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26 September 2009 @ 08:09 pm
Fic: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 30), GL, Olivia/Natalia  
Title: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 30)
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 and fewthistle 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.   



SPAULDING MANSION -- SPRINGFIELD, OH*
PHILLIP SPAULDING'S OFFICE

The wind roared outside as the lion of March preyed on Springfield.  Phillip waited for the windows to stop rattling before returning to the file he was reading.  He chuckled contemptuously at a particular passage.

"My poor Miss Peralta," he clucked mockingly.  "Your reunion with your long lost mother didn't go quite as planned, did it?  Well, she did call off the hit man before he succeeded.  That's something, at least."

He turned the page and scanned the rest, sighing when he finally closed the manila folder.  As tempted as he was to utilize Ava Peralta to further his ends, he knew she was too far away for any attempt to be successful.  And the likelihood that he would be able to lure her to Springfield?  What had she called him?  "Emma's scumbag kidnapping father?"  No, he harbored no illusions there.  Nothing short of her mother's and sister's safe return would entice Olivia's older child back to Springfield.  Perhaps it was genetically inherited cleverness, perhaps it was something nurtured in her by her adoptive parents, or perhaps it was a combination of both, but Ava Peralta was a little too intellectually sharp and street smart for Phillip's taste.  If he had the time and the opportunity, he would dearly love to deconstruct the good Miss Peralta until she was able to dance only when he pulled her strings.  The challenge appealed to him academically, but the achievement would be a golden one.  Turning both of Olivia's children against her?  The very thought made him salivate.

He slid the folder across his desk and put it out of his mind.  Any dealings with Ava Peralta would have to take place in the future--after he had secured Emma's custody and had destroyed Olivia.  Bending the secret child of Olivia Spencer to his will would be the crown atop that particularly satisfying psychological masterpiece.  Perhaps he would marry the girl.  That might just be the straw to break the aging barfly's back.  A little trip to Ravenwood for Olivia would do Phillip's blackened heart a world of good. 

Without his darling Ava, however, that left only his cousin, Dinah; his reluctant friend, Rick; the plodding fool, Frank; and the wild card, Raphael Rivera, with which to convince Olivia and/or Natalia to return to Springfield.  The pieces were all there.  Finding the best way to manipulate them was another story altogether.

What do you know, Phillip?  Always start with what you know.

He knew that Olivia and Emma had stayed in Overland Park, Kansas for a week before abandoning her car there, an act that indicated they had been joined at that point by the devious Natalia Rivera.  Why Overland Park was a question best left to psychiatrists, in his opinion.  He would have been equally disturbed to find that Olivia and Emma had holed up in Altoona or in Mobile.  There seemed to be no logic to the choice of towns at all.

They had then traveled north to Omaha, where Natalia sold her car and purchased a new one within hours.  That purchase had taken him days to track down--a point he reluctantly marked in Miss Rivera's favor.  The guile of the act had been surprising and even now he didn't know if she'd deliberately hidden the purchase, thinking of possible pursuers, or if it had been merely a serendipitous coincidence.  The possibility that he might be underestimating Gus' young widow occurred to him again.  He made a mental note to investigate her past.  Perhaps there was more to the hotel maid and waitress than met the eye.

The three hadn't been seen again until days later, when they were sighted in Arizona of all places, in a cafeteria near the Grand Canyon.  The report from that sighting had been a highly entertaining read for Phillip.  The elderly woman who had called the Canyon police had been quoted as saying "Well, when I saw that Mexican girl in the cafeteria, I just knew it was the one who'd kidnapped that pretty lady from Ohio and her adorable little girl.  And I knew I had to do something about it."  Another woman interviewed at the site mentioned the women "flaunting their unnatural relationship to the whole place."  He wished he'd been there when Frank Cooper had read that!

The one piece of solid information to come from that report, however, had been the make, model, and license plate of the mini-van Natalia had purchased in Omaha.  Arizona state police found the vehicle the next day--abandoned at a Greyhound bus terminal in Flagstaff.  They were still tracking down leads on which bus "the suspects" may have taken. 

Phillip sighed, disappointed by what little information he truly had.

Calls to hotels in Omaha and Arizona had netted him no rooms booked to Olivia Spencer or Natalia Rivera, which suggested they were using assumed names.  Frank had already flagged both Olivia's and Natalia's credit cards with their respective financial institutions, but neither women's accounts had been accessed in the last fifteen days.  Phillip feared that meant they were subsidizing their flight with cash-only transactions, a possibility that frustrated him greatly.  It also added to his disquiet about Natalia Rivera's role in this whole ordeal.  Who was running their little show?  Switching cars, assumed names, untraceable cash....  Not Olivia's style, to be sure.  His ex-wife was brilliant, but subterfuge was not her forté.  Was it the unassuming assistant after all?  She had lived in Chicago for some time.  Perhaps she had some experience with La Famiglia.

Phillip frowned.  That didn't bode well.

He dismissed the thought for the moment, making a note to contact his PI in the morning with another assignment.  He sat back in his Italian leather chair and steepled his fingers, his frown deepening. 

I know what they're running from, he thought, well aware that Olivia's departure from town coincided with his return and subsequent arrest.  But, he wondered, could they be running to something?

Their known flight path was too short to really make any sense of, but Phillip was certain of one thing: it wasn't random.  There was logic to it; he could feel it.  He knew that if he broke the code, if he discovered their destination, he would have them. 

I should already have them! he thought, tightening one fist against his desk with anger.  After all, he held all the cards, didn't he?  Even Olivia's would-be supporters were here in Springfield, where he could manipulate them.  What did she have out there that could save her? 

Again, the plucky young widow came to his mind.  He remembered dismissing her out of hand when he'd stormed into The Beacon to find Olivia after his release.  She'd been so meek...so accommodating.  An act, he now realized.  What little he did know of Natalia's past--pregnant at sixteen, successfully raising a son on Chicago's South Side with no familial financial support or education to speak of--did not allow for meek and accommodating. 

"Perhaps," he said aloud, a spark of interest glinting in his eye, "young Raphael is no wild card after all.  Perhaps he's my ace in the hole."

He reached for his cell phone, intending to communicate his interest in a compassionate release for his nephew to Doris Wolfe--vehemently, if needed--when Frank Cooper burst through the door.

"Detective," he greeted coldly, tossing his phone back on the desk .  "It's customary to knock before entering a room.  I'm not surprised I have to remind a Cooper of that fact, but I am disturbed that I must do so in my own home.  How did you get in here?"

Frank flashed his badge briefly, fury chiseled into his stony face.  "Amazing how effective one of these is, Phillip.  People tend not to question the authority of the person who holds it.  Especially the house help."

"A failing I can remedy, I'm sure," said Phillip.  "To what, then, do I owe the displeasure of your company?"

Frank raised a small, stapled sheaf of paper.  "I want to make a deal."

A white flash of Phillip's teeth preceded a dark chuckle.  "And I'm to be your Monty Hall?  By all means, Detective.  Dazzle me with your deal."

Frank stalked over to Phillip's desk and bore down on him, leaning heavily on white-knuckled fists.  "Listen, you silver-spooned son of a bitch.  While you're out here trying to get Emma back so that you can wreak whatever havoc you think you can on Springfield, Jeffrey O'Neill and Doris Wolfe are working very hard to build an airtight case against you for kidnapping.  The question isn't whether or not you'll be spending time in prison, it's how long will you be spending there.  So before you get all high and mighty there, Slick, remember how nice it might be to have one of Springfield's finest in your corner for once, okay?"

Phillip appraised Frank carefully.  Clearly, the man was coming unglued.  Such men, no matter how incompetent, were always dangerous.

"You have my attention," he said quietly.

Frank nodded warily, seeming to have expected more resistance.  "Good," he said, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.  "Good," he repeated, standing upright again.  He looked down at the crumpled report in his hand for a long moment, fortifying his resolve.  Finally, he looked up.

"I don't care what happens to Olivia or Emma," he said, handing the report to Phillip.  "But Natalia is mine."

Phillip was shocked in spite of himself--though he hid it well.  Frank's words had the sharp ring of steel to them.

"Planning a little lover's reunion?" he asked, glancing at the papers.

"Something like that," Frank said tightly.  He peered out the window over Phillip's shoulder and grimaced.  The window rattled briefly in the wind. 

Phillip's eyebrows saluted the detective, surprised but knowing.  Perhaps the problem of Natalia Rivera would be solved by this man upon whose heart she'd so carelessly trampled.  He turned his attention to the report in earnest, smoothing the creased paper carefully.  It was a police report from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, signed by a detective G. Hanadarko.  It outlined an incident at a grocery store that included an attack upon the store's security guard, one William 'Mac' Daugird.  An attack by none other than "a suspect reported to be Natalia Rivera of Springfield, Ohio, wanted for questioning in the disappearance of Emma Spencer and her mother, Olivia Spencer."

He skimmed the rest, knowing without a doubt the three had escaped.  One aging security guard could hardly come between a mother and her child.  Or was that two mothers?  Again, an elderly woman reported that "that Mexican and the other woman seemed mighty friendly--and not in a good, Christian way." 

"This is all well and good, Detective," sighed Phillip, looking up from his reading, "but once again, I have no idea where Olivia, Emma, or Natalia are, nor do I know where they are heading.  That's your job, if I recall." 

"Maybe chasing them half way across the country and back isn't getting us very far," suggested the detective shortly.

"And you have an alternative solution?"

"They're split up for now," said Frank, nodding to the report on Phillip's desk.  "Vulnerable.  Especially Natalia.  She committed a crime, for Christ's sake!  She must be terrified.  Now's the time to get her back in Springfield.  Where she goes, Olivia will follow.  She won't want Natalia out of her sight.  That's how she's controlling her.  I know it!"

Deluded, perhaps, thought Phillip, but not entirely wrong.  He suspected Olivia would follow Natalia should she decide to return to Springfield--but for entirely different reasons. 

"How do we accomplish this...coup d'etat?"

Frank's eyes hardened to two narrow points of glittering obsidian.  "We use Rafe.  We make her believe he's sick or dying.  Natalia will come running if she thinks something's wrong with her precious little boy."  He spat the last words, revealing--amongst other things--the jealousy he harbored about Rafe's place in his mother's life.  Perhaps that was only a reflection of the real issue: Frank's insecurity regarding Gus Aitoro.  Even dead, the man held sway over Frank Cooper's self-image.

Still....

Break the son, break the mother, thought Phillip, his admiration for the hypothesis plain.

"That has...merit," he said cautiously, not willing to throw his lot in with a Cooper just yet...and frankly astonished that a Cooper was brokering a deal with him.  "Do you have a plan?"

Frank laughed but it was hard laughter.  "I did my part, Phillip.  I found their last known location.  You're the devious bastard.  You figure out how to make it work."  He examined Phillip closely for a moment, his mask of bravado slipping just a bit.  He looked nauseated underneath the cracked and splitting hatred.

Phillip thought he was right to feel ill.  The threads of a new plan were forming in his mind like a phoenix rising from the ashes.  A dark, baleful phoenix, wailing with despair.

He had Dinah in his pocket, even if she didn't know it yet.  Her part in Lizzie's kidnapping was the perfect fulcrum upon which to lever her will to Phillip's own ends.  She would do whatever he asked to keep that little indiscretion from appearing in her own 11 o'clock news broadcast.  Frank, the fool, had willingly offered up Rafe as the sacrificial lamb.  That left only Rick and Phillip knew his friend's reluctance and disapproval would be the perfect foil to this scheme.  He'd tell Rick nothing.  He would, instead, let the self-righteous Pontius Pilate hang himself with his own arrogance.

Phillip sighed like a man sated by a delectable meal.

The pieces?  In their places.  The game?  As Holmes said, "afoot."  His next move as clear to him as the glass that held his eighteen-year-old scotch, Phillip leaned back in his chair.  He regarded Frank with glacial eyes, bereft of warmth.

"Detective," he said mildly.  "We have a deal."

Frank Cooper nodded and tried hard to ignore the sound of cell doors clanging shut with such finality in his head.

TBC



Comments are love!

DiNovia
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
tenwinterz on September 28th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
Dude, I love this story so hard! I only discovered it yesterday (I have no idea how I missed it) and I marathon read everything and now I just can't wait for me! Great job and keep 'em comin'!!!
serenitymeimei: Horny Oliviaserenitymeimei on October 5th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
*is speechless* I just read all thirty chapters in one go and WOW! You've literally had me on the edge of my seat with my heart in my throat the entire time. It's so heartbreakingly sweet and perfect! Olivia and Natlia's love here is so much more intense and real than it was on the show. The situation that you've thrown them in has heightened everything tenfold and I'm so impressed that you've gone above and beyond with keeping them in character. Kudos to you on that!

I can't wait for more, sweetie!
Revolos55revolos55 on November 5th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
Finally getting around to all the fic I missed while I was on my LJ sabbatical.

Perhaps he would marry the girl. That might just be the straw to break the aging barfly's back. A little trip to Ravenwood for Olivia would do Phillip's blackened heart a world of good. - That's twisted and vicious. It's really kinda weird to read Phillip as a bad guy now, since I liked him so much by the end, and have never seen any Psycho!Phillip clips.

He made a mental note to investigate her past. Perhaps there was more to the hotel maid and waitress than met the eye. - Whuh-oh...

"It's customary to knock before entering a room. I'm not surprised I have to remind a Cooper of that fact, but I am disturbed that I must do so in my own home. - Hehehe

"I want to make a deal." / "And I'm to be your Monty Hall? By all means, Detective. Dazzle me with your deal." - Ha!

Frank, you fucking moron.

Edited at 2009-11-05 01:45 pm (UTC)