Time Frame: Early First Season
Type: Filler- true to cannon.
Summary: Just a bit of fluff about Dotty and her flowers!
Disclaimer: 'Scarecrow and Mrs. King' is the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. This story, however, belongs to the author and is for entertainment purposes only. No infringement of rights is intended.
Author's Notes: This is not a hula, but I have to admit that it was inspired by that hula beat! I would also like to thank Wendy Quinn, whose story 'A Scarecrow in the Garden' put this idea in my head in the first place. This may even fit into Beth's Alphabet Challenge, if you can count Dotty's passion for gardening as a legitimate love! As always, feedback would be appreciated.
“Atrocious. It is absolutely atrocious. Have you seen what the neighbor's dog has done to my flowerbed?” Dotty asked as she came in from the back yard. She wore an old denim shirt and faded jeans. A blue bandana was knotted around her forehead to keep the perspiration out of her eyes.
“Be nice, Mother. It can’t be that bad. He's a very small dog, really,” Amanda chuckled. The bandana she wore was identical to her mothers in every way except color.
“Come here. Just come here and look at what that little mongrel has done this time.” Dotty took off her garden gloves and tossed them onto the washing machine near the back door.
Deciding that it would be better to humor her than to argue, Amanda got up and walked into the kitchen.
“Every time the little guy gets loose, he comes over here and digs up a few chrysanthemums,” she reminded her mother. “You know that, so why are you so surprised?”
“Follow me and I’ll show you,” she answered, her temper showing. “THAT is what is so surprising about all this,” she said, pointing at a good five feet of trampled flowers under their kitchen window.
“Gosh,” Amanda whispered. As soon as she saw it, she knew how the damage had been caused. Only a few days earlier, Lee Stetson had crouched in that very spot waiting for Amanda to give him a package she didn't even have.
"How am I supposed to keep a pretty garden with this... this SABOTAGE going on?" Dotty was getting angrier by the minute.
"It's really not that bad, Mother," Amanda reasoned. She hoped she could play down the situation, but Dotty's outrage had reached the boiling point. Her mother turned on her heel and stormed into the house, muttering something about mutts and leashes.
Judging the level of her mother's anger, Amanda decided to stay outside for a few more minutes.
"Kind of upset, isn't she?" The sound of Lee's voice made Amanda jump. She spun around to face him.
"Lee. I wish you wouldn't do that," she asked, taking a deep breath.
"My apologies. Force of habit." He was, as always, completely cool and collected.
"Never mind. What are you doing here?" she asked, trying not to sound flustered. She hadn't expected to see him again. At least not so soon after their escapade with the helicopter.
"Oh, nothing. Just thought I'd drop by... see how you were." He shrugged his shoulders, feigning indifference.
Pleasant tingles ran up and down Amanda's spine. "That's really very nice of you. I'm just fine, thanks. My mother's flowers are another story," she added, pointing at the ruined mass of vegetation at her feet.
"Quite a mess." Lee observed. "What does she think happened?"
Rubbing her hands together, Amanda took a peek at what her mother was doing inside. When she was satisfied that they wouldn't be discovered, she turned back to Lee.
"She thinks the next-door neighbor's dog did it," she confided.
"That's good," Lee said with approval.
"Unless you're the neighbor," Amanda laughed. "Mother is pretty worked up right now, and she can get pretty vicious when she doesn't like something. Or someone. Especially if that someone is hurting something she loves." She sighed and then added, "Mother really loves her flowers."
"Vicious, huh?" Lee swallowed and pulled on his collar- a collar that fit him just fine only a moment before. He dealt with terrorists and the KGB on a daily basis, but he had no idea how to handle an angry female. He didn't want to try.
Words couldn't describe what Amanda saw flash across his face at that moment. If she wasn't mistaken, Lee Stetson, super-spy, was nervous. She decided to play with him a bit.
"Xanthippe," she said with a nod. Lee looked at her, worry turning to confusion. Amanda continued. "You know, Socrates' wife? She was a legendary shrew, the ultimate irate woman. I know this because our butcher is from Greece, and he once called mother that. Xanthippe. You see, she thought he was shorting us on our ground beef orders, and did she ever give him a piece of her mind. He actually cried." Amanda nodded again at the memory. Lee took a deep breath.
"You know, Amanda, I really should get going. I'll, uh, try to be more careful next time." He paused for a second when he realized what he'd said. "I mean if there's a next time. Of course, uh, there probably won't be another reason for me to stand under your kitchen window. You know." Lee cleared his throat and turned to leave, when he thought of one more thing. "By the way, what kind of flowers were they?" he asked.
"Zinnias, Chrysanthemums, a few Marigolds. Nothing special," Amanda answered. Lee smiled as he turned away, making a mental note to have flowers delivered to the King household as soon as he possibly could.