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.

Author's Note: This is kind of like It's a Wonderful Life, but pretender style.

Past, Present and Future

Miss Parker unlocked the door, slammed it shut and locked it. She put her coat in the hall closet and made her way to the living room and poured herself some whiskey, but not before she plugged in the Christmas tree lights. She stared at the liquid in the glass for a minute and then lifted it to her lips and drank it up. She stared at the lights twinkling on the tree seeing one of the ornaments that she had made when she was a child for her mother. Her mother who she had thought had died when she was little in an elevator at the Centre, but in reality had died giving birth to her half brother that was also Jarod's brother. Jarod the errant pretender and her current problem to why she was drinking when she came home. She had spent another day trying to locate and find the labrat and bring him home to where he rightfully belonged, but no when they got to his latest lair all they found was a red notebook. She hated that her life was not going the way that she wanted. Her mother abandoning her at a young age. She knew that it wasn't by choice, but it felt like she had abandoned her to her cruel father when she was just a child. Then being called back to do field work when Jarod had escaped being reunited with Sydney after all that time. She was always trying to please her father by trying to find Jarod and bring him back, but her father was always disappointed at her. She hated all this pain that it caused. She threw the empty glass into the fireplace watched it shatter into a million pieces and wished that she had never been born. If she weren't born then she would never have to be in this mess. After sweeping up the mess that she had made she unplugged the lights and then went upstairs to fall asleep.

~~~~~*~~~~~

She woke up when she heard the knock at her door. She grabbed her gun and went down the stairs as quietly as possible. She then answered the door with the gun pointed at the person who dared to knock at her door at this hour, but what she saw surprised her. In front of her was her Mother, but she was a ghost and she could see right through her. Was she dreaming?

"Mama?"

"Yes, darling. It is I. I came to tell you that there will be three ghosts to visit you tonight. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future."

"Why?"

"Because you need to see what would have happened if you were never born. How you changed some very important people in your life by just being alive."

"Who?"

"You will see, my darling daughter." She said as she vanished into thin air. Miss Parker closed the door and locked it once again and turned to go back upstairs, but what was in front of her was another ghost.

"I am the ghost of Christmas past. It is time for you to travel into the past and see what happened when you weren't there." The ghost held out his hand to her to grab onto. She hesitated for a moment and then grabbed the hand that was offered.

~~~~*~~~~~

A young boy was standing in front of the table looking at the simulation in front of him. She watched as Jarod stood there and watched Sydney as he watched the young boy.

"Jarod, I need you to finish this simulation now."

"But I can't Sydney. It could be disastrous to people if it fell in the wrong hands."

Sydney advanced towards the young boy and the boy backed away from Sydney.

"I don't get it why is he scared of Sydney? Sydney would never hurt him. He even tried to protect him."

"That was the Sydney that you knew. He had your calming influence to think of Jarod as a son and not a labrat. This is the Sydney that would have been if you weren't there."

Sydney slapped the boy and he fell to the ground. Miss Parker gasped and covered her mouth both surprised and horrified that Sydney would treat Jarod like Mr. Raines would have.

"Do the simulation, Jarod."

The boy picked himself up from the ground and looked at the simulation. "Yes, Sydney." There was a blank look in the young boys eyes.

The next one was of Jarod in his cell looking very lonely and afraid.

"This is what Jarod would have looked like if you weren't his friend. He didn't have anybody to lead him on adventures and give him his first kiss."

She noticed that he also had a few bruises on his face.

"This wasn't the first time that Sydney had hit him." The ghost replied as he saw her look at Jarod's face. The ghost than held out his hand and they were back to her house.

"The next one will be the ghost of Christmas present he said as he disappeared.

~~~~~*~~~~~~

"I must have drunk too much whiskey. I'm having a really weird dream," She said aloud to herself. She turned around and saw another ghost.

"You must be the ghost of Christmas present?"

"You are correct." He said as he held out his hand. She grabbed it and was whisked off back to the Centre.

Jarod was in his cell. The same cell he was in when he was a child, but he was older now. He was tossing and turning and she could see his back. It had whip marks on it and she looked away.

"This is the Jarod of the present. He never left the Centre because of Sydney. They had told him his parents had died when he was just a child, but this time when he was younger. He didn't have you to tell him of the outside world to see it as a wondrous thing that he wanted to see himself. Your brother Jason did this to him. He is working for your father and has supervised the Sims that Jarod has done with Sydney. When Jarod gets out of line he punishes him. Your mother was allowed to keep your twin since you weren't born."

The next one was of Jarod back in the sim lab. Jason was at the desk watching Sydney lead Jarod into his sim. Jarod rebelled once again.

"Jarod, I need you to do this sim. If you don't than Jason will have to punish you." Sydney said watching Jarod for a reaction.

"You know that you will eventually do the sim Jarod. Why not just do it now." Jason said as he stood up from his chair he was sitting at and advanced toward the pretender.

"I will not do this sim, Sydney. Do you know what will happen if it is in the wrong hands?"

Jason took out his cell phone and made a call. A few minutes later a bunch of sweepers came in and grabbed Jarod. Jason led the way to the cell that he was put into and was hung up by his wrists.

"You know Jarod it would be much better for you if you would just to the simulation on the first try." Jason said as he lifted the whip and let it go. Jarod cried out in pain as he felt the whip on his back.

The next time was of her brother in her father's office. He was treating him just like she treated her. It was weird for her to see this, but it was also good. Good to see that it wasn't her fault that she was treated this way by her father. It was just because of who he was.

The ghost held out his hand and they went back to her house and then disappeared. She shook her head and felt a tear slide down her face at the way that Jarod was treated. She hated to admit it, but he was her friend when she was a child. The only one that cared about her and it hurt her to see how he was treated if she wasn't there.

~~~~~*~~~~~~

She turned around and saw another ghost.

"Ghost of Christmas future?"

The ghost nodded and they were whisked off to a grave. The inscription said Sydney and his birth and death dates.

"Sydney was shot because he could no longer control Jarod."

The next scene was of Jarod in his cell crying. "Why Sydney? Why did you have to die?"

"They didn't tell Jarod the real truth of why Sydney died just that he died. They are planning to take all of Jarod's memories away and make him a proper pretender once again."

The next second was of Jarod being led to a chair that had arm and leg bracelets on it. He fought, but he was no match for the burley sweepers that had a hold of him.

The next scene was of a much younger Jarod and he too was doing his simulation.

"This is Jarod's young clone. As you can see he was older when you tried to help him escape. He never left because Jarod was never on the outside and Jarod never knew that they had a clone of him. Gemini has never left Donoterase because Mr. Raines didn't want anybody to know that he had him.

Miss Parker saw a faint bruise on the young mans face and she knew that it was because of Mr. Raines. She remembered when she was with Gemini he had told her that Mr. Raines hit him sometimes. She looked into Gemini's eyes and saw that they too were blank looking. It was like he didn't care what was going on.

"Do you see now? What you gave to the world? Without visiting Sydney you made him bitter and angry. Without visiting Jarod you made him not want to leave and experience what was taken from him. He would have taken the boy away from all his misery when he was younger, but now Gemini's fate is the same as Jarod's fate."

She nodded to the ghost and he held out his hand. They were back to her house.

"Remember you do make a difference in people's lives, Miss Parker. No matter how little, or how big." The ghost said as he disappeared.

~~~~~*~~~~~

She awoke and looked around. She wiped the tear away from her cheek that had fallen. The ghosts had opened her eyes to what other people's lives would have been if she wasn't there and for that she was glad to be alive. She closed her eyes for a second and then the phone rang. She smiled at the phone knowing who it was.

"Merry Christmas, Jarod." She smiled as she said it.

There was a minute's hesitation. "Merry Christmas, Miss Parker." Jarod replied surprised to hear that she was cheerful.

They talked a little while longer and then they hung up. She got up the next day refreshed. She got ready and then grabbed the presents that she had gotten for everyone in her life. She frowned because she didn't have a present for Jarod. She wished that she could give him something because she knew that he would give her something for Christmas. She then smiled as she went to the closet. She had forgotten that she had gotten some candy for Debbie. It was an assortment of Pez and Pez candy. She wrapped it and put Jarod's name on it and sat it on the table. She had gotten Debbie some other stuff and she knew that she would not miss the candy.

When she got home a note was on the table and so was a present.

Miss Parker,

Thank you for the Pez and candy they are my favorite. I hope that you like your present.

J

She opened it up and saw that it was an angel. The angel was reaching for the stars and one foot was on the ground. She loved it and took it out of the box and sat it on the table. She smiled as she admired the gift that not only he had given her, but the gift that the ghosts had given her.

The End