?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
May 10 2006 @ 11:43 am
Pretender/OCs: More Than You Think, [PG13], 4/4  
Title: More Than You Think
Author: SireesAnwar
Show: Pretender and Orignial Characters
Part: 4 of 4
Setting/Season: Between Season 1 and 2
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: None really.
Warnings: Violence, Language
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Pretender characters so don’t sue me. The PHQ characters belong to me.
Summary: Pretending is one thing Jarod doesn't share with anyone else... or does he? Jarod is opened up to a world he never knew existed when he meets a woman who tells him there are more pretenders than he thinks.
A/N: These original characters were created long ago on NBC's Centre Exchange Board. They've kind of gotten into a roll playing group and now have a small world all their own... Thought I'd share it with you. Hope you like.


Bug

Bug ducked out of the train the moment she’d gotten on. She had a plan and she’d lead these pretenders into her trap. She’d lost Jarod in the foot chase but she knew he wouldn’t go far. He’d arrived with this team of people and there was no doubt Nemesis wasn’t far. She would make sure Nemesis knew exactly who was responsible. She’d make the woman suffer just like she’d made her suffer.


Jarod

Jarod stopped running the moment he realized he’d lost Bug. Jarod flinched as gun fire erupted and then what sounded like return fire. “Michael.” He muttered and started back. Jarod moved slowly through the trains hoping to find a team member instead of a sweeper.

Jarod stopped and looked around the yard. The train in front of him caught his eye and he took a closer look. A bomb was attached to the bottom of the train and Jarod’s first instinct was to run. As he backed away he saw Kristina in the car above the bomb.

Jarod felt panic overwhelm him as he started to scream. “There’s a bomb! Get out! Bomb!” The panic of not being able to change what was about to happen hit him hard. There was only seconds left on the timer and Jarod was sure the entire thing had been planned. ‘Had they been led into a trap?’ There were so many questions he could ask himself but all he could seem to do is wave frantically, which was really pointless. Kristina couldn’t hear him.

Jarod’s head turned towards the figure moving towards Kristina. William’s face registered and Jarod’s stomach lurched at the thought that both would be lost. He heard the click and the second between the sound and the actual explosion felt like an eternity, but he knew there was nothing to be done. As the explosion erupted, Jarod flew back onto the gravel landing on his butt, hard. He kept his eyes turned away for a moment before turning back to look at the mangled metal that only a moment ago carried two friends he couldn’t afford to lose.


Where are they?

Natasha looked up from McKenzie’s side as the explosion rocked the area. She looked to Michael who was staring at her. “See what happened?”

Michael started running. People rarely saw him in a hurried state and the mere sight would make anyone think there was something very wrong about to happen. Jarod rounded a corner, covered in soot. Michael grabbed onto the pretender as Jarod dropped to his knees in shock.

Michael shook Jarod slightly. “What happened?” His voice was much calmer than anyone would have ever expected considering he had to know exactly what happened. Michael looked past Jarod but he could only see the flames and not the source of them.

Jarod’s eyes focused on Michael as he stumbled on his words. “They… they were in the train. It exploded. There was nothing I could do.” Tears rolled down Jarod’s face. He’d become attached to his new friends, and now he watched them die. Memories of something similar flooded Jarod but he pushed them aside.

Jarod could tell Michael took this as a physical blow but he didn’t hesitate. “We have to get the others and get out of here.” Michael helped Jarod to his feet and they both ran for the others.


Admissions

Jarod stopped at McKenzie’s side and started checking out her wounds. It was easier than thinking about William and Kristina, besides something about McKenzie was familiar and if he couldn’t help Kristina and William then he’d help McKenzie.

Natasha rose from the ground and headed for Michael who, despite his demeanor being the same as always, was upset. “What happened? Where are Kristina and William?” Michael put his hand out to her hoping to comfort her but she knocked it away, tears already threatening to pour from her. “Where are they, Michael?” She gritted her teeth knowing Michael had something awful to tell her.

“There was an explosion,” Michael started as Natasha started to scream. It was agony. These people were her family and she’d already lost so many people. She was trying to piece together the shambles of her family while being true to her new family… her friends… her colleagues. Natasha shook her head and Michael stepped forward hoping to comfort her. He’d been her most trusted friend for so long but she wanted nothing to do with his comfort at that moment. “I’ll kill her.” She huffed as she wiped the tears from her face.

“Nemesis!” A familiar voice called out. A top a train car about three hundred feet from them, Bug stood staring at them. “Lose someone? Or maybe two?” Bug actually laughed. She’d promised years ago to make the older woman suffer. Maybe she’d been unable to stop Nemesis’ rise to power or the recruitments of former operatives and other talented individuals, but she could kill them off as she went. The more of them Nemesis lost the deeper the older woman would sink into her agony. It was everything Bug wanted for Nemesis. “Suffer.” Bug whispered into the air as she watched the angry Nemesis pace and then turn to face her.

“I’ll kill you for this, you bitch!” Nemesis screamed. The grief had taken a back seat to the rage inside of her. “I promise to make you suffer!” It wasn’t a threat. It was a promise and one she planned to keep no matter how wrong she believed it would be. She wasn’t about to let Bug get away with killing two of her friends.

Bug shook her head. “This game will continue. You’ve already made me suffer; now it’s your turn!” She turned and disappeared over the opposite end of the train.

Jarod had winced at Natasha’s threat. He had no doubt someone like her would be able to fulfill the threat but hoped when the pain lessened she’d think better of taking revenge. It would be better to hand her over to the authorities though he wondered if they’d know what to do with someone like them. McKenzie winced under his hands and he smiled at her. “It’ll be all right.”

McKenzie nodded to him. “I believe you.” Even in her distracted state, McKenzie knew she’d met this man before. Lily and she hadn’t met him recently, nor could she place where she’d met the famous pretender but she knew he was part of her somehow.


San Francisco

They were back, finally. Jolene set to work on McKenzie without really focusing on who was present and who wasn’t.

Ryan apologized for the comm. malfunction. Apparently something cut them off. Natasha was grateful for that. Ryan looked at the faces of the people surrounding them. “Where are William and Kristina?”

Natasha walked past him in a fog. Michael immediately passed them all and departed into another room. Lily followed Michael slowly leaving Jarod to tell Ryan.

Jarod looked at Ryan and then at the ground. “Ryan, Bug blew up a train car. There was nothing we could do. Nothing I could do. Kristina and William were aboard when it exploded.” His own guilt would eat at him but he knew if the others blamed him it would be over… he’d never be welcome or willing to return to his new friends.

Ryan’s chipper face deadpanned. He shook his head feverishly. “They can’t…” He shook his head again as he turned. His balance wavered and he grabbed onto the wall next to him.

Jarod went to his side. “Are you all right?”

Ryan took a few deep breaths. “No, I’m not. How can I be?”

“I’m sorry, Ryan.” Jarod offered his apology but the man stepped away from him.

“I need to be alone.” Ryan turned away from Jarod and started walking but turned back to see Jarod. “Don’t blame yourself.” Ryan stated before continuing out the front door.

Jarod nodded as he watched Ryan leave. It was obvious, apparently, that he felt guilty over their death, but even he knew it was his own grief, making him second guess what had happened. He looked to the hallway and saw Natasha standing just inside the infirmary. Jolene was headed towards her with a smiled splayed across her face. “McKenzie will be just fine.”

Natasha looked down. She hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to explain what had happened. She hadn’t been there. Should she tell Jolene she planned to kill Bug in retaliation? She didn’t think it would go over well. “Something happened today, Jolene.” She looked up at the younger woman. Natasha swallowed hard, tears trying to break through her tough surface.

Jolene was peeling the surgical gloves from her hands when Natasha told her something bad had happened. Her face went ashen and her body went numb. She looked past Natasha into the foyer but the only one she could see was Jarod. “Where is he?”

Natasha stepped closer to Jolene. She swallowed again, willing her tears to stay off her face. “Bug went after Jarod. William and Kristina went tried to stop her. They thought they had her on a train car but…”

Jolene had seen Jarod but it hadn’t fully registered until he walked up behind Natasha. The soot covering him gave away the end of the story. She shook her head violently. “You’re lying.” She whispered, not wanting anyone to hear such a lie. William wasn’t dead. He was going to walk in here any moment.

Natasha’s tears didn’t obey her. A few slid down her face but her calm demeanor stayed the same. Her concern had to be Jolene right now, not her own feelings. “Jolene, they’re both gone.”

Jolene’s body started to shake and her knees gave out. She sank to the ground in a heap and the silent tears quickly changed to an agonizing wail. Natasha quickly went to Jolene and sat behind her, wrapping her arms around the woman like a mother would comfort her child.

Jarod watched for a moment longer as the two grieved together. He wasn’t sure how long Jolene had cried but when her cries stopped there seemed to be nothing left of her but an empty shell. Her liveliness was gone and Natasha had to help her to her feet. “I’ll keep an eye on McKenzie.” Jarod offered as Natasha walked Jolene out of the infirmary towards the staircase, undoubtedly to take her to her room where she’d rest.


Michael and Lily

Michael sat infront of the fireplace in his office, staring down at the fire he’d started in the fireplace. He heard the footsteps behind him and knew who it was. He wondered when she’d acknowledge him, but because of the recent tragedy he didn’t much care about anything at that moment.

“Michael.” Lily’s voice broke the silence in the room. Michael didn’t look at her and Lily jumped as a pop came from the fireplace. “Michael, I’m sorry about you’re friends.” She approached him slowly hoping he would accept her comfort instead of pushing her away. He was sitting on the coffee table staring into the fire with a blank expression. She knew he was trying to bury his feelings and she wasn’t going to let him hide them from her. She knelt down in front of him and put her hand on his legs. “Michael.”

Michael felt awkward watching Lily infront of him knowing the minute her hand touched his skin he’d mourn his friends. The last thing he wanted was to be consumed by any emotion. Lily’ stood on her knees and leaned closer to him. Her hand touched his cheek and then she slowly pulled him towards her, sliding her arms around him. His tears silently trailed down his face as his own arms wrapped around her in response and he squeezed tightly. He couldn’t imagine what would happen to him if Lily died but knew Jolene’s nightmare had come true. There was no doubt the scar on her heart would all but kill her.


Jarod and McKenzie

Jarod sat next to the bed of the unconscious McKenzie. Just staring at her made his heart ache more than it had in such a long time. He wasn’t sure if he knew the woman but part of him seemed to think so. Maybe it was being in this house and knowing Kristina and William.

Jarod slid his hand towards McKenzie’s and took hers into his. Jarod watched as the woman stirred and then opened her eyes. Look at those blue eyes.

McKenzie smiled up at his as he stared at her. She squeezed his hand gently. “I know you’re upset about your friends. You don’t have to sit with me.”

“Sitting with you makes me feel better.” Jarod smiled at her.


March 5, 1997

Natasha stood in the old cemetery in San Francisco looking at her team mates and friends. “Today, we commit two much loved members of our family to the ground. May God keep their souls and watch over us as we mourn.”

Lily sat next to Michael their fingers intertwined. Michael was a tough man but losing the people he considered his family tore at him. Lily hadn’t known William or Kristina but she was there for Michael who clearly needed her. His hand squeezed hers as Natasha spoke. He’d already asked her to stay. It was the only thing he’d said to her as she held on to him in his office. She hadn’t replied but he knew Natasha would want both McKenzie and Lily to stay.

Ryan sat next to Jolene who seemed to stare off into some unknown world. His walk through the gardens had helped him mourn and then he was on to helping Jolene. They were friends and he would do anything in his power to help Jolene heal. He held onto her hand as she rose from her chair and headed for the caskets. He wanted to hold her back but let her fingers slip from his.

Jolene walked slowly across the grass and stood next to Kristina’s casket. “You will be missed friend.” She then turned her attention to William’s casket and put her hand on it. “My love. You and I were never meant to be apart. Our hearts fit together like puzzle pieces. My life will be empty without you.” Tears rolled down Jolene’s face and Ryan rose from his chair and went to her side. “I’ll miss you, William.” She had opted for his full name, something she rarely called him, but it made all present agonize over what she’d lost.

Ryan put his hands on her shoulders. “Let me take you home.” Jolene nodded to him and the two headed for the car they’d come in.

Natasha turned to follow, not wanting to stay long at William and Kristina’s caskets. She stopped at Jarod. “Are you coming?”

Jarod shook his head. “I think it is time for me to leave.” Natasha nodded and started walking again. “Nem,” he called after her and she turned towards him, “I will return.”

Natasha nodded and gave what mocked a smiled before turning back to follow the others.

Michael rose from his seat and walked over to Jarod. “If you ever need anything.” He handed Jarod a card with another number on it. “My cell phone. I’ll be there if you call.” Michael extended his hand and Jarod took it and shook it.

Jarod released Michael’s hand, turned to Lily and smiled. “Take care of him and McKenzie. I’m sure we’ll meet again.” Jarod turned and walked away disappearing into the fog that seemed to be rolling in around him.

Lily looked to Michael and then to where Jarod had been. The pretender was gone and Lily turned to Michael. “He feels guilty.”

Michael nodded and then turned with Lily on his arm. “Maybe, but he’ll be back.”


Phone Call

Jarod sat in his newest lair feeling slightly numb. He hit the last button on his keyboard and waited as the calls were placed. He put the phone to his ear and listened as the phone rang, hoping he’d be there to talk with him.

“This is Sydney.” The unmistakable accent floated into Jarod’s ear.

“Why does the Centre chase me?” Jarod’s voice was flat.

“Jarod, what happened?” Sydney’s voice was filled with concern.

“Why do they chase me?” Jarod asked again only this time a bit more firmly.

Sydney sighed into the phone. “They believe you belong to them, Jarod. They only want what they believe is theirs.”

“Are there more like me, Sydney?” Jarod knew the answer but he wanted to know what Sydney would say. Would his keeper tell him the truth or would he lie, again.

“I don’t know, Jarod.” Sydney’s voice was even but Jarod knew he was lying.

“Yes, you do. You know there are others out here who are like me in a lot of way. I know this because I’ve met them, Sydney. I’ve met people like me. I know they exist and you should know The Centre killed two of them who I counted as friends.” The line went dead.

Sydney looked over his shoulder at Miss Parker who looked at him suspiciously. He had wanted to tell Jarod there were many others like him and the Centre wanted him because he was the most important of all of them but he couldn’t, not with Miss Parker standing over him.

“What exactly did that mean, Syd?” Miss Parker looked mildly concerned with Jarod’s statement.

Sydney rose to his feet and looked straight at her. “It means he’s mourning and he’s not going to be easy to catch.” Sydney walked past her. “Jarod will never come back.”


FIN