Title: It’s only words. (1/?)
Show: Guiding Light
Spoilers: None. Unless the writers of GL go this way, then you can congratulate me on my amazing prescience.
Disclaimers: nothing, other than my words, are owned by me. Everything else belongs to GL, Telenext and P&G ( I love their shampoos).
Rating: G for this bit.
A/N: Mrs kissmychakram pointed out that I never met a wisecrack that I didn’t like, and just maybe that I should write a fic that didn’t totally rely on the last line. This is my attempt. I think it will be a 3 parter.
Frank Cooper flashed his badge at the desk man at the Springfield Halfway House.
The desk guy glanced at Frank’s badge and then returned his attention to the pony pages, mulling over his choices in the 3:45 at the local race track.
“Rec room. Three doors down, to your left”
Frank walked past the paint-peeled doorways, down a corridor of institutional green to the so-called recreation room. Recreation room, what a joke that was. A mouldy sofa, ancient magazines, a beat-up table, some playing cards and a decrepit dartboard that hung gamely to the wall, despite the fact that actual darts were forbidden.
Rafe sat in a corner, reading.
Rafe Rivera looked up, and smiled.
“Frank, man. Good to see you. You been staying away from those doors?”
Frank chucked the younger man on the shoulder and sat down opposite him.
“Yeah, I’m safe from the doors of Springfield for a while.”
“Good to hear it, what can I do you for? Is Ma OK?”
“Don’t worry, your mother is fine. I just came to tell you that I pulled a few strings, and you’ll be getting a release hearing very soon.”
Rafe rocked back in his chair.
“That’s amazing. Thank you so much”
“Well, I hope you know that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you or your mother.”
“I appreciate it, I really do. So how are things going with you and my mom? You guys back together yet?” Rafe was slightly startled by the sudden flash of anger he saw in Frank’s eyes.
“No. And we won’t be. She’s with Olivia now”. As soon as he said it, Frank knew that he shouldn’t have. The dawning horror on Rafe's face was evidence enough.
“What? Olivia? You can’t mean that. You can’t.”
“I shouldn’t have said anything, I’m sorry Rafe, please don’t judge her. She’s a good woman. Believe in that.” Frank thought it best not to add that he most emphatically did not consider Olivia in the same vein.
“Look, I’ve got to go; I’ll see you at the hearing, OK?” Rafe nodded absently at him. Frank got up and left the room. Left Rafe alone, brooding.
Eight days later, Rafe listened with delight as the Judge proclaimed his debt to society paid in full, and that he was a free man. Behind him, he could hear his mother sobbing with joy. He shook his lawyer’s hand, and then turned and hurried into his mothers open armed embrace.
“Hush now, ma. No more crying, not anymore. I never want to see you cry again.” He felt a hand between his shoulders and glanced right to see Olivia, her eyes brimming with tears.
“Congratulations, Rafe.” She smiled, and he almost, almost, forgot that he had spent the last few days building up a complete loathing for her. For this woman, who had taken something as beautiful and pure as his mother, and corrupted her. He started to attempt to at least try and thank her, but his words died in his throat, as he watched Olivia reach out her right hand and gently run her fingers through his mother’s hair. Cold, hard, fury coiled in his guts.
“Hey, Nat, don’t you think it’s time we took your boy home.” Olivia said.
“We?” he asked, incredulously. “Have you moved back into the farmhouse?” If Olivia was slightly startled by his tone, she quickly covered it up.
“No, we haven’t. I just knew that whatever the outcome today, your mother would be too weepy to drive home safely. I’m glad they’re happy tears. C’mon, let’s go. I’m sure Emma is desperate to see you.”
Later, at the farmhouse, after Emma had happily crooned her ‘Welcome Home’ in his ear, after Jeffery and Josh had slapped him on the shoulder, after Father Ray had grasped his hands and said “I’m looking forward to seeing you at mass, Raphael”, Rafe sat in his new home. A home he did not recognise, and yet his mother’s familiar touches were everywhere. The statue of the Virgin Mary, the heavy wooden crucifix.
The usual suspects were present, anyone within a functioning liver’s distance were here. Even Reva, who Rafe had learned, was cancer-free. Had he been so long away that he hadn’t even known that she had cancer in the first place? Reva and Jeffery were cooing over their baby, it was natural. As was Mallet and Marina, fussing over their own child.
Rafe felt lost. Like the whole world had passed him by whilst he was in detention. But worst, worst of all, was witnessing the looks that his mother gave Olivia. There they were, his mom sitting on the edge of the sofa, Olivia perched on the arm of that same sofa, her hand drawing lazy circles on his mothers back.
And every now and then, his mom would look up, and gaze into Olivia’s eyes. As if she was drowning. As if she had found *everything*.
As if she had given away her mortal soul.