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 Seven...

"Dance, dance! Time to dance!" Kendall declared, turning on the lights and heading quickly into Bianca's living room. Crouching down, Kendall fiddled with the stereo system while a quietly amused Maggie watched from across the room.

"You know, it's only been six months," remarked Maggie with a chuckle. "I don't see why you're making such a big deal about the last time I've danced with someone."

"Why?" asked Kendall as she arched an eyebrow significantly and looked to Maggie. "Oh no, don't even admit to me that you've yet to grasp the romantic importance of dancing."

"It's dancing," Maggie shrugged and leaned back further on the door frame, giving off an ultra casual but sexy appearance. "All it consists of is people moving in time with music." A wry smile formed on her features and she added, "That's if it's done right and in my experience it hardly ever is. Now you tell me, why is that important? Because I personally have no clue."

Tilting her head in a sad motion and releasing a sigh, Kendall rose to her feet as she said, "Then I'll consider it my job to teach you exactly why dancing is so special."

Aretha Franklin and George Michael filled the air as the song I Knew You Were Waiting played. Though Kendall would have preferred something that was more of a dance track her sister didn't enjoy that kind of music. She did, however, have a huge weakness for R&B of all types. Hence the current music choice. With a smooth flick of her wrist, Kendall held out her hand, silently asking for Maggie to come to her. Slowly pushing off the doorframe, Maggie stopped a few inches in front of Kendall whose lips curled into a smile at this. In an gesture of effortless elegance, she wrapped her arm around Maggie's waist and pulled her forward to put their bodies in close contact.

"As much as I honestly do like this," murmured Maggie in husky tones. "I don't think this can be considered dancing."

"We haven't started yet," Kendall purred, leaning down to say this in Maggie's ear before lightly capturing her earlobe in a tug and kissing her neck.

"That's definitely not dancing," Maggie groaned now.

A devilish expression playing on her face, Kendall pulled away and slid her hands down to rest at Maggie's waist. Holding the smaller woman tightly against her, Kendall then chose to rotate her hips and expertly take Maggie's with hers along for the ride. After hearing the soft whimper from the blonde at this, she moved away slightly and trailed her right hand up Maggie's back while her left remained firmly on her waist.

Lost in Kendall's eyes that glowed dark with affection and desire, mesmerized by Kendall's body soft and steady in its touch, and captured in the hypnotic rhythm of the music Maggie started to realize why dancing was special. They weren't saying a word but somehow she knew precisely what the other woman was thinking. Dancing was speaking with your body instead of your words and that was its power. The silent interaction was its absolute truth because words can be made to ring false but bodies? Well, they're very difficult to trick.

Desire can be attempted, imagined, perhaps even forced but it is nearly impossible to ignore. Especially when the people experiencing it know clearly of its presence. And Maggie and Kendall definitely knew. Drawn close together, Maggie's hands pressed into the small of Kendall's back through the paper thin material of her dress and moved her body in time with Kendall's while the taller woman beamed happily down at her.

"Now you're getting it," drawled Kendall, looking pleased. Trailing her hand up and down Maggie's side only to go back to resting on her hips, she confessed, "I've always wanted to try a certain dance move but I couldn't do it with any of my other partners. Do you think maybe we could...?"

"I don't know," Maggie teased and wore an expression of false skepticism. "Is it something that will end up crippling me which then ultimately sends me into a tailspin of self pity?"

"I would hope not," laughed Kendall, amused at the ridiculous nature of that scenario considering what her request actually entailed. "At the very least," lowering her voice into a sensual inflection, she placed their faces centimeters apart. "I don't plan it to."

"Then try away," said Maggie smoothly.

Suddenly Maggie found herself dipped low and looking into blue gray eyes that sparkled in a moment of pure joy and then she pressed up against Kendall who was lowering her head. Her breath warm and sweet, Kendall met their lips for a kiss as slow as honey in its exploration that reluctantly drew to an end when she moved backwards and smiled mischievously.

"I've always wanted to do that," said Kendall in a breathless whisper into Maggie's ear, winding her arms around the smaller woman's body completely. "Thank you."

"No problem," replied Maggie, a smile in her voice. It was then that Maggie decided to ignore the needling part of her mind that kept her behaving as she thought that she should instead of how she really wanted to. Which is why she clung tightly to Kendall, pressing her lips against the pulse in her neck, and admitted, "I want to try something."

"Oh?" Kendall's breath blew several locks of blonde hair back and she smiled contentedly. "And what is it that you want to try?"

The needling, insecure, part of her came back loud and strong but Maggie pushed it away and whispered her request in Kendall's ear. On hearing it, Kendall couldn't help but smile widely as she looked at Maggie's hopeful yet wary expression.

"You bet we're doing that," said Kendall who took an easy step backwards and lifted her arm over her head, taking Maggie's right hand that she was holding with her. Then placing her other hand at Maggie's waist she arched an eyebrow and drawled, "Ready?"

Instead of replying, Maggie nodded and in seconds she got another silly secret wish granted as she twirled in a circle. A giddy laugh escaped her before she could stop it and a dizzy euphoric feeling seized Maggie, making her stumble into her dance partner. Kendall had it well under control though and slowed the blonde down, pulling her into a secure hug then backing them into the couch where she sat with a loud flop. Leaving Maggie breathlessly straddling Kendall's lap with her face buried in her neck as she continued laughing. Kendall wrapped her arms around Maggie and pressed a soft kiss on her neck then released a happy sigh.

"That was fun," Maggie finally murmured, tilting her head to rest it on Kendall's shoulder to study her features quietly. "A lot more fun than I ever thought it could be, in fact."

"It's the simple things in life that I love," mused Kendall wisely, imitating a guru of some sort. Maggie moved away and wore a sardonic expression at this comment, making Kendall laugh and form a sly smile. "All right," she rolled her eyes in a gesture of defeat. "That's a horrible lie. I admit it, I love only the pretty, shiny, and jewel encrusted things in life."

Moving away to sit on Kendall's lap and look clearly into her sharp defined features, Maggie raised an eyebrow. "And when exactly will I become jewel encrusted?"

"Oh, don't worry," Kendall laughed, sitting up and wrapping her arms around Maggie's waist. "I have plans for that later. All of it has been expertly arranged."

"I'm not sure I want to be jewel encrusted," said Maggie, scrunching her nose up at the thought. "I might get stolen."

"I'll keep you safe," assured Kendall, nodding her head and forming a playful expression of the overly solemn. Putting her hand on her heart, she declared, "I'll even swear on it! I, Kendall Hart, hereby promise to keep the jewel encrusted Maggie Stone safe from any would be thieves who would hock her new pretty, shiny, jewel encrusted body for cold hard cash."

"Again with the encrusted," Maggie clucked her tongue. "I don't like the sound of the encrusted." Shaking her head, she started to say something more but a yawn escaped her lips instead. A hot blush covered her features and she muttered in embarrassment, "Sorry."

Cupping Maggie's cheek tenderly, Kendall smiled softly and replied, "That's nothing to apologize for." Lightly pushing her legs up, she rose to her feet and took Maggie with her. "I'm thinking that it's close to bedtime anyway." Kendall took Maggie's hand and led them into the guest room they had shared not so long ago. "I have a surprise for you," her voice echoed of lighthearted mischief. "So you stay here." Then with that, Kendall was gone after wagging her finger at Maggie.

"Huh," said Maggie to herself in a low mutter moments later. Rubbing the back of her head, she recalled the last time that she was standing in the room like this and smirked. "I wonder if she went off to get some more fixins."

That was when deja vu struck Maggie. Okay, not really. That was when pajamas once again struck Maggie in the back of the head as Kendall smiled big in the doorway and pointed at her in a replay of earlier events in the room.

"I told you not to mock fixins," Kendall declared in huffy tones, attempting to appear upset but failing completely. Putting her hands on her hips, she then continued, "I might just take back those oh so appropriate pajamas I found lurking in my pile of boxes back at the condo now. Even if I do happen to think they're made for you."

Pulling the pajamas off her head, Maggie stared at the coyly posed picture of Tinkerbell from Disney's Peter Pan looking out at her. Underneath her the words 'Tink!' were printed in bold pink block letters on the white with short pink sleeves baby tee. She quickly looked down at the cotton pants which were pink with white and yellow dots made out to be fairy lights printed all over them. A dumbfounded expression on her face, Maggie held the clothing helplessly in her hands then looked up at a clearly delighted Kendall.

"What," began Maggie very slowly, "is this?"

"Pajamas I bought for Greenlee as a gag gift that went horribly wrong and ended up in condo box storage," Kendall said with a grin. "Go on," she waved her hands encouragingly, "put them on! I can't wait to see you in them. You'll look cute, I'm sure."

"I'm not wearing Tinkerbell pajamas, Kendall," said Maggie strongly. Looking down at the clothes, she scowled slightly. "If I put these on I'd never live it down."

"You think I'd tell someone?" Kendall blinked, wearing her award winning expression of an emotionally wounded innocent.

"No, I don't think you'd tell someone. I know you'd tell someone," remarked Maggie, forming a smirk.

"I'm hurt, I tell, you. Hurt!" proclaimed Kendall, pressing her hand over her heart and releasing an irritated puff of air. "Here I am, just wanting to see you look impossibly cute in Disney brand sleep wear and you think it's part of some larger plot to humiliate you." She studied Maggie for a moment then walked towards the other woman. Her face breaking out into a bright smile that confirmed she wasn't really upset, Kendall said, "It's okay. I figured you wouldn't wear them but I wanted to at least ask you because... well," Kendall laughed warmly, "I do think you'd look so cute in them. There's no harm in thinking that, right?"

"Right," answered Maggie and she started to hand the pajamas back to Kendall only to halt suddenly. "Kendall?" She was hesitating now.

"Yeah?" Kendall tilted her head, watching Maggie closely.

Maggie looked down at the pajamas and frowned. She had to admit, they were cute. That is, if someone else was wearing them, they'd be cute. On her they would just be...


Raising her gaze to meet Kendall's and struck by the look of silent affection in blue gray eyes, Maggie swallowed the lump in her throat. "You really think I'd look cute in these?" she asked, her voice the barest of whispers. "That's why you want me to wear them? Not because..."

"Because what?" asked Kendall gently, two tiny lines forming on her forehead, an obvious sign of worry. Maggie ducked her head and Kendall reached out, tenderly cupping her cheek to lift her head and look into her eyes. "What is it?"

"My Mom... she drank a lot," Maggie began and she kept her eyes trained away from Kendall. The older woman allowed this because she somehow knew Maggie couldn't look at her and continue talking. "We never had much money." She released a bitter laugh then amended, "We never had much of anything, actually. But we would always end up shopping for clothes at the start of each school year. I never asked Mom where she got the money and neither did Frankie. I guess we were scared if we did then next time there'd be no new clothes." Maggie's jaw clenched and she squeezed her eyes tightly shut, these reactions tugged at Kendall's heart as they showed the depth of pain the memories had created. "Mom liked to play pranks, you know? I have this habit... of just blocking out the bad things or maybe just pretending they never happened. Because of that sometimes the same bad things would happen again and again to me. And like clockwork, each school year we'd get the new clothes and Mom... she'd pull her pranks. Saying I looked cute in some outfit that later she'd..." Maggie released a shuddering breath and her voice sounded broken. "She'd take it back... get drunk and say how it was all lies and how I... I..."

Before Maggie could even contemplate saying anything else she was wrapped up in Kendall's arms. The taller woman held her close and kissed the top of her head then the side of her face, hands cradling her carefully like she was fine china. Soothed in this embrace, Maggie let go for the first time in years and sobbed in gasping relief. Finally it was all right, she had someone she could trust. To tell the things that her mind professed to be meaningless while her heart said the complete opposite. Logically Maggie knew it shouldn't make a difference. They were just clothes and it was only her outer appearance, it didn't speak anything about how she truly was as a person. But still, it was painful. No one likes to be called ugly... to be made fun of...

One time stung, two times hurt, three times burned, and more times than can be counted... years and years worth? That created a type of suffering that can't ever be properly explained. The easiest way to say it would be that it left a scar on your soul and made you hide your heart away.

"You're cute," Kendall murmured, her breath warm on Maggie's skin and she kissed her neck tenderly. Slowly moving away to hold Maggie's face in her hands, Kendall wiped away the tears with the pads of her thumb. "No," she corrected breathlessly as a sad smile formed, "that's wrong. You're beautiful." When the smaller woman gave a soft sob at this, Kendall closed her eyes and tried to calm the hatred she felt for Maggie's mother. Upon opening them, she leaned down and said with unwavering conviction, "You're so very beautiful, Maggie Stone. No matter what you wear, you're beautiful and you always will be."

The kiss they shared was velvet soft but turned fierce in the proof of emotion, Kendall taking control and showing Maggie all that she felt for the other woman. Sweeping in intensity and power, leaving Maggie feeling dizzy as Kendall sucked on her tongue deliciously. Each kiss leading to another and when they broke apart from need of air, Maggie honestly could say that she had truly never felt more desirable in her entire life.

"I'm always beautiful, huh?" said Maggie with soft humor, leaning backwards and wrapping her arms around Kendall's neck to look up into her features.

"Always," Kendall assured, nodding solemnly. Smiling affectionately, she then kissed Maggie's nose which scrunched up at this, causing her to laugh at the sight. "Though right now I think you're much more cute than beautiful. In fact, I'd even say you're downright adorable."

"Mmm," Maggie murmured and her eyes grew lidded as she studied Kendall in careful consideration. Nodding her head like she reached some type of internal decision, Maggie declared in rather upbeat tones, "Right then! It's officially time for me to put on the Tinkerbell pajamas."

"What?" asked Kendall, blinking and looking altogether surprised. She watched dimly as Maggie squeezed her hand and started to head out the door. That was when she tugged on Maggie's hand causing the blonde to look back at her. "Maggie," her words were soft and sincere. "You don't have to do that. I was only teasing when I brought them in before and I don't want you to do or wear anything that you don't want to."

"But I want to," Maggie beamed and lifted Kendall's hand to place a kiss on its palm. "You think I'd look cute in them, right?"

"You'd look adorable," whispered Kendall, wearing a loving smile.

"Then it's settled," declared Maggie. She let go of Kendall's hand only to dart forward and stand on her tippy toes to deliver a fast but heartfelt kiss. Smiling as she pulled away, Maggie chuckled, "I'm totally confident in your choice in clothing, Kendall. I mean, it's hard for me not to when all I got today was nonstop almost creepy compliments because I wore clothing you picked out."

"Creepy compliments?" Kendall echoed, raising an eyebrow and appearing to want to question Maggie further about this comment. Only it was too late, the other woman had sprinted from the room to put on the Tinkerbell pajamas.

Sighing quietly, she studied her surroundings for a long moment then realized that she had been granted a short window of time to put on her own bedtime clothes. Ones that Kendall had chosen to wear especially for her missing companion. Not because they were particularly sexy or even flattering on her for that matter. No, she picked them because they were her favorite comfort pajamas that she wore when she wanted to feel better about herself. They were her clothing version of a security blanket, if you will, and so far one person had seen them and that was Bianca.

But now Bianca was gone and though it pained Kendall to her very soul she knew it was what her sister needed to do. And it didn't escape Kendall the reason Bianca's departure didn't hurt nearly so much was because of Maggie. Somehow, in a short time, Maggie had managed to worm her way thoroughly into her heart and life. Not taking Bianca's place in it but instead creating her own very special residence there that couldn't be denied.

That made Kendall happier than she ever could've imagined.

When Maggie returned, she found Kendall kneeling down and searching through the closet in Bianca's guest room. She was wearing a pair of baggy white cotton pajama bottoms with tiny black stripes on them that hung low at her waist, revealing just a hint of her bikini cut panties. Kendall turned to her, smiling and revealing that the pants had a button fly. All in all, they it was a surprisingly boyish look on Kendall. If you didn't happen to count the perfectly fit eyelet seamless white camisole that hugged her chest and accented her cleavage. Though Maggie found the shirt to be incredibly sexy something in her knew that wasn't its purpose. The worn and almost washed out appearance of the clothing told her these weren't clothes put on to impress or to entice. They were just Kendall's clothes. Her favorite pair of bedtime wear and the fact that she was wearing them for her warmed Maggie's heart. This was the real Kendall, not the mask of slow seduction she would produce to get what she wanted. She didn't want anything out of this except being able to simply be herself.

"I've discovered Binks not so secret shoe fetish," announced Kendall, smiling playfully and holding up a pair of black Jimmy Choo strappy pumps. "This pair alone has six different color variances." Rising to her feet, the shoe hung by its straps from Kendall's index finger. "I can't help but wonder what I'd find if took it upon myself to search the shoe closet in lil sis's actual room." Maggie rolled her eyes then walked over to Kendall, took the shoe from her, tossed it into the closet and closed the door. When she looked back at Kendall the taller woman had an eyebrow arched and said, "I have a good feeling Binks wouldn't have approved of that. You're practically guilty of shoe abuse."

"Uh huh," Maggie drew the words out slowly, placing her hands on Kendall's waist, running her gaze down her body. Finally meeting blue gray eyes, she smiled and murmured, "You look good like this. I like it... seeing you look so comfortable."

"You mean it?" asked Kendall, her voice hushed and her expression uncertain.

"I mean it," replied Maggie as she kissed Kendall's chin, falling into her embrace and threading her fingers through curly brown hair. An impish smile formed and she said playfully, "You almost look as cute as I do. Not quite as cute but almost."

Shifting to study Maggie with a warm gaze, endless in the affection it held, Kendall said, "I thought I told you that you're not cute. You're adorable." Lifting Maggie's arms to each side so she could see her perfectly in the Tinkerbell pajamas, her eyes sparkled. "Downright adorable at that."

Maggie nodded in solemn contemplation then pulled Kendall to her for a sweet kiss as they slowly backed up towards the bed. They fell upon it in a mass of laughs and giggles, pulling the covers away to quickly bury themselves under them. With a loud click, the lights went off and their limbs entwined. Maggie couldn't help but sigh with contentment as her arms wrapped around Kendall who laid her head over her heart. Gently twisting a lock of curly hair around her finger, Maggie smiled at the feeling of Kendall's fingers lightly going up and down her arm.

"Was it bad?" Kendall spoke softly in the darkness, afraid to ruin the ease of the interaction they shared between them but desperately wanting to know more about Maggie. Particularly after what she had discovered tonight. Kendall honestly needed some sort assurance Maggie's youth consisted of something other than pain. The worst kind of pain at that, where emotions were used as weapons by the parent to wound the child. "Your childhood... what was it like?"

Swallowing deeply and closing her eyes, Maggie searched her mind until she found something good. Pure in the joy it caused, simple as it might be. "It wasn't all bad. I mean, everybody knew Frankie and I in the neighborhood so that was good," said Maggie, raw and naked with feeling. "We were just always around, you know? And there was this guy... Vince Podulopus. He ran this funny little store that sold all sorts of junk. Frankie was really good at being able to fix things. You could hand her a toaster tossed off of a twenty story building and she'd fix it good as new." Chuckling at the memory, Maggie let Kendall's hair unwind around her finger and she massaged the woman's scalp gently. "Vince hired us, I guess. You couldn't really call it a job since him and his brother ran the place. We basically got paid to do simple jobs here and there. The money wasn't much but it got us away from home and we loved being there. He was a nice old guy... played all these great jazz records. Frankie ended up hooked on Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday because of him. Anyway, she'd fix all the odds and ends while I went around cleaning the place up." Adjusting her body slightly, Maggie smiled as Kendall moved up to press her face against her neck. Slipping her arms down around the taller woman's waist, she sighed and continued, "One day Vince comes back from getting lunch with a big grin on his face. So big it looked like his face would crack and he pulls this box from behind his back. Frankie and I rushed over, I don't know why, I guess we must've known it was for us. But we rushed over and inside the box was every eleven year old kid's dream."

"What was it?" asked Kendall, an excitedly impatient tone to her voice that caused Maggie to chuckle lightly at it. On hearing this, Kendall tickled the shorter woman's ribs who squirmed until she decided to stop. "Come on," Kendall wheedled, her fingers tapping gently on Maggie's stomach. "Tell me."

"It was a Sega Genesis," Maggie said proudly. "Vince said he found it just sitting on the corner waiting for the trash pick up. I guess who'd had it before us figured it was broken and it probably would be considered broken to anyone other than Frankie. She fixed it in barely two hours and we got our very own video game system."

The air filled with silence then Kendall said blankly, "What's a Sega Genesis?"

"Please tell me you're kidding," replied Maggie, straining to see Kendall in the darkness who moved back to peer at Maggie. "Sega Genesis! Sonic the Hedgehog, the bloody Mortal Kombat that wasn't censored, Aladdin..." She frowned at the last game then muttered, "Stupid Aladdin. I never could beat that game and Frankie'd always make fun of me for it."

"Was it boxy and gray?" Kendall asked, trying her best to summon memories of things boys she knew loved to try and talk to her about that just bored her to tears. "The one that had those funky fungus mushroom creatures running around for you to squash?"

"That's Nintendo!" exclaimed Maggie in tones that implied mixing up Nintendo and Sega could possibly be an unknown form of blasphemy. "The Genesis was black and you put the games into the top of the machine." After a moment of total silence, Maggie sighed then said desperately, "Its most popular game starred a cartoon hedgehog named Sonic who wore red sneakers. They even made a cartoon about it."

"Oh yeah," said Kendall, summoning up an image of the video game system from a haze of random childhood memories. She moved closer to nuzzle Maggie's neck and whistled the theme song to the game which caused her companion to laugh in appreciation. "That game, right? The one where the more wedding rings you collected then the better your life was. Why did he run around collecting wedding rings anyway? Did he want to get married to that fox thing?"

Contemplating the exact meaning behind Kendall's interpretation of the purpose for Sonic the Hedgehog, Maggie didn't reply for a long while. Eventually she decided it wouldn't be worth the effort to think of a snappy comeback since Kendall barely recalled the game as it was. "They were both guys and I doubt Sega was thinking about promoting gay marriage back then so I'd say no to that theory. But that is an extremely creative way of seeing things."

"You're making fun of me, aren't you?" Kendall chuckled, a playful accusation in her voice.

"Of course not!" said Maggie who was trying her level best to sound truly offended at the mere suggestion. "Why would I make fun of you for thinking that a classic video game had gay subtext between a boy hedgehog and fox who collected gold rings for their upcoming nuptials?"

"You're definitely making fun of me," purred Kendall, sliding away from Maggie to hover over the smaller woman. In the dark of the room, she could barely make out Maggie's features but could hear the hitching breath she released as Kendall slowly lowered herself down. "It's a good thing I happen to think you're the most adorable thing in creation after Mimo. I don't know if you're aware of this but I apparently have a tendency to take certain things personally."

"You? Noooo," Maggie scoffed, making Kendall chuckle again. "But it is nice to know my recently acquired status has made me invulnerable to harm." Smiling sweetly, she reached up to push locks of curly hair from Kendall's eyes. "Just how adorable am I again?"

"Incredibly adorable," Kendall breathed the words husky and low, making a shiver of delicious anticipation run through Maggie. "And more than good enough to eat."

That said, Kendall swept Maggie's lips in her own for a languid kiss which quickly had the younger woman yielding in her arms. And as they continued to kiss, neither paid attention to the alarm clock sitting on the night table next to the bed they were occupying. But if they had paid attention they would've noticed seconds turning into minutes and minutes turning into hours.

Only they didn't notice. At least, not until 5 a.m. in the morning when the unwelcome visitor that was the sun decided to make an appearance in their lives. By then it was too late to change the fact that very soon they had to get up and go to their respective places of business. Which is precisely why they did what any newly formed couple, euphoric in their relationship would do.

They continued kissing.

It was an unusual day indeed when Jackson Montgomery found himself agreeing with Erica Kane about the need for an increased number of luggage. Then again, it wasn't every day they had to pack for their Grandchild's extended trip to Poland. Extended due to the lack of knowledge about when exactly the trip would end.

Something that saddened them both but didn't prevent them from realizing the necessity of the trip not only for Paulina's sake but for Bianca and Miranda's as well. They deserved the chance to spend more time with Paulina while they could.

Unfortunately that didn't make saying goodbye any easier. No matter how temporary the situation might be. Any depressing thoughts the Grandparents might've had disappeared when they turned the key in the lock to Bianca's front door and were met with the sound of jubilant laughter.

"What are you doing?" Kendall demanded through her laughter, her voice echoing clear and joyful in the air. "You know you're ruining Binks kitchen supplies, right? I'm going to have to buy a new waffle iron now and I have no idea where to buy one."

"Oh hush, I'm in complete control here," replied Maggie dismissively only to release a surprised and very girlish squeak moments later. "Will you please stop that? The waffle isn't cooked yet and you're distracting me with inappropriate use of caramel."

When Jackson and Erica peered curiously into Bianca's kitchen they found the two women hovering over the counter where the waffle iron was plugged in. Maggie was holding a wooden spoon dripping with caramel waffle batter to one side, her eyes fixated on Kendall who was smiling and slowly pulling a batter covered finger from her lips. Erica arched an eyebrow knowingly at this scene and Jackson turned beet red then coughed. And Miranda? Well, it was 8 a.m. and Miranda never woke for anyone or anything until after 10. That was part of why she was such an adored little girl.

On hearing Jackson's cough, both women turned to face them and Maggie was soon redder than Jackson could ever manage. Kendall, in the meantime, imitated her mother by arching an eyebrow and smiling slowly. Stepping around Maggie, she moved to carefully hug Erica as to not disturb Miranda then pulled Jackson into a more forceful embrace.

"Hey," said Kendall quietly. "I guess you're here to get more of Mimo's things for the trip?"

"For once I was forced to agree with your mother about the need for more clothing," Jackson replied dryly, giving a smirk. "I could have sworn that the world was officially ending."

Erica rolled her eyes then smiled at her daughter though anyone who truly knew her, as all of the three people present did, could see the wheels turning in her head. "And why are you here, darling?" she asked pleasantly. "I thought you would have picked a more appropriate location after your date..." Erica then trailed off and she frowned. "Of course!" she mused, looking irritated with herself and turning to Kendall. "Your condo is in a horrible state because of your move, isn't it?" Erica turned to Maggie now and her frown increased. "And you live with Jamie."

"Yup," Maggie gave a nod and a chuckle. "I do deal with a daily Jamie infestation."

"Poor Mr. Martin," noted Jackson in droll tones. "To be categorized with insects is the last thing that any young man really wants. Well," he laughed quietly. "Any man, I should think."

"Mmm," Erica mused then her eyes lit up and stepping forward, she firmly took Maggie's hand in her own. "Would you do me a favor and help me pack, Maggie dear? I could use your assistance and you know your way around so well."

Before Maggie had a chance to reply one way or another, Erica was pulling her upstairs. Being dragged away, Maggie shot Kendall a hapless look of apology which the other woman just smiled at in reassurance. Then she turned to Jackson as she sighed, looking at the leaking waffle monstrosity Maggie had created with Bianca's unwillingly kitchen supplies.

"This was supposed to be a waffle," Kendall murmured in good humor, carefully prying the waffle iron open. "I'm not sure what exactly it turned out to be though... what would you call an uncooked mass of batter and caramel? The breakfast food blob, maybe?"

"Your Mother and I didn't know..." began Jackson, his tones understanding and deliberate as always. The love evident in his every word, making him more endeared to Kendall, if that was even possible. Perhaps it was, who knows. If there was anyone who could progressively become more beloved as time went on it was Jackson Montgomery. He was just that sort of man. Good, honest, and pure in his intentions. "We only came to collect more of Miranda's things."

"Jackson," said Kendall with a chuckle. Walking purposefully over to him, she clasped his arms. "Don't worry so much! I know you and Mother aren't here to spy on Maggie and I. Mostly because I told her yesterday about our relationship." Shaking her head wryly, Kendall then murmured, "But at that time I didn't know if we'd have a relationship or not and now..."

"You have one?" suggested Jackson, smiling slowly.

"Yes," Kendall replied happily. Her eyes lit up in goodness, hope, and everything wonderful in this world. And on seeing this, Jackson knew this new relationship was something to support and be proud of simply because it made her happy. Which was all he wanted for his girls. "Jackson... I really think this is... well, I don't know what this is," Kendall laughed nervously. "But it does feel right for me and I haven't had that in a long time."

"If it feels right then it usually is," Jackson answered in a kind but somber voice. Gently reaching out to cup her cheek, his gaze was warm but searching. "She makes you happy?" When Kendall nodded silently, ducking her head, he chuckled at the sudden onset of shyness in Erica's oldest. Holding her chin softly in his hand he pressed a kiss onto her forehead then said quietly, "Then that's all that matters because that's all any of us want for you, Kendall. We just want you to be happy."

Burying herself into his arms with a combination laugh and sob, Kendall clutched to him and muttered tearfully, "You know it's because of stuff like this that everyone wants you to be their Dad. You know that, right?"

"I had a suspicion," Jackson chuckled, holding her tight. "But that hardly bothers me because you know... I want that. I want to be the father of the finest bunch of kids I've ever known. Even if you all have a tendency of bending the law for family."

"Just a tendency?" laughed Kendall, moving back and rubbing her tears away with the back of her hand. "That's a pretty tame way of talking about some of the things we've done."

"Yes, well," said Jackson as he darted his eyes around, pretending to look for spies. He leaned in close and said in quiet conspiratorial tones, "The less of a crime I make it seem the less chance my kids get arrested for it."

"You're crazy, Jackson," murmured Kendall, shaking her head and smiling at him through her tears. "But I do love you. Just like everyone else in this messed up family does."

"I thought as much," Jackson preened now, drawing up to his full height and smoothing his suit. "I am such a dapper looking and charming fellow."

"Stupendously dapper," Kendall smiled and helped him smooth his suit. Looking up into his eyes with a clear gaze, she said in a heartfelt whisper, "Thank you."

"You're welcome, my girl," said Jackson softly. Gathering her hands in his own, Jackson squeezed them affectionately. "You're very welcome. But tell me this," he drawled with slow and deliberate humor. "Why Tinkerbell pajamas?"

Bursting out into laughter, Kendall tossed her hair over her shoulder and remarked slyly, "Why not? Maggie looks cute in them doesn't she?"

"That she does," Jackson chuckled and nodded.

Upstairs, Maggie and Erica were going through an entirely different type of bonding. Then again, anything involving Erica Kane, the Diva among Divas of the cosmetics world, had to be considered different. That was simply a part and parcel of her personality whether you liked it or not.

At this moment in time, Maggie didn't like it. That was mostly because nothing had been said since Erica placed a sleeping Miranda in Maggie's arms and began searching through the baby's drawers as she packed the Miss Piggy luggage that Lena had purchased a month or so ago. Her back to Maggie, she held up the yellow duck pajamas the medical student had bought for Miranda. The ones that she felt were responsible for the strange series of baby assaults on her person.

"Honestly, Maggie, I am fond of you but what possessed you to purchase this for my Granddaughter?" asked Erica, appearing to hold back laughter as she held up the pajamas.

"I don't know," Maggie sighed pathetically and shifted Miranda in her arms. "I didn't think that Mimo would end up looking like a banana in them, I promise!"

"I believe you," Erica chuckled. Her eyes twinkled playfully and she packed the pajamas in with the more attractive clothing. "I'm thinking we should bring these just because they'll provide a bit of much needed humor." She paused in her folding and her shoulders were stiff with resolve. "Maggie," her voice was soft but powerful as always. "I realize that I don't have any right to ask anything of you but I feel I must..."

"Erica, what is it?" asked Maggie with concern, moving to the older woman's side, shifting Miranda onto her shoulder so she could touch her shoulder in comfort. "I want to help."

Covering Maggie's hand with her own, Erica turned to the blonde and smiled softly. "I know," she murmured. "And that's why I want to ask you to take care of Kendall for me. I'm not sure how long Jackson and I will remain in Poland." Laughing wryly, Erica continued, "Most likely it will be as long as Bianca will let us I suspect. While we're gone it would put me at ease to know Kendall had someone like you looking out for her."

"Someone like me?" echoed Maggie dimly, sounding lost.

"Yes," Erica smiled and pushed stray locks of hair from Maggie's eyes with the gentle hands of a mother. "Someone kind, who has a good heart and an intelligent mind. That's you, Maggie Stone, and if it doesn't scare you too much I want to tell you something else, if I might."

"You can say anything to me that you want, Erica," said Maggie. She was feeling fairly stunned about the current turn of events but that didn't mean she didn't want to hear what Erica had to say.

Studying Maggie for a long moment, Erica wore a serene expression then she leaned forward to kiss Maggie's cheek tenderly. Pulling away to look into Maggie's eyes which were wide with disbelief, she murmured, "Welcome to our family."

The time that passed between them was a rare example of perfect silence where the devotion they both felt to Kendall shone through. Then it was shattered by the one person who easily held the most amount of people devoted to in the town of Pine Valley. Yes, Miss Miranda Montgomery decided to wake up and steal the spotlight for herself. And wake up cranky at that because it wasn't 10 a.m. and as stated before, she hated to wake before 10. This was quickly forgotten though because Miranda soon discovered just whose arms she was being held in.

Though it was the first time Erica had witnessed an example of Miranda's baby assaults on Maggie, it wouldn't be the last and it certainly wouldn't be forgotten. How would it be possible to forget a thing like a baby laying an aggressive kiss on a shocked woman's lips, anyway? Erica didn't know and she didn't even have it in her to try.

Watching it was too damn amusing for that.

During the drive back to Maggie's apartment the couple were absorbed in a lively debate about their friends. More specifically, whose group of friends would be the most tenacious and embarrassing in regards to discovering the nature of their new relationship. Upon pulling into the parking lot of her building they saw Jamie attempting to be discrete, peering at them through a crack in the window curtains. This convinced Maggie that her friends would be the worst of the bunch. A theory Kendall had to disagree with because it revealed the flaw in Maggie's reasoning and that was this...

Most of Maggie's friends were men.

And men don't care much if anything for gossip. Jamie might tease Maggie and even goad her but he wouldn't pursue the truth if it was clear to him it would take extended effort in order to retrieve it. His interest didn't last that long. Especially when it came to the topic of romance.

On the other hand, most of Kendall's friends were women. Not just any women, mind you, but the women of Fusion which did include Simone in their ranks. And there was only one thing that Simone loved more than gossip and that was having sex.

Since it could never be considered proper to have sex in front of her co-workers in the middle of a busy restaurant at lunch time Simone had just one thing to focus on. The gossip already circulating about the relationship between Maggie and Kendall thanks to their public make out session. Which just happened to be witnessed by Ryan and Greenlee along with most of Pine Valley.

Kendall's victory in this debate was assured.

"Come on, girl! I want details," Simone crowed, slapping their table and taking a big drink of her wine. Kendall eyed the other woman with a good deal of humor and wariness. Judging what Simone might do next was something no one could really do. Probably because most of the time Simone had no idea herself so how on Earth could other people? A smile that was sneaky, sensual, and oozing of sex spread across Simone's face while she flicked her hair over her shoulder. That was another thing about Simone, she had hair that defied all laws of shininess. At times Kendall thought Simone's hair might even be shinier than certain kinds of diamond wedding rings. "I can't believe you joined the Sapphic Sisterhood before I've had my very own lesbian experience. It's a travesty, I tell you!"

"Your state of perpetual horniness continues to amaze me," said Greenlee dryly.

While Greenlee did her best to sound bored, her russet eyes studied Kendall carefully in order to gauge her reactions. She had seen the proof herself that Kendall did indeed have a relationship with Maggie Stone but what kind of relationship remained a mystery. Was it romance? Or was it what Ryan suggested in a grating tirade against the women later that night... merely a 'friendly fuck'? Just thinking the words made Greenlee wince. They didn't fit Kendall, at least not the Kendall she had grown to know. And Maggie? Greenlee would be the first person to admit she didn't know Bianca's best friend in any sense of the word but it didn't fit her either. Maggie was too...


"Please," Simone exhaled in that breathy way she had that reduced men and some women to quivering puddles at her feet. "Don't even act like you're not curious because I KNOW that's a lie." Releasing a quiet snort, she muttered to herself, "Think I don't know what's behind you joining Ryan for his Kendall hate-on? Oh, it's all repressed hormones, that's what that is. I know about these things... I was repressed once upon a time. In pre-school, damn that Miss Davies. She was determined to hold me back, yes she was. But I showed her!"

Arching an eyebrow and resting her chin in the palm of her hand, Kendall observed her coworkers with amusement. During their debate in the car, she and Maggie had come to the decision they would tell their nosy friends the truth when they no longer found their antics entertaining. And though Kendall found Simone ranting to herself about pre-school teachers highly entertaining there was something about Greenlee's quiet introspective gaze that bothered her. Which is why she decided to just tell them the truth about her relationship with Maggie and end all of this.

"We're dating," said Kendall in simple tones that resonated in a pure unadulterated joy Greenlee and Simone couldn't help but envy. "We just started dating, in fact." Kendall smiled softly as she recalled the events of last night. "I can't really explain it in the way you might want me to, Simone. But I can tell you that I haven't been this genuinely happy in a long time. So," a whoosh of breath escaped her lungs and she looked nervous. "I hope as my friends you'll at least accept Maggie's new role in my life, if not support it. If you can't do that..." Kendall's face became veiled and she looked away from them. "Please don't voice your problems regarding it at work. I couldn't take that."

"Hey, girl," murmured Simone, her voice echoing with concern and she cupped Kendall's cheek. "Why would we have any problems with it? Maggie is a great catch!" Forming that sneaky smile of hers again, Simone waggled her eyebrows and drawled, "You got yourself a Dr. Stone cold fox, huh? Ohhh yeah, I'm likin' that. No problems here!"

Laughing and releasing a short sob, Kendall rubbed her eyes then peered sheepishly at Simone. "You're such a pervert," she said in affectionate accusation. Pointing sternly at Simone now, Kendall declared, "I better not catch you chasing after my woman. Don't think I'm not wise to your tricks."

"Always it goes back to my tricks," Simone rolled her eyes expressively and groaned. "You get arrested for prostitution by mistake a few times and it becomes a standard joke. Why me? I'll have you know it could happen to anyone."

"You keep telling yourself that," chuckled Kendall. Looking to Greenlee who remained silent through all of this, she gave into her instincts and softly touched her friend's hand. When russet eyes darted up anxiously to meet hers, Kendall started to pull it away only to have Greenlee quickly grab her hand and squeeze it in a tender hold as she smiled sweetly. "You okay?"

"She makes you happy?" asked Greenlee, unknowingly echoing her father's words.

"Very happy," Kendall nodded, her face lighting up just at the thought of Maggie. Returning Greenlee's squeeze from earlier, she murmured, "I think she's my Leo."

"I'm glad," said Greenlee hoarsely, blinking back the tears.

The women met in a tearful embrace which lasted for several long moments before they were interrupted by the loud sound of Simone snapping a breadstick in half. When they pulled back to look sardonically at their companion, she rose an eyebrow innocently.

"What?" Simone muttered through a mouthful of breadstick. "Did I break up your bonding session? I didn't mean to. I'm just suffering from a sudden onset of bread craving. If I didn't know with horrifying clarity my own lack of sex life I'd think I was going through one of those weird pregnancy cravings."

"Ugh, Simone!" said Greenlee in exasperation, flinging her cloth napkin in the woman's face. "Can you try not talking about sex for maybe one minute? Or would that kill your remaining brain cells that are only hanging on thanks to sheer resilience?"

"She's so testy," remarked Simone casually, leaning towards Kendall who was snickering. Waving a breadstick in Greenlee's general direction, she said with false secrecy, "I'm thinking her and Lord Ryan haven't been knocking booties."

"Knocking booties," Greenlee repeated the words, infusing them with every last bit of sarcasm she had in her. Which, since it was Greenlee, was a huge amount of sarcasm. "Who says that? Not even Reggie says that! And if my little brother doesn't say it then you know it's out of date."

"You know, I'm kind of sad," Simone mused and wore an earnest expression as she looked to Kendall. Apparently her little feud with Greenlee was now a thing of the past. "I thought for sure I'd be the first one of the Fusion Four to have some sort of Sapphic encounter. But no," she sighed heavily. "Special K beat me to it. I find it all very disheartening."

Smirking and wondering why exactly Simone had nicknamed her after a brand of cereal, Kendall offered, "I'm afraid to say I can't claim the title as first in that particular contest, Simone." Tilting her head in Greenlee's direction whose eyes were as wide as saucers now and face wore an expression of definite ire, Kendall drawled, "Greenlee is the official winner."

"You promised not to tell!" Greenlee hissed. She decided to give into her more dominant spiteful nature and kicked Kendall hard with her Manolo Blahnik pumps.

"And you promised me not to go after Ryan," Kendall reminded, looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. When she saw Greenlee blanch at this, she smiled and held her friend's hand in her own. "Not that I mind anymore," she laughed warmly. "It all turned out for the best. You can't blame me for getting a wee bit of revenge for it, can you?"

"No, I guess not," said Greenlee reluctantly. Her eyes narrowed and looking away, she huffed, "Just don't do that again."

"I hereby promise that all secrets will remain secrets from this day forward," announced Kendall, a smile in her voice and she patted Greenlee's hand. "Then again," Kendall had stopped patting and said this in altogether thoughtful tones. "I don't know your other secrets."

Rolling her eyes, Greenlee snarked, "Lucky for me."

"Not to be immature but let met get this straight," purred Simone, a huge smirk forming on her features. "Greenlee, not Kendall, is the first one among us to eat at Miss Kitty's?"

Simultaneously, both Greenlee and Kendall looked to the smug Simone who was practically bouncing in her seat at this news then groaned in exasperation. Burying her face in Kendall's neck who rubbed her back in sympathy, Greenlee muttered, "I could get away with killing her, right? Jackson would get me a deal, I know he would. There's that residual absentee Dad guilt he's got going on. That could really work in my favor. Plus it's Simone. Her just being her creates half of my defense for me."

"It's really not all that interesting of a story, Simone," said Kendall, continuing to rub Greenlee's back as the other woman avoided looking in their friend's direction. "You know how Greenlee had less than stellar parents? Well, she spent most of her high school years at an all girls Catholic boarding school in Switzerland and--"

At was at this point Simone broke out into raucous laughter.

"Please let me kill her," said Greenlee in a voice that was soft but steely and promised certain vengeance. Kendall arched an eyebrow at these words and instead of replying, she flicked several drops of water at Simone to stop her from laughing.

Miraculously, this tactic worked and Simone quieted her laughs down to gasps while she clutched at her sides which were aching. Once she had calmed down enough, Simone giggled and said, "I kept picturing Greenlee of the Swiss Alps. I saw you with pigtails and running through the hills with buxom blonde women in quilt skirts and goats all over the place." Simone dissolved into uncontrolled giggles and her face turned red as she continued, "I used to love Heidi! Love it!"

"Typical," sniffed Greenlee, folding her arms across her chest. "You're just like everyone else, believing whatever the movies told you about Switzerland. I'll have you know it wasn't like that."

"Then why did you go Sapphic for a Swiss Miss?" drawled Simone, a mischievous gleam in her eyes. "Do tell, because that is what I'm interested in hearing."

"Maybe because the school was in the MOUNTAINS," Greenlee hissed, narrowing her eyes dangerously. "Mountains here and Mountains there, hell, Mountains everywhere! And snow, god it was nothing but snow. I can't drive in heavy rain so I sure as hell couldn't drive in piles of snow." Leaning back in her seat to wear an entirely petulant expression, she muttered, "I might like the penis but not enough to die for it!" The memories were apparently returning to Greenlee because she was looking wistful as she murmured, "And Olga was--"

"Olga!" Simone shrieked and burst into laughter again.

Though it would be discussed in depth among many circles of people including the restaurant staff, customers, and even the Fusion women themselves no one could say the precise reason for them being removed from the premises. Was it Greenlee tossing her iced tea on Simone? Or Simone throwing her half chewed breadstick at Greenlee? Or Kendall pulling Greenlee to one side causing the half chewed breadstick to hit Judge Thomasino in his badly arranged toupee? Or said badly arranged toupee falling into his wife's soup? Or maybe it had something to do with Donald Steele capturing all of this on film while he shouted out rabidly inappropriate questions.

Yeah, it was probably the last one.

Part 8

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