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rocketfic | redeye

Title: Redeye by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Notes: My take on what should have been the ending of the May 12th episode, after Natalia leaves that voicemail.

She stole into the bedroom as quietly as possible, sliding under the covers and scooting into the warmth to spoon against Natalia's back.

The other woman stirred in the unexpected embrace. "Olivia? What are you doing here?"

"After that message? Do you really think I'd be anywhere else?" She pressed her lips against Natalia's hair. "I took the first flight I could get."

"Of course you did," Natalia said with a gentle laugh. The knot she'd had in her stomach all day loosened as she sighed in relief. "What about Ava?"

"She's a big girl. I hired her some movers. Besides, she said she understood."

"You told her?" The "about us" part went unspoken, but Olivia knew full well what she meant.

"I didn't have to. Apparently I look... happy," Olivia said, making a face. "She did the math on her own."

Natalia twisted to look over her shoulder. "She said you look happy?"

"I might have been bouncing. A little."

Natalia grinned and felt tears well in her eyes. "I was, too."

For a moment Olivia let herself regret that she hadn't seen that. "So what happened today?"

"Oh. It was Buzz..." Natalia sighed. "He said I owed the Coopers more than committing to Frank and backing out like I did."

She felt Olivia take a deep breath. "Well, you know... Buzz is just looking out for his family. They've had a rough time recently."

"I know. But I keep wondering - why do I always have to be the one to apologize?"

Olivia stayed very still, frozen with self-recrimination for her own role in the whole mess. After a moment her instinct was to get up, to run away, to put as much distance as she could between them, as if that would somehow spare them any more pain.

Natalia didn't let her. Instead, she grabbed Olivia's hand, twining their fingers together and tucking Olivia's arm more securely around her waist. With a shaky breath, Olivia accepted the gesture and settled in a bit closer, pressing against Natalia's shoulderblades.

"I know I screwed up," Natalia admitted. "But Frank didn't help." In the warm safety of Olivia's embrace, she allowed herself to indulge in the anger over what could have kept her from this happiness. "He only heard what he wanted to hear, and he only wanted me to fit into the gap he saw in his family. That's not why you marry someone."

"He loves you," Olivia insisted, despite herself. She just couldn't bring herself to be spiteful toward the man. "He's just hurt and being a jerk about it. In his place, I'd be in a lot worse shape... and I wouldn't have anyone like Buzz looking out for me."

The sadness in her voice made Natalia's heart clench, and she felt that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach all over again as she realized how close she'd come to ruining everything. "All three of us made mistakes," she said, though her voice threatened to fail. "And we all have to own up to them." She squirmed around within the circle of Olivia's embrace until they were facing each other. "I mean, look at you. You're lying there blaming yourself right now."

Olivia looked stricken, but couldn't deny it. She fought off tears and stroked her fingers down Natalia's bare arm.

"We're all grownups here," Natalia declared. "We all made our choices. Some were just more honest than others, and it took us a while to get it all sorted out." She reached up to Olivia's face, feeling the shift under her fingertips as the other woman smiled. "But I'm done feeling bad about this, and you should be, too."

Olivia sniffled a bit. "I came here to make you feel better, not the other way around."

"You did," Natalia said with a faint laugh. "You dropped everything and flew thousands of miles just to give me a hug. That's why I love you, Olivia."

"I love you, too," Olivia whispered in response. "I'm sorry I wasn't here before."

"You're here now. That's all that matters." Natalia smiled and shifted to peer at the bedside clock. "Emma will be up in a couple hours, and she'll be so glad to see you. Think you can sleep until then?"

The initial spike of adrenaline from Natalia's message that had propelled her across the country dissipated all at once and left her suddenly, utterly drained. Olivia's eyelids drooped, and she slid effortlessly toward sleep. "Yeah," she breathed, before dropping off.

In the silence that followed, Natalia took the opportunity to gaze at her companion, watching the shadows as they fell across Olivia's face, watching the lines of stress and exhaustion drop away while she relaxed.

She'd known, when she'd called, that Olivia would come running. It was a kind of certainty she'd never felt before, and it only solidified the rightness of her feelings.

"Thank God for you," she whispered. After a lingering look and one last pass of fingertips through Olivia's hair, she snuggled back into her pillow and joined Olivia in sleep.

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