Title: Familiar Faces
Fandom: Pan Am
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Warnings/Spoilers/Rating: none || Up to and beyond 1x14 || PG
Parings: Dean/Colette, previous Dean/Bridget.
Summary: Bridget visits New York and bumps into two familiar faces and a new one. Future fic. Set 1974. Features Amelia from "A Better Year".
Bridget walked down the paths of Central Park, she had been away so long that New York felt almost foreign. Central Park reminded her that once upon a time she had roamed these very streets like she had been born in raised in the very city, not across the pond. It had been over a decade since she had walked the bustling streets of New York. It had also been nearly a decade since she worked for Pan Am, even longer since she had spied for British intelligence. Her job at Pan Am had been reinstated after the events in London in the autumn of 1963, but after she lost Dean for the second time, and had found Pan Am no longer suited her. Instead, she returned to England where she had remained for the past decade, living a quiet and rather lonely life. The last ten or so years, had been spent hoping between jobs and cities like she was looking for something. The loneliness was mostly self-imposed and her new job was the reason she was visiting the city she had once called home.
She was admiring the slight yet noticeable changes in the park when she found a dog running toward her. The chocolate coloured Labrador retriever had a collar and a tag, but no lead or owner. Bridget moved toward it, offering out her hand telling the obviously treasure family pet that she was not going to harm it. The playful dog licked her hand and sat in front of her. For the first time in a long time Bridget did not feel quite so lonely.
"Clipper," a familiar voice called from behind Bridget, "Clipper come here, boy,"
It took Bridget all of ten seconds to register the owner of the dog and the familiar voice. It was Dean. Dean who she had left, Dean who she had come back and tried to claim, Dean whose relationship with Colette she had destroyed with a sultry look and a half-truth of a sob story. She cursed fate who had felt she had not been punished enough the first time. Out of all the people she could have bumped into on her short stay in New York it had to be him. She cursed, and reminded herself the only evil that could be worse, would be if she had bumped into Colette.
"Clipper," Dean called again as he reached them. "Thank you Miss, for getting him"
Bridget turned around. She watched as Dean's jaw dropped in shock and his hand moved to cradle a golden claim over him from another woman. Bridget did not need the golden circle to be pointed out, she would have noticed it like animals notice scents. It was right in front of her, a sign to back off. A sign that had not been there last time she had seen him.
Dean stared at the woman he had once considered marrying. Her hair was still long and free, though now streaked with silver. She had bucked the trend of collar length hair back in the mid-sixties, now her long locks were in style and she had still not discarded them.
"Bridget," he whispered acknowledging her and trying not to ignore the hurt in his chest.
"Dean," she replied, her accent sounded stronger than before. Maybe, it was because he had become unused to hearing it. His name sounded strange on her lips. Their affair seemed like a lifetime ago in his carefree bachelor days. He was married now; he had a kid now and a dog. He cursed the stupid dog for getting him into the mess in the first place.
"You have a lovely dog," she replied as she eyed up the man she had once considered marrying. He still wore three-piece solid denim ensembles much to her disgust but he looked different now. Bridget tried to define how he had changed, he looked older but he also looked dignified. She swore, he also looked softer, she wondered if the wife that had claimed him had helped cut away at the bristle to get to the tender parts.
"He's a little terror, C..." Dean stopped as he talked about Colette. He had no idea if Bridget knew that the two of them had married, and now had a daughter and did not want to rub salt in her wounds. "My wife is terrible at training him,"
Bridget sucked in the autumn air far too quickly, so it burnt the inside of her cheeks and screeched as it tumbled down her windpipe. She had noticed the wedding ring and wondered briefly if was Colette he had married, but she was sure that she had destroyed any chance of reconciliation between her former lover and former friend, when she blew in like a hurricane the decade before. When Dean censored his wife's name, Bridget became almost certain it was Colette who had claimed his heart, his finger and his pay check.
"Are you still with Pan Am?" Bridget asked changing the subject, to something a little less likely to break her heart. She tried to ignore the little band but every time she looked, it stared back at her, reminding her he was taken.
"Yes," Dean reported proudly, "I'm still a Captain, I was suspended for a while but I got back on my feet."
"I guess you must almost be a sky god now," Bridget uttered.
There was a lull in the conversation. Bridget wanted to ask so many questions. She wanted to know so many things, but she bit her tongue every time a question tried to spring from it and echo from her perfect pink lips. She thought to ask after the others, she had not heard from any of them. She had heard about them of course; Maggie was running for Congress having started in the Pan Am unions, Laura was a famous photographer whose books littered artists and housewives coffee tables alike, Kate had gone into the spy game professionally; her courage and sacrifice had saved thousands of lives, Ted had married and gone to work for his father's business and Sanjeev and his wife had a gaggle of little children with Indian faces and American accents.
"Are you?" Dean asked, as soon as he did he mentally slapped himself. Bridget was a year older than Colette and quite a few years older than the age limit for a stewardess. Even if she had stayed with Pan Am until she was thirty-two she would have 'retired' many moons ago.
"No," Bridget replied desperately trying to maintain her British stiff upper lip. Her composure was slipping. Pan Am which she had deemed as a safer topic of conversation was threating to shatter her poor heart.
Dean looked up, his eyes prying for more information and offering a silent prompt.
"After that flight Russia," Bridget began knowing it had nothing to do with the flight and much more to do with the mess she had made without hesitation, "I decided I wanted to be on the ground for a while. I went back to England."
"Home," Dean interjected.
Bridget sighed, for much of her career with Pan Am she had not thought of England as home. Yes she had been born and raised there. She had been encultured there but it was not home. For home had always been where the heart was, and for those few splendid years in the early sixties, home had been Pan Am. Home had been with Dean, Colette, Kate and even Maggie bloody Ryan. Years later England did not feel like home. She had never found her footing in England, which was why she moved jobs and cities so often. Changing towns like outfits.
"I guess," Bridget responded, "I did some diplomatic work for a while and then some journalism. At the moment I am working for a law firm doing some translation work."
Dean opened his mouth. Bridget could almost guess that the next question from the lips she had once kissed would be. It would be something about her personal life. His questions would start off innocent enough. How are your parents? Dead she would reply. It would eventually trickle down into him asking if she had a man of some description and she would be forced to either admit how empty her life was or make one up. Then the conversation would eventually turn to his personal life and his wife, and Bridget's suspicions about Mrs Lowery's identity would be either confirmed or denied.
"Daddy," a small child with Dean's eyes and Colette's dark hair pulled into two perfectly even pigtails shrieked as she ran across the muddy grass to Dean, to her father.
"Amelia," Dean cried as he picked up the now muddy child from the mud-streaked grass. He placed the child, who looked to be about five on the pavement next to the dog. The child was not deterred by her father and still wore a huge smile, a smile that reminded Bridget of Colette.
"Clipper," Amelia cried embracing the previously lost dog, before she started talking to it in soft French. Bridget had been almost certain of the child's mother before, but as soon as the messy French fell from her little lips she was sure.
"This lady found Clipper," Dean professed as he got down to his daughters level. Bridget felt her gut twist as she was referred to as this lady, like she was no different than any other stranger in the overcrowded city.
"My name is Bridget," she uttered as she extended her hand out to the little girl. Dean gave her a look which asked her to stop, but anger encouraged her to continue. "I used to work with your father."
"Were you a stew'dress, like Mama," the inquisitive child asked, mispronouncing Bridget's former occupation in the process.
"She was," Colette answered as she walked up behind her family. "A long time ago,"
"She found Clipper," Amelia reported to her mother, innocent to the adult's tension.
"Did she?" Colette asked as she pulled her daughter close to her. Bridget noticed how little Colette had changed, she too had silver streaks in her hair and lines around her mouth but unlike Bridget's they were from laughter and love. Bridget watched as Colette held what she was going to conclude her sentence with on account of her daughter.
Amelia wrestled against her mother's grip but Colette would not relinquish her hold. Bridget knew what the French woman was doing. She was showing Colette what would never be hers. Bridget watched as Colette placed her hand effortlessly in Dean's. It was both a sign on love and of territory. Colette Valios was simply too sophisticated to piss on him like a street cat.
"I think we should get something eat," Colette said as she turned to Dean, putting on her best wifely smile. Bridget could sense Colette's satisfaction at being on the other side of such meetings for a change. "I can hear Amelia's stomach rumbling and there is a new café I would like to try."
"Good idea," Dean responded wanting to separate his wife and former lover as soon as he could, without alerting his daughter to the tension. "You go ahead; I'll make sure Clipper sorts himself out."
Colette let go of Dean's hand, but before she walked off, she place a possessive kiss on his lips. Bridget did not need any more reminding that she lost Dean but Colette gave it to her anyway.
"Bye Bridget," oblivious and innocent Amelia called as her mother whisked her away, walking much too fast for the little girl.
Bridget watched as Colette rushed down the path with a confused Amelia in tow.
"You and Colette have a beautiful little girl," Bridget admitted as the tears that she had been holding back, threatened to fall.
"She's wonderful," Dean reported, playing the part of proud father without even realising it, "She's got the flying bug, but doesn't just want to be pilot or a stewardess, she wants to be an astronaut. Colette painted her room with stars on the ceiling and hung planets in it."
Bridget smiled a bittersweet smile, and turned around before she started to sob in front of her former lover. She heard Dean's dog bark, as both owner and dog rush to catch up to Colette and Amelia. It was then she allowed just one of the tears that had been building up in her eyes, fall. The single salty tear made its suicide mission down her pale cheek.
For a brief moment she wondered what would have been like if it were her, if she had lassoed Dean in, with a golden band, if it were she who had borne him a child. She imagined their offspring, a chubby and pale-faced baby boy with curly blonde ringlets. She imagined a perfect little life as Mrs. Lowery, wife of a Pan Am captain. Then she wiped the tear from her cheek and took a breath.
She put the little fantasy away and walked out of Central Park as fast as her legs could carry her. She spent the rest of her visit to New York in her hotel room.