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Disclaimer : The Pretender and all character associated with it belongs to NBC and 20th Century Fox. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.

Whatever It Takes
Part I



He took a long walk. Sometimes when he had to think he liked to walk along the river. Today was especially good for that because it was raining mildly. It was warm and there was no wind, just the steady rain coming straight down and dimpling the metallic grey surface of the water. He had on black jeans and running shoes and a black windbreaker and an old baseball hat. Impervious. Before he located his father and J2, he had the issue of Raines' treachery and Catherine Parker's murdr to resolve. He didn't have it in him to walk up and kill him. He'd never killed anyone. Then again maybe he would. No, it wasn't his style. Parker could do it. She was more practical than he was. She wouldn't wait until she had to.

She'd do it if it seemed a good solution to the problem- which logically it was. But he couldn't ask Parker to do things he was to reluctant to do. What he needed to do was figure out what he was not reluctant to do.

He crossed a little footbridge over Riverview Road and onto the promenade and turned west and strolled up river. The place was pretty much deserted. Not everyone understood about a walk in the rain. He realized reluctant was the wrong word for his hesitation. In fact, he would love to throw William Raines off a bridge. Yet it seemed somehow the wrong thing for him to do, Parker should have the honor of exterminating him. At the A.W. Bridge, he turned back, putting his collar up, pulling his hat down over his eyes, he savored the feeling of the rain as it came down in an easy fall, watching his idea unfold. He stopped for coffee and doughnuts, then returned to his place with the idea almost complete, or as complete as it could be.

He stripped off his wet clothes and tossed them in the hamper, took a hot shower, toweled off, and put on fresh clothes. Then he went into the kitchem. It was 6:20p.m

Taking his laptop from its hiding place, he emailed Miss Parker. Whether she would accept the invitation was up to her, but he had a little something to dangle in front of her, if needed. It was almost like papet training a puppy. Here's a cookie.


Parker was just about to leave her office, when the mailbox icon on her computer screen popped open. It was 6:25pm. She hated inactivity and since the shooting, she had too much time on her hands. So time enough for the first drink of the day, maybe past time. She filled a crystal tumbler with ice, put two ounces of scotch, and filled it with water. She took the first sip. That first sip may not be the best thing in the world, but it ranked as one of her top five. And trying to savor the first taste was a bitter reminder that maybe you really can't go home again. Picking up her glass, she clicked open her email.

Shit! It was from wonder-boy, and with an interesting invitation. Hell, what was it she had told Sydney a couple of months ago, "Raines dead, Me happy." Her day just got a whole lot better. Quickly downing the rest of her drink, Parker deleted the message, switched off the lights and headed out the door for what. She had no idea, with Jarod, one never knew.

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