Be Careful What You Wish For

By: Kim
Summary:Lee Stetson's world is turned upside-down. This is somewhat in line with the suggestion of the time-warp kind of thing, but also is somewhat inspired by "A Wonderful Life".
Disclaimer:The recognizable characters belong to Shoot the Moon and Warner Brothers Productions. The story belongs to me.
Author's Notes:ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WARNING: This is not in line with the series, as it involves an unusual event. If you don't like to read AU stories, please don't read this and if you read it anyway and don't like it because it is AU, kindly keep your thoughts to yourself. Thanks!


Part 1
Lee Stetson stormed out of Billy Melrose's office and through the bullpen. From the scowl on his face it was obvious to everyone that he was in a foul mood. If asked, he would have said that he'd had a bad day, that the case he was working on was taking him nowhere, and that he hadn't been out with a woman in over four months.

Lee had ceased having any desire to go out with any of his usual "groupies", as Francine called them. He was not accustomed to the lack of female companionship and was therefore often cantankerous.

At night he found himself remembering the kiss he'd shared with Amanda King on a case they'd worked on. Actually she'd been his cover. His contact was on a cruise ship and that particular cruise just so happened to be a honeymoon cruise.

They hadn't thought they'd have to really go ahead and get married; but sure enough they ended up on the island in wedding attire, standing before the minister. Lee could not remember ever feeling so uncomfortable in all his life as he did in that moment, even though he knew by falsifying his name it would not be legally binding.

Lee had been honestly surprised at the words, "You may now kiss the bride." He had completely forgotten that part of the ceremony. After shooting a surprised glance at the bored minister, he had hesitantly lifted the veil off Amanda's face and slowly touched his lips to hers.

The thrill of the kiss had knocked the wind out of him. He had not been expecting the reaction that his heart had to that kiss. He had expected to just give her a brief kiss, but once their lips joined, he had not been eager to part. Upon opening his eyes, for the first time he saw her as a woman in the truest sense of the word. Not just a friend, business associate or mother of two, but as a *woman*.

Now, months later, he could not forget about it. He dreamed about kissing Amanda; found himself wanting to kiss her again to see if it would affect him in the same way. And he was dating other women with less and less frequency.

He marched down the hall and nearly collided with Amanda, her arms full of transcriptions that wound up all over the highly polished floor.

"Amanda!" Lee exclaimed in exasperation. "Will you watch where you're going?"

"Me!" she shrieked indignantly. "I could say the same of you! You're the one who came around the corner so darn fast!"

They both bent to retrieve the papers that had slid everywhere within a seven foot radius. Face to face, they glared in irritation at each other.

"Just leave," Amanda shooed at him. "I'll get these. They're all out of order anyway," she said, annoyed with him.

Lee was beginning to feel guilty. "I'm sorry, Amanda. I've had a really lousy day and I... I didn't mean to take it out on you."

"Well, I'm used to it," she said in a resigned voice, causing him to look at her again. 'Do I really take things out on her that often?' he asked himself with a pang of guilt.

"Why do you put up with it?" he asked her, studying her face and smiling at the way her hair fell over her left eye.

She blew at the errant locks, rolled her eyes, and asked him, "Who else would?"

He laughed then, and so did she. For the moment the tension was dispelled. Lee gathered up the rest of the pages and said, "Come on. I'll help you reorganize these."

"Thanks!" she grinned at him.

As they worked, Amanda told him about her plans to have a nice weekend alone, as the boys were with Joe and Dotty was going to see her sister Lillian. He told her he had big plans, too. He didn't elaborate on the fact that his 'big plans' were to order from Mr. Wong's, read the paper and watch whatever sporting event was on television.

Later that evening in his apartment, Lee was eating take-out Chinese and reading the paper. He couldn't concentrate on what he was reading, however, because his thoughts kept straying to Amanda. She had certainly complicated his life; but he'd gotten used to working with her and liked her as a person and as a friend.

But a new element had presented itself, and he didn't welcome it at all. He thought again about what he labeled in his mind as 'The Kiss'. He could still feel her soft lips on his, remembered the action of pulling away to end the kiss, then kissing her again a split second later.

He also remembered their conversation at the end of that case. He had told her it meant nothing, that strange things happened but that it was all part of the case. She had agreed, repeating his words back at him verbatim with a slight grin on her face. He had been relieved at the time. Now he wondered what he would have done if she had argued the point.

"I wish Amanda hadn't come to work at the Agency," he said aloud. As he spoke, the lights in his apartment dimmed noticeably, flickered, then returned.

His words sounded harsh to his own ears and he knew as soon as he'd spoken that he didn't mean them. Still, if he hadn't met her he might have Randi or Becky or Sandy over here right now. Instead, he sat here on his couch with a carton of shrimp with noodles and a newspaper thinking of a housewife in Arlington.

'Still', he mused, 'Her family is out of town. What would be wrong with two friends getting together for dinner and a movie? I can spend time with my partner without it being a big deal, can't I? 'Why am I having these conflicting emotions? One minute I wish I'd never met her and the next I'm thinking of having her over for dinner!'

The next morning after a fitful sleep, Lee got up, showered and dressed. A quick survey of his refrigerator made him decide to pick up a few groceries. Some halibut, wine, French bread and maybe salad fixings. First, though, he called Amanda.

"Hello?" she answered. Lee could hear the radio playing in the background.

"Hi, Amanda," he smiled into the phone.

"Who's this, please?" her tone was uncertain, wary.

"It's Lee!"

"Are you calling from the credit card company? My husband isn't home right now," she said suspiciously.

Husband? The word was like a punch in the face. "Amanda," he laughed nervously. "It's me, Lee. Lee Stetson."

"Please, I don't know you. My husband is very jealous. Please don't call me again," she whispered and hung up.

Lee stared at the phone in his hand. What the heck was going on here?

Part 2
Lee was determined to find out what was going on with Amanda. He drove over to her house but was shocked at its condition. It was run-down, the paint was chipping and dirty, the lawn was not mowed and there were no flowers in the flower beds.

As he watched, a man he knew was Dean stormed out of the house and got into an old Chevy, slamming the door and skidding off down the street. Frowning, Lee got out of his Corvette and went around to the back door and knocked lightly.

Amanda had been standing at the kitchen sink. She jumped at the sound of a knock at her back door. "What's Dean doing back so soon?" she asked herself. Cautiously she crossed the kitchen and opened the door, a startled expression on her face. She started to close the door but Lee grabbed it and held it open.

He was shocked at the sight of her. Thinner than ever, she was wearing a very old pair of jeans and an ill-fitting T-shirt. Her hair was long but lifeless and held back in a ponytail. She wore no makeup and her right eye was rapidly changing from yellow to purple.

"Who are you?" she hissed.

"Amanda, what the hell is going on here? It's me, Lee!" He tried to get inside the house but she held the door firmly with her foot.

Recognition flit across her features. All the memories of that bizarre chapter of her life came flooding back. The guy from the train station! Stetson...his 'codename' was something from the Wizard of Oz...Scarecrow. "You! The man at the train station! What do you want now?"

Lee was flabbergasted. "Amanda, we work together, remember?"

"What are you talking about?" she shot back. "That was a long time ago, and I'd hardly say we 'worked together'. What do you want?"

"I want to know who did that to you, first of all," he said, indicating her black eye. As she protectively put a hand up to cover the eye, he noticed that her upper arm was full of bruises.

"I fell," she said flatly.

Lee knew that she had not fallen; she had been abused. His heart broke for her. He wanted to take her into his arms but new she would resist - she didn't know him! How could anyone treat her so badly? What was going on here? Why didn't she recognize him? She was looking at him with such hostility!

"Amanda, I thought you broke up with Dean. I can't believe you'd stand for abuse like this. I always figured you for a stronger person. When he gets back here, I'm going to kill him!" Lee said in quiet anger.

"Not that this is any of your business, but I am going to leave Dean. I should have broken up with him, but I didn't. I married him. What do you care anyway? You don't know anything about me except that I couldn't find the right 'man in the red hat'!"

"Amanda, please. What's going on here? We've worked together for the past two and a half years! You didn't marry Dean," he insisted.

Amanda gave him a disbelieving scornful look. "Looks like you're not in Kansas anymore, Scarecrow! Now get out of my backyard before I call the police!"

Lee couldn't believe his eyes or ears. Slowly he backed away and Amanda slammed the door and locked it. He walked back to his car in a daze.

Inside her house, Amanda sank to the floor, her back to the door. She was shaking. Why had that government guy really come back? Was Dean in some kind of trouble? She got to her feet and went upstairs and started throwing Dean's clothes out the window. Lee Stetson was right about one thing...she would not take abuse, from Dean or anyone!

Before Lee drove away, he saw an armful of men's clothes rain down onto the lawn from the second story. In spite of the grim situation he allowed himself a small smile and headed for the Agency.

Part 3
Billy had listened to his best agent without interrupting him. He had grown increasingly concerned the longer Lee spoke. Now he had finished and was watching Billy with a look of expectation on his face.

"Well!" he said impatiently. "What's going on, Billy? Is this some elaborate cover-up? Why doesn't she recognize me?"

Billy noted the look of near-hysteria in Lee's face, picked up the phone and called for a psych consult.

"Billy, I do not need a shrink! What I need is some answers!" Lee slammed his fist on Billy's desk, sending a paperweight to the floor.

"Scarecrow, I don't know what's going on with you. Mrs. King helped you out at the train station a few years ago, and that's the last we've seen or heard from her. Why are you saying she's your partner? I recommended that she work for us and you had a fit. Now you act as though you've lost a...a woman you love, Scarecrow."

"Oh, god!" Lee covered his face with his hands. "What's going on?"

Billy watched in concern as Lee got up and opened the door. "Don't leave, Lee. I want you to talk to someone about this."

"No way, Billy," Lee shook his head and walked out. Billy thought of calling for security to hold him, but in his state of mind he wouldn't cooperate with a psychiatrist anyway. His words were delusional but he sounded perfectly lucid.

Lee got into his car and drove back over to Amanda's house. On the way he tried to make sense of what was going on. They had become so close, it was difficult for him to deal with her not acknowledging that bond. He still felt it and missed it terribly.

The clothes on the lawn were gone, so either Amanda had changed her mind or Dean had taken the hint.

Lee decided against his usual approach and knocked at the front door. After a few minutes he heard Amanda's voice yell, "Go away!"

"Amanda, let me in. I need to talk to you," he yelled back.

The door opened and Amanda stood before him, arms folded. She'd covered the bruise with makeup and changed clothes. A long-sleeved shirt now covered the horrendous bruising.

"May I come in?" he asked.

Wordlessly, Amanda stepped back out of his way and opened the door further. He entered the house and stood, staring at her awkwardly. "Well?" she demanded.

"Sorry," he began. "Can we talk?"

"Okay. Talk." Cold eyes regarded him suspiciously.

"May I sit down?"

"Fine," she said, leading the way to the den. She sat down on the couch and he joined her, but she got up and sat down on a chair across the room, looking at him expectantly.

"Did you kick Dean out?" he couldn't help but ask.

"Not that it's any of your business, but yes. I chucked his clothes outside. When he came back he screamed and banged on the door for a while and then he left. He said he'd be back to 'get me'."

"Don't let him in!" Lee warned.

"What do you think I am, stupid?" she rolled her eyes. "Now, what do you want? I assume you didn't come out of concern for my welfare?"

Lee stared for the briefest of moments. She was entirely different from *his* Amanda. She was edgy, embittered and sarcastic. It broke his heart to see her this way.

"Well, actually I did. But I'm also having a strange experience," Lee said, leaning forward. "You see, this isn't the way it's supposed to be, Amanda. You started working for the Agency and eventually became my partner. I don't know what's happened, but this isn't right."

"No," Amanda shook her finger at him, remembering. "After that whole thing with the package at the train station, you acted like you never wanted to see me again. And you didn't, not until earlier today."

She leaned back in her chair, folded one leg over the other, and challenged him with her eyes to contradict her.

"That's your reality. My reality is that I have a partner I care very much about and suddenly she can't even remember me or the past years we've spent together." Lee tried to establish a connection with the woman before him. He looked into her eyes, but the connection was dim at best. Still, there was something there. "I have memories. I know that I've spent the last few years of my life getting to know an incredible woman. You."

Lee looked at Amanda sadly as she stared at him with soul-less dark-rimmed eyes. Life had not been kind to her. He'd often wondered about the wisdom of letting her get involved with the Agency, thinking she would've been happier having a normal life. He could see now that he'd been wrong, so wrong.

"I think you should leave," Amanda stood up. Lee stood too, and stepped closer to her. He placed a hand on her arm and she jerked it away as if he'd stung her.

"No, please. Amanda, we have to figure this thing out. Look, when will the boys be home?"

She looked away, grief filling her eyes. "They live with Joe now. He sued for custody and won." A single tear escaped and she wiped it away impatiently.

"I'm sorry," he told her. He could not imagine her letting Joe get custody of her sons. "I need to figure out what happened. We need to-"

Amanda cut him off, placing a hand on his arm to escort him out of her house. "Mr. Stetson, there is nothing to figure out except what you're on! We met at a train station. You asked for my help. I helped you. Or at least I tried to. You were rude to me and I never saw you again. Case closed. I have no idea what you're talking about. I was never your partner and frankly, I wouldn't want to be. Please leave me alone."

Lee stared at her, finally realizing that she really had no recollection of their relationship. 'What have I done?' he asked himself miserably.

"I - I'm sorry to have bothered you," he stammered, heading for her front door. "I'll leave you alone."

Amanda almost felt sorry for him as she watched him get into his car. Before he drove away, he looked back at her for a long moment. She wanted to close the door, but couldn't. The look in his eyes was something she'd never seen before. He looked absolutely lost, bewildered and deeply troubled.

Part 4
Lee went about in a daze for the entire following day. He didn't know what to do. He felt at such a loss without his partner and best friend at his side. Billy attempted to question him about his ramblings of the previous day but Lee dismissed all his attempts at conversation.

His answering machine was loaded with calls from women whose voices he hadn't heard in years. Apparently in this reality he was still the 'swinging bachelor'; out with a different girl every night. He didn't return any of the calls. He now felt that his previous existence had been empty and bereft of true companionship. He missed what he'd had with Amanda.

He frequently drove by her house. He didn't try to see or speak to her again but he felt ill at ease. In the late afternoon one day, he drove past and saw Dean's car in front of the house. Frowning, he parked, got out of the car and crept up to the house. He heard voices in the kitchen as he rounded the house.

"Dean, you have to leave. You broke in here and I could call the police," came Amanda's voice, angry and frightened.

"Try it," Dean challenged her. His words were slurred and mean from alcohol.

"Please, just go. It's over," she said, this time more calmly.

"Nobody leaves Dean McGuire," he yelled at her as if he was a third party observer. "Nobody makes a fool of Dean and lives."

Lee made it to the back door just as he heard Amanda's voice say, "Dean, please put the gun away and we'll talk, okay? Just put it down, please."

"Who's callin' the shots here, huh? Not you, Amanda. Not you." His voice rose in aggravation.

Lee slowly opened the back door, grateful that it didn't squeak. He snuck up behind Dean and pointed his pistol into the other man's back. "Drop the gun, creep," Lee said menacingly. Dean's gun clattered to the floor.

Amanda closed her eyes in relief and leaned back on the kitchen counter for support. She had been sure Dean was going to hit her again. But what was Lee Stetson doing here again?

"I wasn't gonna hurt her, I wasn't. Dean loves Amanda," he whimpered as Lee half-drug him to the front door and threw him outside. He followed and grabbed the back of Dean's collar. Turning him around, Lee punched him; first in the face and then in the gut. Dean grabbed his middle in agony as his nose poured blood.

"That's for hitting Amanda," Lee pointed at him. "And if you ever touch her again, you're going to regret it!" He turned to go back in and call the police.

He found Amanda in the kitchen, shaking badly. "He- he was going to shoot me. He wanted to kill me..." She looked as if she might faint.

Lee put an arm around her and she sank against him, not sure why she suddenly felt comfortable with this man who had recently reappeared in her life. "It's okay now," Lee soothed. "He's drunk. I'm going to call the police."

She nodded and murmured, "Thank you," and Lee went over to the phone and called the sheriff's department. An hour later Amanda had made her statement and Dean was hauled off to sober up in jail.

Lee didn't want to leave Amanda's side. She was still shaken and very upset. She didn't protest when he led her over to the couch and sat down next to her. Again, Amanda had the sensation that he belonged here but she had no idea why. If he hadn't shown up...she shivered at the thought.

"Tell me why you think this isn't a reality," she requested quietly, looking deeply into his eyes, as if she hoped to see there all he believed and had told her.

Lee's heart melted at the look in her eyes. She looked more like her old self than she had before. She was trying to understand, and he felt elated.

Lee told her his story again, going into more detail and depth now that she was willing to listen. Amanda found herself smiling at his story, recognizing herself in much of what he said. Surely this man couldn't describe her personality and idiosyncrasies so well if he didn't truly know her somehow.

When he finished, she took a deep breath and said, "I asked, because...well, this doesn't feel like it should be my life. I mean, I used to be a happy person and I'm not happy at all. My boys were taken away from me and my mother moved out because she ended up hating Dean. Dean's a total jerk and I should have known it when I married him. I just feel so...misplaced. I feel like I took a wrong turn somewhere and wound up in the wrong part of town. Does that make sense?"

"It makes perfect sense," Lee smiled.

"So what happened to make things turn out this way? I mean, assuming we're in some kind of alternate reality." Amanda frowned as she said the words. She couldn't imagine having lived a different life for the past three years.

Lee took a deep breath and started talking.

Part 5
"Well, we worked together for a long time and we got pretty close as friends and partners. But..." he looked at her uncomfortably. "But I was feeling something deeper than friendship," (Amanda's eyes widened and she blushed, looking down at her hands) "and it scared me. One night I was at home, thinking about you and thinking about how my life had been before you. I just...felt so overwhelmed and frustrated, and I...I said I wished you'd never come to work for the Agency."

Amanda stared at him for a moment, lost in her own thoughts. She got the sense that he was telling the truth or at least he believed it to be the truth. But that would mean that because of what he wished, she was here in this horrible life.

Finally she spoke. "So then what? Wham, you got what you wished for?"

"I guess," Lee said weakly. A knot was forming inside his stomach and he wanted to be able to do something...*anything* to make things go back to the way they were. He had explained badly but didn't know what words to use to make her understand how he had been feeling about her.

"So then...what's the problem? If you wished that I never came to work for the...the Agency and you got your wish, what's the problem?" She asked sardonically.

"The that I miss my partner and friend. I want my old life back. I made a horrible mistake and now...I don't know how to fix it."

Amanda just sat there, staring at him. She didn't know what to think or do. Slowly, he started moving towards her, as though to kiss her.

"Wait a minute!" she backed up slowly, confused. "What are you doing?"

Lee winced. "I'm sorry, I don't know what I'm thinking. I guess I care for you...her than I've let even myself believe. I miss you," he said sheepishly.

"Have you ever done that before? I mean with her? With me? The other me?" she was as confused as Lee was by now. "Have you ever kissed me before?"

"No," Lee shook his head.

"Well, I don't think the first time should be with the 'now' me, do you?" she frowned at her words. 'Am I really buying this stuff?' she asked herself.

Lee shrugged. "I'm sorry. I just feel so lost. I don't know what to do, Amanda." He put his head down into his hands. Amanda felt an overwhelming sadness for him but didn't know what to say.

Tentatively, she put a hand on his shoulder. He looked at her and their eyes locked. Amanda didn't understand the sudden rush of emotion that washed over her. This time when he moved toward her, she didn't pull away.

When their lips met, she felt a thrill of excitement rush through her entire body and she put her arms around him. Lee too was overwhelmed by the feelings that kissing Amanda created in him. As the kiss became more insistent, his hands moved down her back and he pressed her closer to him. A small sigh escaped Amanda's throat, affecting Lee in ways he never dreamed possible.

"What's happening?" Amanda gasped as she broke away from Lee's passionate advances.

"I don't know...but I can't stop," he said, equally out of breath.

Part 6
Lee continued kissing Amanda, more and more feeling an urgency he couldn't fathom. He almost physically was unable to let her go.

Amanda too was caught up in the moment. She didn't understand what was happening to her. This man had entered her life, told her to give a package to a man in a red hat and then left. Now suddenly here he was, back again and making out with her on her couch, claiming that he'd messed with the cosmos!

"I love you," Lee said into her hair.

"You what?" was the only thing Amanda gasped. But when she opened her eyes, he was gone. "Lee?" She felt herself blacking out.

Lee woke up out of a sound sleep when he heard Amanda say his name.. He sat up and realized that he was on his couch, in his apartment, and Amanda was nowhere to be seen. Looking around in confusion, he wondered how he'd gotten there and what had happened to Amanda.

"Oh, no. Now what?" he asked aloud. Would he find himself in yet another scenario of what might have been?

He thought about Amanda. How it had affected him to kiss her; hold her. He'd never felt that way with any other woman, no matter how deep the relationship had gone. What he felt with Amanda destiny. It was a binding connection. He longed to be with her again. How was he going to rectify what he'd done?

Or had he already returned to his normal and rightful existence? He had told Amanda he loved her and that's when things had gotten fuzzy. Or had he dreamed it all?

There was one way to find out. He grabbed his keys and headed out the door.

Amanda woke up with a start. She looked at the clock; it was the middle of the day! She couldn't even remember falling asleep. Frowning, she began to remember the dream she'd had. Something about being married to Dean and not having gone to work for the Agency. The more she thought about it, the more the dream faded and she couldn't remember details.

A knock sounded from downstairs. She checked her hair in the mirror and headed down. No one was at the front door when she opened it. Smiling, she headed for the back door.

"Hi," she smiled as she opened the door to him.

"Hi," Lee returned with a grin, his heart racing with joy. He'd noted that the house was back to its usual pristine appearance and knew that somehow everything had righted itself. He stepped inside the house.

Amanda looked at him expectantly. "What's up?"

"Oh, I uh, was in the neighborhood. You know...anyway, I wanted to stop by and see if you'd like to get together for steaks at my place tonight? Maybe rent a movie?"

His arms ached to hold her. He wanted to grab her and never let her go. He had no idea what had happened, but was grateful that things were back to normal. He couldn't stop staring at her and smiling.

Amanda smiled, a quizzical look on her face. "Sure. That sounds nice. Do you want me to swing by and get a movie?"

"No, I actually have one in mind," he said. "Amanda -"

"Amanda!" Dotty's voice called from the front door.

"I'll see you tonight," Lee said quickly, rushing from the backyard. "Six."

Amanda grinned as she watched him leave in a hurry. She wondered what he'd been about to say before her mother called to her and why he'd been looking at her that way; it had sent shivers down her spine.

"Coming, Mother," she called.

Part 7
Amanda knocked at Lee's door at five minutes after six. He opened the door smiling and gave her a hug. Amanda hugged him back, confused by his affectionate behavior.

"I'm so glad to see you," he said sincerely.

"I'm glad to see you, too," she said with a smile.

"Amanda, we need to talk. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes." Lee led her by the hand over to the couch and they sat down.

"What is it? Is everything okay?" She was concerned by the serious expression on his face.

"Everything's fine, now." Lee took a deep breath and said, "Amanda, something very strange happened to me." He paused, looking into her eyes.

"What happened?" she gently prodded. He had not released her hand and was holding it tightly, with no intention of letting it go.

"I think I experienced some kind of...I guess you'd call it a time warp, but not exactly. It was like a dream, but not a dream because I know it happened. You were married to Dean and had never come to work at the Agency..."

The look on Amanda's face caused Lee to break off his narrative. "What?" he asked.

"I dreamed that. I dreamed that this afternoon. And I don't even remember laying down. What else happened?" She was looking at him with curiosity, as fragments of the dream came back to her.

"Well you didn't know me, of course. That part was extremely hard for me to deal with. And Dean was abusing you and Joe had gotten custody of the boys. It was terrible. And I couldn't figure out how to get back to reality. I told you that we had worked together, been partners, and you ended up believing me, and..."

She interrupted him again, shaking her head in disbelief. "I dreamed all of what you're saying. I couldn't remember it at first but it's coming back to me now. Especially listening to you talk about it. The house looked horrible. And I looked horrible. And you beat Dean up. You gave him a bloody nose." Her eyes were wide. She swallowed hard. "Right?"

"Right." Lee stared at her for a long moment. "What else did you dream?" he asked intently.

She lowered her eyelids. "Nothing really, isn't that about it?" She could feel the blush slowly covering her face as she recalled the episode on the couch.

"I think the reason we're back to where we should be is because of what happened at the end of the...event."

"Oh?" she looked up at him, acutely uncomfortable at the memory of the scorching kiss they had shared. With a shock she realized that he had told her he loved her.

Her mouth dropped slightly as she gaped at him. He was looking at her so intently that she found it impossible to break the gaze.

"Do you remember, Amanda?" he asked, cupping her chin in one hand.

Mutely she nodded, waiting. He leaned in and touched his lips to hers, bringing the feelings and emotions back to the surface for them both.

"No more hiding," Lee said as he pulled back and looked into Amanda's eyes. "No more playing games. We owe it to ourselves to see where this leads. It's out of our hands anyway."

Amanda nodded again and he kissed her once again, keeping a tighter reign on the emotions it produced.

They talked all through dinner, comparing notes about the odd experience they'd shared. Finally they came to the conclusion that there was no explaining it. They were grateful for the result it had brought about and decided to leave it at that.

As they settled in on the couch to watch the movie, Lee put his arm around Amanda's shoulders. He knew this was where they were both meant to be, together.

"So, what movie did you get?" Amanda asked.

"It's A Wonderful Life," Lee grinned.

"It sure is," she said as she leaned in for a kiss.