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Disclaimer: "The Pretender" and his characters are all property of NBC, TNT and MTM. I won't get any profit out of this and probably very little feed-back, so don't sue, ok? BTW, the song is performed by Celine Dion (more I don't know).

Author's note: This is a product of an idea that came in a Portuguese class. I started thinking what would happen in Christmas if Jarod and Miss Parker finally got together. What came from that is only possible due to two of my best friends. Thank you:)) BTW, the first part is from Sydney's POV, the rest is from Miss Parker's. I hope you'll like it, because this was really weird to write. Say something pleeeaaase!!! May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!:))))


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God blesses everyone
The good and the bad
The happy, the sad
God blesses everyone
Blesses family and friends
It's good to be here again





Christmas Eve
by Vania




25th December, 00:34 am

After more than two hours of waiting in the airport, I finally decided to head to Miss Parker's house. She shouldn't be alone, as usual, and she would certainly appreciate my company. By now I should be with Michelle and my son, Nicholas but the storm that abated in Delaware didn't allow my flight to Chicago to take off.

Reaching the porch, I pay the taxi driver, take my bag and tell him to go. Climbing the stairs, something is not right. The door was mid-open, so I didn't have to knock to come him. It wasn't supposed at this hour of the night. Carefully, I open it a little bit more, so that I can put my left foot inside first. I peep and I put my right foot inside then.

"Miss Parker!" I call, looking around. Although, no one answers it.

The vision was at least spooky. It looked like a pitched battle had happened in the living room. The furniture was out of place, food was spread in the floor and dishes were broken along the room. I immediately exclude the supposition of her being alone. But it also made my worry about her safety - or in Miss Parker's case, by the safety of her guests.

I start to direct myself to the kitchen, but I stop when a figure leaves the bedroom. I was Miss Parker! I turn around to get a better picture of her. Not a great sight and, as I thought before, a pitched battle occurred.

Miss Parker had a piece of meat in her left eye, her hair was disheveled and she was dressing her pyjamas.

"Not a word, Sydney!" She warned me.

Still recovering from the initial shock, I see another figure walk out of the same bedroom, stopping me from saying whatever I was going to say. It was Jarod! He too had a piece of meat in his left eye! 'Have they been beating each other?' was the first thought that crossed my mind. The second one was 'What the hell is he doing here?'

"I hope you're coming in a mission of peace!" Jarod said, while I was suppressing the urge to laugh by seeing them like that.

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3 months before

Slowly, I step into the warehouse Jarod was - or is, depending on how lucky I am. Broots and Sydney are right behind me. Gun drawn, I go to the laid table, presumably put for a dinner for two. What makes me believe that he may still be close. However, it seems that nobody is home, for a change. What's the message behind two glasses, two dishes and four cutleries? I put my gun back in its holster.

This guy's nerve! And it seems that he is really cooking dinner! He can't be far. Broots went to the microwave and said that he's making lasagna. Instead of turn that thing off, he left it on, probably thinking that he would have time to eat it.

Saying that he is no longer in the warehouse, I send them away. This gives me enough time to visit another room, not yet inspected. I'm not even at the pains of getting my gun now. Opening the door, I'm astonished to see that sitting in the chair opposite to me is a man wearing a black leather jacket. Could it be him? No, it can't be. Wake up! By now, Jarod is miles away or he is instead chitchatting with Dr. Spock, while I'm here making a fool out of myself!

I tell him to identify himself. He doesn't even move. Going on tiptoe (if that is possible with my heels - what I wouldn't give to have a good pair of snickers right now) I step into the office and stop in front of the desk, resting my arms in it. Even so, he doesn't turn around! I'm getting enervated! I know it hardly seems credible, but I have to admit that this guy really seems like Jarod. But it can't be him, otherwise he would already have jumped through the window the minute I stepped in. I decide another approach. I go to the other side of the desk. As it is said: 'If Mahomet doesn't go to the mountain, then the mountain comes to him' (or something really close to that). In this case, if the chair doesn't turn, than I go to the chair. A strange feeling gets hold of me the moment I reach there. Finally, the man in the black jacket looks at me - and I at him, of course. what I wouldn't give to see my face now! It should be priceless. I don't believe it's him!

Almost reflexively, I take my hand to my holster. But something stops it. He grabbed my hand and raised himself from the chair! What is he going to do? Not what I think he is going to do, right? He is! What should I do? Stop him? Not that it is that bad, but...

«PLIN»

"Dinner's ready!"

That was the first thing that crossed my mind then! I step back as much as I can making use of his distraction. I take a deep breath, heading to the door, leaving him standing there. When I'm going to open it, Jarod blocks my way. Oh, no, here we go again...

"Not so fast! Stay for dinner!" Jarod says putting his left hand in front of him to avoid my departure.

I confess I didn't see this one coming. So this was the hidden message of the dinner table... Maybe I don't have to think to much about the answers and they end up right in my hands.

"We need to talk" Jarod continues "Call them and tell them to leave."

Seeing me grabbing my cell phone (I don't have a clue why I did this, but the truth is that I did), Jarod went to finish dinner. I dialed Sydney's number and he answers it some time after.

"Syd, you go ahead without me. I'll talk to you later at The Centre. There's some things here I need to have a better look on."

That was all I said to him. Sydney's face should have been at least strange, but he did as I told him, because after a while I heard the car running. when I turned to the table, dinner was served and there was white wine in the glasses.

"I don't know why I agreed with this" I told him.

Jarod pointed out a chair to me and pulls it for me to sit down. I understand now why that Zoe liked him. I'm not a fan of this formalities, but I seat myself nonetheless. The lasagna looks good and so does the wine.

I know what he wants to talk about, but do I really want to talk about it? If I didn't feel like it, I wouldn't have stayed, would I? I think it's better to start dinner. We eat in silence - really silence! When I'm finished, I rise from the table and put my dish in the sink. He does the same. I'm trapped.

"Why did you want me to stay?" I ask him.

"Because there's something I have to tell you. Something I cannot hold for myself any longer." Jarod starts.

"And what would that might be?"

"My love for you" He says taking a deep breath. I guess he's thinking he was able to say that too fast. Wait a minute! What did he say??!! He speaks again, due to my silence (is more in the lines of shock, actually) "It's what I feel and I had to tell you once and for all. I don't care if you don't feel the same way about me. God knows I don't. But it was something I needed to do to be in good terms with my own conscience."

"Jarod, the feeling I have for you I shouldn't have them. But since I'm here, alone with you, I don't see why I should deny this even to myself."

"What are you saying? That you really..."

"Jarod I love you" Always have. But we took different paths I became the hunter and you the hunted."

"We can still make a difference, Madeline." He said and I can't even believe he still remembers my first name.

"I can't leave The Centre."

"I know. And you don't have to. We can meet until we find a way to straight things up."

"That's not easy and it's dangerous too. The Centre would never allow it."

"Forget The Centre for a while and just stay with me tonight."

"I told Sydney I would be back to work. What if they find us here?"

"I'll hide. You worry too much."

With that, Jarod wraps his strong arms around me and we kiss passionately. Completely lost in the moment, we only awake from our sweet dream when we hear a car pulling up in the warehouse. We step back from each other and, as Jarod previously told me, he hides in the basement, which I wasn't even aware of its existence. But not before looking at me one last time and promising me he would call.

"Parker, are you in there?" It's Lyle! Good one! What should I tell him now? I arrange myself and open the warehouse's door.

"What are you doing here, Lyle?" I ask him with my special gift (screaming, of course).

"Sydney told me you stayed checking some things. I only came to see if I was of any help." Says Lyle trying to peep on the inside.

"No, you aren't! Anyway, I'm done here already."

I think my only subterfuge is a strategic exit through the front door, and quickly before I regret myself. I leave and hear (although I pretend not to) Lyle asking my what the hell I was doing there.

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24th December, 10:47 pm

It was Jarod who came up with the idea. Personally, I think it's crazy, but it's also about time they know what's between us. And it already passed 3 months since our first encounter and Christmas is a wonderful time for reconciliation. So, here we are, getting ready for the Eve. Jarod is still dressing himself in the bedroom, but I'm already dressed up and I'm now waiting for my "sweet and dear" family to show up.

Last time that were here to meet my boyfriend we end up playing charades. I fear the same won't happen and we would end up playing "who dies first" or "run for your life" this time.

«DING DONG»

"I'm coming!" I scream to the bedroom.

With a last look in the mirror I go and open the door. I peek to see who it is: it is my father and the troll.

"Hi Angel!" my father says, giving me a kiss in the cheek. I watch him looking around the room and it looks like he's really impressed with the decoration. We even have the mistletoe! Another of Jarod's ideas, of course. "Oh, you look beautiful! I bought you a little something." he said handling me the present "I hope you'll like it!"

"Thanks, daddy." I said, closing the door and letting them in.

"I'm afraid I don't have anything to give you. I don't know what you like. Perhaps if we start to spend more time together..."

"I don't think so." I say disgusted. 'No way I'll go and play friends with this woman!' I think to myself.

"But where is that gentleman you wanted to introduce to us, angel?" my father asks me.

"Oh, he's just finishing to prepare himself." I don't even want to see their faces when they figure out who he is. My father has an heart attack, Jarod is to blame!

"It smells good! I didn't know you could cook like this." Brigitte says.

"He did it!" I may not like her, but it does smell good! That's what you win by having a man who can do a little bit of everything.

"Speaking of he... Doesn't 'he' have a name?" My father asks me. What do I tell him? 'Oh, yes, he's name is Jarod.'

Well, it seems I was saved the work, because in this very moment, Jarod walks out of the bedroom and comes to us, and he is very well dressed.

"In fact, I think you already know the 'he's' name pretty well." Jarod said, putting his arms around my waist.

"You've got to be kidding me!!!" Brigitte said completely surprised, but with a look on her face that showed she would give anything to be in my place right now.

"Angel, what's going on here? I demand an answer!" My father said. At least he didn't have an heart attack - until now, I mean.

"Aren't you happy for me, daddy? After all, I finally caught him."

"I don't believe this!" Brigitte muttered.

Someone else enters the door. (I left the door mid-open, so I don't always have to open it) It's Major Charles, Margaret, Emily, Ethan and Gemini. They all greet us, while Brigitte and my father can hardly stand up. Brigitte looked like she was going to pass out or something. Jarod's family put their presents under the Christmas tree and settled. This situation wasn't the most normal. My father asks me for a glass of water (better make it a bottle) and sat down on the coach. The blonde did the same. The other guests started chatting among each other (at least they accepted the idea well and the ambient had to look good at least until the meal, right?).

Jarod and I tried to calm down things a little bit with my family, until we figured that it would be a better idea if was the only one to calm them down. So, he got back to the kitchen to finish dinner.

When Jarod is out of sight, Lyle arrives, bringing with him a bottle of champagne (Moet et Chandon... I can't blame his good taste). All the guests turn around to see who it is, and now is Lyle's turn to stand with his mouth wide open, after seeing the full picture in front of him. He looked like he'd seen a ghost - or many ghosts.

"Hi, Lyle! It's so good to see you made it after all!"

"What's going on here? You finally caught them?" Lyle asks, although I don't think he believes what he just asked to be true.

"We already made that question, darling" Brigitte said to her stepson (lover?) "And to answer your second one, no. At least not in the way you're thinking."

"Now give me that! Before you drop it." I told him, taking the bottle out of his hands to put it in the fridge.

"Why is it that I think I'm not getting it?" Lyle murmured.

I'm back, this time with Jarod embraced to me, stopping under the mistletoe.

"I said you wouldn't get it." Says the troll to my brother.

"I hope you have a good explanation to this!"

"Explanations for what!" I say, kissing Jarod passionately.

And it is right now that Broots arrives with Debbie and he stays completely shocked with what he he seeing.

"Miss Parker?!" Poor thing... I admit that this must have been a shock to him. Poor Brootsie.

"How come you did nothing about this whole madness, dad?" Lyle asked angry.

"I'm too old to put up with you two, besides, it's Christmas."

"And, I'm hungry! I'm not leaving until I've eaten!" Brigitte said. Why is it that she's always hungry? It's probably because of the lollipops.

"And all the restaurants are closed... " My father said.

I've certainly died and gone to hell!" Lyle said to himself.

"By the way, is Raines coming or what? I'm not counting with him!" I said half forgot that that strolling sack of bones existed.

"No. He said that probably he would come by after midnight." My father answered me.

After Debbie and Broots greeted us, Jarod brought the turkey. We all sat down, and Jarod and I stayed in opposite sides of the table. Ethan sits by the left side of Jarod and Margaret by the right one. She's followed by Emily, Lyle, Brigitte and my father. By my right side are Broots, Debbie, Gemini and Major Charles (try to draw a mental picture of the table).

It's 11 pm, give or take, and, after we are completely ready, it's time to cut the turkey, that is in the centre of the table, more or less between Lyle and Major Charles. I, as a matter of fact, hadn't thought about this, but who is cutting the turkey? Apparently, my brother is, because he got the knife first, although Major Charles was going to grab it too. The knife itself, it's not a small one, and seeing Lyle with a knife like that in his hand is not the best sensations I've ever had in my life.

Lyle looks and Major Charles, obviously decided to cut the turkey. The Major is not having any of it and makes an expression similar to Lyle's. Jarod and I are keeping an eye to where this is all going. Lyle rises from the table and directs his knifed-hand (the right one) to his goal - the turkey. But his hand his stopped by Major Charles.

"What do you think you're doing?" My brother angrily said.

"And who do you think you are to speak to my father like that?" Oh, no. Now Jarod's also involved in this.

"Speak when you're told to, lab rat."

"Hei! Just cut the turkey and shut up!" I said to him.

"I don't want him to cut the turkey! My father's cutting it!"

"And why should be your father doing it, hm?"

"Because I want him to!"

"Excuse me, but shouldn't it be the same whoever cuts it?"

"SHUT UP, Broots!!!" We said in unison.

"Children, it's Christmas!" Debbie started "Why don't we do it this way: I cut the turkey, ok? My father never lets me anyway and this could be a good chance to do so."

We all shut up at the sound of Debbie's voice. I almost forgot she was here. I sit again, but not before taking the knife out of Lyle's hand and giving it to Debbie. I like him better without it, anyway.

Finally, and after some pleasantries changed between the guests, we are able to have dinner. I just don't know who is going to have an indigestion first. It's almost midnight. Correction: it is midnight. The clock doesn't lie. In two seconds, Debbie is opening her presents. We all open the gifts. Jarod gave me a beautiful diamond ring that I have to show Brigitte.

I don't know where Lyle is. This can't be good. I can't see Jarod also. Oh, oh... Turning around, I see my father and Brigitte sitting in the couch next to Broots. On the floor, are Debbie, Gemini, Emily and Ethan. Margaret is sitting with Major Charles. They have to be in another room.

Suddenly, I hear a dish breaking in the kitchen. I run to see what happened and I see Lyle advancing on Jarod, that is holding a pot in his hand, because he was washing the dishes.

"Boys! What are you two doing?" I ask surrounded by everyone.

"What do you think, sis?"

I step in and take the pot out of Jarod's hands. Giving a little touch in Lyle's arm with it.

"Auch!"

"And that is for you to learn how to live in society!"

Returning to the living room, I see my father talking/arguing with Jarod's parents. Why is it that no one can be in good terms with each other?

«DING DONG»

Oh, no! At this hour it can only be that wheezing bastard Raines! Another person that open the door, because I'm just not in the mood for it anymore. Brigitte goes, thank God!

I swear that if he wasn't compelled to breath air through that tank, Raines would have been dead. Where's the camera when you need one? Speaking of which, I think it's about time to take the family picture. Things appear to be more calm between those two, so I'm going to get it. Raines can stick with the other three.

"Let's take a picture!" I scream to my guests while putting the roll in the camera. I look around and what I see it's just unbelievable! "I leave you alone for 5 minutes and you turn my house upside down?"

"I can explain... " My brother Lyle started.

"I'm waiting!"

"It seems that your 'boyfriend' here didn't like to see me talking to his sister and so he jumped to my neck!"

"I jumped to your neck?! You started with your usual ironies and I'm sick of them!" Jarod said.

I decide to ignore the subject and take the picture anyway. No one is in their best performances, but it's now or never. My patience is running low. And I swear that bimbo opens her mouth again, not even to ask for a coffee, and I can't help myself! I gatherer all of them and I set the camera. When the photographer develops this he's going to start laughing out loud. We return to our initial seats.

I was trying to talk calmly with Jarod, more or less near my family, when my troll stepmother speaks to me.

"Could you bring me a coffee, 'angel'?" and she even has the nerve to call me 'angel'. Jarod whispers in my ear to take things easy. EASY? He was the one that beat my brother!!!

I bring the coffee anyway, taking advantage of the opportunity to make one to myself. When I bring it, Brigitte is sitting - imagine where? - almost in Jarod's lap!!!! It's now! She was in a very tight spot and now it's all over! Reaching near them and smirking I handle her the coffee. But oops! When I give her the cup, it accidentally spills all over her.

"HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?"

"You never saw me like that!" I said, feeling Jarod's grabbing me "And you don't even touch me!"

"What have I done?" Jarod says innocently.

"NOTHING! You did nothing." I answer him sarcastically.

"And all of this is your fault! You filled her head with lies." Lyle starts.

"It's not my fault that you're a psychopath flesh eating cannibal, Lyle."

"You're what?" My father asks.

"See? Another lie! This Mr. So-and-So is a LIAR!"

"I think I saw that movie once and believe me, I'm not like him!"

After some more nice things exchanged between them, I was beating Brigitte (as expected), but I wasn't alone. Emily was my ally, with her super frying-pan, and came to help me.

In the other side of the room, my father was exchanging some pleasantries with Major Charles and Margaret. Jarod was having a little fun with my brother, Lyle. It didn't seem nice. From my brother's POV, of course.

The kids decided to see how Mr. Raines' respiratory system worked. So, they were having a good time with the tubing that linked him to the world of the living. Ethan was also in the group and was making him pay for everything that monster made to him during his life.

The situation was out of control! I was seeing the remains of the turkey flying through the living room! Brigitte decided she wanted to get dirty just a little bit more. In a brief moment of piece, I see Broots doing something unthinkable! He was punching Lyle! As it seems, he too had picked the food as a weapon and hit Broots' shirt. One of his favorites (the Hawaiian ones). He should have known better that mess with Broots' shirts. Suddenly, it all stopped at the sound of my father's voice.

"Enough!!! We're going home! It looks like you can't behave yourselves in public!" He said, dragging his wife and son with him out of the house. "Bye, angel! I'll talk to you later!"

Raines followed him, cursing the hour he accepted to come to my house.

Jarod's family also decided to call it a day and left. Broots and Debbie followed them, leaving Jarod and I alone with a house turned upside down - and some scratches and bruises.

Together, we go to the living room, to clean ourselves. The cleaning will have to wait. I hear someone stepping in. Jarod hears it also. Did they regret themselves and returned?

"Miss Parker?" It's Sydney! But wasn't he suppose to be with Michelle and Nicholas?

I leave the bedroom, dressed with my pyjamas and a piece of meat in my left eye, ready to face Sydney's smile.

"Not a word, Sydney!" I warn him.

Jarod leaves right after me and I watch Sydney's expression change from worried to surprised.

"I hope you're coming in a mission of peace!" Jarod says, he too with a piece of meat in his left eye.

Sydney made a huge effort not to laugh, I could tell it.

"But, what happened?"

"It's a very long story, Sydney. I think I don't have enough energy to tell it to you. Let Jarod explain it to you." I say, sitting in one of the couches. A knife is in the spot I picked and I throw it away to the opposite side of the living room.

"It's rather simple, actually." Jarod starts.

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I wake up, still a little shaken. What kind of weird dream was this? This can't be normal! Where did this idea come from? Jarod and I together??? Both families in the same house, under the same ceiling? I get up slowly from bed. I need a bath, a warm and relaxing one... I look to the calendar in my table: 24th December.

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Jesus!!!!!! This had to be one of the weirdest dreams I ever had in my life! Miss Parker and I together??? Where did this idea come from? I read it in a book that dreams come from our unconscious, but I didn't know I had this there! Although, the idea of giving two or three punches in Lyle's face doesn't seem completely wasteful. But, as you know, I'm against violence. It's 10 in the morning. I need a shower, a cold one, preferably. I look at he calendar in the wall: 24th December. Maybe I'll do that visit to Miss Parker after all.



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Fim!!!!

So, did you like it? Weird, no? Well, tell me what you thought about this story, please! I'm almost begging!!!!!
May your Christmas be Merry or as we say in Portuguese Bom Natal!!!! I'm going to check out the gifts under my tree...











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