Fandom: Guiding Light
Spoilers: This story begins after the episode which aired July 6th.
A/N: I kinda like this bit...
Part 1 Part 2
Olivia pursed her lips together and sat silently in the front seat of Doris’ car. She hadn’t said a single word since getting back in fifteen minutes ago.
“Olivia? I’m going to ask you again. What happened in there?”
“She speaks,” Doris said in a tone that attempted to be light, but came out tinged with worry. “I assume Natalia wasn’t there since you allowed me to drive off, but did something else happen? Normally you’re not quite so… catatonic.”
“I got fed a bunch of Catholic bullshit, is what happened,” Olivia said with a grumble. The past fifteen minutes of silent brooding had quickly chased away the memories of what exactly happened at the retreat center and re-colored everything with sadness and frustration.
“I’m sorry she wasn’t there,” Doris said. “It’s getting dark. I think we should continue the search tomorrow, don’t you?”
“Take me home,” Olivia said while staring out the window. It was starting to rain, and she watched as small rivulets of water skated over the transparent surface.
Olivia woke early the next day after a night of heavy, dreamless sleep. She was surprised she slept so well, but assumed exhaustion had its perks now and then. After Doris dropped her off at the Beacon, she could do nothing but stumble to her bed and offer herself up to sleep, and sleep accepted her with open arms.
She felt steadier today – more determined – and she had a plan.
She was already prepared for the day when she finally got a call from Doris Wolfe at exactly 9am.
“I’m downstairs if you’re ready,” came Doris’ voice from the phone.
“On my way,” Olivia said and grabbed up the large black bag which held her “plan” in its leather depths.
“What’s in the bag?” Doris questioned before she even greeted Olivia.
“A surprise for the next nuns we meet,” Olivia replied, spitting out the word “nun” like it was a piece of rotten meat.
Doris glanced at her nervously as they walked toward her car. “It’s not a bomb or something like that, is it? I really don’t want to end up aiding and abetting murder. Not today, anyway.”
Olivia rolled her eyes. “Of course not. Just get in the car.” She waved her hand impatiently at the vehicle.
After what felt like an eternity of relatively silent driving, they pulled up to a locked gate. Beyond the gate, a large building rose up. It reminded Olivia of a prison. It had countless small windows peppering its façade, and each one was sealed tight even though the day was cool and breezy. It wasn’t an old structure, but it gave the impression of age, as if it were weary of standing behind the large wrought-iron fence which kept the world at bay.
“I’m not sure we can get in,” Doris said.
“Of course we can. You can always get in if you try hard enough.” She leaned forward in her seat to scan the gate with her eyes.
“Maybe you need to say the secret word or something. What was it that Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings?”
Olivia took a moment to look at Doris with a what-the-hell expression before she exited the car and headed toward a small metal box which was situated next to the gate.
Doris watched as Olivia poked at the box. After a few moments, she saw Olivia begin to speak at it. She couldn’t hear the exact words she was saying, but within a few short moments she was animatedly talking at the box and randomly hitting it with the palm of her hand. Finally, she watched as Olivia gave the box a one finger salute and stomped back to the car.
“No luck?” Doris asked rhetorically when Olivia flung open the passenger door and leaned in.
“Open the trunk!”
“Do you promise that’s not a bomb back there?” Doris asked. Olivia growled and leaned in to grab the car keys herself. Doris batted her hand away. “God! It was a simple question. Here,” she pulled on the lever which popped the trunk. “It’s open.”
Olivia ran to the back of the car and tore her bag out. She clumsily unzipped it and pulled the contents out.
“Olivia!” said Doris, who had been drawn to the back of the car by curiosity. “Are you serious? You can’t possibly think that will…” Olivia slammed the trunk closed and proceeded to climb on top of it. “Olivia! That’s my car. You’re going to dent…” With almost comic timing, Doris heard the trunk of her car buckle a bit under Olivia’s foot. Her jaw dropped open. “I cannot believe this is happening,” she said in a quiet voice and watched as Olivia continued to clamber up the car until she was standing on top of it, leaving various dents in her wake.
Once Olivia Spencer was securely standing on the top of Doris Wolfe’s car, she flipped on the large megaphone she was holding.
“Natalia Rivera!” she yelled into the megaphone. The sound echoed loudly, bouncing back and forth between the massive building in front of them and the thick forest which held it on three sides.
Doris blinked at her in shock.
“Natalia Rivera! I know you can hear me.” She paused for a moment and studied a window where she thought she saw movement. “If you’re in there, you need to come out here.” She saw two figures, a nun and a priest, emerge from the front door of the convent. The nun was waving her arms frantically. Olivia began to speak faster, more urgently. “You need to understand. If you come to me, I can make you understand. You will – you can understand this. Please, Natalia. You have to know how much I love you!”
“Stop! Stop that right now!” yelled the priest from behind the iron gate. “You are disturbing the peace.”
Olivia ignored him. “Natalia!” she yelled desperately into the megaphone again. Tears flowed freely down her face.
“We’ve called the police,” said the nun and held up a cell phone.
“Olivia! You have to come down from there. We can’t get arrested,” Doris hissed loudly and attempted to grasp Olivia’s leg. Olivia wildly kicked her leg toward Doris’ head, not caring if she hit her or not. Doris quickly decided to back away before she got a broken nose.
“You stop doing this to me, Natalia. You stop right now. Whatever it is, we can handle it together. You love me, goddamnit. I know you do. And I love you. My heart aches with it.” Olivia pressed her fist against her chest. “Every breath I take – my heart aches.”
“I will not have you talking like that in front of my convent,” the nun called out and began unlocking the gate. Olivia saw this as her chance to slip inside and bounded down from the car’s roof, leaving a massive dent in the hood.
Doris made a small whining sound, grabbed her head, and helplessly watched the scene play out before her.
Olivia darted toward the opening gate only to be intercepted by the arms of the large priest. The nun yanked the megaphone from her hand and threw it roughly onto the ground. The priest held her tight, his grip never wavering, despite her seemingly endless kicking and screaming.
Eventually, tears and exhaustion led Olivia to stop fighting and slide to the ground, but the arms of the priest still held her tight. They both kneeled on soft, muddy ground. Olivia’s body hung limply in his arms, but her voice still called out as loud as her lungs and throat would allow. The word “Natalia” rose up from her again and again like a sacred chant to all the gods that might have ever existed in the heavens. The desperate call was ripped repeatedly from her throat until finally it was drowned out by the warbling drone of approaching police sirens.
Natalia Rivera paced the length of her small room at the convent. She arrived four days earlier and hadn’t talked to anyone since the first day. She saw no one except a young, silent woman who brought her trays of food she rarely ate. The sisters recommended that she take some days alone to reflect upon her “situation” – which they said in such a way Natalia could practically see them doing air quotes in their minds as they talked. Natalia had reluctantly agreed mainly because the recommendation seemed to be the only option she had.
Four days later, Natalia still sat in her small jail-cell of a bedroom, reflecting, and reflecting, and reflecting.
Her mind was running in wild circles, thinking of nothing but Olivia and Rafe and Frank and all the events in Springfield which led up to her current “situation” (she’d begun thinking about it with air quotes too). All of the events of her life and all of the players in it danced around her mind in untraceable circles. She’d taken to sitting on a hard wooden chair that sat before a dark desk that seemed to be an attempt to make the room as austere and unwelcoming as possible.
She’d taken to talking to herself – talking to God – out loud. She figured perhaps He would hear her better that way. She was certain no human could hear her; the walls of the ancient building seemed to devour sound. Sometimes she felt she could barely hear her own words as they fell from her mouth in one stumbling soliloquy after another.
“How long did I wait?” she asked with a small, questioning head tilt. She was looking intently at a simple black and white rosary like it was her closest confidant. She fingered it gently as she spoke. “Sixteen years? Seventeen? How long did I put myself through a loveless, solitary hell because I felt the only man who should ever be in Rafe’s life was his real father? How many times did I cry myself to sleep? And for what reason?” She pushed the rosary around on the dark wood of the desk, allowing the beads to writhe and roll like the body of a snake. “I found – I finally found him after so many years – it’s pointless to count them now. And what happened? We barely had any time together. You took him.” She lifted her eyes to the ceiling. “Am I paying for something? What did I do? Perhaps I’ve led too good a life?” She swayed in her chair and chuckled quietly.
“And finally, finally when I thought maybe I could have something that truly made me happy. Happier than I ever felt with Nicky – and I can admit that I pushed that relationship into being, that I went about it the wrong way, but you can’t keep punishing me forever. I thought you’d forgiven me. I thought – I thought finally I could have a small piece of sunshine in my life. But no. No. You take it away again.” She dipped her head and closed her eyes. She knew the last thing she should be doing right now was yelling at and blaming God for her troubles, but she couldn’t stop herself. There was too much anger, too much sorrow. She couldn’t keep it back anymore.
“That’s why I left. That’s why I ran. I ran so you wouldn’t have a chance to take it all away from me again.” She closed her eyes and took a moment to allow the loud voice in her head to scream at her. It was a voice that never stopped telling her Olivia was back in Springfield frantic, confused, and maybe even sick with worry and heart break. She allowed the guilt to rush over her and cover her like an old, dirty blanket. “The minute she finds out. That’s the minute it’s over.” She dropped her head into her arms and allowed tears to flow. “I can’t do that. I can’t lose her. I can’t. I won’t,” she said softly into her arms. She felt weak from the tears and the emotion and the days she’d spent in solitude. Slowly, she felt herself being taken down into a sleep she felt powerless to control. The unconsciousness was plagued by the voice of Olivia Spencer calling out to her again and again.
“I’m going to kill you, Olivia Spencer,” Doris said, not caring that Olivia was slumped over and sporadically wiping tears from her cheeks. “I’m the Mayor of Springfield. You do realize that, don’t you? I can’t get arrested.” Doris walked over to the bars of the small cell and called out, “Hello! Can anyone hear me? I can’t be arrested.”
“I don’t think that will work,” Olivia said flatly.
Doris spun aggressively toward Olivia. “Oh? Then what will work? Because you better have something in mind. If this situation hurts my career, so help me, Olivia…”
“What? What will you do to me? What more can I have taken from me? ” Olivia released a bitter laugh and ran her hands over her muddy, wet jeans. “Here, you want my pants? You can have them!”
Doris rolled her eyes and turned back toward the bars. “You should just be glad we’re not in Springfield. Maybe we can still get out of this. Maybe those overgrown penguins won’t press charges. It’s not like you really did anything wrong. You just went a little crazy. People go crazy all the time, right? And I bet those religious types are trained to deal with crazy people. Hell, I bet priests and nuns go crazy all the time.” She laughed and pulled her fingers through her hair a bit manically. “I know I would! All that no sex. That can’t be good for the sanity, right?”
“Shut up, Doris. We’ve been here for hours, and I’m tired of hearing you.”
“Just because you’re not getting any doesn’t…”
A police officer suddenly interrupted Doris’ scathing remark. “You have a visitor,” he said.
Philip Spaulding walked calmly up to the bars of the jail cell. “Good afternoon, ladies,” he said, a tone of mild amusement evident in his voice.
“Are you here to free us?” Olivia asked without much enthusiasm in her voice.
“I am indeed.” Following Philip’s words, the officer slid a key into the door and opened it. “I also got the…” He tilted his head a bit, preparing himself to say something he never thought he’d say. “I got the convent to drop the charges.”
“Oh, you beautiful man!” Doris said cheerfully and took a step out of the cell. When Olivia didn’t stand up, she pointed in the opposite direction and said, “I’ll just be out there… outside.”
Philip watched her move away as fast as her heels would take her before turning to Olivia. “You’re free to go, you know.”
Olivia sighed and nodded. “Yeah. Going.” She made a move to stand and Philip offered her a hand. She took it gratefully and walked with him out of the cell. “How did you get the charges dropped?”
“The universal language of money. I made a rather large donation to the convent.”
Olivia pinched the bridge of her nose. “Thank you. I’ll pay you back as soon as I...”
Philip held up a hand to silence her. “No, no, it’s the least I can do. And just so you know, I talked with the Mother Superior and found out that Natalia isn’t there.”
“I can’t believe I made such a fool out of myself.”
“It’s important to fight for those we love, Olivia. I think it’s admirable you’d go to such lengths.”
Olivia looked at Philip and rolled her eyes. “I lost my friggin’ mind and acted like an idiot.”
They passed out of the police station and stopped just outside the door. “From what I hear you acted like a woman in love – nothing more, nothing less. Do you want my advice?” Olivia shrugged and nodded. “Don’t stop. Find her. Life is too short to let love pass you by.” He smiled and tucked a stray piece of hair behind Olivia’s ear. “Keep acting like a crazy fool until she’s home in your arms.”
Olivia smiled for the first time in what felt like weeks. “I don’t know how to thank you, Philip.” She leaned in and gave him a quick hug.
“Thank me by finding our daughter’s other mother.” He began chuckling when Olivia reared her head back and gave him a surprised look. “What? I just don’t want her turning out as crazy as the two of us.”
She laughed and lightly hit him on the shoulder.
“Are you two going to stand there all day? I’d like to return to civilization at some point,” Doris called out from beside her car.
Olivia looked over at Doris and her eyes caught sight of the myriad of dents that now covered the car. She cringed and made a small whining noise as she began walking toward the car. The trip back was not going to be fun.
Olivia was thoroughly aggravated by the time they reached Springfield. She’d promised to get Doris’ car fixed at least twenty times, but the woman refused to drop it.
“I just don’t see why you had to get on top of the car in the first place. It’s not like it made the megaphone any louder.”
“Enough, Doris! I went crazy. I fucked up your car. I’m sorry. I’ll fix it. The end.”
“Fine! Fine. I’m sick of talking about it, anyway.”
Olivia clenched her jaw and quietly reminded herself that murder was illegal. She felt relief when she saw the silhouette of The Beacon rise up in the distance.
“Take me around to the parking garage,” Olivia said as they neared her hotel.
“I have to drive somewhere.”
“Why do you care, Doris?”
“Because, you’ve clearly lost your mind, and I don’t think you should be doing anything else crazy today. You should just go inside and go to sleep or something.”
“I can be crazy if I want. There aren’t any specific laws against it.”
“Oh, so you admit it?” Doris said, her voice becoming high-pitched and impatient. “Tell me where you’re going.”
“Fine, if you want to know so badly, I’m going to drive to the farmhouse.”
“In case you’ve forgotten, Natalia’s not there.”
“I’m going to break in,” Olivia said simply.
Doris pulled the car over.
“What are you doing? Keep driving, Doris. I want to get to the farmhouse before it gets dark.”
“Why in holy hell are you going to break into Natalia Rivera’s house?”
“I’m going to find out where she is and why she went there if it’s the last thing I do. Chances are good that she may have left a clue or two at the farmhouse.”
Doris took a deep breath, as if preparing to say something, but no words came. She let the breath out slowly and stared at Olivia for a few moments. Suddenly, she pulled the car out into the street and made a u-turn.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m taking you to the farmhouse. Clearly, you need someone to watch after you.”