DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Rudeboy


Chapter Three

July 3rd, 2005 – Afternoon

Maggie hit enter on her laptop keyboard and let out a sigh of relief. She leaned back in the desk chair, and rested her head on the back so she could look at the ceiling. "Done!" she declared. "My Summer can finally begin…all four weeks of it."

A feeling of accomplishment washed over her. She had barely had time to think of anything else for the past two weeks. Now though, now she could implement the one thing she had made time to ponder, the reward she had set for herself at the end of this mammoth project. A second date with Bianca.

"No time like the present either!" she thought as she stood up and walked over to the door that led to the kitchen of the apartment. Bianca sat at the butcher's block, sipping tea and flipping through a manila folder. She didn't even seem to notice Maggie walk in, but Miranda certainly did. She grinned from ear to ear and used the kitchen cabinets to pull herself up. Once standing, she took some very wobbly steps towards her nanny.

"Well hey there Munchkin! Did you miss Auntie Maggie while she was locked up in her room?"

Bianca jumped. "Maggie! I didn't even hear you come in! Are you done with your paper?"

"Yep!" Maggie said as she scooped up Miranda into her arms and smothered the little girl's face in kisses. "All done, finally!"

Bianca closed the folder she had been reading and smiled. "Well good! I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to come out of there! You've either been there or the library for almost two weeks now."

"I know, but I had to ace this paper, and I think I did. So now, I have some time to relax…at least until August 4th when I start all new classes." she said, rolling her eyes.

Bianca smiled. "Well, at least I get to spend sometime with you finally. Everything is wrapped up at Cambias with that new merger, so I think I will actually be able to stay home once in awhile now."

Maggie took her usual spot across from Bianca at the butcher block, still holding Miranda. "You mean…we might…see each other for more than 5 minutes?" Maggie said with an exaggerated gasping sound.

"I know, crazy idea huh?"

"Very!" Maggie looked down at the folder in front of Bianca and saw it was the folder she carried her printed out emails from the folks in Pine Valley. Bianca preferred reading things on paper, so she always printed out the emails and would read them in the limo or while drinking her tea. "Anything new and exciting back in the Valley of the Pines?" she asked, knowing something was always happening.

"Oodles, as always. It's looking more and more like this 'Di' person JR hired as Little A's nanny really is Dixie, his mom. Kendall, Greenlee, and Simone found out where Ryan has been going to at night, it's some sort of fight club. Seems he still doesn't know how to deal with the death of his brothers."

Maggie lowered her eyes. thinking of how part of that guilt was Ryan shooting his brother, Jonathon, in a cave. No matter how hard Maggie tried, she still winced a bit every time she thought of Jon.

Bianca noticed, but said nothing, wanting to quickly change the subject. "Maria finally left for California with Anita. According to Simone, she is about to 'rope' in Ethan at long last."

Maggie chuckled. "Poor Ethan….that girl will swallow him whole given half a chance."

"I know…I am pondering if I should warn him or not. I am leaning towards the 'not'."

"Good call. How's your mom's new show coming along?"

Bianca laughed. "Well, she wanted to hire Kendall to be her producer, but Kendall talked her way out of it somehow and she hired a new guy in town named Josh Madden, who I am still not totally clear on who he is, but mom seems to like him. And Kendall…something is going on there. She says she has a business favor to ask me, which always makes me nervous."

Maggie rolled her eyes. "And with good reason because it's never anything good."

"True enough." Bianca replied. "So, enough news from home. How are we going to celebrate us both having free time? Tomorrow's July 4th, and since the French of course don't celebrate it, I thought maybe we could just do something ourselves."

"Well…funny you should bring that up. I have actually been pondering something myself."

Bianca leaned forward, suddenly very intrigued. "And what would that be pray tell?"

"Well…" Maggie started staring at her fingernails "we have a very narrow window of free time for the both of us….maybe it's time we tried for that second date."

The corners of Bianca's grin threatened to meet on the back of her head it was so large. "I was hoping that was what you were thinking. So tomorrow night? I had better call Patrick now since it's such short notice and…" Bianca rose to walk over to the phone.

"Bianca, wait. I had another idea." She stood up and walked over to her friend, so that Miranda was between them, still resting in her arms. "I was thinking maybe we could take Miranda with us this time? You know, make it more like a…'family' date." She said, her face scrunching up in uncertainty.

Bianca got tears in her eyes, but choked them back. "Are…are you sure? That's kind of a large step to include her."

"Well, it's not like this is exactly the normal dynamic anyway, so why not?"

Bianca raised her right hand and stroked the back of her daughter's head. "I think that sounds lovely actually. Where do you think we should go though?"

Maggie's grin was the large one now. "Well….where does every kid want to go?"

Realization passed over Bianca's face. "Oh no…you have got to be kidding me! You can't mean…."


July 4th, morning

"Disneyland Paris." Bianca muttered. "Our second date and you suggest a theme park. Is this an allegory for our relationship? Our dates are like theme park rides?"

Maggie stared at Bianca for a moment. "You know…you get oddly philosophical when you're cranky. And hey, this almost wasn't a date! Who was it that almost forgot their necklace this morning?" Maggie inquired with a self-satisfied tone as she reached up and played with her own necklace for emphasis.

"That would be me." Bianca said ashamedly. "I still think you are using my daughter as a cover story just so you could come here."

Maggie grinned and turned to Bianca, her hands resting on Miranda's stroller. "Why Bianca Montgomery, I am shocked you would say such a thing! This is merely for your daughter's enjoyment!"

"Uh huh." Bianca muttered as she closed the door to the limo. She watched as Patrick got the baby bag out of the trunk and handed it to Maggie. "Patrick, I told you this was unnecessary. We could have just gotten one of the company fleet cars and driven ourselves here."

Patrick smiled at Maggie before turning to Bianca with a more serious look on his face. "And again I must protest to this whole idea. This is far too public of a place for you to be without at least one member of the security detail."

Bianca smiled at him and placed a hand on his right shoulder. "Patrick, it's going to be fine. We're just on a date, this place is so public, we probably won't even be noticed. I'm far more worried about….other things, than my general security today." Patrick looked worried at the comment, but Bianca gave him a reassuring smile. Go on, go spend time with Guilia for a couple of hours, I'll call you when we're ready to leave."

Patrick set his jaw, but finally sighed in defeat. "Yes Ma'am, but I won't be far if you need me." He gave Bianca a quick hug, Miranda a kiss on the head, and Maggie a longer hug. As he broke the hug with her, he whispered a wish of 'good luck', and then got in the car to leave.

The girls watched him drive away and waved as he did. Maggie finally turned to Bianca with a smirk on your face. "So, I don't get it…what do you have against Disneyland?"

Bianca looked down while reaching up to tuck wisps of hair behind her ears. "What makes you think I have anything against it?"

"I don't know, you didn't seem thrilled yesterday when I suggested it, and you made that comment to Patrick about worrying about something other than security, so what is it?"

"I have my reasons." Bianca said as she turned to walk towards the gates.

"What? Bad experience in the Tea Cups?" Maggie said as she pushed Miranda's stroller along in front of her.

"I'd rather not discuss it."

"Did your flying Dumbo come loose and you soared across the park?"

"You know…most people know when it might be time to change the subject when they are on a date."

"Yeah, but I'm not most people now am I?" Maggie asked with a squinty-eyed smirk.

"You can say that again." Was Bianca's muttered reply.

As Maggie opened her mouth to say more, Miranda squealed with joy. Both women looked down at the little girl, and then up to see Mickey and Minnie quickly approaching with a man in a suit. "Ms. Montgomery? I am Louis with Guest Services, please accept our warmest welcome to you and your family."

Bianca grinned, not wishing to correct him, but she liked hearing the three of them referred to as a "family".

"We wish you had called us sooner about your visit so that we could have arranged a more private time for you." Louis continued.

"Oh that's fine, we're perfectly happy attending during the normal hours." Bianca replied.

"Well, even so, we can offer you special passes that will allow you to bypass the normal lines." He said, holding out three passes on lanyards, which Bianca took. "Just wear them at all times and you can use the back entrances to the rides. And if you need anything while here, please do not hesitate to call my mobile, I am available to you at all times." He added, handing Bianca a business card.

"Thank you, but we really don't want to be a bother." Bianca said with a sheepish grin, handing Maggie two of the passes.

"Well it is certainly not a problem to make sure the head of Cambias Industries, her daughter, and...companion have a good time while here."

Bianca had to admit, even with the awkward pause, she was enjoying the acknowledgment of Maggie. She did wonder how her friend was taking it though. "Well…there is just one thing?"

"Of course, anything!"

"Can you take a quick picture of all of us with your two friends here?" she said, indicating the costumed characters at his side, who were already keeping Miranda immensely amused.

"Oh we can certainly do better than that for you!" snapping his fingers and a professional photographer appeared seemingly from nowhere.

Maggie groaned. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."

Bianca looked at her surprised. "Why do you say that?"

Maggie closed her eyes and hung her head. "I have an odd feeling this picture is going to be turned in to a Christmas card."

Bianca's eyes lit up. "I hadn't even thought of that!"

Maggie picked Miranda out of her stroller and handed her to Bianca as they turned to take their places with the characters for the picture. "You didn't even want to come here! How is this embarrassing photo fair?"

Bianca took a moment to arrange Miranda for the photo. "Consider it payment for dragging me here against my will…now smile."

Maggie muttered something indecipherable under her breath as the picture was taken.


July 4th, 2005 – Afternoon

"Maggie! I swear to god, if you try putting that pizza in her mouth again, I'm going to…well I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'll do something!" Bianca said gaspingly between laughs.

"What? I don't know what your talking about!" the shorter friend said, hiding a pizza slice behind her back.

"She's too young for it!" Bianca scolded as she pulled Miranda's stroller closer to her.

"You're such a party pooper!" Maggie said, while bringing the offending slice out from behind her back to take a bite.

"Oh yeah, that's me, Queen of the Buzzkill!" Bianca said jokingly as she moved her salad around with a fork.

"So…" Maggie paused to swallow her bite "where to next?"

"Well, we've done Main Street, Frontierland and Adventureland."

"I need to make a stop back on Main Street for a present as we leave, by the way."

Bianca looked at her quizzically. "A present? For who"

Maggie grinned, looked down at her pizza to take a bite while tilting her head side-to-side. Just before she bit down, she said, in a sing songy voice "For Patrick."

Bianca dropped her head and rested her forehead against the back of her right hand. "I don't even want to know what your going to do to him this time."

Maggie hummed to herself in a satisfied way. "Sooooo….Fantasyland next?"

Bianca cleared her throat. "I don't know…it's getting kind of late and I think Miranda would really enjoy the cars in Discoveryland a lot…"

The shorter girl reared back, pointing at Bianca with the index finger of her right hand "A-ha! So whatever it is you don't like about Disneyland is in Fantasyland!" Maggie rocketed forward, gripped the table on either side of her body as she went, and leaned as far forward as she could. "You hurled on the Tea Cups didn't you?"

"NO! I….I just think we should get to Discoveryland is all!" Bianca looked down at her salad and moved it around with her fork with conviction this time.

"Dumbo sailed across the park?"

"You already asked that…no."

"Crocodile in the Peter Pan ride gives you nightmares?" Maggie asked, as she leaned back.


Maggie folded her arms and leaned back in her chair. She stared at Bianca, squinting her eyes until they were slits, assessing her friend. "It's A Small World creeps you out." It was a statement this time, not a question.

Bianca stopped moving her fork, but didn't look up.

"Big, brave, Bianca, is scared of little moving dolls of the world."

"Have you not seen the Chucky movies?!" Bianca blurted out while finally looking up.

Maggie leaned her head back to stare at the ceiling of Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost as she laughed. "Bianca…bravest woman I've ever known…is scared of little dolls."

Bianca grumbled as she went back to her salad. "Yeah…well…who had to hold my hand during The Phantom Manor huh?"

Maggie looked back at Bianca now with a satisfied, lopsided grin. "Maybe I just wanted an excuse to hold your hand…ever think about that?"

"Um…no…I hadn't." said Bianca while turning bright red.

"This is a date, remember?" Maggie again played with her rose necklace for emphasis.

Bianca's blush deepened. "I know, I just hadn't thought of that…and you don't have to make up an excuse to hold my hand."

"I know that silly." Maggie slid her hand across the table and held it out in invitation to her friend. "They're just dolls Bianca."

Bianca tentatively slid her left hand across the table, and when their hands met, they . interlaced their fingers while their hands rested in front of Miranda. "I know that, but…" Bianca sighed "one night I had been told to go to bed by my dad, and I didn't want to. So after he went to bed, I snuck back down stairs to watch TV."

"Was this before or after you tried burning down Erica's house?"

Bianca glared at Maggie who was grinning her devilish grin. "After…smartass."

"Wow…you really were a young rebel."

"Do you want to hear this story or not?"

"Yes, yes, please continue."

"Anyway, so I snuck downstairs, turned on the TV and I see a movie with a cute looking doll in it and…well…he wasn't so cute after awhile. Little did I know that two weeks later my dad was going to surprise me with a trip to Disneyland and…It's A Small World gave me nightmares for weeks."

Maggie tried to subdue it, but finally she burst out laughing.

Bianca pulled her hand back, crossed her arms, and shot out her lower lip in a pout. "It's not funny!"

Maggie reached up to wipe away tears of laughter with the back of her right hand. "Yes, I'm sorry to say, it is!"

Bianca chuckled. "Ok, it's a little funny, but still, it really scared me as a kid!"

"Come on….go on It's A Small World with me." Maggie said in a subdued tone as she reached her hand across the table again.

Eyeing it suspiciously, Bianca finally gave in and held Maggie's hand again. "Alright…but no laughing at me if I get scared!"

"I promise not to laugh….too much."

"God…what ever do I see in you?" Bianca asked in an exasperated tone as she went to stand up.

Maggie followed suit as she replied. "I ask myself that every day."


July 4th, 2005 – Late Afternoon

"Come on…you said you'd go with me! I let you put it off, but now it's time to suck it up and go!"

Maggie was tugging on Bianca's hand, pulling her towards the It's A Small World boat that awaited them. "I know I did, but…I've changed my mind!" Bianca tried to turn and walk away, but Maggie quickly tugged harder pulling her towards the boat.

"Oh no you don't! Get in there Montgomery!" She playfully shoved Bianca in to the back row of the boat, and then snatched Miranda out of her stroller, plopping down next to her friend. She placed Miranda on Bianca's lap, and they settled in before their boat pulled away from the dock.

At first Bianca just tensed up, but kept her eyes open…until they made the first left turn and the dolls started appearing. She quickly shut her eyes, turned to Maggie, and buried her head in her friend's shoulder.

"Are you going to stay like this for the whole ride?" inquired Maggie.


"How are you ever going to get over this fear if you refuse to look up?" Maggie was barely containing her laughter by now. "Look! Miranda is enjoying it!"

As if on cue Miranda, let out a shriek of giggles as they passed under a pair of dolls standing in front of a windmill. She kicked her feet while watching the little dolls twirl and sing for her amusement, but with each change in the music, Bianca seemed to press her face deeper into Maggie's shoulder.

Maggie's chuckling continued. "Bianca! We've been on the ride for maybe a minute, at this rate, I'm going to have a permanent mark in my shoulder from your face!"

"GOOD! I can not believe you made me come in here!"

"Bianca! Chucky was a movie, you were a kid, nothing is going to happen! I don't see any knives on any of them."

"You never did with him either until it was too late!" came the muffled reply.

Maggie left it alone for a moment, hoping that Bianca would calm down on her own, but she refused to even lift her head for a moment to look around. Miranda was still squealing and kicking her feet, her head spinning so quickly from left to right, Maggie was sure it would pop off at any moment.

As they passed through the portion representing India, Maggie decided to do running commentary, in hopes it would calm Bianca down and maybe get her to look up. "Oh look at that, is that the Taj Mahal? Bianca, is that supposed to be the Taj Mahal?"

"I'm not looking! Don't think you can make me look!"

Maggie just shook her head. She opted not to say anything about the creepy looking Sphinx rocking it's head back and forth, but then she thought she had the ultimate weapon. She reached her left arm around Bianca so she could place her hands on either side of her head and lift it. "Quick! This you have to see! A zebra and a rhino playing drums!"

Bianca cursed her, she hadn't been ready for Maggie to move her head, and she had succeeded in pulling it off of her shoulder. Before Bianca could close her eyes, she did see it, and it did make her giggle a bit.

"A-ha! You looked!"

"Not by choice!"

"But still, you looked, and nothing came out to get you. Besides, wouldn't you rather see it coming instead of being taken by surprise?"

Bianca was still leaning against Maggie, even though her head was turned. "Not funny Stone."

Maggie smiled that she had managed to get her friend to finally open her eyes, but she could tell she was still tense. It was then that she realized her arm was still behind Bianca from grabbing her head. She very tentatively slid it down so her left hand rested on Bianca's shoulder, and she squeezed it. "Just look how much fun Miranda is having though. Doesn't that make it seem less threatening?" She whispered in her ear.

Bianca looked down at the top of her daughter's head and smiled at how in to the ride Miranda seemed to be. "Yeah…it does, as long as she's happy, it does seem to make everything seem a bit more ok."

They rode like this for the next few minutes, pointing things out to each other, giggling about some of the silly things they saw, and with each second, Bianca seemed to become more relaxed. Maggie never stopped being aware though of the fact they were riding so close together, her arm around Bianca, like an actual couple enjoying a date, and it filled her with happiness they had finally gotten to such a comfortable spot in their life.

The more she thought about it though, the more she realized she was spending more time staring down at the top of Bianca's head resting on her shoulder than at what was happening with the singing, dancing dolls. And stayed like this for the remainder of the ride.

As they passed through the last section, by the can-can girls and children playing at a fair, Bianca turned her head to look up at Maggie and say something, but lost her train of thought when she looked up in to her friend's, smiling face and deep, thoughtful eyes. They stared at each other for a moment, the music fading to the background, the ride dropping away around them, and they stared at each other. Bianca wasn't even aware until she had already tilted her head, and closed her eyes that Maggie had leaned in to kiss her.

It was gentle, soft, warm, caring, and best of all, not induced by panic or a moment of emotional distress like their three previous kisses. This one was completely mutual, in the moment, fitting, and right. The only thing that jarred them out of the kiss was the boat behind them bumping in to them as they came to the end of the ride and waited their turn to off load. Neither had even realized they were back outside again in the daylight.

They broke their kiss, and smiled at each other. Bianca hugged Miranda to her just a bit harder, and snuggled in to her friend's shoulder even more while they waited their turn. She was content, happy, and suddenly, It's A Small World was now the most magical ride to her of them all.


July 4th, 2005 – Evening

Patrick pulled up to the pre-appointed meeting spot, having received his call from Bianca to come pick them up. He smiled warmly as he saw them holding hands when he pulled up. He tried to stop grinning when he got out of the car, but it wasn't easy.

He greeted them and started to lift Miranda out of her stroller so he could fold it up and put it in the trunk. As he walked over to put her in the seat, Maggie stopped him. "Hold up buster, we have something we need to do first. Turn around."

Patrick turned around, holding Miranda in his arms. "Does she need changing?"

"Nope!" Maggie pulled something out of a shopping bag.

Patrick groaned. "You didn't."

"I did!" She stood on her tiptoes and placed a set of Mickey Mouse ears on his head. Stitched in the front, in gold thread, was the name "Patrick" written out in cursive writing. "Oh Louis!" she said in her sing-songy-I'm-up-to-no-good way.

Two men stepped out from behind a bush. "Yes ma'am, when ever your ready."

Maggie quickly stood on Patrick's right, putting her left arm behind his back, Bianca mirrored the move on this other side. "Ok everyone, now this is this year's Christmas card!"

"I whole heartedly agree!" chirped Bianca

Patrick rolled his eyes skyward and muttered "Oh lord save me from these two!" as the photographer Louis had used earlier, snapped the Bianca Montgomery 2005 Christmas Card picture.

Part 4

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