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 ) ( Part 10 )
She arrived back into the waiting room to the familiar faces, apparently still waiting for word.
“Does anybody want coffee?” Buzz broke the silence and asked.
Olivia shook her head no, while the other three looked like they had just been offered the last lifejacket on a sinking ship. Buzz took that as a yes and went to find whatever passed as hospital coffee for the group.
Jeffrey spoke while moving toward Olivia, “Why don’t you come sit down Olivia?”
“No, I’m fine. I just need to keep moving.” Olivia absently lifted her hand to the bump on her head. God this hurts, where did I leave that icepack?
“You’re exhausted, you should sit down.”
“I’m FINE!” came the short reply. “I’m sorry Jeffrey,” Olivia pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed, “I don’t have any patience left, I didn’t mean to snap at you.”
“I get it; I just want you to take care of yourself.”
Absently, Olivia replied, “I know. Thank you.”
Olivia continued her pacing while Reva, Jeffrey and Frank watched her. They let her be and talked quietly amongst themselves. Buzz returned with the coffee. Despite how disgusting it smelled, she craved the caffeine, so she took the offered cup with a thank you. Tasting it, her original expectations were proved; it was disgusting, nothing like the coffee that gets handed to her in her special mug every morning. She corrected, that Natalia handed to her every morning. She bowed her head and took the cup to the garbage and threw it out. She wasn’t ready to give up on that ritual just yet.
She walked back to the chairs and took the furthest away from everyone and dropped in it, bringing her knees up, she hugged them while resting her chin on her arms.
‘Olivia found herself back at the farmhouse. She was sitting on the bench on the porch outside waiting. But she didn’t know for what. She just kept watching down the driveway to the road, waiting. To her right she saw her family playing catch with a football on the lawn. Emma squealed as Rafe tickled her when she caught the ball, causing it to drop to the ground. Ava ran over and picked it up and threw it to Natalia who fumbled at first but caught it. Olivia watched them as they laughed and teased. She saw Natalia turn to her and wave her over but Olivia was rooted to the bench. She could see the wrinkle appear in Natalia’s forehead that indicated that she couldn’t understand why Olivia wasn’t coming to play. Olivia struggled and struggled, but she could not get up, she could not speak.’
Reva noticed that Olivia appeared to have fallen asleep. She seemed to be shivering lightly.
“She’s exhausted.” Reva stood and walked over to the sleeping woman to lay her coat over her shoulders, “You poor thing.” Reva maternally stroked Olivia’s hair gently before bending down and kissing the top of her head. As she walked back to the group, all eyes were on her, “What?” she questioned as she resumed her seat next to Jeffrey. “I’m not heartless ya know.” She picked up her coffee and took another sip.
“Buzz, I think Olivia had the right idea, this stuff is horrible.”
“Yeah I know, I’ll have someone from Company deliver some when it opens.” Buzz offered.
Jeffrey who had been watching Olivia intently turned to the others, “I’m worried about her…almost as worried as I am about Natalia. Knowing Olivia, she’ll push herself more than she should and then she’ll crash.”
“Maybe so,” Buzz agreed, “but then she’ll pick herself back up and continue on. One thing I know about Olivia, she’s a fighter.”
The other three all nodded in unison. They had all had firsthand knowledge of her fighter spirit.
Jeffrey spared a worried glance back to the sleeping woman curled up in a chair across from them as Frank added, “Natalia’s a fighter too. I just hope she’s strong enough. I can’t imagine losing her. She’s really a terrific girl. I’m lucky that she considers me a friend.”
Buzz looked at his son, knowing full well that he was holding back how he really felt about the brown-eyed woman fighting for her life in the OR. How Frank had long since hoped that one day Natalia would see him the same way he saw her. He reached over and put his hand on Franks arm as Frank lowered his eyes, knowing his feelings for Natalia were obvious to everyone in the room.
The foursome looked up to see Josh enter the waiting room with two trays of coffee.
Josh then noticed the woman curled up in the chair with a coat resting over her back and he shook his head. She looked so uncomfortable with her body curled up and tilted to the side with only the arm of the chair holding her up. He wanted to go to her and take her into his arms and make it all go away but he was afraid of waking her.
“I’m sorry, I just got the message. How’s Natalia?” Looking back to Olivia, he asked, “How’s Olivia?”
He handed over the coffee trays to Buzz, walked over to Olivia and kissed her lightly on the head before heading back to the small group of friends.
Frank filled Josh in on everything that had happened overnight.
‘Olivia could feel a pressure on her, almost holding her down. She still struggled to move from the bench, Natalia still waiting for her. The moment she’d taken her eyes from the driveway and the road, she’d missed the dark car turn and pull into the driveway. She heard too late the doors open and then two men exit the car. She could see that Natalia, Emma, Rafe and Ava didn’t notice the car or the men. Finding her voice, she screamed herself hoarse as she struggled and watched as the men approached her family.’
“Nooo”, Olivia woke with a start, panicked and confused as to where she was and what was happening. Josh was at her side in a heartbeat, pulling her into his arms and telling her it was just a dream.
She didn’t question where he had come from or when he got there, she just held onto the body she recognized so well, shaking and crying until the memory of the nightmare dimmed.
Josh rocked her while their friends suddenly found other things in the room more interesting to look at. Josh whispered nonsense to try and calm her until she pulled back wiping the tears from her face.
“When did you get here?” she finally asked.
“Just a few minutes ago, Frank just filled me in. I’m sorry Olivia; you’ve had a terrifying experience. I want you to know that I’m here for you and Natalia, okay? Anything you need, I’m here.”
“Thank you.” Was all Olivia could say to this man whom she once loved.
She turned to the group, “I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I didn’t miss the doctor or anything did I?”
Reva answered, “I think you needed it. You didn’t miss anything. Why don’t we go freshen up, eh?”
With that the older woman moved to Olivia and held out her arm for Olivia to grasp before she led them to the ladies room so Olivia could wash her tear streaked face.
Olivia and Reva had been back from the ladies room for some time. Olivia had wrapped herself back up in Reva’s coat for warmth and she looked over her friends. Not just friends. Let’s see, four ex lovers, two of them husbands, and Reva. She was just too tired to think about her relationship with Reva. Secretly, she wished they could be closer but she could never admit that to anyone, instead she would just continue to push the older woman’s buttons every chance she got; after all it was her way of showing affection.
Olivia didn’t know how long she had been sitting there watching her friends talk amongst themselves, when Dr. Gunn appeared in front of her. She jumped up, heart pounding in her chest and waited for him to speak.
“Ok, we think we’ve got the bleeding stopped. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think she’d make it, but somehow, well I don’t know, she’s a fighter. She’s still critical, but I’m cautiously optimistic. They’re getting her settled in her room in the ICU again. I’ll have Lillian bring you back to her.”
Olivia stood silently, while Buzz spoke, “Thank you doctor. For everything.”
She felt like there was some unseen tether between them as Lillian was practically dragged by Olivia through the ICU to Natalia’s room. Without hesitation Olivia entered to find her friend looking paler than before but otherwise about the same as she had found her the first time she had come to this room.
Olivia watched as Lillian stepped to the bed and kissed Natalia on the forehead and whispered something in her ear. She stepped back and took Olivia’s hands before she walked out of the room saying, “I’ll check on you both later.”
And with that Olivia watched Lillian’s retreating back for a moment before she was again alone with Natalia.
She walked to the bed and resumed her seat in the chair next to it. She took Natalia’s hand and began to speak.
She went back to talking about anything and everything that came to mind. Telling Natalia how afraid she’s been tonight but how she knows that soon enough she’ll wake up and they’ll go back home and watch movies and feed ducks with Emma, and Rafe will be home soon and all will be right with the world. Though she said it with more optimism than she really felt she needed to believe that it was true.
As the day wore on she stroked Natalia’s hand and rambled while the world around her continued, nurses came in and out, Dr. Gunn checked on her and Olivia just kept talking hoping her voice could get through to the unconscious woman.
‘Through the fog a voice could be heard. Natalia became aware of the voice, still sounding so far away, ‘ducks, Rafe, taxes,’ some of it made sense. The voice came louder now, ‘Olivia’, in her mind she sighed. She felt a touch on her right hand and knew that was Olivia at her bedside, she could faintly hear Olivia’s voice continuing now, going on about investments in a time of economic turmoil. If she could have laughed out loud she would have but oblivion was calling again, tugging her down into its darkness. She didn’t want to go, so she held onto to the voice and let it keep her in place. She felt Olivia’s hand squeeze hers when she mentioned Emma’s name, she could hear the tears through her voice now. ‘Thank you for saving us… Natalia, I need you in my life, you just have to be okay.” Natalia wanted so much to be able to tell her that she didn’t intend to go anywhere. Try as she might, her eyes just wouldn’t open, and her lips wouldn’t move. She wanted to comfort her friend and let her know that she was here with her and would always be.’
Olivia knew she was just talking nonsense to Natalia. She just hoped that she would hear her voice and know she was there.
Shaking her head, she pleaded to Natalia, “Thank you for saving us… Natalia, I need you in my life, you just have to be okay.”
It barely registered but it was there. Natalia squeezed her hand. Olivia was up off of the chair in a heartbeat, still clutching Natalia’s hand she reassured, “I’m here Natalia! I felt it. I know you’re in there. It’s going to be okay.”
As she was talking to Natalia she used her free hand to press the call button for a nurse. She kept speaking to the seemingly unconscious woman when the matronly nurse entered the room.
“She squeezed my hand!” Olivia told her with so much excitement that she could barely contain herself.
The nurse looked at her and tried to explain that Natalia was well under, that it was just a reflex.
“No! She responded to me, it wasn’t some twitch or reflex, she squeezed my hand”, Olivia explained, “Look I’ll try to see if she’ll do it again.” She leaned down to Natalia, “Come on honey and squeeze my hand again so that this nurse will actually believe me.” Another squeeze. “See? She did it again, she’s in there.”
The nurse relented and said she would page Dr. Gunn as she left for the nurse’s station.
“You’re doing so well Natalia. They’ll have you awake here in no time.”To be continued...