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Your Heartbeat Gives My Soul Rhythm

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Waverly glanced down at her phone before looking up at the restaurant name in front of her. It was a nice Italian place, which was shocking considering she didn’t think Wynonna knew anywhere nice to have a decent meal. Granted, she hadn’t really spoken to her sister much in four years. Not since Wynonna left for a college hours away to ‘better herself,’ leaving Waverly alone in their small town.

After she had left, Waverly had heard from her a few times a month. Which then turned into once every few months, and then only on holidays and birthdays. Needless to say, Waverly was a little bitter about the whole situation.

Which was why when she had gotten a phone call from Wynonna a few days ago, she almost didn’t pick it up. She was mad, and hurt, but she was also curious by nature, meaning simply letting the call ring out was out of the question. When Wynonna had practically begged her for a chance to explain and catch up over dinner, Waverly caved.

She had thought her resolve was stronger than that. Clearly, it wasn’t.

That’s how she ended up here, outside of a fancy restaurant she had never heard of about six hours away from Purgatory. She wondered, briefly, if Wynonna was already inside waiting for her.

That would show her the older girl had changed for sure. Wynonna was never on time to anything growing up, let alone early.

She walked through the large double doors, her head immediately swiveling as she surveyed the main lobby. The chandelier lighting was dim, setting the perfect mood for the large foyer. There was a check in desk for reservations straight ahead, right in front of a waterfall separating two hallways that Waverly guessed led to the dining area.

It was like a fancy hotel, but… not.

Waverly had never seen anything like it.

“Your name, miss?” the woman behind the counter asked, and Waverly suddenly realized she had been slowly walking towards the desk the entire time.

“Oh, uh… Earp.”

The hostess looked down at her books, and Waverly glanced down through her eyelids too, her curiosity getting the best of her.

“Ah, here it is,” the woman spoke, marking something off with her pen. “Right this way, miss.” She reached for a menu from underneath the counter before leading her down the right hallway, her steps quick and seasoned as she led Waverly over to the corner booth.

Just then, Waverly noticed the back of a head of brown hair turn in the booth as they approached, clearly sensing their arrival. She held her breath as the waitress placed her menu on the table and walked away, watching as Wynonna’s eyes lit up when they landed on her.

The older girl beamed, climbing out of the booth to envelop Waverly in a tight hug. Waverly stood stiffly, not sure she wanted to return the embrace, before deciding on giving her sister an amicable light pat on the back.

“I can’t believe you came,” Wynonna mumbled against the top of her head, the emotion evident in her voice. She pulled away, her hands resting on the smaller girl’s shoulder as she looked Waverly up and down. “Jesus, you’ve grown, huh? Who let that happen?” she joked, but all Waverly felt was annoyance at the attempt at humor and small talk.

“Don’t know, but it’s not like you would have been there for it anyway,” she bit back, quirking an eyebrow as she crossed her arms defensively. Wynonna’s eyes widened in surprise at the quick comeback before she sighed, motioning for Waverly to sit across from her in the booth as she took her seat.

“I see we’re diving straight into it, eh?”

Waverly slid into the seat and narrowed her eyes. “You ghosted me, Wynonna. Remember?” the older girl grimaced, but didn’t say anything in response, so Waverly continued. “No? Let me jog your memory then. You were eighteen, I was fourteen. You decided that instead of going to college close to home, you wanted to run away. And that was fine, cause you know, they made cell phones and cars. Except after awhile you decided to stop responding, and you decided we weren’t good enough for you. Sound familiar?”

Wynonna took a deep breath, and Waverly slumped a little in her seat. She had been holding all of that in since, well, forever. Wynonna had been her hero. Her best friend. Her sister. And she had left Waverly like it had been nothing. Like their childhood had meant nothing.

When to Waverly it had meant everything. Wynonna was the only person in their shit family that had ever really seen her. Cared about her. Loved her.

Once she had left, Waverly really had no one. Well, no one except her best friend from high school. Chrissy had worked her ass off to pick up Waverly’s broken heart and help fix it, and Waverly would always be immensely grateful for that. But just because Waverly was no longer as broken as she had been before didn’t mean that the hurt she had been caused was okay. She knew that much.

“Waverly…” Wynonna trailed off, her voice careful as she thought intently on what she was going to say. Waverly had never seen her look so nervous in her life. “I know that whatever I say, you’re not going to believe.”

“Then what was the point of this, Wynonna?”

“I-” the older brunette sighed, dropping her head. “I missed you.”

Waverly’s eyes snapped up, her anger intense as she looked at her sister. “No. You don’t get to do that,” she said lowly, her voice shaking in its emotion.

Furrowing her brow, Wynonna looked up. “Do what?”

Waverly gestured around them wildy, and she knew that if she had been seeing this from an outsider's perspective, she probably would have looked crazy. Hell, she felt crazy.

“This. You don’t get to just invite me to drive six hours out to dinner to catch up and fix things without explaining yourself, and then make me feel guilty about my emotions all because you miss me. Especially when you’re the one who cut off contact.”

Wynonna looked back at her, her eyes pleading with a gentle understanding that ripped Waverly’s heart in two. But she couldn’t budge. She just couldn’t.

“I’m trying here,” the older girl said softly.

“Try harder,” Waverly challenged, leaning forward to rest her elbows on the tabletop. Wynonna opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, the waitress came to take their orders.

Truth be told, Waverly hadn’t even had a chance to look at the menu, but she knew the drill by now anyway with restaurants like these. All she really had to do was ask for the easiest vegan meal they had, and she had no problem eating it. She wasn’t too picky.

After the waitress wrote down their order and took their menus, Waverly looked back towards her sister expectantly. Wynonna looked up through her eyelashes, her expression soft as she murmured, “I left to give you a better chance.”

Waverly narrowed her eyes.

“Bullshit.”

“I did,” Wynonna urged.

Waverly’s forearms dropped to the tabletop, her eyes wild and hurt as they searched Wynonna’s genuine blue. She felt a surge of guilt pull in her stomach, but she ignored it. She couldn’t think about how her words might be affecting her sister right now. She needed to push through, and she needed to get everything out.

“You left me alone with our family. I don’t think I have to explain to you how that went.”

Wynonna paused, the weight of Waverly’s words taking their hold. Waverly knew what Wynonna thought of their family. They both felt the same. Their family was less than ideal, and was far more broken than they liked to think about. That was part of the reason Waverly had so much animosity now.

“The whole town thought I was a bad seed. I was the troubled child,” Wynonna confessed, her voice low as she spoke. It was so low, Waverly could hardly hear her over the crowd of people around them in the building. “If you had grown up with me around, you would have gotten that rep too, Waverly. I was trying to protect you.”

“I didn’t need protecting. I needed my sister,” Waverly refuted, her tone dripping in hurt and remorse. She knew this dinner was going to bring up a lot of buried emotions, but she had been hoping she would have been better at containing them.

“And I see that now, Waves, I do,” the older Earp pressed, her body leaning further into the table and closer to the girl across from her. “And I’m so sorry. I’m notorious for making shit decisions,” she chuckled, although it was clear the self depreciation was present in her forced laughter.

Waverly sighed, her resolve cracking as she looked over her sister.

“Don’t do that.”

Raising an eyebrow, Wynonna looked up. “What?

“Don’t do that thing where you talk down on yourself because everyone made you believe you deserved it. I might be upset, but I’m your sister, I’m not everyone else.”

The older brunette let out a breath; whether it was of relief or thanks, Waverly couldn’t tell. What she could tell, though, was that her sister’s blue eyes looked a little more hopeful than before.

“I know. And that’s why I want to fix things here, Wave. I want a fresh start, and I want you to come with me.”

Waverly furrowed her brow. She hadn’t expected those words, nor did she really understand what they meant.

“Come with you?” she asked hesitantly, her confusion evident in her tone.

Just like last time, before Wynonna could answer, the waitress came over with their food, setting it carefully in front of them and checking that they were all set before walking away. Waverly looked down at the dish, her stomach growling in perfect time as she reached for her fork.

“I’m trying to make something of myself, and I think I finally can now,” Wynonna explained as she dug into her own meal. She continued to talk between bites, her enthusiasm for the subject apparent even through her occasional chewing. “I’m in this band, and we’re actually doing really well off. People up here know us, and they like us. We might actually get somewhere soon.”

Waverly’s brows scrunched further, her mind working to catch up with her sister’s words as she ate. She didn’t even know Wynonna was interested in music, let alone in a band. She had never seen or heard of a band with her sister in it, however she wasn’t exactly prominent in her life anymore.

Truthfully, Waverly didn’t keep up with any of Wynonna’s social media anymore. When she had tried, it had just been too painful.

It was difficult watching someone who had cut her out of their life continue on as if it were nothing.

Maybe her band was only big in her area? Maybe that explained why the word never traveled the distance back to Purgatory.

“What does this have to do with me?” Waverly asked instead. If things actually ended up working out between the two of them, she would have time later to ask more questions about Wynonna’s new interest.

Until then, she was more focused on the matters at hand.

“I…” Wynonna started, before switching gears in her mind. It was obvious she was searching for the right words to say. The perfect thing that might get Waverly invested. “Look, we’re doing a set tomorrow night. Hang out here for just one more night. Maybe go see what the nightlife has to offer, come to our show tomorrow, and then if you want nothing to do with me after all of this sister time, I’ll understand,” the older brunette proposed.

It was more than apparent that this was something that meant a lot to Wynonna. Both the band and Waverly coming and being a part of her life was clearly very important to her. As much as Waverly didn’t want to hurt her sister, she wasn’t sure if she could do it. The last thing she could afford was getting burned like she did four years ago.

The last time had broken her enough as it was.

“Please, just give me a chance, Wave,” Wynonna whispered, urging the girl further. “You were the only one who ever did.”

Waverly sighed.

Damn Wynonna and always knowing just what to say to get her to break. She had always known when they were kids exactly how to get under Waverly’s skin.

It was clear that now was no different, and the words pulled heavily at Waverly’s heart.

“Fine. Okay. Just one more night,” Waverly conceded.

“Yes!” Wynonna hissed excitedly, balling her hand into a fist and bringing it down to her side in celebration.

“Don’t get too excited,” Waverly warned, instantly worried about both of their feelings if this didn’t work out.

Sure, she knew she would be crushed, but Wynonna looked so excited, and so happy. Waverly didn’t want to get hurt again, but she also didn’t want her sister to be upset if this didn’t go as planned.

She could deal with her own broken heart, but she wouldn’t be able to deal with Wynonna’s on top of it. That would wreck her too.

“Oh, I’m all the excited,” Wynonna joked with a beaming grin, and Waverly couldn’t suppress her own chuckle at the ridiculousness of her sister.

She had to admit, despite all of the hard feelings, she really had missed this.

“Okay, well, how about tonight you show me around then? Get in some of that sister bonding you were talking about?” Waverly suggested as she tried to suppress the hope lacing her voice. She didn’t want to get her hopes too high this soon.

It was still early, and it was still very possible for this all to fall apart.

Slow and steady, right?

Wynonna grimaced, and Waverly prepared herself for the rejection that was imminent.

“I really wish I could, babygirl, but tonight’s no good. I have to meet with our new drummer and show her the ropes,” she explained, regret lacing her voice. Waverly had to admit, it was a little comforting to hear Wynonna just as upset about the situation as she felt. “But how about tomorrow before the show?” the older girl offered.

Waverly shrugged.

“Okay, yeah. I can do that.”

“Awesome,” Wynonna said with a beaming grin. Waverly couldn’t help but match it.

It was really nice having her sister back. Even if it might not have been permanent.

“Alright, hey, I really gotta run, but it was great seeing you, baby girl. I promise I won’t be a stranger anymore, okay? It’ll be better this time, really.”

Waverly watched as her sister left some bills on the table, enough to cover the both of them, surprisingly. The older girl stood up, walking over to press a short kiss on the top of Waverly’s head before walking back towards the main lobby.

Watching the older girl leave, Waverly sighed. She couldn’t help but believe Wynonna that things were really going to be better. Things felt… different, somehow, but she couldn’t explain it. All she knew was that she hoped the girl was right, but she also had to be careful.

Getting her hopes up could be dangerous.


Waverly paced the hotel room floor, her mind running a thousand miles a minute as she talked aloud into the open space around her. Luckily, her voice traveled far enough so she didn’t have to yell into her phone, and she was able to leave it face up on the top of her bed as she ranted.

“I don’t know, Chrissy. I really don’t know how to feel right now,” she said anxiously, her stomach turning as she finally allowed herself to feel the nerves from her conversation with Wynonna at dinner.

“Do you think she means it?” Chrissy asked curiously, her voice echoing loudly in the small room.

Waverly sighed, finally allowed herself a deep breath as she sat on the edge of the bed, falling back against the mattress beside her phone. “I want to believe it, I do. I just…” she trailed off, not wanting to come across as too harsh.

Lucky for her, she was talking to her best friend. The person who knew her better than anyone else in the entire world.

“Don’t want to get hurt again?” the girl supplied, easily finishing Waverly’s thought for her.

The blonde had a natural way of doing that. She was never too scared to say the things Waverly was too scared to speak out loud. It made them the perfect team all throughout high school, and times like this, it worked even better.

“Yeah,” the brunette breathed, taking a second to close her eyes and calm her emotions. She needed to get a grip on herself, and the situation. She was no good here if she couldn’t get herself in check for five minutes to figure out what she wanted out of this.

Did she want a relationship with her sister again? Or did she want to say her piece, get her closure, and go back to her life? Or… was there some kind of third option she wasn’t considering?

“I don’t want you to either. I saw what all of this did to you last time,” Chrissy spoke up, breaking Waverly’s train of thought. Probably for the best, otherwise she would have spiraled even further than she already was. “But I also know how you are, and if you don’t try, you’re going to regret it later.”

And then it was times like this, where Waverly cursed how well the blonde girl knew her.

“Yeah, you’re right,” she admitted, the sound of her words slightly muffled behind the arm she had just slung over her face.

“But hey, at least you get to go explore tonight!” Chrissy said excitedly, the vibe of the call completely shifting as she spoke animatedly.

Waverly chuckled as she rolled over onto her side, her arm now a pillow for her head as she looked down at her phone, as if her friend were there and not six hours away. “Oh, hell no. I’m going to bed, thank you very much,” she said matter-of-factly, already feeling sleep want to take its hold.

“No no no, grandma. It’s nine-thirty on a Friday night,” the girl argued, clearly ready for a fight if there had to be one.

Waverly would give her this, Chrissy was determined.

However, so was she.

“Perfect time for a book and some sleep,” Waverly countered.

“No, perfect time to get out there! Come on, you’re in a completely new city with new people! New… options.”

Waverly groaned. Loudly.

“I don’t need new options, Chriss, I need sleep.”

“You need to get laid.”

Waverly groaned again, this time far more dramatically as she flopped onto her back, staring up at the ceiling. She got this talk from Chrissy at least once a week now for the last month. Ever since she broke things off with her now ex-boyfriend.

And Chrissy was relentless.

In her defense, Champ had been in Waverly’s life for far too long. She could at least admit that.

“Chrissy-”

“The last and only person you were with was Champ Hardy. Do you really want that to be your last and only memory of sex?” Chrissy countered pointedly.

Frankly, Waverly wasn’t quite sure how to fight back with that.

There was a point there.

“I-”

“Of course you don’t, so get out there!” the blonde girl interrupted again, just as enthusiastically convincing as before. “Go have a one night stand or make out with some rando at a bar! Get some action!”

Waverly sighed, her resolve crumbling again for the millionth time that night.

She really needed to work on standing her ground a little bit more, but she could worry about that later.

“If I go out, do you promise to never talk about sex with Champ again?” she practically pleaded, shivering in disgust at the thought.

She really hated her town's limited dating options. A lot.

“Cross my heart,” Chrissy replied confidently, and Waverly sighed again. She pushed herself up to sit on the edge of the bed again, glancing down at her phone.

“Fine,” she grumbled, her eyes closing as she prepared for the overly excited squeal that was bound to come out of the speaker.

Like clockwork, Chrissy squealed loudly, the sound probably close to deafening had Waverly not been so used to it by now.

“Yes! You better send me pictures,” the girl said in her most threatening tone, yet her voice was too thrilled to be anything close to concerning.

Waverly rolled her eyes, but there was only loving amusement behind the action. “Goodbye, Chrissy,” she lilted, reaching over to hang up the phone before her best friend could even respond.

She sighed again, her arms braced on either side of her thighs as she looked over to the small closet in her hotel room. She had hung up the few outfits she had decided to bring, and she quickly realized that she hadn’t thought to bring anything on the off chance she had planned to go out.

She very rarely went out. Especially in a city she didn’t know.

Although she had to admit the thought was a little exciting. Maybe this could be a good thing. Maybe it would be nice to get out for a while and get some fresh air. See some new places and experience some new things.

Waverly was a curious person by nature.

Granted, maybe a bar wasn’t the best place to be curious.

Or maybe it was…


There were only two things that Nicole Haught was certain of in life: she loved drumming and she hated the Ghost River Triangle. So when her best friend Robin called her and told her about his boyfriend’s friend’s band needing a new drummer for their fall tour, she jumped at the opportunity to do her favorite thing and leave her least favorite place.

That was how she ended up in a small-town bar outside of the Big City for the most informal interview of her life with a brunette that equally intrigued her and scared her to death.

“Alright, Haught. I know I said I’d give you a shot at the drummer gig-” Wynonna stopped mid sentence and snorted. Nicole gave the brunette a pointed look. She knew exactly where this was going. “Haught Shot. Get it?”

“Not anything I haven’t heard before. You’re gonna have to try really damn hard if you wanna come up with last name jokes that I haven’t heard a million times already.”

“Challenge accepted, Ginger Spice. Now as I said on the phone, our drummer quit and we’re looking for a new one. You can play one show with us to see if you fit in well.” Wynonna flagged down the bartender once she swallowed the last drop of whiskey. “We don’t do drama, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We play music, drink alcohol, and sometimes get laid because we play music.”

“I only need one shot. I’ve been playing since grade school. Hard home life and all,” Nicole explained, knowing damn good and well she might be oversharing more than she typically would. “I used to get into fights so much that the principal made me do an extracurricular to keep me out of trouble. I chose band class because music was my escape.” Nicole picked at a string on her ripped jeans. She found that it was easier to tell stories when she wasn’t focused on the person she was talking to. “My band instructor put two sticks in my hand and told me he knew something I could hit. He taught me drums and still to this day those two drum sticks were the best gift I’ve ever been given.”

“You should pitch that story to Hallmark sometime, Red.” Wynonna clapped Nicole on the back and the redhead playfully rolled her eyes. This was her first time meeting Wynonna, but it wasn’t her first time meeting people like the brunette. Wynonna clearly liked to keep things light and not talk about emotions. Nicole used to be like that. It was a coping mechanism. The brunette had lost people, just like she had. “So you think you got what it takes?”

“I do.” The redhead nodded confidently, and Wynonna slid a shot over her way. Nicole didn’t usually drink. She had sworn off alcohol after watching it completely consume her father.

Although today was something worth celebrating, so she picked up the shot glass and clinked it against the brunette’s.

“I’ve got a good feeling about you, Haught Sauce.” Wynonna didn’t pull her glass away from Nicole’s. “But if you ever tell anyone I said that I’ll cut off all your fingers. Cheers.” The brunette brought the glass to her lips and swallowed the golden liquid without so much as a grimace. Nicole, on the other hand, coughed as soon as the whiskey slid down her throat, which left a burning sensation in its wake.

“Alright, first rule of being in a band. You have to be an asshole with charm.” Wynonna sat her shot glass down and motioned for the bartender to bring her another. “Music is all about charming your audience. You want them to keep coming back. You want them to keep wanting more.” Wynonna turned on her stool so she was facing Nicole. “You got the looks, that's for sure. Can’t tell if you have charm or not. Definitely can’t tell if you have it in you to be an asshole.”

Nicole furrowed her brow, shooting the brunette beside her a confused look. “Why do I have to be an asshole?”

“It’s all part of the image, Red,” Wynonna said dramatically, the passion seeping through her voice in a mocking way that screamed a subtle tease beneath the surface of her words. “You have to be able to pull off the image and the charm if you’re gonna be a part of the band. That’s why I asked you to meet me here. Go woo the socks off of some… ladies?” The brunette looked at Nicole for an answer and the redhead nodded.

“Only ladies, yes,” the redhead assured her.

Wynonna smirked.

“Go tell the ladies you might be in a band. Practice building your onstage persona here.” Wynonna shooed the redhead off her bar stool before she could even protest. As soon as Nicole was standing up, Wynonna turned her attention to a man that was sitting a few bar stools over from her.

Nicole found a blonde sitting by herself at the other end of the bar and decided to test out her newfound, charming assholery.

“Come here often?” Nicole leaned against the bar and cursed under her breath when she accidentally laid her right arm in a puddle of an unknown liquid substance. Plus that line… ‘come here often’?

Jesus, she was terrible at this already.

“I do, but you look new and a little lost, so I’m guessing you don’t.” The blonde smirked and Nicole purposely flashed her dimple.

‘Work the charm,’ she thought to herself.

That much she knew she could do.

That wasn’t the part she was worried about.

“I have had a few too many drinks.” Nicole leaned over closer to the girl. “Want to help me find my apartment?”

‘Keep a straight face. Don’t cringe, don’t cringe, don’t-’

“And they said chivalry was dead.” The blonde chuckled bitterly before she chugged the rest of the contents in her glass and slammed it on the bar. She made sure to shove Nicole’s shoulder extra hard with her own.

And now Nicole could cringe.

“Be an asshole, they said. It’ll be fun, they said,” Nicole whispered to herself as she chanced a glance back at Wynonna, who was staring at her with an amused grin. The redhead flipped her off and Wynonna gave her a thumbs up. When a different man sat down by Wynonna, the brunette turned back around on her stool and gave the stranger her full attention.

Nicole sighed.

She was hating this already.

“Looks like you could use a drink after that last interaction.”

Nicole was broken from her thoughts when a voice as smooth as honey filled her ears. When she looked to her right, she was met with a smile that was simply blinding. Beautiful wouldn’t even begin to explain it. “What’d you do? Talk about your ex? Mention your three kids and minivan? Ooh, tell me you didn’t mention a U-Haul,” the stranger said with a dramatic cringe as she settled next to the redhead.

“Just brought up the few bodies I keep hidden in my basement. It usually works on the ladies.” Nicole smirked, and her stomach warmed when the most beautiful laugh she had ever heard graced her ears.

‘Assholery. You have to be an asshole, Nicole.’

“Her loss.” The brunette leaned her elbows on the bar top. “I’m Waverly,” the stranger introduced herself as she extended her hand.

Nicole nodded. “A pretty name for a pretty girl.” She took the tan hand in her own and brought the back of it up to her lips. “I’m Nicole. Nicole Haught.”

“Nicole… Haught. Of course.” Waverly ducked her head to hide her blush, letting out a small chuckle.

“My name sounds beautiful coming from your lips, but I think hearing you scream it would sound much better.” The redhead winked, although it was more to suppress yet another cringe, and Waverly just turned away from her and cleared her throat.

Even Nicole was disgusted with the line.

“Are you new to town? You almost seem lost in here,” Waverly changed the subject quickly.

Nicole tried not to laugh at the deja vu the question sparked, considering that was almost exactly what the blonde had asked her. Maybe she really did look more uncomfortable than she was trying to let on.

She knew that she has a tendency of wearing her emotions on her face, but she also knew she needed to hide them for whatever social experiment Wynonna was using her for.

“I’m going to be in a band. The drummer.” Nicole leaned in closer once she realized Waverly wasn’t going anywhere yet. “So that means I’m really good with my hands. Want me to show you?”

‘Fucking gross.’

Nicole would never have used that kind of a line to someone she had just met. Hell, she probably wouldn’t even say something like that to a girl she was dating.

But she had to be an asshole, and that seemed to fit the part well enough.

“I believe you.” The brunette gulped at the thought of the redhead drumming wearing a shirt with the sleeves cut off and sweat glistening her body. She was drawn to all the drummers during her boyband phase in middle school and high school and it doesn’t look like much has changed.

Nicole sat back a little on her stool, a little surprised by the clearly flustered state the brunette was now in.

Maybe Wynonna was onto something about this whole ‘be an asshole with charm’ thing.

“But I’d rather know what’s in here.” Waverly pointed to her head. “And in here.” The smaller girl placed a hand over her heart. “A kind heart and a brilliant mind are more my thing,” she said with a shy smile.

Nicole almost cracked. Almost. Under normal circumstances, Waverly was exactly the kind of girl she was attracted to, and the way she so brazenly expressed her wants in another person drew Nicole in.

But she also really wanted this gig.

She needed this gig.

Assholery.

“I can blow yours if you’d let me,” Nicole said with a wide, dimpled smirk. Still, she wasn’t sure that was enough to seal the deal. She knew she had to go farther. “You look a little tense, sweetheart. Nothing that a good fucking can’t fix.”

The redhead’s fake smirk faltered a bit at the completely repulsed look that crossed the brunette's features.

Even she knew that was over the line for more reasons than one, and she had never hated herself more than in this moment.

But she really needed that fucking gig.

Waverly clicked her tongue and it killed Nicole to see the light drain from the hazel eyes that she wished would smile at her again. “See, the bodies in the basement wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for me, but being a raging jackass is.” Waverly pushed herself off of the stool, further away from the redhead, and Nicole wished more than anything she could just apologize and start over. She wished she could explain the situation and actually get to be herself this time, but she knew that wasn’t in the cards for her.

Besides, this was a random girl from a random bar. She didn’t need to know Nicole’s whole life story.

“This is why I don’t come out,” the brunette mumbled the last part to herself, but it was just loud enough for Nicole to hear. Brown eyes followed after the petite girl until she exited the bar, and all Nicole was looking at were wooden doors.

She sighed, slumping over the bar in her disappointment.

“How’d you do tonight?” Wynonna asked as she came up from behind the redhead and slung an arm around Nicole’s shoulders, setting a shot down in front of her. Nicole threw the shot back, and the brunette whistled. “Not so Haught, eh?”

“I think I’ll just stick to drumming. It’s never let me down, and it’s never broken my heart.” Nicole stood up from the barstool and slapped a twenty dollar bill on the top of the counter. “I’m the best damn drummer on this side of the Ghost River Triangle and that’s what you called me here for. To drum. That’s all I’m interested in doing. Let me know when the first practice is. You have my number.”

With that, Nicole turned on her heels and walked out the wooden doors that Waverly had exited through not too long ago.

“That’s the confidence I like to see! I knew you had it in you, Haught!” Wynonna called after her, and Nicole smirked as the door closed behind her.

As Nicole drove back to the Big City, she pondered on her decision to be the drummer in this band and wondered if she made the right decision by meeting with Wynonna. However, she knew she shouldn’t be filled with dread at the thought of going home to her apartment. Her empty, very lonely apartment. At the thought, she grabbed her phone from the center console and turned the volume on high so she wouldn’t miss any calls.

Not that there was a specific one that she was waiting for.

No. She wasn’t that desperate.

Or maybe she was a little desperate after all.

Desperate to get out. Desperate to leave and never look back. Desperate to make something of herself. Desperate to find the kind of happiness that crinkles the corners of your eyes.

And at the thought of that, her mind wandered back to the feisty brunette who all but put her in her place tonight at the bar.

Waverly.