Summary: Amanda must deal with the implications of her job.
Time Frame: Early to mid 3rd season
To say that Elliot Crandall was not happy would be an understatement. He was absolutely livid. His brother, Derek, was an idiot and now, everything might be lost because he was a coward too.
Derek always did whatever Elliot told him to; as long as Elliot kept him supplied with drugs, he was happy. But killing a woman that was going too far. He'd refused to kill the King woman and now Elliot looked like he might kill Derek for his refusal. Derek wasn't worried though. Elliot didn't like to get his hands dirty; besides, he'd probably still need Derek for whatever he came up with to get Scarecrow and Mrs. King off his back.
Elliot had always done whatever was needed to make money, but
always small time stuff, from selling drugs to forgery and everything in
between, short of inflicting violence. He was too squeamish; so for
that, he used Derek. A couple of weeks ago, Elliot was waiting for
a contact to meet him in a restaurant not far from the Pentagon.
While sitting in the booth, he felt his leg brush against something.
Looking under the table, he saw a briefcase. Never one to pass up
an opportunity, he slid it closer.
Fifteen minutes later he was on his way home with the briefcase. When he got home and opened it for the first time, he couldn't believe his luck. It contained files of confidential military weapons. It was a gold mine. Now all he needed was a buyer. He immediately put the word out on the street.
That was two weeks ago. He had a few interested parties, and was trying to negotiate the best deal possible when Scarecrow got involved.
Lee was thinking over the past weeks, trying to come up with a strategy for nailing Crandall.
Billy had come to he and Amanda with a new case. Word on the street was that the missing briefcase of a Pentagon official had been put up on the auction block by a two-bit low-life named Elliot Crandall. Billy expected Lee and Amanda to check their sources and see what they could come up with.
They'd found out that the offer seemed legitimate and there appeared to be several buyers bidding on the property. For some reason though, they'd been unsuccessful in actually finding Crandall, but Lee knew from the street that his investigation was no secret to Crandall.
He looked at his watch. It was 11:30 p.m. He should go home to get some sleep. He wondered if Amanda were at home yet or still out with Ken.
That relationship had taken Lee by surprise. About four months ago, Amanda met a man at a charity fundraiser and they began dating. Lee had a full background check performed almost immediately, but Ken Davis appeared to be exactly what he claimed to be: a widowed investment banker with no kids, although he'd always wanted some. His parents lived in Florida, but he kept in close touch with them. Everyone Lee interviewed seemed to genuinely like the guy. On the surface, he appeared to be perfect for Amanda. That bugged Lee, but he had no claims to her. So, he kept his mouth shut.
Recently though, he knew their relationship was getting pretty serious. She'd even gone away with him for a weekend. After she returned from that trip she confided in Lee that it really bothered her to keep lying to Ken about her job. She was considering telling him the truth. Lee told her to do what she thought best, but he knew that, if she told him, there'd be nothing stopping them from taking their relationship further, maybe even to marriage.
"Why shouldn't they get married?" Lee thought to himself. "They're perfect for each other, he gets along great with her kids and her mother adores him." With that thought, he turned out his desk lamp and went home alone.
Amanda had just had the hardest conversation of her life. She had decided to tell Ken the truth about what she did for a living. If she thought the decision was a difficult one to reach, it was nothing to actually sitting at a quiet dinner, looking in his eyes, and admitting that she'd been lying to him for months. He'd taken it quite well, all things considered. She offered to take a cab home so that he could be alone to think about it, but he said that that wasn't necessary and drove her home. They pulled in her driveway about two hours ago and she went straight into the house.
Now she was getting ready for bed. She didn't expect him to be ready to talk soon, so she was very surprised when the phone rang.
"Hi Amanda. Did I wake you?"
"No Lee, I was still up." There was slight disappointment in her voice.
"I just thought I'd call to say goodnight. I've been thinking about the Crandall thing, but can't come up with anything yet."
"Oh. Well, we'll figure something out. We always do. I really should go now, it's awfully late."
"Okay. I guess I'll see you tomorrow. Goodnight Amanda."
The next morning while Amanda was having some juice and putting off leaving for work until the last minute, the phone rang again. She almost jumped out of her skin at the sound.
"Good morning. I hope you don't mind that I called so early, but I was up all night and just had to talk to you."
"Oh my gosh Ken, no I don't mind. In fact, I was just thinking of you."
"I can't say that I'm happy about being lied to, but I do understand why you did it. If you can promise me no more lies, I think I can deal with last night's revelation and we can move forward."
"Oh Ken that's so wonderful. I was really hoping you'd say that. I do promise, no more lies. I hope you understand that there will always be some things that are secret and I can't tell you, but nothing could make me lie to you ever again."
"I'm glad to hear that. If that's all settled then, how about lunch today?"
"I'd love to. Let me call you from the office to let you know what time would be good. Okay?"
"Sounds great. I'll talk to you then. I know I've said this before, but I think that I need to repeat it now. I love you Amanda."
"I love you too Ken. I'll see you later. Bye."
When Amanda walked into the office, Lee noticed it immediately. She looked like she was floating on cloud nine. As he sat at his desk in the Q bureau watching her work in the vault he wanted to ask her why she was so elated, but he had a feeling he already knew. He didn't need to be reminded that he'd waited too long to tell her his feelings and now she was happy with someone else."Lee, if you don't need anything else right now, I'm going to head out to lunch. Okay?"
"That's a good idea. Want some company?"
"Actually, I'm meeting Ken." She replied, then as an afterthought added, "You're more than welcome to join us. I know he'd love to meet you."
Lee could tell by her voice that she didn't really want him tagging along, and since he didn't really want to see her in her new world, he politely declined. Then he asked the question he'd been thinking about all morning. "So, have you decided if you're going to tell him about the Agency?"
"As a matter of fact, I told him last night. It took more nerve than I ever imagined, but I did it. Everything is fine with us though, he said that he understands completely. He really is a great person Lee; I'd like you to meet him soon. You are, after all, one of my best friends."
"I'm looking forward to it," he lied. After that she left for her date.
Derek had been following Mrs. King for two days, just like Elliot said
to. They needed a weakness. A way to get rid of Scarecrow.
Derek had suggested simply "getting rid" of Scarecrow, and Elliot had thrown
a lamp at him. He didn't want the whole Agency looking for him, which
is exactly what would happen if he killed an agent. That's why Mrs.
King, herself, had been the perfect target. She wasn't an agent,
but she was Scarecrow's partner and they were obviously close friends as
well. But Derek had ruled that out as a possibility. However,
the only person Mrs. King seemed to spend a lot of time with (aside from
her family, which was also not an option for Derek) was the guy she was
having lunch with today. Derek knew his name
and address and had decided that this was probably the best chance of getting them to back off. So, he gathered up what he knew and went to see Elliot.
For a petty crook, until now that is, Elliot Crandall was a very difficult man to track down. Lee was not enthused by his latest snitch's story that Elliot was actually not even in DC, but just maintained contacts here. While Lee doubted that to be true, it only proved how elusive this character was. He headed back to the office after grabbing a bite to eat and went to see Billy.
"Come on in Lee," Billy called from his office.
"Hey Billy. Heard anything new?"
"That's what I was going to ask you. I can't believe it's been two weeks and we still can't get this joker off the streets. Has Amanda had any ideas? She tends to see things from a different perspective."
"I don't think there's another way to view this thing, but to answer your question, no. Of course, I don't think her mind's on work much these days." There was a hint of jealousy in Lee's voice, despite his best attempts to hide it.
Billy heard the sudden drop in Lee's voice and noticed the way he looked at the ground when mentioning Amanda's private life. Billy felt sorry for his friend, but he knew that he had brought it on himself. When will he learn? "I know, I've seen her walking around starry eyed too. Is it interfering with her work?"
"Not really. It's just a little distracting. You know she's good and very professional. I don't think it's anything to worry about."
Billy smiled at Lee's compliments. It wasn't long ago that he had been practically forced to work with Amanda, now he considers her a professional. Maybe he has learned a thing or two. "Well, keep me informed. We've got to get to this guy before he sells any of that information."
"Yeah, alright. I guess I'll head upstairs and see if Amanda's back from lunch." With that Lee turned and headed out of the office, through the bullpen, and toward the elevator. Billy just shook his head.
It wasn't obvious from the outside, but Elliot's office was impressive. He had a large oak desk and plush chairs all around. Even the accessories were classy looking. The mystery lay in how he converted the dilapidated hotel into such a beautiful place. He and Derek each had their own rooms and he used another for his office space. If you were driving by, which almost nobody ever did since the main highway had moved to a better, wider road, you would think the building was probably condemned from the looks of it. But inside the chosen rooms, it was immaculate.
When Derek showed up that afternoon and told Elliot of his plan to kill Mrs. King's boyfriend, you could've heard a pin drop. At first, Derek thought Elliot would scream and tell him again how stupid he was. But, as Derek finished his story, Elliot slowly began to grin. Finally, he jumped up out of his chair, patted Derek on the back and congratulated him on getting something right. Now he just had to dispose of Mr. Ken Davis.
Lee and Amanda worked hard all afternoon, but nobody had any idea where Crandall was hiding out. Sometimes it pays to keep a low profile and just get away with petty crime. Around 5:00 or so, Ken called Amanda to say he had to work late and that he was sorry but he'd have to cancel their dinner plans. He promised to call her tomorrow afternoon and they'd make plans for the weekend coming up. Amanda decided to work late too, since she'd already told her mother she had a dinner date it wouldn't matter if she wasn't home on time.
That night, they stayed at the office until about 10:00, then called it a night. Lee walked Amanda to her car. He wanted to talk to her about something, anything, besides work, but didn't know where to begin. Thankfully, she started.
"So, how's Marcy? Isn't that the girl you've been seeing?"
"Actually, I haven't seen her in about two months or so. I'm actually not seeing anyone right now."
"Oh. I'm sorry things didn't work out, maybe next time."
"Amanda, how serious are you with Ken? I mean, I know it must be pretty intense for you to have told him about the Agency, but you've only known him for four months."
"I know. I don't know how to answer that Lee. Things were getting pretty serious, but since I told him I don't know if he'll continue to feel the same. I told you we went away for the weekend. I don't take that lightly, you know."
"I know. Do you love him?" Lee hated to ask, and he didn't think he wanted to hear the answer, but he had to know.
"You know what, I think I do." By now, they had reached their cars. Lee didn't know what else to say to that, so he said goodnight and they both went home.
Things at work the next day were no different than they had been. They still had no real leads and they were rapidly running out of time. Then, it happened. Billy called them to his office with a very somber tone in his voice. When they arrived, he told them both to sit down and he closed the door and the blinds. He did not want a scene to be witnessed by everyone in the building.
"I received this message about twenty minutes ago. I waited to show it to you both because I wanted to verify that it was true first." He handed a folded note to Lee. When he read it, he felt the color drain from his face. He knew what he had to do, but damn it, he didn't want to. It wasn't fair. No one should be allowed to hurt her like this. And he knew that she would end up hating him for telling her.
When Amanda saw Lee's face, she tried to remain calm and business-like, but it was getting harder with every passing second. She couldn't take it anymore, and blurted out, "What is it Lee? Is it mother or the boys? What's wrong?" She knew it had to be about her, but what else could be so bad. Then she realized. Ken.
"Amanda, sit down."
"Lee, I want to see the note. I have to see it."
"It's a warning Amanda. They want us to back off the case. They threatened to stop us if they have to."
"Who's they? And what kind of warning? Why would we back off just because they say to? Lee, I have a right to know what's going on."
"Yes, you do. I just wish I wasn't the one to have to tell you this. Amanda, this note was recovered from Ken's body last night around midnight. He'd been shot once, execution style outside his office building. I'm so sorry Amanda, if I could change it..."
"Let me see it, I don't believe it." She snatched the note from Lee's hand. She almost fainted when she noticed the smudge of blood on the paper. What it said wasn't important, it was true. She knew it was. Mr. Melrose had confirmed it before calling her. She sat back down on the small sofa and buried her face in her hands. Lee went to her. Kneeling in front of her, he held her close and let her cry as long and as hard as she needed to. Billy quietly left the office.
When Billy returned half an hour later, it was clear that Amanda had
stopped crying, but the damage had been done. He noticed the cold
look in her eyes. A look he had seen on the faces of many agents
over the years, but one that he had never wanted to see on hers.
As he took his seat behind the desk and cleared his throat, Amanda stood
up. She looked him in the eye and with a silent determination he'd
never heard from her before said, "Alright Billy, what can we do to get
these bastards?" Not only had she used his first name, but profanity
was not a sound accustomed to passing Amanda King's lips. Both Lee
and Billy stared at her momentarily as if she were from another planet.
Then, it was back to business. Billy began to
give them the ME's report and all the ballistics information they'd gathered from Ken's body.
As it turned out, they actually had a good deal more information than they'd had before the murder. From the note, they now knew that there were two of them involved, which had only been a guess before. They knew that Derek was the violent one while Elliot had the control. They also had some minute evidence in the form of dirt samples and fibers taken from the body that they could hopefully use to pinpoint a location the brothers were hiding out at.
While they were planning their next move, Lee got a call from one of his "family". After he returned to the office, he told Billy and Amanda that his snitch had heard that the Crandalls were supposed to meet a middleman for the purchase negotiations that evening. Lee had a time and place for the meet, so they just had to be there and hope to hell that Elliot and Derek showed up.
Amanda insisted on going, but Lee didn't want her to. He pleaded with Billy to make her stay at the office. "She's too close to this thing now. It's personal and that can only cloud her judgement." Lee was also close to it, anything that hurt Amanda hurt him, but he conveniently left that argument out of it.
"Damn right it's personal Lee! How often does someone you love
get killed because of your job?" As soon as the words were out of
her mouth she regretted them. She knew about Dorothy. Not to
mention Lee's parents, although technically none of them died because of
his work, they did die because of this profession. She wanted to
take back what she had said, but didn't
At the fallen look of hurt on Lee's face, Billy jumped in; "she's going Scarecrow. You know she'd never stay here anyway, she heard you tell me when and where the meet is, you know she'd show up. Better to have her there with us than showing up in the middle of everything."
Lee nodded and left the office silently. Amanda turned her face to the floor and walked out behind him.
It was after 9:30. They'd been sitting, waiting in the Agency
van for over an hour. The meet was supposed to be at 9:00 according
to Lee's source, but they had to be early so they could set up. The
warehouse across the street looked as deserted now as it did at 8:30 and
at 8:45 and at 9:00 and 9:15. Nothing changed. Amanda had not
said two words to anyone since
leaving Billy's office that afternoon. Even Francine was worried about her. She told Billy that he might want to pull her in from the field for a few days, or maybe weeks, when this was all over. Billy could only nod in agreement.
Lee was beginning to think the scum who called themselves the Crandall
brothers would not show up. Maybe there never was a meet scheduled,
maybe they found out that the Agency had been tipped. Who knows?
Anyway it goes Lee was getting restless. It didn't help that every
time he looked at Amanda he saw nothing. Her eyes were dark, lifeless
voids that seemed to
swallow up everything around them. He was to blame for that look. He had been the one to tell her about Ken. That was an illogical way to feel, he knew. If he hadn't told her, Billy would've. But he couldn't help it. He had never felt such despair in as long as he could remember. Even losing Dorothy hadn't hurt this much. He wondered if she would emotionally be able to survive this.
As everyone in the van let their minds go off to their own private thoughts, a car pulled up outside the warehouse. There were two men inside. "Here we go," Billy said to his agents. He knew that despite the roller coaster they'd been on today, they would each give 110% to the job at hand. They were the best.
The agents waited to see who got out of the car. Sure enough, it was Elliot and Derek Crandall. Elliot was carrying a folder. Looking around the corner of the warehouse, Lee spotted another man walking up to them. He recognized him as Rich Thompson. He was just a nobody that ran interference for some of the deals that went on in the back alleys of DC. Apparently, that was what he was doing here too. Unfortunately, they wouldn't get the potential buyers tonight, but that's okay. The ones they really wanted were here. At the very least, they had enough on them to put them away for murder, and Lee was willing to bet that once they got tough with Elliot he'd tell them where the briefcase was.It wasn't long before the three "men", if you could call them that, met each other under a flood lamp. They stood talking quietly for a moment before Billy gave the go ahead and the back of the van opened up. It took only seconds for the trained agents to overtake the petty crooks and all three of them were arrested. Amanda never left the van. She hadn't been able to. She wasn't ready to face them.
Two days later, the briefcase had been recovered from Elliot's office. The Crandalls had been promised a nice long jail term and Rich Thompson was released because he swore that he didn't know what was going on, and they had no evidence to the contrary.
The same day, Amanda stood by the fresh gravesite of Ken Davis. She was the last one there. His parents had thanked her privately for her help in catching the men responsible for their son's death, and told her that they did not blame her at all. Her mother and the boys had left her alone so that she could say her good-byes, she promised to take a cab home later and told them not to worry. As Amanda stared at the mound of dirt she couldn't even bring herself to cry. She was all cried out. She just felt empty inside. She knelt down on the dirt, not even noticing that it was ruining her dress, and told him how sorry she was. She said that she would do anything to take back what she had caused. She pleaded with him to understand something that she couldn't even understand yet. Finally, she said thank you for the past four months and that she hoped he was at peace with his wife now.
From behind a nearby tree Lee Stetson watched his friend, partner, and
woman he loved (?), mourn her dead lover. He knew that he would be
unwelcome there if she saw him, but he had to know that she was okay.
When he saw her finally get up to leave, he walked over to the grave himself.
He looked at the sky when he told Ken that he'd been jealous of him, but
had truly made Amanda happy and that was all that was important. He said a silent prayer to his parents to take care of Ken, wherever they all were, as he did whenever someone he was close to died. Then he left, having never actually met Ken Davis.
When he arrived at his apartment, he was surprised to see the door ajar. As he entered, he saw Amanda sitting on the sofa. He'd been avoiding her for days now, but he knew they would have to talk. It might as well be now.
"How'd you get in?" He asked.
"You gave me your spare key last time you were out of town, remember?" She responded in a soft voice that was not unkind.
"Oh, yeah. I'm really sorry Amanda, I know I've been avoiding you, but I just didn't know how to face you. I know you must hate me, and I don't think I can live with that."
"Lee, what are you talking about? Why would I hate you? I thought you were avoiding me because of what I said that day in Billy's office."
"If you don't hate me, you should. I'm the one who told you about Ken."
"That's not your fault. If you hadn't told me, Billy would've. I was glad to have you to lean on, and look how I repaid your friendship. I'm so sorry Lee, please forgive me."
"There's nothing to forgive. What you said was true, and I hope to God that you never have to go through that again. I'll tell you the truth; it doesn't get any easier. Ken was a good man Amanda, I'm so sorry for everything."
"Thank you. He was. Again though, you have nothing to be sorry for. I probably should get going, mother will get worried. Billy offered me the next week off work, but I think I'd like to come in tomorrow anyway. It will be good for me to be around friends and people who care about me."
"Amanda, you know that I'm one of those, don't you? I care about you very much," (probably more than you'll ever know), "if there's anything at all I can do, would you please let me help?"
"I care about you too Lee, and you've got a deal. You can start by giving me a ride home. I don't think I feel like riding alone in the back of a taxi."
"Consider it done partner." Taking her hand, Lee helped her off the couch. They shared a warm hug, and with his arm around her waist, they walked out the door.