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Torey

altfic in passion_perfect

Life and Breath Part 4/?

Title: Life and Breath
Author: Pink Rabbit Productions
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Part:4/?
Date:27 June, 2009
Rating: Personally, I'd call it an R, but some might consider it NC-17 at some point.
Disclaimer: The characters and situations belong to other folks far wealthier, more important (or at least with better lawyers), and hopefully more charitable and kinder than I. They include, but are not necessarily limited to CBS, Proctor and Gamble, and Telenext. The actual arrangement of words, however, remains my own as do any original characters. Meanwhile, there is likely to be all female romantic and sexual activity ahead, so if this is likely to get you, me, or anybody else arrested should you take a gander, please move along. Also, if you find that sort of thing offensive, you really probably shouldn't hang around anyplace I'm posting. Just sayin'....
Archiving: The Pink Rabbit Consortium
Spoilers: Some early scenes definitely, plus anything through the spa trip is fair game.
Timeline: Unlike some folks, I don't have an exact scene where this one takes off. However, it's definitely set after the spa trip, but before Rafe's release from the halfway house.
Author's Note and Possibly Apology: Okay, so I'm comfortably certain this will NOT be the most popular chapter I ever write, but the plot bunnies must be served. It's just that sometimes, they look a little much like Glenn Close, circa Fatal Attraction, got her mits on 'em.
Earlier Parts: | Part 1 (Prologue) | Part 2 | Part 3 |



Life and Breath
By Pink Rabbit Productions
Part 4/?


Frank Cooper considered himself a good man, the kind other men should want to emulate. He'd been a good husband to Eleni, an honest servant of the people, a loyal son, a devoted father, a great big brother.

Which was it was so unfair that he always seemed to be on the short end of the stick.

Weren't good people the ones who were supposed to be rewarded? Only what rewards did he have?

Eleni was gone. He should have been chief of police, but Doris Wolfe had seen to it that he'd lost that while, lo and behold, her cousin wound up with the job. He'd had a relationship with Olivia only to lose her to his own father, a man who'd run out on his own family. And then Natalia.

Proof positive that women really did choose assholes over nice guys.

Because no way in hell did he believe that Olivia would ever treasure Natalia the way he had. She wouldn't appreciate the little things Natalia did, like make home baked cookies or repair his shirts the way he liked or take care of his family. She'd just take and use. It was what Olivia did, and Natalia would be just be one more notch on her well-carved bedpost. His teeth gritted as he imagined a few home truths he'd love to yell at his ex.

But as angry as he was at Olivia, he was also disappointed in Natalia. He'd thought she was smarter than to fall for someone who didn't really see her sweetness and innocence or how she needed to be protected and cherished. He thought she'd truly appreciated how good they were together and how happy their relationship made her. He'd protected her, involved her in his family, tried to help her son and been willing to be a father to the troubled boy. He'd even offered to marry her and make her an honest woman when most men would have been thrilled with what they'd gotten and never looked back.

Well, fine. If she was foolish enough to let him go, she'd just have to learn the hard way what a heartbreaker and liar Olivia Spencer was. And when Olivia tossed Natalia aside in favor of the next flavor of the week, then she'd finally see who was the better person. And then he'd forgive her and even take her back. Because that's what a nice guy would do for a woman he loved: forgive her when she made a mistake.

"Hey, Frank, you about done over there?" Mallet called out, breaking in on his father-in-law's dark thoughts. "I'm gonna head out for lunch in a few if you wanna join me."

Frank's head snapped up as he was yanked out of his musings, and he stared across the squad room at the younger man. "You go on," he called back. He wasn't feeling hungry anyway. "I need to finish updating the departmental website."

Mallet peered over the older man's shoulder at the computer monitor, noting what he was working on with a worried frown. The tiny police force's website was more a chatty, what's going on in Springfield sort of thing than it was a serious tool of law enforcement. Other than a few suggestions for avoiding identity theft and how to check on Amber Alerts, it was mostly just a listing of municipal fundraisers and personal notices. Frank had up the announcements page—with a prominent notice of his engagement to Natalia Rivera Aitoro alongside a picture taken at their engagement party. It had been posted just after the party and no one had known quite what to do about it after the wedding was cancelled. Since Frank seemed to think it would be back on soon enough, they'd just put up a note about it being delayed, but otherwise left things alone. Realizing his father-in-law was staring at him, he gestured to the monitor. "Any news on that front?"

Muscles rippled along the line of Frank's jaw and he shook his head, his cheeks suddenly flushed. "She's still not sure when she'll be ready," he lied stiffly.

Mallet flinched, his expression sympathetic. "Sorry...y'know, if you ever want to talk..." he offered sincerely.

"Yeah...thanks," Frank bit out, then tried to relax his expression. "Go on and grab some lunch. I'm just going to finish up here."

A few more words and Mallet was gone, leaving Frank alone with his miseries. He glared at the image on the computer, mourning the loss of the happy grin he was wearing in the photo. And then there was Natalia, standing next to him, smiling her sweet, innocent smile. She'd been so happy then. When had it changed? How could she have done this to him? How could she be so foolish as to choose Olivia Spencer's base lust over his true love? He shook his head slowly, not comprehending at all.

He was still staring at the image on his monitor when the phone on his desk rang. Cursing softly, he seriously considered ignoring it, but no one else was in the office, and dispatch didn't always pick up calls to individual lines.

"Detective Frank Cooper," he said as he picked up.

"Detective Cooper," the response came back almost instantly. A man's voice, deep and smooth. "Just who I was calling for."

"Really?" Frank said a little blankly.

"Yeah, my name's Jim Barron. Jerry Horvath said you're a hell of a detective and recommended I give you a call when I was in Springfield."

Frank blinked in confusion, not recognizing either name. "Ok-ay."

"I'm a detective in the same precinct as Jerry in Chicago," the stranger explained quickly. "Anyway, he was really impressed with some help you gave him on a case a few years ago...said you were really on the ball and knew your stuff."

"Oh," Frank exhaled. "I...uh...I think I remember that," he mumbled hesitantly as he tried to dredge up some memory of the case in question.

"Anyway," the voice on the other end of the line continued, "I'm in town for some family stuff and he said I should get in touch...he knows I always try to talk to local cops when I'm in a new burg...I've got a weird habit of...y'know...bringing a few old case files, trying to see if maybe somebody's seen something that might close an open case." Barron laughed a little self-consciously. "Pretty stupid, huh? I mean, it's not like there's a chance in hell...but y'know how there are just some cases, they hang on to you...won't let go."

"Yeah, I guess," Frank allowed.

"Besides," Barron continued briskly, his tone shifting to one of masculine frustration, "I'm here for my sister's wedding, and the bridesmaid's dresses are getting a little deep."

Frank snorted softly, the closest thing he'd managed to laughter since the scene at the church. "The estrogen getting to you?"

"I really do have files I'd like to share and Jerry really did say you're a helluva detective," Barron inserted quickly, "but...let's just say I could really use a beer with someone who isn't obsessed with flower arrangements and seating charts and whether to throw rice or birdseed at the happy couple."

"Understood," Frank sympathized as he made a decision. He really needed a change of scenery, not to mention a friendly conversation with someone who wouldn't ask how he was doing in that painfully sympathetic way that constantly reminded him of just how and why he'd been unceremoniously dumped. "Y'know, I've gotta finish a few things around here...but then I'm free all afternoon."

"Sounds great," Barron barely paused before continuing, "We'll hoist a few beers, bitch about women...and maybe do a little police work while we're at it."

"Yeah," Frank exhaled. "That sounds good." And for the first time in days, he wasn't lying.

* * * * * *
TBC

Comments

Oh dear... What's Frank getting himself into now?

And Eleni's dead? I thought she was in Greece? Or am I screwing up canon?
Actually, the mistake was mine. I read something early on that indicated she'd died (or seemed to--I might have misread), and forgot to correct it in the text when I found a better synopsis. It's fixed now. But thanks for commenting. I didn't catch it.
No problem! I actually haven't watched the show in years [like since Melina Kanakaredes originated the role of Eleni], so wasn't sure if she'd actually died or not.
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