Author: Lori Cona
Summary: Filler scenes for the Over The Limit episode
Type: just a canon filler
Discussion: sure, anytime, anywhere…feedback is our friend!
Note: Originally posted to egroups as "Over the Limit Filler Scenes"
Disclaimer Scarecrow and Mrs King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. Certain lines of dialog have been taken verbatim from the episode and were written by Tom Ropelewski. The rest of the story however, is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author.
Author's note: Without the help of a wonderful beta, Amy, who resuscitated this piece when it had gone into cardiac arrest, it would not have evolved into this story. Many thanks for your persistence, and for flipping the switch on the little light bulb hovering over my head.
Lee sat on the edge of his couch, elbows propped on his widespread knees, his head in his hands. Somewhat bewildered, he wondered how things had gotten so out of control. Since the arrival of a certain housewife into his life several years ago, things just hadn't been the same. He had started caring too much about what people thought of him, Amanda in particular.
He stood up slowly and his body groaned in response. Another all-night date with Leslie, just one more in a string of such nights, had made him feel as if he was trying rather desperately to prove something. Or perhaps to disprove something. One thing was sure, he thought, catching sight of his dissolute appearance in the mirror. He was losing his taste for all-night parties.
He rolled his shoulders back and grimaced when a pain shot up his neck. He walked somewhat stiffly through the doorway into his bedroom and on into his bathroom, taking a closer look at himself under the glaring fluorescent lights. As he rubbed a hand over his unshaven jaw, his bloodshot gaze rested on a red smudge on his collar. He fingered it, a sardonic smile flitting across his face. Amanda would definitely not approve, he thought.
He objectively surveyed his condition in the medicine cabinet mirror, noting his unbuttoned blue oxford shirt and the striped tie that hung haphazardly around his neck. He supposed that he looked the worse for wear. He sighed wearily. He looked like what he was, a man who had run from commitment for too long, and in the process had forgotten why he was running in the first place. If nothing else, Amanda had forced him to take a long look at himself, and he wasn't particularly comfortable with what he saw.
Knowing that he was running late, Lee quickly showered and shaved, slipping on a dark tie and knotting it loosely. He grabbed his jacket and a couple of aspirin and headed for the door. He needed to get to work. He'd have to figure out what to do about Amanda later.
Lee sat down with a pile of reports for the spring cleaning project Billy had dumped on everyone. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, pressing into his eye sockets with his fingertips to try and alleviate the throbbing that threatened to overwhelm him. By the time he had arrived at the office, the energizing effects of his shower had begun to desert him, leaving him feeling achy and a little sick to his stomach. Watching Amanda's face fall as she realized that he'd had another very late night had completed his decline, and he was somewhat short with her as they left for their first assignment. Now he was sitting here feeling like an idiot for bringing up the dress she'd worn on New Year's Eve.
He smiled slightly as he thought of that night. An image of Amanda danced through his throbbing head…she'd been torn between helpless laughter and motherly concern as he clumsily tried to extricate himself from the borscht. The simple lines of the black dress had looked stunning on her, and he suspected that his inebriation had more to do with Amanda than any vodka he'd consumed. He'd wanted to get a dress just like it for Leslie, for an Embassy dinner they were attending, and he'd put his foot in his mouth without even realizing what he'd done until it was too late. Amanda had given him an affronted look and stalked off, leaving him standing there wondering if the day could get any worse.
He was thankful that she had volunteered to continue working on the spring cleaning list alone. He hadn't had the strength to go after her and try to explain, or even accompany her as Billy had told him to do. He glanced up as he felt the weight of someone's gaze settle on him, and found himself unable to meet Billy's unwavering stare. He cleared his throat and returned his attention to the files in front of him, feeling unfairly burdened by the weight of his conscience.
Several aspirin later, Lee was feeling somewhat recovered. He had waded with grim determination through the pile of reports on oddball organizations lurking on the fringes of society. He shook his head slightly in disgust at the time wasted in tracking down and investigating all the crazies, most of whom were completely harmless.
The phone beside him rang shrilly, startling him. He shook off the tingle of alarm that sent goosebumps chasing across his skin and picked up the phone. "Stetson here," he said, his voice slightly gravelly with lack of sleep. "Yeah, what's up, Billy? There's been a WHAT?" he exclaimed, sitting bolt upright in his chair. "Billy, that's where Amanda was going," he said tensely, pushing away from the desk. "I'm going," he snapped, sending the receiver rocking wildly in its cradle. As he hurried from the building, he felt a fear unlike anything he had ever known. He had let Amanda go off on her own. If anything had happened to her it was his fault, and the knowledge was caught in his throat like the lump that threatened to take his breath away.
Lee pulled up at the devastated rally site, the tires of his Corvette screeching in protest as he came to an abrupt stop. He slowly unfolded his tall frame from the car and stood for a moment, shock immobilizing him. There were emergency vehicles lining the sides of the roadway, and the yellow tape that cordoned off the area fluttered in the brisk breeze from the bay. Police officers stood guard to preserve the crime scene, and Lee approached one of them and waved his ID in the man's face. He ducked under the tape and searched for any sign of Amanda among the dazed people milling about in confusion. The Save Our Bay sign had been damaged by the explosion, and it leaned drunkenly against a chain-link fence. Picket signs lay scattered as if by the hand of some petulant child unhappy with his playthings. He picked his way through the ruin of the stage, peering apprehensively at knots of paramedics tending victims of the blast. He didn't see Amanda anywhere, and his stomach twisted in anxiety. The thought crossed his mind that she might have been taken to a hospital, and he cursed inwardly, slapping his Agency ID against his thigh in frustration.
Emerging on the far side of the wreckage, he spotted a distant solitary figure standing on a low rise above the scene. Before his brain could process what he saw, his heart knew in some elemental way that the slender form was Amanda, and his breath rushed out with the recognition. Tucking his ID into an inner pocket of his jacket, he broke into a run up the hill, his legs feeling unsteady beneath him. He took in her defensive posture, her arms crossed over her chest as she rocked in agitation. "Amanda? Are you okay? When I heard you were here I thought maybe-"
"-Yeah, I'm okay, but that poor man never even had a chance. Lee, I felt the bomb when it blew, and it was like running into a brick wall and I wasn't even all that close."
He looked her over carefully as she replied, his hands on her upper arms, assuring himself that she really wasn't hurt. Her anguish was evident as she leaned into him, and he wrapped his arms tightly around her in response. He rocked her slightly, his chin on her shoulder. "Just thank God you weren't hurt, that's all," he murmured comfortingly in her ear, relief making him feel lightheaded. He drew back slightly and gazed down at her, prompting her to glance up and nod reassuringly. They broke apart when a detective approached, and Lee turned, reluctant to let go of Amanda even now that he'd seen she was okay.
Amanda turned to Lee in protest as Elizabeth was taken into custody. "Lee-"
"They have to," he said regretfully. Amanda looked stricken, and his heart ached that he could do nothing to stop the rusty wheels of justice from turning. He held out a hand to her and she took it gratefully, her eyes drawn to the police car carrying Elizabeth away. Lee watched Amanda surreptitiously as she walked beside him. He was uneasy with the depth of emotion she could draw from him. What was it about this one woman that could turn him inside out? Why was she the only one who could? He only knew that he was thankful beyond words that she had not been taken from him, when he was only now beginning to understand the questions, let alone find the answers.
Lee stared pensively through the windshield of his Corvette as he waited for the traffic signal to turn green. He thought over his actions of the day before, and came to the realization that he'd been trying to clone Amanda in some way. Leslie was beautiful, refined… 'normal', as Amanda had said. However, no matter that he had told her how 'perfect' the UN translator was for him, there was something missing. He'd felt a need to rush Amanda out of his apartment, not because he didn't want his dinner with Leslie disrupted, but because he was oddly embarrassed. He'd almost felt as if he was cheating on her, and it had angered him irrationally.
He was beginning to understand that something within him had been fundamentally changed. The fear of emotional distress that fueled his need to remain alone had been tempered by the desire to place his trust in another human being, one who had the power to extinguish the faint flare of hope with one word. He could be involved with women on a casual basis, because he knew there was no risk involved. There were few people he trusted with his life, and none he trusted with his heart...until now.
The angry blare of a horn interrupted his reverie, and he grimaced as he looked up in time to see the signal turning yellow. He gave an apologetic wave in the rear-view mirror and gunned the engine, passing under the traffic light as it changed to red. The surge of power beneath him made him smile slightly, and seemed to clear the cobwebs from his thoughts. He knew then that he had no desire to go to yet another embassy party with Leslie. Seeing her in the dress he'd bought had made him nearly jump out of his skin, and he'd had the fleeting thought that he done something nearly adulterous in giving it to her.
As he pulled into the Agency parking lot, he saw that Amanda had arrived before him. An odd, not unpleasant fluttering took up residence in his stomach, and he was filled with an unexpected anticipation. 'This is Amanda', he chided himself. He got out of the car and paused, shaking his head wryly. He'd spent so much time trying to find out what he really wanted…when maybe what he'd really wanted all along was to get to know his partner better, as a friend, and…perhaps something more.
Lee opened the Corvette's passenger door and extended his hand to Amanda. His heart skittered a bit when she smiled up at him shyly and placed her hand in his, and it occurred to him that they were crossing a threshold this evening.
This was their first 'real' date, and he had dressed with the care that such an occasion warranted. He'd rarely put more consideration into what he wore than he had this evening. He'd had several irritating moments of indecision as he'd tried to choose something to wear, and he was left feeling somewhat ridiculous by his uncertainty. He'd finally decided on a dark tailored suit, a crisp white shirt, and a tie striped in shades of blue to set it off, and left it at that.
Amanda stepped gracefully out of the car, avoiding the puddles left by an early evening shower. He had been gratified to see that she had apparently put as much care into her appearance as he had. Although her dress was concealed by a light raincoat, her mahogany curls were piled artlessly atop her head, several tendrils escaping at her nape. An unbidden mental image of the loose strands wrapped around his fingers caused him to tighten his grip reflexively on her hand, and he smiled in chagrin as her inquiring gaze met his. He resisted the urge to run a finger under the collar that suddenly seemed too tight.
He shut the door to the car with a little more force than necessary, and settled his hand lightly at Amanda's waist as they entered the restaurant. As they paused near the coat room, he stepped behind her to take her coat. She gave him an unreadable look over her shoulder, searching his gaze hesitantly as she untied her belt. She seemed to draw strength from something she saw in his eyes, and smiled slowly, keeping her back to him as she let the coat slip from her shoulders into his waiting hands. She cleared her throat slightly and reached up to touch the heart pendant at the hollow of her throat for reassurance as she turned around. Lee took her raincoat and handed it to the woman behind the desk, accepting the ticket and turning back to face Amanda. He stopped short, his expressions running the gamut from disbelief to amusement to embarrassment as he absorbed what he was seeing. He shook his head wryly and gave a half-laugh in appreciation.
She stood demurely with her hands lightly clasped in front of her, eyes twinkling, the hint of a mischievous smile on her face…she'd worn the dress.