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12 March 2009 @ 04:19 pm
Fic: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 3), GL, Olivia/Natalia  
Title: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 3)
Author: DiNovia
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Rating:  Chapter=PG-13/Overall=NC-17
Archival:  P&P, Kimly, and AUSXIP of course.  Everyone else, please ask.
Spoilers:  None
Summary:  Phillip Spaulding has returned to Springfield with a vengeance.  Olivia Spencer, afraid that Phillip will take their daughter Emma from her again, flees Springfield with the help of her assistant, Natalia Rivera.  Can they stay one step ahead of Phillip?  Will they ever be safe again?
Content Disclaimer:  This is an AU story--based on a drabble I posted in February--that splits off from the "I can trust you with my life!" scene on 2/16/09.  All canon after that does not exist in this story.  Also, the Phillip Spaulding that returns in this story is still bat-shit crazy and evil. Graphic depictions of love between two consenting adult women are contained within, obviously, but not for a while.  
Source Disclaimer:  I do not own Guiding Light or the characters therein depicted.  I do not seek to profit from this story. 
A/N:  I tried to remain as close to character as humanly possible but as I have only seen YouTube clips of Otalia and no full episodes, I cannot guarantee the results. 
Thank You:  To mightbefound and bldy_destini for beta-ing this story. 



INTERSTATE 29 NORTH, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ST. JOSEPH, MO AND OMAHA, NE
OLIVIA SPENCER

I think I'm drifting in and out of sleep.  I'm not quite sure.  The car is warm and quiet, everything seems normal, and then there's a turtle on the dashboard singing the theme from Gilligan's Island and I jerk awake with a gasp. 

You're looking at me, puzzled, expectant.  It takes me a minute to tell myself again that you're really here, that this is real.  Then I realize you must've asked me something.

"What?" I ask, more sharply than I'd intended.

"I said when was the last time either of you ate?  Or slept, for that matter?"  You reach over and take my hand.  "Olivia, you're scaring me."

Cue me getting a grip.  I scrub sleep out of my eyes, sit up a little in my seat.

"I--I couldn't eat this morning.  Only the coffee stayed down and I think that's because it was hot."  I pat my coat pockets with my free hand.  "I bought some lemon cookies for Emma at the laundromat for when she woke up.  Where did I put them?"

You pull your hand away from mine and I miss the warmth immediately.  More than I should.  "I threw them out," you say, your voice growing cold.  "Cookies for breakfast, Olivia?  Really?"   

There are three ways I can respond to that.  I can get defensive and pissy because hey, I'm doing the best I can here and you can just-- 

But I don't want to put that kind of distance between us.  Not now.  Not after I just got you back.

I could cry.  You would apologize immediately and tell me it's okay.  Then you'd spend the next thousand miles beating yourself up for your unchristian attitude.  Yeah, that's not gonna happen either.  I refuse to manipulate you like that.  I know you too well and this new leaf I've turned over is still really new.  I don't trust myself yet.

That just leaves agreeing with you.  Which I knew I was going to do anyway. 

"You're right," I say sincerely.  Because you are.  Emma's a wreck because I'm a wreck and I should have done something about it.  That's my job.  I'm her mother and if I'm going to justify taking her from Phillip before he can take her from me again, I should be giving her a better existence, not a worse one.  Cookies for breakfast is just one failure on a long list of them this week.  I have to do better.  I look at you, watch that muscle in your jaw twitch.  You're still angry.  "You're right, Natalia.  I wasn't thinking.  I promise I'll do better."  The funny thing is, I really want to do better.  I want you and Emma to be proud of me.

Please forgive me, I beg you in my mind.  I need you too much.  

You glance at me and I see your jaw unclench.  I let the breath I'd been holding go.

"We'll stop and get a hot breakfast in a little while," you say softly, giving me a small smile.  I return it.  We're okay.  Thank God.

"I still have most of the money left," I blurt, trying to be helpful.  You nod.

"I know.  I knew you would."  You glance over your shoulder to check on Emma, to make sure she's still asleep.  "It's good you still have that money, Olivia, but believe me when I tell you money really is the least of our worries.  And before you ask, I'll explain later.  After you've had some sleep and we can talk without...you know."

I'm not happy with that answer but I don't really have a choice in the matter.  You're in charge.  And you've taken to it like a duck to water, just like I always knew you would.  I suddenly wonder why you were so resistant to it when I asked you to be my assistant all those months ago.  Clearly, you're more than qualified.

You take my silence as agreement and move on to a different topic.  "We'll stop in Omaha," you say, glancing at the clock on the dashboard, realizing it's wrong.  You shake your head and I can actually see your calculations as you make them.  It's fascinating to watch, this new Natalia.  I wish I were more awake.  "We'll find a hotel and I'll get you and Emma settled while I...take care of some things.  We'll stay overnight.  We could all use some sleep," you say tiredly. 

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie.  I'm so bone-deep exhausted I almost fall asleep in my scrambled eggs at the little diner we stop at in Craig, Nebraska.  By the time we get to the Holiday Inn in Omaha, I'm practically comatose.  I only hear half of what you say to the perky blonde at the desk--none of it makes any sense--and it doesn't even occur to me to protest when she calls you "Ms. Santiago."

You herd us all into a room on the third floor, throwing suitcases and pillowcases full of laundry on the little couch in the corner.  You deal with Emma first, changing her out of jeans and sweater into clean pajamas.  When you have her settled in one of the queen beds, you come to me and do the same, even helping me take off my boots.  I try to stop you when start to tug off my jeans but I feel like I'm dream-walking.  I'm not even half aware at this point.  Your hands are a little cold but they feel so good.  I make a little sound of appreciation before I can stop myself.

And then freeze, waiting for your reaction.

It's possible you don't hear it or maybe you don't recognize it for what it is.  Either way, you ignore it and my short-lived, adrenaline-fueled wakefulness dies a quick, painless death.  You gently push me into bed with Emma, who is already snoring lightly, her tiny belly full of pancakes, orange juice, and crispy bacon.  I cuddle my little girl to me and the blackness of oblivion starts to drag me under.  The brush of your lips across my forehead and your soft voice are the last things I'm aware of before I drift off.

"I have to go out for a little while," you whisper.  "But I'll be here when you wake up.  Rest now.  I'll take care of everything."

My body clearly believes every word you say because I fall deeply, peacefully asleep for the first time in days.

I wake I don't know how many hours later to the glorious sound of my daughter's laughter, your giggling "Shhh..." and the heavenly smell of char-grilled beef and greasy fries.

"Hey, save some for me!" I cry, smiling even before I'm fully awake.  Whatever makes the two of you happy makes me happy. 

And whatever I'm smelling.  That makes me happy, too. 

I throw off my covers and realize too late that I'm wearing only my top, my underwear, and my socks.  A hazy memory of you stripping me out of my jeans makes my cheeks burn.  I shake my head to rid myself of the image and make a vow to undress myself from now on.  It's safer for everyone that way.  Then the smile slides slowly off my face.  This--right now--is how we're going to be living for the foreseeable future.  Shit.  We're going to be living in hotels, out of suitcases, on top of each other all the-- 

Oh God, I didn't mean it that way!  My cheeks burn hotter than before and now I have a whole slew of new and incredibly inappropriate images to dislodge from my pathetic brain.

I'm going to have to get used to these close quarters quickly.  While somehow managing to keep my feelings for you to myself.

Crap.


I take a deep breath.  Well...no time like the present.

I pad across the room and join the two of you at the table.  Emma looks...transformed.  Her cheeks are full and pink, her eyes are bright, and she's laughing as she stuffs a ketchup-covered fry into her mouth.  She's still in her pajamas, so I know she hasn't been up long either.  I ruffle her unkempt hair, more relieved than I want to let on. 

"Mommy, we're going to Mount Rushmore!" she tells me, excited. 

I look to you for confirmation and you look hesitant, shy.  Like the old Natalia.  Like the one content to be only a maid.  Before I can respond, I notice how pale you are, the dullness of your eyes.  The purple smudges that had been under Emma's eyes this morning have moved to yours.  I do some math of my own and realize you've probably been up for close to twenty-four hours.

"Well, that sounds like fun!" I say brightly, not taking my eyes from yours.  You smile weakly, clearly relieved by my answer.

We're going to talk about this, of course.  It's past time for me to get caught up on this plan of yours.  But right now, I'm starving.

And this cheeseburger with extra pickles ain't gonna eat itself.

-----

TBC



Comments are love!

DiNovia
 
 
 
Xamanthe: Otalia_Hugxamanthe on March 13th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Awww! I love when Liv gets protective of Nat. She's got such a soft interior. I looking forward to what happens.
seftiri: Otalia 2seftiri on March 13th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
Thank you! More on Saturday!

And yes, where Nat and her daughters are concerned, Liv has the biggest marshmallow center of them all. Which is exactly why I adore her. LOL
Revolos55revolos55 on April 7th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Another good chapter. I liked Olivia working her way through her three response options, and how she falls right asleep because she trusts Natalia.