In vino veritas? by Chris
Part 1 by Chris
Usual fanfic disclaimers apply... I don't own them, never will, don't sue, have no money anyway (and won't get any from writing these stories..) My muse seems to be back, at least at the moment... So I have to use the moment... Even if it means to write at work *sigh* But I cannot simply ignore my muse... She's too precious!!!!

Title: In vino veritas?
by: CHris
Rated: G
Category: Spoof / Comedy
Spoilers: end of Season 4
Note: Don't take it serious, just my musing about a bad day and all the things that could possibly go wrong *bg*
Summary: Many people at Parker's house, many bottles of wine and revelation after revelation about everybody's past, present and future...

Part 1

She was sitting in front of the fire trying to forget. Forget everything about this day and the things that happened. She had heard more revelations today than she had heard in the last three years. Both Sydney and Raines had claimed to be her real father, Broots had told her that he had fallen in love with her from the first time that he had seen her and Jarod had called and told her that he was her half-brother. What else could go wrong on a day like this? More revelations? More truths coming into the open? It didn't seem possible.

Somehow she felt cold and crept nearer to the fire. The firelight shone through the glass in her hands. The liquid in it looked like the setting sun and she tried to remember when she had last watched a sunset. It seemed like centuries ago. It had been with Jarod through one of the windows at the Centre. He had kissed her afterwards and she had felt like flying. Her mother had asked her what had happened and she had told her about the kiss. Catherine had smiled back then and somehow she felt like crying now when she remembered that wise smile of her mother. Catherine had told her that Jarod was something special and that she would remember this kiss for a very long time. Parker stared at the red wine and tried to remember the way she had felt when Jarod had kissed her but she couldn't. It seemed too far away.

She got up to throw a log onto the fire and to get herself some more wine. Maybe she could forget about today. When she stood in the kitchen the doorbell rang. She looked down at herself: she was wearing only a huge shirt that once belonged to Tommy. She shrugged and opened the door. It was her dad. Dad? Well, it was Mr. Parker. He smiled and kissed her on the cheek when he entered the house.
"I don't know what he told you, but it's not true, angel. He's not your father, I am."
"Who are you talking about, daddy?"
"Raines. He's not your father. He's nobody's father. He can't produce children."
"Daddy, please."
"You still call me daddy, that makes me hope you didn't believe the madman. I've gotta go, angel."
"You only just arrived!"
Without another word he stormed out of the house again, the door falling shut behind him with a loud bang. Parker had no idea what that had supposed to have been but it seemed like a bad conclusion to what had happened the whole day through. She went back to the kitchen to get her glass then she sat down in front of the fire again.

She was just thinking about the sunset again when the phone rang. She tried to ignore it but she failed. She grabbed the phone and barked her usual "What?" into the receiver. First there was nothing. Then she heard breathing. It seemed familiar to her. Familiar from a distant past.
"Hello? Who's there?"
"Miss Parker?"
"Yes, who are you?"
Somehow she thought she sounded soft and a little like her mother.
"Angelo. Want - to tell you - something. Sydney said - he's father."
"Who's father, Angelo?"
She sounded more like her mother than herself. She thought that she had to change this.
"Angelo father. You think is true?"
"Where did you get my number Angelo? Who told you to call me?"
"Wanted to hear you. Wanted to tell you about father."
"This is wonderful, Angelo. I'm glad you found out."
"Thank you Mandy," he said and hung up.
Parker was speechless. Had he really said her name? Had she heard her real name? This day seemed like a bad dream. The only thing that was missing now was Raines at her front door or Jarod sitting on the couch when she turned around. She turned around and stared at the couch. No Jarod, nobody except herself in this house. The only noise was the cracking of the burning logs. She opened the front door to make sure that nobody was standing outside. Only the moon was shining and a distant night bird was hooting. She closed the door and locked it and turned back to the glass she had placed on the tabletop before answering the phone. It was gone. No, please not him. He was sitting on the sofa looking at her. What had she done to deserve this kind of torture? Maybe he had brought Sydney, Raines, her father and Angelo so they could celebrate a family reunion?
"What do YOU want here?"
"There were so many things going around my head. I need somebody to talk to who is familiar with the whole situation."
"Why don't you talk to Syd? He's the psychiatrist in this hell house. And he claims to be my father. So do Mr. Raines and my "real" father. Broots said he fell in love with me and Angelo called to tell me that Sydney were his father. You are supposed to be my half brother. So, who needs someone to talk to? WHY ARE YOU GRINNING?" she barked at him.
Jarod nearly fell off the couch while he tried not to laugh out loud.
"Are there more revelations I need to know about?"
"My father just left the house. He was here to tell me that Raines couldn't be my father because he "can't produce children" like he said. The only thing I'm missing now is somebody who claims to be my long lost sister or my mother or maybe someone comes up with the idea of telling me that the Centre is only a huge breeding machine and everybody's related to everyone who's working there. I wouldn't be surprised. Or maybe Debbie appears on the front step telling me that I'm her mother or something weird like this."
"Parker, you're getting sarcastic."
"But it's true. Where's my glass?"
He offered her the glass which was now empty. She sighed and went into the kitchen to get the bottle. She wondered why she wasn't pointing her gun at him. He had broken into her house, he was drinking her red wine. It would be the end of her time working for the Centre. Maybe this nightmare would end with the moment she escorted him back to the Centre. But who would call her then? Who would make her presents? Who would reveal things about her past? No, she had to play along and see what he knew. Maybe then she would hand him to those in the Centre. She poured herself a glass of wine into the glass she had just taken from the shelf and gave the bottle to Jarod who filled the glass in his hands. Was this some kind of irony that he was now using HER glass instead of a new one? Another thing to be revealed tonight? Parker sat down in front of the fire again trying to guess what Jarod would be thinking right now.

"What did you want to talk about, Jarod?"
"I'm not sure if you want to hear it."
"Everything. I've heard so many things today it doesn't matter anymore what you're going to tell me."
"Even if it's about family relations?"
"Even if it's about family relations. What have you found out?"
"Well, it's indeed Mr. Parker who's your father. At least one thing that remains as it has always been. And Sydney, well, he's both Angelo's father and my father."
"So what about you being my half-brother?"
"Sydney and your father are brothers."
"Alright, but that makes me your cousin."
"Yes, as well. But also your half-brother because I was conceived through artificial fertilization."
"This can't be true. Who knew about all this?"
"It seems that everyone except you knew about it. The files were in the Centre archives."
Parker leaned back and sighed heavily, "That leaves one question. What about Ethan?"
"He's my half brother and your real brother."
"And Angelo?"
"My real brother, your half-brother."
"And Raines?"
"Just a maneuver from your father to keep you distracted. He wanted to keep you out of this until the files were destructed completely."
"And after that?"
"He could tell you everything he wanted and you had nothing to proof that he was wrong."
The phone rang and Jarod handed her the receiver. Reluctantly she answered. It was Broots.
"Sorry to disturb you but I wanted to apologize for what I've said this morning."
"You mean it isn't true?"
"It is true but I should have never told you."
"Broots, why don't you come over to my house and we talk about it."
"But I can't leave Debbie alone."
"Bring her along."
She hung up before Broots could utter another word. Jarod looked at her and grinned. Parker didn't say anything just stared into the fire. Had she just thought that things couldn't be worse? Maybe she would wake up soon and find that this was all a bad dream. A very bad dream.

They remained in silence for a long time until the doorbell rang. Parker got up to open the door. It wasn't Broots who was standing there but Sydney. He was holding a bottle of wine in his hands.
"Haven't you brought anyone else? We're celebrating a family reunion. Come on in."
"I just wanted to check if you're alright. Your father said you're ill."
"My father? Didn't you say this morning that you were my father?"
"Yes, I was told to do so by Mr. Parker. I wanted to apologize. I have brought some wine. Maybe we could talk about it."
"Oh, we've already done a lot of talking. And we're expecting more guests to arrive. Please say hello to Jarod."
"Jarod? What are you doing here?"
"Just one of my usual visits to my half-sister. This is family business but you're cordially invited to join us. Do you know or don't you?"
"What are you talking about, Jarod?"
"Family relations," Parker and Jarod said at the same moment and grinned.
"This is no subject for jokes. I still have no idea what you're talking about."
"Let's wait for the rest to arrive. I don't want to tell everything twice in a few minutes."

The doorbell rang again and Parker opened to let Broots and Debbie in. Broots looked nervous and Debbie just stared at Miss Parker. She had no idea what to think of tonight's meeting. On one hand she was glad that she had the chance to see Miss Parker again on the other hand she was afraid of her.
"Why don't you just come in? We've already started a party," Parker said.
"A party? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Broots, did you realize that you aren't stammering? Debbie, how are you?"
"I'm fine, Miss Parker, thank you. How are you? You seem so - different."
"I'm fine, Debbie, it's just that I'm a little over agitated at the moment..."
"That seems untypical for you, Miss Parker."
"There have been too many things today. But I'll manage to survive," she managed to grin. Broots stood in the doorway and watched to two chattering. He was as nervous as could be and had no idea why Miss Parker had asked him to come to her house or why Sydney and Jarod were there as well.

"Broots, sit down here, you make me nervous," Sydney said from the sofa, "Hello Debbie, how are you?"
"Fine, thanks. Hello Jarod."
"Hi Debbie."
"You know each other?" Broots asked.
"Yes, we know each other very well. We're writing letters each week."
"Writing letters? You mean there's a letter from you in my mailbox once a week? That could get me killed! Or at least thrown from my job."
"Don't worry Broots. Nobody would expect John Doe to be me."
Sydney grinned and looked at Jarod, "That would be my first guess, Jarod."
"But who would be asking YOU about a letter that shows up in Brootsies mailbox? And it's addressed to Debbie not to Broots."
"OK, forget about this topic, let's change subject. We're here because we need to talk about several things. Well, Sydney just showed up without being invited so did Jarod, but anyway, the more the better."

Parker told the whole story once more. Jarod still grinned the whole time and earned some reproachful glances from Miss Parker. When she was finished telling the story everybody was silent. Debbie seemed to have fallen asleep in Jarod's arms, Sydney seemed lost in thoughts. The only one who had listened carefully was Broots. He stared at Miss Parker and she was about to wave a hand in front of his eyes to see if he was still seeing when he blinked and looked away. Once more Parker felt like being in a bad dream. Broots was a fool in love, Sydney a shrink who seemed to have a problem with himself and Jarod looked at Debbie like a proud father at his daughter. Was she the only sane one left in this room? Was anyone listening to her at all? Jarod had, he was still grinning. Debbie hadn't, she was sleeping. Sydney had, at least she hoped so. Broots was the first to say something.

"I still don't understand why Angelo called you. Where did he get your number? And you said he actually talked to you. I have never heard him talking in whole sentences."
"I am not sure if this was really Angelo who called," Sydney said sounding somehow far away.
"What do you mean, Sydney?"
"Would you recognize his voice? Have you ever heard him talk in complete sentences? I'm not sure he would call at all. At least not on his own. Someone must have been with him and tell him that he should do it. Maybe it wasn't even Angelo. And - and I have never told him that I am his father."
"Are you?" Jarod asked.
"I don't think so."
"You don't think so? What's that supposed to mean?"
"I don't know, to be exact."
"YOU DON'T KNOW?" Parker nearly screamed, "Why don't you know if you're his father or not?"
"I don't know who the mother is and I don't know what they've been doing with the samples every male who is working for the Centre has to give when starting to work there."
"He could be another clone?"
"Possibly. Everybody at the Centre could be a clone, including you and Jarod," Sydney said.
"Debbie?" Parker asked.
"No. That means - if her mother had something to do with the Centre it could be. Had she?"
"No - yes," Broots admitted, "She was part of a series of experiments when she couldn't get pregnant. Debbie was the result of it."
"Would you agree to a test?"
"What kind of test?"
"What they have done to get your ex-wife pregnant. You know Centre-methods," Parker said.
"You mean if I am her father and if ... is her mother?"
"Exactly."
"Yes, I'd like to know. But what if I'm not her father?"
"Your problem. We won't tell anybody if that's what you're worried about," Jarod said.
"Now or later?"
"You could do it right now?"
"You know Jarod," Parker said, "he's a pretender. He can pretend to know everything."
"I don't want Debbie to know about it."
"She doesn't have to. Give me the suitcase over there."
Parker stood up and put the suitcase on the couch beside him She hadn't even noticed it standing there until had Jarod mentioned it. Broots had a scared look on his face but tried not to show his fear. Parker put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him but that made him even more nervous. Jarod pulled out a little bottle and poured an anesthetic onto a piece of cloth which he held over Debbie's face, she didn't even realize what was happening.
"Parker, can you help me? Can you hold Debbie's arm?"
"Let me do it," Broots protested.
"Sydney, take Broots outside. I'm sure he doesn't want to see what we're doing."
"But she's my daughter, what are you doing to her?"
"Nothing Broots. Sydney, take him outside."
"What are you planning to do with her?" Parker asked once Sydney and Broots had left the room.
"I'm a pretender. I pretend to have taken a blood sample from her and I pretend to check out everything I know and I pretend to compare the results with everything stored in the Centre's computer, et voilà, now I know that little Debbie is not his daughter but - but - MY daughter."
"YOUR daughter? Oh my God! Do you want to tell Broots?"
"Have to, don't I? Get them back in, Broots is worried, no doubt!"
Parker went to get them and came back into the room with a puzzled look. A young woman was following her. She was much smaller than Parker, with brown eyes and brown hair. When her eyes met with Jarod's she smiled broadly. Jarod jumped up and wrapped her in his arms, unable to say a word. Tears ran down the woman's face.
"Jarod, don't you want to enlighten us?" Broots asked.
"This is Jarod's sister Emily," Parker said. She looked jealous. Jarod was still holding his sister in his arms.
"So good to see you again, Emily! How are you?" Jarod whispered.
"Perfect, now that I know that you're alright. It wasn't easy finding you but I'm your sister and somehow I can sense you and so I've found you. I wasn't sure to expect so I brought a bottle of wine and hoped against hope that we could spend a nice evening together."
"Don't worry, everybody's spending a nice evening together, even if it's here at Parker home."
"Sorry, Miss Parker, I'm here without an invitation and all I brought is a bottle of wine."
"Don't worry, the whole party started without invitations. The only one who was asked to come is Broots. Find yourself a nice place and enjoy."




This story archived at http://www.pretendercentre.com/missingpieces/viewstory.php?sid=5085