FANDOM: Guiding Light
SUMMARY: Set mid-friendship, this is a hurt/comfort piece as I'm a hurt/comfort junkie. Olivia, Natalia and Emma decide to have a few days away...hopefully more interesting than the summary suggests. Please request before archiving.
RATING: PG for mild violence
Author's note: This is my first ever attempt at fanfic so I'm having to gather a lot of nerve to post it. With very deep thanks to my Canadian Buddy, Critic2000, who beta'd and prodded for this story to see a conclusion and provided insightful and useful comments throughout. I know most of Europe loves her for providing us with Otalia clips as soon as possible but to me, she's my very dear friend. (Course, the clips help ;o))
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Thank you again for the comments, I'm determined to try and be a little more responsive from this point out, getting my head around what goes on here. I have stated it's a hurt/comfort piece and it will remain in that vein throughout - you have been warned ;o)
DISCLAIMERS: I do not own Guiding Light or any of the characters
Just a quiet chapter that should probably be titled 'How to get Jellybean out of the way...'
There was a charming peacefulness to the following morning which contrasted heavily against the previous day. A warm shaft of sunlight filtered through the curtains and began to make its slow trek across the room. All occupants of the cabin had disinclined to be an early bird today.
Eventually, there was the rustling of bedclothes as someone shifted, the first vestiges of wakefulness cutting through the sleepy vista.
Natalia opened her eyes, blinked, rubbed her face and partook of one of those glorious early morning stretches which eked their way to toes and fingertips, unable to hold back a little squeal as she flexed muscles that had been held in repose all night.
She glanced over to see if she had awakened Olivia and saw she was lying on her back, one arm flung out over the side of the bed, the other wrapped over and behind her head. Natalia watched as she took the short inhale, heavy exhale breaths of sleep.
Thinking they could probably all do with some food this morning and realising that her bladder had also woken up; Natalia slipped carefully from the bed, grabbed her robe and crept from the room with one backward glance to check she had been successful in her stealth manoeuvres.
Happy that Olivia was still sleeping soundly, she quickly took care of nature’s call and then detoured to check on Emma before heading to the kitchen.
Like her mother, Emma was still asleep. Natalia had to hold back a giggle though when delicate little snores could be heard coming from the young girl’s mouth. Natalia bent down, kissed Emma on her head, pulled her covers more snugly around her and then left to begin the day.
The cabin had a nice kitchen. She dreamed of one day having a place like this, there was something so ‘homey’ about it, especially she realised with these two other people here. For the first time in a long time, Natalia had a feeling of family. With Rafe away and her working as hard as she was to keep up... If it hadn’t been for yesterday’s incident, this would have been perfection.
Shaking herself and refusing to dwell, Natalia did what she always did, looked to make do with what she had as best she could. This morning, that meant engaging in something she really enjoyed. Cooking.
Retrieving the various items she required and having put the coffee on to brew, Natalia lost herself in the act of preparing breakfast.
The scent of coffee was beginning to permeate through the veil of sleep. With an almost exaggerated care, Olivia moved her arm from behind her head, flinching at the soreness and realising her arm had actually gone to sleep from being in that position for so long.
Begrudgingly trying to open her eyes she rolled her head to see if she was alone. Yup, just me.
Pushing herself up on one elbow, she began to lever herself up into a sitting position. As her side protested, she lifted her nightshirt and looked down, eyes and fingers tentatively examining the already vibrant, angry looking bruise.
“Ouch,” she stopped pulling at it.
Grabbing her robe from the end of the bed she stood, steadied herself and swallowed. She remembered back to the early days, after her transplant, when she had been released from Cedars and generally flopped around her hotel room at the Beacon, with no energy and very little will. Right now, she had the will but her energy was depleted. Even after finally sleeping through the night, it was as if she’d banked up just enough reserves to get her awake and conscious.
No headache though, so that was a plus but something didn’t feel right and she couldn’t work out what it was through the myriad of other sensations she was experiencing.
One finally stood out. How strong was nature’s call.
Finding herself in the bathroom, she studied her face in the mirror, pulled on the flesh under her eyes, tucked back a lock of hair and considered she’d looked worse.
Other scents were beginning to join the smell of coffee.
Olivia moved to Emma’s room.
“Good morning Sunshine,” Olivia smiled.
“Did you sleep well?”
Emma now sat up in bed, rubbing her eyes. Olivia sat next to her and together they reached for each other to hug. Olivia squeezed and Emma squeezed back. Olivia gasped.
“What is it mom? Are you alright? Did I...”
“Shh...it’s okay. Mommy’s just got an ‘owie’ but she’s okay. She’s very, very happy to see you this morning,” she dabbed Emma on her nose with her finger, “and to have this wonderful hug.” She held her close again, although Emma seemed unconvinced she hadn’t hurt her mother, she eventually responded with equal enthusiasm and joviality.
After a short tickle fest, with Olivia doing all of the tickling, Emma looked up and with such sincere eyes said, “I’m sorry about yesterday.”
Olivia looked at her, went to speak but Emma continued, “I don’t know what happened, I was just...we were trying to get out of the rain and,” tears were starting to flow down Emma’s face and Olivia couldn’t bear it any longer.
“Shh...shh...it’s alright, it doesn’t matter,” she pulled Emma towards her again and held her, kissing the top of her head and trying to comfort her, “it’s not your fault, it was an accident.”
The little girl hiccupped.
“You’re safe, we’re all safe. Okay?”
The head below her chin nodded up and down.
“What say you we get some breakfast, hm?”
Olivia pulled away from Emma and with a finger under her chin tilted the girl’s head up to look directly in her eyes. “What is it Jellybean? What’s wrong?”
The girl was obviously considering something; Olivia could almost see the conflicting thoughts across her child’s face, behind her eyes.
“Are you really okay mom?”
Taking an honest approach, Olivia replied, “Well, I have a few cuts and bruises but they’ll heal.”
Emma started to look worried again.
“Hey, please don’t worry Em, I’m not going anywhere, okay?”
Obviously weighing up whether she believed the answer she’d received, Emma finally nodded acknowledgement, “Okay.”
“Okay,” Olivia smiled, “let’s go find Natalia.”
Together they headed hand in hand towards the kitchen.
Domestic heaven, that’s what Natalia was in. The table was laid, the food prepared, coffee ready to pour, all she needed was...
Olivia and Emma appeared at the door together.
“Hey. You’re both up,” she beamed, “I thought you two were going to sleep in all day.”
Olivia pulled a shocked face and looked at Emma, “Did you hear that Em? I think Natalia is casting ‘nasturtiums’ at us.”
Emma giggled, “Nastur...what?”
“Don’t listen to her Emma, she means ‘aspersions’ and it’s a great word for you to look up.” Knowing Emma had been on a spelling kick lately and loved to look up words. She stuck her tongue out at Olivia as both Olivia and Emma took their seats at the table.
As Emma reached forward for one of the fluffy pancakes before her, there was a knock at the door.
They all looked at one another as if they hadn’t heard right.
“Was that a...?” Olivia pointed towards the entranceway.
“Yeah, I wonder who that could be.” Natalia queried as she moved around the table and headed for the door.
“Hello?” she said as she opened the door to see a well dressed, elderly lady standing there.
“Oh hello dear, I’m sorry to bother you but...”
“Nan, just ask,” an impatient voice could be heard huffing and then a young girl’s head appeared from behind what had to be her grandmother.
With a look of apology the elder woman started again, “We’re in the cabin just down the river from here and my granddaughter, Jane, well...she noticed your daughter the other day playing near the river and...”
Natalia was ready to correct the lady’s assumption on Emma’s heritage when Olivia’s voice called from behind her, “Who is it Natalia?”
The woman smiled, “My name is Ruth Blaxendale,” she called back.
Natalia heard a chair moving back and turned to see Olivia standing up and heading to the door. Olivia smiled at the woman, “Hello Ruth, Olivia Spencer.”
Natalia stepped back as Olivia’s natural instinct to take charge of a situation kicked in, “Did I hear you mention something about my daughter?”
“Well, yes,” Ruth looked from one woman to the other, briefly looking confused but continuing on as her granddaughter was still waiting impatiently behind her. “My granddaughter Jane saw her the other day and wondered if she would like to come over and play. There’s not many children about her age so...?” There was a hopefulness to the question and Olivia looked at Natalia before looking back to Ruth and responding.
“I’m sure she would love it but...”
“I know that it’s out of the blue,” the other woman interrupted, “and I can understand in this day and age you may have some reservations. I mean, you don’t know me but I can give you my word she would be looked after and watched. Heaven knows with this river nearby, I’m always having kittens about where Jane’s got to.”
At this, Natalia noticed Olivia react, her eyes closing as if to shut the images away. She stepped forward, her hand once more upon Olivia to offer support, “I think it sounds a wonderful idea Mrs Blaxendale and I’m sure you mean well...”
“Hi,” came another voice, cutting across Natalia’s gentle put down.
“Hi, have you seen the oak tree yet?”
“Oh wow, you have to see this tree, it’s so gnarly looking and I swear, it watches you wherever you go.”
“Really?” Emma giggled.
It seemed as if the decision was being taken away from them as Emma once again demonstrated her ability to make friends anywhere.
“Mom? Can I go play with Jane today?” a very hopeful Emma asked, bouncing on her toes unable to contain her unending energy and exuberance. Beside her, Jane looked equally eager.
Olivia nodded, knowing the battle was fought and lost. “But you be very careful okay? And do as you’re told for Mrs Blaxendale.”
“I will, I promise,” Emma beamed at Ruth and then realising she was still in her pyjamas’, dashed back into the cabin calling over her shoulder, “Give me a sec!”
The three women stood waiting in the doorway, with Jane eagerly bouncing in place and beaming.
“Let me give you my cell number just in case,” Olivia began to look around for pen and paper.
“I promise you she’ll be fine, thank you for agreeing to this. Jane is a delightful child but I think she gets lonely.”
“Right, here we go,” Olivia handed over her number, “We’re planning to head into the village this morning but we’ll be back around lunchtime.”
“Could Emma stay for lunch?”
They could hear the sound of Emma rushing back towards the door.
“Sure, okay. Thank you Mrs Bl...”
“Please, call me Ruth. And thank you again for agreeing to this.” She handed back her own contact details and looked at the two girls, heads together, already mapping out their day.
“Bye Emma, take care!”
“I will mom,” Emma said as she quickly turned back, hugged both Olivia and Natalia in turn and then grinning, ran off with her new friend.
“Have fun,” Olivia smirked to Ruth who just rolled her eyes knowingly. “Bye.”
They watched them all disappear from view before closing the door and looking at each other, “Coffee?”
“Oh god, yes!” Olivia responded and they headed back to the kitchen.TBC...