Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and all it's characters belong to Warner Bros. and Shoot The Moon Enterprises Ltd. I'm just borrowing them, since THEY won't do anything with them anymore, for my pleasure and hopefully yours! The story is completely my own. Any resemblance to any other fanfic or one of the episodes is entirely unintentional. You know how these stories all become `real'!
Summary: A milestone in Lee Stetson's life.
Timeline: Early 1990—Shortly before Lee and Amanda's third anniversary. Marriage has been public knowledge for about a year. Lee is now section chief with Amanda as his second in command. Billy has been promoted to Director. Phillip is 17; playing basketball and getting ready to go off to college to study law enforcement. Jamie is 15, into photography, learning to drive, and on the National Honor Society in school. Joe married Carrie the year after the series ended and went back to Estocia and other African countries continuing his work. He has been around for holidays and not much more.
Notes: I felt strongly that had we been privy to Lee and Amanda's life after season 4 we would have found a close family. After writing Where've You Been, I wanted to explore more of their family life myself.
Feedback: Yes, yes, yes! Constructive criticism accepted with a very open mind, on list or off, I could use the help. Flames will be used to light my husband's cigarettes as he is always losing his lighters. (Maybe if I get no flames he'll quit?)
Thank you: Loads of thanks to my betas Kim and Merel. This story wouldn't be what it is without you. And thanks to them, you all will get to read a sequel as they both had some very interesting ideas about *the rest of the story. * Thank you ladies!
Archive: Yes, on the smkfanfiction archive, and FF.net. Anywhere else just let me know! MooMomm2five@aol.com
Lee Stetson rolled over slowly and fumbled for the snooze button on the alarm clock. The offending buzz silenced, he could hear the usual morning commotion taking place outside the bedroom door. He used to think that, as the boys got older, the organized chaos would calm down. He realized now that he'd been sadly mistaken. Lee was toying with the idea of rolling over and hiding under the covers for a few more minutes when Phillip's voice came through the bedroom door at him.
"Hey, Dad! Have you seen my car keys? I had them last night while we were playing ball."
Lee's eyes flew open and he sat straight up in bed, his heart pounding. "Um, yeah, they're by the garage door, on the pegboard," he stammered.
"Thanks, Dad, bye!"
"Uh, bye Phillip."
Lee sat on the edge of the bed he had shared with Amanda for almost a year and tried to calm himself. `Phillip just called me Dad.' He heard the '76 Corvette he and Phillip had been restoring roar to life in the driveway. He stood slowly, and pulled on his boxers and robe, to head downstairs.
He found Amanda sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper. Without a sound, he headed for the coffeepot, lifted a mug from a hook above it, and poured himself a cup of coffee.
"Good morning, Lee," Amanda said cheerily from behind the paper. She was trying a little too hard to stifle a grin. She must have already known what Phillip had done.
"Yeah, uh, good morning." Lee was still looking a bit dazed as he sat down at the table and took a sip of his coffee. Amanda peeked around her paper at her husband and smiled. "They've been planning that for weeks now, you know. They just didn't know how to approach you with it. Phillip said the best way to do it would be to `just do it'. Jamie wanted to sit down and talk about it."
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Lee grinned knowingly.
Amanda folded the newspaper and laid it on the table smiling, "by the looks of you, Phillip's approach had the desired effect. He'll be proud of himself."
"What brought this on, Amanda?"
Amanda shook her head and winked. "Oh, no, Stetson. I've said too much already. You'll have to wait to hear it from them."
"Gee, thanks." Lee said with a snort. He stood and leaned over, kissing his wife on the forehead. "Gotta get ready for work, you riding in with me today?"
"No, I'm taking today off. I have an appointment and a few things to take care of."
"Meet me for lunch?" Lee looked at her hopefully.
Lee walked into the office once occupied by Billy Melrose, flopped his briefcase on the desk, and sighed. He was still having a hard time believing what had happened. Phillip had called him `Dad.' According to Amanda, the boys had been talking about doing it for a while. He knew his relationship with the boys was more than he ever could have hoped for, but he had never sought to replace Joe. He did have the advantage of living in the same house as Phillip and Jamie, and because of that advantage, the everyday things like helping with homework, shooting hoops in the driveway, giving driving lessons, and talking about girls, were easier for him. Made much easier, he thought grimly, by the fact that their `real' dad was halfway around the world, and had been for most of their lives. But there was something else. He felt connected to the boys somehow -- he didn't think of them as `step' sons but `his' sons. He had thought the boys felt it too, and had hoped someday they would feel that close to him, but it hadn't even been a year yet. He was still dumbfounded.
He was still deep in thought as he opened his briefcase to pull out the files he had taken home the previous night to review. As Lee grabbed the folders, a bright blue envelope caught his eye. Amanda left him cards all the time, and he never tired of seeing these reminders of her thinking of him. Smiling, he pulled the card out of the briefcase. He stopped, realizing the writing on the front was not Amanda's, but Jamie's.
`Dad,' the printing proclaimed. Lee's heart began pounding again and his fingers shook slightly as he opened the envelope. A picture of an antique Porsche adorned the front of the card. He took a deep breath and read;
"Lee, Even before we knew you were our stepfather, you were our friend. You came to ball games, took an interest in our hobbies, and got us involved in things we never would have been able to do alone. Since you and Mom got married, you've taken the time to know us even better than our own father. You always have the time to help us, or just listen. You've given advice, support, friendship, and love. Phillip and I have waited for what we feel is too long. If it's okay with you, we'd like to be able to call you our `Dad'. We've both felt this way for a while now and just wanted to make sure you didn't mind first. Your sons, Jamie and Phillip"
Lee stood with the card in his hand for a few minutes, reading it again and again. A smile came to his lips.
"Dad." Lee whispered, nodding his head. "Yeah, I like the sound of that."