Disclaimer: see part one

Author's Note: Thanks first to Blade who betaed this story (I still hope you'll keep doing the follow up). Oh and special thanks for this chappy and the laughs we shared. ;)

Thanks to:

pretender fan: Don't worry, even though this is the last chapter of ‚Smokescreen', the storyline is far from being finished! We still have a long way ahead and Parker will be part of it. Thanks for reviewing and now enjoy the last chapter.

Gemini-M: Well, thanks. Glad you liked it so much. Here's the next chapter now. And soon the new story will be up. Thanks for reviewing and now enjoy!

leontine-456: Thanks, glad you like it. Right now, I can say that Jarod and Jay are safe. We'll see if it remains that way. Thanks for your review and now move on to the last chapter.

Ann: Carol and Marc learning about Jay being a clone? Probably not, no. I'm not quite sure about that now but I don't think so. Still, glad you liked chapter 9. Thanks for telling me so and now enjoy the last chapter of this story.

imag1ne: Double meanings? Hitting readers over the head with them? Me? #grins# True, might be a confusing way of saying 'post again soon' but I got the hint… and while we're on it, when are you gonna update? Anyway, let me know if the ending is what you thought it would be. Thanks for your review and now read the last chapter and enjoy!

bloodymary2: I wouldn't dare quit on the way. I have the story all planned out. You'll get your sequel! Glad you like the story itself and what's more the way I'm modelling the characters and playing things out. It's good to hear that I'm doing this ok. Thanks for that great review and now enjoy the last chapter of 'Smokescreen'.

x x x x x x x

Smokescreen Part 10

Back again

Jarod was the first to wake up.

He rolled his head slightly and then opened his eyes. He had slept peacefully and he grinned at that. He nearly always slept without nightmares interrupting his slumber when he was outside.

Stretching, he looked at the boy still pressed to his side.

He knew that they must give a slightly strange picture. A grown man and a teenager, sleeping in two zipped-together sleeping bags.

Most teens at Jay's age would scream at their parents for even trying to come that close to them, but then again, Jay was no normal teen. He had lived through an ordeal most of his life, and after that he had subjected himself to another when he thought no one cared about him.

Jay had tried to block out the pain this thought made by pushing everyone away and trying to pretend that he didn't care either.

Jarod breathed deeply and shook his head sadly.

Hopefully Jay knew now that he was loved dearly and that he didn't need to pretend to be someone he wasn't.

The boy stirred at his side, making Jarod snap out of his thoughts.

A few minutes later, Jay rolled his head away from Jarod's chest and he looked around.

Jarod grinned down at him when Jay's gaze locked with his.

"Morning," Jarod greeted.

Jay closed his eyes briefly again. "Hi," he mumbled back, still sleepy.

Jarod carefully entangled himself from the young man and zipped the sleeping bag open to get up.

Jay watched him but did nothing to stop his brother. "What time is it?"

"About seven o'clock," Jarod answered while stretching.

Jay merely nodded, started to get up as well, but stopped short in his tracks and groaned.

Jarod quirked an eyebrow at his younger brother. "What is it?"

Jay carefully moved his shoulder and groaned once more. Jarod started chuckling when he saw the pained expression on Jay's face and he started to comprehend what had made that expression appear.

"Aching muscles? I told you not to overdo it yesterday, didn't I?" Jarod grinned.

"Yes, you did, but it was so much fun," Jay replied through clenched teeth.

"Ok, let's breakfast and then put our stuff together. After that we will see that we get you back down to solid ground safely," Jarod snickered.

"Very funny," Jay growled but it was more in amusement than aggravation.

Nearly four hours later they were back in the car. Descending had taken some time. They could have been faster but they both wanted to enjoy nature for as long as they could.

Jay sat next to his brother, relaxing back in his seat.

They were driving in companionable silence, both lost in their own memories, partly from their trip and partly occupied with other memories as well.

"We'll be home soon," Jarod announced sometime during their trip

Jay nodded. "Hmm," he mumbled.

The car fell back into silence.

"How are your muscles?" Jarod asked after some more silent miles.

"Tense and sore but I will feel better tomorrow," Jay replied.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that. Without wanting to take your illusions away; normally aching muscles start acting up especially on the second day," Jarod said.

"Thanks," Jay looked to his brother and rolled his eyes, making them both chuckle.

Shortly afterwards, Jarod steered the car into the driveway of Marc's and Carol's home. They both got out slowly and started unloading the car together.

Jarod took his backpack and Jay took some of his things as well. They both went up the stairs. Before one of them could get out the keys, the door opened.

"Come on in, you two," Carol greeted warmly and stepped aside. "I saw you walking up with all that gear and thought you might need someone to open the door."

"Yes, thank you Carol," Jarod replied. He put a hand on Jay's shoulder and pushed his brother gently forward.

Jarod and Jay put their baggage down in the den and followed Carol into the living room.

Jarod sniffed. "Something smells good."

Jay inhaled deeply as well and then his face lit up. "Carol's making pie, right?" he turned towards the woman with expectant eyes.

When Carol saw the expression on Jay's face, she breathed deeply and looked over to Marc to see if he had seen it as well. He had, the relieved expression being proof. She turned back to Jay. "Yes, Jay. You're right. Just about half an hour and then the pie will be ready."

"Great," Jay smiled widely and turned to Jarod. "Carol's pie is the best you'll ever get," he announced excitedly.

Carol and Marc exchanged another relieved glance. Jay's face was lacking the reserved and guarded expression that he had worn for the last few months. The lovable and refreshing individual they both had come to miss was back in its place.

"Come on, Jay, how about we both take a shower now, or better yet, you could take a bath. That'll help your aching muscles," Jarod grinned and steered Jay towards the door.

Jay let his brother push him in front without hesitation.

Somewhere on the way, Jarod looked back over is shoulder and winked at Carol and Marc, making them smile.

x x x x x x x

An hour later, they were all back in the living room, eating the pie Carol had made and listening to Jay's excited words about their trip.

Jarod was relaxing in the easy chair and savouring the taste of Carol's pie. Jay had been right: the pie was really extraordinary good. He closed his eyes briefly when he put another bite of it in his mouth.

Suddenly he heard the others chuckle in the room and he opened his eyes questioningly. "What?" he looked at the smiling faces that were turned towards him.

"You look pleased with yourself and very content," Marc stated.

"I am," Jarod replied smugly, another piece of his pie vanishing in his mouth, making the others chuckle again.

"You have the same expression on your face that Jay had when he first tasted my pie," Carol grinned.

Jarod looked over to his 'brother'. "We are very much alike," he replied easily and Jay winked at him.

The End!

… ok, and as I said the prelude to another story. There will be a sequel called: "Starting Anew". Right now I'm not quite sure when the sequel's gonna start. That depends a lot on my Beta. I guess it'll be sometime within in the next two weeks.

Oh and for all of you who have been on my heels for not including Miss Parker into this story, rest reassured that she will have a rather big part in the follow-up!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to review this story.