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The Eight Phase Cycle

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******* Nicole *******

It’s a strange feeling - coming back to your sense after you’ve been knocked out.

It starts a slow fog, a dull pounding of your head, consciousness of the noises around you. But then it snaps, it hits you and you’re awake -- fully conscious -- suddenly aware of all of your surroundings and the chilling metal encasing your wrists, keeping you trapped. The panic sets in as you feel the darkness smothering you and you’re paralyzed by the fear. How long have you been here? What’s going to happen to you?

I’d made my fair share of mistakes but this one? This one had to be the worst.

There were three things Nedley always told me.

1. Tell someone where you are going
2. Always keep your gun on you
3. Don’t do anything stupid

But this time I hadn’t taken any of his advice. In fact, he told me to stop investigating this case but I went to the warehouse anyway. I joined this force to make a difference, to do good and change lives but being a cop isn’t all glorified heroics. There was always another foolish drunk to set straight, always another rebelling teen to catch but never anything that was truly important. Besides this case, this case was important. So who am I to let that go?

In a larger city defying Nedley’s orders might’ve got me fired but this was my town so I do what I need to do to make sure everybody stays safe. Although I probably should have told someone where I was going, nobody would miss me for a while, nobody would know I’m stuck handcuffed to this chair in god knows where.

I struggled against the handcuffs, but there was nothing I could do, my throat was dry and every inch of my body felt weak. The movement was exhausting. I’d been trained for these kinds of things, trained to keep a clear and level head, to steady my breathing. So I tried to stay calm, think rationally, just wait it out because eventually, someone would notice I was gone. Easier said than done when the darkness is choking you.

*******Dolls*******

Jeremy's voice crackled through the comms, “Alright, my drones are picking up three heat signatures in the warehouse and there’s only four of you so Doc should probably keep the van running. Over.”

Three wasn’t bad. Not when we had Champ with us. We had a fighting chance. It would be in and out, they might not even notice that we were there.

“Remember I’ve upgraded your Chastel’s since you last used them. They should shoot faster and more accurately now, meaning you don't need to compensate to the left anymore. They also have a non-lethal setting. Over.”

I lead my team out of the van. “Champ, you take the back, make some noise create a diversion. Draw as many of them out as you can. Wynonna and I will go to the front and split up. Remember the aim is to recover the power source but if it’s not here we need to get out quickly. Let’s move.”

*******Nicole*******

The lights flickered on suddenly and it was blinding. I blinked the white light back quickly, someone else was here, and here was what appeared to be a storage warehouse. Masses of crates and other storage creating a maze reaching almost to the corrugated iron roof. No exits in sight, although the handcuffs prevented me from turning to see what's directly behind me.

The noise of footsteps was echoing around the warehouse and I subconsciously pulled against the handcuffs again to no avail. Someone else was here and the footsteps were getting closer, coming from behind so I couldn’t turn to prepare myself.

Every cell in my body was screaming danger as they echoed closer and closer, I tried to keep a level head --maybe Nedley had found me this could be him now, but most of me knew that the footsteps were too light to be Nedley’s boots.

The footsteps were still coming from behind and were practically on top of me. These stupid restraints were preventing me from turning around to identify the threat and the echoes continued getting louder coming closer and closer until they stopped mere inches from my chair.

I tried to sit still, to act strong and hard to break but I could feel someone's breath tickling the back of my neck. They were so close they must’ve been able to hear my heartbeat.

“Well, would you look at what the wolves dragged in.” I recognized the voice. Robert Svane. I’d been investigating him for a while and knew he was connected to this warehouse. If I was right about him he was dangerous.

He leaned over my shoulder and turned slowly to whisper right into my ear “Nicole… Haught.”

I was determined to appear unaffected but my eyes flickered closed as the softness of his voice sent chills up my spine. Breathing in I reopened them, head forward and silent as not to satisfy him.

He hovered there for what felt like an eternity breathing down my neck before he stood up and walked into my line of vision. With a smirk, he crouched down to look at me at eye level, “I do not believe we have formally met. You can call me Bobo,” he said extending a hand.

I held his eye contact for a second before slowly looking at his hand in amusement, masking my terror. We both knew that I couldn’t shake his hand with the handcuffs on.

I returned my gaze to his eyes, trying to tell him that I wasn’t afraid of him. I held my tongue, and as he realized I wasn’t planning on replying he said “Oh. My bad-” in a mock surprise, “-it seems you’re a little tied up-” He stood up again and looked at me with a distasteful stare, wiping his hand on his pants, “-that’s a shame. You and I could have-”

A large bang sounded, distracting Bobo, “Jonas?” he yelled. But there was only silence. “I’m coming back,” he told me as he spun on his heel and hurried behind some crates and out of my vision. I didn’t know what the bang was but I was glad to have Bobo gone. I pulled on the handcuffs again desperate to get loose but I knew in my heart that there was no point.

*******Nicole*******

What felt like an eternity passed before the footsteps returned. I sat up straight quieting the struggling of the handcuffs. If Bobo was coming back then I wasn’t going to give him any satisfaction. Stay strong and don’t show any sign of weakness. Any second now he was going to turn the corner. The footsteps got closer and not Bobo but an agent of some sort was standing in between the crates.

“Hey!” I yelled before I was stunned by a flash of green light. It shot directly over my shoulder instantly heating my neck. What was that? The buzz stung my ears and as I turned my head back round I got my first real look at the agent. I’d seen her before around the station, Wynonna Earp.

“Officer Haught?,” Wynonna loudly whispered, pulling a face of both panic and annoyance, “What are you doing here? If Jeremy hadn’t adjusted the settings on this I would’ve just fried your brains.” she said gesturing to a small smoldering hole the laser burned into the crates behind me.

I didn’t know who Jeremy was, but I thought I knew Wynonna enough. One of the town drunks often around the station for petty crimes. Nedley may have had a soft spot for her but this punk was not somebody I would’ve expected to be able to get their hands on a uniform and a gun like that.

“I was investigating a case and the next thing I know I’m in handcuffs so you just gonna stand there gawking or are you gonna help me get out of them?”

You would think I’d be the one who was annoyed, seems as Wynonna nearly killed me and I’ve been hauled up as a hostage for god knows how long but Wynonna stormed towards me throwing her hands in the air abandoning the whispering to say, “I don’t have anything to unlock them with, this is exactly why we got Nedley to tell you to stop investigating the case.”

“Wait you-”

“-we don’t have any time for this, Champ Hardy is hardly a diversion,” Wynonna came over and kneeled beside the chair I was bound to.

She got Nedley to tell me to ditch the case? It didn’t make much sense at the time but that’s totally not her call. Who does she even work for? The uniform she was wearing looked like it meant business but everything I’d previously known about her albeit not much, meant that she was the last person to decide when I get to do my job.

“Okay hold still I can’t break the handcuffs but If I set my Chastel to lethal it should be strong enough to burn the wooden chair, like it did the crate and then you can run,” she said, I figured by Chastel she meant the weird gun that shot the green light from earlier.

“Wait didn’t you say you were having trouble with aim?” It wasn’t that I had a problem with being rescued it was just that gun left a smoldering hole in the crates behind last time Wynonna missed and lethal setting didn’t sound particularly pleasant.

“Yup, now hold still,” she said turning it on. Leaving me with no choice but to sit still and hope I’d be okay.

*******Nicole*******

Wynonna successfully got me out of the chair --alive-- before another loud bang echoed through the warehouse. “They’re back that's our cue to run,” she said tossing the last of the chair aside.

I stood up to run but my vision was instantly reeling. My ears fogged up and I was struggling to stand on two feet. I fell against a crate as Wynonna turned around and asked, “Whoa, you okay there Haught?”

I told her everything was fine, that I just stood up too fast. It was a white lie, we needed to get out of here, I forced myself off of the crate determined to carry my own weight. It would’ve been hard even if my hands weren’t still cuffed behind my back. Wynonna steadied me asking, “How long have you been here?” I couldn’t tell her I didn’t know. Neither of us wanted to think about what could happen if I was too weak to run.

“There's a van, parked right outside about 300 meters from here. You just have to make it to there and then you’re safe. You ready?” she asked. I swallowed and then focused on putting one foot in front of the other. Left foot, right foot. The ground appeared to be spinning, swaying side to side and running with your arms cuffed behind your back is slightly harder but I stayed standing until Wynonna suddenly stopped pulling me behind a large shelving unit and I fell against the crate grateful for the sudden pause.

I turned to face Wynonna, she had one finger pressed against her lips and the other steadying her gun. I traced her line of fire and suddenly understood. A shadow was moving along the crates in the next row over. Someone else was close. I held my breath praying whoever it was would continue straight past Wynonna and me oblivious to our presence. I was in no state to fight or defend myself although now that I was still my vision was steadier.

The shadow got bigger and bigger until a leg came into view. Except it wasn’t a human's leg. It was thinner, the heel was higher and the creature perched upon the ball of its foot. Its hairy foot was tipped with talon-like claws. Holding my breath I traced my eyes up pounds of muscle and fur. I was staring at a creature half human, half wolf.

The werewolf paused in the opening and sniffed, potentially smelling us out but all that I could concentrate on was its iron jaw, framed with sharp yellowed teeth. The beast turned his head around suddenly and a strand of saliva fell from his mouth.

I couldn’t move. I tried to but I couldn’t. Everything was telling me to run but I was frozen in place. Time slowed as the creature made eye contact with me. Its eyes were beady and red. I couldn’t move but the beast moved quickly with calculated precision, lunging at me.

It was almost on top of me when there was another flash of green light, the high pitched buzz and the heat brought me back to my senses. The wolf fell to the ground and howled but was very much breathing.

“Non-lethal setting. Run,” Wynonna yelled leading the way. I kicked my feet into gear faster than I’d expected, Wynonna broke the door down and I ran through too terrified to check if the wolf was following. I could just see the van she mentioned when the earth started bending and tilting again.

The people in Wynonna’s van were yelling and I knew the wolf was behind us. The edges of my vision were clouding and soon the van became a blurred mess. I didn’t realize that I’d tripped until I hit the ground.

Wynonna must’ve heard me cry out because she ran towards me. She’d gained a fair amount of distance on me and was running towards both me and the wolf as fast as she could.

The wolf reached me first.

I felt the teeth that had mesmerized me pierce my skin, latching onto my leg and dragging me backward. In that second it all felt real. Until then it could’ve all been a dream but nothing compared to that pain.

I cried out in pain as Wynonna slid across the ground towards me and one of the men in the van took a shot at the wolf aiming over Wynonna’s head. The wolf howled and released my leg from its grip but that hurt almost as much as the bite.

There was no way, this was a normal bite.

I tried to pull myself up but it’s rather difficult with your hands cuffed behind your back. I was kneeling but my leg collapsed under my weight. The van was driving towards us now and Wynonna reached me, dropping her gun to help support me. She picked me up and ran towards the van. Dropping me in it before climbing in herself.

I wanted to look at my leg but the pain was becoming so intense I could barely see Wynonna leaning over me. She was yelling something but I either couldn’t hear or concentrate over the burning in my leg. I tried to tell myself that pain was just an illusory sensation and I could fight it but I was rolling in the bottom of the van moaning and crying out in pain. Unable to control myself.

I tried to focus on Wynonna’s voice, anything to distract me from the pain. She was yelling at the others.

“Hey! Hey! Stay with me.”

“Do we have anything we can give her, something, anything?”

“Champ, you’re a Warlock. You can do something right?”

The boy Champ replied, “Uh I can’t heal but I can make her sleep so she can’t feel it”

I gasped, “Do it,” I just wanted it to stop. I needed it to stop so the warlock stood over me. He raised his arms and like a wave retreating from the shore both my pain and consciousness left me.

*******Nicole*******

My mind was clouded and foggy but the first thing I really noticed was the consistent beeping of a heart monitor, the second was the smell. Simultaneously sterile and sick it had to be Iodoform but they only used that to clean hospitals? Everything felt so hazy and I couldn’t remember anything leading up to now. I slowly pulled my eyelids apart blinking back the white light.

I was in a small room, one I’d never seen before. Everything seemed clean and shiny. There were four beds, one in each corner. One bed had someone else asleep in it. Every visible surface was white and sanitary.

I tried to sit up but everything felt so heavy. I couldn’t move any of my limbs, not even wiggle my toes. That was cool, lying was more comfortable anyway, It felt like I was floating in the bed.

I was floating in the shiny room for a while before I noticed an IV drip in my arm and traced it up to a bag containing a strange purple liquid. It was half empty and bubbled in a manner similar to a lava lamp. I was mesmerized by this liquid. I watched the bubbles rise and fall.

It was so pretty. The bubbles just went up and down slowly colliding and bouncing off of each other. They were so bright and shiny.

I must’ve spent a good few minutes just watching the liquid before I realized how strange my behavior was. Before I realized that whatever was inside the bag was drugging me causing everything to look so bright and feel so hazy.

I needed to get it out. Now.

I tried to sit up, to rip the drip out of my arm but like before I couldn’t move. Why hadn’t that concerned me?

My breaths became sharper and shallower as the rate at which the heart monitor beeped became twice as frequent.

It took all my willpower but I managed to roll onto my side. This sent a sharp jarring pain throughout my whole body. Even with the drug, I winced. It emanated from my leg.

The new angle had put a bend in the IV’s wire as I’d intended, slowing its delivery to my body. I hadn’t however intended for the bend in the IV to trigger an occlusion alarm. Shit.

The beeping was loud and I couldn’t roll around again to stop it. It attracted voices and I heard someone in the hall outside.

Where was I? I couldn’t remember anything. How did I end up here and who else was in this building?

I watched terrified as the lock on the door slowly clicked open. I guess I was about to find out who else was here.

A man walked in, his shirt was beer stained and he was eating crisps. I’d expected worse but the presence of another in an unknown space is always scary. After a few seconds, I recognized his face and suddenly things started coming back to me. This was the warlock, It wasn’t a dream.

He came over and studied me, “Hey uh Waves? The redhead chicks awake,” he yelled.

Was I not supposed to be?

There was a scampering of feet in the corridor before a young woman entered the room. “You’ve been out for a while,” she pointed out, “Do you need anything?”

Speaking was a struggle, it was hard to put the words together right. I told her no, though that was far from the truth, My throat was hoarse, I needed water and I also needed answers.

She asked me to roll onto my side so she could shut off the alarm and I told her I couldn’t move that the drug was too strong. My voice sounded so foreign and slurred to my ears.

I saw the brief second of panic in her eyes before she masked it with that warm and welcoming face and I started to ease up a little. I’m a cop so reading people is my job and she definitely seemed to have my best interests at heart.

She pulled the fluid bag of the IV and said: “Don’t worry, Jeremy must’ve messed up the ratios, It’s happened before you’ll be fine in about thirty minutes.” It was stupid and probably only happened because of the drug, but she washed away all of my fears. I knew letting my guard down was what got me into this mess in the first place but as she kneeled by my side I felt trapped in her eyes, only they felt safe and I knew I was going to be okay.

I spoke, cringing slightly at how much I struggled to form the sentence, “Who is Jeremy? nonna said-”

“-He works for us, and it a bit of a nerd. I’m Waverly by the way,” she said introducing herself. Waverly, that was the name of my guardian angel. The one who was here to protect me.

“I’m Nicole, Nicole Haught.” I carefully articulated.

She disconnected the IV from my arm shutting off the beeping, “I’ll go get Jeremy,” she said as she turned to walk away.

“You’re beautiful,” I called out as she walked away. I couldn’t help myself everything else I’d said had been hard to say. The words didn’t seem to fit together but that slipped out easily.

I caught the slight smile spreading warmth across her face before she said, “Yeah, I’ll get Jeremy to adjust those drugs for you, They’re quite experimental and he’s working on the side effects.”

I wasn’t sure how much influence the drugs actually had on how I was behaving.

*******Waverly*******

“Champ would you let me go. I need to get Jeremy, I love you okay? It was just the drugs.”

I was hurrying down the hallway when I was stopped by Champ, He’d been sitting outside and apparently, Nicole had been a teensy bit too loud when she was talking. I can’t blame her the drugs Jeremy was loading her one were very experimental and he didn’t really have much time to test them. Levi, our other patient had been given too little and it left him in a world of pain so really she was lucky.

Champ had his arm curled defensively around my neck and was spraying kisses up the side.

“Champ, please. There’s nothing between us, I need to get Jeremy before the painkillers wear off, I took her off the drip temporarily.” I knew it would take half an hour or so for them to wear off but I still wanted to hurry to Jeremy and make sure that he had the most time to get her dosage correct. The time pressure could’ve been what caused the mistake in the first place.

“That redhead is hot, I don’t want her to take you away from me,” of course he would think like that, if one girl tells me that I look good he becomes a possessive ball of jealousy but he gets to call people hot. People that he actually would date. I may have sounded a little too sarcastic when I said, “Oh and you’re the one that has to worry about being cheated on?”

He pulled me closer to say “You know I single-handedly saved her life right, I’d save yours in a heartbeat.”

“Really cause firstly I’m not even allowed in the field and secondly I heard that your distraction wasn’t distracting enough for Wynonna, yes Wynonna not you, to be able to pull Nicole out in time, honestly Champ just let me do my job. I love you but can we talk about this later?”

“You know, If you come over tonight we don’t even have to talk, what do you say huh?” he said poking my stomach.

“Well, will you leave me alone to do my job for a bit?”

*******Jeremy *******

“I am so sorry, It’s just last time I under did the drugs and it wasn’t good so I tried to make sure that didn’t happen and I’m so sorry If I scared you or anything,” I was rambling seemingly to Nicole's amusement. I wanted to make sure she felt safe and welcome especially with the whole ‘Hey werewolves are real and you were bitten by one thing’.

“You. You Jeremy?” she said. I didn’t know If I was just being paranoid but I felt like I could almost hear the influence the drugs had like it was messing with her brain, her words sounded a little slurred and slow.

“He is I.”

I couldn’t believe I said that out loud, maybe the drugs were messing with my brain.

I took a few measurements and was noting them down when Wynonna stormed into the room.

“Heeeey Wynonna!” I said trying to appear relaxed and calm.

“Jeremy, what is Waverly trying to tell me about your drugs,” she seemed pissed really pissed. I knew that she wasn’t all that mad at me really, she was frustrated at herself, probably blaming herself for Nicole's bite. I wasn’t there but I saw how desperate she looked when she carried Nicole’s body into the HQ.

“Uh well you know how the last guy, I gave him too little and the pain came back too fast, yeah well this time I decided to give her a little more and apparently that causes you to say strange things and also kinda lose the ability to move.”

Wynonna was pacing back and forth quickly and Nicole was silent. “This is exactly why I told her to give up the case.”

That action caused Nicole to try and sit upright, she suddenly seemed more alert but slurred her words saying, “Who are you to take my case and what -and what is going on?”

I didn’t think that was a great idea to explain, “I think we should wait until we know that the drugs are all okay because we need to tell you some pretty important stuff and Waverly said you’re not thinking straight,”

“Is that supposed to be some sort of joke?” she asked defensively. It took me a second but then I remembered what Nicole had actually said to Waverly.

“Oh, bad wording Jeremy. Yup bad wording,”

*******Waverly*******

I led Fish into the clinic. The whole way down the hallway he was muttering about Levi. I warned him that Levi had been unconscious for hours and likely wouldn’t wake up for a few more before unlocking the door to the clinic.

When I opened the door Nicole sat bolt upright, that was good, it’d been a few hours and Jeremy seemed to have worked the drugs out. I hoped she’d forgive us.

She never should’ve gotten into this mess. I sighed as Fish ran past me to kneel beside Levi’s bed and tentatively kiss his hand. None of them should have.

I figured I’d give them a moment so I turned to go talk to Nicole. “You feeling any better?” I asked perching on the edge of her bed.

She flexed her arm with full movement, “Yeah, I guess,” I couldn’t help but feel guilty. There was a short awkward silence before I asked: “Is there anything I can get you?”

Her reply was, “Answers,” of course it was. I shouldn’t have asked. The team had warned me against telling her everything or well anything at all. At least for now. I tried to tell her that I couldn’t tell her and it was for her safety but she slumped back into the pillows saying “Yeah I figured.”

She turned her head away indicating the end of the conversation. So I stood up and I figured I’d make myself useful checking Levi’s vitals or something. I wanted to be there for Nicole but I couldn’t for her safety. I figured I would only make things worse.

Levi was fine, he seemed to be recovering. I told Fish how to read some of the screens what they displayed. It made him seem slightly at ease to see that Levi seemed to be doing well.

Once I’d done everything I could think of to avoid finishing my conversation with Nicole I turned around to see an empty bed. Nicole was gone.

There was no way she should’ve been able to move with her leg like that. Werewolf bites were not normal bites.

I swore under my breath, hurrying out of the clinic. I had to find her and I had to tell Wynonna.

*******Nicole*******

With all this crazy shit happening you’d think it would be wise to stay and find out what’s happening. But the drugs had long worn down and now nothing feels safe. Not even Waverly. I know Wynonna rescued me from Bobo and all but these people were not giving me answers. That meant they had something to hide.

I couldn’t just sit there and load me up on some experimental drugs that could be doing god know what to me. I’d been paralyzed for a while and I’d hit on someone who had basically taken me hostage while unable to move and barely able to speak. The drugs probably also caused some sort of hallucinations too. That would explain things.

I’d seen how worried the man that came in, Fish, looked. He clearly knew something I didn’t.

I didn’t think it would take Waverly long to notice I’d left. Despite doing her best to pretend I didn’t exist she was a clever girl and was likely to notice that only one heart monitor was still beeping or just turn around and see my empty bed.

I was walking down the hallways with no clue on where I was headed. If I was caught who knows how they would retaliate. Perhaps they’d paralyze me on purpose this time. It was that thought that was pushing me through the pain in my leg. It wasn’t quite ready to support my weight fully but I had to make do.

Whenever I reached a new door it opened without a lock, the clinic door had been locked before Waverly entered. It was the only locked one. That observation quickened my pace.

Each door I opened or peered through lead into different rooms, some looked similar to the ones at the station with cork boards and strings and others that had one-way glass and a table. Some had large lab type places and others some very impressive computers. Wherever I was it was well funded the only thing it seemed to be missing was people.

So far I knew of Waverly, Wynonna, Jeremy, The Warlock and the two others that were in the van. There was also Fish and Levi but none of them were anywhere to be found.

I continued down the corridors hoping to find a door that leads to the outside.

*******Waverly*******

The building had only one exit and I hurried towards it. I would tell whoever I saw along the way but Nicole was smart and If she left the building things would get worse.

I got to the door to find it hanging ajar. I thought that before I was running as fast as I could but when I saw a lock of red hair outside the building I was able to run faster. Nicole had found an exit and I needed to stop her now.

Wynonna left her motorbike outside and normally I wouldn’t dare touch it, especially without a helmet but desperate times called for desperate measures. I jumped on it and followed Nicole. Lucky for me she had just gone down an ally that was basically a dead end and I just needed to get there before she realized and turned around.

Putting my foot on the pedal I chased after her, I reached the ally and pulled my bike --Wynonna’s bike-- across blocking a large section of the entrance or rather, exit.

Nicole had realized this was a dead end and upon seeing me had stopped dead in her tracks.

“Waverly, I need you to let me past.” I could see the terror in her eyes. I had no clue what she knew, she could’ve found anything in the HQ or maybe not knowing was what terrified her.

“I-I need you to come back with me, I need you to trust me,” It sounded pretty empty if you ask me. I already knew there was no way she’d agree but I had to try. It was for her own good.

“Trust you?” she almost laughed, “sure let’s trust the complete stranger who kidnapped and drugged you and can’t give you any answers.”

That was true and hit me like a punch in the gut. We were the good guys and I needed her to see that. “Wynonna saved you,” I muttered.

“From what exactly, can you tell me, Waverly?” Her voice was only rising and she was getting more and more frustrated but the look on my face must’ve shown her that I can’t tell her anything.

“Yeah I thought so,” she said stepping towards me “You haven’t been able to give me one answer so I can’t give you my trust, now let me past.”

I knew she was a cop and I couldn’t stop her if I wanted to. So as she walked past me I reached out and grabbed her arm. It was probably stupid to say it, but something told me it was a good idea. “Dolls, he put a tracking device in your leg, just below the wound. They will find you. It was for your safety.”

That caught her attention, she stopped and peeled back the bandage, saying nothing and felt along her skin until she found the chip. She turned to leave again and I yelled.

“We’re not the only ones who are going to look for you, Bobo’s cult are coming and once you’ve taken enough time to realize you’re safer with us please just come back? I only told you about the chip so that you have enough time to return on your own will, not by force, but trust me okay? You don’t have much time before they find you and that bite it’s not normal. You should be fine for a while because you’re system was overloaded with the drugs but if you don’t get the correct meds you’ll regret it. Nicole, it will be bad. Please come back you don’t understand,” I was rambling and she didn’t turn back around to look at me and just continued on her path. I had to get back to the HQ and pretend like nothing happened and tell Fish to keep quiet. Dolls would never forgive me for this.

*******Dolls*******

Champ ran into me, he was wheezing and out of breath.

He planted his hand on my shoulder saying “Dolls,” before stopping for a few breaths, “I’ve just run from the clinic.”

I didn’t have time to be standing here watching him catch his breath before he tells me that we’re out of Cheetos or similar.

He gasped for air a few more times before continuing “Nicole is gone.”

I turned and quickly marched to the lab. Leaving Champ.

“Jeremy!” I called out “Bring up Nicole’s tracer now.”

He did as he was told “Oh Ohhh,” he said upon seeing it’s ping outside the HQ, “She’s behind that Thai food place on 8th.”

I turned without a word to Jeremy, I had no time.

Doc was talking to Champ in the hall asking, “What is all of this commotion?” I didn’t leave Champ time to reply.

“Doc, You’re with me. Now. I need help tracking,” he instantly followed without a question. Sensing the urgency. Doc was a werewolf and although it was weeks until full moon even in human form his nose was above average.

When we reached Nicole’s location she was nowhere to be seen. Her tracker, however, was lying on top of a pile of trash. “She took her tracker out, it’s here,” I said to Doc, “Is there any blood, anything we can follow,” I said throwing him the tracker.

I sat on the bin hands clasped as he walked around the area sniffing everything. He stopped and stood up slowly

“Oh, she is good, not a trace. She must make an exceptional cop.”

*******Nicole*******

Waverly had warned me that people would be looking for me. That’s why instead of going home I booked a room around the back of the closest bar, Shorty’s. It was just until I could prove there was no truth to what she said. I covered my face when I entered. Call me paranoid but this is where all the town drunks hang out and all the town drunks knew me. I thought Wynonna was just a town drunk. I wouldn’t have come if I could’ve gone anywhere else.

Shorty set me up with a room and I lay down on the bed. I had no clue when the last time I was at work was, I needed to get word to Nedley but I figured the people that put the tracker into my leg would be smart enough to keep an eye on him. I’d have to discover the truth for myself first.

I lay staring at the ceiling trying to work things out but I was exhausted and soon fell into a restless sleep.

The dream was strange. I was sitting handcuffed in a room to myself. It was a small empty room. Almost like a cell although it had one skylight and I could see a giant full moon looming above me. I could hear a man. He was screaming in agony “Make it stop. Make it stop. I’m begging you.”

Then he was suddenly silent as the room faded away and the only remaining noise was the footsteps coming towards me. It was Bobo. This time he had a knife and was throwing and catching it, spinning it around his wrist with little and seemingly subconscious effort, almost like a kid spinning a pen around his thumb in class.

He threw it reasonably high and then snatched it out of the air. Freezing holding it horizontally right in front of my eyes. Slightly overdramatic but I pretended it wasn’t intimidating. He relaxed and then asked, “How’s that bite doing” with a mocking tone. He cut away the bandages. To reveal a labyrinth of black lines emanating from the wound. The sight shocked me but Bobo seemed pleased simply saying “you’ll be ready soon.”

I treated him the same as usual. With silence. “You know our last conversation was cut short,” he said walking behind me and placing the knife flat against my shoulder.

“I was going to say that you and I could be great friends.” I felt the coldness of the blade shift. It was now tracing down my arm.

“Because people that aren’t my friends,” he said slowly pressing the blade harder into my skin, “quickly regret it.”

I suppressed a shudder as his knife cut along my shoulder drawing small amounts of blood. He’d have to try harder than that.

*******Fish*******

I was still angry that my visit with Levi yesterday had been cut short. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe this time he would have woken up. He was my world after all and I was grateful that Doc persuaded Wynonna to let me come in occasionally. I get why I had to go. Nicole missing and all that was a big deal.

Yesterday I went to the nearest bar to grab a drink. I often went there to play poker or grab a drink after a visit. I got so wasted last night that I ended up booking a room round the back to avoid driving. I was expecting a heavy hangover this morning. The visits were really heavy and the alcohol would wash that pain away. I’d do anything to see him well.

I went over to say hi to the owner, Shorty. We were close and I was hoping to score a round on the house. When I got to him however he was taking a payment from her Nicole. I knew she recognized me when our eyes met. I expected her to run but she didn’t. She pulled a gun from her belt. “Ambrose Dickenson” she yelled, “I need you to come with me for questioning in a case involving Bobo Del Rey,”

I had no clue how this lady learned my real name but stood frozen as Shorty pushed Nicole’s gun down. “Hey easy there, he’s one of the more peaceful ones. You can take him to question in the back room,” Shorty said.

Nicole must’ve realized how strange it would’ve looked pulling a gun on me and quickly dragged me into the back room threw me to the bed and locked the door.

“Fish you are going to tell me everything, right now,” she was pacing the room and ran her fingers through her hair, she seemed distraught and her public outburst seemed out of character for such a professional cop.

I panicked stuttering and she marched over and pushed me into the bed. “Tell me what is going on,” she yelled.

She put her leg on the bed and unraveled the bandage to show twisting black lines snaking up her leg, “What the hell is this, did Levi have it?” she yelled.

“I don’t - I don’t know,” I told her and it was the truth, I’d never wanted to see Levi’s wound, why would I?

She continued yelling, “It was fine yesterday, and then last night I had a dream and it was black like this. Now I wake up and it’s the same black it was in my dream, I can’t just imagine something into existence.”

“I can get Waverly to-” I started before she interrupted.

“Keep her out of this, she won’t give me answers and you are going to or I swear Fish you will be in a world of pain,” she pulled her sleeve across to reveal a cut along her shoulder. “How did I get this cut, did I have it before last night?”

“Nicole I can’t possibly know that,” I yelled, “Listen I’ll tell you everything I know but it’s not much and you need to calm down.”

She walked backward running her hand through her hair again backing off to let me speak.

“Uh okay werewolves, they’re real and you and Levi both were bitten by them, right? And the BBD yeah, they are in charge of keeping all the creatures most humans don’t know about in line and there's a large cult of werewolves in this city that they trying to protect everyone from okay,”

Nicole was silent, I was expecting her to ask questions but none came so I continued. “Listen I know nothing about your wound but they said Levi needs to get a shot full of this medicine stuff every six hours and what it does is it tries to stop him turning - as in into a werewolf and you’ve been here for more than six hours right?”

Nicole took a massive breath in, “Waverly said I would be fine for a while because Jeremy gave me that overdose but I need you to get me some of that drug, just in case it is useful.”

“I can’t do that, Waverly keeps it under lock and key,” It’s not that I didn’t want to help the lady, It’s just I couldn’t not without risking my visits to Levi, “Do you trust Waverly? I’m the only one who knows about her letting you go and you gotta trust her or you’ll turn and then Bobo and his wolves, they’ll come for you, I can set up a meeting for you two. She won’t tell anyone and she’ll come alone. I swear it.”

She looked like she wanted to throw something in frustration, but the room was bare.

“Tell Waverly to meet me alone by the fountain on fourth and tell her to bring some of that drug. I’ll be there in two hours.” Nicole sounded defeated.

“I best get going then,” I said before scampering out of the room. I hoped Waverly would agree… For Nicole’s sake.