Actions

Work Header

Take Me Home

Work Text:

Waverly glanced at her phone as it beeped. She tapped "okay" to clear the message, but what the message meant was not okay.

It meant that she was stranded in the city, it was getting dark, her friends had abandoned her, and now her phone was dying. She could use the last of the battery to send an SOS to her sister who would be way too drunk to drive at all, especially not the hour or more into the city. Not that being drunk would stop Wynonna, so Waverly knew it was best to not encourage that.

She didn't have the cash for a cab. Waverly knew the only way to get one willing to drive out to Purgatory, was a very large bill, up front. She had spent it all already, after reaching her credit card limit, during their shopping excursion. Her bags full of clothes were in the trunk of Stephanie's BMW, and that car was long gone.

Heading back home? Still in the city, at a party perhaps? Who the fuck knows…

She felt the phone vibrate its death cry as it powered itself down.

Which was all Steph's fault too. Waverly spent the ride into the city being berated by Steph for neglecting Champ, her high school boyfriend, ever since her "weirdo sister" came back into town. Then the latter part of the day involved Steph and Chrissy swiping through her phone trying to set her up on a Tinder date. Once they finally believed her that they were seriously broken up this time, for real, because he totally tried to get with her sister. Chrissy had said "good for you," and Stephanie rolled her eyes.

When Waverly had protested, just before a gentleman was to meet her and she hid in the restroom hoping to bail on the date, her friends ended up bailing on her. She walked out, slipping past her "date" in the crowd unnoticed, and towards the car park. Where the car was no longer parked.

After a few unanswered texts and phone calls to her friends, she started walking. The daylight and temperature were starting to drop and her jacket was meant more to be fashionable than functional.

So Waverly kept walking. She knew up ahead, on the way out of town, there was the coffee shop. She'd stop there knowing someone would help her.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

"Haught, we should be at our sports bar, not a coffee shop." he emphasized the ‘our' heavily.

"Yes, Caldwell, because drinking and driving is such a great idea."

"No, because we could walk back to my apartment and you could leave in the morning."

She paused sighing, having already used this argument. "I don't want to leave Calamity Jane alone too long, she is still getting used to the new place. It's already late."

"I can't believe you took her cat." He smirked.

"Calamity Jane wasn't even her cat. Her ex had left it with her."

"The cat will be fine. It's a cat." There was a bitterness to his tone because he wanted the cat to like him, but Calamity Jane, she really didn't like men.

"Actually that ex got it from her ex… I know there were a few exes involved." her voice trailed off as she tried to think about how far back it went. Nicole gave up following that train of thought but briefly wondered if someday Calamity Jane would find herself a new owner. She wasn't too worried about finding a future ex-girlfriend in Purgatory, small as it was, so Calamity Jane wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

A coffee shop employee appeared in their peripherals and they both turned in sync to the non-existent threat while their hands subconsciously moved to where their service weapon would normally be located.

"We are closing up shortly if you two don't mind."

The pair stood outside the darkened coffee shop behind their vehicles which were parked side by side. Nicole's car was full of boxes, the remainder of her things to bring to Purgatory. She drove up that morning to get the last few boxes that just wouldn't fit during her major haul the week before. There was an extra box with no lid that Nicole hadn't packed herself. She had found it in the corner with the last of her stuff; clearly, Shae had found a few more things Nicole had forgotten.

"Mr. ‘I'm the best at everything' got in trouble for using a missing persons form for a lost dog." Caldwell roared with more laughter than Nicole thought necessary. Guess it was a ‘had to be there' sort of situation. Caldwell had been giving the rundown of their graduating class who remained on in the city with him.

He turned stoic in the middle of his laughter. "I miss you, Haught, it isn't the same without you. It was supposed to be you and me, the two A-team rookies."

The teaching officers had called the top 5 recruits the A-team. All the other recruits referred to the top two, Haught and Caldwell, as the Gay-team.

The incentive of being at the top of the class was your first choice of duty station. There was a rare instance when a top recruit did not get to go where they wanted and that was when one of the smaller rural districts was in desperate need. Their need took precedence over a recruit's choice.

Nicole had seen Sheriff Nedley, who had stopped in a few times during training. Just before graduation he stopped and spoken with her. He'd presented his case for her to choose his tiny town so it wouldn't have to be chosen for her. With his acceptable offer and a few of Nicole's personal reasons, she was glad to volunteer.

Sure, she missed her friend she made at the academy, but the best way for a fresh start was to actually start somewhere new.

The silence of the moment and Nicole's opportunity to comment dissipated as the clicking of heels neared the pair.

"Oh shoot. Are they closed?" The newcomer asked.

"Yeah, they kicked us out like…," Caldwell checked his watch, "almost half an hour ago."

"So, well, this is embarrassing, but uh…" The woman appeared to be debating the best way to say it. "My phone is super dead and I'm like super late for my Tinder date."

The pair just stood there staring at her.

"Do one of you perhaps have it on your phone so I could log in and try and get a hold of him?" She squeaked when she got no response.

There was yet another pause before Caldwell finally spoke up.

"Sorry sweetie, I only have Grindr." He said getting major side-eye from Haught. She missed his movement and got a gentle elbow to her side bringing her to the very important matter at hand, the damsel in distress.

"I actually don't, but I can download it for you."

There was a strange silence as Nicole got her phone out and tapped on it a few times. When it finally downloaded, she opened the app to the login screen and handed it to the beautiful stranger.

"Here," she said quietly, almost a little sad.

"Thanks." came the apologetic reply...

This time the silence wasn't as deafening as Nicole heard Caldwell messing with something. She didn't look to him though. She could not keep her eyes off the woman who held her... phone.

"You know what, that sounds like a great idea. I think I might find a date myself tonight. Haught, let me know how it goes?"

He gave her finger guns and then a one arm Bro-hug, and she felt the weight of his apartment key slip into her jacket pocket.

He pulled out of the parking lot and drove off while the woman continued to use Nicole's phone.

"I guess he gave up on me." the woman finally said lowering her arm, cell phone still in hand.

"I wouldn't have," came a mumbled reply.

"What?"

Nicole wished she could kick herself for such lame move. Mumbling to herself in the presence of an attractive woman. Her game was normally much more on point than that. Easy fix. Get it together Haught.

"If I had Tinder on my phone and we scheduled a date, I wouldn't give up. I'd wait for you." Nicole spoke clearly, kept eye contact and flashed her dimples in a practiced smile. Literally practiced in the mirror when she was younger and first noticed the effect it seemed to have on pretty girls.

Nicole would never wish for something as burdensome as telepathy but she often wondered what seemed to go through a woman's mind when she turned on the charm. It usually went one of two ways though, a dawning realization and a polite ‘no thanks' or ….

"But you do." the woman smiled.

"Huh?"

"Have Tinder… on your phone." She held out Nicole's cell phone to offer it back and emphasize her point.

"But your phone is dead and you can't reply, so I don't think I'll need it. I'm Nicole by the way." Nicole's dimples deepened.

"Waverly."

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

When Nicole offered to drive Waverly around so she could charge her phone or to just take her wherever she might need to go, Waverly had no qualms about saying yes. And the way Nicole had so politely opened up the passenger door for her had Waverly already feeling much more comfortable about this not-date than she had all day. Frankly, more comfortable than she had been in a while.

What was not comfortable was whatever Waverly had sat upon as she entered the car. She pulled a sweatshirt from underneath her. It was navy blue and had something written on it. Waverly unfolded it to get a better look at the writing on its front. Even if it had not been emblazoned with a law enforcement insignia, she would have recognized the name of the police academy. Champ had mentioned wanting to apply after the second time he failed the exam. He never did, even though they had a correspondence program because rodeo season had picked back up.

Nicole finally made it to the driver's side and as the door opened it forced the cooling night air through, chilling Waverly. Without thinking she found the bottom of the sweater and started pulling it over her head. By the time she popped her head out of the top, Nicole was in the driver's seat with the door shut. She was smiling at Waverly with what appeared to be curiosity.

Waverly realized Nicole might be curious as to why she just put on a stranger's sweatshirt.

"Sorry, I'm cold," Waverly said simply.

"No, you are fine."

The way Nicole was smiling at Waverly made her feel like she meant it more than one way. It warmed Waverly in a different way. Despite the warmth of Nicole's smile, the cold made Waverly shiver.

"Sorry, here... let me get the car warmed up." Nicole turned the key and the engine sputtered to life. "She might not be fancy, or warm up quickly, but she does have seat warmers."

Nicole first flipped on an overhead light, then reached across and turned a dial near Waverly's side of the dashboard up to five. Then she plugged in the car charger, pulling on the line until it came to its end and pointing it towards Waverly.

Waverly didn't even have to try to plug it into her phone to realize this charger was not going to work.

"Fudgenuggets! It's the wrong charger."

"Did you just say fudge nuggets?"

Waverly had taken to looking around to see if perhaps there was another charger in the vehicle. She heard Nicole's comment but was ignoring it.

There was a layer of boxes across the seat with miscellaneous words scribbled on the sides and tops, including one that actually said miscellaneous, although the letters after the misc were scratched out in an effort to hide a spelling error. But it was the lone box on top of that layer, lidless, that caught Waverly's attention. It seemed out of place and random and not just because it had ‘Nicole' written on its side in a neat and careful script. Something about it she recognized.

Then it hit her, she just gave Champ a very similar box.

"Geez, it looks like you just got out of a serious relationship."

"Uh…"

The pause and shock on Nicole's face told Waverly her assessment was correct. Waverly felt like she had stuck her foot in her mouth a few times already, embarrassing herself. This time she felt bad. She reached out and grabbed Nicole's hand.

"It's okay… me too."

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Nicole was grateful Waverly didn't ask anything more about it.

She was grateful when Waverly changed the subject back to getting her phone charged and had asked if there were any chargers in the boxes. Nicole was certain that if there were, they would just be the same.

She was surprised when Waverly asked if Nicole had any different chargers back at her place. Nicole considered offering to stop and purchase her one but the way Waverly's empathetic squeeze of her hand had changed to a gentle but teasing motion had halted that offer in her throat. She could only answer with an "it's possible" before flashing her dimples and putting the car in drive.

Caldwell had given her their established signal that the apartment was all hers. They were not far from Caldwell's apartment either. Nicole wouldn't have too much time to over-think.

Overthinking would be bad because Nicole was nervous and that took her by surprise. This wasn't the first time she had brought a woman to the apartment. In fact, when she took over Caldwell's spare room, there were plenty of women crossing that threshold. Nicole had taken to grieving her relationship in a very specific way.

But she played that out. She scratched that itch. Nicole had graduated from the academy, was a full-time duty officer, and was finally feeling together. And this gorgeous woman just walked right up and had thrown her for a damn loop. And the circumstances were a little strange. It wasn't like they yelled in each other's ears over loud dance music and kissed in a dark corner before Nicole being asked if she could take them somewhere. It was entirely possible that all she really wanted is her phone charged.

So much for not overthinking.

Nicole planned to continue being her charming self. Pay attention to cues. But ultimately it was up to Waverly. Pretty much standard operating procedure for Nicole.

Nicole pulled the lone key from her jacket pocket and unlocked the door. She paused briefly when she crossed, listening, then continued holding the door open for Waverly.

"Would you like anything to drink?"
"Water?"

Nicole grabbed a glass from the cupboard, filling it from the tap and handing it to Waverly.

"Thanks. Charger?" she asked before taking a sip.

"I think Caldwell, uh Mark, has the same phone as you. I'll go check his room."

Nicole went and opened the door to the first bedroom out of habit. It was pretty much as she left it the week prior, empty except for the bed and dresser. The bed was made. Caldwell must have put on clean sheets, as she had left the mattress bare. She tried to remember if he was trying to rent it out again or not.

She turned out and went into his room, quickly finding the correct charger for Waverly's phone.

Waverly was sitting on the couch sipping her water.

"This should work," Nicole said as she plugged it into the wall next to the couch, handing Waverly the other end.

Waverly plugged in her phone and left it to sit on the arm of the couch. Nicole walked around and sat on the other arm.

"So if you are recently single, why didn't you have Tinder on your phone? I mean I thought everyone our age has it, even if they aren't single… Like my ex." Waverly made a face with that last part.

"I guess I never needed it."

"You guess?" Waverly was looking up at her and she felt more towering than usual, so Nicole slid from the arm and sank into a cushion.

"I mean, yeah, I just talk to women."

"So really, you just walk up and say what?"

"Hello, my name is Nicole, I find you attractive, and then depending on where we are, ask to dance, offer a drink?"

Nicole wasn't certain, but it definitely felt like Waverly just inched closer.

"It's really that easy?"

"Yes?" Nicole was usually so sure of herself in this sort of situation, but Waverly had her off of her game or something.

"So if you saw me out at the bar would you approach me?"

"Yes."

"And what would you say?"

"Like I said, it really depends on where we are. Just a bar? A club? Are you out with friends? There really is no way to say. Other than probably ‘hello, my name is Nicole. I find you attractive.'"

Waverly grinned. "So you do find me attractive?"

Yeah, she'd walked right into that one.

"Yes, Waverly I do find you attractive."

"Okay, new scenario. You did say if we had scheduled a Tinder date you would wait for me. Let's pretend that is what happened and we ended up here. What would you say?"

"What would I say if we were here right now, this very moment, and talking?"

"Yes. Exactly."

Waverly was an enigma. Nicole wanted to laugh but Waverly looked very serious about this even with her grin.

"We can watch a movie. I can make you some food if you are hungry? Or if you would like to dance I'll put on some music. But I'm also okay with sitting and talking."

"I'm beginning to think you don't even know what Tinder is."

"It's a dating app, right?"

"Yes but, you see Nicole, I don't really want to talk."

Waverly had definitely scooted closer when she reached for Nicole and smashed their lips together.

No misinterpreting that signal.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Waverly felt the loss, as Nicole broke from her kiss and stood up quickly. She could not help but wonder what she did wrong.

"Look, I know I'm just a convenient back up for your missed Tinder date, but I also don't want…' Nicole paused and struggled with her words as she started to pace. "I mean... I guess... I need this to feel like more than just a one night stand. I need to know something about you. And if you can't then that is fine. I can drive you home now, or in the morning if you want to sleep here, you can have the couch or the bed and I'll take the other, and then I can head back to P…."

"I lied." Waverly interrupted while not taking her eyes from the floor.

"What?" Nicole halted her steps.

Waverly could not help the guilty look on her face. Yes, there was a big part of her, the part that found Nicole really attractive. And she really wanted to keep kissing Nicole because oh my god that kiss was the best thing ever. But the part that seemed to get her there was being needy and desperate. And maybe what Nicole was implying by her impassioned speech was that it wasn't fair.

"I lied," Waverly repeated.

"About what?"

"My friends set me up on that Tinder Date and when I didn't want to go through with it, they ditched me. And I was so embarrassed that I lied because I didn't want complete strangers to think how lame I was getting ditched by my friends."

Waverly felt the cushion next to her sink with the weight of Nicole.

"I sort of lied too. This isn't my apartment."

Waverly glanced around the around the space before they finally settled on the gentle brown eyes. She had noticed the way Nicole had moved about when they arrived.

"But it was at some point."

"You are very observant aren't you, Waverly?"

"I do pay attention."

"I did live here for a few months after my w… ex and I split. But my new job started last week and I came to get some of the last of my stuff."

"What's her name?" Waverly didn't really need or want to know but the way Nicole stumbled over the word ex made her ask anyway.

"Shae."

Yeah, Waverly decided, she really didn't need that piece of information.

"Your ex… What's his name?" Nicole asked when Waverly had no comment.

"Champ."

Nicole snickered at the name.

"Hey, don't laugh."

"Sorry."

"So do you want to know what else I've observed?"

"Please."

"Well, we are both unattached… correct?"

"Very much so."

"And we both know a little bit more information about each other."

"Thank you for sharing," Nicole said sincerely.

It almost derailed Waverly's train of thought.

"So… Uh… My observation is that you really want me to kiss you again."

This time when Waverly went forward to capture Nicole's lips, Nicole had met her halfway.

Waverly found herself quickly lifted and pushed back toward the other end of the couch. She relished in the feeling of Nicole on top of her as their tongues slid against each other. Waverly didn't think it could get any better.

But when Nicole lifted Waverly's leg up and settled more flush against her, she suspected it might keep getting better all night long.

And when Nicole moved from her lips to kiss her ear and then down her throat, she breathed in Nicole deep.

"You smell like… vanilla dip donuts."

She could feel the smile against her neck before she heard Nicole say "Yeah?"

"They're my favorite."

Nicole's tongue halted it's flicking at Waverly's pulse. Their eyes met.

"I'll make sure to pick us up some for breakfast."

Their lips met again and they both swallowed the lie.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Nicole was not surprised to wake up alone. Disappointed? Yes. But not surprised.

It had certainly been a surprising evening. Completely unexpected and unbelievably satisfying.

That just made it seem more disappointing.

Waverly had been a vocal and active participant in the bedroom. It was the kind of sex that Nicole would have gladly driven down to the city for every chance she could get.

Nevermind the sex, the way Waverly's curious mind seemed to come up with theories and test them on Nicole's body… The way she noticed and saw and understood. The laughter when Waverly would make a silly pun and then get all embarrassed. Waverly's ‘not really swearing' vocabulary, although Nicole did something to get a random phrase of a language that might have been Italian. The glee shining in Waverly's eyes.

All of those little things that made Nicole want to get to know Waverly better. Even just to be in Waverly's presence for a regular date would make it worth the drive. It would make her consider a transfer back to the city actually.

Nicole glanced around hoping to see a phone number. Something. Anything.

She only found more disappointment.

Nicole grabbed up her clothes and headed towards the shower. Calamity Jane was already going to be mad at her, what was 20 more minutes?

When she got into her car she shot Caldwell a text letting him know she'd locked up and left.

Nicole eyed the coffee shop she had closed down the night before as she sat at the stoplight, the last in the city before the highway stretched out to take her back towards Purgatory. The coffee the night before was good, and she remembered seeing an empty pastry case, which would probably be full this morning. As the light turned green she suddenly flipped her blinker on and turned, following the turn into the parking lot.

It was a Friday morning and the drive-thru line had its 7th car pull in just ahead of Nicole. She decided to park and go inside.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Waverly's brain echoed her words to her sister not all that long ago "small town, limited dating options" when the redhead smiled at her the evening before. It was an option she only had recently considered. Any gay classmates Wynonna or Waverly went to school with were the quickest to leave upon graduation, if not before. Waverly only knew of one kid in her grade, who was out. She also knew it wasn't just the lack of dating options that drove him to skip town as soon as he got his diploma.

The small town mentality might also have played a part in why she had never considered other options for herself. What Stephanie and Chrissy didn't know when they set up her Tinder yesterday was that she had a Tinder profile briefly on her previous phone. Which Wynonna ended up dropping and breaking shortly after coming back to town.

Waverly had gone into the city by herself a few months back. She'd needed to pick up a few books for her latest correspondence course, pick up some items for Shorty and the bar, and maybe pick up a distraction for the night because Champ had broken up with her that morning.

He had gone out drinking with his buddies the night before, despite the fact she'd told him she was going to pick him up super early. Waverly had even called him before she'd left her room above Shorty's to tell him she was heading over but he didn't answer. He didn't answer her knocking either, so she'd opened the unlocked squeaky door to his basement apartment of his parent's house. He'd come bursting out of his bedroom and told her to leave. He'd told her not to open his door again. He'd told her they were done. She'd known there was someone else in his bedroom that day just as she had known she would no longer take him back after finding him with Wynonna.

So that day she'd downloaded Tinder and had not really been paying attention when she set it up because to her surprise, there were photos of women on her screen. To her greater surprise, she swiped right on one. To her even greater surprise, they had matched. So they'd met, and they'd talked, and they'd kissed, but it was clear to her new ‘friend' that Waverly was not ready for more. She would be glad to answer questions if Waverly wanted to chat but she'd also said she would be glad to know when Waverly was ready.

Waverly had deleted her Tinder the next day.

Waverly was glad her Tinder date had blocked her. She was glad when she came across Nicole. She had felt so brazen and bold when she responded in kind to Nicole's line. She felt comfortable. It wasn't very long in that apartment until she had suddenly felt very very ready.

And it was one of the best nights she had ever had.

Then she left Nicole asleep, quietly sneaking out like a coward.

Armed with her phone fully charged she started walking towards the same destination she had the evening before.

The calls to Chrissy and Steph went unanswered. Wynonna as well went to voicemail. She figured she would stop at the coffee shop and caffeinate herself as she contemplated possibly calling Gus. Or worse, Champ.

She ordered a large organic free-trade coffee and sat down. She figured she would try a few more times to get ahold of Wynonna before bothering her aunt. Gus would definitely answer and would definitely come to get her, and if she couldn't, she would send someone to come get her. The upside is Gus would be frosty to Chrissy and Steph at Shorty's for a while, the downside would be a lecture from Gus about hanging out with those girls. That would be her last resort.

"Leave it" proceeded a beep on the other end of the line. Wynonna would later hear Waverly growl and say "Answer your damn phone Wynonna!" after she had already talked to Waves in person.

Waverly didn't realize how loud she had been leaving the message until she saw numerous people had turned to look at her. Including a certain redhead who was standing in line at the counter.

She hid her face in her hands for a few moments. When she finally calmed over the embarrassment she looked up to find Nicole trying to get her attention.

"Do you need anything?" Nicole had mouthed and gestured toward the counter generally.

Waverly just held up her large coffee and shook her head.

The woman who Waverly had spent a fantastic night with, her guard down because she would never see this woman ever again, was there in the same coffee shop as her. Of course.

Nicole set down a plate containing two doughnuts. She spun the plate so the vanilla dipped with sprinkles was pointed towards Waverly and the glazed sour cream towards the empty seat across from her.

"Can I sit?"

It was a simple question. A polite question. Waverly didn't realize how much she appreciated someone asking her, checking in with her before doing things or assuming things. Like the night before, she'd heard that same voice ask "can I…" or "is this okay?" And she flushed with the memory.

Then she realized Nicole was awaiting an answer, nervous.

"Please," Waverly finally answered. Then she pointed to the doughnut "Is this for me?"

"Of course, I believe I made a promise."

Waverly was speechless. Actually, she had lots to say, lots she wanted to say but she just didn't know how. Waverly felt like she should apologize for skipping out that morning, but she was certain they both knew it was going to happen. Nicole had said she didn't want it to feel like a one night stand, she did not say she didn't want it to be one. That is what Nicole meant, right?

Waverly also knew that all she would have to do is ask. She could get clarification on anything that happened the previous night, and she knew Nicole would be open and honest. There was that other looming thing that she could ask of Nicole too. A simple ‘could you take me home' and this woman, this stranger, sitting in front of her would likely drop whatever she was doing and take her.

"I did make another promise, one that I would also like to honor. I will take you where ever you need to go."

Did Nicole just read her damn mind?

"Even if it's far?"

"Yes."

"Like, north?"

"I am actually headed that way."

"Would Purgatory be out of your way?"

"No, it would not."

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Nicole could have listened to Waverly talk for hours. Waverly admitted to being a bit of a local historian when it came to Purgatory so Nicole asked questions about the town. Seeing how much Waverly enjoyed talking about her local knowledge lead Nicole to ask about other things Waverly enjoyed. That is how Nicole learned about Waverly's school interests, the correspondence courses she had taken, and that the phrase she said the night before was actually Latin. Waverly said she was impressed that Nicole guessed Italian since Italian was a romance language based on Latin. The rest of the time Waverly said "Did you know…" before providing some fascinating trivia about ancient languages, people, and customs.

"So where do I go from here?" Nicole asked as they finally came upon the first significant group of buildings in town.

"Actually, if you could just drop me off at the sheriff's office, it's up here just past the stop sign on the left."

"Are you in trouble?"

"No, of course not. I'm the nicest person in Purgatory." Waverly stated matter of factly.

This only made Nicole curious, as it sounded like it could be a thing, but she was still a little worried. "Am I in trouble?"

"Don't be silly. You are a hero for driving me all the way out here. It's just that…. I actually live way out of town, like way out of town. And my jeep is already in town. Plus, I just wanted to talk to the sheriff about something."

Nicole pulled into the small parking lot, locating a spot near the entry doors, resisting the urge to park further back nearer the patrol cars.

"Would you like me to escort you inside?" Nicole offered, hopeful.

It would provide a great opportunity for Nicole to tell Waverly more about herself. It was a detail that she had not quite gotten to, as smitten as she was with listening to Waverly talk.

Waverly was not swift with her reply and it made Nicole a little nervous. It seemed like a good time to let her new friend know she was a resident of the same town and they had just pulled up to her place of work.

"Look I…"

But she couldn't finish the sentence as her phone rang. And the ringtone indicated it was her boss and she needed to answer it.

"Sorry, I have to get this, it's work." Nicole tried to give her most apologetic look, as she answered, "Yes Sir?"

Nicole figured it would be a brief conversation. She suspected Sheriff Nedley wasn't one to just call and chat.

Waverly seemed to blink a few times. Then she reached for the handle, opened the door and got out. Disappointment struck Nicole for the second time today.

"Yes sir, I can be right there."

Nicole stared at the phone she'd just hung up, its surface reflecting back her frown.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Waverly had just spent the entire ride talking about herself. But it was so easy the way Nicole had looked at her like she was actually interested, not the bored looks she would get from her friends, or the locals at the bar when she would get going on something nerdy. Plus there was the whole part of Nicole actually participating in the conversation, asking her questions and sending her on different tangents.

Waverly made the mistake of glancing back as she exited the vehicle. Skipping away that morning had been much easier. Actually, leaving the sleeping redhead had not been easy but the look on Nicole's face as Waverly left her was practically devastating. Nicole seemed to be trying to prolong the inevitable though. She was glad for Nicole's phone call interruption. It was the perfect opportunity to make a run for it.

Waverly was home now in Purgatory, she would never see Nicole again, and things would return to normal.

Who was she kidding, things would never be the same.

After taking a moment in the restroom, Waverly made her way to Nedley's office, peeking around the door to see the Sheriff placing the phone back onto its cradle.

"Sheriff? Are you busy?"

"Waverly, What are you doing here?"

Despite his gruff voice, she could tell he was genuinely surprised.

"I managed to find a ride after Steph and Chrissy left me alone in the city last night, I haven't been able to get ahold of either of them and I wanted to let you know before I went and got my jeep."

Nedley's face went back to an unreadable expression.

"A couple of things. Your Jeep was taken out to the homestead. And I am glad you weren't with the girls because they got into some trouble."

"What happened to my Jeep?"

"Gus saw Champ driving it around and called to complain. I had some officers pick him up. Gus told us to take it out to Wynonna."

"Yeah, we've… We've broken up so he is no longer allowed to do that."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

Nedley seemed like he wasn't that sorry though.

"Is Chrissy okay?"

Waverly wanted to be mad at them both but she knew deep down Steph was always the ringleader. She would have to talk to Chrissy later about how she would no longer be going along with it, hoping it would inspire Chrissy to do the same.

"Yeah, she is fine. I just have to head to the big city and bail her and Stephanie out."

"Oh?" Waverly would definitely be talking to Chrissy later, as she knew Nedley would not likely be forthcoming with the reasons his daughter was in trouble.

"I'll have her call you when she gets home."

"Speaking of home, how should I get to mine?"

Nedley glanced into the bullpen through the open slats in the blinds.

"I just called in extra officers since I'm leaving." He said while continuing to look through his windows.

He found who he was looking for. "I'll have my rookie drive you home." He then barked towards his open door, "OFFICER HAUGHT!"

Waverly as always impressed with how that man could project his voice and be loud without seeming like he was screaming. Also what kind of name was "hot?" She was definitely not a local.

"Yes sir?" said a voice that Waverly had heard just before she entered the station.

Waverly was certain her eyes were as wide as saucers but Nedley didn't seem to notice. She had briefly wondered what Nicole would look like in a uniform and it was as alluring as she had imagined. In her panic she had run away, again assuming she would never see this woman again. Not only did Nicole apparently live in Purgatory, but she was also an officer of the law. And she would be working just across the hall from Wynonna and Dolls, in the office that they'd just started letting Waverly be a part of. Of course.

"Officer Haught, I need you to drive Miss Waverly home and when you're done drive a patrol on the return."

Nicole gave her a shy guilty smile.

"Ladies, if you'll excuse me. Please shut my door on your way out."

Nicole stood there, silent, still wearing that guilty smile.

"You should have told me." Waverly finally spoke up.

"I actually tried to just before my phone rang but you ran away."

"You could have told me sooner. Like when you offered to drive me here"

"Yes, I should have been more clear."

Waverly pouted. She wanted to be mad at Nicole but those sad yet hopeful brown eyes were making it really difficult.

What Waverly wanted most of all was reassurance that whatever this was that they had started, that they could be okay.

"Can we be friends?" That was not how she had intended her question to come out.

"Whatever you want, Waverly."

Waverly saw the sincerity. Nicole was reassuring her, the same as the night before. It was up to Waverly to set the pace.

"Maybe more than friends?"

Nicole broke in the widest grin with the deepest dimples that Waverly had ever seen.

"Definitely maybe."

"Okay, then Officer Haught. Take me home."