note: Those of you who watched the soap last year might recall the long monologues by Vanessa to Maggie. Here I try to summarize instead, no offence meant to the actress who plays Vanessa, just time conscience about the story versus the longer suspense built up on actual TV.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Vanessa was going to take Greenlee hostage but Frankie convinced her to take her instead.
setting: The police station, 24 hours later.
Ana puts a hand to her head and wearily reiterates to both Leo and David. "Look, your concern for your cousin is commendable. But I can't have you both running around interfering in a police investigation and that's final!"
Leo goes up to her deeply distraught and harried. "You can't be serious? Greenlee's at home because our crazy mother is on the loose and now she has our cousin hostage?"
David agrees. "You can't expect us to do nothing. We know the woman Ana, as much as anyone could understand a psychotic mind like hers. We might be able to think of where she might hide out or do? Maybe think of someone she might try to contact to help her."
Ana immediately jumps on it. "That would be fine. And you can do it here." She ushers them inside her office. Taking some paper and a pen she hands it to the two men, "Write down anything you think of and my people will look into it. " Before they can protest she raises a hand. "I know you're scared for her. So am I. She's like a daughter to me. The last thing I need is for her to get the chance to harm either of you on top of what she's already done." A tap at the door gets her attention. "I have to go see to something. Now both of you sit and write. Please."
She leaves her office, the officer who knocked says simply, "She's here."
"Thanks Clem." She walks over to where she hears the voice getting more and more strident.
"Am I under arrest here?" Erica Kane demands. "This is police harassment you know. I could sue this entire precinct!"
"Now Erica," Ana holds up both her hands in a sign of truce. "I brought you here for your own good."
"My own good? How can ragging me here by police be any good for me?"
"My officers have come across a number of men, some are PIs, others who go by the names like Duncan and Troy were also brought in. Do you recognize those names."
Jutting out her chin defiantly, Erica replies, "I certainly do. I hired them to help find Vanessa and Frankie."
"Erica, they're bounty hunters who are one step shy of being outright mercenaries. What on Earth were you thinking?"
"What I was thinking was that Vanessa or Proteus or whatever she's calling herself now deserves some justice thrown straight at her smug face! And that girl needs to be rescued! My god she's in a wheelchair! She's utterly helpless!"
"Ow!" Vanessa screeched as Frankie managed to ram her with a sharp edge of her chair.
"How family oriented ya feeling now ya windbag!" Frankie jeers at her even as Vanessa roughly grabs her.
"I've heard it already!" Frankie's tone changes to mock Vanessa's own. "Oh my darling son never understood the sacrifices I made! His father was the one who did drug running and I had to take over to save my son!" Frankie sneers at her. "Like becoming a psycho helped David or Leo at all!"
"That is it!" in the small ice shack she grabs some rope, wrestling with Frankie she manages to tie her hands down onto the chair."You will be quiet or so help me-"
"You'll put me in a wheelchair? Oh, that's right, already did that. Gosh, you must be hard up for ideas."
"You have a smart little mouth on you for someone in your position."
Frankie glares at her. "If I go down, it will always be fighting."
"Let's test that theory shall we?" Vanessa smiled maliciously at her.
"You have to understand Erica, they will just escalate the situation. These men can't be trusted."
"What do you expect me to do Ana, leave her to the wolves?" tears of frustration and long hours of worry fill her eyes. "If anything happens to her, it will..kill my daughter."
Ana heaves a heart felt sigh. "I know. I know Erica. Please trust me that I am doing everything in my power to get to her."
"I see that." Erica says after giving her a calculating look.
Ana returns it, saying "You know, it wasn't that long ago you were trying to run her out of town,. May I ask why the change of heart?"
"Everyone can make mistakes Ana. I made too many with my daughter. This may be the only way I can get her back to me, by saving her heart. And Frankie has proven to me that she is very much that."
"Than will you call off your dogs?" Ana asks her.
Erica nods, "Alright, I'll also ask them to give you any information they might have accumulated so far. As long as you promise me that you won't rest until you find Frankie. Do we have a deal?" She holds out her hand to a woman she's never liked.
Ana hesitates, than takes her hand, united in purpose. "Agreed."
Bianca slips into Opal's house, Sarah a pale shadow behind her.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Sarah whispers to her as they creep up the stairs.
"It's the only idea I have to find her. Wait." she holds a hand and listens intently outside the door to Frankie's room. She hears a noise again.
She flings open the door. "Who's in here?" she demands, turning on the light.
There on the bed going through Frankie's things is none other than Greenlee Smyth. She looks up at the intrusion.
"Looks like we had the same idea." She says.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Ana and Erica have joined forces to help find Frankie and bring Vanessa to justice. Vanessa is holding Frankie hostage in an ice shack. Bianca went with Sarah to Frankie's room at Opal's hoping to find clues. They found Greenlee instead!
setting: Frankie's room in Opal's house.
Greenlee stands up from the bed. "I guess you came for the same reason I did. Looking for clues?"
"Yeah." Bianca said, entering the room more fully, surprised at Greenlee's presence. "I knew all of her stuff hadn't been brought over to her new place at David's yet so I came here."
"And why are you here?" Greenlee pointedly asks Sarah.
"She's here to help me." Bianca answers for her. "This is Sarah, she's a friend-"
"I know who she is." Greenlee cuts her off still shooting Sarah with a penetrating stare. "Can she not speak for herself?"
"Of course I can." Sarah says, confused at the unexpected animosity. "I m here to support Bianca."
Greenlee smirks. "I bet you are."
Bianca doesn't know what exactly is going on but she does know this is not the place or time to sort it out. "Look, can we get down to business here? I came here to find clues to help find Frankie. Have you found anything yet?"
"No." Greenlee reluctantly replies. "For a street urchin she sure did pack away a lot of papers."
"Well, we'll help." She motions to Sarah. "Sarah, why don't you start looking in her desk. I'll help Greenlee with the stuff she has piled on the bed."
They all three get to work. Sitting on the bed opposite each other, Greenlee picks up some of the stuff to show her. "It's a mess. She has all these papers with lyrics written on them or poems or something. And a stack of word puzzle books from under the bed. I don't get it."
Bianca picks them up and starts leafing through them. "Oh yea, she was crazy about words, music, poured over lyrics all the time. She'd memorize every word. She always was doing word games and crossword puzzles. At first she tried to hide it from me," Bianca reminisces with a smile, "but she eventually let me into her world. If only for a little while." The smile fades.
Greenlee makes an odd noise.
"What is it?" Bianca asks, seeing the strange look on her face.
"Nothing." Greenlee answers, than shrugs. "It's just I used to be into word games too. It's just all weird."
"Hearing about Frankie? Finding out she's your sister-"
"Half-sister." Greenlee quickly corrected.
"That you find you have some things in common with." Bianca finishes. "It would weird me out too. It's okay Greenlee."
Unbeknownst to them, Sarah is hearing every word they say with great attentiveness. She's flipping through a slim book and stops on a page, her eyes widen. She glances over her shoulder and seeing that she remains unobserved, turns her back fully to them as she looks over the page with greater calculation. She ever so carefully rips the page out and then puts the book on the table, neatly folding the torn page and putting it into her pocket.
"You're right. It is weird. And that whole helping me out thing. That's just creepy."
Bianca silently laughs at her, nearly smiling. "You know you have more than just word games in common. You both are stronger than you realize, more kind hearted than you let on, and try to act tough or brush things off when they get too uncomfortable."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Greenlee casts another useless paper aside. "You'd think she'd have something here. I mean, she knew who Proteus was for months, which I so have not forgiven her for. You'd have thought she might have stashed more Intel on her, some 411 on her lackeys, bank accounts, even a hideout or meeting place. A cell number would be handy even!"
"We can't give up." Bianca says.
"I never give up." Greenlee tells her.
"Any luck Sarah?" Bianca calls over her shoulder.
"Nothing." Sarah answers. "Just some CDs, pencils and pens and a book of poems, Shakespeare or something."
"Shakespeare?" Bianca immediately goes over to her, Greenlee follows, curious at the sudden animation in Bianca's voice. She takes the book off the table, touching it reverently. "I left this here one day and then we had begun fighting. I never had the nerve to come back and get it from Frankie.She gave this to me as a gift."
Greenlee's eyebrows rise. "Shakespeare?"
"She could always surprise me." Bianca smiles, turning page after page of the book in delight.
Bianca suddenly frowns. "There's a page missing."
"What?" Sarah asks peering closer.
"look here." Bianca holds it to both women to see it better. "There's tear here where a page has been ripped out."
"Give me that." Greenlee takes the book out of her hands and examines it closely. She glances up at Sarah and Bianca. "You knew I've been at this for a while. I could really use a drink. Maybe some tea? Sarah, would you be a dear and go make us some? Maybe grab some of those cookies too? Have you ever had Myrtle's cookies? No, I guess not, you should. so would you? Please?"
"Uh, yes, sure. I'll be right back Bianca." Sarah leaves hesitantly.
Bianca looks from where Sarah left to Greenlee. "What was that about?"
Greenlee shushes her. "Just get me a pencil would you." She wasn't asking.
"Okay." She hands her one. "Are you going to tell me what this is about?"
"See these impressions here, here and here?" She pints at the page in the book.
"Not really." Bainca replies.
"Hold on." She begins to lightly go over the page with he side of the pencil lead.
"Hey!" Bianca protests to the marking of her book.
Greenlee finishes rubbing the pencil on the paper. "Don't worry about it. You can erase it afterwards. I think we found our first clue."
"There." She says finishing it. "Just as I thought." She holds up the book to Bianca smirking.
Bianca take the book. "There's circles there."
"You gave me the idea." Greenlee explains. "When you talked about Frankie and I having things in common. When I was a kid I used to have an imaginary friend. I'd write to her in code so my family wouldn't know. What I did was circle letters all over some story and by putting the words all together I had my secret message. It looks like Frankie did something similar."
"But these holes don't line up to any of the letters on the page."
"Of course not. "Greenlee points out. "That's because she did it on the page that was torn out."
Bianca catches on. "And so all we have to do is find another copy of this book and overlay the circles and-"
"WE have the message." Greenlee finishes. "Although from what I'm learning, it just might be something sappy to you rather than a clue."
"WE have to try. It's the first lead we have. But why did you want Sarah out of the room."
Greenlee puts a hand on her hip, shaking her head at Bianca. "God, you really are naive aren't you? Who was it that could have torn the page out Bianca? Vanessa is on the run. She has Frankie. Unless some henchmen of Vanessa's was here the only person who was near that desk was Sarah."
"You can't mean she did this. She wouldn't!" Bianca protests, defending her friend. "She knows how much Frankie means to me."
"She also wants you." Greenlee pointed out.
"No, we're past that." Bianca insists. "She's a very good friend Greenlee. She'd never do anything to hurt me."
"Fine, you want to live in deluded land go ahead. But I know a woman on the prowl even if she does play for the other team. If this only had to do with you I'd say fine, go down in flames, but Frankie's life is on the line as is my happy ever after with Leo. So until that psycho is caught, you keep a close eye on your 'friend'."
"I'm back with tea and cookies." Sarah announces entering the room, displaying her offering proudly.
Greenlee gives one of her fakest smiles. "Thanks so much. You' saved our lives." Greenlee shoots a meaningful glance at Bianca, who doesn't miss it's reproach or warning.
Bianca has to believe in her friend. She takes a cup from Sarah. "Thank you."
At the ice shack Frankie yells as the tape is put over her mouth, her cursing, though muffled, can be felt, it's meaning clear even though not well heard. She glares at Vanessa.
"Oh don't look at me with that tone of voice dear." Vanessa taunts her smugly. "You should be thanking me. You see I'm not the cold, cruel, heartless thing you said I was. I won't kill family. I'll leave that to fate. Though speaking of cold, it is getting quite chilly in here. I guess that's what happens when night falls. "She chuckles evilly. "The temperature drops so low."
She looks around her. "It looks like I'm all done here. Let's hope someone finds you soon dear, otherwise..well, best not to dwell on unpleasant things. Ciao!" With a wave she leaves, locking the door behind her and leaving Frankie all alone, in the cold, growing dark.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca and Greenlee are bonding while trying to rescue Frankie. Sarah has hidden a vital clue...but Greenlee may have figured it out...Meanwhile, Frankie's time is running out!
setting: The ice shack. Some time later.
Twisting in her ropes, Frankie struggles. She bends over trying to reach a hand tied to her chair arm. Shifting, she leans further and finally manages to get the tips of her fingers to catch the end of the tape on her mouth. She rips it off, yelling. Than proceeds to yell for help at the top of her lungs. No one is there to hear her. Her lips have already begun to turn blue. She is shaking with cold as the hypothermia progresses.
With teeth chattering she talks to herself, trying to rally her dwindling strength. "Come on Stone. You can't let that sow beat you. You aren't a sucker are ya? Not some loser. No, you got to get out of this and make things up to Bianca. Can't do that dying here. Gotta move." She looks down at her tied self, then stares intently at her unbound paralysed legs. "Great." She mutters unenthusiastically. She looks up at the Heavens. "You know anytime you want to help, just feel free to pitch in okay?"
At the police station, Erica is on the phone.
"Yes, yes....that would be perfect. Can you give the coordinates tot he officer I hand you to? Excellent. You can expect to be handsomely rewarded." She strides over to where Anna is harried with maps and listening intently to her radio scanner. She hands the chief of police the phone."
Anna takes it looking at Erica. "What is this?"
"A lead to a place Proteus has. My man has the coordinates to give you."
Brisk, Anna speaks into the phone, "Give it to me and hurray. A girl's life is on the line."
Erica corrects her. "Two girls lives are on the line." Thinking of Bianca and what would happen to her if Frankie wasn't found.
At Greenlee's, Bianca stares again at the missing book page. Greenlee opens the front door and almost runs to her with a book in hand. "Here it is!" She sits down quickly next to Bianca.
"You found a copy at this time of night?" They are both quickly going through tit looking for the proper page.
"When you have money, doors open no matter what the time is." Greenlee shrugs.
"This is it." Bianca says pointing to the page.
Greenlee tears it out. She then grabs the other book and flipping it back so that she can overlay the torn page over the marked one with the circle indents against the nearest lampshade. "Grab a pencil and paper."
"Got it." Bianca replies.
Greenlee starts reciting letters. One after the other, Bianca writes them down.
"That's it." Greenlee stops her recitation. "That's all the letters.
Bianca stands up as if on fire. "That's all we need." She shows what it spells to Greenlee. "Let's go."
"Right behind you." Greenlee states.
Bianca goes over to the bathroom door, pounding on it. "Hey Sarah, we've got a lead.We gotta go!"
Inside, Sarah is desperately searching for the torn paper to destroy. She finally finds it with all her rummaging only to be interrupted by Bianca's insistent knocking. "Come on Sarah!" The voice impatient.
Letting out a vexed breath, Sarah plunges the paper in a pocket and opens the door to follow them on their way out.
Frankie's is shaking worse, her face more pale, her lips more blue. "Come on Frankie." She can barely get the words out past her exhaustion and chattering teeth. "What did Greenlee say? She called you trash didn't she? And what did she call Bianca? With that annoying , smug, smirking face of hers-" Her breaths tops as her leg twitches out and slides off the pedal of her chair. "Now we just got to keep it up...keep from..." Her words grow weaker and fade altogether as darkness overtakes her completely.
Dedication: Tera, I had to mention the skirt, just for you,;)
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Team A of Anna and Erica, as well as Team B, consisting of Greenlee and Bianca, both have leads. Will either of them reach Frankie in time?
setting: The ice shack.
Frankie is coming to but she is shaking uncontrollably, and her hold on consciousness is fleeting.
"Could be worse," she jokes out loud, "I could've been wearing some stupid mini-skirt.." she can barely keep her eyes open. "Tha can't be noise out there. " She tells herself weakly, fading. "Must be hallucinating again." Her eyes close and she slumps further into the dark.
In the cold snow, Anna and her SWAT team converge on a small ageing wood shack. Guns are drawn, she takes point and rushes to press herself to the side of the door. With a hand signal, she commands her officers to take the perimeter. She gets ready to kick in the door. Praying she's not too late.
Bianca, Greenlee and Sarah trudge through the deep drifts of snow.
Her arms around herself Greenlee winces, "Are we near it yet? It's freezing out here?"
Bianca looks around, her face brightens and she points. "It's over there. Come on!"
Anna kicks the door in and rushes forward, gun pointed and roving over every corner. She looks around a second time as the SWAT team storms in after her. As they fill the empty room, she drops gun to her side.
"Damn, dead end."
Trying to peer into the blackened and boarded window, Sarah yells over "I can't see anything! I don't think anyone's in there."
"The paper said "Vanessa, ice shack." Frankie holds the paper tightly in her hand. She has to be here."
Tugging at the door, Greenlee looks over at her. "This is locked. And I don't hear anything. Maybe we did come out into his cold for nothing."
"no." Bianca whispers, deflated. "No, " She says again a little bit stronger. "I won't fail her again." She braces herself and throws her shoulder into the door.
Greenlee stares at her fiercely hitting the door with her slender frame. Greenlee steps next to her. "You're going to need help. Come on, 1,2,3..." They hit the door in unison, once, twice, again and again, not giving up.
Frankie rouses at thudding she can hear from outside. Barely able to move, still she struggles. Her throat has become too dry and her body too weak. She can't even yell.
Outside, the women hold their shoulders. Bianca doesn't stop. The last thud jarring her badly. Greenlee grabs hold of her.
"You're going to break your arm. We can't open it Bianca. And there's been absolutely no noise."
"But what if she's gagged? Or hurt and can't call out?" Bianca suggests desperately. "We can't know until we open it."
"Than we need to try to get someone out here who can."
"Greenlee we're out of town. No one's close enough to help."
Greenlee sighs. "Bianca, I don't think-"
Inside, one of Frankie's legs spasms painfully, tipping her, bound in the chair, off balance, causing the chair and her in it, to crash to the floor.
Greenlee and Bianca jump at the noise and stare at the door. "She's in there." Bianca breathes, rushing at the door again.
"Right with you." Greenlee says as they both attack the door again with renewed vigour.
Barely holding on, Frankie wonders why the pounding has stopped.
A sudden crash of glass and boards shakes her partially awake to see a form crouching on the floor next to her. The figure shakes itself and stands up.
"You okay in there Miss I-want-to be-a-cannonball?"
"Yeah Greenlee." A voice replies that Frankie knows like her own heart.
"Bianca." she barely breathes the word.
Bianca looks around the dark room but thanks to the light from the broken in window she sees Frankie bound to her chair, lying on it and her side.
"Oh my God!" She rushes over to her. "She's in here! She's hurt!"
The pounding at the door resumes. Muffled, Greenlee's voice comes through, "Bianca, open the door for pity's sake!"
Bianca quickly opens the door and returns to Frankie's side, untying her. "Her lips are blue. " She begins to cry seeing the condition Frankie's in. "She's so cold Greenlee. Frankie? Frankie can you hear me?"
"She has hypothermia, and probably dehydration let alone shock. We have to keep her warm."
"Sarah!!" Bianca cries out.
"Sarah stands in the doorway. "What can I do?"
Bianca throws her a cell phone. "Call 911, tell them where we are and that we found Frankie Stone and that she needs medical care now!"
"Got it." Sarah dials.
Greenlee's looking around. "All there is that one shabby blanket. We have nothing to get her warm with." She strives to sound cool but the anxiety slips through her tone and her _expression.
Determined Bianca begins to undress.
"What are you doing?" Greenlee asks, taken aback.
"We have to get her warm. We could lose her. And I'm not going to lose her again. You hear me Frankie? Don't you dare give up on me!"
She take the blanket and lays it out, rolling Frankie onto it. She places herself beside her, undoing Frankie's clothes and placing them and hers on top of them until they're both in their underclothes. She entwines her body to Frankie's, shivering at the touch.
"She's like ice." Bianca chatters.
Worried, Greenlee takes in the scene. "Will she make it?"
Her eyes only for Frankie, Bianca says with stark honesty, "She has to."
Greenlee pauses, than with resolve begins to undress.
Catching her actions, Bianca asks, "What are you doing?"
"Two warm bodies will be better than one right?"
"I guess. Yeah, yes."
Greenlee quickly joins them under the cover of clothing and warms Frankie's back. "Than I'm repaying my debt. After this, she won't be able to hold that kidney thing over me now will she?" Greenlee states with a familiar non-chalance that reassures them both.
Bianca smiles tenderly at her. "Thank you."
Greenlee's eyes narrow. "Don't get any ideas. You make sure to keep your hands on your girlfriend."
Bianca recognizes the attitude for what it is meant, and the unexpected friendship warms her heart.
She leans down and whispers into Frankie's ear, "You better wake up soon. You won't believe what your sister has done for you."
"Half sister." Greenlee jibes, being too close not to hear her.
"Frankie?" Bianca continues. "You have to wake up soon. I promise I'll get you more ice cream. And we can watch those king fu movies you like so much. I'll get nachos and I'll even give you all the dip."
A mumbled voice says from the vicinity of her shoulder. "Bu' you like the hot sauce."
"Frankie!" Bianca cries, holding her fiercely.
"You like the hot sauce." The delirious woman persists.
"Yeah, I like the hot sauce. But I'd let you have it if it meant you'd stay with me."
Too tired and weak to cry, her words held her tears. "Bianca-la? Is really you?"
"Really me." Bianca assures her, hugging her close.
"I'm not dreaming again?" Frankie asks filled with fear. "Id on't want to wake up and have you gone again."
"I'll be right here. Always."
Reassured, Frankie snuggles down further into the clothes and Bianca's embrace. In the background, the low wail of sirens grows ever closer.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee and Bianca came to Frankie's rescue. Was it in the nick of time?
Frankie thrashes, struggling to escape the dreams. Nightmares where angry voices and faces she never wants to hear yell at her, hurt her.
"You're no good for her."
"You're nothing but garbage!"
"She could never love you! No one could!"
"I'll kill them both!"
"You're nothing. You're no one."
"You'll die here. All alone darling."
Frankie twists in the darkness of her own nightmare. She sees her supposed father reaching for her, her running, Erica's face angry, shouting at her, Seth holding a gun at both Bianca and Erica, feeling herself fall with Erica and the building, Vanessa closing and locking the door to the ice shack, leaving Frankie alone, cold, and in the dark...
She reaches out, grasping for anything to hold onto against he pull back into the darkness and those unwanted memories. A hand, strong and warm clasps hers and she clings to it like an anchor. A voice, familiar but in her state she can't place it, soothes her. A hand that she feels with increasing clarity smoothes her hair back, calming her further. She weakly opens her eyes, squinting against the lights.
"Don't let go." She pleads. "I don't want to go back there."
"I won't. Don't worry Frankie. I'm right here. You're going to be just fine. Do you know where you are?"
Frankie could taste the antiseptic smell in the back of her throat. "Hospital." She croaked out.
"That's right. Are you thirsty? There's some water here? I should got get you a doctor-"the hand tried to withdraw.
Frankie held onto it in sudden panic. "No! Don't leave me alone!"
The hand squeezes hers reassuringly. "It's okay. It's alright Frankie I won't go anywhere. I'll stay right here. You're safe now. Ana's just outside with David. She won't let anyone in and even if they got in they'd have to get by me."
Unused to the comfort and reassurance, tears leak from Frankie's eyes. Even kindness can hurt in a strange, wonderful new way.
The voice she knew but couldn't place speaks, the speaker very concerned. "Are you in pain? Should I buzz for a nurse?"
"No, no," Frankie blinks the stray tears away. She still couldn't quite focus. "Eyes are dry that's all." She clears her throat. "Sorry for being a bother."
"You're no bother." The woman tells he in a firm tone.
"Okay." Frankie says weakly. She blinks rapidly a few times, striving to chase away the fuzziness around everything she looks at. The edges are growing more and more clear.
"Besides," the voice says with some amusement. "we've finally reached this point."
"What point?" Frankie vision becomes clear enough and she gapes as she recognizes the person by her bed. "Erica?"
""I'm glad Frankie," Erica tells her charge reassuringly, "that we're finally at the pint where you feel comfortable enough to take my hand."
Frankie looks to where she's holding Erica's hand, where Erica's holding hers. Like a mother. Like a safe warm place that Frankie has never before been given, this person, once her sworn enemy, watched over her and chased the bad dreams away. More tears escaped her eyes, but Erica dabbed them away as if she'd done it a thousand times before. "There, there dear. Everything is going to be alright now."
Frankie managed to give her a smile to show her it's okay. And the unfamiliar kindness of a mother's love did hurt, but Frankie decided then and there, that it was a sweet kind of pain.
tbc! more very very soon
p.s. for those of you who aren't familiar with the Frankie TV eps on the actual soap. There was a point where Erica tried to put her enmity of Frankie behind her for Bianca's sake after she learned her daughter loved Frankie, and that Frankie may very well be in love with her daughter. She offered Frankie her hand as a truce, and trying to be a "gracious loser". Frankie hadn't a clue how to deal with it so she never took her hand. Erica told her that's alright, that she had a feeling Frankie wasn't "used to kindness" It took me nine chapters but this was my long way around addressing it. ,;)
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie's recovering in the hospital. Erica is with her.
setting: Frankie's hospital room, a little while later.
Frankie is happily sipping her juice through a straw. "Is it almost time yet? I can't believe they wouldn't let Bianca come visit me!" She complained for the umpteenth time.
Erica looked at her watch indulging Frankie. "The doctor's were concerned she caught a cold and didn't wasn't you catching one on top of everything else you've been through. The doctors gave her the all clear the next day though. Besides, it was night, she needed the rest. You yourself have been asleep for almost thirty hours."
The young woman shakes her head. "Never slept so much in my life."
"Well," Erica pointed out, " I doubt you were ever kidnapped and suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and hypothermia."
"Point." Frankie holds out her arm, the catheter IV plain to see. "When can I get this out?"
Erica sighs dramatically but smiles. "My goodness you're just like a little kid. The doctor was just here, and he said a nurse would come in and remove it shortly."
"Short in my terms was five minutes ago." Frankie grumbled.
Erica opened a magazine and said slyly. "If I didn't know you better Iwould say you were moody because you haven't yet seen my daughter."
Eyes wide, caught, Frankie protests clumsily. "What? No way. What are you talking about?"
Chuckling, Erica puts down the magazine and takes something out of her purse. "I thought you wouldn't wake up until she came back. I knew she would rather give this to you. However, she did tell me to give this to you if you woke up and became..Now how did she put it? Oh, yes, 'If she acts like she's about to wig and skate out of here'" Erica carefully takes Frankie's hands in her own and puts the hidden object in it. "She said you would know what it means."
Frankie opened her hands and gazed down at the slight weight they held. In it was a gold locket. One she remembers every groove of. "I thought I lost this." She whispers.
Regarding her compassionately, Erica tells Frankie, "Bianca's heart is so amazingly large, as is the love she has inside it, I think it would be a very hard thing to truly lose once it was given."
Frankie's hand closes around the locked, holding it tightly to her.
Bianca is racing around Sarah's place. "I can't believe I slept in again!"
Sarah's voice, unhappy, yells out to her from the bedroom, "You're panicking for nothing. She's probably still asleep!"
Bianca persists, "She might have woken up and only my mother is there! Gods, if she woke up and there was only my mother there!" She groans at the imagined calamities and fights she may have to undo when she gets there. She keeps looking through her small purse but can't find what she's looking for. "Hey Sarah? Have you got any chapstick? My lips are dry."
"In my coat pocket." The answer comes through muffled but audible.
Bianca goes over and rummages through the coat, frowning suddenly, she pulls out not a chapstick, but a crumpled piece of paper. Her whole face tenses in growing apprehension as she carefully folds it out. And then she reads it.
Sarah comes out of the bedroom. "Did you find I-" She stops dead in her tracks as she sees what Bianca holds in her hands. "Bianca wait I-"
"How?" Bianca cuts her off, her words and demeanour more enraged than anyone could ever have guessed the gentle woman capable of. "She advances on Sarah holding the page up like a weapon. "How could you have taken this!?"
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie's recovering in the hospital. Erica is with her. Hurrying to go see Frankie, getting ready where she's been over at Sarah's hotel room, Bianca found the torn page from the book of sonnets.
setting: Sarah's hotel room.
Bianca holds the paper in her closed fist, shaking it as she approaches Sarah. "How could you? Vanessa had Frankie hostage. She would have died if we hadn't saved her. You almost helped a person be murdered! How could you?"Every word came out with increased force as her shock gives way to anger.
Sarah, shaken pleads with her. "I didn't know that! I was so worried about you Bianca. You were in so much pain because of her and -and she was no good for you. She hurt you so much. How are we to know this wasn't all some play you cooked up with her crazy aunt in order to get you back? She's obviously bad news. I only wanted to protect you!"
"Protect me?" Bianca exclaims, appalled."Protect me from someone I love? Protect me from saving them so that I wouldn't have to go through losing one more person in my life that I cared about? How could what you have done protect me?"
"She doesn't love you like I do Bianca!" Desperately she grabs at Bianca's arm in supplication." Remember how it was when we were together? Just you and me and there wasn't any pain. WE helped each other through everything! That's all I was trying to do now! Can't you see that?"
Bianca looks at the hands on her arms before meeting Sarah's tearful eyes. She speaks with cold precision. "Take your hands off me this second Sarah. I don't want to do anything I'll regret later."
Seeing the intent in that dark gaze, Sarah withdraws her touch. "But ...I love you Bianca..."
Her hands clenching white knuckled, Bianca stares at her. "You call this love Sarah?" She feels sickened. "You almost let someone die. Is that love to you? Lying to someone, helping to commit murder?" An idea occurs to her. "Are you working for Vanessa? Is that it Sarah? Did you do what Proteus told you to do? Tell me! Are you working for her?!"
Greenlee and Leo walk down the hall of the hotel.
Leo teases Greenlee, "Come on Greens, it was your idea to see if Bianca wanted to catch a ride with us to the hospital."
"No Leo, if anyone asks it was all your idea. You got me? It was your plan."
"Alright, alright." He kisses her on the cheek as he wraps an arm around her. "I won't tell anyone how you're so irresistible when you're being sweet and trying to act all tough to hide it." He pulls her in for an amorous kiss.
After a moment she pulls back, giggling. "Knock it off. I have to go tot he hospital and get my check up anyways."
"But your kidney's fine right? You haven't been having any problems have you?"
"No, no." She quickly reassures him. "I'm good. Just routine. Besides, "she mutters under her breath, "I have to make sure she doesn't tell dear sister that I was half naked with them."
"What was that last part Greenlee? I didn't quite catch that."
"Nothing." She smiles at him, diverting his attention as she takes his hand. "We better hurry-" She frowns as she hears muffled angry voices coming from the door they're nearing.
"Is that Bianca shouting?" Leo asks, concerned.
As they get tot the door Greenlee opens it to see the charged situation of an enraged Bianca yelling at Sarah.
"Are you working for Proteus? Answer me Sarah!"
Greenlee and Leo walk in quickly, closing the door behind them making both women take notice of them.
"What's going on here?" Greenlee asks, her eyes narrowing.
"This." Bianca walks to her and hands her the paper.
Greenlee quickly scans it recognizing it for what it is. She turns on Sarah. "You little bitch." She goes to raise a hand to her.
Bianca catches it. "No, Greenlee. Violence is never the answer."
"I don't work for Proteus I swear! If you want to hit me go ahead!" Sarah says pitifully even in defiance. "I did what I did for you Bianca! Because I love you!"
"Don't ever say that to me again! You love me? This isn't love Sarah." Bainca can't believe this is happening. She tells Sarah disgustedly, "You were my first love. You were the ideal I held hope for with someone. When you broke my heart I kept hoping I would find someone just like you to share my heart with. "She shakes her head. "But I don't think I ever knew you at all. Not if you could do something like this."
Bianca turns to go. Leo opens the door for her, watching over her protectively. Sarah throws herself at Bianca crying. "No Bianca a please, you have to understand that I do love you! I was only wanting to keep you from getting hurt."
""Just stay away from her." Leo tells the sobbing woman.
"Or else." Greenlee adds menacingly.
"Bianca please!" Sarah begs.
"I'm leaving Sarah. You're not the person I knew al that time ago. And you're not someone I want to know. You've killed any feeling I had left for you."
"God, if you hit me it would hurt less!" Sarah cries.
"You brought this on yourself Sarah." Bianca says in a quiet voice filled with pain at this betrayal.
"I'll hit her." Greenlee offers glaring at the woman in open disgust.
"It's not right." Bianca tells Greenlee while holding Sarah's gaze. "I could never raise my hand to someone I once cared for. Not like this."
"Bianca-" Sarah begins, reaching out to her.
Sarah clutches her red cheek, staring at Greenlee.
Greenlee catches the gaping expressions on Leo and Bianca's face. She shrugs. "What? It's not like I ever slept with her. Not that I wouldn't have slapped her anyways." She turns back to Sarah. "If you know what's good for you little girl, you'll leave town."
"And don't contact Bainca again. Or go anywhere near my cousin." Leo adds meaningfully.
"Bianca-" Sarah tires again.
Bianca meets her eyes and tells her firmly, "Goodbye Sarah."
The three close the door on the blonde, leaving her weeping in her hands.
Walking away, both Leo and Greenlee put their arms around Bianca, escorting her out.
"Come along Binks," Leo gives her a warm squeeze with the arm he has around her. " we'll take you to someone we know cares for you."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca and Sarah parted ways.
setting: Frankie's hospital room.
The door opens and Frankie looks up hopefully. She hides her disappointment at Erica coming I rather badly.
"I know you were hoping it was my daughter."
"No big." Frankie shrugs.
Erica sits down by the bed. "I just spoke with her on the phone. She's on her way with Leo and Greenlee. They should be here soon."
"Greenlee and Leo? Why are they coming with her?"
"Why Frankie, because they're your family of course. They care about you."
"Hardly." Frankie crosses her arms. "Leo never trusted me and Greenlee like each other? It's like, just the opposite. Greenlee- "
"Saved your life."
"What?" She stares at Erica.
"Didn't anyone tell you?"
"Tell me hwat?"
Erica composes herself and tells her, "When they found you, were barely conscious. The hypothermia was extreme. My daughter and Greenlee administered first aid for it."
Frankie still doesn't understand. "So they put a blanket on me. It's not that I'm not grateful but that's nothing big."
"No Frankie." Erica struggles lightly on how to say this to the young woman. "To treat hypothermia before the ambulance comes, you have to get under blankets and warm the other person with your body heat. Both my daughter and Greenlee used their clothing as blankets for you and then together they tried to get your body temperature up."
Frankie's face turns beat red. "I don't remember that."
Erica immediately puts a hand on her arm. "Honey, you almost died. You were barely conscious as is. No one expects you to remember much. I thought you should know that your...half-sister, helped save your life."
Frankie snorts. "She probably just did it so she'd feel she'd have something over my head. Or at least so that I couldn't use the kidney thing to extort money from her or something. Greenlee thinks like that. She thinks I'm just like Vanessa."
"If she honestly thought you were anything like your aunt, believe me, Greenlee wouldn't have lifted a finger to help you. And I've come to know Greenlee quite well since she's been working for me."
"We don't like each other. Neither of us have any use for family." Frankie insists.
Erica studies Frankie closely and gives her a judicious nod. "Of course neither of you do. That's why you gave her a kidney. And why you had Vanessa take you instead of Greenlee hostage.. And that's undoubtedly why Greenlee went along on this chase with my daughter to find you..."
"Erica," Frankie cuts her off," I get the point okay? But it's not like that. We're different."
"Or maybe you're both more alike than you're willing to admit." Erica offers. "You both seem to very much want a family. A real family that you can depend on. Trust. Greenlee found that in Leo. I would venture to say that you found that in my daughter. And maybe, you'll be able to find that sense of family with each other. After all Frankie, nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than love and family."
Frankie looks everywhere except at Erica. "Whatever."
"I'll let it go. For now." Erica has a small smile curling her lips as she watches Frankie.
Frankie sighs loudly. "Man, what the heck is keeping your daughter so long."
Greenlee halts them before entering the room. "I know you're in a state to see your girlfriend-"
"We're only friends." Bianca corrects awfully quickly, wringing her hands.
Greenlee gives her the once over and smirks. "Right.. Anyway, I have a huge favour to ask of you. Would you please keep my honey here company for a minute, no more than two. I just need a word with Frankie alone. Nothing bad, I promise." She smiles extra wide in her bid for innocent intent.
Bianca frowns but gives in. "Sure, I guess, I mean, you won't be long right?" She adds the last anxiously.
"Don't you worry. I'll be handing your ...friend...over to you in just a second. Thanks." She scoots in the door.
"Erica?" Greenlee says surprised to see her there and looking quite comfortable with Frankie.
"Greenlee?" Frankie says, confused by her sudden appearance.
Erica's eyes narrow as she stands up. "I believe we all know each other here. What can I do for you Greenlee? And where is my daughter? I thought she was coming here with you and Leo."
"Oh, she's right out there with him. I was hoping to have just a little second with my-Frankie over there. It won't be but a moment."
"Is that alright with you Frankie?" Erica asks the younger woman.
"Uh, I guess. Sure."
"Greenlee. It's good to see you looking so well." Erica leaves.
"Thanks." Greenlee says to her back. As soon as the door shuts, she turns to Frankie. "Since when is she so cozy with you?"
Frankie breaks out in laughter. "Man, you should have been here earlier. I would have loved to have seen your face when she called me honey."
"She called you honey?" Greenlee approaches the bed.
Embarrassed, Frankie mutters, "She's been real nice lately yunno? I don't give her lip just because she let slip some term. It probably just slipped out. I'm sure she didn't mean it."
"I don't know about that. She seemed ready to swoop down in full Typhoon Kane form if I was up to something just now. You better enjoy the bed of roses while it lasts. Having LaKane as a mother-in-law is hardly a thing worth envying."
Frankie's mood immediately turns sour. "What? And like having 'Proteus' is? I'll take Erica any day. Besides, if you're looking for wedding bells, it's probably read Sarah and Bianca."
"Hardly." Greenlee smirks.
"What do you mean?"
"Only that I wouldn't expect to see that sapid little blonde anywhere around anytime soon. Ask your girlfriend about it if you want."
"She's not my girlfriend." Frankie corrects her.
Greenlee gives her a look. "You two really are meant for each other. Listen, I'm going tot ell you something, but before that I want something very clear between us."
Warily, Frankie gives her the go ahead.
"First, there will be not talking, ever, about me being unclothed with your 'not' girlfriend. Ever Frankie."
"Not a problem believe me, it's nothing I want to remember or revisit."
"Good." Greenlee paces around the room a little."Second, just because we have the same father, I don't want you visiting your dyke-drama-rama on my and Leo's doorstep. We're getting married you know. We need some peace and quiet, time to ourselves and away from any crazy relatives."
"Is this what you came to tell me?" Frankie asks getting feisty. "Because first of all, I never asked to be related to you. My second, is that even if I did have a drama of any kind, your door is one of the last I would ever even consider knocking on. You got part of my body in you lady! I think that's all your going to get."
"Right back at you." Greenlee fires back. "Why did you do that anyway?" She's compelled to ask.
"The whole transplant thing and getting Vanessa to take you. It's only us here. Tell me the truth."
"hey, it just seemed like the right thing you know? But if you keep riding me about stuff I might reconsider and ask for it back." Her eyes narrow as she regards Greenlee. "Why did you help Bianca find me?"
Caught unprepared for the turnaround Greenlee nevertheless rallies. "I couldn't stand Bianca moping around for another second. Speaking of which, you do know the girl crashed through boards and solid glass to get to you?"
"What? She did? No. Really?" Frankie forgets all about their sparring at this news.
"She's got it bad for you. So here's the thing. Me and Leo, we almost lost our chance at happiness due to that psychotic mother of his. You almost lost yours for similar reasons. Don't you think it's time you came back to reality and not let this second chance pass you by?" Before Frankie can retort, she goes to leave. "Just one last bit of advice. Consider your transplant now paid in full." With that last sally, she's out the door.
Greenlee smirks at Bianca. "She's all yours lover girl. Go get her." She shoves her through and stops Leo from entering. "I think they need alone time sweetie. Let's make with the exam and than I'm thinking, me, you, and a hot tub."
Leo grins widely and steals a kiss. "That's my Greens. I love the way you think." As they walk away he asks her, "So what did you have to say to Frankie anyway?"
Greenlee's smirk widens. "Just some sisterly advice."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Some sisterly bonding b/t Greenlee and Frankie.
setting: Frankie's hospital room.
Bianca freezes as the door clicks closed behind her. She stares at Frankie who looks back at her, waiting. Both of them fearful of doing the wrong thing.
Bianca does what she does best, she gives in to the urges of her heart, if only part way. She goes over to Frankie and takes her in her arms, crying.
Frankie nearly sobs in relief at the contact, holding Bianca just as fiercely as she holds her.
"Don't ever do anything like that again." Bianca scolds her, her head nestled against Frankie's shoulder. "Don't you know it would wreck me if anything ever happened to you? Don't ever scare me like that again."
Frankie swallows down the lump in her throat. "Sure thing. Just keep psycho relatives or wannabe relatives away from me okay?"
"They already have Vanessa back in custody." Bianca reassures her, loosening her grip a little.
"They do?" Frankie pulls away from her slightly.
Bianca's face is so close as she gazes at Frankie, reassuring herself that she is alright. "Yeah. So no worries and no more nearly getting your self killed you hear me?"
"Gotcha." Frankie glances down between them before looking back up. "So you were worried about me huh?"
"Frankie." Bianca admonishes, "Of course I was. You're...you mean a lot to me. I care about you. I mean, we managed to be friends haven't we? After everything we've been through. I don't have so many of those that I can afford to lose any." She pulls back more, tucking her hair behind an ear.
Frankie leans back into her pillows propped up. She regards Bianca for a moment before saying sombrely, "Being your friend is more than I have a right to ask."
"Don't say that. We've both down things wrong. That we wish we could take back."
"Would you?" Frankie has to ask.
"Take it back. Us. If you could."
"Oh, no Frankie, never." Bianca tells her with all her heart. "I just mean the things I did that were stupid. Things we did that hurt each other that's all."
"That was more me than you. A ton more me screwing up that you ever could Bianca."
"Frankie," hesitantly, reverting back to being unsure of what to do or not do, Bianca lightly takes her hand, "it's in the past. It's forgiven. Almost losing you put it into perspective for me. When you care about someone you try to forgive them right?"
Frankie pulls the locket out from under her shirt. "Is this why you gave this back to me? To let me know you've forgiven me? I have no right to it Bianca."
Bianca shakes her head. "I gave it to you to let you know someone cares for you."
"Because we're friends now." Frankie almost states it like a question.
"Yeah, exactly." Bianca fidgets.
"Me becoming Popsicle Frankie must a been scary. Sorry about that." Frankie studies her closely. "I mean, you lost a lot of people in your life, I don't know how you do it, keep trying, putting your heart out there."
" 'Popsicle Frankie?" Bianca shakes her head, acting like she didn't hear the rest. "You have such a terrible sense of humour sometimes."
Frankie's eyes narrow in thought than she cracks a grin and jokes, "At least I don't have latent circus performer tendencies canon ball girl."
Bianca immediately relaxes at the teasing. "Am I ever going to live that down?"
"Nope." Frankie says happily "Though I wish I had seen it."
"God, I'm glad you didn't. It was a crazy thing to do."
Frankie says ultra-casual. "We all do crazy things when we're scared."
Bianca nods. "I guess we do." She stands up. "I actually have to go. I have some school stuff to do and since Kendal's been back I've been wanting to support my mom more so I've been helping her out a little at Enchantment."
Frankie says, "Yeah, half-sisters, they're fun."
Bianca's nose crinkles as she makes a face. "It must be weird, finding out Greenlee is your half-sister."
Frankie shrugs. "As relatives go, I have worst. I'll live. Besides, between me and you? She's not so bad....maybe."
Bianca chuckles. "Well, Greenlee does take some getting used to. Anyway, I gotta go. See you soon?"
"Actually I get out today so I'll be back at my room. Uhm, do you want to come over? Maybe tomorrow?" Than she suddenly adds, "Unless you have plans with Sarah."
"Sarah?" Bianca quickly covers. "No, no plans. Actually she's leaving."
"So soon?" Frankie says struggling to keep the sarcasm down to a minimum.
"Yeah, having her here...I found out, we both changed a lot and ...we're just not the same people anymore. Not that much in common."
Not quite sure what to make of Bianca's stumbling but happy Sarah's not in the picture, she asks again. "So tomorrow night? You're free then?"
"Free as a bird. Dinner?"
"Yeah for dinner." Frankie smiles, a completely open, genuine smile. "It's good that we're friends again."
Bianca's heart almost stops at that smile, and constricts at those last words. "Yeah, it's good that we're friends. No pressure, no worries."
"I'll see ya tomorrow then."
"See ya then. Uhm, is it okay if I give you a call tonight? See how you're settling in."
"Yeah of course," Frankie offers, "You can call me anytime Bianca. I'll look forward to it."
Frankie watches the door close. She takes the locket in her hands and studies it, thinking.
"Friends." Her hands close over the locket and she closes her eyes. "It's more than I have a right to ask no matter what you say."
Frankie sighs, talking to herself. "We're both so scared."
After a few breaths she opens her eyes and gathers her courage. "Come on Frankie, you can do this." She picks up the phone, takes another steadying breath and than dials.
"Hi, it's ah Frankie." She speaks self-consciously. "I have a favour I need to ask..."
note: The song 'Time' is by Chantal Kreviazuk, I do not own it or her or anything about it, just borrowing the tune. Song marked in italics.
special note: Juls! This is THE chapter as promised,;)
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: A moment b/t Bianca and Frankie who are friends, and know this to be a good thing <g>
setting: The next day. Frankie's room. Early evening.
She's sitting in her wheelchair in her bedroom, looking in the mirror, fidgeting nervously.
Anna walks in from the main room.
"Everything's all set." She walks over and puts her hands on Frankie's shoulders, meeting her eyes in their mirror reflection. "How you holding up?"
"I guess?" She's breathing shallowly, "You sure it's all set up?"
Anna squeezes the body beneath her hands reassuringly. "Absolutely. Every detail has been carried out to your specifications mademoiselle."
That wins her a grin from the nervous woman. "Do I look okay?"
"You really are nervous." Anna observes, coming around to kneel in front of Frankie. "For what it may be worth, I think you're doing the right thing, no matter how it turns out. And for the record, I think you look smashing." She smiles warmly at Frankie.
In one long relieved breath, Frankie thanks her.
Anna nods to the small package on Frankie's lap. "What's in the pretty box?"
Frankie touches the box gingerly. "Hope."
"Nevermind, it's a favour actually, that Erica pulled through for me."
"Erica Kane's in your corner even?" Anna arches a perfect brow. "You do have some mighty forces on your side."
"Yeah, I just hope it's enough." She let's Anna see her as she truly is, hopeful, fearful, and deeply moved. "Thanks so much Anna for helping me out and doing all this for me. I wasn't sure if it would be cool to ask-"
"Shush." Anna tells her kindly. "You're like a second daughter to me. Anything I can do, you only ever need to call. And I know the same goes for David." Than she adds teasingly. "And apparently Erica now fits in there too."
Frankie gives her a droll look. "Who saw that coming huh?"
"Definitely not me." Anna stands.
"I know you two don't get along but I appreciate you both not going at it while I was at the hospital. She's not a woman I want to have all wrath like at me or ...my family. The family that..counts." She looks down.
Anna's heart melts at the sight of her. "I don't put a lot of stock into what Erica thinks but I'm glad she's shown she has the intelligence to recognize your goodness Frankie."
Frankie's getting supremely uncomfortable. "Do we have to hug now?"
Anna laughs. "Yes." She says unmercifully and steals a hug from the woebegone girl. She even gives her a kiss on the cheek. "Now you be brave and follow your heart. I'm going to get out of here now before she arrives."
Frankie nods, mute at the display of affection.
Smiling, Anna sees herself out.
Time, where did you go?
Why did you leave me here alone?
Frankie takes the locket from around her neck and holds it against her heart. She looks in the mirror, scared.
Wait, don't go so fast
I'm missing the moments as they pass
Her free hand touches the box again. She straightens her shoulders and wheels herself out to the common room.
Now I've looked in the mirror and the worlds getting clearer
So wait for me this time
The door bell rings and she answers it.
"Hi," Bianca smiles.
Frankie can't stop staring at her, she's resplendid in a black dress baring her shoulders, the dress hugging her curves and draping her body effortlessly. The diamond earrings sparkling could not outshine the look those dark, soulful eyes.
"You look...amazing." She tells her.
"Thank you." Bianca smiles blushing. "You look gorgeous yourself. I always did like green on you." She said, referring to the silk green buttoned top Frankie wore with black slacks. She notices the locket gracing Frankie's neck.
"I always liked black on you." Frankie confesses to her.
"Yeah, a gift from Anna actually."
They stand staring at each other. Bianca is the first to point it out. "So, are you going to let me in or are we dining out in the hallway?"
"No, no hallway dinning." Frankie takes a breath and wheels herself to the side opening the door wider to let Bianca in. "Come in."
Bianca steps in the room, hearing the door close behind her.
And her breath is taken away.
Candles are lit everywhere, red roses are decorating shelves and a single white rose adorns the candlelit table.
Bianca finds her voice. "Frankie...what's all this?"
Frankie wheels herself to better face Bianca.
"Do you like it?"
I'm down I'm down on my knees I'm begging for all your sympathy
"I love it..but, I thought, this was just dinner, casual. Now that we're friends." Bianca's stunned.
But you (I'm just an illusion) you don't seem to care (I wish that I could)
You humble people everywhere
"I need to talk to you about that." Frankie lets her heart shine in her eyes her face. She takes the rose from the table and hands the white flower to her. Bianca takes it in numb fingers. "I have a lot to make up for. A lot of things I did wrong."
(I don't mean to hurt you)
"And I don't know if I can ever make up for hurting you then but I want to spend the rest of my life trying."
"I've tried to be so tough all my life. If you don't let someone in than you won't get hurt. I was afraid of that so badly. And then you came along."
Now I've looked in the mirror and the worlds getting clearer
"And you reached in and saw me for just me. And loved me despite myself. You have no idea how brave you really are Bianca. And if you want to be friends..."
I'll take what you give me. Please know that I'm learning
So wait for me this time
"I'll learn to live with it. I have a couple of things to say, and something to give you. I hope you'll take it." She hands Bianca the box with shaking hands.
Bianca gently takes it from her and opens it. Her heart stops as she pulls out a locket, an exact duplicate to the one she gave Frankie except in silver. Out of all the questions cramming her mind she gets out one. "Why?"
"Because...because you gave me your heart once. This is so you know, no matter what, that you've always had mine."
Bianca stares at the locket cupped in her hands. "I don't know what to say."
I should've know better
I shouldn't have wasted those days
And afternoons and mornings
I threw them all away
Frankie wheels closer to her, knowing full well she might lose but understanding that if she doesn't try, she may never have the chance to win it back. "Bianca, you've always managed to accept me for who I am even though I'm not the person you deserve." A tear crests over Frankie's cheek. "but I will be."
"If you'll let me."
Tears escape from Bianca's eyes as she blinks, the candlelight flickering in her vision. She asks Frankie in almost a whisper. "What, exactly, are you asking of me Frankie?" Afraid her heart might not be able to bear the answer.
"I've only had one love in my life Bianca. And she's the only person I want in my life and to be my love. I have to know one thing that only you can answer for me." She wheels so that her legs are touching Bianca's trembling form.
"Know what?" Bianca breathes at the sight of Frankie's darkening gaze.
Frankie pulls her into her lap, holding her to her. "If you can love me again." She lowers her lips to Bianca's and claims her with a kiss.
Now this is my time
I'm going to make this moment mine.
(I shouldn't have wasted those days)
She raises herself enough to stare into eyes now obsidian. "I love you Bianca. I've never stopped being in love with you."
"Frankie," Bianca touches the face above hers, "I've never stopped being in love with you." She wraps a hand in Frankie's hair and pulls her down into another passionate kiss as they embrace, the candles twinkling like stars in the heavens as they make love for what feels like the first time all over again.
I'll take what you give me. Please know that I'm learning
I've looked in the mirror
My world's getting clearer
So wait for me this time
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Frankie confessed her feelings for Bianca and Bianca reciprocated.
setting: The morning after.
A partially ajar curtain let stray sunlight into the room, allowing Frankie to gaze at Bianca's peaceful, sleeping form. She could not recall a moment where she felt more happy or content than right here, right now.
She watched as thick, dark lashes fluttered open, and sleepy eyes blinked at her. She waited to hear the first words from those full lips.
Bianca, oblivious to the scrutiny her sleeping form had been under, stretches her arms over her head and yawns. She smiles into shinning eyes and says the first thing she felt.
Frankie's smile widens and she leans in and kisses her sweetly. "Right back at yaw."
Bianca grins. "I think it's cute how you still get all embarrassed about using the L word."
Frankie grins helplessly. "I can't help it. I don't have much practice." A mischievous twinkle lights her face. "But I 'L' you very much."
They both laugh.
"I do love you." She tells Bianca in a much quieter voice after the laughter faded.
"Right back at ya." Bianca replies.
"You're also the most beautiful woman in the world." Frankie adds still serious.
Bianca studies her and remarks. "You're not usually like this. All serious and with the confessions and heart talks."
Frankie tells her frankly, "I guess almost dying in that cabin and thinking I would never be with you again changed that. I admit I do still feel self-conscious when I say the 'L' word but I promised myself in that cabin that if I ever got another chance, I'd tell you every chance I got."
"I like the change." Bianca admits."Though I would have preferred you not almost dying for it."
"Hey, it's okay. I'm here now. We're here now." Frankie caresses Bianca's face tenderly. "And I wouldn't change that for the world."
"Not for anything?" Bianca's voice trembles.
"Not for anything." Frankie reassures her. "Though I wish I hadn't ruined the Christmas holidays for you. And Valentines is right around the corner-"
Bianca stops her with a kiss. She leans back and whispers. "I wouldn't change it for anything. Because we're here, now, and that's the best gift you could ever have given me." She fingers the silver locket around her throat. "You're heart."
After a moment of basking in a regard filled with love Frankie asks something that's been on her mind. "I keep meaning to ask. How did you find me?"
Bianca grins in a playful manner and answers in the most lascivious tone, "I found you perfect in everrry way."
Bianca chuckles as Frankie's face flushes in response. "I don't mean that. I meant how did you know I was at the cabin?"
"Oh, well Greenlee and I found a clue in that book of sonnets you gave me." She sits up, her gaze sliding from Frankie's.
"You figured out my code?" Frankie says surprised. "I just did that for myself. Followed that wench around to mark her moves in case I needed the info later to give to the DA or something."
"Actually it was Greenlee who figured it out. Seems you have a thing in common or two."
"Well, the only thing I want is you to stay in bed with me all day and ignore the rest of the world." Frankie tells her.
Bianca smiles, blushing but she stands, wrapping a sheet around her. "That sounds like a prefect day."
Frankie stares after her retreating form, teasingly aghast. "Than why are you leaving the bed?"
She hears Bianca's laugh. "Because I just woke up and nature calls."
A cell phone ringing interrupts Frankie's thoughts on what to plan for their day. "Hey!" she yells out. "You got a cell phone somewhere?"
"Shoot! It's probably my mom or work. Could you answer it for me?" Bianca asks from the bathroom. "It's in my purse. Just ignore the clutter. I haven't had a chance to clean it out yet."
Shaking her head, Frankie lifts herself up on her arms and looks around, spying the purse near the bed she just reaches down for it and pulls it to her. She just dumps it's contents out on the bed. The cell phone is there amidst makeup and other sundry, but so is a paper that , though crumpled, looks very familiar. She ignores the phone and unfurls the paper, recognizing it immediately.
Bianca stumbles out of the bathroom wondering why the phone is still ringing. "Couldn't you find the phone? I-" She stops as she sees what Frankie has in her hands.
"I don't get it." Frankie frowns. "Why do you have this torn out from the book like this?"
Bianca stares at her weighing her options. Being Bianca however, she can only do one thing. Tell the truth. She sits on the bed near her lover. "Frankie, I have to tell you something but before I do I'm warning you that it will probably make you angry. And I want you to try and not be."
Frankie's frown deepens. "What are you talking about?"
"I didn't tell you before because I didn't want you to be upset. The paper...Sarah had torn it out, trying to hide it from Greenlee and me. I don't think she meant any harm but it's why she left town. When I found out I ...lost my temper and told her I didn't want someone around who could do something so blindly that could have killed you. I'm sorry Frankie. I never realized how jealous of you she really was until it was too late."
"But we weren't even together." Frankie's mind stumbles to catch up with this latest shock.
"It didn't matter. she knew how I felt about you. Can you ever forgive me for not seeing through her? It almost got you killed."
"You mean she almost got me killed." Frankie growls darkly. "It's not you who should be feeling sorry."
The look on Frankie's face worries Bianca. "Now Frankie, you've been through so much I didn't want you upset with this news. It's behind me. She's gone. Greenlee slapped her even. Can you please leave it be?"
"Slapped her?" Frankie snarls. "I'll do a lot more than slap her! Is she working for my aunt? That little bitch! Who knows what else she's been up to when I get my hands on her I'll-"
"Ow!" Bianca shouts as Frankie's foot kicks her in the rump.
"Oh sorry Bianca! I didn't mean it I swear! My foot just ...my..foot..." Frankie trails off as the meaning of what happened sinks in.
"Frankie, you moved your foot!"
"Whoa." Frankie says shocked. "I didn't think it would happen again."
"Again?" Bianca says excitedly. "This happened before?"
"Yeah, when Greenlee visited me after the transplant. But it wasn't as big a kick as this was. And it happened when I was angry before too!"
"Wow." Bianca breaths. "We have to get you to the hospital. Right now!"
Sometime later, Bianca is waiting with Frankie in a hospital room David enters.
"Where's the specialist guy?" Frankie asks him.
"He reviewed the tests and x-rays as well as the MRI and when he told me the results." David sits down across from them. "I wanted to tell you myself."
Frankie's hold on Bianca's hand tightens. "It must be bad news then, if you want to give it to me yourself and soften the blow."
David smiles at her. "On the contrary, it's very promising."
Still wary Frankie asks, "Promising how?"
"It seems the bone fragment moved down from your spine. There's still some pressure there but it's less than what it was. The specialist thinks it's a natural movement that was perhaps heightened by your strenuous recent mishaps."
"Is their a chance the bullet fragment could move back?" Bianca asks him.
"Not likely at all. And there's hope that if it keeps moving, the pressure will be completely taking off the spine and we could operate and remove the fragment altogether."
Frankie breathes than asks, her heart clenched in a fist of emotion. "And what about my legs?"
"I already have you scheduled to work with our best therapists. There's no reason that with time and hard work that you shouldn't be able to walk with the help of some braces and canes. In time you may not even need those."
"You mean-" both women say.
"That's right. You're already gradually getting back your mobility and sensation in your legs. You're going to be able to walk again Frankie."
"WOOHOO!" both women are shouting with joy and hugging David profusely, all of them laughing and happy.
As they quiet down, David adds, "I am warning you though Frankie, it's going to be a lot of hard strenuous work on your part. The physio therapy will be painful at times. You can't allow yourself to give up."
"Give up?" Frankie laughs joyously. "Cuz, that word isn't even in my vocabulary."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca and Frankei are big with the Happies,';)
setting: Some time has passed. Erica's office at Enchantment.
Bianca is quietly tidying some files on her mother's desk when the door opens to reveal Frankie walking in with braces and canes, clad in jeans, a green shirt, and denim jacket.
Bianca smiles surprised. "Wow, look at you! I wasn't expecting to see you when I got home. I was just finishing a couple of things and than going to come over."
Frankie grins, "Val said you weren't busy so I just wandered in. Besides, I could have stayed at home and waited 20 minutes for you, or come over and not be away from you one second longer than necessary." She winks at Bianca. "I chose you."
Walking over, Bianca kisses her soundly. "I like the way you think. Have I ever told you that?" She murmured to her lover.
Frankie leans in for another kiss, "No, but I like the way you tell me."
After a blissful moment, Bianca reluctantly releases Frankie's lips but not before gently biting the lower one pouting at her. "Are you okay with this?"
"If you can't tell that I am than I'm doing something wrong." Frankie's eyes sparkle.
"You know what I mean. The wedding?"
"Oh that. " Frankie roils her eyes. "We wear dorky dresses , play bridesmaids and than skip the festivities and go skinny dipping!"
"WHAT?" Bianca's eyes go wide at that last part.
"I was just kidding about the swimming in the buff..." Frankie pauses for effect, "maybe."
"Seriously Frankie, are you alright with being one Greenlee's bridesmaids?"
"Sure. It's for you. And you're doing it for Leo. That's why she asked us is for him anyway." Frankie perches herself on the couch.
"I don't really think that's why she asked us. Not completely."
"Come one Bianca, it's not like I've been spending time with them and chumming up. It's just for show. You want to be there for Leo. I'm cool with that.Don't you remember how she asked us? I almost dunked water on her. She tends to be kinda rude."
Bianca sits next to Frankie, her _expression thoughtful. "I think you haven't learned Greenlee Speak yet."
" 'Greenlee Speak'" Frankie laughs a little, "I;m still learning 'Bianca speak'" She teases.
"I'm serious." Bianca fights not to give in to the playful banter.
"Okay, okay, do enlighten me oh knowledgeable one. What is this language you speak of?"
"I think Greenlee acts more ...attitudinal...the more vulnerable or unsure she feels. And when it comes to family, it comes out full force."
"So what are you saying? She gets bitchy whenever a relative is near her? And that word attitudinal, is that a real word?"
"It is!" Bianca grips the hands that are roaming along her thighs."I'm just trying to tell you not to take her tone to heart. I think she really wants you there in her own Greenlee way, family matters to her."
"Blood relation or no, I'm not really her family." Frankie's hands stopped, and her smile fades.
Cautiously, Bianca asks her, "Do you want to be?"
"Because maybe you want a family too. You haven't really spent any time with your father-"
Frankie stands up, leaning heavily on her canes. "He's not my father. He was a genetic donor alright? I don't know him and I don't want to know him. I can see how well he treats the daughter he did almost raise and it underwhelming."
Bianca spreads her hands in a gesture of peace. "Alright, I'll drop the subject. But if you ever want to talk about it..."
Frankie smiles grudgingly at her, "Than I know who to turn to." She steals a kiss.
"My what's this?" Erica Kane walks into her office. She miles sunnily at them both. "How are you Frankie?" She hugs the girl, catching her of guard. Bianca tries not to snicker.
"Uh, fine. And you?"
"Right as rain. Aren't you girls suppose dot be getting ready for Leo's wedding?"
"Yep mom, we were just on our way." Bianca hugs her. "See you tomorrow for supper?"
"You're on." Erica tells them as they head for the door. "You two have fun."
"Bye mom." Bianca says leaving.
Just before escaping with her girlfriend, a recovered Frankie cheekily calls out. "Yeah, bye mom!"
Erica's head snaps up at that and she can't help but smile at their retreating forms.
Jackson comes around the door to enter. "My my, " He remarks, "Did my ears just deceive me or did our lovely Bianca's young lady call you 'mom'? And you're smiling about it!"
Erica blushes a little. "Oh Jackson. Don't tease me."
He comes over to her and gives her a hug and a kiss. "I wouldn't dream of it but I must say I am pleased at how well you're all getting along. I don't think I've ever seen Bianca happier."
Erica regards him seriously. "I don't think I have either. You know, when Frankie first came to this town I was dead set to get rid of her. I always thought, well, I worried that when my daughter finally gave her heart away, that I would lose her."
"Now Erica," he takes her in his arms reassuringly. "Bianca would never cut you out of her life. Certainly not because she found love."
"I know that now." Erica brushes away a stray tear. "I used to be afraid that her giving her heart away would mean my family would shrink. Now I've begun to realize that maybe it's actually a matter of our family getting larger instead."
"Here, here." Jackson agrees, holding her close.
For those who watched TV. A long time ago Greens asked B and Maggie to be bridesmaids b/c Leo asked. This was my own twist to the aftermath of that and of course with it being Frankie, not Maggie in the picture
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Bianca and Frankie are going to a wedding.
note: Unlike the actual TV soap, Simone here never slept with Roger (Greenlee's dad).
setting: Greenlee and Leo's wedding.
Through he crowd, Bianca spots her girlfriend and makes her way over to her.
Frankie looks up at her approach, still smoothing the lines of her perfectly fine looking dress, which she's been doing since putting it on. "You find them?"
"Nope," Bianca replies, "It seems to be official, Leo and Greenlee ran out on their own wedding."
Catching sight of Roger and Mary Smyth arguing, Frankie mutters, "It's probably the best idea they had considering. I hear Leo go off on her parent's earlier. They're just here to get money one way or another and not piss off the grandfolks. Too bad I'm related to all of them, sort of."
"No worries Frankie-la," Bainca takes her in her arms and smiles at her, half teasing, half very serious, "You'll always have me."
"Thank God for that." Frankie smiles back and leans in for a kiss.
A gun shot shatters the scene followed by a cacophony of screams. A second gun shot followed. Both women had ducked at the noise, arms protectively around each other.
Anna's voice could be heard over the din. "Everything's alright everybody. We've got the shooter. Repeat, the shooter is down."
People warily start to stand up and move about, clearing the way.
"Somebody was shooting? At who?" Bianca looks around still worried and suffering an adrenalin surge from the scare.
"I don't know but if you ask me the government should amend most of their gun laws so that not everyone and their dog could own a damn gun. You okay?' Her eyes rove over Bianca.
"Fine, just scared from the shots. Did anyone get hurt?"
"Somebody help us!" Mary's voice screams.
Frankie and Bianca rush over and theirs Mary, kneeling, with Roger lying down near her. A red stain blooming through his shirt.
"He's been shot." Frankie kneels down and immediately tears a table cloth off, ignoring the clash and clatter. She balls it up and presses down over the wound." Do you see David anywhere Bianca?"
"What's this about David?" Anna says, holstering her weapon while approaching them.
"Roger's been shot." Frankie tells her. "David was his doctor isn't he here?"
"I'm not sure where he went." Anna frowns while pulling out her cell phone and calling for an ambulance. "An ambulance will be here shortly. Keep pressure on the wound."
"Sure." Frankie supplies. Bianca stays by her side, a supportive hand on her back.
Roger's eyes slide open, glazed. "Is that you? I've been...I've been shot?" He asks looking vaguely in Frankie's direction.
"Yeah, so stay still alright? Just take it easy." Frankie tells him.
"You came to help me." he smiles weakly at her, his hand covering the one she's holding the cloth with.
"Well, sure." Frankie frowns.
"I don't deserve your help. I've been a terrible father to you."
Frankie stops breathing at his words, staring down at him attentively. Finally she speaks, "It's alright, you're hurt."
"Still, that you would come to my aid. I can't tell you how much that means to me. Does that mean there's even a chance you could forgive me for everything wrong that I've done to you?"
"Ah, look, why don't you just try to relax. We can talk about this later. You just save your strength."
"You are my strength." he says, eyes shining. "You're so strong, and no thanks to me, look at all you've become; such a beautiful, vibrant young woman, with her whole future ahead of her."
"I told you to rest." Frankie says, feeling rattled by his words and the growing red dampness in her hands.
"I will sweetheart, I will. Just tell me if there's a chance that you can forgive me, that we can start over. That you'll let me prove I can be a good father, that it's not too late."
Frankie's sweating, her lower lip is trembling. She feels cold. "Finally she gasps out, "Yeah sure, you pull through this and we can do dinner or something okay? Just stay with us."
"That's what I needed to hear from you. I always loved you sweetheart. Never doubt that." His eyes slide shut. Mary screams his name. Frankie shakes him." Come on rise and shine this isn't time to nap hold on!"
"Remember I love you...my golden child...my precious daughter..."his voice grows increasingly faint"....Greenlee..."he breathes and then breathes no more.
Bianca is pulling her back from where she sits, numbly staring at the stranger who is-was-her father. "That medics are here. You have to move Frankie." her lover's voice pleads with her.
Frankie stands up on shaky legs, Bianca' catching her from behind. She watches as the paramedics put him on a stretcher and begin CPR even as they rush him to the ambulance. She realizes, as though from a distance, that her hands feel damp. Looking down, she sees the once white table cloth still held in her arms, now a dark, dull red. She can't seem to let it go.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Roger died in Frankie's arms, having tender words for...Greenlee who was mia at her own wedding
note: Unlike the actual TV soap, Simone here never slept with Roger (Greenlee's dad).
setting: Boathouse, a few days later.
Frankie is overlooking the water, pensive, brooding.
She doesn't hear the staccato of heels climbing up the steps and approaching her.
"You're exactly where she said you would be."
Frankie looks up from her thoughts to see Greenlee standing not too far away, fists on hips. Her clothing unusually sombre black. Than Frankie realizes, she's in mourning, what else would she wear?
"Bianca rat me out?" She asked, her voice sounding as dead as the still air.
"That's a charming way to put it." Greenlee steps over to her."I phoned looking for you and she told me where I might find you."
"What do you want?" Frankie asks her tiredly.
"I want to know why you weren't at daddy's funeral."
Disgruntled at Greenlee's self-righteous manner, she snidely reminds Greenlee, "He wasn't my daddy. In fact, I never knew the man."
"You're-you were- his other daughter."
Angry, Frankie stands up and puts some space between them. "Not really. Not as far as he was concerned and certainly not by me. I was just unwanted baggage. I've already been there with one family. I don't feel the need to repeat the experience by going to a funeral with a pack of strangers that I don't need to know."
"Don't even try playing the unwanted child card with me." Greenlee warns her. "We all have our sob stories. He was your father too. And it's not like you're unloved. You have all these people who care about you-"
"I have Bianca and I have me." Frankie cuts her off. Wanting the attention anywhere but on her, she tries to turn the tables. "Why are you here?"
"To see why you were a no-show at our father's funeral." Greenlee said as though she were patiently explaining to a child.
"No, why are you really here. He was never my father, more like a genetic donor."
"Look," Greenlee, despite her air of sadness, finds her temper getting the better of her, "I'm here because it's what daddy would have wanted. Leo too. Maybe even me."
"You don't owe your old man a thing. I met remember? I knew what he was like." She retorted, ignoring the last statement altogether.
"I'm just trying to do the right thing." Greenlee gritted out.
"Yeah, well find another charity case."
"You are making this so much harder than it has to be."
Frankie shrugs not giving in. "It's as hard as it is. Period. It's not like you were exactly thrilled to find out I was your long lost sister so don't feel any need to play Little House on the Prairie now. It's not needed and it is so not wanted. Really."
Greenlee exhales loudly. "I just came here to let you know we're family. If you need anything..we're here for you. Leo and I..that's all I was trying to get at."
Frankie crosses her arms, leans back against the railing. "I told you already I have Bianca. She's all I need."
"She's not all you have." Greenlee frowns. "There's Erica who I still can't believe is on your wagon. There Jackson who would bend over backwards for you. Opal likes you. And David and Anna treat you like you're there long lost daughter so don't even try that poor me nobody love's me routine. You can't sell it to me."
Frankie shakes her head and says vehemently. "That's just it, they're not on my wagon. They're all trying to put me on their own ideas and wants! I had a lot of time to think over the past couple of days and I came to the conclusion that the only person who really gives a damn about me for me is Bianca. No one else. Erica and Jackson and Opal are all great; as long as I keep their precious girl happy. Anna and David are fantastic, but it all started when David wanted to suddenly build the family he never had. All because of psycho aunt V. "
The slap takes them both by surprise. Greenlee steps away form her, her hand still in the air.
Frankie stares at her as though she were a madwoman. She puts a hand to her cheek, "What the hell was that for?"
Greenlee shakes her head in disgust. "You really are an idiot sometimes. Do you have any idea what I would have given to be surrounded by so many people who care about what happens to you? You have family issues and daddy issues. Fine. Get in line. He wasn't there for me either. But he's dead now, so there's no second chances for him, or us as proper little family. Get over it."
"What are you all angry at me for?"
Greenlee's sobers completely losing all her anger, the intensity in her eyes captures and pins Frankie in place. "Because, if you use that chip on your shoulder to shut out people who love you, care about you and hang it all up on Bianca you'll lose her. You'll suffocate her And then you might even lose her. Let alone all the other people who care for you. I was just starting to get to know my father. He was trying. He was." Tears shine in her brown eyes. "I have Leo. And to some extent my dysfunctional mother. I have grandparents who really do love me and even David and Anna are feeling like family now. I lost my chance with my father. I don't want to make that mistake of letting my anger get the better of me...and losing another chance now."
Frankie's anger drains from her at the sadness in Greenlee's eyes, and the weight of her words. Deeply confused she asks, "I don't understand why you're here at all."
A ghost of a smile, tinged with sadness graces Greenlee's face. "Because that's what real family does, they stick by each other when times are hard. And I want to hold on to what family I have left, no matter how thick-headed they are."
Guilt slumps Frankie's shoulders. "I didn't mean to give you a hard time. About your father dying an all, I'm sorry."
"Thank you." Greenlee tells her honestly. "And thank you for telling me his last words. That must have been hard on you, him not having anything to say to you must have been hard."
Frankie shrugs. "Nothing, really. I'm fine, No big."
Greenlee gives her a tired semblance of her usual Greenlee snide. "Do you ever actually speak in full sentences?"
"Don't push it." A small smile twitches at Frankie's lips.
Greenlee smirks. "So you going to give this family thing a try?"
"I'm not promising anything."
Greenlee arches an eyebrow at her. "Did I ask for a promise?"
"Guess not. How are you holding up?"
With that question, Greenlee goes into a real smile in reaction, realizing the question for what it was, an answer. And she found herself more happy and relieved than she thought, at the idea of this strange, difficult young woman being her sister.Her family. "It's been hard. Leo's talking about taking me away for awhile so I can have some time to sort things out."
"Might be a good idea." Frankie offers.
"Yeah he's talking about taking me to Paris."
"I was going to head home." Greenlee steps over to exit. "Did you want to join us? It's almost suppertime. We could swing by and pick up Bianca."
Frankie shakes her head but joins her and they proceed to walk out together. "You say I'm the think headed one? You're the tenacious relative far as I can tell."
"Seriously though, we don't have to like, hug now do we?" An edge of fear creeps into Frankie's voice.
"You wish." Greenlee caustically replies.
"Thank you for small favours." Frankie says.
One beat, two, than both woman laugh, heading off together.
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee convinced a really defensive Frankie to give family a chance.
setting: One month later. Outside Frankies room.
Bianca came to the door and took out her key. Entering the room she was surprised to see no lights on. She steps in completely and heard the door closed behind her. She whirls around only to be grabbed and fiercely kissed by a very familiar pair of lips.
She pulls away from Frankies mouth laughing breathlessly. "Frankie! What are-" shes cut off by Frankie kissing her more urgently, hands fumbling at her clothes. Normally, she would be more than happy to succumb to her lovers passion, but there was something desperate to these actions. And in the dark, Bianca is unable to make out Frankies face, or look into those expressive eyes.
She breaks away, as gently as she can, from Frankies embrace. Fumbling over to the bedside table, She turns on the light and glances back at Frankie. Frankie immediately shields her eyes from the sudden bright flare, but not before Bianca saw the wet sheen of recently shed tears.
Bianca goes over to her immediately. "Frankie, whats wrong?"
"Nothing." She wont look at Bianca, hiding behind her hand as if her eyes werent already adjusting to the light. "Something wrong with me wanting to make love to you?"
Damn, Frankie hadnt meant that to come out as defensive as it had.
Bianca steps closer, trying to read her mercurial lovers mood. She reaches up and gently pulls Frankies hand down. "I love it when were together, making love. But somethings bothering you."
"Nothings bothering me." Frankie steps back, away from Bianca.
Bianca doesnt push too hard, but she does persist in her ever gentle manner. "Did something happen today?"
Frankies face is as closed off as Bianca can remember. "Didnt you get a call today?"
"I havent checked my messages recently." Bianca frowns, puzzled.
"Maybe you should." Frankie suggests.
"Okay." She does so. "Theres a message from Leo." Her eyes go wide as she listens in."oh my gosh, hes leaving with Greenlee for Paris tonight!"
Frankie saunters over to the other side of the room, leaning back against the wall, arms crossed. "Yep. So much for all their lets be a family spiel."
Bianca at last has a clue. "Is that whats bothering you Frankie? That the family you were just getting to know is leaving?"
"Hell, no." Frankie shrugs, arms still crossed. "Its always been just me and you Bianca. Thats all I want. Youre all I want and need. I didnt ask for them to be in my life. I dont care if they go or not. Whatever.:"
Bianca perches on the bed, looking up at Frankie with compassion. She says gently "I think it does matter."
"Well, of course it matters to you Bianca. Leos like your best friend. I understand if youre upset about it."
"Im not the only one whos upset. Leos your cousin. And Greenlees your sister. Weve been spending a lot of time with them as well as David and Anna. Its okay to miss them. To feel sad that theyre leaving."
"I never said Id miss them, especially her."
Bianca gazes up at Frankie with all the love for her in her eyes. " You didnt have to."
Frankie glances away from that all knowing gaze. Finally, she pushes away from the wall and paces around the room, gesturing angrily with her hands. "Its my own damn fault for buying into all that garbage that David kept spewing about family, and houses and willow trees! Really, I should have known it would all fall apart. Especially that so called half-sister. You cant count on anyone Bianca." She turns to her lover, her _expression fierce. "Everyone lets you down. The only person I can count on is you." She kneels by the bed, takes Biancas hand in hers, her eyes suddenly showing her need and vulnerability. "And you know Ill always be there for you right? That you can depend on me no matter what. Ill always be there for you Bianca. Always. I love you so much it feels like my heart could break from it."
"Oh, Frankie." Tearful at seeing her love in such turmoil, Bianca pulls Frankie into her embrace. This time when they kiss and Frankie pushes her back carefully on the bed, she doesnt resist, but gives herself over to the raw need she sees in Frankies eyes, and the love they share in both their hearts.
Greenlee paces her apartment with growing agitation. She hears someone at the door and goes over to open it.
"Thank goodness youre back Leo. I was worried there was another David emergency you had to take care of.." Her words freeze in her throat as she sees whos standing in her doorway.
Vanessa with a ball cap and hooded sweatshirt. And holding a gun.
"Bonsoir Greenlee. Im afraid Leo cant join us. Not just yet."
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee has fallen into Vanessa's clutches just as her and Leo are about to leave for Paris.
Note: The rest of chapter 9 is my alternate version of the Millers Falls story ark that aired last Fall on AMC. Ill try to include notes at the end of each chapter for those interested in what actually happened in TV land versus my story. Also, I maybe going through things quickly leaving extraneous stuff out due to the fact that this is an alternate take on events. I loosely paraphrase dialogue here and there from the TV eps but overall will be moving through it more quickly than an actual soap does. Just FYI<s>
setting: Greenlees apt.
Vanessa advances on her with the gun. "Dont you get lippy with me you hussy!"
Greenlee, trying not to cry, terrified of what this psychotic might do to her, struggles to sound calmer than she feels. "What do you expect? Youve been rambling on about your precious sons and your ruined plans. You were a drug lord Vanessa and all three of your sons hate you. Leo will never forgive you if you dont let me go."
Vanessa grabs her by the hair, causing Greenlee to cry out in pain. "Thats where youre wrong. My son still loves me. Oh, yes, my sweet Leo wont abandon me. The only thing that stood in our way is you and Im going to take care of that. Oh, yes, I will indeed."
The door bell sounds.
Gripping her even harder, Vanessa motions with her gun. "Dont you dare say a word."
From outside, Bianca yells out, pounding on the door. "Leo? I got your message. I wanted to come over and catch you before you and Greenlee left for Paris. Leo? Open up!"
"Damn, that girl is persistent. Annoying Kane brat." Vanessa drags Greenlee over to the door. "You get rid of her. Or Ill take care of her too." She hides behind the door, eyes riveted to every movement of Greenlees.
Opening the door, Greenlee looks up at Bianca. "What do you want?" She strives to sound cold.
Bianca doesnt even blink, used to her mercurial moods. "Hey Greenlee, Im here to say goodbye to Leo before you two leave. Where is he?"
"Not here." Greenlee moves to close the door.
Biancas hand on the door stops her. "Well, Ill just wait inside then. I dont want to miss him before he leaves for good."
"Im sure hell write." Greenlee grinds out between her clenched jaw. From the corner of her eye she can see Vanessa twitching, her gun steady on the door. "Look, hell write, call you, email, whatever! Im busy packing and the last thing I need is his number one hanger on clinging to me."
Bianca stares shocked at her. "What is your problem Greenlee? I just want to say goodbye to him. Were best friends-"
"Yeah?" Greenlee cuts her off. "Well, hes my husband. You have a girlfriend now so you dont need to be clinging to his pant legs anymore sobbing your latest family dysfunction, you neurotic lesbo brat. Now take a hint and get lost."
Again she moves to slide the door closed. Again Bianca stops her, but this time Bianca steps closer to Greenlee. "This isnt like you Greenlee." Bianca states worried, seeing past the cruel words."Whats wrong? Nothing happened to Leo did it?"
Vanessa pulls Greenlee back and hauls in Bianca before she can utter a sound. She slams the door behind her while putting the gun right in Biancas face. "Nothing happened to Leo dear, but something is definitely going to happen to you."
Greenlee moves in front of Bianca, keeping her behind her. "Look, you dont need her. Just let her go. Its me you hate."
"Now, now, isnt this sweet. You protecting Ericas little lesbian brat. Maybe you have your sisters inclinations after all Greenlee?"
"Youre disgusting. Cant you leave any family alone and out of your insane psychotic fantasize sure youd love it if I swung that way. Too bad for you dear niece Frankie did, otherwise you might still have someone in your corner doing your bidding. You controlling them through fear and manipulation. Too bad for you that all your family keeps disappointing you by being decent human beings. Unlike yourself!"
Vanessa clocks her with the gun in hand right across the jaw. Greenlee falls. Bianca catches her. "Greenlee? Are you okay?"
Holding her face, Greenlee looks up at Bianca with a mixed look of exasperation and fear. "Id have been a lot better if you had left at the door."
"Sorry." Bianca means it but adds, "Im glad youre not alone in this though."
Vanessa still incensed, grabs Bianca by her hair and pulls her away from Greenlee. "No, no,no! No bonding or touching displays. Greenlee, if you ever speak to me that way again, Ill make sure you new friend here takes your bullet. Do you understand me?" Both girls are in shock. "Do you understand ME!"
"Yes." Greenlee glances worriedly at Bianca. Apologizing with her eyes for not being able to protect her from this mad woman. "Please, just let her go. Shes not a part of this."
Vanessa smiles maliciously. "Oh, but she is now, arent you dear?" She gives Bianca a rough shake. "Besides, theres no such thing as having too much insurance." She cackles maniacally.
Leo enters his and Greenlees apartment. "Hey honey! I got the tickets no problem. Wheres my Greens? Come on and give your dashing hubby a big kiss thank you."
Leo frowns moving around the apartment looking for her, calling out her name When he walks back into the main room he notices an overturned picture and some table magazines scattered on the floor.
A knock on the door distracts him.
"Hey cuz," Frankie says from the open doorway. "Im dropping by to give you and Greenlee a goodbye and all. As well as looking for Bianca. Isnt she here?" She notices the empty, silent state of the apartment.
He waves vaguely at her. "No Greens. I just got here myself. I dont see Binky anywhere either."
Frankie frowns, bending down to pick up a purse she sees on the floor. "This is Biancas purse."
"This is too Twighlight Zone." Leo comments. His cell rings and he picks it up. "Hello?"
"L-L-Leo?" Greenlees shaky voice is barely heard over static but Leo can tell immediately that the woman he loves is afraid. Deathly afraid.
"Greenlee? Where are you? Are you okay?"
"L-Leo, dont do anything she says-"
He hears her cry out in pain. "Greenlee? Greenlee!"
"Dont worry my dear boy. Shes still in one piece. So far. As is your precious friend Bianca. Say something dear."
Over the line he hears Bianca say his name then warn him. "Shes got a gun Leo!"
"Thats quite enough from you." Vanessa takes over the conversation again. "Now that we have established that I have the two top meddlers in our lives. You will be a good boy and do exactly what I say? Wont you Leo?"
Aghast, Leo stares at the phone. "Mother?"
Frankies head snaps up at the name and his tone.
"Mother, you let them go. Do you here me? You let my wife and Bianca go!"
Frankie pales and listens intently to the conversation.
"Now, now sweetheart, that wouldnt be very smart of me now would it? No, you listen to me and do exactly what I tell you or else your wife and friend are going to end up very, very dead."
"No!!" Leo shouts into the phone. "Dont you dare hurt them! You let them go! Biancas just a kid and Greenlees my wife! Do you hear me mother, shes my WIFE! DON"T YOU HURT THEM!"
"Calm yourself darling. Really, youre so excitable. This little bitch you call a wife has always been between our true happiness Leo. Im going to change that. Yes, dont you worry, Im going to fix everything.. Mothers going to make it all better."
"If you lay a finger on either of them-" Leo starts.
"You wont be able to stop me." Vanessa chortles. "I have all the cards dear boy. Now if you truly want either of them back in one piece youll do exactly what I say. Now listen closely..."
Leo listens on the other end of the phone being watched by an incensed Frankie. "Yeah, Millers Falls, the overlook where the bridge is. Yeah, I know where it is. No I wont involve anyone. Just dont hurt them. If you do I will see you suffer! You be there!"
He hangs up and Frankie is on him immediately. "Vanessa has them both right?"
"Yeah, she wants me to got to a place. Meet her. No cops or anything. I gotta go."
She lets him pass. A sharp smack to the head and he falls unconscious to the floor. Frankie stands there with a bottle from the table in her hand. "Sorry cuz, but if youre what crazy aunt Vanessa wants, than youre the last person that should be down there. Ill get both our girls back. Promise." She steps over him and leaves.
In the actual TV eps, Greens managed to put Bianca off so that she wasnt hurt by big bad V. Leo got the call but went to Trey for help before proceeding to Millers Falls. Maggie was friends with Bianca, they got into a fight but were reunited in friendship after the tragedy that occurred at the Falls (to be covered next chapter segment).
Last time on Alt AMC's Dichotomy: Greenlee and Bianca have fallen into Vanessa's clutches. Rather than letting Leo risk himself, Frankie has gone in his stead to confront Vanessa.
Note: The rest of chapter 9 is my alternate version of the Millers Falls story ark that aired last Fall on AMC. Ill try to include notes at the end of each chapter for those interested in what actually happened in TV land versus my story. Also, I maybe going through things quickly leaving extraneous stuff out due to the fact that this is an alternate take on events. I loosely paraphrase dialogue here and there from the TV eps but overall will be moving through it more quickly than an actual soap does. Just FYI<s>
setting: Miller's Falls
Frankie struggled up the steep path, sweating but determined. She found the bridge and once there, the sight before her stops her cold.
Bianca and Frankies sister Greenlee, held at gun point at the very edge of an overhang of rock, the raging rapids below and a maniacal Vanessa holding the gun on them with glee.
Frankie steps out onto the bridge. "Im here you twisted psycho! "
Vanessas head darts up, ignoring the cries of fear and surprise over Frankies appearance from her hostages, she yells over the sound of the rapids, "Why are you here? Wheres my son? Where is my Leo?"
Frankie steels herself for the con of her life. She sneers, "Your precious Leo is somewhere that only I know. Hes unconscious but hes safe...for now."
"What?" Vanessa asks in disbelief. " What do you mean?"
"I mean that you have my girl and my sis and that I have your son. You let them go and Ill tell you where your son is." Frankie does her utmost to stare the unstable woman down.
Greenlee fights to wrench her tied hands free from Vanessas hold on them. "What are you saying? What have you done to Leo? If youve hurt him you worthless street rat-!"
With a painful yank, Vanessa reminds her whos in charge. "Shut up you little whore." She hisses. "And you! Mary-Francis, you really are over your head trying to play this kind of game with me. Your nothing but a two-bit con artist. Youre way out of your league. You dont have the nerve for this! You went soft after you fell in love, " now it was Vanessas turn to sneer, "with your precious Bianca here. So unless you want to see her fall.." She nudges both women toward the precipice ominously.
"WAIT!" Frankie shouts, terrified at the look of fear on both Biancas and Greenlees faces. Terror at the thought of seeing them falling to their certain deaths in the rapids far, far below.
Vanessas face is grim. "Where is my son?"
Frankie struggles to stand her ground. "Not until you let them go."
Vanessa hisses in frustration. "Why? Why must you people complicate the simplest of things? My son belongs to me! My money belongs to me! I wont let any of you bimbos be the reason Im locked up. I will have my son, my millions, and be happily gone from this despicable town!"
"You have to let them go first if you want Leo."
"I needed Leo to do something for me you addle-witted hussy!" Vanessa snarls.
Frankie takes a breath. "Let Bianca and Greenlee go and Ill do whatever it is you want done."
"You? Vanessa barks out laughing at the mere suggestion. "You couldnt even follow the instructions I gave you before you turned on me!"
"Ill follow them now. What do you want done?"
Vanessa considers, waggling her gun to and fro. "Youre wasting my very valuable time."
"Well, hey, give me the girls and Ill be on my way, out of your hair."
The gun fires. Greenlee and Bianca scream. Frankie grabs the rope railing of the rickety bridge yelling out "No!"
Vanessa smugly regards them all. "Now that Ive made my point, Mary-Francis, that I will shoot these girls if not simply give them a little shove to their untimely deaths, I trust you understand that I will do it? Yes?"
Pale and shaken, Frankie can only nod.
"Good. I admit not having Leo with me is a hindrance but I can work around it. Im nothing if not adaptable. Youd best remember that. Heres what I want you to do. " She gives Frankie instructions. "I suggest you dont dawdle. Im on a schedule. And if I get impatient, one of these girls may not be here by the time you get back. Ill leave it to your imagination to guess which one would be first on my list for you."
"Ill do what you say, but I need time." Frankie rushes, "My right leg still gives me trouble since getting over the paralysis and it already had a hard time with the climb and all."
"You have an hour Mary-Francis."
Frankies jaw clenches at the constant use of her full name.
"Dont do it Frankie!" Bainca yells out. "Shell kill all of us. Just get out. Dont worry. I love you. I need to know youll be okay. I dont care what happens to me as long as your okay." She breaks down in tears of exhaustion and fear.
Vanessa pulls Bianca sharply back by the hair, making her cry out in pain. "You keep your mouth shut, dear."
"Dont you dare hurt her Vanessa!" Frankie steps closer to them on the bridge.
"No, my dear niece, dont you dare double cross me again or your love will give a whole new meaning to the term falling for you. And Ill do it. You know that dont you?"
"I know it." Frankie turns her face to Bianca, heedless of the others there she speaks her heart. "Bianca-la, dont worry, Ill be back for you. I love you. Always."
Before she turns to go, she gives a nod to Greenlee, the forced lightness of her tone belying the emotions in her eyes. "And you, keep yourself together. My cousin would be some ticked if I didnt come back with you. Even though youre annoying as hell youre still my sister."
"How touching." Vanessa mocks her. "You'd best hurry Mary-Francis. Or one of your dear women will be dead. Tick tok."
"Ill hurry. But know this Vanessa, if you harm either of them, I will end you."
Vanessa laughs at the threat, completely missing the fierce light in those dark eyes.
Frankie hurries off, the laughter trailing behind her.
setting: Miller's Falls
Anna, surrounded by squad cars on the park ground is talking rapidly into her radio. "Did you get the description confirmed by the other hiker? Good. Stay where you are. Whats the status on the sharp shooters?Over."
The voice over the radio is strained. "The wind is too high, and the vantage point too difficult. We cant get a clear shot. Repeat, impossible to get a clear shot.Over."
"Can you confirm the status of the hostages? Over."
"Roger. We have two. They seem to be okay so far. Perp is getting antsy. Over."
"Dammit." Anna curses, she speaks into the radio, "All right, I want you to get those snipers in place in case the weather clears up. Get the best vantage point you can. Over."
"Copy that. Over and out."
David sees his wife and approaches her."Anna, whats going on? I heard my mother escaped? And when I went over to Leos I found him knocked unconscious in his apartment. Hes okay, thank God. He tells me Frankie did it and that shes come here to get Bianca and Greenlee. Is it true? Does Vanessa have them hostage?"
She puts a hand on his arm, the only comfort she can give him right now. "Im afraid its true David. Vanessa is up there with them as hostages. We cant converge on them and we dont have any confirmation as to where Frankie is."
"Shes up there alone then?" Hes aghast, "We have to go there! You cant leave one young girl up there alone to deal with my psychotic mother! Youre the chief of police for gods sake, Anna. We have to do something!"
Anna puts both hands to his chest, stopping him from charging up the mountain. "You have to stay put David. Were doing all we can. If we rush in there, well likely get both Bianca and Greenlee killed. I know this is hard but you have to try to say calm-"
"Stay calm?!" he says outraged.
"Yes, David." The strain threads through Annas voice. "We need to stay calm and do what we can to make sure we get them back alive. And for that I need you here, safe." She offers more quietly, "Remember, I love Frankie too. Like a daughter. And I care about what happens to Bianca and Greenlee."
David softens, "I know you do Anna, but this waiting..."
"I know. But its all we can do."
Frankie, tired and her leg stiff, feels around the large boulder shes kneeling beside.
"Take this many steps. Round this corner by the dead tree." Frankie mutters to herself sarcastically."Youll see a large freakin boulder, feel around until you find what I, your crazy, psycho aunt wants...For all I know shes hallucinating and all Im going to find are dirt and bugs."
Her eyes widen as her hand finds something. Something not dirt, not bugs.
She pulls it out and dusts off the small box. The lock on it is rusted and breaks easily under her hands. Carefully, she takes out the contents. A small, velvet bag. She pulls it open and looks in. She gasps and carefully spills the bag contents onto her hands to get a better look.
Diamonds. Scads of them fill her cupped palm.
"Son of a bitch." She swears softly. Gathering herself, she puts the contents back in the bag. A sound makes her gaze up as she stands. Frowning she wonders what it could be. She sees what the growing sound is an her _expression becomes alarmed.
"A police helicopter." Now she curses soundly. "Great. Just great. Thats all Bianca and Greenlee need. Vanessa just had to fire that gun."
She hurries off.
Bianca asks quietly so as not to set off the volatile Vanessa whos a few feet away, peering up at the sky . "Whats that sound?"
Greenlee frowns. "I think its a helicopter." She glances back at Vanessa, keeping her voice low. "We may have just run out of time."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that some passerby must have heard the gun shot. With the cops here Vanessa is cornered and were her only meal tickets." She sighs, her _expression contrary to the caustic words that follow, "You just had to walk into my apartment. God Bianca, why cant you just let leave when people are mean to you and leave them alone." It wasnt really a question.
"Sorry." Bianca gently elbows her affectionately. "But how was I to know that you were acting like a bitch to actually save my life?"
Greenlee smiles weakly at the attempt to cheer her. "Hey, watch it with that elbow, I dont want you mistaking me for your girlfriend in your current state of shock."
"Trust me Greenlee, it couldnt happen." She pauses, noting the dirty face, tired lines, and worried eyes of the woman next to her, knowing she must look the same. "You know Frankie didnt really hurt Leo right?" She glances back to make sure Vanessa isnt listening. "If she knocked him out its to make sure he didnt do anything heroically stupid."
Greenlee snorts delicately, "Yeah, like your girlfriend never does anything thats heroic and incredibly stupid."
Vanessa is suddenly looming over their forms, "What are you two plotting over here?" She yanks them up one at a time, causing them to cry out in fear and pain. She shakes Greenlee roughly, "So what are you scheming you little rat?"
"Nothing!" Bianca blurts, "We were trying to keep each other calm. Dont hurt her!"
"Ill hurt whomever I please." Vanessa declares, pointing her gun at Greenlees terrified face. "Youve been a thorn in my side for far too long. Besides, travelling with one will be much easier than having two hostages."
"Not if you want your millions you wont!" A voice warns over by the bridge. All three glance up to see Frankie halfway across the bridge, furious eyes all for Vanessa. In one hand shes holding a bag. "Ive got your diamonds right here."
Greenlee is forgotten by Vanessa at the sight of her riches, she releases her and motions with the gun. "Excellent! Bring them here!"
Frankie shakes her head slowly. "You should have listened to my girl and not try to hurt anyone. You let them go, then you can have your diamonds."
Vanessa points her gun at Frankie. "Youll bring them to me now Mary-Francis."
Frankie smirks." No. And how many times do I have to tell you? Its Frankie." She holds the bag of diamonds over the railing, her arm outstretched. "Go ahead and shoot. Your diamonds will be the second casualty. Itll be pretty hard for you to leave the country without any fortune."
"You bring that arm in right now!" Her gun wavers slightly.
"Let them go."
Her face twisting with rage, Vanessa grabs Bianca, putting the gun sharply to her temple, causing her to cry out. "You do it or I pull the trigger." She threatens between clenched teeth.
"Bianca, dont worry." Frankie says with forced calm. She shakes the bag meaningfully, "This really means so much to you aunt that youd honestly kill for it?"
"You drop that bag and youll find out." Vanessa hisses.
"Youre sick enough to do it. But you dont need to worry. Theyre all yours. Just let Bianca and Greenlee go."
"No! You put that bag down. Here, just on the other side of the bridge. On the ground. Then, Ill let them go."
Frankie takes a few steps towards them, her other arm reaches out to take some of the diamonds from the bag outstretched over the rapids below. "How much are one of these diamonds worth auntie Proteus? A few thousand? Half a million?"
"Try a million each you ignorant savage." Vanessa snarls, keeping the gun tight on Bianca. "Now be a good girl and put them back in the bag and bring them to me."
Frankie inches closer. Meanwhile, Greenlee has been working at her bonds, loosening enough of the rope to free her hands. She keeps her hands appearance of being tied. Her eyes on Vanessa, she warns Frankie, "Dont listen to her Frankie. Shell kill us all once she has those diamonds."
Frankie, also watching Vanessa for the slightest opening says calmly, "I know."
Frankie throws a diamond into the water below.
"No!" Vanessa screams. "What do you think youre doing? Stop! Right now or Ill shoot them both!"
"Let them go. I mean it Vanessa." Frankie tosses another one and Vanessa howls with rage and frustration. "Thats two million right? They mean nothing to me, all these millions of yours. So if you dont let Bianca and Greenlee go right now you can watch your fortune drop out of sight one by one."
"You ungrateful...! I will shoot them!"
Frankie inches more, shes almost at the end of the bridge. "Let them go or I drop it all!"
"Never!" Vanessa screeches.
Frankie stares into Vanessas mad eyes. The gun still on Bianca, all three of them so close to that ledge. Frankie knows what she must do.
Bianca catches the look in Frankies eyes. Terror of a different kind grips her heart. She breathes out, "Frankie dont."
But she was too late.
Frankie launched the bag high in the air. Vanessas eyes following it. And that became Frankies opening. She rushes Vanessa. At the same time as the bag goes up, before Vanessa can pull the trigger, Greenlee takes Vanessa from behind, grabbing the hand holding the gun, taking it off Bianca. Vanessa screeches, pushing backward. Greenlee falls back against the jagged rock, her head hitting it sharply. She slumps to the ground barely conscious. Vanessa turns to take care of Bianca. Thats when Frankie reaches her. The two struggle over the gun, its pointed in their twined grip, firing aimlessly into the sky. Bianca tries to grab her from behind but with her bound hands its awkward. The ledge is so small and Vanessa has become mad with rage.
"Bianca, get back!" Frankie yells over their struggle.
"Im not leaving you!"
"Bianca, Ill never leave you. Youre my heart remember?" Frankie shouts, desperate for Bianca to get to safety.
"Ill kill you all!", declares Vanessa.
Footing slips, and in their tangle, all three women fall screaming over the edge to the roaring rapids below.
setting: Erica's abode.
The pounding and ringing of the bell is relentless. Erica Kane stumbles, still barely awake as she walks over to get the door. She wraps her robe more closely around her before she opens the door.
"Opal?" Erica says, stunned at the dishevelled figure of her friend in her doorway. "What are you doing here at this hour?"
Opal bustles into the room. "Honey, you need to put your TV on and turn it on now!"
"What? Opal, what is going on?"
Opal is scrambling for the remote. She finds it and clicks it on. "Its on the news everywhere honey. You need to hear whats going on."
"Opal, I dont understand-" The words issuing from the news reporter stops her cold.
"Were live at Millers Falls where a terrible tragedy has occurred. Vanessa Courtland, aka drug lord Proteus, escaped from a secured facility last night and abducted two women. The women have been identified as Greenlee Dupres and Bianca Montgomery. Miss Montgomery is probably best known as the daughter of multi-millionaire Erica Kane, founder and owner of Enchantment."
A hand flies to her mouth as Erica cries out in dismay and surprise. "Oh my God, no! Bianca-!"
"Just moments ago there was gun fire. We have confirmation that at least two people have fallen from the overlook to plummet to the deadly falls below. Reports have confirmed that the two people are Vanessa Courtland and Mary-Francis Stone, her niece and one of the key witnesses responsible for her incarceration."
"There has been no update as yet as to the welfare of either of the hostages, Greenlee Dupres and Bianca Montgomery."
Erica falls to the floor in shock, weeping. Opal is right there with her, holding her close. "Oh, please no
God no. Please let my daughter be okay. Let Bianca and Frankie be okay!"
Greenlee groggily gains her bearings but her head is pounding and shes disoriented. She hears cries somewhere below her. She crawls over to the edge of the outcropping of rock that shes on. "Bianca?"
There, below her is Bianca, barely holding onto a branch jutting out of the rock. "Greenlee?"
"Oh God, Bianca, hang on!" Greenlee winces through her pain and dizziness and tries to reach the woman below her. "Hang on! You have to hang on Bianca!"
"But, Frankie! She fell. Down there." Hot tears streak Biancas face. The exhaustion and shock taking their toll.
"I know." Greenlee says compassionately, tears falling from her eyes. "But you have to hang on. Dont look down." She tries to reach but Biancas just out of reach. "Try to reach for me Bianca."
"No," Bianca looks down. "I want to be with Frankie."
"No! No, Bianca, you have to look at me! Okay sweetie? Look at me." Desperate, Greenlee tries to get through to her. "You have to try Bianca, you have to try to reach for me. Its what Frankie would want."
"She said she wouldnt leave me..." Biancas hands are slipping slowly.
"And I never will."
Bianca looks up...
...and sees Frankie smiling down at her.
"What? Caught ya tongue tied?" Frankie grins playfully. "You gonna hang around all day or you gonna come up here and be with me?"
"But-but you fell" Bianca cant make sense of it, but shes so overjoyed at the sight before her.
"I fell for you the first time I saw ya Bianca-la. Im your heart and youre mine remember?"
"Than we can never be apart. Not ever. Not by anything. Thats how strong our love is. So are you going to prove me right? All you need to do is take my hand." Frankie holds her hand out to her, smiling.
Bianca wants to believe but shes afraid. "I dont know that I can Frankie. Im so tired."
"I know you are sweetheart. You can do it Bianca. I love you. Ill always be with you. Always."
Bianca looks at the hand, than with inhuman effort, she reaches out and takes. Shes pulled up and into slight arms that hold her tightly as she weeps into a warm shoulder.
"I love you Frankie, I love you so much!" Bianca repeats over and over again. Lost.
Greenlee holds her precious charge carefully, rocking her gently as they both weep. "Shhh Bianca, itll be okay. Let it out. Ill take care of you. Ill be here for you. I wont leave you alone."
In the rapids far below, a hand reaches out through the raging water to grab onto a rock. The jacket sleeve is dark blue denim, the same Frankie was wearing. Her head breaks out of the water, blood down one side of her face. Shes gasping for breath before her hand slips on the rock and shes pulled under.
setting: Miller's Falls
Erica arrives with Opal in tow. She barges, a whirlwind of emotion, to find Anna in the sea of emergency workers, police, rescue workers, EMTs, SWAT, and others.
Anna. Anna! Wheres my daughter? Wheres my Bianca? And Frankie?"
Anna lifts her head from the map she was poring over with a rescue worker, spread out on the hood of a cop car. "Erica. Bill, make sure to widen the sweep one more mile. I dont want any thing overlooked. We have to find them."
She approaches Erica, her eyes filled with sorrow. "Erica, your daughter is alright. -"
"Alright? Alright! Anna, she fell off the side of a cliff! Now you will tell me how she is and where she is and you will tell me this instant!"
Anna, despite their past enmity, takes Ericas shoulders into her hands. "Erica, your daughter was rescued by Greenlee. Shes being taken down with Greenlee now. The EMTS and rescue workers are taking care of them. Davids with her. Shes going to be okay. I promise you."
Erica breaks down crying. "Thank you God. Thank you. I need to see her."
"You hear Anna, darlin," Opal reassures her friend. "Theyre on their way down with her now. And Davids with her. He wouldnt let anything happen to your baby girl."
Erica fights to regain her composure, "Of course, youre right. Theres no one better to look after my daughter medically than David. Anna, what about Frankie? Surely the rescue workers have found her as well?"
Annas eyes tighten. "No, they havent found her...they havent been able to find her yet. Theyve started to drag the river at the base of the falls."
"Drag the river?" Erica grabs Annas arm. "But that would mean..."
Anna turns away from the offered sympathy. "That she may likely be dead. But I havent given up hope."
Just then, David comes through leading a gurney with Bianca on it, barely conscious.
"My baby!" Erica rushes over to her daughter and holds her, weeping with relief.
"Shell be okay." David reassures her. He motions with a nod to Greenlees gurney right behind them. "They both will be but theyve suffered severe shock and exposure. I need to get them to the hospital Erica. Greenlee also is suffering from a concussion and I have to make sure theyve both suffered no other injuries."
"Of course David. Ill ride with you in the ambulance."
A medic pips up. "That not allowed maam-"
David tells him adamantly, "Im authorizing her presence in the ambulance. Shes coming with us. As well as him." He nods to the tall figure rushing over to them.
Leo goes to Greenlees side. "Baby, how are you? Hows my girl? Talk to me Greens." He pleads, raining gentle kisses on her.
She hugs him as best she can, "Im so glad to see you Leo. I was so scared."
He takes her hands in his, kisses them hard. "I know sweetheart, I know. But youre going to be okay now. Youre safe."
"What about my sister?" she asks fearful.
"Honey, Greens, I dont know."
Far away, in the cold, cold water, Frankie is dying. She sees her life playing in fast forward against her closed eyelids. She sees all the bad shes done, all the mistakes shes made. Shes ashamed of the person she was. Her last before blackness comes roaring to claim her is that she wishes she had been someone else, someone truly deserving of Biancas heart.
At the hospital, Opal is sitting on one side of Erica, holding her hand. Jackson is on the other.
"I dont understand Jack, its been hours. Why havent they found Frankie yet?"
"Its a terribly large area to search Erica. Plus the currents could have dragged her anywhere."
"But when Bianca wakes up, shes going to ask me where Frankie is." Erica barely restrains her sob. "What am I going to tell her? "
Both her friends try to soothe her, but she is heartbroken, knowing how this will destroy her daughter.
Leo comes out with David. "Thanks for everything youve done bro." Leo tells him.
"I only wish I could do more. Especially for Bianca." David confesses wearily.
Anna walks in. Shes holding a bundle and her face is sorrow, regret and the tattered remains of whats left of her composure.
David goes to her, "Anna, what is it?"
Erica stands, her friends rise with her.. "Have you found something Anna?"
Anna shakes her head, her voice choked by unshed tears. "All they found was this." She holds it out.
Leo takes it. "Its Frankies jacket. She was wearing this last night when she came over to my place."
"It was the only thing they found when they dragged the river." Anna states.
David takes her in his arms, "Im so sorry Anna."
Ann leans into his shoulder. "David, we have to tell Bianca."
Everyone has tears in their eyes if not running down their faces.
"Ill tell her." Erica says, taking the coat from Leo. "I'm her mother. Shell need me."
"Do you want me to go in with you?" Jackson offers.
"No, thank you Jack, but I think it would be best if she heard it from me, alone...so that she can grieve openly."
Erica pauses at Biancas door. Taking a breath, she goes in.
Bianca is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Hearing her mother enter she tries to sit up. "Mom? Have they heard anything?"
"Oh, honey, Im sorry to disturb you when David and Joe insist you need your rest but they let me in to tell you-"
"Thats Frankies jacket." a light re-enters Biancas eyes, "Theyve found her! Mom, where is she? Can they take me to her?"
Erica hands her the jacket and sits at the edge of the bed. "Bianca, you need to prepare yourself..."
"Prepare myself?" she clutches the jacket to her. "What are you talking about mom? Has she been hurt badly?"
"They...they never found...the body. They only were able to drag her jacket from the rapids. Im sorry sweetheart, but Frankies-"
"No!" Biancas eyes burn with a dark fire. "Shes not dead! Shes not! I knew you never really cared for her mom. Youve never accepted that Im gay, not really. Youre probably glad shes dead!"
"Bianca!" She gasps, shocked. "I know youre hurting dear but well get through this together just like we always do. Im here for you and I love you."
"Frankie loves me. And shes the one who should be here. I dont want you help! Leave me alone! Just go. GO!"
Erica, not knowing what else to do, gets up to leave. "You need your space. I understand that Bianca, but remember Im your mother. I love you. And Ill always be here for you. Ill never leave you."
As soon as she exits, Bianca crumples, clinging to the jacket weeping into it. "Why Frankie? You said youd never leave me. Why?"
Some time later, her door opening fully wakes Bianca. She turns her head to see Greenlee, complete with an IV, come into her room.
With big brown eyes filled with understanding, Greenlee approaches her. She nods at
whats in her arms. "Her jacket?"
Greenlee touches it, a hint of reverence in her touch. "She saved us all last night." She says softly.
"Shes coming back." Bianca holds the coat impossibly tighter to her chest.
"Leo told me youre refusing to see anybody. Talk to anyone."
"Shes coming back. She told me shed never leave me." Biancas voice breaks.
Greenlee regards her, this woman who was once in some ways her rival, sometimes a nuisance, and now...something far more important. "I also told you I wouldnt leave you."
Bianca frowns, puzzled. "When?"
"On the ledge, after I pulled you up."
She goes about folding out a cot near Biancas bed.
"What are you doing?"
"I know you dont want people around who will just cry and spout sympathetic redundancies at you. You want to push everyone away so that you can hurt that much more. Bianca, its not what Frankie would have wanted. Shed have wanted someone to look out for you. Even if you didnt want to look after yourself."
Bianca chokes on a laugh from hysteria, "And youre taking the position?"
"Bianca," Greenlee touches Biancas face, and then to Biancas shock, gives her a gentle, chaste kiss on the lips. "Frankie was my sister. And you were her world. She wouldnt want you to be alone right now, like this. So Im staying and were both going to get some much needed sleep or else Davids going to come in here an tranquillize us both."
Without further explanations, Greenlee rolls onto her cot to sleep.
Bianca stares at her, her eyes slowly drifting shut despite her wishes. She enters into an uneasy slumber.
Miles away, a woman, hurt, sore, limping, and soaked, is stumbling through a forest. Everything is muddled to her. She only knows that shes in danger, and that someone with a gun was trying to hurt her.
Sounds in the far away bushes give her pause. She hides behind a thick tree, holding her breath.
Three hunters come wading through the bush, one of them carrying a radio. The sounds of Maggie May can be heard. They keep walking. Once the woman is sure theyre gone, she walks the opposite way, heading for what seems to be a road up ahead.