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rocketfic | early flowers

Title: Early Flowers by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Notes: A tiny bit of cuteness meant to buffer against the late March post-engagement angst. The title is from a poem by ee cummings.

In the dead of night, the farmhouse was an entirely different place. Dark shadows gathered in the corners, insulating the warmth of the tenants within. Olivia tugged her robe more securely around her shoulders and padded around the main floor of her unlikely home.

The past few weeks had been far too eventful. The usual daily drama of life and death and psychosis in Springfield had been even bumpier than usual. Then again, Olivia was still standing, her heart was still beating, and her family was still intact, somehow.

Her family. In her home, where even the shadows embraced her and made her feel safe.

She stopped before the front window when she heard the thump of slippered feet coming down the stairs.

"I heard a noise," Natalia said through a yawn as she shuffled closer to Olivia's silhouette in the window.

"Emma had a bad dream," Olivia replied. "Sorry for waking you."

"'Sokay," Natalia slurred. Her eyes were already sliding shut again, and she teetered on her feet. "But you need to rest."

"I will. I was just watching the snow."

"Oh. It's snowing again." Natalia scooted a bit closer, propping her chin against the other woman's shoulder.

Olivia's breath caught with the press of warmth against her side. The casual contact made her tremble, even as she leaned into it, turning her head until she could see Natalia's face in her periphery. She had a sweet look of sleepy contentment as she snuggled into the soft folds of Olivia's robe.

"I've always loved snow," Natalia said. "It's so quiet."

"I prefer rain. Thunderstorms." She looked at Natalia sharply when the other woman chuckled. "What?"

"You would. Nothing subtle for Olivia Spencer," Natalia said, smiling when Olivia grumbled but didn't disagree. "What's the one that's 'little cat feet?'"

"I think that's fog," Olivia said.

"Fog. Right. I like fog, too." Natalia inhaled deeply, trying to rouse herself just a bit. "Maybe we should get a cat," she said, speculative.

With a chuckle, Olivia turned, dislodging from the mutual snuggle. "You are so half asleep. You don't even remember that you're allergic to cats." She reached up and gave Natalia's arms a friendly chafe.

"Don't they make hypoallergenic kinds?" Natalia asked with a pout. "Emma should totally have a pet."

It was exactly the kind of long term plan Olivia had avoided making for the past year. At any moment her borrowed heart could fail. At any moment she and Emma could be moving, again. At any moment she could lose this tranquility, this peace. At any moment the farmhouse and the wonderful, excruciating tenderness within it could fly apart and leave her bereft.

"Ah, you have that look again," Natalia murmured. "You're getting ready to run away."

In point of fact, Olivia's legs were tensed to the point of pain. Beyond Natalia she could see the stairs and the sweet salvation of her room.

"And then you'll say something about how maybe you should move out, and how it would be 'better' for Emma if you left." She canted her head to one side. "I know this argument by heart, so let's skip to the end. You and Emma belong here."

"With you," Olivia said, her voice strained.

"Well, it is my house," Natalia said wryly. "Yes. With me." Rather than give Olivia any time to think of an objection, she simply grabbed Olivia's elbow and turned her toward the couch. "Come on. Let's sit and watch the snow."

Before Olivia even knew what was happening, she was seated on the couch with Natalia's legs thrown casually across her own. Natalia fussed with a blanket, tucking it around them snugly before relaxing against Olivia's shoulder with a contented smile. Helpless to resist, Olivia wrapped her arms around her friend, pulling her closer.

Unbothered by Olivia's silence, or by the faint tension in the arms around her, Natalia sighed happily as the snow continued to fall. "We should make snow angels with Emma tomorrow."

Olivia exhaled a helpless noise that might have been a whimper. "You know, when you and I talk, I'm not even sure we're having the same conversation."

"I think we're talking about the same thing, Olivia." She felt the shift, felt Olivia's sharp eyes looking down at her own. "Just... watch the snow with me? Please?"

Long minutes later, they were still huddled together in the quiet night, tallying the tumbling sparkles beyond their window.

"See, it takes some patience, but eventually it changes everything," Natalia whispered.

"I'm not good with being patient."

"I never noticed that about you," Natalia said, with just a hint of sarcasm. "But if a thunderstorm tore through here, it would just knock things over and flood the barn and make a huge mess. This is a lot better. Patience pays off. Everything is beautiful in the end, instead of broken and messy."

"Torturing the weather metaphor a bit, aren't you?"

"Maybe. But that's what happens when you live with a force of nature."

Olivia sighed. "Fine. I'll just sit here and wait, then."

"It'll be worth it." Natalia levered herself upward to plant a kiss on her friend's cheek, then settled back into Olivia's embrace to watch the world change before them.

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