TITLE: A Few Days Away
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: Apologies if this isn't everyone's cup of tea but huge thanks for those that are sticking with it, even if it's not going in the direction most probably hope or want it to go but 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.
Thinking that she would’ve napped longer, the icepack actually had the effect of making Olivia feel wider awake. In fact, for the first time in some hours she was starting to feel like doing something, anything other than continue to lay about.
Convincing Natalia that this was the way to go took a little while but Olivia thought that secretly Natalia was relieved to leave the confines of the room and start to enjoy their time away again.
They’d subsequently sat outside on the porch bench, Olivia almost packed in by some cushions they’d taken from the couch to continue to ease her side and back, and spent the time drawn into discussion about some upcoming events at the Beacon. This eventually turned into general chatter about some of the more unusual guests and their requests at the hotel before segueing into the unusual residents of Springfield.
Olivia knew from the supposedly surreptitious glances Natalia threw her way, she was still worried about her but for the moment, she had managed to remain still and that had helped enormously to quell any residual nausea.
As the late afternoon changed into early evening, Olivia became aware that for the past ten minutes or so she could feel a buzzing returning to her head indicating the possible onset of a headache and a niggling ache in limbs. She was beginning to dread the moment Natalia suggested they move back indoors.
“Olivia? What are you thinking over there?”
“Hmm? Oh, nothing,” she pulled the blanket closer around her shoulders.
“Are you cold?”
“Not so much.”
“Maybe we should go in?”
Olivia shuddered. Now that she thought about it she was cold. The shudder had not gone unnoticed.
“Hey,” Olivia looked up into compassionate brown eyes, “let’s take this indoors. I think you’ve had enough fresh air for today.”
Unable to resist the dimpled smile which followed, Olivia began extricating herself from the various cushions holding her in place. The icepack had worked wonders but her side still felt stiff. Along with the fall she’d had earlier that day back onto some shelving, let alone the trauma her body had been through trying to divest its self of whatever she’d managed to ingest, it was difficult to avoid the grimacing groan that accompanied her unsteady rise from the bench.
A hand on her arm steadied her.
“Take a minute, no hurry.”
A comforting hand on her back.
“You know, this is starting to become a little irksome,” she said with exasperation and pulled the blanket around her again before taking one step in front of the other and moving back into the cabin.
“It’s the body’s way. You just need to be patient.”
“Ug, I don’t do patient. I want to be hale and hearty again, I have businesses to conquer and something or other to vanquish.”
“To vanquish eh? Is that covered in the quarterly budgets?”
They’d reached indoors and Olivia moved to sit at the kitchen table to watch Natalia prepare some food.
“Sure it is and if it isn’t well, I’ll just go and rob some small children of their piggybanks and secure my reputation.”
Natalia chuckled, “Their piggybanks.”
“I’m delusional, what’re you gonna do?” Their eyes held and then Natalia asked, “Would you like me to make you something to eat?”
“Maybe some toast.” She pulled the blanket further around her and slumped forward a little against the table.
Natalia looked at her closely again and smoothed her hand over Olivia’s brow, tucking her hair back behind her ear.
“Are you still cold?”
“Little bit, yeah.” She sighed heavily as if all her energy had been expended on the short walk from the bench.
“What?” a gentle enquiring voice, “What is it? Tell me.”
Olivia closed her eyes, “I...” she blew out another breath, “I just feel so drained, heavy, like I did after the surgery. I don’t know what’s going on with me.” She could feel her eyes starting to brim with frustrated tears.
“Oh, Olivia,” Natalia pulled her into a hug, mindful of her bruises and stroked her hair, “It’s going to be okay.”
Olivia nodded against her shoulder, clinging on for all the world to her lifeline that was Natalia.
Natalia had really enjoyed their afternoon together. Once Olivia had left the bedroom and been propped up on the bench they’d engaged in an entertaining discussion, touching briefly on some business plans before recollecting some of their more colourful clientele and learning that Olivia had an uncanny knack of being able to impersonate not only those quirky customers but also members of the Springfield community.
All the while they were talking though Natalia could not help but continually evaluate Olivia’s wellbeing. She’d been shocked and then angry with herself for not noticing how marked Olivia had been after the incident earlier that morning and was considering ways to apply icepacks to the majority of Olivia’s black and blue upper body that wouldn’t involve the discomfort of an ice bath.
Since kicking herself for that oversight, she was almost hyperaware of everything Olivia did and was therefore disconcerted to see a look wash over Olivia’s face telling her something Olivia never would.
“Olivia? What are you thinking over there?”
A typical ‘nothing’ response came back and she noticed the blanket being pulled around shoulders.
“Are you cold?”
Another negative response but by now Natalia had already made her mind up, she wasn’t happy with what she was seeing and suggested they should go in. When a shudder was her only feedback that time, Natalia was resolute, “Hey, let’s take this indoors. I think you’ve had enough fresh air for today.”
She watched as her friend levered herself up from the bench and tried to cover her swaying by exclaiming a head rush. Instantly her hand was out to steady her, imploring her to take her time. Not advice Olivia wanted to hear it seemed and Natalia felt for the distraught woman beside her, unable to progress things at a pace she could control.
There was that blanket again, being tightly pulled around her.
When Olivia lowered herself into one of the kitchen chairs, Natalia slipped naturally into happy domestic mode and began to move around the kitchen to prepare something to eat, all while half listening to her friend deliver a line of character self defamation.
Chuckling and thinking they’d gotten to the point of agreeing on something to eat, Natalia watched Olivia tug at the blanket again and slump in her seat. Stepping towards her she wiped her hand over Olivia’s brow and tucked her hair back, “Are you still cold?”
“Little bit, yeah.”
The heavy sigh that followed had her concern rising again and she knelt next to the seated woman, “What? What is it? Tell me.”
Olivia’s eyes had closed and as she blew out another breath a confession came forth, “I just feel so drained, heavy, like I did after the surgery. I don’t know what’s going on with me.”
Bright watery eyes looked at her and Natalia could hold back no longer, pulling her into a careful hug, “It’s going to be okay.”
She could feel Olivia clinging to her and nod her understanding, her agreement. Then Natalia realised Olivia felt warm, very warm. She pulled back, watched as Olivia wiped her eyes and tucked her hair back again, before reaching up again and feeling her brow once more.
“What is it?” Olivia asked, obviously perplexed by Natalia’s expression of concern.
“Olivia, I think you should go lie down again. I’ll bring some food through in a minute.” She stood up, went to the fridge and brought back a bottle of water, “Here, I want you to sip this, try to drink as much as you can but don’t hurry it okay?”
“Why? What’s going on?”
“I’m worried you might have a temperature, you think you’re cold but...” she placed her hand on Olivia’s forehead again and then moved it down to cup her face. “Please, trust me on this okay?”
Hesitation and then a resignation as Olivia’s head fell forward and she stood up from the chair. “’kay, I’ll go,” she shuffled out the door with her bottle.
Natalia watched her for a moment and then hurried to make some toast, convinced that this wasn’t over yet, not by a long shot.TBC...