Flashback: Parker was six and her little brother was four. There mother seemed nice, with golden blond hair that went down her thin frame past her shoulders. The father was very loving and also was thin, but muscular and blonde with a high and tight hair cut, military style.
They lived on a military base in a cookie cutter style house. They were all the same size, color and floor plan. The only difference was what decor and outlook that went inside. At the Park home the decor was minimal as was the outlook.
They didn't have much money and the little extra there was on occasion went to the car that kept falling apart piece by piece.
The family seemed to get along just fine. The kids were happy and their mother went to all the school functions and had seemed to have such a loving attitude about their daughter. She said she couldn't wait until there little boy went to school, he was the best little boy ever.
The Christmas holidays the family tried to make as cheerful as possible their father would sing carols they would hang garland and drape it over everything. When it was time for presents, their father would go to the dollar store. This made it seem like a lot of presents were always there, without breaking the bank. But this year the father had managed to get extra money for Christmas since he was being sent over seas. That year the gifts were a little more expensive. Parker got a bicycle and her brother got a big wheel.
They loved to ride together. But her brother didn't want to always be on his big wheel, he wanted to be on the big kids bike even though there mama had said he was never to get on the bicycle.
One day Parker was playing in the yard with the girl next door. Her brother took his chance and ran for the bike. He was on it and rolling down the driveway before Parker could get to him. Next thing they knew he was in the road and directly in the path of an oncoming car. Parker screamed, the boy was panicked, and the driver never saw what was coming. He hit the boy and the boy went flying.
Their mother came running out screaming at Parker for letting him get on the bike, then at the driver for hitting her precious boy. The police came, the ambulance came and they took Parkers mother and brother to the hospital, while the neighbors took care of Parker. Later that night Parkers mother came home. She started yelling at her saying that her brother had died and it was all her fault. The next day she took Parker to the social worker and told them she couldn't take care of her with her husband gone and since she had killed her baby boy she couldn't even stand look at her. Leaving her behind and never looking back. End of flashback.
The client that they were currently helping had been cheated by a financial advisor. They hadn't had much money when he was growing up. Mostly due to his illness and injuries. He was fine now, with just a slight limp. But he had wanted to make sure that his children would not have the same financial problems.
Their financial advisor had fled with theirs and everyone's money. He needed his back for his family.
Nate said they would take the case and told him they would get back with him later after they had found the missing man and the money.
Parker had sat with Nate through the interview but didn't say any of her off the wall comments. She just stared at the client. Almost to the point of being scary. After getting detective Lt. Bannano involved (unofficially of course) the team located their mark and after a minimal amount of effort, Leverage Associates is the best after all, managed to get all his money and of course Parker, as always, took his jewels too. Nate and Sophie met with the client upon their return to the pub and gave him his money and then some.
Mr Park was so grateful that his family wouldn't need to suffer financially.
He explained to Nate how much it meant to him. That since his accident when he was little had cost so much. He explained, he has been hit by a car while riding his big sisters bike.
She had died in the accident trying to save him.
He just wanted to make sure that none of his children had to go through something like they had, if he could help it.
After their client left very happy. Nate and Sophie looked at each other thinking, what could the possibility be?
Hardison! Nate yelled even though he had his comm in still and itu seemed that Hardison never took his out. He replied yeah boss? We need you to do a little more background work on our last client without telling anyone else! Hardison wanted to know why he was doing this check as the job was done already and then too why it had to be on the down low? Sophie simply responded. If we're right you will get your answer with the results. Hardison shrugged and nodded, even though they couldn't see it, then responded okay but I don't like keeping things from Parker. Nate and Sophie both yell at the same time "Do not tell Parker!" Hardison responded "okay man okay!"
Then he turned to his computer to do his secret back ground check. After about an hour Hardison sat dumbfounded just staring at his computer. Was it possible? Is this what Nate meant. He needed to get with them and now!
They were in the pub sitting at a corner table when he found them.
Nate and Sophie both could tell just from the look on Hardison's face that what they had thought could be true was. Parker's brother never died after all. Her mother had lied. As Hardison sat done they waited for him to say what he had found out from his little web crawlers, as he liked to call them.
Hardison stuttered and stammered at first, but managed to pull himself together, so that he could tell them what he had found out. Mr Park, born Eric Park on August 26 1976, to mother Susan Park and father PFC John Park. They also had a daughter Nancy Park born March 15 1974. It appears that Nancy went missing at about the same time as little Eric had been struck by a car riding a bicycle, all while the father was over seas.
By the time the father did get home, according to his wife, the police had given up on the search for their daughter as there were no more leads to follow up on any longer. She told him the case would stay active but there was not much more they could do Susan informed him. The Parks divorced in '86 with Susan losing custody of Eric, due to her drinking.
Susan went off the deep end because Eric was her world and had tried to kidnap him. She was caught and while waiting for trial she killed herself.
Now Nate, the father is still alive. I spoke to him and that's where I got some of this information. I told him that we were just checking up on our client Eric. He bought it.
So, are we saying that Parker's brother never died in that accident, and that her mother lied. Man, she was a looney bird anyway. Are we going to tell her any of this? I'm not sure she can handle this kind of information Nate. It would break her, more than she already is. No Hardison Nate said. However, I have a funny feeling she just might think this already from the way she acted both times we meet with Mr Park. Sophie spoke then saying, I think we should bring in both of the Mr Park's and speak with them first without Parker around. From there we all decide what to tell her or not tell her. Go slowly, give her a little bit at a time.
Alright man, Hardison said while shaking his head. But I'm not to sure about this.
Sophie consoled him and said one thing at a time Hardison one thing at a time.
Sophie asked Hardison can you get me the number for the father please. It's in the report Hardison responded. But y'all make damn sure mama don't see that report till this is all figured out. Got it! Nate and Sophie both said yes they would keep it far away from Parker.
Just then Parker said keep what from me? Nate said damnit Parker! you have to start wear louder shoes or start making noise, your going to give me a heart attack or something.
At this Parker laughed and said nope (make a pop on the p) and besides that is Eliots line. Damnit Hardison, damnit Nate, damnit Parker. Yup, again with the popping p, all Eliot!
At which they all laughed and said, your right Parker, yes you are most certainly right.
Then they all attempted to leave hoping she had forgotten that they were keeping something from her.
But to no avail. Parker loved gifts and secrets too much for that to slip by her. So she again asked "what are you guys keeping from me?" Nothing mama was Hardison reply Nate shook his head in agreement with Hardison.
Parker simply crossed her arms and gave them, one by one, her stare that said don't lie to me or else!
Sophie then caved, but just a little. But you know how grifters are they are very good at lying. Sophie simple put her arm around Parkers shoulders and as walking back to the office (and away from that folder she could not see) simply saying we can't tell you Parker because it about your Christmas present. You don't want to spoil you surprise on Christmas by knowing what it is do you? Yes! Parker replied tell me now, and then you can get me something else for Christmas! Sophie just looked at her and said no Parker that isn't how it works. Christmas is in two weeks you will just have to wait like the rest of us. Pouting, Parker said alright.
But she then went straight upstairs to see what Eliot knew about her present. Maybe she could get him to talk.
Back at the table, Sophie slumped into her seat. That was close. Good thing Christmas is close too. Poor Eliot is probably getting the third degree right now.
Do you think we should let him in on this too Sophie asked? No Nate replied the fewer people that know about this the better. Nate then called the elder Mr Park and asked him if he and Sophie could come talk to him or meet him some place. He agreed and simply said for them to come to his house. Nate wanted to knowing if Eric would be there too? No. Why was Mr Parks response. Nate said it would just be easier if he wasn't there, for now.
After arriving and introductions were done, Nate said I guess I should just get right to the point. Do you have any pictures of your daughter when she was young? Yes, answered Mr Park with a curious look on his face. Showing them to Nate and Sophie, pretty much confirmed it for them. This was their Parker and his Nancy. Now came the hard part of breaking the news to him and figuring out how and just how much to tell Parker.
I'm sorry to tell you this Nate said to Mr Park, but I think your wife lied about Nancy's disappearance. I also think she lied about Eric's death?
Those two statements really confused the man. His first response was "first of all Eric is not dead and second Nancy most definitely was not at home when I got back!"
We under stand what your saying John, Sophie said. But let's start at the beginning.
First this is a picture of our Parker she said as she handed him a photo. She looks quite similar to your Nancy. We don't know much about her background other than a few thing.
For starters her brother was killed when he was hit by a car riding her bike when she was 6. Her mother told her he had died and she couldn't stand to look at the little brat who was the reason her precious baby boy was taken from her and then dropped her off at the nearest social services office.
We don't know her real name but she selected Parker to go by. No first name no last name. Just Parker.
Which very well could be an accumulation of both Eric's first name and his last name Er from Eric and Park.
I know you were told she went missing while over seas. But did you check with the police on it at all? No, he responded with his head hung. I got back state side almost a year after it all happened. Can you explain why Eric thinks she died, but you think she's missing? Nate asked. Mr parks replied Susan told me that the only way Eric seemed to process Nancy disappearance was to believe she had died. Rather than upset him any farther he had let it ride.
Well Nate replied we checked. There is no missing persons report for a Nancy Park in your area at all, and there are none in the neighborhoods surrounding you either.
Mr Parks just sat there dumbfounded, tears running down his cheeks. So my Nancy is alive after all these years and doing fine! He asked.
Wait a minute Nate said. Let's back track a minute. Parker err Nancy was shipped from one bad foster home to another until she couldn't take it any more.
She ran away and lived on the streets for a while until a man took her under his wing and showed her how to survive in the world.
She was ten at the time, maybe eleven. She never had a childhood. The man taught her to survive but did not take her to his home. He set her up in an abandoned Warehouse. What he taught her was how to be a thief.
She hasn't quite gotten past what appears to be similar to the childhood stage.
She is very intelligent. Smarter than a lot of people but just a little shall we say, quirky.
She wasn't taught how to feel nor how to do normal. Sophie chimed in then, but I'm teaching her and she Is coming along beautifully.
John said all that doesn't matter to me. If she's my Nancy I want to see her. When can we do that. Well Mr Park Nate said see that's the problem.
Parker is very delicate and finding out that Eric didn't die and you did not know what had happened with her might just put her over the edge.
How about we start with telling Eric. Then I will have you come into the office and meet Parker, not Nancy, just Parker. We will play it one step at a time after that. Does that work for you. Yes yes of course he replied. I will get Eric here right away. About ten minutes later Eric arrived. After telling him what his father had just been told.
He sat with a blank look on his face. He kept opening his mouth to say something but would then shut it and do it all over again.
He finally said, the girl at our meetings is, is my sister? She never died! I felt something when I meet her but I couldn't place it. Now I know why.
What would make my mother do something like this? Why would she lie and just throw Nancy away like that? I can't answer that for you Eric, Nate replied. All I can say is we need to go about this slowly to make sure Parker handles this well and can process it.
Then John said, you said she was taught to be a thief to survive. Is she still one? Yes Sophie said. The best there is too. She works with us helping others that have no where else to turn, like your son here. Okay Mr Park said. So you and your team all are kinda like modern day robin hoods. Kind of, Nate replied.
Since neither one of the Parks wanted to wait to meet Parker
they set it up that both the Parks would come to the office the next day to thank them for doing such a grand job of getting all of Eric's money back plus a little more. Then Parkers response to them would say where and how they would go from there.
When they arrived back at the office Hardison was waiting for them.
Eliot said I don't know what his problem is but you guys need to work it out with him His pacing and cussing at and about you both is driving me crazy. They both looked at him and Nate said my office. Hardison followed them and once the door was closed he pounced. Well! Is she or isn't she there daughter. Is he or isn't he her brother, that didn't die!
Sit down Hardison your getting ready to hyperventilate. Okay okay he said just tell me.
Yes Hardison, Sophie said. Parkers brother did not die. Her mother lied. Her mother lied to them all. She told Eric that Parker died. She told her husband Parker was missing and that the police couldn't find her. All lies.
Now both of them will be here in the morning. They are pretending to come to say thank you for helping them. How Parker respond to them at the meeting will set the way we go next.
The next morning the Parks arrived at the appointed time eager to see there lost family member.
Nate informed them both that she was not a touchy feely type of person, so no hugs unless she initiates it. Got it? They both said yes, just please bring her in.
Nate called the team in to see the Parks. Saying they wanted to thank them all once again for helping Eric out.
When Nate said the name Eric, Parker froze where she stood. Hardison asked her you alright mama. After no response he said again, mama (but louder) you alright? Finally,she started walking saying yes, yes she was fine. Hardison was getting scared and they hadn't even gotten into the room yet. Upon entering the room The elder Mr Park started to say how grateful he was for all the work the team had done to help his son. But he only got part of that sentence out before Parker said "daddy?" Is that really you? After which, the go slow plan was thrown out the window. Mr Park said yes baby. It's me. I'm so sorry for everything you had to go through. I though you were dead or kidnapped. Your mother told me you were missing with no hope of finding you when I got home.
Then Eric spoke up saying when he woke up from his accident he was told she was dead. Parker looked at him again studying him once more, then said your Eric. My baby brother. You died. Mama told me you died and she didn't want me anymore because it was my fault.
Then she ran from the room. Eliot ran after her. Catching her on the roof. He asked her are you alright darlin? She didn't respond. He could see her shaking. She was sobbing silently. He turned her around and hugged her. It's okay darlin. You cry and scream as much as you want. I'll understand. Then she sank to her knees sobbing uncontrollably. Eliot stoked her hair and back trying to calm her. God he hated it when a woman cried, especially this one. After a while Parkers father appeared. Eliot let him take his place but first he whispered to him "you hurt her, and your dead! Got it!" John shook his head. He promised to never let her get hurt again. After a few minutes Parker looked up and saw her father. She asked why didn't you come for me. Didn't you love me either. Hearing this he cried, then said honey look. He took his wallet out and showed her the pictures he carried of her everywhere. Then said they are so I can talk to you even though your not here. But they are there in the hopes that one day I would find you and show you these so you would know you were my daughter. My special princess Nancy. Hearing this she threw herself into him and gave him a hug. Never wanting to let go for fear of losing him all over again or waking up and it all being a dream again. He pulled her back so he could look her in the eye and told her I loved you and I never stopped. I love you my princess! You brother Eric loves you too. He would like to see you. Is that okay? Can you come back down stairs now? She shook her head and stood taking her fathers hand in hers they descended the stairs and went back into the office. When they got there Eric stood snd looked at Parker. He said hi sissy just as he had done when they were younger. Parker cried again but this time instead of running upstairs, she ran to her brother, who somehow was still alive, and gave him the biggest hug anyone had ever seen her give anyone before. When she let him go, she looked at him and just drank him in.
I thought you were dead. Mama told me you died. Why did she lie like that. All Eric could say was I don't know sissy. She told me you were dead too. That you were hit by the same car as me trying to stop me from riding your bike.
I missed you so much after that. So many times I would go into your room and just talk to you even though you weren't there. Then he showed her something he had brought with him that morning. Her bunny. Not the one she had carried all those years. But her first bunny.
She had left it behind when her mother took her to the shelter. She wanted to take it but her mother told her bad little girls don't get toys. When she saw it she screamed with joy! "BUNNY"! Grabbing it from him she said to the toy, I missed you. Wait till you meet mister bunny. You guys will be the best of friends and do thing together. It's gonna be so much fun.
Both Parks looks at her and then at Nate with a questioning looks at this behavior. Nate motioned for them to give him a minute. Then he said Parker honey, can you go into the other room for a minute? I want to talk to your family for a second. She looked at him, then at them and shook her head yes. Saying, but only for a little while. I don't wanna lose them again. Smiling from ear to ear she hopped out of the office hugging her bunny, ponytail flopping as she went.
Nate looked at them and said that was what I was trying to say to you yesterday. She still is quite childlike at times. With Sophie's help she's doing better but there will always be times when the real Parker will shine through. They both shook their heads in understanding but said at the same time. We will take her anyway we can.
Just then Parker came hopping back into the room saying my turn my family. They all laughed at that.
Parker finally had her real family and her real name, her real birth date her real everything. There would be no more Parker now just Nancy, Eric and John. But Nate, Sophie, Eliot and especially Hardison would be there for her too. So it seemed that the Leverage crew just got a little larger.
Then Parker woke up and cried again when she realized it had just been a dream, again.