DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but my love of Kinks. Yes, yes, I'm riding that sled into hell. Pervy writer and director thank you.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've recently become perversely entertained by AMC and have been watching it nightly on Soapnet. This new fic series is the result. I hope you like.
AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: http://www.dreiser.net/
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

What Happens When Bad Dressers and Drama Queens Fall In Love
By Dreiser

Part Five...

JR had witnessed a great many things in his life because he was privileged or as some might say, cursed, to have the last name of Chandler. Though he had seen a great many things this was the first time in quite awhile that he had been stunned into complete silence. When Kendall bit her lip, blushed lightly, and leaned forward to whisper in a panicked confession that she was having romantic feelings for Maggie Stone a part of his brain turned off.

This reaction wasn't because they were two women, he had considered himself friends with Bianca once upon a time, after all. No, it was more that it was Maggie and Kendall. Two people who normally would have never been linked together socially. Especially in a romantic manner.

When Miranda's tiny hand hit his, in a demand for him to continue feeding her the fruit on the bottom yogurt she loved so much, JR snapped out of his daze. Looking to Miranda and smiling gently as she eagerly ate the spoonful of yogurt, JR said, "You and Maggie? I didn't see that coming."

Turning his gaze to Kendall who laughed hollowly at this, JR saw clearly how this was truly bothering his friend. She honestly didn't have any idea of why she was having these feelings for Maggie and that fact obviously bothered her. Having experienced more than a little romantic confusion in his time, JR could very easily sympathize with her. It was a hard place to be.

"Kendall," said JR delicately. "Don't tie yourself up in knots about this. Trying to figure out the how and why of it won't help you. Just spend time with her... get to know her. To really know who Maggie is, inside and out. And maybe once you do, the answer will have presented itself for you." Turning back to Miranda to feed her another spoonful of yogurt, he murmured, "You won't be doing yourself or her any favors by over analyzing the situation. These kinds of things are best worked out by the heart. Try ignoring your common sense." A teasing smile formed on his face and JR glanced at Kendall who was frowning. "I know for a fact that's something you're very capable of doing."

When Kendall didn't respond and instead kept a worried frown on her face while biting her lower lip in consideration, JR decided to try another tactic. "Just tell me one thing," he said with gentle reasoning, "how does Maggie make you feel?"

Blue gray eyes shot upwards to meet his, a stricken look seizing them but JR didn't give in. He held Kendall's gaze steady with his own, pouring every last bit of support into it. Finally, Kendall released a wavering sigh and said, "She makes me happy. Probably happier than I've been in a long time. I only used to feel this way when I was with Bianca and Mimo."

"There you go," replied JR, unable to help grinning. Returning back to the enjoyable task of feeding Miranda, he went on, "It's a good place to start, relationship wise, Kendall. You actually like spending time with Maggie. Lots of people can't come close to claiming that about their own romances."

"Is that a veiled reference to Babe?" Kendall arched an eyebrow and chuckled when JR shot her nothing less than a look of scathing intensity. "Don't you make that face around my adorable niece! She might learn from your example and that, good sir, will ruin the dreams I hold for her in the arena of winning the Miss America Pageant."

"Miss America?" echoed JR sardonically. Releasing a tutting sound under his breath, he moved forward to look Miranda in the eyes. The baby responded to him being closer by giving a happy coo and eagerly patting his cheek. "That title is far too lowly for you, isn't it Miranda? I think you're shooting for something much more impressive. Like Miss Universe."

"I wish," said Kendall in rather mournful tones. "I have a feeling I'll never get my most cherished dream though. Binks thinks the pageants exploit women and create an idealized version of beauty." Sighing heavily and falling over dramatically back into her chair, Kendall mused, "I suppose that's true but I noticed her opinions about said pageants never stop her from watching them and drooling over the contestants. It's a genuine paradox."

"Right," JR drawled.

A long moment passed where JR stared at Kendall and Kendall stared at JR during an impromptu battle of wills. With a good deal of irritation, Kendall gave in first and demanded huffily, "What is it?! Why are you looking at me that way?"

"Avoiding is bad," said JR simply, speaking as he removed the cloth napkin from his lap. He had placed it there in a small effort to keep his nine hundred dollar suit from suffering from a sudden yogurt napalm attack on Miranda's part. "I can understand not wanting to talk to Maggie like we've done today but you should at least make the first move, Kendall. Ask her out on a date. Then--"

"Excuse me," Kendall interrupted JR, snapping her fingers in his face to get his attention. "But why am I responsible for making the first move?"

Smirking widely and chuckling at the demanding look on his friend's features, JR murmured, "Because she's Maggie Stone and you're Kendall Hart. Lets consider the various traits of her personality, shall we? Number one," JR held up his index finger, "Maggie Stone is a private person. Protectively so. Hardly anyone knows about her childhood, including her own flesh and blood relatives. Number two," JR held up a second finger, "Maggie Stone is a thinker. She analyzes and pours over information before making a decision. Making her very slow to make up her mind about most everything. Number three," JR held up a third finger, "Maggie Stone is a true and real friend. If you need her she's there, no questions asked. The portrait of reliability if you will." Easily flipping his hand into a flat palm JR drawled, "Now what does all of that tell you about Maggie Stone?"

"I have no idea, Dr. Phil Junior," retorted Kendall petulantly. "You tell me since you've suddenly transformed into some sort of new age relationship guru."

"Unless you're willing to play the waiting game with Maggie for potentially months, you have to ask her out first," JR smirked, lifting up his cup of coffee and taking a slow drink.

Blue gray eyes narrowed and Kendall muttered under her breath, "I hate it when you're right. You always look so damn smug. It reminds me of my Mother."

"Ah, compared to Erica Kane. I am a blessed man," commented JR, setting the coffee cup down. "So," he arched an eyebrow, "are you going to ignore Mommie Dearest and I? Or are you going to consider our very trustworthy advice?"

"God help me, I think I'm going to listen to you smug bastards," Kendall said, a fond smile working its way across her face. A slight frown marred it seconds later and she mused, "I wonder what I should plan for our first date..."

"What does she like? What do you like? Find something that works for the both of you," JR suggested while he easily lifted Miranda out of her high chair to sit her in his lap. Finished eating her yogurt, the baby had shown signs of boredom which JR knew from experience quickly equaled an upset and crying little girl. How to cure it? Hold her. That's why Miranda was perched happily in his arms, playing with his one hundred and fifty dollar tie. "Does that help you think of any ideas?"

Mentally reviewing the events of last night at a rapid pace that would fry the CPUs of most modern computers, Kendall's eyes lit up when it all fell into place. "I have it," she murmured quietly, more to herself than JR. The joy she felt and was unconsciously expressing was pure in its intention and on seeing it, JR knew this would be good for Kendall. That Maggie would be good for Kendall because he hadn't seen her look like that in a very long time. Meeting his eyes, Kendall reached across the table to squeeze his hand softly. "Thanks, JR."

"No problem," replied JR smoothly. He was about to say something more when he felt a buzzing from his front jacket pocket that signaled he was getting a call. Miranda noticed the buzzing as well and with surprising speed, grabby hands went into his jacket to retrieve JR's cell phone. Waving it to and fro, managing to push the talk button in the process, Miranda squealed excitedly and released gleeful gurgling laughter. All while the poor person on the other end of the call listened to the sound of her laughter, JR's pleading for the phone, and Kendall's sardonic commentary. Finally JR, with the reluctant aid of Kendall, separated Miranda from the cell phone by pulling out her new favorite toy, Mortie Goldstein the Great White Shark plushie who was named for the new head of Fusion's legal department. "Whoever this is, I do apologize but I have to admit it is impressive when an eight month old can answer a cell phone. Impressive or very sad, depending on your point of view. With that, I say hello and ask how can I help you?"

"That's your Bess, huh?" Kevin Buchanan said in soft and introspective tones. When he felt the need to talk to his new friend he hadn't been expecting to hear that. To hear the sounds of a joyful child and a happy family. He wondered how JR could be around the baby girl he loved as his own and not hurt deep down to his very core. "She sounds as pretty as she looks."

"Was," JR corrected in a whisper, "don't forget that."

"I'm sorry," began Kevin anxiously. "I didn't mean to--"

"No, it's okay," assured JR just as quick with his own apology. "Hold on a minute, all right?"

"Sure," Kevin replied and leaned back in the comfortable leather chair in his office to stare out the window. In the background he heard the baby's laughter and a woman thanking JR.

Then JR's voice returned with a comforting, "How are you?"

"Lost," Kevin's voice was hushed but raw in the pain it reflected. "I feel so lost and I found myself calling you before I knew it. I'm sorry but I didn't know who else to talk to."

"Don't ever apologize for calling me," said JR sternly. "We made a deal, remember? No conceptions, no expectations, and above all no secrets. There's no Chandler or Buchanan in this with us. It's just me and you. JR and Kevin, you got that?"

A smile cracking his face, Kevin thumped his head back in his chair and said, "Yeah. I got it."

"Good," chuckled JR in wry tones. "So... what's your first impression of our charming Miss Miranda?"

"I think that if this reflects a future infatuation with talking on the phone then lord help her mother," said Kevin dryly.

"Took the words right out of my mouth," JR drawled, taking a sip of his coffee and settling in for another long talk with his friend.

Sacrifices had to be made in life in order to get what you want most. Kendall knew that with an absolute certainty. That didn't mean she had to like it.

"Mimo, you know Auntie Kendall loves you," said Kendall solemnly, shifting the bag of baby supplies over her shoulder and gazing into her niece's beautiful face. "But you have an adorable habit of attacking the woman that could be Auntie Kendall's true love. And that's not an ideal situation to be in on a first date. Which is why Auntie Kendall has brought you here." Miranda cooed and eagerly patted her hand on Kendall's mouth, who smiled at this. "That's my girl! You're going to have fun, I promise." Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes, raised her hand to knock on the door, and muttered, "Please be Jack, please be Jack..."

"Kendall! What a nice surprise."

Warily popping her blue gray eyes open, Kendall offered a weak smile and said, "Hello Mother. Can we come in? I hate to bother you but I wonder if I can ask for a favor--"

"Of course you can," Erica dismissed, waving her perfectly manicured hands about. Pausing in her walk to turn in that great dramatic fashion Kendall had always envied, Erica said in low and precise tones, "Do you have news about that woman?"

"That woman?" echoed Kendall dimly. She blinked a few times then her brain registered: That woman = Lena Kundera. News about that woman = News about Lena and Bianca. Specifically if Lena had crushed Bianca emotionally. Despite her mother's obtuse way of asking for this information Kendall couldn't help but feel the same concern. "No," she replied sadly. "I wish I did know what was going on, Mother. I'm hoping that no news is good news though. If Bianca was hurting then we would've heard about it by now either from her or Babe."

"Babe," Erica spat the name out like it was a curse, making Kendall smile in amusement. Putting down the bag of baby supplies, she sat on the couch, perching Miranda on her lap who was busy playing with Mortie the Lawyer Shark. "I don't understand how Bianca has forgiven her." Locking eyes with her eldest, whom Erica could now recognize was far more a chip off of her perpetual Kane block than Bianca ever was, she knew that Kendall understood her anger. After all, she had been the one among them honest enough to express it. Even if it did land her in jail for a brief period in time. "Promise me you'll let me know if you do hear something? I want to know she's all right," murmured Erica. Smiling softly, she first gently cupped Kendall's cheek then Miranda's with her other hand. "I want to know how all of my girls are doing."

"I promise," Kendall whispered, holding back unshed tears. She had told herself to get used to her mother loving her in this true and effortless manner but it still got to Kendall. It amazed her how much her life had changed over the past two years.

Erica leaned in and kissed her eldest daughter's cheek then tenderly took Miranda from Kendall's arms to cradle her with loving expertise. "Now," Erica's voice was rich in its wily repartee, "what was the favor that you needed? And am I fortunate enough to have this favor result in being able to spend some greatly needed quality time with my granddaughter?"

"Nothing gets past you," said Kendall, chuckling in appreciation.

"That is what they say," replied Erica smartly. Miranda's chubby hands tugged on her necklace and she averted her attention to the baby, fondly tickling her belly. Keeping herself busy with her grandchild, Erica said carefully, "May I ask what you're doing tonight? I thought you were planning on relaxing at Bianca's with Miranda until your sister returned."

A wave of tremendous love for her mother washed over Kendall and gave her the strength to say the truth. Well, to blurt the truth out, is more like it. And blurt it out, Kendall did, at a very rapid rate that went something like this...



Only a woman of Erica Kane's brilliance could decipher this. And decipher this, she did. Though with great precaution as she realized to interpret this in error would create vast problems.

Ten minutes later Erica said blankly, "I have two gay daughters."

"Actually I would be bisexual if anything," offered Kendall tentatively, unable to read her mother's mood on hearing her very motor mouthed revelation. "Mother? Are you all right?"

"Well," Erica expelled a huge breath and turned to Kendall wearing her thousand watt smile, "at least she's going to be a doctor." Tapping Kendall's nose fondly, she decided to give a bit of playful advice. "Just you make sure Maggie doesn't follow in David's shoes. Though I love him dearly he hasn't shown the best of ethics in that particular field of work."

Releasing a burst of extremely relieved yet somehow nervous laughter, Kendall wanted to let the subject rest but couldn't. She had to ask one more thing in order to the hear the answer that she hoped would be Erica's reply.

"Do you... do you still love me?" asked Kendall in a whisper, head ducked and eyes averted in shame of this need she felt.

"Oh Kendall," Erica's voice cracked and instantly Kendall was wrapped up in her mother's arms. "Of course I still love you. I will never stop loving either of my daughters. Never. It simply isn't possible. Loving you girls is part of who I am." Drawing her eldest child's face up, cupping her chin then wiping the tears from her face, Erica said with utmost conviction, "I love you and I'm proud to call you my daughter, Kendall. I promise you that will never change."

"Boy," said Kendall wryly, rubbing her eyes in an attempt to rid herself from the embarrassment of the moment, "if only Binks could see us now. I bet she never saw this coming."

"Mmm," Erica gave a thoughtful murmur and absently bounced Miranda in her lap who was busy playing with Mortie the Lawyer Shark. "I can't help but wonder if The Tattler will say she converted you." She locked eyes with Kendall and a rather evil smirk formed on her classic features. "What is it they call you girls? Kinks? And that cute little byline they had: Kinks for Binks, Sisterly Lovenest."

"Ugh! Mother!" shouted Kendall in exasperation. "I can't believe you brought up that hideous story they ran about us." Shaking her head, Kendall rose to her feet. "I'll be right back, I need to change my clothes before seeing Maggie." As she exited the living room, she muttered darkly to herself, "Stupid tabloid. If only Binks would've let me sue their asses. Mortie keeps telling me we could've taken them for every cent they've got but noooo, my baby sister thinks it's harmless and my mother thinks it's funny! Yeah, right, incest is such a laugh riot."

Observing Kendall's huffy departure, Erica smiled slowly then turned back to Miranda who had watched this attentively. "And that is how you get Auntie Kendall to stop worrying. All you have to do is give her something to complain about. Now," she kissed Miranda's head of wavy dark hair, "do you want Grandma to finish reading our new book?" Miranda responded by squeaking happily and clumsily clapping her hands. "Well! I can see one little girl is to curious to hear the ending." Standing up and cradling Miranda close, Erica went to retrieve the latest enthralling piece of fiction she had chosen for their story time. "I can't say I blame you, Wilomena and Tevan's situation is dire."

Meanwhile in the luxurious spare bedroom often monopolized by Bianca, Kendall, Reggie, or some other family member in crisis, Kendall stared at the outfits she had left there. She had to find the exact right one. Something that looked good on her but at the same time wasn't too fancy, so she didn't look over eager. But it had to look good... Kendall wanted Maggie to drool. Or to at least inspire thoughts of drooling or other such notions. She did have her womanly pride, after all. Looking utterly stunning was one of her very favorite things to do. It made her happy and helped keep her confidence levels high which is something she would definitely need for a night like the one she had planned.

A slow smile spread across Kendall's face when she made her clothing choice. She would go with the traditional, an old and proven method for knocking peoples socks off. Yes, Kendall had made up her mind for her outfit. She would be going with the staple of seductive fashion. The little black dress. Topping it off with gorgeous high heeled black boots.

"Get ready, Maggie Stone," Kendall chuckled, a delightfully mischievous expression forming as she pulled the little black dress off its hanger. "I'm coming for you."

"Wilomena whirled away from Tevan in a frenzy. She did not want to hear things such as that come from her lips. For if she heard them, she could not ignore them and..." Erica stopped for a dramatic pause, knowing Miranda enjoyed her enthusiastic story telling methods. "She would allow her true feelings to seize her and she could not allow it. Only Tevan would not cooperate with her. She kept after Wilomena, finally reaching in desperation to wrap her fingers around her slim wrist. Pulling the taller woman to her forcibly, pressing the pillowy softness of their bosoms together in the process, making Wilomena moan in desire. 'Don't do this,' Tevan breathed heavily. 'Don't deny what is between us. Give into your need.' Aquamarine eyes bored a deep hole into honeyed hazel then their lips met in a furious crash."

Miranda squealed loudly and slapped her hands on Erica's arms who smiled at her granddaughter. "It IS getting good, isn't it? I do hope this will be better than the others, they were all build up and then no pay off. Very disappointing." She kissed the baby's cheek then Erica went back to her storytelling. "Tevan descended upon Wilomena's heavy and heaving cushions of desire with kisses softer than the clouds." Erica paused to look at her granddaughter who gurgled happily in her arms. "Honestly, darling," she sighed and played with Miranda's tousled hair. "I doubt I'll ever read a good lesbian romance at this rate. Perhaps I should switch publishers? All the books I've read to you so far were written in the 60s and are rather behind the times in terms of good erotica. Then again, weren't the 60s the age of the sexual revolution? Ah well," Erica said sadly. "The only thing I do know is that if this is any sort of example of what your Mommy does in the bedroom then I feel horribly for my daughter. All foreplay and no release. How tiresome." Shrugging her shoulders, Erica decided to return to reading. "Wilomena gasped on feeling Tevan's hand descend upon the hot sticky center of her pulsing passion which squelched inside of her--"

It was then that Kendall made the unfortunate decision of walking into the living room. Dressed in her little black dress and looking like a million dollars, she was the picture of a sexy woman. Especially in the high heeled boots. But on hearing what Erica was reading her niece, Kendall was also the picture of a whirling dervish of disbelieving fury.

"Mother! What in the hell are you reading Mimo?!" Kendall accused, bending down to read the title. "Bushfire Gulch: A Tale of Torrid Lesbian Seduction. Oh god," she rubbed her forehead, trying to stop a migraine from starting. "You're reading your only grandchild a bad lesbian harlequin romance novel that features the characters having metaphor sex instead of anything that remotely resembles real life." Opening her eyes now, Kendall stared Erica down plainly. "When Mimo starts sex ed class in middle school remind me to place the blame on you once Binks asks us why her daughter has tons of mixed up ideas on the subject."

"Well, honestly," said Erica indignantly, "I don't see what you find to be a problem. What am I supposed to read her that's more accurate? The Kama Sutra? I can't! Because your Uncle Jack bought it in Spanish even though he knows very well I can't read Spanish. Though he did have a point when he said it isn't really a book meant for reading, it's more about the pictures."

"Read her Dr. Seuss you insane woman!" shrieked Kendall, wildly pointing at her mother whom she justifiably felt was truly crazed.

"All I know is sex, I'm just informing her," Erica continued logically. Or at least, what she thought of as logic. What the rest of the world considered it, who only knew.

"This is proof," muttered Kendall now. "This is proof that everything twisted I do isn't a result of nurture. No, it's the nature of genetics that did me in. It's all your fault. Kane genetics, it is."

"I suppose I could read Miranda that magazine Oprah has," ruminated Erica who was busy considering her new reading options. "Perhaps it has an article about how she became so ridiculously wealthy. Not that Miranda needs the money, mind you, she's already a wealthy little girl. But there is always the chance one day she might want to expand her empire."

"Her empire?" Kendall repeated, shaking her head and chucking in a soft manner that reflected the fact she still thought that her mother was not entirely mentally sound. "I swear I'm waiting for the day you buy her a small country in South America, Mother. I can see it now, Dictator Miranda. She could crush Greenlee's secret childhood fantasy of being the next Evita."

"I thought Greenlee wanted to be a contortionist," Erica frowned. She remembered her conversation with Ryan quite clearly and that's what he had told her. Apparently he had arranged for some sort of professional contortionist class for her to take at the circus. Though she complimented him for his creativity in gift giving, Erica privately thought it was the most horrific present she'd ever heard of. "Didn't Ryan take her to that circus for it? A contortionist circus?"

Ignoring the too easy smartass remark she could make in regards to Greenlee, Ryan, and contortionist classes, Kendall snorted and said, "Greenlee wants to be in the circus just as much as I want to open a franchise of pig farms." Kendall wore a sour expression and rubbed her forehead. Despite her best efforts, the migraine had indeed started. "Trust me when I say Ryan is not and never will be an expert on what his women want."

"He isn't Mel Gibson," agreed Erica with a nod. Tilting her head to one side, she took notice of the outfit Kendall had chosen and smiled. "You look simply divine, darling. I'm sure Maggie will love it. That dress is wonderful at showing off your legs, it really does suit you."

"I know," drawled Kendall, wearing a wicked smile. If there was one thing she had unwavering confidence in, it was her looks. "I hope Maggie's ready because I'm not taking any prisoners."

"Mmm," Erica murmured thoughtfully. Her expression turned quietly concerned and she said slowly, "Kendall... do you have any ideas on how to... well, shift... her clothing ideas for your little date? I don't want to upset you, Maggie is a terribly sweet girl, but she doesn't posses the best choices in--"

"She's a horrible dresser, Mother," Kendall cut off Erica in droll amusement. "I know that and so does she, incredible as that might seem. Usually her clothing is influenced by a distinct lack of sleep and being late for classes. I have personal knowledge that she had a good nights rest last night. Leaving her with plenty of time to get ready for classes in the morning. Thus I hope her wardrobe selection for today is a reflection of that instead of repeating past mistakes."

"Is that so?" said Erica, eloquently revealing through her voice and facial expression what she thought. "Then I must say that Maggie Stone is an extremely lucky girl and wish you luck tonight."

"Thank you," replied Kendall, beaming happily and leaning in to hug both Erica and Miranda gently. Pulling away, she walked to the front door, pausing as she opened it to look back at them. "Oh, and Mother?" Kendall gave her best naughty smile. "Maggie isn't a girl. She's a woman."

Then with that, Kendall was out the door. Laughing quietly, Erica peered down at her granddaughter and said, "Miranda already has two Mommies, doesn't she? Now it looks like she'll have two Aunties as well." Pausing to consider these words, Erica frowned and said in contemplation, "Then again, we did call her Aunt Maggie even before this. I guess the would be romance would just make it official?" Heaving a sigh, Erica picked up the book and decided to go back to reading. "Honestly, the idea of my daughters in gay relationships doesn't bother me but I wish the said relationships were simpler." Almost immediately, Erica scoffed at the idea and muttered, "I doubt that will happen. They are MY daughters, after all. Kendall was right. It's the Kane genetics that does us all in."

Miranda gurgled in soft agreement, tugging on Erica's necklace and her grandmother smiled then opened the book. Clearing her throat, Erica began, "Wilomena gasped on feeling Tevan's hand descend upon the hot sticky center of her pulsing passion which squelched inside her eagerly. This is what she had waited for. The reason she couldn't give herself to Frederick."

Who knew that clothing made that much of a difference? Not Maggie Stone. At least, not until she got to the campus of Pine Valley University. She was soon besieged by curious friends asking about the change in her wardrobe, given compliments from more than a few random strangers, and noticing several creepy leers on the faces of very icky people. By the end of her Cell Biology class Maggie was practically clutching onto her navy blue messenger bag that said 'Republicans for Voldemort' out of comfort. The bag being the only thing on Maggie that wasn't picked out by Kendall and therefore not responsible for creating all of these freaky reactions.

The outfit didn't even seem that spectacular to Maggie. Out of all the ones Kendall had gotten her, it was the simplest. She wore a vintage black denim jacket cut to fit perfectly that had a stitched collar and front flat pockets. Underneath it was a silk jersey colored light brown with a low cut neckline that clung in such a way that it accented her body beautifully. Finishing it all off were a pair of black rinse jeans tailored fit with a flared leg style and black Clarks Gimlet boots. The clothes were attractive on her. Maggie was a modest person but she wasn't blind, deaf, and dumb. She knew she looked good. She just didn't think she looked good enough to inspire all this fuss. It seemed silly to her.

"C'mon, Stone," wheedled Andrew, a close friend and another premed student. "Why not at least tell us who got you this stuff? What's the harm in that? I just want to know the lucky guy."

"I'm not saying anything," Maggie retorted in irritation. For the life of her she didn't understand why Andrew or anyone else cared who bought her clothes. Or even cared what clothes she was wearing. Didn't they have more important things to worry about? Apparently not. The United States was such a sad country at times. Sometimes Maggie wished she was from Trinidad Tobago. Holding her hand up to block the sun from getting into her eyes, Maggie sighed on stepping outside onto the top of the large steps to Jamison Hall. At least it was a pretty day. That made her feel a little bit better. "Just let it drop already. Who cares anyway? Not me."

"Because you know," Andrew whined. When one of their classmates from Cell Biology showed up, Andrew grabbed his hand. "Hey Curt! You want to know who has Stone dressing to the nines, don't you? I mean, it's damn shocking, isn't it?"

"Now that you mention it, yeah," Curt chuckled, studying Maggie closely. "No offense or anything, Stone. But it is a shocker to see you looking so hot."

"Yes. I have been told this over and over," replied Maggie in a deadpan voice, still shading her eyes and peering at the campus. "I've been told this so much that if I am told this anytime more today I will be forced to assault someone in order to defend my previous style of dress."

That was when the perpetual Red Sea of PVU students parted and Maggie found herself looking at the figure of Kendall Hart. The taller woman was leaning back against her BMW, arms folded over her chest, and a heart breaking smile forming on her face while she casually lifted a hand to say hello. Running on automatic, Maggie lifted her own hand to return the greeting and Kendall pushed off her car to begin a slow walk forward. One that was soon noticed by Andrew and Curt.

"Hey," Andrew squinted at Kendall. "Who's that? She sort of looks familiar. Like she's been in the papers. Doesn't she look familiar to you guys?"

"Not to me," said Curt with a shrug. He paused then a great idea occurred to him and he turned to Maggie. "She's not as hot as you are, Stone. You win hands down."

Poor Curt was meant to be severely disappointed though. Since his less than brilliant plan to charm Maggie with what he considered a compliment failed as Maggie was no longer there to hear it. She was too busy jogging to meet Kendall halfway across the campus. When they met was the exact time that Andrew realized just who the other woman was.

"That's Kendall Hart!" exclaimed Andrew.

"Kendall Hart?" Curt repeated, looking to his friend. "You mean she's the older daughter of Erica Kane? The big sister of Stone's lesbian best friend Bianca Montgomery? The suspected murderer? She's that Kendall Hart?"

"Yeah, she's that Kendall Hart," said Andrew, watching with definite interest as Maggie and Kendall talked. "I didn't know she and Stone were close though. Maggie Stone and Kendall Hart..." He trailed off in wondrous disbelief of the situation.

Sighing deeply, Curt slung his arm around Andrew's shoulders and said, "We should let it go, man. There's no point on wasting time on the unavailable. Best to just let it go and move on."

"Maggie Stone and Kendall Hart," Andrew said again.

"Yeah, yeah, those are their names," Curt shook his head and hoped Andrew would drop it soon. If he didn't who knows what Stone might do to him in Organic Chemistry tomorrow. He knew from personal experience that the petite girls were usually the ones with a scrappy fighting spirit. Wincing at the memories, he nodded and said, "Why don't we go see the Chi Omega girls? I know they need help with their science and we can get free food."

His friend didn't reply and Curt took that as a sign for the best. Chancing a glance back, he couldn't help but smile on seeing the shy and hesitant interaction between the two women. Though he hated losing a potential dating possibility Curt had to admit they looked good together and if she was the one responsible for Stone's new outfit then Kendall Hart was okay by him. And besides, she had been cleared of those murder charges.

Hadn't she?

Oh well, she probably had. She was a Kane, after all.

"Hi," Kendall said the words before she could stop herself. She wanted a more significant greeting. Something full of charm and intelligence to wow Maggie and increase her own confidence.

"Hi," Maggie echoed the greeting, kicking herself internally as she did so. Repeating the same word said to you was a great thing to do conversationally. It was so interesting! Not.

"Hi," Kendall echoed Maggie's echo and decided that unless her brain started cooperating it would have to be taken care of and not in a very nice way at that.

Resisting the urge to echo Kendall's echo of her echo, Maggie averted her eyes and played with the strap to her messenger bag that hung across her body. "Why are you here?" She lifted her eyes to look at Kendall who smiled softly.

"I wanted to see you," murmured Kendall, pleased in the honesty of her sentiment. Trying her best to make sure that Maggie knew what she was saying was the truth. "Is that okay?"

"Yeah, it's okay," Maggie felt her face heat up as she blushed and ducked her head. "I mean, you can see me anytime you want."

"Anytime I want, huh?" replied Kendall, her voice quietly teasing. "I'm happy to hear that. It makes things easier." Just as Maggie started to work up the courage to ask what exactly did it make easier, Kendall asked, "Do you have anymore classes?"

"Supposedly," said Maggie dryly, thinking of her Calculus class that had disintegrated into study hall with the Professor sick and his Teaching Assistant in charge. She hated that class now. Not that she liked it much to begin with as it was a part of her larger dreaded enemy which was math.

"Oh," Kendall couldn't help but express her regret. This threw a wrench into her plans. Not that she couldn't work around it. She began a quick mental search, trying to find later show times for the event she had planned their first date around. "Can I call you? When you're done with classes?"

"Yeah," said Maggie distractedly, lost in her misery that was thinking about math. She would prefer to be with Kendall so why didn't she just be with Kendall? She hadn't skipped a single class since she had started at PVU and she was a Junior. Surely she had earned the right to skip a class by now! That was it. She had made up her mind. Calculus aka study hall of the damned would be skipped so she could be with Kendall. "No!" Maggie declared in altogether decisive tones.

"No, I can't call you?" Kendall blinked in confusion at Maggie's sudden forceful outburst.

"No." Right after she said this, Maggie groaned and ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. Sometimes she really did hate herself. "I mean, no, I'm not going to my last class," explained Maggie sheepishly, shifting her messenger bag over her shoulder.

"Oh," Kendall expressed the sentiment far happier this time, filling her voice with a quiet joy. "I came to see you because I wanted to ask if you'd consider going out with me tonight." Once she said the words, Kendall swallowed the lump that had suddenly appeared in her throat and tried to calm the butterflies in her stomach. She wasn't finished yet. "Before you say yes, I don't mean it in the friendly way. This is me, Kendall Hart, asking you, Maggie Stone, out on a date. A very real and very romantic date. Well," a smile tugged on Kendall's lips, "hopefully you'll think it's romantic."

The world froze all around Maggie and all she could see was Kendall and all she could hear was Kendall's voice soft and kind and sweet asking her out, hoping Maggie would find her romantic. Maggie knew the answer to that because she had never felt like this before. No one had ever made her heart pound this hard, her pulse race this fast, and her body sing in excitement for someone's touch. Yes, Kendall was considered to be very romantic by Maggie. Which is why Maggie took a step forward and took Kendall's hand into her own.

"Yes," whispered Maggie, her tones heartfelt yet shaky in the risk she knew she was taking. They both knew instinctively how much they had each been hurt and just what it really took to brave the chance of being hurt again. It took someone very special who could inspire the trust that they wouldn't bring that hurt willingly. That they were there for love. Maggie knew she was that for Kendall and Kendall was that for her. "Yes, I'll go on a romantic date with you." A quirky lopsided smile forming on her lips, Maggie took Kendall's other hand and drew back as she pretended to study the taller woman seriously. "How could I say no? Look at what you're wearing!" Lifting an eyebrow and forming an exaggerated leer that made fun of those who had done the same to her earlier, Maggie drawled, "You in that dress should be in the dictionary under the word hottie."

Instantly, Kendall burst into laughter at Maggie's words and soon the shorter woman joined in. When they quieted Kendall sighed happily and held Maggie's hand, pulling her along as they walked to her car. "A dictionary example of a hottie am I?" she teased. "Should I be feeling blessed to receive such a poetic compliment? Please tell me that isn't the best that you can do because as a future member of the medical community, I would feel sad for you."

"I'm not a poet and I know it," Maggie shrugged, smiling impishly when Kendall bumped her shoulder against Maggie's at the bad joke. She looked up at the taller woman who wore a face of content happiness. "Are you going to tell me what we're doing on our date? Or am I supposed to torture the information out of you? Because I strangely like the idea of that."

"Again we return to the topic of your hidden love for S&M and the many properties of that subculture," Kendall arched her right eyebrow elegantly and opened the passenger door to her car for Maggie. Smiling when Maggie curtsied before hopping inside. Shutting the door quietly, Kendall crossed to her side but as soon as she sat down she turned her head to find herself face to face with Maggie. "Well, hello," Kendall said smoothly.

"Hello," Maggie nodded, hazel eyes shifting into dark brown. She hesitated before softly tracing fingertips down Kendall's face to follow her jaw line. "You're so beautiful," Maggie said this in what were almost reverent tones. Lifting her gaze to lock with Kendall's who held it with a steady strength, she confessed, "I want to kiss you."

"Then do it," answered Kendall, blue gray eyes glowing. In an easy and natural movement, she pressed closer to wind her fingers at the nape of Maggie's neck. Whispering in her ear, "I want to kiss you too. Would you like me to go first?"

Maggie released a low groan in response and Kendall took this to mean yes. That's why she pulled her face back so her cheek brushed against Maggie's in a slow deliberate motion while her right hand curved up to cup Maggie's face. She smiled in affection and amusement on seeing that the other woman had her eyes closed and lips pursed in expectation. Moving her thumb in a light path over Maggie's lips, Kendall murmured, "You need to relax... but you... you're so cute and funny." Now her left hand rose up to hold Maggie's face gently and Kendall couldn't seem to stop the words from coming. "No one makes me laugh like you do. I like that, Maggie. I like you, so much..."

Though she was expecting it, though she was waiting for it, though she was wanting it, Maggie still felt shocked when her lips were captured by Kendall's in a slow melting kiss. Just because she hadn't known it would be this way. That it would seize everything that she was, making nothing else important but the fact that Kendall's lips were on her own. How they were delicate and tender and sweet and how the kiss grew more lush... almost greedy as Kendall's tongue slipped easily into her mouth. Maggie was lost in sensations now. The hot sun on the closed car in the summer, the light scent of perfume, the warm feeling of her mouth, and the firm grip of Kendall's hands going around her waist. All she cared about was Kendall and this kiss.

"Kendall," was all Maggie could say when their lips finally parted. The taller woman smiled fondly, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear.

"Your turn," said Kendall with deep affection.

It took a few seconds for Kendall's words to register then Maggie laughed at their meaning. Eagerly, she pressed forward and put them nose to nose. "It is my turn, isn't it? But when should I take my turn? Now or later?" Turning her head and forming a face of somber deliberation, she tapped her chin. "What to do, what to do?" Looking back to Kendall, she said, "I think I have to take it later."

"Oh, you have to, do you?" Kendall drew the words slowly out, her voice husky and sensual. Leaning in closer, her breath was warm and sweet on Maggie's skin. "Then I have no choice. I'll just have to take my turn again."

"I'm not sure that's entirely fair, you see--"

The statement couldn't be finished and perhaps Maggie had known that the moment she started it because when Kendall's lips met her own, she happily let it fall to the wayside. Wrapping her arms tightly around Kendall's waist, pulling them closer yet and groaning at the feeling it produced. In an odd moment of insight Maggie realized she had never kissed someone like she had kissed Kendall today. And no one had ever kissed her with such passionate conviction but still be so tender and yielding, causing one kiss to magically melt into the next, making her wish that this moment would never end. That she could kiss Kendall forever. While this was a sentiment that Kendall agreed with, along with a great deal of others, it wasn't universally shared.

Especially by the campus security guard who was tapping loudly on Kendall's window.

To say that their romantic encounter in the car would soon become a topic of rabid PVU gossip was an understatement to say the least. It was more than gossip. It was, if you will, the first scripture in the bible that was to be created in honor of the soon to be favorite front page couple of The Tattler.

Their mothers would be so proud.

Part 6

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