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What a name hides part 1
By Stefi

Disclaimer: The characters Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod, Broots etc. and the fictional Centre, are all property of MTM, TNT and NBC Productions and used without permission. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.

This is the first story I wrote and in those days, in Italy, we were stopped to the third season. My knowledge about what was happening in 'the Pretender' serie was given to me by reading the stories of several authors of fanfics. That's why you'll find mistakes and omissions. Besides, English is not my first language.
And now, let's begin.

What a name hides part 1
By Stefi

"I've found nothing about our mothers" Jarod's voice was tired and discouraged through the phone. "I've searched for all over but.. nothing. The Centre hides well its traces." He sighed and Miss Parker sighed as well.
"Neither Broots has found anything. He's snooped all day in the files of my father and Raines but..." Another sigh.
"I was thinking.. " began Miss Parker, holding the phone tight "-but maybe it's silly.. "
Jarod giggled "You're never silly, Parker. Tell me"
Parker breathed slowly. "My name.. and your mother's name.. well.. it's the same one"
"Margaret" whispered Jarod.
Parker almost 'felt' him nodding his head.
"And I was thinking.. " she continued "maybe my mother has called me.. after yours" Another slow breath "This can be.. it could mean that.. maybe they were close, closer than we think"
"Yeah. I was thinking 'bout it, me too. That's why I'm trying to reach for Harriet-"
"Yep. Remember, the woman that helped me to find Kyle and my mother, in Boston"
"Oh yes, I do" Parker rubbed her eyes.
"Harriet was you mother's schoolmate and she could know something, but I haven't found her yet"

Silence. Sigh.
"How's your father?" Jarod asked.
Parker smiled bitterly. (Father?)
"The same. News from Ethan?"
"No, not yet."
Sigh. Silence.
(He must be really tired) thought Parker (Why he doesn't hang up?)
"I'm sorry, Miss Parker."
"For what?"
"For everything. Life is really unfair with you."
She shook her head "It's not kind with you, neither and then it isn't life, Jarod. It's the Centre."
"Yeah. The Centre has made a real mess with our lives."
"Uh-uh" she nodded.
"Well, I think I'll go to sleep, Parker. Maybe tomorrow will be different."
"Yes, maybe." Parker didn't want to hang up and to be alone with her voices.
"Go to sleep, you too."
"Okay." Her voice was a little sad.
"Goodnight, Parker"
"'Night, Jarod."
To sleep. Easy to say! She was exhausted but her mind was in full activity, as if a thousand lights were on in her brain. And the voices. God, the voices!
Since the day Parker had learned about her gift, the Inner Sense, there was always a chorus in her mind.
Sometimes the voices were strong and loud, sometimes just a whisper, but always, always in her mind.
They talked, yelled, whispered and Parker had a continuous headache. She tried to listen and understand but she didn't succeed and this scared her.
She was scared every time she wasn't in control.
She turned herself to the computer and checked once again files, DSA, old floppy disk, everything Broots had found about Catherine Parker and Margaret Russell.
It wasn't much, really. The Centre had arranged that nothing could lead to it. But Parker examined all over again. Certificates, documents, even old school-reports (The Centre really snoops everywhere) she thought absentmindedly.
Her fingers almost flew through the keyboard as she checked and searched for answers in Internet.
(Useless job. Jarod has already checked everything)
But it had to be something, some answers, even if only one.
The buzz in her head was increasing and Parker tried to relax her neck and shoulders.
"If only they let me rest..." she whispered, looking at one herself younger, on the screen.
One herself really younger, only few weeks old, pinky and puffy, with two vivid blue eyes that looked at the world almost defiantly.
Parker read:
Margaret Parker
Born: 01/03/60

Her birth certificate.
How odd. Those who work for the Centre become invisible, non-existent.
And yet she was still in the registry-office's database.
"Okay, and then?"
(And then, the Centre has made a mistake) Parker's eyes opened wide. One of the voices? Or a simple thought hopped up through the mess of her mind?
She stared the photo as the strangest feeling she felt in her whole life was taking over her.
It was almost as if she was sucked in that picture and she barely realized that her right hand was moving on the mouse.
The little arrow on the screen moved, then it stopped.
"Change personal data" Click.
01/22/60 ---Change first name

Parker gasped. "My first name was changed?!"
The little arrow moved again.
"Previous first name" Click.

Once again the arrow moved.
"By request of" Click.
Parker, Patrick: father

Parker passed her fingers through her hair
"What it means? What the means?"
She stroke her temples and breathed slowly. She tried to regain the focus, pacing back and forth.
(My father changed my first name. No. Not changed. Altered. It's a non-sense. Margaret or Margaretha, it's the same!) She leaned on the wall.
(Once emigrants changed their names in order to hide their origin) Parker shook her head.
This happened after the second world war. She was born in the Sixties. No sense.
Why to change a name officially? Not even a month from her birth and Mr. Parker ran to the registry-office. Because of two letters. Why?
(Surely not a whim) stated Parker (Knowing him as I know him there was a definitive reason for this.)
But what reason? What secret hid her name?
(Margaretha... Margaretha.. )
And something began to seethe from the bottom of her mind.
The voices yelled wildly and Parker fought to refuse them and let come out that something... what it was?...a memory...a picture?...a picture, yes...
a little girl...

...a little girl, 2-3 years old, searches in an old basket full of toys. She takes one and put it aside, then another toy over the previous, building a shaky pile made of dolls and teddy bears. She takes another thing, an old picture, black and white, yellowed by time. On the back, an elegant and old-fashioned handwriting.
"Mommy, who's this lady?" Catherine Parker looks up from her book and smiles.
"Let me see, sweetheart" The little girl gives the photo to her mother. A shadow passes in Catherine's eyes.
"Where have you found this?"
"In my toys basket. Who's this woman? I don't know her." The smile of the mother becomes sad.
"She is...was...your grandmother." The child looks at the photo: a woman still young, blond hair, bright eyes, smiling widely. "Why she's not here?"
Catherine sighs "Oh darling, she's gone."
"She's in Heaven, then."
CRAAAASHH!! The toys are all over and the child run to save her dolls...

Parker opened up her eyes, trying to catch her breath. She was shivering as the sweat covered her forehead.
Margaretha. Was the woman's name? Parker tried to remember: her mother didn't say it, right?
And the picture? Where had it end up? She didn't see it anymore.
There was something more. Parker shut her eyes trying to recreate the image in her mind. Nothing.
It was faint and out of focus. Only the woman's face was clear, a face ... unknown yet so familiar.

(Maybe in mommy's study) She licked her dry lips, passing her fingers through the hair, and she began to search. Her mother's desk, the drawers, the books, Parker checked everything, quickly but carefully. All the photos album, the letters, she searched everywhere and when there was nothing else to check, she came back to the desk, the drawers, the books.
"Nothing, nothing, nothing." cried Parker. She was on the verge of panic and tears.
"SHUT UP!!" she yelled at the voices torturing her mercilessly. "Please....I...I don'" Parker stared the ceiling. "God, please...let them stop" she pleaded.
Suddenly, a word sounded clear to her. (Sydney!)
She stood up, not worrying to find out the origin of the thought, it didn't care. Sydney could help her, she was sure of it, he wouldn't allow the voices to hurt her.
She took her coat and the car keys and without even turning off the lights, she went out in the dark.

End of part 1


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