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Something Clean [ - ]
by dreamtonette
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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I'm just experimenting with them for a bit.

Author's Notes:

 

Angela felt like she could hold on to her forever.  She always knew that Sam loved her, but the extent of their bond had never been vocalized until now.  “I’m not just her guardian,” Angela beamed as she stroked Samantha’s hair.  “She thinks of me as her mother!”  Holding Sam and her father close made the perfect end to a hectic day.  All of the tumult at the office over the McMahon file was bad enough.  But getting short with Sam had made her heart wrench.  She couldn’t bear to do anything to hurt that little girl.  She picked up her head and gazed tearfully into Tony’s eyes.  He returned her expression with tears of his own, fully knowledgeable of how much Sam’s revelation had meant to Angela.  Angela kissed Samantha’s cheek gently and backed up slightly, just enough to realize that Sam had been crying too.  She was about to brush Sam’s tears away when Mona barraged through the kitchen door.  “Forgive me.  Am I interrupting another one of your mushy little moments?”

      Angela broke away from Tony and Sam and stared coldly at her mother.

       “What?”  She winked at Tony, and added jestingly, “Someday her face with freeze in that position.”

 

      “Mother!”

      “Alright, alright, I’m sorry!” she forced, looking as if she had been gagged.  She turned her gaze towards Tony again.  “When will dinner be ready, Ton?”

       “Half an hour Mon,” he said, dabbing at his eyes.

      “Oh goody!  Just enough time to finish my work.”

      “Are you sick Mona?” Tony’s cheerful demeanor returned as he rushed to her side and jokingly placed his palm upon her forehead.

      She whipped out her cassette player.  “I’ve got a B side to finish that the workaholic over here snatched away from me this morning.  And she claims that she had a rough day.  I, on the other hand, had to go through an entire afternoon taking orders from her.  And look, she worked poor Sam to the bone.” She glided over to Sam and cupped her hand under her chin.  “Does this look like the face of a satisfied employee?”

      “That’s enough, Mother,” Angela began.  She took a few breaths and continued, “Can I speak to you for a few minutes?  In the living room?”

      As Mona followed Angela out of the kitchen, she turned her head and gave Tony and Sam an impish smile.  “Uh oh.  Boss lady’s got it in for me.”

      “Mother, you’re incorrigible,” Angela stifled a giggle as she dragged her mother out of the kitchen by her wrist.

      “Yeah.  I suppose I am.”  Mona strolled proudly over to the couch.  She slumped back against the cushions, crossing her left leg over her right.  When Angela had joined her, she turned slightly, so as to see her daughter better. “I know you didn’t call me in here to lecture me about work.  What’s going on?”

      “It’s me and Sam,” Angela began hesitantly, not knowing where to start.  “You see, Tony and I walked in on Sam and Bonnie in the kitchen and…”

      “I know what happened dear.”

      “How do you…” she stopped short, and rolled her eyes.  This was her mother she was talking to.  “Eavesdropping again, I presume?”

      “What else?” Mona chuckled, patting her daughter on the back.  “Dear,” she said softly, draping her arm around Angela’s shoulders.  “I think it’s beautiful that Sam called you that.”

      Angela grinned.  “It’s spectacular, isn’t it?  Now I know how she really feels about me.”

            “You couldn’t tell beforehand?  Boy, for a genius you sure are slow.”

            “That’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me in a long time,” Angela breathed, pushing aside her mother’s snide remark.

            “True,” Mona nodded.  “But we’re straying from the subject.  Now what is it that you wanted to ask me?” she demanded, playfully pounding her fist into her palm.

            “Having Bonnie at the office has been a miracle.  I never realized how clever she was until yesterday.  I want her to continue working with me for the rest of the week…”

            “But you want Sam to come back too.”

            Angela nodded, lowering her eyes to the floor.  Of course her mother understood her.  But would she agree to what Angela was about to ask?  She lifted her gaze towards Mona again.  Mustering up all of her courage, she declared, “I want them both to come with me.  But that means Tony won’t have anyone to help him.  So maybe you could…”

      “Ooooh no.  Uh uh.  I don’t think so!” Mona spat, vehemently shaking her fiery mane.

      “Oh, Mother, please?  Think of this as a vacation.”

           “Why on Earth would I want to take a vacation when I have one everyday at work?”

           “After all of the insults I let you hurl at me today, you owe me one.  Besides, this is important to me.”

            “Why?”

 

The two women fell silent as Samantha emerged from the kitchen and made her way over to them.

             “Sweetheart, how much of this did you hear?”

            “Everything,” she replied.  Winking at Mona, she praised, “I learned to snoop from the best.”  She took a deep breath and sat down close to Angela.  Then, in an almost inaudible voice, she uttered, “But I learned to be my best from you.”

            “From me?” Angela asked softly, eager to learn what Sam was getting at.

            “Well, yeah,” she started, focusing on Angela’s perplexed countenance.  “You’ve always been there for me, Angela.  You encourage me and always challenge me to improve myself.  And today, I wanted to prove to you what I’m truly capable of doing.  What I’m trying to say is…” her voice trailed off as she stared down into her clasped hands.  She looked up and mumbled, “I just wanted you to be proud of me.”

            “I’m always proud of you!  Don’t be silly.”

            “But I wanted to give you a reason.  Not just because we’re family.  But because I did something to deserve your praise.”

            Angela paused for a moment, mulling over how she wanted to direct the conversation.  “Sam, when you walked in I was about to tell Mother why I wanted you to come back to work with me.  I think you should hear this as well.”  She rotated slightly, resting her hands upon Samantha’s shoulders. 

            “Angela, you don’t have to do this.  I’d be perfectly okay with going back to work with Dad.”

            “I know.  But I want to.  Listen, Sam, I had so much on my mind today that I failed to take your feelings into consideration.  I should have been more patient with you, more willing to explain the system.  Instead I entrusted you with more than you were ready to handle, and then snapped when you didn’t fulfill my expectations.”

            “Don’t apologize for all of this.  It’s not your fault, Angela,” Sam insisted, placing her hand upon Angela’s.  “It’s mine.  I was trying so hard to make a good impression that I went overboard.”  Lowering her eyes, she murmured, “Can you forgive me?”

            “Honey, please don’t blame yourself.  It was wrong of me to demand so much from you.  It’s just that… I know how smart you are, how dedicated you are to getting things done.  You have so much potential.”  Again she paused, a warm smile enveloping her face as she gazed deeply into Samantha’s eyes.  Her grin waned as she continued, “One of the reasons why Bonnie and I had such a great time yesterday was because I took the initiative to lay everything out in black and white.  I established a structure for her.  It was because of this that her initiatives made me feel so giddy.  Do you know what I mean?”  Sam nodded slowly.  “I didn’t do that with you because I know that you’re above that.  I set you free from the get-go because I know how competent you are.  I’m sorry if you felt that I was impeding on your ingenuity.” She exhaled deeply.  “I was hoping you’d come back so we could make amends and start anew.  We can reenter the situation knowledgeable of each other’s ambitions.  I’m confident that we can make this work.”  Sam scooted closer to her, removing Angela’s hands from her shoulders and in turn leaning her head against Angela’s right arm.  Caressing Samantha’s cheek, Angela continued, “And sweetheart, you shouldn’t worry about finding reasons to make me proud, because I always will be.  You know, it’s times like these when I worry that you don’t realize how special you really are.  You don’t see all of the wonderful things about yourself that I do.  There are countless things that I love about you.”  Sam felt a lump form in her throat.  Angela took her silence as an invitation to continue.  “There’s something else I need to tell you, Sam,” she choked, struggling to vocalize her thoughts.   “I had hoped that you would choose to work with me from the start.  It hurt me when you picked your father instead.”

            Finally able to speak, Sam stammered, “Listen, Angela, about that…”

            “Let me finish.  I know that your first shot at advertising was a bit rocky, but I was hoping we’d make up from that and start fresh.  But mainly I wanted to spend some more time with my best girl.  Now that you’re getting older, we don’t hang out as much as we used to.  Well, I guess I missed that, and hoped that we’d be able to use this opportunity to reconnect.”

      “Just because we don’t hang out as much doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be around you.  Besides…all I wanted was to spend more time with you!  I’m sorry I didn’t pick you when I had the chance.  It’s just that I was afraid of a repeat of all that happened at Wallace & McQuade.  But when you started spending all of that time with Bonnie…I got jealous.  I know it’s childish, but I was afraid you’d want to be around her more and that you’d eventually forget about me.”

“You know that could never happen!” Angela cooed, pressing her cheek against Sam’s.  “No one will ever replace you.”
       

   “I know that, Angela.  But when I realized how much fun Bonnie was having with you…I wanted that.  Badly.  I wanted us to have fun again.  That’s why I tried so hard to impress you at the office today.  I felt that if my efforts surpassed Bonnie’s, I’d be able to win you back.”

       “Sweetheart, there was never an issue of winning me back, because I am and always will be yours.  You just have to understand that there’s room in my heart for other people.  Just because I show some affection and gratitude towards Bonnie does not mean that the love and admiration I have for you will ever diminish.”       

      “I know.  Well, at least I know now.  But it’s not just that.  I also sought your praise because you’re my role model, Angela, and I’d give anything to be more like you.”

           “You shouldn’t worry so much about being me when you’re perfect as you.” Angela whispered, planting a kiss on top of Samantha’s head.  “But for the record, you already are.”   

Sam straightened up and studied Angela quizzically. “But are you positive you want me to come back?  I really screwed things up.  Wouldn’t you rather just have Bo…”

“Of course I want you.  I need you, sweetheart.  They beamed, each finally and thankfully aware of how the other truly felt.

“Besides, I think that the two of you would make the perfect team.  You know, I could really use another teen perspective for that jeans commercial.” Staring testily at Mona, she added, “ But there’s just not enough space at the agency for three working girls and one lazy, good-for-nothing…”

“Alright, alright, you got me. I’ll do it!” Mona sniffled.  “I’ll stay here while the three of you play ‘happy workplace’.  But don’t expect any more favors from me, missy.” 

“Mother…you’re crying.”

“I didn’t know you could do that, Mona.”

“Very funny.”

Angela smiled gratefully at her as Mona dried her eyes.  “Thank you, Mother.” 

“Yeah, yeah.  But if word gets out that I’m a sentimental sap, I’ll disown you.”

Angela rolled her eyes and let out a low chuckle.  “You’ve got a deal.”  She kissed Mona on the cheek, to which the latter jestingly wiped away.

      “Yeah, thanks Mona!” Sam shuffled over to her and held her close.  “You’re the greatest.”

      “Yeah, and don’t ever forget it, kid.”

      “I’ve got to call Bonnie now.  She’s gonna flip!”

      “I’ll stall your father in the meantime,” Angela declared, reluctantly pushing herself up from her comfortable position on the couch.  She didn’t want to abort their heartwarming conversation, but felt confident that there would be plenty more in due time.  “I know he’ll want to eat as soon as dinner’s ready, but even his yearning for linguini alla vongole is no match for me.”  She giggled to herself and trudged towards the kitchen.

      “Hey, Angela?” Sam called, as she bounded over to the telephone.

Angela tossed her head over her shoulder, her flaxen hair following suit.  “Yes sweetheart?”

      “I love you.”

      “I love you too.” She blew Sam a kiss and then disappeared into the kitchen.

      “Hey Mona,” Sam tested as she dialed Bonnie’s number.  “In regards to your new position, how ‘bout we make things interesting?  I’ll give you twenty bucks for a slight change in wardrobe.”

      “What do you have in mind?” she asked cautiously, dreading to hear what Sam was implying.

Sam raised her eyebrows and grinned mischievously at Mona.  “Oh, nothing major.  Just something Clean.”    

Chapter End Notes:
This was my first-ever attempt at writing something like this, so please be gentle (but truthful). All feedback is appreciated.