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A/N: In the Pilot episode, Miss Parker mentions Onisius, the Greek god of retribution. Upon searching the internet on this fact, I have found that the god of retribution is actually a goddess named Nemesis. I have decided to keep Onisius for the purpose of keeping the story straight. But, just so you know. g OK, I think there’s just one more thing. The raven who says “nevermore”, mentioned in this chapter, is from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”.
THANK YOU!! To Janna, my roommate who knows just enough the Pretender to help me learn more about writing!
BIG KUDOS TO Em, Anna, and Jay for help on getting ideas, running through different scenarios, and for all kinds of advice!! I really couldn’t have done it without you!!
Alright, I turn you loose to my first fanfic! Enjoy! Please, Read/Review for me, please? I’m still a fanfic writer in training. g Thanks!!
A Different Kind of Pretend
Disclaimer: The Pretender and all its characters, insanity, and questions (with no answers, might I add) in the episodes and movies are not mine, blah, blah, blah. I’m just a college student learning the fine art of writing while trying to express my own artistic ability in the way of Pretender fanfiction. If you sue, all you’ll get will be my textbooks, notes, and frustration.
CHAPTER 1: A Dangerous Encounter
Jarod sighed, exhausted. It was going to be a lonnnnnnnng night. He closed the door to another lonely evening and leaned tiredly against the hotel room wall, closing his eyes for just a moment before gathering enough strength to drag himself over to the bed. He sat down, sliding the silver Halliburton briefcase under the bed. With another tired sigh, the rest of him fell to the bed with a soft thump and his eyes closed once more to claim what was his -- sleep. Now if only he could have just one night of dreamless sleep.
It was dark, save for a solitary light in front of him. Looking around, all he could see were square shadows, like boxes stacked on top of one another. He heard voices passing him. The loudest voice sounded vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t pinpoint where he had heard the voice before. He heard his name and impulsively shrank back. The words were indistinct as they faded. The single light faded with the voices.
The light slowly returned, highlighting a raven cawing on a distant tree branch. Jarod could hear it repeating, “Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore.” He frowned thoughtfully. Nevermore? What does it mean? Before he could respond, the raven flew over Jarod, dropping an origami figurine as it passed. Upon further scrutiny, he recognized it as Onisius, the Greek god of retribution. Again the light faded to black, but he felt the origami paper transform into feathers. Life seemed to change the still feathers in his hand into a growing, struggling bird. Startled, he lets go of it. It flies away and returns seconds later to land on his shoulder. He stares at it as it turns its head to gaze its soul-less eyes at his.
Jarod bolted awake. What a nightmare. So real, so vivid, so... disturbing. What did it all mean? He looked at his hands. They were shaking. He heard a noise at the door. Blearily, he looked at his watch. Who would want him at 2 in the morning? He slowly got up, making his way to the door as the scratching continued. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes. As he started to open the door, he began to get a sinking feeling and paused. Taking his hand off the doorknob, he quietly moved back to the bed and reached under. His hand touched the handle of the Halliburton. Pulling it out, he got up and went to the bathroom, where the fire escape was located just outside, and unlocked and opened the window. He guided the case gently down the wall until it rested on the landing. Closing the window most of the way, he left the bathroom. He set aside the sinking feeling, figuring it was just post-nightmare jitters, and went to the door.
"Who’s th- Huh?!?!?" Miss Parker's smug smirk stared back at him. Jarod was taken aback. Instinctively he frantically backed up. He was wide awake now, his heart pumping rapidly.
Miss Parker advanced as fast as he retreated. "Yes!" she cried out in triumph, a flathead screwdriver in hand. She invaded his latest lair with sweepers following. "Finally, I catch you off guard! No more 3 a.m. calls to mock me, no more mystery packages filled with clues to uncover," she crowed, sending shivers of dread down Jarod's spine.
Jarod looked around for means of escape, noticing sweepers had surrounded him while his attention was on Miss Parker. Oh crap he thought. Crap crap crap crap crap. He mentally went through his options, most of which would end up with him getting hurt if not dead. The last option, though, was a possibility. Jarod inwardly sighed, figuring it was worth a shot.
Miss Parker grinned in delight as Jarod's body language revealed his despair. She nodded to two sweepers who grabbed each of Jarod’s arms. "Are you going to make this easy or hard? I can go either way. The difference between the two, however, is the amount of hurt you'll be subjecting yourself to." She walked nearer to the pretender and pressed her Smith and Wesson to the side of his head. "Well?"
Jarod sighed in surrender. "Okay, Miss Parker. You win. I'll go quietly. Could I have a last request, though?"
Miss Parker smirked. "You can ask, but there are no guarantees."
"I need to use the facilities first." Jarod looked into Miss Parker's eyes pleadingly.
Miss Parker laughed at him. "Sure, as soon as sweepers inspect for any possible escape routes first." She gestured for two more to investigate. Nodding, they went. “In the meantime, however...” She pulled out a set of handcuffs, smirking. “Hold out your hands.”
Prodded by the gun aimed at him and a pair of sweepers keeping their firm grasp of him, Jarod sighed and did as he was told.
Miss Parker grabbed each of his wrists and deftly clicked the cuffs in the lock position on each wrist. “This should hinder any escape attempts,” she smugly said. For a minute Jarod didn’t answer.
Finally, Jarod spoke up quietly. “Are we always going to be like this?”
Not expecting Jarod to speak, Miss Parker raised an eyebrow. “Are we always going to be like what? You run, I chase?” She snorted. “Not after I deliver you back to the Centre.”
Jarod looked her in the eye. “Do you really think they’ll let you go just because I’d be back? Think again, Miss Parker. They’ll own you until you’re dead.. that is, unless you fight back.”
Miss Parker let out an exasperated sigh and glared at the pretender. “And how am I supposed to do THAT, boy genius? No one can fight the Centre and live.”
Jarod looked deeply into Miss Parker’s eyes. “Come with me, Miss Parker. We were friends once.” Jarod’s voice took on a sad tone. “I still remember that little girl who kept my spirits up when times were tough.”
Miss Parker’s exasperated face softens. “You know I can’t do that, Jarod.” Her voice was barely audible.
“Remember, Miss Parker. I can help, but you have to first let go. A drowning man can’t be helped until he stops struggling.”
Her face hardened. “So now I’m drowning, is that it?” She shot back, her face once again as stone.
Jarod’s once hopeful face fell. He looked straight in Miss Parker’s eyes and bluntly replied, “If you don’t stop struggling, both you and I will drown.”
She retorted, “If I were you, I’d stop worrying so much about me and more about your own sorry little – “
"It's clear, Miss Parker," a tall but slim, black-haired sweeper reported. The sweepers were back.
"Good,” she replied, turning to the sweeper who had spoken. "Now sweep this apartment. Maybe we can take home a two-for-one bonus in the form of the DSA's." She smirked at Jarod, who turned his head away, and gloated. Again nodding, the sweepers obeyed. "You can go, but with an escort. I'm not going to take my chances of you escaping." Gesturing with her weapon for Jarod to move, she, Jarod, and the two sweepers guarding him made their way to the bathroom.