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 ) ( Part 40 )
Olivia quietly opened the door to her room at The Beacon unsure of whether the nurse would still be there or not. When she heard no voices she crept in and noticed Natalia in bed asleep. Thank you God for small mercies. Olivia didn’t feel capable of talking about anything right now and Natalia would surely have questions as to where she had been.
The distraught woman moved over to the bar and hesitated, she thought briefly about what Reva had said. No, sorry Reva, tonight, Jesus, tonight I need a drink. She poured out a healthy glass of Jack Daniels, wincing a little when she used her sore right hand to pour. Three quick shots later she moved to the bathroom to brush her teeth and gargle away the taste of vomit that remained even after the shots of Jack. Putting her hands on the sink, she leaned in and looked in the mirror realizing how pale she was. It’s not like I didn’t expect that. She exhaled a few times to tried to calm herself. “Oh God.” Olivia scrubbed her face with her hands as unwelcome images of the scene in the living room at the farmhouse floated into her head. Quickly she went back out to the bar and after a look at the bed to make sure Natalia was still asleep, grabbed the near full bottle of Jack with her uninjured left hand. Taking the bottle with her she went into Emma’s room and sat heavily on the bed.
Olivia drank directly from the bottle and kicked off her shoes. She took a moment to examine her right hand, flexing it just to feel the pain. This is going to bruise and I won’t be able to hide it. Fuck. Olivia wished she had some ice but she just didn’t have the energy to go and get it so she rested the bottle, cooled only by the air conditioning in the room, against it while she thought about the farmhouse. Oh Christ. Bile rose in her throat. Whoa, just breathe. Olivia calmed herself for just a moment before bringing the bottle to her lips again. The welcoming burn from the Jack was beginning to dull the pain in her hand, head and heart. The previous nights she drank just to quiet the nightmares, tonight Olivia knew she had other horrors to bury. Taking another long drink she sat back in the bed, leaned against the headboard and started thinking about her family. I got a kid I keep shipping off to her nanny, my best friend I leave with some psycho nurse… She took a drink. And I’ll I wanna do is drink myself into oblivion. What the hell is wrong with me?
“God? You there?” Olivia looked up at the ceiling in desperation. “I don’t know what to do. I’m a mess and now I’ve got Natalia here and I’m supposed to be caring for her and Emma’s begging to be with us but I can’t let her yet. My home is a war zone and I can barely imagine ever going back there.” Her eyes filled with tears. “I’m so lost. I’m confused, I’m scared and I’m the one who’s supposed to know what I’m doing but I‘m so fucked up!”
Feeling panic rising, she needed to move around. Olivia quickly slid from the bed and stood, not realizing how dizzy she was going to be from the alcohol. She grabbed the edge of the bed with her free hand until she regained her equilibrium and could stand up straight, the jarring impact against her more recent injury sending a jolt of adrenaline through her. Olivia walked around the room for some time, shaking out her hand, sweating profusely and her heart pounding. Okay so the Jack isn’t working for this. Damn it. Olivia took another long drink from the bottle to calm herself, she felt like it was burning a hole in her stomach but she couldn’t care less.
“So you’re not responding to me eh God?” Her words were beginning to slur. “That’s fine, I don’t need you, I can make this better all by myself. I just have to…to figure something…ya know you’ll see.” Climbing back on the bed she curled into a ball on top of the covers, the bottle of Jack Daniels slipping from her fingers and spilling on the bed as Olivia whispered, “I can do this…for Emma, for Natalia.” Just before she finally passed out.
Natalia woke up but she wasn’t sure what prompted it. Looking around the room she remembered she was at the hotel. She found the clock on the nightstand, one-fifteen. Did Olivia come home? Natalia sat up slowly. Darn it, I didn’t want to fall asleep until she got back, I’ve got to talk to her. Natalia remembered the phone call she had received from Frank shortly after the nurse left.
“Natalia? It’s Frank. I wanted to see how you’re doing?”
“I’m fine Frank, the nurse Olivia hired for me helped me change and get into bed, she just left.”
“Oh I suppose Olivia went to check out the farmhouse.” Frank stated matter-of-factly.
“What? The farmhouse?” Natalia asked.
“She didn’t tell you? She had Jeffrey ask me if we’d released the crime scene yet. He said something about Olivia wanting to check it out before the place is cleaned.”
“What?! She didn’t say anything like that to me.” Natalia exclaimed.
“Oh, I’m sorry Natalia, I didn’t know. I’m sure she intended to tell you.”
“Frank I need to go.”
Natalia had hung up the phone and tried to call Olivia but her Blackberry just went to voicemail. What are you doing Olivia? You shouldn’t be going there alone.
Natalia shook her head to clear herself of the memory. Olivia where are you? Natalia heard a noise and turned her head toward Emma’s room. She slowly moved off of the bed and grabbing furniture to help support her, made her way to the other bedroom. The noise was getting louder. Oh my God. “Olivia?”
Natalia was moving as fast as she could manage, opening the door she first heard then saw Olivia knees drawn up and curled in the fetal position crying and moaning clearly in the grip of a nightmare.
“Olivia!” Natalia climbed on the bed, moving the near empty bottle out of the way and avoiding the spilled Jack Daniels. She put her hand on Olivia’s back and tried to wake her.
‘Sitting on the bench on the porch outside waiting. But she didn’t know for what. She just kept watching down the driveway to the road, waiting. To her right she saw her family playing catch with a football on the lawn. Emma squealed as Rafe tickled her when she caught the ball, causing it to drop to the ground. Ava ran over and picked it up and threw it to Natalia who fumbled at first but caught it. Olivia watched them as they laughed and teased. She saw Natalia turn to her and wave her over but Olivia was rooted to the bench. She could see the wrinkle appear in Natalia’s forehead that indicated that she couldn’t understand why Olivia wasn’t coming to play. Olivia struggled and struggled, but she could not get up, she could not speak. Olivia could feel a pressure on her, almost holding her down. She still struggled to move from the bench, Natalia still waiting for her. The moment she’d taken her eyes from the driveway and the road, she’d missed the dark car turn and pull into the driveway. She heard too late the doors open and then two men exit the car. She could see that Natalia, Emma, Rafe and Ava didn’t notice the car or the men. Finding her voice, she screamed herself hoarse as she struggled and watched as the men approached her family. Danny and Brian, ‘Oh God’, Olivia recognized the men. They were bad men. In her mind she screamed, ‘RUN!’ Danny looked at Olivia and gave her a smirk before shaking his head. Her helpless family still couldn’t hear her. Olivia watched as the men continued to approach the unaware people, two guns appeared and it suddenly sounded like the Annual Bauer Fourth of July party, fireworks popping in quick succession. Natalia chest burst open with a spray of blood and bone and Olivia realized that these were not fireworks at all. ‘Natalia!’, her mind screamed as she struggled frantically against the invisible barrier that held her in place. She saw Ava grab a screaming Emma to shield her, Rafe run for his fallen mother, and the gunmen turn on him. ‘POP, POP, POP’ Rafe went falling to the ground inches from Natalia’s body. Olivia screamed and kicked at the barrier and the men who turned toward her girls. ‘NOOOOO!’ Her voice was raw as her cries tore from her throat. Two more shots and Ava dropped to the ground. Olivia threw her whole body at the invisible barrier as she watched Emma turn to face the men with a look of pure horror on her face before looking over to Olivia. ‘Mommy, why didn’t you stop them?’ POP.’
“NO, NO, NO!” Olivia sat up with such force she threw herself onto the floor.
Natalia moved as fast as she could. “Olivia!” Grunting from the effort it took to move as quickly as she had, she reached the floor and grabbed Olivia’s tear streaked face. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”
Olivia’s eyes wouldn’t focus on anything; she was looking around the room frantically trying to move away from Natalia, whose weak upper body shook from the effort of trying to hold the distraught woman in place. “Olivia, please, it’s Natalia, I’m right here!”
“What? Natalia?” Her voice hitched on Natalia’s name. “Where are they?”
Olivia mentally shook her head to try and clear the dream when she realized that the only other person in the room was Natalia. “Oh my God…”
“I’m right here sweetheart. Talk to me, what happened? Was it your dream? Please…tell me.” Natalia implored as she was forced to let go of Olivia’s face when her arms finally gave out from the strain.
Oh God no, not in front of her. Completely mortified, Olivia tried to rise from the floor to get away from Natalia.
“You can’t run away from this Olivia.” Natalia managed to reach out and grab the bottom of Olivia’s shirt, which was just enough to keep the upset woman in place. “Tell me what you’re dreaming, how can I help you otherwise?”
Olivia couldn’t help chuckling, “Help me? You want to help me? Everybody wants to help me.” Throwing her hands up into the air she exclaimed, “Christ even Reva wants to help me!” Looking into Natalia’s eyes, she dropped her head and asked, “When did I become so pathetic? So useless?”
“You’re neither pathetic nor useless Olivia! My God, you always have to be the strong one don’t you? Why can’t you just accept that sometimes it’s okay to need something from someone else? You can’t do everything yourself.”
“HA! No SHIT!” Olivia screamed in Natalia’s face shocking the Latina. “I can’t do anything, I fuck everything up! All this,” Olivia spanned her arms and looked around to indicate their current position, “this is my fault, I failed you, I failed Emma… And here we are, you’re hurt, Emma’s living with Jane and I…” she shook her head before yelling out of frustration, “I’m falling apart!”
Natalia roughly grabbed hold of and lifted Olivia’s chin, “Nothing about this was your fault. We’re okay.” Simple statements and Olivia wanted to feel the truth in them but she could not.
“Natalia have you looked at us lately? Do we look okay to you?”
Olivia shook her head, pulled away from Natalia and managed to get to her feet. “I’m not okay and neither are you.”
“I just mean we’re safe. All three of us, as long as we’re safe, we’re okay.”
Olivia watched Natalia struggle to get to her feet, then sighed, gave in and helped her up. She glanced toward the wet Jack Daniels spot and suggested, “You should be resting, let’s get you back to your bed.”
Natalia noticed where Olivia had looked, “Why, are you afraid that I’ll see that you spilled your bottle of booze all over the bed, most likely when you passed out?”
Olivia scoffed, shook her head and releasing her supportive hold, walked two steps away from Natalia keeping her back to her.
“I know you drink Olivia, it’s not a surprise. You just don’t normally pass out from it.”
Ashamed Olivia ignored her and looked out of the window. You have no idea Natalia, I can’t let you find out.
“I want to talk about your dream, was it the same as before?”
“No,” Olivia shook her head vigorously, “We’re not doing this.”
“Olivia, I know you don’t want to ‘burden’ me but you can tell me anything.”
Olivia spun toward Natalia, “Drop it!”
“Fine!” As much as she hated to, Natalia was getting frustrated and needed answers. “You went to the farmhouse.” It was a statement rather than a question.
Olivia stared at her.
“In answer to your question, Frank called and said something about Jeffrey asking about whether they’d released it.”
“Well good ol’ Frankie, can always count on him!” Olivia shook her head in frustration.
“Olivia, when were you going to tell me?”
“I don’t know.” It was the truth.
“What happened?” Natalia asked.
“You really wanna know?” Olivia asked. “’Cuz I don’t want you to know.” I don’t know if I can do this tonight. There isn’t enough Jack in me to have this conversation right now. I feel like the room is closing in on me.
Olivia panicked, turned and walked out of the bedroom leaving Natalia standing on shaky legs.
“Where are you going?” Afraid Olivia might leave Natalia hurried back to the main room, when she got there, she was sweating and breathing heavy. “Olivia?”
Olivia stood at the door clutching the handle. I want to run… but run where? I can’t escape there’s just no place to go.
Natalia struggled her way to Olivia, rested her hand on Olivia’s lower back and stated, “You’re not going anywhere.”
Olivia felt the touch and heard the panting behind her. Oh God Natalia. She turned and took Natalia’s hands, “I’m sorry, let’s get you to the bed, you should be sitting down.”
Olivia assisted Natalia back to the bed and helped her sit before stepping back with a whispered, “I’m sorry.”
“I know you don’t want to tell me about the farmhouse, but Olivia it’s my home too.” Natalia watched as Olivia pulled back shaking her head. “Tell me.”
You don’t know what you’re asking of me. Olivia paced the room trying to decide if and what she could tell Natalia.
For her part, Natalia sat quietly watching Olivia move about the room like a caged animal. My God, how bad was it?
Olivia stood in the corner of the room and considered what to say when finally she blurted, “There was blood everywhere, I threw up into your flowerbed and I had a huge meltdown.”
Natalia considered this. Truthfully she was surprised that Olivia had said anything but it wasn’t enough, Natalia wasn’t sure she wanted to know every detail but if it would help her friend she would listen. “What made you throw up? Seeing the blood or how it made you feel?”
“What?” Olivia could not believe the question.
I want to know what you were thinking, what you were feeling, come on Olivia, I think I can take it and you need to get it out. “Blood doesn’t bother you, so what did seeing it make you feel to upset you so much?”
You don’t get it Natalia. The blood was yours…when I saw the step; I saw you sitting there, stunned and dying and me powerless to stop it from happening. Jesus it felt like my fucking dream.
Natalia watched the pain etched on Olivia’s face as she was obviously remembering her trip to the farmhouse. She watched the older woman as she began to shake and throw her hand against the wall for support as she paled.
Emma was just upstairs, she left the bathroom, she stood there in view of the living room and he could have shot her if he was able to. I wouldn’t have been able to stop it. Both of my girls could have died while I sat by and watched.
Natalia was getting concerned. What are you thinking about Olivia, where have you gone? When Olivia heaved like she was going to be sick, Natalia was up from the bed as quickly as her body would allow it.
“Olivia!” She grabbed the woman by her upper arms and gave a light shake. “Come back to me. It’s okay, we’re safe.” Olivia looked into Natalia’s eyes. She saw warmth, concern and love. “Honey, what is it?”
Olivia face twisted into anguish, she sobbed, “I could have lost you. I could have lost Emma. I wouldn’t have been able to stop it.” She lowered her head to Natalia’s shoulder.
Natalia was stunned for only a moment by the admission before she put her arms around Olivia and whispered, “We’re both okay, we got out of it.”
“But what? Olivia, we can’t change what happened for the better any more than we can go back and see a worse outcome. What’s done is done and we all survived.”
Pulling back to look seriously at Natalia, Olivia could just imagine what she looked like, eyes red and tired, while her cheeks bore the tracks of more tears than she cared to count. Olivia sniffed and asked, “Is that why you seem so okay with what happened? Because it can’t be changed?” You’re not the only one with questions Natalia. Why aren’t you upset, you killed someone?
Natalia was caught off guard by the question. She knew exactly what Olivia was referring to, her shooting and killing Brian. This isn’t the right time; I’m not ready to explain that.
Natalia did the only thing she could, she lied. “That’s right, we can’t change it.” She moved away from Olivia and back toward the bed.
Olivia watched in astonishment. She just lied to me. What the hell is that all about? “Is that all?”
“Yes.” I know you know there’s more but not right now, “Olivia you look exhausted, I know I am.”
Olivia stood in front of the bed, surprised at how Natalia brushed off something so potentially upsetting. She was very emotionally exhausted so she let it drop for now, promising to question Natalia again when she felt more capable of dealing with a true reaction from her.
Without another word Natalia slowly walked back over to her and took Olivia’s hand to lead her back to the bed.
To be continued...