The insistent tick of the sewing machine as it merged the fabric together was giving Waverly a headache, and the angle she had been bent at in her chair was starting to really grind the muscles of her lower back, a dull ache having settled there about ten minutes ago. She sighed, sitting back and letting the machine click off, throwing her head back over the back of her chair, her brown locks cascading in waves down the spine of it. The brunette closed her eyes and just breathed for a few minutes.
“I can do this.” She mumbled to herself, “I can get a degree in fashion design. It’s not stupid. I’m gonna go to New York, get out of this stupid dead-end town, and-“
Her quiet rant was cut short by the sound of a creak to her left. Her eyes snapped open, face flushing at the prospect of someone else being in the studio to witness her own pep-talk. But it was empty. The entire left side of the studio, where all the mannequins were stretched out in a creepy looking herd, was silent. And dark. And empty. Waverly looked with narrowed eyes at a model whose strange, dead eyes were directed straight at her, and then shuddered.
“God, why do they have to give them eyes…” She grumbled to herself, turning back to her work and snatching up her pen to start working on her final piece, allowing herself a break from the smaller project due tomorrow.
Another moment of silence passed as she sketched the curve of the bodice, and then, out the corner of her eyes, the slow movement of something. She froze, heart thumping, and glanced over at the mannequin crowd. One of them, wearing a half-finished purple suit, that she was pretty sure was looking out the open window only minutes ago, had its head turned in her direction.
“Okay…” She whispered warily, breathing rapid, she looked over at her fourth cup of coffee, still have full, and pushed it away with the tip of her finger, “Too much coffee. And I’m tired. It didn’t mov-“
Again, she was stopped by the sound creaking and, when she looked over this time, the same mannequin was still again, but his arm was definitely out-stretched when most definitely hadn’t been before, the purple material bunched up at the joint of the shoulder. Her hands snatched up her phone blindly, almost dropping it twice, and she searched for her recent calls out of the corner of her eye. No way was she looking away from that thing again. The sound of ringing filled her ear as she lifted the device to her ear.
“Come on… Come on… Pick up!” She hissed as it continued ringing. She counted five before it clicked and the sound of shuffling was heard, and then a voice, still groggy with sleep, groaned through the speaker,
“Waves?” Nicole grumbled out, and Waverly tried not to think how sexy her voice sounded when it was gravelly and low like that. Priorities.
“Hi! Um… can you come get me? I’m in the studio and I was working on my project and - before you say anything, I know I should be sleeping - and I’m probably going crazy, no I’m definitely going crazy, but I swear to you one of the mannequins just moved.”
There was silence over the end of the line before Nicole spoke again,
“How many cups of coffee have you had?”
Waverly huffed, annoyed, “This is not a coffee-induced hallucination again, I promise! It really moved!” She hadn’t even realised she was whispering, high-pitched and almost squealing in her panic. She didn’t even know why.
“I promise! And there’s no one else here, I checked when I got here, I would have heard them come in so…”
Waverly lowered her voice considerably, still eyeing the figure, as she spoke over-exaggeratedly, “I think we’re dealing with a ‘D’ word, here!”
“Come on, Nicole, ‘D’ word! It’s code!”
“Code for what?”
“Demon, Nicole, Demon. We went over this!”
“Well, excuse me, it’s 2:00 in the morning and I’m leaving my nice, warm house to come save your paranoid ass. My brain hasn’t caught up with me yet.”
“Clearly…” Waverly mumbled with a roll of her eyes, mouth quirked into a smile.
“What was that?”
“That’s what I thought. Okay, Ill be there in 10!”
Now that the realisation that Nicole had hung up occurred and she no longer had the comfort of her voice in her ear, and the silence was deafening as she waited, fear creeping up her spine.
Her eyes never left those dastardly models.
“‘Take a fashion major, Waverly’, ‘It’ll be fun, Waverly’, I’m not having any fricking fun right now!” The brunette mumbled under her breath, praying to any God she could think of that Nicole’s car could magically sprout wings right now just to get her here that little bit faster.
It could have been 30 seconds, 30 minutes, or 30 years for Waverly, but the rev of an engine outside made her heart sore and a wave of relief wash over her. So relieving, in fact, that Waverly’s eyes flickered from the mannequin for only a split second when she heard the door to the studio open. A lot of things happened in that one millisecond where Waverly’s eyes weren’t fixed on the dummy, and those were, in the order that she realised them;
Nicole Haught looked unfairly good in just boy shorts and a sweatshirt with that sexy, mussed, bedhead hair.
She had taken her eyes off of the possibly deadly demon dummy just to acknowledge how hot her sisters best friend looked.
Said possibly deadly demon dummy was now gripping her loosely by the neck with one outstretched, plastic arm only a foot away.
The brunette shrieked, jumping back and smacking the model hand away on reflex, not really thinking it through. Not even a second later, Nicole was by her side, asking her if she was okay, but not taking her own eyes from this definitely deadly demon dummy who had just tried to strangle her.
“Yeah, I’m fine. It didn’t have a proper grip on me…” She trailed off, hand grabbing at the sleeve of her friend’s jumper, “Nicole what just happened.”
“Pinocchio’s a real boy?”
“Sarcasm is the only defence mechanism I have. I may be 5’8 but I’m actually very week.”
“You’re just saying that so I don’t make you fight it.”
“That could be true, yes.”
“I’m a lover, not a fighter, cutie,” At the nickname, Waverly really hoped that Nicole could not see her inflamed cheeks out of the corner of her eye, “I vote we make a run for it.”
“But we can’t just… leave it here! What if someone comes in tomorrow and it fricking murders them!?” Waverly squealed, voice still subdued as though raising it would cause the demon before her would lash out.
“I guess then we’re Calvin in-Klein-ed to make sure that doesn’t happen then.”
“We have to Tommy Hil-figure it out.”
“Aha! Whose not being serious now, Earp!” Nicole spun her face to look at the younger girl, and the suddenness of the movement - and, come on, its Nicole - caused Waverly to meet her eyes.
And then the mannequin was right in front of them again once they whipped their heads back round, arms outstretched and fingers like claws as it reached for the two of them. It’s crooked finger, that Waverly knew could not be bent that way, was merely a centimetre from her nose, basically brushing the bridge of it with it’s plastic nail.
“Oh my god, fuck that, lets get out of here!” She shrieked, grabbing Nicole’s hand and, eyes still towards the monster, slowly began edging away from the doorway.
“Easy does it…” Nicole mumbled, “Nice evil human-plastic-thingy…”
“It’s a mannequin.”
“Its called a mannequin.”
“Oh, how terribly rude of me, don’t want to offend the fashion department with all it’s fancy terminology.”
“Criminology majors,” Waverly tutted as they neared the door, “So insensitive.”
“Yeah, whilst we’re doing stupid things like learning to save people and helping society, you guys are doing the important stuff like making really cool hats.” The redhead fumbled for the door handle behind her back.
“Yes, because you do so much good with your plastic handcuffs and fake blood. The world would be a loss without you.” The door finally creaked open behind them and Nicole pulled Waverly by the hand to stand just behind her, but enough that she too could see the still model.
“Okay, snarky fashion major, when I count to three you gotta leg it down that hallway, you hear? I’ll be right behind you.”
Waverly knew that this would cause the dummy to be out of sight. But, really, what other choice did they have? It appeared as if their only choice was to turn and run as fast as freaking possible.
“I mean you can try to, but I’m pretty fast.”
“Is that a challenge, Earp?” She could practically hear the smirk in Nicole’s voice, and it caused her to grin,
“Could be. If you got the balls.”
“You’re on,” Nicole nodded, and Waverly watched the back of her head bob, cropped red locks bouncing lightly, and she briefly wondered would it would feel like to run her hands through them, “Three… Two-one-Go!”
The words were practically mumbled, the redhead darting down the hall her as soon as they left her mouth, but Waverly was already beside her on instinct.
“You’re a dirty cheat, Haught!”
“You should see what else I’m dirty at!” Nicole flashed a cheeky smile at the littlest Earp as they rushed through the Art Building, no sound behind them but a looming presence still hot on their tail with every step.
They almost missed the exit, Waverly pushing open the doors, only to immediately slam them shut once Nicole passed through. The redhead, without a word, shoved her back against the metal, just before a force on the other side smashed itself against the doors, but they stayed closed. From her pocket, Waverly grabbed the building key she had been trusted with by her professor and shoved it into the hole, clicking the lock into place.
Silence fell over them, the mannequin-creature… thing, on the other side of the door, going silent.
They were both breathing heavily, chests heaving with every inhale, and the older of the two was still leaning against the doors, staring straight at the youngest Earp in utter disbelief as to what had just happened.
“I won.” Was all Waverly breathed out.
And then they both grabbed for one another, lips crashing in a searing kiss that was mostly teeth and tongue, hands grabbing at anything they could find, Waverly’s fingers going on an exploration into copper locks that were just as soft as she had thought, tugging at the roots of them with little hesitation. Their tongues danced for dominance, Nicole having been pinned against the very door she had been holding closed, fisting the material around Waverly Earp’s waist to pull her closer.
It was her who pulled away first, their breaths even heavier than before, but neither seeming to care.
“Aw, hell…” She muttered, eyes clenching shut, “Wynonna’s gonna kill me.”
Waverly simply giggled into the skin of her neck as she nibbled her way up her throat.
“If the demons in the fashion design department don’t get to you first.”
“Honestly? I’d rather go against that demon dummy than Wynonna Earp.”