An Unexpected Reaction
Disclaimer: I do not own Ringer.
Note: I don't agree with the theory that Andrew knows everything but it does make you think.
Bridget was tempted to put the conversation off yet again. But no, she'd already taken four months once she'd realized that she wanted to tell him before she'd actually made the final decision to tell him and it had been another two months since then waiting for the right time.
At this rate, Andrew would go to his grave never knowing and she knew that there was never going to be a perfect time to tell him that she'd spent the last year or so impersonating her dead sister and robbing them all of their chance to mourn.
"Siobhan?" Andrew asked, concerned. His voice called her back to reality where he was seated on the sofa right next to her. He was so very sweet, really, and she didn't want to hurt him but every day that they lived this lie would only hurt him more when the truth came out.
Bridget took Andrew's hands in hers. She dreaded the inevitable pulling away that would occur when she broke the news but for now it comforted her to feel connected to him.
"Okay, now I'm getting worried," Andrew said half-seriously.
"Andrew, I've got something to tell you," Bridget said nervously, biting her lip.
Andrew jerked. "Are you pregnant again?"
Bridget smiled sadly, wishing more than anything that that was the case and she wasn't about to destroy everything by collapsing their foundation built of lies. She wanted children one day with Andrew but not until he knew the truth. She'd never be able to tell him if she was pregnant or a baby had come because then she'd have missed her chance and she feared more than anything truly disappearing inside of her dead sister's life.
"I'm not pregnant, Andrew," she said calmly. "And I never was."
Andrew's brow furrowed. "But you were. I know you were." He frowned suddenly and a terrible suspicious came into his eyes. "Are you trying to tell me that you faked that pregnancy that you lost?"
Bridget winced. "I…sort of. I didn't mean to but you walked in when I got the news and Siobhan really was pregnant."
Andrew stilled. "Siobhan?"
Bridget squeezed her eyes tightly shut. "Andrew, I'm not Siobhan; I'm her twin sister. I'm Bridget."
She waited for Andrew to yank his hands away and even reluctantly managed to loosen her own grip to make it easier for him. To her great surprise, however, Andrew merely gave her hands a reassuring squeeze.
"I know," he said quietly."
That rocked her. He…what? He couldn't.
Bridget's eyes flew open. "I…W-what did you say?"
"I know, Bridget," Andrew said soothingly. "I've known for a very long time."
Now it was Bridget pulling her hands away from Andrew.
"Bridget?" He said her name the same way he'd been saying 'Siobhan' for so long.
Bridget stood up, unable to bear the proximity right now and almost able to hear her heart breaking into a million pieces.
"Bridget, what's wrong?" Andrew asked, half-rising. Bridget shook her head and he sat bank down.
"What's wrong?" Bridget asked, half-laughing and half-crying. "How can you even ask me that?"
"Because I don't understand what's upset you," Andrew replied, a hint of frustration seeping into his voice. "I know you're big secret and I'm okay with it and even if Juliet doesn't know yet she hated Siobhan and she loves you so she'll accept it. Besides, you're the one who lied about being Siobhan. I just chose not to call you on it. What's so wrong about that?"
"I felt that I couldn't tell you but you could have told me that you knew at any time!" Bridget cried out.
"It's been a year, Bridget; you could have told me," Andrew disagreed flatly.
"Andrew, do you have any idea why I assumed Siobhan's identity?" Bridget congratulated herself on how steady her voice sounded.
Andrew nodded. "The moment that you told me about your legal troubles after Gemma went missing, I understood."
"Was that when you knew…about me?" She didn't hide it so well this time.
Andrew nodded again. "Before that I was confused because you looked the same but there were clearly things about Siobhan's life that you didn't understand and your personality was completely different. Even when you were trying, you're far too warm and loving to ever be able to capture Siobhan's coldness."
Bridget felt compelled to defend her sister at this point. She had never had an easy life and after the loss of Sean…
"Siobhan's wasn't-" she started to say.
"Maybe not to you years ago," Andrew cut in gently. "But that was what our relationship devolved into. Before you told me that you were a twin, I didn't know what to think. I loved the change and was even starting to trust it. No matter how puzzled I was, however, you can't just go around suspecting that everyone has a good twin."
Bridget's ears burned. "I've never been the good twin."
"We'll have to agree to disagree," Andrew said dryly. "Once I knew about you, I knew that it wasyou that I had been dealing with."
"So if you knew then why didn't you tell me?" Bridget demanded angrily.
A knowing look appeared in Andrew's eyes. "So that's the problem? I didn't tell you that I saw through your deception?"
"Yes!" Bridget exclaimed. "I have been so scared the entire time I've been here. There's always been the fear of Bodaway Macawi but I also had to worry that you'd realize the truth and expose me or maybe even press charges. And everyone who has found out – except for one person who wanted me to keep signing his paychecks – has used it against me. The longer I stayed here the less likely I was to make a mistake but it's also meant that I stood to lose so much more. Do you have any idea how terrible that was? And I always knew that one day the truth would come out."
Andrew looked stricken. "Sio-Bridget. I'm so sorry. I didn't even think…I knew that you had nothing to fear from me or Juliet and so I didn't consider what not knowing that would mean for you."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Bridget repeated, hurt.
"I…" Andrew trailed off, shrugging. "I don't know why."
Bridget closed her eyes tiredly and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Oh come on, Andrew, don't tell me that. Please."
"By the time that I found out about you I had already become rather attached," Andrew tried to explain. "I didn't want to lose you."
"Why would you lose me?" Bridget asked, feeling her anger start to ebb away despite herself.
"I thought that if I told you that I knew then I would scare you and you'd leave," Andrew admitted. "I guess that I knew that we couldn't stay like this forever and that one day the truth would have to come out but…As you're well aware by now, I'm quite good at ignoring the inevitable."
"I might have run," Bridget admitted softly, hating that he was right. "I almost ran at the beginning so many times…"
"Knowing your history it doesn't surprise me," Andrew told her.
A thought occurred to her and she peered suspiciously down at him. "Hey! After I told you about Brid-about me you made it pretty clear that you thought I was a horrible person," she reminded him.
"I'm not going to lie and claim that I'm crazy about your past," Andrew said slowly. "But given the fact that I haven't seen you so much as take a sip of alcohol and given, too, what I've heard from Agent Machado, you've really turned your life around so you can't be happy about your past, either."
Bridget looked down. "I'm not."
"And given that you were a fugitive whose fingerprints were found on evidence that Gemma had been abducted, how do you think you'd have reacted if I hadn't been a bit…disapproving?" Andrew asked reasonably.
"I probably would have gotten suspicious," Bridget conceded. "Either that you knew or at least that your sense of morality was seriously off."
"While we're on the subject of your fingerprints on that evidence…why, exactly, were your fingerprints on evidence that Gemma was abducted?" Andrew inquired.
"I'm surprised that that wasn't enough to make you confront me," Bridget remarked. "I know how it looked."
"It almost did," Andrew confessed. "But in the end, even though we hadn't known each other for very long I just couldn't believe that you would have done that."
Bridget was absolutely not touched by his faith in her. She was not.
"Henry found a crime scene at his house and thought that I had attacked Gemma – or that Siobhan had – and so cleaned it up and tried to hide her disappearance. I hadn't done anything and thought that Gemma deserved better. I found the evidence and I just didn't think to use gloves before I anonymously reported it," she explained.
"Why would Henry think you did it? And why would he cover up his wife's abduction and possible murder for Siobhan?" Andrew asked, puzzled.
She didn't want to hurt him with this knowledge or drag her dead sister through the mud. Still, Andrew needed some sort of answer that he could believe and maybe the fact that he was so happy to have her of all people here would soften the blow of Siobhan's betrayal.
"Bridget?" Andrew prompted.
"Siobhan was sleeping with Henry," Bridget burst out, far blunter than she'd been aiming for.
There was indeed a flash of hurt there but it quickly passed.
"Okay," Andrew said, nodding. "Okay."
They sat in silence for a moment.
"So…are we okay?" Andrew asked tentatively.
Bridget smiled wryly. "I tell you that I'm an imposter and you're asking me that?"
Andrew shrugged. "I'd accepted that months ago. You seemed pretty upset that I didn't tell you, though."
"I was," Bridget confessed. "I am. But you're right. It couldn't have been any easier for you to tell me than for me to tell you. Although I wouldn't have minded if you'd pretended not to know and let me tell you."
"Sorry, love," Andrew said, a small smile playing on his lips. "We're committed to honesty, remember?"
Bridget laughed. "Yes, about a hundred lies ago."
"Well I've about run out of secrets," Andrew told her. "How about you?"
Bridget's smile faded as she leaned forward. "All but one. Andrew…Siobhan killed herself the day I met you. She reunited with me after all these years and then took me out in her boat. She must have drugged me or something because when I woke up she had thrown herself overboard."
But Andrew was shaking his head. "Is that what she made you think? That-" He cut himself off.
"It's not what she made me think," Bridget protested. "Andrew, it is what happened. Siobhan is dead and she died a year ago."
Andrew looked helplessly at her. "Bridget, Siobhan got the milk this morning."
That didn't sound right.
"I…what?" she asked, bewildered. "What are you talking about?"
"I thought that she knew that you were in trouble and, for whatever reason, maybe some sisterly affection, she let you take her place while she was off doing other things. I never imagined that you thought she was dead," Andrew said, quietly furious at her questionably dead sister.
"You think you've seen Siobhan? The real Siobhan?" Bridget asked, just to make sure.
"She's been showing up with alarming frequency," Andrew confirmed. "She keeps stopping by to try to sabotage our relationship. This morning she informed me that 'she' had herpes." He frowned. "You don't, do you?"
"Of course not!" Bridget exclaimed. "Siobhan is alive?"
"I would have told you if I had known that you didn't know," Andrew promised. "I mean, I figured that you didn't know that she kept coming by but as long as I ignored that I figured it didn't matter. I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
"You didn't know," Bridget said vaguely. This changed everything. "Catherine was right. I am a terrible person."
"Catherine is never right about anything," Andrew said dismissively. "What are you talking about?"
"She asked me if I slept with my sister's husband, too, and I did," Bridget cried out. "I'm making you cheat on Siobhan with me and you didn't even know!"
"I knew before we had sex," Andrew reminded her. "And she's with Henry, remember?"
"That doesn't make it better," Bridget said stubbornly.
"She's really not interested in me anymore," Andrew continued.
"I'm awful," Bridget insisted.
"Siobhan didn't even tell you that she was alive and made you mourn her," Andrew pointed out.
That stopped Bridget cold. "You know, you're right…Why didn't she tell me?"
"I can think of a few reasons…" Andrew muttered.
"That's my sister you're talking about," Bridget said, frowning.
"Your terrible sister who wants you to think that she's dead," Andrew countered.
"I have to talk to her. But how can I find her? She's completely avoided me for all this time," Bridget fretted.
"You should stop by Henry's," Andrew advised. "I heard she moved in there."
"Why does nobody tell me things?" Bridget demanded.
"I thought you knew," Andrew said again.
"Well I didn't," Bridget said curtly.
"I can see that now," Andrew agreed. "How about you go and see Siobhan – take Solomon just in case – and when we get back we can work on our communication and make sure that there aren't any more gaping holes there shouldn't be in either of our knowledge."
Bridget nodded as she practically flew out the door.
"Maybe now I can actually divorce her," Andrew mused, much cheered by the thought.