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Like Sleep to the Freezing

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There's a loud crack that echos in Waverly's head. It takes her a second to figure out where it came from, but she soon realizes that Champ had just broken her left wrist. She doesn't have time to process the pain because the next thing she knew, Champ is kicking the living daylights out of her ribs. She can't hear much, just the muffled sound of Champ screaming at her. Waverly isn't sure what noise is coming out of her mouth at the moment. She can't differentiate if it's screaming or crying, probably a little bit of both she assumes. Champ stops kicking her. He instead leans down and tightly grabs her by the neck, pulling her onto her feet. The brunette's ribs were screaming at her, feeling like hot knives where being stabbed into her abdomen. He gets in her face and yells louder, spit occasionally landing on her face. 

 

"IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SAY TO ME WAVERLY?!" Champ shouts in her face. 

 

Waverly violently shook her head, feeling hot tears stream down her face. "No!" she choked out, Champs grip around her neck tightening. Waverly could feel her breathing become labored. Her ears were ringing from Champ's voice. 

 

"ARE YOU SURE? BECAUSE 5 MINUTES AGO IT SURE AS HELL SEEMED LIKE YOU WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING TO ME!"

 

He loosened his grip. "No! There's nothing- I want- to say!" 

 

Champ completely let go, letting her drop to the floor. 

 

Waverly fell to the ground, clutching her throat and violently coughing, trying to regulate her breathing again. Her wrist was throbbing with pain. 

 

"Don't you ever, try to tell me how much wine is too much wine. You are not in control here Waves," his voice was low but dangerous. "You work at a bar. If we want another bottle, you can get us one, right?"

 

"Right," Waverly squeaked, her heavy breathing starting to slow down. 

 

"Good. Now clean this up," Champ ordered, gesturing to the spilled wine and broken wine glasses. 

 

Waverly nodded, slowly standing to her feet, watching as Champ ascended the stairs. She glanced down at the wine covered wood floor. Her wrist ached with a sharp, shooting pain that radiated up her arm into her shoulder. But she had to ignore it; she knew that she had to clean the kitchen. It was excruciating, but she was used to pushing aside her pain to please Champ Hardy. She wiped her remaining tears and carefully walked over to the sink, grabbing the towel hanging over the faucet. This was the third time this week that something had broken, but Waverly, however, found a sense of calm in cleaning the mess that she had caused. It brought her comfort knowing that Champ would be in their bedroom, waiting for her with a bunch of remorseful apologies sitting at the edge of his tongue.

 


 

Waverly stared into the bathroom mirror, making sure that her swollen, half-open blackeye was hidden beneath a thick layer of makeup. Trying to come up with an excuse as to why her half was half shut was going to be fun. She then walked over to the full body mirror, analyzing every little detail of her outfit, making sure her shirt didn't ride up too much so that it didn't exposure her bruised ribs, that her sleeves were long enough to cover old marks along her arm and cover the new gash on her right wrist. She adjusted the scarf around her to neck, making sure it hid the dark red, almost bruised marks on her neck that Champ had left  She made sure that her pants were long enough to cover the scars on her legs and that her wedges went past her ankles, covering the fading scars from where he bound her ankles together. She looked at the black cast on her wrist. She reached out and touched it, being painfully reminded of the events that occurred just a few nights before.

 

She had gone through this routine many times before, it was nothing new to her and she'd like to think she was an expert at it. She'd start getting ready for her day hours before her shift at Shorty's. She would rummage through her closet, picking the right clothes for the day. She'd make sure her long sleeve shirt hid the cuts and cigarette burns that ran up and down her arms. Her pants always entirely covered the bruises spread along her legs. She never wore crop tops, she never wore t-shirts, she never went swimming, she never wore shorts, and she never left the house without makeup. There was never a piece of skin that had gone unmarked or unscarred and never a part of skin that went uncovered. No one could ever know that 'the nicest person in Purgatory' ever fell into a troubled relationship. They were high school sweethearts, pinned in the yearbook the couple most likely to get married. They had a reputation to keep, right?  

 

If there was one thing Waverly took pride in, it was their house. She kept it immaculate. She'd clean twice it a week if not more, cleaning the cigarettes and beer bottles Champ left laying around. She'd make sure always to air out the house, not wanting their home to reek of alcohol or tobacco. The floors were always cleaned, as Waverly would often have to clean up blood, spit, or other leftover residues that were always resulting from the night before. She'd have to empty the trash of the bloody bandages and gauze often. A clean house was a priority to Waverly; she wanted the house spotless in case anyone were to come over. Even though Waverly let people over her home, she'd always plan to meet in a public place. If someone asked her to come over, she'd still suggest getting coffee or meeting at the bar. She wanted no one questioning her or her relationship with Champ. Granted, the only people that came over were her Aunt Gus, sister Wynonna, and her best friend, Chrissy.

 

However, there were a few rules for her house guests.

 

No one was allowed to go upstairs. Waverly never explained why, she just told her guests it was off-limits and not to ask any questions, as it was a 'long story.' 

 

And no one was allowed to stay longer than an hour after Champ got home. 

 

Those were the rules, and no one argued Waverly on it. The pint-sized brunette has some fire in her, especially when it came to defending her relationship or Champ. 

 

But Champ has his own rules, too. 

 

The first rule, he gave Waverly 15 minutes after her shift ended to get home. An hour if she had to clean up. And Waverly made sure that she was never late. 

 

The second rule, she never argued with him about anything. Never. Waverly never wanted to talk back to him, to begin with. Champ had instilled in her in the first few months of their relationship that her words held no value. She believes it, and now she's not even sure if she wants to hear what comes out of her mouth.

 

The third rule, not directly spoken by Champ, but an unwritten rule that Waverly learned to comply with. If Champ wanted sex, Waverly had to give it to him, no matter how much she didn't want to. If she didn't, Champ would force her. At first, Waverly fought. But then, she stopped, knowing that if she did, she'd always up end with unnecessary bruises and marks. She thought a few minutes of sex with Champ was better than enduring abuse and forming new scars that would last for a year. 

 

Waverly never tried to take control over Champ. She would never win, he stood at six foot three inches with 200 pound, muscular build. He could easily overtake her. And he has, many times before. He has easily given her bruises simply by squeezing her arm or wrist too hard. His hot cigarette breath, mixed with the sour smell of alcohol, the strength of his right arm, the power of his right leg, the grip of his hands, and his harsh words that Waverly would hear over and over; had become a regular occurrence in Waverly's life. It had become normal for her.  

 

It had been four years since they met. The first year was great as could be, for her partner being Champ Hardy anyway. Waverly was happy, but after their first anniversary, things started going downhill. 

 

Waverly got used to being put down by Champ, he would constantly tell her that her opinions and feelings were wrong. She got used to him coming home late or not coming home at all. She got used to radio silence from him, not hearing or seeing him for days. When she first confronted him about it, he got angry, blaming her and telling her that if she was a better girlfriend, he'd come home more often, if she had sex with him more often he'd, want to be around her. When they first met, Waverly had first been excited to share with him the new and fascinating documentaries she'd watched that day or the new things she'd learned in history or Latin class. But that excitement dwindled the more they'd been together. He never wanted to hear it. He'd tell her that no one as pretty as her should be into that stuff. He said that people would like her more if she just 'shut that pretty little brain of hers' off. He told her that 'if she wasn't boring him with that crap so often' he'd love her more. Over time, she got used to this and pretty soon, she didn't really care how he spent his time. As long as he was happy, she was ok with it.  

 

Champ would get furious with her if she spent too much time with her family or friends. He hated it when she would spend too much time with anyone other than him. If she was over the homestead longer than his liking, he'd go over there, storming into the house and causing a scene. He'd demand at have her home and he once grabbed her by the arm and forcefully walking them out of the house. But he never hit her in front of anyone. He was just as good on putting on a fake character as Waverly was. 

 

But Waverly knew he loved her. She insisted on it. They once had a great connection and she firmly believed it was still alive. It had to be. Champ loved her and she loved him. They were Champ Hardy and Waverly Earp, high school sweethearts destined to be together. 

 

Because Waverly Earp without Champ Hardy was just Waverly Earp. 

 

 

Waverly walked into Shorty's bar, dreading her long 6-hour shift. Her wrist was throbbing and every little movement sent pain throughout her entire abdomen. She was racking her brain as she walked through the front doors, trying to think of an excuse as to why her wrist was broken and why her eye was half swollen shut. 

 

"Good afternoon darlin' " Her Aunt Gus greeted her in her southern drawl. "Waverly, what happened to you?!" She exclaimed, doing a double-take. She rushed over to Waverly's side, examining her eye then her wrist. 

 

"Oh, it's nothing, Aunt Gus," Waverly brushed off, attempting to walk past her.

 

"Little girl this is certainly not, 'nothing'," she retorted, following her into the break room. 

 

Her Aunt Gus had practically raised her after her parents left her and her sister's, Wynonna and Willa. She knew Waverly Earp better than anyone and sometimes Waverly thought she knew her better than she knew herself. 

 

"Gus, it's really not a big deal," she replied, hanging up her purse on the rack, grimacing in pain as she lifts her arm up.

 

"Waverly Earp, you are wincing in pain. You better tell me what happened or I'll be sendin' you home 'til you get better." 

 

Waverly sighed, her brain running at a cheetah's pace, trying to come up with an excuse. 

 

"I was hiking the other day. I was climbing over a pretty big rock and tripped and fell and I kneed my eye in the process and I landed on my wrist. But I'm fine, doctors gave me pain medicine and said I'm all good to work." Waverly turned around and walked over to the sink to wash her one good hand. 

 

Gus glared at her, eyes squinting as she processed the information Waverly had revealed with her. 

 

Waverly could feel Gus' eyes burning a hole in the back of her head, but she refused to turn around. 

 

Gus sighed and walked over to Waverly and placing her hand on Waverly's shoulder as she dried her hands. 

 

"Doc says you alright to work?"

 

Waverly smiles and nods, turning around to face her. 

 

"Yeah, he says I'm fine. Cast will be off in four weeks."

 

"Is it broken?"

 

"No, just a minor fracture."

 

Gus stares at her one last time before deciding to let Waverly get to work.

 

"Alright, darlin'. But if I see you in pain, I'm sendin' you home. Deal?"

 

"Deal."

 

Gus nods and turns around to head back to the bar. "And be on time tomorrow!" she calls over her shoulder. 

 

"You got it!"

 


 

Halfway into her shift and her body ached with pain. Everything was hurting. Every bottle she grabbed, drink she poured, and table she waited cause her great pain. It didn't help that she had to do it all right-handed. Her left hand was uselessly limp, stuck in the thick black cast. 

 

"Hey Waves!" her best friend Chrissy greeted, setting her purse on the bar and sitting on the stool below her. "What happened to your wrist?! And you're eye?! Are you ok?!"

 

Waverly chortled. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just a hiking accident. The doctor said I'm ok to work and I'll be getting the cast off in four weeks."

 

"Waverly, you gotta be more careful! Not everyone can be as fit as you and I'm a personal trainer! But sometimes it's ok to take a break and relax on the couch." 

 

"Yeah, I know. But you know me. How was work?"

 

"The usual. My roommate Rachel isn't home so I thought I'd grab dinner here. Not everyone can have a perfect relationship like you and Champ can and not everyone can own their own home at 24." 

 

Waverly could feel her face harden, but she quickly put a smile on.

 

"Hey, can I get a beer?"

 

"Of course." Waverly leaned down to get her a beer but clutched her ribs in pain, letting out a choked breath of pain. 

 

"Wave, you ok?" 

 

"Yeah, I just fell really hard when hiking." 

 

"Hmm, ok," Chrissy said, deciding to let it go. 

 

Waverly placed the open beer bottle in front of Chrissy and continued to make small talk with her. They talked about their days and their weekend plans. Waverly, of course, lied about her day and her weekend plans. She told Chrissy her day was fine and that she had planned on just cleaning the house for the weekend. Which wasn't completely untrue, she did have to clean the house. 

 

"Miss Waverly, can I get that rodeo burger with a Bud Light?" one of her regular patrons, Ed Littles asked. He was an older man in his mid-fifties. He was a janitor at the local school and like clockwork, he always came for dinner every Friday at happy hour. 

 

"Of course, Ed," Waverly said with a casual smile. Waverly walked over to the online ordering system and typed in his order and then grabbed him a Bud Light. 

 

"Classic ceasar salad for you," Waverly said, typing her order in as well. 

 

"You know me so well," Chrissy smirked. 

 

"Darlin' can you run down to storage and get another bottle of whiskey?" Gus asked her as she walked behind the bar. 

 

"Yeah."

 

Waverly exited the bar and headed towards the cellar door. She could feel her feet twinged with pain and her ribs burned, feeling like needles were jabbing into her. The more she worked the more her body ached. She wasn't sure if she could keep going, at times it took her breath away. But she had to keep a poker face, just another 30 minutes until her shift was over. This was nothing compared to other problems in the world, she just had to power through it. 

 

"Here," she said, handing the bottle over to Gus. "I'm going to take my break now."

 

Gus nodded and went back to fixing the cocktail for the young woman sitting at the bar in front of her. 

 

Waverly headed into the break room bathroom, really wanting to get some privacy. She made sure that the bathroom door was locked before lifting up her long-sleeve shirt, revealing the dark purple and crimson red bruise, that spread from the left of her ribs to the middle of her abdomen. It hurt like hell. Just lifting her shirt shot pain throughout her body. 

 

She sighed at herself, putting her shirt back down and glanced at the mirror, glaring at the reflection staring back at her. She hated that this is the person she had become, she hated that she had become so unlovable. No one would ever want to be with her, she was disgusting. And she knew that she would never make anyone happy. Champ would be the only one there for her, he loved her. He loved her like no one else would and Waverly knew that she would never be capable of finding love again.  

Chapter Text

Nicole Haught had many things to do that night after her shift and one of them was not going out and getting drinks with the guys. But her boss, Sherriff Randy Nedley, had insisted, he wanted Nicole to make some new friends and thought going out with her partners Lonnie and Dolls would make it a little easier. Dolls' real name was Xavier Dolls, but no one ever called him that, everyone called him by his last name. 

 

The first thing that Nicole noticed of Shorty's bar was the ratio of men to women was way off. She counted, there was a total of 10 women, not including the waitresses, and 32 men. She already didn't like where this night was headed. 

 

The second thing Nicole noticed was how beautiful the bartender was. The way her brunette hair fell back on her shoulders and how her smile seemed to light up the room. She probably would've stood there all day appreciating her beauty if it wasn't for Lonnie and Dolls dragging her towards a stool.

 

"I know you have a lot to do tonight so if you wanna head home we can tell Nedley you had a great time here," Dolls offered. 

 

Nicole had been in town for about a month. She was still in the process of moving. The furniture she ordered was taking longer than expected and she had many boxes to unpack. So every night after work consisted of ordering take out since she didn't have any pots or pans, unpacking until she was too exhausted to open another box, and falling asleep on an uncomfortable air mattress. As much as she hated the moving in process she just wanted to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. 

 

"Well why you do that, I'm going to talk to Waverly," Lonnie said with a smirk, glancing over at the young woman standing behind the bar.

 

Waverly. So that was her name.  

 

Dolls rolled his eyes. "You know she has a boyfriend." 

 

"That's not going to stop me."

 

"Don't be an asshole, Lonnie." 

 

"I won't be."

 

Lonnie stood up and walked over to where Waverly was currently serving a patron, which allowed Nicole to noticed the cast on her left wrist. 

 

"You'll have to mind, Lonnie. He's a bit... forward but he always has the best intentions," Dolls said. 

 

"So that's Waverly?" Nicole asked. She eyed Waverly and watched uncomfortably at Lonnie's poor attempt to get the brunette to talk to him. 

 

"Yeah. Waverly Earp, she's a bit of a legend in this town."

 

"She's an Earp?"

 

When Nicole had heard about the Earp family, mostly negative things. But Nicole had learned to take other people's opinions with a grain of salt, so she would just have to get to know Waverly herself to form an opinion on her. 

 

"That she is. She has two other sisters, Wynonna and Willa."

 

"Do they work for Black Badge as well?"

 

Nicole had initially been sent here by Black Badge themselves. She had worked for them in their headquarters in Toronto but they sent her out here since Purgatory was lacking in officers.

 

"Yeah, Wynonna works more in the field and Willa works more at the station, translating old documents and doing research for us. Waverly is really the person that should be translating and doing the research, she majored in history and minored in Latin, graduated top of her class with honors. But she spends most of her time here or with her boyfriend. Willa should really be out in the field with us but she says she'd rather stay at the station."

 

"Boyfriend?"

 

"Yeah, Champ Hardy. He's the one playing pool over there," Dolls answers, pointing to a disgruntled group of young men, chugging beer and being obnoxiously loud. "He's the one with the tattoos running up and down his arm."

 

"Him?"

 

"I know right? You'd never think Waverly would be into someone like him," he said, both watching as he chugged another beer, burping loudly and bursting out laughing. "But they've been together since high school apparently. He asked her out senior year and they've been together since then." 

 

Nicole nods, a little shocked at Waverly's choice. Of course, she was never one to judge a book by its cover, but Waverly and Champ seemed like complete opposites. 

 

"You want a drink?" Dolls asked, gesturing to the older woman waiting to take their order.   

 

"Yeah, just a beer thanks."

 

"Whiskey for me, thanks, Gus."

 

"I'm going to run to the bathroom."

 

Dolls nodded as Nicole stood up and scanned for the bathroom sign. She found the women's bathroom and walked in there, finding Waverly with her shirt up, patting down the big bandage across her hip. 

 

"Oh shit, I'm sorry," Nicole said, blushing and turning away. "I can come back..."

 

"No, no it's ok," Waverly said with a warm smile. "I'm Waverly Earp." 

 

"I'm Nicole Haught," she said, shaking Waverly's extended hand. Her heart was racing, Waverly was even more beautiful up close. Her olive colored skin really complimented her nicely and she smelled of sweet apples. And her hand was surprisingly soft. 

 

"Well, I better get out there," Waverly said, returning her hand back to her side. 

 

"Oh yeah."

 

Waverly smiled at her one last time before walking past her and out the bathroom door. 

 

Nicole smiled to herself, the sweet smell of apple dancing under her nose.

 

"Waverly Earp", she thought to herself. "You might just be the most beautiful woman I've ever met." 

 


 

An hour later and Nicole was on her third beer. Her and Dolls were having a conversation about the Toronto Raptors and Lonnie was hitting on all the women that came into the bar. Nicole however, was trying to think of a way she could talk to Waverly. 

 

But trying to find a way was proving to be difficult. 

 

Waverly was either pouring more drinks or waiting tables. The five foot something brunette did not seem to stop moving and Nicole had no idea when her shift was over nor did she have the time to wait for her. 

 

"You did not get floor seats to the Raptors championship game!?" Nicole exclaimed, taking the last sip of her beer. 

 

"I did! My mom surprised me with them for my birthday," Dolls said with a smile. 

 

"Hey, guys! Can I get you refills?" Waverly asked as she leaned her hand on the bar. 

 

"Uh, can I actually just get water?" Nicole asked, a smile forming on her face against her will. 

 

"Yeah! Need a little alcohol break?" 

 

"Nah, I'm driving home. I don't wanna get too inebriated." 

 

Waverly smiled back at her and Dolls watched as they both smiled at each other, not sharing more than a few words. 

 

"Um, I'm going to go check on Lonnie," he said, getting up from his bar stool. 

 

Nicole nodded and turned back to Waverly. 

 

"So, what happened to your hip?" Nicole cringed after that question left her mouth, knowing that there was a better way to start a conversation that wasn't so personal.

 

"What?" Waverly asked, furrowing her brows. "Oh! Um, it was a hiking accident." Her face fell a little and she looked down at the bar top she was leaning on. 

 

"I'm assuming that's how you got that," she pointed to the cast on her wrist. "And... that," she said, pointing to her black eye. 

 

"Oh, yeah. It was pretty gnarly. But enough about me, are you new here? I've never seen you before."

 

Nicole nodded and noted the pained smile that she forced across her face. "Yeah, I've been here for about a month, I've just never come into the bar. I've really just been to and from my house and the station... and the Chinese food place, pizza place, Mexican place, and a bunch of various fast food places."

 

Waverly giggled. "Not much of a chef?"

 

"I can get by, I just haven't really had the time to buy pots or pans or get to the grocery store. I'm still unpacking." 

 

"Sounds like you could use some help."

 

Nicole laughs. "You know anyone? Because I could use all the help I could get." 

 

"I can help you if you'd like," she said genuinely.  

 

Nicole smiled but shook her head no. "No, I couldn't ask that of you." 

 

"Good thing you're not asking," Waverly replied with a smile, her eyes crinkling at the corner. Another feature of Waverly that Nicole couldn't help but admire. 

 

"But your arm, your hiking accident! I don't want you to hurt yourself more than you already have."

 

Waverly waved her hand and shook her head. "No, I'll be fine. I don't mind." 

 

"Well, in that case, I might take you up on that Waverly Earp." Nicole winked at her. "Why don't you give me your number and I'll call you. Just warning you I, have a bunch of boxes to unpack."

 

"That's ok, I like helping people. Here, give me your phone," Waverly asked, holding out her hand. 

 

Nicole unlocked her black iPhone and handed it to her, Waverly immediately typed in her phone number and contact name and handed it back to her. 

 

"Send me a text, that way I can put you in my contacts."

 

Nicole pulled up the contact and sent a text. Just a simple one saying 'Hi, this is Nicole.'

 

A second later a ding came from Waverly's back pocket. She opened her phone and made Nicole's contact. 

 

"There, now I have your contact!"

 

"Well, I gotta get going. I'll see you around, Waverly." Nicole smiled at her, her dimples on full display. She slapped down a 20 on the bar top before heading out. 

 

Waverly grabbed it and smiled to herself. She was feeling something, something good. But she wasn't quite sure what to call it. 

 


 

The next day after her Nicole was driving back at Shorty's. She wasn't planning on it. Her original plan was to go home and unpack some more, but she just couldn't seem to stay away from Miss Waverly Earp. 

 

Nicole parked outside of Shorty's and got out of her car and walked into the building, but met Waverly at the door who seemed to be in a rush. 

 

"Oh, hey Waverly!" 

 

Waverly stopped and gave Nicole a small smile. "Hi, Nicole. I'm sorry but I can't stay and talk. I'm late," she said quickly. She rushed past Nicole, fixing her purse that was sliding off of her shoulder. 

 

"Late for what?"

 

"Um, I- I'm just late. I'm sorry but I gotta go. I'll see you around Nicole." And with that Waverly turned around and quickly headed towards her bright red Jeep. 

 

To say Nicole wasn't a little disappointed would be a lie. But she didn't think much of it, she was sure Waverly Earp was a busy girl with many things to do. 

Chapter Text

"Do you wanna grab lunch here pretty soon?" Waverly asked, putting the last glass in the cupboard. 

 

"Yeah, I'm getting pretty hungry." Nicole wiped the beads of sweat from her forehead as she drilled another screw into the half made bookshelf. 

 

"There's this really cute little cafe down the road," Waverly said, pulling out her phone and leaning back against the sink. 

 

"Sounds good to me. I should probably start to get to know the town and the people a little more."

 

"Do you wanna take your car or mine?" 

 

"We can take yours," Nicole said, standing up and putting the drill down. "Mine needs some work." 

 

"What's wrong with it?" 

 

"I'm not sure. It won't start, that's all I know. But it is an older car, so that probably has something to do with it."

 

"How old?" 

 

"1971 Chevy Camaro." 

 

"Wow, that is old." 

 

Waverly smiles and grabs her car keys and her purse, signaling to Nicole that she's ready to go. 

 

"Yeah, you wanna take a quick look before we grab lunch?"

 

Waverly nods and follows Nicole to the garage door. What she sees is a blue Camaro, with white stripes running down the middle. It was obviously well taken care of. 

 

"Whoa. It's so shiny! You must take really good care of this!" 

 

Nicole chuckles. "I do, I clean her often. She's been good to me, but I guess this move from Toronto was a bit taxing on her."

 

"Her?"

 

"Yeah, this was my dads, he gave it to me before he passed away." Nicole's face fell a little as she looked down at the ground.

 

"Oh, Nicole, I'm so sorry," Waverly says softly, walking over to Nicole and pulling her into a hug.

 

"Thanks, Waverly," Nicole says as they pull away. "You ready to eat? I'm starving." 

 

Waverly smiles at her as they both walk over to her red jeep parked in the driveway. 

 


 

"So, how long have you been vegan?" Nicole asks, taking a bite of her chicken wrap.

 

"A few years now. I really like the vegan lifestyle, and I don't think I'd ever go back."

 

Nicole eyed her quinoa salad, mentally making the note that 1) she would never go vegan and 2) Waverly Earp was vegan which was important to keep in mind next time they share a meal. 

 

"Well, I have a lot of respect for that. I don't think I could ever go vegan. I like meat way too much." 

 

Waverly giggles. "Yeah, it's kinda an acquired type of lifestyle. My boyfriend hates that I'm vegan, though." 

 

"Oh," Nicole says flatly, nodding her head slowly. "That sucks, I'm sorry." She notices the vacant stare that has come across Waverly's eyes and the drawn-down corners of her mouth. 

 

"It's ok," Waverly says calmly, flashing a small smile. 

 

Both Nicole and Waverly take a bite of their food before anyone continues the conversation. 

 

"So, what's his name?" 

 

"Champ Hardy."

 

"Champ? That's an... unusual name." 

 

"His real name is James," Waverly said, her voice getting quieter. "But don't tell anyone that, he hates his real name," she smirks. 

 

"So he goes by 'Champ'? That's a little egotistical if you ask me," Nicole mumbles. 

 

"Yeah, well, that's my boyfriend for you," Waverly says in a sharp tone, aggressively stabbing the piece of avocado in her salad. 

 

"How long have you been together?"

 

"Four, almost five years. Uh, five years in a couple of months."

 

"Wow, that's a long time." 

 

"Yes, very long."

 

There's a lull in the conversation while they continue to eat. They're both trying to figure out what to say next. This was the first time Nicole was talking about something not work-related, so she was finding it harder to keep the conversation going. Waverly, however, hated talking about Champ or their relationship, so she felt awkward answering questions about, but she didn't want to be rude. But on the other hand, she wanted to make sure that she portrayed her relationship as normal as possible. Just about everything that came to Champ Hardy was a balance. 

 

"Well, what about you? Any boyfriends back in Toronto?"

 

Nicole chuckled. "No, no boyfriends. Although I did have a wife, that ended pretty poorly." 

 

"You had one?"

 

"Yeah, we've been divorced for about a year now. I walked in on her in bed with another woman." 

 

"Oh, Nicole. I'm sorry, I know how that feels." 

 

Nicole looked up at her and raised an eyebrow. "You do?"

 

"I uh, I mean before Champ. My old boyfriend cheated on me too," Waverly lied, hoping her shaky voice and stutter wouldn't betray her. 

 

The truth was Champ had cheated on her multiple times, more than she can count. Some days he wouldn't come home because he had slept over his hook up of the night's house. Waverly was mad at first, but over time she had gotten used to it. Waverly felt it was only fair since she felt she never pleased him or was never good enough for him. That is what Champ always tells her anyway. 

 

"Oh," Nicole said, nodding slowly. She could tell that Waverly wasn't telling the whole truth, especially by the fact that she was avoiding eye contact and looked uncomfortable. She also noticed the fact that Waverly was now bouncing her leg up and down, something she wasn't doing when they first sat down. 

 

"But as for right now, no. I'm not in any relationships." 

 

"Well, I can't promise how many people you'll find here. Y' know, small town, limited dating options," Waverly said with a sympathetic smile. She out of anyone would know just how limited the dating options are. 

 

"I'm not really looking right now anyway. I just kinda wanna settle here first before I start looking. Maybe give it a year, who knows." 

 

"Time will tell I guess." 

 

Nicole nodded and continue to eat. They shared small conversation as they finished eating, talking about their high school experience and what led Nicole to the Black Badge Division and why Waverly decided to stay in Purgatory. Nicole even relived some of her embarrassing high school basketball experiences, which Waverly thought were hilarious. 

 

"Here is the check ladies," their waitress said as she placed the black check presenter at the end of their table. 

 

"Thank you," Nicole says. 

 

Both Nicole and Waverly reach for the check, Nicole pulling it towards her, only for Waverly to pull it back. 

 

"It's ok, Waverly, I'll get the check," Nicole says earnestly. 

 

"No, Nicole, I couldn't ask that of you," Waverly says, pulling the check closer to her. 

 

"Good thing you're not asking," Nicole smirks at her, flashing her dimples that make Waverly blush. 

 

Nicole pulls the check presenter towards her with ease. She pulls out her wallet and places her card in it and sets it back at the end of the table. They continue their conversation as they walk out of the cafe and back to Waverly's car. 

 

"You really didn't have to pay for lunch you know," Waverly mentions as they drive out of the parking lot.

 

"But I wanted to. Think of it as my way to thank you for helping me unpack more boxes."

 

"Fine. But next time I'm paying for lunch," Waverly says in an unaggressive tone.

 

Nicole smiles at her while Waverly drives back to her house to drop her off. She expected the silence between them to be awkward, but it wasn't. It all felt normal, and to Nicole, it felt like she had known Waverly for years. 

 


 

A few weeks had passed and Nicole and Waverly had been hanging out nonstop. When Waverly wasn't working or with Champ, she was with Nicole. They had grown pretty close for only knowing each other for a short amount of time. 

 

Waverly had learned just about everything there was to know about the redhead. She had found out that Nicole had a brother who was a lawyer and a sister who was a professional photographer and a mother who had been unaccepting about her being gay. But Nicole was thankful for her siblings as they talked almost every day and never shut her out. She learned that Nicole hadn't talked to her mother in years and her father had been dead for eight years. But Waverly thought so highly of Nicole, she thought she was one of the strongest people she's ever met. And for some reason, Waverly just couldn't get that red hair and dimpled smile out of her mind. 

 

Nicole had learned about her sisters, Wynonna and Willa. She learned that Wynonna was very sarcastic and blunt, and was always the troublemaker of the three. Willa however, was always the levelheaded one. She was always the one thinking rationally and seemed to be the person that everyone wanted to go to for advice. Waverly had mentioned that she always the anxious one that panicked easily, but Nicole didn't see that. She saw a girl who was hurt, a girl who was guarded to protect herself. She saw Waverly for who she was, a young woman who was broken. Yet, for someone so broken, Nicole saw such beauty. Waverly had a beautiful mind and a kind, selfless heart, but Nicole just couldn't get her to see that for herself. 

 

"One chicken salad for Officer Haught," Waverly said as she knocked on the doorway of Nicole's office. 

 

"Hey, Waverly, you can just set it on my desk there," Nicole said as she went back to the papers in her hand. 

 

"Long day?"

 

"Yeah, Nedley has given me a stack of bills to pay off. And I suck at math."

 

"Aw, that's too bad. Maybe I can help?"

 

"No, that's ok." Nicole smiles at her, showing off her dimples, dimples that for some reason, always gave Waverly butterflies. "It'd be a little easier if your sister helped though." 

 

"Excuse me Haught shit, I was getting you coffee," Wynonna exclaims as she sets down her mug on her desk. 

 

Nicole, Wynonna, and Willa had also grown pretty close over the past few weeks. They go out often for drinks after work. Wynonna didn't talk much about her past life, just about her guy problems and she would often talk about her family. Although, she would often mention how much she and Willa both hated Champ. Willa was pretty quiet, but always found a way to make conversation that wasn't about herself. 

 

"Well, this would go faster if you would help," Willa pointed out, signing the last dotted line before putting it back in the folder. 

 

Wynonna shrugged. "Math and I don't mix." 

 

"Thanks for lunch, Waverly," Nicole said, flashing another smile at her. 

 

"Hey, how come you don't get lunch for Willa or me?" Wynonna complained. 

 

"Because I have made you both breakfast, lunch, and dinner for how long? Until I moved out? And besides, Willa doesn't normally want anything and I only get lunch for people that help do the work." 

 

"Excuse me babygirl, I go out and send revenants to hell, I think that's help enough."

 

Waverly rolls her eyes at her sister. "I'd love to stay and help but I gotta get going. I'll see you guys later."

 

"Waverly, wait up," Nicole says as she throws the papers on her desk and follows Waverly out. 

 

Waverly smiles at her. "What's up, Nicole?"

 

"I was just wondering if you'd want to get drinks with me tonight? I get off at seven I could meet you at Pussy Willows around seven-thirty?"

 

Waverly blushes but doesn't even bother to hide it. "Yeah, I'd love to. I'll see you there." 

 

Waverly and Nicole exchange goodbyes and neither can seem to get each other out of their minds. 

Chapter Text

Waverly straightened out her Shorty's work shirt before heading down the stairs to grab her purse. Her shift was particularly long that day, it was 11:30-7. But she didn't mind, she was happy to be out of the house. 

 

"Champ! I'm leaving for work!" she exclaims as she grabs her purse. 

 

Champ got up from his current lounging spot on the couch, beer in hand and some monster truck show on the TV. 

 

"Hey, remember if you're not back before 7:15 there's going to be some problems," he mentions as he grabs another beer from the fridge. 

 

"Uh yep, you got it." 

 

"Waverly."

 

Waverly freezes for a second, but turns around and faces him. 

 

"I love you," he says with a flat tone. He forces his lips on Waverly's. His lips are rough and she can taste the beer on salt that's stained on his lips. She kisses back, but only for a split second before pulling away and heading for the door. 

 

"No later than 7:15!" he shouts at her, taking a sip of his beer and leaning his arm against the doorframe as he watches her walk towards her red Jeep. 

 


 

A long eight hours later and Waverly is starting to near the end of her shift. Her day was going pretty boring so far, it was just the same thing, waiting tables and pouring a lot of beer and whiskey. She was about ready to leave, but then, Nicole walked in, sporting her new work uniform. The dark blue work pants that hugged her in all the right places, and the light blue work shirt that just fit her so well. And that damn utility belt just completely sold the rest of her outfit. 

 

"Hey Waverly," Nicole says, flashing her dimples that Waverly found so adorable.

 

Waverly can't help but smile, the redheaded officer never failed to put a genuine smile across her face.

 

"Hey Nicole, want a beer?" 

 

"Ah yes please." 

 

Nicole flops down on the barstool and lets out a loud sigh, running her hands through her fiery red hair. 

 

"Long day?" Waverly asks as she sets down the beer in front of Nicole. 

 

"Yes. When your sisters get on a case they don't stop until they find the bastard." 

 

"No, they don't. I think it's an Earp thing."

 

"I'm just not used to it. Back in Toronto, once everyone started getting tired for the day we'd go home for the night. But not your sisters, they go nonstop."

 

"You can tell them you need a little break y' know. I know Willa will take a day off every once and a while."

 

Nicole shook her head no. "I can't. I'm the new one here, I can't make it look like I'm not dependable by taking a day off. I gotta pull my weight here." 

 

A smile starts to form on Waverly's lips. "Well, all I'm saying is it's ok to take a break. And I don't think they'll look at you that way, they need all the hands they can get." 

 

Nicole nods and takes a sip of her beer. They strike up a conversation about Waverly's day.

 

Waverly was enjoying Nicole's company when remembered that she had to be home before 7:15. She glances at the clock and see's it reads 7:12. There's no way she's going to make it in time. 

 

"Oh shit!" Waverly exclaims as she scurries out from behind the bar. 

 

Nicole cocks an eyebrow at Waverly's strange behavior as she watches her quickly walk towards the break room. 

 

"Sorry, Nicole, I gotta run," she says as she walks past her, still attempting to put her coat on. 

 

"Waverly, are you ok?" Nicole gets up from her bar stool and goes after her, she gently touches Waverly's shoulder to get her attention. 

 

Waverly pauses to answer her, finally getting a chance to properly put her coat on. "Yeah, I'm great! I just- I'm supposed to be home at 7:15 and Champ will kill me if I'm late." 

 

Nicole squints at her with crinkled eyes as many thoughts run through her mind. 

 

"It's only a few minutes, Waverly." She knows that she hasn't met Champ, but from what she's heard she's really starting to dislike this boy-man, as referred to by Wynonna and Willa.  

 

"I was supposed to make dinner tonight and Champ can get a little cranky," she lies. "But I really should be going. It was nice seeing you again." She smiles at her, a genuine smile. 

 

Nicole smiles back at her. "Yeah, you too, Waverly." 

 

Waverly gets into her jeep and speeds home, going well over the speed limit the whole time. She parks her car in the driveway and glances at the clock, it reads 7:19. Her heart drops, she knows Champ is going to be waiting for her, standing in front of the door. She just hopes that her excuse is believable.

 

She grabs her purse and slings it over her shoulders as she walks to the door. She takes a deep breath and opens it and just as she predicted, Champ was standing there, beer next to him on the counter, arms crossed and a scowl across his face. 

 

"Waverly," he says with a calm but dangerous tone. "You're late." 

 

"I know," Waverly admits as she hangs up her purse, she tries to keep to voice as steady and calm as possible. "I'm sorry, Champ. Gus last minute wanted me to clean out the tap. I was going to text you but my phone was in the break room."

 

Champ scoffs at her and shakes his head as she looks down at the ground. He unfolds his arms and walks over to her, hovering over her as he pushes her against the wall. He stared her down with an icy stare, his cheeks and neck were becoming increasingly red and he was clenching his jaw so hard Waverly was afraid it was going to break. 

 

"You're late, I told you not to be late. I had dinner ready for us, we were going to eat together. But now it's just you eating tonight. If you had just texted me I would've known that you were going to be late and waited. But I wasn't sure when you were going to come home if you were even going to come home, Lord only knows with how careless you've been lately. If you would've just texted me, I wouldn't have eaten all alone" 


"I'm sorry, Champ," she whimpers.

 

"Next time, you walk the 300 feet to the break room and send me a text," he growls. "Got it?"

 

Waverly nods fervently. 

 

He continues to stare at her, narrowing his lips and his eyes bulging. 

 

Waverly's anxiety grew as he continued to stare at her. She was unsure of what his next moves were going to be and that terrified her. 

 

But seconds later his icy cold stare turned into a smile as he kisses her on the cheek. 

 

Waverly wants to let out a sigh of relief, but holds in and stands there, letting Champ embrace her. The mixture of his strong cologne and beer breath makes her nostrils sting. 

 

"I made your favorite vegan lasagna," he says calmly as she walks back towards the kitchen. He opens the oven door and slips on an oven mitt and takes out the huge pan of steaming food. 

 

"And The Bachelor is on tonight. You can go watch, I'll fix you a plate." 

 

Waverly smiles. "You hate that show."

 

Champ shrugs. "It's not to bad." 

 

She walks over to the living room and finds that Champ had cleaned it, there weren't any more beer bottles, the ashtray clean and magazines organized nicely on the shelf under the coffee table. And the best part, it smelled clean, too. 

 

She sits down and relief immediately shoots all over her body. She didn't realize just how much everything ached. Guess working an eight-hour shift on your feet all day could do that to someone.  

 

"Here, Wave," Champ says as she hands her a plate of lasagna, a fork, and a napkin. "Careful, it's hot."

 

"Thank you." 

 

Champ sits next to her and wraps an arm around her shoulder, Waverly lets herself cuddle up next to Champ, feeling the warmth of his embrace. He places a soft kiss to the top of her head and they cuddle as she takes small bites of her food. 

 

When Champ does thoughtful things like this, it brings Waverly back to the start of their relationship, when everything was good, when Waverly could be late and everything would be alright. These calm periods with Champ made Waverly feel like she's just barely enough, and these periods are what she desires from him. The appeasement, the approval, the pleasure Waverly felt when she had done something right. 

 

Waverly hoped and prayed for good and peaceful times with Champ, and when she got them, they were so fulfilling and everything felt so right. Those tender and intimate moments were rare, and Waverly craved them. She knew that she wasn't this much of a failure or a fuck up that she could never please Champ. So there had to be another positive moment, there just had to be. 

 


 

A week had passed since they saw each other in the bar and Waverly was back at Nicole's helping her unpack more boxes. Nicole finally had furniture and now all that was left was unpacking all the house decorations. 

 

"Oh, I almost forgot!" Waverly says as she gets up from Nicole's new three-piece sectional gray couch. She grabs her keys out of her purse and heads for the front door, a smile forming across her face. 

 

"Waverly?"

 

"Just hold on, I got a surprise for you!" she calls over her shoulder. 

 

Nicole leans back against the couch and watches the front door. 

 

Waverly reappears moments later with a bag in hand, the sound of pots and pans clanking around. 

 

"What's that?" Nicole asks as she follows Waverly into the kitchen. 

 

"It's... pots and pans and utensils!" Waverly exclaims with a giggle as she starts to take everything out of the bag. 

 

"What?!" Nicole chuckles back. 

 

"I know you're still living off of takeout and fast food and that can be pretty expensive after a while. And I noticed you still hadn't gone out and gotten them so I thought I'd do it for you. I know you've been busy." Waverly looks up from the kitchen table covered in cookware and looks at Nicole, who was wearing a giant smile. Waverly couldn't help but mimic her facial expression. 

 

"Waverly Earp. You did not have to do this for me!" Nicole walks over to Waverly and pulls her into a hug, but instead of a hug, Waverly hisses in pain. 

 

"Waverly? Are you ok?" Nicole asks, immediately pulling back when she senses she hurt the brunette. 

 

"Yeah, I'm fine, I just bruised my ribs." Waverly clutches the right side of her abdomen but quickly puts a smile on her face, trying to reassure Nicole she's ok. 

 

"Waverly..." 

 

"I'm ok, really! Do you want me to put these away for you?" Waverly goes to grab a pan, but accidentally pushes it onto the floor. When she bends down to get it, her shirt rides up, exposing the dark, blue and purple bruise painted across her ribs. 

 

"Waverly! What happened?!" Nicole rushes over to her side and gently lifts up her shirt to see the full extent of her injury. 

 

"It's nothing, Nicole, really." Waverly stands back up and takes her shirt from Nicole's hand and puts it down. 

 

"Waverly, that is some serious bruise. It's not nothing." Nicole sits her down at the kitchen table and then sits next to her. "Waverly, what happened?" she asks in a softer tone. 

 

"I, uh," Waverly is racking her brain for an excuse, she is having so much trouble thinking of one though. "I tripped the other day, going up the stairs and I landed on my ribs pretty hard." 

 

Nicole shakes her head no. "That just, it's just- it's not right. Waves, that's a serious bruise."

 

"Waves?"

 

Nicole's eyes go wide, realizing she called her by the nickname she only heard her sisters call her. 

 

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that. I can call you Waverly."

 

Waverly gives her a faint smile and places her hand over Nicole's. "No, it's ok. I like it."

 

Nicole gives her a small smile back. "Waverly, please tell me what happened. You can talk to me, I'm all ears." 

 

Waverly took her hand away and looks at her. "I told you, I tripped. I'm fine." 

 

Nicole sighs, she knows she's lying. She can see the pain in her eyes, but she leaves it for now, not quite knowing what's overstepping and what's not. But she doesn't wanna walk that line. 

 

"Let me see it." 

 

Waverly glares at her. "Nicole." 

 

"Let me see it, Waverly," she replies a bit more forceful. 

 

Waverly sighs and rolls her eyes but reluctantly lifts up her shirt. 

 

Nicole bends over to get a better look at it, it's dark and it looks very painful. There are even a few blood blisters. 

 

"That looks angry," Nicole says quietly. "And painful." She gets up and goes to the freezer and pulls out an ice pack. She wraps it in a paper towel and hands it to the brunette, who takes it and sighs in relief when she presses it to her skin. 

 

"Thank you," she mumbles. 

 

Nicole sits back down and leans back against her chair. "Waverly, I'm not going to pressure you into telling me what happened. And I know that you didn't trip going up the stairs," she adds when the brunette opens her mouth to protest. "But please know that I'm here for you, I consider you my friend and I hope you consider me the same. I care about you and I just want to make sure you're ok, that you're safe." 

 

Waverly avoids eye contact as she takes off the ice pack and sets it on the table. She can't lie to Nicole. Besides Chrissy, she started to consider Nicole one of her closest friends. They had done almost everything together the past month. She was starting to really care for Nicole as well and she knew what a kind heart she had. She was finding it so hard to not say what she really wanted to say. Nicole was just so easy to talk to, but she had to keep her mouth shut. 

 

"I'm ok, Nicole," Waverly lies to her in a kind tone, making eye contact. "Truly. I really appreciate that you're there for me. And I do consider you a friend, a good friend and I care about you, too. You're very sweet, Nicole." She smiles at her and grabs her hand and intertwines them. "I need to get going, but thank you." She stands up to leave but not before placing a soft kiss on Nicole's cheek. 

 

Nicole watches as she walks out the door. She is a little offended that Waverly just lied straight to her face. But she could see Waverly was hurting, physically and emotionally. Waverly was pained, it was written all over her face and ironically, all over her body. She didn't want to push anything, but something wasn't right.

 

What was Nicole supposed to do? She did not know Champ well enough to call him out on anything, but she had an assumption and her gut was telling her, screaming at her that she was right. But Nicole didn't have a place to say anything, she was the newbie to Purgatory after all. 

Chapter Text

"Nicole, you're getting flour everywhere!" Waverly exclaims as she giggles at Nicole. 

 

"Well, don't just stand there! Help me out!" Nicole flashes her dimples and flicks a bit of flour towards the brunette. 

 

Nicole and Waverly were currently at Nicole's house. She was attempting to make her family's top-secret cookie recipe, but instead of baking, the two were getting a little distracted by each other. Nicole's apron and part of her shirt were covered in flour. Waverly, on the other hand, was nice and clean, except for the little flour that Nicole flicked into her hair. 

 

"Oh, you did not just do that!" 

 

"I believe I did!" Nicole smirks at her as she grabs a wet rag and cleans the flour-covered kitchen top. 

 

Waverly reaches for the kitchen towel and winds it up and snaps it against Nicole's ass, causing the redhead to turn around and glare at her. She's silently patting herself on the back for doing such an excellent job for being in a cast. 

 

"Now I know you did not just do that," Nicole grumbles, reaching for the other kitchen towel that was over her shoulder. 

 

Waverly smirks at her as she twirls the end of the towel in her hand as she struts away to sit back down on the stool. But before she can get there, Nicole smacks her right back in the ass. 

 

"Oh, so that's how it's going to be?" Waverly winds the green towel back up in her hand and whips it at Nicole, nailing her right on the arm. 

 

Nicole winces in pain, but that quickly dissipates when she gets Waverly back, whacking her on the thigh. Nicole goes to wind up the towel again, but she accidentally ends up knocking over the egg carton. Fits of laughter erupt from both of them as they both bend down to clean up the mess they made. 

 

"Well, guess there won't be any cookie making today," Nicole says as she throws the messy carton in the trash. 

 

"And who's fault is that?" Waverly asks as a cocky smile forms on her face. 

 

"I believe it's yours, Miss Earp," Nicole retorts, throwing the last few eggshells in the trash. She stands up and smiles at her, a smile that Waverly can't help but admire. Whenever Nicole would smile, Waverly couldn't help but smile back. 

 

"Well, I did enjoy our little towel fight." 

 

"I'm impressed by how good you are at that, Waves." 

 

Waverly blushes at the nickname that Nicole has now decided to call her. Everything little thing the redhead seemed to send butterflies to Waverly's stomach and she wasn't quite sure why. 

 

"Well, when you have a sister like Wynonna," Waverly mumbles as she sits back down and watches Nicole clean up the kitchen. Nicole was sporting a tank top that day which really showed off the definition and tone of her arms. And Waverly certainly wasn't complaining. 

 

"Like what you're seeing?" Nicole asks with a raised eyebrow. 

 

Waverly looks away and bites her lip in an attempt to hide a smile. "I just didn't realize how... jacked you are." 

 

Nicole chuckles. "I wouldn't say jacked, but I do work out every morning." 

 

"Well it is nice to look at, I will not lie to you, Nicole Haught." 

 

Nicole looks down on the counter to try and hide the redness creeping up on her cheeks. 

 

"I believe I could say the same about you." 

 

Waverly rolled her eyes playfully. "I don't think so."

 

Nicole smiles at her, noting how quickly her smile dropped when she complimented her. It makes her heart hurt knowing Waverly thought she wasn't worth much when Nicole knew that Waverly was just the opposite. 

 

"What?" Waverly asks, raising her eyebrow. 

 

"Nothing." 

 

"You're lying."

 

"No, I'm not."

 

"Ok, now I know that you're lying."

 

Nicole sighs and leans back against the stove, facing Waverly, who was sitting at the counter. 

 

"It's just; I hate that you think so little of yourself. You're worth so much more than you think."

 

Waverly nods and looks away. She doesn't believe what Nicole is saying. She was always making mistakes, coming home late, and it seemed she could never please anyone, especially not Champ. She knew that she was a shitty sister and a shitty friend. Why did she even bother? 

 

"Waverly-" 

 

Nicole gets cut off by the ding then went off from Waverly's phone. 

 

Waverly grabbed her phone from her pocket and saw a text from Champ. 

 

[Champ- 2:35 PM:] Get home, now😡 

 

Waverly's face drops as a million thoughts ran through her mind. Why was Champ mad? What was she going to be coming home to? Was she going to end up with more marks and bruises? 

 

"I gotta go," Waverly says sheepishly. She quickly takes off the apron but makes an effort to fold it and set it on the counter. 

 

"What? Why?" Nicole asks. "I didn't upset you, did I? Because that certainly wasn't my intention." 

 

Waverly smiles at her with sad eyes. "No, you didn't promise. I just have to get going." She walks past her and grabs her purse and coat resting on the armchair in the living room. "I'm sorry, but we can make cookies another time." 

 

Waverly throws on her coat and quickly walks past Nicole again and heads for the door. 

 

"Waverly, wait." Nicole goes after her and gently grabs her hand, pulling her back. "Is everything alright? Why do you have to go so suddenly?"

 

"Nicole!" she spits out. 

 

Nicole is taken aback by Waverly's harsh tone. 

 

"I- I'm sorry Nicole. I really can't stay, I have to go." 

 

"Waverly what is up?! Something on that phone obviously upset you, will you please tell me what it is? I don't like seeing you upset," Nicole says softly, stepping between her and the door. 

 

"Nicole, I have to go, will you please move?" Waverly retorts while crossing her arms. 

 

"No, not until you tell me what's wrong," Nicole says mimicking her arms. 

 

"Nicole!" Waverly threw her arms in the air in frustrated and turned around, taking a few steps back. She ran her fingers through her hair and took a deep breath before turning back around to face the redhead who was still guarding the door. 

 

"Waverly," Nicole says sympathetically. "Please, I'm here for you and I'm not going to judge you. But you're starting to really worry me." 

 

Waverly shakes her head and glares her for a second before turning away to glare at the wall. 

 

"You have new injuries almost every day, you have bruises and marks and cuts all along your body that you try to hide. Waverly that black eye and broken wrist is not from hiking and the bruise on your ribs is not from falling on the stairs, and those are the only injuries I've seen so far. I mean you never seem happy or excited to talk about Champ, your boyfriend of five years. I mean if I were in a relationship for that long and talked so highly of him to others like you do, I'd be thrilled to talk about them. And on top of that you rarely ever hang out with your sisters or aunt, the only person you seem to send the most time with is Champ and now recently, me. And you always rush out of places, like you're almost terrified of going home late. The last two times I've met you at the bar and right now, you rush outta there so fast. Waverly, I know something isn't right." 

 

Nicole takes a deep breath before continuing. "Waverly is Champ, is he," she pauses, her voice barely above a whisper. "Is he abusing you?" 

 

Waverly's vacant stare turns into a death glare as she looks up at Nicole, looking her straight in the eyes. "What did you just say?" she says bitterly. 

 

"Please don't make me say it again." Her voice is quiet and breathy. 

 

"Nicole you don't know anything," Waverly with a hostile tone, her voice dripping with anger. "My relationship with Champ is none of your business."

 

"That's not the point, the point is you're hurting, physically and emotionally. It's written all over your face and your body. Waverly, you are hurting, I wish you could see that! It pains me to see you so broken! If you're being abused and something ends up happening to you and I..." her voice cracks. " And I wasn't brave enough to say something, I would never be able to forgive myself."

 

"Champ and I are fine, you know absolutely nothing, Nicole! How dare you accuse him of something like that! You are the newbie here in Purgatory when everyone here has known each other since they were in diapers, and you have the audacity to go and think that you know everything?! You don't, Nicole! You don't so just leave it the hell alone!" 

 

Waverly's tone is sharp and hostile, and Nicole for the life of her cannot figure out why Waverly is defending him. 

 

"Waverly don't dare tell me what I do and not know! I know what abuse looks like that you're a walking billboard advertising 'Hey, I'm Waverly Earp and I'm being abused.' Waverly, you're not safe with him! He's hurting you emotionally and physically, why can't you see that?!" Nicole asks, almost trying to plead with her. 

 

Waverly scoffs. "God what is wrong with you?! You- you don't know anything!" 

 

"Wow, is that the best excuse you can come up with?! You know damn well that I'm right." 

 

"Ugh! God Nicole, You know nothing about me or Champ, you haven't even met Champ, you have no right to accuse him of abuse!" Waverly ran her hands through her hair as Nicole took a step closer. 

 

"Look, I know that I haven't met him, you're right about that. But from the way you talk about and how much your sisters hate him, why are you even with that bastard?" Nicole lowered her voice, but it was still very firm. 

 

"Because I love him and he loves me."

 

Nicole rolls her eyes and grits her teeth. "Bullshit! He does not love you, Waverly, he's brainwashing you, gaslighting you, he's a manipulating piece of ass! And you don't realize it because he's good at it!" 

 

"Are you blind, Nicole? Champ loves me if has he stayed with me for almost five years? Why has he bought me nice things and done nice things for me before if he 'doesn't love me' ?!"

 

"Waverly that isn't love! That is power! He has stayed with you for that long because he has power over you, he has all the control! Love doesn't hit or punch, love doesn't call you names and put you down!"

 

Waverly squints at her and crosses her arms again, taking a step closer to Nicole. "Wow, you really think you fucking know everything don't you?!" 

 

"Well let's see Waverly, did your relationship start out nice, did he say nice things to you and flatter you? Did he buy your dinner and take you out places, maybe surprise you with a picnic in the park while you were at work?" 

 

Waverly felt her heart drop, just a little, it felt like something was pulling it down. She hated that Nicole had been so far about their relationship starting off well, where Champ treated her like anyone should treat a woman. But she kept her face resolute, not wanting Nicole to sense her vulnerability and attack.  

 

"But then, just went you thought things were perfect he started getting more aggressive, insulting you more, blaming you, making you feel guilty even when it wasn't your fault?"

 

Waverly watched as Nicole a few steps closer, inches away from her and hovering over her. 

 

"Just stop me when I'm wrong, here," Nicole said, looking her right in the eye. 

 

Waverly glared at her, her eyes alit with flame. "Fuck you, Nicole," she spat, brushing past her towards the front door. "God, now I get why your life slept with another woman," she added, turning around just as she was reaching for the door. "You're a nosey, self-righteous bitch. Don't come near me again and don't ever talk to me again. Just do yourself a favor and leave me the hell alone."

 

And with that, Waverly stormed out the front door, making an effort to slam the door behind her. 

 

And Nicole stood there, completely dumbfounded, completely unsure of what the hell just happened. All she wanted to do was fix it and make sure Waverly was ok and that Champ would never lay a hand on her again. But now, what the hell was she to do? There was no actual evidence against Champ, Waverly never admitted he hit her, and Nicole couldn't go off a hunch; which meant that Champ would continue to hurt and abuse her and there was absolutely nothing that Nicole could do.

 


 

It had been a week since Nicole and Waverly's big fight and the brunette was making a hell of an effort to avoid her. She would cross the street if she saw the redhead was on the same side of the street and she'd always see Waverly waiting until Nicole exited the station to go and visit her sisters. 

 

Nicole was making an effort too, but not for her own satisfaction. She didn't want to bother or upset Waverly she already felt like shit for what happened a week prior. So Nicole didn't go to the bar, she didn't go anywhere that Waverly could be. She avoided that café they had went to for lunch, she actually went grocery shopping so she wouldn't have to go out and chance running into Waverly. She did not want that to happen. 

 

Ok. 

 

Maybe she was a little mad at Waverly. But only because Waverly couldn't see her worth and she still chose to be in a relationship with someone so awful. Nicole was angry that Waverly willingly put herself through pain, every day. She desperately wanted to talk to her and fix things and try to get Waverly to get out of that relationship. But she overstepped the last time they talked and she doesn't want to push it. 

 

But now, Nicole had more time to think, more time to reflect now that she wasn't with Waverly almost every day. When they were together Nicole would get reminded that Waverly had a boyfriend. But now they weren't and Nicole missed her. 

 

Waverly may be avoiding her but Nicole wasn't blind. She could see the new bruises and cuts on her body from across the street and through her red jeeps windows and the few brief times they've crossed paths at the station. She could see the pain, the sadness, the loneliness written all over her face. There was always a downward gaze whenever they were within a few hundred feet of each other. Waverly was embarrassed, but Nicole wasn't quite sure why. Her stare became more and more empty each time Nicole saw her. 

 

And she didn't even want to know what Champ had done to her since she was late coming home from her house. 

 

And each time it split Nicole's heart right in two. She can't stand seeing the brunette so beaten down and broken, it physically pains her. It felt like a part of her was wrong, like a part of her was missing now that she didn't have Waverly in her life anymore. Nicole had suppressed her feelings for her, knowing that she was in a relationship with Champ, but now that the brunette was gone and refused to talk to her, she realized just how much she was falling for her and just how much she missed her. 

 

Nicole had to do something, Waverly was breaking down more and more each day. Nicole would never be able to live with herself if something ever happened to brunette just because she was too weak to stand up to the brunette and make her uncomfortable. If that meant getting her face and yelling at her to get her to realize that she was being abused and hurt, that she was so much more than she ever knew, that she deserved so much better, then so be it. 

 

If she couldn't get Waverly to talk to her at the Shorty's, on the streets or at the station, then she had to be proactive and get Waverly in a place where she couldn't escape- her house. 

Chapter Text

Nicole pulled into Waverly's driveway, ready to try and talk some sense into the brunette. She sat there for a moment, thinking of what she was going to say. 

 

"I should've thought about what I wanted to say before I got here," Nicole mumbled to herself. 

 

However, that wouldn't make much of a difference and the redhead damn well knew that that. But she was determined to get Waverly to talk to her. Nicole couldn't bear seeing Waverly so broken any longer. Nicole's heart ached for Waverly and she couldn't let this fester anymore. 

 

She took a big breath in and stepped out of her police cruiser. The first thing that hit her senses was the sound of muffled screams coming from inside the house, it sounded like both Waverly and Champ. 

 

Nicole could feel her heart rate pick up as she ran to the front door. She grabbed her radio and called into the station for backup before she attempted to get into the house. 

 

"Waverly?!" she screamed out in a panicked voice as she grabbed the front door to open it, only to realize it was locked. She jiggled the doorknob a few times but to no avail, the door wouldn't open. 

 

"I want you home on time! I swear if you were hanging out with that ginger butch cop again I'll do much worse to you!" She hears from Champ scream.

 

"Ginger butch cop... me?" The realization hit Nicole like a freight train. Waverly was in there getting beaten because of her. 

 

"You didn't tell her what goes on around here, did you?!? His voice grew louder and angrier. 

 

A loud thump caused Nicole to full-on panic, her heartbeat was ringing in her ears and she could barely think straight. But she did the only thing she could seem to remember from her police training. 

 

She pulled out her gun from the holster and kick open the door. 

 

"HANDS ON YOUR HEAD, NOW!" Nicole bellowed. "DROP YOUR WEAPON!" 

 

Champ paused and looked at her, he was hovering over a bloody piece of broken wood, presumably from the coffee table. Waverly was on the floor in a ball, covered in blood, she had another black eye and blood was coming from her mouth and nose, she was clutching her stomach as if it pained her. From what Nicole could see there were even more cuts on gashes on her arms and she looked absolutely terrified and the most broken Nicole had ever seen her.

 

He turned back at Waverly with wide eyes and nostrils flaring. 

 

"And now you go and call the cops on me?!" his voice rising with each word he spoke. He brought the piece of wood up higher as if he was going to hit Waverly again. 

 

"I SAID HANDS ON YOUR HEAD!" Nicole screams at him. 

 

Champ looks at her and laughs sadistically. He turns to Waverly and raises the piece of wood and drops it, aiming for Waverly's head; but before he could hit her Nicole shot him, sending him stumbling backward. 

 

As if on cue, Lonnie and Dolls arrive. 

 

"Oh, my," Dolls mumbles to himself. 

 

He and Lonnie exchange glances as they go and arrest Champ. But Nicole is too worried about Waverly to even think about Champ. 

 

She returns the gun back to its holster and runs over to Waverly's side and kneels next to her, not caring that her pants are being stained with blood and other bodily fluids. 

 

"Waverly," she whispers, her voice cracking with emotion. She could feel the tears well up in her eyes. "Oh, Waves." Now she is sure that her heart is absolutely broken. How could someone ever be so cruel? How was it humanly possible?

 

Waverly turns her head just the slightest to look at Nicole, revealing just how bloodied and swollen her face is. Nicole watches a few tears roll down her face and she is still tightly clutching her stomach. "I- I- I'm s-sorry, Nicole," she chokes out, the words barely escaping her blood-stained mouth. 

 

"Shh," Nicole coos, running her fingers through Waverly's sweat-dampened hair. "It's ok, Waverly. It's all going to be ok, you're safe now, I'm not ever going to let him hurt you again." 

 

The sight was truly horrific and all Nicole wants to do cry, cry for Waverly, and cry for the world, for all the other victims that go through this. She truly couldn't fathom how someone could ever do this. How could Champ ever do this to someone as sweet as Waverly? Everything about Waverly was just so broken and it broke Nicole's heart. 

 

Waverly nods the best she can and closes her eyes, letting Nicole comfort her. She can feel herself falling asleep, succumbing to the mental and physical fatigue she had suffered through in the past five years. 

 


 

Waverly opens her eyes to see her sisters and Aunt Gus, asleep with their heads laying on her hospital bed, except for Nicole, who was keeping her distance sitting on a chair against the wall across from her bed. Everyone was fast asleep and no one looked comfortable. 

 

She looked down at herself, seeing that her left leg was in a cast and so was her right arm, and she was instantly met with an aching pain all over her body, but specifically her ribs. She slowly lifted her hospital gown, every muscle in her body screaming at her not to. 

 

Waverly sees her abdomen in a very light brace, she gently lifts it up, revealing the dark purple and blue bruise painted all across her abdomen. She feels like crying, all these emotions hitting her at once. She's not too sure what to feel at all.

 

She hisses in pain as she puts her gown back down, which wakes her sister Wynonna, and within seconds everyone starts to stir from their sleep. 

 

"Waverly, you're awake," Wynonna says, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. 

 

Waverly gives her a sad smile but doesn't say anything. 

 

"How are you feeling, sweetie?" Willa asks, gently touching her leg in a comforting manner. 

 

"Are you in any pain?" Gus asks, grabbing her hand and gently squeezing it. 

 

Waverly nods her head yes. 

 

"I'll get the doctor," Gus says as she gets up from her seat to walk out the door. 

 

"Do you want anything?" Wynonna asks. "The cafeteria food tastes like a dog threw it up, ate it, and then shit it out; but we can run to the café if you want." 

 

Waverly can't help but smile at her sister's sense of humor. 

 

"Do you want ice chips?" Willa asks, chiming in. "That might be a little easier than solid food, at least for right now." 

 

Waverly nods but doesn't say anything. 

 

Wynonna gets up leans down and places a soft kiss to Waverly's head. She smiles down at her, her eyes full of guilt.

 

"Love you, babygirl." 

 

Waverly smiles at her and squeezes her hand, "Love you, too," she croaks, her voice hoarse from sleeping so long. 

 

Willa walks over and places a kiss to her head as well, cupping her face as she looks down at her. "We'll be back in two shakes." 

 

Waverly does nothing more than smile at her sisters as they walk out the door. 

 

And with everyone out of the room- it's time to face the music. 

 

Waverly hesitantly looks over at Nicole, who was currently looking back at her with a sympathetic smile. 

 

"Hi," she croaks. 

 

"Hi."

 

Both are unsure of what to do or say next, but Nicole decides to make the first move. 

 

She gets up and sits in the seat where Gus was sitting. 

 

"How are you feeling?" 

 

"Like I was beaten senseless by Champ Hardy." 

 

Nicole furrows her eyebrows and glares at her. 

 

"Too soon?" she asks sheepishly, a guilty smile slowly creeping on her face. 

 

Nicole can't help but smile back. "Yes," she mutters. "But I'm glad that you still that sense of humor, I've always loved that about you," she says senselessly. 

 

Waverly blushes at Nicole's compliment. Normally she'd argue her on it as she never agreed with any compliment Nicole had given her. But she was too tired and too hopped up on drugs to say anything. And maybe it had a little to do with the fact that Nicole had practically saved her life. 

 

"Well, how are you feeling? I mean, I'm sure what you witnessed wasn't easy," she mumbled. 

 

Nicole shook her head and sighed. She leaned forward and took Waverly's hand in her own. She looked up into those hazel eyes and choked back tears, she had to stay strong for the brunette. "I'm fine, I'm just glad that you're ok." 

 

"Me, too." 

 

Nicole wasn't going to say anything, she really wasn't, but she didn't think it was physically possible to keep her mouth shut any longer. "Waverly, I'm so sorry for how I said what I said when I was at your house."

 

"No, it's ok. I mean, you weren't exactly wrong," Waverly mumbles. "Is that why you were coming to my house? To apologize?"

 

Nicole nods. "Waverly, I-"  

 

"Waverly, sweetie, the doctor's here," Gus announces as she walks into the room. 

 

Nicole quickly rips her hand from Waverly's and stands up, giving the doctor and her aunt as much room as possible. 

 

It hurt Waverly a little by how fast Nicole had taken her hand back. But she didn't have time to process since the doctor was already standing at her bedside. 

 

"Waverly, I'm Doctor Hunt and this is Doctor Torres." All three shook hands before anyone continued.

 

"You suffered some pretty serious injuries there Ms. Earp," Dr. Hunt said as he flipped through her chart. "You fractured 3 ribs, and your arm and leg are broken, and you suffered some minor bleeding of your spleen. But no worries as we both were able to operate."

 

"Both?"

 

"Yes," Dr. Torres chimed in. "When you first came in you were awake, but barely, and the break-in your leg was so severe that it would've been excruciatingly painful to do the procedure when we were awake." 

 

Waverly nodded, processing this information as best she can. She looks over at Nicole, who was standing at the foot of her bed looking at the doctors with her arms crossed. She looked conflicted and Waverly couldn't help but feel a little guilty. 

 

"How long until she can go home?" Gus asks. 

 

"About a week, give her incisions time to heal before we send her home. Ms. Earp are you in any pain right now?"

 

Waverly nodded. 

 

"We'll get a nurse in to put some more in your IV, but for right now, try and get some rest ok?" Dr. Hunt said. 

 

Waverly nodded again. 

 

"We got ice chips!" Wynonna exclaimed loudly as she and Willa enter the room. 

 

"Thanks guys," Waverly said softly, taking the cup that Wynonna had put some ice chips in. 

 

"Can she go home tonight?" Willa asks, sitting on the bed next to Waverly's feet. 

 

"No, doctors said she can't go home for about a week."

 

"A week?!" both sisters say in shock simultaneously. 

 

Gus nods. "She needed surgery because her spleen was bleeding and I guess the break in her leg was really bad." 

 

"We're sorry, babygirl," Willa said sympathetically, the pain in her eyes was very noticeable. "We're sorry we didn't know and we're sorry we ever let this happen to you." 

 

Waverly shakes her head no. "No, it's ok-"

 

"No it's not," Wynonna cuts in. "Waverly, we're your older sisters, we're supposed to protect you and we failed. If we had known this was going on we would've put his ass in jail a long time ago."

 

"Jail? He's in jail?"

 

"Well of course," Gus chimes in. "Nicole witnessed it herself, but we can't do anything until you-"

 

"I'm not doing anything," Waverly cuts her off harshly. "You need to let him out of jail, I'll pay bail." 

 

Wynonna scoffs. "It's been twelve hours, we're past paying bail now, now we go to trial." 

 

"What?! He's a good man! He just got angry, he doesn't deserve this!"

 

"The hell he doesn't! Babygirl, open your eyes," Wynonna mocks. "He's an asshole, disgusting human being who should be locked up forever, he most definitely deserves it!" 

 

"Then I'm not pressing charges," Waverly says angrily.

 

"Waverly, he deserves to be in jail for what he did to you, he did a horrible thing!" Willa says.

 

"Good thing it's not your decision to make. Y'know, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you," her eyes narrowing on Nicole, who was standing there watching Waverly and Wynonna go back and forth. 

 

"W-what?" Nicole asks in shock. 

 

"Waverly," Gus says in a warning tone. 

 

"If you hadn't come over to my house to apologize for being such a shit ticket then we wouldn't be here," Waverly said bitterly. "And Champ wouldn't be in jail!" 

 

"Waverly you would be dead," Willa says shakily, her lower lip quivering. "If she hadn't come to your house that day you'd be dead." 

 

Waverly glares at her sister and then glares back at Nicole. "Get out, Nicole," her voice low but full of spite and anger. 

 

"Waverly that's not fair and you know it," Gus says softly. 

 

"Get out, Nicole," she says again, her voice a little louder than the last time. 

 

"Waverly," Nicole breathes out. 

 

"Get out!" she yells, her face becoming redder by the minute. 

 

Nicole nods and quickly exits the hospital room, completely distraught that Waverly doesn't want to see her. All she wanted to do was help her, but now the brunette doesn't even want to see her. Nicole can feel herself getting a little angry. She practically saved her life and this is how she was being treated? Nicole thought she was someone who she thought was so beautiful, both internally and externally; someone who deserved the world. Why couldn't Waverly see that? Why couldn't she see just how much Nicole cared about her?

 

"Waverly that was so uncalled for," Wynonna quips, plopping herself down in a chair.

 

"I'm not pressing charges and you can't stop me." Waverly avoids eye contact with all of them and glares at the wall. 

 

"Ok, but Nicole saw the whole thing and I can promise you with the heart she has she'll be testifying," Gus says. 

 

Waverly slumps back down in her hospital, staring at the ceiling, just hoping that this nightmare will end. 

Chapter Text

"How could we not know this was happening?" Wynonna asked Willa as she downed another glass of whiskey. 

 

"I know," Willa said with a shake of the head. "I feel so guilty." 

 

"I knew Champ was an asshat when I met the bastard," Wynonna mumbled as she poured herself another glass of whiskey, the anger in herself rising. "I knew and I still did nothing."

 

"C'mon you two," Gus scolded. "This is no one's fault but Champ's. And y'all both know Waverly wouldn't want you doing this to yourselves."

 

"We're awful sisters" Waverly heard from Willa's mouth while slowly walking into the kitchen on her crutch under her left arm. 

 

To say Waverly felt awful was an understatement. She was already feeling guilty enough for snapping at Nicole when Nicole was only trying to do the right thing. And on top of that, she felt like a burden to her family, the homestead was small enough as it is and now she added another person. To make matters worse her sisters were feeling guilty because of her problem. Champ was her problem and she couldn't let her family feel guilty for it. 

 

Waverly had moved back to the homestead because of the events prior and she'd been home for about a week. She hadn't seen the redhead since she was kicking her out of her hospital room two weeks ago. She felt horrible for snapping at her when she was only trying to help. The more days past the more Waverly felt herself missing the redhead, yearning for her and her sweet smell of vanilla dipped donuts. She missed being called 'Waves' and she missed the redhead's gentle touch, the softness of her hands making Waverly's heart stop. 

 

Nicole had grown to have a special place in the brunette's heart, even if she couldn't admit it to herself. Nicole was just so caring, so much more caring than Champ could ever be and she was so kind, she never once made Waverly feel ashamed to be her true self. She was so sweet and so gentle with her, especially when it came to her injuries, not once making her feel embarrassed about it and her words were even kinder. She never once said anything bad about Waverly or her being in her relationship with Champ. She never said anything about how Waverly had been avoiding her family. And truthfully Waverly couldn't even understand herself why she was so awful to Nicole, someone who had been there for her and never judged, someone who had come to mean so much to her. 

 

She found herself replaying every moment they spent together in her head, trying to feel again what the redhead had made her feel. She wasn't quite sure what to call it, but whatever it was it felt a hell of a lot better than whenever she was with Champ. Nicole gave her butterflies, every time they were together, but what was she to make of that feeling? 

 

 

"I can't believe you've never seen 'The Shining' " Nicole said as she plopped down on the couch and handed Waverly a beer. 

 

Nicole's new couch and tables had officially arrived and Nicole had invited Waverly over to see a movie, and she specifically suggested 'The Shining' knowing that the brunette told her she had never seen it. 

 

Waverly giggled. "Sorry, I'm just not one for horror movies." 

 

"Well, I will be here to protect you, you big baby," Nicole teased, a smirk forming on her lips.

 

"Ah, my Haught in shining armor." 

 

Nicole smiled at her and took a sip of her beer as she pressed play. She put her feet up on the coffee table and draped one arm over the back of the couch. She wasn't expecting Waverly to take the spot directly next to her, but she did. 

 

The brunette scootched closer to her, folding her legs and sitting on her feet. She made her way under Nicole's arm and the redhead couldn't help but notice that their thighs were touching. It was so simple, yet it sent a shock of electricity through Waverly's body. The most surprising part? It all felt right. They weren't cuddling by any means, but Waverly still felt something, something good. 

 

Waverly didn't mean to fall asleep, she really didn't. But the next thing she knew she woke up with Nicole's arm wrapped around her and her head leaning on Nicole's shoulder. She opened her eyes to see the movie still playing and an empty beer bottle, which she assumed was Nicole's, on the coffee table. 

 

"Morning, sunshine," Nicole said, setting her beer down on the side table next to her. "How'd you sleep?" She kept her arm around Waverly but loosened her grip. 

 

Waverly sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. 

 

"I guess I didn't realize how tired I was. Sorry for falling asleep on you," she said with a yawn.

 

"Don't worry about it," Nicole said nonchalantly. "I guess a full day of unpacking could do that to ya."

 

Waverly grabbed her phone that was sitting on the coffee table and checked the time, it was almost five o'clock, which meant she had spent almost all day at Nicole's. 

 

"I'm getting hungry, I was going to go to Perk, you wanna join me? They had a really good vegan quinoa bowl."

 

Waverly raised an eyebrow. "You tried a quinoa bowl?"

 

"Yeah," Nicole said bashfully. "I don't know, I guess I wanted to try something vegan for you." 

 

Waverly blushed and felt her lips curl into a smile.

 

"Well, I-"

 

Her phone dinged. 

 

[Champ- 4:57 PM:]   Staying at Stephen's

 

[Champ- 4:57 PM:]   Be home tomorrow 

 

"I'd love to get dinner with you," Waverly breathed out, her lips forming into a genuine smile, again. 

 

"We can take the Camaro," Nicole said with a wink. 

 

Waverly smiled for what seemed the hundredth time that day. No matter what, Nicole was just so genuine with just about everything she did and she never failed to put a smile on her face. And it was never forced, everything Waverly felt for Nicole was real. 

 

"Wave. Wa-ver-ly." Wynonna threw her crumpled napkin at the brunette, attempting to get her attention. 

 

"Huh? Oh." Waverly slowly walked herself over to the kitchen table where Gus and her sisters were, putting half of her weight on the crutch to help her walk. She slowly plopped herself down on the kitchen seat. 

 

"Thinkin' about Red Haught?" Wynonna said with a smirk. 

 

"Wynonna!" Waverly exclaimed, throwing her hand over her face in embarrassment. 

 

"Oh c'mon Waverly, you're not fooling anyone. We all know how bad you feel about her, especially for being such an ass to her," Willa said, taking a sip of her tea. 

 

Waverly rolled her eyes, looking at Gus for some sympathy. 

 

"Don't look at me darlin'. I'm in the same boat with the rest of 'em." 

 

Waverly rolled her eyes again. "Alright, fine. I feel bad. But It's not like I can just talk to her, she probably never wants to see me again," she mumbles. 

 

"Mm I wouldn't necessarily say that," Wynonna said in a high-pitched voice. "She's asked about you like every day."

 

Waverly perked up a little bit. "Really?"

 

"Yeah. The first thing out of her mouth every morning when we see her is 'How's Waverly?' " Willa says. "She cares about you, babygirl. Way more than you think. And she was there for you when we weren't, she saved your life in more ways than one. So to us," she gestures to the Gus, herself, and Wynonna. "She means everything."  

 

Waverly sighed, knowing all three of them were right. She missed Nicole, more than she thought she would and it just wasn't in her to not apologize for being an asshole. 

 

Wynonna got up from her seat and grabbed Waverly's phone on the countertop and walked over and slowly handed it to her. 

 

Waverly looked up at her, hesitant to grab the phone. 

 

"Grab the phone," Wynonna chided. 

 

Waverly sighed, but reluctantly grabbed the phone and stared at it like it was going to bite her. 

 

"We'll be in the living room, watching Willa's shitty HGTV," Wynonna quips.

 

"Oh please, Nonna, you know that you love 'em," Willa says, following Gus into the living room. 

 

Waverly nodded and watched them walk into the living room, before staring back at the phone. She took a few deep breaths before unlocking her phone and pulling up Nicole's contact. She stares at her contact card for a minute but she finally works up the courage to press the dial button.

 

She holds her breath as she hears the phone ringing, anxiously expecting Nicole's voicemail. She wouldn't be surprised if Nicole was ignoring her. 

 

But after the third ring, she hears a voice. 

 

"Hello? Waves?"

 

Waverly feels a surge of butterflies erupt in her stomach and her heart starts to flutter; her lips curl into a huge smile. 

 

"Nicole, hi." 

 

There are a few seconds of awkward silence before anyone says anything. 

 

"So, um I wanted to apologize for how I treated you back at the hospital. It wasn't fair and I'm really, really sorry. You were only trying to help and I can't even believe that I blamed this whole situation on you. It wasn't your fault and I-"

 

"Waverly, take a deep breath, it's ok," Nicole says kindly.

 

"Really?"

 

"Yes, I know this is a really hard thing to go through, so I'm not mad." 

 

"Well, then why haven't you stopped by?"

 

"Because you didn't want to see me."

 

A pang of guilt washed over Waverly, again. 

 

"And I wanted to respect that. I didn't want to do something that would already make you feel more uncomfortable that I'm sure you're already feeling." 

 

There it was. Just a pure example of how sweet and caring Nicole was. And she never failed to prove it time and time again. Gosh, now Waverly was feeling that thing again.

 

"That was so kind of you, Nicole. But honestly, I miss you." 

 

"I miss you too, Waves." 

 

"Would you wanna come over for dinner or something? My sisters aren't much of cooks and my aunt can barely boil water, but we could always order a pizza or something and keep it super casual. But if you don't want to I totally understand, I was an ass and-"

 

"I'd love to come over for dinner, Waverly," Nicole interrupted gently. "Just name a time and date and I'll be there."

 

"How about tonight around seven?"

 

"Sounds great, I'll see you then, Waverly." 

 

"See you then," Waverly says as she hangs up the phone. The smile she had on her face earlier grew even bigger and she just couldn't stop. 

 

'Gosh, what is Nicole doing to me?' Waverly thinks to herself. 

 

Waverly couldn't ignore these feelings any longer, there was something there for Nicole. Just the thought of her gave her butterflies. Every time she heard her Nicole's voice or every time she touched her. She could feel herself really falling for this redheaded officer, and it absolutely terrified her. 

 


 

Several hours later and there's a knock at the door. 

 

"I got it!" Wynonna says excitedly, jumping at the chance to tease the redhead. 

 

"Haught damn you made it!" she exclaims, punching Nicole not so gently on the arm. "Whoa! Did you bring me flowers?!"

 

Nicole chuckles, rubbing the spot where Wynonna punched her. "Nice to see you too, Earp and no, these are for your sister."

 

"Willa's going to love them," Wynonna says winking at Nicole. She steps aside, signaling that Nicole is welcomed into their home.  

 

"They're for, Waverly you asshole," Nicole retorts stepping into the house. Their home instantly smelled of Waverly and Nicole did not mind one bit. 

 

"The kitchen is around the corner there."

 

Nicole nodded and headed into the kitchen, finding Waverly at the dining room table. Her breath hitched at the sight of the beautiful brunette. She had no makeup on, a baggy sweatshirt, and sweatpants; yet Nicole found her so breathtakingly beautiful. She was certain Waverly Earp was definitely going to be the death of her. 

 

"Nicole," Waverly said softly, a smile playing on her lips. "You made it." 

 

"Of course, I wouldn't miss this for the world," she says innocently. 

 

"Are those for me?" Waverly asks, gesturing towards the bouquet of roses and tulips in her hands. 

 

"Oh yeah, a get well soon gift if you will." Nicole walks over to her and sits down, handing her the bouquet. 

 

"Well Nicole we're delighted to have you," Gus says with a smile as she watched Waverly smell the flowers. 

 

"They're beautiful, Nicole," Willa admires. 

 

"You didn't have to do this," Waverly says. 

 

"Yeah, I bet they were expensive weren't they?" Willa asks. 

 

Nicole shook her head no when in reality they were almost 70 dollars. But Nicole didn't mind, she didn't mind one bit. 

 

"Here, Haught," Wynonna said, handing Nicole a glass of whiskey. 

 

Nicole smiles and thanked her for the drink as all five of them start small talk. Nicole can't help but feel a sense of home while she's with the Earps. Everyone is so welcoming and kind to her, it was something she wasn't used to. And Nicole couldn't help but admire Waverly the whole time. She was just so damn beautiful. Everything about Waverly Earp was captivating. The way she carried herself, the way she spoke with such kindness, and how selfless she was. And her smile, her goddamn smile. Her smile seemed to light up the room, every time Nicole caught a glimpse of Waverly's smile it would send warmness throughout her body. To her, Waverly was perfect. 

 


 

"Nicole?"

 

"Waves? Are you ok?" Nicole asked in a groggy voice. It was 12 in the morning and Nicole had been woken up by her phone ringing. 

 

"Can you come over?" 

 

"Waverly, are you ok? What's going on? Should I call an ambulance?" 

 

"No, I'm fine. It's just- I uh- I don't know where my sisters or Gus are. I think they're at the bar with Gus, I remember her vaguely mentioning how they'd be out late working since there was a birthday party they were hosting. But I'm just... lonely. I just really need someone right now." 

 

Nicole could hear the sadness in her voice, the way she was just yearning for someone to be there for her, to hold her.

 

"I'll be right over," Nicole says, jumping right out of bed and slipping on her sheepskin moccasins. "Do you want me to grab anything while I'm out?"

 

"No, I just need you," Waverly says earnestly. 

 

Nicole's heart swelled at her last comment and God if she wasn't already falling for Waverly Earp. 

 

The drive over to her house was relatively quick considering there was almost no one on the streets. 

 

Nicole walks up to the door, regretting not throwing on sweatpants over her unicorn boxers. She waits for a minute, knowing Waverly might take a little longer since she'd on a crutch. 

 

"Nicole come in," Waverly says, opening the door, slowly moving out of the way to let Nicole in. 

 

"Waves, are you ok? Please tell me what's going on, you're scaring me," Nicole says, stepping into the home.

 

"I just... I missed you and I really needed someone, you don't mind do you? You can go if you don't wanna be here, I know it's 2 AM and you're probably tired."

 

Nicole shook her head. "No, it's ok, I wanna be here," she says with a sleepy smile. 

 

"Can you um, just sit with me?" she asks, gesturing towards the couch. "I'm not ready to go back to bed, quite yet," 

 

"Of course, Waves, whatever you want," Nicole says earnestly as she follows her to the couch. 

 

Waverly sits on the couch, setting the crutch off to the side and carefully elevating the leg that's in the cast, placing it on the coffee table in front of her. She pats the seat next to her, inviting her to sit. 

 

Nicole happily obliges and sits, putting her legs on the table. But that's all she does, she sits. She doesn't wanna push Waverly so she's letting her lead the way. If she wants to do more than sit than Nicole is all in. 

 

Waverly grabs the remote from the coffee table and turns on Netflix. "You ever watched 'Grey's Anatomy'?" Waverly asks. 

 

"Nope." 

 

Waverly gasps, feigning shock. "Nicole Haught you've never watched Grey's?!"

 

"No," Nicole says, a smile slowly forming across her lips. 

 

"Well, that's gotta change," Waverly says, restarting the show to the first episode. 

 

Nicole averts attention from Waverly to the TV, but seconds later quietly hears Waverly's voice. 

 

"Can I lay my head on your shoulder?" Waverly asks softly. 

 

Nicole can't help but smile. "Of course." She holds out her right arm and lets Waverly cuddle up to her side. Waverly lays her head on her shoulder like she asks and wraps her arms around Nicole's waist, which surprised Nicole. But she didn't mind, she only responded by wrapping her arm around Waverly and pulling her closer. 

 

An episode later and Waverly was fast asleep on Nicole's shoulder, almost mirroring the moment that happened on Nicole's couch. And Nicole loved having Waverly cuddled up to her. It was a feeling like no other. Nicole knew that she was seriously falling for this beautiful brunette. But she was scared of falling so much in love with Waverly that one day, she'd be gone and she'd leave her broken-hearted. Waverly had the power to break her, to destroy her; and was the scariest thing Nicole had ever felt. 

 

 

That fateful Thursday was the day Nicole was sure Waverly Earp was going to be the death of her. Everything about her was so, so beautiful. The way her eyes crinkled when she smiled, the way her prescense made her day a hundred times better, how kind she was to everyone she came across. She went above and beyond for the people she cared about and never expected anything in return. Nicole had never met anyone like that.

 

Nicole was realizing just how much Waverly was starting to mean to her, just how important she was becoming her life.

 

Even helping her sisters with the case she was so infatuating, the way she furrowed her eyebrows just a bit when she was really focusing, how she was so focused and so determined to research every little detail. Nicole thought it was adorable. Oh, and the glasses she wore? Forget it. 

 

And it wasn't just how externally beautiful she was; no. It was how internally beautiful she was as well. Waverly had a beautiful mind, she could be deep without meaning to. Nicole felt like she could tell Waverly anything just in the few days they had met. She was such a good listener and Nicole felt heard every time they were together. Waverly never judged her, and that meant the world to Nicole. 

 

"Haught, why are you staring at my babysis?" Wynonna asked with a donut in one hand and a coffee in the other. 

 

Nicole blushed a violent shade of red. "Oh, I thought I saw a fly." 

 

Wynonna squinted at her, trying to see through her sorry attempt at an excuse. "That's a really fuckin' bad excuse there Tater Haught, but I'm feelin' nice today so I won't bother you about it." 

 

Nicole rolled her eyes and smiled at the middle Earp and went back to her work, but not without stopping to glance at the brunette only a 50 feet away from her. 

 

As much as Nicole was falling for Waverly, she couldn't let anyone know. She didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable, not even Waverly. So, for now, she'd have to keep her admiration at a distance; she'd have to keep it subtle. But Waverly was making it so damn hard because everything about her made Nicole's world stop spinning. 

 

"Fuck! That was quite the party," Wynonna exclaimed loudly. 

 

Nicole quickly spun her head around, careful to wake the sleepy Waverly that was asleep on her shoulder. 

 

"Shh," Nicole whispered, bringing her finger to her lips. Glancing down at Waverly and back up at Wynonna. 

 

"Shit sorry," Wynonna said. "Guys be quiet, Waverly is sleeping," she called out to the rest of them who were still in the garage. 

 

Wynonna walked closer and furrowed her brows in confusion. "Why is she asleep... on you?"

 

"She called me," Nicole whispered, looking back down at Waverly to make sure she was still asleep. "She said she didn't want to be alone, so I came over."

 

"Shit, Haught. I gotta say you're a damn good friend."

 

Friend. It stung, Nicole couldn't lie. 

 

"Hey, what's going on?" Willa asked as she walked closer. "Oh?"

 

"What?" Gus whispered, walking up behind them. 

 

"She called me asking if I could come over, I think she was scared to be alone or something." 

 

"Imma hit the sack, but if you wanna get going I'll take her to bed," Wynonna offered.

 

"No, it's ok," Nicole smiled back down at the sleeping beauty who had moved from her shoulder to her lap.

 

"Alright, ginger spice, see you tomorrow," Wynonna said as she headed for the stairs.

 

"We're heading to bed, too. Are you sure, Nicole?" Willa asked. 

 

"Yeah, we can take her if you wanna go home and sleep," Gus chimed in. 

 

"No that's ok, really. I don't mind," Nicole said truthfully. 

 

"Well, goodnight, darlin'," Gus said in her southern drawl, she bent down and gently kissed Nicole on the forehead. 

 

"See you tomorrow morning, Haught," Willa said kindly, following Gus up the stairs. 

 

"G' night."

 

Nicole stayed there but turned the TV off. She just wanted to relish at the moment. Waverly Earp, cuddled up in her lap, asleep. Nicole thought a sleeping Waverly was the most adorable thing she'd ever seen. And boy did she know she was in deep for the brunette. 

 

Nicole had never felt a sense of family or a sense of belonging. But with Waverly, with the Earps, she felt seen, she felt heard, she felt like she belonged. Waverly never failed to make her feel like she wasn't wanted. Nicole used to feel embarrassed about who she was, especially with the mother she grew up with; but with Waverly, she felt like she could unapologetically be herself. Waverly brought out the best in her without even trying. 

 

Nicole's feelings for the brunette were rapidly developing. Waverly was just so pure, so perfect, she was everything to Nicole. 

 

"Mm, I like that," Waverly croaked, sleeping still very much in her throat. 

 

Nicole looked down and didn't even realize that she was slowly running her fingers through Waverly's brunette locks. She smiled at her and rubbed Waverly's temple with her thumb. 

 

"Let's get you to bed yeah?" 

 

Waverly nodded and sat up. Nicole grabbed her crutch and handed it to her, she offered her hand to help her up, which Waverly gladly took. 

 

Nicole helped lead her to the bedroom, which she assumed was the guest bedroom but Waverly's for now since she couldn't go upstairs. The guest bedroom was very plain, the walls were just white and the sheets were baby blue. There were a mirror and a dresser, and some bedside tables but that was it. She left the light off since the moonlight was more than enough to light up the room. 

 

Waverly slowly sat on the side of the bed while Nicole took her crutch and leaned it on the table. 

 

"D'you need help?"

 

Waverly shook her head. "No, I'm good, just slow," she said with a smile. She lifted the covers and slowly swung her legs under the covers. "If you could grab that pillow and put it under the leg though that would be great."

 

Nicole happy grabbed the throw pillow and gently lifted her leg and carefully placed it on the pillow. 

 

"Anything else?"

 

"I'm good. Thank you for coming tonight, I really needed you."

 

Nicole smiled. "I'm glad that I can be that person for you, Waverly. Seriously anytime you need me you call, night or day." 

 

Waverly blushed. "I will."

 

"Goodnight, Waves," Nicole said softly. She turned to head out the door but Waverly stopped her. 

 

"Wait. D'you think you could, um, you could-"

 

"Lay with you?" Nicole interrupted gently, hoping the eagerness in her voice wasn't too noticeable. 

 

Waverly nodded. "If you don't mind, but I totally understand if you want to go home."

 

"Waverly, I'd love to."

 

Nicole headed over to the window and closed the drapes, so the room was completely dark. She then headed over to the other side of the bed, Waverly was watching with rapt attention. Nicole pulled her phone out from her pocket and checked the time, which read 2:03, before placing it on the nightstand. She climbed into bed and laid there, letting Waverly decide what she wants to do. 

 

"Can I cuddle you again?" Waverly asks so innocently. 

 

"Of course, Waves." Nicole moved over to Waverly since it would be hard for her to move with the cast. She left Waverly cuddle into her side, laying her head in the crook between her shoulder blade and breast. She gently wrapped her arm around Waverly's petite figure. 

 

"Thank you, Nicole," Waverly slurred, sleep already taking over. 

 

"Anything for you, Waves. G'night," she says, placing a soft kiss to her head. 

 

Nicole lays there for a while, thinking of how perfect the moment is. Waverly cuddled up to her, her creamy and soft skin enticing Nicole. She was sure Waverly couldn't get more perfect, but every day she proves Nicole wrong. To her, this moment was everything. Waverly snoring softly against her, the steady rise and fall of her chest reminded Nicole this is real, that Waverly Earp, the girl who might possibly have stolen her heart, was sleeping in her arms. 

 

Nicole Haught was falling in love with everything that was Waverly Earp, and she had absolutely no idea what to do. 

Chapter Text

Waverly woke up the next morning, immediately feeling the pain throbbing throughout her body, specifically her broken arm and leg, and her fractured ribs. She reached her hand out for Nicole, but instead found the spot next to her was cold; Nicole wasn't there. 

 

She immediately sat up, ignoring the fact that she really needed some of her pain medication. She looked around the room, fighting the panic rising in her as she scanned the room for Nicole. But she was gone, her phone was gone from the nightstand and her hoodie was nowhere to be found. Dread and anxiety immediately set in. The warm, safe feeling that Waverly felt when she was in Nicole's arms was no longer there. 

 

She hated being held by Champ, in fact, she hated being touched by him at all. His embrace, his touch was aggressive and always out of lust. But with Nicole, she found herself yearning for the redhead's soft touch, for her strong, yet gentle hands, for any type of contact as simple as her brushing her fingers over her arm. 

 

Having Nicole's body molded against her felt so right, how at peace she felt, how she wanted nothing more than to fall asleep every night in the redhead's arms. 

 

And damn, did it hurt waking up to an empty bed. But who could ever love her? Who could ever love an Earp? She was broken and as beaten down as they come, she would never be good enough for anyone; certainly not Nicole. Nicole had a soul of gold and Waverly Earp could never compare. 

 

She sighed to herself, fighting off the dejection and lonely state she could feel herself slipping back into, a state that she was in less than a day ago. She told herself that she didn't need Nicole, that she didn't need the redhead to feel safe, to feel comforted. She didn't want to depend on somebody, she was just starting to get her life back together. She didn't want to want anybody, but here she was, craving anything and everything that was Nicole Haught.

 

Waverly slowly swung her legs over the side of the bed, reaching for her crutch as she winced at the pain radiating throughout her body. She slowly stood up, relying heavily on the crutch for support as she walked into the kitchen. 

 

"Mornin' darlin'," Gus greeted as Waverly sat down at the table. 

 

"Morning, Gus," Waverly said through a yawn.  

 

"Willa went out to get donuts," Gus said as she handed her niece a cup of coffee. "I wasn't really in the mood to make breakfast and you and I both know that I'm not much of a cook." 

 

"Is Wynonna still asleep?"

 

Gus nodded. "She's worn out from the party last night." 

 

Waverly desperately wanted to ask her aunt if she saw Nicole leaving if she said anything to her before she left. But fear held her back. Her attraction to Nicole scared her, the feeling of wanting the redhead so badly, wanting to be held by her, wanting to kiss her. She had never felt such a strong need, a strong want to kiss someone, to feel someone's lips on her own, not before she met Nicole. 

 

"Nicole left early this morning," Gus said, already knowing what her niece as dying to ask. "I was actually in the kitchen starting a pot of coffee when she walked out. She said to tell you that she's sorry she had to leave without saying anything but she had to get to work and didn't want to wake you."

 

Waverly took a sip of her coffee in an attempt to hide the small smile creeping up on her face. She wanted nothing more than to suppress her feelings for the redhead, she didn't want her feelings to ruin her friendship with someone who had come to mean so much to her. Someone who she could easily call her best friend. She knew the redhead didn't feel the same. She was wishing so bad to not want Nicole, but everything about her was so fascinating and so alluring; and to her, Nicole was so, so beautiful. She didn't want these feelings, but knowing the redhead left with a reason and she didn't leave because she didn't want to be with her anymore comforted her, made her feel just the tiniest bit better about herself. 

 

"Anything you wanna tell me, darlin'?" Gus could easily see how smitten Waverly was just over the mention of Nicole, even just someone bringing up her name. Frankly, Gus was delighted to see Waverly so happy. And it didn't matter to her who Waverly wanted to be with, as long as she was happy and safe, that's all that mattered to her. 

 

"Um, do you think you could get my meds?" 

 

Waverly wasn't ready to talk about her feelings for Nicole yet. Her feelings for the redheaded officer scared her. She had never felt this way for anyone, certainly not Champ. Nicole saw her, she made her feel heard, she made her feel valid. She made her feel like maybe there was more to her than her last name. 

 

"Waverly, you know you can talk to me anytime," Gus said, handing the pill bottle. 

 

"I know," Waverly said as she opened the bottle and took the correct dosage, sighing to herself as Nicole popped in her mind for about the hundredth time that day.

 

She knew she had feelings for Nicole, she just wasn't quite ready to face them yet. And she would never forgive herself if her feelings ruined their friendship. 

 


 

"Haught!" Nedley barked from his office. 

 

"Yes, sir?" Nicole asked, more than a little exhausted from her shift. 

 

"Wanna tell me why you were half an hour late to work today?" 

 

"Um, I'm sorry, I was at the homestead, checking on Waverly," Nicole shoved her hands in the pockets of her uniform, a nervous twitch that she had become accustomed to over the years. 

 

"Oh." Nedleys' features softened a bit after hearing the youngest Earps name. He held a soft spot for that family, although he would never admit it. "Next time at least call if you're going to be late?" he asked with a softer tone. 

 

"Will do, sir. I'm sorry."

 

Nedley nodded and waved her off as he went back to the computer on her desk. 

 

Nicole walked out of his office, heart fluttering as she thought about Waverly, again. She loved waking up to Waverly pressed against her, feeling her warm breath hit her neck. She could still smell her lavender-scented shampoo. She wanted nothing more than to savor that moment, to let Waverly wake up in her arms. Her heart ached when she had to get up and get to work, it ached, even more, knowing that she had to leave her without saying anything, just leaving her there to make her own assumptions. She desperately wished that she was there to reassure the brunette, tell her that she wasn't going anywhere, that she would always be there for her, that nothing she could ever do or say would make her want to leave.

 

She was planning on going straight home after work, exhausted from getting only a few hours of sleep. But now she just had to go see Waverly, feeling guilty that she left without saying anything, not even a text. Truth was, she needed some time to get over what had happened that morning. How was she supposed to get over that girl when she's sleeping so peacefully in her arms? How was she supposed to get over someone as breathtakingly beautiful as Waverly Earp? She knew she was in deep shit for the brunette and it was becoming increasingly hard for her to hang out with Waverly and at the same time hide her feelings; trying to let her feelings die for her. But she had to push that aside, Waverly needed her. She'd much rather torture herself to make sure Waverly was happy and that her needs were taken care of. 

 

She sped over to the homestead, not caring that she was going well over the speed limit. The only thing she was concerned with now was apologizing to Waverly and telling her whatever she needed to hear. 

 

She knocked on the door, anxiously waiting for someone to answer. Or for someone to not answer at all. 

 

"Haught?" Wynonna answered the door, whiskey bottle in hand and piece of pizza in the other. 

 

"Is Waverly here?" Nicole hoped the desperation in her voice wasn't too noticeable. 

 

"Yeah, she's watching TV. Come in Haughtstuff." 

 

Nicole thanked her and stepped into the homestead, her heart rate picking up the closer she walked to Waverly, who was so wrapped up in 'Grey's Anatomy' to even notice the redhead behind her.

 

"Waves?"

 

Waverly whipped her head around, instantly pausing her show when she saw it was Nicole. 

 

"Hi," Waverly said quietly. "What are you doing here? You didn't forget something did you?" 

 

"No," Nicole said with the shake of the head. "Is it ok if I sit?"

 

Waverly nodded. She was a little unsure of Nicole's intentions. She missed the redhead all day, she missed her vanilla dipped donuts smell, she missed the warmth that she felt whenever she was around the redhead. But at the same time, she had this pit in her stomach that Nicole would one day leave. That she would one day find her too much of a burden that she was too problematic and one day Nicole would leave. 

 

"I'm sorry for leaving without saying anything, you were just sleeping so peacefully and I just didn't have the heart to wake you," Nicole said bashfully. 

 

Waverly smiled at her, truly heart warmed by how shy and nervous seemed to be. "It's ok, I understand. I'm sorry if I made you exhausted for your shift. But Nicole I really appreciate you being there for me. I don't think I would've been able to sleep last night if you weren't there. 

 

Now Waverly found herself to be the shy one. She hated feeling vulnerable, but with Nicole, she didn't mind. With Nicole, she felt she could be herself like she could be anything and Nicole would be there to support her no matter what. 

 

"Waverly you don't ever have to apologize to me for needing a friend."

 

Friend. Waverly was sure she could physically feel the sting. 

 

"You needed someone last night and I was more than happy to be that person for you. I'll be by your side supporting you for as long as you want me," Nicole said with such conviction. She wanted to tell Waverly how she felt about her, that she can't stop thinking about her and all she wants to do is kiss her. But she doesn't, she keeps her mouth shut. 

 

"Nicole that's really sweet." Waverly gently places her hand on top of Nicole's. 

 

Waverly looked pain. With the way that her lips were turned down and her shaky smile, Nicole could tell something was up.

 

"Waves, what's wrong?"

 

Waverly forced a smile and shook her head at Nicole. "Nothing, I'm fine."

 

"Waverly, you're not fine, you're thinking something."

 

"No, I'm not."  

 

"Waverly."

 

Waverly sighed.

 

"I don't know, I guess I've been feeling kinda... off lately. I know I shouldn't, especially now that I'm safe and away from Champ, but everything is so different now. Nothing is the same anymore, everything is changing and there's nothing I can do about it. I felt powerless when I was with Champ and I was ok with it. But now? I feel so angry that I feel powerless, I'm not with Champ anymore, I'm home with my family; no one is telling me what to do or how to feel. I shouldn't feel this way, my family has done nothing but be there and support me, yet I feel like I have no control. What is wrong with me?! Ugh, I sound so cra-" 

 

"No, you don't. You don't sound crazy," Nicole interrupted. "Waverly, look at me please."

 

Waverly hesitantly looked at Nicole, nervous for what she was going to say next.

 

"You are not crazy. Your new normal is different, it's ok to feel powerless, you're adjusting! Your body, mentally and physically, is adjusting to this new 'normal.' You're not with Champ anymore, you're with people who genuinely love you more than anything in this world, and that feeling of real love is new for you. It's ok to feel confused and emotional, and maybe a little scared. And as long as you want me, I will be by your side," Nicole said with conviction. 

 

Waverly smiled at her, trying to hold back the tears welling in her eyes. But Nicole's words were like sledgehammers to Waverly's broken dam and she just couldn't hold back the river anymore.

 

"Hey, don't cry," Nicole whispered, her heart hurting for the broken girl in front of her. She pulled Waverly towards her chest and ran her fingers gently through her brunette hair while she simultaneously rubbed her back. "Shh, it'll be ok Waves," she cooed, placing small, chaste kisses to the top of Waverly's head. 

 

Waverly started sobbing into Nicole's chest, staining the front of her uniform shirt with her tears. Her emotions had been all over the place and more than half the time she didn't quite know what she was feeling. But crying into Nicole's chest, being held by her muscular, yet gentle arms felt so, so good. 

 

"It's ok," Nicole whispered, placing another kiss to the top of her head. "Let it all out, pretty girl." Nicole furrowed her eyebrows for letting that term of endearment slip. She hadn't meant to, but Waverly was just that, a pretty girl inside and out; even when she was crying her eyes out. 

 

Nicole held her close and consoled her until Waverly's crying finally slowed down. 

 

Waverly finally wiped her eyes for hopefully the last time and pulled away, immediately missing the warmth and security she felt from the officer's arms. She fixed the hair that was stuck to her dampened cheek. She took a few deep breaths before looking down the redhead who was smiling back at her. 

 

"I'm sorry I just broke down like that," Waverly said with a shaky voice. "I've been holding it in for the past five years." 

 

"Well, then I bet that felt good didn't it?" Nicole asked, moving closer and rubbing her back. 

 

Butterflies erupted in Waverly's stomach, Nicole's smile made her feel all sorts of things; it caused her smile like crazy and at times she was sure her heart would beat right out of her chest. 

 

"It did," Waverly said quietly, attempting to suppress the huge smile that was forming across her face. "Seriously, Nicole. Thank you for being here, for caring so much, it really means the world to me." 

 

Nicole took Waverly's hands in her own and laced them together. "You don't need to thank me, Waverly. I care about you, I'll be there for whenever you need me."

 

"Really?" Waverly asked in disbelief. She knew her family cared about and loved her. But sometimes she had a hard time believing what Nicole was telling her. She was so used to the people she loved and cared about left, and truthfully she knew she'd be heartbroken if Nicole ever left her. 

 

"Of course. Waverly, I'd do anything to you," she said sincerely but without thinking. 

 

"F- for me?" Waverly responded without skipping a beat. 

 

"Yep that, too," Nicole said bashfully, looking down at her lap to shield the redness creeping up on her cheeks. 

 

Waverly giggled and gently squeezed Nicole's hands, letting her know that it was ok. "Nicole?"

 

"Yeah?"

 

Waverly slowly leaned in and kissed her, lips barely touching her cheek. It was full of hesitation, but it meant everything to Nicole. 

 

"You're a really good person, Nicole," Waverly said their lips only an inch away from Nicole. She desperately wanted to lean in and kiss Nicole hard on the lips. Nicole's soft, plump lips were just so inviting, but Waverly held herself back. She wouldn't allow her feelings to get in the way of her friendship with Nicole. 

 

Nicole shook her head. "Just the way I was raised. I like helping people." Truth was, she'd do anything for Waverly. This girl meant everything to her and she wasn't about to let her slip through the cracks. 

 

"Well, I'll let you get going, I'm sure you want to go home and sleep," Waverly said pulling away from her. Nicole instantly missed her touch and hated the space between them. 

 

Nicole smiled at her, she didn't want to leave. But she was beyond tired. "I'll see you tomorrow, Waverly."

 

"Tomorrow?" Waverly asked her as the officer got up to head out the door. 

 

"Yeah, you're my friend aren't you?"

 

Waverly nodded. 

 

"I'm not going to just leave you to get better on your own. When I said I'll be there for you Waverly I meant it." 

 

Waverly smiled at her, a smile that Nicole would never get tired of, a smile that Nicole wanted to come home to for the rest of her life. 

 

Nicole smiled at her one last time before heading for the front door. She brought her hand up to the spot where Waverly had kissed her, her heart beating like crazy, feeling a million butterflies flying around in her stomach. Getting over one certain bartender was going to be much, much harder than she thought.

Chapter Text

"Nicole, do you want anything before dinner?" Gus offered as Nicole followed her into the kitchen. 

 

"No, thank you, Mrs. McCready," Nicole declined politely. "I'm all set." 

 

Gus narrowed her eyes. "Nicole, please call me Gus. 'Mrs. McCready' makes me feel old." 

 

Nicole smiled back at her. "Ok." 

 

"What do you have in the bag there?" Gus asked, eyeing the plastic bag that Nicole had brought with her.

 

"Oh, Waverly said she really wanted to see 'The Notebook' but didn't have it on DVD and it wasn't on Netflix and she didn't feel like buying it; so I brought it over for her. She also asked me for vegan Ben and Jerry's and," Nicole paused to look into the bag. "Roasted chickpeas?" she questioned, taking out the blue and white bag and looking at it before tossing it back into the grocery bag. 

 

"Waverly is on her way back from a doctors appointment so she should be home soon, please make yourself at home," Gus said with a warm smile. 

 

Nicole thanked her and went and sat on the couch to wait for Waverly to get home. She had been over the homestead every day that week, even when she was beyond exhausted, even when there were bags on top of bags under her eyes. But she didn't care, she found herself missing the brunette every time she wasn't with her and she hated that feeling; she hated being away from her. 

 

But at the same time, every time she was with her she knew she was falling deeper and deeper into everything that was Waverly Earp. Each time she saw her heartbeat beat just a little faster, her palms became a little more sweaty, and her breath was always and instantly taken away from her. She just couldn't seem to stay away. 

 

"Waverly I'm telling you, Satan wouldn't even want her in hell with him," Wynonna exclaimed as she helped Waverly through the front door. "I don't know why you are friends with her." 

 

"I wouldn't necessarily say friends, just someone we hang out with because there are no options in this goddamn town," Waverly mumbled. 

 

"Gossiping about someone when they're in the room isn't very subtle," Nicole mocked as she emerged from the living room and walked into the kitchen. 

 

"Haught! Just couldn't stay away, huh?" Wynonna teased as she helped Waverly sit at the kitchen table. 

 

"Oh yeah, I just missed you that much," Nicole said as she played along with her. 

 

"What's in the bag?" Wynonna asked excitedly as she snatched it from Nicole's hands. 

 

"That's for, Waverly." 

 

"Yeah, I figured," Wynonna said as she took out 'The Notebook' DVD before dropping it back in the bag. "Wow, you even bought her vegan shit, you must really be in love," she teased in a high pitched voice, a goofy smile across her face. 

 

Nicole blushed, she knew Wynonna was joking, but her feelings for the brunette were no joke, they were real and they were as strong as ever. 

 

"Thank you, Nicole," Waverly said as she reached her hand out for the redhead who sat across from her. 

 

Nicole smiled at her sincerely. 

 

"I'm going to wash up, I'll be back in a few," Willa said as she hung her coat up in the closet and headed for the bathroom. 

 

"I hope you girls are hungry, I made pot roast," Gus said as she opened the oven, filling the room with the delectable aroma. 

 

"You made something?" Wynonna asked her aunt in disbelief. 

 

"Don't worry, it's your mama's recipe, followed it to a T," Gus reassured her. 

 

Wynonna groaned at the thought of their mom. Nicole knew that their mother and father was a sore subject between the Earp sisters. 

 

"How was your appointment darlin'?" Gus asked her niece and she plopped down in a dining room chair. 

 

"Doc finally took off my rib brace but made me promise to take it super easy." 

 

Gus took Waverly's hand in her own and gently squeezed. "That's great, I'm sure you're happy to start getting back to normal." 

 

"More than happy. Honestly, I'm just happy to finally get off pain meds, they make me feel super loopy and weird." 

 

"That's great, Waves," Nicole said quietly, a smile forming across her face. 

 

Waverly smiled back at her, butterflies immediatley erupting in her stomach at the redheads beautiful, dimpled smile. 

 

"Mhm, I'm starvin'," Willa exclaimed as she entered the kitchen. "Ooh, pot roast, my favorite."

 

"Here darlin', let me fix your plate. I made you a portobello pot roast, I have to say it turned out pretty well," Gus said proudly. 

 

Waverly thanked her and handed her the plate before turning back to Nicole. 

 

"I'll pay you back for the things that you bought."

 

Nicole shook her head. "No, you don't have to do that." 

 

"But I want to, 'Ben and Jerry's' isn't exactly cheap." 

 

"No, it's really ok." 

 

Waverly narrowed her eyes at her, feeling like she had to repay the redhead. But she nodded and turned back to her plate.

 

"Mhm, Gus this actually doesn't suck!" Wynonna quipped through a mouthful of food. 

 

"Yeah this is really good," Nicole complimented her. 

 

"Agreed," Willa added. 

 

Gus laughed. "I'm glad you like it. Waverly, how is your vegan pot roast? I hope it turned out alright."

 

"It's really good, Gus. I must say, I'm a little surprised," Waverly said with a smile. 

 

Everyone ate their dinner while sharing small conversations. It was definitely a step up from the fast food and takeout they had been ordering almost every day. Waverly was the main cook of the family but with her healing from her injuries, she wasn't able to cook. 

 

But throughout the dinner, Nicole couldn't stop herself from glancing over at Waverly, trying not to full-on stare at the brunette because truthfully she could stare at Waverly all day and never get tired of it. 

 

And Waverly couldn't help but let her eyes wander over to the redheaded officer, letting her eyes roam over every inch of exposed skin and every wrinkle in her shirt. She was like a painted masterpiece and Waverly just couldn't get enough. 

 

"That was delicious, Gus," Nicole complimented. 

 

"Yeah, that shit was good," Wynonna quipped. 

 

Gus rolled her eyes at her niece's language. "Thank you girls, I'm glad you enjoyed it." 

 

"I don't remember mama's pot roast being that good," Willa chimed in as she placed her napkin on her plate. 

 

"Who would remember anything of that bitch anyway," Wynonna mumbled under her breath, but just loud enough for everyone to hear. 

 

"Please, Wynonna, not now," Gus chided with a hint of desperation in her voice. She leaned back in her chair as she glared at her middle niece. 

 

"What, I'm not allowed to express my opinion?" 

 

"Not at my dinner table," Gus said replied sternly.  

 

Willa sighed, burying her face in her hands. She knew all too well how this conversation ended. Waverly glanced nervously back at her sister and aunt, hoping, praying that Wynonna would just keep her mouth shut, just once, just this one time. 

 

Nicole felt sympathy for all the Earps, but for Waverly, her heart ached. Her heart ached for the girl whose face grew with worry the more her sister and aunt went back and forth. Her heart ached for the girl who had been beaten and bruised for so many years but stayed silent. Her heart ached for the girl, the young woman, who had seemed so broken, and tired of fighting those feelings. 

 

"Last time I checked Canda was a free country," Wynonna quipped, clearly challenging her aunt. 

 

"Oh give me a break, Wynonna. I'm politely asking you to not bring up your mother while we have a guest over, while we're having dinner. I'm not violating any rights or nothin'." 

 

"Well, that's just it isn't it. She's my mother and a bitch, so I'll talk about her if I want to." Wynonna sat up straighter, looking at her aunt straight in the eye. 

 

Judging on everyone's reaction, Nicole assumed this wasn't the first time this has happened. She wouldn't lie, she felt more than awkward about it, but that didn't matter to her. All she was worried about, who she was worried about, was Waverly. She wanted nothing more than to walk over to her and wrap her arms around and wipe the tears she could see forming in her eyes. She wanted to tell her that it would be ok, that she'd be there for her no matter what, that she wouldn't do whatever horrible thing their mother did to them. 

 

But it wasn't the time, nor did Nicole feel she had the place. 

 

"Nonna just quit while you're ahead," Willa said exasperatedly. "I'm sorry I even brought it up."

 

"I'm not, I don't know why we dance around mama, people deserve to know just how horrible she is. Her shit personality doesn't deserve to be hidden," she glanced between her sisters. "Why aren't you both backing me up here?"

 

"Because we don't want to talk about her! Whenever we talk about it always ends in fights and slammed doors, we all hate that!" 

 

"You guys are a bunch of pussies! You're a bunch of fucking pussies whos heads are stuck too far up their ass! You're just-"

 

"Dammit, that's enough, Wynonna!" Gus exclaimed angrily as she slammed her hand on the table, startling everyone, including Wynonna herself. "Get out of this room!" Gus pointed to the exit, her eyes bulging as the anger grew inside of her. 

 

Wynonna aggressively snatched the bottle of whiskey, spilling some on the table before she stomped out of her room, slamming her bedroom door behind him. 

 

Waverly was now crying. Nicole could see her trying to hold it all together while everyone was arguing. But it was just too much for the brunette. 

 

"Waverly, I'm sorry, darlin'," Gus said, getting up and hugging her niece. 

 

"Our sister is a fuckin' asshole," Willa quipped, giving Waverly a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry I brought it up." 

 

Waverly shook her head as she turned to Nicole, who had nothing but worry written all over her face. 

 

"I'm sorry you had to see that, Nicole," Waverly said quietly, her voice cracking. 

 

"Wynonna has a tendency to act a bit immature at times," Gus told her as she rubbed Waverly's arm before sitting back down. 

 

"It's ok. Everyone has their bad moments," Nicole said sincerely. It was a little awkward and it was a little scary, not knowing how the end of the argument was going to turn out. But Nicole wasn't phased, she'd had her fair share of assholes in her life and she knew Wynonna wasn't one of them. She was just broken, all the Earp sisters were broken and emotionally drained. And it seemed like they never got a break. 

 

"Are you guys ok? That was, um, intense."

 

Willa waved her hand. "This happens often, but sometimes, it can take a big toll on one of us," she said as she glanced over at Waverly, who had stopped crying but her eyes were still clearly red and puffy. 

 

"I'm fine," Waverly reassured them, wiping her eyes one last time and forcing a smile. "I just want to go to bed. I'm exhausted." 

 

"Of course, darlin'. You go on ahead," Gus said, giving her youngest niece a warm smile. 

 

"Do you want some help?" Willa asked her, standing up as her sister stood. 

 

"No, I'm good, thanks." 

 

Waverly slowly grabbed her crutches and carefully placed them under her arms. She looked over at her sister and aunt doing the dishes and then back at Nicole. 

 

"Can you bring the movie? I'll probably end up falling asleep halfway through it, but I honestly just wanna distract myself for a while." 

 

Nicole nodded. "Of course, Waverly," she replied happily as she grabbed the grocery bag and walked Waverly to her bedroom. 

 

"Waves, how are you really?" Nicole asked as she grabbed the crutches from Waverly so she could lie down. 

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"Waverly you started crying. I don't want to pry but I just want to make sure you're really ok." Nicole smiled at her, a smile that was so sincere and that melted all of Waverly's insecurities away. 

 

Waverly sighed, patting the spot next to her. 

 

Nicole walked over to the other side and crawled next to Waverly, but keeping a respectable distance just to be sure she wasn't overstepping. 

 

"The first memory I have of my mama was when I was four years old." 

Chapter Text

"The first memory I have of my mama was when I was four years old." Waverly sighed, looking down at the fray of the blanket that she was playing with. "And I'm sure you know the history behind my family name."

 

Nicole nodded. "But that doesn't change how I feel about you, Waves. I think you’re an amazing person." She was sure that any more conviction in her words and her heart would burst open for the brunette sitting in front of her. 

 

Waverly smiled at her, her heart fluttering for the selfless and kind woman she had been so grateful to have met. 

 

"I don't remember much. I just remember daddy was a drunk, he was abusive. He was horrible to my mama and sister, especially me. He was angry all the time, he blamed almost everything on me. He called me so many awful things, too many to count. But when I was four, I remember so clearly, daddy hitting mama so hard that he put her in the hospital."

 

Waverly paused and inhaled, trying her best not to let the tears fall. She didn't want to give Nicole another reason to run off. She took a deep breath before continuing. 

 

She laughed, but in a self-deprecating sort of way. "Hmm, maybe that's where my horrible taste in men comes from." 

 

Nicole huffed and glared at her. 

 

"Sorry," she apologized with a sheepish smile. "Humor is just the way I get through it sometimes." 

 

Nicole took her hand in her own and gently squeezed it. "It's ok, I'm just glad you're starting to feel better." 

 

"Well, that's the only clear thing that I remember, mama lived, but she was different. She came home better, maybe even better than before. But things slowly went from good to bad. At first, she stopped taking care of herself and actually put extra care into us. She was more on top of it than ever. But then, daddy lost his job as sheriff. He had been working while drunk several times and I guess one day, the people had enough and the mayor fired him from duty. He came home, angrier than ever and..."

 

Waverly could feel tears roll slowly down her cheeks. She thought she was holding it together so well but guess not because here she was, crying in front of Nicole Haught. 

 

Nicole stayed put, she didn't want to crowd Waverly. She knew the brunette was probably feeling every emotion there was to feel and decided to keep her mouth shut, to let Waverly collect her thoughts. 

 

"He came home, drunk and angry, and beat all three of us."

 

Waverly paused, taking a deep breath before continuing. 

 

"After I witnessed him beat mama to a pulp, he came after me, I ran to my room and hid in my closet; which was the best thing I could think of as a seven-year-old. But obviously, he found me. He yanked me out of there hard by the wrist, he actually ended up spraining it," Waverly paused, shaking her head. "He was so, so angry. He broke a metal coat hanger and came at me with it, that's how I got this," Waverly slowly lifted her shirt, revealing a large, deep scar running on the underside of her right breast. 

 

"Oh my gosh, Waverly," Nicole breathed out, bringing her hand over her mouth in shock.

 

"It looks worse than it actually is. It healed pretty quickly actually." 

 

"Waverly, that's, that's not ok. I'm so sorry your father ever treated you that way." Nicole felt sick to her stomach. Her father was her best friend and he meant everything to her. She was devastated when he passed. She couldn't even fathom someone's own father treating them that way. 

 

Waverly waved her off. "It was years ago… it’s not as bad to talk about anymore."

 

Nicole nodded, saying the only thing she could think of.  "Well, is your mother ok?" 

 

Waverly scoffed. "She left. After that night when my father lost his job, she left. There was no note, nothing. We woke up that morning for school and she wasn't downstairs drinking her coffee or reading the newspaper. Everything was cleared out of the drawers, her clothes gone from the hanger, and her car gone from the driveway. Living with daddy was awful. Wynonna and I came home one day from Shorty's and we found daddy beating Willa so bad we were afraid he was going to kill her. Wynonna was only fourteen at the time. She did everything she could do, she screamed at him, even tried jumping in and prying him off of her. But he just threw her to the ground and continued screaming and yelling at Willa. We panicked, Wynonna did the only thing she could think of doing. She grabbed his gun that was sitting on the kitchen table and shot and killed him. After he was down we finally got the good sense to call the police. And after that, we ended up living with Gus." 

 

"So, that's why you're so close with her?" 

 

Waverly nodded. "Yeah. But Wynonna, Wynonna got the short end of the stick. Since she killed daddy, she was sent to jail.” 

 

“What? She was sent to jail for that? For defending your sister?” Nicole asked in disbelief. Of course she knew the law, she was an officer after all. But getting sent to jail for self-defense, especially for being so young, she found that bit of information a bit appalling. 

 

“It comes with being an Earp, the Ghost River Triangle has a reputation and it’s not for Mrs. Love’s remarkable pastries and baking. When daddy died, revenant activity died down. I didn’t really know what was going on at the time because I was so young. But things really picked up when Wynonna returned to Purgatory a year and a half ago. But that's why Wynonna’s so guarded and stubborn, it's the way she defends herself. Being an Earp, especially an Earp that killed their father, comes with high demand.”

 

She never talked about her past, not even to Champ. She just let everyone assume whatever they wanted to. After years of explaining and re-explaining her past to people in high school and college, she got tired of it and stopped caring. 



““And that was that. Mama was gone, daddy was dead, and we were living with Gus.” 

 

“Oh Waverly,” Nicole sympathized, her voice cracking. She wanted to cry for the brunette, but she didn’t. She needed to be strong for Waverly, no matter how she was feeling. 

 

“Can I hug you?”

 

Waverly’s heart skipped a beat. For the first time ever she was given a choice whether or not to be touched, even if it was as simple as a hug. 

 

“Of course you can.”

 

Nicole smiled at her and pulled her into her embrace, wrapping her arms tightly around the petite brunette. She placed a soft kiss to the top of Waverly’s head. 

 

“Can I tell you something?”

 

Waverly nodded. 

 

“I think you’re the bravest, strongest person I’ve ever met. And I’m so sorry that you’ve dealt with abuse for the majority of your life. You didn’t deserve any of that. And truthfully, it hurts my heart that someone as sweet as you were ever treated less than. But if there is anything that I’m sure of, anything that I’m damn sure of; is that you, Waverly Earp, are too good for this world,” Nicole whispered against her temple. 

 

Waverly smiled against Nicole’s chest. Nicole was the kindest, most selfless human being she had ever met. The feeling that the ones she loved and cared for would one day leave her has always been one of her biggest insecurities. But being in Nicole’s arms melted all of her insecurities away the redhead’s presence, embrace, everything about Nicole helped ground her. The feeling of being so safe and so wanted, craving the warmness that the redhead caused to spread throughout her body, Waverly was sure of one thing and one thing only; she was falling for the redheaded deputy before her. She had denied it at first out of fear and confusion, but now being safely held in Nicole’s arms, her proving time and time again to her that she wasn’t going anywhere, that she truly cared. Nicole had a soul of gold and Waverly had never met anyone like that.

 

Waverly Earp was damn sure of her feelings for the redhead, and it scared the living hell out of her. 

 


 

Nicole knew it was creepy to stare at the brunette while she was sleeping. But she couldn’t help it. She was just so beautiful. 

 

They ended up falling asleep halfway through The Notebook, both exhausted from the day, Waverly more emotionally exhausted than anything. 

 

Much to Nicole’s dismay, they fell asleep on completely separate sides of the bed. She desperately wanted to hold Waverly close to her chest, holding her tightly as they both fell asleep, but Nicole suppressed those feelings. That night was not about her, it was about Waverly. 

 

But now, with the whole house quiet, the world around them silent and peaceful, Nicole could let her feelings run wild. 

 

No matter what Waverly was wearing, no matter what emotional state she was in, sweatpants, no sweatpants, makeup, no makeup; Nicole found her breathtakingly stunning. She had promised herself that she wouldn’t let her feelings get in the way of their friendship. But no one was awake, at least not yet, and quite frankly Nicole was getting a little tired of hiding her feelings. But she would do whatever it took to make Waverly happy even if that meant suppressing her feelings and being the friend Waverly needed. 

 

She knew she was falling in love with Waverly Earp, she knew that for weeks now. But the urge to kiss her was growing stronger and stronger. Nicole feared that one day she wouldn’t be strong enough to resist the urge and would ultimately end up ruining their friendship. 

 

“Mhm, Nicole?” Waverly croaked, reaching her hand out for the redhead seemingly out of habit. 

 

“I’m right here,” she responded quietly, reaching out and placing her hand atop Waverly's. 

 

Waverly rubbed the sleep from her eyes before laying back on her side and facing Nicole.

 

“Thank you for last night. Nicole, you truly have no idea how much I appreciate you being here for me, I just…” Waverly wasn’t quite sure what to say without letting accidentally spilling her feelings about Nicole to Nicole. 

 

“Hey, it’s ok,” Nicole said quietly. “I’ll always be there for you. For as long as you want me, I will be by your side.” 

 

Waverly blushed and buried her head into her pillow in an attempt to hide the redness that was creeping up on her cheeks. 

 

“Don’t hide,” Nicole gently brushing some hair behind her ear. “You’re beautiful when you blush. Waverly, I’m glad you feel you can talk to me. I hope you know I’ll be here to talk whenever you need it, day or night.” 

 

Waverly looked up at Nicole with an adorable toothy grin. “Nicole Haught you are quite the charmer.”  

 

Now Nicole was the one blushing. “Would-” 

 

“Yo babygirl!” Wynonna exclaimed, bursting into the room without any warning or even a knock. “I’m here to help you with your shower!” 

 

“Wynonna!” Waverly whined, sitting up and burying her face into her hands. “She loved her sister but damn she could be embarrassing sometimes. 

 

Nicole couldn’t help but let out a few giggles, looking back at Waverly with no judgment in her eyes whatsoever. 

 

“Babygirl and Haughtstuff in bed… together…” Wynonna slowly scanned her eyes over the situation in front of her. 

 

“I was just having a moment last night and she was comforting me and then we started watching a movie and then fell asleep. Nonna, it’s not that big of a deal.” 

 

“Moment? What kinda moment?” 

 

“A moment after you started fighting with our aunt at dinner last night,” Waverly breathed out in an exasperated tone.

 

“Wait, did you tell her…”

 

“Yes, Wynonna. She’s my friend and I don’t wanna keep anything from her.” 

 

“Um, ok,” Wynonna muttered. “Are you showering or what?” Wynonna put her hands on her hips, waiting impatiently. 

 

Waverly nodded and rolled her eyes before turning to Nicole. 

 

“You don’t have to stay here or anything, Nicole. If you want to go home you can,” Waverly said earnestly. Part of her felt bad for keeping Nicole here for the night and she feared that Nicole would no longer want to be her friend after she found out the Earp's true history. And the other part wanted Nicole, so, so badly. But Waverly knew that she would never feel the same way. 

 

“We’re off today,” Nicole said glancing up at Wynonna. “I could run out and get us breakfast?” she offered. 

 

“Ooh, fuck yeah. Get some pastries from Mrs. Love’s bakery, oh and Gus loves her breakfast sandwich from Perk, and you love your lil’ vegan breakfast thing from there too,” Wynonna said, grabbing Waverly’s hands and helping her to stand. 

 

“If you don’t mind, Nicole? But I’ll give you some money, you’ve been paying for everything and I feel bad.” 

 

“No, it’s ok. I really don’t mind,” Nicole said truthfully already getting up and making her way to the door. She really didn’t mind, she’d do anything for the Earps. 

 

“But-” 

 

“Waves, it’s ok, really.” Nicole flashed her dimples before throwing her sweatshirt on. “I’ll be back in like 30 minutes.” 

 

And with that Nicole Haught was out the door to get breakfast or the whole house. 

 


 

“So um, you wanna tell me what this morning was about?” Wynonna asked curiously as she helped her sister to the shower. 

 

“What do you mean?” Waverly pretended to play dumb, not quite ready to reveal to her true feelings to her sister. She loved both Wynonna and Willa, but she just admitted her feelings to herself, she wasn’t ready to talk about it with anyone else. 

 

“Please babygirl,” Wynonna scoffed. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. You were in bed, with Haught… holding hands, looking deeply into each other’s eyes. The fuck is that about?” 

 

Waverly sighed. “I just got emotional over mama and daddy. She just wanted to make sure I was alright and I kinda broke down. She was just being a good friend.”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“What?”

 

“Nothing,” Wynonna had her suspicions, but she didn’t wanna put any unnecessary stress on Waverly. 

 

“I’m glad you have a friend other than Nedley 2.0,” she excused. Wynonna gently sat Waverly down on the shower chair and covered her casts in plastic wrap, making sure that they stayed as dry as possible. 

 

“Nonna you know damn well what her name is,” Waverly scolded, rolling her eyes. 

 

“Look, I’m sorry about last night. Ever since the hospital, and Champ… I’ve just, I don’t know, I’ve been on edge.” 

 

“Yeah no shit,” Waverly quipped. She wasn’t normally this cranky in the morning. But she was still in some pain and she was dirty, tired, and all she wanted, who she wanted, was Nicole. 

 

“Hey, be nice to me I’m literally helping you get naked, here,” Wynonna said, helping Waverly take her clothes off so she could actually shower. 

 

“I know, thank you, Nonna. I really do appreciate everything that you’ve done for me since, um, the incident. I’m sorry if it’s put you in a weird spot,” Waverly said softly. 

 

“No, it’s just,” Wynonna paused, helping Waverly take her sweatshirt off. “I was supposed to protect you from daddy and mama, and I failed you… then mama left, then I left, and I failed you again. And then I left for Greece without giving you or Willa a second thought, which was a shitty thing for me to do. When I came back, I promised myself I’d always protect you, that no one would hurt you again… that no one would ever break your heart… again, or question your validity as an Earp. And I failed you… again . Champ hurt you for all those years and I never fucking knew.” 

 

“Nonna…” 

“No, Waverly,” Wynonna continued, cutting her sister off. “I failed you, over and over. And I’ll never be able to forgive myself for it. I’ve just been angry, with Champ, with the world… with myself.” 

 

Waverly sat there in silence while Wynonna undressed her, taking her time to make sure that she didn’t cause any unnecessary pain. 

 

“Wynonna, this isn’t your fault. I should’ve left him when things started going bad,” Waverly exhaled with a shaky breath. “I was just too weak to admit to myself that something was wrong. So if anything, I failed you and… myself.” 

 

“Babygirl, don’t you dare try to blame yourself for this. The world is fucked up and so are the people living in it… we both made mistakes. I’m just hoping you can forgive me for all the fucked up shit I did to you.”

 

Wynonna finally got the last article of clothing off her sister, her pants. She was now completely bare in the open cold air. It wasn’t the normal circumstances Waverly wanted for her and her sister to have a heart to heart, but she would never trade them for anything; no matter how vulnerable or embarrassing. 

 

“Only if you can forgive me… for keeping this from you for all these years,” Waverly asked, looking up at her sister while using her arms and hands to cover her upper body and crossing her leg over the other. 

 

“You’re always forgiven, babygirl,” Wynonna said softly, leaning in and kissing her younger gently on the forehead. 

 

Waverly felt an instant weight off her shoulders. She had felt so guilty for keeping this from her sisters, especially Wynonna.


“So, we’re good?” Wynonna asked, gently bringing their foreheads together. 

 

“We’re always, good. I love you, Wynonna,” Waverly whispered. 

 

“Love you too, kid. Now I’m going to leave, I’ve seen enough of your naked body and I don’t want to see anymore,” Wynonna quipped, earning a smack on the shoulder by Waverly. 

 

Waverly still had amends to make, with multiple people. But the most important person she had to make amends with; was herself. 

Chapter Text

Nicole watched as black liquid slowly dripped into her Purgatory Police Department mug. This was her fifth cup of coffee and it was barely noon. But she kept coming back for more because even though it didn’t wake her up at all, she still was going to take whatever she could get. 

 

All the Earp sisters, except for Waverly, and herself were working on a missing child’s case. They were nowhere near close to cracking it and it was really wearing on everybody. No one liked knowing a child was missing and they especially didn’t like that they couldn’t figure out who was involved. 

 

And on top of that, Nicole was building a case against Champ. But she was having a hard time since Waverly wouldn’t testify. Nicole desperately wanted her to, but she didn’t want to push it. Champ, of course, would get some jail time, Nicole witnessed the abuse herself and he also resisted an officer, but if Waverly testified he could get sent to jail for even longer and that’s what Nicole wanted. 

 

She was human after all and usually she’d feel bad for wishing something so horrible on another human being, but at the same time, it was Champ and she knew that he deserved it. 

 

Nicole was exhausted; they were staying up well past midnight almost every day. She was getting used to the hard work regime that the Earp sisters were accustomed to, but even Wynonna and Willa were getting tired. But when she went home, she continued to work on Champ’s case, essentially getting close to zero hours of sleep. 

 

“I’m pretty sure Nedley doesn’t pay you to stand around and watch coffee brew.”

 

Nicole turned around to see Waverly with a smirk on her face. She was in a wheelchair as it was hard to use crutches for more than getting up out of bed and heading for the couch. She was dressed in casual leggings and a tank top. And Nicole could’ve sworn she was wearing just the tiniest bit of makeup. 

 

“Hey, Waves,” Nicole replied with a toothy smile as she walked over to Waverly. “What’re you doing here?” 

 

“Oh, Wynonna and Willa said they needed some help on that missing child’s case. And truthfully, I was getting tired of sitting at home all day.” 

 

Nicole nodded, understanding how Waverly felt. “How are you feeling?”

 

“A lot better actually. The doctor said they should be able to take my cast off next week and put it in a brace.”

 

“Waves, that’s great! You must be so excited!”

 

“I am, I really am. I feel like I’m finally starting to get some of my life together.” 

 

“Babygirl, you’re here!” Willa exclaimed as she tucked a file full of papers under her arm. 

 

“Gus dropped me off. Wynonna texted and said you guys need some help on the case?”

 

“Yes, we have a possible suspect, and from what we’ve researched he’s super into Latin. And you’re our number one translator,” Willa said, standing behind the wheelchair and grabbing the handle bars. 

 

Nicole smiled to herself as Willa and Waverly conversed back and forth. She hadn’t been over to the homestead that much this week mainly because she was so busy with work. But having the brunette here instantly lifted some stress off of her shoulders. 

 

They spent the next few hours doing more research on the case, Waverly was working her ass off and you could obviously tell she had missed her work. It got to a point where all they were drinking only coffee and they had asked Gus to drop off dinner because they knew they were going to stay at the station well past dinner time. 

 

Waverly was just as exhausted as the rest of them and she’d only been there for the day. But she was really enjoying herself, so she decided to suck it up and continue with the rest of them. 

 

Nulla anima reliquit, praeteriit. ‘No soul left undone,’” Waverly translated. 

 

“What the fuck could that mean?” Wynonna asked, crossing her arms in frustration. 

 

“Um, maybe it’s some sort of saying? Like they make sure they go to heaven, like a religious thing?” Nicole suggested, just as confused as the rest of them. 

 

“Or maybe-”

 

“We’re not getting anywhere!” Wynonna exclaimed angrily, throwing her hands up in the air. 

 

“Nonna would you relax?! We’re definitely not going to get anywhere if we don’t all put our heads together,” Willa retorted, turning back to the board filled with papers, lines drawn by string, tacks, and all sorts of writing all over the papers. 

 

“She’s right, Earp,” Dolls said, standing up and crossing his arms, studying the board they had laid out. 

 

Nicole could see Waverly yawning, the poor thing could barely keep her eyes open. She felt bad for the brunette, she was trying to heal herself on top of a heavy workload. She knew Waverly couldn’t take much more.

 

“I think we should take a break for the night,” Nicole offered, trying to cut the brunette some slack without openly embarrassing her. She made some quick eye contact with Waverly, signaling to her what she was doing. 

 

“Hell no! We have a fuck ton of work to get through,” Wynonna replied sharply. 

 

“I think she’s right, Wynonna. We’re all tired and cranky, this will be here tomorrow morning,” Waverly cut in. 

 

“She is right,” Dolls said, glancing at his watch. “It’s almost 12 in the morning. We’ve been here for over 12 hours. We can pick this up tomorrow morning.” 

 

Wynonna sighed deeply, staring angrily between the four of them. “Fine.”

 

She angrily grabbed her jacket as she headed for the door. “I’m heading to Shorty’s, you can either be lame-o’s or join me.” 

 

Nicole, Willa, Waverly, and Dolls exchanged looks. Nicole knew Waverly was not down to go drinking and quite honestly, she wasn’t in the mood either. 

 

“I’m exhausted, Wynonna. I’m not going out. You three can go enjoy yourselves if you’d like,” Waverly answered. 

 

“Um, I’m tired, too. I can take Waverly home if you two want to go out,” Nicole said, getting up from her desk and grabbing her black bomber jacket. 

 

“I’ll join you, Earp, only to make sure you don’t get too drunk. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning,” Dolls said, grabbing his things as well. “Willa?”

 

“Honestly, I could go for something deep-fried and greasy,” Willa said. 

 

“We’ll see you at home?” Wynonna asked her sister. 

 

Waverly nodded. 

 

“See you tomorrow, Red,” Wynonna said, already heading out the front door. 

 

Willa grabbed her things and everyone exchanged goodbyes followed her sister out of the office. 

 

“I want you here tomorrow at 7 AM sharp, Haught,” Dolls said sternly. “Earp we’re going to need you tomorrow, but don’t feel like you need to come in that early.” 

 

“Thanks Dolls.”

 

And now that left Nicole and Waverly alone in the station. 

 

“Thank you for that,” Waverly said, slowly wheeling herself over to grab her sweatshirt that was resting on the chair. “I don’t think I would’ve been able to stay up any longer,” she said, ending her sentence with a yawn. 

 

“That’s ok, Waves. I’m honestly beyond exhausted,” Nicole said, wheeling Waverly towards the front door of the station, making sure all the lights were off before they left. 

 

“Can I ask you something?”

 

“Of course,” Nicole said as she slowly helped Waverly into her police cruiser, folding her wheelchair and putting it in the back.

 

“Can we, um, maybe go back to your place? Ever since the incident, I’ve hated being alone, especially at night. If you have things to do or just want to be alone, that’s totally ok,” Waverly asked quietly, some hesitation in her voice. 

 

“Waverly, I’d be happy to have you over,” Nicole said earnestly, winking at the brunette as she turned onto her street. 

 

Waverly was nervous, she wouldn’t lie. She didn’t want to be alone, but she also secretly wanted Nicole to hold her again. Waverly wanted nothing more than to get over Nicole Haught, but she just couldn’t, no matter how hard she tried. She told herself to keep her distance from Nicole, yet here she was, inviting herself over the redhead’s house. 

 

“Do you want any sweats or anything to change into? Maybe some tea?” Nicole offered as she helped Waverly onto her couch. 

 

“I’m good on clothes, but maybe, um, do you have Soothing Sunshine Herbal Tea?” Waverly asked, cringing at herself for liking the ridiculously named tea. It was such a stupid name, but she thought it was delicious. 

 

Nicole flashed her dimples. “I do as a matter of fact. I’ll go whip that up quickly.” 

 

Waverly smiled as she watched Nicole in the kitchen. She wasn’t surprised that Nicole knew her way around the kitchen. What she was surprised about was how natural it seemed to her, watching Nicole as if it was their house, Nicole in the kitchen making something for her because she was simply an amazing girlfriend. She wouldn’t lie, she thought about her future often and ever since Nicole Haught stepped into her life; she couldn’t imagine her future with anyone else. 

 

Waverly was pulled from her thoughts when Nicole, ridiculously kind and caring Nicole handed her the hot mug full of tea. 

 

“Careful, it’s hot,” Nicole cautioned. 

 

“Thanks,” Waverly said quietly. 

 

There were a few moments of silence while Waverly took slow sips of her tea. Neither of them weren't quite sure what to say. 

 

Well, that was a lie.  

 

They both had a lot of things to say. But they couldn’t say them, not without spilling feelings to one another. 

 

“Are you feeling a little better now?” Nicole asked, waggling her eyebrow at the brunette. 

 

“It isn’t called Soothing Sunshine Herbal Tea for nothing,” Waverly smirked, finishing the last of her tea before setting it on the coffee table in front of her. 

 

“I think it’s time we both hit the hay. You, my friend, are exhausted… and so am I,” Nicole said, getting up and offering her hands to help Waverly up. “There is a guest bedroom on the bottom floor that I just finished setting up the other day.” 

 

“Wait,” Waverly called out, sounding a little panicked. 

 

“What’s up, Wave?” Nicole asked, slowly sitting back down, trying not to let the worry rise in her chest. 

 

“Um, I just, um, well… God, this is going to sound so stupid,” Waverly muttered. 

 

“No it won’t,” Nicole said truthfully. She took the brunette’s hands in her own and gave them a gentle squeeze. “You can tell me anything.” 

 

“I just, I’ve just been hating sleeping alone, ever since I came home from the hospital. If you’re not the one sleeping over I make someone sleep with me. And nine times out of ten that’s Wynonna,” Waverly sighed, burying her face in her hands. “Trust me, if I could sleep alone for just one night I’d let you go sleep in your own bed, but I just, I can’t. I know I’m asking a lot, but can you please, at least just lay in the bed with me? All you have to do is lay there nothing else. God this is so stupid, I sound crazy I’m so sorry Nicole I-” 

 

“Hey, hey,” Nicole cooed, scooting closer to Waverly and placing her hand on her thigh and squeezing lightly. “I know that was probably tough to share with me, but I’m so glad that you felt comfortable enough to ask that. You don’t sound crazy at all, Waves. Now let’s get to bed, I don’t know about you but I can barely keep my eyes open.” 

 

Nicole flashed her dimples at her, kindness radiating from just her smile. 

 

Waverly smiled back up at her, grabbing the officer's hands as she was hoisted up and gently helped in the wheelchair. 

 

She was a little embarrassed having to have Nicole help her to bed, but at the same time. Every gesture Nicole made her feel so loved and cared for. 

 

Waverly situated herself in bed and waited for Nicole. She wished she had the guts to ask this time if Nicole could hold her. But she already felt like a burden enough, so she kept her mouth shut. 

 

But it was like Nicole was reading her mind because she held open her arms, inviting the brunette into her embrace. 

 

Waverly collapsed in her arms, well as best as she could anyway while keeping her cast elevated. 

 

“You’re ok, Waves, I got you,” Nicole whispered, pressing a small kiss to her forehead and wrapping her arms tightly around the petite brunette. 

 

Waverly didn’t say anything back, she just let the smell of vanilla lull her to sleep. 

 


 

“Nicole?” Waverly croaked from behind Nicole, slowly wheeling herself to the kitchen table where Nicole was sitting. 

 

Waverly woke up several hours later to a cold, empty bed. So she took it upon herself to find out where the redhead had gone. 

 

“Waves? What are you doing up? You should be in bed,” Nicole said, getting up and kneeling down next to Waverly. It was almost three in the morning and Nicole knew Waverly needed sleep if she wanted to get better as soon as possible. 

 

“I could be saying the same thing about you,” Waverly retorted, raising an eyebrow at the officer. 

 

“What are you working on?” she asked curiously, wheeling herself over to the table. 

 

“Oh um,” Nicole scrambled up to her feet quickly, not wanting Waverly to see that she was working on Champ’s case file. 

 

“This is… Champ… Champ’s file. Why are you working on Champ's file?” Waverly asked, her voice dangerously calm. 

 

“Uh, well you know, I walked in on him, uh in your home, um…” Nicole glanced up at Waverly, knowing she didn’t have to say the words to let Waverly know what she was talking about. 

 

“And um, I’m just working on his trial,” she mumbled, hoping Waverly wasn’t too upset. 

 

“Why are you working on his trial, Nicole? I said I wasn’t testifying,” Waverly said bitterly. 

 

“I know. But I witnessed him, um, abusing you; and he resisted an officer. So he’s in jail right now, but he deserves to be there for longer, so I’m trying to build a case against him.” 

 

“What the fuck, Nicole?” Waverly was pissed now. “You don’t know anything. This is total bullshit!” 

 

“What are you talking about, Waverly?! He’s a shitty, disgusting, despicable human being! He doesn’t deserve anything good in life.” 

 

Nicole couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Here she was, thinking Waverly was finally starting to see the true person Champ was. The true, heartbreaking and real situation she had been in. But nope, she was wrong. 

 

“You’re full of yourself Nicole! He made a mistake, yes a huge, awful mistake! But he’s human, humans make mistakes!” 

 

“He abused you. For years! That is not a mistake! I will not, I refuse to let him get away with that! This would all be over a hell of a lot quicker if you got your head out of your ass and testified!” 

 

Nicole instantly regretted the last sentence that came out of her mouth, knowing that she just hit a nerve, a big, huge, deadly nerve. 

 

“Get out, Nicole,” Waverly growled. 

 

“What the fuck are you talking about? This is my house,” Nicole retorted. 

 

“Fine, drop me off at my house, but just be prepared to get interrogated by Wynonna,” Waverly fired back, knowing she just trapped Nicole. 

 

“Fuck you, Waverly,” Nicole spat. She sloppily threw all the papers in the file and stormed out of the house in her sweatpants and t-shirt, not bothering to grab a coat from the cold negative degree weather. 

 

Waverly wanted to feel bad, but she didn’t. She was fucking pissed.

 


 

“So, you wanna tell us what happened between you and Haughtstuff?” Wynonna asked as she and Willa stood in the doorway of Waverly’s bedroom.

 

Waverly had called Wynonna while in the midst of her fuming, leaving Nicole to come home to an empty house. 

 

“Nothing.”

 

“Bullshit. You haven’t talked to each other in a week. You avoid each other at the station. It’s fucking awkward dude.”

 

“Just mind your damn business.” 

 

“No, not when you’re upset. And especially not when you’re acting like a dick,” Willa said, both sitting down on either side of Waverly. 

 

“Now tell us what happened,” Wynonna said in a gentler tone, both sisters wrapping their arms around their younger sister. 

 

Waverly broke down, burying her head into her hands and sobbing. 

 

“I- I was such a dick,” Waverly said with labored breaths. “I kicked Nicole out of her own home because I was pissed that she was working on Champ’s case. Did you know she’s doing that by the way?”

 

“Yeah babygirl, we did,” Willa said softly, pushing a kiss to Waverly’s head. 

 

“She’ll forgive you, she’s Nicole Haught,” Wynonna said, leaning her forehead against Waverly’s temple.  

 

“But I was such an ass, she’ll never want to speak to me again,” Waverly mumbled. 

 

“Maybe, but you’re hurting, Haught knows that.”

 

“I said some awful things…” 

 

“She knows you didn’t mean it, we know you didn’t mean it,” Willa empathized. 

 

“But I got so angry.”

 

“Everyone gets angry and heated in the moment, the difference between you and an asshole is what you do after. Do you learn from your mistakes and apologize? Or do you just let it fester and are too prideful to do anything? And we all know that’s not the person you are,” Wynonna said. 

 

Wynonna could be childish, extremely childish at least 90 percent of the time. But the other ten, Wynonna could be wise as hell. 

 

“She probably hates me.”

 

“No she doesn’t,” Willa said firmly. “Maybe if you know why you were so mad, that would help in your apology to her.” 

 

“I don’t know,” Waverly said, wiping the last remaining tears. “I feel… guilty. I feel like this is all my fault. And I feel like I’m sending Champ to jail for something that’s not his fault. But I know it is, I know it’s his fault. And I- 'm horrible I know.” 

 

“No, you’re not,” Willa said without skipping a beat. “Champ is a disgusting bastard. He manipulated, deceived, and gaslighted you. Classic psychology babygirl. You did nothing wrong. He deserves to rot in hell for you he did you to. And probably to other girls, too.” 

 

“I know it’s scary, but we’re right here, we’re all right here. Nicole, too. Even if you said some shitty things to her,” she said, earning a smile from the youngest Earp. 

 

“Should I call her?” 

 

“Do whatever you think is right,” Willa answered. 

 

“I think I should go back to her house, fix things where they went wrong… will you drive me?” 

 

“Of course we will,” Wynonna said, already getting up and heading for the door. 

 

“She’ll forgive you, she’s Nicole Haught and she’s crazy about you, Waves,” Wynonna said, leaning her forehead against Waverly’s temple. 

 

“What are you talking about?” Waverly asked, her sobbing subsiding for now. 

 

“Haven’t you seen the way she looks at you? Haughtshit’s got it bad for you, babygirl.” 

 

Waverly looked to Willa, confused. 

 

“She’s right, Waverly. Nicole looks at you as if you put the stars in the sky. And part of me is starting to believe you might feel the same way,” Willa replied, already knowing what Waverly wanted to ask. 

 

“And something tells me the feeling might be mutual,” Wynonna said quietly, standing near the doorway. 

 

Waverly didn’t say anything, they were both right. The feeling was mutual, the feeling was so mutual. 

 

“And judging by your silence, I am correct.” 

 

“You’re just seeing things, there’s no way she likes me back,” Waverly mumbled, trying not to let her hopes get too high. 

 

“No, we’re not. Nicole has never, ever talked about any other girl that’s not you. She’s never mentioned a crush, a fling, any flirting, nothing,” Willa said. 

 

“She walked in on her ex-wife sleeping with another woman. She’s just scared of getting hurt.”

 

“Please, Waverly who do you think I am?” Wynonna asked jokingly. “ Of course, I interrogated Haught on her dating life. You know what she told me?”

 

“What?”

 

“It was a few days before the hospital. You were at the station working and I took it upon myself to find out who Haught gots the hot for. She told me that she’s waiting for the perfect person, and she was worried that the person she found, aka you, would never like her back. She thought I wasn’t looking but she glanced over at you and like, stared, again at you for like a good minute. Now listen, I know that might not mean much. But I’ve never met anyone who’s been so taken with someone so fast, especially not an Earp. And she knew our reputation before she even knew us. Every time your name came up in conversation, Haught couldn’t help but crack a giant, toothy smile. She asked about you everyday after you kicked her out of her hospital room.” 

 

Waverly couldn’t help but cringe, being reminded of just how much of an ass she had been to the redheaded officer who was just trying to help and the kind person she was. 

 

“Whenever she’d talk about you she’d get this look in her eyes, it was all lovestruck and shit. Face it Waves, she’s really fuckin’ into you.” 

 

“Ok, but has she actually told you she has a crush on me?” 

 

“No,” Wynonna said, sitting back down at the edge of the bed. “She doesn’t need to. The other day I saw her stare at you for like 5 fucking minutes. It was actually kinda gross, her big puppy dog eyes. Blech.” 

 

“It’s probably confusing, figuring out your feelings for someone, especially someone of the same sex, something you’ve never experienced. But babygirl, you couldn’t have picked a better one. She really, really, cares for you, Waverly,” Willa said quietly, rubbing her sisters back hoping it was comforting her. 

 

“Hey, girls, how are we doin’?” Gus asked as she slowly walked into the room. 

 

“Waverly has the shits for Haughtshit,” Wynonna exclaimed. 

 

“Really?” Gus asked, a smile forming on her face. She sat next to her niece and pulled her into her embrace. 

 

“You picked a good one,” she said quietly, placing a soft kiss to her forehead. 

 

“I’m scared, I’ve never felt this way about anyone before,” she said whispered with a shaky voice. 

 

“I know, but Nicole cares about you, you’d have to be blind to not see that. Life really likes to throw us for a loop. But sometimes, some of the best things in life are what it throw us, about what we want; who we want. And we just have to be brave enough to take that leap. Sometimes, we have to walk through fire and the only way to survive those burns; is to trust, to hope that we’ll get our happy ending someday.”

 

Waverly was now crying again. Her aunt was stubborn as hell, just like Wynonna. But when she needed it, they both knew exactly what to say.

 

“Trust us, babygirl, if you decide to take that leap, we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed,” Willa said softly. 

 

Waverly nodded while wiping her tears, trying to wrap her head around, well around everything. Her feelings for Nicole and Nicole’s feelings for her, all the possible scenarios that could happen when she went over to her house to apologize. It was terrifying.  

 

“Now are we going to Haughtstuff’s house or what?” Wynonna asked with a smirk, holding out her hands to help her sister up. 

 

Waverly was extremely anxious, she could already feel her heart rate picking up. She hated being wrong and hated it even more when Wynonna would gloat in her face how she was right. She wasn’t religious, not by any means. But right now, she was praying to whatever higher power was out, praying that her sisters were right. 

 

She loved Nicole Haught and she was hoping by some mere miracle, Nicole loved her too.  

 


 

“Waverly,” Nicole said as she opened her door in a less than friendly tone. A tone that Waverly was not used to. 

 

“Hi,” she responded softly, unsure what to say. 

 

“Hi? That’s all you can say?” 



Chapter Text

“Hi? That’s all you can say?” Nicole replied in a bitter tone. She was blocking the doorway, making it obvious she was pissed with Waverly. 

 

“Nicole, look, I- I’m sorry.” No, Waverly would not cry in front of Nicole Haught. Not again. 

 

“You’re sorry? That’s all you can fucking say?” 

 

“Yes, Nicole, I am sorry, truly,” Waverly responded with an exasperated tone. 

 

Nicole scoffed. “Waverly, I came home to an empty house, I was prepared to apologize to you, apologize to you for fucking nothing! I’m trying to be a good officer… and a good friend. But fuck, Waverly, you’re making it damn near impossible.” 

 

“Can we talk about it? Maybe not by screaming at each other on your front porch?” Waverly pleaded, desperately wanting to talk about it where the neighbors couldn’t hear or watch. 

 

Nicole sighed and rolled her eyes, but stepped aside so Waverly would slowly enter the house, making sure she didn’t slip on her crutches. 

 

Waverly sat down on the couch and Nicole followed, but refused to sit down. 

 

“Nicole, I know I said some shitty things-”

 

“Yeah no shit. You said some shitty fuckin’ things Waverly.”  

 

“Wow, look at the pot calling the kettle black,” Waverly spat. She had had enough of Nicole and her childish bullshit. Yes Waverly was an ass early that morning, but Nicole was too. No one was innocent here. 

 

“Yeah, I said some awful things, but so did you, Nicole! You are not the victim here, no one is! I got mad at you when you were only trying to help, and you said some shitty things to me about Champ and the trial. No one is innocent. And you’re not completely wrong, but fuck Nicole, you need to work on your delivery.” 

 

Nicole sighed heavily and flopped down on the couch next to Waverly. She knew Waverly was right and now she was the one with the head stuck up her ass. 

 

“I know, I’m sorry, Waverly. I was just mad and didn’t want to admit that I was wrong. But I am, I am wrong, I am so wrong. I said some horrible things out of spite and I’m sorry,” Nicole said quietly, looking Waverly in her hazel-brown eyes. 

 

“I am too. I know you’re only trying to help and I’m being an ass about it. I hope you can forgive me,” she responded sincerely, intertwining her hand with Nicole’s. 

 

“Always, I will always forgive you, Waverly.” Nicole smiled sadly at her and kissed the back of her hand before turning back and staring at the TV. 

 

“I hope that you know that I didn’t mean what I said, well… not all of it…” 

 

“What do you mean, ‘not all of it’?” Waverly asked with a raised eyebrow. 

 

Nicole sighed, knowing what she was going to say next could possibly end up in another fight. But she was willing to take that chance. 

 

“I know I didn’t say it in the nicest way, in fact I said it in the most asshole way possible. But… but I really would like you to testify. Champ deserves to rot in a jail cell for what he did to you. I won’t, I refuse to let him get away with the abuse. You deserve the satisfaction knowing that bastard is in jail for a good, long while. You deserve knowing that he is off the streets and not hurting other women. I’m hoping that if you testify, we can put his ass in jail for longer, longer than the charges against him now.” 

 

Waverly rolled her eyes and huffed, ripping her hand out of the redheads. 

 

“Why the fuck do you care so much?”

 

And there it was, the one thing Nicole was hoping wouldn’t happen, was about to happen. 

 

“Because you’re my friend Waverly, my best friend. Because he doesn’t deserve anything good in life. Because you deserve the world,” Nicole said calmly. 

 

“You barely fucking know me,” Waverly spat. She was scared, she was scared that if she let Nicole in, Nicole would break her heart. She had the power to completely break Waverly and she was terrified that would happen again. She knew she wouldn’t survive it, she just knew. 

 

“I know I haven’t known you for long, but I care about you, I-”

 

“Why, why do you care so damn much. Are you just using me and my fucked up life to get over your ex? Are you trying to distract yourself by getting a trial, so you can focus on that and not your ex-wife? God Nicole, that’s so fucked up-

 

“God, Waverly! Seriously, get your head out of your ass!” Nicole exclaimed standing up and rubbing her face with her hands in pure frustration. 

 

“I cannot believe that’s what you fucking think of me! I have shown you nothing but kindness, I have never judged you, I’ve been there for you and here you are blaming me for something so twisted. I would never, ever use your trauma to distract me from my own personal shit!” 

 

“Then why the fuck do you care so much?! I’m an Earp for God’s sake! You know our reputation, there’s no other explanation as to why you’re still here!” she retorted back, leaning all her weight on her right leg to stand up and face Nicole. 

 

“It’s possible to just care for someone despite their past! That’s just how some people are! And I’m sorry you’re just so fucking oblivious to the fact that people can look past you and your fucked up family history.” 

 

Nicole was fuming, she could not believe what this girl thought of her. She had showed her nothing but compassion and kindness, never once judging her for anything. And yet, here she was, being accused of something that was the complete opposite of what she was going for. Did she fuck up somewhere? 

 

“If my family is ‘fucked up’ why are you still here?! Why haven’t you run off like the rest of them?!” Waverly asked, mimicking Nicole’s tone. 

 

“Because I like you, Waverly! I have feelings for you, strong feelings and I hate seeing you like this! You’re-”

 

“You what?” Waverly said tremulously. She was more than taken aback. She, of course, listened to what her sisters told her. But she didn’t actually believe them. 

 

Nicole’s eyes went wide, her words finally registering in her mind. She just let it slip how she felt about her. Her heart dropped for Waverly’s confused and agape mouth staring back at her. She had just fucked things up and she would never forgive herself for it. She might’ve just lost the best friend she’d ever had. 

 

Nicole ran her fingers through her hair in a panic. God, what the fuck was she going to do now? 

 

“I- oh fuck, Waverly. I’m so sorry. I- that just came out.” 

 

“Nicole-” 

 

I know you don’t feel the same way. I can bring you home and you don’t ever have to speak to me again.” 

 

“Nicole will you just-” 

 

“I will drop the trial if you really want me to. Shit Waverly, I’m sorry that I just ruined things between us, you’re the best person I’ve ever met and I-” 

 

“Just kiss me!” Waverly shrieked in an uneven voice. 

 

“W-what?” Nicole stared back at her, the panicked state she was in was starting to dissipate. Now she was the one taken aback. 

 

“Kiss me,” Waverly her voice low and shaky. 

 

Nicole stared at her, truly unable to think straight. 

 

“Wha-” 

 

“Kiss me, Nicole,” Waverly repeated again, this time her voice firm and confident. 

 

Nicole licked her lips and could hear her heart beating in her ears. Her hands were tingling and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. Yet, she found herself gently cupping Waverly’s face in her hands and staring into her eyes, looking for any sign of trepidation. 

 

Waverly nodded ever so slightly, letting Nicole know it was ok. 

 

Nicole pressed her lips to Waverly’s, it was sloppy and wet and lasted no more than three seconds before Nicole pulled away. She wanted to make sure that Waverly was ok, that this is what she truly wanted and wasn’t doing it out of panic. 

 

Instead of a panic, she was met with a smile, Waverly’s smile that caused her eyes to crinkle, a smile that Nicole got lost in every. Single. Time. 

 

Waverly leaned in and kissed Nicole again, and this time, Nicole kissed back with fervor. Nicole deepened the kiss and swiped her tongue along Waverly’s bottom lip. Her lips were so soft, Nicole had never kissed lips that soft before. Kissing Waverly sent a wave of electricity through her body. Nicole knew that she would never want another pair of lips on hers again. 

 

Waverly responded by cupping the back of Nicole’s neck, pulling her closer and playing with Nicole’s fiery red baby hairs. Nicole was so gentle and kissing her was like finding the puzzle piece that had been missing her whole life. It was nothing, nothing compared to any kiss she had ever had in all her twenty-four years of living. Waverly wanted to take it further, but found Nicole pulling away before she could make a move. 

 

“Wait, wait,” Nicole said between breaths. “Waverly, are you-” 

 

“Yes, I am sure,” Waverly responded, looking deep into Nicole’s eyes. 

 

Nicole shook her head and looked away. 

 

“Sit with me?” Waverly asked as she pulled herself from Nicole’s embrace and sat on the couch. 

 

Nicole joined her on the couch and Waverly instantly intertwined their hands again. 

 

“Look at me,” Waverly said when she noticed Nicole’s eyes wouldn’t meet hers. 

 

Nicole hesitantly met Waverly’s eyes. She was terrified for what Waverly was going to say next. She had just kissed Waverly Earp, and if she was going to say this isn’t what she wanted; it would just about break Nicole right in two. 

 

“Ever since you came into my life, I’ve felt something. And at first, I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I just knew it was a good feeling. You were there for me, you were always kind and compassionate, always so patient even when I was being a bitch or just straight up annoying.” 

 

“You’re not annoying, Waverly,” Nicole said quietly. 

 

“Either way you helped me discover my true worth, you helped me realize that I am so much more than the relationship I was in, that my past doesn’t define who I am. You stayed, you’re the first person in like twelve years of living to stay despite knowing my history and you continued to be my friend. No one wants to be friends with an Earp, yet, here you are. You made me feel like there was more to me than my name. I truly don’t think I’d be where I am today if you didn’t step into my life.” 

 

Nicole met her eyes again, except instead of sheer terror, they were filled with reassurance, hope, and a glimmer of happiness. 

 

“I didn’t admit it to myself at first, but I have feelings for you too, Nicole. I’ve been wanting to kiss you for weeks now, it just took me a really long time to figure out my feelings. But yes, Nicole; I’m sure of what I want… it’s you.” Her voice was shaky in her last sentence. Waverly had never felt this vulnerable in her life. But Nicole… Nicole did things to her. 

 

Nicole smiled at her, but didn’t say anything, just trying to process the beautiful words that had come out of Waverly’s mouth. Words that she only dreamed of hearing. 

 

“Please say something, you’re scaring me,” Waverly said, fear filling her eyes. A look that Nicole hoped to never see again. 

 

“Waverly, there’s something about you that is just so captivating. Maybe it’s just how damn strong you are. Maybe it’s your smile, or how brave I think you are, the bravest person I’ve ever met. Maybe it’s everything. But whatever it is, I can’t get enough. You captivate me, Waverly. You’re breathtakingly stunning, the most beautiful person I’ve ever met. And what’s even more beautiful, is your mind. You are so smart, so kind, so selfless, to just about everyone you meet. You have such an amazing perspective on life, Wave if you think I’ve made you a better person, I think you should look in the mirror. You’ve made me a better person, you’ve shown me how to make life meaningful again, how there’s at least one positive takeaway in every negative moment. When I came to Purgatory, I was broken and angry, I was hurt. And then I met you, and you completely flipped my world upside down. I want you, too, Waverly. I will always want you, I’m not going anywhere.” She smiled at the brunette who had tears forming in her eyes. “I think you’re stuck with me for a while.” 

 

Waverly reached and tucked some hair behind Nicole’s ear. “I’m perfectly ok with that.” 

 

Nicole moved closer and gently wiped the tear rolling down Waverly’s cheek with the pad of her thumb. 

 

“Can I kiss you?”

 

Waverly’s heart skipped a beat. They had just kissed, twice. But Nicole, being the chivalrous little gentlewoman she was, just had to ask for consent. And Waverly found it so incredibly attractive. 

 

“Yes,” she responded barely getting the word out before her lips were on Nicole’s. 

 

Waverly could only work with her left arm since her right wrist was in a cast. But her left hand tangled itself into Nicole’s red hair. Everything about this moment was perfect to Waverly. Nicole’s lips were plump and soft, a million times better than the thin and chapped lips she had been kissing for the past five years. 

 

Nicole had dreamed about kissing Waverly. She never thought it would happen. Yet here she was. Kissing Waverly Earp was a feeling like no other, a feeling she hadn’t ever felt in her twenty-eight years of living. 

 

Nicole couldn’t get enough and leaned in, placing her hand on Waverly’s ribs, only to send Waverly back, wincing in pain. 

 

“Oh shit, Waves, I’m so sorry,” Nicole said, looking up at Waverly with apologetic eyes. She had gotten so caught up in the moment that she forgot Waverly’s ribs were still bruised and healing. 

 

“That’s ok,” Waverly responded with a sincere smile, cupping Nicole’s jaw in her left hand. 

 

“Why don’t we take a break for now and watch some HGTV? I know you and your sisters love that show,” Nicole said with a wink, bringing her hand up to where Waverly’s was on her jaw and taking it in her own and kissing it. 

 

Waverly smiled a big, toothy smile, her stomach filled with butterflies. God, could Nicole get anymore perfect? 

 

Nicole helped Waverly get her leg elevated on the sectional of her grey couch. She grabbed some blankets and bottle water for the both of them before they both settled together. 

 

Now Nicole could properly cuddle Waverly without wondering if she was overstepping her boundaries. 

 

Waverly felt so free, so content, so happy knowing she could lay against Nicole’s front without feeling weird or confused about her feelings. Nicole’s arms wrapped around her middle made Waverly feel so incredibly safe. She brought her hands to where Nicole’s were resting on her stomach, letting Nicole’s presence and touch ground her to reality, letting her know that this was real, that Nicole liked her back. 

 

Waverly leaned back against Nicole’s front, allowing her to press kisses to Waverly’s temple, then her cheek, then her neck before grabbing the remote and turning on Waverly’s guilty pleasure, House Hunters. 

 

Nicole wasn’t sure it could get anymore perfect than this, Waverly in her arms, slowly drifting off to sleep, knowing that Waverly reciprocated the same feelings, she was sure someone would pinch her and she was going to wake up from this dream. 

 

--

 

Several hours later Waverly woke up with Nicole’s arms still tightly wrapped around her middle. She smiled widely to herself and snuggled in closer to Nicole, hoping to get some more rest, but instead she woke the redhead up. 

 

“Mhm, Wave?” Nicole croaked, releasing her grip around Waverly to rub her eyes. 

 

“I’m right here, baby,” Waverly said softly, sitting up and smiling at just how cute Nicole was when she was waking up. 

 

“Baby?” Nicole asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow. 

 

“Um, yeah? I don’t have to call you that if you don’t like it. Some people think pet names are stupid so I get it,” Waverly ranted, feeling her cheeks become hot. 

 

“No, I love it,” Nicole said, cupping Waverly’s face in her hands. She leaned in and kissed Waverly slowly and softly on the lips, knowing she would never get used to this indescribable feeling. 

 

As if on cue, Waverly’s phone went off, scaring them both as they pulled away quickly. 

 

Waverly dug her phone out through the pile of blankets and saw that Wynonna was calling her. 

 

“Hello?” she asked, bringing the phone to her ear. 

 

“I’ll be in the kitchen,” Nicole whispered, giving Waverly a kiss on the head before walking out and giving her some privacy. 

 

“Dude are you ok?!” Wynonna asked, distress clearly laced in her voice. 

 

“What?” 

 

“You’re still alive right?!” Willa asked, apparently on the other end too. 

 

“Um, of course? Are you two ok? Do you want to call Gus to come and get you guys?”

 

“Babygirl, it’s been several hours since we dropped you off at Red Haught’s house. We thought she killed you or something!” Wynonna exclaimed. 

 

“Really? How long has it been?”

 

“Like almost five hours. We’ve been texting you! We were thinkin’ we were going to have to barge in there and rip up the floors and walls for your dead body!” 

 

“Ew, gross Wynonna. No, I’m very much alive.”

 

“Ok, soo how did things go between you two?!” Willa asked curiously. 

 

Waverly couldn’t help the huge grin form across her face for things went well, very well. 

 

“Things went fine, we’re ok,” Waverly responded, hoping the excitement wasn’t too clear in her voice. 

 

“What does that mean? I need more detail,” Wynonna quipped. 

 

Waverly looked up to make sure Nicole wasn’t paying attention. But no, she wasn’t, she was at the stove, making them something. And Waverly’s suspicions had been right. Seeing Nicole in the kitchen fixing them whatever it was she was fixing, made Waverly’s heart flutter because Nicole was simply an amazing girlfriend like she predicted. 

 

Wait? Girlfriend? Is that what they were now? Girlfriends? 

 

“Hello? Earth to babygirl?!”

 

“What? Oh sorry!” 

 

“Did you two kiss?” Wynonna asked impatiently. 

 

“Yes!” Waverly whisper yelled, unable to contain her excitement anymore. 

 

Squeals and cheers erupted through the phone, causing Waverly to pull the phone away from her ear until the loud cheering died down. 

 

“I knew it!! I told you you wouldn’t be disappointed!” Willa exclaimed proudly. 

 

“Tell us what happened, max detail, go,” Wynonna ordered. 

 

“Well, at first we got into another fight-”

 

“What?!” both sisters exclaimed. 

 

“Yeah, we-” Waverly paused, seeing Nicole walk over with two plates in her hands.  “Hey, I gotta go, I’ll explain later.”

 

“Wait! No we wanna hear-” Click.

 

“It’s grilled cheese, vegan of course,” Nicole said with a wink, handing the plate to Waverly. 

 

“Thank you Nicole,” Waverly said as she took a bite. She had never had vegan grilled cheese before so she wasn’t sure what to expect, but she sure as hell wasn’t expecting it to taste that good. 

 

“Holy shit Nicole,” she said with food still in her mouth. “This is so good.”

 

“Yeah? I’ve actually never made it before,” Nicole said shyly. 

 

“No, it’s so good,” Waverly said in between bites. 

 

Nicole watched happily as Waverly devoured her sandwich, herself on the other hand, wasn’t that hungry so took a few bites of her sandwich before setting it on the coffee table. 

 

Waverly sat back when she was finished, cuddling up to Nicole’s side, laying her head on her shoulder and wrapping her arm around Nicole’s and intertwining their hands. 

 

“Wave, I’d like to take you out on a date, a real, first date,” Nicole said softly. “Not that this wasn’t amazing, because it was. I’m just an old school romantic. Is that ok with you? As long as you’ll have me?”

 

“Nicole, you will always have me,” Waverly said so casually. “What did you have in mind?” 

 

“Not sure yet. What are your limits, y’ know since you’re still healing?”

 

“Not sure yet,” Waverly said with a smirk, earning a playful eye roll from Nicole. “Surprise me,” she whispered, placing a kiss to the underside of her jaw. “If it’s too much, I’ll let you know.” 

 

“Say, this Saturday around 7?” 

 

Waverly smiled for the millionth time that day. “Sounds perfect,” she mumbled against Nicole’s lips, pulling her in for another sweet kiss.



Chapter Text

“Deputy Tater Haught,” Wynonna quipped as she leaned against the doorway of the homestead. 

 

“Hi Wynonna,” Nicole greeted nervously, a bouquet of roses in her sweaty palms.

 

She had come to pick Waverly up for their date and she was beyond nervous. She had been stressing over this day ever since she asked Waverly out in the first place. She wanted everything to be perfect, she wanted to treat her the way she should’ve been treated in the first place. And she was afraid she wasn’t going to treat her justice. 

 

“Is Waverly-” 

 

“We know what happened between you and Waverly,” Wynonna said cutting her off in a sharp tone, standing up straight and glaring at Nicole. 

 

“Wha-” Nicole was confused, she assumed her sisters knew what had happened between them, quite honestly she was expecting this talk much sooner. 

 

“You were an ass to our baby sister,” she spat, eyes narrowing at the redhead. “You really hurt and confused her. And if you think you can get away with that then-”

 

“Oh my God, Wynonna just let the poor girl in,” Willa groaned from a few feet behind them, trying to spare Nicole after seeing the terrified look on her face. 

 

“Haha! You thought I was actually going to do something to you,” Wynonna said between laughs.  

 

“What?” Nicole was even more confused now. 

 

“Please come in, Nicole,” Willa offered, leading her into the kitchen.

 

“Waverly told us what happened, she told us everything,” she said as she and Wynonna sat at the island. “And we know you were both in the moment and we know you both said some awful things to each other. She also told us you kissed and that you’re both happy and ready to be in a relationship with one another. But-”

 

“But being her protective older sisters we’re making sure you know that if you hurt her or break her heart we will hunt you down. And Haughtstuff, you won’t like the end result,” Wynonna said, her voice suddenly getting serious.  

 

Nicole held her hands up in self defense. “Hey, I know what I said and I know I was an asshole. But guys, I would never hurt Waverly. She’s, she’s the best person I’ve ever met and I’m not going to let her slip through the cracks. I don’t want you guys to worry, I’ll always be there to protect her and I’ll always be there for her,” she said with conviction.  

 

Wynonna and Willa looked at each other. Truthfully they hadn’t been too mad, they just wanted to make sure the redheads priorities were in order.  

 

“Remember, if you hurt her, we’ll come for you.” 

 

“I would never hurt her, Wynonna,” Nicole said firmly.  

 

“Nicole?”

 

Nicole looked up, eyes instantly finding Waverly while all the air simultaneously being sucked from her lungs. 

 

Waverly looked absolutely gorgeous. She was wearing a simple, light blue floral print sundress, wearing her favorite pair of footwear, birkenstocks on her right foot; and her curled hair fell perfectly over her shoulders. Her leg cast had been replaced with a boot and her wrist was now in a brace. But Nicole still found her incredibly beautiful. 

 

Gus gave her a kiss on the cheek before sending her over to Nicole, who stood there with her mouth open like a lovestruck idiot. But Waverly didn’t mind, she thought it was absolutely adorable. 

 

“You… are a vision,” Nicole breathed out, handing her the flowers and following it with a kiss to the cheek. 

 

“You’re not so bad yourself Officer,” Waverly said in a sultry tone, admiring the grey t-shirt with rolled sleeves and the small pocket on the front with washed out ripped denim jeans and of course the redhead was sporting her white high top converse. 

 

“These are beautiful,” Waverly whispered, bringing her nose to the bouquet and inhaling deeply. “You didn’t have to buy me flowers, Nicole.” 

 

“Oh please, can’t pass up the perfect opportunity to give my lady some flowers.” Nicole smirked at Waverly and she intertwined their hands. 

 

Your lady?” Waverly had hated when Champ was possessive, but with Nicole, it caused butterflies to erupt in her stomach. 

 

“Not too possessive?” she asked, internally chastising herself. She hated whenever someone was treated like an object and here she was, doing just that with Waverly. 

 

“No, I like it,” Waverly said, squeezing Nicole’s hand gently. 

 

“Will you two quit eye fucking each other and get going on your date?” Wynonna quipped, interrupting Nicole and Waverly’s moment. 

 

“Wynonna, leave them alone,” Gus berated as she entered the kitchen. “Seriously though, you two run along, it’s going to start getting dark pretty soon.” 

 

Nicole and Waverly smiled at each other before Nicole took a step back, letting Waverly say goodbye to her sisters and aunt. 

 

“You look beautiful, babygirl,” Willa said as she pulled her sister into a tight hug. 

 

“Yeah, good luck keeping it in your pants there ginger spice,” Wynonna teased, embarrassing her sister yet again. 

 

“Nonna!” Waverly exclaimed as her eyes went wide. 

 

“You two better get before Wynonna embarrasses you anymore,” Gus said, pulling her niece into her embrace and placing a kiss to her head. “Have fun, darlin’. I’m, I’m really happy for you.” 

 

“Thanks Gus,” Waverly said, handing the her the flowers to put in a vase. She could’ve sworn that there was a tear forming in her aunts eyes. 

 

“We’ll see you guys later,” Nicole said with a smile, placing her hand on the small of Waverly’s back as she led them out the door. 

 

“So, where are we going?” Waverly asked curiously as Nicole pulled onto the main road. 

 

“Mhm, that’s a surprise remember?” Nicole teased with a smirk. 

 

“Ugh, Nic! I know I said surprise me but you’re still going to make me wait?!” 

 

“Sorry, love.” Nicole placed her hand in Waverly’s thigh, squeezing it lightly before returning it to the steering wheel. 

 

Waverly’s heart fluttered at Nicole’s term of endearment and her touch made her heart rate skyrocket. Nicole Haught was really something else. 

 

“You’re just going to have to wait.” 

 

“You’re mean,” Waverly pouted, looking away from Nicole and out the window. 

 

“I know,” Nicole replied, holding her hand out for Waverly’s. 

 

Waverly caved and intertwined their hands, blushing when Nicole gave the back of her hand a chaste kiss. 

 

Wherever Nicole was taking them was not in town. It was a 20 minute ride and there were a lot of back roads. But Waverly had to admit, the ride there was beautiful. The sun was just starting to go down, giving the Canadian mountains a beautiful golden flare. Just add that to the long list of reasons why she loved Canada. 

 

“Um, Nicole, where are we?” Waverly asked as Nicole pulled into a secluded dirt parking lot. It had looked like no one had been here in years. “Did you bring me out here to murder me?” Half of that question was sarcasm, the other half was slight panic. 

 

“Yes as a matter of fact,” Nicole said as she put the car in park. “I actually have a body bag and some rope in my trunk.”

 

She paused when she saw the brunette’s face which had sheer panic written all over it. 

 

“I’m kidding, Wave,” Nicole said with a playful smile. 

 

Waverly smiled back, admiring her soft, brown eyes. She wasn’t given any reason to believe that the redhead would do anything of that nature. But if her past taught her anything; it was not believe everything you see. 

 

“I actually found this spot about a month or two ago. It was a few weeks after I moved and I was still familiarizing myself with the town. I was honestly just driving around, taking every turn I felt like taking and I ended up here. At first I was actually worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back because it’s way out of town,” Nicole explained as she helped Waverly out of the car. 

 

“I didn’t even know this was here and I’ve lived here my whole life,” Waverly breathed out, in awe of the view in front of her. 

 

“Off the beaten path if you will,” Nicole said, her voice a little muffled as her back was turned to the brunette to get the picnic basket out of the backseat. 

 

“It’s really beautiful.” 

 

It really was beautiful. The sun was just setting over the Canadian mountains, painting the sky an array of bright, punchy orange and yellows, mixed with soft pinks and purples. The snow caps were on the mountain and the dark, rock and dirt contrasted nicely. The water below was perfectly still, reflecting the scenic view back towards the sky.  

 

And damn if Waverly wasn’t already in love with Canada. 

 

“Ready?” Nicole asked, holding out her hand for Waverly’s while the other was holding the picnic basket and blankets. 

 

Waverly gladly intertwined their hands as Nicole led them a lookout that overlooked the entire valley and peaks of mountain and lake. 

 

“So I was thinking we could drink some champagne and snack on a various array of vegan meats and cheeses and some fruit while we watch the sunset? If that’s alright with you? I’m sure you’re not up for much since you still have a boot and brace.”  

 

Waverly smiled wide at the redhead as she watched her lay out the blanket. She was truly so grateful for meeting this selfless woman before her. Whenever Champ took her out on a date, which were rare, they would always do what he wanted to do, it was never what she wanted, even when they had first started dating. Nicole was a breath of fresh air and Waverly was sure she would never be able to get enough. 

 

“That’s perfect, Nicole,” Waverly replied as she sat down next to Nicole, grabbing the champagne glass that was being handed to her. 

 

“Yeah? I was afraid it would be too boring.”

 

“Sometimes boring is ok,” Waverly said, pressing a kiss to Nicole’s cheek. 

 

The champagne Nicole had gotten them must’ve been expensive, because it tasted like a million bucks. Truly the best champagne she had ever had. Oh and the mini charcuterie board? Forget it. Waverly had been to every place in town and she never remembered vegan hors d’oeuvres or the fresh fruit from the market tasting that good. 

 

“This is so, so beautiful, baby,” Waverly said quietly, playing with the ring on Nicole’s right middle finger. 

 

They had finished eating a few minutes ago and now they were both cuddling, buried in blankets as they watched the last few minutes of the sunset. Waverly was pressed against Nicole’s front, with Nicole’s arms wrapped tightly around her waist. This moment was perfect to the both of them. And truthfully, Nicole never wanted to hold another woman again. 

 

“I’m glad you brought me here. It’s really nice to get away from Purgatory… away from the talk .”

 

“It must be hard hearing all of that, I’m sorry people suck,” Nicole said gently, placing a kiss to the top of Waverly’s ear. 

 

“It’s ok, being an Earp, y’know, you get used to it.” 

 

Waverly had grown to have some thick skin, especially when they started to live with their aunt. There was rumor after rumor and the Earp sisters were constantly made fun of. Willa tried the best she could to defend her younger sister when Wynonna left but the bullies were relentless. It was hard and Waverly would sometimes go home and cry, wishing to never go back to school again. But her aunt, who was tough as nails, ingrained into her was to never let the bullies get the laugh last. She returned to school the next day, her aunts advice ringing in her ears. And from that day on, she refused to let the mean and snide comments get to her. Sure she had days where people sucked and she wanted to never come out of her room, she was human after all. But after years and years of judging looks and rude comments, you learn to let it roll off your shoulder.

 

“Still. They don’t know you like I know you, Waves.” 

 

Waverly chortled, leaning further back into Nicole, taking comfort in her arms. “Why’s that?” 

 

“Well, for starters I think that you’re the kindest, sweetest person I’ve ever known. I think you’re the bravest person I’ve ever come across. And I love how stubborn you are, you don’t let anyone walk all over you.”

 

Waverly blushed. “But Champ…” 

 

“Is a dick who gaslighted you. Champ manipulated you, it’s simple psychology. Ever since you left Champ I’ve seen you grown, I’ve seen you blossom into your own skin and become much more comfortable being who you are. Waves when you know what you want you go for it and you don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“That’s only because I met you,” Waverly said, craning her head to place a kiss to the underside of Nicole’s jaw. “You bring out the best in me.” 

 

“And you make my world stop. You make me forget my own name and cause me to stand there like a blubbering idiot who doesn’t know English.”

 

Waverly gasped, feigning offense. “Nicole Haught are you blaming me for your tiny brain?” 

 

“Yes,” Nicole responded without missing a beat. 

 

Waverly sat up to turn around and continue to tease Nicole, but she couldn’t help herself and leaned in and kissed her hard on the lips when she saw those dimples smiling back at her. When she pulled away she wrapped her arms around Nicole and buried her face in the crook of her neck, inhaling deeply to smell the strong scent of vanilla. 

 

“And by the way,” she husked in her ear. “You’re my beautiful, unbelievably smart, bright-eyed girl who has a smile capable of changing my entire mood. You my love, are way out of my league.” 

 

“Nicole Haught no one is out of your league.”

 

“Except you.” 

 

“But-”

 

“Nope, no ifs ands or buts. You my dear,” Nicole paused, causing Waverly to sit up and face her. Nicole gently cupped her face, looking at her lovingly. 

 

“Are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I’m thanking whatever higher power up there for bringing us together.” 

 

Waverly blushed, being pulled into another slow, sweet kiss by Nicole. 

 

“Nic, what are we?” she asked as they pulled away, foreheads resting against one anothers. 

 

“We are whatever you want us to be.” 

 

“Girlfriends. I’d like to be, uh, I want to be your girlfriend,” Waverly said in a shaky voice. 

 

It wasn’t that she didn’t want to be Nicole’s girlfriend. She really wanted to be and she was hoping someday, maybe even more. But she was scared of getting rejected. She had never felt this way about anyone before. Was it love? She wasn’t sure. Either way, she couldn’t lose the redhead. She just couldn’t. 

 

“I’d really like that too,” Nicole said earnestly. “But Waverly, are you sure?” She pulled back, looking Waverly in the eyes. “You just got out of a five year relationship, a, um, an abusive relationship with someone. I don’t want to rush this, I don’t want you to rush anything you’re not ready for.”

 

“I know that I’m fresh out of a shitty relationship. But I trust you, Nicole. I know that you would never hurt me. You came and changed my life, you became a friend when I needed one and you never partook in any gossip. Nic, I want to be more than friends. You make me feel safe…  and wanted. You make me feel things, you make me feel good about myself. I know it seems like I’m rushing into this, but I… I just want you Nicole. I can’t explain it, but I just do. I don’t think I can live without you.” 

 

Waverly felt a tear roll down her cheek. She had been so emotional lately, and the medication the doctors had given her had not been helping. 

 

“Hey,” Nicole cooed, lifting her hand to her tears. “Don’t cry. I hate it when you cry. Look, Wave. I want you, too. I will always want you. I don’t want to live without you either, you mean so much to me and I don’t know what I’d do if I ever lost you. So, Waverly do you want to be my girlfriend?” 

 

Waverly sniffled, looking back up at Nicole with a huge grin on her face. “I’d love to be your girlfriend.” 

 

Nicole gave her a toothy smile and pulled her into a searing kiss before pulling away and hugging her tightly, peppering kisses into her cheek. 

 

“We should get going,” Nicole whispered. The sun had set almost ten minutes ago and now it was starting to get really cold out. “I don’t want you getting sick.” 

 

“Nic, I’m not going to get sick,” Waverly groaned, smiling at the redhead as she pulled away. 

 

“I don’t wanna take any chances. I don’t wanna risk getting sick every time I kiss you,” Nicole said, placing one last kiss to Waverly’s cheek before standing up and collecting the items they had brought. 

 

Waverly rolled her eyes but got up, taking Nicole’s hand in her own as they walked back to the car. 

 

“Thank you for tonight. Honestly Nicole I think it was probably the best date I’ve ever been on.” 

 

“I’m glad, Waves. Truthfully I was quite nervous that I wouldn’t do our first date justice. I just wanted it to be… perfect,” she breathed out. 

 

“Anything with you is perfect. Laying on the couch in sweats gorging on greasy and unhealthy food is perfect as long as I’m with you.” 

 

Nicole looked over and smiled at her, placing her hand on her thigh and drawing random patterns as she pulled back onto the main road. 

 

If Nicole was sure of anything, it was that she hopelessly and irrevocably in love with Waverly Earp; and there was no going back now.



Chapter Text

“Ha! Right between the eyes!” Wynonna exclaimed as a pistachio shell nailed Nicole quite literally, right between the eyes, just above the nose

 

“Wynonna would you quit it?” Nicole groaned as she threw back the shell. They were nearing the end of their shift and of course, Wynonna had started fooling around hours ago. Nicole just wanted to get her work done, but that was near impossible now that Wynonna’s focus had been completely diverted. 

 

“Oh c’ mon Dimples, loosen up,” Wynonna whined sitting back in her chair and throwing her feet up on the desk. 

 

“It’s only a few minutes until we can go home, can you please just let me have those few minutes?”

 

“Fine,” Wynonna grumbled, glaring at the redhead as she whipped out her phone. 

 

Minutes later, what seemed like hours to Wynonna, Nicole finally finished the rest of the paperwork she had that day. And now they could both finally go home. 

 

Well, at least Nicole wanted to go home, Wynonna on the other hand, had other ideas. 

 

“So, Haughtstuff,” Wynonna started, slinging her arm over Nicole’s shoulders. 

 

“What’re you doing?” Nicole questioned. Her and the Earp sisters had become close the past few months, with Wynonna especially; but this was very unusual coming from the middle Earp. 

 

“You need to loosen up,” she said, leading them out the door and towards Wynonna’s battered blue truck. “So we’re going to get a drink.” 

 

“I can’t drink in uniform, Wynonna,” Nicole groaned. Normally she’d be up for a drink with the middle Earp, but she was exhausted and just wanted to go home. 

 

“Ok, so take off your uniform shirt, you and I both know you wear a tank top under it. Take off your utility belt and you’re good to go. No one is going to know they’re your uniform pants. See? Problem solved,” she said coaxed. 

 

“But I’m tired, I just want to go home and sleep.”

 

“Too bad, get in the truck.”

 

“No, we can go another time. I’m exhausted.”

 

“Too bad I got your keys,” Wynonna said with a smirk, holding up the officer's car keys and other various keys attached to the key ring. 

 

Nicole groaned and rolled her eyes, seeing as there was no way she was going to get out of this, she reluctantly stepped into the truck. 

 

“There you go! We’re going to get you drunk so you can relax tonight,” Wynonna said as she followed Nicole and started the truck. 

 

“I can’t get too drunk,” she replied, already starting to unbutton her shirt. 

 

“You work the graveyard shift tomorrow. You literally have all day,” Wynonna said as she sped out of the parking lot and down the road. “And I thought you and Waverly were spending the day together.”

 

“We are and I don’t wanna be too hungover,” she replied, throwing her head back on the headrest. 

 

“Aww, too bad. Waverly will get over it. I’m sure she’ll love taking care of you.” 

 

“You’re an ass.”

 

“I know.”

 

Shorty’s was very slow that night, only about 10 or so people there that night. And thankfully, there were some spots open at the bar. 

 

“Ladies, what can I get you?” Gus asked, smiling at the tired deputy and her niece. 

 

“Whiskey for me.”

 

“Just a beer,” Nicole said, leaning her head on her hands. 

 

“And some tequila shots,” Wynonna added. 

 

“Wynonna, no.”

 

“Wynonna yes. Thanks Gus.” 

 

“Nonna I told you-”

 

“Shh,” Wynonna said, pushing her finger to Nicole’s lips, effectively cutting her off. “Stop being a buzzkill and drink,” she said, pushing the beer bottles towards her. 

 

Nicole didn’t want to argue and she figured she was already here, so what the hell. A few drinks can’t hurt. 

 


 

Five beers and about 15 tequila shots later Nicole and Wynonna were well past drunk. It was nearing almost 12 AM and they had no intention on stopping. 

 

“C’mon Earp, ‘s that all ya got?” Nicole slurred, leaning heavily on the pool stick in her hands. 

 

“Oh please, Red. How many times have I whooped your ass,” Wynonna replied slowly, her speech clearly impaired as well. 

 

“Ha! You missed,” Nicole giggled to herself as Wynonna missed the ball at least by an inch. 

 

“Yeah that’s only ‘cause of your stupid bright red hair, it distracted me,” Wynonna pouted, downing the last of her beer. 

 

“My hair is not stupid.

 

“No, but you are,” Wynonna quipped, poking her hard in the chest with her finger. 

 

Nicole glared at her, only to have Wynonna mirror her facial expressions. Instead of fighting, they both broke out in laughter, cackling loudly to each other. 

 

“Alright you, two. I think it’s time to get you guys home,” Gus chided, shuffling them off to the front door. 

 

“No, we’re perfectly fine,” Wynonna defended, turning back to walk back towards their pool game only to be forcefully turned back around by Gus. 

 

“My shift is ending so I’ll bring you two home.”

 

“Boo, you’re no fun,” Nicole whined while crossing her arms. 

 

“What’s no fun is going to be your guys’ hangover tomorrow,” Gus said, opening her Ford truck door for them to climb in. “You’re going to have to come to pick up your truck tomorrow, Wynonna.” 

 

“Yeah yeah,” Wynonna replied, already falling asleep in the backseat. 

 

Driving home was no problem, but getting them into the house was a bit more difficult. Gus managed, but could only get Wynonna so far as the living room before she flopped herself onto the couch and passed out.

 

Nicole however, took it upon herself to find Waverly. She wasn’t in the guest bedroom anymore so Nicole figured she must’ve been upstairs. 

 

“Whoops,” Nicole giggled to herself as she stumbled going up the stairs. She had no idea where Waverly’s room was, so she opened every door, not without knocking of course. 

 

“Oh, Willa!” Nicole exclaimed happily as barged into the oldest Earp’s bedroom. “Hiiii.” 

 

“Hi, Nicole,” Willa chuckled, looking up from her phone, trying to contain her laughter at the officer in front of her who was clearly drunk. “Waverly’s room is the one all the way to the left.”

 

“Thanks, Wil!” 

 

Nicole staggered towards the last bedroom of the hallway before knocking, but not even waiting to get a response before she opened the door. 

 

“Waves?” she asked, peeking her head in. 

 

“Nic? What are you doing here?” Waverly asked, looking up from the book in her hand, smiling up at her girlfriend. She licked her lips hungrily upon seeing the tight black clad tank top hugging her in all the right places. And she couldn’t help but admire the officer’s strong, toned arms.

 

“I went out drinking with Wynonna,” she said, stepping into the room and leaving the door ajar. “I’m a lil’ drunk.” 

 

Waverly giggled. “A little?” 

 

“Ok, a lottle.”

 

Waverly laughed, opening her arms for the redhead. Nicole smiled, kicking off her boots and throwing herself into Waverly’s arms, laying her head on her chest.

 

“My poor, drunk baby,” Waverly cooed, moving the hair out of her eyes. 

 

Nicole gasped, suddenly sitting up and hovering over her girlfriend. “What if I crush you?!”

 

Waverly smiled, leaning in and placing a kiss to Nicole’s beer-stained lips, which slightly reminded her of Champ. But she quickly threw the thought out, knowing Nicole was nothing like her ex-boyfriend. 

 

“Sweetie, I’m completely healed, remember? You came with me to the doctor's appointment! The doc said I’m ok to be doing normal things again. You’re not going to crush me.” 

 

It had been about a month and a half since they made it official and in that timeframe, everything had healed and she was no longer in braces or casts. She could now live life as normal. 

 

“You sure?” she asked with puppy dog eyes. 

 

“Yes, my love,” Waverly replied, smiling up at Nicole who was being absolutely adorable. 

 

“Ok,” she mumbled, laying back down on top of her girlfriend.

 

Waverly responded by wrapping her arms around Nicole’s waist and hugging her tightly, peppering kisses into her hairline. 

 

“You’re not going to be happy this morning,” Waverly said quietly, running her fingers through Nicole’s fiery red hair. 

 

“I know,” she sighed. 

 

“Mhm, my Waverly,” Nicole mumbled, snuggling impossibly closer into the brunette. 

 

“Your Waverly?” Waverly asked with a smirk. 

 

“Mhm, always.” 

 

“I’m all yours, love,” Waverly responded, pushing more kisses to the top of Nicole’s head. 

 

“I will always be yours.” 

 


 

Nicole woke up the next morning, the first thing she noticed was that her head was pounding, it felt like it was going to explode. The second was she felt really sick and dizzy. Lastly, the third and most important in her opinion, was Waverly was sleeping tightly to her chest and her limbs wrapped tightly around her like a koala bear.

 

She reached for her phone on the side table and saw that it was 8:12 AM. As desperately as she wanted to stay here and cuddle Waverly, her bladder was calling for something else. 

 

She gently pried Waverly off of her and slid out of bed, careful not to wake the brunette who was sleeping so soundly.  

 

After using the bathroom, she started desperately raiding the cabinet for a pain reliever. To her surprise, she couldn’t find any. So she made her way downstairs. 

 

“Goodmorning Nicole,” Gus greeted, handing her a cup of coffee. 

 

“Morning, Gus. Do you have-”

 

“Here,” she handed Nicole the bottle of Advil, already knowing what she was asking for. 

 

“Thanks.” Nicole poured out two pills and downed them in a second. She then went to grab a glass of water, hoping some of her hangovers would be gone by the time she and Waverly got around to doing something for the day. 

 

“Oh fuck,” Wynonna groaned from the living room, instantly rubbing her temples. 

 

“I told you, girls to take it easy last night,” Gus tutted, taking a sip of her coffee. 

 

“Yeah but we had a shit ton of fun,” Wynonna said, high fiving Nicole as she walked into the kitchen and grabbed the Advil bottle. 

 

“I’m going to go check on, Waverly,” Nicole said as she stood up, knowing her girlfriend hated waking up to a cold bed. Her head was pounding and she wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed and sleep for a few more hours. 

 

She quietly lifted the covers and slipped back into bed, careful not to wake Waverly. They had some time to kill, so she figured she may as well try and get some more sleep. 

 

“Mm, Nic?” Waverly croaked, instantly reaching her hand out for the redhead. 

 

“I’m right here sweet girl,” she replied, wrapping her arms around the brunette when she climbed to lay on top of her.

 

“How are you feeling?” the younger girl mumbled into the crook of Nicole’s neck. 

 

“Not the best.” 

 

“You were very drunk last night,” Waverly chuckled. 

 

“Mhm I don’t doubt it.”

 

Nicole smiled and placed a kiss on Waverly's head, rubbing her hands up and down the brunette’s back. 

 

“What do you wanna do today?” 

 

“This,” Waverly said contently, burying her head further into Nicole’s neck and breathing in the intoxicating scent of vanilla. 

 

Nicole chuckled as she pulled her closer, placing more kisses to the top of her head. 

 

“Just this?”

 

“Well,” Waverly sat up, Nicole following and doing the same. 

 

“I kinda wanted to go on a hike today. But I know you have a killer hangover so we don’t have to.” 

 

“No, baby,” Nicole said, placing her hands on Waverly’s thighs and gently rubbing her soft skin with the pad of her thumbs. “I’d love to go on a hike. I think I just need a little more sleep, but after that, I’m all yours for what you would like to do today.” 

 

Waverly cupped the smiling face looking back at her and kissed her sweetly. “Are you sure? Sweetie you were very drunk last night, I know you must not be feeling very well this morning. I’d be more than happy to lay here with you all day.” 

 

“No, I want to,” she responded, laying back down and holding out her arms, wrapping them tightly back around Waverly. 

 

“I’ll give myself two hours and then we can get our day started.” Nicole pulled out her phone and set a timer for two hours. “But if you have things to do don’t let me stop you.” 

 

“No, I’m good here,” Waverly said, smiling against Nicole’s chest. 

 

Nicole smiled, tipping Waverly’s head to kiss her before they both fell back asleep in each other's arms. 

 


 

“You feeling ok, Wave?” Nicole asked as she walked back and joined Waverly on the rock she was sitting on. 

 

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she responded, clearly out of breath. She wiped the beads of sweat on her forehead. 

 

Waverly was not fine, however. She hadn’t been this active in months. Even before the incident with Nicole and Champ. Champ had gotten angry at her and said she and Chrissy had hiked too much, so he forbade her from ever going again. Waverly didn’t quite realize just how out of shape she was. And it wasn’t helping that her leg was bothering her. The doctor said it was completely healed but he did warn her she might have some discomfort in the first few months. 

 

“Babe, you’re not fine,” Nicole said, placing her hand on Waverly’s thigh. “Why don’t we head back, we can finish the hike another time.”

 

“No, I’m ok,” Waverly lied, picking her head up and forcing a smile. “Let’s keep going.”

 

Nicole gently pulled Waverly back down onto her lap when she attempted to get up. “I know you’re in some pain. There’s always another time. I don’t want you exerting yourself or breaking more bones..” 

 

“Nicole, I’m ok, I’m just a little uncomfortable,” she groaned. “It’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before.” 

 

“Waverly, I think we should head back, I have work tonight anyway. We can get some dinner and cuddle some more.” 

 

“Nicole.”

 

“Waverly.”

 

“But-”

 

“Please? For me?”

 

Waverly glared at her girlfriend, but caved and rolled her eyes, kissing Nicole chastely on the lips. 

 

“Only for you,” she mumbled as she pulled away. 

 

“You’re the best,” Nicole responded, standing them up and intertwining their hands. 

 

“I know.” 

 

“Wow, so humble,” Nicole said with a smirk. 

 

“It’s one of my best qualities,” Waverly responded, leaning in when Nicole kissed her on the temple.  

 

“C’mon Ms. One of my best qualities. I think this hike calls for some vegan pizza, you up for it?”

 

“Nic, I’m always up for pizza.” 

 

Nicole kissed the back of her hand as they leisurely made their way back to the car, admiring the beautiful Canadian foliage and nature before them. 

 


 

Nicole was not happy she was working the graveyard shift. She and Waverly cuddled in bed together while watching Waverly’s favorite show Grey’s Anatomy. It hurt her heart knowing she had to tear herself from her girlfriend's arms and leave her there to sleep there alone while she went into work. The hike had tired her out and the hangover from her headache didn’t quite go away. So she was truly dreading this shift. 

 

She walked into the station, not even getting a chance to put her things down before getting called into Nedley’s office. 

 

“Haught! Get your ass in here!” Nedley bellowed. 

 

Slight panic rose in her chest. Her boss did not sound happy. 

 

“Yes sir?” she asked. Trepidation filled her eyes upon seeing the Sheriff, clear annoyance and anger written all over his face.

 

“Have a seat, we need to talk.” 

Chapter Text

“Have a seat, we need to talk,” Nedley said with a gruff tone, folding his hands on his desk. 

 

“Is something wrong sir?” Nicole asked uneasily, sitting in the chair. 

 

“Nicole, you were at Shorty’s yesterday, correct?” 

 

Nicole nodded, her heart skipped a beat. “Yes sir.” 

 

“Right after your shift?” 

 

Her heart dropped. “Yes sir.” 

 

“In your uniform?”

 

Her heart plummeted. “Um well,” she responded, hoping the shakiness she could feel wasn’t too evident in her voice. 

 

“Well what?” Nedley furrowed his brow, glaring at the deputy before him. 

 

“I took my uniform shirt and utility belt off,” she replied, nervously playing with the ring on her finger. “And then I was just in my work boots and pants… and a tank top.”

 

Just ?” Nedley rolled his eyes. “Nicole you don’t ever drink in uniform! You know better!” 

 

Her face turned a violent shade of crimson. “I know, sir. I’m sorry, I-”

 

“You’re damn right you’re sorry! I don’t care if you were ‘ just in your pants and boots’. You don’t drink in uniform, not any part of your uniform. And on top of that you got piss drunk. You are an officer in a very small town, you have a reputation to keep here! You don’t want people thinking that you’re not a reliable deputy,” he barked. 

 

“Yes sir, it was my mistake. I should’ve said no to Wynonna” 

 

“Nicole you are a grown-ass woman,” he berated. “You put your foot down and say no. You may be a part of the Black Badge Division but you are still a Purgatory Officer and I won’t have my officers out making a bad name for themselves.” His voice was softer this time. 

 

“Yes sir, I’m sorry, I promise it won’t happen again,” Nicole apologized as she turned to stand up. 

 

“Yes well, I’m suspending you for the rest of the week and the week of your return I’m putting you on paperwork duty. So much as a hair out of line and you’ll be stuck in your office for a month. No going out on patrols or participating in anything BBD related that’s outside of this station, you hear?”

 

Nicole clenched her jaw, anger in her quickly rising. “Yes sir,” she choked out.

 

Nedley nodded. “Dismissed. I don’t want to see you here until next Sunday.” 

 

Nicole walked out calmly, but internally she was fuming. She knew she should’ve just gone home instead of going out. But no, she just had to let Wynonna talk her into going out and drinking. 

 

Granted, Nedley had a point, she was a grown-ass adult and had the personal autonomy to say no. So she knew that she wasn’t completely innocent.

 

Nicole sighed to herself as she opened her police cruiser door. She knew that it was going to be a long two weeks. 

 


 

“Hey, so I was thinking, since you’re off this Saturday we could head up to Calgary, y’know to find some more house decorations.”

 

Waverly exited the master bathroom that was directly connected to Nicole’s master bedroom to see the redhead laying down on the bed, with her legs hanging over, rubbing her eyes in an exhausted manner. The poor thing looked exasperated. 

 

She had gone over early that morning, knowing Nicole got off the graveyard shift at eight o’clock and wanted to get a shower in and relax before her next shift. But right now Nicole looked anything but relaxed. 

 

“Nic?” 

 

“Hmm?” 

 

“Did you hear me?” 

 

“No, love, I’m sorry,” Nicole apologized sincerely as she sat up. “What did you say?” 

 

“Nicole are you ok?” Waverly asked caringly as she sat in Nicole’s lap, wrapping her legs around Nicole and straddling her. 

 

“I”m fine. Just had a long shift.” Nicole smiled up at her girlfriend while placing her hands on her hips and rubbing small circles with the pad of her thumbs. 

 

“Anything you wanna talk about?” Waverly asked, playing with Nicole’s baby hairs on the back of her neck. 

 

“No, I just want to sleep, but I can’t because it’s only 8:30 in the morning and then my sleep schedule will be messed up.”

 

“You sure, baby? You seem awfully upset. You can talk to me, sweetie.”

 

Nicole leaned in and kissed Waverly softly on the lips, bringing her hands up to cup her face gently. 

 

“I know,” she whispered, bringing their foreheads together and bringing her arms to wrap around Waverly’s waist. 

 

“So what’s on your mind, huh?” Waverly asked lovingly. 

 

“Nedley found out that I was drinking in uniform last night. He suspended me for the rest of the week and then put me on paperwork duty when I return. Nothing BBD that’s out in the field, just paperwork ,” she breathed out the last word, burying her head into Waverly’s chest. She was exhausted and emotional and all she wanted was her Waverly. 

 

“Oh, baby, I’m sorry,” Waverly cooed, pulling Nicole closer and rubbing her back. “Hey, it’s only two weeks, and then you’re back out there. It could’ve been worse right?”

 

Nicole groaned. “Feels pretty worse now.” 

 

She was initially furious with herself and Wynonna, but that dissipated. She was more frustrated than anything, frustrated with herself and her friend.  

 

“I know it does, but these two weeks will go by fast, you’ll see. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

 

“Just hold me.”

 

Waverly smile and pushed a kiss to Nicole’s head, wrapping her arms tightly around her and pulling her impossibly closer. 

 

“Oh shit, Wave,” Nicole said pulling away. “You were saying something about Calgary?”

 

“Oh, it’s not important,” Waverly replied, wrapping her arms back around the redhead. 

 

“No, Wave what was it?” 

 

“I was just suggesting we could go to Calgary to shop for some more decor for your house. But we can do that another time.”

 

“I’d love to go on a little day trip with you baby. Honestly, I could use a little distraction. We could get a late breakfast and then shop for the day. How does that sound?”

 

“Sounds perfect, love.” Waverly pulled Nicole into a searing kiss. 

 

Nicole stood up, Waverly’s legs still wrapped around her. She brought her hands to cup Waverly’s bottom as she walked them to the bathroom, placing her on the cold counter. 

 

“I have to shower,” Nicole mumbled against her lips. “And if you’re lucky I’ll let you join me.”

 

Nicole winked at her as she pulled off her t-shirt and went to turn on the water. 

 

Waverly sat there smirking at her, watching as her girlfriend seductively undressed. 

 

This woman was really going to be the death of her. 

 


 

“Haught,” Wynonna quipped at Nicole. 

 

“Wynonna.” 

 

Nicole had distanced herself from the middle Earp for the past two days, just give her some time to cool off, knowing that Wynonna was just trying to get her to relax a bit and she wasn’t the only one at fault for her punishment. It takes two to tango and she did ultimately agree to drink. But still, part of her was slightly angry with the darker brunette. 

 

“Look,” Wynonna said down at the kitchen table, while Waverly looked nervously between the two. “I’m… I’m sorry for getting you in trouble with Nedley. I should’ve just let you go home that night.” 

 

Both Nicole and Waverly raised an eyebrow before exchanging shocked looks. They both hadn’t had high expectations of Wynonna apologizing, so this was surprising to both of them. 

 

“Really?”

 

Wynonna rolled her eyes and groaned. “Yes, really. I do have a heart you know.” 

 

“Well, I appreciate that thank you Wynonna,” Nicole said. 

 

“I tried talking to Nedley about maybe letting this go, but he wouldn’t budge,” Wynonna mumbled. 

 

“It’s ok, Nonna. I get to spend all week with Waverly so I’m perfectly ok.” Nicole smiled at her girlfriend, who was smiling back at her. 

 

“Ugh, you make those googly eyes in the mirror or natural talent?”

 

Nicole rolled her eyes. “Don’t you, have to be at the station with Dolls right about now?” 

 

“Yes,” she sighed as she got up. “Ya know, I gotta admit, I’m gonna miss your stupid ass at the station this week.” 

 

“Aww, how sweet,” Nicole teased, knowing Wynonna hated feelings. “I’ll miss you, too.” 

 

“Yeah yeah. I’ll see you two later,” Wynonna said as she headed for the front door. 

 

“So,” Nicole turned to Waverly, patting her thigh before giving it a gentle squeeze. “Ready for Calgary?”

Chapter Text

“So, Waves. How are things going with Nicole?” Chrissy asked easily as she sat down on Waverly’s bed. 

 

“Things are going really, well,” Waverly responded as she continued to put her folded clothes into the drawer. “I’m so thankful that I met her.” 

 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this happy.” After all of the horrible things she had been through and the unfathomable five year relationship she had been in with Champ, Chrissy was ecstatic for Waverly and was so excited for this new chapter in her best friend's life. 

 

“I’m so happy Chris,” Waverly said as she sat on the bed next to her friend. “I think this is the happiest I’ve ever been. Like, she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” 

 

“Well, what are you now? Like…” Chrissy wasn’t trying to be rude, she was just genuinely curious. 

 

“Gay?” Waverly sighed. “I don’t know. I just know that I’m not straight. It’s still confusing, very confusing… and frustrating.”

 

“Confusing how?”

 

Waverly shrugged. “I don’t know, just is. I’m not quite ready, for the rest of the world to know that I’m dating a girl. That I’m into girls, that I’m gay… or bi. I don’t even know myself.”

 

“Makes sense. What does Nicole think?”

 

Waverly winced. “That’s the thing, I haven’t talked to her about it. I haven’t even brought it up. We just kinda dove in headfirst to this whole girlfriends relationship thing without talking about it. And I’m afraid it might be too late to bring it up. Which is why it’s frustrating.”

 

“Do you think that it’s moving too fast? I’m sure Nicole will do whatever makes you comfortable. ‘Cause y’know, she’s Nicole,” Chrissy said with a wink. 

 

Chrissy was one of the first people that Waverly had talked to about Nicole, about her feelings and attraction. She always had the best intuition when it came to people, and she liked Nicole right off the bat. 

 

“No, I don’t think it’s moving too fast. I just think that… ugh! I don’t know what I think. I care for Nicole, I care for her so much. I can’t imagine my life without her, I know I don’t want to live without her. But at the same time, I still feel like I have to hide it. Like the rest of the town can’t know that I’m in a relationship, especially after Champ, especially with a girl. It’s all just… too much.” 

 

“It’s tough, Waves, people in this town talk. And they haven’t exactly shut up about the whole Champ situation.”

 

“Really?” Waverly was a little shocked, it had been almost four months since the incident with Champ. She thought it would’ve died down by now. But no, she was wrong. 

 

“Yeah, daddy’s telling me all the time about it, he hears the talk of the town first hand. And at work, my clients like to bring it up with me since they know you’re my best friend. I think it’s just their way of trying to get out of the set I’m about to give them,” Chrissy said with a wink, trying to lighten the mood. 

 

“This sucks,” Waverly said, burying her head into her hands in frustration. “I hate this, Chrissy. Nicole means everything to me, yet I’m afraid to be affectionate towards her in public. What kind of girlfriend is that? What kind of person is that? What kind of person wants to hide their relationship?” 

 

She and Nicole had not gone out that many times since they’ve been together and if they have, it’s always been out of town, away from people. If they went to town Waverly kept their PDA to a minimum, almost nonexistent. 

 

“Waverly you’ve been through a lot. You’re in a new relationship. I mean, it’s kind of like you’re in your first ever relationship. You’ve never been with a girl before and you’ve never been with someone as great as Nicole. It’s ok to be afraid.”

 

“But I don’t want to be afraid, that’s the thing. I want the world to know that I’m happy and with someone so amazing.”

 

Waverly’s lips curled into a smile at the thought of her girlfriend, her sweet, lovely girlfriend. 

 

“But I’m a coward and can’t even hold her hand, let alone touch her without people thinking we’re together. I’m totally lame,” Waverly said with a sigh. 

 

“You’re not lame, Waverly. This is all new to you, it’s going to take some getting used to.” 

 

“I just wish that I was brazen enough to be affectionate towards her in public. I’m sure she’s getting tired of doing almost everything in the house,” Waverly flopped back onto the bed in frustration. She desperately wished to hold Nicole’s hand as they walked down the streets of Purgatory, she wished to kiss her in front of people at Shorty’s, she wished her fear didn’t hold her back. But it did. 

 

“Talk to her,” Chrissy suggested. “I’m sure Nicole will do whatever makes you comfortable. She probably gets it, she’s done this ‘gay’ thing way longer than you have.” 

 

“I feel like I’ll look lame if I do. I mean we’ve been together for a few months now, it feels too late. Like if I let it go on for this long then I should already know how I feel sort of thing.”

 

“She’s not going to think you’re lame. She’s been through it before, I’m sure she’ll understand.”

 

“But what if she doesn’t?”

 

“But what if she does?” 

 

“She won’t.”

 

“You don’t know that.” 

 

Waverly pursed her lips. “But…”

 

“But talk to her. That’s the best thing for both of you. She’ll understand, Waverly.” 

 

Waverly pursed her lips and nodded, looking down at her lap. 

 

“Thanks, Chris,” Waverly said quietly, moving so she could pull her best friend into a hug. 

 

“Anytime,” she replied honestly, placing a chaste kiss to Waverly’s temples. “Now I think it’s time you talk to your girl,” she said with a wink. “C’ mon, I’ll give you a ride.” 

 


 

“Nicole?” Waverly asked, setting her phone down in her lap. 

 

“Yeah, babe?” Nicole threw on boxers as she sat on the bed to face Waverly, placing her hand lovingly on her thigh. “What’s up?”



“Can we talk?” 

 

“Of course, love.” Nicole moved closer, brushing a few strays of hair from her girlfriend’s eyes. 

 

“How did you get comfortable with… with the rest of the world knowing that you’re… um, you’re…” 

 

“Gay?” Nicole finished for her. 

 

Waverly nodded nervously. 

 

“Honestly? It took me a very long time to get comfortable with who I was, let alone get comfortable with what the rest of the world thought of me. It can be difficult at times, but in this process, small steps are big steps. And Waverly, I’ll be there for every step of the way for as long as you want me.” 

 

Waverly nodded, a tear slowly rolling down her cheek. “I don’t know what I am or what label to call myself. I just know that I'm definitely not straight and that I can’t live without you.”

 

“And that’s ok. You don’t have to have a label. You do whatever makes you comfortable. Take it as slow as you want. As long as I have you I don’t care how long it takes.” 




“Nic, I’m scared of what people will think. The people in this town can be ruthless,” Waverly pulled away now, looking Nicole in the eye. “And I wish that I could take you out for dinner in town and hold your hand walking down the street. But I’m scared, and I know that’s so horrible because you’re such an amazing person. And if that’s too much for you then I understand. You probably don’t want to be stuck with someone who wants to hide who they are. Nicole I-” 

 

“Hey, baby. Slow down,” Nicole cooed, kissing her the tip of her nose. “I understand, you’re not ready for the rest of the world to know that you’re with a girl; especially after Champ. I’m not upset over that. I love cuddling at the house with you, ordering take out and watching movies. Waverly, when I said all I need is you, I meant it. We can tell the world when you’re ready, we can take it as slow as you’d like.” 

 

Waverly nodded, wiping more tears that were slowly rolling down her cheek before pulling her into a searing kiss, Nicole kissing back with fervor. 

 

“You’re amazing,” she whispered as she pulled away and buried her face into Nicole’s neck. “Thank you for being you. Thank you for understanding.”

 

“No, that’s all you.” Nicole slowly ran her fingers through Waverly's hair in a comforting manner. “I’ll be here to help you through this process every step of the way. I’m not going anywhere, Waves.” 

 

Waverly didn’t say anything, but only hugged Nicole harder, letting her girlfriends touch and her vanilla scent ground her. She truly didn’t know what she did to deserve the woman that was holding her so tightly. Proving to her time and time again that she wasn’t going anywhere, that she was going to be there every step of the way; no matter what life threw at them. 

 

Waverly knew she loved this woman, she knew that for a long time. But right now, she was sure of it. She loved this woman, she loved her more than she ever thought was possible.

Chapter Text

“Shit! Waves you scared me!” Nicole exclaimed as she clutched her rapidly beating heart. 

 

Waverly had snuck up behind her, wrapping her arms around her shoulders and placing a chaste kiss to her cheek. 

 

“Sorry, love,” Waverly said with a smirk, kissing Nicole’s neck as her hand went intertwined with the brunette’s.

 

“Whaddya doing here?” Nicole asked as she spun her office chair around. “It’s late.” She glanced at the clock, seeing that it read 10:30 PM. 

 

Waverly smiled as she straddled Nicole’s lap, playing with her baby hairs on the back of her neck. Nicole happily placed either hand on both hips, squeezing them gently before resting them there. 

 

“Well, I know Nedley’s clocked out for the night and I was home alone and lonely… and I missed you,” she answered innocently, chastely kissing Nicole’s lips. 

 

“Couldn’t sleep, huh?” 

 

“No,” she replied defeatedly. “You know I don’t sleep well if you’re not there.” 

 

Nicole blushed, kissing the tip of Waverly’s nose. “I’ve still got some more work to do, but you’re more than welcome to try and sleep on Nedley’s couch. I get off in a couple hours and after that I can take you home.” 

 

Waverly shook her head no. “No, I’m ok right here.” She laid her head down on Nicole’s shoulder, wrapping her arms around her middle as she cuddled closer to her girlfriend, breathing in that intoxicating vanilla scent. 

 

Nicole chuckled, responding by hugging Waverly tightly, placing a kiss to her temple. “Ok, love. As long as you’re comfortable.” 

 

“More than comfortable,” Waverly slurred in an exhausted manner, letting Nicole’s touch lull her to sleep. 

 


 

Waverly woke up an hour and a half later to Nicole rubbing her back as she studied the case file in front of her. 

 

She smiled to herself as she buried her head into Nicole’s neck, tightening her grip around her middle. 

 

“You sleep ok?” Nicole asked as she wrapped both arms around Waverly, pulling her closer. 

 

“Mhm,” she mumbled. She sat up and yawned, rubbing her eyes as Nicole stared back at her, dimples on full display. 

 

“Whatcha workin’ on?” she asked in a groggy voice. 

 

Nicole shook her head as she quickly shut the file and smiled back up at her, placing her hands on her hips. “Nothing, you ready to go home?” 

 

Waverly furrowed her brow. “You don’t get off until 12, it’s only quarter after eleven.” 

 

Nicole shrugged. “You’re tired, I’m sure Nedley wouldn’t mind, I’ll get Lonnie to come in a little early so we can head home.” 

 

“Nicole, you and I both know Nedley would be pissed with you. You’re still on his shit list from the other night when you got drunk in uniform. Love, what’s going on?” 

 

Nicole sighed. “I was working on Champ’s case,” she answered sheepishly. 

 

“Oh,” Waverly replied, looking down at her lap. “Well, how’s it going?”

 

“Um, it could be going faster if,” Nicole caught herself before she could speak any further. “Uh-”

 

“If I testified,” Waverly finished for her, completely pulling herself from Nicole’s embrace. 

 

Nicole swallowed nervously. “Yes, if you testified.” 

 

“I told you I didn’t want to do that,” Waverly muttered, anger slowly rising in her. 

 

“I know you did, baby,” Nicole said softly, sitting up and placing her hands back on Waverly’s hip, looking her lovingly in the eyes. “I know.”

 

“Then why are you working on his case?” Waverly replied, keeping the anger in her voice subtle. Only the people closest to her could pick up on the hostility, Nicole included. 

 

“What I said before I meant, he deserves to be in jail for a long, long time. He is a horrible person who did horrible, unspeakable things to you. I don’t want him getting away with that, I don’t want him hurting other girls. He broke you, he broke you down so bad, Waverly. He doesn’t deserve anything good in this life. I want you to be able to walk on the streets of Purgatory, knowing he’s locked up, not able to hurt you or anyone else again,” she responded quietly, anxiously waiting for Waverly’s response, for what she was thinking. She loved this girl, she couldn’t stand to see her upset and it pained her knowing she might never get justice; not with the way the legal system handles rape and abuse cases. 

 

“You deserve the world, Waverly, not him.” 

 

Waverly wanted to be mad, she wanted to scream at the top of her lungs, not at Nicole necessarily; just at the world, the universe, whoever was responsible for putting her through this turmoil, through this hell. She felt like she didn’t deserve any of it, so why was it happening to her? 

 

But instead of being angry or yelling, she collapsed in Nicole’s arms, crying into her chest, clutching a fistful of her uniform shirt. Maybe it was her being exhausted that made her extra emotional, but either way, it seemed she couldn’t stop crying. 

 

Nicole wrapped her arms tightly around Waverly, running her fingers through her soft, brown hair. 

 

“Shh, Waverly, it’s going to be ok, we’re going to get through this. I’m going to be here for you, however you want me,” she comforted. She hated seeing Waverly so upset, she hated what Champ had done to her. She hated that this despicable human being made Waverly feel so worthless and so ashamed of who she was, and she hated that he had broken her, he had broken every piece of her. 

 

Waverly sobbed violently, staining Nicole’s shirt. She wanted to testify, she wanted him to get locked up. She knew that he deserved it, but she was scared, she was downright terrified. And truthfully she had no idea what to do. Everything was extremely overwhelming, and she had no idea where to start. She just wanted to disappear for a while, she wanted to get away from this horrible reality she seemed to be stuck in. 

 

“What do I do, Nic?” Waverly asked through her sobs, sitting up and facing Nicole. “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” Her voice was shaky, and she couldn’t seem to catch her breath. “I h-hate this. I don’t know what to do!” 

 

“I know, baby,” Nicole cooed softly. “But you’re going to get through this. You’re the strongest, bravest person I’ve ever met. I have no doubt in my mind that you can’t handle this. We can take this step by step, we can talk about whatever you want to talk about. I can answer any questions you have, and more importantly, you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Love, I’m not going anywhere, I'll be right here, supporting you in whatever you decide. I just want you to be happy.” 

 

Waverly buried her head into her hands, starting to sob loudly again. She was already the talk of the town, she couldn’t handle more attention if they went to trial. However, she knew Champ didn’t deserve to get off scot-free. But at the same time, she felt guilty, like she somehow put him in this position. She knew it wasn’t true, but sometimes the guilt seemed to eat her alive. 

 

Nicole pulled her into her embrace, rubbing her back soothingly, telling her that it was going to be ok, even though she knew Waverly didn’t believe it. Either way, she wasn’t going to leave Waverly’s side, not now, not ever. She loved the woman sobbing in her arms and wanted nothing more than to spend a lifetime with her, through better or for worse. 

 

“Baby, take a deep breath for me,” Nicole said, gently prying Waverly off of her. She looked at Waverly lovingly, wiping a tear with the pad of her thumb. “Take a deep breath, I don’t want you making yourself sick.” 

 

Waverly nodded, taking a few, deep yet labored breaths. Her sobbing subsided for now and her breathing had become a bit more regulated since she wasn’t gasping for air anymore. 

 

“Never leave,” Waverly whispered, looking sadly into Nicole’s, soft, brown eyes. 

 

“I’m never leaving,” Nicole replied without any hesitation. “I will never leave you, Waverly Earp.” 

 

“Promise?”

 

Nicole held up three fingers. “Scouts honor,” she replied seriously, but it was obvious she was only trying to get a rise from her. 

 

Waverly giggled, slapping her playfully on the arm. “Dork.”

 

“Maybe,” Nicole replied, kissing Waverly on the cheek. “But your dork.” 

 

“Mhm, all mine.” Waverly cupped her girlfriend's cheeks and kissed her softly and slowly on the lips, Nicole responding while caressing her cheek. 

 

“Let’s get you home, you’re exhausted and so am I,” Nicole said as she pulled away. 

 

Waverly nodded, getting up from Nicole’s lap as she shut down her computer and sent a quick text to Lonnie, telling him that her shift was ending. They walked out of the station, hand in hand and Waverly couldn’t wait to fall asleep in Nicole’s arms.

 


 

“Baby.” Waverly stood in the doorway of the bathroom, glaring at her girlfriend as she tried to fix the bathroom sink. 

 

“Yeah?” Nicole replied, oblivious to her girlfriend's upset tone. 

 

“Come to bed.”

 

“Hmm?” Nicole scooted herself out from under the sink to be met with an angry Waverly. 

 

“Come to bed,” Waverly replied sternly, giving Nicole a knowing look. “It’s almost one in the morning. I’m tired and afraid you’re going to hurt yourself in here.” 

 

“Love, it’s just a sink and some pipes,” Nicole said as she stood up and closed doors under the sink. 

 

They had gotten home that night and Nicole went to wash her face, only to find that the sink was broken. She had just moved into that house and something was already broken. She hated leaving things to be tended to, so she just had to try and fix it that night. It was going to bother her until it was fixed and she hated that feeling so she may as well fix it now.

 

“No, anything could go wrong. And if you hurt yourself in here I’d be extremely pissed off with you and you and I both know you don’t want that,” Waverly responded, grabbing Nicole’s hand and leading them back to the bed. 

 

“Ok, Waves, let’s get to bed.” Nicole didn’t want to argue and she definitely didn’t want to be on the receiving end of Waverly’s anger. After all, she was pretty tired from the day. 

 

Waverly collapsed into Nicole’s arms once again, relishing at the moment, in her girlfriend's embrace. She was positive she couldn’t have found a more loving, more caring partner than Nicole. She knew she wouldn’t be where she was today with the redhead by her side. Waverly desperately wanted to tell Nicole that she loved her, but she was unsure if it was the right time. 

 

And of course, she had her doubts. What if Nicole didn’t love her back? What if Nicole was slowly starting to realize that this was all a mistake? What if she left her? Waverly knew these weren’t true, but her mind really liked to play tricks on her and make her anxious and doubtful. 

 

“What’s wrong, love?” Nicole asked, feeling Waverly’s body stiffen in her arms. 

 

“Nothing,” Waverly responded, forcing her body to relax and burying her head deeper into the crook of Nicole’s neck. 

 

“Baby, if something’s wrong please tell me,” Nicole asked gently. “I just want to make sure you’re ok. 

 

Waverly sighed and sat up in Nicole’s lap, looking her in the eyes. 

 

“Baby, what is it?” Nicole sat up, worried as she could see the fear and trepidation in her girlfriend’s eyes. 

 

“Nicole, I-” Waverly paused, taking a deep breath as she collected her thoughts. “Nicole I- I love you. I really, really love you. You being there for me through all of this, you holding me when I’m crying, like tonight, has just proved to me time and time again that I don’t think I’d survive if you ever left. You have never judged me, you have never left no matter how crazy things seem to get. I can’t live without you, Nicole. I’m… I’m so in love with you. I love you more than I ever thought was possible.” 

 

“Waverly, look at me,” Nicole said, gently tipping Waverly’s chin so she could look her in the eye. “I love you, too.” 

 

Waverly went wide-eyed as a smile slowly formed across her face. “Really?”

 

Nicole nodded, a smile forming on her face as well. “I love you, so much, Waverly. I am so in love with you too Waverly Earp and have been for a while now. I just didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to rush or pressure you into anything you weren’t ready for.” 

 

“You love me?” Waverly asked in disbelief. 

 

Nicole nodded again. “I have never loved anyone the way that I love you. I’d die if anything were to ever happen to you, I can’t live without your either. I will always be there for you, Waverly. I’m serious when I say I’m never leaving you. You’re never, ever going to run me off. And I will spend the rest of my life telling you that because I know that it can be hard to believe. But Waverly, I love you and never want to leave your side,” she said with such conviction, gently cupping Waverly’s jaw. 

 

Waverly’s heart swelled for the woman before her. Out of all the shit that had gone on in her life, she never knew it could lead up to this moment, to this perfect, emotional moment. If she had to do it all over again just to meet Nicole back in Shorty’s months ago, she would, no doubt in her mind she would. “I love you, Nicole,” Waverly said firmly and without any hesitation this time. 

 

“I love you too, Waverly.” Nicole smiled and leaned in and captured Waverly’s lips on her own. It was soft, it was slow, and it was sloppy but full of passion. Nicole never wanted another set of lips on hers again. 

 

They pulled away, only to have Waverly let out a loud yawn. 

 

“C’ mon sleepyhead, let’s get to bed, we’re both exhausted,” Nicole said, laying back down and pulling Waverly into her embrace. 

 

“I love you,” Waverly slurred, already feeling her eyelids become heavy. 

 

“I love you, too, baby,” Nicole said, shutting off the bedside lamp and wrapping her arms back around Waverly. 

 

As she started to fall asleep, she couldn’t help but daydream about her future. But the one thing she noticed, the one thing that stuck out to her was she couldn’t see her future without Waverly; because without Waverly, she was nothing. 

 


 

"Morning, love,” Nicole greeted as she greeted Waverly with a cup of coffee and a kiss on the cheek. She turned back to the stove. “Avocado toast is coming up, oatmeal is almost ready. And if you don’t mind cutting up the fruit that’s in the fridge that would be great.” 

 

“Nicole.”

 

She turned back around to face her girlfriend who was sitting on a stool at the island. 

 

“Yes, dear?”

 

“I think I want to testify.”

Chapter Text

“I think I want to testify.”

 

Nicole nodded slowly as she took the pot off the burner and turned off the stove.

 

“Ok,” she said cautiously. “Are you sure?”

 

Waverly took a sip of her coffee, eyeing her girlfriend over the mug rim. “No,” she said softly. “I’m not sure. But I want to. What you said… you were right. Champ deserves to be in jail, I know he’s done awful things and I’m sorry I’ve been such a bitch about.” 

 

“No, love, no,” Nicole reassured as she walked over and swiveled the chair so Waverly was facing her. She gently caressed her cheek. “Don’t say that you were scared and hurt. I know you didn’t mean it.” 

 

“I’m scared, Nicole,” Waverly looked down, trying to hold her tears back. “I’m scared that if I testify things are going to go to hell. That I’m going to be labeled as some… as some freak or crazy person. People in this town talk enough with me being an Earp, I don’t think I can take any more of it.” 

 

“I know you’re scared, baby. But I’m right here and your sisters and aunt are here, too. We’re never going to leave your side and we’re going to support you in whatever we can. I know it seems scary, but you can do this,” Nicole said earnestly. 

 

Waverly shook her head, wiping her cheek as a tear slowly rolled down it. 

 

“Hey, look at me,” she said softly, tipping her chin so she was looking at her. “I love you. I love you and your sisters and aunt love you, and Chrissy loves you. You have people that love you, Waverly. No matter what happens, we’re never going to stop loving you. I’m never going to stop loving you. And hey, if people in this town start to talk we can just move to Mexico and change our names and start a new life together,” she said with a wink. 

 

Waverly giggled through her tears, looking up at Nicole with sad eyes. “I love you.” 

 

“I love you, too,” Nicole said with a smile, leaning in and kissing Waverly with every ounce of passion she can muster. “Baby things will get better in the end. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but they will. Time heals all wounds.” 

 

“What if they don’t?” Waverly asked as Nicole took a seat next to her. She took it upon herself and crawled into her girlfriend's lap. 

 

“They will. Don’t think like that, sweetie,” Nicole responded, wrapping her arms tightly around Waverly’s waist. “I mean, look where you are now? You’re in a wonderful relationship with a hot redhead; what could get any better than this?” She smirked at Waverly, giving her that smug look that always made Waverly weak at the knees. 

 

“Shut up,” Waverly chuckled as she playfully shoved Nicole’s shoulder. She kissed Nicole sweetly on the lips and laid her head on her shoulder. “Do you really think things will be ok?” 

 

“I do,” Nicole replied honestly. “You’re a strong, courageous woman, love,” she said as she stood up, carrying Waverly bridal style into the living room as she plopped them both on the couch, Nicole leaning against the armrest. Waverly curled up in her girlfriend's arms, laying her head on her chest. “I know you can get through this. And I will be here every step of the way, you’re not getting rid of me.”

 

“What happens now?” Waverly asked. She hated not having answers and needed to know the plan and every step in between the start and the finish. 

 

“Well, first we go down to the station and you have to make a statement. It’s recorded and kept on file. And you, my love, need to get a lawyer.” 

 

“Those are expensive,” Waverly mumbled into her chest. 

 

“I know, but I happen to know a great public defender, you’ll love her. I’ve already made my statement, but once you make yours, we send them both to the Calagary Attorney’s office. And from then on we wait for a trial date.”

 

“It’s been almost four months since what happened, where is Champ now?” 

 

Nicole stopped breathing for a second as she continued to rub Waverly’s back. About a month after the incident Nicole testified for what she witnessed, but she didn’t tell Waverly. She had still been recuperating from her injuries and her emotions were still running high, so she opted not to tell her. She didn’t want to cause any unnecessary stress on the brunette. But she knew that little secret would come back to bite her in the ass. 

 

“Nic?”

 

Nicole gulped. “He’s in jail.” 

 

“How could he be in jail? I thought all charges were dropped after the first 48 hours.” 

 

“I testified after it happened,” she responded softly. 

 

“What?” Waverly asked as she sat up, unsure if she heard Nicole correctly. 

 

“I testified.”

 

“Wha- why didn’t you tell me?” Waverly asked, trying to give Nicole the benefit of the doubt. 

 

“I didn’t want to upset you. You were still healing from your injuries and on a lot of drugs. I didn’t want to put any more stress on you than you already had.” Nicole sat up, rubbing Waverly’s arms in a comforting manner. 

 

“What, was ‘drugged up me’ really that hard to talk to?” 

 

“No, Waverly, that’s not it. Please, just let me finish answering your questions. You can yell at me later, but please let’s not do this now,” Nicole pleaded, tugging Waverly’s wrist. 

 

Waverly huffed, but fell back into Nicole’s embrace, letting the redhead wrap her arms back around her as she laid her head back onto her chest.

 

“I testified based on him resisting arrest.” 

 

“I thought you couldn’t be tried twice,” Waverly muttered. 

 

“That’s double jeopardy, which is when you can’t be charged for the same crime twice. But you can be charged for two different crimes. I testified for him resisting arrest, not for the abuse. He got ninety days, but in two weeks he’ll be getting out since his trial was delayed until two and a half months ago.”

 

“Why didn’t you testify for the abuse?”

 

“In case you wanted to. If I did you wouldn’t have been able to because of double jeopardy. And I didn’t have a big enough case built against him.”

 

It was silent for a minute as both collected their thoughts. 

 

“When do I testify?”

 

“Whenever you want, but sooner rather than later. And Waverly you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, you hear?”

 

Waverly nodded, nuzzling her face into Nicole’s neck, inhaling deeply as she smelled her girlfriend. 

 

“You just smelled me,” Nicole teased, placing a chaste kiss to Waverly’s head. 

 

“I did,” she replied shamelessly. 

 

“Now who’s the dork?”

 

“Still you.” 

 

Nicole laughed, sitting up, letting Waverly wrap her legs around her waist as she walked back to the kitchen, setting Waverly onto the island. 

 

“C’ mon my love. I’m starvin’ and I know you are, too. I can hear your stomach grumbling from here,” Nicole whispered in her ear, kissing her cheek before she went back to the stove. 

 

“Nicole?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I love you.”

 

Nicole smiled as she handed Waverly a new cup of coffee and kissed her on the lips. “I love you, too.” 

 


 

“So, are you sure about this?” Wynonna asked her baby sister as she sat down in Nicole’s loveseat. 

 

“Pretty sure,” she replied, curling up into Nicole’s side as her girlfriend sat down on the couch next to her. 

 

Nicole had invited Willa, Wynonna, and Gus over for dinner so they could spill the news to them. 

 

“Pretty sure?” Willa asked nervously. 

 

“I’m scared, but I know he doesn’t deserve to live life as he once did before.” 

 

“We’ll be there for you, darlin’” Gus reassured. “No matter what happens we’re all going to be there.” 

 

“I know you will be,” Waverly said quietly, smiling at her aunt. 

 

“You didn’t pressure her into this did you?” Wynonna accused Nicole, who had her arm wrapped tightly around her girlfriend. 

 

“What? Of course not! She came to me,” Nicole defended. 

 

“Down, Wynonna,” Waverly warned. “She’s been nothing but supportive to me, so let’s not accuse her of anything.” 

 

“When do you testify?” Willa asked, adjusting herself on the arm of the love seat. 

 

“Next week.” 

 

“Do you want us there?” Gus asked. 

 

“Um, you actually can’t be there,” Nicole said sheepishly. “Not in the room anyway. But you can be there… in the station I mean.” 

 

“That bastard is finally going to get what he deserves,” Wynonna said, almost in a happy manner.

 

“Can we not talk about this anymore?” Waverly asked, reaching for the remote that was sitting on the coffee table. “Let’s just all watch from Friends and relax for the rest of the night.” 

 

All four of them didn’t object. Wynonna and Willa shared the love seat, while Gus made herself comfortable on the other end of the couch. 

 

Nicole and Waverly cuddled on the sectional part of the couch, burying themselves under a mountain of blankets, courtesy of Waverly of course. 

 

Waverly was scared, terrified even for what was to come next. But in this moment, she was fearless, she was fearless because she had her entire support system in the room with her. And the love of her life was right by her side, helping her every step of the way.