DISCLAIMER: They are not mine, I'm just rubbing them together to see what happens. No money was made and anyway, I have no money, so don't sue...
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Though I do follow both shows, and just love them to bits and pieces, I don't know enough about the characters or the shows to be completely accurate about anything.
SERIES: This is a Cold Case/Pretender story and the sequel to The Divine Miss Parker.
SPOILERS: Rudimentary show stuff, but nothing specific that I can think of.
By The Raven
A sudden shower falls -
and naked I am riding
on a naked horse! ~ Issa
Consciousness came slowly to detective Lilly Rush, so deep had her sleep been, and with consciousness came the feeling of what could only be termed as, post coital bliss. With that thought, Lilly searched the other side of the bed for the warm body she fully expected to be there.
The bed was empty...
This caused her to sit up abruptly and look around the Hotel room she was in.
Lilly rose quickly from the bed and did a scan of the room, finding all evidence of Miss Parker gone, like she had not even been there, even the ashtray had been emptied. Perplexed, but not as surprised as she thought she should be, she noticed the piece of paper on one of the pillows on the bed.
Reaching over, she picked up the sliver of paper, absently noting its weight and quality. It somehow made sense that Miss Parker would use expensive French paper, even when it was just scrap paper. Lilly opened the note and immediately saw the lipstick mark, pressed so carefully on the bottom of the paper and traced her finger lightly over it, not wanting to smudge it.
Snapping back to reality, she moved towards the window to catch the dawning light and read the note:
To my Detective,
Believe me, I am sorry I am not with you as you awaken... However, life calls me onward.
I do not wish to involve you with the poison that is such a huge part of my world, so I do hope you can find it within yourself to forgive my taking of your file.
Someday you will understand, I hope...
Watching you sleep is a very peaceful thing to do, I would like to do it again someday.
Lilly looked at the note and reread it, noting the excellent penmanship and giving a small sad smile about the fact that Miss Parker had bothered to leave the note, and that she had put her phone number on it. Lilly knew that the other woman would expect her to make the next move, as the ball was in her court due to the circumstances surrounding Miss Parker's departure.
Lilly found herself remarkably calm about Miss Parker taking the file and her notes. She would continue to look into Catherine Parker, using what she had stored in her memory and some information on her computer.
That was one of the reasons she was so good at her job, she was persistent, like a pit bull terrier, not letting go once she had sunk her teeth into something.
A knock on the door startled her out of her musings and caused her to simultaneously reach for her Sig Sauer P226 from its holster and for one of the robes hanging on the back of the bathroom door.
Her police brain working overtime, she stood to the side and asked, "Who is it?"
"Room Service." Came the female reply...
Flummoxed, Lilly flipped the safety on the .9mm and slid it into the pocket of the robe, before cautiously opening the door.
True enough, a woman, dressed in a hotel uniform was standing outside of her door, holding a tray. Lilly took the tray from the woman and went to get her wallet, when the woman spoke again, "Oh thank you Miss, but the tip has already been paid. Enjoy..."
As Lilly stood feeling flat footed in the middle of the hotel room, with Miss Parker's scent on her body and on the robe that she wore, she could only shake her head and wander over to sit on the edge of the bed. Her head suddenly felt as heavy as the gun in her pocket, fuck, what the hell was she supposed to do now?
'Eat breakfast.' Said her ever helpful inner voice, to which she chuckled and proceeded to investigate the tray of food for lack of anything better to do. Miss Parker, (whom Lilly had no doubt had arranged this breakfast) was nothing, if not thorough. Coffee, toast, fruit, cereal, juice and yogurt, a morning paper and an assortment of jams completed the experience.
Lilly was not accustomed to this sort of thing, being a Cop, from a working class background, meant that she had either not had the time, or not had the money to even think about it.
However, when in Rome...
With that thought, she tried to put her thoughts aside for a few minutes and proceeded to tuck into the veritable feast that was provided to her. Considering the rather surreal situation she had found herself in, it was easier than she had expected, but as she ate, her mind played, and replayed snippets of personal, erotic film, filled with sensuality and the driving passions that Miss Parker had brought forth in her.
Lilly Rush knew that it would be never, before she was able to put the idea, never mind the person, of Miss Parker aside in her mind, never mind her body. This was insane, how had this happened? Lilly's inner voice was silent as she asked herself the questions and contemplated her predicament. She had to be at work in less than two hours, so it was time to shower, go home, change and collect herself.
Miss Parker would somehow have to wait until this evening, when Lilly could set her professionalism aside and delve into her feelings. At that thought Lilly heard her inner voice blow a raspberry at her and mutter something about her being quite the professional; Having slept with someone she had known for the better part of 3 or 4 hours, who was possibly entangled in illegal things of all kinds, and definitely involved, somehow, with an old murder case that had never been solved.
By the time Lilly got home that evening, she had replayed the the previous 24 hours, paying particular attention to the time from when she had first heard Miss Parker's voice on the phone, to the moment she had finally left the hotel the next morning. Now, finally in the silence and comfort of her own home, she let her professional mask slip off and headed for the fridge in search of what remained of the beer she hoped was still there.
After finding a long neck and a bag of hard pretzels, she retreated to her modest living room and sat down, putting her feet up and rested the cool bottle on her forehead and closed her eyes. Instantly, she was showered with images of Miss Parker, smoking, smiling, looking deadly, coming, laughing, scowling, naked...
The visual array caused Lilly to react physically, her breath caught and she felt the beer bottle slip slightly from her grip. Damn it! Her entire person wanted a repeat or twenty of the whole experience, and Miss Parker having left her cell phone number meant that the other woman was probably receptive to the whole idea, but how?
Frustrated, Lilly finished her beer and rose to fetch her wallet and her phone, before returning to the couch she had been sitting on with the remaining long neck and Miss Parker's note held in her hands. Why on earth did she feel like a teenager, waiting for either a call, or trying to screw up the courage to call the latest crush? Analyzing the thought and the sensations manifesting themselves in her body, Lilly realised that this was no crush, though it was not love either. It was an obsession, a fascination, a passion...
Miss Parker had somehow gotten under her skin. It was time to act. With that thought, Lilly snatched up her phone and dialed the number from the note, her eyes caressing the exquisite handwriting and her mind replaying yet more personal footage. It was only 2 rings before she heard the voice that now haunted both her daydreams and her nights, "Parker!" It was still the same, though in answering the phone, it was harsh, unemotional and demanding of an instant answer.
Lilly could practically touch the other woman's ire from across the miles and Lilly was charmed once again. Taking a breath to calm herself, she spoke into her phone, hoping that her voice would not betray her, at least not now, not at this moment.
"Hello." Her voice was steady, it was a miracle. Now it was just a matter of waiting for the other woman's reaction. She hoped that it would be a good one, though she knew it would not daunt her even if Miss Parker told her to go to hell. The other woman was as unpredictable as nitroglycerin, but just as exiting to handle, the kind of exiting that could easily become addictive...
Miss Parker was not really having a good day, though as days went, it was not as bad as it could have been. She had been driving since 6 am, and answering her phone since 6.30 am. The Center, wanting to know where she was, who she was with and what she was doing.
Miss Parker had already decided that she would do whatever it took to keep The Center's filthy hands off of Her Detective, Lilly Rush was to be something for her alone. Miss Parker only hoped that Jarod's meddling would keep the woman under The Center's radar, as she fully expected Det. Rush to keep investigating her mother, and that could so easily catch the eye of the wrong person.
As the landscape flashed by the car, unseen by its occupant, the minutes gathered into hours, and the intermittent time between phone calls left much time to delve into recent memory.
Miss Parker slapped herself mentally, she needed to concentrate on driving, the New Jersey Turnpike was not a place to be delving into sensual memories and erotic fantasies, she might end up under the wheels of one of the many trucks that were lumbering by her at dangerous speeds, even by her lead-footed standards. Another cigarette, and Miss Parker faced the inevitability, that she would have to stop, biology, addiction and fuel economy would insure it.
It was just a matter of deciding where... She wanted somewhere small, and discreet, not being the sort who readily mixed with the great unwashed. Finally pulling over into a smaller service station, she slung her coat on, armed the alarm in the car and checked her gun. Mentally checking off the list in her head, cigarettes, coffee, water, bathroom, she walked into the station as the attendant began to fill the car up.
The gods seemed to be smiling on her for just a little while longer and Miss Parker was soon on the road again and the rest of the drive was completed efficiently and without stopping. Deciding to go home, before having to face the crap that she was surely going to be dealt at The Center, Miss Parker pulled into the driveway of her home and stopped the car.
Reaching in, she snagged the suitcase from the backseat and checked the car for anything personal, knowing that as soon as she handed the car in, it would be searched and examined. Next time she took a road trip, she made a mental note to take her own car, it was simply easier and less invasive. Her house welcomed her back and she tiredly sat down in her living room, reminding herself to do a sweep for bugs and other surveillance devices, as she did on a regular basis, or after an absence.
The Center was like a nosy parent, always sticking its nose into places that it did not belong and Miss Parker was determined to somehow manage to have some sort of normal life.
Rising from the sofa, she forced herself to go to her bedroom and unpack her suitcase, quickly restocking the supply of essential clothing and toiletries and other things that she always kept ready to go, allowing for a week long excursion with no mess, and no fuss. It suited her personality, Miss Parker was not a patient woman, not by anyone's standards.
After locking the suitcase, she sat down on her bed, her fingers caressing the folder that she had taken from Lilly Rush. Before she left, she would need to make sure that nothing could link the folder to Lilly Rush, should The Center, or rather, Raines or Mr. Lyle in particular, get their hands on it. A flick of her lighter lit a cigarette and burned the label on the folder, nothing else in it could link it to Her Detective and The Center was not likely to dust it for fingerprints unless it was suspicious.
Anyway, Miss Parker considered the folder to be hers, so there would be hell to pay if it suddenly went missing.
It was time to go, and with that thought, Miss Parker rose and went back out to the car. It would take 30 minutes for her to drive to The Center, time to organize her mind, and conceal her emotions completely. If anyone there caught her in a daydream, that would be enough to launch an investigation for sure. Miss Parker had been playing 'The Game' for her whole life and considered herself to be a Grand Master at it.
Hours later, Miss Parker had all but forgotten her small side trip to Philadelphia and the woman that it had involved. Predictably, her return was greeted with a mixture of curiosity, intrigue and nosiness. Raines wanted a progress report, and Miss Parker had been forced to tell him that there was no progress as she resisted the urge to shoot him, like she always resisted.
One day she would shoot him, that she had decided that over a decade ago, but until the right moment arrived, she would bide her time. Smarmy bastard had it coming to him. As she went into her office, her mood as foul as it could get, she did not even bother to try to be patient with Broots, who was following at her heel like a trained puppy. "Will you just get lost Broots? I have no time and no patience for you right now. Come to think of it, I never have patience for you."
She looked at the small man as he tried to be brave in her presence but failed. In reality, she was fond of him, in her own strange way. It helped that she was pretty sure that he was more on her side, than anyone else's. She knew he despised Raines and Lyle, as they had threatened his child, and she also knew he had a not so secret crush on her. Still, he was Center, and as so, could only be trusted so much until he really proved his worth someday.
Right now, she just wanted him to go away, preferably without her having to threaten to shoot his knees out. She needed some time alone in her office to think about her next move and he was not helping her concentration at all. The man was like a cat on a hot tin roof, all nerves and uneasy movements...
"Spit it out Broots!" Miss Parker demanded, her voice the very epitome of barely controlled patience. The man was not stupid, he quickly spoke his mind. "You are looking more relaxed Miss Parker. I am glad." The man quickly stepped back from her, half expecting her to either strike or shoot him, but all she offered him was a sharp glare before she retreated to her office.
No sooner had she sat down when her cell phone rang. Now what? Part of her wanted to scream, but she knew she could not ignore the phone either, at least not while she was actually in the building. Answering the phone, she barked, "Parker!" Modulating her voice to convey to the caller that it had better be good, or they should hang up. There was a pause, and then a voice said, "Hello." Time stood still for a few moments, as Miss Parker was transported back just hours into the past, engulfed in erotic memories and sensations that threatened to make her drop the phone.
Quickly collecting herself, she spoke into the phone, "Hello to you as well. You've caught me at work, but in a way I am glad. I'm having a bitch of a day." She spoke in a low voice. She needed to get Lilly Rush off her phone in less than a couple of minutes, as otherwise someone might notice something. Her phone calls rarely lasted more than that, as they usually dealt with unpleasant matters that were directly related to The Center. There was an amused tone to the other woman's voice when she answered Miss Parker's rather acerbic remark.
"Did I catch you at a bad time?" The voice was calm and smooth, causing a tremor to travel up Miss Parker's spine as she answered. "At work is never a good time. I will be home at around 8." Miss Parker was not one to embellish her words, or cushion their effect. She was not interested in glass jawed people, so if she drove someone off, who could not see past her attitude, it was probably meant to be.
The Detective seemed to allow the smile to creep into her voice even more, "Talk to you then beautiful." The gentle click of the phone told Miss Parker that the other woman had hung up on her. Amused, and also, to her shock, impressed, Miss Parker glanced at the clock, it was 6.30 now. Mentally calculating what she had to do to get out of the building by 7.30, Miss Parker resolutely stood up and went back to business.
Lilly Rush stared at her phone for a few moments placed it gently on the coffee table in front of her. Miss Parker had not been a dream, thank goodness...
Lilly decided that if her dreams ever seemed so real, she should get her head read for sure. Glancing at her watch, she saw that it was about 6.30, enough time for her to eat something, shower and crawl into bed. Might as well be comfortable, as she fully intended to at least try to talk until her phone battery was dead. Lilly was not sure what exactly they could find to talk about, perhaps the various virtues of their respective choice of handgun, but Lilly did not bother to concern herself as she moved to her inevitable takeout menu selection, today electing to have pizza.
That done, she moved towards the shower, stripping as she went and thinking towards her upcoming conversation and the possibilities it held.
At precisely 8 o'clock, at least according to the clock on her bedside table, Lilly dialed Miss Parker's number. She had put the phone to charge while she was getting ready and now the moment had arrived. The phone rang only twice before it was answered, "Parker." Lilly allowed the other woman's bedroom voice to wash over her as she said, "Hello again." Miss Parker answered at once, "Yes, much better. It is never a good time if I am at work. Life can be like that..."
Lilly nodded her understanding, before remembering that the other woman could not see her, of course. "I'd prefer to have you here, or me there. We barely know each other, so I am not sure what to talk about. I was thinking that maybe we could compare guns or something. Any ideas?" Lilly waited for the woman to answer, hearing the slightly muted noise of her lighter.
The sound conjuring up a whole host of images in her mind... The other woman spoke abruptly, "I'll meet you half way. There is a Holiday Inn, it's the first one, you can't miss it. Call me when you get there." Miss Parker hung up quickly, not permitting Lilly a chance to answer.
Lilly stared at her phone in shock, her Cop brain screaming at her wildly about how bad of an idea this was, but she ignored it. She wanted this, and she would damn well have it! Leaping from the bed, she raced to the bathroom, moving with expert speed, gained from both the pressures and rush that came with being a Cop, and from loving her sleep while she was in College.
Ten minutes later she was putting her feet in her shoes and securing her house for the night. The nature of her job, meant that she had to be ready to go at a moments notice, so a small bag was always packed with essentials for two or three night away from Philadelphia. Checking that she had her wallet, cell phone, badge and gun, she locked her front door and moved to her car. Fifteen minutes, not a bad exit at all.
Thankfully she had thought to fill up on the way home this evening, and also, that it had been over two hours since the second of her two beers. Ready to go, she started the engine and made her way to the freeway using every trick she knew to expedite the trip. Quickly on the freeway, she turned the radio on and brought the car up to the speed limit, keeping her eyes focused and sharp, it would be the ultimate in irony if she was involved in an accident now.
Soon the miles started to gather and Lilly relaxed into her driving and thinking ahead to when she would see Miss Parker once more.
In what felt like only minutes later, Miss Parker snatched up her ringing cell phone from the car seat beside her. She had already secured a room and two room keys, but had elected to wait for Her Detective in the parking lot of the hotel. "Parker."
She answered in a low voice. "I am here, just looking for a place to park." The voice sounded bright and alert and with the other woman's words, Miss Parker got out of her car and set her suitcase on the ground beside her.
Leaning against her car, she waited for the Detective to find her, knowing that the sharp eyed woman would without question. The detective's distinctive car came into view and slowed, pulling into the space beside Miss Parker's car, the blonde Detective looking over her dashboard at Miss Parker. The woman turned off her ignition and reached into the back of the car, before stepping out of it and slamming the door shut. Putting the soft sided leather sports bag on the trunk of her car, the woman turned towards Miss Parker and ran appreciative eyes over her.
Detective Rush had already proven herself not to be shy or timid, and Miss Parker could practically feel the touch of the other woman's eyes on her.
"This is unexpected, but not unwelcome. I was not sure when and if I would ever see you again." Lilly's voice was slightly rough from hours of disuse.
Miss Parker allowed a small smile to grace her face before she said, "Coming?" Turning on her heel with suitcase in hand, she did not miss Her Detective's low mumble, "Not yet." Miss Parker smiled more broadly into the black night and together the women walked into the Hotel, where they were thankful to discover the lobby abandoned. This was a private moment, forced by circumstance into a public place.
They did not want the whole world to ogle at them, so they made their way quickly to the room that Miss Parker had already reserved and paid for.
They did not speak or touch as they moved to the elevators and rode them up, nor did they even look at each other when they walked down the long corridor to the room. Miss Parker opened the door and motioned Lilly in before her, then turned to secure the door.
As soon as she had done that, she felt strong hands grab and turn her, "Kiss me." It was an order. Miss Parker pulled the other woman to towards her forcefully and in a heartbeat their lips were crushed together passionately, desperately, tantalizingly.
Miss Parker could feel the other woman untuck her shirt and when Lilly's hands touched her bare skin, she moaned without shame right into the Detective's mouth. This was more than worth whatever tomorrow would bring...