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Miss Parker's: A Christmas Carol

Author: Trisha
Rating: PG, Adult situations
Category: Drama, Mild comedy
Archived on: November 1, 2000
Timeline: Late-season four
Spoilers: Mild " 'Til Death Does Us Part"
Summary: An old story with a new twist. Miss Parker has a rude awakening from some old friends.

Author's Notes: Enjoy. . . Happy Holidays. . . . Feedback please.

Disclaimer: I don't own them but this story would not let go and it's so in with the holiday.


Suffice it to say, that when the woman in this tale was informed of the news that her stepmother had died, due to an stray bullet on a mission, she felt no compunction to mourn. Miss Parker attended the funeral, not out of a sense of love but because her father expected his children to be there, in order to show the triumvirate that the Parker clan stuck together. It was duty and that's all. However, Miss Parker didn't let a small thing as the death of her stepmother hinder her work, either. Two hours after they put the coffin in the ground, she was boarding a corporate plane to follow a lead regarding the Centre's runaway pretender.

The woman and her two co-workers returned to the Centre defeated and tired that the lead they had followed went nowhere. Miss Parker looked up and found the geekie computer tech, Broots, fidgeting in front of her desk. He nervously wrung his hands together and then cleared his throat, awaiting permission from the Ice Queen to speak. Yes, that was her nickname at the Centre. For those that worked there believed that the 5"10" brunette with the long legs had ice water flowing through her veins.


"Tomorrow's Christmas and I, um I really want to spend the day with um, Debbie," he stammered.

"Fine!" she snapped," but I want you in the office, bright and early the day after running everything through the Centre's mainframe that we found today at the warehouse. Run it twice. Understood!"

Broots nodded, hypnotized by the steely ice blue eyes, then back pedaled toward the office door and nearly bumped into his other collegue, Dr. Syndey Green.

"She not in a good mood, Syd," he whispered, so as not to incurr the wrath of the woman who's head was bent over a file as the door slowly closed.

"That's all right, Broots," the doctor replied as he reached for the doorknob and entered, "Merry Christmas, Miss Parker."

The sentiment was received with a rather chilly glare from the woman sitting behind the glass-topped desk.

"Humbug," she sneered," there's nothing Merry about this day or any other day. Now if we had succeded on capturing Jarod and returning him back here. Then perhaps it would be a merry day indeed. What a present that would be, wouldn't it?"

"My, aren't we cynical? Well that's beside the point, I wish to invite you to spend the holiday with Michelle, Nicholas, and myself, tomorrow. That is if you have no other plans?"

"Sorry, Syd, but I have files and other things to go through. After all it's just another day, really what's all the hype about. Spending time with family members that want nothing to do with you the other 364 days out of the year," she shook her head.

"Well the invitation stands, if you change your mind."

Sydney made his way to the door, excused himself, and wished the woman a Merry Christmas again, only to hear her curse.

Hours later, Miss Parker pushed herself away from the desk, shutting off the computer, throwing the files that she'd been busy reading in her briefcase, then clicked off the lights and made for the elevator. Pulling into the driveway, she climbed out, grabbing the case that sat on the passenger side seat, when she heard the melodious tones of singers across the street. She hoped to make it in to the house before they accosted her with greetings of good cheer and then she would have to threaten them away by showing them her gun. Fumbling with the key in the lock of the door because she was in such a hurry, she placed a gloved hand on the lion door knocker, this caused her to blink her eyes. Looking at the brass lion's head disbeliveing and yet seeing an image of her dead step-mother, Brigette, instead.

"When the clock chimes midnight, I shall visit you, Miss Parker," the voice was low and full of pain. Shaking herself out of the trance that the vision had left her in, she pushed open the door, entering the dark, lonely, and cold house, she threw her coat, gloves and dumped the briefcase on the chair in the hallway then made her way to the liquor cabinet. Pouring herself a glass of scotch, she headed for the bedroom, where she stripped out of the power suit, grabbed the cranberry velour robe off the end of the bed, and made a beeline for the bathroom, intent on drawing a bath in order to relax and forget about the near miss that occurred today regarding Jarod.

They had missed him by mere hours, again. Elusive as ever, yet one of these day, Jarod, she thought. One of these days. Slipping her tired body in to the warm water, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep forgeting the warning of a ghostly visit at midnight. When the clock in the hallway began to chime, she woke with a start to lukewarm water. Pulling the towel from the
vanity, she dried and then wrapped herself in the towel, she made for the bedroom and her cranberry satin pajamas. Instead of the shrill of the phone which always normally ocurred after a visit to one of Jarod's lairs, the creak and rattle of metal against metal sounded in the house causing her to reach for the 9mm that lay on the nightstand. It was a hollow noise and it spooked the rather nonplussed woman. Casting darting eyes in the dark, Parker found herself face to face with the ghost of Brigette.

"You're not real," she breathed softly, her blue eyes trying to tell her brain that seeing through the apparition was only because she had had too much to drink.

"Oh my dear, I'm very real," she raised her hands and the chains with the many different locks rattled and clanked," Miss Parker, beware and take heed, or you too shall walk the earth shackled by the Centre's evils. You shall receive three visitors, tonight, Parker. Listen and learn. The first arrives at the stroke of one."

"Why are you telling me this? It's not like we got along or anything," the woman stood staring at the ghostly form, perplexed.

"Suffice it to say that I was given the opportunity to save one soul and it seems that soul is your's. What you do with the information given to you, is your decision. I was only sent to warn you," with that the blonde spectre turned and walked through the wooden oak door. It was then, that Miss Parker made her way to the bed. Pulling the covers down, she crawled into it and closed her eyes willing sleep to over take her.

The clock in the hallway chimed the uneathly hour of one and Parker woke with a start, sure she had heard the phone. Lying there in the dark, she listened, waiting for the sharp shrill that never came. It was the casting of soft light on the bed that forced her to sit up and discover a young man with dark sad eyes, dark hair and a somber expression on his face.

"Kyle?" the woman whispered, drawing the comforter closer to her body.

"I am the first of your nightly visitors that Brigette foretold would come, Miss Parker. The image is that of Kyle but I am the shade of Christmas Past. Come we have much to see and so little time to accomplish it," he reached his hand out and her's seemed to have a mind of it's own, as it slipped into his. Soon the two were engulfed in darkness.


~ The First Ghost

They stood outside the cottage that was once Miss Parker's mother's. Her eyes wide with delight for she recognized it immediately and was whisked back in time to memories of happier days.

"This is my mother's cottage. Why did you bring me here, Kyle?"

"You're trembling, Miss Parker. Why?"

They walked toward the house, although it was blazing with lights, it was quiet. Peering in the front window, Parker cast her gaze on a solitary figure sitting on the sofa, so engrossed in a book, she did not notice the studio door swing open and that a woman that looked very similiar in appearance to our Miss Parker, stood in the doorway. Smiling, she walked over to the young girl and put her arms around her neck, and kissed the top of her head.

"Poppet, are you ready for your surprise?" the woman clapped her hands, laughing.

"Yes, oh yes, momma," she said with child-like eagerness. Leading the little girl into the studio, they found standing there in the corner an enormous evergreen tree and boxes upon boxes of decorations.

"She had a heart of gold," Kyle said.

"Yes, she did, but it was that heart that got her killed in the end," Miss Parker retorted.

"True, but she died believing that what she did was right. Can you say the same, Miss Parker?" dark eyes turned toward her.

They left the cozy cottage and its occupants busy trimming the tree in the studio.

They journyed back to the bulilding that she'd left hours earlier. Looking at the ghost, trying to understand their return to this dark and dismal place.

"What's the matter?" Kyle asked.

"Why here?"

"You've forgotten. Quickly my time grows short."

She saw herself, older, the hardness that filled her heart just starting to take root in her ice blue eyes. She was not alone but with a young boy, whose dark eyes reflected the pain and sadness of the blue ones.

"Smile, Miss Parker, please," the boy said.

"I don't want to Jarod. You don't understand. How could you? No one does. It's Christmas and I'm here in the Centre because Daddy's got a meeting that's to important to miss. We don't even have a tree. It's not like when momma was alive," the tears which sparkled like diamonds in the ghostly light fell down her cheeks. The young boy reached for the girl and pulled her into his arms, giving her some solace and refuge from the pain. Suddenly a second voice interrupted them, from the air shaft.

"Daughter sad, friend help."

"Show me no more, spirit. I want to leave this place.:

Then Kyle shook his head and had Miss Parker by the arms and forced her to watch what happened next.

The young girl smiled at the two boys and her blue eyes seemed to fill with a tinge of happiness instead of the pain and sorrow that would eventually lead to the icy exterior of the adult Miss Parker. She remembered how they had tried to help.

"I've had enough, spirit. It will do you no good to show me these memories for they are of long ago and mean nothing to me anymore."

Soon they were in another place and time, in a room that was full of darkness and pain. A room that once was so filled with love and happiness. Miss Parker watched the woman replace the phone in the cradle and sink upon the sofa, her eyes beginning to fill with unshed tears.

"He does it every year, doesn't he?" Kyle asked, turning to look at his companion," Broken promises."

"He's busy," Miss Parker replied, " but why do you show me this, Kyle?

"Shadows of thing that have been," said Kyle," Don't blame me, if you dislike the painful memories for they are your's and your's alone, except this one.

Herself and a small white bunny.

"No more," she said in a broken voice. Parker looked at Kyle and saw fragments of all that was shown her in his features.

"I've had enough. Go. Leave me alone." She turned to the shade of Kyle and then looked about and realized that she was back in her own room. So she dropped down upon her bed, exhusted and extremely tired, and all alone. She squeezed the pillow tightly to her chest and soom was in a deep sleep.

She awoke to the sound of the clock chiming the ghastly hour of two and remembered the warning given to her by Brigette. Looking about the room, she noticed that all though her bedroom, it had changed.


~ The Second Ghost

She nervously looked around, then took a sharp breath, for she wished to challenge this ghost and not be taken by surprise. Finding the room was her's but then again not hers. For it no longer had walls but was roughed out in with two by four studs, a sawhorse stood in the middle of the floor, and the smell of freshly cut wood permeated the room. Finally, she gathered her wits about her, got up gingerly from the bed looking for her slippers for sawdust littered the floor, as well. Since there were no longer walls separating her room from the living room, she spotted a light from under the studio door. Cautiously, making her way to the door, her hand reaching out to turn the knob, a voice called her by name.

"Come on in, Parker," the voice was familiar to her ear," Come in!"

Entering she saw the spirit's eyes, clear and kind, she turned away, afraid.

"I am the Ghost of Christmas Present," said the spirit, "Look at me, Parker, for you know me."

"Thomas," she whispered, her eyes wide, for all the signs had been present, so there was no reason for her to be surprised.

"Come, there is much to see," he extended his hand. She touched the tips of his fingers and he lead her directly to her colleague's home, right to the front door they stood. Inside there were two figures gathered around the tree, one a small balding man and the other a petite ash-brown haired girl of around twelve. The girl was busy opening gift after gift, laughing and
joking with her father. Parker watched the scene and turned her head away.

"What's wrong, Parker?" Thomas said, sadness lacing his voice.

"Nothing," she mumbled, though her eyes were misted with tears. That was the way a father should be with his daughter, she thought, yet could not give it voice.

"Is Miss Parker coming, Daddy?" the little girl asked.

"I'm afraid that I never got the chance to ask her, sweetness," Broots replied, watching the crushed expression in his daughter's face," but I'll take the gift you got for her to work with me, tomorrow."

"Tomorrow, but its the ice skating party at the pond. You promised," the little girl cried," Do you really have to go to work?"

"It was either work today, and miss spending time with my favorite lady or go tomorrow. I'm sorry, really. I'll make it up to you, I promise," Broots leaned over and kissed her on the forehead before he tickled her, causing gales of laughter to erupt and fill the room.

Without so much as a by your leave, Thomas had wisked them away and soon they were standing in a small bleak town, the street dusted in a lite coat of snow. A door opened, revealing two figures, one tall, the other shorter, yet she knew them, well. The Major and the boy. She watched as the two made their way to the small church across the way.

"Dad, do you think that Jarod's thinking about us?" the boy asked a smile on his face, watching the snowflakes that had begun to fall again, fascinated.

"Of course he is, just as we are thinking about him," the Major replied," Come on or we'll be late. I promised Father Murphy that we'd help with serving the homeless dinner. So shake a leg, young man."

"Coming," the boy ran to catch up, but not before he shouted, " Merry Christmas, Jarod."

Suddenly the bells in the steeple began to chime the half hour, and they were no longer in the small town but in the warm, lighted living room that roused her other colleague. That whom had been more of a father to her than her own. The same man that she rebuffed earlier that very afternoon. He stood laughing and enjoying the company of his son and his son's mother as well as Broots and Debbie.

"Syd, did you get a hold of Miss Parker?" Broots asked.

"I called, but there was no answer," the elderly gentleman replied.

"Do you think that she went looking for Jarod?" the other whispered, softly.

"I called the Centre, the switchboard said that she came in around ten, this morning and was still there," he shook his head, " ever since her mother died, she withdraws into herself, at holiday time. She was always so merry, perhaps I could have done more to help her but Mr. Parker. . . "

Sydney's sentence was interrupted by the shrill of his cell phone, reaching into his jacket pocket, he withdrew the device, placing the receiver next to his ear.

"This is Sydney."

"Merry Christmas, Sydney," the voice was that of Jarod's and it brought a small smile to the man, who answered," Tell me, Syd, why is she at the Centre, instead of with the only family that cares about her. Why?"

"I tried," the man replied.

"Not hard enough, Syd, not hard enough." The click of the phone and the return of the dial tone signalled the end of the call.

Releasing the breath that she held, Parker looked at Thomas and noticed that he had aged, his hair had greyed and his eyes were losing their twinkle.

"Is it time?" she asked, noticing that they had left the warmth and jovial company for the cold outdoors.

"Almost, time is short and the clock chimes the three quarters mark," he replied, sorrowfully, as he turned to face her. His hands were dripping blood, the crisp new snow no longer white but red.

"Thomas?" Miss Parker stared, appalled. Taking a step backwards, trying to look away, yet needing to know why.

"Don't turn away. It's the Centre's," said Thomas, looking down upon them, " I am those that went before me and those that went after me, Parker. It has to end. Who's going to end it? Him, them or you! "

The clock struck three. Parker looked to where Thomas had stood, but found him gone, instead there stood a phantom, shrouded in mist and fog. Remembering Brigette's warning, she realized that this was the last ghost to visit. Its cloak was black. Its form well hidden, except for one hand. An outstretched hand that pointed the way.


~ The Third Ghost

The Phantom approached slowly, slilently, and gravely. This ghost was surrounded by darkness, gloom and had an air of mystery about it. Its form, as was stated earlier, was cloaked in black, and the folds hid its identity from our Miss Parker. This form put fear in her heart.

"You must be the ghost of Christmas yet to Come," said Miss Parker, softly.

The Spirit didn't answer, but continued to point a bony finger.

"What are you going to show me, Spirit? Things that have not occurred but can," Parker asked, her voice barely audible.

The Phantom nodded again, at her question, as she stood trembling.

"The future is something I fear more then what the others have shown me. The others were familiar to me, are you? Will you not reveal yourself, Spirit?"

The Phantom continued to point and began glided away from Miss Parker, who had no choice but to follow.

They were in a hallway when the hooded figure inclined its head toward the small window that was centered in the middle of the door. Parker caught a glimpse of Sydney and Broots looking down at a table. The smaller man was visible shaken, so much so that he had to leave the room. It was when he moved away from the table that Parker caught sight of what had triggered his
upset. A small prone figure lay on a cold hard metal table. Debbie.

"Spirit, tell that she's alright."

The Spirit shook its head and Parker reached out for the cowled figure, anger blazing in her eyes.

"No!" she shouted, "How? Why?"

They were in front of a black iron-wrought gate, that swung open with no help from anyone. Miss Parker stared into the blackness and swirling mist, pausing momentarily before she entered.

The cemetary.

"Why did you bring me here, Spirit?" Miss Parker looked at the black cloaked figure. The mist parted and there before her were headstones engraved with the Centre's causalties. . .her mother, Faith, Kyle, and Thomas. In the distance, were two freshly dug graves. Side by side. Standing in front of the headstones was a lone figure. The black leather jacket betraying the lone figure's identity.

"I tried, Miss Parker," he whispered as he placed a dozen yellow roses between the two graves," You wouldn't listen to me. I told you not to trust Lyle, but rest now and know that he won't hurt anyone, anymore. I made sure of it."

"Spirit, tell me that I may change the things that you've shown me?" the ghost pointed to the graves, immoveable. Miss Parker walked forward, tentatively, trembling as she went: and, following the finger, read the names on the headstones, DEBBIE BROOTS and MICHAELA PARKER.

"No, Spirit! No, no, no!"

"Who are you to show me these things, that terrify me so, Spirit?" she cried, reaching out to clutch the robe. She reached for the spectral hand. It sought to free itself, but Parker was stronger and detained it. The cowl fell away and Miss Parker found herself staring at: Catherine Parker.

"Momma!" she cried, pulling her hands away, as she collapsed to her knees. She awoke to find herself in her own bed, her own room. She had been crying and her face was wet with tears.


~In the End

As was stated in the last chapter, after the last ghost's identity was revealed to our Miss Parker, she awoke in her own bed, in her own room, with tears coursing down her cheeks. She had seen the past, the present and the future, and something in her had changed.

The shrill of the telephone interrupted her train of thought, reaching a hand out, she picked up the receiver, held it to her ear, then heard a familiar voice.

"Hello," she said, rather softly.

"Miss Parker," the male voice said, shock in his voice at her greeting.

"Yes, Jarod. You do have a good reason for calling this earlier or isn't it late for you?" Miss Parker inquired.

"Of course, I have a good reason. I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas," returned Jarod.

" Thank you," she whispered, " You too!"

"Pardon me, but did I dial the right number, this is Miss Parker, the Ice Queen," Jarod said.

"Yes wonder-boy, you did? "

"What brought about the transformation, if I might ask?"

"You can ask, Jarod but I don't have to answer you?"

" That's quite all right, Miss Parker. Merry Christmas!" the click of the receiver indicated that he had terminated the call.

"Merry Christmas, Jarod," she whispered," And believe me, I won't underestimate Lyle."

She dressed and then went to the cemetary. She stopped in front of the small black marble headstone. After placing a small evergreen wreath on his grave, she made her way to the other two headstones. Her mother's and Faith's.

"Thank you, momma. I won't let the Centre win, I promise." she placed the pointsetta that she had brought with her, between the two headstones.

She paced outside the door of Sydney's for a good fifteen minutes before she gathered up the courage to knock. The door opened. Sydney stared, somewhat startled to find Miss Parker on his doorstep.

"Does the invitation still stand, Syd?"

"Of course it does, Miss Parker. Come in."

It felt like home to her in about five minutes. That she had wanted to spend the day at the Centre had amazed her, when she had family that cared for her and accepted her for who she was. This was happiness.

Miss Parker returned home from Sydney's later that evening, and as she walked up the steps to her front door, she was surprised to find a gold foil wrapped gift propped against the door. Reaching down she picked up the gift and opened the door; stepped into her dark house, flicked the light switch, quickly placed the gift on the coffee table, shrugged out of her coat before
taking a seat on the sofa. She unwrapped the gift, looking for a card, only to find none. Nestled inside the gold tissue paper was an exquisite porcelain angel. The same angel that momma used to put on her nightstand when she was little. She know who gave her this piece of her past. Taking the angel and herself, she made herway to her bedroom for a good night sleep.

Sitting in her office early the next morning, with the door open, Miss Parker waited for Broots to come in. Knowing full well that he would be late. Glancing at the clock on her desk, eight, and no Broots. Thirty minutes later, and finally the timid step of Broots was heard by the woman.


"Yessss, Misss Parker. Sorry that I'm late but. . ."

"Broots, don't you have a skating party to attend with your daughter, this afternoon," she smiled.

" Yes, yes I do, but how did. . ."

"Then go and have a good time."

"Are you sure?"

Go, before I change my mind," she snapped, as she watched the computer techie scurry out of the office. A smile played upon her lips. The ringing of the phone on her desk captured her attention.


"That's the Miss Parker, I remember," Jarod smirked on the other end.

"What do you want Jarod?" she smiled.

"To warn you that your dear brother is. . ."

"I know whom to trust and whom not too. See you in the new year, Jarod."

The fact that the line went dead signalled that the call was over.

Looking up from her desk, she saw her brother standing in the doorway, grinning rather cagily.

"Did you have a nice Christmas, Parker?" he purred.

"Bah humbug, Lyle! Now excuse me but I have something to attend too," she left her brother standing there, his mouth wide open standing, as she excused herself, heading for the elevator, a pair of ice skates in her hands.

The End


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