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 ) ( Part 20 )
Before they knew it Natalia was settled in her new private room in another wing of the hospital.
“Okay Ms. Rivera, this is where I say goodbye.” Suzie said with a fake pout. “You take care of yourself and your new nurse will be in shortly.”
Natalia genuinely smiled through her discomfort, “Thank you for everything.”
On her way out the door a smiling Suzie looked back at both Natalia and Olivia, “You’re very welcome, you just get better okay?”
When she was through it the door closed and Natalia let out a sigh of relief to be settled again. Moving from bed to gurney then back again pulled her chest something terrible and she had needed a shot of morphine to get through it. Well morphine and Olivia’s strong hand holding hers after each move, reassuring her that the pain would go away. Which is where Olivia stood now, next to the bed, concern etched on her face.
“Are you alright?”
Natalia was trying to calm her breathing after the exertion and pain. “Phew, that was unpleasant to say the least.”
Olivia looked at the creases in Natalia’s forehead, the pain still showing there. “Can I get you anything? What can I do?”
A shake of Natalia’s head was her only answer.
Taking another approach Olivia started, “Do you think she enjoys causing that much pain?”
“What?! Who?” Natalia was shocked at the question.
“Suzie,” at Natalia’s incredulous look Olivia continued, “No hear me out, I mean, did you see that smile on her face? And every time she’d come in to check on you or do something that caused the slightest hint of pain, I’d swear her smile got bigger. The pain to smile ratio, the bigger the pain, the bigger the smile.”
Natalia couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of Olivia’s reasoning. “You’re crazy, you know that right?” Even though it hurt, she appreciated Olivia making her laugh.
“Maybe just a little.”
In unison both women nodded their heads and laughed, “Okay a lot.”
When their chuckles died down, Natalia looked seriously at Olivia. Sensing something heavy coming Olivia let go of Natalia’s hand and moved to the chair in the room. “Let me just check something out here.”
Natalia quietly watched with a smile as Olivia sat down and moved into several different positions to see how it would work.
“Oh this is a much better chair than in the other room. This one should work just fine.”
Just as Olivia was untangling herself from one of her many test positions, the door to the room opened and Lillian walked in carrying a tray of food.
Olivia smiled, slightly embarrassed at the position she had just been caught with her legs over the arm of the chair, and stood up without saying anything.
Natalia smiled back, fighting the chuckle that tried to escape as she witnessed Olivia’s hasty rise from the chair and the slight pink in her cheeks, “Hi Lillian. Are you my new nurse?”
“Yes I am, and my first order of business is to get you to eat a little bit.” Crossing to the bed, she put the tray on the table beside Natalia and moved it across her body. “Dr. Gunn wants you to start taking in a little food, then once you’re finished, we’re going to clean you up a bit. Then later after you’ve rested up some more from the ordeal of moving you to this room, we’re going to try to get you up and walking.”
Lillian noticed the wide-eyed concerned look on both women’s faces. “Just a little, we need to get you moving, we’ll probably just try to have you walk to the door, maybe a touch further and back to the bed.”
“Okay. I can do that.” Natalia said, still carrying the look of concern on her face.
Lillian’s motherly voice re-assured, “Yes you can, it’ll be okay.”
Lillian raised the head of the bed slowly allowing Natalia to get used to the movement. Taking the lid off the tray Lillian announced Natalia’s breakfast, which consisted of a soft boiled egg, a green jello substance and black decaffeinated tea.
“I know it’s not very exciting but we need to give your system time to adjust to food again.”
“I’m sure it’s fine.” Natalia’s cheery nature could not be broken by what passed for food in a hospital.
Lillian looked from Natalia to Olivia and she told them she would be back in a little while to collect the tray.
Once the door closed, Olivia moved in next to the bed. ”Well that looks delicious.”
“I detect a note of sarcasm and I don’t appreciate it, I do have to actually eat this ya know.” Though Natalia couldn’t keep the chuckle hidden from her response.
As Natalia picked up the spoon and put it in the egg, Olivia cringed, “Tomorrow we’ll have your meals catered by Towers.”
When Natalia laughed some egg ended up on her chin. Unable to use her left hand due to the pain the movement would cause, she hadn’t been able to put the spoon down to get it before Olivia moved in to wipe the food from her face.
Slightly embarrassed, Natalia’s eyes lowered. “Thanks.”
A finger on her chin caused her to look up and she found herself slipping into two green pools.
“Welcome,” came Olivia’s response.
Shaking her head slightly Natalia pulled herself out of whatever was holding her in place. Focusing back on her sad looking breakfast she heard Olivia move away and the sound of a chair being pulled across the floor.
Olivia sat down in the chair while Natalia finished her ‘breakfast’. Whoa, don’t know what that was but boy do I need to sit down.
Breakfast over Natalia sighed, catching Olivia’s attention.
“Do you want me to get that out of your way?” Before waiting for the answer Olivia jumped up and moved the table so that it was next to the bed, rather than over Natalia.
“How do you feel? Is there anything I can get you?”
“I’m fine.” Truthfully, Natalia’s stomach wasn’t sure about what she had just eaten, so she needed a moment of calm to let things settle.
“Would you like a drink?”
“Umm, no. Thanks.” Natalia developed a decidedly green tinge that didn’t go unnoticed by Olivia who was now hovering over the injured woman in an attempt to help.
“You don’t look so good. What can I do?” Please don’t be sick Natalia it’ll hurt like hell.
“Just. Need. A. Moment.” Natalia breathed.
Backing away Olivia gave Natalia some space. “Okay I’ll just be quiet.”
Natalia nodded while continuing to try and settle her stomach.
Olivia paced around the room, every so often looking over at Natalia who was still trying to get her equilibrium.
“Stop moving please,” Natalia managed to get out through gritted teeth.
Olivia stopped and stood completely still as Natalia closed her eyes and took some deep breaths.
Finally standing still for a long moment Olivia started to feel the full extent of her exhaustion. She had barely had any sleep, been on her feet all night and emotionally spent for more than a day now. She thought for the most part she had kept it hidden but now, all of a sudden the exhaustion was rising in front of her like a wall and she was getting close to hitting it. She absently started to sway in place, her head slowly dipping. She wanted to keep moving or talking or something but Natalia needed her still. I’m just going to close my eyes for a second.
At last, Natalia opened her eyes and noticed Olivia swaying across the room, her eyes half lidded. Oh! I think she’s about ready to drop.
Head popping up, eyes flying open, “Yes? Natalia? Are you okay?”
“I think my stomach finally relaxed a bit. I think the egg was too much.” She continued to watch her friend, now fighting to appear fully awake. “Olivia, you look so tired. Why don’t you go to The Beacon and sleep for a bit?”
Oh shit, she noticed. I’m fine, I’m fine…Please don’t try to send me away. “No, I’m good. Is there anything I can do?” Unexpectedly, Olivia stumbled toward the bedside table and lifted up the water jug. “This seems a little empty, I’ll go fill it and get more ice for you, be right back.”
Before Natalia knew what was going on, Olivia had darted from the room in search of the little kitchen she expected to be somewhere on this floor. Olivia stood outside of the room for a moment to gather herself having almost fallen asleep. I’ve got to wake up. Olivia gave herself two quick slaps to her face and a good pinch on her arm. I think I’m going to have to find something stronger but for now… ice water for Natalia. It took her awhile to locate it at the end of the hall but Olivia was able to refill the jug with water and ice from the cooler. She didn’t want to be gone any longer than necessary so she practically jogged back to Natalia’s room almost running into Lillian on the way.
“Whoa. Slow down Olivia.” Lillian looked at the jug in the hurried woman’s hand then into Olivia’s tired eyes.
“Sorry, just wanted to get this back to Natalia,” she held up the jug.
“How did the breakfast go?”
Olivia was staring toward Natalia’s room, shuffling back and forth and didn’t catch the question so she responded absently, “ah yeah fine.”
Noticing that Olivia seemed to be distracted, Lillian put her hand on Olivia’s shoulder and asked the question again. “Did Natalia finish her breakfast?”
“What? Yes, she looked like she was going to throw up but she managed to eat it.”
“Well I’m glad she finished it, though I’m sorry it may not have settled very well. I’ll be in soon to get her tray then we’ll get her cleaned up. Oh before I forget, I asked Buzz about your heart meds. He’s going to have Frank get them this morning then bring them by.” Oh, I should mention what Frank said as well… “Frank will have to take Natalia’s statement now that she’s awake. Do you want to warn her about that, or do you want to wait for Frank?”
“Oh, thanks for letting me know. I think I better tell Natalia about this so she can prepare herself.” Why can’t he wait just a little longer? Until she’s stronger.
As Olivia walked back to Natalia’s room she couldn’t help but feel some of the exhaustion taking hold of her body. Not only was she physically barely able to put one foot in front of the other but she also felt emotionally she was playing a tug of war between breaking down into tears and bursting out into a fit of rage. Gotta hold it together. Gotta hide this or she’ll tell me to leave and I can’t have that… I can’t just abandon her especially not with Frank coming for her statement. I just know that’s possibly going to bring up things that she may not be able to handle. God knows at any point she could just breakdown, if and when she fully realizes what she’s done…she killed a man…damn it…she killed him.
Once again Olivia found herself standing at the closed door of Natalia’s room, gathering her thoughts together. Taking a deep breath and fixing a smile on her face she pushed it open and prepared herself to talk to Natalia about Frank.
“Here’s your ice water.” Olivia announced walking over to the bed and put the jug on the table.
“Oh thank you.”
No time like the present. “Umm… I ran into Lillian. She’s talked to Buzz, apparently Frank is going to come by in a little bit to get your statement.”
It had occurred to Natalia that eventually she would have to talk to the police. A part of her hoped it wouldn’t be Frank, he was too close of a friend but it looked like she wasn’t going to have a choice. “Yeah, I knew I’d have to do that eventually.”
“Do you want me to stay with you when you give your statement?”
Natalia looked at Olivia. She had a concerned look on her face and Natalia knew that Olivia was ready and waiting for her to need her at a moment’s notice but she really didn’t want her there when she talked to Frank about what happened.
“No, I’ll be fine. I imagine Frank isn’t going to make this any harder than it needs to be.”
Olivia looked crestfallen. “Oh ok. Whatever you want.”
Natalia took in the hurt on Olivia’s face but how could she explain it? She just couldn’t have Olivia there while she told Frank about that night, more specifically when she told him about shooting Brian, anymore than she wanted the older woman to have to go over all of it again herself.
Before Natalia had the opportunity to say anything Lillian interrupted them by entering the room.
“Hi ladies,” she could see she had interrupted something, Olivia looked like someone had kicked her dog, “I hear you’ve finished eating so I’m just going to remove your breakfast tray, then I will be right back to help you wash up.”
Before either woman could answer Lillian whisked away the tray and was back out the door.
As much as she didn’t want to leave Natalia for a second, Olivia realized that her friend would probably appreciate some privacy when Lillian came back, so to save Natalia the embarrassment of having to ask for it, she offered, “Listen I should probably call Emma. When Lillian comes back, I’ll go for a bit. Okay?” Then hastily adding just in case, “I mean, unless you want me to stay?”
Natalia gave a small smile, “That’s fine.” Should I suggest it? Maybe she’s just exhausted enough. “If you want to go freshen up yourself, that’d be okay too.” She didn’t suggest that she go to The Beacon, she just wanted Olivia to know that if she needed to go, it was ok.
Nice try Rivera. Not getting rid of me that easily. “I’ll stick to calling Emma, then I’ll be back.”
Lillian came into the room with a washbasin and some towels. Looking at the woman on the bed she asked, “All set?”
Looking from Lillian to Natalia, Olivia asked, “Okay, I’ll be back, anyone need anything from the cafeteria or the gift shop?”
Both women responded, “No, thank you.”
Olivia turned and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.
To be continued...