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rocketfic | something borrowed

Title: Something Borrowed by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Notes: A sequel to the slightly-AU version of the wedding depicted in Something Blue.

As the faint, grayish bars of morning light broke across her eyelids, Natalia noticed that things were a little different than usual.

For starters, she wasn't in her own bed. In place of the usual creaking of her farmhouse was the cycling of climate control systems and the distant pinging of an elevator.

She also happened to be rather firmly wrapped around a soft, warm body that smelled a lot like Olivia Spencer. And with that realization she was suddenly quite awake, as every muscle she had seized in complete panic.

"Good morning," Olivia's voice burred under her ear.

Natalia untucked her head from the alarmingly comfortable spot against her friend's neck and looked down with wide eyes. "Uh. Hi," she said, rather blankly.

Olivia smiled back at her. "Hi."

Her glance darted around the room, taking stock. "So... I didn't get married yesterday."

"No, not so much."

"Right." She relaxed a bit, unconsciously sinking back into their shared warmth. "I wasn't sure how much of that was real."

Olivia shrugged and reached up to tuck a stray lock of dark hair behind her friend's ear. "It was kind of a strange day." She watched the full implications of what they'd done swirl into focus behind Natalia's eyes as the other woman paled. "Hey. Don't lose it now," she commanded. "Natalia. It's gonna be okay."

Natalia couldn't really hear the words over the sudden thundering of her heart in her ears. God, what had she done? Deceived a good man and his family? Lied to her son, to herself? Fallen in love with a woman? She slid off to one side, pulling into herself with misery.

"Natalia!" Olivia said sharply, as she hauled herself up to lean on an elbow, then reached out to cradle her friend's ashen face. "Stop that."

With a shaky breath, Natalia shut her eyes and tried to regain control. "I'm okay," she lied. "Sorry."

"You have nothing to be sorry for. Not about any of this," Olivia insisted.

"That's not true. I lied to Frank... I hid from you." Her face crumpled as she thought about the wedding. "I've hurt the Coopers..."

She had a point, but Olivia was desperate to interrupt the litany of self-recrimination. "And we're all going to be okay," she insisted.

"I've been so selfish."

"Which is allowed, once in a while. Especially when it's a matter of being honest." Olivia inched closer, making sure she took up as much of Natalia's view as possible. "Not being honest is what got us into this mess, right?"

Natalia nodded once, slowly. "So you..." She made a face, unsure of how to even ask the question. "We..."

In her hesitation, she was practically begging Olivia to jump in, to be the strong one again, to give voice to the things they'd been hiding from each other for so long. But as she looked at Olivia's tentative, vulnerable expression, she realized it was her turn to do some of the heavy lifting between them.

"You love me," she breathed, finally. She saw Olivia's chest hitch, and managed a smile.

"I really do," Olivia replied, as her eyes swam with tears.

Natalia sighed in relief and relaxed more fully into the covers again. "Okay then," she whispered, with a bright, shy grin. "I love you, too."

She found herself entranced by Olivia's answering smile, so much so that she couldn't help but reach out to stroke the softness of her friend's cheek, then the line of her jaw. For long seconds they gazed into each other, overwhelmed by the sudden freedom to feel everything they'd suppressed for so long.

Of course, given the intensity of the past few days, it didn't take long for the pendulum to turn the other way, as Natalia's emotions crested and swung back toward confusion and despair. Just as before, Olivia saw the second it happened, the second her friend started to panic again.

"Don't," she ordered.


Further protests were abandoned as Olivia pressed nearer, hovering a moment before closing the distance between them and kissing her soundly.

This kind of contact was still so new, they both started a bit before melting into the touch. Within moments their hands began to wander, free to seek the softness they'd both been imagining. At some point they shifted; Natalia rolled onto her back and tugged Olivia right along with her.

When they parted, Natalia blinked back at her in a daze. "You can't just kiss me every time you want to make a point, you know," she muttered.

Olivia laughed. "Watch me."

The growl in her voice and the dark glimmer in her eyes settled deep in Natalia's gut, igniting a slow, sweet burn. For the first time she actually noticed their respective positions on the bed, with Olivia stretched out above her, tousled hair cascading down toward Natalia's face, beckoning her to reach up and drag her fingers through the soft lengths.

Right then she wanted to pull her downward, to feel Olivia's weight and warmth crashing against her. Her skin prickled with desire to be explored, to be tasted, to be ravished. Quite out of her own control, Natalia's breath fled her lips in a low groan.

In a heartbeat, the mood between them turned again. Olivia levered herself up and off the bed as if stung, leaving Natalia still sprawled in a state of humming, confused arousal.

"So, I should check my email," Olivia said. Her voice was shaky. "Or something." She ran her hands through her hair and fought the impulse to jump right back into bed.

"Yeah. And I'll just... take a shower," Natalia stammered after a moment.

It was sweet, she decided, for Olivia to grab at the last shreds of self-control in a situation neither of them were really ready for. But still...

"A really cold shower," she added, gratified to see Olivia's shoulders shake with a silent chuckle.

For a few minutes after Natalia disappeared into the bathroom, Olivia paced the room in small laps, trying to get herself back under control. Eventually she laughed at herself, ordered room service, checked the weather, double-checked the weather, peeked out the window, and laughed at herself some more.

Over a foot of snow had fallen since some point during the wedding ceremony, effectively crippling the whole of Springfield and stranding them at the hotel.


She sighed and dug out her phone to check in on Emma and Rafe.

"We had cake for breakfast, and we made snow angels!" Emma chirped on the other end.

Olivia squinted. "Cake?"

"Natalia's cake from the wedding. Rafe said she didn't need it anymore. And for lunch he's going to teach me how to make his Super Secret Sandwich."

She covered her eyes and tried not to laugh. "That's great, baby. Try to have a piece of fruit or something, too."

"Okay!" Emma agreed, far too easily. There was a bit of fumbling, then another voice came on the line.

"Hello?" Rafe said.

"Rafe, hey. How are things?"

"We're fine. Listen. Um, could you not tell anybody about the snow angel thing?"

"Your secret's safe with me," Olivia promised with a smirk.

"Is Ma okay?"

"She's fine. I'll have her call when she gets out of the shower."

"Yeah, but is she okay?" he asked again, with emphasis. "She hasn't really been right, lately."

Olivia paused, thinking back on the past few weeks. She knew what Rafe meant; Natalia had been withdrawn, remote. How much of that had Olivia herself been responsible for? She faltered for a moment as Natalia wandered in in a bathrobe, scrubbing her hair with a fluffy towel.

"Anyway," Rafe was saying on the other end of the phone. "Let her know I'm thinking about her."

"Sure." She waved to get Natalia's attention, then pointed to the phone and mouthed Rafe's name. Natalia looked stricken, and held up her hands, declining the chance to take the phone.

After extracting promises from Rafe to make Emma eat something other than wedding cake, Olivia disconnected and set the phone aside, giving Natalia a curious look.

"I'm not ready to talk to him," Natalia explained, sadly. "He was so excited about having a father figure, and with Gus' badge... I don't know what to say."

"You don't have to explain everything to him right this second. He's just worried about his mom."

Natalia scowled and distracted herself by blotting at her damp hair. "How about work today?" she asked, plainly changing the subject. "Anything interesting in email?"

"Nope. Mild panic 'cause we're snowed in, but we should be able to manage. I went ahead and ordered us some breakfast."

Natalia froze. "We're what?"

Olivia crossed to the window and pulled the curtains aside, revealing the blinding white blanketing the buildings below. "The whole town's shut down," she said, peering out into the cold mess. "But we're only at about half capacity, and we have plenty of emergency provisions." She shrugged. "The overtime pay for the staff will be a bitch, but..."

"We're snowed in," Natalia said, blankly.

"The kids are fine, we're fine, and we can stay put to ride this out as long as we need to," Olivia finished. She turned and eyed the other woman with some concern. "Did you need to go somewhere?"

"I guess not," she murmured with a shrug. The notion of being snowed in with Olivia was simultaneously appealing and intimidating as hell.

Olivia stepped away from the window, canting her head to the side. "I was thinking we could use the day to sort of... talk. Figure this out. You know?"

In the face of her obvious hesitance, Natalia realized she wasn't the only one feeling a bit off-balance. She smiled and ventured a bit closer. "There's a 'this?'" she asked.

"I think there is," Olivia said. She reached up and grabbed the lapels of Natalia's robe, tugging gently. "I want there to be."

"Me too," Natalia whispered. She smiled, then smiled more when Olivia smiled back. "I think I'll just... steal some more of your clothes."

"Anything you want," Olivia replied. She released her hold on Natalia's robe and held her gaze until the other woman practically tripped backwards into the neighboring room. "Oh, but don't open the..." she warned, as she came around the corner, too late.

Natalia stood there, staring silently at her wedding gown as it hung in the wardrobe. She reached out with trembling fingers to trail down its pleats while Olivia stood stock still, watching her. "Such a pretty dress," Natalia whispered, before closing the wardrobe door. She turned and sat at the edge of Emma's bed, heaving a sigh. "I guess you're right. We really do need to talk."

"Or we could go back to the part where we're grinning like idiots," Olivia said, hooking a thumb over her shoulder. "I'm good with that."

She gave Olivia a sad look. "Why did you want me to marry him?" she asked, her voice dull.

Olivia sighed, feeling a familiar knot in her gut. "I didn't," she said. "I just want you to be happy." She grabbed a chair and dragged it over to sit nearby. "I thought he could give you the life you wanted."

"I already had the life I wanted. With you. I'm happy - with you," Natalia insisted. She watched Olivia's face carefully. "You don't believe me."

"I just... I don't know that you've thought all this through," Olivia countered. "Can you reconcile this with your faith? With our kids?"

"Can you?"

Olivia scoffed. "The kids, sure. But we both know I don't have any faith."

"That's not true," Natalia said, very quietly. "I know you believe in a few things."

"A few people, maybe," Olivia countered. "But not like you do. The Church is part of who you are. I know that. And I know they'd think this is wrong."

"No more 'wrong' than lying before God and marrying a man I don't love to hide from feelings I don't understand." Natalia sighed and looked back at the wardrobe, as if picturing the dress within. "And I still don't... understand them. But I don't want to hide anymore," she declared, looking back at Olivia. "I know what it means to tell someone you love them. That part? I've thought through, Olivia. A hundred times." After a moment of uneasy silence, she reached out to Olivia, who immediately took her hand and tangled their fingers together.

"This is a lot to deal with before coffee," Olivia said, trying not to cry for what felt like the hundredth time in two days. "I'm sorry... About the dress, about the wedding..."

"You were trying to love me," Natalia whispered. "You just naturally make things way too complicated."

Olivia laughed, and dabbed at her eyes with her free hand when the tears spilled over.

"C'mere," Natalia said, as she stood and tugged on Olivia's hand. Once Olivia was upright she immediately enfolded her in a hug, and sighed in contentment when the embrace was returned. As usual, within Olivia's arms she found only good, only truth, only love. It was hard to remember why she'd ever resisted that sense of sweet security in the first place.

The knock on the door broke their mutual absorption, and Olivia glared at it. Again.

"Okay, seriously? I'm firing her," she said, sniffling.

"Oh, stop."

Olivia pulled away. "You think I'm kidding," she called as she stepped into the other room. "Timing this bad should be criminal." She smirked and pulled the door open, then felt the floor drop out from under her.

Frank stood there, his legs dusted in snow up to his knees. "Is she here?" He yanked off his hat and pushed past her into the room. "Natalia?" When he spotted her in the doorway to the adjoining room, he hurried over and moved to hug her, but drew up short when he saw the look on her face. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Frank," she said softly. She could hardly look at him, and instead cast a sad, helpless glance past him to Olivia.

"I'll just... Take care of some work, for a bit," Olivia said. She gave Natalia what she hoped was a confident smile, then scrunched her fingers in a tiny wave before disappearing out the door.

Frank hardly noticed her departure. He stepped closer to Natalia, staring her down. "You need to tell me what's wrong."

Olivia managed to divert room service and stay occupied for a whole hour before she headed back toward her room with apprehension coiled in her gut. She got off the elevator and immediately spotted Frank on the bench across from her door. He was staring hard at Natalia's engagement ring as he clutched it in the tips of his fingers.

"You must think I am a complete fool," he said darkly.

"No," she protested.

"You helped me get her attention. And you pushed her back at me. For what, Olivia?"

"For her," she replied, aware that he wasn't really listening.

"I wanted my 'shot,' you know? My shot at happiness. But you..."

"I wanted that too, Frankie. I wanted you both to be happy."

"My shot," he roared, pushing himself to his feet. "Mine, Olivia. Not yours. You don't get to make other people..." He stopped, catching himself. "You don't get to give that kind of thing away out of pity."

"It wasn't pity," she argued, fighting tears.

"Oh, so - you can't handle how you feel, so you just unload her on the first poor sap who wanders by?!" he cried. "Why not? Frank will fall for it!"

The door to Olivia's room swung open. Natalia stood inside, tears fresh on her face, but no less ready to fight.

Frank spotted her and deflated a bit, looking ashamed. "She pushed you," he said, pointing at Olivia. "She pushed you into this because she couldn't stand to love you."

"And you were so desperate to be loved you that fell for it," Natalia countered, her voice low and strong. "And I was so afraid of the truth that I was just going to let it all happen. None of us walks away blameless, here."

He nodded, hovering somewhere between desolation and rage, and took another look at the ring he still held before tucking it into his pocket. "But not all of us are walking away, right?" he asked, well aware that he was - literally - the odd man out. Rather than wait for an answer, he lifted a tired hand and headed toward the elevator.

Both women watched him, and when the doors opened and he stepped inside, Olivia called out. "You'll get your shot, Frankie."

He gave her a look resembling a snarl. "What's the good of that? You'll just take it away from me again."

The doors slid shut, leaving them alone.

Olivia stuffed her hands into her pockets and trailed Natalia back into the room, keeping her distance while her friend drifted away to look out the window.

Natalia watched the road below, and spotted Frank when he left the hotel and shuffled through the snow around the corner. He didn't look back. She wiped her eyes and let herself get lost in the muted features of the snow-covered landscape. "You know, I always liked to think this kind of thing just didn't happen in my world," she said. She regretted how that sounded immediately, and her head fell to one side while she tried to wish back the words.

"Maybe it shouldn't happen at all," Olivia replied.

Natalia turned from the window and leaned against the sill. "Don't do that. Don't run away. Nothing bad's happened in almost two minutes, now." She paused, waiting for Olivia to chuckle, or cry, or bolt. When none of that happened, she took a breath. "I love you, Olivia," she whispered. "And yesterday? When I realized I had a choice? I chose you."

Olivia flinched, but held her ground. Natalia pushed away from the window and took a hesitant step closer.

"When Frank was here?" she continued, drawing strength from the riveted look on Olivia's face. "I gave him back his ring. I chose you."

"What about your faith?" Olivia whispered. "You can't choose me over God."

Natalia shrugged, helpless. "I don't know yet. And our kids? I don't know that part, either." She chanced taking one more step. "But since I met you, every time I've chosen you, I've been right." With one last step, she was mere inches away from Olivia, leaning to chase her eyes as she looked away. "I like those odds," she whispered.

"Okay," Olivia rasped in reply.

And with that, the pendulum dragged to a halt. Their world stopped swinging between extremes of hope and despair and love and fear. Natalia smiled, feeling everything steady around her for the first time in weeks. "Okay," she agreed.

Olivia took a shaky breath. "So what happens next?"

"I'm gonna call my son," Natalia said, happy to have an easy answer for once. "You're gonna re-order room service." Then she shrugged. "Then maybe we could just sort of... be together, for the day."

"And after that?"

Natalia reached to run her fingers through Olivia's hair. "Then we'll be together tomorrow. And the day after that. Then, before you know it, I'll have loved you for the rest of your life."

She said it offhandedly, with a silly grin. Like it was a joke. Like it wasn't the kind of vow that was supposed to be sealed with a kiss.

Olivia wasn't taking any chances. She surged forward and took Natalia's face in her hands, then kissed her speechless. Again.

Continue to the next chapter, Something New.
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