DISCLAIMER: All characters (Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera, Emma Spencer, Ava Peralta, blah blah etc.) and situations belong to Guiding Light, Telenext, Proctor & Gamble, etc. I'm not them.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Beer and Bear
By Jaina


The martini in her hand was familiar and comforting. Seeing Gus down the bar, beer in his hand, was slightly more disturbing.

Olivia eyed him speculatively. He looked incredibly hale and hardy for a dead man. Especially when it was his heart beating in her chest. She took a bigger sip of her martini.

"You look pretty good for a dead guy. Should I be worried?"

Gus laughed and her heart soared. Funny, he could still do that to her. "That you're seeing dead people? Not especially. After all, this is your dream."

Something like relief spread in her chest. Not her number being called then, good to know. "So why are you here?" Olivia waved her hand dismissively. "And don't give me that, it's your dream crap."

"Can't a guy come check up on his wife and his..." Gus trailed off and Olivia straightened.

"His what?"

Gus shrugged and took another sip of his beer. "So how is my wife?"

"Knocked up," Olivia said bluntly.

Gus snorted. "I knew you had skills, Olivia."

"Oh, shut up." She hesitated. "It's Frank's."

"Right." Gus said with a nod. "I knew that."

Olivia glared at him and considered ignoring him, but...Gus. "Then why did you bring it up?" She gritted out.

Gus shrugged again. Olivia got up and moved to the stool next to him so she could hit him. He faked some pain to make her feel better.

They drank in silence for a moment.

"So," Olivia said finally, "Me and Natalia."

"You and Natalia," Gus agreed. "You know, I didn't think you two were going to make it there for a while. Coop had even odds on it before you dragged her back to the church, but after that..." He shook his head. "I really thought you'd blown it that time," he added, tipping his beer at her.

"So you were rooting for me?" Olivia asked, feeling strangely shy.

"Rooting? Not exactly. That is my wife you're sleeping with, but better you than Frank."

"You really think so?"

"No," Gus said shortly. "I'd rather still be alive."

Olivia flinched, her hand automatically going to her chest. Gus saw her expression change and sat his beer back on the bar, standing to pull her into his arms in one fluid motion. He gently wiped away the tear that was making its way down her cheek and kissed the top of her head.

"There's no one else I would rather have my heart," Gus said quietly. "Natalia got that one right."

"More than just that one," Olivia said with a sniffle.

Gus laughed softly, pulling back to look at her. "Yeah, I think between the two of us, we did a pretty good job of fixing you up."

Olivia hit his chest with the flat of her palm. "Stop making me cry, damn you."

"Stop being such a big softy," Gus countered. "But I forgot that's all part of the new you."

Olivia sat back away from him, her arms folded across her chest. "You're just jealous because I got the girl."

"You know," Gus waved his hand back and forth between them, "If I'd known you and Natalia were interested, you wouldn't have had to fight over me. We could have shared."

"In your dreams," Olivia shot back indignantly, feeling strangely possessive of Natalia and instantly disliking the idea of sharing, even with Gus.

"In yours, actually," Gus corrected her with a wry grin.

"Shut up," Olivia muttered, turning away from him.

"But you're the whole reason I'm here."

"You're annoying," Olivia said shortly, but with a smile. "I had forgotten that."

"You don't have to talk about me like I'm dead, you know. I'm sitting right here."

Olivia's smile grew bittersweet. "But you are dead."

"And you're thinking about whether you should tell Natalia about this dream."

"I'm always thinking about Natalia," Olivia said dismissively. Then her eyes narrowed. "Now what am I thinking about?"

Gus snorted, barely managing to swallow a mouthful of beer. He wagged his finger at her. "Tsk, tsk, Olivia. That was just mean."

She smiled at him sweetly.

Gus cocked his head to the side as if listening to something. "I'm thinking you should probably get back."

Olivia frowned. "But this is just getting good."

"Tell Natalia," Gus shrugged. "Tell Natalia you love her." Then he planted his boot on the rung of her stool and shoved hard enough to tip it over.

"Hey!" Olivia shrieked her arms flailing...and slammed into her soft mattress, her arms pinwheeling wildly for a moment before she realized she wasn't actually falling.

"Olivia. Stop. Please, Olivia, I need you to wake up."

The desperation in Natalia's voice cut through her disorientation almost immediately. Olivia stopped flailing her arms and struggled to sit up.

"Natalia? What's wrong?"

Olivia's concern increased when her eyes adjusted to the dark and she could see Natalia cradling her stomach. Then she heard Natalia's breath catch with a hiss of pain and knew what Natalia was going to say before she said it.

"I think my water broke. It hurts, Olivia."

"Okay, baby," Olivia said, already scrambling out of bed and pulling on clothes, stumbling around the bed to Natalia's side to help her up. "Okay." She wrapped her arms around Natalia for a brief moment and held her close, her lips pressing to Natalia's temple. "Let's get you to the hospital. We can do this." Olivia didn't even hesitate. "I love you."

The End

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