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.

Settling Down

By: 24

Jarod went towards his parent's house and knocked on the door. The Centre was gone from their lives for a year and he and his family had settled down. His young clone Jeremy was away in College and had good grades. He didn't have great grades because he loved the college life. He was glad that Jeremy was being allowed to have the life that he was never given. He was glad that he had rescued him when he was still a child and was allowed to have a childhood. He had heard from his father of some of the antics that Jeremy had gotten in when they were still on the run. He also got to talk to Jeremy and he told him of what he did too.

Jarod had brought a house about a mile or so from where his parents lived because he wanted to live nearby, but not near enough. They started having dinner at his parent's house every week and he was happy about that. He walked up the path to the light yellow Victorian two-story house.

"Jarod, come in." His father answered the door. "You know you don't have to knock you can just walk right in because you do have a key."

"I know, but I don't want to interfere."

"You won't."

They walked towards the kitchen and his father went out onto the porch after he grabbed the steaks for the BBQ. He stopped in the kitchen said hello to his mother and Emily and helped a little bit. He then grabbed a Pepsi and went outside to talk to his father. They talked a little bit and went back inside to put the steaks on the table. Jarod grabbed another Pepsi and sat down when his family sat down.

After dinner Emily and Jarod cleaned the dishes and went into the living room to find their parents already there. Emily was living just about a mile the other way.

"So what is your week like Jarod?"

"Pretty good. Had a young child come in this week who was suffering from nightmares, but finally they have since gone away." Jarod had gotten a job as a child psychologist. He was good in his job because he liked to help children.

"That's good Jarod."

"Emily how was your week?"

"Good. I did a story on the local children's home today."  Emily was still in the newspaper business.

"That's nice Emily."

"Hey, we got a movie today. Do you guys want to see it? Do you want me to pop some popcorn?"


"Yes, popcorn. I'll make some."

His mother walked towards the kitchen and Jarod followed her.

She went to the kitchen's pantry and went to take the box towards the microwave. As she took the bag out of the plastic bag that surrounded it Jarod picked up the box and looked at it. He watched as the popcorn started popping and the bag expanded.

"It's not good for your eyes to watch the microwave."

Jarod looked at his mother. "Really? Why?"

"It has to do with something with the radiation coming out of the microwave."

Before Jarod could figure that one out the microwave beeped and Margaret took the bag out and put it into a bowl. Jarod popped a buttery kernel into his mouth and munched on it. "This is good." He grinned.

Margaret smiled at her son and went into the living room carrying the bowl. She knew that her son was isolated when he was a child and didn't know a lot about the world around him, but it didn't matter to her because they were finally a family.

As they watched the movie they munched on the popcorn and made some more when they needed more. When the movie was over Emily and Jarod both went their separate ways and went home.

He went into his empty house and went to the phone. He had to call one of the people that was not far from his mind. She had kept the house that she lived in and was still living in Blue Cove, Delaware.


"Why hello Miss Parker. You still have the same phone manners as you did when the Centre was still in operation."

"Hello Jarod. What do you want?"

"Just wanted to know how you're doing?"

"Just peachy. I have a job that I don't really like."

"Well, it's not you liked working at the Centre."

"Well, at least I got to travel."

"Ya, right. Chasing after a human being which was me to put me back to a place where I didn't want to go to."

"Well, boo hoo."

"Looks maybe this was a mistake. I'm sorry that I cared about you because it looks like you don't care about me. Over the years I've always hoped that my friend would come back to me, but it looks like she never will. I've got to go. Goodbye Miss Parker." He said as she hung up.

Miss Parker stared in shock as she heard Jarod say that he cared for her. That he still cared for her as a friend. She remembered that when she was still chasing him that he used to call her to give clues to her past. She hated him for that, but she knew that he did it because he wanted to know about her past when he didn't even know about his. She remembered when she was a child and used to spend time with her friend Jarod and then going to boarding school never seeing him again. She started to view him not as a human and a monster and a lab rat. She remembered what she had said about him when she was first put on his pursuit. Over the years during the game she kind of started to view him as a human being and as her friend.

She tried to go back to sleep, but knew that she couldn't. She knew what she had to do. She would have to go to his house and see what would happen. She knew where he lived because he had sent her his address when he settled down. She knew that he had found his family and was living close by to them.

The next day she called into work and told them she wasn't coming into work for a few days. She got onto the plane and made her way towards Texas.

Dallas, Texas.

She rented a car and made her way towards Jarod's house. She knew when he would get back home and waited until it was time to go.

She got out of the car and looked up at the modest pale blue one story house. She knocked on the door and waited for it to open. Jarod blinked as he saw her standing there.

"What are you doing here Miss Parker?"

"I wanted to talk to you."

"Please come in."

She looked around and saw the living room with a couch, reclining chair, big screen TV, DVD player, VCR, table, two lamps and Radio/CD player. She looked towards the dining room, which had a small table with two chairs.

"Sit down Miss Parker. Do you want anything to drink?"

"No thanks."

He sat down on the chair and looked at her.

"This is a hard thing for me to say. I'm sorry for chasing you and being mean to you. I was so angry at you for giving me clues to uncover about my past and for that I hated you. As a child I know that I was your friend, but when I was in the boarding school my father trained me to hate you. When I was in corporate I was angry again because I was pulled from there to chase you and bring you back."

"I only gave you clues of your past because you have one and because you needed to open up your eyes to what the Centre truly was. If I didn't give you clues then you would still believe that your mother died in the elevator. You would have never known how they turned a little boy named Timmy into Angelo. You would have never known that Ethan or Lyle was your brother. I did it because you should know these things."

"I know that now. I'm sorry that I didn't realize that now."

"It's okay."

"No it's not. I'm sorry for viewing you as a lab rat and not as a human being with feelings."

"I forgive you."


"Because you said you were sorry and I believe you."

She smiled at him. "Thank you."

"So do you want to stay for dinner?"

"Yes please."

They had a dinner of pasta and salad. They talked about their jobs and what they did with their lives during the Centre's downfall. After the dinner was done Miss Parker went back to her hotel room. They would get together tomorrow after Jarod got home. Miss Parker would shop at the local shops and look around.

During the past months Jarod and Miss Parker would get together whenever they could. Sometimes Jarod would go to Blue Cove to Miss Parker's house, but he was nervous around this part of the world. She could sense his nervousness and told him that she would start coming to his house.

Miss Parker had met his parents and his sister. They didn't really like her at first, but got used to her over the months. Then finally Jarod got up the nerve to ask the big question and she said yes.

They still had a few bumps in the road, but he knew that it would smooth out in the future. He was finally settling down with his one true love, the girl that he fell in love with when he was a child.

The End