Waverly always took her showers early in order to avoid the morning rush of the typical 9 a.m. classes. Of course, the communal bathroom was never that busy, but she enjoyed having the space all to herself...mainly so that she could sing in the aurally pleasing acoustic environment without anyone around to hear, which was exactly how she had spent the last 20 minutes of her shower.
She turned the knob in front of her, effectively shutting off the water before wrapping her body in a towel as she flipped her wet hair over one shoulder. She grabbed her toiletry bag that was adorned with an assortment of promotional eco-friendly stickers, and pulled the curtain back before stepping out of the shower stall…and straight into a fully-clothed body.
“Oh, fudge nuggets!” Waverly blurted as she dropped her things and stumbled a bit while clenching her towel tightly against her chest to keep it from unraveling. She looked up and immediately noticed vibrant red hair and earthy-hued eyes with flecks of gold, and she instantly felt a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. It was the girl from room 208 that she had been crushing on.
“Oh my god, I am so sorry. Are you okay? I totally didn’t see you!” Waverly spluttered eagerly as she gesticulated her free hand wildly in front of her face before reaching down to gather up the few travel-sized bottles of hair products that had fallen out of her bag during the collision.
“Yeah, I’m okay. It’s okay.” The corners of the redhead’s mouth turned up in a polite smile, and just below her slightly raised cheekbones appeared Waverly’s worst nightmare — dimples. She already had a colossal crush on this girl, but the fact that she had dimples, something that Waverly was a sucker for, only made the stupidly gorgeous girl even more attractive. “Are you okay?”
Waverly fervently nodded her head and replied in a chipper voice, “Yep. Yeah, I’m okay.” She displayed a toothy grin, hoping that she hadn’t come off too strong, even though she knew she totally had.
“Cool.” Nicole gave a terse nod before strolling over to the sink, where she set down her own plain, black toiletry bag before removing her toothbrush.
Waverly briefly glanced at the redhead as she traipsed towards the sink on the opposite side, not wanting to come off as one of those annoying people who awkwardly choose the sink directly beside the only other person in the room when there are several other options to choose from. She squeezed out a string of toothpaste over the bristles of her wooden toothbrush before shoving it inside her mouth and moving it around in haphazard strokes.
The redhead sighed before turning towards Waverly. “Hey, um, can I borrow your toothpaste? I forgot mine.”
Waverly froze mid-brush with the wooden handle sticking out and toothpaste unattractively smeared all over her lips.
“Oh, yeah, sure,” Waverly murmured in a voice that she hoped was intelligible enough to sound like actual words as opposed to just toothpaste-filled sounds. She slid the recyclable plastic tube down the counter for the redhead to catch.
“Thanks,” the girl said with a warm smile.
Waverly attempted to smile back, but as soon as the minty foam attempted to escape her mouth, she quickly turned away. Her eyes roamed over her reflection as she assessed herself...bringing her to the conclusion that she definitely was not looking sexy. She pushed her eyebrows together and up in dismay as she closed her eyes and subtly shook her head. Her cheeks tinged pink as the embarrassment of what she assumed was an abhorrent first impression washed over her.
“So, uh, what’s your name?” The redhead asked nonchalantly, interrupting Waverly’s self-disparaging train of thought.
Waverly couldn’t believe how cool the girl managed to sound even with a toothbrush and toothpaste occupying her mouth, whilst here she was looking like an infant trying — and failing — to eat applesauce. Not wanting to repeat her previous mistake, Waverly removed her toothbrush and spit into the sink. She quickly swiped the back of her hand across her mouth before turning towards the redhead. “Waverly,” she replied, flaunting her famous smile that everybody (usually) adored. “You?”
The redhead looked at Waverly with a lopsided smile. “Nicole.”
Waverly nodded with a grin. “Nicole is, uh...it’s a rad name.” She pursed her lips at how lame she sounded.
Nicole quirked an eyebrow as she chuckled lightly. “Thanks. So is Waverly.”
“Thanks,” Waverly replied with a laugh that came out a bit more eagerly than she had originally intended before clearing her throat. “Well uh, it’s nice to meet you, Nicole.”
“Yeah, nice to meet you too, Waverly,” Nicole replied before quickly spitting and rinsing. She cleaned her toothbrush off before placing it back in her toiletry bag and zipping it up. “Hey, um, just so you know, you don’t have to use that much toothpaste. And, thanks again for this.” She briefly brandished the tube as she stepped towards Waverly before handing it back to her.
Waverly furrowed her brow at the unexpected statement as she grabbed the tube. “What do you mean?”
Nicole shrugged and took another step forward. “In the commercials, the toothpaste companies try to make you think you have to cover the entire toothbrush with toothpaste, but that’s not true. They only want you to think that so you end up using more and spending more money, but in reality you only need a small dab.”
Waverly slowly nodded, all too aware of how close they were now standing. She hadn’t realized just how much taller than her the girl was — not that she minded. She unexpectedly caught captivating eyes, feeling herself getting pulled further and further into their lure with each passing second. “Huh,” she breathed out before quickly shaking her head. “Erm, thanks for the tip!”
“No problem. I’ll catch you later.” Nicole waved with a subtle wink before walking out of the bathroom.
As soon as the door shut, Waverly dropped her face in her hands and let out a deep sigh. That definitely was not how she expected to meet the girl from room 208.
Waverly sat on an outside bench, enjoying the nice September breeze and warm sunlight on her skin as she pulled up her video calling app and tapped on Wynonna’s contact.
“Hey baby girl!” Wynonna smiled, but her eyebrows instantly pushed together in concern. “Why do you look like that?”
“Like what?” Waverly asked in confusion.
Wynonna moved her phone closer to her eyes. “You look extra smiley today.”
Waverly shrugged as she bit back her grin. “I may have bumped into someone I’ve been crushing on this morning…”
“Is it that guy in your Latin class?” Wynonna wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
Waverly rolled her eyes and snorted in displeasure. “No. I got over him really quickly when I stalked his social media and discovered nothing but shirtless mirror selfies.” She cringed. “I’m talking about the girl that lives down the hall from me.”
“Wait, what? You’ve never mentioned this girl to me before!”
Waverly drew her eyebrows together. “I haven’t?”
“Um, no?” Wynonna drew out, as if it were obvious. “Who is she? What’s her name? What does she look like? I want details.”
“Well, her name is Nicole. She has red hair—”
Wynonna huffed out a short laugh as she shook her head.
With narrowed eyes, Waverly questioned, “What?”
“A redhead. Predictable.” The older Earp chuckled in amusement.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Waverly was slightly offended by the accusation.
“Waves, you have a ginger fetish.”
“I do not have a ginger fetish!” Waverly shouted defensively. She flitted her eyes up to the pair of unexpected students walking by, giving her judgmental glances. She gave them an awkward smile and lowered her head slightly in embarrassment.
“Yeah, you totally do. Isla Fisher…”
Waverly shrugged. “She’s just overall gorgeous.”
“I only like his music!”
Waverly lowered her eyelids. “That’s you.”
Wynonna paused as she furrowed her brow, suddenly remembering the obsession she had with the actor three years ago. “Oh yeah.” She shrugged. “Well, you still have a ginger fetish.”
The younger Earp shook her head in dismissal. “Whatever. As I was saying before you rudely interrupted me, she’s very cool and down to Earth.”
“Uh huh. So, when’s the date?” Wynonna teased.
“As if I’d ever be able to actually ask her out.”
“Because, you know me. One look at someone I find attractive and I lose all ability to speak coherently and say charming things.”
“You say that as if you naturally do say charming things…” Wynonna quipped.
Waverly sarcastically laughed before muttering, “Butthole,” and prompting an irritating cackle from her older sister.
“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist.” Wynonna wiped the subtle tears from her eyes as her laughter faded to a faint, close-mouthed chuckle, eventually evolving into an amused sigh. “Anyways, so what happened?”
“Well, first I collided with her while wearing nothing but a towel...”
“While she was wearing nothing but a towel, or you?”
“Classic Earp move,” Wynonna nodded in approval.
“Then I looked like a total dweeb when she asked to borrow my toothpaste—”
“Is that what the kids are calling it these days?” Wynonna teased, but Waverly ignored her — as she did most of the time with Wynonna’s crude remarks.
“And I’m pretty sure she noticed me awkwardly staring into her gorgeous eyes while standing way too close to her.” Waverly blew out a puff of air in distress.
A sly smirk spread across Wynonna’s face as she gave her younger sister a knowing look. “Were you thinking about borrowing her toothpaste?”
“Wynonna, this is serious!” Waverly whined. “I just completely ruined any chances I had with this girl! This amazingly gorgeous and suave girl.” She sighed as she looked longingly off into the distance. “Ugh, and I had everything planned out, too. I was going to swing by her dorm room and ask to use her printer because mine had run out of ink, where we would bond over our similar tastes in dorm room decor and shared appreciation for early 2000s Rihanna songs.”
“Assuming you two even have that in common?” Wynonna drawled with an eyebrow raised in doubt.
“I wasn’t supposed to see her in the bathroom! That’s the whole reason why I wake up two hours early every morning!” Waverly’s chest dramatically rose and fell from her heavy breathing as she became filled with consternation.
“Okay, whoa. Calm down, baby girl. I’m sure you two can still bond over printer ink and Rihanna decor.” She drew her eyebrows together as she looked up in thought, knowing that wasn’t right, before shaking her head. “Look, just knock on her door and talk to her. Easy.” She punctuated her sentence with an unconcerned shrug.
“Yeah, in theory.”
“And in practice. You’re Waverly Earp! Head cheerleader, prom queen, and winner of Purgatory’s pie baking contest three years in a row!”
Waverly raised her shoulders in indifference. “Most people don’t realize it’s not that difficult to find vegan ingredients…”
“See? You’re a catch! And this girl— er...” She looked at Waverly, expectantly waiting for a name reminder.
“And this girl, Nicole, will see that. So stop sitting around on your ass waiting for love to fall into your lap, and go after her!”
Waverly confidently nodded her head. “Yeah, I’m Waverly freaking Earp!”
“Hell yeah you are!”
Waverly shot up from the bench. “And I’m going to march over to her dorm room, tell her how pretty she is, and ask her out for coffee!”
“Damn straight!” Wynonna replied with a firm nod of her head. “Or, bisexual…”
“Wynonna, thank you. You just gave me the push I needed.” Waverly grinned as felt her petite body pumping with adrenaline.
“Anytime, baby sis.”
Waverly looked at the time. “Oh! I better get going while I’m still feeling spontaneous,” she said excitedly.
“You gonna go talk to her now?”
Waverly shook her head in confusion. “What? No, I’ve got my American Women’s History course in ten minutes and I’ve been trying to work up the courage to tell my professor that she mistakenly marked one of my answers as incorrect. I’m going to march right into that lecture hall and demand that I receive the grade I earned!”
Wynonna exhaled in disappointment as she pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Oh, I see her walking through the front doors already. Gotta go! Talk to you later sis.” Waverly hung up and confidently strode towards the brick building.
The next couple of hours was just win after win for Waverly. She managed to get her grade changed to a higher number than she had originally expected, serendipitously found a ten-dollar note in her purse, and discovered that the dining hall recently started serving vegan burgers upon request. She was at the top of her game, and nothing was going to bring her down.
...that is, until she finally approached Nicole’s door at the end of the hall and began to feel the effects of her nerves creeping up to the surface. Her palms became incredibly sweaty and her pulse rapidly sped up as panic began to ensue.
She inhaled and exhaled deeply in an attempt to calm herself down. “You got this. You’re Waverly Earp! Nobody’s pie is better than yours,” she whispered to herself as she paced back and forth in front of Nicole’s room. The door unexpectedly swung open, catching Waverly off-guard and causing her to jump back with a squeak.
“Oh, hey,” Nicole greeted with a dimpled grin as she folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the doorframe. “I thought I heard someone out here.”
“Oh, uh, yep! Just me! From earlier. You know, with the toothpaste…”
Nicole raised her eyebrow in amusement at the excessively energetic girl before her. “Waverly,” she stated, proving that she had remembered the shorter girl very clearly.
“Yeah! Hi!” Waverly beamed with a hasty wave of her hand.
“Hi,” Nicole chuckled lightly. “So, what’s up?”
Waverly paused as her smile fell from her face. In all of the excitement from her pep talk with Wynonna and her small victories throughout the day, she hadn’t actually practiced what she was going to say to Nicole. Which, for someone who was such a planner, was extremely unnerving. It was too soon to use the empty printer ink excuse — seeing as how it was barely the third week of school — leaving her without a single idea. She opened and closed her mouth rapidly, like a fish respirating through its gills as she stood in hesitation. She quickly grew more nervous as she noticed Nicole’s look of confusion.
“I…w-was just...er….” Waverly stammered as she shifted her eyes back and forth, racking her brain for anything to say. Come on Waverly, say something. Literally anything, she thought to herself.
Nicole’s perfect eyebrows relaxed back to their natural state as a charming smile stretched across her face. “Do you like food?”
Waverly nodded, thankful for the question. “I love food! I mean, at least as much as any other being that needs nourishment in order to survive.” She chuckled nervously before pursing her lips and loudly blurting out, “I’m vegan!”
Nicole inhaled through her nose and pressed her tongue against the inside of her upper lip as she looked up in thought. “Okay, so I guess the all-you-can-eat barbecue joint down the road is off the table for our first date.” She gazed at Waverly with hopeful eyes.
“A d-date?” Waverly breathed out as she felt excitement begin to bubble up in her chest.
“If that’s okay?” The end of Nicole’s sentence went up simultaneously with the corners of her mouth.
“Definitely! That’s definitely okay. More than okay, actually. It’s incredible! I mean, I’d love to go on a date with you! I wasn’t sure if you were even into girls, and there’s no polite way to ask someone if they’re queer, and after the whole toothpaste thing I wasn’t even sure if you liked me, and—” She paused when she noticed Nicole’s shoulders vibrating from stifling her laughter, and Waverly looked down at the floor with a weak smile as she nodded. “And you think I’m a total geek.”
“Yeah, but a really cute geek,” Nicole replied with a smirk. “Do you want to come in and hang out? I’ve got nothing to do the rest of the night.”
“Yes!” Waverly replied a little too quickly, but she didn’t even care at this point. She was about to hang out with Nicole… it was at that thought that she realized she didn’t even know the girl’s last name. “Hey Nicole, what’s your last name?”
“Haught,” the redhead replied as she stepped aside and gestured for Waverly to enter.
Waverly let out a short laugh while shaking her head as she walked into Nicole’s dorm room. “Of course.”
As soon as Waverly’s back was turned, Nicole smiled to herself and blew out a slow, deep breath in an attempt to rid herself of the nerves she had desperately been trying to hide over the past two weeks since she first laid eyes on the beautiful, quirky brunette, before shutting the door.
Four years later
“Hello, Mrs. Haught.” Nicole smiled brightly as she walked through the front door after her first day back at the police station.
“Hello, Mrs. Earp,” Waverly replied in a similar manner as she walked up to her beautiful wife with outstretched arms. She wrapped her hands around the back of Nicole’s neck and pulled her into a passionate kiss, smiling against the redhead’s soft lips.
The newlyweds parted, and Nicole let out a groan. “Can we please go back to last week when it was our honeymoon? I’m not ready to be thrown back into the real world yet.” She poked out her bottom lip and quivered it in a pout that made Waverly’s heart melt.
“I wish.” Waverly lightly booped the protruding lip with the tip of her pointer finger before lovingly rubbing her hands up and down the outsides of her wife’s upper arms. “But we need to participate in the real world in order to make money and keep this gorgeous dream house we just bought.” Her hands smoothly slid up Nicole’s arms to wrap around the back of her neck as Waverly gazed in appreciation around the house from where they were standing in the living room. They had immediately fallen in love with the open floor plan during the viewing, and instantly knew it was their home.
“I know,” Nicole sighed. “I just miss the days of us being at the beach, where the only thing I had to worry about was sunburn and taking enough cute pictures of you...not traffic tickets and teenagers breaking into vending machines.” She rolled her eyes as she thought back to the long day she just had.
“Yeah, but just because we’re not at the beach anymore doesn’t mean we can’t continue to do all the other things we did during our honeymoon…” Waverly suggestively bit her bottom lip as she lightly trailed a finger down the front buttons of Nicole’s uniform shirt.
“Oh, okay,” Nicole grinned. “I am one hundred percent down for that.” She slowly leaned in for a kiss, but as soon as their lips touched they were interrupted by a thunderous growl coming from between their bodies. Nicole pulled back with an apologetic smile. “But dinner first? I haven’t eaten since noon.”
“Okay,” Waverly lightly chuckled as she watched Nicole waste no time in heading straight for the kitchen. As soon as Nicole opened the fridge door, she groaned and quickly shut it before looking at Waverly with pursed lips.
“I forgot we haven’t gone grocery shopping yet.” Nicole pulled out her phone and leaned back against the granite counter. “I’m making a list. Is there anything else we need besides the food basics we usually get?”
Waverly sauntered toward the redhead with a playful smirk on her lips. “Well, there is one thing that we’re out of.”
Nicole quirked an eyebrow when she noticed Waverly seductively walking two fingers up her arm towards her shoulder. “What?” The redhead swallowed thickly in anticipation.
Waverly pushed herself up onto her tiptoes towards Nicole’s ear, and with hot breath whispered, “Toothpaste.”
Nicole immediately began laughing, earning a frown from Waverly.
“Hey, that was meant to be sexy, not funny!” Waverly whined as she lowered back down to her normal height.
“I know, I know. It’s just…” Nicole shook her head as she glanced down at the floor before shifting her eyes back up to meet Waverly’s. “Well, now that we’re married, I have a confession to make.”
Waverly drew her eyebrows together and folded her arms across her chest. “Okay?”
“That day, when we first met in the dorm bathroom...I sort of had toothpaste. I just asked to borrow yours because I had a huge crush on you and wanted an excuse to talk to you.” Nicole shrugged.
Waverly’s eyes slowly widened as her mouth simultaneously opened in shock. She quickly unfolded her arms and rested her hands on her hips. “Nicole! You sneaky, sneaky squirrel!”
“Guilty,” Nicole admitted with an exaggerated grin.
Waverly slowly shook her head in disbelief as she draped her arms over Nicole's strong shoulders. “You’re so bad.”
Nicole rested her hands on Waverly’s hips and let out a short, breathy laugh. “Hey, it worked, didn’t it?”
“Yes, it did.” The corners of Waverly’s eyes crinkled as she connected their lips, well aware of how perfectly in sync their kisses were from all of the practice they had gotten over the past four years.
Before things could get too heated, though, the front door flew open, revealing Wynonna in her classic black jeans and leather jacket.
“Ew, get a room you two,” the older Earp said with a grimace.
Nicole scowled at her pain-in-the-ass-but-still-somehow-loveable sister-in-law. “Wynonna, this is our house.”
Wynonna shrugged as she shut the door behind her. “You two literally bought the house right next door to me and Doc... and you gave me a key.” She brandished the key in front of her face. “If that doesn’t say ‘our door is always open’, I don’t know what does.”
“We gave you that key in case we ever locked ourselves out and needed to get back in!” Nicole zealously explained.
Waverly rubbed her hand soothingly along Nicole’s back, successfully calming the redhead down as she felt the muscles relax beneath her touch. “Is there something you wanted, Wynonna?” She asked in a tone that was a bit more polite than Nicole’s.
“Oh, right. So, apparently Alice decided that it would be fun to empty every tube of toothpaste we own into the toilet. Conclusion — it looks really cool, but now we’re out. Can I borrow your toothpaste?”
Waverly and Nicole immediately looked at each other and erupted into a fit of giggles, ignoring the questioning look Wynonna was giving them. With a single look at each other, they silently agreed to keep the inside joke between them, wanting the memory of the moment they first met to be just for them.
Sure, Waverly had told Wynonna that Nicole had asked to borrow her toothpaste a few short hours after it happened, but it’s not like the older Earp had remembered that detail; A detail that would seem trifling to anyone on the outside, but was paramount to Waverly and Nicole, seeing as how that detail — the memorable moment of that one, simple question from Nicole, was the planted seed that grew into a garden of infinite hopes, dreams, and a shared life of everlasting memories between soulmates. That one simple tube of toothpaste was the thing that got Nicole the beautiful, quirky brunette from down the hall, and that got Waverly the girl from room 208.