6 Years Ago
It's finals week at Purgatory University. Students are running in and out of nearby coffee shops to fuel up for their late night study sessions; textbooks litter the tables and floors of dorm rooms and libraries as everyone crams for their impending exams.
Everyone except for one drunk Nicole Haught, that is.
Nicole uncaps her third beer of the hour and takes a long swig from the bottle, smiling as she feels the alcohol rush through her system. Nicole's girlfriend, Waverly Earp, is seated behind her, leaning back against the wall and reading from a textbook. Loud, heavy metal-like music plays from a speaker on Nicole's desk and she starts to sing along, air drumming to the beat.
"Haught, can you please turn that music down?!" Wynonna, Nicole's roommate, and Waverly's sister, yells from the other room of their dorm. "Some of us are trying to study!"
"Oh, come off it, Wynonna!" Nicole replies, taking another long sip from her beer. "You need to loosen up. Come have a beer, you won't regret it."
"Yeah, but that's not going to happen today because finals. How is it you don't have to study?"
"I major in music. They're like practical exams," Nicole gestures with her hands as if to prove a point that Wynonna can't see. "I'll probably have to play part of an old song or some shit. It's not like I'm studying criminal judiciaries."
Wynonna rolls her eyes and corrects Nicole, "Criminal justice."
"Right sorry," Nicole takes a sip of her beer and her words begin to slur more than before. "Since when do you study anyway? I thought that was against your toughness code or whatever the shit is that you came up with."
"Yeah well this semester determines my future," Wynonna shakes her head. "I don't think I can spend another year in this godforsaken hellhole they call a university. Everybody here sucks. Except for you baby girl," Wynonna quickly added which elicited a small smile from the girl's sister. The room became quiet again, the only sounds coming from the speaker and the tapping of Nicole's feet on the concrete floors.
"Hey, Nicole?" Waverly looks up from her book and at Nicole, breaking the silence. "What am I taking?"
"Is this a trick question?" Nicole asks stealing a glance behind her at her girlfriend.
"No," Waverly sets her textbook down and leans forward, inching her way towards the redhead. "Nicole, what am I taking?"
"Um..." Nicole trails off, taking yet another sip of her beer.
"Seriously, Nic, what am I taking?" Waverly smiles and takes the bottle from her tipsy girlfriend's hands, setting it aside. "Tell me," she begins to poke Nicole and tickle her, not stopping until she gets an answer. "I'll stop if you tell me," she adds when Nicole begins to squirm in her grasp.
"Tell you what? Tell you what!" Nicole laughs.
"What am I taking?" Waverly keeps poking her.
"I don't know," Nicole says between breaths of laughter and manages to get out of Waverly's grasp. "I don't know!" Waverly laughs and stops, wrapping her arms around Nicole from behind.
"How can you not know what your girlfriend is studying in college?" Wynonna says from the other room. Waverly tilts her head to the side, looking at Nicole.
"I'm in a very mellow place," Nicole says, her words slurring. When Wynonna doesn't answer, Nicole adds, "I think we all need to just chill the hell out." Wynonna rolls her eyes and gets up from her desk, walking to Nicole's room, stopping at the open door.
"Sure," she says leaning against the doorframe, "let's just all 'chill the hell out.' Until the RA comes by. Maybe this time she won't guess where the smell of alcohol is coming from," Wynonna shoots Nicole a look to which the ginger responds with a confused glance. "I can't keep buying alcohol for you if you're going to keep getting shit-faced wasted in our dorm, Haught Pocket."
Nicole laughs and shakes her head, reaching behind her to grab the bottle of beer that Waverly had picked up and taken a few small sips out of. Waverly giggles and looks at Wynonna who seems anything but amused by the dunk girl in front of her.
"Yeah, well the RA can kiss my ass," Nicole slurs and chugs the remaining beer in the bottle, tossing it into a nearby trashcan.
"Hey," Waverly stops Nicole from grabbing another beer and glances at Wynonna. "Why don't we let Wyn study? Let's go hit up the library."
Wynonna flashes her sister an appreciative smile. The brunette returns the smile and stands up, walking over to the small, metal trashcan near Nicole's desk, and retrieves the three bottles that Nicole had tossed in. "And maybe on our way there, we can learn how to recycle," she sits the bottles in Nicole's lap and kisses her forehead. "We've gotta protect the planet, Nic." Nicole stands up, the bottles falling to her feet which elicited an audible groan from her girlfriend.
"We'll have plenty of time to study when we're older," she says looking between Waverly and Wynonna. "I say right now, we live in the moment."
"And how do you suppose we do that exactly?" Wynonna spoke as she took the bridge of her nose between her fingers, applying light pressure in an attempt to relieve stress.
"We let loose. Go party," Nicole smiled. "We get drunk off our asses! Isn't that what you Earps are known for?"
Waverly sits back down and wraps an arm around her girlfriend. "Look, Wynonna...you have to learn how to manage your time around Nicole. She eats...she goes to the gym...and then she gets tired so she takes a nap. That'll be the best time to get your studying done," Nicole laughs and Wynonna stares at Waverly.
"Is this some kind of joke to you, Waverly?" Wynonna stands up straight. "My future is on the line, our futures are on the line, and my baby sister is telling me that I suddenly need to schedule my life around her drunk girlfriend?"
"Hey, it's your future on the line. Being a musician is easy as shit," Nicole laughs and leans into Waverly. "I can find a gig at anytime and anyplace."
"This is bull shit!" Wynonna yells. "You need to get your ass together, Haught," Wynonna gruffly points a finger in Nicole's direction. "Just because you major music and apparently never need to study for any sort of God damn test or exam doesn't mean you can sit on your ass and get drunk off of the beer that I buy for you. Either get your ass together, or get out and find a new roommate. And be warned. If you leave this dorm or fail to change your lazy ass ways, you can kiss your sweet relationship goodbye. Say adios to beer and Wayhaught shall live on."
Waverly kept her eyes on Wynonna, knowing just how serious she was being. She managed to move her glance to Nicole who seemed to be more focused on the pile of bottles at her feet than the threat she just received. The three girls were quite for a few minutes, the tension in the air thick enough to cut with a knife. Wynonna was done putting up with Nicole's shitty-ass attitude and was not about to sit around waiting for her to break her sister's heart. Three short knocks on the door brought three pairs of eyes to look in the direction from which the sound came.
"It's open!" Nicole yells as she stands up from the bed.
Chrissy Nedley and two other girls Nicole didn't know walked into the dorm. "Nic, Brian is having a kegger tonight at his fraternity. There's going to be booze and food, live music, lots of cute girls," she winks at Nicole.
"Um, hi. Sitting right here," Waverly says waving her arms.
Nicole wraps her arms around Waverly and plants small kisses all around her face. "No girl will ever have my attention except for you, Waves," she says, voice dripping with seriousness. If Waverly hadn't known her girlfriend had been drinking, she might have thought she was actually sober.
Chrissy shakes her head and smiles, "You guys are so cute! So, Nicole," she clasps her hands together, "are you in or not?"
Nicole looks at Waverly then at Chrissy. She smiles and stands up, "Hell yeah I am!"
Chrissy squeals and takes her phone out, "We have thirty minutes to get there. Feel free to bring Waverly. And Wynonna," the blonde looks at the eldest Earp sister, "I would invite you, but we don't need to run out of alcohol before the first hour of the party passes."
Nicole turns around, meeting Waverly's eyes. "You want to come? It'll be fun," she smiles as she pulls the girl to her feet. "Lot's of dancing, lots of drinking."
"Lot's of making out," Chrissy adds with a wink to which Waverly responds with a blush.
"I would love to go," Waverly says, her hands sliding up to Nicole's upper arms and squeezing lightly, "but, baby, I really should get going. I need to study."
"Are you sure? I won't go if you don't want me to."
Waverly shakes her head and smiles, "No. Go. Go have fun. Just don't do anything too stupid, okay?"
Nicole smiles and places a quick peck on Waverly's lips. "I'll try, but I can't promise you anything."
"You better promise, or you'll be in some major trouble," Waverly playfully hits Nicole's arm and smiles. "Now go. Text me later."
Nicole nods and smiles again. "I will!" She yells as she leaves the room with Chrissy and her posy of sorority girls, kicking the bottles to the side in the process.
"Love you too!" Waverly sighs quietly after the door shuts and bends down to retrieve the bottles. "She'll grow out of this," Waverly says as she stands up, meeting her sister's eyes, "right?"
Wynonna shakes her head, a playful grin growing on her face. "Only time can tell, baby girl. Only time can tell," she kisses Waverly's forehead and goes back into her room. "Lock the door on the way out, would you?"
Waverly grabs her books and car keys, throwing her bag over her shoulders. "Why, so you can lock Nicole out again?"
Wynonna pokes her head out of her room, "I love Haught Stuff, but I can't deal with her drunk at three in the morning."
"So you lock her out, knowing she'll call me and have me come get her," Waverly pauses for a moment before continuing. "Smart. Mean, and quite possibly the most annoying thing you could ever do to me, but smart nonetheless."
Wynonna smiles, "Love you."
"Sure you do, Wyn," Waverly smiles as she opens the door. "Sure you do." The Brunette walks out of the room, closing and locking the door behind her. "Oh please just let this be a stupid college phase."
Waverly walks out of the building and tosses Nicole's empty beer bottles into a nearby recycle bin, hoping and praying that someday soon all of this would change for the better.