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 (one mild expletive)
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 again 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)
Thank you for your continued interest, I know there is a lot of very good fic out there so I'm touched when you stop by to read mine. You've all been very kind - huge thanks
DISCLAIMERS: I do not own Guiding Light or any of the characters.
( Chapter 1 ) ( Chapter 3 ) ( Chapters 4 & 5 ) ( Chapter 6 ) ( Chapter 7 ) ( Chapter 8 ) ( Chapter 9 ) ( Chapter 10 ) ( Chapter 11 ) ( Chapter 12 ) ( Chapter 13 ) ( Chapter 14 ) ( Chapter 15 ) ( Chapter 16 ) ( Chapter 17 ) ( Chapter 18 ) ( Chapter 19 ) ( Chapter 20 ) ( Chapter 21 ) ( Chapter 22 )
Once they entered the glade and picked a spot, Natalia was compelled to complete a full visual sweep of the ground they were going to sit upon before doing so and then found herself constantly looking round as if nervous some wild animal was going to leap out and attack them.
She was aware she was the source of some amusement for Olivia, who was trying hard not to laugh and was clearly happy to plonk herself down where she stood.
Although it didn’t meet up to her usual high sanitary standards, the area was good enough for now and Natalia began to unpack their food and hand it out.
“Take some water, don’t want you getting dehydrated.” She passed the bottle over to Olivia.
Dutifully Olivia drank from the bottle and opened her food parcel.
“Oh will you stop, nothing is going to come charging out of the woods.”
Natalia on an intellectual level knew this to be true but on an instinctual level, she was totally out of her comfort zone, making every snapping twig and every unexpected and therefore unexplained noise momentous and disconcerting.
Thinking that conversation might counter the suddenly oppressive and dangerous sounding environment, Natalia asked, “So how are you feeling now, better?”
Mouth wrapped around a sandwich and taking a bite, Olivia nodded as she chewed. Swallowing she answered, “Nothing like the healing power of some fresh air and a good walk to get the blood pumping. Did I mention I used to be married to Josh Lewis and that meant hunting?”
Natalia scrunched up her nose in distaste, “Never saw the appeal but I recall hearing it somewhere.”
“To each their own right?” Olivia shrugged.
“Did you actually hunt?”
“Not necessarily in the wide outdoors, no.” Olivia smirked.
Finishing up their food, withholding the snacks for now, they cleared away all their rubbish.
The silence returned and Natalia watched as Olivia tipped her head back, closed her eyes and seemed to scent the wind.
Olivia was becoming an object of fascination for Natalia; it was like studying a new language, having to learn all the subtleties, the idioms, understanding beyond what was being said to the meaning behind it. She was discovering that she was becoming rather adept at ‘Olivia’.
Wanting so badly to ask about earlier today, Natalia watched as Olivia drew in a breath, exhaled slowly and prepared to stand. Thinking the moment lost for now, Natalia also stood and readied herself to follow.
Olivia contained her mirth at Natalia’s expense but was beginning to feel the effects of their walk on her energy levels and dropped gracelessly to the ground where she stood.
A bottle was passed to her with a warning not to dehydrate, so she drank and watched Natalia jump as the sound of a bird scampering in the undergrowth for food magnified across the glade.
“Oh will you stop, nothing is going to come charging out of the woods.”
Natalia had the decency to look sheepishly at her and then Olivia could see the wheels turning and the intake of breath as a query came forth, “So how are you feeling now, better?”
Mouth full, she nodded. At least I’m currently keeping that dream at bay.
In many ways she had been more alarmed at the dream than her physical condition, probably because she could see and knew her injuries would heal. Matters of the brain and psyche however...
She answered something trite and then as if in explanation spoke of Josh, she wasn’t exactly sure to what Natalia ‘never saw the appeal’ but took it to mean the hunting. Then, when Natalia asked if she’d hunted, she couldn’t help but think of the many corporate grounds she’d hunted on and how Josh had once been one of her many prey.
Meal complete and saving the snacks for later, they cleared away their rubbish and sat in silence for a while.
Wondering if they should press on a bit further knowing they would have to do the same distance back or be sensible and turn back now, Olivia mentally reviewed her status. Side and back a little sore, shoulder fine if I don’t swing my arms too much and pleasantly but not overly tired.
Tipping back her head to soak up the quietness, she decided she didn’t want to go back yet, she wasn’t ready. Decision made, she stood and heard Natalia follow suit.
“Are you okay to go on a bit further?” she asked.
Natalia was looking at her again as if she had just been asked to choose between door number one and two.
“Okay, a bit. But I still think you’re overdoing it.”
As if to prove her wrong, Olivia bounced in place, smiled and continued on.
“I’m here! Over here!”
The soft thud of footsteps approaching over the woodland floor.
“Where? Natalia! Where are you?”
Natalia could hear the distress in her friend’s voice and bit down on her bottom lip before responding, “Down here. Mind your step.”
She could hear Olivia’s breathing now, fast and heavy.
“Here. I’m here.”
A face appeared over the edge of the tiny ravine she’d fallen into and she wondered briefly how bad she looked that the colour was draining from Olivia’s face. Stupid, stupid, ow...
“Are you okay? Are you hurt? Natalia...” Olivia sounded almost frantic.
“I’m okay, nothing broken. I think I um...”
Olivia was now crawling over the edge to join her at the base. It really was a small ravine but it had been hidden from view and carelessly, she had planted her foot onto a stone that had in turn twisted her and then launched her backwards into her current predicament.
“Just stay there, I’m coming. Don’t move okay?”
She was beginning to feel silly now, convinced that her pride was the most hurt but Olivia looked so scared and anxious, she did as she was told.
“Hey, I’m okay, really I’m fine. Just had the wind knocked out of me.”
Olivia immediately took Natalia’s face in her hands and swept back her hair, “Are you sure you’re okay, you’ve got a cut here.”
Reaching into their bag, Olivia removed a tissue and dabbed it on the cut, Natalia winced slightly and raised her hand towards it, “Ah ah, I think it’s just a scratch but leave it alone.”
Having been cautioned, Natalia dropped her hands again and watched as Olivia began a quick visual check to be sure she could be moved. Feeling very foolish now, Natalia negated the, in her eyes overkill of care and began moving and pushing herself to sit up.
“Hey, take it easy.” Olivia moved in to support her.
“What? What is it? What ‘ow’? Where?”
Waiting for Olivia to run out of steam so she could actually answer she indicated her ankle. “I think I may have twisted it.” She drew in a breath as a twinge blossomed out, up to her kneecap and down to the tip of her toes.
“Let me check.” Crawling on hands and knees, Olivia moved towards Natalia’s ankle and carefully took her foot in her hands, heel cradled by her palm.
The further intake of breath had Olivia apologising, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Let me just take a look.”
Carefully fingering around the ankle, Olivia could detect a distinct swelling.
“I’d say you’ve definitely twisted it, possibly even sprained.” She was rummaging around now for her cell. “Damn it!”
“What?” Natalia, even though uncomfortable could see her friend becoming more distraught.
“No signal. Shit!” Frustrated, Olivia slammed her cell shut and sat back on her heels. After a beat, she turned to Natalia and guiltily apologised, “I’m sorry, that wasn’t very helpful was it?”
Natalia smiled, “I could try standing up.”
Olivia cast a wary glance at her and then down her ankle. “Somehow I doubt that’s the best thing to do.”
“Maybe so but I for one have no intention of staying out here in these woods any longer than I have to.”
She was already anxiously glancing around figuring she had fallen into some animal’s trap and any minute now they were going to see what had been caught for dinner.
“Fine but first we’re going to try and wrap it. I’d rather leave your trainer on to give more support but I don’t know how well this will work. Don’t suppose you brought the first aid kit with you did you?” Olivia enquired hopefully.
“Considering I was going somewhere with you, I was tempted but no, sorry, I didn’t.”
“Okay, well, I’ve seen them do this on TV so, how hard can it be right?”
Reaching for her t-shirt under her jacket, Olivia began to tug at the seam and managed to tear a strip of material. “What do you think? Crop top?”
“Okay now this may hurt a bit but it’ll help okay?”
Natalia nodded and Olivia, having as delicately as possible removed her trainer, began to wind the strip of fabric tightly over and around her foot and heel to secure her ankle.
“We really need to get some ice on this and then elevate it.” She said as she loosened the trainer laces even further to slide Natalia’s foot back in.
“You’re really good at this you know?”
“Um, thanks. Okay, you ready to try and stand or do you want to wait for a bit?”
“No, I’m ready.”
Olivia stood first and then reached down, Natalia grasping her hand and with all her weight on her other foot, attempted to rise. Halfway up Natalia made the mistake of putting her injured foot down and the resultant pain had her falling back, in the process pulling on Olivia’s arm and nearly sending the pair of them backwards into the dirt.
So caught in her own world of discomfort, she didn’t hear the grunt above her.
Sounding breathless, Olivia said, “Shall we try that again?”
Natalia nodded, reached up and this time, with a hop to adjust her balance, made it upright. Step one, now we just have to get back.