Title: Moving Day
Fandom: Guiding Light
Characters: Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera, Rafe Rivera, Blake Marler, Emma Spencer, Fetus Rivera
Category: Mush, fluff, sappy stuff with a tiny side of angst. Just a smidge really.
Word count: 3,186
Summary: Moving in means moving in. Right? Sequel to The End of Her World.
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 her words and insight.
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.
"Right in there," Olivia says, gesturing to the movers as she steps out of their way.
The first man enters the room and looks around. He pauses, still holding the load of boxes the he brought in with him and turns back to Olivia. "Is this the master bedroom?"
Olivia arches an eyebrow at the question, not seeing what business of his it was which room this was, or where her belongings were going.
"Uh, Ms. Rivera was very specific that these things should go in the Master suite," he spoke quickly, trying to forestall her wrath.
These things...her things...her clothes, books, and other personal items...was Natalia implying.... The problem is that she simply isn't sure what Natalia is implying. It could be an honest mistake on the mover's part, or it could be Natalia, saying with all of her usual, often frustrating subtly that she wants Olivia to share her room. If however, that isn't what Natalia is saying, Olivia doesn't want to make Natalia feel as if she's being pressured. That's the last thing Olivia wants.
Their relationship has only recently begun to explore a physical side and she isn't sure what Natalia is expecting with this move. The last time they discussed that aspect of their relationship was just before Rafe found out about them. It hadn't really led them to any conclusions, other than that they both wanted each other.
Olivia bites her lips. She has to tell the movers something about where to put the boxes and there's only one way to find out what Natalia wants: ask.
"Just a minute," Olivia says, holding a finger up to the man as she pulls out her cell phone. He looks impatient. She narrows her eyes as she hits the speed dial and waits for Natalia to answer. Hopefully she'll have a Blake-free moment to talk.
"Hi!" Natalia sounds so happy to hear from her when she answers the phone that it derails Olivia's thoughts for a moment.
"Hey yourself," she responds, her voice immediately turning low and husky.
Natalia's giggle drifts down the phone line and Olivia gives her head a little shake in an attempt to clear her thoughts.
"Is everything okay?" Natalia asks the obvious question. "Did the movers show up on time?"
"They did actually," Olivia answers, suddenly realizing that a room full of people she doesn't know isn't where she wants to have this conversation with Natalia. She holds up her finger to the man again, asking for another minute and then heads further down the hall, and hopefully, out of their earshot. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about."
"Oh?" Is it her imagination or does Natalia's voice sound a little bit higher than usual? Is she nervous?
"Yeah," Olivia agrees. She swallows and then continues. "He said that my things were supposed to go in-" your room "-the master bedroom. I, uh, told him that he'd made a mistake, but he insisted he hadn't." Olivia lets her words hang there and gives Natalia a chance to respond. Most of all she doesn't want Natalia to think she's pushing. She's Olivia Freakin' Spencer after all. She's known for her manipulations and convoluted schemes. It's what she does with everyone but Natalia. With Natalia she puts her heart out there and waits and hopes that she won't break it.
She can't read anything from the way that Natalia says her name; she wishes she could actually see Natalia. Then she might have a chance to read her.
"When I asked you to move in with me, I didn't mean for it to be the way it had been before."
Which really clears things up, Olivia thinks wryly. She knows Natalia wants them to move forward, but she doesn't know how much is too much.
"I don't want to be your roommate," Natalia continues. "Or your friend." Her voice sounds soft and a little bit muffled. "I want you to share my bed." She hesitates briefly, and Olivia wishes - again - that she could see her for this conversation. "And more." Natalia takes a deep breath. "That's why I told them to put your things in our room. Is that what you want?"
The naked vulnerability in Natalia's voice catches at her heart and her words flood Olivia with relief all in the same moment.
"Oh, I want." Olivia lets out a shaky laugh at just how badly she wants. "You have no idea-" She clamps her mouth shut before something can slip out that would be better left unsaid.
"I have some idea." Natalia says it so plainly without hinting, hesitation or shyness that it actually takes Olivia by surprise.
"You do?" This time the words slip out before she can hold them back.
"Of course I do, Olivia. I want this just as much as you do."
"I didn't think-" She admits shakily. "I didn't know you felt that way."
"I do," Natalia says gently. "And I'm sorry if I haven't let you know that before, but when I'm standing there in front of you, looking at you, you make me feel so much." Her voice breaks. "Sometimes the things you make me feel - I can't put them into words."
Her revelation leaves Olivia speechless. She sniffs and blinks rapidly, reminding herself of the men standing just down the hall and inside the room. She can't fall apart. Talk about ruining her image.
"I'm still here," She manages to croak into her phone.
"Are you okay?"
Damn Natalia and her perceptiveness. Except she can't. It's just one more thing that she loves about her.
"I am." She sniffs again. "I will be - tonight." She begins to smile and it keeps growing until it's almost painful. "I, uh, I should go. I have to get back to moving my things in."
"Okay," Natalia agrees. "I love you."
"Love you too."
Olivia hangs up the phone and takes a minute to pull herself back together before she heads back down the hall.
"Ma?" Rafe's voice echoes loudly through the farmhouse. "That smells great. You in the kitchen?"
Olivia winces and gives the sauce one last stir before she puts the lid on. She turns around just in time to see Rafe walk into the kitchen.
"Olivia." He stops in the doorway and folds his arms over his chest as he stares at her. "What are you doing here?"
"Cooking dinner," she answers easily. "Your mom has to work; I had the day off, so I thought I'd cook dinner for her. She wanted to have a home cooked meal for you when you came over tonight." There it is; all her cards laid out on the table for him to see. Well, maybe not all of them. If Natalia hasn't told him that she's moving in she's going to wait and let her deliver that little piece of news.
Rafe rubs a hand over his face and she can tell he's already upset that she's here. He was probably imagining a dinner with just him and his mother. Or maybe it's just because it's her. He would probably be fine with Frank. She mentally rolls her eyes at the thought as she turns back to the stove. Although being hated by one of her stepchildren is nothing new. She should probably be used to it by now actually.
When Rafe doesn't say anything, she glances over her shoulder. "You want to set the table? Emma's upstairs finishing up her homework, but she should be done by the time Natalia gets home."
Rafe glares a little, but begrudgingly does as she asks while she does her best to ignore him and pretend that everything is normal.
"Since when did you get so domestic?" Rafe says it like an insult, several moments later, and manages to startle Olivia out of her thoughts. She's already grown used to the uncomfortable silence.
She thinks of telling him - since you made your mother feel so bad and alone that I had to come over and comfort her - but she decides not to be that petty.
"I've been married five times." Olivia raises an eyebrow. "You think I can't cook?"
He shrugs. "Just doesn't seem like your scene."
"You're right," she agrees. "Most of the time there are other things I'd rather be doing, but this was something I could do for Natalia to make her day a little bit easier. So I volunteered."
"I don't get this," Rafe declares abruptly. "I don't get why you're doing this or why you're pretending to be in love with my mother. Do you get some kind of twisted satisfaction from making her think you love her?"
Her hand clenches around the handle of the spoon that she's holding and she resist the urge to give into her temper. She won't be the one to escalate this into a real fight.
"What do I get out of this?" Olivia repeats rhetorically. "She loves me. That's what I get out of this. It's that simple, Rafe. Is it so hard to believe that I just want someone to love me like everyone else?"
"Why her? Can't you find someone else?"
"No." Olivia shakes her head. "Because no one else knows me like she does."
"Honey, I'm home." Natalia's teasing words drift into the kitchen.
Olivia can't help but smile, even as she grimaces internally. Rafe's definitely going to love hearing that. She can hear Natalia dropping her purse and laying her suit jacket over the banister in the living room.
"How's the unpacking going?" Natalia calls out just before she steps into the kitchen and see her son standing there, a disapproving look written all over her face.
Olivia smiles and crosses the room to kiss her cheek. She deliberately catches the corner of Natalia's mouth, and she can feel Natalia's whole body trembling. So she looks directly into Natalia's eyes and pretends that everything is fine, and that Rafe isn't watching their every move.
"It's going well. Dinner's almost ready," she continues. "I'm just going to go up and get Emma ready and then we can eat." It gives them a moment alone, mother and son, but Emma's impending arrival will force them to table any confrontations. At least that's what Olivia's hoping will happen.
When they come back downstairs, Natalia is setting food on the table while Rafe sits and looks unhappy. Olivia can just imagine the discussion that they had about her moving in, but the determined smile on Natalia's face and Rafe's continued presence shows that Natalia seems to be winning this round.
"Rafe!" Emma is excited to see him, running toward him and throwing her arms around him.
Thankfully he hugs her back and begins to tease her gently about school and video games and their chatter fills the room until they're all seated and Natalia reminds them that it's time to say the prayer.
Rafe takes Olivia's hand and looks surprised that she's actually allowing this. She gives him a small smile before she shuts her eyes for the prayer, willing him - willing them all - to just get through this dinner, uncomfortable though it may be, with no incidents. It will make Natalia so happy.
Rafe drops her hand quickly the moment it's permissible to do so, and Olivia tries to contain her amusement. It's not like she's contagious.
"What are you going to name the baby?" Emma asks as soon as most of the food has been passed around.
"I don't know, Honey," Natalia answers gently. "We haven't really talked about it yet."
"You should go with 'Augustino' if it's a boy," Rafe says, looking directly at Olivia.
She meets his gaze evenly, knowing that he's hoping to hurt her with this comment, yet another reminder of who had to die to keep her alive.
"Actually," Natalia cuts in, "That's one reason I was glad you came over tonight. We found out the baby's sex and we wanted to tell you. You're going to have another little sister."
Emma is almost bouncing out of her chair. She's heard this already, but she's still so excited about the baby she almost can't contain herself. "Isn't it great, Rafe?"
He looks over at her and makes himself smile and relax. "Yeah, munchkin. It's great."
Olivia lets out a relieved sigh. Yet another ticking time-bomb defused. How much longer can one meal take? She reminds herself that this is already progress. There hasn't been any yelling and Rafe hasn't walked out yet. It can only get better from here.
She looks up and finds Natalia watching her from the other end of the table. Even in this tense moment, Olivia can't help the gentle smile that plays over her lips as she catches Natalia looking. She holds her gaze and allows herself to savor the warmth in it. This is what makes everything else worth it.
Her hands are buried up to her wrists in soapy dishwater. This isn't Olivia's usual scene either. At best she's a drier and usually only when Natalia cajoles her into helping, but tonight is different. It's getting late. Emma's already in bed and she offered to clean up to give Rafe and Natalia a chance to talk before he leaves. They're out on the porch talking right now.
The sound of the front door opening makes her perk up, but Olivia just grabs another plate and keeps washing. The repetitive motion of scrubbing the food off dishes and cookware is almost soothing. She's starting to see why Natalia likes this. It keeps her hands busy while she has a chance to think.
She shudders and wrinkles her nose. No need to share all of this with Natalia, however. She doesn't need to think that Olivia's starting to actually like chores. No, that would be going too far. She sighs and then jumps as a hand touches her shoulder.
"God, you scared me," Olivia blurts out as she whirls around, one soapy, damp hand over her heart. "Don't do that," she commands, half-laughing, half-complaining as Natalia grins at her.
"I'm sorry," Natalia says, really not sounding all that apologetic.
"No, you're not," Olivia counters, smiling as she does.
"You're right," Natalia agrees, stepping closer.
Olivia shakes her head, and then her smile dims a little as she remembers the conversation that Natalia was having outside. "How did it go with Rafe?"
"It went okay." Natalia sounds tired, but there's nothing in her voice that indicates that she's lying or trying to hide anything from Olivia.
"Good. I'm glad it was...better."
Natalia nods. "I think he's starting to come around. It's going to take him some more time, but we just have to keep wearing him down."
"We can do that," Olivia agrees, and then flashes Natalia a mischievous smile. "We're both plenty stubborn."
"Oh, absolutely." Natalia laughs and then shakes her head, her eyes narrowing as she notices what Olivia's been doing. "You're washing dishes?"
"Why is everyone so skeptical about my domestic skills?" Olivia bemoans.
"Because you never use them," Natalia points out. "And you live in a hotel."
"Lived." Olivia corrects her quickly. "Now I live here, and as much as I love doing them, I plan to do my fair share of the chores."
"That sounds nice," Natalia says, as she holds a hand out to Olivia. "But I think you're done for now."
Olivia glances behind her, a little bemused at the pile of dishes that still need washing. "Oh, really?" She puts her hand in Natalia's and lets Natalia pull her forward.
"Really," Natalia agrees with a confident nod of her head. "Leave them."
Olivia lets Natalia lead her toward the stairs. Her eyes never leave Natalia's as she backs through the living room, deftly managing to avoid the coffee table and the other over-stuff chairs. Natalia doesn't let go of her hand when they reach the stairs, but she does turn around to face them head on. Olivia feels the loss of her focus intensely.
When they reach the top of the stairs, Natalia stops and glances back at her. Olivia smiles and steps closer, her free hand settling on Natalia's hip, her body pressed against Natalia's back. She feels Natalia shiver from head to toe and it makes her heart race.
Natalia leans back into her body, tilting her head so that her lips are almost brushing Olivia's.
"We should check on Emma," She whispers. "Make sure she's sleeping."
Olivia nods, but doesn't speak. Together they make their way to her door, and Natalia eases it open just enough that they can look inside. The excitement of the day has caught up with her and she's already deeply asleep, curled around a stuffed teddy bear. It brings a smile to both of their faces.
"She's so happy here," Olivia whispers. "It's the first real home she's ever had."
"And the last," Natalia says firmly. "At least until she's old enough to have a family of her own."
"I'd like that."
Natalia pulls the door shut quietly. "Come on."
She leads Olivia into her room, now their room, and waits until Olivia has pulled the door closed behind them. Only one lamp is turned on, and it glows cozily in the room's far corner.
Natalia pulls her shirt off over her head slowly, taking her time and trying not to feel nervous under Olivia's gaze. She's suddenly conscious of her slightly swollen belly and everything she's never liked about her body.
"You're beautiful." Olivia says it in the same reverent tone that she'd used in a tiny dress shop where Natalia was trying
on the dress that symbolized everything that would separate them forever.
With that simple phrase she manages to erase all of Natalia's self consciousness and she moves closer to Olivia, reaching out to take her hands and put them on her body. Her touch electrifies Natalia. Every inch of her body is sensitized to the slightest graze of Olivia's hand. She shivers again as Olivia's hand slides gently up her side over her ribs and her thumb brushes the underside of her breast. Natalia arches into Olivia's touch.
She's almost panting and they haven't even kissed yet. "Olivia..." she gasps.
Olivia pulls back enough to look in her eyes. They're startling when Natalia looks into them, a dark green that's full of intensity and desire. Olivia is searching for something in her gaze, probably proof that she's really okay with this, so Natalia gives it to her. She pulls her down for a searing kiss and doesn't let go. Her hands begin to explore Olivia's body and a moment later she's tugging at buttons. She wants Olivia out of her clothes.
This is a night she'll remember for the rest of her life, fondly, heatedly, and often. It's a memory that she'll cherish and hold close to her through the hard times and sleepless nights because they're finally here together and nothing is going to keep them apart any more.