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Owe Me One

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The thrill has not yet worn off of sitting across from her sister, back after so many years away to end the curse that has occupied so many of her thoughts for her entire life. Her heart feels light and happy, and she giggles at the grin on Wynonna's face as the ketchup bottle makes a fart sound as she squirts it over her remaining fries and takes another bite of her burger. Waverly cradles her mug of tea and smiles, her elbows resting on the diner table, her own veggie slider long eaten and the plate slid to the side.

Her phone chirps in front of her, and she sees Champ's name appear. She picks it up and clicks on the message, and it opens on a close up photo of his erect penis. She giggles. Penises are funny, and boys are funnier, thinking a photo of one is arousing to any girl who receives it. Still, it does mean it doesn't take much for her to get him off her back when she's not interested in playing along, which, she thinks for a moment, has been pretty much the whole time her sister has been back. The guilt of not feeling too attached to him eases a little as she realises he mostly just temporarily filled the empty space in her, metaphorically speaking, as much she temporarily occupied his time, with a little mutual itch scratching to boot.

The phone is yanked from her hand and Wynonna exclaims in disgust.

"Ever hear of manscaping," she gripes, as she relents and releases the phone back to its rightful owner.

Waverly chuckles, for as much pride as Champ takes in his face and body, he doesn't put in an awful lot of effort, relying heavily instead on good genes and the lack of better options in town for the ladies.

"Hey, that was meant for private eyes," Waverly scolds, and exits out of the photo message. She reads the accompanying text.

so horny 4 u sexy. send me 1 back

"Don't tell me you're back chomping at the Champ. Ugh." Waverly feels a pang of shame at the disappointment in her sister's tone. She knows she should have ended it completely when he tried to sleep with Wynonna, she did... but then... well he was as good a distraction as any when she was blindsided by feelings about a tall, gorgeous, ginger-haired officer of the law hitting on her. She needed to put a cork back in that bottle if she was going to be able to help Wynonna kill The Seven.

She exits her messages and finds the hidden folder in her phone where she keeps a few sexy photos of herself for just these occasions, nothing too explicit, nothing she'd be mortified if it ended up spread around for any reason, but enough to mollify her absent boyfriend. It's better than having to doll herself up at a moment's notice, and he never even notices when she sends the same ones again. She selects one, just her face and upper chest, cleavage looking very nice in her favourite lacy black bra, and attaches it to a message.

Wish I was there with you.

Waverly scrolls down her contacts and selects Champ, hits send and turns the screen off, picks up her tea, and fixes her attention back on her sister.

"Come on," Wynonna continues, "he is just so beneath you."

She knows her sister isn't one to criticise drowning feelings in sex, among other legal and probably illegal ways, so she teases. "Uh, yeah he is," she says, and mimics riding him.

Wynonna's frown deepens. "Gross, dude."

The subject changes back to Wynonna's sex life, then Hetty comes over to chat for a moment, and Waverly doesn't give Champ another thought until they've settled up the bill and are making their way out into the brisk night, and her phone chirps again. She opens the message from him as they climb into the truck.

babe please, send me just 1. ur leavin me with blue balls

Waverly frowns, and Wynonna's chatter fades into background noise as she hastily pulls up her sent messages. The photo has sent. The entire world seems to fall away around her, and there's a ringing sound in her ears. "Oh poop."

Wynonna stops mid-sentence. "What?"

An uncontrollable little squeak escapes her as the panic sets in. She clicks on it, opening the message thread. No history, nothing at all but the photo and accompanying message.

Wish I was there with you.

"Waves, what is it?" Wynonna leans across the truck trying to take a look at the phone that Waverly cannot tear her eyes from, but she flips it over on her lap and looks up at her sister with wide, panicked eyes.

"Wynonna!"

"What?" Her sister places a firm hand on her shoulder and squeezes, trying to bring her back from whatever edge she's precariously perched on. "What happened? Is it Gus?"

She shakes her head. "No." Another little whine escapes. "I fucked up."

"Not even fudged? Wow, it must be bad."

Waverly punches her in the arm with surprising force, but her comment did the trick to snap the younger girl from her spiral. "I replied to Champ. At least I thought I did. But I sent the photo to the wrong person."

Wynonna frowns. "What photo?"

"A sexy photo." Her sister's mouth drops open and eyes widen in surprise at the admission. "I took a whole bunch and saved them in a hidden folder for when Champ asks for one and I can't be bothered taking a new one."

Her sister nods, impressed. "Smart. So who'd you send it to by mistake?"

Waverly buries her face in her hands and mumbles the answer.

She laughs. "Is it that bad? Who is it? Do I have to go and break their phone?"

She sighs and moves her hands to just cover her eyes instead, pinching the bridge of her nose. "Officer Haught," she says quietly.

Next to her, Wynonna howls with laughter. "You sent Haught-stuff a clit pic? Oh my god!"

"Not a clit pic! Just..." She circles her hand around her face and upper body. "Boobs." She sees the read message come up and dots appear, signalling a reply is coming. "Oh god, she's replying."

"It could be worse, Waves. You coulda sent it to someone who'd take it as a come-on. She's young and hot, I'm sure she's sexted enough in her time. She'll understand."

Waverly grimaces. "Well, uhh... I..." She thinks back to her first encounter with the officer in Shorty's. The flirting, the sexual tension in the air... She squeezes her legs together at the thought of Nicole's reaction to receiving her photo. But Wynonna doesn't know about that, and Waverly is suddenly uncertain about whether it is appropriate to out Nicole by telling her about that day. "Yeah, hopefully," is all she says, in the end.

She decides she has to reply first, before Nicole does, and so she quickly taps out a hurried follow-up. "I am SO sorry. I meant to send that to Champ. Please--" Please what, delete it? Is that what she wants? She wonders for a moment, is she even sorry? She deletes the last word and leaves it at a simple explanation, and hits send.

The message departs at the exact time a new message comes in. It's from Officer Haught. Nicole. It's a photo message. It's almost the same as Waverly's photo, just her face and upper body, except her bra isn't lacy, it's royal blue. It looks exceptionally good against her milky white skin, and her cleavage is... well it's far sexier than the slightly baggy fit of her uniform shirt might suggest. Waverly gulps, and tries to tamp down her body's response.

Well now, that's much better than coffee! I wish you were here too.

"Fuck," Waverly whispers to herself, so quietly even her sister doesn't hear over the sound of the engine and radio.

"Did she reply?" Wynonna revs the motor while fiddling with the heater vents.

"Yeah," Waverly says.

The truck backs out of the diner lot and turns towards the homestead. "She alright about it?"

Two more messages pour in.

Oh, god, Waverly. I'm sorry.
I thought that was meant for me. You're a planner, and all. Please forget I sent anything.

"She's..." Waverly hesitates and looks again at the photo. "She's fine. I think she's fine," she says, before tapping out a reply.

No, I'm sorry, it was my mistake. I can't believe I did that, I should have been more careful.

"Told you she would be," Wynonna says, and moments later starts complaining about Dolls. Something about the heating at the station and working out.

It's alright. Lucky it was only me. God, I'm embarrassed for replying so fast, like that, but I get it. It's totally fine.

Waverly bites her lip.

I am glad it was you. And you have nothing to be embarrassed about.

The dots appear and then disappear on her screen twice, before another message finally comes through.

I suppose it is only fair you get to see me in a bra, after me seeing you not once but twice. By mistake.

Exactly! Maybe you still owe me one.

Fair is fair. Let me know if you ever want to cash that in.

Waverly sucks in a breath and switches off her screen. She leans forward and moves the heater vent that had been blowing in her face, as she suddenly feels a little too warm. Wynonna has stopped talking, and Waverly wonders if she hadn't given enough indications she was actually listening, even though she wasn't. Maybe she just ran out of steam about her boss, or maybe, hopefully she's just concentrating on the dark, snowy roads and getting the two of them home safely.

The phone chirps with another message.

I am curious what name I'm saved under if I'm easily mixed up with Champ. Cop? Rather impersonal after our first meeting. Copper? Not the first nickname relating to my hair. Cutie??

Waverly grins.

You are all of those things, but no. Everyone is filed by surname. Hardy, Haught. Boring, I know.

Oh, you are not even close to boring, Earp.

The name catches in her chest, and she sucks in a breath to gather herself. People in Purgatory avoid using it when it comes to her, the Earp name spoken of in such distaste that even she has shied away from it sometimes. She is Waverly, just Waverly. Nicest person in town. Sometimes even mistaken to be Waverly Gibson, when friends and business associates of Gus think she is her daughter instead of her niece. Nicole calling her Earp, directly and openly, and affectionately, means a lot to her despite it coming from someone new to town and likely unaware of the weight the name holds. Although... perhaps Nedley or any of the other cops have filled her in on some of it. She wonders if Nicole would still be interested in her if she knew the truth of it all, and she thinks of those big, gentle brown eyes, and somehow knows... yes.

It's a lot.

She doesn't reply to Nicole again.

When she sees Champ the next day she finds him even more irritating than usual. Amid his whining about moving Curtis' things to the homestead, his quick dismissal of her mission to decode her uncle's poem and wanting her to be a bartender in South America, completely ignoring the driving passion of her entire life, she realises it's not worth it. She's not bored and lonely enough any more to ignore the fact that he doesn't really care about her.

She doesn't regret breaking up with him, even for a second.

Within days she has another epiphany, when her supposed friend Stephanie spits her name like it's an insult and Waverly roils. She's not ashamed of her past any more, she's not torn between belief in the curse and believing everyone else who tried to force her and Wynonna to believe it was a lie, and she knows how it feels when her name is spoken with care. She realises Stephanie is no friend of hers in that moment, and again, she's not upset that it is over. She's moving forward at a surprising pace.

Until later that night, anyway, when Wynonna arrives with Nicole, tearing up the driveway in the cruiser. Then she feels as metaphorically frozen as she does from the biting wind.

Sure, Nicole is all business, despite the hint of whiskey on her breath which is no doubt her own sister's influence. She is the calm, confident officer she needs to be. She assesses the situation and takes Chrissy's statement, casting glances across at Waverly every chance she gets, a mix of concern and confusion. Wynonna gets the whole story from Waverly, witches and zombies and all. All the parts they can't tell Nicole, and yet there's a pull inside her to trust her with it.

'Not even close to boring'? If only she knew.

Wynonna heads back over to the cruiser, as Chrissy, exhausted and cold, makes her way back into the homestead. Waverly guides her in, but pauses in the doorway, watching her sister and the officer talk a moment. Nicole looks up at her, again with those big, brown, curious eyes, and she pauses. She glances away, but can't help but look back, and she finds herself raising her hand and waving. Nicole smiles and waves back at her, before climbing in the car to drive Wynonna back to town.