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29 April 2009 @ 04:17 pm
Fic: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 17), GL, Olivia/Natalia  
Title: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 17)
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.
Style Note:  As some of you have noticed, I am switching POVs for every chapter.  Natalia, Olivia and Emma will tell their stories in their own words, first-person present tense.  Any other exposition needed will happen in third-person past-tense.  This will cover the urgency I need and will also allow for omniscience for the longer bits of exposition.  I am very interested in knowing whether this style works how I have intended it, so let me know.
A/N*:  I should have mentioned this before.  I know that this is not canon, but I have chosen to place Springfield in Ohio, mostly to make my research life that much easier.  Yes, I am obsessive about my research, which is why Natalia was able to make it to Overland Park, KS in one night to be present for it's sunrise at 6:54am (7:54am Springfield time) on 2/23 (roughly when chapter 2 took place).  No, really.  I looked all that up.  And more.  I'm that much of a fact geek.  Sad, but true.
Thank You:  To mightbefound and bldy_destini for beta-ing this story.  Thank you also to Tiff for helping me to figure out the major plot problems I'd been having and for being on call when I forget them and need to review.  ;)  Thank you to djshiva for your comments and general enthusiasm for this story.   



SPRINGFIELD, OH*
WSPR TELEVISION STATION

Dinah Marler looked balefully up at Frank Cooper as he made his eighteenth circuit past her.

"Frank!" she snapped.  "Stop hovering!  You're making me want to drink and it's only--"  She checked her watch.  "God, do you know how much of a jerk you are, Frank?  It's not even ten!"

"I'm not hovering," said the detective.  "I just want her--I mean them--to call.  I want to be right here--"

Dinah smirked at the witless representative of the Cooper clan, thinking If this is the best they have to offer, no wonder people like Phillip get away with murder.  "No, Frank, be honest.  There's no need to pretend here, right?  We're all friends--" she snarled, casting a vicious glance at Phillip who was leaning against a support column nearby.  "It's Natalia you want.  You don't give a rat's ass about Olivia or Emma.  Just as long as you get your precious Pollyanna back!"

"That's not fair, Dinah!  I do care about Emma--"

"Aha!" she exclaimed, thinking she'd been proven correct in her assumptions.

"And...and Olivia, too.  She's been a good friend to Natalia and to me--"

"More of one to Natalia, I suspect," offered Phillip innocently.  Both Dinah and Frank suspended their hostilities for the moment, turning to look at the tall blond.  The former narrowed her eyes at her cousin while the latter simply looked confused.

"--and I care about what happens to her, I do," continued Frank.  "But this is just so typical of her, you know?  Running off without thinking, dragging Natalia along with her--"

"I'm sorry, did I hear you right?  You're accusing Olivia of 'dragging Natalia along' for this...this whatever they're doing?  Olivia.  Who left Springfield a full week or more before Natalia did."  Dinah shook her head and muttered, "With cops like these, Springfield must be the criminal equivalent to an open bar."  Then she scowled, the thought of the bar bringing her back to the fact that she was still hours away from her first martini of the day.

"As I said before, Frank's motivations for doing this are irrelevant to me," said Phillip from his observer's post.  "I only care that he does his job, not why he does it."

"What about how he does it?" asked Dinah under her breath.  Just then Ashlee returned to the set, carrying several beverage trays filled with coffee.  She shooed Frank away, glaring at him disapprovingly while she served Dinah first.  Someone had to remind the detective who was boss within these walls.

Dinah grabbed her cup and took a gulp of the piping hot liquid gold that was her morning double espresso, not caring about the burn, only caring about the jolt of caffeine.  "Ashlee, you're a jewel," she praised the intern.  Ashlee beamed then turned to serve Frank and his phone-tapping crew.  Phillip had declined the offer of coffee and he watched, bemused, as the equivalent of a détente was achieved for the sake of caffeinated water, milk, and sugar.

Simple minds enjoying simple pleasures, he thought.  So easily manipulated, so easily assuaged.  So interchangeably common.  So wearisome.  He tried to convince himself that the pleasure he experienced from imagining Springfield's ruin was incidental, but watching his grasping cousin and the oblivious detective snipe at one another while carrying out his demands--well, it was heady stuff. 

Dinah glared at the phone in front of her, but it steadfastly refused to ring.  She glanced up and caught Phillip's diffident gaze.

"She'll call," she assured him, suddenly feeling defensive on Olivia's behalf.  "She may not have seen it yet, but she will call.  You can be sure of that."

Phillip nodded easily.  "I am," he said.  There was no question in his mind that Olivia would call, the unknown element of Ms. Rivera notwithstanding.  Apparently Dinah was trying to convince herself that her friend would take the saner, more responsible route.  He understood her dilemma; Olivia wasn't known for her reason, after all.

Dinah narrowed her eyes at Phillip again, feeling like there was something she was missing here.  Something important.  Something just out of reach.  She wasn't the type, though, to stop at the low-hanging fruit on the tree.  She was a climber.  Always had been, always would be.  It was why she and Olivia had gotten along so well in the beginning and why, she realized sadly, they hadn't seen much of each other recently. 

Well, that and the debacle that was Bill and Ava's marriage, she thought, remembering her brother's less-than-civil way of suggesting that Olivia find a new home after his marriage to her daughter fell apart.

A lot of people in Springfield talked about how the transplant had changed Olivia and Dinah agreed--to a point.  But a lot of Springfield only knew the Olivia Spencer that Olivia Spencer wanted them to know: the brash, take-no-prisoners businesswoman or the lusty seductress.  Having lived with Olivia, though, Dinah knew that those were only personas, masks worn like armor.  And Olivia Spencer had largely conducted her life like a war--right up until her own heart had betrayed her.  A Benedict Arnold she hadn't seen coming.

But even before that, even before her heart gave out, Olivia had left a trail of breadcrumbs leading to her true self...if only anyone had cared enough to follow them.  Some did, getting only so far before they became exasperated by the twisted, uneven path or frightened by the darkness.  They left Olivia hurt and wanting and then were surprised when she crafted more masks, better armor.  Now it looked like someone was following the trail, undaunted by the armor and unafraid of the twists and turns Olivia threw at her. 

And the damnedest part of it is, Natalia's leading us down the path with her, unmasking Olivia as she goes--and Olivia doesn't even realize it. 

Olivia Spencer had changed but Dinah suspected--no, knew--it had more to do with Natalia Rivera's steadfast support and her refusal to take any of Ollie's crap than it had to do with the ten-ounce muscle that had once belonged to Gus Aitoro.  She wished they'd remained close, but that seemed so impossible after what had happened with Bill and Ava.

Plus, I'm still climbing, she thought, while Ollie seems to have found a home at last.  Good for--

The ring of the phone in front of her jarred her out of her ruminations and she stared at it as if she'd never seen a telephone before in her life.  On the second ring, she reached for it, only to have Frank stop her with a shout.

"Wait, Dinah!  Wait until we get the machine set!"  He looked at his technician who started the recording equipment, slipped his headphones on, and--finally--gave Frank a thumbs up.

Frank turned to Dinah but she rolled her eyes and picked up the receiver, not waiting for his go ahead.

"Ollie?" she asked urgently.

"Hello," said the obviously canned voice of a cheerful male.  "This is an important message about your home equity--"

Dinah shouted "Are you serious??" before slamming the receiver down so hard the communications tech yelped in pain.  "Jesus Christ!" she cried, her heart pounding.

Frank, who was busy trying to ascertain if his officer had been rendered totally deaf or only partially so, shot her a scathing look.

"Dinah, you can't slam the phone down like that!  Especially when we're listening in!  You could hurt someone that way!"

The station owner looked up, her surprise followed by genuine remorse.

"I'm sorry," she apologized.  "I just....  I thought it was her and when it wasn't, I--  I--  I'm sorry."  She looked at the tech worriedly.  "Is he going to be okay?"

"I'm fine," said the young officer a little too loudly, his features paler than usual and his face still scrunched up in pain.  "Fine," he repeated, his voice echoing in the mostly empty set.

"You know," ventured Phillip, finding it extremely difficult to stifle his amusement at this latest episode of Springfield's own Keystone Kops, "it may be too early in the day for this."  He looked pensive for a moment.  "If they're heading west, they're an hour behind us."

"So?"  Frank looked at Phillip sharply while Dinah took a much-needed sip of her coffee.

"So, if memory serves, Olivia is not exactly a morning person," replied the blond man knowingly.  "Especially if she's enjoying a little...post-coital bliss?  They might still be asleep."

Frank's eyes darkened dangerously and Dinah blanched.

Oh no.  Oh no, no, no.  Don't you go there, Phillip. 

Ridiculously, the station owner's eyes darted to Ashlee to make sure the intern was out of the line of fire.  Having to replace a nearly perfect assistant because the local Barney Fife was about to kill the local J.R. Ewing was just too horrifying to contemplate.  She willed Frank to keep his mouth shut.

Don't take the bait, Frank.  Don't.  You'll regret it.  Almost as much as I will.

"'They' who?" asked Frank, his voice tight.

Dinah closed her eyes and wondered how difficult it was going to be to get blood off the painted concrete floor.

"I'm sorry," replied Phillip innocently.  "I thought Olivia and Natalia were...close."  His eyes twinkled and Dinah realized that her cousin was not only actively attempting to humiliate Frank Cooper in front of his subordinate officers, he was enjoying it.  The same way a barn cat enjoyed batting the mouse around just before snapping its neck. 

Frank surged toward the Spaulding man only to be intercepted by one of his officers.  "Don't you talk about her that way!" he shouted, jabbing his index finger at Phillip.  "I mean it, Phillip!  You keep your mouth shut about Natalia or I'll--"

"Am I mistaken, then?"  Phillip smiled and Dinah felt nauseated.  "I just assumed since they live together and work together, perhaps they do...other things together as well."

The communications tech leaped up from his chair and assisted his fellow officer in restraining their boss, the two of them trying to wrangle Frank as far away from Phillip as they could.

"You're disgusting!  She's not like that!  You don't even know her--"

"You're right; I don't know the astonishingly popular Miss Rivera.  But I know Olivia quite well."  Phillip looked thoughtful.  "Tell me, Detective, when you were at the farmhouse the other day, did you happen to notice there's no photograph of you next to Natalia's bed?"

Frank blinked once then sagged against the communications tech, all the fight leaving him.  He looked like he might throw up. 

At least that's easier to get up than blood, thought Dinah, grimacing.  She turned to Phillip.

"You're a bastard," she spat at her self-satisfied cousin.  Phillip bowed slightly, as if receiving a compliment.  He was just about to respond in kind when the phone began to ring again.

The communications tech ran back to his post and slid his headphones on again, wincing with remembered pain.  Frank followed him, glowering at Phillip malignantly.  He tore his gaze from the man and pointed at Dinah, indicating she could finally pick up the receiver.

"Ollie?" she asked again, her voice rushed and a little breathless.

"Dinah?"  The woman's voice was panicked and pissed off but it wasn't Olivia's voice.  "Dinah, what the hell's going on?  Where are my mother and sister?  What are you doing--"

"Ava?"  Dinah shook her head helplessly, her eyes wide.  They darted to Frank, searching for help he obviously couldn't give her.  "Ava, calm down.  Has your father called you?"

"My father?  No, I haven't heard from anyone!  I was getting ready for work this morning when I saw the news report and then you!  With your pathetic little plea for Mom to call you!  What the fu--"

"Ava, you really should talk to your father about this."  Dinah covered the mouthpiece on the phone and hissed at Frank "Did you even call Jeffrey before you came up with this brilliant plan?"

The detective shrugged and shook his head.  She glared at him. 

"Useless!"

"I'm talking to you, Dinah.  I want answers.  What's going on with Mom and Emma?  I can't get Mom on her cell!  Tell me where they are right now--"

Dinah pinched the bridge of her nose, both eyebrows making a dash for her hairline.  "Look, Ava, we don't know where they are, okay?  Your mom took Emma skiing up at the lake two weeks ago but she hasn't been seen since.  We think she's running from Phillip--" 

"Phillip?  Emma's scumbag kidnapping father is back in town?"

Dinah glanced nervously at her cousin and frowned suddenly.  The 'scumbag kidnapping father' looked rather...distraught at the moment.  Distraught and...curious.  Then it hit her, like a brick falling out of the sky.  Or more likely, thrown.

Ava Peralta was completely unknown to Phillip Spaulding.

She hadn't arrived in Springfield until after her cousin's conveniently arranged "death."

Oh, fuck me AND Natalia's ducks, she thought.

"Dinah?  Answer me!  Is Phillip back in Springfield?"

"Yes," she answered, watching the man in question.  She almost added In fact, he's standing right here!  Would you like to speak to him?  Get to know him, predator to prey?  She thought better of it, though.  If Olivia ever did come back, she didn't want to be Numero Uno on her shit list.

"And you all just stood there, didn't you?  Like idiots!  Meanwhile, my mother was probably panicking--"

Dinah let Ava vent at her, not paying any attention to the words.  She was too busy watching Phillip, whose confusion seemed to recede rapidly, replaced by a pensive look Dinah knew only too well.  See, Phillip was really, really good at rolling with the punches.  And finding out that his ex-wife had a previously unknown child upon whom he might be able to wreak some form of havoc--well, that wasn't exactly a punch.  It was more like a love tap. 

She could see his mind working behind those insidious blue eyes, could see him plotting how best to change this unexpected information into an advantage, how to best use this newcomer on the field.  It was at that moment she realized that if Ava was a new player in Phillip's game, then she and Frank were the old players--and the two of them had been used over and over without even realizing it.  He'd manipulated them into doing exactly what he wanted.  This--all of this--was part of something larger contrived and executed by Phillip and she and Frank had walked right into it.

Which first made Dinah feel dirty and cheap until she remembered that Emma was involved, was--in fact--his likely goal.  Then Dinah got angry.  Very, very angry. 

It was one thing to play games with the lives of adults--she had done it often enough--but to involve a child? 

"Ava," she cut in, interrupting the younger woman's unrelenting string of insults.  "Ava, call your father.  I need to keep this line open in case your mother calls, okay?  Please, for Emma's sake."

"If I find out you're working with that bastard, I'll--"

"Call.  Your.  Father.  I can't be any clearer than that.  I'm sorry."  She wearily dropped the receiver in its cradle.  If you want to kill me, sweetheart, she thought morosely, you'll have to take a number and get in line. 

She looked up after a few seconds only to see Frank on his cell phone.

"You'd better be talking to Jeffrey, Frank, or so help me God, I'll have Ashlee bring me my machete!" she called.  He waved her off, frowning and nodding at the same time and she took a modicum of comfort from the fact that he'd made that leap on his own.  She turned her gaze to Phillip, who was watching her patiently.  Suddenly she felt very mouse-like. 

"What?" she asked acidly.

Phillip shrugged elegantly.  "I'm quite taken with that young lady.  What did you say her name was?  Ava?  I'd like to meet her.  Very much."  He smiled, but again it wasn't a pleasant experience. 

Dinah ignored him and turned to Ashlee, seated all this time at her dais, her laptop open.  "If I called myself 'Salome' and asked for that bastard's head on a platter," she said, indicating Phillip, "would you do the deed?"

Ashlee's smile was one Dinah had never seen before and it made her slightly nervous. 

"Gleefully," sang her young intern and the station owner's nervousness quadrupled on the spot.  She was just about to make sure Ashlee knew she was joking when the phone in front of her rang.  Again.

Frank abandoned his call to Jeffrey and the communications officer slipped back into his headphones.  Dinah didn't even wait for the signal; she just answered it like it was any other day at the office.

"Hello?" she asked tiredly.

"Dinah?"

The slender woman sat bolt upright in her chair.

"Ollie?" she whispered, not quite believing what she was hearing.

"Yeah, it's me.  Dinah, what the hell--"

"Olivia," she barked, interrupting the rant she knew was coming.  "I'm only going to say this once, so listen up!"  She took a deep breath, sent a little prayer to whatever gods might be listening, and pinned Phillip with a malevolent glare.  "Phillip's after Emma!  Run!  Run, Olivia, and never look back!"

She slammed the phone down into its cradle, ignoring the shriek of pain emitted by the oft-abused communications officer.

She ignored everything, in fact, except the darkening of Phillip Spaulding's eyes.

Dinah stared right back at him, her hazel eyes flashing, openly challenging him.

"Let me know if you want a rematch," she growled.

-----
TBC



Comments are love!

DiNovia
 
 
 
carinjocarinjo on April 29th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
dinah's words to olivia: OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!
seftiri: Olivia Spencer Orange Smileseftiri on April 30th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Liked that, did you? ;)
runetraverse: Otalia OTPrunetraverse on April 29th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Bwahahahaha, Dinah, I now love you. And Ashlee. *grins and snugs Ashlee* Doris' daughter, you most definitely are. And she's so awesomely calm/happy about it, too. xD

Once again, you manage to make the story unique and gripping, even when they're just standing around a freaking TV station. I actually sputtered and had a WTF moment at the telemarketer - followed by a cracking-up facepalm, because I frigging HATE those things, and that was possibly the most awesome thing to add. And once again, your fact-checking is brilliant. I totally forgot that Ava and Phillip wouldn't know each other. Their reactions were spot-on and brilliant, by the way. I love the nickname "Ollie," too. It's interesting to see, especially since most people call her 'Liv' - is it actually something Dinah calls her in canon?

Speaking of the intrepid reporter, I especially loved this insight into Dinah's mind, too - her relationship with Olivia was great to read about. The warning for Liv, throwing down the gauntlet to crazy!Phillip, even her arguing with Frank (dumbass) had the brash, snarky ring of her character. ^^ And Frank! I swear, between you and Wonko, I'm rapidly losing the last shred of respect I had for this guy. He's an ASS, and worse, he KNOWS he's helping a frigging psycho! Nevermind there's an eight-year-old and a woman you used to LOVE in mortal danger, Weinie-boy, you just want your ideal girlfriend back. *growl* Seriously, it's killing me to like your Phillip at all, but his mocking Frank filled me with inappropriate glee. Too bad Frank didn't go after him - or maybe he'll go after him in private, that would amuse me to no end.

All in all, m'dear, this was one of your most gripping chapters yet. And it's one of the Springfield ones! It doesn't really even have Otalia in it! xD Once again, your work is just flat incredible. I humbly beg with puppy eyes for more, soon? Oh, and more hotness. And did I mention soon? xD
seftiri: Team Doris!seftiri on April 30th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
First, I'm so glad you liked the telemarketer. I had to add it. I could just see poor Dinah's face when that robovoice came over the line.... LOL

Second, yes, Dinah calls Olivia Ollie in at least 2 clips that I've seen, possibly more. It's why I chose to add Dinah to this story in the first place. I wanted to explore their friendship a little more. Of course, Dinah was all to accomodating and now she's at war with Phillip. ::shrugs:: What can you do? LOL

More coming soon. I hope to have the next chapter out by Saturday. It's an Emma POV, though. Poor little Jellybean....
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Natalia Rivera Smiles Like Heavenseftiri on April 30th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Next one not ready. I am graduating tonight from my CNA program and am a little swamped at the moment. However, I hope to have the next chapter out by Saturday.

I'm glad you liked the chapter but also thrilled you liked that line. It was too perfect not to put in there, particularly with the Ava/Phillip discovery. ;)

(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Olivia Spencer Beautifulseftiri on April 30th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Sometimes finding the perfect lyric can actually take longer than writing the first three paragraphs of the chapter! ;)

Glad that line is making everybody happy!

Next bit out by Saturday, I hope. :)
kennedyismyhero: otalia: not a datekennedyismyhero on May 1st, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
So I just spent the last four and a half hours catching up on this fic of yours and I've got to say, I'm hooked. I love it and I want more, obviously, but I also can read so have a good graduation and I look forward to Saturday. :)
seftiri: Olivia Spencer Amazingseftiri on May 2nd, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Four and a half hours? Good god! I wonder how long it will take to read it when it's finished--at 44-ish chapters? O_o

It may be Sunday before the next bit is out but there's a good reason. Working on a project for this story. ;)

/cryptic

Glad you are enjoying this so much!
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Olivia Spencer Handseftiri on May 2nd, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Glad you are liking it! Thank you!

More is coming soon. I hope. LOL