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Craving Intimacy and Almonds (But Only One of Those Can Be Storebought)

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If there's one thing Dolls- and Waverly, and Nicole, and Doc- have learned about pregnancy through Wynonna, it's that there's always cravings. Lots and lots and lots of cravings.

Whether it's sending Waverly back out into the freezing weather to get her an ice cream sundae after she's already eaten one or demanding Nicole make her tacos three nights in a row, Wynonna is even more demanding than usual. Everyone has sympathy for her because they've all heard the stories and besides, things are hard enough and she's eating for two so they might as well keep their mouths shut when she announces she wants pancakes just two hours after having them for breakfast. But sometimes they all can't help but marvel and laugh at the things she chooses to eat- two giant containers of yogurt, always plain even though non-pregnant Wynonna used to chide Waverly for buying it, and they're all amazed her body doesn't rebel at the contents she puts in it. She covered celery in chocolate syrup one night while they were at the station- to be fair, there weren't many other ingredients in Nedley’s fridge, and why did he have those two anyways?- and after everyone had given her a look, they all returned back to work, because after all, there were bigger issues to be dealt with.

After an exhausting day, Dolls finds sleep almost instantly. His motel room has grown to be home to him, even if he does spend a minimal amount of time there. When he first came to Purgatory and settled himself in the small, sparse room, he didn't think it'd ever feel like home and he wasn't expecting it to. And of course, when he steps into the Earp homestead it feels more like home than anything else to him, but the dimly lit hotel room that smells of soap and laundry detergent could be far worse.

Climbing into bed and dropping his head onto the pillow is so overwhelmingly satisfying, but he doesn't have time to appreciate it because sleep comes almost instantly, and even then, his phone starts buzzing and vibrating on the bedside table soon after. He tries so hard to ignore it but sleep can't be enjoyed when his phone could be ringing for a variety of bad reasons. He prays it’s a spam caller, especially since it has to be at least three in the morning, but he can't take the chance.

He groans as he finally moves to answer the call, heart jumping in his chest when he reads “Wynonna” under the caller ID.

    “Hey, is everything okay?” he answers frantically, already out of bed, blankets discarded carelessly as he moves aimlessly towards where he thinks he left his shoes.

    “What's wrong? What's going on?”

Wynonna grumbles on the other end of the line. “Dude, I'm fine. Just...pregnant.”

    “Your water didn't break or anything, right?” Dolls asks, definitely unprepared for this and much more scared than he thought he'd be when it finally happened. God, he's really not actually ready for this, he doesn't know how to go about handling a woman in labor let alone a newborn baby and-

His thought process cuts off when Wynonna answers, “no, no, God, I’d probably be screaming much more if it did, be warned.”

He slows his frantic dressing when he hears her laugh on the other end of the line.

    “God, this is so stupid...I just need you to get me something.”

    “Yeah, sure, anything, what do you need?” Dolls answers, voice still just as firm because living day to day with a pregnant deputy, heir, friend, and something else that he doesn't have a word for quite yet is kind of terrifying and he's still frazzled.

    “Um…almonds?” Wynonna says, end of the word tilted up in a question like she knows how ridiculous her request is.

Dolls sighs, looking back at the clock on the bedside table blaring red numbers. “I know I told you I'd get whatever you needed, but you do realize it's almost four AM, right?”

Wynonna sighs. “I don't like these cravings as much as anyone else does catering to them, but after all this shit I've been through, I really think I deserve some goddamn almonds. Besides, I can’t sleep anyways and it’s so much harder to fight cravings than you’d think- God, I have so much respect for people who are addicted to heroin because I can’t even imagine what that feels like if this is just considered a heightened craving.”

Dolls shakes his head, even though she can't see him, and grabs his coat before heading to the door. “I’m on my way, but what about Waverly? Nicole? None of them are up and happen to have almonds in stock?” He asks for no real reason, because he’s already outside and he knows her too well, knows she’s definitely already asked and he’s just too under her spell to say no, anyways. Not like she’d let him.

    “Who the hell has almonds in stock?” Wynonna scoffs. “If we did, I wouldn't be calling you. Besides, Nicole is sleeping over again and I already asked both her and Waverly, which required me going in there twice since Waverly thought we had some, but we didn't and then I kind of interrupted them while they were-”

Dolls’s laugh interrupts Wynonna’s words, and he assures her he's on his way before pulling out of the hotel parking lot, still in pajama pants, heading towards the nearest store.

 

He ultimately finds almonds after looking in two stores- both closed, of course, because it’s Purgatory and almost five AM- and a convenience store that was too many miles outside of town to count. Standing in the empty store, linoleum illuminated by industrial lights so bright his eyelids burn when he blinks, Dolls marvels at how many varieties of barbecue chips there are available. He eventually decides to buy a bag- alongside three large containers of almonds that he prays will be enough- since he faintly recalls reading about barbecue being a popular craving on some maternity blog he’d scoured not too long ago.

The drive back to town feels quicker now that he has what he needs, and he sends Wynonna a quick text before he puts the car into drive to let her know he’s almost at the homestead. He ignores the way his chest jumps when she sends heart emojis back.

    “Look at your cute little pajamas, what the hell!” Wynonna practically squeals when she opens the door, letting him into the warm den of the homestead before quickly shutting the door and grabbing the plastic bag from his hands, already muttering in excitement to herself as she breaks open the container of nuts.

    “Hey, this is what you get when you wake me up in the middle of the night,” Dolls replies, pulling off his coat and hat, setting them on the couch. In the back of his mind, he recognizes how normal being here has become for him, almost like a second home. He knows exactly where they keep the coffee machine and the cream, as well as all the places Wynonna tends to misplace it.

    “You should wear them to work,” Wynonna mumbles through a mouthful of almonds, and affinity stirs in his chest as she flashes him a grin.

    “Wynonna? Are you still up?” Waverly’s calls from the hallway, bunny slippers dragging against the wood floor as she makes her into the kitchen. “Oh, hey Dolls. What are you guys doing up?”

    “He got me almonds!”  Wynonna announces, and there’s an honest-to-god note of triumph in her words. Dolls gives Waverly a smile as he takes a seat across from Wynonna, stirring his coffee and not daring to reach across the counter for an almond. Waverly arches her eyebrows at him, as if to question his sanity for really going out into the negative degree weather just to get her sister some almonds, but then Nicole comes up beside her, hand on her back and lips mouthing something Dolls can’t decipher, and Waverly smiles ever so faintly.

    “That’s dedication to your job,” Nicole comments, and her eyes are kind when they meet Dolls’. “You know she’ll be easier to be handle in the morning if you give in and feed her now, even if you suffer now.” As if to prove her point, Dolls stifles a yawn.

    “This is why we keep him around,” Wynonna says, reaching out and patting Dolls’ arm. She smiles at him so fondly he gets dizzy, and he takes a long swig of coffee to clear his head.

When he looks up, Waverly and Nicole are whispering again, and Wynonna seems to be slowing down her assault on the almonds.

    “Well, you guys woke me up so I’m gonna get some food, but we’ll leave you alone,” Waverly says, rummaging in the cupboards behind Dolls and giving him a mildly pointed look that he wishes he didn’t understand. He’d tried to hide it for so long, but it seems there’s no point in pretending the rapport he has with Wynonna isn’t something a little more than friendly, even if neither of them seem to ever have enough time to fully address it.

Waverly winks at Wynonna as she passes but she doesn’t notice, too busy cracking open the second container of almonds and letting out an unholy moan. Dolls just sips his coffee and pretends he doesn’t hear Nicole choke on laughter down the hallway, whispering something about nuts to Waverly that he knows is not about almonds.

    “Night,” he calls to them and they just laugh harder, closed bedroom door silencing their gossip.  

It’s silent for awhile as Wynonna finishes up her almonds and Dolls draws out his cup of coffee, but it’s peaceful, not awkward. They chat a little about work, but not too much, because by now they have more to talk about and aren’t just bound by work. They’re tied together by the kind of affection that is unnamed, but equates to willingness of driving forty minutes out, in the middle of the night, just to deliver a pregnant women- that isn’t even potentially pregnant with your child- almonds.

Wynonna offers to makes a bed for Dolls on the couch, and his protests are quickly stopped when he knocks his mug over, spilling the last few drops of coffee on the counter.

Wynonna shakes her head as she hands him a towel, commenting that she’s never seen him spill anything in his life so he’s definitely exhausted, and therefore not fit to drive. He rolls his eyes but doesn’t insist otherwise.

When the couch is made and they’re both taken with weariness, he thinks his heart is done for the day, has no more racing to do. But then she rises up on her toes to kiss his cheek, and he reaches out to grasp her hand, touch light but still there, and he thinks sleep might be impossible now.

    “Thank you,” she says quietly, and there’s vulnerability in her voice. “I know it’s a hassle, I know I’m a hassle, but I’d be much worse off without you, for sure.”

    “Hey, that’s why I-” he starts, and then quickly shuts his mouth. His hand comes up to her hair, smoothing a curl behind her ear- serving as a distraction, he hopes, to make her mind do anything but continue the sentence he had almost said.

    “You’re not a hassle, ever,” he says, and pulls his hand back up to his side. “But getting up for work tomorrow is going to be, so we’d better get some sleep.”

Wynonna nods, and he can tell there’s something more she wants to say, maybe something similar to what he was about to say before, but she gives him a smile, says goodnight, and heads to her room. For now, this has to be enough- him sleeping on her couch is a new thing, so are cheek kisses, so he can’t be upset or even embarrassed. She’s cracked him open more than anyone ever has, broken down his walls and likes what she sees. There’s a lot between them- babies, curses, the moderate inability to communicate effectively about feelings- but as he falls asleep, he thinks they’re at least heading in the right direction.