DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Trans Atlantic Thoughts
Maggie woke with a start. She sat upright, supporting herself with her hands behind her. She was drifting in that half-awake/half-asleep fog.
Where was she?
What time was it?
What was going on?
She could tell she was on a couch, but the room was dark and she could only make out shadows. Slowly though the sounds of jet engines began to register with her. Words began to flash in her sleepy haze.
She was on a plane to Paris with ,her best friend? Her girlfriend? ARGH!
Maggie untangled herself from the blanket and swung her legs around so she was sitting up with her feet on the floor. She remembered what it was that woke her. She had a nightmare. It was nothing more than Jonathon's face coming out of shadows towards her. Although, that was all it took anymore.
She shook the last of the sleep cobwebs out of her head and stood up and walked towards the back of the plane to the bathroom. As she passed Miranda's crib she took a quick peak at the munchkin. Sound asleep and as gorgeous as always. Maggie reached in the crib and lightly placed her hand on the sleeping girl's chest to make sure she was breathing, she had been so quiet. All was fine. She grinned and continued the journey to the bathroom.
She entered and closed the door behind her. She felt no need to flip the lock and that struck her . "Hm." She thought "That's a first in awhile." Ever since every thing that had happened with Jon, she had locked every door no matter where she went. No matter how comfortable she felt though, she had to flip the lock just to turn on the lights. That got a small chuckle out of her. "Heh there's another first in awhile." She thought.
As she turned she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. The tussled "bed hair" wasn't doing much for her, but the clothes caught her eye. They were a t-shirt and shorts Bianca had loaned her. With their difference in size the clothes were a little big on her, but they were comfortable and in some small way, it made Maggie feel like Bianca's arms were wrapped around her, protecting her.
Maggie shook her head again, like that action would have some magical power to shake away thoughts she wasn't ready to deal with. As if she could physically toss those feelings?...right out of her head like you toss a hamburger wrapper out the window.
She went about her business and finished by splashing some water on her face. Didn't matter how fancy a plane was, you still would get that "traveling" feeling on you.
On her way back to the couch, she again looked in the crib. Still asleep, Maggie wondered if it was only on paying flights that babies got cranky and fidgety? Miranda had been out since just before take off.
Plopping back down on the couch, she crossed her legs in front of herself and wrapped the blanket around her all the way up to her neck. She knew she probably should get some more sleep, but the short walk back and forth had been enough to wake her up past the sleeping point.
Although the plane had plenty of ways to keep her entertained, they all ran the risk of waking up the other ladies on board. She decided it was best to just sit there, look out the window and ponder her life. Once she got to Paris things would be hectic, this might very well be her last "quiet" time she would have to herself for awhile, and there was so very much to ponder.
She turned herself around a bit more so she could look out the window. It was night time and the plane was cruising along above the cloud cover. It was breathtaking. The stars were showing so clearly and the moonlight reflected back up from the clouds. Though it was night, she felt like she could see on for what seemed like forever.
Off in the distance she could see could see another plane flying in the opposite direction. She watched as it flew by at a considerable distance. She wondered if there was anyone on that plane who had just left their life behind to begin anew somewhere else. Maggie knew full well there were other Jonathon's in the world, but did everyone pick up and leave their life behind to get away from the memories?
Was it just the memories that caused her to leave though, or was it more to be with Bianca? She had to admit that the time was quickly approaching for her to finally face her confusion full on. The space to dance around it had been getting smaller and smaller, and jumping on a plane and running off with the girl in question had brought them into what almost felt like a tango. A tango danced on a thinly iced over lake at that.
She looked across the cabin at the other couch. Her eyes were slowly adjusting from having been looking into the brighter light outside the cabin, and she could finally make out some details. Maggie could tell that Bianca was laying on her side, facing away from her. The hills and valleys of her side was all that she could make out.
Maggie sat there quietly and watched her friend sleep. The gentle rise and fall of the side of her ribcage, listening to the in and out of her breathing and watching as she shifted her right arm, dropping it in front of her. The sight of her made it feel like she was seeing Bianca for the first time all over again. Reminding Maggie of all the reasons she was wondering about the possibilities of a relationship. Even so, even if this wasn't a journey leading to a "relationship" it was for sure a new stage in their ....well... relationship.
There was no question any longer, in some way, shape or form, Maggie loved Bianca. It was merely a question of to what degree, and in what sense. She had no clue how long it would take her to figure it out, but she even wondered, was it possible to ever figure it out? She knew that if she loved any man with the intensity that she loved B, she would awake every morning praying that this would be the day the man proposed. She would give anything to spend the rest of her life with that man.
So what was the problem here? Was it the fact that Bianca had the wrong anatomy? Was Bianca her "soul mate", for lack of a better term, mistakenly born into the wrong body? Or did it even really matter what body she was in? Maggie knew only one thing was a given, she loved the soul that inhabited that body.
Under her breath she made an audible grunt of frustration and threw the blanket off the top part of her, uncovering her torso. Reaching up with both hands and rubbed her face up and down like this might rub some smarts into her. All it really accomplished to was make her nose itchy.
She reached down and pulled the collar of the t-shirt up to her nose to rub against her nose and that was when it happened. As she pulled the collar past her nostrils she inhaled and her senses were filled with only one thing .Bianca. She was wearing the girls shirt and could smell her on the clothes she had borrowed. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply of her friend's fragrance. Sure, it smelled somewhat of Fusion, but she could also take in her very essence.
This brought back such a flood of memories, some good, some bad. The laughs. The tears. The prom the "death" of Miranda the timing of Lena seeing her friend earlier this evening as she walked out of the elevator. This shirt, this simple piece of cloth, was like burying her face in the nape of Bianca's neck whenever they hugged.
Maggie slowly opened her eyes and was greeted by an unexpected sight. While she had let her mind wander, Bianca had rolled over and was staring back at her. It was easy to tell because what little light was in the cabin seemed to be all concentrated in the light that danced in Bianca's deep, dark eyes. Maggie could also make out the white of Bianca's teeth which told her she was smiling.
"Hi there." Said the taller girl.
Maggie, with the t-shirt collar still hooked over her nose was able to squeak out something that somewhat sounded like "Hello."
Bianca's eyes fluttered open. She had been awoken by the sounds of Maggie getting off the other couch and walking towards the bathroom. She heard her footsteps stop at about where Miranda's crib was, so she felt it safe to assume Maggie had checked on the little girl.
The bathroom door opened and closed and there was a slight pause before she heard the click of the lock. From the torso up, Bianca turned onto her back. She pulled her arms out from under the covers and stretched them straight out over her head and brought them down in a straight-armed sweeping motion so they ended up resting at her sides again.
She pondered using the bathroom after her friend, but she decided she didn't really need to get up. As she laid there for a moment she thought maybe it was a better choice to not let Maggie know she was awake. If she knew, she would probably want to talk, and she knew Maggie needed her sleep. She turned back on to her side and pulled the covers back up.
The bathroom door opening alerted her that Maggie was about to make her return to the couch. There was a bed in the back of the plane, but the girls had opted for the opposing couches so they could be closer to the crib. She heard the approaching footsteps of her friend and again, another pause at the crib. A small smile crept across Bianca's face because she knew there was no question how Maggie felt about at least one of them.
"There you go again" Bianca thought to herself. "There is no doubt Maggie loves you, the only question is in what sense. Platonic? Romantic?" She had promised Maggie she would not pressure her in anyway, but she would be lying to herself if she didn't admit that she was dying to know as soon as possible either way. Whether it be ever-lasting happiness, or that she was destined to only watch her friend as just that, a friend.
As she heard the other girl plop down on the couch, she didn't hear enough movement for her to have returned to a sleeping pose. She figured Maggie was going to sit up for awhile and she would be better off having some alone time with her thoughts.
Since she had nothing else she could really do, Bianca stared at the back of the couch and started to let her mind wander over the past few days. The custody case she had testified in. The packing of the last of her belongings for the move. The surprising gift of a picture from Babe in happier days. The party her Mother had thrown her in that true Erica Kane style. And of course, the last minute arrival, and declaration of love by her best friend, Maggie Stone.
At first Bianca had taken it merely as the type of love you express to a friend. As Maggie continued to ramble on though, Bianca saw that it was a statement of confusion, of not knowing how it should be said or how it should even be received. All she could do was to promise her that she would not pressure her as she tried to sort out her feelings.
In truth, the second she had looked up and had seen her friend leaning so casually against the bulkhead and asking "Is there still room for one more?", all she had wanted to do was grab her and kiss her deeply and passionately. Regrettably, as any good girl would though, she had controlled her urges.
When they were given the word that they were cleared for departure, Maggie had secured Miranda and then joined Bianca on the couch she was already sitting on. They had exchanged smiles as they fastened themselves in, and it was then that Bianca realized she had no clue how to act. This gorgeous girl, who might very well be the love of her life, was now sitting next to her, giving up everything to move with her to another country. Yet with all of that, what was Bianca to do? She had promised Maggie no pressure, and she wanted to do nothing that the petite girl could misunderstand.
She sat there staring down at her folded hands in her lap. She was shocked at herself "You're a 21 year old woman, and you can't think of anything better to do with your hands???". Could something as natural as laying your hand on the couch be misread? If she moved it to close to Maggie, would it scare her? Would it make her think she was trying to rush something? There were so many new thoughts, so many new ways to think about how she would act around her friend.
It was then she saw a hand she knew wasn't one of hers suddenly came into her tunnel vision she had down to her lap. This mystery hand clasped her left hand and pulled it out of her lap and squeezed it. The squeeze was the final nudge she needed to "wake up" from her little world of confusion.
She turned her head to the left and was greeted by a sly smile and a wink. "Just because you aren't going to "pressure me" B, doesn't mean you aren't allowed to touch me."
Bianca smiled back in a shy, embarrassed style. "Thanks" was all she was able to croak out of her suddenly dry throat. In her head though her grin was a mile wide at the thought of how well her friend could read her.
After their departure they had laid down the sleeping Miranda in her crib and changed into some clothes Bianca had handy. She had planned to change out of her party dress, and luckily she had another spare set at hand that Maggie could wear. Since they had taken off later than expected, Bianca had decided they had both better lay down and get some sleep.
Now all that was left to think of was what the future held. She had made very few plans with Maggie in mind. Even though she had invited her to come, she hadn't suspected she would. She had it arranged through the Cambias office in Paris for an apartment with enough bedrooms either way, but beyond that she had not done much. She had made a quick phone call while Maggie was changing and requested that someone from the office run over to the apartment to make sure the second bedroom had been made ready.
Since Maggie had no time to pack anything, her items would have to be sent for later. She made a mental note to call home as soon as possible and see if someone could go over to Maggie's apartment and pack everything up. Maybe Reggie could do it? She would worry about that later.
She would take Maggie shopping for whatever she needed right away though. An assistant could go for the little things like toiletries. The girls though, of course, would have to handle the clothes shopping themselves.
Even with all these details running through her head, she still randomly heard the words spoken mere hours before over and over again. "I..Love..You ..I..Love..You" If any words could truly make your heart grow wings and fly out of your chest, it was those. And if spoken by Mary Margaret Stone? She was positive that her heart must now be orbiting somewhere far above.
Bianca slowly, and quietly, dropped her right arm off her hip and brought it to a rest in front of her. She was thinking of the corsage she still wore that Maggie had given her that evening at the going away party. Even though she could feel its weight on her wrist, she wanted to trace its outline with her fingertips to make sure it was real. She would have much rather been tracing her fingertips over the back of Maggie's hand, but at least this was some form of a connection to the other girl.
Over and over again she played the words "I love you" in her head, and like clockwork it was followed by the promise of no pressure. All of this was slowly replaced with "Maggie Stone is worth the wait worth the effort worth everything in the world and no matter what her final decision was she had always been worth the wait." Bianca prayed silently to anyone who would listen that Maggie's final decision would be "Bianca, I want to be with you"
She realized though that she was going down a thought path that would just lead her into one of those never ending circles she and Maggie seemed famous for. She tried to remind herself of the positive aspects of this journey. No matter what happened, she was going to get to experience one of the most beautiful cities in the world with her best friend and her daughter by her side. What more could anyone ask for?
Maggie made a very quite grunt under her breath and Bianca heard what sounded like the blanket being thrown off. She then heard the distinctive sound of hands rubbing up and down a face with some vigor. Maggie was frustrated about something, but Bianca didn't want to hazard a guess as to what it was at this point.
As she laid there pondering this, she thought she heard a new sound that concerned her more. It sounded like Maggie was taking deep, prolonged breaths. Was it sobbing? Deep breaths she could put up with, sobbing she could not. Though she didn't want to disturb her friend, her own curiosity finally won out.
She turned over as quietly as possible on to her right side and looked at the other couch. She was greeted by the sight of Maggie cuddled up in the joint of the couch where the arm meets the back. Her lower half was covered with a blanket, and she could tell she was sitting with her legs crossed Indian style. Her eyes were closed, and she looked as if she was mentally elsewhere.
What surprised her though was the source of the deep breathing sounds. In the dim light of the darkened cabin it took her a second to realize just what it was she was seeing. She finally determined that Maggie had pulled the shirt Bianca had loaned her up over her nose and was . Bianca couldn't help herself, this brought a wide smile to her face. All sorts of thoughts flashed through her mind even though she didn't want to read too much into it.
Was this an innocent move she was misreading? Was this very special girl actually sniffing her clothes to smell .her? It could be taken so many ways, mean so many things.
It was about this time she saw Maggie's eyes slowly open up. The two girls locked eyes and after a few seconds Bianca let out a "Hi there."
With the shirt still over her nose, Bianca heard something that resembled a high, squeaky "Hello"
The girls continued to lock eyes. and even in this dim light, Bianca could see the look of embarrassment in Maggie's eyes. Quickly she tried to think of a way to give her friend a graceful exit from the situation.
"Did your nose get cold?" she asked
There was no response, still just that deer-caught-in-the-headlights look.
"I've always found pulling my shirt up to be the fastest way to warm it up." She said
She could see her words were working. Maggie's shoulder's relaxed and slumped slightly signaling she was feeling relief.
"Yeah, I don't know why it got cold. It's plenty warm in here." Said Maggie
Bianca closed her eyes and pretended to stretch to allow her traveling companion the time to gracefully slide the shirt collar back down. She couldn't deny herself though that this set off all sorts of bells and whistles inside her head. "What exactly was Maggie doing?" she pondered. "Come on Montgomery, don't read to much into this." She thought. "You are just asking for trouble if you do."
She finished her staged stretching exercises and looked back at her friend. The only thing that had changed was that the shirt collar had been removed from her nose.
"Did you get a good nap?" asked the taller girl
"Yeah, although I woke up with a bit of a shock. It took me a minute to remember where I was and I was doing here." She replied
Bianca felt her head sink. "Oh" was all she could manage as a reply.
It didn't take Maggie long to pick up on how the meaning of her had been taken incorrectly. "Makes sense though, I had just finished having a flash of Jonathon coming out of the dark like he was going to hit me again."
Bianca realized she had misunderstood the meaning behind Maggie's earlier words. She now sat up and turned to face her best friend. "Well, he would have to have some mighty long arms to get you here."
Both girls let out a soft chuckle at that thought.
"Well it wouldn't be the first time he's shocked me." Said Maggie "He proved time and time again he was full of surprises."
"You don't have to worry about that anymore Maggie. In a short time we will be in Paris and we both can start fresh and brand new." Said Bianca
"You aren't going to go run through a field of daisy's now are you?" was Maggie's smart ass reply.
Bianca grinned from ear to ear and gave an I-don't-know kind of shrug "You never know. France may do wild things to me."
Just then the plane made a slight course correction that made the plan dip to the left. As it did so the moonlight began to flood into the cabin and bathed it in soft light. The girls were momentarily able to see each other better.
With the light came silence. The girls just looked at each other and smiled tiny, knowing smiles. It was obvious a million thoughts danced behind those looks, but there would be plenty of time in Paris for all of those to come out on their own accord.
As the plane leveled back out, the pale white-blue light you can only get from the Moon retreated. Again the darkness won over the cabin, and with it the anonymity only it can provide, returned.
"Look, B, about the shirt a minute ago, I ."
"I called ahead earlier and made sure your bedroom was ready." Interrupted Bianca.
"Oh I thanks Bianca" said Maggie. She realized her friend knew what the shirt was about, and she also knew that Bianca's interrupting her mean no explanation was needed.
A thought shot through her mind as if blasted from a cannon. "You love her you silly fool!" and only as one can do when they are truly befuddled, she answered herself "I know dammit, but there will be time enough for that later."
Bianca watched Maggie's face for a moment. Though she couldn't read her mind, Maggie's body language spoke volumes. She was still tense and confused by all of the thoughts running through her. And as much as Bianca wanted to help her friend through this, she knew she couldn't.
These two had weathered just about any situation you could imagine, but in a scenario like this, she could do nothing but wait watch .and hope.
It was Miranda who finally broke the momentary silence. She made a little cough almost as if she could sense the tension.
Both girls made to get up, but Bianca said "You sit, I can get her."
Bianca walked over to the crib and carefully picked up her daughter. Bianca had to admit, there were moments it did make her think of Michael Cambias, but those moments were getting rarer and rarer.
She checked and there was no mess, so Miranda must have just had enough of sleep. She held the little girl face to face with her and said "Just had to have some attention did we? Grandma would be so proud!"
Maggie threw her head back and laughed "There just seems something SO wrong about referring to the infamous Erica Kane as "grandma"." She said.
Bianca laughed as she hugged Miranda to her, resting her daughters head on her right shoulder. "Well, no matter how much she may dislike it, the truth is the truth." She said.
The girls fell silent again as Bianca walked back and forth between the couches rubbing Miranda's back. She softly hummed in the baby's ear trying to sooth her back to sleep.
Maggie continued to sit on the couch and just watching her tall, lanky friend pass back and forth in front of her. At this time, at this moment, Maggie knew there was no other place she would rather be.
She continued to watch for a few more minutes as the girls walked past her time and time again. Finally she shifted her legs to make more room on the couch. It was of a silent invitation than anything that she wanted Binks and the Munchkin to sit next to her.
Bianca caught the meaning and sat down next to her friend, but also made sure she wasn't too close. After sitting down she shifted Miranda from her right shoulder to her left. "Sorry little girl" she thought "but Mommy's going to use you as a bit of a shield/"
Maggie picked up on the meaning of the baby shift, but understood it. She knew Bianca was trying to walk a fine line of close, but not to close. It was as delicate an operation as any you could imagine, but she figured they would better at it with time.
"Well, since we are all awake I guess we can have the lights turned back on" said Bianca as she reached for the intercom phone with her hand.
Just as her hand made to pock it up, Maggie said "Not yet B, ok?"
Binks could hear a tinge of sadness in her friend's voice, and she had to admit the lack of light did offer a form of comfort. She thought for a moment how odd it was you spend your childhood afraid of the dark, but the older you got, the more you seemed to crave it. "Sure Mags sure."
"Thanks" Maggie said. "Would you mind if I held her for awhile?" she asked, holding out her arms to take Miranda.
Bianca said "Of course you can." Said passing her half asleep daughter to her best friend.
Maggie held her to her chest in a similar fashion that Bianca had. "Do you have any idea how lucky you are Munchkin to have this lady for your mother?"
The lights of the cabin began to flicker on as a sign to the passengers that their journey was almost over. Light returning to the cabin had made Maggie jump and she lifter head off of Bianca's shoulder. She reached up and wiped away the silent tears she had been crying as she looked down at her feet.
"Guess that means there's no more hiding huh?" she said in a half laughing, half crying voice.
Bianca turned towards her friend and placed her hand on the other girls shoulder to turn her towards her. She put the fingers of her other hand under Maggie's chin to lift her face up so they could look into each other's eyes.
"Don't you think we've both done enough of that?" she asked "Don't you think you and I have exhausted every excuse ever known to avoid what we have felt? Jamie, Lena, Miranda, Jonathon....haven't we used each and every one of them as a roadblock to protect ourselves from this?"
Maggie cocked her head to one side and squinted as she fought back what felt like a raging river of tears "I'm so tired Bianca ..I'm just so damned tired of running, and hiding and being confused." She began to shake her head back and forth to punctuate the point "And it has to stop. It has to stop here and it has to stop now."
Bianca feared what that meant. Was Maggie already regretting the decision to come? Had she gotten this far with her friend only to have her turn back?
Maggie saw the look of fear in her friend's eyes and could tell she was thinking the worst. "I said it earlier and I meant it Bianca .I love you. Do I have to scream it from the rooftops to make it true?"
Now Bianca's eyes were tearing up "But you also said you didn't know what kind of love it was. You didn't know if it was love or friendship .if you were straight or if you were gay ."
Maggie piped up "I'm Montgomeried Bianca. I could care less what anyone else calls me, all I know is I love Bianca Montgomery, and if that person happens to be in the body of another woman than so be it."
With a speed that shocked Bianca, Maggie leaned forward and grabbed B's head with both hands and kissed her. At first Bianca left her eyes open, but soon she succumbed to the moment and the feeling and closed them while at the same time returning the kiss.
In Maggie's sudden movement Bianca had retracted her arms to an almost defensive mode, now they were slowly rising to clasp her friend's face in her hands. This kiss, this simple act of pressing two body parts together, was the stuff dreams were made of.
Bianca was horrified. Although it had been said quietly, it was obvious Maggie had intended her to hear it, and she had. She was embarrassed that she had been caught "Mags, I'm sorry just you were there, and your hair was right there, and I
am rambling like a fool" she said as she hung her head in shame.
"Bianca, its ok" she said as she finished strapping Miranda in. "I .can't say it was completely unintentional." She added
Bianca began to get that deeply serious look she got anytime she felt like Maggie was going to reveal something to her "Wh what do you mean?" she asked
"Look, I know it's only been a few hours, but I've done a lot of thinking since we left Pine Valley." She said as she walked towards the couch "And I don't know, maybe it's the altitude or the lighting or the fact we have gone 5 minutes without a kidnapping, a drugging or a murder, but I think I am seeing things more clearly now."
"Li..Like what?" stuttered Bianca
Maggie sat down next to her friend and faced her "What I am trying to say Bianca is that
I don't think I am as confused as I thought I was."
Bianca turned to face Maggie now "But you are still confused then?"
Maggie grunted in aggravation and grabbed both of Bianca's hands and held them "You know under this dye job I'm a blonde, which means I will always be confused by something." Which got a chuckle out of Bianca "But what I know I am not confused about is that I love you."
"B..but...I thought you wanted more time to think things out and figure out who you are." Said Bianca
Maggie moved closer to Bianca and lowered her head so that her forehead rested on Bianca's left shoulder "And just like everything else I have ever done in relation to you Bianca, that was done to push you away. You have been there for me no matter what. No matter what lame excuse I came up with to try to hide my feelings. What I am saying is I'm done with that. I'm here, you're here, Miranda's here we have no other distractions, no more excuses, no more crises to go and run behind to hide ourselves."
The lights of the cabin began to flicker on as a sign to the passengers that their journey was almost over. This took Maggie by surprise and made her jump, lifting her head off of Bianca's shoulder. She reached up and wiped away the silent tears she had begun crying as she looked down at her feet.
"Guess that means there's no more hiding huh?" she said in a half laughing, half crying voice.
Bianca leaned towards her friend and placed her left hand on the other girls shoulder to turn her towards her. She put the fingers of her other hand under Maggie's chin to lift her face up so they could look into each other's eyes.
"You don't have to deal with this yet." she said staring deeply into what felt like Maggie's soul "I said we could take our time and I meant it. I will not pressure you, I will not rush you, this isn't a decision that has to be made tonight. I'm not going anywhere, and you know that."
Maggie cocked her head to one side and squinted as she fought back what felt like a raging river of tears "I'm just so tired Bianca ..I'm just so damned tired of running, and hiding and being confused." She began to shake her head back and forth to punctuate the point "And it has to stop. It has to stop here and it has to stop now."
Bianca feared what that meant. Was Maggie regretting the decision to come? Had she gotten this far with her friend only to have her turn back?
Maggie saw the look in her friend's eyes and could tell she was thinking the worst. "I said it earlier and I meant it Bianca .I love you. Do I have to scream it from the rooftops to make it true? Tell me what it is I have to do to prove it to you, and I will do it!"
Now Bianca's eyes were tearing up "But you also said you didn't know what kind of love it was. You didn't know if it was love or some incredible form of friendship .if you were straight or if you were gay ."
Maggie piped up "I'm Montgomeried Bianca! I could care less what anyone else calls me, all I know is I love you, Bianca Montgomery, and if that person happens to be in the body of another woman than so be it!"
With a speed that shocked Bianca, Maggie leaned forward and grabbed B's head with both hands and kissed her. At first Bianca left her eyes open, but soon she succumbed to the moment, and the feeling, and closed them while at the same time returning the kiss.
In Maggie's sudden movement Bianca had retracted her arms to an almost defensive position, now they were slowly rising to clasp her friend's face in her hands. This kiss, this simple act of pressing two body parts together, it felt like one of those inviting swims in Willow Lake, and all she wanted to do was dive into it.
It was as if electrical current was passing through them, and she felt more connected to Maggie than ever. This spur-of-the-moment action, joined them in a way they had never known before. It was worlds apart from their previous kisses, it was filled with fire and passion .and it was completely mutual.
No matter how it felt though, Bianca also knew this wasn't right. She slid her hands from Maggie's cheeks to her shoulders and lightly pushed to break their embrace. She could tell Maggie was reluctant to break the contact, but she finally did.
Both girls stared at each other, looking for any indication of what the other was thinking. Bianca looked with concern and Maggie with confusion.
"What? What is it B? What's wrong?" asked Maggie.
Bianca took a moment to collect her thoughts. "Maggie .this isn't right."
"Isn't right???" Maggie said raising her voice "Isn't this what we have been wanting ever since I told you I loved you that first time a year ago?"
"We are working towards whatever feels natural Mags and this doesn't feel natural yet." Bianca said in her ever calm voice.
"I don't get this. I've told you multiple times tonight I love you, I tell you I feel I am ready and I kiss you .what isn't natural?"
"What it feels like is that you are still confused, but just at the other end of the spectrum." Said Bianca "And that can be just as dangerous as trying to run off and denying the kiss meant anything."
"Look at it this way B...I didn't run now did I? I didn't go find a guy to secure my sexuality with did I? I mean, there are two pilots in the cockpit" she said gesturing to the front of the plane "I could have gone and joined the mile high club, but no...I stayed here, with you, this time didn't I?" asked Maggie.
Bianca marveled at how Maggie could make a joke out of anything. "Think about what you just said. You didn't run to a man to make you feel secure in your sexuality." Bianca paused to let it sink in "Aren't you doing essentially the same thing and you are running to me to tell you who you are?"
Maggie let the tears flow as she held her face in her hands and sobbed. Bianca reached out to rub Maggie's upper shoulder, but upon contact the shorter girl moved her shoulder away and just mumbled a soft "Don't".
Bianca wanted to help her friend, but didn't know what she could say or do, that would calm her down. She stood up and walked back to the bathroom and retrieved a box of tissues to bring back to Maggie. She again sat on the couch, but made sure to keep a respectable distance. She set the tissues on the couch to where she was sure Maggie would see them as soon as she felt like opening her eyes.
It was a few moments before the sobbing quieted down and Bianca heard a soft "Thanks" as Maggie spotted the tissues and grabbed a few to clean up with.
"Maggie, can I talk to you now?" asked Bianca
"It's your plane." Came the stuffed up reply
"Don't be like that Maggie, I'm just concerned." She again reached out to caress Maggie's shoulder, there was a momentary flinch, but not as severe as last time, and she finally allowed Bianca to caress her shoulder. "You've gone through so much lately, and this trip has to be a little overwhelming. There is no reason to rush this decision and add that pressure to everything else."
Maggie continued to sniffle and to stare downward. After another moment of Bianca caressing her shoulder Maggie asked very timidly "Did .did I just mess up our friendship again?"
Bianca chuckled softly and moved closer so she could wrap her arm around Maggie more "Maggie, I can not honestly think of a single thing you could do, that would ever drive me away for good."
Maggie turned so her feet were once again on the floor and she leaned into Bianca and laid her head on her left shoulder. Bianca openly welcomed her and wrapped her arm around her and leaned her head to the left so it rested atop Maggie's.
"I just thought .I thought it felt right." Said Maggie "I was watching you carry Miranda and it made me think how safe I feel with you, and how much the both of you are like family to me. And for an instant, I felt like I saw what Frankie must have seen in you, and everything just felt like it fit you know?" Even though Maggie could not see Bianca's face, she could feel the muscles in her face change into a smile since they were resting against the top of her head.
"I'm glad you feel safe with us Maggie, I always want you to feel safe with us. As for what Frankie saw in me .I don't think we will ever know what exactly she saw. What I do know is that you have to do what you think is right for Maggie Stone and no one else." Said Bianca
"So I didn't just scare you away?" asked Maggie
"Ssssshhhhhhhhhhh" Bianca admonished "Don't you worry about that."
The intercom crackled to life "Miss Montgomery we are on final approach to the airport. If you could please secure Miranda and you and your friend could get seated, we will be landing shortly."
Both girls broke their embrace and turned in their seats to look out the window. Sprawled out in front of them were lights stretching as far as the eye could see. Thousands upon thousands of lights twinkling on and off. They began to notice the sun was rising and a new day was dawning. A day full of possibilities a day full of new adventures a day of new beginnings for two women who have been through just about anything a person could dream up.
The girls looked at each other and smiled. Maggie grabbed Bianca around the neck and pulled her into a hug. "I'm sorry B." She whispered in her ear.
"For what? Being human? You never have to apologize to me for following what you think is in your heart." Was her reply, as she returned the hug.
The girls broke their embrace and turned around to sit properly on the couch. They were beginning to feel the change in pressure signaling the plane was descending. The girls fastened themselves in to the seatbelts and again looked and smiled at each other.
"Your eyes are all red." Said Bianca with a note of concern
"It's this plane I must be allergic to anything associated with the name Cambias." Maggie said with a wink
Bianca went slack jawed and smiled "You better not be!"
"Well, let's test it out." Maggie said as she grabbed Bianca's left hand with her right. She interlaced their fingers and squeezed her friend's hand. "Nope nothing but I better leave it like this for awhile see if it has to do with the amount of time I'm exposed or something." Maggie said with a smile.
Bianca simply smiled back. She knew things would be alright if Maggie was already cracking wise with her again.
The girls heard the landing gear extending them selves from the belly of the plane, and felt the nose section tilt upwards so that the rear wheels would touch down first. The engines increased their mechanical scream as they could see the tops of buildings out the other side of the planes windows.
With a jolt, the wheels touched down and the engines increased their whine even further as they threw in the reverse thrust. Maggie squeezed Bianca's hand even harder. Bianca closed her eyes and said silently "Thank you for letting her come thank you thank you thank you"
The plane slowed and began its taxi along the tarmac to where a Cambias Industries car awaited to take them to customs. The plane slowed to a stop and the girls took that as the sign they could unfasten their safety belts and prepare to leave.
Bianca was the first up and immediately walked over to retrieve some sweat pants from her carry-on bags for her and Maggie. She slipped on her pair and tossed the other pair over to Maggie who was pulling her back into a single pony tail. Maggie looked down at the pants and back up to her friend with a bemused look "Is there anything you don't have in those bags?" she asked.
"The experienced traveler comes prepared." Bianca said with a smile. She then slipped on her coat taking care not to damage the corsage she was still wearing.
She walked over to pick-up Miranda's carrier and discovered the little girl had fallen back asleep. She undid the safety straps as quietly as possible and picked up the carrier by its handle. She turned and looked back at Maggie who had now slipped on the sweat pants and her coat.
"Are you ready?" asked Bianca
"With you by my side, I think I am ready for anything." Was Maggie's reply
Bianca smiled and said a simple "Me too."
The girls heard the cabin door opening. The co-pilot entered the back cabin and informed them not to worry about the bags, they would be sent over to the apartment. The girls walked to the door and stood side by side looking out at the Paris morning. They looked at each other and smiled
Maggie glanced down at Bianca's left wrist and smirked "I still think you had better take that thing off." she said pointing to the corsage that was peeking out from her coat sleeve.
"No way! It means even more to me now than it did a few hours ago."
Maggie stooped down next to the sleeping Miranda and said "I have obviously flown to France with an insane woman."
And with that, they stepped off the plane and into a whole new world.
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