Unexpected News

By: Monica

Summary: Lee and Amanda are enjoying their new life together when they are faced with some unexpected news.
Time Frame: 6 months after marriage.
Disclaimer:I do not own the main characters, but am obsessed with them, and hope I use them appropriately. I will not use them in any wrong way that would cause their creators to sue me for money in which I do not have.

Lee stood in the Q-Bureau, looking out the window thinking about his new life.

Lee had never known the happiness he was now experiencing. He and Amanda had been married for six months. He had never experienced the love he was receiving from Amanda. He was more than anxious to return it to her in the little time they had together as man and wife. Even though their marriage was still not known to their family and friends Lee had become a big part of Amanda's boys' lives. He enjoyed playing basketball with Phillip and learning the fine art of photography with Jamie.

Lee was so deep in thought that he did not realize that Amanda had entered the office and was standing next to him. She looked at him quizzically. Finally, she placed her arms around him and laid her head on his shoulder. "Penny for your thoughts, Scarecrow," she said.

Enfolding her in his arms he said, "For you, it will cost only a kiss." Their lips touched gently and they held each other for a few seconds longer.

"So, what were you thinking? You were so deep in thought that you didn't even notice me come in."

Lee looked into her brown eyes and gently touched her cheek with his thumb. "I was thinking about how lucky I am that you entered my life."

Amanda blushed. She knew his feelings for her ran deep, almost as deep as her feelings for him. She felt that she was the luckiest woman in the world to have the love of this man. He had changed so much since she had first met him that fateful morning at the train station. He was still the dashing and exciting man she met that day, but now he was more human. He had learned to trust in the human race, a trust he had not known since the loss of his parents, at the tender age five.

"So, how about dinner tonight? Aren't the boys going to Joe's for the weekend?"

"Dinner would be great, but can we have it at you place? Mother and Captain Kurt are watching old movies tonight at the house"

"That would be great. I need some TLC tonight, the kind your mother would be suspicious about." Lee whispered with a wink, as he leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her nose, and then continued with a trail of light kisses down her cheek to her neck.

Amanda cocked her head to one side to allow this personal attention. "You continue this treatment Scarecrow and dinner will have to wait."

"Okay, Okay, I will see you later this evening. Why don't you wear something comfortable tonight? Say, nothing." Lee said smiling with a twinkle in his eye as he grabbed his keys off his desk and headed out the door.

Amanda blushed and smile.

Lee was in the kitchen, placing his famous stirfry in the oven to keep warm, when Amanda entered the apartment. She quickly scanned the room looking for Lee. She saw a bouquet of red roses on the table, which was romantically set for two. She walked over to the table to read the card. "To the most beautiful woman in the world, I love you with all my heart! Lee." A tear rolled down her cheek as she felt Lee's strong arms envelop her and felt his soft kisses on the back of her neck.

"Lee, these are so beautiful!" she said as she turned in his arms and returned his kiss.

"Not as beautiful as the woman in my arms!" Lee and Amanda kissed passionately. "You know, dinner can wait." He said as he lifted her into his arms and walked toward the bedroom.

An hour or so later, they were lying in bed holding each, when the phone rang. "Errrrr...why does the outside world always interrupt?" Lee growled.

"Maybe if we ignore it, it will stop." Amanda moaned as the phone continued to ring.

"It's inevitable!" Lee said reaching for the phone. "Hello."

"Yes, Mr. Stetson, Lee Stetson?" came a man's voice.

"Yes, this is Stetson."

"You don't know me, but you new my wife six years ago, Elizabeth Canton."

Lee sat up and threw his legs over the side of the bed, "Yes, I knew her."

The man continued in a shaky voice that seemed full of tears, "Mr. Stetson, she and her daughter, Caitlin, were in a car accident last night. Elizabeth is dead and her daughter is in a coma."

"I am sorry to hear about that, but what does that have to do with me?" Lee said with a questioning look to Amanda. Amanda watched him wondering what was happening.

"Caitlin is you daughter too, Mr. Stetson."

"My what?" Lee was far from calm now and that worried Amanda.

"I am sorry to be the one to tell you this Mr. Stetson. I never thought it was right for Elizabeth not to tell you. Even if the two of you ended on a bad note, you had a right to know. Now that Elizabeth is gone, I thought that you would like to meet you daughter before she its too late."

"I am sorry Mr...."

"Mr. Carrington, Steve Carrington. I know this is a lot to take in, but..."

"A lot to take in! You call and tell me that a woman I have not seen for six years is dead and that her daughter is in a coma and that I am the girl's father. Do you expect me to be calm?" Lee was pacing the room now. Amanda sat on the edge of the bed not knowing what to make from her husband's one-sided conversation.

"I assure you Mr. Stetson, Caitlin is your daughter. Elizabeth would not lie to me. Now, if you don't care about your own kid I will let you get on with your life, but if you do she is at the Galilee Children's Hospital. As her step-father, I will allow paternity test if that makes you feel better."

"Feel better? Hell, yes. If someone is going to tell me I have a daughter, there had better be a paternity test. I will be there in 30 minutes." Lee yelled, as he hung up the phone and looked at Amanda sitting there wrapped in a sheet.

"What was that about? Who was that? You have a daughter?" Amanda asked looking and feeling quite confused.

Grabbing his pants and shirt, Lee began to get dressed. "I don't know Amanda. Do you want to come with me?"

"Yes, of course!"

Amanda and Lee dressed, turned off the oven and headed to the hospital.

Lee and Amanda drove, deep in thought to the hospital. Both were thinking about the news and how unexpected it was. Amanda knew that Lee would take the whole situation hard. He loved the idea of having a family and while they had talked about the possibilities they had agreed to wait a little longer. She watched as he drove deep in thought.

Lee's only thoughts were 'how could this happen?' and ' why hadn't he been told he was a father?' He thought back to his relationship with Elizabeth. It was one that he was not proud of. They were both so career-oriented at the time; the whole affair was just a convenience. He knew Elizabeth wanted only the best and he could not give her what she wanted. He wasn't ready for a lasting relationship, which she had wanted.

If she had told him he was going to be a father, things might have ended up different. But he hadn't been told. He had been deprived of having to make a decision on the matter and now it was too late. That hurt much more than he was going to let on.

Lee and Amanda arrived at the hospital and asked where they would find Steve Carrington and Caitlin. They were shown to the burn unit and asked to wait as the nurse at the desk rang the private room. Within minutes, a red eyed man and a doctor approached them. Steve introduced himself and then the doctor. Lee and Amanda introduced themselves.

"I have the test ready to go Mr. Stetson. If you will come with me we can take care of this immediately and find out if she is you daughter. All I need is a small sample of cell from the inside of your cheek," the doctor said as he led them to the lab area.

Shortly, through the miracle of modern science, the lab results were ready. They were conclusive. Lee was indeed the father. Amanda could see the anger, hurt and excitement in Lee's eyes. She knew the anger and hurt he felt was justified. Not knowing about being a parent and then having it thrown at you this way had to be hard. She took his hand and gently squeezed it to show her support. Lee smiled at her thankfully.

"I know you are shocked Mr. Stetson, but right now we need to discuss Caitlin." Steve sounded like he was more relieved at the news than unhappy with it. He was still in shock from losing his wife. Having someone there to help him with the decisions that needed to be made concerning his stepdaughter was a big help. "Caitlin has suffered from burns over 65% of her body. Her system has gone into shock and is rapidly failing. She doesn't seem to be in pain, because she is in a coma, but we can't be sure. We've put her on life support, just to be safe. As her father and stepfather we need to make a decision. Do we disconnect the life support and let her drift slowly away, or do we let her continue to fight a battle she probably won't be able to win?"

Lee could barely acknowledge the words he was hearing. Turn off life support, she dies, or let her continue to fight a painful battle that she would in all likelihood lose. Was this man backing down, leaving Lee to make the final decision?

Quietly Lee asked, "Can I see her?"

"Of course, follow me," Steve said as he led them to a room at the end of the hall.

As they entered the room, Lee and Amanda noticed the balloons, flowers, signs and cards made by children's hands. It was a warm and cheery place and it made Lee and Amanda smile at each other despite the situation.

In a hospital bed, more like a crib, wrapped in bandages and wires connected to her, was a small child. The child did not resemble much more than a small mummy. Above the bed on a shelf was a picture of a small girl, with reddish blonde hair in braids, freckles speckling her face, and a smile that Amanda recognized immediately. Lee too looked at the picture. He had been wondering what the child would look like. Now he knew, she looked mostly like her mother. Steve softly said, "That was Caitlin three weeks ago."

"She sure was a beautiful child," Amanda said softly.

They walked over to the bed. Lee was quiet, he was still unsure of what to expect and how to deal with this situation. How do you sentence a child to a life of scars? How do you make a decision like this? Steve realizing that the situation was awkward finally broke the silence. "I am glad that I am not alone to make this decision. Elizabeth was the one that made all the really hard decisions. I wish she were her."

"Why didn't she tell me?" Lee looked up suddenly. Amanda could tell his heart was breaking. Lee hid his emotions well, but she knew him better than he knew himself. The pain he was feeling would be with him forever.

"I don't know Mr. Stetson. Elizabeth only told me that you were Caitlin's father. She never went into details. I met her when Caitlin was three. She never talked about her past, and I really never wanted to know. All I knew was she made the happiest man ever when she agreed to marry me. Caitlin was just an added bonus. I was curious, but Elizabeth refused to tell me anything more," Steve said quietly in reflection of the woman he loved for such a short time.

"Well, I guess we need to make a decision." Lee sighed. "I don't want my daughter to be in pain, but I also don't like the idea of her living a nonexistent life on machines. I think we should let God make that decision. Therefore, I think we should have the life support discontinued and see what happens. If she is meant to live, she will. If she is meant to be with her mother she will be there instead, wherever that is."

"I agree." Steve sighed, relieved that the man before him felt the same way. "If Caitlin lives, she will have a battle before her. I hope to be a part of that battle, Mr. Stetson." Steve looked questioningly at Lee and Amanda.

Amanda looked into her husband's face and saw him deep in thought. A minute or two later, Lee sighed and said, "I don't intend to take her away, but I do want to be part of her life."

Steve with tears in his eyes looked at Lee very closely. He wasn't sure how Elizabeth had passed him by. "Thank you, I couldn't imagine life without this angel."

Amanda watched as the doctors and nurses entered the room. She watched as Lee and Steve told them their decision. Lee was building a wall around himself. She knew that it would take a long time for her to tear that wall down. He had been building walls as a means of protection his whole life. When his parents died he had built a wall that had only in the last year been torn down. He had resigned himself from ever truly loving someone after losing Dorothy. Amanda had been able to help him tear that wall down also.

This wall was going to be the hardest to tear down. She knew that Lee wanted children, they had discussed having children on several occasions. However, after discussing the possibilities they both agreed that they would wait and let nature take its course. Then Amanda discovered in a routine physical that for her to conceive another child would be near to impossible. She had cried the whole afternoon when she had found out that there was close to zero chance of her being able to give Lee a child. She wanted to cry now, knowing that she was not able to do anything for this child. She knew it was all in God's hands.

Lee's light touch on her back brought her back to reality. The doctors were getting ready to unhook the ventilator that allowed Caitlin to breathe. Amanda took Lee's other hand and looked into his face. She had never seen Lee look so sad. It broke her heart. "Okay, this is it. We are going to detach the ventilator. She may take several breaths on her own and continue to breathe, or she may just stop breathing altogether. I know this will be hard, but if she starts the mending now it will help her in the healing that she has before her." The doctor continued, "We will continue to monitor her heart activity and her brain activity. Since she is in a coma, she shouldn't be in any pain." And with last word the ventilator was disconnected.

Everyone seemed to be holding their breath, as if by holding their breath Caitlin would be able to draw hers. The heart monitored beeped, but the beeping was slow. Suddenly, without much warning the child gasped and the monitored signaled that her heart had stopped. The doctor looked at the instruments in front of him and then slowly turned to the adults that stood next to the small lifeless body. "I am sorry, at least she won't suffer anymore."

It had been two weeks since the funeral. Amanda was impressed that Lee seemed to bounce back so easily. However, she knew how well he hid his emotions. She had decided to give him time, before helping him face the pain she knew he was feeling.

Lee had amazed her time after time. As he sat finishing the report of their recently finished case, Amanda watched him and finally began the conversation she knew needed to happen. "Lee, we need to talk," she slowly whispered from her desk.

Lee stopped what he had been doing and closed the folder. "Amanda, I know what you are going to say, but I have faced my feelings. I didn't even know her. Even though I was her biological father, there wasn't the connection I have with the boys. I hadn't watched her grow and develop into a person. I am glad that I was able to be there for he last few minutes. But, Steve was her true father; he is the one that lost a child. Maybe someday I will be able to experience watching my own child grow up, but I can't see into the future anymore than you can. If it's to happen, and I sure hope it is, it'll happen with you. And if we can't have our own child, maybe we can adopt or something." Amanda looked at her husband. He truly was amazing!