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 ) ( Part 42 )
The two hours passed quickly, friends talking over their scrambled eggs and toast with the morning news on in the background, though neither paid attention.
A knock at the door startled both women.
Sparing a glance and a smile toward Natalia, Olivia rose to answer it.
On the other side of the door, Ms. von Osten stood with one hand on her hip and the other carrying a bag that Olivia assumed was her medical supplies. “Ms. Spencer.”
“Nurse.” Olivia moved out of the way to allow the woman to enter the room. Olivia had every intention of keeping a close eye on the way the nurse interacted with Natalia. If her usually very accepting friend wasn’t keen on her new nurse then Olivia intended to deal with it sooner rather than later.
Entering the room the nurse walked over to her patient sitting up in bed then by way of a greeting offered, “Ms. Rivera, we will change your dressing, give you a sponge bath then get you dressed so we can go walking in the hallway.”
“Umm, okay. Hi?” Natalia responded as the nurse walked to the bathroom to wash her hands, returned to the bed and pulled back the sheets and began to unbutton her patients’ pajamas so she could change the dressing.
Olivia stood with her arms crossing her chest watching the nurse and so far she wasn’t impressed. She knew Natalia understood efficiency and the need to get the job done but she always found that it was more pleasant to use kindness and that by taking the time to make people feel comfortable it was easier to get through things that might not be very nice, so Olivia didn’t like the way this nurse was taking care of her patient. Natalia wouldn’t respond as well to this method as she did with Lillian or the other nurses at the hospital, who all treated her so well. Truthfully, Olivia didn’t think there was much care involved at all and as far as Olivia was concerned that just wasn’t good enough for Natalia.
The nurse removed the dressing to expose the wound. Olivia thought it appeared redder than it had the day before.
“What is this?” The nurse asked as she inspected the stitches. “What have you been doing, these stitches are nearly healed and yet it appears that one of them has opened up. What have you done?”
Natalia looked down so that neither the nurse nor Olivia could see her eyes. “I don’t know, I guess I stretched too hard.”
“No,” the nurse turned back to Olivia, “Did you pull her up by her arm?”
“What? What are you talking about, I didn’t do… Natalia?”
Natalia sheepishly lifted her eyes toward her friend. Olivia looked stricken. Oh my God, I did that.
The nurse was forgotten when Olivia spoke, “I did that didn’t I? When? When did I do that?”
Natalia locked eyes with her friend, “Olivia please, it’s nothing, it’s fine.” Oh shoot.
Olivia swallowed as a lone tear escaped but she refused to look away, she had done this to Natalia, “No, it’s not fine. You were sore this morning, you could barely move, please don’t deny it. I had another nightmare and somehow you got hurt.” When am I going to stop hurting her?
The nurse looked between the two women and gave up on her question.
Natalia pulled her pajama top closed as she tried to get off the bed, feeling the need to hug her friend and make her understand that it wasn’t her fault. However, the nurse forestalled her actions but putting her hand on her shoulder and holding her in place, “We’re not finished. I need to clean it.” The nurse moved Natalia’s hands and continued to clean the wound.
Olivia wanted to run, she wanted to leave the hotel and never come back but she had promised that she would evaluate the nurse and she didn’t want to let Natalia down again. All Natalia wanted to do was comfort me and help me through the night and what did I do? I hurt her. Myself. How am I better than those men? I love her and I hurt her, she didn’t ask for this she just loves me and wants to take care of me. Doesn’t matter if I meant to, my own failings, my own fears did this. I can’t get over what happened so I drink and I fall apart and… I hurt her. I can’t even think about the farmhouse without feeling sick to my stomach but can I tell her that? No. And what’s going to happen? I just know I’ll hurt her if I can’t figure out a way to be comfortable there again. Olivia realized there was no other way, if she was going to be able to stay with Natalia and work through the issues she was having as a result of the home invasion then she was going to have to do something she never thought she would.
Picking up her Blackberry she walked toward Emma’s room, excusing herself for a moment.
With the door closed she dialed the number and after three rings the phone was answered.
“Reva, I need to talk.”
Olivia and Reva agreed to meet at Cross Creek at one. Olivia would find someone to stay with Natalia while she did the unthinkable…open up to Reva O’Neill. Jesus, I’m just that desperate and pathetic.
Olivia made a quick call to Buzz to see if he could bring lunch again but also stay with Natalia for a couple of hours. He was more than happy to agree to spend time with Natalia so with that settled, Olivia went back into the main room just as the nurse finished re-applying her friend’s bandages.
“Are you okay? What were you doing?” Natalia asked from her position on the bed.
Not yet but I will be. Olivia nodded then moved out of the way so the nurse could go to the bathroom to fill a basin with water. “I just called Buzz about lunch.”
Natalia took the moment to reach her arm out to draw Olivia toward the bed. “Come here.” When Olivia did, Natalia took her left hand and squeezed. “While you were having your nightmare you jerked forward and it pulled my stitches. It hurt like crazy but I didn’t say anything because you were so upset already.” Seeing the pained expression cross Olivia’s face, Natalia added, “You didn’t do it on purpose and I don’t blame you. I really don’t want you beating yourself up over this.”
“What? Me beat myself up over something? Never.” Olivia’s attempt at humour fell flat. Natalia pulled the hand she was holding to her lips and gently pressed them to it. Raising her eyes, she said, “Don’t you worry, if there is something I think you’ve done wrong enough to feel bad about, I’ll let you know.” The comment got the grin she was hoping for from Olivia who, already off guard from the hand kiss, couldn’t help but smile.
“Move.” Olivia jumped at the sound of the nurse behind her, so she took her hand back and went to sit at her laptop, suddenly very interested in spam emails about increased penis size and cheap pharmaceuticals from Canada. She tried to ignore what was going on over on her bed but it took a great deal to focus on anything else. Oh yeah, I need to sort myself out, I have to be comfortable enough to move back to the farmhouse and get rid of these blasted dreams or I’ll never be able to give Natalia what I think is pretty clear she’s offering and what I so desperately need.
Olivia’s concentration wavered further by the sounds Natalia kept making as if in pain. Starting to feel concerned by it Olivia asked, “Are you okay Natalia?”
“Mmhmm, yeah, it just hurts a bit.” Natalia responded.
Lillian never hurt her and she was fresh out of surgery, hell that Suzie kid only hurt her when she was cleaning her wound.
A few minutes later the sounds ended and Olivia watched the nurse pull out a binder. She asked Natalia specific questions regarding her food intake, medication, sleep and waste eliminations and then the nurse put the binder back in her bag.
Boy she’s all business, I don’t think she’s even genuinely asked Natalia anything that wasn’t medically related.
Olivia was pulled from her thoughts when she heard the nurse speak, “Okay we’re done. Ms. Spencer?”
Olivia was directed back to the nurse, “Yes?”
“We’re going to help Ms. Rivera walk down the hall, come.”
Without a word, Olivia walked back over to Natalia and her nurse who actually took great care in helping her patient stand up.
“Slippers. Robe.” Olivia quickly realized those were not questions from the nurse, they were orders and they were for her. She fetched the items and returned to Natalia and helped her on with them for her walk down the hall.
With Olivia on her left side and the nurse behind her, Natalia walked up and down the hallway mostly unaided except for having to use the wall a few times and taking Olivia’s hand for support once or twice.
After ten minutes Natalia was breathing heavily and sweating. She grabbed Olivia’s hand and the wall while stopping and bending over to catch her breath. “Okay, she needs to go back now.” Olivia announced, still wincing from the pain shooting through her hand while Natalia clutched it.
“We’re not finished, once more to the elevator and back,” the nurse insisted.
“I think she’s had enough,” Olivia responded. I know my hand has.
“If she doesn’t push herself then she won’t get better.”
“She’s pushed herself enough for today.” Olivia’s voice was rising.
“Okay wait, both of you,” Natalia finally interrupted when she could stand up straight again, “I can do this.”
“Natalia you don’t have to…” Olivia told her.
Natalia cut in again looking at her with a mixture of determination and pain on her face, “Let’s just do it and be done with it.”
Her friend was in so much pain and there was nothing Olivia could do but swallow the lump in her throat and be there with her through it.
Natalia continued forward, made it to the elevator and then as she turned on her way back to the room she stumbled, Olivia deftly catching her around the waist. Olivia leaned in as she held her, her focus narrowed to only the woman in her arms, “We’re almost there, let’s get you back to bed.” Olivia practically carried Natalia the rest of the way while fuming at the nurse.
Back in the room Olivia helped Natalia to the chair then brought her a bottle of water. While Natalia took a long drink Olivia brushed the strands of sweat soaked hair from her friend’s eyes, “Are you okay?”
“I’m a little sore.”
”I bet you are.” I don’t even want to recall those first days after surgery and trying to walk, everything hurt and I hate seeing you go through it too.
The nurse who was standing behind Olivia gave a huff, went to the nightstand to get the pain medication and then brought it back and handed it to Natalia. “Take these then I’ll leave and come back tonight to get you ready for bed.”
While Natalia took her pills, Olivia looked at her gauging what she wanted her to do. The look in Natalia’s eyes answered for her.
Turning to face the nurse Olivia stood up straight and stated, “No that won’t be necessary, your services are no longer required.”
“She has to push herself Ms. Spencer or it’ll take longer for her to recover.”
“I get that and she’s doing everything she’s told, I just don’t like you. Get out.”
The nurse faced Olivia for a heartbeat before responding, “Fine. Good luck with your recovery Ms. Rivera.” She gathered her things and marched out quietly.
From behind Olivia, Natalia couldn’t help the slight grin that appeared. My hero.
To be continued...