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 ) ( Part 43 ) ( Part 44 )
Reva had just put on a pot of coffee when she heard a knock at the door. Here we go… let’s see what I’ve gotten myself into. She opened the door and found a sheepish looking Olivia standing on the other side, “Come on in.”
Olivia entered and stood looking around the house as though it was the first time she had ever seen it.
“Umm, I put on some coffee; it’ll just be a few minutes. Did you want to sit down?”
“Sure,” Olivia answered and having walked over to the couch sat down uncomfortably. She reached over to put her purse down and Reva noticed her hand.
“How’s your hand?”
Olivia looked up at her.
“Jeffrey told me about your visit to the farmhouse.”
Olivia swallowed hard, “He did, huh?”
“Yeah. He was pretty upset by it all. He said he’s never seen you so off balance. So I figured it must have been pretty bad because you’ve certainly had some off balance moments in the past.”
Olivia stood quickly, “If you’re going to insult me, I really don’t need it. I can just leave.”
Reva reached for her, ‘No, wait…I’m sorry, please sit down.” Taking a seat in the chair rather than next to Olivia on the couch Reva questioned, “Do you want to talk about the farmhouse?”
“Yes…No…I don’t know. I’m not even sure why I called you.” Flustered, Olivia closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead with her right hand. Ouch. Just start already, this is what you’re here for, do it for Emma and Natalia. She closed her hand and lowered it to her lap, decision made she began, “I’m still having the dream.” It was like a confession but Olivia wanted Reva to understand in that moment why she had come here, why now she needed to offload to probably one of the most unlikely of people. She stared intently at Reva, “Alcohol dulls it but like you said, I can’t keep doing that. Besides Natalia...” She tipped her head back. “Oh God, Natalia… Natalia found a bottle...I don’t think she put it all together but…” She chuckled humorlessly. “Well, it was a bad night… she tried to help me and I ended up hurting her while I was dreaming. She pretended she was fine but… she wasn’t... she wasn’t fine.” Olivia’s voice grew desperate, “I can’t do that Reva, I can’t hurt her and I can’t scare Emma. Jesus I can’t even have my own kid with me right now because I don’t know how to make it stop!” Olivia had tears in her eyes.
“Tell me your dream,” Reva said evenly. I thought there’d be more small talk before we got into this, she must be really desperate if I don’t have to pull it out of her.
Olivia pushed out the breath she had been holding and prepared herself for the discussion.
Reva waited for Olivia to start, knowing that this wouldn’t be easy for the other woman.
“Well… When it starts I’m on the porch at the farmhouse watching Natalia and the kids play. They’re all there, Emma, Ava and Rafe. They’re playing football. Then a car drives up and Brian and Danny, the two gunmen, get out.”
Noticing how Olivia sat perfectly still staring across the room as she started her story, Reva nodded at the names of the men. She had heard what their names were and a brief explanation of what had happened that night at the farmhouse but she didn’t have a full description.
“So they get out of the car and they take out guns and…” Olivia paused to catch her breath again. By now her heart was pounding and she could feel the sweat pooling at her lower back.
“Let me get you a glass of water before you continue,” Reva offered after seeing Olivia’s distress. She quickly got up and retrieved two glasses and placed one on the coffee table in front of Olivia keeping the other for herself.
“Thanks.” She reached over and took a long drink of water before continuing, “So, I’m rooted to the bench on the porch and these men go after my family. I scream and scream to try and warn Natalia and the kids but no sound comes out. I try to go to them but some invisible force holds me in place when I try to move. Then they pull out guns and…and they shoot Natalia.” Olivia took a drink of water to steady herself.
Watching as Olivia seemed to lose focus Reva prompted, “What happened next Olivia? It didn’t end there did it?”
Startled back to the conversation Olivia responded, “No, it didn’t end there… they shoot Rafe… God.” Olivia closed her eyes and lifted her hands to cover her face as if to hide from her next statement. She lowered her hands, opened her eyes and set free the river of tears she had held within them. “Reva, they go after my girls. Ava tries to protect Emma but Jesus… in the end they’re all dead!” Olivia let out a sob, “And I couldn’t do a Goddamned thing to stop it!” She dropped her face into her hands while the tears continued to fall and tremors wracked her body.
Reva sat with her mouth slightly open. She lowered her burning eyes to the floor and tears began to fall. Oh Olivia, it must be terrible to see that every night. Once she had gathered herself together Reva moved over to the couch and pulled Olivia into her arms while she cried. “I could say it’s just a dream but I know that it’s not, it’s what you saw and it’s how you felt that night and your subconscious is replaying those memories over and over only in a different format.”
Olivia started to shake her head as Reva spoke until finally she exclaimed, “I want it to stop!” Olivia pulled out of Reva’s hold and stood sharply. “I hate it! I hate all of this!” She covered her mouth with her hand for a moment before asking in a pleading voice, “Why won’t it stop?”
The dream isn’t the issue, the assault on her family is. I think she needs to deal with that and the dream will follow. “Sit down Olivia.” Reva patted the couch next to her. Olivia hesitated but finally sat.
“I want you to tell me about what happened that night. Start to finish, don’t leave anything out.”
To Reva’s surprise, Olivia heaved and bent forward quickly, barely containing the vomit that threatened to escape.
“Okay calm down,” Reva rubbed her back, “Just breathe.” Come on Olivia, settle down. The last thing you need is your heart to give you trouble. Settle down for me.
Olivia gulped at the air and willed herself to settle. It took a few minutes and a full glass of water but she finally caught her breath and relaxed enough to be able to speak.
“I’m sorry; I don’t know what happened there...” Olivia lied. She knew exactly what happened, it was the same reaction she had been having at the mention of the farmhouse since she saw the blood and damage the night before.
“You know Olivia, I think maybe you’ve got some kind of post traumatic thing,” Reva suggested. “You should really be talking to a professional.”
“I’m talking to you Reva. If you don’t want to do this, that’s fine.” Olivia was getting frustrated with the whole situation. She tried to stand but Reva put her hand on Olivia’s thigh to keep her in place.
“Just wait a minute, I’m not saying I won’t listen and try to help, I’m just thinking this might be a bigger issue than can be resolved by a talk with a friend.” Reva looked into Olivia’s eyes, “But let’s not worry about that for now, do you think you can continue?”
Olivia thought for a second. I have to face this, for Natalia and for Emma… my family. I have to do this. Natalia…Natalia isn’t…she doesn’t… “Why is it that I’m the one who has to talk about it and I’m the one going through some traumatic syndrome crap when Natalia…It’s like she’s fine? I don’t understand.”
Reva’s brows knit, “Do you want Natalia to be experiencing this?”
Olivia’s eyes flew open wide, “Christ no! God I don’t want her to experience any of this, it’s just that I want to know how she’s feeling…she won’t talk to me, we’ve hardly talked about this at all.”
Reva looked her in the eye, “Maybe she’s just not ready, wait for her, at some point she’ll need you. Heck you’re here so you got to that point, she might too.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
Olivia appeared lost in thought, “Olivia?”
“Tell me about that night.”
Olivia sighed and began, “It was a typical Friday, we always watch a movie on Fridays, Emma’s choice. At least until she goes to bed, then if Natalia and I aren’t too tired we pull out some ‘chick flick’ or something and just hang out.” Olivia smiled at the memory of their last successful ‘chick flick’ night:
“I’m feeling like it’s a ‘Steel Magnolia’s’ night.” Natalia said wistfully as Olivia made her way down the stairs after tucking Emma in.
“Oh Natalia, not again! We just watched it two weeks ago.”
“I’m feeling like a strong female bonding movie.”
“And it’s got to be ‘Steel Magnolia’s’, we have nothing else that will do?” Olivia went over to the DVD shelf and started looking through the titles. She pulled out some movies intending to read off some other options until she turned back to Natalia. The Latina had ‘that’ look, the one that could stop Olivia dead in her tracks, the one that would have her move heaven and earth in order to give Natalia whatever she asked for, which was usually very little. Putting the stack of DVD’s back on the shelf with a sigh, Olivia pulled out their old favourite, “Steel Magnolia’s it is, but if you make fun of me for crying at Sally Field in the graveyard scene, we’re not watching this again for six months.”
Natalia smiled and her dimples stood out as she patted the couch next to her. “Deal.”
“Olivia?” Reva said for the third time.
“What?” Olivia pulled herself from her memory. “Oh, sorry Reva, I was just thinking of something.”
“You were going to tell me what happened last Friday.”
Olivia sighed again and stared forward as she spoke, “Right. Well, we were watching ‘Spy Kids’ and Emma was curled up asleep with her head in my lap, both Natalia and I were awake though barely.” Olivia laughed a little but her face fell when she continued, “The door burst open and these two men were standing there. I froze at first then grabbed Emma when I saw them. There was so much blood…the bigger guy was practically carrying the other one. They both had guns, I think that’s what I noticed first, they both held guns.”
Reva watched Olivia’s face but didn’t want to say anything to interrupt.
Olivia shook her head, “We were made to sit on the floor against the wall. It all happened so fast…”
Tears sprang to Olivia eyes while Reva sat quietly and waited for her to continue. “Danny… the bastard…he threatened me. He held a gun to my head and ordered Emma to get the first aid kit, gave her a time limit,” Olivia swallowed down the anger and fear that rose within her.
Reva gasped. How dare he? My God poor Emma must have been terrified, not to mention you and Natalia.
“What kind of a man does that? All I could think was that he could shoot me right here in my home in front of my family and I’m powerless to prevent it. My kid though…” She looked at Reva and with pride in her voice added, “Emma, even tired and scared, she raced up the stairs and came rushing back with time to spare, even thought to bring towels for the blood…” Olivia’s eyes fell as she breathed the words again, “towels for the blood…my little baby, this is what she was thinking about.”
“She’s a strong little girl.”
“Is she Reva? She’s a very little girl, and this was so not fair for her. I’m worried about her.”
Olivia shook her head and continued, “Ya know, Danny tried to make me help his friend…I couldn’t…I just wouldn’t.” She ran her fingers through her hair. “But Natalia she stepped right up and tried to help.” Olivia chuckled humourlessly, “She was amazing, the pressure she must have felt with Danny standing over her... and the blood... Jesus there was so much”. Olivia paused and looked vacantly across the room, “It was all over her hands.” Olivia looked down at her own hands. “She treated Brian with great care, not what I would’ve done I can tell you.”
I understand what you’re saying but that was a dangerous move not helping when Danny told you to Olivia, Reva thought, thankful that Natalia stepped up even though it was almost as risky as ignoring the gunman.
Olivia stood and began to pace around the room growing angry, “But as amazing as she was… I don’t know… it’s like… like she betrayed me.” Olivia shook her head, “I hate feeling like this but there I am trying to find ways to end this and she’s helping them? My God, we should have been unified; we should have stood up to them.”
Shaking her head she shrugged her shoulders and added, “I don’t know maybe it saved our lives. Natalia would have done almost anything she could to help him, how ironic really in the end. ”
“Natalia’s first instinct is to care...” Reva said almost to herself.
Olivia locked her eyes on Reva feeling her anger rise again at her memory of Danny getting upset that Brian appeared to be getting worse, “Yeah well she might have gotten us killed if Brian had died. “
“But that didn’t happen,” Reva reasoned.
Olivia shook her head, “No…that didn’t happen.” Olivia moved away from Reva and continued, “Those bastards had no business coming into my home scaring my family. I just wanted to keep my Emma safe, keep Natalia safe. I just wanted to make it all stop. So I had no choice, I tried to get the gun from Danny...”
Olivia absently rubbed her head.
“Is that when you got the concussion?”
Olivia played it off like it was nothing, “Hmm…yeah that’s when he hit me.”
“How did you get the concussion exactly?”
“What does it matter?” Olivia snapped back at Reva.
Reva raised her hands in the hope of calming Olivia down, “Hey, just wondering what happened,” she gently pushed.
“Honestly, I’m not sure...I went for Danny and then...it’s hazy...he hit me and I hit the wall. I don’t think I passed out but I don’t remember much”
Reva nodded. He must have hit you something terrible to give you a concussion like that…and all while Emma and Natalia were watching. “That must have been upsetting when you realized that Emma had seen that.”
“I was horrified, I felt so… so useless.” Olivia sighed, “We sat there on the cold hard floor watching Danny and waiting for him to figure out what he was going to do. It felt like forever but it’s all about the gun right? I kept thinking, whoever has the gun has the power and they had the power.”
Olivia paused as she stared off across the room, “I kept looking over at Natalia and wondering what she was thinking. She looked so scared at times but there was something else, it was kind of like she knew it would be okay, like if she helped and did what they asked they might actually let us go. I thought how naïve could someone be? They’re gonna kill us plain and simple, we’ve seen their faces, our only hope is finding our own way out.”
Olivia stopped then remembered what happened next. She let out a huge sigh, “Poor Emma, she had fallen asleep in my lap. It was so late…” Pausing to gain the strength to continue, she told Reva, “She woke up crying inconsolably. Danny got angry. I couldn’t stop her from crying, I promise I tried, so did Natalia but she was so upset and Danny…that sonofabitch…oh God, he…he pulled her out of my arms… he tore her from me.” Olivia stopped abruptly.
“Olivia? What happened... what happened to Emma?” Reva questioned.
“He threw her; he threw my daughter halfway across the room!” Reva could see Olivia practically quivering with rage as her hands opened and clenched, “I’m her mother Reva! I’m her mother and I didn’t even have the strength to hold onto her and he pulled her from my arms.” Olivia’s face darkened and her eyes glistened as she screamed, “It’s my job... my job to protect her above all else…and they…they had no right! They had...”
Olivia’s body lurched, the blood drained from her face and she turned without warning to rush to the bathroom, slamming the door closed and promptly emptied the contents of her stomach.
Reva had stood as Olivia made her exit and was now torn as she heard the retching from the other room. Jeffrey, I think I know why you were so worried about her. She’s got so much going on inside that head of hers. She feels angry, sad and just so guilty. That poor woman doesn’t know if she’s coming or going and naturally she hates actually having to deal with it. Undecided whether she should check on Olivia or let her work it out on her own, Reva waited but then became concerned as several minutes passed without a sound.
Reva moved to the bathroom and knocked lightly, “Olivia? Are you okay?” When she didn’t hear a response she said, “I’m coming in.” Opening the door Reva was shocked at the sight before her. Jesus Christ.
Olivia Spencer sat with her back against the tub, knees pulled up to her chest and her arms wrapped around them as she rocked slightly, back and forth. Her pale, sweat-covered cheek rested on her forearm and her whole body shook as silent sobs wracked her curled form.
Reva was by her side in an instant, pulling the traumatized woman into her arms. “Olivia, hey, shh...” she tried to comfort and soothe the tense form, “It’s going to get better.” The sobs abated slightly but Olivia’s head shook in disbelief. Reva continued reassuringly, “It is, you just need to work through it.”
Drawing in a shaky breath Olivia responded, “I can’t... I... I can’t go back there, I don’t want to go back.”
“What about Emma, Ava and Rafe? They need you to go back there, you have to deal with this. We’ve gone this far, let’s get through it.” Reva squeezed Olivia in encouragement.
But I don’t wanna. Pulling away from Reva’s grasp and shakily wiping her mouth Olivia whispered, “It’s too much.” Even as Reva’s words began to sink in, ‘What about Emma, Ave and Rafe? They need you to go back there’, her thoughts were in turmoil and her hand pressed against her chest, “It hurts.”
“If you don’t let it out…Olivia… you have to, it’s just that simple. The way I see it, it’s what your dreams are about. What about Natalia, she needs…”
Olivia tipped her head back against the edge of the tub as Reva spoke until she erupted, “Natalia? Reva, don’t you get it? I blame her for some of this! If she hadn’t helped them... if she had just made a little effort to help me to figure something out... Then she goes and gets herself shot!”
With eyes filled with tears she shook her head repeatedly, “How can I blame her? What am I doing…? How can I be angry with her? God Reva, what kind of a friend am I?”
Reva studied the desperate look on Olivia’s face, begging for understanding, for absolution.
“I want to help her, be there for her but she won’t even talk to me about it and... God... I can’t get past the fact that she helped them!”
Reva placed her hand on Olivia’s arm, “You have every right to feel how you do.”
“Do I? On one hand I was so proud of her, she was magnificent but on the other, Goddamn it Reva, she should have stood up to them!”
Olivia buried her head in her hands quietly sobbing. After a few moments she lifted her head and red-rimmed eyes looked into Reva’s. Drawing in a breath she confessed, “I haven’t forgiven her for putting us in danger by helping them. I didn’t even realize how angry I am at her. How can I forgive her?” She looked earnestly at Reva and shook her head, “How can I forgive her when she could have gotten all of us killed? She almost got herself killed...” Eyes filled with tears that threatened again to fall.
“Time.” The word was spoken so quietly that Olivia wasn’t sure she had heard it. “It’s going to take time Olivia. You need to talk to her, you need to find out what she was thinking and how she feels and in time, whatever anger you feel will disappear.”
Olivia scrubbed her face with her hands. “I fucking hate this Reva.”
“I know you do. You’ve done really well though.” Unconsciously shaking her head, Reva tightened her hold on Olivia when she commented, “I can see why you’re having that dream.” And I can understand why you’ve tried to quell it with alcohol. This is killing you just talking about it, as I suppose it would for anyone.
Olivia silently nodded.
“I know you feel powerless but there wasn’t anything you could have done to prevent any of it.”
Olivia closed her tired eyes briefly and when she opened them she looked at Reva, the anger rising again, “That’s what I hear. It’s not my fault; I didn’t do this, I couldn’t have prevented it… blah, blah, blah… Then why do I feel so fucking guilty?”
Reva took Olivia’s chin in her hand and stared into her eyes, “Because you my dear, like to control everything.” Olivia turned her head to roughly remove her chin from Reva’s grasp.
“Hear me out,” Reva said, “you always want to be the alpha person in the room and that night, you couldn’t be. They had guns and everything was out of everybody’s control by the sound of it, theirs…yours…quite frankly it was one big mess. And your kid was in the room. I know you wanted to protect Natalia and you care for her but Emma was there, and we all know that you live for that little girl.”
Tears sprung to Olivia’s eyes at the truth of that statement.
Reva lifted her hand and put it on Olivia’s head gently stroking the other woman’s hair. “You’re going to get over this for her,” Olivia looked at the older woman disbelievingly as Reva continued, “Because she needs to be with her mother, with both of her mothers. And you’ll figure out how to forgive Natalia, because you don’t hate her, quite the opposite, you just wanted her to do what you would have done given the opportunities she had.” Reva corrected before she reiterated her previous statement, “It’ll get easier Olivia, it will.”
“Ya think?” Olivia said sarcastically but underneath there was hope.
“Yes, it will. Maybe this time was really hard but next time we talk, maybe you won’t throw up.” Reva said with a wink.
“So,” Olivia drew out the word before she asked, “You think we’re going to talk about this again, huh?”
“What about tomorrow, same time.”
Olivia’s eyebrows shot up. “Why?”
“Because honey, I can’t bear seeing you this way and I don’t even like you.”
Both women laughed at the obvious lie.
“I think the coffee pot should still be on, although I’m sure the coffee’s pretty gross by now, care for a cup?”
“Well let’s see… you’ve told me you don’t like me and now you want to serve me stale coffee, how could I possibly refuse?”
Reva got up and helped Olivia to her feet before she surprised the younger woman by pulling her into a much needed hug. “We’ll get through this together. God help me but I promise to stick with you.”
“Thanks.” Olivia said quietly from her place in Reva’s arms.
When they disengaged their hug, Reva reached over to the shelf by the sink and handed Olivia a bottle of mouthwash. “Okay, seriously, you smell.”
Olivia narrowed her eyes but took the mouthwash gratefully.
Reva left Olivia to clean up while she went to pour them some nasty coffee and hoped that a little light conversation would calm Olivia enough to be able to safely drive home to Natalia and Emma.To be continued...