DISCLAIMER: All My Children and its characters are the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

How Much Is Enough?
By Alex-Kae


Part 1

You Got Mail!

Bianca's computer rang. She opened the e-mail and read solemn-faced:

Hey, Bianca. It's me, Maggie, as you would probably have figured out from the e-mail address. I just wanted to say hi and that I think about you every second of every day. I miss you and little Miranda so much. I love you and I hope you see that again someday. I am just living on hope right now because a life without you isn't worth living. Everyday I look at pictures of you and us and it hurts me that I hurt you so much. I wish I could just take it all back. If I had just one wish, I wouldn't have been such an ass. I would still be able to wake up every morning and see your face. Look into those two deep eyes that I used to stare into everyday. Feel your warm embrace. I screwed up and I've accepted that. But I can't accept a life without you. I love you. And I don't want to lose you. You still have my heart. Now and forever.

What should she do? There was that pang in her chest again. That always happened when a Maggie related subject came up. Bianca really wanted to answer but her 'better judgment' told her not to.

'Was this really my better judgment,' she thought 'or just my 'Kane instinct'?' Against what her mind was telling her, Bianca decided to reply. Now how to do this without breaking down or blowing up? How to handle this maturely? Bianca placed her fingers over the keys:

Maggie, I am very sorry. Sorry that you did what you did. I mean really, how are you supposed to cheat on the person you claim to care about most in the world? How could you sleep with someone else while in a relationship with someone you claim to love more than life itself? I cried Maggie, if you want to know how I handled my hurt, I cried. I loved you. You and Miranda were everything to me. I had the life I had always hoped for. A great family. But then you just had to go and mess that up. Miranda, Maggie. If you didn't think about me, what about Miranda? She loved you. You were her second mom. And you hurt her. I don't know how I can get past that.

By the time Maggie had finished reading this message, tears were streaming down her face. She responded:

Bianca, I really want us to work this out. We got passed so much together. Michael? When you lost Miranda? Jonathon? Jonathon. You never stopped telling me you loved me, even when I didn't want to hear it. You never gave up. You stuck with me. Like I stuck with you. We got passed anything and everything that was set in front of us. Together. And I love you for that. I can't force you to force me or to come back to me but I want you to know that no matter what happens, no matter who you're with, me, Zoe, Leslie, or even JR, I'll always, ALWAYS love you with all my heart and soul.

Now it was Bianca's turn to cry. Only Maggie could make a joke at a time like this. JR? That was impossible. But she was right. They had been through hell, heaven and hell again together. Bianca looked at the computer screen getting ready to respond. But then another message popped up on screen

I love you and I'll talk to you later. Sweet dreams queen of my heart.

Then Maggie signed out. This left Bianca with a lot of thinking. She had told Zoe that what Maggie had done had changed how she felt about her, but had it really? Didn't she still love Maggie with every inch of her soul?

Bianca went to Miranda's room to find her sleeping daughter. She looked like an angel. As Bianca watched her daughter's chest slightly rise and fall, she remembered Micheal Cambias. The rape. Who had been there for her? Her family, yes. But who did she tell first? Who did she tell her plans to? When she thought Miranda had died. Who held her while she cried? Who made her know everything was going to be alright? For all intended purposes, Maggie was her guardian angel. But then how could an angel break her heart?

"Don't worry little princess. Mommy'll be back to normal soon." She kissed Miranda's forehead before heading back to her own room.

Bianca woke to a knock on her apartment door. She checked her clock. Seven minutes past six. It was Saturday. Who the hell in their right minds would be waking her up this early? She got out of bed and threw on a robe.

"This had better be good." She silently threatened her untimely wake-up call

She opened the door to see a jovial looking Zoe.

"Zoe? Hey…Um…What are you doing at my apartment so early in the morning?" Bianca asked, trying her hardest not to raise her voice to wake Miranda or anyone else who's peacefully in dreamland as she was a few minutes ago.

"Talk about your morning pillow-head. You look ravishing." Zoe answered calmly. Bianca blushed as she realized Zoe was making mention to her appearance. Her hair was a tangled mess, her face still said 'five more minutes please mom' and there was a definite feel of weariness all around her.

"Did you forget our plans for today? You said we should get an early start. And here's me thinking I was late." Zoe refreshed an obviously confused Bianca.

"Oh my god. I totally forgot. I'm so sorry. Let me go get ready. Wait a second. I can't wake Miranda right now. That would be cruel. She was up late last night watching Cars for the millionth time." Bianca was speaking so fast Zoe almost lost track of her words. "Maybe I could call a babysitter. Yeah I could do that."

"Bianca calm down. You can take little Miranda to your sister. You don't have to wake her up." Zoe suggested.

"Good idea. I'll just have to call Kendall and tell her first. She's going to be so mad. But hey, she'll understand. Hopefully." Bianca motioned for Zoe to come in. "You can sit…Anywhere. You know the place. I'm just gonna get cleaned up and pack a day bag for Miranda."

Zoe was much too familiar with Bianca's apartment. She could find her way around it with the lights all off. Which she found to be quite useful if the 'need arises'.

Half an hour later Bianca was right and ready to hit the road. After they dropped Miranda off at Kendall's, not waking her once, they went first to the park. Zoe had a big day planned for them.

Maggie did this for me, one year after the rape. She tried to make the day as jam-packed as possible so I didn't think about it. It was so sweet.

"Hey Zoe,-" Bianca paused to consider her words. Bianca wanted to tell Zoe about last night on the net with Maggie.

"Yeah?" Zoe asked.

To speak or not to speak? That was the question.

"Never mind. I forgot. How stupid right?"

"Bianca we're all human. We all make mistakes. It's not stupid. It's age catching up on you." Zoe laughed. Bianca scoffed and gave her a slight push.

While sitting in the park they did a lot of talking about almost everything. Bianca made certain not to bring up Maggie and when the conversation seemed to be going that way, she'd quickly change the subject.

The day seemed pretty fun. Talks. Ice-cream. Roller-skating. And a live concert in the evening. At around six thirty Zoe and Bianca went back to their starting point

"Today was a really great day. But why? Why out of the blue would you take me on this crazy fun day, today? Why today? Has something bad happened?" Bianca broke the ice of awkward silence.

"Depends on what you call bad." Zoe said under her breath.

"Pardon?" Bianca queried, not hearing what Zoe had said.

"Oh nothing to worry your pretty little head about."

"Then what is it?"

"It's nothing. Really."

Bianca knew something was going on, but she let it slide. After sitting for a couple more minutes, they decided to go home.

Maggie had just reached her room at the Valley Inn. She opened the door and threw her bags on the floor. She plopped down on the bed. That flight back to Pine Valley from Paris took a whole lot out of her. She knew Bianca told her to go back to Paris but Maggie had to come back to fight for Bianca, even if it meant fist and foot. She had gone back the last time too easily. She's going to stay this time, whether Bianca liked it or not. She missed Bianca too much. Pictures alone wouldn't help her.

'Tonight I'll go to her' she told herself 'a little bit later. Right now I'm exhausted.'

Back at Bianca's apartment, Zoe stood at the doorway,

"Can I come in?" She asked


Zoe walked in and Bianca closed the door.

"So did you enjoy the day?"

"Definitely." Bianca wondered where this was leading to. She noticed the uneasiness in Zoe. Just as Zoe was about to speak and relieve Bianca of her suspicions, there was a knock at the door.

"Hang on a second." Bianca said as she started towards the door. She opened the door to see Kendall with Miranda in arms.

"Is this girl ever awake?" Bianca said with a giggle.

"Awake? I couldn't get her to sit still for five minutes! All day. She and Spike. Up and down the house."

"I wouldn't expect any less. They really love each other." Bianca smiled and looked at her little angel.

Kendall looked over Bianca's shoulder and saw Zoe.

"Oh, I see you have company. I'll just give you your bundle of joy and get going then. Sorry for the interruption." Kendall gave Bianca the whole 'be careful what you're doing' look. Bianca picked up the hint and flashed a 'don't worry about it' smile. Kendall gently gave Bianca Miranda and briskly turned away and left.

Bianca went inside and used her foot to close the door. "I'm just gonna put her to bed. I'll soon be back."

Five minutes passed and Bianca came back into the living room.

"You were about to say something?" Bianca started.

"Bianca I don't exactly know how to say this but I'm just gonna say what comes to my head."

Bianca was caught between 'this is really good' or 'this is really bad'.

"Zoe you know you can talk to me about anything. What's going on? Is everything alright?"

"I'm leaving Pine Valley." Zoe thought the best way to break the news was going straight to the point.

"What? Why? I mean I know you had to leave sooner or later but I thought you would be here for at least a couple more months."

"I know but I have to go on some world tour thing as Zoe. My 'coming out' tour. My manager called me last week and told me."

"So why didn't you tell me last week?" tears were welling up in Bianca's eyes.

"I didn't know how-" Zoe's 'to' was cut off by another knock at the door

"Hang on." Bianca was trying hard not to let the tears flow. It was probably Kendall at the door with something that Miranda forgot and if that was the case she could not make her see her crying or she would throw a fit on Zoe.

She opened the door to see Maggie standing at her door way.

Part 2

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