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 ) ( Parts 14 & 15 ) ( Part 16 ) ( Part 17 ) ( Part 18 ) ( Part 19 )
On her way back toward the ICU and feeling much relieved after her trip to the bathroom Olivia ran into Lillian whose shift was just going to start.
“Olivia. Good morning. How’s Natalia? I’m sorry I didn’t get in to see her yesterday, I was just coming off nights.”
“She’s doing okay. Still in some pain naturally but her nurse said she’ll be moving out of the ICU today. So that’s good news.” And if her bad dreams would stop, we could really celebrate.
“Yes it is. I’m glad. With any luck they’ll put her on my floor so I can check on her more often.”
Absently Olivia said, “Hopefully. I should get back to her now.”
With a smile Lillian answered, “Of course, tell her I’m thinking about her, I’ll try to get into see her in a little while.”
Olivia started to walk away then turned back “Lillian?” The older woman looked at her. “Thank you, for everything. Really.”
Seeing the worry on Olivia’s tired face Lillian took the two steps to fill in the space between them and put her hand on the younger woman’s arm. “You’re welcome. She’s going to be fine, ya know?”
Not trusting herself to speak, she swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded her thanks.
She looks exhausted and…“How’s your head?”
Thankful for the change in topic, Olivia answered honestly even though it was to a nurse. “It hurts. I’ve got one hell of a headache.”
“I can help you with that.” Lillian offered.
Olivia sighed, “You’re not going to make me have some kind of scan or hook me up to a monitor are you?”
“Haha, not unless you’re feeling faint again or if you’ve been having chest pains?”
“Naw, it’s not that kind of pain.” It’s so much worse.
“Let me get you some Tylenol.” As she went to go get the pain medication Lillian had a thought. “Olivia, you haven’t taken your heart medication have you?”
“It’s at the farmhouse.” I guess I’ll have to get another prescription of it filled.
“I’ll call Buzz in a little while and see if he can have Frank retrieve them. Where are they?”
Olivia considered objecting but decided against it, not because she was concerned that Lillian might get upset with her if she skipping her meds but when Natalia asked, and she would… likely soon… there was going to be hell to pay for neglecting her pills.
“Cabinet by the fridge.”
Olivia sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting room while Lillian went to get the Tylenol. Lost in thought she didn’t even see Lillian return until she had slipped into the seat next to her and held out a bottle of water along with a little cup with two white pills.
She took them with a ‘thanks’. Lillian watched and Olivia opened the water bottle, put the pills in her mouth and took a drink to swallow them.
Olivia smiled and looked at the older woman. “Always my nurse, eh? Making sure I’m taking my meds.”
She received a chuckle in reply. “Old habits… And with Natalia a little off her game right now, somebody has to make sure you take care of yourself.”
“You think a little gunshot is enough to keep Natalia from worrying about me? Ah Lillian it’d take a lot more than that to stop her.” Thank God.
“Well I’m glad for that.” Lillian patted Olivia’s knee then used it as leverage to push herself into a standing position. She held out her hand to help the exhausted woman up. “If you need anything or Natalia needs anything, have me paged.”
Olivia watched Lillian walk away and she started her own journey back to the little room in the back of the ICU where her friend was waiting for her.
After Olivia had left for the bathroom, Natalia turned her head to look out the window and into the rising orange light of day.
She was fairly certain now of what was real and what wasn’t, the truth of the events of the other night were scary enough on their own without her mind distorting them into terrifying nightmares. The only details she wasn’t clear on were the things that happened after she shot Brian. As much as she wanted to ask Olivia about them she wasn’t sure that her friend was ready to tell her.
Long moments passed and Natalia was beginning to get concerned. She’s gone to the bathroom, I know it’s Olivia but even she’s unlikely to get into trouble there. I really need to figure out how to get her to go to The Beacon and sleep. Maybe she’ll go when Father Ray visits today. I want to find out how Rafe was when this happened and maybe Father Ray can help me call him, I really need to talk to him to tell him I’m okay.
Natalia was lost in thought and didn’t notice Olivia standing in the doorway watching her. A noise outside of the room brought her attention toward the door. “How long have you been standing there?”
“I wasn’t sure if you’d fallen asleep or not, I didn’t want to disturb you.” Truth is I just enjoy watching you.
“You never disturb me. What took you so long?”
Her answer came in the form of two raised eyebrows.
Natalia’s cheeks turned a light shade of pink, “Ahh, sorry I asked.”
Olivia chuckled and let her friend off the hook, “I ran into Lillian. She told me to tell you she’s thinking of you and will try to get in to see you today.”
“Oh that’s nice of her.”
Olivia moved toward ‘torture chair’ and thoughtfully responded. “Yeah, she’s been really fantastic actually.”
An uncomfortable silence fell as Olivia lowered herself into the chair, neither woman really knew where to go next, both wanted to talk about what happened and yet both were afraid but for different reasons.
Fortunately before either has to say anything, Dr. Gunn and nurse Suzie entered the room.
He walked up to the bed and looked down at Natalia. “How are we today?”
“Pretty good, still hurts when I move, but otherwise a lot better.”
Nodding, Dr. Gunn replied, “That’s great, well I’m just going to check you over here, then I think we’ve got a bed outside of the ICU waiting for you. So we’ll get you moved shortly okay?”
Olivia was glad to be sitting this time around as she watched Dr. Gunn pull the sheet and Natalia’s gown down to inspect the incision. She felt a little queasy at the sight of the angry looking mark, so she chose to watch Natalia’s face while she responded to the doctor’s questions. Olivia could tell every time something he did hurt her friend and for the millionth time since this started, she wished she could just make everything better. God, I hate that you’re hurting. I’d switch places with you in a second if I could. Olivia thought back to that night. Why haven’t you asked me anything about what happened? I can’t believe that you remember everything? Maybe you don’t want to remember. How could you want to remember, you killed someone… That’s going to tear up your soul. Tears came to Olivia’s eyes and she dipped her head to try and hide them. Are you going to hate me for not protecting you? Maybe you should, I hate myself for it.
Olivia was drawn out of her thoughts by Natalia’s voice. The doctor and nurse had left without her noticing and she had missed them telling Natalia that the orderlies would be in shortly to move her.
“Olivia, where did you go just now?”
Standing, Olivia went to the bed and took Natalia’s hand. She watched their intertwined hands for a moment before she could no longer fight the urge to lean down to kiss the appendage that she held so delicately in her own.
Natalia could feel full lips on the back of her hand, she closed her eyes to it and allowed the sensation of warmth to spread through her whole body.
Reluctantly Olivia tenderly placed Natalia’s hand back onto the bed. “Please don’t hate me.” The words were spoken so quietly that Natalia wasn’t sure that she had heard them.
“Hate you? I could never hate you.” Why would I hate you Olivia, you’ve been nothing short of wonderful.
Olivia broke the physical contact and moved toward the window, with her back to Natalia. “I should have protected you. You and Emma.”
Natalia closed her eyes, not again Olivia. Please. “Olivia you did protect us. Please don’t do this. Both Emma and I are alright.”
Quickly turning toward the bed Olivia snapped. “It wasn’t enough, Natalia, look at…” Olivia stopped herself from going further, she didn’t want to have to face Natalia’s injuries much less point them out to the younger woman.
Natalia had had enough, she couldn’t keep going around the same circle of doubt that Olivia held that she was responsible. “No. You want to believe that you control everything in your world, that what you do affects how things turn out, regardless of the other players in the game.”
Olivia narrowed her eyes, she wasn’t sure if she should take offence to that but considering that she knew it to be true, she just let Natalia say what she needed to say.
“Things happened the other night, not because you didn’t stop them, but simply because they did. We can’t change that, we just have to deal with it. Beating yourself up, that won’t fix it.”
“Natalia, how can you be so calm about this? You say that you’re remembering more and more but what exactly do you remember about how this ended? Do you know what happened before you got shot?” Olivia could only believe that Natalia didn’t remember shooting Brian or she wouldn’t be so calm about all of this. She hated asking so bluntly but she couldn’t understand why Natalia wasn’t upset.
Without emotion Natalia simply replied. “Yes Olivia. I know what I did.”
The lack of concern in Natalia’s voice frightened Olivia. “Those must be some good drugs because I can’t really believe what I’m hearing. You act like it’s no big deal. Natalia you shot a man! You killed him! And yet, I don’t see you upset, you’re not praying for forgiveness, is that why you’ve asked to see Father Ray because you’re not beating yourself up about it in the least?”
“Is that what you want, for me to be tormented? Like you are?”
“No! God!” This wasn’t what Olivia wanted, why was she pushing Natalia to hurt, she just couldn’t figure out where this apathy was coming from, this was Natalia after all, she would want absolution for killing a spider. “I just don’t understand. Maybe it’s good that you’re not torn up about it, I don’t know, maybe you’re in denial.”
“I don’t want them to hurt us anymore Olivia. I don’t want to give them that power. You want to call it denial, fine. But I refuse to cry for them. I’ll forgive them in time, I’ll pray for them but I’m not going to let them make me feel like I did something wrong,” Natalia hesitated, “and I sure as heck won’t let you make me feel that way either.”
Olivia took a few breaths to collect her thoughts and reign in her frustration and fear. I think I’m more worried that she’s not upset than if she were. God, she must be in deep denial over this. After making a mental note to ask Dr. Gunn or Dr. Rick about some counseling for Natalia, Olivia gave in. She merely nodded and said, “Okay.”
Natalia’s eyes narrowed, “Okay? That’s it?” Natalia was surprised that Olivia had given up so easily but in many ways she was grateful, arguing had taken a physical toll on her and she was exhausted.
“Yep, you know I’m here if and when you want to talk about it and we still do have a lot to talk about but I’m not going to push you.”
“Umm… thank you?” Natalia lay still, confused. Where was Olivia’s fight?
Before she could think anything more about it two orderlies came in pushing a gurney with Suzie in tow who happily announced, “Time to move you to your new room Ms. Rivera!”
To be continued...