Actions

Work Header

Ain't gonna cry

Chapter Text

I

Wynonna wasn't sure how she came back. Because everywhere she looked, she couldn't find Nicole, or Jeremy, or even Robin for that matter. And then, out of nowhere, here they were. At the homestead.

"Where the hell were you?!" Wynonna asked, taking a swig at the bottle of bourbon she was holding.

"Oh! Now you care? After you spiked our drinks?" Nicole answered, and without even waiting for a reply, she walked in.

Wynonna followed, but Nicole could tell that she was a little unsure of herself. The homestead, though always messy, Waverly usually tried to clean it a little. This time however, Nicole could see empty bottles of whisky on the floor. The sink full of unwashed dishes, and a couple of blankets messily covering the couch. Wynonna hadn't slept in her room in a while.

As they stood in what became their home and safe place, Nicole could tell that something was missing, or rather...someone. She could see on Wynonna's posture the guilt that she carried. She could see in her eyes the toll it has taken on her that Waverly was sucked into the garden.

"Haught I..." Wynonna couldn't get the words out. She had tried to find Waverly. She had gone back to the stairs and the results were always the same. She recruited Nedley to help her find her favorite unkillable Gay Squad, but with no luck until now. They simply showed up at her doorstep, and she doesn't even know how they got back, or even where they were. "Look...I'm sorry. We just weren't gonna loose you to this."

"So instead of giving us a choice, you and Waverly thought best to deal with this on your own." Nicole finished for her. If she was being honest with herself, she was tired. Tired, that they didn't seem to trust her, tired of the secrets, tired of losing.

"Is not that Haught...It's just that...Waverly can't risk loosing you, she would die if something happened to you." Wynonna couldn't even look at her in the eyes. But her words softened Nicole a little.

"Well...the feeling is mutual." She simply said. They stayed in an awkward silence for a little bit. The only sound was Jeremy and Robin's light conversation, and the kettle boiling. "So...any leads?"

"Nothing" Wynonna said in a bare whisper.

Even though Nicole was still trés pissed with Wynonna about this, she couldn't help but feel the raw pain irradiating from the elder Earp. She completely understood that, and even felt it herself. Without saying anything else, Nicole started picking up the empty bottles and take-out containers from the coffee table.

"What are you doing?" Wynonna asked apprehensively.

 

"I don't want Waverly to come back to a house in ruins." Nicole replied, throwing more bottles into a big black trash bag.

As Wynonna sat on the couch she took a good look at Nicole. While her movements were swift, there was a stiffness that wasn't there before. She moved carefully as if she was going to hurt herself in the process. Her movements were slower too. At one point Wynonna could've swore that she saw a scar that seemed to ran up her back.

"See something you like Earp?" Nicole chuckled after she noticed Wynonna was looking at her. But not even that poor attempt at humor seemed to change Wynonna's demeanor. "Earp?"

"Where were you?" Wynonna asked. Nicole didn't answer immediately. Partly because strictly speaking she didn't know, but also because she didn't want to tell Wynonna what happened to her and the others there.

"I don't know" She finally answered, looking at the floor. "Jeremy thinks it was some sort of black site, but there was nothing that suggested it was BBD."

Wynonna remained silent. She was about to reply when they all heard the sound of screeching tires. Nicole grabbed her gun from the back of her pants, and move closer to the door, realizing for the first time that Wynonna didn't have Peacemaker anymore.

"Where's Peacemaker?" Nicole whispered. Wynonna didn't answer, instead she pulled out a sword. "What the shit is that? How's a freaking sword gonna stop any bullets?"

"That's Peacemaker, shithead" Wynonna whispered back angrily. Nicole moved closer to the window.

"Did anyone follow you and your unicorn squad?" Wynonna asked rolling her eyes. There was a black SUV parked outside of the homestead.

"I think I would know if someone was following us on our way here." Nicole said. Off course some things didn't get old. In fact, the ginger kind of missed the bickering between her and Wynonna.

At that moment a young woman stepped out of the car. She was tall, had brown hair and was wearing aviator sunglasses. There was something oddly familiar about her.

"Haught!" The girl screamed. She had an accent, but they couldn't quite place from where. "Why did you choose the coldest place on Earth to live?"

Inside the homestead Nicole visibly relaxed, and Jeremy immediately went out the door.

"Andy!" He greeted, and hugged her. "You finally made it out!"

"Weird ass coincidence, Jer...they were gonna transfer me...perfect opportunity." Andy said with a small smile, while looking at the other standing in the porch. "Do you mind if we go inside? I'm freezing my butt off."

But before she could go inside, Wynonna stopped her.

"Hold on a minute. Who the hell are you?"

"Off course, where are my manners...my name is Andy."

"She helped us escape Wynonna." Nicole interjected.

"Escape from where?" Wynonna asked impatiently.

"This is lovely, but can we have this chat inside? It's freezing out here!" Andy went inside without saying much else. Once inside, they all went into the kitchen.

"Not for nothing, but I'd like some answers now." demanded Wynonna taking a long sip of bourbon. "Nedley and I looked everywhere for you and it was like you just vanished."

"They were taken to the facility I was being held at." Andy answered. "Definitely not a place you wanna end up huh?" Both Jeremy and Robin nodded.

"I don't have time for this." Wynonna said, sounding a little irritated. "I need to find my sister" And she stood up and left, slamming the door behind her.

Chapter Text

II

 

It was dark by the time Wynonna heard footsteps approaching. Her hand wrapped tighter around her sword, but made no effort to stand up. She was all boozy inside, and there were a couple of empty bottles. Next to her, she felt someone sit down.

 

"I know how to get her out." said Nicole.

 

Wynonna looked up to her. Her eyes were a little hazy from the alcohol, but she could tell that Nicole was not fucking around. She had a plan.

 

"How? I haven't even been able to see the freaking stairs!" Wynonna threw a bottle at the stairs and it bounced.

 

"I found another way in...we'll go in tomorrow." Nicole took her bottle and drank a long sip. "So, we better get home...early rise tomorrow." She stood up.

"Wha happen' to you..." Wynonna slurred. "And don't even think to tell me it was nothin'...'cause I know..."

"I know you're very drunk, and I can't have you swinging that sword around like a crazy person when we go into the garden..."

"Haught!" Wynonna stood up, almost tumbling. "You will tell me or I'll stab you with Peacemaker!"

"You'll stab me?" Nicole said, looking at her in disbelief. "And how do you suppose you will find the other entrance to the garden?"

"I'll get you to talk!" Wynonna narrowed her eyes, to which Nicole lifted an eyebrow.

"Sure." She replied, and made a gesture to help her up, but instead Wynonna slapped her in the arm. "Hey! I'm trying to help you asshole!"

"I don't need your help Sheriff Fanta."

"Fanta is orange dude!" Nicole replied back.

"Not if it's CHERRY FANTA" Wynonna slapped her arm again.

"Fine!" Nicole lightly pushed her, and because of how drunk she was, Wynonna fell on the snow. Nicole sighed. "Wynonna this is our chance to get her back. It might be the only way."

"How'd you even know that she got sucked inno the garden? You jus' got back." Nicole sat next to her, looking at the stairs.

"It doesn't matter how I know Earp, the point is I got the intel, and now we get to bring her back." Nicole said. "We can't miss this chance."

"What happened to you?" Wynonna asked again, hoping that Nicole could give her some answers. "Why won't you tell me?"

"Wynonna let's just focus on getting Waverly back." said the ginger. She honestly didn't want to get into the details from her ordeal.

"You have a scar on your back!" the elder Earp said with accusatory eyes. "I saw it." She felt Nicole stiffen beside her.

"I can't talk about that right now."

"You know, Waves is gonna kill me when she sees you all scarred." Nicole knew that Wynonna blamed herself for what happened to them. "She'll never forgive me" Wynonna's voice broke as she brought her hands to her face.

"She'll forgive you." Nicole said. "She has nothing but love for you Earp."

It's probably gonna be me, she won't forgive. Nicole thought to herself.

"What about that chick?" Wynonna asked. "What's her name...?"

"You mean Andy?" Wynonna nodded. "Yeah, she's coming too."

They stayed in silence, for a little while. Both not caring about their emotional scars these past few months. Both thinking about the million things that could go wrong when they rescued Waverly, while at the same time so eager to finally get her back.

Chapter Text

III

Two months ago

They were tired of everything. Tired of sleeping on the floor, tired of running from vines, tired the humidity in the air...just tired. But Waverly was specially tired of missing her family. There was not a day that went by that she didn't miss her sister. And then there was Nicole. To say that she missed her was probably the understatement of the century.

She felt guilty every time she thought about her because Waverly knew it wasn't fair to Nicole. To leave her out of things...to tell her she loves her and a second later leaving her. She got pull out of her thoughts by Doc's footsteps approaching.

 

"I got some more wood." He said. "We should try and get some shut eye." He sat down next to her.

"Yeah..." Waverly replied, still deep in thought. Then, something caught her attention. There was a figure walking through the woods. Waverly stood up.

 

"Waverly?" Doc asked curiously.

 

"I think I saw something." And Waverly started walking in the direction of the figure.

"Waverly wait up!"

 

As Waverly and Doc got close, she realized that the figure was a woman. She was walking directionless deeper into the woods. She was wearing white scrubs and was barefooted. Once Waverly was relatively closer to the woman, her heart dropped and her breathing stopped for a second. She could recognize that red hair anywhere. It was Nicole's.

"Oh my god!" Waverly gasped.

"Waverly!" Doc called out. But Waverly wasn't listening. She was already moving fast towards her love.

"Nicole!" She yelled, and the woman stopped walking and turned around. Waverly stopped too, as she saw the love of her life for the first time in two months.

"Waves..."Nicole breathed. The next thing they knew, they were in each other's arms. They hugged for what seemed like an eternity.

"I can't believe it..." the brunette whispered. "How are you here?"

 

They had sat down on a rock and Nicole just held her. She finally felt safe, but there were a million questions running through her mind right now. Nicole's presence was calm as she traced small patterns on her hand with her fingers, and kept looking at the woods.

"I´m not sure..." Nicole said in a soft voice. "What is this place anyway?"

 

Waverly hesitated. She didn't know if Nicole was aware she was sucked into Eden by scary-looking tree branches.

"This is Eden, Baby," Waverly said, looking at their hands. Nicole stayed silent for a moment.

"Huh..."

"What?" Waverly asked with apprehension.

"Not quite what I expected," Nicole said calmly. "Then again, I wasn't expecting to find you in here either."

 

"Nicole..."

 

"Did you know? That Wynonna had spiked our drinks?" There was no accusation on Nicole's eyes. Nothing that would indicate that she was pissed at her. How could she be so calm right now?

Waverly nodded slightly, as she kept her head buried in Nicole's neck. She felt so guilty. She missed her so much, and now her love was here, and she had no friggin' idea how.

 

"Nicole, I know I have so much to apologize for." Waverly's voice was soft and was looking at the floor. "I just couldn't risk losing you...like I said before, I'm not losing anyone else I love."

 

"You're not gonna lose me...just...please stop shutting me out."

 

They stayed quiet...just holding each other for a while...until a terrifying thought occurred to Waverly.

 

"Nicole..." Waverly hesitated, her eyes full of anguish. "Why are you here? I...I mean, are you...?" She couldn't even finish the thought...what if she wasn't...you know...alive?

Sensing Waverly's distress, Nicole held her tighter. The petite woman grasped at Nicole's scrub top and buried her face in her neck smelling her in. She still smelled like Vanilla Dipped Donuts, but there was something else...she couldn't quite place what it was.

"I'm not dead if that's where you're getting at." The redhead replied and felt Waverly relax considerably next to her. "But as I said, I don't really know how I'm here."

"But why are you wearing scrubs? And why are you barefooted?"

 

"Well..." now it was Nicole's turn to hesitate. She didn't want to tell her girlfriend where she was. For one, she wasn't really sure, and on the other hand telling her that she's captive somewhere would worry her and considering where she was, she needed all her energy focused on surviving. Not thinking about the ginger. "We're at some sort of facility...Jeremy said it didn't look like one of BBD's"

"Facility?" what the hell does that mean? Waverly thought.

"Yes, but never mind that," Nicole said dismissively and kissed the brunette on the forehead. However, if her intent was not to worry her, she certainly failed to do so. "Don't worry about me Baby, I'm fine..."

But Waverly didn't believe her.

"How long have you been in that 'facility'?"

"Hmm..." Nicole thought hard. After the first 3 weeks, she started to lose track of time, with everything they were doing to her. "Definitely more than a month...how long have you been here?"

"Two months," said Waverly looking down. Wherever Nicole is, she's probably been there as long as she has been in this godforsaken garden.

 

Meanwhile, Nicole was contemplating what Waverly just told her. If she's been here with Doc for two months, and by the looks of it they had no desire whatsoever of being here, then... She quickly put the pieces together and asked;

 

"Any clues for an exit?"

"Doc and I haven't found anything yet."

 

Nicole stiffened next to Waverly. There was a hopelessness in Waverly's voice that made her heartache. Suddenly, Nicole felt a stabbing pain in her head. Her time was up.

"Baby, what's wrong?" Waverly asked worriedly.

 

"I have to go..." Nicole said, holding her head with her hands. "Listen to me Waves...just keep holding on..."

 

"Wait...where are you going?" Waverly tried to hold her girlfriend, but instead, she stood up still holding her head in pain.

"Baby, listen to me...just keep holding on a bit longer...I'm gonna find a way to get you out." Nicole started walking deeper into the woods. Waverly wanted to follow her, but she felt Doc stopping her. "I love you...please always remember that I will never stop loving you!"

 

"No, Nicole!" Waverly yelled. "Please come back! Don't leave me here!" She collapsed on Doc's arms, tears falling freely.

Chapter Text

IV

 

Wynonna woke up startled. She looked at her window, and couldn't have been any later than 5 a.m.  Today was when they were finally going to rescue her little sister. She turned and found a glass of water with a couple of aspirin on her nightstand. 

 

Fucking Nicole Haught. Thought Wynonna. She honestly didn't know how could that woman possibly keep it together after 4 months without Waverly.  Then again, Nicole hadn't told her yet where the hell she's been for 4 months. But one thing was for sure; She was so eager to finally get her sister back that an interrogation session with Nicole would have to wait. 

 

When she walked up to the kitchen, she noticed that Nicole was already dressed, with a coffee in her hands. Wynonna sat down on the other chair.

 

"Drink," Nicole said, giving the eldest Earp a mug with steaming coffee inside, to which Wynonna poured a generous amount of whiskey into. "Andy is getting some stuff ready before we go." Nicole looked at her disapprovingly. 

 

"What? I have to temper it down, trust me...you don't want me hungover." Wynonna stated. "Anywho...what's the deal with Andy?"

 

"She helped us get out of where we were..."

 

"Why do you trust her? What's in this for her?"

 

"Wynonna..." Nicole sighed.

 

"How do you know she's not from some weird secret agency and wants Waverly? What if she wants to find her to experiment on her? What if she...?" Wynonna interrupted, but before she could finish her rant, Andy walked in.

 

"I'm not going to do that." Andy said calmly. 

 

"Why are you helping us then?" Wynonna asked suspiciously. Andy remained silent for a moment. 

 

"Because I know what is like to lose somebody you love so deeply you would do anything for them," Andy replied seriously. "I know what is like to have the light of your life taken away from you, and it's something I wouldn't wish to anyone...I know what is like to feel lost because your favorite person in the world is missing." 

 

They remained silent. Wynonna could see in Andy's eyes that she was telling the truth. Not only there was something familiar with her like she's known her for years, but also there was a sincerity and pain in her voice that all Wynonna's doubt went away momentarily. 

 

"OK! If there're no more questions, I suggest we go!" Andy said cheerfully, walking out of the homestead.

 

Once outside, both Wynonna and Nicole saw the vast arsenal of weapons Andy had brought. 

 

"Oh my god!" Wynonna said excitedly, opening different crates full of rifles, semi-automatic weapons, handguns, grenades. "Please tell me there's a flamethrower in there!"

 

"Oh right...Haught-stuff said you Earps had a thing for flamethrowers." Andy said with a smile. "Unfortunately I couldn't get one, but I did get a couple of sweet ass rocket launchers." Andy went to open one of the bigger crates, Wynonna's face radiant with glee. 

 

"I told Andy we were gonna need some help in the weapons department, seen as we only had your magic sword." Nicole said.

 

"Hey! I'll have you know that sword is Peacemaker itself, and it kicks ass!" Wynonna defended.

 

"A magic sword is awesome, but we should get going...our time frame is quite narrow..." Andy looked around. "Where're Jeremy and Robin?" 

 

"I told them to stay," Nicole answered. "I don't wanna risk more lives than necessary." Her tone of voice left room for no argument, so the three women got in Andy's SUV and drove away.

 

"So...where are we going Sheriff Haught?" Andy asked. 

 

"Right where the Ghost River begins. There's a cave, and the entrance should be in short distance from there." 

 

"Should be?" Wynonna asked with apprehension.

 

"At least according to the information I was given."

 

"And you trust this so call information? Who gave it to you?" Wynonna continued.

 

"A reliable source Earp, drop it." Nicole cut out. 

 

About 2 hours later, the three women were finally at the cave. They had to leave Andy's SUV at the bottom of the mountain and trek up where the Ghost River started. It wasn't too dangerous, as not many people would approach this place because it was believed to be haunted. Not even the revenants would come near, and now that the curse was broken, it was even more desolate. 

 

The forest was dense, and with the heavy snow, it made it look even eerier. There was a strange beauty to it, unlike other places in Purgatory. What was a little creepier was that Nicole was feeling some kind of pull that kept telling her where to go. She didn't know why, but she just knew where she was supposed to go, even when the other two women were following her with uncertainty. Behind her, Nicole didn't even notice that Andy and Wynonna were talking to each other while giving worried looks towards the Sheriff. 

 

"That place she was held at...You don't think they turned her into some sort of serial killer right?" Wynonna asked jokingly, though she was a little nervous. 

 

"You would be in a little disadvantage don't you think Wynonna?" Andy replied with a smile. "Seeing as I was there too."

 

"I could still stab you with Peacemaker," Wynonna replied with a smirk on her face. Andy just let out a small laugh and kept walking. After a while, Wynonna spoke again, not quite sure how to ask, but wanting to know anyway. "So...how bad was it?" Smooth Wynonna. 

 

"We didn't have it as bad as her." Andy answered simply.

 

"Why doesn't anyone just give me straight answers..."Wynonna murmured. 

 

"It's nothing against you," Andy said. "I don't even know what they did to her...I only took care of her wounds."

 

"Woundsss?"

 

"Yeah...whatever they did...wasn't pretty." Andy continued. There was a hollowness to her voice that Wynonna hadn't noticed until now. "But they could never get what they wanted."

 

"What makes you say that?"

 

"Whenever they were pissed I would take longer to heal...and they were pissed all the time." Nicole said. They stopped walking and the two other women looked at her.

 

"Nicole..." Wynonna started. 

 

"We're here." Nicole interrupted.

 

They all stood still in front of the cave. A tiny stream flowed in the middle of the entrance, and with the sunlight, through the trees, it almost looked like it was liquid gold flowing. The three women stared in awe at the entrance, and all of them felt a strange pull towards it...like it was calling to them. Suddenly, Wynonna heard a scream. She instantly recognized that voice.

 

"Waverly!" Both Nicole and Wynonna yelled. 

 

But Andy didn't hear a woman's voice. In fact, she didn't hear a scream at all. It was more like a growl. Like some creature living inside the cave. However, before Andy could say or do anything else, both Wynonna and the redhead were running towards the cave. 

 

"Wait!" Andy screamed, putting herself in front of the other women. 

 

"Move asshole! Waverly is in there!" Wynonna pulled her sword and pointed it towards Andy's chest. 

 

"What the hell are you doing Andy?" Nicole asked pointing her gun at her, looking as menacing as the Earp sister.

 

"You're not going inside that cave, like two lunatics," Andy replied. "Haught what the hell?! This isn't you." The brunette said, pushing Nicole backward. 

 

Nicole didn't understand why Andy was behaving that way. She could barely see anything besides the deep darkness of the cave. She could barely hear anything other than Waverly's desperate screams. She could barely feel Andy trying to push her and Wynonna away. Waverly was in there...she was screaming, and her friend was trying to stop her? At least Wynonna was on her side this time. 

 

Then, seeing no other way, Andy slapped the two women as hard as she could. 

 

"STOP! Both of you!" 

 

That seemed to have done the trick. Nicole felt as if a fog was lifted and the screaming stopped. Wynonna and the redhead were rubbing where Andy had slapped them just realizing what had just happened. 

 

"You two dickwads back to normal now?" Andy said in a no-nonsense tone.

 

"You didn't hear anything?" Nicole asked.

 

"Yes, but obviously I didn't hear the same thing you did."

 

"Meaning...?" Wynonna looked at Andy with annoyance. She still could hear her baby sister's screams ringing in her ears. 

 

"Meaning that whatever made that noise inside knew what buttons to push on you two, crazy idiots." Andy replied.

 

"Watch it Ms. Aviator Glasses." Wynonna said. "I may be crazy, but I have a rocket launcher." 

 

"You're not the first one threatening me with a rocket launcher, Earp," Andy said. "Besides, we are definitely going in, but we should make a plan first."

Chapter Text

V

 

1 month ago

 

Nicole was coming in and out of consciousness. Certainly this time they left her weaker than before and feeling electrical currents running down her legs. Much like the past 3 months or so, they had left her strapped to a table most of the time during her "sessions", as her interrogators would call them. She still didn't know what they wanted. They kept asking questions about Waverly instead of Wynonna, but the ginger wouldn't answer any. 

 

One thing was true though. She wanted nothing more than to see Waverly again. She honestly had no idea how, or if it was a dream, but spending at least a few minutes with her in Eden gave Nicole some peace of mind for the weeks after that. She prayed for them to repeat what they did to her that got her into Eden, but only more torture came afterward. 

 

While she was laying there she thought about Jeremy and Robin. Were they going through the same ordeal as her? Was it worse? What were they doing to them? Where they even here? Nicole wasn't sure because they separated them as soon as they got here. She had tried to get some information out of Andy but to no avail. 

 

Her mind wandered to Wynonna, and her heartfelt for the eldest Earp. She was alone in Purgatory, and given that she has been here for more than 3 months, Wynonna probably hasn't been able to find them yet. Her heartache for her because she knew that Waverly wasn't there for her either. Because even though it may not always seem like it, Nicole and Wynonna loved each other. However, along with the heartache that she felt for the older Earp, there was a feeling of anger and disappointment. 

 

She just wants them to trust her...to count on her when shit hits the fan. She just wanted to protect them and be there for them. Even if she was just a plain human. Even when the love of her life was a literal angel and her sister was the Earp heir. Even when she knew that they could take care of themselves, and were incredibly badass, she wanted nothing more than to protect them. With all of these feelings and the fact that she was bleeding and tied to a table, Nicole could not feel more helpless. She needed to get out. She had promised Waverly that she would get her back, and right now she couldn't do anything. She couldn't move. Her legs didn't work...her head was bleeding and she still was feeling the effects of whatever drugs they gave her this time.

 

Her mind came back to Waverly. The redhead closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on her smile, instead of the pain she was feeling all over her body.  She focused on the brunette's hands running up her body. On how she tasted...that sweet, sweet taste that was exclusively Waverly's. Nicole focused on her girlfriend's body; she may not say "I love you" as often, but her body certainly showed it...in the way it responded to her kisses. In the way Waverly's body tensed and relaxed. In the way her breath would hitch when Nicole ran her fingers up and down her back. The sheriff just kept on breathing, while focusing on how Waverly's weight felt against her in those lazy mornings when she was off work. 

 

She didn't know how long it's passed until she heard a voice. 

 

"Sheriff Haught?" 

 

Nicole opened her eyes and saw a male figure dressed in a long black coat and black hat. 

 

"Did someone die?" The ginger asked weakly. Way to show strength Haught. Nicole thought to herself. 

 

"Hopefully not." The man said calmly. "Though I am here for you."

 

"Oh great...can't wait."

 

"Haven't lost your fire I see." The man said with a smile. "Though you're not looking too hot."

 

"Three months of torture will do that to you... But don't make puns, bad guys look really uncool using them...Mmm...let's see." Nicole pretended to remember. "My answers are; no, I don't know, why don't you stuck that taser up your anus, and bite me."

 

"I'm not here to interrogate you, Sheriff Haught." The man said, coming closer. "I have a proposition for you."

 

"Really? Is this the new tactic? Please refer to the pre-determined answers I gave you before." Nicole glared defiantly at him. At least from what she could see in her position. 

 

"You won't do Waverly any good if you die here." The man was now right next to the police officer. Now that she could see him properly, what she saw certainly frightened her unlike the interrogators she's been enduring for the past 3 months. Not only the man was completely dressed in black, but he's also not a man at all. In fact, Nicole could only describe him as a spectre of some kind. 

 

"What are you?" Nicole asked, eyes wide.

 

"That's not the kind of question you should be asking me." The spectre said with his voice low.

 

"Oh god, are you one of those cryptic bad guys? Why can't they ever give straight answers?" 

 

"I never said I was a bad guy Sheriff...but I understand why you would think that."

 

"It's totally because you don't look like a dementor," Nicole replied sarcastically. 

 

"A dementor?"

 

"Right...sorry, it's Jeremy's influence." Nicole rolled her eyes, even though that movement caused her pain.

 

"Anyway...like I said, I come with a proposition for you."

 

"I don't wanna hear it."

 

"If you had the chance to get Waverly Earp back, would you take it?"

 

Nicole just looked at him. Was he telling the truth? Was this the breakthrough she was waiting for? 

 

She was about to answer when someone walked in the room and the man vanished. 

 

"Wait...Fuck." Nicole whispered. 

 

"Geez Haught, you kiss your girlfriend with that mouth?" Andy smirked, walking in. However, her smile soon faltered as she saw Nicole's battered form. "They really left you to pick up with a spoon, am I right?" Andy let out a nervous laugh as she got closer and got her supplies ready.

 

"Too tired to even ask what that means..." Nicole closed her eyes. In this living anus of a place, at least Andy wasn't that bad now that she got the chance to know her better. She couldn't deny that there was something about her that felt somehow familiar, but whenever she asked about her past she would categorically deflect any question.

 

"It's a pretty popular expression in my country," Andy said with a smile as she sat down next to the cop and untied her restraints. "Okay...let's see what they did to you this time." She started taking care of the ginger's wounds. 

 

"It wasn't too bad this time," Nicole said weakly. 

 

"I beg to differ," Andy replied concentrated on treating the numerous wounds on the young sheriff's body. While this time, her wounds didn't seem too deep, there were burns and bruises covering the woman's torso and arms. She applied antibiotic ointment and bandaged the most serious burns, as well as cleaned the officer's wrists and ankles, and moved up to her neck to feel the back of it. "Can you sit up?"

 

"Easy peasy." As Nicole moved, she felt a sudden wave of dizziness hit her. "Woah..."

 

"Take it easy." Andy grabbed her by the forearm and helped her sit on the table. "Let me take a look at your neck." There was a deep, almost surgical cut on the back of Nicole's neck. "Do you remember this?"

 

"I was wondering why my head was hurting."

 

"It looks almost like the incisions on your back," Andy commented. Nicole simply nodded. Then, the brunette proceeded to clean and dress the wound. "You know that when we leave this place we will have to get them removed right?"

 

"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Nicole said. "You still don't know what those things are for?"

 

"I'm not a doctor, Haught," Andy replied. 

 

They stayed silent for a moment.

 

"There's another thing though...I got a visitor." 

 

"This is not really a place you get visitors Haught," Andy said.

 

"No, I mean someone else visited me." Nicole raised her eyebrows. She had told Andy about her weird out-of-body excursion to Eden, and while Andy listened carefully, she wasn't so sure her new friend had believed her. "Asked me if I would take a chance to get Waverly back."

 

"And what did you tell them?"

 

"You walked in before I could say anything," Nicole replied, with some accusation in her tone of voice. It was probably not Andy's fault that the spectre had vanished, but none the less she was annoyed she didn't have a chance to answer.

 

"And you think it left because of me?" Andy retorted. 

 

This was one thing Nicole honestly appreciated about the woman. She never held back with her. Not even when they first met.

 

"Maybe."

 

"Well, if I were you I'd stop pouting about it...we're very close to getting out of here, and I need you to be stronger by then," Andy said firmly. "So could you please behave for the next couple of days?"

 

"You know where Jeremy and Robin are?"

 

"Yup...and my guy is getting them out tomorrow," Andy answered, as she cuffed Nicole to take her back to her cell. "We'll meet them at a place a few miles away from here."

 

"And you're sure that place is secure?" To say Nicole was apprehensive about this plan would be an understatement. Not only she had no way of trusting that what Andy was saying was true, but she also wasn't even sure that Jeremy and Robin were alive, aside from what Andy had told her. 

 

"I thought that after 3 months of making sure you don't die in this shithole would at least earn me some trust points," Andy replied, opening Nicole's cell and getting her to the cot.

 

"I'm just making sure and honestly, you haven't given me any reason to trust you." Nicole accused. "I don't know anything about you, and yet, you seem to know an awful lot about us."

 

"You want to know about me?" Andy had lost her patience. "Fine! Let's start with the obvious, I'm not from here. My parents adopted me when I was 15 and helped me get out of my country. I used to be an activist back in the day." The young woman sighed. She knew she couldn't tell Nicole the whole truth. It would jeopardize her mission. "When I turned 14 it was an election year and a crucial one at that. We couldn't stay still. Everything was on the line." She closed her eyes. She couldn't keep going.

 

"Andy," Nicole said kindly. "I'm sorry, I didn't know."

 

"Anyway..." Andy took a deep breath. "Long story short; we lost, a bunch of us got captured, there was rioting in the streets, and just like that two amazing people saved me." Andy let out a small smile. "I still don't know what I did to deserve them."

 

"Sounds like they're remarkable people." The sheriff said, and Andy gave her a warm smile. Nicole could see in her eyes not only affection for those people but also a bit of sadness and longing. 

 

"I've only wanted to make them proud." Andy uncuffed the officer with a little extra care. "Look, Nicole, if you feel like you can't trust me I understand. But the way you talk about Waverly...god...you can't stay here and wait to be rescued. I just wanna help because that's what my parents taught me to do." She looked down. "Because that's what my parents would've done."

Chapter Text

VI

Waverly's POV - 1 Month ago

 

It had been weeks since she saw Nicole. While she had no idea how it was possible, she wished she'd had more time with her best baby. But the rational part of her brain was constantly telling her, everything that was wrong with that visit. It wasn't just that Nicole had been completely calmed up until she practically dragged herself away. It had been her strange attire, the fact that she was barefooted, that Nicole wasn't wearing the ring. It was all of these that set red flags in Waverly's brain after Nicole left. 

 

But at the same time, she couldn't have been more grateful for that visit. Eden was an awful place. Funny, considering it's supposed to be Paradise...but Eden had nothing heavenly about it. It was the worst place. It was somehow cold and burning hot at the same time. She could constantly hear spectres moaning in the darkness. Things would constantly hiss at both her and Doc. Fires would appear randomly and usually threatened them to consume them whole, and by the next day, there would be no sign that a fire ever happened. 

 

Doc and Waverly remained silent for the most part. As they walked through the garden, the only conversations they had would be about survival. It wasn't too often that they delved into personal matters, and for the most part, Waverly didn't mind. She also, was too focused on her own survival, on Wynonna, Nicole, Jeremy. She was too focused on getting back to them, she didn't really need to break down right now. Nicole told her to stay alive. To hold on. Because she would find her, and so Waverly damn very well survive until they can see each other again. However, there was one question that was actually bothering the young Earp after Nicole's visit. It was something she wanted to ask Doc as soon as Nicole left, but they never really talked about it. 

 

"Uhm...can I ask you something Doc?" Waverly asked timidly. 

 

"What might that be little darling?" Doc answered gruffly.

 

"When I ran...through the woods...did you uh...see anyone else?" There was a moment of silence. 

 

"I do recall seeing someone who looked awfully like Sheriff Haught," Doc replied looking at Waverly reassuringly, and it was like a weight was lifted from her shoulders. 

 

They kept walking through the woods, but there was something different now. The whispers and weird sounds had stopped and were replaced by a light fog now. As they walked they started feeling heavier. As if something was holding them down. Suddenly, they both started feeling an urge. An urge to say things. To confess things. 

 

"I almost thought I was losing my mind," Waverly said with a sigh. 

 

"Even though this godforsaken place would have the tendency to make you lose your mind, Nicole Haught was indeed here Waverly." Doc continued. "There's nothing, not even forces out of this world that could keep you two apart. Trust me." 

 

"What do you mean?" Waverly asked.

 

"Well, I'm sure you know how your dear father lost his powers..."

 

"He lost them saving someone, right?" Waverly said, unsure of where this conversation was going.

 

"Not just someone," Doc said somberly and went quiet. Contemplative. Unconsciously he ran his fingers over the dried blood on his jacket. 

 

"Doc...?" Waverly was getting a little anxious. 

 

"I could smell her getting closer." Doc started again, gaining a little more composure. "She was dying."

 

"Who was dying?"

 

"When I found her, she was on the ground, bleeding..." Doc remembered painfully. "I walked up to her..." Doc closed his eyes. "The way she smelled...I almost couldn't keep it together...It so was intoxicating and I was hungry." His voice shook. "It took everything I had in me not to taste her...but I swear to you Waverly, I didn't."

 

"Henry, what are you talking about?" Waverly was definitely scared now. She had a feeling of whom this story was about.

 

"I took her in my arms..." Doc continued as if he hadn't heard the brunette. the fog getting thicker. "She was so weak...she kept bleeding and I tried so hard to control myself...I barely managed to get to the homestead..."

 

"Stop..." Waverly said weakly, tears welling in her eyes. She already knew who he was talking about. She didn't want to hear it. 

 

"Wynonna was there...and so was Julian." Doc didn't hear her. His eyes were cloudy. "We got her to the barn...I stood back. I felt like..."

 

"Please stop," Waverly repeated a little more firmly this time. 

 

"She was dying..." Doc's voice broke. "And he healed her....and all I could think was..." He couldn't finish.

 

"I said STOP!" Waverly yelled, with tears in her eyes. Doc just looked at her. "Why would you tell me this? Don't you think I have enough of just being stuck here and she's god knows where?!" Doc just looked at her. They'd stopped walking. "You think you feel guilty? I LEFT HER! For all I know she could've visited here because she's dead!"

 

"Waverly..." Doc looked down.

 

"No, don't 'Waverly' me." The young Earp said, looking at Doc with desperation. "I could've stayed, you know? I could have been selfish and just stay with Nicole...but I chose this, and now I have to deal with the consequences. I left her, just as I left Wynonna, and I...I don't think I'll be able to forgive myself for that." 

 

They stopped walking when they reached a clear in the middle of the forest and the fog had dissipated. The place was similar to where Waverly had seen Nicole, with one difference. There was a pond in the middle. It started whispering to her. 

 

Come closer...

 

Closer...

 

Closer...

 

So she did. 

 

"Waverly" Doc warned. He heard a sound coming from the forest. Something was getting closer. 

 

"Can you hear it?"

 

"Hear what?" 

 

"The pond...it's whispering..."

 

"Don't listen to it, Waverly." But this time, it wasn't Doc's voice. 

 

She stopped dead in her tracks. 

 

It was Nicole. 

 

Waverly turned around, and there she was. Still dressed in those white scrubs and barefooted. But she didn't look calm like before. Waverly hurried towards her.

 

"Nicole...baby you're back!" The brunette said as she hugged the cop. But something was wrong. Nicole felt stiffed around her, and when Waverly went to reach up her neck, she felt something sticky. Blood. "Baby...?" She looked at Nicole concerned. 

 

"Hey, love..." Nicole said with a small smile, trying to ease her girlfriend's worry. 

 

"What happened?" Waverly asked, touching Nicole's neck again finding a large cut in the back of her head. "Who did this to you?"

 

"Would you believe me if I told you I fell?" The ginger said, looking at her with those puppy dog eyes. But it didn't do anything to ease Waverly's worries. 

 

"Nicole..." The young Earp's voice shook. "Please tell me where you are...what are they doing to you? Please...please baby tell me what's wrong?" But instead of answering Nicole just held her tighter. "Please...please answer me, baby." 

 

"Waves..."

 

"Tell me," Waverly said firmly. "I need to know."

 

Nicole sighed. She honestly had no desire to tell Waverly what they were doing to her. Not only she knew it would devastate the poor girl, but also telling Waverly was going to make her reality even grimmer, just by acknowledging what was happening to her. At the same time, Nicole knew she couldn't keep this from her girlfriend, because as much as she wanted to protect her little firecracker, she couldn't betray her trust. Plus, it would be pretty hypocritical of her to ask Waverly not to hide things from her, while she doesn't tell her what's going on. So, she took a deep breath and started talking.

 

"Okay...uh...maybe we should sit down." Nicole took her hand and guided to a tree. Nicole laid with her back, against the tree, while Waverly rested on her chest. The ginger kept looking at the water. "As I told you before...I don't really know where I am."  Waverly put an arm protectively around her girlfriend's abdomen. "But it does look like a detention facility."

 

"You said that Jeremy didn't think it was BBD" Waverly remembered.

 

"Right..."

 

"So...what kind of facility do you think it is?" The brunette asked tentatively. 

 

"From what it looks like, maybe some sort of black ops detention facility," Nicole answered, thinking it would probably be easier than to tell her whole story. "They separated us from the start. The only way Jeremy knew it wasn't BBD was by the smell if you can believe it."

 

Waverly chuckled. 

 

"It wasn't that bad during the first few weeks, to be honest." Nicole continued. "They would just lock me in a white room...inject me with something and then just leave me there for hours and hours." 

 

"Oh, Nicole..." Waverly whispered, clutching the cop closer. 

 

"At the beginning, I could get the effects under control. The hallucinations weren't that bad...but they started tweaking the dosage...and..." Nicole looked away, but before the young Earp could say anything, she continued. "Anyway, I didn't see any prisoners until they started with their 'questioning' sessions."

 

"Questioning sessions?"

 

"Yeah...They keep asking about where you are, what happened to you, that sort of thing." Nicole answered not giving it a lot of importance. "I would never answer, so they would get super pissed at me." 

 

"And them getting pissed at you meant..." Waverly looked at the cut on her girlfriend's nape. 

 

"Mhmm." The ginger nodded softly. "That's actually how I met Andy."

 

"Who's Andy?" Waverly asked with a hint of jealousy, to which Nicole just let out a small laugh. To be honest, the thought of Nicole being taken care of by another woman wasn't the most pleasant, but at the same time, she couldn't be more grateful that someone was watching out for her when Waverly herself couldn't.

 

"Don't be jealous Waves...she's been helping me out," Nicole said. "Getting my strength back after each interrogation."

 

They remained silent, deep in their own thoughts, just holding each other. Then, Nicole started to feel that her time was up, as her headache was increasing and started to feel the same thing she felt when she first vanished. 

 

"Waves, listen to me." The redhead said. "I have to go soon..."

 

"What...? No, you just got here!"

 

"I know, and I hate it, but I have to tell you something before I go." They both stood up, and Nicole walked towards the edge of the forest. "I need you to hold on a little bit longer. I may have found a way to get you out. Trust me I'll come for you." The pain was getting stronger. "I love you!" 

 

And just like that, Nicole was gone.

Chapter Text

VII

 

Present time

 

"Ok Haught, did your source tell you anything about this cave?" Andy asked. 

 

"He said that only those pure of intention and true of heart will be able to go through the path," Nicole remembered. 

 

"Well, that isn't much help at all." Wynonna huffed. "Seriously, why do they always insist to talk as if we were in the middle ages?"

 

"Wynonna now's not the time..." Nicole said closing her eyes and holding the bridge of her nose in annoyance. 

 

"Did Dolls just reincarnated in you Haught-pants?" Wynnona raised an eyebrow in amusement.

 

"Making jokes is not gonna get us anywhere! We need to stay focused!" Nicole bit back.

 

"Ugh, kill me now." Andy intervened, rolling her eyes. "Look I agree that we definitely need a translation app for weird supernatural riddles..." Wynonna was smug as she looked back at Nicole. "However...we do need to get serious." Andy finished curtly, and it was time for Nicole to be smug.

 

"Fine" Wynonna conceded. "Party poopers."

 

"Okay..." Nicole said and started to pace, thinking. "Pure of intention...true of heart..." Then she went silent.

 

"Haught..." Wynonna called out.

 

"Okay..." Nicole repeated, this time looking at them. " Okay. I think this is a test."

 

"A test?" Andy asked.

 

"Some kind of challenge. I think there are traps inside." Nicole clarified. "That voice that we heard was the first test."

 

"So what do we do now?" Wynonna asked although she knew the answer. 

 

"Get that sword of yours and that rocket launcher...We're demon hunting!" Andy said with a bright smile.

 

"Seriously, are you sure we haven't met before?" Wynonna joked, winking an eye at Andy. She was starting to like her. 

 

"If we had, you wouldn't have forgotten me." Andy winked back. 

 

"Knock it off Andy," Nicole said sternly. "Alright, watch your backs and keep your weapons drawn. Any sign of trouble we regroup and assess."

 

Honestly, it wasn't the best plan in the world, but given the circumstances, it would have to do. Now that Andy had made sure both Wynonna and Nicole were not acting crazy, the three women proceeded into the cave. 

 

The cave as dark. As soon as they went in, the only source of light was their dim flashlights. It almost seemed as if all natural light was swallowed by darkness. They didn't have to walk long until the cave started to descend. It was humid, and there was a distinct musty smell in the air. On the walls of the cavern, almost as dark as coal they could see little streams of water running down. They kept walking slowly and watchful of anything that might pop up in the consuming darkness. The silence was tense and heavy around them. 

 

They kept walking in the dark for another ten minutes when they all heard it. A growl.

 

"Stop," Nicole whispered. 

 

A scream.

 

It came from deeper into the cave, but they still couldn't make out anything. 

 

Please help me!

 

"Who's there?" Andy wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer. She gripped her rifle tighter. 

 

Por favor alguien que me ayude!

 

Andy could recognize that voice anywhere. 

 

"Cris!" Andy moved forwards when Wynonna stopped her. "Que putas!" But she stopped herself when the Earp sister raised her hand to slap her. "Ya, ya...uh...sorry...I'm good."

 

"You sure?" Nicole asked.

 

Andy por favor...

 

"Fresh," Andy replied, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.

 

"Fresh?" Wynonna looked at Andy funny. 

 

"It means she's fine," Nicole said quickly. "We gotta move. Whatever is whispering those things, we need to move past it."

 

"Honestly, what is this shit, Crete?" Wynonna said, mostly to herself. "Although if we find a Minotaur here I can finally scratch the hardest item on my bucket list."

 

Nicole rolled her eyes. They kept walking, weapons at the ready, and hoping to find something soon. But they didn't have to wait a lot. All of a sudden, the three women were invaded by a dense fog. 

 

Another growl.

 

Andy por favor, no me dejes morir aquí!

 

"Andy, what's it saying?" Nicole whispered. 

Andy no les digas nada! Ellas no entienden lo que se siente...tú si! Por favor ayudame!

 

"Andy, I don't care what it's saying, don't listen to it!" Nicole said loudly as they moved towards the voice. 

 

¿Cómo puedes estar con ellas? ¿Acaso no te acuerdas lo que nos pasó?

 

Andy closed her eyes again and tried not to panic. Her mind went back to the night after the elections. Images of her friends getting beaten and taken away by police officers. There was rioting, her friends were screaming for her...to help them...but she couldn't get on time. She opened her eyes but she no longer was at the cave. She was back in the city. Stores were on fire. People screaming everywhere. Andy yelled but no one heard her. Then, she saw her friends. They were struggling with the police as they loaded them into a truck. 

 

"Andy!" Someone yelled.

 

She ran towards them, and as soon as she saw the cops she had a frightening realization.

 

They were not cops. 

 

"Andy!"

 

What the fuck? Andy thought. 

 

Their faces had human traits but were completely blackened by what looked like coal. Their eyes were bright orange, and their mouths were full of what looked like pus. Andy ran faster towards them, pointing her rifle at them.

 

"Andy!"

 

Their hands were long and sharp. She pointed her gun as one of the creatures grabbed a little girl.

 

"Let her go!" Andy screamed at the creature. 

 

But the beast just laughed and sliced the little girl's throat. 

 

"Andy!"

 

Andy opened fire.

 

"ANDY!"

 

She was back at the cave. Nicole and Wynonna were looking at her weirdly as if they were scared of her. They were at the back wall of the cave.. Andy looked at the scene before her. There were at least 4 beasts just like the ones she saw posing as police officers.

 

It had all been so real. She could still feel the fear coursing through her veins. Was she at the cave the whole time? She could've sworn she was back in the city, but it was ten times worse. 

 

"What happened?" Andy asked in a low voice.

 

"They were gonna attack us, and you shot them," Nicole replied, standing up and steadying herself while helping Wynonna get up too.

 

"I...I don't..."

 

"Doesn't matter what you did Aviator Glasses, the point is we would've been dead if you hadn't shot those things." Wynonna cut in with a sympathetic look on her face. "We gotta get going...this place is way too creepy, even for a demon hunter."

 

It was maybe because they were still spooked by those creatures, or because of what Nicole and Wynonna just witnessed, but none of them argued and just continued in silence. One thing was for sure though; they had passed the first test.

 

They continued to descend into the cave waiting for something. Some signal that they were going the right way. The women weren't sure how much time had passed, only that the further they walked the narrower the walls were getting. They were now crawling on the muddy surface, attentive to any type of sound of unwanted movement, but there was nothing. However a few minutes later they reached a chamber with three tunnels.

 

"Well, now what Haught?" Wynonna asked.

 

"I'm not sure..." Nicole replied, looking around the room trying to find something. "Try to look for some sort of inscription, or something out of place."

 

"This isn't an Indiana Jones movie Nicole!" Wynonna snapped. "It's not like we can solve a puzzle or pull a lever and a magic door will appear." 

 

"Do you have a better idea?" Nicole bit back.

 

"We could split up?" Andy said in a soft and insecure voice. She was still shaken by those creatures.

 

"I don't think we should be by ourselves in this place," Wynonna said gently.

 

Nicole kept on walking around the room trying to find something. She was passing by one of the entrances when she finally noticed something rather ominous. Blood. With her heart throbbing heavily against her chest, she checked the next entrance. Blood. Third entrance. Blood.

 

"There's blood here." The sheriff announced. 

 

"What do you think it could be? Some sort of tribute?" Andy asked.

 

"I think we just have to choose one entrance," Nicole concluded. She didn't know why, but she just felt like they just had to choose one and go with it.

 

"I'm not gonna choose blindly." Wynonna retorted. "We don't even know what's in there...gosh I hate being the rational one."

 

"You're not going in," Nicole said, pulling out rope from her backpack. "I am."

 

"What?!" Andy and Wynonna said at unison.

 

"Haught, you can't go in there alone." Andy reasoned. "Seriously this is not the time to play the hero."

 

"I'm not," Nicole replied. "I'm gonna tie this rope, and you're gonna hold the end of it. If I pull on it, you bring me back." She tied the rope around her waist and walked towards the left entrance.

 

"I don't like this Red," Wynonna said. 

 

"I don't either...but I need to do this." And with that, Nicole went in resolutely.

Chapter Text

VIII

 

Nicole's POV

 

"You got this Haught." Nicole thought as she walked down the path. Yeah, she could totally do this. She'd been through worse and survived. While she swore that she wasn't going to get into another life-death situation after the Widow-Mercedes attack, tough luck, she always found herself in deadly situations. 

 

As she walked in complete darkness, she had some time to think. She knew that Waverly would never forgive her for what she had to do in order to get her back. Or maybe she would, at least she hoped so. Plus, if she was completely honest with herself, for Waverly she would definitely do this again if it meant getting her back. 

 

She wasn't sure how far or how long she'd walk until she finally reached a grate door. She'd barely touched one of the bars when she felt a searing pain on her hand.

 

"Agh! Son of a bitch!" Nicole yelled. The palm of her hand was badly burned.

 

"Haught!" Wynonna called.

 

"I'm fine!" She yelled back while taking out a bandage from her backpack.

 

"You cannot go through there." A voice said.

 

"No shit."

 

"If you want to pass through the door, you will have to let go ." The voice said calmly...getting closer. 

 

The air was filled with a horrid smell of putrefaction. Nicole nearly gagged as she stood and turned around. An old man was next to her. The young sheriff couldn't suppress her gasp as she looked at him. It was almost as if he'd been dead for decades. Even through his robes, Nicole could see festering wounds and sores on the man's arms and legs. He was barefoot, with his toenails incredibly long.

 

"Let go of what?" Nicole said, making an incredible effort not to throw up.

 

"Everything."

 

"Well...isn't that ominous." Nicole thought.

 

What did "everything" mean? Did he mean letting go of her love? Of her anger? Of her soul? Body? Was she willing to do that? 

 

"Of course you are Haught." Nicole thought. "This is Waverly you're talking about. Your light. Your reason for being. You would do anything for her...give everything up."

 

But what if she didn't get to see Waverly again? What if the price of getting her back was the ultimate punishment of not being able to be with her?

 

"Well, that can't be." A voice in the Sheriff's head said. "We love each other...that's more powerful than anything, right? It doesn't matter anyway...I have to go in if I want to get Waves back."

 

"I'll do it," Nicole said resolutely to the decaying man.

 

The gate opened. 

 

The man went in.

 

Nicole followed.

 

How it seemed darker than before, Nicole couldn't understand. The air was dense, there was no way of knowing if she was walking in the right direction. No way of knowing what was at the end...or even if there was an end at all. Nicole could only follow the foul odor coming from the old man. She reached her utility belt, looking for her flashlight, only to find that not only it was missing, but she had left all her equipment at the gate, and even worse: She no longer had the rope tied to her waist.

 

She was completely on her own...not knowing how long she walked. Not knowing how long it had passed, anymore. Time was now a foreign concept. A privilege only allowed to those unaware of the supernatural. She wondered whether it was the same in the Garden. Although Waverly had told the redhead how long she'd been in Eden when she visited, it didn't look like time passed in the same way at that place. But it didn't matter how long it'd take; Nicole had to go through this to get Waverly back. That's her purpose. She didn't care if time stopped, or whether she had to let go of everything. For Waverly, she would leave it all and sacrifice it all, if it meant she'd be safe and sound. It was that thought that kept her warm in the freezing cold of the cave, that light up her path in such endless darkness. 

 

Waverly is my light.

 

The decaying man came to a stop, and Nicole nearly ran into him. 

 

"Shit." Nicole cursed. "How 'bout a warning next time?"

 

When the man turned, a chill ran down Nicole's spine. His eyes were bright orange. 

 

"In there." He said in the same calm voice, pointing at the dark space in front of him. 

"What's in there?" The sheriff asked apprehensively. 

 

"In there." The man repeated.

 

Waverly is my light.

 

Nicole walked until she hit a wall. 

 

"Well, now what?" Nicole thought. Though she didn't have to wait long for an answer, because at that moment the entire place started filling up with water.

 

"Shit!" Nicole moved back towards where she thought she came from. "Hey!...Hey!...Can anyone hear me?! Anyone?!"

 

The water was freezing cold and it rose incredibly fast. 

 

"Wynonna!!" The sheriff called out. The water was already up to her waist. "EARP!"

 

The water was up to her chest now. Everything was dark. She couldn't see if there was a ceiling, or how long until she was completely submerged. The freezing cold numbed her extremities, and the scars on her back started to burn rather badly.  She felt the ceiling with her hands...her heartbeat quicken. 

 

"Waverly is my light." Nicole thought as she struggled with the coldness and the water rising. She was running out of energy. Either she stopped feeling her body, or it burned so bad she couldn't even register the pain anymore. "H..he-hel-help!" She stammered. 

 

Let go...

 

She was tired. Tired of fighting the frigid water. 

 

Let go...

 

Her body wasn't responding anymore.

 

Let go...

 

Her lungs were on fire.

 

Let go...

 

She couldn't breathe anymore.

 

Let go...

 

Damn, she was gonna die before she could rescue the love of her life.

 

Let go of everything...

 

Wait...that's it. She had to let go of everything. She had to stop fighting. She had to let the water and the cold absorb her whole. She had to give in. For Waverly.

 

Waverly is my light.

 

In the darkness, Nicole's body stopped moving.

Chapter Text

IX

 

Wynonna's POV

 

Before she came back to Purgatory, Wynonna wasn't the kind of person that worried too much. Her carefree attitude got her through Europe, and after everything that she'd gone through during her childhood, Wynonna had decided to take things as they came. As she paces around the chamber, never letting go of the rope, she thinks she has worried more in this past couple of years, than she's ever had. 

 

It's ironic, really, how Wynonna found herself in a situation where she had to hold onto a rope for Nicole yet again. Fortunately, nothing out of the ordinary has happened for far. 

 

"Would you stop pacing, Earp?" Andy asked a little annoyed. "Haught will be fine."

 

"Oh really?" Wynonna snapped. "Because last time I checked, she went alone into what honestly looked like the Temple of Doom!"

 

"I guess we'll keep going with the Indiana Jones references." Andy quipped.

 

"I should be down there," Wynonna said, more to herself that the woman with her.

 

"You're wrong," Andy replied, with Wynonna looking at her infuriated. "If all else fails then you're the only one that will be able to get your sister back. So, she made a tactical calculation."

 

"If she dies, I won't be able to get my sister back." Wynonna bit back. "You don't get it, do you? Nicole is the love of Waverly's life...if anything were to happen to her, she won't come back."

 

"Have some faith in her Wynonna...she's a survivor."

 

"I can't believe I'm gonna say this but...I can't wait for Waverly and Haught-sauce to be gross again." Wynonna said with resignation, and Andy let out a small chuckle. But that moment of calm was short lived when they both heard a scream.

 

"Agh! Son of a bitch!" They heard Nicole yelling from deep within the tunnel.

 

"Haught!" Wynonna screamed, moving towards the tunnel entrance as Andy grabbed her arm. "Let me go, dude!"

 

"I'm fine!" They heard Nicole say.

 

"She's fine Earp, I can't let you go in there." 

 

"Yeah well...watch me" Wynonna tried to get a drop on Andy, but unfortunately Andy was faster and with a swift movement, the next thing she knew she was on the ground, with Andy on top.

 

"As I said, I can't let you go in there." Andy moved off the Earp sister.

 

"Holy shit, you didn't have to go all Natasha Romanoff on my ass." Wynonna winced, as Andy helped her stand. 

 

"Sorry about that-"

 

"You should go..." The older Earp said with a sigh. "Honestly, you have nothing to do with this shit show, you should leave while you can."

 

"I'm not leaving," Andy replied firmly. "Believe it or not, this shit show is all I have."

 

They went silent. Waiting. Hoping, and taking some comfort in the fact that the rope attached to Nicole still moved once in a while. But after a few moments, it stopped. 

 

"Do you honestly think she'll make it?" Wynonna asked, eyes glazed with unshed tears.

 

"I have to." 

Chapter Text

X

 

Nicole's POV Pt. 2

 

The first thing Nicole noticed was that she was no longer underwater. Her eyes remained closed, mostly because she didn't want to open them, only to realize that she was still in that fucking cave. Her brain was sluggish and struggling to catch up with her body.  

 

Still not wanting to open her eyes, she tried to focus on her other senses. She could no longer feel the muddy and uneven surface of the cave. Instead, the floor was smooth and cold beneath her cheek. Where the shit was she? 

 

As much as she wanted to, she couldn't stay there with her eyes closed much longer. She had to keep going. She had a mission. She had to get to Eden to find...to find...wait...what was she supposed to do in Eden...find...something...no, someone...but who was she supposed to find...?

 

"Find Waverly, you dumbass!" Nicole said to herself, not caring anymore whether or not she sounded like a lunatic. If she had to scream at the top of her lungs so she doesn't forget her purpose she would gladly do it.

 

She stood up, wobbling a little, and opened her eyes. 

 

"Huh..." Well, she certainly wasn't on the cave anymore. The dark, humid walls of the cave were replaced by a white atrium with a chair in the middle. Nicole took a few steps to steady herself. She looked around, and seeing that there was nothing more than that chair, she came closer to inspect it.

 

"Sit down." said the voice from the cave. This time, however, the man was not decaying.

 

"Why?" Nicole asked. "Where are we?"

 

"That shouldn't matter to you right now...Sit down."

 

Seeing that there was no other way out of this, but to move forward, the ginger sat down. Immediately, vines tied up her arms, legs, and torso. She couldn't move. 

 

"What the hell is this?"

 

"Your trial."

 

The man left, without saying anything else, and she was completely on her own once again. In the distance, she saw someone moving towards her. It was the spectre that visited her back in her interrogation cell. 

 

"What are you doing here?" Nicole asked. "Got another proposition for me?"

 

"Not quite sheriff." The spectre moved closer and sat down in front of her. Wait, where did another chair come from?

 

"Then what do you want?"

 

"Do you remember what you had to do to come here?" The spectre asked. 

 

"Make the shitiest deal in the history of deals," Nicole replied, not sure where this was going.

 

"If it was the shitiest deal, as you put it, why did you do it?"

 

"I had to." 

 

"Why?" The spectre pushed. 

 

"I had to!" Nicole repeated louder. She was getting restless, the vines were getting tighter around her...but she was having trouble remembering why she had to.

 

"Why?" The spectre said with a voice so incredibly calm it was infuriating.

 

"Because it was the only way to get to Eden!"

 

"Why do you want to get to Eden?" The spectre buzzed. 

 

Nicole didn't answer. The vines started to burn.

 

The spectre waited. While he (or whatever gender that thing was) didn't have a face, Nicole could feel the amusement, while her wrists and ankles burned. But even with the pain, she was in, Nicole still didn't answer. 

 

"You can't bear the pain forever." The spectre said. "Just answer my questions, and I'll take away the pain."

 

That was very tempting. And if she was being honest with herself, that sounded heavenly. She was tired of the pain, of suffering, of this quest she wasn't sure she was going to be able to complete. She wanted all to stop.

 

"I can see you're thinking about it." The spectre went on. "Just tell me what I want to know, and I'll make all of this go away."

 

Yes, Nicole thought. The pain was unbearable at this point. She could smell her burnt flesh. She could feel the vines pressing harder on her torso, to the point where it was getting harder to breathe. I just have to tell him.

 

No! Said another voice in her head. Remember why you're here!

 

I know why I'm here, Nicole's hazy mind went on. But I don't think I want to be here.

 

The spectre just continued to look at her, without saying anything. It almost seemed like he knew the struggle she was in. Or could he see it? It didn't matter anyway. 

 

"I know you don't want to be here sheriff." The spectre said. "I know what you're thinking, what you're feeling..."

 

"Do you, asshat...?" Nicole gritted. While she tried to be brave, she was actually very scared. 

 

"Why are you here?" The spectre asked with a false gentleness in his voice.

 

Nicole didn't answer. She couldn't breathe. She felt as she was getting consumed by fire. 

 

Just tell him! A voice within Nicole said.

 

No! You just have to hold on a little longer, said another voice.

 

You don't even know why you're here anymore! said the first voice.

 

Yes, you do...we're here to get her back.

 

"You don't remember do you..." The spectre taunted. "You're suffering, and you don't even know why. Oh, how terrifying must be, to have a purpose that you completely forgot. To know that no matter what you do, you will keep suffering...that all your sacrifice will be pointless in the end."

 

Nicole let out a few tears. What if he was right? What if I did all of this for nothing?  I don't want to keep suffering.

 

You have to...you have to get her back...

 

Get who?

 

"It's alright Nicole...."The spectre moved his hand and placed it on the Sheriff shoulder, and immediately she felt all at once. "You feel it don't you?"

 

Nicole screamed and closed her eyes. It was not just the physical pain from all her past and current injuries, it was an emotional pain as well. She could feel the anger that burned inside her, and the sadness that cooled her down. She felt the heartache and disappointment that made her soul ache. She felt frustration, and a fear so deep it left her completely paralyzed. 

 

Almost too scared of what she might see, Nicole opened her eyes. She was still paralyzed but was no longer tied up to that chair, and the spectre wasn't in front of her anymore. But this was not better. Everything was blurry and there were flashing lights around her, though she was able to make out a forest and in front of her, a man with a mustache and a young woman next to each other, seemingly asleep next to a campfire.

 

She knew this place...but how was she here again? 

 

The redhead tried to move closer to the woman, feeling a pull she couldn't explain, but her body didn't move. The mustached man stirred next to the young woman and lifted his head to look at Nicole, with a puzzled expression on his face.

 

"Sheriff Haught?" the man said in disbelief. 

 

"I...I'm sorry...I don't...think I know you..." Nicole replied, unsure of why the guy seemed familiar or why she was having such strong feelings for the woman. 

 

"May I ask, why are you visiting us now Nicole?" the man said, looking at her with pain in his eyes as if he was grieving for a...friend?

 

"I don't....know..." The look on the man's face only made Nicole's distress increase. 

 

What was she doing there? Why wouldn't the pain stop already? It was agonizing...to be paralyzed, to be in pain, and painfully watching someone she knew meant something to her, not understanding how or why. 

 

Just as fast as the encounter happened, she was back to her own agony, tied to a chair, her whole body burning, feeling somehow worse, like she had just experienced a major loss.    

 

But as much as she felt terrible things, there was love accompanying every emotion. There was a sense of relief in that love, almost like a light guiding her through every terrible thing she was feeling. She had forgotten about that. She had forgotten how much peace, love brought her. She had forgotten about...

 

Waverly. 

 

Nicole felt joy. The pain wasn't so bad anymore. She could feel how her realization and being able to remember, made her stronger. She let go of everything in order to get Waverly, but she didn't realize that almost letting go of her love would cause her such immense pain. But Nicole was stronger now. She could fight off the spectre and finally, get to Eden. 

 

She opened her eyes and stared deep into the void that was the spectre's face. She smiled. She wasn't scared of him anymore.

 

"The reason why I'm here..." Nicole hissed. "Is none of your fucking business, so BACK OFF!" 

 

"You can't leave." The spectre said though he sounded a little unsure this time. "And no one is here to get you out of here."

 

"Wrong, Voldemort!" Nicole heard Wynonna screaming...wait, Wynonna?

 

Nicole looked up, not quite believing her own eyes when she saw Wynonna with her sword and Andy with a rocket launcher. 

 

"The Earp heir." The spectre hissed.

 

"That's right asshole, and I'm here to cause you a whole world of hurt," Wynonna said triumphantly. "You're not gonna be able to even realize what's happening to you until is too late....and then I'm gonna shoot this bamf rocket launcher up what I can only assume is your..."

 

"Wynonna the overwhelming time pressure!" Andy screamed, getting the rocket launcher ready to shoot. 

 

"Right! Well...make your peace...or don't I could honestly not..."

 

"WYNONNA!" Andy and Nicole screamed in unison.

 

Springing into action, Wynonna wielded her sword and cut the spectre straight on the chest, making it sway away. The older Earp sister then moved towards Nicole and set her free, and Andy helped her on her feet. 

 

"You ok?" Wynonna asked, looking at the young sheriff from head to toe.

 

"Fine..." The redhead answered, though she winced and wrapped an arm around her ribs. Her scars were still throbbing on her back, and she could feel the burns on her wrists and ankles. She couldn't wait to get out of here.

 

"Let me check," Andy said, moving towards the pair. 

 

"I'm fine Andy," Nicole repeated. She honestly didn't want Wynonna to see the scars. She didn't even want Waverly to see them, but she'll cross that bridge when she comes to it. 

 

"You don't look fine Haught," Andy said sternly. "Let me at least check if you have any broken ribs." the sheriff nodded curtly and Andy proceeding on examining her...with her clothes on, fortunately.

 

"How did you...." Nicole winced as Andy touched a particularly tender spot. "How did you find me?"

 

"I have no idea," Wynonna answered. "One moment we were in that creepy cave, and the next we ended up here."

 

Nicole frowned, she wasn't quite sure why that had happened, but she had a working theory. A scary-working theory. Maybe the fact that she was able to visit Waverly in Eden, and that Andy and Wynonna showed up at this place, was no coincidence. 

 

Oh god, what have I become?

Chapter Text

XI

 

 

Waverly's POV

 

 

 

It's been one month. Nicole hasn't shown up again, and Waverly was getting anxious. Anxious because she still couldn't understand why Nicole was able to visit her in Eden and it scared the shit out of her, but also because if her fianceé didn't show up, there was no way she could know if the redhead was fine. All of this was driving Waverly crazy.

 

 

"Little darling, please and I do mean please...stop pacing for a few moments, you're making me positively green," Doc said annoyed, as Waverly started pacing around their little camp for what seemed like the 30th time.

 

 

"I can't stay still Henry!" Waverly snapped. "I mean...did you see her last time? She was bleeding! And not just that..." She ran a hand through her hair. "They did something to her...and I'm just stuck here! I mean, what if Wynonna is also in that place and they're torturing her, or worse...oh god..."

 

 

"Waverly..." Doc said sympathetically. "I know that you miss the brave officer dearly." Doc put his arms on the brunette's shoulders. "I miss Wynonna too, even though in my case I think it's better this way."

 

 

"Henry, you can't think like that." Waverly reasoned. "I know that you have made decisions that...made you look like the biggest asshole in the world..." Doc let out a small snort. "But you being here out of a sense of righteousness, or because you feel like you need to settle some debt you feel you have with us, shows me that you're not entirely oblivious to the fact that you're a dick."

 

 

"I'm a coward Waverly...I've seen hell, I was there and I cannot go back."

 

 

"You're a vampire! You're not gonna die anytime soon..."

 

 

"Exactly!" Doc exclaimed. "I'm a monster, Waverly...Wynonna never forgave me for it, how am I supposed to face Alice? To look her in the eyes knowing that because of my choice I will never be a good father to her." There were tears in his eyes.

 

 

"Look, you have made pretty terrible decisions, but trust me...as someone who's had a...dick of a father, I know how it looks when a parent doesn't love you, and let me tell you, you love Alice," Waverly said. "I saw it in your eyes when to said goodbye to her."

 

 

"She's better off without a godforsaken vampire in her life."

 

 

"She'd be better off without any supernatural shit going on!" Waverly argued. "But we're the family she's got. And we love her, and we'll protect her...and that includes you as well. So we need to focus and find a way out, in case...in case  Nicole doesn't."

 

 

Ugh, Waverly didn't really want to think about this again. It just made her incredibly anxious. Not to mention, she has tried to figure out if there was really a purpose of her being in Eden. When she gave that sword to Wynonna she could've sworn that this was over, that they could finally get Alice and live together in Purgatory. Then, she felt Doc's arms wrapped around her.

 

 

"Do not worry about the good officer little darling, she's tougher than a boiled owl," Doc said with a reassuring smile and Waverly let out a nervous laugh. Given how worried the younger Earp was, he decided against telling her about Nicole showing up in the middle of the night confused and on the verge of death.

 

 

They stayed like that for a few more minutes, trying to find their strength to keep moving, when they heard it. An explosion.

 

 

It came from what they assumed was the north side of the garden. They hadn't explored that far yet, mainly staying close to where they appear, in case someone came to rescue them. But after weeks of nothing and no one showing up, Doc and Waverly realized that it was better to stay moving in case something wanted to attack them.

 

 

It hadn't been easy. The dangers of Eden were often difficult to spot, and once they did it was often too late. While the garden seemed like it wanted to kill them most of the time - with the fires and spectres, and fog that makes you go into full-blown panic attacks - Waverly thought that she was going to see things far deadlier. 

 

 

"What do you think that was?" the brunette asked, looking at where they heard the explosion.

 

 

"I don't know, but whatever it is can't be good," Doc replied. "We should get movin'" 

 

 

"Wait..." Waverly stopped him, not knowing why, but having a strange feeling that the blast wasn't a threat. "I don't think this came from the garden."

 

 

"What do you mean?"

 

 

"I mean...something else caused that explosion." Waverly said. "and I don't think it's a threat to us."

 

 

"Usually explosions are a considerable threat to one's well-being," Doc said, flustered.

 

 

"Doc! Trust me! This did not come from the garden!" Waverly argued, but Doc made no sign of agreement. "Look, what if that was Wynonna? What if she actually found a way to get to us? Wouldn't you want to know?" That seemed to have done the trick.

 

 

"Fine!" Doc agreed reluctantly. "But if we die, then you explain to your dearest why we ain't coming for dinner." Waverly let out a small laugh, and both proceeded to get towards where the explosion occurred.

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------  Nicole's POV

 

 

 

"Holy shit!" Wynonna exclaimed. "Who would've thought the garden of Eden would be so huge!"

 

 

"What were you expecting? Just a couple of plants and a front porch?"

 

 

"Noo...but I wasn't expecting a goddamn rain forest!" 

 

 

Nicole rolled her eyes. "Whatever...look I don't think we have a lot of time before someone finds out we're here so, Andy, you stay here and keep the door open." Andy nodded quietly. "Wynonna and I are going to look for them....we don't have any comms so..."

 

 

"Actually Haught, we do." Andy interrupted, taking three walkies out of the gear bag and handing one to Wynonna and Nicole. "What, Earp?"

 

 

"I doubt that these would work in this place." Wynonna looked at the walkies with apprehension.

 

 

"I know, which is why I had Jeremy adjusting them before we came here," Andy answered.

 

 

"That's uh...good thinking," Nicole said, grabbing one of the walkies.

 

 

"I know...us Colombians think of everything," Andy replied with a smirk. "Like we say 'Soldado advertido no muere en guerra'"

 

 

"Wait...what? You're Colombian?" Wynonna asked.

 

 

"Oh god...please tell me you know where my country is!" Andy whined.

 

 

Nicole rolled her eyes. Seriously, she was working with children. "Andy not now. " The redhead grabbed her gear. "Let's go Wynonna." 

 

 

 

"Right! Let's go!" but before they walked away, Wynonna turned  to Andy and said, "And yes, Aviator Glasses, I do know where Colombia is."

 

"Let's go!" Nicole yelled impatiently. 

 

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------  Waverly's POV

 

 

 

"Waverly I think we should turn back," Doc said, after walking for more than four hours. 

 

 

"We need to keep going...I know this time we're finally getting out." Waverly said resolutely.

 

 

"Waverly, do you recall the last time we tried to leave?"

 

 

"I know, I know...but this is different...I can feel it" the brunette replied.

 

 

Doc just sighed. When any Earp set their mind on something, there was no way to talk sense into them. So, admitting defeat he just kept on walking next to the younger Earp, hoping she was right this time. If he was being honest with himself, he didn't know if he wanted to see Wynonna again. 

 

 

After everything that happened to them, he was almost completely sure that she didn't want to see him again. That's actually one of the main reasons he made the quick decision to go after Waverly. It gave him a chance to prove himself to Wynonna, while at the same time accepting a fate without her. Doc knew that he didn't deserve to go back...that his presence only caused the elder Earp pain. He missed Alice greatly too. But he knew that if he was able to protect Waverly at least until someone came to rescue her, at least the last memory of him would be an honorable one.

 

 

Another part of him wanted another chance. It felt like he deserved it. Doc may not be the best man in the world by a long shot, but that didn't mean that he couldn't change. He just lost himself a little...to previous desires, to ever-present fears, and to his own cowardice. He just needed a little push, and Alice was the best incentive. He was going to become a better man because that's what her daughter deserved. That's what Wynonna deserve, and he wasn't gonna quit on an Earp again. 

 

 

"You ok?" Waverly interrupted his train of thought.

 

 

"Dandy." 

 

 

"Doc, We've been here for 3 months, I think it's time you stop pretending around me," said Waverly in a no-nonsense tone. 

 

 

"And I think you know better than to ask me that," Doc replied.

 

 

"You're right." the young Earp looked at him sternly. "I should've known better. I should've known that Doc Holiday will never give a straight answer in his life." She then walked away.

 

 

"Waverly, come back!" 

 

 

Great. Yet another opportunity to be better, wasted. Doc continued walking behind the brunette but only because the alternative was worse. He really didn't want to be scared of dying to the point he became a vampire, but every time he was faced with the alternative of being honorable and brave he ran away. 

 

He just couldn't go back to hell. He'd been there, has seen first hand the horrors, has felt the pain and torture. He knew he deserved all of it, but it still didn't matter to him; he'd rather spend eternity alone, than being tortured forever.

 

 

He was so deep in thought he didn't notice the young Earp had stopped walking and bumped into her.

 

 

"What happened?" Doc asked, looking around.

 

"I think something is following us."