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Summary: Lee and Amanda are each having sleepless nights.
Written: August 2000
Notes: I couldn't sleep the other night, and had been reading a lot of fic earlier in the evening. I began to wonder what Amanda might think about if she were having trouble sleeping. The next thing I knew it was after midnight and I had written my very first fan fiction. I used to love writing in college, but it's been awhile since I've done any. So, with that said, I'd love feedback. Let me know what you think. This has not been beta-ed.
Amanda breathed a heavy sigh and placed her latest romance novel on the nightstand. She was restless, frustrated, not with anything in particular, more like with a lack of something. As she ran her hands slowly across the front of her nightgown she glanced over at the empty space next to her in the bed. Four and a half years. It had been nearly four and a half years since anyone had occupied that space. Even when she and Joe were still married their nights together were sporadic at best due to his overseas work.
She was not a prude. True, she had waited until becoming engaged to Joe before she slept with him, but that was more out of nervousness than anything. Then, after the divorce, there was Dean. They hadn't had sex. She had thought about it, and they discussed it from time to time, but there was no passion in their relationship. There was no desire in his eyes when he looked at her. He saw her as a caring, giving woman and he loved her, of that she had no doubt, but there was something missing. No fire.
Since Dean, there had been a few dates here and there, but nothing remotely close to a serious relationship. She just hadn't met the right man. Or had she? No. No matter what her feelings for him may be, and they changed almost daily, she knew that his feelings would never extend beyond friendship. Of course, lately she had thought that maybe he was beginning to feel more, but every time things would get too close he'd pull away again.
The clincher was when Joe returned to the states a few weeks ago.
Since then Lee had been acting more distant than he had in ages and Amanda
couldn't figure out why. She had only seen Joe once or twice since
his "misunderstanding" had been cleared up, and that was when he would
come by to see the boys, but for some reason Lee was withdrawing back into
his shell. At
first it had confused her, then it became irritating. Lately, it was downright making her angry. But tonight, all she could think of was how nice it would be if he were here, next to her in bed, holding her and saying that he loved her. Talk about wishful thinking!
"Get a grip on yourself, Amanda King!" She said aloud to an otherwise empty room. Although she knew she would not sleep for hours, she turned off the light and turned over, careful not to go onto the other side of the bed.
As Lee lay in the dark, his mind began to wander. How many nights
had he done this lately? Too many, that's for sure. He wondered
what was happening in the cozy Arlington neighborhood he knew so well.
"That's easy," he thought to himself, "nothing. The only person I'm
really concerned about has long since gone to sleep." He tried to
pretend that he didn't know
why she came to his mind every night after he turned out the light, but he knew only too well.
Lee Stetson had had his share of women, maybe even more than his share, and not one of them ever complained. But, lately, there was only one that he wanted, and he was quite sure that he would never have her. He knew that she had a crush on him early in their friendship, but he was also sure that it had resolved itself into a deeper friendship than any he had ever had before. Unfortunately for him, the past few months had brought with them new feelings. At first he had a hard time recognizing what those feelings were, but when Amanda's ex-husband returned it hit him like running into a brick wall. He was in love with her. He didn't know how to react. It had taken him by surprise. So, he backed off, afraid of showing her how he felt. He knew that his actions had made her confused and even angry, but he didn't know what else to do.
During his debriefing, Joe King had told the agents involved with taking his statement, including Lee, that he intended to try to work things out with Amanda. Lee excused himself from the meeting shortly after that revelation. He never heard Joe say that Amanda wasn't interested in returning to their marriage. So Lee was convinced that the best course of action was to do nothing. He wanted Amanda to be happy more than anything, and if getting back together with the father of her children would do it, then Lee would silently step aside.
The only problem was, here he was weeks later, still unable to sleep at night. His thoughts turned to Amanda every time he closed his eyes. He punched at the extra pillow next to him, and rolled over, yet again.
A week later....
Amanda had enough. All she ever got out of Lee were polite, but concise, answers to her questions. She was tired of feeling left out by him; he may not want anything more than friendship, but she deserved at least that much.
So, on Friday afternoon she called her mother to make sure that Joe was still taking the boys for the weekend. To her delight, she found out that her mother would also be gone until Sunday because of her Seniors Club weekend trip to Atlantic City. She determined that this was it, one way or another she and Lee were going to clear up whatever was going on (or not going on as the case may be) between them.
When Lee returned to the office later that day, he found a note on his desk, it said:
Please come by the house tonight around
8:00. Mother and the boys will be gone,
and I really need to talk to you in private.
At first, Lee didn't know what to think. He had no idea what she could want to talk about. Then, he realized that they would be alone together in her house. They hadn't been alone together outside of work for weeks. He didn't know if he could hide his feelings from her much longer. Maybe this would be the perfect opportunity to tell her how he felt. He suddenly felt anxious. "This is a bad idea Scarecrow," he said to himself. "You're going to get hurt. She probably wants to tell you that she's going to quit the Agency so that she and Joe can get back together."
Just then the phone rang.
"Lee, it's me, can you come to my office for a minute on your way out tonight?"
"Sure Billy, on my way."
"Have a seat Lee. I just wanted to tell you that you and Amanda did a nice job on the Higgins case, and since it's all wrapped up, you two can have a work-free weekend."
Lee, looking distracted, says, "What? Oh, yeah, thanks Billy. Listen, Billy, can I ask you something? Off the record, I mean?"
"Sure Lee. What's up?" Billy was trying to not smile, he knew that Lee had been dealing with his growing feelings for Amanda, he had secretly been waiting for him to ask for advice.
"Well," Lee began, "have you ever wanted something that you didn't think you had a right to have? Someone, I mean something, that you didn't feel you deserved?"
"Like your fancy sports car?"
"No. Something much more important than that."
"Lee, I think that you are a good, decent man and I think of you like a son, so remember that when I say this. If you don't tell Amanda that you love her, you're a fool. You'll still be my son, but you'll be foolish."
"What makes you think...."
"Don't even try it. Which of us is the supervisor here? I didn't get to be section chief without learning a few things about how to read people. Look man, if we're lucky once in our lives we find a woman we can be completely open and honest with. Someone who stands by us during our victories and helps pick us up after our failures, and I'm telling you as your friend, if you feel for Amanda half of what I feel for my wife, then it's worth it."
"But, what if...."
"There are no what ifs. It's very simple. Tell her."
"Thanks Billy," Lee says quietly as he stands to go to the door.
Billy's voice makes him turn around just as he puts his hand on the knob,
"Oh and Lee, tell Amanda I said to have a nice weekend. See you both
At 7:45 that night, Amanda was sitting in her den trying to be calm. She had a book on her lap, but hadn't looked at the words on the open pages. "I don't know why I'm so nervous," she thought. "It's not like Lee and I haven't seen each other outside of the office before." Inside though, she knew why she was nervous. She was going to confront him tonight. She might even tell him how she felt so that he would know why it bothered her so much to be shut out of his life. "It's been weeks since he even held my hand." She knew though, that telling him her feelings would change things forever. It would probably make it worse. No, she decided, "I will not tell him the depth of my feelings. He would probably run out of here like a man with his pants on fire!" The image made her smile.
Lee stood outside her back door, watching her. "Does she know how beautiful she is?" He pulled his hand through his hair for the thousandth time tonight. Just as he was about to knock, he saw her smile, "I wonder what that's for," he thought.
"Hi there," Amanda said as she opened the door for him.
"Hello," Lee replied looking slightly at his feet.
"Won't you come in? Would you like something to drink?"
"What's the strongest thing you have?"
"I think there's some scotch in the cupboard. Let me check. Make yourself comfortable."
As Lee sat on the sofa, he decided to try a little light conversation to start things off. "So, when are your mother and the boys going to be home?"
"Not until Sunday evening," Amanda called from inside the pantry, emerging moments later with a small bottle of amber liquid.
"Oh," Lee muttered, somewhat surprised that they would be gone all weekend and he hadn't known about it. *That's what you get for not talking to her lately* he thought to himself. "Where did they go?"
As Amanda returned to the den, scotch glasses in hand, she answered, "Oh well, mother's in Atlantic City and the boys are with Joe. He took them to visit with his parents." She handed him his glass.
"I see." Lee quickly drank down the fiery fluid and sat the glass on the table.
Amanda, although sipping, finished her drink rather quickly as well. *Okay, this is it. Time to start digging for answers* she thought to herself.
"Lee, I asked you to come by because......""Listen, Amanda, there's something......"They began in unison.
Finally, Amanda started. "Lee, I asked you to come by because I need to know what's going on lately. I mean, just when I thought we were becoming closer, suddenly you backed off and I hardly ever see you anymore. You're my best friend, and I think I have a right to know what I did to offend you so much."
"Amanda," Lee began with a deep breath, "you have not offended me in any way. I just thought that when you and Joe started seeing each other again you'd want me to keep my distance. I know how complicated your life has been the past few years, always lying to your family and everything. And, well, I just thought it'd be easier on you if I weren't around too much."
Now Amanda was really puzzled. "Lee, whatever gave you the idea that Joe and I are dating again? I mean I've barely seen him since he came home, yet somehow you think we're together? And what do you mean it'd be easier on me if you weren't around? Don't you know how much I care about you? I thought I had done something wrong, yet again."
"You couldn't be further from the truth. You haven't done anything wrong. Joe told me that you and he were getting back together during his debriefing. I figured you'd be leaving the Agency soon to resume your life."
"Wait one minute. Are you telling me that you've been keeping your distance because you thought I would be quitting? You just couldn't wait to be rid of me? After all this time, I thought we had finally become friends and partners and you were just biding time till I was gone." Amanda was on the verge of tears, but she wouldn't let him see her cry, not like this. "So, I guess the water cooler talk is true? Who is she Lee, or is it more than one?"
"What are you talking about?" He was totally confused now, where had that question come from?
"Oh come on, the chatter at the office for weeks has been how tired you look all the time, you come in disheveled, like you haven't slept more than two or three hours a night. You don't have to tell me about her of course, but at least now I know just how wrong I was." With that Amanda went up the stairs and closed her bedroom door softly.
After shaking his head in confusion, Lee followed her up the stairs. He tapped at the door, asking to come in.
"Go away Lee. I'm sure you can find your way out."
"Amanda, I don't want to find my way out. I want to come in there and talk to you. You may think you know what's going on, but you couldn't be more wrong. Please, Amanda, I never got a chance to say what I came here to tell you tonight."
With that, a sniffling Amanda opened the door a crack to allow him to enter. As Lee walked through the door, he couldn't help but look at the bed and think to himself how he wished he were coming into this room under better circumstances. She sat down on the side of the bed and waited for him to speak, looking at the floor the entire time.
Shaking his head to clear away the thoughts beginning to form there, he began, "Amanda, do you have any idea how much it hurts me to see you cry? Even more so to think I'm somehow the cause of it. I came here tonight intending to tell you something. See, I thought you were going to go back to Joe and quit the Agency and I couldn't let that happen without telling you the truth." Lee sat beside her on the bed and after taking a deep breath, placed a finger under her chin and turned her face up to his. As he looked into her moist eyes he said, "Amanda King, I have never known another woman like you. You can be the most frustrating, infuriating person one-second and then turn right around and make me laugh. You are more beautiful than anyone I've ever known, inside and out. And you have made me feel things that I didn't know I was capable of feeling, much less sharing. I've never had a successful relationship, and I don't know if I can be unselfish enough to ever make one last, but if you will let me I would like to try because I love you. I have for a while now, and when I thought you and Joe, well, I just didn't know how to deal with that pain."
"But..but..what about the water cooler talk? If you're not seeing someone, what's going on?" Amanda asked, unable to believe what she had just heard.
"Oh Amanda," Lee sighed, "I haven't been sleeping well. Not because of another woman, but because of you. I try to close my eyes at night and all I can think of is you. I lie awake for hours most nights, sometimes never finding sleep at all."
"Lee, I had no idea," she whispers in a small voice. "I haven't been sleeping too well myself. At night, I turn off my light and think how nice it would be if you were next to me. I love you too Lee, please don't ever think I don't."
Suddenly, Lee felt very uncomfortable sitting on the bed, so near to Amanda. He practically jumped up and started muttering about going back downstairs. Amanda reached out for his hand and gently pulled him back toward the bed. She patted the spot next to her. Lee looked into her eyes, but was unsure of what she expected. He just shook his head, standing as far away as he could while she held his hand.
"Amanda, I don't think it's a good idea for me to sit back down there."
"Lee, please sit with me."
"I really shouldn't."
Lee sat down, but maintained a stiff posture, ready to pounce to his feet any second. Amanda was not just any other woman to him, and he didn't want to rush her. He was afraid that if he kissed her while sitting here, he wouldn't be able to stop himself.
When Amanda saw the look of fear in his eyes, she almost laughed. The great Scarecrow, afraid of a suburban housewife.
"I promise I won't bite Lee, unless you want me to."
Lee did a double take. He wasn't sure that she had just said that. But as he turned to look at her, she leaned in to him. He wanted to kiss her; he wanted to do a lot more than kiss her. As their lips met, it was like lightening. He suddenly felt consumed by fire; it was all he could do to stay sitting up. Then he realized that part of the problem with sitting up was that Amanda was pulling him down onto the bed. Suddenly, he broke the kiss.
"Amanda, I really think that we should move downstairs," he began.
"And I really think that you think too much. Lee, I want you. I have wanted you for a very long time."
"You know how special you are to me. I don't want you to regret this or to think you're just another girl for me."
"I appreciate that Lee, really I do. But, I am a grown woman and I made this decision myself. Now, I don't plan to regret anything so are you going to come over here and make love to me all night, or do you really want to go downstairs and do this on the sofa?"
He answered her with a strong, passionate kiss and together they began to lie down across the bed.