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 ) ( Part 35 ) ( Part 36 ) ( Part 37 ) ( Part 38 )
By one o’clock all of the papers had been signed and Natalia’s prescriptions and after care had been explained. Jeffrey had been called and was on his way so the only thing left to do was get Natalia dressed, then they would be ready to go.
Lillian had offered to help but since Olivia was going to be her primary care giver from now on, Natalia had declined saying they would manage just fine.
Both women felt a little uncomfortable but they talked their way through it and before they knew it Natalia was dressed and they were sitting next to each other on the bed chatting easily while waiting for Jeffrey to pick them up.
When Jeffrey arrived both women surprised him when he walked into the room. Sitting on the bed, Natalia’s hand was on Olivia’s forearm as she was explaining something that must have been very funny by the way Olivia was laughing, they looked happy together and completely comfortable. Best friends. Jeffrey thought. I never thought I’d see Olivia laugh like that, so completely open and filled with joy. Good job Natalia.
The laughter died down when they noticed Jeffrey. “Your chariot awaits.”
“You’re late.” Olivia responded.
“I had calls to make.”
“It’s fine,” Natalia interrupted, “thank you for driving us.”
“You’re very welcome Natalia.” Jeffrey said as he moved to the bed and reached out his hand. “Lillian is on her way with a wheelchair, can I help you stand?”
Olivia swatted the offered hand away, “I’ve got it, thank you.” Olivia slid from the bed and helped Natalia to stand as Lillian arrived in the room with the chair.
It took some time to get to the car, Natalia insisted on thanking each person she came across who had in some way helped her. Olivia realized that she should have been frustrated by how long exiting the building was taking but she knew that this was who Natalia was. Gentle, kind and very thankful.
When they finally reached the car, Olivia helped her into the front seat after Natalia had hugged and thanked Lillian. Both the nurse and patient had teared up and once Natalia was safely belted in Olivia hugged Lillian as well, acknowledging that she owed her more than she may ever be able to repay.
When all three people were in the car, Jeffrey asked if they needed to stop anywhere before heading to The Beacon.
“Well we have some prescriptions to pick up and I’d really like to get my things from your house actually.” Olivia answered. “But you probably have to get back to work.”
“Hmm, I do have a meeting?” Jeffrey said.
“Well that’s okay, I can come out another time and get my things,” Olivia suggested.
After a quick stop at the pharmacy for Natalia’s prescriptions, Jeffrey dropped the women off at The Beacon. Olivia had called ahead and had Natalia’s new wheelchair waiting at the front door. As they went through the lobby all of the employees offered Natalia their greetings and best wishes. Because they were her employees Olivia shooed them away even though Natalia gave her a look for it.
When they got to the room Olivia put Natalia’s bag down on the floor and observed her friend with a measure of trepidation. What do we do now?
“Umm…so did you want to get into bed or sit up? I could take you for a walk, do you want to get into your pajamas, are you hungry?”
“Whoa,” Natalia held up her hand at the barrage of questions, “Well I am a bit hungry, I didn’t have lunch. Maybe I could sit up to eat?”
“Whatever you like, I’ll order something for you, what do you feel like?”
“I’d love some soup. Like real soup, not just flavoured water.”
“I had chef put on some chicken soup. It’s not mine, but it’s a start.”
“Well it’ll have to do.” Natalia smiled.
After finishing their soup, Natalia decided she needed a rest. “It’s amazing how doing as little as getting in and out of a car and eating soup can tire a person out.”
Olivia was busy putting the tray from their lunch into the hallway to be picked up by room service, remembering those dark days after her own experience Olivia observed, “You’re not kidding. Just lifting your head can be exhausting after the surgery you’ve had.”
“I think I should probably crawl into bed for a nap,” Natalia suggested, “If you don’t mind?”
“Of course I don’t mind. Do you want your pajamas on? I could help you.” Olivia’s voice trailed off.
“Is Emma visiting later?”
“Ah, I thought maybe she could come for supper, why?”
“I’d rather not be in my pajamas then. And please wake me before she gets here so I can get up first.” Natalia attempted to stand up on her own and move toward the bed. Olivia moved quickly to her side and grabbed her arm to help her move easier.
Olivia was confused, “Emma sees you in your pajamas every day and sleeps in your bed sometimes, why don’t you want her to see you…I don’t understand?”
When Natalia was seated on the edge of the bed she patted the spot next to her for Olivia to sit down. When Olivia had, Natalia took her hand. How do I make this sound in a way that won’t hurt you?
“This is the room that you recovered in after the transplant and after the rejection.” Natalia paused to reach up and scrub her forehead with her free hand before continuing. She winced and turned slightly so she could look into Olivia’s sad eyes as she had begun to realize what Natalia was saying. “Emma knows that this is different, I get that but I don’t want her to come in and think that I’m as sick as you were.”
Olivia lowered her head. Oh shit. “And because she’s not staying here right now, she might make an association between me almost dying and you.”
“Olivia, I’m sorry and maybe I’m just being overly cautious, she’s just been through...”
Olivia held up her hand to stop Natalia’s hurried explanation as she stood up and walked away from the bed. “I appreciate that you’re considering the effect this will have on her.” Why the hell wasn’t I? “Why don’t you lay down, I’ll get you up before she gets here. Will my typing bother you, I thought I’d respond to some emails?”
“No,” Natalia answered quietly “the typing won’t bother me. Are you okay?”
With a twitch of a smile Olivia responded, “I’m fine, thank you for thinking about Emma. Go to sleep.”
Natalia slipped under the covers while watching her friend move over to the laptop resting on the desk. Olivia opened and turned it on as she sat down on the chair and waited impatiently for it to boot up. Natalia’s eyes closed to the sound of a faint clicking as Olivia’s fingers flew across the keys. She drifted to sleep and missed the pause in typing as Olivia read an instant message that had her heart beating faster.
JO’Neill: I didn’t want to say this in the car with Natalia there, I’m not sure what you two have talked about and I didn’t want to upset her. I talked to Frank and they did release the farmhouse. It’s a mess Olivia, before you two consider going home for anything it needs to be cleaned and repaired. If you’ll let me, I’ll take care of it.
OliviaS: I want to see it before it’s cleaned.
JO’Neill: Why? You don’t need to see it; you were there so you know. Just let me take care of it.
OliviaS: I want my car anyway, the nurse is coming tonight about 7 and she’ll be here about an hour so pick me up at 7:15. Text me and I’ll come out, I’ll just make some excuse.
JO’Neill: Olivia, why can’t you just let it go?
OliviaS: I appreciate your concern Jeffrey, but… please.
JO’Neill: Fine. I have to get to court. See you tonight.
OliviaS: Thanks J
Olivia sat back. Why do I need to see it? Because it’s my home and I can’t run away from it.
She went back to answering emails when a short time later there was a quiet knock at the door. Olivia glanced toward the bed, Natalia didn’t stir but not wanting to wake her just yet she rushed to the door. When she opened it Reva was standing there holding Olivia’s bag.
“I thought I’d bring your things to you.” Reva told Olivia.
“Oh. Umm, thanks.” Olivia whispered looking back toward the bed to make sure Natalia was still asleep. “I’d invite you in but Natalia’s sleeping.” She reached for her bag but Reva pulled it back.
“Come out here then.”
Olivia felt she didn’t have a choice so she followed Reva into the hallway and clicked the door behind her.
“What’s wrong?” Olivia asked.
“Just thought I’d mention that I removed your recycling from your things.”
“Reva, did you go through my bag?” Olivia asked, while feeling a mix of anger and embarrassment rising.
“Didn’t have to, the clanging of glass on glass alerted me.”
Olivia opened her mouth to speak but Reva continued, “Is that what you’ve been doing, drinking yourself to sleep? Exactly what did you think you were accomplishing?”
Once again Olivia tried to explain but Reva’s lecture kept on, “You have a concussion. What effect did you think drinking might have on that? Or, I don’t know, your heart condition?”
“Hey!” Olivia interrupted, “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“The woman who gets hit and loses her husband for the night because some crazy woman can’t get it together.”
Olivia scoffed, “I told you I was sorry for hitting you.”
“Right, I’m sure you’re broken up about that.” Then Reva began to raise her voice, “What were you thinking? You have a daughter who needs you…”
“I was thinking about my kid! Don’t you dare try to make me feel guilty for this; I’m doing the best I can.”
Reva continued, “Really? And what about your business? I know you’re very hands on here, don’t you think people are going to start to notice...”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Olivia warned.
“So you wanna hurt your kid and your business…well let’s see, eventually Natalia, yes you’ll hurt her too, all because you’re afraid of your dreams?”
“Hey! You don’t understand!” Olivia screamed, feeling herself become unglued at the thought of hurting any person or thing that she loved, hadn’t she done enough already, wasn’t that the point she was trying to make?
“Then tell me,” Reva implored.
With a sigh Olivia continued, “So alright, I needed some help relaxing, I just wanted a few drinks to help, then… I don’t know, I got up the next morning and amazingly there’d been no nightmares! So yeah, I figured what the hell? If it works, who cares? Rick wouldn’t give me sleeping pills.”
“Because of your concussion!” Reva interrupted.
“What so I’m just supposed to scare the shit outta my kid and not try to do anything to keep it from happening again! What would you do Reva? You wouldn’t stoop to any level no matter how low to spare one of your kids even a moment of pain?”
Reva took a deep breath to calm herself, knowing what she was saying was true but not agreeing with her method. “It’s too dangerous for you to be drinking right now Olivia. I understand your need to quiet your dreams but you could hurt yourself. I’m looking at those empties, honey you drank a lot over the last few nights. It’s got to stop. It can’t go on forever right? You have to face it and now you’ve got Natalia here, she’ll see you drinking, what excuse will you have for her?”
Olivia turned back toward her closed door and she put her hand on it. “I just don’t know what else do to Reva.”
Reva walked to her and put her hand on Olivia’s shoulder, “Talk to someone. You have to deal with the nightmares. Have you told Natalia about them?”
Olivia turned back to face Reva. “A little,” she admitted, “But I can’t expect her to fix me! She’s got enough going on right now.”
“Well I’m sure Rick could refer you to someone.”
“I’m not going to a shrink.”
Reva paused then having made a decision said, “Then talk to me.” Olivia began to shake her head before Reva continued, “No, I’m serious. You’ve got to get it out that’s the only way the dreams will end.”
Both women stood across from each other clearly thinking about the offer. Olivia closed her eyes as tears began spill from them. Reva remained where she was, she did not want to risk Olivia pulling away from her. Let me help you Olivia.
“I’ll think about it.” Olivia finally responded.
“Olivia…” Reva breathed.
“No Reva,” Olivia took a deep breath and closed her eyes while wiping the last of her tears away, “I will think about it. I know this can’t go on, I’m not that naïve or, believe it or not, stupid.”
Reva nodded as she dropped Olivia’s bag at her feet and just before she turned to walk away said, “I really hope you will. If the drinking goes on, well it can’t Olivia.” Or I’ll have to tell Phillip so he can care for Emma and that would kill you more than any nightmares could.
To be continued...