The meeting by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or any of its characters.

Miss Parker stumbled into the kitchen, somewhat over intoxicated, but it was, or had just been, the anniversary of Thomas's death.

She was looking for a glass of water, and the light switch, though, she supposed, she'd ought to be looking for the light switch first, and then the glass of water, and veered back around to the door and felt for the switch on the wall.

The light would take a moment, as it always did, so she turned back around in the mean time, and reminded herself that she'd come for a glass of water. She was thirsty. After all, that was the reason she'd come down from the guestroom upstairs in the first place, though, why she'd been sleeping in the guestroom when she had a perfectly good bedroom of her own wasn't so clear.

She heard the sound of the light and the room brightened what seemed like instantly, and she took in the sight of the boy standing directly in front of her, wondering for a moment how drunk she actually was and mentally kicking herself.

The boy could have been anything, a burglar, a maniac, a mass murderer, a rapist. She cut that thought short when she realised that they knew each other and that he must have come to her for help, or the likes. "What's wrong, baby?" she asked, and then, as though it had only just dawned on her, she added, "Ain't you supposed to be older?"

The boy just stared at her, shivering a bit.

She wondered why he looked so grubby, and then she got a closer look at his face and noticed that he'd concussed himself and hoped that it hadn't been on account of criminal activity. "Oh, my Lord, just what have you gone and done to yourself now?" she commented. "Just look at your eyes."

She stepped forward and lifted his chin to get a better look at his eyes, wondering again just how he'd managed to concuss himself, and smoothing his hair down a bit to make him seem more presentable in case they needed to see a doctor so that they wouldn't immediately suspect him of criminal behaviour, or, at the very least, they'd assume her unwitting.

She didn't have extra-terrestrial contacts who she'd be able to call for help just by thinking it, or something, and have them zap her out of jail, quick as a whip. Plus, she strongly suspected that she was drunk, something the law was known to take a dim view of.

She took her hands back, noting to herself that it was, in fact, concussion, and stared at the blood on her hand, all mixed up with dirt. She returned her gaze to the boy swiftly, and frowned. "Is that how you concussed yourself, sweetheart? You hit your head?" she asked.

The boy didn't reply, so she decided she'd just have to take a look for herself, in case it was bad. She picked a bit of dead grass or weed out of his hair, and sighed heavily. It didn't look good.

"It's all bunged up, sweetheart. I think you're gonna need a doctor to see it," she told him.

He turned to face her abruptly. "I wanna stay with you," he said, not looking at her.

She frowned. "That's okay, baby. I don't think you're old enough to drive, see, so I'd have to take you in to see the doctor, anyway."

"I'm seventeen," the boy said.

"Right, see, you don't look seventeen," Miss Parker told him. "You see how I can easily make that mistake, sweetheart?"

"I don't think you should drive," he said.

Miss Parker nodded. "I see that, baby. I do. And you're right. Maybe I should just call Sydney, he's like a doctor, see."

"It's late," the boy told her, widening his eyes at the floor.

Miss Parker nodded again. "But you hit your head pretty bad there, sweetheart. I'd just feel a whole lot safer myself if I had a doctor look at it first."

As she was watching, his eyes turned in his head and he started to lean forward, as though to fall, but she stepped in quickly to catch him.

"I had a bit to drink, if you know what I mean," Miss Parker explained to Sydney, glancing at him as they walked away from the front door. "A bit too much." She nodded, and glanced at the blood on her hand.

"I understand," Sydney replied. Though, she didn't think he did understand. She didn't think he'd understand if she told him an alien she'd met as a 17-year-old had just reappeared, looking exactly the same age as he had then, and with a nasty concussion to add to the list.

To her relief, the boy was right where she'd left him, on the sofa, when she'd gone to phone Sydney and then again when she'd walked to the door to let Sydney inside the house.

"He hit his head pretty bad," she explained, offering Sydney a look at her hand. "That's from his head. It's his. Plus, his eyes are all funny, kinda outta shape, like he's concussed or somethin'." She nodded, and returned her attention to Sydney's face. "I really appreciate this, too. I really appreciate you comin' out here at this time and all that."

Sydney nodded. "What is his name?" he asked, glancing at the boy sleeping on the sofa.

Miss Parker tossed her head. "No clue."

Sydney frowned. "How do you know this boy, Miss Parker?"

"He just kinda showed up," she explained, "if you know what I mean. I mean, I dunno, maybe he was sellin' cookies, like for one of those fundraiser things, and he got lost and the cookies got lost, but not in the same place, see, and then he saw my house and he thought, you know, that he'd ask for directions or what not."

Sydney glanced at the boy. "I see," he replied.

Miss Parker nodded. She darted forward and knelt down on the floor to shake the boy awake. "Wake up, baby, Sydney's here now. He's gonna take a look at your head and see if you're alright, okay?"

The boy turned around to face her and sat up.

"Will that be okay, sweetheart?" she asked, peering into his face. "Sydney's here," she repeated. "He's gonna take a look at your head and make sure you're okay."

"Okay," the boy agreed.

"Do you have a name, sweetheart?" she asked suddenly. "It's just that Sydney wants to know," she told him as though it were a secret between the two of them.

"Bobby," the boy replied.

Miss Parker smiled. "That's my brother's old name, did you know that? But he has a new name now, so it doesn't really matter." She turned to glance at Sydney, and Sydney walked over, then she got up and stood next to Sydney.

Sydney frowned, and glanced at Miss Parker, and then back to Bobby.

"I ain't sayin' anythin'," Miss Parker told him, and smiled at Bobby.

"My name is Sydney," Sydney introduced himself. "Do you think it would be alright if I took a look at your head, ah…?"

"Bobby," Bobby replied, glancing at Miss Parker.

She smiled again.

"Okay," he said, disinterested.

Sydney nodded. "Your friend here says that you hit your head. Is that right?"

Bobby frowned. "I think so," he replied, looking at Miss Parker again, and then looking back to Sydney.

"Alright," Sydney agreed.

When Sydney had finished his examination of Bobby's head wound, Miss Parker and he walked into the kitchen for a cup of coffee.

"I think you should have left him where he was, Miss Parker," Sydney told her in a lowered voice, shooting her a serious glance.

Miss Parker frowned. "What, do you think it was bad that I moved him?" she asked, worried. "He just kind of passed out, I mean, and I didn't want to leave him on the floor because it's, well, you know, it's cold."

Sydney frowned seriously. "It's obvious that he's a clone, Miss Parker," he told her.

Miss Parker narrowed her eyes. "What? No! That's," she shook her head, "that's ridiculous. Not everything's like on Stargate: SG-1, Sydney. I bet he just doesn't age the same way we do. The way humans do, I mean."

Sydney stared at her, confused.

Miss Parker turned away to switch the coffee machine on and get it started. "Hey, sweetheart," She called into the other room loudly, "is there somethin' I can fix you to drink?"

"Could I have a glass of water, please?" Bobby asked, from the doorway.

Sydney looked at him quickly.

Miss Parker turned away from the coffee machine. "Sure, sweetheart. I can get you a glass of water if you like."

Bobby stared at the floor.

Miss Parker walked to the cupboards and took out a glass and filled it at the kitchen tap. "Here you go, sweetheart," she told him, handing him the glass of water.

Bobby looked up from the floor and took the glass. "Thank you," he replied.

"That's alright, sweetheart." She turned back to Sydney and rolled her eyes, before turning back to Bobby. "Now, you ain't on the run from the law or somethin' are you now, sweetheart?" she asked him.

Bobby stared at the floor, widening his eyes. "No," he said.

Miss Parker nodded. "I hope not," she told him.

Bobby handed her back the glass. "Thank you for the water," he told her.

"Hey," Miss Parker told him suddenly, taking the glass from him, "that don't mean you can go yet. Sydney's gotta get that thing on your head cleaned up, and I want you to get some sleep before you go using none of those alien powers of yours to call your buddies, you hear me, hmm?"

Bobby stared at her, frowning strangely. "Okay," he said.

"There's a television set! Isn't that just neat! My stars, I'm all excited now!"

Bobby's eyes widened suddenly and he turned to face the door.

The four-year-old grinned. "You see that television set in there, Bobby? I'm real excited, I am!"

"We seen television before, Baby," Bobby told the younger child with wide eyes.

The little boy's eyes widened. "There's people!"

"I see that, Baby," Bobby agreed.

"They look kinda angry and mean," Baby said. "What you do, Bobby? You didn't do nothin' bad now, did ya?"

"They ain't angry and mean," Bobby defended. "They staring at you, wondering what you doin' 'ere, and where you come from!"

"You bashed your 'ead, Bobby, you ain't thinking straight."

"Wha' 's 'at mean?" Bobby asked, annoyed.

"You thinkin' squiggly-like, I reckon," Baby told him.

"You jus' bein' mean now," Bobby said. "You jus' a little ole mean thing, you are."

Bobby rolled his eyes. "I'm so mean!"

"Yes you are!"

"You 'it your 'ead, Bobby." Baby nodded. "I think somethin' comed dislodged."

Bobby stared at him. "Why you gotta be so mean, huh?"

"I want chips, that's why!" Baby told him. "And I don't see no chips, I just see mean and angry people."

"You jus' think everyone is mean an' angry, don't you, Baby?"

"That's right!" Baby agreed. "And I just think you is mean and angry too!"

"Well I am!" Bobby told the younger child. "Cos you ain't havin' no chips, and you ain't watching none o' that television none, either."

Baby made a face and stomped his foot. "I'm gon' scream!" he threatened.

"You go on and scream to your heart's content," Bobby said. Then he crossed his arms and turned to face Miss Parker and Sydney, who were staring at the little child who looked exactly like Miss Parker had when she'd been that same age, save for the curly hair. "That's Baby," Bobby explained. "'E's got a temper on 'im sometimes, but 'e's a good kid."

Baby stomped his foot loudly behind Bobby. "I isn't no good kid! I'm bad! I'm real bad!"

Bobby rolled his eyes. "'E likes to play it up for the ladies, if you know wha' I mean," he confided.

Bobby made a face, eyes wide.

Bobby smiled.

"I just 'ate you, now!" Baby declared.

Bobby rolled his eyes. "'E 'ate's me now."

"C' we watch TV, ma'am?" Baby asked, walking over to Miss Parker. "I don't think I ever seen TV before. I mean, not switched on an' all, ma'am, and you look like a kin', generous person to me, ma'am, the sort o' person who'll give a person a chance, I mean."

Miss Parker stared at the little boy.

Bobby frowned and walked over. "Baby likes to talk real pretty, but 'e ain't gon' do nothin' 'bout it," he said, glancing at the younger boy.

"I is too!" Baby disputed. "I gon' ask this little lady here," he frowned. "My apologies, ma'am." He glared at Bobby. "I gon' ask the lady of the 'ouse 'ere if she gon' let me watch her big ole television in there."

Bobby rolled his eyes. "She won't," he told Baby. "You know there ain't a thing on at this hour, just station close, Baby."

Baby made a face. "I gon' ask anyway."

Bobby shrugged.

Baby glanced up at Miss Parker.

"I think it's a bit late for television really," she told him.

Baby frowned. "But I don't mind."

"I think you should be in bed, honey." She nodded. "And you too, Bobby."

Baby laughed.

Bobby rolled his eyes. "Sydney gotta look at my 'ead first," he said.

Miss Parker frowned, and nodded. "You're right, of course. I guess I'll just take your brother up to bed first," she said.

Baby made a face and grabbed Bobby's hand quickly. "I isn't goin' without my brother," he said. "He could die, and I wouldn't have gotten to say farewell."

"'Farewell,' Baby?" Bobby asked. "I ain't gon' die."

Baby made a face. "I don't trust you."

Bobby rolled his eyes, and looked at Miss Parker. "'E's scared of the dark, even when there's a light on."

Baby kicked him in the shin.

Bobby smiled.

Baby scowled.

"That really needs to be seen by a proper doctor, and some stitches put in," Sydney told Miss Parker in a low voice, after cleaning up the wound in Bobby's head, Baby holding onto his hand tightly all the while, as though he was going to get up and walk out.

Miss Parker frowned, considering what Sydney had said, and glanced at Baby when she noticed he was crying.

Bobby rolled his eyes. "I'm not going to die, you baby!" he said obviously.

Baby punched him in the leg.

Bobby shook his head, and looked at Miss Parker.

Baby sniffed and hugged him which must have meant that he didn't really want him to die after all.

Miss Parker nodded and sighed. "I'm going to have to agree with Sydney on this one," she said, and turned to glance at Sydney.

Sydney drove them over to the hospital in his car, and stayed in the car to wait for their return.

Baby waved goodbye to him as they were walking away, toward the hospital's emergency entrance.

Bobby made a face and slouched. "I don't think it'd really be classed as an emergency, or anything," he said, depressed.

Miss Parker didn't say anything, and they kept walking.

"How did this happen then, young man?" the doctor asked, as he was examining the wound.

"I fell over when I was skating. I know I should have been wearing a helmet, but it's really uncool, and hardly any of the other kids do," Bobby explained.

Baby stuck his tongue out at him, and looked at the doctor. "He was supposed to be at school but he went to the skate park instead," he said. "He's grounded!"

The doctor glanced at Miss Parker. "I can tell it's been some time," he said, "but it's still going to need sutures, I'm afraid."

Miss Parker nodded. "I just found out about it an hour ago," she said.

The doctor frowned and turned back to Baby, who was holding onto Bobby's arm tightly.

Bobby glanced at Baby too.

Baby looked at the doctor suddenly. "I want to stay!" he hollered, wide eyes going to Miss Parker.

"Is that alright, doctor?" Miss Parker asked.

The doctor sighed. "I'd prefer if he didn't," he said.

"But you'll allow it. He's very attached to his older brother. He doesn't like to go anywhere without him, and he doesn't like to miss out on anything that he thinks his brother is doing and he isn't either," she explained.

The doctor sighed again, and nodded.

Baby's eyes went wide when he saw the injection the doctor was holding and he gripped tighter to Bobby's arm.

"I'm not really allowed anaesthetic," Bobby told him, glancing at Miss Parker. "I've had it before, but I had this… thing-"

"He died!" Baby shouted. "And they had to resuscitate him! He's a zombie now!"

Bobby sighed, resigned. "It wasn't quite that dramatic," he began.

"Fifteen times!" Baby added loudly.

Bobby laughed, unbelieving, and rolled his eyes in exaggeration.

The doctor turned to Miss Parker in alarm.

She nodded uncomfortably.

Baby glared at the doctor.

"Is that okay?" Bobby asked.

The doctor turned back to Miss Parker, who frowned. He turned and walked over to her, and they went out of the room for a while.

When he came back, he asked Bobby if he was ready to have his stitches, and Bobby nodded, glancing at Baby.

Baby continued glaring at the doctor as though he hadn't noticed Bobby looking at him until Bobby told him that he'd have to stand over with Miss Parker.

Baby stomped off and stood next to Miss Parker, his expression angry.

On the way back to Miss Parker's house, Sydney took them through the McDonald's Drive-Thru to get French fries and coffees.

Baby ate his French fries in the car on the way back, but Bobby said he wasn't hungry and gave them to Baby.

At the door to the guestroom, Baby turned to Miss Parker. "Well, mother," he said, "I believe that this is goodnight."

Sydney frowned, glancing at Miss Parker and the little boy.

Miss Parker nodded. "Goodnight, Baby," she said, striding into the room and switching on the light. She turned back to the boys. "Now, there's only one bed, so you're going have to share."

Baby made a face. "He thinks aliens are real!" he told Miss Parker loudly. "He's mad! Why do I have to share with him? Can't he sleep on the floor instead?"

Miss Parker smiled. "No, Baby, Bobby can't sleep on the floor," she said, glancing at Bobby who'd walked over to the bed and sat down. "I don't imagine that the floor is very comfortable."

"That's okay," Baby said, "he's real used to sleeping on floors and stuff anyway."

Bobby laughed sarcastically.

Baby threw him a glare.

"I don't think so," Miss Parker replied firmly.

Baby stalked off over to the bed and climbed onto the mattress at the end of the bed and crawled underneath the blanket and lay down.

Miss Parker frowned, walking over.

"Don't you want the pillow?" Bobby asked, staring at the lump at the end of the bed.

"NO!" Baby growled in a muffled voice, from underneath the blanket.

Bobby handed her the gun from underneath the pillow. "Goodnight, Miss Parker."

She took the gun and tucked it away quickly, frowning. "Goodnight, Bobby," she said.

"GOODNIGHT, MUMMY!" Baby half-yelled.

"Goodnight, Baby," Miss Parker replied.


"Yes, Baby?"

"I love you, Mummy. I hate Bobby."

"Okay, sweetheart."

Bobby rolled his eyes, and frowned.

Miss Parker nodded and walked out. She pulled the door almost closed after her, leaving a small gap, and walked back downstairs, Sydney following her silently.

"'Mommy'?" Sydney asked, turning to face her.

"What else was I supposed to tell them?" Miss Parker asked. "That they were somebody's sick idea of a joke, of making money? A science experiment? That they don't have a real mommy? That they're freaks? What, Sydney?"

Sydney sighed and turned away from her.

She stalked off toward the front door to let him out.

She walked upstairs an hour later and walked to the guestroom. The light had been turned off. She pushed the door open slowly and walked into the room, noting that Baby was now in possession of the pillow.

"He's asleep," Bobby said quietly, and Miss Parker walked over and stopped by the bed.

"How's your head?" she asked in a low voice.

Bobby didn't say anything.

"Is that true?" Miss Parker asked quietly. "What Baby said earlier?"

Bobby stared at the blanket. "I didn't die," he said finally. "My heart stopped."

Miss Parker made a face. "Fifteen times?"

"That's what I was told," Bobby intoned blankly.

Miss Parker stood around for a couple of moments, before walking out again. She stopped at the door, but didn't turn back. "Bobby?"


"You weren't scared of the gun were you?"

"My daddy had a gun," Bobby replied. "It ain't guns that are scary, ma'am. It's the folks who are holdin' them."


"Goodnight, Miss Parker.