DISCLAIMER: All characters and situations to belong to a bunch of different people and companies who are not me. Also I'm making no money off this.
THE SETTING: December 2008. Natalia's lost her money in Larry Decker's skeevy hedge fund and is working even more jobs than usual in an attempt to pay for Rafe's lawyers, get them a house and finance college for Rafe. Olivia is struggling to find a way to get Natalia's money back, even more so after Frank reamed her out for it. And scene.
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Sleeping With the Boss
"Oh, sit down!" Olivia snapped. Making an attempt to hide her irritation just wasn't her style.
"No, I'm fine," Natalia demurred, dismissing Olivia's command with a wave of her hand. "Really. Never better."
Olivia stared, her eyes narrowing. "Sit down," she said firmly, slowly, as if she were speaking to a small child. "Before you fall. Because-" She held a hand out to keep Natalia from interrupting her. "-If you fall I'm going to have to try to catch you and if I do that I'm gonna...rupture something. And then you'll have to take care of that too."
It wasn't Olivia's weak attempt at humor or even the threat of her further injuring herself that swayed Natalia. It was the bed. And her exhaustion. Because even Olivia's hospital bed was starting to look wonderful. She couldn't allow herself to weaken though; Natalia knew the moment she sat down she would never want to get back up again. She had learned that the hard way. She shifted her weight from side to side.
"I can't...really. I have to leave in just a few...another shift at..." Her brain blanked. She couldn't remember where she was supposed to go next, whether it was Company or Farley's, here at the hospital or even the Beacon.
"Sit down!" Olivia snapped again, this time reaching out to take Natalia's hand and give it a tug. She shouldn't have been strong enough to budge Natalia. Maybe it was just her exhaustion, but Natalia lost her balance and half-bumped, half-fell onto the edge of the hospital bed.
Natalia almost sighed; she had been right. This was bliss. She tried to summon the energy to push herself back to her feet. She was so far behind. She had only thought she had it bad before. Now Natalia was more in the hole than ever and for what? She had thrown all her money away - the eighty thousand dollars that had been Gus' last gift to she and her son - and she had nothing to show for it. It was the biggest waste of her life.
Just like her parents had said when she had told them that she was pregnant with Rafe, only this time she really did have nothing, nothing but her son in prison with his lawyer bills and his dreams for the future. Dreams and expenses that she needed to provide for now more than ever.
Natalia put her hand down on the bed and started to push herself back up. Olivia's fingers wrapped around her wrist. They were just a little chilly.
"No," Olivia said. "Don't get up. Just sit here with me for a minute."
"Olivia...I can't. I have to get back to work. You know that."
"I will pay you to sit here with me."
Natalia didn't consider taking the offer for a second. It was sweet, but she knew it wouldn't be right. She couldn't do that. "No, I couldn't possibly-"
"Yes, you can," Olivia retorted. Her fingers pressed harder into Natalia's wrist. "Rick. I need you."
"Rick?" Natalia was puzzled at the apparent non sequitur.
"Yes, Rick," Olivia said, nodding more emphatically now. "He's supposed to be coming to see me soon and I'need you to take some notes for me. You can't say no." Olivia adopted a sing-songy tone. "It's your job."
Natalia grimaced at her. "Fine." It was the easiest she had ever given in to Olivia, but she didn't really feel like fighting with Olivia. Not with the way that her head was pounding and she felt a little dizzy. "I'll sit here because Rick is coming. And you need me. I'll take the best notes."
"Good," Olivia said, sagging back into the bed, propped up by the raised section. "You should just lean up against this until Rick gets here." She patted the spot beside her. "Don't want you to strain your back. Save that for bussing all those tables at Farley's."
Natalia rolled her eyes at Olivia. She hesitated, but leaning sounded more comfortable than just sitting there and besides if she sat there for very long she was afraid she would start to sway with exhaustion. Swaying was not okay. So she turned and sat, leaning gingerly up against the bed next to Olivia.
It was an incredibly tiny hospital bed. Their arms brushed.
"Hey." Olivia nudged her with an elbow. "Get your shoes off my bed."
Slowly Natalia rolled her head to look over at Olivia. "Seriously? You're the one who forced me to sit here."
"Off!" Olivia repeated. "I have to stay in this bed - probably for days! - I'm not having your shoes get sand and dirt all in these sheets. They're horrible enough as it is." She rubbed a small section of them between her fingers. "I bet these aren't even twenty threadcount."
Natalia couldn't hold back a snort of amusement at that. "You," she said firmly, her eyes falling shut as she leaned her head back against the bed. "Are ridiculous." Without bending over, she used the toe of one shoe to push off the heel of the other. It hit the floor with an incredibly loud clunk. The other one followed a second later. "Satisfied?" Natalia drawled as she shifted so that she was a little bit more comfortable, drawing her legs up and settling down a little further into the crook of the bed.
"Almost," Olivia said just a little too sweetly.
Natalia's eyes popped back open, almost glaring at her. "What?"
Olivia huffed and folded her arms over her chest. "You could scoot over. It's not like I bite, you know."
"Please, this has to be the tiniest hospital bed I've ever seen. You have no room as it is. Why do you even care?"
"Because watching you cling to the edge of the bed like some...some drowned rat hanging on to a piece of passing driftwood is making me uncomfortable!"
"Oh, of course," Natalia said with loud sigh. "It's all about you. You and what makes you comfortable. That explains it."
"Just do it," Olivia said, turning half away from Natalia. "Before I change my mind."
"Change your-" Natalia would have been genuinely flabbergasted if she hadn't already spent months getting to know Olivia. She could be the most impossible woman sometimes. "Oh, no, Lady. You don't get to change your mind now. I'm here to stay." She bumped Olivia a little with her hip, nudging her a few centimeters over so that she had more or less half the space on the bed. "There."
"Huh," Olivia said, letting a little snort that, had Natalia been forced to in a court of law, she would have admitted sounded pretty darn cute. "See, there? Not so bad."
Natalia's eyes were closed again. Olivia was right. It wasn't so bad, not at all. Okay, Olivia might be right about the sheets too. They were scratchy, but they smelled clean and fresh. And something else smelled wonderful, comforting. Natalia turned her head a little. Was it Olivia's perfume? Whatever it was, it was wonderful. And so was the bed. Not even a little lumpy like Olivia had complained to the orderly about ten times during her five minute visit yesterday. It was quite possibly the best feeling Natalia had ever had.
"'s not bad," Natalia managed to slur the words out. Her eyelids were feeling heavier and heavier. She couldn't do this, of course. She didn't have time to sleep. She made one last valiant effort to raise her head.
Olivia squeezed her hand again. "Sleep, Natalia. I'll wake you when Rick gets here. You can take notes for me."
Natalia made a noise. It sounded faintly like a protest, but by that point it was completely unintelligible. She sagged completely into the bed, immediately lost into the deepest state of relaxation only possible when falling into the most exhausted slumber.
Olivia folded her arms over her chest and looked down at the sleeping woman beside her. Like that Natalia barely looked any older than Rafe. She shook the melancholy thought away and leaned back against the pillow - the one Natalia's head had somehow rolled against. Olivia hadn't lied exactly. Rick was supposed to be coming to see her - tomorrow. Olivia allowed herself a satisfied smile.
It wasn't enough, not yet. Not until she could make Larry Decker give Natalia her damn money back, but it was a start. And she would be more than happy to let Natalia yell at her when she woke up. It would be fun even, because somehow Natalia had gone from being the bane of her existence to the most fun she had all day. And that was so worth holding on to.
In her sleep Natalia shifted, curling in on herself a little more. Her head fell on Olivia's shoulder. Olivia hesitated, waiting to see if Natalia was really asleep or if she would move. She didn't. Olivia's arm was pinned to her side, and it was uncomfortable.
Careful not to wake Natalia, Olivia drew her arm out from between them. Then she was left with it dangling awkwardly up in the air. Clearly that wasn't going to work but the only other place to put it was across Natalia's shoulders.
Olivia contemplated the dull ache of holding her arm up at that awkward angle for a few hours versus the embarrassment of someone walking in to find them...snuggling. She was Olivia Spencer, damn it. She had a reputation to maintain.
Her arm started quivering.
With a sigh Olivia was forced to drop it down across Natalia's shoulders. Olivia let her eyes fall closed. Maybe if she couldn't see them... It was a stupid thought, but it was actually pretty comfy with Natalia snuggled up against her like this. She was warm. Olivia couldn't remember the last time she had been truly warm through and through. After the transplant it hadn't been so easy as just throwing on a sweater.
Olivia relaxed a little further back against her pillow, unable to help herself. It wasn't like she could work on anything or even watch tv right now.
Five minutes later Olivia had joined Natalia in peaceful slumber.
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