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Shot Through the Heart

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“I’ll put the kettle on.”  Waverly walked into the kitchen, away from the shit storm she knew was brewing.  The whole drive back from the bar, Willa kept talking about how good it felt to finally kill some demons.  Waverly was silent, agreeing with Wynonna that Dolls was going to kill them. 

It was bad enough when it was just Wynonna being reckless, but Willa was a whole new level that they couldn’t even predict.  Waverly was still wary of her, and the bar fight wasn’t helping her case.  She didn’t really know how to feel about Willa being back.  The few memories of Willa that Waverly had were of a cruel sister, being tortured and left behind.  But she didn’t really know Willa, didn’t know how to get to know the person she is now.

“Shit! That felt good,” Willa sounded ecstatic.  Dolls sounded like the opposite.

“Yeah,” he deadpanned. “So does base jumping without a shute.”

“I’m sorry, maybe I’m unclear about this whole curse thing,” Willa said sarcastically.

Waverly stood at the sink, filling the kettle, and trying to act like she wasn’t listening to them fighting.

“There are revenants; there are Earps. The Earps – that’s us by the way –”

“Willa-“ Wynonna tried to stop her rant.

“—make sure all the revenants get a bullet to the brain from Peacemaker, or die trying.” She paused.  “Am I missing something?”

“Yeah. Civilians.” Dolls argued back.  “And as far as human witnesses are concerned, you just shot a random person in a bar.”

Willa just scoffed in amusement.  “Ha! In Purgatory that’s old news.”

“Yeah? Well, that’s the type of thing that can get Purgatory on the wrong side of a nuke,” he stressed.

Wynonna tried to mediate between them. “OK, she didn’t know. I made the same mistake.”

“Wynonna!” Willa shot back. “Why are you listening to this buzzkill in army boots?”

“Buzzkill?” Dolls yelled.

“Yeah.”

“Buzzkill? I’m a U.S. Marshall with Black Badge, you hear me?”

Waverly could hear how agitated Dolls was getting.  She put the kettle on the heat and decided to take off her coat.  She didn’t want to get in the middle of what was happening in her living room, so she got comfortable while she waited for the fight to end.

Wynonna stepped in again. “He’s been helping us,” she tried to reason with Willa.

“You mean, you’re following his orders, and not your own instincts,” Willa shot back.

Dolls scoffed, “Aw, come on!”

“We’re a team!” Wynonna yelled.

“I thought I was the brainwashed one.”

The few seconds of silence hurt Waverly.  She knew Willa hit a sore spot with Wynonna.  And she made it clear it hurt, kicking over the end table and storming out the front door.  With the door slamming shut, Waverly was already grabbing her coat to go run after her sister.  She paused though; hearing Willa stop Dolls.

“I’m her sister,” she told him. “I got it.”

Waverly stood still, wanting to go after Wynonna, but also pissed that Willa didn’t even think of her.  She should be helping her talk to Wynonna. But instead, she’s left again.

Waverly wonders if she should text Nicole, and ask her to come get her from the Homestead.  She doesn’t though.  She knows Nicole in working, and she hasn’t even gotten the courage to tell Wynonna about them.  Not that she would even know where to begin with that conversation.  They were dating, but they hadn’t called the other “girlfriend” yet.  Waverly was unclear where they actually stood right now.  But she made a mental note to ask Nicole the next time she went over her place.

But for right now, with her coat on, Waverly decided to go check on her sisters.  Since she didn’t hear Wynonna’s truck leaving, there’s only one other place they could be.  The old barn.  Waverly turned off the kettle and snuck out the back door.  Not wanting to barge in on Willa and Wynonna just yet, she slowly snuck through the snow and quietly slipped in the door that Willa left open.

“—meltdown in front of your boss.” Waverly heard Wynonna say.

Waverly kept close to the wall, not wanting to interrupt their moment. She felt like an outsider.

“Gummy bears,” Willa breathed out.

Wynonna looked confused.  “Fuzzy peaches.”

Willa had a faraway look on her face.  “I remember we used to play in here with gummy bears.  We would dance them across the beams and into our mouths.”

Willa and Wynonna shared a small sad laugh.  Waverly felt a pang in her chest.  She felt like that annoying 6-year-old; being left out and alone.

“Then you turned 11 and you wanted to practice making out with the gummy bears.” Wynonna laughed.

Willa gave a short laugh, “And you promised to never tell anyone that.”

“I never did.” Wynonna swore with a smile.  She turned solemn after that.  “Then you went and died on me.”

“We were two peas, you and I.” Willa said. “It’s always been you and I.”

Waverly felt that pang again. She felt it like when Wynonna and Willa would leave her behind as kids, to have their adventures.  Felt it like when she had to watch Wynonna leave her, and not knowing when they would see each other again.  Felt it, like she was being abandoned all over again.

“Yeah, I remember,” Wynonna said.

“It can be like it always was,” Willa told her.  “And different too, in all the right ways.  You’re not alone anymore.”

Wynonna looked at Willa with her eyes shining.  They shared a sad smile, and Willa pulled her into a hug.  Wynonna looked so vulnerable; in a way that she rarely shows anyone.  Waverly watched Wynonna cling to Willa, her heart breaking.  Watching her sister in pain was one thing, but watching her confide and choose another person after all they’ve been through, hurt her worse.  Maybe it was selfish, but she didn’t want to be second best anymore.  She slipped back through the barndoor, and back into her kitchen.

She turned the heat back on the kettle, set on making at least Dolls and herself some tea.  As she waited for it to steep, Waverly pulled her phone out.

Waves: 3:47

            Hey, when are you off shift?

Nicole <3: 3:49

            Hey cutie! im actually off at 4! whats up?

Waves: 3:50

            Can you come get me from the homestead?  i dont really want to be here tonight

Nicole <3: 3:51

            Sure! you can stay the night? everything ok?

Waves: 3:52

            yeah. ill see you soon

Nicole <3: 3:52

            ill be out there soon

 

Waverly put her phone down and grabbed the two mugs.  She knew it would take Nicole about 40 minutes to get to her.  Lonnie was always  ten minutes late to his afternoon shift and the ice on the road would slow Nicole a bit as well.  So, she might as well sit with Dolls until Nicole got closer.

Walking out of the kitchen, Waverly could see Dolls sitting at the table, staring at his phone like it held the answers of Wynonna.  Moving slowly, she gently placed the mug on the table in front of him before sitting down across the table form him.

“You’re quiet.”

Dolls shook himself out of his staring. 

“Yeah, I’m just thinking.” He took a deep breath. “There’s a lot going on right now that just doesn’t add up.  Like if Cryderman is dirty—” he trailed off to gather his thoughts, “—that means someone is feeding him some BBD intel.”

“Someone we know or someone you work for?” Waverly questioned.

“I don’t know.” Dolls looked so tired right then.  The weight of this resting heavily on his shoulders.  “Black Badge isn’t just a—” he paused again, “a job for me.”

“Yeah, no kidding,” Waverly breathed out a laugh.  She was so tired too.  But she smiled at Dolls and he gave her a genuine smile back.

“I get it. Feeling like you’re about to lose something.” Waverly felt so drained.

Dolls just smiled and leaned forward, resting his arms on the table.  “It’s OK if you don’t like her, you know.”

Waverly took deep breath.  “I’m happy she’s back, I really am.  It’s, I never really knew her, you know.  Still don’t.”  She didn’t really know what to feel. Happy that she’s alive.  Sad that she was brainwashed.  Apprehensive to claim who she is.  Angry that she came back to take Wynonna back.  Hurt. Hurt that she’s being left behind again.

“Yeah, we’ll get to the bottom of it, alright?” Dolls promised.

“Yeah, I’m sure you will.”  Since Willa was back, what use was Waverly.  Why should the team want her? She’s not an Heir, she can’t kill demons.

But Dolls was already ahead of her thoughts.  “All of us.  You’re good at what you do.  Doesn’t matter how many Willas come back.  Doesn’t.  We’re still gonna need you.” He smiled and made sure she was looking at him.  “Earp.”  He sat back with a smirk.

“You called me ‘Earp’,” Waverly smiled wide.  The pain of being left behind a dull ache now.

“Yeah I did,” Dolls smirked again.  “Don’t let it go to your head.  And there’s only thee of you, right?” he teased her.

Waverly let out her first genuine laugh all day.

 

But it was short lived.  Right then, the window of the door smashed as something flew through.  Waverly yelped as her and Dolls jumped up.

“Smoke bomb! Clear! Clear!” Dolls screamed. Waving her back as he took the table cloth and wrapped it around the bomb.  Shots rang out and bullets started coming through the walls.  “Go, Waverly! Get down!” Dolls turned the table on its side and ran for cover.

Waverly hit the ground and starting crawling for the table too.  It became clear that the attack wouldn’t stop, and the table wasn’t stopping anything.  The bullets kept coming in quickfire.  As Dolls kept cover and started firing back, Waverly started crawling back towards the kitchen.  Life in a demon hunter family meant that there were guns stashed everywhere, and her trusty shotgun was under their kitchen table.

“Go find the basement now!” Dolls yelled back to her.  “Anything without windows! Go! Go! Go!” They were under fire from the front and side now.  Bullets ripping through the house, burying themselves in the walls and floor, getting closer to Waverly.  The windows shattered spraying glass and bullets everywhere.

“Oh my God!” Waverly crawled as fast as she can, trying to get a weapon to fight back.

Dolls was firing back as fast as he could, but his Glock only held so many bullets.  “Grenade!” Waverly heard him yell and roll out from behind the table.  With a grunt, he hurled the grenade back towards the enemies, taking out at least one guy.

Waverly finally reached the kitchen and grabbed her gun.  She was stuck under the sink, bullets whizzing by her as she tried to remain covered.

“Waverly hide!” Dolls yelled over the gunfire.  She knew he was just trying to protect her because he had the training, but she was over being a damsel in distress.

“God, I wish people would stop saying that to me!” She had to duck as the window above her shattered with more bullets.  Her whole kitchen was now riddled with bullets.  She heard Dolls get the rifle, firing off two shots before being forced back down.

With bullets still ringing over her head, Waverly gathered all her anger to fight back.  “AH, you wanna get all up in my kitchen?” She got to her feet with a grunt.  Aiming out the window, she bit out “Eat shit, shit-eaters!”  before sending off two shots to the person behind the barn.  The buckshot missed most of him, but he got some in the face. And before she could reload, he shot a spray of bullets aimed at her.

“AH!” One caught her in the side, sending fire through her ribs.  Waverly hit the ground, pain blinding her.  As she tried to gather herself, more gunfire sounded off.  But no bullets came through the house.  Seemed like Wynonna and Willa finally made themselves known.

Waverly got to her feet, swaying as she clutched her ribs.  Wynonna burst through the door.

“Waverly? Dolls?” she searched frantically for them in the destroyed house.  She reached Dolls first, grabbing his arm and checking him.

“We’re OK. We’re OK.” He panted.

Willa was waiting at the door, ready to go back after the men.  “Good to go?”

Wynonna still needed to see Waverly. “Wait.”  She could see Waverly moving slowly towards them.  Something was wrong.

Willa was impatient.  “For what? They just tried to kill is in our own home again!”

“Uh, guys,” she was trying to stay upright.  “I think I got a little bit shot.”  She fell sideways, barely conscious.

“Waverly!” Wynonna screamed, running over to her fallen sister.

“They’re getting away!” Willa wasn’t concerned with Waverly being shot.

Wynonna tried to calm Waverly down.  “It’s OK. You’re OK.” Dolls kneeled on the other side of Waverly, checking her side.

“WYNONNA!”  Willa screamed.

“Just a second!” she yelled back.

Waverly moved her hand off her side to reveal the blood soaking her shirt.

“OK, it’s just a graze,” Dolls said with a sigh, grateful it wasn’t worse.

“Just?!” Waverly asked, incredulously.  She hurt so much; it couldn’t be just that hit.  And then she really felt it.  More pain and a bigger wet spot on the other side from her graze.  She could feel the blood oozing from the left side of her stomach.

Before she could do anything, the front door flew open again as Willa took off. 

“Shit! Willa!” Wynonna was torn.  Her one sister bleeding on the floor, and the other off to hunt down the people shooting at them.

“Go, we can’t lose her again.” Waverly tried to send her away, knowing that Wynonna would never forgive herself if something happened to Willa.  Dolls looked at Waverly in shock.  He noticed the other hit.  But Waverly shook her head at him.

“Go.” She urged her again. 

“Take care of her,” Wynonna begged Dolls.  A nod, then she stood and took off after Willa.  Waverly grunted as Dolls put pressure on her wound.  When she looked at him, he didn’t look angry or confused.

“You know she’ll hate herself for leaving you.”  He started looking around for a cloth to put on the gunshot.  He ran to the kitchen and grabbed the first towel he saw.

“Yeah, but she can hate herself and me when Willa is safe.”  Waverly was gasping now, feeling dizzy.

“Hey! Hey! Stay awake now.  You’re gonna be OK” Dolls turned stern with her, pulling her up into a seated position.  “We need to make it to the car. Now!”

Waverly let out pitiful moans and whimpers as Dolls picked her up into his arms.  He kicked the door open and moved as fast as he could to the SUV with Waverly groaning in pain.  Her head kept nodding forward and snapping back as she tried to keep herself awake.

“I’m gonna get you to the hospital, don’t worry.” He promised her.  Dolls managed to open the backseat door and put Waverly inside without having to put her down.  Just as he shut the door, he heard tires squealing to a stop behind him. He whipped around, gun drawn, ready to take out the next threat.  But it was Deputy Haught, jumping out of the car.  He was surprised to see her here so soon after the shootout.

“What happened? Where’s Waverly!” Haught yelled at him, seeing the blood covering his shirt.

Dolls opened the back door and the driver door.  As he jumped into the driver seat, he yelled to her.  “Get in. Quickly. I’ll explain on the way.”

No time to waste, Dolls was already in drive before Nicole could fully shut the door.

“Wha—Waves! Waverly!” Nicole was yelling, reaching on instinct to put pressure on the cloth over Waverly’s stomach.  There was so much blood, the cloth already soaked.

Waverly grunted and opened her eyes to see Nicole’s paler than normal face hovering over her.  “Nic?”

“I’m here baby, I got you.”  Nicole tried to give a reassuring smile, but it looked more like a grimace.  She looked up at Dolls, turning stern.  “Explain. Now!’’

“Gun fight at the Homestead.  Don’t know who they are.  We took out a few before they retreated.  Waverly has two gunshot wounds.  Graze on her right ribs, and the shot to her left side.”  Dolls spoke in short, effective sentences. 

“Where’s Wynonna?”  Nicole knew enough about the older Earp to know she wouldn’t have left her sister’s side unless she was also hurt.

“Ran after Willa,” Waverly wheezed out.  Her normally tan skin was a sickly pale color now.  A ringing started in her ears.  Nicole and Dolls sounded like they were shouting under water.  Everything was going dark.

“—ey! Hey!” Nicole shook her shoulders, trying to get her to stay conscious.  “Come on Waves.  You gotta stay awake a little longer!”  Dolls pushed down on the gas harder.  He sped as fast as possible towards the closest hospital.  It was still too far for his liking.

Waverly’s lips started to curl into a partial smile.  The pain seemed to be fading.  The hold on her consciousness was slipping.  “I’m not scared.”  She brought a shaking hand up to cup Nicole’s cheek.  Her hand was covered in blood but Nicole didn’t care.  All that mattered was getting Waverly help.

They were 10 minutes away now.  Nicole’s eyes were glassy with unshed tears.  “Almost there Waves, just a little while longer.” 

Time seemed to slow, it hurt so much to stay awake.  Waverly just wanted to close her eyes and sleep.  She should be scared; she could die.  But she was glad that Nicole was here with her.  Nicole never made her feel second best.  Nicole always had time for her, put her first.  She needed to tell Nicole how much she meant to her.

“Nic,” God, even breathing hurts Waverly thought.  “You are the best thing in my life.”

Nicole tried to scoff and tell her to save her energy, but Waverly kept talking.

“You are amazing,” she paused to gasp more air.  “And I am so grateful,” another breath, “to be falling in love with you.”

Nicole gasped in surprise.  She knew how much she cared for Waverly, but she never expected this amount of feelings from the other woman.  Her heart swelled in her chest as her tears finally slid down her face.

“I’m falling for you too,” she breathed, a smile splitting her face.

Waverly smiled back.  Breath still wheezing and gasping.  Her eyes started rolling back.

“No,” Nicole gasped.  “No, no, no, no, NO!” Nicole was frantic, gripping Waverly’s shoulders hard, trying to jar her back into awareness.  But Waverly was lost in the darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

“I still can’t believe you let him get away,” Wynonna stomped up the porch stairs.

“I’m sorry, Wynonna,” Willa had no emotions in her voice.  No feelings, no regret.

Wynonna just scoffed and pushed open the broken door.  God, everything that she and Waverly had done to try and make this place livable has gone up in smoke.

Expecting to see Dolls cleaning up Waverly, she was surprise to find the living room empty.  She put her hand on Peacemaker holstered on her hip.

“Dolls? Waverly?” she yelled out.  With no answer, she starting walking further into the house.  “Dolls!” she yelled again.  “Waverly?  Babygirl?” 

Willa had plopped herself on the couch, seemingly unconcerned about Waverly. 

Wynonna started stomping into the kitchen,  coming up empty.  She was just about to check Waverly’s bedroom upstairs when she saw the large pool of blood staining the wooden floor.  That was a lot more blood for the graze she saw.  Her heart leapt into her throat.

“Waverly!” she screamed as she took the stairs two at a time.  “Waverly! Where are you?”  She continued to scream, trying to find her baby sister, but knowing she wasn’t there.  She stormed back down the stairs to see Willa looking at the blood in disinterest.  “We need to find her!”  Peacemaker was drawn, she was ready to kill everyone.

“Oh, calm down,” Willa drawled.  “The Marshall probably just took her to get stitched up.  No need to get hysterical.”  She turned and started searching for an unbroken whiskey bottle in all the carnage.

“I’m not calming down Willa.  And neither should you!”  Wynonna spit out.  She was pissed at how nonchalant Willa was acting about their sister missing after getting shot in an attack of their home.  “She’s our sister. We need to find her!”

A ringing came from Wynonna’s pocket, interrupting her rant.  Patting her pockets, she pulled out her cellphone.  Seeing it was Doll’s number, she fumbled in her haste to answer it. 

“Where are you? Where is my sister?” she demanded before Dolls could say anything.

“Earp,” he said in numb voice.

“Where is she?” Her voiced cracked, her eyes burned with tears.

“At the hospital.  Get here,” the slightest waiver in his voice shot fear in her heart.  The line went dead before she even moved.  A few seconds past before she finally snapped back into herself.  She grabbed the glass of whiskey in Willa’s hand and downed it despite of the noise of protest.

“Lets go.” She told Willa before she snatched her keys off the still somehow standing key hook.

“What’s the rush,” Willa filled her glass again, taking a slow sip. 

Wynonna whirled back, “Our sister is in the hospital.  We need to be there for her.”

“Oh? Like you all were there for me?”  Willa raised an eyebrow in hostility.

Wynonna gripped Peacemaker harder and stepping into Willa’s space.  “Get over whatever fucking abandonment issues you have right now.  All of us have issues.  So what? You were abducted and brainwashed into a cult.  You don’t get to have traumatic superiority in this moment.”  Her jaw was clenched and her eye twitching.  “What matters is that we are there for our sister.  She would never leave you alone and scared in the hospital. And I may have been a shitty sister before, but I’m not abandoning her now.   So, get in the fucking truck.”

Willa remained stoic during Wynonna’s tirade, rolling her eyes and not saying anything.  She knocked back the rest of the whiskey, and with a scoff, walked towards the front door.  “Let’s go then,” she drawled.

Wynonna rolled her own eyes before stalking out to the truck.  They jumped in and shot off towards Purgatory General.

 

 

 

Dolls sat still and straight in the uncomfortable plastic waiting room chairs.  Nicole alternated from pacing the floor, and sitting with her leg bouncing, trying to patiently wait for the doctor to come out.  Part of her wanted to use her influence as a Deputy to get more information, but she resigned herself to waiting for Wynonna and the doctor.

Slouching back in her seat next to Dolls, Nicole let out a sigh, staring at the clock for the tenth time in as many minutes.

“So,” Dolls started softly.  “You two finally work it out?”  He had noticed the stares and smiles since the beginning.

Nicole whipped her head around to gape at him.  But seeing his kind face, she scoffed gently, knowing how he had observed them.  “Partially.  We are dating, but it’s not really official.  And Waverly didn’t want to tell Wynonna just yet, and with the whole Willa reappearing thing,” Nicole trailed off.  “I just don’t want to push her into something she isn’t ready for or doesn’t want.”  She cradled her head in her hands, massaging her forehead. 

Dolls just gently nudged her shoulder, showing a rare moment of sensitivity.  “Hey now.  Anyone looking can see how you two look at each other.  You’re special to her.  And we both know Waverly would let you know if you were pushing her.”  They shared a small laugh, knowing how strong-willed Waverly is.  “Besides, Wynonna has a special skill of not seeing what’s in front of her.  Especially when it comes to her sister.”

Nicole grinned softly at him, momentarily distracted from her love being worked on in the operation room.  The moment didn’t last long though.  Thoughts of that harrowing car ride filled Nicole’s mind, turning her resigned and anxious. 

Watching her lose consciousness so close to the ER, it was terrifying.  Nicole tried her best to stay calm and hold the pressure on Waverly’s wound, but all her training went out the window.  Just seconds away from the doors, Nicole couldn’t feel her pulse.  A wail ripped from her throat before she quickly started chest compressions.

“Dolls! She’s not breathing!”  Dolls slammed on the breaks at the entrance of the ER.  Barely remembering to put the car in park, he was out the door yelling for help.

Nicole was only aware of Waverly’s still form.  “Come on, baby! Come on! I got you!” she mumbled as she continued chest compressions.  “I cant lose you! Please!” Tears streamed down her face the longer Waverly wasn’t breathing.  She was starting to lose hope when Waverly finally gasped in air.  Nicole breathed out a sigh as Waverly’s chest rose and fell without assistance, but she still didn’t wake.

The backdoor to the car opened and nurses were grabbing at Waverly, trying to pull her out and onto a gurney.  Nicole jumped at the sudden disappearance of her love before feeling Dolls hauling her out of the car and following after the nurses.

After being told they had to stay back in the waiting room, Nicole reluctantly made it over to the bathroom to try to clean the blood off her hands.  Waverly’s blood.  Waverly’s blood all over her hands.  She was shaking, tears flowing freely, her breathing coming out in short pants.  Nicole scrubbed roughly at her hands, desperate to get the blood off, but her shaking was making it impossible.

Finally, she had to step back from the sink.  She sank to the floor, trying to get her breathing back in order, trying to be brave for her angel.  It took a few minutes, and a worried nurse coming into the bathroom before Nicole could finally get back to her feet and finish cleaning herself up.

Nicole shook herself from her thoughts when Wynonna in all her leather glory stomped through the doors.  Looking around, she honed in on Dolls and Nicole standing to meet her.  Storming over with a glower on her face, Wynonna reeled back her arm and slapped Dolls hard across the face.  There was a momentary pause in which no one reacted.  When Wynonna went to slap him again, Nicole managed to catch her arm, stopping the slap that Dolls wouldn’t stop.

“ Where is Waverly? What happened to her!”  She was distraught, moving back into Dolls face like he was the cause of everything.  Nicole managed to keep her back, giving Dolls some space to talk.  Wynonna looked back at her in bewilderment, like she only just noticed her presence.  “Haught-shit? What the fuck are you doing here?”

Not wanting to shove Waverly out of the closet without her permission, Nicole gave a half truth.  “I was heading towards the Homestead during my patrol, heard some gunfire, and pulled up to Dolls carrying Waverly to his SUV.”

Wynonna whirled back on Dolls, “What the fuck happened.” She growled.  “She was only grazed! A graze wouldn’t make that much blood!”

“She was hit in her left side too.  I didn’t see it until after you ran after Willa,” Dolls sighed and sat back down. 

“Why didn’t she say anything?” Wynonna lost her rage, sinking down into the seat next to him.  “Why did she tell me to go?”

Slowly, Dolls put his arm around Wynonna’s shoulders, and pulled her into his chest.  She let him hold him for a long moment.  Seeing Willa slip into the room, and lean against a far wall, Nicole left Wynonna to Dolls and went over to Willa.

“I’m sorry about your sister,” she said, softly.

“Why?” came Willa’s bored voice.  “Its not like you shot her. Or have any reason to stay here.  Why are you here?”  Her eyes bore into Nicole with an uncomfortable intensity.

“Waves—Waverly is my friend.” Is all Nicole said.  She turned from Willa and went back to the nurses’ station to ask about Waverly again.

 

 

About two hours had passed in uncomfortable silence.  Wynonna sat with her head on Dolls’ shoulder, Willa finally sat down next to Wynonna.  Nicole felt alone; cast off to the side, not important to the family.  Not wanting to leave Waverly, but also not comfortable with Willa glaring at her, Nicole stood to dismiss herself. 

“Waverly Earp’s family?”

Dolls and Wynonna shot up from their seats, and Willa lazily got to her feet.  They all stared at the doctor in bloody scrubs.  Wynonna let out a small whimper, just soft enough that only Dolls heard. 

Realizing Wynonna was too afraid, Dolls stepped forward.  “We are Waverly’s family.”

“Is she OK?” Wynonna burst out.

The doctor gave a small smile, “She’s out of surgery and resting now.  We’ve moved her into a recovery room, and she should make a full recovery.  The bullet missed her ribs and any organs.  Miss Earp is extremely lucky.”  Wynonna sighed in relief and Nicole felt like she could finally breath again.  The doctor smiled again, and told them at only one person can go in right now until Waverly wakes and is put in a more permanent room.

Nicole was itching to go see her, but Wynonna needed to see her sister first.  Nicole resigned herself in calling Nedley and asking for at least the next day off so she could see Waverly.  Wynonna started to follow the doctor, and Nicole sat back down.

“You don’t need to be here, you know,” Willa’s harsh voice rang out.  Turning, Nicole could see Willa glaring at her.  Wynonna turned back too.

“Thank you, Haught.  You can head home.  Dolls can let you know how she is when she wakes up.”  Wynonna gave her a grateful smile.

“I’d rather stay and make sure she’s OK,” Nicole tried to wave them off.  She needed to stay.  Needed Waverly to know she stayed for her.  Needed to see with her own eyes that her love was safe.

“Haught.” Dolls walked over and put a hand on her shoulder.  “Go home.”  Nicole tried to interrupt him.  He knew why she needed to stay, why was he trying to get her to leave.  “You need to shower and get into some non-bloody clothes.”

Nicole glanced down and saw he was right.  Her uniform shirt was covered in blood.  She probably still had a bloody handprint from Waverly cupping her face.  But she still didn’t want to leave.

“By the time she wakes up, visiting will be over.  Go home, get some rest.  Come back in the morning,” Dolls eyes were gentle in a way that Nicole has only seen when he looks at Wynonna.

Nicole reluctantly nodded and stood.  “Hey Earp,” she called to Wynonna.  When she turned Nicole tried not to look like a kicked puppy.  “Just—let her know that I was here?”

Wynonna was a little confused by the request, but nodded anyway.  “See ya in the morning, Haught-damn.”  Wynonna winked back to her, before continuing on, following the doctor further into the hospital.

With one last nod to Dolls, and a glance over to a still glaring Willa, Nicole took her leave.  Walking outside, she remembered that she didn’t have her cruiser with her.  Not wanting to go back and face Willa, Nicole called a taxi to take her back to the precinct.  If it was a slow night, Lonnie could probably drive her out to the Homestead to get the cruiser back.  If not, she would have to wait around until one of the guys had the opportunity to drive her.

 

 

 

*Beep*

*Beep*

*Beep*

God, what was that beeping.  It couldn’t be her alarm yet.

Waverly tried to reach over and turn off that beeping, but her arm felt like lead.  She ached everywhere, why couldn’t she move.  Her eyelids felt like they were glued together.  It took a lot of effort but Waverly finally opened her eyes.

She was immediately blinded by the white lights all around her.  She squeezed her eyes shut, making her discomfort known with a whine.

“Hey, hey, it’s OK,” she heard a soft voice in her ear.  When she opened her eyes again, the lights were dimmer, but it was still a little too bright for her.  She blinked a few times, trying to get her vision back in focus.  The first thing she noticed was the pain.  Her entire torso ached and made it hard to breath.  Her breaths came in short bursts, panic welling up, blocking her thoughts.  Crazy brown hair came into focus, Wynonna.

Then darkness filled her vision.

 

Next time she woke, the pain was a dull ache.  She was able to look around the room.  She remembered; she was in the hospital.  A sluggish hand came up and brushed against the bandages covering her middle. 

“Nonna?” she croaked out.  She remembered Wynonna was there.  Where was she now?  She cleared her throat and tried again, “Nonna?”  Her throat was scratchy and she was cold, she wanted Wynonna.

“Waves!” came a relieved sigh from the doorway.  Wynonna crossed the room quickly and grabbed her sister in a too tight hug.  Hearing the pained whine, she let go with a small sorry.

Wynonna got her some water when the doctor walked into the room.

“Glad to see you awake,” she smiled.  “I just need to check on your bandages and then I’ll let you rest.  You were very lucky.”  With quick practiced hands, the doctor lifted Waverly’s shirt, and changed out the bloody bandages.  “Looks nice, hopefully you can be out of here in a day or so.”  Making some notes on her chart, the doctor nodded, and walked back out of the door.

Wynonna sat down in the chair next to the bed.  “You really scared me there, Babygirl.  What were you thinking? Not letting me know you were hurt?”  Wynonna looked pissed but also sad that Waverly would hide something like this from her.

Waverly took her hand, careful not to pull the IV.  “I know how much having Willa back means to you, I didn’t want you to let her go missing again.”

“Waves,” Wynonna shook her head sadly.  “Having Willa back is messy and confusing, and I’m glad she’s back.  But I don’t want you to almost die because you are worried about me and Willa.  You are so important to me.  I don’t want to lose you too.”  Tears sprung up in both sister’s eyes.  Wynonna pulled her close and kissed Waverly’s forehead.  They stayed close for a few minutes before Wynonna pulled back, over her feelings already.

“Well,” she started to smile, “you’re going to have some pretty good scars there.  Good thing dudes dig scars.”

Waverly gave a cautious smile back.  “Do chicks?”

Wynonna furrowed her eyebrows, staring at Waverly for a few seconds before they were interrupted by a knock on the open door.  Both sisters turned to see Nicole Haught standing in the doorway.  She was out of her uniform, dressed down in jeans and a chunky blue knit sweater.  Her hair was out of her signature French braid, and she was holding a small boutique of flowers.

Waverly felt her heart swell at the thoughtful gift.  She smiled shyly at Nicole and waved her into the room.

Nicole only had eyes for Waverly, barely acknowledging Wynonna’s presence in the room.

“I wanted to check on you,” she said breathlessly, like she could barely believe that Waverly was awake and safe. 

Wynonna looked between the two women, who only had eyes for each other.  Feeling like she really didn’t want to be there for whatever ‘girl talk’ the two friends were going to start, she stood up.

“I’m gonna go check out the cafeteria,”  Wynonna told Waverly.  “Want anything, babygirl?”  Not even glancing her way, Waverly just shook her head.  Wynonna just shrugged and made her way out the door.

Getting closer to the bed, Nicole hesitantly reached out, not wanting to cause any more pain.  Waverly just grabbed her hand and pulled her closer.  Nicole sat on the edge of the bed, slowly running her thumb over Waverly’s knuckles.

Tears started to stream down her face.  “I almost lost you,” she cried.  Bending down, she pressed a kiss on Waverly’s hand, and brought it up to her forehead, trying to stop crying.

Waverly just shushed her.  “I’m OK now.  I’m still here.”  She tried to sit up, but the pull of her stitches made her flop back down on the bed.  Nicole hovered her hands over her body, wanting to help, but not knowing how.  Waverly pulled on her shoulders, trying to get closer.

“Waverly, I don’t think—” Nicole started.

That didn’t stop Waverly.  “I just want you close.”  She pulled again.  ‘Please,” she batted her eyelashes at Nicole, knowing she was laying it on thick, but knowing Nicole couldn’t deny her.

Still hesitant, Nicole laid down on the edge of the bed, leaving a few inches between them.

“Nicole. I’m OK.  Really.”  Waverly pulled again, and Nicole couldn’t hold back anymore.  Very softly, she scooted closer and laid her arm very gently over Waverly’s lower stomach, making sure she didn’t brush against any wounds.

They spent a few seconds just staring into each other’s eyes.  Showing their love and relief without saying a word.  Slowly, Waverly brought her face closer to Nicole, inching ever closer.  She paused, close enough to feel Nicole’s breath on her lips, and waited.  Finally, Nicole closed the distance for the gentlest kiss she could.  Just a tender pressing of their lips, but it was everything to Nicole.  Her muscles dropped their tension, and she was sure then.

She loved Waverly with all she had.

And unbeknownst to her, Waverly loved her just as much.