DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Until I Can Breathe Again.

Silver Moon's Sparkling
By Jaina


Gently, Natalia lays Emma down on her own bed.  The sleeping child doesn't rouse even as Natalia pulls the covers up around her chin and lays a gentle kiss on her forehead.

Olivia is standing just behind her, with her hands buried in her pockets.  When Natalia steps away from Emma's beside she can see the look of faint regret in Olivia's eyes, and knows that it still irritates her that she can't do the simplest things like carrying her not-so-little anymore daughter to bed when she's fallen asleep somewhere else.

A sudden impulse to comfort her grips Natalia and she holds her hand out to Olivia.  Out of the corner of her eyes, Olivia catches the gesture and reaches out to her, threading their fingers together comfortably.  Natalia gives her hand a slight squeeze, and hopes that Olivia can feel just a little bit of the comfort that she intends with the gesture.

Olivia gives her a slight smile before she sits down on the edge of her daughter's bed, and strokes a stray piece of hair off her face, tucking it behind her ear.  The way that Olivia is staring at her daughter makes Natalia's heart catch. She knows that look of adoration; she recognizes it.  After all, she's felt it enough times looking at her son.  She has seen first hand just how far Olivia is willing to go to protect Emma.  It terrifies her sometimes - those days that Olivia seems to have no limits - but despite how badly it scares her, Natalia can't help loving that about her at the same time.

She watches as Olivia leans over and whispers something in Emma's ear, pressing their foreheads together for a moment before she straightens and stands up.  Never once does she let go of Natalia's hand. 

"Come on," she says softly, and leads Natalia out of the room, guiding her back into Olivia's portion of their suite at the Beacon. Olivia pulls the door shut behind them as noiselessly as she can. 

They're standing in the middle of the room and it could be awkward with Emma no longer there between them.  Somehow it isn't though.  Not this time.  She's just enjoying being here with Olivia. 

"I enjoyed this weekend," Olivia says, almost echoing her thoughts.  

Natalia can't help the wide smile that breaks across her face.  "I did too.  I'm glad we went."

Olivia wrinkles her nose and looks up at Natalia a little bit skeptically.

"Even though we argued?"

"Even then," Natalia reassured her, and then shrugged.  "Besides when haven't we argued?"

Olivia smiles ruefully at that and raises their joined hands, cradling it with her other.  Her thumb is making very distracting circles against the back of Natalia's hand.  "So I guess this is goodnight then?"  She asks with a tilt of her head.

"I guess so," Natalia agrees, but she doesn't want to leave.  She's gotten spoiled over the past few days, having Olivia with her all of the time again - even when it's new and just a little bit scary.  She's not ready to give that up quite yet, but she doesn't protest as Olivia leads her over to the door.

"Call me when you get home?" Olivia asks.  "So that I don't worry," she adds quickly.  "It's late."

Natalia can't help but smile.  Maybe Olivia isn't ready to let go tonight either. 

"I will."  A shiver runs down her spine at the thought of crawling in to her bed at the farmhouse and then calling Olivia to tell her goodnight. 

Olivia opens the door for her, but Natalia hesitates.  Her stomach is quivering and her knees feel like jelly.  She's nervous, but in a good way.  She's felt like this before and she tries to remember when that was.  When it occurs to her, conjuring an image of her hand threaded through Olivia's hair and her thumb caressing Olivia's jaw, she can't help but let out a little gasp.

Olivia notices the small sound immediately. 


Natalia nods, knowing even as she does that the gesture makes no sense, but she can't stop seeing that moment as she looks at Olivia, and when the image of that morning in bed begins to seep to the front of her mind, she flushes.  Heat rushes to her cheeks, and she wonders if Olivia can see her blush in the dim lighting.

With thoughts of the morning, and how close she came to kissing Olivia, comes regret - regret that she didn't get to finish what she started and disappointment.  She hadn't realized how badly she had wanted to kiss her until denied the opportunity.  Now she has another opportunity. 

"Is every thing okay?" Olivia asks slowly. 

Natalia can hear the worry in her voice, but she can't find the words for what she wants to say.  Her heart is pounding wildly again, just like before, and she thinks her palms might be sweating.  It's embarrassing.  Surely Olivia isn't this nervous. 

Natalia shakes her head.  "No, it isn't."

Olivia freezes immediately, looking stricken at Natalia's words. 

"What's wrong?"  She asks, clearly struggling to stay calm.  Natalia can see how much effort it's taking on Olivia's part. 

"This morning," Natalia begins, "I..."  She trembles, not even quite certain what she wants to say.  Her thoughts are a jumble, more feelings and emotions than logic and sentences that she can vocalize.  Through it all, she's growing more and more frustrated with herself and her inability to tell Olivia what's she's thinking and how she's feeling.  She doesn't mean to be doing this to Olivia - to either of them.

Natalia takes a step closer to Olivia, holding out her hand.  She's not at all surprised when Olivia reaches out and takes it immediately.  What does surprise her is the way that she immediately feels calmer, just from touching her, calmer and more tightly strung at the same time. It isn't fair that Olivia can affect her this way. 

She doesn't realize she's staring, until Olivia smirks, and Natalia jerks her focus away from Olivia's lips and up to her eyes.  When her gaze locks with Olivia's it drives her embarrassment right out of her mind, because the way that Olivia is looking at her is so full of longing that it hits Natalia like a sucker punch.

It's the little push that she needs, because most of all she doesn't want to fall asleep tonight regretting two missed opportunities, not when this one is still stretching out in front of her.

Natalia leans forward boldly and kisses her.  It's not the best kiss she's ever given, and she really doesn't want to think about how low it probably ranks on Olivia's list, but it's a kiss.  Her lips brush against Olivia's, for one brief moment pressing against soft fullness.  It's a little bit clumsy in her haste to leap past her nerves, and it doesn't linger.  It's not slow and needy; it doesn't make her groan or cause her knees to go weak; it doesn't even last long enough for her to savor it's sweetness.  It's over before it's begun really, but it is, undeniably, a kiss.

She stares up at Olivia, waiting for her response.  Natalia will take anything.  Maybe not anything, but at the moment Olivia is just staring at her blankly.  When Natalia doesn't think she can take it any longer, when it feels like she's about to jump out of her skin because she's never been this exposed, or vulnerable before Olivia finally speaks.

"You kissed me!"  It comes out like an accusation.  

It is, finally, a reaction, but Natalia isn't quite sure what to make of it.

She shrugs and tells Olivia the truth.  "I've wanted to do that since this morning."

Olivia swallows.  Natalia can actually see it. 

"I wanted you to, too."  The soft purr of her voice makes Natalia shiver.

Her reaction to Olivia's voice is visceral.  It echoes through her body, and it's delicious.  Natalia takes a half-step closer to Olivia without deciding to move.  There's barely any space between them now.  Olivia's hand slides up her wrist, trailing up her arm until she's holding her just above the elbow. 

Gaining confidence with Olivia's touch, Natalia reaches up and cups her cheek, rubbing her thumb along the line of her jaw.  The way that Olivia leans into her touch, with her eyes drifting shut is stunning. 

Natalia tilts her head up and closes the last of the distance between them.  Olivia's lips are impossibly soft under her own, and this time she does linger, tasting them and trying to imprint every detail of this moment into her memory. 

Olivia's other hand comes up, and slides back into her hair, cupping the back of her neck and holding her close.  Not that she needs any incentive.  The anxiousness of anticipation has faded, leaving her with only Olivia.  Her instinct has always been to think, to analyze, to be hyper aware of everything that is going on, but she doesn't want to this time. Instead she lets herself fall, loosing herself in the moment, and in Olivia, trusting that Olivia will be there to catch her. 

And she is.  When Olivia realizes that she's not faltering or backing away from this, she responds by slipping her arms around Natalia and holding her closer.  If she was amazed by the feel of Olivia before it's nothing to when she returns the kiss, lips moving, clinging, tasting, responding to Natalia, matching her passion and drawing more from her. 

Underneath it all is the knowledge that this is Olivia - Olivia! - that she's kissing.  Her best friend.  The woman who knows her better than anyone else in the world, who believed in her and what she could do when everyone else, herself included, underestimated her.

Slowly, gently, lingeringly, they begin to pull away.  Natalia goes back once and then again, for small sweet kisses, before it ends.  Neither of them goes very far.  She is more than content to remain in the circle of Olivia's arms.  The smile on Olivia's face is impossibly charming.  It brings a smile to Natalia's face and erases any awkwardness before it has a chance to steal back in.

"Best goodnight ever," Olivia whispers softly, and Natalia lets out a snort of laughter.

Trust Olivia to make a joke at a moment like this. 

"Are you going to say that every time?"  Natalia teases.

She's close enough that she can actually feel Olivia's low chuckle reverberate through her body.  Her eyebrows arch.

"If you kiss me like that? Absolutely."

Natalia smiles.  This feels normal - the two of them here together, laughing and teasing.  It feels like home.  She's not ready yet, and Olivia isn't either, but she can see the way back to normal now. 

Just now though, she wants one more thing.

"Goodnight, Olivia."  She says just a little bit wistfully. She can't resist one more small kiss, and Olivia doesn't seem to mind.  It's starting to become longer and deeper when she finally pulls herself away, backing to the door and fumbling with the handle. 

The last thing she sees, as the door closes in front of her, is Olivia's smiling face and the look in her eyes that is full of nothing but love.

The End

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