Your name is Nicole Haught, and you like being….
The four of you are friends from grade two all the way through high school. You're inseparable.
You love your friends. You're fiercely protective of them. Anyone messes with them, and they mess with Nicole Haught.
But you're still scared to tell them that you like girls. You lay awake at night, fearing a lifelong friendship is about to dissolve and then you'll really have nobody…
They just hug you when you tell them. Then you all go out for ice cream.
Casey is your first real girlfriend. Point guard on your basketball team. A year older. On your first 'date' you go to the movies except you can't remember which because you spent the entirety of the film making out in the back of the theater.
She's cute. Fun. Loving. A great kisser.
But not particularly loyal. She's the first person to break your heart.
Well, you're not a cop yet. You're still at the training academy. But you've been working your ass off for a year and you're one of the top cadets in your class. You like the idea of helping people, of being a protector, of making a difference in the world. It brings you back to those days on the playground. Those third-grade bullies don't stand a chance…
Your name is Nicole Haught, and you hate being…
You went from friends to wives in three days flat. You were engaged for fifteen minutes. It's the dumbest thing you've ever done. A Vegas wedding. Really?! Shae's nice enough. She's a doctor. She's the one who discovered you had a life-threatening allergy to a certain kind of pain medication.
You're not one to just give up on something. You got yourself into this mess, Haught, and now you have to live with it. You have to make it work.
Except you don't. You hardly even try.
You go your separate ways, toward separate careers and separate lives.
This isn't how it was supposed to go. You were supposed to find a girl, fall in love, plan and execute the world's most romantic proposal, get married, live happily ever after…
There's a part of you that is deeply ashamed of the fact that you have a failed, loveless marriage at twenty-four.
You desperately don't want to be the kind of cop that slaves away on all the procedural stuff. Paperwork. Filing missing animal reports. Sitting out at the edge of town for hours, watching fruitlessly for speeding cars. But that's what you're doing. You're positive that's all Sheriff Nedley is confident you're capable of doing.
It's just because you're the rookie. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, right out of the academy.
And you hope it's not because you're the only woman on the force. A gay woman, no less.
God, why does every small town have to be the same…
You really like being around her, and with Wynonna and the Black Badge crew traipsing around the sheriff's department, you can't really avoid her.
It's painful, being this close to her, yet so out of reach. She's with Champ, though. The boy-man. Yet there's something still pulling you and Waverly together. You can feel it in your bones. Every time your hands touch--passing a file over the bullpen desk, handing her a cup of coffee--it's electric; you want more. And every shared glance tells you that maybe she wants more, too.
But you don't dare push Waverly beyond what she wants. It wouldn't be fair to either of you.
It still hurts, though. Just being friends.
Your name is Nicole Haught and you like being…
You find out that Waverly Earp does not do things by halves. She could've just told you that she wanted to be more than friends. But no, she decided to lock you in the sheriff's office and then kiss the ever-loving daylights out of you…and there's a part of you that's so happy you could weep. Because never in your whole life has anything felt so right.
She's kind. Fiery. Gorgeous. Patient. Wickedly intelligent. Generous.
It's later that you realize that you've never loved anyone, or have been loved by anyone, like Waverly. And you decide from that day forward that you don't want to. That she's the last person you want to love like that.
It starts with a secret you weren't supposed to find out in the first place. But you just had to go back into the house to get your gloves…Things changed between you after that.
You drank enough alcohol for three people in two hours. Now you can't smell peppermint without getting nauseous.
You made a promise to keep her daughter safe.
You really, truly mean it when you say "I've got you, Earp."
There's still lots of teasing. But it's friendly. Playful. And it's not just because you're 'the girlfriend'. It's because you're finally part of the family.
Because, in a town that is partly overrun by demons, people deserve protection and a bit of normalcy.
Drunk drivers. Petty convenience store thieves. Cow-tippers. Even telling Willie when he parks his hot tub truck on Main Street that yes, you have to have a permit to park here, and would you please put on a shirt I should write you up for public indecency.
And because nobody gets to storm into the sheriff's office and start harassing citizens…even if you are a demon scarecrow. Nobody gets to take lewd pictures of teenaged girls and think they can get away with it.
Because being a good cop matters.
Shae calls you a week after you get out of the hospital.
The papers will be in the mail in the morning, she tells you.
She also apologizes that this went on for so long.
You apologize, too, because you're a part of it just as much as she is.
You agree to send each other holiday cards.
She sounds genuinely happy for you. For the both of you.
"You didn't see what I saw in that hospital room," she insists. "You're meant to be with her."
It's one of the few times the two of you actually agree on something.
Your name is Nicole Haught and you love being…
You and Waverly get engaged and absolutely no one is shocked.
In fact, everyone you tell just gives you grief because well, it's about damn time.
It's a small ceremony. Early summer, at the homestead.
The two of you stood there, in front of everyone you love, holding hands, trying to rush through the formalities, but you just keep getting lost in each other's eyes and can they just hurry up and marry you already. You're anxious to start this part of your life together.
You made promises to love each other. Every day. For the rest of your lives.
But, really, you made those promises to each other long ago. Now they're just public.
Married life is easy. As easy as it can be when one of you is a cop and the other fights demons.
So, pretty easy.
Because you know that in all the craziness, one thing remains the same:
You'll always fight like hell for each other.
You've been in Purgatory for five years when Randy Nedley pulls you into his office and tells you that he's finally retiring, which only means one thing.
You're going to be sheriff.
It's not about the title, really.
You made a home and a family for yourself in this weird little town, and it's an honor to get to protect it and its equally weird citizens. You wouldn't have it any other way.
The day of the swearing-in ceremony your uniform is in top condition. Your pants are pleated and pressed, and you shined your shoes four times.
Waverly is there in the audience, beaming, taking pictures because she's so damn proud of you. You can't help but feel pretty proud, too.
Nedley gives a speech that has everyone in tears by the end, although he makes it through without even getting misty-eyed. However, when he's pinning the sheriff badge to your shirt, you can swear there's a single tear that threatens to slide down his cheek. The two of you share a look and you pretend not to notice.
He gives your shoulder a squeeze and says to you quietly "I'm proud of you, kid."
Then he shakes your hand, and that's that.
You're now Nicole Haught, Sheriff of Purgatory.
You didn't think you could love Waverly more than when you saw her on your wedding day.
Now you're looking at your wife and child, both sound asleep in bed, and you're pretty sure this is what total bliss feels like.
You silently pad across the room and climb into bed next to them, careful not to wake either one.
However, three months of very little sleep and a heavy dose of heightened parental instincts has Waverly blinking awake when she feels the mattress dip. She offers you a sleepy smile. Careful to not stir the infant asleep on her chest, Waverly reaches a hand up to cup your face, her thumb stroking your cheek.
God, you love her so much.
You offer a small smile back.
"I didn’t mean to wake you."
You lie down next to your wife, pressing a kiss to her temple.
"How's he doing?" You run a hand through your son's feather-soft hair.
"Sleeping, finally," Waverly murmurs back, her hand resting on the infant's back. You snake a hand up to rest on top of hers.
You let out a happy, content sigh as you snuggle in with you two favorite people in the entire universe, feeling grateful for your beautiful little family.
A part of a family
You came to Purgatory alone. A small-town deputy job, right out of the academy. You weren't expecting to find much for yourself here.
Instead, you found everything.
You don't know when exactly it happened. The moment you were inducted into Black Badge? When you and Dolls and Wynonna had to wake up the entire town from a sleeping spell?
When Wynonna asked you--it could only be you--to ensure that her child would be safely taken away from the Ghost River Triangle, perhaps never to return?
The moment you waltzed into Shorty's and introduced yourself to the cute bartender?
Regardless, these people turned your whole world upside down--in the best possible way.
They all show their love, in their own odd ways.
The heir of a curse. A century-old cowboy. A secret government agent who also happens to be half-dragon. A seer scientist. Your Waverly. A motley band of misfits and trouble-makers to call your friends. The love of your life.
You didn't just find a job in Purgatory.
You found your purpose.
You found your family
You found your home.