DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC/Disney.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Alex


The older woman's eyes were fixed on the floor as she opened the door to her room, holding it open for her broken lover. Bianca slowly entered the room, her shoulders slumped, her entire appearance defeated.

Closing the door, Lena stared at her lover's back, wanting so badly to reach out and touch her, but terrified of what her touch might incur for the young woman. They stood this way for some time, until Bianca's voice broke the silent, soft and tearful.

"Thank you." She said, turning around, but looking everywhere but the taller woman's eyes. "For letting me stay here. I-I couldn't go back there." Her voice shook violently as her mind was flooded with memories. Lena restrained herself from comforting the young woman.

"I understand Bianca." She replied, her voice thick with grief and guilt. "You are welcome here anytime."

Awkwardly, Lena moved to put down Bianca's bag next to the couch. Bianca, pulling herself out of her frozen posture, moved to sit down on the couch, her arms pulled tightly around herself. Lena remained standing, looking down at her lover as she wrestled with her frustration. The desire to speak was strong in both women, but they were unable to voice the horrible crime that had occurred so recently.

The silence stretched for what seemed like hours. Finally, Bianca turned to her lover, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

"Don't you want to sit down?" She asked, the vulnerability naked in her voice. Lena started forward, then stopped.

"I-I don't need to." She said, trying desperately to keep herself together. She needed to be strong, for Bianca's sake. "I want to give you all the space you need."

Satisfied that she had made the right decision, Lena was devastated to see the tears that had threatened to mar Bianca's cheeks all day finally fall.

"Bianca, what's wrong?" She asked, panicked. Her hands clenched into fists at her sides as she struggled with her instinct to comfort the young woman.

"You don't want me." Bianca said through her tears, her voice trembling as she stared straight ahead. "You can't even look at me, let alone touch me." She looked up at her lover, her face crumbling. "Am I that dirty?"

Lena's heart broke for the young woman and she hurried to sit down next to Bianca, giving in to her desires and pulling her lover tightly into her arms.

"Bianca, no." She said vehemently as her eyes filled with tears. "You are not dirty. What he did to you-" She choked on the words, still unable to wrap her mind around them. "Michael is the dirty one. He is evil and dirty and hateful, and you are everything he is not." Placing a kiss on Bianca's head, she continued. "You are clean, and pure, and loving. How could you ever think otherwise?"

Bianca curled herself into Lena's arms, tucking her head in the crook of the older woman's neck. Lena could feel her skin dampening from the young woman's tears, and stroked her lover's back reassuringly.

"I'm so afraid." Bianca's voice was transformed to that of a little girl's, thick with fear and uncertainty. "I'm scared th-that what he did...that it ruined me."

Lena pulled her lover closer, alternating whispered reassurances and soft kisses into her hair. They sat like this for what seemed like ages, until Bianca pulled away slightly, looking her older lover in the eye.

"I just want it to go away." She said desperately, seeking answers in Lena's eyes. "Make it go away."

Lena's eyes widened as she registered Bianca's request.

"Bianca, I don't think-" She was cut off by soft lips tentatively capturing her own.

"Please, Lena." Bianca begged, her eyes shining with vulnerability. Lena reached out her own shaking hands to take Bianca's, standing up and moving to the bed. She looked down at Bianca reverently, conveying to the younger woman just how beautiful she was in Lena's eyes.

Hesitantly, Lena pulled Bianca in for a delicate kiss, her hands barely caressing the young woman's arms.

"I love you Bianca." Lena said fervently, repeating the sentence between kisses as she tenderly removed the young woman's shirt. She pulled away, her eyes seeking permission to go further. Bianca nodded, trembling as she laid back on the bed with the help of Lena's gentle, guiding hand.

Lena, intent on erasing every touch that Michael had dared lay on her precious lover, began to caress the young woman's soft skin with her lips and hands, feather-soft kisses fluttering across Bianca's collarbone. She was jarred from her task when she noticed the young woman shaking violently.

Moving up to pull her lover into her arms, Lena placed soft kisses on Bianca's forehead, whispering assurances that she wouldn't do anything the young woman didn't want.

"I-I can't." Bianca whispered tearfully, her voice tinted with shame. Lena's hand cupped the young woman's cheek, bringing Bianca's face level with her own.

"It's alright Bianca." She said earnestly, looking directly into Bianca's tear-filled eyes. "I love you. I don't need to make love to you to show you that."

"But..." Bianca began, her voice trembling. "I want you to. I want to feel the way I know you can make me feel. Beautiful, and wanted."

"Bianca." Lena said firmly. "I will do everything in my power to make you feel that way. And if you're not comfortable with that level of intimacy, I will find other ways to show you how beautiful you are, and how much I love you."

Bianca smiled, in spite of her anguish.

"Can you just hold me tonight?" She asked in a small voice. Lena managed a small smile as well, pulling her lover close to her. Reaching down, she pulled the blanket over their bodies, and pulled Bianca's head down to her shoulder. She whispered words of love and devotion softly into the young woman's ears until she drifted off to sleep. Lena decided then, as she watched her lover sleep, that she would dedicate the rest of her life to making this woman whole again.

The End

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