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 ) ( Part 25 ) ( Part 26 )
Natalia’s nap had been a short one; she woke from a bad dream to find herself alone still and worried about Olivia. She tried to buzz for Lillian but was told the nurse was busy with another patient and nobody else had any news about her friend. Natalia remembered that Lillian had said that Olivia was in the Emergency department so, against her better judgment, she tried to get up in an attempt to walk over to the wheelchair against the far wall. She had swung her legs over the edge of the bed and was just about to slide off to the floor when the door opened.
Olivia’s eyes went wide when she saw Natalia trying to get up on her own; she rushed to her side to help her back into bed. “What are you doing? Do you have to use the bathroom or something? You could have asked a nurse.”
Natalia was awash with relief to see Olivia. “Are you okay? Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick.”
“I’m sorry, I thought Lillian had talked to you?”
“Well she did but that was a long time ago. Are you okay, she said it looked like you’d been sick and that you’d fainted?”
Olivia’s cheeks reddened, it was not her proudest moment and she felt it showed such weakness. “I’m okay. Rick made me have a CT scan, the concussion isn’t too bad and before you ask, my heart is fine they checked that too. But Rick and Jeffrey conspired to give me a conditional release.”
Natalia question, “I don’t understand.”
Olivia explained what was going to happen. That she would have to leave at night with Jeffrey but she would be back in the morning to spend the day with her. She also made sure that Natalia understood that day or night if she needed her, Olivia was a phone call away.
While Olivia expressed her frustration with the feeling that she was strong-armed into the decision, Natalia simply began to smile. Thank you God, I don’t like that she had to go through that but at least she’ll be safe and taken care of while I’m not capable of it.
Olivia noticed Natalia’s smile, “What are you smiling at?”
“I’m just glad that somebody got through to you. I’d love having you stay beside me the whole time I’m in here, you know that but it’s not healthy for you.” With a determined look on her face, Olivia opened her mouth to speak before Natalia continued. “Don’t argue with me, I can see that look on your face. So let them take care of you. I’ll be here in the morning, ready and waiting to see you.”
Olivia blinked back tears. She didn’t realize how hard it would be to say goodbye even if it was just for the night. “I don’t want to leave.”
Natalia reached her arm forward, “Come here.”
When Olivia moved next to the bed, Natalia took her hand. “I need you to take care of yourself.” I just need you in every way, I can’t let you make yourself sick over this.
“No buts Olivia. Go with Jeffrey, eat, have a shower, sleep. Then come back to me refreshed in the morning.”
Still reluctant Olivia asked, “Will you call me before you go to sleep, if you can?”
“I can do that. Now give me a hug and get going.”
Olivia held Natalia’s eyes with her own and also held the words she longed to say. She bent down finally and gave Natalia a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Not goodbye, until tomorrow.”
Natalia swallowed the lump in her throat at the surprisingly emotional parting before she gave enough of a smile that her dimples stood out for Olivia, “Tomorrow.”
Olivia reluctantly let go of the hand she still held and backed out of the room. I’ll see you soon. I’m sorry that I didn’t take care of myself better and that I have to leave.
The door to the room closed. On one side of the door Natalia let her tears fall as she suddenly felt very alone, while on the other side of the door Olivia walked out into the open arms of a waiting Jeffrey, she let her tears fall, feeling like she had just abandoned her best friend.
Jeffrey led Olivia out of the hospital to the parking garage, opened the door for her and helped her in.
Olivia was a little fed up with the gentlemanly behaviour, “I’m not an invalid, ya know?”
Unaffected, Jeffrey responded, “No of course not, it’s every day that you vomit and pass out on the floor of a hospital, exhausted and concussed,” He closed the door and walked around to the driver’s side, opened the door and sat himself down before continuing, “can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings if this is a ‘normal day’.”
Olivia huffed and crossed her arms like a petulant child. Jeffrey looked over to her, “I’m sorry Olivia I’m just concerned about you. Now, do you want to pick up Emma or is she better to stay with Jane?”
Olivia tipped her head back and sighed. “As much as I want her with me I think she’s better off with Jane right now.”
Jeffrey put his hand on Olivia’s knee in comfort, he could only imagine how hard it was for Olivia to admit that someone else was better for her daughter right now. “Okay, let’s get your things from The Beacon and get you home.”
Jeffrey started the car and drove out of the parking garage toward the hotel while Olivia considered his last statement. Home? My ‘home’ has bad memories, a hole in the drywall and blood on the floor, couch, walls and staircase. How are we ever going to be able to go back there? Will Natalia want to sell the farmhouse? I think I would, if it were mine. How can I ask Emma to go back there? A terrible thought struck Olivia and she felt the blood drain from her face as her heart began to pound. What if Emma doesn’t want to go back and Natalia won’t sell it? Oh my God. Emma and I will have to move out on our own. Swallowing the lump that filled her throat, she blinked back tears and ran her hand across her forehead.
The gesture did not go unnoticed by Jeffrey. “You okay over there?”
“Yeah, just fine.”
Jeffrey pinned her with a look of disbelief and waited for her to continue.
“I was just thinking about the farmhouse. How can we go back there?” A tear escaped and Olivia angrily brushed it aside.
“You don’t have to think about that right now. You and Natalia will have to talk about it when you’re both stronger, then you can see how Emma feels about it. But I imagine that kid is strong enough that she’ll be able to handle it.” Jeffrey watched the ghost of a smile grace Olivia’s face at the mention of how strong her baby was, before he added, “There are companies that can clean that type of scene. You wouldn’t have to worry about it, though I understand that the memories would still be there.”
Olivia nodded and turned her head to look out of the passenger side window effectively ending the conversation and the direction it was taking before she got too uncomfortable.
Jeffrey accepted that the conversation was over and used his time to formulate a plan.
The trip to The Beacon was very brief as most of Olivia’s things were still in the bag that Jeffrey brought her before so they were headed on the long drive to Cross Creek in a matter of minutes. Neither of the passengers in the car spoke for the drive out to the country. Olivia leaned her head back against the headrest and closed her eyes allowing the motion of the car to nearly lull her to sleep. Just as she felt herself falling into slumber the car stopped and Jeffrey announced their arrival at the cabin he shared with Reva.
Once again, before Olivia could open the car door, Jeffrey was there opening it for her. When she stepped out she noticed Reva coming towards her with a cautious smile on her face.
Reva took in the appearance of the woman before her, trying to maintain as air of control but it was her eyes that gave her away. Bloodshot and lined with dark smudges that only just managed to detract from the obvious stain on her top, “Welcome Olivia. How are you feeling?” I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, yet here you are, looking worse for wear mind you but you’re still standing.
“Truthfully, I’ve had better days, better weeks in fact.” Olivia answered honestly.
Jeffrey had removed Olivia’s bag from the trunk of the car and ushered the women inside.
Now inside the three stood uncomfortably. Jeffrey spoke first. “I’ll just put your bag in the spare room, while you get comfortable.”
Reva watched him go and fired mental daggers at his back. Coward. “Why don’t you come sit down Olivia.”
“Thanks.” God, this is going to be as uncomfortable as the last time I had to stay here ‘for my own good’. “What?” Olivia asked as she missed what Reva had said.
“Would you like a drink? Coffee? Tea? Something cold?”
“How about a martini, Grey Goose Vodka and lots of olives?”
From the hallway Jeffrey’s monotone response of “Ha ha, nice try Olivia.” could be heard as he approached the living room.
Olivia glanced at Jeffrey for a second, “Party pooper!” then turning back to Reva, “Just a glass of water would be great.”
“Actually, yeah that reminds me Rick gave me some medication for you.” He pulled several medicine bottles from his jacket pocket. “We have pain medication for your head and I think these others are just your heart medication because Rick wasn’t sure if you’d been taking them religiously.” He put the bottles down on the table in front of Olivia before questioning, “Is your head bothering you, do you want to take something?”
“No more than it has been. And yes, I have been taking my meds. Natalia would kill me if I didn’t.” Oh I hope she’s okay without me. Maybe I should call her.
Reva deposited a large glass of water next to the bottles on the table before sitting down across from her, “How is Natalia?”
The glass noticeably shook as Olivia picked it up and took a drink while thinking about how to answer the question; did she really know how Natalia was? She decided to take the safe route. “She’s fine. Lillian had her up and walking today, so that’s a good sign.”
Reva watched Olivia as she spoke, noting the shaky hand and her obvious hesitation. As much as you’d rather not be here, I don’t think you’re capable of taking care of yourself right now. Reva nodded. “And Emma?”
Olivia gave a sad smile, “She’s okay. She seems comfortable with Jane. She just wants to see Natalia regularly I think.”
“She’s a sweet little girl. I’m sure she’ll be fine, she’s a fighter, a mini-Olivia.”
Reva’s comment was meant to be a compliment but Olivia couldn’t help but wish it weren’t true. I want so much more for my baby than a life of fighting and surviving like I’ve had. I haven’t even done it well! I thought I found that with Natalia, with the farmhouse and look where that’s taken us? Natalia is lying in a hospital bed with a gunshot wound, my daughter is living with her nanny and I’m sitting here in the living room in the cabin of my ex-rapist/friend and his cold-hearted wife who hates me most of the time. Yeah I’m doing a great job, I’m barely surviving and I hardly have any fight left in me, if I did, I sure wouldn’t be stuck in this hell.
“Olivia?” Jeffrey questioned when she had looked off in the distance and became even quieter than she had been. Rick had suggested he keep an eye on her for any changes to her memory, personality or cognition.
Pulled from her self-berating reverie Olivia looked at him. “What? I’m fine.”
“I was just going to ask if you had any preference for dinner?”
“I’m not hungry.” I think I might fall face first into whatever is put in front of me and that’s if I don’t throw up.
“Well we’ll just have something simple.” Reva added as she got up and headed to the kitchen to decide what to cook. “I’m thinking chicken, rice and some kind of vegetable. Jeffrey can you grab me the chicken from the freezer, I’d like to let it thaw for a bit.”
“On my way.” Jeffrey got up to fetch the chicken leaving Olivia alone on the couch.
Reva and Jeffrey busied themselves in the kitchen for a few minutes chatting comfortably until Jeffrey leaned out toward the living room, “Hey Olivia, broccoli okay for you?” When no answer was forthcoming, he walked out to the living room, “Olivia?”
Olivia was asleep sitting up with her head dropped to her shoulder.
He didn’t want to wake the sleeping woman but Jeffrey also didn’t want Olivia to wake up with a stiff neck, so he slowly approached to stand over her. Carefully he put one hand on her shoulder and the other behind her head, gently guiding her to a laying position, pausing to make sure she didn’t wake. She looks peaceful, finally. Continuing to watch her sleep he sent out a silent prayer, let me help her, she didn’t deserve this; Emma, Natalia…none of them did. Brushing back her hair he leaned over to kiss her forehead, please Olivia, let us take care of you, you can’t do this alone and you don’t have to. Standing back up he pulled the blanket over from the back of the couch, pleased when she didn’t even stir as he gently covered her, “Sleep well, my friend,” he whispered. Finally stepping back from the couch he turned and went back to the kitchen to tell Reva that Olivia was asleep.
Reva and Jeffrey stood in the kitchen while Olivia lay napping in the living room. Reva spoke in a whisper, “Okay so what did Rick say because Olivia looks like hell?”
“She has a concussion, it’s not too bad but she does have a nasty headache. Then of course, she hasn’t been sleeping or eating properly, not to mention obviously under incredible stress, she’s so worried about Natalia and Emma…I’ve never seen Olivia this out of sorts. I think she just doesn’t know which way to turn or what to do next. We just have to keep an eye on her to make sure she’s still thinking straight and if we can, try to reduce her stress if possible.”
Reva snorted, “I’m supposed to help with that? Have you forgotten she and I barely get along, we practically hate each other?!” Reva paused then spoke seriously, “Are you sure this is a good idea? Considering our history, I’m likely to add to her stress.”
Jeffrey warned, “Reva, she needs help. And don’t try to tell me that you don’t like each other. I saw you with her the other night at the hospital. You cared.”
“Extenuating circumstances.” Reva announced, as though that explained her kind actions.
“Right. And nice try Reva.”
Reva admitted, “Alright, I am worried about her and I’ll do what I can to help because I don’t want her to have to stay here any longer than she has to. So I will feed her, make her take her meds, walk her outside for fresh air, hell I will bathe the woman if I have to, anything to get her out of here sooner.”
When it appeared that Reva was finished with her little rant, Jeffrey smiled and leaned over to kiss his wife on the cheek. “Whatever the reason, I appreciate you doing this.”
Reva’s response came in the form of an “Mmmhmm” before she stood up and headed to the living room to check on Olivia. Jeffrey smiled after his wife; I don’t believe you for one second Reva. You’ll do all of those things and more because that’s who you are. Play up the bravado and the faux competition if you like but deep down you respect Olivia for the strong woman and mother that she’s become and you want to get her back to her happy life with her daughter and Natalia just as much as I do.
Reva closed in on Olivia and noticed that the woman on the couch appeared to be in some kind of distress. Is she having a nightmare?
Olivia’s head was moving from side to side, her breathing appeared rapid and then she moaned. I can only imagine what you must be dreaming. Unable to stand idly by, Reva knelt next to the couch and in an effort to calm her began to quietly speak to her and gently stroked Olivia’s hair. “Shhh Olivia, you’re okay, there’s nobody here who can hurt you. Emma is safe and happy and Natalia’s fine too. Just relax, it’s over.” Despite Reva’s attempts to sooth the poor woman, the nightmare held on and Olivia became more tortured, her eyes were fluttering and her hands clutching at some unseen horror. It’s just getting worse. Maybe I should wake you? Uncertain about what to do Reva grabbed one of the clenching hands and while she continued her tender action of stroking Olivia’s hair, spoke more firmly than before in an attempt to urge the woman to wake up, “That’s enough Olivia, it’s time to let it go. Calm down now.”
Jeffrey saw what was happening and joined the women in the living room, “What’s going on?”
Reva looked up at her husband with tears in her eyes, “I…I don’t know, I came in here and she was agitated, I thought maybe it was a nightmare but…I can’t calm her down. Do you think it’s anything to do with her head injury?”
Jeffrey kneeled down beside Reva and put his hand on her back as he quietly spoke to her, “It’s okay, it’s just a nightmare, she’ll be fine,” turning to give his full attention to Olivia he caressed the side of her face, “Won’t you Olivia? Just don’t be afraid, they won’t hurt you. Reva and I are here, we’ll keep you safe.” A few moments passed while both Reva and Jeffrey continued to calm Olivia until finally the turmoil seemed to ease. Jeffrey observed, “I think she’s coming out of it. Good girl Olivia, you fought it off.”
Reva stopped stroking Olivia’s hair and sat back against the coffee table. “What the hell was that?”
Jeffrey turned his head to look at his wife, “I don’t know but I see why she’s so tired…if that happens when she sleeps…My God Reva she must never get any rest.”
“How are we supposed to help that?”
Jeffrey removed his hands from Olivia’s face, her breathing had gradually slowed to a normal rhythm signaling that she may finally be sleeping comfortably, and stood reaching down to help his wife from the floor then led her back to the kitchen where they could talk without fear of waking their now sleeping houseguest.
Jeffrey took Reva in his arms, “I suppose a bad dream or two can be expected but that was more than just a ‘bad dream’.”
Reva nodded still shaken from the experience, “Yes it was. We’ll definitely have to keep an eye on her.”
Jeffrey looked Reva in the eyes, “Yes we will…I love you. You know that?”
Feeling the adrenaline finally leaving her body, Reva answered, “I do know that. You remind me every day.” She closed the space between them and kissed her husband.
Pulling back, Reva announced that she was going to start dinner causing Jeffrey to reluctantly let go of his wife, “Anything I can do to help?”
“I’ve got it covered, you go do some work or something.”
Jeffrey smiled and left the kitchen for his den while Reva set about the kitchen and their meal preparations. On his way by the living room he risked a look over to the couch. Good, still sleeping. My God Olivia what has this done to you?To be continued...