(I’ve decided that Wynonna needs to introduce Doc to the work of Johnny Cash. I was playing the “newer” Cash as I wrote this, and it just fit beautifully. “He stopped loving her today” is a touching song so matter what. <3 )
They needed to talk. They both knew it, but it’s hard to make time when there’s a veritable gaggle of demons knocking on your door. Finally, they had found a quiet moment. Waverly had gone to a movie with Nicole. The redhead was a real Spiderman fan. Who knew, right?
Wynonna was reclining as best she could in a kitchen chair. There were new pressure points to get used to, and she was confident they’d have to move to the couch before too long. Doc stood, looking down on her and her suddenly swollen belly with shifting waves of affection and disbelief. It was during a swell of the latter that he finally spoke.
“Forgive me for askin’ this, but as we have no promises of exclusivity, I feel that I...” Doc had the decency to look at least a little embarrassed.
“Yes, it’s yours!” Wynonna wanted to throw something at him, but all she had within reach was a sprinkle donut, and one does not waste the last donut.
Doc lifted his hands in surrender. His newly-acquired hat slid down over his forehead as he leaned back against the wall. His non-threatening stance did nothing to placate his conversation partner.
“Just because you’ve spelunked every willing crazy cave you’ve met for the past 200 years, doesn’t mean everyone feels the same urge to sow their wild oats.”
Doc opened his mouth to retort, or at least his mustache lifted, so Wynonna assumed he had something to say, but she was in no mood to hear it.
“Yes, I know, you had a non-optional spout of witch-induced-celibacy for a while there, but while you may be making up for lost time, I, on the other hand, have been far too busy hunting revenants and killing demons to get a lot of sleepin’ around done, despite what the people in this town may think.”
Doc wisely stayed silent. He simply crossed his arms and waited.
“And yes, I also know that I am not a saint, or a nun, or whatever, but I’m also not an Earp gone Wild, so I don’t think I’ll be judged by you, thank you very much!.”
Sometime in her ranting, that lone donut had made it into her hand and now she took a large, triumphant bite. The kitchen of the homestead was quiet as she chewed. Doc watched another large bite disappear into her mouth before he cleared his throat. He looked at her from under the brim of his hat.
“Yes.” She said around a mouthful of sugared dough. “You may speak now.”
The cowboy inclined his head in a show of gratitude before he began.
“First, let it be remembered that I did in fact seek your forgiveness before even airing th’ thought,“ that I then did not even exactly share, he added silently. “Also, as someone who has enjoyed the company of a number of passionate and liberated individuals in my lifetime, I am in no position to judge someone for enjoying activities of the carnal nature, especially bein’ that to do such would be the height of hypocrisy.” His mouth lifted in a little smile, though whether it was born from fond memories or present amusement, who could tell. “So again, I ask for your forgiveness, because despite of my history of shared pleasure in the human condition, this is not a position I have found myself in prior to the present moment.”
Wynonna wasn’t sure how that made her feel, but it was useful information all the same. She studied the pastry in her hand, as though the secrets of communication lay between the sprinkles.
“Yea, well, ditto.” She knew Doc would never judge her. She didn’t judge him for his indiscretions, or whatever polite people call screwing around… So why did she accuse him of passing judgement? Was this hormones? Oh good. So she could look forward to being even less irrational when running on 32 hours of no sleep and no caffeine and demons breathing down her neck. Just effing awesome. “Besides, if you really want to be sure we could just get a DNA test when the kid gets here.”
“D.N.A. test? What ‘xactly would we be testin’?”
“You know, a blood test to prove paternity.”
“Is that even possible?”
Wynonna was surprised how often she forgot how little Doc understood of the modern era. Now that he could drive and worked at the bar, well, he could positively blend. Sometimes she played a game with herself called “Hillbilly or Hipster”. Modern fashions were weird enough that it was easy for this 1850s cowboy to fit right in, even if Purgatory hadn’t been a tourist Destination for Old West fanatics and ironic roadtrippers.
“Yes. Science can look at stuff in our blood and prove if we are or are not related to another person.” She watched Doc’s eyes widen. He removed his hat and ran his hands over his hair. Wynonna loved the way it looked when it tucked behind his ears like that. Her hormones decided to pipe up again at that moment, and she firmly squashed that particular reaction. Not the time or the place. She glanced around the kitchen. Well, Waverly was still out with Nicole and the movie had probably just started, so, maybe the time, maybe the place? She stuffed the last bite of donut in her mouth to refocus her brain. Sugar was good for that, right?
“Well, that would have solved quite a dispute or two in my day.” Doc held his hat in his fingers, running the too-new brim through them. It was a good hat, but it still needed some breaking in.
“But not one of yours?” Wynonna tilted her head.
“No, by the Grace, I suppose.” He smiled that long-ago smile again and hung the hat on the post of a chair. “As I said, I’ve never found myself in the family way, you may remember the nature of my business endeavors after dentis’ry, and more than one of my... employees found herself countin’ back the days to at least give a fella an educated guess.”
Wynonna found herself nodding. Hazard of the job, really. But how happy would those working girls have been to have the pill, or even Plan B, let alone other, more in-patient-type options. She silently thanked the gods of modernity for being born in the 20th century.
“How’d you avoid that, then? Just really good at the rhythm method?”
“Well, unlike a chef or barkeep, when one’s business is the act of love, it’s often frowned upon to partake in the goods yourself.” He smiled. “At least, not often.”
“Huh. Don’t smoke your own stash, eh?”
“I suppose.” His drawl made his words slow and soothing. Wynonna licked her lips, in case some wayward sprinkle had tried to escape. Doc saw the movement, and his copious facial hair twitched. He stood, moved to the fridge, and pulled out a pitcher of cool water. Next he grabbed two glasses from the overhead cabinet and set them down on the little kitchen table. The first glass he poured and set down in front of Wynonna. Only then did he pour one for himself and return to his seat.
“Thanks.” The water was cool and refreshing, but damn did she miss coffee. This cold-turkey shit was for the birds. She hadn’t been straight edge since she was 13, and had no intention to be a teetotaler again before this damn kid welcomed itself in.
“There’s whiskey in the cupboard if you want.” Wynonna played with the condensation on the glass. She wasn’t sure which one she missed more - caffeine or alcohol. Here she was, smuggling a basketball and unable to medicate either the tiredness that she almost always felt, or the stress that she definitely always felt. Well, maybe almost always too. In fact, since she and Doc had been in her kitchen, chatting about their slutty pasts and paternity drama, she hadn’t felt nearly as stressed as she had the rest of the day leading up to this conversation. She looked up at her immortal cowboy. A few droplets of water hung from his stache, looking like gems in the light of the setting sun. She couldn’t help but smile.
“Waverly has informed me in no uncertain terms that you are not to partake in any sort of fermentation for the duration of your pregnancy and for a good while thereafter.”
“What?” Her face screwed up in confusion. “I know that. I’m not looking to mess this kid up any more than it will be since it’s you know, mine, but I’m not drinking.”
“I didn’t mean to say that you were.”
“Then why aren’t you?”
“Well, it just doesn’t seem fair?”
“Being as I am half responsible for the condition in which we find ourselves, I feel it would be impolite of me to partake of one of your favorite things that you are no longer able to enjoy for the foreseeable future.” Doc tilted the water glass towards her in a toast.
Wynonna just blinked. If there was one thing Doc loved more than sex, it might just be drinking. Or shooting. Or gambling. Hell, this man was good at vices.
“You don’ have to... “ what, abstain? Be nice?
“Well, at least in front of you.” The old rascal actually winked at her. Wynonna’s eye narrowed in flustered amusement.
“And a fine one, I’m told.” He raised the glass again and took a long, self-satisfied drink from it.
Her hormones volunteered their opinion again. She firmly tamped them down. Again. This was going well. Oddly well. She expected some yelling, lots of cursing, and maybe more than a little crying, but so far the drama had been minimal. Sure, she was comfortable with Doc in a way she’d never really felt with anyone else, but, well, wasn’t this supposed to be difficult and awkward and wait, what was he doing now?
Doc had slid his chair around to face her while Wynonna had been musing on their conversation. He reached down and lifted one booted foot. The Earp Heir tilted her chin up, wondering what was happening as Doc slid off her boot and sock.
“Waverly also told me that you were sure to feel sore and tired in ways that were new and perhaps unsettlin’.” His rough, strong hands pulled her heel into his lap and pressed into the muscles of her foot.
“What? Why is my sister…” Wynonna’s words trailed off as the pleasure of the massage rolled up her leg. “You don’t have to do everything Waverly say…” She actually moaned when his thumb shifted to the ball of her foot. “Holy shit. I take it back. You have to do this. All the time.” Her head lolled back as she sank into his ministrations. She hummed and whimpered throughout the foot rub, her eyes closed and hair falling in messy waves.
Doc couldn’t help but be proud of himself. Waverly had sat him down and thrown more information at him than any doctor or midwife of his day would have been proud to know.
The brilliant little sister made a point of explaining physical symptoms and reminded them both how proud and stubborn their beloved Wynonna could be when she put her mind to it. Add that to her own ignorance of what was happening to her body, and it would be a demon-free day in Purgatory before Wynonna would ask for help. When he finished with her right foot, Doc placed it gently on the ground and repeated the entire process on her left.
Wynonna didn’t even have the brainspace to be concerned about sweatfunk or her chipped toenail paint. This pleasure was about as close to an orgasm as she’d had since the last time this wonderful, talented man had touched her. She hadn’t realized how sore her feet actually were. Those boots were already snug before this uterine stow-away made her go up a shoe size overnight. Well, not quite overnight, really, but she was still a little fuzzy on how Hypnos’ magics worked. Her head rested on the back of the chair, but her ass was precariously close to the edge, and falling asleep fast.
She opened her eyes just a slit. She honestly wasn’t sure how long they’d been closed, but it couldn’t have been that long, could it? Hell, when was the last time she had a massage? When was the last time she trusted someone enough to let them touch her like that. Going to a stranger from the phonebook was just, questionable, at best, and very few hookups or boyfriends did much more than a cursory squeeze and scratch before trying to turn the sexy dial up to 11…
Dammit. Those same fucking hormones, literally? Shut up brain, were chiming in again. The way he was looking at her. His eyes flicked from his work on her swollen foot, up to the swell of her belly and back again. She tried to study his face, tried to gage his real feelings. Surely he’d be terrified. Almost 200 years of living as a confirmed, if well-bound, bachelor, and here he was being thrown into fatherhood despite her assertion that she was protected. Had she failed them somehow? She always took the pill on time unless she was knee deep in demon shit. She’d gone over the events leading up to and surrounding their various liaisons a dozen times at least. And those were damn good liaisons, to be sure. No, hormones. No… Damn. Derailed her train of thought. But yea, she was sure upon sure that she’d be careful. This was just a god-damned miracle, wasn’t it?
But well, that’s how he was looking at her… Doc’s eyes were soft. They crinkled in the corners in way that made her sure he was smiling under that magnificent mustache. Here she was, half asleep, half horny, while a gorgeous hunk of living history just happened to be rubbing weeks of tension out of her size gross-and-a-half feet, all without drinking, and without having been asked. As far as shitty surprises went, this one seemed to have some perks. Tears welled up in her eyes. Oh for fucks sake. We’ve gone from pissed off, around horny several times, and onto crying, all within… Wynonna looked at the clock. Half an hour?! Her head fell back in exasperation. This wild ride was going to get real old real quick…
Doc looked up at the sudden movement of Wynonna’s head lolling back against the chair.
“Too much?” He asked, easing his pressure off her heel.
“No, no not at all.” Irony dripped out of her tone. Doc blinked a bit, then returned to his work. Far be it from him to every truly understand any woman, let alone an Earp, but she seemed to be enjoying herself enough that he didn’t think he needed to stop. His hands slid up to her calf and gently seized the muscle there. Another moan escaped Wynonna’s lips, and he couldn’t help but smile again. It was very similar to her other happy noises, those that still flitted through his dreams at night like fireflies, causing him to wake uncomfortable and lonely for something that wasn’t even really his. Or at least, it hadn’t been. Wasn’t that why they were here now? They were supposed to be talking. Not that he minded the self-imposed distraction, but he was in fact keeping them from their intended task as she seemed to be incapable of speech while his hands were on her.
His hands on her. Again, Wynonna moaned, and again, Doc remembered another time her head was back, her throat long and white, her hair rich and flowing, and her voice moaning in such a wanton way that she could have made any man lose himself in her bliss. Any man who liked women would have been grateful to have a night with Miss Wynonna Earp. And he was the lucky one. The one she’d chosen, the only one, though there was definitely another contender. Doc shook his head. Dolls was a sobering thought, and just the kind of distraction he needed to regain his focus. He was not here to seduce the heir. They were meant to talk and come to some terms of understanding.
Perhaps he’d delayed long enough, however pure his intentions may have been.
“Wynonna.” His voice was as soft as a cigarillo-smoking cowpoke’s could be.
“My ass is asleep.”
“My ass.” Wynonna pulled her leg away reluctantly and placed it on the floor. Her bare feet were cold on the tile, but thank goodness Waverly kept such a clean house. “It fell asleep a while ago, but I didn’t want to interrupt that magic you were working on my feet.”
“Well, I am glad you enjoyed it.” Doc smiled again and stood. “I was concerned I’d lost my touch, seeing as it’s been awhile since I’ve had someone to pamper thusly.”
“Hmm.” Earp rolled her neck and fluffed her hair. “If there’s one thing I doubt you could lose, Doc, it’s your touch.”
A blush rolled over her face when she heard what her mouth had just said. She looked up at Doc, who was most definitely not blushing. He just looked pleased as punch. Before he could say something that would get her hormones riled up again, Wynonna stuck a hand in the air.
“Help me up?”
It wasn’t really a question, but Doc was happy to oblige. He’d always help when Wynonna actually asked for it. Positive reinforcement and all that.
Her hand wrapped around his, and she rose, mostly on her own strength, if a bit awkwardly. Wynonna settled onto her heels, feeling the blood flow in her muscles with a new appreciation.
“Thank you.” Her hand was still in his. “That was amazing.”
“Happy to be of service, darlin’.” His eyes crinkled in that way again, and her heart melted.
She could barely see his smile under that mammoth stache, and yet, it was so clear, so bright, so sincere, that Wynonna could barely contain herself.
He really was happy. He really was “all in”. Wynonna took a half step forward and tucked herself in, resting her head on his chest. Doc didn’t hesitate. He released her hand and wrapped his arms around her strong but smaller frame. He’d held her like this a time or two before. He was not opposed to a cuddle after intimate moments, and any man would be a fool to turn away the touch of the beautiful woman. But of course, this time was different. There was a space between them, both soft and hard all at once, and Wynonna turned her hips to press more of herself against him. It was a small adjustment, but said so much. So many adjustments were soon to be made.
Doc’s hand fell, as though of its own accord. He stopped it on her hip, holding a spot that was safe, somewhere that hadn’t changed much. Wynonna’s untucked her arms. She wrapped one around his lanky frame, and placed the other on his carefully situated hand.
“S’okay.” She mumbled. She wasn’t sure if he heard her, but she could hear his heartbeat thump faster and louder under his vest.
Wynonna took Doc’s hand and slid it just next to her belly button. It felt like he stopped breathing. She was pretty sure the interloper, and boy do we need a better nickname for this kid, was too small yet to have any reaction to its father, or any external stimuli for that matter, but the time was coming soon. Much sooner than it should have. Stupid Sandman. It’s not like she was a pro at processing in normal circumstances, and now she’d lost weeks of denial, bargaining, and acceptance, or whatever the stages of whatever were.
She felt Doc’s fingers move slightly, not squeezing, just, feeling. He ran his hand up and down, callouses catching slightly on the fabric of her concert Tshirt.
Doc let out a breath that he had in fact been holding. He’d always thought that a pregnant woman was a truly beautiful thing, and an exceedingly rare sight in his day. Back then, witchcraft was common in the form of corsets and draping layers. A woman’s condition could be hidden for months from customers, and then for weeks longer so long as she worked behind the bar and not in the beds upstairs. He’d seen women work up until the day their little bundle of joy arrived, and often they tried to come back as soon the child was cleaned and fed.
A myriad of thoughts whirled through Doc’s mind. How was he supposed to protect Wynonna as well as a helpless infant? How was he to get this strong willed and beautifully woman to slow down and put her feet up, and take those pills that Waverly had gotten at the drug store in the next town over? He could hide them in donuts, maybe…
The thought of his darlin’s penchant for sweets made him smile again, though the fear didn’t quite leave his heart. Doc rested his head on Wynonna’s chocolate waves. He’d bring her a dozen every day if it made her happy. He was still smiling when he felt her head shift beneath him, and a gentle kiss was placed on his stubbly chin.
Doc leaned back as much as he could without releasing his hold on the mother of his child. He blinked several times, letting the thought settle in his mind. He was smiling still.