Miss Parker sat in a chair at the hospital out outside of Sam's room her elbows resting on her knees as the events of what happened at the ranch flashed through her mind. Glancing up at the sound of footsteps, she watched Sam's doctor wearing glasses with a goatee a chart in hand walked into the room. After frowning for a second at that, she turned at the sound of her name.

"Tea Miss Parker," Sydney said, offering the paper cup.

Turning hard eyes on him, she took the cup and he sat down next to her. "You two knew each other," I said, an edge to her voice and he looked at her.

"Who is Alex," I growled.

He frowned at that. "Don't you know?" he asked.

My eyebrow arched up. "Should I?" she demanded.

Before he could answer, she looked at a commotion around the corner. Climbing to her feet and following the sounds of arguing she turned the corner. And moaned at the sight of Lyle.

Catching sight of her his eyes widened. "What are you doing here?" he snapped.

Stalking over she muttered, in a low dangerous voice, "I could ask you the same thing but then…," before seizing him by his jacket and shoving him against the wall.

"But then the answer put a bullet in Sam's leg!" she growled, in the same voice.

He looked at her for a few seconds then started to open his mouth. "Why wasn't I told The Centre was trying to catch another escaped Pretender!" she interrupted before he could say anything.

His face acquiring that wise guy grin of his. "Well big sis, it was need to know, orders from the tower and judgeing from what I heard of what happened it was for good reason," he said, her grip tightened, and her face grew harder.

Meanwhile…

Groaning Sam turned in his bed and saw the doctor inject something into his IV. "Now don't you worry there lad. This is just a little something to help you sleep and take away the pain," the doctor said, in his heavily accented voice.

"Thanks doc this one was starting to wear off," Sam said.

Nodding the doctor faced him and slipped his glasses off faced him. "Yes I guessed as much but before I go and you go back to sleep there's something I need to say to you," the doc said, facing him before he reached up and Alex peeled away the mustache.

At once Sam grabbed the nurse call button as Alex replaced the mustache. "Try all you want its temporally disconnected and it won't be reconnected until I leave, but before I go. I want to say I'm sorry for shooting you," he said, and looking at him the drugs took effect and Sam slipped back into an unconscious state.

Picking up his chart Alex walked out of the room and down the hall. Stopping at a sound, he looked down the hall and saw Lyle arguing with the woman from before at the ranch. Narrowing his eyes, he adjusted his glasses before continuing and half away down the hall he bumped into the doctor he was pretending to be.

Turning the doctor looked at him a look of surprise and wonder on his face as the man turned to watch Alex turn into a bathroom and out of sight. In the bathroom, Alex stripped the false goatee, clothes, and wig and tossed them in the trash before reaching up and pushing the air vent open grabbed his bags. After putting on his clothes he rubbed his fingers on the mirror, he slipped on his jacket, and slipped the glasses into the inside pocket and stepped out.

Walking down the hall his duffle over his shoulder he stopped outside an elevator and after pressing the call button climbed in when the doors opened. Coming to a room in ICU where Johanna a bag at her feet was waiting outside a room looking in on the McCoy family with the exception of Kara seated around James's bed. Turning Johanna looked at him as he approached she smiled.

"Did you do what you had to do?" she asked, and he nodded.

Turning at a sound they both watched as Kara wheeled toward them stopping when she got close. "I want to thank you for all you've done for us, and now with what Damon and… that bastard found in the mine. Our family is secure," she said.

Nodding Alex squatted down to look her in the eye. "It's only a small geode, but if you follow my instructions your family is set for generations," he said, and she whipped a tear away.

Taking his hand she muttered, "I know that you're not State Police, but that doesn't matter, you gave me and my families our lives back like it was candy in your pocket. We could never repay you," she said, and he held her hand in both of his.

"Just keep living and loving and that's enough for me," he said, emotion lacing his voice.

Smiling and whipping a tear away she looked from Johanna to him. "You take good care of her or so help me I'll be after you," she warned.

Chuckling he muttered, "now I know I'm in trouble but for right now they're some people waiting for you," and motioned toward the room.

Nodding she started wheeling toward the door then stopped. After locking, the wheels in place Johanna started to step forward but Alex raised a hand to stop her. The two watched as Kara started to push to her feet and hold onto the chair for balance before slowly letting go.

On shaky legs, she walked into the room with her family watching. From outside Alex and Johanna watched as she took a seat next to her son and took his hand and murmured, to him. Just as Alex reached out to take Johanna's shoulder to go it happened.

The hand Kara had taken stirred and slowly James opened his eyes. With cries of joy the McCoy's called, for a doctor who rushed in.

"We gotta go, Moon Dancer," he said, and looking at him a look of pure joy and wonderment Johanna nodded.

The two walked down and back into the elevator and once going down in it Alex looked at her. "You know you can still walk away and I'd understand. Because once you cross this line they'll be after you to, and they'll be no going back," he said, worried for her.

Slowly she looked at him. "Alex you say that to me one more I'll turn you in myself," she said.

Chuckling he nodded as the doors opened and they walked out heading for the exit. "So were to now? Some exotic paradise? Someone else to help?" she asked, looking at him as they stepped outside heading for his mustang parked there.

After putting their things in the back, he shook his head looking at her. "Not just yet, there's something I need to do," he said, climbing in and they both drove off.

Meanwhile…

Turning from a continuing arguing Lyle, Parker frowned as Sam's doctor come down the hall again. "Hey you!" she barked stalking down the hall and the doctor turned to look at her.

When she reached him, she pointed at Sam's room. "Weren't you just in there?" she asked.

At that, the doctor frowned pointing where he came from. "If you're talking 'bout the look alike I saw go into the lew a short while ago…," he said, and at once, she darted down the hall into the bathroom Lyle in close pursuit.

After finding the disguise in the trash, they checked the empty stalls and Lyle gave a frustrated growl. "He is a ballsy bastard I'll give him that," he said, then turned to Miss Parker who was frowning at the mirrors.

"Wha…?" he started to ask but stopped as she left the room a few seconds later he heard a cry of outrage before she returned hairspray in hand.

"What are you…?" he started to ask again but stopped as she started spraying the mirrors and words appeared.

ALEX WAS HERE, BETTER LATE THEN NEVER LYLE

"Ballsy but he's got style," Miss Parker murmured, with a grin.

Hours later…

With a sigh of content, Sydney opened the door to his home. "Michelle! Nicolas!" he called, out but no one answered.

Frowning he hung his coat up before turning to put his keys on the table pausing seeing the note there he picked it up and smiled as he read.

Dad,

Mom and me went to pick up some things we'll be back later, love Nicolas.

Laying the note down he smiled before looking up at the first family photo of the three of them. Taking it down from its place of honor on the wall, he walked into the living room to look at it from his favorite armchair switching on a light. It was taken shortly Jarod had saved Nicolas from the Militia Group before he had left they had the picture taken.

The sound of his phone ringing jarred him from his thoughts and after laying the picture on the coffee table answered it. "This is Sydney," he said.

"Hello Sydney,"

At once, he sat up straight in the chair. "Alex?" he muttered.

"Don't try to trace this Sydney I have it bouncing off a dozen satellites both private and military and across four continents, so it's a pretty expensive call," Alex said.

"I'm not tracing this Alex I swear," Sydney said.

"That's good because it's going on Lyle's phone bill," Alex said, and Sydney chuckled as he climbed to his feet and turned to look out the window.

"Alex where are you?" he asked.

For a few seconds there was silence then Alex stepped out of the shadows behind Sydney and closing his cell he muttered, "Right behind you," and Sydney whipped around.

The two looked at each other before they both smiled and embraced each other. "Let me look at you," Sydney said, stepping back as he held Alex's face between his palms.

"You look like I thought you might," he muttered, and Alex chuckled.

"And you look like I knew you would," Alex said, taking Sydney by his wrists.

For a few seconds the two just looked at each other. "They told me you were dead," Sydney said.

Closing his eyes Alex nodded even though he was expecting it, it still hurt. "They said, the same about you, but Sydney I don't have a lot of time. I came for answers," he said.

Sydney nodded understanding. "Just tell me one thing, who was put in charge of you after me?" he asked, dreading the answer.

Alex was silent for a moment before closing his eyes and lowering his head. "Oh God, please no," Sydney moaned.

Looking back at him Alex remained silent. "… please tell me it wasn't Reins, don't tell me you were one of his projects," he muttered, and Alex remained silent.

Face-hardening Sydney growled, "I'll kill him, for what he did to you," and Alex put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Don't worry Reins will get his comeuppance, but I need to know two things. One who was that woman at the ranch?" he said, and again Sydney frowned.

"You don't know?" he asked.

Alex shook his head. "Should I?" he asked, and Sydney's frown deepened turning he returned to his chair.

He motioned for Alex to take a seat. "Her name is Marian Parker, though everyone calls her Miss Parker, she's the daughter of Catharine Parker. I'd go into details but like you said, you don't have much time," he said, as Alex joined him.

Silently Alex took it in before looking at him again making a note to hack The Centre mainframe again for more information. "Now who was it you were really chasing? Because I know it wasn't me," he asked, after a moment.

Sydney was silent. "It was Jarod isn't? He's alive too isn't he?" Alex asked, in a somber voice and Sydney looked at him.

Looking away, Alex nodded. "I have to go," he said, standing and starting toward the door.

Climbing to his feet Sydney followed. "Alex where going? What are you going to do?" he asked, as Alex opened the door.

Pausing Alex slowly looked at him. "What do you think I'm going to do Sydney? I'm going to beat you to him, I'm going to find my brother," he said, before he disappeared through the door and into the night.

Meanwhile…

Unlocking the door to her home Miss Parker rubbed the back of her neck to get the tension out of it. After unclipping the holster of her 9mm laid it on the table then paused at a flickering light coming from under the sliding doors to the dining room. After unclasping it she silently drew her weapon and holding it before her silently moved to the doors before throwing them open.

Before her was her table was set with a candle lit dinner. Eyes scanning the room she whipped around at a sound pointing the gun at the man behind her. At once, the gun was pushed aside, a pair of arms encircled her, and her lips met his.

When their lips finally broke apart her eyes were closed in pleasure as she hissed, "I hate it when you do that to me," and the shadowy figure cocked its head.

"Why?" he asked, stepping from the shadows showing a grin on his face.

"Because you know I'll do anything for more," she said, before she grabbed Jarod and pulled him in for another kiss.

An hour later dressed in only Jarod's shirt while he wore a pair of pajama pants Miss Parker walked out of the dining room a flute glass in each of her hands.

She smiled as she joined him on the floor in front of the fireplace after handing him his flute glass of champagne. "Did you see Ben when you were in Maine?" he asked, taking it and she sat down next to him.

Nodding she leaned against him. "Yeah it was great to take the time off to see him. How is Ethan?" she said.

"He's good and he misses you," Jarod taking a sip from his glass and glanced over at the untouched food.

"We'd better eat soon I went through a lot of trouble to make that," he said, starting to get up and she tightened her grip on him.

"Not yet, just a little longer," she muttered, and smiling he settled back down glancing at her cigarette case which had fallen from her blouse.

"I thought you quit?" he asked, and she glanced over.

"I did," she said, reaching over and opening the case showed him they were electric cigarettes.

"But I have to keep up appearances," she muttered, and he smiled.

"By the way Debbie wanted to know if you'll make it to her birthday. After the magic show you did last year I'm not surprised," she said, as she retook her position against him.

Smiling he nodded. "Well I can't this year but I sent her a gift, are you going?" he asked.

Shaking her head she muttered, "No I have plans for me plus one to spend a week alone at a private secluded cabin in the woods," and he looked at her.

"but I did send her a gift with note saying that when we get back she and I are spending the day together doing what she wants on me," she said, and Jarod held her close.

"Under all that toughness you're just a big softy," he muttered.

"Don't tell anyone or I'll put a bullet in your knee," she warned and she fell silent as he laughed looking at her gun.

"Do you ever get tired of pointing that gun at me? I am," he said, as she leaned against him.

"Well that's what you get when you break into my home Jarod," she said then grew somber.

"What is it?" he asked.

Looking at him she muttered, "They decided that since they reassigned Lyle I needed another edge to find you. So they decided to train my Pretender skills, and start doing simulations,"

For a few seconds he just looked at her then pulled her in close as she just stared in the distance. "It's ok, it's ok," she said, soothingly to her.

"I never understood why you've been doing what you do, now I do, I can't help but feel the blood on my hands," she muttered.

For a few seconds they remained that way until he asked, "Is there something else?"

Sitting straight, she looked into the fire arms wrapped around her knees. "Do you ever feel like we're betraying them…, Tommy…, and Zoë…?" she asked.

Jarod was silent for a moment before he sat up next to her. "I think they would want us to be happy. Marian when Zoë…, died after her cancer relapsed…, I felt as lost as you did when Tommy died…, then you…, well..., caught me in Dallas. I was practically ready for you just to shot me as you held your gun on me then you just grabbed me and kissed me.

I felt a reason to live again. Then you ruined the moment by telling me to tie you up to make it look good," he said, and she chuckled remembering.

"You did it so good they had to cut me loose, but I guess I had it coming," she said, smiling at the memory.

She smiled as he first ran his fingers through then wound her hair around one finger. "I missed you in New York. Where were you? I thought I left enough bread crumbs," he said.

Looking back at the flames, she thought back to what happened. "We were sidetracked to Colorado," she muttered, and he frowned.

"The Centere is chasing another Pretender and we picked up the wrong lead," finished standing and he watched her.

"Who?" he asked frowning in surprise.

Looking at him she muttered, "Sydney said, his name was Alex…," and Jarod eyes going wide interrupted her leaping to his feet.

"ALEX! That sociopath!" he snapped and she silenced him with a shake of her head.

"No this guy was different…," she said, and she quickly told him everything.

"…the look on his face when he held my gun on me…, Jarod I've never seen such pain…, it was like he was being tortured…," she said, then paused when she saw the look on his face and he slowly looked into the fire.

After a few seconds he muttered, "It can't be," he muttered, then before she could stop him he left her alone in the room, and she followed him into the dining room.

There he pulled out his DSA player and after selecting the right disk set it to play.

JAROD

09/01/80

FOR CENTERE USE ONLY

On the screen they watched Sydney face the camera. "This morning I was informed by the director of a new perimeter of the Pretender project. For the time being Jarod will being working with a new Pretender," he said, before facing a twenty something year old Jarod.

"Jarod there's someone I want you to meet," he said, motioning for him to come closer before they both turned as a door was opened and a sweeper led a small wide eyed boy in.

They watched when the boy got close Jarod squatted down to look him in the eye. "Hello, I'm Jarod," Jarod said.

At that, the boy gave him a small smile. "I'm Alex," he said.

Joining Jarod, a smiling Sydney said, "and I'm Sydney me and Jarod will be taking care of you for a while," placing a comforting hand on his shoulder and Jarod stopped the DSA.

"Was that him?" he asked.

Mouth slightly open Miss Parker nodded. "A much younger version but that's him, what happened to him," she muttered.

Interlocking his fingers Jarod muttered, "Until tonight I thought he was dead, but now I've got to find him before The Centere does," he said.

Back at Sydney's…

From the shadows, Alex and Johanna watched Nicolas and Michelle return home and Sydney come out to greet them. "I never knew he had a son," Alex muttered, and Johanna looked at him.

"Does it surprise you?" she asked, and he shook his head.

"Not really he's a good man. And from the looks of it a good father," he said, as the three went inside.

For a few seconds they were still then turning the key Alex started the car. "Where to now?" Johanna asked.

"Well I was thinking about taking a dive," he said, and she looked puzzled.

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