July 15, 2008
Wynonna bounds down the stairs, early enough to catch the both of her ‘parents’ before they head off to work. She’s made herself presentable, with one of her nicer t-shirts and a pair of jeans that aren’t ripped and frayed. She’s nervous. They’ve given her no reason to be… A couple weekends ago she’d disappeared to the lakehouse with Nicole and she spent a lot of weekends at the Haught residence and they never seem to mind.
This is different, though.
She finds them sitting at the table having breakfast.
“You’re up early! We figured you’d be sleeping for a few more hours!” Mr. Evans remarks.
“Oh, yeah! I just was wondering… Can I ask a question?” Wynonna asks, trying to keep momentum before she loses her gumption.
“Sure, honey, what is it?” Mrs. Evans replies, but Mr. Evans nods along encouragingly as well.
“Well, you guys know Nicole--”
“Your best friend!” Mr. Evans replies brightly.
Wynonna tries not to blanch at the descriptor. She’s trying very hard not to get kicked out of this house… It would help to stay put since she’s trying to actually graduate this year and get her place with Nicole. She doesn’t think they’re homophobes, but who the hell knows these days?
“Yeah, her!” Wynonna replies, trying to sound just as bright. “I was wondering if it would be okay if she stayed the night this weekend. Maybe Friday and Saturday if that’s okay?”
“Oh! Of course, she can, Wynonna! Will we need to make her a bed on the couch or are you guys okay sleeping in your bed upstairs? I know it’s only a full, so--”
Wynonna interrupts Mrs. Evans before she can go on. There’s no way she’s not sleeping in the bed with Nicole. Are they crazy? “No, it’s plenty big enough for us! We’re small gals!”
The Evans’ smile at Wynonna and both nod approvingly. Mrs. Evans speaks up, “Of course. One condition -- you girls have to have dinner with us on Friday, at least. I want to get to know Nicole. Deal?”
Wynonna grins and nods quickly. “Super deal! Uh, her favorite is fettuccine alfredo… I can help make it. And I can pick some stuff up at the store while you guys are at work today?”
“Nonsense. I’ll pick everything up, but I’d love to have your help in the kitchen,” Mrs. Evans says.
“You got it.” Wynonna says, beaming.
Later that day
Wynonna makes the drive to Nicole’s house once she knows that the Haught parental units have gone off to work as well. Nicole greets her the way she always does. Kisses galore. They end up cuddled on the couch with some random show playing in the background. Wynonna’s seated next to Nicole, curled into her side and they can’t stop kissing every so often. She hums against Nicole’s lips and pulls out of the kiss.
Wynonna worries her lip and looks up at soft brown eyes looking straight through her. Why is she nervous? They’d spent close to a year sleeping in the bed upstairs every single opportunity they had…
“What is it, baby?” Nicole asks, face full of concern.
Wynonna softens at the genuine care written in every inch of Nicole’s flushed face. She reaches over and tucks Nicole’s hair behind her ear. Her hand rests on Nicole’s neck, her thumb brushing over the reddened cheek. “Nothing to look so worried about, Naughty Haughty… I just have a proposition for you.”
Nicole straightens. The arm wrapped around Wynonna tightens and the other arm moves so that Nicole can rub over Wynonna’s arm with her hand. “Name it, ‘Nonna.”
“Would you maybe want to… come over to the place I’m staying with The Evans? And stay the night this weekend? They said you could on Friday and Saturday. I figured it might be nice to have a change in scenery for you--us.” Wynonna rambles on, unsure of why she tries to sell it to Nicole so much. Turns out, she doesn’t need to.
“I always want to stay with you. Don’t care where it is,” Nicole answers. “Do they know that we’re--” Nicole raises her eyebrows.
“God, you’re cute. You think these people know the dirty things we do in the dark and still said yes to you staying the night…” Wynonna teases with a shake of her head and a smirk on her lips. “They think you’re my best friend. They don’t know that you’re that plus my girl . My cute, perfect girl who kisses me goodnight and holds me close under the covers.” She leans up to press a soft kiss to those lips she already misses.
When they part a few seconds later, Wynonna continues, “It’s not because I don’t want them to know. I just don’t know how they’d react and I don’t wanna fuck this up. It’s basically my last chance. Plus, they already asked if they needed to make a couch bed for you.”
The look of horror that flashes across Nicole’s face makes Wynonna chuckle.
“Don’t worry, baby, you’re sleeping with me…” Instant relief makes Nicole sag and Wynonna laughs again. “So, same drill as when your parents are home.”
Nicole nods. “Alright, baby, sounds good. I’m pretty pumped! Do you think they’re gonna like me?” Nicole’s face flashes through all of the emotions she lets spill out of her mouth. Gentle agreement… Excitedness… And then finally a cute furrowed brow and worried look.
“Babyyyy,” Wynonna drawls, reaching up to smooth out the crinkle between her eyebrows. “I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to not like you… But they’re gonna love you. It’d be impossible for them not to.”
Nicole feels the heat in her chest spreading to her shoulders. They’re gonna love you. It’d be impossible for them not to. Wynonna always finds ways to suggest her love for Nicole without saying it… And she shows it even better. Still… Any time it gets into that territory, it shakes Nicole the same.
“What’re you thinking about, Haught?” Wynonna asks after a few seconds.
“Just you… As usual,” Nicole replies smoothly. The corner of her lips tug up a bit.
“Smooth talker… you just want in my pants. Did I bore you with my parental talk? Poor baby…” Wynonna pouts and moves to climb into Nicole’s lap.
“What?! Wynonna, no--”
“Shhh, I’m teasing. Let me tease,” Wynonna says leaning down to brush her lips against Nicole’s.
Nicole smooths out the shirt she’s wearing as she steps out of her truck in front of the Evans’ House. She’s wearing a plain, fitted blue button-up and a pair of her nicest jeans. She wants to look nice, but not so nice that it raises suspicion in Wynonna’s ‘parents.’ She grabs her overnight duffle bag from the seat and slings it over her shoulder before making her way up to the porch.
She rings the bell and Wynonna answers. Nicole notices right away that Wynonna had the same idea that she had. Wynonna looks nice… but not too nice for their dinner. “Nicole…” Wynonna breathes out. “You look--”
“You, too, Wynonna,” Nicole offers briefly. It physically pains the both of them not to kiss one another in greeting, but when Mr. Evans appears behind Wynonna, Nicole knows that they made the right decision.
“Nicole!” He calls out happily, bounding forward and reaching his hand out for Nicole. “It’s nice to finally, really meet you instead of waving to you from the porch,” he jokes.
“Same to you, sir,” Nicole says, grasping firmly and shaking.
“Good handshake,” he notes with a twinkle in his eyes. “I know I can trust this one, Wynonna. She’s a good.”
“The best,” Wynonna replies, not taking her eyes off Nicole.
“Well, don’t be rude, Wynonna, bring your bestie in!” He says, trying to be hip, before turning and walking back towards the kitchen to his wife.
“Absolutely disgusting…” Wynonna murmurs quietly, mimicking a face on the verge of throwing up.
“Yeah, bestie--” Nicole teases.
“Do not!” Wynonna raises a finger and presses it against Nicole’s lips. “Get your ass in here, Haught.”
Wynonna takes Nicole’s bag upstairs and places it in her room before coming back downstairs and helping with cooking. Nicole hangs around the kitchen, leaning and offering to help with both Wynonna and Mrs. Evans insisting that she not lift a finger because they’re making her favorite.
“Nicole, food made by people who love you always tastes better,” Mrs. Evans says as if she’s imparting great wisdom. Wynonna just smiles softly and looks over to Nicole with that familiar sparkle in her eyes.
Wynonna continues to sneak peeks at Nicole every chance she gets. The tall girl looks so cute with her hands shoved in her pockets, swaying a little nervously and leaning against the kitchen island.
Mr. Evans comes into the kitchen when the dinner is almost done and sits at his place at the dining room table. “So, Nicole, tell me all your secrets,” he starts. “You play basketball, right? You a Raptors fan?”
“Am I a Raptors fan?” Nicole asks and her face lights up. “Of course, I’m a Raptors fan. I can’t wait for the games to kick back up in October.”
“Yeah, those 76ers don’t stand a chance.”
“Oh god… Now, he’s got someone to ramble about basketball with…” Mrs. Evans whispers to Wynonna.
“Her, too… I don’t know a thing about any of it. Barely know what’s going on at her games,” Wynonna whispers back.
“You stick with me, then!”
Wynonna sits across from Nicole and the Evans sit at opposite ends of the table, as well. The conversation is carried by the adults at the table, but Nicole falls in easy where she can. Nicole answers all of the questions they have for her truthfully, thankful when neither one of them thinks to ask about boyfriends.
Wynonna is the quietest of the four of them, watching closely as Nicole seems to just fit. It makes her feel… warm. She can’t believe this is real. Nicole is sitting in a house that she lives in, getting on with the people graciously hosting her. Hell, they adore her even more than Wynonna could have ever dreamed.
It’s no surprise, though. Nicole has that kind of heart that just wows people and shines. The kind of heart that Wynonna wishes she had… but Nicole having it… And being hers… That would be enough. More than enough. More than everything in the world.
Nicole insists on helping Mrs. Evans with the dishes after dinner, before they go watch a movie together. Wynonna tries to pretend like it doesn’t make her heart beat out of her chest to see her –– Nicole getting along so well with her new family.
When she steals a small glance, she sees the two of them talking back and forth at the sink, and then Nicole says something that makes Mrs. Evans laugh harder than Wynonna’s ever seen. It makes Nicole laugh, too, and she tosses her head back and scrunches her nose in the most beautiful way. Wynonna knows she’s staring and she can’t help it. Her eyebrows raise and pull together and she has the dopiest grin on her face.
“Popcorn’s gonna burn…” Mr. Evans nudges Wynonna’s arm and snaps her out of it.
She shakes her head, turning back around to pop open the microwave before it gets down to the last few seconds. When she looks back up to the man, he’s laughing.
“I was just ––– trying to hear what they were talking about.” Wynonna says, blushing furiously. She juggles the hot bag and opens it carefully, pouring it into a bowl.
“Yeah, I’m interested in what’s got them laughing so hard, too,” he says kindly, reaching over and passing the salt to Wynonna without her asking.
“Thanks.” She says softly, giving him a single nod as she adds the right amount of salt to the bowl.
Nicole and Mrs. Evans finish cleaning up around the same time. Wynonna passes off the popcorn to Nicole and grabs them something to drink from the fridge.
“Well, I don’t know about you ––” Mr. Evans says, turning to his wife, “but I’m exhausted. I think I’m gonna go on to bed,” he says simply.
Wynonna feels a bit relieved that they won’t be hanging around with them for this part. Being around them isn’t awful, it’s not even bad. She just doesn’t wanna sit on the couch and watch a movie with Nicole and worry about them staring at her.
“Me too. I’ll be right after you,” Mrs. Evans says back, before smiling towards the girls.
“You guys don’t wanna watch?” Nicole says, without thinking.
Wynonna nudges her from behind, subtly and Nicole purses her lips, knowing it’s too late to take back what she said.
“Oh, no, sweetie. You girls have fun!” She insists, patting Nicole on the shoulder.
Wynonna smiles at both of them. “Thank you guys again for letting Nic come over,” she says nodding, surprised by how emotional it makes her feel.
She’s never had this, never thought she would or could. Even if they doesn’t know that Nicole is –– more than just her best friend… they’re kind and caring and everything she could’ve ever asked for. Why couldn’t they have been her parents all along? Maybe then she wouldn’t be so fucked up.
“Of course, Wynonna. You’re a good kid. You deserve to have friends over when you want them,” he tells her, as if he’s surprised she needs to be reminded.
Nicole watches on in absolute amazement and happiness. This is truly what Wynonna deserves.
The Evans’ say goodnight to the girls and when they’ve been left alone, Wynonna smirks up at Nicole.
“What’re you lookin’ at me like that for?” She asks, feeling her face get red.
“You just come over here and get along with them so well like that… be so sweet and charming… honestly, Haughty… get your ass into that living room before I say we’re skipping the movie.” Wynonna shakes her head, her smirk still persisting but her eyes are soft.
Nicole’s small smile turns into a wide grin and she ducks her head and lets Wynonna lead her to the living room.
The movie that Nicole picked out is a musical called Rent. It’s beautiful and tragic and makes Wynonna ache to see New York City.
Wynonna makes sure that Nicole knows that the character Maureen reminds her of herself and doesn’t miss the way Nicole practically drools over her.
“I’ll make a note.” Wynonna says quietly, smirking.
“The leather pants.”
Nicole’s eyes widen a bit and her face gets red when she thinks about Wynonna in pants like that.
Wynonna just laughs then smiles and settles a little bit closer to Nicole. As close as she can to make it seem normal if one of the Evans’ were to walk in.
They’re nestled on the couch, a big blanket over their laps and the popcorn bowl sitting on their legs between them. They each eat with the one hand they have sticking out from under the blankets while the two between them are underneath, intertwined.
There’s a part in the movie where Maureen gets down on her knee, takes a ring off her own finger and puts it on the hand of Joanne, her girlfriend. Promising to commit to her. Wynonna feels her breath catch in her throat as she watches.
The whole time, Nicole can’t stop smiling softly and fiddling with the ring that Wynonna had taken off and given to her a month ago.
Wynonna thinks back to the last night at the lake house, when she’d woken up in the middle of the night and thought about how she knows that if she ever gets married, it’ll be to Nicole and only Nicole.
This only makes that feeling stronger and she doesn’t know how to process that.
She spares a glance at Nicole and sees her smiling, playing with the ring she gave her and her heart swells. She can’t stop the grin that spreads across her own face, catching Nicole’s attention.
The redhead looks over at Wynonna fully and her smile widens, too. For a moment, they just look at one another, feeling the same thing without speaking it out loud.
Wynonna tightens her grip on her girl’s hand and Nicole brushes her thumb over Wynonna’s sweetly.
They both cry when Angel dies. Wynonna leans her head on Nicole’s shoulder and cries a little quieter, but Nicole still knows. She leans her head against Wynonna’s and lets her tears fall quietly too.
When the movie is over, Nicole folds the blankets and Wynonna takes their empty dishes to the kitchen before they head upstairs.
Once in the safety of her room with the door closed, Wynonna moves into Nicole’s arms and seems to sink into her. “God, that was way too long without this.” She sighs, closing her eyes and letting out a deep breath.
Nicole laughs softly, wrapping her arms around Wynonna. One rests at the back of her head and she leans in to press a kiss to her hair, closing her eyes as well.
They stay like that for a moment or two before Wynonna pulls back and looks up at the taller girl. “So, how do you like them?” She asks, as if the question has been weighing on her all night.
Nicole knows immediately that she’s talking about the Evans’ and she smiles, rubbing her hands up and down Wynonna’s arms.
“Baby, they’re – really great, actually. They’re nice, they seem to really care. It’s what you deserve. I’m so happy that you have them. Really. This has been –- so, so nice to see. I feel like I’ll sleep better when I can’t be with you, just knowing that you really are safe,” Nicole admits, tilting her head just so.
Wynonna’s heart melts a little bit at the idea of Nicole finding it hard to sleep because she’s worried about her. “You had fun? You really mean it?” Wynonna questions again, scrunching her nose up a little and closing one eye.
Nicole laughs and reaches out to run her finger down the bridge of Wynonna’s perfect little nose, as if smoothing out the wrinkles with her touch. “Yes. I do,” she says confidently.
Wynonna accepts with a sigh and a soft smile, moving her arms from around Nicole’s torso to take her hand instead. She moves towards the bed and sits down on the edge of it, criss-crossing her legs.
Nicole follows her to the edge of the bed, but seems to get lost looking around the room on the way.
Wynonna tries to follow her glances, but can’t quite pick up on exactly what she’s looking at. This is the first time she’s really seeing her room, her space. Wynonna remembers the first time she was in Nicole’s, how she wanted to take in everything and learn it all.
She knows what Nicole is doing right now is no different, but she’d be lying if she said it doesn’t make her a little nervous. Nicole’s room is so pretty and full of things that have made her her for her whole life. Wynonna’s is borrowed at best. But she’d done some things that she specifically wanted Nicole to be happy about, and she wonders if the girl has noticed yet.
“Whatcha lookin’ at, Red?” Wynonna asks, unable to take the quiet anymore.
Nicole seems to snap out of it and look back down to her, a soft smile making the corner of her mouth twitch.
“Just lookin’... it’s pretty in here, Wynonna. Very you,” Nicole compliments, taking both of Wynonna’s hands in hers.
Wynonna seems to relax a bit at the nice words, some of her worry washing away. “Really? I… I tried to make it nice in here. As nice as I could. I put up some nice pictures of some mountains that I found, cause they reminded me of you. And a poster, behind the door. Look.” She urges, pointing towards the door Nicole hadn’t looked at.
When the younger girl turns around, she’s met with a poster of Pink taped neatly to the wood. It’s smaller than the one she has, and a different picture, but still super hot and it makes her laugh.
“Pink…” She says the woman’s name like she can’t believe what she’s looking at before turning back to Wynonna.
“Again...reminded me of my Haughty.” She boasts, brushing her thumbs over the backs of Nicole’s hands. She glances down at them and notices the biggest thing.
“Oh! Yeah… the… my parents wanted to get me bed stuff for in here, I told them I could but they insisted, like a welcome home gift or something for when I moved here. I picked these out, ‘cause they made me think of being snuggled up in your bed.” She says softly, feeling extremely vulnerable admitting these things.
“Baby…” Nicole coos, her shoulders sagging as she takes in the dark blue comforter and pillows. Some of them are the solid blue of the bed, and some are a dark floral pattern of the same colors. Nicole figures the sheets will look the same as those from what she can see peaking out.
She moves her hands to Wynonna’s face and leans in for a long, deep kiss. When she pulls back, she presses her knee into the bed and pushes herself up onto it, basically into Wynonna’s lap.
Wynonna receives her easily and happily, grinning as Nicole invades her space. She twists her fingers into the redhead’s hair and pulls her down for another kiss, feeling starved after the last several hours of not getting to kiss her.
“Do you like it? Or is it weird...I’m just trying to feel comfortable here, and you’re –– what makes me feel the most comfortable,” Wynonna admits when their kiss is over, holding Nicole close still.
“It’s not weird, Wynonna. It’s perfect. It’s -- everything. I love that I can make you feel that way.” Nicole assures, brushing her thumb over Wynonna’s warm cheek and her nose against hers. She continues sweetly, “It looks beautiful in here. A beautiful room for the most beautiful girl… I think I have a few more things for you to add, though. If you want to.”
Nicole shrugs gently, very reluctantly getting off of Wynonna and going over to her bag. She pulls out a few items before returning to the bed, opting to climb up and sit beside Wynonna instead of on top of her for this.
Nicole drapes something made of fabric over Wynonna’s lap and Wynonna reaches for it, knowing it immediately.
“One of your pillowcases...” She says, smiling to herself as she holds it in her hands. She can’t resist bringing it up to her nose and inhaling, breathing in the familiar smell of Nicole’s bedroom.
“I know it won’t match perfectly, but to be fair I didn’t know your stuff was even the same color before I got here, so at least there’s that.” Nicole shrugs, smirking.
“I thought you’d like –– to have something else that smells like me. And when you need it washed, just bring it over and it’ll keep smelling like my room.” She explains.
Wynonna watches her with so much love and adoration, a silly little smirk on her face. The love she has for Nicole Haught aches in her bones.
“You’re something else, Haughtstuff.” Wynonna breathes, reaching over for one of the pillows immediately to replace the case with the new one.
She folds up the old one and drapes it over Nicole’s knee. “You take that one, then. For the same reason.” Wynonna says, quietly, putting her hands in her lap.
Nicole’s smile is wide as she looks down at the dark blue fabric before looking back up at Wynonna. “Thank you, ‘Nonna.” She says, setting it aside.
“I’ve got these, too.” She says gently, holding out a stack of pictures of the two of them for Wynonna to look at.
Nicole had been careful not to pick ones that straight up screamed that they were gay, just in case. But the ones she did choose are still some of their best. Ones where they look so happy, or ones from a moment that’s only special because they shared it. Pictures that Wynonna can put up in her room for just the two of them to know the story behind.
Wynonna softens as she takes the pictures, shuffling through the stack and remembering the occasion for each and every one. “I can put these on the wall?” She asks when she’s reaching the end.
She traces her finger over Nicole’s face in the one she’s looking at now, one from when they went to the aquarium. Nicole is beaming and so beautiful. Wynonna looks up to see the same expression staring back at her now.
“Yeah, baby. Whatever you want. I figured you’d want to, if you felt comfortable enough.” She says, reaching out to rest her hands on Wynonna’s thighs.
“You’ll help me put them up tomorrow?” Wynonna asks with her bottom lip between her teeth.
“You got it, Earp.” Nicole says gently, leaning in to kiss Wynonna’s nose.
They get ready for bed and Wynonna climbs under the covers first, gravitating to the same side she normally lays on when they’re in Nicole’s bed. She pulls the covers back for her and waits for her to get in.
It feels weird but in a good way to be curling up against Nicole in her own bed. She wraps her arms around the taller girl’s waist and leans her head against Nicole’s shoulder. They settle like that for a moment, Nicole’s arm around her just brushing up and down her arm as they lay in the dark.
“Have you ever been to New York, Nic?” Wynonna asks, thinking back to the scenery from the movie they’d watched. Thinking about how it made her feel.
“Yeah I have. When I was younger, but not in a couple of years. My aunt took me the few times I did go and we saw shows on Broadway.”
Nicole doesn’t have to ask if Wynonna has been, she knows enough to know the answer. The girl hadn’t even seen an aquarium before they’d gone together. In a way, it’s nice to think about all the things she’d get to see Wynonna experience for the first time.
“We’ll go one day. Just the two of us,” Nicole says matter-of-factly, already imagining the smile on Wynonna’s face the first time she sees the city.
“Yeah?” Wynonna smiles, twisting her fingers in Nicole’s shirt.
“Yeah, baby. I’d love that. To see you see it for the first time,” Nicole promises, leaning over and kissing Wynonna’s head.
“I’d love that, too,” Wynonna says simply, her hands pushing up under the big t-shirt Nicole is wearing. Her nose nuzzles against Nicole’s neck and she can feel her warming underneath her.
“Your bed is comfy, too. For the record.” Nicole’s hands travel under Wynonna’s shirt and trail up her back. She sighs into the comfort of the embrace, smiling softly as Wynonna’s nose and breath brush against her sensitive neck.
“Wynonna…” She says in a way that’s probably meant to be in warning but comes off more sing-songy and breathless.
“Yeah, baby?” Wynonna asks, pressing a kiss to the skin under her lips.
“You said like when my parents are home…” She reminds her of her own words from earlier, her own hands never stopping their trailing of Wynonna’s skin.
“Yeah, I meant quietly,” Wynonna clarifies in a soft whisper, shifting herself to straddle Nicole’s hips.