Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Lie to Me
"Oi Dixon! Your maid of honour reckons I can't come in and see you – tell her to piss off, will you?"
Gillian smiled and stood up, careful not to crease her dress. She crossed to the door and opened it, seeing her two best friends standing on the other side glaring at each other. "It's okay Sarah," she told the woman. "He can come in."
Cal shot Sarah a triumphant grin and stepped into the room, and she scowled in return. "Fine. Anything else you want me to do, Gill?"
"Could you go and see how Mom is doing?"
Sarah nodded and disappeared down the hallway, shooting Cal another disgruntled look before she went. Chuckling, he followed Gillian further into the room.
"Eloquent as ever, Cal," she said, rolling her eyes.
"Hey, it's not my fault the beast of the threshold refused to let me pass."
She shook her head, but her eyes were shining with amusement. She reached for her mascara and carefully began applying it. "So why the early visit?"
Cal, who had seated himself on a chair behind her, shrugged. "Can't a guy drop in to see his business partner on the morning of her wedding?"
"Of course," she said. "I thought perhaps you'd come to offer me marital advice?"
"Hmm," he said. "I'm not entirely sure I can do that, love. You and Zoe are rather… shall we say, different."
"Really?" Gillian said mildly as she placed her mascara back on the table. "I hadn't noticed."
Cal smiled, but there was a sadness there now that Gillian would have seen if she'd been looking. There's a lot she would have seen if she'd been looking, he reflected. "Just don't nag too much, Dixon, and make sure he takes good care of you. Actually, if he doesn't, he'll have me to answer to."
"You know you're going to have to stop calling me Dixon," she said, turning around in her chair to face him. "Within the hour I'll be Gillian Foster."
"Foster…" he said, trying it out. "I'll never get used to calling you that."
Gillian laughed. "You could always call me Gillian," she teased.
"But you're Dixon," Cal said softly as she turned back towards the mirror and picked up a lipstick. They sat in comfortable silence for a few moments, then Gillian stood up.
"I think I'm ready." Suddenly she looked very nervous, and a small giggle escaped her lips. "Oh my God. I'm getting married."
"Yes you are, love," Cal said, gazing at her with an unreadable expression on his face. Suddenly he pulled her towards him and embraced her tightly. "You look beautiful, by the way," he whispered in her ear as they pulled apart, and she smiled.
"Good enough to give away?"
He didn't answer that; couldn't really. When Gillian had asked him if he'd give her away at her wedding, Cal had felt such a mixture of emotions; surprise, pride, honour, and a gut-wrenching sadness that was magnified now, seeing her in her dress ready to go and marry Alec Foster. You selfish bastard, he thought as he gazed at Gillian, looking more radiant than he'd ever seen her. You can't have her, so nobody else can, is that it? You want her to be miserable and alone just because you were already married with a child by the time you found her? "No," he said suddenly, not realising he'd spoken aloud, and Gillian looked at him in confusion.
"No? No I don't look good enough to give away?"
"Yes, of course you do. Just joking." He laughed, trying to ease the situation, but Gillian was looking at him intently.
"Gillian!" Sarah's voice came floating up the stairs. "The cars are here! Are you ready? Want me to come up and help you do anything?"
"That's okay," Gillian called. "I'm fine. We'll be right down." She smiled at Cal, then gently kissed his cheek. "Thank you," she said warmly. "For giving me away." For letting me go, even though sometimes I think you don't want to…
"Happy to," Cal said, lying once again. But some lies you had to tell; like when you told people your business partner was getting married and you were pleased for her, like when you tried to explain to your daughter that Gillian being your business partner didn't mean she was anything like your wife and that you didn't love her like Mommy, like when your wife asked you outright if you were in love with Gillian Dixon, and you said no. Everyday was a lie these days with her, but there was no alternative. Find a time machine, go back in time and marry Gillian before you start a family with Zoe. He forced a smile, trying to make it look genuine as he opened the door for her.
"Come on then, Dixon, your carriage awaits."
She smiled, but there was a flutter of sadness beneath the surface that she hoped he wouldn't see. Alec hadn't seen it; as far as she knew, no one knew that she was settling for second best today. Although the looks Zoe always shoots me… Perhaps she knew. And Cal… what was there that he didn't see? But none of that mattered now. Cal had Zoe and Emily, and Gillian had Alec. Their timing hadn't been right in this lifetime, and Gillian had to conclude that it just wasn't meant to be. Business partners. Best friends. She was lucky she had that much from Cal.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped towards the door. "Gillian Foster, here I come," she said, gliding down the hallway and stepping lightly down the stairs.
Cal paused for a moment in the room, watching her leave. "Goodbye Dixon," he said quietly, before following her downstairs to begin the journey to the church.