Disclaimer:All My Children belongs to ABC and hopefully Agnes Nixon; I do, however, own Amy Cohen and any original characters mentioned in this fic, including Micaela Kincaide. The song below is titled "Stand By Me" and is performed by Ben E. King.

Stand By Me:

When the night has come

And the land is dark

And the moon

Is the only

Light we'll see

No, I won't be afraid

No, I won't

Be afraid

Just as long as you stand

Stand by me

She was silent, standing just inside the door, watching the woman dig through the can beneath the sink, watching Frankie stand there, hair hanging around her face as she stood, awaiting punishment. The woman, dark blonde hair tangled with sleep, her work shirt wrinkled from sleeping on the front step, dug desperately, almost whimpering in frustration.

Maggie picked at the hem of her nightshirt, wanting nothing more than to run in and comfort her twin… Frankie… she swallowed, lowered her head to peer down at the floor, trying to ignore the rising female voice… soon, she'd be screaming at them…

How could Frankie have done that? She knew better than that… she knew better than to mess with Mama's bottles… Mama always got so mad… with a screech, Gwen tossed an empty bottle to the floor, now on her knees, surrounded by scraps and papers and trash; it hit the tile floor and shattered, sending pieces of amber glass scattering to every corner of the kitchen…

Frankie jerked but didn't run; if anything, she straightened further, small form growing completely still, watching the woman lean back against the sink, shaking, head in her hands, fingers knotted in her hair, groaning… Frankie was braver than she was, stronger and Maggie…

When the bottle hit the floor, Maggie darted back, swallowing again and the fingers picking at her shirt changed to fists, gripping clothe between little fingers. A fine tremble racing through her, Maggie fought every instinct to run, but Frankie…

She watched, eyes wide, as the woman finally jumped up and her eyes found the two girls, and Maggie wanted to bolt again, tear up the stairs and duck under the bed and hide until Mama fell asleep and they could clean up her mess and make her happy in the morning. Gwen stood there, entire body shaking, before she finally brought full attention to the form before her, brave Frankie, who stared right back, fearless as she always was… always would be…

"Baby… I told you not to touch Mama's drinks… Frankie, you said you wouldn't touch my drinks anymore."

"They're bad for you, Mama."

Brave Frankie, too brave and strong for her own good… Maggie took a step back, then another, and then forced herself to stop, forced herself to stay by Frankie's side this time… this time, she wouldn't leave Frankie again…

"Those are my drinks, Frankie, those are my drinks and I paid good money for them… I work extra shifts so I can buy the good stuff!" She waved a hand, gestured in some desperate motion, the motion of an alcoholic about to break from the stress; Maggie would always remember that motion, it would come back in nightmares and in moments of pain like some insidious reminder of her bloodline. "I told you not to touch them anymore."

"No… I did it for your own good, Mama!" The face identical to Maggie's finally broke from its brave hold, finally twisted as she let out a cry of, "That stuff isn't good for you, Mama! And Maggie read it in the newspaper; she says that it'll hurt your liver!"

Anger coursed through Maggie, a sense of betrayal… Don't say my name! Don't make her look my way, look at me…

When Gwen finally surged forward, a blur of movement, Maggie stumbled back, her back smacking the wall and she bit back her gasp of surprise by biting her cheek, waiting for Mama to notice her… but Gwen never did, not now that she had something to focus on… grabbing a hold of the first thing she could she began shaking Frankie, "I know what's best for me, Frances! I told you to stay out of my cabinets! I told you not to waste anymore down the sink… I told you!"

She broke, finally and twisted, slamming herself through the swinging door, hating the way it creaked and ran, small bare feet pounding up the stairs and ignoring the feel of the piece of glass in the heel of her foot as she tried to block out the shriek of "I did for you, Mama!"

So darling, darling

Stand by me

Oh, stand by me

Oh, stand

Stand by me

Stand by me

He watched, silently, brown eyes watching the way Dad held her on his lap, patted her back soothingly as he studied the sweeps of color on the paper. Every few moments, he let out a soft "oh" or an awed "ah"… He turned his head, watched the female figure leaning against the sink, bottle and glass in hand.

Catching sight of him, she grinned, brown eyes lighting up in a haze of amusement… setting the glass on the side of the sink, she filled it with the liquid sloshing in the bottle, head cocked, brown hair hanging in her face as she worked not to spill any. Turning back and finding him still unmoved, she held the glass up halfway, offering a mocking salute before taking a regal sip.

The bottle was put back up on the shelf, carefully pushed back and the door was closed, and then Gail took a seat at the table, at Patrick's side, happily nursing her liqueur and simply enjoying her favorite brand… she'd caught him the last time he'd gone to take the bottle, caught him and dragged him to Patrick, wailing on about how Jonathon had wasted the good stuff.

Doing his homework had been even harder that night, harder than it usually was to make sense of what the teachers told him to do… they didn't understand… who were they to say he was bad at it, they didn't care, didn't even care to help him, stay an extra couple of minutes to help him understand…

Nobody cared…

It was bad for her, that stuff that made her mean and nasty, and not like the Moms that he saw pick up the other kids at school… wasn't she supposed to act like them? Jonathon looked down, away from her eyes and then grimaced at her laugh… "What do think, Pat? Think he's gonna stop messing with my stuff?"

His only answer was a chuckle even as he refused to shift his attention from his princess, selecting another drawing from the table and finally snapped in Jonathon's vague direction, "Go downstairs and check that the doors are locked and nobody's breaking in, would ya?"

He obeyed, not willing to get Dad upset again after Erin had got him happy and headed downstairs, shoulders hunched, contemplating how to get the liqueur out of the top cabinet… it was better for her not to drink that stuff, he knew that and if she could just stop drinking that stuff, she'd be like all the rest of the Moms at school.

If the sky, up above

Should tumble and fall

Or the mountains should crumble

To the sea

I won't cry

I won't cry

No, I won't shed a tear

Just as long

As you stand

Stand by me

She woke to the tapping, a repeated drumming of fingertips roughly against the glass of her window. It was something she recognized and she rolled out of bed, heading to the window, tugging down her nightshirt as she reached to push it up; immediately, Maggie climbed through, stepping in and backing away to let Amy shut the window back down against the rain.

"What are you doing here!"

Maggie barely answered, crossing to open Amy's bedroom door just long enough to peek out and check; shutting it, she snapped "Where's Owen, Ames?"

"Um," she hesitated, squirming under the smaller girl's stare, finally mumbling, "He's still at work."

"I want you to come with me."

For long moments, Amy stared, blue eyes huge as the words sunk in and she let out a quiet, rather pathetic "What?"

"Pack a bag," Maggie snapped, and stepped forward, closer to Amy, and there was something in her eyes that made her swallow slightly, something that reminded her of a wild animal. "Get a bag out of your closet and fill it up… we're leaving!"

"We… Maggie, stop." She rushed forward, pushed Maggie away from her closet, grapping her by the arms and turning her. "What… what is this? What the Hell… stop fighting me!" she cried, and Maggie finally stilled, letting herself be more focused. "What… wait, did something?"

"Yes." A small smile, a cocked head and it was there again, a silent something that made Amy shiver slightly. "Yes, Ames, something did happen… I have decided to leave. And I'm offering to take you with me."

"Why?"

It sounded like a stupid question, even to Amy; Maggie, however, seemed to find it absolutely hysterical, letting out a ragged, broken laugh and smacking Amy happily in the arm. "Oh, silly, because we can! We're big girls, both of us, and now, we're big enough to leave!"

"What about Frankie?"

There was an odd something, something that made Amy's stomach flip-flop as it passed through Maggie's eyes and the smaller girl cleared her throat, made a strange noise before smiling overly brightly at Amy and chirped, "She'll catch up with us."

"I can't."

Maggie had known that though, hadn't she? That was why there was such a desperate gleam in her gaze, why her hands were shaking so badly, why her eyes were, Amy now saw, swollen and red already. "I'm not ready to leave… not yet."

"Okay, well…" Maggie rubbed hands on her drenched jeans, cleared her throat roughly before finally perking back up, like a switch was flipped and she was once again happy. "Well, then… I'm gonna go."

Amy watched, silent, still, feeling shaky, as Maggie climbed back out; she watched, blue eyes wide as the dark shape bolted, finally fading away in the night and she wondered, numbly, if she'd ever see Maggie again.

And darling, darling

Stand by me

Oh, stand by me

Oh, stand now

Stand by me

Stand by me

The two young women were participating in their usual ritual for Friday nights. In tanks tops and shorts, they sat in front of the television, the older girl's eyes intent on the shifting figures of the television, hearing the sound effects well in the quiet of the room. Empty cartons of ice cream lay nearby, sticky.

Every few minutes, one of Maggie's long nails would catch on a strand of Bianca's hair and tugged and yet Bianca did not give a damn, not with the fact that Maggie was the wonderful, warm weight at her back, her strong legs a pressure on either side of her spine. No, Bianca barely even noticed the tugging of her hair.

With her own hair in pigtails, Maggie was, quite simply, playing with Bianca's hair, apparently searching for the "perfect do"… Bianca, once again, simply did not give a damn… not with the way Maggie's fingers brushed her scalp every few minutes, scraping the skin very lightly, but still enough to cause her heart to flutter in her chest.

She was only vaguely aware that she was supposed to laugh now and so she did… albeit a rather shaky little chuckle that didn't at all sound like Bianca Montgomery's usual laugh. She felt slightly guilty, enjoying this so much, enjoying these little touches so much. But she did, sitting there, cross-legged, she enjoyed it.

She'd never say it though, never speak those dangerous words and break her and hurt her… she'd never hurt her Maggie.

Oh darling, darling

Stand by me

Oh, stand by me

Oh, stand now

Stand by me

Stand by me

She could barely breathe, hands gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles as she sat there, concentrating on the way lights flashed by, the way water rolled off the windshield.

Babe… she'd kept quiet, she'd smiled brightly and nodded and pretended to support Bianca but this… this… Maggie shuddered, a violent ripping of movement before she calmed herself, once again focusing on pushing those things back…

The sight of Bianca in bed with that blonde bitch was slowly being folded away, pushed to the back of her mind. It always worked, pushing painful things back and made it easier… Maggie swallowed, glanced up to meet her own gaze in the mirror; her eyes were blank, empty, and she blessed, for the first time, Gwen. Who's better to teach a little girl about misery?

Calmed, finally, she slowed the car, searching for something to focus on other than how Bianca had looked like at Babe's side… and, with a slight twitch of surprise, she found it in the dark shape walking along the road, bag slung over a shoulder… Bianca would've told her not to stop…

Bianca doesn't care…

It was like a slap in the face and, without a further thought, she stopped the car, waiting, numbly, until the car door was opened, and the sound of driving rain intensified… a few drops hit her face and arms as he took a seat, slamming the car door with a grunt. Letting his bag drop to the floor, he glanced over at her and she stared right back.

"Thanks… you wouldn't believe how many cars just went right by me…" He laughed, a deep chuckle, reaching up to wipe water from his face and wipe it off on his already soaked jeans. "Think you can get me to the nearest gas station?"

She pulled back onto the road, increasing speed as she settled into the lull of driving… in the simple world of turning a wheel and pushing down a foot, Bianca screwing that trashy blonde didn't exist… "Do you have a name?"

Yeah, that's good Maggie… you sound like your heart hasn't been ripped out, put in a blender with a shot of tequila and Binks hasn't pushed 'puree'… you sound completely fine…

"Um, Jonathon… Jonathon Lavery."

Well, wasn't the world just perfect? "How about I do one better than a gas station? How about I drop you off at your brother's place?"

"What?" He stared at her, eyes wide, finally coughing nervously and mumbled, "You know my brother? How?"

"Ryan? Ryan Lavery?" His face calmed and he raised an eyebrow and she totally got that look. "No, buddy, I'm not some chick obsessed with the heir to the Cambias fortune… he's a..." Yeah, Maggie, another bastard who's good at that emotional gutting thing… look at what he did to Kendall! "He's a… friend."

"You really know where he lives?" at her nod, he sighed, leaned back with a snort. "It'd be real bitch if you turn out ot be a psycho killer… but, if you're offering, I'll take you up on it."

"Good, but I'll kick you out of this car if you don't buckle your seatbelt."

"Yes, ma'am."

Whenever you're in trouble

Would you stand by me

Oh, stand by me

Oh, stand now

Oh, stand

Stand by me


AN: Okay, if you've ever been to you might have seen me there and if you have, if you read "A Love Story" you'll know the basic idea of this one… I am, of course, a bit of masochist, which is why I am basically writing four fics even as I start another go in college… yes, exactly, I am completely nuts. Well, this whole evil fic idea began while I was seething over the baby-switch and the writers unending obsession to make Babe a hero and JR that one-dim evil guy, not to mention how Maggie was suddenly pretty much chopped liver once Babe entered Binks' sights…

If you've gone through my posts on the SOC board, you know my feelings on this subject, which I proudly make known on a regular basis. Anyway, while out having a few shots of tequila with a few friends, we got on the subject of how much the writing was beginning to suck… we also talked about how space aliens were in our heads but that's not the point right now.

And so began the beginning of this mega-fic, which I split into three fics: "a love story", 'selfless" and this one "stand by me"… this is the BAM-centric fic and, if you read the other fics, you've picked up on the beginning threads of this. The premise of the original idea revolved around what was, in my mind, the worst aspects of the baby-swap.

1) David is not Babe's father, hence, he had no part in the baby-swap, hence… well, this has more to do with "selfless" but it is important so, yeah…

2) Bianca continuing to support Babe… was I the only one who desperately wanted Bianca to kick some blonde ass? Was I the only one who watched her support Babe and sitting in front of the TV going … WTF! So, under this idea, the fics have the basis that Binks is continuing to let JR think his son is dead… yes, this is so horrible and so unlike Binks, but this will be dealt through so don't worry about it.

3) Ryan was never shot. Why? Because if Ryan was shot, I'd have made sure he was dead! This will be an abuse story but not the way you might think of it. So the whole "Ryan shooting, Greenlee poisoning nonsense"… yeah, uh, didn't happen… as you can tell from the last part up there, my version of how Mags and Jon met is a bit different… ain't I a stinker?

There are many other things that pissed me off but they aren't really relevant to this one fic so, yeah, don't worry about it. I decided to post this here because I want to see what BAM fans think of it… if I get attacked with rotten tomatoes I'll only post it over at but I'd really love to get some feedback from BAM fans, so tell me what ya think of it, would ya? For some reason, I don't get the feeling that there are a lot of BAM fans over there… just a hunch… uh, I'm gonna head to bed and try to work the Mega-fics tentacles from my brain… been so long since I had a nice, non-AMC dream…