DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: My muse is irritated and apparently now has a name. That name is Doris. Yes, I brought her out to play again today. My apologies for that, it had to be done. This story was spurred on by another Tarja Turunen song called "Enough" that I was listening to earlier. Not my finest work I'll admit, but this is why you shouldn't write angry heh. P.S. I absolutely adored Jessica today. She was totally amazing.
SPOILERS: Everything up to and including the April 17th episode.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Enough is Enough
"You did what?" Doris looked at the woman sitting dejectedly across from her as if she'd grown a second head.
"I told her there is no us," Olivia Spencer replied, unable to look her friend in the eye.
Doris played with the olive in her martini for a moment, wondering if she'd heard correctly. "Okay. Let me see if I understand this. Natalia, the woman you love, finally told you she loved you and you walked away?"
Olivia slammed back the rest of her drink. "Yep," she slurred.
"I see." But she didn't, not by a long shot. That mess of a wedding had been over for a few hours and had taken a toll on everyone, especially Olivia, who was well on her way to obtaining a spectacular hangover for tomorrow. Doris wasn't sure whether to laugh, or slap the woman back into sobriety so she took a long sip from her martini as she considered how to handle this emotional and very delicate situation. Tact would probably be the wisest course of action.
"Are you crazy? Or just stupid?" She only just kept from shouting.
Olivia's blurry eyes shot open and a scowl that would intimidate anyone else but the Mayor, crossed her face. "Excuse me?"
Doris chuckled. "Your vision's probably impaired right now, but not your hearing. What the hell were you thinking? The woman runs out of her own wedding and FINALLY tells you what you want to hear and you blow it off?" Doris couldn't help but laugh incredulously. This was so not the same woman who'd accosted her in her own office.
"She loves me," Olivia stated sadly, "but she's ashamed of it. I had to tell Frank some ridiculous story about her still loving Gus when she couldn't wouldn't, tell him the truth." Olivia snorted into her drink. "She did manage to admit she wasn't free, but was too embarrassed to tell him I was the one she loved."
Doris shook her head in exasperation. "Well what did you expect, Olivia? A public announcement? It was supposed to be her wedding day. She was confused."
"Well, so am I" she protested a little too loudly, then shrugged. "You didn't hear her, Doris. All she could do was talk about how badly she hurt Frank and the Coopers and how they would hate her. When Frank found us, he accepted our little lie and was even more disgustingly understanding. He said he intended to keep trying and again, she didn't tell him not to waste his time. Hell, she let him kiss her. Right in front of me."
Doris finished her drink in one swallow. "Okay, that was a little harsh, but you just gave up? After everything, you just quit?"
"I can't fight shame, Doris. She'll never be able to let herself be with me and as I told her, she'd only wind up hating me if she did."
That pitiful sentence was the last straw. "Oh for Gods sake," Doris finally exclaimed in disgust. She'd had enough of this Romeo and Juliet crap. Well, Juliet and Juliet, she snickered to herself. "Get your coat, Spencer. I'm driving you home."
"I don't want to," Olivia pouted as she signaled the waitress. Doris shook her head, telling the young woman not to oblige.
Despite putting up a strong and rather loud protest, she wound up following the Mayor. Before she knew what was what, she found herself flopped morosely on the couch, glad that her daughter was staying a friend.
"You stay put," Doris ordered. "I'll be back." Doris found Olivia's cell phone and found Natalia's number. Stepping into what was obviously Emma's bedroom, Doris angrily dialed the number and waited for the runaway bride to answer her phone. She wasn't sure Natalia would be in the mood to talk, but she was counting on her love for Olivia to get her to cooperate.
"Olivia?" Doris rolled her eyes at the teary, hopeful tone in Natalia's voice.
"Afraid not," Doris said more cheerfully than she felt.
"Doris? Why are you on Olivia's phone? What's wrong? Is she "
Doris rolled her eyes. God. She just could not understand this woman. She was so obviously in love with Olivia it was almost sickening but she kept holding back. "She's fine, Natalia. She'll be hating herself and the entire world tomorrow, but she's alright."
"She's been drinking again?" The worry caused even more of a tremble in the delicate voice.
"Of course she has. Look. Can you come over? She needs you."
Natalia's heart clinched at the last three words. Olivia had often said them to her when she was ill. Now she was unable to say them herself. As always, she couldn't refuse. After everything that had happened, she owed Olivia that much.
"I'll be there soon," she said.
"Great." Doris disconnected before Natalia could say anything else. She then went into the kitchen after making sure Olivia wasn't totally passed out. She was going to make sure the once fearsome woman was awake for this, even if it killed her. She snooped through the cabinets until she found the makings for coffee.
When the knock came on the door, Olivia was semi-coherent but resentful, holding a cup of coffee. Doris was itching for a cigarette but wasn't about to step outside and leave her alone so she sat in the chair across from the couch and just watched.
She got up and opened the door, unsurprised when Natalia, now comfortably dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, blew right past her.
"Why are you here?" Olivia said, her eyes half shut and bloodshot. Maybe she had drunk too much. Natalia wouldn't have come here. Not tonight.
Before Natalia could answer, Doris shut the door loudly, startling both women. "Sit!" she ordered, pointing at the spot next to Olivia. Natalia sat and looked anxiously at the Mayor who was glaring at them as if they were defendants she was about to prosecute.
"What's going on?" Natalia asked.
"I've had it with you two. That's what."
"What are you talking about?" Olivia mumbled, drawing a concerned look from Natalia which did not go unnoticed by the interloper.
"That," she said gesturing at Natalia. "This whole suffering in silence bullshit. It's really starting to grow really old."
"How exactly is this any of this your business?" Natalia asked, starting to feel her own frustration building.
Doris sighed and began to pace. "Look, until a few months ago, I didn't think much about either of you. Then things changed. Olivia and I struck up sort of an odd friendship where I was able to talk to her about the life I'd been hiding and she'd talk to me about you."
"You? Why you, of all people?" Natalia asked surprised and a little hurt. "No offense."
Doris grinned. "None taken. She came to me because you had your God and little statue of Mary to talk to about your feelings, Natalia. She got stuck with me."
"I know how hard today was for you. For both of you. I tried everything I could to force one of you to make a move, but a more obstinate pair of women I've yet to meet. Then you," she pointed at Natalia, "finally saw the light and stopped things before they got too far. Again, I appreciate how hard that was for you. I really do. But Olivia told me what happened next. She said you told her you loved her."
Natalia couldn't hold back the frightened look from crossing her face. "She what?"
"HA!" Olivia burst out drunkenly. "See? I told you. She can't even stand the thought of just one other person knowing how she feels about me."
"Olivia, that's not true," Natalia pleaded for understanding.
"It is true, but I told you Natalia, that I'm fine with it. I love you, you love me, but we'll just leave it at that. There's no need to make this any more than that. " Olivia was surprised to find that for what seemed like the first time in months, her eyes were dry.
"Are we done now?" She turned back to Doris. "I'd kind of like to go pass out now."
"Well that's just too bad. I'd kind of like a cigarette now but we can't always get what we want. You just sit there and listen."
Doris paced again as she thought about what she wanted to say. "Natalia, I admire your values. I do, but you're refusal to openly acknowledge your feelings for Olivia? I thought you had more courage than that."
"You don't understand, Doris. It's not easy for me "
"You think it's been easy for me?" Olivia interrupted. "This is all new for me too, you know," she finished quietly.
"And you've not exactly been the model of bravery yourself, Olivia," Doris pointed out.
"Well, I didn't hear you standing up and declaring yourself to Natalia in the church either." She knew exactly what protest Olivia was about to offer and held up a hand to cut her off. "Don't give me that "it's all about her" speech. I'm sure it was mostly, but it was also for you. People know you in this town and your reputation. You've told me before that you like the power you have over men. You're not ready to give it up." She sighed, hoping she wasn't about to be murdered. "I've thought of you as a lot of things, Olivia, but until today, a coward was never one of them."
Both women started to talk at once and she cut them off again. "It doesn't matter. I know very well the fears that both of you are feeling right now. You both know the position I'm in and that I'm a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to calling you cowards. Difference is, I can admit that I am. No. What is totally pissing me off about this mess is that you both have a chance to have something rare and special, something that I can't have right now and you're just willing to throw it all away for no damned good reason."
Neither woman had anything to say to that and Doris was reaching the point where she was just going to light up right there in the living room. Either that or pull her hair out. Suddenly an idea hit her and she had to turn around to hide her smirk. This should be enough to knock Olivia out of her drunken stupor and Natalia out of her whatever it was she was in. She straightened her expression and turned back.
"You know Natalia, before now, I'd never have admitted this to anyone, ever, and if it comes out now, I'll deny it to my last breath, but that woman you're sitting next to is, what's the phrase? 'smokin' hot'. If I could have, I'd have gone after her myself." She paused as if reaching a decision. "Now that I think about it, if she ever looked at me even remotely close to the way she looks at you, I'd definitely consider risking everything. Hell, if you aren't going to take her up on what she can give you, I may just say to hell with the closet and go after her."
The dumbfounded look on Olivia's face was almost enough to make Doris laugh out loud. Then she watched Natalia's surprised brown eyes narrow in a way that was eerily similar to Olivia's when she got riled and she bit her lip to keep from grinning.
"Now wait just a minute," Natalia almost growled.
"I think that's my cue to leave," Doris said quickly. "I think I've given you both something to think about. At least I hope so. All this angst is freaking killing me." She picked up her purse of the table and headed to the door. She stopped and looked at the two women who were so obviously meant to be together and so obviously too chicken to do anything about it.
"You two have something amazing. It's time you both grew up and did something about it." With that she left the Spencer apartment.
"What the hell was that?" Olivia said after several seconds, the drunken haze having quickly fled with each word Doris uttered.
"I feel like we were just sent to the principal's office," Natalia replied somewhat dazedly. Olivia looked at Natalia and laughed and surprisingly Natalia joined in, reminding them both of the strong foundation of family that lay beneath the aguish they'd both been suffering.
"Would you really date Doris?" Natalia asked nervously. The thought of Olivia with anyone else caused her eyes to fill with tears. She knew that she couldn't expect Olivia to wait forever.
Olivia sighed and turned to face the woman she loved. She lifted her hand, and as she had in the graveyard, gently wiped away the tears. "Never. She's too much like me for us to ever get along," she teased, wanting more than anything to bring out the dimples. She shivered when she succeeded.
"I could never be ashamed of you, Olivia. Never." Natalia was desperate to know the proud woman believed her.
"What about your feelings for me?"
"I'm not ashamed of them, either. I just don't know what to do with all of them. I feel so much for you that it scares me."
"Believe me, Natalia. I feel the same way. I've never felt this way about anyone before. Not in my entire life. I don't expect I ever will again. I love you. More than I can ever tell you."
"Oh, Olivia, you don't need to tell me. Your words, your actions your beautiful eyes," Natalia stopped as she reached out to run her thumb under the eyes in question. "Those things tell me all I need to know. But I do like hearing it," she smiled. The smile faded and she began to tremble when those very same eyes floated down to her lips and stayed there.
"I do love you, Olivia," she whispered. She knew what was coming but wanted to make sure the woman who had been willing to sacrifice everything for her, knew how she felt first.
"Oh, good." Olivia didn't say anything else as she finally got to once more taste what she'd been longing for since January. This time it wasn't rushed or quickly broken. She got to take her time and explore Natalia in a way that thrilled her to her soul. She never wanted it to end, but sadly the need to breathe all too soon made itself known.
Olivia pulled away and rested her forehead against Natalia's, as she caught her breath. She watched in fascination as Natalia's lips spread into a wide grin, bringing out the dimples that drove her crazy. She leaned back and couldn't help but smile in response.
"What's so funny?"
"I never thought I'd ever be grateful to Doris Wolfe for anything."
Olivia laughed. "Me either." She leaned forward to kiss Natalia once more, thinking that now it was allowed, she would never get enough.
After a near eternity, Natalia pulled away. "Can we take this slow?" She asked, turning serious. "It's not that I'm ashamed, I promise, but I'd like us both to get used to us as a couple in private, before we tell everyone else."
"Of course," Olivia assured her.
"I'll go talk to Frank tomorrow and the Coopers. They may never forgive me and I'll feel bad about that, but I can no more deny you, anymore than I can deny my own heart."
"That was so mushy," Olivia teased her gently. "I'm sure they'll be upset and I can just imagine the words that Frank will have for me, all things considered, but they can't help but forgive you. I told you once before, no one could ever hate you."
Unable to help herself, Natalia reached up and stroked the expressive face that had stolen her heart. "You just kill me when you say things like that."
Olivia smiled and got back to the subject at hand. "What about Emma and Rafe?"
"I'll be surprised if Rafe doesn't know already," Natalia answered thoughtfully. Her son was very smart. "Emma won't really understand, but she'll be happy to have us living together again you are moving home aren't you?"
Olivia looked at her thoughtfully. "If you're sure."
Natalia laughed. "I never wanted you to leave in the first place. We can do this, Olivia."
"I know we can, as long as we stop running from what we feel. Besides, we don't have a choice. I'm afraid to see what Doris will do to us if we can't."
Natalia laughed, thrilled to see the fiery sparkle that had seemed to fade out of Olivia's eyes, returning.
"Perhaps if she had her own romance to deal with, she'd keep her nose out of ours," Natalia suggested with a grin.
Olivia laughed. "It would be fun to find her someone who will drive her as crazy as she's driven us."
The two women shared another laugh followed by another long kiss.
"I love you, Olivia. Always," Natalia whispered into Olivia's ear.
"I love you too, Natalia."
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