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Travelin' Soldier

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Waverly laid with Nicole for a couple hours before hearing a knock on the front door. Nicole started to stir but Waverly placed her hand on her cheek. “Shhh, no. I’ll get it. You go back to sleep. It’s probably just Nonna.” Nicole nodded, groggy, her body still drained from pushing herself so much the night before. Waverly placed a small kiss to her forehead before climbing out of the bed, shutting the bedroom door behind her and making her way to the front door. She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes, trying to center herself before she opened it. On the other side was a very pissed off Wynonna. She shoved her way into the house, waving her arms in the air as she yelled at her baby sister. “How could you be so stupid? To try and drive drunk? What? Almost dying in Iraq wasn’t good enough, Waves? You had to try and get the job done here?” Wynonna could see how the younger woman had curled into herself, ashamed of what she had done. She couldn’t stay mad at her. She was just happy she was ok. Wynonna pulled her sister into a strong hug. “Look, I get it. I do. But fuck, Babygirl, what were you thinking?”

“I was thinking of them...my unit.” Waverly sobbed into Wynonna’s shoulder. “I was thinking why do I get to come home to my family when they don’t?”

“Ya know, that’s a question I ask myself every day about daddy and Willa...”

“You do?”

“Every day, Babygirl. I ask myself why couldn’t have been me? Why did we live and they died? But at the end of the day, I realize it was because me and you, Babygirl, are meant for bigger things. We’re meant to still be here to change this world. Your story isn’t done yet, Waves.” Waverly just nodded into Wynonna’s chest. Wynonna looked around the house. “Where’s Haughtshit?”

Waverly pulled away and pointed at the bedroom. “She’s in the bedroom, asleep. She got back about 2 hours ago. It was weird. She ran all night long after bringing me here.”

“Fuck...” Wynonna muttered.

“Why did she run all night, Nonna?” Waverly was concerned and while she didn’t deserve a reason, she hoped she could find out.

“She hasn’t brought up why she moved here, did she?”

“Said her parents didn’t accept her as being gay.”

“That’s partially true but she never told you she use to be in the military, did she?”

“She what?” Waverly’s mind filled with confusion. “No. She never mentioned it.”

“She normally doesn’t bring it up.” Wynonna sighed. “Maybe this is a story she should be telling, not me.”

“Nonna, please? She was so cold towards me. I figured it was because I blew off our date for tonight.”

“Damn it, Babygirl!”

“I know, I know.”

“Fuck, fine. But I’m going to need something to drink.” Wynonna headed to the kitchen, pulling a bottle of whiskey out of the cabinet. She sat at the kitchen table and started to drink from the bottle. Waverly sat next to her and Wynonna offered her a drink which Waverly denied. “Haughtass was in the Marines, like you, went fresh out of high school. She was a MP. She was home on leave for her 21st birthday. Her sister, who was older, insisted on taking her out.”

Waverly could see where this story was going and it made her feel even worse about her decisions the night before. “Nonna, what happened?”

“Nicole got drunk as her sister said she would watch out for her and drive them home. Turns out Hayley had a couple drinks herself. They wrecked on the way home. Hayley died when they hit a tree, car flipped 4 times.” Waverly closed her eyes, shaking her head at the pain she put Nicole through the night before. “Haughtpants was set to reenlist but decided against it and got out a few months after the accident. She blames herself for Hayley and so do their parents. Nicole left home after that and never looked back. The nights she runs all night are the nights she’s haunted by her sister and the accident. It doesn’t happen often anymore but when she first moved here, it was almost a nightly thing. That’s how her and I met. I spotted her one night after she had pushed herself too much. She had passed out in the road and I almost ran her stupid ass over. Took her and I a bit but we soon became best friends.”

“You’ve never had a best friend before, Nonna.”

“No, I haven’t and that should tell you how special that Haughtass in there is.” Wynonna looked at Waverly with question. “Why did you call off your date with her?”

“It was the fight we got into. It hit me. I’m shipping out in 3 months again. I can’t have someone else worrying about me. It’s bad enough what I put you and Gus through. It wouldn’t be fair if I started this with her and couldn’t see it through, ya know?”

“I do but she doesn’t get a say in all this, Babygirl? You just get to make that decision for her?” Wynonna grabbed Waverly’s hand. “Do you like her?”

“I don’t really know her.”

“Waves, do you like her?”

Waverly nodded slowly. “Yes.”

“Then why not just hang out with her? Why even think about a relationship. Just get to know each other. If at the end of the 3 months ya’ll are feeling it, then there’s your answer.”

“When the hell did you get so smart?”

“You aren’t the only one who’s learned some stuff since you’ve been gone, Babygirl.” She put the bottle whiskey back in the cabinet. “Ya ready to go home?”

Waverly shook her head and looked back towards the bedroom. “No. I think I’m gonna stay so I can apologize. Though, leave the Jeep please? I have physical therapy today.”

“Call me an Uber then.”

“Purgatory has Uber now?” Wynonna started laughing.

“No. Not at all. I’ll call Doc.” Wynonna said, still laughing at her own joke. Waverly just rolled her eyes at her sister.

“You’re ridiculous, ya know that?”

“But you still love me.”

“I don’t know why.” Nicole’s voice came from the hallway. She was watching the sisters at the table. When they realized she was there, she walked into the kitchen and started making some coffee after pulling a 5-hour energy out of the cabinet and shooting it back. She shook her head at the taste, sticking out her tongue. “Blahhh.”

“Haughty, why do you drink those things? You hate them!”

“Can’t sleep the day away, like you, Wyn.”

Waverly just sat there in silence, staring at her hands in her lap. She was too embarrassed to look at Nicole. Nicole glanced at Waverly, her eyes going wide. “Nonononono.” Nicole ran off to the bedroom.

“What did you do now?” Wynonna questioned Waverly who just shook her head and shrugged. Nicole came running back out with Waverly’s arm brace/sling.

She knelt down in front of Waverly and began to help her put it on. “You can’t take this off, Waverly. You could do more damage to your arm.”

Waverly’s eyes lifted from her lap and locked on Nicole’s. “It was worth it.” She whispered.

This caused Nicole to pause for a minute, close her eyes and sigh. “I’m not worth it.” Nicole whispered back. She secured Waverly’s arm back in place in it’s sling, attaching it back around her waist.

“Uh, so this is fun and awkward but Doc’s here, I’mma head out! Catch you two later.” Wynonna quickly ran out the door as Waverly looked at Nicole with apologetic eyes.

“Nicole...”

Nicole shook her head and sat a cup of tea in front of Waverly and sat across from her. “Hey, it’s ok. We’re good.” Nicole faked a smile while taking a sip of her coffee.

“But we’re not and...” Waverly took in a deep breath. “And I’m not ok with that.”

“Hey, you said your peace yesterday, Waverly. No hard feelings. Honestly.” Nicole took a bit of her poptart, the strawberry jam sticking to her lip. Her tongue snaking out to pull it into her mouth. Waverly couldn’t take her eyes off her lips.

“Ya know what I’ve always wanted?”

“Uh...no?”

“To parachute out of a plane at 15,000 feet. To swim far, far out into the ocean...which I mean I’ve kinda done.” She corrects herself, shaking her head. She stands up and kneels in front of Nicole. “The point is, I’ve always wanted to do things that scare me. It’s why I joined the military. But it’s not so easy to be brazen when the thing that you want, that scares you to death is sitting right in front of you.”

“I...I scare you?” Nicole’s eyebrows arched as she gave Waverly a soft smile, her dimples shining through.

“Yes, yes you do. Because, I don’t want to be friends. When I think about what I want to do most in this world, it’s you...” Waverly shook her head and sighed. “That sounded way more romantic in my head.” She looked up at Nicole, placing her hand on Nicole’s thigh. “Just, uh...jump in anytime Nicole because I really, really don’t know how to do this.”

Nicole smiled and pulled Waverly into her lap. “I think you’re doing just fine.”

“Maybe I should just stop talking.”

“See? You’re doing great.” Nicole smirked, pulling Waverly closer.

“Maybe you should stop talking too.” Waverly straddled Nicole’s lap, putting her one arm behind Nicole’s neck.

“Why don’t you make me?” Nicole teased, her hands slipping around Waverly’s hips, grabbing her butt. With that move, Waverly’s hand gripped behind Nicole’s neck and pulled her closer, crashing their lips together in a fury of passion. Waverly’s fingers gripped into the back of Nicole’s hair while Nicole’s grip on Waverly’s butt tightened as she stood up, carrying Waverly to the couch. Waverly locked her legs behind Nicole’s back as Nicole laid her softly onto the couch, never breaking contact with the smaller woman.

Nicole finally pulled away, her chest heaving, trying to get air back into her brain. “Wow.”

“Officer Haught, I do believe you are an amazing kisser.” Waverly admitted, swirling a piece of Nicole’s hair around her finger, a smile on her face that went front ear to ear.

“As fun as this is, Petty Officer, we need to talk about yesterday...”

“Thought we agreed no more talking?” Waverly pulled Nicole into another kiss as Nicole’s hands began to wander. She stopped at the hem of Waverly’s shirt, her eyes asking for permission. “Yes, to everything, Nicole.”

“I don’t want to hurt you, Waves.” Nicole looked down at Waverly’s arm. “I don’t ever want to cause you any pain.” Just ask Waverly was about to kiss Nicole again, her phone’s alarm started going off. She let out a loud groan. “What is it?”

“I have my first physical therapy appointment in an hour. I have to get ready.” Waverly ran her finger down Nicole’s jawline. “Can we continue this later?”

“Only if you can squeeze in our date.”

“I was thinking about that. Yes, I want to still go on our date.”

“Promise not to run?”

“I can’t promise that but what I can promise is that I will try my hardest. They don’t refer to me as the Travelin’ Soldier for nothing.”

Nicole slowly lifted herself off of Waverly, offering her a hand to help her up. “That is a story I would love to hear.”

“How bout tonight, 1900? Meet you here?” Waverly pushed up on her tippy toes and kissed Nicole’s cheek.

“Yeah, that sounds great...” Nicole watched as Waverly headed to the bedroom to get dressed. “Hey, Waverly?”

“Yeah, Cole?” Nicole smiled softly at the nickname slipping from Waverly’s lips.

“Would you mind if I drove you to your appointment?”

Waverly smiled sweetly. “Why, Officer Haught, is this your way of trying to spend more time with me?”

“I cannot confirm nor deny these allegations, Petty Officer.”

Waverly pulled Nicole into the bedroom, pushing her against the door and pressing her body as close to her as she could. “Well, I would love to spend more time with you, Officer.” Waverly ran her finger down Nicole’s lip. “What would you say about making a day out of it? Just you and I getting to know each other a little bit better?” Waverly looked down, embarrassment taking over.
“And maybe I can explain what happened.”

“I would be a fool to say no to you.”

“I’ll go get dressed and we can head out?” Waverly slowly slipped off Nicole’s lap, an instant chill going through Nicole’s body at the loss of contact. Waverly looked down at the taco boxers. “Though, I think I’m going to keep these, if you don’t mind.”

“I would be a horrible host if I didn’t let you. It is Taco Tuesday afterall.”

“Hm...is that so?” Waverly smirked as she walked into the bedroom to get ready. “Tacos are tasty.” Nicole could hear her mutter from the other room and couldn’t help but smile.

“I am in so much trouble with this one.” Nicole sighed as she stood at the sink, putting her pot of coffee into a thermos.