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Author: Trisha
Rating: G, Adult stituations
Category: Drama, Mild comedy
Archived on: November 1, 2000
Timeline: Mid-season four
Spoilers: None
Summary: Miss Parker gets a little fencing practice in and a fustrating surprise.

Author's Notes: This story was wandering around in my brain for the longest time every since there was mention that Miss Parker fenced and if I am not mistaken it was also mentioned on a chat with Craig and Steve and that the footage always ended on the floor when filmed and never made it in to an episode. If feedback is forthcoming then I will gladly read it. Thanks goes out to my muses and wonderful editors, where would I be with out the two of you. . . .backed into the corner. . .

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters at the moment, they are owned by FOX.


"On guard!" the woman's voice said.

The instructor whirled at the word, and his blade came up. He saw that his opponent had drawn her sword, and that she had stepped back. She had a reputation as a master, for she was skilled with her blade, and had fenced many times, and he knew it. He was cautious at first, leaving no opening on defense. He chuckled and that infuriated her. Blades clashed.

Miss Parker was accustomed to duelling with instructors who gave ground when they pleased and took it when they could, who went this way and that seeking an advantage, now advancing, now retreating, now swinging to the left or the right as their skill directed them.

But here she faced a man who fought in quite a different way. For the instructor, it appeared, was as if rooted to one spot and unable to turn his face in any other direction. He did not give an inch, nor did he advance, nor step to either side. She tried to press him back, her blade flashing like steaks of lightning in a troubled sky.

Parker attacked furiously, as was her custom, and she found the point of her blade neatly parried. She used more caution then and tried what tricks she knew, but they seemed to avail her with nothing. She attempted to pass around the man before her, and the other's blade drove her back. She tried a retreat, hoping to draw the other out, but the instructor stood his ground and forced Parker to attack again. He extended his blade and crossed her's with his own. She fenced rapidly, giving him no rest, standing her ground.

He did nothing except put up a defense and now he was almost against the wall.

The ringing of blades, the shifting of feet on the floor, the heavy breathing of the two were the only sounds in the room.

Anger got the better of Miss Parker then, for she knew that this opponent was good, if not better than most she encountered. So, she attacked furiously, hoping to drive him off his feet and make an end of it. But she found that her attack ended as if against a stone wall, her blade was turned aside, her breast crashed against that of her antagonist, and he merely threw out his chest and hurled her back a few dozen steps.

"You fight well," Miss Parker said, breathlessly.

The instuctor only nodded his masked head in agreement, this move only infuriating her more. It was then that she realized that she was angry, and she knew an angry woman cannot fight with the blade as well as a woman who controls her temper. So, she became deadly cold now, and her eyes narrowed. She attacked again, but now she was prepared, seeking an unguarded spot through which she could thrust without courting disaster. She fenced as she never had fenced in her life. She cursed herself for having been over confident of a new instructor. From the front, from either side, she attacked, only to be turned back again, all her tricks solved almost before she tried them.

She had been watching her antagonist's stance, of course and now she saw a change. He seemed to be laughing at her. This time it was he that pressed the fighting, taking step after step, slowly and methodically going foward and forcing her backward. The tip of his blade seemed to be a snake's head with a thousand tongues. She knew to fence in anger was dangerous and she was still doing it, fencing in anger. Parker felt herself at his mercy, but she gritted her teeth and tried to control herself and fight on. So, she retreated step by step guarding well, parrying vicious strokes, defending his blows. Now she almost had her back against the wall, when she realized that the instructor was playing with her, taunting her. She was ready to swallow her Parker pride and surrender, when suddenly . . . .

Her blade seemed to take on new life. She was on the alert for the unexpected. She swept her blade forward and sideways, then she whirled forward. She parried his stroke without difficulty.

Then she chuckled! For she had solved the instructor's manner of combat. She gave ground a little as her defense turned into an attack. She circled, trying to keep his back against the wall. Her blade darted in and out with a speed that was bewildering. It caught a thousand beams of light from the studio lights and hurled them back. She gripped her blade and fought as though in a life and death struggle. Her blade seemed to score. It darted in and out, eager to put an end to this.

Her oppponent was fencing with his last bit of strength and all the skill he could muster. When suddenly he cursed, his movements like lead, his breath was laboured. He thrust, lunged and then made a mistake. A fraction of an inch was all it took. And like a viper, her blade suddenly shot in. Three time it darted forward; hooking itself properly. Then she saw his sword being torn from his grasp and sent flying through the air.

"Got you!" she crowed triumphantly, her dark hair tumbling out of the mesh mask as she removed it, her lips curved in a victorious smile, "Better luck, next time."

She swung her arm down and sheathed her weapon, as he walked over to where his foil lay and retrieved it. He then turned to her and bowed courteously, then stepped slowly toward the locker room door. There he seemed to remember something suddenly, and turned to face her again.

"Touche, Miss Parker!" his voice deep and full of mirth, "A rematch! I like that, but only when YOU catch me!"

"JAROD!" she yelled as the door closed and the sound of the lock being thrown, echoed around the studio. And yet she didn't run after him, for she had bested him. She had triumphed over the genius.

Later, she sat at her desk recalling the events of the morning, when a knock at the door interrupted her thoughts.

"What?" she yelled without looking up as the nervous computer techie entered, a long, slender, rectangular-shaped package in his arms.

"It's, it's from Jarod," he stammered, as he laid the package on her desk and retreated once he caught the narrowing of her eyes, as they took in the package.

Miss Parker picked up the letter opener that sat on her desk and neatly slit the seam of the brown paper that the package was wrapped in. As it fell away, it revealed a black leather case. Slowly she reached out and unlocked its hinges, pushing the top back. Nestled inside, on black velvet lining was an exquisitely detailed gold handled foil and a note. Picking it up with
manicured fingers, she flipped it open:


Moving away for her desk, she gripped the foil in her hand and found it to fit her grip perfectly, as she slashed the empty air.

The End


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