Fandom - Guiding Light
Pairing - Olivia/Natalia
Warnings and/or Spoilers - No spoilers. This is an AU (Alternative Universe) story. Things are different and the same... all at the same time. Woo!
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
Notes - Oh this is it for a while. I don't want to burn out...lol. I'll leave you guys with a good cliffhanger (kinda-sorta) until I get chapter 12 out.
When Rafe called, she told him to get a cab to The Beacon and to make sure his mother had no clue.
“Yea, I know how to sneak around.” Rafe muttered over the cell-phone and hung up.
I guess none of us got a good night’s sleep.
She steps out of her room, cautious and hesitant, watching the surroundings for any sight of Natalia.
Because she couldn’t go through the ordeal of lying again, not after last night.
It is better like this – Olivia could push the woman away, save Natalia the pain and by the time the case is done…
She’ll have her son back. She’ll have him and they can be a happy family.
The term ‘happy family’ always seemed like the biggest fairy tale of all to Olivia. Forget Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White, fanciful stories with wolves and princes.
Olivia grew up quick and found out that wolves could be young men in sheep’s clothing and princes don’t always save you from the bad things in the dark.
Princess or orphan, you are on your own in this world. That’s what I learned. No happy family for me.
She wanted something different for Emma. She wanted the girl to have it all – the life that never was and then was torn away from Olivia. She wanted the child to have love and protection, to have parents who cared more for her than for themselves.
And look how well I did that! Outstanding job, Spencer.
She wanted to call her daughter and demand more from Phillip, but then that little voice would shout out in her head – calling her a train wreck and of no good to Emma.
I can give her love. But what else? Security and a home and my time… I’ve not been able to give that to anyone. Ever.
Olivia’s ability to give was diminished years ago. And her ability to take was too damn good.
The elevator opens and she casts another look around, not catching a single glimpse of Natalia Rivera.
She feels no tingling along her spine, signaling Olivia to eyes on her back.
Seems like it worked then. Good. As it should be.
But it leaves a coldness in Olivia’s body that she just can’t shake, no matter how hard she tries.
/ / /
Outside of the diner in another town, Rafe hands over the baggie of coke and Olivia looks it over.
“Good job. They suspect anything?”
“Don’t think so, but I was still freaked out. I am freaked out.”
Olivia studies the boy, the familiar darting of his eyes – more pronounced this time around. And she can’t blame him. This isn’t a game anymore. This isn’t weed changing hands with friends.
This is hardcore dealing and this is a sting operation.
He’d be stupid to not be worried. So, time to put this plan further into motion.
“How much they want for it?”
“They start out low, to get buyers. “
“They told you that?”
“No. I just know how this goes, okay? Been around enough to know.”
“Do they know where you get the weed?”
Rafe furrows his brow, shaking his head.
“You don’t need to know just yet. “
“Hey, don’t start—“
“Calm down. Once things start moving, then you will know. It is best you don’t know anything unless you have to. Keeps you safe.”
She can tell Rafe doesn’t like it, but Olivia knows what she is doing.
The less you know, the less the bad guys can do to you. At least… most of the time. Best to keep that to myself, though.
“Sell it tonight.”
“What if I can’t find a buyer?”
“Maldonado isn’t an idiot. He knows there is a market if he is looking to take over Springfield’s streets.”
“Okay. Then what?”
“Give them their money. Just do what they want and be their best guy. And listen. Get as close as you can to them without giving yourself away and…”
Olivia drifts off, noticing the tension in Rafe’s face. He looks like a man going to the electric chair, pale and frozen.
“Hey. Calm down.”
“I don’t know, this is serious shit, okay? And Ma, what about her? What if something happens or she hears something? I don’t know if I can handle this.”
“Alright. Look at me.”
Rafe doesn’t seem to hear her, lost in a world in his head, full of bad things happening to good people.
She grabs his chin and gets his attention. His gaze is paranoid and young and frightened.
“Look at me. Right? Have I got you?”
He nods slowly. She pats his shoulder.
“I wasn’t kidding earlier on. I will keep you safe. I won’t let anything happen to you. You just sell and listen. If you hear some names, pass them on to me. I’ll be watching your back and Frank will be watching mine… and your mother’s.”
“What?! So you do think something could happen to her because of this?”
“It is just for you, okay, Rafe… just to keep you calm. Frank will make sure she doesn’t find out about what is going on. She’ll be just fine.”
Rafe doesn’t look completely convinced, but he does relax a little. Olivia can see it in the subtle drop of his shoulders and when he leans back in the seat.
Olivia sits back herself and stares out at the rain falling, the gray skies and wet pavement.
The diner lights beckon in the near distance and her wipers move methodically over the windshield of her rented car.
Nothing is going to happen to any of us. We are all going to be fine. Rafe and Natalia… they’ll be safe and unharmed. If it’s the last thing I do, I’ll keep that promise.
“Let’s get some food and talk until Frank gets here. Better to be full than empty when doing this kind of thing.”
And Olivia smiles, though she doesn’t truly feel happy. But if it soothes Rafe’s psyche, then it is a good move. When he offers a weak smile in return, Olivia becomes even more determined to keep this boy in one piece.
This time… I won’t let a child get hurt. Not this time.
/ / /
Natalia walks out of the staff room, her lunch resting heavy in her gut. Not that it wasn’t good, it was. The Beacon, unlike other places Natalia has worked in her life, offered free lunches to the staff.
So, she got the same as paying customers.
And it was good stuff… but today I just don’t care one way or the other.
The avoidance of room thirteen wasn’t as easy as Natalia wanted it to be.
Oh, she did well and kept far away. But Natalia’s eyes betrayed her more than once, glancing every so often for golden-brown hair or devilish green eyes.
That’s like looking for a mirage, though. Olivia’s not like that. I don’t know who that was at Company. I must have made it up… wanted a friend so badly, wanted… someone so badly that she seemed nicer than she really is…
And Natalia was getting annoyed at being so focused on Olivia Martin. It was like every second her brain found some excuse to think about the woman and ponder the woman and get angry at the woman.
God, I need a really good distraction.
But she wasn’t sure if this was the best answer as she left the staff room and ran right into Frank Cooper.
“Oh! Frank, I’m really sorry. Wasn’t paying a bit of attention.”
His hands reach out and steady her, his lips turning up in a grin. The Coopers welcomed her with open arms when she first arrived in Springfield and they became like a second family for Rafe and herself.
More like my only family.
“Not a problem. How you doing?”
“Not bad, I guess. Um, how about you?”
They stand there for a bit and Natalia fights the impulse to tap her foot on the floor. Not that she doesn’t like Frank. He is like the brother she never had.
But the longer she stands around, the more work she has to do and…
And… what? More time to think about a woman who doesn’t want to know you?
“Look, Dad and I are having a family thing tonight. Trying to get all of us in one place. Why don’t you come on down? Bring Rafe if he is around.”
And a part of her wants to refuse, to just go home when the working day is over, to sit and possibly brood.
What am I? Fourteen?
But the rest of her jumps at the chance to forget this Olivia situation for five minutes, to be around people who care about her and like her company, a family who wants her around and doesn’t turn her away.
“I’d love to spend an evening with the Coopers.” She smiles and Frank smiles back, telling her to be there around six or so.
For just a moment, Natalia does forget. She forgets these confusing feelings in her heart, forgets these tormenting thoughts and loneliness and she forgets all the worry about Rafe.
For just a moment, Natalia feels good.
But then there she is, walking fast across the lobby and not looking anywhere else but straight ahead, Olivia Martin. Natalia can see dark patches on the woman’s outfit from the rain outside.
She can see Olivia’s lips in a firm line, looking tense and serious.
And Natalia forgets all about forgetting, having to forcibly tear her gaze away and go back to work.
/ / /
Olivia spends the rest of the day catching up on sleep and, when awake, she is jotting down notes on her copy of the case files. She orders her food to the room and doesn’t go out again.
She keeps her cell close, waiting for when Rafe calls.
The meet up between Rafe, Frank and herself went fairly well. There were moments when she could feel Detective Cooper’s stare on her and she fought back the urge to stare right back.
Felt like we could have gotten into a contest. I think I would have won, too.
But, all in all, Frank Cooper was cooperative. He helped assuage Rafe’s fears, about the situation itself and about Natalia.
Yea, he was all about protecting Natalia, wasn’t he?
She knows she rolled her eyes numerous times during Frank’s little speech about ‘taking good care of your mom and you don’t have to worry’.
If Rafe or Frank noticed, they didn’t mention it.
And that’s for the best, too. Right. I’ve got no connection to Natalia now. We aren’t friends. We aren’t even talking to each other in passing. In fact, we aren’t even looking at each other. Good times.
But the idea of Frank Cooper, small-town detective and morally defensive Frank Cooper, getting to…
Date Natalia? Kiss her? Have sex with her? …Yea, it doesn’t sit well with me and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.
Olivia rubs her hands over her eyes and takes another sip of her now-flat soda. The clock reads nine o’clock, letting her know just how long of a night is ahead.
No more dreams. Please, God or whoever, no more dreams.
When her phone rings, she jumps on it and checks the caller id. But it isn’t Rafe.
“Olivia. Sorry to call so late.”
She doesn’t say anything at all. Her grip on the phone is dangerously strong. Like every other time since their bad…and that’s the understatement of the year... break-up, Olivia feels her body become rigid and her mood angry.
“Olivia? You still there?”
“Is there something going on with Emma?”
“Uh, well, yes… in a way…”
“Is she okay? Has something happened?”
“No. Just calm down, I’m calling—“
“Don’t ever tell me to calm down, Phillip.”
Her tone is cold and blank, feeling like an old glove on slipping onto her hand.
This is who I am, isn’t it? A bitch. A hard woman. I’m deadly and not to be fucked with. This is who I am.
“Olivia, she misses you.”
And the hot air she just blew up her own ego shudders out of her lips, leaving her deflated.
I’m really losing my edge these days.
“Olivia, do you hear me? Emma misses you terribly. I am running out of stories to tell her.”
“What? Paris didn’t make her forget me?”
Olivia can hear the sharpness to her voice. It speaks too well of pain and she hates that Phillip can probably pick up on it.
“You are her mother, Olivia… Look. I’ve been thinking a lot lately and I think we should stop this. For Emma.”
“Go right ahead. Just send her back to me and we can stop this, Phillip.”
“Don’t you want the best for our daughter?”
The best… what is the best? A father with a megalomaniac family or a mother with too many fatal wounds? Who deserves Emma? And there’s that fucking word again!
“I don’t think you are the best for Emma.” Olivia states, her voice slipping from cold and edgy to just plain broken.
“I don’t think either of us is the best. That’s why I think we need to work together.”
“You and I, working together? Didn’t we try that?”
“For Emma, okay… She misses you and I won’t keep you from her. She loves you, Olivia. And she loves me… god help her, she loves us both so much.”
And in her mind, she can see Emma. Beautiful and happy Emma, running and playing and singing and talking… the most perfect child in the world… and Olivia wants the best for her little girl.
I won’t let another child get hurt. I won’t. Not this time.
But the slings and arrows never stop coming, not for Olivia Spencer. And for every positive word that penetrates her head, there are fifty negative ones to follow it.
And Olivia wants to be the best for Emma. And Olivia wants to be better than Phillip.
And in the end, she won’t let herself be either.
“Tell her I miss her very much and that I love her. I’ll be home soon.”
“Wait, Olivia, listen to me—“
But she doesn’t listen to him. Olivia shuts the phone and gets up, dressing automatically.
She leaves the room and wanders down the hallway, taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
And she exits the hotel, into the night in a strange town.
/ / /
The dinner was good and the atmosphere was pleasant.
But Natalia noticed two things and one of them wouldn’t leave her alone.
The first thing she noticed was Frank.
They had been friends for a good while now and he was family to her. He was someone she could look to for advice or… something like tonight, a chance for family.
That was all, though. She didn’t see him as a romantic possibility.
Not in the slightest.
But he was attentive all night long. Too attentive. It didn’t unsettle her, not really, but it caught her off-guard. He was too close and too happy and too… too…
Something. I can’t quite put my finger on it. But something was different.
The one thing that wouldn’t let her relax was her son. Rafe came to the meal and Natalia was grateful for that. She didn’t like to think of her having this familial experience and her child missing out on it.
Something was up with him as well. I could sense it the whole evening.
What really solidified it for Natalia, though, was when Rafe got up to leave.
He said good night to everyone, grabbing his coat and slinging it on. Natalia watched him as he came closer and leaned down to her, getting close to her ear.
“Ma, I’ll be late, but don’t stress about it. Everything is gonna be fine.”
And then he was out the door.
And the fact that he told me not to worry is reason enough for me to really get scared. Dear God, please watch out for Rafe. I don’t know what is going on, but please keep him safe.
She also noticed the smallest of looks pass between Frank and Rafe. It wasn’t even for a second, just a brief flash of the eyes… but Natalia saw it.
And she becomes more confused.
Because she knows that something is going on, but is not sure of what questions to ask.
It leaves her unsettled and restless, like she has all this energy and nowhere to put it.
She helps clean up and, instead of heading upstairs to her two little rooms, Natalia heads for the door. Frank intercepts her just as she is about step out.
“Natalia? Where you going?”
“I just need to get some air.”
“Maybe I could come along with you?”
“Umm, that’s okay, really…”
“I mean, what kind of friend would I be if I let you wander the streets alone? Let me just get my jacket.”
And Natalia’s voice dries up in her throat, leaving her speechless and having to share more time with Frank.
Don’t think me ungrateful, God… but cut me some slack next time.
They walk and talk around the block. Or rather, Frank talks and Natalia tries to listen. But she just wants to be alone. She doesn’t want anyone with her right now.
And I’m afraid Frank is hitting on me.
She stops walking and smiles over at Frank, trying to find a way to just get the man to go home and leave her be.
“This was nice, but you know, you can go on back.”
“It’s no trouble, Natalia. Really.”
“But it’s late and you need to get home.”
“Well, what’s a couple more minutes?”
Great. Okay. What can I do? Run off? Insult him? … No, that’s not nice. It would work, of course, but it is not nice.
“See, Frank, I am going to walk for a while. Not just a few minutes.”
“Oh, well, uh…”
“So, really, it is okay. You go on and I’ll see you later.”
Frank looks around the street and Natalia’s feet are already moving.
“Okay. Just, um, give me or Dad a call when you get back okay?”
“It’s what friends do, Natalia. Look after each other.”
“Okay. Sure. Thanks.”
Alright. Something is going on, like really going on. But I can figure that out later.
Natalia waves good-bye, goes to her car and gets the travel flashlight… glad to be able to walk in peace and to get some of this aggravation out by pounding on the pavement.
Something’s got to help, something that doesn’t involve Olivia Martin.
/ / /
Olivia finds herself at a gazebo, near the park.
The whole town is silent, not a car or truck to be heard. No voices in the shadows. No one out here at all, save for her.
She stares at her cell-phone, willing it to ring and for it to be Rafe. Then she will have a reason to move, to plan and fight and punish someone.
‘Coz I can’t take much more of this place or these people. Then I can go home and… and figure out what to do.
The conversation won’t go away, no matter how hard Olivia tries to ignore it. Phillip’s words are stuck in her ears, replaying over and over. And she wonders if it is possible to let the past go, to start fresh and new… if it were for Emma and not for herself.
‘Coz I can’t be fixed. It’s too late for me. But not for Emma.
Emma could be saved, that’s what Olivia thinks. And then that dream wouldn’t come true, the one where she can’t get a hold of her daughter and the one where she is locked away from the girl.
I can save her from all the bad and all the evil. I can protect her. I can… I can…
And Olivia releases the tiniest of laughs, closing her eyes.
I am the little engine that could.
Something glimmers at the edge of her vision and Olivia turns her head, squinting as she sees a point of light moving closer and closer to where she is sitting.
And I didn’t bring my gun. Another stellar decision.
But she does have her badge. It isn’t the best weapon, but it still works well on most people. She sits motionless and silent, just waiting for whoever this is with the flashlight to either change direction or reach the gazebo.
They get closer, the light hitting the first step and then the second one, finally sliding across the wooden floor. When it hits Olivia’s legs, the person must notice, because they stop walking.
You get to speak first, my fellow night-walker.
Olivia breathes in and out, waiting for endless minutes. The light wavers just a bit and then a voice mumbles ‘I’m sorry to bother you’.
What the fuck? Are you kidding me?
The light whips upward then and hits Olivia’s face, not shifting an inch and blinding her temporarily.
“Hey, get that out of my face before I lose all my eyesight.”
“I’m sorry, what was that?”
“I said get that light out of my face.”
But the light doesn’t leave, it just gets brighter and Olivia staggers up, diving back into the darkness.
“Sheesh, do you need a hearing aid or something?”
“No. It is called selective hearing.”
Olivia can’t help it – she snorts with laughter.
“In a bad mood tonight?”
“I… look, just enjoy your… whatever you are doing. Good-night.”
Olivia did a good job, as she is prone to do in her line of work.
She needed Natalia to stay away, as far as possible. And it is most definitely working.
Olivia Spencer is good at getting what she wants.
It just so happens that, right now, all Olivia wants is to be around Natalia.
And if I stop her from leaving, I risk so much. But right now… I can’t fight anymore.
“So why are you out here? Get bored cleaning?”
She hears the sharp intake of air and the sound of angry feet on the gazebo floor. The light hits her eyes again and Olivia groans unhappily.
“I was walking with a friend, you know, someone who talks to me and I talk to them. A friend.”
“Wow. Great social lesson there… could you please take the light away from my face?”
“Oh, is it bothering you?”
“Yessss…” Olivia drawls, waiting for Natalia to comply.
When the woman does not, Olivia takes matters into her own hands. Literally.
She reaches out quickly and gets the flashlight, rushing to put it behind her back and turning it off.
“Thank god. I could have been permanently damaged if you kept that up.”
“Give me that back!”
Natalia voice gets a little higher and a little more agitated, but Olivia does not acquiesce.
“You seem angry. What’s up?”
“As you so aptly pointed out to me, we are not friends.”
“Well, I could have, maybe, spoken too—“
“And since we are not friends, I feel no need to tell you anything about me. At all.”
“Listen, I’m sorry. Let’s just start over. Okay?”
“No. No starting over. I don’t get you at all. You tell me to… to share with you and I open up… and I just… you just decided to change. I don’t know you. You were right.”
“Okay, see, I wish I could explain, but—“
“I don’t want to hear it. Just give me my flashlight.”
“Don’t care. Just give me the flashlight and I can be on my way.”
“You aren’t even going to listen to me? Some good person you are…”
That’s when Natalia shoves Olivia Spencer with her hand. Olivia runs through all the times in her life when she had some kind of ridiculous confrontation and not once did someone do that.
They were all too terrified of me.
Olivia Spencer is grinning in the dark in a gazebo due to some woman pushing her around.
This crush is really turning into something else and I want to not like it, but hell… I do like it. I like it too much and this has the great potential of getting out of my control.
Olivia decides that control is overrated.
She brings the flashlight back around and turns it on, shining it on Natalia’s face.
“I think this is only fair. Don’t you?”
“It’s my flashlight!”
“And it was my eyes that you nearly blinded.”
Natalia sighs and drops her hands from her eyes.
“Fine. I shouldn’t have done that… or any of this. Sorry.”
And just like that it isn’t playful or good anymore; it is right back to where Olivia placed it and made it stay.
She turns the light off and they are back in the nighttime.
“You shouldn’t be sorry. I’m the asshole.”
“No, I went off on you and… I mean, I don’t have a real reason to. It’s just me.”
But it isn’t you and you know that and you are letting me off the hook.
“Have you ever wondered what kind of life you would have had if… certain things had not happened to you?” Olivia asks quietly.
“All the time.” Natalia answers resignedly.
Olivia searches the shadows for Natalia’s face and allows a little more control to slip.
She reaches out, finding the woman’s arm and grips the elbow. She slides her hand down and holds the wrist.
“That’s why I’m here.”
And it is a blanket statement, truth and lies all together, that Olivia delivers.
“I’m here to fix things.” Olivia continues, moving closer to Natalia’s still body. She can hear the other woman’s breathing, ragged and short.
“What things?” Natalia asks in a whisper and Olivia feels the questions on her lips.
“Everything.” Olivia replies.
And then she leans in, placing a kiss to Natalia’s mouth, sweet and simple… but oh so complicated, this is so fucking complicated…
But when Natalia kisses her back, Olivia forgets all other thoughts.
/ / /