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 will 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 ) ( Parts 5 & 6 )
She awoke with a start. Olivia felt like she was waking from a nightmare. She was groggy and her heart was pounding, she wasn’t at home but there was something familiar about where she was. “Oh God, it’s real.” She found herself back in her ‘usual’ room at Cedars. Lying on the bed, hooked up to a heart monitor. Why am I hooked up to a heart monitor? At that moment, Rick appeared. “How are you feeling?”
“Where’s Natalia? Where’s Emma? What’s going on?”
“You passed out in the hallway, remember? We brought you in here and hooked you up to the monitor just to be safe. You’re fine by the way. It was just a precaution considering the stressful ordeal you’ve endured tonight.”
“How long have I been out?”
“Not long. There is no news about Natalia yet. Emma is in the waiting room with Frank and Lillian. By the way, I noticed a rather large bump on your head. I assume you didn’t bother to tell my colleague about that or you’d have been on your way down for a CT scan before you passed out.”
Rick held up his hands at the argument he knew was coming his way. “Listen, I’m going to unhook you here and you can go to them. But I want you to let someone know if you feel faint again. We’re not taking any chances with that heart of yours or that head, as hard as it is.”
“I’m fine Rick. I just need to see my baby, and I need Natalia to…” she couldn’t finish the sentence. She couldn’t say ‘live’ because if she did it meant there was a chance she might not and she couldn’t think about that right now.
Rick put his hand on Olivia’s, as much as this woman exasperated the hell out of him because more often than not she refused to do anything to help herself health-wise, he understood in this circumstance. Which is why he had already asked Lillian to keep an eye on her and planned to check up with her occasionally too but he wouldn’t force her to be treated, not right now anyway. So he offered her some pain meds for the headache he assumed she had and an ice pack he insisted she use, which surprisingly were both gratefully accepted, then he walked her to the waiting room and found Emma curled up in Lillian’s lap.
Olivia and Lillian didn’t always see eye to eye but she smiled a genuine thank you to the nurse as she picked Emma up, sat down next to Lillian and held the child to her breast, rocking her gently while absently holding the icepack to her head.
Frank leaned in, apology in his voice, “Olivia, I know this isn’t the best time but I really need your statements while all of this is fresh in your minds.”
Olivia sighed as she looked at her daughter who was barely awake, “Ok, why don’t you talk to Emma first then when Jane shows up, she can just leave and go get some sleep.”
Frank guided the obviously exhausted pair to the little office Rick offered for this particularly unpleasant task, while Lillian said she would keep an eye out for the nanny.
Frank sat them at the wooden table in the office and put a glass of water in front of each of them. Olivia appreciated how gentle Frank’s questioning was. She was ready to stop him if he pushed Emma too hard to talk about their terrifying adventure but he seemed to take great care in making Emma feel comfortable enough just to tell the story as she remembered it.
The little girl, already seemingly older than her years, recounted the facts as she saw them, without much emotion. Too tired from crying and being scared for most of the night, Emma looked to Olivia like she just wanted it to be over. Which is exactly how Olivia felt. She wanted to go back in time just six hours. God, had it only been that long? She could have done so much differently, she could have protected them better, she could have gotten to her gun first. She couldn’t stop the wave of nausea which overtook her as her eyes filled with tears. She didn’t know if it was the pain in her head making her feel sick or…oh my God. Natalia. Not only had Natalia been shot and was still in surgery but Natalia shot and killed someone. If she recovered from her injury…no, she would recover physically but how could she recover psychologically? Spiritually? Making a mental note to call Father Ray, he would be needed when Natalia woke up, Olivia was drawn out of her reverie when she heard Emma describe what happened when she and Natalia went upstairs to the bathroom.
Emma spoke barely above a whisper as she recounted having to leave the relative safety of her mothers’ arms and what happened when they got to the top of the stairs. Now the tears did come as Emma felt the same fear grab hold. “We got to the top of the stairs and Natalia took me into the bathroom and closed the door. She said she was going to mommy’s room for something and I had to stay locked in the bathroom no matter what happened until either mommy or Natalia came back for me. She said to make sure I flushed the toilet and let the water run in the sink for a bit so they knew I was actually in the bathroom. I was supposed to stay there but I got scared when I heard the loud bangs. I heard mommy’s voice yell ‘no’, so I unlocked the bathroom door and when I got to the top of the stairs…” Emma started to shake and cry in earnest now.
Frank prodded, “Emma honey, what did you see?”
“I saw Natalia sitting on the stairs with blood all over her and mommy was fighting the bad man and hitting his head on the floor and the other man who was hurt before, his head was broken open and stuff was coming out. I thought Natalia was dead.”
At that Olivia’s heart broke a little more and she squeezed Emma’s hand tighter.
Still crying, Emma then told Frank, “Then mommy yelled at me to call 911 and lock myself in her room. But I was worried about Natalia and then…then mommy yelled at me again, so I ran back but I forgot to lock the door because I was scared. Oh Mommy I’m so sorry.” Emma looked up at Olivia.
“Honey that’s okay, it was very smart to hide under the bed.” Olivia kissed Emma’s forehead. “Go on.”
“Well I called 911 like mommy taught me, I told the lady my name was Emma Spencer and my address and that one of my mommies looked dead because she was shot by the bad men with the guns. That’s when the lady told me to stay on the phone with her while we waited for the police. She talked to me the whole time until I heard mommy call me, then I said ‘bye’ and hung up.”
Emma turned to Olivia, red-rimmed eyes cast down like she was in trouble and said “I’m sorry mommy that I didn’t listen the first time like I should have but I was scared. Natalia looked so bad and there was so much blood and I couldn’t tell if she was alive, please don’t be mad at me.”
“Shhhh baby, no I’m not mad at you, I was just so scared and I wanted you to be safe.”
Olivia couldn’t trust herself to speak anymore or she’d break down, all she could think was, Oh my God, she saw it all. What kind of a mother am I that I let my baby see that? Olivia pulled the child into her lap and held her as she cried.
Frank nodded and came over to put his hand on the little girl's back and whispered to her, “Emma you were so brave. You did just the right things. I’m so proud of you and I know your mommy and Natalia are too.”
At that moment, there was a soft knock at the door. Olivia’s heart sank for fear it was bad news, Lillian’s head peeked in, “Frank, Olivia? Jane just arrived and she’s ready to take Emma if you’re finished talking to her”.
Olivia nodded, “Emma why don’t you stay with Frank and Lillian for a moment. I just want to talk to Jane quickly.”
Emma told her it was okay so Olivia left the room to find Jane.
She quickly found the nanny, Jane, pacing a line down the hall. When Jane saw Olivia she quickly walked over to her boss who looked like she had been on a battlefield and barely come out alive. “Ms. Spencer? My God, are you alright?”
“I’m fine Jane. Thank you for coming. I know I didn’t say much when I called from the car but I didn’t want to talk with Emma right there, she’s been through enough. I don’t have time to go over all of the details but some men broke into the farmhouse and held us at gunpoint. Ms. Rivera’s been shot,” At Jane’s gasp Olivia quickly added, “she’s in surgery now.”
“Oh my God. Ms. Rivera? Is Emma okay?” Jane was visibly upset, she truly liked Natalia, she was always so sweet and when Ms. Spencer wasn’t around she always insisted on Jane calling her ‘Natalia’ rather than ‘Ms. Rivera.’ And Emma, she just adored the child.
“Emma is upset. Naturally. She’s seen a lot tonight, more than any child should ever have to. She might have questions about blood and death, so you should be prepared. If she does ask you about those types of things, I want you to tell me, I’ll need to know how she’s dealing with this and right now she’s too tired and what happened hasn’t fully settled in yet. I’d prefer to keep her with me so I can keep an eye on her but I don’t want her to have to sit here while we wait for news about Ms. Rivera. I am very concerned about Emma so I need you to keep a really close eye on her. Try to get her to sleep, maybe get her to eat something.” Olivia paused to wipe away a lone tear. Voice breaking, she then added, “Give her a lot of hugs.”
Jane looked shocked. She’d seen Ms. Spencer on some of her worst days but she had never seen her cry.
Jane wanted to hug the sad woman, Olivia Spencer could be a bitch to her when she went all ‘boss mode’ on her but right now Jane could see that she was just a mother who needed to know that her daughter could finally be safe tonight.
Risking it, she put her hand on Olivia’s arm, “Olivia, I promise I’ll take care of Emma while you take care of Natalia.”
The use of their first names would normally set Olivia off on a lecture to one of her employees who dared to think that they were on a first name basis and the hand on the arm, well that just didn’t happen unless the hand belonged to Natalia and she was pushing her way into her life. But Olivia knew in that moment that something had changed between her and Jane, an understanding of what was truly at stake tonight and that Jane would keep her promise to care for Emma in this circumstance just as she always did.
“Let’s go get Emma, then you can get her to bed. You don’t mind taking her to your apartment do you? She has none of her things at The Beacon anymore and she just might feel more comfortable in a home.”
“Of course, anything for Emma.”
When she and Jane came back into the office, it was all Olivia could do to allow her daughter to be led off with the nanny. She just wanted to hold her and never let her go but she needed Emma to be safe and comfortable and in a real bed more than she needed the selfish comfort of holding her daughter. Convinced it was the best thing for Emma, she hugged and kissed the child repeatedly before telling her that she would come and get her as soon as she could and that she loved her and was proud of her.
As she watched Jane take Emma’s hand and lead her out of the office, she let the tears fall. She could have lost her baby tonight. If Natalia hadn’t fought for them, she could have lost her. The thought hit her in the chest like a MAC truck, it sucked the air out of her lungs and she felt like she might pass out again.
Lillian saw the stricken look on the poor woman’s face and went to her to give her a hug both for comfort and to help keep the woman upright, knowing what she must be thinking. The thought of anyone hurting their baby… well it brought Lillian back to memories of her former abusive husband Bradley and how she worried for her daughter Beth’s safety. She then thought of Natalia, having been filled in by one of the other officers to what appeared to have happened at the farmhouse tonight, well the fear the normally placid woman must have felt to be able to pull a gun on two men, much less fire it at them. It made Lillian sad.
At Frank’s quite ‘ahm’, Lillian pulled back. “If you need anything, come find me. I’ll let you know when I hear something about Natalia.” Lillian reached into her pocket and pulled out the ice pack that Olivia had ‘forgotten’ in the waiting room. “You really should use it, that bump is getting bigger.”
Olivia nodded her thank you, took the icepack and looked at Frank. He was ready for her statement, but what would she say? Could she get away with trying to convince Frank that it was her who killed the gunman? She wanted to keep Natalia’s good name sacred as long as she could but Olivia knew that Natalia would never allow her to lie for her and the last thing she wanted when Natalia woke up and she would wake up, was a moral fight.
Resigned, Olivia bowed her head, lifted the ice to it and started to give her statement to Frank.
To be continued...