Chapter: chapter 8a (the courtroom story arc)
note: thus far in Dichotomy, Vanessa hasn't yet been caught though the noose is tightening. Anna is already chief of police.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie and Bianca had a confrontation. Their relationship is over. Frankie is paralysed and facing charges of murder. She contacted a mysterious person by phone asking for help.
setting: The police station. Anna's office.
She going through files, a knock on the door makes her look up. It's Chris Stamp.
"You wanted to see me?"
"Yes, come on in." She perches on her desk. "Close the door behind you."
"IS this about a lead on Proteus b/c if it isn't I gotta wonder why you called."
"I need you to defend Frankie Stone." She says, direct.
Stamp looks at her wide eyed and shakes his head. "You've gotta be pullin' my chain darlin' Cuz I'm not going over to Erica, you remember Erica Kane don't you? The woman I'm in love with? I am not going to her and telling her that I'm defending the girl she blames for putting her and her daughter's lives in danger not only once, but twice."
Non-plussed she slaps a folder to his chest which he takes on reflex. "Did you read the report? And don't call me darling."
"No but I heard." He begins to leaf through it. "She obviously knew the guy no matter what she said. She took Erica's gun and shot-" He stops as something catches his eye.
Anna crosses her arms over her chest and asks off-handed, "Come across something interesting did we?"
He looks from the paper to her. "This can't be right."
"I had the forensics lab run it three time to make sure. Do you have any idea how the woman you love has gun powder residue on her clothes yet Frankie, who from her own confession shot the gun, has none whatsoever."
"This can't be right." Stamp repeated.
"But it is." Anna leans on her desk, hands spread. "Do you see now why Erica needs you to get to the bottom of this? And the only way we're going to be able to do that is for you to find out what Frankie really knows."
"It doesn't make sense. Why would, how?"
"That's what I need you to find out. For all three of their sakes."
"All three? Who are we talkin' about here?"
"Frankie, Erica, and the woman who needs them both: Bianca Montgomery. I saw her at the hospital Chris. The poor girl was lost at the thought of losing her mother. When she found out about Frankie's condition you could see her heart break right before your eyes. Meanwhile Frankie is shoving everyone out of her life and cutting herself off completely."
Stamp considered. "Sounds like someone trying to hide."
"And I know part of it but not all."
"What have you got."
Anna pulls out a letter from a couriered package. And a disc.
"Only the evidence we need to find and convict Proteus."
Stamp looks to her shocked.
Anna's face is grim.
Chapter: chapter 8b (the courtroom story arc)
note: We're finally at an update point of 'not written scenes'./ Vanessa has been arrested due to the evidence on the disc Anna gave Chris in exchange for his help in defending Frankie at court. In the occurrence, Vanessa had threatened Greenlee. Vanessa is now in custody. Stamps defending Frankie has strained his relationship with Erica. (I don't write the stuff out as I wish to focus more on the main players in my story. Hope you don't mind.)
Special thanks to 'Tera-la' for a much appreciated hug at a much appreciated time..
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Contrary evidence was revealed as to who indeed may have fired the gun. Anna used the proteus disc Frankie gave her in order to get Chris to be Frankie's defence lawyer.
The court room was packed with a who's who of Pine Valley's best , brightest and most wicked. Everyone wanted to know about the girl who fell from the top of a building with none other than Erica Kane. Murder and mystery. The blood hounds were out in droves, cameras flashing, crowding the doors for the slightest bit of news or gossip.
Inside the judge banged his gable. "Let the proceedings begin. Mr. Stamp what is your client's verdict."
Stamp rises, giving a regretful while angered look back to a very irate Erica sitting in the room with her daughter and Opal. "My client pleads not guilty. I It was obviously self-defence your honour. We also request that my client who poses no threat to society, be released from custody."
Jackson rises smoothing his suit jacket as he does so. "Objection your honour. Frankie Stones prior involvement with a known drug lord as well as having no ties here in town make her a considerable flight risk. The prosecution would ask that bail be set and set high."
"This is absurd! She can't even walk. Your honour, the girl is in a wheelchair, she needs medical attention. As for ties, she has her cousins Leo Dupres and Doctor David Hayward as well as being close to her cousin's wife, Anna Duvane our chief of police! Your honour, she has ties with some upstanding members of this community and despite the tragedy that has befallen her, she sits here willing to attend all legal procedures with the respect and consideration due the court."
"Your honour," Jackson argued, "those ties the defence mentions are characters who are themselves circumspect. Leo Dupres is a con artist. David Hayward has faced charges in this court before. Very serious ones. It proves only that she has connections to family members who are not above breaking the law."
"This is unfair and a prejudicial statement of the prosecution," Stamp rebutted in his heavy New York accent, " He has personal antagonism towards David Hayward and it's no secret that he is butting heads withthe Chief of Police. My client is prepared to meet all conditions the court will set out for her release while the trial continues. She has been so cooperative that she has handed over evidence which has led to the identification and arrest of Proteus, a major drug lord."
"Proteus, if I might remind the court, " Jackson put in, "is none other than the defendant's aunt! We can't be sure what ties she may have to leave the city let alone the country. As for this evidence she has put forward, defence has failed to mention that Frankie Stone had that evidence for some time and has only now released it to the police. She is self-serving. And considering all of the above as well as the severity of the case, it is murder we are trying here, the prosecution asks your honour to consider the safety of the community and that justice be served." With that,Jackson took his seat.
The judge considered and came to a decision quickly. "She does represent a risk of flight and to the community. Bail will be set at 100,000 dollars."
An outcry is heard from the court room. Bianca grips the back of the seat in front of her, distressed. Meanwhile Erica sits pleased.
"You rhonour! it is no secret that my client and the DA's niece were close. His bias is being brought into this courtroom! My client is paralysed-"
The judge hits the gable for silence. "Your client will be kept in the secure wing of the hospital under guard Mr. Stamp. My decision stands."
His shoulders slump but he takes has seat. "Yes, your honour."
"Good. Trial will commence the day after tomorrow. Court is adjourned."
Frankie stayed slumped in her wheelchair. "I take it that didn't go like you planned?"
"Not as well as I hoped for no." Stamp admitted. "But don't you give up."
He glanced back and saw an infuriated Erica walk out of the court room. He stood barely looking at Frankie "The guards will be here in a minute to take you to a holding cell to await transfer by ambulance. I'll be back in a moment."
"Great." Frankie muttered.
Bianca lingered and approached Frankie. "Is it true?"
Frankie looked at her trying to manoeuvre her chair and herself, away from her. "Is what true?"
"That you had the disc all along?" Bainca stood there torn by her warring emotions both unsure but with growing upset. "You couldn't have done it. I mean, that disc was the evidence that put Vanessa away. If you had it you would have turned it in long ago to keep her from hurting anyone. It was a mistake right?"
Frankie stared at her shoes. "What do you want me to say Bianca? I guess you don't know me as well as you think you did." She glanced over her shoulder at the approaching guards. "I gotta go. Don't come to the hearing Bianca. There's nothing for you here."
Bianca reached a hand out to her, but Frankie was already being wheeled away.
Chapter: chapter 8c (the courtroom story arc)
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: The arraignment didn't go well for Frankie. She was given a high bail to post in order to be free thus she is still in police custody and is transferred to the secure hospital wing for treatment.
Frankie is sitting in her hospital bed, brooding and forlorn. David enters.
"Hey there kiddo how's it going today?"
Stubbornly, Frankie tries to keep her bad mood away from him, failing as she replies sourly. "Just great. I'm crippled and on trial for murder. How was your week?" Immediately after she sighs. "Sorry, sorry. I guess I'm just in a lousy mood. I don't mean to take it out on you David. You've been great.Really."
David sits himself down beside her and says not unkindly. "I kind of got that impression when I heard the report from today's therapy session."
"You mean that battle axe you call a physio or whatever, went and complained to you about me?" Frankie found it easier just to be angry.
"Now Frankie, it's her job to report to me. She did mention you we're, " he searched for a word, "unco-operative."
"Yeah well if she told me to try to slide my foot on those gymnastic bars one more time I was gonna put her in a chair." Frankie groused, crossing her arms.
Now come on. It's her job to push you to your limits to help you get better but it's your job to get better. And that's going to take a lot of work. Hard, often painful work on your part. No one can make you do this."
Frankie looked down at her legs and then said facing away from him, "I don't see how it matters if I can walk or not. I'm going to jail anyways. My life's already over."
David turns her head to meet his gaze. "Is that what you think Frankie? That because you're crippled your life isn't worth living?" He's becoming increasingly intense while he talks. "That all the people who are hear who have had limbs missing or sight or hearing or other things taken from them, are their lives not worth living either?"
Abashed Frankie replies, "That's not what I meant."
"Than what did you mean? Because I'm a doctor Frankie. My life is spent saving lives. You have yours. What you make of it is up to you."
Her eyes fill with tears she refuses to let fall. "It's not about my legs."
Confused David asks, "Than what is all this about?"
She shakes her head and goes back to staring at the walls. "Just not about my legs."
"Frankie," David begins compassionately.
She shakes her head again, "No David, I don't want to talk. Look, I appreciate everything you've done, and keep doing. It means a lot to know there's someone in my corner. But I just don't want to talk about it right now."
David considers pursuing it but relents. "Alright, but if you need anything, anything at all, you call me alright?"
She nods silently.
David leaves the room and is greeted by Anna in the hallway.
"So how's she doing?"
"Not well Anna." He rubs at his face wearily. "She just wouldn't try at physio at all. It's like she's just given up."
"Well, she must be a bit overwhelmed, what with the trial, and her health all heaped down upon her. Maybe she just needs a little time." She peers at him. "You look like you could use a break yourself. How are you doing?"
"It's been a long shift. I don't know Anna. In one week my mother is arrested as a drug lord for God's sake. Vanessa! She attacked Greenlee. And my cousin who I think of ins some ways as a sister or a daughter has been paralysed and is on trial for murder. And it's all my mother's fault."
"You blame Vanessa?"
"Of course I do Anna! Look at what she's done to my family! She's tried to destroy Leo's happiness with Greenlee, she killed my father. Plus she manipulated that poor girl in there so badly that she's on trial for murder! That woman should be locked up and the key thrown into a bottomless pit!"
Anna rubs his arm. "I can't argue with you there." She looks over his shoulder at Frankie's door. "Is she approachable at all?"
"No she says she doesn't want to talk. At first I though it was about her legs but she said no. I don't know what's eating at her but it's devouring her from the inside out. And I can't help her."
Anna's mind works quickly. "Well, I think the best thing you can do for her is go home and get some rest. Your off shift now, go and get some sleep. I'll try talking to her."
"I guess your right. There's nothing else I can do at the moment." He kisses her and holds her for a moment. "I'll see you later?"
David leaves while Anna nods to the police officer in front of the door and enters.
Frankie doesn't even look up.
"Heard you've been having a bad time of it and giving some in return." Anna ploughs right in.
"I don't want to talk about it Anna. Thanks anyways though."
Anna takes a seat right where David had on the bed. "Is it about not letting Bianca in to see you earlier?"
Frankie looks up surprised. "How do you know about that?"
"I am the chief of police you know. The officers outside your door report to me. Now, why didn't you let Bianca in?"
"She would have just asked more questions."
"Questions she wouldn't like the answers to?"
"No the answers I would give her anyway." Frankie says wearily.
Anna leans forward and places a hand consolingly onto Frankie's. "And would those answers have been the truth."
Frankie yanks her hand back at that. "Is that what this is? The chief of police has come to interrogate me?"
"No, it's not. But I know you're holding back Frankie and it's taking it's toll. You're holding everything in and pushing everyone away and it's killing you."
"I'm not dead so it hasn't killed me." Frankie says bitterly.
"You know I look upon you as my own daughter Frankie." Frankie's eyes widen at that. "You couldn't mean more to me if you were Robyn here in this bed."
"I-I don't know what to say. What do you want?"
"Sometimes when a person cares for another person, what they want is to give."
"I don't understand."
"What I'm trying to tell you is that I care, and if you need to talk, off the record, I'll listen. About anything. That's a promise."
Frankie sighs and responds listlessly. "I don't deserve that."
Like you don't feel you deserve Bianca?"
Frankie flinches and crosses her arms. "Bianca and I are over. When this trial is done she's gonna hate me."
Anna measures those words in her mind. "What makes you so sure."
Frankie only shrugs saying, "I just do. Trust me on this one."
"You need to let her in Frankie. She wants to help you. You don't have to be alone. You're her heart. And as far as I can see, she's yours."
"No." Frankie squeezes the denial out.
"You love her."
"I can't have her." Frankie's throat constricts around the words.
"You already do. You just have to let her."
"you can't what?"
"Lt her near me."
"It's just over okay? It's over." Frankie's face closes down but there's tension running through her body that Anna doesn't miss noticing.
"You don't want it to be."
"It would have been better if she hadn't ever met me."
Anna shakes her head sadly and touches Frankie's cheek. "Frankie, the heart wants what it wants. There's just no fighting it."
Frankie's eyes are wide with the effort not to breakdown. "I have to fight it. For her sake."
Frankie had not intention of crying. She had already cried too much in her opinion, but hen Anna did something she didn't see coming. Anna leaned forward and pulled her into a warm, tight hug. It broke the last of her strength and she wept against Anna's shoulder. Knowing tomorrow would see her worst nightmares start to come to life.
Chapter: chapter 8d (the courtroom story arc)
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: The arraignment didn't go well for Frankie. She was given a high bail to post in order to be free thus she is still in police custody and is transferred to the secure hospital wing for treatment.
setting: The courthouse. Trial is now in session. Everyone is there.
Jackson rises. "Your Honour, the prosecution would like to call Anna Duvane to the stand."
Anna is taken to the witness stand and sworn in.
"Could you please tell the court what your profession is?" Jackson asks archly.
Crisp and clear Anna answers, "I'm the Chief of Police for Pine Valley."
"Could you please tell the court what this item is?" He hands over something large and square in a clear bag.
Anna glances at it than replies coolly, "It's an evidence bag."
"Yes, would the court please not it is evidence G-7. Now Chief Duvane, please tell us what the contents of the bag are?"
"It's the envelope that was expressed to my office.It held the Proteus disc in it."
"And who sent it to you?"
"I have it on written confession from the accused and as well as on the label of the envelope which states it's from Frankie Stone."
"And what else was in the envelope Chief Duvane?"
Anna frowns at him. "A letter." She answers succinctly.
"And what were the contents of that letter written by Frankie Stone?"
"That there was a man in town threatening not only Frankie Stone but also Erica Kane and her daughter, Bianca Montgomery."
"Is this the letter? Jackson hands her a sheet in another evidence bag.
The judge makes note of the evidence.
Anna looks at it. "Yes."
"Could you please read it for the court."
"I don't think that's proper Jackson."
"Pardon me Chief Duvane?"
"You heard me, some of the contents of this letter are personal and have nothing to do with this case."
"May I remind you Chief Duvane, that this is a murder investigation and what you have there is evidence. Now please read the letter for the court."
Frankie squirms in her chair. She whispers aside to Stamp, "Can't you do anything?"
"It's a battle I can't win. He's right. It's inarguable evidence. WE have to pick the battles we'll win."
Frankie glances back at Bianca worriedly than slumps defeated further into her wheelchair.
"Chief Duvane?" Jackson prompts.
Glaring, Anna reads the letter
I screwed up big time but I don't think that will surprise most people. Everyone's just been waiting for me to mess up anyway. But I wanted you to know that you and David were always cool with me. You guys were nice you know? Decent in a dysfunctional but fun kind of way. You guys are good together so I hope everything works out there. I have a favour to ask. It's a big one. I'm leaving town. It's not safe for me here anymore or for anyone near me. I need you to look out for Bianca and her mom for me. I know you and La Kane have your differences but she loves Bianca. And it would hurt Bianca if anything bad happened. See there's this guy in town and he's bad news. I don't know him well or anything but he's made a lot of threats about Bianca and even some about her mom. I can't let them be hurt so I'm leaving town. Don't try to be all Cagney and go looking for me alright? It's for the best. Just watch out for my girl okay? Well, she's not my girl anymore but...tell her I really do love her. No, scratch that. Don't tell her anything, just protect her and her mom from that creep. Please. I'd die if anything ever happened to her. And since I'm leaving town, here's something I won't need to hang on to anymore, it's for your Proteus thing, keep that safe too. Sorry I kept it but it was my insurance policy to keep Bianca safe. Now that's bust. Consider it a return favour for looking out for Bianca for me. I suck at goodbyes so take care and all that. David too.
"What do you make of the letter Chief?"
Stamp rises, "Objection your honour! Open question, could be construed as asking for information outside the chief of police's realm of expertise."
"I'll rephrase." Jackson confidently waves the objection aside. "Chief, what was the item Frankie Stone referred to that came with the letter?"
"The Proteus disc. It helped us to identify Vanessa Cortland as Proteus, and it provided information instrumental for her arrest."
"So would it be fair to assume then from what Frankie Stone said in her letter, that she had this disc all along?"
"I'm not in a position to say how long she may or may not have had it." Anna tone as well as her gaze, were glacial.
"But from the letter one can construe quite positively that she did have the disc for a time. A disc that was crucial to putting this threat to society behind bars. Yes?"
"Again counsellor, I don't think I'm in a position to say"
"But the letter did state that she had the disc."
"And the letter stated that she had been 'holding' this piece of pivotal evidence, withholding it in fact."
"Objection your honour," Stamp put in, "The DA is making a statement rather than questioning the witness. Is it the prosecutions desire that we forgo any trial and just skip to closing statements?" He added caustically.
"Sustained." The judge granted. "Counsellor, make it questions please."
"Yes, your honour." Jackson turned to Anna. "From the letter and it's contents as well as the presence of the disc, is it true Chief Duvane that Frankie Stone had withheld evidence from the police? Evidence that by being withheld, allowed a drug lord, a murderer 7 an overall threat to society , to walk the streets unhindered?"
"Well, I-" Anna hedged.
"Yes or no Chief Duvane." Jackson leaned.
"You can't just-"
"Yes or no please chief or I'll have to ask the judge to instruct you to answer me."
Grim, Anna answers. "Yes."
"The prosecution rests your honour."
Stamp rises. "Chief Duvane, did Frankie Stone not say in both this letter and her statement that she held on to the disc for reasons that she feared not only for her own life, but that of her then girlfriend Bianca Montgomery?"
"Yes, she did."
"And was the man that she said threatened her, Miss Montgomery and Miss Kane identified by Frankie Stone as the man she shot in order to protect herself and Miss Kane who ere up on that roof?"
"Yes, she did identify him as the man who had been threatening her."
"Objection your honour," Jackson smoothes his coat as he rises, "The defence already made remarks on making closing statements early. We have not yet established that any form of self-defence occurred on that roof, the crime scene in question."
"Sustained. Mr. Stamp, keep your comments to questions only."
"Yes, your honour. You took Frankie Stone's statement did you not?"
"And in your opinion as a police officer and as the person who took her statement, do you believe that she was indeed afraid of this man and believed his threats?"
"I do wholeheartedly."
"No further questions your honour."
Jackson goes to the witness stand to cross examine. "Chief Duvane, among the charges for Mrs. Cortland, is murder among them?"
"Objection your honour, this isn't relative to the case of Frankie Stone."
"On the contrary your honour, it will establish later on the relationship the accused had with this criminal mastermind as well as establishing her own criminal and deceptive nature which is at the heart of this case."
"Overruled Mr. Stamp. Chief Duvane, you will answer the question."
"Yes, at least two counts. She was linked to the murder of a cop on her payroll as well as her chauffeur."
"And wasn't a man killed, by the accused sitting right there, " he points at Frankie, "Who not only had both Bianca Montgomery and Erica Kane hostage for that very disc but he also was on the payroll and working under orders from Vanessa Cortland?"
Yes," Anna grinds out.
"No further questions at this time your honour."
The gable is hit. "Trial is adjourned for one hour. We will reconvene after lunch."
The judge exits chamber.
Suddenly the court is a buzz with talk and speculation. Frankie looks over at Stamp. "That didn't go well did it?"
"Not really darlin', but don't give up, the fights just started. I'll be back in a minute."
Anna walks over. "That could have gone better I'm sorry Frankie."
"Hey, don't sweat it. You really seemed to keep your cool up there. Thanks for sticking by me."
Anna leans forward and gives Frankie's shoulder a squeeze. "Always."
Frankie lowers her head. There was no mistaking that voice.
"Hi Bianca, how are you holding up?" Anna asks sincerely.
"Been better." Bianca gives a weak smile. "Can I have a moment with Frankie? I have to ask her something."
Wait-" Frankie utters.
"Sure." Anna says, giving one last reassuring hand to Frankie before retreating.
Voice tight, Bianca asks Frankie "Is it true?"
"Is what true?"
"That you had that evidence against Vanessa all this time? Did you really keep it from the police?"
"It was my insurance, my way of protecting you and your mom."
"And to protect yourself." Bianca adds.
"Yeah I don't have ea death wish, well, not really."
Bianca's eyes fill with tears. "What you did was wrong Frankie. It kept Vanessa free to terrorize Greenlee and Leo. Do you know she almost killed them both before they were able to put here away?"
"I did what I did to protect us." Frankie hurts from the look on Bianca's face.
" 'Us' ?" Her voice cracks on the word. "There is no 'us' . That's what you keep telling me."
"I'm already in jail. What more do you want from me?" Frankie raggedly asks.
"What I want?" Bianca gives a brittle laugh. "What I want doesn't seem to matter to anyone. How about right now what I want is the truth."
"The man you shot, who was he Frankie?"
Frankie's eyes close against the agony in her heart, against the pain she knows she's about to add to the one person she loves. "I can't tell you that. Please don't ask me again Bianca."
"And why is that?" Erica's voice strident and demanding as she walks up to stand nearly between her daughter and Frankie. "Is what Greenlee said in her testimony earlier true?"
"What the Hell are you talking about? I'm speaking with Bianca here."
"And you are quite through speaking to my daughter."
"Mom," Bianca protests weakly.
"No Bianca sweetheart, this girl has hurt you enough. Just walk away. After all, she must know the man and I think Greenlee's speculating was dead on. I think you're nothing but an alley cat Frankie. And the sooner you're away from my daughter the better."
"I don't have time for this." Frankie starts to reel herself away.
"No you don't. You'll answer me Frankie, were you cheating on my daughter with his man?"
"Was he your lover?"
Frankie pales, "You don't know what you're saying to me."
"Nothing that everyone else isn't already thinking I assure you."
"It's not true." Bianca shakes her head against what she dreads may be true.
"Bainca," her mother states imperiously, "don't be so naive. You can't believe anything from this gutter filth's mouth." She turns on Frankie. "Tell her. Tell my daughter he was your lover."
Frankie looks ill. "God no."
"Mom stop!" Bianca both yells and pleads.
Frankie stares at Erica, her yes burning. "You don't know what you're saying tome. I would never let that sleaze touch me. I would die first."
"Wha-" Erica's eyes narrow, her face slackens as the words from Frankie ring a vague bell of familiarity with her. She puts a hand up to her head.
"Mom?" Bianca asks anxious. "Are you okay?"
"Just a headache dear. I've been getting them more frequently. Undoubtedly from having to deal with this unfaithful lying criminal. You let a murderer walk the streets! She could have hurt Bianca at any time in retaliation for you holding that evidence! I'll never forgive you!" She storm out.
Bianca looks on the edge of breaking if not past. "Frankie."
Frankie looks at her lost.
"Just tell me, please, who was that man?"
Frankie shakes her head mute.
Bianca hangs her head, "Than I guess it really is over between us. Goodbye Frankie." Without looking at her, Bianca leaves quickly.
As soon as Bianca clears the doors and the reporters she finds a small deserted alcove and slumps against the wall. Alone. Heartbroken she sobs into her hands never having felt so empty and cold in her life.
Unexpectedly, warm arms wrap around her and hold her close. A scent she recognizes and a comforting sense of familiarity embrace her as a voice she knows soothes her.
"Oh Bianca, go ahead and cry. I'm here, I'm here now. It'll be okay. We'll get through this. I'm here for you."
Bianca stays in the security of that embrace and looks into sky blue eyes. She utters the name like a benediction.
Chapter: chapter 8e
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Anna testified. Bianca is having trouble moving past the fact that Frankie hid evidence that would have put away Vanessa who is a dangerous, dangerous woman, and thus led to other people getting hurt or at least put in peril. Once outside the court room, Bainca found herself comforted by her first love, Sarah.
setting: Outside the court room.
"Sarah?" Bianca repeated, shocked.
Sarah gave her a small smile and smoothed Bianca's hair away from her tear stained face. "I read all about everything in the news papers and came right over as soon as I could. I'm so sorry I couldn't have come sooner. I can't imagine what you must be going through, having to face all this."
Bianca wipes the tears from her face, recomposing herself as best she can. "I didn't expect to see you at all. It's not a very good time."
Completely sympathetic, Sarah strokes Bianca's arm reassuringly. "I know, that's why I came. You've saved me in so many ways Bianca, let me do the same for you now. Let me help."
"I don't know that there's anything you can do Sarah. Frankie's on trial for murder, a drug lord who's her aunt has been threatening everyone I care about, and Frankie's...Frankie's.." She can't continue.
Sarah enfolds her again in her arms making comforting sounds. "I can't fix any of that but what I can do is see that you get some rest. You're exhausted Bianca. You're no good to yourself like this."
"But the trial..."
"Wills till be here after you get some rest. Come on. My hotel room is right around the corner practically. You can go over there and I'll watch over you for a change."
"You're being so kind." Bianca is at a loss, so overwhelmed by recent events, by everything.
Sarah smiles again and leads her out the door. "I'm being your friend. How could I be anything less than kind to you? Come on. It'll be just like old times."
They leave together.
In a holding room, Frankie is staring at the wall, completely ignoring Erica's presence.
"You don't have to talk to me Frankie, just listen. I don't want you near my daughter. And if by some chance you manage to worm your way out of this felony, if I see you anywhere near Bianca I will hit you with my car. This time for real." Erica states precisely.
Erica huffs and turns on her high heel to stride out when a name stops her.
"What was that?" She whirls to see Frankie turning her chair around to face Erica. Sombre, Frankie says quietly. "I won't go near Bianca. You're right, I'm poison. Just keep looking out for her. I know you will. But if she meets....if she meets someone," Frankie's throat constricts painfully along with her bruised heart, "someone who counts, someone who'll not only love her but be good for her. Please, don't get in the way. Don't drive them off. I know you don't believe me but I do love her. I love Bianca more than you could ever realize. And she's the only one I'll ever love. The only one I have ever loved. There will only ever be her, for me."
Erica prepared to blast her but the last words echoed familiarly in her mind. The sharp pain in her head returns. She rubs her temple. "Those words, you've said that to me before? Haven't you? But when..."
Realizing the error she made and what might be happening Frankie starts to shout."Someone! Stamp! Somebody get in here!
Stamp and two police officers rush in along with the bailiff. "What's going on here?" Stamp demands.
Frankie points at Erica. "Get this psycho momma away from me! She keeps finding me and threatening me! I don't want her near me for the rest of the trial you got that!"
Her headache still throbbing but mostly forgotten as her anger comes back full force, Erica is galled. "Of all the nerve! I did no such thing Chris! That little vermin is trying to spread more lies about me Chris! How can you defend such a creature!"
Struggling to gain control quickly before it explodes, Chris barks orders out. "Erica I will see you in a moment. Officers, please escort Ms. Kane to my office here? And make sure there's someone at that door. The only person allowed to see Frankie Stone is me, got it? Now go!"
Erica complains but is led away by the burly men. Stamp turns to Frankie, "Now what the Hell was that about?"
"She's crazy! Always on me about protecting her precious daughter! Just keep her away from me. I haven't done anything wrong."
He sits on the chair across the table from her. "That's true isn't it? You haven't done anything wrong have you Frankie?"
"Well duh!" Frankie sullenly crosses her arms.
Stamp regards her, than wags his finger, giving a small chuckle. "You know, you almost had me. You're very good."
"What are you talking about?"
"This, all this!" He waves his arm around. "Playing the smart mouth crook. You almost had me going but I know. You hear me Frankie? I know."
"Man, is everyone here whacko? What do you know?"
"You weren't the one who pulled the trigger were you?" He looks at her very closely.
Frankie sputters at first but rapidly regains momentum. "You are crazy! There's a signed confession in the evidence that I made saying I did it. I confessed! You have Anna, the Chief of Police who testified that she saw me trying to buy a gun."
"Yeah, I got all that but what I'm missing is the residue from those gun shots."
"What are you talking about?"
"When you fire a gun it leaves a residue on skin and clothes but forensics went over everything with a fine tooth comb and guess what? No residue on you, not an iota. But it was all over someone else's clothing, and I bet you know exactly what I'm talking about and who it is. So why don't you cut us both a break and tell me exactly what happened?"
Frankie measures him carefully, running over the possibilities in her mind, but in the end, she can't trust him. Too much depends on her. "What happened is in my confession."
He slaps his hand on the table hard. "Dammit! You're almost as stubborn as that lady outside you know that? She's next on the stand though so if you won't tell me what happens than I'll see what she does because I will get to the bottom of this, you mark my words."
"No way." Frankie says.
"What did you say?"
"No way are you cross examining her on the stand, besides has amnesia remember?"
"Maybe if I just nudge it'll all come back to her." He warns, wanting Frankie to tell him the truth.
Frankie lets out a breath. "Look, I know enough that I can fire you at any time. If you go up there to cross examine Erica I will fire you before you can get the first question out, You got that?"
"You're crazy! Listen to me Frankie, if you get charged with murder, even if it gets bumped down to accidental manslaughter you will be sent away for a long, long time. I need the truth from you and I need it now."
Frankie stares back at him, unwavering.
"Fine." He stands and moves to the door. "But I'll find out what you're hiding."
Frankie lets out an anxious breath, "Where are you? I need you here now." She says to open air.
Chapter: chapter 8f
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Stamp guesses the truth, Frankie won't budge, Sarah is comforting a distraught Bianca, and is Erica getting her memory back? And who is Frankie waiting for to help?
setting: Court House. Inside. It's already begun and it's nearing the end of Erica's testimony.
Jackson asks, "Is that all Ms. Kane?"
"No," she states imperiously, looking over the court's audience and the judge. "I may not have all my memory of that night but I do know that that girl right there is no good, she's evil, and I have no doubt that she committed cold blooded murder."
"Objection your honour," a weary Stamp rises, "Ms> Kane last statements are irrelevant to the facts of the case, she is not a psychologist or psychiatrist so cannot therefore testify as to the state of mind of my client, let alone the fact that she has no memory of the time and incident in question. Defence asks that that whole rant on the part of Ms. Kane be stricken."
"Sustained. The last part of Ms. Kane's testimony will be stricken from the record."
Jackson gives a shrug that means everything and nothing. "The prosecution has no further questions for this witness at this time."
Stamp trades intense looks with Frankie, shakes her head. Stamp shakes his own in aggravating defeat.
"Mr. Stamp?" The judge urges. "You may cross examine the witness now."
"Your honour," Stamp replies heavily, "on the demands of my client and against my wishes, the defence will not be questioning this witness."
A buzz erupts in the court at his words. Even Erica's _expression shows surprise.
The judge asks "Are you quite certain that is how you wish to proceed?"
"It's my client's wish your honour, that the defence not question Ms. Kane."
"Very well. Ms. Kane, you may step down."
Puzzled but not entirely displeased, Erica descends.
Aside, sotto voce, Stamp complains to Frankie, "You're tying my hands here. You're dooming yourself kid."
Jackson's eyebrows rose at this unexpected turn but continues on. Next, the prosecution would like to ask Mary-Francis Stone to take the stand."
"My choice." Frankie succinctly replies.
<outside the court room>
Greenlee and her father approach the doors.
"You know honey," Roger pauses at the entrance,"you've already testified. There's no reason why you need to go back in there."
"I need to see this through daddy. Because of that little swamp rat I was kidnapped by her psycho aunt. If it weren't for her withholding that disc, Leo and I would have safely eloped by now and be in Paris on our honeymoon. I'm going in there and watch to make sure she gets everything she deserves thrown at her."
"When I think you could have been killed." He hugs her sympathetically.
"Thank you! She like totally endangered my life and Leo's. She even let les-Bainca nearly get killed a time or two from what I've heard, and loser Bianca was her meal ticket! I almost feel sorry for her."
A woman moves past them, dressed in black. Roger suddenly looks around.
"What is it daddy?'
"Nothing sweetheart," he takes puts an arm around her to lead her in the court room, "I just though I smelled a perfume I haven't smelled since-" he breaks off.
"Since when?" Greenlee is only half paying attention, her mind on the trial.
"Nothing, dear, nothing. Let's go in shall we?" They enter.
<in the court room, Jackson questions Frankie on stand>
"So you're saying the man Greenlee Smyth saw you with, the one you were and I quote "arguing in an intimate manner, like they knew each other well, they had history for sure". You are trying to convince this court that this man was a stranger to you?"
"Yeah." Frankie remains impassive.
"You're quite certain?"
"How many times do you want me to say I didn't know the guy to you?"
A figure in black stands and yells, "You lying worthless flesh of mine! How can you stand there and lie when you killed your own father!!"
Everyone gasps and looks at the older woman in black. Roger 's face pales in recognition. Frankie stares at the woman shocked as well and utters one word.
Chapter: chapter 8g
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Sarah took Bianca up to her room. Frankie denied knowing she knew the man who was killed to which a woman in black rose up and revealed it was in fact Frankie's father. The woman disrupting court is Frankie mom.
setting: Pine Valley Inn. Sarah's room.
Sarah watches over Bianca as she sleeps in Sarah's bed. She smiles sweetly as Bianca rouses.
Bianca rubs her eyes. "Better rested." She sighs and stares up at the ceiling, "Everything still hurts though."
Sarah immediately goes over and pulls Bianca up into a comforting hug. "It's okay.I told you I'm here now. You're not alone."
"Thanks Sarah. It means a lot to me that you came all this way to be here for me."
"I would do anything for you Bianca. You've always stayed in my heart."
Bianca pulls back from the embrace a little to give a warming smile back, grateful even as she wipes a couple of stray tears from her face, "Thanks. You still mean a lot to me too Sarah."
They gaze at each other for a moment, than Sarah leans in and to Bianca's shock, kisses her softly on the mouth.
For a moment, Bianca closes her eyes and kisses her back. Her past feelings for Sarah confused with her need to be loved and her anguish over the loss of Frankie. Than she pushes away gently.
Sarah looks at her concerned. "Why did you pull away? Did I-? I didn't mean to do that, at least not so soon, it just...I still love you Bianca, that's never changed for me. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that, like you don't have enough problems right without your old friend coming on to you like that." Embarrassed and self-conscious, Sarah quickly scrambles off the bed, refusing to meet Bianca's eyes.
Bianca's hand grabbing hers, stops her.
"Sarah," Bianca implores gently. When she raises her eyes to meet Bianca's she's relieved to see that Bianca's not angry. "It was sudden yes and unexpected but that's not why I pulled away-"
"It's because you don't feel like that about me anymore isn't it?" Sarah rushes in. "I can't blame you after everything I mean I went off to get married to the first guy my mom picked out because I couldn't deal with facing her. I'm a coward. I don't blame you for a second Bianca-"
Sarah, you still get all babble mode when you're nervous." Bainca shushes her along with a smile. "It's not that either. It's just, me and Frankie...I'm only now starting to realize it's over and that she doesn't want me in her life you know? How typical of me right?" She gives a self-deprecating laugh. "I finally have what I want only to have the girl turn around and say 'no, get lost' to me."
"You deserve so much better Bianca."
Bianca hangs her head. "I don't know about hat. I don't know about anything anymore. I do care for you Sarah. You were my first love and first real friend." She gives a trembling smile and squeezes Sarah's hand I hers. "It's just too soon for me to think about getting involved again right now. I still love Frankie. And that's not fair to you. More than anything I really need a friend right now. Is that alright?"
"Oh Bianca," Sarah cries and takes her into her arms again, "It's more than alright. I'm here for you no matter what. As for the rest, we'll just see what happens when it happens. Sound good?"
"Sounds good." Bianca relieved, stretches. "What time is it? I should get back to the court house.
"Why go? It will only upset you."
Bianca falters for a second than says, "I have to go."
Sarah touches her hand. "But why? You don't have to testify. You said it was over between you and Frankie, that you were only now coming to accept it. Why cause yourself more pain by not letting that wound over your heart heal? You just said she doesn't want you there."
"I guess, but I-I have to go Sarah."
sighs than pats Bianca's hand. "You better get yourself cleaned up then."
Bianca utters another thank you than while getting up notices the time on the clock. "Sarah! The time. We're missing it. You shouldn't have let me sleep in so late!"
Sarah shakes her head, "You need the rest more than you needed your heart walked on again."
Abashed Bianca apologises. "Sorry, I just, it's hard to let go."
"I know. I'll go get our coats."
"You're coming with me?"
"Of course. I told you I'm here now and I'm not going anywhere. Besides, you shouldn't worry. I'm sure you haven't missed anything."
<The court room.>
"Order!!" The judge is pounding the gable. "Order in this court!"
"Her mother?" Erica gasps with a hand to her chest.
"My god," Greenlee says with a smirky half smile, "Looks like mommy dearest just came to put her daughter away."
"Dear God." Roger says low, hiding his face behind his hand.
"Mom, What the Hell do you think you're doing?" Frankie hisses.
"I'm here to make things right!" She goes on over the crowd and the shouts and the gable. "She belongs in jail this one here!" She points accusingly at Frankie, "She called me up, asking me for money and help to leave the state and run off. Not that she can run anywhere from what I here. There was no way I was going to let you get away with murdering Michael. You're own father! You should be ashamed!"
The room slowly fell silent while the bailiff and peace officers flooded the court.
"Who are you before I cite you for contempt of court?" The judge asks.
The woman pulls herself up straight. "I'm Cecilia Stone your honour. The unfortunate mother of this murdering girl here. She was lying on that stand saying she didn't know him. But I'm not surprised, she lies all the time and she's never been anything except full of hate for her father. That's the man she killed your honour." She dabs at her eyes, "I'm a widow because of her.
"Her father?" all three, Chris, Jackson and Erica echo.
"That's right." She glares at Frankie, "Go on, deny it again you murdering whore!"
"She's tanked!" Frankie sneers, "She's probably high too."
"But is it true." Jackson asks from sheer disbelief, "Was that man your father?"
Frankie looks down than back up. "Yeah, Michael Stone. And I'm not sorry that worthless son of a bitch is dead. If I could I'd do it again."
"You honour! I object! This whole proceeding is out of order. This shock of her mother showing up is too much for my damaged client. I ask that that last statement be stricken from the record immediately!"
"Indeed things have become utterly chaotic Mr. Stamp." The judge agrees quite aggravated. "This court will clear out. You, Cecilia Stone will be taken by the police for questioning to which I'm sure both the DA's office and defence counsel would like to be present. Bailiff, place Frankie Stone back into the holding cell until she can be transferred back to the hospital."
"Court is now adjourned!"
In the holding cell, Frankie is surprised to hear that irritating voice call her name, she turns to face her. "Mom." She says with complete disdain, "Aren't you supposed to spilling your guts over at the cop shop right now?"
"I asked them to let me have a word with my daughter."
"And they let you."
"It just took a few tears and whimpers and they folded. Men are so pliable. Not that you know anything about men, or so I red in the newspaper. Mike was always right about you."
Outraged Frankie grits her teeth and nearly snarls, "Yeah, like you know all about precious Mikey. Nice to know your loyalties haven't changed. And here I though maybe just once you would act like a real mother."
"What? You expected me to honestly help you get bail and fly the coop after all the misery you put us through. Especially me?" Cecilia laughs harsh and ugly. "You always were stupid. I'm here for one reason and one reason only, to make sure you rot." She stalks off.
As soon as she leaves, Frankie breathes a great sigh of relief and looks up to the ceiling. She utters the words softly and heartfelt. "Thank you, thank you doing exactly what I needed. You did come through for me jus this once after all. Even if you don't know it."
Chapter: chapter 8h
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Sarah admitted that she still loved Bianca. Bianca is grateful for her friendship[. Frankie's mother is in town to see her daughter get set down the river and gloat while it happens. Frankie is grateful for it.
setting: Outside the court room.
David leaves the room, shaking his head. Anna is waiting there for him.
"Well?" She asks.
"Nothing. They won't let me see Frankie."
"Is that woman really her mother?"
"She looks familiar." David admits, tired. "I haven't seen Gweneth in a very long time."
Anna frowns, "Gweneth? I thought she said her name was Cecilia."
"She must be going by her middle name now. Or an alias." He rubs at his face. "I don't know. But she obviously didn't come here to support her daughter."
"Poor Frankie. As if things weren't bad enough, now this. Her own mother turning on her like that." They put their arms around each other for comfort.
"Yeah, the poor kid."
Anna scrutinizes David. She stops them from walking further. "Alright, out with it."
"Pardon?" David asks confused.
"You're hiding something David. I can tell. There's moreand you're not telling me."
David sighs. "I can't get anything by you can I?"
"Not without supreme effort. And I always find out anyways. What's got you so worried?"
"It's Frankie. I saw her face during the whole time her mother was ranting like a madwoman."
"My eyes were on the mad woman."
"I think everybody's was. There was such..."he searches for the word, "such a look of rage on her face. It was very fast. Frankie covered it quickly."
"Her mother was from what little I've been told, a drug addict and alcoholic. Frankie left home at 15 I'm sure those were some of the reasons why. It surely can't surprise you that Frankie is angry with her?"
"No, it's more than that. The look that came across her face. I know that look Anna, that emotion. I've seen it in the mirror in my own eyes for years after my mother goaded my father into killing himself. That kind of dark fury isn't mere anger or resentment of a troubled childhood.. It's something worse. Something her mother did or was a part of that was horrible."
Anna ponders what he's saying. "What do you think it could be from?"
David confesses reluctantly, "I don't know. I just don't know."
"You're worrying me David."
He hugs her to him. "I think we should be scared for Frankie. That young woman has some demons she needs to face. I just pray to God she'll let one of us in before it breaks her."
They leave, sombre.
As soon as they leave, Sarah and Bianca come through another door.
"I don't get it." Bainca looks into the court room and around the deserted building. "We missed it? How could that have happened?"
"They must have adjourned for the day." She notices Bianca's fretful _expression. "Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Nothing was happening so they adjourned early."
"Yeah." Bianca says, disheartened at missing seeing Frankie, despite her broken heart.
"Hey, maybe this is a sign. You know, for you to get some more rest?"
"I don't know. My place and mom's are surrounded by the press."
"Than why don't you stay over at my place? Know one knows me here or even that I am here except for my mother. You can have total peace and quiet. WE can order from room service, all your favourite junk food, and watch some old movie on TV. It'll be a slumber party!"
Bianca gives a grudging smile, reluctantly warming to the idea. "Yeah, alright. That is if you're sure? I don't think I'll be the best company. More like the worst."
Sarah takes Bianca's hand in hers, "It's not about you entertaining anyone Bianca, it's about me being able to make sure you take care of yourself."
"Alright." Bianca's smile is more heartfelt. "It'll be nice not to feel like part of a three-ring circus for a change. A slumber party it is."
They leave arm in arm for Sarah's.
Opal leads Erica in, who's holding her head gingerly.
"Well I think it was a darn good thing they closed that trial early." Opal sates emphatically while helping Erica down on the couch. "Just look at what the stress of it is doing to you! Now you just wait here and I'll be back with a glass of water and some aspirin before a lamb can shake it's tail."
She bustles off and comes back quite quickly.
"There ya go honey."
Erica accepts the water and medicine gratefully and downs them with relief.
"Thank you for bringing me home Opal. I would be fine but I didn't want to risk driving with this headache."
"You've been getting those migraines allot lately." Opal comments concerned.
"I don't think they're migraines. I think, I think it has to do with what happened on top of that building that horrible night. I still can't believe that man was her father. What kind of girl could murder her own father Opal? And she's involved with my daughter!" She winces as her pain acts up.
"Now, now, you just try to rest. Besides, we don't know what's true yet. That woman may not even be her mother for all we know."
"Can take care of herself. And she has friends looking out for her I'm sure. I don't know why you're fussing about her and Frankie. They haven't been an item for some time now. You have nothing to worry about. It's over between those two." Opal goes and urges her to lie down on the couch, "You just lie back there until the pain eases."
"Oh Opal, how can you be so naive?" She leans back but her words are filled with conviction. "It is not over between those tow. Not at all. I may not know some things Opal but I know love. Even when it's as wrong as that Frankie felon for my daughter. And Bianca still loves her. It's far from over between those two. I just so worry for my baby. She's been through so much. When that girl gets convicted for her crimes it'll break poor Bianca' big, generous heart even more. What can I do?"
"Just be there for her. That's all we can ever do for our children really. Love 'em and God help us when they hurt because we hurt even worse."
"Thank you Opal, for everything really. I'll just rest here until the pain passes. Maybe even get some sleep if I can."
"That sounds dandy to me." Opal goes about collecting her stuff. "You need anything else you just holler alright? I'm only a ring away."
"Yes Opal, thank you again."
"Shush now, what are friends for. I'll check on you later." She leaves quietly closing the door behind her.
Alone, Erica looks up at the ceiling. "Why? Why can't I remember? And why does it fill me with dread?"
Chapter: chapter 8i
setting: The court house. In the holding room for the defendants.
Chris paces around the room, constantly glancing over at Frankie where she sits in her wheelchair an odd mix of acceptance and nervousness.
"So is it all true?" Stamp finally breaks the long silence.
"Is what true?" She doesn't even bother to look at him.
He steps towards her, "That she's your mother for starters. That you lied to me and the perjured yourself on the stand if that man is indeed you father! Did you call her like she claims because she has some hard evidence, as does the DA, to prove that you did."
"Why are you even bothering to ask be the questions if you already know the answers?"
He leans on the table pinning her with his glare. "Because I DON'T have all the answers Frankie. Like why would you rail road yourself because that is exactly what you've done! Do you think that the judge will buy for a second, your plea of not guilty when you've been caught lying on the stand? That there's proof you tried to arrange to skip bail and custody? Do you have any idea how guilty this makes you look? It looks like you intentionally killed him. And now your mother, where, forgive me for saying, there's no love lost between you, is about to get on that stand and crucify you!"
She shrugs. "What happens, happens."
Stamp can barely control his frustration. He takes a deep breath and struggle sto speak more calmly. "Is there anything Frankie, anything at all that can help you while she's up there? Anything I should know as you attorney?"
Frankie gives it a second than shakes her head. "Nope, not a thing."
Stamp puts his head in his hands.
A knock on the door make them both look up. It's the bailiff calling them to court.
"Guess it's showtime." Frankie quips as she wheels herself out.
"More like your funeral." Stamp mutters unhappily under his breath.
They enter the court room which is packed to capacity. Frankie looks around but doesn't see her.
Anna and David are right behind her in a show of support where they sit in crowd. David leans forward and puts a hand on Frankie's shoulder.
"We're here for you Frankie no matter what."
Frankie hangs her head for a moment before looking up, "Thanks." Her eyes scan the crowd again.
Anna leans forward, "If you're looking for Bianca, she hasn't shown up yet."
Frankie can't help the disappointment that flashes across her face, only to be replaced by resignation. "It's probably for the best." She turns around to watch her mother get sworn in.
At the hospital emergency room.
Bianca enters half carrying a limping Sarah leaning heavily on her arm. Joe Martin who is walking by and comes up to them.
"Why hello there Bianca. Your friend seems to be in a bit of a spot there. What seems to be the trouble?"
"Oh Dr. Joe, that's great you're here. We were walking to the court house when my friend tripped on the stairs. I think she's sprained her ankle pretty badly."
"Is that so? Well, why don't you come over here and let me take a look."
"I feel so stupid." Sarah complains, embarrassed.
"Don't be silly," Bianca takes her to the examination room Joe's leading them to. "It's not like you fell on purpose or anything. You need to get that swelling looked at."
Alright, sit down and I'll take a look. Now what's your, " he looks up at the girl for the first time as he kneels to look at her foot and ankle, "Why, you're Sarah aren't you? I remember you from before. Good to see you doing better."
Sarah smiles shyly, than grimaces. "Better except for my ankle."
"Hmm," he examines it closely touching the tender areas, "well nothing appears to be broken but I'm afraid it is badly sprained. Just to be sure though I'd like to take some x-rays. Let me go get the technician." He walks off.
"I'm so sorry Bianca. This might take a while. Why don't you go on ahead to the trial? I'll be fine."
Bianca walks over to her, "Sarah you're hurt. I won't leave you. Besides, it's like you said yesterday, probably just more procedural stuff. Nothing will be happening." She sighs sadly, "It's not like I'm even wanted over there really."
Sarah takes her hand. "I want you here. I'm so grateful to have someone like you in my life."
Bainca smiles at her.
<the court house>
Jackson is questioning his witness.
"So you're saying that Frankie called you?"
"Yes she did." Cecilia nods emphatically. "She called me up and asked me to get her some money so that she could run off because she went and killed somebody. I never thought-"her entire face crumples and she sobs, "I never thought that it would be dear, sweet Michael, my husband, the man I love more than life. And her own father. Ho did I fail as a mother so badly that my daughter would do such a hateful thing?"
Stamp glances over at Frankie and notices her jaw tensing and her fists clenching tightly. His brows raise as his mind begins to turn. He listens even more closely to what's going on.
"Indeed," Jackson says trying to move her along. "And can you identify this for the court?" He hands her a slip of paper.
She looks at it then nods. "Why yes, that's a copy of my phone bill."
"And could you please identify the number highlighted for us?"
"I don't know the number, but the date and time was when Frankie called me."
"Let the records show that the number is that of the Pine Valley Hospital, from the room Frankie was registered in. Further I'd like to add into evidence the nurse's duty roster which lists Frankie as in her room during the time of that call."
The bailiff hands the evidence over to the judge, who after some scrutiny, hands it back to the bailiff. "I'll allow it to be entered. Go on with your witness Mr. Montgomery."
"Thank you, your honour. Now Mrs. Stone, how would you characterize the relationship between your husband and Frankie before she ran away from home?"
Alarmed, Frankie sits up and leans over to whisper urgently to Chris, "He can't ask about that can he? Stop him."
"Unfortunately Frankie, he can. He can question her on this line to prove motive. There's nothing I can do."
Frankie tenses as her mother speaks. Erica, who is watching it all avidly, catches the movement and wonders at Frankie's demeanour.
"She never got along with Michael. Thought he was the world until she was I don't know, 3 or 4. Than after that she was all solitary like, pouring over stories, word games that drove us nuts. When she got alder they started to argue a lot. She was always saying hateful things. Never grateful for a single thing that man has done for our family. All he ever did was look out for us, look after us. Than she just up one day and ran off. Not a word until that phone call last week. It was a shock. It was as clear as day that she always hated him."
Frankie bites her cheek so hard to keep from speaking she draws blood. Her body is rigid watching her mother up there, lying on the stand. Frankie grabs a glass of water to stop the words that are choking her from inside.
"And was there any reason for this hatred Mrs. Stone?"
"None that was warranted I assure you. He was a decent man, kind, considerate. If anything I would have to say she was jealous."
Everyone startles at the sudden breaking crash. Even Frankie is startled as she looks down to see that she has shattered the glass of water she was holding. "I'm fine she mutters as Chris checks out her bleeding hand. "Glass must have been cracked."
"Yeah, cracked." Stamp says looking at her.
"Is everything alright with your client Mr. Stamp? " The judge asks.
"Yes your honour, we apologize for the interruption."
"Please continue Mr. Montgomery."
"Jealous?" Jackson prompts.
"Jealous of how happy we were. She never was, always brooding and sullen. To tell you the God's honest truth, and I hate to say this as a mother, but I think she hated the fact that we were good people and she was never anything but a bad seed. And that jealousy and hatred led to her, to her-" She breaks off weeping again.
Jackson, hands her a hanky. "That will be all your honour."
"Does the defence wish to question *this* witness?" The judge addresses Stamp.
Stamp rises, Frankie puts a hand on his arm. Her pale face stares up at him, shaking it firmly 'no'.
"Not his time lady." He pulls away and strides towards Cecilia.
"May I call you Cecilia?" he lays on the New York charm.
"You can call me Cee Cee." She bats her eyes so help him.
"I was just curious Cee Cee. During all this antagonism that Frankie had to her old man, she never said why?"
"No, not that I recall."
"In all those years she was there, up until she ran away at the age of fifteen, she never, ever gave you any indication as to why she couldn't stand her own father?"
"She would just hole herself up in her room. We didn't speak much if you get my menacing."
"I think I do get your meaning Cee Cee. Tell me, do you use drugs at all?"
"Well, " She falters at the change in direction of his questions, "I have medication for headaches..."
Frankie snorts derisively.
"Cee Cee, come on now. I had look at your medical history. You were in the hospital quite a few times over the years for overdoses with illicit drugs. Would you characterize that as a problem?"
Cecilia sputters, "What? How dare you! Thos doctors lied! You must be lying! I only take medication for my migraines."
"Really?" Chris continues, keeping her off her footing. "And were the doctors also lying when you were brought in time after time with contusions and abrasions that were described in the medical reports as probable signs of mistreatment from you spouse? This kind and decent man that you described, did he ever hit you Cecilia?"
In a rage she shouts "What? That man never laid a hand on me! I'm clumsy that's all. It's the migraines."
"Of course. And did your daughter suffer from migraines as well Cee Cee?" Before she can deny anything he pushes forward, "because I have some earlier records from that hospital saying how Frankie was brought in with a broken arm, than 2 months after that with a broken wrist, than there's the several bruises reported not by the doctor that saw her on those occasions."
"What are you saying?" Cecilia asks at her most guarded.
"Did Michael Stone beat his daughter Mrs. Stone?"
"I remind you that you're under oath here."
"Is that what she told you?" She hisses pointing at a shell shocked Frankie. "She's nothing but a little liar you know. Always saying things, making up stories. Saying I use drugs, telling tall tales about her father-"
"What kind of tales Mrs. Stone?" Stamp leans closer, menacingly.
"You wouldn't even believe me if I told you. That such things would come out of a child's mouth let alone my own daughter's"
"Stop." Frankie says, but her voice isn't loud enough.
"What kind of stories?" Stamp questions relentlessly.
"One time she actually told me that Michael, my dear sweet Michael-"
"Stop it." Frankie repeats over and over her eyes closed tight.
"Go on Mrs. Stone."
"She once accused that decent man, the man she murdered, of trying to lay hands on her."
"What do you mean lay hands?"
"She accused him of trying to molest her." Cecilia squeezes out. "When everyone knows it was her who came on to him! They whore.I wouldn't be surprised if she-"
"STOP IT!!" Frankie slams the table shouting." SHUT UP! How could you? Lye like that about me, I'm your daughter." She chokes out disgusted, sickened. "He kept trying to do those horrible things to me and what did you do ? Nothing. Nothing. Because it didn't matter to you what he did to me as long as he kept you filled with whatever you could toke, snort or shove into your arm! As long as you were high you didn't give a damn what happened to your own daughter. Your own daughter mom. That's why I left home. And you know it. You lying bitch you know it."
The entire court room is in shock at this revelation.
Cecilia rises from her seat. "You were worthless trash before Mary-Francis and what are you now? Some deviant, crippled worthless trash spreading your filth lies about your father-"
"My father?" Frankie ignores the gable, she's forgotten about the trial, the crowd, everything except the woman before her. "That man tried to rape me! He threatened to do the same thing to my girlfriend, the one person who really did love me until he came to town and shot it all to hell. He had a gun. You know when I was on top of that building I would have jumped before letting him paw me. He had no right calling himself my father and any woman who would allow herself to get high and neglect her kid and leave her alone with a man like that has no right being called a mother. He was a monster! And you know what, so are you!"
Erica half rises out of her seat, flashes of memory come back to her of Frankie up on the roof, the man sneering saying terrible things. The judge is trying in vain to regain order in the sudden uproar in the court, but Erica Kane's voice carries over it all.
"I did it. I killed that horrid man. I shot Michael Stone."
Chapter: chapter 8j
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie couldn't stand it when her mother lied so heinously about her relationship with her father. Erica b/c of what was said, remembered what happened on the roof top and exclaimed that it was in fact she, who shot Michael Stone.
setting: The court house.
"I'm the one who shot Michael Stone!" Erica declared. And the courthouse became a din of noise as everyone erupted into exclamations of surprise.
"What?" Chris goes over to her.
"Oh Chris," she leans into his arms, "I did it. I killed that wretched man. He was threatening to hurt my baby! And the horrid things he said to Frankie..! He had a gun Chris! He was going to kill all of us."
"So you're saying it was self-defence." Urges Jackson.
She looks at him, "Well of course it was Jack I mean really. I you had been up there and hear what that horrible man said he was going to do to my Bianca and his own daughter-!"
"That's a lie!" Cecilia squawks coming out from the witness stand over to them. "You're lying to protect your deviant daughter and this worthless slut!"
Before anyone can react, Erica slaps the woman hard enough to make Cecilia trip back.
"You disgusting woman!" Erica fumes while both Chris and Jackson hold her back. "What kind of mother spends her time getting high while a monster like that tries to rape his won daughter! You should be in the ground with him!"
"Now Erica," Chris begins to both comfort and warn, "You need to clam down right now. And you need to be quiet."
"I'd listen to him." Jackson nods to Chris. "You need to make an official statement."
"Are we all quite done with the theatrics in my court?" grinds out the aggravated judge. "Bailiff, clear this court except for relatives and essential personnel. Take that woman into custody right this instant." He points with his gable to Cecilia.
"But I haven't done anything!" She fights the guards.
"Mrs. Stone," The judge explains tightly, "it is against the law to abuse your children or through neglect, allow them to be abused." With her protests and curses strewn about, she's dragged away.
"Now I want both counsellors and you, Ms. Kane, in my chambers now!" He stands and strides off with the three in tow.
An officer comes over to where Anna and David are seated behind Frankie who's been motionless since the confession. Anna looks at the officer. Stopping him from clearing out David.
"That's alright, he's with me. He can stay."
"Alright Chief." The officer wanders off.
David leans over the railing to speak to Frankie. "It looks like you'll be in the clear once they straighten this mess out. That's great Frankie. Once you get released we'll go out to dinner, my treat. We'll celebrate." He puts his hand on her shoulder to emphasize how glad he is at the news that she'll be free soon.
Frankie shrugs of his hand and glares at him. "Great? Celebrate? This is exactly what I didn't want to happen. Everything's ruined. Now Bianca's mom will be sent to jail, ;leaving Bianca all alone and it's all my fault! I screwed everything up."
"But Frankie-" David began, but a touch from Anna silences him.
"You screwed up?" Anna steps closer peering at Frankie while the pieces finally fall into place for her. "You planned this. You called your mother for help knowing she'd betray you and help make it look like you did kill your father. You confessed to a crime you a shooting you didn't commit than did your damndest to frame yourself. And you did it to keep Bianca from losing her only living parent. And because of that you protected one of the last people anyone would suspect you of doing: Erica Kane."
"Didn't work out too well now did it?" Frankie says desolated, disgusted and shaken by the confrontation with her mother.
"You can't blame your self for hwat happened on that roof top Frankie. "Anna came over and knelt by the wheelchair, placing a hand on top of Frankie's. "It's not your fault. What your father did and tried to do isn't either. It's all on his head and may he rot in Hell for it. You did a very brave and noble thing."
"You mean stupid." Frankie doesn't know what to do.
"No," David backs up his wife. "She means exceptional. You were willing to sacrifice everything: your happiness, your freedom, even your life, all for love. There's nothing more noble than that."
"What happens now?" Frankie says in a lost voice.
Anna and David look at each other concerned.
Outside the courthouse in a holding cell, Cecilia sits cursing.
"You little bitch."
She glances up quickly to see Roger Smyth grabbing the bars as though he were wringing her neck. "You lying worthless woman. I can't believe I trusted you-"
"You were willing to believe whatever you wanted as long as you could leave me so don't you be trying to lay the blame of this on me!" She cuts him off, nearly spiting at him.
"If you weren't locked up here I'd kill you myself!" Roger states. "When I stop to think what you must have put that poor girl through I feel sick."
"That' how I felt everytime I looked at her smug face and thought of you." She swaggers over to the bars. "I remember what kind of 'people' you are so just because you run with the hoity-totey crowd don't think I don't know where you come from and what you're really like."
"You're disgusting! Drugs Ceecee? And what that man might have done to her..!"
"Listen to you, acting all holier-than-thou. How do you think that 'poor little girl' in there would feel knowing you paid me to have an abortion? Hmm?"
"Don't you dare! She's obviously been through hell thanks to you. Besides that was a long time ago and you're the one who said you wanted to get rid of it."
Cecilia smiles with pure malice. "'It'. I wonder what your high society would say if they knew all about you, me, and 'it'? I imagine a man like you with his rich wife and trust fund daughter wouldn't wan that now would you Roger?"
"What are you getting at?"
"That if you want me to keep my mouth shut. You're going to help me get out of here"
Chapter: chapter 8k
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Erica's in the judge's chambers with Jack and Chris. Cecilia is blackmailing Roger to get her out of jail. Frankie is waiting to hear what happens next.
setting: The court house.
Jackson steps out of the judge's chambers and walks over to Frankie, David and Anna. Giving them a bring nod. "I've got good news for you. You've been cleared of all charges, he's even letting you skip on the perjury charges he could bring against you but he sympathizes with your situation."
"You mean she's free to go Jackson?" Anna asks.
"That's exactly what I'm saying. They do have to process you of course. That might take an hour. During that time you'll be remanded into the security wing of the hospital. Once that re tape is done you can go wherever you like."
David and Anna both are relieved and happy but Frankie is not in the least.
"What's going to happen to Erica?" She asks Jackson.
"Now don't you worry about that." He gets down on one knee putting a hand on her arm. "The evidence is very strong that it was self-defence. The DA'sofffice is inclined to agree. Erica won't be facing any jail time so you don't have to worry. Might I add, it was a very brave, stupid, but brave thing you did up there trying to keep our Bianca and her mother together."
"I just- I couldn't-"
"It's okay Frankie. I understand." He sighs. "There is one more matter however."
"What's that?" David asks warily.
"The charges against Cecilia Stone. The statues dictate that she can be charged for abuse , even if only as an accessory which lends to charges of neglect. However, due to the statutes of limitations and that you were a child at the time, the court can only pursue it if you, Frankie, press the charges." He waits to hear her answer.
"Frankie's enter _expression is tight and closed. "That would mean having to see her everyday in court right?"
"Yes, yes it would."
"I don't want to see her again. I don't want to go through all that. I know I'm being a coward but I can't Mr. Jackson."
"You know something Frankie? For a coward you're one of the bravest people I know with possibly the exception of my daughter and that woman in those chambers. Don't worry about your mother. She's facing some very serious perjury charges and as the DA I can insist that part of any conditions is that she stay away from you."
"You'd do that for me?"
He smiles gently at her and takes her face in his hands, kissing her gently on top of her head. "I would do that for you. And didn't I tell you before to call me Uncle Jack?"
Frankie looks at her feet. "Thanks uncle Jack."
"You're welcome." He stands and looks to Anna. "And I hope you'll have a long talk with her about coming to one of us for help should she ever be in any, and I mean any, kind of trouble again."
"You bet." Anna smiles putting hand on Frankie's shoulder.
"Well I have to get back in there. Take care." Jackson re-enters the chambers.
"Well, lets get you settled in the hospital and get that paperwork pushed through." David wheels a silent Frankie out with Anna beside them.
A little later at the hospital, Frankie is still deep in thought trying to make sense of everything that's happened. A voice startles her and makes ice flow in her veins.
"Well, well, niece of mind, fancy meeting you here."
Frankie wheels around and standing in her room is Vanessa Courtland, also known as Proteus.
Chapter: chapter 8l
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Just when Frankie got off the hook in court, Vanessa sneaks into her hospital room
setting: Frankie's hospital room.
What, deer niece? No Hello? Hardly inviting are you?" Vanessa smiles at her prey maliciously.
"Guard! Guard!!" Frankie yells trying to wheel back from the advancing woman.
Vanessa snatches at her chair and leans into her so that they're nearly nose to nose. "Now Mary-Francis, I took care of the guard otherwise I wouldn't have gotten in here now would I? That was a very naughty thing you did, giving the DA that disk."
"So what are you going to do now?" Asks a pale Frankie. "Get revenge?"
"You think I'd make it that easy for you?" Vanessa laughs. "Oh my poor, misguided girl. You really have no idea who you're dealing with do you?"
"Only the person who made my and Bianca's life Hell since I first came here." Frankie grounds out past clenched teeth, her anger overcoming her fear.
"You wouldn't even have been here at all if it weren't for me you stupid twit of a girl!" Vanessa seethed. "There would be no lovely Bianca in your life at all if I hadn't have brought you here! And this, this, is how you thank me?"
"Yeah, gosh, where are my manners. Thank you aunt Vanessa for trying to kill the woman I love and her mother and me."
Vanessa nearly strikes her. "You watch that smart mouth of yours. You ungrateful thing, you should be begging for your life right now."
Frankie's tone is derisive. "I already lost the use of my legs, and Bianca, well, she hates my guts thanks to my old man, so no, I don't exactly feel 'grateful' to anyone right now. Shouldn't you be flying back to the loony bin you crazy old bat?"
Vanessa's hands are suddenly right there, around her throat squeezing. "I told you to watch your tone."
Frankie clutches and grasps at Vanessa's hands but they don't loosen. "Your father? You really think he's the one to thank for that?" She chuckles evilly and realizing Frankie's turning blue, releases her abruptly. "The one person you should be thanking is me."
Frankie can't speak, she's gasping for air, holding her neck. She stares at Vanessa.
Utterly recomposed, Vanessa pats her hair in place. "You didn't think that worthless thug would be able to find you on his wee little own did you? Who did you think helped him?"
"Y-you?" Frankie gasps.
"I control everything dear, you really should have picked the right side. You must be thinking what a terrible mistake you've made."
Frankie glares at her and says in very precise tones, "I think that you're lucky I can't stand, otherwise I would commit murder."
Frankie's face turns even more grim.
"Just look at you! All ready for murder, and you don't even know the best part yet." Vanessa gloats.
"And what would that be?"
"Oh no, no no no, I won't be letting that cat out of the bag just yet." A cruel smile turns Vanessa's lips upward as she backs towards the door ready to slip out. "But I will leave you with this. Now that you've so heroically taken yourself out of the picture, who will be there for your dear sweet Bianca? Revenge Mary-Francis? You're about to learn the meaning of the word. I've only just begun."
The room is empty, Vanessa has left. Frankie sits their, pale and shaken. Wondering what could lay around the corner.
Bianca walks around the corner of the hospital with two cups of coffee, she goes over and hands one to the seated Sarah.
"So what did Doctor Joe say?"
Sarah bent her head sheepish, "That the discoloration was normal bruising considering the spill I took and that it was completely normal. You must think I'm a total baby for dragging you down here to get my ankle checked out."
Bainca takes a seat next to her and smiles, handing her a cup. "Don't be silly Sarah. You showed me your ankle, that is one nasty bruise. I think you did the smart thing, coming here to get it looked at." She pauses, staring into her coffee unseeing before continuing, "Besides it was nice, spending the day and actually not thinking about all the recent stuff that's happened."
Sarah puts a gentle hand on Bianca's knee. "Hey, I'm glad I could be there for you. I want to be a friend you can rely on, someone you can turn to."
"Well, you did take a fall for me. Literally." Bianca grinned at her, striving to shake off her mood.
Sarah grins back and nudges her with an elbow. "Listen to you but it is true I did fall for you."
The gaze they exchange is more serious than the teasing words. And one voice broke it like a bolt of lightning.
"Bianca?" Erica Kane stood there.
A bit flustered, Bianca tries to recover. "Mom, hi. What are you doing here?"
Erica looks at her daughter but keeps glancing at Sarah. "When I got your message that you were at the hospital I came right away. Are you alright?"
"Mom, I'm fine. Sarah came from out of town to lend me support and then on the way to the courthouse she feel going up the steps and twisted her ankle pretty badly. So I took her here."
"Yes, Sarah, so nice to see you again. You fell up the steps?"
"Hi Ms. Kane. Yeah, I'm a clutz." She quickly turns to Bianca. "I'm so sorry-"
"NO more apologies. I won't hear them!" Bianca insists cutting her off. "Besides I'm sure nothing happened anyway."
Erica looks increasingly distressed. "You don't know what happened today?"
Bianca looks up at her mother and frowns. "Did something happen? What?" Seeing the upset on her mother's face she grows panicked. "Mom, what happened?"
Erica sits beside Bianca and takes her hands into her own. "I think it would be best if you hear this in private, there's a lot you need to know."
Taking the blatant clue, Sarah rises up on her crutches. "I'm just going to go over tot hat vending machine and see if they have a sandwich."
"Uhm, okay. Thank you Sarah." Bianca said then immediately turned back to her mother. "Mom what's going on?"
"It's about that man on the roof who was shot, what I was doing up there, and Frankie. It's not pleasant Bianca, you're going to have to be strong to hear this through..."
Chapter: chapter 8m
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Vanessa told Frankie that this was all far from over. Erica found Bianca with Sarah and is telling her daughter what happened in court.
setting: Frankie's hospital room.
Pale still, Frankie sits there mulling over what Vanessa said and what it all means. So deep in though was she that she didn't hear the door open and Bianca step in.
"Frankie." Bianca says, filled with mixed emotions.
Too much has happened today to Frankie. She is shocked and listless. "Bianca? Are you really here?"
Bianca approaches her tentatively. "It's really me. My mom told me about hwat happened in court today. She told me everything. I'm so sorry about your mom and ...your father." She holds herself back from touching Frankie, unsure of how the comfort would be received.
"Oh, so you got the scoop did ya? Quite the fodder for the press I suppose. Not exactly Little House on the Prairie time is it?"
"Frankie," the name comes out strained. Bianca kneels next to her,"Why didn't you tell me?"
Frankie regards her than says point of fact, "So I wouldn't have to see the look you have on your face right now."
"It's not pity!" Bianca insists.
"You better leave." Frankie doesn't say whether she believes her or not. "Vanessa was just here and she was out for blood. Wouldn't want you to get caught in the crossfire. Again."
Bianca stands up and steps back. "What?"
"Yeah," Frankie continues in that same lifeless voice, "She choked me and threatened me. No point calling the cops. She's already supposed to be in custody. Besides if she can get out once she can get out again. You should go."
"I can't believe this. You're pushing me away again! Frankie, after everything we've been through, everything you've been through, why would you push me away now?"
"I'm still a threat. Just being around me can get you hurt. Again."
"Dammit Frankie!" Bianca's fists clench. "You don't have that right to take my choices from me like that. I get enough of that from my mom. She's always trying to control my life one way or another. I didn't need that from you and I don't want that now!"
"I won't stop protecting you." Frankie states, not even looking at her.
"I never asked you to protect me!"
"And I never asked you to love me." Frankie says.
"Is that is Frankie? You're mad at me for being in love with you? Or is it that your mad at your self for having loved me? Are you?"
"What?" Stricken by those last words she finally looks up at Bainca. "No! I could never be mad at you for that. I'm only mad at myself, for not being what you need, the kind of person you should be with. It's not me Bianca. How could it be? I've only caused you pain and danger."
With tears in her eyes, her hands still clenched tightly, Bianca stares at her. "So you take that choice from me? What right do you have to do that? You lied to me! You've been lying to me since the day we met! All I've ever wanted from you from the beginning is for you to be honest with me. But you can't even give me that. Did you really ever love me Frankie?"
"God, Bianca, of course! How can you ask me that after everything I've done for you?"
"For me?" The words squeeze both their hearts painfully,"When you love someone Frankie you trust them. You don't hold back. You don't constantly push them away. You don't try to manipulate them into hating you sot hat it's easier for you to tell them goodbye. That's not love Frankie."
"But, Bianca, I-" her hand stretched out to touch Bianca -
"Oh sorry. Was I interrupting?" A blond girl said having stepped into the room.
"Sarah." Bianca says surprised.
Frankie's outstretched hand drops like a stone.
Chapter: chapter 8n
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca confronts Frankie, feeling betrayed by the lies and manipulations. Sarah interrupts...
setting: Frankie's hospital room.
Frankie looked from Bianca's face to the blondes. "You're Sarah?" She asked, her face hardening as surely as her tone.
"Uh, yeah." Sarah seemed unsure whether to take a step forward or back. "I got worried when I coudnln't find you that your talk with your mother didn't go well. So I started to look for you. I didn't realize-"
"You didn't realize she would be with me?" Frankie shot out.
"You're Frankie right?" Sarah asked, glancing at Bianca for confirmation and reassurance.
Highly uncomfortable, Bianca stepped between them. "Sorry, I was just surprised. Sarah, this is Frankie. Frankie, this is my friend Sarah. She's come down to give me support."
Frankie leans back in her chair and snidely remarks, "I just bet she is."
"Frankie, she's my friend!" Bianca protests, offended.
"I remember you telling me exactly how good a friend sweet society girl Sarah was." Frankie's gaze holds Sarah's. "I bet she'd like to be in that position again."
"This is ridiculous!" Bianca takes Sarah's arm to lead her away. "I needed someone after everything you've put me through. And Sarah has been there for me, just as a friend. Which was a very generous and kind thing to do! And why should I even bother explaining any of this to you when you've made it perfectly clear that you don't want to be with me no matter what. That you'll lie and do whatever you think is necessary no matter how extreme on some insane notion that we can't ever be together.!"
Frankie can't help herself. "Didn't take you long to find my replacement though did it? So much for your true love, right Bianca?"
"That's it! I'm through going through this with you. You have no right to insult me or any of my friends! You want me to stay away? Congratulations Frankie, I no longer strive to be your doormat. Goodbye."
Both women leave. Frankie's whole facade falters as soon as the door closes. She grips the sides of her wheelchair tight enough to bruise herself as she clenches her jaw to keep from howling. She hears the click of the door and quickly tries to salvage her attitude. The person in her doorway makes her pause, than become resigned.
"You here to finish what your daughter started?" She asks Erica Kane.
Chapter: chapter 8o
what you didn't see: Trey has arrived in town to defend Vanessa. Kendall has arrived to watch her mother go down for murder only to be sorely disappointed.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Sarah walked in on Bianca's and Frankie's blowout and it went even worse from here. Erica has entered Frankie's room and she has a purpose, or three,;)
setting: Frankie's hospital room.
"Hello Frankie" Erica Kane closes the door behind her.
"So," Frankie asks again, "Are you here to finish telling me off where your daughter stopped? I've already been read the riot act once but I'm good for twice in one day. So lay it on me Erica, tell me how bad I am and how I'd better stay away from your daughter."
"Actually Frankie, I'm here to say thank you. And to let you know that the DA won't be pressing any charges against me. They ruled it self-defence. Nor will they pursue any charges of perjury or obstruction of justice against you. I spoke with the judge and Jackson and they agreed to let it go."
"Why would you do that?"
"Do what?" Erica asks.
"Do me any favours. Why didn't you let the judge throw the book at me? You hat e me Erica. You have since the first day you met me. Why would you defend me now?"
Erica gives a small nod. "I can understand why you think that but Frankie, I never truly hated you. I've come to understand that what I've done is misunderstand you greatly. And all three of us have paid the price for it."
Frankie shakes her head. "I'm not getting you."
"If I hadn't been so afraid of my daughter getting hurt, maybe I would have been able to see what she sees in you. If I hadn't turned myself into your enemy, than maybe you could have come to me when your...your father came to town and threatened you." She raises a hand to stop any protests from Frankie. "No, hear me out. Please. I understand now why you didn't feel you could rely on anyone to help you, to protect you. Your own mother wasn't there for you when you needed her most, she failed you. How could you expect strangers to treat you any better? So I think I understand why you felt you couldn't trust those you love-"
"I don't love them." Frankie states vehemently.
Erica concedes. "Your family. I understand. You know Frankie when I was fourteen," she hesitates just a breath,"I was raped. Something I blamed my father for and still do to this day. So I know what it's like to have that anger, feel that kind of betrayal from your family."
Frankie fiddles, edgy, not looking at the woman standing there she asks, "Did you ever blame yourself?"
Erica peers at the suddenly vulnerable girl before her and sits down near her and asks at her most gentle, "Is that what you think Frankie? That what your father tried to do was your fault?"
"I-I don't know. The fights, my mom and the drugs, I always figured it must have been something I did wrong for her to hate me like that."
"Oh Frankie, it wasn't your fault. None of it's your fault." She gives in to her instincts and pulls Frankie into a hug. Frankie is stiff with surprise but can't stop her sudden tears.
She pulls away before giving in completely to an embrace that her mother never, ever had given her. "How can you say that to me after everything I put your daughter through?"
"You inadvertently brought danger into my daughter's life. I am not happy about that Frankie but you are not the one to blame for that. That was that criminal Seth, and your father, and we mustn't forget that insane aunt of yours who masterminded half of it."
"You mean all of it." Frankie rubs angrily at her eyes, embarrassed by her previous show of emotion.
"What do you mean all of it?"
"I just found out that Vanessa was the one who called my dad on me."
"Why that hateful, venomous little snake-" Erica realizes she's about to blow up and quickly regains her composure, her heart going out to the young woman sitting in the wheelchair across from her. "She'll be spending the rest of her life behind bars. I'll help see to that."
"Erica don't" Frankie surprises them both by putting a hand on Erica's arm. "She's not worth it.Let the cops and lawyers handle it. Keep yourself out of the line of fire, for your daughter's sake, please?"
Erica considers, seeing the desperation written so clearly on Frankie's face, relents. "Alright. You know I'd do anything for my daughter."
Frankie rolls her eyes. "Tell me about it. Like that's news."
"What I didn't realize before was that you love her too."
Frankie stares at her.
"When you love someone Frankie, you'll do anything for them. Beyond reason, or logic, or sometimes even sanity. You went to all that trouble to protect me daughter, and to keep her from being separatedfrom me because you didn't want her to lose her other parent, knowing how important family is to her. Am I right?"
"So?" Frankie tries to tough it out and shrug it off.
"That kind of fierce love can take a person down an unexpected road sometimes. And it can seem hard to find your way back." Erica takes something out of her coat and puts it on Frankie's lap. "I found this in my mailbox a few weeks ago. You know it's very bad manners to return a gift."
Frankie stares at her lap. It's the compass Erica had given her last Christmas.
"I don't deserve it."
With all the compassion in her soul Erica tells her, "I understand why you feel that way but Frankie what you've done is sacrifice everything that's important to you for the one you love. I think you've found your home, and it's with my daughter."
"How-how can you say that? Bianca hates me for what I've done."
"You love her." Erica insists adamantly.
Frankie looks at her, suddenly overwhelmed and weary. "Bianca once told me that you get love."
Erica was relieved to finally hear her call Bianca by name and not 'your daughter' as she had been. She sat their touched to see, at last, the real Frankie, and not just her protective shell of attitude and bravado. "Bianca has a hard time understanding the extremes love can push a person in. But she'll come around. She has to big a heart not to forgive the people she loves so dearly. And she does love you Frankie."
"She has Sarah now." Frankie tells her disheartened.
"And so you're going to give up on my daughter just like that?" Erica uses her cunning and adds, "Than maybe I have misjudged you as the equal my daughter needs after all to be so easily dissuaded by a the arrival of an ex-flame."
"Frnakie shakes her head at her. "I just don't get you. You wanted to drive me out of town and now you want me to chase after Bianca? I would have thought miss blonde high society girl would be just who you would dream of for your gay little girl since you couldn't have her marry a white knight."
Erica smiles at her kindly. "But she does have her knight Frankie. She has you."
Frankie was about to protest but Erica taking her hand and squeezing it silences her. "You rescued my daughter-"
"Form danger I put her in!"
"And you took responsibility for that and paid a terrible price. Now if you'll let me finish. Yes, Sarah was my daughter's first love, but she was the one who was always rescuing others. She rescued Sarah, Rain, Leo, Laura, even me. She's always looking out for everyone. That's the kind of person she is. But you came into her life. And at first I thought you would be someone else Bianca would have to help and save, but I was wrong. You saved her. You're the first person ever to come to my daughter's rescue. I don';t just mean physically. She's always helping everyone through each crisis but there's been no one for her. Sure there's me and Jack and Myrtle but we're family. There hasn't been anyone special that she could urn to, rely on. And all on your own Frankie, despite Vanessa and the others, you put my daughter first. Not even Sarah ever did that. You're the first person in my daughter's life to show a love, and a heart as brave and maybe even as strong as Bianca's. She needs an equal heart to match the love in hers and I think you just might have that." Erica stands up. She gestures towards the compass. "You keep that gift Frankie. And trust in your heart to show you the way home. It may be closer than you think."
With those words, Erica Kane leaves. Frankie, tears in her eyes, holds the compass to her tightly.
note: We're into the area that begins to mirror certain moments of the TV soap from back Fall 2001. However, this has a different twist. Plus I'll begin to integrate things that have happened up until now as well.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Erica places her hopes on Frankie.
setting: Sarah's room.
A dispirited Bianca drops down of the couch. "So that's what happened."
"Wow, that's so..harsh. It sounds like Frankie most love you a lot." Sarah says after ingesting all the information of what happened at the trial.
Bianca almost winces at the words. "Lying isn't love Sarah. I moved out of my mother's house so that I wouldn't be manipulated by her, I certainly wont accept it from anyone else, not even Frankie."
"But," Sarah hesitates than continues sadly, "you still love her. Frankie I mean."
"I loved the way we were before all the lies and deceit. Before she treated me like a child who had to be kept in the dark. I can't be with someone who I can't trust not to do that same again, all because she thinks I need to be protected. I can take care of myself."
Sarah takes in Bianca's far off look. "No one can do it all alone Bainca. Not even amazing you."
That wins her a wan smile. "I don't feel very amazing right now."
"You are." Sarah tells her softly. "And you're not alone."
Frankie hears a soft knock on the door before it opens to reveal David and Anna.
"Great!" She says with honest enthusiasm. "Please tell me you're here to spring me from this place?"
David chuckles. "We are but is the service that bad?"
"Don't even get me started!" She feels her first real smile in days crease her face looking up at their beaming expressions.
"Well, I've cleared everything." Anna tells her. "But we have something else to tell you, something good."
"What is it?" Frankie looks form one to the other.
The take seats on either side of her. David takes the folder he was carrying and hands it to her. Frankie gives him a dubious look and opens it. "This is Michael Stone's file."
"Yes, and no." David says. "Do you know anything about blood compatibility Frankie?"
"Do I look like a doctor to you?" She quips good-naturedly.
David smiles. "Well, it's really quite simple. Two people of certain blood types can only have children with certain, similar blood types. Do you understand?"
"Oh I get it. Like two blond parents with blue eyes would hardly have a kid with dark eyes and hair?"
"exactly." David agrees. "I was reviewing your latest records and something struck me from when they brought your father in. I decided to go and check your mother's blood type just to make sure. And we found out something you should know." He stress at her and tells her ,"Michael Stone, I should say the man Erica shot, is not your father."
"What?" She can hardly believe her ears.
"It's true. His blood type is completely incongruous with your won. There is no way that man was your father Frankie." He puts a hand on her arm. "How are you handling the news?"
"It kind of is much after everything that's happened but..are you sure?"
"Than the man who kept trying to hurt me, molest me...wasn't really my dad?"
"That' right." Anna says. She puts an arm around Frankie, understanding what this must mean to her. "And there's more. Do you think you can handle it?"
"Finding out my sicko dad was just some sicko is weird but kind of a relief you know? I mean, the fact that it was my own father who wanted to rape me...it was harsh you know?"
"Of course it was." David emphasises.
Frankie takes a big breath. "Okay, so who's my dad then?"
"That's the other part of what we found out." Anna reveals. "When David told me what he had discovered, I made some calls to some old contacts and found this." She hands her another folder.
Frankie opens it and looks at the photo. "Who's this?" She asks, holding up a photo of a uniformed man with kind eyes.
Anna answers her, "That's the real Michael Stone."
Frankie looks tot he photo and back at Anna. "Huh?"
"WE don't know who the man in the morgue is but this here is the real Michael Stone. He married your mother, they soon separated. I doubt he ever knew she was pregnant. He left to take work at another base. He was an air force pilot."
Frankie's eyes stay glued tot he photo. "A pilot?"
"Yes, a very brave one. He had several commendations." Anna's demeanour sobers at the next words. "Unfortunately, he did pass away during the Gulf War. He died saving lives. This is your father."
Frankie sits back, taking it all in. "My dad, this is my real dad? A war hero?"
David pipes "The blood types though rare to produce yours are hardly impossible. There's no reason to think he isn't."
"I'm just sorry we had to give you the bad news that he's passed away." Anna says.
"Hey, don't sweat it, I mean, my dad , I always thought it was that freak jerk you know? To find out he was a hero...it's, it's more than I dreamed of. It's probably for the best he never knew me anyways. He'd be disappointed."
Anan grips her affectionately. "You saved Bianca's life at least twice, same with Erica's. Your a hero yourself Frankie."
"I have to agree with my wife Frankie. I think the apple didn't fall far from that tree." He leans in and gives her a kiss on the head.
She smiles bashfully and stares at her toes, still holding the folder. "So we gonna split or what?"
David and Anna look to each other, pleased. "Split." They say together.
Before they make it to the door, Leo rushes in. "Oh my god there you are. " He says to both Anna and David. "Vanessa's escaped and Greenlee's missing!"
"What?" David says outraged.
Anna pulls her gun. "What do you know Leo. Details now."
I"I came looking for Greenlee. She came down saying she was going to give Frankie here a piece of her mind, for holding the disk and all. I came to stop her from making a scene but I couldn't help myself. I walked by our mother's room and looking in, noticed the guard was missing. I opened the door and he was behind it, unconscious." He runs a hand apprehensively through his messed hair. "I've been looking everywhere for Greens and I can't find her. You've got to help me, if mother gets to her I don't now what she'll do."
"Alright. I want all three of you to stay put. Don't move outside of this room is that clear?" Anna demands.
"No way am I staying here while that psycho could have Greenlee." Leo states.
She gauges him. "Alright," Anna relents. "David, I need you to stay here with Frankie, she could be a target as well. I'm going to get some more officers and cordon off the place."
"Got it" David says, putting a reassuring hand on Frankie's shoulder. "Be careful."
Anna gives him a parting smile "I love you too."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie finds out that the man who Erica shot wasn't the real Michael Stone. Vanessa is on the loose and Greenlee is missing.
setting: Sarah's room.
Sarah smiling, walks over and turns on the TV set, flipping through channels carelessly. A scene stops her. She listens intently to the news reporter standing outside the PV Hospital.
"It's a scene of chaos and violence here at what is normally a place of healing and safety. Vanessa Cortland escaped from custody earlier today and took Greenlee Smyth, her soon to be daughter in law, hostage. There was a stand-off and shots were fired. Our latest information tells us that Vanessa Cortland aka Proteus, has been taken into custody and hat Greenlee Smyth is in critical condition. A young woman who's dreams of happily ever after with her true love, Leo DuPres, may yet come to a tragic end thanks to none other than her fiancée's husband. Proteus was first identified-"
No longer smiling, Sarah quickly cuts off the TV hearing noises approaching. Bianca walks into the room, in a fluffy bathrobe, vigorously drying her hair. "So anything good on the television to watch?"
Sarah looks at the television than turns to Bianca, smiling again. "Nope not a thing. I say we stay in and order up supper. Well put on some music and catch up on everything. Me and you bunking in the same room having girl talk. Just like old times. What do you say?"
Bianca smiles at her friend. "How can I refuse the best offer I've had all day?"
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: We heard on the news that Greens is in ICU and that Vanessa is back in custody. But Sarah doesn't want Bianca to know. The questions remain as to why.
Leo is nearly climbing the walls with his anxious pacing around the waiting room. Mary and Roger Smyth are sitting together, drawn and pale.
Anna walks in from the cold. "Any news?" She asks spying Leo.
"Nothing. What is with these doctors!" He growls in frustration.
She puts a soothing hand on his arm. "I'm sure they'll let us know as soon as they can. Remember, your brother is in there with them."
"Yeah, David will make sure everything's okay. He wouldn't let her...He would do what he could to make sure she makes it. She'll make it. She's too strong to give up."
"That's right." Mary puts in, teary eyed and shaking. "She's a strong girl. And a stubborn streak like no other. Our little girl's going to pull through this. I just hope that mother of yours rots in Hell for what she's done."
Anna quickly puts out a calming motion with her hands out to avoid any possible remarks they'll regret later. "She's in custody at the jail. I saw to it myself."
"Good," Leo remarks, "she can keep her sister company. They deserve each other."
He catches the _expression passing over Anna's face. "What is it?" Leo asks. "They are locked up right?"
With a heavy sigh Anna confesses, "Actually, Cecilia was released on bail. I don't know where she is now."
"What?" Mary screeches. "How could that little white trash criminal scrape up enough for bail?"
"We don't know." Anna shrugs. "It was done through Trey Kenyan, Vanessa's lawyer. As for who paid it, I couldn't find out."
Roger wipes the back of his neck, standing up. "Who cares about her? It's Greenlee we need to be focused on right now. And making sure she's safe from that horrible Vanessa Cortland."
"Roger's right." Leo says. "It's Greenlee who counts. She's all that counts."
Two doctors come out of the ICU, one is David.
Leo rushes to him. "David, what's going on? How's she doing?"
David looks at them and says compassionately, "I think you all need to sit down and hear this."
"Oh my God. It's bad news." Mary exclaims.
"Just wait and hear me out." David tells them. "The bullet entered at an angle in her lower back. Now it didn't harm her spinal cord. That's a very good thing. And we have the internal bleeding under control."
"But" Leo urges. "I can hear the but David, spit it out, what's going on?"
He meets Leo's fear filled eyes and does one of the hardest things he's ever had to do. "Her kidneys have been damaged. The bullet destroyed one kidney which had to be removed immediately. The bullet ricocheted through the other side leaving her second kidney beyond repair. It's no longer functioning."
"Oh my God" Mary cries out.
"Surely there's something that can be done." Roger says desperately.
"She can't use her kidney's at all?" Leo asks.
"That's right Leo." David tells him.
"But you need at least one kidney to live right?" Leo pursues.
"That's right." David replies.
"Than take one of mine." Leo demands stepping forward. "Go ahead prep me for surgery. Let's go."
"I'm afraid it's not that easy. She needs a compatible donor. And I'm sorry Leo, you're not."
"What about one of us?" Roger stands. "Surely as her parents we must be compatible."
David shakes his head sadly. "I'm sorry. I've reviewed both your and Mrs. Smyth's medical records and neither of you are compatible. Usually the most likely candidate is a sibling but seeing as how Greenlee is an only child...that leaves us really with only one choice."
"Which is?" Leo asks, frantic.
"To put her on the waiting list for a suitable donor."
"But those lists can take forever." Ana puts in, worried.
Leo stares at them all. "So you mean she won't make it in time to get a match?"
"Leo," David tries to tell him, "The lists are long as it is and even then there's the issue of compatibility. I'm afraid we may be facing the worst."
"There's no other alternative?" Roger asks.
"None." David regrets having to tell him.
Roger is sweating profusely. "What if there was a match? One not on any waiting list?"
"It would have to come from a family member." David tells him.
"And if there was?" Roger persists.
"Than we could operate right away. This is Dr. Romero. He's our chief organ transplant for kidneys. He's one of the best in the field."
"If there was a match and we operated right away," Dr. Romero informs them, "As long as her body didn't reject the donated organ she would have an outstanding chance to live."
"And without it?" Leo asks him.
Dr. Romero shakes his head gravely. "I'm afraid her chances are slim to none."
Mary breaks down sobbing, Anna goes to her. Leo punches a wall crying, David grabs him into a tight hug.
No one sees Roger walking away.
In her room waiting for David or Anna to come back, Frankie is staring at the photo of the real Michael Stone. "So your father is a war hero Frankie? Maybe you're not a total loser after all."
She looks up as a man she hardly recognizes walks in. "What do you want? Wait, your Greenlee's dad aren't you?"
"That's right." Roger tells her. "And she's dying."
Not knowing what to say, she fumbles for words. "Sorry to hear that. We weren't close but Leo seems like a sort of okay guy."
"You don't understand." Roger approaches her. "You can help save her."
She regards him sceptically. "What the Hell can I do?"
"You don't understand." Roger repeats before squaring his shoulders. "She's your sister. I'm your father."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee's in critical condition and needs a kidney. Roger goes to the one person he thinks can save her, his other daughter, Frankie.
"What did you just say?" Frankie demands of the crazy man standing in her hospital room.
"I'm your father." Roger repeated. "I knew your mother back when she was pining away for some adrenalin plane jockey she was married to. She got pregnant. I thought she had an abortion but obviously she didn't. And now you're the only chance my little girl has."
Frankie holds up her hands. "Whoa! You come in here and expect me to buy your load of bull! What kind of trip do you think you're on?"
"Look!" Roger's desperately kneels down before her. "My daughter is dying in there! You're her only chance. Now hurry up, we've got to make sure your compatible." He goes to move her chair and she shoves him away.
"Wait one second! I'm not buying whatever it is you're selling. Greenlee's in trouble? Too bad! Aren';t we all. In case you missed it I'm in a wheel chiar you freak. I just had my mother come and try to help frame me for murdering the man I thought was my dad, a dad who tried to rape me! The one person I love hates me. I just found out my real dad is a war hero and now you're trying to tell me the girl who hates my guts is my half-sister because you got it on with my mom way back when?"
"Yes, yes, now hurry there's not much time-"
"Pal, I don't know who you think you are but you're not my father. And I've had enough. So go."
"We don't have time for this!" Roger insists.
"I don't have time for you." Frankie states. "There's the door. Bye!"
"No, I can't leave. You have to understand. I realize this must be a shock to you but my girl's dying! You're her only hope!"
"What the hell is this?" Leo demands from the doorway. "I followed you to see what you were up to and you're harassing my cousin?"
"Thank God you're here Leo." Roger goes to him. "You have to convince her. She's Greenlee's only chance."
"What are you talking about?" Leo stares at him as if he's gone mad.
Roger takes a breath. "This will come as a shock to you but Frankie is my daughter. She may be a compatible donor for Greenlee."
Leo gapes at him.
Frankie rolls her eyes. "Can you guys making with the crazy leave?"
Leo looks at her back to Roger. "Is it true?" He can barely believe it.
"Yes." Roger confesses.
"But, why didn't you say anything sooner?" Leo struggles to grasp it all.
"I didn't want Greenlee to know I was unfaithful to her mother and had another child. I didn't even know that Frankie was my daughter until Cee Cee showed up in court."
"And you didn't say anything then?" Leo asks. "Didn't you think Frankie had a right to know that , that sick bastard wasn't her father? Your reputation too important compared to your own kid's peace of mind? You are some piece of work Roger."
Roger grabs him. "None of that matters now! Don't you see? If she is compatible than Greenlee will live!"
"That's it. I'm calling the nurse and she can get security to throw your ass out." Frankie reaches for the button by her bed.
"No!" Leo shouts, startling her. "Wait. If what Roger says...if it's true than he's right. You're the only chance Greenlee has. I mean, don't you even want to know for sure if she's your sister?"
"You seem to forget. We've met. We don't like each other. Hell, you don't even like me Leo so what, now that I might be able to give up a spare body part I'm worth something to you? Is that it? Well, I've had all the surprises I can take in one day. Being used to get my body parts to save your precious princess isn't on the list of things I feel up to. Now get the hell out of my room!" She says each word with increasing volume.
David runs in. "I got the call sign and heard yelling. What on Earth is going on here?"
"Just get them out of my room David please." A weary Frankie begs him.
"Both of you should be over at ICU." David starts.
Leo cuts him off. "But David, she's Greenlee's half-sister. She might be a match!"
"What?" David stares at him.
"It's true David, " Roger says, "I'm her father."
"I don't believe this." David states in shock.
"Join the club." Frankie says.
Leo and Roger both break in on David and Frankie with further protests and pleading.
"Enough!" David silences them both. "Leave my patient alone so that I can talk with her."
"But-" both Leo and Roger begin.
"Now." David says with finality.
They leave reluctantly. David goes over to Frankie. "Quite a day huh?"
"You said it."
"Frankie...if even there's a chance that what roger said is true. They're right, you're Greenlee's only hope of making it out of this alive."
Frankie exhales, almost folding in on herself. "I'm tired David."
He rubs her back. "I know you are. But you have the chance to save someone's life, and in doing that, helping two people find happiness finally."
"You mean Leo and her, getting married and living happily ever after."
"Yeah, happily ever after." David says quietly.
"But it might not be true right? You gotta run some tests first."
"We do. Is that a yes?"
Frankie looks at her hands, one is holding the compass, the other has the now crumpled up picture of Michael Stone. "It was nice while it lasted. Thinking I was his kid. That I came from someone decent."
David smoothes some hair away form her face, "You know, my parents weren't ideal but I rose above my upbringing. So can you Frankie. In fact, I think you already have. You're brave, and have more strength than you know. I'm very proud to be able to call myself your family."
Frankie's eyes sting. "Family's important to you isn't it?"
"The family that counts, yes. Like Leo, Anna, and you."
"Yes, even Greenlee." David smiles gently at her.
"Go ahead with the tests. "Frankie acquiesces. "Just keep those tow out of my room okay?"
"Consider it done. And Frankie?"
"What?" She stares at his retreating form.
He turns around and meets her eyes before leaving. "Thank you." He says with all his heart, than leaves.
She stares at the closed door. "Someone should get a happy ending, shouldn't they?"
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee's in critical condition and needs a kidney. Roger goes to the one person he thinks can save her, his other daughter, Frankie. Frankie is thinking it over.
David walks into Frankie's room. She looks up. "Well?"
He purses his lips than speaks, "It's true. You're a match."
Bianca is roaming around Sarah's room with increasing restlessness. She takes out her cell phone and dials. After a few beeps she listens. "Hmm, Leo calling? Shouldn't he be planning that wedding-" She breaks off as she continues to listen and her _expression becomes more and more alarmed.
"Oh my God." She flies around the room gathering her things.
Sarah walks in. Than gasps. "What's wrong? What's going on?"
Her words come out in a rush. "I checked my messages and that was Leo on the phone. Greenlee's been shot! She's dying! And there was something about Frankie too. I have to go over there!"
"Just wait a second and I'll come with you." A distressed Sarah offers.
"Catch up to me if you want but don't feel obligated you've already done so much." Bianca says, fishing through her purse for her car keys, not even once glancing at Sarah. "I have to go there." She rushes out the door leaving the room a mess and Sarah standing there.
Sarah's upset turns grim. She grabs her own coat, "I came here to protect you Bianca and that's exactly what I'll do."
At the hospital chapel, Frankie wheels herself into the silent room, with only some lit candles to see by. She looks up at the cross, her hands clenched on her lap.
"Alright, you never hear from me but what can I tell ya? I'm a last minute save kind of gal." She takes a breath. "I don't know what to do. It's been so much. Michael's not my dad, oh jet pilot guy is, oh no we're sorry, it's the con artist father of the girl who hates you, and by the way, can you give her an organ?" She shakes her head. "I should've know the con artist guy was my dad. That would figure. Like I could be the daughter of a hero. Nope, Frankie stone, loser extraordinaire."
She stares down for a moment, gathering her thoughts. "Thing is I think I screwed up. Actually I know I did. And Bianca deserves better than a screw-up. What the Hell were you thinking?" She looks at the cross half in heartbreak, half in anger. "Like we could have ever worked out? We're like, total opposites. And now this." She shakes her head again. Than she whispers, "But I wanted it to work out. I really did. And for a while, I didn't feel like a waste of space. And there she was, on my side, until I messed up. So here I am." She unfurls a hand and holds up the compass. "I wish this could tell me what to do. If what I'm doing is the right thing. I don't know maybe I'm just somehow trying to make up for all my mistakes. I just wish Bianca didn't hate me."
"Frankie," a voice filled with emotion that Frankie knows like her own heartbeat brings Frankie to swivel her chair around and stare, gaping.
Bianca continues from the entryway of the chapel. "I could never hate you Frankie. No matter what, I love you."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca found out about Greenlee and Frankie. Frankie is in the chapel, Bianca found her.
setting: The hospital chapel.
"You couldn't." Frankie said, pained.
"Couldn't love you?" Bianca drapes her coat on a nearby bench while walking towards her. "Wheel, so sorry but I do. There's not much you can do about it."
"Would you?" Than Frankie clarifies, clearing her throat. "If you could, would you change how you feel?"
Bianca sits on the edge of the bench closest to Frankie. "No, I wouldn't. You've frustrated the heck out of me and we've hurt each other but would I change falling in love with you?" she looks long and deeply at Frankie, than smiles sadly. "No, I don't regret that. Loving someone, it's gift Frankie, even if things don't work out."
Frankie looks down at her hands, ashamed. "I'm sorry I hurt you. I love you too." That last came out in such a low whisper Bianca might have missed it if they weren't all alone in the silent room.
She reaches out and places a hand on Frankie's, still with that sad smile gracing her features. "I know."
Frankie can't talk around the sudden tightening in her throat.
Bianca takes a look around then back at the woman before her. "So I heard, about everything. Greenlee's your sister huh?"
Frankie's tone is derisive, "Don't that just beat all. Greenlee of all people. I mean, how can it work that I'm related to both the bride and the groom?"
"Weird." Bianca says.
"Stranger things have happened I guess." Frankie stares down at Bianca's hand atop of hers. "Why are you here? Oh, for Leo right?"
"Leo has his family. I came here for you."
Frankie meets her eyes. "Why?"
"You might be going to have some very serious surgery done. Even without that, finding out about your father...I thought, maybe you could use a friend."
"A friend." Frankie echoes, staring at Bianca in wonder at this unexpected gift.
"Frankie, I can't help how I feel and...and I can't be with you, like that. Too much has happened for that trust to be there yet."
"Yet." Frankie repeats, her yes never leaving Bianca's.
"So maybe, if it's possible," She glances away than back at Frankie, "you could let me be your friend?"
"You up to that?" Frankie asks her honestly.
"I don't know." Bianca answers just as frankly. "I know I can't stand the though of anything bad happening to you. Or the thought of never seeing you again. Maybe we've been through too much to not be friends? What do you say?"
Frankie gazes at her, than seizes both of Bianca's hands in hers. "I think that's the best news I've had all day. Hell, all week."
Bianca's smile softens, loosing an edge of it's sorrow. "Frankie," she jokes, "don't say 'hell' when you're in a church."
"Oh", abashed Frankie mutters, "sorry."
"I'm teasing." Bianca tells her.
"Ah yeah, I knew that." some of the old Frankie shines through.
Bianca takes a breath and exhales. "So...did you decide whether you were going to donate a kidney to your new sister?"
"That's half sister." Frankie corrects her feeling in better spirits than she has in what seems like months. "And didn't you know? I though you said they told you?"
"Told me what?"
David walks in to the chapel. "Ah, there you are Frankie,. They're waiting for you in the OR."
Frankie says to Bianca apologetically, "As soon as they told me that I was a match I gave the go ahead for the surgery."
note: A quick insight for those who maybe hadn't sent he ep in question or weren't watching the soap back in Fall 2001. I make a reference to a 2001 Frankie ep where Bianca told her she loved her and asked "How does it feel?" And Frankie said approx. "Like a shirt that doesn't fit." And Bianca said "Than change your shirt."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca has had a reconciliation of sorts with Frankie and has just learned Frankie is about to go to the OR for surgery.
setting: The hospital chapel.
"You already decided on the surgery?" Bianca asks shocked at how fast everything was moving.
"Hey, it's okay." Frankie held on to Bianca's hands reassuringly. "I can do math. Without it she'll die. I can't go on with that on my conscience, not when I could have done something."
"But the surgery is serious isn't it?" Bianca says worriedly.
David steps forward. "We have the best medical staff in the country. Plus I'll be there. I won't let anything happen to Frankie." He adds apologetically. "I'm truly sorry but we really do need to prep her for the surgery."
"Okay." Bianca relents, releasing Frankie's hands.
Frankie holds on to them and her. "Hey, don't let me go so easily." She gives Bianca a patented Frankie grin and winks before leaning in and stealing a quick kiss before Bianca could even take a breath. "I'll be out of there in no time. You can look me up afterwards. We'll try on this friend deal. See if one of us needs to change a shirt or two."
Bianca can't help but smile at that, recalling their conversation from over a year ago. "You just make sure you do."
"I'll be easy to find." Frankie supplies, grinning even wider at the bemused _expression on Bianca's face since stealing a kiss. "I'm moving in with David and Anna once I blow this hospital joint."
"Technically, she'll be across the hall but we thought she might want her own space."
"Thanks David. Now take me to my appointment Geeves! And I'll see you later." With a wave she has a chuckling David wheel her off.
Bianca stares after her. She glances up at the cross than smiles. "Thank you." She walks after them.
In the OR, David is going through the procedure with her. Leo is just spending a few last moments with Greenlee. He comes over to where Frankie is lying on a table almost side by side with Greenlee.
"I just wanted to say thank. You know, for giving her, us, this chance." He runs a hand through his hair.
She gives a half shrug. "Everyone deserves a second chance right?"
"Uh, right yeah. Look, I'm sorry you know, about giving you a hard time when we first met."
"Don't sweat it. You were just protecting Bianca. I appreciate that."
"Maybe when all this is over, we can get together. Start off like a real family. You are related to both me and Greens now." Leo offers.
"I'll think about it but...thanks."
"alright, we're almost ready to get started." David tells them. "Leo, you'll have to wait outside."
Leo nods he quickly rushes over and gives the unconscious Greenlee a kiss before walking backwards out of the room. "Okay, you take care of my girl bro."
"I will Leo." David assures him.
He turns to Frankie. "You know, I'm extremely proud of you."
"Yeah, yeah, save the speeches for when I'm aching and demanding ice cream."
He chuckles. "Ice cream?"
Frankie mock-frowns, "Isn't that what recuperating patients get?"
"Only if it's a tonsillectomy."
"Scammed!" Frankie declares in joking dismay.
David sits down by her and says to her, "I tell you what. After you come around from the surgery, if you want ice cream, I'll get you any flavour you want." He pauses and then adds, "I'm sure Bianca would help too."
"She'd help what? Get me ice cream?"
David smiles enigmatically, "That too."
The anaesthesiologist comes in. Frankie now apprehensive, grabs at David's arm. "Hey David?"
"What is it Frankie? Everything's going to be fine. You're in the best of hands."
"No, it's not that. Could you hold on to this for me?" She hands him her compass. "Make sure not to lose it."
"A compass?" David places it in his pocket. "Don't worry, I won't lose it or you. Now just try to relax. You';ll be awaken no time demanding that ice cream."
As the aesthetic takes effect and she closes her eyes he smoothes her hair back and says to her with all his heart, "Sweet dreams."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie went in for surgery.
setting: The hospital.
Frankie is slowly coming to. She feels a warm hand gently smoothing her hair and caressing her face. In her sleep she smiles. Not even her mother ever comforted her like that, only Bianca did.
Fuzzily, she blinks open her eyes and is surprised by the face that comes into view.
"Anna?" She croaks out from her dry throat.
"Hey there." Anna smiles. "Don't try to talk. Here's some water now, just sip."
Anna angles the straw for Frankie who sips in relief. Finally she pulls back "How'd it go?"
"You both came through with flying colours." Anna doesn't miss Frankie's wince. "Though you'll be quite sore for a few more days. You rest now. Try to get some more sleep."
Frankie, hurting and still groggy needs little coaxing. She has to ask though, "Bianca?"
Anna can't help the twinkle in her eyes. "She's been here ever since you went into surgery. Her friend's been waiting with her. She'll still be here when you wake up. I promise."
Frankie frowns. "That's Sarah."
"Who's Sarah?" Anna asks.
"Her 'friend's" Frankie winces out that last word. "That's what Bianca said we could be, friends."
"That sounds like a good place for you to start."
"Bet Sarah thinks that too." Frankie muttered into her pillow before sleep overtakes her.
Sarah gazes over at Bianca seated across from her in the waiting room. "Thank goodness Dr. Hayward came out and told us everyone would be alright. I thought you were going to be able to walk up walls soon at the rate you were pacing."
"Yeah." Bianca's eyes are glued to the door. Her hand keeps straying to fidget at gold around her neck.
Sarah frowns, than asks, "Isn't that the locket your father gave you?"
"Hmm?" Bainca pulls her attention away form the person behind those doors to the woman in front of her. "Yes it is."
"I remember you telling me how much it meant to you."
"It means even more now." Bianca confides in her friend. "I gave it to Frankie to tell her how much I loved her. So that she would have something to remind her that she was loved. She called it my heart." Bianca smiles ruefully, "Than she had to go and try to make me believe she pawned it all to drive me away."
Sarah shakes her head sadly, "That must have been so harsh Bianca! You giving her something that precious and she used it against you. How did you get it away from her?"
Bianca frowns as Sarah's words prompt more memories, less pleasant ones. "WE had spent the evening together but she still pushed me away. She offered it back to me and I was so mad and hurt I took it."
Sarah moves over to put an arm around Bianca comfortingly. "I'm glad you got your heart back."
Bianca gets a lost look to her and utters more to herself, "Have I?"
Without hesitation, Sarah pulls her into a warm, safe embrace, rubbing her back and whispering comforting words into her hear.
Neither of them saw Erica standing nearby, watching them.
Leo sits anxiously by Greenlee's bedside. He hears Roger outside the door.
"But I have a right to see my daughter!"
Exhaling in vexation, Leo rises and steps outside. "You gave up those rights when you lied to her, her sister and everyone else. You can see Greenlee when she wakes up and she says she wants to see you."
"But I'm her father!" Roger states indignantly.
Angry, Leo grabs him by his collar. "And a piss-poor excuse of one at that! If you think for one second that I'm letting you in there to lay all your indiscretions forget it! She doesn't need to know just yet that you cheated on her mother with my aunt and that Frankie is her sister! My god man! She's just now surviving a life and death surgery! Think of her for a change!" he roughly pushes him away.
Roger straightness out his blazer. "I suppose you may be partially right. I'll come back when she's awake."
Leo watches him go and looks to the orderly. "Good job my man. <Make sure he doesn't sneak in alright?"
"Will do sir."
Leo walks back in. To his astonishment Greenlee's awake though visibly in pain. He rushes to her side and is kissing her all over. "Greens, sweetheart, you're okay." He has tears in his eyes.
In pain and muddled form drugs and sleep Greenlee still managed to speak clearly. "What was that you said to my father about me having a sister?"
Note: I don't know but I imagine it takes a lot longer to recuperate from organ transplant than Greenlee will but soap's have different laws of time I've noticed so I'm taking liberties.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie went in for surgery.
setting: The hospital a week later.
Frankie is sitting up in bed very excited while David checks her pulse.
"Well you're looking good." He tells her.
"So I get sprung today?" She asks him eagerly.
He chuckles, "Absolutely, you're going home with Anna and me this afternoon.
"Thanks again for giving me a place."
"Frankie," he perches on the side of her bed, "you're family. And that's the most important thing to me right now. It's what I want more than ever is to see the people I care about happy."
Frankie socks him in the arm. "You're getting as mushy as Anna."
"And I'm proud of it." he says getting up. "So, you seem almost giddy today. I don't think it has to do with just being able to get out of here?"
"Uh," totally caught, Frankie stumbles, 'uh no, I'm good. Just you know, waiting."
"For someone in particular?" David prompts smiling.
Frankie blushes just as a knock is heard on the door.
Pushing it open, Bianca comes through with a tub of ice cream.
"Oh, hi David."
"Just what the doctor ordered." David smiles at her. "Hello Bianca. How are you? I take it you're here to administer ice cream therapy to our patient."
She giggles. "It's what all the doctors are prescribining I here."
"Indeed." he turns to go. "I'll leave you in Bianca's capable hands Frankie. Anna and I will be back in an hour to help you collect your things and move."
"Cool, thanks cousin D." Frankie grins.
His eyebrows rise, "Cousin D?"
Frankie laughs, "Just foolin' with ya. See ya in a bit."
Bianca sits down next to her and hands her a spoon. "So you're getting out today? And moving in with Anna and David? That sounds great."
"Yeah, it almost seems too good to be true. So, what did you bring me oh peon of my ice cream whims?"
Bianca laughingly holds the tub out of reach. "It's chocolate and peanut butter-"
"But you have to behave and ..." she trails off ominously, obviously teasing.
"Yeah...what's the price Miss Montgomery?"
With her other hand Bianca whips out a spoon. "You have to share with me."
The dig into the ice cream gleefully.
"This is the best." Frankie moans hedonistically while licking her spoon.
Bianca can't help but watch how she slowly savours each heaping mouthful and licking her lips. "Yeah, it's tasty alright."
The lengthening silence leads to furtive glances at Bianca from Frankie. "Thanks. I mean, for more than the ice cream. For, well, giving me another chance. I know I don't deserve it. And I realize you want to be only friends which is way more than I could ever have hoped for, or even ask of you."
Binca leans in, serious. "It's not always easy after everything. I mean, you lied, a lot. But everyone deserves a another chance Frankie. I've had one or two myself. I hope we can get past it all and be true friends again."
"I want that too." Frankie says earnestly. "I know I so don't have the right to ask this Bianca but I was hoping we could-"
The door opens and Sarah peaks her head inside. "Sorry" She apologizes barely glancing at Frankie. "We'd better hurry Bianca if you want to get there before it closes."
Frankie's face closes as she sits back. "You got plans? Well, don't let me keep you."
Bianca can't meet either of their faces. "It's nothing really. " She says while gathering her coat and putting away her spoon. "I have to make sure I get some notes from school and the books for new classes for the winter term. The book store there has these impossible hours."
"Yeah, impossible." Frankie says flatly.
"We really gotta hurry Bianca." Sarah reiterates.
"Coming, coming. You enjoy your ice cream Frankie. I'll see you later."
"Later" Frankie says staring after them as they leave.
She puts her spoon back in the ice cream, disheartened. "So much for that."
"It is if you let that woman walk all over you. We so cannot be related." says Greenlee from her spot in the doorway.
"I came here to talk to you. I have questions. And you're going to answer them." She steps inside and closes the door behind her.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca and Frankie shared a moment just like old times until it was interrupted by Sarah. Greenlee pays Frankie a visit.
setting: The hospital.
The two young women stare at each other,
"So." Greenlee for all her attitude seems at a loss of where to begin.
"So." Frankie says back, equally at a loss.
"I hear you're my half-sister." Greenlee sneers.
"Unfortunately." Frankie replies dryly.
"I'm hardly enthused at the news, believe me." Greenlee walks around the room. "Having your delinquent kidney in me does not make my day."
"If you don't want it you can always give it back." Frankie smirks, shining her off.
"Don't get smart with me." Greenlee warns her.
"You started it. And this is my room. You're the one who waltzed in uninvited." Frankie points out.
Greenlee peers at her. "Obviously there's no love lost between us so why?"
"Why did you bother to save my life. WE barely know each other. What do you care? Are you hoping for money?"
Repulsed, Frankie exclaims, "God no! What the hell is wrong with you people?"
"So spill than, why did you do it?"
Frankie stares at her and says exasperatedly, "You and Leo. And Bianca."
Taken aback with confusion Greenlee goes, "Huh?"
Sighing, Frankie fesses up. "You and Leo, I've seent he way you two look at each other. You two love each other." She waves a hand to silence any forthcoming comment from Greenlee and continues. "The real thing. Not that crap I hear and see people talking about. They say it but they don't mean it. You two are the real thing. Didn't want to see that happen to a friend of Bianca's. End of story. It has nothing to do with any misplaced family yearnings. I have none."
"You're trying to tell me you risked your life to save mine for the sake of true love?" Greenlee crosses her arms.
"That so hard to believe?" Frankie sits there insulted.
"Maybe you just want what we have but with your ex, LesBianca?"
"Don't call her that!" Frankie warns.
"Oo, touch a nerve?" Greenlee taunts, stepping closer to her. "Why would you even bother with that loser. She's already got that sipped blonde trailing after her. And here you are in a chair, just pining away like some pathetic-"
"SHUT UP!" Frankie shouts. Her left leg kicks out and hits Greenlee on the shin.
"Ow!" Greenlee grabs her leg. Than she pauses. They look at each other in shock.
"Oh my god you moved your leg!" Greenlee exclaims.
In emergency a woman is being rushed in byt he EMTs.
"Hurry!" One of the paramedics grabs the nearest intern. "This woman went into convulsions, she may be having a stroke!"
The intern bends over the woman checking her vitals. "Where did she come from? Do you know her name?"
"It's some woman from the jail. I think her name's Vanessa Cortland.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee and Frankie do some odd sisterly bonding. Frankie's leg moved. Vanessa is up to her old tricks!
setting: The hospital.
"You tried to kick me! You can move your leg." Exclaims Greenlee. "I knew you were just faking it!"
"Are you crazed?" Frankie says, barely looking at her as she keep staring at her leg. "I'm paralysed! That shouldn't have happened. But it did." Her face strains. "Damn, I can't make it move again. Why won't it move again?"
Greenlee frowns at the puzzle. Seeing Frankie's honest distress, she relents, although in strict Greenlee fashion. "It's maybe caused like a knee jerk reaction. Let's see. Your ex-girlfriend is a whiny, manipulative, needy lesbo wall flower."
Frankie's head snaps up at her. She starts to give her a piece of her mind when all of a sudden there again, her leg twitches in Greenlee's direction.
Frankie stares down in wonder. "It can move!"
"Yeah, to kick me." Greenlee observes dryly, nevertheless, despite her tone, she kneels down and pokes at the leg. "Can you feel anything.
Frowning, Frankie tells her after concentrating. "No, I can't feel a thing. " She glares at Greenlee after a moment. "You can stop poking me now thanks."
"Geez, kind of ungrateful aren't you?"
"You're the one with my kidney in you! Leo's a nut to want to marry you."
Greenlee snorts delicately, "Well, your family does seem to do crazy rather often now don't they?" She motions to Frankie's leg. "Shouldn't we call a doctor or something?"
"I don't now. It might just be a reflex or a fluke. I don't want to get my hopes up..." Frankie trails off, pondering.
"Is that why you won't fight for Bianca? Because you're a coward?"
Frankie can barely keep her temper in check. She snarls "You don't know a thing about it!
"I don't know a single thing about any kind of saphic adventures in lavender land, you're right." Greenlee tells her snidely. "But I do know about love. " The last she added quietly, calmer.
Frankie stares down. "And second chances." She says with sad regret.
Greenlee considers, than, with the utmost of awkwardness, goes over to her. "You gave Leo and me a second chance. You might get one with Bianca. After all, she was in here with you before Blondie came in."
Frankie shakes her head. "I've blown it with Bianca. I messed up too big and too often."
"Oh please!" Green;lee waves a hand. "If you knew how many screw up and mix ups me and Leo had over the course of our relationship...and now we're going to get married. Love never gave up on us and we never gave up on each other. That's why things worked out."
"It's too late." Frankie says, giving in to her melancholy.
Greenlee grows thoughtful. "I have a second chance with Leo and I suppose that's in part, thanks to you. So here's some free advice. If I were you, I would never let anyone stand between me and Leo. If someone got in my way. I'd crush them."
"Crush them?" Frankie stares at her.
Greenlee shrugs. "That blonde little weakling is snivelling after your girl isn't she? So get rid of her. That's what I would do. Remove all obstacles the way of what I want."
"What excellent advice dear." Vanessa says, slipping into the room. "I think I'll take you up on it." She points a gun at them and motions with it to Greenlee who's gone deathly pale. "Come over here."
"And if I say no you bitch?"
Vanessa's face twists. "You watch your tongue. Get over here or I'll put another hole in you."
Breathing shallowly from fear, Greenlee takes a slow step forward.
Frankie's hand on her arm stops her.
"Don't bother with her." She tells Vanessa. "It's me you want."
"Why on Earth would I want you?"
"Because I'm the one who put you behind bars you old bat." She spits the last, digging deep for courage. "Besides, she just had a transplant. She'd drop unconscious or dead before you left the building. Me, I'm ready to roll."
Vanessa glances from one to the other, their heartbeats drumming faster and faster waiting for what she will do next.
"You have a point. Fine." She moves and grabs Frankie's chair. "You're coming with me. Oh, and as for you dear," she gives a vicious blow to Greenlee's temple, knocking her out. "We can't have the police alerted too soon to my hostage. Come along niece, you're about to learn what it means to betray your family."
She rolls her out of the room, skulking along.