Rating: PG-13 to start, for violence (non-sexual) and language. I am not any kind of a medical expert so 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 croftlarat. Comments are welcome.
( Part 1 ) ( Parts 2 & 3 ) ( Part 4 ) ( Parts 5 & 6 ) ( Part 7 ) ( Part 8 ) ( Part 9 ) ( Part 10 ) ( Part 11 ) ( Part 12 )
Olivia got back to the ICU room and saw Frank in her spot by the bed holding Natalia’s hand. She considered letting him keep that particular prime real estate for about five seconds before she nudged her way passed him and he was forced to move to the other side of the bed.
The two of them stood over Natalia for a time, both lost in their own thoughts before Olivia remembered that she had an errand she wanted to ask Frank to go on.
“Frankie, at some point, it would probably be best if you went down to the prison to have a talk with Rafe. Buzz said they don’t appreciate your phone calls very much.”
“Yeah,” Frank agreed, “the poor kid must be out of his mind with worry. I’ll go down there shortly.” Frank was reluctant to leave the woman he wished could be so much more to him than a friend.
For the first time since the ordeal technically ended, Olivia spared a thought to Danny, the gunman she beat into unconsciousness. “Do you know what happened to Danny?” she asked.
“Ah yeah,” Frank admitted “he’s probably somewhere in this ICU actually. Rick pulled me aside earlier and told me that he’s got a cracked skull. He’s in a coma Olivia. It’s too early to tell if he’s going to make it or not.”
“Oh,” was Olivia’s only response because she didn’t know what to say to that or how she felt about it. Did she really want him to die? Let’s see, he scared the hell out of my kid and damn near killed my best friend, oh yeah and held a gun to my head…I think I’m okay with this.
Frank wasn’t sure what Olivia was thinking but he had a feeling that she needed some re-assurance about her and Natalia’s legal positions following their actions toward the gunmen. “You know, I can’t imagine that the D.A. would even consider pressing charges against either of you for what happened.” He just couldn’t bring himself to say, for Natalia killing Brian. He wasn’t afraid that there would be charges, he was only afraid of how Natalia would deal with the event. “It was self-defense. No question.”
“Thanks Frankie, I’m sure that’ll be a comfort to Natalia,” Olivia then asked with a serious expression, “but I was just wondering which room Danny’s in, so I could go finish the job.”
Frank stood there staring at the woman, believing that Olivia probably could finish the job if she felt threatened again and he made a mental note to make sure the police detail were doing their jobs outside of his room, while quietly admonishing himself for stupidly telling Olivia that Danny was even in this hospital.
Fortunately the tension of the room was broken by a grunt coming from the woman on the bed.
Both Olivia and Frank spun toward the bed to see Natalia, her eyes searching the room while trying to speak. Her lips were moving but nothing was coming out.
Olivia spoke first, “Natalia, honey, don’t try to talk, you’ve had a tube down your throat, just give it time.”
Frank added, “You’re in the hospital, but you’re going to be okay.”
Natalia’s eyes never left Olivia’s. Why am I in the hospital?
She finally turned her attention to Frank when he said, “I’ve spoken to Rafe a few times, I’m going to go and see him personally and tell him you’re awake.”
Natalia gave him a small smile of thanks. Frank added, “I’m glad you’re awake. You scared all of us.” He leaned down and kissed the injured woman on the head. “I’ll go now and give Rafe the good news but I promise that I’ll be back soon.”
Natalia nodded to Frank and watched him squeeze Olivia’s hand before he left the room before turning her attention back to her friend. Olivia I wish I could talk to you. Tell me what happened because I’m confused and I don’t know if the flashes of memory I’m having are real or not.
“I’m so glad you’re awake.” Olivia gently stroked Natalia’s hair. “I don’t want you to worry about anything.”
I heard you talking Olivia… while I was asleep. I know you’ve been here the whole time. Olivia looked so tired; she wanted to tell her to go home and sleep. Home, she couldn’t remember why but Olivia couldn’t go back to the farmhouse. What happened? I can’t think straight.
She looks confused. Olivia could also see Natalia’s eyes closing again and she worried about what her friend might be struggling with. She feared that she was going back to last night, back to the violence, the gun and Brian. But she also knew that she would be worried about her family first and foremost.
Olivia continued to stroke Natalia’s hair as she reassured the injured woman, “It’s okay, you can go back to sleep now. Emma is with Jane, Rafe has been updated all night and day, and you need to heal, so go back to sleep.” Natalia continued to watch her through lidded eyes. “Don’t worry, I’ll be right here.” She lifted Natalia’s hand to her lips for a kiss before she added, “You’re safe now.”
Safe now…Natalia couldn’t fight it any longer, her eyes closed and she fell asleep trusting that Olivia would be there keeping vigil until she woke again and could find out why this was happening and why she couldn’t get the image of a gun out of her head.
Olivia was overjoyed that Natalia had woken up, even if it was for only a brief few moments. I think this is a good sign. You’re going to be okay, I know you are. But now that relief had passed and Olivia suddenly felt utterly exhausted. Without letting go of Natalia’s hand she curled up in the chair and tried to get as comfortable as possible as she started to fade, sparing her last brief moment of wakefulness to send a prayer of thanks to God for keeping her friend alive and vowed that she would do as she had promised; carry Natalia through whatever fallout might come from this.
That uncomfortable feeling was what woke Natalia. There were a woman and a man standing over her sticking hot pokers in her chest. That had to be it, otherwise why was she hurting so badly.
I’m in the hospital, that’s what Frank said. I think I was shot.
Dr. Gunn noticed his patient was awake so he introduced himself, “Natalia, my name is Dr. Gunn.”
Are you kidding me? Natalia couldn’t help but think at his name.
Oblivious to Natalia’s musings, he continued. “We’re just checking the wound for infection. So far, things are looking good.”
Dr. Gunn had finished securing the bandage back over the wound when he looked up and saw Natalia’s lips moving, he could hear the wisps of her voice. “Don’t try to talk right yet, your throat is going to be really sore, you had a tube inserted to help you breathe. I don’t know what you remember from last night.”
I don’t remember very much. Please tell me what’s going on. Natalia pleaded, wishing she could actually speak.
Dr. Gunn watched his patient for signs of distress as he explained about the gunshot wound, the surgery, her heart stopping and having to go back into surgery when she continued to lose blood. She had looked confused at first but seemed to handle the news well though he expected she probably couldn’t understand the gravity of the situation at this point.
Natalia just took it all in; it was hard believing all of it because it didn’t seem real. I nearly died? Oh Olivia, you must have been so worried. I’m sorry if I scared you.
“I know it’s a lot to hear, I’m sure your friends will help you sort it out and fill in other blanks and, when you’re ready, we can have someone from the hospital come in and talk with you if you’d like or if you have a member of the clergy you’d feel more comfortable with, we can contact them for you. But physically, you’re doing much better. We’ll give it a little longer then move you out of the ICU and into a regular room.”
Natalia watched as he looked at the nurse and asked her to get some ice for her. “Just try some ice chips for now, that should help soothe your throat. I know that you’re probably in a lot of pain; you have a morphine pump if you need more meds. Just press the button and it will release a small dose. The nurse has left you some paper and a pen in case you have any questions or just so you can communicate while you let your throat heal.”
Natalia nodded. Dr. Gunn seemed like a nice man, he had a gentle way about him and Natalia appreciated that. She smiled as Dr. Gunn said his goodbyes and assured her he would be back to check on her later. He spared a glance to the woman still sleeping in the chair next to the bed as he left the room.
Natalia watched him leave and then looked at Olivia. She looked so peaceful and yet uncomfortable, she’s going to be stiff when she tries to unfold herself from that position.
Natalia couldn’t help but stare at the still sleeping woman. Olivia was in her pajama bottoms. Why is she in her pajama bottoms and why do they look like they have blood on them? Realization hit her. It would have been her blood. Oh Olivia. I can only imagine what you’ve gone through in the last few hours. As she watched, Olivia began to twitch as though she were caught in a dream. What’s wrong Olivia, are you dreaming or is that the chair bothering you? You were sleeping so well before…
As much as Natalia wanted to let Olivia sleep, she needed to know that the older woman was okay so she squeezed the hand that held hers several times until she saw Olivia jerk awake. Natalia winced when she heard a crack come from Olivia’s direction when she tried to move.
Where am I? Olivia sat up straight and panicked for a moment as she shook free the tendrils of the nightmare that tried to hold on, that was the same dream as before, wasn’t it? What the hell… “Owwww…that hurts,” the effects of sleeping in the chair made themselves known. Needing to get her bearings after the dream, Olivia started to stand to stretch out her muscles when she noticed brown eyes watching her intently. Suddenly feeling more centered, she gently squeezed the hand she hasn’t realized she was still holding and smiled, “Hey you, have you been awake long?”
The dark haired woman’s head shook slowly.
“You feeling okay?”
A tentative nod was her answer before, without thinking, Natalia leaned forward to reach for the paper and pen that the nurse left on the bedside table. She hadn’t realized how much such a little action was going to hurt.
Olivia saw Natalia hesitate and heard her grunt in pain with the movement so Olivia quickly stepped closer to the bed and helped ease Natalia back to lay flat.
“Just take it easy. Lay back down.” Oh shit.
Natalia’s eyes were squeezed shut in obvious pain; Olivia wished she could take it all away. She took Natalia’s right hand in hers and with her left stroked the younger woman’s hair. She noticed the morphine pump button laying on the bed next to the pained woman. “Do you need morphine?”
A strong nod was her answer this time and Olivia pressed the button before resuming stroking Natalia’s hair.
Hurry up and stop her pain! “It won’t take long for that to help. I’m right here.” She assured Natalia as she felt the hand she was holding squeeze back.
Though the hand in hers relaxed as the pain subsided, Olivia continued her ministrations until she saw Natalia’s eyes close, unable to fight against the relaxation she felt from the drug or from Olivia’s calming actions.
Once Natalia was asleep again, Olivia finally allowed herself to sit back down. She had no idea what time it was or how long she’d slept or how long Natalia had been awake while she’d slept. I’m supposed to be here for her not asleep, what if she needed me?
Olivia was lost in her own self-recriminating thoughts and didn’t notice the door open and Buzz walk in. She jumped when he put his hand on her shoulder.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.” He apologized.
“Oh, Buzz, no, I’m sorry I was just thinking.”
Nodding toward Natalia’s sleeping form he questioned, “How’s our girl doing?”
“Well she was awake for a few minutes. I think I missed most of it though because I’d fallen asleep,” Olivia was still angry with herself “but she was okay until she leaned forward. She’s just had a shot of morphine which knocked her out again. She can’t talk yet; her throat is still pretty raw.”
“And how are you doing?”
“I’m fine Buzz.”
He looked at the woman in front of him, in her stained pants, messy hair and a depth of exhaustion in her eyes that he hadn’t seen since she was gravely ill herself. “Really? Because you look like hell.”
“Gee thanks, Buzz but that’s not really relevant, is it?”
“Isn’t it? Why don’t you go to The Beacon or something and get freshened up? Have a shower, change, have something to eat maybe.”
Olivia interrupted in a no-nonsense tone, “I’m not going anywhere, she needs me here.”
“Yes. She does need you. She needs you to be healthy and she needs you to take care of yourself.”
Buzz held up a hand at the protest he knew was coming. He could play dirty when he needed to. “When did you check on Emma? Hours ago? And you didn’t even get to talk to her, did you?” Sorry, I know it’s cruel to guilt you but it’s for your own good
That’s not fair Buzz, making me decide between Natalia and my daughter.
He could see Olivia look to Natalia then back at him, she was close to giving in. He knew it was a cheap shot but she was going to make herself sick if she didn’t eat and rest and to him she looked like a reject from a horror movie. Besides, if she cleaned herself up maybe she would feel better and that would certainly help Natalia.
So he took his shot, “I went to see Emma at Jane’s a little while ago.”
“Oh? How is she?” Olivia inquired.
“She’s scared Olivia. She cried when she asked me where her mommy was.”
Olivia’s eyes closed to the tears that immediately filled them and threatened to escape. I should have been there for Emma but I need to be here too…damn it!
Buzz continued even though he could see that Olivia was hurt by the comment. “She also asked how Natalia was. I told her that she was doing okay but she sat in my lap hugging me and crying. Poor kid, she was upset.”
That did the trick. He knew that when Emma was born, Olivia became a mother first and everything else second. He watched the dam break and the tears stream down Olivia’s face as she closed her eyes, decision made. A sad whisper, “Oh my Jellybean,” was all Buzz heard.
Buzz put his hand on her shoulder, “I’ll stay with Natalia. Jeffrey is in the waiting room, he’s going to drive you to The Beacon so you can shower and get presentable before taking you to Jane’s. It’s almost dinnertime, have dinner with Emma, put her to bed, then you can come back when you’re ready. I promise, I will call if anything happens or if Natalia needs you.”
“I don’t have any clothes at The Beacon, I’ll have to go back to the” before she could say farmhouse Buzz interrupted, “After Frank went to see Rafe, he took Marina out to the farmhouse and she got some things together for you guys. I dropped off Emma’s things already but Jeffrey has some stuff for you and Natalia in his car.”
Olivia felt a lot like she was being manipulated but considering the love and consideration behind it she couldn’t be angry, though she didn’t want Buzz to know that, he’d think she was becoming a softy. “I guess I don’t have a choice do I?”
Alright, I admit I’d love to burn everything I’m wearing and have a scalding shower. Her head was killing her; she hadn’t realized it until Buzz mentioned dinner but she was starving and if he was talking dinner, it was a lot later than she had thought it was. She knew it was dirty playing the ‘Emma’ card like that but he was right, she needed to see her baby; Natalia would understand. Olivia shook her head; I wouldn’t be surprised if Natalia was reaching for that paper to tell me to get out of here for a while.
She let Buzz off the hook and thanked him for his kindness. “You’re a good friend Buzz. Thank you.”
Hoping to coax a smile from the woman he once loved he answered her compliment, “Yeah I know, I’m pretty amazing when I want to be.”
“Hehe, yeah you are.”
A smile and a chuckle… I’m on a roll Buzz thought, mentally patting himself on the back.
Olivia leaned down to Natalia and whispered, “I’m going to go away for awhile but I’ll be back soon. I have to see Emma. I need to make sure she’s okay.” She wanted to tell Natalia that she loved her but she hesitated, instead she kissed the sleeping woman’s forehead, let go of Natalia’s hand and started toward the door.
When she passed Buzz, she pulled him into a hug, stepping back she looked into the man’s eyes, “Thank you for being here. Please call me if she needs anything or when she wakes up again.”
He didn’t flinch; he held her eyes and promised sincerely to call if Natalia needed her. “I promise. Go, Jeffrey is waiting.”
And with that she spared one last glance to her best friend and quietly slipped from the room.
To be continued...