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Looking To Belong

Chapter Text

 

January 5th, 2019, 7:34 AM

 

       “Wynonna, it’s in here!” Waverly shouted from the living room, finding the Psychology textbook they had been scouring the house for the last 10 minutes for. “Hurry up, we’re going to be late!” 

       The older girl clomped down the steps, grabbing the book from her outstretched hand and shoving it haphazardly into her bag. “Thanks, Babygirl,” she said with a smile, heading towards the door. 

       Waverly let out a sigh, turning the lock on the door and pulling it closed behind her. The January morning sent a chill down her spine as she fast-walked to Wynonna’s jaggity truck, climbing in and slamming the door, hoping the door handle didn’t pop off again. She rubbed her hands up and down her coat-covered arms in hope to warm them a little as Wynonna started up the truck, turning the heat on full-blast. She backed up and did a quick u-turn, pulling out of the driveway under the Earp Arch.

       Waverly had been waiting for this day since December 23rd. She was finally going back to school after Winter Break and couldn’t be more excited. Wynonna was just happy that she was winding up the final bit of her Senior year, somehow getting enough credits to graduate. Then again, it was the younger girl’s Sophomore year and she also almost had enough credits to graduate. She was told she could jump a year, maybe two. But she didn’t want to. She wanted to live out all four years of high school just like everyone else had to. And, plus, being a 16-year-old in a class of 18-year-olds sounded pretty terrifying. 

       Eh, who was she kidding? She was taking all Junior and above classes already anyway. 

       Wynonna put the car in park in the school’s parking lot, her sister giving her the side-eye after seeing how she had just parked sideways over at least two spaces. “Nonna, come on,” she huffed. 

       She pulled the keys out of the vehicle, tossing them to her. “You move it,” she said with a shrug, stepping out and throwing her bag strap over one shoulder. 

       Waverly sighed, opening her door and climbing out, doing a little jog to catch up with her. She smacked the keys into her hand. “When Curtis gets around to fixing my Jeep, this won’t be a problem.” 

       Wynonna smirked, wrapping a tight arm around her shoulder, squeezing way too tight. “But you love carpooling with me.” 

       She groaned, wiggling out of her grip. “I fear for my life every time I ride with you.” 

       “You’re awake now, aren’t you?” she asked with a smirk, pulling the front entrance door open. Waverly rolled her eyes, giving her a shove into the building. They parted ways, Wynonna’s locker being on the right-wing of the school and Waverly’s being on the left. She made her way down the hall, greeting all the teachers and staff she walked past with a big smile and wave. 

       She got to her locker and spun her lock dial around, smiling at the familiar sound of metal slamming from the number of people getting ready for their first day back. She organized her things a bit before grabbing what she needed for the morning and closing it. She made her way back down the hallway towards the cafeteria to see if Chrissy and her friends were there yet. 

       Her ears perked up at the sound of the announcement tone sounding off. “ Waverly Earp, please report to the office, Waverly. Earp. Please report to the office. ” She cocked an eyebrow as she swung a right instead of going straight. What could they want? She wondered as she rounded one more corner, pulling open the glass door of the office. 

       “Morning, Mrs. Randal!” she greeted, leaning her hip against the front desk. 

       The secretary looked up with a smile, removing her glasses. “Waverly! How was your Christmas?” 

       “It was good! How was yours?”

       “Very good!” she confirmed. 

       “So . . . What did you need?” she questioned, quieting her excitement level a little. 

       She clapped her hands. “Right!” Waverly set her things down on the counter, leaning on her elbow. “I have a job for you,” she informed. “If you are interested, that is.” 

       The brunette raised her eyebrows in curiosity. “Oh?” 

       “We just received a new Junior. And we thought you would be just the person to be her buddy for the next week or so as she gets settled in.” 

       A small smile inched onto her face. It was rare that they got new people in Purgatory, let alone a student. And any opportunity for her to make a new friend, she was going to take. “Of course!” 

       “Yea?” 

       “I’d love to!” 

       Mrs. Randal smiled, placing her glasses back on and digging through the pile of papers in front of her for a few seconds. “Here we go,” she said, setting a sheet from the middle of the pile on top. “It says here that you two have . . .” She clicked around on her computer,  pulling up an online copy of Waverly’s schedule. “two classes together this semester . . . AP World History and P.E.- Oh! And lunch.” 

       She handed her the paper she was looking at and Waverly looked it over. “ AP World History, Pre-calculus, Spanish 2, 4a Lunch, AP English, P.E, Anatomy, ooh, Criminal Justice ,” she mumbled aloud to herself as she read over the Junior’s schedule. She skimmed her eyes up the paper, focusing in on the top left corner. “Nicole Haught . Hmm.” That was a new one . She looked back up to meet the secretary's eyes. “Sounds good! When will she be here?” After a blink, she noticed Mrs. Randal was not looking at her, but behind her. She furrowed her brows, turning around. She jumped, coming eye to eye with a . . . neck. She took a step back and let her eyes fix their confusion, looking up at the girl’s face. Yes, quite literally looking up . She was about 9 or 10 inches above her own height. 

       The choppy jaw-length bright red hair was what first caught her eye. Then the black-framed, roundish square glasses. She traced her eyes down, seeing an intricate anchor tattoo on the side of her neck and two words written in calligraphy across her collarbones that were cut off by her low-neck grey tee. She had a black leather jacket on with a brown messenger bag backpack thrown over her shoulder. Her eyes continued down to her skinny black ripped jeans and black combat boots. “Are you done yet?” The girl asked with an unamused sigh. 

       She snapped her eyes up to her’s, clearing her throat. “Yea- Sorry, uh-” she stuck her hand out, “I’m Waverly,” she said with a friendly smile. She hadn’t been trying to come off as creepy. She was just . . . different. And she wasn’t quite used to different. 

       She gave her a firm handshake, giving the brunette the chance to notice the incredibly realistic lion on the back of her right hand. “Haught- Erm, Nicole,” she corrected. “Nicole Haught.” 

       Waverly turned, grabbing her things and shifted back to face her just as the morning bell rang. “Ready?” 

       “Is anyone?” she mumbled, following her as she opened the front door, letting her out first. 

       “So did they give you a tour at all yet?” the brunette questioned. 

       “Nope,” she sighed, sidestepping around someone walking right down the middle of the hall. 

       “Oh . . . Well, if we eat fast enough at lunch, I can ask if we can go take a walk around?” 

       “M’kay,” she mumbled as they walked into the classroom. 

       Waverly looked up at her with pursed lips. She could at least try and answer with more than one word. “This is a full class. There’s only one desk open, so that’ll be your seat.” 

       “Cool. Where?” 

       Waverly walked back 3 rows and set her stuff on her desk. “That one,” she said, pointing to the desk next to her’s on the right. Nicole dropped down into the chair and dropped her bag on the desk, pulling a binder and book out before moving the bag to the floor. The brunette sighed as she got herself situated. She kept wondering how she got those tattoos. The legal age was 18, so unless she flunked a grade, she was not. Or. Maybe she was? “Hey, Nicole?” The redhead looked over, blinking at her as she waited for her question. “How old are you?”

       “16- mm, 17,” she answered. Waverly cocked an eyebrow. “17 as of today,” she clarified. 

       “It’s your birthday?” 

       “Mhm,” she mumbled, looking back down at the book she was reading. 

       “Oh. Well, happy birthday,” she smiled. 

       “Thanks,” she said, not looking up from her book. The redhead must have felt her eyes still on her, for she looked up at her with a glare several seconds later. “Do you have a staring problem or something?”

       Her eyes widened, lips parting. “No! I was just-” 

       “I know a guy,” she cut off with a grumble. 

       Waverly furrowed her brow in confusion. “What?” 

       Nicole held up her right hand with the lion. “All these? I know a guy. Now, if you’d stop looking at me like a Picasso painting, I’d appreciate it.” And with that, she propped her head up on her left fist and looked back down at her book with a huff of annoyance. 

       Waverly’s face saddened. She was doing great at the whole making new friends thing. She got her laptop out with a sigh, knowing very well they’d be taking a shit-ton of notes today. 

 

11:01 AM

 

       “You just use the barcode on your ID badge to scan for your lunch,” Waverly informed as they made their way through the line, lifting the lanyard up that was hanging around her neck towards the scanner. 

       “I figured so,” she nodded, raising her eyebrows at her. 

       She put her hands up in defense before picking her tray back up and walking out of the kitchen. “I’m just sayin’,” she mumbled. 

       “Well, I’m not a retard.” 

       Waverly’s lip hitched as she gave her a side-eye. She despised that word. She led them over to their table, sitting down next to Chrissy. Nicole took the seat at the end of the table, a whole bench away from everyone. 

       “Who’s Dexter?” Dolls asked. He was a senior like Wynonna that was somehow in their friend group, though he seemed to hate everyone in it. 

       “Nicole. She’s new. I have to take her around this week,” Waverly answered, pushing a pear chunk around on her tray. 

       “Where’s she from?” Chrissy questioned. Chrissy Nedley was a sophomore like her, and also her best friend since their first day of preschool, never once leaving her side. Waverly gave her a shrug. 

       “Is she nice?” Jeremy asked. Jeremy Chetri was a freshman that Waverly had met in her AP Chemistry class. And they had become really good friends, always helping each other on homework that no one else understood. 

       “I mean . . .”

       “You guys know I can hear you, right?” Nicole grumbled, looking up from the book that she seemed to always be hovering over. 

       They all turned to look at her, and Waverly gave her an apologetic smile. She fixed her glasses before looking back down with an eye roll. 

       “She’s kinda hot,” Mercedes smirked. Nicole looked up at the comment, catching a wink from the other redhead.

       Waverly swore she saw a smirk on her lips as she looked back down. 

       Mercedes Gardner was a junior. And she certainly was . . . a character. That’s probably why Wynonna became friends with her in Jr. High. 

       Speak of the Devil. 

       Wynonna walked along the table, knocking everyone down the line on the back of their head with one of her textbooks. She set her tray down next to Waverly before wrapping her arms around her shoulders from behind, rocking her back and forth. “Hi, Sissy,” she squealed, spazzing her hand around on the top of her head. 

       Waverly smacked at her, hitting the side of her face. “Get off me, Wynonna,” she complained, tugging at her arms. 

       The older girl let her lose, going to sit down, but stopped. She squinted over at the redhead.

       “Leave her alone,” her sister mumbled, pulling on her arm. 

       She tsked, jerking her arm away and walking around the table towards her. She kneeled one knee on the bench, reaching out her hand to poke the anchor on her neck. 

       The junior shot her hand up, gripping it around her outstretched finger. “Touch me and I’ll break your fuckin’ hand.” 

       The brunette tore her hand back, standing up straight. Nicole immediately pushed herself up from the table, standing a few inches in front of her with a cold stare set on her face as Wynonna sized her up, looking at her from head to toe. 

       A small smirk worked onto her face. “You look good, Haught Stuff.” She gave her a playful smack on the shoulder. 

       A smile pushed onto her lips. “You’re still annoying, Earp.”

       Wynonna laughed, pulling her into a hug. 

       The rest of the table watched in confusion as the duo quietly talked to one another as if they’d known each other forever. “I thought you said you didn’t know her?” Jeremy asked, furrowing his brows at the brunette.

       “I don’t. I’ve never seen her before today,” she affirmed. “I dunno how they know each other.” They all shrugged, continuing on with their lunch. 

       “Do you got someone to show you around?” Wynonna asked. 

       “Yea . . . Waverly .” 

       Her brows went up. “You know that’s my sister, right?” 

       Nicole’s eyes widened as they darted over to the younger girl who was smiling as she conversed with the blonde sitting next to her. She thought back to years past, recalling the times Wynonna had mentioned her. “I do now,” she mumbled as she met her eyes. 

       “ Ya . And if you fuck with her, don’t think I won’t rip you a new asshole.” 

       “I won’t . She shouldn’t have a reason to hang around me, anyway.” 

       The brunette tipped her head. “She’s Waverly . She hangs around everyone. And you’re gonna be hanging with me, so that means you’ll be seeing a lot of her .” 

       “Who says I want to hang with your dumbass anymore,” she scoffed. 

       Wynonna rolled her eyes, punching her stomach as she walked back to her seat. Nicole grabbed her tray and book, following her over and sitting next to the buff guy with resting bitch face. “Guys, this is Haught Pocket. She’s a horrible person, so that means you’ll love her .” 

       “ Haught Pocket . . .” Waverly whispered aloud to herself as gears turned in her head. She suddenly reached across the table, snatching up Nicole’s hands.

       “ Dude- ” 

       She grabbed the pinky on each hand, looking at her fingertips, letting out a snort. She picked up Wynonna’s left hand, grabbing her pinky as well. On Wynonna’s left and Nicole’s right was a smiley face tattoo. “ You’re Haught Pocket!” 

       “According to her, I am,” she grumbled. 

       “She came home with this when she was like . . . 14!” 

       “Uh-huh,” she nodded, looking down at her hand where the brunette’s grip still was. 

       She quickly let them both go. “ Wow ,” she breathed. Wynonna had told her stories over the past few years of someone she only called Hot Pocket . She never clarified if they were a boy or a girl, how old they were, where they were from. Just Hot pocket . Well, Haught Pocket, she now learned. And when Gus and Curtis found out about the tattoo, the only thing she’d say about it was that it was Haught Pocket’s idea .

       “So . . . How do you two know each other exactly?” Mercedes questioned, asking what the whole table wanted to know. 

       “Oh, we go way back,” Wynonna answered quickly with a smile, leaning forward onto her elbow. “When’d we meet, when I was . . .?” 

       “ I was 12, so you’da been 13, I think,” Nicole nodded, pointing at her with her slice of pizza. 

       Wynonna smiled, snatching one of her sister’s tater tots. “So, this is Babygirl, Chrissy Wissy, Jer Bear, ‘Cedes, and Xavy,” she informed. “There’s a few more that just have a different lunch period.” 

       They all threw her a look, saying their actual names at once. 

       “Call me Nicole or Haught, I don’t care, just not one of her stupid ass nicknames.”

       “They are not stupid. I work hard on those, ya know.”

       “Oh, I bet you do,” she sighed. 

 

11:17 AM

 

       There was about 10 minutes left and Waverly realized that both her and Nicole were done with their food. “Hey . . . You want to go and walk around now?” 

       Nicole looked over to her. “Uh . . . Yea, sure.” They both stood up and walked over, stacking their trays before heading out of the cafeteria. 

       “So . . . How’s your day been, so far?” 

       “Meh,” she shrugged, sticking her hand in her jacket pocket. 

       “How long’s it been since you’ve seen Wynonna?” 

       Nicole let out a raspberry as she thought about it. “About . . . 7 months,” she said with a nod. 

       Waverly looked up at her, wondering why it had been so long. She quickly remembered the whole staring thing and brought her eyes back forward. She walked up to a set of closed doors, standing up on her toes to look through the window. “That’s the main gym. Boys’ P.E. and all the sports games are in there. The girls have P.E in the old gym.” 

       “D’you know how far into the season the basketball team is?” She asked as they continued on. 

       “First game was in the middle of November. There’s 2-3 games a week and around 35 games a season, so we're about halfway through.”

       The older girl looked down at her with a cocked eyebrow. “Do you just know everything about the school or something?” 

       She looked up at her with pursed lips. “ No . Wynonna plays and I’m a cheerleader.” 

       “ Ah .” 

       They walked on, Waverly showing her all the important rooms. The library, the auditorium, the tech lab, the Nurse’s office, etc. “Do you think they’d let me on the team if I tried out now?” Nicole asked. 

       “If you don’t suck, then probably,” she shrugged. The redhead threw her a look. “Did you play at your other school before you came here?” 

       She slowed down a bit, blinking at her. “Did they not tell you where I came from?” she asked confusedly. 

       Waverly stopped, turning to face her. “No . . .” she answered slowly with the same look on her face.

       The redhead started walking again with a sigh. “I just got out of juvie, Dude.”