DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I just take Otalia out from time to time to placate my impatience.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, so all the Otalia fanfic (especially DiNovia's) has been inspiring me tons. This is my first attempt at anything more than a drabble, and my first Otalia fic. Please be gentle. My muse is rather fragile. This one popped into my head after hearing about Frank's proposal before it happened, so this just assumes nothing after that has taken place. Feedback is sincerely appreciated.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Trying To Fight Gravity
By DJ Shiva


Olivia saw it all. It was difficult to make out much more than shapes as her eyes filled with tears, staring through the old farmhouse windows that rattled when the wind blew. Still she knew without a doubt the story being told behind the glass. Frank on bended knee. Natalia looking down at her suitor with such an inscrutable expression. She saw it all. And after months of Natalia's care bringing her back to life, nurturing her heart and feeding her soul...after all of that, Olivia could only stand there as the pain in her chest grew exponentially. It wasn't a heart attack; no, that would be too kind. Olivia watched the scene unfold before her astounded eyes, and finally felt her heart...break.

She turned slowly away from the window, shocked to her core. But why was she surprised? After all, she had practically pushed them together in her manic need to prove to herself that what she was feeling wasn't real. Actions have consequences, she thought to herself. Of all people, Olivia knew that. Her growing feelings were the consequence of actions taken long ago; actions that had led to her enemy becoming her friend and eventually...something else. Something entirely new.

Even after all of that, she just couldn't help but attempt to manipulate Natalia when she needed her to look the other way, toward Frank, toward safety. Olivia liked to be in control, and once again she got what she thought she wanted. Only...what did she want? She wanted...

Olivia shook her head in an attempt to stop the train of thought she had embarked upon, sparked by the ritual proposal on the porch. She had to get away, anywhere...

Her thoughts were interrupted by the door closing in the kitchen as Natalia rushed in, stopping short as Olivia looked up to face her.

Natalia's eyes widened as she took in the tears in Olivia's eyes. She just shook her head, trying to force the words from her lips.

"I didn't...I don't...I..."

"Don't worry about it. Emma and I can find someplace before the wedding. You and Frank will want your space, I am sure." Olivia turned away quickly, trying desperately to hide her shattered eyes.

"No, Olivia!" Natalia started to reach out to Olivia, almost touching her bent shoulders, faltering and letting her hands fall before she made contact. "No, I don't want you to move. I thought we had been through this already."

Like I want to stick around and watch your little love nest. The words flew across Olivia's mind, but she managed to keep them bottled up, not wanting a fight she didn't have the strength for at that moment.

"Natalia, this is what you want. A home. A family. A place for you and Rafe and..." She stopped short, unable to say the name of the one thing that stood between her and happiness. Instead, she snorted sarcastically. "You want a normal family that won't merit mention in a mayoral conference." Head hung low, she swung around to look at Natalia. "I get it. I do."

Natalia, looking like she couldn't decide whether to stay and fight, or bolt like a scared deer, stood still for a moment, contemplating the older woman's words. When she spoke, it was measured and quiet.

"I told you, I don't love him. I thought I could; that it was the right thing to do. I prayed and prayed for guidance, but..." She stopped short, unable to articulate what it was that was dancing on the periphery of her reasoning. "But there's Emma, and I don't want her to think that I would just leave her like that. She deserves better. She deserves a family too."

Olivia curled her lip in a painful grimacing attempt at a reassuring smile. "Emma and I have been fine before. We can do it again. It's not like this was ever a permanent situation. We both knew that. It is what it is." She shrugged as Natalia frowned and looked at Olivia with concerned eyes. Olivia turned away again, walking toward the stairs. I have to get away from this. I can't even think when she looks at me like that.

Natalia pushed her way past, blocking the taller woman before she could reach the stairs. "So this is it? You just give up? After all that stuff about how I should get angry, how I should fight. And now you just turn tail and run away before we're even finished talking about this?" Her brown eyes flared as she set her jaw and stood her ground.

Olivia could only sigh. She was so tired. Tired of fighting for her life. Tired of fighting Phillip, and Alan, and the Mayor, and now...the one person who had fought her and won the one thing she guarded the most. "Look, whether you end up marrying Frank or not, this was never permanent. Let it go. Whatever happens, it's time that Emma and I find our own place, and give you this one back so you can...so you can have your space and your family. This..." She pointed at her own chest. "This isn't what you want. You want normal. You want godly. You don't want people to talk behind your back that you are a..." Olivia faltered. "You care what people think. Frank is a decent guy who obviously cares about you. I've said it before: you could do worse."

Natalia hesitated, looking down at the floor, hiding her eyes and the turmoil that shone there. She was stuck. Stuck between the illusion of safety, and what had strangely revealed itself as something much more important.

Olivia inhaled deeply as she reached up to touch Natalia's chin, urging her to raise her head to look her in the eyes. "It's the right thing to do."

She heard a sharp snort as Natalia tilted her head. "So is laundry, but you do your best to avoid that whenever possible."

She jokes as my heart breaks.

There it was again. This quite, unassuming woman who sometimes seemed so naive and defenseless always managed to surprise Olivia. She knew that Natalia was not weak, but sometimes her ego got in the way and she would look at the dark haired woman as if she was simply an obstacle to overcome with the overwhelming force of Olivia Spencer. Instead, Natalia was simply maddening, always pushing Olivia back, always doing the one unexpected thing...always finding the cracks in Olivia's carefully crafted facade. Every time Olivia made the mistake of thinking she could win with this woman, thinking that she could bully her way into what she wanted...she would find herself swaying under the influence of Natalia's caring, her principles, her words, her smiles...and that low key sense of humor that reared its head without warning.

And finally, that was what broke Olivia. A simple joke, the faintest dimples on Natalia's cheeks as she smiled sarcastically. Shivering as her defenses crumbled, Olivia's sharp eyebrows raised, not in defiance, but in surrender, betraying the tears that began to fall silently.

"I can't..." she whispered as her shoulders began to shake and she tried to turn away.

Soft hands reached out, touching her shoulders and guiding her back to face brown eyes that drew her in, time and time again.

"Natalia, I can't do this. My heart..."

The sudden shock was evident on the younger woman's face. "Oh my God, are you okay? Do you need me to call an ambulance? Sit..."

"No. No, it's not what you think. It's not..." Olivia stammered momentarily as she fought for breath. "It's...I tried to tell you. Before. I tried to tell you..."

Tears shone in Natalia's eyes, keeping her firm hold on Olivia's shoulders as she tried to back away. "What is it? Tell me. Please." Shocked at the desperation and the underlying current of...something else...evident in that last word, Olivia drew a sharp breath and turned her clear green eyes up to face deep brown.

"I...I want...I can't. I can't watch you do this. I can't watch you with Frank. I can't be here."

Natalia tried desperately to ignore the drop in her stomach, unable to quantify the feeling as fear or...hope?

"I don't want you to go." That was all she said, simply and plainly, with the same stubborn firmness that had kept Olivia alive almost a year ago. "I don't want you to go, because I can't imagine this house without Emma, without you..." Natalia stopped as the feeling in her stomach clarified itself, finally making its way into her chest with an overwhelming ache. "Without you."

"This was temp..."

"No, Olivia. That's not the issue. I told you once that it wasn't your prayer that took Gus away." Olivia flinched at the mention of his name. "That there must have been a reason, and that someday I wanted to understand that reason." Eyelids closed over mocha eyes as Natalia paused to gather her courage. "I think I understand."

Olivia's defensiveness rose like a storm in her throat. "This isn't about Gus."

"No, it isn't. It's about you. You are here." Natalia's voice dropped to a whisper as she looked at the floor. "With me."

Blood rushed in Olivia's ears, the silence of the room deafening.

"I don't want Frank here. I don't love him and I don't want him here."

Breath caught in her throat, one word was all Olivia could muster in that moment. Everything hinged upon the answer. Everything.


"I want you here. I want..." Natalia looked up into Olivia's hopeful eyes with an intensity borne of resolve.

"I want you, Olivia. Just you. You...you are my home."

Natalia held Olivia's eyes with her own, buzzing with a mixture of fear and relief and...there it was again...hope. She watched as emotions flew across Olivia's face in quick succession, culminating in Olivia letting out a breath she had been holding for some time.

"What are you saying?"

Natalia sighed, remembering a time when she needed help understanding too. She stepped forward, placing a gentle hand on Olivia's tear-stained cheek, and slowly pulled Olivia's lips to hers. It was soft and not at all like the first time Olivia had kissed her, but it was passionate and it said everything she needed Olivia to know. Natalia shyly pulled away to look at Olivia, hoping that she had not just ruined it all, but knowing somewhere deep down that this was a beginning and not the end.

"D'ya get it now?" she said gently, with the slightest bit of teasing in her voice.

Olivia stood there, swaying slightly on her feet, as a slow, deliberate smile sneaked out from behind her eyes. "Does this mean we have to explain all this to Emma's teacher again?" She laughed as Natalia rolled her eyes and gently swatted her on the arm.

"I think the Mayor might have already taken care of any announcements that need to be made." Natalia punctuated her joke with a demure giggle and a deep blush as Olivia stepped closer and wrapped her arms around the smaller woman.

Olivia's face grew serious. "Are you sure about this?" She reached a hand up to touch the gold cross hanging delicately around Natalia's neck. "I mean..."

Drifting off into thought for a moment, everything coalesced in her mind as Natalia met green eyes with an unfaltering gaze.

"After everything that has happened, I believe that God has a plan. You are alive and here and in our home. You are here. We are here. I wanted to believe there was a reason for everything...all of this." Reaching up to entwine her fingers in Olivia's tawny hair, Natalia smiled. It was that smile that made Olivia's heart leap in her chest. "We are the reason. You. Me. Emma. This family."

Natalia cast a sad glance toward the window, a fleeting thought of the scene that began this revelation skittering across her mind. She turned back to the woman in her arms. "I can't get married to anyone else, because in my heart, I already am. I am yours, Olivia."

Red rushed to the surface of Olivia's cheeks as she smiled a shy smile, wrapping her arms tighter around the woman who had given her heart back to her. Not Gus's heart. Her heart. She knew that now without question. Tears, this time of joy, ran delicate lines down her face as she touched her forehead to Natalia's, staring into those beautiful brown eyes and sighed contentedly. There was nothing more to be said. Olivia was finally home.

The End

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