Fandom - Guiding Light
Pairing - Olivia/Natalia
Warnings and/or Spoilers - No spoilers. This is an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so expect some things to be different. There are drugs and cursing. There are hints of darker things and certain chapters will deal with those things. Be aware or beware. ;D
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 - There is a gnat in my room and I want it to go away. Not related to this story at all, but whatever.
She must have drifted off and lost several hours of the afternoon. Her eyes open long enough to see the time, which is six o’clock, and then she closes them once more.
Not because she is that tired, but because she feels good.
Scratch that – I feel great.
This thought brings up that old television ad of Tony the Tiger and Olivia is off, chuckling in her semi-dark room in the boarding house.
But it isn’t the ad and it isn’t the late-day nap. It is as simple as it is unbelievable and she doesn’t want to question it, not today.
I feel amazingly good. Wonderfully good. Absolutely and positively great and good.
And she wants to get up, smooth out the wrinkles on her clothes and go to Natalia’s door.
She wants to rap her knuckles once or twice… and then see Natalia’s face.
She wants to see Natalia smile and hear that voice invite her in. And then they could talk.
Or not talk. Or kiss. Or not kiss; just be close to one another.
And Olivia could soak the other woman up, try to pinpoint what exactly it is that makes Olivia feel so… complete and whole, no longer broken and no longer a puzzle with missing pieces…
All her years spent running from men and capturing men, not just on the job – but in her entire life.
Years and years of dating, of sex – meaningless and with too much meaning.
Nights she spent trying to erase other feelings and other demons in some guy’s touch, only to find ghosts still haunting her in the morning.
So many rooms she slipped out of, so many beds she didn’t know and didn’t care about, so many moments when Olivia’s actions said way too much about her soul…
Even if she tried to picture another way of living… which I didn’t do much of… she wouldn’t have thought it would be a woman to shatter the illusion.
And so easily. And so swiftly.
Olivia doesn’t believe in fate or kismet. But maybe, this time, she’ll have to revise her own cynical nature.
Because what else could explain the series of events to lead her here, to Springfield, to a woman with the potential to settle Olivia Spencer down?
Is that what I’ve needed all along, hmm? To be domesticated?
She laughs some more, rolling out of bed and extends her arms upward. She turns on the light by her bedside and then rummages through her suitcase, fingers finding a photograph of Emma.
Olivia has always carried it with her, whether tucked in her vest or on the visor of her car.
Emma goes with her everywhere, a talisman of all that is good and all that is right.
My sweet little girl… I’ve done so much wrong and so has your father, but here we are – trying to work our shit out, just for you.
Olivia made that decision a day or so ago, to bury the hatchet and make a better life for her daughter.
She doesn’t want Emma to grow up paranoid, like her father.
And she doesn’t want Emma to grow up insecure, like myself.
So, she sacrifices the chance to fight a little more with Phillip and gains the opportunity to make Emma proud. And she is surprised at how liberating it feels to concede, to come to a compromise.
Something is shifting, something big and I am… not new, but… almost like being…
Olivia hesitates to say it, even in her own head. Because she is not a fan of religious talk – except in jest.
An old hang up of her childhood, but there nonetheless.
Her mother’s words still rock through Olivia’s head, rattling around with condemnation and with judgment. It was like she reached a certain age and her parents changed.
A child to a symbol.
Other memories tickle her brain and Olivia rushes by them, not wanting anything to dampen her mood.
Because her good moods are rare and Olivia is learning to hold onto them for dear life.
So, she puts the picture down and makes an internal promise to call Emma in the morning, to catch up on everything the girl has been up to and to let the girl know that…
Mommy loves you and she is going to be alright… and she’ll be home soon.
/ / /
Rafe could tell from the get-go that things would be weird tonight.
Last thing I need, but hey – what the hell? I can’t stop any of this. I am the one who would go to jail; I am the one on the street tonight and yet I've got to put up this this crap.
He watches the face of each person in front of him, outside of the boarding house and of Company.
Frank looks wound up, tight and hard, something on the man’s face that has never been there before.
Olivia looks relaxed and Rafe is beginning to learn that it is just a game-face, a way to appear the opposite of how one might really feel.
And his mother, she looks like she might fall down to the ground.
She is shaking and trembling like a leaf in the wind.
Frank notices and holds back.
Olivia notices and can’t hold back.
“He’ll be fine. Tonight should be a break-through in this case. Frank will be in the car…”
And Rafe watches the man go beyond hard, to some other state of being that looks pretty damn cold, pretty damn pissed off.
Wonder what is up with him?
“…and I’ll be close by. We are wiring him tonight. I doubt they’ll do a pat-down.”
And there is the mother he has known, who is over-protective to a fault. Her eyes grow wide and her stance is one of edginess. Rafe almost reaches out to touch her shoulder, to pull her into a hug and remind her that things will be fine.
But Olivia beats him to the punch.
The second the woman’s hand is in motion, Frank mutters about ‘going on the car’ and Rafe is no longer left in the dark about why the man is so…
Angry. Super angry. And it’s about this… thing between Olivia and my mother. Which means I’ll be stuck in a car and in a bad fucking situation with a ticked off Frank and with… well, Olivia. Great.
And Rafe wishes he could high-tail it to somewhere else, because he has no desire to see his mother… involved with anyone. Man or woman.
It’s not something a teenage boy wants to be witness to.
“I promised you, okay? You don’t have to worry.”
“That’s like asking the sun not to shine…”
“Well, it is nighttime.”
“Do you never stop joking?”
But Rafe can see his mother visibly take a breath, the humor apparently causing her mind to shift focus for a few precious moments.
And the boy doesn’t just want to get through the night for his own sake, but to finally talk to his mother about this… Is it a relationship? A friendship? I can’t think about anything beyond that, because… just no.
His mother is looking at him once more, her face a mask of false confidence. Olivia steps back and gives them room, for which Rafe is grateful. He doesn’t want to think of every night being like this, with his mother terrified and his own feelings less than positive –but this is the way it might have to be.
For the foreseeable future anyway.
“Please, just… be careful.”
“I will, Ma. It’ll be fine and I’ll be home before you know it.”
“I know that. Just… just come home, Rafael. Just come home.”
They hug and Rafe catches Olivia’s gaze his mother’s shoulder. It is not the usual sarcastic glint in Olivia’s eye. It is not cool and it is not professional.
There is the hint of concern and warmth in her eyes. There is even a touch of envy… but for what or for whom, Rafe is not sure.
“I’ll be home soon and you can make pancakes.”
His mother’s laugh sinks into Rafe’s chest and it decides to keep it there, as he walks away and as he gets in the car. Frank isn’t talking and Rafe is good with that for now.
‘Coz his mind is racing, with what he must do and how he must be – in order to make Maldonado believe and in order to, eventually, live a normal life.
Don’t worry, Ma… I’m gonna be home, for good, soon.
/ / /
“That doesn’t just go for him, you know.”
And Natalia can only stay away for so long, before she is crossing the measly two feet between them and bringing Olivia into her arms.
It is as if the cop is startled, but the shock melts quickly enough and arms wrap around Natalia’s waist.
And she feels so sure, in this moment, that nothing bad can happen.
No one will get hurt. No one will get caught. Everyone will come back, alive and well.
“Don’t get all motherly on me, alright?”
Natalia almost expects the retort, but she doesn’t jump to the bait. Not this time.
She just holds on and wills Olivia to do the same thing.
And if the woman has any other words to say, they must die on her tongue.
Because she is silent and Natalia is silent, too.
It is just the sound of their shared breathing. It is just the two of them, discovering something wonderful in the least likely place.
Not just in Springfield, but… in each other…
Natalia pulls away slowly and allows her hand to linger, to caress Olivia’s cheek.
And she watches, rapt and fascinated, when Olivia’s eyes close.
Almost in reverence… almost in bliss… Dear God, this is how it is supposed to be, isn’t it? This is what love is supposed to feel like.
“I’m going to the church, to light candles.”
“No need to do that for me.” Olivia says, eyes still shut and her face turns slightly, moving further into Natalia’s palm.
“I’m doing it for me, more than anything. I’m going to church more now than I have in the past… five years or so…”
“God calling you back these days?”
And Olivia’s gaze is open once again; full of what is now familiar mirth.
“God always answers, just not always with the response I expect.”
And how true is that statement with this situation! Not that I was looking for someone, but I was searching for a place to belong… not just in myself, not just in a town, not just with Rafe…
“Well, you’d have to put a match to every single tea-light to get God to talk to me. We aren’t on speaking terms.”
And Olivia smiles, but it does not reach her eyes. And Natalia wants to ask so many questions, not just about this disconnection… and how it affects you, Olivia… but about everything.
Like have you ever been in love with a woman before? Are you scared and excited, too?
Where were you born? What did you want to be growing up? Do you have brothers? Sisters?
Do you like the ocean or the mountains? Do you… do you know just how beautiful you are?
“Then I’ll make conversation on your behalf.”
“You don’t hav—“
“Like I said, it’s for me. I want God to protect you… because I can’t be there tonight to do so.”
Again, the emotions in Olivia’s eyes do not match the wan grin on the woman’s face.
And Natalia vows to herself to seek out the… sorrow, the sadness, the anger, the defeat… in Olivia, to help heal it and to kiss it better.
And I mean that figuratively, God. …Well, and maybe a little bit literally.
Without over-thinking it, though, Natalia leans forward and places a kiss to Olivia’s lips.
It is brief and it isn’t anything too pronounced, but it brings some light back to Olivia’s face and that makes it just the right kiss to be given.
“You want pancakes, too?” Natalia questions, deciding that maybe some humor isn’t a bad thing.
Especially on a night like tonight.
“Okay, bacon… anything else?”
And Olivia smiles, …ooh, and it’s a real one this time..., leaving Natalia struck dumb by affection.
And she watches, unable to speak, as Olivia disappears into the shadows.
/ / /