Feedback: Please. Sometimes I stray from the straight and narrow path, and it is really helpful to have someone gently nudge me back straight.
Timeline: End of the fourth season. Lee and Amanda's marriage is public, and everyone lives together at Maplewood. A typical day for Lee Stetson, family man.
"Hey, that's mine!" Lee called after her with an exasperated look on his face. He saw Dotty turn around long enough to blow him a kiss, and then she was gone. Lee Stetson heaved a deep sigh, and turned to make himself another cup of coffee.
Hearing a noise on the stairs, he turned just in time to see his wife, Amanda, waddling down the last few steps with a small trash can perched precariously on her rounded belly. "Here, Amanda, let me help you with that. You don't follow directions very well. I told you not to try and carry anything else up or down those stairs," Lee chided her gently.
"Well, I think I might have to start listening to you. I'm starting to have enough trouble just getting this big old belly of mine around," Amanda said dejectedly. Lee knew her pregnancy was beginning to make her feel more and more uncomfortable.
"Hey, that's my baby you're talking about," Lee gently kissed her forehead as he took her in his arms for their umpteenth hug of the morning.
"OK, Buster, you can carry her around for awhile, then," Amanda said as she nuzzled his neck.
Lee pulled away slightly and gave Amanda a lopsided grin, "I don't think that's gonna be possible. But I'll tell you what I can do. Tonight after work I will fix you a nice warm bath and then give you a good massage. How's that? And I want you to promise me you won't try and carry anything else up and down those stairs. I don't want anything happening to either one of my girls. Promise me, right now. OK?"
Lee looked so sincere and so concerned; Amanda had to smile. "OK, Lee I promise you. From now on I won't carry anything but your daughter. Now let me get my things together before we're late for work, again."
Lee smiled as he watched Amanda gather up her purse, the morning paper, and a small portfolio he bought her for her last birthday. She was beautiful with the morning sun shining down on her dark brown hair and her fair skin. She seemed to glow. And Lee glanced down at Amanda's considerable belly and thought about the tiny child nestled there. His child. His daughter. Amanda had suggested they name her Jennifer after Lee's mother, and he had been touched beyond words. And he anxiously awaited the day when he could meet little Jennifer face to face. But for now he contented himself by staring at his darling Amanda and her growing belly. "Sometimes I still can't believe they really are mine," Lee smiled secretly to himself.
"Yes, Officer, they're mine. I promise there won't be any more trouble. Thanks for bringing them home," Lee said as he closed the door and turned to frown down on Phillip and Jamie. "OK fellas, want to tell me exactly what you were doing sneaking out of the house on a school night after dark to throw toilet paper all over Mr. Jenson's yard?"
Lee noticed that Phillip and Jamie just stared at his sneakers. He said nothing, but stood over them with his hands on his hips. Lee was glad that he was so good at interrogations. His experiences both interrogating and being interrogated gave him valuable skills that went a long way towards persuading his sons to confess. He didn't know how normal parents were able to function without having the KGB to practice on. But maybe what he really needed around the agency were more seasoned parents to make the KGB confess! It was something he had never before considered.
Lee noticed the "Silent Stare" technique beginning to work on Jamie. First he fidgeted from one foot to the next. Then he gave a sidelong glare at Phillip. Finally, the truth poured out: "It was Phillip's idea! He said that Laurie Matthews would be impressed with him if he rolled mean old man Jenson's yard! And he made me go and help. I didn't want to, Lee, but he made me!" Jamie looked pleadingly up into Lee's face, and it was all Lee could do not to crack a smile.
"Oh, great, Moron! Spill your guts, why don't you! And maybe I'll tell Anita Dillon just who it is that keeps putting paper hearts on her locker at school!" Phillip yelled at Jamie, his face flushed and his chest bowed out in anger.
"OK you two! Cut it out!" Lee interjected. "Not another word! Both of you upstairs and get ready for bed, it's late! Your mother is already in bed, but tomorrow morning, you will tell her exactly what happened tonight and why. Then, we will all march down to Mr. Jenson's house where you two will not only clean up his yard and offer him a sincere apology, but you will spend the next month as his own personal lawn service, free of charge. Now go on! And think about what you've done. You know your mother and grandmother will want a big, long discussion in the morning!"
Lee watched both boys slowly clomp up the stairs, heads and shoulders
bent in defeat. He stood at the foot of the stairs until he heard
their typical going-to-bed noises. He smiled to himself and reminded
himself that he would have to have a talk with Phillip about better ways
to impress a young girl. As he paused to turn off the lights, he
looked around the downstairs. Who would have ever thought that the
cozy white two-story with the picket fence would one day belong to the
legendary Scarecrow? The old Lee would have run screaming into the
night if he knew of his fate, but the new Lee wouldn't have it any
other way. And as he climbed the stairs to his room, he thought of his mother-in-law, his stepsons, and the wonderful woman who brought him slowly and gently into the light. "Mine!" he whispered to himself with gratitude and joy, "All mine!"