Rating: PG-13 to start, for violence (non-sexual) and language. I am not any kind of a medical expert, if there are some glaring errors, please forgive me.
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 ) ( Part 7 ) ( Part 8 ) ( Part 9 )
Olivia couldn’t help the tears that sprang to her eyes. She knew in her head what to expect but it could never match actually seeing her friend lying there. So full of life just hours ago, giggling at dinner with Olivia and Emma, now unconscious and fighting for her life. God, I’ve done this to her. This is my fault. Olivia couldn’t stop the self-recriminations from coming. Just ‘cause you live in the country doesn’t mean you leave your damn doors unlocked. Why didn’t I lock them before we sat down to watch the movie? I should have done more then maybe this would have been me instead.
Noticing the pain in Olivia’s eyes, Lillian put her hand on Olivia’s back and spoke quietly, “You can touch her, hold her hand and talk to her. She may hear you and knowing you’re here will help.”
Olivia turned, head bowed, and gave a quick smile and nod.
“I’ll be back shortly to check on you. If you need anything just call the nurses.” With that Lillian left Olivia there, alone, with the beeping monitors and the unresponsive woman on the bed.
Olivia so confident in her need to see Natalia suddenly didn’t know what to do. She was afraid. She stared for a long moment at the steady rise and fall of Natalia chest, knowing it was aided by the machine pumping in the oxygen.
Tentatively, Olivia approached the bed. Looking over Natalia, she wanted to hold her friend and make it all better. Just kiss her injuries away and make the nightmare end. With a sigh, she bent down and pressed her lips to Natalia’s forehead, when she pulled back she replaced her lips with her hand and leaned into the woman’s ear.
“Natalia, I’m here. You’ve been hurt, but you’re going to be okay.” Olivia’s voice cracked when she told Natalia that Emma was safe and unhurt.
Olivia moved to pull up a chair next to the bed. She took Natalia’s hand in hers as she continued to talk quietly.
“We’ve had a bit of a scare tonight, all of us. But the doctors are fixing you up and everything will be fine.” God she hoped it would be.
“I called Rafe, and I asked Father Ray, to go and see him. He knows what happened and that you’re out of surgery. I’ll call him again in a little while and let him know how you’re doing.”
Inwardly, Olivia added, but right now I just need to be here with you.
Olivia, feeling the need to fill the quiet and connect with her friend, started to talk. She talked about everything, the farmhouse, Emma and Rafe, the Beacon, her taxes. Just talked about everything that came to mind with hope that some of it broke through the barrier of unconsciousness and gave Natalia some comfort to know that she was here with her.
Occasionally she was interrupted by Lillian checking up or by nurses testing vitals. Each one suggesting it was time to leave Natalia for a bit but Olivia would just shake her head and firmly say ‘No’. Fortunately, only one of the older more matronly nurses dared to challenge her but a raised eyebrow and her fierce gaze leveled at the nurse ended that. She had a feeling that Lillian had warned the nurses that it would probably be easier to just let her stay until she was ready to leave which Olivia appreciated. She just didn’t feel like fighting at that moment.
At some point, Olivia must have dozed off because she was awakened by the sound of several alarms and the rush of bodies around her.
Someone was telling her to move back and she watched as two nurses and Dr. Gunn busily hovered over her friend. When the doctor instructed one of the nurses to call the OR as they were bringing her back up, Olivia’s heart nearly stopped.
“What’s going on? Please tell me what’s happening?” Why did Natalia look so pale? How long have I been asleep? What did I miss?
As the nurses prepared Natalia for the move back to the operating room, Dr. Gunn came over to Olivia and explained that Natalia was still losing blood from somewhere and they had to go back in and stop it.
Before Olivia could fully process what was going on, Natalia’s limp body was moved to a gurney and she was being wheeled past her, Dr. Gunn following in a rush, sparing one last glance in Olivia’s direction. She could see something in his eyes, a knowing. As though he realized she’d read him, he cast his eyes to the floor, turned and followed the gurney.
In a panic Olivia called out, “Natalia, I’ll be right here waiting. You’re going to be okay. Stay strong.” After hesitating just a half second she added, “I love you. Please don’t leave me.”
She dropped back into the chair once the room had cleared and put her head in her hands and cried.
Lillian came back to the room after finding out that they had taken Natalia back to surgery. She walked in on the woman now curled up and rocking herself in the chair in the little ICU room. Dawn was barely breaking on the horizon and the soft glow coming through the window fell on the younger woman and outlined her through the near dark room. Lillian’s heart broke a little at seeing Olivia in such obvious pain.
“Olivia?” She tentatively touched her hand to her shoulder.
With a start Olivia jerked up, not having heard Lillian enter the room.
“S’hhh, it’s ok. There’s no news, I just wanted to check on you. Umm, Frank and Buzz are still in the waiting room if you’d like to join them. Jeffrey arrived a few minutes ago with Reva. I hope you don’t mind, I called them a little while ago.”
Absently, she shook her head no. One of the last people she felt like seeing right now was Reva, her sometimes friend, often times rival but Lillian insisted that she go be with people and reminded her that she ought to call Rafe with the latest update.
Being guided again through the ICU, this time when she passed the nurses’ station more than a few eyes glanced their way, concern etched on their faces. It made Olivia feel like an outsider, like she was missing something that everybody else was in on. She feared what that might be.
When they arrived back in the waiting room, Jeffrey was the first to come to her with his arms outstretched. He pulled her into a comforting hug while Olivia fought back tears.
Reva watched as her husband hugged Olivia. Her heart went out to the exhausted looking woman in the blood spattered pajama bottoms. It frightened and saddened her to think about where that blood came from and how it got there.
When Olivia pulled back from her hug with Jeffrey, Reva was there, taking her hand and leading her to one of the chairs. She looked to Frank and could see the question on his lips before he spoke.
“What happened? Lillian said she was being taken back to the operating room.” Olivia felt as though it was almost an accusation, like something she had done had caused this setback.
“I don’t know Frankie. I guess I fell asleep, next thing I know the machines went off. The doctor said she was still losing blood. I don’t know what happened.”
“You fell asleep?” came the sharp retort like a slap, as though the act of simply being awake could have prevented this.
“Hey!” Reva spoke. “She’s been through enough, it’s five in the morning for heaven’s sake and she’s had a rough night, cut her some slack, it’s not her fault and you know it. You’re just upset, we all are.” Reva turned to Jeffrey and asked him to call the prison to inform Rafe of the new situation, while she extended her hand to Olivia.
Tentatively, Olivia took her hand and allowed herself to be led from the men in the waiting room.
“Thanks for standing up for me back there but maybe he was right, maybe I could have noticed something and called the doctor.”
Reva shook her head, “I know you two are close but do you really think you would have known that Natalia was in trouble before all of those very sophisticated machines did? Give yourself a break Olivia, you were there for her, there was nothing more that you could have done.”
Reva lead her toward the front entrance of the hospital and Olivia paused.
“I can’t leave.”
“We’re just going to get some fresh air. I have my phone on me, if they need us Jeffrey will call.”
Not capable of arguing, Olivia allowed Reva to lead her outside to the park bench by the water that the two of them had shared barely over one year ago. The day Olivia got her new heart, the day Gus died, the day Natalia, though she hated her, signed the papers to donate the organ that saved her life.
They sat together on the bench, watching the sun continue to rise, admiring the geese searching for breakfast in the grass along the waterfront, the early spring daffodils starting to peek through the slowly warming earth. It was just a regular morning. Like nothing had happened. Olivia couldn’t help but think, I guess the sun did come up today. Remembering back to the chapel a few hours ago, she felt the urge to have another talk with God.
With a look to Reva, she asked if she could be alone for a few minutes, that she would meet her back in the waiting room shortly.
Reva released the hand she was still holding and got up and headed back toward the hospital.
Olivia squinted as she looked to the sky. The spring morning chill seeping through the thin pajama bottoms and t-shirt she still wore. She ignored it as she spoke, “God. It’s me again, your not so favourite person. I know, I know I must be desperate, twice in the span of a few hours. But you know. Well you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? You can stop this. I know you can. I haven’t seen that many miracles in my life but I hear they exist. I don’t think the doctor expects her to survive, I could see it in his eyes. So...” pulling her hand through her hair, while gearing up to ask this big favour, she exhaled and spoke, “she needs a real miracle. And I figure someone as good as Natalia, well she deserves it. I can’t give her that, I can’t, whatever power I’ve had in my life, well I can’t fix this, I can’t control this. Only you can.”
Closing her eyes and allowing all of the love she’d ever felt for Natalia flow through her, she begged, “God, please save her.” Olivia sighed and opened her eyes, allowing her tears flow down her cheeks. “Just save her.”
Olivia stood up from the bench and swiped away the tears before heading back toward to the hospital and her best friend in the world, hoping her prayer would make a difference.To be continued...