Part: 1 of 1
Characters: Jarod/Miss Parker
Warnings: Adult Content PG13
SPOILERS: Only if you haven't seen the episodes and previous movie.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Pretender characters or anything about them so don’t sue me.
Summary: Its the 5th anniversary of Tommies death, and Parker prepares to grieve in her usual fashion. Jarod is concerned she hasn't come to terms with the pain after so long, and decides a little therapy is required. Theme Song : Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
Parker, you are going to regret this in the morning.
She ignored the voice in her head, hand mostly steady as she topped up her glass. Not the finest single malt, but she wanted to save the good stuff. Tonight was about numbing the pain, and memories. She welcomed the burn down her throat, setting the glass down on the table, rested her head on her arms and stared into the fire.
She had sat here earlier, crying, holding her favourite of his red flannel shirts to her face. Crying because he was gone, but mostly because the shirt had finally lost the smell of him. It broke her heart all over again.
Losing him had been the second worst day of her life, and finding out the Center had been behind it had broken something in her soul. She knew this, just as she knew the anger and the pain she wrapped around the broken piece was all that was holding her together. When you hold on so hard for so long, its damn near impossible to let go.
Blinking more tears away, she stared in to the flames, replaying her favourite memories over and over again so few, such precious few memories Sloshing more whisky into the glass, the bottle satisfyingly light, and the alcohol buzz was making her head spin. Resting on her arms again, she closed her eyes, shoulders and back shaking with restrained emotion, and she let out one choked muffled cry.
Jarod stood at the window, watching through a crack in the curtains. He knew Parker would never get over Tommies death, but he was concerned. She was wound so damn tight, and didn't seem able to let go of any of the pain, and it was clearly tearing her up. It was time something was done. He had made sure Broots and Sydney were occupied for the evening. No one else was likely to disturb her on this day of all days.
Letting himself in the back door Tommy had given him a key, making his way to the doorway, he stopped, watching her, listening to her harsh tortured breathing. She was speaking low and angrily to the air, and to his vast amusement, threw her head back, shoving the glass into the air as if to toast and said clearly "FUCK YOU UNIVERSE!"
"Such language Miss Parker!"
Parker jumped in shock, whisky splashing out of the glass how in HELL had Jarod got inside her house.? Did she just imagine the featherlight caress on the back of her neck?
Jarod leaned against the mantlepiece, eyes hooded, that annoying everpresent cocky grin firmly in place. He dangled a key in front of her, before tucking it in a pocket, grin widening at her annoyed expression.
"Why are you here?" oh god was she slurring her speech?
"I know what today is, what Tommy meant to you. I want to help"
Choking back a sob, Parker snarled at him "he's dead, goddamit, how can you possibly help that?"
Crossing to the couch, Jarrod sat down, reaching to draw her up to sit next to him. Keeping hold of both her hands, he looked gently at her ravaged face "Parker, you need to let him go, Tommy and your mother. I know that losing them was worst of things thats happened to you, but this anger and pain you keep locked up, its hurting you. Its not letting you heal"
Surprised at this unexpected compassion, she gazed up at him how did he know? how did he *always* know how she felt? Angry too, because he was telling her things she didn't want to hear, didn't want to admit to herself. It was her deepest secret.
Temper bought Parker to her feet, throwing off his hands, to pace a little unsteadily it must be said up and down in front of the fire. Angry, she was angry now, and well in the grip of the alcohol what right did he have to say this to her, to judge her, to weigh her pain? "I've lost the two people in the world who I loved, and who truly loved me. And the Centre took both of them away, to control them or me" spinning to face him she spat "how could you, the boy who has been alone all his life, possibly understand that kind of loss?"
Ohmigod, did she just say that? Those are not words that should be said face to face, out loud. Or ever.
Jarod flinched, gasping as if the words drew physical pain. His head dropped into his hands for a moment, as she stood frozen with the horror of what she had just said, words that could never be unsaid.
Uncoiling, crossing in quick angry sides, he grabbed her by the shoulders, his face ugly with pain and anger. Parkers dulled brain realised she was seeing something new, Jarod had actually lost his temper. His hands crushing her arms painfully, she wanted to say something, anything but the expression on his face frightened her.
His breathing was heavy, his jaw flexing as his teeth gritted "The Centre took EVERYTHING away from me! my life, my family. I never had the opportunity to experience the love that you are are selfindulgently wallowing over. And if I had, I would treasure it and hold it close and dear and precious. Not torture myself with cheap whisky and a sobfest!"
He shook her, snapping her head back "Why Parker? why do you shape this pain into a knife and carve your own soul into shreds with it? Would Tommy want you to remember him like this?
How? how did he see inside her so clearly? how did he know how her pain was shaped? Why was he asking her to face this, her deepest secret?
Tossing her head in evasion, she stepped back, his hands still encircling her arms, til her back was against the wall and there was no escape. No escaping the demand in his eyes, the anger at her words the old old pain of their shared histories.
Her voice stuttered "I...I...no I can't!" Another shake and headsnap, another demand "Why Parker, why won't you let them go?" Her tear streaked face rose to his, her eyes haunted and glazed with the alcohol his heart twisted to force her to face this, to face such a deep truth and when she spoke in the voice of that lost little girl inside, he nearly faltered
"Both my mother and Tommy were taken by the Centre. Both of them loved me, and Tommy was killed to control me. How could I possibly allow myself to love anyone again, knowing this? How could I ever put an innocent life at risk again?"
His voice was deep and controlled "Thats not the reason" His thumbs bruising her arms "Say it!" She is panting, light quick frightened breaths oh god he is going to make me say it, make it *real* Her face is strained, she turns it away, hair falling in a curtain,
"If I let them go, then I *will* be truly alone. Now and for always. Cold, lonely and alone." Her voice a harsh whisper "I have no choice, I cannot risk otherwise"
Jarod heaves a sigh of relief, getting her this far was the aim, though he could hope for more, for her to solve the one last remaining puzzle. He gathers her into his arms, comforting now. Knowing she needs time to process, he leans his shoulder up against the wall, thankful something solid is holding them both up.
His embrace is warm and surprisingly gentle, given the words and emotions exchanged. Parker relaxes, realising he was right, she had been holding on too tight, had been afraid to let go, afraid to admit it afraid to be alone and lonely
The whisky had a good hold of her now, and it sparked her temper, pushing her out of his arms, her turn to challenge, to question "Why the hell do you care anyway, you just told me the Centre destroyed your life, and I am the Centre! Why do you even care?"
She expected the anger she saw in his face, but the other emotion confused her, she couldn't quite identify it.
Uncertain, she stepped away, back against the wall and he followed, this time a bruising grip to her jaw, forcing her face up towards him, the line of his mouth tight and his voice husky "god Parker, you still don't get it do you?" Blinking, trying to clear her head of the whisky fog, staring up at him. They were so close, her body pressed against the length of his, jaw captured in his grip, neck at a painful angle.
Neither moved, but there was an indefinable shift, her body registering it before her clouded mind. The length of long hard masculine body pressed up against hers was Jarod's, but her mental image of him was from before he left the Centre, an immature and inexperienced boy. The boy had grownup, and from what her body was telling her, totally got with the program.
He felt it too, it was reflected in his eyes, that emotion she still couldn't identify "Why do I care ?" The grip on her jaw softened, now a caress of the thumb and down the line of her neck. Confusion held her still, and the kiss he planted on her lips stunned her. Her mind blank, her body responding her back arching into the embrace, lips opening under his, the hot delight of his tongue, his taste dark and exciting
He pulled back, eyes hooded, smug grin tugging at one corner of that mouth. The expression on his face was one she had never seen before "Don't you see it Parker? there is no peace for my soul, til there is peace for yours" It was his deepest secret
Before she had time to process those astonishing words, he claimed another kiss, hot and demanding.
She was glad the wall was there to hold the both of them up