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 ) ( Part 41 )
Looking down at their joined hands Natalia noticed something on the back of Olivia’s. Lifting the damaged appendage as Olivia tried to pull away; Natalia examined the scratch and darkening bruise before asking, “What the heck is this?”
Olivia pulled her hand away and tried to step back but having none of it, Natalia took her hand back and tightened her grip enough to hold her in place without hurting her, “Tell me.”
Olivia couldn’t look away from Natalia’s pleading brown eyes. “It’s not broken or anything…”
“Wall or face?”
“What did you punch; a wall or somebody’s face?”
“Natalia,” Olivia dismissed the question. “It’s fine. It just looks worse than it is.”
“So it was a wall then? At the farmhouse?”
When Olivia didn’t answer, Natalia studied her briefly before lifting the hand to her lips and pressing them against the long scratch. “I don’t want you hurting yourself anymore.”
Olivia only swallowed hard, unable to speak at the intimate gesture.
“Did you ice it?”
Olivia shook her head, “I was too tired to go get ice.”
Natalia sighed, though she could barely walk from one room to another without assistance she offered, “I’ll get you some.” She started to pull away from Olivia but found herself held in place.
“Just let me get you to bed, my hand is fine.”
“It’s already swollen and bruised.”
“And my hand is the least of my worries. Come on.” Olivia urged, “Let’s get you to bed.”
It didn’t appear to be broken or even bothering Olivia that much so Natalia admitted to herself that there were more pressing issues and she started toward the bed.
When they got there Natalia pushed Olivia so she sat on the edge. Then Natalia climbed in behind her. “Lay down.” Natalia commanded.
“I’m not going back to sleep.”
“Well sleeping by yourself isn’t working so we’re going to find another way.” Natalia pulled back the sheets to encourage Olivia who just looked at her questioningly.
They looked at each other both determined to hold their ground until Olivia gave in with a shake of her head and curled up on her side away from Natalia. “Fine, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get back to sleep anyway.”
The bed shifted and to her surprise Natalia curled in behind her and put her arm over Olivia, holding her. A voice close to her ear spoke, “You don’t have to fall asleep but I’m going to hold you right here. We’re in this together.” With a kiss to Olivia’s neck Natalia lowered herself back down and pulled in closer to her friend. She waited and it didn’t take long for Olivia’s breathing to even out and deepen. “I’ll be right here Olivia, I won’t let those bad dreams hurt you anymore.”
The early morning light was leaking into the room and Natalia blinked awake but it was something else that had her waking up so early. The body in her arms was twisting and moaning.
Oh no, it’s back. “Olivia, shhhh, it’s okay, let it go.” Natalia tried to soothe her when suddenly Olivia jerked forward as though trying to get away from or to something. The movement wrenched Natalia’s pained body terribly and the injured woman let out a cry even while still trying to hold Olivia through her nightmare. Natalia whispered, “Olivia please wake up!” Tears were stinging Natalia’s eyes from the pain in her chest and shoulder.
Suddenly Olivia’s actions stilled. Natalia was pressed up against Olivia’s back and could feel her pounding heartbeat.
“Oh God.” Olivia could feel Natalia wrapped around her. Under other circumstances she might enjoy staying right where she was but all she wanted to do after her dream was move. She reached back and lifted the arm holding her so she could slip out of bed. Standing facing the bed and Natalia, Olivia tried to catch her breath. I’m okay, I’m okay, just breathe.
Natalia did not dare try to move with the pain she was in. “Olivia, what is it? What do you need?”
Olivia backed away from the bed. I need you to hold me again, kiss my head and tell me that I can wake up now because all of this was just a bad dream. I need you to make it all better because I can’t seem to do it on my own. “I don’t know.” She walked over to the bar fridge and pulled out a water, I need something a hell of a lot stronger than this, opened it and drank her way through half before she realized Natalia had not moved.
“Are you okay?” Olivia moved toward the bed, the residual fear from her dream turning to concern for her friend.
“Just stiff.” I’m afraid to move, it’s like knives and I can barely breathe.
Olivia leaned toward her, “Can I help you sit up?”
“NO!” The response startled Olivia. “I’m sorry, no I just need to give it a minute.”
Olivia realized she had not been there when Natalia awoke the past few mornings and so she had no idea what the dark haired woman needed or if this was common for her.
“I need the pain pills. They’re on the nightstand, I can’t reach them.” I hate taking that stuff but I don’t have a choice right now, I can barely breathe it hurts so much.
Olivia read the directions on the bottle and awkwardly used her left hand to pour out two pills before handing them to Natalia.
“Thank you.” Natalia said quietly with a smile and she put the pills into her mouth and accepted the remainder of Olivia’s bottle of water. She swallowed the pills then she closed her eyes to wait for them to start dulling the agony.
Olivia watched and realized she had not seen Natalia in that kind of pain for days. Could she just be stiff? She let it go when Natalia tried to roll onto her back.
“Okay but slowly.” Natalia suggested.
Between the two of them they managed to get Natalia settled on her back.
“Are you sure I shouldn’t help you stretch?” Olivia wanted to do something to help.
“Not yet please, I just need to lay here until the drugs kick in.” Natalia closed her eyes as the pain thankfully began to ease. “How are you feeling?”
Olivia looked at Natalia and tried for a bit of humour, “Better than you?”
“Ha ha. But seriously though... how’s your hand?”
Olivia carefully sat on the edge of the bed trying not to disturb Natalia. She reached over and brushed the strands of hair covering brown eyes out of the way. “My hand is sore but otherwise fine and I’m alright. Before you ask, yes obviously it was another nightmare. I hope I didn’t scare you.”
“It’s okay. Was it as bad as last night?” Didn’t scare me but you hurt me. Natalia shifted and her chest felt on fire, thankfully she held back the groan that sprang to her lips. No, I can never tell you or you’ll feel terrible and responsible and I don’t want to add another weight to what you already carry.
“Same dream, but it didn’t seem to get as far.” Concerned Natalia might try to prompt her again to explain the dream she changed the subject. “I’m sorry about leaving you with that nurse last night. How was she? She seemed kinda scary.”
“Haha,” Natalia genuinely laughed despite the pain it caused, “She’s a character.” She scared the heck out of me and I wish you hadn’t left me alone with her. “She’s very direct and to the point. She’s not Lillian that’s for sure but she did the job.”
“Well that’s a glowing recommendation. I’ll get rid of her and bring someone else in.”
“No Olivia, she’s fine.” Natalia could not bear the idea of someone losing a job over her.
“I don’t think you liked her.” I know you, you don’t want her to lose the job but I won’t have someone taking care of you that you’re not comfortable with.
“I liked her just fine.” Seeing the disapproving look on Olivia’s face she asked, “Let’s give her another try okay?”
You couldn’t be sweeter if you tried. “Fine. Are you feeling any better now?”
“Yes the drugs have kicked in a bit but umm… I need to use the bathroom in the worst way; I can’t get there on my own right now though.”
“Okay, well here, let me help you.” Olivia walked over to the edge of the bed and helped Natalia stand, then after a moment for her to get comfortable on her feet, she guided her friend to the bathroom.
Natalia was moving slower than Olivia had seen her since the first time she had gone walking in the hallway of the hospital but within a few minutes they made it to their destination.
Leaving Natalia to complete her chore, Olivia said to call for her when she was finished. Olivia stood outside of the bathroom door and considered the previous day. What a hell of a day yesterday, then last night… Why is everything so hard? Well everything except Natalia. In fact the one thing that made yesterday bearable was Natalia. Even though she had pushed Olivia and insisted she tell the other woman things she didn’t want to, she was still Natalia. Caring, persistent, warm and loving. “Loving? What the hell?”
Reluctantly Olivia accepted that Natalia curling around her and kissing her neck had been the most comfortable she had felt all day. It just felt ‘right’. Her body felt good behind me and it was like I knew I was loved. Shaking her head she refused to let herself feel what her body and brain were telling her to feel but she could not hide the smile that crept to her lips.
A moment later Natalia called for her from the bathroom. Olivia shook her head of her previous thoughts and focused on getting Natalia back to bed.
After returning to the bed, neither woman really knew what to do next. It was still very early and the nurse was not expected until eight to change Natalia’s bandages and help her get ready for the day.
“So do you want to try to go back to sleep?” Olivia queried.
“I think I’m up for now.” Plus I think if I lay down I’ll stiffen up again.
Olivia went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water leveling it toward Natalia, “Thirsty?”
Taking out two bottles Olivia walked to the bed, put one down on the nightstand while she opened the other and handed it to Natalia. “Here you go.”
“Thanks.” Natalia took a drink and watched Olivia as she picked up the bottle of Tylenol and poured out three tablets, popped them in her mouth and took a long drink of her own water. “How’s your head this morning?” I imagine alcohol coupled with a concussion hurts like heck.
“Oh,” Olivia turned her head to look at her friend, “Um, it hurts as usual. Before you say anything, I know drinking doesn’t help.”
“Alcohol or concussion…I’m sorry that you’re hurting.” And my goodness you look so tired these days.
Olivia looked into sincere brown eyes, “I’m sorry that you’re hurting too.”
Having made her decision, Natalia put the cap back on her water bottle and then with effort, shifted further away from Olivia in the bed. As Olivia looked on confused, Natalia patted her thigh and instructed, “Put your head down, I can’t reach up.”
Olivia regarded her. Is she actually asking me to put my head in her lap?
“It’s okay Olivia I won’t hurt you.”
“I…I’m afraid.” Natalia looked at her with concern waiting for Olivia to continue. She paused momentarily, embarrassed by the truth, before she finally admitted half of the truth, “I don’t want to fall asleep.” Not to mention I don’t know what being that close to you is going to do to me and now is definitely not the time to try to figure it out.
Without hesitation, Natalia took Olivia’s hand and encouraged her to lie down, “I promise if you fall asleep and if you have another bad dream, I’ll be right here with you to help you through it.”
Olivia positioned herself on her side and tentatively placed her head on her friend’s thigh.
Natalia gently brushed Olivia’s hair away from the back of her neck causing the fine hairs under her fingers to rise at the sensation.
Oh that feels good. “Okay but just for a minute.”
Natalia smiled and began a light massage over the tense shoulders and neck under her fingers, then ran those fingers through Olivia’s hair in a rhythmic motion to calm the stressed woman in her lap.
Olivia simply closed her eyes to the touch and prayed that it would continue forever. When Natalia found a particularly pleasurable spot on the side of her neck, Olivia moaned accidentally. Her eyes flew open and she swallowed. Oh God tell me she didn’t hear that.
I’ll have to remember that spot. “So I guess you like that, eh?” Natalia asked seemingly unaware her friend was a little uncomfortable at exactly how much she had liked it.
“Umm, yeah…I guess.” I don’t think I have to worry about falling asleep…
Neither woman spoke for some time; Natalia kept up her ministrations while Olivia finally grew more relaxed. Natalia felt the head on top of her thigh sink further into her and could hear Olivia’s breathing deepen as though she was beginning to fall asleep. That’s it Olivia, just relax. I’ll take good care of you.
The little massage continued in silence until Natalia’s stomach betrayed her and growled very loudly, at least from Olivia’s perspective. Sitting up, much to Natalia’s disappointment, Olivia regarded the dark haired woman. “You’re hungry.” It was a statement rather than a question.
Almost had you asleep… Assuming the massage was over for now, Natalia admitted, “I guess I am a little.”
“I’m sorry, I should have asked before you started…that…” She said pointing to Natalia’s lap.
“I guess I didn’t know how hungry I was until just now besides, I think you needed that more.”
Olivia, embarrassed by the truth of her statement stuttered, “Well… we have a couple of hours, how about breakfast and some morning news?”
Olivia got up feeling much more relaxed than she had since this ordeal began and moved to the phone to call room service. “What would you like? Of course keeping in mind that your diet is still pretty limited.” She said with a wink.
Natalia bared her dimples; “I suppose just scrambled eggs and toast then.”
“As you wish.”
Natalia watched Olivia as she called down to room service. She was all business when she spoke to her employees, well except when it came to herself. Natalia smiled again at the memory of the day she overbooked the ballroom. I almost quit over that, she had no right to treat me…What? So well for not yelling at me? She could not help the chuckle that escaped.
“What are you laughing at?” Olivia asked as she walked back over to the bed and sat down on the edge.
“Oh just you,” Natalia’s honest answer surprised even herself.
Eyebrows lifted as Olivia asked, “Me? Why, what did I do?”
“I don’t know. I was just thinking about how well you treat me.”
Olivia shook her head, “Pfft, right I’ve been doing a great job of late.” She went to rise from the bed.
With pain, Natalia leaned over and put her hand over Olivia’s, “Yes you do. But I think you beat yourself up pretty well for things that you have no control over.” She threaded her fingers through Olivia’s and when the other woman lifted her head with knit brows, Natalia held the green eyes across from her with her own. “I know that I’m lucky to have you in my life. You’re incredibly special to me, I don’t know what I’d do without you and I don’t just mean because I’m hurt.”
Olivia’s heart was pounding, she tried to look away from Natalia’s brown eyes but for some reason was powerless to fight the pull the Latina had on her.
“I want you to do something for me.” Natalia said less as a question than a request.
“Anything.” Keep breathing.
“I want you to call Jeffrey and tell him to do whatever he can do to get the farmhouse ready for us.”
The room started to recede, blackness surrounded her vision and she could feel the cold sweat rising on her skin. As her breathing increased she started to shake slightly and then the hand that held hers gave a gentle squeeze. Natalia. Looking up to find warm brown eyes looking back at her, she held the gaze and drank in the comfort being shown to her giving her the strength to continue, “Natalia,” she shook her head as her heart continued to race, “I think we should talk more about that before we run back there.” Olivia reasonably suggested.
“I totally agree but I feel like the sooner we face going home the better, I don’t want this to define or hurt us more than it has. I want to move forward Olivia. It’s our home, we can’t move forward until we reclaim it.”
It frightened Olivia to feel that she would have to face the farmhouse again so soon. She understood where Natalia was coming from but there would be so much to deal with between the three of them, should they not all be stronger first?
As the image of blood jumped into her head, she swallowed against the bile rising in her throat while she desperately tried to fit the picture of their home before the invasion back into her mind, “Are you sure you’re ready to be thinking about this?”
“Why not, you were?”
Olivia fitted a guilty look on her face at what felt like an accusation, though she did not believe it was meant in that way.
“Olivia, I just mean that I want to go home, to my home, our home with you and Emma.”
“I want that too, I really do. I just… I don’t know.” Olivia really was not sure how to express her fear or how sick it made her just to think about it.
After noticing the reaction the conversation seemed to be having on her friend, Natalia moved her hand to Olivia’s cheek in reassurance, “We’re not going back today, we have time… we need time to deal with our feelings about it.”
Olivia could not help but think there was more meaning attached to that statement but she chose not to analyze it too closely.
“I’ve already asked Jeffrey to take care of it so when we decide to look at going back the house will be ready.”
“Thank you Olivia, that’s all I ask.”
To be continued...