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

By Rudeboy


Chapter Four

July 4th – 10:08 PM

The elevator dinged as the doors slid open to the penthouse floor of Bianca Montgomery's apartment building. She quickly stepped across the hall to unlock the door, while Maggie Stone tried as quietly as possible to push Miranda's stroller over the elevator floor gap without waking the little girl.

"There we are." Bianca said as the deadbolt clicked, and she shoved the door open with her shoulder.

Maggie pushed the stroller in the door and down the hall to the expansive living room. She then moved around to the front and picked up the dead-to-the-world littlest member of the trio of women. "She is so out of it. Should we just skip her bath and put her down?"

"I don't think we have a choice. She'd be totally dead weight in the bath, and not easy to handle." Replied Bianca. "Let's just get her upstairs, get her changed and put her down for the night. We'll deal with a bath first thing in the morning."

The women walked up the stairs as quietly as they could, Maggie holding Miranda, Bianca carrying the baby bag. They quickly changed her in to some more sleep appropriate clothing, put her in the crib, and both gave her a kiss goodnight on the forehead before leaving the child's room for the second floor landing.

Both of them walked over to the railing and leaned forward, resting with their arms folded in front of them. Fatigue obvious on their faces from their day long date at Disneyland Paris. They stood silently, staring across the open-space to the large windows that looked at the buildings across the street and the city beyond them.

Bianca squinted her eyes and let out a huge yawn, followed by a head shake to try to keep herself awake for 10 more seconds. "I'm so tired that I'm thinking this landing may be a good place to sleep."

"I might just join you."

There was an awkward pause and they looked at each other for a moment, grins creeping across their faces.

"Well…not in that way mind you…just the sleeping and…you know…the sleeping."

Bianca reached over with her left hand and squeezed Maggie's right shoulder reassuringly. "I knew what you meant Maggie. This was only our second date…I'm not that easy." She said with an impish grin.

Maggie's jaw dropped and she turned to face her friend. "Oh and you think I am? Whatever Montgomery, whatever!" She lowered her eyes and shook her head in disbelief.

There was a pregnant pause then, neither girl sure of what to say or do. Bianca finally broke the silence. "I…I had a really nice time today."

Maggie continued to stare at the floor, but got an enormous grin on her face. "Even though I made you ride It's A Small World?"

Bianca moved closer to Maggie and took her hands in to hers. "Especially because you made me ride It's A Small World."

This made Maggie look up into Bianca's eyes, searching them for any sign of her hiding her true feelings. She found no hint. "And…um…never mind." She said, her face turning bright red and looking down again.

Bianca bent her knees slightly trying to look up in to Maggie's eyes, a grin across her face and a chuckle in her voice. "What?"

"Nothing." Said Maggie, her blush deepening.

Realization crossed Bianca's face. "You were going to ask how I felt about the kiss weren't you?"

"Yeah…but that's stupid."

"Why is it stupid?"

"Well…" Maggie raised her head again, but turned it towards the windows. "How often do you ask someone after you kiss them how they felt about it?"

"Not very often, true, but we don't tend to do anything by the book now do we?"

Maggie snorted out a laugh. "You can say that again."

"So….go ahead and ask me."

Maggie bit her lower lip and turned to look at Bianca. "Bianca…did…did you mind that I kissed you on the ride?" Maggie rolled her eyes. "Ok, I'm just a huge dork now."

Bianca couldn't help but chuckle at her friend. She put her hands on both of Maggie's shoulders and looked at her. "You are not! And as for the kiss…" Bianca took a deep breath, and looked up towards the ceiling just slightly, almost wistfully, pausing "well..."

Maggie couldn't take any more. "You're just trying to torture me now aren't you."

"You know it!" Bianca said, breaking out in to full on laughter. She bent forward slightly at the waist from the force of it, keeping her hands on Maggie's shoulders. She looked back up after a few seconds, still chuckling. "It was wonderful Maggie. It was everything I had ever hoped for. Neither of us went running from the other afterwards. There was no panic, no sense of it being wrong, it was finally everything a kiss should be….tender, meaningful…and most importantly, right."

Maggie began blushing again. "It was for me too. And…and I can't wait until our next date so I can do it again." Her blush was to a point now it looked like her head might explode.

Bianca stepped a little closer to her, their bodies almost touching. "Well…if I'm not mistaken…we both still have our necklaces on, which means that technically we're still on our date."

"You know…I didn't realize it, but you're right." She looked up in to Bianca's eyes, and they just stood there staring at each other. Maggie felt that same world-melting away sensation she had gotten sitting in the boat earlier in the day. Everything around them was disappearing and it was just they who were left, standing on that second floor landing, There was no world outside the windows, no one else to disturb them. It was just two young women in the early stages of a real relationship they both had worked towards.

Bianca slid her hands down to Maggie's waist and pulled her slightly closer, their eyes never breaking contact. Finally, after another moment of staring, they tilted their heads, Maggie to her left, Bianca to her's, closed their eyes, and their lips met in a soft, tentative kiss of early love. It was brief, warm, and just as good as their last. Maggie couldn't help herself, she had to go back for one more quick touch of the lips before they broke away.

Both of them stood there for a moment, their eyes closed, enjoying the warm sensation that spread through out their bodies. When their eyes finally opened, they smiled at each other in a satisfied way.

"I…um…should probably head on 'home'." Maggie said, using her fingers to simulate air quotes around the word home.

"Yeah, morning tends to come early when there's a baby about."

It was obvious neither woman really wanted to call an end to this, but they knew they had to.

"So…do you think…I could ask you out again?" Maggie asked playfully.

"I think you better if you know what's good for you!" Bianca said, punching Maggie in the shoulder.

Maggie reached up and rubbed her shoulder jokingly as she began walking backwards towards the spiral staircase that led down to the living room. "Well…we'll have to see. You know I have a full dating schedule and all."

Bianca's jaw was the one to drop in disbelief this time. "You're horrible."

"Yeah, but you keep saying yes to my dates anyway." Maggie started down the stairs, pausing at the last second. "See you in the morning?"

"Oh, I think I may be around, you know, seeing as I live here."

Maggie smiled. "Good…I wouldn't have it any other way." And she disappeared down the stair case.

Bianca turned and looked out the windows again. She was still basking in the afterglow of such a wonderful day. She reached up and played with her necklace for a moment. She looked down and smiled at it before she pulled it up to her lips and gave it a little kiss. "I think you may be the best idea I've ever had!"

She made a little giggly sound to herself and headed off towards her bedroom, a new bounce in her step and an enormous, face-encompassing grin on her face. She honestly couldn't remember the last time she had felt this…this…'swoony' was the only word that seemed to apply.

Once in her room, she started peeling off the dirt laden clothes of the day. Disneyland Paris may be one of the happiest places on Earth, but it sure left one feeling like the dirt of the world had come home with you. She stepped in her bathroom and started the shower running to heat up the water.

As she turned towards the sink to undo the ribbon she had pulled her hair back with, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She paused for a moment, leaned forward, and stared at her face in the mirror. Even here, staring at herself in the slowly fogging reflective surface, she could see how much happier she felt. "Maggie kissed me….twice!" she said, almost as if holding a conversation with herself.

The dangling necklace caught her eye as it swayed, its light reflecting back in the mirror. She reached up and held it with both hands to look down at it, a slight pout crossing her lips. She sighed. "I guess I have to take you off sometime don't I?" She reached behind her neck, undid the clasp, and pooled it in her hand once it was released. She looked down at it there, laying in her palm, and marveled at how much joy such a tiny thing could bring her.

Steam from the shower was finally visible all around her. She gave the necklace one last smile before depositing it in the small jewelry box she kept next to her sink. She took off the last of her clothing, got in the shower, closed the door behind her and quietly started singing "It's a small world after all…."


July 4th – 11:00 PM

Maggie sat down in front of her computer, hair still damp from her shower, a robe loosely wrapped around her, and popped the memory card from her camera in to the computer. She clicked on the icon and started transferring all of the pictures to her hard drive. Once done, she opened the folder up and started looking through them, trying to pick out which ones to send out in her daily Munchkin report email.

All of them from today were adorable. Miranda with various costumed characters…on the rides…ice cream on her nose…but she was drawn to all of the pictures that showed Bianca. As she clicked through the pictures, each time she saw that raven hair, her heart fluttered just a little bit more. She could feel how big the smile was on her face without even having to look at herself in a mirror.

She was particularly taken with a picture of Bianca holding Miranda in her arms outside of the It's A Small World ride. It was just before they had gotten on, and Bianca's expression was…well…less than happy, but something about it, maybe it was the furrowed brow, the squint of her eyes….no…it was the pout of her lips that was enthralling her.

Maggie shook her head, and adjusted herself in the chair. She thought about sending that picture out, but there was some annoying older guy in a brown leather bombers jacket in the framing of it that annoyed her. She thought about cropping him out, but it would have made the picture way off center. "Thanks a lot buddy…and who the hell still wears brown leather jackets anymore? And in July?" She mumbled something about French being known for their fashion sense and moved on.

Finally she decided on the shot of Bianca holding Miranda up to the camera, ice cream on her nose, as they sat under a shade tree in Frontierland. Cliché, but still she was adorable…they were both adorable. She shook her head again and laughed at herself. "Stay focused on the prize Stone. Finish this up and you get to dry your hair and then off to bed."

"The Daily Munchkin" was almost like a job any more, but a job she enjoyed. She cleaned up the picture, attached it to the email, wrote up a short description of how the day had gone, and sent it out to the email list of anxious "Miranda-holics" back in Pine Valley. She also quickly sent a private email to Reggie giving him a few more details about how the date went, as she knew he would ask, but left out the kisses. She figured a girl had to have some secrets.


July 4th – 11:15 PM

Bianca was finally settling in to bed. She had taken a nice long shower, dried her hair, and was just checking her email before heading to sleep. July 4th may be a holiday in America, but it wasn't in Europe and she knew there would be work email piling up.

She answered the more pressing ones, deleted the ones telling her of how to grow parts of anatomy she did not even possess, and sent Reggie a quick note telling him of the delightful date she and Maggie had shared. She knew he would be asking anyway, but she opted to leave out any mentions of kissing. He had always been the biggest supporter of her and Maggie getting together, so she always felt she owed him a note when there was a date, or even significant movement towards that end.

She closed her laptop, laid back in bed, and tried to go to sleep. It wasn't coming easily though. It's odd sleeping in what is technically the same apartment with someone you just kissed seriously for the first time that day, but pretending they are separate residences. So odd, but yet, it seemed so 'them' for some reason.

Her eyes finally closed, and she drifted off to sleep with a smile on her face….and a silver rose necklace around her neck.


July 5th – 2:00 AM

Maggie had been trying to sleep for the better part of two hours now, but it just wasn't happening. As she laid in bed, her eyes closed, a slight grin kept creeping across her face. "That kiss on the ride….holy momma, that kiss." She thought. It was unlike any kiss she had experienced before. "Jonathon? Hell no! Jamie? Not quite. Henry? Nope. Tim? Uh uh. Gregory Dawson behind the lunch room in fourth grade? Fraid not Greg!"

This wasn't to say the kiss on the landing was bad, mind you. Both the kisses with Bianca had been sweet, tender, and just…wow and, most important of all, finally done in mutual, non-panic stricken moments. "Heh" she thought "I thought for sure after the kiss on the plane, we were at three strikes and you're out."

She could finally feel sleep washing over her, and she wasn't going to fight it any more. Off in the distance, she heard a very faint ringing…Bianca's mobile. Maggie mumbled "Dear god Reggie…learn the time difference would ya?" as she drifted off to sleep…her hand laying on top of a silver rose necklace around her neck.

July 5th – 2:03 AM

Bianca's mobile was ringing. She sat up right grumbling something about Reggie and time zones. "Hello?" she asked in a groggy voice.

"Ms. Montgomery?"

Bianca cleared her throat. "Yes…Patrick? What is it? Why are you calling at this hour?"

"I'm on my way to meet a Cambias security team in front of your building and then…we need to talk. I'll be there in under 5 minutes and then I'll come up and see you as soon as I finish consulting with them."

There was a clicking sound, and he was gone.

Part 5

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