Title: Mess
Rating: PG-13 (sexual imagery, language)
Characters: Bianca, assorted
Disclaimer: AMC characters not mine, making no profit
Spoilers: side-fic to Warm Me Up, Colorblind universe
Teaser: This will be perfect.

I ruin everything it's never enough
Got a tired alter ego that's always giving up
I used to be the girl that everybody loved
- The Murmurs

This will be a new beginning.

If she wishes her sister would come, would forgive her, would drag her to Pine Valley—

This is her new beginning.

What came before means nothing and so it is discarded, replaced with something better. Memory of a food fight with flour and eggs is smothered with quiet dinners with Reese, the girls off with their nanny as they pick over their meal in comfortable silence. She works hard, leaves the girls in Reese's secure hands.

If there are moments just after waking when Reese stares at her as if looking for someone else, lines of her face tight with frustration, she doesn't think on it because there's a ring on her finger and someone to help with Miranda. Bianca doesn't have to do this alone, and that's all that matters anyway.

This will be perfect.

She's at the top of the company hierarchy.

But she's busy, of course she's busy, and she'd be home if she didn't have so much work to do.

Miranda wakes them up every morning, throws open the door and jumps on the bed and bounces on Bianca until she's at her wit's end and Reese is whimpering. She pulls at Bianca's hand when she's home, follows her around with books and toys, talks so fast that they can't understand most of what she's saying.

When she stops acting so frantic, Bianca only feels a naked relief.

Months later when Miranda's teacher wants to talk to her, Bianca begs Reese to take care of it.

Reese handles it.

Reese becomes unbearable.

Bianca goes to sleep feeling fine, just fine, and when she wakes up hours later, Reese's arm is heavy across her middle and her breath is hot against Bianca's face and it takes every drop of willpower not to strike out at the body beside hers in a blind panic. She shoves the arm off, struggles out of bed and is at work before the sun rises. Reese calls a half-dozen times before lunch but she doesn't answer and the calls continue.

When Bianca finally unplugs her phone, she's aware of her secretary sorting through papers.

She's upset.

Bianca can't dismiss it, can only simmer quietly as she obsesses over the private wedding between two women that's eating her alive, the fact that she knows what they do to together, knows what they both like, knows that Lena is so disgustingly good in bed that she'll figure out exactly how to make Maggie squirm.

No, that's future tense.

She already has, probably makes Maggie squirm every night.

Bianca spends the night in the bar near the office, and doesn't go home when she leaves.

Reese is somehow always around.

She's not supposed to be, is supposed to be doing her own work and spend her spare time with the kids while Bianca works but that's not happening. Instead she hovers around Bianca with nervous smiles and awkward movements, always looking unsure and frantic and never able to just… shut up.

And then she gets worse, and starts… obsessing.

Reese tries to rope Bianca into marriage counseling, and sputters when Bianca refuses. She suggests the four of them all go to Pine Valley together for the holidays because she's "sure" that's what Bianca needs, and then tries to ambush Bianca with trips to the park when the holiday visit is shot down.

"We just miss you," she says one night as they're eating dinner in private. "Gabrielle and me…" Reese picks at a strand of pasta that's hanging off her plate, stops and licks her lip bottom lip nervously, expression guilty. "And Miranda." She looks up at Bianca anxiously and Bianca resists the urge to scrape her fork across the plate to fill the silence. "We all miss you, sweetie."

After sex that night, Reese rolls away and all Bianca feels is relief.

There are two of them.

Two boys now living with Maggie and Maggie's little wife, and she doesn't even know why she's so upset but there's something ugly and painful twisting in her gut and she's barely able to hear past the roar of blood in her ears. Heated, irrational, she goes out alone and then takes a woman she meets at the bar near the office home with her, knowing that Reese won't be there tonight.

She's wrong, and when the small woman yelps hours later, pushes her away in a blind panic, eyes wide on the open door, Bianca can't muster up any interest in rushing after Reese.

The custody battle is bad until she finds out about the two kids adopted back in America.

Then it's worse.

Bianca can't sleep, can barely eat because Gabby is hers. She gave birth to Gabby, she carried her for nine months, not Reese, and nobody is going to take Gabby away from her, not from her.

When the fight is finally over, she doesn't win but she also doesn't lose, and then all the frantic anger dies away. She tells herself that she's being the bigger woman when she lets Reese's family have Gabrielle for the holidays and then she sends Miranda to her sister, uninterested in doing anything for the occasion.

She's weak.

She's weak and she's stupid and it ends horribly because the brat is there, won't go away, won't give her a damn minute to open her mouth and try to force the words out. He keeps peering in and she only has so much control before she snaps completely. When Maggie turns on her, it's all at once. The little woman comes at her like a damn bulldog and tosses her out of the house, like one of those big fat guys at nightclubs.

In Paris, the bottle of Cognac replaces the image of the intimidated boy in her head.

Reese sends her an invitation to her wedding to Kathleen, calls when Bianca doesn't respond.

"Gabby wants you there."

"I'll be Germany that entire week, Reese, I'm sorry," Bianca explains between sips and when she hangs up, she arranges a trip to Germany.

She's not a liar.

Mom calls with the news that Kendall's dead, is crying over the phone and wants her home, wants the family together, says she needs Bianca there, needs her. Mom tells her that Jack is trying to take care of Ryan because he's a mess and that JR and Erin have been at the hospital since they got the call and they all need her.

Bianca promises to be there as soon as she can, hangs up the phone and pukes all over the new rug.

She decides to get the plane going, to head home immediately, but she needs a drink first so she has it, liquid trembling in the glass as she grips it too tightly in her lap. When it's empty, she picks up the phone and then puts it down and refills the glass, drinking that as well and staring at the mess on the rug.

She doesn't arrange the flight but she breaks the news to Miranda and then locks herself in her office as she hears the nanny try to calm Miranda, tries not to listen to the hysterics going on beyond the door.

Bianca sends Miranda for a week.

When she gets the call months later that Kendall's alive, that Josh found her, that he saved her in typical Pine Valley fashion, she's too ashamed to get on a plane and so she sends flowers back home, a massive bouquet of white roses. Kendall calls her back but she's too ashamed to answer the phone.

She doesn't get any more calls.

Miranda dyes her hair, something she notices days after the fact.

It's dark and glossy and falls around her face like a curtain when Miranda looks up from pushing her dinner around her plate, feeling eyes on her. Bianca freezes in her silent study, pinned by naked emotion in pretty brown eyes, the new tightness in Miranda's shoulders. After a panicked moment, she drowns the words trying to escape her with the liquid in the glass by her right hand, the clinking of ice filling the silence.

Miranda doesn't finish dinner, the plate scraping across the table before she's gone.

Bianca finishes her drink.