DISCLAIMER: ABC Daytime owns all. I just took BAM out to play.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a very, very, very long serial that has been in progress since 2005. So, stick with it, because it's good... it's just lacking regular updates.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By carpesomediem


Part 27

Maggie Stone was pretty sure the world had stopped. She was holding her breath, felt a strong hand on her shoulder and could feel the eyes of the entire courtroom on her back. She wanted to turn around, she wanted to meet Bianca's eyes and tell her she was sorry without uttering a word.

Her eyes were on the judge, a mix of sadness and realization overcoming her. 'This was it,' she thought, 'This is where the world comes to an end.' She'd done her best; she'd known that, even if some thought she was crazy for telling her story the way she did.

"Mary Margaret Stone," the judge cleared her throat, an eerie silence filling the courtroom as now all eyes were on her, "It is my decision that you are hereby granted parole immediately..."

The courtroom exploded into a fit of hoots, hollers and celebration. David was on his feet, cheering as Anna joined him and hugged him tightly.

"Oh my God! That son of a bitch did it!" David exclaimed, grinning. Anna merely nodded, sending a grateful smile Jackson Montgomery's way.

"I can't believe it, he really is that good," Tad shook his head, standing and clapping Aidan on the back.

"Bloody good job," Aidan agreed as Tad pulled him into a hug. All around them, people celebrated left and right, praising Jackson, congratulating Maggie and thanking whatever Gods were listening for granting this miracle.

Erica was on her feet as well, wanting to share in the good fortune with her daughter. Jackson turned back to smile her way while pulling Maggie into a small hug. Erica turned to Bianca and her smile dimmed at what she saw.

Bianca was still sitting in shock. Of all the things she expected to hear, of all the turn of events that could've played out, there was no way she truly believed that the judge would be granting Maggie's appeal. Kendall tried shaking her out of it, but it wasn't quite working.

"Bianca? Bianca, honey," Erica tried shaking her.

"Binks, this is where you get up and celebrate with the rest of us," Kendall prodded, literally poking her younger sister to no avail.

Maggie turned around, seeing Bianca's shock and Kendall's futile efforts, and against better judgment climbed over the divide between the audience and the bench. Jackson tried to grab her arm but was too slow. He watched, as did the crowd celebrating, as Maggie pulled Bianca to her feet.

"Maggie?" Bianca felt faint, holding hands with Maggie, and blocking out the rest of the world around them. In that moment, it was just the two of them and the judge's proclamation sunk in.

"Shut up and kiss me already," Maggie replied, quickly putting a hand behind Bianca's neck and leaning up to kiss her softly.

"Ms. Stone," the judge interrupted, over the crowd, drawing her attention. "I'm not done."

"I'm sorry, Your Honor," Maggie replied, pulling away from Bianca put keeping an arm firmly around her waist, holding her close. Bianca blushed slightly at the public display of affection, but Maggie's grin just widened. The judge cracked a smile; she was certainly learning this wasn't the average Pine Valley appeal.

Meanwhile, at Opal's, the press had just begun reporting Maggie's release. Opal swung Miranda in her arms, cradling her after a few twirls in celebration.

"Oh, Miranda!" Opal cheered, "Your other momma's coming home! She's coming home!" Miranda cooed, obviously uplifted by the celebration pouring from the older woman.

Back in the courtroom, the judge continued with, "As I was saying…" She was getting ready to bang her gavel to bring the courtroom to order, but it came to order on its own accord. "While I have granted your appeal, you will spend the next two years on probation which prohibits you from leaving the state without explicit permission from the court."

'There goes Paris,' Bianca thought sadly, looking at Maggie with a sad smile before returning her attention to the judge.

"In addition, you will be under the supervision of a probation officer who will oversee both community service and counseling for the duration of your probation-"

"-Thank-you, Your Honor," Maggie said, nodding her head, "Thank-you so very, very much-"

"-I'm not done, yet, Miss Stone," the judge shook her head at the excitement bubbling in the young woman, "I want you to spend the next few years thinking carefully about what you've done and what you're going to do. It's not very often that a person will do what you did for what some would consider the 'right reasons.' Especially in this town," she smirked, "I want you to remember how very lucky you are today, Miss Stone." She rose, as did those in the courtroom who hadn't, yet, "Case dismissed." She swung her gavel one more time and retired to her chambers.

"Wow," Maggie finally took a deep breath. "Did that really just happen?" Bianca smiled, tears in her eyes. "Hey now, no more crying." Maggie wiped a tear from her cheek. "Seriously, you're going to make me cry…"

"I can't help it," Bianca shrugged, pointing towards Kendall. "It's all her fault." Kendall was crying, Erica having an arm wrapped around the taller woman's shoulders trying to comfort her.

"I can't help it either!" Kendall practically wailed, "This is just too much!"

"Who knew your sister was such a softie?" Maggie teased.

"I heard that," Kendall responded, wiping her eyes and pulling away from Erica.

"Let's not start a fight on your first day out, Maggie," Erica joked.

"All right, ladies," Jackson interrupted, "We just have a few loose ends to tie up." He turned to meet Bianca's eyes. "I have to escort Maggie back to the courthouse for her discharge, it shouldn't take more than a few hours."

"I'm not letting her out of my sight," Bianca said suddenly, deadly serious.

"I'm not going back in jail, Bianca, relax," Maggie said, taken aback, "Just a few loose ends, I have no intention of staying there any longer than I have to."

"I don't care," Bianca argued, "I'm going with you. No matter how long it takes, I'm not losing you now that I have you." Maggie smiled as Bianca brought her hand to her lips and placed a tender kiss on the back of it.

"Okay," Maggie smiled, "Have it your way. But I have to warn you, some of the inmates are fans of yours…"

"Oh?" Bianca rose an eyebrow.

"Some are fans of your mother, too," Maggie added, smirking.

"Oh," Bianca finally understood where Maggie was going. "Well, I suppose that happens in prison, now doesn't it?" She chuckled, a few tears falling.

"Stop it with the tears," Maggie finally lost it, tears spilling over herself at the elation she felt that she was finally free. She was free to start a family with the woman she loved, the woman she'd pined after and the woman that was finally hers. Everything she ever wanted, everything she ever dreamed of was finally hers for once. And, in that moment, she vowed she'd never, ever let Bianca go again.

"Hey there," David made his way to Maggie, pulling her into a hug before she had a chance to fully pull away from Bianca. They still held hands, afraid to let go, even though Bianca was now at a distance.

"Hey there yourself," she smiled. "Anna." The two women hugged, too, before pulling away and standing together. "I don't know what to say."

"Neither do we," Anna admitted, her eyes wet.

"Once you get things straightened out at the prison," David started, "Let us know. We're going to dinner and movies and a whole bunch of other stuff together. You're going to get sick of us-"

"-Oh, David," Anna patted his shoulder. "I'm sure she has more important things to do right now than mingle with us." She winked at Maggie, who blushed, turning to look at Bianca quickly.

Maggie gulped, not really having thought about what would happen after she was released. She didn't seriously consider it a possibility, so now what? If Anna's hint was any indication of what was to come, Maggie really needed to get a move on and start putting her future into action.

"All right, let's get this show on the road," Maggie clapped her hands together. Jackson, Bianca and those around her seemed startled by the outburst. "Jack, my man, lead the way!" Jackson merely nodded, pointing ahead of him as the girls led the way to the front of the courtroom to the claps and congratulations to those still celebrating Maggie's release.


Part 28

Bianca didn't want to let go, she didn't want to let Maggie out of her sight. But, alas, only Maggie and her lawyer were allowed to go through the process of discharge at the prison. Bianca held onto Maggie's fingers, relishing the contact as they parted ways. Now, she sat alone in the waiting area outside lock-up.

Some of the guards looked her way, smirking to themselves. She paid no attention to it, even though she knew most of the prison must've been buzzing with news that Maggie Stone was now free. That made her smirk, too, and she watched the steel door that separated her from the love of her life.

She still couldn't believe this was happening. That for once, something went right in Pine Valley. But it didn't matter if things went south from here, they were together now, and that's all that mattered. Bianca's memories drifted, betrayed her really, as a bit of doubt crawled its way into her head. They'd been together in the past, not quite like this, but they'd been inseparable once.

'Could it last this time?' she asked herself, hoping beyond hope that now that their love was out in the open, that they truly could be set free by it. Maggie and Bianca had walked this path many times before, the lingering self-doubt still sat in Bianca's stomach. Even though she tried to hide it, Maggie being away from her even though it wasn't forever, was enough to make her resolve break a little more.

"How long is this going to take?" Maggie complained, rolling her eyes and stretching in her seat.

"Now, now, Maggie," Jackson shook his head, "You've been out less than an hour, and you're already missing the outside world?"

"Something like that," she turned towards the door, wondering what Bianca must be thinking at that moment. Just saying goodbye for a few minutes was enough to make her heart break. Again. "I just want to get out of here."

"That makes three of us."

"Three of us?" Maggie rose an eyebrow, "Oh, yeah, Bianca…"

"Who else did you think I was talking about-"

"-Probably me," the warden interrupted. Maggie looked elated. "I just want to get this over as quick as possible."

Jack stood up, extending his hand and meeting hers firmly. He prompted Maggie to do the same with a nod of his head. She was a little slow getting up, but she also shook the warden's hand and attempted to play nice. It was no secret the warden was unhappy with the decision to let Maggie go free, but there was very little she could now except make the discharge process go by as slowly as possible.

About two and a half hours later, the steel door that separated Bianca and Maggie opened. Bianca was on her feet in an instant, paced a bit nervously as Maggie made her way out behind her uncle.

"Maggie!" Bianca exclaimed, throwing her arms around the shorter woman and pulling her into a hug.

"I need some air here, Bianca," Maggie joked, returning the embrace. "I'm not going to disappear on you."

"Promise?" Bianca asked without thinking. Maggie pulled away slightly, not breaking most of their contact. She put a hand on Bianca's chin and forced her to meet her eyes.

"Yes, I promise," Maggie said sincerely, inching up to capture Bianca's lips in a quick kiss. "There's nothing in this world that could keep me away from you now."

On the car ride back to Bianca's penthouse apartment, Maggie stared out the window and watched the Pine Valley scenery pass her by. It'd been months since she'd seen the outside, seen the trees and the wilderness that surrounded the outskirts of the town. It'd be a good half an hour before they reached city limits, before they reached home.

'But what is home now?' Maggie thought to herself. She held Bianca's hand, even though she wasn't looking at her. Bianca kept stealing glances of Maggie's profile, realizing the other woman must be in deep contemplation. She knew Maggie would need time to adjust, need time to get reacquainted with the outside world.

"I'm really not going anywhere, Bianca," Maggie broke the comfortable silence when Bianca began gripping her hand a little tighter than necessary. "You want to stop death gripping me here? I'm kinda attached to both hands."

"I'm so sorry!" Bianca exclaimed, practically ripping her hand away. She held the steering wheel tightly, gripping it the same way.

"The steering wheel didn't do anything to you, and I'm sure that's not going anywhere either," Maggie pointed out, smiling. She watched Bianca slink into her seat, relaxing slightly.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, keeping her eyes front and center, "It's just…"

"I know," Maggie could see the self-doubt washing over Bianca. It broke her heart that she still truly didn't believe that they were together forever, that Maggie might still not be truly with her.

"Do you?" Bianca looked at her briefly before returning her attention to the road ahead.

"Yeah, I do," Maggie reached for her right hand, edging it away from the steering wheel and taking it in her own. "Grip as tightly as you want, Bianca."

"Are you sure?" Bianca gulped.

"If it makes you feel better, yeah," Maggie puffed up her chest, "I can take it." That caused Bianca to break out in laughter, shaking her head and released her grip to a normal hand hold.

"You make me feel better," she said softly.

"I love you," Maggie replied.

"I love you, too," Bianca beamed as she drove into Pine Valley city limits.


Part 29

"Oh, no," Maggie gasped. This caused Bianca to swerve a bit, and if it was not for the well-lit entrance before her, she might have hit the curb and ruin what might go down as the best day ever. Standing in the driveway, one hand on a hip and clearly annoyed at having to wait was Erica Kane.

"You can say that again," Bianca rolled her eyes. She parked the car, took a deep breath and looked in Maggie's direction. "Can I take you back to prison?"

"At this point," Maggie giggled, "That might be better in the long run. It'll keep me from committing another murder-"

"-Maggie!" Bianca exclaimed, slapping the other girl's shoulder playfully. "That's not really funny."

"No, I guess, it's not," Maggie shrugged, putting a hand on the handle as Erica bee lined for the car. "Incoming!"

"Well, it's about time you got here!" Erica shouted through the driver's side window. Bianca's hand was on the switch to put it down, but she just didn't have the heart to yet.

"I love you, Maggie," Bianca said quietly, ignoring her mother who was now tapping on the window trying to get her daughter's attention.


"I love you, too, Bianca," Maggie smiled, trying to avoid Erica's gaze as the tapping increased.


"Do we really have to do this?" she asked suddenly, closing her eyes momentarily.

"Yeah, we do," Maggie nodded, finally meeting Erica's eyes before waving like a little child in her direction.

"Bianca Christine!" Erica was livid at this point, Maggie only fueling the fire.

"Why did you do that?" Bianca chided.

"Why not?" Maggie shrugged. "You better roll down the window before she breaks something trying to pry it open-"

"-That's not funny, Maggie!" Bianca turned around suddenly to face her mother, smiling weakly before rolling down the window. "Hi, mom, sorry about that…"

"Well, it's about time!" Erica exclaimed, putting her hands on her hips and waiting for something a bit more apologetic. "I've been waiting here for an hour!"

"We took the scenic route," Maggie chimed in, giggling as Erica's face flushed. She wasn't helping the situation at all.

"You are really not helping," Bianca elbowed Maggie, not even looking in her direction. "I'm sorry we kept you waiting, mom."

"I bet you are," Erica rolled her eyes. Bianca quickly opened the door, forcing Erica back before stepping out and hugging her mother tightly. Maggie followed Bianca's lead, albeit it a bit slowly to avoid Erica's wrath. "Well, don't just stand there."

"Who?" Maggie looked around before realizing who Erica was talking about. "Me?"

"Yes, you, Maggie," Erica shook her head. "Come here." Maggie stepped forward and hugged Erica, too. The group hug was cut short by a small cry coming from up the driveway.

"Miranda!" Bianca broke away first, grinning as her daughter teetered on the edge of the small steps leading to the walkway.

"Miranda…" Maggie's breath hitched as Kendall began leading the little girl down the steps carefully. Sure, Maggie had seen Miranda before, she'd seen her live and in the flesh, but she'd never been this close to actually belonging with Miranda.

"Come here, Miranda!" Bianca encouraged her daughter. "I have someone I really want you to meet."

"Nice to see you out of that tacky orange," Kendall threw Maggie's way, smiling as she brought Miranda to them.

"Nice to see your sense of humor has stayed the same," Maggie responded. She looked down at the little girl, still holding Kendall's hand and now holding her mother's with her other one. The little girl was looking up between the three women towering over her; Erica was watching from a few steps away.

"I think I'm going to leave you three alone for now," Kendall said softly. "Come on, mother. Let's go pour the wine." Erica merely nodded, letting Kendall lead the way inside.

"So, Miranda," Bianca kneeled down, putting a hand on her daughter's cheek. "I know you've already met Maggie here, but now, it's a little different." Maggie just stared down in disbelief; she really had a family now, didn't she?

"Mom… ma," Miranda cooed, giggling. She looked up at Maggie, pointing with her free hand.

"She's so beautiful, Bianca," Maggie said. She didn't quite know what else to say, this little girl seemed to recognize her. Even though they'd met before, Maggie didn't think Miranda would have the slightest clue who she was. It seemed Bianca filled her in, at least as much as a toddler could understand. "So very, very beautiful."

Maggie kneeled now, too. Miranda pulled away from her mother's grip and wrapped her little arms around Maggie's neck, pulling her down slightly in the process. Maggie fell onto her knees with a thud, digging into the pavement but taking the slight pain with a smile.

"Hey there, Miranda," Maggie whispered into the little girl's ear. "You're just perfect. Just like your mother." Bianca smiled, not hearing the words Maggie whispered but knowing they were filled with love. "I love her very much, little one. And I love you, too, just as much. But I have a feeling you know that already." Miranda cooed, pulling away and reaching for her mother's hand.

Maggie and Bianca walked Miranda up the walkway, each holding a little hand in their own and enjoying the silence as their new family entered the house. Erica and Kendall smiled at the scene, poured them some wine and they all sat around talking as Miranda played in front of them.

"I never thought we'd ever find ourselves here," Bianca exhaled slowly, watching Maggie from the doorway. She was leaned against the frame, arms crossed as Maggie traced the comforter of Bianca's bed with her fingertips.

Maggie was hesitant, and Bianca could see it in the other girl's movements. They'd slept in the same bed, sure. Maggie had held her countless times before. They'd kissed, they shared a bed, and they'd been close and been on the verge. But they'd never actually had the dream come true before. And here it is, right in front of them. A dream come true.

Erica had left a few hours ago, Miranda had been put to bed just a little bit ago. Now, Maggie and Bianca teetered on what next. Maggie wanted to get out of the clothes she'd been in all day, so Bianca let her head upstairs while she tidied up in the kitchen and put away the bottle of wine Kendall left them.

"I never did either," Maggie finally said, turning and facing Bianca. "I don't know what to do."

"You're so silly, Maggie," Bianca giggled, stepping into the room and closing the door behind her softly. "You get into bed, like you normally would. Like any other night." Bianca, too, was nervous. She knew tonight was different as well.

"But it's not my bed…" Maggie wanted to slap herself in the forehead. Of all the things for her to say, that wasn't the right thing, but Bianca understood.

"It is now," Bianca nodded. "It's our bed." Before Maggie knew it, Bianca wrapped her arms around the shorter girl's waist and pulled her close. Maggie closed her eyes, fell into Bianca and let herself feel free for the first time in years. All the things she'd done, all the things that led her there no longer mattered. Maggie was safe, she was home.

The End

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