DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC/Disney.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Alex

"Oh my God, she did what?" Maggie asked, her laughter subsiding as she realized Bianca was serious. The two had been talking for hours now, and Bianca was relaying the story of her "date" with Kristi earlier in the evening.

"No lie, she actually set me up on a date with this model, who was like this shining example for all lesbians...it was ridiculous." Bianca replied, laughing at her unlikely story. Her laughter subsided as she saw Maggie's face become serious. Noticing that the girl was looking past her, she turned around to follow Maggie's gaze to find Lena standing awkwardly at the entrance to the boathouse.

"I'm sorry," Lena said, looking down. "I didn't expect anyone to be here." She turned to leave, when she was stopped by Bianca's voice.

"Lena, wait." She said quickly, subconsciously echoing the very words she'd used to stop her lover at the airport so long ago. The older woman turned around, examining the floor boards to avoid eye contact, lest Bianca see the glimmer of hope that shined in her eyes at the young woman's words.

Maggie sensed the tension that had filled the boathouse the moment Lena had stepped inside, and reached for her shoes, slipping them on as she spoke.

"I should go." She said, getting up from the bench. "You two need to talk." She looked pointedly at Lena, patting her arm as she passed. She lowered her voice to speak only to the older woman. "Go for it. She wants to forgive you." Turning, she smirked at Bianca's raised eyebrow. The young woman was obviously miffed that Maggie had spoken so softly. "Seeya later Bianca."

Giving a little wave, Maggie bounced out of the boathouse, leaving the two lovers alone. Encouraged by Maggie's words, but still hesitant to push, Lena searched desperately for something to say. Bianca saved her by speaking first.

"What are you doing here?" She asked softly, wanting to invite Lena to sit next to her, but afraid of being too close to the older woman. Lena fidgeted with her purse as she spoke.

"You told me once that this was a good place to come to think." She answered, looking up at Bianca. "I needed to be away from the memories." She finished in a bare whisper, the depths of her pain exposed in her words. Bianca clenched her hands at her sides to avoid reaching out.

"Memories of Michael?" Bianca asked, her tone coming out more cold than she intended. She saw Lena's flinch in response.

"No, Bianca." She replied, stepping closer to the bench. "Memories of you and me, of everything we've done. Everywhere I turn, there's another reminder." Bianca turned her head away, not wanting to expose her true feelings. Lena pressed on. "I haven't been able to sleep in my bed, not since the last time we were together."

Bianca took a deep breath, trying to fight back her tears. She refused to let herself admit to the other woman that she'd been having the same problem.

"You did it plenty of times before you met me." She pointed out, turning back as she regained her cold façade. Taking another tentative step forward, Lena responded.

"No, I didn't." She replied simply, squatting so she could look up into Bianca's face as she spoke. "My life began when I met you, Bianca. Nothing mattered before that."

"Then how could you lie to me? How could you use me like you did?" The younger woman responded vulnerably, a few tears escaping her eyes. Lena sighed.

"I can't explain what I did. I can only say that I thought I was making the right choice." She responded sadly, reaching up to brush the tears from Bianca's cheeks. "Haven't you ever made a mistake, Bianca?"

Unconsciously leaning into Lena's hand, Bianca's eyes searched Lena's as she sifted through her thoughts. In an instant, she looked into Lena's big brown eyes and understood what Greenlee had been saying.

"Yeah, I've made mistakes." She replied, her tone soft and open. A soft smile teased her lips. "But I think I'm realizing that you're not one of them."

Lena's eyes widened as she registered Bianca's words.

"Bianca, are you saying...?" Lena trailed off, afraid to speak the words lest she jinx herself. Bianca's smile grew as she reached down to cup Lena's cheek with her hand.

"I forgive you, Lena." She said, her chin trembling as tears of relief threatened to overwhelm her. Looking down into Lena's eyes, she noted that she was not the only one.

"Bianca." Was all Lena could choke out, emotions flooding her body. She grabbed the younger woman's hands, bringing them to her lips reverently. Bianca felt her hands dampened by her lover's tears. Pulling Lena with her, Bianca stood, entwining her fingers with Lena's own, her thumb idly stroking the back of her lover's hand.

Unable to hold back, Lena pulled the younger woman into her arms tightly, savoring the smell she had been sorely missing. Pulling away slightly, Bianca looked into the older woman's eyes.

"I love you Lena. So much." She said softly, her hand reaching up to brush away an errant lock of hair from Lena's eyes.

"I missed this." Lena said, savoring the sensation of Bianca's fingers on her face. Her brow furrowed under Bianca's hand. "But, Bianca...I have to know...why now?"

Bianca smiled as she spared a thought for Leo, and sent a silent prayer of thanks to Greenlee. She slipped her hand around the back of Lena's neck, pulling her head down so she could rest her forehead against her lover's. Her eyes bore into Lena's own, burning with intensity.

"Because it's right." She said fervently as she captured her lover's lips with her own.

The sun rose gently in the sky, the soft beams of first light caressing the soft wood of the boathouse as two hearts became one once more.

The End

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