Fandom - Guiding Light
Pairing - Olivia/Natalia (eventually...)
Warnings and/or Spoilers - No spoilers. This is an AU (Alternative Universe) fic, which means some stuff is the same but a lot of it is not. Enjoy that! ;)
Summary - Olivia Spencer is falling apart and takes an undercover case in order to ignore her pain. But along with drugs and crooked cops and an unexpected ally, she finds a reason to finally heal and live again. Multi-chapter thing.
Rating - PG currently, hard-R in later chapters
/ / /
The talk with Cassie Layne is easily disregarded when Olivia steps out of the woman’s office.
Right. She isn’t involved in any of this. Just tired of running a hotel on her own.
If Olivia Spencer ever wanted a different career, Cassie has an opening as co-manager of a hotel.
And she let the woman think there was a small possibility.
I had to, why else would ‘Ms. Martin’ be here? To take in the sights of Springfield?
So, job opportunities aside, Olivia was no further than before.
A busted night at a drugs market is all she has to show for her efforts thus far.
It is time for me to focus on one person and see what turns up.
And Olivia had one person in particular she wanted to track for the evening.
The maid’s son is up to something. Out all night and his wandering eyes on my money…
It might be nothing, Olivia cautioned herself. It could just be some punk-kid trying to break the confines of the mother-son bond.
And doing a shitty job of it if what Natalia said is any indication.
Olivia shoves that thought aside, a little angered at her preoccupation with this maid… Natalia… and not wanting to get involved in anyone’s life or troubles.
She doesn’t want to care about any of them or their fears. She just wants solve the case and…
And what, Olivia? Go back to your apartment and no Emma and Phillip being an ass? What the hell are you rushing back to?
Her mind supplies the answer, cold and hard… and she dutifully ignores it.
She has some marijuana to return and a suspect to follow, a case to put away and a town to leave.
And if Olivia Spencer is good at anything, it is following through on something.
Good, bad or otherwise… isn’t that right?
Again, the answer is not a pretty one and Olivia turns a blind eye.
/ / /
“Rafe Rivera. What do you know about him?” Olivia asks as she tosses the bags of pot onto Frank’s desk.
The man looks up, trademark annoyance on his face and in his eyes.
He really needs to loosen up. He should take advantage of his ‘evidence’.
“I think he is up to something. Gonna trail him tonight.”
Frank stands up and motions for Olivia to follow him.
They walk into one of the interrogation rooms and he spins around, the annoyance still there but now mixed with some…
What is that? Worry?
“Look, do you have a reason for thinking Rafe is somehow involved in this case?”
“It is just a hunch. I tend to pay attention to gut feelings and go with it.”
Frank looks pensive and it is a new appearance on the man. It makes Olivia curious.
“What’s going on?”
“Uh… nothing, I just—“
“Don’t bullshit me, Detective. If you start lying, I am out of here. I’ve already put a target on my back at that club, so don’t shut me out.”
Frank sighs and leans against the door.
“He got busted a couple of months ago for possession.”
“Marijuana. It was very little.”
“How much time did he do?”
Only silence follows and Olivia tilts her head to the side, contemplating this new…and improved, really… Frank Cooper as he stares a hole into the floor.
“You look uncomfortable, Detective.”
“It’s just that—“
“What? You the inside guy? The one I’m supposed to bring in?”
That causes the man to look up sharply and fix her with a glare.
“Not in a million years.”
Olivia sizes him up and nods quietly.
“Okay. What is going on?”
“Rafe comes from a rough situation. This was his first offense and I cut him some slack, for his sake and for his mother’s sake. Natalia can’t afford to get her kid out of trouble and Rafe can’t afford mistakes.”
Olivia leans in and keeps her voice very low.
“You broke the law.”
Frank looks at her miserably and offers no refusal of the facts. She should call his superior and make sure Frank is suspended. She should call her superior and get out of this mess of case in this mess of town.
Olivia Spencer should do a lot of things. Like stop drinking so much. Or get more sleep before she crashes completely. And she should not start condoning stupid moves, even if they come with good intentions.
But she rarely does what she should.
This damn case is proving that I never do what I should. I should just walk the fuck away. I should run home and never look back.
Instead, Olivia walks to the door and pauses for a second.
“I’m going to follow Rafe tonight.”
Frank looks over at her, for all intents and purposes looking like a whipped dog.
“What about… what, Detective?”
Olivia is the picture of innocence and, with a curt nod, leaves the station.
/ / /
Her judgment is sharp and calculated.
At least most times.
She spent the rest of the day reading over the files… again… and biding her time for night to fall.
There was a voice that chastised her for letting Frank Cooper off the hook.
But the other voice was stronger, telling her that he wasn’t a bad cop.
Just a sentimental one.
A knock to her door shakes her out of thoughts and she shoves the papers into the side-table drawer.
The turn of the knob reveals a clean stack of towels and Natalia Rivera.
Olivia steps aside and watches the woman speed her way to the bathroom.
She feels that urge once more, the one that wanted to talk to Natalia and confide in Natalia and listen to Natalia…
And why do I want this? Am I losing touch with reality as ‘Ms. Martin’? God, what is wrong with me? We can’t talk. We can’t be friends and share about our lives… My life is a lie.
‘Ms. Martin’, however, is a strong force apparently.
Because Olivia cannot seems to stop herself from speaking up when Natalia enters the main room again.
“Did you get more rest?” She blurts the question out like someone who isn’t used to asking anything of anyone.
Natalia is pushing a cleaning cloth over the table and doesn’t look up.
“Not yet, Ms. Martin.”
She’s all aloof now.
Before Olivia can say anything more, her cell phone rings. She looks at the caller id and silently curses.
Great. Just add to the wonderfulness of the day.
She answers it with a non-committal ‘hello’.
The voice on the other end is sure and decisive, causing Olivia’s body to become rigid with things she cannot express… not with Natalia, the maid, in the room.
“Phillip, what is going on?” She asks calmly, aware that her cover could get blown if she loses it.
And she wants to lose it, badly.
“I am going to take Emma with me on my business trip to Paris. Then we are going to travel some more, show her some of the world. Thought you might want to come home and spend some time with her before we go.”
Come home now… come how now and ruin this job… come home now and see my daughter just to say good-bye again…
The internal war must be visible on her face, because her eyes track upward and find Natalia staring at her with a look of concern in those brown eyes.
Olivia just stares ahead, not really seeing anything but Emma floating further and further away.
“I can’t. Tell her I love her… very much.” Olivia almost whispers into the receiver and then presses the ‘end’ button.
“Ms. Martin, you do not look well… can I do anything?” Natalia asks, stepping closer and a hesitant hand motionless in the air, just waiting for a command.
“Call me Olivia.”
And her emotions betray her, forcing hot tears out of her eyes and down her face.
Strong arms wrap around Olivia’s shoulders and she feels her body collapse into them.
Without a thought to her undercover role or to Frank or to the fact that, in several hours, Olivia will be watching Natalia’s son and figuring out if the kid is a drugs dealer… Olivia Spencer allows ‘Ms. Martin’ to go away for a bit.
She tentatively puts her arms around this maid… Natalia... and holds on for dear life as she sobs.
/ / /
Natalia leaves Ms. Martin’s room slowly as if in a daze. Olivia. She keeps telling me to call her that and I can’t seem to break the professional habit.
After the awkward end to their one-sided conversation in the elevator, Natalia was faced with the fact that she tried to force her worries onto a stranger.
Ms. Martin just wanted a general answer, not a long-winded one. What was I thinking?
And after that realization, Natalia berated herself some, feeling stupid for opening up to someone she didn’t know.
Then she got annoyed at Ms. Martin.
Why ask me a question at all? What act like you want to know something when you don’t? She was the one who wanted to know why I was tired; she was the one I found hovering around my face when I woke up…
When it came time for her to help out in delivering new towels and linens, Natalia had worked herself up with irrational anger. It was silly, really, in retrospect. But Natalia is not perfect.
She is just as emotional and ridiculous as the next person.
And boy did I prove that, coming into her room like I didn’t care whether she lived or died. God, what is wrong with me? Why am I behaving like this? Is it because of the tension with Rafe?
Raising a young boy was never easy, but she believed that she did the best she could.
And still, here they are – one of them grasping and the other one running fast.
Natalia is trying so hard to hold onto that which is no longer just hers.
Rafe is his own person and it is out of her hands.
And it hurts so much. And then Ms. Martin… Olivia… was there, seeming like, I don’t know. I just wanted to tell her everything. And I don’t know why.
She would have just walked out of the room as quickly as she came in.
She put the towels up and prepared to flee, but the other woman was there with another question.
Natalia wasn’t going to go through this again.
She is the maid and Ms. Martin is the guest. End of story.
But when I looked over at her, attempting to not see her… Olivia was falling apart, ashen skin along her face and I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t leave her alone to suffer.
It was even clearer than in the elevator, this pull Natalia feels to this woman, and before she could stop it… she was moving and her arms were around Olivia.
She held the woman for endless minutes as warm sorrow soaked into the cloth of her maid’s uniform.
And she listened to a jumble of words, coming out like the most heartbreaking of tales, one of a marriage ending before it began and of a child being fought over, of a little girl being taken away.
It was when Olivia kept repeating over and over, “I fucked up, I fucked up…” that Natalia moved on instinct again.
Her hands gripped Olivia’s face and forced the woman to look at her.
“No matter what, remember that your daughter loves you. No one can take that away.”
For a second, Natalia found that the breath was getting caught in her throat as Olivia stared at her, green eyes watery and raw.
And as if in a dream, Olivia leaned forward and kissed Natalia’s cheek, then she watched as Olivia turned away and walked out of the room.
Dear God… what is going on?
That question kept echoing in Natalia mind as she left the room minutes later, as she worked the rest of her shift and as she wandered home.
She reads Rafe’s note and sits down, staring off into space.
What is going on with me, God?
/ / /
Once Olivia Spencer gets an idea in her head, she doesn’t let it go.
The club was too obvious for her, that much was true. She thought about dealing on some street and seeing what would turn up, but that takes too long.
She needs to get to the bigger fish and then get some names, like the main dealers and the man on the inside.
Because no one breaking the law is that lucky. Someone is helping them out.
So, her new and improved plan revolved around finding a person who would be willing to work with her and had connections to the drug world.
They would need incentive and she planned on giving it to them.
In exchange for their help, she would guarantee protection and no prison sentence.
Or at the very least a short stint in jail. I make promises; I don’t have to keep them.
A dark smile works its way onto Olivia’s face and it makes her feel a little more like her old self.
Since Emma left with Phillip, she has been a shell of herself and blank, leading a very removed life.
And since this case began, she has felt her emotions taking over too easily.
One minute she is calm and cool. The next minute she is crying and babbling.
Jesus Christ, what she must think of me, breaking down and weeping all over her. Talking to her then ignoring her… she must think I am fucking nuts.
For the life of her, though, Olivia cannot figure out why any of this matters… why Natalia matters at all.
She has never been the type of person to give such mixed signals to someone.
If Olivia likes you, you know it.
And if Olivia dislikes you, you really know it.
But the urge to connect and then run away from Natalia swirls inside of Olivia’s body, leaving Olivia very confused.
And kind of ill-tempered, too.
When she tore out of her room at top-notch speed, Olivia felt like putting a hole in the wall with her fist.
She felt like a live wire, dangerous and electric, and she willed for someone to cross her path and give her an excuse to pick a fight.
But this was a familiar rush – the sensation of anger and insecurity meeting up, creating a storm that most people in her life know to avoid.
Olivia was not a happy woman.
And on top of all of that, I had to kiss her cheek. What the fuck was that about?
Olivia doesn’t like to analyze her actions and this is no different.
She doesn’t want to know why Natalia hugged her and why she clung to the woman so desperately.
She doesn’t want to know why those hands, hard-working hands of a maid Olivia doesn’t even know, felt so soft and warm and perfect on her face.
Just want to solve this case and leave. That’s all.
Olivia tunes out everything else the moment the door to the boarding house opens up, revealing Rafe Rivera in the streetlights.
She shadows him for two blocks, noticing how his head whips around sometimes.
A nervous habit. Must not be too safe out here, eh Rafe?
When he darts around a corner and doesn’t come out soon enough for Olivia’s liking, she darts over to the other side of the street and creeps along the wall of some building.
She hears it before it happens and gets her body ready to respond.
It is quick and then she has Rafe pinned to wall, an arm against his neck and her gun barrel pressed into his belly.
His eyes are moving wildly and he struggles for a bit, but when she drives the gun harder into his body, Rafe stops moving.
“I’m only going to say this once, so pay attention. When I get this bag of weed off of you, I’m not going to turn you in. See, I need your help with a problem and, if you are smart, you’ll assist me. If you decide not to help me or to do something stupid, I’ll take you to the station right now and let you rot.”
Rafe looks at her fully then, surprise caught in his eyes in flashes of nighttime illumination.
“You’re the lady from Company.”
“Who the hell are you?”
“Your best friend or your worst nightmare. Your choice.”
/ / /