**DISCLAIMER** Scarecrow & Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot The Moon Production Company. The story however, is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author.

Timeframe:  Christmas 1987

Rating:   PG - for a line or two

Summary:  Lee wants to spend some time with his wife at Christmas.  Canon – Stupid mystery marriage is still a stupid mystery. 

Archive:  List Archive, The Teddy Chronicles, Fanfiction.net.  Anyone else, please ask.

Special thank you Bohemian Fling for providing the wax to polish this puppy and for being a very patient beta.

Feedback:  Sure  -  This is my second fanfiction.  Let me know what you think.

I'll Be Home For Christmas

By: Chris - Cobra Death Grip

The wind was blowing and the snow was falling outside the Agency office in Anchorage, Alaska.  Inside, sitting at a desk in a darkened corner of the bullpen, sat a very anxious Lee Stetson, desperately pleading his case.

"Billy, I want to come home!"  an exasperated Lee said to his boss over the phone.    "This case is all wrapped up except for some paperwork, which, I might add,  isn't my department anyway."

"What's the rush Scarecrow?" asked Billy.   "It wasn't too long ago that I couldn't keep you *off * the duty roster at Christmas time."

"Yeah, well, things have changed, Billy, and believe it or not, I really do have plans for Christmas this year - and they don't include spending it on assignment in Alaska."  Looking out the window, he stated,  "It's starting to snow, and if I don't get on a plane soon, I'm not going to be able to get on one at all." 

"You're sure you've got everything taken care of on your end?" queried his boss with a smile, knowing full well that he had, and of the young brunet in Arlington waiting for him.

"Billy, the guy's on ice;  we've got the information back that he stole, and his contact wont be going anywhere for a while." Peeking up at the clock on the desk, he stated,  "It's five in the morning on Christmas Eve, and if I leave now, I might make it back in time for din…well, to take care of my plans.   Come on Billy, have the guys up here take care of the paperwork, and let me come home."

"All right, since you're in such a hurry, get your tail back here.   I do expect to see you in my office for debriefing, *tonight*, before you take off to do whatever it is that you have planned."

"You've got a deal, Billy.  I'll see you later."   

With that, Lee hung up the phone and turned to leave the Alaskan branch of the Agency.   He stopped suddenly, and picked up the phone to make another call.

The phone at the house on 4247 Maplewood rang three times before Dotty West answered.

"Hi Dotty, it's Lee.   I know Amanda's probably not home right now, but I wanted to know what the plans for tonight are?"

"Lee, it's wonderful to hear from you!    I thought you were out of town."

"I am, but I'm leaving now to come home, and I *hope* I'll be back in time for dinner." replied Lee.

"Oh Lee, that's wonderful.  I know Amanda will be thrilled that you can make it home for dinner tonight."   

"Well, it's a long way from Anchorage, Alaska to Arlington, Virginia.   I'm not sure that I can get there in time for dinner, but I'm gonna try my best to make it," replied a very determined Lee.    "In fact, don't tell her that I'm on my way.  This way if I don't make it she wont be upset, and if I do, she'll be surprised." 

"Oh, it will definitely be a surprise, and I'm very happy to hear that you're on your way home.   Amanda always worries when you go out of town, and you're not even married," she said getting in a little dig, at which he winced.    "She tries not to show it, but I can tell.    A mother always knows.    Do you want me to tell her that you called?"

"Yeah, just let her know I called, and that I miss her very much,"  said Lee.

"Alright dear.  If you can make it, dinner will be at six tonight.    Joe and Carrie will be stopping by, too.  They'll be taking the boys with them for Christmas morning and a couple of days together."

"So, Joe's going to be there too, huh," he said with a slight bit of trepidation, wondering if he would ever get used to having his wife's ex-husband around at Christmas.    "Well, I guess I more or less expected that." 

"I don't think they will be staying long after dinner, though.  I talked to Carrie this afternoon, and she mentioned something about stopping by her parents' home this evening for dessert."

"I'm sure Phillip and Jamie are going to love that," he replied, thinking how much they enjoy their desserts and just how much they can pack away.  "Listen Dotty, thanks for the run down on tonight.   I gotta go if I'm going to make it to the airport on time. I'll talk to you later."

"OK, dear. I look forward to seeing you this evening, whenever you get here," stated Dotty.

Making a quick decision after a split second of thought, he mentioned to his mother-in-law, "Just one more thing, Dotty, if you wouldn't mind."

"Sure, what do you need?" she replied.

"When you see Amanda, tell her, . . . well,  tell her that I love her," replied Lee.

"It'll be my pleasure," she said with a smile.  "I'll see you tonight, Lee." Dotty hung up the phone with a contented sigh. "I wonder when those two will finally settle down and make a commitment to each other?" she commented to herself.  

*  *  *    SMK     *   *   *

Nine long hours, and one brief layover later, Alaskan flight 2487 arrived at Washington National Airport carrying a very exhausted Lee Stetson.  After retrieving his luggage from the baggage claim, he caught a taxi for the quick trip into Georgetown to I.F.F.

Before heading into the office, he stopped off at his car to drop off the luggage.    Looking admiringly at his sleek Corvette, and gently running his hand over the cool, smooth fender, he commented, "Amanda's not the only one I missed," as if his car were a long lost friend.    "You're much more comfortable than a snowmobile," he said, tapping the hood with his fingers on the way to the elevator.

Upon greeting the night guard and retrieving his badge, Lee headed for the elevator to take him into the bowels of the Agency.   Crossing the threshold of the now empty bullpen, he glanced through the open door to Billy's office and saw the section chief sitting at his desk, literally, buried in paperwork. 

"Hey Billy, it's eight o' clock on Christmas Eve.  I can't believe that you're still here," said Lee with a very tired tone in his voice, briefly startling his friend and boss.    "You know Jeanie's gonna skin you alive.  What's so important that you couldn't leave 'til next week?"

Looking up at the exhausted agent, Billy said, "Well, I had to wait for you now, didn't I?   I couldn't very well order you in here for debriefing as soon as you got back and then not be here."

"Ah huh, you're just checking up on me to make sure that I actually reported for duty, as ordered, aren't you?  When are you going to learn to trust me?" he asked sarcastically.

"I know you, Lee.  It would be just like you to conveniently forget to come in for debriefing after a long trip.  Especially when you've got something else on your mind."

"Yeah, well, I think I've said this once or twice before, but I've changed.  You told me to check in for debriefing *tonight*  and I'm here.   I don't want to be here, but I am."

"I think Amanda's rubbing off on you, Lee.  The old Lee would never have shown up after such a long trip.  You're partner's a good influence on you."

"You're right, Billy, she is a good influence on me.  She doesn't let me get away with much, and she wouldn't be to happy to hear that I blew off a direct order."

"Well, Scarecrow, I'm pretty tired myself, and since you actually did what I asked you to, go on home.  We'll debrief in a couple of days; after Christmas."

"Thanks Billy.  I really want to get going anyway," replied Lee, looking at his watch  and suddenly acquiring a second wind.   

"You're welcome, and you're right; Jeanie's probably going to kill me for being so late."  Closing the folder on his desk, Billy vacated his chair, grabbed his coat and said to Lee, "Come on, I'll walk you out."

*  *  *    SMK     *   *   *

"Well, Mother, dinner was nice tonight, don't you think?" Amanda said, feeling a bit melancholy.

"Yes, dear, I enjoyed the evening.  I'm glad Joe and Carrie were here.  The boys sure seemed to have fun."

"Yeah, I think they did, and I know how they were looking forward to attacking that Black Forest cake that Carrie made," Amanda stated as she turned on the water to wash the dinner dishes.     

"Is there something wrong, Amanda?  You seem a bit distracted tonight."  Dotty said having noticed Amanda's lack of  normal enthusiasm in the evening's activities.

"Oh . . . no, Mother, there's nothing wrong.  I just miss Lee.   I really hoped he'd be back by now so we could spend Christmas together."

"I know, darling," replied Dotty, placing her arm around Amanda's shoulders and giving her a gentle squeeze.  "I was kind of hoping to see his smiling face myself today.  I'm sure he'll be home soon."

"I know, Mother, and I'm sorry if I've been such a stick in the mud tonight.  I'll be fine tomorrow."

"It's still early.  Would you like to sit down and watch a movie?" suggested Dotty, attempting to change the subject. 

"No thank you, Mother,"  Amanda declined.  "I think I'm going to finish cleaning up in the kitchen and then just turn in early."

"Are you sure?  We could make it a short movie . . . maybe a comedy."

"I'm sure, but thanks for asking."

"Alright," Dotty replied, looking at her watch to see that it was 8:45pm and wondering if Lee was going to make it home after all.  As if she had conjured up a visitor, the doorbell rang.   "Hmmm, wonder who that could  be at this time of night?" she said to Amanda, thinking that it had better be Lee.

"Could you get the door, Mother?; I'm washing the dishes."

Quickly making her way to the front door, Dotty opened it to see Lee holding a small bouquet of flowers.   "Merry Christmas, Dotty." he said.

"Lee," Dotty whispered, reaching to pull him into the house, out of the snow that was falling. "Come in here!  I didn't think you were going to make it."

"I'm sorry I missed dinner," he replied, keeping his voice low.   "It was a really long flight, and then I had some delays when I got back.   What's her mood?"

"Pretty low, but I have a feeling that's about to change," she said, smiling.  "Amanda, it's for you!" Dotty called out to her daughter, taking the flowers and heading back toward the kitchen.

As Amanda made her way to the foyer, she asked, "Who is it, Mother?" and then she saw him. 

"LEE!"  she exclaimed excitedly and quickly moved into his waiting arms.   They stood and embraced for a moment, relishing in the close physical contact.    Knowing that Dotty was probably watching the reunion, Lee broke the hug and placed a light kiss across her lips. 

Amanda looked up into his eyes and said, "You've been gone for a week and a half, Stetson; you can do better than that!"  

"Your mother can see us," he gently reminded her.

"I don't care," she replied, looking into his eyes while gently caressing his slightly stubbled cheeks with her hands.  She then moved her arms to encircle his neck, and releasing all her pent up emotion, she kissed him passionately, lingering and drowning in the feel of his lips smoothly and skillfully gliding over hers.

'That's my girl,' thought Dotty as she peeked in on the two, then  left them alone for some privacy. 

"Oh, I've missed you," said Lee breaking the kiss and gathering her in his arms again.

"The feeling is definitely mutual," she agreed, taking his hand and leading him to the couch.   "Would you like to sit down and relax?  Since Joe took the boys tonight;  it'll be quiet."

"Ahhh, Amanda," he said with a sly grin,  "you know exactly what I want to do . . . but after this trip, I'm exhausted.   Besides that, your mother's here."

"Lee!" she said and swatted him on the arm, though smiling as brightly as he was.

Looking around and not seeing Dotty, he softly replied, "Yes, my beautiful wife, I would love to just sit for a while and hold you in my arms."

They relaxed in each other's company for a while.  Amanda filled Lee in on the things the boys had been doing and what she would like to do for Christmas.  Lee luxuriated in his wife's embrace while leaning his head back with eyes closed just listening to the soothing sound of her voice.  

Before long, Dotty entered the living room saying,  "Have you two looked outside lately?"

"No, Mother, we've just been catching up with each other.  Why?"

"Well," Dotty replied, "it looks like a blizzard going on out there.  The snow is really falling."

Going to the window and looking out, Lee said, "Guess I'll be driving real slow going home tonight.   The 'Vette doesn't handle too well in the snow, especially when it's coming down this hard."

Joining him at the window, Amanda gave Lee a concerned look and said, "I don't think you should drive at all in this weather. It looks pretty nasty out there, and I'd like to keep you in one piece.  I think you should stay here."

Looking quizzically at his wife, he replied, while gently circling her waist with his arms, "Don't worry Amanda, I'll take it easy.  Look, since you're concerned about my driving the 'Vette in the snow, how 'bout I just take the Jeep?"

"Nope, you wont get too far;  it's pretty low on gas." Turning towards Dotty, she said, "You try, Mother; he wont listen to me."

"Lee, dear," replied Dotty, "she's right.  It really is a mess out there, and it's no bother for you to stay here with us."  Peering at the couch, she said, "You know, this is a really comfortable couch to sit on, but you're so tall that I know it won't be very comfortable to sleep on.    How about I stay with Amanda, and you can sleep in my bed?"

Lee pondered this for a moment.  Looking to his wife, then mother-in- law, then back to his wife again, he asked, primarily for Dotty's benefit,  "Are you sure?"

Amanda and Dotty looked at each other and answered in unison, "We're sure."

"Look, Lee," said Dotty, taking control of the situation as only a mother can, "you're staying here, and that's the end of it."

"Well, ok.  I guess that ends this discussion," replied Lee with a smile.  "But Dotty, I'm not going to put you out like that.  I'll make the sacrifice.  You stay in your own bed, and I'll sleep with Amanda."

"What?!?!"  came the immediate, shocked,  response from both women.

Chuckling and smiling the smile that he knew could get him anything, he replied, "Hey, I'm just kidding.  I'm more than happy to sack out on the couch."

"I knew that," came Dotty's quick response, not wanting to appear too gullible.

"I have a better idea," suggested Amanda.     "Since the boys are gone, why don't you just sleep in one of their beds?"     

"OK," said Lee, "that works for me."

"Good." said Dotty, "Now that that's settled, I'm going to bed.    Don't stay up too late."

"I've had a really long week, and I don't think I'm going to be able to go too much longer anyway," replied Lee, looking towards his wife. 

"We'll be up in a few minutes, Mother.  I'll make up Phillip's bed for Lee."

"Alright then.  Good night, dears."

"Night, Dotty," said Lee.

"Good night, Mother.   See you in the morning."

With that, Lee and Amanda sat back down on the couch.   Lee put his arm around Amanda's shoulders and she snuggled up against him.  He looked down, gave her a soft, gentle kiss and said, "Jeep out of gas   . . . if I didn't know any better, Amanda Stetson, I'd say you planned this."

"Oh sure,  Mother Nature and I are like this," she said, holding up her hand with fingers crossed for effect.  "We planned this whole thing the day you left, knowing full well that you'd be back today, and here's the plan Stetson: we figured that as soon as you walked through the door that we'd have the snow just rain down so fast and furious that you'd be trapped here with me . . . *and* my mother.

Yup, it was all a scheme, and you caught me."

He looked at her again with a big smile and said, "Well, if I have to be trapped somewhere, this is the place I'd want it to be, and there's no one else I'd rather be trapped with than you, my wife."  Then, with a second thought, he added, "You know, I was only half kidding when I said that I'd rather sleep on the couch.  I'd much rather take you up to your bed and  . . . "

"I'd like that too, but . . ." She settled back in his embrace again.  Speaking seriously, she said "I'm really happy that you are here with me at Christmas.   Like you, I  wish we didn't have to sleep in separate beds."

"I've been meaning to talk to you about that," said Lee. "I thought a lot about this on the plane today.  We need to do some serious thinking about this mystery marriage thing." 

Reaching in his pocket, he pulled out his wedding band and placed it on his finger.  "I have this with me everywhere I go, you know, and I'm tired of having to keep it in my pocket.    I want to wear it on my finger, *all * the time and I want you to see you wear yours, too."

Looking up at him, she responded, "Sweetheart, I know where you're going with this, but . . ."

"But nothing, Amanda.  I want to be your husband full time.   I want us to come home together at night after work.  I want to be a full time influence on Phillip and Jamie, and I want your mother to know she has a son-in-law.    I would really like to be able to go to bed with my wife, make love to my wife, and wake up with her by my side, every day for the rest of my life.   I know that we can't do much about it right now, but I really want us to come up with some kind of plan, so that we can be together."

"You're really serious about this, aren't you?" she asked him. 

"Yeah, I am.  Don't you think It'd be a great Christmas gift to ourselves to finally come up with a way to be together - *really * together?

"Well, yes, I think it would.  It's a pretty tall order, though, and you're right; we need to think about how to do it.  What do you say, that we agree to work on that task . . . tomorrow?"

"It's a deal!" he agreed, giving her a quick kiss.

"Is there anything else you'd like for Christmas?" she asked.  "Something maybe that we don't have to work so hard on?"

"There's only one thing that I want, no, make that need, for Christmas," came Lee's response.

"And what would that be?" replied Amanda.

"Your love," he said.

"Well, I think that's one that I can accommodate very easily." she said with a smile.

"Good, cuz I intend to reciprocate," he said wearily.  "Amanda, I'm really getting tired."  With little ambition, he took his wedding ring off and put it back in his pocket while saying, "What do you say we just sit here and relax for a minute, then head on upstairs?"

"Sounds like a plan," she said, laying her head on his chest.

While gently caressing her cheek with his fingertips, the clock chimed twelve.  "I love you, Amanda.   Merry Christmas."

"I love you too, Lee." she responded.

A few hours later, Dotty made her way downstairs to start breakfast and saw them asleep on the couch.   Amanda's head nestled up close to Lee's neck and his arms were wrapped tight around her.  The sight warmed Dotty and she thought,  'Yes, indeed, I do believe it will be a very, merry Christmas.'

The end.