Love is Blind

By: Jenny

Summary:A disastrous mission leaves Lee and Amanda injured and worse. Separated by miles and conditions beyond their control, will they find their way back to the love they share?


Time Frame: One year after series ends.

Disclaimer:The characters belong to Shoot the Moon and Warner Brothers. I am not making any money with my efforts.

Part 1

Lee Stetson sits behind his desk at IFF in the Q Bureau. The room is dark but he isn't aware of the inky blackness. It is very late and the Agency is empty but for himself, Billy Melrose, and Francine Desmond.

His eyes are closed and in his mind he sees scenes from one year ago. It feels like yesterday yet it feels like a lifetime ago. His memories of that day always start in the early morning hours. His mind relives waking up next to Amanda. His lips remember kissing her awake. His hands remember skimming over her satin skin and plunging into her silken hair. His nose remembers the faint smell of her neck right where it was so sensitive to his touch. His entire body remembers the ecstasy of her touch, her response.

His heart remembers the thrill of seeing her love for him in her eyes. Just as he can almost feel her in his arms, his brain remembers the rest of the day. The last day. The day he lost her forever.

Just when his being can't endure any more, he pulls himself back to the present. He always does. It's almost as if he senses that if he can avoid the pain associated with the rest of that damn day he can continue to believe that it didn't happen. It was all one horrible nightmare. Almost, but not quite.

Scarecrow hears the door open and senses the presence of his friend and supervisor. Billy clears his throat and starts to enter, pausing to turn on the light before closing the door. The agent behind the desk never flinches as the harsh fluorescent light floods the room. Melrose walks to the desk and sits in the empty chair. The normally confident man seems to have trouble knowing where to start. Finally he begins, "I should have known I would find you in here. I thought Fielder kept in locked. How did you get in here?"

Lee smiles into the air in front of him and holds up the slim lock pick he still carries. He speaks for the first time since entering the office and dismissing the Agency guide. "Some things don't change Billy.

I can still get past a lock in about ten seconds. And just because I am retired doesn't mean I don't know what this summons means. I am blind Billy, not stupid. What's going on here?"

Part 2

The tension in the air was almost palpable. Lee stared across the desk unseeingly but still Billy felt as if he was pinned to his seat by the gaze of the immobile man in front of him. With a wry chuckle he states, "Same old scarecrow. You never change. Right to the point. I miss you Lee, I wish you would come around more often."

Stetson made a noise of disbelief. "Billy, you know why I don't come around. I can't be here without my partner. Besides, I wouldn't be very effective what with needing to be led every step. And don't try to change the subject. Why am I here? Why didn't you just call?

The "escort" was a little tough to explain to Dotty and the boys. We've come along way in redeveloping the trust they lost in me last year. I don't want to lose it. Now, tell me why I'm here so I can go home to my family." And my memories he added silently in his head.

"Lee I'm sorry for my methods but I was afraid you would refuse to come on your own. I have some very important updates to tell you about. . ." The infamous Scarecrow interrupted at this point. "Billy, I thought I told you that unless you could tell me Amanda was alive I didn't care to hear anymore "updates"."

Francine Desmond chose that moment to enter the equation. The tall blond handed Billy a stack of files and sat on the edge of the unoccupied desk next to the one Lee sat behind. No one could bring themselves to have it removed. She looked from the retired agent to her supervisor and back to Lee. She began to speak in soft tones. Very unusual for her. She was normally loud and outspoken almost to the point of rudeness. "Lee last week we had a visit from T.P. Aquines. He had some. . .surprising information."

"Information? I thought he quit communicating with the Agency when Aman.. uh I quit working?" Neither Billy nor Francine missed his inability to speak Amanda's name even now. Melrose picked up the reports and pulled out a single piece of paper and picture.

"Lee, he said that some of your old contacts, your `family', had come to him with unusual concerns. He brought us a surveillance photo and a written letter from a woman going by the name of Amanda Lee. The picture isn't very good but we have reason to believe it could be. . ..Amanda King, er Stetson. Our Amanda."

Stunned Lee can only sit with his mind whirling. He can only say, "My Amanda."

Part 3

The Agency car made it's way out of the Iff parking lot and into the streets of our nations capitol. It's occupants are quiet. The driver/escort seemed to sense the inward turn of Scarecrow's thoughts and left him alone. Lee's mind is a jumble of thoughts. His heart and soul a mass of seething emotions. Without conscious thought he relives the day of his and Amanda's last mission.

One year previous, IFF morning meeting.

Billy stood at the front of the room addressing the unusually rowdy bunch of agents in front of him. This morning's mission was the culmination of six long weeks of tireless leg work and research. The entire team had been working overtime. Lee and Amanda were the primary players in the planned sting to catch a notorious drug king who had recently began to show interest in placing one of his men in the political arena. A tip from an anonymous source had put the Agency on his trail and today they planned to bring him and his organization down. The ring leader was named Mario Seymor. His henchmen were simply his "men".

The plan was simple. For three weeks, Lee and Amanda had been undercover as part of his household. Lee as a new recruit for the political regime and Amanda as his socially aggressive wife. Seymor ran a tight ship and all new members of his regime were expected to live on the compound. The estate was heavily guarded but the house was luxriously appointed and his candidates and their wives wanted for nothing while on the premises. Lee and Amanda had joked about having to go undercover to live as husband and wife. Their "trial membership" was over and they had been allowed to leave the compound the night before. It was late before they reached the city so they stayed at Lee's apartment that night. It was a wonderful night. Relaxed for the first time in three weeks, they made love in their own bed not to mention the episode in the shower when Lee `helped' Amanda wash her thick hair. The flowery scent of her shampoo was magnified by the steam, and they quickly lost themselves in soapy splendor.

The barely made it to the meeting in time after calling Dotty to tell her they were back from `location scouting'. That line was wearing thin even to Dotty but she said nothing.

The meeting regained some semblance of order when Dr. Smythe arrived and Billy quickly outlined the plan. Lee and Amanda would reenter the compound that morning and go to meet Seymor. Amanda would excuse herself to use the gym facility while Lee stayed with Seymor to distract him from the surveillance camera screens on his desk. Amanda would gain access to the gate room and disable the gates and drug the guards. She was then to stay out of the line of fire in the parking lot until Lee came for her. The team would sweep into the compound and catch the crime boss with his political hopefuls and some serious drug money. Not to mention seizing the computer records of his `business' deals from the last ten years.

Unfortunately, Seymor was tipped off by an inside source and was prepared for the attack. Amanda was seized as soon as she left Lee's side. She never made it to the gate control panels. She was taken to a car and restrained by two men. They then opened the gates and lay in wait for the Agency team. Lee was escorted out just in time to see his team burst through the gates firing. After lots of shooting and confusion Seymor's guys were apprehended and he was found attempting to flee in the car with Amanda as hostage. Lee and Billy gave chase in a `borrowed' vehicle.

The drug king's car rounded a turn and they lost sight of it for about ninety seconds. Lee left the safety of the car to look for it's passengers in the parking lot it had turned into. He caught sight of the car and rushed forward with his gun drawn. As he drew within twenty feet of the car it exploded and was enveloped in a ball of flame. Lee was thrown by the force of the blast and woke up in the ICU of the best hospital in D.C.

His first words were, "Amanda. . .where's my Amanda?" Billy was at his bedside and had to tell him that she was not found and had been presumed dead. Lee refused to believe it. He repeatedly tried to get up to search for her himself. He removed the bandage from his eyes and tried to focus.

Billy spoke once again. "Lee. Son, sit down. You're in no shape to go or do anything. You've got a concussion, broken ribs, and internal bruising."

Lee sat down hard. "Billy, I can't see. I can't see.!!" His voice rose and then fell to a whisper. "I can't see anything, I'm blind."

"Yes, Scarecrow. I know." Billy sighed and watched as his best agent transformed in front of his eyes. He became empty and flat. Filled with despair.

Part 4

Setting: Lee's present.

The Agency car glided through the black night toward Arlington and the white suburban house that Lee called home. His mind whirled with a myriad of thoughts and emotions. The news that Billy had given him was welcome but disturbing. He had always secretly maintained his belief that Amanda was alive. He simply felt that he would know if she was dead. After all could he really live and breath in a world without Amanda? He did not think so.

The woman suspected to be his wife had been under surveillance for three days. The letter penned in her hand had been analyzed and compared to samples of Amanda's and found to be identical. Even now he had the letter and pictures in his hand. Since he couldn't confirm the information visibly he was taking it to the next closest person in Amanda's life, her mother.

Lee couldn't help but smile as he thought of his mother-in-law. He remembered the day she had, literally barged into his hospital room and declared herself his new caretaker. But she added, only until he could care for himself. And he would she assured him.

He had been released from the hospital early that morning and was waiting on Billy to arrive to take him home. He was slouched in the chair by the window. His handsome face was set in the now familiar look of isolation it had assumed upon hearing of the Agency's declaration of Amanda's death. They couldn't do it officially without his permission as her next-of- kin, but they could refuse to continue to investigate the accident; which was exactly what they did. Lee had informed Billy and the rest of the Agency of their marriage in an attempt to keep the investigation open. Unfortunately, Dr. Smythe prevailed and the case was closed.

When he heard the door open he spoke in the gruff tones of a man in extreme mourning. Turning toward the now open door, "It's about time you got here Billy. I want the Hell out of this place."

Silence for several minutes, then the door shut and brisk footsteps made their way across the room to stand in front of him. Lee was visibly startled when Dotty's voice began to speak in firm tones. "Lee Stetson, I have about enough of this from you. I have been trying to get in to see you for two weeks. The door is guarded and the phone is disconnected. I am sick of this `secret agent' mess. Now get up and let me take you home."

Stunned lee can only stutter, "Uh Dotty. . . Billy is coming. . ."

"No he isn't Lee. You see I finally got through to that man and informed him that I would be coming to take my son-in-law home to his family where I could care for him in his wife's place."

Lee had finally found his voice and now questions, "Dotty I don't understand what you are talking about." No one outside of the Agency had been told of the marriage and he was sure Billy hadn't told her when he had to inform of her of Amanda's `accident' on the `location' of the latest IFF documentary.

He heard a rustle of paper and Dotty replied. "I think there is something you should hear, Lee. I found this in Amanda's safe deposit box at the bank. The key was delivered to the house last week by some of your people. Amanda had left instructions that this be delivered to me in the event of her. . .{her voice cracked at that point} death. It's a letter addressed to me, and the boys.

In a shaky voice she begins to read. Lee imagines he can hear Amanda's voice. "Dearest Mother, Phillip, and Jaime, if you are reading this then I am dead or very, very missing. I apologize first for the pain you are feeling. Please know that I love you with all my heart. I write this in the hopes of making this time easier for you somehow, or maybe this is just to ease my guilty conscience. I have lied to you all for many years now and I want to appease my self."

The letter went on to outline her involvement with the Agency. She stressed the need for her family to maintain her secret from the rest of the world for their safety. She told the whole story from that first meet at the train station to the whole Stemwinder affair and ended with the most startling revelation of all.

Dotty closely watched Lee's face as she read the last part of Amanda's missive. "Most of all I hope I am introducing you to your son-in-law and boys, to your stepfather. Mother, I married Lee Stetson. He is my partner in every sense of the word. I love him more than I ever thought I could love a man. In the slim hope that he survived whatever has ended my life, I ask you to take care of him for me. He can be stubborn and hard to manage but please don't let him hide from you as I know he'll try. Please, make him a part of your lives. He loves the boys as his own and has watched them grow for over four years now. They're going to need each other now. I beg of you don't hold our secrets against him. We did what we thought was best. I love you all dearly. Amanda."

Tears are running down both faces by the end of the reading. Dotty grips Lee's large hands in her small ones. They feel soft and loving to Scarecrow. She leans toward him and whispers, "Let me take you home to your family, son. We need you as much as you need us."

Mutely Lee nods as lets his mother-in-law take him home to the all too familiar Arlington home. The boys were both aware of the letter and it's contents. They welcomed him as their stepfather. They already knew him and seemed relieved to know they were no longer so alone in their grief.

Lee was brought abruptly back to the present as the driver announced, "Mr. Stetson, we're here. Do you need some assistance to the door?"

"No, thank you. I think I can manage." He opens the door and stands. With the help of his cane he leaves the car and heads up the walk, exactly 15 steps. Before he can open the door it is opened from the inside and Dotty stands before him.

Her first words are, "Well, what's going on, Lee? That's an Agency car that picked you up and dropped you off. Is it about Amanda?"

Part 5

Setting: Stetson/King home, early AM

Lee stood on the stoop of the house and smiled wearily. Dotty waited expectantly for a response to her question. "Well, is there new information about the accident? Why did you have to go to the Agency? Why couldn't that Melrose man come here? I thought he was your friend!"

"Dotty! Dotty! Calm down. Are you going to let me in?" Lee's tone was one of affectionate exasperation. As he spoke, the first slivers of sunlight began to filter through the houses of the neighborhood. "Of course, Lee. I'm sorry." She stepped back into the house and Lee made his way into the living room. He removed his jacket and unerringly placed in on the second hook of the coat rack. He walked confidently through the house into the kitchen for coffee. Dotty watched with quiet pride as he completed these tasks independently.

The first few months of their new family arrangement had been tough. Overcome with grief and loneliness, Lee had shut himself off from them. He spent hours in Amanda's room, refusing to allow Dotty in to clean or make it a more `manly' environment. In his mind, if he could keep it just as Amanda had left it. . .well, he felt closer to her. It wasn't until Jaime came to him and began to ask difficult questions that he even attempted to shake off the fog he lived in. A particularly emotional, angry outburst from the youngest of his stepsons had finally seemed to snap him out of his world and back into theirs. Unable to contain his fear for his stepfather and his need for love and acceptance from a parent, Jaime had yelled one day, "Lee, why can't you love us anymore? We lost mom and Dad is across the world and we need you. I thought you came here to be part of our family! You can't see us but can't you feel us? We love you. Please be our friend again. Please be our stepdad."

Lee began to cry. Hard silent sobs. His stepson held and comforted him. When it was over, Lee simply stood up and began to live the life he knew Amanda had wanted for them. Together he, Phillip, Jaime, and Dotty learned to live as a family. He learned to cope with his new restrictions. It was a suggestion from Phillip that helped him learn to move confidently in his new home. After stumbling into the kitchen counter for the second time in as many minutes, Lee cursed softly. Phillip had looked up in surprise. Lee was almost comedic in his efforts to maintain the correct attitude around his stepsons these days. With surprising maturity and insight Phillip said, "Lee, you said you spent a lot of time here with Mom while we were gone on the weekends, right? Well we haven't moved any furniture. If you just tried to picture the room you were in wouldn't it be easier to move around?"

A brief experiment proved the theory valid. While standing in the family room, Lee was able to point and move to various pieces of furniture while envisioning the room, without major incident. With the help of a cane he was soon able to navigate around most familiar places. His inherent confidence returned. He stood taller and looked more like his old self. A much appreciated change to all concerned. His naturally arrogant walk returned and he found that in place of his sight, his other senses were heightened. His reflexes remained razor sharp. Sometimes he forgot he was no longer an active Agent and awoke to think he was going to work as usual. That longing was not easy to deal with. Even harder was the longing for his life partner. He woke every morning, disappointed not to see her there next to him. He would lay in the bed and imagine seeing her again. In his mind, he held her in his arms. He kissed her lips, her neck, her shoulders. He ran his hands through her morning-tousled hair. He slowly pulled her under his body and made love to her in the early morning hours. His mind gave him those memories. His body longed for her comfort.

More often than not, before despair setin, the sounds of his family waking in the morning drug him back to reality. With the help of his family he was able to shake the depression before it took firm hold. He would get up and continue living his life.

Now as he stood in the kitchen with his coffee in hand, he wondered how to tell Dotty that her daughter might be alive. He retrieved the file from the counter and asked Dotty to sit with him. They sat at the table and Lee began to speak.

"Billy had me brought to the Agency because he had classified information to discuss with me. . .concerning Amanda." Lee hesitated and before he could speak again, footsteps descended the stairs. Phillip and Jaime stood at the door and asked, "Are you talking about Mom?"

Their stepfather replied, "Uh maybe you guys better go back to bed. You have tests this morning don't you?" Instead of complying, the boys walked to the table and sat. Jaime spoke for both of them. "No way Lee. You promised us a long time ago. No more secrets. Not ever. We're in this together remember?"

Lee waited for Dotty to intervene on his behalf. He didn't want to get their hopes up. Instead Dotty backed them. "They're right Lee. We promised them no more secrets. No more lies. They deserve to know what ever you have to say."

With a big sigh, Lee conceded. "All right troops. This is what we got. A few weeks ago an old contact of mine called Billy. He had some information to pass on. It seems that he had been approached, by some people I used to know. They were convinced they had seen Amanda. Recently. These people, my `family', had pictures of her and a letter she wrote as part of an application for an apartment. Billy found this woman and had her followed. There were more pictures taken and they even managed to lift some finger prints from a glass." He paused for a moment. At Dotty's prompting he finished his story. "The prints and the handwriting samples are a definite match for Amanda's. Unfortunately those things can be faked so we need to identify her visually if possible. Since I can't, I brought the pictures and letter home to you , Dotty. Billy needs you to look at them and try to verify that they are real." As he spoke the last sentence he pushed the file across the table to his mother-in-law. With trembling fingers, she opened the folder and softly gasped, "Oh my stars!"

Part 6

Setting: Georgetown apartment complex, near IFF

Early AM, same day

The slender brunette stood near the window and looked out over the familiar, yet new street below. She had moved into the apartment about two weeks prior. To the best of her knowledge she had never been here before. Of course, her best was only about ten months long. That was all she remembered. The last ten months were her `only' memories. She knew her name only because she was told it. As the sun broke over the horizon, the woman searched her mind as far back as she could. As always, she could only remember as far as eleven months prior.

It was as if she woke one day and started to live, without past connections or commitments. The first six months were spent in various hospitals and inpatient clinics, as doctors tried to help her recover physically and emotionally from some unknown accident. Her medical records stated that she had been brought to the emergency room of a private hospital by an unknown person. She was bloody, bruised and barely awake. According to several nurses on staff she had repeatedly said the name Lee over and over again. Since the staff were, at that time, trying to get past medical history and all she would say was that one name, they assumed it was her name. An engraved bangle bracelet proclaimed her to be `Amanda'. Without any other information the staff decided her name was Amanda Lee. The only other information was bits and pieces of garbled sentences spoken before she passed out.

When she awakened, nurses and doctors told her she had been mostly unconscious for nearly two weeks. She knew nothing. Not her name, her age, her address, or if she had family. She felt she must have family because her predominant impression was one of utter loneliness. She felt lost and adrift, without anchor or lifeline. The next several weeks were spent locked away inside of herself, whoever that was. She didn't talk to anyone or make an effort to regain her strength.

Finally her medical team had made a drastic decision in an effort to bring her back to the world of the living. They divulged a piece of information that Amanda had managed to convey before drifting away that first day in the ER.

A sudden noise from the nearby bedroom startled the woman out of her reverie. As the disturbance grew louder, she made her way into the small area. She smiled in memory of the day she `woke up'. {She reached down and picked up the small soft bundle.} She began to live the day she learned about Jenny, her now six month old daughter. The knowledge that she was pregnant had shaken her into awareness. She realized that she was no longer alone in her strange life. She slowly regained her physical and mental strength. She spent the last months of her pregnancy in a halfway house sponsored by the doctor who had supervised her recovery. When Jenny was born, and mother and baby were deemed fit to leave the hospital, she went, not to the halfway house, but to an apartment on the outskirts of the city. Her doctor and by now close friend, Shelby Collins, had arranged everything. She and Amanda had decided she was ready to live on her own. She still had no memories of her old life, but the birth of her daughter had brought her a sense of comfort and belonging.

She was content for about four months. Then she began to have flashes of memory. She saw a white house somewhere in a pleasant neighborhood. She remembered feeling loved and safe and protected. She also remembered other things. Things that Shelby tended to believe were not real. By all accounts Amanda had appeared to be a normal suburban woman who had a terrible accident. Why would she have memories of Russians, Germans, guns, bombs, or terrorists? She also began to have dreams about characters from the old movie, The Wizard of Oz. She saw the scarecrow in a sports car. She dreamed of a high security area that was accessed through a hall closet. After a while she quit telling her friend about the bizarre memories. She tried to tell herself she watched too much TV. But she just couldn't shake them.

She was able to content herself with her small daughter until she actually saw the red brick building with the bizarre closet while on a shopping trip with Shelby. She came back to the area everyday for a week. She walked around the streets pushing Jenny in her stroller. She felt more drawn to the place every time she walked by. Finally she told Shelby that she felt it was important for her to be in the vicinity. Despite strong protests from the doctor she moved out of the first apartment and into the one she currently occupied.

The memories became stronger and more frequent. They all seemed to center around the apparently innocent International Film Federation building. Yesterday, when she had woken in a cold sweat from a dream about the building, the scarecrow and a large violent explosion she had determined to go into the office and see what happened.

She had waited until today to go because Shelby would be out of town and she didn't want any chances of her concerned friend trying to accompany her or dissuade her. She felt it was imperative she go alone to face this demon.

So at eight o'clock, she put Jenny in her stroller, rode down the elevator and walked onto the sidewalk. As she neared her destination, her pulse grew rapid. Her breathing became shallow. Her hands shook as she opened the door. She walked in and stared into the somehow familiar face of the distinguished woman behind the desk. The woman gasped aloud when she saw Amanda. She stood and looked closely at the apparent vision before her. She picked up the phone and said, "Mr. Melrose, I think you better get down here right, away. Sir, I believe that Amanda King just walked in."

As the older woman's words sank in, Amanda's face paled. She grew dizzy and faint. As the door at the right of the entrance opened and William Melrose stepped out of the closet elevator, her senses overloaded and she fainted. Billy dashed forward and caught her before she could hit the floor.

The baby in the stroller grew distraught at the site of her mother in such distress. She began to wail. Billy lowered Amanda gently onto the floor and told Mrs. Marston, "I think we better call Lee Stetson. You tell him to get over here now! Send a car if we need to. I think I have someone he would like to speak to."

Part 7

Setting: Stetson/King household, mid-morning

Lee sets at the table with the Agency file in front of him. Earlier that morning Dotty had confirmed Billy's suspicion. The woman in the pictures was either Amanda or her twin. Since Dotty knew for a fact that she had no twin, well it was Amanda. She also studied the letter and believed it to be written by her daughter. Both boys were allowed to look at the pictures and also felt the woman was their mother.

All three parties had wanted to rush to IFF and convince Billy to bring her in to speak with. Lee had managed to persuade them that was not the correct action to take even though that was what his heart was screaming for him to do. He explained that by all accounts Amanda didn't know who she was or have any memory of them.

There were more than a few tears shed by Dotty and both boys as they agreed to let Lee and Billy decide when the time was right to meet her again. Lee pulled both boys close and promised them, "When we decide that we can contact her without putting her or you in danger we will. I want her back with us more than anything in the world. But we don't know where she has been or what happened to her last year. She may be in danger and not be aware of it. We have to protect her first and then bring her home when we are sure she is safe."

Thus appeased, Phillip and Jaime went to school to take their tests. Now Lee thought about that promise and hoped he could make good on it. He had some prior experience with amnesia and knew that some people never recovered their full memories. Amanda had in fact suffered a mild episode of amnesia early in their relationship. She had recovered quickly and completely. But they had no way of knowing what terrible ordeals she had been through this past year. His mind turned over dozens of scenarios. Each was equally painful. He prayed that this woman was his wife and that they could return her to her life. He had been alone ofr so long before Amanda. He had her love for way to short a time. Forever wasn't long enough to have and love her. The last year of loneliness had taken it's toll. He needed his wife, her love to thrive. For months now he had just been surviving for his family's sake.

So lost in thought was he that he didn't hear the phone ringing until the answering machine picked up. He moved toward the phone to pick up in case it was Billy calling with information about Amanda. Apparently Dotty had the same thought for she appeared at the top of the steps and Lee heard her join him in the kitchen. A woman's voice came through the speaker. "Lee, this is this is Mrs. Marston. Billy needs you. . ."

Lee snatched the reciever from the cradle and spoke in a trembling voice.

"Mrs. Marston, this is Lee. What's going on?. . .. . .. . .Yes. . .. . ...ok. . .. . .we're on the way. . I don't need a car to come. Tell Billy I will meet him in his office."

He hung up the phone and faced his mother-in-law. "What is it, Lee? What do they know?"

"She's there, Dotty. She came on her own. Just walked in off the street."

Together they said, "Well, let's go!"

As Dotty drove through the streets, her mind raced with possibilities. She felt overwhelmed and searched for distraction. She remembered her phone conversation with Lee's physician earlier that week. She had put off discussing it with him but now grasped it as her port in this storm. "Lee, I spoke with your doctor a few days ago. She said you had missed your last two visits. She seemed very anxious to see you. She sounded concerned. Now, I know that you are a grown man and can take care of yourself, but I worry. Why haven't you been keeping your appointments?"

"Dotty, why go? It's always the same thing. Look in my eyes maybe run a few tests and eventually say she just doesn't understand. That there is no medical reason I can't see."

Part 8

Setting: IFF

Dotty and Lee made their way from the parking lot and into the foyer of the Georgetown entrance of the Agency. Dotty attempted to help him navigate but Lee said, 'It’s ok, Dot. I know this place like the back of my own hand. I can manage.'

Dotty protested, 'But it’s been a year since you were here frequently. How…'

'Dotty, some things you just don’t forget.' They were walking through the door as he made this statement. Mrs. Marston apparently agreed as she stood and said just that, 'Lee Stetson, you are a sight for sore eyes, uh sorry, I mean…oh you know what I mean! You handsome devil you, you still know how to fluster a girl.'

'Only the pretty ones, darlin’. But seriously, is Billy in his office? Where is she? Where is Amanda? I need to….' Billy interrupted the impromptu interrogation by entering the room from the elevator. He walked forward quickly and greeted Dotty, 'Hello, Mrs. West. I wasn’t aware that Lee was bringing you, er that you were bringing Lee. At any rate, I suppose that you should be here. Let’s go upstairs.'

Lee and Dotty were issued passes. Dotty’s was a visitor pass. Lee’s was not. When she commented on the unlikelyhood of a retired agent maintaining security clearance Billy explained gruffly. 'Well, the fact is that I never officially turned in Lee’s resignation. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Scarecrow was, is, the best agent I ever worked with. Together he and Amanda were unstoppable. I just couldn’t believe that the team was gone. I’m delighted to find I was right.'

'Well, Billy be that as it may, I still can’t see. Amanda may be back but Scarecrow is still out of commission. We’ll discuss you not turning in that resignation later. Right now I want to go to Amanda.'

Dotty finally resumed her composure after hearing Mr. Melrose’s obviously heartfelt praise of her daughter and son-in-law. She spoke now, 'Oh yes. That is just what I want to do as well.'

The three of them had by now left the elevator and were approaching Billy’s office. He opened the door and ushered them inside. 'Of course. But first you should sit. We have a small matter to discuss.'

'Billy, I don’t want to discuss anything, small or large. I want to go to my wife.' His voice was thick with suppressed emotion. He turned to leave the office, his cane extended in front of him, lest he stumble in his excitement. Billy beat him by seconds and shut the door firmly. The older man took Lee’s arm and led him to the chair in front of his desk. He motioned for Dotty West to seat herself as well, then he leaned against the front of his desk. He hesitated briefly then spoke, 'It seems that Amanda was not alone when she came here this afternoon.'

Lee broke in eagerly, 'Who was with her? Do they know where she’s been, what happened to her?' He leaned forward in his seat. Billy was struck by the sudden appearance of the fine agent, Scarecrow, that he did sometimes wonder was gone forever.

'No Lee, I don’t think so. The identification on her bag said she was one Jenny Lee and I think you should meet her.'

Impatient now, Lee was willing to agree to anything to get to Amanda at last. 'Fine Billy. Anything.' Melrose picked up the phone on his desk and buzzed Francine. 'Francine, come in now please.'

All eyed turned toward the door as Francine entered holding the still fretful baby. Dotty gasped aloud. Lee mutters, 'What? What? Some one speak to me. What is going on?'

Francine awkwardly places the baby in Lee’s arms and says, 'Meet your daughter, Lee.'

Part 9

Setting: IFF, Billy's office

Lee sat, stunned. His arms automatically held the warm wiggling bundle. He inhaled the soft fragrance of baby powder and innocence. He shifted her closer until he could press his check against hers. He jumped when she gave a final whimper. She looked up into his face, eyes wide, then fell promptly asleep. Dotty stepped closer and gazed down at the now sleeping infant. She touched her face softly and told Lee, "Oh Lee, I think she knows you. She looked up at you and seemed to like what she saw. She went to sleep."

Francine interjected, "Thank goodness. She has been crying since. . ." Bully interrupted at that point and suggested allowing the family some time alone. He and the female agent left the room motioning Dotty to come with them. With one last longing look, she followed the pair out the door.

Lee was aware of the unspoken exchange in the room. He could sense the tension in the air. It was an Agency learned skill that had only sharpened in the last twelve sightless months. At that moment, however, he just didn't care.

Lee Stetson had never understood the term parent/child bonding. He had grown to love the boys slowly over the years and assumed that biological parents exaggerated the 'bonding' that supposedly took place at birth. Particularly, fathers. Mothers, he supposed were more understandable. They had nine months of pregnancy to become attached to their child. In the last few minutes, Scarecrow had changed his mind.

He held an incredibly small warm being in his arms and he fell in love instantly. He recognized this little person as a part of himself, as a part of Amanda, a part of their love. With sudden clarity, his mind flew back to the last morning of the disastrous mission. Just before entering the compound his Amanda had looked at him with all of that love shining in her eyes and told him that she had something to discuss with him later that night, after the case was wrapped up. He tried to question her about it but was stopped by the opening of the gates to the estate. They were quickly distracted, and in the aftermath, he had never thought about the comment again, until now.

He spoke softly to the fair-haired child, "So you were what Mommy wanted to tell me huh? Well, I'm sorry, I'm a little late but I'm never going to leave you or your Mommy again." As if hearing and understanding, Jenny smiled in her sleep and settled closer to this large man who felt so right.

The door opened and Dotty returned to tell him that he was needed in the infirmary. She was not happy about being left behind but the area was restricted and the guards made her nervous with their guns. She consoled herself by taking the baby from a very reluctant Lee. He consoled himself of the loss by thinking about reuniting with his wife. He left Billy's office and made his way to the infirmary. Once again he refused assistance from the guards. This too was a familiar area. Heaven knew he had been there a few times.

Billy met him at the door and answered the question he read on his friend's face. "She's not awake but she is showing signs of waking soon. I knew you would want to be here when she did."

"Thanks Billy." He opened the door and stood for just a minute. The nurse started toward him to assist him to his wife and partner's bedside. She stopped and watched in amazement as he turned his face to the bed where Amanda lay. He walked directly to her and stood by the bed.

His whole being screamed in recognition. He hadn't even touched her, yet he knew it was she. He had felt it as soon as he opened the door. He felt around for a chair and the nurse shook herself enough to go assist him.

"Here you are, Mr. Stetson." She put his hand on the arm of the chair. He sat, giving in to suddenly weak legs. "Thank you." "You're welcome, I'll be over here if you need me." Lee heard her shoes squeak as she walked away.

Scarecrow exhaled slowly and reached for the bed and found Amanda's hand. His fingers grasped hers and held on tight. His thumb caressed the soft skin of her inner wrist. His skin burned with the sensation. Her hand twitched in his and he raised his head from where he had laid it on her bed. He couldn't see her face but somehow knew when she opened her eyes. He smiled and said, "Hi. I missed you." She blinked slowly and responded, "I think I missed you, too."

"Do you know who I am?" Lee waited for her answer. She shook her head, then realized from the unfocused look on the gorgeous man's face that he was blind. She felt a deep yet unexplainable sorrow at this knowledge. "No I don't, not exactly."

Lee spoke again, "Not exactly? Can you explain?"

Amanda tried, "I seem to recognize you on some level. Your touch is very familiar. I know what you smell like without being close to you. I feel safe here with you. But I can't recall your name or our relationship. Are we. . .have we. . .I mean. . .{deep breath} were we lovers?" She thought suddenly of Jenny and looked around for her.

Lee paused. He leaned close as if to better gauge her reaction as he answers, "I'm your husband." He can't resist any more. He softly finds and touches her face and leans in to kiss her.

Part 10

Setting; IFF

Amanda watched as the most gorgeous man she had ever seen leaned in to kiss her. Had he really just said that he was her husband? She wasn't sure but she thought she was in love with him. How could that be? Was it true? Was he her husband? Was he Jenny's father?

All thoughts ceased as his lips touched hers. Soft and warm at first, then hard and hot as he put his arms around her and pulled her body against his. Her bones felt like jelly and her heart sang in recognition. Oh yes, she, at least her body definitely, knew this man. Her mouth opened of it's own will and allowed him access. His tongue slipped inside and caressed softly, hungrily.

As she reveled in the sensations, her hands moved up his hard shoulders and delved into his soft hair. This felt so right! She knew that she had been missing something very vital to her life for the last ten months. She now thought it had to be this man and the love he obviously felt for her. He broke away and pulled back just enough to bury his face in her neck. He inhaled her smell and whispered, "I love you, Mrs. Stetson! I've missed you so much."

He exhaled slowly and Amanda shivered as his hot breath rushed out over her skin. She was incredibly touched by the emotion in his voice and by the tears she now felt falling on her neck.

She pulled back and looked at his face. With shaking hands she wiped the tears away and smiled. She knew this man and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was her love. As she studied his features, she also realized that he must be Jenny's father. They shared the same eyes and skin tones. When he smiled, the resemblance was remarkable.

She sat up in bed and laughed when he refused to let her go. She settled in close and started to speak. "As crazy as this sounds, I believe you. My heart and soul know you. I knew that somewhere there was someone who loved me and who I loved because I missed you everyday. I didn't know who or what I was missing but there has been this big empty hole in my gut for so long and now it's gone. It has to be you. Uh. . .{she is unsure how to broach the subject of her daughter}I wasn't alone when I came here, wherever here is, do you know where my. . .?"

Lee interrupted, "Where the baby is?"

"Yes, my daughter, Jenny. She looks so much like you. Is it possible that you're her father?" This came out in a typical Amanda fashion, all in one breath. Amanda watched his face as she posed this question. She was thrilled to see him smile as he answered, "Her identification on her bag lists her birthday. She is about six months old, right?" Amanda nods in agreement. "Then I am most definitely her father. Besides, she told me I was."

Amanda laughed with joy. "Oh she did? And just how did she tell you that? She can't talk."

"No she can't talk but she fell asleep as soon as I held her in my arms. And she just felt right to me. Apparently she agreed." The last was said in a smug voice.

Amanda shook her head and said, "Well, I can't disagree. This,{Nodding down at his arms around her body} your arms around me, certainly feels right to me, too. But, where is she and for that matter, Mr. Stetson, I believe you did say I was Mrs. Stetson, what is your name and who am I ?"

"Well, you are one Amanda West King Stetson. My name is Lee Stetson."

{She was visibly startled at the discovery of his mane. So that was why she called that name repeatedly after the accident.}

"You are my wife and our daughter is with her grandmother, your mother, Dotty West. You have two sons who love you very much. They are in school now, but I suspect not for long." Lee waited a moment before continuing, unsure how much information to reveal. He remembered from her first bout with amnesia several years before that the doctor had advised him to move slowly in revealing her connection to the Agency.

His caution was short lived as he discovered the need to explain all when she asked, "Am I a criminal or something? I have had the strangest dreams about Russians, Germans, and bombs. Very large scary bombs. And a scarecrow, I thought from the Wizard of Oz. But now I think, that you are the scarecrow. Are we bad people?"

He held her hands in his and stated matter-of-factly, "No we're the good guys. We are. . . well, you always seemed fond of the term spies."

Part 11

Opening setting: IFF

Amanda can only gasp and gape at the man in front of her, "Spies?" She leapt off the bed and out of Lee's arms. Nonplussed by her violent reaction, Lee stood up and walked toward Amanda's voice as she continued to speak.

"You are telling me that we, I, am a spy. How could that be? I may not remember my life but I am pretty sure I would remember something like that, wouldn't I? I mean spies carry guns, and know how to sneak around and . . .and shoot people. I could never shoot anyone. I'm terrible at sneaking around. How could I be a spy? For that matter how could you be a spy? I mean, your blind!" Flustered now she stops and covers her mouth with her hands. "I'm sorry, that was a cruel thing to say. I just can't understand. . .Why are you smiling like that? You're laughing. This is NOT funny."

He can't believe how like his old Amanda she sounded.

Lee reaches her at that point and takes her hands in his. "I'm sorry. Your right, this is not funny. And I am blind. But not forever, just recently." He didn't reveal the start of his blindness as being her accident and disappearance. He didn't want her to feel guilty. She needed to focus on her own recovery. He attempted to distract her from this upsetting line of conversation. "Amanda, how about we go find Jenny? Besides, if I don't take you to see Dotty soon, she's gonna kill me."

"Oh Jenny! How could I have forgotten about her? Dotty? My mother? She's here. Is she a spy, too?" Together they walk toward the outer hall that leads to Billy's office.

Lee chuckles and answers, "No, Dotty isn't an agent. But she is a pretty good interrogator so let's go before she comes looking for us."

They near the door of Billy's office. Amanda whispers, "There are guards everywhere, Lee. Are we in some government building? The last place I remember being was in the lobby of some place called IFF. I walked in and the receptionist looked like she saw a ghost. I saw a sudden rush of images, memories I guess, then I passed out. I woke up in this place." She waited for an answer.

Lee explained, "This is IFF. It's a cover for the Agency. The people we worked for. Here we are. {They stop before Billy's door.} Are you ready?"

Amanda took a deep breath and nodded her head. "But this conversation is not over. We will talk more about this spy business later." Lee grinned and thought, 'Same old Amanda.'

He opened the door and let her walk in before him. She stops short as Dotty turns to face her. Again, the recognition is immediate. She just can't place any particulars. She knows this woman is her mother, Jenny's grandmother. She rushed forward to embrace them both. Dotty began to cry openly, "Oh Amanda, I thought you were gone forever. I thought my baby was gone. I love you. I missed you so."

Tears run down Amanda's face as well. She takes Jenny from the older woman who suddenly realizes her daughter knows who she is. "Amanda, do you know who I am?"

"Not exactly. I know without a doubt that you are my mother, but if Lee hadn't told me your name or his for that matter I wouldn't know them. I seem to remember the emotions associated with you but not anything else." She looked at Lee shyly and crossed the room to stand next to him with their daughter in her arms. She touches his arms and he reaches for the baby he can hear cooing up at him. She speaks to the room in general. "I knew I loved him as soon as I saw him. That we were connected in some way. But I wasn't sure of what the connection was. It's the same with all of you."

She and Dotty share a love filled look and embrace once again, this time including Lee and the baby girl in his arms. Billy and Francine look on with tolerant affection. They wish to leave the Stetson family in peace but Smythe was, by now, screaming for explanations. Billy began in a gruff tone, "Amanda, I know that you are confused and I'm sorry I have to do this, but could you answer a few questions for me?"

Lee answers for her, "No Billy, she can't. First of all she doesn't remember anything in particular. Second of all, she's tired and overwhelmed by all of this. I think she just wants to go somewhere quiet and gather her thoughts." His face is set in an all too familiar expression.

"Lee, as I said, I know this is difficult but Dr. Smythe is screaming for answers. He's gonna come after Amanda himself if I don't get him a report soon." The section chief threw up his hands in frustration with the well-known stubbornness of Scarecrow. He looked at Amanda beseechingly. She was just about to capitulate when Lee spoke again, "Well, I guess he should have looked for his answers a little harder twelve months ago."

Dotty, who despised that horrible man after the way he attempted to railroad her into organizing a memorial service for Amanda, agreed with her son-in-law and lead Amanda out of the office and toward the elevator.

Lee spoke softly to Billy and Francine, "I'm taking them home. When she's stronger and has seen a doctor we'll be back. Smythe and his bullshit cost me year of my life with her and the first six months of my daughter's." He held Jenny tighter as he spoke. "He'll just have to wait now." He shifted Jenny to a more secure position in his left arm. He used his cane to navigate to the elevator where Amanda and Dotty waited for him. Seeing his discomfort holding the child with one arm, Amanda stepped forward and took their daughter. "Thanks, Amanda. She's so small. I'm afraid I might drop her. I guess I have a lot to learn."

Amanda softly replied, "Oh I think we're going to be O.K., aren't we baby girl?" She nuzzled the soft pink cheek, then reached up and kissed her husband softly. "After all, we're together again. I don't remember how it was before exactly, but I think together we can do anything."

They entered the elevator. After the doors closed them in with the coats and hats, Amanda said, "You know I dreamed about this elevator, along with the rest. I think Shelby must believe I'm a nut, not just amnesic." She laughed quietly.

Dotty asked, "Whose Shelby, dear?"

"Oh she' my doctor and my friend. She helped me a lot when I had Jenny and was released from the hospital. She helped me get my first apartment and set up a bank account for me, and oh she's a real good friend."

The family had left the elevator and handed over their ID passes to Mrs. Marston who in turn stood up and hugged them both. She kissed the baby on the head and handed over her diaper bag and stroller. She made them promise to bring the Jenny back often and they left.

In the car, as Dotty drove them home, Lee asked Amanda, "What is Shelby's last name? I want to thank her for taking such good care of my girls."

"Oh her name is Dr. Shelby Collins. She has an office quite near here actually."

Dotty spoke up then, "What a coincidence, Lee. Your doctor's mane is Collin's as well."

Suspicious now, Lee mumbled, "Yes, quite."

Part 12

Setting: Stetson/King household

Amanda stood on the doorstep of the white house on Maplewood drive. She knew this house, she had dreamed of this house. When she stepped through the doorway, memories flooded her senses. Not full memories, but bits and pieces. Like looking through a picture album, she saw still shots of herself with two preteen boys. Then shots of herself and Dotty, the boys only younger, and finally shots of herself and Lee.

With crystal clear clarity she saw herself at the foot of the steps calling the boys down for something. She heard her voice call, "Phillip, Jaime!" She didn't realize that she said the words out loud. Lee's startled exclamation brought her back to the present.

"Amanda, what do you remember about the boys? You just called their names."

Amanda shrugged, "Just flashes really. I see them here in this house at all ages. I see me with them, and Mother, and with you. I heard me call their names. Where are they?"

Dotty replied this time, "They're at school. They should be home in about thirty minutes. They don't know we found you yet. I hope you are up to this. I guess we could stash you in a hotel room somewhere tonight if you aren't."

Her daughter protested immediately, "No! I'm ready. More than ready. I just want to get my life back." She turned to where Lee was standing with Jenny in his arms, "But I guess I should see about getting her down for a nap. Where should I put her?''

Lee turned toward the stairs, still holding his daughter. "Your room is upstairs. Follow me." He walked to the foot of the steps and placed Jenny in Amanda's arms. "Maybe you better carry her up the stairs. I need one hand to follow the banister."

She watched as he went up the steps in front of her. Again she was struck by the ease with which he moved in his dark world. He was obviously a very confident man. She determined to broach the subject of his blindness again as soon as Jenny was settled. Unconsciously she stopped in front of the correct door. "Is this it?" "Yes" Lee responded, pleased that the memories kept coming to her. She opened the door and stepped inside the room, occupied only by Lee for the last year.

The sight before her was certainly familiar. She had reproduced this room almost perfectly in her apartment, just recently. She hadn't understood why she felt compelled to decorate the room the way she had until now. "Lee how long have we been married?"

"About eighteen months, why?" Lee was curious as to the suddenness of her question.

"Well, so we had been married about six months before whatever happened to me and I disappeared. Why is this room so female? There is very little of you in this room."

Her husband said, "Well, we never lived here together." While they were talking Amanda had been moving around the room, putting Jenny on the bed surrounded by pillows to keep her from falling off the edge, changing her diaper, and now she stopped and looked up in surprise. "What? Why?"

"We're federal agents Amanda. At least we were, it's a dangerous job. We kept our marriage secret to protect the family. I didn't want them to be used as targets to get to me or the Agency."

She slowly responded, "So why are you here now? What happened to me Lee? Why can't I remember you and why are you blind?"

Lee was once again saved from responding as they heard the back door slam and footsteps thunder up the stairs. Phillip and Jaime appear in the door. "Lee, Lee guess what!. . .." Both boys trail off as they see their mother standing behind their stepdad.

Once more the instant recognition hit Amanda and she strode forward to sweep the boys into her embrace. She could only cry and hold them closely. Eventually, she pulled back and said, "Hi fellows, I sure missed you!"

"Mom where have you been? Are you OK? We missed you, too."

A cry from the bed brought their attention to the bed. Lee supplied the introductions, "Phillip, Jaime, meet your sister Jenny." Both boys crept forward to look at the wiggling baby. Dotty joined the party then and suggested they all move downstairs for a proper reunion. Unwilling to leave Jenny for even a nap, Lee swept her up and declared she could sleep on his lap. Cautiously, he made his way back down the stairs and they all sat down for a long talk. Several hours later, Dotty and the boys excuse themselves to bed. Dotty took Jenny in to sleep with her. As they went up the stairs, Amanda finally alone with Lee, took the initiative and demanded an answer to her previous question. "Ok, Lee. What happened twelve months ago?"

Briefly, he filled her in about Mario Seymor and his crime ring. He told her about their undercover work and the last day of the operation. When he hesitated to tell her how he lost sight of the car she demanded he continue. When the tale was over, they held each other and mourned their lost time together. Wrapped in each other's arms they fell asleep on the sofa.

Meanwhile, outside the house, two men lurk in a dark car parked on the curb. One of the men spoke into the car phone, "We got them. They are inside the house. No sign of Agency anywhere." He listened then spoke again, "Look I'm sorry that she made it to the Agency. I know what happens if they make the connection and talk to anyone. I'll make sure they don't get the chance to do that. . .. . ...Ok! Sure Doc. We're going to get them right now."

Part 13

Setting: Arlington, outside Stetson/King house

The moon was hidden by the clouds, laying low in the sky. The two men left their car and crept up the walk. They paused long enough to peer in the window, before picking the lock and entering the home. Silently, the pair made their way into the living room where thier prey were sleeping. Unbeknownest to them, Lee had woken and left Amanda long enough to retrieve blanket and pillow to make her more comfortable.

He now stood in the hall near the closet and listened intently to the strange noises his sensitive ears picked up. Every instinct he had screamed that someone was in the house. He immediately thought of Amanda and their family upstairs. Thinking to distract the intruder's attention from them he walked into the living room and spoke in a quiet voice, "All right whoever you are, here I am. What do you want?" He flipped on the light as he spoke.

The men had by now discovered that Amanda was alone and turned in the direction of Lee's voice. Amanda woke to the sounds of the men stumbling to get to Lee. She stood up and instinctively reached for the nearest weapon she saw. The lamp on the table. She raised it over her head and sent it crashing down on the back and head of the man nearest her. Lee was by now grappling with the man's partner. He was holding his own, but was unable to land an effective punch because he couldn't see his enemy.

Amanda quickly searched the man she had felled and found his gun. Now to her knowledge, limited that is was, she had never held or fired a gun. She had no idea how she knew what to do but she did. She advanced on her husband and his attacker and pointed the gun and said, "Stop right now. Turn around and put your hands behind your back."

The man now unnerved by the failure of what he had assumed to be a simple plan, did as directed. "Lee, are you OK?" Her husband answers, "Yes, I'm fine but we need to get these guys tied up. Can you watch them while I go to the closet?" She told him yes and held the gun steady as he went to the closet and felt on the top shelf for the locked strongbox that held his gun and handcuffs, as well as his ID and various passports. Billy never asked for them and he just couldn't bring himself to get rid of them. He unlocked the box with a key in his pocket and retrieved the cuffs. He returned to his wife and awkwardly secured the two men.

By now Dotty and the boys were downstairs and were staring in shock at the sight of Amanda with a gun in her hand. She seems a little shocked as well and tells Lee, "I guess maybe some things you don't forget, but this sure doesn't feel familiar. Was I a very good. . .Agent?" Lee assured her, "You were very good, just a little different in your methods. You were never very comfortable with guns. That was more my forte. You were more about. . . um, well a more verbal approach."

Her response is cut short by Dotty's recommendation that they call the police to come pick up the robbers. Lee stops her before she calls the station. "You know Dot, I think we should call Billy. I just think this was more than a robbery. They came straight for me and Amanda. My gut is working overtime telling me that something strange is going on here." He crossed the room and picked up the phone, calling Billy at home. His friend didn't let him down. He personally came down to the house with an Agency team and picked up the pair of intruders.

After they were taken away, he pulled Lee and Amanda aside, "Listen you two, I have a team outside to watch the house. If you stay inside until we find out who sent these goons, you should be OK. Keep the kids home and just sit tight. I'll let you know something as soon as I can."

He turned to leave but halted when both Scarecrow and Amanda refused to comply. "No way Billy. We're going with you. Leave the team here to watch Dotty and the kids, but we're coming to the Agency now." Lee's tone was adamant. Amanda agreed immediately. "We've lost to much to sit by now when this may be the only lead we get. I think I proved to myself that I can do this even without my memory, please let me try to get my life back."

Billy knew when he was defeated and led the pair out the door and to his car.

Setting: Amanda's apartment in Georgetown, nearing midnight

The petite redhead paced the floor of the apartment. She looked often out the window to the street below. She muttered to herself as she walked, "Those two buffoons are late! I should have just taken them out myself. Twelve months of work destroyed in one day. I never should have left town and trusted those idiots to keep an eye on Scarecrow and Mrs. King! All they had to do was keep her away from him and the Agency, instead they let her walk right up and rejoin her life!"

Impatient now she picks up the phone to finish the job herself, "Mrs. West, I apologize for calling you now, but I just received a call from Lee. He said that he had found Amanda and that he desperately needed to talk with me, as his neurologist. I want to help, I understand Amanda is suffering from amnesia but he hung up before he could tell me where he was. . ...yes if you could give me the address it would be most helpful. . .uh hum.. I got it thank you Mrs. West" The red head hung up the phone and after donning her white jacket she left the apartment. She checked her appearance in the mirror. She straightened the name tag on her right lapel. It read Dr. Shelby Collins. She left the building and headed toward IFF.

Part 14

Setting: IFF, Georgetown foyer entrance

"Now look Dr. . .Collins, I can't help you. There is no one here by the name of Stetson. It's not even business hours. This is a film company. Why don't you try back later in the morning?" The security guard posted at the front desk told the insistent civilian once again. She had marched in here thirty minutes ago and refused to leave. His partner had immediately notified Mr. Melrose that someone was here looking for Scarecrow. They were ordered to play dumb and see that the woman left as soon as possible.

The angry redhead tried one more time to get into the Agency. She knew it was a long shot but she was desperate at this point. "Look, Mr. Ashcraft, I received a very frantic phone call from Lee Stetson two hours ago. I know that he is a federal agent and that he needs my help with a serious matter! I demand to be allowed to speak to him."

The security guard was slightly surprised by her mention of the federal agent bit, however he was too well trained to let her know that. He took her arm and escorted her from the building. She left promising to return and see that he was punished. She parked near the building to monitor the entrance for sight of her quarry.

The first agent had returned and told Ashcraft that Mr. Melrose wanted the surveillance tapes from the episode pronto. The dutiful guard pulled the cassette and rushed to the main complex of the Agency with it. He handed it over the Billy and left.

Billy looked at Lee and Amanda seated in front of him. Amanda still could not believe Lee's suspicions about her friend. He hadn't mentioned them until now, but after the attack at the house, he just couldn't shake the feeling that he and Amanda both having doctors in neurology by the name of Collins who had offices in the same district was just too coincidental. He had explained his suspicions to Amanda and Billy on the way over and Billy had a very disgruntled Francine running Shelby Collins through all their databases even now.

Billy interrupted that heated conversation between the couple by waving the tape. "Listen, you two. The guards just brought this to me. Scarecrow, there was a woman going by the name Collins in the lobby just now trying to get in to see you. She claimed to know you were Agency. She was very persistent. I think we should look at this and see if we can agree on who she is." He put the tape into the VCR and started it. Both Lee and Amanda stood facing the TV console and he couldn't see their faces. Lee immediately recognized the voice. "That's her Billy! That's the doctor I've been going to since the explosion. I'd know that voice anywhere. She's hypnotized me so many times. I used to have nightmares about her voice. That's part of why I quit going."

Next to him, Amanda stared at the screen with obvious distress on her face. Billy touched her arm and asked, "Amanda, what about you? Do you recognize her?"

"Yes." Her voice was low and Lee heard tears in it. He turned toward his wife and pulled her into his arms. He murmured in her ear, "Oh Amanda. I'm so sorry. This must be devastating to you." He kissed her brow and smoothed her hair with his lips. She shook her head. She spoke in a much stronger voice now, "Yes, it hurts, but not as much as knowing that she may have been part of why we've been separated all this time. If she had anything to do with it, I want her dealt with."

Lee smiled and replied, "That's my old Manda. Go get'em tiger!"

Amanda shook her head at his attempt at humor. "Billy, do we know why she might do something like this? Who she really is?"

The door to the office flew open and Francine stomped in. She glared at Amanda. She spoke coldly, "I don't suppose your computer skills are still buried in there somewhere, Amanda? No I guess not. That's why I'm here at five Am." At the hurt look on her friend's face she stopped her taunting and got down to business. "Anyway, Billy, this is what we have on Shelby Collins. She is a doctor of neurology. Practices at several hospitals in D.C. including the one where Lee was treated after the explosion last year. She has an impressive list of credentials including research work in the field of hypnosis. She has treated all sorts of neurological impairments with hypnosis including blindness, amnesia, as well as mental and emotional disability. She theorizes that many cases of amnesia or hysterical blindness, muteness, etc. can be treatable with hypnosis."

Billy interrupted at this point and said, "She sounds more like a Nobel prize winner than a criminal. What's her angle?"

Francine continued, "She recently lost some of her following in the medical community when a secret experiment came to light." The blond agent paused and looked at Lee and Amanda uncomfortably before finishing. "It seems that she had attempted to prove that these hysterical illnesses could also be induced by certain techniques, such as hypnosis."

Amanda gasped, ""Are you saying that Shelby may have caused my amnesia?"

Francine nodded affirmatively, "Did she ever hypnotize you, Amanda?" "Yes, many times. I was so sure she was trying to help I never even questioned why." Understanding dawned on her face and she took Lee's hand. "Lee, she must be why you can't see. Mother told me that, you had been told by several doctors, that there was no medical reason you couldn't see."

Lee smiled grimly, "I feel like such a fool. I've never trusted any one with my mind that way, but I was desperate to get my sight back so that I could look for you." He looked dismal briefly then briskly dismissed the mood and asked, "But why? Why would she want to incapacitate Amanda and I? We've never investigated her. I never even met her before this. How about you Manda?"

"No, she came to me after I was released from the ICU. She said that she heard about my case from a colleague and thought she could help. I had just found out about Jenny coming and I was lonely and confused and she seemed like a prayer answered. I never even questioned her. I didn't know to question her." She shrugged and leaned closer to Lee for comfort.

Billy turned to Francine and asked, "Do we have any idea why she would be after Lee or Amanda?"

Francine looked smug and said, "Oh didn't I mention that part? It seems that the good Dr. Collins is the adopted granddaughter of one Mario Seymor. Her parents died when she was in high school and Seymor raised her and sent her to college. Her colleagues reported she was devastated when he died in the raid. She has always maintained his innocence.

Part 15

Shelby Collins sat in her car outside of the IFF building. She stared at the entrance with complete concentration. She willed Scarecrow and Amanda to walk out the door. For more than ten months she had concentrated all her efforts on those two. She had managed to convince Amanda that she could help her recover her memory. Not only had she gained access to her mind but also she had gotten totally involved in her life. She had decided where she would live, who she would see and what she would do. She knew every move Amanda Stetson had made. Alas, she had been unable to help her with her memory. Except to make it worse that was. Amanda had been difficult to control. It had taken frequent sessions of hypnosis to keep her mind blank. She had miscalculated the amount of her control on Amanda when she went out of town. Without exposure to the hypnosis her memories had obviously surfaced quickly.

She also got past Lee's defenses. Not an easy task. Only by playing on his desire to find his beloved wife, had she even gotten him to agree to see her before he was discharged from the hospital. After, that she had arranged for him to come to her office for 'therapy'. After, the swelling began to recede from his optical nerve and she saw that he would regain his sight quickly, she talked him into hypnosis to hurry the process. Or so he thought. What she really did was plant suggestions to insure that he would never regain his sight. She even comforted him on the set back!

The disturbed doctor now waited for them to emerge so she could attempt to salvage the remnants of her vengeful plan. Scarecrow and his partner had taken her beloved grandfather from her! They slandered his name and destroyed everything for which he had worked for so many years. When she realized how alone she was without her grandpa Mario, she had vowed revenge. Stumbling on Lee in the hospital had given rise to her plans. Amanda's appearance at the shelter she sponsored was a bonus. She planned to keep them apart and alone just as she was. For many months it had worked, but those bumbling fools she employed to watch Amanda had allowed her to gain access to the Agency and now she must scramble to stop them before all her work was wasted.

If she could not keep them apart she could certainly kill them! Perhaps she would even attempt to take the precious Jenny to comfort her after it was all over. Dotty West was ridiculously trusting. She could walk right in the house and out again with the baby without arousing any suspicion, she was sure. Her musings were interrupted by the appearance of Lee and Amanda Stetson outside the building. Amanda accepted a set of keys from Billy Melrose, and they walked to the parking lot. They entered the impound yard and were seen leaving with Amanda behind the wheel of a silver sports car.

Shelby Collins slipped into traffic behind them and followed cautiously. She waited for the perfect time to attempt to take them into her custody. Surely a blind man and a amnesic housewife turned agent would not cause that much trouble. She patted the gun on the seat next to her and imagined the glory of their deaths.

Meanwhile in the sports car, Lee grinned in pleasure at being in the familiar car with his wife and partner. It was amazing how fast her memories were returning! She remembered driving the car with and without Lee. She even remembered Lee teaching her how to dive a manual transmission car. They both laughed over that memory.

Lee spoke his thoughts, "I can't believe we're here in this car again. I had almost given up hope, not quite but almost. I had given up hope that I would ever see again."

Amanda replied, "Well Doctor McJohn is researching Shelby's work. He said he might be able to reverse it if he could determine exactly how she did it. We just need to be patient and let Billy and Francine find Shelby, and bring her in."

Lee growled, "Yeah, then I'll get it out of her one way or the other." Amanda reached over and squeezed his hand. "I love you." Lee squeezed back, "I love you, too."

"Lee, I really need to get some things from my apartment, so you suppose we could go by there?" She waited for him to respond. "I guess so, let's just stop and call Billy to let him know where we are just in case they get a lead."

They stop and call Billy. Billy states he would feel better about them going into the apartment if they would wait on Francine to come and escort them in, after all they hadn't found Shelby yet and she did know where Amanda's apartment was. Lee agrees and they drive to the apartment building and pull in to wait on Francine to arrive. Unseen, Shelby Collins pulls in behind them and slowly approaches the car. She reached the car to find Lee with his arms wrapped around Amanda. They were kissing like two teenagers at the drive-in. She sneered in disgust and quickly opened the door and shoved a gun in Amanda's ribs. When Amanda gasped and Lee asked, "Manda, what's wrong?" She said in a cold voice, "Nothing my dear Lee. Just the good doctor making house calls."

Part 16 - Conclusion

Setting: Amanda's apartment, near IFF

Francine Desmond sat in her car in the parking lot of the building where Amanda had been living before finding her way back to the Agency. She looked over at the spot where Lee's corvette was parked. It was empty. They had disobeyed orders again. Good to know some things never change!

With a sigh she got out of her car and walked toward the entrance of the building. Her path took her next to the silver sports car. For some reason she couldn't explain she stopped and looked inside the car. Her senses went into overdrive. Something was wrong! Amanda's purse was still on the seat and Lee's cane was in the floor. Amanda never left her purse unattended and Lee wouldn't have felt comfortable enough in the new place to go without the cane.

Francine returned to her car and called Billy for backup. He agreed that something was certainly wrong and he dispatched a team to the building and headed over there himself. These were his best agents at one time and were always his good friends. He couldn't leave it alone.

Francine advanced to the lobby of the building and waited for her team to arrive.

Meanwhile upstairs. . . . . . .

Amanda and Lee stood side by side and waited for Shelby to make her next move. She paced the floor in front of them and held a gun on them at all times. Amanda was very afraid but at the same time felt a sense of familiarity. She knew she had been in situations like this before and stayed calm while she tried to think of a way out of this situation.

Shelby began to talk, "So Amanda I guess that you have regained your memories. To bad really, now I have to kill you to fulfill my plans. You and Scarecrow will both have to die. I had hoped to avoid this bit of unpleasantness. It would have been much neater to just keep you apart and miserable. You really should have stayed in the first apartment I picked for you. I could have kept an eye on you and poor Jenny wouldn't have ended up an orphan." Shelby pointed the gun at Amanda's head and prepared to pull the trigger.

Amanda stood frozen in place. The mention of Jenny had immobilized her with fear. Now, as she stared at the gun, she saw her life flash in front of her face. Her whole life! Not just the last ten months! She saw every moment it seemed. She saw her boys as babies. She saw her mother at all ages. Mostly she saw what she had missed most acutely, Lee. She saw the train station, the various encounters at her kitchen window. She felt his first kiss, his first hug. She saw their wedding and their ill-fated honeymoon. She saw the all to brief months of their marriage. She remembered their last case and being intercepted before she could carry out her part of the operation. She remembered being shoved into the car with Seymor and struggling with him over control of the wheel. Finally she remembered throwing herself from the car when he had slowed to turn into the parking lot. Her fear for her life and baby had steeled her resolve to survive and she had opened the door and leapt from the moving car just as it exploded! She had curled into a ball and tried to protect her unborn child from the impact. She had briefly lost conciousness. When she woke in excruciating pain she found herself in the care of a homeless man who was hiding her from the Agency people searching the lot. His distrust of authority had prompted him to keep her survival secret. How did he know they were her friends? He promised to take her to a hospital and she lapsed into oblivion again. She woke several weeks later and now she stood with a gun in her face.

Lee heard the click of the gun. The chamber was empty! He stepped forward to distract Shelby from her purpose. By now she was furious. She looked for a weapon to no avail. She evaded Lee's grasp easily and moved to the fourth story window. She opened it and sat on the ledge with her legs over the side. She said desperately, "Stop now or I'll jump and you will never know how I've kept you blind for so long. Only I know the keyword to unblock your mind. If I can't kill you or keep you apart I will die with the secret to your sight. You will pay for murdering my only family!"

Amanda now hearing the desperation in Shelby's voice shook loose of her fear and spoke softly, "Shelby, please don't hurt yourself. Despite everything you have been kind to Jenny and me. You could have just killed us to start with. You're not really a bad person. You lost someone you loved very much. You were hurting and angry and lonely. I lost my father when I was young and I know how you feel. Let me help you now. You are a brilliant doctor. You can help so many people. But first you have to let us help you."

Lee listened in amazement to his beautiful wife talk to this crazed woman. She had done everything in her power to hurt them and she still wanted to help her. God, he loved her so much.

Shelby watched Amanda with wide eyes. She heard her say she was not a bad person. She had felt so miserable for so long that she didn't know anything else anymore. Could it be true? Could she return to helping people? She remembered the thrill of seeing her patients return to their lives more complete and was suddenly hit by a wave of remorse so hard that she began to cry out loud. She dropped the useless gun on the floor and sobbed, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Please just let me die." She leaned out the window and looked down at the street below. She wavered on the edge and looked back at Amanda.

Amanda reached forward slowly and gently gasped Shelby's arms. "No, Shelby. I won't let you die. You can make this right. Help Lee regain his sight. Do the right thing." She shook the near hysterical woman to gain her attention.

Shelby nodded her head at last and let Amanda help her back into the room. She breathed deeply and crossed to Lee. She bade him sit in the chair and proceeded to put him under hypnosis. She looked at Amanda and said, "I tried several times before I found the best phrase to control his mind. He was so close to overcoming the force of the explosion and regaining his sight. The only thing that weakened his spirit so I could keep him blind was. . . well. . .{She now spoke to the mesmerized Scarecrow} Lee, Amanda is no longer dead to you. You can see her anytime you wish. When you wake your vision will be restored. Sleep now and wake to your life as it was and should be."

Lee slumped over on the chair and Amanda rushed to his side. She looked at Shelby and would have spoken but for the door bursting open and a swarm of agents suddenly filling the space between them. They grabbed the woman and took her into custody. She left without a fight as if she knew and accepted that the ordeal was over.

Francine advanced to the couple across the room. She nodded at Lee and asked, "What did she do to him? Should I call an ambulance?" Amanda shook her head. She briefly explained what had happened to Francine and Billy who had arrived shortly after the team had swarmed the apartment. "Maybe you should just leave us here for now. If we disturb him I don't know what may happen. I'll bring him the Agency when he wakes up. Could you have Dr. McJohn waiting for us?" "Of course I will. By the way Amanda, did she return your memories as well? You seem like your old self completely now."

Amanda laughed softly and asked, "Well, sir, have you ever heard the term 'My life flashed in front of my face?' I guess you could say I had the grandfather of all flashes."

Billy and Francine looked puzzled but left them alone. Amanda perched on the arm of the chair her husband slept in and looked down at his face. How had she ever forgotten him? Her heart and soul screamed that they were now complete. She caressed his face and leaned over to brush her lips against his. She pressed harder and smiled against them as she heard him groan as he woke. "Amanda?" She pulled back and whispered, "Who else would be kissing you?"

Lee sat up and rubbed his eyes, "Amanda, I can see! Not everything but I see light and dark and outlines and I can see you! Amanda, I thought I would never see you again. I think whatever Shelby did worked. My vision is clearing even now as I speak." He stood and looked around the room, squinting slightly at the sunlight streaming through the window. "Where is Shelby?" "Francine and the backup team finally got here. They took her into custody."

Lee pulled her into his arms, "Amanda, did she help you with your memories?" His expression tightened when she shook her head. He growled, "Let's go. I'll make her talk one way or the other."

Amanda tugged him back into her arms when he tried to walk away. "Lee, I said she didn't help me. I didn't say I still couldn't remember everything."

Lee stared at her, "You do remember everything?" "Uh huh. I remember my boys and my mother and my husband. I remember February 13th and our wedding night. I remember how you shiver when I kiss your ear." She demonstrated and he did indeed shiver from the sensation. "I remember how smooth your skin is over your chest muscles." She ran her hand inside his shirt and caressed said skin. "I remember that if I kiss you and touch your chest at the same time you will do anything I want."

Lee eyes were almost closed when he asked, "Uh Amanda, what DO you want me to do?" She leaned close and whispered in his ear. "Oh Amanda you really do have your memory back!"

He picked her up and carefully made his way to the bedroom after she pointed him in the right direction. The door closed and Lee said. "Welcome home Mrs. Stetson."

"Oh thank you, Mr. Stetson!"

"I love you."

"I love you, too."