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Dog Days and Clichés

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Waverly’s day had started like any other.

She had showered, shoveled down a bowl of granola and Greek yogurt, and headed out to the office. And by office, she meant the coffee shop in the middle of town.

Waverly’s job was wherever her laptop was, and most days, that was wherever there was good coffee and the chance to buy her favourite white chocolate and raspberry muffin.

Purgatory was a small town, so there was a silent understanding that all the regulars had their own seats, and if someone else wanted to sit there then they better have a damned good reason. Waverly’s was the small booth in the back left corner; it was far back enough that she didn’t get bothered by the cool breeze which came along every time someone opened the front door, but she was still close enough to the counter that she could maintain some friendly banter with whoever was working the barista shift throughout the day.

Waverly had sat in her spot practically every weekday for as long as she’d had this job, which was coming up to just over a year and a half. She’d never once had any competition for it, which is why when she walked in that morning and saw that the booth, her booth, was occupied, she thought she must have accidentally walked into the wrong shop. There was a woman she had never seen before and a great big dog sitting in her space. She didn’t even know dogs were allowed in here.

She looked up at the shop’s sign above the menu just to check that she wasn’t going crazy, and then back down at the intruder. She hopped down the steps towards the counter, and leaned over it, looking to see if it was Jeremy who was working today. Sure enough, she could just see the tops of his black curls under the lip of the countertop.

“Morning Jeremy,” She said, trying to channel her usual morning happiness. He straightened up, narrowly avoiding hitting his head on the edge of the coffee machine.

“Morning Waves!” he said, a slightly nervous tinge to his voice. His eyes flickered knowingly to her usual spot in the corner.

“Who’s that?” Waverly whispered, jerking her head in the direction of the woman. Jeremy shrugged as he began to froth the milk for her usual order.

“Her and the dog just turned up shortly after I opened up, and she headed straight there before I could tell her it was reserved.”

Waverly turned her head to look at the woman again, without taking her elbows away from the counter. As she did, the woman looked up at her from her book and offered her a friendly smile, and Waverly could’ve sworn she stopped breathing. She was hot. Like extremely hot. Like possibly the hottest person she had ever seen in her whole entire life.

She whipped her head back round to Jeremy and mouthed ‘oh my god’.

“You know her?” He asked quietly, glancing back at the woman as he poured the milk into a large mug.

“No,” she whispered, “but I kinda wish I did.” A knowing smile broke onto Jeremy’s face and he slid her coffee towards her.

“Go talk to her then!” he said excitedly, knowing all too well that Waverly couldn’t just go and talk to the hottest woman on the planet.

“And say what?” She could already feel her palms clamming up, or maybe that was just the heat from the mug she was currently cradling between her hands.

“If you want advise on how to talk to women, you’re asking the wrong guy,” Jeremy smirked as he wiped a cloth up and down the steam wand. Waverly tried to imagine what Wynonna would say if she was here right now, probably something along the lines of ‘Stop being a pussy and go get some instead’. Waverly chuckled at her own joke and shook her head, readjusting the strap of her laptop bag before picking up her coffee and turning around to face the woman.

“Wish me luck,” she threw over her shoulder.

“Good luck!” Jeremy called in response.

As she neared the table, she almost chickened out. The woman really was beautiful. She had a faint tan, like she spent a lot of time outside but always made sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. She had fiery red hair pulled back into a messy bun, with a few loose strands perfectly framing her face, and by the looks of her arms, she was no stranger to a workout.

She hadn’t realised that she was just stood staring until the woman looked up at her again and tilted her head slightly to the side in a silent question.

“Hello?” Oh god, even her voice was sexy, smooth like butter. Pull it together Waverly.

“Hum,” was all she managed.

“Excuse me?” The woman said, looking slightly amused.

Waverly gave herself a mental slap.

“Sorry, hi was what I meant, I meant hi, I know hum isn’t really a way people tend to say hello to each other,” she bubbled. Jesus, she should just turn around now and pretend that this had never happened. Breathe Waverly. It really wasn’t hard. Just breathe. “Do you come here often?” Oh for gods sake. Was that really the best she could come up with? She was like a walking cliché.

The woman smiled, and Waverly’s eyes were immediately drawn to dimples popping out of her cheeks. She almost melted into a puddle there and then.

“No, it’s mine and Skip’s first time.”

“Skip?” Waverly asked, suddenly realising that this woman probably had an equally sexy boyfriend who was going to walk out of the bathroom at any second and sit down at this table.

“My trusty pal Skip,” the woman gestured underneath the table and Waverly remembered that there was a dog down there “usually he’d say hello, but it looks like he’s having a nap right now.” She glanced down at it, and she had to admit he was cute, even if she didn’t really consider herself a dog person. He was big and white, with a good amount of fluff on him.

“Cute,” she said, relief flooding through her, “what type of dog is he?”

“He’s a White German Shephard.”

The name didn’t mean anything to Waverly, she really didn’t have the first clue about dogs.

“Oh, cool.”

A moment of silence passed between them, Waverly standing awkwardly, realising more and more by the second that her hands were burning from being wrapped around her mug.

“Sorry, is there something you needed?”

Words. Use your words Waverly.

“You’re in my seat.” Ugh, not those words.

Realisation dawned on the woman’s face and she suddenly began to move.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise it was reserved. Let me just grab my stuff,” the woman picked up her bookmark from the table and slid it into the crease of her current page. She didn’t want the woman to leave, she didn’t even know her name yet.

“No!” she said, a bit too loudly. The woman looked up at her again, the confusion apparent on her face. The mug was getting almost unbearable to hold now.

“No, please stay. Sorry, do you mind if I just put this down?” She didn’t even wait for an answer before releasing the mug onto the table and sliding down onto the seat opposite the woman.

“Sorry about sitting in your seat, did I mention I’m new here?” the woman chuckled, and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. Waverly’s eyes followed the movement, almost like she was hypnotized.

“New to Purgatory?” Waverly asked more out of politeness, she already knew the answer. She definitely would have known if this woman had been living in Purgatory longer than a week.

“Me and Skip just moved here last weekend, we needed a change of pace, you know? How about you?”

Most people who moved here from out of town were either crazy or already married. She prayed to the gods that this woman was neither of those things.

“I’m a born and bred Purgatorian,” she stated in the corny tone with which they had been forced to say the phrase every morning in school before lessons started. She punctuated her false pride with an eye roll.

“And does this born and bred Purgatorian have a name?” the woman asked, as she absentmindedly fiddled with a delicate necklace which was draped over her collar bones. Waverly was suddenly flustered again, the intensity with which this woman was looking at her was like she could see straight into her soul.

“Uhm, Waverly.”

“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you uhm Waverly,” the woman grinned. Waverly was too preoccupied thinking about how amazing her name sounded coming from this woman’s lips to respond. Unfortunately, that meant that she seemed to misunderstand.

“Sorry,” she rubbed the back of her neck, “my ex used to hate it when I did that. She used to give me so much shit for my dad jokes.”

Waverly gulped. So not also was this woman interested in other women, but she was also single? Maybe she should buy a lottery ticket on her way home, apparently today was her lucky day.

“Well I love them…” Waverly trailed off, hoping that the woman would understand and drop her name. Thankfully, she caught on.

“Nicole, Nicole Haught, proud owner of Haught Dogs,” she held out her hand across the table and Waverly eagerly took it in her own.

“Hot?” she choked.

“H-a-u-g-h-t,” Nicole corrected, and Waverly knew that it must have been for millionth time in her life.

“And your business is called Haught Dogs? Very punny,” Waverly said appreciatively, she was a sucker for a good pun. Nicole smirked. Waverly could only assume Nicole ran some kind of hotdog van and she made a note to find out where she was stationed so that she could pay her a visit.

“Yeah I get to exercise and make new friends so it’s a win-win really.” In the back of her mind, Waverly wondered which part of making hot dogs was considered exercise, but she was too distracted by Nicole’s fingertips gently stroking her mug. “What about you? What do you do?” Nicole asked, bringing her mug to her lips and taking a sip. Waverly gulped as she saw her tongue dart out to catch a stray droplet on her bottom lip.

“I uh, ahem, I write for National Geographic History,” she said, tapping her laptop bag.

“No way! Hang on,” Nicole bent down and lifted her backpack up from the floor and spent a few seconds rifling around inside before she pulled out a battered looking magazine. She dropped it onto the table and Waverly grinned when she saw what it was. It was a copy of the first issue where she had managed to land the coverstory: ‘Wyatt Earp: Keeping the Peace’. “Did you write in this one?” Nicole asked, excitement flashing in her eyes.

“My story is on the cover, you are in fact talking to an Earp,” Waverly winked, a sudden confidence returning to her as she talked about her work.

Nicole’s eyes widened and one of her hands dove back into her bag, pulling out a black permanent marker. “Can I have your autograph?” Waverly laughed and took the pen from Nicole, proceeding to sign her name in the bottom left corner.

“There you go,” she said as she slid the magazine back to Nicole and smiled.

“That was for your writing by the way, not because you’re an Earp, although I’ll admit that is an added bonus.” Waverly couldn’t help but blush at the compliment, most of the time her last name was all people wanted to talk about. “So, how long have you been writing for them?”

After Waverly’s initial floundering, she had managed to calm herself down enough to maintain a dignified conversation with Nicole. They chatted back and forth, taking it in turns to tell the other more about themselves and their interests. Waverly hardly even noticed when Jeremy replaced her empty mug with a full one. There was something about Nicole that seemed to demand all of her attention. It was like there was no-one else in the room, just the two of them. And there was flirting, there was definitely flirting.

Perhaps that was why when Nicole said something particularly funny, Waverly couldn’t stop herself from reaching across the table and squeezing her hand whilst she laughed. As she made contact, something seemed to pass between them, and she looked up at Nicole’s face, the laughter dying in her throat. They were both leaning towards each other across the table, something drawing them together. They stared at each other for a few seconds, and Waverly could feel her heart beating harder and harder in her chest.

Just then, Nicole looked down at her watch and swore under her breath.

“Agh, I’ve got to run, I’ve got customers waiting.” Waverly was suddenly snapped from her comfortable trance and could feel the panic taking hold again. She didn’t want this interaction to end, plus she had no clue how to find Nicole again, they had only exchanged names, not numbers.

“I guess I’ll just have to give Haught Dogs a visit?” Waverly said, hoping that Nicole would give her a little more information on where her van was stationed.

“Well usually I would come to you, if you require my services. Do you?” Nicole asked as she began re-packing her backpack. Waverly raised an eyebrow, so she ran a hot dog delivery service? She could be down with that.

“Yeah sure, that sounds cool, do you want my address then?”

Nicole’s eyes seemed to light up, and she pulled her phone from her pocket, handing it over to Waverly unlocked on her notes app.

“Just pop in your address and phone number, and I’ll give you a call later to go over your requirements?” Nicole asked hopefully.

Waverly fingers were getting clammy again, and she was struggling to hit the right letters. Once she had struggled through it, she held the phone out to Nicole, almost dropping it when their fingertips brushed against each other’s underneath.

“I’ll talk to you later then?” Nicole said, swinging her backpack over one shoulder.

“Sounds amazing,” Waverly replied enthusiastically, unable to hide the sound of adoration which was seeping into her voice.

Nicole chuckled, before giving a sharp whistle that made Waverly jump. The dog which had been lying peacefully underneath the table jumped up and followed close to Nicole’s side as she made her way from the store, without so much as a leash in sight. Once she was safely out of the café, Jeremy made his way over to Waverly’s table, where she was currently sat just staring at the front door.

“Productive morning?” he smirked as he wiped down Nicole’s side of the table.

“I think I’m going to have hot dogs for dinner every day this week.”

 

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Waverly had stayed at the coffee shop all day, although she didn’t know why she had bothered. She hadn’t written a single word. The word document open on her screen was as blank as Champ’s expression had been when she had told him she didn’t want to go on a date with him a few weeks back.

It was like she was in some kind of daydream; she had no clue what she had done since Nicole had left this morning. Well, apparently nothing.

She was just climbing out of her jeep as her phone began to ring. She almost dropped everything trying to dig it out of her pocket, and so she answered it with a little more frustration than she had been aiming for.

“Hello?” she huffed, trying desperately to hold the strap of her laptop bag so it didn’t crash onto the floor.

“Waverly?” the voice on the other end of the line said in concern.

She froze halfway between her car and the front door. It was Nicole. Nicole was ringing her.

“Hi Nicole! Sorry, I was just getting out the car,” she explained, as she restarted her shuffling towards the front door.

“Oh, sorry, is it a bad time?”

“No!” Waverly didn’t want Nicole to hang up, she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her all day. “No, it’s fine, just let me get through the door? Don’t go anywhere!” She could hear Nicole chuckling down the line and she quickly dumped everything on the porch – including her phone – so she could slide the key from the top of the door frame and let herself in. As she made her way inside juggling all her things, one of her bags caught on the door handle and pulled her back, almost sending her falling onto her ass.

“Oh fuck!” she said loudly as she was jerked backwards.

She quickly unhooked herself and moved everything inside, before sitting down heavily on the couch and bringing her phone back to her ear.

“Hi,” she breathed down the line.

“Are you okay?” Nicole asked, “You sounded like you were having some trouble there.”

“Yep, yep, I’m totally fine,” Waverly was suddenly flustered again. God, why did this woman have such an effect on her? “How about you tell me how this whole Haught Dog thing works?”

“I have an alternative suggestion,” Nicole said. Waverly leaned back into the couch cushions and smiled to herself.

“And what would that be?”

“How about you tell me how the rest of your day was?” Nicole suggested, the smoothness of her voice managing to give Waverly goosebumps even through the phone.

“It was extremely unproductive,” she admitted in response.

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It’s not your fault,” Waverly sighed. Even though it was very much her fault, she didn’t particularly feel the need to tell her that.

“Dammit, I guess I need to try harder next time,” Nicole laughed, and Waverly found herself struggling to respond. She had half talked herself into believing that this was all one-sided, that of course Nicole hadn’t been flirting with her this morning. But here she was, bold as brass, admitting that she wanted to be the reason Waverly couldn’t think straight. She needed to change the subject fast before she did something stupid like propose.

“So, Haught Dogs!” she said with as much enthusiasm as she could.

“Okay, guess we’re onto the business talk already then.”

Waverly thought she could detect a little disappointment in her voice, but Nicole continued before she had a chance to respond. “Basically, you tell me your requirements: when you need me, how long for, how often, that kind of thing, and if it fits in with my current schedule, I come over and meet your dog, and we take it from there really!”

Waverly took her phone away from her ear and frowned at the screen momentarily, making sure that she was still talking to the same person.

“Hello?” she heard Nicole’s muted voice and brought it back to her ear.

“Sorry, bad signal,” she lied. She was suddenly unsure as to what exactly was going on.

“So, what’s it called?” Nicole asked, her enthusiasm apparent from the other end of the phone.

“Um, who?” Waverly replied, fully gripped in the throes of confusion now.

“Your dog silly,” Nicole laughed.

Her dog? Okay, what the mother in hell was going on?

“Wait, you do have a dog, right? That needs walking?” Nicole said slowly.

Waverly realised her mistake almost instantaneously. Nicole didn’t run some kind of hot dog truck, she walked other peoples’ dogs, and right now she thought that Waverly had a dog that needed walking. What happened next, she would blame on a combination of soul crushing embarrassment and what she could only describe as gay panic.

“Oh yeah sure, of course, silly me! My dog! Yes! Haha, how could I forget. It’s called…” she looked around the room, her eyes settling on a photograph of her and her sister. “Wynonna. Yep, my dog’s called Wynonna.”

“Great, cute name.” Nicole said appreciatively, mirroring Waverly’s earlier compliment of Skip, “And does Wynonna need a lot of exercise?”

“Pfft, sure does!” Stop talking stop talking stop talking. “Needs walking day and night, I barely have time to keep up!”

“Well it definitely sounds like I can help you out, how does tomorrow sound, I’ll stop by around 10am?”

“Sure!” Waverly agreed, for some reason unbeknownst to herself.

“Great, well I guess I’ll see you and Wynonna tomorrow!”

“You sure will!”

“I’m looking forward to seeing you again,” Nicole said, the tone of her voice suddenly different, softer, less business like. Waverly’s mouth went slack, and she had to try to remind herself to say something back.

“Yeah, me too! I mean, for seeing you, not for seeing me,” she rolled her eyes, if Nicole was still remotely interested in her after all her flapping, it would be a miracle.

“Bye Waves,” Nicole chuckled.

Waverly continued to hold the phone to her ear long after the connection went dead.

Where the fuck was she going to find a dog before tomorrow morning?

 

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Chapter Text

 

Waverly was pacing back and forth in front of the couch, wracking her brain for anyone she knew who had a dog. Even if she could think of someone, would they be willing to let her just borrow it? She’d never had a pet, but she had a feeling most people weren’t so willing to just hand them over without wanting a detailed explanation as to why.

She pulled out her phone and began to scroll through her contacts. Chrissy? No, she was allergic to fur. Champ? Ugh, no, delete contact. Aha! Rosita maybe had a dog? She had a brief memory of her talking about it when they had gone for coffee together a couple of weeks ago. She had no idea what breed it was, but hopefully it was something energetic, seeing as, thanks to Waverly’s big mouth, that was what Nicole would be expecting.

She clicked on Rosita’s name and held the phone up to her ear. Time to try and not sound like a crazy person who wanted to kidnap a dog.

“Hey Waves!” Rosita answered cheerily after only a couple of rings, “what’s up?”

“Hey! So weird question, you have a dog, right?” Waverly resumed her pacing, one hand on her hip as she nervously chewed on her bottom lip.

“I’m going to pretend that one of my best friends didn’t just ask me that,” Rosita replied.

“Argh I’m sorry, but you know I haven’t been to your house since you got it!”

“And who’s fault is that?” Rosita sassed in return.

“All mine. I take full responsibility!” Waverly laughed.

“So now we’ve confirmed the existence of my dog, was there something you actually wanted?”

“Oh, yeah, I was wondering if I could maybe borrow her tomorrow for a couple hours? Just for some company, y’know how lonely I get when Wynonna’s out of town.”

“Okay firstly, it’s a him, he’s called Fred.” Waverly swore under her breath; she wished she had known that before she had told Nicole her dog’s name was Wynonna. “And secondly, you seriously need to get laid Waves.”

“I’m fricken trying,” she muttered, more to herself than to Rosita.

“What did you say? I think the line dropped for a second.”

“Pretty please can I borrow him?” She scrunched one of her eyes closed, waiting to hear whether Rosita was about to bring her whole plan to see Nicole again crashing down.

“Yeah sure.” Waverly pumped her fist in celebration. “You’d actually be doing me a huge favour, I need to drive into the city tomorrow anyway. I was thinking of calling that new dog walker –“

“No!” Waverly cut in, before realising that was not a normal response. “I mean, no! I really want to look after Frank!”

“Fred,” Rosita corrected with an easy laugh. “I’m not arguing with you Waves, I’d rather someone I know looks after him anyway, plus, I don’t have to pay you.” Waverly could practically hear Rosita’s cheeky wink, “I can drop him off around 9 tomorrow morning if that works for you?”

That would give her an hour to try and work out how to be semi-comfortable around him, and then hopefully Nicole wouldn’t have any reason to be suspicious.

“That’s amazing, thank you so much! You’re the best friend a girl could ask for!” Waverly was aware she was laying it on thick, but she was so desperate for this to work that she didn’t care.

“You’re being extra weird today,” Rosita laughed, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’ll be waiting!”

Thank the lord for Rosita Bustillos.

 

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“Rosita Bustillos, what the hell is that?” Waverly squinted at the small black lump in Rosita’s arms as she walked down the front steps and towards her car.

“Hey!” Rosita put a hand over Fred’s ears which were flopping up and down as she walked, “he can hear you y’know!”

Waverly stopped in front of her and crouched down so her face was level with Fred’s, which unfortunately appeared to be somewhat flattened. His eyes were almost bulging out of his head as he stared at her, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.

“What type is he?” She asked, whilst maintaining eye contact with Fred.

“He’s a pug, aren’t you Fweddy?” she replied in a voice Waverly would only usually consider appropriate for talking to a small child. “Isn’t he just the cutest wittle thing you’ve ever seen?” she added, smushing her face down onto the top of his head and kissing him a few times.

Waverly wasn’t convinced.

“Yeah, he’s… something,” she reached out her hand and patted him awkwardly on the head. “And would you describe pugs as an energetic breed?” She asked hopefully. Rosita laughed in response and put Fred down onto the ground, handing Waverly the other end of his leash along with a bag. “If you get 20 minutes out of him, I’d be immensely surprised.”

“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” Waverly was trying not to freak out at the thought of Nicole turning up and having to present her with Fred.

“There’s some toys and treats in there, and don’t forget to put out a bowl of water,” Rosita said, gesturing to the bag.

“Thanks again for letting me look after him for a few hours, you’re really helping me out.” Although at this point, she was probably causing way more embarrassment for herself than she would have had if she had just admitted her initial misunderstanding to Nicole about the nature of her business.

“Are you kidding? You’re really helping me out.” Rosita replied as she crouched down and scratched under Fred’s chin. “I’ll be back in a few hours Freddy, okay?”

Waverly stood there looking down at them both, wondering if Rosita was expecting Fred to reply.

“See you later Waves, I’ll call you when I’m on my way back okay?” She leant forwards and gave Waverly a peck on the cheek, before walking back to her car and sliding into the driver’s seat. Once she was gone, Waverly stared down at Fred, who was staring just as intensely back up at her.

“How do you feel about the name Wynonna?”

 

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“You’re making me uncomfortable.”

Waverly had only had Fred for 40 minutes, and she was already talking to him as if he could understand a single word she was saying. She was currently sat on the toilet with her pants around her ankles, feeling rather self-conscious. Fred seemed to have deemed it appropriate behaviour to follow her into the bathroom and sit down a couple of metres away from her, staring. She didn’t know if it was the pressure of having an audience, but she was finding it difficult to pee.

“Go away,” she said in her most demanding voice, gesturing with one of her hands towards the door whilst she used the other one to keep herself covered. “Go!” she repeated, but he just tilted his head at her. Maybe she just had to find the right command.

“Scram!” Nothing.

“Scedaddle!” Still nothing.

“Fine if you’re not leaving, I’m going to close my eyes.” Fred simply blinked in response.

Waverly closed her eyes and tried to relax. She took a couple of deep breaths, willing her bladder to just get on with it. The last thing she needed was to be stuck here on the toilet when Nicole turned up. At the sound of some movement, Waverly opened her eyes, hoping that Fred had finally got the message and left.

What she hadn’t expected was for him to have moved to practically in-between her legs.

“Ahhhh Jesus!”

Her shout of surprise quickly turned into a sigh of relief, as she was finally able to release her full bladder. Fred opened his mouth and let his tongue hang out, so it looked like he was smiling.

“Don’t look so smug,” Waverly told him as she tore off some toilet paper.

As she made her way back down the stairs, Fred following so closely next to her that she almost tripped over him, she heard the sound of an engine rumbling.

Through the downstairs window, she could see Nicole getting out of a black truck and surprise surprise, she looked like some kind of adventure goddess. She was dressed in a pair of dark grey yoga pants, a navy quarter-zip sweater underneath a black Patagonia gillet, a baseball cap and a pair of hiking boots. She also had a dog leash slung over her chest like a satchel, and there was just something about the outfit as a whole that made Waverly weak at the knees. She watched intently as Nicole walked around to the back of her truck and opened the back, allowing Skip to jump out.

As Nicole began to walk towards the house, Waverly made her way over to the front door and out onto the porch to meet her, bringing the door to so Fred couldn’t follow her.

“Morning Waves!” Nicole beamed at her, flashing her dimples, and Waverly couldn’t help but feel attacked. How was she ever going to be able to play it cool when Nicole just did that right off the bat? “Say hi to Waverly, Skip,” Nicole said down to Skip, who barked in response. “Good boy!” Nicole threw a treat up into the air which Skip managed to catch effortlessly as he walked alongside her. It was obviously a well-rehearsed routine.

“Hey, you two,” Waverly replied as she tried to lean against the door frame in a nonchalant manner. Nicole and Skip climbed the stairs and stopped in front of her.

“How was your evening?” Nicole asked interestedly. Usually when people asked Waverly questions about her day, she knew they were just using it as conversation filler. But with Nicole it was different. It was like she genuinely cared about how Waverly was doing.

“Oh, you know, had to research a few things.” Waverly tried to be as vague as possible; admitting that she had spent the evening researching how to not turn into a puddle in the presence of hot women was probably not the best idea.

“For work?”

Waverly shrugged her shoulders slightly, “Sure, let’s go with that. You?”

“I had a few things on my mind,” Nicole smirked, “Well, one thing actually….” She trailed off suggestively, her eyes never leaving Waverly’s. Just like that moment in the café, she could feel herself getting drawn in, as if she were under a spell, her weight shifting forwards…

“Where is she then?” Nicole asked, looking past Waverly and into the house. She had to blink a few times to snap herself out of whatever the hell that had been. “the lean, mean walking machine? Skip’s dying to have a pal who can actually keep up with him for once.”

“Uhm, well she is actually a he,” Waverly corrected. She could already feel the blush creeping up her neck. Oh god, this was going to be so much more embarrassing than she thought. Nicole raised an eyebrow in response.

“You called your dog, who’s a boy, Wynonna?”

Waverly tried to shrug casually, hoping it didn’t look as stiff as it felt.

“What can I say, I’m a progressive parent.” Did dog people call themselves parents? Oh man, Nicole was going to see right through her and –

“No, yeah I’m totally down for breaking norms,” Nicole smiled, “I was actually considering calling Skip Gertrude.”

Waverly opened her mouth to respond with a surprised ‘really?’ when she registered Nicole’s shit-eating grin and realised that she was making fun of her. She was just about to make a sarcastic comeback, when she felt something brush against her leg.

Fred had squeezed himself out the door and waddled out onto the decking, making a beeline for Skip’s backside.

Waverly watched as Nicole’s face lit up at the newcomer, and she crouched down to offer him her hand to sniff.

“Hey buddy!” she said excitedly, laughing as Fred immediately started to lick her fingers.

“Who’s this?” Nicole looked back up at Waverly with a smile so genuine, that she temporarily forgot her own name, let alone the dog’s.

“That’s uh, that’s Wynonna,” Waverly replied, her hands forming finger guns against her will.

A series of emotions seemed to flash across Nicole’s face, with confusion seeming to win the day.

“This… is Wynonna?” Nicole asked, her eyes flicking between Fred and Waverly.

“Yep.” Just kill me now.

Nicole straightened out of her crouched position, and moved closer to Waverly, causing her breath to catch in her throat. She was so close in fact, that Waverly had to raise her chin slightly to maintain eye contact.

“I think I know what’s going on here,” Nicole said quietly. Oh shit, she knew. She knew she was a liar, and now she was going to leave and take her beautiful face and effortless charm with her. It took all Waverly’s self-control to keep breathing when Nicole reached out and squeezed her arm.

“Y-you do?” she stuttered.

“You know, I get this a surprising amount,” Nicole shook her head and smiled, obviously thinking back on a memory.

“You do?” Waverly repeated, this time a little more skeptically, a small v forming between her eyebrows. She found it hard to believe that anyone else would be so useless as to make the same poor decisions that had led Waverly to this moment.

“Yeah! You don’t need to be embarrassed, it’s natural to feel guilty every now and again when you don’t have time to walk your dog, but that’s why I’m here! You don’t need to oversell his requirements, I really don’t mind either way,” Nicole gave her a supportive smile, and then stepped back out of her space and leant against the porch railing. “Although, I think Skip’s a little disappointed.” As if to prove her point, Skip gave a short huff, and sat down, almost squashing Fred’s head which was still intent of sniffing the larger dog’s butt.

“Oh right,” Waverly laughed nervously. She couldn’t tell if she was relieved or not that Nicole hadn’t actually understood what was happening here. “So… you don’t mind?”

“Of course not, we can just go for a short walk along the river or something, no problem.” Nicole bent down again and Fred made his way over to her, practically forcing his head into Nicole’s hand so she would scratch behind his ears. “That sound good to you dude?” Nicole asked him. Fred snorted in response and Waverly couldn’t help but smile. When she had seen Rosita talking to Fred, she’d thought it was weird, but when Nicole did it, it was downright endearing.

“Right then,” Nicole declared as she straightened up again. Waverly couldn’t help but drag her eyes up over her body as she did so, her muscular thighs apparent in her tight-fitting pants.

“You wanna say goodbye?” Nicole asked. Waverly found herself hypnotized by the woman’s warm, brown eyes for what was possibly the fifth time since she’d arrived.

“Bye,” she said, almost dreamily, her eyes never leaving Nicole’s.

“I meant to Wynonna, but I appreciate it all the same,” Nicole winked, and Waverly wanted to catapult herself into the sun. In an attempt to cover her embarrassment, she quickly crouched down and gave Fred a couple of strokes down the length of his body.

“Have fun baby!” she tried to emulate the baby voice Rosita had used that morning, but really, she just felt like an idiot.

“Right, let’s get this show on the road boys!” Nicole announced, reaching down to clip her leash onto Fred’s collar. She turned on her heel and made her way down the steps.

“Say bye to Waverly Skip!” Once again Skip barked in response, and Nicole threw up a treat for him to catch.

Nicole threw one last heart-stopping grin over her shoulder at Waverly, before signalling for Skip to jump into the back of the truck and reaching down to pick Fred up and depositing him into the passenger seat.

Five minutes after Nicole had driven off, Waverly realised she was still grinning like an idiot.

She shook her head, unable to remember another time she had felt this much of a mess around someone. There was just something inherently fun and charming about Nicole, that drew her in and made her forget how to act like a normal human being.

As she made her way inside, she glanced at the clock, and began to count down the minutes until Nicole’s return.

 

===========

 

Waverly’s bottom lip was quivering as she desperately tried not to laugh. There was so much pressure that she thought she could actually feel tears forming in her eyes.

It had been twenty minutes, and Nicole was already back on her front porch, Fred cradled in her arms, Skip sat obediently by her feet. That would have been all well and good, had the three of them not been covered head to toe in thick, brown mud.

“Did you have a good walk?” Waverly asked, trying her very best to keep a serious expression. She had to bite down hard on her lip when Nicole shot her a look that screamed ‘Ya think?!’

“We ran into some issues,” Nicole nodded, returning to a deadpan expression. A muddy pawprint on her cheek caught Waverly’s eye, and she couldn’t help the small noise that managed to escape her lips.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Waverly offered. Nicole shook her head.

“Do you want to come in and clean up?” she offered again, using her thumb to point behind her into the homestead.

“Really?” Nicole’s eyebrows shot up at her suggestion, “you wouldn’t mind?”

“Nicole, I can’t let you drive home like that, and somehow, I think that this was perhaps Wynonna’s fault.”

“I’m not usually one to place blame, but this was one-hundred percent Wynonna’s fault.”

A beat of silence passed between them, before it all became too much, and she finally allowed herself to laugh. Her heart warmed at the sound of Nicole joining in with her, and the sight of Fred mildly vibrating up and down because of how much Nicole was laughing just set her off even more. She wiped the tears from her cheeks before turning around and gesturing for Nicole to follow her inside.

“Let me go find some old towels, you three go straight to the bathroom. It’s upstairs, first door on the left. And don’t touch anything!” She added, suddenly worried for the soft furnishings.

“You heard the woman Skip, no stops on the way to the bathroom, okay?” Nicole winked at her as she toed off her boots, before making her way up the stairs, Skip following closely behind, Fred still getting the walk-free treatment. As Waverly followed, three towels in her arms, she silently gave herself a pep talk.

Okay Earp, keep it together. You’re going to go in there, and you’re going to be perfectly calm. What you’re not going to do, is panic. You remember how to do that right? Not panic?

As soon as she pushed open the door, she panicked. Nicole had stripped off her top layers and was stood there in her sports bra, both Skip and Fred waiting patiently in the bath. Her mouth was so dry, that she thought it was perhaps physically impossible for her to form words. Oh Jesus, were those abs??

“Sorry,” Nicole grimaced, “but they were super muddy from carrying Wynonna.”

Waverly swallowed thickly and placed the towels down onto the lid of the toilet, trying to force herself to look anywhere other than at Nicole. When she turned back around, Nicole was reaching up for the shower head, and Waverly’s eyes almost bulged out of her head as she watched the smooth muscle rippling over her shoulders, and followed them down to watch her abs twisting as she -

“Stop checking out my ass,” Nicole said playfully over her shoulder, snapping Waverly from her ab-induced trance.

“What? I wasn’t!”. Technically, technically it wasn’t a lie.

“You got any dog shampoo?” Nicole asked as she flicked through the settings on the head, trying to find a suitable setting for the water stream.

“Uhm…” she began rifling through the bathroom cupboards, knowing full well that she definitely did not have any dog shampoo. “No, sorry, looks like I’m out.”

“That’s okay, hopefully most of it will come out with just the water.” Nicole turned the water on and held it over her hand to check the temperature. She knelt down in front of the bath and Waverly joined her.

“Right, Wynonna, seeing as you got us into this literal mess, you can go first. Waves, if you hold him, I’ll try and wash all this mud out.” Waverly got herself into position, her hands on either side of Fred’s chest. As soon as Nicole held the showerhead over him, he began trying to scrabble up the side of the bath, and thanks to the mud, Waverly was having a hard time keeping her grip. “Woah, okay okay!” Nicole removed the stream of water from over him and he immediately stopped, grunting his displeasure at the situation. “How about I do Skip first and you can see there’s nothing to worry about?” Waverly released her hold on Fred and put her hands either side of Skip instead.

Nicole moved the head over Skip’s neck, and he sat down, allowing the water to run down over his back. Waverly was suddenly extremely aware of how close Nicole was next to her and tried to think of anything other than her hot, practically naked chest pressing up against her.

“He’ll fall in love with you if you give him a massage,” Nicole nudged her with her elbow and Waverly began to scrunch her hands through his fur. She couldn’t help but giggle as she felt him lean his weight into her.

“Such a sucker for the hands of a pretty girl,” Nicole shook her head, “think he learnt that one from me,” she chuckled. Waverly bit her lip and looked at Nicole out of the corner of her eye.

“You have a lot of pretty girls giving you massages?” she teased as she continued to scrub the mud from Skip’s fur. She thought she could see some white beginning to peak through.

“Ohh yeeaahhh,” Nicole grinned, and Waverly returned a playful elbow into her ribs.

“Hey!” Nicole complained and quickly turned the showerhead so it sprayed some water onto Waverly’s front.

Waverly’s mouth fell open and she turned her head, wondering if Nicole even realised what she had let herself in for. Nicole was looking at her with wide eyes, her lips sealed tightly together.

Waverly lunged forwards and tried to grab the showerhead from Nicole’s hand as they struggled against each other, squealing as they both got sprayed by the water in the process. Their laughs were joined by a chorus of yaps from Fred, and the odd excited bark from Skip.

Waverly was practically straddling Nicole’s side, directing most of the spray straight into her face.

“Okay, okay you win, you win!” Nicole spluttered and released her grip on the showerhead using her now free hands to try and detangle her soaked hair. Triumphant, Waverly stood up to shut off the water, and let the head hang down into the bath. Despite technically winning, she was still soaked. Her hair was dripping down her back and she was sure her top was completely see-through.

“If I’m the winner then why am I so wet?” she asked, reaching for the towels.

“You might have to take off your top, wouldn’t want you to catch a cold,” Nicole replied, rolling her bottom lip between her teeth. Waverly just threw a towel at her face and began to dry her own, before leaning down into the bath to start drying off Skip. She could feel Nicole’s eyes on her as she worked, but she didn’t dare turn around and meet them.

“Waves.”

“Hmm?”

“Do you… maybe… want to go out with me? Sometime? If you’re free of course.”

Waverly’s hands froze on Skip’s back. Had she heard that right? Nicole was actually asking her out?

“Like on a date?” She asked, just to make sure she had understood her correctly. She no longer trusted herself to fully understand a situation when it came to Nicole.

“Why do you sound so surprised?” Nicole smirked, and Waverly could feel her heart thumping hard in her chest.

Because you’re a smooth, sexy goddess who’s as cool as a cucumber and I’m a floundering mess who can’t even look at you without forgetting my own name.

“I have my reasons,” Waverly replied, still keeping her focus on Skip for fear of saying something stupid if she met Nicole’s eyes.

“If you want to say no, that’s okay,” Nicole said softly.

“No!” Waverly turned, “No, I don’t mean no as in no I don’t want to go on a date with you, I mean no, as in no, I don’t want to say no!”

Nicole raised an eyebrow and laughed. “You just said no way too many times and now I’m confused.”

Waverly took a deep breath. She could do this.

“Sorry, what I’m trying to say is yes, I would very much like to go out with you.”

They stared at each other, a warm feeling seeming to pass between them.

“Cool,” Nicole grinned.

“Cool,” Waverly echoed.

Nicole’s eyes drifted back into the bath and then widened in horror, “Wynonna no!”

Waverly glanced down in confusion just in time for Fred to shake out his fur, splashing all the mud they hadn’t been able to get off him over the bathroom wall, a freshly washed Skip, and the two of them.

“Guess we’re back to square one,” Waverly sighed as Nicole reached for the showerhead again.

“Now are you going to take off your top?” Nicole asked jokingly.

“I tend to save that for the third date,” Waverly said, somewhat surprised at herself for the smooth response. “Try not to get me soaking wet this time,” she added as she watched Nicole turn the water back on.

“Funny, I tend to save that for the third date too.”

 

===========

 

Chapter Text

 

Waverly was somewhat disappointed when she answered the door and saw that it was Rosita who was stood there smiling back at her. Not because she wanted to spend more time with Fred, or because she didn’t like Rosita, but because she had half hoped Nicole had decided to come back.

“Don’t look so happy to see me,” Rosita said sarcastically, making her way into the homestead. As she did so, Fred sat up suddenly on the couch and cocked his head at her. “Hi baby!!”

At the sound of her voice, he leaped from his spot and scrabbled across the floorboards towards her. She scooped him up so all four of his legs were straight up in the air and blew a raspberry straight onto his exposed belly.

“How was he?” She asked, looking up at Waverly again, whilst rocking Fred back and forth in her arms.

He was the mastermind in a plot to cover everyone and everything in mud. “He was as good as gold!”

“You didn’t have any issues?”

He broke into Wynonna’s room and started humping her pillow. “Nope!”

“Did you like it here with Auntie Waverly hmm?” Fred’s breathing was getting louder by the second, and Waverly was sure all this time spent upside down wasn’t good for him. As if Rosita had heard her thoughts, she flipped him back the right way up and put him down onto the floor, and he waddled off to find the water bowl Waverly had put out for him in the kitchen. “Thanks so much for looking after him, you did me such a huge favour. If you ever want to look after him again…?” she trailed off hopefully.

Waverly’s eyes lit up. She had been secretly hoping Rosita would want her to help out again. She was going to tell Nicole the truth at some point, she had to, but having the option of borrowing Fred again if she needed to did a lot to settle her nerves.

“Absolutely!”

“How’s Monday? I have another appointment in the city and I feel so bad leaving him at home alone.”

“Consider him booked in to the Earp hotel,” Waverly smiled. She’d have to send Nicole a text once Rosita had gone to see if she was free for another walk.

“Okay, well I’ll text you the time at some point over the weekend. Come on Freddy, mommy’s got to take you home now!”

Waverly’s eyes widened slightly at Rosita’s nickname for herself but were soon distracted by Fred waddling back into the room. He was carrying something in his mouth, and it took her a second to work out what it was.

“Hey! That’s mine!” Somehow, somewhere, he seemed to have found one of her favourite rainbow socks. She reached down to grab it from his mouth, expecting him to let it go, but instead he planted his stubby little feet and clamped his jaw even tighter. “Hey!” She said again, pulling on the sock, but not making any progress.

“Waves, you’re just going to break it if you do that,” Rosita laughed, doing absolutely nothing to help Waverly reclaim her sock. “He’ll drop it eventually; I’ll get it back to you on Monday.”

Waverly glared at Fred, narrowing her eyes at him and hoping he would understand that if he didn’t give her sock back right this second, there would be trouble.

“Come on then Mister,” Rosita reached down and picked him up, forcing Waverly to let go. She carried him in such a way that Fred was looking backwards over her shoulder, straight at Waverly, her sock held triumphantly in his mouth. She followed them out in the hope that he would drop it, but alas, the little lump just looked at her smugly.

Rosita strapped him into the passenger seat, before leaning out her window to say goodbye.

“I’ll text you!”

“Yeah,” she replied halfheartedly. What was she meant to do now? Only wear one rainbow sock? She would look ridiculous.

Just as the car started to move off, Fred looked her right in the eyes, and dropped her sock.

 

============

 

Waverly drummed her fingers against the arm of the couch as she looked at the clock on the wall. The TV was on, but she hadn’t been paying it any attention, she didn’t even know what channel she was watching. Nicole had texted to tell her she would pick her up at 7pm, and in true Waverly fashion, she was ready to go at 6.30pm. Which was fine, apart from the fact that she now had nothing to distract her before she would be seeing Nicole again. It wasn’t that she was bad at dates, on the contrary, she prided herself on being a great conversationalist. But if the past couple of days had proved anything, it was that that didn’t exactly ring true when she was with Nicole.

“Honey, I’m home!”

Waverly’s head whipped to the front door at the sudden announcement, where she saw Wynonna wearing a pair of raybans despite the fading light, lugging in a couple of duffel bags.

“What are you doing here?” she squealed excitedly, bounding over from the couch, temporarily forgetting her worries about Nicole and the date. She hadn’t expected Wynonna to be back from her trip for at least another week.

“I just missed you,” Wynonna grinned, wrapping Waverly in a one-armed hug. Waverly knew that wasn’t the real reason, but it still made her feel special. Her sister was good like that, always trying to make her feel loved in a way that their parents had failed to.

She reached out to relieve Wynonna of one of her bags and slung it over her shoulder. “Now you’ve done your duty as big sister, what’s the real reason?” she asked, as she led the way to Wynonna’s bedroom.

“Why do you look so nice?” Wynonna asked from behind her.

“Why are you avoiding the question?” Waverly glanced back, suddenly suspicious about Wynonna’s unannounced return.

“Why are you?” Wynonna challenged, sliding her sunglasses down her nose so Waverly could see her eyes. They could have gone back and forth like this for a while, as they had on many occasions in true sisterly fashion, but Waverly had too much to think about already without throwing Wynonna’s mind games into the mix.

“I’m going on a date,” Waverly explained as she dropped Wynonna’s bag onto her bedroom floor.

“I hope she’s hot,” Wynonna smirked as she dropped the bag she was carrying and sat down onto the bed. Waverly tried not to cringe too much when she put her head right where Fred had been humping not 24 hours before.

“How do you know it’s a woman?” Waverly folded her arms, eager to see how Wynonna explained her assumption. Wynonna leaned on her elbows and looked at Waverly’s outfit again, her eyes flickering to various details.

“You’re wearing your little rainbow necklace,” she said, pointing towards Waverly’s throat. “So, is she hot?”

Waverly shook her head. Sometimes Wynonna seemed so unobservant and then other times, it was like she was Sherlock Holmes.

“She’s… yeah, she’s super hot,” Waverly bit her lip, the image of Nicole in her sports bra flashing into her mind once again (although if she was being honest, it had never really left.)

“Ugh gross you’re already banging her aren’t you?”

“What? No!” Waverly blushed, she could hardly keep it together when Nicole was talking to her, let alone touching her.

“You’re thinking about it now though, aren’t you?” Wynonna winked, putting both hands behind her head.

“You’re so annoying,” Waverly shook her head and clicked on her phone to check the time. She had a message from Nicole that said ‘Leaving now’ which was sent 5 minutes ago, so it would only be another couple of minutes before she arrived

“Can I meet her?” Wynonna sat up, an excited gleam in her eyes.

“No!” Waverly said firmly.

“Why not?” she whined in response.

Because she thinks that you are a dog. “Because it’s too early! This is technically the first date and I don’t want you scaring her off!” That was also a pretty valid reason.

A loud knock on the door from downstairs made both sisters freeze. Wynonna was smiling slyly, and Waverly could tell she was trying to calculate whether she would be able to make it past Waverly and to the front door before she could stop her.

“Stay!” Waverly commanded, as she slowly backed towards the door. Wynonna was inching slowly towards the edge of the bed. “Stay, and I’ll cook for your every night this week!” She was still moving. “Two weeks!” Waverly shouted in a panic, “two weeks!”

Wynonna paused, and then shuffled back onto the bed, pulling out her phone. “I wasn’t going to come down anyway,” she smirked.

Waverly released a frustrated sigh. “I think I prefer the dog,” she muttered to herself as she left the room.

“Have fun on your date!” Wynonna called, “use protection!”

Waverly tried to push all thoughts of Wynonna out of her head as she arrived at the front door and took a deep breath.

 

===========

 

“Hi,” she said breathily as tried to process the image before her. Nicole was leaning against the porch railing, fiddling with the keys to her truck looking like pure sex on two (extremely long) legs. A pair of grey check slacks seemed to stretch endlessly upwards, before disappearing into a white shirt, which had just enough of the top buttons undone to make her swallow thickly at the thought of her view should the next one pop open of its own accord. When Nicole looked up, Waverly was surprised to see a look of shock crossing over her face. Oh god, had she spilled something on herself again? Was she literally drooling? She quickly looked down at her outfit, brushing her hands over her chest just in case, but she couldn’t see a single thing out of place.

“Wow,” Nicole said, “Waves you look –“ she puffed out her cheeks and gestured at Waverly’s body, “are you trying to kill me?”

Oh. So this was good shock. She couldn’t help the smile which spread slowly onto her face. At last, she seemed to be having some kind of noticeable effect on Nicole.

“Oh, this?” She teased, twirling slowly on the spot, “I just threw this on.”

In reality, she had painstakingly deliberated for almost an hour over what she should wear. Putting on and taking off and then putting on again the same 4 outfits, unable to decide what kind of vibe she should be going for. Apparently, the forest green wrap dress had been the correct decision.

“You’re making me feel unworthy,” Nicole said, rubbing a hand over her mouth as Waverly faced her once again. Waverly almost laughed at the absurdity of the statement. It was Nicole who was out of her league, not the other way around.

“Have you looked in the mirror recently?” She said, quirking one of her eyebrows. Nicole just rolled her eyes, before gesturing at the doorway.

“How’s my little man Wynonna doing? Any more mud related incidents?”

Waverly chuckled nervously. She had no idea, she hadn’t seen Fred since Nicole had. “Yeah, he’s fine. You know how dogs are.”

“Is he around?” Nicole pushed herself away from the railing and made her way towards Waverly, as if she wanted to go inside the house.

“No!” Waverly quickly positioned herself more centrally in the doorway and reached out her hands, accidentally placing one of them straight onto Nicole’s boob before pulling it away just as quickly in embarrassment. “I mean yes, he’s here, but he’s y’know, sleeping. And… he gets suuuper grumpy if you wake him, so, it’s better if we just leave him too it,” her voice had morphed into that high pitched thing it always did when she was trying to come up with a lie on the spot. She grabbed one of Nicole’s arms and spun her around so she was facing away from the door and then quickly pulled it shut behind her.

“Okay, okay, noted!” Nicole laughed, before making her way down the front steps and across the driveway towards her truck, Waverly following closely behind. At first her eyes had moved to Nicole’s ass by accident, but they had definitely stayed there by choice.

It was glorious.

A glorious ass.

There was no other way to describe it.

“Okay this time you’re definitely checking out my ass,” Nicole smirked as she opened the passenger side door for Waverly. She didn’t know if it was the fact that she knew she was having some kind of effect on Nicole in this outfit that gave her the confidence, or if she had just descended so far into panic that she could no longer feel its effects, but as she passed her she gave one of the cheeks a playful tap, and then climbed into the car.

Nicole seemed frozen for a second by the door, before blinking a few times, shutting it carefully and making her way around the bonnet to climb behind the steering wheel.

 

=============

 

“This is a nice place,” Waverly said appreciatively as she looked around the room. Nicole had driven them back to her house to drop off the truck, and then they had walked to a small bar Waverly had never been to before. In a place as small as Purgatory, that was quite an accomplishment, but in her defense, when your sister owns a bar and the house you live in, you don’t tend to go taking your custom elsewhere unless you want to get exiled from both.

This bar was definitely a lot classier than Shorty’s, the dimmed lighting setting a romantic mood, as opposed to hiding all the dust balls and beer stains. Not to mention the menu. They had opted for the ‘Wines of the World Experience’ which meant that throughout the evening they would be tasting a total of seven wines. It was a good thing she was an Earp.

They had been seated in a booth in the corner, which offered a surprising amount of privacy from the other customers.

“I came here for the first time the other night actually,” Nicole admitted, as she shrugged off her jacket, placing it on the cushioned bench beside her.

“Oh?” If this was Nicole’s way of telling her that she was just one of the many people she was taking on dates, she needed to work on her timing.

“Yeah, I was kind of freaking out that moving to Purgatory was a mistake, and I was in desperate need for some wine,” she laughed, running her long fingers through her hair.

“You’re thinking of leaving?” Waverly asked, making no effort to hide the hurt in her voice.

“I wasn’t really going to leave, Skip is already much happier here, I think I was just second guessing myself.” Nicole corrected, meeting her eyes from across the table.

“What changed?” She said softly. Nicole hesitated for a moment before answering.

“How about I tell you at the end of the night?”

Waverly grinned. “I’ll hold you to that.”

 

===========

 

Glass number 1: South Africa

Waverly swirled the wine around her mouth, trying to coat every taste bud. It was a delicious white wine, crisp and refreshing, the perfect way to start the evening.

“Have you ever been?” Nicole asked, gesturing towards the miniature bottle.

“To South Africa? No, although I’ve written about it for the magazine. They didn’t find it funny when I asked for an all-inclusive trip for research purposes. How about you?”

Nicole took another sip of her wine and replaced the glass back down onto the table, pouring some more into her glass.

“No, I would love to go though. There’s this elephant sanctuary I saw on TV when I was growing up–“

“The Trunk Trust!” Waverly cut in excitedly.

“Yes!” Nicole laughed, “You’ve seen it too?”

She’d seen it, she’d cried about it, she’d baked cookies during middle school to raise money for it…

“Yes! The way they tuck the little orphaned babies in with blankets? It gets me every time,” she admitted, grinning as she took another sip of wine. It was slightly worrying how easily it was going down, especially as there were still six more to go.

“My parents would only let me watch documentaries, something about ensuring ‘the correct development of the mind’” she said, using a tone which implied she didn’t buy into any of what her parents believed.

“Oh yeah?” Waverly responded slightly apprehensively, waiting to see if they were about to delve deeper into the topic of families. It was something she didn’t always like talking about, she’d always found it was a bit heavy for a first date, and she definitely didn’t want to scare Nicole off.

“Yeah, but no-one wants to talk about family on the first date right?” Nicole chuckled, and Waverly sighed in relief.

“Right,” she agreed, allowing herself to relax a little now she knew that topic was off the cards. “So tell me, did you always want to work with dogs?”

 

==========

 

Glass number 3: New Zealand


“You did not!” Waverly scoffed, waving her hand dismissively at Nicole.

“I swear I did!” Nicole repeated.

“I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it,” Waverly shrugged. The truth was, she did buy it. She absolutely bought the idea that Nicole had once risked her life during a flash flood to save some puppies. But teasing her about it was proving to be just so darn fun.

Nicole looked offended, but Waverly didn’t think for one second that her feelings were actually hurt, there was still that playful glint in her eyes.

“Do you want proof?” she asked, digging one of her hands into the pocket of her jacket, “because I’ll give you proof Earp!”

“If you show me proof, then I will let you take me out on another date,” Waverly proposed, meeting Nicole’s eyes as they widened slightly, before morphing into adorable little half-moons.

“Deal. And if I can’t find it then I’ll let you take me out on another date,” she winked.

She watched in amusement as Nicole frantically scrolled through the photos on her phone, looking for the one that would prove that she wasn’t a complete and utter liar.

“Just admit it, you just fabricated that story to impress women.”

“Woman,” Nicole corrected, before realising what she had said. “Hey! No! I didn’t fabricate anything. I swear this happened!”

“Uh-huh,” she said, still pretending to be unconvinced as she took another sip of her wine. As she watched Nicole, she took a moment to reflect on how easy this all felt. The conversation was effortless, comfortable. They had already laughed so much that her throat was starting to feel raw, despite the ever-flowing wine. And alongside everything else, there was this undercurrent of raw electricity flowing between them that never seemed to waver, that had her clenching her thighs together under the table more often than she cared to admit.

“Aha!” Nicole spun her phone around and pushed in front of Waverly so she could look at it.

“Oh, come on, that doesn’t prove anything!” she scoffed, shoving the phone back across the table.

Nicole’s mouth was hanging open, “Are you kidding me?” She said loudly, before realising they were still in public place. “I am soaking wet, holding a bunch of puppies and you can literally see the flood water behind me,” Nicole was explaining herself like her life depended on it. She must really want to take her on another date.

Waverly was just watching her, biting her bottom lip, trying her best not to say anything. Watching Nicole try and prove that she was an honest person was actually quite heartwarming. When Nicole realised that Waverly was no longer putting up a fight, she stopped and cocked her head to the side, eyes narrowing.

“You were just teasing me weren’t you?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Did you believe me from the start?”

“Yep.”

Her breath hitched at the look Nicole was giving her. “I’ll get you back for that,” Nicole promised.

“You can do it on our next date,” she winked.

 

==========

 

Glass number 4: California

What?” she asked mid-sentence. Nicole was giving her this look, and she had no idea why.

“Nothing!” She grinned, as she twisted her glass around on the table.

“Well it’s obviously something,” Waverly narrowed her eyes. She’d reached that stage of tipsy where she could talk for hours about anything and not even realise. They’d gotten onto the topic of gap years and she had been talking about the time she had spent in Costa Rica, going into unnecessary details about all the beaches she had visited. She found she always got carried away when she was describing the ocean, something that had driven Wynonna absolutely crazy. Nicole was probably just too polite to tell her she didn’t care.

“You’ve just got some…” Nicole tapped one of her fingers against her bottom lip. Waverly frowned and then realised what she meant.

“Oh!” she rubbed the back of her hand over her lips, trying desperately to get rid of whatever Nicole could see.

“No, it’s more…” Nicole gestured to the other side, and Waverly mirrored where she had pointed to, but apparently, she still hadn’t done the job. “Come here,” Nicole leaned into the table and gestured that she should do the same. She brought one of her thumbs up to Waverly’s bottom lip, and dragged it softly across, her eyes focused on the task and her tongue poking out the corner of her mouth. Waverly forgot how to breath. She was too busy staring at Nicole’s face, which was so close to her own that she could have leaned forwards and kissed her. Maybe she should? Was that the wine talking? No. She wanted to. She really wanted to kiss her. No, she needed to. She was going to do it. Oh god. She was going for it.

Just as she was leaning forwards, Nicole moved away, leaning back into her seat again. Waverly blinked, momentarily confused by the sudden loss, before leaning back into her own chair, the moment gone.

 

==========

 

Glass number 6: France

Waverly was sobbing. She couldn’t help it. She didn’t usually get this emotional. Especially over a photograph. She suspected the wine almost definitely had something to do with it.

“Waves I’m so sorry, I wouldn’t have shown you if I knew it would make you cry!”

She tried desperately to wipe the tears out of her eyes, but that just cleared her vision enough to see the photo again, and a fresh wave of emotion came crashing over her.

“Hey,” Nicole scooted round so she was sat next to her, and pulled her into her side, wrapping both her arms around her, “hey, shhh, it’s okay.”

Waverly sniffed, and tried to control her breathing. “I’m sorry, this is so embarrassing,” she mumbled into Nicole’s shoulder, noting somewhere in the back of her mind that Nicole’s perfume smelled amazing, “It’s just…” she pulled away slightly so she could look at her face, “that is the cutest photo I have ever seen in my whole entire life.”

Nicole threw her head back and laughed loudly before picking up her phone from the table and holding it out in front of her, leaving her other arm draped over Waverly’s shoulders.

“No! Don’t show it to me again! I’m not ready!” she squealed as she accidently saw it again and dove her face into Nicole’s neck.

The photo was of Nicole and Skip. Which would have been fine if it had been present day Nicole and Skip. But it wasn’t. It was Nicole and Skip five years ago, when Nicole was fresh-faced out of college and Skip was the tiniest, smallest little bundle of white fluff she had ever laid her eyes upon. Skip had his mouth open and looked like he was just about to lick up the length of her face. Nicole’s hair was a lot shorter, cut to her chin, and she was mid laugh, having obviously not expected the action just as she was going to take the photograph. And to top it all off, Nicole was wearing a t-shirt which said ‘Love at first bark.’

“It’s gone!” Nicole laughed again, and rubbed her hand up and down Waverly’s arm, trying to comfort her. “You’re meant to be having fun and here I am making you cry,” she said as she shook her head.

“I am having fun!” Waverly protested, her head still buried against Nicole’s warm skin.

“Are you going to come out of hiding anytime soon?” Nicole asked softly against the top of Waverly’s head.

“No.” She said firmly. She was sure her eyes were all puffy, and that was not a look she wanted Nicole to see.

“Does it help if I tell you that I cried for two days straight when I first saw Skip?”

A small smile spread across Waverly’s face, her lips dragging against Nicole’s throat as it did.

“Yes.”

 

==========

 

Glass number 7: Italy

Waverly giggled uncontrollably and leaned her head into Nicole’s side as she smacked her lips together.

“I’m definitely getting whispers of Moon Dust, with perhaps an undertone of oyster,” Nicole dipped her nose into the glass and sniffed dramatically as she swirled it, “and, ah yes, the calming smell of whole-wheat bread.”

“I don’t think those are real notes,” Waverly laughed, and Nicole tightened her arm around her shoulders as she looked down at her.

“They’re no more ridiculous than some of the stuff the professionals come up with.”

Waverly placed her hand onto Nicole’s thigh as she leant forwards to retrieve her glass and conveniently forgot to remove it when she leaned back again.

“I don’t think we should be drinking any more of this wine,” she giggled as she took another sip.

“I think you may be onto something there,” Nicole conceded, as she took the glass from Waverly’s hands and put it back onto the table. Nicole’s fingers seemed to find hers and they laced together like it was second nature.

“Home time?”

Waverly closed her eyes and nodded her head slowly. She was suddenly extremely tired, the excitement of the evening seeming to suddenly catch up with her.

“Come on, I’ll call us a cab,” Nicole said softly. Waverly just nodded again and yawned.


=============


They were stood facing each other on the Homestead porch, Waverly’s hands having found their resting place on either edge of Nicole’s jacket. The cab was waiting for Nicole to return to it, but Waverly wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet. For one thing, Nicole still hadn’t told her why she had decided to stay in Purgatory.

“I had a great time tonight,” Nicole murmured, her face hovering just inches from Waverly’s.

“The best,” Waverly replied, unable to stop her eyes from flicking down to Nicole’s lips. She wanted to kiss her so badly that it was almost painful not to.

“We should do it again sometime,” Nicole winked.

“I think we already agreed that I’m letting you take me out again,” Waverly reminded her.

“Ah yes,” Nicole leaned backwards slightly on the spot and then forwards again as she remembered, putting one of her hands onto Waverly’s waist, “I think that was around glass number… four?”

“Three,” Waverly corrected.

“God, we drank so much wine,” Nicole laughed breathily, her head dipping forwards so their foreheads were just touching. Despite the alcohol in her system, she could feel her pulse begin to race. Nicole lips were so close.

“Are you ever going to tell me what made you change your mind about staying?” Waverly whispered. She saw Nicole’s eyes soften and she sighed in pure contentment when one of Nicole’s fingers brushed across her cheek.

“I sat in a beautiful woman’s seat in a coffee shop the very next day,” Nicole said, her voice so low that Waverly almost didn’t hear it. But she did hear it. And it gave her all the confidence she needed.

She closed the small gap between them, their lips meeting at long last. Nicole seemed to move backwards momentarily, and Waverly had a millisecond of panic that perhaps she’d read the whole evening wrong, before suddenly it was her who was moving backwards, Nicole’s mouth pressing firmly against her own until her back met the front door.

Holy mother of fuck she was kissing Nicole Haught.

Hard.

Downright dirty.

All open mouths and heavy breaths.

Safe to say she wasn't tired anymore.

She brought one of her hands up to Nicole’s cheeks, dragging her fingernails softly across it, involuntarily whimpering against Nicole’s mouth when she felt a hand squeezing her ass. Nicole broke away and looked into Waverly’s eyes, suddenly panicked. Waverly was breathing heavily, her head swimming, wondering what she had done wrong.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,” Nicole said, removing her hand and placing it flat against the door.

“It’s fine,” Waverly assured her, trying to bring her face back down towards her own. She already missed the feeling of her lips moving against her own.

“It’s not,” Nicole murmured, screwing her eyes closed, “We’re both drunk.”

“So?”

“So, I don’t want you to have anything to regret when you wake up tomorrow morning.”

Waverly sighed, Nicole did have a point; they shouldn’t be getting carried away. Not that she could ever imagine regretting anything that she did with Nicole. But she did want to remember it, to savour it.

“Come see me and Fred on Monday?” she asked hopefully, having already gained permission from Rosita.

“Who’s Fred?” Nicole frowned.

“Sorry, Wynonna, I always do that.” She tried covering as smoothly as she could, which was hard considering how muddled she felt with Nicole standing so close and their kiss occupying almost every one of her thoughts. Thankfully, Nicole didn’t question her any further on it.

Nicole leaned down again, their lips brushing together once more, but softly this time, as if she was taking extra care not to push things too far.

“I’ll see you Monday,” Nicole whispered, pressing one last kiss to her mouth before pushing off from the door and turning back towards the cab.

“Yeah,” Waverly sighed quietly to herself, leaning back against the door as she watched Nicole climbing back into the car, “see you Monday.”

 

============

Chapter Text

 

“Okay Fred remember, what are we not going to do on our walk today?” Waverly called across the kitchen from behind her laptop. She had an article that needed proof-reading and sending off before Nicole arrived, which was in about 8 minutes. Thankfully, Wynonna was out all day at Shorty’s, so she didn’t need to worry about her meeting either Fred or Nicole.

Fred yapped once.

“That’s right,” she nodded, “no mud. And why do we not want mud?”

He yapped again, twice this time.

“Because we want Nicole to keep coming back,” she confirmed, as she deleted a line from the last paragraph and re-wrote it again.

She heard a whining noise and looked up to see Fred sat by her feet looking up at her accusingly.

“She doesn’t need to know yet,” Waverly shook her head and tried to focus on her screen again, only 20 more words and she could save and send.

A deep growling noise brought her attention back down to Fred and she instinctively put a hand over her newly returned sock which was lying on the table.

“Okay okay I’ll tell her! Just not today okay?” Fred just blinked at her, unimpressed. The truth was that she was very aware of the fact that the longer she tried to drag this out, the worse it was going to get. But she didn’t want the first time she saw Nicole again after one of the best dates she’d ever been on to be ruined by her admitting that she had in fact used a dog she didn’t own to lure her there.

Waverly hadn’t stopped thinking about Nicole since their date, and that had been two days ago. They’d sent a few flirty messages back and forth, both of them letting the other know how much they’d enjoyed themselves. Something seemed to have shifted within Waverly during their date, especially after hearing Nicole’s confession that she had stayed in Purgatory to find out more about her. She wasn’t filled with panic when she thought about Nicole arriving in less than 5 minutes. She wasn’t worried that she’d say the wrong thing or get super flustered when Nicole so much as looked at her. Instead, she just felt excited. Excited to learn more about this woman, and maybe, just maybe get the chance to kiss her again.

A knock on the door dragged Waverly from her thoughts, and she quickly saved and sent her work before shutting the lid of her laptop.

“Coming!” she called, Fred running (if you could indeed call it running) ahead of her.

When she opened the door, Nicole was leaning against the door frame with an adorable smile, and Skip was sat down patiently next to her, both of them looking as handsome as ever.

“Hi,” Waverly grinned, and before she realised what she was doing she leaned forwards and gave Nicole a quick peck on the lips. Nicole looked slightly taken aback by the action, and Waverly brought a hand up to her mouth.

“I’m sorry,” she apologised quickly from behind her hand, “was that weird?” Perhaps she had gone to the other extreme of the panic scale, where now she was acting way too comfortable than what was considered appropriate.

“No!” Nicole assured her, her smile unwavering, “it just took me by surprise.” She rubbed the back of her neck and readjusted the cap on her head. “I guess I just didn’t know if us kissing the other night was because of the wine or because you really wanted to.”

The idea that Waverly needed alcohol to want to kiss her was almost comical. She didn’t reply straight away, instead, she stepped closer into Nicole’s space and laced their fingers together. She rose up on her tip toes so their faces were almost level, and held Nicole’s eyes with her own.

“I really wanted to,” she whispered, the intention behind the words obvious to anyone with a brain. Hell, probably even Fred knew what she was trying to say.

Nicole’s eyes searched in Waverly’s for just a moment before she closed the gap between them. This kiss was nothing like the one they had shared on Friday night. That one had been desperate, messy, a release from a whole evening of tension. And apparently, although it hadn’t felt like it at the time, the emotion of it all had been severely dampened by the alcohol.

Because this kiss was everything the other one hadn’t been: soft and slow and fire. Fire in every part of her body. It was almost overwhelming, how could one little kiss make her feel so much? She pulled Nicole’s body tighter against her own, and then felt something hard pressing into her hip. She frowned and broke away, her stomach fluttering when she saw Nicole’s lips chasing her own.

“Is there something in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” she teased, the length of their bodies still pressed together. Nicole rolled her eyes playfully and stepped back, pulling out a tennis ball. As she did so, Skip scrambled to his feet, his eyes locked on the ball as he followed it’s every move.

“That’s why I keep it in my pocket,” Nicole laughed, before turning and launching it into the driveway. Waverly watched in awe at the show in agility as Skip jumped off the porch without so much as touching the stairs before racing off after the ball. Fred tried to follow, but had only just managed to hop down one step by the time Skip had already returned, dropping the ball at Nicole’s feet and looking up at her expectantly. “We’re not going to get any peace now if we keep standing here, are you ready to go?”

Waverly reached inside to grab her sweater from the hook and placed it over her arm, before pulling the door closed behind her. “I am now!”

“Do you have any favourite trails?” Nicole asked as they made their way towards her truck. As someone who spent more time in a coffee shop than in the great outdoors, it was probably safe to say that no, she did not have any favourite trails.

“How about you take me to one of yours?” She offered, hoisting Fred up off the ground before climbing into the passenger seat.

“Sure,” Nicole smiled at her through the open window. She whistled loudly and shouted Skip’s name, before tapping the bed of her truck. Waverly heard the scrabbling of claws, and she knew Skip had jumped up into the back.

As they pulled out of the drive and started down the long single lane track she couldn’t help but wonder why Skip wasn’t allowed in the main cab, it would probably be a lot warmer for him, not to mention safer.

“Did Skip wreck the inside of your car or something?” she asked, as she smoothed her hands down Fred’s back.

Nicole looked over at her in confusion, whilst trying her best to keep her eyes on the road.

“No, why?”

“Well why doesn’t he sit in here with us?”

Nicole raised her eyebrows, “You think that’s my decision?” she jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “I spent the best part of two months trying to get him to come in here, he won’t have it.”

“Oh, so you’re telling me he likes it out there?”

“Oh yeah, he loves it!” Nicole nodded.

“So, it’s not that you just don’t want your car to smell like dog?” she teased.

Nicole laughed as she leant forwards slightly, checking that the road was clear before pulling out. “Firstly, does that mean you think it doesn’t already smell like dog? In which case, I’ll take that as a win. Secondly, all my client’s dogs sit in this car, so do you really think I wouldn’t let Skip chill in here if he wanted to?” Her eyes flicked to the wing mirror on Waverly’s side. “Tell you what, wind your window down and look around at the back, you’ll see what I mean.”

Waverly adjusted Fred on her lap so she could roll down the window, and then leaned her head out, trying to see through the hair that was now whipping around her face. Sure enough, Skip had his head hanging off the side of the truck directly in the stream of wind, his tongue flapping wildly as he squinted contently into it. Suddenly his head was gone from view and she leaned a little further to see where he’d gone.

“Waves!” Nicole shouted, and she felt a hand grab her tshirt and tug roughly, the truck swerving slightly as she fell back down into her seat.

The words ‘what the hell?’ had barely left her mouth when she saw that there was a branch sticking out into the side of the road right where her head had been.

“Okay new rule,” Nicole declared, her voice sounding slightly panicked, “no more sticking heads out of windows.”

 

============

 

Every time Waverly tried to subtly brush her fingers against Nicole’s and lace them together, Skip would bring back his ball and Nicole would launch it into the distance for him again.

They had been walking for some time already, along a beautiful trail in the woods. The sun was shining through the canopy and the both of them had shed their sweaters, giving Waverly a beautiful visual of Nicole’s biceps flexing every time she threw Skip’s ball. Even Fred looked like he was enjoying himself, snorting as he trotted along next to them, only stopping to lift his leg when he saw a particularly good log.

As they continued talking, she suddenly realised that she could no longer hear Fred breathing, which either meant his face had popped out of itself, or he’d stopped walking. She turned around, and scanned her eyes over the path, spotting him sat down a few metres away.

“What’s wrong?” she called back to him, hoping that he would resume his trotting at the sound of her voice.

“Maybe he’s got something in his paw?” Nicole suggested. The two of them walked back to Fred and he looked up at them expectantly. “You wanna let me see?” she asked him, crouching down and reaching out for one of his paws. Waverly watched as Nicole felt each of his pads, suddenly worried that she would have to do something crazy like take him to the vet.

“Paws are all clear,” Nicole said, giving Fred a scratch behind the ears.

“Come on,” Waverly encouraged, tapping her thigh. Still he just sat there, looking at them. Suddenly, something Rosita had mentioned came to the forefront of her memory. “How long have we been walking for?” she asked. Nicole took out her phone and pressed the home button so she could see what time it was.

“About 20 minutes?”

Waverly sighed, it seemed Fred had already reached his daily quota for leg movement.

“I’m going to have to carry him,” she said, tying her sweater around her waist to free up her arms. She bent down and heaved him upwards, struggling to get him into a position that was any kind of comfortable. He may be small, but he was pretty chunky, and the effort of picking him up was enough to make her grunt.

“Don’t.” Waverly glared at Nicole as she was quite obviously trying to hold back laughter, and started walking again without waiting for her. She was still trying to work out where she should put her hands, at the moment they were both gripping him under the armpits and the bottom half of his body was just dangling down.

“I didn’t say anything!” Nicole laughed from her behind her.

“You’re a pain in my ass Fred,” she grumbled, whilst Nicole caught up with her. All hopes of them having a romantic stroll, walking hand in hand through the woods now out the window.

“Do you want me to take him?” Nicole offered, still with that annoyingly sexy shit-eating grin on her face.

“I’ve got him!” she insisted, fumbling as she tried to move one of her hands to support his butt whilst trying desperately not to drop him.

“Waverly, let me help!” Nicole moved her hands into the mix, swiftly put Fred the right way up, and guided Waverly’s arms into the correct position. Waverly pouted at how easy she had made it seem, but was quickly smiling again when Nicole pressed a playful kiss to her lips, Fred squashed between them.

 

===========

 

Thankfully, just when Waverly had thought her arms were about to fall off from walking with the constant weight, Nicole had led them slightly off the path and into a beautiful wildflower meadow, suggesting that they take a break.

She pulled a blanket out of her rucksack and laid it out for the two of them, and Waverly groaned as she was finally able to relieve herself of Fred. She winced as she stretched out her arms, which had been locked in the same position for 15 minutes, and then practically collapsed down onto the blanket, letting the air rush out of her in a huff.

“Workout for the arms and the legs it seems,” Nicole chuckled as she lay down next to her, removing her cap and putting both her hands behind her head. Fred made himself comfortable at the edge of the blanket and started chewing on some grass. She didn’t know whether he was meant to be doing that or not, but at this moment in time she didn’t have the energy to care. Skip seemed to have found a spot off to the side and looked like he was trying to swallow his tennis ball whole.

Waverly groaned as she made a fist with her hand and opened it again.

“I think I have cramp,” she whined, shaking her hand to try and relieve herself of the sharp pain.

“Well, I can do something about that.” Nicole rolled over so she was lying on her side, her face inches from Waverly’s. She stilled Waverly’s hand by grasping it in her own and began to massage her palm by digging in with her thumbs.

Waverly moaned in pleasure, only realising afterwards how dirty it had sounded. Thankfully, Nicole had the decency not to say anything about it, although she knew she was probably dying to make some kind of teasing comment. She watched as Nicole concentrated on the task and took the opportunity to let her eyes wander over her face. There was a scar by her eye that she hadn’t noticed before. A smattering of freckles dotted over her nose and cheeks. Some of her hairs were catching the light of the sun as they moved slightly in the gentle breeze. God, she was radiant. Nicole was the kind of beautiful that made your chest ache every time you looked at her.

Nicole brought Waverly’s hand up to her mouth and placed a soft kiss against her palm, the tenderness of it causing her to shiver despite the sunshine.

“Better?” Nicole asked, keeping Waverly’s hand wrapped in her own.

“Hmm,” she hummed in approval, letting her eyes stay closed when she blinked, the warmth of the sun and the feeling of her hand in Nicole’s making her feel extremely relaxed. She breathed in deeply, letting the calmness of her surroundings wash over her.

The feeling of fingertips delicately brushing over her ear made her open one of her eyes in a squint. Nicole was gazing at her the way she’d imagine someone looking at the sunset over the ocean for the first time would gaze: full of wonderment.

She felt the blood rushing to the tips of her ears; she wasn’t used to people looking at her like that.

“What?” she asked, curious as to what Nicole was thinking.

“You,” Nicole said, as if that explained anything at all.

“What about me?”

It was a moment before Nicole answered in a quiet murmur.

“Everything.”

Nicole moved her hand from her ear and dragged her fingers slowly along the line of Waverly’s jaw, their eyes never moving from one another’s. When she got to her chin, she tipped it up slightly and leaned in to bring their lips together. They moved softly with one another, the same fire from earlier reigniting all over her body. She brought her hand which wasn’t linked with Nicole’s up to the base of the other woman’s throat and rubbed her thumb back and forth over the exposed skin. The kiss seemed to take on a life of its own, transitioning into something deeper. She felt Nicole’s tongue tracing along her bottom lip, and she almost moaned again, the sensation shooting straight to her core. Nicole was gliding her hand over the side of her body now, settling momentarily in the dip of her waist, before continuing down to her thigh. A rush of air left her body as Nicole used her grip on her thigh to hike it upwards and over her own, essentially tangling their legs together.

“Is this okay?” Nicole breathed, pressing open mouthed kisses along her jaw, and twisting her fingers into the baby hairs at the back of Waverly’s neck. Okay? Waverly could hardly form words, that’s how ‘okay’ it was.

“Uh-huh,” she panted, bringing Nicole’s face back to her own, the need for her lips overwhelming. This time, when she felt Nicole’s tongue brushing along her lip, she darted out her own to meet it, shooting another spark of electricity between her thighs. Jesus, since when was making out this hot? She suspected it probably had little to do with the action itself, and everything to do with Nicole.

Suddenly she felt something hard and wet falling onto her face. It was so unexpected that she pulled away sharply from Nicole, frantically wiping her face and praying that it hadn’t been some kind of giant bug.

“Arghhh what was that?” she squealed loudly. Apparently, it had fallen on Nicole too, because she was also wiping her face, although granted, not quite as frantically as Waverly was.

A shadow fell over both their faces and she looked up to see Skip’s open mouth panting right over her. She looked down on the blanket in the space between her and Nicole’s heads, and sure enough, there was his tennis ball, absolutely covered in slobber.

“Skip, what the hell?” Nicole complained, still rubbing the side of her face to try and rid it of the wet patch. He lowered his head and nudged the ball towards her with his nose. “Yeah, I know you want to play,” Nicole reached out and scratched him behind his ear, “but we were kind of busy!” Skip seemed to take that as some kind of invitation to join them and climbed his way into the small gap between their bodies, turned in a tight circle on the spot, and plopped his body down. Nicole grunted as the weight of his body pressed against the length of her own, and Waverly had to dodge a flailing paw.

She grinned as Nicole shook her head at Skip and then raised her eyebrows in apology to her.

“He too wants to feel the hands of a beautiful woman on his body,” Nicole winked.

“You better get started then,” she replied smoothly. Nicole rolled her bottom lip between her teeth, and Waverly wished more than anything that there wasn’t currently a giant dog in the way of their bodies tangling back together.

Waverly began to work her fingers through the fur on his side, marveling at how soft he was. She smiled when she felt his tail whipping against her shins, glad that he was enjoying himself. He seemed to be leaning away from her though, which she assumed meant that Nicole’s fingers were working some kind of magic on his other side. Soon he was leaning so far over, that he flopped down completely onto his side.

“Ohhh yeaaah,” Nicole chuckled as she continued to scratch his back. Waverly moved her hands to his now exposed belly and began to move her fingers through it. Skip shifted again, which was easier said than done when he was squished between the two of them, this time onto his back so his chest was facing the sky.

“So it’s a belly rub you want,” Nicole grinned, her hand joining Waverly’s on his chest and looked over her shoulder towards the bottom of the blanket.

“You want in on some of this action Wynonna?” Nicole called playfully. Waverly didn’t hear any movement, but looked at Nicole’s face, expecting to see her smiling. Instead, her brow was furrowed, and she was suddenly looking all around her.

“What’s wrong?” Waverly asked, sitting up and looking towards where she expected Fred to be sitting. The pit of her stomach dropped as she processed the empty space which she saw instead.

Oh fuck.

She looked all around the blanket, hoping that he’d just moved.

He was gone.

She scrambled to her feet and scanned her eyes over the meadow, praying to the gods that he had just wandered a few metres away.

Nothing.

Her heart was beating hard as the panic began to grip her chest. This was bad. This was really really bad.

“Oh shit, no no no, where is he?” She cursed, running a hand through her hair.

Nicole and Skip jumped up beside her.

“Hey, I’m sure he’s fine, he probably just chased a butterfly or something,” Nicole said. Waverly knew she was trying to be reassuring, but this was way more complicated than just losing Fred. He wasn’t hers to lose.

“This can’t be happening,” she faltered. Losing someone else’s dog was definitely on the list of things that got you sent to hell.

“I understand –“ Nicole began.

“You don’t understand,” Waverly snapped, instantly regretting it as she saw the look of surprise register on Nicole’s face.

“Waverly,” Nicole said somewhat cautiously, “I understand you’re panicking right now, but if we split up I’m sure we’ll find him quickly, okay?”

“Yeah okay, sorry,” she replied, before jogging off to her left.

 

============

 

“Fred!” Waverly hissed as she looked around the side of a tree.

She could hear Nicole calling “Wynonna!” on the other side of the meadow, but seeing as that wasn’t actually his name, the chances of him going to her were minimal, which meant the weight of finding Fred fell on Waverly’s shoulders.

She’d been searching for 10 minutes already and hadn’t seen a single sign of him. She was trying desperately to hold back the stress tears, and to not think of what she would have to do if they couldn’t find him.

She’d have to tell Rosita she lost her dog and tell Nicole that she was a big fat liar all on the same day, and that was just far too many crises for anyone to deal with on a Monday. Not to mention that she felt bad for Fred. What if he was scared? What if he thought they had just abandoned him?

“Freddy!” She tried to emulate Rosita’s baby voice as she jumped over a log, in the hope that maybe he’d decide he’d had enough adventuring for one afternoon and come ‘running’ back.

As the minutes dragged on, she got more and more frustrated, both with herself and with Fred. She had had to carry him for 15 minutes because he didn’t want to walk for crying out loud, and then when they had been busy for five goddamn minutes –

“Waverly!” Nicole shouted, and she whipped her head towards the sound.

“Yeah?” She shouted back, holding her breath in hope that she had some good news.

“You’re gonna want to see this!”

Was that good news or bad news?? Waverly began to pick her way back through the trees as fast as she could, managing to narrowly avoid getting slapped around the face by a few low hanging branches.

As she broke out into the meadow, she saw Nicole and Skip stood at the other side, waving her over. She jogged through the grass towards them, her heart thumping at the noticeable lack of Fred.

“Where is he? Is he okay?” she panted when she finally reached them.

“I’d say so,” Nicole smirked and turned back towards the trees, making her way through them.

“What’s so funny?” Waverly asked, still standing in the meadow.

“Just come and have a look,” Nicole called over her shoulder, gesturing with her hand for Waverly to follow.

 

===========

 

“What was the ONE THING I told you we weren’t going to do today?” Waverly said crossly, her arms folded over her chest.

Her, Nicole and Skip were stood staring at Fred, who had made himself comfy in an absolutely huge patch of mud.

He didn’t bark this time, opting instead to just blink his big bulging eyes at her, as if he could feign some kind of innocence.

“Don’t give me those puppy dog eyes Mister, you knew exactly what you were doing. Now stop being silly and come out of the mud,” she scolded. Fred didn’t move a muscle. She could hear Nicole trying and failing not to laugh next to her, which didn’t help her current levels of annoyance.

“Not a peep out of you!” She warned, Nicole’s eyes widening as she clamped her lips tightly together.

“Come on Wynonna, out you come.” She dug a treat out of pocket and tried waving it around a bit to catch his attention, but still he remained in his spot: belly down in the mud.

She heard a tiny squeak leaving Nicole’s mouth and turned to see her falling apart trying to hold in her laughs.

A sudden mischievous idea crossed Waverly’s mind. Right now, Nicole only thought this was funny because it was Waverly who was going to have to deal with it. But if Skip was as well trained as Nicole made him out to be, then there was a way she could make this Nicole’s problem too.

“Skip!” Waverly called, and he was next to her in an instant. “What’s this?” She held out the treat and his eyes watched it like a hawk, poised and ready to catch it if and when she decided to drop it.

“What are you –“ Nicole asked in confusion, but Waverly just held up one of her fingers to tell her to shh.

“Skip... go get it!” She launched the small Boneo up into the air and watched as he chased after it without a second thought as to where he’d have to go to get it.

“No!” Nicole called out, but it was too late, Skip was in the mud now too. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as bad off as Fred, his height meant that he only had muddy ankles, but she’d see what her could do about that.

She dug another treat out of her pocket and held it out in her fingers. “Skip, sit!” Skip’s bottom hit the mud with a satisfying squelch.

“Waverly.”

“Skip, lie down!”

“Waverly Earp.”

“Skip, roll over!”

Waverly squealed as she was suddenly lifted into the air, Nicole’s arms wrapped around her thighs as she carried her over her shoulder.

“Two can play at this game Earp!” Nicole yelled playfully, as she walked towards the edge of the mud. Waverly’s eyes widened as she realised what was about to happen and she began to kick her legs to try and prevent Nicole from getting any closer.

“Nooo!” she screeched, “I’m sorry! Nicole please, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!!!”

“Nope! Too little too late!” She laughed before shifting Waverly off her shoulder dangling her precariously close to the mud.

“If I’m going down then I’m taking you with me!” Waverly warned, her fist balled in Nicole’s t-shirt.

Their eyes met, both of them trying to tell whether the other was bluffing.

They were both silent, only the sound of Skip’s crunching filling the air.

“Okay, fine.” Nicole leant backwards, pulling Waverly back from the mud. Before she could so much as sigh in relief, she felt Nicole slipping underneath her, and suddenly both of them were crashing downwards.

Waverly spluttered and wiped her face, making eye contact with Nicole who was doing the same. She looked down as Fred climbed happily onto her lap and sat down, the mud on his body squelching against the mud on her legs.

“I hate you,” she muttered.

Fred’s tongue darted out to lick her face, and she couldn’t help but laugh.

 

============

 

“Here you go,” Waverly made her way over to Nicole who was sat on her couch and handed her a steaming mug of hot chocolate. She’d made her the Earp special: a ton of whipped cream, a sprinkling of mini marshmallows, a few chocolate buttons and a dusting of grated chocolate.

“Wow, this looks amazing!” Nicole said as she took it from her hands, blowing a strand of wet hair out of her face.

On their return to the homestead, they had given the dogs a shower, which thankfully, had gone a lot smoother than their first attempt. They’d then taken it in turns to clean up, although Waverly had almost suggested that they shower together. She had to remind herself that they’d only been on two official dates, and the most they’d done was make out. Jumping straight to shower sex was potentially a bit extreme. Although she couldn’t deny that she had fantasised about Nicole whilst she was under the hot stream of water, knowing that she was downstairs. She’d made sure to let the water run cold before she got out, as if she could wash away the filthy thoughts. It was probably safe to say that it had in no way shape or form worked.

Waverly sat down next to Nicole, folding her legs underneath her whilst expertly making sure she didn’t spill any of her drink. She began to eat the cream off the top, watching Nicole as she did the same. Once she got down to the actual hot chocolate, she took a sip and then placed the mug onto the coffee table. She could see that Nicole still hadn’t finished all her cream, so she quickly darted forwards and scooped some up with her finger.

“Hey!” Nicole complained, her voice faltering as she watched Waverly suck her finger into her mouth and release it again with a pop, free of cream. “on second thoughts,” Nicole said slyly, “help yourself.” She offered her mug towards Waverly.

She didn’t know what was happening to her, but it was like her hormones had hijacked her body, and they weren’t going to give it back until they were satisfied.

She dipped her finger into the cream again, but this time offered it out towards Nicole’s mouth instead. Nicole held her gaze, quirking her eyebrow at the challenge. Without breaking eye contact, she grabbed Waverly’s wrist and guided her finger into her mouth, making sure to swirl her tongue over every inch in order to get all the cream.

Holy mother of god.

Waverly shuddered as all the blood in her body rushed to a single spot in between her thighs and suddenly all she could think about was Nicole using her tongue elsewhere. She swallowed thickly as Nicole released her finger but kept her grip on Waverly’s wrist. She leaned forwards to deposit her mug next to Waverly’s on the table and then tugged gently on her wrist, encouraging her to come closer.

Waverly had to make a conscious effort to move slowly, her body fighting to just launch herself onto the other woman. She shuffled closer, and Nicole deposited Waverly’s hand to the back of her neck, where she immediately wrapped her fingers in the red locks.

With a sudden need for closeness, Waverly swung one of her legs over both of Nicole’s so that she was straddling her and leaned in for a kiss. Nicole’s hands were splayed wide on both of her thighs, moving up and down as Waverly pressed deep into the kiss. This time, she was the first one to swipe her tongue across the other woman’s lip, and she was rewarded with a soft moan. The sound shot across her skin like electricity, and without really meaning to, she ground her hips downwards onto Nicole’s thighs.

The move seemed to have triggered something within Nicole, as Waverly suddenly felt herself being spun around, her back hitting the couch cushions and the pleasing weight of Nicole’s body lying down on top of her. The kiss was quite literally breathtaking, and she was somewhat thankful when Nicole moved the attention of her lips down to Waverly’s neck, giving her an opportunity to catch her breath again.

She moved her head over to the side, to give Nicole better access, her eyes almost rolling back in her head at the feeling of Nicole’s tongue darting over her pulse point paired with her fingertips moving underneath her shirt.

It was then that she saw it. Two sets of big, round eyes staring straight at them. Waverly blinked, the movements of her hands over Nicole’s back suddenly halted. Nicole didn’t seem to notice, and continued to kiss down her throat, her hands wandering dangerously close to her breasts.

This was weird. She was definitely not into being watched.

She tried to get back into the moment, closing her eyes and letting all the amazing sensations wash over her, but it was no use. The moment was ruined.

“Nicole, stop.” Waverly sighed, shifting on the couch to prop herself up with her elbows. Nicole stopped what she was doing immediately, holding herself up with her hands.

“Are you okay?” Nicole asked, the concern apparent on her face.

Waverly flicked her eyes to the side, indicating that Nicole should look too. She looked at the dogs, who were still sat staring at them, and then looked back down at Waverly, grinning.

“What? You never got it on in front of Wynonna before?” she asked, wiggling her eyebrows playfully.

Waverly hesitated, cringing at the double meaning of Nicole’s question, desperately trying to decide what the best thing to say was.

Realisation of some sort seemed to cross over Nicole’s face and she suddenly pushed her body away from Waverly’s, leaving her cold with her top pushed up around her ribs. She looked at Nicole in confusion, unsure as to what conclusion she had come to.

“Oh, you’re a vir- sorry! I shouldn’t have assumed!” Nicole stammered, her cheeks flooded with colour so that they matched her hair.

“What? I’m not a virgin!” she laughed, pulling Nicole back down over her.

“It’s totally okay if you are!” Nicole said reassuringly, holding her body awkwardly so there was a small gap between them.

“Nicole, I’m not,” she said pointedly, gazing into the other woman’s eyes and tugging on her t-shirt, already missing the weight of Nicole on top of her. Nicole finally relaxed, and Waverly was able to bring her into a searing kiss, before suddenly remembering why they had stopped in the first place.

“Nope, it’s no good, I can’t do this with an audience.” She pushed Nicole’s chest lightly and sat up, reaching for her mug of hot chocolate instead.

“Movie?” Nicole suggested with a warm smile, and Waverly loved the fact that she didn’t need to explain her discomfort any further. She could think of a couple of people she’d dated in the past who would have tried to persuade her to keep going.

“Movie.” She confirmed, before snuggling into Nicole’s side and giving her a quick peck on the cheek.

 

===========

Chapter Text

 

Two weeks. Two weeks of pure bliss with Nicole and two weeks of accidentally not telling her the truth. The problem was that things were just so easy and natural when they were all together that she couldn’t bring herself to burst their little bubble. The guilt, however, was slowly becoming unbearable, and although she really really really wanted to take things to the next level with Nicole, she just couldn’t whilst she still had this lie gnawing away at her insides.

Of course, it wasn’t like Nicole had been pushing her to do anything. They’d make out on the couch, or in the woods, or in Nicole’s truck, or in the – well just about anywhere, and then Waverly would (begrudgingly) put a stop to things and Nicole would just smile her adorable smile.

If nothing else, it had been somewhat exhausting trying to juggle her double life; hiding Nicole and Fred from Wynonna and vice versa. What it really came down to, is that she just wanted to be able to spend time with Nicole without first needing to schedule a million different things. She craved the spontaneity that she so loved in the early stages of dating, where she could just text Nicole to come over at 8pm because she missed seeing her face.

They had plans to see each other tomorrow evening, and she decided there and then that she was going to tell her. She was going to cook her a lovely meal, and then drop the truth bomb. And if Nicole never wanted to see her again afterwards, well then, she would just have to deal with that.

But if she did still want to see her, well then, all restrictions would be off. Instead of pulling away when Nicole’s hands began to wonder under her shirt, she would let them glide over her torso and use her own hands to pull Nicole’s comforting weight down on top of her. She wouldn’t stop Nicole if she wanted to press her thigh firmly in between hers, applying just about the right pressure to –

Waverly shuddered, suddenly rousing herself from her daydream. There was no point getting carried away when she didn’t even know if Nicole would be sticking around.

Waverly realised that she had just been sat on the toilet completely spaced out, not doing anything other than getting lost in her thoughts. She clicked the home button on her phone which was resting on the side so that she could make sure that she still had plenty of time.

Shit!

She was already running late, and she wasn’t even dressed yet. She quickly jumped up, flushed, and ran across the hallway into her bedroom, grabbing the Shorty’s t-shirt Wynonna had left out for her. There was some kind of day-long event which Wynonna needed help with, and Waverly had promised she would get there early to help her finish setting up. However, at this rate, she was barely even going to make it for the start of the event.

She barreled into the kitchen and pulled various ingredients from the fridge so she could make some lunch for her and Wynonna, before realising that she had left her phone upstairs in the bathroom. As she made her way back up the stairs, she could hear it ringing, and ran as quickly as she could to retrieve it before it cut out, suddenly excited that it could be Nicole.

She made it just in time, grabbing it from the side and bringing it up to her ear, slightly breathless.

“Hello?” She said, already making her way back down the stairs and into the kitchen. If she was going to avoid completely pissing Wynonna off then she would have to multitask.

“Hey Waves! It’s Rosita!”

“Oh hey!” She replied, pulling the loaf from the bed bin and opening the draw where the bread knife was usually kept “What’s up?”

She sifted through the utensils, positive that she had returned the knife there when she had tidied up the previous day.

“So, work called me in today despite me having this day booked off months ago, some kind of emergency apparently,” Rosita complained. Waverly was half listening, half going crazy over the absence of the bread knife. Where the hell was it? Knives didn’t just disappear.

“Oh, that sucks,” she replied, hoping Rosita didn’t notice the slight delay.

Waverly shifted the phone from one ear to the other, hoping that Rosita wasn’t talking at that precise moment, and opened the cupboard where they kept the glasses. There, precariously propped up against the side, was the bread knife.

“Aha!”

“Amazing! so you’ll do it?” Rosita confirmed.

Waverly suddenly realised she had no clue what they were talking about.

“Wait what? Sorry, I’m running late and trying to make a packed lunch.” She cut a few slices off the loaf and began to spread some mayonnaise over them.

“I asked if you could look after Fred today?”

“Ahh no Sweetie I’m sorry, not today! I already promised I’d help Wynonna at Shorty’s, she’s got some big event going on. Are you going to be okay? I can see if she can spare me?” She couldn’t help but feel bad, she hated feeling like she was letting people down when they needed her.

“No don’t be silly! I’ll work something out! You go enjoy your day with Wynonna. Oh, and tell her it wouldn’t kill her to call me once in a while!”

Waverly smirked, “She doesn’t make a habit of calling her one-night stands.”

“Pfft that was the greatest night of her life, she’s just too stubborn to admit it,” Rosita laughed.

Waverly closed her eyes and shook her head, she still didn’t fully understand what had happened between the two of them. “Okay can we stop talking about this now?”

“You brought it up!”

“Yeah and now I’m bringing it down again!” She argued playfully, pulling some salad from the bag and squashing it in between two slices of bread.

“That’s not a saying.”

“It is now!”

“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Rosita reminded her.

“Shit yes, I’ll talk to you soon okay! Give Freddy a hug from me!”

 

============

 

Nicole yawned and rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she read the magazine on the kitchen counter waiting for the kettle to boil, the familiar wet nose budging into her bare leg drawing out a sleepy smile.

“Morning Skip,” she yawned again, reaching down her hand without looking and threading her fingers through the soft fur on the top of his head.

She was reading Waverly’s newest article which had come out in last week’s edition of Nat Geo, and she couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of pride. The writing was genius; the perfect balance between captivating storytelling and remaining true to the facts.

She grunted as two paws landed on the side of her chest, Skip standing on his hindlegs to try and coax more scratches out of her.

“You wanna read too huh?” she asked him, scratching up and down his side as he panted loudly.

A single sharp bark echoed around her kitchen. She flicked her eyes to the clock on the microwave: 7.30am on the dot.

“Ohh it’s breakfast time is it?” Skip jumped back down onto all fours and spun around on the spot. Despite the fact that they went through the same routine every single morning, apparently the prospect of food was still just as exciting as it had been when she’d first brought the tiny bundle of fluff home.

“Come on then.” She made her way over to the counter in the utility room with Skip following closely behind and pulled out his bowl and a tin of food from the cupboard.

“Sit,” she commanded, and his bottom hit the ground instantly. She smiled smugly to herself as she began to empty the contents of the can into the bowl; her success in training Skip was still one of her proudest achievements.

She bent down and placed the now full bowl onto the mat and made her way back out into the kitchen, leaving Skip to swallow down his food. Pouring some hot water into her mug, she collected her phone from the table and carried both items over to the couch.

Today was going to be a lazy kind of day. She had no walks scheduled, and unfortunately, she wasn’t seeing Waverly until tomorrow, which meant that she was planning on staying in her pajamas and watching TV for as long as possible before Skip started pestering her for a walk.

Nicole checked her phone more than she cared to admit whilst she watched the first couple of episodes of Friends, hoping for a new message from Waverly inviting her over today instead. To say she was crazy about her was perhaps an understatement. She could honestly say that she had never met a woman quite like Waverly Earp.

Everything about her set her heart racing. Her sense of humour, the way her eyes crinkled when she smiled, her genuine love and passion for her work, her ability to switch from playful to sensual in the blink of an eye, not to mention the obvious fact that she was sexy as hell. She felt like she was dating a model, but one who didn’t realise that she was one, which made her all the more adorable.

The only issue, which wasn’t really an issue per se, was that Waverly always seemed to be a little bit on edge. Nicole had tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible, letting Waverly take the reigns whenever things got a little heated, but still there just seemed to be something a little off. She couldn’t help but think it was something she was doing to make Waverly feel like she couldn’t let go. Maybe she would bring it up over dinner tomorrow, try and communicate her feelings a little better.

The sound of her phone ringing made her jump, and she frowned down at the number, before accepting it and lifting it to her ear.

“Hello?”

“Hi! Is this Haught Dogs?” An enthusiastic woman asked. Nicole sat up straighter on her couch, suddenly switching into work mode as she muted the television.

“Hello! Yes, this is Nicole Haught of Haught dogs, how can I help?”

“Hi, so I was wondering if you could help me out, I know it’s super last minute but I’ve been called into work and the usual person who looks after my dog is working today too, is there any chance you could dog sit?”

“Absolutely, my schedule is totally free.” Sure, she had been looking forward to PJ’s and TV, but this was her job for a reason: she really fucking liked dogs. “I’m going to need to take a few details if that’s okay?”

“Yeah of course it is, what do you need?”

She leaned forwards to grab the notepad and pen from the coffee table, not trusting her memory to retain everything the other woman told her.

“Name of yourself and your dog?”

“Rosita and Fred Bustillos.”

“And your address?”

The woman reeled off an address that, thankfully, she recognised.

“Oh, you’re not too far from me then!” Skip padded over to where she was sat on the couch and stared at her meaningfully. He knew exactly what was going on, and he wanted to make sure that he wasn’t going to be left behind. “Does Fred get on with other dogs?” Nicole asked, trying to ignore Skip’s never-blinking eyes. If Rosita said that he didn’t, then she’d have no choice other than to leave Skip in the house; an act that would no doubt have him sulking for days.

“Yeah he’s as good as gold! He’s a pug so he won’t be picking fights with anyone. Do you have much experience with pugs as a breed?”

She sighed in relief and gave Skip a thumbs up, his tail beginning to wag at the approval.

“He’ll be the second pug on my books,” she explained, her mind instantly drifting to Waverly and Wynonna. “I didn’t know Purgatory had such an affinity with them! So, what I’ll do is as this is pretty urgent I’ll come over now and sort out the rest of the details in person, that way it’ll be quicker and you can get off to work sooner. Does that sound okay?”

“That’s amazing, thank you so much!”

“No problem Rosita, I’ll be there soon.” She hung up the phone and jumped up from the couch, half-wishing she had had the foresight to get dressed in case such a call came in.

“Come on Skip, time to meet Fred.”

 

============

 

Nicole was confused. She knew sometimes dogs looked similar, but what were the chances of them looking absolutely identical in every way shape and form?

“Wait, is Waverly Earp here?” She asked the other woman, trying to work out if this was some kind of prank. She looked upwards at the door frame to see if she could spot any hidden cameras. A look of surprise mixed with a drop of confusion crossed over Rosita’s face.

“Uhh no? Wait, you know Waverly?”

Nicole was crouched down in the doorway with her hand outstretched towards Fred, who she was about 90% sure was actually Wynonna.

“Yeah, I walk her dog sometimes,” Nicole explained, still trying to come up for some kind of rational explanation for what she was seeing. She hoped she was more than just Waverly’s dog walker, but they were yet to have that particular conversation, so she wasn’t about to just go and tell random clients that they were dating.

“Waverly doesn’t have a dog,” Rosita laughed, as if the very idea that she would was hilarious.

Nicole stood up straight, her eyebrows almost getting lost in her hairline, they had jumped so high. “A-are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m positive! That girl doesn’t know the first thing about dogs, or at least she didn’t until three weeks ago.”

“Three weeks?” The pieces of the puzzle in Nicole’s mind were slowly slotting together, but too sluggishly for her to understand the full picture yet.

“Three weeks ago, she rings me out of the blue and asks if she can look after Fred. She’s been doing it pretty regularly since then. But hey, who am I to complain, free dog sitter am I right?”

So… oh. She looked down at Fred who was sniffing her boots.

Waverly fricking Earp, that sneaky little devil.


============


Waverly yawned as she stirred the vegetables around in the frying pan. It had been a long day at Shorty’s, but she was actually really proud of everything Wynonna had managed to achieve, which was why she had volunteered to cook her dinner whilst she chilled in the bath for a while.

Every now and again she would check her phone, hoping for a message from Nicole to make her smile. She hadn’t spoken to her all day, which was odd, considering she usually received at least three selfies per day of her and Skip on various adventures to add to her specially dedicated folder.

She found herself staring at her home screen: it was of the four of them, Nicole, Waverly, Skip and Fred, all covered in mud. Waverly was beaming at the camera, but Nicole was gazing at her instead, and every time she looked at the photo, she felt all gooey inside.

A knock on the front door made her start, and she quickly turned off the stove before making her way out of the kitchen. Who would possibly be coming all the way out to the homestead unannounced at 9pm on a Thursday?

She unlocked the deadbolt and cracked open the door, wary as to who it might be. She blinked in surprise and opened the door wider when she saw the effortlessly gorgeous redhead who was leaning casually against the frame all alone, for once no Skip in sight.

“Nicole wha-“ she was cut off by Nicole’s lips crushing fiercely against her own, with a hunger that she had never experienced from the other woman before. Nicole’s fingers twisted into her hair, holding their faces tightly together, and swiped her tongue over her lip. Waverly felt like she was quite literally getting swept off her feet. She couldn’t think straight, the searing kiss taking over all of her senses.

And then, just as soon as it had started, the kiss was broken, and Nicole was striding past Waverly and into the homestead. Well, that was one way to say hello. She stood swaying on the spot, trying to remember how to move her legs. If she hadn’t been so consumed by everything Nicole, she maybe would’ve realised sooner what had just happened.

“Wynonna!” Nicole called loudly.

OH FUCK.

“Wynonna! Come here boy!”

Waverly swung around in the doorway and raced towards Nicole’s back. She’d tackle her if she had to, anything to stop her from meeting –

“What?” Wynonna answered, and Waverly’s stomach plummeted down into the floor as she watched her sister coming down the stairs in nothing but a bathrobe. Her eyes widened slightly as she took in the stranger standing before her, obviously having thought it was Waverly who had been calling.

Nicole, on the other hand, didn’t seem phased by the fact that there was a random, barely dressed woman in Waverly’s house. Well, her back didn’t look phased, she couldn’t actually see her face.

“I’m looking for Wynonna,” Nicole answered confidently.

“Yeah, that’s me,” Wynonna answered, a deep V forming between her eyebrows.

“No, Waverly’s dog Wynonna.”

Waverly jumped up onto her tip toes and waved her arms frantically behind Nicole’s head, desperate to catch Wynonna’s attention. Wynonna met her eyes and watched as she gestured for her not to say anything. Unfortunately, she seemed to misunderstand. She had no idea how, arms crossing vigorously through the air obviously meant ‘don’t tell my maybe kind of girlfriend that I don’t have a dog who is also called Wynonna.’

“Waverly doesn’t have a dog.”

Aaaand there it was.

Nicole tuned slowly on the spot and folded her arms over her chest, staring down at Waverly with one of her eyebrows cocked, ready and waiting for her to say something.

“I can explain,” she spluttered, she had meant for it to sound like a statement, but it came out much more like a question.

“My truck. Now.”

“Well hold on a second,” Wynonna cut in, walking boldly over to where Nicole and Waverly were stood, and Waverly sighed in relief a little at her sister coming to her defense. “What’s this about a dog called Wynonna?”

Ah, no defending, just more questions.

“I borrowed a dog for a bit, called it Wynonna,” Waverly said quickly, turning towards the front door. She’d much rather explain to Nicole before facing the wrath of her sister.

“Woah hey there, not so fast,” Wynonna caught the back of Waverly’s sweater, stopping her from escaping.

“Was she at least a good-looking dog?”

“Uhhhh,” Where to start? The fact that it was actually a boy or that he looked like he’d run face first into a brick wall.

“It was a pug called Fred,” Nicole said smugly, seeming to get some kind of pleasure from breaking the news.

“Whaaat?!” Wynonna whipped her head back round to Waverly. “Don’t tell me you’re talking about Rosita’s dog?”

Waverly grimaced and nodded in confirmation.

“Arggkk Waves, you’re killing me here!” Wynonna threw her hands up into the air and turned away from her, making her way back towards to stairs. As she passed Nicole she patted her once on the back. “I’m guessing you’re the hot date from a few weeks ago? She’s all yours, I need to go and soak for a little while longer before I can deal with this.”

Waverly gulped as Nicole raised an eyebrow at her. Time to face the music.

 

=============

 

Waverly was sweating. It was freezing cold outside, but her clothes were sticking to her as if she was sat in a sauna. She climbed shakily into the passenger side of Nicole’s truck and almost jumped out of her skin when she saw Skip lying on the back seat.

“Hey boy,” she murmured, holding her hand out for him to sniff, “I think I’m in real trouble.” Skip lifted his head up from his paws and gave her fingertips a few licks, before resting his head down again. “Yeah, I hope she forgives me too.”

Waverly turned around in her seat when Nicole climbed in, flicking a switch on the dashboard to turn on the heating. Great, just what she needed, more heat.

“So…” Nicole started, hovering her hands over the grates to try and collect some of the heat.

“Nicole, I’m so so so so sorry!” she blurted out, “This all spiraled from some stupid misunderstanding and my inability to function properly whenever I’m around you. You said your business was called Haught Dogs and I thought you were talking about actual hot dogs, you know like the food, like maybe you delivered them or something, and then when you started talking about actual dogs I just panicked! I didn’t want you to think I was an idiot so I told you I had a dog, and I couldn’t think of any other names other than Wynonna, and I just really wanted to see you again, and then… well… I guess there was never a right time to un-tell you… well I mean there was, but I was just being an idiot… and… I… please don’t hate me?”

She was breathing heavily, trying to channel all the remorse she felt into her expression as she held Nicole’s eyes.

The loud laughter made her jerk in her seat, and she watched in confusion as Nicole clutched at her stomach, her shoulders practically vibrating.

“Wha- What’s funny?” She stammered. This was definitely not the reaction she had been expecting.

“You-“ Nicole wheezed, “You thought I sold hot dogs?” She laughed again, swiping a tear away from her eye.

Waverly blushed, the embarrassment of her mistake as fresh as the day she had made it.

“Yeah,” she said quietly, shrinking back into her seat a little.

Nicole’s laughter stopped suddenly when she saw her reaction, “oh hey, hey, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be laughing,” she reached out and grabbed one of Waverly’s hands, holding it tightly in her own. Waverly looked up at her, trying to work out exactly what she was thinking; she was getting whiplash, was Nicole mad or not?

“I just – I’m trying to get my head around this. Honestly, I feel kind of flattered. I don’t think anyone’s ever wanted me so badly that they’ve been prepared to put in this much effort,” Nicole chuckled.

“Are you mad at me?” Waverly asked, the need for clarification overriding everything else she wanted to say.

“Surprised? Yes. Thoroughly amused? Also yes. Mad? No. Never. Not with you,” Nicole said softly, bringing Waverly’s hand up to her lips and brushing them softly against her skin.

“Then who are you mad at?” Waverly frowned.

“I’m not mad at anyone!” Nicole laughed, “Why do I need to be mad?”

“Because I lied to you, for three weeks!”

“Fine. I’m mad at myself for being too blinded by your beauty to realise that you are quite obviously not a pug person, and that Wynonna was not really your dog.” Nicole winked, and Waverly could feel herself starting to relax again. Nicole really did seem strangely okay about this.

“Ah, yeah, Wynonna’s actually my sister,” Waverly grimaced, remembering she’d still have to deal with her later on.

“You don’t say,” Nicole winked, “Rosita told me all about her when I went over there to look after Fred,” Nicole grinned, and suddenly everything clicked into place.

“This morning she rang me to look after him and I said I was busy, it didn’t even cross my mind that she would ring you!”

“Ouch!” Nicole laughed, putting a hand over her heart as if it was hurting, “does my business mean so little to you?”

Waverly’s eyes bulged as she realised how what she had said must have come across.

“No! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean, I just- urggh why am I always saying stupid stuff around you?“

“Waves, I’m totally kidding. I don’t want you to ever feel like you can’t tell me something because you’re scared of sounding like an idiot, or that I’m going to judge you. I won’t do that to you, okay?” Nicole’s expression was sincere, and Waverly felt the butterflies begin their usual antics in her stomach.

“You did just laugh at me,” Waverly reminded her.

With you.”

“I wasn’t laughing.”

“Okay, but you have to admit, that was pretty funny,” Nicole was grinning, her dimples deep on her cheeks.

A small smile played on Waverly’s lips as she thought back to that first phone call.

“Fine,” she conceded, “it was pretty funny. But you try keeping a level head when the person you’re talking to looks like you!”

“But the person I’m talking to looks like you, and that’s way harder,” Nicole wiggled her eyebrows and Waverly blushed at the smooth line, even if she didn’t believe it.

“I’m going to miss him a little bit,” Waverly admitted, despite being annoying as hell, Fred had been a great source of entertainment.

“Who? Don’t tell me you have a secret boyfriend too?” Nicole teased, and Waverly wrenched her hand from Nicole’s so she could slap her on the arm.

“Fred, you idiot!”

“Ow! Okay okay! I’m done with the jokes, I promise! But you’ll no doubt see him again, he’s on my walk schedule now, and, you know, I was kind of hoping you’d be sticking around... Waves, in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m crazy about you, and in a weird sort of way, this whole thing just makes me like you even more.” Waverly’s expression softened at Nicole’s words, and her heart started up its regular nonsense of beating way too loudly in her ears.

“I’m crazy about you too,” she admitted, the heat rushing to the tips of her ears.

Her breath hitched as Nicole leaned in and caught her lips with her own, drawing her hand up the line of her jaw and cupping around the back of her neck. Waverly sighed; she had talked herself into believing that she wouldn’t get this again once she told Nicole the truth. But now everything was out in the open, and here she was, enjoying Nicole’s soft kisses once more.

Her body was twisted at a slightly uncomfortable angle as she attempted to deepen the kiss, now she had realised that all restrictions were off, her hormones were free to wreak havoc. Nicole knew, she was still here, and that meant one thing in Waverly’s mind. Granted she hadn’t really wanted their first time to be in Nicole’s truck, but there was no way she was going to do it in the Homestead with Wynonna listening in.

She tugged at Nicole’s jacket, trying to maneuver it from her shoulders, but the small space really was working against her. She felt some pressure against her side, but assumed it was Nicole’s hand. That was until it started licking her.

“Skip,” Nicole groaned, breaking away from Waverly and giving him a pointed look. He stared back at her with just as much sass. “Sheesh, can’t two girls make out without getting interrupted by a dude?”

Waverly giggled at Nicole’s joke and rested their foreheads together, entwining their fingers in her lap.

“How about tomorrow,” she said in the sexiest voice she could manage, “you wine and dine me at your place,”

“Uh-huh,” Nicole smirked, but Waverly brought one of her fingers up to Nicole’s lips to tell her she wasn’t finished.

“You wine and dine me at your place, and then you shut Skip downstairs.” Waverly let her proposition hang in the thick air, grinning as Nicole realised what she was getting at.

Nicole leaned forwards and pressed a chaste kiss to her lips, “I think that can definitely be arranged.”

 

============


Waverly walked sheepishly back into the homestead, having kissed Nicole goodbye in her truck a few moments before. She was now dreading dinner with Wynonna; that had definitely not been how she’d wanted Nicole and her sister to meet for the first time. As she re-entered the kitchen, she spotted Wynonna sitting patiently for her at the kitchen table, having swapped her bathrobe for pajamas.

“So….” Waverly trailed off awkwardly, not really knowing what to say.

“That was an elaborate scheme, even for you Waves,”

“It wasn’t a scheme! I just… I lose all common sense when I’m around her… I’m sorry for dragging you into it… kind of.”

“Did she give you a hard time?” Wynonna asked, a surprising level of concern in her voice, considering how annoyed she had been not 20 minutes earlier. Waverly had been expecting further grief about Wynonna’s name being associated with a pug.

“No. She laughed actually,” Waverly smiled at the memory, it still hadn’t really sunk in that she could finally just stop pretending.

“Sounds like she’s good for you,” Wynonna said, the tone of the conversation once again surprising Waverly.

“This whole mess didn’t even phase her and I really like her Wynonna,” she blushed, trying to ignore the dull ache in between her thighs as she sat down opposite her sister.

“Also, I see what you meant before, she is super hot,” Wynonna smirked, and Waverly chuckled, rolling her eyes at her sister.

“Don’t go getting any ideas,” Waverly warned, “she’s mine.”

“Yeah, yeah, like I need any of your sloppy seconds,” Wynonna scoffed, waving her hand dismissively, “I’ve got plenty of interested parties.”

“Oh yeah, like who?” Waverly retaliated. She hadn’t known that Wynonna had seen anyone since Rosita, and that had been just over two months ago.

“Go finish dinner,” Wynonna demanded, narrowing her eyes.

“I knew it,” Waverly smirked as she rose from the table, returning to the pan on the stove. As she began to stir the vegetables once again, she smiled to herself. It must have been some kind of miracle, but everything seemed to have worked out pretty much entirely in her favour.

 

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Chapter Text

 

“Both of you, stop hovering!” Nicole ordered as she stirred something in one pot whilst seasoning another.

Waverly pouted, she didn’t want to be one of those people who just left their date to do all the work, but Nicole was being stubborn and not letting her help. Skip was also trying to get in on the action, sitting patiently between the two of them, looking up longingly at the chicken that was on the side ready for the oven.

“Just let me –“ Waverly reached out to grab the spoon from Nicole’s fingers, but Nicole slapped her on the back of her hand.

“Waves I’m warning you, if you don’t go and chill out on the couch until I’m done in here, I’ll let Skip sleep in my bed tonight.”

Waverly narrowed her eyes at the threat. “But I’m sleeping in your bed tonight,” she bit down on her bottom lip, the thought of sharing a bed with Nicole had been replaying in her mind ever since their kiss in the truck yesterday night.

Nicole shrugged, her expression serious, “Not if you and Skip don’t leave the kitchen right this second.”

Waverly’s eyes widened and she sprinted from the room, calling for Skip to follow her. The sound of Nicole’s laughter was just audible over the sound of scrabbling paws against the floorboards. She knew that Nicole was most definitely joking, but she also wasn’t willing to risk it, the stakes were far too high. She didn’t think her body could physically take another day of not being touched by Nicole. She practically jumped onto the couch, making herself comfortable and switching on the TV to try and find something to keep her mind busy until Nicole had finished cooking.

She found an old romcom that was playing on one of the back channels and settled down into the cushions, putting up her feet and getting comfortable. Skip stood in front of her and rested his head on her arm, sniffing at her t-shirt. She absentmindedly twisted her fingers in his fur, grinning as she felt him leaning in against her hands, the tell-tale sign that he was enjoying himself.

“Ooomf.”

Waverly grunted as he suddenly jumped up onto the couch and settled down along the length of her body, pinning her arms down over her chest. “You’re so heavy!” she strained, the added weight on her chest already making it more difficult to breath. Skip rested his head onto his paws, and Waverly could feel his tail beating lazily against her ankles. She stared at him, and he stared back. There was something so warm about his eyes, like he could understand everything she was thinking without her even saying a word.

“Just… let… me…” with some effort she was able to pull her arms free, but instead of using them to shove Skip off as she probably would have done 3 weeks ago, she encircled them around him, scratching gently up and down the bottom half of his back. She knew there was a certain spot somewhere down there that would turn him into putty. She smiled as she watched his eyelids growing heavier and heavier, until they squeezed closed and failed to reopen. She continued to trail her fingers through his fur, drawing nonsensical patterns as she turned her attention back onto the television. Skip’s slow breaths pressed against her body, and she found herself matching them with her own. It was oddly calming, and before she knew it her own eyelids were sliding closed.

 

“Should I be jealous?”

Waverly blinked her eyes open, momentarily unsure as to what had happened. She squinted at the television, expecting to see the same film she had been watching, but instead saw some kind of war documentary.

Nicole was stood in front of the couch, looking down at her with a big grin, one of her eyebrows raised in question.

“Was I asleep?” Waverly asked, her mind slightly groggy as she tried stretching out her back without jostling Skip too much.

“Yeah, glad you two are getting along so well,” Nicole crouched down and scratched behind Skip’s ears. His eyes immediately flew open and he raised his head, apparently surprised by Nicole’s presence. “You taking good care of my Waves huh buddy?”

Her heart fluttered at the sound of Nicole calling Waverly hers.

As if in response to the question, Skip dragged his long, wet tongue up the side of Waverly’s face, making her squeal at the unexpected slobber.

“Right, Skip off!” Nicole clicked her fingers and pointed at the floor and Skip hopped off from atop of Waverly. Her ribs barely had time to recover before the weight was back, but this time it was Nicole who had taken up the spot, tangling their legs together and holding herself up on her elbows so that her face was hovering only inches away.

“You’re not going to lick me too are you?” Waverly giggled, rubbing the sleeve of her sweater against her cheek.

“No,” Nicole smirked, leaning down so her lips brushed against the shell of Waverly’s ear, “at least, not your face.”

Waverly gulped, too turned on by the proposition itself and the hot breath on her ear to focus on how corny the line had been. Her eyes fluttered closed as Nicole pressed a hot kiss against her jaw, and her pulse quickened so that she could feel it in her throat.

God she was so ready.

Nicole captured her lips and squeezed one of Waverly’s thighs with her hands, hiking it over her hip. Waverly wrapped her leg around Nicole’s waist, using all her effort to pull her hips in closer, to feel some kind of friction over her jeans.

Nicole’s fingers had found their way onto the bare skin of Waverly’s stomach and she shuddered involuntary as they travelled up and over her ribcage, the anticipation of them finding her already hardened nipples was almost too much to bear.

She arched her back as Nicole’s knuckles brushed against the underside of one her breasts, her desperation to be touched becoming apparent as she deepened the kiss, darting her tongue into Nicole’s mouth.

A muffled alarm sounded from somewhere nearby and Waverly groaned. She already knew what it was, but she hoped that Nicole would just ignore it and continue to fulfil every fantasy she’d had over the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, she had no such luck, and Nicole pulled away to look at her phone, her legs either side of Waverly’s thighs so that she was straddling her.

“Dinner’s ready,” she announced, making to move from her position over Waverly.

“Do we have to?” Waverly whined, she was already extremely worked up and wasn’t sure she could concentrate on anything as normal as dinner conversation.

“I slaved for an hour and a half in the kitchen and you want to throw it all away for sex?” Nicole acted as though she was offended, but there was still a mischievous glint in her eyes. Waverly grabbed a fistful of Nicole’s t-shirt and tugged her back down over her, crushing their mouths together. She swiped her tongue over Nicole’s bottom lip, and then sucked on it, dragging it out towards her. Nicole’s responding groan sent white-hot heat between her thighs.

“You mean, you don’t?” Waverly practically growled, her voice so thick and low that she almost didn’t recognise it.

Nicole brushed the tip of her nose over the bridge of Waverly’s, kissing her lips sweetly against the tip.

“I think you’ll need the energy,” she winked, before lifting herself off the couch completely and sauntering off into the kitchen.

Well… she couldn’t argue with logic like that.

 

============

 

Waverly couldn’t help but smile as she listened to Nicole animatedly recounting a story from when Skip had been a puppy. It wasn’t that the story itself was particularly funny, but it was just so endearingly evident that Nicole loved him with every bone in her body that it made Waverly feel like her heart was going to burst. She watched as Nicole ripped some of the chicken from the bone on her plate and divert it under the table instead of towards her own mouth. She’d been doing it occasionally throughout their meal, never once paying the action any attention. It was obviously another well-rehearsed routine of theirs: Skip standing under the table ready and waiting, and Nicole more than happy to fill the infinite space that was Skip’s stomach.

Nicole really was special. Waverly hadn’t noticed it in the beginning, having been far too busy trying to remember how to form coherent sentences and not make a fool of herself. But every second that she’d spent with her since then, the more obvious it became. She radiated this kind of energy that Waverly was fast becoming addicted to; a rare genuineness that was evident in everything she said and did.

“What?” Nicole grinned back at her, her head tilting in that adorable way it always did whenever she was curious.

“You’re so cute,” Waverly cooed, resting her chin on her fist.

“I’m sure you’re right, but was it something I did in particular or…? Just so I know for the future.”

Waverly shook her head slightly, “You were just being you.”

Nicole’s whole demeanor seemed to change, the previous joking exterior replaced by something soft, almost shy.

“No-one’s ever said that to me before,” she said quietly, wiping her mouth with a napkin and pushing her now empty plate away from her on the table. Waverly felt a twinge of sadness at Nicole’s statement, unable to understand how it could possibly be true.

“It won’t be the last time you hear it,” Waverly promised, standing from the table and collecting their plates, making sure to place a quick kiss against Nicole’s blushed cheek as she did so. She carried them over to the sink and began to run the hot water over them. She smiled as she felt Nicole press her front against her back, wrapping her arms around her waist and leaving small kisses over the curve of her neck and shoulders.

“You don’t have to do that,” Nicole said softly, brushing the tip of her nose along the skin behind Waverly’s ear.

“But I want to,” she smiled, turning her head slightly to look at Nicole’s face over her shoulder. “You cooked us a beautiful dinner, and now you’re going to let me do my bit, okay? Go relax on the couch and I’ll join you when I’m done.”

Nicole searched her eyes for a moment, before her resolve melted and she nodded.

“Don’t be long,” Nicole whispered in her ear, before placing a final kiss to her temple and releasing her waist, wondering off into the living room with Skip in tow.

Waverly smiled to herself as she continued to clean, the sound of the television drifting through into the kitchen. How did everything between them feel so natural? Like they had been doing this together for months, instead of weeks. What surprised Waverly most though, was that she didn’t feel scared. The idea of actually doing this for months didn’t frighten her even a single bit. On the contrary, not being able to do this for the foreseeable future for some reason or another was what filled her with dread.

As Waverly finished washing the final pan, she made a promise. Before the night was through, she was going to ask Nicole Haught to be her girlfriend.

 

==========

 

Once the kitchen was spotless, Waverly made her way back into the living room, smiling as she saw Skip curled up against Nicole’s side on the couch, his head resting in her lap as she watched an episode of Friends. Nicole looked up when she entered the room, and lifted her arm on the other side, inviting Waverly to fill the space. She filled it enthusiastically, having missed Nicole’s touch in the fifteen odd minutes she had been without it.

She brought her legs up onto the couch, folding them underneath her and leaning her thigh against Nicole’s, snuggling the rest of her body into the warmth of her side. She hadn’t forgotten about their other plans for the night, but right now, she was happy to cuddle up, as long as it was only for a few minutes.

That was, until Nicole started to draw slow circles over her arm, the almost ghostly touch sending shivers over her skin. She didn’t know if she was doing it on purpose or not, but it was definitely doing things to her. She closed her eyes, trying to ignore the pulsing in between her thighs. Surely she had enough restraint to last until the end of this episode? She shuffled a little in her seat, trying to put some distance between her and Nicole so that she’d no longer be able to reach her arm, knowing that that would be the only way she would be able to survive the last five minutes.

However, her plan backfired when Nicole’s fingers instead drifted to the back of her neck, squeezing it gently.

Oh Jesus.

Waverly had to clench her thighs together, the seam of her jeans biting into her almost painfully. She looked at Nicole out of the corner of her eye, curious as to whether she even realised the effect she was having. Nicole’s eyes were trained on the television, her lips quirking up into a smile as Ross began to play the bagpipes.

She tried to steady her breathing, counting down the seconds until the credits rolled. When they finally did, she sighed in relief, her pulse quickening in excitement at what was about to happen. She waited anxiously for Nicole to reach forward and stop the next episode from playing, but the moment never came.

Was this woman fucking serious?

Waverly couldn’t wait. If Nicole was seriously this oblivious to the mood Waverly was in right now, then she would just have to spell it out for her. She grabbed the remote from the coffee table and pressed the power button, the screen instantly turning black.

“Hey!” Waverly slammed her hand over Nicole’s mouth so she couldn’t complain any further and swung her leg over Nicole’s, displacing Skip who jumped down from the couch looking slightly disgruntled.

“Nicole Haught if you don’t take me upstairs right this second, then god help me I will go to the bathroom and sort myself out.”

Nicole’s eyes widened momentarily and Waverly worried that maybe she had been a bit too brash. But she felt a rush of arousal as she watched Nicole’s pupils darken before she was pulled in for a deep kiss, one hand falling to Nicole’s neck, the other tugging through red locks.

Unwilling to take things any further on the couch, Waverly pulled away, breaking the kiss and leaving Nicole to chase her lips. She leaned in towards Nicole’s ear, grazing her teeth gently over the shell before letting her secret fall in a hot whisper.

“Oh, and I haven’t been wearing panties all night.”

She moved backwards, standing up on slightly shaking legs, making sure not to break eye contact with Nicole’s blown pupils as she moved her finger in a ‘come here’ motion. She smirked as she saw Nicole visibly gulp, before turning and walking away from the other woman, who appeared to be frozen in place on the couch.

She was already on the first step when she heard Nicole scrambling to her feet and squealed when she felt strong arms wrapping around her waist from behind, lifting her off the step and spinning her around so she was back on level ground.

Nicole buried her face in Waverly’s neck from behind as she giggled, the kisses tickling as they passed over several sensitive spots.

“Nicole!” She laughed, trying to break free so that she could race up the stairs. She loved the playfulness, but to be frank, she was also super freaking turned on, and the stairwell just wasn’t going to cut it. She managed to twist in Nicole’s arms so that she was facing her and pressed a firm kiss against her mouth. When she pulled away, she grabbed Nicole’s hand and practically dragged her up the stairs, unwilling to waste another moment.

She heard the tags on Skip’s collar jangling, but Nicole had already shouted for him to stay before Waverly could even turn around to see if he was following. As she reached the top, Nicole wrapped her arms around Waverly’s waist again, pulling her tightly against her front, the both of them laughing as they practically stumbled across the landing towards Nicole’s bedroom.

As they crossed the threshold, Nicole kicked the door closed behind them and spun Waverly around, pinning her against it. As her back hit the wood and the breath rushed from her lungs, Nicole’s mouth was on hers, and suddenly she didn’t need the oxygen, all she needed was this woman. On her, inside of her, everywhere she could possibly be.

She pulled at the hem of Nicole’s t-shirt, edging it up over her chest as she raised her arms helpfully. The kiss was only broken for a second as the material passed over her head, but it was one second too long. She wrapped her fingers in Nicole’s hair and brought her face back to her own, her every movement charged with desperation.

Nicole’s hands were finally roaming freely, slipping under the waistband of Waverly’s jeans and squeezing the flesh of her ass. A guttural groan escaped Nicole’s mouth as she confirmed that Waverly had in fact been without underwear for the entire evening, and Waverly felt a second wave of heat crashing over her at the sound of Nicole’s pleasure.

Removing her hands, Nicole lifted Waverly’s t-shirt and sweater over her head in one swift motion but didn’t follow through when it came to her arms. Instead, Waverly found them trapped in the material over her head, Nicole holding her wrists together against the door with one hand, the other finding its way to the clasp of her bra whilst her mouth moved down over her chest.

Waverly couldn’t help but arch her back as Nicole’s hot kisses edged closer and closer to the tops of her breasts. She hardly noticed when her strapless bra fell away onto the floor, the feeling of Nicole’s lips finally closing over one of her nipples overpowering everything else. A throaty whimper fell from her lips as Nicole’s tongue flicked and sucked. She wanted nothing more than to touch Nicole, to try and reciprocate the intense pleasure she was feeling in some way, but her hands were still being held prisoner over her head.

She could feel herself unravelling at an alarming pace, the arousal pooling between her jean-clad thighs. Her chest was practically heaving, and all she could think of to do to put them on more of an equal footing was to beg.

“Nicole please,” she panted, punctuating her plea by trying to free her arms once more. Nicole released Waverly’s nipple, instead trailing hot, open-mouthed kisses along the line of her collar bone and back up to her mouth. The kiss was filthy, Nicole’s body pressing firmly against hers as she sank her tongue into her mouth.

“What do you need baby?” Nicole murmured, the nickname causing Waverly to shudder.

Fuck she had never been this turned on in her whole entire life.

“Take me to bed.”

Nicole’s eyes searched in her own for a moment, looking for some kind of hesitation, some kind of fear, some kind of sign that she didn’t want to do this, but Waverly knew she would find nothing. Nicole released her hands, freeing them from the sweater and gently guiding them down over her neck, knowing that Waverly barely had the control to do it on her own.

She bent down slightly, hooking her hands under Waverly’s thighs, and lifting her up so that her legs were wrapped around the redhead’s waist, before carrying her over to the bed.

She placed her down gently, reaching forwards to grab a pillow and sliding it under Waverly’s head. Her legs were still wrapped tightly around Nicole’s waist, her ankles hooked around each other to hold her in place. As Nicole leaned forwards to kiss her, her hips pushed down over Waverly’s centre, and a quiet whimper escaped her mouth. She couldn’t bare another second trapped inside her jeans.

As they kissed, Waverly fumbled for the button on her pants, Nicole’s fingers otherwise preoccupied working some kind of goddamn magic on one of her nipples, every roll and tug shooting straight to her core. Nicole must have felt Waverly struggling against her torso, because she moved one of her hands to still Waverly’s, breaking their kiss to move along her jaw instead. Nicole’s shifted her weight onto her knees, moving her mouth slowly down Waverly’s chest, dipping her tongue into her cleavage, trailing her lips over her ribs, drawing out heavy breath after heavy breath from Waverly’s lungs.

All she could do was watch, and even that was almost too much. She felt the muscles in her stomach jump as Nicole grazed her teeth over them, followed by soothing kisses edging closer and closer to her waistband.

Waverly could feel her heart thumping in her throat as Nicole popped open the button with ease, held her eyes, and smirked as she slowly drew down the zipper.

Fuck, Nicole was going to see her naked.

Nicole hooked her fingers into either side of Waverly’s jeans and sat back on her heels, pulling them down so they were bunched around her knees. Waverly swallowed thickly as she saw Nicole’s eyes darken, the look of pure desire immediately apparent.

Shit, was it possible to come from just a look?

The redhead dragged her fingernails over the outside of Waverly’s thighs, lowering her mouth to kiss the top of one and then the other. She was sure her entire body was quivering, the anticipation of being touched there was almost too much.

Nicole trailed her kisses down one of Waverly’s legs, freeing it from her jeans once her mouth reached the bunched-up material. She repeated the action on the other side, throwing the pants from the bed once she was done.

“Have I ever told you how goddamn sexy you are?” Nicole said as she kneeled in between Waverly’s ankles, her voice so low and husky that it made her clit throb.

Her breath hitched as Nicole crawled up her body once more, her face hovering mere inches from her own.

“I’m going to take care of you, okay baby?”

Shit this was too much.

Waverly closed the gap between them, pulling Nicole’s hair roughly to hold her mouth against her own. Nicole’s moaned, before grabbing one of Waverly’s wrists to try and free herself. She didn’t put up a fight, anticipating that Nicole wanted to divert her attention to other, more important areas. She was all too willing to let Nicole take the reins. She released her grip, panting as Nicole immediately broke away, and moved backwards, spreading her hands over each of Waverly’s thighs and pushing them apart, exposing her. If it had been anyone else, she would have felt self-conscious at the action, but her desire to have Nicole’s mouth exploring her was all she could think about.

If Nicole had neighbours, they would have thought she was watching some kind of dirty movie, judging from the downright filthy sound that left Waverly’s mouth as two of Nicole’s fingers dipped between her thighs. She drew them up through her soaking folds, spreading them apart as she squeezed on either side of her clit.

Ungh fuck!” She screwed her eyes together, her hips leaving the duvet momentarily as fresh arousal collected around Nicole’s exploring fingers. They slid so easily back and forth that she was sure she must have been dripping onto the sheets.

Her breaths were falling in shorts huffs, the pressure already building in her gut. She felt Nicole lips brush softly against her bikini line, and even though she knew what was coming, she still wasn’t prepared.

Nicole sank two of her fingers deep inside Waverly’s entrance, whilst simultaneously sucking her swollen clit into her mouth. There were no sounds that could convey how Waverly felt in that moment. Her mouth fell open, her head pressing back into the pillow as her throat strained, nothing but silence falling from her lips.

Nicole drew her fingers back slowly, curling them as she pulled out, leaving just the tips inside to tease her. She released Waverly’s clit from her mouth but wasted no time in flicking her tongue over it as she plunged her fingers inside once again.

Waverly balled one of her fists in the sheets, the other making a wild grab for Nicole’s hair. As she tugged, Nicole hummed, shooting vibrations over her already throbbing clit.

Nicole repeated the slow movements of her fingers, thrusting and dragging again and again, continually working her tongue in soft and hard strokes over her, building and building until Waverly was sure she was going to snap. Just when she thought she couldn’t take anymore, Nicole lifted one of Waverly’s legs up off the bed and over her shoulder, and suddenly her fingers were even deeper, hitting a spot inside of her that she didn’t even know existed.

Fuck I’m gonna –

She couldn’t finish her sentence. Her orgasm hit her like a ton of bricks, shaking her whole body as wave after wave crashed over her. Nicole continued to curl her fingers as Waverly’s walls clenched around them, the wet, squelching sounds only adding to her high.

When she could finally open her eyes, Nicole was smirking down at her, propped up on one of her forearms. Waverly’s walls clenched at the sight of her, and she was surprised to feel Nicole’s fingers still buried deep inside.

“Wow,” she murmured, her throat raw from all the sounds Nicole had dragged out of her.

Nicole grinned and pressed a firm kiss against her mouth.

“I’m gonna pull out now okay?”

Waverly nodded, shuddering as Nicole slowly removed her fingers, dragging them almost lazily up through her folds. Waverly grabbed her wrist and guided Nicole’s fingers, still coated in her arousal, up to one of her nipples, circling the still hardened bud and covering it in the slickness.

Nicole practically growled, before diving down to swirl her tongue over the glistening flesh, sucking it into her mouth and releasing it with a pop.

“That was so hot,” Nicole croaked as she dotted kisses against Waverly’s chest.

“Yeah?” Waverly asked. She’d known it had been hot for her. God hot wasn’t even good enough of a word anymore. But the idea that it had some kind of similar effect for Nicole was almost too much to consider.

“Oh yeah,” she responded, “I think my boxers are ruined.”

Waverly wasn’t quite sure what came over her, but she hooked her bare leg around Nicole’s jean-clad one and pushed with all her might, flipping Nicole over so her back was against the bed and Waverly was straddled over her thighs. She swiftly popped open the button, and began to drag them down, Nicole lifting her hips helpfully. She shuffled back on the bed as she got to Nicole’s feet, and pulled them free of the jeans, throwing them to join Waverly’s in a crumpled heap on the floor.

Waverly’s breath caught in her throat as she looked in between Nicole’s legs. She was wearing a pair of light blue boxers, and there was a very noticeable wet patch marking the cotton.

Jesus Christ that was way hotter than she thought it was going to be.

She leaned forwards, dragging her nose up the inside of Nicole’s thigh, only one destination on her mind. When she reached Nicole’s boxers, she drew in a deep breath, practically burying her nose in the material.

Fuck,” Nicole moaned, and Waverly felt fingers grasping in the hair at the back of her head, her hips rising slightly from the bed, pushing her centre into her face. She’d fully intended to drag this out, to enjoy it, to explore every part of Nicole. But she couldn’t. She needed this just as badly as Nicole did.

She tucked her fingers into the waistband of Nicole’s boxers and pulled, barely taking a second to discard them before swiping her tongue over her entrance.

The taste.

Nicole was practically dripping, and Waverly eagerly dragged her tongue through the hot, silky folds, collecting everything she could. She was vaguely aware of the moans that were echoing around the room, but she couldn’t even be sure who they were coming from.

She reached around each of Nicole’s thighs, pulling her centre impossibly closer, desperate to explore every inch of the other woman. She avoided Nicole’s clit, instead choosing to move back down to her entrance.

“Waves,” Nicole panted, raising one of her hands to try and touch herself.

Waverly managed to intercept her, wanting to be the one responsible for Nicole’s undoing. Taking the hint that she needed more, Waverly dragged her thumb through Nicole’s folds to collect some of the arousal before swiping it straight over Nicole’s swollen bud.

She pressed over it again, the moans tumbling from Nicole’s mouth shooting straight to her own core.

She replaced her thumb with her mouth, finally sucking Nicole’s clit, flicking her tongue quickly in alternating soft and firm strokes. As she teased a finger at Nicole’s entrance, they made eye contact, and Nicole tumbled over the edge.

The orgasm seemed to take her by surprise, and she threw her head backwards, calling out Waverly’s name in a strangled cry as her thighs clenched on either side of the brunette’s head.

Waverly continued to lap at Nicole’s core, slowing her pace as Nicole visibly relaxed back down into the duvet.

“Holy fucking Christ,” Nicole breathed, tugging gently on Waverly’s hair to signal she was done.

Waverly planted one last kiss against Nicole’s clit, smirking as her hips jerked in response.

Holy fucking Christ indeed.

 

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Chapter Text

 

Waverly’s eyes flew open, darting to the digital alarm clock which was glowing on Nicole’s bedside table. She had woken in a panic, some part of her subconscious mind alerting her to the fact that she had forgotten to do something extremely important last night. Granted, she had been a little busy, but a promise was a promise.

3.47am, that was still considered the night, right?

She could feel the front of Nicole’s body pressed up against her back, her arm slung almost possessively around her waist, holding her tightly.

“Nicole,” she whispered into the darkness, hoping on the off chance that she was awake.

Waverly shuffled slightly, hoping to rouse the other woman, and Nicole’s arm twitched in response.

“Nicole!” she repeated, a little louder this time.

“unnggg,” Nicole grunted, shooting little vibrations into the back of Waverly’s neck where her face was currently buried.

“Are you awake?”

“No,” Nicole said groggily, pulling her arm away and rolling over so she was facing away from Waverly.

“I have something I need to ask you,” Waverly whispered as she rolled too, molding her body to fit the curves of Nicole’s bare back.

“Can it wait?” Nicole twisted her head around slightly, squinting in Waverly’s direction.

“Absolutely not.”

“Okay,” Nicole sighed, shifting again so she was lying on her back, her arm outstretched to welcome Waverly to cuddle up into her. Waverly was happy to snuggle in, humming as Nicole’s fingers began to stroke through her hair. “Are you okay?”

Waverly leaned forwards and placed a soft kiss against Nicole’s chest, suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that they were here, together in Nicole’s bed. Waverly had known that they had an emotional connection, they had only been seeing each other for 3 weeks but that much was obvious. But when that was paired with the raw physical desire that had exploded between them mere hours ago, the result had been the best night of sex she’d ever had.

“You’re so beautiful,” she murmured as she kissed her again, this time over the top of one of her breasts.

“Was that your question?” Nicole huffed, her hand drifting to the back of Waverly’s neck and squeezing it in the way that had driven her crazy last night.

“No,” Waverly replied, grinning against Nicole’s smooth skin. She moved to prop herself up on one of her elbows, deciding that this kind of question really needed some form of eye contact. She took a deep breath; time to be scarily honest.

“I don’t want to lose you.”

A small V formed between Nicole’s eyebrows and she brushed a finger along Waverly’s cheek, catching a piece of hair and pushing it back over her shoulder.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said firmly.

“You wanted to,” Waverly reminded her, thinking back to the conversation they’d had on their first date.

“I hadn’t met you yet,” Nicole replied, propping herself up on her elbow too so that they were lying face to face.

“What I’m trying to say is, I don’t want to lose you, not to another town, or to another woman. I want you to be mine.”

She let her statement hang in the air, she could almost see the cogs turning slowly in Nicole’s mind. To be fair to her, it was the middle of the night and Waverly wasn’t exactly being direct.

“Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?” Nicole grinned, raising one of her eyebrows in question.

“Maybe,” Waverly grinned back, her heart racing in anticipation.

Nicole leaned in and kissed her softly, her hand pulling purposefully at Waverly’s hip under the covers. She rolled onto her back, and Waverly followed, slotting one of her thighs in between Nicole’s as she settled over the top of her.

“Is that a yes?” Waverly breathed when the kiss was broken.

“Yes,” Nicole nodded, biting her bottom lip as she fought a huge smile.

“Really?”

“As if I would have ever said no!” Nicole laughed as she encircled her arms around Waverly, her hands drifting dangerously close to her ass.

“I’ve learnt my lesson. When it comes to you, I’m double checking everything.

“That could get annoying,” Nicole teased.

Waverly leant down and placed a chaste kiss against her mouth, “Yeah, well, you’re stuck with me now.”

“Thank god for that.”

 

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Waverly was in heaven. She had drawn Nicole a bath, full to the brim with various salts and bubbles for when she got home from work. She’d lit a few candles, making sure to place them high enough that Skip was in no danger, and had got the temperature of the water just how Nicole liked it. The problem was that it was also exactly how Waverly liked it, which was why she was currently lying in it.

She sank down lower into the water as she breathed deeply, allowing the stress of her day to literally wash away. She’d found out that afternoon that she had been nominated to write the cover story for a very special issue of the magazine: their 100th anniversary issue, but she wouldn’t find out for another month whether she got the gig or not. She had to keep reminding herself not to get excited, the chances of her getting picked were pretty slim. But she couldn’t help but hope. Either way, she wasn’t planning on telling Nicole until she knew for certain. Nicole had this thing where she believed without a shadow of a doubt that Waverly was capable of anything, which really didn’t help when she ended up getting rejected more often than not. Just as she closed her eyes, letting the warmth of the water relax her completely, she heard the front door opening and closing, signaling Nicole’s return.

“Baby?” Nicole called out from downstairs. Nicole must have called her that every day for the 2 months of them being together, but it still made her feel just as soft as the first time.

“I’m in the bath!” She replied, sitting up slightly so the bubbles barely covered her chest. She ran her fingers through her wet hair, pushing it back out of her face as Nicole climbed the stairs.

“Can I come in?” Nicole asked through the crack in the door.

“I made it for you!” Waverly said proudly, holding her arms out to the room to demonstrate her work.

“Wow Waves,” Nicole said as she walked inside, taking in the candles. She smirked as her eyes fell on Waverly in the bathtub. “This is beautiful! You did this for me?” She shrugged off her jacket and hung it over the towel rack.

“Uh-huh,” Waverly grinned.

“And then proceeded to get in?” Nicole quirked one of her eyebrows, trying not to laugh.

“Well obviously I’m part of the treat,” Waverly explained. She’d known that Nicole wouldn’t have a single complaint about the situation. “Are you getting in or what?”

Nicole wiggled her eyebrows before starting to pull off her clothes at lightning speed; throwing them unceremoniously to the floor and almost falling over as she took off her jeans in a rush. Waverly laughed at just how goddamn adorable she was: eager as ever to be close with Waverly at every chance she got. Nicole practically moaned as she stepped into the water, a relaxed grin spreading across her face. She lowered herself down, positioning herself in between Waverly’s legs and leaning back, so that Waverly’s front was pressed against her back.

“Mmmmm,” Nicole hummed, moving her hands to each of Waverly’s thighs under the water. Waverly brought her hands up to the other woman’s shoulders and slowly began to massage them, working the tight muscles gently with her thumbs.

“Uhhh god,” Nicole said approvingly, “that feels so good Waves.”

“How was work?” Waverly smirked as she continued the massage. Even after 2 months, Nicole was still putty in her hands.

“I think Skip’s in love.”

“Oh yeah?” She moved her thumbs up to the base of Nicole’s neck, pressing in slightly as she worked in circles.

“Mmm. Had a new dog join us today, very beautiful, just his type.”

“What’s Skip’s type?” Waverly laughed. She’d learnt a lot about dogs since hanging out with Skip practically every day, but she wasn’t convinced that they had types. She was happy to go along with it though, for Nicole.

“Oh you know, agile, intelligent, hair for days-“

“Is this his type or yours?”

Nicole chuckled, squeezing her hands over Waverly’s thighs. She turned her head slightly over her shoulder to grin at her, and Waverly placed a quick kiss against her temple.

“Anyway,” Nicole continued, her shoulders visibly relaxing as Waverly worked her (self-proclaimed) magic, “he was smitten, gave her his tennis ball and everything.”

Waverly’s hands froze momentarily, “Wow, that sounds serious, are we going to have to stop him from sneaking out at night to visit her?”

“I think we might, we might even have to keep him in our bed to make sure he doesn’t leave.”

“No.”

“Come on!” Nicole leaned forward, awkwardly trying to turn in the small space so that she was facing Waverly, “he loves sleeping in the bed with us!”

Waverly was very aware of how much Skip loved sleeping in the bed with them, that was part of the problem.

“He always gets in between us and gets all the cuddles!” She pouted. On more than one occasion, she had happily gone to sleep with Nicole’s arms wrapped around her, and woken up in the middle of the night teetering on the edge of the bed, freezing cold, having been displaced by one very big, white dog.

“Is someone jealous?” Nicole tilted her head, her eyebrows raised, that playful glint in her eyes that Waverly adored.

“As your girlfriend I think I have a right to be!”

Nicole grinned and crawled forwards, placing a soft kiss against her lips and sneakily darting her tongue out to taste them. When she pulled away again, she moved to the other end of the bath and found one of Waverly’s feet, bringing it into her lap to massage.

There was a snuffling sound outside the door, and Waverly heard the floorboards creaking.

“Speak of the devil,” Nicole said, watching as the door was pushed open. Skip trotted into the bathroom, looking just as handsome as always.

“Hi baby!” Waverly cooed, bringing one of her hands out of the water to give him a scratch behind the ears. Nicole did the same, targeting his favourite spot on his back.

“You want to sleep in our bed tonight, right?” Nicole asked him excitedly.

Skip turned his attention to Nicole, cocking his head at the question.

“Nicole,” Waverly warned. She knew Nicole was just doing it to wind her up, but she also knew that it meant Skip was almost definitely going to end up in their bed tonight.

“You do don’t you?” Nicole continued in the voice she always used to try and get Skip excited.

“Nicole, don’t hype him up.” She kicked her foot slightly, trying to splash her girlfriend. She had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well.

“You wanna come up tonight?”

Nicole seemed to have realised her mistake as soon as she had made it. She had somehow forgotten that Skip couldn’t differentiate between the tenses of the English language, so asking him whether he wanted to come up tonight and asking him whether he wanted to come up right now were one and the same thing.

Both of them squealed as Skip launched himself up into the bath, sending a tidal wave of water between them. Thankfully, Nicole seemed to have been the target of his affections, and so she was the one to almost get drowned.

As she resurfaced, spluttering bubbles, Waverly couldn’t help but laugh.

“Serves you right!”

Nicole shook her head at her, her dimpled grin in full swing; their romantic bath time having been somewhat derailed, almost definitely not for the last time.

 

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Waverly beamed at her masterpiece sitting on Nicole's kitchen counter as she nursed a cup of coffee. She'd gotten up in the early hours of the morning to make the cake whilst everyone else was still snoring so she could be certain it would be a surprise, and she'd be damned if she let a little thing like lack of sleep stop her from making this the most fun-filled and exciting birthday there had ever been. She was pretty pleased with her creation; this was the first time she had made something like this, and it looked pretty darn good, even to her.

She had told herself she would wait until at least 8am before taking it upstairs, to try and give Nicole a bit of a lie in, but she was struggling to stick to that plan. 7.15am was a perfectly acceptable time for cake, right? 

Fuck it. 

She swapped her mug for the plate and spun on her heels, taking care to not trip over anything as she made her way up the stairs. The last thing she needed was to step on one of Skip's toys and simultaneously break her ankle, the cake and Skip's heart. 

She pushed Nicole's bedroom door open with her hip, her heart melting as she observed the scene. Nicole was her usual adorable self: dishevelled hair and legs twisted in amongst the sheets. Skip was spread out on Waverly's side of the bed, his head resting on Nicole's stomach and his paws moving slightly as he dreamt. 

As she entered the room, Skip opened one of his eyes, zeroing in immediately on the food in her hands. 

"Happy birthday to you," Waverly sang loudly, Nicole's eyelids flickering at the sudden noise, "happy birthday to you," she stepped closer to the end of the bed and Nicole opened her head fully as the weight of Skip’s head left her stomach.

"Baby wha-" Nicole croaked, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

"Happy birthday dear Ski-ip," Skip's ears pricked at the sound of his name, and Nicole's eyes glinted in realisation. "Happy birthday to youuu!" Skip's eyes continued to follow the movement of the cake as she placed it on top of the chest of draws, just out of his reach. 

"Happy birthday Skip!" She said excitedly crawling up the bed and propping herself up against the headboard as Nicole did the same. Skip’s tail was wagging vigorously as he stood up on the mattress and made his way towards Waverly's outstretched arms. She began to scratch his side and he immediately flopped down onto her lap, trying to roll over and present her with his belly. 

"Ohh you want a birthday belly rub?" Nicole asked in the cute voice she always used to talk to Skip as she reached over to join Waverly's hands buried in his fur. Skip’s head flopped to the side, and Waverly couldn't help but giggle; his tongue was hanging out the side of a big toothy grin, and one of his back legs started kicking in mid-air as they scratched. 

"You ready to get spoiled today huh?" Waverly asked, laughing as both Nicole and Skip whipped their heads to look at her. 

"You did more than bake a doggy cake?" Nicole said, a hint of something that sounded a lot like awe in her voice. 

"Of course," she replied, looking at Nicole as she continued to stroke Skip, "do you not usually go all out for his birthday?" 

"I mean, sure, but I wasn't expecting you to be so into it." 

"Baby," Waverly cooed, "I love Skip, of course I'm going to be into it. Today is all about Skip, it’s going to be a dog day!" The look Nicole gave her then sent her heart racing, although she wasn't quite sure what it meant.

"What?" she asked, biting her bottom lip as she searched Nicole’s warm eyes.

Nicole simply shook her head, her dimples popping as she grinned. "Nothing." 

 

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Waverly's heart had never felt so full. She was perched on a fallen tree, a flask of tea gripped tightly between her hands as she watched Nicole and Skip goofing around with each other down by the water’s edge. After Skip had devoured no less than half of his cake for breakfast (the other half was being saved for dinner), they had driven out to one of Waverly's favourite spots: a beautiful lake on the far side of the forest. 

Nicole had bought Skip a frisbee for his birthday and was currently trying to wrestle it from his jaws. Every time he brought it back, he refused to let it go, until he finally let Nicole win so she would launch it back into the water for him to retrieve. Each time she went to throw it, he would bounce up and down, barking excitedly, and Nicole's carefree laughter would carry up to where Waverly was sitting, enveloping her like a warm hug. 

"Waves, come down here and play!" Nicole shouted over to her, waving the hand which was currently holding the frisbee. Skip seemed to take this as a challenge and jumped, all four legs leaving the ground, his mouth snapping closed only mere inches from Nicole's fingers. Nicole stumbled backwards and lost her footing, and as a result ended up falling heavily onto her backside. Skip immediately jumped onto her, and a loud mix of playful shouts and barks filled the air. 

God she loved that woman

Huh. She'd never thought the actual words before. It wasn't like she was surprised, she'd known she was falling, but she hadn't expected the landing to feel so casual; to just happen out of the blue in the middle of the day. 

She downed the rest of her tea and screwed the cap back onto the flask before making her way down towards the two of them, who now seemed to be in the full throes of a wrestling match. Waverly's cheeks hurt from how widely she was grinning as she watched Nicole pushing Skip around on the ground as he tried to catch her hands with his mouth. 

Yep. This was definitely love. 

"What?" Nicole asked as she looked up at her, momentarily pausing her antics with Skip. Waverly just shook her head, content for her thoughts to remain as just that for the time being.

"Nothing."

Just then, her phone pinged, and she brought it out of her jacket pocket to see who it was. There was an e-mail from work, and she swiped across to open it, not expecting it to be anything important. It was the weekend after all, and that was when they usually sent out their newsletter.

However, the subject line ‘Congratulations Waverly’ made her frown.

“Is everything okay?” Nicole sat up, throwing Skip’s frisbee away so he would leave her alone for a few seconds.

Waverly’s fingers were shaking as she tapped onto the email and began to read.

“Waves?” The concern in Nicole’s voice was evident, and she stood up off the ground, placing a comforting hand on Waverly’s arm and giving it a squeeze.

She’d done it. She’d actually done it!

Waverly grinned as she looked up from her phone, and practically launched herself into Nicole’s arms.

“I’m writing the cover story for the magazine’s 100th anniversary issue!” She squealed excitedly. Nicole pulled back to look at her face, a look of pure elation and surprise on her own.

“What? Baby are you serious?!”

“Yes!!! Eeeeeek I need to start planning!”

“Ahh this is so amazing!” Nicole yelled, picking Waverly up and swinging her around. Once her feet re-joined the ground, Nicole kissed her, or at least attempted to, she was currently grinning wider than the Cheshire cat.

“I’m so, so proud of you,” Nicole breathed, the pride shining through in her voice and making Waverly’s heart flutter once again.

Definitely, definitely love.

 

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Waverly couldn’t remember ever feeling so tired, Skip’s birthday had taken more out of her than any human party she’d been to. It was only 9pm, but she could happily fall asleep right here and now. Granted, lying in the bed wasn’t exactly helping her stay awake, but she was so cosy and content that she couldn’t find it within herself to move back downstairs.

With her eyes closed, she trailed her fingers lazily along Skip’s side, breathing in the surprisingly pleasant lavender scent of his doggy shampoo. She was lying on her side with him slotted perfectly in the curve of her front, so that they were practically spooning. Skip’s front legs were wrapped possessively around his new toy as he gently licked the fur on its head. A stuffed badger had been Waverly’s contribution to his birthday, and he hadn’t left it alone since he’d ripped open the wrapping paper and pulled it out.

At the sound of footsteps, a soft chuckle, and the feeling of the bed dipping slightly behind her, she grinned into Skip’s fur at the back of his head, placing a small kiss there.

Now everything felt complete.

Nicole wrapped her arm around Waverly’s waist from behind, shuffling so the front of her body was pressed closely up against Waverly’s back. Waverly couldn’t help but hum at the feeling of soft lips brushing against the exposed skin at the back of her neck.

“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a four-way spoon going on,” Nicole chuckled, her hand momentarily joining Waverly’s in Skip’s fur before she linked their fingers together.

“There are worse places to be than wedged between two of my favourite people,” Waverly replied, her face still practically buried in Skip’s fur.

“Waves?” Nicole murmured gently.

“Hmm?”

“I love you.”

Waverly’s breath caught in her throat and she twisted her head around, suddenly desperate to see Nicole’s face.

“You do?” She almost felt like crying. What were the chances of Nicole saying it on the exact same day that she had realised herself?  

“Of course I do. You make me so happy baby, and arguably more importantly, you make Skip happy.” Nicole grinned, before placing a soft kiss against Waverly’s lips. Waverly leaned into it, before pulling away quickly, realising that she hadn’t actually said it back. It seemed so obvious to her now that she’d forgotten that Nicole didn’t actually know yet.

“I love you too by the way,” she said, turning around fully so that they were face to face, “so, so much.”

Nicole laughed breathily before closing the small gap in between them, claiming Waverly’s lips in a searing kiss and pulling her hips into her own.

 

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