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Travelin' Soldier

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As they pulled up to Shorty’s, Waverly took in the sight before her. It had been a year since she had last stepped foot inside Shorty’s and while nothing had changed, she felt like she was seeing it for the first time. She let out a very long sigh.

“Babe, what’s wrong?” Nicole placed a concern hand on Waverly’s thigh, turning in the driver’s seat of the car to face her girlfriend.

“Everything’s changed so much in the last year.” Waverly was starting to hyperventilate.

“Wowwow. Hold on, baby.” Nicole pulled Waverly across the bench seat of her truck and into Nicole’s lap, wrapping her arms tightly around the smaller woman. “I need you to breath with me, ok?”

Waverly just nodded, trying to match her breathing to Nicole’s. Finally, her breath evened out and she buried her head into Nicole’s shoulder. “I received my new orders...” Waverly mumbled.

“For how long?”

“2 years...”

“2 years?? Wow...ok...how long do I have you before you have to head back to work?” Nicole ran her hand up and down Waverly’s bare leg, her sundress riding up just a little.

“3 weeks.” Waverly sniffled.

“Ok, then I have 3 years of loving you to push into 3 weeks. I can totally do that! Prepare yourself to be swooned, my dear because that Haught charm is going to come out. First and foremost, a question I wanted to ask you since you came home but I was quite distracted.”

“What is that, love?”

“Will you, Waverly Earp, please move in with me?” Nicole softly nuzzled her cheek against Waverly’s. “If it’s too soon...”

“I already live with you, Nicole.” Waverly grinned, knowing full well that isn’t what Nicole meant.

“Not as a roommate, Waves. I want you in my bed, our bed, every night. Cuddling, kissing. Just allowing me to love you the way you deserve to be loved.”

“God, how do you always know what to say?” Waverly asked as she closed her eyes, relaxing at Nicole’s soft touches and nuzzles.

“Is that a yes?”

“It’s always a yes, baby.”

“Will you be able to come home in those two years?”

“Yes.”

“And after that, what’s going to happen?” Nicole’s fingers intertwined with Waverly’s, softly playing with the young woman’s fingers.

“After that, I’m coming home to you. For good.”

A big smile fell upon Nicole’s lips. “Really?! For good, for good?”

“Yes baby. You and I have a life now and I can’t stand to be away from you. It’s bad enough this last year, I can’t.”

“You’re willing to give up traveling the world and blowing things up for a boring life with me?”

“I’m ready for boring, Cole. I’m ready to spend the rest of my life being bored with the woman I absolutely love.” Waverly looked at Nicole with a puzzled look on her face. “Have I ever told you how much I love you?”

“You’ve said it once and spent all day showing me.” Nicole smirked and wiggled her eyebrows.

“Well that just won’t do.” Waverly pressed her forehead against Nicole’s. “I, Waverly Earp, love you, Nicole Haught more than I have ever known possible. You are my fire.”

“Is it because I have red hair? Cuz that’s kind of mean.”

“No. It’s because you are the spark that ignites the fire within me. And the light burns so brightly when I am with you, Nicole.”

Nicole’s cheeks flushed with a tint of pink. “Now who’s the charmer?”

With a heavy sigh, Waverly asked the next question. “Tell me everything that I have missed in the last year, please? I don’t want to be blind sided once we get in there.”

“Well, for starters, Dolls and Wyn are a thing.”

“How did she not tell me this?!?”

“They didn’t know until just recently.” Nicole continued to run her hand up and down Waverly’s thigh. “Maggie and Erin got engaged during the camping trip when your base was bombed.”

“I remember you saying that in one of your letters. I still can’t believe she’s your Maggie, though.”

“I know, it’s crazy isn’t it?” Nicole smiled. “Oh, and apparently all 3 of us Haughtys are LGBT.”

“Wait, Jethro too?”

“Yup! He’s bi and is currently dating Chrissy Nedley.”

“No!!! Way!!”

“They have a pretty open relationship so he spends time with Jeremy as well.”

“What the hell happened when I left?” Waverly laughed.

“Well, Doc is a vampire now...and has a wife?”

Waverly took the information in, trying to process it. Confusion setting on her face. “Ya know, none of this really surprises me.” Waverly giggled.

“The most exciting part, we accidently released a evil prick named Bulsar. And he’s been trying to kill us ever since.”

“What the hell, Nicole?!? You don’t think she should have led off with that?”

“Didn’t cross my mind?”

Waverly put her palm against her own forehead and rolled her eyes. “Jesus. I can’t believe you.” Her fingers raked down her face. “Well, I’ll help you guys take care of him while I’m home, ok?”

“You have always been Wyn’s good luck charm.” Nicole pressed a soft kiss to Waverly’s cheek. “Come on, babe, everyone is waiting. Plus, I really want you to meet Maggie and Jethro.”

They exited the truck and head into Shorty’s. As they entered, Nicole’s eyes fell on Rosita who was already staring down Waverly with hungry eyes. Nicole’s eyes narrowed and her fists clinched. Wynonna caught notice and wrapped her arms around her favorite redhead.

“There you two are! We were thinking ya were going to blow us off to blow eac...”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, Wynonna!” Gus could be heard yelling from the bar. Waverly snickered as Wynonna got in trouble. Waverly diverted to the bar to give her favorite aunt a big hug.

“It’s good to have you home, darlin.” Gus held on to the hug a bit longer than Waverly had expected, but she didn’t care. Waverly loved Gus’ hugs, they were the best.

Wynonna pulled Nicole by the shoulder. “What’s gotten into you tonight, Haught? You look like you’re about to kill someone?”

“Rosita...I wanna shove my fist down her god damn throat.”

“Woooow, Sheriff. Calm down. Come have a drink with all of us, will ya and calm those tits.” Wynonna grabbed a shot of whiskey off the table and handed it to Nicole. Nicole rolled her eyes and did the shot.

 

The night went on with the group of friends having accepted Waverly back into the group like no time had passed at all. She smiled as she felt a sense of calm for the first time in a year.

“Baby, play me a song, please?” Waverly gave Nicole the biggest puppy dog eyes she could possibly think of while handing her Gus’ guitar.

“Babe, you know I don’t like to play in front of people.” Nicole groaned.

“Come on, Nic, you are amazing on the guitar. Make your woman happy.” Erin said as Waverly gave her a side hug with a big smile on her face.

Nicole couldn’t resist that smile. That beautiful smile that stretched to her eyes and made them sparkle like the stars in the sky. She leaned against the table, propping her foot up on a chair so that the guitar rested on her thigh. She slowly started to strum a song she had long wanted to sing to her father but it was also a song that Waverly loved.

I am a question to the world,
Not an answer to be heard
Or a moment that's held in your arms.
And what do you think you'd ever say?
I won't listen anyway…
You don't know me,
And I’ll never be what you want me to be.

Nicole closed her eyes, feeling the music take her over. Every emotion she felt, even anger was put into the song. All she ever wanted was to be seen by her father. For him to know she was still here.

And what do you think you'd understand?
I'm a boy, no, I'm a man..
You can't take me and throw me away.
And how can you learn what's never shown?
Yeah, you stand here on your own.
They don't know me 'cause I'm not here.

And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don't feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can the world want me to change?
They’re the ones that stay the same.
They don’t know me,
'Cause I’m not here.

And you see the things they never see
All you wanted, I could be
Now you know me, and I'm not afraid
And I wanna tell you who I am
Can you help me be a man?
They can't break me
As long as I know who I am

A small tear ran down Nicole’s cheek but the song was flowing from her like it always had. Waverly smiled sweetly at her girlfriend.

And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don't feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can the world want me to change?
They’re the ones that stay the same.
They can’t see me,
But I’m still here.

They can’t tell me who to be,
‘Cause I’m not what they see.
Yeah, the world is still sleepin’,
While I keep on dreamin’ for me.
And their words are just whispers
And lies that I’ll never believe.

And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don't feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can they say I never change?
They’re the ones that stay the same.
I’m the one now,
‘Cause I’m still here.

I’m the one,
‘Cause I’m still here.
I’m still here.
I’m still here.
I’m still here.

 

Before the song was even over, Waverly had thrown her arms around Nicole’s neck, kissing her softly. “I love your voice so much.”

“You’re lucky I love you.” Nicole mumbled, clearly displeased with her performance.

Waverly smiled even bigger and grabbed a beer off the table. “Rosita, another round please?”

Rosita nodded and grabbed enough beers for everyone and brought them to the table. “What’s the occasion?”

“Well, I have news for everyone. My new orders.”

Waverly’s words brought the group to attention. “Are you sure you want to tell us now, babe?” Nicole laid the guitar down and crossed her wrists over her knee as Waverly handed her a beer.

“Yes. You all should know.”

“Wait, wait, how long are you home for, Babygirl?” Wynonna flung an arm around her little sister’s shoulders.

“3 weeks.” Waverly shrugged her off so she could make her announcement. She held up her beer. “To the most amazing family a sailor could as for.” She looked towards Nicole and winked. “To the most amazing girlfriend a sailor could ask for. Thank you for sticking with me through my military journey and thank you for always accepting me back with opened arms. While this journey has taken me to different parts of the world for different lengths of time, I am so thankful to have you guys to come home too. The next leg of this journey will be for two years...”

“Are you fucking ki...”

“Wynonna Earp! Language! And shut up so that girl can finish what she’s saying.” Gus spat at Wynonna.

“As I was saying. My new orders are for two years at the Naval training base in Calgary.” Waverly proudly stated looking at Nicole. Nicole’s eyes lit up with excitement. Calgary was only an hour away. Nicole’s eyes questioned and Waverly nodded with enthusiasm and headed for Nicole to hug her but before she could get there, Rosita had stepped in between and pulled Waverly into a very tight hug.

“That’s such great news, Waves...”

Nicole’s brows frowned at her use of Nicole’s nickname for Waverly. Wynonna could see the anger building in Nicole’s face. “Cool it, Haught.” She softly whispered in Nicole’s ear with a hand on her shoulder. It wasn’t until Rosita kissed Waverly’s cheek that Wynonna let Nicole go.

With a gentle hand on each of their shoulders, Nicole pushed them apart. “Alrighty, Let’s go home and celebrate, babe.” Her jealousy didn’t go unnoticed by Waverly but she let it go.

“That’s a great idea.” Waverly winked at Nicole and started towards the door. Nicole glanced at Rosita and shook her head. She started to follow Waverly when Rosita’s words forced her to turn around.

“I can’t wait to get my fingers inside her pu..” Spoke only loud enough for Wynonna and Nicole to hear. Before Rosita could finish her words, Nicole spun around and her knuckles were sliding across Rosita’s jaw.

“Don’t ever fucking talk abou...”

“Nicole!” Waverly yelled, having only turned around to see Nicole standing over a fallen Rosita. Waverly knelt next to her, check the place that Nicole had just hit. “I know you get jealous but do you really have to punch my friends?”

“I was just trying to protect you!”

“I don’t need your god damn protection, Nicole!”

Nicole didn’t even respond, she just stood there dumbfounded at what was happening. She just threw her hands in the air in surrender and backed away as Waverly helped Rosita to the bar and placed an ice pack on her jaw.

“Wynonna, I need to leave, take me to the homestead please?” Waverly said as she frantically grabbed her purse.

“Yeah...yeah...whatever you say, Babygirl.” Wynonna wanted to have a talk with Waverly but she knew in the middle of the bar wasn’t going to be the place. The two headed for the door.

“I guess you’re not moving in with me anymore than, huh?” Nicole yelled towards Waverly. Her anxiety was getting the best of her and was transforming into anger. Nicole didn’t even wait for an answer before storming out the backdoor, not wanting to give Rosita the satisfaction of seeing her cry. The truth was, Nicole was hurt. Her hand hurt, her pride hurt but most of all emotionally she was hurt. Nicole watched from the side of the bar as Wynonna and Waverly drove away in Wynonna’s blue and white pick up truck.