Waverly learned to read the nightmares.
When Nicole dreamed of the forest fire, she thrashed her legs under the blankets like she was trying to run.
When Nicole dreamed of falling, of Dolls, of the rope giving way, she’d sink both hands into the mattress, gripping the sheets like a lifeline.
When Nicole dreamed of drowning, she awoke gasping, clawing at her throat.
When she dreamed of eighteen months, three weeks, and four days, Waverly awoke to Nicole’s hands, hands that grasped her rib cage, her shoulders, her face. And then Waverly would kiss her and Nicole would whisper sorry. Waverly would shake her head and spread her legs and let Nicole inside, let her burry herself in warmth, let her stay.
Waverly’s nightmares were more difficult to decipher.
There was the one about Nicole dying. There was the one about Wynonna dying. There was the one about Doc dying. There was one about Dolls dying. There was the one about Mama dying. There was the one about Alice dying.
But there was also a voice that coiled around her skull, hissing and licking, that sing-song, angry, venomous voice.
Sometimes Waverly could see her, could see Jolene. And Jolene would rattle in her ear: you are worthless, you are worthless, you are worthless…
Sometimes Jolene pushed Wynonna into endless fog and Waverly could only watch and scream and reach out for nothing.
Sometimes Jolene took Nicole’s face in her hands and kissed her with a forked tongue. Sometimes Jolene’s hands circled Nicole’s neck, sometimes one would disappear between Nicole’s legs and Waverly would wake up nauseas and shaking.
But lately, her dreams whispered warnings. About the Shield. The Champion. Whispers, whispers, foreboding darkness.
Those she kept to herself.
Those she hid behind a smile and a laugh and the feel of Nicole’s hand in her own.