A Smack Upside the Head

Title: A Smack Upside the Head
Author: MaFan
Rating: K
Disclaimer: The characters present in the below story are the property of P&G, Telenext and CBS.I intend to make no profit from this story as it is for entertainment purposes only, but reviews are always welcome.
Summary: A potential discussion between Olivia and our favourite son Rafe. Occurs post move in.
Authors Note: This isn't my best work. I'm not even remotely happy with it. I feel like its missing something, but there was a voice in my head (this one louder than all the rest) telling me to just post it. Let me know what you think.

A Smack Upside the Head

Natalia and Olivia had been back in the farmhouse together for just over a week and it had been almost perfect. The family had quickly settled their old routine, running along like a well oiled machine.

After the nerves of the first night, the two girls had settled into the comfortable persona of randy teenagers. They couldn't keep their hands off one another, and whilst Natalia blamed it on pregnancy hormones, both women knew it was because they were so just so happy. There was one thing missing however… Rafe.

Even though he had accepted Olivia and even helped her and Emma move into the farmhouse, he hadn't stayed. He'd gone home with Frank, and his visits to the farmhouse since then had been brief and tense.

Natalia tried to put on a brave face but Olivia could tell his continued absence was hurting her. She had wracked her brain trying to think of a possible solution, but short of leaving Natalia, which wasn't going to happen, Olivia could think of nothing to fix the problem.

The prospect of reading the same paragraph of her business plan for the twentieth time had pushed Olivia to the edge and forced her out into the park half an hour before she was supposed to meet Natalia for lunch. She had been wondering aimlessly for the past 5 minutes when she came across a familiar head of floppy black curls peeking out from under a backwards fedora, sitting on a park bench, staring at the lake.

Olivia briefly entertained the idea of finding somewhere else to walk and leaving him be, but the opportunity of finally having it out with him was just too good to pass up. She approached the bench, trying to come up with some witty and sarcastic retort to be her entrance into what was sure to be an argument unlike any this park had ever seen before, but as she rounded the side of the bench, her sarcasm was replaced by concern.

Rafe looked troubled and upset, and despite the fact that she wanted to kick his arse into tomorrow, the fact of the matter was that he was still Natalia's son and she cared about him because of that.

"Hey," Olivia said quietly. Rafe jumped when he heard her voice. "Are you ok?" her concern and caring were evident in her voice, which proceeded to only confuse Rafe more. He gave her a bank look before turning his back to the lake.

"This seat taken?" Olivia kept her voice low, indicating the empty space on the bench with the point of her finger.

Straight faced, Rafe did nothing but shrug impassively. Taking that as a 'yes', Olivia settled herself on the bench and stared at her knees. She sat in silence for a few minutes before she just couldn't take it any longer.

"Look, I know you don't like me much," at his incredulous snort, Olivia amended, "ok at all, but something is obviously troubling you and you may feel like you can't talk to your mum or Frank about it and I just wanted to let you know that if you needed to… you could talk to me."

He snorted again before turning eyes full of pain, anger and attitude onto Olivia.

"Why on earth would I talk to you? I mean, come on man!"

"You'll talk to me, because I'm the only person you know who won't take your shit, will treat you like the man you seen to think you are and give you an honest answer to your problems." Olivia's tone was harsher than intended, but she was sick of his attitude and she wasn't going to put up with it anymore.

"So, come on, what's your problem? Spill it."

Rafe exploded at that point. Jumping of the bench to stand in front of Olivia.

"YOU! You are my problem! Your ruined everything!" He was finally venting. So Olivia figured she's give him a helping hand.

"What did I do Rafe? What did I ruin?

"Everything! You took everything from me! You took Gus and then you move in on my mother and you take her from me and you twist her up and make her do things he would never normally do! You took my family! You took my second chance. I hate you!"

After a pause, Olivia looked him in the eye and her most calming voice, gave it to him straight.

"No Rafe, you lost your family all by yourself. You can hate me as much as you want, but that's not going to change the fact that it is your fault that you lost your family, your second chance."

Rafe was taken aback by how blunt she was. He just stood there staring at her, his jaw hanging open. When Olivia was sure she had his attention, she continued.

"I didn't kill Gus. The idiot that who ran the red light and hit him is who killed him, not me. So you can't blame me for Gus. If Natalia has said not giving me his heart, I would have died but that's not why she said yes. Your mother said yes because despite everything, Emma needed me and she knew that keeping my little girl happy was what Gus would have wanted."

At this point Olivia had to pause to take a breath. The thought of not being there for Emma, for her baby still choked her up.

"Now, this is where you can start to take the blame for what happened. You shot Jeffery," Rafe tried to interrupt her, but Olivia wouldn't let him.

"Ah! You shot Jeffery. And then to make a bad situation worse, you run away to Greece, instead of standing up and taking the responsibility for your actions like a man. You left your mother high and dry after everything she had done for you! That more than anything disgraces Gus' memory."

Olivia worried she may have gone too far as she watched the man-boy in front of her deflate at her words. No one has been so brutally honest with him before. Rafe collapsed onto the bench next to Olivia once again. Every time something like this had ever come up, no one had ever told him the truth about how Gus would have felt and he realised that maybe he really did need to hear this terrible truth.

With a nod of his head, Olivia continued.

"But you came back, and although you didn't hand yourself over straight away, you were eventual brought in. And we won't go in to how I feel about your behaviour at that point, you already know." Rafe had to chuckle at that. He remembered her very clearly launching herself at the bars of his cell and yelling at him what a "selfish, thoughtless, ungrateful little twit" he was. Olivia had to pause to think. How much should she actually tell Rafe about what happened next? Everything, he had to know everything. She told him she was going to be honest with him, and he needed to hear this.

"Do you know what your mother was willing to do to get you a good defence?" at his blank look she continued, praying that Natalia would forgive her.

"She tried to… use her wares to buy you a decent defence." Rafe looked ready to explode again.

"Don't worry, I made sure she didn't."

"What's that supposed to me?"

"It means I stopped her before he tried anything, nearly broke the door actually, and then I paid the bill her sent her. Your mother doesn't know about that by the way."

"Why not? Why not just tell her and then you have her owe you?"

"Because I don't want her to feel like she owes me anything. Accepting money is not something your mum is very good at. If she knew I paid for that weasely slime ball to keep him off her back she would flip and then try to work out how to pay me back."

Rafe still looked sceptical; he didn't want to believe that Olivia really did care. He'd sat on this bench for hours on so many different occasions trying to work out what Olivia could possibly be gaining from this… thing with his mum.

"Look Rafe, you can choose whether to believe me or not, but everything I did while you were in prison, I did for her. The strings I pulled for you, I did it because it made her happy. Everything was because it made her happy! And now is no different. Her and I being together is what she wants and who am I to deny her? Don't get me wrong, I want to be with her more than anything in this world! But if she came up to me right now and said we were over, I would let her go, because it's what she wants. I honestly don't think I'd survive it if she did but that's another story. The point is, I love her. She is it for me."

She said 'it' like she was stating a fact, something as simple as 'the sky is blue' or 'the ocean has fish'. She wasn't trying to implore him or make him accept it, it was just a fact. Rafe had never seen Olivia talking like this.

"But we're off topic, we were talking about your second chance and I have a lunch date with your mum so I'm going to just cut to the chase…This is your second chance, and you're throwing it away acting like a petulant child. I'm not going anywhere. Your mum isn't going to give me up because your being pig headed. You're missing out on o much! Your mum is pregnant with your little sister, and she really needs you. Emma wants her big brother back, and I miss you too."

At the incredulous look that swept across his face, Olivia had to laugh. He looked so much like his mother when he did that.

"I miss you because you make the people I love happy. You're leaving for the army in just under a week. Do you really want to leave here and your mum like this? Go away for a year and leave your mum wondering if you actually lover her, and if you have a home to come to on leave?"

"Of course I love her! She's my mother!" Rafe was affronted. How could his Ma doubt he loved her? But then it hit him… it's not like he'd been around much lately.

Olivia wasn't even going to justify that statement with an answer. She could already see him working it out in his head.

"Ok, I see what you mean… but I won't call you mum!" Rafe looked straight at Olivia, hi eyes wide but direct.

"Agreed. We'll stick with our first names, to each other's faces at least, and work on being friends. Deal?" She stuck her hand out. It was Rafe's olive branch, if he took it, everything was water under the bridge. If he didn't… Olivia would deal with that later.

There was a tense silence.

"Deal" Rafe took her hand. She sighed and smiled at him. Natalia would be so proud of her. She had successfully held a conversation with Rafe and she hadn't smacked him in the head once!

"Your mum is making chicken and rice tonight. Why don't you come around for movie night? Join in on the traditions."

After a little thought Rafe replied smoothly, "sure, does 7 0'clock sound ok?"

"Perfect, I'll see you then."

Olivia stood up and dusted of her suit and headed for the bridge. She was late for her lunch with Natalia.

"Liv!" she turned around, "Thank you."

She gave Rafe her trademark smirk and eyebrow combination and walked away. Everything wasn't perfect, Olivia thought to herself but it was getting pretty damn close.