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 ) ( Part 45 ) ( Part 46 ) ( Part 47 ) ( Part 48 ) ( Part 49 ) ( Part 50 )
Natalia sat next to Olivia’s bed in the ‘Olivia Spencer Suite’ and held her hand. Not the first time we’ve been here. I can only hope this is the last.
“You must be exhausted?” Olivia asked as she looked at the dark circles under Natalia’s eyes.
Smiling, Natalia responded, “Is it that obvious?”
“Ya know if you want to you can go back to the hotel and get some sleep, I’m sure someone can put me in a cab in the morning and send me home.”
“Don’t be silly, I’m not abandoning you. And let’s face it, if you don’t know by now that you can’t get rid of me then I think you need to have your memory tested.” Natalia brushed the hair back from Olivia’s forehead for the hundredth time as the older woman smiled at her, “But I may need to close my eyes if that’s okay? I’m just not sure I have it in me to stand over you all night.” Natalia joked with a wink.
Olivia chuckled lightly as her cheeks took on a hint of a blush thinking back to the night she stood over Natalia, “Very funny and of course it’s okay, in fact I would prefer it. If you don’t mind shutting off the light why don’t we both try to get some sleep?”
“Okay.” Natalia stood stiffly and slowly walked over to turn off the light. As she walked back toward the bed she looked around for the easiest place for her to sleep. I think it’s going to have to be the wheelchair. Natalia approached the chair and as she went to sit Olivia crooked a finger in her direction.
“Is there something you need Olivia?” Natalia asked as she stepped up to the bed.
Olivia looked nervous then in a rush said, “I know we have things to talk about, today wasn’t a great day for us but…” She slid over as far as she dared without falling off the bed, “tonight can we just forget all of it?” She looked toward the now empty spot next to her as indication that Natalia should get into the bed.
“I won’t hurt you, I promise.” Olivia said conciliatorily in answer to the unasked question she thought Natalia was posing by her hesitation.
“I’m not afraid of you hurting me.”
Unable to say aloud the words she wanted to say, I just want you to let me hold you tonight, Olivia shyly looked into Natalia’s eyes and patted the spot next to her.
Natalia nodded and without saying another word tentatively sat on the edge of the bed. Slowly she lifted her legs up and just as she started to lay back, carefully avoiding any wires leading from her friends body, she realized that Olivia had extended her arm out across the pillow. Natalia accepted the offered invitation and rested her head on Olivia’s shoulder. It was tight quarters in the small hospital bed so Natalia curled up next to Olivia’s side with a satisfied sigh. Olivia closed her arm around the body next to her and held it close.
Natalia could hear the pounding of Olivia’s battered heart and as it lulled her to sleep she felt the faintest of a kiss left on the top of her head followed by a whispered, “I love you.”
Natalia blinked her eyes open and for a moment forgot where she was. Green walls? Olivia’s whimper next to her had Natalia ignoring the room and focusing on her friend. “Olivia? Shh… Hey, it’s okay.” After sleeping on her side, Natalia was quite stiff but she managed to get herself into a sitting position. She took Olivia’s hand and kissed it as she watched Olivia’s face. It was clear that Olivia was dreaming but she wasn’t upset like Natalia had seen her previously.
The door to the room opened and Natalia’s eyes went wide as though she had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. “Umm… I’m sorry,” she said to the nurse as she started to angle toward the side of the bed.
“No, you don’t have to get up; I just need to check her vitals.” The nurse wrote notes on the chart as she added, “It’s still very early, you should go back to sleep.”
“Thank you,” Natalia answered shyly.
The nurse finished her task, smiled and quietly added, “I’ll get out of your way, really go back to sleep, the doctor won’t be in for at least two more hours.”
Natalia grinned and watched the nurse leave. She looked back down at Olivia, who seemed to have settled again as her breathing was deep and even. Okay, why fight it? Natalia reclaimed her place against Olivia and felt a strong arm tighten around her again.
Even before Olivia’s eyes opened she began to smile. The weight of an arm across her stomach and the breath against her neck caused Olivia to freeze in place. If I move you’re going to wake up and I’m just too comfortable to let that happen. Olivia’s smile widened and she finally opened her eyes and turned her head slightly to find Natalia pressed up against her side on the little bed. Instinctively, Olivia tightened her hold on the woman sleeping next to her as she closed her eyes and reveled in the feel of Natalia in her arms.
“Mmmm…” Natalia’s eyes flew open. Oh God, did I just do that out loud?
The body under her started to quake just as she heard the light chuckle coming from Olivia.
Embarrassed, Natalia sighed and began to extricate herself from Olivia’s hold.
“No wait,” Olivia pleaded. “Just stay, please?”
Natalia looked into Olivia’s eyes for a moment before she gave in and resumed her position.
“How are you feeling this morning?” Natalia asked from her comfortable place next to Olivia.
“I’m fine but I should be asking you that. You don’t have your meds with you.”
“I was as little focused on other things, I’m okay.”
“I am sorry though, I never meant for this to happen.”
“Of course you didn’t Olivia; you have nothing to be sorry for. I’m just glad you’re okay…. I was scared.”
“I know you were, I’ll never do that again to you.” Olivia said with a wink.
Natalia chuckled and patted the stomach under her hand wishing she was naïve enough to believe it, “Good, I’m glad that’s settled.”
“Seriously I never meant to scare you or hurt you, I hate that I did.” Olivia added. I scared you a lot yesterday.
“We’ll make this better together.”
Always trying to help me aren’t you Natalia? “I do want to say thank you though… “
Shaking her head Natalia responded, “Olivia no, you don’t owe me any thanks, I…”
Olivia put two fingers over Natalia’s lips to silence her. “Thank you, for taking care of me… for being here... ” She paused and removed her fingers from Natalia’s lips before continuing, “for always being here.”
Natalia was unable to speak, she could only hold Olivia’s gaze while her heart pounded in her chest. She had long since realized there was something electric between them, something they would need to talk about very soon because all she wanted at that moment was for Olivia to have replaced her fingers with those full lips so dangerously close, so close she could feel the breath from them on her own.
Both women were startled out of the moment when the door opened stealing their attention as Dr. Edwards entered followed by the nurse who Natalia had spoken to in the night.
“’Morning ladies. I hope you were able to get some sleep.”
Groaning to herself at the interruption Olivia answered, “Actually, yes we were able to…” The words died on her tongue as she realized she had slept several hours straight with no nightmare.
Natalia sat up and slid from the bed then took Olivia’s hand and smiled at her knowingly. That’s right, no nightmares. I’m so proud of you.
Over the next few minutes the doctor examined Olivia and gave her a clean bill of health along with another warning about how drinking is detrimental to her recovery from the concussion and her heart condition. While Natalia nodded in agreement the patient in question inwardly rolled her eyes.
The doctor left with a smile and the nurse pulled out Olivia’s clothes. “Why don’t you get dressed and we’ll get you out of here?”
“I’m going to run to the ladies room while you get dressed, I’ll be right back.” Natalia announced as she made her stiff body move toward the door, ignoring the wheelchair altogether.
When she made it to the hallway she headed toward the nurse’s station where she could see Dr. Edwards doing some paperwork.
“Doctor? Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“Of course not Natalia, what can I do for you?”
Natalia hesitated, “She is okay, right? I just mean she’s been under so much stress lately… but her heart… it is okay right?”
The doctor could see how concerned the woman in front of her was, Rick had filled him in on the trauma they had experienced just over a week ago so he could understand why Natalia was worried. The doctor put his hand on Natalia’s arm to reassure her, “She’s fine. It really was just a panic attack. This is more likely to be an isolated incident, obviously if it happens again we’ll make sure she talks to someone but it’s just a reaction to the stress. Do what you can to keep her calm, I know she hasn’t been sleeping but if there is a way to help her get more sleep, that would be helpful.”
Natalia had tears in her eyes, “As long as you’re sure, with her heart… well she barely survived, I don’t want to lose her...” Shyly Natalia lowered her eyes as she whispered, “I can’t lose her.”
Dr. Edwards looked Natalia in the eye when she looked back up, “She’s okay. Take her home and get her into bed, spend the day relaxing. That’s what she needs.”
Natalia nodded and swallowed hard, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” The doctor angled his head toward the door to Olivia’s room. When Natalia looked over she saw Olivia’s standing there looking back at her with a smile on her face. Natalia couldn’t help but return the smile as a relieved tear trickled down her cheek.
Olivia waited for Natalia to come back to the room before she asked, “Why are you crying?”
Natalia shook her head, “I’m not… it’s… it’s nothing.”
Olivia looked closely at Natalia but let it go. “Okay well I think we should get going. Do you need the wheelchair or do you think you can walk?”
“I don’t want the chair, let’s just go.”
Olivia held her arm out for Natalia to take for stability, “Okay, let’s go home.”
Jeffrey stood as he watched the women walking toward the waiting room.
“What are you doing here? You didn’t stay all night, did you?” Olivia asked.
“It’s good to see you too Olivia,” Jeffrey said as he leaned down to kiss her cheek. “No Rick told Reva and I that it was a panic attack so we went home for the night. I figured you could use a ride this morning though.”
Yeah that’s just great, I’m sure the whole town will know by lunchtime.
Natalia looked between Jeffrey and Olivia and when it looked like her friend wasn’t going to respond she leaned forward and said, “Thank you, Jeffrey, we could use a ride.”
Olivia looked at her sharply. Natalia! Can’t we just take a cab? I don’t want any more attention for this than necessary, I can get you home.
“Well then Natalia, Olivia let’s get you both back to The Beacon.” Jeffrey put his hand on Olivia’s back to guide the reluctant woman out of the hospital.
Once they got outside Jeffrey realized that the walk would be too far for Natalia. “Why don’t you two wait here and I’ll get the car?”
As Jeffrey rushed off to the parking garage Natalia turned to Olivia, “What’s wrong?”
“I feel silly; I don’t want everyone to know.”
“Olivia nobody’s laughing.”
“Maybe not but it makes me feel weak and kinda pathetic.”
Natalia took Olivia’s hand, “I’m going to focus on the ‘you’re okay’ part of this if it’s all the same to you because that’s what’s important? I’m sorry if it makes you feel weak but it doesn’t mean you are. And since when do you care what other people think?”
“Since I feel like I’ve got a spotlight on me all the time. I swear Rick has spies everywhere.”
Natalia chuckled, “I’m sure he doesn’t but don’t start getting paranoid on me now, okay?”
Olivia laughed in response, “Fine, I’ll do my best to avoid the paranoia.”
The women watched as Jeffrey pulled the car up to the door, got out and came to help them both into it.
Olivia sat in the backseat with her head tipped back staring at the ceiling wishing the ride was over already while Natalia and Jeffrey talked about the weather and how the daffodils were starting to come up.
Thankfully, the ride to the hotel was quick, as Olivia couldn’t wait to jump into a shower and wash the hospital off her, so she was a little annoyed when Jeffrey insisted on walking the women to their room.
“Thank you Jeffrey, one of these days we’ll have to return all of these favours you and Reva keep doing for us,” Natalia said as she thanked him.
“I’m just happy if we can help.”
Olivia rolled her eyes, she had already walked over and sat down on the bed and said in a rush, “Yep that’s great thanks Jeffrey, bye.” Olivia looked around the room, thankful most of the evidence from the previous night had been cleaned up by the maid.
Both Jeffrey and Natalia turned their heads to look at Olivia.
“Olivia.” Natalia lightly admonished though she understood her friend was embarrassed she didn’t see the need to be rude. Turning back to Jeffrey, who didn’t seem any worse for Olivia’s attitude, Natalia thanked him again for his kindness and started to say goodbye.
Oh crap. It occurred to Olivia that she might not be able to make her talk with Reva later in the day. I don’t think I’m up to dealing with Reva and my feelings today and really, I think I’d rather spend the day with Natalia, I need her more. “Hey Jeffrey will you let Reva know that I won’t be by today but I will call her as soon as I can?”
“Of course Olivia.”
“Okay, I’ll leave you two, if you need anything you know where I am.”
Natalia closed the door as Jeffrey walked back toward the employee entrance where he had parked.
Natalia gingerly sat down on the edge of the bed next to Olivia and took her hand.
Olivia noticed the care her friend took in her movements, “Oh shit, you missed your nurse this morning, I’ll call and apologize for missing the visit and set up another time.”
Natalia nodded, “That’s fine. Can I get you anything?”
Ignoring the question Olivia let go of Natalia’s hand as she slipped to the floor to pick up the pill bottles that where hastily strewn about by the nightstand. “How did these all get down here?” Okay, so all of the evidence wasn’t cleared up, why the hell were these left on the floor? I’ll be making a call to my maid supervisor later.
Natalia got up to get some water and looked back to answer Olivia, “I was looking for Aspirin, you may not remember.”
“Oh,” Olivia mentally slapped her forehead, “yeah I do remember that sort of.” Vague images of Natalia rushing around… pill bottles falling to the floor… pleading to open her mouth… Olivia hadn’t considered what was happening at the time but now she remembered just how desperate the situation had felt. I put her through a lot.
Olivia filed those feelings away for another time and organized the bottles on the table, “We need to order food, you didn’t eat last night, you must be starving, and you’ve got meds to take so you should have something in your stomach.”
“I’m not the only one… on both counts.”
“I’ll order some breakfast then I really feel like I need a shower. Do you want to get cleaned up first; I know the nurse normally helps you… “
“No, I’m fine Olivia. You go ahead, relax and enjoy your shower, I’ll order breakfast.” Relax Olivia; stop acting like you need to make up for something.
“Okay.” Olivia said after she swallowed her heart medication, she then stood up and headed into the bathroom.
It took longer for Natalia to take her meds as she had several more of them to take and one that had to wait until after she had eaten but once finished, she called room service and ordered them each a veggie omelet, whole wheat toast, coffee and juice. She heard the water of the shower start running, “Uh oh, I never did make it to the bathroom.” Don’t be long Olivia.
Natalia decided that it was a ‘sweats’ day, so she got changed into the gray sweatpants she knew Olivia always kept at The Beacon and a fresh t-shirt before getting comfortable on the bed. Picking up the phone she called Jessica, the night manager, on her home number, knowing her shift had ended, and when the call went to voicemail she left a message letter her know everything was okay. She hung up and put down the phone and looked around the room… “What’s next?” Oh yeah, the nurse. Natalia picked up the phone again and called the agency, she explained the situation and made a decision, “So, again I’m sorry we weren’t here, of course we’ll pay for the visit but I think I’m okay now. I’d like to cancel the service.”
To be continued...