Disclaimer: Craig W. Van Sickle, Steven Long Mitchell, and the grand high Mucky Mucks of Fox own The Pretender. No copyright infrigement is intended and I'm making no money from this. Any similarity to any other story not my own is unintentional.
Rating: PG for implied adult situations.
Timeline: Sometime after IOTH and spoilers for that movie through conversation.
Summary: A PWP? drabble about JMP. Jarod asks Miss Parker some important questions about their relationship.
Author's Notes: I blame this story on three things mainly: a post on LJ; the fact that I know that its spring, specifically May, because my favorite flower(lilacs) are blooming(I was raised in the Lilac City after all); and the fact that I have very recently had a concussion(as in within the last few days)
Also, I do know that this story is quite similar to my other Pretender fic, but hopefully it is different enough to still be entertaining.
The first thing that she noticed as she entered the foyer, was the soft, subtle scent of lilac. Warily, Miss Parker reached for her gun and scanned her surroundings.
"Jarod?" She asked into the fragrant air, not really expecting an answer. "What game are you playing now, Boy-Wonder?" She murmured to herself, steeping into the living room, her gun held out in a comfortable grip.
As she scanned the room, she noticed the small nosegay of pink lilac sitting on the elegant coffee table. With a half sigh, Miss Parker slowly lowered her gun and walked over to the table, her high heels making sharp clicking noises on the hardwood floor.
When she reached the table, Miss Parker picked up the flowers, noticing that the small sprigs were held together by a smooth white ribbon. On the end of the ribbon was a small card with a note in Jared's handwriting.
"In spring a young man's thoughts turn…"
"Cute, Genius," Miss Parker sneered lightly as she noticed that there was more written on the back of the card.
"The kitchen…" it simply read.
"You've got to be kidding me," Miss Parker said incredulously. She set the small bunch of lilac down on the coffee table, raised her gun back up, and headed to the kitchen.
After a quick scan of the room, it wasn't hard to spot the small white bunch of lilac waiting for her on the dark mahogany cutting board. As with the purple bouquet, there was another white ribbon and another card. She read it almost impatiently.
"How much of fate is a choice? How much of our destiny is written by the stars, and how much do we write ourselves?"
Miss Parker flipped the card over.
"Of course," she said into the empty room.
With a small sigh, she slid her gun back into its holster and headed back the same way that she had just come. Looking over the stairs, she saw, half hidden by the banister at the top, that there was another small bouquet of lilacs, the dark purple blending into the shadows.
Quietly wondering why she was even putting up with this game, Miss Parker made her way up the stairs and knelt down to retrieve the fragrant bunch of flowers. She read both sides of the card.
"Do you always have to chase?…Window seat…"
She rose, letting the flowers fall back to the ground before gracefully making her way back down the stairs, determination surrounding her like an aura. She stalked over to the far window seat. "Let's just get this over with," Miss Parker said in an exasperated voice as she drew back the heavy red velvet curtain.
Laying on the cushioned window seat was a silver metal case with yet another waiting bunch of lilacs. Miss Parker reached for the lavender flowers and watched a golden DSA disc spin at the end of the ribbon, alternately reflecting the warm light of the living room and the cool light of the moon outside. She plucked the disc carefully from the ribbon and read the card.
"And do I always have to run?…"
Miss Parker eyed the disc, looking from it, to the player, and back again. For the first time since entering her house, she hesitated. Her fingers turned the disc over and over nervously. Then, as if suddenly realizing what she was doing, she gripped the small object tightly in her hand, stilling its motion.
She looked over to the phone resting on the coffee table. For a moment, she was tempted to simply set the DSA down and call in a sweeper team on the off chance that Jarod might still be lurking nearby.
"I chase," she murmured.
Miss Parker contemplated the disc once more before making the decision to open the player and settle herself before it on the window seat. She adjusted the metal case so she could see the screen clearly before deftly placing the DSA into the player and setting it to play.
It was with some surprise that she watched a young couple that she had never seen before…
A dark haired man in his early twenties was giving a pretty young blonde a small bunch of flowers as they stood next to a railing overlooking one of the Sim labs. She laughed, smiled, and finally gave him a quick kiss. The young man returned the kiss and they both pulled back quickly, looking around somewhat nervously before walking out separate doors…
The camera changed its focus, and Miss Parker saw a young Jarod of perhaps eleven or twelve, and a younger Sydney…
"Why did that man just give her flowers, Sydney?"
"People give each other flowers for many different reasons, Jared," the psychiatrist responded simply.
"Yes, but why did he give her flowers?"
Sydney seemed to hesitate a moment before answering. "He gave her flowers as a way of showing her affection. He wanted her to know that he cares for her."
"Is that why she kissed him?"
"But why were they scared, Sydney?"
"Jarod, I need you to focus."
"Why won't you answer my question, Sydney?" Jarod asked.
The psychiatrist seemed to consider something before he finally spoke. "The Centre isn't always the place for those kinds of relationships. They were nervous because they don't want to be caught."
"Will they get in trouble?"
"Perhaps, but it is nothing for you to worry about, Jarod."
"Why would they risk getting caught or in trouble?" The young pretender persisted in questioning his mentor.
After a moment, Sydney finally answered. "Sometimes the risk is worth it, Jared. Now, please, I really do need you to focus."
The young Jarod nodded and the DSA faded to black and then to a subsequent recording.
This time, Miss Parker saw a younger version of herself. She was facing Jarod.
"I have something for you, Miss Parker."
Jarod offered the younger Parker a small bouquet of lilacs. "I picked the blue ones because they match your eyes," he said hesitantly.
"And…and I thought that you could use the ribbon for your hair maybe," he finished almost shyly.
The young Miss Parker smiled quietly and gave the pretender a quick kiss on the lips before she suddenly leapt back at the sound of Mr. Parker's voice.
"Angel?" Mr. Parker called loudly.
Miss Parker quickly ran up the stairs of the Sim lab to greet her father. "Hello, Daddy."
"What are those?" He asked gruffly, eyeing both the flowers and his daughter.
"Nothing, Daddy," Miss Parker responded, trying to keep the lilacs lowered.
"Nothing?" He asked in a quiet rumble.
Miss Parker lowered her eyes and nodded once silently.
"Well, all right then," he paused a moment. "We're late, Mr. Parker said briskly, reaching for the flowers and dropping them directly to the floor. "Come along, Angel."
Mr. Parker stepped on the flowers as he made his way out the door. Miss Parker ducked down quickly though and slipped the white ribbon from the crushed flowers before she hurried to follow her father…
The DSA once more faded to black and Miss Parker looked at the darkened screen silently until the phone rang.
"Hello, Jarod," she answered the phone without her customary curt, 'what?'
"There has to be more than I run, you chase, Miss Parker. There's more to us than that."
"Why, Jarod, because you say so?"
The pretender was silent on the other end of the line and only his quiet breathing let her know that he was still there. "It's just who we are," she spoke finally into the heavy silence. "If you're looking for destiny Jarod, there it is, as simple as that."
"Is that really what you believe, Parker?" He asked softly.
"Yes," she whispered.
"Then why do you still have the ribbon?" Jarod asked as he ended the phone call.
Despite herself, Miss Parker looked over to the bookshelf, her eyes seeking out the old leather bound copy of Keats poetry that hid a small white ribbon in its pages. Carefully, she set the phone down and made her way over to the bookshelf and almost gently took down the book. She open the pages and found a small card resting next to the old ribbon.
It said simply, "Bedroom…"
Miss Parker looked back to the phone where it still rested on the window seat, knowing that years of chasing could be ended if she just quietly called in the sweepers.
Gracefully, she returned the book to its place and made her way over to the stairs. She removed her gun from her holster and held it out in a comfortable grip before climbing the staircase and making her way down the hallway to the closed bedroom door.
She wasn't surprised to find Jarod on the other side holding a small bouquet of blue lilacs.
"You chase, but what happens when I stop running, Miss Parker?"
She held her gun steady, aimed expertly at his chest.
"What happens to us?" He asked softly, his voice gentle.
"There is no 'us,' Jarod."
"Is that really what you believe?" His autumn brown eyes sparked as they caught at her own.
Slowly, slowly, she lowered her gun and held it in a loose grip at her side.
"I have something for you, Miss Parker," Jarod said, offering her the bouquet."I picked the blue ones because they match your eyes."
Quietly, Miss Parker stepped forward. She took the flowers and set them gently down with her gun on the small table next to the bed before kissing Jarod softly.
"No," she whispered against his lips when they finally parted. "That's not what I believe," she said quietly as urged him to sit back on the bed…
The next day, Miss Parker sat at her desk at The Centre. She gently opened the leather bound Keats and removed a small white velvet ribbon, slightly yellowed with age. She slipped it through her fingers thoughtfully until a knock at her door made her slip the ribbon back into the pages of the book and close it.
"Miss Parker?" Broots greeted her, ducking his head in through the slightly opened door.
"What is it Broots?"
"Ummm, well…" he stammered, opening the door a little bit more.
"Spit it out, Broots," Miss Parker ordered.
Broots opened the door and stepped into the office, carrying a vase filled with bunches of blue lilacs of varying hues. "Umm…these came for you Miss Parker. I…I think that they're from Jarod."
She rose from behind her desk and walked over to where Broots still stood with the vase of flowers. Deftly she plucked the small card out from amongst the blooms just as Sydney walked into the office.
"Lilacs, Miss Parker?" He asked carefully watching the dark haired woman closely as she read the small card.
"I think they're from Jarod," Broots repeated for the psychiatrist's benefit.
"Do you know what it means, Miss Parker?" Sydney asked.
Unbidden, a small smile graced Miss Parker's lips, much to the surprise of both men. "Yes, Syd, I think that I finally do…"