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, Rush Hour, Get Parker! and Lilly of the Valley.
SPOILERS: Rudimentary show stuff, but nothing specific that I can think of.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

What Fresh Heaven Is This?
By The Raven

It is an old prerogative of Kings to govern everything but their passions. - Charles Dickens

Lilly Rush woke the next day at about 7 am, a little earlier than usual, especially considering that she had a huge sleep debt and had not even begun to pay it off. The first order of business was to shower and set the coffee pot to percolate, then she grabbed the bag that she had brought from her car the previous night and unpacked it. It had been a while since she had updated or examined the contents in any detail and if things went right, she would be needing it again soon, maybe even today in fact. Working quickly, she packed a week's worth of essentials into it, topped off the toiletries and quickly zipped it shut, snapping the small combination lock onto the zipper pulls. That done, she turned towards getting ready for the day, and with her coffee never far from her reach, was ready in record time. The exited anticipation she felt from the idea that she might see Miss Parker again soon, was more than enough to overcome her fatigue, for the time being anyway. On her way out the door, Lilly checked her gun and badge, grabbed her things and double checked the door after she closed it. If she was away again tonight, or longer, she would call her neighbor, who would get her teenage daughter to come and feed her cats and water the plants. The arrangement had worked well and in return for the favor, Lilly made a point of exerting her 'positive influence' over the slightly rebellious and hormonal teenager, occasionally even taking the girl out for an ice cream so the girl could talk to her. Lilly Rush smiled at the thought, obviously the girl thought that the Detective was not too uncool or old, so she was ok to talk with about important adolescent 'stuff'. With those thoughts in her mind, Lilly started her car and quickly started driving towards the station house, her mind already calculating what she would need to do in order to get to New York City. Lilly Rush had no doubt in her mind that Miss Parker would manage to get away today, and Lilly was not about to disappoint the raven haired woman by not making it to the Big Apple herself.

As Lilly arrived to work, she had decided that she would simply request a few days off. It was the easiest thing to do, and as she never took days off, all she had to do was come up with a reliable explanation, check that she had nothing pressing that needed attending to, and just do it. With that happy thought, she sprung from her car, and stormed into the building, intent on hitting a coffee machine for more of her favorite drug before she tried to think any further. After finding the 'blessed' coffee and realising that she was early, she then booked a time at the shooting range for the afternoon, having put it off for the last few days due to other, more pressing concerns. Her weekly routine of yoga, running and Judo had also been disrupted, but Lilly was not concerned, she was diligent enough in her exercise schedule and mostly careful enough with her diet, that the disruption should not cause her too many, if any problems. Never mind that Miss Parker was worth it. Worth the potential problems, the maybe troubles, the many sleepless nights, the long boring drives, the huge phone bills, yes indeed, Miss Parker was something else. Mentally shaking herself, Lilly started to work on what she would say to her boss when she asked for her days off. She being the consummate workaholic, who basically did not do anything except be a cop, would have to be somewhat choosy in her explanation, or it would simply arouse too much curiosity. Lilly Rush was not about to start answering probing questions, wanting to keep Miss Parker to herself and off the radar altogether. She also did not want to get into the practice of lying to her colleagues, so it was another motivation for her to avoid any questions, as she doubted she would be truthful with any of her answers. Glancing at her watch, Lilly saw that it was time to get moving and get to her desk. As she walked, she realised that her mind, and her body, were already steadily ticking down the hours before she could get into her car and start her drive towards Miss Parker.

Miss Parker on the other hand, was having a much less peaceful start to her day, though it had all been been quite pleasant before she had answered her phone. After managing to get rid of her caller, in a less than gentle fashion, Miss Parker had secured her house, tossed her suitcase into her car and driven at a furious speed to The Center. Coffee would have to wait until later, right now she was wanted by The Center's upper echelons for an interview. Broots had been as delicate as possible when he had called her to inform her of the situation, but Miss Parker was furious, and in no mood to face the stuffed shirts who thought they ran The Center. However, one did not say no in a situation like this, not that it was even an option... As she drove, Miss Parker renewed her resolve to get to New York City today, she would go as soon as her duties at The Center had been completed. She had no doubt that she could find a reason to go there that involved The Center, thus hopefully deflecting or even diverting any suspicions anyone might have. However, first she would need to face todays 'Inquisition' and from experience, Miss Parker knew that it would not be a cake walk. Thankfully Miss Parker was able to procure the all important coffee before anyone managed to intercept her course, and she was able to take a couple of hearty sips before Broots made his presence known, not that he was ever someone that one could simply ignore, he was much too annoying for that. "Miss Parker, Sydney was looking for you a few minutes ago. He wants to talk to you before you speak to the Board." The man was careful not to meet her eyes for too long, cautious as always about trying her temper, which always seemed to be boiling just below the surface. Broots also knew that Miss Parker only rarely lost her temper, however, that was a small comfort, as one never knew when it was that she would finally break. The woman was just as frightening, and probably more dangerous when she was being cold and calculating, as when she was angry and hot. Miss Parker turned emotionless eyes on the man, nodding slightly in acknowledgement before she turned into her office and sat down at her desk. Sydney could find her if he was so desperate to talk to her, she was determined to find a moment of peace before she went to the dark basement of the building to see what the hell the 'Torture Board' wanted from her.

Miss Parker had managed to finish her coffee and light a cigarette by the time Sydney found her. "Miss Parker, good that I found you before you went to the meeting." Sydney's measured tones did little to soothe Miss Parker's approaching foul mood. The man was one of a very few people that she felt was truly on her side, but he still had a lot to answer to, and in essence, was a diehard mad scientist at heart. As a consequence, Miss Parker rarely felt completely at ease in his presence. "Meeting? Is that what they are calling it nowadays?" Miss Parker stubbed out her cigarette out contemptuously as she walked around her desk, getting ready to leave for the 'meeting'. "What did you want to talk to me about Sydney? Spit it out, the wolves are waiting for me..." Miss Parker was starting to feel impatient in addition to her bad mood, and she could feel her mind switching over to what she termed as 'combat mode', a state where only the foolhardy would think to challenge her. "The board wants to talk to you about Jarod with regards your past endeavors and your future plans, but I also think they want to know about your investigations of your mothers fate. I just wanted to let you know before you went there." Sydney's voice had become even softer as he said this. His words caused Miss Parker to ball her hands into fists ever so briefly, before she forced a wave of calm to wash over her. It was much better if she faced the Board clear headed and cool, it would not do for them to know anything about her hand or how she intended to play it. Also, a small part of her worried over the fact that they were suddenly interested in her mother, had Lilly's digging caught anyone's attention? She hoped not. Regardless of why she had to face them, it was time to face them, and get it over with, do damage control if she had to, and move on with her plans for the day. Resolutely, she squared her shoulders and walked out of her office towards the elevators that would lead to the basement of The Center's building. It was a favored location for the little 'Inquisitions' that the Board liked to conduct, but it did not phase Miss Parker, she was made of much sterner stuff than anyone would really believe, except perhaps Lilly Rush.

Detective Rush's morning had gone smoothly, mostly occupied by paperwork, checking email, calling a half dozen informants to see if they had heard anything new or interesting on the streets and walking through the archives of cold cases that occupied the basement of the building. Lilly made it a point to spend at least 2 hours each day, time permitting, checking over one or two is possible. Many of the cases that Lilly took up were chosen because someone came in and asked her to look into them, or something else brought them to her attention, but sometimes, she simply chose one to work on from the seeming endless number that were stored in the lonely basement. Though Detective Rush was an excellent police officer, with citations and commendations, good results and a high arrest rate, she had decided to specialize in cold cases after solving her first one. The lonely, mostly forgotten files represented people, individuals who had not received justice, whose loved ones were still in confused agony, and whose killer or killers had not been brought to justice for their actions. The combination was one that touched Lilly, so she had made it her business to bring the perpetrators to justice, and a measure of peace to the victims, both dead and alive.

Later, seeing that it was almost time for her to be at the firing range, Lilly gently closed the box she had been looking in and slid it into its place. The firing range awaited her and after that, a talk with her Captain about getting a couple of days off, which would take her to Friday, leaving her the weekend as well. The prospect of 4 days to herself, possibly with Miss Parker, was enough to cause a break in her stride and a slight smile to form on her face. Finally at the shooting range, Lilly put her Sig Sauer P226 through its paces as well as her backup weapon, a .22 caliber 4 barrel Derringer. The smaller weapon she had found while on a trip to Italy, it's petite styling and old fashioned elegance had appealed to her at once and it was indeed the perfect as a backup weapon. She had asked a friend, who specialized in leather work, to make it a custom ankle holster, and now the small gun, along with her service weapon, were always with her, as much a part of her body as her own hands were. Casting her musing aside as she finished cleaning the weapons after finishing with her practice at the firing range, she realised that it was time for her to find her boss and talk to him about taking time off. She still needed to drive to New York City, today. Tingling with barely suppressed excitement, Lilly quickly made her way to the Captain's office, pausing only to gather her thoughts before entering the cluttered, yet somehow welcoming space. The man looked up from whatever work he was doing and offered her a slight smile, mild curiosity evident in his eyes. It was not often that Lilly made a visit to him when she was not working on a case, so his interest was only natural, she just hoped that he would not think twice about granting her request and would not become too curious about it.

With barely controlled anger, Miss Parker walked towards the main entrance of The Center, or rather the building that held The Center, or whatever. Miss Parker was in no mood for semantics and was projecting enough anger, in spite of her tight control, that everyone moved out of her way smartly. Her 'Inquisition' had gone about as smoothly as a corrugated roof and her subsequent mood was not improved by the talk she had been forced to have with her father. Miss parker loved her father, dearly, but over the years, she had become very fed up with his cryptic answers and seeming obliviousness about The Center's deviant activities, and well, its deviants. Add to that, the suspicion that Miss Parker had of her father knowing more about her mother then he would tell her, so generally the raven haired woman found it all just too infuriating. The good news, the big maraschino cherry on top of the huge pile of crap, was that no one had seemed unduly interested, or even really cared that she had said she was going to New York. Miss Parker had omitted where in New York she was going, and had given research and reconnaissance as her reasons for the trip. It was well known in The Center, that Miss Parker was a workaholic, and obsessed with getting Jarod back, it was also known that she took frequent trips to try to find information about her mother. Obviously, she was playing her cards right, so far, as no one seemed to have noticed (aside from Broots that is) her new hedonistic police hobby. The thought caused a feral smile to briefly appear on Miss Parkers face as she walked to her car, surreptitiously checking for signs of anyone having followed her out. However, it seemed all quiet on the western front, and it was with no small relief that Miss Parker pulled out of the parking lot and drove away. She would stock up on the essentials and on fuel when she was farther away from the city, and also made a note to check her car for any homing beacons or other nasty little surprises. It never paid to let your guard down when it came to The Center, chances are that you would regret it. The seeming cease fire could end at any moment, and without any warning. Miss Parker was determined that just for once, she would have what she wanted, as she wanted it, regardless of everything, or anything for that matter.

As she drove, Miss Parker could feel her anger start to evaporate and the extra energy that she had been carrying about transfer itself into the powerful engine of her car. It would only take her about 4 hours to get to New York City if the traffic was on her side, and with any luck, it would be not much longer than that before she saw Lilly Rush again. Miss Parker was slightly shocked at the physical reaction she had when she thought about Her Detective. Now in the less guarded confines of her car, in her more relaxed state, she felt her breath hitch and her hands tighten on the steering wheel. The feeling that followed spread through her lower abdomen before settling itself in her loins. It was going to be an interesting drive, that was for sure. Quickly spotting a service station, Miss Parker pulled in expertly. It was time to fuel up and check the car, as she had no intention of stopping again unless something forced her to. Miss Parker allowed herself another smile as she watched the attendant start to fill the car up with premium and then turned to enter the service station itself. The interior proved to be quite promising, not only did they have her brand of cigarette, but they also had passable coffee, her favored brand of water and a clerk who was quick and efficient. Add to that, the fact that Miss Parker did not find any covert devices on or in her car, and the end of her day was proving to be much more pleasant than the beginning had been. Miss Parker had no doubt that the night would prove to be fantastic, and with that thought, she pulled back onto the highway and found her her driving rhythm quickly.

By the time that Lilly Rush made it to the outskirts of New York City, she had been driving for close to 6 hours, with only a couple of quick stops for relief and one for fuel. Though she was tired, the first glimpse of New York's skyline had energized her, so she was buzzing, even as she became slightly mired in traffic. Lilly had a feeling that it would take Miss Parker a little while longer than her to arrive in New York City, so she would need to find something to do until Miss Parker called her. Lilly Rush smiled to herself in anticipation, and decided that she did not want to spend too much time in Manhattan just yet, though that was their assumed, mutual goal. With that thought, Lilly turned off the main thruway that she was driving on and found her way to one of the more peaceful spots in New York City.

It was about 2 hours later that her phone rang, causing Lilly to pounce upon it after just one ring. "Hello?" Her breathless answer turned itself into a question, a question to which there was only one acceptable answer. "I'm here." Miss Parker's voice wrapped itself around Lilly gently, sounding so close. Lilly shook her head clear and reminded herself that it was only a few more moments before she would see Miss Parker again. "I'm here too..." Was Lilly's reply. "That much is obvious you know. I'm starving, lets go eat somewhere." Miss Parker's voice sounded slightly distracted as she drove, telling Lilly that the other woman was probably fighting heavy traffic. Lilly felt a familiar shiver as she heard Miss Parker light a cigarette and after a pause Lilly spoke into the phone, "There's a hotel called Tribeca on 6th avenue, it's a good location for anything we might think of doing and there is a restaurant called Trinity in its lounge." Miss Parker's response was instant, "Very well, I will see you there." With those words, Miss Parker hung up the phone and left Lilly listening to the dial tone. With a smile, Lilly quickly slid off the hood of her car and climbed in, took a moment to orient herself before driving energetically towards Sixth Avenue.

Miss Parker managed to find the hotel with little trouble, she had been to New York City many times, and had actually lived in the place for a short while when she had been going to school. The hotel had a spacious parking lot, and soon Miss Parker was striding, suitcase in hand though the lobby of the hotel in the direction of the lounge. She did not bother with checking into the hotel or with making any reservations, as she wanted the whole procedure to be done in Lilly's name. It never hurt to put the bloodhounds at The Center on a false track whenever one could. Arriving quickly at the entrance of the restaurant, Miss Parker had to wait only moments before someone came to seat her. "I'll sit at the bar, I am expecting a second party." Miss Parker's words were short and to the point and thankfully, the service was quick and efficient. Quickly seated at the spotless bar, Miss Parker ordered 3 fingers of the best Irish whiskey the house offered and lit a cigarette. Now it was merely a matter of waiting until Her Detective managed to get there, hopefully it would not take too much time, but in reality it did not matter, she had made it this far, a few more minutes did not mean that much. As she sipped her excellent whiskey and stubbed out her first cigarette, Miss Parker schooled her body language into one of indifferent disinterest. The last thing she would need right now, is some man deciding that she needed a drink, or company, or anything else. Miss Parker was sure that her already not very legendary patience, would not hold out if something like that would happen, she had been feeling very on edge for the whole day, and now anticipation was making her feel like her temper was on a hair trigger, ready to blow at the slightest provocation.

Miss Parker had been sitting at the bar for about ten minutes when she saw Lilly Rush enter her line of sight. The blonde woman was moving with purpose, obviously looking at everything and everyone, searching for her. Her movement, though controlled, were filled with urgency, making the Detective seem desperate to find her. The thought filled Miss Parker with heat and caused her to stand up and toss a few bills on the bar as payment for her drink. Quickly scooping up her suitcase, Miss Parker walked out of the bar and towards Lilly Rush, intent on cutting the other woman off even before she entered the restaurant. Miss Parker saw the moment that Lilly Rush saw her, she watched as the blonde woman stopped dead in her tacks, and the grip she had on her bag tightened enough that her knuckles became white. "I was thinking room service." Miss Parker said by way of greeting, moving towards the other woman steadily, feeling her self control start to slip out of her grasp. The Detective nodded her head, a slight smile touching her lips, before the woman quickly shuttered her face, though not before Miss Parker saw a flash of white hot desire cross it. Quickly turning towards the check in desk, "You should do the check in this time." Miss Parker said quietly to Lilly as they reached the desk, Miss Parker now putting on her business face, giving off the air of being a slightly harried, yet very highly paid executive. Luck was with them again as they found their way to the elevators, check in had gone smoothly and without question. A onlooker might not have noticed anything strange going on between the two women, but as soon as the elevator door had closed, confining the two women alone in a small space all bets were off. Without warning, Lilly grabbed Miss Parker, using the force of her desire to push the other woman against the wall, before bringing their mouths together in what was to become a desperately passionate kiss. Miss Parker for her part, crushed the blonde woman to herself and opened her mouth to the kiss, feeling desire flood her veins with its dizzying power. The telltale ding of the elevator, along with a desperate need for oxygen forced the women apart, their gasps filling the otherwise silent space around them. "Come on!" Miss Parker said, tugging at Lilly Rush's jacket a little less than gently. The other woman seemed to shake herself out of her stupor and quickly followed Miss Parker's determined footsteps down the silent and empty hotel room corridor. By the time Miss Parker finally reached the room, she was beyond any sort of patience, and her control was completely gone. She wrestled with the door for a moment, then practically lifted the blonde Detective into the cool and dark space that lay beyond it. 'Finally!' Was her only thought as she turned towards the other woman after securing the door, 'finally!'

The End

Sequel Tiger Lilly

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