Winter afternoons at the homestead had been quiet lately. After the death of Dolls there wasn’t a lot of lively chatter. Even with a little less chit chat being the new norm it was a little awkward that Wynonna hadn’t said a word to Nicole the entire time she had been in the kitchen. Still in her uniform from the earlier shift Nicole sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee while she waited for Waverly to come back downstairs. The younger Earp had quickly mentioned wanting to show them something as she excitedly ran up the stairs.
The older Earp on the other hand hadn’t been excited about much lately. Wynonna had opted to not join Nicole at the table but was instead cross-legged on the countertop polishing peacemaker with a rather broody expression plastered on her face. Wynonna had been as flighty as a cat recently and was likely only still in the room because her baby sister had asked her to be. Waverly had made it her mission to cheer up her sister during the holidays. Nicole knew for a fact that there was a onesie with a furry hood covered in latte cups on the way along with two Christmas sweaters for herself and Waverly. While a cute onesie might make Waverly happy
Nicole was less optimistic that it would do too much to lift her sisters’ spirits. The woman hadn’t finished grieving the loss of her newborn daughter when overwhelming grief hit her again with the loss of Xavier Dolls.
Just when Nicole was finally going to attempt to break the silence. Waverly bounded down the stairs wearing a rather large Santa hat and carrying a festive pillowcase. Just as she entered the room Jeremy and Doc walked into the kitchen.
“Great you guys are all here” Waverly exclaimed pure joy on her face. Nothing brought Waverly more joy thorn all her family gathered in one space. It seemed to be happening less lately. The death of Dolls, arrival of Mama, and the Jolene craziness had everyone understandably skittish and on edge.
“Waverly do you mind telling us why you insisted on us gathering here” Doc said rather gruffly earning an elbow from Jeremy. Doc cleared his thought “with all due respect I’m just rather curious as to what was so important that we had to pause our search for Bulshar”
This lack of enthusiasm from the group did not deter the young woman in the slightest. “Well Doc” she replied cheerily but with a little sass in her voice. “I thought since my girlfriend is the only one in the room with a steady income at the moment that we could do a secret Santa!”
Everyone even Nicole groaned in unison, only Jeremy provided any encouragement by giving Waverly a smile and a thumbs up.
“I beg your pardon Miss Earp, but I do so happen to own a drinking establishment” said Doc feigning offense.
“Yes, an establishment which costs you more than it makes” retorted Waverly. “Come on guys” she pleaded. “It will be fun I promise, it’s not Christmas without a little gift giving, it doesn’t have to be anything big”.
In all honestly Nicole was only planning on getting a gift for her girlfriend she had about a hundred ideas and was still working on narrowing it down. The thought of having to figure out what to get Doc or Wynonna gave her a headache which must have shown on her face because Waverly gave her a pointed look.
“Baby what do you think?” Waverly asked not breaking eye contact with Nicole.
The red head shifted uncomfortably in her chair but broke quickly under Waverly’s stare.
“I think it sounds like a great idea” she said standing up to go over to her girlfriend.
“Great” Waverly beamed. “Go ahead and draw a name Nicole and thank you very much baby”. Waverly leaned over and kissed Nicole on the cheek earning barf noises form Wynonna.
“Nicole you’re such a freaking suck up, we have to stand up to her Shorty’s already looks like it was barfed on by a Christmas unicorn!”
That comment made Wynonna the next victim of Waverley’s intense stare which even she was no match for. Within minutes everyone had begrudgingly drawn a name
from the pillow case.
Light filtered in through the window shining right in Nicole’s face waking her up. With a glance at the clock Nicole realized there was time to spare before it was necessary to begin getting ready for work.
“Morning baby” she mumbled nuzzling her girlfriends head.
“Oh No! No way! That’s unfair tactics” Waverly said as she rolled away breaking contact. “That’s no way to win an argument!”
“It is if it works” mumbled Nicole defending herself from being swatted.
With all the sternness she could possibly muster while looking at her sleepy girlfriend Waverly shouted, “I am not switching names with you and that’s that”.
The statement didn’t put a stop to Nicole’s pouting in the slightest. “totally not fair, you would be much better at picking a gift for your sister, and she will like anything you give her simply because it is from you, the opposite is probably true for me.” “Wynonna is always looking for something else to give me grief about”.
“Please switch names with me.” Nicole was sure to punctuate each word with a kiss on the neck.
Doing her best to keep away from Nicole while also reluctant to give up the warmth Nicole provided Waverly defiantly continued. “What’s not fair is you breaking the sanctity of secret Santa by telling me which name you picked, that is so very clearly against the rules Nicole,”
Unwilling to accept defeat but getting dangerously close to being late for work Nicole flashed her best pouty face. Batting eyelashes and all.
“Nope not a chance” Waverly said through laughter. “Buck up butter cup it’s just a present, she will definitely give you more grief over the elf costume you have to wear tomorrow”
Nicole’s eyes lit up in terror “Oh God you’re right.”
Secret Santa or not Nicole realized that there was no way she was making it through the holiday season without being mocked by Wynonna Earp.
“Baby girl please switch names with me” Wynonna begged.
Waverly had to hide a smirk as her reading was interrupted by Wynonna barging into the room. She had a sneaking suspicion of whose name Wynonna had pulled for secret Santa and she was beginning to like her secret Santa idea even more. She hoped it would bring her two favorite people together but regardless it sure was shaping up to be fun to watch. Deciding it better to ignore the problem Waverly continued reading paying her big sister no mind which of course didn’t sit very well with her. Within seconds Wynonna had leapt onto the bed and was on all fours looking ready too attack. Wavery did finally set down the book and raised an eyebrow at her sisters’ antics.
“Baby girl please you wouldn’t even have to by a gift for Nicole you could just do that gross cheerleading thing again”
“Yeah pretty sure I can do that without secret Santa, try again.”
“Gross TMI Waves.”
“You brought it up smart ass.”
“Waverly please I have no idea what to get her.”
Waverly looked exasperated at her sister. She had expected resistance but not the utter lack of effort. As much fun as this was it would have been easier if Wynonna had just pulled Docs name. “Are you seriously telling me that you have no idea what Nicole might possibly like”
“besides me” she said interrupting Wynonna before she could quip.
“I dunno she said something smartass about being able to rock climb the other day. Does she need rock climbing stuff?”
“Nope pretty sure she is all set. Come on Wynonna there must be something you two have bonded over?”
Waverly was expecting another quip but was pleasantly surprised when Wynonna thanked her for the inspiration and gave her a kiss on the head. Whatever idea had just pooped into her head she seemed excited about it as she darted out of the room.