Author: Lady Victory aka Vita Wong
Fandom/Pairing: Guiding Light, Otalia
Rating: PGish (maybe PG-13ish later)
Spoilers: Only that they live together in the Farmhouse of Love.
Summary: Emma asks Natalia to tell her an original bedtime story, Olivia overhears. The story continues. Part 5 of 6 (definitely one more part after this, already almost done).
Disclaimer: Not mine, no matter how much I wish they were.
AN: I couldn't help myself! I should have finished my Epistemology paper, but... I have no beta, all mistakes mine. Thanks for reading and all your encouragement!! Comments are, in fact, love.
AN2: Back to Natalia's perspective, for the most part.
AN3: I have a sneaky suspicion this part is out of character, but I hope it's not too bad...
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Natalia smiled to herself as she slowly stirred Emma’s chicken noodle soup, stealing shy glances at Olivia every few minutes. The older woman had taken up residence leaning against the furthest counter from the stove as soon as they had entered the kitchen, almost as if she was afraid Natalia would bite. The thought made the Latina giggle quietly; she found the timid side of Olivia endearing. Neither woman spoke, but the Natalia didn’t mind; she needed time to gather her wits. Now that she had gotten the other woman alone, she was having trouble figuring out how to start the conversation she knew they should have.
After a small eternity, she heard Olivia sigh and watched out of the corner of her eye as the taller woman straightened to her full height and squared her shoulders. Looking determined, she strode forward, until she was directly behind the smaller woman; Natalia pretended not to notice, intrigued by her – girlfriend? Sex bomb? Boss? – housemate’s behavior. Warm, strong arms encircled her waist and she hummed in contentment, snuggling her cheek against Olivia’s as the older woman embraced her from behind.
“Awful bold of you, Captain Spencer,” she teased, free hand coming to rest on one of the arms holding her to show she was teasing. Olivia chuckled next to her ear, lips brushing the delicate outer shell, and it was all Natalia could do to stop the shiver that tickled her spine. Whoa boy, was it hot in here?
“I have a reputation for being brash and daring, figured I’d live up to it.” The older woman countered playfully, kissing the place where shoulder met neck. Natalia forgot how to breathe. “Also, it was either touch you or run screaming from the room. And as scared as I am of messing this up by coming on too strong, I’m more scared of doing nothing.” She admitted, burying her face in dark hair.
Natalia felt her heart melt; she knew what it cost a woman like Olivia to admit to something like that. She found herself falling a little more in love with the other woman, if that was possible. Carefully setting the large spoon aside, she turned in the circle of arms, ignoring the butterflies in her stomach and her erratic heartbeat. If Olivia could be brave then so could she! Reaching up, she wrapped her arms loosely around the older woman’s shoulders.
“Hi,” she whispered, smiling. She saw Olivia swallow deeply, felt tension in her body.
“At the risk of messing this up by coming on too strong, I have to say, I like it when you hold me,” Natalia murmured, fingers toying with the hair at the base of Olivia’s neck.
“Yeah?” Olivia asked, smiling cautiously. The younger woman giggled, nodding. Here goes nothing.
“Yeah. And seeing as I have you trapped,” both chose to ignore the fact that she was the one backed against the counter, not the other way round, “I will add, I also like it when you, uh… k-kiss me…” Darn it, she really wanted to sound confident and suave. But Olivia’s proximity was playing havoc on her mental processes, even as it emboldened her.
She knew the other woman was wary of scaring her away, despite subtle and not-so-subtle hints that Natalia was okay with more than hand holding and fleeting hugs. Glacial was just too darn slow! But even though her heart and body were willing, the smaller woman’s words were failing. If only Olivia would take that final step and kiss her…
“Um… that’s good… because I, uh… like doing it… kissing you, I mean,” Olivia stuttered, blushing bright red but relaxing slightly. Did Olivia Spencer just blush at the thought of kissing her? Too precious for words. “Even if, uh, it was just the, uh… just the once…” Natalia smiled her biggest smile and felt Olivia’s breath catch. Hmm, file that away for later.
“You could do it again, you know?” she suggested, eyes drifting down to full lips, gulping when a pink tongue swiped out quickly to wet them. She felt the older woman sway a little, and had to bit her lip to keep from grinning. Oh this was interesting; no one would believe innocent little Natalia Rivera would make big bad Olivia Spencer actually weak in the knees.
“I, uh, I mean, uh, huh?” Yup, too precious for words.
“Soups ready,” Natalia commented, deciding to let the other woman off the hook… for now. “Why don’t you grab a bowl and spoon?” Olivia looked dazed, almost shell shocked. Reaching up, Natalia pecked her lips quickly, before untangling herself. “Come on sweetie, Emma’s waiting for her breakfast, all sad and flu-y. And we have a story to finish.” That snapped Olivia to attention.
“Right, Emma, soup; got it.” She walked almost mechanically to the cupboards to retrieve the requested items, and Natalia had to laugh, moving to her and pulling her into another hug.
“It’s okay; we’re learning as we go. I promise not to freak out, as long as we’re open, and honest, and patient with each other.” she promised, catching Olivia’s eyes again. The older woman nodded, appearing both relieved and nervous. “Okay?”
“How’s the soup, sweetie?” Natalia asked, feeding another spoonful into Emma’s mouth. The little girl swallowed carefully before smiling wanly.
“It’s good.” She assured, but shook her head when the woman offered more. “I can’t… my tummy hurts,” she whimpered, and Natalia nodded, putting the bowl aside and sliding into bed beside her.
“Its okay honey, you don’t have to finish. If you get hungry later I’ll make you some more.” She soothed, hugging the girl close, kissing her forehead.
“Do you want to go to see the doctor, Em?” Olivia asked from her position by the door, brow creased with worry.
“You sure? I can have Rick come out; he owes me a favor.”
“No thank you.”
“Oh, I see what’s going on here; I think you’re mother is trying to get out of continuing the story,” Natalia stage whispered conspiratorially. Emma giggled, coughing into her sleeve. Olivia glared, sticking out her tongue.
“It’s your turn anyway,” she countered, moving forward and slipping onto the bed, beside Natalia this time. The younger woman smiled up at her gently for a long moment, before turning so Olivia was at her back, cradling her body. Emma snuggled into Natalia’s shoulder and looked up at her expectantly.
“Okay then. So, uh, Princess Natalia just saved Captain Spencer’s butt from the Speldings, right?” Emma giggled and nodded. “Well then, it looks like the pirates owe her…”
Olivia smirked, allowing a snigger to escape her lips. “You’re joking right? You couldn’t possibly think that I would owe you anything, for any reason?” The words were deceptive; they were said in a light, off hand tone, as if Natalia had done something amusing. But the Princess sensed danger there, like steel wrapped in velvet. They were in the Captain’s chambers, where she had been summoned after the Pirate Queen had a chance to organize herself after the encounter with her enemies.
“B-but I saved you! The Speldings, they would have k-killed you if… I… hadn’t…” Natalia trailed off, eyes filling with tears of frustration. “You can’t be this mean, I don’t believe it!”
Now Olivia did laugh, full and long, and the Princess was struck with the beauty of the sound and the woman making it. Surely someone that could laugh like that couldn’t be all bad. “What, you think these are for show?” Olivia asked, waving her hands at her weapons. “You think people say those things about me because I’m nice?” Now she sounded almost insulted. Stalking up to her captive, she circled her, like a cat playing with a mouse. “You are in for a world of disappointment, little girl, if you think the universe is all hugs and puppies and rainbows. Let me just clear that up for you right now. The stars are made of fire, not diamonds, they burn you; and space is cold and dark and empty. Nothing is free, and the only one you can trust, the only one looking out for you, is yourself.”
Natalia looked at the Pirate Captain for long moments, suddenly filled with sadness and pity. “You’re wrong,” she whispered, turning to face the woman fully, reaching out unconsciously to take a battle hardened hand in her own. It was cold to the touch, rough from holding a sword, but it curved to fit hers perfectly. “You’re wrong,” she said again, tangling her fingers with the stunned woman’s. How long had it been since someone had dared hold her hand? “People laugh, and they love, and they take care of each other. The universe isn’t cold or empty, it’s full and alive! If even one person, just one, has known love, then there is hope, and things can’t be as bleak as you say.”
They stayed like that for long moments, staring into each other’s eyes. Natalia wanted to believe that she had been heard, that Captain Olivia Spencer, Dread Pirate Queen wasn’t too far gone. She could almost see it in the woman’s green eyes, the want, need, to believe those words. Then they turned cold – Natalia could feel the chill - and the other woman yanked her hand away, turning her back. “I’ve had my men prepare you proper quarters.” Natalia knew when she was being dismissed. Lower lip quivering, she walked to the door.
“I hope one day you get proven wrong,” she said over her shoulder.
“Natalia?” Emma interrupted, small hand toying with the gold chain and cross pendant around the woman’s neck – a gift from Olivia, upon her return to the farmhouse.
“Yes baby girl?”
“Are Princess Natalia and Captain Spencer going to fall in love and live happily ever after?” Out of the mouth of babes. Natalia felt Olivia stiffen behind her, and knew she had to tread very carefully.
“Well… what do you think, sweetie?” she asked, smiling cautiously. Emma smiled back, bright and happy despite the paleness caused by sickness.
“I bet they do! I bet they fall in love, and Captain Spencer buys her a unicorn, and they have lots of adventures, just like you and Mommy,” she exclaimed, excited. “Well,” she laughed, “except you and Mommy don’t have a unicorn or a space ship.”
The adults were quiet for long moments, and Natalia could feel Olivia crying against her back, warm, wet tears dripping onto her shoulder, soaking her night gown. Reaching back, she grasped the older woman’s hand, pulling it around her. Smiling tearfully, she sniffled.
“That’s right baby, how did you guess?” she said, voice thick. Emma looked confused. Small fingers stroked her cheek.
“Are you okay Natalia? I didn’t mean to make you sad.”
“You didn’t sweetie,” she reassured, kissing her daughter’s fingers and pulling her into a hug. Olivia’s arm moved to encircle them both, and she felt the older woman sigh. She rained more kisses onto the girl, who giggled happily even as she yawned.
“Uh oh, someone should probably get some rest.” Natalia announced, pulling back and patting Olivia to motivate her to move. She felt her pull away and get up, and for a moment was cold.
“Aww, Natalia!” Emma whined, coughing at her, indignant. Wrinkling her nose, Natalia moved off the bed
“But I wanna know what happens next! The story can’t end there!” the girl complained, a mini-version of Olivia’s Death Glare on her face. The women couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Natalia’s right, Jellybean. You need to get some rest.” Olivia said, walking to the bed and kissing her daughter on the forehead, tucking her in.
“Don’t worry sweetie, the story’s not over yet.” The younger woman added, brown eyes finding brilliant green and holding them for long moments. “It’s just the beginning.”