pretty they were before. It’s because you’re straight, dumbass. Or, at least, that’s what she kept telling herself, even though she wanted nothing more in that moment than to kiss Nicole again. Maybe she wasn’t so straight after all.

Chapter Text

 

 

3:35 PM

ALLtheAlcohol: so i have a task for u

ALLtheAlcohol: ur gonna take ur wife out on a date to the revenant tonight

Nicole looked at her phone and nearly spat water all over her biochemistry book and Waverly looked across the room at her with an arched eyebrow. All the redhead could do was smile nervously.

Haught_Shit: The Revenant? Wynonna, it costs almost as much to eat there as it does for me to buy two textbooks

ALLtheAlcohol: dont worry about it Dolls has you covered

Haught_Shit: I don’t know…

ALLtheAlcohol: well we already made the reservation under ur name so too bad

ALLtheAlcohol: be there at 6:30 and wear something nice

Well, so much for studying.

3:58 PM

Haught_Shit: Are you busy

Haught_Shit: I’m bored

Haught_Shit: Can I take you out to dinner tonight?

Haught_Shit: You’re cute when you’re trying to hide the fact that I make you smile

Waverly put her history book down and looked over at her roommate with a smirk. Her hair was messy from leaning against the ridiculous number of pillows on her bed, only something Waverly got to see.

“Dinner tonight?” Nicole asked again.

Waverly rolled her eyes and smiled that smile Nicole hadn’t seen since Christmas.

“I guess I’ll let you take me out. Mind if I ask where we’re going?”

“That’s a secret, but we have reservations for six thirty, so I would advise you to start getting ready.”

Nicole stood from her bed and started looking for the nicest clothes she had in her closet. She turned back around to Waverly, a purple dress shirt in her hand.

“And wear something nice.”

***

Nicole totally didn’t go outside, walk around the dorm building while Waverly was still getting ready, then walk back to her dorm room so she could knock on the door and act like she was really picking her up. She wasn’t that extra (she definitely was, and Wynonna made fun of her for it later). Maybe she did it just so the pink in her cheeks from the cold would cover up her blush at the sight of Waverly all dressed up. This was quite a lot of effort put into an outing between two best friends who got married for financial aid.

It had snowed lightly earlier that morning, and some of it was still left on the ground by the edges of the sidewalk where it had been shoveled off. The sky was just starting to turn a light shade of pink. Nicole thought it was rather cliché, the setting outside as they walked to her car, but Waverly looked happy so she decided that she enjoyed it too.

“You look good in purple,” Waverly complimented.

“You look good in general.” It came out before Nicole could even think to stop it, hoping that by some miracle Waverly didn’t catch it.

“Thanks!”

The smile Waverly wore was so genuine, so Waverly, and just so beautiful. It had been three days since the incident with Champ, and her black eye and split lip had finally healed enough where she didn’t have to apply a heavy amount of makeup.

Nicole hadn’t called her parents back after that night. It just hadn’t felt like the right time yet, and she wanted to make sure both of them had healed before she let her mom see them. She wasn’t making the mistake of letting her mom see something she wasn’t supposed to again. That, and she wasn’t sure what exactly it was that she was going to tell her parents yet. She wasn’t sure how they’d react to her marrying her roommate for financial aid and fun times, but she was sure they wouldn’t react kindly. Whatever she decided, she was sure that Waverly would support and go along with it.

As soon as they got to the car, Nicole rushed over to the passenger side to open the door to Waverly. She pulled on the handle and found that she hadn’t unlocked the car yet. Fumbling around in her pocket, she pulled out her keys and accidentally flung them into the snow. So much for trying to be smooth.

“Having problems there?” Waverly joked.

“Nope, none at all.”

Nicole picked the keys up out of the snow, unlocked the car, and finally opened the door so Waverly could get in. She closed the passenger door as soon as Waverly was in and rushed to the driver’s side so she could get the heater going.

Conversation on the way to the restaurant was minimal, and mostly about school related things. Nicole didn’t want to bring up her parent situation until they were seated at the restaurant, or even on the car ride back to the dorms. She figured they’d have other things to talk about at the restaurant, like what’s been going on between them the past few days.

It wasn’t that Nicole didn’t like that she and Waverly had been acting like they were more than friends, even more than usual, she just wanted to make sure that it was what Waverly wanted. She knew deep down that Waverly would never use her to cope with the Champ situation, but she couldn’t help but worry about that being the reason for their newfound closeness. Then there was the fact that they were already married.

***

The Revenant was a nice restaurant, it really was, but it just wasn’t for Nicole. She’d grown up on fast food restaurants and cheap food, a dieting habit that hadn’t changed when she came to Purgatory, so all the fancy food and décor was a bit much. If she was being honest, the food wasn’t even as good as she thought it would be. At least Waverly was with her.

“Are you okay?” Waverly asked. Nicole must have looked as uncomfortable as she felt.

“Yeah, I’m good, just thinking is all.”

“I think we should talk about us.”

“We probably should.”

There was silence as they tried to figure out exactly what it was that was going on between them.

“I like you,” Waverly blurted. “I didn’t realize it until Christmas at the homestead, but I like you and I think you’re really great.”

Nicole was taken by surprise at the sudden confession.

“That night, when we kissed, it felt better than any kiss I’d ever had with Champ or any other guy I dated. It scared me because I’d never even thought about liking a woman, then you come along and you’re sweet and patient and kind and everything that they never were.”

Waverly realized her voice was starting to get louder and quieted down before people could start staring.

“I want to be with you, Nicole. Like, really be with you and give this marriage thing a try.”

It took a few agonizingly long moments for Nicole to process everything and she could see Waverly’s heart starting to break. She looked like she was about to bolt before Nicole reached out for her hand on top of the table.

“I like you too.”

They were a simple four words, but they meant the world to Waverly. For as long as she had dated Champ, he’d never even come close to saying those words like Waverly did.

"I would love to give this marriage an actual foundation with you, and not just pass it off as a way to get money. You're a really sweet girl, Waverly, and you deserve the world. I'm willing to do everything I can to give it to you, and I promise that I would never hurt you the way Champ did. He didn't deserve you, and honestly I don't deserve you, but I am so, so lucky to have married you."

Their waitress interrupted the conversation to give them the bill, which was already paid, but the two of them didn’t have to speak to communicate what they were going to say next.

We’re official.

Chapter Text

The blizzard that was raging outside was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because all classes were cancelled, but a curse because the internet in the dorms had gone out while Nicole and Waverly were just about to explain their situation to Nicole’s parents.

They’d built a small nest on the floor out of all of Waverly’s blankets and Nicole’s pillows and were cuddled up in the center with Nicole’s laptop in between them. Nicole hadn’t even started the call yet when the power flickered and she looked down to see she didn’t have internet. She sent out a quick text apologizing to her mom for not being able to call before closing the laptop and pulling Waverly in to kiss the top of her head.

“They’re gonna start thinking we’re stalling,” Waverly joked. She nuzzled further into Nicole’s side.

“Nah, they keep up with the weather here. They know it’s storming pretty bad right now.”

They could hear the wind howling outside and couldn’t see much out of their window but a sheen of white. The poor janitors would have a hell of a time shoveling all that snow when the storm ended. Nicole considered going out and helping them when the time came.

10:13 AM

New group chat: ALLtheAlcohol, Haught_Shit, and ICall-Sh0tgun

ALLtheAlcohol renamed the chat to ‘here comes dat snow o shit waddup’

ALLtheAlcohol: are u guys ok

ICall-Sh0tgun: Stuck in the dorm but yeah we’re okay

Haught_Shit: No we’re not

Haught_Shit: The internet went out

ALLtheAlcohol: you have a huge collection of dorky movies right

ALLtheAlcohol: watch one of those

ICall-Sh0tgun: But I don’t want her to leave the nest…

ALLtheAlcohol: what

Wynonna had meddled with their marriage so much they almost forgot they hadn’t told her that they were romantically together yet. They just assumed she knew.

ICall-Sh0tgun: [blanketpillownestselfie.jpeg]

ALLtheAlcohol: THANK FUCK

ALLtheAlcohol: DOLLS OWES ME SO MUCH MONEY

ALLtheAlcohol added DownrightDxlls to the chat

ALLtheAlcohol: YOU OWE ME SO MUCH MONEY

ALLtheAlcohol: I TOLD YOU THEY WOULD GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER ON THAT DATE

Nicole and Waverly both silenced the chat on their phones while Dolls and Wynonna went on back and forth about their newfound relationship. They weren’t even phased that Wynonna and Dolls had placed bets on when they’d get together after past experiences. Bets had been placed on when Waverly would break up with Champ as well.

“Harry Potter or Star Wars?” Nicole asked, reluctantly removing herself from the nest to get to her movie collection.

“Harry Potter, definitely Harry Potter.”

Waverly was conveniently wearing the Weasley sweater that she had gotten for Nicole for Christmas along with one of the pairs of dinosaur boxers Nicole got from the gift exchange. The sweater was already a little too big for Nicole, so it looked almost like a dress on Waverly. She wouldn’t have been wearing Nicole’s boxers too if the college staff wasn’t knocking on doors every once in a while to make sure there wasn’t anything any of the students needed.

Nicole grabbed the first four movies and some snacks before settling back down with Waverly in the nest. She opened the disk drive on her laptop and put Sorcerer’s Stone in while Waverly pulled her closer. Nicole raised an eyebrow.

“You miss me or something?”

“That, and you’re a walking heater. You weren’t lying when you said you were Haught.”

This earned an eyeroll from Nicole.

“Just watch the movie.”

About halfway through Prisoner of Azkaban, Waverly fell asleep with her head on Nicole’s chest. Nicole had been mindlessly running her fingers through Waverly’s hair or rubbing small circles on Waverly’s back throughout the movie. No one had ever done that to her before, so Waverly had no idea that it would put her to sleep. Nothing could make her fall asleep during Harry Potter, except for Nicole apparently.

 It was the first time they’d cuddled like that since Christmas at the homestead, and the first time that it was meant to be intimate. Nicole didn’t realize how much she missed it until Waverly insisted they build a nest on the floor and cuddle in it. Her heart soared at the thought that they could do this every night without sneaking around or exiling roommates. Just one of the many pros about dating your roommate.

“Why’s your heart beating so fast?” a sleepy Waverly mumbled.

“Just thinking about you is all.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yep.”

Waverly looked up at Nicole with a smirk. Something else they hadn’t done since their time at the homestead was kiss, the time had just never been right for it. Now, sitting cuddled up with the end credits of a Harry Potter movie rolling across the screen and a storm blowing outside, the timing couldn’t have been any better. Nicole leaned down and, when their lips met, she remembered the warm feeling it gave her when they first kissed. It lasted longer and felt so much better because this time no one was drunk. No one was drunk and it was a real, passionate kiss.

Both of them were at a loss for words when they pulled away. Luckily, they didn’t need them to make out with each other until the storm outside started to slow.

Chapter Text

Nicole didn’t get the chance to talk to her parents again until about two and a half weeks after the blizzard came through. First Waverly was studying for a big exam in her history class, then Nicole’s father was going to interview after interview in search of another job, and they didn’t have time to talk until a quiet Thursday night. They all hoped that there would be no interruptions this time.

“Hey, Honey, how are you?” Nicole’s mom asked once they get the video chat up and running.

“I’m good, mom.” She wrapped her arm tighter around Waverly.

“Before the apocalypse breaks out and interrupts us again, tell us about your new partner here,” her dad joked. He did a second take and squinted. “Isn’t that your roommate?”

“Hello, Mr. Haught,” Waverly said, waving with her left hand. The ring on her finger confirming his suspicion.

“You married your roommate?”

“Yeah, well, not romantically?” Nicole started. “Or, at least, not at first?” She cringed at her parents’ looks of confusion and disapproval, but they waited for an explanation before saying anything. They were always good at that, listening before giving their thought on the situation.

“It’s kind of complicated,” Waverly added.

They explained everything from Nicole’s proposal (definitely leaving out the fact that she was high at the time), to Christmas at the homestead, to Champ’s defeat, then finally their current relationship. Nicole spoke for most of the explanation since it was her idea and her parents, but Waverly chipped in whenever Nicole couldn’t find the right words. They worked so well together that the disapproval that had been lingering over Nicole’s parents disappeared with the confusion about the situation as they continued with their explanation. In their time with their daughter, they’d never seen her so happy with someone, and she certainly never got into any fights for any of her previous girlfriends.

Still, there were some concerns that Nicole’s parents had that Nicole and Waverly had yet to talk about. There were either two ways the relationship would pan out, they would either stay together forever, or they would call it off and see other people. Their marriage right now meant nothing to them since it was strictly for financial purposes, but what would happen if they stayed together? Nicole had always talked about wanting a big wedding in the woods somewhere. If they called it off and saw other people, how would they explain that they’d already been married and divorced before either of them were old enough to drink legally? In all honesty, it’d probably be the easier of the two options. Nicole and Waverly didn’t have answers to those questions, but they promised to talk about it and tell them what they came up with the next time they talked.

“That was a lot easier than I expected,” Nicole said with a laugh. “I thought we’d get a ‘don’t marry your roommate just for financial aid because it can cause problems’ rant.”

“They were right to bring up that last part, though, what do we do when all this is over?” There was an uncertainty to Waverly’s voice that Nicole rarely heard.

The problem was, Nicole really didn’t know. Both of them had jumped into this thinking that they would be married for three years with no strings attached, then get a divorce and go their separate ways. Sure, there were still two years to go, and anything could happen in those two years, but their plan still wouldn’t be the same. They went from “just gals being pals” to “just gals being pals” in two months. It made Nicole second guess getting into a relationship with Waverly so soon and she felt like she was going to throw up.

Waverly noticed Nicole’s uneasiness and grabbed her hand for comfort before reaching up to kiss her on the cheek.

“What’s going on in that head of yours?”

“I don’t know.”

“We really don’t have to talk about this right now if you don’t want to. It’s probably better to wait so we have some time to think things over.”

“Yeah, let’s do that.”

Nicole still felt uneasy about the situation. The doubt she had about her relationship with Waverly settled in her stomach, and she felt so guilty for it. She loved, no, it was too early, liked Waverly so much and she didn’t deserve Nicole’s doubt. She was so caught up in her thoughts, she didn’t even feel Waverly pull her into a kiss until their lips were pressed together. Waverly really knew how to make her stop thinking.

“Put your laptop on the desk,” Waverly instructed and Nicole did it without a second thought.

She pushed Nicole back down on the bed, repositioning herself so that she was straddling her hips. Their lips were soon crashing against each other and Nicole found her hands roaming Waverly’s body. Another perk about dating your roommate, Nicole thought to herself through the haze in her mind, was that they wouldn’t have to worry about anyone walking in on them.

“Shirt, now.”

Nicole started fumbling with the buttons on her shirt in an attempt to get it off quickly. She must not have been going fast enough because Waverly reached down and started unbuttoning them herself. The shirt was thrown to the floor, and Waverly’s soon followed.

They made out for a little longer before Waverly moved her mouth from Nicole’s lips to Nicole’s neck, leaving a trail of open mouthed kisses in her wake. She bit down and sucked on her pulse point until she’d left her mark, then continued to leave more across Nicole’s collar bone. She moaned when the redhead’s roaming hands settled on her ass and squeezed ever so slightly.

“Wait, wait,” Waverly whispered as she pulled back. “Do you want to do this?”

“Of course I do.” Nicole went to kiss her girlfriend again, but was pushed back down into the mattress.

“Are you sure? I kinda just sprung it on you, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to.”

“I’ve never been so sure about anything in my life.”

Chapter Text

2:09 AM

ALLtheAlcohol: hey Waves can you come pick up your gf

ALLtheAlcohol: she got super drunk and now she’s sobbing into a pillow about how much she loves you

ALLtheAlcohol: also she got into a bar fight and we think she broke a few of her fingers

ALLtheAlcohol: she may have also lost a tooth

ALLtheAlcohol: not so sure about that last part though so dont worry too much

* Five hours earlier *

Nicole was bored.

Waverly had gone out for the night with Chrissy and a few of her other friends so Nicole could study for her biochemistry test, but her short attention span had other plans. She had tried texting Waverly, until she got a ‘babe you better study or we’re getting a divorce’ text. There was no real threat behind the text, but Nicole decided to try again for another twenty minutes. After the twenty minutes was up she decided she was going to go out herself.

9:24 PM

Haught_Shit: You wanna go to Black Badge Drinkery tonight?

ALLtheAlcohol: is Waverly not entertaining you enough or something

Haught_Shit: She went out with friends and left me to study alone in the dorm

ALLtheAlcohol: well in that case lets go get you fucked up

Nicole arrived at BBD about half an hour after Wynonna did and found the oldest Earp sister on her fifth beer. She was pretty sure most of the patrons there had yet to figure out she was underage since Doc owned the bar and let her order whatever. In fact, there were several students of UoP that were underage and came to drink at BBD, but they were only allowed to order three beers before they were told they couldn’t drink anymore.

“Hey, haugtpants!” Wynonna greeted. “Take a seat and we’ll get you something to drink.”

They waved Doc over and got Nicole started off with a simple beer.

“Congratulations on your relationship with Waverly,” Doc said as he set the glass of beer down in front of her.

“Speaking of that,” Wynonna started before pulling Nicole in closer by her tie. “If you hurt her in any way, shape, or form, you will find yourself burning in Hell before you can even think about apologizing. Are we clear?”

“Crystal.”

Wynonna let go of Nicole’s tie and reached up to straighten it again.

“How did I not notice you were gay when you wear shit like this,” Wynonna motioned up and down Nicole’s body with her hand, “all the time.” Nicole was sure she was referring to the constant button ups, backwards snapbacks, ties, flannels, and converse. “Fuck, how did I not notice my sister was into girls.”

“In my experience, you are not the most observant,” Doc offered while he cleaned a shot glass nearby.

“No, my gaydar is just a little rusty. Or my bidar or whatever the fuck you call it when you’re bi.”

Nicole nearly choked on her last sip of beer. She placed the empty glass on the table in the midst of her coughing fit.

“You’re bi?”

“Looks like somebody else has a malfunctioning gaydar too.”

Wynonna finished off her sixth beer before finally ordering herself a whiskey neat.

“Can I offer you another drink while I’m at it, Mrs. Haught?” Doc asked.

“Just another beer.”

“Coming right up.”

Nicole knew she was ready to get drunk after looking at everything that would be on the biochemistry test, but she also knew that Wynonna wouldn’t want to leave the bar before midnight. She decided she would take it slow at first and drink a few beers before she started ordering shots.

Three beers into the night, Nicole was spewing off stories about her and Waverly to Wynonna. The only problem Wynonna had with it was that Nicole kept forgetting which stories she had already told, and would tell the same ones over and over again. At least she knew that Nicole really did like her sister enough to go on about her while drunk.

A man decided to come talk to Nicole and Wynonna after Nicole had consumed her first jaeger bomb. He’d been watching the two women for most of the night, and wanted to wait until they were both drunk before he went up to hit on them. Doc had noticed and kept a close eye on him when he walked up to talk to them. He called Dolls to come pick them up, having a feeling that something was about to go down.

“How do a couple of beautiful women like you end up in a place like this so late at night?” the man asked with a smile on his face. Wynonna could sense trouble, even in her drunken state, but Nicole was more than happy to talk to him.

“Studyin’ for exams can be real taxin’ on the mind,” Nicole slurred. Her southern accent that she usually kept hidden was now clear as day and Wynonna was trying hard not to laugh.

“Mind if I buy you another drink?”

“Not at all.”

Doc came over and gave Nicole a shot glass full of water instead of vodka like requested. She’d had more than enough for the night, and he wasn’t letting this man take advantage of her. Nicole hadn’t even noticed she wasn’t drinking alcohol in her drunken state.

Once Nicole took the shot, the man walked up to her and started to get a little handsy with her.

“No, I’m taken,” Nicole told the man as she swatted at his hands. When he finally stopped touching her she showed him the ring on her left hand.

“Oh, well he must be a lucky man. It’d be selfish for him to keep you all to himself, though, don’t you think?”

She isn’ selfish at all. In fact, I-I’m lucky to have her.”

The man backed up with disgust written all over his face.

“You’re a dirty whore and so is she! Homosexuality ain’t right you dyke.”

The only thing that processed in Nicole’s brain was that this man, who had just been really touchy feely with her, just called Waverly Earp, who had never done anything wrong in her life, a dirty whore.

Nobody calls my girlwife a dirty whore.

Before she knew it, her fist was making contact with the man’s jaw. He stumbled back a few steps before reeling back and punching Nicole right back. Doc and Wynonna were just about to get involved when Nicole completely lost it and pretty much tackled the guy. She was attacking him with more punches until Dolls arrived and pulled her off of him.

“We should go,” he said to Wynonna, who nodded and followed him outside.

“Taste the rainbow you fucking asshole!” Nicole yelled as Dolls carried her to the car.

***

Waverly showed up at the homestead forty five minutes after receiving Wynonna’s text worried out of her mind. Nicole hadn’t been in the dorm when she got back, and she didn’t have a text telling her where her girlfriend was. It wasn’t like Nicole to do that.

When Wynonna texted her about her inebriated girlfriend having gotten in a bar fight, she grew even more worried, but was also pissed off. Drinking and bar fights were not studying for a test like she said she would. That was another conversation added to their ever growing list of things they needed to talk about soon.

I just love her so much,” Waverly could hear Nicole sob. She stopped at the front door of the house and decided not to walk in just yet. “She doesn’t deserve to be called a dirty whore!”

Love? They hadn’t mentioned that to each other yet, not even during their first time, but Waverly knew Nicole meant it. She showed it in her actions with the gentle touches, kind compliments, and every day care. There was no doubt that Nicole loved her, and there was no doubt that Waverly loved her back.

We get it, Waverly is a cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure, but could you be quiet?” Wynonna complained.

Waverly let out a small chuckle and finally walked into the house. Just like Wynonna had texted her, Nicole was on the couch hugging a pillow and crying. It was ridiculously adorable and making it really hard for Waverly to be mad.

“She kicked the shit out of a homophobe for you,” Wynonna started her explanation. “He was hitting on her and getting handsy, and when she told him she was taken by you he got really offended. Called you both dirty whores and she just lost it. It was pretty sick.”

“You are so pretty and I love you so much!” Nicole exclaimed from the couch.

“I love you too, baby, but we need to get you back to the dorm okay? You need to sleep until the alcohol wears off so we can take you to the hospital and get your fingers checked out.”

Nicole nodded and Waverly helped her up off the couch and headed to the front door.

“Thanks for texting me, Wyn.”

“No problem.”

The couple walked out the front door with minimum stumbling from Nicole and into the truck. Nicole was going to get an earful when she woke up the next morning.

Chapter Text

The only things worse than the headache Nicole had when she woke up Saturday morning was the throbbing in her right hand and the very unhappy looking Waverly sitting at the foot of her bed. A glass of water and a bottle of ibuprofen sat on her desk next to the bed, likely placed there by Waverly earlier that morning. There was even a blanket draped over the window in their room to keep the sunlight from shining in, and all the lights, except for a dim lamp, were turned off. She was in her favorite boxers and t-shirt when she woke up.

“You are in so much trouble,” Waverly scolded.

Nicole visibly sunk down into the mattress, feeling ashamed about not telling her girlfriend where she was going the night before. It hadn’t even crossed her mind while she was getting ready to go out.

“You were supposed to be studying, Nicole, not getting drunk and getting into fights!”

Nicole winced from both the volume and the fact that Waverly was right. She knew she’d done something wrong.

“I know how important this test is, and I get that it’s stressing you out, but can you please find a better way to cope? I love you, and I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Waverly wasn’t even aware she said the three words until Nicole was looking at her with those stupid soft eyes and that stupid smirk she always used when Waverly did something she thought was particularly adorable.

“I love you too.”

Nicole went to sit up in bed, but fell back down when she pushed up with her left hand. It hurt even worse than it had after she gave Champ a piece of her mind (and fists). Waverly was quick to her side, grabbing the water and dumping some of the ibuprofen into her hand.

“Wynonna said you might’ve broken some fingers last night,” Waverly explained as she helped Nicole sit up so she could swallow the pills.

“It was for a good cause.” Nicole smiled up at her girlfriend, admiring how caring she was, even when she was upset. She’d singlehandedly fight a whole army for Waverly.

“I heard you told him to taste the rainbow, too.”

“Well, he decided to throw hands with a drunk ass gay, and got to eat my fists more than he probably would’ve liked. What else was I supposed to say?”

Waverly laughed, her angry and annoyed façade disappearing completely.

“You’re ridiculous, you know that?”

“You’re the one that married me, so you must have found something charming about it.”

There was something charming about it. Nicole was just an incredibly charming person in general.

“It is charming, but that doesn’t make you any less of a dork.”

Waverly leaned down and pressed a kiss to Nicole’s lips. The pulled back with huge smiles on their faces.

“At least I’m your dork.”

“That you are. Now get up and get dressed so we can go get your hand checked out.”

“Yes ma’am.”

With a little help from Waverly, Nicole was able to get out of bed and get ready for the day with minimal right hand movement. Waverly made Nicole finish the water she had for her before they left so she wasn’t dehydrated. They even stopped for a greasy fast food breakfast on the way there and Nicole wolfed it down.

“Did you even eat last night, after I left?” Waverly asked, knowing full and well that she probably didn’t.

“Would you count a pack of skittles and a sleeve of crackers or no?”

Waverly sighed and Nicole got ready to defend her poor food choices.

“Is that where the ‘taste the rainbow you fucking asshole’ line came from?”

That was unexpected.

“Maybe…”

“That’s what I thought.”

***

Nicole pouted the entire ride home from the doctor’s office. She did not enjoy the blue cast that wrapped around her right middle and ring fingers and continued down her wrist. It was sweaty, itchy, and would keep her from using her right hand for six weeks. She saw it as more of a downside for Waverly until she remembered her upcoming test.

“Oh, fuck me!” she muttered in aggravation.

“Not for six weeks I won’t.”

Nicole groaned and rested her head against the car window. Her snapback twisted awkwardly around her head to accommodate for the window pressing against the bill. She was too annoyed with her cast to fix it.

Waverly couldn’t help but notice just how much Nicole resembled a puppy who had to wear one of those cones around its head. It was kind of sad because she knew how awful having a cast could be (she was NOT playing soccer with Wynonna ever again), but cute because of the pout and pitifully sad eyes. It was almost enough to make Waverly laugh.

She reached over and removed the snapback from her girlfriend’s head, placing in on her own. It bothered her how awkwardly it was sitting on Nicole’s head, and she hoped that maybe it would cheer her up a bit. Waverly didn’t wear snapbacks often, but when she did, Nicole loved it.

“You should steal my hats more often,” Nicole quipped, still looking out the window.

“Maybe I will.”

Nicole felt her phone buzz and looked down at the text she’d gotten. Nervousness quickly built in the pit of her stomach. She forgot she’d even mentioned that to Wynonna while she was buzzed. All the commotion with the fight was the only thing that had really stuck out in her mind up until that point.

12:02 PM

ALLtheAlcohol: have u talked to her yet

ALLtheAlcohol: about what u told me

Haught_Shit: Haven’t had the time to but I will soon

ALLtheAlcohol: let me know how it goes

ALLtheAlcohol: good luck haught shot

Chapter Text

“I want you to come home with me for the summer.”

The words hung in the air and Nicole could see Waverly tense. They were in their dorm room preparing for finals a week in advance, so the words filling the silence were certainly unexpected. Waverly stopped scribbling on the note cards in front of her on the desk and looked up at her girlfriend. Nicole had been kind of distant since the night of the bar fight, and now Waverly knew why. Taking Waverly to South Carolina would be a big step for both of them.

Nicole had already talked it over with her parents in great length, running through every scenario she could possibly think of. They were even prepared to have Wynonna over too if she for whatever reason decided she needed to tag along. Dolls had even been willing to help and turn in a few favors to get extra plane tickets to South Carolina if need be. The only other thing she had to make sure of was if Waverly would actually be willing to take the seven hour trip back to her home town.

“You don’t have to stay the entire time if you don’t want to. You can stay as long as you want and go back home whenever you feel like it, or you don’t even have to go at all. I just thought it’d be cool for you to see my hometown and all as much as I-”

“Baby, rambling is supposed to be my thing,” Waverly said with a smile. “I would love to go home with you.”

“Really?” Nicole’s face lit up. “Are you sure it isn’t too much too fast?”

“We’ve known each other for almost two years now, it’s fine. I promise. Besides, I’ve never really left this area before, and I’d like to see where my best baby grew up!”

“Your best baby? Are there other babies I should be worried about?”

Waverly rolled her eyes and laughed.

“Of course not, silly, you’re my only one.”

Nicole narrowed her eyes in play suspicion and got up to go stand behind Waverly.

“You’re a very pretty girl, I’m sure there’s a line of people wishing they could steal you away from me.”

She kissed the top of Waverly’s head before kissing a trail down her neck. Waverly turned around her desk chair and placed her forehead against Nicole’s, tangling her fingers in red hair as she did so.

“Do you trust me?” she asked, fiddling with the collar of Nicole’s shirt.

“More than anyone else I know.”

They met each other in a kiss, and all preparation for finals week was soon forgotten. Nicole straddled her girlfriends as they continued to make out in the comfort of their dorm room. She couldn’t help herself from grinding down, and the moan she got from Waverly after she did made her do it again. It was nice, up until the beginning notes of one particular Rick Astley song were blaring from Waverly’s phone.

Incoming Call: ALLtheAlcohol

“Nothing like getting Rick rolled to ruin the mood,” Nicole said in defeat. She got off of Waverly so she could pick up her phone.

“I’m pretty sure Nicole was about to give me a lap dance so this better be important or I’m going to be so pissed off,” Waverly hissed into the phone. She winked at her girlfriend and saw her face quickly turning a deep red.

“That’s fucking gross Waverly I didn’t need to hear that.”

“You’re the one that interrupted.”

“Well I have a good excuse, okay. Can you put me on speaker phone?”

Waverly pulled the phone away from her face and pressed the speaker button.

“Okay you’re on.”

 “I caught wind that Chump and his frat BOIs are on the look out for Haught damn there.”

Nicole groaned and fell back on her bed.

“Caught wind? Wynonna, you won’t even step foot on this campus.”

“That guy that Haught head there fucked up at the bar? Yeah, he was in Beta Omega Iota about two years ago. Doc told me he heard a few of them planning something, but he wasn’t exactly sure what it was. They’re looking for trouble because ‘if you fight one of us you fight all of us’ or some shit like that. Just stay safe you two, don’t go anywhere alone, especially not at night. Hopefully they’re not stupid enough to visit you in your dorm.”

“I’ll let Chrissy know and see if she can get her dad to be on the look out. Thanks for the heads up.”

Waverly hung up the phone and Nicole looked at her with a nervous grin. She was absentmindedly scratching at her cast, still unhappy that she had to have it. Pissing off an entire fraternity had certainly not been on her bucket list, or any list for that matter. At least they got an early warning about an army of button ups, boat shoes, and bad haircuts looking for them.

They were lucky that they just so happened to be friends with the daughter of the head of campus security. Chrissy was more than happy to let her dad know about the shit storm that was soon to come, and they quickly had someone monitoring the frat house at all times.

“I knew those boys were up to no good. I hate fraternities,” Nedley told Nicole and Waverly as he explained the situation. He visited their dorm once he figured everything out to check on them and make sure they were okay. “We can have someone escort you two to your classes and such if you feel you need it,” he offered them.

“If it comes to it, I think we can handle ourselves,” Nicole said, waving her cast in the air.

Nedley raised an eyebrow in slight concern, but didn’t question their choices.

“Just let me know if you decide to change your mind.”

He left without another word and the couple fell back into their dorm room. They didn’t talk much to each other for the rest of the night, just taking in each other and thinking about the situation they’d gotten into.

Waverly held onto her girlfriend’s uninjured hand to keep her from messing with her cast too much. She took to tracing different patterns over it with her fingers while they sat there in silence. Nicole felt so guilty about the situation, and, more than anything, she was scared about what could happen. The fear didn’t go unnoticed by Waverly, so as she laid there with her head resting on her girlfriend’s chest, she pretended that she was the reason her heart was beating so fast.

Chapter Text

It turned out that the tip from Wynonna about Beta Omega Iota was correct. Almost everywhere Nicole went on campus that week, she saw one of their members hanging around nearby. Even with the campus security standing close by, it was incredibly unsettling to know she was being watched. She wondered if this was what fish felt like when they were surrounded by sharks.

The strangest part about the ordeal was that Nicole never even saw Champ or the man she beat up at the bar, who happened to go by the name of Richie. Not once did they show up on her walks to class or the café. Waverly told her it was just because they knew what she was capable of, but Nicole was still skeptical about the situation. Surly one of the BOIs had told them she was currently crippled and couldn’t fight. Something big was coming, she could feel it in her gut.

“Campus security will stop them before they can get to you, baby,” Waverly said over dinner in the cafeteria one night. Nicole was pushing her food around her plate with her fork. She hadn’t eaten well or slept well since Wynonna gave them the tip, and Waverly was worried about her.

“Doesn’t mean they won’t be able to get a few good punches in before they’re stopped,” Nicole replied. She looked over to a table that was crawling with the frat boys and started fidgeting uncomfortably in her seat. “They’ve got more and more guys every time I see them.”

“Hey,” Waverly placed a reassuring hand on Nicole’s knee underneath the table. “Everything is going to be okay.”

The redhead returned a soft smile, but fear was still present in her eyes. She gave up on making it look like she was eating and tossed her fork down on the table, leaning back in her seat with a sigh. Waverly tried to hurry up and finish her food so they could get back to the dorm before Nicole went into full blown panic mode.

They walked back to the dorm hand in hand as always, Waverly leaning into Nicole’s side as they walked. The sun was just starting to set, but it didn’t have the same romantic value as it usually did. Waverly couldn’t wait until finals were over and she could go back to being happy with her girlfriend far away from the campus.

Champ and Richie finally decided to show themselves by coming up behind the unsuspecting couple and forcefully tearing them apart, Champ taking Waverly and Richie taking Nicole. Campus security was nowhere in sight.

“You two are absolutely disgusting,” Richie spat in Nicole’s ear. He had her on her knees with her hands behind her back, kneeling over the back of her legs so she couldn’t move. His grip on her wrists was awkward because of the cast on her right hand. More guys appeared from seemingly nowhere and the bundle of nerves in Nicole’s chest grew.

“It’s Richie, right? Short for Richard?” Nicole said as calmly as she possibly could. She smirked when he seemed taken aback for a moment. “It has to be, I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone literally named Dick.”

He yanked her head back by her hair, not pleased with the comment about his name, and got all up in her face. Some of the guys who just joined the party advanced towards them to assist Richie with his tormenting.

“You think you’re funny with your clever one liners, don’t you?” His breath reeked of alcohol and poor life decisions.

“I know I’m funny, actually.”

Richie nodded up at one of the guys and, before she knew it, there was a knee being forced into her stomach. She doubled over as much as she could with her hands being held behind her back, trying to catch her breath. Somewhere in the distance Waverly was yelling and having to be restrained by two more BOI members.

“Please don’t hurt her,” Waverly begged. They shoved a pair of socks into her mouth to keep her quiet.

Another knee to the stomach and a slap across the face. Nicole was kind of glad she hadn’t eaten much because it would have been all over the ground by now.

“We don’t mean any harm, just trying to teach you not to mess with us,” Richie explained their actions. “Maybe a little lesson on the sins of homosexuality could be taught too.”

He pulled back Nicole’s hair to reveal her neck. Tilting her head to the side, he left a kiss on the backside of her shoulder before biting down hard enough to draw blood. Nicole let out a yelp, but tried her best to keep her composure. She was terrified, and didn’t want to fuel their fire by letting them notice.

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you homosexuality is transmitted through blood?” Nicole quipped, still slightly breathless from the knees to the stomach.

Richie opened his mouth to tell one of his little helpers to slap her again, but they died on his lips when he saw campus security out of the corner of his eye.

“Stop right where you are!” Nedley shouted at the attackers. A large group of campus security guards were standing with him.

“Shit!” Richie cursed. He threw Nicole to the ground and stood up. “Let’s bail!”

Richie, Champ, and the rest of their goons fled the scene. Many of the security guards chased after them, but Nedley and one other stayed behind to make sure the couple was okay.

“Those boys are in a heap of trouble,” Nedley said. He knelt down by Nicole’s side and examined the blood on the shoulder of her white ‘magical motherfucker’ shirt with a unicorn on the front. “Are you okay?”

“A little shaken up, but I’ll be fine.” Nicole sat up and looked at the growing bloodstain. “That little shit, this was my favorite shirt.”

“He’s going to be paying for more than just a new shirt if you decide to press charges. Whether you decide to or not, the ones who still go here are definitely getting expelled and banned from campus. We don’t tolerate that kind of hatred here.”

Waverly was being tended to just across the sidewalk. Nicole could hear her cursing about the socks probably not being a clean pair, and she knew Waverly would be just fine.

“I don’t think I’m going to press charges,” Nicole stated. “As much as they cocked up the past few days for me, they’re not worth it.”

Nedley seemed pretty shocked at her response.

“Are you sure about this? They did some pretty nasty stuff.”

Nicole laughed despite the shaking of her hands.

“They’re just pissed because I hurt their fragile masculinity. I really don’t feel like wasting more time on them than I have to.”

“Understood, just know that you can always change your mind.”

He stood up and helped Nicole up off the ground. Even after all that had just happened, Nicole couldn’t help but feel relieved that what she had been worrying about was finally over with. She was glad everything went down so close to summer so she could get the fuck away from campus for a little while.

“Can we at least escort you to your room?” Nedley offered.

“Yes, thank you,” Nicole said with a nod.

Waverly came over to Nicole as soon as the other security guard finished his evaluation on her and pulled her in for a hug.

“Why did I have to date someone with such a sarcastic personality,” Waverly mumbled into Nicole’s shirt.

“Because life would be boring without my dry humor?”

“Life would be boring without you in general.”

God, did Nicole love her girlfriend.

Chapter Text

 

 

Nicole started blankly up at the ceiling. As soon as Nedley and his helper dropped her and Waverly off in their dorm, she collapsed on her bed and zoned out. Her relief about the situation was incredibly short lived, and she was soon just as on edge as she was before.

They’ll do it again.

“Nicole, honey.”

I should have pressed charges.

“Nicole.”

They’re going to hurt someone else, and it’s going to be all my fault.

“Nicole!”

The sudden shouting of her name brought her back to the present, where she found her girlfriend holding two cups of hot chocolate. A thick blanket was tucked underneath her arm.

You can always change your mind.

Nicole smiled at Waverly and sat up in the bed so that her back was to the wall. The brunette took note of how the smile didn’t quite reach her eyes. She handed one of the paper cups to Nicole before setting her own cup down on the desk so she could drape the blanket she was holding over the redhead’s shoulders. Once the blanket was in place, she grabbed her cup and cuddled up under the blanket with her girlfriend.

“I’m so stupid.”

Waverly almost thought she had imagined the words that were spoken just above a whisper, until she felt the tears falling into her hair.

“Are you okay?” Nicole asked seriously. She reached up to wipe at her tears. “I was so caught up in my own shit I forgot to even ask about you.”

Waverly drew in a deep sigh and took a sip of the hot chocolate she was holding. Honestly, she was boiling with anger over what had happened, but she hid it from Nicole well. That wasn’t what either of them needed at the moment.

“A little shaken up with a few bruises and scrapes, but I’ll be okay,” she explained.

“Do you promise you’re not just saying that because I’m upset?”

“I promise.”

Nicole let out a sigh and struggled to lift the cup in her hands without them shaking. She set it back down on her thigh in fear of spilling it on either herself or Waverly. Waverly saw the struggle and placed her free hand over Nicole’s.

“Chrissy said they haven’t found all of them yet, but they have a pretty big group of people on the look out for the stragglers. It’s not to late to press charges if you change your mind. All I have to do is tell Chrissy and she’ll make sure her dad knows as soon as possible.”

“I want to but I-” Nicole trailed off.

Why hadn’t she said to press charges in the first place? There was plenty of evidence to go against every single one of those guys that participated in what went down. The campus security had been keeping track of every Beta Omega Iota member since the beginning of the week, so they knew exactly who participated. Was she scared of the idea of having to deal with what happened, or was she scared of what could happen if she lost the case?

“You don’t have to figure it out right now, but the sooner the better.”

To be honest, she hadn’t even thought about them doing something so horrible to someone else at the time. She’d only ever thought that they were coming after her specifically because of what she did to Champ and Richie. It didn’t cross her mind once in all her fear and worry that both of them had violent tendencies. She felt even more stupid for forgetting about the fact that Champ getting violent with Waverly was part of the reason she was in this mess in the first place.

“Tell Chrissy to let her dad know I’ve changed my mind,” Nicole finally decided. “I couldn’t live with myself if I found out they did that to someone else when I could have stopped it.”

Waverly nodded and typed out a quick text to Chrissy. She put down her phone and went to look up at Nicole when she noticed the bloodstain on her girlfriend’s shoulder. There were too many guys in her way for her to see what had actually happened, but she had heard Nicole cry out.

“What’d he do to your shoulder?”

Nicole reached over to move the bloody fabric to reveal the bite mark that Richie left before he was caught. A shiver went up her spine as she thought about what would have happened if Nedley hadn’t shown up when he did.

“I know you’re really not going to like this, but we need to go get that checked out right now,” Waverly said. “Who knows what type of diseases that asshole may have.”

She helped Nicole up off the bed, noting that she needed to get her abdomen checked out as well, and they headed out the door. They were startled by the campus security guard that was standing outside their door, thinking he was one of the BOIs until they saw his uniform. He was told to stay there until they found the remaining BOIs, and escorted them down to Waverly’s jeep when they told him where they were going.

Chapter Text

 

 

Nicole and Waverly spent most of the next day cuddled up together on Waverly’s bed. Nedley had come by to take their statements earlier that morning, and told them he could talk to their professors about either exempting them from the exams or letting them take them after their case was over. He had always known for being helpful that way, despite the hate he got when he crashed parties.

The injuries Nicole sustained weren’t as horrible as they could be. She’d wound up with a few broken ribs, which they prescribed her pain medicine for, and they gave her a shot for the bite on her shoulder. They also pulled Waverly aside and talked to her about making sure Nicole was eating since they noticed her blood sugar levels were low. Other than that, though, she was fine.

Aside from Nedley stopping by, most of their morning was pretty quiet. They hadn’t moved from the position they were in since he left with Nicole spooning Waverly. Waverly had asked if Nicole would rather have her be the big spoon because Nicole typically preferred to be little spoon when she was upset, but this was different. Nicole really just wanted to hold her girlfriend and thank whatever deity was out there that Waverly came out mostly unharmed.

Words couldn’t describe how thankful she was to have Waverly by her side through all the shit that’d happened. None of her past girlfriends would have stayed with her if she’d gotten in trouble with an entire fraternity, and she wouldn’t have expected them to. Things could have ended up so much worse for Waverly, and it made her cry just thinking about it. She should have been more careful that night in the bar or she could have just threatened Champ.

“Baby?” Waverly questioned as she turned around to face her girlfriend. She was met with scared eyes and tears.

“They could have hurt you,” Nicole whispered. “They could have hurt you, and it would have been all my fault.”

“Hey.” Waverly took the redhead’s face into her hands and used her thumbs to wipe away the tears. “What happened wasn’t your fault, I promise.”

“The only reason any of that happened was because I beat up two of their members! I didn’t have to beat them up in either situation, yet I did. How isn’t this my fault?”

“You may not have had to beat them up, but they definitely didn’t have to retaliate by holding you down and hurting you.” Waverly made sure Nicole was looking into her eyes. “It was not your fault. Nobody is blaming you for what happened except yourself, Nicole, I promise.”

Nicole still didn’t seem do believe it, but her body wasn’t as tense as it had been before. She pulled Waverly closer and whispered ‘I love you’ over and over again into her ear until her words died down and she fell asleep. Waverly just held her close and rubbed her back as she slept, knowing just how exhausted her girlfriend was, and fell asleep soon after Nicole had.

The couple woke up some time later when Waverly’s phone started ringing. They both wished that Rick Astley would shut the fuck up so they could go back to sleep, but ignoring Wynonna’s phone calls usually ended horribly. Waverly rolled out of bed and answered the call to keep her sister from bursting into the room with a flamethrower and a bottle of whisky (something else she didn’t want to experience a second time).

“Hello?”

“I wanna know the names of every single one of those frat boy fuck ups so I can find them and make them die a slow, painful death.”

“The cops are already on it, minus the death part.”

“How’s Nicole? I’m sure she’s shaken up pretty bad.”

“I’m not exactly the one who should be saying, but we’ll both be okay, I think.”

“Good, just wanted to check up on you guys. See you in a week.”

Wynonna hung up the phone and Waverly crawled back into bed with Nicole. She looked to see what time it was and realized that neither of them had eaten anything yet.

“Do you wanna go to the cafeteria and get something to eat?” Waverly asked. She understood that Nicole hadn’t had an appetite the past few days, but she really hoped she wouldn’t put up too much of a fight.

“Not really, I’m not ready to go back yet.”

“That’s okay, I understand. I can order some pizza or get Chrissy to bring us something from that Vietnamese restaurant you like instead?”

There was a short pause while Nicole considered her options.

“Vietnamese sounds good.”

Waverly smiled, glad that Nicole was at least thinking about eating something.

“You want phό with beef in it, right?”

Nicole nodded and Waverly texted Chrissy where to go and what they both wanted. She told her to get something too, if she wanted it, and that she’d pay her back when she brought it to the dorm. Waverly felt kind of bad for making Chrissy do so much for her in the past few days, and she was so happy to have a friend like her.

Chrissy showed up to the dorm half an hour later, a plastic bag with their food in hand. She gave it to Waverly at the door and insisted that Waverly keep her money, saying it was on her. Waverly finally gave up on trying to give her friend her money, and thanked her.

Waverly walked over to her desk and sat the bag down on it so she could figure out which container was hers and which was Nicole’s. She pulled out the chopsticks, hoisin sauce, sriracha, and guava candies that were on top before carefully removing the Nicole’s bowl of soup and her bowl of fried rice.

“Three hoisin sauce and two sriracha?” Waverly asked to clarify. She knew how Nicole liked her soup by heart, but she wanted to be sure.

“Just one sriracha. I’m not really in the mood for spice right now.”

Waverly went ahead and put the packets of sauce into Nicole’s soup, but gave her the bowl and chopsticks so she could mix it in herself. It would probably be pushed around enough before she started eating it anyway.

Vietnamese food wasn’t exactly Waverly’s favorite, but she had to admit the vegetable fried rice she had ordered was really good. She’d tried the phό before, and several other dishes, but none of them were really anything she got excited about. Next time she’d have to remember to order the fried rice.

She looked over at Nicole to see if she was eating her soup, but to no avail.

“Nic.”

“Hmm?” Nicole hummed, staring into her bowl. She knew she needed to eat something, but the uneasiness in her stomach said otherwise.

“Baby, you need to eat. You’ll feel better after, I promise.”

That seemed to work enough since Nicole took a few bites of the soup, ultimately deciding to finish the whole bowl. It didn’t seem like much to Nicole, but to Waverly it was progress.

Chapter Text

By the time finals week finished up, all the Beta Omega Iota members that participated in stalking and assaulting Nicole and Waverly had made their first court appearance to determine their bail. The case was looking like it would definitely sway in favor of the two victims with all the evidence collected against the assailants. Thank fuck and good riddance.

Nicole had sat down with Waverly by her side on Wednesday night that week and called to explain their situation over video chat. They wouldn’t be able to leave for South Carolina until the case was closed, so they’d be staying at the homestead until then. She was able to talk about everything up until the actual incident before she broke down crying. Waverly just pulled her close and finished explaining with a less violent version of what exactly went down and what had happened in the case so far.

“Neither of us should have to testify, but they still want us around in case we do. Wynonna and I are more than happy to welcome her into our home until we’re able to fly down there,” Waverly explained.

“Thank you so much for being there for her,” Nicole’s mother said. “She’s needed someone like you for a long time.”

Waverly looked down at her girlfriend, who had her face buried in her neck. She could still feel tears falling and started running her fingers through Nicole’s hair.

“I couldn’t imagine not being here for her. She’s so kind and caring all the time that I like to return the favor whenever I can.”

A few more words were said on both sides of the conversation before the video chat was ended and Waverly and Nicole were left alone in the dorm.

There were boxes scattered all over the room filled with their belongings, so the room felt empty. Doc and Dolls would be there in the morning to pick up the boxes and move them back to the homestead. Most of them were filled with Waverly’s things, Nicole only needing three small boxes for her stuff.

“I couldn’t even talk to my parents about it,” Nicole finally said. She sounded so frustrated with herself. “I did better when they were taking my statement.”

“Sometimes it’s harder to explain something bad that’s happened to you to someone you care about than it is to explain it to someone who’s practically a stranger.”

Nicole pulled back from Waverly, keeping her gaze casted down.

“I just feel like I should be over this by now! It’s been a week since everything happened, and it wasn’t even that bad. Fuck, I’m not even sure why I was so scared.”

“You had fifteen different men stalking you for several days while they waited to hurt you before they took both of us and beat you up. It’d be more unnatural for you not to have been scared.”

This was really the first time since giving her statement that Nicole had really opened up about what happened. Waverly hadn’t wanted to push it, but the semester was ending and Nicole insisted on telling her parents on what happened. She thought that Nicole had wanted to talk about it, and got frustrated because she just wasn’t ready yet. Nicole telling her parents was her way of forcing herself to be ready.

“It could have been so much worse, though. I should be relieved that they didn’t beat me half to death, or even kill me, not upset and scared because they followed me around and hit me a few times.”

“Just because it could have been worse doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to be upset and scared because you didn’t almost die. It was still a traumatic experience for you, and it’s perfectly okay for you to still be scared.”

Nicole looked up to meet her girlfriend’s eyes and saw the sincerity in them.

“Can we go to bed?” Nicole asked. The conversation with her parents was draining, even if she didn’t explain everything completely.

“Of course we can.”

Waverly got up to put the laptop in Nicole’s backpack before she crawled back into bed with her girlfriend.

“Big spoon, little spoon, or neither?”

Waverly had become accustomed to asking that question the past week as well. She always wanted to make sure that she wasn’t making Nicole uncomfortable.

“Little spoon.”

The brunette nodded and held onto her girlfriend from behind.

“I love you, Nicole.”

“I love you too.”

***

Driving to the Earp homestead in her car alone was not one of Nicole’s greatest ideas. She had insisted that she’d be fine driving by herself when Doc offered to drive her car so she could ride with Waverly, but now she was regretting it. Being alone gave her too much time to think about things.

She hadn’t been left alone for more than five minutes since the incident, she couldn’t stand to be. When she was, the thoughts about the attack would creep their way into her mind. The fabric on her shirt would rub up against the bandaged bite on her shoulder, and her ribs would ache. Driving down the road, buckled down with a seatbelt, she felt like she was trapped. This time, Waverly wasn’t there to help her through it.

10:29 AM

Haught_Shit: Are you going to make me sleep in the guest room now that your sister and I are official or will you be occupying it with Dolls again?

She knew she shouldn’t be texting and driving, but she needed a distraction, and the radio wasn’t helping. Joking around with Wynonna was something that always made her feel better.

ALLtheAlcohol: why

ALLtheAlcohol: are u planning to give her a lap dance again

ALLtheAlcohol: wait arent you driving

ALLtheAlcohol: pay attention to the road

Incoming call: ALLtheAlcohol

Nicole picked up the phone without even thinking about it.

“Yes, Wynonna?”

“Is everything okay? You hate people who text and drive.”

Nicole sighed.

“Just needed a distraction is all.”

Wynonna was about to tell her that she needed to be paying attention to the road because Waverly would die if something happened to her, but she stopped herself when she realized what Nicole meant.

“I could tell you about the time Waverly got super drunk and ended up in Rhode Island?”

Nicole laughed at the thought of her drunk girlfriend winding up on the other side of the continent in a completely different country.

“Yeah, I think that’d help.”

Chapter Text

Nicole stared up at the ceiling while Waverly slept curled up into her side. Someone had called to tell them about the court date while they were unloading boxes at the homestead, and they weren’t for another month. Honestly, she’d expect the date to be longer, but she wasn’t going to argue with it. She just wanted to go back home to see her parents and show Waverly around South Carolina. She wanted to get as far away from where she was attacked as possible.

Champ and Richie would probably be getting longer sentences and larger fines than the other BOI members since they were the ones who were behind the whole ordeal. The ones who were just standing by and stalking her would probably only spend a few months behind bars. Nicole felt bad for the BOI members who didn’t take part in any of it, but still got fined for not alerting someone of the plan. They were probably just as scared as she was.

She still hadn’t been able to sleep very well. Having nightmares that left her sweaty, shaking, and upset so often before made her scared to fall asleep. They’d dulled down some since the night she was attacked, but the thought of having one left her awake and restless. Waverly was always there, though, when she woke up from one. She’d calm her down with her comforting words and reassuring kisses when she needed them, telling her that everything was going to be alright.

They would often shower together once Nicole calmed down since she usually felt gross from all the sweat. Nicole would stand there and let Waverly massage shampoo into her hair while she told some ridiculous story about Wynonna getting drunk. It always made Nicole feel better, but she worried that Waverly would become frustrated with her for constantly waking up in the early hours of the morning.

Waverly had yet to actually talk about her side of the story, which worried Nicole as well. It wasn’t like she hadn’t been part of the terrifying experience and could just get over it. She’d been held down and gagged while she watched, or listened to, her girlfriend get harassed and attacked. Champ had to have said something to her or done something to her that she didn’t tell her about. She made a note to ask her about it in the morning.

***

Shifting and whimpering coming from underneath her were what woke Waverly up early the next morning. It was something that had become almost like a routine for her, but she could never get used to how scared and exhausted Nicole looked when she woke up.

“Do you want me to hold you?”

It was another question Waverly had learned to start asking when Nicole had flinched away from her touch after a particularly vivid nightmare.

“N-no.”

“Can I turn on the light?”

Nicole could only hum her response, but Waverly understood and turned the bedside lamp on. The redhead’s chest was heaving and tears streamed down her face. Waverly let Nicole have a few minutes of silence so she wasn’t suddenly overwhelmed with questions.

“Can we shower?” Nicole asked finally.

“Of course, sweetie.”

Nicole headed off to the bathroom while Waverly stayed behind to grab clothes and towels for the two of them. She found Nicole’s favorite pair of boxers and an oversized t-shirt for Nicole, and a hoodie and sleep shorts for herself.

The water was already running when Waverly got there, so she set the clothes and towels on the closed toilet seat before undressing herself. Her clothes fell next to Nicole’s on the floor and she pulled the shower curtain back slowly, so as not to startle her girlfriend. She’d probably heard the door close and lock, but Waverly still wanted to be careful.

Waverly didn’t think she’d ever get over just how gorgeous Nicole’s body was. The hot water glistened on her skin in a way that made Waverly think she looked like an actual goddess. Even the large bruises on her torso and the bite on the back of her left shoulder could taint the perfection that was Nicole.

“You can touch me now,” Nicole clarified, noticing Waverly’s stares.

Waverly pulled her girlfriend into a hug under the spray of the shower and kissed her collarbone.

“Do you want me to wash your hair now?”

Nicole nodded and Waverly grabbed the shampoo bottle from the shower caddy hanging from the shower head. She squeezed some of it into her hand and started working it into Nicole’s hair. They stood there in silence until Nicole was rinsing the soap out of her hair.

“Can you kiss me?”

The question was so quiet Waverly almost didn’t catch it, but she smiled and nodded, reaching up to kiss Nicole. The redhead melted into it, just wanting to feel something again. She deepened the kiss and her tongue brushed along Waverly’s bottom lip, requesting entrance. Waverly was happy to oblige and Nicole couldn’t help the moan that escaped her lips.

Her hands roamed Waverly’s body until they landed on her breasts. A warmth started growing in the pit of her stomach and all the thoughts about the assault and trial disappeared. All she could think about was how much she wanted her girlfriend.

Waverly pushed Nicole back against the shower wall and pushed her thigh up against Nicole’s center. She moved her kisses from Nicole’s lips to Nicole’s jaw, leaving a trail down her neck to the top of where the bruise on her abdomen started. Her lips hovered over the bruised area and looked up to Nicole for permission. When Nicole nodded, Waverly left kisses all over the injury before continuing her trail downward.

Wynonna, unfortunately a light sleeper, could hear Nicole’s not so quiet moans coming from the shower. She got up the check it out, and was about to knock on the door until she realized that maybe Nicole needed the release. Plus, both of them had had to deal with her and Dolls doing it in the guest bedroom, so she let it slide this time.

Chapter Text

“Mind if I join you?”

Wynonna jumped at the unexpected voice and spilled some of the whiskey from the bottle.

“God fucking damn it, Haught, shouldn’t you be asleep?”

“I could say the same thing about you.”

She wasn’t wrong. Wynonna was never awake before noon, so seeing her sitting on the porch drinking whiskey and watching the sunrise was unusual. Something must have been bothering her as well.

“You’ve got a point.”

Wynonna patted the seat next to her and offered the bottle of whiskey to Nicole. The redhead sat down and took it, taking a sip before handing it back to Wynonna. They sat in a comfortable silence as they watched the sun peek up over the horizon and shades of pink and orange replaced the dark blue. It reminded Nicole that she needed to take Waverly to watch the sunrise in her secret get away spot back in South Carolina.

“Why aren’t you in bed with your lover?” Wynonna asked, breaking the silence. “Shouldn’t you be tired from your early morning shower activities?”

Nicole tensed up and grimaced.

“You heard that?”

“Of course I heard it, I was in the room across from you guys. It’s why I’m up drinking so early.”

“I’m so sorry, we’ll-”

Wynonna held up her hand to stop Nicole from finishing her sentence. She could see the nervousness in the redhead’s eyes and noticed the dark circles beneath them. Waverly had told her all about the nightmares Nicole was having, and how she would never talk about them.

“I was kidding, Nicole. I’d never keep you and Waverly from your intimate stuff, even if it is slightly disturbing to me that one of my best friends is fucking my sister.”

Nicole sighed in relief, taking the bottle of whiskey back from Wynonna. The sun had completely risen over the horizon now, lighting up the homestead.

“Why are you out here then?”

“Dolls had to go into work early today and the bed got too cold when after he left, so I came out here to watch the sunrise.”

The way Wynonna smiled whenever she talked about Dolls never went unnoticed by Nicole. From the way Waverly had described their childhood, Wynonna really needed someone like Dolls to keep her grounded. It made her happy to know that Wynonna was able to find comfort in Dolls when she needed it the most.

“So, what made you leave Waverly alone in bed after mind blowing shower sex and come out here to drink with me?”

“Well, I originally came out here to think, but maybe you could give me a little bit of advice, or maybe just listen for a bit. I know advice isn’t really your thing.”

Wynonna stood up and stretched, heading for the house with the bottle of whiskey, and Nicole was kind of annoyed that Wynonna was just going to brush it off.

“Would you rather talk here or would you be willing to go to Shorty’s and talk over pancakes? Whatever makes you comfortable,” Wynonna offered.

It was an act of kindness that Nicole wasn’t expecting, but she decided that it might be easier to talk where Waverly couldn’t accidentally overhear them. She wasn’t sure she wanted Waverly to really know what went on in her nightmares just yet.

“Let’s go to Shorty’s.”

***

Even at six thirty in the morning, Shorty’s was quite busy serving breakfast to all the early risers of purgatory. The loud chatter was perfect to cover the seriousness of the conversation so that no one else would hear.

Wynonna, as planned, ordered the largest number of pancakes the diner had to offer, and Nicole settled on some bacon and eggs with toast. They both had steaming cups of coffee sitting in front of them, and it almost reminded Nicole of the day she and Waverly had officially agreed to get married.

“Can I tell you about my nightmares?” Nicole asked.

“That’s why we came here isn’t it?” Wynonna responded. She looked over and saw Nicole shifting uncomfortably in her seat. “You can tell me anything you want.”

***

Nicole was back on the sidewalk that night with Richie holding her down. The fuckers that had helped beat her up were standing in a semicircle around them, their eyes glowing a deep red. They all had unsettling grins on their faces.

Through the gaps between the guys in the semicircle, Nicole could see Waverly struggling against Champ. He was kissing on her cheek and neck with his hands in places they shouldn’t have been.

“Let her go, it’s me you want!” Nicole yelled at them. Waverly didn’t deserve any of this.

“Yes, it is you we want,” Richie whispered in her ear, “but what better way to get back at you than by hurting her?”

Nicole fought hard against the hands holding her down and was met with a kick to the ribs.

“Please don’t,” Nicole whimpered.

The next time she looked up, Champ was holding a knife to Waverly’s throat. Blood dripped from where the knife pressed into her perfect skin, and, with one quick motion, she was dead on the ground.

***

Have you told Waverly about them yet?” Wynonna knew the answer was no, but she figured she’d ask anyway.

Not yet, no. I’m scared it’ll freak her out,” Nicole answered honestly.

“You won’t scare her away, trust me. She loves you too much to leave, and she just wants to see you happy again. She never stops talking about your smile and your laugh and how much she misses seeing them. It’s gross.”

Nicole looked at Wynonna and could tell she was being serious, despite the extra joke at the end. It was comforting to know Waverly talked about her to her sister.

“Looks like Waverly and I have a lot to talk about today.”

Chapter Text

6:45 AM

New group chat: ICall-Sh0tgun, Haught_Shit, and ALLtheAlcohol

ICall-Sh0tgun: Where the fuck are the two of you?

Nicole and Wynonna heard their phones go off simultaneously and looked up nervously at each other when they read the message. They were hoping they’d be able to finish their breakfast and make it home before Waverly even woke up.

ALLtheAlcohol: haught mess left u a note

Haught_Shit: I thought you left the note…

That was complete and total bullshit, but Waverly seemed to buy it anyway.

ICall-Sh0tgun: Well nobody left a note and I’ve been worried sick about you

ICall-Sh0tgun: Where the fuck are you

It finally struck Nicole that maybe Waverly was just as scared of being alone as she was. She shouldn’t have left her without letting her know first.

ALLtheAlcohol: calm down kid were at shortys

Haught_Shit: We’ll be home soon baby

Haught_Shit: There’s some stuff we have to talk about

ICall-Sh0tgun: Hurry up

Wynonna ordered some pancakes to go to make it up to her sister, and got up to pay while Nicole finished her toast.

“You ready?” Wynonna asked when she got back to the table.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

***

Waverly was sitting on the porch wrapped in several blankets with a very unhappy expression on her face.

“How ‘bout a frickin’ explanation?” she questioned her sister and girlfriend.

Wynonna lifted up the plastic bag in her hands and handed it to Waverly in hopes that she wouldn’t be as mad. Waverly took it and looked at Wynonna with narrowed eyes.

“Three blueberry pancakes with fresh strawberries on the side?” Wynonna offered.

“What about the blueberry syrup?”

“Two containers of it in the bag.”

Waverly nodded in approval and looked over to Nicole, who was taking full advantage of the fact that Waverly couldn’t be mad when she looked like a sad puppy.

“What’s your peace offering?” Waverly joked.

“My good looks and a kiss?” Nicole tried.

“Sounds good to me.”

Waverly placed her hand behind Nicole’s neck and pulled her down into a kiss. They only broke away when Wynonna cleared her throat.

“If you two don’t mind, I’m gonna take the truck and go see Doc for the day, give you two some privacy.”

She knew how much easier it’d be for Nicole to talk with Waverly if she wasn’t there, and she knew something was bothering Waverly that only Nicole would be able to get her to talk about. Giving them complete privacy instead of just going out to the barn would make it a little easier for them to talk.

The couple backed away from the truck and Wynonna got back in so she could leave. They watched Wynonna pull out of the homestead, waiting until all they could see was the dust left behind before they went inside so Waverly could eat her pancakes.

Once inside, Waverly sat down at the dining room table and started eating her pancakes while Nicole put a kettle on the stove for tea. She would have made coffee for them, but Dolls broke the coffee machine a few days ago. Waverly preferred tea with her breakfast anyway, a fact that only Nicole knew.

She dug around in the cabinets while the water heated up to grab two mugs and Waverly’s favorite English breakfast tea. The mugs she had grabbed were a joke wedding gift from Wynonna and Dolls (mostly Wynonna), a couple’s set with one mug saying ‘beauty’ and the other saying ‘beast.’ Wynonna had originally gifted Waverly the ‘beast’ mug as a joke, but the two had switched because Waverly was just too damn much of a beauty to be the beast.

The kettle started whistling just as soon as Nicole finished putting the tea bags in the mugs. She removed it from the hot burner and started pouring it into the two mugs, setting a timer before going to sit across from Waverly at the table.

Neither of them said anything when Nicole came to sit down. Waverly just continued eating her breakfast until Nicole noticed a little bit of the blueberry syrup smudged on her cheek.

“Waves, you got a little something on your face there,” she mentioned. She picked up a napkin from the center of the table and reached over to wipe the syrup from her girlfriend’s face. A small smirk appeared on her face and Waverly smiled.

“I missed that.”

The timer in the kitchen interrupted what Nicole was going to say next, so she went to go get the tea and turn the timer off before they started talking. She made the tea accordingly, one spoonful of honey for her and a small splash of cream for Waverly.

Waverly gratefully accepted the tea from Nicole and took a sip before restarting their conversation.

“You said we needed to talk, yeah?” Waverly asked, taking another sip of tea and setting the mug on the table.

Nicole nodded.

“I think I’m ready to talk to you about my nightmares,” she replied. “I talked to Wynonna about it this morning, which is why we were at Shorty’s.”

“Are you sure you’re ready to talk? I don’t want to push you if you’re not ready.”

“It helped a lot to let someone, even if that someone was Wynonna, know what’s been going on. Plus, I figured it might help you out a bit more when I wake up in the middle of the night.”

“Okay, but promise me you’ll stop if you feel like you don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

“I promise.”

Nicole explained her nightmares to Waverly, adding a few extra details she hadn’t felt comfortable telling Wynonna, with Waverly holding her hands over the table the entire time. She didn’t bolt like Nicole had thought she would, and she didn’t look like she was scared of Nicole either. She just had the most comforting look on her face that told Nicole she really cared about what was scaring her. It felt like a weight had been lifted off her chest.

“I was never able to see what happened to you, so my brain keeps coming up with the worst possible scenarios.”

“I may be able to help you fill in those blanks.” Waverly took a deep breath and stood up from the table. “Let’s go to my room?”

Nicole stood and followed Waverly up to her room. They sat down on the bed together and situated themselves so that Nicole’s back was up against the headboard with Waverly between her legs leaning back against her chest. She took to playing with Waverly’s hair while she talked.

“After Richie shoved you to the ground, Champ put me in a headlock and told me that after Richie killed you that I would be his again.”

Nicole tensed up at the new information and Waverly started crying.

“He took my wedding band and tossed it on the sidewalk, saying that I’d be better off without you anyway. I tried to get away from him to try and keep anything bad from happening, but there were just so many of them, Nicole. I was so, so scared I was going to lose you.”

Waverly turned around to look at her girlfriend.

“They were going to kill you and there wouldn’t have been anything I could have done about it. Then I woke up this morning and you were gone and the dream was so real I almost thought I imagined Nedley coming to the rescue.”

“I’m so sorry I left you this morning baby,” Nicole apologized with tears in her eyes. “I didn’t even think about it before I left.” She kissed the top of Waverly’s head and looked her in the eyes. “I won’t leave you again, I promise.”

***

When Wynonna got home from helping Doc with inventory at BBD, she found Waverly and Nicole curled up with each other, sleeping on Waverly’s bed. She slowly closed the door and quietly went back downstairs to take a nap of her own so the couple could get some much needed rest.

Chapter Text

 

 

The Beta Omega Iota members go to court on the last Tuesday of June, and Nicole couldn’t help but be nervous the entire day. She knew they were going to end up being locked away, there was too much evidence against them to say otherwise, but the thought that they might be let off the hook still sat in the back of her mind. She wouldn’t feel better until somebody called to let them know what the outcome of the case was.

Up until then, Nicole had been eating and sleeping a bit more normally after her conversation with Waverly. There were still nightmares, and there were still occasions where she would feel too uneasy to eat, but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been before. Waverly was happy to finally see Nicole smiling again.

Both Nicole and Waverly struggled to sleep the night before the case, despite being in each other’s arms. They wound up trying to distract each other by having slow make out sessions and talking about mindless subjects. Eventually, they got tired enough to just pass out and sleep.

Wynonna, Doc, and Dolls agreed to stay close by until the results of the case came in. They let Waverly and Nicole be alone upstairs while they talked about a way to keep their mind off of the case. It took quite a bit of squabbling between the three of them before they finally decided on having a “family game day.”

Earp family game days were few and far between, not just because they hardly had time for them, but because they got so competitive. Only the most friend ruining games were allowed on Earp family game days, and they all involved lots of concentration. It’d be the perfect way to keep them (relatively) calm until they found out the case results.

“Hey, love birds!” Wynonna shouted up the stairs.

She was met with silence and frowned. It was nearly one, and Waverly never slept that late, no matter how late she was up the night before. She headed for the stairs, taking the bag of chips she was eating with her.

Wynonna busted into the room without knocking in typical Wynonna manner.

“It’s Earp family game da-”

A naked Waverly was straddling a topless Nicole’s hips and was glaring daggers at her sister. Wynonna’s hand flew up to cover her eyes.

“Are you serious? Right in front of my chips?”

Nicole scrambled to cover herself up, but Waverly continued glaring at her sister.

“You’re the one who walked in on us, asshole! Knock next time!”

“We’re having Earp family game day so be downstairs in ten, or longer if you two wanna finish up.”

With that, Wynonna was gone and Waverly looked like she was about to murder somebody.

“She is really good at cockblocking,” Nicole said and Waverly nodded in agreement.

“We can get her back later.”

Waverly put her clothes back on and headed for the door, leaving a still topless Nicole tangled up in the sheets.

“Hurry up before they start playing BS without us,” Waverly said as she left the room.

***

Waverly didn’t realize she’d married possibly the best/worst liar on the planet until Nicole had won BS three times. She was actually kind of scared.

“I thought you said you were a bad liar,” Wynonna grumbled, putting the deck of cards back in the box.

Nicole shrugged.

“It just depends on the situation,” Nicole explained.

“Well, you certainly have one of the best poker faces I have ever seen,” Doc complimented.

Wynonna stood up and turned on the TV and Wii console so they could get a Mario Kart tournament going on. She had Dolls figure out the bracket so she could go get more snacks from the kitchen. Waverly noticed that Nicole looked nervous between games, and thought that the case might be getting to her.

“What’s wrong babe?” she asked quietly.

“I’ve never played Mario Kart,” Nicole confessed.

Waverly was relieved it wasn’t the case that was bothering her girlfriend.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure Wynonna will let you have a few practice rounds before we get started.”

They looked to Wynonna for confirmation and the brunette nodded in approval. Waverly smiled and got the controllers ready for them to use.

“We’ll start out with something easy to get you used to the controls. Hold the controller sideways so that one and two are by your right hand. Press two to go forward and use the D-pad to use your power ups.”

Waverly demonstrated with her own controller before picking out Luigi Circuit.

“Wait, what was that rainbow one you passed?”

Wynonna could be heard laughing at Nicole’s cluelessness from the kitchen.

“Trust me, you don’t wanna know,” Waverly said.

Nicole pretty well for a first timer in the games against Waverly, but still only made it to fifth place while Waverly was in first. She finally able to understand just how aggravating the game could be. By the time the games were over, Dolls had created a bracket he deemed fair and set it down on the coffee table in the living room. Wynonna had long since been back with the snacks to help them through the tournament.

The first four games would be played by Dolls and Waverly, followed by Nicole and Doc, and Wynonna would play the winner of the first game. Maps to be played in round one would be Coconut Mall, DS Delfino Square, Maple Treeway, and DS Peach Gardens, specifically in that order. Round two would consist of Bowser’s Castle, N64 DK’s Jungle Parkway, Moonview Highway, and Mushroom Gorge. The two people who made it to the final would have to play SNES Ghost Valley 2, GBA Bowser Castle 3, Warrio’s Gold Mine, and the dreaded Rainbow Road.

In an unsurprising turn of events, the Waverly vs. Dolls game was a very close call, Dolls ultimately coming in second place after hitting one of the Chomps in the last race. There wasn’t too much cursing or yelling between them since they were both trying to concentrate, but Nicole and Wynonna were very loudly cheering on their partners. Doc had to stand between the two of them to keep them from starting a fight.

Doc thought he would have some sort of chance going against the very inexperienced Nicole, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. He never really played Mario Kart, or any video games for that matter, and he certainly wasn’t very good at it. The first couple of games were pretty close, with Doc winning one (if tenth place could be considered winning) and Nicole winning the other, but the Nicole won the last two by a landslide (in fourth place). Waverly took a picture of her smiling girlfriend in front of the ‘better luck next time’ screen.

“You’re doing great sweetie,” Waverly encouraged before getting ready to play her sister.

Before they were able to start round two, Waverly’s phone started ringing on the table with their lawyer taking part in the case on the other end. The room went quiet as Waverly and Nicole started bouncing both her knees when the nervousness she had felt earlier kicked in.

“Hello?”

“I’m calling in regards to Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught. Can I speak to one of them?”

“This is Waverly.”

“Good evening, Mrs. Earp. I’m pleased to inform you that you and Mrs. Haught won your case that took place today, and you will not be seeing any of those boys for a long time.”

Waverly couldn’t help but smile and give a thumbs up to Nicole to let her know that things had gone well. Details were given about the sentences that the BOI members received and Waverly thanked the lawyer before getting off the phone.

“We won!” she exclaimed.

She pulled Nicole into a hug and pulled her in for a kiss. Soon, they’d be able to go to South Carolina.

Chapter Text

“Are we there yet?” a very sleepy Waverly mumbled into Nicole’s shoulder.

They’d gotten a flight from Vancouver to Charleston a couple of weeks after the BOI case ended, and Waverly couldn’t wait to get there. Nicole told her all the things she was planning for them to do together when they got there, from ice cream dates to watching sunsets. The sappy romantic in Waverly was thankful her girlfriend knew exactly what her ideal dates were, and was excited they were traveling together. The other part of her just wanted the damn flights to be over with.

“Not yet, baby, we still have a couple hours.” Nicole kissed the top of Waverly’s head. “Go back to sleep.”

Their flight was planned to make two stops before they got to their destination, and they were currently on the flight from Seattle to Atlanta after the first stop. Waverly’s excitement finally wore off during the hour long lay over in Seattle, and waking up in the early hours of the morning was starting to catch up with her. She was asleep before the plane even left the ground.

Nicole couldn’t help but smile when she looked down at her sleeping girlfriend. She just looked so peaceful and adorable that Nicole had to pull out her phone and take a picture. Waverly, of course, would hate it when she woke up because her hair was a little messy and she was drooling a bit, but Nicole couldn’t pass it up. It wasn’t her fault that her girlfriend looked so adorable at all times and needed to be documented through photos.

***

The plane finally touched down in Charleston around dinner time that night after another half hour layover in Atlanta. The previous excitement that had faded earlier came back. Most of it was simply because they wouldn’t have to travel so much for a few months, but Nicole still couldn’t wait to get back home.

“Mom texted me and told me they’re waiting for us just outside the baggage reclaim,” Nicole informed Waverly.

Sure enough, when they got to the baggage reclaim, Nicole’s parents were talking to each other while waiting for their daughter to arrive. Her mom saw them first, caught Nicole’s hair out of the corner of her eye, and smiled up at them.

“How’s my little girl doing?” Her dad asked as he pulled Nicole in for a hug.

“A lot better now that I’m home,” she answered.

Both her mom and dad hounded her with the typical ‘I’ve missed my child’ questions while Waverly stood awkwardly to the side. She didn’t want to interfere with the conversation, but she also wasn’t quite sure what to do with herself. Nicole seemed to sense her discomfort and moved to wrap an arm around her girlfriend’s waist. The atmosphere changed instantly and Waverly started to feel like part of the conversation.

“Waverly, how are you?” Nicole’s mom asked. “How was your flight?”

“I’m doing good Mrs. Haught. The flight wasn’t too bad, I actually kind of enjoyed it!”

Nicole rolled her eyes.

“Babe, you were asleep the entire time, of course you enjoyed it.”

Mr. and Mrs. Haught let the couple bicker over the flight while they found their bags on the reclaim conveyor belt. They thought it was easy to see that the couple loved each other through a screen, but in person they practically broadcasted it. It was nice to see their daughter so happy about somebody again.

***

The Haught household was only an hour drive from the airport on the outskirts of a small and secluded neighborhood. Nicole pointed out different locations to Waverly as they passed by, explaining what everything was and where they’d go on dates. Waverly hadn’t seen Nicole so happy since the incident with Champ and Richie.

Their house was small and hidden away behind a group of trees. It looked a little worn down on the outside, but the inside was just as homey as it had looked during their video chat sessions. Waverly felt at home as soon as she stepped through the door.

Nicole led her to the bedroom they’d be sharing for the next few months, where they were met with an orange tabby cat sitting on the bed.

“Hey, Sweetie!” Nicole exclaimed in that special pet owner voice. She picked the cat up and brought it over to meet Waverly. “Waverly, I’d like you to meet Calamity Jane.”

The cat looked at Waverly as if she were deciding whether or not she liked having a new person in the house, and Waverly was a little hesitant to pet her because of it. Nicole took Waverly’s hesitancy as something else.

“Shit, you’re not allergic, are you?” Worry was written all over the redhead’s face. “I didn’t even think to ask, I’m sorry.”

“No, baby, I’m not allergic. She just looks like she’s going to kill me is all.”

Nicole sighed in relief and laughed.

“She comes off that way to everyone. You can pet her if you want, it’s really just men she has a problem with.”

Waverly stuck her hand out to pet Calamity between her ears and found that the cat enjoyed her presence.

“See, she likes you!”

There was a small knock on the door and both girls turned to see who it was.

“Your mom has dinner in the oven if either of you are hungry,” Nicole’s dad said.

 “Thanks, we’ll be out in a bit,” Nicole responded.

She put Calamity back down on the bed and took Waverly’s hand in her own, bringing it up to kiss her knuckles. The simple action always made Waverly’s heart race.

“Ready for dinner?”

Waverly nodded and Nicole led her out to the dining room. She couldn’t help but smile at how domestic everything felt, and she couldn’t help but think she never wanted it to end.

Chapter Text

 

 

“Babe, that’s disgusting.”

Nicole couldn’t believe Waverly would insult her like that. Out of all her girlfriends, she couldn’t believe that Waverly was the first to disagree with her like that.

“Mint and chocolate do not go together, especially in ice cream form.”

The couple was at the local ice cream shop deciding what flavors they wanted to get. Nicole usually got Superman when she visited, but she wasn’t in the mood for that, so she considered getting her second favorite flavor. Waverly’s disgust with the flavor was making her lean more towards the cherry vanilla instead.

“Mint chocolate chip is one of the best flavors there is!” Nicole argued.

“One of the best flavors to throw in the trash maybe.”

Waverly looked back up at her girlfriend and found that she had the absolute cutest pout on her face. She only ever pouted like that when they had dumb little arguments like that because it would usually make Waverly surrender, but it didn’t seem to be working this time. Nicole accepted her defeat.

“At least I know you won’t steal all my ice cream if I buy it,” she mumbled under her breath.

Waverly smiled and reached up to kiss Nicole on the cheek.

“Get whatever you want. I still love you, even if your ice cream choices are questionable.”

Nicole couldn’t help but smile right back. Ice cream dates had been one of her favorites, and she knew Champ never took Waverly on them. She felt like it was her duty to treat her girl to some ice cream from time to time.

“What are you thinking of getting?”

“Cotton candy with some of those mini chocolate chips.”

Nicole grimaced and looked at her girlfriend.

“Yet mint chocolate chip is disgusting?”

The couple got their ice creams in the little styrofoam bowls and sat down at one of the tables by the door. At some point, they started insulting each other’s ice cream flavors again, resulting in Waverly getting mint chocolate chip on her nose and Nicole had cotton candy on smudged on her cheek. They were laughing so hard by the end that everyone in the shop was staring at them, including someone Nicole hadn’t planned on ever seeing again. She caught them before they could walk out the door.

“Nicole?”

Nicole turned around to find herself face to face with the only person she had ever truly come to hate.

“Christen.”

They stared at each other in awkward silence, until Nicole turned to leave. Christen reached out and grabbed her free hand to keep her from going.

“Wait, Nicole, I just wanted to apologize,” Christen explained.

“You’re about four years too late for an apology,” Nicole spat as she pulled her hand free. She left with Waverly before Christen could even get a word in.

Waverly was curious as to who Christen was, but she had a pretty good feeling that she was a big part of Nicole’s past. She waited until Nicole had calmed down and made sure the ice cream shop was out of sight before asking any questions.

“Are you okay?”

“I’ll be fine I just…” Nicole shook her head. “I’ll explain when we get home, okay, baby?”

Waverly nodded and the couple continued walking back to Nicole’s in silence. She didn’t like how upset Nicole looked from the single encounter, and wondered if she should go back and give Christen a piece of her mind.

The couple arrived back at the house about five minutes later, and found that they had the house to themselves. Nicole let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. Her story about Christen was something she didn’t want her parents walking in on, even though they knew most of what happened.

They made their way into Nicole’s room and Nicole shut the door after Waverly entered. She sat down on her bed, motioning for Waverly to join her, and they sat in silence while Nicole figured out how to start her explanation.

“You know you don’t have to tell me, right? If it makes you uncomfortable, you can tell me some other time,” Waverly said. Nicole was cuddled into her side and Waverly was playing with her hair.

“She was my first girlfriend,” Nicole started. She looked up at Waverly, who smiled softly and nodded for her to continue. “We met in probably the most ridiculous way possible, and I’m really glad our meeting was a lot less… eventful. I got invited to do some soccer training one summer with our rival high school because my dad worked with the coach. Anything to improve my game, I was down for, so I decided it was worth getting glares from my teammates if it meant training with the only team in our district that could kick our asses.”

Nicole smiled at the memory of how much she hated the intense sessions, despite how much they paid off the next season.

“I met Christen the second day of training, and she flat out hated me before we even started talking, simply because I was from their rival school. My skills were definitely not good back then, and Christen learned that the hard way during a little scrimmage drill we did. I ended up kicking the ball into her stomach trying to cross, then pushing her into one of the agility poles coach had up for goals.”

Waverly laughed.

“Yeah, definitely glad we didn’t meet like that.”

Nicole smiled up at her.

“She avoided me as much as possible until Wednesday the week after. Someone had brought up pick up lines during one of our water breaks, so we started spouting off the cheesiest ones we could think of. Somehow we ended up with each other’s numbers and ended up texting pick up lines back and forth for the rest of the day. By the end of the night, we had both ended up falling for each other. We started dating that Friday.”

“That’s a little fast, isn’t it?”

“When I think about it, yeah it was fast, but we were together for nine months. Maybe if we’d waited I would have realized sooner how much of an asshole she was.”

The upset look on Nicole’s face was back and Waverly kissed the top of her head for support.

“I hadn’t come out to my parents yet, so I told her to be super careful with the pictures she posted of us, but she didn’t really listen. She posted a picture of our interlocked hands one day on Facebook and captioned it ‘I think I’m falling for you’ without telling me. I found it and asked her if she could remove it because my parents could see it, but she wouldn’t do it.”

Her voice started trembling at the memories of what happened after.

“My grandmother found the picture about a month later, and told my mom about it. It was a Sunday and we’d just gotten home from church. I found her sitting on my bed with her phone in hand, the picture pulled up on it. I came out to her and she looked so fucking disappointed in me. My parents took my phone and wouldn’t let me use the computer unless it was for school work, but one of them had to be close by to monitor me.”

She could feel the tears starting to slide down her cheeks.

“They made me break up with her over speakerphone the Tuesday after and acted like they’d done nothing wrong while I cried my eyes out. She had a history of self harm and was trying really hard to quit smoking at the time, and I was so scared she was going to hurt herself or start smoking again. I borrowed a friend’s phone the next day at school to tell her I didn’t mean any of it and explained everything. We still found ways to see each other and talk in secret afterwards, despite my parents’ efforts.”

Nicole was crying harder and Waverly held onto her tighter.

“We can stop if you want, baby.”

Nicole shook her head and continued the story.

“The stuff with my parents cleared up in December, and they finally started supporting me. I got my phone back and could start seeing her again. Then she went and cheated on me with her fucking best friend that March. We’d been fighting quite a bit at the time, so I wasn’t even that upset when she told me, but I didn’t get over it for months. I just couldn’t believe she’d put me through so much shit just to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough for her.”

“I’m so sorry, Nicole.”

“She lived about an hour away, so I haven’t seen her since the Valentine’s Day before we broke up. I haven’t talked to her in years, and you’re the first person I’ve ever actually talked about her to.”

The couple sat there in silence, Waverly running her fingers through Nicole’s hair and holding her close. She was definitely regretting not going back and giving Christen a piece of her mind.

“Thank you for telling me. I’m glad you trusted me enough to talk about it.”

“You’re the first person I’ve really dated since then,” Nicole confessed. “All the other girls were just rebounds to try and keep her off my mind, but you? Waverly Earp, my feelings for you are so much more real than they were with anyone in my past. You make me so happy, and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“I’d ask you if you wanted to marry me some day, but I think we’ve already got that covered,” Waverly joked.

She pulled Nicole in for a kiss and had a huge smile on her face when she pulled back.

“I love you so much, baby,” Nicole told her.

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

12:35 PM

Motherboard: Can you and Waverly pick up some groceries for me while you’re out?

Haught_Shit: Sure

Haught_Shit: We were gonna stop on the way back anyway to get ingredients for cookies

Motherboard: Thank you! I’ll send a list in a second

Nicole’s mom sent a picture of a grocery list she wrote down and Nicole saved it so she could look back at it later. Right now, she was sitting next to Waverly and looking out at some ducklings swimming around in a pond. The mother duck was floating close by to keep an eye on them.

“We should have gone to the store first to get lettuce to feed the ducks,” Waverly commented. “I’ve never fed ducks before.”

They had originally planned on just going to the store to get some cookie ingredients, but it was such a nice day that they decided to take a walk first. It also gave them plenty of time to figure out what kind of cookies they wanted to make.

“Maybe we can pick some up and come back tomorrow.”

“I’d like that.”

Waverly leaned in closer to Nicole and kissed her on the neck.

“Any idea what kind of cookies you wanna make yet?” Nicole asked. She didn’t mind what kind they made, she just wanted to bake.

“I’m thinking either oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip.”

“Of course you’d have a healthy option in there.”

“Chocolate chip it is then.”

The couple sat on the bench and talked until the ducklings and their mother waddled away from the pond. They were so caught up in each other that they didn’t even bother to worry about the looks they were getting from strangers passing by. It was nice to not have to worry about what other people thought of their relationship for once.

They walked to the local grocery store feeling happier than they had in a while. Despite living together while at college, they’d never been grocery shopping together. Waverly thought the domesticity of it was cute and was unusually excited about it. Nicole was just happy to be with Waverly.

“Let’s go get the stuff for the cookies first, then we can get what my mom needed,” Nicole suggested. “It’ll probably be faster that way.”

Debating over what kind of chocolate chips to get for the cookies took up over half their shopping time. Waverly had never seen so many different types of baking chips in one place, and couldn’t decide if she wanted to go with regular chocolate chips or something else.

“Would you be okay with chocolate peanut butter chips?”

“You can get whatever you want, baby.”

“Oh, this brand of chocolate is my favorite! What about these?”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Maybe these little chocolate toffee pieces would be better? Or would the toffee be too hard?”

“I think it’d taste pretty good, if you wanted to try it.”

The indecisiveness went on for a good fifteen minutes before Nicole finally suggested that they try several different kinds of chips in their cookies. Waverly settled on the regular chocolate, the chocolate toffee, and white chocolate chips.

They wandered around the store in search of some all purpose flour, and stopped to get some lettuce for the ducks and other vegetables requested by Nicole’s mom along the way. They found the flour before going to the breakfast aisle to pick out some cereal. Nicole was secretly glad that Waverly only ever ate blueberry mini wheats, so they wouldn’t be stuck on another fifteen minute debate.

Once the shopping basket was full, and they had everything checked off the list, the couple headed to the front to check out. Waverly was starting to have second doubts about the baking chips she picked out, but Nicole made sure to put those first on the counter so she couldn’t change her mind. They paid for the groceries and headed back to the house, both carrying two bags each.

***

Nicole decided that they’d save the cookie baking for after dinner since she had a feeling they would be making a huge mess. They probably wouldn’t be able to finish cleaning up before her mom wanted to make dinner, and Nicole learned the hard way not to interfere with her mom making dinner.

They set out all the ingredients and supplies before preheating the oven. Waverly had quickly learned where all the dishes were during the first week there and found what they needed with ease while Nicole searched for eggs in the fridge.

“Do you have a vacuum cleaner?” Waverly asked.

“Yeah, why?”

The question was so innocent that Nicole didn’t even think about it until she turned around and had two floury handprints on her chest.

“It’s gonna get a little messy in here.”

Waverly had that mischevious gleam in her eye that made Nicole glad she bought the bigger bag of flour. She stuck her head out the kitchen door to make sure her parents were nowhere in sight before she left handprints of her own on Waverly’s ass. Before they knew it, the kitchen was a cloudy mess of white powder.

“Maybe we should actually make cookies now,” Nicole suggested as the flour settled. She smiled at the smudges of flower on Waverly's forehead.

“Or, we could clean up this mess, go shower together, and bake cookies tomorrow.”

The mischevious gleam in Waverly’s eyes was still there and Nicole struggled to keep from taking her girlfriend then and there.

“Y-yeah, let's do that."

Chapter Text

6:04 PM

ICall-Sh0tgun: Can you come pick me up from the airport?

ALLtheAlcohol: i thought u werent coming back until school starts

ICall-Sh0tgun: I didn’t want to be there anymore.

ALLtheAlcohol: ill be there in an hour

***

The arguments started a month into the trip to South Carolina. At first, they were just small squabbles they were able to talk out and be fine by the end of the day. They weren’t too concerned about it, they’d fought like that before, but neither of them were happy about it.

Nicole knew Christen was one of the things putting a strain on their relationship, and it was starting to become really annoying. She always happened to be out and about when Nicole and Waverly were out together, and would show up at the worst times to try and make things right. All it would do is make Nicole even angrier, resulting in her wrongly taking it out on her girlfriend.

“Did you wear my Chicago Sky shirt?” Nicole asked her one night. She had just showered and just wanted to go to bed.

“Nope, it might be in the laundry,” Waverly replied, collecting her own things to shower.

“I haven’t worn it in weeks, are you sure you don’t have it?” The frustration in her voice was clear as day.

“I haven’t seen it at all, baby, I promise.”

Nicole let out an aggravated sigh and grabbed a different shirt before slamming her dresser drawer closed. She quickly threw the shirt on and started looking for some boxers to wear.

“Is everything okay with you?” Waverly questioned. “I know Christen has been around a lot and it seems like it’s really bugging you.”

She was being so sincere, and so nice about it, but Nicole still snapped at her.

“I’m fine, and, even if I wasn’t, that’s none of your business.” She knew she needed to stop, but she couldn’t. “I’m so tired of hearing you ask me if I’m okay all the time like I’m some broken thing! I’m fine!”

Waverly was taken aback by it, but she was more upset over the fact her lover was hurting than she was about her snapping back. It broke her heart even more when she saw the tears start to well up in Nicole’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, that was really uncalled for,” Nicole apologized.

Waverly set her things down and moved to embrace her girlfriend.

“It’s okay, you’re upset. You have to let it out somehow, right?”

“That doesn’t mean I have to take it out on you. You don’t deserve that.”

Nicole’s gaze dropped to the floor, but Waverly tilted her head back up so that they were looking into each other’s eyes.

“Baby, it’s okay, okay? Just don’t bottle it up next time.”

Nicole nodded and Waverly picked her things up off the bed so she could go shower.

***

Two weeks after Nicole snapped at Waverly, Waverly was starting to sleep in the guest bedroom. Nicole had been starting to push her away, but was too polite to actually tell her to leave. Sleeping together had become awkward and uncomfortable, and the arguments were becoming more frequent.

Nicole’s parents were starting to notice the tension between the two girls as well, but thought better than to get involved. They’d had experience with similar situations when they were dating back in high school, and knew that they needed to work it out on their own. It was just something else that came with being in a relationship.

“Do you want to go to McCreedy’s with me? Maybe we can talk?” Nicole offered one Saturday afternoon.

Waverly put her book down on her bed and stood to get ready, which Nicole took as a yes. She knew an Earp wouldn’t turn down a trip to the bar.

The entire walk to the saloon was tense and quiet. Even with all the stuff they wanted to say to each other, they weren’t sure where to start. They almost felt like strangers again, just meeting for the first time.

Christen was sitting over on the far right end of the bar, hiding from Nicole and Waverly’s vision when they first walked in. They didn’t see her as they went to find a booth on the left side of the bar, but she saw them. She didn’t want to talk to Nicole while Waverly was there, she was always the one to shoo her off, so she waited until Waverly left to use the restroom before making her move. She took note of the fact they didn’t look like too much of a couple anymore.

“Can we talk?” She asked. “Like, for real this time. I promise it’ll only be a few minutes.”

Nicole looked defeated, and didn’t feel like putting up much more of a fight, so she let Christen say what she had to say. She hoped it would get the woman off her ass.

“I’m really sorry about how shitty I was to you all those years ago.”

Nicole scoffed in disgust.

“You cheated on me, shitty is an understatement.”

“I know, and I spent all that time afterwards regretting it.”

“The pictures you posted with Julie the next two years said otherwise.”

There was silence between them as Nicole took a sip of the beer in her hands.

“What do you want from me?” Nicole asked, clearly annoyed.

“I still love you, Nicole. You were all I thought about when I was with Julie, and you still are all I think about.”

Nicole felt something deep in the pit of her stomach that she knew shouldn’t be there. This woman standing in front of her had cheated on her, had been such an asshole to her all the time. She had practically manipulated her into having sex once for fucks sake, and she was dating/married to someone else. That feeling shouldn’t have been there.

Christen could see it written all over Nicole’s face. She had always been able to read Nicole so well, even before they started dating. She knew that after all that time, she still had a place in Nicole’s heart, even if it took fighting with her girlfriend and getting drunk for it to come back. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the bathroom door open and close so she did the one thing she’d been waiting to do for a long time.

She grabbed Nicole’s shirt and pulled her in for a rough kiss before the redhead even had time to protest. The alcohol and the shock from the contact left her paralyzed in her seat as her girlfriend could do nothing but watch the kiss unfold. Christen left as soon as she pulled back, leaving Nicole to deal with a very heartbroken Waverly.

“You’re just like Champ,” she sobbed before grabbing her bag and storming out of the bar.

Chapter Text

5:56 PM

(1) Missed Call & Voicemail

Hey, baby, it’s me. I’m sorry about the bar. I know you’re not going to believe me, but it wasn’t what it looked like at all. Call me back so we can talk?

6:37 PM

(2) Missed Calls & Voicemails

Baby, I’m so, so sorry about what happened. Please, just call me back so I can explain? I didn’t mean to hurt you.

7:15 PM

(3) Missed Calls & Voicemails

Waverly, please let me explain? I love and miss you so much my chest physically hurts, and I don’t know what to do. I’m so sorry I hurt you like that. You deserve better.

9:24 AM

ICall-Sh0tgun: Dear cheater, I will talk to you when I want to talk to you. Until then, have fun hurting the people you love.

***

Nicole hadn’t moved from her bed in god knows how long. She just couldn’t find the motivation to. Her bed was a mess of tissues, food wrappers, and blankets that made a dump look clean. She couldn’t shake the thought of doing the same thing to Waverly that Christen did to her, putting her through so much shit only to cheat. It made her feel dirty.

Waverly was gone before Nicole could even get back to the house, and she wondered how long Waverly had been planning to leave. She didn’t blame Waverly for being ready to go if the situation called for it. They’d been fighting so much and things were starting to get uncomfortable, but it didn’t make it hurt any less.

Then there was the comment about her being like Champ that she couldn’t stop thinking about either. Champ, the idiot man child that had gotten a little too physical with Waverly, was she really like him? She really hoped not.

“Honey,” her mom must have knocked on the door, but she didn’t hear it. “How ya feeling?”

“Awful.”

“Care to explain what happened?”

Her parents didn’t know anything about what happened, other than the fact that Waverly had gone back to Canada. Their heartbroken daughter didn’t really look like she was in the mood to talk about it. They let her be until she stopped coming out of her room for a couple of days.

“Are you going to listen because Waverly doesn’t want to.”

Her mom sat down at the foot of her bed.

“Of course I’m going to listen.”

Nicole sighed and got up to go sit next to her mom.

“She caught me kissing Christen in McCreedy’s,” Nicole admitted.

“Christen Mautz? The girl that practically outed you and broke your heart?”

Nicole nodded.

“She’d been trying to talk to me ever since she saw me at the ice cream shop. She came up to me in McCreedy’s after Waverly left to go to the restroom and asked to talk. I said yes so that maybe she’d leave me alone. Instead she told me she loved me and kissed me before I could do anything about it.”

She started crying as soon as she thought of how hurt Waverly looked after Christen left.

“I should have pushed her off or told her to leave, but I just let her kiss me. You should have seen the look on Waverly’s face. She told me I was just like Champ, and I’m starting to think she’s right.”

Her mom pulled her in for a hug, kissing her on the top of her head.

“If she really loves you, she’ll come around to listening. I think the whole thing might have been a shock, then add in the fact that she’s been cheated on before, and she probably wasn’t thinking straight. It’s just going to take some time before she realizes what happened.”

“I miss her so much.”

“I know, dear, you two really loved each other.”

“We were going to get an apartment together this semester, and I ruined it. Dolls found a cheap one for us just off campus, small but exactly what we wanted. Now I don’t know who I’m gonna room with.”

This was the first time Nicole had mentioned the apartment to her parents. She had been planning to tell them just before she and Waverly started fighting, but never got around to it.

“What about one of your other friends? Surely you have more than just school and Waverly to go back to.”

Nicole thought for a moment before remembering Rosita and Jeremy from her biochemistry class had been looking for a third person to share an apartment with. They were both really nice people that Nicole had quickly become friends with during their lab sessions. It wasn’t with Waverly, but it was somewhere to stay. She’d text Rosita about it later.

“I might have an idea of where I can go.”

Her mom smiled and stood up from the bed.

“Everything will work out in the end, I’m sure of it.”

As if on cue, Nicole’s phone vibrated with a text from Waverly staring back at her on the screen.

1:43 PM

ICall-Sh0tgun: I’m ready to talk

She smiled back at her mom, and for once, since Waverly left, she started to believe that maybe everything would be okay.

Chapter Text

Wynonna pulled up to the airport an hour after Waverly texted her, just like she had promised. Something had gone wrong with Nicole, she was sure of it, so she tried to get there as soon as possible. She found Waverly in one of the giftshops impulse buying overpriced chocolates and chips, fighting back tears. Had it not been for the laws of the land, she would have slaughtered Nicole.

“Baby girl.”

Waverly turned around with her recently purchased items in hand, and immediately buried her face in Wynonna’s shoulder.

“What did the big, mean redhead do to you?” Wynonna asked, rubbing Waverly’s back.

“She cheated on me!”

The lady at the giftshop checkout counter was staring at them, and Wynonna stared right back.

“Mind your own business, lady. Her girlfriend just broke her heart, never seen that before?”

The giftshop lady quickly looked away and acted like she had been on her phone the entire time.

“Let’s get you home,” Wynonna said as she rubbed her sister’s back. “I’ll even make you some of that tea you like to drink.”

They exited the airport and found Wynonna’s truck in the parking garage. Wynonna threw Waverly’s luggage in the bed before hopping into the driver’s seat and starting the car. Waverly was already buckled in and staring out the window, despite the fact that the only thing to look at were cars. It was times like this when Wynonna wished she was better at the whole comforting thing. She’d ask Dolls for some help, but he wasn’t too great either.

“I think I’m gonna need something stronger than tea when we get back,” Waverly finally spoke. “Besides, I don’t want you wasting my good tea because you don’t know how to make it properly.”

Wynonna smiled at the joke before starting the car and pulling out of the parking garage.

“That can be arranged.”

***

Drunk and upset Waverly was a lot louder and a lot more teary than sober and upset Waverly. Wynonna had never had to be there when Waverly was drinking away her sorrows, so she wasn’t prepared for what was happening. She considered calling Chrissy and asking her for some advice, but thought better of it when she realized the blonde would probably be sleeping.

Waverly’s words were slurred so badly that Wynonna, Doc, and Dolls were having a hard time figuring out what she was rambling about. The only words they’d been able to pick out so far were ‘Nicole’ and ‘cheater’, which was information they already had. They were trying to figure out exactly what happened so they could figure out exactly how they would get revenge on Nicole.

“Baby girl, you may need to explain this later, when you’re not so upset or drunk,” Wynonna said.

More incoherent rambling from Waverly followed.

“I think it may be time to cut her off and get her to bed,” Doc suggested.

He took the bottle of whiskey from Waverly’s hands and took it to the kitchen, returning with a glass of water instead. Wynonna took it, leading Waverly upstairs to her bedroom and setting the glass on her bedside table. She helped her sister get into some pajamas and get into bed. Waverly was out before Wynonna could even leave the room.

The next morning was met with a horrible hangover and more heartbreak as Waverly woke up without Nicole by her side. For a moment she hoped it was Christmas morning again, the day after Nicole kissed her when they took one too many shots, and that everything past that was just a dream. The hangover sure felt the same, but it was too hot to be winter, meaning the BOI attack and Nicole cheating really did happen.

She groaned, pulling the blankets over her head so that the sun shining through her window wasn’t so bright. Going back to sleep wasn’t an option with the headache she had, but there was no way in hell she was getting out of bed either. Instead, she laid there and thought about what went down in McCreedy’s.

Nicole kissed a girl that had broken her heart four years ago, despite being there with her. Sure, they’d been fighting at the time, but that was no excuse. She knew she shouldn’t have trusted Christen, with her past manipulative behavior and the way she looked at Nicole. It hurt her more that Nicole cheated on her than it ever did with Champ.

She didn’t dare open the voicemails Nicole left for her, probably begging her for forgiveness that she didn’t deserve. That wasn’t something she wanted to hear while she was hungover and pissed off. She needed some time away from Nicole to get herself together before she contacted her again.

There was a knock on the door and Wynonna entered with a huge plate of pancakes that were drowning in maple syrup.

“I brought you some breakfast and painkillers,” she said quietly. She knew all too well what it was like to wake up after a night of binging.

“Put them on the table. I’ll eat in a little bit.”

Wynonna set the plate down on the table and sat next to Waverly on the side of the bed.

“I called Nicole earlier.”

Waverly sat up in bed and glared at her sister, hangover be damned.

“You what?”

“Well, I called to chew her sorry ass out, and she just took it like she knew she deserved it. I gave her a chance to explain herself, and I think you may want to call her when you feel up to it.”

That was odd. Wynonna never gave anybody a chance to explain themselves for something bad they’ve done.

“I’ll do it later when I’m not still pissed at her.”

***

Waverly did a lot of thinking over the next week before she picked up the phone to call Nicole. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but she did what she thought would be best for the both of them.

“I think we should take a break.”

Nicole’s heart sunk into her stomach and tears started to fall again. She thought that explaining everything would make things better, that she could make things right.

“W-why?”

“Look, Nicole, the kiss wasn’t your fault.” Nicole could tell Waverly was holding back her own tears. “Christen was being manipulative the entire time, I know that now, but it still hurt and we were still fighting. I think we both just need some time away from each other to find ourselves again.”

Hearing Waverly say it, it made sense. Waverly was practically a stranger to her at this point, so time apart may not be the worst idea in the world. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?

“I don’t think we should get that apartment together either. Not yet, at least.”

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s fine.”

“I love you, Nicole.”

“I love you too, Waverly.”

There was a click on the other end before the line went dead, leaving Nicole to think about what just happened.

Chapter Text

The first week of their break, Nicole and Waverly didn’t talk to each other at all. Their phones sat on standby in hopes that one of them would text the other, but they were at a loss for words. Every time one went to say something, they would chicken out in fear that the other wasn’t ready to talk yet.

“Would you just send her a fucking text already?” Wynonna finally said one day. She was going to go bring lunch to Dolls when she caught her sister trying to watch TV in the living room.

Waverly had been staring at her phone all morning looking like she was going to send a text, then closing it when she couldn’t think of anything to say.

“I don’t know what to say to her. It’s been radio silence for over a week now, and I don’t want to text her too early.”

“How about a simple ‘hi how ya doin’’ like most people start with?”

Waverly fidgeted with the phone in her hands.

“I guess that makes sense but-”

“Just text her, please, before you go crazy, before I go crazy watching you go crazy.”

With that, Wynonna was gone. The phone felt heavy in her hands as she took in Wynonna’s advice. She never thought she’d miss talking to Nicole so much.

***

Nicole was half asleep when her phone vibrated, having just woken up from another long night of little sleep (her pillow’s cuddling skills were nowhere near as good as Waverly’s). At first, she thought it was just another stupid notification from one of the many games she’d downloaded to keep her mind busy, until she saw the green message icon. She scrambled to grab her phone to see what Waverly sent her after over a week of silence. Even such a simple message made her smile.

12:09 PM

ICall-Sh0tgun: Hey

Haught_Shit: Hey!

ICall-Sh0tgun: What’s up?

The conversation was nothing more than one that would be held between normal friends, but it was a start. They talked about their weeks without each other, both avoiding just how much they missed the other, and what they were planning for the rest of the summer. Nicole learned that Waverly was going to be rooming with Chrissy and Steph for the upcoming year, and she told Waverly who she was staying with. It was almost weird to think they wouldn’t be rooming together again after two years.

***

By the time school came back around, Nicole and Waverly had become good friends again. They’d talked on a daily basis after Waverly finally broke the ice between them, and neither of them really hated being just being friends. They just wished they could go back to being more.

Waverly still didn’t like to wear the wedding band, though, because it reminded her of what they used to be, so she usually took it off before bed. It made sleeping without Nicole just a little bit easier.

She was both surprised and relieved that Steph hadn’t brought up the fact that she wasn’t rooming with Nicole. Steph had known about the marriage, just not the true meaning behind it. Chrissy had been the first person Waverly called after the bar incident with Nicole, so she had the decency not to bring it up. They hoped they never had to bring it up with Steph.

Nicole, on the other hand, had no such luck. Jeremy was a sweet kid, and Nicole didn’t usually mind him, but he just didn’t know when to stop talking. He almost reminded her of Waverly in the sense that they both rambled when they got nervous. It wasn’t necessarily his fault for bringing up the questions, he was just a curious person who lacked a filter.

“So, why aren’t you rooming with your wife?” He asked while they were bringing her boxes up to the apartment.

Nicole stopped in her tracks, suddenly remembering the fact that she and Waverly had been more than just girlfriends.

“Oh, uh, we got into a little bit of a fight and I may or may not have kissed another woman.

She whispered the last part in hopes that Jeremy wouldn’t hear.

“Shit, I should have known. I’m sorry.”

Nicole shrugged and continued walking up the stairs again.

“It’s okay, we talked everything out and we’re still pretty good friends.”

“That’s good at least. Are you going to get a divorce?”

Jeremy and Rosita were two other people that only knew that Waverly and Nicole were married with no knowledge of the true meaning behind it. She hadn’t actually put much thought into what to tell them about their break, mainly because she wasn’t expecting to be asked about a divorce.

“Not until we graduate, at least. We get pretty decent benefits, and we don’t hate each other so it’s not all that bad. It would cost more than it’s worth to get a divorce now, anyway.”

He seemed to accept that answer and didn’t ask anymore questions after that.

***

Two weeks into the fall semester, Nicole was walking past the café on her way back to the apartment when she heard a rustling noise by the café dumpster. Curiosity got the best of her, and she went to see what it was.

She approached the dumpster with caution before peeking around to find a small ball of golden fur sticking out of a large pickle jar. The animal removed its head from the jar upon hearing Nicole approach, and she found herself face to face with a golden retriever puppy.

“Pickles and puppies, my favorite,” Nicole muttered sarcastically to herself. She was never a big fan of the vinegary snack or dogs of any kind.

The puppy trotted over to her and jumped up against her leg, just looking for attention. Nicole hoped the thing was just lost and hadn’t been abandoned. She turned to walk back around the building and see if someone was looking for the puppy, only to turn around and see that it was following her. Nicole looked back at it before walking slightly further away from the building. It followed after her with its tongue hanging from its mouth.

Nicole sighed, realizing that the puppy’s want of attention probably meant that it had been abandoned. She didn’t like dogs, but she wasn’t a total savage either, so she called the puppy over to her and picked it up. The puppy snuggled up into her and it almost reminded Nicole of Waverly.

“Don’t get too attached to me, I’m putting up signs for you in the morning.”

The puppy just huffed before falling asleep in the redhead’s arms.

Chapter Text

Just as she said she would, Nicole put up found dog posters around campus and the areas surrounding it the next morning with the help of Rosita. Jeremy was back at the apartment working on his research project while playing with Pickles. Nicole and Rosita had insisted that he not name the puppy, so he wouldn’t become attached to it, but he named it anyway.

In the sort amount of time that Pickles had been living at the apartment, he had already chewed up Nicole’s favorite pair of Vans and peed on her bed. It wasn’t helping lessen her dislike of dogs at all.

“Are you sure the owner is going to claim this puppy? Clearly, they didn’t want it the first time around,” Rosita mentioned. She held out a piece of tape for Nicole to use for one of the blue posters.

“I’m hoping that he just ran off and his owner is looking for him as we speak,” Nicole responded.

“You really don’t like him do you?”

“Not in the slightest.”

They walked down the sidewalk to the café and took the last poster inside to ask if they could put it on the store window.

“He’s really not that bad of a dog, Nicole. I think he’s actually pretty cute.”

“Yeah, well, it wasn’t your shoes he chewed up or your bed that he peed on, so you can’t say that for sure.”

Rosita pulled the piece of tape Nicole was requesting away from her.

“Pickles is just a puppy, he’s not going to be trained right away. Did Calamity Jane not tear up the curtains and use her litterbox all the time when she was a kitten?”

When Nicole looked down at the floor and mumbled a ‘no’ under hear breath, Rosita handed her the tape.

“That’s what I thought.”

Nicole still didn’t like dogs.

***

There was a knock on the apartment door about two days after the posters were put up, and Nicole was the only one in the apartment. Rosita had said something about getting a call about someone coming to pick the puppy up before she left to go to class. Nicole couldn’t wait to get the little shit out of the apartment.

She picked up the little puppy that was barking at door before putting on her best fake smile and opening the door. Months of preparation couldn’t have prepared her for what happened next.

“Waves?”

They hadn’t seen each other in person since Waverly walked out of the bar back in South Carolina. Snapchat and Instagram didn’t do Waverly’s true beauty justice, and Nicole wasn’t ready for it.

She was wearing a red and black plaid button up with a pair of ripped jeans and boots. Her hair was put to the side in a fishtail braid and one of Nicole’s borrowed (stolen) snapbacks sat backwards on her head. Nicole also noticed her wedding band was missing, but she wasn’t going to question it just yet.

“Nicole? I didn’t know you lived here.”

“Y-yeah, I moved in here a week before school started.”

They sat there in silence until Pickles tried to wiggle out of Nicole’s arms to get to Waverly.

“He’s so cute!” Waverly exclaimed. “Can I take him?”

Nicole nodded and handed the energetic puppy over to the woman standing outside.

“I’m guessing you’re the one coming to claim this little monster?”

“I talked to Chrissy and Steph about it because I’ve always wanted a golden retriever, so we agreed to get him.”

Nicole thought she was going to pass out at the sight of Waverly looking lovingly at the puppy. She knew Pickles would be in good hands with Waverly.

“You can come in if you want,” Nicole offered, moving out of the doorway to reveal the inside apartment. Waverly took the offer and entered the living space. “Sorry it’s so messy in here, Jeremy is in the middle of a research project and told us not to touch anything.”

“Don’t worry, it feels like I’m back home with Wynonna again.”

The pair laughed and Waverly sat down cross-legged on the ground to put Pickles in her lap.

“Does this little guy have a name?”

“I told Jeremy not to name him in case he got too attached, but I found him snooping around inside a pickle jar. He decided Pickles was a good name, but I just call him little monster.”

Waverly smiled down at the puppy in her lap, scratching behind his ears. If pure sunshine could live, Nicole was pretty sure it would be in the form of Waverly and that damn puppy. It almost made her actually start to like the dog. Almost.

“Do you have any toys for him?”

Nicole left the room and came back with one of her shoes that Pickles had chewed up earlier. Waverly looked at it with a confused expression and Nicole just shrugged it off, handing the shoe to her friend.

“He chewed them up the first night he was here, so I figured he could just have at it.”

Pickles jumped out of Waverly’s lap and started wagging his tail when he saw the shoe in her hand.

***

Rosita and Jeremy didn’t expect to come back to the apartment after class to find Nicole on the floor playing with Pickles while Waverly sat nearby. Rosita arched an eyebrow at Nicole when the women looked over to the open door.

“Should we come back later or?” Jeremy asked, thinking that maybe the couple had finally made up.

“No, it’s fine,” Waverly said. She stood up and bent down to get Pickles. “I should get this little guy home anyway.”

Nicole helped her put all of Pickle’s things into a bag and walked her to the door.

“So, dinner on Saturday?” Nicole asked.

Waverly’s smile made Nicole’s heart melt.

“Pick me up at seven.”

The tiny brunette turned around and left with the puppy and the bags, leaving Nicole staring after her. She closed the door and found Rosita and Jeremy standing to the side staring at her.

“I thought you didn’t like Pickles,” Rosita stated.

Nicole opened and closed her mouth a few times before responding.

“Well I do now.”

She left the room and Jeremy sighed.

"She better bring him back to visit."

Chapter Text

“Nicole, no.”

“Nicole, yes!”

All you can eat pancakes were back at Shorty’s for the month of September, and Nicole was planning on taking full advantage of them. She’d have to thank Waverly for choosing to eat there when they got back to campus.

“The last time Shorty’s had all you can eat pancakes, you had to lay down for an hour because you felt so sick.”

Waverly wasn’t wrong. Shorty’s had all you can eat pancakes all day on select months out off the year, and Nicole liked to eat her money’s worth. Two dollars for ten pancakes, who could pass that up? She’d have to thank Waverly for picking Shorty’s for their date location.

“Sure I was sick, but I also didn’t have to pay for lunch because I was so full.”

Waverly rolled her eyes. There really was no stopping her friend from consuming an assload of pancakes, even when they were dating. She was sure Nicole only did it when they were dating so Waverly would cuddle her and give her belly rubs afterwards like a puppy.

They ordered their food and thought to themselves for a moment before acknowledging what had happened nearly two months ago. When Waverly had called Nicole after the Christen incident (she’d call it the bar incident but there were as many of those as there were Treaties of Paris), they’d talked about what really happened that day. The explanation was slightly rushed since Nicole was still trying to get Waverly back, and they decided they’d talk about it over dinner.

Nicole started first, deciding it’d be a good idea to get everything out before her pancakes came.

“I knew, just before we entered the bar, that something felt wrong. It felt like something was off, and I should have just turned right around and taken you somewhere else. She was at the table talking to me before you even walked into the bathroom, so I talked to her to get her off my back. She told me she still loved me, and, I don’t know if it’s because we were fighting or what, but I could feel those old feelings still there. You had been the only thing helping me get over her, and at the time I didn’t feel like I had you.”

Waverly nodded for Nicole to continue.

“She saw it on my face too. She knew that she had wormed her way into my heart and made it hard to forget what it was she had. Shortly after, she kissed me without warning. I could have pushed her off, I should have pushed her off, but I was too shocked to even react. Seeing your face before you bolted out of the bar hurt so much, and all I could think after you told me I was like Champ was that you were right. In that moment, I was so scared I had lost you forever, and I wouldn’t have even blamed you. You deserve someone who’s going to stay loyal to you, someone who’s just as kind and loving as you are. In that moment, I was none of those things.”

There was an air between them as Waverly sat there, listening intently, that made them feel those same butterflies they felt that night at The Revenant. They’d missed each other a lot in the time they were apart, and they started to think it might be time to end the break soon. It was weird not to call each other baby or sweetheart, or any of the endearing pet names.

“I have to admit that I did feel incredibly betrayed when I saw you kissing Christen,” Waverly started. “I thought that after we talked in the bar everything would be okay, but then when I came back and saw her kissing you, I felt like I wasn’t good enough for anybody. My mother left, the only other person I ever dated cheated on me and treated me like shit, and then I saw the only person I’ve ever loved kissing another girl.”

Nicole felt so ashamed of herself for making Waverly feel that way.

“I had no right to say you were just like Champ, though. Do you know why?”

Nicole’s gaze lifted from the table and she looked the woman sitting across from her in the eyes.

“Champ never told me I was beautiful unless he wanted sex. Champ never told me he liked or loved me. He rarely took me out on dates and would never cuddle me. Anytime he fucked up, he never made an effort to make up for it. He wouldn’t even care if I broke up with him, but you, Nicole? You tell me I’m beautiful, and adorable, and cute, and pretty, no matter what, and I believe it every single time. You take me on dates and little adventures, and you’re the best cuddler I’ve ever met. Something happened that made it look like you fucked up, and you did your best to get me back.”

“I have never loved anyone as much as I love you,” Nicole admitted.

“I love you too.”

The couple smiled at each other lovingly before their waitress came with their food.

“These pancakes were such a good idea, Waves, thanks for picking Shorty’s!”

***

“Those pancakes were an awful idea. Why did you let me eat that many?”

Nicole and Waverly were back in Waverly’s dorm room sitting together on the couch. Nicole was leaning back against Waverly’s chest while Waverly gave her belly rubs like she always did when Nicole had stomach aches. Chrissy and Steph had gone out to dinner themselves, and weren’t planning on coming back anytime soon, so they had the dorm to themselves.

“I was going to stop you, but you told me not to.”

The redhead groaned and buried her face in Waverly’s shoulder. Pickles sat nearby and watched the two interact.

“Don’t ever let me go to Shorty’s during all you can eat pancake month ever again.”

“Okay, sweetie, I won’t.”

***

Chrissy and Steph came home around midnight that night to find Nicole and Waverly fast asleep together on the couch. The credits of a movie were rolling up the screen of the TV and Pickles had situated himself on Nicole’s lap.

“They seem to be doing better,” Steph whispered to Chrissy.

“Yeah, I think they’ll be okay.”

Chapter Text

At the end of the spring semester, Nicole and Waverly found themselves sitting on the couch in Waverly’s dorm. Pickles was sitting on the floor by the couch chewing on the shoe Nicole had given him. He’d gotten pretty big in the past eight months, too big to be on the couch while Nicole and Waverly were cuddling (it usually didn’t stop him). Nicole was mindlessly petting him while she repeatedly kissed Waverly’s neck, head, and shoulder. She truly loved that woman.

“Are you ready to graduate?” Nicole asked her girlfriend.

“God, yes,” Waverly laughed. “Senior year is going to be hell, but I’m ready to be done.”

They sat in silence while Nicole shifted around on the couch. Waverly groaned in protest, having just gotten comfortable in the position they were in.

“Why do you always do that?” she whined. “I just got comfortable.”

“For the same reason you always hog the blankets, despite sleeping with four of them.”

“Whatever, pillow princess.”

Nicole gasped and put a hand to her chest in mock offense.

“I am not a pillow princess. If anything, you’d be the pillow princess because I’m always the one between your-”

“Not that kind of pillow princess, you dork.”

The couple laughed and Waverly turned around to kiss the redhead. Nicole pulled her girlfriend closer reveling in her warmth.

“I love you so much, you know that, right?”

Waverly looked up at Nicole and smiled, kissing her again.

“I know, and I love you too.”

She shifted around so that she was straddling Nicole’s hips, pulling her up by her tie so that their foreheads were touching. They were about to start making out until Pickles decided to wriggle his way into the cuddle party.

“You and Wynonna will get along so well,” Waverly mumbled, scratching between his ears.

“I told you, dogs are the worst.”

Waverly stopped petting the dog and narrowed her eyes at Nicole.

“Calamity Jane interrupted us three times in the same day because someone forgot to close the door. Don’t tell me dogs are the worst.”

Pickles started to whine and nudge his head against Waverly’s hand, begging for more attention. Nicole saw the wedding band on Waverly’s hand and got an idea, something she’d been thinking about doing for a few days now.

“Give me your ring,” Nicole stated flatly. She had a neutral expression on her face that worried Waverly.

“What?”

Nicole held her hand out.

“Give me your ring.”

Waverly skeptically looked at Nicole, but took her wedding band off her finger and handed it to Nicole.

“Can you get off of me for a second?”

Waverly backed up off of Nicole, picking up Pickles and taking him with her. Nicole stood up off the couch and rolled the ring around between her index finger and thumb.

“Waverly Earp, in the three years I’ve known you, you’ve been one of the biggest balls of sunshine I’ve ever met. I asked you to marry me for financial aid, and it turned into so much more. You’re sweet, kind, and adorable as hell. I couldn’t see myself with anyone else. Fuck, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.” Nicole got down on one knee and held the ring out to Waverly. “Will you marry me? Like, officially?”

Nicole didn’t think Waverly could smile any wider, but she was easily proven wrong throughout the entire speech. She couldn’t form words, just nodded her head yes.

“Aren’t we already married officially?” Waverly joked. She was clearly holding back tears.

“Yeah, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

Waverly leaned over Pickles and kissed Nicole roughly.

“We always do.”

***

9:04 PM

ICall-Sh0tgun: [ringonhand.jpeg]

ICall-Sh0tgun: Nicole proposed!

ALLtheAlcohol: so

ICall-Sh0tgun: Wynonna, we’re getting married!

ALLtheAlcohol: ur already married

ALLtheAlcohol: r u drunk waves

ICall-Sh0tgun: No, my girlfriend just proposed to me, I’m really happy!

ALLtheAlcohol: yeah i know ur really gay but little nikki there is ur wife already

“Did she just call me Little Nikki?”

Nicole and Waverly had decided to take their cuddle party to Waverly’s bed. They were spooning while Waverly texted her clueless sister about their ‘engagement’.

“She’s always called you that, you just didn’t know it.”

Nicole made a note to confront the oldest Earp about it later.

“So, how is this wedding thing going to work?” Nicole asked. “We’re already married and stuff, we just need to have a wedding.”

Waverly put her phone down on the table next to her bed and turned around so she was facing Nicole. She intertwined her fingers with Nicole’s and nuzzled her face into the redhead’s neck. They would have to explain their engagement to Wynonna in person when they left after finals.

“We can talk about that in the morning, but I have a nine o’ clock final tomorrow. Can we get some sleep?”

Nicole nodded and kissed the top of her fiancée’s head, but she wouldn’t be able to sleep anytime soon. She was going to be with the love of her life forever.

Chapter Text

The wedding was planned to take place in the spring, right after their senior year of college. It took a lot of talking and disagreements, but they finally decided on a small venue in the woods that they liked. They decided the day after Nicole proposed for the second time that they didn’t want the huge, extravagant wedding that most people dreamed of. The only people they really wanted to come were their family and only a few friends.

Doc had taken it upon himself to play the priest and be the one to actually “marry” the couple. With the help of Wynonna, he found plenty of videos on the internet to help him figure out what to do. He even made Wynonna and Dolls help him practice several times beforehand.

“Those two ladies deserve to have the best wedding possible,” he claimed.

“I agree, but do we really have to keep doing this?” Dolls asked.

Wynonna was standing across from him, holding his hands, while Doc stood behind them holding a bible. They’d been practicing for nearly three hours.

“Well, do you not want practice for your own wedding?”

Wynonna looked at Dolls, confused. Dolls just smiled back, but gave Doc a death glare when Wynonna turned to talk to Doc.

“We’re not engaged?” Wynonna questioned.

Doc did his best not to give away the big secret he was hiding for one of his best friends.

“My apologies, I just assumed that Dolls had proposed since you’ve been wearing that ring on your finger.”

There was silence throughout the household as Wynonna looked back and forth between the two very nervous looking men she was with.

“It’s not even on my ring finger, Doc, nor does it look like an engagement ring.”

More silence followed Wynonna’s statement, but she let it slide. It didn’t change the fact that she suspected she would be getting a surprise from Dolls soon.

***

“Do you want a tux or a dress?” Waverly asked as she scrolled through possible dress options for herself online.

“Which one would you prefer I wear?”

Waverly turned around in the office chair to find Nicole concentrated on picking out a cake.

“I prefer you wear what you’d be the most comfortable in.”

Nicole looked up from the dozens of cake options that sat in front of her.

“A tux then.”

The brunette smiled and kissed her fiancée on the cheek.

“That’s what I thought. Any progress on picking out the cake?”

In the two hours that Nicole had been looking at the cake options, she had yet to narrow it down at all. They were only expecting about twenty people to be there, so they were going for a two-tier cake. As far as the flavors went, they settled for a simple vanilla cake, but they still had yet to settle on how it would be decorated. Waverly told Nicole that she could narrow down the cake options while Waverly picked possible tux/dress or dress/dress combinations.

“If I’d known how hard this was going to be, I would have made you pick out the cake.”

Waverly scanned the array of cakes before seeing one that caught her eye. She pointed to a circular cake covered in white icing with lavender and purple flowers strategically placed around it. The colors reminded her of one special flannel shirt of Nicole’s.

“What about that one?”

Nicole looked at the cake her fiancée was pointing to and smiled before looking back to the brunette standing beside her.

“Perfect.”

***

4:22 PM

ALLtheAlcohol: haught mess where are u

ALLtheAlcohol: u better not be late for ur own wedding

ALLtheAlcohol: waves is gonna kill u

Nicole was starting to get nervous as she looked at the texts Wynonna was sending her. It may have been her fault for not practicing tying a bowtie beforehand, but it wasn’t her fault for getting lost on the way to the wedding spot. She’d been halfway across town in the wrong direction before she realized that she had the wrong address. Now, she was driving well over the speed limit and praying that she didn’t get pulled over, cursing the dumbass who started the ‘it’s bad luck to look at the bride before a wedding’ superstition.

She pulled up to the venue parking lot with two minutes to spare and found Wynonna pacing back and forth in the parking lot. Nicole pulled down the visor in her car and opened the mirror so she could do one last check on her bowtie before getting out of the car.

“You sure do like to cut it close, don’t you Haught?”

“Life would be boring if I didn’t.”

Wynonna did a once over of the navy blue tuxedo her friend was wearing and nodded.

“Wave really does love to see you in blue, doesn’t she.”

Before Nicole could respond, Wynonna grabbed her by the arm and dragged her to the alter. Doc was the only one standing on the alter, all dressed up in his priest outfit he found online, specifically for the wedding. Everyone had tried to tell him that he could just wear a tuxedo like everyone else, but he insisted he make it as real as possible.

Music started not long after Nicole made it up to the alter and everyone stood to look at the bride coming down the aisle on the arm of Dolls. Waverly looked so beautiful in the simple white dress with navy blue accents that Nicole almost forgot to breathe. They both knew they were already married, but Nicole couldn’t help the tears of joy that slipped through upon seeing the woman of her dreams walking down the aisle.

Dolls handed Waverly off to Nicole, who helped her wife up onto the platform she was standing on. They held each other’s hands and looked into each other’s eyes with huge smiles on their faces. As Doc opened the book in his hands to the proper page, Nicole pressed her forehead to Waverly’s and whispered three words she’d been wanting to say since she met Waverly.

“Let’s get married.”