Title: The End of Her World
Fandom: Guiding Light
Characters: Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera
Category: Angst, but the good kind. Romance, Drama.
Rating: PG...for now.
Word count: 1,982
Summary: What if Natalia had talked to Olivia before she left the farmhouse?
Spoilers: For the 7/01/09 episode.
Author's Note: I took the s/l of doom and not only embraced it, but made out with it. Then we had little fic babies. Which is probably not the best metaphor given everything, but there you have it. Please to be not killing me for this fic. Also many thanks to lbecka and q_wordy13 both for the beta. I very much appreciate both of their words and insight. They are the bests kinds of betas that offered detailed criticism on both the writing and how it is written.
Disclaimer: All characters (Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera, Emma Spencer & Fetus Rivera) and situations belong to Guiding Light, Telenext, Proctor & Gamble, etc. I'm not them.
Olivia is standing in front of her talking about family, and Natalia's heart is slowly crumbling in her chest. This is their beautiful dream and she can feel it turning to dust in her fingers. The harder she tries to hold on, the faster it disintegrates. She is so scared; scared that she is actually pregnant and scared of what it will mean. Can she bear being irrevocably tied to Frank for the rest of her life? Worse, will Olivia hate her for it? Will she lose Olivia for a mistake that she thought she had already paid for? Most of all she needs Olivia and she's afraid that this will push her away forever.
"Olivia..." She tries to get the words out of her mouth, but her voice breaks.
Olivia thinks that she's worried about telling Emma. "It will be okay, because she loves you so much, and you love her. It shows. I just know. I know this is gonna be a great day tomorrow. I can't wait."
Her reassurances are beautiful, and they only make Natalia's heart ache more. She knows how badly Olivia wants this happy family with the three - no, the four of them, with Rafe even as he is fighting so hard against them - and she doesn't want to be responsible for taking that happiness away from her.
"I know." She can barely force the words out of her mouth. She can't tell her. There isn't anything to tell Olivia. She doesn't even know yet. The only thing she is sure about is the sick, aching feeling in her stomach. It's not a physical sensation. It's different from the way that she's been feeling. This is shame and dread and fear; a deadly combination that is all too familiar from her teenage years. It's telling her that she is pregnant. And, of course, this happened to her, because only she would have the bad luck to get pregnant the first time that she had sex with a man - for the second time!
Olivia blows her a kiss and the look of adoration in her eyes breaks something in Natalia. She never speaks before thinking. It's a hard learned and deeply ingrained trait.
"Wait. Wait, wait, Oliva. Wait." She blurts the words out so quickly that they come out of her mouth in a jumble, before she even realizes she was going to speak and without her conscious consent.
Olivia freezes, catching the panic and desperation in her voice. The flirty happiness is gone in an instant, replaced by deep concern. "Natalia? What's wrong?"
The gentle concern in Olivia's voice breaks the dam that's been holding back her emotions. Her face crumbles and tears stream down her face. She's trying desperately to choke back the sobs, to hold them inside, and it isn't working. Olivia is by her side in an instant, crouching down beside her, one hand rubbing her back soothingly.
Natalia flinches under her touch. It's a reflexive reaction; she can't help it. She can't bear the comfort that Olivia is so freely trying to give. It's only when Olivia jerks her hand back that she realizes, once again, that she is sending the wrong message.
She reaches out blindly for Olivia's hand and pulls it back to her, cradling it over her heart. She's holding on so tightly that she's afraid she might be hurting Olivia, but she can't make herself loosen her grip.
"I'm sorry," she breathes the words out. "I'm so sorry. Olivia..."
"Shhh." Olivia soothes her now. She has no idea what's going on or why Natalia is acting this way. All she knows is that she wants to fix this for Natalia. "Shhhh. It's okay. Whatever it is, it will be okay. I promise."
Olivia knows, vaguely, that it's a promise she may not be able to keep, not if it involves Rafe or Frank or any of a dozen other things. But she will try. There is nothing she will not do for Natalia.
"You can't promise that." Natalia eerily echoes her thoughts.
With her free hand, Olivia reaches up slowly to brush a lock of hair out of Natalia's face. She hesitates just before she's about to touch her and without thought, Natalia turns into Olivia's gesture. The tips of Olivia's fingers skim across her cheek, before she tucks the hair behind Natalia's ear. Natalia gains immeasurable comfort, if no lasting peace from the gesture. She is stalling now and she knows it.
"Tell me what's wrong," Olivia commands her gently.
Natalia bites her lip. This is the most terrifying thing she's ever done in her life. More frightening than running out of the church and away from Frank, or telling her parents that she was pregnant with Rafe.
"I took a pregnancy test and I'm afraid it might be positive." She spits the words out so quickly she's not even sure that Olivia could understand her. It's the only way she can say it.
She knows Olivia does understand what she's said when every muscle in Olivia's body freezes. Now her hand is clutching Natalia's hand back just as tightly. Slowly Olivia sinks to the ground, her feet half-sliding out from underneath her. Natalia follows, bending over her awkwardly, never letting go of her hand.
"Olivia?" She asks softly, when the silence has stretched and stretched until it's unbreakable. She needs some response from her - anything.
"Frank?" Olivia asks in a whisper, not looking at Natalia.
The question hurts, but Natalia manages to nod her answer.
"You..." Olivia's voice breaks. She swallows and starts over. "You took a test?"
"Let's see it."
Natalia hesitates. Her purse is still on the floor by her chair. She wasn't willing to let it out of her sight since she put the test in there.
But Olivia is holding out her hand, while still not quite meeting Natalia's eyes. So Natalia opens her purse and finds the test. Now it's her turn to be unable to meet Olivia's eyes as she places the test into Olivia's outstretched hand. Her heart is racing so fast that it's almost painful. She's certain that it's going to jump out of her chest at any moment.
"Huh." Olivia's soft exclamation is as surprising as it is completely uninformative. Natalia had expected a reaction one way or another. Olivia is nothing, if rarely quiet and reserved.
"What?" She can't help the harsh tone of her question. She has to know, one way or another, what it's to be. Is she pregnant or isn't she? It's time for her sentence to come down.
If Natalia hadn't already been sitting, her legs would have gone out from underneath her. As it is, all she feels is a jumble of emotion, too complicated to even attempt to decipher. After that declaration, the silence seems to echo around them both. They are equally lost in their own thoughts, each dealing with this very unexpected news in their own way. Natalia is jerked out of her whirling kaleidoscope of thoughts with a hand on her knee. She looks down into Olivia's eyes and finds them brimming with emotion.
"What do you want to do?" The question makes Natalia gasp.
"Olivia, I can't - I couldn't. Ever." Even now the thought is too surprising for Natalia to form a more vehement denial.
"Oh, no! No. God, no. Natalia, I would never suggest. No." Olivia squeezes her hand. "I know you would never consider that and I would never ask. No," Olivia repeats firmly.
Natalia's relief is almost tangible. As much as she doesn't want this, she can't consider destroying an unborn life either.
It's Olivia's turn to stumble and struggle for words now. "What I meant," she says slowly, blinking back tears. "Is what do you want to do now? Frank...if you still want..." She looks away. "Frank can give you and your baby a traditional family. If you want it."
"No!" Natalia says the word too quickly, but she has to.
She is reeling, has not ceased to be reeling since she admitted the possibility to herself earlier in the day while talking to Blake. This feels like running into a brick wall at fifty miles an hour. She's stopped short by the possibility that Olivia raises. But instead of leaving her hurt and shaken, it gives her certainty. She is certain, at least, of what she does not want. That much she knows, because the moment Olivia raises the possibility to her, it is an anathema.
This is how she almost ended up marrying Frank. She can't do that again. No matter how terrifying and impossible it seems at this moment, she has to be strong and stand up for herself. If the worst happens and Olivia doesn't want her, even then she cannot run to Frank. Not this time. She doesn't even want to.
"I don't want Frank," she says bitterly. The last word turns into a sob. She doesn't want to see Olivia pushing her towards Frank, not again.
Olivia is kneeling, her hand is running oh-so-lightly through Natalia's hair. Her presence isn't dominating, but comforting and soothing. "What do you want?" She repeats.
Natalia clutches at her desperately. "I want you and Emma and a family. But not like this. I didn't want this, Olivia. I'm so sorry."
"Shhh," Olivia whispers again. "It's okay. I know." She holds Natalia until her sobs fade and her breathing calms. Natalia takes a deep breath and then lets it out slowly. Only then can she look up to meet Olivia's eyes.
"What about you?" she asks. She doesn't want the answer, but she has to know now. "Can you do this? Will you..." Natalia can't even believe she's asking this. She knows what she's asking from Olivia Spencer of all people. "Will you do this with me?"
Olivia takes a deep breath. Natalia can see the fear in her eyes, but she's looking directly at Natalia, and her gaze is so penetrating and overwhelming that Natalia can't catch her breath.
"Yes. If you want me. Yes."
"I do. I do want you so much. I need you, Olivia."
"Okay," Olivia says, nodding.
Just that simply, it's done. Their future is decided - together.
Olivia stands shakily, Natalia notes, and holds a hand out to her.
"I guess we need to get you to the hospital then."
The matter of fact practicality of her statement leaves Natalia in amazement. It's possible that she's just a little bit in shock, because even if she'd had a chance to imagine how Olivia would react, she never would have pictured this calm acceptance.
Natalia takes her hand and lets her pull her to her feet. She squeezes Olivia's hand and stops her when she starts to step away. Instead Natalia steps closer and wraps her arms around Olivia, who embraces her instantly. Their bodies melt together and Natalia can finally feel some of the insane jumble of emotion begin to fall away. She luxuriates in Olivia's embrace and finds peace and calm in it.
There is so much uncertainty, so much yet to be decided, but here, in Olivia's arms, she can forget about that just for a moment and just be. Above all, in Olivia's arms, she feels safe and loved, something that only moments ago, she thought she was about to lose forever. Emotion overwhelms her again, and Natalia pulls back from their embrace far enough to look Olivia in the eye.
"I love you so much, Olivia." She hopes Olivia knows how much she means those words. She tries to put everything that she's feeling into them.
Choked and speechless, Olivia can only nod, before she finds her voice. "I love you too."
They are still standing that way when Emma, impatient with the delay in their departure, comes back in and finds them.