i’m so sorry guys, both these dresses aren’t that great at all
Wayhaught // Lumberjack & Hiker AU
Waverly of the house Earp is a young princess supposed to marry the champion of the tournament organized by her father, the king, for her 21st birthday. Nicole is the new stable girl with big dreams of becoming a knight of the king's guard. What will happen when these two elements, minding their own business, finally connect? Will they become love?
Chapter 1 – Waverly’s birthday
Her 21st birthday was supposed to be the most magical day of her life. She’d been planning that day for years now. But unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Actually, for her it seemed like they never went as planned. Her eldest sister Willa had gotten married 4 years prior, and she had moved to another castle with her husband, prince Robert Svane. Not that she missed her. Willa had always been a bully to her. As for her other big sister Wynonna, she was a knight of the king’s guard, their father’s army, and she’d been away for ten months now. She was probably still fighting some battle, or just getting really drunk in some tavern with the rest of the knights. She’d promised she’d be back for her birthday, but she must’ve forgotten. As always. And that was it. The only other people she talked to in the castle were her two handmaids, Stephanie and Chrissy. When they were younger, she used to consider them her friends, but with time she’d come to realize they only cared about gossip, beautiful dresses and boys. She was way too educated to settle for their company. What she really needed was someone with whom she could talk about literature and science, and do all kinds of things that were not necessarily girly.
When she was a kid, she and Wynonna used to hang out with the stable boys, or the king’s guard rookies. They would wrestle each other and spar with wooden swords, and in the hot season they would ride to a lake only a few miles away from the castle, and they would swim, and talk, and play around… She missed doing all those things. But mostly, she missed being allowed to hang with her sister and the boys. It’d been so long since she’d felt that carefree and happy. Seven years to be precise. On her 14th birthday her father told her she was no longer a kid, and it was time for her to start behaving like a proper lady. She’d never understood why Wynonna was allowed to be a tomboy, while she had to give it all up. But maybe it’s because their father simply viewed his middle daughter as a lost cause. Which might also be why he had given her an ultimatum: either she got married and started acting like a lady, or she trained to become a knight of the king’s guard. But Waverly, she wasn’t stubborn enough to go against her father’s will. And that led her to years spent following Willa around and mimicking her every move, while her sister basically treated her like her personal slave. Finally, when Willa got married, Waverly was left alone. Apart from some brief visits from Wynonna, she’d been alone for 4 years now. At first it had felt very lonely, but with time she got used to the peace and quiet, and most of all, to the company of a good book or some music. She would spend most of her days in the library, reading books, playing piano and singing. When her father wasn’t at home, she would go to the stables and spend hours with the horses, the dogs and Lady Jane, a ginger cat who seemed to dislike every human but her. But she would always make sure not to be alone with the stable boys. She could see the hungry looks on their faces whenever they saw her, and that made her extremely uncomfortable. Wynonna had warned her about that: “beware of the boy who’s turned into a man, for he wants a woman not a friend”. Sometimes her sister could be quite poetic. But she was right. Those who used to be her friends now scared her, and she did not want to be alone in their presence.
Anyways, back to her birthday. You’d think having to spend it all alone was the worst of it, but no. It gets even worse. Apparently, her father had decided 21 was the perfect age for her to become officially a lady. Someone’s lady, to be precise. Her dreams of travelling and exploring the world after coming of age were all shattered by the king’s wish to find her a husband. He would have never said it out loud, but Waverly knew her father couldn’t wait to get rid of her, as bad as it sounds. She never understood why he hated her so much. He was always so attentive when it came to Willa and Wynonna, but with her… sometimes she felt like he didn’t even remember he had a third daughter. Wynonna had always told her he only became so harsh when their mother left. But why punishing his six-year-old kid for a decision his wife had made? It was not her fault she chose to leave her family behind and start a new life somewhere else. If it were for Waverly, she would have gladly left with her mother. At least the queen had always been caring and loving with her. Everything her father had never been. He had never given a damn about what she wanted, nor had he ever bothered giving her a choice.
“You’ll be a grown woman soon. It’s time we find you a husband. You can’t live under your father’s roof forever.” He had told her a month before.
Not wasting any time, he had come up with the perfect plan to find a suitor for his daughter: in honor of the princess’s birthday, the king was to host a week-long tournament, and lords and princes from all over the realm were to come and fight for a chance to win her hand.
Waverly had lost count of how many men she had to welcome and greet in the past couple of days. And it wasn’t even over yet. The last of the party were to arrive that morning, so not even on her birthday was she allowed to have some time for herself and do something she liked. That’s why she had ordered her handmaids to come wake her up early that morning. Obedient as always, Chrissy and Stephanie had knocked on her door at 7 am, two hours before the first guests would be arriving to meet her. In just a little over an hour she was up and ready, which meant she had quite some time to spend on her own before meeting her father in the throne room. The two girls had tried to convince her to let them stay so they could celebrate her birthday together over breakfast, but she had a long day ahead of her, and she really needed some peace and quiet before it started.
When the two had left, she sat down by the window to look out at the garden. Opening it a little, she let the cool breeze run through her stray locks, and she took a deep breath in. She was wearing a huge silver gown with high-heeled shoes. And her hair was tied up behind her head with little lilac flowers in it. The fresh air and the peaceful atmosphere of the garden made her forget about how uncomfortable those clothes were, and for a moment she imagined being little carefree Waverly, running barefoot in the grass chasing butterflies and dreaming about flying up in the sky with them. Her mother would be sitting under a tree making her a flower crown, while Wynonna would be chasing squirrels up the trees like a little monkey. And Willa… well she would be inside with their father, learning how to rule a kingdom. As far as Waverly could remember, Willa had never played outside with them. Wynonna used to say her big sister loved playing with her when they were little, but she was the heir and their father wanted to be sure she knew how to rule the kingdom once he was gone. That’s why Willa had stopped being a kid quite early on.
It was almost the end of summer, and the trees were starting to look less green than before. A light shade of yellow tinted the leaves, and the grass was no longer covered in flowers. In just a few weeks most of the birds would be gone as well, flying away to look for a warmer place to spend the winter. Waverly remembered a conversation she had with her mother on her sixth birthday. The last they spent together.
“The garden is a magical place, my little one. The grass, the trees, the animals moving around… everything’s alive. And everything keeps changing. I could stare at it every day for the rest of my life and never get tired. If you look closely, there’s always something new to admire.”
“But in winter it gets kinda sad. The birds all leave, and the squirrels hide. It all looks kind of naked without leaves and flowers.”
“Life’s a circle, baby girl. The old die so the new can thrive. But there’s beauty even in the silence of a sleeping garden.”
“I miss you, mama.” Waverly whispered at the wind as a tear fell down her cheek.
The king had told everyone the queen had died of a sudden illness, but the three princesses knew she had just left because she couldn’t take that life any longer. Wherever she was, Waverly imagined her sitting in the grass with her eyes closed as she listened to what nature had to say around her. And she was happy. At peace.
Speaking of, her own peace was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was time. Two of his father’s guards had come to escort her to the throne room, where the king was already waiting for her. With a heavy sigh, Waverly got up and closed the window, taking one last deep breath in. Then she turned and followed the guards outside.
“Father.” She greeted with a slight bow when she reached the throne.
Her father barely bowed his head in return before motioning for her to take her seat by his right side. Once she was seated, she noticed lord John Henry Holliday, the king’s hand, had also taken his place on the other side of the throne. Doc, as he liked to be called, was a middle-aged man, with black hair and a thick black mustache. His beautiful blue eyes met hers briefly and he smiled warmly at her. She had never spent much time with him, but the man had always been really nice and sweet with her.
“Happy birthday, princess.” He mouthed at her.
“Thank you.” She mouthed back with a bright smile.
It was in that moment that she realized her father had not even bothered wishing her a happy birthday when she entered the room. But he probably didn’t even remember it was today. He had never really been aware of her birthday. If it weren’t for Doc, she was sure, he wouldn’t have even remembered she was turning 21 that year.
The noise of heavy footsteps approaching the room brought her back to reality. The captain of the guards, who had been charged to escort each guest to the throne room, entered the room and announced the first lord.
“Welcome to Purgatory, lord Lance” Doc greeted him once the man was standing in front of the throne.
Lord Lance nodded briefly at him, before bowing to the king. “Your majesty.” Then, turning towards Waverly, he bowed slightly to her as well. “Princess.”
“If you will, please, follow the guards, they’ll show you to your room. You can rest and get changed. The king and the princess will see you at lunch.” Doc told him.
“Thank you, lord Holliday.” He nodded again, and then he turned to follow the guards out of the room.
“These Lance… are they rich?” The king asked once the man had left.
“Very rich, your majesty.”
“Good. He seems nice too.”
“He could be father…” Waverly whispered making sure her father wouldn’t hear her.
If she really had no choice but to get married, couldn’t she at least marry a man her age? She thought to herself with a heavy sigh. This birthday was slowly turning into her worst nightmare. She could almost feel tears forming in her eyes, but she could not cry right now. The morning had just begun, she had to keep it together. With a deep breath, she pushed back the tears, and she put on a smile as the next guest was admitted into the room.
The morning had seemed to last forever. The last of the guests arrived when everyone was ready to go to lunch, and the king refused to meet him. Doc had tried to convince Waverly to go with the king, but she refused. She hated this whole meeting and greeting the guests, but these men had come from all over the realm just for her, and the least she could do was welcoming them into her home as a princess should do. Obviously, her gesture did not go unnoticed, and the lord made sure she knew how grateful he was for her patience. He was an old man, almost completely bold, but at least he’d proved to be very polite, offering Waverly his arm as they walked to the dining room.
After an hour, Waverly was getting a terrific headache, and she just couldn’t take the noise anymore. Being the only woman in a room full of men was bad enough, but being the only woman in a room full of screaming drunk men was too much.
“Father, I’m not feeling well, I think I might retreat to the library for a while.” She tried to tell him, but the king was too drunk to process what she’d just said.
Luckily, Doc heard her and granted her permission to go. “We’ll see you at four. Have some rest, princess.”
She smiled gratefully at him, and then she turned towards the guests excusing herself. Once she was out, she ran down the hallway and out into the garden. As the fresh air filled her lungs, she felt her head beginning to pound less and less. She was free, at least for an hour or so. After a moment of reflection, she decided that going for a walk in the garden would be much better than closing herself in the library. The cool breeze would surely make her headache to go away. She just hoped no one went looking for her inside, or she would be in great trouble.
She’d been walking for forty minutes when she found herself in front of the stables. It had been a while since the last time she went in. In the past year the king had barely ever left the castle to go haunting with his lords. Taking a look around to make sure nobody could see her, she decided to go in. She was immediately greeted by lady Jane who came running towards her.
“Hey, little one. Did you miss me? Yeah?” She said as she leaned down to pet her, and the cat happily purred in response.
She stayed like that for a while, but suddenly the cat took off looking for a place to hide.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Waverly asked as she got up to see where she had gone.
“I didn’t know princesses were allowed in the stables.” A voice said from behind, startling her.
“God!” Waverly exclaimed with a little jump. “You scared me...” She said turning around to face the other person.
In front of her was a beautiful tall young woman with long red hair and big brown eyes, which seemed like they could stare right into her soul. She was wearing a pair of khakis and a sleeveless brown leather jacket over a creme shirt. She must have been a new servant or something, because Waverly couldn’t recall having seen her before. And it’s not like there were many ginger heads around there.
“Are you okay?” The redhead asked with a chuckle.
Waverly couldn’t help but stare at her. The woman was giving her the most beautiful smile Waverly had ever seen. And the dimples on the side of her mouth made her look even cuter.
“Yeah, I’m… I just had a crazy morning.” She managed to answer after a moment.
“Sorry I wasn’t there to see it.” The woman said with a smirk.
Was she… was this woman flirting with her? Waverly couldn’t help but blush a little at her cheeky behavior.
“I’ve been… I’ve been meaning to introduce myself. I’m Nicole. Nicole Haught. The new stable girl.” The redhead said trying to break the awkward silence. Offering her hand for the princess to take, she continued. “And you are… Waverly Earp. Quite a popular girl around here.” She smiled before kissing the back of Waverly’s hand, making the princess blush in the process.
In her life, she had been greeted like that from gentlemen a thousand times, but no one had ever made her feel butterflies in her stomach. Waverly felt so shy and small as Nicole’s soft lips grazed her skin.
“So… why is a princess like you hiding from her perfect life?” Nicole asked letting go of Waverly’s hand.
“I’m not hiding!” Waverly answered harshly, catching Nicole off guard. “I’m sorry… I’m not usually like this.” She apologized when she noticed the shocked look on the redhead’s face.
“Hey… I get it. No one’s life is perfect.” She reassured her with a shrug.
“Yeah, well, mine’s feeling more like hell than a perfect life lately…” Waverly said more to herself than to Nicole, but the stable girl still heard her loud and clear and gave her a questioning look.
“I’ve spent the past couple of days smiling and waving at lords and princes who came here for the tournament. My father wants me to marry the champion.” She explained with a sigh.
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve spent all morning cleaning your stables. Looks like my morning was shittier than yours. Both literally and figuratively.” Nicole joked hoping to lighten Waverly’s mood.
“Might be hard to believe, but… I kinda envy you.”
“Oh, c’mon, how bad can it be? You get to marry a rich prince, or some brave knight…”
“Most of the men I’ve greeted are like forty years old! And what if I just don’t wanna get married?!” Waverly exclaimed in an exasperated tone.
Couldn’t everyone just leave her be for one freaking minute, and let her choose whether she wanted to get married or not?! All her life, she’d had to be what others expected her to be, but no one ever bothered asking what it was that she really wanted. Willa got to marry a rich prince, yeah, but he was also the man she’d been in love with ever since they were kids. And even Wynonna was given a choice. Okay, it was more of an ultimatum, but still… she wasn’t forced to marry a man twice her age. But what about her? Her father had never given her a chance to find her place in this world. All these years spent trying to be the perfect little girl her family wanted her to be, hoping to enter her father’s graces, and nothing had changed.
“What do you want?” Waverly was taken aback by that question. Nicole was the first person who’d ever asked her that.
“I… I don’t know.” She realized in that moment that she’d never really thought about that question, so used to tailor herself to the people she was with.
“Well, what do you like? There’s gotta be something that’s just… yours. A dream, a wish, a passion…”
“I… I’ve always wanted to see the world, and visit the places I’ve read about in my books. And… and I wanna drink beer at the tavern with my friends, or… hold a sword, a real sword. I wanna travel around with the king’s guard and fight in battles like my sister does. Why does she get to be a hero, while I get to be just…” She trailed off.
“Me.” Waverly concluded in a sad tone.
“Hey… look, you as you are, are okay. You don’t have to be a hero to be special.” Nicole tried to comfort her by grabbing her hand and giving it a light squeeze.
Waverly looked down at their joined hands for a moment, and then she looked up only to be met by the brightest and warmest smile ever. Nicole was looking at her with so much love and compassion that she felt like she could get lost in those big brown eyes of hers.
“You’re special, baby girl. Don’t ever forget that.”
So far, mama had been the only one to ever call her that.
They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment, until it became too much. Retracting her hand from Nicole’s, Waverly tried to break the awkward silence. “So, hum… what about you? What do you want?” Waverly asked while sitting down on a trunk nearby.
“Me? I’m just a stable girl…”
“And don’t stable girls have dreams too?”
“I should probably get back to work now. Those horses won’t brush themselves.” Nicole said, clearly avoiding the question.
“You know, when I was a little kid I used to come here every day and would spend hours with my horse. But when I turned 14, my father forbade me to come to come to stables. I could still ride my horse if I we had to go somewhere, but he said I wasn’t a kid anymore, and ladies can’t get covered in mud and dust. The only times I can come to the stables are when he’s not at home.”
“So why are you here?”
“I needed a break. And he thinks I’m in the library.”
“I see…” Nicole said, then she got an idea. “Hey, do you wanna help out?”
“Oh, I’d love to! Like… like to. But I can’t.” She tried to correct herself.
What the hell, girl? Get your shit together! She mentally scolded herself. You see one hot girl, and suddenly your brain can’t work anymore? OMG, did she just think Nicole was hot?
She took a deep breath in order to gain some control again, and then she continued explaining. “If I get dirt on my gown, my father’s gonna kill me.”
“I got some spare clothes if you want… you could just get changed.” Nicole offered with a smile. Or was it a smirk?
“It’s not that simple, it took me like 40 minutes to get into this gown.”
“40 minutes, huh? I bet I could get you out of it faster…” Nicole said to herself, but it was still loud enough for Waverly to hear it.
“Help. I bet I could help you out of it faster. If… if you wanted to get changed.” She tried to correct herself.
Damn it, Haught! Couldn’t you keep the comment to yourself? This time it was Nicole’s turn to mentally scold herself.
“Right. Hum…” Waverly didn’t really know where to go from there. She had never actually flirted with someone before. Let alone with a woman. She needed an excuse to leave, fast. She couldn’t do this right now. “I… I’d better go back now. Before my father finds out I’m not actually in the library.”
“Sure, yeah. Then maybe some other time.” Nicole smiled at her. “I mean it.” She added with a hint of a smirk.
Waverly smiled briefly at her, and then she turned to leave before the other woman could notice just how bad she was blushing.
Wynonna Earp | Friends in Low Places ‣ 4.02 | Wayhaught Reunion Wall + Floor part + Desperation™
Wayhaught // Coffee Shop AU
Wynonna training through the seasons
NEVER FORGET: they are married!
Wayhaught // Masquerade AU
willa’s a dick pass it on