Rating: PG-13 to start, for violence (non-sexual) and language.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Guiding Light characters, they belong to CBS and Proctor and Gamble.
Summary: This is set in the spring of 2009. I’ve taking some liberties with the storyline, mainly Natalia never slept with Frank, hence no engagement etc. So our girls have been just continuing forward raising Emma and getting closer to each other though they are still technically just friends, but that may change… This is a hurt/comfort story so they are headed on a rough ride.
Author’s Note: This is my first fan fiction so please be gentle. This would not have been possible if not for the persistent nudging and awesome editing of my beta/great friend croftlara. Comments are welcome.
( Part 1 ) ( Parts 2 & 3 ) ( Part 4 )
Time was passing, but no one could tell exactly how long they had been there. It felt to them all like an eternity but the sun hadn’t even begun to rise. The injured man suddenly stirred from his position on the couch, “Danny, bro, where are you?”
It was like the air had been sucked out of the room and the world had moved to slow motion. At the same moment Olivia and Natalia turned toward each other. Brother? Danny? That knowledge gave realization to why the taller man, ‘Danny’ had been so concerned about his friend, he was actually his brother. Natalia’s hand was still on Olivia’s back and when the name was spoken, Olivia’s spine tensed and her breathing quickened. The women looked at each other, fear written on both faces.
Danny moved to his brother, as concerned as he was, Danny couldn’t help the anger that seeped in at the use of his name. The women couldn’t hear what they were saying but clearly Danny was upset at the turn of events.
Before any of them could give it much more thought a sound in the distance broke through the still room. Siren. The sound made Natalia’s heart sink and her hope soar. The police siren in the distance sounded like it was getting closer. Danny frantically ran to the window and peered out while Natalia looked at Olivia. She couldn’t read the look on the older woman’s face but she could see her tighten her hold on the child in her arms.
“Mommy you’re hurting me”
“Sorry baby” Olivia eased the hold she hadn’t realized she had tightened.
Looking like she was going to cry again Emma said, “Mommy, I have to pee.”
Olivia whispered, “Honey, you need to hold it a little while longer, ok?”
“I don’t think I can.”
Leaving his perch by the window, Danny came at them, gun ever present, “I told you to shut up, I won’t tell you again.”
“My daughter has to pee, she’s just a little girl. Let me take her upstairs to the bathroom, we’ll be right back down.”
“You’ll stay right where you ar...” before he could get his warning out his brother interrupted from the couch, “Danny! I think the siren is moving away.”
“Jesus Christ! Bri, stop using my fucking name! Ah, shit…” Realizing his own mistake just a moment too late, he slapped his bloodied, gun free hand to his forehead. This was going to get worse before it got better, wasn’t it?
The sentiment was felt by all of the occupants of the room. It was like an unspoken awareness hit them all at once and the walls suddenly felt like they were closing in around them like a coffin. These men could never let this little family go now or ever. By this point, faces would be memorized and now they knew their names were Danny and Brian, not to mention they were actually brothers…
Every adult mind in the room was whirling while they tried to sort out how this would play out, except one. Natalia had begun to pray again. The prayer changed from ‘please Lord keep my family safe’ to ‘give me the power to resolve this before Olivia gets herself killed.’
At that moment, Emma could bear it no longer, “Mommy I REALLY have to pee!” The poor child was becoming desperate.
Without thinking Danny sighed, “Fine. Go to the bathroom.”
Olivia's eyes went wide at the chance she was being given but when she went to stand, Danny held out his gun toward her, “No, not you,” he looked to Natalia, “you take the kid to the bathroom and be quick about it.”
Natalia took Emma’s hand and lead her to the stairs.
Olivia’s final hope was lost in the moment he told her she couldn’t go upstairs. She thought if she could just get upstairs to her bedroom closet where her gun was hidden, maybe, just maybe they’d survive this. But now, shaking her head she realized, she was going to have to act without a weapon.
Her daughter and best friend were safe for the moment upstairs locked in the bathroom, she knew if Natalia heard a scuffle she would keep the child safe, so this was her chance to end this one way or the other. She sent a prayer of her own that her family would stay upstairs just a little longer as she prepared to make her move. Danny was still in front of the couch within reach if she lunged. In theory, she could tackle him and get the gun before Brian would even know what was happening. It was now or never. Olivia kept her eyes on Danny and slowly turning behind his back she started to rise to a squatting position to get her feet under her. She was just preparing to attack when a gunshot rang out.
Olivia jumped at the sound and was momentarily stunned as she felt a spray of wet across her face as the bullet broke through the back of Brian’s skull and out his face. Danny turned toward the offending noise firing his own weapon as another gunshot pierced the air. The air from Olivia’s lungs escaped as her world slowed. She watched Natalia fall back against the wall and slide down to sit sideways on the step, her back to the wall.
“NOOOO!” Olivia’s own voice sounded like she was under water. She looked to see Danny swinging back her way, gun leveling toward her; she then lunged taking him down hard. The gun fell from his hand and skidded toward the stairs. He tried to push Olivia off of him to get it but she fought with every ounce of strength in her body. Scratching and punching, biting. She wailed on the man under her until she finally grabbed his head and began to slam it to the floor repeatedly; she couldn’t help the sobs that escaped as she purged all of the anger and frustration of the past few hours on the now unconscious man.
A cry came from the top of the stairs, “Mommy?” Olivia hesitated at the sound of her child’s cry and dropped the man’s head one last time like she’d been burned by it.
“Natalia,” she whispered as on hands and knees she clamoured toward the stairs while yelling, “Emma lock yourself in my bedroom and call 911!”
“Mommy, what’s wrong with Natalia?”
“EMMA! GO! NOW!”
Olivia finally heard the retreating steps as she reached her nearly unconscious friend on the stair who, in shock, was moving her lips in an attempt to speak but no sound was coming out, a red wet stain blossoming out across her chest, her own hand clutching toward the wound.
Considering Natalia’s position on the step, Olivia slid in behind her to hold her up so she wouldn’t tumble down the stairs if she passed out. Desperately, she put her hand over the gaping hole in Natalia’s flesh then looked around to find something to use to apply pressure, but there was nothing within reach so, in a panic she managed to pull off her own pajama top and tried to hold back the torrent of blood.
“Hold on Natalia, it’s going to be ok. Don’t try to speak, conserve your energy.”
While the dark haired woman’s mouth continued to move, a lone tear tracked from her left eye down to her chin. Olivia leaned forward and heard barely above a whisper, one word, “Rafe”.
At the sound of Natalia’s son’s name, Olivia leaned her mouth to Natalia’s ear and pledged her oath “I promise that I will take care of Rafe no matter what happens. He will be looked after when he is released from prison. I swear it to you Natalia. You don’t need to worry about that. He will always be safe, cared for and loved.”
Olivia wanted to tell her not to worry, and wanted to tell her just to rest and wait for the paramedics, but as a mother she knew Natalia needed re-assurance first that her baby, though not a baby anymore, would be safe.
Far in the distance she thought she could hear the screams of the sirens coming toward their little farmhouse and prayed they would get here in time.
Olivia felt as though she’d been sitting with Natalia on that step for hours, holding Natalia in her arms, whispering assurances to the injured woman and trying to slow the blood, but she could feel rather than see from her angle that the pajama top was now soaked in her hand.
She didn’t notice it when the door burst open, didn’t hear Frank’s voice barking orders or see that the police were securing Danny and looking to see that the body lying on the couch was in fact dead. All that was happening around her and all she could focus on was the dying woman in her arms, her warm blood covering Olivia’s upper body where they were pressed together, the tremors as they passed through Natalia’s shocked body. She could almost feel the life leaving her with every drop of blood that leaked out of her wound.
Olivia thought she heard Remy ask her to move her hand so he could examine Natalia’s injury. He was positioned on the step below and couldn’t get a good angle to help Natalia and Olivia wasn’t making it any easier for him. Remy needed better access and to get Olivia to let go so he could properly attend to Natalia.
“Frank man, I need your help, we gotta get Olivia to let go so we can move Natalia.”
Frank nodded, “Olivia we need to let them work, let go of Natalia so they can move her to the floor.”
Olivia shook her head and held Natalia tighter. She had to protect Natalia, save her.
Remy looked at Frank pleadingly.
“Olivia, I know you’re scared, I’m sorry but I have to do this.” And with that Frank climbed up the stairs passing by the women and pried the woman’s bloodied hands from Natalia’s body. As Remy and his partner lowered Natalia to a more accessible position down the stairs and onto the floor, Frank held a struggling Olivia back.
“I have to help her Frank!”
“You are, Olivia, you are.”
Olivia looked from Natalia to Frank, realization hitting her that they were there to help Natalia too.
In a quiet voice, Olivia momentarily embarrassed by her actions, apologized, “Frank, I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened to me there, I’m ok now, you can let go.”
With that Frank helped her up and led her down the stairs where she was now standing in her blood stained bra and pajama bottoms, Frank’s arm around her not fully trusting that Olivia was capable of standing on her own. He was talking to her but Olivia could only watch, with silent tears streaming down her face, as Remy and his partner pulled Natalia’s pajamas open to reveal the offending mark above Natalia’s left breast. Not her heart, was Olivia’s first thought. She hadn’t thought of it at first, but now she could see exactly where the wound was, not her heart. Still not good, but not her heart.
She watched as they loaded Natalia onto the stretcher, covered her and strapped her to it. Then they were taking her, away from Olivia, away from her home, toward the awaiting ambulance. Frank was saying something about driving her to Cedars. She looked up at him before looking down at herself, “I’ll get Emma and get a top on.”
She made it up the stairs, and to her bedroom door before turning and moving toward the bathroom, she stepped in front of the mirror and saw the true horror of her appearance. She thought she would throw up, she had almost forgotten but it wasn’t just Natalia’s blood that mostly covered her upper body, her face and hair were also dotted with Brian’s blood and she dared not think of what else…it disgusted her.
She removed the blood stained bra and dropped it to the floor then as best she could quickly wiped the worst of it off before heading to her room to get dressed and collect Emma.
Running to the bedroom she fumbled with the handle and found that Emma had not locked the door, she entered the room but didn’t immediately see her daughter. Frantically looking around the room she called out, “Baby it’s safe, where are you?”
A head peeked out from under the bed, “Mommy?”
Olivia let out an anguished cry as she dropped to the floor and pulled her daughter out from under the bed and into a tight hug despite the remnants of blood she knew were still clinging to her body and pants.
“Is Natalia okay?” Emma asked from her crushed position against Olivia’s chest.
Olivia pulled back to look into Emma’s eyes, “She’s being taking to the hospital, we’re going to go with Frank, he’s going to drive us to Cedars.”
Olivia stood and moved to her dresser to pull out a bra and t-shirt, quickly dressing before grabbing her purse, she then took Emma’s hands and pulled her daughter from the room. Reaching the top of the stairs Olivia stopped short. Oh God, I can’t let her see this.
“Emma honey, I’m going to put my hand over your eyes now. It’ll be okay.”
“Alright mommy.” Emma was frightened and worried about Natalia but she felt safe with her mommy.
Olivia covered Emma’s eyes and with her other arm wrapped it around the child to both hold and guide her. When she reached the bloodied step Olivia was thankful to find Frank standing with his arms out. Having seen them descending the stairs, Olivia trying to spare Emma the sight of the room, he moved to carry the child over the blood and out of the house.
“Frank is going to carry you the rest of the way now Emma, I want you to keep your eyes closed. Promise me.”
“I promise mommy.”
Emma squeezed her eyes shut while Frank took the child from Olivia and carried her past the blood and the body outside into the brisk night air and to the car.
Now in the car, while Frank drove them both to the hospital, Olivia called Jane to have her pick up Emma there, she didn’t want the child to have to sit at the hospital after all she had been through, though it was hard to think of letting her baby go off with anyone after the what they had experienced.
All Olivia had wanted tonight was just to sit with Emma and Natalia on their couch in their home and watch that stupid kid’s movie. No guns, no bad men, no blood, just the three of them holding their Friday night ritual. Just be together and be safe. And now that was gone, maybe forever.
Frank insisted that he would be taking both Olivia’s and Emma’s statement at the hospital. When they arrived at Cedars they were met by long time nurse Lillian who advised them that Natalia was being attended to but would probably be moving up to surgery shortly.
“Can I see her?”
“Not right now, Dr. Rick is working on her. I’ll let you know if you can see her before she goes to surgery. But right now, we need to have both you and Emma checked over by one of the other doctors.”
Lillian could see that Olivia was about to protest, so she left her no choice, taking Emma’s hand in her left and Olivia’s in her right and walked them to the exam room assuring them that it would just take a minute.
When the doctor came in, Olivia dutifully answered his questions and watched him talk to Emma while examining the exhausted child to make sure she was unhurt but she felt it would only complicate things to mention her own pounding headache that she still had, thanks in large part to the head-shaped dent in her wall at home. The last thing she needed was tests when she should be at Natalia’s side. So she did her best to make sure her hair was covering the red bump near her temple and assured the doctor that she was fine.
Lillian came back to escort the pair to the waiting room. They were barely outside of the examination room when Olivia saw Dr. Rick followed by a gurney. She could hear Rick barking orders; a few words reached her ears like, “blood loss” and “Surgery, NOW!” Her friend looked so small and so pale. She tried to move toward the action but the more forward she pushed, the further away Natalia was as they rushed her toward the bank of elevators at the end of the hall.
Rick met her to stop her advance, “Olivia, Natalia has lost a lot of blood. We’re going in to find the bleeder and get the bullet.” Olivia didn’t seem to hear what Rick was saying as she was focused on her friend being pushed into the elevator, so Rick put his hand on her arm to try to get her attention, “Olivia. She’s being taken to surgery; we’re going to take good care of her.”
With that the elevator doors closed and Olivia felt the loss. If this is it, she didn’t get to say ‘thank you’ or ‘goodbye’. Suddenly, her knees felt impossibly weak, and her vision narrowed, Rick’s voice sounded so far away, “Oh God,” was all she could get out before she collapsed to the floor. Rick’s hand on her arm and quick reflexes were all that kept her head from hitting the hard floor.
To be continued...