Fandom - Guiding Light
Paring - Olivia/Natalia
Warnings and/or Spoilers - No spoilers. This is an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so some stuff will be very different than what is on the show. Reference to drugs. Cursing. BIG TIME ANGST. And a certain horrible act is now in the forefront, so be aware.
Summary - Olivia Spencer is falling apart and takes an undercover case in order to ignore her pain. But along with drugs and crooked cops and an unexpected ally, she finds a reason to finally heal and live again. Multi-chapter thing.
Rating - PG currently, hard-R in later chapters
Notes - So, yea, this was not forgotten. Just set aside until I felt the urge to try and finish it... which I planned on doing. Someday [lol]. But I got a nudge in the form of a comment, from pfire274, so I thought I'd hop on this train of mine. Hope I don't disappoint after such a long wait!
PS - You might want to read Chapter 25, just to refresh your head on where the plot left off...
It could have been hours that they sat there, in her increasingly dark room and oblivious to the sounds below – to Company filled with dinner customers and Buzz’s booming voice, to cell phones that shout out… calls surely from a worried son and a worried detective, to the cars on the street and the trucks even further along on the highway, to the park with its nighttime creatures on the move – the crickets and the gnats and god only knows what else… even those creatures more sinister, like drug-dealers…
Olivia Spencer can’t hear a thing beyond her own breathing and the steady heartbeat underneath her ear, the rhythmic pounding of Natalia Rivera’s caring and of Natalia Rivera’s determination.
It is louder than the protests that run rampant in Olivia’s mind, those hard phrases that condemn the undercover cop’s weakness and those insecure ramblings that have lingered in a little girl’s soul for so long.
It is louder, just by a note or two, than even Olivia’s demons – of her drunken days and her reckless actions, all brought on by a day in her past that never goes away.
It is louder than the memory of Jeffrey O’Neill… at least, by a little bit…
And it would be so simple to just stay here, practically catatonic in Natalia’s arms, and just sleep away these living nightmares – to just pretend that Jeffrey never existed and that pain was never Olivia’s only companion… I could run and hide forever in arms like these.
But it is not to be – it is do or die time, once again… or maybe it has been from the beginning of this damn case in this damn town… maybe Olivia has been pushed to the line, time and time again, with the universe just waiting to see if she can actually move forward.
Is it love? Or will it be torture?
Is it Emma and working with Phillip? Or is it a lifetime of nights without my child?
Is it protecting Rafe and Natalia? Or will it be nothing but revenge?
Is this who I will always be… or can I be someone new, someone clean again?
Olivia sits up, pulling away from the cocoon of Natalia’s embrace, but she doesn’t leave.
No sprinting from this show of acceptance, not this time. No leaving a lover in the dark, with only tears and tangled sheets. No more shoving away compassion… no more running away, no more endless roads with nowhere in sight to rest… I am already so fucking tired and I can’t fight this battle alone anymore, Natalia, and you are it – home in my shitty game of tag.
“Ask me anything.” Olivia whispers out into the quiet of her rented room at this little boarding house, afraid of the words leaving her lips, but more afraid of what would happen if she let this woman go for good. Olivia is so damn afraid of who she has been and who she might become if she doesn’t let someone in… and soon.
Natalia reaches out with those work-worn hands and takes Olivia’s face into them; thumbs brushing against her skin like it is the finest silk. And maybe, to Natalia, it is just that – maybe that is how Natalia sees her, as something worth caressing and cherishing.
I don’t want her to be wrong… dear fucking god, I don’t want her to be wrong…
“Why are you so sad, Olivia… and how can I help you be happy again?”
“You just, uh, jump right in the deep end, don’t you?”
“For those that matter, yes… yes, I do… and you matter to me. God knows, you matter to me.”
Olivia feels the tears welling up again, so much spilt sadness over the past week or so… I must be making up for lost time… but she doesn’t look away, not this time. She allows Natalia to see her – to really see her… this messed up woman with a badge and a gaping hole in her body, the terror and the childishness not just on Olivia’s face but upon every inch of her.
I can do this. No more hiding. I can do this. No more hiding.
“Jeffrey O’Neill raped me.”
And there it is, her voice cracking – not just from silent weeping – but almost as if she is reverting back to another time, to a time she has not really ever left in the first place.
Back to a girl trying to be older, back to a girl who lost something more precious than virginity, back to a girl who had to leave home and carve out a life for herself… and she failed, oh how she failed to make anything better after that fateful night.
And Olivia’s voice cracks, sixteen years old again and in a tattered dress – with the waves lapping at the shore as the party rolls onward at her parents’ home.
And all Olivia wants is to be heard, to finally be heard by someone who gives a damn.
When she finally hears it, the reason for Olivia’s push/pull attitude and for the night they spent together – comfort gone horribly wrong – and for the sorrow that Natalia had seen from the start, buried in those expressive green eyes, Natalia freezes up.
Not on the outside, on the outside she cradles Olivia and runs her fingers through honey-brown hair.
But on the inside, she breaks down and she seethes and she wonders… where were you then, God?
Where was that one angel, that one guiding hand, to help protect a child from harm?
And Natalia no longer needs to question why Olivia doesn’t go to church or talk to God, why the woman claimed that ‘you’d have to put a match to every single tea-light to get God to talk to me. We aren’t on speaking terms.’
And Natalia no longer needs to ask why Olivia is so hard to get close to, so ready to leave when things get personal… when they people get too close…
Oh, God, where were you when she needed you?
Natalia tightens her hold on the woman, making a quick and sure vow to never let go – not for society and not for God… not even if Olivia tries to push me away again, I won’t let go…
“He lives here, in this town…” Olivia says softly, her face wet and warm against Natalia’s neck.
And things suddenly click into place.
It’s not like Natalia has ever paid much attention to Springfield politics, her life far too busy with working and maintaining a home for her son to think much about who is mayor or who is chief of police.
Or the ADA of Springfield for that matter.
But she has seen him around, seen him in Company – he always leaves nice tips – and he has laughed with respected members of this town, has been to their parties and their homes… he has just been living here and enjoying life.
And you’ve been hating your life instead, Olivia… you’ve been taking on the agony while he lives without reproach…
“What can I do? How can I help you?”
“You are helping me now, okay? Just… just keeping holding me, please?”
And so Natalia does, paying no mind to the stiffness of her back or the way her arms have to lock in order to stay around Olivia’s body.
And the story just pours out then, in between silences and in between sobs, it just comes out like a never-ending stream of despair.
And Natalia wishes to go back in time, to find this man when he was just a boy… You tell us not to seek vengeance, you tell us not to break your commandments, but I am so angry and holding her is not enough… she deserves so much more, God, so much more!
She holds Olivia as the woman talks about losing everything – parents and a home and a life, losing a childhood and innocence – and how it altered a girl’s future.
How it brought on self-doubt and insecurities and so much self-inflicted damage, how it created a rage and a torment so strong that only sex and alcohol and violence would sate it… how Olivia has lived her life from that moment on…
“That’s why I… couldn’t be around you… Natalia, you are so good and so whole and I don’t know… I don’t know if I ever can be like that again… I don’t know how to be the kind of person you deserve, the kind of person worth… this, just being in your arms, I don’t know if I am worth just this…”
“Hey… hey, look at me…” Natalia whispers as her eyes lower and Olivia’s eyes slowly rise.
And they stare at one another, for minutes and minutes. Natalia takes it all in – a toughness and a vulnerability swimming in green and tears – and she takes it all in – a beauty and a brokenness – and she takes it all, every single bit of it, because it is Olivia and Natalia is in love with this woman, this cop, this girl on the run.
“I love you.”
“No, don’t say that just—“
“I mean it, Olivia Spencer, I mean it. I knew all I needed to know about you after that first conversation, in the elevator, and I love you.”
“What do you know? Why I am a fuck up? Why I am emotionally stunted? That’s all you really know, Natalia… that’s all I am!”
And Olivia tries to push away, shaking with the alarm of all she has divulged and racing back to familiar ways - back to a stagnant kind of safety, but Natalia doesn’t let go. She made a promise. She made a vow and Natalia takes such things seriously.
And I intend to keep this oath.
“I know you are sarcastic and you must be a good cop to be on this investigation. I know you don’t like chili and you like French-fries…”
“…And you’ve never been shot... You only drink coffee in the morning and never the juice that comes with the complementary breakfast at The Beacon…”
“…You have the nicest lips and, when you let it out, the nicest smile. I love the way you smell and the way you feel in my arms and I’ve never felt as alive and good as when I am with you.”
Halfway between irritation and apprehension, Olivia stops interrupting and just watches Natalia as if the woman has grown another head.
“I love you. And I think you’ve been waiting for someone to tell all this to, someone to help share the burden you’ve had to carry for so long… and that’s going to be me, Olivia.”
It’s not meant to be romantic, not really, but it is a kiss and it is coated in dedication, in devotion.
It is the answer to a question Olivia’s been asking for years and years.
And Olivia Spencer doesn’t pull away this time, she stays put for a change, wolves held at bay by the softest of greetings.
And Natalia Rivera doesn’t let go this time, she stays firm for a change, the tide held back by the sweetest of responses.
/ / /