DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
July 5th 12:37 PM
Bianca's head felt like it was full of cotton. That 'I just woke up from a nap I didn't mean to take and it has screwed up my body instead of helped it' cotton .and it felt like maybe she'd drooled a bit.
She was laying on her side and propped herself up on one arm to look around the room, not 100% positive where she was. Once she spotted the lava lamp, it started to make sense. "Maggie's room?" she muttered. She looked down at herself, her clothes were still on she sighed.
Sitting up, she swung her legs around so her feet were on the floor and she stretched her arms above her head. Just as she finished, she heard a commotion coming from the kitchen and what sounded like a woman yelling.
She raced over to the kitchen door, threw it open and spotted Maggie, standing in the corner, wide-eyed, watching the chaos, but she wasn't the source of the yelling. Two of the security team were walking in with grocery bags and pots. In the distance, just beginning to walk through the dining room, she could spot Guilia, followed closely by Patrick, both of them carrying even more groceries and pots. That was the source of yelling.
Bianca quickly, and quietly, walked over to where Maggie stood. The shorter girl's eyes were wide, her jaw slightly dropped causing her mouth to hang loose. Bianca leaned over to her. "Um what's going on?"
Maggie jumped slightly and looked up at her friend. "Oh, hi there. Have a nice nap?"
"Yeah, until I woke up and heard yelling!"
"Well Guilia called earlier and said she was coming over to cook for us to try to cheer us up."
"Awwww that's so nice of her." Bianca said with an enormous smile.
"Yeah .Patrick? Not so much with the 'awwww' more with the grumbly face."
"You mean the one where his eyebrows touch?" using her hands to illustrate on her own face.
Maggie pointed and laughed. "Yeah, that one! Seems he and Guilia haven't spent an entire day together in ten years and he considers that the secret to their successful marriage."
"Wow well how long has she been here for him to already be grumbling like this?"
"Oh about five minutes."
The two security men had set down their cargo, and left the room as quietly, and unassumingly as possible. Now it was Patrick who was slamming what he had carried on to the cabinets as he and Guilia continued to yell at one another. Finally Guilia had spotted the ladies of the house and ran over to them, gave each the traditional la bise greeting, and immediately switched from the Italian she had been speaking in with Patrick, to French so she could converse with Bianca.
She went on and on about those horrible leeches in the press and how dare they do this to girls she thought of as daughters. She had indeed called her mother in Italy and immediately had a curse put on Guy's 'unmentionables'. Then she asked where Miranda was as she was dying to see her.
Bianca did a double take when she realized even she didn't know where Miranda was. Maintaining a grin, so as not to convey her concern to Guilia, she turned to Maggie. "Maggie..Guilia would like to see Miranda where is she?"
"Oh, that's right, you were asleep. She's in the library in her new playhouse, she fell asleep in it. I'll take Guilia in to show her."
Bianca explained to Guilia she should follow Maggie and the ladies left, but Maggie quickly turned to say one last thing. "By the way, before I forget, the employee from Wonky Wiblets that brought over the playhouse said he would be drafting you a memo about budgeting in a re-write of the instructions because even he couldn't understand them." Maggie paused. "He taught me a lot of words in French I'm not sure I should use in public," she shrugged and returned to escorting Guilia to the library.
Bianca turned around, chuckling to herself to find Patrick unloading groceries and mumbling to himself. "What's wrong Patrick?"
"She pulled two of the guards off duty to carry up groceries!"
"Did you tell her not to?"
"Have you ever tried dealing with someone as stubborn as her?"
"You've obviously never met my mother," Bianca mumbled under her breath. She walked over and patted Patrick on the back. "It's ok Patrick, she's here to cheer us up and help us, so I am sure it won't be that bad."
Patrick continued to grumble as he put more groceries away.
July 5th - 4:00 PM
The household was working its way in to an odd rhythm considering how much space they were limited to. The tinters had arrived several hours ago, and were working on the windows in the living room. Guilia was in full cooking mode with all of the burners on the stove going at once. Patrick was spending more time downstairs with the security detail. Miranda was down for a nap in her playhouse, which she refused to leave. Maggie had snuck off for a nap and was now back up helping in the kitchen. Bianca was spending the time on the phone, finishing up whatever it was she was dealing with.
Patrick called up and let Bianca know that Aurélia was on her way up with the papers she had requested. Bianca excused herself from the kitchen and went to greet her. They returned to the dining room and Bianca took a seat at the head of the table while Aurélia spread out the papers she needed to sign.
Maggie grabbed a hand towel and dried off her hands so she could go say hello to Bianca's personal assistant. They had only met in passing a few times before, and she had always been behind a desk, but she still felt it was polite. As she walked in to the dining room and approached, she was unsettled by what she saw.
Aurélia was standing on Bianca's right, bending at the waist so their heads were close together. Her left hand on the back of Bianca's chair, her right hand propped on the table, discussing the papers with Bianca. Maggie noted her top had a fairly deep v at the bodice, and her skirt was above the knees, her muscular calves accentuated by 3" heels. Her hair was that shiny blonde you felt only existed in magazine ads and she was just stunningly beautiful.
In contrast, Maggie felt frumpy and all together homely. She had changed in to an old Foo Fighters concert shirt that had that bleached-black-gone-through-the-wash-too-many-times look, jeans with holes in them and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail while she had been cooking. It was the scowl she wore though that made Bianca notice her first.
"Maggie did you need something?" she said, an uneasy tone to her voice.
"What? Oh no, I just came in to say hello to Aurélia since I hadn't seen her in awhile." Maggie tried to force a smile and did an awkward little wave.
Aurélia stood up to her full height, which just made Maggie feel even smaller as this woman had to be close to 6', and 'statuesque' was a word that popped to mind immediately. "Maggie!" came the heavily French accented English. "It is so good to see you again! I am so sorry about this horrible business you have gone through today!" She quickly snapped Maggie up in to a hug that choked Maggie more than comforted her.
"Thanks," she said when she could finally breathe again. "I didn't mean to interrupt, I just didn't want to be rude and not say hello."
"Oh we are almost done," Aurélia said while turning back to Bianca and the papers. "Just a few more and the building will be yours!"
"Building? What building?" inquired Maggie.
Bianca didn't look up, but from the way the side of her face moved, it was obvious she was smiling. "I here?...I am buying and here?...the building across the street!" she finished as she crossed one final 't'.
"That way I can cancel out Guy's lease for using false records and I can make sure no one but people Cambias security checks out can live across from us." She sat back in the chair, her smile like that of a satisfied cat that had just finished dining on a canary.
"Wow well that's one way to protect us all I guess." Maggie folded her arms across her chest, dragging the collar down slightly. This exposed her rose necklace to the room.
"Maggie! Your necklace it is beautiful." Aurélia commented. She walked over to look at it closer.
Maggie resisted the urge to make a snide comment about Aurélia being distracted by shiny objects it almost seemed too easy. "Thank you " she turned her head and smiled at Bianca, "I love it."
Bianca smiled back and lifted her right hand to pull the matching pendant from her blouse to show she still had hers on also.
As Aurélia finished looking at Maggie's necklace, she turned to pick up the papers, and spotted Bianca's necklace now. "Awwww you two are oh, what is that word um adorable! That's it, you are both adorable! I wish my husband would be that romantic!"
Maggie's eyes grew wide as she finally spotted the very large wedding ring on the woman's left hand.
Bianca shifted in her chair and smiled up at her assistant. "But Aurélia, don't you think your husband might look a little silly wearing a rose necklace?"
All three women laughed. Bianca stood and thanked Aurélia for all of her help. The tall Amazonian woman congratulated Bianca on her purchase and reassured her that it was no problem to have done all this work. Bianca saw her out after all their good-bye's were said.
Maggie waited in the dining room for Bianca to return. She knew she was in for it the second she saw her. She had that 'I'm going to give you so much grief' smile of hers combined with her hands being clasped in front of her down by her waist. Maggie just simply hung her head, there was no defense when Bianca was like this.
The taller girl walked up to her and stood directly in front of her, but didn't speak at first, prolonging her pain. "You were jealous weren't you?" was what came out when she finally did.
Maggie looked up, but would not meet Bianca's eyes. "I don't know if I would say 'jealous'," she made air quotes "so much as 'curious'."
"You walked in here, saw her bending over like that and you thought something was going on between her and I didn't you?"
"I well I guess I had never realized just how gorgeous she is."
"She is gorgeous, but she is also very straight, and very married, and my employee. You just saw her in a new light because things have changed between you and me. Besides I'm not looking right now."
Maggie finally did meet Bianca's gaze, but now their expressions were more serious. "Why not?"
"Why not what? Why aren't I looking?"
"Because I'm looking at what I want right now."
"Bianca .I still can't guarantee "
"I know, but I have time, and I'm willing to wait, and for now, you have nothing to worry about."
Maggie smiled. "What did I ever do to deserve you as a friend?"
"You got a couple of hours? I have a list."
"Well, it must be a pretty long one I mean, really, how many people can say 'Oh yeah, well, my friend bought an apartment building to keep people from taking pictures of me!'"
"You know two people who can say that?
"No, I bought two buildings. The one directly across the street and the one next to it, it had good angles on us for photos also."
"Ok um first off wow secondly I didn't get you anything, but I did however help make dinner!"
"Oh, well then, I think we're totally even!"
The girls started walking back towards the kitchen, giggling as they went. Just as they entered the kitchen archway, Maggie stopped Bianca by putting a hand on her arm. "Seriously Bianca thank you."
Bianca smiled and nodded. "I had to Maggie, no one messes with my family no one. Now when's dinner, I'm starving!" Bianca walked in to the kitchen and directly to the stove to see what Guilia was preparing.
Maggie was content just to just stand there and watch her walk.
July 5th 6:00 PM
"Guilia, honestly, just how much food do you think we can eat?" asked Maggie
Patrick translated, Guilia answered him. "She says you're eating until we get some hips on you. She doesn't care if you are dating Bianca, you may want children someday and you're in no shape for it."
Maggie scowled, Guilia smiled and chuckled.
The dining room table was covered from end to end in pots heaping with pasta, sauces, salad, and a wide assortment of meats. It was a veritable feast, and all for a Tuesday night as common as any other. Bianca sat at the head of the table closest to the entry hall, Maggie at the end by the kitchen. Patrick and Guilia on opposite sides in the middle, with Miranda directly next to Guilia as she had requested to feed her.
Patrick had avoided coming up from the ground floor as long as he could, but even he had to give in to his wife's cooking. It didn't matter that Guy had forced this situation any more, it was nice to sit around the table and dine as an extended family.
Just as every one was digging in, one of the glass tinters hesitantly stepped in to the doorway from the hall. He removed his painters cap and asked to see Patrick for a moment. Patrick excused himself while everyone else continued to eat.
After a few moments he returned, a concerned look on his face. Everyone at the table remained quiet until Bianca finally decided to ask what was obviously on everyone's mind. "Is there something you need to tell us Patrick?"
"Well, due to the size of the job, they only had enough materials to tint half of the windows, which means you are still exposed. They will be able to come back and finish tomorrow after they get more supplies."
"So, what does this mean?" Maggie inquired.
"It means that as the head of Bianca's security detail, I will have to request you two do not venture past the hallway until tomorrow, after they finish."
While Guilia asked Patrick to translate for her, Bianca and Maggie exchanged looks. "Well I guess I can sleep on the couch in the den, you in your bed, and do you mind if Miranda sleeps in the crib in your room?" Bianca asked.
"Bianca of course Miranda can sleep in my room, but you aren't sleeping on the couch!"
"Well, I don't want to impose on you."
Maggie sighed. "Let's just discuss this later, ok?"
Bianca knitted her eyebrows together, but responded with a simple "Alright."
It was then that voices started raising between Patrick and Guilia again. Bianca and Maggie turned their attention to their ever present protector to see what the matter was. He began grinding his teeth while staring at a grinning Guilia.
"Um " interjected Bianca "is there a problem?"
"None," replied Patrick "so long as she realizes I'm right!" Guilia made a kissy face at Patrick and turned to feed Miranda a piece of pasta. "I" Patrick continued through gritted teeth, "told her I would now be spending the night here since the windows didn't get finished, I said she should go home, but she is insisting on staying."
Bianca smiled, winked at Maggie in a "follow-my-lead" sort of way and took on a serious face. "Well, Patrick, why is it you feel the need to stay here? Are we in physical danger?"
"Well, no "
"And Bianca bought the buildings pictures can be shot from, so we're probably even safe from the paparazzi really," added Maggie.
"But you see, I ."
"And really Patrick, inviting yourself to stay in my home!" Bianca said, her face taking on a scolding look.
"Yes, but I "
"Yeah, that was pretty forward of him I think!" chirped Maggie.
"I only wanted "
"But if you really think you have to stay " Bianca turned towards Guilia and asked her something in French. Maggie couldn't understand most of it, but she could decipher Patrick's cringing body language.
Guilia smiled and became very excited, repeatedly saying "Oui!", the French word for "yes", over and over again. Maggie needed no translation to know that Bianca had just asked Guilia to spend the night from the way Patrick groaned and closed his eyes.
July 5th 7:30 PM
After they had finished dinner, which included a lot of Patrick mumbling to himself, everyone had joined in the washing of the dishes, and then retired to the den for some TV while Miranda played in her new house.
With nothing of interest on TV, Bianca and Maggie had raided their movie collection for something everyone could enjoy, which was difficult with Guilia's lack of English. After Maggie had been horror stricken by the idea Patrick and Guilia had never seen "It's A Wonderful Life", she insisted they watch.
"Maggie that's a Christmas movie," Bianca chided.
"It's A Wonderful Life can be enjoyed year round! Besides, how can we let these two poor souls go on living another day without knowing about Zuzu's petals really woman, where is your sense of common decency?"
Bianca rolled her eyes and threw her hands up. Maggie bit her lower lip and smiled, knowing she had won.
With the lack of seating that faced the TV, Patrick moved the coffee table and offered to sit on the floor, Maggie protested, and insisted the 'old people' sit on the couch, and they, with their younger, springier joints, would sit on the floor. Patrick glared at her, Maggie grinned.
When the movie began, the girls had sat close, but not so close as to touch. By the point in flashbacks where George Bailey had dropped the phone and told Mary he loved her, they were entwined. Maggie's head rested on Bianca's right shoulder and her left arm twisted inside of Bianca's right. Their hands met at the ends, fingers interlaced, thumbs running up and down each others thumb joints.
If someone like Norman Rockwell had come in to paint the scene, it would have been entitled something like '21st Century Family". The dating kids on the floor, in the obvious early stages of love, ignoring the parents on the couch, staring down at them approvingly, then smiling at each other. The only thing that was out of place was Portia, hanging above the couch. Hopefully Rockwell would have left that out.
July 5th 10:00 PM
The movie over, which Patrick and Guilia thoroughly enjoyed, everyone was just about ready for sleep, a tremendously long day behind them. Patrick went downstairs again to check in with the security detail, while Guilia offered to go up and retrieve pajamas for Bianca from her room and the items she needed for a shower.
Maggie quickly took a shower, then Bianca. Both girls sat around the butcher block, now, hair up in towels, waiting for Patrick to come back up from downstairs. Patrick walked back in and laughed at the girls as he entered the kitchen. "How cute are you going to do each other's hair next?" Maggie glared at him. Bianca just smiled.
"What's going on downstairs?" Bianca asked.
Patrick took on a more serious tone as he reported. "They're not as many as there were earlier, but there are cars with paparazzi outside both entrances still. I'm afraid you may both need to go out tomorrow though. If we stay holed up too long without any other stories breaking, they'll start running stories about how you're holed up in a "love nest".
Maggie coughed. "Or Pleasure Hut because you know, I have the sign for that," she said, throwing a thumb over her shoulder towards her bedroom door.
Bianca rolled her eyes, and mumbled, "Thank god that's on the inside of the apartment." She slapped the palms of her hands against the butcher block. "Anyway, what's the plan? We'll deal with going out in the morning. I really think you and Guilia can go home Patrick. No one's going to get in here, they aren't even going to try."
"No I left you both at Disneyland and we see where that got us, I'm staying. Guilia will take the spare bedroom, and I'll take a chair in the library so if I have to get up, I won't wake her."
"Ok, I'll take the couch in the den then "
"You are not sleeping on the couch Bianca! Seriously, come in my room, it's fine, then Patrick can have the couch."
Bianca went to protest, but she could see from the pleading look in Maggie's eyes, it was a pointless fight. She sighed heavily and said "Fine, I'll sleep in your room, Patrick you take the couch."
Patrick tried to suppress his grin as he said "Very well I'll see you both in the morning."
July 5th 10:15 PM
Maggie dried and brushed her hair. It would still be a mess in the morning, but she hated going to bed with dirty or wet hair. She pulled her now dried hair back in a ponytail, took off her robe, put on a pair of boxer shorts and her Tigers jersey, took a deep breath, and stepped out of the bathroom.
"I'm all done if you want to go in and dry your hair. I what are you doing?"
Bianca was sitting on the edge of the bed, drying her hair with her towel. "Um drying my hair?"
"I can see that! I mean this!" She pointed down at the sheets and pillow Bianca had spread on the floor and waggled her finger at what lay there.
"Oh well I just figured I was sleeping on the floor."
"Bianca, this is your apartment, if anyone sleeps on the floor it would be me, but I really hadn't planned on sleeping there, my bed is plenty big for the both of us." Miranda stirred in her crib, Maggie lowered her voice before continuing. "We are capable of sleeping in the same bed you know."
"I know, but with the way things have changed between us, I " Bianca dropped her hands to her lap and stared down at them. "I didn't want you to feel like I was pressuring you."
"Oh please, I invited you in here," Maggie leaned down, picked up the pillow, and dropped on to the bed next to Bianca, hugging the pillow to her chest. "If anything, I was afraid you thought I was trying to make a move." She butted her right shoulder against Bianca's left, which made the taller girl grin.
"No, I didn't figure you were going to." Bianca looked up and in to Maggie's eyes. There was an awkward silence for a moment as they both searched each other's eyes as if looking for something. "Are are you still wearing your necklace?"
Maggie reached up and pulled it from under her jersey. "You?"
Bianca shoved the flap of her robe to the side so the necklace was visible. "These seemed like such a good idea at first, now "
"They're comforting Bianca, nothing more. We don't need them to tell us we're on a date, we're adults, we can figure that out. Today sucked, we were forced in to a situation we hadn't planned for, and today they just made us feel good. That's all. If it makes you more comfortable though, let's agree to do away with them and just get some sleep ok? I promise not to jump you in bed I don't think I would even have the energy to."
Both girls laughed. "Ok, ok, I just need to dry my hair first," Bianca stood up and started to walk away, but as she did, she felt Maggie grab her left hand and pull backwards lightly.
"Before we do take them off, there is something I do want to do." She stood up, setting the pillow down with her left hand as she did. Her right hand continued to hold on to Bianca's left, and they stared intently at each other. Both girls tilted their heads to the left and kissed. It was deep, but still soft, and filled with more desire than either had given in to in any of their previous kisses. It could almost be described as 'toe-curling'.
There was a knock at the door. "Bianca, are you awake, I forgot to tell you something about tomorrow," came Patrick's muffled voice.
The girls broke their kiss, Bianca laughed, Maggie stared straight ahead, her mouth disappearing in to a straight line. "That's it. He dies," Maggie grabbed the pillow she had set down, leaped on the bed, ran across it, jumped off and ran across the room. She threw open her door, and proceeded to pummel Patrick with a pillow while screaming in between hits "Why do you always show up at the wrong times!"
Patrick protected himself by throwing up his right arm. "I take it this is a bad time?"
He received one more hit to the face.
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