Lost, and Found

by Susan P.
  Fandom: All My Children      Pairing: Lena/Bianca  
  Rating, etc.: 13+, adult situations and language  
  Spoilers: the Lena/Bianca storyline, post-rape  
  Summary: Bianca shows up at Lena's hotel room the night after the Cambias pre-trial hearing and they have a difficult, though necessary, conversation.  This departs from the show canon after the hearing.  
  Author's Notes: This is a follow-up to my previous fic, One Moment of Normal  You might want to read that one first, as it might make this one make a little more sense.   This departs from canon with regards to the night of Michael's murder.  Depending upon one's preference, Bianca's confession to Maggie about the pregnancy might or might not have happened prior to the events of this story.  As much as part of me likes vengeful!Lena, I prefer the idea of her watching over Bianca while everyone else is going on murderous rampages. Angst, hurt/comfort--emphasis on the comfort. Set after the hearing from hell was over and after the pregnancy revelation (8/26-28/03 episodes).  Thanks to Erinbree and Becky for their beta-reading services, and to Becky for the title suggestion.  
  Disclaimers: Y'all know they aren't mine. They belong to people who wouldn't know a good thing if it jumped up and bit them in the a$$. I'm just trying to fix what I can for the sake of my own sanity as a viewer.  
  Permission to Archive: Passion and Perfection. ShatterStorm Productions Anyone else, please ask first.  


Lena paced around her room again, coming back to perch on the edge of the sofa. She stared at the gun lying on the coffee table. What was she doing? She had promised Bianca. Promised she wouldn't go after Michael Cambias. When she'd gotten the gun, she'd told herself that it was just a precaution. That she just wanted to have it around in case Michael tried to torment Bianca further. Now that she had it, however, and after having seen the hopelessness in Jackson Montgomery's eyes when she'd asked him if he could put Michael away, she was wondering whether she could honor her promise. She would gladly sacrifice herself if it meant that Michael could no longer hurt Bianca. The poor woman would have enough trouble healing without his continued harassment, or, for that matter, his continued presence on this earth.

Before she could come to a decision, she was startled by a knock on the door. She couldn't imagine who it might be; it wasn't as if she had any real friends in Pine Valley who might want to drop by and chat. There was no one who could, or would even try to, comfort her in her hour of need. Bianca could, of course, but she needed to focus on her own recovery right now. So, Lena chose to remain where she was, but whoever had come by was persistent enough to knock again, louder this time. She quickly put the gun in her purse and closed it before going to the door.

Thinking at the last moment that Michael might be arrogant or angry enough to come after her, she put the bolt on the door before opening it a crack to see who it was. Seeing the young woman standing there, she scrambled to undo the latch and flung the door wide.

"Bianca.... Come in. Please."

"Is this a bad time? Were--were you busy?" Bianca seemed nervous.

"No. No, I just...I just didn't think it could be anyone I would want to see. I'm so glad you proved me wrong. Please, come in, sit down." She gestured toward the sofa.

She shut the door and locked it while Bianca took a seat. The young woman looked...shell-shocked. Even more so than when she had seen her earlier, after the hearing.

"Bianca, are you all right?" She rolled her eyes at the ridiculousness of her own question as she sat next to the young woman. She cautiously placed a hand over Bianca's. "I mean... It's just that you...you seem upset."

"Lena, I--" The young woman looked at her, faltered, and then stared down at their hands, unwilling or unable to finish her thought. Bianca turned her hand to grip Lena's tightly.

"Bianca, I--I hope you know that you can tell me anything. You don't have to, of course--we...we don't have to talk about anything, if you don't want to. But, I'm here and I can listen, if...if you need to talk." She felt like she was beginning to babble, so she stopped and waited to see whether Bianca would say anything more.

She didn't. Not at first. She took a couple of deep breaths, squeezed Lena's hand a little harder, and ran the fingers of her other hand through her hair before she looked up at Lena again. She opened her mouth as if to speak, closed it, took another deep breath, and tried again.

"I'm pregnant," her voice dropped to a whisper on the last syllable, as if it had taken everything she had to say that much, and she relaxed her grip on Lena's hand, but didn't release it.

"Oh, God..." Lena felt like she'd been kicked in the stomach, all her breath gone in a rush. Bianca might have expected her to pull away, but she wouldn't, she couldn't, unless Bianca pulled away from her first. "Oh, Bianca." She raised a shaking hand to Bianca's shoulder, wanting to pull her closer, but unsure whether Bianca would allow it.

Bianca tried to blink back her tears and leaned toward her, so Lena slid an arm across her shoulders and pulled her closer. Bianca laid her head against Lena's shoulder.

"You're sure?"

Bianca nodded. "I spoke to David this afternoon. He confirmed it. I don't..." Her voice was unsteady, "What am I going to do, Lena?"

"I--I wish I could take this burden from you, Bianca, but I can't. This decision is yours to make." She couldn't stop her eyes from straying to her purse, her thoughts taking a darker turn. "It should have been me. I--I wish it had been," she muttered.

"No, Lena," Bianca pulled back to look at her. "Don't wish that. I don't. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

Of course Bianca wouldn't; she couldn't. She was better than that. She was so much better than...all of them, really. But what Michael did to Bianca was, at least in part, his revenge against her for testifying against him, and she had been foolish enough not to take his threats seriously. That made it her fault. She couldn't change what happened, but she could find a way to make things right. She had to. For Bianca.

She didn't say any of this to Bianca. Focusing on her own guilt would do nothing to help Bianca, and that was the most important thing right now.

"Whatever happens now, whatever you decide, Bianca, I'll be there for you. I just want to help you, in any way I can. So, if you want to talk this through, I'm here."

Bianca pulled back to look at her. "I don't know, Lena. It's almost like it's not even real. Like this is all just a horrible nightmare that won't end. I don't know how to feel, much less what I want."

Lena reached out to caress Bianca's face. "This is new to you--to both of us. But, you have time, yes? You don't have to make a decision right now. You'll think it through and you'll make the right choice for you."

"And how will I know what that is?" Bianca rubbed a hand across her face.

"It will be...the choice you can live with."

Bianca fell back against Lena's shoulder and wrapped an arm loosely around her waist. "I don't know if I can live with any of this."

Lena ran a hand soothingly up and down the young woman's back.  "You can. You are stronger than you know, Bianca. You will get through this. And I'll do anything I can to help you."

Bianca just nodded against her shoulder. Lena rubbed her back slowly.

"Bianca..." she hesitated a moment, unsure whether to burden the young woman further. "I don't want to scare you, but, no matter what you decide, Michael can never know. You have to do everything possible to make sure he never finds out. If he does..."

Bianca laughed bitterly, pulling back to look at her as if she'd grown another head. "If he does, what? I'll never be free of him? I'll never be free of him as it is, Lena."

"You can be, Bianca. The Michael in your head is one you can overcome, in time, and with help. You can find peace. But, if Michael finds out you're pregnant, he won't leave you alone. He..." Even she didn't want to contemplate what Michael might do if he found out he'd fathered a child. "He won't leave you alone. If you decide to carry it to term, you should leave town before you start showing--do whatever is necessary to hide the truth from him. Assuming Michael is still here."

"Why wouldn't he be?"

Lena's gaze flicked guiltily to her purse, contemplating what she might have to do to protect Bianca, before coming up with what she hoped would be a convincing answer. "He got lucky in court today, but the corporate charges against him are more solid, I think. He might think so, too, and he might try to get out of town before that trial."

Bianca shook her head numbly as it all sank in. "Oh God...I don't want to think about all this right now."

"Then try not to. You look tired. You should rest."

Bianca shook her head sadly. "I don't know that I can."

"Try. I'll watch over you." She smoothed a hand across Bianca's hair, trying to convey all her care and concern through that one, simple gesture.

Bianca just looked up at her, looking lost, and found, all at once. She shifted to lie down on her side, curling up on the narrow couch and pillowing her head against Lena's thigh.

Lena threaded her fingers through Bianca's hair repeatedly, hoping to lull her into sleep. Several minutes later, Bianca's breathing had slowed, and she thought she had succeeded. But then Bianca stirred a little. "Lena?" she murmured sleepily.

"Yes, sweetheart. Can I get you something?"

"No, I... What would you do if it were you?"

"I don't know, Bianca." She was actually fairly certain about what she would do if Michael had violated her in that way. If she were pregnant with his child, her hatred for him would, no doubt, influence her decision. But she wasn't Bianca. Bianca was her own woman, and Lena knew she had no right to try to influence her. So, rather than take a chance that Bianca might make assumptions about what she would want her to do, she lied. She felt guilty for even that small bit of deception, given her history of lying to Bianca, but she hoped it was for the greater good.

"If I did decide to have the baby..."

She didn't even have to think about it. "I would be by your side every step of the way, if you let me."

"And if I decided to keep it? Could you...?"

That question was somewhat harder to answer. "Bianca... Can you say, at this moment, after everything you've been through and knowing what kind of a monster Michael is, that you could love this child, unconditionally, and care for it the rest of your life?"

Bianca turned her head slightly to look up at her. "I..."

When Bianca didn't finish the thought, she said, "You see? It's a hard question to answer right now. We both need time to come to terms with what this means. But, although this is Michael's child, it is also yours. If, ultimately, you decide that you want this child--that you can put aside the circumstances of its conception and love it in spite of everything--then..." she sighed, "how can I do less?"

"There's just no chance you're going to give me a hint about what to do, is there?" Bianca grinned up at her sleepily.

"I'm afraid not. It wouldn't make things easier for you, and you would only resent me for it. But, I will do my best to support you, whatever decision you make."

"Thank you, Lena." Bianca turned again, snuggling against her.

Lena's fingers automatically started combing through Bianca's hair again. "Bianca, will you do something for me?"


"Consider talking to someone--a professional? Just think about it? It might help."

"You think I should?"

"I do. I've been thinking about seeing a counselor myself."


"Yes. So that I can know how best to help you. So I won't burden you too much with my feelings, while you are trying to deal with your own."

"You feel what you feel, Lena. Why should that be a burden to me?"

"Because you're always so concerned about everyone's feelings but your own, and you don't need to worry about taking care of me or anyone else right now. You need to take care of yourself first, and not worry so much about the rest of us."

"I'll try. And I'll think about seeing a counselor. I promise."

"Good. Now, try to sleep. You need your rest."

"I'm so tired," and she sounded like it. "I've been having trouble sleeping."

"Just try to relax, my love. I'm here, and I won't let anyone hurt you."

It wasn't long before Bianca was sleeping peacefully--or seemed to be. Lena braced an arm against the back of the sofa and tried to rest her head in the crook of her arm to watch the young woman sleep. It wasn't the most comfortable position, but she could stay like that all night, as long as Bianca was at peace and sleeping comfortably.


Lena sat on the sofa in her room, Bianca's head still pillowed on her lap. She was dozing lightly when she heard a faint ringing coming from the vicinity of the coffee table. She eased forward gingerly, trying not to wake Bianca, and managed to grasp a corner of the young woman's purse. If it were her own phone ringing, whoever it was could wait. Bianca was all she cared about right now. If someone were trying to reach Bianca, however, they deserved to know that she was all right.

She retrieved Bianca's ringing cell phone out of her purse and answered quietly, "hello?"

"Uh, yeah. Who's this?" came the unfamiliar male voice.

"You are trying to reach Bianca?"

"Oh, yeah," he sounded relieved, "this is Reggie."

She recognized the name, at least. "I'm sorry, Reggie. This is Lena. Bianca is here with me."

"Oh-okay. I was a little worried. Jack wanted me to look after her, but she took off without saying where she was going. How's she doin'?"

She looked down to make sure she hadn't disturbed Bianca. "As well as can be expected, I guess. She's sleeping right now."

"That's good. I don't think she's been sleepin' much lately. Tell her I called to check on her, okay?"

"I will. And I'll make sure she gets home all right."

"Good. Lena...you take care of her, okay?"

"I will, Reggie." It was the easiest promise she could have made.

They said their good-byes and Lena hesitated a moment before looking up Erica's number in the phone's directory and dialing. Erica's cell phone rang several times before the other woman finally picked up.

"Hello?" Erica sounded winded, though Lena couldn't think why she would be. It was hard to imagine Erica Kane breaking a sweat for anything.

She took a deep breath, preparing for whatever tirade Erica might unleash at hearing her voice, and that Bianca was with her. "Yes, Erica, it's Lena. I didn't want you to worry. Bianca is here at the hotel, with me. She came to see me earlier, to talk, but she was so tired, she fell asleep. She seemed so exhausted before that I...I don't want to wake her, but I assure you that I will take her home when she's ready." She'd said it all in a rush, trying to get it all out before Erica could break in and start accusing her of something. She took another deep breath.

"Oh, okay, that's fine. Um, how long has she been there?" 

Erica had taken the news surprisingly well, Lena thought, though she did seem a bit distracted.

"Um..." Lena craned her neck to look at the clock on the nightstand--almost ten. "About an hour and a half."

"Good, that's good," she still sounded preoccupied. "Would anyone have seen her there? I mean: does anyone else know she's there?"

Lena pulled the phone away from her ear to look at it a moment. This was turning into such an odd conversation. She put the phone back to her ear quickly. "Well, I--I don't know who might have seen her downstairs before she came up, but Reggie just called her cell to check on her, so he knows where she is."

"Okay. She's been sleeping? How long?"

"About an hour."

"Any nightmares?"

"None that took hold. She got a little agitated once, but I..." she hesitated before revealing this detail, "petted her hair and it seemed to calm her."

"Good. Look, just let her stay there tonight and get a full night's sleep if she can. Bring her home in the morning."

"Okay. If she wants to stay."

"Lena, do me a favor?"

"If I can, yes."

"As soon as you get off the phone, order something from room service and see if you can get her to eat a little when she wakes up."

Lena blinked in confusion. "But, I don't want to wake her."

"Lena, please, just do as I ask, and don't argue with me on this." There was the trademark impatience Lena had come to expect from Erica Kane. "And you don't need to wake her, just have something there in case she wakes up--she probably hasn't eaten in hours."

"Um, okay." It wouldn't do to argue with La Kane over something so trivial.

"Good. And Lena..." she hesitated a moment before continuing, "thank you. For taking care of her."

"You don't have to thank me for that. I will do everything I can to make sure nothing ever hurts her again." It came out sounding a little more intense than she had intended, but she meant every word.

"Yes, well... Thank you for letting me know where she is."

"You're welcome. Good night, Erica."

"Good night."

Lena turned the phone off, looked at it, and muttered, "who are you and what have you done with Erica Kane?"

She looked down at Bianca, who showed no signs of stirring. After putting Bianca's phone back into her purse and dropping it on the corner of the coffee table, she grabbed the pillow next to her. She very slowly and very carefully lifted Bianca's head, cradling it in her hand as she carefully slid from her seat and put the pillow in place before easing Bianca's head down to rest on it. Bianca, as if sensing the change, fidgeted a moment before settling back into slumber.

Lena walked over to the room's phone and dialed room service. She ordered some croissants, a couple of pieces of fruit, some orange juice and a coffee for herself, and then grabbed a light blanket, covering Bianca with it before sitting in the nearby chair to watch over her.

When the food arrived, she cautioned the server to be quiet, for the sake of her sleeping companion, but by the time the young man left, Bianca was stirring.

"L--Lena," she croaked.

"I'm right here." Lena moved quickly back to the chair near the sofa. "I'm sorry, I--I didn't mean to wake you."

"s'okay." Bianca pushed up onto her elbow, looking a little disoriented. She looked down at the pillow, then up at Lena, and then she noticed the blanket. She looked back at Lena. "I must've been really tired, huh?"

Lena smiled down at her sadly. "You still are, I think. You have every reason to be. In fact, you should probably lie back down; get some more sleep."

Bianca sat up and ran a hand through her hair. "Maybe. Later, though." She nodded over toward the room service cart. "You were hungry?"

She wasn't really. After Bianca's news, she wasn't sure she would have much of an appetite for quite a while, but she decided to fake it, hoping she could coax Bianca to eat something, as well. "Yes, a little. I just ordered something light. Will you join me?"

"Um, sure."

They both ate a little--each more for the sake of the other than herself--not talking much. They'd both given up on the food when Lena spoke. "Reggie called to check on you. I told him where you were, and then I called your mother to let her know."

Bianca looked at her quizzically. "That must have been an interesting conversation!"

Lena frowned, "it was...but not for the reasons you might imagine. She didn't go on the offensive the way I expected her to, though she did grill me on how long you'd been here and who else might know you were here."

"Who else might know I'm here? That's an odd question."

"I thought so, too, but the conversation was going fairly well, and I didn't want to push it. She seemed rather distracted. She even thanked me for taking care of you."

"Hmm. Well, she's been in a session with her lawyers trying to find a way to deal with the situation at Enchantment. You might have caught her at a weak moment."

"Maybe," Lena muttered. She couldn't shake the feeling that Erica's preoccupation didn't have anything to do with business, since she had seemed very focused on Bianca. But her suspicions refused to gel into any concrete theory, so she didn't see the need to mention it to Bianca. "She actually suggested that you stay here tonight and get as much sleep as you can." Lena tried to keep her voice neutral; she didn't want Bianca to feel pressured to stay if she were uncomfortable with the idea.

"Well, well," then, as if on cue, Bianca broke into a yawn before she could continue, "she really must have been distracted."

Lena smiled, glad that Bianca hadn't seemed to react to the idea of staying the night. "You're so tired, Bianca, you really should rest." She stood and held a hand out to Bianca to pull her to her feet. "Come. I'll turn down the bed for you."

Bianca's hand was warm in hers, and she followed willingly until they turned to face the bed. Then she stiffened and stopped in her tracks. Lena turned back to face the young woman and tried not to react to the fear playing across Bianca's features.

"Bianca," she ran a thumb across the back of Bianca's hand, and waited until those big, brown eyes met hers. She was afraid of saying too much, but she was equally afraid that if she tried to ignore Bianca's reaction, it would only engender misunderstandings that would be harder clear up later. "Bianca, my feelings haven't changed. If anything, I--I love you more. I can't imagine not wanting to be with you--in every possible way. But you must know that I would never, never push you into any...intimacies that you're not ready for. In fact, when you are ready to...make love, you might have to push me a little. So I'll know that you're sure."

Bianca held up a hand to stop her. "Lena, I--I'm sorry. I know that you would never hurt me that way. I do. It's just that it's hard, sometimes, being touched, and it's not about you, or anyone else I've flinched away from the past few weeks. I can't seem to control or predict the reaction, and I don't want to do that to you, but if I do...try not to take it personally, okay?"

Lena just nodded, sensing that Bianca had more to say.

"And I--" Bianca blew out a breath as though frustrated. "The last time I was in your bed...I was so happy. I wish I were able to get to that place again, but right now I'm so messed up it's like I can't even see it from here."

"Bianca, that's okay. You'll need time to heal. And you've got time, because I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here for you. In whatever capacity you want, for as long as you'll let me."

Bianca said nothing at first, just moved to embrace her, burying her head against Lena's shoulder. When she did speak, it was in a small, fearful voice. "I'm just afraid... What if I'm never ready to--to be with you again?"

"I could bear anything, so long as we were together. Besides," she tried to sound more lighthearted than she felt, "it isn't as if I don't know how to pleasure myself, if the need becomes great enough."

Bianca didn't seem to appreciate the humor of the remark. She pulled back and studied Lena's face, as if to assess her seriousness. "You deserve so much more than that, Lena. You deserve someone who can give you...everything."

Lena reached out to cup Bianca's cheek. "As long as I have your heart, Bianca, I will want for nothing."

Bianca fell against her again, burrowing into her shoulder and squeezing her tightly. She took a chance and rubbed a hand up and down Bianca's back, hoping to soothe her.

"Now, that's enough serious talk for one night, I think. You really should sleep. If--if staying here would be too...strange for you, then I can drive you home."

Bianca pulled back to look at her, slowly shaking her head. "That won't be necessary."

Lena tried to temper the smile that insisted on blooming across her face. "All right. If it would be more comfortable, you take the bed and I'll sleep on the sofa."

Bianca's eyes lit up in amusement. "You? On that sofa? You'd have to fold yourself in half! No, Lena, we'll share the bed. It'll be okay. Really. But first, I don't suppose you have an extra toothbrush?"

She smiled back at the young woman. "I do, actually." At Bianca's raised eyebrow, she quickly added, "from when my mother was here. There was an extra in the package. I'll get it for you."

They stepped into the bathroom and Lena dug the extra toothbrush out of a drawer. She handed it to Bianca and then proceeded to brush her own teeth. She finished first.

"Did you want to take a shower? Or, I could draw you a bath?"

Bianca, mouth still full of toothpaste, just shook her head.

"Okay." She grabbed a washcloth and put it on the vanity, should Bianca want to wash her face. "Oh, let me get you something to sleep in. Be right back."

She hurried into the other room and retrieved a pair of silk lounging pajamas for them, keeping the bottoms for herself, and grabbing a souvenir t-shirt her mother had sent from Chicago to go with it. The pajama top, a little large on her, would be the equivalent of a nightshirt on Bianca. She went back into the bathroom to find Bianca drying her face on a towel.

"Here. This should do."

Bianca took it and held it up against her body. The hem fell about mid-thigh.

"If you'd like something to go under it, I could--"

"No, this will be fine."

"Um, okay. With or without the comforter? The bed, I mean."

"Um, without."

"Okay." Not sure what else to say, she turned to go change in the other room. She left the bathroom door ajar, letting Bianca decide whether she needed to close it for extra privacy.

She quickly stripped out of her dress and pulled her slip off over her head before removing her bra. She dropped them all on the bed temporarily until she could change into the t-shirt and pajama bottoms. That done, she grabbed her discarded clothing and casually dropped them in a chair on the other side of the bed, before pulling the comforter back toward the foot of the bed. Sensing no movement from the bathroom, she quickly wheeled the room service cart out into the hall, shut and locked the door, turned out the overhead light, and turned on the lamp on what would be Bianca's side of the bed, before slipping under the covers herself. 

When Bianca came out of the bathroom, Lena was lying on her back, trying to feign sleep. She had decided against turning on her side to face either the wall or Bianca's side of the bed, afraid that Bianca would misinterpret either gesture. She willed herself not to turn and look at Bianca--knowing without seeing that the young woman would look unbearably sexy in that silk top. It seemed almost improper to feel desire for her lover when Bianca was so wounded, but she was human, after all. It just seemed safer to close her eyes against any temptation.

She lay very still as Bianca climbed into bed, allowing Bianca to decide how close she wanted to get to her. When the light went out, Lena took a chance and opened her eyes, but still didn't look at her companion. Bianca turned and scooted up next to her.



In answer, Bianca grabbed her arm and slid beneath it to nestle against her side. "If we're both gonna be nervous, we can just be nervous together."

"Oh, Bianca." She blinked back tears as she guided Bianca's head to rest against her shoulder.

"If I have any nightmares..."

"I'll do my best to chase them away."


The End

© October 2003