Title- A Day at the Park

Author- Jarodsangel33

Rating- G

Category(s)- Romance, Drama, Shipper

Disclaimer- The Pretender and all characters belong to TNT, NBC, and their creators.

Author's Note- This is a response to the Jarod and Miss Parker Letter challenge, the Michelle Branch song challenges by me..., and the Amusement Park Challenge.

A Day at the Park

*****

Miss Parker walked into her kitchen with the day's mail and a headache as usual. She noticed a letter with no return address. 'Jarod oh gee whiz.' She opened the letter and began to read.

Dear Parker,

Why do we continue to play this game day after day? I am tired of it, despite what you think mind games are not my style. I don't care who is wrong or right anymore. I just want us to be able to have a normal conversation sometime. I don't want the rude remarks tantalizing clues; I just want to be able to talk to you like we used to. Do you remember that? We used to talk all the time. You were always the only one who could understand me. When did we become enemies? Can you not stand me because you blame me for leaving the

Centre? I had to leave, the Centre is evil. That is what I have been trying to tell you all along. I am sorry. I just thought that maybe, just maybe, if you could forgive me, it could be like it used to between us. Before whatever happened to us happened. I don't even remember exactly what happened. You'd think that I would remember something like that, but I guess it is just another one of the precious memories that are forever lost thanks in part to the Centre. I miss you Parker, more than you could ever know. I'm not asking you to be my best friend again. I saw something in your eyes when we kissed, well almost kissed anyway. I saw a glimpse of the old you in front of the fire at Ociee's and I realized just how much I missed it. I know you said I run you chase, but from the tone in your voice I can tell you didn't mean that with all your heart. I'm just asking you to think about us. Just think about it. Think about the way we used to be and the way we are now. Then when and if you make a decision about how you really want things to be between us, to just let me know. Right now, just think about it. That's all I am asking. Just please don't take another 20 years. I haven't got all the time in the world ya know. BUT you also know that I won't give up until I get an answer. Even if I get an answer and I don't like it, I still probably won't give up. I haven't yet. You know me and you know where to find me. I'll be waiting.

Always,

J. '

Miss Parker refolded the letter and put it with the others Jarod had sent her over the years. She needed a drink or something… "Vodka, scotch, anything…." she muttered.

Miss Parker began to look through her drink selection and finally chose a large glass of vodka. She pulled out her diary and began to write a response to herself.

I really don't hate Jarod, despite all that I have said. I hate the Centre. They caused all of this.

She closed her diary, when the phone began to ring.

"What?" Parker asked dryly.

"Uh Miss Parker can you do me a favor, more like Debbie"

"What is it?" Parker asked her tone changed at the mention of Debbie.

"Her 12th birthday is this Friday and she really wants to do something special with you."

"Alright Brootsie, bring her over on Thurs… I mean tomorrow at around 6pm, and I will have everything ready. She will sleep over at mine and then on Friday we will go out for the day."

Miss Parker hung up and went to her living room debating what to do with Debbie. She picked up her cell and dialed a familiar number.

"Syd, what do people do for fun?" she nearly choked on the word.

"Well there is Hershey Park, and Dorney Park in Pennsylvania, I usually don't have the insight on this Parker."

"How far is Hershey?"

"About an hour or so I think." Syd gave her directions and she thanked him and hung up. She had gotten an idea for Debbie's gift.

Parker pulled up to the mall and was walking in the doors. She passed a group of salesmen, they all looked at her with awe, and she shot them all a smile and glared at one who looked like he was drooling. She went inside and made her way to Julian's Hair salon, where she got her hair done.

She walked inside and the woman paled a shade at the sight of her.

"Anything wrong, is my makeup messed up?"

"I thought your appointment was for next month?"

Parker gave the women a look that could fry eggs in December. She went lighter. Miss Parker was enjoying this…

"Can you help me?" Miss Parker's expression changed from enjoyment to seriousness.

"With what may I ask?" she stated dryly.

"My dear friend Debbie is turning 12 on Friday and I want to find a gift for her."

"Debbie Broots?" the woman questioned.

"Yes how do you know?"

"I cut her father's hair; she usually sits over there, while he is getting it cut."

"What hair?" Parker mumbled under her breath.

"The woman shrugged, and looked behind her counter to study who her next occupant would be.

"Ah, Broots and Debbie will be in later tonight…."

"Do you know possibly anything Debbie has her eyes on?"

"She wanted those clips and her father said she wanted some makeup."

Miss Parker walked across the room in 2 strides and looked at the clips, they were sparkly butterflies.

"I'll take them and this," Miss Parker picked up a nail kit by the register.

"This is Parker?"

"Yes, don't tell Broots and Debbie I bought those clips."

"Alright..."

"And another thing…"

"Yes??"

"It is Miss Parker to you." Miss Parker walked out of the salon leaving the register woman, and the other woman that was behind her in line with a surprised looks on their faces. She walked through the mall and there was a Victoria's secret. She decided to take a peek.

'A quick look won't hurt anything…' She went inside and found these two beautiful silk night dresses, same style one was purple and the other was a light shade of blue, they came with matching undies in all sizes, Miss Parker got a pair for herself and decided to get one for Debbie. She also got a few things for herself and took her purchases to the next store, Claire's.

She walked in and found two male storekeepers, 'my luck... the people are always men' they were looking at her but were too scared to make a move. This woman was giving her a hard time and she melted her nerves like heat to chocolate. Parker walked around and picked out a few things for Debbie then took the purchases to the register. The man mumbled the amount and Parker got out her check book. She wrote quickly and began to leave when she had an urge to say something.

"Just a tip, next time you see a chick you like make sure you don't drool, girls find that unattractive, and I am definitely too old for you.' She flashed the boys a flirty smile and walked out of the store.

The two men stared after her with love struck expressions on their faces. She smirked as she made her way to her car. She decided to go home and sleep a good sleep for once; she'd finish preparing for Debbie in the morning.

Next night

6:00pm.

***

Miss Parker had on a purple silk robe and her hair pulled up with chopsticks. It was Broots and Debbie, right on time. She invited Broots inside for coffee. She eventually got hot and took off her robe revealing a short silky purple spaghetti strap dress/ nightgown. She had forgotten that Broots was there, until she caught him staring at her in awe.

After the coffee, Broots left, and Miss Parker let Debbie open her things. She was thrilled. She began to talk about her personal life and her boyfriend. She was so happy; Miss Parker smiled and listened to the little one talk. She had a lot to say for a girl that age.

Her phone rings in the background.

Miss Parker gets up and retrieves the portable from its cradle on the coffee table.

"What is it?" She barks into the phone.

"Have you decided yet?" He asked, Miss Parker rolls her eyes and thinks to herself.

"No not yet, I will tell you eventually."

"Remember what I said Miss Parker, not twenty years this time." Jarod had a grin on his face, and she could tell.

"Yes Jarod, this would be a lot easier…" there was a click. Parker cursed under her breath, he had hung up on her.

She returned into the living room with her diary to find Debbie looking at a picture of a boy.

"Is that your boyfriend?" Miss Parker asked as she ran a finger over the picture.

"Yes, his name is Robert, people call him Bobby."

Miss Parker smiled and an image of Lyle ran through her mind, she pushed it out of her mind. She gave Debbie the last of her gifts, so far she had gotten a bag full of makeup, and some hairclips, the last thing was a box. Debbie opened it and found a silk night gown exactly like the one Miss Parker was wearing; she got up and gave Miss Parker a hug. Not used to this kind of contact, she took a second to react.

Miss Parker also told Debbie about Jarod and the two stayed on the subject of him till Miss Parker remembered the Hershey thing. She put her diary on the window seat and pushed the box back in front of Debbie.

"Honey, look what else is in the box," Miss Parker said to escape the binding hug. There inside the bag was a Hershey Park Brochure and 2 park day passes. Debbie's face lit up and again she had the same reaction, this time Miss Parker was ready. After they had finished with the gifts, Miss Parker agreed to do Debbie's nails. She got out her white and pink nail polish and preformed her delicate technique for applying a perfect manicure and polish job.

The girls did their nails and talked some more at around 10pm, they decided to call it a night. They decided to get up by 10 the next morning and go to the park.

The next morning, Miss Parker was getting in the shower when Debbie comes and knocks. Parker throws on her robe and tells her to come in.

"Miss Parker?"

"Yes dear and you can call me Melanie."

"Can I possibly use your phone?"

"Yea sure honey"

Miss Parker watched the girl run back downstairs for the phone. She smiled as she took off the robe and hopped into the shower. 'Ah this is nice' she took some Vanilla body wash and scrubbed. After the shower, she again put her hair into the chopsticks and dressed into her robe.

She went into her room and began to look at her clothes in search of the proper outfit. She finally found it. It was a light blue sleeveless button up top with a royal blue knee skirt. She also had a little velvet purse in which she kept her Smith and Weston, her money, and her picture of Jarod.

The two left by 9 thirty and were at Hershey Park by 11, they decided to get in line for the carousel.

*****

Jarod drove back to his hotel in a rush and was greeted there by Zoe; she was smirking when he parked his Lexus.

"What are you thinking this time Zoe?"

"Remember that vacation we were going to take?"

"Yes I remember," Jarod grinned

"This is the chocolate capitol of the world." Zoe smirked at the Chocolate Town motel sign.

"Alright honey, what were you thinking?"

"Oh first another dip in the pool, then tomorrow, we hit Hershey Park. This was

supposed to be our vacations remember…"

"Well I couldn't help it; a guilty man would've walked free if I hadn't stepped

in." Jarod stated smartly.

Zoe hit him in the shoulder and he let out a yelp.

"Then you wrote that letter, to that Parker woman, who is she?"

"Oh, an old childhood friend I stay in touch with." Jarod shrugged it off and went to the room to change into his swim Speedo, Zoe changed into a bikini and pulled her hair into a swim cap; she had just gotten a perm and didn't want it

to come out. The two dove into the heated pool and swam around for a while; the owner had let Jarod and Zoe swim after the closing time, repaying Jarod for a favor of course.

The next morning, Zoe and Jarod left for the park, they were in the red convertible this time. They got to the park and decided to ride the carousel first. They boarded and the ride began. Little did they know that Debbie and Miss Parker were in the same amusement park none the less on the same ride.

*****

Miss Parker and Debbie got off the carousel and made there way to the other end of the park. Parker wanted to eat and Debbie was getting hungry as well so they decided to eat at the Chinese restaurant they stumbled upon. Miss Parker and Debbie finished their lunch and made their way to the Great Bear, Debbie wanted to go on it and insisted Miss Parker went also.

Miss Parker was in line and was watching the coaster fly over the track. 'Thank God that my ulcer isn't acting up.' She saw a man and woman a few feet behind her, they were turned around. The man was in a black shirt that looked like one of Jarod's and black jeans. She thought of Jarod and let the thought sink in until she was boarding the ride. She was seated next to Debbie who was next to another little girl and her mother. Miss Parker braced herself. She looked over at the people who were waiting in line. She noticed the woman with red hair.

'Oh that's the one from the salon, and she's in… JAROD!' The ride pulled away and Miss Parker was making mental notes on what she had just seen.

The ride ended and Miss Parker asked Debbie what next, she pointed to a ride near the exit, Miss Parker didn't like the look of it with her ulcer and so she sent Debbie off, hoping that would give her some time to see Jarod. The other coaster pulled in and Jarod and the woman got off. She followed them around for a while until Jarod had to go to the bathroom. Parker headed towards the bathroom doors. On her way there, she and the read headed woman collided. She looked at the woman obviously realizing it was the same one who had been in Jarod's arms in the line.

"Watch it bimbo"

Miss Parker pushed passed her and headed towards the bathroom. Ignoring the men sign, she walked right inside making some of the men turn away. There stood Jarod at the sink, he looked up into the mirror and saw her reflection. He turned pale at the sight of her. She dragged him out of the bathroom, warning him of the fact she was armed. Zoe had a confused look on her face when she saw Miss Parker come out. She had gotten a chocolate ice cream cone and some cotton candy. Miss Parker walked by Zoe as if she wasn't even there.

In the process, Zoe got tripped by Miss Parker's heel stepping on her foot, the ice cream landed all over the front of Miss Parker's shirt. She realized the ice cream was all over her and turned to face Zoe. Jarod had a confused expression on his face and Zoe turned pale.

"Is this for real, or are we still playing house, Jarod where did you get this woman, a pretend as a high school teacher, Jarod we all know you shouldn't date your own students." Miss Parker glared at Jarod.

"Zoe, you go find a club soda for Miss Parker, and I will explain when you get back." Zoe walked towards the nearest concession stand.

"Miss Parker, why are you here?" Jarod looked at her, confusion lining his features.

"I am with Debbie; she wanted to go on a few rides so I let her go off for a while. She was going to meet me at the Ferris wheel at around 1:00." Miss Parker shot Jarod a look.

Zoe comes back with the club soda, and a glob of cotton candy. She somehow manages to get the bottle all sticky with it. Miss Parker made a face when she received the bottle. She took one last look at Jarod and walked away towards the ladies room. Zoe had a confused look on her face and Jarod began to explain it all.

In the bathroom, Miss Parker was thinking of her options. 'I can't take him back, Debbie…' Miss Parker managed to get the chocolate off and the cotton candy stickiness as well. She walks out of the restroom.

Miss Parker came out of the bathroom and looked around. There on the bench sat Zoe, practically on Jarod's lap and wrapped in his arms being kissed. She walked over and slapped him in the face.

"I guess this is my decision Jarod." Jarod showed a confused look until he remembered the letter.

Miss Parker stormed off to find Debbie. She met her at the Ferris wheel and the two went on it for kicks. Miss Parker was listening to the girl ramble on about her friends and boyfriend when the ride stopped. Typically they were stuck at the very top while people were being let out. Debbie looked around and spotted a boy that looked exactly like Robert. She gasped and a tear rolled down her face. The boy she saw was Robert and he was giving another girl a kiss on the cheek. Miss Parker inched her way over to Debbie and looked down. She saw a boy kissing a girl and immediately knew who it was. She gave Debbie a hug and whispered something in her ear. She smirked and nodded in approval.

Miss Parker and Debbie finally got off and decided to get some ice cream, A Chocolate Sundae for Debbie, and Vanilla for Miss Parker. They walked over to where Debbie had seen Rob and he was still with the other girl. Debbie tapped him on the shoulder and he turned to her and froze.

"Uh Debbie, what are you doing her?" He said totally surprised.

She looked at the other girl and gave a wicked grin and shoved the ice cream in his face. Chocolate syrup dripped off his chin and nose. Miss Parker burst out laughing. The girl looked at Debbie ready to beat her up. Miss Parker walked over to Debbie, a grin on her face, she threw the kid a napkin and she looked at the girl. Her face was turning red and she looked ready to pounce on Debbie, Parker glared at the girl and she walked away grabbing Robert's hand as she went. Miss Parker gave Debbie a pat on the back and the two walked over to another coaster.

The Wildcat was fun, Miss Parker found herself screaming like a little kid and enjoying herself for once. After they had exploited that area of the Park they went on for a little while till they came upon the Comet. The line was large and it took them about a half hour to get on the ride. Miss Parker and Debbie got the front car as the coaster screamed down the hill. Parker looked at Debbie who was having the time of her life and then realized she was having more fun seeing this side of herself. She put her arms up for the last part of the ride. It came to a stop and the two were laughing as they went down the ramp and onto another ride.

Miss Parker and Debbie stumbled upon a photo booth. Debbie dragged Miss Parker in and they got their pictures taken. After that, they decided to call it a day, they rode another couple rides and headed back to Blue Cove. Miss Parker and Debbie stayed silent for a while, listening to the radio. Debbie was the first to speak.

"Miss Parker, I mean Melanie; I wanted to tell you something."

"What is it dear?"

"I wanted to say that I like this side of you, and I think others would if you showed it a little more often." Miss Parker smiled and replied.

"And I wanted to thank you, for giving me a chance to see that part of me and for a great day." Miss Parker stopped at her place to get Debbie's things.

When they got to Broots' he was sitting on the patio waiting for Miss Parker to come. Miss Parker's Town car pulled up in his driveway and she got out. Debbie grabbed her things and marched up to the porch to be hugged by her father. Miss Parker followed as well giving Debbie one last hug. The girl ran inside. Broots began to mumble a little. Miss Parker hugged him and he looked at her completely confused. She just smiled and got back in her car. She pulled away.

She walked in her house and threw her keys onto the couch. She pulled out that letter from Jarod and a tear rolled down her face. She opened her purse and took out the picture of him and also the pictures of her and Debbie. She sat there thinking for a while when she developed the urge for a hot steamy bath.

She slowly walked up the stairs and began to fill the tub with hot water and she added some Vanilla Bath and Body Works for bubbles. She turned on a CD and stripped. She hopped in the tub and let the words of the song sink into her mind.

"I cannot help it

I couldn't stop it if I tried

The same old heart beat

Fills the emptiness

I have inside

And I've heard that you can't buy love

So I won't complain

Cause why would I stop the fire

That keeps me going on,

Cause when there's you

I feel whole

And there's no better feeling in the world

But without you

I'm alone

And I'd rather be in love

With you."

~Michelle Branch~

Miss Parker the thought of Jarod through the next couple of verses and she tried to shake it out of her mind by changing the station, the same person was singing but a different song was on.

"It's been a long long time since I looked into the mirror

I guess that I was blind,

now my reflection's getting clearer

Now that you're gone things will never be the same, again

There's not a minute that goes by, every hour of every day

You're such a part of me but I just pulled away

Well I'm not the same girl you used to know

I wish I said the words I never showed

I know you had to go away

I died just a little

And I feel it now; you're the one I need

I believe that I

Would cry just a little

Just to have you back now, here with me."

~Michelle Branch~

Miss Parker let the tears fall down her face as the song played.

*****

Jarod and Zoe had broken off when they reached the hotel; he had left on his own saying he had to back to work. He left Hershey and took his chances going back to Blue Cove.

He reached Miss Parker's at about 9 o'clock and heard her bathroom radio playing. He picked her lock and went inside. He sat down on the window seat and noticed a small book. It was blue and velvety. It had her name on it. Melanie. Jarod smiled. He heard footfalls from the upstairs. He opened the book and began to read from it.

'I really don't hate Jarod, despite all that I have said. I hate the Centre. They caused all of this.'

He closed the book, a confused expression; Miss Parker walked downstairs and found him sitting on the day bed. She froze and noticed her Diary sitting there. She turned a bright reddish color. She recovered.

"What are you doing here?" She said quickly.

"I came to see you." Jarod walked in her direction, she blushed.

"We've come so far

To leave it all behind

I wonder why

Why did you go away?

You left me all alone

No words can say

My love, please stay

You and I We have moments left to share

You and I

We can make it anywhere

You and I

We belong in each other's arms

There can be no other love

Now I know we can have it all...Forever

Each night I pray

That we can be together

Once again

Forever more we'll stay in love this way

No matter what they say

Until the end

Now I know we can have it all...Forever"

~Michelle Branch~

She could hear the music from upstairs, there was a new song on. Jarod took her arm and the two began to dance. She put her head on his shoulder and let him lead her around her living room.

The End…

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