Love Changes People
Show: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia/Natalia, various others
Rating: PG for adult concepts only. No sex or sexual situations
Archive: P&P, Incandescent Fire. All others please ask.
A/N: told from Emma's POV at least 15 years in the future, you decide how far.
Hi! Pardon? Oh no, I’m not sad at all. I’m just thinking. About what? Love. Heh. Of course it would be on my mind today of all days. But love has played a huge role in my life, probably more than for most people. Certainly more than education, money or social standing; love has been the driving force in my life for as long as I can remember, and it’s taught me more about the meaning of life than any book or class ever could have. Don’t tell me parent’s I said that, please?
What have I learned? I’m so glad you asked, pull up a chair. Love changes people. Simple, I know, but also very profound when you really think about it. People are always trying to find it, losing it, trying to get it back, hurting others because of it, hurting themselves; especially around here. This town is insane but that’s a story for another day.
I hear what you’re saying and I agree, most people are aware when love comes calling, can feel themselves falling and just go with that feeling. But for others love sneaks in on padded feet, quietly; the feelings so subtle, the person so unexpected, they can’t see the forest for the trees. That’s how it was for my parent’s anyway, but we’ll get to them in a bit. First I have to explain the ways that love has changed the various people closest to me; it’s all intertwined anyway.
They’re all here today, but then I knew they would be. Over there, that’s my sister Ava, her husband Remy and my niece and nephew; Daniel and Sienna. Ava used to be so very sad, after Max died and it appeared Remy had moved on with Christina. When she finally came to her senses and moved back to Springfield it was to try and reclaim part of what she had lost. She and Remy eventually found their way back to each other, Christina’s unconditional love having helped him heal. They are all one big happy family now, very close. Christina is even godmother to Daniel.
Lizzie is my half sister. Funny, not funny ha-ha but funny ironic, from what I was told everyone had thought it would be the kidnapping drama that torn them apart. What? Oh, don’t ask. Those two are like one of those cheesy soap operas mom watches that she thinks we don’t know about; the stories I could tell! But I digress. It ended up being Bill’s drinking that almost destroyed any love they had left. Lizzie isn’t one to give up though; she’s like my dad that way. Lizzie and Bill are over there in the corner with Dinah and Shayne. Dinah’s tough love brought Shayne out of his self-imposed darkness, kicking and screaming; Shayne’s love tempered Dinah in ways no one ever thought possible. They have two kids as well, my moms are their godparents. All the kids are playing outside with Mallet and Marina’s brood. Who would have thought when they found out they couldn’t conceive that they would end up adopting the United Colors of Benetton?
Next we have my Grandpa Alan and Lillian. Now there’s a shocker! No one, and I mean no one, saw that coming. But after Buzz, Lillian’s husband and my mom’s greatest friend, died in a robbery attempt at Company, both Lillian and Alan were changed forever. That’s how my grandpa ended up in the wheelchair; he was shot trying to help Buzz. In the end while they leaned on each other they fell in love. Their biggest supporters they had at the time are the couple standing next to them now, my dad and Beth.
Yes, they finally got back together; though no one expected they would after the way my dad barged in and ruined Beth and Alan’s wedding. But they did and we’re a stronger family for it, or in spite of it. It was Beth who finally talked my dad out of trying to take me from Mom. That custody fight was bitter and nasty and it even caused Natalia to leave town for awhile. That was the worst part. I missed her terribly but it almost destroyed my mom. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so sad or alone. Just when I began to hate my father and everything he stood for, Beth stepped in and saved the day. Dad relented and, even though it took us some time to find Natalia, she did finally come home to mom and me.
I couldn’t have asked for a happier ending, or beginning depending on how you choose to see it. Speaking of beginnings, that’s my brother over there with Rafe and Daisy. He’s playing with their new baby. Daisy’s only been out of the hospital a few days, it was a rough pregnancy. Gus, that’s my brother, has a way with kids. He’s destined to be a doctor like Uncle Rick, only he’ll be a pediatrician for sure.
His birth was a miracle of love too. My dad donated the sperm that created him. He was shocked when they asked and almost said no. It was the strength of their love that convinced him. That and the changes in Mom. He even agreed to sign away his parental rights so Mom could adopt Gus like Natalia did me. Grandpa Alan didn’t even fight it. Who would ever believe the Spauldings could do anything so selfless?
The decision to ask Dad for his help was a hard one, but they felt he was their only choice. Neither of them wanted an anonymous donor. I guess they could have asked Frank, but given the bitterness her harboured for too long after Mom and Nat got together, it was no wonder mom put her foot down and refused. She felt there was too much water under the bridge and she didn’t want to have him tied to their lives by a child, especially since Nat carried.
Things with Uncle Frank have been difficult to say the least and their friendship was strained for years. But you see that’s where love comes in again. Look at him now, over there with Eleni watching over all of us like the patriarch he has become. Eleni finally deciding to come home, begging him to take her back, changed Frank. He’s calmer now and less needy. He retired and he and Eleni spend their days doting on their grandchildren.
He and my mom are even friends now, the tension between them over Natalia long ago faded into the background like an old photograph where you can no longer make out the faces. Sometimes I catch him looking wistfully at both my mothers but it’s just a glimpse and it’s only ever fleeting.
What about my mothers you ask? Well look at them! They still work together, the Beacon is a huge franchise now having taken over Galaxy 7 years ago with Dad’s help, play together, love together. See the way my Mom hovers over Natalia? She’s been doing that for years, since Gus was born. We almost lost Nat that day. I fear if we had I would have lost Mom too. Natalia slaps her hand away like that all the time, but secretly she told me that she loves it. They’re always touching, kissing, laughing; they’re best friends, partners and lovers. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and all I can do is pray I’m half as lucky.
Well you know about me, since you’re here. I got married today. Dad gave me away while my mothers cried tears of joy. Chance and I plan to live our lives here in Springfield. Why would we go anywhere else with all this love around us? He never had a real family and I’m more than happy to share mine. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years but love holds us all together.
I have to go now, Chance is waiting. We have a plane to catch. Wow. Look at my moms. I swear they’re as much in love today as the day I first realized it, watching Natalia feed my mom something from the crock pot in the farmhouse kitchen. I wrote my report that day because even if they didn’t know it, I did. Or maybe I only dreamed I saw it that day. Doesn’t really matter because love has a way of making dreams come true.
Thanks for listening to me ramble about my family. You sound a bit doubtful though, skeptical. Why don’t you stick around? I’m sure they’ll all be celebrating long after we’ve gone. Watch them all, really open your eyes and see them; especially my moms. What they have is pretty special, maybe some of it will rub off.
And remember what I said. Love changes people. What have you got to lose?