The Right Way to Leave the Gym

Author: Ceeg

Rating: G

Summary: Filler scene for 'The Wrong Way Home'.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters copyrighted by Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. It is meant for enjoyment purposes only. Etc, the usual disclaimer, I mean no harm...

Amanda stood near the back of the ambulance watching the paramedics examine Philip and Jamie. Hearing a noise to her left, she looked over to see Lee in the shadows trying to catch her attention. She flashed him a smile, looked back at the boys to make sure they were properly occupied, then walked over to where Lee was standing.

"Oh, Lee! Philip and Jamie... if you hadn't... Oh, my gosh! Thank you!" Amanda could barely speak through the jumble of emotions she was feeling, and finally just hugged him. They'd been avoiding contact in front of Joe and Shamba/the Prime Minister, and she hadn't realized how often they would naturally reach for each other's hands, or put an arm around each other,
until she couldn't do it. She remembered the nervous smile she'd given Joe last night at Lee's apartment, hoping he hadn't noticed the absent-minded hand she'd run across Lee's back when they came out of the kitchen with the coffee.

"Amanda..." Lee whispered as he gathered her close. He was flooded with a sense of contentment he hadn't felt since hearing Joe King's name at the Agency in connection with the unrest in Estoccia. These past couple of days had been strange for him, trying to treat Amanda like a case or a source, trying to act like he didn't know her, like she wasn't his best friend and

"Amanda," he repeated aloud, "You know I would never let anything happen to you, the boys, your family"

"Of course not, you're always there for me... my knight in shining armor!" she said, raising her head and smiling at him.

Lee smiled back, "Well, leather anyway..." His voice faltered as they realized their lips were only millimeters apart, and the space was closing inexorably...

"Amanda!" Joe called, "Where are you?"

Lee and Amanda quickly released each other, and Amanda took a step back, nervously fluffing her hair. "Oops, almost blew my cover..." she nervously chuckled, as Lee grimaced at the interruption coming at the same time as usual.

"Over here, sweetheart!" She called to Joe, turning her head and thus missing Lee's wince at the casual endearment. "I was just thanking 'Mr Stetson'" she winked at Lee, and reached up to adjust his collar. He smiled back quickly, before they donned professional expressions at Joe's approach.

"Come on, honey. Let me drive you and the boys home." Joe put his arm around Amanda and started to lead her off, nodding in acknowledgment at Lee.

"No!" Lee protested. When Joe and Amanda looked at him in surprise, he continued, "I'm sorry, Mr King, you have to come back to the Agency for debriefing. Wilson and Anderson will take you in." he motioned to a pair of agents. "Take Mr King back to the Agency, I'll be right along."

"Mrs King." Wilson and Anderson smiled and nodded at Amanda. She smiled back.

'Boy, these Federal Agents aren't the stuffed shirts I expected,' thought Joe. To a person they'd greeted his ex-wife in a friendly, yet courteous and respectful manner. Mr Stetson had even allowed her to tag along to the EAO office and back to his apartment. 'Well, Amanda always did make friends easily.'

"Um, Mr Stetson..." Amanda grabbed Lee's arm, thinking about the IFF signs at the office building.

"It's alright,  sweetheart," Joe reassured her, naturally assuming she was protesting his being 'hauled in for questioning', "They're just doing their job." He called back as Wilson led him over to a van.

Lee, however, knew exactly what was troubling her, and patted her hand, holding it in the crook of his elbow. "Anderson, make sure to use the blind entrance, we don't want to give any secrets away to Mr King."

Anderson glanced at Mrs King and nodded in understanding.

"Thanks," Amanda smiled at Lee in gratitude, "That's one less headache for me today!"

"I can only imagine how stressful this morning has been for you, Amanda. Why don't you take the rest of the week off?" Lee suggested as they walked across the school yard, arm in arm.

"I couldn't do that," Amanda protested half-heartedly, "What about all those files? Not to mention the reports for this...?"

"Of course you can, those files are going anywhere" Lee reassured her, "And under the circumstances we'll have to file separate reports on this one anyway. Gabriel will drive you home, Tompkins will follow, and they can get the boys' statements.  Work on your report when you get the chance, and I'll get somebody from the steno pool to help me with mine."

"Uh-huh, a blond or a redhead...?" Amanda teased. "OK, I couldn't bring myself to leave the boys today anyway. Monday is soon enough to have to deal with the Q-bureau again."

Lee escorted Amanda to the station wagon, opening the passenger door for her. The boys were holding court with their friends, recounting the fight in the gym in great, and exaggerated, detail.

Amanda decided to interrupt when she realized they were crediting some of Lee's moves to their Dad, "C'mon, fellas, don't you know enough from watching TV to know you're not supposed to talk to anybody until after you've made your statements to the police? Get in the car!"

"Mrs King." Tompkins and Gabriel smiled and nodded at Amanda. She smiled back.

"Thanks, again, Mr Stetson!" Amanda resumed her cover for the benefit of Philip and Jamie, then impulsively leaned forward and kissed Lee on the cheek.

"See you later," Lee whispered. He grinned as she quickly hopped in the wagon, instructing the boys to put on their seatbelts as she did the same, studiously avoiding looking at Gabriel who smirked at Tompkins. Tompkins smirked at Lee, who ignored him, as they returned to their Agency sedans, and the three vehicles left the school parking lot.

Vice Principal Dennis had noticed the obvious rapport between Mrs King and Agent Stetson as they had walked companionably across the school yard. "Looks like Amanda's made another conquest," she observed, turning to walk back into the school.

"Yep, the PTA dads have some competition," her secretary replied, thinking that there was always a single father or two waiting to walk Mrs King to her car after a meeting.

Alma Dennis agreed, and wasn't at all surprised to see Lee and Amanda dining together at Spencer's less than week later...

The End