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rocketfic | fighting chance

Title: Fighting Chance by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Notes: Another interpretation of the spoilers for the week of April 20th.


The one benefit of being the school's parental pariah was having an entire row of seats to herself at her kid's talent show.

At least, that's what Olivia kept telling herself.

She sighed for the fifth time in as many minutes and shifted in her chair, glaring back at the annoyed looks from the parents in front of her.

For a while she distracted herself by pondering whether she would be more or less miserable if Natalia were there with her. The other woman had promised to attend, but maybe it was best if she didn't. Maybe it was best if they kept a little distance until it stopped feeling like Olivia had had her chest torn open and her heart ripped out.

Again.

Sometime during the third off-key rendition of "Tomorrow," Natalia bustled in and slid down the row next to Olivia. "Hi," she whispered, as she sat and tucked away her coat and purse. "Did I miss it?"

The anxious flip in Olivia's gut was a strange combination of relief, happiness, and irritation. "No, she hasn't been on yet," she whispered back.

"Good!" Natalia settled in to wait, watching the third grade dance routine on stage devolve into flailing chaos. She giggled and looked over at Olivia with a conspiratorial grin.

It was like old times between them, except for the part where it totally wasn't.

Emma was up two acts later, reading poetry while her classmate played violin beside her. Her voice was bright and clear, and when Natalia grabbed Olivia's hand, for a few heartbreaking moments everything was okay again.

It was the sweetest kind of pain, these past few days - being in love, being loved, being unable to do anything about it, still having to endure Natalia's gentle touch. Olivia decided it was colossally unfair and extricated her hand to clap for Emma's performance. She was aching, wishing for things that could never be, hoping just to hold it together until the end of the show.

When the lights came up, Natalia leaned over to whisper to her. "I'm really sorry I was late."

Olivia stood, giving the auditorium a casual once-over and planning her escape route. "No, it's fine. Emma didn't even notice."

That stung, but Natalia ignored the jab and took a deep breath. "Okay. The thing is? I need you to ask me why I was late," she said as she pushed to her feet.

"I don't care why you were late," Olivia said with a shrug. "You can come and go as you please." She turned to head over to the refreshment table.

Natalia reached out and grabbed her hand, tugging her back around. "Olivia. Ask me."

The obdurate heat in her friend's voice caught her off guard, and she tried not to panic. Instead, as she so often did, she defaulted to snide. "Why? Were you interviewing for another job or something?"

Natalia rolled her eyes. "Just stop. Stop doing that. Stop pushing me away," she cried, loud enough to draw attention from a few nearby parents. She didn't notice. "I went to see Frank," she snapped. "I went, and I gave him back his ring for good, and I told him why I couldn't marry him."

Finally she had Olivia's undivided attention. "You did what?"

"I told him that I was using him to hide from my feelings for you."

Olivia's mouth hung open as she felt her heart start to pound entirely out of control.

"You should probably check your messages," Natalia said, waving a hand in the general direction of Olivia's purse.

Grateful for the distraction, Olivia immediately dug through her bag and fumbled with the phone's buttons.

She had one text, from Frank's cell.

TAKE CARE OF HER.

She almost dropped the phone.

"You know, he wasn't all that surprised," Natalia was saying. "I think Buzz might have talked to him." After a moment, her brow furrowed. "Actually, it's weird, but I feel like half the town already knows something about us." She cast her eyes around the room, offering a faint smile to her unintended audience.

With a discreet cough, Olivia stuffed her phone back into her purse and stepped closer. "Why are you doing this?" she hissed.

"Because you were right. I was afraid to admit how I feel... but I'm not, anymore." Under her friend's intense stare, Natalia made a scrunchy face and gave in to the impulse to tug nervously on an earring. "Well, maybe a little. But I'm with okay that."

"You don't want this," Olivia said, and spent a moment convincing herself that the immediate, defiant lift of Natalia's chin wasn't the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen.

Natalia looked around the auditorium, spotting children as they slowly trickled out from backstage and were gathered by their parents in celebration. "You're wrong," she said. "This is the only thing I want. I want my family. I want you."

Olivia shook her head, dismissive. "But..."

With sudden, fierce resolve, Natalia reached out to snag Olivia's hand. "Listen to me," she whispered, low and intense. "I fought for your heart once before, Olivia. I'll do it again."

Olivia's breath caught as she saw the steely certainty in her friend's eyes. "Natalia," she whispered.

"And I'll win. Again." She tilted up on her toes and planted the softest, sweetest of kisses on Olivia's lips, then turned and smiled as Emma's teacher approached. "The talent show was wonderful, Mrs. Jennings."

"I'm so glad you were able to attend, Ms. Rivera," the other woman said with a pleasant smile. "Emma did an excellent job."

"She really did. I wouldn't have missed it."

"Great," Ms. Jennings said brightly. "Well, please have some cookies. Derek's father is a baker and he brings us the most delicious treats."

"We'll do that," Natalia said as the teacher wandered off, quite aware that Olivia had not moved, had not replied, and was in fact barely breathing next to her. She looked back into Olivia's wide, scared eyes and smiled. "You look like a woman who needs a cookie," she murmured. "I'll get you one."

She stepped away, into the throng of chattering parents, only to find herself restrained by a hand on her wrist. When she looked back, Olivia was fighting tears.

"Chocolate chip?" she requested in a tiny voice.

Natalia grinned. "You bet."

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