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

Listening In

By: 24

Jarod walked the lonely strip of beach. He had been here for a day and was just taking a time out from his pretends. He loved to help people, but sometimes he just needed to step away from everything. He sat down and watched the waves. He had lived by the beach his whole life inside the Centre, but had never gotten to seen it. Even when he escaped he didn't see it because it was night and he was thinking of escaping not sight seeing. Even when he went back there to the boat on the shore by the Centre he couldn't afford to look around him to take in the sights. He couldn't afford for anyone in the Centre to see him and take him back. He was lucky that he was in the houseboat when Lyle and his sweepers came jogging by.

He glanced once more around him and got out his cell phone.

"This is Sydney."

"Do you ever feel alone? Like nobody understands you? Do you think that my parents will love me once we're together?"

Background noises could be heard and a voice close to Sydney spoke. "Dad, Mom wants to know it's almost ready for dinner."

"I'll be right there Nicholas." He said to his son. Although he often thought of Jarod as his son he knew that he never could be.

"What's the matter Jarod?"

Nicholas stopped as he was going to return to the kitchen where his mother was and he started to listen in their conversation. He remembered meeting Jarod when Mr. Lyle helped him. His father never told him who Jarod was and why they should listen to him. He often wondered who he was and how his father knew him, but never asked after that day.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know that Nicholas and his mother was there."

"It's okay. Yes, sometimes I do feel alone. Michelle understands me because she was there to. She worked with me."

"I remember meeting her once." Jarod interrupted.

"I know you do. And to answer your other question. Yes, they will love you. You are a good man Jarod."

"But they haven't seen me since I was four. I'm not that little boy anymore. I have nightmares now. Nightmares about the sims that I did and the experiments that were done to me."

"They will still love you, Jarod. No matter how long you've been separated nothing can change that bond."

"They have a younger me. They don't need me anymore."

"Yes, they do Jarod. You are their son and not even Gemini can change that. Yes, he has your DNA, but he is not you."

"I don't know what to think anymore. Sometimes I think I won't even find anyone who will know the real me, I won't ever find and put back my family and I'll always be running from the Centre. I want it all to stop. I don't know how long I can take this."

Michelle came into the living room and saw her son listening in and Sydney on the phone.

"Jarod. You are strong. You can find your parents and put back what you lost all those years ago. Don't give up. Didn't you say I'll never give up? Don't give up now."

"I'm trying not to give up Sydney, but sometimes it's hard. Sometimes I feel like it's useless and I don't like feeling that way. I know I can't give up because then I know that the Centre will win and I can't let them do that."

She remembered seeing Jarod when he was younger and still inside the Centre. At four years old he was the most promising pretender. The best that they had. She had only met him once while inside the Centre, but she had seen him a few other times doing his Sims. Such a bright and lonely boy. She often wondered after leaving when she found out she was pregnant whatever happened to him. She still didn't know.