Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers
and Shoot the Moon Production Company. The lyrics used in the story are by
Richard Kerr and Scott English. The story, however, is copyrighted to the
author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be
redistributed, reproduced, archived, reposted, or forwarded without the
permission of the author.
Author: Ann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date written : January 2002
<![endif]>Synopsis: A spoof look at out of character stories. Please do not take seriously.
"Amanda, take a look at this." Lee Stetson called his partner over.
"What is it, Lee?" she questioned as she sat down a stack of files. They had been doing research all morning in a dank storage room on the Agency's bottom level. "Did you finally find what we were looking for?"
"No, but I found something even more interesting. Look at this old map of DC."
"What about it?" Amanda asked, carefully smoothing wrinkles out of the yellowed paper. She inspected the drawing and said, "Well, it's got the original boundary lines extending into Virginia."
Lee nodded and pointed to the top right-hand corner. "Not just that, Look at the city name."
"Oh my gosh," she exclaimed. "You mean for all these years people have been getting the name wrong?"
"Yep," he said. "Washington DC wasn't originally the District of Columbia, it was the District of Characterization."
"Wow," Amanda breathed. "I wonder when that was changed."
"More importantly, what it means." Lee quickly scanned through the rest of the file. "Unbelievable. Apparently whenever people leave the district they start to act wildly out of character."
"I wonder if it still holds true today,"Amanda mused.
"Only one way to find out." Lee smiled and headed for the door, Amanda close on his heels.
They quickly worked their way up to the street level, exited through the Georgetown foyer and got into Lee's car. As they drove towards the city limit, Lee looked over at Amanda with a grin.
"What's so funny?" she asked.
"I was just wondering what kinds of things you might start doing once we get out of the district."
"Oh, you think you know what is in character for me?" she said, quirking up an eyebrow.
"Amanda, we've known each other for a year and a half now. I think it's safe to say I know you pretty well. Okay, the district limits are just up ahead." Lee accelerated down the last stretch of road then pulled the car off to the side.
Cautiously the two of them got out of the car.
"Lee, I don't think this is working," Amanda said, disappointment obvious in her voice. "I don't feel any different."
"Me neither. Well, baby, I guess it didn't work."
"What did you call me?" Amanda asked.
"Baby," Lee said slowly. "Hey, maybe it's working after all. Do you feel any different now, `Manda?"
"`Manda?" she echoed. "Okay, this is getting weird." As she spoke Amanda undid the top three buttons on her blouse, exposing an expanse of creamy white skin.
"`Manda, sweetie, you look beautiful," Lee groaned, reaching for her.
Amanda pulled back though, fretfully looking down at her calf length full skirt. "Lee, if you don't mind, I think I need a change of clothing. I won't be gone long." She hailed a passing cab and headed further away from the district.
Lee watched her taxi drive out of sight. He slumped in a heap on the side of the road. "How could she leave me?" he muttered. "She's my soul, my destiny, my reason for living. Without her I'm a hollow wreck of man. How can I bear to be out of her presence?" He ran his hand over his face, wiping away the tears that had begun streaming down his cheeks. Slowly he got to his feet and got back into his car. "I know, I'll write her a letter that tells her exactly how I feel about her."
He took out a pad from the glove compartment and began to write: "My dearest, sweetest, love of my life, you've only been gone for a few minutes but already I can feel my heart begin to wither away."
He was interrupted by the sound of the car phone ringing. Grimacing with annoyance, he grabbed up the handset and growled, "Stetson here."
"Lee, I'm so glad I got hold of you," Billy said. "Is Amanda there with you?"
"No, actually she's not."
"Well as soon as you see her, make sure you tell her how you really feel about her. She's the best thing that ever happened to you, man! Don't let her slip through your fingers or you'll regret it the rest of your life."
"Thanks, Billy," Lee said. "Actually I was just going to do that." He hung up the phone, a puzzled look on his face. Could the out of character symptoms have extended to other people? Maybe it happened when the phone signals were transmitted out of the district. He shrugged and turned back to his writing. "My own dulcet darling, why haven't you returned to me yet? Don't you know that every moment is agony without you?"
He was interrupted yet again by the ringing of the phone. This time it was Lady Farnsworth. "Lee, it's the middle of the night here in England, but I just woke up and knew I had to call you."
"What's so important that it couldn't wait?" Lee asked, envisioning a crisis of international importance.
"I was just thinking about a few months ago when I saw you and Amanda together in Austria. And then again during the Falcon Wing case. Lee, you and Amanda belong together. You have to tell her and right away. Don't be an idiot and lose her."
"Thanks, Emily," Lee said, hanging up the phone. Things were really getting strange. He turned again to his paper. "My own `Manda, when I envision your eyes they make me think of pools of milk chocolate, but not the kind with bits of toffee in it, just the plain milk chocolate. Not that there is anything plain about you. I am in awe of your ravishing beauty. It almost blinds me."
Ring! He snatched up the phone again. "Yes, Francine, uh, huh, yes, Amanda and I should be together, yes, I know, we're meant for each other, yes, thanks for letting me know, I'll be sure to tell her." He hung up the phone with a sigh and sat back waiting, knowing someone else was sure to call in the next few seconds.
Ten minutes later Lee had received calls from Princess Penny, Bela Pravik, Ivan and Dimitri (phoning long distance from Russia), Conrad Barnhill, Augie Swan, Harry Hollinger, his uncle Colonel Clayton, Dean McGuire (who told him that Amanda had
explained all about the two of them when they broke up), Bobby Bouchard, James Delano, Russell Sinclair, Lord Bromfield, David Benson, Edson Ballon, Alan Squires, Princess Valosky, Orlando Graves, and even Eva Spinelli (who confessed that while she had made a play for Lee, she'd known it would be hopeless).... all giving him the same message. Lee smacked the steering wheel in frustration. He would love to tell Amanda how much she meant to him, but where was she? Just as he was about to give up all hope of ever seeing her again and was contemplating throwing himself under the wheels of the next bus that came by, a taxi came screeching up beside his car.
"`Manda, baby, love, sweetheart," Lee crooned, getting out of his car and opening the door of the cab for her. He gasped as he saw what she was wearing. She was clad in a tight tank top, no bra underneath and the shortest mini skirt he had ever seen. Thigh high leather boots covered her legs like a second skin. Her hair was teased away from her face. She seemed to have made a stop at a Connie Beth Cosmetics outlet and was now wearing their entire line of products. A diamond necklace glittered at her neck, while jewel encrusted combs adorned her hair.
"Amanda, you look... you look..." Lee stammered.
"You like it?" Amanda preened, turning about to give him the full effect.
Lee let his eyes roam over her curvaceous body. His mind blurred until only one thought was left in his mind. Opening his mouth, he began to serenade her,
"Oh, Mandy, well, you came and you gave without taking,
And I sent you away, oh Mandy,
Well, you kissed me, and stopped me from shaking,
And I need you today, oh Mandy."
"Excuse me." They turned to find the taxi driver leaning out of the window of the cab.
"Oh, right, the fare. I'd forgotten all about that." Amanda began digging through her sequin adorned bag.
"No, it's not that," the driver interrupted. "This one's on me. I just wanted to tell you that in the forty-five seconds I've been watching you, I've never seen a couple so much in love. You are very lucky to have each other." With that, he put his foot on the accelerator and drove out of sight.
"So, Lee, what do you think?" Amanda asked again.
Lee observed her slowly. While her new clothing did accentuate her beautiful body, a small corner of his mind was shrieking out that something was wrong. "I'm not sure..." he said slowly.
Amanda face crumpled and she burst into tears.
"`Manda, no, I didn't mean..." Lee reached out a hand to her, but she fell to the ground in a howling, sobbing heap.
Lee bent down and put his hands on her shoulders. Amanda looked up at him, tears streaming down her face. Her makeup had become a smeared mess, the colours melting and running into each other.
"You don't like the way I look?" she sniffled between sobs. "Lee, how can you be so cruel to me? After all the work I did, dressing up just for you."
"No, `Manda, I didn't mean it that way." Lee quickly moved to enfold her in his arms. He pushed back his reservations and let his new feelings have full sway. "Baby, darling, honey, you look ravishing. I'm a monster for treating you harshly. I need to tell you what you mean to me. `Manda, before you came along, my life had no meaning, no purpose. I was drifting along aimlessly with no goal in sight. Sure I had a great job I was good at, lots of spending money, the opportunity to travel all over the world, a beautiful sports car, exotic women to date every evening... but really, can any of that bring happiness? I was just deluding myself."
Amanda giggled and giggled, a unfamiliar sound that grated in Lee's ears.
"What's so funny? I'm pouring my soul out to you here," he said petulantly, standing up.
"No, it's not that," she getting to her feet as well. "I was just thinking that the out of character thing really is working. Now YOU'RE the one rambling."
He couldn't help but grin back real big.
Amanda snuffled against his chest, drying her tears and ruined makeup on his shirt. She stood back and looked at Lee closely.
"Lee, it's good to hear you open up like this," she said slowly but then stopped.
"Why do I feel like there's a `but' coming up?" Lee asked.
Amanda spun him around in her arms and gazed at his posterior. "Now that you mention it, you have a great butt." Suddenly she pushed him away. "Lee, this is so strange. I'm trying to think of you as something besides a sex object and it just isn't working. All I can do is picture the two of us.... I mean, it's like you aren't even my friend any more, just a piece of meat."
Lee turned back towards her. "I'm having the same problem, `Manda. It's not that I'm not attracted to you like this, believe me, I am. But I miss Amanda. The person who was my friend. Who didn't let me get away with things. Who made me talk things out. Who..."
"You're rambling again," Amanda pointed out. "Lee, I think we need to get out of here. Another few minutes and we won't be able to recognize each other at all. And if we stay too long, maybe the effects will be permanent."
Lee's faced blanched at that thought. He wanted the old Amanda back, not this cheap floozy. "Let's get out of here then," he said, grabbing her hand and heading back to the car.
A few minutes later they had crossed back over in D.C. Lee pulled off to the side of the road and they sat quietly for a few minutes, letting their familiar selves seep back into their bodies.
"Amanda," Lee started only to be interrupted.
"You called me `Amanda'," she sighed happily. "Lee, it's so good to have you back."
"It's good to be back." Lee thought back to the intense feelings he had had about Amanda over the last hour. Deep down he knew there was some validity in them; he did care very much for Amanda. But he also knew he was no where near ready to fully acknowledge exactly how much or what her future role in his life might be.
"Lee," Amanda interrupted his thoughts. "Before we go back to the Agency would you mind if we made a stop at my house so I can get cleaned up and changed. I'm feeling more than a little ridiculous here."
"Sure thing." Lee started up the car again and they headed back into DC to resume the lives they were meant to have.