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 ) ( Part 21 ) ( Part 22 )
Placing a new cup of water on the table in front of Natalia, Frank began. “Okay Natalia, I just need you to explain to me everything that happened in your own words. Just take your time.”
Staring forward, Natalia began, “We were on the couch watching a movie. Emma wanted to watch Spy Kids again…”
Olivia paced up and down the hall like an expectant father. Worried that her friend might not be ready to verbalize what had happened and what she had done, Olivia knew that all she could do was to be ready when Natalia needed her.
Olivia’s head felt like it was going to explode and she could feel her heart pounding. She stopped pacing and looked down at the familiar bottle in her hand. She shook it and listened to the pills rattle around inside. Mesmerized by her makeshift toy she let her mind travel back to the other night. Natalia falling back toward the wall, bloodied and in shocked. Tears sprang to Olivia’s tired eyes.
“Are you going to take those meds or just play with them?”
Olivia looked up into Rick’s kind face as a tear escaped down a pale cheek. “What?”
Rick took her elbow and gently lead her down the hall toward the elevators while Olivia protested. “Rick where are you taking me? I can’t leave. She needs me.”
Hesitating, Rick looked into Olivia’s eyes, “She’ll be awhile, I want to see you for a few minutes.” Not waiting for Olivia’s response, he pulled her into the elevator.
“Danny told me to take Emma up to use the bathroom. I knew this was the only opening we might get. So I told Emma to run the water and flush the toilet and lock the door and not to come out until either her mother or I came to get her.” Natalia stopped for another drink of water and a calming breath.
“Are you okay to continue?” Frank asked, knowing what the answer would be.
“Yeah.” Natalia thought back to how afraid she was when she had to leave little Emma alone, hoping that the lock on the door and the prayer she had sent up would be enough to protect the child.
“I knew Olivia had a gun. She brought it into the house when Phillip came back, she was so afraid that he had come back to try to take Emma away. I hated that gun and what Olivia would do with it if Phillip ever threatened to take Emma again. It scared me to have it in the house. But she assured me that she kept it safely put away, gun locked in her closet, bullets in her underwear drawer.”
Natalia paused again and looked at Frank.
“She insisted that I knew where it was and even how to use it just in case Phillip came for Emma and I was there alone with her. I told her I’d never be able to shoot him. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she told me that she trusted if that moment ever came; someone she loved versus Phillip or anybody else threatening harm, I’d know what to do and I wouldn’t hesitate. I didn’t really believe her but I suppose she was right.”
Taking another drink before she continued, “I’d only ever let her take me to the gun range once, but she taught me how to load it, how to take off the safety and how to shoot it. I figured, if it was going to be in my house I needed to know how to handle it.” I hated every second of that lesson, at the time I resented her for it but now I thank God for her dragging me there.
“So I left Emma in the bathroom, and I went to Olivia’s room. I know I should have just called the police but I felt in that moment that I needed to protect my family and that this would probably be the only chance I’d have to get the gun. Brian was bleeding and in and out of consciousness, while Danny was getting more and more upset. I only had a few seconds and I had to choose.”
Frank stopped her, “You don’t have to convince me Natalia. I just need to know what happened.”
Natalia nodded and continued.
“Rick, where the hell are you taking me?”
“We’re going to my office. Your head is still killing you right? And you’ve had little to no sleep and I bet what sleep you have had wasn’t very restful. Nightmares?”
Olivia looked away to avoid eye contact.
“And what have you eaten and drank? Coffee? Maybe some chocolate or something else sugary to help keep your energy up?”
Olivia glared up at the doctor.
“Yeah that’s what I thought.” Rick led her through the door to his office and directed her to a padded chair across from his desk. “Sit.”
Olivia did as she was told.
Rick walked to his desk and picked up the reusable water bottle sitting on top of it, then walked back and leaned against his desk in front of Olivia while handing it over.
“Take your meds.”
Olivia wanted to tell him off but she just didn’t have the energy. With a sigh, she put the water on the desk and fumbled with the childproof lid until Rick could stand it no longer and took the container of pills from her and opened it, looking at the label before pouring out two pills into the cap and handing it toward the obviously frustrated woman.
Olivia accepted the pills, and swallowed them while Rick watched. When she was finished he pulled out his penlight and put his hand under her chin to keep her still while he looked into each eye. “How’s your head anyway?”
“Shitty. Ow, light Rick.” She pulled away from the light being shone into her eyes.
“I talked to Lillian, I know she gave you Tylenol but that’s not working is it?”
Argumentative now at just how much conspiring there was going on behind her back, “I assume that’s rhetorical? I’m sure you’ve had someone watching me every five minutes.”
“Olivia I want you to have a scan. I think you have a concussion; I just want to know how bad it is. Plus, you need to eat something and sleep. Even if it were just a headache, lack of food or rest would exacerbate it.”
“Fine but right now I need to get back to Natalia,” standing up, Olivia was ready to fight her way out of the office if she had to.
Rick’s hand was on her arm stopping her as he stood to face her. Rick had had about enough, “Olivia you had your head bashed into a wall! Do you understand what kind of damage that may have done? And what kind of damage you’re doing by not taking care of yourself!”
Not to be deterred Olivia argued right back, “And do you know what kind of damage it does to be shot in the chest? To know that you killed somebody when every part of your being is screaming: ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.’? Natalia is up there right now, reliving this nightmare with Frank. She’s gonna need me!“
Tears now streaming down her cheeks Olivia offered, “I know you’re worried, Natalia’s worried and Lillian is worried, hell the maintenance guy who passed me earlier in the hallway is worried about me, but ya know what? I don’t care! I’m worried about my baby and about Natalia’s soul. So pardon me if I haven’t been playing the good little patient Rick. I will sleep later and maybe you’ll catch me at a weak moment and get your goddamned scan but right now, I just don’t care.”
Not waiting for a response Olivia pulled her arm back, snatched the heart medication out of Rick’s hand and stomped out of his office, leaving Rick shaking his head and furious, yelling to her back, “Fine Olivia, be stupid, you never have listened to a word I’ve said. It only almost got you killed once!”
“I got Olivia’s gun as quickly as I could and fumbled around with the bullets. I didn’t want to take any longer than I needed to because I didn’t know how long Danny would wait before he took it out on her or came looking for us.”
Frank leaned over and squeezed Natalia’s hand knowing what was coming, “It’s okay.”
“I got to the top of the stairs and it was so quiet. There was no movement, no voices. Nothing. I came down the first two stairs and…”
Natalia tried to keep emotion out of her voice while she explained, “I shot Brian. Then I don’t know. I just remember feeling this searing pain then it was like everything had slowed down. I know Olivia was there, then you and Remy. Then I woke up here in the hospital.”
“Okay. Thank you. I know that must have been hard.” Frank was thankful that she was finished her with her explanation, he didn’t want her to be upset.
Natalia looked at Frank. “I’m fine Frank. Just worried about Olivia and I really need to see Emma. Plus, I want to talk to Rafe. I know you went to see him, thank you. But I want to talk to him.” Natalia stopped to take a drink of water. Her throat was killing her from all of the talking.
“I’ll call him right now.” Frank moved to the phone and started to dial the number for the prison.
Pacing at the elevator bank, Olivia pressed the ‘up’ button for the fourth time in twenty seconds, while loudly pronouncing; “Where’s the fucking elevator? We’re only in a hospital; we wouldn’t want the elevator to work or anything.” Receiving but ignoring the curious and disgusted stares from the nurses and patients in the hallway, Olivia was about to abandon her hopes for a ride and take the stairs when the doors opened to reveal a nurse standing behind a wheelchair carrying a bald, pale looking boy about the same age as Emma. Eyes widening, she froze for a moment before giving a slight smile to the child and walking into the elevator to stand next to him. What the hell am I doing? I feel like I’m losing my mind. She pressed the button and the doors closed. When the doors opened after a short ride, the nurse and the boy exited. She watched them leave and a tear escaped. “My baby… thank you God for keeping her safe.” As bad as this is, it could be worse. So calm down, you’re not helping anybody.
Now back on Natalia’s floor, she headed down the hallway where she could see Frank standing outside the door to her room.
“What’s going on Frank, everything okay?”
“Oh, Olivia, yeah Natalia’s just taking to Rafe. I called the prison for her.”
Olivia began to question Frank about what had happened when Natalia gave her statement. “What happened? Is she alright?”
“Yeah, she’s fine, she told me her version of what happened.” Feeling very proud of himself, he continued, “I made it as easy on her as I could and she just recounted that night.”
“Was she upset? Did she say anything about why she shot Brian instead of Danny? Tell me what happened Frank.”
A little taken back by the rapid-fire questions he put up his hand in a defensive posture. “Olivia, she’s fine. It wasn’t necessary to ask her for specifics so I didn’t, I just needed her statement. It’s not like any charges are going to be pressed. I didn’t want to hurt her.”
Confused now and still frustrated that Frank wasn’t really answering what it was she wanted to know she queried further, “Did she cry? Is she upset that she shot somebody?”
Getting frustrated himself at the persistent questions Frank raised his voice. “Why would you ask that? Did she cry? My God Olivia, what is it you want? She told me her side of things, that’s it. If you have questions for her, why don’t you ask her yourself because I really don’t know what your deal is.”
Shaking her head, Olivia closed her eyes and raised her palm to her forehead and whispered, “No, of course you don’t Frankie.” God you’re clueless, how hard is it to tell someone’s emotional state.
Frank was offended, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Removing her hand from her head, Olivia opened her eyes; clearly she wasn’t going to get her answers from Det. Cooper. “Ya know what? Forget it.”
“Olivia, judging by your appearance I imagine you’re feeling like hell right now but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t take it out on me. I thought you’d be happy that she wasn’t upset.”
“It’s fine Frank. Just forget I asked.”
Frank muttered, “Whatever,” then walked down the hallway a little, away from Olivia who began her pacing in front of the door.
After a couple of minutes of pacing, she couldn’t take it anymore, “Ah screw this.” Olivia pushed open the door just as she heard Natalia sniffle and tell Rafe that she loved him too. Her frustration disappeared at the sound of Natalia sad voice. She saw that her friend was having trouble reaching over enough to put then handset down on the phone so she moved quickly to help.
“Let me get that. Are you alright?”
Natalia wiped away a tear before answering. “Yeah.” Sniffle. “I need some more water. Do you mind?”
Reaching for the near empty jug Olivia answered, “Course not.” Then she left to get more ice water.
Frank was waiting in the hall. “Is she finished talking to Rafe?”
“Yeah. I’m just getting more ice water for her.”
Frank started walking toward the door to Natalia’s room. Olivia’s hand on his arm stopped him. “She needs to rest, don’t be long.”
Frank shook his arm free and continued into the room.
“Do you mind if I come back in?” Frank timidly asked. “How’s Rafe?”
“Yes, you can come back in Frank. He’s okay. Upset. But I’m really glad to have been able to talk to him. Thanks for calling him for me.”
Frank smiled, just happy to have been able to do something for this woman who he cared so much about. “Oh you’re welcome. Anything to help.”
Olivia walked back into the room, right over to the bed and poured Natalia some ice water. “Here have a drink.”
Natalia smiled and did as she was told, while Olivia turned to look at Frank. The expression on her face told him it was time for him to leave.
“Umm. Okay ladies, I’m going to go file my report. Natalia, I’m sorry again for having to go through all of this. I’ll come back and see you soon. If you need anything, just call.”
Clearing her throat and giving a sad smile, Natalia said “Thank you.”
Frank turned to the glaring woman by the side of the bed and as a farewell offered only, “Olivia,” before he turned and walked out of the room.
Glad that Frank was gone Olivia could turn her attention fully back to Natalia. “Are you okay? Really? That must have been hard.”
Natalia looked into Olivia’s eyes while reaching out to take the older woman’s hand. “I’m okay Olivia. Really. You don’t have to worry so much about me.”
Looking down at their joined hands Olivia thought about whether she should just ask Natalia about how she felt about the shooting but when she opened her mouth to speak the words stalled on her tongue. She cleared her throat of the lump that had begun to form and instead honestly said, “Maybe I don’t have to worry about you but I want to. I want to take care of you. I lo…You’re my best friend, you mean a lot to me.” You mean everything to me.
Natalia caught the slip but didn’t let on that she had. “I want you to do something for me Olivia.”
“I’m exhausted, I’m going to have a nap. I want you to go and have lunch with Emma and then bring her back to see me.”
“I can have Jane bring her. I’d rather not leave.”
“No.” Natalia answered firmly. Olivia you need a break, I can see it in your eyes, “Go for a few hours. Freshen up, take a nap if you can but bring Emma back this afternoon.”
Olivia looked as though she was going to protest but she thought of that boy Emma’s age in the elevator and she suddenly needed to see her daughter even if it meant leaving Natalia for a short while.
“Okay. Call me if you need anything, I can be back here in minutes.”
“I know you can. Go.”
Olivia hesitated. But when Natalia released her hand she moved it to Olivia’s denim covered hip and pushed lightly, “Go”.
Olivia nodded once then slowly moved toward the door, she took one look back at Natalia before leaving.
Natalia sighed. She was tired, she was in physical pain and she was concerned about Olivia. Maybe a little time with Emma and some fresh air will help. She didn’t try to fight the wave of exhaustion that came over her. Natalia gave in to it and within moments she was asleep.
To be continued...