Nicole had been a curator at the museum since Waverly had been in her PhD program. Watched her come in to every new exhibit, fingers coming as close as she dared to every new artifact, scrunching her face at the placards of information, grumbling to herself, and scribbling away in a notebook. Everyone knew who Waverly Earp was. Brilliant historian, writing books as fast as she could type them, it seemed. Managing to find bits of evidence hidden away in the strangest places to support her theories. Weaving together history in ways no one before her had dared, bringing together threads no one had even thought to be from the same cloth and reviving the tapestry of history so it sang. Few dared refute her findings, and those who did quickly found themselves buried under even more evidence of the original piece in question. No one knew how such a young doctorate could be opening the past as if looking directly into it's eyes and sharing it's secrets like recounting her personal record. Some circles joked she was a time traveler, maybe an immortal.
Then she disappeared. For two years there hadn’t been any more to know. Nicole thought she had missed her chance to ever even see Waverly again. Until she had shown up at the museum for the Golden Age of Piracy exhibit.
After missing out on so many chances the first time around, Nicole wasn’t going to waste another.
This was not what was supposed to happen when she started to date Waverly Earp.
They had gone to dinners, lunches, coffee dates. Had gone with her to every museum in town. They’d huddled together for warmth at a concert in the park. Even had more than a few impromptu movie nights. It was amazing. She had been dating Waverly for months now. Was planning on telling her she loved her tonight.
Then the phone rang.
Waverly had gotten a call during their movie that had her scrambling off the couch. Pushing Nicole’s coat and shoes into her arms, practically dragging her to the door.
“I have to go. I have to go now, You have to go.“
Waverly grabbed her coat and keys slipping on the former as she toed into her sneakers.
“Waverly! Wait, what is going on? Who called? What kind of history emergency happens this late at night?”
Waverly wasn’t even listening as they were hustling down to the entrance, murmuring what seemed like reminders to herself.
“Did you just say, ‘bones’? WAVERLY? STOP! What is going on?”
“Look, I don’t want to bring you into this, it’s family business. But you have to let me go, I have to take care of something.”
“Then I’m coming with. I--I won’t let you go rushing off upset like this.”
Waverly stopped, narrowing her eyes. “You asked how I seem to know things no one ever thought of. How I ‘happen’ to find documents that have been lost for years. If you really want to know, you can come. But you have to listen to what I say and if I tell you to leave you have to go. Nicole, you have to trust me. If you never want to speak to me again, I’ll understand, but I have to go right now.”
And so they went.
They arrived shortly at a cemetery. Waverly pulled a set of keys from her coat pocket, unlocking it for them to go inside.
“Waverly, why do you have keys to the cemetery. Where are we going?”
“We have to get inside a mausoleum. I have a key, we just need to talk to a guy and we can go home”
“What do you mean, ‘talk to a guy’. Waverly, this is a cemetery. At night. Oh God, are we talking to drug dealers? Grave robbers? What--”
“Nicole! I know you have questions, ok? I know. But lives are at stake here. There is no time to explain. We’re going into that mausoleum, some things are going to happen. During which you will be quiet. Afterwards I will make a phone call. Then, I swear I will tell you everything, ok? I promise. But you have to stay calm. Please Nicole. I have to do this right now, ok?”
Nicole stayed calm while they entered the mausoleum. Kept quiet as Waverly tugged on a statue inside and opened the secret hatch. Breathed deeply as they went down below and into a room covered in symbols with a decorated circle centered on the floor. She had held Waverly’s eyes as she started reading from a large binder, speaking in hurried Latin, trembling only faintly.
Then the room shook, filling with smoke and where there had been nothing before, the circle now held a man, in tattered western themed clothes. At that point, she finally lost her shit.
“Waverly, what the fuck? What the fuck! Whatthefuckwhatthefuckwhatth--”
She couldn’t. The sight was more than she’d ever imagined.
Her hands were shaking, her whole body shaking. Nicole closed her eyes, pulling her hands over them to block out the vision.
“NICOLE! It's just a guy. He's just a regular man calm down. You have to breathe, ok? It’s going to be ok.”
“This isn’t a, ‘regular guy’, Waverly!" She finally stopped gibbering. “What the hell is happening? What did you do?”
“Uhhh, missy? We're on the clock here, I'm not just going to hang out while your girlfriend has a mental breakdown.” Grouched the man in the circle.
“Shut up, don’t look at her. Take this and write down everything you know about David Welch. We’re cleaning up your goddamn mess as it is.” Waverly’s tone, harder than Nicole had ever heard it, held complete contempt for the man before her.
“Fine, but you know you only get an hour.”
“Fuck Waverly, what the fuck? He's fucking dead. Oh my God, what clock? What the fuck is happening?”
“Nicole, look at me, ok? This is Wyatt Earp, ok? He STUPIDLY got cursed. Cursed our entire family. My sister and I are trying to clean up his mess. This stupid mausoleum is where I have to be to raise his idiotic spirit so our family can finally be free. My sister hasn’t seen her daughter in a year thanks to his moronic actions. I know you’re afraid. I know, but he can’t go anywhere and he’ll be gone again soon. Just. I’m sorry ok, I never wanted you to know.”
“Finally. Good. Thank you. Anything else I should know about him? No more ‘forgetting’ anything that might get Wynonna hurt?”
“No Waverly, God, of course not. I said I was sorry.”
“Ok, now get out of here. I hate looking at you.”
The walls shook again as he departed, the smoke overtaking him quickly as he disappeared into nothingness again.
“When you told me, when you told me you learned how the dinosaur bones in museums are casts? You weren’t kidding were you? You really tried to reanimate a dinosaur?”