DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to rysler, pdt_bear and hysteria74 for the betas. This was written about a month ago, when the last episode I'd seen was the 24 April one. Three weeks without being able to watch it and my mind came up with my own storyline to keep myself occupied... and this is the result.
SPOILERS: Through the 24 April 2009 episode, AU-ish from there.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
More Than Here
Olivia shut the door and leaned back against it, smiling as she brushed her lips with her fingers. Grinning widely, she pushed away from the door and went to track down her daughter. The memory of Natalia's kiss would have to wait a few more minutes to be enjoyed.
It had been just over a week since Natalia had run from her wedding. Nine days, since first Olivia and then Natalia had screamed out that they each loved the other, and while everything else around them was falling apart, two small pieces were slowly coming back together. Dinner after Emma's school play had been the start of it, and they'd had dinner together every night since then. As a family. As it should be. They ate out every night, and then Natalia would drive them back to the Beacon and walk with them up to their suite.
The third night, they finally kissed good night in the doorway. The night after, Natalia came in for a little while, to spend more time with Emma, and to spend more time with Olivia. They did talk, a little, about things they forced themselves to avoid during the work day. They edged their way around the issues of Frank, and the chances of a relationship working out, and whether they were willing to put Emma through whatever. They touched, holding hands, and hugging, and just being together in ways they hadn't since just before Frank's proposal.
They kissed, too, once Emma was in bed. The awkwardness faded as they grew accustomed to each other. It never went further than kissing, but Olivia craved the way Natalia felt in her arms, and yet she was always the one, nightly, to put an end to it all. Every night, she could see Natalia fight down the urge to ask her to come home. She fought the urge to say yes to the unspoken question.
About an hour later, Olivia was in bed, reading, when Emma sleepily came into the room and crawled onto her bed. She'd done this almost every night since they moved out of the farmhouse. Olivia rubbed her back and turned off the lights, settling in for another night of restless sleep. The hotel was so quiet, in comparison to the farmhouse. What had driven her crazy six months earlier, she found herself missing- the wind against the windows, the creaking of the trees. Even all those crosses Natalia had hung on the walls.
Lost in thought, the ringing of her cell phone caught her off guard. As she grabbed for it, Emma pulled her pillow over her head. "Hello?"
There was only silence on the other end. Just as she was about to pull the phone away and check the caller ID, she heard a simple, quiet, "I miss you. Come home."
And that was it. Olivia could not say no to that voice. She never could. "Ok," she whispered, and the call cut off. She sat there, looking down at her phone, and then looked over at the unmoving lump that was her daughter, buried under her blankets. She carefully, got out of bed and pulled a bag out of the closet. Making her way to Emma's bed room, it only took her a few minutes to pack a couple days worth of clothes and put all her school things in her back pack. Five minutes later, she was packed for herself, and putting on her shoes and coat over her pyjamas.
Kneeling down on the other side of the bed, she picked up the pillow and smoothed Emma's hair back. "Sweetheart, you need to wake up."
Emma pouted and turned her face away. "I'm sleeping."
"It won't be for long, I promise. We're going home." She couldn't keep her voice from cracking on the last word.
That got Emma's attention, and she scrambled up out of bed, nearly knocking her mother over. "Back to Natalia?"
Olivia pushed herself up, and handed her daughter her coat. "Yes Back to Natalia."
Emma grabbed her hand and dragged her to the door. "Let's go!"
Olivia couldn't help but laugh. "Just a moment, love. Take your backpack, and then we'll go."
It was only a fifteen minute drive to the farmhouse, but Emma was asleep again by the time they arrived. Olivia carried the bags into the living room, and then went back for Emma. She led her carefully through the living room and up the stairs to her room, and tucked her into bed. She pressed a light kiss to her forehead and pulled the blankets up higher over her.
Out in the hallway, Olivia stared at the closed door of her room for a moment, biting her lip in hesitation. Finally, she walked passed her door and opened Natalia's, shutting it softly behind her. In the light from the window, she saw Natalia on the far side of the bed. Kicking off her shoes, she dropped her coat on the floor and sat down on the edge of the bed, her back to the other woman as she looked down at her hands.
The bed shifted as Natalia rolled over, and soft, warm fingers curled around her elbow. Bracing herself on one hand, Olivia turned to look at her, as Natalia slid her hand down to rest over Olivia's on the bed. "Welcome home," Natalia said softly.
Olivia pulled away, hesitated, and then pulled back the covers enough to slide under them, settling stiffly close to the center of the bed. Natalia shifted again, and rested her hand on Olivia's shoulder. Without a thought, Olivia reached up and covered that hand with her own. Her thumb rubbed lightly over Natalia's knuckles, and then she intertwined their fingers. She felt a warm rush of air against her arm as Natalia sighed, and she closed her eyes. A few minutes later, she said quietly, "I'll call the moving company in the morning."
Natalia squeezed her fingers in response. "Good."
When Emma woke up and saw the familiar, though empty, walls of her room, she squealed with delight. She didn't care that she still had to go to school, she was home, with her mommies. She climbed out of bed and ran out of her room, going straight for Natalia's. She opened the door and stopped in the doorway, grinning happily. Her mommy was asleep on her stomach, and Natalia was pressed against her side, an arm around her. Approaching the bed, she climbed up to kneel on the edge, and shook her mom's shoulder. "Mommy?"
It was Natalia who opened her eyes, blinking sleepily at her as she tightened her arm around Olivia. "Emma?" she mumbled.
Emma bounced lightly on the bed. "It's time for breakfast."
"Ok Go get dressed; we'll be there in a minute." Natalia felt Olivia freeze under her arm, and she knew she was awake.
Emma hesitated, remembering something. "I don't have any school clothes here anymore."
"There's a bag by the couch with your things in it," Olivia muttered, not moving or opening her eyes.
"Ok!" Emma kissed Natalia's cheek, and then her mother's, and scampered out of the room.
Olivia rolled over slowly as Emma's footsteps faded. Natalia sat up against the headboard and watched as Olivia covered her face with her hands and groaned, "Oh god I forgot about Emma." She slid one hand down enough to look up at Natalia, her eyes still heavy with sleep. "What are we going to say to her?"
Natalia felt no such panic, and rested her hand on Olivia's hair. "I don't think she thought anything of it. She didn't seem surprised."
Olivia pressed herself up to sit next to Natalia, and she hesitantly met the other woman's gaze, relaxing somewhat at the softness in her eyes. "We should talk about this. Her, and and Rafe. All of us." She didn't like feeling so uncertain. She wasn't used to it.
"We will. But first, breakfast and the school bus. We have time for everything else."
By the time Olivia made it downstairs after brushing her teeth, Emma was dressed, eating toast and banana slices, and Natalia was spreading jam on one half of a sandwich. "Superhero," Olivia teased as she walked passed her to the coffee pot. Natalia just smiled at her, a faint blush on her cheeks.
When Emma's bus arrived, the women went out to the porch to see her off. As the bus drove off, Natalia slipped her arm through Olivia's, leaning her cheek against Olivia's shoulder. They stood like that for a moment longer, and then Olivia turned to wrap her arms tightly around her. They settled into the hug, resting comfortably against each other.
"We can do this, can't we?" Olivia asked quietly, not wanting to disturb the peaceful moment.
Natalia nodded, her lips brushing Olivia's neck. "Yes, we can."
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