“Good morning, Officer Haught.” Waverly smiles as she saunters up to the front desk to greet Nicole. Wynonna is still out in the car, nursing the mother of all hangovers. Waverly takes advantage of the brief moment of solitude between them to steal a kiss.
Nicole grins into the kiss, leaning over the counter to save Waverly having to stand on her tiptoes. “God, I need a drink! Hey Haught, got anything stashed in your desk?” The couple jumps apart as Wynonna walks through the front door.
She has her shades on and her gaze glued to her phone. By the time she looks up, Nicole and Waverly are standing a respectable distance apart; separated by the front desk. Nicole’s cheeks are burning red, while Waverly forces an overly cheery smile. “Afraid not. Sorry Earp.”
Wynonna waves off her apology with a frown. “Forget it. I know where Nedley keeps his stash.” With that, Wynonna stumbles off to go raid Nedley’s office. Waverly and Nicole share a pointed look, before bursting out laughing.
“Wave?” Nicole looks down and behind her as slender arms wrap around her waist and the other girl rests her head against her back. “Everything okay?”
“Fine.” Waverly mumbles into her shirt. “It’s just been… a long, crappy day. Besides, do I need a reason to hug my girlfriend?” The youngest Earp is tired after a long day and night spent chasing a Revenant with a taste for fire and a flair for the dramatic.
“Girlfriend?” Nicole squeaks out, wondering if she heard that right.
“Oh.” Waverly takes a sudden step back, raising her hands to her mouth as she realizes her mistake. “I… that is my friend who is a girl… that I make-out with, on a regular basis. Nicole, I-”
“Uh uh, Waverly Earp. You said the ‘G’ word. You can’t just throw that around and then expect to real it back in.” Nicole teases, dimples appearing on her cheeks as she smiles at just how flustered Waverly has become.
“Screw it!” Waverly throws her hands up in the air before closing the distance between them again, grabbing a handful of Nicole’s shirt and pulling her in for a kiss. “Nicole Haught, would you do me the great honor of being my girlfriend?”
“I dunno.” Nicole pulls a face. “It seems a bit fast. Maybe we should just be gal pals?”
“Jerk!” Waverly laughs, socking her lightly on the shoulder. She just about manages it without resorting to standing on her tiptoes.
“Yes, of course I will.” Nicole laughs, taking the opportunity to pull her girlfriend in for another kiss. She keeps her hold on the smaller girl as their lips finally part, holding her close and basking in the wonder that is Waverly Earp.
“Hey, guys.” Wynonna walks past, the soles of her boots melted and soot covering her bare arms and face. Waverly had thought her sister would go home and change before coming into the station; but apparently not.
“Earp, have you… were you on fire?” Nicole frowns at the disheveled sight of the oldest Earp sister. She drops her arms from around Waverly as she takes a hasty step back, but Wynonna seems oblivious to the position she’s just caught the Deputy and her sister in.
“Just ma boots.” Wynonna shrugs like it’s just another day in Purgatory. “Hey Wave, I’ve got to go bring dolls up to speed on that last… thing. Catch you in there.”
“Seriously?” Nicole watches Wynonna walk away, completely indifferent to what she’s just witnessed.
Wynonna looks up from the stacks of paperwork on her desk - a gift from Dolls - as she hears a firm wrap on the door of the office she shares with Dolls and Waverly. She doesn’t have to ask to know who it is. “Come in Hot-Shot, Dolls isn’t here.”
Waverly finally looks up from the book she’s had her face buried in for the last hour and smiles as Deputy Haught walks in. She’s carrying two cups of coffee, one of which is in Waverly’s favorite Finding Nemo mug.
“One of those better be for me.” Wynonna sits up, propping her feet on her desk. “Of course. This one’s yours.” She hands Wynonna the second cup, before placing Waverly’s mug down on her desk for her. They share a sickeningly sweet smile as Waverly reaches out for the cup and brushes her fingers against the back of Nicole’s hand.
“Oh my god!” Nicole jumps as Wynonna suddenly cries out. She quickly turns, holding her hands together behind her back as she stands to her full height, waiting for the inevitable. Waverly looks just as spooked. They’ve been dating for a little over a month now, and their relationship is the worst-kept secret in town.
Everyone from Dolls to Nedley knows they’re an item. Everyone except Wynonna. It looks like she’s finally put two and two together and it’s time for Nicole to face the music.
“Wynonna, I-” Waverly starts, but her sister cuts her off.
“Office Haught, you little scamp!” Wynonna grins at the deputy, cradling the hot cup of coffee with both hands. “You Irish-ed up my coffee!”
“Oh.” Nicole feels the tension leaving her shoulders as her natural fight-or-flight response dies down. “Uh, yeah. I put a little whiskey in there for you.”
“You’re the best, Haught. Waves, tell Officer Hot-Stuff she’s the best!”
“She certainly is.” Waverly agrees with a smirk, reaching out to take one of Nicole’s hands - which are still tucked behind her back - in her own. Nicole gives her girlfriend’s hand a light squeeze, struggling to keep a straight face as Wynonna goes back to her paperwork.
“I should get going.” Nicole stretches as she sits up. “It’s pretty late.” She and Waverly have spent the last few hours curled up on Waverly’s couch, not watching whatever trash has been playing on the TV.
“Noooo! Stay!” Waverly pouts, reaching up and cupping the back of her neck to pull her back in for another make-out session.
“Won’t be home for hours. Besides, you could have me buck-naked on this couch and I doubt Wynonna would notice anything amiss.”
“Hmm, sounds like a plan.” Nicole grins, forgetting all about the oldest Earp as one hand slides up Waverly’s skirt. They’re giggling like teenagers when the front door slams open.
“Come on!” Waverly groans into Nicole’s shoulder as Wynonna walks right past them and starts banging around in the kitchen. It’s like her sister has some kind of radar when it comes to Waverly and Nicole being intimate.
“She has to be doing this on purpose!” Nicole huffs, righting herself on the couch. Waverly follows suit, fixing her skirt back down in place. “Seriously! How can she not know?”
“Wynonna lives in Wynonna-land. Population 1.” Waverly rolls her eyes. She loves her sister dearly, she really does, but Wynonna can get a little wrapped up in herself sometimes. Things with the Revenants and Bobo have been getting pretty intense lately. Waverly can’t really blame Wynonna for being a little out of touch.
“Waverly, I’m heading back out. I’ll be late, so don’t wait up! Oh, and see ya, Haught!” She calls over her shoulder while heading for the door. Nicole shakes her head in disbelief. She’s almost tempted to take Waverly up on her offer to have her naked on the couch when Wynonna gets back. It would be worth the inevitable death threats just to have the penny finally drop.
Wynonna rolls back up to the Homestead around three in the morning. There’s blood on her favorite shirt, and it isn’t hers. The knuckles of her left hand are cut and swollen, and she’s limping slightly on her right leg. She probably could have used Waverly’s help with the latest undead-freak menacing Purgatory, but she’s trying her best to keep Waverly out of this thing as best she can.
Despite the pain she’s in, she smiles as she gets inside and finds Waverly and Haught still on the couch. Nicole is lying at the back, with Waverly in front of her; one hand draped lightly over the smaller girl’s stomach. She’s glad Waverly has a friend like Nicole. Wynonna takes comfort in the fact that Waverly’s new best friend is an armed police officer.
It helps that she likes Haught. She’s better for Waverly than those plastics she went to school with. Purgatory is a small town, and it’s not just the dating pool that’s limited. It’s nice for Waverly to have a decent friend for a change.
There’s an old patchwork quilt draped over the back of the couch. Wynonna picks it up and covers the two women with it. Nicole stirs lightly, sighing Waverly’s name in her sleep as she nestles her chin on the top of the younger girl’s head and tightens her protective grip on her. Her gun belt is on the coffee table, within arm’s reach.
Yeah, Wynonna definitely likes having Nicole around; almost as much as Waverly seems to.
“Hey, Dolls. Have you seen Waverly? She was supposed to be translating that musty old book we found.” Wynonna frowns as she glances around the empty Black Badge offices. She could swear Waverly was there just a second ago. Dolls looks up from his computer and gives her a blank stare.
“She’s probably with Officer Haught.” He shrugs like it’s the most obvious answer in the world.
“Yeah. Probably.” Agrees Wynonna. “Those two sure do spend a lot of time together. Not that I’m complaining. I wish Waverly would make friends with more cops. Maybe some navy seals… What?” Dolls is shaking his head at her.
“I’m glad you’ve got that big ass gun because I did not recruit you for your sleuthing skills.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Wynonna demands.
Dolls doesn’t get a chance to elaborate. The office door has been left open, giving them a clear view of the hallway outside. Waverly runs past at full belt, giggling like a school girl, with one hand clutched to her head; desperately trying to keep Nicole’s stetson on as the deputy chases after her. “Waverly Earp, you give me back my hat! That is police property!”
Dolls looks over at Wynonna, watching her watch the exchange. She still doesn’t see it. She’s amused by the sight of Nicole chasing Waverly around a table. She laughs when Waverly fakes left, but Nicole isn’t fooled and dives to the right, grabbing hold of Waverly by the waist and hoisting her up into the air. “Nic!” She screams through a fit of laughter as Nicole spins her around. “Quit it! I just ate!”
“Mine.” Nicole puts her down and swipes her hat back off Waverly’s head. The younger girl just stands there, pouting up at her with those big wide eyes of hers. “Fine.” Nicole lets out an exaggerated sigh as she takes off her hat and places it back down on Waverly’s head.
“Kids.” Wynonna shakes her head at them, still not really seeing it. Then Nicole smiles at Waverly. The gesture is innocent enough, but there’s something in the way she looks down at Waverly. Something about the way her entire face lights up as she smiles at the younger girl. The way she looks at her like she’s the center of the universe. “Well, I’ll be damned...”
“About time.” Dolls mutters, more to himself than to Wynonna.
“Wait, you already knew about this? And you didn’t tell me?”
“It wasn’t any of my business, so-”
“Haught has a crush on my baby sister! That’s the kind of thing I need to know about!”
“Sweet lord… I’m done.” Dolls throws his hands up in the air. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
“I think Wynonna knows.” Nicole worries her bottom lip between her teeth. She and Waverly are lying on the couch at the Earp Homestead, legs entwined, with Waverly’s head resting on her shoulder. Wynonna’s off god-knows-where, doing who-knows-what.
“You didn’t take out that ad in the paper, did you? Oh god, did you?”
“No.” Nicole laughs at the concern etched all over her girlfriend’s face. “No. I didn’t. Promise. It’s just… she asked me to have a beer with her tomorrow night.”
“That’s it?” Waverly sits up. “And you think she knows? …Oh god, do you think she saw us in the shower the other day?” Waverly blushes. Nicole smirks, remembering the encounter fondly as she sits up and kisses the side of Waverly’s neck.
“I think if your sister saw what I was doing to you in that shower she would have shot me right there and then.” Nicole laughs against her neck, raking her teeth ever so lightly over Waverly’s collar. It gets the intended reaction as she squirms on top of her.
“Hmmm…” Waverly grinds her hips rather suggestively against Nicole’s. “What was it we were doing again? It seems to have slipped my mind.”
“Well, let me remind you-” Nicole flips their positions, trapping Waverly between her endless legs. She pauses for a second, waiting for the inevitable.
“Nothing.” Nicole lets out the breath she’s been holding in as nobody interrupts them. Wynonna doesn’t burst through the door with some emergency. Neither of their phones goes off. The house doesn’t catch fire. For once, it’s just the two of them. No interruptions.
“Hey Waves, I’m out with Officer Hot-Shot tonight.” Wynonna wiggles her eyebrows at her little sister as she paints her toenails on the couch. Waverly forces a patient smile. She isn’t sure what game Wynonna is playing, but she’s willing to go along with it. She and Nicole are still drawing up a battle plan for telling Wynonna they’re dating - and have been for the last three months. Short of renting a billboard, they’ve yet to come up with something solid.
“Yeah, she said.” Waverly keeps her attention on painting her nails and keeping her voice steady. “…Have fun.”
“Oh, we will.” Wynonna gives her a shit eating grin. Waverly tries not to read too much into it. She already spent most of last night warning Nicole about her sister’s habit for finding trouble. If the two of them don’t end up sharing a cell, Waverly will count the night a success. “Haught… she’s gay, right?”
“Well, she’s not a unicorn.” Waverly mutters to herself. To Wynonna, she says, “Yes. She is.”
“And you’re okay with that?” Wynonna asks. She knows her sister has a heart of gold. Waverly would give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but it’s not like she’s ever left Purgatory. The attractions of the big city are far away from their sleepy little town.
Waverly has never shown an interest in other girls - though it’s not like Wynonna was around much after she hit puberty. Her sister has a lot of interests that Wynonna never knew she had, like dead languages and ancient civilizations. Maybe Nicole’s interest in her isn’t completely one sided. “Of course I am… Why, why wouldn’t I be?”
“No reason. There just aren’t a lot of gay people in Purgatory.” Wynonna shrugs. The question is innocent enough. If Waverly’s dating options are limited to the likes of Champ, then god knows what Nicole has to work with. Wynonna figures it would piratically be a public service is she helped the two of them hook up. Nicole would get a nice girl and Waverly would get someone who knew how to treat her right.
“I’ve been with a girl or two.” She tries to be nonchalant in the way she brings it up, but the panic in Waverly’s expression as she snaps her head up speaks volumes. Maybe she’s not as open minded as Wynonna figures she is. “It was a long time ago-”
“Okay, no!” Waverly stands up so fast she almost knocks over the bottle of nail polish resting beside her other foot. “No! You are not doing this again, Wynonna! First Peter Majors, from school, and then Champ and… and I won’t let you do it this time! Not this time… Not with Nicole-”
“Waverly, what are you talking about?” Wynonna isn’t sure what’s going on. What had she said to make her sister lose it like that? “Waves-” They’re interrupted by a sharp knocking at the door. It’s the authoritative knock of a sheriff’s deputy. Even without her uniform on, Nicole Haught is an officer through and through. Waverly yanks the door open before Wynonna gets a chance to move towards it.
Nicole looks stunning, wearing a pair of washed out jeans and a fitted burgundy shirt. Her auburn hair is hanging loose at her shoulders, framing a perfect - dimpled - smile. “Hey-” Waverly pounces on her, kissing her square on the lips with the same kind of fierce passion as the first time they had locked lips. Nicole is too stunned to react. She just stands there, looking between her girlfriend and her gun-slinging sister.
“You know what, Wynonna?” Waverly grabs Nicole’s hand and starts tugging her forward. “Nicole isn’t going out for a drink with you tonight! She’s staying here! With me!” Wynonna watches with an amused smirk as Waverly drags an all too compliant Deputy Haught to her room with her.
“Huh…” The eldest Earp lets out a sigh, before taking a long swig of her open beer and shrugging her shoulders. “Looks like my work here is done.” She has no idea what Waverly’s problem is, but she expects a thank you from both her and Nicole come the morning. After all, if it wasn’t for her pushing them together, when would those two have ever gotten their act together?