Disclaimer: "The Pretender" and its characters do not belong to me they belong to TNT and NBC and are being used without permission. Please don't sue because I have no money.

This is a response to a pretender challenge at the yahoo pretender challenges group.

Sick Day
By: 24




Tired, so very tired he thought as he sank onto the bed. He closed his eyes and went to sleep. The hunters surrounded the little house not knowing that the hunted was inside sleeping. They quickly made their way to the door and kicked it in. Jarod didn't even hear it as the kept on sleeping. Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots walked towards the bedroom and it was forced open by Miss Parker. She stopped dead in her tracks as she saw the sleeping figure on the bed. She grinned as she saw her prey sleeping.

"Miss Parker wait." Sydney said as he walked over to where Jarod was lying down. He put a hand on Jarod's head and felt it. "He has a fever Miss Parker."

"Well, we can treat him at the Centre."

"Please we have to help him now."

Jarod chose that time to shiver under the covers and then started to toss and turn. "No, please no. Sydney let me out please. I'll be good. I'm sorry, I'm so very sorry. I didn't mean to do it Mr. Raines."

"Jarod it's okay."

Jarod stopped tossing and turning and settled down.

"Please Miss Parker let us treat him now."

"Fine, but don't let him escape."

"Broots I need you to get some supplies." He said as he wrote stuff down on a paper.

"Okay Sydney." He took the paper and left the little house.

A little while later Broots came back with a thermometer, aspirin, tea and juice, which was put into the fridge.

Sydney unwrapped the thermometer and inserted it into Jarod's mouth. He waited until it beeped and then took it out.

"Well, what is it?"

"It's 104.2."

"That's pretty high isn't it?"

"Yes, it is Miss Parker."

"Well, what are you going to do?" She asked as Sydney got up and walked up to the kitchen.

"I'm going to try to keep Jarod's fever down." He looked into the shelf that was near the fridge and found plastic Baggies. He then opened the freezer and got ice out and filled the Baggies with ice. He then walked back into the bedroom and put them around Jarod. He then took a washcloth and soaked it with cold water on it and put it on Jarod's forehead. He went back to the kitchen, got a cup down and put a tea bag into it. As he waited for the pot to boil he looked around for the sugar. The teapot boiled and he poured the hot liquid into the cup and put some sugar into it. He then grabbed the aspirin bottle and took it towards the bedroom once again.

He put the cup and bottle down and woke Jarod up. "Jarod wake up." He said as he shook him.

Jarod blinked as he woke up from sleeping. He turned to the voice that was talking to him and his eyes widened. He tried to get up, but he was to weak to do so and he dropped back down to the bed.

"It's okay Jarod. I need you to drink a little bit of hot tea and then I'll give you some aspirin. You have a fever and we need to bring it down."

"What happened?"

"We came into the room and saw that you were sleeping. I went and touched your forehead and found that you had a fever. I sent Broots to the store and he brought back a thermometer and I took your temperature. It's 104.2."

"That's pretty high. Why am I not back at the Centre? With me passed out and weak you could have overpowered me easily."

"I think that it's best that we treated you here. How did you get sick Jarod?"

"I was in a pretend and one of my co workers was sick."

"You've never had a fever inside the Centre."

"That's because you kept the people who were sick away from the lab rats."

"Jarod."

"Well, it's true. You couldn't afford for your little money makers to be sick."

"I need for you to sit up and drink some tea. It will do good for you."

Jarod sipped some of the tea and then took some aspirin. "What is the ice for?"

"To try to keep your fever down."

"Oh."

Jarod's eyes were starting to close, so Sydney and Miss Parker quickly left leaving him sleeping. They turned the T.V. on and watched a show. Jarod started to toss and turn again and cry out. Sydney and Miss Parker raced into the room.

"No, please no. Please don't lock me up. I'm sorry. Please leave me alone, let me go. Don't hit me please."

"Jarod it's okay. It's okay it's just a nightmare."

Jarod settled down again and drifted off to sleep again. They wandered back to the couch and sat down. A little while later they heard Jarod cry out again. "No, please no. Don't put me in the tube again. Let me go please let me go. No." Sydney once again quieted Jarod down again. They once again went to the couch again and stared out the T.V.

"He sure has a lot of nightmares."

"I think that he has nightmares even when he doesn't have a fever. I think that's one of the reasons why he calls us so late because he can't sleep because of the nightmares. You know the trauma that he experienced at the Centre would definitely make you have nightmares. The Sims and the videos that he's had to watch that shouldn't been shown to any child. The Sims he had to do shouldn't have been given to a child either."

"But I don't get it."

"Imagine simulating someone that is drowning, burning, or being shot over and over again, or being shown videos with people that were killed in horrible ways. What about the experiment that Mr. Raines and Mr. Lyle put him through. Then there's getting in people's heads that were basically evil. Wouldn't you have nightmares to?"

"The only sim I saw once was the same one that the clone did."

"You didn't see all of them. There were pretty harsh ones that he's had to go through. One's that hurt him physically and mentally. I also think that when I went on my vacations or meetings when Mr. Raines was in charge of Jarod that he wasn't to gentle with him."

"My goodness Sydney. Why are we trying to bring him back to that then?"

He looked around to see if Broots was there, but they were not and turned back towards Miss Parker. "I have to tell you something and you can't repeat it anywhere."

"Okay." She too looked around.

"I only do the chase thing so that I can keep an eye on Jarod. I don't want to bring him back to the Centre to be used again. They might reeducate him and it would be the same, as he never left. I can't do that to him. He's experienced so much out here. Not only helping people, but his discoveries. I know that you've discovered pez and all that stuff, but imagine discovering pez, ice cream, and cookies, play dough and other things when you're grown up. He's just a little boy in a man's body."

I think I know that Sydney." She paused a second "You're right Sydney. I've been able to experience ice cream, pizza, pez, cracker jacks, presents and other things and he's never had a chance to experience that when he was locked up. I mean he was locked up like a criminal and his only crime was that he's smart. He was taken from his parents as a young boy ripped from a loving family and locked up in a dark and dreary place. I never realized that before. At least I had my mother until I was almost a teenager. He still hasn't seen his mom yet. He's found his father and sister, but they had to leave to. Has he ever had any presents while he was in the Centre for Christmas?"

"He was never allowed to have any presents or know anything about Christmas, Halloween or any other holiday. When he saw you give a present to your father for Father's Day he asked why you gave him a present. I told him that you gave it to him for a Father's Day present. I gave him a snow globe once, but he didn't know why I gave it to him."

"My goodness. How could they be so cruel to him?"

"Because they never thought of him as a human being only as a lab rat that brings money to them."

She turned away and thought about the times that she's called him lab rat, rat boy and other names. She then looked at the bedroom again and back at Sydney.

*****
A few days later.

Jarod was getting better and better with the help of each of his pursuers. Miss Parker was being nice to Jarod while he was recuperating. Sydney and Broots kept him company when he got bored. They would let him sit in the living room and watch T.V. and play games. When he was totally cured they parted ways and left Jarod back at the house. Miss Parker had told him that she was sorry for what he went through inside of the Centre and told him that she would still be chasing him not for the Centre, but to keep him safe. He grinned at that and thanked her. Sydney hugged him when he left and Broots shook hands with him.

Jarod gathered his things and loaded them into the car and he too backed out of the driveway and left the town. He was grateful that Miss Parker and crew had let him go without dragging him back to the Centre. He smiled as he headed to the freeway to find out where he was going to do another pretend.

The End.