The group sat at the beach in silence. Nicole had her arms wrapped around Wynonna, trying to prevent her from having another panic attack. “Wyn, she’s going to be fine. It’s Waves. She’s....” Nicole was trying to keep her own shit together. She buried her face into Wynonna’s shoulder.
“Let’s not get a head of ourselves. We don’t know the extent of the attack.”
“Dolls is correct. While there was an attack, Miss Waverly is very capable of takin’ care of herself over there.”
“Yeah, sis. She’s gonna be fine. She loves you and is going to fight like hell to...”
Before Jethro could finish, Nicole’s phone was ringing. She fumbled it out of her pocket and looked down at the number. “It’s blocked.”
“More than likely military then.” Dolls spoke softly. “Answer it, Sheriff.”
She slowly pushed the button, pushing the speaker button. “H...hello?”
“Love?” Waverly’s voice flowed from the other side. Nicole and Wynonna let out a sigh of relief.
“Yes, baby. I’m here. Are you ok?”
“I can’t hear you. Hold on.” Waverly hung up and then Facetimed Nicole. Nicole answered, tears filling her eyes when she saw how covered in blood, dirt and grime Waverly was.
“Hey beautiful.” Waverly smiled, tiredly. “Fuck! Damn it, Jackson!” Waverly yelled at her friend.
Nicole noticed Waverly was in her bra, sitting in medical. “You’re not alright, are you?”
“I’m fine, love. Just getting some stitches.” Waverly pointed the camera down so Nicole and Wynonna could see what was happening. “Nothing bad.”
“You were shot, ma’am...” Jackson whispered but not low enough for the other women to hear.
“You got shot, Babygirl?!?”
“I got grazed. Jackson likes to embellish a little.”
“A graze that went straight through.”
“Yes, Ma’am. Sorry Ma’am.” Jackson continued stitching the wound.
“Baby, are you really ok? Please tell me the truth?”
“A little banged up but I promise, nothing is keeping me from coming home to you in 78 days, 5 hours and 34 minutes.”
“Keeping count, huh?” Nicole teased with a big dimpled smile.
“There’s that smile that I love so much.” Waverly smirked. “And yes, I am keeping count. I need to see my girl.”
“Oh, I’m your girl now, huh?”
“Well, I recall you putting a ring on my finger that says so.”
“I do not recall this event. Guess you will just have to tell me about it when you get back here.”
“Petty Officer Earp!”
“Oh shit. I have to go. I’m fine. I’m alive and I’ll see you guys soon! Love you guys!” Waverly quickly hung up.
“Well, she’s ok!” Chrissy was the first to speak up.
“She got her ass kicked again though.”
“What did we expect though? The base was bombed. I bet everyone looks like her.”
“How did she get shot though?” Wynonna questioned. “If the base was bombed...”
“That’s a good question and I will get the answer as soon as I can, Earp.” Dolls reassured Wynonna.
Waverly quickly hid her phone. “Sir?”
“There you are.” Her commander approached. She went to salute and he waved her off. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m fine, sir. Just a little banged up but I’m fine. How is Edwards?”
“She’s good, thanks to you, I hear.”
“I was the one who put her in that position. I take full blame for that, sir.”
“I would have made the same call, Earp. Don’t sell what you did short of being heroic.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Earp, with this bombing, it’s going to take a few months to rebuild. The Seabees are coming in to take care of the rebuild but I need someone I can trust to be in charge of them. After what you did out there, you’ve proven to be that person. I know you were planning on going home in 2 months but I am going to need to extend you 4 months.”
“Sir. Please, my girlfriend was shot just before I left, I really need to get home to her.”
“I know, Earp but right now you are needed her. If I can get you out of here soon, I will but as of right now, my orders are to extend you and your team 4 months. All of your team.”
“You mean Ashton, Fitzpatrick, Anderson, Edwards and I?”
“Yes. All 5 of your are being extended.”
“Sir, I understand doing it to me, but please, don’t do it to them. It’s their first or second tours. And Edwards was shot!”
“She’ll be fine in a couple weeks. Look, you trust those women and they trust you. It’s time to step up, Earp. Lead. You have your orders, I’m sorry.”
“I’m sure you are, Sir.” Waverly mumbled. Her commander left and Jackson looked up at Waverly while still working on her stitches.
“You ok, Ma’am?”
“Not at all, Jackson. A full year away from them? From Wynonna who I just got back and from Nicole?”
“Well, look at it this way, Ma’am. When you go home, you’ll be 2 years from getting out. 1 more tour after this.”
“I have to call her...”
“I would do it now while you have a chance. I can keep people out for a while.”
“Thank you, Jackson. Fuck. Then I need to tell the team.”
“That’s going to be tough.”
“Yes. It is.” Jackson headed out of the room and Waverly pulled the phone back out. She videoed Nicole again. Nicole answered. “Hey love. I need...” Tears filled Waverly’s eyes. “I need to talk to you, alone, please?”
“Yeah, baby. Give me one second.” Nicole pushed herself away from the group. “What’s wrong babe? Why are you crying?”
“My commander just...he just gave me some really bad news.”
“You wanna talk about it?”
“I apparently did a really good job on leading the squad into that gun battle. They’ve extended me and my team.”
“W..what?” Nicole’s breath hitched. “How long?”
“4 more months.”
“So a year total?”
“Yes...” Waverly tipped her head down. “I just want to be home with you, Cole. I miss you so damn much it hurts.”
“I miss you too, baby. So fucking much. I hope you know how much. You’re always on my mind but if you have to stay then that’s what will happen. You will keep fighting and you will come home to me, do you understand?”
“I understand more than I can ever tell you. Your letters are something I look forward too every day and I’m so happy I sent them home to you before our tent got hit.”
“Wait, your tent got blown up?”
“Yup. It was a really exciting night.”
“You look so tired, baby. I wish I could hold you and kiss away those tears.”
“I know...” Waverly took a deep breath. “Cole, I don’t want to wait to get out of the military to be with you...”
“No?” Nicole was trying to hide her excitement but she was having an issue with it.
“No. I want you, Nicole Haught, to be my girlfriend. If you’ll have me?”
“Baby, yes! So many times, yes.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t ask you in person.” Waverly sighed. “I had this whole plan for when I came home but I can’t do this. I can’t just pretend that we aren’t already in a relationship. No one has loved me more than you do and I would be a fool not to ask you.”
“I love you more than you will ever know, Petty Officer Earp. From the day I met you, I knew I couldn’t live without you in my life.”
“So, 199 days, Cole. Can you wait that long?”
“200 more days of not kissing you? I really have no idea how I’ll get through it.” Waverly slyly smirked at her screen. “I guess your photo will do for now.”
“Yours has been helpful on my end too.”
“I wasn’t sure if that was your thing or not.”
“Baby, that’s everybody’s thing.” Nicole’s comment got a small laugh at of Waverly.
“I should really go. I need to go tell my girls that we aren’t going home anytime soon.”
“I love you, Waverly Earp.”
“Right back at ya, love.” Waverly blew Nicole a kiss and disconnected the call. She let out a loud sigh.
“Earp, you good?”
“Yeah, Jackson. I really am.”
“Congrats on the new girlfriend!” Waverly’s eyebrow perked. “I didn’t mean to listen...ok, I did but I don’t get any good gossip in here. I couldn’t help it.”
“Nah, don’t worry about it. I’m pretty happy about it too!” Waverly looked down at her side. “Are we done here, doc?”
“Yeah, you’re all good, Ma’am.”
“Thank you for taking care of me once again!”
“Do me a favor please?”
“What do you need, Jackson?”
“Can you and Johnson go the rest of this tour without visiting me with an injury?” Jackson and Waverly both laughed.
“I can certainly try.” Waverly slowly pulled her uniform back on and headed out of the medical bay. She had to deliver the same message to her squad that had just been delivered to her. And she knew it wasn’t going to be easy