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 ) ( Part 39 )
Olivia walked back into the room with her bag and found Natalia sitting up watching her. Oh shit. “You’re awake?”
“I woke up when I heard some raised voices, I didn’t see you so naturally assumed you were talking with an employee outside.” Natalia noticed the bag Olivia was carrying, “Who was it?”
“It was just Reva returning my things.” When she noticed the questioning look on Natalia’s face she was relieved that she had not heard anything incriminating but also realized that she was going to have to lie. “She was just angry with me for leaving a mess.” Olivia moved to put away her clothes dismissing the issue and hoping that Natalia would leave it alone.
Somehow I think there’s more to it than that. “Have you talked to Jane about having Emma come by?”
While Olivia put the last of her clothes in a drawer she answered, “She’ll be here right after Jane picks her up from school.”
Natalia looked at the clock, “Oh, then she’ll be here soon. Will you help me get up and in the chair?”
“Sure.” Olivia moved over to the bed and held her arm out for Natalia to take to help stabilize her on the short walk over to the chair. “Would you like a blanket or a drink or something?”
“I’d love some orange juice.” Natalia watched Olivia walk over to the little bar fridge and dig out a bottle of juice, open it and pour some into a glass for her. Who would have ever thought a year ago that Olivia Spencer would be taking care of me? Natalia could not help but get choked up. Very few people ever get to see her like I do but she’s a beautiful person, inside and out. What would I ever do without her? God don’t ever let me have to find out. Natalia was still afraid to analyze these feelings but she could not help but recognize how true they were.
Olivia returned to Natalia with her juice just as the door opened and Emma came running in, “Natalia!”
Natalia opened her arms for the happy little girl. “Emma, get over here, I missed you.” She hugged and kissed Emma until the child giggled and squirmed away.
“I drew you a picture today.” Emma started tearing through her backpack.
Olivia put down the juice on the table and dismissed Jane asking her to come back in a little while for Emma, then walked over to her daughter. “What, I don’t get a hug and a kiss?” Olivia pretended to pout. “I just don’t think that’s fair. I missed you too, ya know?”
Emma sighed in the hunt for the picture and walked over to her mother, “I’m sorry mommy, I didn’t forget you.” She hugged Olivia’s waist and mumbled, “I love you,” before running back to her backpack in search of the picture. When she found it she pulled it out and handed it to Natalia with an explanation. “This is you and me and mommy at the farmhouse.”
Olivia paused as her heart picked up its pace, of course it’s a picture of the farmhouse, it’s her home, the only one she’s ever really known. I just hope we’re going to be able to go back there.
Olivia was drawn back into the conversation when Natalia looked at the picture and pointed to one of the figures in the background, “What’s that?”
“That’s Alecia, my pony.”
Natalia and Olivia looked at each other and smiled. Olivia asked, “A pony, eh?”
“Yep! Daddy said he’d buy me a pony if you and Natalia said I could have one. So can I? It’s a farm so shouldn’t we have one? You can ride her too!”
“Oh well, that could be fun.” Thanks Phillip, I’ll be sure to let Emma stay with you again real soon, maybe we could get a pool and a trampoline too. Olivia stalled as she looked at Natalia who was no help. “Honey, that’s something mommy, daddy and Natalia will have to talk about.”
“I know.” Emma said, “Daddy said that and not to get my hopes up yet but it would be so cool to have my own pony,” Emma started walking toward the bathroom, “just sayin’.”
When the bathroom door closed both women looked at each other and Natalia stated, “She’s so your child.”
Two hours later the little family had talked and laughed over dinner but it was now time for Emma to go back to Jane’s. When the nanny returned to collect Emma, the child looked heartbroken. She looked from her mother to Natalia, “Why can’t I stay here?”
Olivia walked Emma over to the bed and sat her down in her lap. “Baby, I know you want to stay here with us but I need you to stay with Jane just a little longer.”
Emma sniffed, “But why? Natalia’s not in the hospital any more. Don’t you want me around?”
“Hey! Jellybean, I want you with me all the time and so does Natalia but you’re better off at Jane’s right now.” Please don’t make this any harder than it is. I hate seeing your sad face my sweet girl. We’re just not stable enough for you right now.
“Are you still having your bad dreams because I can sing to you and rub your back?” Emma pleaded.
Natalia’s heart broke. Unassisted, she slowly made her way over to the bed to sit next to Olivia and Emma. Looking into the child’s eyes she put her hand on her back and admitted, “Honey, it’s my fault. It’s because I’m not healed completely yet and I have to get up in the night to take pills and we just don’t want you to be disturbed. You have to get your sleep.”
Emma buried her head in her mother’s chest and cried softly while both Olivia and Natalia rubbed her back. Eventually Emma sat up and announced. “Fine, I’m leaving but I want to go home with both of my mommies very soon.”
“We want that too honey. Just a little longer.” Natalia answered for Olivia.
Emma leaned in to give both women a hug and a kiss then Olivia walked her over to Jane who took the child’s hand.
Emma paused on the way out the door and turned back, “Mommy, Natalia, I hope you’re going to take this time while I’m gone to talk about my pony.”
Both women smiled genuinely and Olivia answered, “I’m sure we will.”
Emma smiled and allowed Jane to walk her from the room while the faces in the room fell.
Olivia stood with her head bowed facing the door until she felt Natalia come up behind her and wrap her arms around her. With her mouth close to Olivia’s ear, Natalia whispered, “It’s the right thing, neither of us can take care of her properly right now.”
Natalia held on while Olivia cried. “I hate this so much. You’re still hurt, I’m fucked up and our kid has to be shipped off to her nanny because we can’t take care of her. It’s just wrong.”
Our kid? Natalia caught Olivia’s comment and even while feeling terrible for what they were going through she couldn’t help but smile a little inside. “You’ve never actually referred to Emma as ours.”
Olivia turned around, “What?” Did I say something I shouldn’t have?
“You called Emma our kid. I know you let me share her but…” Natalia trailed off.
Olivia took Natalia’s hand and noticing her swaying a little on her feet, led her back to the bed. “Emma is though, isn’t she? I see you in her. When she finds the best in a bad situation, that’s you. If that were me at her age tonight I’d have been kicking and screaming but no, she just wants us to talk about this pony idea.” Olivia shook her head, “That’s your influence. And Natalia I thank God for it.” Olivia paused and made a decision before raising her hand, looking deeply into Natalia’s eyes and stroking her cheek, “I thank God for you.”
Natalia hesitated, lost in Olivia’s green depths. I could just look at her forever. Whoa, why do I feel this way?
Olivia seemed to be waiting for Natalia to say something but before the confused woman could find her tongue she was ‘saved’ by a knock at the door that startled them.
Olivia reluctantly left Natalia on the edge of the bed and opened the door to a near six foot tall instantly intimidating looking blond haired, blue eyed woman wearing plain blue scrubs. The nurse. Shit, Jeffrey will be calling soon. “Come in please. I’m Olivia Spencer and this,” indicating Natalia, “is Natalia Rivera, your patient.”
The nurse walked in and smartly shook their hands, “I’m Ms. von Osten and you may call me Nurse von Osten or nurse.”
Olivia and Natalia looked at each other in horror. The next ten minutes were spent listening to Nurse von Osten explain her approach to home care and how they were both expected to assist her in keeping Natalia on track with her recovery. Olivia nearly jumped out of her skin when her Blackberry sounded letting her know there was a text message waiting. She hesitated, checked it then announced, “I have to go for a little bit.”
“Is everything okay?” Natalia asked while the nurse just sighed drawing Olivia’s attention momentarily.
“Everything is fine, I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Olivia bent down, hugged Natalia whispering ‘sorry’, then she stood tall and saluted the nurse before grabbing her jean jacket and purse on her way out the door.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Jeffrey asked as he pulled his car into the driveway at the farmhouse.
“I need to Jeffrey.” Olivia absently rubbed her temple wishing the constant pain in her head would go away. “I know you think I’m crazy.”
“No, I don’t. I’d feel the same way.” Jeffrey exited the car and before he could get around to the passenger door, Olivia had extricated herself as well, pausing to look up at her home. It hasn’t even been a week and yet it feels like a lifetime.
Jeffrey put his hand on her back, “Are you ready?”
Olivia nodded then started forward down the path before taking the few steps up to the porch. She hesitated as she put the key into the lock, then taking a deep breath turned the key and pushed the door open.
The smell hit her first and nearly made her gag. The metallic scent of blood filled the stagnant air. Stepping forward she absently reached for the light, while Jeffrey remained behind her, supportive but not pushing either to back out or move forward.
She flicked on the light and like a punch to her gut all of the air was sucked out of her body. If not for Jeffrey grabbing her arms to steady her she would have collapsed to the floor as her knees buckled. “Dear God.”
It looked like two rival gangs had had a gunfight, which she suspected was kind of true. Blood on the floor, blood on the couch visible even on the dark material. Olivia forced herself to look at the stairs. The stair Natalia had fallen on had a dark dried pool and a spray of blood against the wall. Jesus. Olivia’s head spun and her body shook uncontrollably, she bent forward; Jeffrey dragged her out into the fresh air where she promptly emptied the contents of her stomach into the flower bed before dropping to her knees. Gulping in a huge lungful of fresh air she willed her stomach to stop heaving.
“Have you had enough yet?” Jeffrey asked. “Let me take you back to The Beacon.”
“No, wait. I’m not done.” Olivia stood, shrugging off Jeffrey’s hand. She swallowed the bile in her throat audibly then marched back inside determined to face it. The wall across from the couch held the indent of her head. She walked over to the drywall and put her hand in the hole. No wonder my head feels like it was bashed in with a baseball bat. Turning back to the stairs she looked closer at the far wall, the bullet holes from Danny’s gun. She ran her hand over the wall she was standing near and touched the holes made by what she assumed was Natalia’s, no my own bullets from my gun that Natalia had to use.
Jeffrey was startled when Olivia let out a pained scream and punched a hole through the offending damage left by the bullet. She turned and slid down to the floor, pulled her knees to her chest and began to sob. Her body shaking, she cried aloud like a child unable to control herself. For fifteen minutes the usually stoic Jeffrey watched with tears streaming down his own cheeks as one of the most powerful women he had ever known broke apart in front of him.
When the pained sobs lessened, Jeffrey slowly moved to the floor next to Olivia and wrapped her in his arms and rocked her while she gathered herself. Soon after, she lifted her head and looked Jeffrey in the eye. “Take care of this. I don’t want a spot of blood, or a hint of it in the air. Tear it out and put it back together, I don’t care, just bleach this place clean or I can’t bring my family back here. I would rather light the match to burn it down myself than have either of them see this.”
Neither of them said anything else, Olivia had accomplished what she had come for, she had assessed whether or not their life in this house could be salvaged. She accepted that there might be a chance depending on how clean Jeffrey’s people could get it. It would take more than some drywall, paint and air freshener but she would give it a shot. I love this house, it’s where we became a family, I don’t want to let it go but I will if I have to.
Jeffrey let go of Olivia and stood before taking her hand and helping her up. She paused and glanced at the hole she had made with her fist then looked one last time at the bloody step. How will I ever forget that? Every time I walk up those stairs, won’t I see the dried blood whether it’s visible or not? Olivia closed her eyes and pictured the house before that night, no damaged walls, no bloody couch or spatter decorating the stairwell, just the mark on the kitchen doorframe where Emma scraped it with her skate and the nail hole from Natalia’s crucifix, her paintings… these were the marks she wanted to remember, the everyday lived in blemishes that reminded her that it was their home, not the offensive reminder of their one night in hell. She kept her eyes closed and held the image in her mind while she allowed Jeffrey with his hand on her back to guide her to the porch.
After walking outside, she put her key up to lock the door and noticed blood on her knuckles. She hadn’t notice at the time but punching the hole in the drywall had left a long cut and the beginnings of a bruise. She shook her head while she flexed her hand, it didn’t appear that anything was broken. Great, one more reminder of my mistakes.
She turned to Jeffrey who was patiently waiting behind her.
He nodded toward her hand as he pulled out a handkerchief, “Does that hurt?”
Olivia shook her head and watched as Jeffrey took her hand and carefully wiped away the blood. “Really Jeffrey, who still carries a handkerchief?”
He smiled, “I do. It’s not broken though is it?”
“Naw, just smarts a little.”
Jeffrey looked into Olivia’s eyes, “Are you okay?”
How do I answer that when I’m so obviously not? “I’ll be okay.”
“Do you want me to drive you back?”
“No.” Olivia looked over to her car. “I’m sure I’m fine to drive. I should get back to Natalia, I’ve been gone longer than I expected and I left her with a scary looking nurse.” She pulled Jeffrey into a long hug. “Thank you for bringing me here.”
“I’d say it was my pleasure but…”
“Yeah.” Olivia hung her head.
“If there is anything Reva and I can do for you, we’re here, okay?”
“I know and Jeffrey,” Olivia waited for him to look her in the eye, “thank you. I really mean that.”
The two friends parted and Olivia climbed into her white Nissan, the farmhouse lonely and quiet in her rearview mirror. Hopefully we can bring life back to you soon house.
To be continued...