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 ) ( Part 27 ) ( Part 28 ) ( Part 29 ) ( Part 30 ) ( Part 31 ) ( Part 32 ) ( Part 33 ) ( Chapter 34 )
Lillian orchestrated their little venture into the hallway. Natalia noted that although it still hurt like crazy it was not actually as bad as the day before.
“I think I can go further,” Natalia suggested as the trio was beginning to turn back to go to the room.
“Okay,” Lillian responded, “just a few more steps. We still have to walk the distance back.”
They trudged on until Natalia was sweating and breathing hard.
Olivia, proud of how well Natalia was doing, felt herself lifting out of the funk she had been in for the past couple of hours. “You’re doing fabulous Natalia, why don’t we go back?”
“Mmm, okay. This hurts pretty good now.” Natalia grunted when they turned around to walk back to the room.
It was all they could do to get her returned before she collapsed. Natalia was bent over just a few steps from the doorway.
“Come on sweetheart, you do can do it.” Olivia encourage as she squeezed the hand she was holding.
Lillian had taken a step back to let Olivia help Natalia. Standing nearby in case she was needed, Lillian mostly watched occasionally giving advice, wanting the worried woman to realize that she could help her friend after all.
When they got into the room Olivia helped Natalia to the chair all the while giving her comforting and encouraging words. Natalia was struggling to catch her breath and manage the pain.
“Honey do you want a drink?”
Olivia picked up the bottle of juice from the tray table and brought it over to hand it to Natalia. “You did great, you know that?”
“I had help.”
Olivia smiled and pulled a blanket from the bed and covered Natalia’s legs.
With Natalia settled and relaxing Olivia sighed in relief. I did help. In fact it felt good to help.
Looking back toward the door she realized that Lillian had let her bring Natalia back to the room on her own and she couldn’t help but grin a little in thanks to the older woman.
“Well I think Olivia has everything under control, unless you need anything more from me Natalia?” Lillian asked.
Looking up from her orange juice Natalia shook her head, “No.” Then taking Olivia’s hand she added, “I’ve got everything I need.”
Olivia couldn’t help the blush that crept up her cheeks as she squeezed the hand that held hers.
“In that case, I have another patient I should check on, I’ll be back later, girls. Good job Natalia. You too Olivia.” She left the two women again.
Natalia released Olivia’s hand then looked down at her new pajamas and said, “I guess I should have waited to change, these are a little sweaty now. I never told you that I liked them, I love the colour.”
Olivia leaned down to eye level with Natalia, “I’m glad you like them. I can buy you another pair while we wash these, if you like?”
Natalia laughed, “I’m fine for now, please don’t buy more when I have perfectly good pajamas at home.”
Ah that ‘home’ word again, Olivia swallowed as her mouth began to dry. “I suspect that bag Marina packed for you would have some pajamas, it’s still at The Beacon, I’ll have Jeffrey run me by there to get it.”
“Okay.” Natalia ignored any mention of home as well and instead turned her attention to the result of her walk. “I’m glad I was able to walk further, it still hurt a lot but not as bad as I expected and the pain went away faster.”
Olivia grabbed the other bottle of water and pulled the new chair in the room over in front of Natalia, sat down and reached over to take her hand and look deeply into her eyes. “You did fantastic. I love that you want to push forward and get stronger, I’ll be there for every step I promise.”
“I know you will be.” Natalia responded. “That means a lot to me.” She paused then quietly added as she looked down at their joined hands, “You mean a lot to me.” More than I’m afraid to admit, I think.
Olivia simply grinned back at Natalia as her stomach felt like a hundred butterflies had taken up permanent residence.
Neither woman spoke, afraid to ruin the moment they just sat there holding hands in the quiet hospital room.
Finally, a knock at the door startled both women, Olivia let go of the hand she had held and pressed hers to her chest as though her heart might be trying to escape while Natalia gave a slight chuckle.
As Olivia got up to answer the door, Natalia asked, “Are you okay? Not gonna have a heart attack or anything?” She added with a wink.
“Ha ha. Pardon me if I was just lost there for a moment.” Olivia said as she walked to the door. Lost in you.
It was Natalia’s turn to blush at Olivia’s back.
Olivia opened the door and Jeffrey was standing on the other side.
“Hey Jeffrey, come on in.” Olivia walked back into the room assuming he would follow.
“Hello Olivia.” As he got closer to Natalia he greeted her, “Natalia how are you feeling?” Jeffrey bent down to kiss her on the cheek.
“I’m doing great Jeffrey, thank you. I was up walking around again a few minutes ago; I was able to get further than I did yesterday.”
“Hey that’s terrific.” Jeffrey genuinely responded. Turning to Olivia he said, “I’m sorry but it’s after five, we should get going home.”
“Of course, wouldn’t want to keep the little woman waiting,” Olivia sarcastically remarked.
“Olivia,” Jeffrey warned.
Natalia could not help but chuckle, she tried to hold it in but the laugh escaped through her tight lips anyway. It’s so good to hear her sounding more like herself. She at least had the good manners to look embarrassed when Jeffrey looked at her. “Sorry.”
“It’s alright Natalia. Is there anything I can get for you before we leave?”
“I’m okay, thanks.”
“Would you like to get back in bed?” Olivia asked.
“No. I think I’d just like to sit up a bit longer, I’m sure Lillian will be in shortly to check on me, she can help me back to bed.”
“’Kay.” Olivia moved over to her chair and squatted down next to her and covered Natalia’s hand with her own again. “If there’s anything you need, you know where I am.”
“Same goes for you.”
“I promise, no middle of the night phone calls tonight.”
“But I’ll be right here if you need to call.” Natalia hesitated then with concern and mild desperation asked, “You will call before you go to bed though right?” To try and cover herself she added, “I mean, I want to know how everything goes with Phillip.”
Olivia smiled at Natalia’s attempt to hide the fact that she wanted to talk to her before bed too, “Of course, I’ll make sure to keep you informed,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
Standing slightly, not willing to let go of the hand in hers yet, Olivia leaned over and kissed Natalia on the head. “Love you.” It was said so naturally, as though she said it to her all the time, if it were not for Olivia freezing in place and her eyes going wide at the realization that she said it aloud again, it would have been perfectly normal.
Natalia paused when she heard Olivia say she loved her. It’s not that she hadn’t said it before, just that it was becoming more frequent and there was something in the way she had just said those two words that had Natalia hesitating. Releasing the breath she had been holding Natalia realized there was nothing to overreact about. Just smile and let it go.
After she recovered, Olivia said, “Umm, I guess we’re going to go then,” while standing up straight and backing away a few steps.
“Okay, so I’ll talk to you later then.”
“Yep,” Olivia nodded exaggeratedly.
“Yep,” Natalia responded in kind.
Jeffrey just watched the two women struggle to say goodbye, feeling like he shouldn’t be there.
“Bye.” Getting closer to the door but still looking at Natalia.
“Bye,” came Natalia’s sad response.
Oh screw this. Olivia gave in and quickly ran back to Natalia bending down to give her a big hug, careful not to squeeze too hard. Pulling back she admitted, “I really hate saying goodbye to you.”
“Oh me too,” Natalia breathed.
“Tomorrow then.” Olivia straightened.
Jeffrey wanted to roll his eyes but he had never seen Olivia so attached to anybody except her daughters so instead he silently reached for her hand and led her from the room feeling like he was ripping the woman away from the other half of her soul.
As Jeffrey started the car to drive them back to Cross Creek, Olivia remembered that she promised Natalia more pajamas.
“Hey Jeffrey, can we run by The Beacon I told Natalia I’d bring her the bag Marina packed for her.” Plus I just need a little something if I’m going to get through tonight.
“Oh sure, it’s on the way.”
Jeffrey pulled out of the parking lot and headed for the hotel while asking Olivia what Natalia had meant about Phillip.
Olivia gave him a short explanation and told him her worries about it.
“Well I know it’s hard for you Olivia but trusting him has to start somewhere. I think it was a good decision to let him take Emma back to the mansion for dinner.”
Feeling pressure build in her head, Olivia absently pinched the bridge of her nose with her finger and thumb. “Well he’s gonna call after dinner, then Jane’s gonna call once he leaves her place so I can relax after I hear from her.”
Jeffrey pulled the car up in front of the hotel after the short drive to The Beacon.
“Do you want to give me your room key, I can run up for you and get her bag?”
“No! I mean I need to pee, you stay here I’ll just be a few minutes.”
“Umm, okay, I’ll be here.” A little surprised at her sharp response, Jeffrey turned off the car and got out to help Olivia exit the car.
“Be right back.” Olivia called as she headed for the front doors.
She couldn’t go through the lobby without at least saying hello and scaring her employees a little just to remind them who is in charge but Olivia made it brief wanting to get to her room.
She found Natalia’s bag and opened it, sure enough two pairs of pajamas right on top. She left the bag open and filled it with the other items she had stopped for then zipped it back up and headed back to Jeffrey’s car. I just need to find a way to relax, it might be a bit awkward out at Cross Creek but I’ll figure something out.
To be continued...