DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters of AMC. They are the products of the very talented Agnes Nixon's creative mind and are daily brought to life from fiction to reality by the talented actresses and actors who play them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks so much to everyone who had responded to the previous story. Because of all of you, I was able to consider and go through with writing this sequel.
SPOILERS: From Bianca's rape to the present episodes are fair game.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Learning to Love Once More.

Trials of Love
By Faithx5452

Part 1 – Rude Awakening

She sits up, back supported by a pillow and her head tilted against the headboard. Her brunette hair cascading down her exposed skin, but she paid no attention to it. No, her eyes were on the person lying right beside her peacefully asleep. Her eyes would always be for her companion only.

A year ago the scene had been different. The bed's two occupants had been tossed into an emotional tailspin when they woke after a drunken night in bed with one another. What had ensued afterwards had forever changed their relationship and shaped the future of things to come.

Kendall had woken to the sounds of birds outside her window; she had opted to stay in bed to let Maggie continue to sleep. Knowing full well that once Maggie's internship at the PV Hospital began, any sleep Maggie would be able to get would be a miracle.

They had gotten reacquainted with one another after their emotional fiasco last year and had a steady relationship. Though neither of them was quick to suggest or bring up the topic of making love, both of them still unsure of whether that topic was still a sore spot for the other.

They were still in the honeymoon stage of their relationship. Flirtatious interactions during their lunches together never ceased to amuse either of them, their dates were always centered on getting to know the real person behind the face, and their conversations on the phone lasted hours.

But Kendall wasn't about to complain; she would be a fool to. She was in a relationship that every person dreams to be in and with a person that everyone would die to be with.

In the past month though, they had begun staying at each other's places. It had all began on a stormy night after one of their dates and Kendall had been feeling not particularly interested in being left alone.

"I had a good time tonight. And the free shower was an added bonus." Maggie joked, eyes darting to where it was pouring at in the courtyard of Kendall's condo.

"Stay with me." Kendall blurted out before she could stop herself.

"What?" Maggie looked at Kendall confused, wondering where that had come from.

"Can you stay here with me? I…it's the storm. It reminds me of…" Kendall trailed off, seeing in Maggie's eyes that she didn't have to continue.

Maggie frowned inwardly, cursing the day that Michael Cambias was born. Though he was dead, he hadn't left without leaving a firm grip of fear in the Kane women. Maggie wondered if any of them would be able to enjoy an actual storm without be reminded of that monster but she highly doubted it.

"Yeah, no problem." Maggie took Kendall's shaking hand, squeezing it comfortingly. No more words needed to be said; the understanding in Maggie's eyes was all Maggie needed to convey to Kendall.

From then on they had switched from Kendall's condo to Maggie and Jamie's apartment. At first it had been on nights when Kendall couldn't bare to be alone with her insecurities and inner demons or when Maggie needed to know that there was someone in her life that wouldn't walk out on her.

Slowly their sleepovers happened just because they didn't wanted the night to end.

And this morning was no different.

"Hey you…morning." Kendall greeted Maggie, smiling as Maggie stretched somewhat beside her. The shirt Maggie was wearing was a little small on her and it rode up her stomach, revealing her skin to Kendall who drank up the sight hungrily.

"Mmm, morning already?" It felt like they had just gone to sleep a few minutes ago.

"'Afraid so." Kendall suppressed a sigh, everything that had been going on in their lives beginning to weigh down on her shoulders. Kendall had been so sure Miranda was being disguised as Bess, so sure in fact that she had caused a scene during the baby's Christening.

Unfortunately the results of a DNA test Dr Martin had taken prior to the incident had proved that Bess was indeed a Chandler. Though a part of Kendall still remained confident that Miranda wasn't lost. How she was going to prove this, she didn't know.

Then there was Greenlee and Ryan, the two had fled from Pine Valley and married one another. Kendall had dragged Simone along for the little wedding adventure, wanting to see for herself that Greenlee and Ryan were actually going to marry.

When Kendall had seen it with her own eyes, a part of her…the old Kendall, finally found some sort of finality to seeing Ryan in another woman's arms.

What amazed Kendall wasn't the fact that Ryan could actually marry Greenlee, but that Maggie had trusted Kendall to go after Ryan.

"Kendall? What's with the bags? Is there a sale at Bloomingdale's?" Maggie joked; eyeing the suitcases Kendall was hurriedly packing.

Stopping by the bed, Kendall looked at where Maggie stood in the doorway of her apartment. She had been in over drive since hearing of Greenlee and Ryan's intentions of getting married through Simone; she hadn't thought to call Maggie telling her of the prompt trip away from Pine Valley.

"Something's come up. I'm going to be gone for a few days." Kendall replied, not really wanting to elaborate. Knowing that she was wasting valuable time talking to Maggie about the details.

They had been dating steadily for a month, but they were still in the early stage of their relationship where they didn't know whether they should feel obligated to tell the other where they were going.

Silence filled the air, both uncertain of what to say. Instead, Kendall went back to finish packing, she was expecting Simone to pick her up soon.

"I trust you." Maggie suddenly announced, not really sure why she had shared this tidbit but felt it needed to be said.

"And…whatever you have to do, wherever you're going."

"How can you put so much faith in me? You hardly know me." Kendall whispered, amazed at Maggie's capacity to trust.

When Kendall had first met the young woman, she couldn't believe Bianca had gotten through all the inner walls Maggie had put around her heart from letting anyone in. But as the months passed and it became clear that Maggie was staying in Pine Valley for good, Kendall began to see that once Maggie invited you into her world, her ability to trust that person would be never ending.

"What I already know is all I need." Maggie replied honestly. The two of them had made so much progress and she wasn't about to waste it by assuming the worst of Kendall. She wasn't going to be like every other person in Pine Valley.

"Thank you." Kendall whispered, touched beyond words.

"This is nice." Maggie spoke softly, her voice filled with a sleepy content.

"What?" Kendall questioned as she was brought back to the present. Looking down at the blonde head was nuzzled in the crook of her shoulder. Kendall couldn't help but smile, having Maggie so close to her…it felt so right. How she had ever doubted loving Maggie…she surmised that she must have been insane.

"Waking up in you're arms…holding each other." Maggie squeezed Kendall gently for extra emphasis.

"It's nice." Maggie whispered.

"As compared to what?"

"My stuffed teddy back at the apartment."

"And how do I compare against you're teddy bear?"

"Believe me, he pales in comparison." Maggie leaned in, kissing Kendall softly.

The kiss soon began to get more passionate but a shrill ring broke them apart.

"Ungh, I thought we agreed to turn the phones off?" Maggie groaned, wondering if it was worth the energy to find something to throw at the damn clock.

"I guess I forgot about my cell phone." Kendall smiled apologetically, since the two of them started spending the nights at each other's places; they had made a rule to turn off all cellular and communicative devices.

Sitting up slightly, Maggie reached out with her left hand and steadied herself against the headboard. Her small lithe body effectively covering her much taller lover.

Kendall gasped, she had been going to reach for her phone when Maggie's tongue snuck out of the confines of Maggie's mouth and began making small circles on Kendall's neck.

Maggie was playing dirty, Maggie knew that Kendall's neck was one of her more weaker spots and right now was taking full advantage of that knowledge.

"Ignore it." Maggie mumbled, her talented tongue hoping to seduce Kendall away from the idea of answering her phone.

"Oh, I want to…" God only knew how tempted Kendall was to say 'to hell with it'.

"Good." Maggie mumbled into Kendall's neck, assuming she would come out victorious.

"But it may be one of the girls." Kendall pointed out, she wasn't expected in at Fusion for another hour but it wasn't unusual to be called in early for a crisis.

"Work later, play now." Maggie demanded cutely, noticing that the phone had stopped ringing. "See? Maybe they got the hint." Maggie suggested hopefully.

"It could have been important." Kendall pulled away, leaning back against the headboard with a sigh. Hoping that it wasn't another crisis or worse, Greenlee.

"Not as important as my snuggles." Maggie positioned herself in Kendall's arms, taking in the smell of Kendall's unique perfume. She was about to say something else when once again the insistent cell phone interrupted the silence.

"Gah! That's it…we're throwing out all electronic devices out next time." Maggie announced, covering her head with a pillow in order to block out the annoying sound but to no avail.

"Don't be silly, you know you can't live without you're cell phone just as much as me."

"True, but this is ridiculous…this is our time." Maggie found to her horror that she was on the verge to whining. Before she knew what was happening, she was sure she would start jumping up and done.

Peeking out from under the pillow, Maggie frowned as she saw her girlfriend reach for her cell phone from the bureau.

"That's it, no more snuggles for you…indefinitely." Maggie decided, attempting to scowl at Kendall who reached for her cell phone.

"I'd like to see you pull that one off." Kendall challenged, knowing that Maggie could never go through with it. While Kendall's weakness was companionship, Maggie's was the constant reminder that she had someone to hold onto. In a way, they were each other's safety nets.

Maggie's response was to stick her tongue out at Kendall, who only raised a suggestive eyebrow.

"Who is it?" Maggie's curiosity got the best of her.

"I have to answer it first before I can tell, silly." Kendall admonished playfully.

Unsure of how to reply to that one, Maggie went back to burying herself under the pillow, the action reminding Kendall of an ostrich sticking their head under the ground.

"Hello?" Kendall greeted whoever was on the other line sleepily, an amused grin tugging at her lips at the sight of Maggie.

"Kendall?" The distinct voice of her younger sister, Bianca Montgomery, asked.

"Bianca? What…it's 5am on a Saturday…my only Saturday off." Kendall pointed out a little bit grumpily. Ever since Ryan got control of Fusion he had gotten on a bit of a high horse, feeling that he could decide when Kendall could or couldn't have days off.

"I know, I'm sorry but I wouldn't have called if it wasn't important." On the other end of the phone, Bianca stood in her mother's apartment fiddling with the telephone cord. Her eyes however were focused on the newspaper that lay sitting on the coffee table. Coffee stains marred the front page, indicating that someone else had read the paper before Bianca and hadn't responded well to what they read.

"True…so what's so important that you had to wake me up at this ungodly hour?" Kendall sat up a little straighter, her back turned to Maggie so she could focus on what her little sister was saying.

"Have you read the morning paper?"

Kendall stared at the phone in confusion for a moment, wondering if Bianca had been sampling a bit of Erica's wine collection.

"Bianca, honey…it's 5am. I'm sleeping in, why would I read the paper when I could be sleeping?" Kendall asked slowly, her tone was the kind that you would use when explaining something to a small child who couldn't comprehend big sentences.

"Then it's probably best that you haven't." Bianca spoke half relieved, half dreading that she would have to break the news to Kendall.

"Bianca, just tell me what it is!" Kendall demanded, her patience running thin given the hour and lack of quality time with Maggie being cut short due to Bianca's phone call.

"We made front page news…only this time, the main story is Maggie and you."

"Wait, you're making no sense Bianca. What are you talking about?" Kendall needed clarification.

"Someone saw Maggie and you on one of you're dates. You two made tabloid fodder."

"Oh god." Kendall whispered, the reality of Bianca's words beginning to sink in.

"It's pretty bad Kendall, what they wrote. I don't think you want Maggie to read it."

"Does Erica…?"

"I think someone read this before me, yes."

"Oh god."

"I've been trying to call Maggie all morning but I can't find her. Do you know where she is?"

Blinking, Kendall nodded even though it was pointless since Bianca couldn't see the movement from the other side of the line.

"Yes, she's here with me. I'll tell her. And Bianca? Thank you." Closing her cell phone, Kendall placed it back on the bureau and let out a shuddering breath. What seemed like a perfect morning had suddenly gone to hell, thanks to yet another reporter.

Knowing she shouldn't put it off any longer, Kendall turned around to face Maggie who was now looking at her, her pillow had been discarded as soon as the conversation had begun.

"What is it?" Maggie asked, concern etched all over her face as she propped herself up by leaning on her arm so she could face Kendall.

Whoever it was on the other line and whatever they had said had shaken Kendall considerably.

Taking a deep breath, Kendall tried her best to stay calm despite the onslaught of emotions she felt after Bianca's bad news.

"We have a problem."

Part 2 – Legacy In Shambles

"We have a problem."

Hearing the seriousness in Kendall's tone woke Maggie out of her daze, but Maggie wasn't able to totally comprehend the situation.

"What? We're out of milk? Because I thought I had left enough for you're bowl of cereal but I can go out and buy another gallon before my shift starts…" Maggie babbled, thinking that she would have been able to get away with having drank the last bit of milk the night before during a late night snack.

Despite the phone call she just received, Kendall couldn't help but smile at Maggie's babbling.

"No, that's sweet but no." Kendall declined, reaching out to caress Maggie's loose locks of hair.

"We're out of tampax?" Maggie tried again.

"No." Kendall made a little face.

"Greenlee's suddenly decided to take up folk music?" Maggie joked.

"God no!" Kendall exclaimed, horrified at the visuals she got of Greenlee going to some folk-cultural day and dancing around.

"Then what? What could be so bad…"

"We were just outed in the morning newspaper." Kendall blurted out, stopping Maggie's guessing instantly.

Kendall waited patiently, watching as Maggie's face showed a variety of emotions that Kendall was sure just a few moments ago she had been doing the same thing.

Kendall didn't have to wait long though, because in just a few seconds Maggie finally settled for utter shock.


"Apparently, we made front page." Kendall replied dryly.


"Bianca just called to tell me the news."

"Oh god…" Maggie whispered, wondering how her life could suddenly turn upside down when it seemed like it was finally going right for her.

"I know."

Silence filled the bedroom, each woman lost in their thoughts of what would happen now that the article had been printed.

Maggie looked up suddenly, dread in her eyes. "You know what this means?" She asked Kendall, almost hesitantly.

"That we're going to have another Donald Steele on our hands?" Kendall asked, humorlessly.

"Well, there's that but I don't think that's going to be the least of our problems. There's Erica."

"Oh my god…" Kendall knew she did something to royally tick someone off in the higher up's to have garnered this much drama in her life, the last thing she needed was Erica's disdain at having yet another Sapphic-loving daughter in the family tree.

Kendall prayed, not for Erica's acceptance of them but for Jackson. Knowing that poor man, however Saintly he may be, would need all the blessings in the world to survive Erica's reaction to the news.

Across town, in a lavished apartment building that houses one of the towns most revered women in Pine Valley, finds an unsteady atmosphere gathering around the building.

The doorman looks up at the sky, wondering if there was a storm gathering in the distance; not realizing that the gathering storm wasn't due to natural causes but by a woman who could give Mother Nature's temper a run for it's money.

Erica Kane.

"My daughters are gay, Jack! Do you know what this means?" Erica shouted, flailing her arms about in typical Erica fashion.

"Yes, that they're happy and not in the 'gay is happy' sense." Jackson Montgomery, love of Erica's life and the only one who seemed capable of dealing with Erica on a daily basis, replied sarcastically.

"This isn't funny, Jack!" Erica scolded, spinning around to shake an angry finger at Jack.

"Come on, honey, it does have a bit of a funny quality to it." Jack tried to be reasonable, approaching Erica with his arms open only to have Erica stomp off towards her room. A string of curses following her as she did.

Sighing, Jack looked at the newspaper that lay on the carpeted floor and at the picture printed. He had hoped Erica had gotten past this, with her slow but seemingly open acceptance at Bianca's lifestyle, he would have assumed that news of Kendall choosing to be gay as well wouldn't have shaken Erica up as much as it did.

But, then again, he had to remind himself that this was Erica Kane. And one thing he's learned about the Kane women is you should never assume you know anything about them.

Back at Kendall's place, Maggie found herself dealing with her own Kane heir.

Maggie knew she shouldn't have mentioned Erica, knowing how much Erica's opinion of Kendall meant to her girlfriend but Maggie knew they would have to deal with Erica sooner or later. Honestly, she had been hoping for the later.

Ever since Maggie dropped Erica's name, Kendall had been a blur of motion.

Maggie knew that once news had broke, that the shit would hit the fan, but she hadn't been expecting Kendall to be so calm or collected. Hell, Kendall had even taken the time to take a quick shower.

"Where are you going?" Maggie asked in confusion, watching as her lover began to get dressed after stepping out of the shower.

"I'm going to salvage whatever relationship I have left with my mother." Was Kendall's reply.

"Do you think that's really a good idea? I mean, given the situation? To go right to Erica? Maybe you should give her sometime to digest it…or cool off." Maggie added, not wanting Kendall to go head into Erica's without taking consideration of the likely possibility of getting a bad reception from La Kane.

"She's my mother, Maggie, I may not have had the greatest relationship with her in the past but…I want to now." Kendall whispered, wanting Maggie to understand the importance of having Erica in her life was to her.

"I know you do, Kendall, I just don't want you going in there only to get hurt." Sighing, Maggie stood with the sheet around her. Walking over to Kendall, Maggie placed her hands on Kendall's side, steadying the older woman.

"I know how important it is to want to have you're mother's approval, Lord knows I've wanted it all my life…but that doesn't mean you should put yourself in any position to get hurt."

Kendall looked away, not wanting to acknowledge just how much it hurt to have Erica push her away for so long until just recently. Kendall thought it was like a dream come true and apparently it was, because again Kendall wasn't going to get her happy ending.

Gently Maggie's hand moved Kendall's chin in order to get Kendall to look at her.

"What I'm trying to say is, I've seen what she can do to you and I don't want to see you hurting again." Maggie whispered, staring into Kendall's eyes the entire time.

Kendall blinked, not realizing Maggie had known about what Erica had done to her emotionally. She thought Maggie hadn't cared for her or bothered to recognize her, what with her friendship with Bianca and everything.

"She won't hurt me, not when I have you around." Kendall spoke softly, leaning her head down until both their foreheads touched.


Part 3 – A Confrontation and An Intern, All In A Day's Work

"I'm going to the store for a little while, Erica, do you think you'll be alright by yourself?" Jack asked, donning his jacket that hung on the coat rack. Looking at Jack in surprise, Erica replied. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Sighing, Jack knew it wasn't worth an argument with Erica about her tendency to lose control when any of her daughters were being front page gossip. Especially now that both of them were gay. Instead, Jack just shook his head and left.

A few moments later, there was a knock on the apartment door. Smiling to herself, Erica went to answer it.

Opening the door with a laugh, Erica imagined Jackson being locked out of the apartment again. For a man who knew the legal system like the back of his hand, his forgetfulness of the simplest things left little to be desired. "Did you lock yourself out again…" Erica trailed off, the happy tone she was using dropping as she saw that the person at her door was not Jackson but…


"Aren't you going to invite me in, mother?" Kendall asked, trying to appear braver than she felt.

"Hey, big day Stone." Jamie's friendly voice could be heard greeting her on Kendall's answering machine.

Shaking her head, Maggie marveled at Jamie's impeccable timing to give Maggie the support she needed when everything seemed to slowly be going to hell.

"Ah, don't worry about it. You'll do fine, a lot better than you're cousin Hayward."

It wasn't a surprise that David was still Pine Valley's most hated doctor at PVU. Though Maggie was willing to stand by David's side, he was family after all and she honestly couldn't imagine him doing anything that could truly hurt anyone he cared for.

Once again, the trust Maggie put in those around her would be proven to be false, only she didn't know how wrong she truly was about David.

"Mags, I saw what that reporter wrote about you two and it's nothing you should worry yourself about. It's just gossip, as long as you two know what the real deal is then why should you give a damn about some outside observers think?"

Maggie nodded her head in agreement at Jamie's words.

"Now c'mon, get out of bed and get that cute ass of yours into the shower. Time's a wasting."

Choosing to ignore Jamie's playful reference to her ass, Maggie did as he suggested. Making a mental note to thank Jamie for his message the next time she saw him at their apartment.

Not giving Kendall a verbal invitation, Erica left the door open as she walked back into the apartment and into the living room. "Kendall, what are you doing here?"

"You know why I'm here mother." Kendall replied, following her mother who stood by the couch.

"Is it true?" Deciding to cut right to the point, pure Erica style.

"Is what true, mother?" Kendall asked, pretending that she didn't know what Erica was talking about.

"What the paper said about you and…and…" Erica couldn't even bring herself to say Maggie's name, not wanting the fact that Kendall could be gay as well be clarified for her as the truth.

"Maggie? Yes, it's all true." Kendall nodded, a little put off by Erica's resistance to even utter Maggie's name.

"What? You're gay?" Erica screeched, thinking of all the men Kendall had had relations with over the years in Pine Valley. Hadn't her marriage, though brief, with Ryan meant something?

"What can I say mother? The gay fairy was making her rounds." Kendall quipped.

"This is no time to be making jokes, Kendall." Erica scolded.

"Well it's certainly not the time for you to be passing on any sort of judgment either!"

"I am you're mother…"

"Convenient that you choose now to acknowledge that."

"Kendall, I thought we resolved this matter already?"

"And I thought you already accepted that it was okay to be gay."

"For Bianca!"

"So it's only alright for Bianca to be gay? Because that's the quota this family needs? Just one gay daughter?"

"You're not gay!" Erica insisted, refusing to believe that she had lost yet another daughter to the rainbow.

"I am." Kendall spoke confidently.

"You're not, I cannot believe it."

"Just ask Maggie, or look for the hickey's if you need any proof, mother." Kendall could see her mother shudder at the very idea of hickey's, given by Kendall, on Maggie. The idea caused Kendall to shudder as well, but hers was not as unpleasant as her mother's.

"I can understand you're need for a partner after the whole…Ryan and Greenlee incident, but a woman?"

"Not a woman, Maggie."

"She's a nice girl but isn't she a little…unstable?" Erica asked hesitantly, referring to Maggie's deceased twin. Surely Maggie had to have inherited Frankie's unstable personality.

"Oh, that's a laugh, coming from you."

"And what is that supposed to mean?"

Refusing to get off track, Kendall steered the conversation back to its original start. "Why would it be so bad for both Bianca and I to be in love with women?"

Instead of replying, Erica did what she only knew; she let out another mind-numbing shriek and threw her hands up. Causing Kendall to take a seat on the couch as Erica ranted and raved around the living room, knowing that her visit with Erica would not be short by any means.

Kendall couldn't help but think how Maggie's first day at the hospital was going, hopefully better than hers.

"Hi, my name's Maggie Stone, I'm here for the internship." Maggie introduced herself to the nurse behind the reception desk.

"Ah yes, Dr Santos is expecting you." The nurse nodded before telling Maggie to wait in the waiting room where Dr Santos would meet her.

Sitting, Maggie couldn't help the worry she was feeling. Knowing that even though she was about to jump-start her career in medical practice, she knew that at the moment Kendall was on her way to confront Erica about the newspaper article.

Maggie could understand Kendall's desire for acceptance from Erica, many times before she had left her own home; Maggie had wanted that from her own mother. Spending too much wasted effort on getting the approval of a drunken mother who only cared about when the next check from Child Service would come in so she could get her daily dose of heroin.

Closing her eyes, Maggie can't help one of the thousands of memories of when Maggie tried to gain her mother's love.

She had to have been around eight years old when it happened.

"Mamma?" A younger, 9 year old version of Maggie asked tentatively. Unsure of whether her mother was in one of her rare good moods today.

"What do you want?" Her mother asked with such disdain in her voice, raspy from years of smoking.

Pausing, almost fearful from just her mother's tone, Maggie produced a piece of paper she had been hiding behind her back.

"Is that this month's check from you're good-for-nothing father of yours?" It was the only time her mother ever got truly excited about something, the prospect of getting more money so she could get a buzz for the next few days from her seller on the corner.

"No...we had a drawing contest at our school. We were supposed to draw our family…I got second place." Maggie spoke proudly, holding up the crayon-drawn picture she had spent so many days on to perfect.

Sneering, her mother looked at the picture where there were four drawn stick figures, each with a name beneath them. Frankie, Maggie, Mommy, and Daddy. Surprisingly quick in her drunken state, her mother snatched the picture from her hands and not a moment later, the picture lay shredded at Maggie's feet.

Standing, her mother stood over Maggie's tiny form, looking down at her with that hateful sneer plastered on her face. "You think we're a family, brat?"

Unsure of how she was supposed to answer, Maggie just nodded, fearful of the reaction she would get if she had opened her mouth. She had learned years ago what kind of punishment little girls got when they spoke back. The bruises and cuts on her arms were evidence of that.

"Let me tell you something, you're father walked out on us not because of me. He and I? We were happy before you two brats came into the picture. He left because he couldn't take the two of you whining anymore, you were the ones who drove him out of here!" She shouted, beer bottle shaking in her hands as she stumbled closer to Maggie.

At the time, Maggie was too young and too trusting to know that what her mother was saying wasn't true. That no children could truly cause their own parents to leave them behind, but she believed every word her mother said. So much so that the fear of people walking out on her because of her own actions, transferred into her adult life.

"You wanna know why you got second place? Hmm?" Her mother stopped, knocking back the beer. "Because people like you, people no one could ever love, always come in second. That's you're place brat, getting the remains of those who are better than you."

Maggie stood in their beaten trailer park, trembling from her mother's words. A part of her almost wishing that her mother had beaten her this time, instead of using her words that seemed to do more damage than any physical pain. Tears rolled down Maggie's cheeks as her mother walked over the remains of her drawing.

"Maggie Stone?" Anita asked, walking up to Maggie in the waiting room. Anita had heard many good things about Maggie from both Maggie's cousin David and from the hospital staff.

"That's me." Maggie stood, taking Anita's hand as she offered it in a way of greeting.

It was all Maggie could do not to fidget, it was a nervous habit of hers and right now she was as nervous as ever. Sure, she had already gotten the internship but that didn't mean she should begin acting like her goofy self. For all she knew, this Dr Anita Santos could be one of those uptight doctors who frowned upon that sort of immature behavior.

Smiling, Anita could see easily how nervous the younger girl was. "Those pictures the newspaper took do no justice to the real thing." Anita joked, hoping to coax Maggie out of her nervousness.

Her tactic worked, her words causing Maggie to let out a breath of air and light-hearted chuckle.

"Kendall says it's because they air brushed them." Maggie replied, knowing instantly that she was going to like working at the hospital.

Part 4 – Just Another Day at the Office

A week had passed since the article that had outed both Kendall and Maggie had been published. The shock that had passed through all of Pine Valley and their collected group of friends and family had slowly decreased to some extent.

There were a few people that weren't so accepting of the relationship and a few who still questioned whether there was an actual relationship between these two polar opposites who had not been known to have been even friendly towards one another.

Of course, there were rumors; this was Pine Valley after all. Some assumed that Kendall was only doing this as another attempt to gain her mother's attention. Others thought that Bianca had somehow influenced Maggie into pursuing a relationship with Kendall. There were a rare few, twisted individuals, who wondered if there was a secret threesome going on between the three women. This of course, was very unlikely.

"So where does this leave Fusion?" Mia's question hung in the silence of the Fusion office.

A few minutes ago, Greenlee had announced Ryan's ownership of Fusion thanks to Cambias' entrusting him with Fusion. Greenlee also revealed how through marriage, Ryan had given Greenlee Fusion as a wedding gift but would still manage the company partly.

"Fusion will continue to run like before…" Greenlee spoke before being rudely cut off by Kendall who sat atop the desk, filing her nails.

"Just under Ryan's control." Kendall cut in, causing Greenlee to level her with an icy glare that Kendall was happy to return.

"Ryan handed Fusion over to me." Greenlee reminded.

"Only because you married him!"

Wincing at the beginning of Kendall and Greenlee's raised voices, Mia and Simone stood back at a safe distance. The familiarity of the argumentative tones had become almost a daily occurrence at Fusion. At first it had been because Greenlee had been dating Ryan but now it was because of Greenlee's ownership of Fusion that they had all began together.

"And to think, they were back to being best friends a year ago." Simone dryly observed.

Maggie had found herself fitting in quite nicely in the hospital, her easy transition was mostly due to Anita taking Maggie under her wing and teaching her all she needed to.

But Anita had become more than just the go-to person for Maggie whenever she needed medical advice or as her acting supervisor, she was slowly being accepted as a trusted friend to Maggie.

There had been a few cases that had been particularly hard and had effected Maggie deeply but Anita had been there, speaking words of encouragement and offering a kind ear.

One of the drawbacks of being an intern, other than the ungodly hours, was the small amounts of time they had for lunch breaks. Luckily BJ's was close enough to PVU Hospital that Maggie's 20 minute lunch break wasn't totally wasted, with ordering ahead of time on her way to the restaurant, she managed to give herself 5-8 minutes to eat her lunch before her lunch break was over with.

Today though made Maggie wish she had braved the suspicious hospital food in the cafeteria instead of going to BJ's, as Ryan took the stool next to her at the counter.

"Hey Maggie." Ryan greeted, assuming his presence wasn't making Maggie the least bit uncomfortable.

"Oh, Ryan, hi." Not feeling particularly interested in talking with Kendall's ex but not wanting to be rude and ignore him, Maggie could only send out a prayer that her order would come quickly. Though BJ's wasn't notorious for their quick service for take-out orders.

"How have you been? I read what happened in the papers." Ryan attempted to pry, he had been one of those who couldn't believe that Maggie of all people would fall for Kendall's manipulating act.

If Ryan had been honest, he would have admitted that his suspicions of Kendall's intentions were spawned from the hurt and lies that had occurred during his own relationship with Kendall when they were once a couple.

"Uh-huh." Maggie replied non-comittedly, preferring to not get into the details of her love life with Kendall with Ryan of all people.

"Maggie? Can I give you some advice? Friend to a friend?" Ryan asked, leaning onto the counter and eyeing Maggie who nodded.

"Sure." Maggie could only wonder what advice Ryan was going to give her. And she had never considered him a friend before, so why should she after all he had put Kendall through over the past few months?

"Kendall isn't the type of person who settles down. She doesn't do those kinds of relationships, believe me…I know. She slept with a guy the night of our wedding." Ryan reminded, not taking the warning that was reflected in Maggie's eyes.

Anyone who knew Maggie personally knew that she was very protective towards people close to her heart, her willingness to shoot Michael Cambias after Bianca's rape should have been evidence enough of that fact.

But now that she and Kendall were romantically involved, Maggie felt herself even more defensive whenever someone looked to tear either her relationship with Kendall or Kendall's good name down. She simply wouldn't let that happen anymore.

"Look, I know you have some issues with Kendall but that's you're history with her. Kendall and I are starting to make some history between ourselves right now. So Ryan, no offense but…shut the hell up!" Maggie snapped.

Ryan could only blink at the anger in Maggie's voice.

"Right, instead you've gotten so desperate that you're willing to not only sleep with the boss but marry him!" Kendall shouted, having long abandoned her spot on the desk but now was facing off toe to toe with Greenlee.

It didn't matter that Kendall had a height advantage over Greenlee, not in their arguments, what mattered was who came out on top. And since both combatants intended to walk away the victor, their arguments were more heated than others.

"Oh please, Kendall, like you haven't tried the same thing." Greenlee scoffed.

"Unlike you, Greenlee, I have a little more class."

"Right, because Erica's such a classy lady. Just ask any of all the men in Pine Valley." Greenlee started to take out the big guns, knowing that it was well known that Erica had dated almost all of Pine Valley's eligible men at one point or another. Until she met Jackson, Erica didn't seem like she could truly be tied down to one relationship particularly.

"Oh, and Mary Smythe is the perfect Stepford wife?" Kendall shot back. "Whose mother was at Adam's door looking for a handout?"

Instead of replying, Greenlee let out a shriek before lunging at Kendall. Nails and all.

"Wow, so you two are really starting to get serious." Ryan blinked, squashing the instinct to take a step back at Maggie's defensive tone and demeanor.

Taking a few deep, calming breaths, Maggie reminded herself that causing Ryan any bodily harm wouldn't do any good to anyone.

"It's nice. It's a big change from my past relationships and hers…sorry. No offense." Maggie added, wanting Ryan to know that she wasn't on the defensive anymore.

"Eh, don't worry about it." Ryan shrugged off Maggie's comment, "Despite all the barbs Kendall and I've thrown at each other, we have an understanding between us."

"Good, I'm glad."

"But I never would have imagined Kendall as relationship material. I mean, planned lunches and mornings?"

"Well, you were married to her once."

"Touché." Ryan clinked his glass with Maggie's, looking down at his watch that Greenlee had bought him a few weeks after their nuptials.

"Somewhere to be?" Maggie asked, noticing Ryan's distracted gaze.

"Greenlee wants me to meet with this decorator, since I have apparently no sense of decorating, even for a guy." Ryan rolled his eyes, still unsure of whether to be offended or appreciate Greenlee's observation.

"Well, you better go before Greenlee sends in the fab five."

Maggie's comment earned her a questioning look from Ryan. "Fab five?" Ryan asked more than a little confused.

"'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy'." Maggie said with a 'duh' tone.

"Right…" Ryan trailed off, unsure.

"I know you're straight, Ryan, but I didn't know you were so culturally isolated."

"Funny Stone, funny." Ryan shook his finger at Maggie before walking towards the exit.

"Hey, at least my girlfriend hasn't domesticated me yet."

"Yet!" Ryan shouted before leaving BJ's to see what Greenlee had in store for their apartment.

"Oh no, you are not getting away that easily you little tramp!" Kendall stalked off after Greenlee who had made the mistake of turning her back on Kendall after successfully knocking the taller woman to the ground. Having felt a little too satisfied at her tackle, Greenlee had assumed Kendall would have given up.

Greenlee learned soon, a few second later to be exact, that Kendall was not the type to give in so quickly.

Across the room, Mia looked at her girlfriend who was dialing a number on her cell phone.

"What are you doing?" Mia asked, momentarily taking her eyes off of the scuffle.

"Calling in some much needed reinforcements." Simone replied, hoping that her reinforcement would be available.

Maggie smiled at the waiter Sherri who usually was the one working whenever she came in for her lunch break.

"Sorry for the wait, Maggie, the grill in the back broke down a few hours ago." Sherri explained, handing Maggie her lunch in a paper bag.

"Oh, it's no problem." Maggie assured. As Sherri was ringing up her order, Maggie heard her cell phone ring.

"Hello?" Maggie asked, opening her cell phone.

"Maggie? Thank god!" Came the exasperated voice Simone Torres on the other line.


"You need to come to Fusion, pronto."

"Why? Is there something wrong?" Maggie asked almost hesitantly.

A month ago she had received a call from the Fusion girls needing her medical advice after an intern of theirs had ingested a bottle of nail polish. How the intern had mistaken the nail polish for a bottle of medicine, Maggie would never know.

"Oh, nothing short of a world crisis." Came Simone's trademark sarcasm.

Maggie didn't need to be told who Simone was talking about, since Ryan had gotten the Cambias Enterprise, Enchantment, and given his new wife Greenlee Fusion as a wedding gift; fights between Greenlee and Kendall had heighten as a result of Kendall's desire to get Fusion back into her hands.

Personally, Maggie couldn't have given a hoot about the growing cosmetic empire that was Fusion but since her girlfriend had an obvious investment into it, Maggie found it harder not to feel for Kendall's loss of a company she practically built to what it is today.

At the same time, she could see Greenlee's side of the argument as well. Which was why Maggie tried, she really did, to keep out of the daily argument of who was the sole owner of Fusion.

"They're at it again, aren't they?" Maggie asked with a sigh, taking out her wallet to pay for her meal.

"Like two tigers going for the jugular." Simone replied in all-seriousness.

Looking at her own watch, Maggie noted that she would have enough time to drop by Fusion to divert anymore chaos from happening before she was due back at the hospital.

"I'll be right over." Maggie promised, already out the door to stop her girlfriend from causing any bodily harm to Greenlee.

Though, when it came to those two and their fights, the harm usually came to whoever dared to stop them.

"Oh well, the things you do for love." Maggie thought, thanking Sherri before walking out the door.

To Be Continued

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