DISCLAIMER: I don't anything, that right belongs solely to ABC and it's parent companies.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wrote this a few hours after my great aunt's funeral. It happened to be in the same exact funeral home and cemetery as both my grandparents. And it pretty much sent me to a really dark emotional place. This is the result of that. I wanted to try and exercise some demons I've been carrying around for months now. I think it helped a little bit, but I'm sorry for dragging the rest of you along for the ride.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

November Rain
By Casandra

The chilly November wind whipped around the gathered onlookers, kicking up fallen leaves from the now bare maples and oaks towering above them. A light drizzle had begun to fall, misting the morose group, but few of them even taking notice. The numbness of the day and the sadness of the occasion taking precedent over the inclement weather. They stood, heads bowed, hands folded in prayer, eyes screwed tightly sealed in an attempt to ward off the ever threatening tears.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For Thou art with me;

Struggling through the unfathomable weight of loss moreso than anyone, an aging woman stood stoically, each hand clasped tightly by seemingly younger versions of herself. Her once dark and lustrous mane of hair, now peppered with wisps of gray, thinning from sands of time slipping through the hourglass. At her right stood a handsome twenty-something man, taller than the woman herself, but possessing the silky chestnut locks she once had. Clasping the woman's left hand was a young lady, a bit younger looking than the man opposite her, with flowing dark blonde locks. She struggled to keep her firm grip on the woman's hand she held, the tears stinging her eyes so fiercely that she had to keep repeatedly wiping them away.

Thy rod and they staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.

The older woman felt the tremors from the young lady at her left, turning slightly to make sure that she was alright. Seeing the tear tracks leaving stains of grief along her cheeks, she released the hand she held and wrapped her arm around the girl's shoulders, pulling her in tightly, offering her what little support she could manage. The man to her right gripped her hand tighter, trying to anchor all three of them by sheer will power and determination. With the single solitary connection of their joined hands.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


One by one the assembled group of mourners filed passed the casket, saying goodbye, placing flowers along the outside, shaking hands, offering hugs of support and shared grief and expressing condolences and well wishes to the three solitary people at the head of gravesite.

The older woman stood off to the side, just staring down, never once removing her eyes from the aged cherry wood in front of her. The two young adults spoke to the minister for a few minutes, shaking his hand and offering their thanks for his service and prayers.

"Mom? Mom, are you ready?"

The woman turned around to meet the warm chocolate eyes of her son, getting lost for a moment in the intense resemblance they had to their possessor's mother. She blinked for a moment, stopping herself from getting lost in the memories of the past.

"I'm fine Madison."

The young man stood on the other side of his sister, eyeing his mother dubiously, knowing that she was absolutely the farthest thing from fine. He couldn't even begin to understand how she had been holding her emotions in check for so long. His mother was never stoic, she always felt everything right to the very core of her heart. To see her not even shedding a tear as they laid his other mother to rest was incomprehensible to him. He worried for his remaining parent, knowing that losing the love of her life, her wife of over thirty years, was not something she would be able to push away and not deal with. The grief was going to eat her from the inside out, gnawing at her, driving her to insane amounts of pain and sadness.


He knew that if he could get her to let at least some of it out now, it would be better for all three of them in the long run.

"Mom, why don't Madi and I go wait in the limo. You can take some time to say.........say goodbye, to Mama." Leo leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, smiling a bittersweet half smile, then grabbing his sister's hand and leading her out to the road where the limo waited to take them back to their now broken home. He didn't waste anytime, he worried that if given the chance to lodge a protest, his mother would always regret never saying the words she so desperately needed to say to her beloved soulmate.

The older woman watched her son guide her daughter around the headstones, pulling her along by the hand. Sighing, she turned back to the casket, reaching out and gently picking up a single white rose from the large bouquet that rested on top. She brought the flower to her nose, inhaling in deeply, being taken back to a day so many years ago, an image mirroring her exact pose. A single white rose sitting on her desk, topping a small wrapped package, given as a gift of encouragement and friendship. The woman opened her eyes again, brought back into the harsh reality she was now faced with living. Slowly, one by one, tears started to crystallize in the corners of her eyes, finally spilling over and tracking their way down cheeks frozen in grief and sorrow.

"Oh god! Maggie! Please don't leave me. Don't leave me here without you!"

Bianca collapsed against the coffin, wrapping her arms around the top as if trying to hold onto her wife, trying to will her back into her embrace for at least one last time. The sobs wracked her body, her shoulders shaking endlessly with each new wave of grief and pain that passed it's way through her soul. Bianca continued to mourn, hiccupped sobs still forcing their way through her raw throat. She closed her eyes tightly, trying to force herself into denial. The pain was too unbearable, she knew she couldn't live the rest of her life without the one person in the entire world she had always always needed.


"So why did you start hanging out with me?"

"I guess just to feel closer to Frankie. But then the totally unexpected happened."

"What was that?"

"Well, it stopped being about Frankie. It was -- I just saw you for you, you know?"

"And you never thought to ask yourself why?"

"No, I just settled for the easy answers."

"And I settled for no expectations. It actually worked for a while. When you suggested that we go to the prom together, I didn't want to make it into this, like, big, significant moment. "

"Oh, but it was, and I had -- I had such a great time."

"Yeah, me, too. And that wasn't the only time. I mean, getting ready for Leo and Greenlee's wedding. I guess he's part of this, too."

"Yeah, definitely. Because when Leo died, I don't -- God, I don't know what I would have done without you."

"I know I wouldn't have made it without you."

"And swimming here -- all the time -- God, we used to sit out here for hours. We didn't even talk, but we still felt totally close."

"And it never occurred to you that I was waiting for you to say something?"

"Let me say it now. I feel safer with you than I have with anyone growing up. Happier with you than I -- you know, with any other friend. And I feel -- I feel closer to you than I have with any other guy. But --"

"But what?"

"I don't know. You, this -- I don't know what to make of it."

"And you think I do? Or is it that you want me to take responsibility for what happens next?"

"I'm sorry. I don't mean to guilt you."

"Look -- I know that I forced this conversation on you, but you know that I would never push anything on you that you didn't feel absolutely comfortable with."

"No, I know, I know."

"Then what? "

"I don't know. A lot of things."

"Like what?"

"Like you'll meet someone else and they'll be a better friend."

"Well, I don't think that's going to happen, but I think that the key word you just used was "friend.""

"That's what we are, right?"

"Yes. But could we -- could we be something else, too?"

"I swear -- I swear I -- I swear that just -- ooh-"


"I've never had intense feelings like this for anyone before. I really -- I --"

"Really what?"

"I honestly love you."

"As a friend? Oh, God, don't -- don't walk away now. Maggie, it's ok. Just -- it's ok. Just say whatever it is you're feeling -- all the weird, conflicted, mixed up feelings that you have -- and we'll deal."

"You promise? Because I have a lot of questions that I --"

"Maggie, I am not going to ditch you. Not ever. No matter what. Because I love you, too."

"Ok. Bianca, I love you. I really do."


"God Maggie, I can still remember every spark, every tingle, the second you kissed me. Right there in the middle of the boathouse. I was scared to death you were going to walk out on me and I'd never see you again. But you've always had this amazing knack for surprising me. We sat there for almost an hour, just holding each other." Bianca paused to wipe away the tears stinging her eyes painfully. "That was the beginning of the rest of our lives. This can't be the end, it just can't be. We didn't have enough time, baby. Thirty years just isn't nearly enough!"

Bianca screwed her eyes shut again, trying to ward off the waves of despair, knowing that no matter how hard she tried to pretend, Maggie was gone, and there was nothing she could do to bring her soulmate back.

The wind around kicked back up, tossing her hair around her shoulders, tangling the tresses in the collar of her leather jacket. For just a brief moment, Bianca could have sworn that she felt a feather light kiss on her lips, the same tingle she felt so many years before creeping its way through her broken soul. Bianca slowly stood herself up, bringing the white rose clutched in her fingers to her lips for a gentle kiss, then laying it along the cherry wood in front of her.

"Goodbye my love. Please wait for me."

She turned and headed out of the cemetery, towards her children, their children, and into the bleak looking future before her.

The End

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