DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: First a big thank you to everyone who has read and commented on all of my stories. I truly appreciate it and it is all the kind and wonderful comments that have kept me writing against my will. I had this posted on my LJ account, then decided to edit the ending a little bit as it did sort of come to a screeching halt. Thank you to lazydevil40 for the prompt to edit. LOL. I guess you have probably figured out by now that all my stories will probably end the same way. I don't foresee myself ever going into the realm of the um... more intimate encounters as apparently my muse has been unduly influenced by Natalia and I'm too bashful to do more. Sorry in advance for that.
SPOILERS: None really, but set after the May 12th episode and before May 19th.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
I Really Want You to Come Home
I just I really want you to come home.
The flicker of happiness that filled Olivia at hearing Natalia's words was quickly overridden by concern at the sad tone of her voice. Something had happened. She stepped out of the airport dialing Natalia's phone but it went straight to voicemail, doubling her concern.
Olivia stepped into a taxi and waited impatiently for the driver to pull away from the airport terminal and take her straight to the farmhouse. Ava had been the one to prompt her to leave San Francisco early. Olivia had taken the plunge and told her oldest daughter about everything that happened and her feelings for Natalia.
Ava had been shocked at first and then to Olivia's surprise had erupted in laughter. She told Olivia that it wasn't the fact that she was in love with a woman that startled her so much, as it was the fact that it was Natalia of all people. The one person who had so often given her mother fits.
Olivia had simply shrugged and offered a laugh of her own. They had talked for sometime about how this relationship came to be and what had happened with Natalia's wedding and the spa. Eventually Ava told Olivia to go home.
"What? Why?" Olivia had been surprised and a little hurt by her daughters order.
Ava had read her mother's expression and took her hand. "It's not that I don't appreciate your coming here and helping me, I do, but I think that there's some unfinished business back at home you need to take care of."
"No buts. I'll be fine. I am fine. You need to go home and settle things with Natalia. It's your turn to be happy for a change. It's been a long time coming."
Olivia fought the tears that came to her eyes. She and her oldest daughter had come a long way and she was so proud to have her in her life.
"I love you, you know."
"Yeah, yeah. I love you too. Now go away."
Before Olivia knew it, she was sitting in first class and turning off her cell phone. Once she was in the air she finally had the time to think about just how much she'd missed Emma and Natalia. She fell asleep to the image of the three of them watching movies in their hotel room.
She turned on her phone as soon as the plane landed, planning on calling Natalia to let her know she was home and hoping she could stop by the farmhouse. Her heart skipped several dozen beats when she saw there was a voicemail from Natalia.
As she listened to Natalia's sad voice she began to worry. Apparently the drama had already begun at home and Olivia was utterly frustrated that she hadn't been there to help.
"Mommy didn't call me tonight," Emma said sadly as Natalia tucked her into bed.
Natalia sighed and brushed a lock of hair off the little girls face. She was so much like her mother, even down to the eyes that could break her heart. "I know sweetie. I'm sure there is a good reason for it. She loves you, Emma. Never doubt that. So do I."
"I know," Emma said sleepily. "I love you too."
Natalia kissed the little forehead and stood up from the bed. She stopped in the doorway and turned off the light, pausing to look at the little girl that had buried herself so completely into her heart, right along side of her mother. Smiling softly, she left the door cracked and went back down to the living room that was so glaringly quiet. She missed having Emma and Olivia around. The farmhouse no longer felt like a home without them.
Suddenly her phone rang, startling her out of her morose thoughts. Her body automatically knew who it was before she even looked at the caller ID. Her hands were shaking so badly she wondered how she was able to operate the phone.
"Hi," she said as calmly as she could, but unable to hold back the broad smile and sense of security that filled her at the sound of the strong woman's voice.
"Hi." Olivia's smile came through even over the phone. "So," Olivia said casually after a long pause, "Are you going to open the door?"
Natalia nearly dropped the phone. "What?"
"Well, unlike some people in this town, I don't want to just barge in."
Natalia hung up on Olivia and nearly ran to the door. She opened the door and had her arms around Olivia before the other woman could brace herself.
"Oh my God. You're here."
Olivia didn't complain about the greeting as she wrapped Natalia in her arms. She had to admit that she had been a little afraid that in her absence, Natalia would have retreated back into her bubble of fears again. Hell she hadn't been sure how she herself was going to act back in the real world.
"Hi there," Olivia finally said with a laugh as she reluctantly pulled back.
"Hi." Natalia stepped back enough to let Olivia enter the house. "I can't believe you're really here. Wait. Why are you here? You're supposed to be in San Francisco?"
Olivia stepped further into the familiar warmth of the first true home she could remember. "I "
"It wasn't my message was it? I didn't mean for you to "
Olivia couldn't help but grin. She found it so adorable when Natalia started her nervous rambling. "Natalia, relax," she laughed. She took Natalia's hand and led her to the couch. She didn't immediately release her hand. Instead she simply took a moment to examine it. Natalia had beautiful hands. So soft, with impossibly long fingers, but they were so strong and capable. Olivia loved those hands.
"I'm sorry that I dragged you away from Ava," Natalia started, entwining her fingers with Olivia's.
"You didn't," Olivia promised. "Actually I didn't get your message until I had already landed back here."
Natalia was beyond surprised by that. "Really? Why?"
"I'm beginning to think that you're not happy to see me," Olivia teased. Besides her daughter, she had missed seeing Natalia's smile more than almost anything. She wasn't disappointed.
"I am. A little," Natalia teased back.
"I see. Well, I can always go back," Olivia smirked, making to get to her feet. Natalia's hand was gripping her arm before she finished speaking.
"Oh no you don't. You're not going anywhere." When Olivia quirked her eyebrow in amusement, Natalia rolled her eyes.
"Have I told you lately that you're obnoxious?"
"Not in about a week or so," Olivia laughed. "Look, let me run upstairs and see Emma, then we can talk, okay?"
"Okay." Natalia was immensely glad she was sitting down when Olivia's eyes drifted to her lips and wasn't sure if she was relieved or disappointed when Olivia just smiled and left her to go say hello to her daughter.
"Em?" Olivia carefully sat next to her sleeping daughter, wanting to hold her, yet not wanting to wake her up. She pushed the hair back from the innocent face and felt tears in her eyes. Until she'd met Natalia, Emma had been the one person in her life that had loved her unconditionally.
Olivia smiled at Emma's tiny, sleepy voice. "Yes, honey. It's me."
"Oh. Good." With that, Emma promptly went back to sleep and Olivia chuckled, knowing her daughter hadn't even been close to being awake. She kissed Emma's forehead and let her sleep. She went back downstairs and didn't see Natalia. Following the familiar sounds she heard emanating from the kitchen she stopped in the doorway to watch the woman she loved making two cups of coffee.
"I thought we could go sit out on the porch," Natalia suggested without turning around.
Olivia just barely resisted spooning up behind Natalia. "Sure," she said instead. She took a cup and the two women headed to what had become their favorite spot.
They sat there, looking out at the stars and both thinking about the hours they had shared doing this same simple activity.
"It's been too long since we've sat out here together like this," Natalia said soberly.
"It has I've missed this," Olivia replied quietly as she took a sip of coffee. Natalia immediately noticed the change in Olivia's tone and felt a little niggle of worry.
"What's wrong?" She asked bluntly.
"Hm?" Olivia pulled herself out of her thoughts and looked into brown eyes that could read her soul like a book. "Oh. Nothing's wrong. Exactly. Well, I hope you don't think so. It really did seem like a good idea at the time and "
Natalia's eyes widened in surprise. "You're babbling, Olivia." Olivia Spencer didn't babble.
"I told Ava about us," Olivia blurted, not even close to sure of the response she would get.
Olivia turned to Natalia in shock at her rather placid reaction. Natalia seemed more curious than anything else. "You're not mad?"
"Of course not," Natalia said and then sighed. "You are so brave," she said.
"Not even remotely," Olivia muttered under her breath. Natalia didn't understand the comment but left it be for the moment.
"What did she say?"
"She sent me home," Olivia laughed, but Natalia's stomach tightened.
"She was was she upset?"
"What?" Olivia realized how her words must have sounded to the already anxious woman and she turned to look Natalia in the eyes. "Oh, no. She wasn't at all. Quite the opposite in fact."
"Yeah. She said that she just wanted me to be happy."
Natalia heard the almost confused tone of Olivia's voice as if the thought of someone wanting her happiness was a foreign concept, and it broke her heart. She sometimes forgot how vulnerable this woman really was underneath her tough exterior.
"And that surprises you." It wasn't a question.
Olivia turned away and looked into her coffee cup and shrugged. "Maybe a little."
Natalia reached out and took Olivia's free hand. "For the longest time, all you've talked about is my happiness and wanting to give me the things I deserve. I don't think I've ever told you just how much your happiness means to me."
Olivia met Natalia's earnest eyes and wanted to cry. She couldn't remember ever crying as much as she had since she met this woman.
"No one has ever " she stopped, not wanting Natalia to think she was feeling sorry for herself, but Natalia surprised her again with a gentle smile. Olivia was going to have to tell her to stop doing that. That smile just about killed her every time she saw it.
"I know, Olivia. I think I figured that out about you a long time ago, but it's different now. Your happiness means everything to me and I plan on showing you that everyday."
Natalia watched as Olivia actually blushed. It thrilled her to know she was one of the very few people that could do that to her. She grinned and looked away, not bothering to hide the soft chuckle that escaped.
The two women sat in silence for a long while, both content to simply enjoy the quiet and each other's company, but it was only when Olivia yawned that they finally made to go inside.
"I guess I should wake Emma and head back to the Beacon," Olivia said reluctantly, walking toward her suitcase.
Natalia looked at the woman she loved incredulously. "You're joking right? You're not going anywhere."
"No buts," Natalia commanded as she separated Olivia from her bag. "Emma is already in bed, there's absolutely no need to wake her up and " suddenly she stopped nervously.
"I don't want you to leave," Natalia answered, studying Olivia's fascinating face. She shivered as the intensity in those darkly lashed eyes seemed to almost quadruple.
"You don't?" Olivia asked tentatively.
Natalia grinned. "And you talk about me being a scared kitten?" she laughed. "Of course I want you to stay."
"Where?" Olivia blurted.
"What do you mean, where?" Suddenly Natalia's face turned a brilliant shade of red. "Oh. I'm, uh, I didn't "
Olivia released a sigh of relief. She should have known that Natalia wouldn't be implying what she'd thought she'd been implying. Despite wanting desperately to move this relationship forward, Olivia was no more ready for the physical side than Natalia was.
"Oh. Good." At Natalia's slightly puzzled smile, Olivia realized what she'd said. "I mean, I'm not really ready either."
"You're room is just how you left it," Natalia told her, unable to hide the sadness that filled her whenever she thought about the time before Olivia and Emma moved out.
They took their cups to the kitchen and Natalia turned off the lights and led the way upstairs. They stopped outside of Olivia's door, neither really wanting to say goodnight just yet.
"Tomorrow you need to tell me what happened while I was gone," Olivia prodded. She hadn't forgotten the message Natalia had left her.
The two shared a long, almost probing stare that said so much more than they were allowing themselves to verbalize. Finally Natalia stepped forward and slipped her arms around Olivia's neck again, sighing when she felt arms slide around her back.
"I missed you. So much."
"I missed you too," Olivia whispered. She started to step away but Natalia's hands tightened on her shoulders.
"Wait," she ordered quietly.
Olivia's mouth went dry immediately, but she refused to let herself get her hopes up. "What?"
Natalia's fingers came close to bruising Olivia's shoulders when she saw green eyes zoom in on her lips. "You I really wish you'd stop looking at me like that," she breathed, her own eyes drawn to the lips that were lifting in a disturbingly seductive smile.
"Really?" The lips whispered.
"I can't remember my own name when you do that," Natalia said weakly, even as she moved closer. Olivia's arms wrapped around her once more and Natalia wondered how anyone could think this was wrong.
"I won't do it any more than," Olivia said, though both women knew she was lying. She'd been wanting to kiss Natalia again every since she'd stopped kissing her the first time and she had no control over her eyes whenever the brunette was anywhere near her.
"Okay, I change my mind," Natalia said, leaning forward to press her cheek to Olivia's and whisper in her ear. "Just please try not to do it at work or I'll never get anything done and you'll have to fire me."
"Never happen," Olivia croaked out. Unable to stand it any longer, Olivia slowly moved her hand up to caress Natalia's cheek. Not wanting to startle the skittish woman, she leaned down, relieved almost to the point of tears when Natalia met her half way and finally welcomed Olivia home the way she'd been hoping for.
Neither knew how long they'd been kissing in front of Olivia's doorway, and neither particularly cared either. Feeling unusually confident, Natalia lifted her hand t o caress Olivia's face as she pulled back. "That was nice," she said quietly, watching the ever changing expressions cross the face she was touching.
Olivia finally offered one of her rare, playful smiles. "Yes, it was," she agreed, unable to keep the pure happiness out of her voice. "And not so different."
Natalia offered a shy smile. "Well, it's a little different," she replied. "In a good way," she rushed to assure the surprisingly insecure woman.
They were quiet for a few moments as they processed everything. "I have no idea what comes next," they blurted at the same time, then smiled as the old familiar habits were starting to come back
" We may have to consider buying a manual or something," Natalia muttered, causing them to share a laugh which as always dispelled any lingering awkwardness.
"As long as I know you love me, I'm happy with this," Olivia said, surprising both Natalia as well as herself.
"I do, Olivia. With all my heart."
Olivia's eyes watered. She would never get tired of hearing that. "I love you too, more than I ever thought possible. As for the physical side, we'll take it as it comes. Whatever we feel comfortable doing."
"Exactly," Natalia agreed then grinned mischievously. "Right now though, I am getting more and more comfortable with kissing you. Perhaps we should try again." She moved closer and slid her arms back around Olivia's neck.
Olivia happily obliged, thinking that she'd never felt as loved as she did in Natalia's arms or anything as wonderful or perfect as Natalia's lips against her own.
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