Francine's Need to Know

By: Kathy (mdmom)

Time Frame: 5th season-Marriage is out in the open. Setting after my story Lee’s California.

Rating: G

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine. Any and all references having to do with Scarecrow and Mrs. King are the property of WB and Shoot the Moon Productions. I write only for entertainment purposes and because I love the characters and the show.

Comments: Yes please.

Chapter One

It was a dark moonless night in DC that found Amanda and Lee working late in the Q Bureau. They were trying to complete paperwork that had piled up during Lee’s recovery from his gunshot wound. Amanda had kept a close eye on him during the last couple of weeks. She now acknowledged that nearly losing Lee had solidified his importance in her life.

“Lee, why don’t we go home? I’m getting really tired. We can come back in the morning and finish up,” Amanda rubbed her eyes and looked pleadingly at him. Never would she have admitted that he was starting to look pale and she really wasn’t that tired. It had been five weeks since the shooting, and while her nightmares had almost gone away, the feelings of horror and fear still lurked just below the surface. She found herself fussing over him much more than usual. “Billy said it didn’t need to be done until Friday.”

“I’m almost finished. Just give me a second and we’ll be ready to go home. Okay?” Lee sighed. He looked up and caught her frowning. He knew what she was feeling. It was the same indescribable feeling that had come over him when Amanda had been shot. It had taken him weeks before he slept a whole night after California. At home, everyone still hovered over him. It was like he was going to disappear any minute. I guess that’s what being a member of a real family means. We may as well leave we’re not going to get any more work done tonight. “Maybe you’re right, let’s pack up and go on home.” Lee said as he was getting up from his desk.

Amanda smiled as she too got up from her chair and went over to lock up the vault, “Do we have time to make one quick stop on the way home? I could really go for some of that tutti frutti ice cream that T.P. likes so much.”

“Sure,” Lee laughed, as he reached for his wife and drew her into a warm embrace. His lips had just touched hers when the door of the Q Bureau banged open and Francine Desmond walked in.

“Enough of that you two,” Francine frowned with disdain. She still couldn’t understand how that could have happened. To Francine, Amanda was so…normal. Not anything like any of the other women Lee had been involved with. Why the steno pool had gone into mourning when news of the secret wedding had been announced. But truth be told no one from the Agency had dated him for over two years. Those four black books of his were surely sporting cobwebs by now. It would always be a mystery to her how a ordinary housewife from Arlington could have lassoed the elusive Scarecrow. Well, that was all water under the bridge now. “Lee, Billy said if you two were still up here he wanted to see all of us in his office before going home.”

“Did he say what he wanted?” Lee inquired with a frown, “We’re supposed to be off the duty roster. We’re only here now to do paperwork.”

“No, just that it was important, and that it involved the addition of a future new member of the Agency. Then he cleared his throat and laughed. Maybe Billy needs a vacation. He sure has been acting strange the past couple of days. He said that nothing was going to prevent him from making this announcement. Do you two know anything about it?” Francine inquired.

Lee just coughed as Amanda turned to look at him. Both knew exactly what the announcement was going to be. “Do we know anything about it? Has Mr. Melrose been acting strange to you, Lee?” Amanda blushed and looked back at Francine.

“Let’s just go get this over with,” Lee motioned toward the door. Chapter two

The trio stepped off the elevator and walked toward the bullpen. It was quiet at this time of the night. Most of the staff had already gone home. As they were walking toward the office, Fred Fielder spied them. “Francine, could you come over here and look at these mug shots. I only need you for a second.”

“Okay, I’ll be right over. Lee will you tell Billy I’ll be just a minute,” Francine asked.

“Yeah sure.”

Billy opened his door just as Amanda and Lee walked up and ushered them into the office, “I guess I’ll have to wait a while longer.” Billy’s silly grin never left his face, “I gave you guys until today to tell her. Now it’s my turn.”

“Billy, we were going to tell her,” Lee paced back and forth, “the time has never seemed to be right.”

“When will the time be right? When Amanda goes into labor?” Billy asked impatiently.

“Bil…ly…, it’s not that easy. We don’t know how Francine’s going to react,” Lee walked over and drew Amanda into his arms. His left hand protectively slipped down to cover his child. As he looked down and Amanda looked up the love between them was almost palpable. Lee chose that moment to say to Billy, “I just don’t want to put up with Francine’s snide remarks tonight. Amanda’s pregnancy is a special time for both of us and I don’t want it ruined.”

Francine chose that moment to walk into the room. At hearing Scarecrow’s last sentence, the mug shots she was holding fell quietly to the floor, forgotten. She looked from Lee to Amanda and then down to where Lee’s hand still rested protectively on his wife’s abdomen. It didn’t take her long to realize what Billy’s big announcement was. At that moment, Lee was whispering into his wife’s ear and didn’t notice Francine’s entrance into the office. Billy did, however, and he walked over to Francine using his index finger to close her mouth.

“Can you believe that the Scarecrow is going to be a daddy?”

Francine tried unsuccessfully to say something…anything but her lips kept moving and no sound would come out. She stooped to pick up the mug shots that were scattered on the floor to give herself a moment to gather her composure. She looked over at the couple so engrossed in each other and sighed. I still can’t quite figure this out, she thought to herself. They just don’t make sense to me. Then she switched her attention back to her boss who was standing there looking very proud.

“You know Francine, it was all my idea to put them together as Agency partners. Who would have ever thought it would turn out like this? Yes sir, they have made quite a team,” Billy remarked grinning slyly.

Finally Francine found her voice, “When this all sinks in, in about a hundred years, I’ll have a witty comeback for all of you. Right now to say I’m at a loss would be an understatement. Well, I don’t know about you but I sure could use a drink. How about we go to Monks to celebrate.”

“What?” Lee asked finally looking up from his wife.

“I still haven’t quite come to believe you two are really married and now you throw this at me. Congratulations Lee. You too Amanda. I am happy for you both,” Francine walked up and offered her hand to them both, “I guess stranger things have happened. I am just trying to picture you doing diaper duty,” she said to Lee.

“You should have seen his face the first time Jamie got sick and threw up on him,” Amanda said with a smile, “It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure.”

Starting to warm up to the ribbing, Francine looked at Lee and said, “Hey you’re going to have to trade in that Vette for a mini van. Wow, just imagine the Scarecrow driving a mini van. Maybe they can soup one up for you. You know you could paint a picture of a Vette on it and pretend.”

“Fran…cine…,” Lee said threateningly

At that moment Billy thought it was prudent to break in, “Last one to Monks pays the tab!”