Out of nowhere, one day, it hit her.
Her life was boring. Monumentally boring in the worst of ways. Her life was literally a museum tour and the guide for it was speaking in a monotone voice.
If there was something that she couldn't stand it was being bored. Which was why she was packing her bags and heading to a place where she was never bored.
A place where it was impossible to be bored. A place that she hadn't been in years. A place that told her who she really was. A place where she belonged and she could finally be herself without worrying.
Soon as she stepped off of the train and looked around, a warm feeling enveloped her and she smiled.
At long last, Kendall Hart was home.
Now all she had to do was drop her bags off at the Pine Valley Inn before surprising her mother and sister.
And what a surprise it was going to be. For them and everyone else in town. Because Kendall was, in most real sense of the word, Erica's daughter in every way.
Which meant where she went trouble followed.
"What's wrong?" Bianca asked, frowning as she noticed Greenlee shiver.
The two of them were lounging on Greenlee's couch, watching television together and having a nice lazy Sunday inside for once. Bianca was sitting on the far end of the couch, Greenlee tucked under her arm, while her feet rested on the coffee table.
"I don't know," said Greenlee, shivering again, a look of distaste on her fine features. "But whatever it is, I know I don't like feeling this way."
"What way?" pursued Bianca.
"Like someone is draining my trust fund," Greenlee said in grim tones, lifting her eyes up to meet Bianca's. "It's a feeling of complete and utter dread."
"Ahhh," said Bianca wisely, smiling now.
"What 'ahhh'?" asked Greenlee, narrowing her gaze as she looked at Bianca. Poking the other girl in the ribs, she said, "Don't act like you'd be perfectly fine with being poor! Who's mother got her a brand new Porsche for her seventeenth birthday, hmm?"
"I never asked for the Porsche," said Bianca innocently. "But it was nice of Mom to give it to me."
"Right," Greenlee said dryly. She then turned to focus back on the television set.
Watching Greenlee for another moment and seeing that her troubled expression wasn't leaving her, Bianca leaned down to pull the other woman closer. In a smooth movement, she whispered in her ear while her arms wrapped around Greenlee's waist.
"Hey," Bianca murmured softly, pushing some stray strands of hair away from the side of Greenlee's face to tuck them behind her ear. "What's really the matter?"
"I don't know," said Greenlee, confusion clear in her voice as she lifted her gaze to meet Bianca's. "I'm just being strange, I guess. It was like... a sinking feeling. Did you ever have that happen to you?"
"What? Like a feeling of dread?" asked Bianca softly, playing with Greenlee's hair now, winding it slowly around her finger as they talked.
"Yeah," Greenlee nodded, gently leaning back against Bianca's shoulder. "The sort of feeling that tells you something is about to go wrong."
"There's that pessimism again," Bianca teased, letting Greenlee's hair unwind from her fingers before she lightly caressed the other woman's cheek. "You should try and be more optimistic about life, Greenbeans."
"Hmm, I should, should I?" Greenlee asked, quirking an eyebrow and smiling at Bianca. "And what, pray tell, do I have to be optimistic about, Binky?"
Locking her gaze with Greenlee's and forming a definitely coy smile, Bianca said in husky tones, "Me."
"Getting awfully confident aren't we?" said Greenlee with a smile, reaching out to lightly touch Bianca's lips with the tips of her fingers. "I like that."
"You sound like Starla Reece," murmured Bianca, smiling a bit mischievously. "She said that to me."
"Oh god," Greenlee drawled, forming a put upon face as she pressed a delicate hand to her forehead. "Are you mad at me? Is that it? Why else would you insult me by comparing me to the Cyber Cowgirl?"
"Aww," Bianca said in sympathetic tones, pressing Greenlee's face gently on either side with the palms of her hands as she smiled widely. "Don't get jealous. You're the one that I'm dating, not her."
"Hmph," sniffed Greenlee, averting her eyes from Bianca's as she looked out the bay windows of her large apartment. "But this is just for show, isn't it?"
Studying Greenlee closely, Bianca moved closer as she reached out to hold Greenlee's chin in her hand and turned the other woman's head so they'd be facing. "No one is here now," Bianca murmured. "This isn't for show."
"Bianca?" Greenlee blinked. "What--?"
Lips met lips and the kiss was soft and it was tender and it was everything that a kiss should be. And it was soon interrupted by the ring of a phone.
"My cell phone," mumbled Bianca against Greenlee's lips as the tiny brunette dove in for another soft kiss, tugging gently on Bianca's lower lip. "It's ringing..."
"Ignore it," Greenlee replied hastily, breathing in the lightest scent of flowers that always seemed to cling to Bianca despite the fact that she never wore perfume. "I bet that it's no one important anyway."
"But what if it's my mom or--" Bianca protested before Greenlee seized her lips for yet another kiss. On parting, Bianca looked slightly dazed then changed her expression to hunger as she darted forward to press the other woman back into the cushions. Hovering quietly over Greenlee, she smiled softly. "My turn."
And as the phone kept ringing, Greenlee could only murmur happily in agreement as Bianca took charge of their impassioned and impromptu make out session.
Suddenly, that sinking feeling that she had from before no longer mattered all that much to Greenlee.
Even though the phone was still ringing.
She stared long and hard at the phone she held in her hand before hanging it up. Then after doing that, she stared at it some more as she formed a frown.
"That's strange," murmured Kendall. "Bianca always picks up her cell phone. Maybe she has it turned off for once." Her frown turning to a smile, she shook her head and chuckled. "She's probably avoiding Mom."
Shrugging now, Kendall sat down on her luxurious and plush bed at the Pine Valley Inn and stared up at the ceiling as she pondered what to do next. She planned on being able to get hold of Bianca and them both going to visit their mother together. That way they could share a good laugh when they saw how shocked Erica would be that she was back in town. They always loved doing things like that to their mother. Almost like it was their own way of bonding with one another.
By pulling jokes on Erica.
Because, really, if anyone in town could get away with doing that it was Bianca and Kendall. They were her precious daughters, after all, and Erica couldn't stay angry at either of them for very long anyway.
"What to do?" Kendall murmured to herself.
She didn't really know anyone in town. Well, technically, she knew quite a few people but it had been years since she lived here and the only people she had kept in contact with was Bianca and Erica. When she was still married to Del she'd occasionally talk with Dixie but ever since the divorce...
Well, since then a lot had changed.
Even her personality, it seemed. Back when they were married, when she was with Del, she had always felt so calm, so content, but she also felt stuck.
Like she was trying to be happy and in marriage, in life, you shouldn't have to try for that. It should just be that way. They both knew this and parted ways.
Oh, Kendall loved Del. She still loved him even though they were apart. It was impossible not to. He was simply the kindest man she had ever met and he had never tried to change her, not once. He loved her for who she was, the bad, the good, and the scheming. And she knew that if she should ever need him, all she had to do was call for him and he would be there to help her.
Always and until the end of time.
Lying back on the bed, Kendall peered up at the ceiling and wondered about her mother and sister. She'd talked to Erica about a month ago and she was still going on about Bianca not finding a replacement for Rain yet.
At the time, she thought it futile to argue with her mother about Bianca's love life. When the discussion was about love, Erica always thought she was right. Because who knew more about love than her?
"Who's had more husbands than her?" Kendall chuckled to herself, rolling her eyes slightly.
Still, Kendall had to agree at least partly with her mother. It had been awhile since the break up and maybe Bianca should think about dating someone new.
When she first found out about Bianca being gay it hadn't been much of a shock. Then again, her own slightly naughty adolescence had ensured that it wouldn't be.
It's hard to be shocked by things you've done yourself. Of course, unlike Bianca, she didn't really think of herself as a lesbian because of her experiences.
A few flings here and there with women hardly made her gay in Kendall's expert opinion. Especially if you consider that Del was around for some of them.
What did it make her then? Oh, she didn't know. Bisexual? Fun? Open minded? Whatever it made her, she didn't really care. Because Kendall, as always, did what she wanted no matter what other people thought.
Which reminded her... now that she was back in town she should really think about getting a job. Living in Florida, she'd worked her way up through one of the most popular fashion magazines in Miami to finally take a job as the head of photography.
But she was in Pine Valley now. And in Pine Valley, if you wanted to work for a magazine, at least, a good magazine, you really had one choice only.
You had to go to Tempo.
The problem was that Tempo was in Brooke English territory and everyone knew how Brooke felt about anything having to do with Erica Kane.
She basically loathed it through and through.
Then again, Brooke was a goody goody and Bianca was close with her daughter so maybe she had a chance after all. She did have the right credentials to land a job at any magazine to top it off.
"What the hell," murmured Kendall, pushing herself up off of the bed and rising to her feet. Studying her reflection in the long mirror that rested above the dresser and in front of the bed, she looked at the chic black suit she wore and smoothed it out. "What harm would it do to just ask her about it?"
Smiling to herself, Kendall retrieved her jacket and headed out the door. Because now she was on a personal mission. And when it came to Kendall and her having personal missions... well.
They always became a top priority.
Forty five minutes passed before the make out session came to an end. So it was forty five minutes later when Bianca checked her cell phone messages to find out who had tried to call her earlier.
And forty five minutes later she heard this:
"Hey, little sis," a warm and familiar drawl sounded and Bianca couldn't help smiling on hearing Kendall's voice. "It figures, I call you to make some mischief with me, maybe freak out our dear mother at my arrival in town, and you're not picking up your phone. What's going on? Getting the usual grilling about your lack of love life?" Kendall made a tsking sound and then chuckled, as if sensing Bianca's shock on hearing the words that she was back. "No, you're not hearing things. I'm really back. Things got a bit dull and hurricane filled down in Florida so I decided that it was time for some quality time with the family. When you're finished hiding from Mom or being antisocial, just give me a ring on my cell, okay? You know the number."
With that, the message ended and Bianca dropped her cell phone onto the couch. She then stood still and stared ahead at Greenlee with a stupefied expression.
"Bianca?" asked Greenlee, appearing worried on seeing the blank look Bianca wore on her face. "What is it? Who was on the phone?"
"My sister," whispered Bianca, looking up at Greenlee, her expression still stunned. "She's..."
"Your sister?" Greenlee frowned as she stepped closer to Bianca. "Did something happen to Kendall?"
"She's in town," Bianca said happily, a huge smile spreading across her features, brightening her expression and lighting up her entire face. "She's here now!"
"Oh yeah?" Greenlee quirked an eyebrow, vaguely curious about Bianca's sister whom she'd never met. "Why is she back in town? For business or something?"
"I don't know," said Bianca, frowning at this. She quickly brightened again and took Greenlee's hands in her own. "But she's back in town and she said that she wants me to call her!" Bianca wore another wide smile and then swung their hands back and forth.
"You seem happy about this," observed Greenlee, tilting her head, enjoying seeing this new and almost child like side to Bianca. "Are you guys close then?"
"Sort of," Bianca said softly, averting her eyes before she looked at Greenlee and smiled. She walked over to sit on the back cushion of the couch and pulled Greenlee to her, so the other woman stood between her legs while they talked. "I've been writing to her ever since she left for Florida. The correspondence was on and off for awhile but then... I wrote her again when I spent time in rehab. She really helped me sort things out."
"With you and Sarah?" asked Greenlee quietly.
"Yeah," Bianca acknowledged, smiling tenderly at Greenlee. "I never actually said it... but Kendall, she knew that I was in love with Sarah. I remember her telling me in a letter that love is never wrong and I knew she knew and she was fine with it. When I was out of rehab, I got up the courage to call her on the phone and I found out just how fine with it she was." Bianca blushed a little and coughed before she said, "Kendall... uhm... has had a few experiences of her own and isn't very judgmental about how anyone lives their life."
"Oh ho," Greenlee chuckled lowly. "So your sister is a lady killer too, huh? Does La Kane know?"
"No and don't you tell her," said Bianca in scolding tones, lightly moving Greenlee to and fro with her hands resting on the other woman's waist. "I don't need her freaking out again. Anyway," Bianca sighed. "It helped, talking to her about Sarah. Now that I think about it, she was probably the first person I came out to. Even though I never actually said the words 'I'm gay' to her."
Studying Bianca quietly, Greenlee murmured, "It sounds like she's someone pretty important to you."
"Yeah, I do care about her a lot," Bianca agreed softly. "I just wonder why she decided to come back into town. She said she got sick of Florida. Maybe she wants a change of scene after her divorce with Del..."
"A divorced lady killer?" Greenlee formed a slow and sly smirk. "My, my, this sister of yours is getting just getting more interesting by the second, Binky."
"Greenlee," said Bianca with an exaggerated groan. "Promise me you'll be on good behavior around Kendall. She's... well... she's a lot like my Mom."
"Good or bad like your Mom?" inquired Greenlee curiously, seeming to really be interested now.
"Both," said Bianca solemnly.
"Ouch," Greenlee whistled before her wide smile came back. "Now I'm even more interested in her."
Bianca merely rolled her eyes at this before she reached over to retrieve cell phone that lay on the couch and said, "Just try to be good because I'm going to call her now to see if she wants to go out to lunch and meet my brand spanking new girlfriend."
"I get to meet the family," Greenlee cooed, batting her eyelashes. "I'm so excited." She moved to whisper in Bianca's ear, "Should I go and make myself pretty?"
"You're already pretty," murmured Bianca, smiling softly as she leaned in for a tender kiss.
Pulling away from Bianca and the kiss after several moments, Greenlee said quietly, "You make me feel pretty. Still," she pondered. "I could be prettier. So I think I'll go pull that off while you call your big sis. After all, the nicer I look, the easier approval will come."
"Right," Bianca teased, watching fondly as Greenlee walked away and into the bedroom to change her outfit in preparation for their lunch date.
Then with a smile, Bianca dialed the digits to Kendall's cell phone number and waited to hear from her sister. Somehow, she knew they'd all get along.
At least, that's what she was hoping.
"You want to work... for me?"
Forming her best charming smile, Kendall said with an easy drawl, "Don't look so surprised, Ms. English. You happen to have a wonderful magazine and now that I'm back in Pine Valley, I'd love to be a part of it. I have the credentials and the experience and I think that I could help maintain and improve the quality of work here."
"Well... your resume is impressive," Brooke allowed, studying the papers that lay on her desk and the various glowing recommendations that were among them. "And your former employers all seem very pleased with the level of work that you did for them."
"Ms. English," said Kendall slowly, forming her best earnest expression as she leaned forward. "I know I made my mistakes when I was last in town. But I was just a kid back then, trying to figure out who I was. I'd like to think I've changed since then and what you see in front of you is the result. A better, more mature, woman. All I'm asking is for a chance to prove myself to you." She paused for a moment, then giving another charming smile, added humorously, "And I promise to not let my mother visit me at work, if that will help ease your mind at all."
Forming the first smile since Kendall walked through her office door, Brooke laughed quietly and then said, "That won't be necessary, Kendall. But thank you for the consideration you're trying to show me."
"No problem," Kendall said easily. "My mother can be a trial. I just want you to know that if you let me work for you, that's what will always come first. Work."
"Oh?" asked Brooke curiously.
"A divorce can leave a person not wanting to dive back into romance again," explained Kendall. "I think that I'd be better off concentrating on my professional life for now instead of the wonderful world of dating."
"I see," said Brooke. She studied the resume in front of her again before she lifted her gaze to study the smiling figure of Kendall. "All right," she began slowly. "Why don't we start you out on a single assignment and move from there? I'll pick the article tonight and assign it to you tomorrow. You work with a staff photographer I also assign, and have a week to finish it. If everything is how it should be, you're hired. How's that sound?"
"It sounds perfect," said Kendall, smiling again as she rose to her feet. "When should I be here tomorrow?"
"How about eleven?" asked Brooke, returning Kendall's smile simply by habit.
"I'll be here," Kendall replied. "Thanks for giving me this chance, Ms. English."
"Call me Brooke," murmured Brooke, watching as Kendall headed out her office door.
"Brooke it is," said Kendall charmingly. Pausing in the doorframe, she turned back at Brooke then smiled again as she said, "I'll see you tomorrow, Brooke, and without my mother at my side, to top it off."
"Spectacular," Brooke said with a laugh.
Seconds later, the door to her office closed and Brooke was left alone wondering what she'd just gotten herself into. Her life was difficult enough without stirring up her rivalry with Erica by hiring her daughter.
But Kendall was qualified and she did seem to be very talented in her work and she would be an asset to not only her but Tempo itself. It was just good business.
Still... she was Erica's daughter.
If there was one thing Brooke liked to do it was cut down her involvement with Erica to next to nothing. Which was hard as they lived in such small town.
Oh well, at least she tried.
"Pick up, pick up, pick up," Bianca was pacing somewhat anxiously, feeling excited about the prospect of seeing her sister in the flesh for the first time in years.
On hearing that easy and familiar drawl, Bianca immediately formed a huge smile and cried, "Kendall!"
"Little sis," Kendall drawled again, a pleased tone evident in her voice. "It's about time you that called. Are you avoiding me or what? I was crushed when you didn't pick up the phone before. Just crushed, I tell you."
"Yeah, yeah," Bianca laughed cheerfully. "So where are you? Do you want to have lunch with me?"
"I'm walking through the halls of Tempo and I'd love to have lunch with you," replied Kendall. "Why don't we eat at my lovely new home, The Valley Inn?"
"Sounds good," said Bianca smoothly. She then paused to blink and said, "Wait. Why are you at Tempo?"
In response, Kendall gave a low chuckle.
"Kendall..." Bianca drew her name out slowly. "What are you up to?" She blinked again as she thought of the most obvious reason for her sister being there. "Wait a minute... you didn't! You didn't get a job there!"
"I did," Kendall said, sounding smug. "I'm as good as hired. Brooke was oh so impressed with my resume."
"Mom's going to freak," said Bianca, groaning.
"Of course," said Kendall, the smirk very clear in her voice as she spoke. "Why do you think I went there? Besides it being a very good magazine, that is."
"You're bad," accused Bianca with a laugh.
"Hey, I have to get my kicks somehow," Kendall said in her usual charming tones. "It's just how I am."
"I know, and I love you for it," said Bianca warmly, smiling now. "But still... Mom's going to freak."
"And that's the fun of it," responded Kendall. "She needs some shaking up anyway. It might get her off of the whole fixation on your lack luster love life. I just hope her own wide variety of experience with divorce will keep her from lecturing me about divorce number two now."
"Speaking about my love life," began Bianca slowly. "It's changed a little bit since we last talked."
"Oh yeah?" asked Kendall, sounding interested. "Don't tell me that you've finally met someone?"
"I have," said Bianca, smiling. "In fact, it's my friend Greenlee. You remember her, right? She's the one that owns a fashion design company that just expanded into cosmetics. It's called Envy. In fact," Bianca said in slow musing. "I'm surprised you haven't heard about it yourself. We've been in the tabloids lately."
"I've been in self imposed isolation," Kendall informed. "Went off into the swamp lands of Florida after the divorce with Del."
"You didn't!" Bianca cried in surprise. "Why?"
Chuckling again, Kendall said, "You're so naive, that's why I love you I guess."
"So you didn't go into the swamps?" asked Bianca rather suspiciously.
"Of course not," Kendall chuckled. "That place is horrible for my hair. Too much humidity. I guess I've just missed seeing you guys in the news, that's all." There was a moment of silence then she asked coyly, "So tell me... is she good looking? You never told me when you were just friends. I know she's high maintenance. Any woman who is in charge of a fashion and cosmetics company and wants to compete with our mother has to be."
"You're one to talk," Bianca teased. "And yes, she's good looking. Very, if you ask me."
"Well, I did ask you," murmured Kendall in equally teasing tones. "Hmm. So you're dating a good looking, high maintenance girl, who runs a cosmetics company. Little sis, why are you dating our Mom?"
"Kendall!" cried Bianca, sounding horrified. "I can't believe you said that to me! That's just... eww!"
"Sorry," Kendall chuckled yet again. "But you have to admit, it sounds like Mommy dearest."
"Greenlee is different," Bianca said emphatically. "They might sound alike, but they're not. Greenlee is... is special, Kendall. She's sensitive... she just tries to hide it. But she cares about me, I know that she does."
"She sounds great," said Kendall quietly. "I can't wait to meet her," she announced, a smile in her voice. "I assume you're bringing her to our lunch today."
"Of course," said Bianca, smiling. "I want you both to meet as soon as possible." She peered at the clock on the wall and noted the time. "Well, I should let you go. I don't want you to talk and drive."
"What's that supposed to mean, huh?" Kendall asked, sounding almost offended.
"That if you talk to me on the phone and drive you'll end up killing yourself," replied Bianca drolly.
"I'm hurt," said Kendall.
"Yeah, right," Bianca rolled her eyes good naturedly. "So when should we meet you at the Inn?"
"How about a half an hour?" suggested Kendall. "That way I have time to pretty myself up. Big sis must do her best to impress the new girlfriend, after all."
"Right," said Bianca dryly. "I'll see you then."
"Later, little sis," said Kendall before hanging up.
Gazing at the cell phone as she turned it off, Bianca pondered just where she'd heard words similar to what Kendall had just said.
Then it hit her.
It was Greenlee. She'd said almost the exact same thing to Bianca about meeting Kendall. They both wanted to look their best to impress each other on first meeting.
So who was like who? Or were they all alike? Greenlee, Kendall, and Erica that is?
Bianca didn't know exactly but what she did know was that she was happy being with Greenlee and she was even happier with Kendall being back in town. And being this happy would definitely help her deal with Erica.
Life was finally going her way.
Or so it seemed.
MINOR EXPLANATION: Hey everyone! For those of you who don't know, in 1993, Sarah Michelle Gellar came on All My Children and played the role of Kendall Hart, Erica's illegitimate daughter. The basic explanation is that Erica was raped at fourteen by a friend of her father's and Kendall was the result. Kendall was given up for adoption and lived in Florida most of her life with her adopted family, the Harts, but on finding out Erica was her birth mother, she came to Pine Valley. I liked her character and I felt she'd be fun to write into this fic. The pix I have linked above is of SMG in the movie, Cruel Intentions. Even though I found pix online of her as Kendall, since she'll be aged in this fic, now being in her late twenties, I felt that pix would best give everyone an idea of how I see her looking right now. Phew. I hope this helped some of you who read this fic and didn't know Kendall's basic background on the show. Sorry for prattling!