Xavier’s back was aching, but he barely felt the pain. He spent hours placing chairs in the backyard of the Homestead with the help of others, but the memory of all the hard work soon washed away once he saw Wynonna.
The eldest Earp was wearing a red, short (almost skater) dress and her hair was pulled back into a high ponytail. She had these wisps that fell out (since her hair wasn’t exactly long enough for the ponytail) that Dolls loved. He watched her run from room to room, trying to help both her sister and her best friend at the same time.
It reminded him of how restless she was when Waverly asked her to be the Maid of Honor and Nicole asked her to be Best Man. She was so torn and frustrated that Dolls had to go tell the engaged couple what they were doing to the poor woman. After Nicole and Waverly argued about who got Wynonna, the older Earp decided that she would be shared between the both of them and she called herself “The best person of honor,” which everyone else thought was a mouth full, but Wynonna didn’t care.
Following the older Earp’s decision, Jeremy, Dolls, and Doc all decided that they would all be shared between the couple. Their roles were to stand next to their friends when they got married. That was it.
Robin was extremely surprised when Waverly asked him to officiate the wedding. The man had let it slip once that he had done it for a friend in college but never expected that they would ask him. It wasn’t that he thought he wasn’t a part of the family. He just didn’t think that they would give him such an important role when he just didn’t feel… important.
Alice was immediately chosen as flower girl just as Henry was picked to be the ring bearer. Both kids were extremely excited about their jobs, which kept the parents entertained.
The wedding wasn't that big. In fact, only a few were invited. Nicole and Waverly decided to keep it small and reserved for close family and friends. Only having a few people there who supported them fully relieved their stress. Besides, it made everything so easy to plan that the couple was able to get married three months after they became engaged. They also were already talking about having kids, so they wanted to be married as soon as possible.
It was Jeremy and Doc’s job to take care of the kids, and they were struggling. The children were rowdy and wouldn’t stop moving. But the two adults were glad that they weren’t Dolls or Robin.
Robin’s job was to make sure all the little details were perfect. He had to make sure everyone was in their right spots, the music was set up correctly, the food was ready to be eaten, and the guests knew where to sit. He would have been fine if he were working alone, but Waverly made sure that he had help. Gus was the only one that offered to assist, so most of the time he ended up being the one ordered to do things. And he was too afraid of the woman to tell her that she was supposed to be following his orders.
Xavier was in charge of setting everything up. He placed the chairs, tables, and little arch that Nedley carved for the couple. This wouldn’t be a bad job except he was teamed up with Mercedes. It wasn’t like he didn’t like her, she was one of Wynonna’s best friends, but she was a lot to handle (and very chatty).
“So, when are you going to pop the question?” Mercedes asked as she and him rolled the aisle along the grass, between the two sections of seats.
There were two aisles: one for Waverly and one for Nicole to walk down. The arch met in the middle, where the two women would meet and exchange vows.
“All this marriage stuff must have you thinking.”
He wasn’t going to admit to this woman that she was right. Dolls could turn a lot of things off, but he couldn’t get rid of the romantic thoughts that tampered his brain. It was hard to turn off the contagious feeling of ‘happily ever after’ that sappy weddings brought. But he still remembered that things were complicated. Things were always complicated.
“I see that look on your face, X-man,” Mercedes said as she wiggled her finger in front of his face like she had just learned a secret that no one else knew. “You’re gonna propose, aren’t you? You go, bitch.”
Dolls decided to roll his eyes and remain silent. He knew things could only get worse if he pretended to deny that he didn’t want to marry Wynonna.
“I really needed your support. Thank you, Mercedes,” He replied, not being able to keep his snarkiness at bay.
“You’re welcome,” Mercedes told him, not realizing that he was being sarcastic. “So, how big is the diamond? You have bought a ring, right? Do you have it on you?”
He rubbed his temples, wishing that he was far away from her at the moment. But lucky enough for him, they finished the last thing on their checklist. Which only meant that the wedding was going to begin soon.
“Xavier,” Wynonna called out as she almost pranced over to him. When she approached him, she kissed his cheek. “I just checked with Robin. ‘Parently everything is good with him. All the guests are accounted for. Though, I think Gus is torturing him. The wives-to-be are ready, too. Everything’s about to start. I just have to go bring Nedley over to Haught so that I can go to Waves and get her ready to walk down the aisle. You good here?”
Even though he had trouble listening to what she said after she said ‘Xavier’ (ever since they had started dating, she tried to say his first name more often, and every time she said it, he fell that much more in love with her), he nodded and answered, “We’re good here. Should we stand up at the front?”
“Yep. Go get Robin. I’ll find wherever Doc and Jeremy chased the kids to. They walk down first. I’ll see you there.”
Before he even had a chance to reply, she was already off to find her friends. Dolls immediately ran to the front of the house where it looked like Robin was catching a minute of silence as he ran over what he was going to say.
“You okay, Jett?” Dolls asked the man. The two of them quickly became friends due to their connection with Jeremy (though, Robin was slightly jealous of the man that his husband thought so highly of). “You look slightly traumatized.”
Robin let out an anxious chuckle and admitted, “That woman is… I can see where Wynonna and Waverly get their stubbornness from.”
“Yeah,” Dolls agreed gently. “This family is certainly a lot.”
“Eh, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t know if Wynonna ever told you, but a long time ago, about a year after Doc and Waverly were gone, Jeremy and I planned on leaving. Getting out of Purgatory. But we couldn’t. Because we’re family.”
Xavier nodded, knowing exactly what the man meant. “I’m glad you’re here, Robin. I’m glad Jeremy found someone like you.”
“Heh, me too,” Robin replied before he started walking toward the backyard. “I couldn’t even imagine missing this. Besides, I’m practically running this thing.”
“You’re going to do a great job,” Dolls told him fiercely. “Let’s get up there.”
Robin stood in the middle of the aisle, where the arc stood, as Doc approached them (looking tired and out of breath). Jeremy stood on the other side of Robin (next to Dolls) as they waited for the guests to sit down and for the music to start.
The second the music began, Alice started walking down one side of the aisle, throwing petals all over the place, as Henry came in from the other side. They grinned at each other, excited to meet at the middle. And once they did, they high fived, causing everyone to laugh.
Then, they caught sight of the two women dressed in white coming from both sides of the aisle.
On one side, there was Waverly, who was wearing a flowing gown. Lace hugged her body as if the dress was created for her. Her hair perfectly caressed her bare back, shimmering in the reflection of the sun. She was squeezing her sister’s hand. Not because she was scared. But because she was so excited. And, she was afraid of tripping. She stared at her fiancee and felt warmth seeing the redhead glow.
On the other side, Nicole’s hand gripped Nedley’s arm. Her red hair was kept tidy in several pins that prevented her hair from falling into her face. Her hair slightly brushed against her bare shoulders as her dress was sleeveless. The dress stopped at her knees, but no one could deny that it was made for a wedding. She looked regal and strong. Little did anyone know, she gained her courage from her soon-to-be-wife, who was now close enough to touch.
Once they met in the middle, Wynonna put the hand she was holding into Nicole’s before leaning close to her best friend and said, “Take care of her.”
Nicole held in her tears as she took her fiancee’s hand from her best friend. She nodded and replied in a whisper, “Always.”
The best friends shared a look of utter devotion. To Waverly. To Alice. To each other. To their family and the life they built together.
Nedley (who was barely keeping it together at this point) put Nicole’s other hand and gently placed it in Waverly’s other hand. And now, they were holding each other up as they stared into each other’s eyes. They both had the strong urge to kiss right then at the moment, but they didn’t. They knew that part came later.
Their attention jumped from each other to Robin the second he cleared his throat.
“Family, friends, we are gathered here today to celebrate the union of Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught. When I moved back to Purgatory, Waverly and Nicole were already in a secure relationship. I remember wishing that I was present earlier so I could have had the honor of watching two kind, warm, strong women falling in love. But from hearing stories from them and others, I think I know what happened. Their beginning sounds almost like a fairytale. A lonely new deputy comes to town and finds a bartender in need of help to take her top off. It’s a kind of story I think we all would like to have.
“Not that their relationship has always been easy. Like every relationship, there were hurdles, bumps, and in their case, long disappearances. But none of that mattered. Because when they come together, there is nothing that can get in the way of their love, as cliche as that sounds. So here we are today and they are finally getting married. But I’ve been talking for too long. Let’s let them say their vows.”
Robin turned to Nicole first and she nodded curtly.
“I am a natural born protector. My whole life, the only thing I have ever wanted to do was help people. When Purgatory called and offered me a job to do that, I came running. I came to this town thinking I was going to save it. I never thought that this town and the people in it would save me. Literally and figuratively.
“Waverly, you came to me like a guardian angel. It was like you somehow knew I needed rescuing, without even me knowing I needed it either. You wrapped your arms around me and promised you wouldn’t let go. And as someone who hadn’t experienced unconditional love like that, it was eye-opening. You not only taught me how to love, but you also taught me how to love and accept myself.
“There are these moments I wake up next to you and wonder how the hell I got so lucky. How, after everything that has happened, an angel like you chose me. And if I told you this when we were alone, I know you would hold me close and tell me that I deserve you. That there was nothing that could keep you away from me. And I like to think that’s true. Because everything has been stacked against us and we kept fighting. And even when you were lost, you still found me. And I am so lucky to marry my guardian angel, who’s always there to love and shine your unwavering light on me.”
Waverly let out a breath of air, in awe of her soon-to-be-wife and her loving speech. Tears flooded her eyes just as they fell down Nicole’s cheeks. Henry passed his aunt a ring and Nicole slid it on the younger Earp’s finger.
The brunette chuckled and loved the way the band fit her finger perfectly. She cleared her throat so that it wouldn’t crack.
“Being an Earp means that I deny a lot of feelings. Wynonna can attest to that. You could call it an Earp curse. But the curse, I have recently realized, has been broken in the past couple of years. And I think Wynonna and I can both owe that to Nicole Haught, the love of my life. I hid my feelings for so long that when I met you, it was like breathing new air. I felt like I was truly breathing for the first time. I was no longer purely surviving, but I was living.
“It took me a while for me to come to terms with my feelings for the new girl in town, but once we had kissed, I knew it was right. It felt so real... like you were finally opening my eyes to a life I wanted. And being in love, it made me the happiest person I had been in years. So you can only imagine how I feel about marrying you, Nicole.
“If I’m your guardian angel, you fixed my wings. Because you’re my savior. My endless supporter. And I swear to you, Nicole Rayleigh Haught, I’ll always come back to you. Because you’re my always.”
Without breaking eye contact, Waverly slipped a ring on to Nicole’s finger. And before Robin could tell them to kiss, the two of them embraced one another and their lips crashed into each other’s. They barely heard the roar of the applause and cheering. They held each other so close, no one was sure if they would ever break apart. But they did. Not by choice, of course.
When their arms fell to their sides, they felt the bone-crushing hugs coming from their family. There was a lingering thought that existed in both of their heads. They both realized that they finally felt accepted. And cherished. And whole.