It was nearly dark out as Waverly drove toward her home; the sun had been setting earlier and earlier as the days passed, and now it was barely 8pm before the sun began to sink over the horizon. The drive was familiar; second nature, really, and she took the time to think and ponder; mind wandering as she took a moment to contemplate life. It was a quiet moment, a rare occurrence these days, and she reveled in the peace of reflection.
If you had told Waverly Haught ten years ago that this is where she would be today, she would have laughed in your face and called you an idiot.
Ten years ago, she would have told you exactly what her future looked like.
She would marry Champ; because as everyone kept telling her, he was the only one in town crazy enough to date an Earp. They would have a handful of kids, because although Waverly was fine with just one, Champ made it no secret that he wanted lots of kids. He wouldn’t actually help with the kids any, but at least the Hardy line was perpetuated.
He would stay out too late and hang out with too many women, and she wouldn’t say anything; because, well, it was a small town and it’s not like she had a lot of options. And so she put up with him, for the kids, or at least that’s what she would tell herself.
She would work at Shorty’s, because it was easy, and expected.
She would stay up late, long after Champ and the kids had gone to bed, and scour every book and newspaper clipping she could find for a way to break the stupid curse.
Never in a million years would she have guessed that her life would have made such a drastic turn.
At a glance, it would appear the change happened when Wynonna returned to town; but Waverly knew the real turning point.
”I didn’t know Shorty’s had wet t-shirt competitions.
She laughed to herself as she remembered the moment. It was forever scored on her memory as the point where her life began to change.
The magical moment where her knight in shining white Stetson had stepped in to save the day.
Nicole would say that she had very little to do with the way Waverly’s life had turned out, that Waverly had turned her own life around and she was simply along for the ride. And while Waverly knew that she had put a lot of hard work into the way her life had turned out, it had helped immensely to have Nicole supporting her. Plus she just loved calling her wife her ‘knight in shining white Stetson’ - after all these years, it was one of the few things that could still use to make her blush.
Needless to say, she had not end up married to Champ.
Far from it.
Instead of a washed up rodeo cowboy with zero prospects and no sense of monogamy, she was married to a gorgeous redhead who was poised to be the next Sheriff of Purgatory as soon as Nedley retired at the end of the year. Not to mention that she had no doubts of Nicole’s faithfulness - as Gus would say, that girl looked at Waverly like she was the only woman in the world.
And though she was completely exhausted from her long day at work, the only glass she had filled had been her own, and no one had tried to make a pass at her.
To be fair, making a pass would have been rather difficult, considering her closest student lived over 200 miles away. She taught correspondent courses focused on ancient cultures when she wasn’t working on her own research or consulting with Black Badge. She was well published, and historians around the world considered her an expert in supernatural myth and legend. She loved what she did, and as much as she had enjoyed working at Shorty’s, there weren’t enough tips in the world to make her go back.
The curse had been broken now for going on 2 years; the last three revenants had been a bitch to root out, and Black Badge had hunted them for a year before they finally found them, holed up in a cave deep within the woods of the Ghost River Triangle.
She had cried for a week straight after the curse had been broken.
Straight up squalled like a giant baby.
She had tried to excuse away the tears with the years of stress and heartache the curse had brought her, but it all made a lot more sense when she took a pregnancy test.
Those two pink lines had definitely changed her life. Nicole’s too.
She had never seen the other woman be more protective than those nine months that Waverly was pregnant. Frankly, she was lucky that she had gotten to go to the bathroom by herself and feed herself without assistance. But even though her wife was a little unbearable at times, she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Wesleigh Willow Haught didn’t have a drop of Earp blood in her veins, but that didn’t stop her from acting like one. Her daughter was born tiny, at 5lbs 9oz; but she was a fighter through and through. She had Nicole’s easy grin though, and between that and her bright red hair, there was no doubt that she was a Haught too.
Wth thoughts of her wife and daughter swirling through her head, there was a smile plastered on Waverly's face as she pulled into the driveway and grabbed her bags from the passenger seat. She was quiet as she let herself into the house; she knew from experience that waking up a 15 month old was not in her best interest. She dropped her book bag by the door and slipped out of her shoes, padding softly down the hall toward the nursery.
As she got closer, she could see soft light leaking into the hall from the open door and hear a quiet voice.
“This little piggy went to the market.”
She leaned carefully around the door way to see Nicole leaned back in the rocking chair, Wesleigh planted in her lap. Both of them were completely absorbed in Wesleigh’s toes, one of which Nicole was wiggling gently back and forth.
“This little piggy stayed home."
Wesleigh giggled as her next toe was tickled, and Waverly was positive that her heart would explode at the sound.
“This little piggy had roast beef."
“Beef!” Wesleigh offered.
A smile lit up Nicole’s face as she pressed a kiss to the top of their daughter’s head.
“That’s right! Beef! One day I bet your Momma will teach you to say it in ancient Greek, huh? Won’t that be fun?!"
The baby giggled again, a hand reaching back down to her toes.
"This little piggy had none."
She felt slightly creepy, staring in on them like this, but it was such an adorable scene that she hated to barge in.
“And this little piggy went ‘wee, wee, wee!’ all the way home!"
Wesleigh lost it, her squealing giggles filling the air as she wiggled in Nicole’s lap.
“Mama!” She cried suddenly, catching sight of Waverly.
Nicole glanced up, a smile stretching across her face as she met Waverly’s eyes.
“Wave! You’re home!"
The officer crossed the room in two quick strides, Wesleigh straining against her hold to reach for Waverly.
She took her daughter in her arms, closing her eyes against the barrage of wet kisses being plastered to her face. Her heart swelled as she felt Nicole’s embrace settle around her waist from behind, effectively making her a Waverly sandwich between her two favorite people.
“I hope you don’t mind, I kept her up a little late. I thought you might want to see her before she went to bed.” Nicole’s voice was soft in her ear, her chin settled in the crook of Waverly’s shoulder.
“It’s perfect. Everything’s perfect.” Her emotions caught in her throat and she swallowed, hoping Nicole wouldn’t notice the catch in her voice.
“Now Waverly Haught, you aren’t getting all sentimental on me, are you?"
“Me? Sentimental? Pfft."
She turned in Nicole’s arms to stare into those brown eyes that felt like home, and it amazed her, that after all this time that that look could still send her heart skipping. She captured her wife’s lips in a warm kiss, lingering for a sweet moment before pulling away, Wesleigh a comforting weight in her arms
“I love you."
Nicole’s fingers brushed a strand of hair from Waverly’s cheek, and her eyes lit up in a grin.
“I love you too."
Ten years ago she would have never imagined herself here.
She couldn’t imagine herself anywhere else.