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I know this isn't the most original concept and this story doesn't lead anywhere.
It isn't even funny, probably.
But as soon as I put together the words 'The Pretender', 'Christmas' and 'Holiday-themed fan fiction', the first thing that came to my mind was Miss Parker dressed as a reindeer and with a Rudolph-red-nose.
I hope you enjoy it!
*A huge thank to the best Beta ever, Danielle SmileyFace!*
(A huge thank to Julie Charlot (@_juliechery_) for this fabulous artwork!)
“There’s no way I’m gonna wear that thing, you clown!”
“Mr. Mayer was very clear, Miss. He said you must wear the costume if you want to see him.”
Parker pulled out her gun, Sydney just rolled his eyes.
The man didn’t flinch but swallowed hard, “He t-told me you might threaten me. He said you won’t shoot me because he’s not worth it.”
Parker stared at Sydney and the psychiatrist shrugged, amusement all over his face. The huntress sighed and took the bright red nose and the fake antlers.
“What the hell is your boy up to, Syd?”
“I guess we’ll find out soon.”
Jarod had summoned his pursuers to Debbie’s school Christmas show. Broots and his daughter were sitting with the rest of the audience while teachers and parents were acting to entertain them with the Christmas classic ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’.
When Parker put on the reindeer costume, Syd tried to hold in a chuckle, but it was in vain.
“Not a word, if you want to get out of here alive, Syd!”
The music from the stage finished and the man urged her, “It’s your turn, go!”
“Just do it, Parker! It’s Christmas, after all!” Sydney replied, pushing her towards the stage while he remained safely behind the scenes. Parker decided she would kill him later.
When she appeared on the stage, the kids in the crowd started to laugh. Debbie looked at his father, “Daddy, isn’t that Miss Parker?”
“Uhm…I suppose so, baby.”
Parker didn’t know what to say, she’d never felt so ridiculous before. She was alone with no idea of what she was supposed to do. She glared at Sydney, who was still smiling.
A few seconds and a very satisfied pretender appeared at her side, dressed as Santa Claus, perfect, even with fake beard and belly. Parker heard his well-known voice exclaiming, “Ho-Ho-Ho!”
She had difficulty holding in a laugh. When she stared at him, Jarod held her gaze, his eyes showing the smile hidden behind the beard. Parker smiled shyly at the crowd and approached him.
“Honey, do you know that man?!” Broots asked Debbie.
“Yes, he’s our substitute drama teacher.”
Broots watched in amazement while weird thoughts of a naked Miss Parker wearing just that red nose started to cross his mind.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, you moron?” Parker murmured, so that only Jarod could hear.
“I had to meet you face to face, and this was the only way you wouldn’t pull out your gun.”
“The only way? Dressed like two buffoons?!”
Jarod moved on the stage, “Why were you running away, Rudolph?” he said, acting like Santa Claus.
“I’m not the one running here, ‘Santy’!” she stated pointedly.
The crowd stared in silence, trying to figure out what was happening on the stage.
With an anxious look, Jarod prompted the pianist to play another song, then he approached Parker. “Listen, my mother sent me a message. She’s going to meet me, but she wants you to come with me.”
“Why?” she whispered, astounded.
“Don’t know, maybe she wants to tell us something about Catherine”, and then he spoke up, “Feel the Spirit of Christmas falling on us, Rudolph!”
When the pretender tried to hold her, Parker exploded, “Listen, you fat bastard!”
Parker dragged Jarod towards her, pinching the beard from his face. He moved his arms only to find himself with her red nose in his hands. They looked at each other in astonishment, while the pianist kept playing ‘Silent Night’. The crowd was muttering, Broots stood up to reach Sydney behind the scenes.
Parker and Jarod slowly glanced down at the crowd, then at the beard and the nose in each other’s hands. And then they burst into laughter.
They laughed so much that this infectious scene affected the audience and all the people in the room started to laugh along. Sydney stared at Broots, who looked back in amusement.
Parker and Jarod almost had tears in their eyes. When he succeeded in stopping his guffaw, he reached for Miss Parker’s hands to take the beard. She gladly put it back on his face, while Jarod put the red nose on hers and squeezed it twice, delightfully.
When Jarod saw her smile, he asked, “Can we give this lousy show at least a worthy ending?”
Parker raised an eyebrow mischievously. Jarod took her hand and they both bowed towards the audience. The crowd clapped, still laughing.
“This is the worst Christmas show I’ve ever seen!” Broots stated.
“Or the best!” Sydney replied, clapping.
“What about leaving Debbie to babysit Sydney and Broots while we go meet my mother?”
Parker smiled, “I thought you’d never ask.”
“Jarod, why the masquerade? You know that one of your annoying phone calls would have done the trick. Mentioning my mother always does.”
They were behind the scenes, changing their clothes.
“Things are different since Carthis.” he replied, “And you must admit, this was much more fun!”
Parker smiled, “That’s it? You did it to humiliate me in front of a hundred people?”
“I saw this Christmas movie with a man declaring his love by using handwritten word cards. One said that ‘At Christmas you tell the truth’. It reminded me of us.”
Parker sighed in exasperation, “I saw that movie, Jarod. It didn’t end well for those two. She was married to another man.”
“But you’re not.”
For the first time in her life, Miss Parker didn’t have anything to quip with. So she hid her lack of words in a huff, “And what truth are you going to tell me, Jarod?”
The pretender approached his former huntress, “That we must stop lying to ourselves, Miss Parker.”
She tried to withdraw but was stopped by the wall behind her. Jarod leaned against her and stroked her cheeks and Parker closed her eyes at his touch.
“Hey, look!” he purred, “Isn’t that mistletoe?”
Her eyes rolled up to look at the sprig.
And then she smiled.
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!