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 ) ( Part 23 ) ( Part 24 )
Lunch was finished and Jane was cleaning up the dishes while Olivia and Emma were cuddling on the couch. Olivia played with Emma’s hair while the child curled further into her. “Mommy, can we go see Natalia now?”
Olivia didn’t want to move, not just because she needed the connection with Emma but also because her stomach felt like it could rebel any second and only the rhythmic movement of her hand in Emma’s hair seemed to calm it. But she knew she had to get back to Natalia and she did promise that she would bring Emma.
“Yes honey. We should go. Why don’t you go use the bathroom and get ready and I’ll check on Jane?”
Emma jumped up and ran toward the bathroom while Olivia groaned and raised herself from the couch and headed toward the kitchen.
“Jane? Is there anything I can do to help?” secretly hoping that Jane would just tell her go sit down again.
Jane looked at Olivia noticing the sad dark lines around her eyes. She doesn’t look much better, “Just about finished.”
“We should get going to the hospital. Will you come with us so you can bring Emma back here?”
“Yes, of course.”
A few minutes later the little group was on its way back to the hospital. After a quick stop in the gift shop for a stuffed duck that Emma insisted they buy for Natalia, the trio rode the elevator in silence. Not wanting the child to be surprised at the tubes and machines Natalia was hooked up to, Olivia had prepared Emma while they drove from the apartment to the hospital. When they arrived on Natalia’s floor, the door opened and they exited, Emma’s hand in Olivia’s, Jane following behind. As they neared Natalia’s room suddenly they could hear groaning, before they knew it they came upon Natalia slightly bent over leaning against the wall, tears in her eyes and face contorted in pain, with Lillian on her uninjured side and holding the IV stand while Father Ray stood behind arms out ready to catch the woman if she fell.
Olivia froze. Eyes wide, heart stopped, “Oh God.” She looked down to Emma, who had dropped the stuffed duck and was now squeezing her hand with all of her child strength, just as the little girl burst out crying, “Natalia?”
Natalia looked up when she heard Emma’s upset voice call her name. Oh no. Stand up straight, stop crying, “Emma honey. I’m okay. It just hurts a little bit.”
Emma clung to Olivia with frightened tears streaming down her face. “Mommy?”
Torn between wanting to go to her friend to comfort her and her need to take care of her daughter, Natalia made the decision easier as she gave Olivia a slight nod toward Emma. As calmly as she could Olivia said, “Emma we’re going to go to the waiting room while Natalia finishes her walk.” Without waiting for a response she picked up the upset child and as quickly as she could, carried her away from the scene and back toward the waiting room. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. Why didn’t I leave her with Jane while I made sure Natalia was ready? Oh God, what have I done? I think I’m going to throw up.
Closing in on the awaiting chairs in the large open room Olivia tried to comfort her child. “Shhh, Emma baby it’s okay.” They arrived at the first empty chair and Olivia placed Emma on it. Emma maintained her hold around her neck forcing Olivia to squat down so wouldn’t have to let go, even though the action wasn’t helping to settle her churning stomach.
Through her tears and hiccups Emma looked at Olivia, “Mommy why was Natalia crying, she looked hurt?”
“Okay Emma. You know how mommy said that Natalia was hurt? You remembered that she was shot right?”
Emma nodded, while tears still streamed down her cheeks and her little shoulders shook.
“Okay, well for her to get better she has to move around. This is the first time she’s walked since it happened. She’s still very, very sore. But as much as it hurts, she still has to do it to get better. Kind of like when you have a bad cough and you have to take icky tasting medicine. You don’t like it but to get better you have to take it.”
“Walking is like medicine?” Emma didn’t seem convinced.
“That’s exactly what it’s like Jellybean. It will get a lot easier for her and soon she’ll be walking around the farm with you feeding the ducks. Okay?” Olivia realized her mistake. Oh stupid, don’t mention the farmhouse.
Emma didn’t seem to flinch at the mention of their home or thankfully question when they might be going back. That was a question Olivia couldn’t possibly answer right now.
With a final sniffle Emma nodded and quietly asked, “Can I still give her hugs?”
Olivia fought the sob that threatened to escape. “Yes baby, you can give her gentle hugs like we talked about. I think she’d like that very much.”
Father Ray caught Natalia just as she began to slip to the floor while Olivia, Emma and Jane hastily retreated toward the waiting room. Natalia regained her feet quickly though she was very shaken.
Natalia shook her head. “Oh no. This is bad. I didn’t want her to see me like this.” I didn’t want either of them to see me like this.
Lillian took hold of her arm. “Honey, let’s get you back to your room and settled back in bed. Then I’ll go check on Olivia and Emma.”
Guided by her nurse and priest, Natalia shuffled as quickly as she could back to her room. As much as it hurt all she wanted was to be lying down again so Olivia and Emma could see her and she could comfort her girls.
Back in her room Lillian fussed Natalia back into bed and got her settled insisting on checking Natalia’s wound to see if any of the stitches pulled.
Father Ray took that moment to suggest he check on Emma. Without answer he left to go to the waiting room.
Lillian watched him leave before pulling back Natalia’s gown to check the stitches. “Honey, I know that was awful. Both the pain you were in and having Emma see you like that. She’s a tough little girl that one, you and Olivia will explain it to her and she’ll be okay.”
Natalia felt tears sting her eyes, “She just looked so scared. I must have looked a terrible fright.”
“You looked like everybody else who has had their chest opened up. It’s not nice honey. And I figured you’d wanted to do it while Olivia was checking on Emma. But ya know, it’s going to get better. Not just the walking, but the pain, everything.”
Natalia knew Lillian wasn’t just talking about her condition.
“I know, I just wish that they could avoid some of the more terrible stuff.”
Lillian agreed, “I know honey. I know. Why don’t we get you a little shot of morphine then get the girls, huh?”
Olivia was sitting with Emma in her lap, the child’s head on her chest while she rubbed her back, Jane in the chair next to them with the stuffed duck she had picked up after Emma had dropped it in her hand. She spotted Father Ray and touched Olivia’s arm to get her attention.
As he approached, the Priest greeted the three ladies, “Hello, Olivia, Emma, Jane. May I sit with you?”
Olivia responded, “Of course Father.” Then addressed her daughter, “Emma you remember Father Ray?”
With a sad face she nodded and said, “Hi.”
The priest sat down on Olivia’s other side and noticed the toy in Jane’s hand. “Emma is that duck for Natalia?”
Emma perked up at the mention of the duck. “Yes, Natalia and I feed the ducks at home. I thought maybe it would help her think about me when I’m not here.”
“Well that’s very thoughtful of you. You know what?”
“I’ve been talking to Natalia for a little while today and I can tell you without a doubt that she thinks about you when you’re not here because she’s been talking about you a lot.”
Olivia smiled through her unshed tears toward the priest, silently thanking him.
Emma smiled, “Really?”
“Oh yes, and I know seeing her in pain was scary but she’s already back in bed. Nurse Raines is just getting her a drink and then she’ll want to see you.”
From behind Lillian spoke, “Oh I think I heard my name.” Lillian continued forward, bent down to kiss Emma on the forehead, “How are you doing sweetie?”
“Good. Does Natalia want to see me now?”
“Yes honey, why don’t I take you and your mommy to see her?”
Jumping off her mother’s knee Emma took Lillian’s outstretched hand and the duck from Jane and said, “Let’s go!”
Olivia looked at Father Ray and whispered, “Thank you.”
The priest nodded and smiled, then Olivia looked at Lillian who held out her other hand for her.
Lillian repeated Emma’s words back with the same enthusiasm, “Let’s go!”
Olivia hesitated for barely a second before taking the nurse’s other hand as she began to lead them back to her waiting friend.
As they walked through the door to the hospital room Lillian announced, “Natalia you have visitors.”
A quiet “YAY,” came from the direction of the bed, its inhabitant stretching out her arm to welcome the now hesitant little girl clutching a stuffed duck to her chest.
Lillian bent down to Emma and whispered, “It’s okay you won’t hurt her,” before leaving her with a kiss on the head, then backing out of the room.
Olivia moved over to her daughter and put her hand on her back to guide her to the bed. “Come on Jellybean. Let’s give Natalia that duck and a big hug okay?”
They slowly got to the bed and Olivia lifted Emma to stand on the chair next to it so she could get closer to Natalia.
Emma spoke first, “I brought you a duck but Father Ray said you didn’t need it because you think about me when I’m not here anyway.”
Natalia looked up at Olivia, confused.
Olivia explained, “Emma wanted to get you something that would make you think of her when she’s not here.”
“Father Ray was right honey, I think about you all the time but I really like the duck. Can I have it?”
Emma handed over the toy then shyly admitted, “I want to kiss you and give you a hug but I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I won’t break and I need you to give me a hug and kiss.”
Emma sniffed like she might start to cry, she couldn’t figure out how to reach over safely. Olivia recognized her hesitation and guided her over the bed so Natalia could embrace the little girl who she thought of as her own. After several kisses and a very long hug Olivia helped Emma back off of a teary-eyed Natalia. “Thank you honey, I needed that more than anything.”
Emma happily exclaimed, “Me too!” Then she added, “So you’re feeling better now?”
“I’m feeling much better now that you’re here. Why don’t you tell me what you’ve been up to with Jane?”
Emma took a seat in the chair she had been standing on and began to recount every detail of the last two days. While they listened intently, Olivia took Natalia’s hand and bent over to kiss her on the forehead feeling for the first time since the ordeal began that things were starting to look up.
To be continued...