We'll Take It From There (J. Edgar's Ghost filler)

Author:   Julie R.

Written:  January 17, 2001

Rating:   To borrow a phrase from Francine: "PG-ish"

Summary:  What happened after Amanda blackmailed Lee in the tag of JEG?

Disclaimer:    The characters in this story belong to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. They don't belong to me legally but they like to play around in my imagination. I'm making no money from this. The episode "J. Edgar's Ghost" was written by David Brown. I'm not sure if I want to thank him or strangle him for ending the tag the way he did!

Canon:    I'm gonna say that I didn't stay in canon. The urge to venture out was way too tempting for me! Because of that this story is more "What if ?" or "AU."

Timeline: The episode "J. Edgar's Ghost" originally aired on November 18, 1985.

Notes:         After watching this ep (mostly the tag) incessantly, my dreaming mind came up with this filler. Just for fun, it takes some liberties with the date of their first kiss and with Amanda's appetite!

Thanks:   Mary Elaine and JoAnn for the feedback and support. Jude--for always saying "You should write a fanfic about that!" whenever I mention an idea. All these crazy thoughts would stay locked up in my brain if you didn't!

"This? This is free!" Amanda smiled as she let Scarecrow's suspicious grasp capture the photo. "It's the negative that's gonna cost ya."

The look on her face confirmed his hunch. She was blackmailing him. Well, two could play that game.

"How much?" he wondered out loud as he crept forward towards her. Her mouth was within inches of his and he could feel her inhale as she paused thoughtfully.

"Oh, well, we'll probably start with dinner at Spencer's and we'll take it from there."

A dimple formed on Lee's cheeks as she inched her face closer and closer to his. A smile slipped mischievously to her mouth as she waited for his reply.

"Mmmm, just dinner?" he questioned in a whisper.

"Dinner...to start with..." she hinted.

"...And we'll take it from there..." he continued for her, leaning within an inch of her lips. His smile widened. Her eyelids fused and paused momentarily as she leaned into him. Gently gathering her chin between his fingers, he reveled in executing his charms on her.

He tilted his head and captured her cheek in a slow kiss, finally releasing his lips to see the astounded expression on her face.

"You didn't think you could get away with your scheme so easily, did you?" he flirted mercilessly. The pinks in Amanda's face were a concoction resulting from a dollop of astonishment and a pinch of embarrassment.

"I, I didn't..." she stammered. "Well, I wasn't going..."

"Uh, huh." Lee mocked interest in her confession as she painfully grappled for her pride.


Amanda whirled around to see Billy appear in the doorway, for once, at just the right time.

"Lee, I thought your report on Nick Cross was going to be in by noon!" Billy voiced at the top of his lungs. "Internal Affairs is not happy that you are holding them up!"

"Uh, ya, Billy, I was just about to bring that up to you," Lee maintained as he fidgeted with the papers on his desk.

"What is this?" Billy questioned as a smile crept onto his face. He lifted the 8 X 10 black and white towards his face and let out a genuine laugh. "Lee Stetson enjoying himself at a Christmas party?"

"Very funny, Billy," Lee remarked as he seized the photo out of Billy's hands. "Here's the report. Sorry about the hold up."

Billy chuckled with a motion towards the photo, "Seeing that was well worth the trip up!" The strains of William Melrose's laughter were all that could be heard as he shut the door to the Q Bureau behind him.

"Great, just great. See, I told you that people would misunderstand that!" Lee asserted to an unsympathizing Amanda.

"So are you still interested in acquiring that negative?" Amanda said with a grin. "My offer is still on the table...unless, you don't care whose hands this Christmas photo ends up in."

Lee tossed her a glare that was more surrender than anger. He made a mental note to remind himself to "thank" Francine for giving Amanda that photo. "Well, I certainly cannot have that photo being copied and distributed around this agency," he muttered. Running his hands through his hair, he finally conceded. "Okay, dinner it is. I'll pick you up at 6:00."

"Are you sure?"

"Ya, it will be fun," he assured her with a smirk.  "We'll go to Spencer's for dinner and then..."

Amanda raised her eyebrows.

"Then we'll negotiate the trade of that negative."

"Great! See ya at six!" Amanda called back to Lee as she entered the hall. "Oh, and Lee?"

He looked up to find her in the threshold. "Ya?"

"You might want to put that photo in a drawer!"

Lee just rolled his eyes as he opened a desk drawer, hastily shoved the photo under a stack of files, and firmly closed the drawer.


Amanda mercilessly stabbed the cherry tomato swimming in the remains of her salad dressing. Helpless, the tomato finally surrendered and found itself in Amanda's mouth. Dropping her fork, Amanda's fingers plucked one roll out of the bread basket and set out on buttering it.

Lee Stetson watched his date with interest. Amanda had been mysteriously quiet since he picked her up at home an hour ago. He had never seen her so hungry. She'd already eaten two rolls and was now on her third, plus she had a generous garden salad under her belt and still seemed to be starved.

"Hungry?" Lee quizzed from across the small table.

"Yeah," Amanda replied, her response half muffled by the bite of roll. "I guess my afternoon activities wore me out." Catching the expression on Lee's face, Amanda's cheeks suddenly reddened as she realized how he interpreted her words.

"You know, getting the case wrapped up," she inserted hastily.

Lee grabbed the last roll and began applying butter to the center. "Oh, I thought maybe your blackmailing has gotten up your appetite," Lee teased. Where ever she had picked up that skill...the KGB maybe?...she had certainly caught on quickly.

"Very funny, Lee," she whispered as the server brought out their entrees. Amanda was relieved. She had no idea why she was so nervous tonight. She'd been on plenty of outings--professional and otherwise--with Lee but this dinner was different. Every time she thought back to this afternoon in the Q Bureau she cringed. How could she have been so forward to ask him to take her to dinner? And that kiss...what was she thinking? Oh, the earth itself would have swallowed her up if she'd had her way. She washed down the last of her wine and poured herself another glass.

And now, after dinner, they were going to "negotiate the trade of the negative" as Lee had said. He'd had a very suspicious look on his face all evening and she could only wonder what he had up his sleeve. Amanda knew full well that Lee Stetson would not go peacefully. He was the senior agent after all. He probably picked up some trick from the KGB that he was going to inflict on her later.

The next half hour progressed at a snail's pace.  Lee's steak had not been quite right so it was sent back. While Lee made small talk, Amanda, trying to keep her babbling down to a minimum, continued to eat at a rate that paralleled her teenage boys' feeding frenzies.

"Mmm, I am stuffed!" Lee announced as he returned his napkin to the table and took a final sip of his wine. "Are you ready to go? Or, did you want dessert?"

"I'm ready to go," Amanda agreed.

Lee motioned for the waiter to bring the bill. Handing the man a $50, Lee smiled and told him to keep the change.  Amanda gulped as she noticed the display of plates around her. Had she really eaten all those rolls, a salad, that appetizer, and a bowl of chicken alfredo? All evidence indicated that she had. To top it off, the wine bottle was more empty than full. Her head swam as she tried to recall how many glasses she'd poured. Certainly, most of that $50 Lee had spent on her meal.

The evening air was still comfortable as Lee and Amanda emerged from Spencer's. "You know what I'm in the mood for?" Lee questioned. Not waiting for a reply he answered himself. "Ice cream!"

"Sure, I could go for something a little sweet!" Amanda agreed.

Lee let out a chuckle. "I thought you could!" he teased.

Amanda responded with a jab to his protruding belly. "There's always room for dessert," she defended.


"One scoop or two?" Lee asked as he stuck his head around the corner of his kitchen. Amanda looked up from the latest edition of "National Geographic."

"Mmm, why don't you surprise me?" she finally replied. She loved chocolate chip ice cream. However, given the odd looks Lee had given Amanda over the course of her eating binge at Spencer's, she opted for the safe route. Amanda settled into the couch, finally relaxing a bit from her previous awkwardness. The wine had done its part to calm her down and she was really enjoying herself now. She noticed the negative, disguised in an envelope, protruding from her purse and wondered how she was going to manage this exchange.

"I gave you two," Lee insisted as he handed Amanda the bowl. He placed himself next to Amanda on the couch and directed his spoon towards a cluster of chocolate chips in his ice cream.

Amanda smiled into her bowl. Hoisting her feet to the coffee table before her, Amanda followed suit and began scooping the ice cream into her mouth.

The two ate along quietly for a few minutes before Amanda started up the conversation.

"So, Lee," Amanda questioned as she crunched on a chocolate chip, "how did you get yourself into that hat at the Christmas party?

Lee grimaced a bit and set his bowl on the end table. "Well, I had a little eggnog, a lot of wine, and, well, let's just say that when Francine dared me to wear that fruit hat...it didn't strike me as a bad idea."

"Ah ha. So now you're in a pickle," Amanda chuckled as she deposited her ice cream bowl, now scraped clean, on the table and reached over to her purse. Pulling out the business-sized envelope, she waved it precariously before him.

"Thank yo--"

"Ah-ah-ah," Amanda said with a grin as she pulled back from Lee's grasp.

"What? Dinner at Spencer's. Remember? I think I have more than fulfilled my end of the bargain."

Amanda's chin dropped at Lee's comment. "You're not making any comments on a lady's appetite, are you? Besides, dinner at Spencer's was only part of it."

"'And we'll take it from there,'" they replied in unison. Lee smiled to himself. It was now the perfect time to put his plan into action.

"What about the ice cream?" Lee questioned. "I did give you a generous bowl of it....oh, and it seems you've managed to get some on your shirt."

Lee mocked interest in a particular area at the neck of Amanda's sweater. She glanced down at the perfectly clean area only to have her head brought back up by Lee's fingers.

"Gotcha! Made ya look," he gloated as he lifted her chin with his thumb and index finger. Amanda smiled and rolled her eyes at Lee, who was now grinning wildly. He bent down and cupped her face in his hands, brushing his lips against hers. Amanda pulled Lee closer with her hand and passionately returned his kiss.

Moments later they broke apart, breathless. "Here!" Amanda sighed contentedly as she lifted the negative for him to take.

Taking hold of it, he glanced down at Amanda in his arms and knew that he'd come out ahead on this blackmailing scheme. He smiled at her and tossed the previously much sought after envelope to the coffee table.

"Thanks," he replied hastily. Moving on to his next pursuit, he recaptured her lips as he and Amanda melted back into the couch.


It was a confused Francine Desmond that eyed the bouquet of flowers on her desk the next morning. Expecting some retaliation from Lee, she hesitantly opened the card. A bewildered expression crossed her face as she read the note. "To Francine: Thanks for the great evening. Lee."