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Strike A Match

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Waverly watched the man in the ticket booth carefully, as he took the money from Nicole’s hand and tore off two tickets from the reel. He looked at them only briefly as he slid their tickets over the desk.

“Enjoy your day,” he said with a practiced smile.

It was too hard to tell what the stranger was thinking. Did he assume them to be just two friends out for a fun afternoon, or something more?

She made sure to stick close to Nicole, smiling brightly at the security guard who stamped their tickets and let them wordlessly through the gates. Again, he barely glanced at them, only giving a small nod as they passed.

Clearly, no one realised what an enormous moment in history they were witnessing. Waverly Earp was most-likely/probably/hopefully on a date with the one and only Nicole Haught, and she was struggling to keep her excitement in check.

She had been like this all week, to the point that Wynonna had growled that if Waverly so much as mentioned Nicole or the upcoming fair one more time, she was going to drag her outside and throw her into the pool.

The big moment had occurred Tuesday, when Waverly trooped out onto the infield of the athletics track with the rest of the cheerleaders, ready for afternoon practice. Nicole was out running laps as she often did, keeping in top shape for basketball and soccer and softball and whatever else was on the endless list of sports she played. This particular Tuesday however, when Nicole jogged around the bend and onto the straight adjacent to where the cheerleaders practiced, she had taken a hard left and, still running, headed directly into the huddle of girls until she came to a sudden halt right in front of Waverly.

“Hey,” she had panted, cheeks blotchy and matching the colour of her flaming red hair that Waverly was secretly crazy about.

“Hi!” Waverly beamed at her, while deliberately ignoring the ‘OMG’ her best friend Chrissy was mouthing at her from just behind Nicole.

“Would you like to come to the fair-” Nicole took a quick pause to catch her breath, “with me on Saturday?”

The grin already on Waverly’s lips grew impossibly larger until Nicole was almost lost from sight as her eyes crinkled in happiness.

“Sure,” she agreed quickly, only barely restraining from a less cool reply that might have been somewhere along the lines of are you kidding me yes of course yes a million times yes!

“Great,” Nicole smiled back, apparently oblivious to the eyes of fifteen or so curious cheerleaders watching the exchange. “I’ll text you?”

“Sure,” Waverly repeated, still unable to think of anything else to say.

“Ok, sweet.” Nicole took a step back in the direction of the track. “Have a good practice.”

“Thanks,” Waverly beamed. “See ya.”

Nicole waved and jogged straight back onto the track to continue her laps, barely out of earshot before Waverly and the group of girls around her dissolved into excited giggles.

 

And so, here they were on Saturday afternoon, on what Waverly hoped very much was a date. Nicole was gay, Waverly had known that even before they had become friends a few months ago. Waverly didn’t know exactly what she herself was, but what she did know for sure was that she had a big, fat, ginormous crush on Nicole Haught, with her dimpled smirk and her athletic long legs. And her hair and her dorky jokes and her abs and – well, yes. So, while Waverly very much hoped this was a date, whether it actually was or not had never been explicitly stated.

“Where do you want to go first?” Nicole asked, warm brown eyes gazing down at her.

The fair had been open since that morning and was buzzing with activity, people everywhere in pairs and groups heading between attractions. Jaunty music played as the afternoon sun beat down, while the voices of merchants advertising their stalls rang out. There were showbags, food trucks, rides, sideshow games and even a giant ferris wheel.

One particular ride caught her eye.

“The claw?” Waverly suggested.

The claw was a ride that rose high into the sky and consisted of two giant arms that moved independently of one another, mostly swinging riders in huge circles through the air and occasionally spinning its carriages 360° or tipping them upside down.

“Um.” There was a pause while Nicole watched one of the carriages complete a rotation. “Sure.”

The screams from the people already on the ride grew louder as they approached. They joined the back of the line, both unable to keep their eyes off the people swooping through the air above them.

“This is going to be so much fun!” Waverly squealed as the carriages were loaded with new riders and they shuffled forward in the line.

Nicole looked down at her with a strange kind of smile and opened her mouth to say something, but ended up just closing it again and nodding a few times.

They moved forward again, Waverly rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet in excitement as they reached the front of the line.

“Next!” The operator called as the ride was emptied, and Waverly giddily skipped forward, Nicole shuffling along beside her. They were ushered into two seats at the edge of one carriage, the operator pulling down a large harness over their shoulders once they were in place.

The cogs of the motor clicked into gear, begging to whir, and Waverly couldn’t suppress another squeak of glee as the last rider was strapped into place.

Beside her, Nicole had her hands set on the harness, gripping so tight her knuckles were white. Her jaw was set and her eyes stared straight ahead, seeing nothing. She looked almost…terrified?

“Nicole-”

The rest of Waverly’s question was broken off by her own scream as the carriage took off suddenly, her stomach dropping to her feet as they swooped upwards. They were flung upside down as they reached the top of their arc and she let her arms dangle in the air, giggling uncontrollably. After hanging for a second they dropped down quickly, and Waverly was back to screaming as they flew through another circle. She glanced to her left and found Nicole now had her eyes screwed tightly shut, her mouth clenched.

“Nicole!” Waverly laughed, her voice lost in the rushing wind. “Nicole!”

Nicole peeked one eye open to look at her.

“Are you ok?”

There was a grunt that sounded more like a ‘yes’ than a ‘no’, but wasn’t entirely convincing.

“You should scream!” Waverly continued, shouting to be heard. “It helps! And it’s fun!”

“I don’t-”

But suddenly the carriage jolted and they began to spin rapidly, and when Waverly shrieked her voice was drowned out by the ear-splitting screams from Nicole next to her. This set Waverly off into another bout of hysterical laughter, and by the time they finally returned to the ground a few minutes later she had a side stitch and strands of hair were stuck to the tears on her cheeks.

“Oh my God,” Waverly panted, still giggling to herself as she pulled her hair back and wiped at her face, trying to avoid her mascara.

The operator unclipped them and Waverly immediately grabbed Nicole’s arm as they stood, her legs wobbly as she adjusted to being back on solid ground.

Nicole was quiet as they headed down the stairs and stepped off the path so Waverly could pull some tissues from her bag and wipe her eyes properly.

“So, you liked that one?” Nicole asked finally.

“It was so much fun! What did you think?”

“Oh, loved it,” Nicole replied, with enough enthusiasm that Waverly almost believed her. Almost, but not quite.

“Nicole…” Waverly used her kindest voice. “Are you scared of heights?”

“W-What?” Nicole spluttered, eyes flickering away from Waverly’s immediately. “Of course not!”

Waverly fought to hide her smile. Nicole was good at a lot of things, but apparently lying was not one of them.

She decided to drop the subject and searched for a distraction, her attention caught by flashing lights and the sounds of crashes and bangs.

“How do you feel about dodgem cars?”

 

As it turned out, Nicole enjoyed the little carts a lot more than she had the claw, and they spent the game steaming around the floor and smashing into each other, occasionally taking out small children along the way. By the time their time was up they were both a little bruised, and Nicole suggested they take a walk around.

They strolled past face-painting and temporary tattoo booths, laughing about tattoos they thought would suit each other, and then dodged the school’s basketball coach who was waiting in line for a hotdog. Nicole did her best to hide behind Waverly as they hurried past, and then launched into a story about the time he had made her run suicides after practice when she had arrived two minutes late.

They checked out the rest of the rides as they walked, deciding on which ones they might like to try. Occasionally their hands would bump together as they walked close side by side through the crowd, which would send a tingle of electricity up Waverly’s arm, and Nicole scrambling to put some distance between them, only to draw closer again a few minutes later.

“What about this one?” Waverly asked, unable to resist teasing Nicole a bit. Nicole was usually so calm, unfazed by the pressures of her sporting commitments or general school drama. It was kind of a relief to see her actually shaken by something.

She saw Nicole gulp, her face pale as she stretched her neck up to look at the carriage suspended in mid-air above them. Waverly had paused in front of the giant drop, the tallest ride at the fair

“Do you want to?” Nicole asked, and Waverly rolled her eyes fondly.

“Nicole,” Waverly tugged on her arm so she had her full attention. “You know I’ll still like you even if you don’t like heights, right? It’s nothing to be embarrassed of, it’s actually a perfectly logical fear.”

“I’m not-” A smirk slowly slid across Nicole’s face. “Wait, you’re saying you like me?”

Waverly flushed.

“Well, I don’t make a habit of spending my free time with people I dislike,” she huffed. “And don’t put this back on me! We’re talking about you here.”

Nicole sighed, rubbing at the back of her neck.

“I’m not embarrassed…It’s just – I don’t want you to miss out,” she explained, and Waverly felt a rush of affection at Nicole’s honesty. “For some inexplicable reason that I will never understand, you love all these crazy rides and I would hate for you to not be able to enjoy them because you’re here with me.”

“Hey, no-Nicole,” Waverly moved her hand down to squeeze Nicole’s, then immediately dropped it as both of their faces’ flared crimson. “Coming here with you today is something I really wanted to do, but not because of the rides, or the fair, or anything else. I came because I like y- spending time with you. I’d have fun no matter what we were doing. So, don’t stress, ok?”

“Ok,” Nicole murmured, eyes wide. A soft smile spread across her face and Waverly returned it for a second, until she looked away, suddenly shy. She was determined not to be embarrassed about expressing her feelings, but it was hard when she was this close to Nicole and didn’t know what the other girl was thinking.

“So then, if we’re not going on the giant drop, where do you want to go next?” Nicole asked after a moment.

“I think it’s your turn to pick,” Waverly offered.

“Ok, let’s see…” Nicole surveyed the rides they’d walked past. “We could do the Haunted House?”

Quite aside from the fact that Waverly was a huge fan of horror movies and anything scary, the idea of being alone with Nicole in a dark building was more than a little appealing. She grinned.

“Let’s go.”

 

As they waited in line Nicole became jittery once again, seemingly unable to decide what to do with her hands. First, she had them in her pockets, then she repeatedly tucked and un-tucked her shirt no less than three times, and soon after she folded them across her chest. Waverly wondered if perhaps Nicole was nervous about going inside, but the reason for her awkwardness became clear a second later when her arm settled tentatively around Waverly's shoulders.

Approximately one thousand butterflies burst into life in Waverly's stomach, as Nicole looked down at her, her bottom lip between her teeth in a silent question.

“Are you going to protect me from the monsters we’re going to find in there, Haught?” Waverly teased, albeit with a fair more amount of stuttering than she would have liked.

She tilted her head onto Nicole’s shoulder and let herself relax into her, letting her know without words that, yes, this was very much ok.

She watched as Nicole’s cheeks tinged slightly pink. From this position, she had to tilt her head back to look up at Nicole, and for some reason that was doing strange things to her stomach. Like feeling that she might throw up…but in a good way? If there was a good way to throw up on a maybe-first-date. Which she was pretty sure there was not.

“I have a feeling any monsters in there,” Nicole nodded her head at the doorway to the haunted house they were slowly drawing closer to, “are going to need protecting from you, Waverly Earp. I have witnessed your high kick firsthand.”

Waverly beamed up at her, only for her expression to drop a moment later when Nicole continued.

“Although I don’t think you’ll be doing much damage to anyone over five feet tall.”

Luckily for Nicole, a man dressed as a zombie beckoned them through the entryway before Waverly could respond, where he explained the rules (no running, no making contact with the actors) and then showed them through a black curtain and into a dark hallway. Almost immediately the passage narrowed, the walls too close for them to fit comfortably side-by-side.

“Do you want me to go in front?” Nicole offered, standing still as she peered into the darkness.

“Sure,” Waverly agreed. She gave Nicole’s waist a quick squeeze to send her forward. “Let’s go, I’m excited.”

Nicole took a hesitant step into the darkness and paused to glance back at Waverly. After a moment she took one more, stopped, then another, only to stop once again.

“You alright back there, Wave?” She asked, her voice oddly high pitched. They’d made it barely five meters from the curtain.

“Fine,” Waverly assured her. She pressed her hand to the small of Nicole’s back and gave her bicep a squeeze. “Don’t worry about me, let’s keep moving.”

“Ok, ok.” She heard Nicole let out a breath of determination and she strode forward, Waverly trotting close behind with her fingers twisted in Nicole’s shirt.

The temperature dropped dramatically as they approached the end of the hallway where it turned sharply left, and there was an eerie kind of whistling coming from around the corner.

The corridor they turned into was slightly better lit, and Waverly could make out several closed coffins against the wall.

“I bet there are vampires inside,” Waverly guessed, as they inched past the first.

“Vampires aren’t real,” Nicole whispered, but her voice was so quiet it sounded as though it might have been herself she was reassuring.

The first coffin remained firmly shut, as did the second as they tip-toed past it.

“What’s that?” Nicole asked suddenly, pointing toward a light glittering amidst a cloud of fog up ahead of them.

Waverly peered around Nicole’s arm, squinting into the darkness.

“Boo!”

The roar came from right beside them, as the doors of the third coffin burst open and a vampire threw his arms in the air, fangs bared.

“Holy shit!” Nicole scuttled backwards, flattening herself against the opposite wall.

“Oh my God,” Waverly panted, pressing a hand over her racing heart. “I knew it was coming and it still scared me.”

The vampire leered at them and stepped forward ominously.

“Go, go!” Nicole hissed, edging Waverly into the lead.

Waverly hurried forward, Nicole’s nails digging into her forearm as she clutched onto her tightly.

A moment later her eardrums were almost burst when another vampire launched itself from the final coffin and she nearly tripped over her own feet as she scrambled away, Nicole hollering in her ear.

They stumbled into a room filled with piles of skulls and twinkling gems, skeletons rattling at the bars of their cells. Waverly shifted her hand until her palm met Nicole’s, and she wrapped their fingers together.

She very quickly discovered it was hard to be scared of anything while Nicole’s hand was in hers, and instead of paying attention to the creepy scenes surrounding them, most of Waverly’s focus was soon taken up by trying hard not to collapse at the knees or walk into any walls, a difficult task with Nicole brushing up against her. Together they navigated ghosts, clowns, a suspicious substance dripping from the ceiling and a host of actors who popped out from hiding spots all over the place.

Nicole remained tense behind her the whole time, her breath sending Waverly’s hair billowing every time she gasped in surprise or fear. Which was often.

Finally, Waverly rounded a corner to see a square of sunlight at the end of the hallway, nothing but empty space between themselves and the exit.

“Thank God,” Nicole muttered into her ear, and Waverly chuckled softly.

“Dealing with all that scary stuff is kind of like practice for you,” Waverly commented. “Since you want to be a cop.”

Nicole laughed and the sound vibrated through Waverly’s spine.

“I’m hoping being a police officer will involve significantly less monsters than we just saw.”

A buzzing from somewhere behind them cut through the air, and Waverly’s heart leapt into her throat as she turned to find a hooded figure rushing towards them with a roaring chainsaw held aloft.

“CHRIST ON A CRACKER!”

Nicole let out a bloodcurdling scream, and attempted to take off running, only to instantly collide with the wall that was Waverly, rooted to the ground in terror. Nicole’s arms looped around Waverly’s neck, and one leg jumped around her waist, leaving her in what might have been almost a piggy-back if it wasn’t for the insurmountable height difference.

“Holy crap, move Waves, Go!”

Almost all of Nicole’s weight landing on Waverly had shaken her into action, and as the chainsaw-wielding figure drew closer she took off running, one of her hands gripping Nicole’s thigh at her hip while Nicole propelled them along with her other leg, hopping furiously.

They burst into the warm outside sun in a flurry of limbs, breathing ragged as the pseudo danger dissolved in the face of upbeat carnival music and the smell of fried food.

“Sorry,” Nicole apologised awkwardly once they came to a stop, gingering untangling herself from Waverly.

Waverly’s ears burned, her heart still racing from their fright. The exit of the haunted house was a solid 20 meters away; they’d staggered all the way across the path and into a small field of generators and power cords.

“No worries,” Waverly blushed, and cleared her throat. “That was scary, at the end there.”

Nicole scratched at the back of her neck, sheepish.

“I may have over-reacted a little. That dude probably wasn’t actually going to hack us up with his chainsaw.”

“Probably not,” Waverly grinned. “Still, better safe than sorry.”

“Sounds like something a potential police officer might say.”

Waverly laughed, but shook her head. “I don’t think my sister would think much of me becoming a cop. I’d probably end up having to arrest her all the time.”

“Wynonna?” Nicole looked amused. “Is it true she tried to hold up a bakery last year?”

“I’ve been sworn to secrecy.” Waverly rolled her eyes at the memories of Wynonna’s antics. “But let’s just say she would do a lot for doughnuts.”

“Speaking of doughnuts,” Nicole nodded her head at the assortment of food trucks they had ended up behind. “Is it time for dinner?”

 

They decided not on doughnuts, but tacos, and scored an empty table away from the main area, where it was quiet enough that they could chat softly as the sun lowered in the sky. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that tacos were in fact a terrible first date food (seriously, was this a date? Waverly was losing her mind), and Waverly ended up with lettuce on her denim shorts and guacamole all over her fingers.

Nicole somehow looked just as gorgeous as always even with salsa smeared on her nose, her cheeks tinged as pink as the sky behind her when Waverly leaned over the table to wipe it off with a napkin.

“Is there anything else you want to do?” Nicole asked, once Waverly had returned from a nearby food stall with extra napkins and a bottle of water for them each.

Honestly, Waverly was exhausted. Spending hours with Nicole, who had her heart racing non-stop, combined with the adrenaline from the rides they had been on, had her feeling like she’d sent her emotions through a washing machine, and she would be perfectly content to curl up on the spot for a long nap. But she didn’t know when she would next have the chance to hang out with Nicole like this, and she sure wasn’t ready for the night to end.

Out of the corner of her eye she spotted a game stall, a basketball hoop with prizes displayed on the back wall.

“You would be good at that,” She said, pointing it out to Nicole.

“They’re always rigged,” Nicole frowned. “The ball is too big, or the ring is super bouncy.” But she stood up anyway, and offered a hand to Waverly to help her up. “Still, could be fun!”

Nicole was right, the game was definitely rigged. She had three tries, the ball ricocheting off the rim of the hoop each time. She convinced Waverly to have a go, but the result was the same, and they walked away empty handed.

“They must make a killing,” Nicole commented, as they strolled through the rest of the game stalls. They passed games of dart throwing, knock down the pins, and duck fishing. “Hardly anyone ever wins.”

“We need to try one where there’s a winner each time,” Waverly suggested. They came to a stop in front of a water pistol game. “Like this one!”

Waverly handed over enough coins for Nicole and herself, and they each took a seat behind a pistol as they waited for the remaining chairs to fill.

The rules were simple. A maximum of ten players could play per round, each sitting behind a water pistol that was aimed at a target. Once the game started, the pistol would automatically shoot a jet of water, and if it hit the center of the target, a little cowboy doll would begin to be pulled upwards into the air. Whoever’s cowboy was highest when the timer finished would be the winner.

“Have you done this before?” Nicole asked, as a couple of kids around their age sat down to her left.

Waverly squinted in concentration, her tongue poking out as she aimed the pistol directly at the centre of the target.

“No,” Waverly replied, “But I know my way around a gun.”

Lights surrounding the targets flashed red, yellow and then green, and the pistols each began to shoot a constant stream of water. The cowboy above Waverly’s target immediately began to climb as she blasted the center of the bullseye. Nicole, meanwhile, attempted to wrestle her pistol back from where it was spraying water harmlessly over the back wall.

There was nothing more distracting from any task than looking at Nicole, so Waverly made sure to keep her eyes forward, holding the handles firmly in position even as the force of the water tried to send the pistol off-target.

A bell sounded and the flow of water from the pistols ceased. An operator cast a quick eye over the cowboy dolls; most had made it about halfway, while Waverly’s was almost at the roof, and Nicole’s barely off the ground.

“Looks like player six is the winner!” He announced. The players around them groaned, standing up from their chairs or handing over money for another round.

“Whoohoo, Waves!” Nicole cheered, reaching over to give her shoulder a squeeze.

The man beckoned them over to the prize wall, and told Waverly she had won so convincingly that she could choose any prize she liked.

She cast her eyes upward, all the way to the huge stuffed animals at the very top of the wall.

“Which one do you want?” She asked Nicole with a smile.

Nicole’s mouth dropped open, eyes wide, but she was quick to decline.

“Oh no, Wave, you were the winner, you should pick one for yourself.”

Waverly frowned.

Today Nicole had opened doors for her, paid for her ticket, and jumped a half-mile in the air anytime their hands so much as brushed together. It was time to get something straight. Or, hopefully, not-so.

She planted her hands on her hips and looked Nicole dead in the eye.

“Is this a date?” She demanded.

Somewhere around seven different emotions crossed Nicole’s face before her confident smirk eventually settled across her lips.

“I sure hope so,” she drawled, stepping a little closer to Waverly.

“Great!” Waverly chirped and closed the distance further still, only for her voice to then lower dangerously, eyes narrowed. “So now we’ve clarified that I am in fact on a date to the fair with a pretty girl, I would very much like to complete this particular rite of passage and win you a shitty prize from a shitty carnival game. So, if it’s not too much trouble, kindly choose your prize.”

“Um,” Nicole blinked at her. “The lion?”

“Are you asking me or telling me?”

“The lion,” she repeated, a little more assured this time.

Waverly beamed at her.

“That one please,” she said to the man, pointing at the large orange lion that was on display, squashed between an elephant and a purple sausage dog. He dragged a stool over and clambered up, then pulled down the lion and presented it to Waverly with a smile.

“Well done miss.”

Waverly accepted the stuffed toy that was over half the size of her, and turned to hand it to Nicole.

“For you.”

“Thanks Waves,” Nicole smiled as she took the prize, then pulled Waverly into a one-armed hug, the best she could manage with the toy tucked under her other arm. She pulled back to have a proper look at the lion and smoothed its impressive mane.

“He can sit at the end of my bed,” she said and suddenly Waverly was picturing Nicole dressed in a pair of fluffy winter pyjamas, looking adorable all snuggled up with the lion perched proudly at her feet. Then her imagination switched to a less PG scene of Waverly in bed with Nicole, the lion forgotten on the floor, and her face burned.

“Great, um… that’s- uh…” Waverly trailed off as Nicole held her hand out to her, totally oblivious to Waverly’s thoughts.

“C’mon, there’s one last thing I want us to do.”

Waverly took a deep breath and then folded her fingers carefully around Nicole’s as Nicole watched, eyes bright. A date. They smiled shyly at each other. Waverly felt the fingers around hers tighten as Nicole gave her hand a soft squeeze, then let herself be led through the crowd.

Twilight had fallen, the sounds of insects buzzing in the warm evening air as Waverly realised where they were headed.

“The ferris wheel?” She asked, confused. “Are you sure? I thought-”

“I’m sure,” Nicole smiled. She stopped and let her hand slip from Waverly’s for a second to trace her thumb along Waverly’s eyebrow, then down the side of her face to her jaw. A shiver ran through Waverly as she stood enraptured, the lights from the floodlights above bathing Nicole in a golden glow. “But only if you want to.”

“Yes,” Waverly breathed.

Nicole’s hand curled around hers once again, and they approached the ride operator, who pointed them into a cabin and pulled the clear roof down, shutting out the world.

Nicole settled the lion against the wall and joined Waverly in the middle of the plush seat, her jeans cool against Waverly's legs.

The cabin jolted ever so slightly and began to move, slowly rising from the ground.

“I had a really good time today,” Nicole said.

“Me too,” Waverly replied quietly. Understatement of the century.

She shifted her hand to Nicole’s thigh, thumb brushing back and forth just above her knee.

A comfortable silence fell over them, both gazing down at the movement below them, the dwindling crowd wandering back and forth.

The horizon stretched in the distance as their carriage drew closer to the highest point of the wheel, the darkness sprinkled with pinpricks of lights from the town. Everything was quieter so high up, the chatter and music from below finally muffled.

Waverly shuffled impossibly closer to Nicole, who was gazing into the distance, her hands relaxed in her lap.

"We’re so high up,” Waverly said in wonder. “Aren't you scared?"

Slowly, Nicole turned to look at her, and when she did she held her gaze with such intensity that Waverly's heart began to race. Nicole's face was so close that Waverly could have counted her eyelashes.

"No," Nicole said, and her dimples popped as a warm smile spread across her face. "Are you?"

Waverly couldn't keep her eyes off Nicole's lips.

"A little," she murmured.

Nicole quirked an eyebrow at her, her forehead scrunching slightly.

"I thought you weren't afraid of heights?"

"I'm not."

There was a pause as Nicole's eyes widened ever so slightly, and Waverly could hear nothing but her heart thumping in her ears.

"You're really pretty," she whispered, because it was all she could think about with Nicole so close.

As soon as the words left her mouth she held her breath, watching as Nicole's smile grew, and she shifted on her seat so she was facing Waverly as best she could, their knees pressing together. Carefully, she reached forward and tucked a lock of hair behind Waverly's ear.

"So are you," Nicole said. Her hand moved from Waverly's hair to her shoulder, then trailed down to her arm, and she leant forward slowly until Waverly could feel her breath ghosting over her lips.

With shaky hands, Waverly cupped Nicole's cheeks, dusting her thumbs back and forth over her cheekbones. Nicole held still as Waverly brought her fingers down to trace Nicole's jaw, then under her hair to rest at the nape of her neck.

"You smell like vanilla," Waverly breathed.

Nicole let out a quiet laugh. "My shampoo."

Waverly hummed. "It's really nice."

Then she closed the remaining distance between them and pressed their lips together.

Nicole’s lips were impossibly soft against her own as she kissed her back, and Waverly absolutely melted as Nicole’s hands curled at her waist, trying to pull her closer. Kissing Nicole was intoxicating; she was dizzy as her fingers cupped Nicole’s jaw, feeling nothing but Nicole’s mouth moving against her own. She pressed closer, and could feel Nicole trying to deepen the kiss, but struggling with the awkward angle.

Eventually Waverly took matters into her own hands and clambered onto Nicole’s lap, planting her knees on either side of Nicole’s legs and kissing her soundly. Nicole hummed against her mouth happily, eyes twinkling when Waverly pulled back between kisses.

“You’re missing the view,” she teased.

“No I’m not,” Waverly replied, eyes never leaving Nicole’s.

Nicole’s laugh was giddy.

“Are you always this cheesy?”

“Is that going to be a problem?” Waverly smirked.

Nicole’s smile grew, hands on Waverly’s back already guiding her down for another kiss.

“Not in the slightest.”

***

Waverly was so full of happiness she pretty much floated back to the car, Nicole’s hand in hers the only thing keeping her tethered to the ground.

Quiet music played from the radio in Nicole’s rickety old second-hand car as Waverly chatted away while Nicole drove, the toy lion stuffed into the backseat. All too soon, the wheels crunched over the gravel of Waverly’s driveway, her house dark but the porch light left on.

Nicole walked her to the door, waiting on the top step while Waverly fished out her keys from her pocket.

“Thanks for inviting me today,” Waverly said, stepping back into Nicole’s space, her fingers brushing along her forearm.

“Thank you for coming,” Nicole smiled, “We’ll have to do this again sometime.”

“Sometime soon,” Waverly agreed, her eyes once again flicking down to Nicole’s lips.

“How about this Friday? There’s a movie coming out I think you might like.”

Waverly caught Nicole’s belt loop in her finger and tugged her close, pressing a firm kiss to her lips.

“It’s a date.”

Just so they were clear.