Where've You Been

By: Laura

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and all it's characters belongs 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 yours! There are vague references to All the World's A Stage, Stemwinder, Mission of Gold and some other lines from episodes. Any credit for those references goes to the respective writers of those stories. Other than that, 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'!

"Where've You Been" was written by J. Vezner and D. Henry, sung by Kathy Mattea.

Summary: Scenes from Lee and Amanda's life.

Timeline: First scene is after All the World's A Stage but before Stemwinder. Second scene is after the series ended but before the marriage is known to anyone (about the time the song would have been out IRL) so around 1988-89. Last scene is approximately 50 years after their secret marriage (roughly 2037).

Notes: I heard this song on the radio in my truck last week. I had scenes in my head for it even though parts don't really fit. I figured I could work around that! LOL! This song was out in early 1989 so it does fall into my time period pretty much.

To my betas, Kim and barn. You are awesome! This story is filled with my love for Lee and Amanda and my desire to keep within cannon of their world. Your encouragement, correction, and guidance mean the world to me! Thank you for helping to make this story what it is!

Archive: Yes, On EmilyAnn's site, and FF.net. Anywhere else just let me know!

Rating: G

Warning: I've been told I need a tissue warning!

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WHERE'VE YOU BEEN J. Vezner & D. Henry (c) 1989
Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief, she sighed and said,
"In many dreams I've held you near
Now, at last, you're really here.
Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away."

Amanda sat on her couch with a magazine in her lap. The silence was welcome, but made her wish she had some company for the evening.

Mother and the boys were gone on one of their camping trips for the weekend and Lee was on an assignment that was to last until at least Monday. He had left without warning, and all she knew was that he'd kept his check-ins all week. Amanda sighed and tossed the magazine on the coffee table carelessly. She leaned her head on the back of the couch and closed her eyes, thinking back on the last few weeks-the last few weeks with Lee Stetson. He had kissed her. Many times now, but that first time was overwhelming.

"No. Not this time," he had said as he locked the door against Billy, Francine, and the rest of the world. They were always interrupted at the worst times. Not that time. Amanda smiled softly at the thought. Thinking of Lee always warmed her from the inside out. She still could hardly believe the turn her life had taken at that very moment. Amanda's feelings for Lee had been there for a long time. She had slowly fallen in love with him over the last couple years but was satisfied with being Lee's best friend. She dreamed of a time when he would feel the same but she had never expected Lee to return her feelings.

He hadn't told her he loved her yet in words but what she felt every time their eyes met sent shock waves through her very soul. She felt complete when Lee was with her. She sighed again and lifted herself off of the couch. Hot chocolate, that would help. It wasn't exactly cold outside anymore but just cool enough that it would be comforting. As the water boiled in the teapot, Amanda couldn't help but wonder what she would do for the next two days by herself. The teapot whistled and she set about getting the hidden marshmallows and making herself a cup of comfort. Without her partner to share fieldwork with, the last week at the Agency had been filled with completing and filing reports and it was wearing on her nerves to be in the Q-Bureau alone. Nights had been no better. Amanda turned to gaze longingly out the kitchen window. The dark emptiness of the backyard made her feel even more lonely than before. Amanda found she had gotten used to Lee either showing up in her backyard or taking her for dinner every night. She shook her head and said quietly, "I miss you, Lee Stetson." She picked up her mug and turned to head back to the empty family room.

"And I missed you, Amanda King," a soft, husky voice returned.

"LEE!" Amanda jumped, almost spilling her hot chocolate. "You really need to stop doing that!" she breathed, putting her hand to his chest.

Lee said nothing as his arms found their way around her waist and he pulled her into a crushing embrace. She barely had time to put down her steaming mug before his lips captured hers in a possessive kiss.

After a few minutes, Lee pulled back and looked at Amanda with a slight grin. "I am a 'spy', you know." He leaned his forehead on hers and sighed heavily. "It's good to be back."

"Where have you been, Scarecrow?" Amanda said with mock annoyance. "I don't enjoy working without my partner. Being left alone to write all the reports. Filing in the vault by myself." Her voice softened as she reached up and ran a hand down his face. "I'm just not the same when you're gone."

"You're not going to get rid of me, Amanda. It took way too long to find you. They'd have to drag me kicking and screaming . . ." The rest of Lee's comment trailed off as he leaned in to kiss Amanda again.

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He asked her for her hand for life
And she became a salesman's wife
He was home each night by eight
But one stormy evening, he was late
Her frightened tears fell to the floor
Until his key turned in the door.
"Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away."

The shrill ringing of the phone awakened Amanda from her fitful sleep. She fumbled for the receiver and croaked out a hoarse, "Lee?" while pulling herself into a sitting position on the couch.

"No, Amanda, I'm sorry, it's me, Billy." He sounded as disappointed as she felt.

"Oh . . . hello . . . Sir." Amanda shakily sank back into the couch as she realized his tone of voice meant it wasn't good news.

"Amanda, Lee missed his last three check-ins and his flight back to D.C. took off an hour ago." Billy hesitated slightly, gathering the courage to say what came next. "Amanda, he's not on it. I'm sorry to tell you like this but I thought you'd want to know right away. We've got Anderson and Carr on it as we speak. And two operatives in Quebec, where Lee should be." There was total silence on the other end of the line. "Amanda?" Billy said gently.

"I'm still here, Sir. Thank you for calling." Amanda managed to sound much calmer than she felt.

"I just wish I had better news for you. I'm sorry I can't tell you more, Amanda. You know my hands are tied on that." Billy sounded more angry now than sad.

"I understand, Sir. Thank you." Amanda felt strangely detached from the situation, as if she were watching the scene from afar.

Billy's tone changed again. "Uh, Amanda, feel free to take the day off . . . if you need to." He hesitated for a moment to let her think about it. "You've got plenty of time stacked up."

Amanda appreciated Billy's offer. She knew he was trying to make this as easy on her as he possibly could but the last thing Amanda wanted to do was stay home in the empty house wallowing. She blinked back the tears that threatened-she wasn't sure she could handle being in the Q-Bureau alone, either. "Thank you, Sir. I'm not sure what I'll be doing today. I'll probably come in for the morning and see how I'm feeling."

"All right. Well, if anything comes up before you get here I'll let you know. " Billy hesitated slightly. "He's the best, Amanda. He'll be okay." he almost sounded like he was trying to convince himself, too.

"I know, sir. It's just the waiting."

"I understand. Take care, Amanda." Billy said softly.

"Goodbye, sir."

Amanda hung up the phone but didn't let go of the receiver. "Oh, Lee," she sighed, wiping away the tears that had escaped. "Please be careful. I can't do this without you."

She looked over at the clock and was surprised to find it well past 7 a.m. Running her hands through her hair, she stood abruptly and headed for the stairs. She had fallen asleep on the couch the night before, after Billy's initial call letting her know they had lost contact with Lee earlier in the day. She had been expecting a phone call from Lee around midnight letting her know the assignment was wrapped up and he was heading to the airport. It never came. She hadn't slept well at all. Her dreams, nightmares really, found her searching for something or someone desperately but not knowing what or who she was looking for. After waking numerous times she realized that it was Lee she been searching for, but tried not to let herself think about it. Now Amanda was hoping a hot shower and some coffee would help her function properly through this ordeal.

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"Melrose!" Billy answered the phone for what seemed like the hundredth time. And it was only 12:30. "What! Are you sure? Where? All right. Thank you." Amanda was sitting on the couch in Billy's office when the phone call interrupted them. Hearing only his end of the conversation she sat upright quickly, straining to hear whomever it was on the other end. She almost didn't dare hope.

"Sir?" She said before the phone was even back on the cradle.

Billy's face had broken into a grin. "They found him!"

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"I'm FINE! I don't need any more tests. It's just some cuts and bruises. No! I'm not . . ."

Amanda heard Lee before she was anywhere near the exam room. Heading toward his agitated voice, she smiled slightly to herself as her heartbeat quickened in anticipation. She knew how he felt about hospitals, especially when he wasn't seriously hurt, and from his tone of voice he was just fine. As she reached the door, she could see Lee being poked and prodded. Her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught. He was sitting on a gurney, looking tired, bruised, and very annoyed. She took a deep breath and pushed open the door. Lee turned his head at the sound of the door opening and his eyes met Amanda's with an intensity she had missed for the last week.

'He doesn't look fine.' Amanda thought as she crossed the room, threw her arms around his neck, and tried unsuccessfully not to cry.

"Where have you been? You had me worried sick, Lee. I was just about to come looking for you myself, " she whispered through her tears.

The nurse left them alone, and Lee returned her embrace, kissing her forehead and wiping her tears. She didn't cry very often, and he hated it when she did. "A funny thing happened on the way to the office this morning," he tried to lighten the mood.

"LEE!" Amanda looked at him almost angrily. "That's not funny."

"I'm sorry, " he took her left hand in his and rubbed her third finger, surprised to find the ring he had placed there almost a year ago. "Amanda? What if Billy shows up while you're here? What if he sees this? Or Francine? Not that I mind seeing it where it belongs, you know." He added quietly. She knew what he was thinking, she was the one who had been reluctant lately to tell anyone of their secret. He'd been throwing the idea around for a while now. She had effectively silenced him every time.

"I don't really care now, Lee. All I care about is you being here, being safe, and with me. I'm just not the same with out you. And this," she held up their entwined hands and pointed at her wedding ring, "is part of you." Amanda smiled up at him through the remnants of her earlier tears. "I love you, Mr. Stetson. But don't you ever do that to me again!" She punctuated every word with a soft poke at his chest.

"I love you too, Mrs. Stetson." Lee said quietly as he leaned in to kiss his wife. "And no matter what, I will always come back for you."

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They'd never spent a night apart
For sixty years she heard him snore
Now they're in a hospital
In separate beds on different floors
Claire soon lost her memory
Forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day, they wheeled him in
He held her hand and stroked her hair
In a fragile voice she said,
"Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away.
No, I'm just not myself when you're away."

Lee and Amanda Stetson had been together for over fifty years and never apart for more than a week at a time. Phillip and Jamie were still angry with the doctor for splitting up their mother and stepfather, but grudgingly admitted that they both needed the care that this facility could offer. Unfortunately, this wasn't as comfortable an establishment as the one Lee and Amanda had lived in for the previous two years and double rooms were few and far between. The waiting list was months long. So Lee and Amanda had been placed in separate rooms with Lee exactly one floor up from 'his' Amanda. Phillip and Jamie had talked about it before but always thought the nurses would soften and bend the rules just a bit. That was four months ago. Lee had seen Amanda exactly two times in the six months they had been there. And both of those times were in the first two months of their stay.

Phillip and Jamie had just spent an hour visiting their mother, as they had three times a week for the past six months. She was getting worse by the day and didn't know who they were anymore. She didn't recognize her daughters-in-law, her grandchildren, or her great- grandchildren either. And for the last few visits, she hadn't even opened her eyes when they'd talked to her. She just wasn't Mom anymore. Wasn't Amanda. The two men stood outside her room together and silently agreed. This was the night.

"I think we need to go get him." Jamie King shrugged. "I don't care what the regulations are. You know how Mom gets when Lee is gone too long." He sighed sadly. "Maybe that's the problem." He turned on his heel and headed for the elevator with Phillip right behind him.

"For once, I agree with you, Worm-brain."

Jamie threw his older brother a steely look over his shoulder and said, "I think I've outgrown that by a few years, don't you?" Phillip only smirked.

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Lee was sitting in an old recliner reading a very old, very tattered, large-print copy of a Tom Clancy novel for probably the 75th time. Phillip knew Lee had it memorized and just held the book there to look as if he were really 'doing something'. The nurses were always trying to get him to 'do something'. Lee knew his older son was on to him and was grateful to him for not giving away his secret.

"Hi, Dad!" Philip and Jamie both said excitedly, exchanging a knowing grin.

"Hey, guys. How was your visit with your mother?" Lee always tried to sound upbeat as he asked about their visits but they knew how heartbreaking it was for him not to be able to see his wife. They knew he lived for their updates so they always visited their mother first and then spent the rest of the evening with Lee. He was much more alert than Amanda was but the years of concussions, broken bones, and gunshot wounds had taken their toll on his body. He had arthritis so badly he couldn't walk, dress, or do anything without help and a lot of pain.

"About the same, Dad." Jamie said bending over to hug Lee. The boys had taken to calling Lee 'Dad' about a year after he had moved in with them. Besides his wedding to their mother, it had been the best day of his life.

Phillip drew in a deep breath and looked at Jamie with raised eyebrows. Jamie returned his look and nodded. The exchange didn't go unnoticed by Lee who put down his book and straightened a bit in his chair. "What's wrong, you two? I know that look." He said shakily. "It's your mother, isn't it? What's up, guys?" He was trying to get up out of his chair but Phillip gently put a hand on his shoulder, holding him in place.

"Nothing is really 'wrong'. At least nothing we can't fix." Jamie explained, looking over at Phillip.

"We need your expertise, Dad." Phillip whispered with a grin. "On a covert operation."

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As the elevator doors opened on the third floor, two middle-aged men pushing an elderly gentlemen in a wheelchair looked nervously around before heading straight for room 337.

Phillip pushed Lee as close to Amanda's bed as he could get him and turned to leave. "No, boys. Please. You can stay," Lee whispered as he reached out and took Amanda's small, frail hand in his own. He ran his fingers over her third finger, where her wedding set should have been, and smiled sadly. When she had worsened, Phillip had taken the rings home for safekeeping. Lee hated that she was without them once again. He lifted her hand to his mouth for a gentle kiss and held it there for a moment. A memory flashed before him of Amanda, lying in pretty much the same state after being shot on their honeymoon, almost five decades before. She had been unable to wear his ring then, too. Lee wasn't sure which was worse. At least this time she was publicly Mrs. Stetson. He held her hand to his cheek and reached up to brush a strand of silver hair off her forehead. "I love you Mrs. Stetson," Lee said in a hoarse voice, close to tears. "I'm sorry I was gone so long. They wouldn't let me see you. Phillip and Jamie snuck me down, so I don't know how long we have before . . ."

"Lee?"

All three men were startled by the small feminine voice.

"Lee. Where have you been?" Amanda had opened her eyes and was looking at Lee with all the love they had shared over the past fifty years. She would have known that voice anywhere. She heard it in her dreams. But this wasn't a dream, and she always knew he would come for her. He always came for her. "You know I'm just not the same when you're gone. Don't do that to me again, Lee." Amanda smiled and closed her eyes slowly. "I love you, Mr. Stetson."

The End