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Sleep, and Other Things

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When she gets the call, Wynonna had just said goodnight to Willa and had left her curled up on the couch under a small mountain of blankets.  She doesn’t like her room, she says.  Sometimes she sleeps in Wynonna’s bed, or Waverly’s, with them and without, but most of the time she ends up on the couch.  Wynonna tries to rip the pain of all that to shreds, tries to make her feel comfortable, safe.  She’s just sat on her bed when her phone starts buzzing.

“Miss me already, boss?” she asks, grinning.

“Where are you?”  His voice is rough, urgent.

“Home,” she answers.  “What’s going on?”

“I’m coming to you, get there in five,” he says, hard, before the line disconnects.

There’s a cold drop of dread in her gut.  She pulls on a jacket and heads back out.  Willa’s head pops up as she asks, drowsy, “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” she replies quietly.  “Maybe something, Dolls is coming.  Get some sleep, okay?”  She tries to keep any hint of anxiety out of her voice but she feels Willa’s suspicion.  “We’ve got this,” she tries for soothing, may overshoot it.

Soon, though, she shrugs a little and curls back into her pillow.

Nodding to herself, Wynonna lets herself out onto the porch, closes the door as gently as she can.  She’s just about to start regretting her every decision when a familiar SUV skids to a stop worryingly close to the porch step.

Dolls stumbles out in pajamas that look way too thin for winter, and Wynonna hears herself speaking before she really processes what she’s going to say, “Inside, my room.”  Shoving his shoulders, she follows him through the living room, the hallway, into the bedroom where she eases the door shut.  “What the hell, dude?”

“Fire at my place,” he grunts, accepting the blanket she pushes into his hands and wrapping it around his shoulders.

“Same guys?” she asks, rubbing her chilly hands together.  He just looks at her, as if asking what the hell do you think? was just too damn much effort.  “Well, thanks for leading ‘em right back here,” she snarks.

“They already know you live here,” he frowns.

“Okay true,” she concedes.

“Willa’s on the couch?” he asks, eyes flicking to the door.

“Yeah, do you want a shower?”  When he doesn’t answer, she tries, “Would you prefer to just keep boring holes in my door with your freakin’ eyes?”

Eventually, he does answer, “Wynonna, I want to sleep.”

“Well, the bed isn’t gonna get much more there so I suggest you hop in,” she snarks.  “And can we skip the part where you half-heartedly offer to sleep on the floor?”

“Um, ‘kay, I was never gonna offer to sleep on the floor, first of all,” he mumbles pointedly, clambering into bed like he pays rent.  “Have fun on the floor.”

“You’re funny,” she hums as she flicks off the light.  She flops into the mattress that’s suddenly way smaller than she remembers it being.  Brow furrowing in the dark, she grabs the blanket that’s still wrapped around him and tugs.  “Don’t be a dick,” she whines.

Grumbling sleepily, he rocks until he gets himself untangled and tosses the blanket across her.


With a crack, the door slams against the wall as Waverly cries, “Dolls’ car is h—oh, okay, as you were.”

As far as rude awakenings, this one tops out pretty high.  Still clinging to sleep, Wynonna burrows into the warm bed.  She’s aware, in a distant way, that she’s sort of actively cuddling with Dolls—like, she remembers the night before just fine.  She just has zero desire to get up.  Pleasantly sleepy, she’s pretty sure she could stay curled into his chest like this for the whole day and be perfectly content, that is how comfortable she is.  Sue her, it’s not a common feeling.

“Are you trying to pretend to be asleep?” he asks eventually, shattering the peace but not moving away.

“Gimme ten minutes, I won’t be pretending anymore,” she mumbles and squeezes her eyes shut.  But she can feel him growing tense.  Sighing, she pulls out of his grasp and groans unhappily to her feet.  She stretches her arms over her head and scrubs the heels of her hands into her eyes, stares at the bed woefully as Dolls rolls out of bed.  “I can’t believe you’re turning down an opportunity to stay in bed all day,” she huffs, shuffling out of the bedroom and still feeling the ghost of his arms around her.

Willa and Wave are both in the kitchen, the former still with sleep-messy hair and the later looking significantly more put-together which drives Wynonna crazy (how does she do it?  The question plagues her daily).  While Willa’s eyes jump from Wynonna to Dolls, Waverly simply stares at Wynonna, brows arched and smile wide.

“Morning, you too!” she cheers.

“It sure is,” Wynonna grunts, shaking her head quickly at her younger sister.  “Caffeine,” she whispers plaintively, making a B-line for the coffee pot.

When she turns back around after doctoring her cup, Dolls is hovering uncomfortably in the middle of the kitchen, looking back and forth between her sisters, before he mumbles, “So, I’m gonna go take a shower.”

“Probably a good idea,” Wynonna responds, winking.  That at least earns her an eye roll.  “Towels are in the closet.”  After he’s gone, she nudges Waverly’s shoulder and says, “It’s not what you’re thinking—I didn’t have any fun.”

“You seemed pretty happy, I dunno,” she laughs doubtfully.

“I was dreaming about rivers of tequila,” she answers, deadpan.  “They burned down his apartment.”

“So, he’s staying here so they can burn the homestead down?” Willa counters, eyebrow quirking.

“Yeah, I, uh, mentioned that,” Wynonna sighs, rubbing her forehead.


That night, Willa corners her in the hallway after a long shower—it’s just so hard to feel clean again after a Rev explodes on you—eyeing her intently before asking, voice pitched very quiet, “Did you want me to trade places with Dolls?”

Unbidden, something warm pools in her gut for a moment as the memory of waking up that morning plays in her head.  “Well, I’ve been meaning to mention this—you kick,” she answers, grinning.

“Uh-huh,” Willa hums.  “So that ‘no fun’ bit was bullshit.”

Wynonna gasps, scandalized.  “I’m hurt that you think you wouldn’t know the moment I hit that,” she whispers.

So, she ends up back in bed less than a foot away from Dolls, who seems to have fallen asleep within moments of crashing face-down into the pillow.  She wants to toss and turn and punch the pillow, but she also feels like it would be incredibly rude to do so when someone’s sleeping in her bed.  It’s a weird feeling she’s never experienced before.  It’s hard to say how long she stays like that, staring up at the black ceiling, before she grabs her phone to start dicking around on the internet.

“Did you or did you not spend the entire drive here complaining about how ready you were to get into bed?” Dolls grumbles, only a little muffled.

“Here I am, in bed,” she replies, not looking away from the screen.

“If you fall asleep at work, I’m going to dump water on you,” he warns.  “Put it away.”

“These are not the kind of orders I expect in my bed,” she whispers, locking her phone and rolling on her side.  He rumbles a laugh.  Safe with the knowledge that he’s awake, she flops onto her stomach, tries to stretch out the pent-up energy she didn’t realize she was carrying.  She can hear him sigh, too gentle to really be all that irritated.  “I can’t sleep.”

“Count sheep,” he teases and she can hear his smile.

She thinks for a solid five seconds before sighing, “It doesn’t work.”

“You’re being ridiculous.”


It becomes startlingly clear how easy it would be to get used to this the next morning because she’s draped firmly over Dolls’ chest, nose close to his throat.  One of his arms is tossed out across the mattress, under her ribs and almost uncomfortable, the other is on his stomach, fingertips brushing against the skin where her top rode up in the night with every breath.  She feels like this should be bigger or scarier than it really is.  Mostly, she just feels like she could relax into him forever.

She handles it about as well as anyone, leaping out of bed with enough force to shake him awake.  He grunts, sits up, and rubs his eyes—generally is kind of adorable, actually.

Stomping on that, she leaves the room and nudges the door closed behind her.  The living room and kitchen are empty when she investigates.  She says a quick thank you to the room when she sees a full pot on the burner plate.  By the time Dolls appears, she’s inhaled half the cup.  His fingers land on her waist when he steps next to her to make a cup of his own, and she doesn’t move away.  He’s got ridges on his cheek from the pillow.

Ah, shit, she thinks, glaring into the middle distance.

“What’s on the table today, boss?” she asks into her mug.

“Gotta meet a contact couple towns over,” he responds enigmatically.

“Ooh,” she croons, “More super-secret stuff I can’t know about?”

“It’s just about finding out whoever’s after me,” he says.

Sucking in a sharp breath, Wynonna clutches her chest.  “That’s the first time you’ve ever told me anything on the first try,” she hisses.

“This is why I don’t tell you anything,” he mumbles.

“Ah, yes, I knew it had to be something,” she muses, finally stepping away.  “What am I supposed to do?”

“Something not stupid,” he suggests.

“One day, I’m going to punch you in your teeth,” she says.


“How’s that scar of yours coming?” Wynonna asks, leaning against the doorframe and peering at Waverly in the bathroom.

Her sister jumps.  “Oh!  It’s, um, coming?  I guess?”

There’s fresh pink skin around the edges of the gash.  “Regular badass,” she says, smiling.

“Well, you know,” Wave chuckles, smoothing her fingers through her hair.  “How are you?”

“Well, I wasn’t shot, so…” Wynonna trails off.

A door slams hard enough to shake the floor, both women bolt to the front of the house.  Outside, Dolls and Doc are nose-to-nose, and Dolls is saying something low and probably nasty if the way Doc’s mustache twitches and face goes white is any indication.

“Oh, fuck,” Wynonna breathes, stomping out to them.  “Alright, boys,” she calls, elbowing between them.  “Let’s put the rulers away.”

Doc loosens first, face going from fury to confusion in a flash.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says.

“It’s slang,” Dolls growls, jaw tight.

Deciding she has better things to do than facilitate this conversation, Wynonna pats Dolls’ shoulder and shoves him towards the house.  “What the fuck was that?” she demands.

“He was being a dick,” he growls, tossing a look over his shoulder.

“I’m sure,” she grunts, rubbing his shoulder as comfortingly as she can.  “You wanna elaborate?”

Behind them, Waverly shuts the door, chewing her lower lip and looking at them expectantly.

“Not particularly,” Dolls says tightly.

Wynonna raises her hands in surrender.  “You wanna finish gettin’ ready for work, then?  You’re sorta my ride,” she redirects, grinning.  He pulls a face at her, but his shoulders are looser when he stalks off.  Puffing out a breath, she turns back to Wave.  “Anyway, did you wanna buy me lunch today?”

“Oh, that’s tempting,” she laughs.  “But, no.  I’ve got plans.”

“Rats,” Wynonna snaps exaggeratedly.  She watches as her sister pointedly does not make eye contact.  “Maybe some other time.”


They’re working on “bringing Willa back to the present from the planet Creepy Cult,” which is code for watching shitty movies from the past two decades.  And, honestly, Wynonna’s still just trying to figure out how their seating arrangements were skewed so badly out of her favor.  Wave and Nicole are flopped across opposite ends of the couch (they think they’re slick but she’s seen The Princess Diaries about twenty times so she catches the way they nudge each other under the covers), Willa’s curled in a ratty recliner, and Dolls claimed the armchair while Wynonna had been making popcorn.  Which leaves Wynonna on the floor.  Nicole had tossed the back cushions off the couch at her when she’d bitched about her ass hurting, so she’d piled them up and perched on them with her back against the arm of Dolls’ chair.

About halfway through the sequel, she nods off pressed into Dolls’ leg.  Or at least that’s what she’s told when he wakes her up.  On TV the credits are playing.

“Did I drool on you?” she asks sleepily, rubbing at her cheek.

“Yeah, a little bit,” he answers but he’s smiling.  “You wanna go to bed?”

Yawning, she nods, and lets him pull her to her feet.  She tiptoes past her sleeping sisters and Nicole and down the hall to her room.  She jumps into bed and shucks off her jeans under the blanket, murmuring into the pillow, “Turn out the light.”

She’s out before he even climbs in.


Hands are on her, all over her, hot and not hard enough, and lips are ghosting over hers, teeth on her flesh.  Her back arches, she whines and—

Wakes up.

With Dolls kinda sprawled across her chest.  She’s kinda pinned.  And there’s that whole inconvenient, buzzing needy heat in her.

“Hey,” she croaks, wriggling.  He doesn’t stir.  “Listen, I really, really need to get up.”

“Of course you do,” he groans, pushing off of her seemingly without opening his eyes.

She doesn’t waste any time trying to craft a response, too busy flipping off the bed and getting as much space between them as is physically possible and realizing only once she’s at the door that she’s in her panties, Jesus Christ.  Yeah, she’s gonna go drown herself in the bathtub.  She shrinks out of the room with her fists clenched in the hem of her shirt.  One would think the shame would be enough to dampen her arousal, and it is, right until her fingers start following water droplets down her belly.  Her breath comes in quick hitches, quiet noises made loud by the tiles and shit is the possibility of being caught really doing this for her?

She needs a moment to come to terms with that.  Then she rolls with it.


Looking triumphant, Dolls has stolen the couch in her absence and this will not stand.  Now, Wynonna knows she’s got a few options.  The first:  she can admit defeat and slink off to the recliner, or even to her bedroom—this she writes of as unacceptable.  The second:  she could ask him to move his big feet.  This is also a no-go, for obvious reasons.  However, the third offers promise:  flop down on top of him.  She doesn’t really even think about it.

He gives a little oof when she does it—as if he couldn’t fathom the consequences of his act of war.  Smiling to herself, she takes advantage of his surprise and snatches the remote out of his loose grip.

It’s a little too perfect not to flip the channel to a docuseries about the apocalypse.

Dolls lets out a disgusted grunt.

“I can’t believe you were just gonna… spend a day off watching football games from ten years ago,” she teases.

“You made me watch ten hours of Face Off,” he snipes back.

“Face Off is cool and those games are from ten years ago.”  Then, she shushes him when the commercials end, “I’m trying to learn how to survive Armageddon.”

He huffs but doesn’t try to get the remote back, so she’ll take that win.


After over a week, you’d think she’d be glad to have her bed back to herself.  And she is—but it’s cold and suddenly way bigger than she remembers and she can’t sleep and she’s kinda pissed about it.  For hours, she tries to get comfortable.  “This is stupid,” she tells the ceiling.  Eventually, it gets to be too much.  Shoving herself to her feet, she huffs her way out into the living room.  Dolls isn’t asleep, she can see his eyes.  She stomps to him and whispers, “If you tell anyone about this, I’ll lie and then I’ll kill you.”

“’Kay,” he agrees, following her quietly to her bedroom.

He’s kind enough to stay quiet as she situates herself under the covers and scoots back against him maybe a little boldly, but his arm fits comfortably around her middle.  “You are not to breathe a word of this to anyone,” she warns lowly.

“I won’t,” he says, breath tickling her shoulder.  “Promise.”

It’s a little difficult to pretend the little flip her stomach does is nothing but she does her level best, hiking the blanket up further and relaxing against his chest.  The nervous energy that ripples through her is no match for the drowsy contentment she feels.  She doesn’t take the time to really examine it—that’s a problem for future Wynonna, she thinks convincingly—and lets herself drift off.


“Five more minutes,” Wynonna whines sleepily, refusing to open her eyes or release her hold on Dolls, who had tried to wriggle out of her grasp.  “Don’t make me get up.”

He heaves a heavy sigh into her hair and seems to relent, and she should probably really evaluate how her leg had gotten wrapped over his hip.  Another problem for her to take care of in the future, honestly.  Humming victoriously, she yawns and presses her face into his neck, and there’s a tiny voice in the back of her mind begging her to please reconsider her present position.  But, she reasons, he’s holding her too.

Maybe she dozes off again.  All she knows is the next moment he’s rubbing her shoulder, whispering, “C’mon, Wynonna.”

“The department is just us,” she mumbles back.  “Is there some reason we can’t just be late?  Work from home?  Sleep more?”  Her voice has pitched plaintively but he untangles himself from her.  Burying her face into her pillow, she groans loudly.

“You’re being a child,” he laughs.

“Don’t care,” she counters obstinately, tugging the blanket over her head.  He’s not gone yet when she peeks out.  “Go shower,” she orders, yes, petulantly.

She can feel the bed shift when he stands, can hear him pad out the door.  Valiantly, she resists the urge to just let her eyes slide shut again and, when she hears the shower start, pushes herself up, shoving her messy hair out of her face.  Still mourning the loss of her perfectly comfy bed, she stumbles into the living room.  Waverly looks like hell warmed over, still wearing last night’s clothes, at the table.

“Whoa,” Wynonna gasps.  “Long night?”

“Too old for bar-hopping,” Waverly wails, covering her face.  “I’m gonna sleep forever.”


“We gotta stop meeting like this,” she teases, climbing into bed next to Dolls, who sets the book he’d been reading on his chest but doesn’t respond, just stares at her over his glasses.  Huffing and tossing her damp hair off of her shoulders, she curls on her side, back to him, and reminds him softly not to forget to turn out the light.

When she wakes up, it’s still dark, and she’s gasping and afraid and she’s crying and she doesn’t remember the nightmare but there was screaming and blood.  They’re usually like that.  It’s still heavy in her nose.  Squeezing her eyes shut, she scoots until her feet touch the floor and hunches over her knees.  She jumps when a big hand lands on her back, mumbling, “I’m fine.  I’m okay.  Sorry.  I’m great.”

“Do you want me to get the light?” he asks carefully.

She shakes her head before realizing he can’t see her.  “No, I’m fine,” she answers.

He starts rubbing between her shoulder blades.  “This okay?”

Tapping her toes on the floor, she nods and doesn’t remember to correct herself.  Eventually, her heart stops pounding as hard and her breath goes steady.  The screams in her ears fade.  She can’t smell blood and gunpowder anymore.


“Uh-huh,” she breathes, getting back into bed.  “Do you mind if I just…” she trails off, inching into his chest.

“I don’t mind,” he says softly, just before she falls asleep again.


Stretching and still clouded with sleep, she’s distantly aware of the weight of another body almost completely on top of her, that she’s rolling up against and twining her legs around and sliding her hands over, deliciously warm.  It’s not until that body moves that she realizes this is definitely not a dream.  Her eyes fly open and that is definitely her bare thigh hiked up over his hip, okay, that’s—she can deal with this—but then he shifts against her and—oh.  And their faces are close and he’s on top of her and then his lips are on hers and she moans gently into his mouth.  She feels his hand grip her thigh, feels it ride lower to hitch her knee up higher.

He shifts, between her legs and propped over her, pulling back just enough to look at her just for a moment before kissing her again, harder now.  When she drags her nails down his back over his shirt, she draws a low groan out of him.  She slips her hands under his shirt, glides over his skin, needing him closer and needing that off.

Just as he’s pushing up, somewhere in the house a door closes loudly and he practically jumps off her.

Panting, she stares at the wall for a solid minute before daring to look over, and he looks a little bit like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  She opens her mouth to say something when he shoves himself outta bed, mumbling something about getting ready.

And leaving her alone.

In her room.

In her bed.

Where they’d been making out.

“Shit,” she groans, dragging a pillow over her face.


The whole day shifts from painfully uncomfortable to just plain painful when Willa taps on her door quickly before letting herself in.  Wynonna raises her eyebrows and sits up in the bed, crossing her legs.  “What’s up?”

“I’m your bunkmate tonight,” Willa offers, offering a quick (almost apologetic) smile.  She sits on the bed next to her sister and asks, very quietly, “Is everything okay?”

“Well, you know…” Wynonna clucks.  “Another day in Paradise—oh, wait.”

Snorting, Willa shoves her.  “That was bad.”

She just grins.

It’s not long before they settle in to bed and Wynonna can be good and pissed even though it’s stupid but—

But—okay, it had been scarily easy to get used to waking up wrapped around him, to hear his breathing next to her, and the smell of his skin.  She doesn’t really know when she turned into this cheesy a person.  In spite of having slept on her own for most of her life, it doesn’t feel right and she hates that.  She scowls into the darkness, and can almost hear Willa’s irritation growing at her tossing but she can’t sleep and she’s buzzing with the worst kind of anger in her gut.

Eventually, she sleeps.


It has been half an hour since he’s said a word, but he sure as hell has been clicking that pen a lot.  She withstands another two minutes of it before slapping her hand on the table and demands, “Dude, do you have a problem?”

“No,” he snaps, dropping the pen.

Suddenly, the pissy monster that’s been growing just under her ribs wants out, so she responds just as sharply, “I’m sorry, did I do something?”

“No!” he repeats.  Grinding her teeth, she shoves herself out of her chair and stomps away from him to pin the photo she’d been scrutinizing to the cork board already littered with too much crap.  She stares at the mess, unwilling to turn around just yet.  Behind her, Dolls exhales, hard.  “Did I do something?” he demands.

“Yes!” she cries, unable to suppress a humorless laugh when she whirls on him.  “Why’d you trade places with Willa?”

She watches the way his eyes shift just before he reigns in control and his face closes off.  “Earp—”

“No, don’t do the Boss Voice,” she interrupts.  “You kissed me, remember?”

“Yes, I remember,” he replies, voice serious.

“Well, what the fuck, dude?”

“Wynonna,” he says, softening just a touch.  “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done it.”

“That’s not—” she stops herself before saying what I want.  Pinching the bridge of her nose, she lets out a long breath.  “Do you wanna maybe do it again?” she suggests, doing something vague with her hand before letting it fall at her side.

“We shouldn’t.”

“And?” she shrugs.  “Do you want to?”

Dolls looks a little bit like he’s not gonna answer when something in his expression cracks and he looks down.  He still takes a minute to actually answer, conceding, “Yeah.”  Tilting her chin up and quirking a challenging eyebrow, she stares him down silently until he stands.  She allows herself a small smile when they’re almost nose-to-nose.  “We really shouldn’t,” he repeats.

“Yeah, but let’s do it anyway,” she laughs.  He closes the distance between their lips and it’s gentler, more cautious than she expected.  It’s brief, and when he breaks away, she whispers, “I’m still mad at you for sleeping on the couch for three days instead of just talking to me, asshole.”


Wynonna leans back against her door, hands still clasped around the doorknob.  For a long moment, she just watches Dolls read, stretched out in her bed, glasses riding low on his nose.  There’s this well of giddy excitement in the pit of her stomach that she can’t quite ignore.  At some point, he catches her staring and raises an eyebrow.  She flicks the lock behind her back and catches the light before going to straddle him on the bed.  Quickly, she snatches his book away and sets it on the nightstand, brushes her lips against his, barely there and slow.

Without warning, she’s rolled onto her back and there are way too many layers between them but she doesn’t want him to pull away.  Soon, though, it really is too much and she shoves him up to yank the comforter from between them—she thinks it hands on the floor but she’s too busy tugging him back against her.  She wraps her legs around his waist, pulls his hips solidly against hers, moans softly when he rocks against her.

“Shit,” she whispers when his lips drag over her ear.  “We should have done this two weeks ago.”

He snorts gently against her neck before nipping at the sensitive skin under her jaw, drawing a sigh out of her. 

“I mean it,” she mumbles.

“Yeah, yeah,” he huffs against her throat.