DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: You could say through the 24th April 2009 episode and you'd probably be safe, although it's mainly more general than specific spoilers.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

(Not Banana) Pancakes
By Jaina


Frowning, Natalia poked at the pancakes with the tip of the spatula, and decided that they weren't quite done. They only needed a few more minutes before they would be ready, however.

"Emma," she called over her shoulder, without looking up from the pancakes. "Do you wanna go see if your mom's up yet? These pancakes are almost done. We can eat when you get back down." She smiled at the little girl's eager expression, as she quickly jumped up.

It was good - very good - to have them back with her in the farmhouse where they all belonged. It had taken them a while to find their way back here, but it felt so incredibly right. She had missed both Emma and Olivia while they were staying at the Beacon, but her relationship with Olivia had needed time to grow, and for them to grow into it.

Still she hadn't stopped smiling since Olivia had moved she and Emma's things back in the previous day. And having Olivia in bed with her the night before and this morning had been amazing.

Oh, no! Olivia was still in bed. In her bed. And she had just sent Emma upstairs to get her mother. Natalia never noticed the spatula falling out of her hand, as she headed for the stairs.

A moment later she faltered, stumbling to a halt in the doorway of her bedroom. Emma was piled up on the bed with her mom. Olivia was propped up against the headboard and holding Emma in her arms, looking down at her as Emma sat and looked as pensive as Natalia had ever seen her.

"I couldn't find you," Emma said, glancing up at Olivia and looking slightly worried. "You weren't in your room."

If Natalia hadn't already been frozen to the spot before she definitely would have been now. She wanted to see what Olivia would say.

"I'm sorry we scared you, Em," Olivia said softly, her fingers stroking through her daughter's hair, easing out the morning tangles. "But I'm right here."

Emma looked up at her mom, smiling again. "You slept in here last night?"

For the first time Natalia thought Olivia looked a little bit nervous. "Yeah, I did." She hesitated, seeming to gather her thoughts and then continued. "Remember when Natalia and I talked to you about us moving back here and we said that things might be a little bit different this time?"

"Yeah," Emma said with a definitive nod.

Olivia smiled. "Well, this is one of those things."

Emma looked up sharply. "You're going to have a sleepover with Natalia all the time?"

"Yeah, kiddo, I think I am." The wide smile that Olivia couldn't quite contain made her look beautiful, Natalia thought. It also brought warmth to Natalia's cheeks, leaving her flushing at the thoughts that Olivia's innocent words had provoked in her.

"Can I have a sleepover with some of my friends?"

Natalia brought a hand to her mouth to stifle her laughter, at Olivia's startled expression which quickly turned into one of bemusement.

"Of course you can."


This time Natalia couldn't hold onto a giggle at Emma's eagerness.

For the first time Olivia looked up at her. The look in her eyes made the laugh catch in her throat - not from fear - but from the sheer depth of emotion in them. She raised an eyebrow and Natalia swallowed, her throat suddenly feeling painfully dry.

"Maybe not tonight," Olivia countered, refocusing her attention on Emma. "Let's wait until this weekend, okay?"

"Okay," Emma replied happily, smart enough to savor her victory and not push for more.

"Okay," Olivia said definitely. "Now why don't you go finish getting ready for school. Natalia and I will be down in a minute."

Emma hopped down off the bed and darted toward the door, smiling up at Natalia as she brushed passed her. Natalia touched her briefly as she passed, the affectionate gesture completely unconscious as she headed down the hallway toward her own room.

When she was out of sight, Natalia stepped inside and shut the door behind her. She approached the bed with a hint of nerves, wondering if Olivia was upset that Emma had found her in Natalia's bed. Olivia was fiercely protective of her daughter and anything that might upset her. Emma, however, hadn't looked upset or bothered in the slightest.

"I'm sorry," Natalia said, sinking down to sit on the edge of the bed beside Olivia.

Olivia immediately reached out for Natalia's hand, picking it up and cradling it in both of hers. Long fingers turned her hand over and began tracing a path down her wrist and across her palm. Her thumb made lazy circles on Natalia's skin.

"You're sorry?" Olivia asked, finally looking up at Natalia from under the hair that was falling across her face. Natalia couldn't resist sweeping that hair away from her eyes, and letting her fingers linger as they trailed down the side of Olivia's face.

"About Emma," Natalia clarified. "I didn't think before I sent her up here."

"You know she has seen me in bed before. I can be kind of scary in the morning, I know, but I think she can handle it." Olivia made light of the moment and drew a small smile from Natalia.

"That's not what I meant," Natalia said softly. "And for the record I don't think you look scary in the morning; I think you look cute."

Olivia blinked and stared at her for a moment as if this were a surprising revelation. For the second time that morning, Natalia felt her cheeks flush with warmth. Olivia gave her head a little shake.

"Emma's okay. But I probably should have talked to her last night about staying in here."

"I'm sorry she got scared."

Olivia shook her head. "If it's the most traumatizing thing she has to deal with this week, I'll be happy."

"Hey, none of that," Natalia said in a gently teasing tone. "No worrying about things that haven't happened yet."

"Okay," Olivia agreed - far too easily in Natalia's opinion.

Natalia's eyes narrowed as she stared at Olivia. "What are you up to, Olivia Spencer?"

"Nothing!" Olivia protested, shrugging innocently. "I was just thinking...."

"Mmm-hmm?" Natalia prompted as Olivia lapsed into silence.

"I was hoping that this morning I wouldn't wake up alone. With you, instead of Emma, as much as I love my daughter."

Her chest did that thing where her breath caught, and there were definitely butterflies in her stomach. How Olivia could still do that to her after all this time of easing back into their relationship and slowly taking it to another level, Natalia didn't know. She didn't particularly care.

"I'm sorry," she said softly, she repeated. "Let me make it up to you?"

Her lips brushed against Olivia's and Olivia responded without hesitation, deepening the kiss until their chests were heaving and Olivia's fingers were tangled possessively in Natalia's long hair.

"Is that better?" Natalia asked when they finally drew apart.

Olivia hadn't let go, instead her arms had drifted down around Natalia's waist, encircling her in the warmth of her embrace.

"Promise me you'll be here when I wake up tomorrow?"


"Then I'm better," Olivia said softly. A moment later her nose wrinkled and she pulled slightly away from Natalia. "What is that smell?"

It took a moment for her question to penetrate the haze created by Olivia's tantalizing proximity. When they did, Natalia blanched, the color draining out of her face as she shot up off the bed.

"Oh, no! The pancakes!"

The End

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