"Bridget's First Job" was my first 8 Simple Rules episode ever. I was around ten, so I don't remember if it was the time it originally aired or if I caught it that summer as a rerun, but it's the first one I remember. I've seen it probably ten times, and for some reason, the last time (yesterday) left me with this idea. It's my first time writing for this fandom, and I'm terrified. :/ This fic happens right after it ends.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything. Which is really quite sad.
Bridget watched as Rory ran back up to his room. Then she turned and looked at her parents with an eyebrow raised expectantly.
Cate and Paul were staring, horrified, in the direction Rory had gone. Cate's eyes shifted to Paul momentarily, and then back toward the West stairwell. Then she looked at Paul again. "Well?"
"Well what?" He asked. "I didn't do it."
"Paul!" Cate said. "Go up and talk to him."
"I thought you talked to him when you talked to Kerry!"
"Oh, come on," Kate said. "That was three days ago."
"So your part of the parenting is done?" Paul asked.
"I took him to the store and made him return the snake," Cate said. "You were the one who took him to the mall yesterday. He had to have gotten the lizard there."
"Well, he's caught it, so take him back to the store Cate, you did such a lovely job last time!"
"Mom!" Bridget said, still cowering on the counter.
"What, Beach?" Cate asked.
"He said it was the mom!"
"Moms mean babies!" Bridget whimpered.
"Yeah, I'm well aware of…" she trailed off, what she knew but had failed to fully comprehend suddenly became clear. "Paul, there's more!"
"I know there's more, Cate, what do you want me to take care of here, the lizards, or the boy?"
"Both would be preferable!"
"Okay," Paul said, "I can handle this. Rory!" He called, "come down here!"
The boy's face appeared seconds later. "Yeah."
"Hehe ha!" Bridget said, grinning from her perch on the counter.
"What, you're grounded too." He grumbled.
The smirk faded from Bridget's face. "Oh yeah." She looked at Paul. "Daddy, how long is he grounded for? It better be at least as long as I am, I mean sure, I overcharged that stupid credit card but at least I haven't let mating lizards into our house!"
"Okay, just to be clear," Rory said, "she wasn't mating in our house…" Bridget chucked a handful of napkins at him. "Hey!"
"Girls!" Cate said, jumping up.
"Hey!" Rory said.
Cate shook her head quickly as she realized her mistake. "Bridget. Rory."
"Yeah, mom?" Kerry said, coming down the stairs.
"Not now, Kerry," Paul said.
"Mom called me."
"I know. I didn't mean to," Cate said. "I need to talk to Bridget and Rory."
"Right. The oldest and the boy." Kerry rolled her eyes. "So typical." She turned to go back up the stairs.
"Kerry!" Paul called.
"Don't wanna hear it!" Was the sound heard immediately preceding a slamming of a door.
"Why does she never want to talk to me, but when we say we don't want to talk to her, she storms off?" Paul asked Cate.
She ignored him. "Bridget, Rory, you guys need to settle down. You know, your father and I only ground you when you deserve to be punished, and I think it would be more than fair to have you guys stay around the house for a while."
"How long is a while?" Rory asked. "I have a social life, you know."
Bridget gave a little laugh again. "Yeah. You."
"Okay, how about this," Paul said. "Rory, how many lizards are there? Wait, don't answer that. The point is, it's up to you and Bridget to find all of them."
"Ew! Daddy!" Bridget said. "That is so unfair. I didn't bring them into this house, they smell bad, and if I touch them and then touch my hair, my hair will smell like an amphibian!"
"Reptile!" Kerry yelled from upstairs.
"You know what? Shut up!" Bridget called up.
"Girls!" Cate said, "and this time I AM talking to you, Kerry, STOP!"
"Whatever," Bridget mumbled as Kerry yelled the same thing from upstairs.
Cate put her fingers to her temples and shut her eyes momentarily.
"Are you trying to blow up my head?" Rory asked.
Cate's eyes flew open. "What?"
"Well it's from the movie…"
"Eh! Eh!" Cate held her hands up. "Don't want to know."
"Hey! I'm still here!" Paul said, waving his hands.
"Yes, Paul," we see you, Cate said, rolling her eyes and smirking.
"Okay, so here's the deal," Paul said. "Bridget, Rory, find all the lizards. When that happens, you're both done being grounded."
Bridget's eyes lit up. "Forever?"
Rory put on what he thought was a sappy romantic face. "And always?"
Cate smacked him on the back of the head. "Go!"
Paul looked at Bridget. "Astonishing. Now get to work!"
"Ugh. So unfair." Bridget hopped off the counter, glanced around, and stomped upstairs.
"Oh boy," Cate said. "This'll be fun."
Paul looked toward the stairs. "I didn't think this one through."
"I can't believe it, Dad is making me track down all of Rory's amphibians!" Bridget marched into the bedroom and flung herself onto the bed.
Kerry looked at her, an eyebrow raised.
"Ugh. Reptile, whatever."
"You know, I love how you say that when I haven't said a word. Such a blonde." Shaking her head, Kerry went back to her magazine.
"Oh how I want to kill you."
"Just save that attitude for the lizards," Kerry said snottily.
"Wait, I have to kill them?" Bridget said. "I don't want to do that. You know who I do want to kill?"
"Rory!" Bridget said. "Ugh, this is all his fault."
"Would you rather catch a few lizards or scrub the toilets?" Kerry said. "We go to the bathroom in those."
Bridget shook her head. "I don't."
"I think Dad should ground you for being so negative," Bridget said. "Then you can help me and Rory find these stupid lizards."
"Oh, I don't think so," Kerry said. "Speaking of the lizards, when are you gonna, you know…start that?"
Bridget slumped forward. "Ugh, I probably should, huh?"
"The sooner you find them, the sooner you can go back to the mall. And you know, this is actually a pretty good deal."
"I have to touch lizards." Bridget said. "Did you miss that part?"
"No, Bridge, listen," Kerry said, dropping her magazine and coming to sit on the chest at the foot of her sister's bed. "Each time you do a chore, they pick how much money comes off your debt. You cleaned that entire floor and it was what, ten bucks?"
Bridget's eyes welled up. "Five!"
"Exactly. As it stood this morning, you were essentially their slave forever! Now, you do this one thing, and you're home free!"
Bridget looked at her in confusion. "I'm already home."
"No, the expression. Like, you'll be un – grounded."
"Oh!" Bridget smiled. "You're so smart." She ruffled Kerry's hair.
Kerry jumped away. "Stop it!"
"Aw, look who's worried about her hair." Bridget grinned.
Kerrry crawled back into her own bed. "Shut up and go find your reptiles."
Bridget stuck her tongue out. "Fine."
"So where do we start?" Bridget asked, marching into Rory's bedroom.
He looked up from his magazine. "Who's we?"
"Who's the girl in the lingerie?" She asked, looking pointedly at the magazine.
Rory closed it and hid the material behind him. "I think most of them are still upstairs. But I can't be sure."
"How many are there?" Bridget asked, glancing around.
"Eight." Rory said.
"So there's still seven running around in our house?" Bridget said. "God, you'd think a five hundred dollar charge to Strip Rags would be looking pretty good right about now."
"Actually," Rory said. "There's eight that still need to be found. I already have the mom and one of the younguns." He patted the glass aquarium beside him on the bed. "Isn't that right, little guys?"
"Ew, okay, Rory, where have you already looked?"
"You want to narrow it down based on where I've already been?" Rory asked. "Good plan, it's not like they have legs or anything."
"You know what?" Bridget said. "I don't have to take this from you."
"I'm not chaining you up making you!"
"Ugh." Bridget stomped out of the bedroom, and then squealed and jumped back into it. "There goes one!"
Rory jumped up. "After it!"
The two teenagers sprinted down the hall, focusing on the small shape skittering about ahead of them. Near the end of the hall, Bridget put on the breaks, holding her arms out to the side as Rory bumped into her from behind. "What was that for?" Rory asked.
"It went in Mom and Dad's room," Bridget said in a whisper.
"This isn't a game of Hide and Seek," Rory said. "And even if it was, Mom and Dad's room isn't Home Base."
Bridget sighed, entering the bedroom and looking around.
The lizard was sitting near the window, in the rays of the sun. "Come here, little guy," she said in a baby – voice.
"Oh, just go and grab it," Rory said.
"Why don't you grab it?" Bridget asked.
"Because I really want to see you touch it," Rory said, smirking.
Bridget made an annoyed sound in the back of her throat, and then crept toward the lizard. It's eyes were closed, it was basking in the warm sun. It didn't look too slimy…Bridget reached out and grabbed it. She lifted it up, and then flung it on the bed. "Scales!" She shrieked.
"What did you think it had, silk skin?"
Bridget turned to see Kerry smirking. "What are you doing?"
"I heard Rory say he wanted to see you touch the lizard, and I realized 'hey, I do too'."
"Well, you know what?" Bridget asked. "You can see it again!"
"Double feature," Rory said to Kerry. She smirked.
Bridget's head whipped around to glare at them, and then she picked up the lizard in both hands. "There. I'm holding it. See? Happy?" She glared at them for a moment longer, and then started shifting her weight. "Rory, get the cage!"
"Oh, for Pete's sake!" Rory said, moving toward his sister and taking the reptile from her. "Women."
Bridget rolled over again and tried to sleep. "Kerry, you awake?"
"You mean since five minutes ago when you last asked me?" Came her sister's voice. "Yes."
"Why can't I sleep?"
"Statistics show that it's harder to fall asleep when one's mouth is moving."
"I'm scared that one of the lizards are in here and they're gonna crawl all over me while I'm sleeping."
"If they wanted to come to you, you'd have found all of them by now." Kerry reasoned.
There was a small creak from the hallway. "Kerry come here!" Bridget whimpered.
She heard her sister sigh. "Bridget, it's totally fine…" she cut off as something fell of the counter in the bathroom and landed with a small clatter. Kerry yelped and jumped out of her bed, running over to her sister's side of the room. "Scoot."
Bridget moved over to make room for Kerry. "How many of those things do you still have to find?" Kerry asked.
"Five," Bridget said, toying with the blanket.
"So you found three in seven hours?" Kerry asked. "At this rate, you'll be done by Monday morning. If you go nonstop and only sleep for three hours a day."
"Oh, I'll find all of those little termites tomorrow," Bridget said. "After all, Monday I'm going to…"
There was a sound of something running across paper. The girls clung to each other.
"You know?" Kerry said after a few moments. "If it's in here, we could turn on the light and find it."
"Don't go away," Bridget whimpered.
"Bridge, come on." "If we find it, we can sleep." Kerry started to get up again, but Bridget clung to her arm. Kerry leaned her weight back, trying to tug free.
The skittering noise reached their ears again. In an instant, both girls were lying back down, the blanket over their heads.
"Kerry?" Came a small voice.
Kerry opened her eyes. "What?"
"It's on your bed."
Kerry sat bold upright, a shriek beginning to form on her lips. Her sister clamped a hand over her mouth and forced her back down. "Shhh!"
Kerry remembered she was in her sister's bed, and she closed her eyes in relief. "Bmmmet," she mumbled in protest. Her sister didn't remove her hand. Kerry pushed her tongue through her lips.
Bridget's "ew!" Was silenced by Kerry's hand over her mouth. "Shhh!" She said pointedly.
"Smmm up!" Bridget said through her sister's hand.
Kerry got up and kept her eyes on the lizard. It was sitting on her pillow, it's head raised. When she reached for it, it jumped off her pillow and made a break for the door.
As Kerry spun around after it, she saw Bridget take a dive, her hands outstretched. She landed on her stomach, her hands curled around the lizard. Kerry smiled. "Nice one, sis!"
Bridget's smile faded. "Kerry, Kerry, Kerry, I think it's peeing on me. Kerry, grab it!"
Kerry made a face, but took the lizard from Bridget. "It's not peeing, Bridget."
"I know," Bridget said. "I just wanted to see if you were on my side or Rory's."
"Bridge, we spent the night cowering under your quilt. If I was on Rory's side, I would have put one in here just to mess with…"
Bridget sat up, her expression matching Kerry's. "That rat."
"Come on," Kerry said. "Let's put this one where he belongs, and then pound him."
"Uh…" Bridget shook her head. "Let's pound him after these things are returned to the store."
Kerry was surprised her sister had come up with a good plan. "Deal."
"So, Beach, how's the lizard hunting going?" Paul asked later that day.
"We've got two more to find," Bridget said. "So I'm thinking if we find one of them, we should let Rory find the other. Only fair, right?"
"Wait, if you and Rory aren't 'we' then who is being 'we' with you?" Paul's face changed. "Kyle!"
"No, not Kyle," Bridget said, rolling her eyes. "I meant me and Rory as 'we'. My bad. What?"
Paul had been looking around. "I was just expecting Kerry to come marching in here to correct what you said to 'Rory and I'."
"God, Dad," Bridget said. "Look, Kyle's not helping me; we've got two lizards left, and at the rate we're going, we'll find them in the next two hours. Thank you, Daddy, this punishment is so much better than that stuff you and Mom had me doing before!" She closed one of the kitchen cupboards and opened another one, peering inside.
Paul went over to the phone and dialed. "Cate? Yeah, Bridget just thanked me for this lizard punishment. We screwed up. Okay, I screwed up…yes, you're right, it will be nice not to have little critters running around us while doing laundry…"
Bridget's head whipped around. She closed the cupboard and went running.
Kerry came down the stairs. "What's going…"
"One's in the laundry room."
Kerry spun on her heel and followed her sister. "How do you know?"
"Dad said something about one of them running around while they were doing laundry."
"Dad does laundry? With Mom?"
Bridget stopped and looked at Kerry. "If they were down here not doing laundry, I don't want to know."
"Ew!" Kerry said, shoving past her sister and heading down the stairs. "You know, it could have gotten anywhere by now."
"But this is a place to start, isn't it?" Bridget said.
Kerry stopped and looked at her sister. "That's the second time in eight hours you've sounded more intelligent than me."
"Oh Kerry," Bridget said. "You're uncomfortable with the superior intelligence that you're experiencing within yourself."
"And, Bridget's back," Kerry mumbled. "Look!"
"What?" Bridget said, looking in the direction of Kerry's pointed finger. Kerry darted down the rest of the stairs. "Hey!" She followed her little sister into the laundry room. "Do you see him!"
"He's not going to be in plain sight," Kerry said. "Not with the racket we just caused."
"So here's the question," Bridget said, smiling like she had a big riddle at hand. "Why did we cause it?"
Kerry just stared at her in disbelief. "You make no sense."
"Lizard on the washing machine," Bridget responded.
Kerry whirled around. The sudden movement caused the reptile to, as their father would say, skedaddle. "Darn it!"
"You know what?" Kerry said before realizing her sister was right. "Fine. I'll get him."
"You don't even know where he is! He could be anywhere by now."
"That's right," Kerry said. "He could be. He also could be sitting on the wicker basket. Oh, look, he is."
"Nice!" Bridget said, holding up her hand. Since she wasn't really angry with her, Kerry slapped it lightly. "You want to do the honors?" Bridget asked, gesturing to the basket.
"How thoughtful of you," Kerry said, walking over and grabbing the lizard. "One to go."
"You know, shouldn't Rory contribute a little?" Bridget said. "I mean, he is the one who brought them in."
"He caught the mom and three of the babies so far. We've caught four of the babies. So we're four – four."
"Ooh, so this is like a tiebreaker!" Bridget said, clasping her hands in excitement.
"Hey, no sudden movements!" Kerry lectured as the lizard struggled to get away.
"Sorry!" Bridget said. She turned toward the stairs. Kerry followed her.
"Oh, good! You found another one!" Rory said.
"Oh, good," Paul said from the couch. "So only one more…Kerry, what are you doing with it."
"Holding it?" Kerry said in her best God – that's – obvious voice.
"I mean, this is Bridget and Rory's punishment. Why are you helping?"
"I just carried the thing up the stairs!" Kerry said, shoving the lizard into Bridget's hands. "God, I'm not grounded and you still don't let me do anything!" She stomped up the stairs.
Paul looked after her. "I'm not even going to pursue that one."
"Good job Dad, pick your battles!" Rory said, offering his fist for a bump.
Paul looked at it, and then back to Rory. "No."
"Come on, I'm the boy!"
Paul smiled. "Right you are!" He said, offering his own fist.
Bridget rolled her eyes and headed up the stairs.
"Well, I put Henry VII back in his cage," Bridget said, wiping her hands on her jeans as she entered her bedroom. "One to go. Just Henry VIII now." Bridget gasped, clapping her hand over her mouth. "The fornicator."
"Okay, first of all, if you start referring to them as English kings Mom and Dad know you're copying that guy's notes again, and second of all, I'm proud of you!" Kerry smiled. "You learned the verb to fornicate!"
Bridget tossed one of her pillows across the room. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You just did."
Bridget furrowed her brow. "What?"
"See? Another one." Kerry shook her head. "You're not giving me much of an option here!"
"Okay, I'm just going to ask anyway," Bridget said. "What Dad said got me thinking…why are you helping me?"
"I don't know," Kerry said after a moment of thinking. "Because I can? Because you're my sister? Because when it's between you and Rory I'm always going to pick you?"
A small smile came over Bridget's face. "Really?"
Kerry got up. "Yeah." She went over and faced her sister. "You're my sister."
"Aw!" Bridget jumped up and hugged Kerry. "You ready to go and find the last one?"
A sly smile came across Kerry's face. "Actually…"
Bridget gasped, a smile coming across her face. "What did you do?"
"Oh, nothing…" Kerry said. "Just put a bit of the food Rory bought for them behind the television. Based on how long it's been since they've eaten, and the head near the television…" She cocked her head toward the hallway. "I'd give it less than ten minutes."
Bridget grabbed her sister's hand and dragged her to the door. They leaned up against it, listening.
Less than a minute later, they could hear their dad's yell from the living room. "Rory! Bridget! Get down here!"
"Jackpot," Kerry said as she and Bridget flung the door open.
They raced down the stairs, nearing barreling into Rory as they did so. They found their dad standing on the sofa, pointing. "There! There he is!"
"Wow, you are such a wimp," Kerry said to Paul and Bridget and Rory moved toward the television.
"There you are, you sly little thing," Rory said, bending his knees as he moved awkwardly toward the lizard, which was sitting next to the television.
"T.V. T.V. Careful, Rory! Careful Bridget!" Paul said, backing up a step and nearly falling off the couch backward.
The door opened then, and Cate came in. "Oh, for the love of God, Paul."
"What? My children are handling it."
"Yes, Paul, I can see how well our children are handling it," she said. Cate looked around. "How many are left?"
"Last one," Bridget said.
Rory jumped forward and grabbed the lizard. "Success!" He held it up in the air.
"It's the cirrrrrrrcle of life!" Kerry sang mockingly.
"Shut up," Rory said.
"Don't talk to your sister like that," Paul said, "now, go put Simba in the cage and get these amphibians back to the store!"
"Reptiles!" the sisters said, holding their hands out as if it was crazy that one wouldn't know that.
Paul and Cate stood in front of the couch, facing Bridget and Rory. "Well, kids, you worked extremely hard today," Cate said.
"How do you know? You weren't even here," Paul said. Cate gave him a look. "Sorry," he said, clasping his hands together and looking down.
"So you're no longer grounded Rory, and Bridget, you are free of the debt. I think $200 is worth getting those…" Cate shuddered, "creatures, out of our house." She gestured toward the stairs. "You're free to go."
"Thanks Mom!" Bridget said, jumping up and throwing her arms around her mother. "You're absolutely the best."
"Hey, it was my idea!" Paul said.
"Oh. Right. Thanks Daddy," Bridget said in a sweet voice, smiling before turning and running up the stairs.
"What, you're not calling your friends?" Paul asked. "I'm shocked," he said to Cate.
"Oh, I'm totally going to the mall," Bridget said. "But Kerry and I need to do something first."
"Isn't that sweet," Paul said. "Our girls doing something together. Such sweet sisterly time they're having."
"Yeah," Cate said.
"Ten bucks they're planning a way to sneak out next weekend." Paul said.
"Twenty," Cate said.
"Mom? Dad?" Rory said from the couch.
"Yeah, Rory?" Paul asked.
"Can you not stand in front of the television?" Rory asked. "I want to play video games.
"Actually, Rory," said Paul, "there was game on television, that I was watching when I found the lizard. So when that's done, you can play but until now, go to your room or go outside."
"Way to get him to spend time out of the house," Cate said.
"How do you know he won't go outside?"
"Because you gave him another option." She shook her head. "You have so much to learn."
"I'm going to my room," Rory said, getting up and heading for the stairs.
"Told you," Cate said, smiling.
Rory walked up the stairs. Stupid mother lizard. If she hadn't gotten out, he'd been able to keep them. Actually, if Kerry hadn't told them in the first place about the snake…
He didn't get any farther in his thoughts than that. He walked past a doorway and found himself on the ground, being punched by two sets of hands.
"You jerk!" Kerry said, holding his legs down so he couldn't kick.
Bridget sat on her brother's back, forcing his head back by the hair. "Ow, ow!" Rory yelled.
"That's for setting that lizard loose in our bedroom!" Bridget said, giving it an extra yank.
"Ow! Ow!" Rory yelled again.
"Nice try, shrimp," Kerry shouted.
"Girls! Do you all want to be grounded again?"
Kerry and Bridget stopped hitting Rory and looked at each other.
"Just so you know," Rory said calmly. "I'm being dramatic to gain sympathy. If you don't get off me, I'm going to start yelling again, and this time, the parents will think you've kicked me where it hurts."
"Ugh," Kerry said.
"Ew," Bridget said.
"One," Rory said. "Two…"
Bridget gave his hair another yank and stood up, backing away. Kerry sighed and stood up as well.
Rory jumped up. "It didn't even hurt," he said, smirking. Rubbing his shoulder, he darted into his room.
Kerry and Bridget stood with folded arms, staring at his closed door. Then Kerry looked at her sister. "It hurt."
Bridget grinned. "It so hurt."
They high – fived.
Hope that wasn't too bad! I had a lot of fun writing it, for sure! It turned out a bit longer than I expected – hope it wasn't boring! :D