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 croftlara. 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 ) ( Part 13 )
Olivia hated leaving Natalia. Even though Buzz was right, she really did need to spend some time with Emma and get cleaned up.
Olivia entered the waiting room to find Jeffrey as expected. Everyone else had gone home.
“You ready to go?” Jeffrey asked as she approached.
“Yeah,” Olivia turned her head back toward the ICU. “Let’s go.”
Jeffrey stood up and held out his arm for Olivia who smiled slightly at the gallant action. She allowed Jeffrey to lead her out of the building and to his car where he even opened the door for her. She thought it was sweet of him to take care of her but she acknowledged that he had not always been so sweet. The first time they met was, well she couldn’t take on that memory after what had happened today but she appreciated that they had worked through it and had become friends. He had even agreed to marry her when she was dying so she didn’t have to be alone. Looking at him, starting the car, she saw Jeffrey for who he was now not that boy from her past. Jeffrey had become a good man.
As they silently drove toward The Beacon, where Olivia intended to have a quick shower and change her clothes before going to Emma, she realized just how exhausted she was. She knew it had little to do with sleep deprivation and more to do with emotional exhaustion. So much had happened within the last twenty hours, it was too much to try to sort through and understand right now so she mentally filed it away to deal with later.
Scars could heal but they would always leave a mark as a reminder, sometimes taunting a stupid mistake, sometimes a powerful symbol of a survived trial. Sometimes the scar offended because every time you looked at it, it left you feeling weak and powerless. Olivia feared the scar left on her soul after today would be all of those, an offensive reminder of a mistake that they survived.
Olivia tilted her head back against the headrest and closed her eyes. She reached up and pinched the bridge of her nose while she whispered, “Why didn’t I lock that damn door?”
Jeffrey looked over at Olivia, he wasn’t sure she had spoken, she hadn’t said a word since the hospital. Though ‘speechless’ Olivia wasn’t something he was used to, he understood that she probably had no desire to keep up a pretense of small talk or get into the weightier issue at hand, which is why he had just left Olivia alone with her silence.
“I’m sorry Olivia, did you say something?”
She glanced over to Jeffrey, “Not really. Just wishing I could go back to before this happened and prevent it, I guess.”
Jeffrey sincerely wondered, “How do you figure you could have done that?”
Staring up at the roof of the car Olivia admitted, “Oh I don’t know, lock the front door?”
Jeffrey abruptly pulled the car to the side of the road.
Suddenly sitting up straight Olivia asked, “What the hell are you doing?”
Jeffrey took Olivia’s hand. “Look at me.”
Olivia reluctantly held his gaze. “Do you really think by simply locking the door that would have prevented them from coming in?” You know better than that Olivia.
Olivia opened her mouth to speak, but Jeffrey continued, “Those men were desperate. They weren’t just two robbers needing a place to hide out. We’re talking about a man looking for help for his kid brother who had been shot. If he wanted into the farmhouse, he was going to get in.”
Tears stung Olivia’s eyes but she refused to let them fall, no matter what Jeffrey said, she knew she could have done more.
“Don’t you beat yourself up about this Olivia; this is not your fault. You couldn’t have stopped this from happening.”
Olivia’s hope filled eyes continued to hold Jeffrey’s. She wanted so much to believe him but she couldn’t. Natalia’s words sounded in her head, “Things happen for a reason.” Yeah well, Natalia may believe in that fairytale bullshit but I refuse to believe this was supposed to happen, that there was nothing that could have prevented it.
Jeffrey could see that she wasn’t ready to let herself off the hook just yet. He would just have to keep reminding her of that until she accepted it.
The moment was broken by the sound of a phone ringing. Olivia took back her hand and reached into her purse, her heart was pounding at the thought that this could be Buzz.
Her shaky voice answered, “Hello?”
“Olivia? Where the hell are you? Is Emma okay?”
Olivia sighed, “Phillip.” I don’t need this right now.
“Yeah it’s me, what’s this about a home invasion? Where’s Emma?”
“Phillip calm down.”
Phillip interrupted, “Just tell me if she’s okay.”
“Emma is fine.”
“Why didn’t you call me? I had to find out on the news. I’m her father Olivia, I should have been given the courtesy of a phone call!”
Olivia didn’t feel like fighting, she was just too weary. “You know what? You’re right, I’m sorry, I just had so much going on that you weren’t exactly my first thought.”
Phillip was momentarily stunned by her admission but still needed to know what had happened to his daughter, “So what exactly happened?”
Seeing that Olivia seemed to have the phone call from Phillip under control, Jeffrey continued his progress toward the hotel, while she gave Emma’s father a brief rundown of the better part of the last day.
As they were pulling into the hotel parking lot, Olivia was just telling Phillip that Emma was at Jane’s and she was just going to clean up, then go see her and take her some dinner.
“I’ll come and get you at The Beacon and we’ll go together,” Phillip suggested.
Feeling frustration now, Olivia responded, “Phillip, I don’t want to overwhelm Emma, I just want a quiet dinner with my daughter and to make sure she’s okay.”
“I get that, Olivia, I do but please, please I need to make sure she’s okay too.”
Phillip’s pleading surprised Olivia. While she didn’t really want Phillip anywhere near Emma, she couldn’t deny that he had been on his best behaviour lately. She’d even allowed him supervised visits with Emma on several occasions. There was always the fear in the back of her mind that he might try to take Emma again but hearing him now she believed that he was truly concerned for Emma’s well-being. Emma was his child too and naturally it scared him to know what she had been through and clearly he needed to see that she was okay, so reluctantly Olivia agreed to let him come with her to see her.
“Ok Phillip, why don’t you go by Company and grab some burgers or something and then come and get me and we’ll go together. See you in a half an hour?”
“Thank you Olivia, you don’t know how much this means to me.”
“Yes I do. Knowing your child is in danger, all you want in the world is to protect them, keep them safe and to hold them in your arms and never let them go.”
With that she ended the call and allowed Jeffrey to open her car door and take her hand to help her out of the vehicle. He wordlessly placed her hand on his arm and walked her into The Beacon.
Phillip sat in the study of his father’s grand house. He’d heard the tell tale click on the other end of the line indicating that the call had ended but he sat there unmoving.
From the second he saw the report on the news he had been panicked and worried about Emma and now for the first time since he kidnapped his daughter all those years ago, he finally got it. He truly understood why Olivia still hated him so much.
Jeffrey had walked Olivia to her room and made sure she was comfortable before he gave her a hug and kissed her cheek, then left knowing that Phillip would take her to Emma.
Olivia went into automatic mode, she refused to allow her mind to wander from its focus of simply, shower, dress, go to Emma.
She hadn’t realized how much she needed to clean off last night’s filth so after an impossibly hot shower, she left the steamy bathroom and opened the bag of clothes left on the bed that Marina had gathered for her. Pulling out the first things in the bag, she soon found herself dressed in jeans, running shoes and a white t-shirt. Thankful to also find a make-up bag in the things Marina packed, she went through the motions of applying a touch of make up for Emma’s benefit; she didn’t want Emma to see how tired she really looked. I need to try and hide the bump and growing bruise on my head too, no need to have her noticing it and asking questions. Olivia finished getting ready by brushing her teeth, drying and pulling back her hair. She looked at herself in the mirror for a long minute. No, that’s not going to work. She let her hair back down and brushed it a bit. Gotta hide the bruise better than that. After fixing her hair over the swelling discoloration on the side of her head that the make-up didn’t quite cover, she thought she almost looked normal again. As she felt the tears come again she was interrupted by a knock at the door. She knew it would be Phillip and now that she was cleaned up she was feeling more herself and she wished she had just told him to go to hell but she hadn’t, so here he was ready to go see Emma.
Olivia crossed the room to the door and pausing with her hand on the handle, she looked through the peephole to verify it was whom she expected on the other side of the door. As she opened the door she mentally shook her head, when was the last time I bothered to look through a peephole?
She opened the door to Phillip, “Come on in, I’ll just grab my purse, then we can go.”
Phillip was still reeling from his realization after their phone call and he couldn’t help but apologize, “Olivia?”
She turned to look at him. He looked sad.
“I’m so sorry. I have changed and I thought that I got it, that I understood the consequences of all of those terrible things that I’d done in the past.”
Olivia backed up a step and held up a hand to forestall what was coming, “Phillip I can’t. Not right now, I can’t do this.”
“I need to say this Olivia. I know why you hate me because I hate those men who took you hostage last night, I hate them and I want to hurt them for putting Emma in danger. I get it, and I promise you that I will never worry you like that again. I need you to believe me, I would never want to cause you that pain again.”
Olivia was shaking with rage. “Don’t you dare talk to me like you have any idea what I went though when you…” Olivia hesitated and took a calming breath, “Phillip I need to see my baby right now, I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with this. Can we just go please, please?” The pounding in her head had increased the moment Phillip had started to speak. She touched her fingers to the bump on her head and willed the pain to end.
Phillip watched her touch her head, “Are you okay?” Phillip said. “I can’t imagine what you’ve been through.” Hesitantly he offered, “Do you want to talk about anything?”
Olivia sighed as she thought sarcastically, yeah Phillip, you’d be the first person I’d talk to, "No, I'm fine, I just want to go."
Phillip only nodded and started for the door. She doesn’t look very good but I suppose it’s understandable. I just hope she can take care of Emma properly through this. I need to make sure she doesn’t shut me out so I can be there for Emma too. He wished she could see that he really had changed but he understood that it would take time. He could wait as long as he had to if it meant that he could build a relationship with his daughter in the end and Olivia was the key to that.
After a quiet drive from the hotel the pair arrived at Jane’s apartment fifteen minutes later. With Buzz burgers and fries in hand they waited for Jane to open the door.
Jane opened the door, “Ms. Spencer. Come in.” Then she noticed who was standing beside her, Jane looked to Olivia for approval, “Oh Mr. Spaulding, umm, come in.”
“Thank you Jane.”
Behind Jane, they could hear the pounding of feet on the hardwood floor, “Mommy! Daddy!”
“Jellybean.” Olivia enfolded Emma in her arms and, not trusting herself to speak, just buried her face in Emma’s hair and held on until she had composed herself. My baby, God how I needed to hold you.
Olivia let go and before she could ask if Emma was okay, she had run to Phillip who was now holding Emma much as she had.
Olivia allowed herself a moment to admit that she couldn’t help but feel envious. She was there with Emma. It was Olivia who had raised Emma primarily on her own, fed, bathed, dressed, kissed skinned knees, comforted through nightmares… Everything a parent should do and yet, Emma always saw Phillip as an equal to her. He had never been there for any of it and yet Emma loved her daddy just as much as she loved her mommy. Olivia was always amazed at how Emma could love so unconditionally. For a moment she thought, maybe it’s not Phillip I should be envious of but Emma.
“Ms. Spencer?” Jane interrupted Olivia’s thoughts, “When Mr. Cooper dropped off Emma’s things he said that you’d probably want to have dinner with Emma then stay until she went to bed.”
“He did, did he?” Olivia questioned. Well he was right…
Jane offered, “So I thought that I’d leave you guys here to be alone for a while and I’ll just come back at her bedtime and then you can go back to the hospital.”
Olivia was thankful for the kind offer, “Jane I don’t want to kick you out of your apartment, plus we have lots of Buzz Burgers.”
“You and Emma need some time together; I’ll just go out for a couple of hours and give you some space.”
Olivia looked at her employee and said, “Thank you.”
Jane went to grab her purse and then Olivia and Phillip watched as she gave Emma a hug and told her she would be back in a little while.
Jane looked back at Olivia, “Ms. Spencer, I have my phone if you need me to come back sooner. I won’t be far I’m just going to a friend’s place, she lives in the building.”
She got as far as the front door when she heard Olivia say, “Jane? I’d prefer it if you’d call me Olivia.”
Jane turned and smiled, “Thank you Olivia. I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”
Jane continued through the door and closed it, leaving the three of them standing in her living room with a bag full of cooling Buzz Burgers.
Olivia, Emma and Phillip sat at the little dining room table in Jane’s apartment and enjoyed their burgers and fries while chatting about school, her friends and ducks.
Finally, Emma asked, “How’s Natalia?”
Olivia hadn’t mentioned Natalia because she didn’t want to push Emma into talking about what had happened if she wasn’t ready to.
Olivia faced Emma and said “Natalia is doing okay. She’s very tired and sore, so she’s on a lot of medicine which makes her sleep a lot.”
Emma seemed to be ok with the explanation.
Olivia could have predicted what was coming next; Emma asked hopefully, “Can I see her?”
“Not right now baby. She just needs quiet and to sleep.”
Emma put her burger down and placed her hands in her lap and tipped her head forward.
Both Olivia and Phillips noticed the action by their normally cheery child.
Phillip put his hand on the child’s arm and asked, “What is it Emma?”
They heard a sniffle come from the girl.
Olivia moved to squat down beside her daughter and put her hand on Emma’s knee while she waited for Emma to speak.
Emma didn’t raise her head to look at either parent, between sniffles she said, “But how do I know she’s okay?”
She raised her sleeve to wipe her nose. Neither parent commented.
“I saw Natalia…” She sniffled again and started to shake before raising her eyes to her mommy, “there was so much blood. How do I know she’s okay if I can’t see her to make sure?”
“Oh baby.” Olivia took Emma into her arms and tried to explain further while Phillip rubbed his daughters back as she cried.
“I promise you, I will take you to see her as soon as she’s settled in a room and awake.”
Emma pulled back and looked at Olivia with watery eyes and a runny nose.
Olivia added, “She’s gonna want to see you too Emma.”
“Really?” came the quiet reply.
“Of course, she loves you.”
Emma’s quiet voice admitted, “I love her too. I don’t want her to die.”
Olivia just about came undone but instead, for Emma’s sake, she bit her lip so hard she thought she would break the skin and refused to let the tears, which were always so close to the surface, come. This was Emma’s turn to cry. She pulled Emma tightly to her as the child sobbed and she told her firmly, “Natalia is not going to die, she’s going to be fine. She’s just hurt right now.” I hate that you’re sad and scared Em, if I could wish it all away I would.
Phillip could barely stand watching his daughter hurt so much. Through his tears he could see the love that both Emma and Olivia had for Natalia. Natalia must be a very special person. God I hope she’s going to be okay, I don’t think either Emma or Olivia could handle if it she weren’t.
After a few minutes the crying slowed. Olivia pulled back and looked at Emma. “Do you want to eat any more?”
A shake of Emma’s head was her reply.
Phillip walked to the kitchen and came back with some tissues. He handed one to Olivia and held the other to Emma’s nose and requested the inevitable, “blow”.
Phillip offered, “Why don’t I clean this up,” as he gestured to the remains of their dinner, “while you two go into the living room and relax for a bit?”
Olivia looked at Phillip and nodded her thanks before getting up and taking Emma’s hand to lead her to the couch. Sitting down with Emma next to her Olivia asked, “Do you want to talk some more about what happened?”
Emma shook her head. She didn’t want to cry any more.
“Okay, how about we see if Marina packed you any of your books?” Olivia was going to offer to see if Jane had any kid’s movies but she couldn’t handle another movie night right now.
Emma nodded at the idea of a book. “I saw my ‘Harriet the Spy’, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Anne of Green Gables’ books in the bag.”
“Why don’t we get you ready for bed, then both daddy and I can read to you while you fall asleep, how does that sound?”
Emma smiled at the idea of having both mommy and daddy read to her and asked hopefully, “Okay, can we read ‘Anne of Green Gables’?”
Olivia couldn’t help but smile in response. She was always so amazed at how quickly Emma could recover. She was also thankful for her choice of story; she didn’t want anything to do with spies or dangerous situations right now.
Olivia took Emma’s hand and they walked to Jane’s spare room to get her ready for bed.
To be continued...
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