Author: Misty Flores
Fandom: All My Children
Archiving: Ralst, my own site eventually.
Teaser: One important lesson: it is easy, devastatingly easy; to hurt the one you love the most.
Notes: Written for International Femslash Day.
She sees Maggie again in a lesbian bar, six months after she has returned to Paris. Bianca hates clichés, but her heart stops and her breathing becomes heavier, and a part of her still hates Maggie for what she did, and hates herself for still getting like this after all these months.
Hate is a strong emotion, but Bianca has been feeling it a lot lately.
When Maggie sees her, catching her eye across a crowded room, she is disturbingly easy to read. Maggie has already fucked up, after all, and picked up her dignity and thrown it out the window when she came after her in Pine Valley to grovel for another chance. Faced Bianca's mother and Kendall and even Zoe, in an effort to win her back.
Maggie has told her she loves her, will love her forever, and it's the worst possible moment to remember that, because Bianca is feeling bitter and mean, and emboldened by the complete adoration she sees in Maggie's face.
Zoe, her rebound, her safety net, has rejected her. Worse yet, Bianca understands why, because she knows she never really wanted Zoe more than she just wanted to get over Maggie, and it's embarrassing that Zoe knows that. And Maggie, who has run away time and time again and always come back, comes to her now, looking achingly beautiful and full of desperate hope.
It's a bad thing, what Bianca does. She hurts Maggie because she can. She smiles and accepts a drink, and lets Maggie once again tell her that she missed her, and deep down, Bianca believes her.
She understands that Maggie loves her most of all. She knows that Maggie understands she made a mistake. That she's been waiting, all this time, because she loves her and wants to come home to her and Miranda. Make a life together like they never got to before.
She knows all this.
She abuses it.
She wants Maggie's body. She wants to hear the words 'I Love you' flow from Maggie's lips. She wants to kiss Maggie, because she misses kissing her. She wants to fuck Maggie like she's never fucked her before, and then she wants to leave her. To really show Maggie what it means to believe in all your heart that your love means something, and then she wants to trash it. Just like Maggie did to her.
She fucks Maggie in her limousine. It's not soft. Or sweet. The angle is all wrong, and she's too tall for it to be comfortable, but Maggie is small and fits perfectly in her lap. It's devastatingly easy to rip at Maggie's thong and feel the wetness between her thighs. It's too easy to feel Maggie's arms clutch around her shoulders, and suck her tongue in her mouth and believe that she's home again.
Maggie tells her she loves her, and then Bianca flicks her fingers, makes her come. She knows how to get Maggie off. It comes back to her quickly.
Her heart pounds, and when she orgasms, it's unexpected. She doesn't expect to pant the way she does, to react so physically to feel of Maggie drenching her fingers, to want so badly to keep kissing Maggie like they're never going to stop.
It's when she comes that she panics, and she shoves Maggie off of her and forces her out of the car.
When she leaves her old lover and best friend on the curb, her hands are still sticky with Maggie's arousal, and the smell is so achingly familiar, she has to force herself not to cry.
She means to hurt Maggie. To leave her behind the way she tells herself Maggie left her. She wants immense satisfaction from it because she knows Maggie loves her, and hurt her anyway and she punishes her for it.
Maggie comes to her office the next day. She talks herself past Cindy, her assistant, and Bianca expects angry words of outrage.
She doesn't expect Maggie to just stare at her, with wide brown eyes. She doesn't expect it to be so easy to see how much Maggie still loves her. Bianca gets angry; she tells her to get out.
Maggie doesn’t listen, and then before she knows it Maggie has her bent over the desk, skirt hiked above her waist, pencils clattering to the floor as Maggie eats her out, tongue sliding up and down her slit and sucking hard on her clit, just the way she knows Bianca craves it.
Bianca shudders and tears come to her eyes when she comes, biting on the back of her hand to keep from screaming, and when she finally looks down she sees Maggie wiping at her mouth, getting to her feet.
Bianca feels stupid and vulnerable, and she says something she absolutely does not mean. "I hate you."
"I love you," Maggie tells her, and then she walks out, as cool as she came in.
Later, Bianca rationalizes that it's exactly what she needs. She needs some form of stress relief. She's the Chairman of the Board of Cambias Industries, and she's never even finished her college degree. She's young and has a lot to prove to crabby old French men who stare at her like she has no right being here. She has a daughter, and what hours work does not swallow up, spending time with her little girl does. There isn't time for dating.
Just sex. Discrete sex.
What better way to blow off some steam than to use Maggie for what she can give her? She knows Maggie's body. She knows Maggie knows hers. They can get each other off, and she can get what she has been craving before it drives her insane.
As long as Bianca has boundaries. As long as Bianca can nurture the hate she tells herself she has for the way Maggie hurt her, she still has the upper hand.
Because Maggie loves her, and will do what she wants, but Bianca will not trust her.
Bianca tells her assistant to track down Maggie's current information, and it's no surprise when she discovers that Cindy already has it.
It's in her contacts, and Bianca's hands hesitate when she dials Maggie's cell phone a few days later.
"It's me," she says, when Maggie answers. Her voice does not waver, but her fingers do tremble. "I want to see you."
Maggie doesn't respond right away. There is a doctor being paged on an intercom somewhere behind her, and Bianca can tell she is at the hospital, doing her work.
"I get out after midnight," Maggie finally says, and Bianca mentally calculates logistics.
"Miranda will be asleep," she says, even though she swore to herself she would not mention her daughter. "I'll leave her with the Au Pair and come see you at your place."
"I have a roommate," Maggie tells her, and Bianca flinches, because she's already jealous and all she tells herself she wants is a good fuck.
"Then meet me at the penthouse," Bianca snaps, and hangs up the phone.
Maggie knows where the penthouse is, of course. They lived there for months before they found their own place. Back when Maggie knew she loved Bianca, but told her she didn't know how she loved her.
It's hard to be here, and to remember that, because then Bianca is forced to remember the circumstances that brought them here, and she remembers the person she was before. Because Bianca has been raped. She has been beaten. She has been shoved off a balcony and left in a coma. She has had her baby taken away from her by a person she trusted and swore was her best friend, and yet somehow, none of that has changed her, hurt her, as Maggie cheating on her ever did.
Possibly because she has loved or trusted no one the way she has loved and trusted Maggie.
The master bedroom is where they first made love.
In a penthouse filled with memories of a nervous, insecure girl, Bianca understands that Maggie is human. Maggie is almost irreparably flawed, and it happens because Maggie's mother was abusive, her twin was murdered, her aunt has tried to kill her, and her first boyfriend betrayed her. Her first fiancé beat her and went on to become a serial killer. And there is more than that, but Maggie is still the one who held Bianca after she was broken. Who told her she would never let the badness seep in after Bianca has been raped. Who giggled over sonograms and stood loyal and staunch through her secret pregnancy, standing up to anyone who might have hurt Bianca. Who prepared to give up everything for a life with Bianca and her unborn baby. Who told Bianca she loved her and meant it every time.
She's also the one who told Bianca she could never love her like Bianca wanted. Who freaked out when she believed Bianca's love for her was some transference because she looked like Frankie. Who kissed her and then freaked out, swore she was straight, and then told her she wasn't. Who ran away when she found Bianca in bed with Babe and refused to listen when Bianca tried to tell her it wasn't what it looked like. Who fell into a relationship with Jonathan and then told no one when it became abusive. Refused to leave him, even when Bianca confessed her love.
It was that Maggie who still raced away to Paris to be with Bianca. She said she couldn't stand the thought of living without her.
Because, as messed up as Maggie is, Maggie loves her. Maggie has always loved her.
Bianca doesn't understand how she can know that so absolutely and still rationalize it with what Maggie has done.
Fortunately, introspection battles reality when Maggie lets herself in, unwinding a scarf from around her neck and regarding her with that honest, quiet gaze that entranced her in her own office.
She's silent, overtaken by her uncontrollable emotion at the sight of the woman who was meant to be her soulmate, until Maggie reminds her, "You wanted to see me."
Like a person possessed, Bianca lunges forward, gripping Maggie hard and yanking her into her mouth. She angrily kisses her. It's all teeth and tongue, and it's sloppy and heated. Maggie kisses her back immediately, but when she tries to put her hands on Bianca's shoulders, Bianca pushes the hands down roughly, pins them at Maggie's side. Maggie is not the one in control here. She lowers her mouth to suck hard on Maggie's neck, biting and groaning when she hears Maggie's tortured moan.
She's wet already, but she keeps Maggie's hands off of her as she yanks Maggie's shirt up and over her head, and jerks the cup of Maggie's bra over her small breasts so she can suck a nipple greedily into her mouth.
Unable to help herself, she fumbles with Maggie's jeans, and doesn't bother to wait for them to go past her thighs before she's sinking to the floor and tonguing Maggie's clit, hearing hard breaths above her, feeling fingers clutching at her shoulders for support.
When Maggie collapses, she lets her fall, feels the thud and follows the motion with her head, heeding nothing but the blood rushing in her ears, a dizzying vertigo that overwhelms her senses.
Maggie comes twice before Bianca finally lifts her face, sticky and wet. She crawls over her spasming fuck and kisses Maggie deeply, forces Maggie to taste what Bianca has done to her.
Maggie does, she kisses her like she's starved for it, and grabs hold of the side of her head to hold Bianca steady as she places open mouthed kisses on her chin, her cheeks, licking every bit of her wetness away.
"Tell me you love me," Bianca demands, because Maggie hasn't said it.
"I love you," Maggie said, but her voice is low, and even though Bianca knows she means it, there's something hidden there.
Before Bianca can kiss her again, Maggie has shoved her over and straddled her.
They fuck, but they don't speak again.
She gets in over her head. She calls Maggie more than she should, and she doesn't allow guests to stay at the penthouse because that's now their personal playground. It's where they first made love. It's where they fuck now.
The sex is rougher than it had been before, but why shouldn't it? They're holding nothing back now. They've seen the worst in each other, and each has rejected the other for another, less deserving suitor. There are no games now, but pure need, and Bianca can feel the craving affecting her in a way it hasn't before.
She thinks about it all the time. In board meetings. When she's with Miranda. At drinks with vice presidents and on phone calls with her unknowing sister Kendall, who always expresses worry that Bianca has not moved on.
Maggie doesn’t spend the night, and they don't talk. Bianca doesn't know if Maggie has a girlfriend, but finds herself wondering about the 'roommate' Maggie mentioned exactly once. She thinks it's hilariously ironic if that is a girlfriend; because that would make her the other woman, and the thought both crushes her and makes her obsess.
Maggie always tells her she loves her, and even though Bianca has decided she hates hearing it, she doesn't ever ask Maggie to stop saying it.
"I love you," Maggie tells her, and Bianca comes, collapsing down on top of Maggie, feeling slick and sweaty and completely undone.
When Maggie moves to pull out, Bianca grabs hold of her shoulders. "Wait, don't," she says. "Not yet."
She wants to feel, and this time, when Maggie kisses her temple and then her swollen lips, she finds herself believing this was it was like before.
Her heart trembles, and she's glad when Maggie's gone.
They talk. It happens accidentally, one night when they're finished and Bianca curls against her smaller lover, finger tracing idly along the slope of Maggie's breast.
Maggie just begins to talk about her internship. About the patients she sees and the classes she takes, and Bianca remembers how giddy Maggie can be when she talks about being a doctor.
She learns that her roommate is actually a guy. Another intern who crashes on the couch because they can only afford a studio. He's gay. He has a huge collection of gay porn. Maggie thinks it's hilarious.
Bianca talks too. She finds herself slipping when she vents about an asshole executive, or a particularly hard day at work. She will not talk about her family, but she does talk. More than she did before.
It's easy to talk to Maggie. It always was. Maggie makes her laugh when Bianca isn't careful. She listens like no one else does. She sees Bianca for who she is, and she thinks she's amazing, but she also knows that deep down, Bianca is a scared girl in her early twenties who is struggling to be a grownup because her childhood has been ripped away from her.
She's luring them both into a false sense of security. She knows she has to stop it. Maggie smiles now, and Bianca knows that something like hope has begun to seep into these meaningless fucks.
She needs a reason to stop.
One night, at three in the morning, when they finish and Bianca looks up at the ceiling, Maggie makes a mistake and asks about Miranda.
Body flushing cold, Bianca opens her eyes and immediately grimaces, suddenly furious. "You don't get to ask about her," she says coldly.
Maggie has to understand why. She has to understand that Miranda is forbidden. That Miranda still asks about her, and Bianca has given up trying to explain to her little girl why the woman she saw as her second mother has been pushed out of their lives. She has to understand that it still makes Bianca furious, because she had wanted adoptions and commitment ceremonies and she hadn't ever felt like a single parent until she and Maggie had broken up.
But she can tell that Maggie doesn't understand. She only looks at her with wounded eyes, and then gets up, grabbing her clothes and muttering a flat, "Sorry."
She leaves without saying she loves her, and Bianca hates how much that hurts.
"This isn't smart," Maggie tells her, when she calls her for a meeting two days later. "We have to stop doing this."
That stops Bianca's heart cold. "You're over reacting."
"I'm not, Bianca." Maggie's tone is quiet, calmer than Bianca remembered her being. "This isn't healthy."
It's not. Maggie is right. Bianca doesn't care. "You love me," she points out, and it's a bitchy thing to do, but that's an undisputed truth.
"Yeah," she hears in response. "And you love me, too."
The world drops out from under her, but Maggie hangs up with a click.
Without Maggie she's pent up, like a damned geyser. There's no release. No comfort in loving arms and worse than that, she begins to regret.
She snaps at her assistant and her board members. She feels every scab and wound open and bleeding, and she hates Maggie Stone more than she's ever hated her before.
Maggie doesn't call.
She disappears from Bianca's life as quickly as she reentered it, and Bianca hates her for that too.
It takes only two weeks before she gives up and calls Maggie again. The phone goes straight to voicemail. Maggie's voice cheerfully asks her to leave a message in garbled French, then again in perfect English.
"Miranda's having a birthday party on Saturday," she says hoarsely. "I'll ask Cindy to email you the information, if you want to come."
I love you, she thinks miserably, but she doesn't say it.
It has been over a year since Miranda has seen Maggie. Bianca is afraid she has made a mistake, She considers rescinding the invitation nearly ten times, but her harried assistant confirms that Maggie has already RSVPed to the invitation, and she is coming alone.
Maggie doesn't call her, and Bianca does not want her to. She's not sure she won't panic. She's not sure she won't let the unresolved emotion get in the way, and she won't be strong enough to resist hurting Maggie in the worst way she can.
She doesn’t know why she is even struggling, but she hasn't heard Maggie tell her that she loves her in over two weeks, and it has been hell.
Bianca understands very little about what she and Maggie have turned into, but she does understand that there is no other option but to find a healthy way to deal with this.
Maggie has run from her before. Maggie has always come back. And Bianca has always loved her.
It sucks. It's the truth.
It's why Bianca wants so badly to hurt her. And why she can't stand losing her.
Miranda sees her first, and it surprises Bianca completely when Miranda recognizes her as quickly as she does. The little girl looks confused, then bewildered, and then, when Maggie comes forward, awkward and unsteady, chubby legs suddenly start running, and Miranda starts screaming, and suddenly she trips. But Maggie catches her, small as she is, and then they're in each other's arms, holding to each other so tightly it's impossible to distinguish child from adult.
Maggie has tears in her eyes, and her hands tremble as she palms Miranda's hair. As Miranda babbles at her, a mix of English and French, too fast for her to understand really, Maggie just keeps touching her, as if she's afraid that at any moment, Miranda is going to evaporate. Get taken away from her.
A realization hits Bianca like an epiphany. It becomes very clear to Bianca that Maggie has lost everything she's ever loved.
And that Maggie desperately loves Miranda.
Bianca doesn't want to be another person Maggie has loved and lost.
She loves Maggie too.
Miranda plays with her Au Pair and a set of playmates, but every other minute she is back in Maggie's arms, as if she's afraid she'll leave her. Maggie stays within eye range, and Miranda looks free and happy.
"Thank you." Maggie's eyes are red, and she can't quite take her eyes off Miranda.
Bianca is fine with that. She has trouble taking her eyes off Maggie.
They're stalled. It's hard to talk. There's too much to say.
"I know a counselor," she begins, suddenly terrified, heart fluttering inside of her. "He was recommended to me."
Maggie turns her head and regards her. "You think I need to see a shrink."
"Yes," Bianca says honestly. "I think we both need to see a shrink, because we're fucked up, Maggie."
At first, Maggie just stares. She's not used to Bianca swearing, unless they're in bed. Then, she smiles, a bittersweet grin that tells Bianca that she agrees. "I tried to forget you," she tells her, and that hurts, but it's honest. "I couldn't."
Bianca crosses her arms. "I wanted to hurt you. The way you hurt me."
"You did." Maggie looks sad and then Bianca does see it. The hurt that resonates in Maggie's dark eyes, that tells her that fucking her and leaving her on the curb, fucking her over and over and never once giving her the satisfaction of saying 'I love you' back has taken it's toll. "I tried to stop more than once."
"Why didn't you?"
"Because I love you," Maggie whispers, and it's smaller and weaker than Bianca remembers it but it's exactly what she needs to hear. Her breath catches and her eyes well and she lost to the power those words from those lips have on her. "And because I knew you loved me. No matter what."
It's hopeless. She does love Maggie. She always will.
Bianca battles a lump in her throat. She wants to touch her. She holds off. "I want us to see a counselor. I want us to fix this." She looks at Miranda and for the first time since she's left Maggie the first time, she imagines them whole again. Without the need to hurt. With just this feeling. This… hope.
"Okay," Maggie says, in a low voice. "I want us to fix this too."
It's a decision that's made together, and when she hears that, she exhales.
Bianca finds it immensely hypocritical that her mother refuses to understand. Kendall? Barely.
Both her sister and her mother have cheated on their spouses before. Her mother is working on her eleventh wedding. Not that Bianca hasn't already lost count. Both claimed extreme circumstances. Neither can believe that Bianca Montgomery has moved Maggie back into her home, back into Miranda's life, after she has done the same thing.
"Bianca, just like that?!" Kendall ranted. "Just so easy for her to worm her way back in there. One-two-three."
What her mother says is much worse, and Bianca has bittersweet memories of Frankie. No matter how much Frankie loved her, it will never be enough for her mother in comparison to her crimes. She's afraid that Maggie has entered the same category as her murdered twin.
And Bianca supposes she understands it too. In their eyes, Maggie was their safety. Maggie was the one that they could count on to handle Bianca, to never leave her. To be at her beck and call like a loyal and trusted guardian. When Maggie 'turned gay' for her (Kendall's words, not hers), it was supposed to be a happily ever after sort of thing, because everyone had known how much Bianca had once wanted Maggie, and how much hurt and pain she had gone through with the rape and the death and rebirth of Miranda. Maggie had been her rock back then. Her gold medal. Her prize.
Because Maggie loved her, and people didn't hurt the people they loved. It was simply how it was.
Bianca, young and in love, had been foolish enough to believe in the fairytale, despite the fact that she should have known better. She knows Maggie more than anyone alive. She's seen Maggie at her worst. She's experienced more heartbreak at Maggie's hand than anyone who's ever hurt her before.
Maggie settles into the bed beside her. She starts her residency in one month, and then Bianca and Miranda will only see flashes of the tired young doctor. She'll come home to sleep, more than likely, and then she and Miranda will have to be quiet, while Maggie battles exhaustion to be a full-time lover and a parent.
"She picked the longest book in the closet," Maggie informs her, and Bianca smiles. Miranda is still afraid. She does what she can to make Maggie stay with her as long as possible, and Maggie never complains.
"She likes to hear your voice." Bianca closes the binder she's reading and reaches for the lamp. "Are you leaving early tomorrow?"
"God, yes. And I hate it. I have a five am shift," Maggie says, and Bianca immediately resigns herself to waking up with Maggie, because if it's something she's learned from years of being best friends, roommates, and then lovers, it's that Maggie is heavy footed for being such a tiny person. She sets the alarm. "But it does mean I can pick up Miranda from school tomorrow."
"Good," Bianca says, and settles into her side of the bed.
"Are you going to be late?"
"Just drinks," Bianca says. "And a 6:30PM call. I'll do it from the car."
"Should we be bad and order a pizza?"
"We're in Paris," she begins, in a conversation they've had a million times before. "And you still want to order pizza."
"I'm sorry. How about a baguette and some stinky cheese?"
Maggie curls into her side and murmurs, "I love you," and she means it.
Bianca lowers her head for a soft, chaste kiss against Maggie's full lips. "I love you, too."
Bianca has experienced a lot in her young life. She's always getting older. She is still learning.
One important lesson: it is easy, devastatingly easy, to hurt the one you love the most.
It's harder to move past the hurt. To work hard on your flaws and face them. To figure out what you can do to keep from hurting them again. To try and make the other person happy.
But, she has discovered, that if you do that?
You can be happy too.