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Disclaimer: That’s right I don’t own them. NBC and Fox TV are the ones.

A Week
By: StarBeam

"I need a break." He said not waiting for her "What?" greeting to his call.

"A break?" She asked not sure she’d heard him right.

"Yes. Please, Miss Parker, just a week." Jarod asked.

"I’ll think about it." She said.

"Thank you." He replied before hanging up.

She put her phone down and started to wonder if Jarod was all right. They hadn’t seen him for awhile. Every lair for the past two months were the standard "You missed me this time." She debated calling Sydney turning to her alarm clock. It was one thirty in the morning. She decided to wait until she got into work to tell Sydney about the strange call. She closed her eyes , but sleep wouldn’t come.

"Damn you, Jarod." She said grabbing the phone and walking into the living room. She sat down and curled up on the couch. She speed dialed Sydney.

"This is Sydney." He answered sleepily.

"Sorry it’s so late, but Jarod just called." Sydney could heard the concern in her voice though she tried to hide it.

"What’s wrong?" He asked pulling himself into the calming father role.

"He asked for a break."

"And you said?" He asked

"I told him I’d think about it." She replied opening her file on Jarod’s last sighting. "Syd., do you think he’s in trouble?" She asked scanning the file for a clue to Jarod’s strange behavior.

"Did you tell his how long?" He asked

"I said I’d have an answer for him in a week. But you know, why did he ask for something he knows full well I can’t give him?" she said as she closed the file after finding nothing.

"Don’t give him an answer until we know more." Sydney told her.

"Be in early." She said before hanging up. She felt better talking to Syd., but now she knew they’d both get no sleep.

She got dressed and drove to the Centre. She couldn’t get Jarod’s voice out of her mind. It wasn’t just what he said, but how he said it. His words didn’t flow together.

"Parker" Sydney said walking into her office. "I don’t know why he asked for a break. That’s not how the game is played. We all know that." Sydney rubbed his chin. "Did he sound O.K.?

"The best word is choppy." She replied

"Choppy?" He questioned

"Disoriented?" She shrugged trying to describe Jarod’s voice.

Just then Sydney’s cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his jacket pocket.

"This is Sydney." He greeted the caller.

"I need a break." Jarod said.

"Jarod" Sydney said getting Miss Parker’s attention. "What’s wrong?"

"Nothing, Sydney, I just need a break. Just a week."

"Jarod, where are you? Lets talk?" Sydney said getting more concerned.

"Just a week please, Sydney." Jarod asked.

"I’ll think about it." Sydney said.

"Thank you." Jarod replied before hanging up.

"My God, what’s wrong with him?" Sydney asked voicing his concern.

"I’m calling Broots in as soon as Debbie’s on the bus to school." Parker said. Sydney nodded.

They spent the rest of the night going over Jarod’s pretends for the last two months. They all were Jarod’s standard "Missed me. Catch me if you can." Nothing was out of the ordinary.

Sydney stopped "Parker that wasn’t Jarod who called us." Miss Parker raised an eyebrow at him.


"It was Jarod’s voice, but it wasn’t him." Miss Parker gave him a questioning look and waited for him to continue. "He never asked for refuge. Whoever that was is testing us to see what we’d do."

"I’ll kill him!" Miss Parked snapped.

Sydney sighed and started putting the clues form Jarod back into it’s box.

"Good Morning!" Lyle said walking into Miss Parker’s office. "It looks like you two didn’t get much sleep." Miss Parker glared at him. He smiled back.

"I’m glade that either of you have lost prospective." With that he walked out.

Sydney and Parker continued putting the things away.

What’s a week in the big picture of things....

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