Dec. 16, 2022

12 Days of Ficmas: Beneath Your Snowman Sheets - Chapter Three

12 Days of Ficmas: Beneath Your Snowman Sheets - Chapter Three

Chapter Three: You Wish I Was Flirting With You - Fanfic reading of Beneath Your Snowman Sheets

It's the third day of Ficmas! Chapter Three: You Wish I Was Flirting With You

Fanfic reading of Beneath Your Snowman Sheets by New54321 (Twitter @StaceyE706)  by Jen G. (Twitter @Jen_Z_Green) edited by Anne H.B. (Twitter @WynaughtP)
*original fic is 8 chapters. It has been broken down into 12 chapters by the author for the purposes of this audio.

Waverly has been Nicole’s best friend since they were four years old.

She’s been the unrequited love of her life since they were six.

Eighteen years ago, on the day Nicole fell in love beneath a makeshift sprig of mistletoe and a set of special Christmas bedsheets, she made her best friend a promise.

That one day, when they were grown, she would take Waverly on the date of her dreams.

This Christmas, will Nicole finally get to make good on her promise?

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Chapter 3 - You Wish I Was Flirting With You

“The race for Christmas number one is on! Can Ariana Grandé do it, or Kelly Clarkson? Can we have an actual Christmas song in the running this year, or will the X Factor brigade win out once again? Keep listening to Spark Radio UK to find out, as we count down the twelve days to Christmas 2013.” Waverly rolled her eyes as the buzz of the radio through the wall that separated her own bedroom from Wynonna’s grew louder, and she sighed as she reached for the remote to turn up the volume on the TV. The Christmas den was the most elaborate it had ever been. Waverly’s little bed had been replaced by a double for her sixteenth birthday, and her special Christmas sheets had been replaced by a thick cotton bedspread of silver and white, with reindeer silhouettes and a sprinkling of snowflakes. Her old snowman sheets were strung up alongside the others in the makeshift canopy across the bedframe. Strings of fairylights wove their way through twisted tinsel taped to the insides, and snowflake ornaments glittered against the glow as they hung down from safety pins above them. The TV was playing The Grinch. Their third movie of the night. Waverly nestled herself closer against Nicole’s side, blinking back tears as she fought to focus on the images dancing across the screen, and not on her impending heartbreak. "Hey, hey!" Nicole whispered, shuffling against Waverly’s side as she tried to pull back to meet her gaze. "Are you crying?" "No," Waverly sniffed, burying her face in her best friend's side as her tears spilled over. "Wave!" Nicole's arms tightened, holding Waverly still as she shuffled back to face her. "Talk to me." The moment warm, familiar mocha eyes met her own, Waverly crumpled. "I can't believe you have to go," she blubbed, the tears falling thick and fast as she choked over her words. Nicole’s face fell, her shoulders dropping as her own eyes began to cloud over, and Waverly failed to hold back a sob. "I know," Nicole murmured. She nestled herself back down onto the bed beside Waverly, her arm wrapping around the brunette’s shoulders as they lay facing each other. "I don't want to go." "Tell your Mum and Nedley that then!" Waverly sniffed, her stomach sparking with the tiniest, traitorous ember of hope, like it always did when Nicole said she wanted to stay. "Stay here! You can stay with us!" Nicole’s eyes welled, and she swallowed visibly, and Waverly’s ember snuffed out. "It's Nedley's new job, he seems so happy," she whispered. "I don't want to make him feel guilty, Wave. He's been really good to me. And I can't stay here, what about my Mum?" Waverly closed her eyes for a moment as she let the words flood through the stupid hope. Words Waverly knew. Words she'd heard countless times over the past few months. "I know," she sighed, pushing herself forward as she buried her face once again in the front of Nicole’s shoulder. "It just sucks." "It really does," Nicole huffed, her voice strained in her audible efforts to fight her own tears. "Waverly, you have no idea how much I wish I could stay here with you." Waverly smiled sadly as she clutched her hands into the front of Nicole’s stupid bright Christmas jumper, with the stupid reindeer with it's stupid light up antlers and bobble nose. She had a feeling maybe she did know how much. Somewhere, deep down. But it hurt too much to think about when Nicole was leaving her. When her best friend was packing her life up and moving hundreds of miles across the country in just a matter of weeks. She huffed, furrowing her brows in mock irritation as she pulled back abruptly to meet Nicole’s anxious gaze. "You have to move across the country, and you're taking my Nedley," she grumbled. Nicole chuckled softly, her misted eyes shining as the lighter air filtered through Waverly’s words. "We'll all be back to visit," she murmured. "All the time!" "You'd better be," Waverly warned, her lips curling into a soft smile. Nicole grinned. "I'll be back so much you'll be sick of me!" Waverly let out a watery chuckle. Nicole Haught was her favourite person in the whole world. So that sentence, quite frankly, didn't even compute. "Impossible," she murmured. "Besides," Nicole smirked, raising an eyebrow cheekily. "How could I ever miss Christmas movie night?" Waverly grinned. "Christmas isn't Christmas without movie night," she agreed. "Know what else Christmas isn't Christmas without?" Waverly rolled her eyes, her lips tugging into a grin as Wynonna’s voice rang out beside their tent, and the sheets around them began to billow as her sister shook them. "You are a 22 year old woman, are you ever gonna get bored of this?" She retorted, kicking her foot at the hand resting on the other side of the sheet. The shaking stopped, and Waverly sat up. Just in time for Wynonna to appear in the entrance with her goddamn holly. "Nope." Wynonna smirked. "Tradition. Right Little Haught?" "Definitely." Nicole grinned as she sat up beside Waverly, cheeky and playful, and the brunette instantly felt her heart melt. She was going to miss her best friend so much. That easy, cheeky smile that always made even the worst of days feel lighter. And those deep eyes that made Waverly feel like she was in the safest place on Earth, wherever Nicole was. And the way she could make Waverly laugh just with a look, or calm her down with just a few carefully chosen words. The way she absolutely could not sing, but would never leave Waverly belting out Disney songs in the car on her own, and the way she couldn't have been less interested in One Direction, but she still went with Waverly to every show that came to London. Nicole was the best part of Waverly’s life, and it sucked absolute blue monkey's bollocks that Waverly wasn't going to be able to see her every day anymore. Waverly took a deep breath, pushing the bubble of emotion down into her stomach as she turned her eyes to Nicole’s gaze. She faltered. She'd been about to lean forward, to place her soft kiss on her best friend's cheek as always, but something wistful in deep mocha eyes held her still. Nicole held her gaze for a moment, and Waverly’s breath sat still in her chest. She let her own eyes flutter closed as Nicole leaned down, and soft lips pressed gently against her forehead. Waverly exhaled shakily, her heart somehow both calming down and pounding heavier at the contact. There was so much in the soft kiss. A lifetime of friendship and love and memories, and a promise. That this goodbye wasn't a real goodbye. Of course it wasn't. Waverly’s lips curled into a bittersweet smile as Nicole pulled back, and she met her favourite warm eyes once again. She had no idea when Wynonna had left. Clearly even her obtuse older sister had read the room. Then Nicole grinned, her eyes sparkling with that playful mischief Waverly loved so much, and she chuckled, immediately recognising the words that were yet to form on her best friend's lips. "You're about to mention taking me for white hot chocolate, aren't you?" She grinned. Nicole laughed, wrapping her arms around Waverly’s shoulders and tugging them back down against the bed. "I have to come back anyway, cause now we're sixteen, so we're nearly grown..." she teased. "And I have a promise to keep."

〜〜〜〜〜〜 🎄 〜〜〜〜〜〜

“And that was Band Aid 30 with ‘Do They Know It's Christmas’. We've got a few new lyrics this year, and it's never quite the same as the original in the 80s, but we do love a Christmas charity effort here at Spark Radio UK. Stay tuned for Shakin Stevens and a bit of Bing Crosby, as we count down the twelve days to Christmas 2014.” The sound of the doorbell rang out across the crackle of the radio as Waverly put the finishing touches to the fairylit canopy over her double bed. Her stomach surged with electric excitement the moment she processed the chime. Nicole. It had been six months since Waverly had last seen her best friend, and she was practically crawling out of her skin in her excitement to see familiar brown eyes and that dimpled laugh in person again. "I'll get it!" She yelled, her socks slipping on the floor as she launched herself into the hallway and down the stairs. She growled as Wynonna skidded across the hallway floor from the living room, blocking Waverly’s efforts to reach the door first. "I said I'll get it, asshole!" Waverly huffed, grabbing at the back of her sister’s garish Christmas jumper in her attempts to pull her back. Wynonna fought against her, pulling and tugging on her hold until both were wrapped around each other in a frantic grapple to pull the other backwards. "Why must you be so annoying?" Waverly grunted, her words broken with her exertion as she wrestled with her irritating older sister. "You have no reason to be the one to open it!" "Except you're so desperate to that it's funny," Wynonna gasped, smirking smugly as she lifted Waverly clean off of her feet and carried her across the hallway. "For god sake girls, can't you just act like adults for one moment and greet our guests like normal people?" Gus scolded, the frustrated tone calling from the living room. "Wynonna is an adult, she should be the one in trouble," Waverly grumbled, kicking her feet until her sister placed her back on the floor. "Oh 'cause seventeen is such a baby, is it?" Wynonna snorted, finally releasing her hold on Waverly. "You can have sex and drive, that's almost all the fun things." Waverly rolled her eyes as she reached for the door handle. She took a deep breath, calming nerves she hadn't even realised she had. Then she pulled back the door. Before she could even focus her eyes on the guests the other side, Wynonna gripped the back of her jumper and tugged, sliding her in her socks along the hallway floor. "Get off!" Waverly yelped, flailing her arms in an effort to keep herself upright. "I need to let the guests in, you child!" Waverly needn't have worried, really. The three familiar faces the other side of the door didn't need to be invited in. The moment the door swung back, they bustled over the threshold with warm greetings and soft laughter at the Earp sisters' antics, and it was as if they were entering their own home. Because they were old friends, and in many ways this was their home too. Waverly stamped on Wynonna’s foot, finally managing to untangle herself with a huff and a scowl, just in time to see her best friend put her bag down inside the door, and shake the snow from the sleeves of her ridiculous Christmas jumper. The moment Waverly met those warm mocha eyes, Nicole’s lips spread into a wide, dimpled grin. Waverly’s stomach tingled. Tingles of excitement, and relief, and overwhelming elated joy at having her best friend standing before her for the first time in half a goddamn year. She beamed, letting the tingles sit for one lingering moment. Then she threw herself forwards, not even stopping to consider the physical impact on Nicole’s frame as she hurtled herself straight into the redhead’s arms, and into a bone-crushing hug. Nicole chuckled instantly, the sound a balm in Waverly's ear. The brunette giggled as she felt her feet leave the ground, and Nicole spin her around effortlessly. "Hey, stranger," Waverly mumbled, squeezing impossibly tighter for a moment, before finally letting go as her feet slid to the floor. She pulled back, her beaming smile aching in her cheeks as she met her favourite eyes once again. Nicole smirked. "You look nice," she murmured. "Your hair looks really pretty." Waverly blushed. She wasn't sure why. The words were nothing new. There was nothing unusual, or unexpected about the compliment, and it was one she'd heard leave Nicole’s lips thousands of times over the course of her life. But there was something in the way the words were spoken tonight that made her skin heat. Something warmer in Nicole’s voice, and something softer in her eyes. And Waverly didn't know what that something was, or why it was making her stomach flip like butterflies on a pole vault, but she did know that she quite liked the feeling. She was really glad Nicole was here. That was all it was. She’d missed her best friend, and the excitement, and the adrenaline of finally having her here before her was pushing her stomach into overdrive. She huffed out a laugh, pushing Nicole playfully in an effort to dispel the unexpected bashfulness that gripped her under her best friend's attention. "Thank you, charmer," she grinned. "So do you. You're really outdoing yourself every year with the Christmas jumper, huh?" Nicole grinned, dropping Waverly’s gaze to look over her own jumper, and the tinsel and the flashing baubles that hung from it. And the giant, plush reindeer head that protruded from the chest. "Did you get taller Little Haught?" Waverly sighed, and Nicole snapped her gaze up as Wynonna appeared beside her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and dragging her from Waverly’s grasp. Nicole smirked, turning to envelope Wynonna in a bear hug. "I'm just desperately trying to outgrow that name." "Ah but you misunderstand," Wynonna grinned, shoving Nicole gently as she pulled back. "The taller you grow, the littler you get." Waverly rolled her eyes as she turned her attention away from her sister and her best friend for a moment, and enveloped Nicole’s mum and Nedley in warm hugs and greetings. She missed Nicole being around every day, of course she did. But she also missed the rest of the family that had felt like an extension of her own all her life. She chatted animatedly, filling Nedley in on the town's gossip, and asking questions about his new role in Sheffield. She was genuinely interested, and she tried to give the guests her full attention, but she was hyper aware of Nicole standing just feet behind her, and she was practically crawling out of her skin in her urge to drag her best friend up the stairs and finally catch up in their Christmas den. Then finally Nicole's mum was dragging Nedley away, and ushering Waverly off with a soft, knowing smile, and Waverly was grabbing Nicole’s hand, practically sprinting up the stairs, and barrelling into her bedroom in a flurry of giggles and socks sliding across the floor. Waverly couldn't fight the beam as they flopped onto her bed, the fairylit canopy shaking precariously. It had been a year since Nicole had moved, and six months since Waverly had last seen her, and yet it instantly felt like she'd never left. She leaned back against the wall, tangling her legs into Nicole’s as the redhead lay propped against the headboard. "Come on then, tell me about Sheffield," Waverly urged. "How's your new college?" Nicole laughed, her eyes sparkling as they held Waverly’s gaze. There was something impossibly softer in them than usual tonight, and Waverly felt her chest warm at the assumption that Nicole was as excited to be back as Waverly was to have her there. "Wave, we talk almost every day, you know everything there is to know," Nicole chuckled. Waverly grinned, tutting as she rolled her eyes. "I know," she retorted, "but it kinda doesn't feel like I really know anything until I…" She trailed off, her brows creasing a little in the centre. She'd been about to say something she hadn't even processed herself until that very moment, and she was suddenly rather uncertain as to whether it was a normal thing to say. With Nicole here beside her, and the brighter than usual sparkle in mocha eyes, it felt like something that might be a little too intimate to confess to her best friend. Nicole raised an eyebrow. "Until you what?" She urged softly. "Uh…" Waverly swallowed, her cheeks heating a little with embarrassment. "U-until I see your eyes while you talk." Nicole paused, her eyes widening just enough to notice, and Waverly blushed deeper for a moment. "M-my eyes?" Nicole breathed, her cheeks tinting their own soft shade of pink. "Why?" "They're so expressive," Waverly mumbled shyly. "Like they're… who you are." She cringed. Why was this so awkward to say? "I'm not making any sense," she chuckled awkwardly, waving her hand dismissively. "I just meant it's better to hear it in person!" There was a pause, and Waverly held her breath as she watched Nicole’s face, her expression unreadable. Then those dimples popped, and Nicole’s grin grew infectiously wide, and Waverly giggled instantly. "You giant sap," Nicole giggled, deep mocha sparkling playfully as she held Waverly’s gaze. She grinned cheekily, shooting Waverly a wink. "I missed you too. And your eyes." Waverly huffed out a laugh, shaking her head in amusement. "Are those things," she murmured, reaching her arm out and poking Nicole’s deepened dimple with her forefinger, "getting cuter or have I just not seen you for too long?" Nicole chuckled, catching Waverly’s offending finger in her hand and linking her own through them. "Are you flirting with me, Waverly Earp?" She smirked, her voice dropping lower, and her eyebrow flicking upwards in a playful quirk. Waverly’s stomach flipped. She swallowed hard, her hand flying to her stomach in shocked confusion as unexpected butterflies beat beneath her fingers. What was that? Nicole had never dropped her voice like that before. Had never held her gaze with a glint quite like that before. And it felt weird. Good weird, maybe. But weird. And Waverly absolutely could not unpack that right now, with her best friend in front of her, and so she needed to shut this down immediately. "You wish I was flirting with you, Haught," she scoffed, rolling her eyes playfully. Partly to emphasise her point, but mainly to break the eye contact, and escape the cheeky glint in her best friend's eyes that seemed so much more captivating than usual. "Damnit," Nicole chuckled, dropping Waverly’s hand as she nestled further back against the pillows. She grinned, wriggling her eyebrows. "Thought maybe we were grown enough this year." Waverly laughed openly. "You're insufferable," she snorted, grabbing a pillow and throwing it across Nicole’s face. "Hey, we both know I'm not insufferable," Nicole retorted, her hands flying up to protect herself as Waverly giggled. She grinned. "I'm just a woman of my word, patiently awaiting my date with my queen." Waverly grinned. Twelve years of friendship, a year at opposite ends of the country, six months just at the opposite ends of a phone line, and Nicole Haught was still her absolute favourite person in the whole world. And she was the complete opposite of insufferable. What was insufferable though, was the presumed owner of the thundering footsteps currently scrambling up the stairs, in absolutely no doubt heading for Waverly’s room. The door slammed back. "My anaconda DON'T..." Wynonna popped a bottle of something through the doorway, and Waverly pushed her head through the opening of the canopy just in time to see the cork hit the side of her TV screen. "...want none unless you got..." "What is that?" Waverly cut her sister’s ridiculous singing off, pointing a finger at the green glass bottle currently overflowing liquid all over Waverly’s bedroom floor. "Champagne!" Mercedes sang, pushing past Wynonna as she shimmied into the room. "Why?" Waverly quirked an eyebrow, shuffling over in the canopy doorway as Nicole appeared beside her. "You officially got rid of Kyle the wet wipe, and Haughty's back and officially old enough to drink!" Wynonna whooped, holding the champagne bottle in the air, the liquid still dripping onto Waverly’s floor. Waverly glanced at Nicole, laughing openly as her best friend wrinkled her nose at the mere mention of Kyle York. Waverly had dated him for seven months earlier in the year, and she more than agreed he was a wet wipe, but Nicole had practically turned green with disgust when she'd told her over the summer. "Wynonna, I'm seventeen," Nicole shot, her eyebrow quirking. "So?" Wynonna retorted. "So I'm not old enough to..." Nicole trailed off, rolling her eyes as Wynonna stared her down. "Eh, you're like weeks off it." Wynonna waved dismissively, passing the bottle to Nicole. "Thought it was time we made a new tradition!" Waverly watched, her face scrunched in cynical anticipation as Nicole lifted the bottle to her lips, and took a swig. Nicole grimaced immediately, her entire face screwing tight as she pulled the bottle away with abrupt force, pushing it into Waverly’s hands. "Well that is not a tradition I wanna keep," she spluttered, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. Waverly lifted the bottle to her own lips, keeping her eyes fixed on Nicole’s watery ones as she took a tentative sip. She balked the moment the liquid touched her lips. It tasted sour, and sharp, and fizzy, and none of the things Waverly liked in a drink. "Oh, ew," she groaned, pushing the bottle back into Wynonna’s hands. "No, no new tradition!" She watched as Wynonna raised a quizzical brow, sniffed hesitantly at the bottle, then took a giant swig. She spat it immediately back into the bottle, shoving the offending item back in Mercedes' direction. "Okay, maybe not," she coughed. Then she grinned devilishly. "You know what tradition we do wanna keep though…" Waverly honestly didn't even know where the holly came from this time. It was like Wynonna just produced it on a whim. She laughed, shaking her head as Nicole grinned, tilting her head and offering Waverly her cheek. She launched herself forward, bowling Nicole over onto the bed as she covered her reddening cheek in a multitude of kisses, her adrenaline surging beneath her skin over just how happy she was to have her squirming, giggling, blushing best friend back. Even if it was just for the holidays.