Fandom: Guiding Light
Rating: NC-17 (for lots of things)
Summary: Starts with the infamous scene with the OPT Pregnancy Test. Spins off from there into its own little universe.
Disclaimer: CBS, P&G, Telenext et. al. owns these characters; I'm just taking them off the shelf and playing with them for a while.
Author's note: While research has been done, all medical and legal errors are solely my responsibility.
"You want to take Rafe's rights away?" Olivia hissed, glaring at Doris. "Are you out of your fucking mind?"
"Well not take them away," Doris said, glancing over her shoulder. She clasped Olivia's arm, pulling her closer, and said, "Just revoke them temporarily." She pointed at the heading on the legal document. "This appoints you as Guardian ad litem. It means that you are temporarily responsible for all of Natalia's financial, legal, and medical decisions while she's incapacitated. I assume you didn't have time to create a Power of Attorney, medical or otherwise?"
Olivia shook her head. "She has medical guardianship with Emma, but beyond that...we hadn't..." She rubbed at her temple. "We weren't quite there yet."
"Technicality," Doris said, her eyes shifting briefly to Josh before returning to Olivia. "Rafe's a nineteen year old convicted felon. He's nowhere to be found, correct?"
"I've called him three times," Olivia said. "Texted him more. He won't respond."
Doris continued, "You're a successful businesswoman and a pillar of the community."
Josh let out a cough, which Olivia countered with an elbow to the ribs.
"You work with Natalia, you are her friend and a valued part of her life. You have her best interests at heart." Doris pointed at the paperwork. "There's no doubt you can make sound decisions for her in this crisis."
"How did you..." Olivia narrowed her eyes at Doris. "Is this legal?"
"It's unorthodox." Doris's pale blue eyes shifted, turning first to Josh, then to the nurses' desk, then back to Olivia. "I could...this could get me disbarred, if Rafe fights it. But he's not even around, and if he does want to fight, it'll take him time. The time you need to protect Natalia until she's well. And that's what matters, right?"
"But how did you get this?" Josh asked. "Wouldn't you need a judge?"
"Well, see, there's the thing," Doris said. "When I was notified that two people had been shot at a local barbeque —"
"Two!" Olivia turned to Josh. "Who else?"
"Alan is missing part of an ear," Josh said.
"Oh." Olivia fought the smile that threatened. "He okay, is he?"
"He'll live," Doris said, her tone indicating a certain disappointment in that prospect. "When my cousin the chief called with an update, I knew what you'd be facing. And so I called Judge Parsons, and she said she'd be willing to help under the circumstances. See I did her last month." Doris's face blanched, her pale blue eyes darting toward Josh, then back at Olivia. "A favor, that is. I did her a favor. And so I just...she was willing to sign. All we need is your name on the paperwork and a couple of witnesses, and we're done."
"Oh, my God." Olivia swallowed Doris up in a fierce hug. "Thank you."
"It's nothing." Doris's face was as red as her jacket as she pulled away. "I just...you and Natalia deserve better than this. If I can help, I will."
Olivia strode over to the nurses' station and looked down at the young woman manning it. "Do you have a pen?"
"Black would be best." Doris shrugged when Olivia arched an eyebrow at her. "Technically, black is proper for legal documents."
"I don't care if it's in blood," Olivia growled. "Just give me a fucking pen and let's get this show on the road."
"Olivia." Josh move to stand beside her, one hand on her shoulder. "Are you sure this is the right choice?"
"Why wouldn't it be?" she asked, feeling frustration well within her. "Do you honestly think that Rafe is qualified to make decisions for Natalia?"
"I don't..." Josh hesitated. "He's a young man, and obviously a very prideful one. If you take this away from him, he will take it as an insult."
"So I should wait for a kid who won't even answer my calls to get here," Olivia said, putting every bit of contempt she felt into her voice. "This is a kid who mugged you. Who shot Jeffrey. Last night he broke a beer bottle against my car and threatened me with it. But he's such a prince that I should wait for him to show up and offer me table scraps when the love of my life —" Her voice caught, and she struggled to bring it under control. "He doesn't get a second chance. Not when it comes to this."
Josh looked at her for a long moment, his eyes troubled. "I'm just concerned that afterwards, you may regret this."
Olivia rounded on him, fixing him with her most intense gaze. "Imagine it's Reva," she murmured. "And the only thing standing in your way is Jonathan."
Josh's blue eyes narrowed, and Olivia felt the blow hit home. She kept her face neutral when Josh looked over her at the nurse and said, "Erin, do you have a black pen that you'd be willing to loan us?"
He took the ballpoint from the young woman, handing it to Olivia and then standing to the side as she scrawled her name on the bottom of the second page. Doris took the pen from her, noting, "Since this is not city business, I can act as Notary Public on the document." She scrawled her name with a flourish, then handed the papers back to Olivia. "All yours."
Olivia felt a surge of adrenaline run through her as she leaned over the counter and held the papers up. "See this? This says you need to tell me Natalia Rivera's condition."
The young nurse looked up at her, her brow furrowed. "Is this legal?"
"Of course it's legal," Doris said. "I'm the mayor."
The nurse just stared at her for a moment, her eyes narrowing as if she was unsure of how to respond to Doris's words. Before she could figure out what to say, Olivia felt Josh's hand touch her shoulder. "Rick's here."
Olivia turned, seeing Rick emerge from a set of automated double doors to the side of the nurse's desk, wearing a set of blue scrubs and white tennis shoes. She strode toward him, holding up the papers, and said, "No confidentiality bullshit, Rick. Tell me what's going on."
Rick waited until Josh was standing on one side of Olivia, Doris the other, before saying, "She's a fighter, that's for sure."
Olivia felt herself blanch at the words. Of course Natalia was a fighter; she knew that from vast experience. The question was, just how hard was she having to fight?
"What's going on?" she asked, trying to keep her voice from quavering.
"We just got her on the table," Rick said. "Doctor Loren, one of our best trauma surgeons, is performing the surgery."
"I thought —" Olivia glanced over her shoulder at Josh. "You said she was going into surgery back when we were still at the house."
"There were complications," Rick said, and Olivia felt Josh's arm wrap around her, holding on as she backstepped into him. Please, she thought, her knees close to giving out. And then once more, this time dangerously close to a prayer. Please.
"We were able to stabilize her enough to get her into surgery, but it was rough going," Rick said, his voice calm and matter of fact. "Essentially, the bullet lodged in her lung, which affected her breathing and put pressure on her heart. That's why we had to shock her at the house, and again in the ambulance as well. And then after we got here, we needed to give her a blood transfusion because she'd lost so much blood."
"But you can fix it, right?" Olivia said, her voice distant and strange to her own ears. "Tell me you can fix it, Rick."
"We're doing everything we can," Rick said, his eyes holding no promises. "The concern right now is how much damage the bullet did on its way in. There's internal bleeding, and it's going to take the surgical team time to track that down."
"Is there anything we can do, Rick?" Doris asked, her hand coming up to rest lightly on Olivia's bicep. "Give blood, anything like that?"
"Well, the Blood Bank could always use more donations, but Natalia's type O so there's no concerns in terms of not having what she needs." Rick looked down at Olivia, and she could see him slip into doctor mode, evaluating her with that faint edge of displeasure she remembered so well. "How are you?"
"I'm fine." Olivia drew her body away from Josh's supportive embrace. "I just want to know when I can see her."
"It's going to be a few hours at least." Rick reached down, clasping her wrist. "Did you let Lillian check you out before you came over here?"
"No," Olivia said, hearing the defiance of a five year old in her tone. "I was coming to the hospital, Rick. It's not like there wouldn't be someone to take care of me if I had a problem."
"The whole point is to not have a problem." Rick let her wrist go, his hand lifting to touch the pulse at her neck. "You seem all right, but you're going to tell someone if you start to feel your heart race or feel out of breath, right?"
"I will tell someone if I'm about to drop over dead." Olivia let out a frustrated breath, forcing herself to meet Rick's eyes. "Thank you for saving her life."
"I did what I could." Rick looked down, scuffing one toe against the whitish-gray linoleum. "It's in Doctor Loren's hands now."
"But without you and Mel, she wouldn't —" Olivia's throat closed on the words. She closed her eyes, breathing in through her nose, before slowly opening them again and meeting Rick's gaze. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Rick clasped her arm. "Look, it's probably going to be a while before there's another update. Why don't you go home, get some rest, and I will make sure you know the second there's news."
"I'm not leaving." Olivia waved the papers in her hand. "Natalia's medical decisions are mine to make, Rick. I need to be here."
"I will make sure you know everything that happens," Rick said. "I know you, Olivia. Sitting here doing nothing will run your blood pressure up, and it's going to be a long night."
"He's right," Josh said.
Olivia turned toward him. "Do you honestly think you're going to get me to leave?"
Josh took one of her hands between his own, holding it up between them so that she could see the blood still staining her skin. "I think you need to talk to Emma, and you can't do it looking like this."
"Oh, God, Emma," Olivia groaned, guilt for how she'd neglected her baby washing through her. "I do need to talk to her, you're right."
Josh nodded. "I'll take you back to the hotel so you can shower and change, and then we can have Phillip meet us back here."
"No," Olivia said quickly. "I don't want Emma here. She's had enough of sitting around this place waiting to see if someone she loves is going to —" Despair tightened her throat, and she swallowed it back with an effort. "Phillip can bring her to the Beacon. I'll talk to her there after I'm changed." She turned toward Doris, clasping a hand around her elbow. "Would you be willing to wait here until we're back? It would probably be an hour or so."
"Of course." Doris glanced over at Rick. "You'll come tell me if Olivia needs to get back here, right?"
Rick nodded. "I'll be observing the surgery, and I'll make sure Doris knows if anything changes." He took Olivia's hand. "She's strong and she's fighting. Plus she's got you pulling for her, and if anyone could get someone through on sheer will, it's you." He glanced at Josh and Doris, then back at Olivia. "I'll let you know something as soon as I can."
With that, he turned, pressing the button that would allow him entry into the surgical corridors. The doors hissed shut behind him with a quiet snick, one that resounded through Olivia like the booming clang of the gates of hell slamming closed. She will get through this, she told herself. If I could survive getting a new heart, then she can overcome one stupid little bullet.
She felt the terror shake through her again, and with it the helplessness she'd felt as she had knelt on the grass, holding Natalia's hand as she watched the life drain out of her. So scared. She looked so scared and her hand was so cold.
"Okay," Olivia said, deliberately shoving the memories aside. She lifted her shoulders, pulling them back as she willed her spine straight. "Okay. Josh, you'll give me a ride over to the Beacon?"
"Absolutely." Josh looked over at Doris. "Do you have my cell number?"
Doris shook her head, and they spent a moment exchanging information. When they were done, Doris looked at Olivia and said, "Go. And if there's any problems, I'll just remind them that the zoning on the new wing is going to be hard to get through without my backing."
Olivia pulled her into another fierce embrace. "You're a wonder, you know that?"
"Just looking out for my favorite baby dyke." Doris pulled away. "Go take care of Emma."
"Thank you." Olivia brushed her lips against Doris's cheek. "I'll be back soon."
She turned, feeling Josh's hand hovering at her back as she strode toward the exit.
I'll be back soon, my love, she thought as she pushed the elevator button. She looked back toward the surgery entrance, her love for Natalia flowing like a current toward the doors and what lay beyond. I'm going to go see our baby girl. And you're going to hold on, for her, and for us. You know that, right? Your job is to hold on for us.
She stepped onto the elevator, her eyes closing as the doors slammed shut. I love you, she sent out, and then the floor was dropping downward.