Fandom - Guiding Light
Pairing - Olivia/Natalia
Warnings/Spoilers - No spoilers. This is an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so expect things to not be as on the show. At least not completely. Reference to drugs and sex. LOTS of cursing. A certain serious topic is now in the forefront, so be aware! And angst. Lots of it. Shifting POV's in last section.
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 - Goodness knows when the next chapter will be out...lol
Frank Cooper knows about three kinds of police officer – the good kind, the bad kind and the dangerous kind.
Most of these people bound to serve and protect are of the good variety.
A few of them are bad, as in lazy and incompetent and you wonder how they made it through basic training at all.
But the dangerous ones, whether drunk on power or already prone to instability, they are far and few between. You don’t want them on your force… and yet, you don’t want to be on their shit list either.
They wield the badge like a bayonet, cutting everyone until blood fills the floor.
They push buttons just to see what might happen and they display their personal file - full of demerits - like a trophy.
They cause problems because, somewhere along the way, they were the problem.
Just a short step away from being as rough as a criminal, dangerous cops ruin themselves and – if you are unlucky enough – they take you down with them.
And Frank doesn’t want that to happen.
Not to himself, not to Mallet or any other person in this station.
But there is a look in Olivia Spencer’s eyes, like she is bomb about to go off.
And while it might be nice to see a punk like Medina get smacked around, we will all pay the price if I let her do it.
His third cup of coffee is left behind as Olivia blows in and stalks down the hallway, Mallet apologizing with a shrug of the shoulders and running to catch up with the woman.
Frank ignores the still present throbbing of his head, walking steadily toward the cells.
And it is Olivia’s cool voice that he hears first.
“Officer Mallet, please take Mr. Medina to one of the rooms here and then leave us alone.”
“I can’t do that. You have to have another officer present.”
Frank steps up then and Olivia turns her gaze on him, impassive and blank.
“I’ve talked to him once. He’s keeping quiet.”
“Maybe he just needs a female hand, Detective.”
Olivia moves closer to the cell, leaning down just a little and Frank notices Juan Medina’s eyebrow arc upward.
“Is that it, Juan, hmm? Would you rather talk to me?”
“I wouldn’t mind doing something to you, perra…”
“You shouldn’t talk to a lady like that, Juan. You might hurt her feelings.”
Olivia turns around at that and motions for Mallet to let the man out. She finally looks back at Frank and the man wishes he could stop this.
Because Juan Medina is an instigator and Olivia Spencer is just looking for a fight.
“Can I speak with you for a moment?” Frank asks and Olivia crosses her arms, not budging an inch.
“Not here?” Frank persists.
“Sorry, no time, Detective. I’ve got a criminal to chat with.”
“He has been chatted with already.”
“Well, one more conversation won’t kill him. Unless of course it hurts him to form a sentence… does it cause you pain to speak, Juan?”
Juan Medina does not answer and Mallet looks between both of his commanding officers for the go ahead. Frank reluctantly nods in the affirmative and Olivia follows swiftly behind cop and convict.
Dammit all to hell. This is not good.
The door shuts and Mallet slowly comes back to the cells, blowing out a sigh as he leans against the wall.
“I guess you were right.”
Frank looks toward the closed door as he answers Mallet, staring at it like he can see through wood and stone and find some way of stopping this whole case from imploding.
“Something is up with her and I don’t know what it is. But it’s personal. Somehow this case has become personal for her.”
“Not good for us, is it?”
And Frank instructs Mallet to stay by the door to the interrogation room… maybe he can go in there and keep Olivia from losing control… if she loses control…
Because Frank Cooper doesn’t know Olivia Spencer.
But he thought she was a good cop – annoyingly egotistical and apparently what Natalia Rivera wants – but a good cop with good instincts.
I just hope I wasn’t wrong about her.
/ / /
She finally convinces Rafe to leave her side. She promises to tell him everything.
Not today, though.
And she doesn’t feel like cooking, so she cleans. From ceiling to floor and every corner, Natalia gets the dirt out of everything. Buried grime in the crevices of tiles and old smoke from lodgers of years ago in the wallpaper, Natalia wipes and scrubs and makes it new again.
If with this home, why not with me, God?
She showers and tries to wash away images – of Olivia’s squeezed shut eyes, of Olivia’s skin flush with heat and with release, of Olivia’s lips parting and exhaling.
She tries to wash away the only memories she wants to keep.
But Olivia walked away, left her there – without a word – like a one night stand.
If she is wrong, then what is right, God?
She gets dressed in clean clothes and ignores the tattered remains of her favorite sleeping shirt.
She ignores where Olivia’s hands gripped and tore, where Olivia’s teeth bit and gnashed.
She ignores that piece of cloth until she cannot anymore and throws it into the trash.
Because Olivia walked away. And Olivia left her there, like it meant nothing.
If it was nothing, then… why did you lead her to me, God? Why did you let me feel things for her, God?
And Natalia moves through the day on auto-pilot, aching to forget the night before like a dream and yet… she is still watching the streets for Olivia.
She still wonders where the woman is now, if the woman is alright, if the woman knows just how much… just how damn much she means to me and that every step she takes away from me kills me.
“Damn you, Olivia, you are killing me.”
Natalia says this out loud, her feet taking her to that park where it all began.
But there is no apology on the wind and no green gaze pleading for a second chance.
The park is empty and Natalia sighs out into the daytime sky, turning away from the gazebo and the grass and the remnants of whatever they started with one another.
Olivia walked away and left Natalia alone with all of this love and desire, in rumpled bed sheets and in a room across the hall.
Olivia just walked away.
If she is not the one, who gets this love, God? What do I do with all this love now?
But there is no answer in the air. No whispers of encouragement or of comfort.
God is mute up in heaven and Olivia is gone, while Natalia Rivera is on the ground – struggling with human things like sadness and fear and anguish.
And she struggles alone.
/ / /
Juan Medina doesn’t get intimidated. He intimidates other people.
He found out the hard way what can happen to a guy on the streets if he isn’t hard.
“Kick their ass before they kick yours.” Maldonado spat in my ear, on my eighteenth birthday and with a broken bottle in my hand.
That was the day Juan went from a boy to a man. And he has never looked back.
His family, they don’t speak to him anymore. His old friends are either dead or hustling like himself.
Each scar on his body is another rung up Maldonado’s ladder.
Juan Medina has earned the right to fuck up whoever he wants.
And no sweet lookin’ cop is gonna change that.
“I’m giving you one chance to make this easy on yourself, Medina. Just one.”
When he stays silent, she keeps on talking, this ‘Olivia’ the other cop called out.
“Word is that you don’t do much for Maldonado. Just muscle, just a lapdog. Is that right?”
Juan keeps his mouth shut, used to cops trying to bait him with slights.
And this is the one they always use, too. They try to make him feel like he isn’t top dog, like he isn’t Maldonado’s right-hand man.
“But then Maldonado is just a pet, too, isn’t he? Someone has his leash and tells him when to heel. If you tell me who that is, Juan… well, you and I could be friends. And I don’t let my friends rot in jail.”
He has to smile a little at this cop, because she is certainly going a little further than the rest. And his lips part, self-satisfied words sliding out with ease.
Because Juan Medina has earned the right to be confident.
“I’ve got nothing to tell you, perra. I’ll be out of here by morning.”
But her face shifts then, going from vaguely congenial to downright cold. The smile slips off of his face just a quickly and his fingers grip in their forced hold – handcuffs cutting into his skin.
She comes closer to him and every instinct is telling Juan back away, if he could. But he is stuck in this room with this woman, this woman who looks like she wouldn’t care if he lived or died right this second.
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that.” She whispers into his ear and he strains to move from her face near his own. Even if he could move away, though, it is too late.
He should have seen it in her eyes, the loose fucking screw. He should have paid more attention and not be so cocky.
“You are here to get rid of people, Juan. Not to think. Got it?”
Maldonado’s voice echoes in Juan’s head as this ‘Olivia’ shoots her hand out and gets a fistful of his shirt collar. She pulls him hard, like he is weightless, and slams their heads together.
Juan curses out loud and she does it once more, staggering away and toward the door.
“You fucking bitch!” Juan shouts and the woman bangs on the door, her face going from cold to innocent pain, the switch flipped automatically.
Before the door opens and reveals that other cop, she looks over at him and grins.
And Juan wishes he could get loose, wishes he could wrap his hands around her throat.
Then her voice registers in his head, telling the other cop how Juan ‘assaulted her and that bail needs to be skyrocketed’.
“I didn’t do this, you fucking whore, you did this! You did this, you bitch and you’ll regret it!”
She doesn’t pay him any mind, though. She just lets the other cop drag him off, back to his cell, back to being on the inside while the rest of his world spins on the outside.
The officer walks away and then there she is again, grinning at him like he is a stupid child.
If these bars weren’t here, I’d kill her.
“Looks like you will be here for a while. Harming a cop is serious.”
“Fuck you, bitch.”
“I liked it better when you called me ‘perra’, nicer ring to it.”
“When I get out of here—“
She is still grinning when she cuts him off, but it is icy and that’s when he can see it – in her eyes, the look of someone who has no rules.
Maldonado has that look. Some of the junkies are the same way. They’ll do anything to get what they want. This woman ‘Olivia’ will do anything to get what she wants and, for the first time, Juan Medina is a little scared.
“You won’t get out of here. Ever.”
“What makes you so sure? Jeffrey O’Neill?”
Juan freezes and he knows it is his fatal mistake, because she catches it.
And the grin grows wider on her face.
That’s the most terrifying smile I’ve ever seen.
And Juan Medina knows that he might as well be a corpse now.
/ / /
Frank tries to call her out on what he considers ‘bad tactics’, but she tunes him out.
“He froze when I mentioned O’Neill.”
“What? You brought the ADA up to Medina, are you crazy?”
“I’m right. Your ADA is a criminal; using the system to get whatever the hell it is that he wants.”
She ignores Frank’s gaze, the way he is looking at her and the way he is trying to get inside her head.
You don’t want to go there, Detective. No one wants to go there. Not even me.
“What is this about, Olivia? I mean, really, what is going on here?”
“I’m solving this case.”
“No, not about the case, but about—“
“That’s all I am doing, Cooper. Doing your town a favor and fixing your problems, you know, since you couldn’t.”
It’s a low-blow, but Olivia doesn’t care. She has to get him off her back, has to get him mad and then he won’t ask questions. His face goes hard and Olivia congratulates herself on being able to make anyone angry with her.
What a spectacular talent.
But even her internal sarcasm is weak. She is barely getting by now.
Every move she makes is tainted by what happened years ago and every words she speaks is hollow – just a shadow of who she used to be.
But who I used to be isn’t real either, just another mask, just another façade. I don’t even know who I would have been… had Jeffrey never… had he never…
Frank’s voice brings her back to the present, one foot in this station and the other one in the sand of San Cristobal. One face to show the world and one face to hide from everyone…
“Look, you can try to pull rank around here, but you need to treat me with respect.”
“Then you need to learn to listen. O’Neill is the contact, he is the one who is helping these guys get away with drug trafficking.”
“We have no proof, Olivia! None!”
“We can get it tonight. Rafe can go in and step up to bat, get Maldonado to trust him now that Medina is locked up. Don’t let Medina call a single fucking soul and then Rafe has a clear path. I’ll be there and when O’Neill shows up… then I’ll have him.”
And I will have you, Jeffrey. I’ll finally put you to rest. Even if that means putting a bullet in your fucking skull.
Frank stalks away, but she knows he will do as she requests.
Not like he has much of a choice. He hasn’t broken a thing in this investigation.
So, Olivia leaves the station and forces herself to not walk to courthouse.
She forces her legs to take her to the car and not to Jeffrey O’Neill’s office.
She forces her body to go away from the source of all her pain, to be patient, to be calm.
But it isn’t easy, knowing he is so close.
And all she wants to do is ruin his life.
Maybe then my own life will make sense, maybe then I can finally be at peace…
And Olivia won’t allow herself to think of the possibility that it is too late to have a normal life. She won’t allow herself to think that a normal life doesn’t come with blood on her hands and vengeance consuming her thoughts.
All she can see is Jeffrey and how he took away her chance at a regular life.
And I’m going to make you pay, you bastard.
/ / /
Natalia cleaned until her fingers started to burn from the chemicals.
And she tried to get an evening shift at The Beacon, but Cassie told her everything was covered.
Rafe wasn’t around when she got back to the boarding-house and, for once, she was okay with that.
Because he had questions about why she was so upset during the morning and Natalia didn’t know how to tell him.
I slept with Olivia and she just took off, Rafe. And it hurts. I hurt in my heart and I don’t know what to do.
Her feet take her upstairs and she knows she should go into her room, lock the door until Rafe gets home and just hole-up in her bedroom.
But she doesn’t do any of those things.
She lets herself back into Olivia’s room, knowing that the woman has not been back since the door is still able to be opened without a key.
And she looks at the bed, stopping herself from sitting on it, choosing to lean against the wall.
And that is how Olivia finds Natalia, leaning against the wall with her eyes closed and her breathing shallow, lungs heavy with something Olivia cannot care about. It rattles in Natalia’s chest like an illness.
Fuck it all.
Olivia knew it was risky to come back here, but this is where all her belongings are and she couldn’t keep wearing the same clothes until she could leave Springfield.
And if Jeffrey was taking over most of her body – from brain to motor functions – then Natalia Rivera is taking over all that is left – her heart.
It beats a little more fully when Olivia catches sight of the woman and is afraid that the other woman can hear it from across the room.
But then Natalia’s eyes are open, hard and soft at the same time. And Olivia wants to run from this place as fast as she can. Because there is no way to explain her actions, not without divulging the past.
I can’t do that. No one can know. Just me.
It leaves Olivia with the same option she used with Frank Cooper. She has to wound others in order to save them, it’s what she has done her whole life and it works.
‘For a little while, isn’t that right?’ Her heart beats out the query and she knows the answer, knows that she is going to shatter someone who deserves to be whole…
Not like me. I don’t deserve happiness. I’ll be lucky to survive any of this. Natalia deserves better.
Olivia is trying to quickly dispose of any traces of caring or concern or worry, Natalia can see the emotions flutter across the woman’s face like wings – rapid and constant.
She settles for indifference and Natalia knows this is it.
This is the moment where she could just say ‘good riddance’ and walk away.
She doesn’t want to be here. She doesn’t feel the same way. It was just sex, right?
Natalia’s breathing levels out, though. She takes in Olivia’s fight-or-flight stance, the grim line of Olivia’s lips and Natalia knows she could never leave.
She could never just walk away.
Doesn’t mean that I am not super pissed off at this woman, though…
“Where have you been?”
“Had to go to work early, hmm?”
They watch each other, neither of them sure of the others next move. If they were animals, they would be circling one another now, waiting for who will submit and who will dominate.
“Why are you in my room?”
“I wanted to talk to you.”
“Okay, talk. Be quick. I’ve got a case to deal with.”
Natalia wants to be aloof, if only to give as good as she is getting from Olivia.
But she has never been known to keep her anger in check.
“Who the hell do you think you are? You just leave me here, in your bed, without a word?”
“Yep, seems like I did.”
“Why did you do that? What am I to you?”
“Look, I’ve done this a million times and you are no different, okay? It was just a good time. That’s all.”
“I don’t believe you, Olivia.”
“It was just sex, Natalia.”
“So everything you’ve done was to get me into bed then? That’s it?”
Olivia feels like the room is spinning and the only fixed point is Natalia desperate glare.
And she holds the knife in her hand, hilt tight against her palm. Olivia could kill the woman now with just her words, could watch any hope die in Natalia’s eyes.
I need to do this. She wouldn’t understand. She couldn’t understand. I need to push her away.
But Olivia can’t talk, because Natalia is stepping closer and that glare is melting, turning into a knowing look and Olivia can’t talk. She can’t move and she can’t do a damn thing but stand there.
“I think you are running scared and I don’t know what is causing you to be this way, but I won’t let you shove me aside. I won’t let this… thing inside of you destroy what we could have. Let me help you, Olivia… let me be the one who you stay for, please…”
Natalia holds her breath and reaches out. She reaches out and finds Olivia’s hands, bringing them up to her lips and kisses the knuckles. And Olivia doesn’t fight her. The woman seems stuck in place and so Natalia wraps her arms around Olivia.
Please, God, let Olivia see… let her believe in me…
Olivia tries to pull away, she really does, but her muscles refuse to work.
But her mouth stays shut, not willing to open and shatter this silence with the past.
And she feels that knife clatter to the ground, a sound only she can hear, and her body just sags like the years have finally dragged her down.
Natalia navigates them both and Olivia doesn’t fight it.
But can I actually say a fucking thing? Can I tell Natalia every dirty secret in my life? And if I do, will she really stick around?
Olivia isn’t sure about anything anymore.
But Natalia’s arms are warm and her touch is comforting.
And sex is very far from Olivia’s mind now.
She just wants to belong somewhere, just for a little while…
And Natalia, god help her, is the closest thing to a home that I’ve ever found…
Natalia doesn't leave and Olivia remains still.
And, even if it is just for a second, they both decide to believe in each other.
/ / /