No Time for Byron

By: Ceeg

Rating: G

Summary: Filler scenes for 'Murder between Friends'.

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs King is copyrighted by Warner Bros and Shoot the Moon Production Company. Typical lines, situations, clichés, etc are borrowed from SMK as needed.

Author's Note: Thanks to barnstormer for feedback, and for pointing out that the driver was one of the bad guys. In all the times I watched this episode I never noticed, and figured it was just an SMK continuity problem that he didn't clear her.

Lee Stetson felt his temper rising as he set to work on the clerical chores Amanda King usually took care of for him. He was still stunned at Jordan's audacity. Was this how the guy got women, by hiring them? Aren't there laws against that sort of thing?

No, he stopped that train of thought. It was unfair to Amanda. There was no doubt that she was qualified for the position as Byron Jordan's Executive Assistant. And she wouldn't have taken the job if she didn't think she could do it.

Lee knew the job was a legitimate offer, despite Jordan's obvious interest in Amanda. He'd noticed the attention he'd paid to Amanda at the Agency when she came in for Billy's drill. After she left, embarrassed for complaining about her money woes in front of a virtual stranger, he'd noticed Jordan talking to the other Agents and personnel in the bullpen.

He'd known Amanda was the topic of conversation. The agency employees had shot him quick, furtive  glances while they talked to Jordan. He'd overheard snippets of conversation. But he hadn't suspected what Jordan was really up to.

Then Amanda told them about the job. At double her salary, a 'nice touch' as Francine had observed, an offer no doubt brought on by Billy's statement. He saw in her eyes that she regretted leaving the Agency, but the offer was too good to pass up.

Lee experienced a stab of disappointment that she hadn't come to him to discuss the job before accepting it. But he acknowledged to himself that he'd been very busy, as was everybody with the impending visit of President Nabuti of Mbumbwa. Plus, he couldn't deny that he would have probably agreed with her decision to take the position. It really was too good to pass up, and would be a safer, more secure job for her. Amanda could work normal hours and have a normal life again.

Besides, it wasn't like they wouldn't still see each other from time to time. Some of her assignments would be in conjunction with Agency business.  And they were friends, they could still get together for lunch or to just talk. It just wouldn't be the same as working together. Lee knew he would miss their day to day interaction.

With a resolute sigh, Lee returned to his filing.

* * *

Lee dropped the phone receiver back into the cradle with a disgusted sigh. Grabbing a sheet of paper off his desk he marched over to Billy's office and rapped sharply on the door. Without waiting for an answer, he entered and handed his supervisor, William 'Billy' Melrose, the copy of the police report which was the origin of his frustration. He flopped down in a chair
to wait for a reaction.

"Murdered?" Billy looked up from reading the police report. "Have they got a suspect?"

Lee nodded. "I talked to the detective in charge of the investigation. She hasn't been arrested yet."

"She...?" Billy was suddenly apprehensive, suspecting he knew the source of Lee's agitation.

"She. Jordan was stabbed with a steak knife, apparently during a 'romantic, candle-lit dinner for two'." Lee's tone was sarcastic, "The detective wouldn't give me a name, but I'll bet you my 'vette I know who his dinner companion was."

"Amanda? You think Amanda murdered Byron Jordan?"

"Of course not, Billy! Amanda couldn't kill anybody. But I do think the murderer took advantage of the situation to set her up." Lee suddenly sat up, "I bet she doesn't even know yet that he's dead."

"Hold on, where do you think you're going?" Billy stopped Lee as he started to rise.

"I'm going over to Amanda's, to tell her!"

"You can't do that! You used official channels for information, you can't interfere in a police investigation to tell her that she might be a suspect. Remember, she's not with the Agency anymore!" Billy knew how well *that* was going to go over.

"Billy! She's my friend!" Lee exploded, "I thought you were her friend, too?"

"You know I'm fond of Mrs King, but legally my hands are tied." Billy defended his position.

"Can I at least tell her that Jordan's dead, rather than letting her hear it from the police?" Lee pleaded.

"I'm sorry, Scarecrow, we're too busy here for me to allow you to go off on a personal errand. Our workload has just increased with Jordan's death." Billy knew he couldn't trust Lee to talk to Amanda without telling her everything. Besides, they were swamped, he rationalized the command decision he was forced to make.

Lee's retort was interrupted by a knock on the door. Agent Lapointe entered and handed Lee a sheet of paper.

"I thought you'd want to see this, Scarecrow," he muttered before beating a hasty retreat. He didn't want to be blamed as the bearer of bad news.

Lee collapsed back into his chair as he scanned the updated police report. "The warrant's been issued, I probably couldn't get over there now before she's arrested, anyway." He flung the sheet of paper down on Billy's desk. "I hope you're satisfied!"

"Not really," Billy sighed. "Look, there's nothing you can do about it now, so I need you to go over to Jordan's office and retrieve any information he has regarding President Nabuti's visit."

"Billy! Can't that wait? I was going to go bail Amanda out!"

"You're not going to be able to do that until she's been processed, anyway," Billy reasoned. He settled back in his chair with a sigh as his best agent left with a backwards glare.

* * *

Amanda emerged into the sunlight on Lee's arm. She was grateful to be free again, grateful to Lee for coming to get her. She hadn't known who else to call, and been disappointed that he wasn't available when she called the Agency. They had transferred her to Mr Melrose, and he had assured her that they were aware of the situation and that Lee would be along shortly.

The situation... this morning had been a nightmare. She had leaped out of bed looking forward to her second day of work at Jordan Security. Still feeling good about the dinner last night. Byron was a nice man, she didn't know what -- if anything -- might happen between them, it was probably not a good idea to date the boss, but she was flattered. She was in the middle
of baking bread for the church bake sale this weekend when the police arrived.

It was a shock being arrested. But it was no less a shock when they told her that Byron Jordan had been murdered. Amanda started to tremble as she thought about it consciously, 'Byron is dead...'

Leaving the police station, Lee had been uncomfortable with Amanda's unaccustomed silence. But he knew she must have a lot on her mind, so he remained silent, knowing she would open up when the time came. He felt the tremors as they began, and hurriedly looked around for a place to sit. Putting an arm around Amanda's shoulders, he guided her across the street to a bus
stop bench. As he pulled her down to sit next to him, Amanda continued to stare off into space.

"He's dead, Lee... he's dead..." she repeated.

"I know, Amanda. I know, I'm sorry." Lee couldn't think of what words to use to comfort her. All he could do was hold her close, hoping that his presence would help. She buried her face in his shoulder, and sobs wracked her body as he gently stroked her back, murmuring softly.

"Who would do such a thing?" Amanda asked as she started to regain her composure. She pulled back slightly, but still leaned against Lee for support. "Byron was such a nice man, why would anybody want to kill him?"

"I don't know, Amanda. It had to be related to something he was working on. How much do you know about his projects?" Lee was on more comfortable footing now, discussing a case. Since the safe had been blown, he was fairly certain it was related to the security system at the Diplomatic Mansion, but Amanda didn't 'need to know' that.

Amanda shook her head. "Not very much. It was only my first day. The only thing I've worked on is the preparations for President Nabuti's visit. He asked me to dinner to discuss more, at least that's what I thought. We hardly discussed business at all over dinner, so I really don't know what else he was working on."

"Ah, yes... dinner," Lee briefly remembered his earlier scorn at Jordan's obvious intentions towards Amanda.  He dismissed his thoughts as no longer relevant, the important thing now was to find out what had happened and clear her name. "What happened at dinner?"

Amanda shrugged, "Nothing. We ate, we talked. He said he still had some work to do, and walked me down to the car."

Amanda suddenly sat up straighter and looked at Lee. "The driver, Lee! Byron had sent a car for me, the driver was waiting when he walked me outside after dinner. He knows Byron was still alive when I left."

"That's right, the police told me they were trying to track the driver down to corroborate your story. They haven't been able to reach him yet." Lee told her.

"Isn't that odd? Surely the man has heard about Byron Jordan's murder, shouldn't he come forward and tell the police what he knows?"

"Not necessarily, some people just don't like to get involved. They won't say anything until they're asked. Of course," Lee continued speculatively, "It's possible that he's involved, that maybe he knows the real murderer and is in hiding so he won't have to support or dispute your claims. Do you think you'd recognize him if you saw him again?"

Amanda nodded, "I think so."

"Well, it may be a long shot, but it's all we've got right now. Why don't you come back to the Agency and look through some mug shots? Maybe we can find this guy and we'll have something to go on." Lee stood up and held out his hand. Work would help keep her distracted from the pain she was feeling.

Amanda put her hand in his and they hurried back across the street to his car. Seated in the 'vette, Amanda forgot about her bread and that she hadn't even been able to leave a note for her mother. She was back in familiar territory, working with Lee on a case. Lee started the car and they roared off to the Agency.

* * *

Amanda felt guilty as she continued to take down the laundry. She'd hardly spoken at all to Lee when he was just here. He was going to find her a lawyer, and had promised to help her out. She felt like a burden again, Lee had important things to take care of with President Nabuti's visit, and was taking time out of his busy schedule to take care of her. If she hadn't taken the job with Jordan Security, if she'd stayed with the Agency, she'd be helping him.

The earlier visit to the Agency had been fruitless, Amanda had found nobody in the mug books resembling her chauffeur from the previous night. After a couple of hours she'd remembered that she had left the house abruptly this morning, and her mother had no idea what was going on. Lee had been unavailable to take her home, and Lapointe had offered his services.

Upon arriving home, she had then been faced with the task of explaining to her mother why she had just disappeared without leaving a note. At least this time she'd had a reason she could tell her mother, but being able to 'not lie' didn't make her any happier.

She should have known that Lee would show up to check on her, but his appearance still startled her. Plus, the day's events had already stretched her nerves to the breaking point. Amanda realized she'd been less than sociable towards him, but she was afraid of breaking down in his arms again. They both had more than enough to keep them occupied without her turning
into a basket-case.

Amanda mentally shook herself. This sulking was pointless and wouldn't do anybody any good. The best thing to do was finish folding the laundry and then get herself to bed with a glass of warm milk. Tomorrow promised to be a busy day and she needed her rest.

* * *

Amanda spent the morning baking bread again, the entire batch from the previous morning was a lost cause. The loaves she had removed from the oven hadn't been properly put away, and two loaves had been left to burn in the oven before Dotty got home and prevented them from starting a fire. At least the church hadn't called to say they didn't need any contributions from
accused murderers!

After meeting with the lawyer Lee had arranged, Amanda went back into the Agency. They were all very busy with President Nabuti's visit and again Amanda wished she could be helping out as she was used to doing. Unfortunately, in her current position, all she could do was work with the composite artist to come up with a sketch of the driver. She tried not to think
about the future, obviously she no longer had a job with Jordan Security, and she'd given up her job with the Agency. Maybe after the dust settled on this one, she could talk to Mr Melrose about being reinstated. She only hoped she wouldn't have to take a pay-cut.

Amanda left the sketch and a note on Lee's desk before driving herself home. Along the way she chastised herself for turning into such a worrywart.

* * *

Amanda leaned back against the side of the garage. She took a deep breath as Lee instructed, and was wracked with coughs. She shook her head and breathed deeply, trying to clear her head, recover her breath, and get the taste of gas fumes out of her mouth.

She wasn't surprised to see Lee, he was bound to show up since she hadn't seen him earlier that day at the Agency. She was surprised at the circumstances. She was beginning to feel a little like Lois Lane to Lee's Superman, for he had again appeared in the nick of time to rescue her. It had been an unhealthy trend for her lately, with the poisoned chicken sandwich just over a month ago followed almost immediately by the mistaken-identity kidnapping brought about by Sylvia Samson using her ID to infiltrate that computer company.

Lee and Amanda concluded that, as usual, somebody was trying to kill her in an effort to cover their own tracks. Lee pulled Amanda to her feet, determining that what she needed was more fresh air. Hand in hand, they walked over to the 'vette, where Amanda hesitated.

"If you don't mind, Lee, I don't want to go for a drive just now. Can't we take a walk around the neighborhood? There's not much traffic, I just think I'll inhale less exhaust this way," she reasoned.

Lee looked at her in surprise. "This is your neighborhood, Amanda! Aren't you worried that somebody might see us together?"

"Not really," she shook her head. "I care more about moving around and breathing than what the neighbors think. Besides, its after dark, hardly anybody will spot us. Most of those who do will just stare curiously at the accused murderer and her gentleman companion. If anybody does get the courage to ask, I'll just say that you're my lawyer." Amanda let out a short,
humorless laugh, as her eyes pleaded with Lee to understand her mood.

"Sure, Amanda, if you're not afraid of your neighbors, neither am I." Lee joked lightly. He hated to see her like this, morose was just not a word one usually associated with Amanda King. She was always affected whenever they encountered a death in the course of an assignment, this one would be hitting her even harder since it was someone she knew, however briefly. He
pulled her hand into the crook of his elbow, giving it a reassuring pat as they set off down the sidewalk.

"Amanda," Lee said suddenly, having realized it was time to resort to drastic measures to cheer her up. "Can I ask you a question?"

"Yes-s-s," Amanda responded hesitantly, since when did Lee ask for permission instead of just asking?

"How can you tell when there's an elephant hiding under your bed?"

"What??? How?" she sputtered, completely caught off guard.

"Because when you wake up, your face is smashed against the ceiling!" Lee held his hand to his face, smashing his nose to one side with his palm to illustrate the punch line.

Amanda stared at him, the beginnings of a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. Lee grinned. Amanda giggled.

"Do you know how to make an elephant float?" Was his next effort.


"Two scoops of elephant, and fill it up with root beer!" he announced triumphantly.

"Ohhh," she groaned, "That's just awful!"

"OK, I have a better one. Why did the elephant sit on the marshmallow?"

"I'm afraid to ask."

"To keep from falling into the hot chocolate!"

"Lee Stetson, you're a nut!" Amanda couldn't help laughing out loud. She couldn't believe that the famous, or infamous, depending on how you look at it, Scarecrow was walking down the street with her telling elephant jokes. This was another side to him which she found totally unexpected. She was touched at the lengths to which he was willing to go in an effort to cheer
her up. The realization that she had a friend who cared that much cheered her up immeasurably.

"OK, I have one," she giggled, "Why do elephants paint their toenails red?"

"I don't know, why?" he asked in an exaggerated manner.

"So they can hide in cherry trees!"

"I've never seen an elephant in a cherry tree," he protested.

"See how well it works," she replied confidentially.

They continued their trip around the block remembering every single elephant joke they had ever heard, but fortunately arrived back at Amanda's before having to resort to light bulb jokes. Neither could think of how many elephants it takes to change a light bulb.

"Thanks, Lee," Amanda squeezed his hand as he prepared to take his leave. "I've been feeling so depressed and useless the past couple of days. I really needed this."

"Don't worry, Amanda. This is all related to President Nabuti's visit, I'm convinced of it. We'll catch the terrorists tomorrow, and find out who killed Byron Jordan." Lee assured her. He continued when he noticed a shadow cross her face at the mention of Jordan. "Come into the Agency tomorrow morning, we'll talk to Billy about all this and figure out our next move. I promise you, we'll nail the guy who murdered Jordan."

She smiled and nodded, promising to come in first thing. Lee whistled as he went back down the driveway to his car. As he started the car, he decided that once this was all over he was going to talk to Billy about getting Amanda her job back... with a raise!

The End