“Fuck,” Wynonna groans against a wave of nausea, noise setting off a stabbing headache. “Fuckshit.”
“Yep,” comes, scratchy and distant, from somewhere in the pitch blackness. “Wynonna?” the voice—Nicole—asks.
Heaving herself onto her hands and knees, she grunts back, “Yep.” Concrete under her skinned hands, cold and damp. Even straining, she can’t make anything out in—well, wherever they are. “What happened?”
“Ambush,” Nicole answers quietly.
There’s a sound of movement and steady hands land on her shoulder and back and she lets herself be shifted and guided to sit with her back against a frigid wall. Nicole settles next to her, shoulder to shoulder. Wynonna has to take several steadying breaths against the lurching feeling in her gut, the dizziness somehow more disorienting when she can’t see.
“Shit,” she hisses, flash of a memory on her tongue, “You got shot.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Nicole says.
“I’m sorry you got roped into this,” she mumbles, leaning into the other woman slightly.
To her surprise, Nicole laughs and says, “Listen, not everything is about you, Earp.”
“I’ve literally never found that to be the case,” she responds, on the very edge of being offended. Her easy but quiet voice is doing very little to dispel the growing bubble of panic right under her throat.
“It’s gonna be okay.”
Now, this would have been one hell of a lot more comforting if a door hadn’t screeched open at that very minute. Nicole flinches, Wynonna curses and covers her eyes when harsh lights flicker on. The woman who enters looks a little bit like an assassin in a made-for-TV movie, all dark clothes and sharp features, a sharklike grin ripped across her face. She’s holding, very loosely, what looks like a baton, but on second look is actually a cattle prod.
“Jesus, you get a cattle prod? That’s badass, my boss will only let give me a gun with a flashlight on it,” Wynonna cries.
But the woman’s focused on Nicole. “She’s cute, Nikki,” she says mockingly. “New girlfriend?”
“Criminal,” Nicole responds easily. “Or didn’t you notice the badge—or the cruiser?”
“You always were a terrible liar,” Lifetime Femme Fatale muses, smile growing. “Just tell us where it is—it’s ours. You’re a cop now but you stole it from us. That’s not very lawful.” When Nicole just stares at her, something hard and cold in her eyes, she sighs. “I brought Cassie along. She’s gonna love seeing you again.”
“I’m sorry,” Wynonna interrupts, “Are we on Candid Camera? This show got dark.”
She sees stars a moment later and the force of the blow knocks her on her side. Probably not a great decision, she’s willing to admit that. When she’s able to sit up, the bad TV hitman—lady—is at the door again, tossing a careless, “Good seeing you again, Nikki,” over her shoulder.
The door slams behind her and Wynonna spits blood. “What the fuck?” she demands.
“I told you, this isn’t about you,” Nicole says gently, giving her the slightest hint of a smile.
There’s something inside her that she can’t quite define. Revenants, she can deal with—she’s known them. This is new, different, and she feels sick. “What did you take from them?”
Now, she looks away. “I didn’t grow up in Purgatory but I did live in a small town really similar,” she explains, not at all frustratingly. “Small town, weird stuff. The sheriff died and I stole something from her before leaving.” After a brief pause, she says, “They won’t be able to find it; we might be here a while.”
“Well, here’s hoping my boss isn’t dead and comes looking,” Wynonna replies doubtfully.
“I…” she trails off. “I dunno if we should be wishing for that.”
They let it rest for a moment.
“What was it?”
“You won’t believe me,” Nicole scoffs humorlessly.
She takes a bracing breath and says, “It’s… a necklace. And it’s magic.”
She can’t help it, Wynonna howls with laughter because of course it’s a magic necklace. Tears stream down her face and her ribs ache before she can bring herself to stop. Nicole’s staring at her, open-mouthed, when she sobers. “Sorry—sorry, I’m—I believe you,” she gasps.
“I mean, yeah, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” she responds.
Something about Nicole’s face says it gets worse.
At nine in the morning, Dolls walks into the station, already calling Wynonna before he even reaches the relative privacy of the conference room. It goes to voicemail, but that’s expected. “Hey,” he calls into the phone. “I was only gone for a day—get your ass to the station when you get this, we got work.”
About an hour later, his phone chimes. He doesn’t even look before answering, “Hey.”
“Dolls?” Waverly’s voice comes over the line. “I need—I can’t get a hold of Wynonna and there’s something you should see—can you get to the homestead?”
There’s a quiet panic in her voice that propels him out of his chair. “I’ll be there in ten,” he tells her.
He’s there in seven. She’s standing next to a parked cruiser wrapped in a heavy-looking shawl, which only initially strikes him as odd—no one let him know there was activity this way. The doors are both open and when he strides up to her side she doesn’t look at him, eyes fixed straight ahead on the cruiser’s window, where, on the driver’s side, there’s a small bullet hole. He walks around to the open door and peers in, takes note: bloody handprint, no pooled blood, no souvenirs left.
At length, she says in a rush, “They were going to get breakfast, Wynonna and N—Officer Haught, around… s-six or seven. I went to bed; the Stone Witch came last night. But I came out and this was here.”
I wasn’t gone even 24 hours, he thinks sullenly. “Okay,” he replies gently. “Go inside,” he orders—this close he can see she’s still wearing pajamas, and the shawl may just be a blanket. “I’ll be right in, but I gotta call this in, okay?”