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Too young to be so scared

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Waverly stormed into the house and straight upstairs, slamming the front door and then the one to her bedroom before she threw herself down onto her bed. She had walked the long way home, hoping to calm herself down but it hadn’t helped at all, she was devastated. She had been terrified of screwing things up by admitting to Nicole that she liked her and when Wynonna had given her the push she had needed by confirming that Nicole liked her back she thought everything was going to be fine. More than fine, she thought it was going to be amazing and it had been. For one night. The fact that Nicole hadn’t replied to any of her texts should have told her that when her and Nicole finally actually did talk, it was going to be a shitty conversation but she still had hope.

She didn’t even care that she had skipped the rest of her day at school. She’d never done that before but there was no way she could have faced seeing Nicole again in the hallway or sit next to her in English at the end of the day without bursting into tears. She had managed to stop crying at some point on the way home but she wasn’t really sure when. She wasn’t even sure if she really remembered the walk home. How was she supposed to go back to being ‘just friends’ with Nicole?

Waverly heard her bedroom door open and she flipped herself over to see who it was. Wynonna, clearly not long up and still in the clothes she had been wearing the night before, leaning against her door. She made some comment about Gus kicking her ass if she heard she’d been slamming the doors but furrowed her brow when she noticed that Waverly had clearly been crying.

“What’s wrong?” Wynonna asked and Waverly burst into tears again, just thinking about answering. She’d never felt like this before, she’d never had her heart broken before. She couldn’t understand why people put themselves through this and then she remembered how she had felt when Nicole’s lips met hers. She would walk through a burning building just to feel like that again. Wynonna quickly came onto the bed with her and hugged her close, Waverly was near hysterical and although she wanted to explain she could barely speak. Her throat was so tight and each breath felt like she was gasping for air that just wouldn’t come.

“Nicole.” It was the only word that managed to escape her lips and Wynonna’s face hardened. She let go of Waverly and stormed out the room, Waverly heard Wynonna walk into her own room and then bolt down the stairs.

Waverly forced herself upright and ran after her but she was out the door and on her bike already. She tried to shout after her, stop her from doing something stupid but the roar of her engine blocked out all of Waverly’s attempts and before she could reach her Wynonna was gone, speeding down the street in the direction of the school. Waverly loved Wynonna, loved that she was so goddamn protective but there was no way that whatever she was about to do would be good. She cursed her inability to drive and ran back inside, grabbed her house keys and locked up before walking all the way back to school as fast as she could.

By the time she got there she wasn’t sure who she was more upset with, Wynonna for making her walk all the way back to school after she had literally been home all of a few minutes or Nicole for being the root cause of it. She spotted Nicole first, coming out the main door. School had just let out and the parking lot was filling up fast with kids. Even from the distance Waverly was at she could tell Nicole had been crying, probably just as much as Waverly and all the anger that Waverly was feeling towards her disappeared. She hated this too but then why did she do it? Why did she care what her mom thought was best for her? What had her mom said to her that made her think that her and Waverly being together was so bad?

She heard Wynonna before she saw her, blocked by a group of younger students who Waverly had to literally push through and Waverly’s anger locked firmly onto her sister.

“Haught! What the fuck is your deal?” Wynonna sounded angry and it scared Waverly but clearly not as much as it scared Nicole. Her eyes were wide, watching everyone who was looking at the impending confrontation. Wynonna had never noticed Nicole’s aversion to loud noises or how anxious she was in crowds, Waverly had thought about mentioning it but it wasn’t her place. She knew Nicole considered Wynonna a friend and if she felt comfortable telling her then she would have. At that moment she really wished she’d just told Wynonna.

Waverly made it to them just as Wynonna was taking the final steps to get right up in Nicole’s face and Waverly pushed herself between them. She could hear Nicole beginning to hyperventilate behind her as she warned Wynonna to take a step back through gritted teeth.

“I’m handling this, Waves.” Wynonna said, not breaking her glare that was directed at Nicole but Waverly pushed her back. She’d never pushed Wynonna like that, they’d only ever play fought when they were younger and Wynonna’s eyes went wide as Waverly’s palms made contact with her shoulders. Waverly would never forgive herself if Wynonna actually hurt Nicole, the only reason she was there was because of Waverly.

“Shut up, Wynonna! Leave, please!” Waverly shouted and Wynonna didn’t step forward into the space she had been occupying before Waverly pushed her but she didn’t turn to leave either. Waverly could hear Nicole’s erratic breathing spike as she dared Wynonna to take step forward with a glare. She forgot about her sister and turned quickly to face Nicole, her chest heaving and her fists clenched tight at her sides. She looked like she was having a full blown panic attack, eyes darting around the parking lot as if looking for safe passage to her car. Waverly placed one hand onto Nicole’s forearm and she jumped, eyes landing on Waverly’s and her breath coming in and out in fits from her nose. “I’m going to take you back inside, ok?” Waverly waited for her to nod before turning her around and walking her back into the building which was now much quieter than the busy parking lot. There was a bathroom just inside the front door she hoped would be empty and Nicole could have some privacy while she calmed down.

Waverly didn’t let go of her arm until the were inside the thankfully, empty bathroom and Nicole pulled away to start pacing back and forth in the small room. The stall doors were all open bar one and Nicole pushed it to double check no one was in there before resuming her pacing. Waverly could see her whole body shaking as she started doing what Waverly could only presume were breathing exercises. She kept her back against the door incase any lingering students decided to try and come in as she watched Nicole slowly bring herself down.

“I’m sorry.” Waverly spoke when Nicole looked as if she was composed enough to take in what she had said. “This is all my fault. I was upset when I got home and Wynonna only heard me say your name before she flew out the door to come here.” She couldn’t believe that she had put Nicole through this, she’d seen her anxious before but that was nothing compared to what she had just witnessed.

“This isn’t your fault.” Nicole shook her head firmly. There was a quiver in Nicole’s voice but her breathing did seem to be a lot more under control. She’d been worried about Wynonna physically hurting her but maybe this was just as bad.

“It is, I know this must be really hard for you…I was being selfish. I shouldn’t have kissed you when you didn’t want me to.” Waverly pushed her back off the door and took a few tentative steps towards Nicole. When it didn’t look like Nicole was going to back away she moved closer and held out her hands so Nicole could step into her hug if she was ok with it. She did and Waverly sighed as Nicole wrapped her arms tight around her. So tight, like she was afraid Waverly might disappear if she held her any looser. She wasn’t sure if Nicole would have even wanted the physical contact but she just wanted to comfort Nicole the only way she knew how after she had got so upset. Even if they weren’t going to be together, Nicole was still her friend. It was going to be hard for Waverly but Nicole still needed her…just not in the way that Waverly wanted to be needed.

“You weren’t being selfish…I wanted you to but I’m so scared, Waverly.” Nicole buried her head into Waverly’s neck and she could feel the tears wetting her skin. “Nothing even really happened out there with Wynonna and I totally freaked out! You shouldn’t even want to be with me, you deserve someone who can…”

“Hey! Don’t do that!” Waverly interrupted as she pulled Nicole’s head back and held her face in her hands. How could Nicole not see that she was everything Waverly wanted? If her being anxious most of the time was going to scare Waverly off, she wouldn’t have even fallen for her in the first place. Waverly knew exactly what she was getting…or what she thought she was going to get. “Don’t make out like your just some crazy person who hasn’t been through total shit just because of who you are. This doesn’t make me want you any less. You are amazing, that’s why I want to be with you. You’re smart and funny and kind.” Waverly trailed her hands down Nicole’s cheeks, she shouldn’t have been taking such pleasure in how she felt against her fingers. Not when she was sure that no matter what, Nicole was going to pull away from her again at any second. She didn’t pull away though, she inched herself closer as she bit into her lip and slowly captured Waverly’s in a gentle kiss.

Waverly wrapped her arms around Nicole’s neck and leaned in, deepening the kiss and hoping to all the gods that it meant something. That it meant Nicole knew Waverly wouldn’t be put off by Nicole being scared. Waverly was scared too, she’d never imagined that she would have feelings for another girl. She didn’t care what other people thought about her but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a bit daunting that people might have some not so pleasant opinions of her once they knew she liked Nicole.

Waverly’s head was swimming, she had been trying to stop herself remembering how amazing it felt to kiss Nicole because she was sure that she’d never get a chance to do it again. She couldn’t get close enough to Nicole now and Nicole seemed to be feeling the same, her hands making their way into Waverly’s hair but before Waverly could wind her own into Nicole’s, the door opened behind them and both of them pulled apart with a jump to turn and see who had just caught them. They both sighed heavily in relief when it was just Wynonna.

“Shit. Sorry. Guess you guys made up then…” Wynonna looked at them for a second and then down to the ground when Nicole pulled Waverly back into her.

“Yeah. I think so.” Nicole’s sighed turning Waverly’s face to look at her and Waverly’s heart soared. Waverly pushed herself forward and captured her lips again, ignoring Wynonna clearing her throat behind them.

By the time they walked out of the school, the parking lot was pretty much empty and while Wynonna got on her bike to leave they made their way to Nicole’s car. They still needed to talk and even though Waverly was terrified that Nicole might still tell her the same things again she knew she needed to get it over with. Nicole managed to speak before she was able to ask if Nicole kissing her meant that she’d taken back what she said earlier.

“Maybe it won’t be so bad here…there’s that kid Jeremy a few years below us who’s out and no one seems to bother him, right?” Nicole asked hopefully and Waverly smiled at her even though Nicole’s focus was firmly on the road in front of her. Nicole still looked worried, her grip on the steering wheel was too tight and Waverly knew she had to reassure her.

“Out and proud.” Waverly stated, she’d never heard anyone say anything bad about Jeremy’s sexuality. People did tend to point out he was a bit odd but he didn’t seem to mind at all, he seemed to own his weirdness with pride as well.

“Do you want to come over? I can fill you in on what you missed in English today.” Nicole turned her head and smiled, Waverly couldn’t agree fast enough. They pulled up outside and Nicole told her to make herself at home while she went and changed. Waverly set herself up in the living room. She had noticed that Susan’s car wasn’t out front when they arrived but she heard someone pull up and the front door open. Waverly tensed up, waiting for the inevitable glare she was going to get. She’d almost forgotten that she’d probably have to see Nicole’s mom if she came inside, she didn’t exactly get a warm farewell when she had left the other morning.

“Waverly.” Susan said flatly when they caught each others eyes, she walked into the living room and asked what she was doing there.

“We were going to study.” Waverly forced a smile that Susan could clearly tell was fake. Waverly had never disliked someone’s parent before, she definitely didn’t think she would end up disliking Susan after getting along with her so well to begin with but she was starting to think that maybe Susan didn’t like her all that much if she was willing to convince Nicole not to be with her.

“Right…” She shook her head and looked as if she was about to say something else but Waverly needed to say something before Nicole came back. She needed Susan to know that Waverly wanted to protect Nicole just as much as she did.

“You know I would never want anything bad to happen to Nicole, right?” Waverly crossed her arms in front of herself, she wasn’t one for being rude to grown ups, she was always respectful but she did not appreciate Susan trying to control Nicole’s life. Nicole should be able to make her own choices, she’d had a horrible time at her last school but that didn’t have to mean that it would be the same in Purgatory. Susan didn’t even really know Purgatory so how could she be a good judge of how people would treat her daughter here. Waverly had lived in Purgatory her entire life and she’d never really heard of anyone being openly homophobic but then again there weren’t very many gay people in town for them to be homophobic towards.

“Don’t think that’s really up to you, is it?” Susan raised her eyebrows in question but Waverly couldn’t really argue that fact so she remained silent as she let her arms fall to her side. “Bad things have already happened, Waverly. Did she tell you why we left our home? Why we really left?” Waverly shook her head slowly, thinking back to everything that Nicole had said and realising that she had never pinpointed an exact event that took place for her mom to decide they needed to leave. Susan gripped the bridge of her nose and took a deep breath. “She tried to kill herself. If I hadn’t come home early from work that night, my little girl wouldn’t be here anymore!”

“Mom!” Nicole shouted from the doorway, Waverly had been so stunned she hadn’t even noticed her standing there. She looked mortified and embarrassed and although Waverly was trying to catch her eye Nicole avoided looking anywhere near her.

“She needs to know this is serious, Nicole!” Susan moved to place her hands on Nicole’s shoulders but she forced them away from her. Waverly was certain she could see tears forming in Susan’s eyes. “If it starts up again what am I supposed to do? I can’t lose you!”

“I should go.” Waverly didn’t know how to process the information she had just been given and she couldn’t believe that Susan would tell her something so personal about her daughter without Nicole’s permission. She knew Nicole had problems at her last school but she had never imagined they were so bad that Nicole would try and end her life. She grabbed her jacket and pushed passed them through to the hall and out the front door. She’d had tears in her eyes too many times that day already but that didn’t stop them from coming unbidden again. She could hear Nicole following behind her and she tried to get rid of the wetness on her cheeks but when Nicole turned her around she saw and ran a thumb gently underneath each of her eyes. Waverly felt stupid, she’d just heard something that should have made her comfort Nicole but instead Nicole was making her feel better.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you…I’ve never told anyone.” Nicole bit down into her lip and Waverly worried she might just bite all the way through so she lifted her hand and grazed it softly across her lower lip until she released it.

“I’m not upset you kept it from me, I’m upset it even happened in the first place.” Waverly stared at Nicole, wondering how on earth someone so amazing had managed to find herself in a position to think she didn’t deserve to be here anymore. It broke her heart, more than Nicole pulling away from her earlier. Waverly knew Susan had to be desperate to tell Waverly something like that. “Your mom is never going to be ok with you being with me, is she?”

“I don’t care. Not anymore. Those couple of hours where I thought I’d lost you completely because I was scared were awful! I don’t want to feel like that again. You’re the best thing that’s happened to me!” Nicole ran her fingers along Waverly’s jaw line, staring into her eyes like she was the most precious thing in the world. Waverly’s breath caught in her throat, no one had ever said something like that to her before.

“You really mean that?” Waverly asked and from the look in Nicole’s eye she didn’t think she needed to hear the answer but she wanted to. If only to calm her own fears of not being nearly good enough for Nicole. Nicole, who just apologised for not telling Waverly something incredibly personal, that she didn’t blame her for wanting to keep to herself at all.

“Yeah and I don’t just mean now…this.” She gestured between them, how so not like friends they were holding each other. “Having your friendship when I got here was everything. I didn’t think I’d meet someone who cared enough to get to know me after everything that happened but you did and I’m sorry I kept things from you. I want to tell you everything but I can’t right now…I need to get myself ready to talk about it…it’s not easy.”

“Of course it’s not.” Waverly pulled Nicole into her, not caring about the questioning look that she was currently on the receiving end of from Susan. “Come over tomorrow after school? We can talk all about it if you’re ready. I’ll call you later, ok?” Waverly felt awful that she was leaving but the way Susan was looking at her, she wasn’t sure she’d actually be welcome back in that house or not.

“Yeah…yeah ok.” Nicole pressed the side of her head against Waverly’s before releasing her and running her hand down the side of Waverly’s face. Waverly didn’t care if Susan hated her, she needed to kiss Nicole goodbye. It was quick but enough, she hoped, that Nicole knew she didn’t care about her past. She only cared that Nicole was still here and hopefully, happier now. She grabbed her hand, squeezing it tight before releasing it and leaving to walk home.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Nicole couldn’t even look at her mom as she walked back into the house. She went straight to her room and slammed the door. She could not believe that her mom betrayed her trust like that. She felt ashamed that Waverly found out that way, she was going to tell her eventually but when she was ready not when her mom decided it had to be shared. Her phone buzzed in her pocket and she took it out, surprised to see a message from Waverly so soon after she left.

Waverly

Just wanted to make sure you don’t feel weird about me knowing. I’m still gonna call you later, just needed you to know I don’t think any differently about you xxx

Nicole

Thank you. Talk to you later xx

It was exactly what Nicole needed to calm down and when her mom knocked on her door she answered telling her to come in. She was still angry with her but she at least needed to hear her out and hopefully hear her apologise again so she could start thinking about forgiving her.

“Nicole, I’m sorry. You have to understand you’re my baby and I have to protect you.” Her mom sat on the end of her bed, making sure to keep her distance and not crowd Nicole before she was ready. They’d had enough arguments over the years, her mom knew how to keep Nicole calm enough to actually talk with her and not just tell her mom to leave her alone.

“You shouldn’t have told her…it’s not yours to tell!” Nicole folded her arms across her chest and huffed out a breath. She could tell her mom regretted what she had done, she at least had to decency to look guilty.

“I know…and I can see she cares about you but I do too and I thought it was the right thing to keep you safe…if she knew how serious this was! I’m terrified of what might happen to you.”

“I know, mom.” Nicole sighed, she did know that. Nicole was scared too. “I’m just so sick of hiding who I am, it’s suffocating. Waverly makes me forget about all the bad stuff…when she kisses me it’s like none of it even happened.” Nicole pulled her arms tighter around herself, she hadn’t admitted that out loud even though she’d been thinking about it since their first kiss. Her mom smiled at that and moved closer to Nicole who relaxed her posture and leaned into her mom’s shoulder.

“I’m glad, sweetheart.” She wrapped an arm around Nicole’s shoulder and kissed the top of her head. Nicole knew she couldn’t stay mad at her mom for long, not when she really did know her mom didn’t tell Waverly just to hurt Nicole. She knew her mom would do anything to keep her safe after everything that had happened.

“You know maybe it wont be so bad here, Waverly isn’t like…” She still couldn’t bring herself to say her name, even after all these months. “She would never have let me go through that alone.”

“I hope you’re right. I can’t make your decisions for you forever but that doesn’t make this any easier.” Her eyes were full of pain when Nicole turned to look at her, it reminded her too much of the face she woke up to the day after she had taken far too much of her mom’s pain medication. Her stomach had been pumped, her head felt like she’d been hit by a train but the worse pain was seeing her mother’s eyes. Red from hours of crying, just waiting for Nicole to wake up.

It was the worst night of her life, she truly believed that she didn’t want to be alive anymore and she was so deep in her own thoughts that she hadn’t really grasped what it would do to her mom. Her mom didn’t leave her bedside in the nearly twelve hours while Nicole was unconscious, just praying that she was going to make it. She’d never felt more ashamed than when she woke up and saw how heartbroken her mom was. Her mom knew just what to say though, she told her that everything was going to be alright, that she was never going back to that school and all she cared about was the fact that her baby was still alive. Nicole had cried in her mom’s arms, telling her how sorry she was and how she didn’t know what she was thinking. Coming so close to not being there anymore had shown her that that wasn’t what she wanted, she didn’t want to die.

 

Nicole told her mom that Waverly and her would speak to some people at school, friends first and see what the general opinion was before actually telling anyone about them. She needed to speak to Waverly about that but she knew she had to tell her mom something so she would stop worrying so much and maybe come around to the idea that Nicole and Waverly were going to be together no matter what she thought was best. Nicole didn’t know if Waverly would be happy keeping whatever they were a secret from everyone but she had to hope that Waverly would be fine with it, she couldn’t even think about potentially losing Waverly again.

“Is Waverly not out at school?”

“I uh…I think I might be the first girl she’s liked that that.” Nicole was nervous to tell her mom that particular piece of information because she knew it wouldn’t instill confidence in Waverly’s actions going forward. Nicole wasn’t actually positive about that fact though, she had mentioned Perry before but not any crushes she may have had before or after him. Her mom scrunched up her face and Nicole sighed. “That doesn’t mean anything mom…doesn’t mean she’s suddenly going to decide she doesn’t like girls, doesn’t like me! You know there is such a thing as bisexual, right?”

“I know, sweetie…I know.” She pulled Nicole in for a hug, Nicole knew her mom’s concern was just coming from a place of love. When Nicole told her mom about her first crush on a girl, she had worried that Nicole telling anyone else could make life difficult for her daughter. Little did she know just how difficult. “All those videos you made me watch after you told me you were gay, gave me more information than I ever got in thirty-five years of life experience!” Her mom laughed and kissed Nicole’s forehead. Nicole had got a little carried away.

She wasn’t ready to tell Waverly everything that had happened to her, she wasn’t ready for Waverly to see her in a totally different light but now she didn’t have much of a choice. Part of her knew that if Waverly learned everything and still wanted to be with her then that meant something. She just had to believe Waverly when she said it hadn’t changed anything.

 

 

~~~~~~~

 

Waverly couldn’t stop crying the whole walk home from Nicole’s, she couldn’t stop thinking about how awful things really must have been for Nicole for her to want to end her life. She didn’t even know the people from Nicole’s old school but she hated them. Every single one of them that had hurt Nicole.

She felt so much worse about kissing Nicole behind the field, even though she knew now that Nicole had in fact wanted to kiss her. She couldn’t get Susan’s words out of her head, ‘She needs to know how serious this is’ and Waverly did, she understood just how desperate Susan would be to make sure Nicole didn’t go through the same thing again and she had kissed her somewhere where anyone could have seen them.

Waverly didn’t care if they had to keep whatever they were under wraps until they left school, or forever if it meant that she could be with Nicole. In an ideal world, she would tell everyone they were together because she knew that she could handle whatever anyone said about her as long as she was with Nicole. This wasn’t an ideal world though and Nicole had gone through something awful so Waverly decided right then and there that Nicole would set the pace. She didn’t ever want Nicole to feel like she was in danger again so she would decide who knew about them, if it was no one or if it was everyone. Waverly knew Nicole didn’t like pretending to be someone she’s not but that didn’t mean it didn’t still petrify her that people might not take it well. Waverly would have to speak to Wynonna and make sure she didn’t say anything to anyone, Purgatory was a small town and word definitely spread quickly.

By the time she got home she was sniffling the last few tears her body could physically manage, she couldn’t remember the last time she felt so emotionally spent. Wynonna was sitting in the living room with her leather boots up on the coffee table when she walked in. Waverly narrowed her eyes on them, Gus must not have been home or else Wynonna would have been getting a slap round the back of her head. Gus had some sort of superhuman ability of knowing when someone in her house had their feet up on something they shouldn’t. Wynonna groaned at Waverly’s dedication to Gus’ rules and plopped her feet down on the floor. Satisfied that Wynonna wouldn’t put them up again as soon as her attention was somewhere else, Waverly rubbed at her eyes and felt how dry her skin had become. It felt like she’d been crying for most of the day.

“You’re a bit of an emotional rollercoaster today.” Wynonna sighed and Waverly opened her eyes to see her sister gesturing towards her face, she hadn’t looked in a mirror all afternoon but she imagined her face was giving entirely too much away. “Something else happen with Nicole?” Wynonna got to her feet and made her way over to where Waverly was standing in the doorway. She looked like she was ready to jump on her bike again, at least this time she actually seemed to be waiting for confirmation that Nicole had done something that necessitated such action.

“No, Wynonna!” Waverly didn’t mean her voice to come out quite so angry but she was pissed at her sister. Not only had she totally flipped out on Nicole and caused her to have a panic attack, she hadn’t listened to Waverly and Waverly did not like being ignored. She softened her voice, she knew Wynonna’s actions were coming from a place of concern. “No…I just found out…her mom doesn’t like me.” Waverly couldn’t tell Wynonna what she had learned about Nicole but she was pretty sure her quick save was actually true. Her shoulders slumped, maybe Susan wouldn’t be ok with Waverly hanging out at their house ever again.

“Waves, literally everybody likes you! Didn’t they do a vote or some shit?” Wynonna placed her hands onto Waverly’s shoulders as she spoke and Waverly just rolled her eyes. The running joke was starting to get old, yes Waverly was popular around town but she didn’t want jokes from Wynonna, she needed her older sister to give her some support, especially now since she wasn’t sure she could go to her friends and ask for help on this.

“Wynonna…she doesn’t like that me and Nicole are…” Waverly trailed off trying to find the words that fit and she came up empty. She threw her hands up in the air and waved them around as Wynonna ducked out of the way so as to not get an accidental slap to the face. “Whatever we are…”

“Oh.” Wynonna’s face fell and once she was sure that Waverly’s flailing arms were securely by her side again she repositioned her hands on Waverly’s shoulders. “Not a fan of the gays, huh?” Was Waverly gay? She hadn’t really thought about it…all she knew was that she liked Nicole. She had like Perry too, she had been attracted to him and she had definitely been attracted to other guys in the past. Had she felt attraction to girls before Nicole? She definitely appreciated the way some girls looked and she had definitely stated at one time or another that she had a ‘total girl-crush’ on some female celebrities. Maybe she was bi? She figured it wasn’t desperately important to pin point exactly what her sexuality was right at that very moment, she had time to work all that out. All that mattered currently was that she knew she was interested in Nicole.

“That’s not it Wynonna, at least I really don’t think it is…Nicole moved here cause she got bullied a lot at her last school.” Waverly flinched at her own words, she hated the mental images that crept into her mind when she thought about it. “She was outed there and her mom is worried that the same thing is gonna happen here if people find out about us. She just wants to protect Nicole.”

“Red took down Champ with a single punch, I don’t think she needs protecting!” Wynonna laughed and Waverly shot a glare her way. She couldn’t understand how Wynonna could be so oblivious to Nicole’s reaction when Wynonna shouted at her.

“You saw her today when you started shouting at her, right? She’s been through a lot and she doesn’t handle be yelled at or feeling threatened very well!” Waverly watched as realisation dawned on her sisters face, Wynonna really must have been in full-on protective sister mode to have missed just how freaked out Nicole got.

“Shit…yeah, I shouldn’t have done that.” Wynonna dropped her hands from Waverly’s shoulders and stuffed them into her jeans. Waverly knew she cared about Nicole, she would always care about her little sister more but she would never have purposefully made Nicole feel so threatened. “I just…you’re my baby sister and thought she’d done something to hurt you…”

“I know, Wynonna…but you can’t just jump to conclusions before hearing the whole story! All I said was her name and you flew off the handle! If I need you to fight my battles for me, I’ll ask ok? Otherwise, let me handle my problems on my own!” Waverly sighed, she had survived for over a year without Wynonna being there to back her up and it was nice to have someone always on her side now that she was back home but it wasn’t necessary. She was hurt by Nicole but all she wanted when she came home was to cry about and have her sister help her through it, she didn’t want Wynonna to hurt Nicole in return.

“Yeah…you’re right. I’ll apologise.”

“Thank you, she’ll be over after school tomorrow.” Waverly pulled Wynonna into a hug. Even if Wynonna didn’t really have a choice about whether or not she would have to apologise to Nicole, Waverly appreciated Wynonna admitting that it was needed.

“So what actually happened? Why were you so upset earlier?” They sat down on the couch and Waverly explained what had happened. From her mum catching them cuddled up in bed, the fact that they really had only just slept in the same bed together and how Nicole’s mom clearly got in her head about how bad it could be if people found out about them. Nicole pulling away from Waverly had felt horrible but knowing that she was actually wanted had dulled the sting it initially caused. She kept the more personal details relating to why Nicole’s mom was so worried to herself, even if she knew Wynonna would understand, it was not her place to tell anyone what Nicole went through.

Wynonna felt even worse about storming up to Nicole after Waverly explained just how hard all of this must be for Nicole and promised she’d never interfere with their stuff again unless Nicole did something that Waverly felt deserved Wynonna’s wrath. Waverly was sure that was never going to be a possibility but she thanked her sister all the same.

When Wynonna had clearly had enough of the heart-to-heart, Waverly went off to focus on the homework she had ignored all weekend, it was a little hard to concentrate when the girl you’d kissed all night didn’t reply to your messages the next day. Waverly had been a nervous wreck, thinking that she’d totally messed up their friendship, that in the clear light of day Nicole had decided that she didn’t actually like Waverly that way. That she had just got caught up in the moment and that she wouldn’t want to do it again. Waverly stressed out about it until she eventually fell asleep, still dressed in the clothes she had worn to Nicole’s the previous night.

Waverly needed something to keep her mind from going over and over what she had learned about Nicole’s past and school work really was doing the trick. When she made it onto her English homework she realised that her and Nicole never did get a chance to go over what she’d missed in English and she had promised to call her later so she decided a break had been earned.

“Hey!” Nicole’s voice coming through the phone instantly made Waverly smile, she’d never been so happy to hear someone sound so genuinely pleased to hear from her.

“Hey…so I realised we never actually went over what I missed in class!”

“Oh…right.” Nicole paused and Waverly worried that bringing up the fact they’d not got round to it would make Nicole feel awkward about why they hadn’t actually got round to it. “You didn’t actually miss anything…I just wanted you to come over.” Nicole laughed and Waverly relaxed.

“Smooth, Haught!” Waverly giggled as she repositioned herself in bed, settling in for what she hoped would be a nice, long conversation. They’d not had a chance to just chat, except for the few minutes behind the field when both of them were obviously putting off the real conversation they needed to have. Waverly had missed just talking to her friend.

“Yeah well, I try!” Waverly loved it when Nicole sounded so confident, she knew there were a lot of things Nicole was dealing with but in the moments when her self-assured, strong personality came through Waverly hoped that one day Nicole would be able to get to a point where that was her default. Waverly wondered if that had been the person she was before everything had happened, before people had knocked her down and made her feel like her life wasn’t worth living.

Waverly made sure that Nicole knew Wynonna would be apologising for her behaviour outside the school that day and just how bad she did feel about it. Waverly knew from experience that Wynonna’s apologies could often leave a lot to be desired so she wanted Nicole to know that it was in fact going to be genuine. She double checked then that Nicole still wanted to actually come round, to talk about everything and Nicole confirmed. Waverly was nervous to learn it all because she genuinely thought she might not stop crying after hearing about it but if Nicole was ready to share that part of her life with Waverly then Waverly had to accept it so she could be there for Nicole. She would be as supportive as Nicole needed, as quiet or as vocal as Nicole wanted afterwards and if she didn’t want to talk about it again after saying what she had to say, Waverly would respect that.

They talked on the phone until Waverly couldn’t ignore her rumbling stomach anymore and reluctantly decided she should go get something to eat. Nicole made sure she was aware that she’d be picking her up for school the next day and every day from then on. Waverly couldn’t wipe the smile off her face the rest of the night.