Chapter Two: When We’re Grown - Fanfic reading of Beneath Your Snowman Sheets
It's the second day of Ficmas! Chapter Two: When We're Grown
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?
https://archiveofourown.org/works/35080315/chapters/87381859★ Support this podcast ★
Chapter 2 - When We’re Grown
“And that was the surprise contender for this year’s Christmas number one, Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name Of’! Simon Cowell is not going to be happy, and there are certainly no bells in this one! Next up we’ve got Mariah Carey, and you’re listening to Spark Radio UK, as we count down the twelve days to Christmas 2009.” Waverly chuckled at the radio as she finished filling her water bottle in the kitchen, and made her way back up the stairs to her bedroom. She didn't understand the song. It was noisy, and sweary, and not her style at all, but Wynonna and Nicole had been really excessively excited over its battle against The X Factor for the Christmas number one spot. She pushed her way into her room, kicking the door closed behind her. She grinned as she flopped down onto the bed beneath their yearly makeshift sheet-den. It had migrated over the years, from the floor between Waverly’s bed and her dresser, to simply being draped from the curtain pole to the end of Waverly’s bed, like a pseudo-canopy. And now there was no wrapping paper, or toys, or Little Miss Sunshine cushions. But there were some fairy lights, and some tinsel sellotaped to the inside of the sheets. And a little window, so they could see the TV, and the Christmas movie they really weren't particularly watching. Both were half watching The Holiday, and half focused on the magazines strewn across Waverly’s bed, in two distinctive piles. A pile of Kerrang and NME, covered in pictures of shouty, noisy bands that Waverly just did not understand, but Nicole insisted were works of art. And a pile of Teen Vogue, and Shout, and Smash Hits, covered in pictures of clothes, and makeup, and boys Waverly couldn’t stop staring at. She settled back against the wall beside Nicole, pulling her latest magazine onto her lap and resuming her flip of the pages. “Oh my god!” She squealed, giddy and girly as she landed on a page that made her swoon. “He is so fit!” She practically felt Nicole’s head snap up beside her. “Who?” Nicole frowned, shuffling closer to Waverly as she peered over her shoulder at the magazine. “Please tell me it’s not Justin Bieber.” “Ew, no,” Waverly laughed. “Taylor Lautner!” Nicole blinked. Waverly grinned. "Jacob Black?" She tried. Nicole wrinkled her nose. “You always do that," Waverly laughed, "but you don’t like Edward either!” “You say that like they’re the only two people in the whole world," Nicole grumbled, her eyes rolling as they returned to her own magazine. “Sometimes I think they are.” Waverly sighed, deliberately dramatically as she held the magazine page up against her chest. Nicole snorted, her dimples betraying her efforts at indifference as she shook her head. “Who do you like then?” Waverly urged, bouncing a little on the bed as she twisted to face her best friend. She gestured at the magazine across Nicole’s lap, squinting as she looked at the pictures. “One of the weird makeup guys in your screamy creepo songs?” Nicole huffed out a chuckle, narrowing her eyes playfully as she shot Waverly a glare. Then she softened, her eyes glinting with something that made the teasing corners of Waverly’s smirk drop. Nicole shrugged softly. “I don’t like boys, Wave," she murmured, quiet and steady. Sure, but hesitant all at the same time. Waverly blinked. She didn't know if that was a surprise or not, but it sat kinda funny in her belly. Not in a bad way. Just… there. She guessed Nicole had never really said she did like boys, but she also hadn't ever said... “So…" Waverly prompted softly. "Does that mean that you like…” “Girls, I guess," Nicole mumbled, shrugging once again as she picked at the corner of her magazine. Waverly nodded. She thought about it. Her stomach felt a little weird, but she didn't really know why. She didn't think it was because Nicole liked girls. She didn't think that was all that weird. Not really. She couldn’t really imagine anyone not liking Jacob Black or Edward Cullen, so that was pretty weird, but then she guessed maybe she could understand why someone might like Bella Swan. Or Alice. Also, it really didn't feel that weird to hear Nicole say it. It felt… really normal, actually. It just felt like Nicole. After all the quips and the cheeky little comments over the years about taking Waverly on dates, and about how girls made better princes than boys did, it just felt like it had always been there. And that wasn't weird at all. Waverly grinned. “Okay, so who do you like then?” She repeated her question, bouncing forward as she tugged at Nicole’s pile of magazines. “If you could choose anyone to date? In your magazines or from the TV, or YouTube, or movies?” Nicole exhaled heavily, her shoulders dropping as warm dark eyes searched Waverly’s face. In relief, Waverly recognised. Relief that she had told Waverly her secret? Or that Waverly had been okay with it, maybe? Waverly offered her warmest smile, hoping Nicole would see how okay it was. Nicole grinned. “Anyone?” Nicole raised an eyebrow, cheeky playfulness bleeding back into her eyes and that dimpled grin. "You mean besides you?” Waverly laughed, shaking her head. “Yes, loser, besides me.” “Hayley Williams, for sure.” Waverly frowned. “Who is that?” Nicole chuckled, twisting her own body closer to Waverly’s as she flicked through the pages in her magazine in search of a photo. She pushed the page over to Waverly, pointing a finger at the object of her apparent affections. Waverly blinked. “What?” Nicole raised her eyebrows warily. "Why do you look like you're judging me?" Waverly barked out a laugh. “Nicole, she looks like you! You know, if she was twelve and had braces." Nicole wrinkled her nose, her brow creasing in the middle as she pulled the page back to study it. Waverly giggled, shaking her head. “How about Santana from Glee?” She offered. “She looks less like you.” Nicole’s eyes flicked up, her lips pursed as she considered the question. "She's a bit scary, though," she whispered. Waverly scoffed. "She's scary, but the screamy people in that magazine aren't?" Nicole grinned, leaning her head back against the wall as she watched the flickering screen of the movie for a quiet moment. Waverly watched her. Watched the way the glow of the TV and the fairylights in the den made her hair look redder than usual, and the way her lips twitched at the corners as she watched the scenes on the screen. Waverly couldn't hold back her smile. Nicole really was her favourite person in the whole world. She always had been. She was just so easy to be around, and for Waverly to be herself with. And Waverly didn't always feel that way with other people. Not with some of the other girls at school, in her new cheerleading lessons. Girls like Stephanie Jones, or Beth Gardner. Even Chrissy Nedley sometimes, even though she was kind of like Nicole’s sister. Sort of, though she lived with her Mum. "You're creeping." Nicole smirked, glancing at Waverly out of the corner of her eye. "I am not creeping, loser," Waverly blushed, slapping Nicole’s thigh with her magazine. She grinned. "I just like looking at you." Nicole chuckled, swatting Waverly’s magazine away with her hand. She reached an arm out, wrapping it around Waverly’s shoulders and pulling her into her side. Like she always did. In the way that always made Waverly feel safe. Waverly nestled herself closer, resting her head on Nicole’s shoulder. They sat quietly for a moment, watching the TV as Jude Law confessed his love for Cameron Diaz. “So what does Jacob Black have that I don’t, huh?” Nicole murmured softly, and Waverly could almost feel the playful smirk she knew was pulling at those dimpled cheeks. “He’s a boy, Nicole,” Waverly laughed. “Some of us do like boys.” “Details," Nicole huffed. “I’ll get that hot chocolate date one day, Earp. When we’re grown.” “Oh my god," Waverly laughed, slapping Nicole’s chest as she sat up to look at her best friend. "You remember that?” Nicole grinned. “I remember everything, Twinkle.” Waverly opened her mouth to reply, but before she could form the words in her mind, her thought train was derailed by the goddamn persistent interruptions of her absolute child of an older sister. “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!” Wynonna burst through the door, with Mercedes forever following close behind. Both were headbanging, with plastic bottles of god only knew what in each hand. “Motherfucker, ugh!” Waverly sighed. She really didn't understand that song. Nicole chuckled beside her, and Waverly shoved her gently with her elbow. “Don’t encourage her.” “She’s got good taste in music," Nicole countered. “Of course I have, little Haught," Wynonna scoffed. "We both know you got your music taste from my CD collection!” Nicole rolled her eyes. “I’m taller than you are," she moaned, "why do you always call me little?” “Because you’re taller than I am." “You’re an idiot, Earp, now can we please go?” Mercedes complained. “I wanna get to Doc’s party before all the decent booze is gone and we’re left with Barcardi Breezers and fucking Blue WKDs.” “Can’t go yet, Mercedes," Wynonna sang, her tone and her eyes irritatingly mischievous. “The babies haven’t had their kiss.” Waverly groaned. “Again?" She protested. "It’s been like, six years!” “It’s tradition, sis!” Wynonna grinned, wriggling her eyebrows as she whipped a sprig of holly out from somewhere Waverly couldn't even fathom. “You agree with me, don’t you Little Haught? It’s not Christmas without a mistletoe kiss.” “It’s not," Nicole agreed. Waverly tutted, throwing a scowl in Nicole's direction. But she wasn't mad. Not really. She couldn't ever be at that cheeky grin. “It’s not even mistletoe!” She argued, swatting Nicole with a magazine. “It wouldn’t be tradition if it was," Wynonna laughed. Waverly rolled her eyes. She turned, intent on grabbing Nicole’s face and planting her usual kiss on that flushed, dimpled cheek. But before she could move, Nicole leaned forward, and soft lips pressed firmly against Waverly’s cheek. Waverly blushed immediately. She didn't know why. It was the first time in six years that it had been this way round. Nicole never kissed her. Usually she just kissed Nicole. And so she hadn't been expecting it, and the surprise had made her stomach swoop. Wynonna cackled, whooping and cheering as she dropped the holly and resumed her headbanging, Mercedes finally managing to drag her out of Waverly’s room. Waverly shot her eyes to Nicole’s. And the cheeky glint in dark eyes, and the smug raise of her eyebrows, and the self-satisfied grin. Waverly laughed, shaking her head as she shoved Nicole until she fell down against the bed. “What?” Nicole giggled. “Hayley Williams wasn’t available.” “Oh my god!” Waverly yelped through her own giggle. “Read your emo magazine and shut up!”
“There are quite a few contenders for Christmas number one this year! That was Justin Bieber with ‘Mistletoe’, and next up we’ve got just about everything from Michael Bublé! You’re listening to Spark Radio UK, as we count down the twelve days to Christmas 2011.” Nicole sighed as she filled the water bottles in the kitchen sink, and trudged up the stairs towards Waverly’s room. It felt a bit less Christmassy this year. They hadn't made their den. She wasn't sure why, but it just hadn't happened, and something about it felt weird. She pushed her way back into Waverly’s bedroom, flopping down on the bed beside her best friend as she handed her her bottle. They didn't have their den, but they still had their movie, and their popcorn, and Waverly still had her faded Christmas sheets with the snowmen and the reindeer, and she was still snuggled against Nicole’s side like she always was. And like always, their movie played out across the TV screen, but neither of them paid it much attention. Waverly was focused on her phone. And Nicole was focused on Waverly. Because she knew exactly who was on the other end of the messages Waverly’s fingers typed out across her screen, and it hurt. It hurt because Nicole loved Waverly, and Waverly was with Champ fucking Hardy. Class A douchebag from Nicole’s year at school, with half a brain cell and an unhealthy amount of very sticky looking hair gel. In 2011. Nicole never understood why he didn't just use wax, like everyone else. But Waverly seemed to like him, and she never seemed to see how much of a twat the guy was, because whenever she saw him he was chasing a football around and intoxicating the gym halls with the overpowering scent of Lynx Africa. Not putting batteries on the bunsen burners, or trying to pierce people's ears with his compass, like he was when Nicole saw him. “Champ says he's on his way over for a bit, is that okay?” No. “Sure," Nicole shrugged. Because still now, she didn't like it when Waverly was upset. When her eyes misted, and her lip trembled, and she avoided Nicole’s gaze in her hurt. Which happened every time Nicole tried to tell her she could do better than Champ Hardy. So she’d stopped trying. She bit her tongue, and she pushed her feelings for Waverly’s asshole boyfriend down, and she pretended to like Champ. So that her best friend, and most definitely the love of her life, would keep that smile crinkling at the corners of her eyes. “You sure?” Waverly raised an eyebrow, twisting in Nicole’s arms until her eyes met mocha. “You won’t get all awkward?” “Awkward?” Nicole scoffed. “I am never awkward!” “You’re so awkward around Champ,” Waverly laughed. Nicole chuckled. Okay, so maybe she was a little awkward. She pretended to like Champ, but she never had a clue what to say to the guy. “I’m awkward around boys," she teased, "I don’t see the point in them.” Waverly laughed, shaking her head. “Oh, but you see the point in girls?” She grinned, wriggling her eyebrows. “Exactly,” Nicole confirmed. “Kind of like how bees have a purpose but wasps are just annoying.” Waverly laughed, swatting Nicole’s chest with the palm of her hand. Nicole caught the offending hand in her own, pulling Waverly back in beside her. She leaned her head back against the wall as she let Waverly’s words run over in her mind. Nicole was awkward around Champ because she didn't know what to say to him, but also because she didn't know what to say to Waverly when he was around her. And that was uncomfortable for Nicole. She always knew what to say to Waverly. Things were always so easy with her best friend, until Champ appeared. And then Nicole’s heart would seize up, and the words would stick in her throat, and she wouldn't be able to look at them in case Champ kissed Waverly and she had to watch. Again. Jealousy. She knew it was jealousy, and she hated herself for it. Waverly was her best friend, and she wasn't, and had never been, Nicole’s to be jealous over. She felt her heart sink as a sudden thought crossed her mind, and her chest hitched a little as it filled with dread. “Wait, are you guys going out?" She croaked. "Or is Champ gonna watch the movie with us?” “Don’t be silly, of course we’re not going out," Waverly murmured, nestling in a little closer to Nicole’s side. Nicole exhaled. “You’re my best friend, you idiot," Waverly chuckled, her fingers finding Nicole’s and linking through them. "You’re more important than boys. I’d never bail on Christmas movie night for a date. He’s just coming round to see me for a bit before he goes to his Grandma's for the week.” Nicole huffed out a breath through a soft smile. She liked that Waverly saw it that way, but she couldn’t deny that a huge part of her kinda wished she was the same importance as boys. She couldn't help but wish that Waverly would get all doe-eyed when Nicole texted her. But she would definitely accept the level of importance that Waverly put in their friendship. That felt good, even if she couldn't ever love Waverly the way she really wanted to. “A date," she scoffed. "I don’t think Champ knows what a date is!” Waverly swatted Nicole’s chest again. “Leave off, he knows what a date is!” She laughed. “Oh?” Nicole raised an eyebrow, her lips curling into a knowing smirk. “Name one time he’s taken you on a date.” Waverly sat up, turning to look at Nicole, and the redhead grinned as she raised both eyebrows in question. Waverly narrowed her eyes. “Last week when we went to his and played videogames…” Nicole rolled her eyes. “A real date.” “Let me guess," Waverly chuckled, shaking her head, "white hot chocolate and marshmallows?” “At the very least.” Nicole grinned, nodding her head. "One day when you let me take you on a date, Waverly Earp…" She giggled, her words cut off as Waverly reached for a pillow, thumping it against Nicole’s face. Nicole pushed it away, biting back her amused grin as she shrugged nonchalantly. “Guess we’re just not that grown yet.” “Waverly, the door is for you!” Gus's voice called up the stairs, and Nicole immediately felt her stomach sink to the pits as Waverly scrambled up from her place beside her. She really didn't want Champ there. This was their movie night. Their tradition. Eight years strong, and never missed. And Nicole knew it was selfish to want Waverly to herself all of the time. But this wasn't all of the time. This was one night that was theirs. And she didn't want him there. She didn't want to feel awkward, and she didn't want to watch Champ get handsy with Waverly, and she didn't want to watch the slightly uncomfortable look that always played across Waverly’s face when he did. Nicole never knew what to say. She always wanted to tell him to stop. To leave her alone. That Waverly didn't ever deserve to feel uncomfortable like that. But she didn't know how. It felt invasive, and Waverly always said she was fine. “Hey, Nicole!” Nicole took a deep breath, pushing herself into an upright position as Waverly and Champ crashed through the door and into the bedroom, Champ’s arms wrapped around the brunette waist from behind. “Hey, Champ,” she breathed, offering a half wave in her immediately awkward fluster. Waverly smirked at her. Nicole scowled playfully. She fought the urge to roll her eyes as Champ hurled both himself and Waverly onto the bed, leaving the brunette sandwiched between her best friend and her boyfriend in an unnecessarily small amount of space. They fell quiet as they watched the film, the easy air from before Champ’s arrival now stifled and difficult to breathe in. Nicole stared harder than she should have at the screen, desperately trying to ignore the way Champ’s hand kept creeping into her peripheral vision, pulling and tugging at Waverly in his efforts to get her closer to him. She could hear the hushed murmurs of his whispers in Waverly’s ear, but in thanks to whatever deity was half-heartedly looking out for Nicole tonight, she couldn't hear what the douchebag was saying. “No, Champ!” Waverly hissed, just loud enough for Nicole to hear the words. “Nicole is here, I’m not making out with you in front of my friend.” Nicole swallowed thickly, closing her eyes as she leaned her head back against the wall. She really wasn't sure whether she should be here. Should she leave? Was she stopping Waverly from doing something she wanted to do? She considered running, locking herself in the bathroom until Champ had disappeared to his Grandma's, or his cave in the woods, or whatever hole he'd crawled from. But Waverly’s ankle was hooked firmly over Nicole’s, and she was still leaning heavily against her side, and the redhead had no idea how to escape without creating a scene she really didn't want to create. "Everyday…" The bedroom door burst open with an obscene slam. "... I'm shufflin'!" Nicole exhaled in relief, her lips tugging immediately into an amused smirk as Wynonna twerked backwards into the room. “Do do do do doo to do…” Mercedes danced in behind Wynonna, both clearly at least a little intoxicated. “I swear this gets more annoying every year," Waverly sighed. Nicole grinned. The interruption was exactly what she needed, and frankly she thought they got funnier every year. “Haughty!” Wynonna barked, spinning to face them as she pointed a finger at Nicole. “Is that my hoodie?” “You don’t live here anymore." Nicole shrugged. As if that explained her theft. "You haven't lived here ever!" "Finders keepers!” Nicole grinned. “What do you want, Wynonna?” Waverly huffed. “Why are you even here?” "Why am I here?" Wynonna gasped, bringing a hand to her chest in mock appall. “It’s Christmas movie night, and the babies need their…” “No they don’t, Wy!” Mercedes hissed, grabbing behind Wynonna’s back at the damn holly sprig. “Waverly’s boyfriend is here, don’t be weird.” “It’s tradition!” Wynonna insisted. "Tradition means every year!" Nicole chuckled as Wynonna wriggled her eyebrows, producing the holly from behind her back with a dramatic flair. The holly they'd literally seen when the brunette had twerked backwards into the bedroom. “Ooh, mistletoe!” Champ yelled. It happened so quickly. Waverly shifted beside her, but before Nicole could even take stock of the movement, Champ lurched forward. He grabbed Waverly’s face with both hands, his meaty fingers practically dwarfing the brunette’s jawline as he dragged into a noisy, unnecessarily sloppy kiss. Wynonna balked. Nicole grimaced, her stomach filling with nausea. Just a split second before her heart crumpled. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen Champ kiss Waverly. Not by a long shot. But that kiss was hers. It had been for eight years. And the instant silence, and the knowing pity in both Wynonna and Mercedes' eyes was too much. She felt sick, and she wanted to run. But if she did that now, then everyone would know why. She swallowed thickly as Champ finally pulled back, and she fought hard against the burn that threatened in the back of her eyes as he grinned smugly. God, he was such a twat. "Don't you have to go, Champ?" Nicole’s stomach dropped, her eyes widening as Waverly’s harsh voice snapped across the silence. She froze, unable to tear her gaze from the fiery look in Waverly’s eyes as she regarded her boyfriend in blatant irritation. "Uh…" Champ furrowed his brow. "No?" Nicole held still, almost afraid to move. She was extremely jealous of Wynonna and Mercedes as they crept slowly backwards, holding their hands out in defense as they closed the door quietly behind them. "I think you do," Waverly sighed. "It's getting late, and Nicole and I have the rest of our movie to watch." Nicole closed her eyes, blowing out a heavy breath between her cheeks as Waverly led Champ out of the bedroom, and she heard the heavy thud of his feet on the stairwell. She had not expected that. Champ irritated the living shit out of her, but that had been the first time she'd seen Waverly lose her temper with him. When Waverly pushed her way back through the door, she had both hands behind her back, and a very apologetic look across her face. “You okay?” Nicole sat upright, her chest tightening at the uncertain look in her best friend's eyes. Waverly nodded. “I’m sorry," she whispered, her eyes wide as they urged the apology into her words. “About Champ.” Nicole frowned. “What for?” She breathed. “He shouldn’t have been here, it’s our movie night." Waverly kicked her foot at the floor sheepishly, her face dropping but her eyes still holding Nicole’s. “Our tradition." “S’okay…” Nicole mumbled, unsure what else she could offer in the moment. Her hand reached awkwardly to the back of her neck, rubbing aimlessly. "You don't need to be sorry." “Yeah, I do." Waverly wrinkled her nose apologetically. Then she chuckled, half shrugging her shoulders. “I don’t even like him that much.” Nicole’s eyebrows shot up, her breath catching in her surprise. “You don’t?” Waverly shook her head. "He's got nothing to say," she huffed, her nose scrunching again, this time in disdain. "And he's way too… grabby." Nicole breathed out a laugh, her shoulders dropping for the first time since Waverly had mentioned Champ’s name earlier that evening. Not even because of her jealousy. But because Waverly deserved the best, and whoever that was for her, it damn well wasn't Champ Hardy. “You wanna talk about it?” She offered, patting the space beside her on the bed. Waverly’s lips curled, half coy and half playful as she studied Nicole from beneath her eyelashes. “After," she murmured. Nicole blinked. “After what?” Waverly grinned “Our tradition!” Her grin grew wolfish as she whipped the holly branch out from behind her back, and Nicole squealed as her best friend hurled herself onto the bed beside her, knocking her sideways into the mattress. Waverly dropped over her, planting three kisses on the very flushed skin of Nicole’s cheek. Nicole giggled, completely unable to stop the beaming grin that ached in her heated cheeks as Waverly pulled back, and she blushed even harder as the giddy sound hit her own ears. She spun, wrapping her arms around Waverly and pulling her down into a playful bear hug. Mainly just to hide her blush. “Thanks, Wave,” she mumbled, the words muffled into Waverly’s thick jumper as she clutched her best friend against her. “He stole your kiss,” Waverly murmured, wrapping her own arms tightly around Nicole’s shoulders. “I was just giving it back.”