Title: The End of Her World Stay tuned on Sunday for the sequel Moving Day.
Fandom: Guiding Light
Characters: Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera
Category: Angst, but the good kind. Romance, Drama.
Word count: 2,760
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
q_wordy13 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.
Stay tuned on Sunday for the sequel Moving Day.
Natalia sinks down into the couch, letting out a relieved sigh as she does. It feels like the first time in a week that she's been able to sit down and simply relax, and it all has to do with the woman sitting beside her. There's a moment where she hesitates before she remembers that there is nothing that they have to hide anymore - not from themselves and not from anyone else. Then Natalia lets go and slides closer to Olivia.
"Thank you for going with me today."
Olivia smiles and slips her arm through Natalia's, getting even closer to her. "I'm glad you asked. I would have hated to miss it, and besides I missed you this week," she admits softly. "I can't believe Blake has been keeping you this busy."
"Her publishing business is really starting to take off," Natalia agrees. "You've been pretty busy yourself."
"The fourth of July, and summer. It's always a busy time for the hospitality industry." Olivia regrets it, but it's true. She has been busy with the Beacon, especially in Natalia's absence. She hadn't realized how much and how well Natalia had gotten things done. Without her to rely on, she's had to handle more of the small details herself and it's eating up her time. She really needs to get a new assistant, but she can't quite bring herself to do it. Whoever she hires won't be Natalia and she knows herself well enough to realize that she will be even harder to deal with than usual because of that.
"I missed you. And Emma," Natalia adds a moment later. "I missed both of you."
"Mmm," Olivia agrees, her fingers running up and down Natalia's arm. "We need to do something about that." She reaches up to tuck a piece of Natalia's bangs behind her ear so that she can see her better. "I want to see you more, not less."
Olivia's body is humming with Natalia's nearness. She can't help but be conscious of the scant places where they touch, skin against skin. Her lips tingle with the memory of Natalia's lips against hers. It's been five long days since that kiss. They've spent as much of that time together as they can, but there's been no repeat of that kiss. Not for lack of trying - on either of their parts - but it just never seems to happen. Something interrupts or the moment isn't right. They've waited too long to screw this up before their second, or technically, third kiss.
"Olivia..." The way that Natalia says her name, breathes it really, captures her attention immediately and Olivia looks up from where she's been watching her fingers caress Natalia's arm. When she does, Olivia is immediately transfixed by the look in Natalia's eyes. It's desperate and full of desire. She moves toward Natalia without making a conscious decision to do so.
Natalia matches her move, the tips of her fingers lightly brushing Olivia's hip to steady herself as she leans forward. They're so close that she can feel the warm puffs of their breath mingling and smell the faint, minty scent of the toothpaste that Olivia uses. The touch on Olivia's hip becomes more concrete as Natalia shifts her weight and sinks her other hand into Olivia's hair, cupping the back of her neck and pulling Olivia to her, closing the final centimeters between them.
It begins slowly, a lingering brush of lips that grows into something more because Natalia cannot stop with just one sweet kiss. She needs more of Olivia. For the first time in her life, she allows herself to simply want, and to indulge in what she wants.
Beneath her touch Olivia is almost frozen. She offers the barest response and the last part of Natalia's mind that is thinking clearly realizes that it's because Olivia is still afraid of pushing her too far. She presses their lips together more forcefully, deepening the kiss and trying to pour everything that she's feeling into it. Her fingers clench around the material of Olivia's shirt, even as the hand she has buried in Olivia's hair loosens its grip. Her hand falls along the side of Olivia's neck, and comes down to rest over her heart. She finds the raised texture of Olivia's scar without even looking, tracing its path down until it disappears under Olivia's camisole.
Olivia gasps at the gentle touch. Her arm wraps around Natalia's waist tightly, and Olivia pulls her closer, deepening their kiss as she does. She responds to Natalia now as deeply as she held herself back, falling hungrily into their kiss. They're so close that Natalia is practically in her lap. All she has to do is shift forward and around a little bit more.
Olivia reaches up blindly, putting her hand over Natalia's as it covers her heart. It's pounding so wildly in her chest that it can't possibly be good for a woman in her condition.
"You're going to kill me," Olivia murmurs as the urgency between them gradually begins to ease, broken by short, teasing kisses. They can't seem to stop completely. Olivia doesn't really want to. "Bad ticker, you know."
Natalia's hand presses a little bit harder against her chest. "That's not funny."
"But you love me anyway," Olivia teases her, unable to resist nipping at her bottom lip.
Natalia gets lost in the soft warmth of her again and moment passes before she can reply. She's shaking her head when she finally makes herself pull away. Her hand strokes down Olivia's face, brushing across her cheekbone.
"You know I do," she says with an impossibly charming smile.
Olivia tilts her head to press a kiss to Natalia's palm so tantalizingly close to her lips. "I do." She grins mischievously, "But I love hearing you say it even more."
Natalia laughs softly. "We are so sappy."
Olivia can't hold in her own rueful snort, as she sags back against the couch. Her hands drift from Natalia's back to rest just above Natalia's hips, and her thumbs begin to make aimless circles on her abdomen, just brushing the soft swell of Natalia's stomach where the baby is beginning to show.
"Can't let that get out. It might ruin my reputation."
Natalia just shakes her head. "I'm not worried about your reputation." Her impish grin makes Olivia think back to an innocent face and a hustled game of pool. Natalia does indeed have a little bit of the devil in her. It just comes out at the most unexpected moments.
"Why, Ms. Rivera is that a slight on my reputation?"
"Hardly. I think your reputation can take care of itself. Actually..." Natalia's smile widens. "I think your reputation has a reputation."
For a moment Natalia wonders if her teasing has gone a little too far. She means nothing by it, but she and Olivia both have insecurities that can appear in an instant, coming and going without the faintest indication. The smug smile that flashes over Olivia's face dispels her worries in an instant.
"That's the nicest thing you've said to me in...oh, an hour at least." Olivia's light, breezy tone draws her own laughter from Natalia.
"You're impossible," Natalia counters fondly.
"Move in with me."
"I- what?" Olivia blinks and looks as if someone has hit over the head with a frying pan. A lot like Natalia imagines she looked after Olivia had kissed her for the very first time - to prove a point. Someday they will have to discuss that. Actually, there are many things she wants to discuss with Olivia someday. It's just one of the many reasons that she's asking Olivia to move in. Most of all she wants Olivia to move in because it's time - time for them to all be a family again.
She's not ignoring the obstacles. She knows that Rafe is still opposed to them, but she hasn't given up on her son yet. She'll wear him down eventually. She's stubborn and he can't out last her. She's his mother and she loves him. But just because he isn't ready for them to be a family yet it doesn't mean that the rest of them should suffer for it. She and Olivia have waited long enough and Emma is certainly ready for them to move back in. She's been waiting anxiously for it since the day that she and Olivia moved out, after all. There's nothing else to stop them. The whole town knows - or will know just as soon as the gossip completes its circuit around town - and they aren't hiding anything about their relationship. They're free to be together and Natalia wants that.
"I asked you to move in with me," Natalia says slowly, laying her hands over Olivia's forearms and squeezing lightly.
Olivia remains speechless, and Natalia bites her lip. Maybe she should have waited for a better time to ask, but she couldn't keep the words from slipping out of her mouth. When it had occurred to her, it had felt so right that she had simply gone with it and asked. But maybe Olivia isn't ready to merge their lives together like that. Olivia has been wonderful about this baby, but Natalia knows how much she's asking. They'll only have a few months together before it's all midnight feedings and endless sleep deprivation, and no time for them to be truly alone. No one in their right mind would sign up for that.
"It's okay." Natalia says, trying to smile. "You don't have to say anything now." She shrugs. "You don't have to say anything at all. You can forget I asked."
She pats Olivia's arms gently and shifts away from Olivia so that she can stand. She's barely gotten to her feet when Olivia grabs both of her wrists.
"You want Em and I to move in with you?" Olivia speaks slowly, as if she's still processing what Natalia's said.
Natalia nods, waiting on pins and needles to hear what Olivia will say.
"Okay." Olivia agrees simply. "I want that too."
Natalia feels almost lightheaded, her relief is so intense. She sinks to a seat on the coffee table in front of Olivia and her eyes fall shut as she lets out a shaky breath. "Good." She says squeezing Olivia's hands. "Good."
Olivia's hand slides into Natalia's hair and she gasps when Olivia's lips cover her own, her eyes flying open again. The kiss lasts until they're both breathless.
"I can't wait until you move in," Natalia admits between shallow breaths, propping her arms on Olivia's shoulders and twining her fingers behind Olivia's neck.
"I'm pretty excited about that too." Olivia whispers. "Just wait until we tell Emma. She won't sleep for a week."
Natalia laughs, because she knows it's true. "Then I guess we should tell her tonight when she gets in from camp."
Olivia rests her forehead against Natalia's briefly. "Are you-" She takes a deep breath. "You're sure about this?"
Natalia winces because she knows she's given Olivia reasons to doubt her in the past, but she's confident in what she wants now. The barbecue has helped. Facing down her fears has given her the strength to do it again and again, and there's no doubt that she's ready to merge their lives back together.
She draws her hands back until she's holding Olivia's face in her hands and her arms are resting lightly on Olivia's upper body.
"I'm sure," she says softly. "I know this seems sudden, but it's not. Not really. We've lived together before. When we admitted how we really felt for each other, everything suddenly felt different. It was different and I didn't know how to be 'us' when everything was different. Now I do, and I want 'us' back...completely."
Olivia draws in a shaky breath. "I just don't want you to regret this," she admits quietly. "I know you want us to move in - someday. But I don't want you to feel pressured, like it has to be today." Her hand gently covers the swell of Natalia's abdomen. "Because of this."
Natalia covers Olivia's hand with her own. She starts to speak, and then hesitates before she begins again. "You're right. I probably wouldn't be asking you to move in today, if I hadn't found out that I was pregnant."
Olivia's hand jumps underneath her own, pulling away from Natalia as if she's suddenly realized she set it down on a hot stove instead of soft fabric covering Natalia's gently rounded body. "Exactly."
"But," Natalia counters just as quickly. "That doesn't mean this is the wrong choice. Finding out that I'm pregnant..." She takes a moment, searching for the words to explain to Olivia precisely how she feels. She has to get this right. For both of their sakes. "I think it made me see things more clearly. It made me look at what was really important, and you and Emma are a big part of that for me. Please?"
The slow, growing smile on Olivia's face makes Natalia's heart leap with joy. She knows what it means. It's the same smile that Olivia wore the last time she convinced her to move in with her. Inwardly, Natalia laughs at herself. She had no idea then about how completely her life was about to change and how Olivia would be responsible for so much of it - the best parts of it.
"Thank you," she says excitedly, reaching forward to take Olivia's hands in hers and pulling Olivia closer to her. She wraps her arms around Olivia and holds her tightly. "Thank you," she whispers again more softly.
Olivia picks up the glossy black-and-white photo from the coffee table where it's lain forgotten since they walked in. She smiles as she traces over the blurry curve of a cheek with the tip of her finger and finally looks over at Natalia.
"You're going to have a baby," Olivia whispers, her voice full of reverence and wonder.
Natalia takes her hand, and very deliberately intertwines their fingers before she meets Olivia's gaze again. "No, we're going to have a baby." She counters, her smile no less brilliant than Olivia's.
"Yeah, I guess we are."
"I-I've been thinking since we got back from the hospital," Natalia admits. "Since we saw her."
"What?" Olivia prompts her softly, content to savor this moment with Natalia and hear out anything she has to say.
"It's just that when I saw her, she was real for the first time. I was just pregnant, but when I saw her it was different. Suddenly I was having this baby, this little person who would be with me in just a few months. I couldn't help but try to picture what she would look like."
"Mmm. I hope she has your cheeks," Olivia can't help but run the back of her fingers along her striking cheekbones. "And dimples."
"Do you?" Natalia is surprised and charmed that Olivia has already been thinking about this. It's only a surprise because it's just now occurred to her; there's no reason Olivia wouldn't have been picturing her - their daughter.
"Uh-huh." Olivia laughs. "She'll have both of us wrapped around her little finger if she does." Her hand cups Natalia's jaw and her thumb rubs back and forth over one dimple. "Those are killer, you know?"
Natalia gives her a smile that's far from angelic. It would have shocked anyone else who knows her. Olivia just laughs and pulls her closer to steal another kiss.
Olivia rests her forehead against Natalia's, savoring their connection. She's close enough to feel it, but too close to look into Natalia's eyes when she asks this question. It makes it a little bit easier. She captures her lips one more time, building her confidence before she asks.
Natalia sighs, and holds Olivia closer. "Only every moment I wasted being scared and miserable, every time I let something keep us apart."
Olivia lets out a relieved breath. "Don't. Please. I wouldn't change anything that brought us here."
"Not even..." Natalia isn't sure what she wants to ask about. Almost marrying Frank. Sleeping with Frank. All the doubts, and uncertainty.
"None of it," Olivia tells her. "You're worth it. What we have together - this family is worth it."
"Yeah," Natalia agrees, marveling as she does at how she came to be this lucky to get to share this life with the woman sitting next to her. "Yeah, it is."
- The End