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What You're Worth

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“I’m going to need you to clarify something for me.”

Nicole looked up from her book and frowned at Wynonna as she walked into the living room. “Yes?”

Wynonna plopped onto a chair. “You’re buying me a house. You’re buying Gus a house. You would’ve bought Willa house if she wasn’t a fucking asshole. You married my sister for no specific reason whatsoever. You have more money than most people in this entire city combined, yet you still go to work every single godsdamn day.”

“… And?”

“Why?”

Nicole hesitated for a moment as she closed her book and set it down in her lap. “I’ve not really thought about it before. My parents died when I was young. Barely in my teens. I had plenty of money to live on my own for the rest of my life, but… my father always told me how happy he was to help his people. It’s been our tradition. I was raised knowing that no matter how much money I had, it wasn’t worth anything if I didn’t work for it. Somehow. Anyhow. So I put in my labor just like every member of my family before me has.”

“Right. That explains why you’re a swordhead. But why help us?”

“Wynonna, let me ask you something. Do you know anyone in this country whose marriage hasn’t been in some way arranged? Either for monetary gain, or social status, or protection, or just… arranged?”

Wynonna thought for a moment before shaking her head. “No. No; I don’t. My parents were set up. Curtis sold his farm to Gus’s parents to marry her. And then you and Wave.”

“Exactly. Even without parents to set me up, I was never going to marry for love. That just doesn’t happen here. So I might as well marry someone that I could help.” Nicole grinned softly. “Falling in love was just a nice addition.”

“You’re both gross,” Wynonna scoffed. She fidgeted with her father’s wedding ring, confiscated when he and Willa had been taken to jail. “Tell me, your second, is he married?”

“Xavier?”

“Captain Dolls, yes.”

“He’s not married.”

Wynonna continued to fidget with the ring. “Interesting.”

Nicole raised an eyebrow. “Would you-”

“Dinner’s ready,” Waverly said as she stepped into the room.

“Come here for a moment, my dear,” Nicole said, holding a hand out to her wife.

Waverly smiled gently and took it, allowing Nicole to pull her forward to sit in her lap. “Hi.”

Nicole beamed at her and gave her a quick kiss. “Hi.”

Wynonna groaned and rolled her eyes. “Whenever you’re both done.” She stood up and headed for the kitchen, trying to hide the smile on her face.

“How are you?”

Waverly tapped Nicole’s cheek. “You’ve asked me that every day.”

Nicole rested their foreheads together. “I know. But your father and your sister are going to be in prison for the rest of their lives. That matters.”

“I’m fine, darling. I swear.” Waverly kissed Nicole slowly, threading her fingers through the back of her wife’s hair. “I have you. And Wynonna. And Gus. And Chrissy. I have so much more than I ever dreamed I would have.” She ducked her head shyly. “I do wish that I could give you more in return sometimes, though. I still occasionally feel like… I don’t know. Like I’m not doing enough.”

Nicole reached up, pushing a strand of hair behind Waverly’s ear. “Do you love me?”

“More than I ever thought was possible.”

“Then what more could I ask for?”

Waverly laughed, kissing Nicole so quickly that it was almost a bite. “I’m not sure that’s an even trade.”

Her wife gave her a steady smile. “That depends on what I think you’re worth.”