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 Nine...

"What I don't understand is why he kept raising the stakes while he continued to lose in more and more games against you," murmured Kendall, her voice both perplexed and muffled as she pulled Jamie's borrowed t-shirt over her head.

It was now either late into the night or early into the morning depending on your opinion and the entire day had been spent inside the apartment playing with the Sega Genesis. Even Kendall had gotten into the spirit, managing to both frustrate and make Maggie proud as she beat Aladdin on her first try. For the record, or just general knowledge, Maggie played the game twelve separate times and couldn't manage to make it past level six.

Aladdin would remain as Maggie's great white whale of video games it seemed.

Of course, Jamie found this amusing and his amusement irritated Maggie more than little. Which led to a fierce competition in all the Mortal Kombats. A competition that lasted five hours and proclaimed Maggie the winner in 219 out of 300 matches.

Fatality indeed.

They were getting ready for bed and Maggie couldn't help but pause in her own dressing to watch Kendall put on the brown McGruff the crime dog t-shirt she'd gotten from Jamie. That shirt combined with the baggy Philadelphia Eagles pajama bottoms she wore gave Kendall the look of relaxed ease that Maggie couldn't help but find charming. Mostly because she knew this was a side of Kendall that precious few got to see and now she was among their numbers. That made Maggie feel more special than she could ever manage to properly explain.

"There's something you really need to know about James Martin," replied Maggie with a chuckle, pulling back the covers to her bed and sitting down. "And that's the fact that the only thing he hates more than losing is admitting that he's lost. Now this is a damn good trait to have on the football field and the wrestling mat but it's not very helpful in the realm of video games."

"That personality trait seems vaguely familiar," Kendall murmured as she tilted her head to one side and tapped her chin, wearing a faux expression of concentration. "But why could that be...? Oh, I know!" Blue gray eyes twinkled and Kendall put her hands on the bed and leaned forward, putting her face inches away from Maggie's. "I think it's because that perfectly describes my entire family."

"Your entire family sucks at video games?" Maggie drawled, lifting an eyebrow.

Slowly taking in Maggie's sardonic features, Kendall clucked her tongue and crawled onto the bed until they were so close there was almost no space between them. "Aren't we smart alecky tonight?" remarked Kendall, wrapping her arms around Maggie's waist to pull the blonde on her lap.

"Just a little," said Maggie soft and tender as she rested her forehead against Kendall's.

Her hazel eyes were glowing with a tempting invitation that Kendall decided she simply must accept and met their lips in a kiss melting slow with its passion. They continued to kiss as they fell back onto the bed, pausing for muffled giggles when Maggie attempted to turn off the lamp on her nightstand and only succeeded if you counted knocking it onto the floor and shattering it into a few hundred pieces turning it off. Still, this couldn't stop their kissing. It was far too enjoyable for them to stop because of a mere broken lamp.

In fact, not even Jamie banging on the wall and shouting in the third person about how he didn't appreciate kinky sex in his apartment could make them stop. That was mostly because they didn't put much consideration into his words. There was also the glaring fact that they cared immensely more about their kissing than Jamie's complaints.

And honestly, who can blame them?

Staring inside the refrigerator and at the once brown head of lettuce that was now the black head of lettuce, Jamie frowned and muttered, "This is food poisoning waiting to happen."

Closing the refrigerator door, he then looked to Maggie's room. It was nearly 10 a.m. and last night Kendall had mentioned she needed to be up and going by 10:30 a.m.

Jamie knew the right thing to do would be knock on that door and wake them. But he didn't want to go near the door because if he did then he'd be tempted to open it. Because even if Jamie was a nice guy he was still a guy. A twenty something guy who had healthy hormones and whose mantra of 'Maggie is my friend, Kendall is her girlfriend, I will NOT find them sexy' still wasn't working on him. Therefore he considered the door and getting too close to it be a very dangerous situation.

Leaving the problem of how to wake up Maggie and Kendall.

Five minutes of brainstorming later, Jamie released his insane girlish giggle and made sure their stereo system was as loud as it could get. Then he pushed play and stepped back to stare at the door, waiting to see the inevitably humorous reactions to his ingenious plan.

"Oh Mickey, you're so fine. You're so fine, you blow my mind. Hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!" Toni Basil's voice reverberated in the two bedroom apartment, practically shaking the walls.

"Maggie hates this song more than anything," Jamie said gleefully to himself, almost rubbing his hands in eager anticipation. "Playing it always wakes her up and that's why I must keep downloading it even though she's always deleting the mp3 off of my computer."

Sure enough, in about a minute the door to Maggie's room flung open to reveal the disheveled blonde with her hair sticking every which way. "Damn your evil obsession with old 80's cheerleaders, James Martin!" Maggie declared, stomping into the room and turning off the stereo. She turned to find Jamie hiding behind the couch and when she stepped towards him, he darted in the opposite direction. "Trying to escape, huh? It's a little too late for that. This is a small apartment, James."

"Kendall told me to wake her up by 10:30," Jamie couldn't help but giggle as he dashed down the hallway and ducked behind the sleepy woman who had just emerged from Maggie's room. Peering over her shoulder, he said, "Isn't that right, Kendall?"

"What?" said Kendall blearily, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and appearing totally out of it. Squinting at Jamie, she stared at him and looked like she was considering his words but in the end she could only manage to repeat, "What?"

"Ignore him, sweetie," Maggie's voice was a gentle and loving instruction. "He's just being Jamie." She then reached to hold Kendall's hands in her own and pulled her close. Once Maggie got Kendall a good distance away from Jamie her eyes narrowed dangerously on him and she chuckled in sinister tones. "Now you have nowhere to hide."

In response, Jamie shrieked and leapt into his room.

"You can't hide in there forever, Martin!" called Maggie, giving his closed bedroom door a kick for good measure. Turning back to Kendall, she said, "I swear this isn't his normal behavior."

The only reaction she got from Kendall was the taller woman continuing to stare off into space. Frowning at this, Maggie went to her and cupped her cheek lightly, when Kendall looked at her she asked with some concern, "Are you okay?"

Blue gray eyes suddenly went wide and Kendall said, "It's Saturday."

"Yeah, it is," Maggie shrugged. "Why is that important?"

"It's important because I'm moving today," said Kendall hurriedly while she rushed into Maggie's room to change back into her clothes. "That's why I asked Jamie to wake me up," Kendall continued in muffled tones, putting her bra on under the borrowed t-shirt and once done, quickly putting her own shirt on in replacement. "I have the movers coming to the condo at noon and an hour later is when I asked everyone who's willing to help me out to arrive at my house. I really need to get going if I want to change into a more moving friendly outfit before getting things ready at the condo."

"You're moving today?" asked Maggie, leaning against the doorframe to her room and watching Kendall put on her shoes. "I hate to sound whiney but how come I didn't know this?"

Looking altogether perplexed and rushed at the same time, Kendall put on her right shoe and studied Maggie. Her body language was on guard and rigid, making Kendall curse herself for not talking to the blonde about this earlier. "I'm sorry," she said softly, rising to her feet and walking to Maggie. "I didn't want to bother you. We've only just started dating and I thought that maybe this was..." Kendall trailed off and rubbing her forehead, she laughed quietly then murmured, "I don't know what I thought. Mainly I suppose that I was worried about bothering you. The best way to explain it is that I didn't want to make you feel like you HAD to help me out."

"Oh Kendall," Maggie sighed. Reaching down to hold the taller woman's hands, she formed a lopsided smile. "Don't you get it? I don't have to do anything but I can want to do things and when it comes to you?" Her expression turned coy and she pulled Kendall close then murmured, "I want to do a lot of things. Which includes helping you move into your new house."

"What other things do you want to do?" pursued Kendall curiously, arching an eyebrow and smiling on feeling the smooth caress of Maggie's cheek against hers.

"I told you," drawled Maggie as she moved in for the perpetual kill. "Lots of things."

Six minutes later Jamie emerged from his room and was greeted with the sight of the women making out in the doorway to Maggie's room. "This seems cool on Skinamax but it's just not as thrilling live and in person," muttered Jamie in weary observation, walking past them and into the living room. "Maybe it's the threat of physical harm if I actually stop to really watch," he mused.

Reluctantly ending their kissing session, Maggie wrapped an arm around Kendall's waist. "Nice timing, James," she began then formed an easy smile on her features. "You're just who I wanted to see. Remember the colossal amount of IOU's you rang up last night in your massive Mortal Kombat losses? I've figured out how you're going to work them all off."

"But I hate cleaning," Jamie moaned loudly, flopping down on the couch and covering his eyes with his arm. "And I'm bad at it."

"I don't know how you can possibly be bad at something you never do but that's another issue entirely," Maggie chuckled and sat next to her roommate on the couch. Patting his knee, she then went on, "Don't worry, this has nothing to do with cleaning. In fact, it involves something that you happen to be very good and very experienced at."

Lifting his arm off of his eyes, Jamie peered at Maggie curiously and said, "You want me to teach you how to throw a perfect spiral? Or do you want to know how to flip a guy?"

"Why would I want to learn how to do either of those things?" Maggie said this more to herself than to Jamie or Kendall. She honestly had no clue why he would even begin to think she'd want those kind of lessons. "Never mind, I don't want to know," Maggie interrupted, holding up her hand when Jamie started to speak. "Kendall's moving out of her condo and into her house today, a task which requires a lot of heavy lifting. And who among us can bench press 250 lbs? I don't think it's me."

"You're moving?" asked Jamie, blinking at Kendall. "I didn't know you were moving."

"I didn't take out an ad in the Pine Valley Bulletin, so that's not too surprising to hear," replied Kendall in droll tones. Taking sympathy on Jamie upon seeing him scowl, she ruffled his messy head of thick brown hair. "I'm only teasing," Kendall laughed, moving to sit on the arm of the couch by Maggie. "I don't mean any harm by it and I really would appreciate your help."

"I don't know," said Jamie, eyeing the women speculatively and trying his best to look like the wounded party. "You've deeply offended me. I'm not sure anything can make up for it."

"Is that right?" Kendall drew the words out slowly, arching an eyebrow and looking exceedingly amused. Absently scratching the nape of Maggie's neck when the blonde rested her head in her lap, Kendall's expression became sly. "What if I told you I plan on buying a rather large lunch for everyone who's helping me move today? And by large I mean Chinese buffet large."

"What's Henry Chin got to do with this deal?" remarked Jamie impishly who didn't even try to dodge Maggie's hand which whapped him hard in the midsection by way of retaliation.

"Who?" asked Kendall blankly.

It was obvious she honestly didn't have the slightest inkling who Henry Chin was. Not that Jamie could blame her, he had met the guy more than few times and the only reason that he remembered him was something that Bianca had said. What was it again? It had to do with his abilities, Jamie remembered that. Oh yeah! Bianca, en quote, told him that 'Henry has an amazing ability to perfectly conform to the dullest of expectations.'

Now Jamie wasn't a rocket scientist by any stretch of the job description but he understood an insult when he heard one. Especially the good ones and that was a good insult. When it came to Bianca Montgomery and insults she was the one person in the Kane, Montgomery, Cambias extended family that didn't use them on a daily basis. That meant when she did apply them there was a good reason behind it. Or the person really and truly annoyed the shit out of Bianca.

Jamie figured it was that last one when it came to Henry.

They remained in silence until Jamie's stomach growled loudly and heaving a huge sigh, he focused sad puppy dog eyes on Kendall. "The decision has been made," he declared solemnly. "My stomach has ordered my hot bod to help you move in order for it to receive the chance to be filled."

"No comment from your brain?" Kendall chuckled.

"My brain is taking a temporary vacation," said Jamie, rising to his feet and wandering back to his room to grab a pair of sneakers. When he came back in holding his Reeboks, he said, "That's pretty impressive... buying a house on your own. I mean," Jamie now had on his little boy grin that so many in the feminine species squealed over seeing, "you're not that old. Houses and their mortgages are kind of expensive. At least, that's only if my dad's complaints over the years have been accurate."

"What does that have to do with her not being old?" asked Maggie. Deciding to take her cue from Jamie and Kendall, she headed into her room to get dressed so they could get moving day started.

"I dunno," Jamie frowned as he considered Maggie's point. Looking to Kendall, he murmured, "I guess I just think old when I think buying a house. Sorry, Kendall."

"No apologies needed," Kendall waved off Jamie's concerns and flashed her best killer smile his way. Leaning forward, she wore an expression of dangerous yet veiled humor. "That only applies so long as I remain 'not old' in your eyes. The moment I hear about that changing the gloves are off."

Focusing on tying his shoes and not the momentary feeling of dread that seized him at Kendall's words, Jamie muttered, "Scary Kanes."

"Is that like candy canes?" murmured Maggie into his ear, making Jamie leap up in his seat. Laughing at his reaction, she pulled Kendall off the arm of the couch so she now sat comfortably in the center of it with Maggie perched on her lap. Beaming at Kendall and pushing a lock of curly hair behind the woman's ear, she said with infectious happiness, "Where's your house located? What style is it? I bet it's fancy."

Smiling brightly at Maggie's enthusiasm, Kendall hugged the smaller woman to her and settled comfortably onto the couch. She was glad that they had a good amount of time before they had to be at the condo and that she already had 99.9% of the details arranged. Though she found it shocking, Kendall honestly enjoyed just being with Maggie. When they were together she didn't feel a frantic need to prove herself... she could relax and simply be. The feeling was very soothing.

And it was part of the reason why Kendall didn't hesitate in her response though she did say it rather shyly. "Actually," she said softly, focusing on the strands of Maggie's blonde hair wrapped around her index finger. "The house is kind of old, it was built in the 1930's but it's in good condition. Marian helped me to get a great deal because the owners, who ran a bed and breakfast there, are retiring to my Hurricane homeland of Florida."

"The Badeckers?" said Jamie with surprise. "Man, I didn't think they'd ever move away." When he noticed the stares of both Kendall and Maggie, he waved his hands anxiously. "I don't mean that in a bad way! They've just always been around, you know? They're real nice people. Badeckers B&B has been a part of Pine Valley since forever."

"I don't know about the forever part of that since they're obviously moving away," said Maggie sardonically as she shifted in Kendall's lap. "But the house is nice then? No matter how old a house is if it's a bed and breakfast it has to be in decent shape, right?"

"Uhm..." Jamie darted his eyes from Maggie to Kendall then back again and decided that the face Kendall wore was one of resignation so he figured it was safe to tell the truth. "The house isn't ugly but it's not exactly pretty either. I guess you could say it's unusual. Yeah, you know. It's a one of a kind, a fun fixer upper, nicely classic in its structure design."

"James you have a destiny in selling real estate," complimented Kendall, laughing warmly when he looked at her with hapless eyes that held a quiet apology. She focused on Maggie and pulled the blonde closer and only when she tucked her head in the crook of Kendall's neck did she continue speaking. "The house isn't a complete mess but it needs a lot of work. Mostly on the outside... I met with the Badeckers and while they are a quite possibly the sweetest couple I've met they have strange tastes in color schemes."

"Is the house pink?" Maggie asked, chuckling at the thought. There was a moment of complete silence that made her pull away and look at Kendall then Jamie then Kendall again. "You didn't buy a pink house, did you? And where is this house anyway? I notice houses. Especially the pink ones." Simultaneously, Kendall and Jamie burst into laughter and watching them, Maggie said sourly, "That's a no on the pink house I take it. You both are mean people for letting me think that a large pink colored bed and breakfast existed in this town and I had no idea."

"You're somewhat close if that's any consolation," said Kendall in a low murmur as she nuzzled Maggie's neck. "It's multicolored and... well..." Looking to Jamie and lifting an eyebrow in a precise movement, Kendall drawled, "James, could you give me an adjective please?"

An expression that a monkey attempting to write Shakespeare might have was on Jamie's face when he finally replied with, "Fugly."

"Fugly," Kendall echoed him, her voice reflecting a clear disdain for the choice in adjectives. Sighing and looking to Maggie who was amused at Jamie's brilliant word selection, she said, "My new house is multicolored and apparently fugly."

"You own a multicolored fugly former bed and breakfast," Maggie laughed, sliding off Kendall's lap and standing to her feet. Holding out her hands to pull the taller woman up, she said, "This I have to see for myself so lets get a move on and I can do just that."

Trailing after Maggie and Kendall while doing his best to not look at their asses in the process, Jamie decided the easiest way to distract himself would be to talk about the fugly bed and breakfast Kendall would soon live in. "There's a guest house too, Mags. They painted it the smurfiest color of blue."

Much to Kendall's dismay, this lone remark caused her to listen not only to Maggie and Jamie singing the Smurfs theme song on the way to her condo but also an in depth analysis on how the Smurfs reproduced. Which was something she really could have done without.

Especially Jamie's theory which included mushrooms, sorcerers, and the misuse of certain illegal narcotics on a dark and stormy night.

Bianca and Lena were in the middle of reorganizing the room across the hall from their bedroom for Miranda's arrival when a Polish folk song sounded in the air. Upon hearing it, the two women looked at one another with the identical expressions of giddy happiness.

"Our daughter's here!" Bianca declared enthusiastically, taking Lena's hand in her own and rushing downstairs with eager delight.

Stunned by the powerful wave of emotion that seized her on hearing this, Lena stood frozen in the middle of the foyer. Watching as Bianca opened the door to reveal the figures of Erica and Jackson, the latter held a precocious dark haired child who was occupied with pulling on the strings to his jacket. They stepped into the house and Lena couldn't do anything but watch.

No statement could more accurate than the one which said Bianca Montgomery changed Lena's life for the better. Because of Bianca and her love Lena was able to regain dreams that had been buried so long in the recesses of her heart she didn't even realize they still existed. Dreams of being loved, dreams of belonging, dreams of happiness, and lastly dreams of having a family.

Having children wasn't anything Lena that had considered, not even while experiencing the heady joys of her initial romance with Bianca before the truth about her working for Michael was revealed. Such thoughts were impossible because Lena didn't think herself to be a person fit for raising a child. She felt that all the sins of her past might be revisited upon her children and that being so, she never allowed herself to contemplate the possibility of having any.

Then she found out about Bianca's pregnancy and with it, Lena went from horrified denial, overwhelming sadness, drowning guilt, and finally to elated optimism. Being with Bianca, helping her ready for Miranda's arrival and feeling the sheer love Bianca had for her unborn child made Lena love her as well. How could she not? Miranda was a part of Bianca but soon it was more than that. Slowly but surely the baby wormed her way into Lena's heart, starting with the first time she felt the impact of her tiny feet against Bianca's belly when she read them Shakespeare.

During Lena's initial return to Poland with Paulina she was consumed with grief. The grief caused from believing Miranda had died, from watching a slow sickness destroy her mother, and from the inability to be with Bianca during their most desperate time of need.

The news that Miranda was alive brought together their unusual extended family and erased any differences they had out of the love they felt for not only Bianca but her daughter as well. Though she wanted to, Lena never brought up her role in Miranda's life. She thought it was too soon to ask and couldn't allow herself to broach the subject with Bianca for fear of rejection.

And so Lena tried to lose herself to logic and reason, hoping to convince herself that it didn't matter to her whether or not Bianca asked her to be Miranda's other parent. That it didn't matter if Bianca was the only one going to be called mother, that didn't matter if Bianca referred to her as just a friend, that it didn't matter if she might never be able to adopt Miranda. Over and over, Lena told herself none of it mattered because the only thing she really needed was to be a part of their lives.

But with a simple sentence, casually spoken at that, Bianca eradicated the fear hiding in Lena's heart and replaced it with a blinding and powerful love. Those words revealed Bianca's true thoughts and they were that Miranda wasn't just her child but she was also Lena's. They both were Miranda's mother and in turn, she was their child.

Realizing this struck Lena immobile from not only the emotional impact of having everything she dreamed of somehow become real but also the disbelief that it was actually happening.

"Where is Mommy?" murmured Bianca playfully, covering Miranda's eyes and moving closer to where she rested in Jackson's arms. On hearing this, Miranda squealed excitedly and twisted anxiously in Jackson's hold to face Bianca. Upon seeing her mother, the baby began to eagerly pat Bianca's face and squirmed so fiercely it seemed as if she might fall out of Jackson's hands any moment now. Laughing happily, Bianca took Miranda lovingly into her arms and kissed her dark head softly. Moving back to look at Miranda who grabbed a handful of her hair then tugged it in response, Bianca laughed again and said, "That's right. You've got Mommy! You're such a smart girl." Bianca turned to face Lena, who couldn't seem to make herself snap out of her daze to join them. That's why Bianca did it for her. Allowing Miranda to capture her fingers in a strong grasp, Bianca shifted the baby so she looked at Lena. Moving in again to murmur in Miranda's ear, she said, "And who's this Miranda? Hmm? You remember don't you?"

There was a pause then Miranda released an ecstatic squeal, louder than the one on seeing Bianca, and her squirming returned by a million fold. It appeared that Miranda most definitely remembered Lena and watching the baby... her baby... her child... her daughter... hers and Bianca's, Lena felt her eyes tear up as she reached for Miranda. Giving Miranda to Lena and wrapping an arm around her waist to lean into her, Bianca murmured tenderly, "This is your other Mommy, isn't it?"

Miranda ignored Bianca's words but she couldn't even contemplate being hurt by it because their daughter was busy being enamored with seeing Lena again. Her garbled laugh filled the air and she kept patting Lena's face while releasing a series of coos that made it seem she was trying to talk to the Polish woman. Tears falling down her cheeks, quiet sob escaped Lena and she held Miranda to her, cradling her gently. Kissing the dark wavy locks that always served to remind her of Bianca, she whispered fiercely in Polish, "I love you. I've missed you." Looking to Bianca who smiled at her with supportive understanding, Lena's face and voice echoed of an amazed disbelief as she said in English, "She's ours and she's here... our daughter is here."

"Yes, she is," Bianca assured softly, she kissed Lena with aching tenderness then placed another kiss on Miranda's head. That was when she noticed it. The embodiment of endless energy that was Miranda Mona Montgomery had fallen asleep as she nuzzled into Lena's neck. Laughing happily, Bianca affectionately squeezed her partner's waist and said teasingly, "You've still got it. Another baby TKO in just minutes. Maybe you should try for milliseconds to make the record books."

"I wasn't aware there were record books for such things," replied Lena in a playful drawl, arching a fine eyebrow. Rubbing Miranda's back, she sighed quietly and breathed in the lovely clean scent only a baby could possess. "Thank you," she said this with solemn intent, wanting to make entirely clear she knew just how precious the gift of Bianca and Miranda's love was. "Thank you for loving me, for trusting me, and most of all thank you for bringing our daughter to me."

"You're welcome," whispered Bianca, falling into Lena's arms and giving into the overwhelming emotion brought from this exchange. When she did, Lena lifted her gaze to lock her eyes with Erica's who, along with Jackson, observed all that had gone on and thanks to this, realized how truly Lena loved her daughter and grandchild.

"Erica, Jackson, I must thank you for taking this trip," Lena stopped and focused her earnest expression on them. "I know we haven't always seen eye to eye in regards to my relationship with Bianca and my role in her life but I hope we might move past that. This is my family," said Lena with unwavering strength as she looked to Bianca and Miranda. "For now and forever."

Silence enveloped them and Erica closed her eyes in a deliberate action. Once she opened them, a slow but genuine smile formed on her features and she said, "You're right, Lena. We haven't always seen eye to eye but I would be a fool if I claimed to not recognize how much you love my daughter and granddaughter after seeing your reunion." Her smile became mischievous and pressing a hand to her chest, she went on, "And I would like to think that I'm anything but a fool. Which is why I'm going to say to you the same thing that I said to Maggie only a few hours ago." Erica paused, perhaps to add emphasis to the importance of her words. "Welcome to our family."

"Mom," said Bianca this with an almost breathless sob of joy, pulling away from her daughter and partner to run into her mother's arms. Burying herself there, she then murmured, "I can't even say how much that means to us. I just can't."

"Oh, I think I have an idea," Erica laughed happily through her own tears, rocking Bianca to and fro in the same comforting motion she had used for years.

While this occurred, Lena stepped forward to stand at Jackson's side and together they shared the same respectful admiration that could only come from loving one of the Kane women. As mother and daughter pulled apart to commiserate on their time apart and all that had happened, Erica's words reran in Lena's mind.

Tilting her head and frowning slightly, Lena rubbed Miranda's back upon feeling the baby exhale softly against her skin then looked to Jackson. "What exactly did Erica mean when she mentioned saying the same thing to Maggie?"

"That's an interesting tale," remarked Jackson, who had a naughty twinkle in his eyes. "One I'd like to say is filled with debauchery but all too sadly, isn't. No," Jackson heaved an exaggerated sigh. "It's yet another story of friendship, love, and an extremely unexpected romance."

"Maggie's seeing someone?" asked Bianca with some surprise. Looking from Erica to Jackson, she smiled widely. "That's great! Who is it?"

Instead of replying, Erica and Jackson met their gazes and as soon as they did so, burst into laughter. This just served to frustrate Bianca and make Lena as entertained as Erica and Jackson appeared to be.

"I think this reaction implies that using the word unexpected would not be considered an understatement in the least," Lena chuckled, smiling knowingly at Erica and Jackson. "The real question is how unexpected is it? By Pine Valley standards, of course."

"Of course, Pine Valley standards," pronounced Jackson solemnly, nodding his head while an impish smile tugged at his lips. Turning to Erica, he cleared his throat then said rather dramatically, "What is your rating on the official Pine Valley unexpected happenings scale? I put it at an eight, if only for certain obvious leanings Maggie had before this."

"I'm afraid that I must disagree with you, Mr. Montgomery," purred Erica, her eyes sparkling in good humor and looking pleased at the chance to tease her more serious daughter. Clasping his arm, she tossed her hair over her shoulder for one of the most time honored Erica Kane traditions. "I put it at least nine and a half. Maggie might have shown leanings, yes, but never towards the object of her current affection. This makes it far more unexpected."

Rubbing his chin, Jackson murmured thoughtfully, "Good point. I might have to revise my score."

"Hey! Come on you two," Bianca said, looking like she might stomp her foot in a few seconds if she didn't get answers. "Would you just tell me already? Who's Maggie dating?"

When Jackson and Erica faced her at the same time wearing faces that displayed a lighthearted humor but a clear happiness, Bianca knew the answer couldn't possibly be bad. There was no way it could, not with they way they looked. However, they were right... it was definitely unexpected.

Unexpected enough to make Bianca stare blankly ahead for a good five minutes or so.

This made Erica think that while Kendall was like her in many ways, so was Bianca. After all, Erica happened to have the exact same reaction when she first heard the news. It seemed there were some things that her youngest daughter couldn't accept with immediate ease and her best friend dating her older sister was amongst them.

All was well as soon as Lena made the droll comment that Bianca should be happy since this firmly put Maggie into the property of Kendall category. Thus reducing the chances Miranda's baby crush fixation on Maggie would continue throughout the years to come since Kendall would never allow it. Though Lena received one incredibly fierce scowl for saying this, her words served their purpose.

They retrieved Bianca from her momentary coma to fixate on the good in this romance. There was the obvious humor factor that Kendall dating Maggie would provide, of course. The mere concept of them sharing each others clothing had Bianca giggling internally.

Epitome of the unexpected was the perfect description of this new romance and Bianca couldn't lie to herself, she did love the idea of it. How couldn't she find favor with a relationship that made hers and Lena's seem normal by contrast? The times, they were indeed getting good.

"Great job John!" said Kendall cheerfully, beaming on seeing the mover's finished work on the living room. "Could you help Big Johnny with the bedroom? I think he'd welcome the assistance."

"Yeah, no problem Ms. Hart," said John with a shy smile, pushing back his hair that was slightly damp from sweat and putting his baseball cap back on.

Kendall was busy admiring the mess that was the living room to her new house, envisioning what it would look like when she was done as Maggie moved to her side and put an arm around her waist. Maggie scratched Kendall's back, who released a contented noise, and the blonde asked with veiled humor, "Why do all of your movers have different versions of the name John?"

"They're John's Movers," replied Kendall, wriggling against Maggie's fingers and sighing happily. "Meaning they all have the name John. Or as you said, different versions of it. I thought it was cute, so I hired them."

"You hired your movers because you thought their company name was cute," said Maggie in sardonic observation. Pausing in her scratching, she then remarked, "I don't have any words for what that is. Maybe insanely girlish but I'm not sure."

Taking Maggie's hand and sliding it under the back of her white baby tee that said Biggest Sister in pink cursive script, Kendall said in pleading yet utterly adorable tones, "Scratch please!"

Her lips quirking up into a smile, Maggie laughed and did as Kendall requested. When Kendall moaned in satisfaction, she murmured, "I think I've inadvertently discovered your weak spot. I must say I'm surprised it's such a cute one."

"Sickeningly cute is what I'd have to describe you two as a couple," Greenlee said in authoritative tones, striding into the room with her two younger siblings following after her. "It's a sad day when I lose one of my bitchy brethren to the disease of cuteness." A smirk forming on her face, Greenlee drawled, "I'm blaming this on you, Stone. Although I am willing to allow it but that's only if you don't have her dressing in Old Navy instead of Prada."

"Old Navy?" Maggie did an excellent job of looking playfully offended. "I'll have you know I'm dressed completely in clothing from my extensive K-Mart collection." Looking to Reggie and Lily, the latter who was hovering close behind her brother, Maggie greeted them with a warm smile. "Hey guys, it's good to see you. In fact it's good to see anyone who might actually help us in the moving process instead of someone who'd rather give reviews on my clearly documented less than wonderful wardrobe," said Maggie who then fixed an mischievous grin at Greenlee.

"Greenlee said you're Opal's clothing apprentice but you're studying medicine so I said that you should be Dr. Joe's doctor apprentice," said Lily in her halting but charming manner. Darting her eyes nervously from her older sister to Maggie, she smiled and continued, "I like all of Greenlee's reviews. She says funny things and she yelled at Ryan for being red."

Maggie didn't reply and instead looked questioningly to Greenlee who frowned said quietly, "Ryan doesn't listen well when it comes to Lily. Today I had to tell him about the red rule we have again." Shaking out of her moment of what seemed to be a combination of anger and disappointment, she smiled softly at Lily. "But I took care of it, didn't I, Lily? He knows better now."

"Greenlee is my big sister," said Lily, who had her eyes fixated on Kendall's shirt. "But you are bigger. Greenlee is tiny. The only person in our family tinier is Miranda but she's a baby so Reggie says she doesn't count." Focusing on Maggie, she frowned and went on, "But if you're a couple with Kendall then you're in our family and you're tinier than Greenlee." Appearing enormously pleased to have reached this conclusion, Lily turned to her sister. "Maggie is now the tiniest Montgomery!"

"She's gotcha on that," said Reggie through his laughter. Shooting Lily an approving grin, he remarked, "Way to go sis. You not only made a great joke but you got Greens back on our side. We might just get that night out at the movies yet."

"Don't bet on it," replied Greenlee dryly. Deciding to be nice to the confused figures of Maggie and Kendall, she explained, "I'm in charge of taking care of the troops while Dad's gone on his delivering Mimo duties for Binks and the Polish Pastry."

"How incredibly entertaining for you," Kendall laughed and leaned into Maggie's fingers which were scratching her back again. "What do you guys want to help me with? The movers are taking care of the large furniture and I put Jamie on small furniture duty. You know, all the chairs to the kitchen table and that stuff. I could still use some help unpacking the dishes and other breakables." Pausing to smile at Lily, she then said, "I think you would be a wonderful help with that even though I'm betting Greenlee would prefer to go through my boxes of clothing."

"I'll help my boy Jamie," declared Reggie, who went off in search for his friend. "Me and him will get this stuff put out in no time then you can buy that big dinner you promised us K."

"Men and their stomachs," said Greenlee in droll reflection. She observed Kendall and Maggie for a quiet moment, then looked around and commented, "I didn't expect your place to look like this. On the scale of fixer upper I think it ranks pretty high up."

"I like fixing things, sometimes a little too much," responded Kendall wryly. "I know the color scheme is horrible." She rolled her eyes and stared at the off color peach ceiling. "I honestly don't know what the Badeckers were thinking. Who paints the outside of their house tan, red, light blue, and then decides to also use natural wood?"

"The Badeckers," said Greenlee, laughing and moving to stand at Kendall's side. "The location is fabulous though. I think you've got the perfect view of the town from up here. And those stairs not only look great but also provide exercise."

"Are you calling me fat?" accused Kendall in a good show of faux horror, poking Greenlee in her side who whapped at her hand ineffectually.

"You and the word fat go together just as well as the word unfashionable goes together with me," proclaimed Greenlee, flipping her hair over her shoulder for her Erica impression.

"What are you saying, cheeky girl?" Ethan's pleasant accent filled the room before his actual body appeared in the doorway. An easy smile played on his handsome features and folding his arms across his lean chest, dark eyes twinkled as they fixed on Greenlee. "You never get knackered from the effort of complimenting yourself do you? I wish you'd be as polite with me."

"I don't know, do you get tired of offering useless deals?" asked Greenlee, her eyes flashing at Ethan. "I don't see why I should be polite to someone wasting my, and therefore my company's, time. And in case you haven't noticed, this has nothing to do with work. I'm here to help out a friend." Shooting him a rather significant look, she asked, "Or can't you say the same?"

"Kendall's my friend and that means yes, I do say the same as you," answered Ethan, smiling brightly at Greenlee. "Though I'm disappointed you don't recognize a bloody brilliant offer when you see one. That's something we'll have to work on."

Though she was curious about exactly what Greenlee and Ethan were squabbling over, Kendall didn't ask any questions. Mostly because she just noticed Lily was no longer with them and darting her eyes around, she called out, "Lily? Where did you go?"

In an instant, Greenlee was no longer focused on Ethan and echoed Kendall, saying her sister's name loud enough that she heard it from where she had wandered upstairs. Standing at the top of the staircase, Lily held up a slinky black negligee and said very solemnly that, "Kendall has approximately 21 variations of this clothing and 42 pairs of similar underwear."

This information caused several different reactions from those who heard it. Kendall turned red, Maggie zoned out from her mental pictures, Greenlee roared with laughter, Ethan smiled politely, and John's Movers, all eleven of them, had an added respect for their employer of the day.

Because she was a woman of damn good taste.

Part 10

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