Disclaimer: I do not own Ringer.
Bridget closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
"Siobhan, is it too cliché to say that this is the happiest day of my life?" Juliet's grin was so big that it threatened to split her face in two. She would make a radiant bride in just a few minutes and she knew it. Good for her because after everything they'd been through, she deserved it.
Bridget considered. "It's a little cliché but today is your wedding day so I don't think you can hit a quota for that."
"Good because this is officially the happiest day of my life," Juliet enthused. "Followed closely by the day that my mother agreed to stay out of my life for good, the day that Logan proposed, and the day that you decided to grow a heart."
Catherine hadn't even been invited to the wedding and while Bridget personally felt that that was too far (even considering what Catherine had done) it was Juliet's special day so the guest list was up to her and her groom.
"It was a difficult decision but, in the end, I believe that it was the right one," Bridget quipped.
"I couldn't agree more," Juliet said, laughing."Where's Daddy? Please tell me he's not crying again."
"It may seem silly to you but one day you'll understand," Bridget told her, placing a hand on her sort-of stepdaughter's shoulder. "He just feels like he's losing his baby girl. You're his first child to get married, after all."
Juliet rolled her eyes. "It's not like I'm going anywhere. Logan and I decided to stay in New York and everything. And if we decided to go on a two-month honeymoon, well, I've been gone at boarding school for longer than that."
"You'll understand one day," Bridget said again.
"If you say so, Siobhan," Juliet said doubtfully.
"I hope I'm not delaying the procession or anything," Andrew said as he hurried up to them. "And no, Juliet, before you ask I was not crying."
Juliet held up her hands. "I didn't say anything!"
Bridget shot her a pointed look which Juliet ignored.
Andrew dropped a quick kiss on Bridget's mouth. "Ready to have a son-in-law, Siobhan?"
"About as ready as I'll ever be," Bridget said wryly.
"Oh, don't worry, Siobhan. I told him how you have a habit of punching out people who hurt me and he's totally scared of you," Juliet assured her.
"You're making me sound like some kind of…violence junkie!" Bridget protested.
"Fear is good for him," Juliet explained.
"What about me?" Andrew asked. "I can be scary. I have a gun and everything."
"It's an antique worth a quarter of a million dollars and isn't even loaded or, I think, capable of firing nor has it been anytime this century," Juliet pointed out. "Plus, you work in finance. Finance. Hardly the stuff of nightmares, there."
"Hey, I might have this entire shady past that you know nothing about," Andrew protested.
Juliet grinned again. "Like what? Mercilessly exploiting corporate tax loopholes? I better go tell Logan and make sure he's sitting down first."
Andrew looked almost put-out so Bridget laughed and patted him on the arm. "We can always buy a new gun."
Someone stuck their head into the room and told them that it was time. Bridget hurried out to find her seat next to her children while the bridal party assembled itself.
"This is boring," complained little Sean.
Siobhan never would have been able to name another child for her lost son and Bridget hadn't thought that she'd be able to either but the minute she looked down at his perfect little face…It hadn't even been a choice, really. He was just Sean.
"Just be nice and quiet during the ceremony and then you'll get to go to the party afterwards and have cake and dancing," Bridget promised.
"Why can't we have the cake now?" Sean whined.
"Because we're having the cake to celebrate your sister's wedding and she has to get married first," Bridget explained. "You can be quiet, I know you can."
"Of course I can but I don't want to," Sean explained.
"If you're good you can have two pieces of cake at the reception," Bridget told him.
Looking rather grumpy, Sean reluctantly nodded.
"I want my wedding to be just like this," Bree said dreamily. Her name was actually Bridget because Andrew was trying to be sensitive by honoring her lost twin (especially since Bree was a twin herself) but Bridget could never bear to call her daughter that and so she was just Bree. Some of her friends called her Bridget but their family dutifully referred to her by her nickname.
"If this is what a wedding is like then I don't want to have a wedding at all," Lydia – the other twin – said, wrinkling her nose.
"What, you're just never going to get married?" Bree asked skeptically.
Lydia shrugged. "Probably not."
Bridget laughed. "When I was your age I thought the same thing. Then your father came along and, well…"
"True love," Bree said, sighing happily.
"I've heard you can get married just by signing for a license," Lydia informed them.
"You're taking all the romance out of it!" Bree complained.
"I'm saving everyone a massive headache," Lydia countered.
"Everyone will be horrible offended and, like, never speak to you again!" Bree said melodramatically.
Lydia rolled her eyes. "Because I don't want to have a wedding? I don't see why that's any of their business."
"It just is, is all," Bree said, shrugging.
"And if they'd stop speaking to me for not having an all-out wedding like this then chances are I didn't need to be speaking to them in the first place," Lydia decided.
"Girls, girls, you're a little young to be thinking about your own weddings," Bridget told them. "And don't even think about bringing it up in front of your father; he'll have a heart attack!"
"If Daddy had a heart attack could we have cake sooner?" Sean wondered innocently.
"No, we would have to put off the cake-eating until he was better," Bridget answered.
"Oh," Sean said thoughtfully. "I hope Daddy doesn't have a heart attack then."
"Does he even know what a heart attack is?" Lydia wondered.
"Probably not," Bree replied.
Bridget turned around as the music started playing and caught Henry's eye for a moment before he turned around to watch the procession as well. He was sitting there with the red-headed twins he'd had with Gemma, his lovely wife, and his daughter Gemma.
Bridget had actually wanted to name a child Gemma herself because even if they hadn't known each other all that well and Gemma had threatened to destroy everything, she still felt a little guilty for what happened to her. She'd never been able to shake the feeling that it was in some way her fault, not since Gemma had disappeared on the night she said she'd tell everything. Not since Henry had sabotaged the case by hiding evidence for her and certainly not since she found out that Charlie was behind it and so sending him to retrieve evidence really meant sending him to destroy it.
Gemma and Henry had never had an easy relationship and they were going to get divorced by the time she had disappeared but, as is often the case, Henry hadn't realized what he'd had until it was gone and her disappearance and death had devastated him. Fortunately, his wife was the understanding sort and was willing to name their daughter after his first wife. Though if it had merely been a divorce she rather doubted the suggestion would have been so well-received.
Things had been strained for a long time since Henry loved her sister and thought she had broken his heart but eventually they had become friends. It was easier once Henry had fallen in love with somebody else.
The flower girl skipped down the aisle, tossing petals every which way and looking utterly adorable.
The bridal party made their way to the front and then at last Juliet appeared on her father's arm. Logan lit up when he saw her and was unable to take his eyes off of her which was always a good sign.
Bridget rather liked Logan, actually. He had had some trouble back in high school but then so had Juliet and the pair of them had pulled themselves together before they had even met each other.
Andrew returned to her side (pausing momentarily to ruffle Sean's hair) and they settled in to watch the wedding.
Sean…the world thinks that he's named after her own dead son instead of her dead nephew. Legally, she isn't quite married to Andrew or Juliet's stepmother for all that she cares more about both and had far more time with them than Siobhan ever did. Legally, she'll never be able to marry Andrew because the world thinks he still is married to the long-dead Siobhan and she can't get married herself under her sister's name.
Bridget has a good life. She has enough money so that she never has to worry (and far, far more than she needs but that's never been as important to her as just having enough). She spends her days working to help addicts like herself – like her sister, the world thinks – and her nights with the world's sweetest and most caring man she's ever known. She has more friends than she knows what to do with some days and a loving family that adores her just as much as she adores them. She's found a place now and she can't even remember the last time she was tempted to reach for alcohol…or something even stronger.
All in all, hers had unexpectedly turned into a charmed life and she had nothing really to complain about.
Except the part where none of it was real.
Except the part where they all thought that she was her sister and would always think that. Malcolm made a point to always call her Bridget but he was the only one who could. Bridget was grateful that, despite the pain aligning with her had caused him so long ago, he had managed to build a meaningful life here and had a wonderful family of his own. Despite everything, he had never once abandoned her and that meant more to her than he knew. She tried her best to make it clear to him just how much his friendship had always meant to him but some things were hard to put into words.
He had almost freed her.
Malcolm's testimony had finally put Bodaway Macawi behind bars and he had died in prison so it was safe for Bridget Kelly to come back but she also knew that it was far too late for that.
She had always meant to tell everyone (or at least the people that really mattered) the truth someday but, somehow, someday had never arrived. As the years had passed and the children started to be born, Bridget knew that coming clean was becoming more and more impossible.
"Hi, it's actually been Bridget and not Siobhan for a week" might have exposed her but it would have been less painful than a month or a year. And now? After more than a decade? How could she possibly do that to them? God, how could she tell her children that their 'mother' was actually their aunt and their ex-junkie fugitive aunt who killed their brother was actually their mother who had killed their cousin?
It was too much for anyone to be expected to deal with and she knew that telling them now would be the epitome of selfishness. These were good people who meant the world to her and they didn't desrve the pain that her announcement would bring just to ease her own conscience. But not telling them was selfish, too, because Siobhan deserved for people to know what happened to her and to be able to mourn her. There was no right decision and there never was but not it wasn't even a decision anymore.
She woke up every morning and forgot that she was living a lie until Andrew called 'her' name and sent her crashing to Earth. She had visited her old town and been quite unable to believe she had come from that. There were pictures that she was unable to tell if the subject was her or not. She had dressed like she had used to, before Siobhan's death, once not long ago and it had felt wrong, wrong, wrong and she didn't recognize the woman staring back at her. Whatever Malcolm called her, Bridget Kelly didn't exist anymore but she wasn't truly Siobhan either.
Who was she? Did she even really have an identity anymore or had she become that lost in the lie? Had she spent so much time gazing into the abyss of Siobhan's world that it had begun to gaze back at her?
Siobhan Martin was dead, long live Siobhan Martin.
Bridget's eyes snapped open and she glanced over at the man who believed himself to be her husband.
She was going to have to tell him.