Not Today

by:  Barnstormer

Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Bros. and Shoot the Moon Productions. No infringement is intended; I simply enjoy reading and writing about these characters. Names, places, and situations are borrowed from the series, specifically “Unfinished Business,“ by Lynne Kelsey, but the idea for the plot is mine. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it, but please do not copy any portion of it without my permission.

Timeline: This story takes place early in the fourth season, immediately after "Unfinished Business".

Summary and author's notes: A very short "what-if" story, occurring in the aftermath of "Unfinished Business". Thanks to Ceeg for her comments and suggestions.

Rating: G

The slender woman sat alone quietly, straight-shouldered and dignified, as was her manner. She reflected on the conversation she'd had with her friend Percival earlier in the day. He was a good friend. He kept her well-informed, especially if she was unable to figure something out for herself. She liked his name. Percival. It was a good English name; it had been the name of one of King Arthur's knights. Lee called him T.P, but that didn't seem to fit him. T.P. was what one wrote on the grocery list when one needed . . . well . . .

Percival had called her that morning. They had met for breakfast. He had told her that Thomas Blackthorne was dead and that Lee had killed him. She felt nothing but gratification. Her husband's death had been avenged, and the threat that had hung over her own head for more than thirty years was gone. She had nearly been killed in the accident, too, and her recovery had been long and difficult. To protect little Lee from Blackthorne, she had voluntarily removed herself from his life. It had been a painful decision, but one that she saw as absolutely necessary. She had taken her grandmother's maiden name, and had actually been surprised that Lee, having recently dug deeply into his parents' files, hadn't made the connection. Maybe the files didn't go back that far.

Now she had a decision to make. Should she come out of hiding? Should she reveal herself to her son? Or should she let him continue living his life as he knew it? She hadn't told anyone who she really was, except Percival. Anyone in military intelligence, British or American, who had known her true identity would have been long-since retired, if not dead. How would Lee react if she made herself known to him? How would he react when he realized he already knew her?

She saw Lee almost every day. In fact, she had seen him almost every day for the past several years, except for when he had apparently been called out of town on business for his company, IFF. She laughed to herself. The Agency's cover really did seem to work well, but she knew her son wasn't a documentary filmmaker. She would have guessed the truth, even if she hadn't known for sure. She had always hoped Lee would become an intelligence operative. He had to. It was in his blood.

She leaned forward in her chair, elbows on her desk, as she reflected on how she had found a way to observe his comings and goings. It had been amazing to watch him mature, to watch the changes he had gone through over the past few years. She was aware that he was currently going through another change; this time, it was one that she thought was very, very good. Her son was falling in love. She was delighted with the object of his affection, and she hoped they would marry. Amanda would make a good daughter-in-law. She wondered if there would be any grandchildren, in addition to Amanda's two sons. She wondered if she would be a part of their lives. She wondered if she should be a part of their lives, or if she even wanted to be. It wasn't so bad, really, the way things were now.

Even though she saw Lee regularly, she rarely spoke to him, other than to say good morning or good afternoon. She wasn't concerned that her face would give her away. She'd always had a poker face, and her features were different now than they had been 30 years ago. Before the accident that wasn't really an accident. No, it wasn't her face that worried her; it was her voice. There was no remaining trace of an English accent, but there was always the danger of releasing a hint of emotion. She was very careful to control her emotions. Control had been necessary in her field. It still was.

She looked at her watch and realized he was late. Again. She worried when he was late. In fact, he had really scared her a time or two. She heard the door open and quickly looked up. She felt a familiar sense of relief wash over her, as she saw him standing there. She couldn't help but think of his father as he strode across the room to her desk. She listened attentively as he correctly recited the day's password. He sounded so much like Matthew. She smiled at him as she reached across her desk to hand him his badge, letting her fingers brush against his. It was the only contact she would allow herself. She stared after him as he mounted the stairs to his office. Maybe someday she'd tell him. Or maybe she'd provide some clues and let him figure it out for himself. But not today, she thought. Not today . . .