***DISCLAIMER*** Scarecrow and Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. The story is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author. Some dialogue and situations have been taken from "DOA: Delirious on Arrival”, teleplay by Robert Bielak, story by Nelson Costello.
Title: Out of Delirium
Date: February 2001
Synopsis: What else happened during DOA before the antidote kicked in? During my story “The Long New Year’s Eve” I investigated things Lee might have said or done if he weren’t in full possession of his faculties. After watching DOA, I was thinking, what might Amanda have done if she weren’t quite herself. This is my answer to that. Feedback welcome.
It had been a really long day for Lee Stetson. He had been at the Agency since early that morning trying to track down Hans Retzig. Finally, with Amanda’s help, he had tracked the villain down and Retzig was now in an Agency holding cell where he belonged. He was sitting with Amanda in the Agency clinic waiting anxiously for Dr. Fronin to complete his analysis of the antidote they had retrieved from Retzig. All he could do was hope and pray that it was the real antidote, and that Amanda would soon be back to her usual normal self.
He had seen her exhibiting strange behavior all day while under the influence of the drugs Retzig had slipped into that chicken sandwich. The sandwich that Retzig had intended for him, which Amanda had unwittingly eaten. She had eaten off of other people’s plates in a restaurant, escaped from Fronin’s group at the Agency, knocked Francine out with a vase, and lastly, had acted like John Wayne, ready to round up the bad guys with her trusty hairdryer.
The silence that pervaded the room was broken when Dr. Fronin entered, a syringe full of the antidote.
“Well, as far as we can tell, this is the real thing!” he said, glad that the antidote had been found in time to help the woman before him. Mrs. King was such a nice lady, and he would hate to see her permanently affected by the drugs Retzig had slipped her. “Mrs. King, we’re just going to give you this antidote now, and before you know it, everything will be just fine.”
Amanda, who had been sitting quietly next to Lee for the past few minutes suddenly jumped up and started to back away from Fronin. Lee was immediately by her side.
“Lee, keep him away from me!” she shouted, nervously grabbing at his arms. “I don’t need that big shot, please don’t let him hurt me.” She pushed her face into his chest, much as she had at the hospital earlier in the day.
“Amanda, it’s not that big. The medicine he has is going to make you better. Now you have to let us help you.” He could tell that she seemed terrified, and wondered to himself what was really going on in her confused mind.
She held him even tighter, whimpering into his chest.
“He wants to hurt me, just like that other man. Please don’t let him hurt me!”
By now she was quietly crying, and her whole body was shaking in response to the threat she perceived before her.
“Shh, Amanda!” Lee tried to calm her down, holding her close and running his hands up and down her arms. “Listen to me, I need you to listen to me now.” He backed away from her slightly as he said this, trying to make eye contact with her, wanting desperately to find a way to make her understand what was going on.
Finally, she looked up at him, sniffling and raising her hands to dry her eyes.
“You trust me, don’t you?” he asked her.
“Of course I trust you. You’re the only one I trust around here any more. Francine came at me with that knife earlier, and everyone around here has tried to keep me locked up all day. But I trust you. You would never do anything to hurt me.” she told him, looking up into his gorgeous hazel eyes, seeing behind them the man she was getting to know so well, the one who would never let her down, who would always protect her and her family. She saw trust and compassion there, but something else as well. He looked worried. Why was he worried?
“What are you worried about Lee?” She dropped her voice down into a stage whisper, “Is it that you don’t trust him either.”
“No Amanda, of course not. Dr. Fronin is here to help you. I trust him. I’m worried about you because you won’t let us help you.” Glancing at his watch he saw that time was running out. “Now please, if you trust me, let Dr. Fronin give you the antidote. We don’t have a lot of time.”
“Are you sure he’s OK?” she asked him, becoming fearful again as she looked over at Dr. Fronin, standing by the door.
“Yes, he’s OK. I promise you, I’d never let anyone hurt you. Look, if you’re still scared of him, just come over here to the bed and close your eyes. I’ll sit next to you and you don’t even have to look, alright?”
She nodded her head, and slowly walked over to the bed, holding on to him every step of the way. As soon as they were seated on the edge of the bed, she decided she would take his advice and keep her eyes closed. She turned her face toward him and buried it in his shoulder, just wishing it would all be over soon.
At Lee’s nod, Dr. Fronin came over and started to roll up the sleeve of her white blouse. Her pink jacket had been removed earlier when she had cleaned up from her adventure at the theater. He could tell she was still afraid by her shaking, and he swabbed her arm and gave her the injection as quickly as possible.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” the doctor asked her, trying to reassure her in his best bedside manner.
She shook her head, but still refused to look up, still refused to open her eyes.
“Scarecrow, the drugs she ingested earlier took a couple of hours to kick in. The antidote should take effect more quickly than that since it was an injection, but she’s still going to be in this state for awhile.”
“Amanda, maybe if you just lie down for awhile you’ll fall asleep and everything will be better when you wake up.” Fronin suggested.
“That sounds like a good idea Amanda. Why don’t you just lie down here and take a little nap. You’ve had a long day and I’m sure you must be tired.” Lee seconded as he started to disentangle himself from her and gently lowered her down onto the bed, lifting her legs up so she could stretch out.
Quickly she opened her eyes, and looked frightened once again. She grabbed his hand and pulled him close to her.
“Don’t leave me! Please don’t leave me, Lee!” she said, her voice a harsh whisper. “Last time you left me that awful Retzig man showed up.” She clung to his hand as if her very life depended on it.
Lee looked over at Dr. Fronin, part of him afraid that she hadn’t gotten the antidote in time. After all, time and time again, Fronin had told them that he wasn’t exactly sure how the drug would affect her. What if the timing of the antidote wasn’t right?
Almost sensing his questions, Fronin patted him on the shoulder and replied, “She should be fine Scarecrow. But if you’re not needed anywhere else immediately, maybe you should stay with her. She seems the calmest when you’re around. And besides, that way she won’t be trying to escape from us again.”
“Sure, sure I’ll stay with her.” Looking back down at Amanda, he squeezed her hand in response and told her, “Amanda, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll stay right here with you for as long as you want.”
She smiled at that and let out a big sigh. Her whole body seemed to relax until Lee tried to get his hand back.
“You said you weren’t leaving.” she glared up at him suspiciously.
“I’m not, I was just going to sit in that chair over there so you can sleep.”
“Oh no,” she replied. “If you go over there you’re going to sneak out again, just like you did at the hospital! You’re staying right here.”
“OK, OK, I’ll stay right here. Just calm down. Everything is going to be fine, Amanda.” He looked up from his seat on the edge of the bed at Fronin, who just shrugged and exited the room.
“Lee, where are you going?” she asked sleepily, her mind drifting back to her earlier dream of him leaving for good.
“Nowhere Amanda, I’m going to stay right here with you,” he told her, his other hand caressing the hair back from her face.
“Mmmh, that’s nice,” she whispered, a slight smile on her face. “Lee, where are we right...” she started to ask, drifting off mid-sentence.
“Oh, Amanda,” he said worriedly. “This is all my fault. If I hadn’t taken your orange, or if I had thought to order you your own sandwich, or if I had caught Retzig last night, none of this would have happened to you.” He had been torturing himself with these thoughts all day. The fact that she was in danger because of him tore at his heart, and he wished he could do something to take away all her pain and confusion. So he sat there by her side, offering what comfort he could, gently caressing her hand with his thumb, occasionally brushing her hair back from her face with his other hand as he had earlier.
He felt responsible, but there was more to it than that. They seemed to be getting closer all the time and he didn’t know how he would be able to go on if he was responsible for causing her harm. He had grown used to her funny rambles, her unique insight, and the way she made him feel when he saw the trust and caring in her eyes.
He was brought out of his thoughts when he felt her beginning to stir.
“Amanda, how are you feeling?” he murmured in a low voice, not wanting to alarm her as she was awakening.
She blinked a few times, then smiled up at him. Using his hand as leverage, she lifted herself up into a sitting position so her upper body was parallel to his.
“I’m feeling fine Scarecrow, how about you,” she asked him, letting go of his hand and sliding her own up his arm. Her other hand slid up the lapel of his jacket. “I think you’re feeling pretty good, myself,” she told him in a low husky voice.
He was startled by her declaration, but thought, ‘Maybe she’s just grateful that we got back here in time to give her the antidote. Yeah, that’s it.’
All the while, she was caressing his arm and chest, her eyes flickering down his body then up again to his face. She looked him in the eyes, lowered her gaze to his lips, then back up to his eyes again.
He was taken aback by her behavior, the way she was looking at him and touching him. He had seen her in many frames of mind and moods before. He knew how her beautiful dark eyes could reflect trust and caring, how they glimmered when she joked around, and how they could flash when she was angry with him. But he had never seen the raw desire he could sense in them now.
She pulled him toward her, closing the distance between them and hungrily meeting his lips with her own.
He was in a state of shock. Even under cover, she had never kissed him like that before. In San Angelo, at their fake wedding, her kiss had been tentative and tender. It had made him tremble as he reached down to kiss her again, unwilling to relinquish the feelings her gentle touch were producing in him. But this, she was practically devouring him, running her tongue over his upper lip, invading his mouth with her own as if this was a normal part of their relationship. She moaned seductively as she deepened their kiss and ran her hands underneath his jacket, encircling his body with her arms, drawing his body closer to her own.
Fighting his way through his bewilderment, he quickly stood up, removing her hands from him, trying to keep her at arms length.
“Amanda, what are you doing?” he gasped out, shocked that she had just done the things she had done.
She rose from the bed also and approached him, still eyeing him like he was the main course of the evening’s dinner.
“Lee, don’t play innocent with me. I think you know exactly what I was doing, and what I intend to do for that matter.”
All the while she was walking toward him and he was backing up until his body hit the door of the room and he had nowhere else to go. Suddenly, with a flash of insight, he could practically hear Fronin’s voice in his mind from earlier in the day, saying that the drugs Amanda had ingested could produce anything from minor mood swings, to paranoid delusions, to radical personality changes. He had seen the other effects earlier, and realized that they had moved on to the personality changes that had been mentioned.
She placed her arms around him once again, and fitted her body against his own. He had held her before, but they had always been friendly or reassuring hugs when she was scared or confused. Now it seemed that her goal was to have every square inch of her body in contact with his. He had known from the beginning that she was a beautiful woman, but she had always been very aware of personal boundaries and space. To have her approaching him like this was almost more than he could handle while trying to keep his professional detachment.
“Amanda please, you don’t know what you’re doing right now,” he told her frantically while trying to move her away from him. Instead of this helping, she reached up and caught his hands with her own, pinning him to the door. She then pressed her body close to his again and began trailing kisses along his jawline, reaching up to his ear and nuzzling it.
In a sultry voice, she murmured into his ear, “I know exactly what I’m doing Scarecrow, and I’m very good at it too, I’ve been told. Why don’t you just relax and tell me what you’re feeling.”
What was he feeling? He could feel his knees turning to rubber as she was speaking to him. He could feel his body reacting to everything that she was saying and doing and his resistance was foundering. A part of him wanted nothing more than to let her do whatever she wanted to him, to let her take control of events and play them out as she saw fit. She moved her lower body seductively against him, and he felt his arms moving, no longer to push her away but to hold her closer to him as he sought her lips with his own. After a long, incredibly passionate kiss, he raised his mouth from hers and reached with his hand to stroke her face tenderly. She looked up at him again and he thought he could see down to the depths of her soul in that penetrating gaze.
“That wasn’t so bad, now was it Big Fella,” she asked him, a touch of her old teasing piercing through the mood of this seductress he held in his arms.
It was enough to make him recall who it was he was holding and what was at stake if he let this go where she wanted. ‘This isn’t some cheap one night stand,’ he thought to himself. ‘This is my Amanda. I can’t treat her this way even if it is what she says she wants.’ The conversation he was having with himself continued, ‘My Amanda? Yes, mine. Mine to take care of and protect, even from herself.’ At the same time, he realized that trying to remove himself from her presence hadn’t worked before, and it probably wouldn’t now. Maybe he could trick her instead. He quickly got his emotions back under control.
“No,” he told her, his voice husky with the passion he was trying to control. “Not bad at all. But you know,” he said reaching down and picking her up in his arms, “you had a rough time with Retzig this afternoon. That’s why we’re here in the Agency clinic. Maybe we can continue this after you rest a little while.” he told her lowering her to the bed.
“Stetson, are you trying to get out of this?” she looked up at him, her eyes suddenly flashing anger.
“No, no, not at all,” he answered quickly. “But the sooner you rest, the sooner you’ll be released, and the sooner we can continue this back at my apartment. That’s what you want, isn’t it?” he asked her, giving her a gentle kiss on the lips.
“Mmmm, yes,” she sighed, reaching up to run her hands through his hair. “They’ll release me tonight?” she questioned eagerly.
“Absolutely. Dr. Fronin said you’d be ready to go within the next couple of hours.” He hoped that she wouldn’t object to the time frame.
But just as quickly as she had awakened, she drifted back off to sleep.
He sat there holding her hand as he had before, taking deep breaths trying to get his emotions and passion under control. Would she remember what had just happened between them? He hoped not. The real Amanda would be horribly embarrassed by what she had just done under the influence of the hallucinogens running through her bloodstream. He knew that he shouldn’t have kissed her as he had, but she had been so beautiful, so determined, so sexy when she had cornered him. He thought that he knew this woman beside him, but obviously there were hidden layers to her that he had never seen. Sure, her personality had been affected by the drug, but it didn’t cause her to suddenly know how to kiss and caress and arouse the passion he had felt for her. That was something that had been there all the time, lying hidden under her innocent facade. He was sure he would never look at her as “just a housewife” ever again, although it had been a long time since he had dismissed her with that epithet.
Suddenly, she stirred again, and this time she moaned lightly as she brought her hands up to her face, rubbing it.
“Lee,” she said looking over at him and smiling. “Where am I? What am I doing here? I was sitting down eating my lunch, but everything’s all fuzzy after that.”
“It’s alright, Amanda,” he answered her smiling. “Let me go get Dr. Fronin, and we’ll explain everything to you.”
“Alright,” she said, sitting up in bed. Looking up at the clock on the wall, she exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! I’m late. I was supposed to take the boys to Goofy Golf tonight!”
“Don’t worry about that,” Lee answered her. “We’ve called your mother, and she thinks you’re working late this evening.”
“Oh, well OK, if you say so.” she said
She seemed to be herself again, and Lee quickly walked down the hall to get the doctor. He thought to himself, ‘Goofy Golf, huh? Well I’m glad you don’t seem to remember your other plans for this evening.’ He knew that it would be a long time before he would forget.