Disclaimer-I do not own nor do I profit from this story. Any and all references to Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to WB and Shoot the Moon Productions. This story is written for entertainment purposes only and because I love the characters and the show.
Title: Some Things Never Change.
Timeline - What I think could have happened in the fifth season. The marriage is definitely not a secret anymore. Follows my story Francine’s Need to Know.
Synopsis- The Bombers get a new coach and an old friend of Lee and Amanda’s gets kidnapped.
Comments - yes please.
Special thanks to two great Betas who have encouraged me and helped me get it right. Thanks Panda and Debby.
It was busier than usual at the Jefferson Memorial. No one paid much attention to the elderly, poorly dressed woman in gray. She made her way slowly to the ladies room, quietly talking to herself. The tourists, who did notice her, steered clear. She shuffled through the door and quickly searched the stalls to make sure she was alone. At that moment, all semblance of the fragile, crazy old woman disappeared and the experienced agent took over. She looked for a place to quickly hide her evidence. There, the perfect spot, she thought to herself. She pulled her lock pick from her collar stay. Within seconds the lock was open and a small roll of gray tape was pulled from her pocketbook. Ah, where would the world be without duct tape? Quickly and efficiently she stashed the evidence. With a sigh, she wiped her hands and turned to leave, now to get out of here in one piece. It was the last thought she had before the door opened and she came face to face with the enemy….
The brown, non-descript car pulled into a parking spot along the playing field. The occupant of the car could hear the sounds of cheering as he sat and watched from a distance. He quickly scanned the crowd. It didn’t take him long to find one of the subjects he was looking for. With a deep sigh he reached for the door handle and swung it open. He was not looking forward to what he had to tell them. Frowning, he stepped out of the vehicle and walked toward the refreshment stand. He could see her attention was focused on the game. He walked up without being noticed.
“Amanda,” he called quietly.
“Yes, can I help…Oh, sir, what are you doing here?” Amanda took one look at his face and knew that whatever had brought him, was not good. “What’s wrong?
“Where’s Lee? I really would like to tell you both together.” Billy looked out toward the playing field. He was just in time to see his best agent engaged in an argument with the home plate umpire. He had turned the bill of his hat around and was putting on a show that would have made Earl Weaver proud. Jamie, Amanda’s youngest son, stood behind him and appeared to be trying to add his own two cents to the disagreement.
“Yeah, Lee has this need to be right and the umpires don’t always agree with him.” She threw her hands up. “At least he hasn’t been ejected from any of the games yet.” Amanda grinned ruefully as Lee gave up and turned to walk back to the bench. Jamie followed and as they sat on the bench, Lee bent down and whispered something to the boy that had him laughing and shaking his head. With a quick squeeze of Jamie’s shoulders, Lee looked over toward the refreshment stand. When his eyes fell on his wife, the resulting smile lit up his entire face. Amanda smiled back and motioned for him to come over.
“Never thought I’d see the day that Lee Stetson, confirmed bachelor, loner extraordinaire, would be coaching little league.” Billy shook his head as he sampled a brownie from the table. “When did he take over for you Amanda?” Looking down with a frown, he hit the brownie against the table and grimaced at the resounding clunk.
With a sympathetic glance Billy’s way Amanda said, “My obstetrician told me I have to cut down on my extracurricular activities. It’s too bad Lee was along for that visit. Now he treats me like an invalid. When I try to argue with him, he gets this hurt look on his face and I just give in. I have another three months to go. If he’s this bad now what’s he going to be like when the baby’s born? By the way sir, that brownie is going to cost you fifty cents.” Amanda looked down to straighten the table while attempting to hide a grin.
With a laugh Billy shook his head and handed her the change. “I know how he’s feeling. The first time Jeanie was pregnant I went a little nuts myself.” Still chuckling, he threw the rock-hard brownie into the trashcan next to the table. “You know Lee never does anything half way. He just doesn’t want anything to happen to you or the baby. I knew you would be good for him the first time I saw you together in my office…I just never imagined....”
“Me neither…it was only four years ago that he stood right there.” she indicated Billy’s position with her index finger. “and told me he would not be caught dead doing anything like coaching little league.”
Lee walked up at that moment and placed his arm around his very pregnant wife. “Wouldn’t be caught dead doing what? Hey, Billy…we’re supposed to be off the duty roster for another ten days.”
“Yes I know, but I have some bad news. There’s no easy way to say this so…it seems that your old friend Emily Farnsworth is missing. I received a coded message this morning from MI 6. She’s missed her last six status checks. She was here in D.C. visiting the British Embassy. Two days ago she went out to do some sight-seeing and never returned. I thought you two would want the case.”
Lee looked toward Amanda. She gave him a quick affirmative nod of the head. “You bet. Look, we’ve got one more inning in this game. We’ll take the boys home and then be in.” He paused and sighed. “Thanks, Billy. Emily means a lot to both of us.” As Lee turned to go back to the game, he looked down at his wife. “By the way did you see that play? Jamie was definitely safe. Can you believe that umpire?” With that he turned and jogged back over to the bench.
“See what I mean, sir.” Amanda was shaking her head smiling, “He never could stand to be wrong.”
Billy was laughing as he turned and walked back to his car.
“Mother, we’re home,” Amanda called as they rushed into the house.
“I’m in the kitchen, sweetheart. How did the game go?”
An excited Jamie rushed into the kitchen, “We won, Gramma. The score was eight to four. Lee was great, this umpire called me out and I was safe. Lee argued with him and told him he needed glasses and even turned his hat around when he was arguing with him. Just like Earl Weaver…”
“Lee, darling, is that true?” Dotty asked with a smile.
A sheepish Lee looked over at his wife and then back to his mother-in-law. “Yep, I guess you could say that.”
At that moment, Phillip walked into the kitchen and put in his two cents, “Jamie really was safe, Gramma. The umpire wasn’t even looking. He was watching Mrs. Dorman from the down the street. You know the one with the big…” Phillip put his hands out in front of his chest.
“Phil-lip,” Lee warned with a frown.
“Well, you all know who I mean. He was too embarrassed to admit he didn’t see the play and called Jamie out. Lee tried to point that out to him but he wouldn’t change his mind.”
“Sweetheart,” Amanda admonished before looking over at Lee and pointing to her watch. Lee nodded and headed up the stairs toward their bedroom while Amanda said, “Mother, we have to go into work for a little bit. We should be home for dinner.”
“Okay. Oh, by the way, Amanda, a package came for you today. I put it on the dining room table. It looks like it’s from England.” Dotty motioned with her head toward the other room.
“Thanks, Mother.” Amanda hurried and picked up the package. She rushed up the stairs and into their bedroom. As she sat on the bed, the sound of running water told her that Lee was in the shower. She pulled the paper from the package and a handmade book fell into her lap. It looked like a children’s book. The note included in the package was short and read.
I hope this package finds you well. I have sent
this to you now in case I am unable to send it to you
when the baby is born.
Love, Aunt Emily.
As Amanda flipped through the pages of the book, she heard the bathroom door open. Lee walked into the room clad only in a towel.
“Lee, look at this. Emily sent a book for the baby and it looks handmade.” Lee walked over to stand behind Amanda. “Randolph, The Invisible Boat. Isn’t that a strange name for a boat? Do you think she might be trying to tell us something?”
Lee was towel-drying his hair as he looked over Amanda’s shoulder. “Knowing Emily, it’s something to do with her case. Maybe she thought she would be discovered again. Have you looked at the pictures for clues?”
“I’m looking. I just don’t see anything in them this time. Wait…Lee…look at the dedication. It says: To my niece and her husband for all the wonderful times we have spent in the company of Thomas Jefferson and friends.” Amanda jumped up from the bed with an excited look on her face. “Lee, when I first met Emily, I took her sight-seeing. Her favorite place was the Jefferson Memorial. We were in the ladies’ room and ran into some friends of mine. I think this might mean something.”
“I’m not sure, but it’s worth checking out. Let’s get this book to crypto and see if they come up with anything else.”
Two hours later Lee was pacing Billy’s office. “Billy, we think Emily was trying to tell us something with the book. We took it down to crypto but they haven’t come up with anything yet. Amanda thinks that the dedication page might be telling us to go to the Jefferson Memorial. Right now it’s our only lead.”
Billy walked around his desk and sat down. As he reached for the telephone, he said, “All right, why don’t you and Amanda head out there and have a look around. I am going to contact MI 6 and see if they have any idea what Emily was working on.”
There was a knock at the door and Amanda stepped into the room. “Sir, I called the Embassy. They said Emily’s been dating a Knight by the name of Sir Randolph Lawson. They’ve apparently been seeing each other for the last six months. I don’t understand. Why would Emily write a book about an invisible boat and name it after her friend? Do you think they’re somehow connected?”
Both men looked up at the same time, as Lee sputtered, “Invisible boat…no…it can’t be.” A stunned look passed between Lee and Billy. “Operation Sea Cloak. Why didn’t I think of that? Billy you don’t think…?”
Billy stalked over to the door and swung it open. “Francine, call the Pentagon. Find out everything you can about Operation Sea Cloak.” Billy picked up his telephone and began to punch in numbers. “Hello, this is William Melrose, I need to speak with Admiral Jenkins. Tell him it’s alpha priority. Thanks, yes, I’ll hold. Lee, I want you and Amanda to get out to the Jefferson Memorial…Yes, sir, Melrose here from the Agency. I have reason to believe that Operation Sea Cloak may have been compromised…An MI 6 agent is missing and it’s starting to look like your new boat may be the reason…Yes, I agree…I ‘m on my way over. Could you please hold on a moment?”
Amanda was frantically waving her hand and finally got his attention. “Sir, ask him if there’s a Randolph involved in the project.”
“Admiral, is there anyone by the name of Randolph involved in the project…WHAT?” Shaking his head, he said, “No that’s alright, I’ll be there shortly.”
As Billy placed the receiver back in its cradle, he raised his eyes and looked at first Lee, then Amanda. “Sir Randolph Lawson is the British scientist that helped develop the technology for the Sea Cloak project. According to the Admiral, he hasn’t been seen for two days.”
“Sir, what is Operation Sea Cloak?” Amanda inquired.
“It’s a joint operation between the United States Navy and Great Britain to develop a boat that is invisible to radar. Like the stealth jet,” Billy said with a frown. “I don’t have to tell you this is bad. That boat in the wrong hands could be disastrous.”
“Yeah, we’re on it Billy.” Lee reached out and grabbed Amanda’s hand. “We’ll call in as soon as we have checked out the Memorial.”
It had turned dark and cloudy at the Jefferson Memorial, as the silver ‘Vette pulled into the graveled lot. Lee opened his door and hurried around to the other side to help his wife. It was getting harder and harder for her to get out of the low-slung sports car. She looks more beautiful everyday he thought to himself.
“Sweetheart, the bathroom we were in is through that door over there.” Amanda pointed toward the monument. “No one is going to find it strange that a pregnant women is rushing to the bathroom. Come on.” She pulled him behind her.
As they arrived at the door to the ladies’ room, Lee said, “You go in and make sure it’s empty.”
“Okay.” She pushed open the door and stepped inside. It was only a minute until Amanda’s head poked out the door. “Psst…come on in, it’s all clear.”
“Did you do anything unusual while you were in here with Emily?” Lee asked, looking around the small room.
“Well, we were standing here washing up and we were talking about where we were going to go next and Emily was asking me about Mother and the boys and you, and I had just reached up to get a paper towel when Mrs.…Lee, the paper towel dispenser.”
“Way ahead of you, Mrs. Stetson. Let me just…pick this lock…tada…oh Emily, you never let me down.”
“What, what did you find, Lee? Let me see,” Amanda asked bumping into him and running him into the wall.
“A...man…da…,” Lee said with an exasperated sigh. “It’s a cassette tape. Let’s hurry and get this back to the Agency.”
“Shhh, someone’s coming!”
As the door to the restroom swung open, Lee held a wet paper towel to Amanda’s head. “Excuse me,” Lee said to the surprised teenage girls. “Sorry, my wife was feeling faint. This heat has been really tough on her. Are you feeling better, darling? Do you feel up to walking out to the car now, sweetheart?”
Amanda gave an exaggerated sigh. “Yes, Honey, I think I’m feeling better. Have a nice day, girls,” Amanda said over her shoulder as Lee pushed her out the door.
Lee helped Amanda back into the car and nonchalantly walked around to his side, all the while searching the crowd for any unwelcome observers. He got into the car and put it in drive. As he was pulling into traffic, Amanda popped the tape into the cassette player. It didn’t take long to realize that the men on the tape were discussing stealing the plans of Operation Sea Cloak. Before they arrived back at the Agency, Lee and Amanda had already begun to discuss their own plans.
In a warehouse across town, Emily and her beau, Sir Randolph, were sitting back-to-back, securely tied to their chairs.
Their captor, a very ambitious KGB agent by the name of Nicoli Grinkoff, was pacing the room in front of them. This is my big chance to make a name for myself. I could be promoted to section chief. Have a nice apartment. Maybe take a, what do those lazy Americans call it, yeah, a vacation. “Look you two lovebirds, it is soon time to leave. I am going to give you five minutes and then I will be back. We need to get those plans out of the Admiral’s office.” He turned and left the room, the door slamming loudly closed behind him.
Emily reached back and grabbed Sir Randolph’s hand. “Try not to worry my darling. My niece and nephew have received the baby’s book by now. They’ll figure out where we are and will get here soon. They’ve not let me down yet.”
Sir Randolph squeezed her hand. “Emily, it seems you’ve become a very important part of my life…when this is all over… …would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
She leaned her head back and touched him. With a large smile on her face she said, “There’s nothing I‘d like better.”
“Em? One thing. Do you think we could live with a little less excitement?”
“Anything to make you happy, my dear,” she said with a chuckle.
The silver ‘Vette sat in front of the International Federal Film offices. Its occupants had already made their way to the section chief’s office.
“Billy, we know that they haven’t got their hands on the plans yet. We also know that they haven’t got a clue who Emily really is. My guess is they’re holding her so Sir Randolph will cooperate.”
“Sir, what if we give them fake plans and follow them. He’s bound to lead us back to where they’re holding Emily.”
“Amanda’s got a good idea, Billy. We could have three teams on standby and call everyone in as soon as we’ve found out where they’re holding Emily.”
“Okay.” Billy opened the door. “Francine, we need to get three teams mobilized and on standby. We also need to get Admiral Jenkins on the phone. I want to leak information that there’s been a security breach and that the plans are going to be moved to a secret location by four o’clock this afternoon. Hopefully, it will force them to make a move. Let’s go folks. We’ve got a lot to do,” Billy was already lifting the receiver on the telephone as the agents mobilized.
“Lee,” Amanda said reaching out with one hand to caress Lee’s arm as she rubbed her swollen belly. “I’m worried about Emily. What if…”
“Amanda, stop it. We’ll get there in time. The godmother of my child is going to live to attend the christening. Besides the old girl is still the best agent I know. She’s got a few tricks up her sleeve.”
Sir Randolph nervously made his way into the Admiral’s office. He never noticed the pregnant secretary working the file cabinets across the hall.
“Dagger One to Dagger Two. The fish is in the aquarium,” Amanda whispered quietly into her wristwatch. The message was quickly acknowledged into her earpiece.
In the hall way a janitor mopped the floor. “Message received, Dagger One.” He picked up his radio and put the teams on alert. “You know what to do, Dagger One. Dagger Two out.”
Nervously, Sir Randolph tried to slip unnoticed from the office. As he attempted to quietly close the door, Amanda called out to him. Startled he jumped and spilled the contents of his brief case on the floor between them.
“Let me help you pick that up, sir.” Amanda reached down to help him gather his papers. While scooping them up, she used the diversion to place a tiny tracking device onto the side of his left shoe. “I’m sorry I wasn’t at my desk to assist you. Here, sir, I hope they didn’t get out of order. Was the Admiral expecting you? Can I let him know you stopped by?”
“No, thank you for your help. I’ll just give the Admiral a call later.” Sir Randolph stumbled off toward the elevator.
“Dagger Two, the fish is headed your way and the hook has been baited. Meet you in the car.”
“I see him Dagger One. Be right there. Dagger Two out.”
It wasn’t long before Lee arrived at the car. Amanda already had the tracking device in operation and was plotting the direction they needed to take. The corvette’s engine roared to life and the sleek sports car merged into the early afternoon traffic. The beacon drew them to a warehouse district that was very familiar to them both.
“Lee, it’s the marshmallow man. You don’t think they’re holding them in the same place they held Mother and Dr Zirnof, do you?”
“It sure looks like it. There’s Sir Randolph’s car.” Looking over at his wife worriedly he said, “Amanda get on the radio and call in the strike teams. I’m going in there and see what I can do. Please sweetheart, please stay in the car.” A look of fear passed over his face before he could hide it. “We don’t know who it is we are dealing with. It could get very dangerous, very fast. You know if I have to worry about you and the baby, I won’t be able to concentrate.”
As Amanda reached for the car phone, she frowned. “But Lee, the Agency handbook says you should wait for back up. It’s not…”
“Amanda, Emily’s life may depend on me going in now.”
Biting her bottom lip Amanda gave a resigned sigh. “All right, just be careful. Oh…ouch…your baby agrees with me.” She reached over and gently placed her husband’s hand on her stomach. “See, our child is trying to tell you to be careful, too.”
Lee smiled softly. A smile that was quickly replaced with a look of determination as he reached into his holster and drew out his gun. “As soon as back-up arrives, send them in.”
He got out of the car and carefully made his way into the warehouse. He followed the sound of voices, straining to hear what they were saying. Bingo, he thought to himself, that must be Sir Randolph. He crept up as close as he dared and hid behind some large shipping boxes. He listened carefully to what was transpiring.
“Here’s what you asked for. Now, let us go.”
“No, Sir Randolph. I do not think we can do that. Do you not know that no one has ever seen my face and lived to tell about it? I must leave no witnesses.”
A diversion. I need a diversion. The thought had no sooner crossed Lee’s mind then he heard a loud crash and turned in time to see Amanda drive a skid loader through the side entrance of the room and into a large pile of boxes. They tumbled down and knocked out the two surprised guards who’d been watching the scene unfold. The diversion was all Lee needed as he jumped up and landed on the surprised KGB agent. He knocked the gun from the enemy operative’s hand and quickly kicked it away. The KGB agent threw a right punch that landed squarely on Lee’s jaw, knocking him to the floor. Angry, Lee jumped up in time to just miss a kick to the stomach. He pivoted around and grabbed the enemy agent’s foot, throwing Grinkoff off balance. Lee then landed two punches--the first one to the stomach and the next to the face. Nicoli lay silent and unmoving on the floor. It was silent for all of thirty seconds as Lee looked over at Amanda and shook his head. Just as he was opening his mouth to fuss at Amanda for not staying in the car, the quiet was broken as the Agency teams burst into the room. Lee quickly filled them in on what had gone down and showed them where they could dig the two KGB agents out from under the mountain of boxes. After cuffing Nicoli Grinkoff, he turned him over to Fred Fielder.
As Lee was dispensing with the KGB agents, Amanda ran over to a stunned Sir Randolph. “Where are they holding Emily, sir?”
As he pulled his angry gaze from the unconscious enemy agent on the floor, he pointed toward the corridor on the right. “She’s in a small room down that hallway. This way.”
When they reached the room that held Emily, Amanda pushed open the door and rushed in.
“Well, it’s about time, my dear. I thought I was going to have to rescue myself,” Emily Farnsworth said with a smile. “How’s my new god-baby doing?”
“Oh, Emily, it’s so great to see you,” Amanda said as she reached out to hug her. “ We’ve been so worried about you.”
“I knew you’d find us. Now, let’s get me out of here. I have grown to hate this tiny room.” Emily was quickly untied and as she walked from the room she looped her arm through Amanda’s. “How rude of me. You two haven’t been properly introduced. Sir Randolph, my honorary niece, Amanda Stetson. Amanda, my fiancé, Sir Randolph Lawson.”
Amanda reached out her hand. “How do you do?” She turned a surprised face to Emily as she said, “Your fiancé? Oh, Emily, I am so happy for both of you. Why don’t you and Sir Randolph join us for dinner tonight? We could make it a celebration. I’m sure Mother would love to see you.”
“That would be lovely, my dear. We would be honored but, alas, there is still work to be done. Where is that husband of yours?”
“Right here, Emily. You sure are a sight for sore eyes. I was starting to worry you might not make the christening.” Lee was laughing as he reached out to hug her.
“Not a chance, Lee. Not a chance. I need to go talk with Mr. Melrose. There’s a man at the Pentagon who is not going to be happy that I’m still alive.”
As Emily and Sir Randolph walked away, Lee turned to Amanda, “I thought I told you to stay in the car. We have been partners for five years and you still don’t listen to me. You could’ve been hurt. The baby could’ve been hurt. I lost ten years off my life when I saw you come roaring in on that skid loader”
“Sweetheart, I always listen to you. It’s just…sometimes…I have to bend the interpretation of what you say. Really, I did stay in the car and call in the strike teams. I only got out after I did what you told me to do. Besides, it’s my job to watch your rear and that’s the part of my job I enjoy the most.”
Shaking his head, Lee reached out his hand for his wife, “I hope you always will, Mrs. Stetson.”
Amanda hung up the dishtowel and looked into the family room. Emily, Sir Randolph, and her Mother were listening to Jamie tell the story of Lee and the umpire. With a laugh to herself, she opened the door and stepped out on to the patio. She was remembering all the times she’d met Lee in this very spot. All the times he’d popped up over her kitchen sink or at the grocery store behind the milk. It was funny how one decision had changed her whole life. In the same way, Emily had gotten involved with the Sea Cloak Operation and had met Sir Randolph. Now, she was getting married and her life was headed in a different direction. It was the same with me. All because of a Shriner convention in Baltimore and twenty-five red hats, my whole life changed.
“Amanda, are you all right?” Lee asked concerned.
“Yeah, I just needed a little fresh air. I just can’t seem to get the windows open enough to suit me lately.”
“Well you are carrying around a mini-oven with you.” Lee walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her belly. As he snuggled her into him, he slowly nuzzled her neck.
“Lee, do you ever think about what might’ve happened if there’d only been one red hat on that train? Because of one split-second decision, my whole life changed. I became a more capable, stronger person. Because my life changed, the boys’ lives changed. They now have a father figure in their lives here everyday. Even Mother’s life has changed for the better.”
“You’re not the only one,” he began, his breath tickling her ear. “Before I met you I was only going through the motions of living. I thank God every day for the Shriners and those red fezzes. Not only did I get a partner who I trust with my life but a best friend, lover, and wife. I got two sons who I couldn’t love more if they were my own and a baby on the way. I love being a Bomber coach and having hamburgers and wine for dinner at home. I love when I’m away on a mission knowing that my family can’t wait for me to come home. I love walking up the jet-way and knowing my wife will be there to meet me. Now, let’s get back inside.” He continued with a chuckle, “I heard Emily telling Jamie she knew Earl Weaver personally and that she could give me some lessons in how to properly kick dirt.”
Amanda turned in her husband’s arms. As she reached up to kiss him, the patio door opened and Dotty leaned out. “Hey you two, what’s going on out here? It’s time for dessert. I made that double chocolate cake you like so much, Lee.” She then turned and went back into the kitchen.
With a sigh, Amanda leaned her head on Lee’s chest and smiled. “I guess some things never change.”