Fantasy Lianca Dialogue II

by Susan P.
  Fandom: All My Children      Pairing: Lena/Bianca  
  Rating, etc.: 13+, for adult concepts  
  Spoilers: The Lena/Bianca storyline, circa December 2003, specifically, the events in 12/17/2003 episode.  
  Summary: This is the how I would rather have seen the little Lena/Maggie confrontation play itself out. The first ten lines or so of dialogue were lifted directly from the 12/17/2003 episode. The rest is mine, and as such, a departure from show canon.  
  Author's Notes: Although this departs from canon in the sense that Bianca didn't witness the Maggie/Lena conversation and the Lianca conversation is entirely my invention, I ended it at a place where the next canon Lianca scenes (from 12/18/03) could be seen as logically following after mine.  
  A/N 2: There's minimal Maggie-bashing in this piece, but that's more due to Bianca's influence than my own.  But, I was pissed at Maggie (and everyone else, really) for not showing Lena one ounce of compassion in regards to her suicide attempt, so that may show through. Plus, I was pissed off at Lena for giving Maggie potential ammunition against her for later, so having Binks show up was my way of 'fixing' both of the biggest problems I had with those scenes.  
  Disclaimers: At the time, these characters belonged to ABC, and this storyline was--unfortunately--being directed by Megan McTavish.  
  Permission to Archive: Passion and Perfection. ShatterStorm Productions Anyone else, please ask first.  


"Bianca won't know. She doesn't know, okay?"

Bianca pulled up short at hearing Lena's words. Part of her wanted to turn and run away, or just barge in before Lena could say more. She was almost afraid to think about what Lena might be keeping from her now.

"Lena, you are not leaving until you tell me what happened."

"When Bianca was p-- When I found out that Bianca was having an abortion, I...I couldn't handle it. I did something stupid. Something I regret."

"Oh great, more regrets. That's just perfect."

Bianca didn't understand where Maggie's antagonistic attitude toward Lena was coming from. Lena had done nothing lately but try to help her, why couldn't Maggie see that?

"I was being selfish. Yes. I felt partly to blame for the pain that she was in. I--I didn't handle it very well."

"Well, what did you do?"

"I took some of the poison that I put in Michael's allergy pills."

Bianca's knees went weak and she felt sick from the shock of hearing Lena's words. She put a hand against the wall to brace herself and tried to breathe deeply to calm her roiling emotions.

"How could you possibly do that to her?"

She wanted to rush in and defend her... what? Her mind and her heart screamed 'lover,' but she knew it wasn't that simple any more. Or maybe things were simpler than she wanted to admit. Lena's admission had hit her hard, stolen her breath and what little sense of equilibrium she'd regained since the explosion. There was nothing unambiguous about the terror she felt upon realizing she could have lost Lena, permanently.

"I thought at the time I--I was doing it for her. I--I don't expect you to understand..."

"No, I don't. God, and the last thing that she needs to hear is that you tried to kill yourself because you couldn't stand to see her in all that pain."

Maggie's reaction gave Bianca the impetus she needed to get moving.

"That's enough, Maggie."

"Bianca!" both women exclaimed at once. Maggie rushed to her side. Lena was much more hesitant. She took a step forward, reaching out with both hands, but then seemed to think better of it and dropped them, looking guilty and a little fearful.

"Bianca, you're all right?" Lena questioned.

"Yeah, what happened? Are you okay?" Maggie added.

"I--I'm okay. A little shaky still, but it's just a concussion."

"What about the..." "And the baby?" the two asked together.

"The baby's fine. I had to do some quick thinking at the hospital, but I got lucky. There's a new doctor there who didn't recognize me, so I gave a fake name. They put the baby on a fetal monitor and everything is fine. And David checked me over later when I got in a little trouble after ducking out of the hospital."

"Bianca," Lena asked, "are you sure you should be out? Shouldn't you be resting? A concussion..."

"Yes, I should be resting, but I'm okay, Lena. I have a taxi waiting downstairs and I just came by for a change of clothes for tomorrow. But don't think this lets either of you off the hook. Maggie, I really don't know what's going on with you lately, but I don't want to hear you talk to Lena like that. If you can't try to see things from her point of view, or at least be civil to her, then keep it to yourself, okay?"

Maggie looked like she really wanted to protest, but instead she just nodded and mumbled, "okay."

"Good. And, as for you..." Bianca turned to Lena who stood stock still, eyes flickering between her face and the floor, looking as if she were bracing for a blow.

Bianca stepped closer to Lena and intertwined their fingers, pulling Lena's hands toward her.

"I would never, could never, be better off without you in my life. I'm so, so sorry I ever gave you reason to believe that."

Lena's eyes were wide open and riveted to hers. "Bianca, it's not... You don't have any reason to apologize to me."

She rubbed her thumbs across the backs of Lena's hands. "I think maybe I do. I shut you out of my life for months, when all you wanted was to help me. I was so wrapped up in what I was going through that I didn't really think about what that would do to you. Or, I did think about it, but it was all too much and I just couldn't..."

"Bianca, don't." Lena looked pained.

"I have to, Lena. I can't bear the thought that...that you were in so much pain that you would even consider..." She couldn't even say the words; it was too horrible to contemplate. She noted vaguely that Maggie had left the room. Bianca supposed that she'd wanted to give them some privacy. "Lena, I'm so tired of all the guilt and the blame, but I have to take responsibility for my behavior and for what it did to you."

"Bianca, I'm not proud of what I did, but I'm getting help--I'm seeing a therapist. It will never happen again. I promise. You don't have to worry about me. I just want you to heal. I want you to find happiness again, with or without me."

"I don't want to be happy if it's without you, Lena. I don't know what I'm ready for right now. I know I'm not ready to be...with we were, but I do want you in my life. I just need you to be patient, if you can."

"Bianca, I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here for you, no matter what."

They gravitated toward each other and slipped into a tentative embrace. Lena turned her head to place a tender kiss on Bianca's temple, and Bianca reveled in the brief contact. She snuggled into the crook of Lena's neck, whispering a nearly silent, "I love you." Lena's arms tightened around her--the only sign she gave of having heard.

That was how Maggie found them.

"Okay, you two. Break it up." She held up a small backpack. "Here you go, Bianca. Jammies, clothes for tomorrow, toothbrush and the like." She moved around to the front of the couch, grabbed the rubber duck and tucked it into the front pouch of the backpack. "Where are you going to be staying?"

"Stuart and Marian's cottage on the Chandler estate. It's kind of a long story, but I'll tell you later."

"I'll look forward to it. Now, you need to get some rest." Maggie handed the backpack to Lena. "You take care of her." 

There was an undercurrent of defeat in Maggie's seemingly upbeat and no-nonsense tone that puzzled Bianca, but she was so distracted by Lena's presence, by how much they had yet to say to one another, that she decided to pursue things with Maggie later.

"I will," Lena replied immediately.

"Fine. So? Get out of here, already!"

Bianca was halfway to the door before she thought to ask her friend. "Hey, what about you? Where will you stay tonight?"

"Oh, I don't know... It seems safe enough here, for now. I'll stay here for a while, at least, and try to clean up a little. Then, if it gets weird, I'll just go...hang out with David, or something."

"Yeah. Why don't you do that? Or, if he's tied up at the clinic or something, you could go by Myrtle's, or even my mom's Penthouse. I'm sure either one of them would take you in for the night."

"I'll keep that in mind." Maggie smiled, but even in the dark, Bianca could see it didn't reach her eyes. "Now, go on, you two. I'll be fine."

"Okay," Bianca relented. "I'll see you tomorrow."

They walked out, and Maggie closed the door behind them before slumping against it.

Bianca looked back at the door a moment before asking Lena, "you've got your car?"

"Yes." Lena fumbled in her purse a moment, then pulled out a couple bills. "Here. Why don't you pay your taxi fare and I'll give you a ride back. Unless you'd rather..."

"No. That's a good idea. We should talk."

Lena nodded. "I'll bring the car around."

Once they were in Lena's car and on their way, an uneasy silence settled over them. Bianca sensed that she would have to be the one to break it, if they were going to make any progress.

"So, you wanna tell me about it?"

Lena swallowed and took a deep breath. "I suspect you heard enough to know the basics. Do you really need to know all the details?"

"I don't know. Maybe. Would it hurt too much to talk about it?"

"Not really. I just... I feel foolish, and selfish, and I'm not sure... Would hearing me talk about it do anything more than hurt you needlessly?"

"It may hurt, Lena, but if this is ever going to work, we need to be able to be honest with each other, even when it's about how much we're hurting. Maybe especially then. Besides, I'm tired of everyone trying to protect me, like I'm some kind of emotional cripple who'll disintegrate under the slightest stress. That might have been true, at first, but I'm getting better, and being sheltered from life isn't going to help me in the long run."

"Okay. You're right. I just... You've been hurt enough, I don't want to add to it."

"But, Lena, don't you think that holding things back before might have contributed to..." She still couldn't say it. Some example she was setting for being open and honest. "I mean, all that time when I was keeping you at a distance, did you have anyone you could talk to?"

"Not consistently, no. I don't really have many friends here. You, of course, and now Kendall, too, but at the time she was as wrapped up in her sense of guilt over what happened as I was and there were few others I would have trusted enough to talk with about you. I spoke to your uncle and to Myrtle once or twice, and to Maggie a few times. None of which helped my case with her, it seems. I was just so desperate for any news, any sign that you were all ri-- That you were healing. Maybe I should have started seeing a therapist earlier. Maybe I wouldn't have..." her voice trailed off. It seemed she was unwilling to say the words, too, whether for Bianca's sake, or her own.

"Lena, I'd apologize for Maggie, but I really don't know what's going on with her right now."

"It seems clear enough. She doesn't approve of me."

"I don't know about that. There's more going on with her, but I haven't been able to figure it out. There have been times she's been your biggest booster, but lately... I don't know. I tried to get her to talk to me about it, but she didn't really explain anything."

She was silent a moment, her thoughts led astray by the Maggie issue, but she soon got back on track.  "Lena, I'm sorry I left you hanging all those months. I was just so...messed up after the rape, and so afraid of how much you made me feel, at a time I wished like hell I couldn't feel anything. I should have told you what happened. God, I should have done so many things differently."

"Bianca, don't..."

"I know, I know. My therapist and I have been over and over the blame thing, but... I can't deny how my actions made a bad situation worse, and not just for me, but for everyone around me. And I'm sorry that I left you out there to try to deal with it all on your own. My therapist has actually suggested more than once that you need to be part of my recovery process, and that maybe you should come in for a session or two with me."

"And how do you feel about that?"

"I think that I may be ready to try it, if you're willing?"

"Sure. Whenever you like. Actually, my therapist has suggested something similar, too, but I told her no. I didn't want to burden you."

"Well, if you're willing to try with me, I could certainly do the same for you, if you want?"

"Okay. I'll consider it."

"So, that day when I saw you in the hospital, it wasn't food poisoning?"

Lena looked as though she'd rather be anywhere else, at that moment. "No."

"And this happened the night you overheard Maggie and I at the boathouse talking about the pregnancy?"


Not satisfied with monosyllabic answers, Bianca probed, "Lena. Can you tell me why?"

Lena's shoulders slumped in defeat. " hurt me so much, knowing that the pregnancy would just mean more pain for you, something else for you to deal with that you shouldn't have to. And...Maggie was right, in a way. I mean, I didn't bring Michael to Pine Valley, but... If I had never let him know how much I had come to care for you... If he weren't trying to get back at me for testifying against him, he might not have chosen you as a target. He might just have taken his rage out on me directly and been done with it."

"And that would have been better?"

"It would have been better for you." 

And somehow Bianca knew without a doubt that that was all that mattered to Lena. That Lena would have willingly sacrificed herself if it meant she would remain safe. Bianca didn't know how to respond to that, since a part of her was glad that Lena hadn't suffered any more at Michael's hand than she had already.

"So, you left the boathouse, and then what?"

"I...went back to my room at the Pine Cone. I couldn't bear the thought that you were in so much pain, and that I was at least partly to blame for it. I--I didn't think you could ever forgive me--and I wasn't sure you should, either. And I thought you might actually be better off without me around."

"Plus, you were alone and you had no one to turn to."

"Yes. I mean, thank God for Kendall. If it hadn't been for her..."

"Wait a minute, Kendall knows about this?"

Lena winced, feeling guilty at having brought Kendall into it. "Yes. Don't be angry with her for not telling you. She only wanted to protect you. She and Boyd came to the Pine Cone to offer me the CFO job. They found me passed out in my room and got me to David's clinic, where they pumped my stomach before sending me on to the hospital."

"David, too, huh? God, Lena, if Kendall hadn't found you..." she shivered at the thought.

"I know. Believe me, I'm very grateful to all of them for saving me. It was a stupid thing to do."

"Yes. It was."

"Well, Kendall already, how you say, 'tore me a new one' for not thinking about what my suicide might do to you. And I swear to you, Bianca, it won't happen again. I promise."

"Kendall was right, in a way, but I'm sorry she wasn't kinder to you about it."

"She has been kind enough, in her way."

"Yeah, well, I'm sure she doesn't understand what could drive someone to do something like that. Kendall's first, last, and every instinct is to fight. Always. I can't imagine her ever being so deep in despair that she couldn't fight her way out. But I... I can understand it, though. There were times after the rape when I just... I wanted it all to end. I thought about...ending it."

Lena gripped the steering wheel, hard. "I'm so glad you had more courage than I did. I don't want to lose you either, Bianca."

"I know, Lena. And for the record, I don't think what you did was out of cowardice. I'm just very, very grateful you weren't successful."

"I am, too, Bianca."

Bianca vaguely took note of where they were just in time to direct Lena through the last few necessary turns to get them to their destination. After parking, they sat in the car for a moment.

Finally, Bianca asked, "Do you want to come in for a while?"

"Are--are you sure? I wouldn't want to keep you from your rest..."

"Yes, I'm sure, Lena. I can rest as well with you here as without. Besides, you might be able to divert Babe's attention a little. That's JR Chandler's wife. She seems nice enough, but she's a bit of a chatterbox."

"Well, I'll do my best to distract her, then, so you can rest."

As it turned out, they needn't have worried. There was no sign of Babe when they went in, but there was a nice fire burning in the hearth, so she'd either just left or she was upstairs. Lena helped Bianca get settled in on the couch, then sat on the floor in front of it and leaned back against it to watch over the young woman.

A lot of the 'serious' talk out of the way, they were content to talk about more mundane things: Lena's job with Kendall, Lena's mother, Bianca's classes and her worries over Kendall's situation, etc. They talked off and on until Bianca drifted off to sleep, after which Lena rose up on her knees to pull the blanket over Bianca's shoulders.

"Good night, my love," she whispered, then sat down again to watch Bianca sleep for a while.


The end

© December 2003