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Nicole slows her vehicle to a stop at the stoplight, tapping on the steering wheel as she waits for it to turn from red to green.  She waits and waits and waits, but stills her movements at the sight of an older woman beginning to cross the street.  She seems to be waning with her balance, hands too full for her to use her cane to walk.

 

She quickly pulls on the gear shift of her vehicle as she peeks at the rear view mirror to make sure no one is behind her.  She pulls the car into reverse and presses the vehicle into a parking spot against the curb.  Turning off her vehicle, she pushes the door open and climbs out.

 

She rushes to the older woman and scoops for a few of her bags, "Let me help you, ma'am."

 

"Oh my, thank you," the woman hums.  The woman gives Nicole a once over, taking in her attire and realizing that she belongs to the police department.  The woman's eyes widen, a grin sliding across her mouth as she leans more against her cane.  "You're so kind."

 

"My pleasure, ma'am," Nicole replies.

 

She follows slowly behind the woman, careful not to rush her.  The woman goes to a car across the street.  The woman struggles to get her keys out of her purse, accidentally dropping them onto the wet asphalt.  Nicole quickly squats to the ground, setting the bags on the ground and grabs her keys.  She hands them over to the older woman.

 

"Officer Haught," the woman says, looking sharply at Nicole's name badge, "You wouldn't be Nicole, would you?"

 

She stutters for a moment as the woman gives her an inquisitive look.  She doesn't know what is going on around here, if she's the subject of town gossip or what.  She hasn't a clue where her name would have originated, but she suspects it's the Sheriff.  She only hopes he's at least bragging about her.

 

"The new recruit," Nicole confirms.  The woman's smile splits a bit as she lightly shakes her head.  The response is rather confusing for Nicole.

 

"You're lovely," the woman says, "Reminds me of that Waverly Earp."

 

The woman's smile doesn't wane as she turns to unlock her car and wordlessly allows Nicole to help her store the groceries into the back seat.  Nicole, however, is left reeling that this woman is not the first person to mention that name.  She has heard it multiple times now.  And, every time, Nicole is left with the impression that everyone is in on something that she isn't.

 

She just wants to get to the bottom of it.

 

She's only met the woman 1 time and, as lovely as she was, it was all good and well when it was only Nedley who had suggested she get to know Waverly.  But now it was many of the town's people applying the pressure.  Nicole had half a mind to believe she was being duped by them all, like she was on the brunt end of a sick joke.

 

But despite herself, she had felt drawn to Waverly in a way that even if she was being mocked by the rest of the town she wouldn't be able to protect herself from it.  There was something about Waverly Earp that really caught her interests.  She had reassured Waverly that their coffee, scheduled promptly for tomorrow on her first day off, was just between friends.

 

Besides, in a world like this, personal attachment and feelings were irrelevant.  She's already met the person she's supposed to end up with, the person she is supposed to spend the rest of her life caring for.  Love is merely a concept she won't be afforded.  And she would not drag Waverly into this complex situation with her.

 

Nicole dated casually in the big city but, in a small town like this, that was most likely never going to be an option for her.  She could always use a friend though.

 

-

 

Nicole is, well, not nervous per se, but she's nervous.  Waverly Earp had been a name suddenly mentioned to her by several different people, almost like everyone in the town knew something that she didn't.  The sheer mentioning of Waverly's name repeatedly had almost made her cancel even meeting up with Waverly.

 

She feels like an absolute nervous wreck as she taps out incoherent Morse code on the table top, the coffee shop already bustling with patrons.  They had agreed to meet up at 9am and the time on her phone is sporting a very unforgiving 9:04.  Maybe Waverly has decided to do them both a favor and just not show up, maybe she'd heard all of the talk around town, people pushing them to hang out.  It was creepy.

 

The clock switches impatiently to 9:05 and a huff accidentally slips out of Nicole's mouth.  She fiddles with the sleeve of her maroon sweater, tugging it all of the way down to her wrist until it touches the beginning of her palm.  She's been sitting here, waiting long enough, that she's beginning to question her entire attire.

 

She grumbles a little as she gives herself a once over and stands up.  She grabs her jacket off of the back of her chair and quickly steps forward, not even bothering to look up.  She slams right into something, a gasp escaping her as she looks up.  She lifts her hands quickly to still the person she's ran directly into, fingers desperately pressing into the person's sides to keep them from toppling over.

 

"Shit, Waverly," Nicole says, breathless.  She doesn't know if she forgot how to breathe from the impact or from the sight of the woman in front of her.  Waverly is a vision, absolutely stunning in her pink, low cut top.  Which Nicole now realizes she's been staring straight down.  She swallows and says, "I'm so sorry.  I didn't see you.  Are you okay?"

 

"Were you leaving?" Waverly asks, equally taken aback.  Nicole suddenly realizes that Waverly is braced against her, hands on her clavicle bones.  Waverly's nimble fingers slide down her front only coming to a stop at her stomach, palms relieving the pressure as her fingertips linger.  "I know I'm late.  Wynonna needed me to drop her off somewhere and wouldn't stop chattering long enough to get out of the car."

 

Waverly laughs, the noise sounding a bit nervous.

 

"No," Nicole lies, "I was just going to, um..."

 

She trails off slowly, realizing that her hands are still on Waverly's waist and half of the people in the room are staring at them.  She breathes in deep and releases her hold on the beautiful sight before her.  She'd felt Waverly's skin beneath the hem of her pink top, the warmth of Waverly's skin almost more than her brain could compute.  Her mouth is suddenly dry, and Waverly's light blue jeans tightly hugging her legs certainly aren't helping any.

 

"You were totally bailing," Waverly accuses.  Waverly's fingertips retract from her stomach and the lack of contact is almost something she hadn't mentally prepared for.  Since when has it been so abnormal to fail to process someone is no longer touching her?

 

"Okay, I was leaving," Nicole admits, voice immediately going an octave higher as she prepares her defense, "But I thought you stood me up."

 

"I wouldn't," Waverly says, chin dropping low.  She looks up at Nicole through her eyelashes and Nicole really doesn't know how to register a look like that.  Nicole smiles softly.  "Nicest person in Purgatory, remember?"

 

Nicole nods at the reminder.  She takes a half step back and replaces her jacket onto the back of the chair she had previously been sitting in.  She sees Waverly shimmy her jacket off out of the corner of her eye and the jiggling movement is distracting.  She wonders if Waverly realizes that she's attractive, if she knows just exactly what kind of feelings she could invoke in a person.

 

Nicole stands upright again, feeling a startling amount of eyes on her.  She looks around the room and notices that people are still staring.  She squirms a little, shifting her weight from one foot to the other as Waverly places her jacket on the back of the chair she's standing beside.  Waverly turns on her heel and steps towards the counter.  Nicole follows her, her hand drawn to the woman beside her as her fingers press into Waverly's spine.

 

"Waverly," Nicole says quietly, leaning towards her.  Waverly is just short enough that Nicole has to bend at the knees just a little if she wants to be quiet yet loud enough for Waverly to hear her.  She swallows and says, "Can I ask you something?"

 

"Anything," Waverly says.

 

"Is there something going on here?" She asks.  She's extremely confused by the amount of people watching her intently.  She feels like a caged animal.

 

"What?" Waverly looks over at her then, nose incredibly close to Nicole's, but Nicole can see the deep furrow of Waverly's eyebrows.  Waverly studies her for a moment, and Nicole can see the unasked question in her green eyes.  The tint of green is breathtaking, almost like nothing else that she’s never seen before.  And she practically lived at the beach for a month straight.

 

"People are staring," Nicole points out, "They're whispering."

 

"Whispering?" Waverly repeats, the same needling look in her dilated pupils.  Waverly looks like she got caught red handed, a slight blush creeping up Waverly’s neck.

 

"They've been whispering about me for days," she replies, "Like they know something about me even I don't know."

 

"You're just new," Waverly says.  Nicole watches as Waverly's shoulders drop, like she's relieved.  Nicole doesn't know why, but she isn't very comforted by that.  "You're like an enigma, or a unicorn."

 

"A unicorn?" Nicole asks.  She drifts off for a moment as they step into the too long for just after 9am line so she can take another look around.  They're still watching her.  Surely someone somewhere in this coffee shop is taking notes.  "Waverly, every person I meet tells me that I should befriend you."

 

Waverly looks up at her then like she's mildly hurt about this revelation.  Nicole can tell she looks a little disappointed hearing this.  She doesn't want to make this lovely person feel bad by any means.  In fact, she feels like if no one had ever mentioned Waverly's name to her it would have only been a matter of time before she was drawn to Waverly anyway.

 

"I'm sorry," Nicole says before Waverly can say anything else, "That didn't come out the way I meant for it to."

 

"How did you mean it?" Waverly inquires.  Her tone lacks disdain.

 

"I just," Nicole hesitates, pondering just how honest she should be, "It made me nervous to meet you here."

 

"Awe," Waverly teases.  She feels Waverly's elbow jab her in her ribs.  She can barely feel it as she memorizes that cheeky, bright smile on Waverly's face.  "You were nervous about little ole me?"

 

"You're a little intimidating," Nicole says, "You have quite the reputation."

 

Waverly laughs at that.  No, not laughs.  She almost bellows.  The sound is heartwarming and beautiful.  Nicole would almost do anything to hear it again.  She never even knew a sound like that existed in the world.

 

"I told you, Nicole, I'm well liked," Waverly explains, "They probably just think I'll give you the best Purgatory welcome.  Welcoming committee leader."

 

Nicole’s gaze travels to Waverly’s hand where her hand is balled into a fist and she gestures to herself with a thumb.  Nicole’s eyes shift back to Waverly’s mouth.  The grin on her face makes the breath hitch in Nicole’s throat.  She can’t even think anymore.

 

"That's you," Nicole says, softly.

 

"You appointed me," Waverly reminds her.

 

"Right," Nicole absently agrees, "I'm sure I'm just overreacting."

 

"It's adorable," Waverly supplies, flippantly.

 

-

Waverly is feeling.  She is feeling intensely and deeply and unexpectedly.  She hadn't prepared what it would be like sitting in the presence of a warm, gentle, glorious individual just sipping on a warm cup of coffee.  She had never pictured it and, in all of her years out in the world, it has never happened.

 

She thinks of Nicole's warm, chocolate eyes that turn into a delicate honey color in just the right light.  She thinks of the way that Nicole listened to her intently, eyes focused on her and mouth quirked encouragingly.  She thinks of the kindness in Nicole's voice as she asked questions about Waverly's passions, about the history she loves.  She felt heard and important.

 

Nicole is special.  She doesn't know much about the new addition to the Purgatory Sheriff's Department behind the fact that she is kind, attentive, and, honestly, beautiful.  Waverly's never allowed herself to stop and think about how beautiful another person is.  Mostly because she's spent the majority of her life dealing with people who are self-centered assholes.  Her sisters included.

 

That’s a lie.  Wynonna has always had this self-centered air about her, but her main concern has always been Waverly.  There wasn’t a day that went by where Wynonna didn’t make Waverly feel wanted.  She’s the one who held Waverly when she cried herself to sleep, who told her Willa was just being a bitch whenever she was particularly mean to Waverly.  On multiple occasions, Wynonna has staged a coup to put someone in their place when it came to Waverly, and that includes Willa.  Wynonna’s relationship with Willa has been touch and go because of Wynonna’s particular efforts to protect Waverly at all costs. 

 

Wynonna has always been there for Waverly, even when she didn’t feel like anyone else saw her for her.  Wynonna just couldn’t help that she was a big presence, and left Waverly to live in her shadows.  Throughout all of that, she’s always felt like while Wynonna has been there for her, that Wynonna hasn’t really let Waverly return the favor.

 

This, of course, presents Waverly with the realization that she's never really felt such a strong connection to someone.  Especially someone she's only know for a few days.  Coffee with Nicole had been, quite possibly, the most enjoyable two hours she's ever spent.  Two hours.  She spent two hours at the coffee shop with a woman who treated her like she hung the stars in the sky, and it wasn't even a date.

 

Part of Waverly wishes it had been a date.

 

Allowing those thoughts to seep in is huge.  The idea of dating someone who isn't your soulmate is hugely frowned upon.  She had dated a few boys in high school, as practice, to have a companion, because she truly didn't know who was her soulmate.  She hasn't the first clue.  All she knows for sure is that the boys she dated couldn't see a bit of color, she knew they weren't her soulmate.  And, in this society, there isn't any real repercussion for not being with a soulmate, it's just hugely frowned upon.

 

Besides, she remembers what it did to her family.

 

She understands that there's a missing piece when with anyone other than a soulmate, like a part of oneself is gone.  She remembers her mother feeling misunderstood, her mother crying herself to sleep because wasn't there supposed to be more out there.  She remembers what it's like when one parent isn't with their soulmate, remembers the anger her father became filled with when her mother rejected him and rendered him color blind.

 

She remembers all of these things, but she still can't understand how something so wrong could feel so right.

 

Waverly sighs as she parks her Jeep outside of the homestead and hops out of it.  She fetches the last box of her stuff remaining to be moved from both Gus' house and the apartment above the bar.  Clutching it tightly in her grasp, she tries to push away thoughts of Nicole as she heads into the partially remodeled home.  She balances the box as she pushes the door open, catching sight of Wynonna sitting on the couch, bottle of whiskey already cracked open on the coffee table.

 

"Hey, baby girl," Wynonna says, lifting the bottle high into the air, "Get the last of your stuff?"

 

"This is the last of it," she confirms with a huff.

 

The box contains an assortment of various items that are probably better off for the trash than they are for her current stage of life.  There's an old stuffed animal and Willa's diary that she stole years ago stuffed amongst random papers and books and scarves.  A basketball sits on the very top, but she has no idea where she even acquired it - she'd never taken to much sports other than dance and cheerleading.  She sets the box at the bottom of the stairs and peels her jacket off, draping it over the box of stuff.

 

She retreats to the couch beside Wynonna, dropping into the space in the corner of the worn couch.  Curtis and Gus had taken delicate care of the furniture in the homestead for Waverly and her sisters, covering the furniture with plastic covers.  It is in as decent shape as a 25-year-old couch could be.  Every piece of furniture in the house is a piece that she remembers from her childhood.

 

"Cheers!" Wynonna announces, taking a swig from the bottle of whiskey before handing it over to Waverly.

 

Waverly eyeballs the bottle for a moment before taking it from Wynonna's grasp to take her own drink.  She could use a distraction from her newfound, complicated feelings - feelings that society suggests she shouldn't have in the first place.  She takes a long pull from the bottle, a small gasp being elicited from Wynonna, and lowers the bottle.  She hands it over to her older sister as she swallows the mouth full.

 

She hisses as the liquid burns her throat.  She's always preferred tequila over whiskey, but whiskey is Wynonna's drink of choice and always has been.  Perhaps she will slowly shift to something a little less hard liquor when they start this brewery on their land.  God this is going to be so much work.

 

"You heard from Willa?" Waverly asks.

 

"About two weeks ago," Wynonna confirms, "Says she's gettin' hitched."

 

"Oh," Waverly hums her acknowledgement.  She didn't even know that Willa was dating anybody.  Willa didn't much care for Waverly, which took a lot for Waverly to accept in the first place, but this news leaves her a bit off guard after Willa's soulmate situation.  Waverly almost wants to call her whatever with Nicole a date after hearing that.  "Do you believe in the whole soulmate thing?"

 

"It doesn't matter if I believe in it or not, baby girl, it exists," Wynonna replies.  She hears the liquid shift in the bottle as Wynonna throws back another drink.  Waverly looks over at her sister as she swallows and swipes at her mouth with her hand.  "That doesn't mean I think everyone is compatible with their soulmate.  It's just fucked up to think that someone could have a soulmate for such a short time, it's like the universe played a sick joke on her."

 

"Maybe the universe is playing a sick joke on us all," Waverly mutters, "Maybe we're cursed."

 

"Maybe," Wynonna absently agrees, handing the bottle over.

 

Waverly thinks that just she's going to drink until she can't think anymore.

 

-

 

Nicole opts to not use the siren as she approaches the scuffle at the corner of the street near Shorty's and chooses to use only the red and blue lights to distract the aggressive contact.  She squints in the darkness as she pulls her cruiser up to the curb and pops open the car door.  She steps out and observes the scuffle with a narrowed gaze.  She shuts the door to the vehicle and steps away from it.

 

She drops her hands to her belt, letting her thumbs hook around the leather just inside the shape of her hips.  She approaches the group carefully, one ear paying close attention to make sure the crowd doesn't get too rowdy.  The crowd, however, begins to notice the flashing lights from her vehicle and disperses.  She offers a few people a warning smile as they pass her with a heavy nod. She hears them return to the bar, sound of the music from the jukebox increasing as the door opens.

 

"Alright," she calls loudly, squinting in the darkness to get a better look, "Break it up."

 

She delves a little deeper into the altercation, the faces beginning to become clearer as they move directly under the street lamp.  She spots Waverly's sister, brows furrowed and fists clenched.  Wynonna's tightened fists are directly pointed at a thick man, body shape somewhere between muscle and fat.  Nicole quickly lifts a hand up to ease in between them and that's when she notices a spot of blood on the man's lip.

 

"I told you to keep your hands off of my baby sister," Wynonna growls.

 

Nicole perks up at this, the idea of this man touching Waverly without permission rubbing her the wrong way.  She has a war within herself, uphold the law or encourage the protection of the girl she just met, the one she can't seem to stop thinking about since they'd had coffee a few days ago.  She sighs in defeat, knowing that she had to do the right thing.

 

"Wynonna," Nicole greets, voice slightly sing-song in an attempt to be reassuring, "Let me handle this."

 

"Can't," Wynonna replies.

 

"Wynonna!" Comes a scream from behind Nicole.  Nicole rocks backwards and casts a glance behind her, hearing footsteps clamber against the concrete as someone else rushes over.  Nicole is distracted as her brain registers that it's Waverly, dressed in her Shorty's uniform shirt that slightly rides up her torso as she runs passed Nicole, undoubtedly freezing.  "Let him go."

 

Just then, Nicole blinks and she can't move fast enough to save her.  Champ's fist collides with Waverly's jaw.  She recoils on impact, falling back into Nicole.  Nicole gasps.  She steadies her, hands squeezing Waverly's hips and pushing up Waverly's sides.  Her thumbs dig into Waverly's ribs inches above her waist.  She hears Waverly suck in a deep breath.

 

"Shit," Nicole grounds out.

 

Her eyes stay focused on Waverly as her hands slide to Waverly's diaphragm, holding her into place.  She can feel the wisps of Waverly's hair catching in the wind against her nose, and her eyes drift closed for a few seconds.  Hearing Wynonna scream, Nicole's head snaps up in response as she zeroes her gaze in on the woman who had elicited the noise just in time to catch Wynonna lunge forward and pin Champ to the wall.

 

"Alright, scum bag," Wynonna yells, "I'm gonna-"

 

"Stop," Waverly screams.  Wynonna's fist comes to a halt, stilled angrily in the air like her hand is aching to plummet Champ.  "It's not worth it."

 

"Wow," Nicole whispers.  She feels Waverly's hands press against the back of hers, gently wrapping around them to her palms to pull them away from Waverly's torso.  Reluctantly, she loosens her grasp and lets her step away.  Waverly casts a pleading glance over her shoulder at Nicole that fires her up.  She steps forward, moving around Waverly to take Wynonna's place.  "Champ, is it?"

 

The guy nods slowly, slightly trembling beneath Wynonna's primed fist.  Nicole looks at Waverly again, a small welt beginning to form on her jaw and her lip sporting some blood.  Nicole sucks in a deep breath, the air flooding her lungs as she looks back at Champ and wraps her hand tightly around his wrist.  She tugs him towards her, pressing his face against the brick wall as she fishes her hand cuffs out.

 

"You're under arrest,” Nicole starts her spiel of reading the guy his rights.  He grumbles the whole way through but is mostly compliant.  He doesn’t fight her off, but he’s definitely complaining.

 

She drags him to the car and forces him into the backseat just a slight bit rougher than is necessary.  She turns around and sees Waverly standing rather closely behind her.  Wynonna is flipping Champ her middle finger as she treks back into the bar.  Nicole simply shakes her head at Waverly's reckless sister.

 

"I'm supposed to take her to the station as well," Nicole tells Waverly.

 

"Can't you let it slide?" Waverly asks, trying to smile but wincing instead, "Just this once."

 

"Shit," Nicole says suddenly.  She reaches a hand up to Waverly's mouth and lets her fingertips hover above the split lips.  She watches as Waverly hugs herself, suddenly shivering in the cold, and all Nicole wants to do is make sure the punch didn't hit Waverly too hard.  "Are you okay?"

 

"I will be," Waverly mutters.

 

Nicole shrugs her jacket off in a flash.  She tosses it outward and drapes it across Waverly's shoulders, immediately pulling it snug around her neck at the collar.  Waverly's eyes trail down to the ground, like she can't even look at Nicole anymore.  Nicole takes this opportunity to be bold, to lift her fingers to Waverly's chin and tilt her jaw more towards the light so she can get a better look.  She, however, thinks that she literally feels a jolt of electricity spark between them.

 

Her eyes scan Waverly's perfect skin, smooth and warm and beautiful.  Nicole thinks her face will need some ice, pronto.  She exhales slowly, brushing her thumb over Waverly's cheek.  Waverly whines quietly, blue tinted eyes rising to meet Nicole's brown ones.  That's weird - Nicole could have sworn the other day that they were green.  She blows against Waverly's lip gently, hoping to stop the bleeding with a cool breeze.  She stupidly realizes that it's already cold outside, much colder than her breath is.  Waverly shivers anyway.

 

"I think you're going to be okay," Nicole assesses, "No stitches required.  It'll just be a really nasty bruise."

 

"Thank god for make up," Waverly says with a laugh.

 

"You'll want to ice it," Nicole adds, a warm smile spreading across her mouth.  Her hand drops to her jacket wrapped around Waverly.  She pulls it tighter.  "I have to get this daredevil to the station.  I'll swing back by for the jacket."

 

"That's not-"

 

"It is," Nicole interjects with a firm hand on Waverly's arm.  Waverly's eyes flit to where Nicole's fingers squeeze.  For a moment, Nicole forgets anything else that has happened as she gets lost in those blue eyes that resemble the ocean.

 

She offers Waverly a small smile and steps back; her hip hits the metal of her vehicle, and she nearly knocks the wind out of herself.  She doesn't know when she got so clumsy.  When she looks up and connects her gaze with Waverly's again, she realizes exactly when.  She gives the woman a small wave with one hand as she pulls on the door handle to get into her car.

 

She shakes her head at how ridiculous she is.  She watches Waverly retreat back into the bar, jacket held tightly to her chest.  At least Nicole has an excuse to see Waverly again.

 

"Hey, copper," Champ barks suddenly, "Can we get a move on?  It's freezing."

 

"Can it, Hardy," she huffs, suddenly realizing just how true that statement is.  She ignites the vehicle and pulls it into park.  Pointing the cruiser towards the station, she realizes her first night shift is going to be a hell of a long night.

 

-

Waverly makes her way into the quiet police station.  All of the times she's been to this place, she has never heard it be so quiet and serene.  She clasps Nicole's borrowed department issued jacket in one bent arm and clutches a cup of coffee in the other.  It's just passed 3am, the rest of the town having head to bed and given Waverly enough time to close down the bar, get it as cleaned up as humanly possible.  She hears her heels echo against the tile, noise reverberating against the bland walls, and if she were trying to sneak up on someone then it would be literally impossible.

 

She spots her destination, a wave of energy coursing through her as she walks just a little faster.  She rounds the corner of the offices, Nicole's bright red hair standing out from where she sits at her desk.  Waverly stops walking entirely at the sight of her, already missing the scent that has been surrounding her ever since Nicole wrapped her jacket tightly around her.

 

She swallows, rendered motionless by just how beautiful the woman is sitting behind her desk, focused on her job.  Waverly finds something incredibly sexy about Nicole being the first female police officer of the town as though she's the one tearing through the community and shattering all of those glass ceilings.  She didn't mean to think sexy.

 

"Hey," Nicole greets through a gentle laugh, voice filled with excitement.  Waverly immediately blushes.  She feels like she's been caught.  She hasn't even moved since she started staring. "What are you doing here?  It's the middle of the night.  You should be heading home and climbing into bed."

 

"I wanted to bring you your jacket back," Waverly explains.  She lifts the arm with the jacket draped over it as a sign of good faith.  She bites the bullet and treks further into the room, crossing the threshold passed the counter like she has every right to wander around the room.  "And I also brought you a little extra something."

 

Nicole's eyes widen, a softness around each edge and crevice of her face.  Waverly's eyebrows pop up on her forehead, gaze tracing the outline of Nicole's face, memorizing each dip and crater of her cheeks. Including those life altering dimples.  She sets the cup of coffee on Nicole's desk and slides it a little bit closer.  She also extends the jacket to Nicole, who promptly takes it from her.  She watches as Nicole's face contorts.

 

"Did you ice this?" Nicole asks, standing up.  Waverly feels her hands on her face again, pushing at her skin to angle her cheek upward.  She can see Nicole's eyebrows furrow pensively as her gaze scans over Waverly's face.  "It looks a little better, but you still need to take care of it."

 

Nicole practically has her pinned against the desk.  She is fairly certain she can feel the poignant shape of Nicole's hips sliding against her own, which is distracting enough, but to add in the ghost of Nicole's breath kissing her skin makes it practically unbearable.  Nicole's fingers sweep across her jaw.  She shivers beneath Nicole's touch.  Her hands are soft, softer than anyone else Waverly can remember ever touching her.  Waverly's eyes fall on Nicole's lips, realizing just how close the woman is.  She wonders if Nicole's lips are as indulgent as they look, what they taste like.

 

"I will," Waverly replies, trying desperately to take herself out of the moment.  She pulls her head back gently, out of Nicole's touch, hoping that it will allow her to think more clearly.  She offers Nicole a small smile as replacement, hoping that she doesn't take that as a rejection.   Waverly had been enjoying Nicole's touch far too much.

 

"Waverly," Nicole says, carefully, shakily, as she takes a half a step back and drops her hands to her belt, "I have to ask, do you want to press charges?"

 

Waverly feels herself visibly relax as Nicole moves out of her space.  Although she misses the body heat, the warmth that Nicole gives off, she knows that the distance between them is very necessary.  She shakes her head slowly.

 

She says, "No. Champ is a moron but he's harmless."

 

"He clocked you," Nicole points out.

 

"He was aiming for Wynonna," Waverly replies, "Which, she probably deserved it.  She can be a bit...combative."

 

"You have a welt on your face the size of a golf ball," Nicole tries again.

 

"I will be fine," Waverly reassures, "Champ Hardy isn't worth the paperwork."

 

Waverly silently adds that he isn't worth the trouble.  She thinks back to the time they spent together when they were younger and dumber and didn't understand the concept of soulmates.  He had been a boy.  He will probably always be a boy.

 

Nicole sighs but nods despite her obvious disapproval.  She says, "You're worth the trouble of paperwork, Waverly.  I understand that you think Champ isn't, but he should be keeping his hands to himself.  I would have come back to the station having broken up a fight rather than with an arrest under my belt."

 

Waverly gulps thinking about Nicole's belt.  Waverly forces a smile across her mouth to cover up her wavering, nodding slowly.  She feels like she’s nodding a lot.  "Listen, I have to go.  Big day tomorrow.  What?  With the things and all.  I'll see you around, Nicole."

 

"Right," Nicole mutters.

 

Waverly slips passed Nicole, not even bothering to give her an opportunity to say anything else.  The echo of her shoes against the tile follows her all of the way to the parking lot.  Her flesh burns against her jaw and she isn't sure if it's from Nicole's touch or from being clocked by Champ.  The cool, night breeze does nothing to dull the burning sensation.

 

This entire night has gotten completely out of hand.

 

She has gotten completely out of hand.