Timeline: About a year after Lee and Amanda told the family about their wedding.
Summary: Amanda and her mother go away leaving Lee and the boys alone for a week. Lee finds out how it is to be a father and how the boys really feel about him. He has his first Father's Day.
Disclaimer: The main characters belong to Shoot the Moon and Warner Brothers Productions. The story was created by me.
It had been just about a year since Lee and Amanda confessed to her family about their secret marriage. Everyone was slowly adjusting to the change. The boys loved having Lee around but they found it hard sometimes when he made decisions that affected them. Lee enjoyed being part of a family but he also found it hard. All things considered life was becoming normal, well as normal it could be, for a spy family.
"Are you sure you'll be alright with the boys?" Amanda asked as she closed her suite case.
"Why not?" Lee answered.
"Joe will take them for a few days and I'll be back next Saturday."
"Amanda, I think I can handle two boys." Lee took her arm and pulled her close. "I'll miss you."
"I love you, Lee. Do you have my aunt's phone number?"
Lee smiled and kissed her.
"Amanda, hurry or we'll miss the train." Dotty called up from downstairs.
"We better get to the train station." Amanda said to Lee.
Lee picked up her suitcase and started down the stairs, "Just remember stay away from the man in the red hat."
Lee dropped them off at the train station and then headed to work. Most of the week went normal. Lee took the boys for pizza, Chinese and hamburgers. No one wanted to cook. Toward the end of the week Lee was in his office when his phone rang.
"Joe, how are you doing?"
"Not to good. I was just asked to take on a job in Africa. I'll be gone for a while but I need to leave right away. Is it a problem if I can't take the boys?"
Lee closed his eyes and shook his head. It wasn't a problem for him but the boys would be upset. "No, none at all."
"Thanks, I'll call the boys before I leave. Bye."
Lee hung up the phone. How could Joe just expect the boys to understand? Lee didn't understand. He didn't understand when his uncle did it to him. He would make a point of getting home early and take the boys for pizza.
Lee pulled into the driveway and almost ran over Jamie's bicycle.
"Jamie, is that your bicycle in the driveway?"
"Yeah." He answered.
"Could you move it?" Lee asked.
"What's wrong?" Lee looked at Jamie. His normally cooperative stepson was answering him back. Lee knew what was bothering him Joe must have called. Lee was hoping that Jamie would want to talk about it.
"None of your business." Jamie jumped up from the couch and ran out the back door.
Lee followed. "Jamie.." He was cut off.
"Just get off my back. You're not my father." Jamie took off on his bicycle leaving Lee standing in the driveway feeling helpless. Philip came out of the house bouncing his basketball.
"Forget it, Lee. It's not you that he's mad at. Dad cancelled again." Philip tossed the ball into the basket.
"I know your dad call me this afternoon. He said it was an emergency."
Philip tossed the ball again, "It always is."
Lee walked back into the house. He still felt helpless. He understood Jamie's anger and disappointment. He wished he could keep him from the pain he was feeling. Lee couldn't understand how Joe could just go away from these two wonderful boys. He wished that he were their father.
He took off his jacket as a ruckus started up in the driveway. He ran out of the house to find the boys fighting.
"You're such an idiot. Lee's trying to be there for us, the least you could do is be civil to him." "I didn't ask him to be." Jamie shouted back at his brother.
Their shouting match turned into a punching match and Lee had to pull the boys apart.
"He's crazy, Lee." Philip said of his brother.
"Leave me alone." Jamie pushed Lee away.
"Stop it both of you." Lee ordered.
"You're not my father." Jamie tried to get out Lee's hold.
"No, I'm not but I wish I was."
Jamie pulled out of Lee's grip and ran into the house and slammed the door.
"Lee, I'm sorry he's such an idiot."
"He's just angry and he's taking at whoever is near and in this case it's me." Lee said then added, "Philip, I think I'll go to the art show tonight at school. Want to go?"
"Don't tell Jamie that we'll be there"
"No problem, I'm sure he's not talking to me."
A while later Lee walked around the art show. He was amazed that the students were so talented. He looked around for Jamie and his work. Then he spotted him on the other side of the gym. Jamie was being taunted by some of the other students.
"So where's your big important father. He didn't show again."
Jamie tried to ignore them but they continued. Philip walked over to his brother.
"Need any help, Jamie?"
"No. I can handle it."
"Oh, that's right your dad knows karate and he taught you." They all started to laugh while they were making karate moves at each other.
"You guys are jerks. Get out of here before I show you how much he taught us." Philip said.
"Fighting his battles?" The boys laughed.
"No, Jamie and I are brothers we help each other." Jamie smiled at Philip.
"You have to you don't have a father."
Lee walked up behind the boys and put his hands on their shoulders. "Hi, guys. I'm sorry I'm late I was afraid I would miss it. Show me your work, Jamie."
The boys looked up at Lee and stepped back as Jamie started showing him his display.
"You took all these pictures?" Lee looked all the pictures many were family photos.
There were a couple of pictures of Joe with his wife and their daughter but mostly Amanda, Dotty, Lee and the boys.
"With the camera you gave me." He smiled at Lee. Jamie started packing up his pictures.
"They're beautiful." Lee picked up a picture of Amanda. She was picking flowers in her garden. Her hair was pulled back with a few strands hanging forward. In the background you could see Lee reading the newspaper but his eyes weren't on the paper they were on Amanda. He was smiling at her. Jamie had captured the love Lee felt for her.
"I took that just after mom told us about your marriage. I was going to give it to her after the show. It was for mother's day."
Jamie closed his box. "Lee, I'm sorry for what I said earlier. I didn't mean any of it."
"I know. Jamie, I did the same stuff to my uncle after my parents died."
"Lee, why does dad leave all the time?"
"I don't know I guess his work is important to him."
"I wish I was."
"To tell you the truth I'm glad he didn't come."
"What?" Jamie stepped back from Lee. "How could you say that?"
"Easy. It gives me more time with you." Lee put his hand on Jamie's shoulder. "I love being with you."
He smiled at Lee, "I love you, Lee."
The next day Lee called the boys and told them that he would miss dinner and he wasn't sure what time he would get home. Jamie decided to stay at a friend's house. Philip had a date. Lee finished his meeting earlier then he expected and he arrived home to an empty house. He checked the clock as he sat down to watch a movie. It was just about over when Philip came home almost two hours past his curfew. He was surprised to see Lee there.
"Lee, I didn't know you were home."
"Obviously." Lee stood and walked over to him. "What happened?"
Philip looked down. "I'm sorry."
"You know our phone number?"
"Yes. Look I'm sorry. Mom wasn't here and I didn't think you would be either."
"Philip, I told your mother that I would be here."
"You said you were going to work late."
"So you didn't have to come home on time?"
Philip looked at Lee but he didn't answer.
"Plan to spent the weekend thinking about it." Lee said.
"Lee, I have a game tomorrow."
"You should have thought about that tonight."
Philip stormed out of the room. The next day Lee held fast, he almost wavered but he knew Amanda wouldn't. Later that afternoon Lee picked Amanda and Dotty up at the train station but he never said a word about Philip.
"So, how was fatherhood?" Amanda asked him on the ride home.
"I liked it. It was an experience." Lee smiled.
"Well, what did you guys do?" Amanda asked.
"Had a good time." Lee said as he pulled into the driveway.
"Mom!" Jamie yelled as he ran out of the house with Philip following.
"Grandma." They hugged.
"Philip, I didn't expect to see you here. What about the game?" Amanda asked.
"I didn't go." He answered.
"Why not?" She asked her son. Philip just shrugged his shoulders.
"I'll get the stuff out of the car for you." He walked past them.
"Jamie, what happened?" Amanda asked.
"I don't know. Maybe because dad went away."
Jamie followed his brother into the house.
"Philip, what happened?" Jamie asked him.
"I broke curfew but don't tell mom."
"Lee punished you?"
"Yeah. He was right. I don't like it but he was right."
"You know something, Philip, I don't mind Lee tell us what to do. It's nice having a dad around." Jamie took the bag upstairs.
"Yeah, I know what you mean." Philip took the other bag and followed his brother.
Sunday was Father's Day and the boys planned a special meal with the help of their grandmother. It was a surprise for both Lee and Amanda.
"Mother, you really out did yourself on that meal." Amanda said to Dotty.
"Well it's a special day that calls for a special meal." Dotty smiled at the boys.
"Special day?" Amanda asked.
"It's Father's Day."
Amanda glanced over at Lee but he was busy in conversation with the boys.
They started to clear the table and Amanda followed her mother into the kitchen.
"Mother, Joe's not here for the boys and I wasn't planning on celebrating Father's Day."
"Don't worry, dear, it's still a special day." Dotty said as she walked back into the dinning room to find Lee alone.
"Where are the boys?" She asked. "We still have dessert."
"They asked to be excused. They said they had something to do." Lee stood and picked up his plate.
"Sit, Lee. Relax." She took his plate. "I'll bring coffee out." Lee did as he was told.
Dotty took an ice cream cake out of the freezer and opened the box. Amanda gasped.
"Mother!" Amanda looked at the writing on the cake. "Happy Father's Day, Dad."
Dotty just smiled.
They heard the boys coming back down the stairs and Dottie motioned to Amanda to be quiet. They tiptoed to the doorway but stood so the boys and Lee couldn't see them.
"Lee, this is for you." Philip said as he handed him a present. "I hope you can use it."
"What's this for?" Lee asked.
The boys smiled. "Happy Father's Day."
Lee opened the package to find a brown leather wallet.
He said, "Thank you. It really nice." Lee opened the wallet. There were several pictures of the family that Jamie had taken. Lee smiled.
"The man said it has hidden compartments. I thought you could use them." Philip said.
Then he hit Jamie's arm, "Give him the card." Jamie obeyed.
Lee opened the card. It was a simple card but it was direct and to the point. Jamie had made it on his computer. Lee could barely read it because his eyes were filling with tears. On the front of the card was a picture of a man playing basketball with two boys. Across the bottom of the card was printed:
‘You're not my Father,
You're my Dad!'
Lee opened the card and inside was printed:
‘Just wanted to thank you for all the things you do for us.'The boys signed the card:
‘Love your sons,Philip and Jamie'
Lee stood and walked to the window but he wasn't looking out. He was breathing very heavy trying not to cry.
Philip hit Jamie, "I told you it was a stupid card."
"No, it's not. It's how I feel." Jamie hit him back.
Amanda started to go into the dinning room but Dotty stopped her.
"Let Lee handle this."
Lee turned from the window as he wiped a tear from his eye, trying to keep it from running down his cheek.
"No, no, it's not a stupid card." He walked over to the boys. "When I started spending time with you boys; I realized every thing my uncle did for me." Lee took a breath.
"It took me over thirty years to understand how much he loved me. It took you guy less than a year."
"Lee, we love you. Our dad misses so much of the stuff we do but you're almost always there. We just wanted to thank you." Jamie hugged Lee. Philip joined in.
"I love you, both, more than you'll ever know." Lee said.
"After we have cake; Jamie and I will clean your car."
"You don't have to." Lee said.
"We know. We want to." Jamie smiled.
Dotty brought in the cake and placed it in front of Lee. He smiled at the writing on it.
"We picked it out, Lee." Jamie said.
"I hope you like vanilla and chocolate." Philip handed Lee the knife.
"I'm not very good at this." Lee said as he started to cut the cake. "Thank you."
After coffee and cake the boys went out to wash Lee's car. Philip came back in,
"Mom, I can't find the steel brush."
"It's on the shelf in the garage." She answered.
"Thanks." He answered and ran out of the house.
Lee finished his coffee. He looked over at Amanda, "What do they need the steel brush for?"
They jumped up and ran out of the house. Lee was out the door first and Amanda stepped back when she realized what the boys were going to do. Lee took the full force of the hose. The boys stood laughing as they drenched Lee. Lee grabbed the hose and tried to return the pleasure to the boys. Somehow they all ended up on the ground-soaking wet. Amanda and Dotty stood in the door way laughing.
Lee stood up trying to shake the water off of himself. The boys were still laughing.
"Happy Father's Day, dad." They said together.
Lee was smiling. "Thanks." Lee really didn't care that he was wet. He was happy. He was a dad.