Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. They belong to Warner Brothers, and Shoot the Moon Enterprises.
Timeline: This is set early in the third season.
Summary: Amanda's strange behavior sends Lee on a journey into his soul. Strictly A.U.
Lee headed into Billy's office. He could tell by Billy's tone that something important had come up.
"Come on in Scarecrow," commanded Billy.
Lee entered his office quickly. He let the door close behind him, unaware that it was still cracked.
"What's up Billy," asked Lee?
"There's been a major security breach at the Pentagon. Apparently, someone is leaking classified information to the post," spoke Billy in a monotone voice.
Lee folded his arms across his chest pondering the information Billy had just given him. "What kind of information is being leaked," he asked curiously?
"Certain aspects of our current nuclear secrets. Now I spoke to the president himself, and he's not happy to say the least. I want a name or names, and I want them now. I need you to stir up some of your contacts, and see if you can get a lead on any of this. Take Amanda with you. This part of the operation shouldn't be dangerous," he stated.
Lee hadn't noticed Amanda enter the bullpen. She walked over near Billy's office, looking for some files he had asked her to type. As she sorted through the files, she realized that Billy's door was slightly ajar. She caught the tail end of their conversation.
Lee realized quite some time ago that his feelings for Amanda had grown deeper than a mere friendship. He managed to maintain his rough exterior at work, but always managed to do extra special deeds in her behalf.
Lee was thrilled with the idea of having Amanda by his side. She had come a long way in the last couple of years. She had saved him on many occasions, as did he. He enjoyed her sweet, innocent charm, and her warm inviting smile.
He rationalized to himself the need to act as completely normal as possible in the eyes of his coworkers. He didn't want Billy to speculate on their growing relationship, and decided to play his cards safe. "I'll protest for a little while, but I know Billy won't change his mind," he reminded himself.
"Come on Billy. You want me to take Amanda? I really don't think that is a good idea. I mean she rarely follows orders, and it could get hot out there. It could be dangerous," he pleaded softly.
"She'll be fine. Besides, you'll keep an eye on her," smiled Billy mischievously.
Lee knew the conversation was over. He bowed his head in defeat.
Amanda quickly grabbed her files and headed to her desk. She had no intention of eavesdropping on the conversation. When she heard Lee speak of her in that respect, she was glued to the floor. She couldn't move. She was stunned.
As she sat at her desk, she quickly pulled out the first file and began typing. Her fingers were stroking the keyboard fiercely, but her mind was spinning in twenty different directions.
"How could he ruin my reputation in front of Billy? I thought we were friends. I thought we were even a little closer than friends," she thought to herself. "I'm the biggest fool in the world. How in the world could I have thought he actually cared for me," she condemned herself. She felt a warm trickle slide down her cheek.
Amanda was startled when she felt a warm hand on her shoulder. She quickly wiped her face in one swift motion, and turned around not meeting Lee's glance.
Lee braced Amanda with both arms on her shoulders. "Oh, Amanda, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you," he spoke calmly.
"Oh, you didn't startle me Lee. I'm fine," she assured him.
Lee told her about a case file he was holding. He informed her that they were to meet a contact.
Amanda responded with a nod of her head.
Lee picked up on her mood, and wondered what was bothering her. "Amanda, is something wrong? I mean are you okay today," he asked quite concerned.
Amanda put on her best fake smile, avoiding his gaze. "I'm fine. Come on, let's get going," she reassured him.
Lee paused hesitantly, and followed suit. They headed out to his car to meet with his contact.
Lee drove out of the parking lot. He started talking about the case. Amanda was amazed when he went on and on, filling her in on all the details.
Amanda was silent. She only responded to his direct questions, with one word curt answers.
Lee couldn't stand to see her like this. He pulled the car over, searching for an answer to her bitter undertones.
"What are we doing here," Amanda asked as she surveyed the area around her.
Lee stared directly into her eyes. He didn't speak until she met his eyes. "I want to know what is going on Amanda. I mean you are definitely not your happy cheery self today. Have I done something wrong? Have I done something to upset you," he asked hesitantly searching her eyes for any indication of his wrongdoings?
Amanda held his gaze with an expressionless face. "Lee, I am fine! I am just tired. I had a very long night, and I just want to get this day over with and go home!"
Her tone stung him hard. "She's never spoke to me like that," he thought.
Lee pulled back onto the highway and headed to meet his first contact. Lee pulled up to an abandon warehouse. He scanned the scene cautiously. He glanced over at Amanda. She had her head facing the window, with her hand resting on her chin.
"Amanda, are you coming in with me," he asked puzzled?
"No, I'll just wait here. I mean it could be dangerous, right? Go on Lee. I'll be fine," she stated.
Lee squinted his eyes trying to provoke some kind of reaction from her, but she wasn't biting. He let out a sigh of frustration, and headed into the warehouse.
Amanda sat quietly in the car. She clasped her hands together tightly. She wanted to be with him, but she wasn't about to let him know. She worried about his safety, but quickly banished that thought. "He's a grown man. He can take care of himself," she pleaded to herself.
Amanda glanced at Lee's clock and realized twenty minutes had past. She peered out the window for any sight of Lee. She was starting to get worried. As she put her hand on the door handle, she saw Lee exiting the rear entry of the warehouse. She let out a long sigh, and waited for him to return.
Lee's eyes grew wider as he approached the car. She hadn't moved. "What the hell is going on with her," he yelled to himself.
Lee opened the door forcefully, and slammed it shut. His source had come up empty, and Amanda never even asked him if everything was okay. He drove back to the agency in silence. His patience was running on overtime.
After a long and grueling day, Amanda left the building abruptly. She left burn marks on the pavement with her departure.
Lee's keen eyes watched the entire scene. He watched her fumble for her keys. He saw her put her head in her hands. He wondered if she was crying. Lee was quickly pulled back into reality when he heard a familiar voice barking his name angrily.
Lee quickly strolled into Billy's office. Lee could tell by the look in his eye, that something was very wrong.
"What the hell is going on with you and Amanda?"
"She stopped by my office before she left, and asked for an immediate transfer, or a desk job. Now tell me what happened today," demanded Billy.
Lee looked confused. His eyes darted back and forth looking for an answer. "Billy I honestly don't know what's wrong with her. I mean all morning she was unusually quiet. I tried to get her to talk to me, but she wouldn't budge. She didn't even get out to meet my contact with me. I don't know what's going on with her, but I'll get to the bottom of it," he stated confidently.
The frown on Billy's face somewhat diminished. "Take care of this scarecrow. I need my best team, and I need it now!"
Lee went home and showered and changed. He put on a comfortable sweater, and faded blue jeans. He played the scenario over and over in his mind. He couldn't figure out what was upsetting her, but he had to know. Lee's stomach was in a tight knot. His nervousness extended through his limbs. He picked up the phone several times, before he finally relaxed enough to dial her number.
Lee was a little relieved to get the machine. He tried again with no luck. He decided to take a drive to that all to familiar drive he had become accustomed too, at least four times a week. He smiled as he recalled presenting her with one rose for her contribution on a previous case. Her kiss was light and delicate, but still provoked a warm sensation throughout his entire body. He never experienced that feeling with any other woman in his life. He imagined how delightfully sweet it would be to kiss her lips. "A real kiss, not just a cover kiss," he smiled to himself. He quickly moved to her eyes. Her eyes speak volumes without saying a word. "It's almost as if she can look directly into my soul," he thought.
Lee fluttered his eyes, and realized he was on Maplewood Drive. He parked across the street from her house. He looked at the darkened house, quite puzzled. It was Thursday night, after 10:00p.m, and everything was so silent, and still. Lee made his way to through the back yard to the door. He peered silently through the window. His patience lasted about one minute. He quickly picked the lock and headed into the house. He eyed the kitchen, looking for any clue to her whereabouts. He made his way to the refrigerator. He saw familiar writing. It was a note from Amanda. Lee breezed through the note looking for any suggestions of her current location. The note read:
I am visiting a sick friend. I made some desert, and left it in the fridge.
You will probably be home from your movie before me. There's no Need to wait up. I may be very late.
Lee realized that Amanda's family could be returning at any moment and exited out the back door. He jumped in his car and began patrolling the vicinity of Arlington. He drove for several hours, scanning houses, schools, and stores. He couldn't spot her wagon anywhere. He doubted she had a sick friend. She hadn't mentioned it to him in the past week, and she told him everything.
Lee gave up and headed home. Before he reached home, something pulled him in another direction. Amanda told him of a park she frequented on several occasions. She liked to go there and just unwind. It was lightly wooded, with a large pond. Lee sighed, realizing that it was a long shot, but he just had to check. Lee pulled into the park in record time. It was very dark. He spotted a familiar wagon, parked at the very end of the parking lot. It looked lonely by itself.
Lee smiled to himself at his discovery. He took a deep breath, and headed to the embankment. There sat Amanda with her legs pulled tightly to her chest, and her arms were wrapped snuggly around them. Lee approached her quietly. She looked so peaceful at a distance. The water was very still. The moonlight reflected a soft romantic trail across the pond.
Lee's smile disappeared as he came closer. Her head was down, and her gaze was fixated. Lee thought he should make his presence known. He cleared his throat quietly.
Amanda spun around quite startled. She must have been a million miles away. "Oh my gosh, you scared me," she cried out.
Lee knelt down beside her. He went to touch her shoulder and she shuttered away from him. "Amanda, what's wrong? Please talk too me," he pleaded. You are my very best friend, and it's killing me that something is eating away at you like this."
Amanda returned to her stiff posture. She couldn't look at his eyes. She was afraid if she looked into his eyes, she would melt. She didn't want him to feel sorry for her. She loved him, and knew it showed in her face. "I don't think we should work together any more, she stated coldly.
Lee grabbed both her upper arms forcing her to look directly in his eyes. "What are you saying, Amanda?"
Lee, I don't, I mean I uh don't want you to think of me as a burden. I know I have screwed some things up in the past. I know I can't shoot a gun, or single handedly take someone out, but I thought I was a valuable asset at the agency," she stated.
Lee searched her eyes somewhat confused. "You are a valuable asset Amanda. You're my partner. I rely on you, just as much as you rely on me. You have pulled me out of many of jams, and I am grateful. What makes you think I don't value you, or treasure you," he pleaded with tear filled eyes?
Amanda turned away from him. He tightened his grip slightly on her forearms. "Answer me Amanda," he demanded.
"I overheard what you said today in Billy's office. I shouldn't have been listening, but I was busy getting files, and I overheard you explain to Billy what a valuable asset I was to you!"
Lee looked up in the sky and let out a deep breath. " Oh, god Amanda. It's not what you think. That scene was not what you think at all. I assure you, I didn't mean any of that," he confessed softly.
Amanda jerked her arms forcefully out of his grasp. "If you didn't mean it, then you wouldn't.....but she was cut off abruptly.
Lee grabbed her hands and interlaced them with his. "No," he pleaded. "You don't understand. I didn't want Billy to think I, I mean I didn't want him to know," he trailed off lowering his head.
"Amanda noted the sensitivity in his tone. She could tell he wanted to say something very important, but was having some difficulty with the words. "You didn't want him to know what," she asked softly?
Lee took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He opened them wide and looked directly into her eyes. "I didn't want him to know that I am in love with you. Oh, Amanda, I don't know how to make you understand what I am saying. If I just agreed that it was a good idea, and that you should have come with me, he would have known something was different. I don't like being partnered with anyone, accept you," he declared.
Amanda's eyes were wide open at the end of his declaration. Her frown quickly changed to a warm smile. "You, you love me," she questioned carefully?
Lee looked up into her eyes with delight. Her eyes spoke to him again. She had a warm sparkle of love reflecting back at him. "Of course I love you. Amanda, things could get really complicated at the agency if anyone found out. I probably wouldn't be able to work with you, and I need you. I want you beside me," he whispered.
Amanda released his hand from hers, and gently brought it to his cheek. She stroked his cheek gently. She felt him rest his head upon her hand. "I love you too Lee. I have loved you for a very long time. I wondered if this would ever happen for us. Please forgive me," she cried?
Lee looked up at her face and saw a tear streaming down her cheek. He gently rubbed his thumb over her tear, and replaced it with a soft kiss. "Sshhh, please forgive me," he soothed her softly, as he stroked her hair.
Lee felt a warm surge of electricity rush through his entire body. Her breath was warm against his cheek. He pulled her closer into his embrace. As he looked deeply into her eyes, he felt his heart pounding in his chest. He searched her eyes for permission, which she willingly gave him with a soft smile. Lee edged closer to her lips. He didn't close his eyes. He just stopped millimeters from her lips, staring into her eyes. He breathed into her lips, "I love you," with all the passion, and desire that had been pent up inside of him for so long.
Amanda grabbed onto him for dear life. She wrapped her arms snuggly around his neck, urging him closer. She felt her stomach flutter with his words. She only imagined what would happen with just a kiss.
Lee brushed his lips lightly upon hers. It was slightly awkward at first. He pulled back quickly to seek approval. Her warm smile conveyed her love for him and growing desire. Lee captured her lips again. His body shuttered with just one kiss. He pulled her tightly to his body, relishing the wonderful sensation radiating from within. As he sucked gently on her bottom lip, he darted his tongue softly against it, seeking approval to continue.
As Amanda opened her mouth to him, a soft, long moan escaped her lips. She ran her hands wildly through his hair, making her way to his ears, pulling him even further into her mouth.
Lee's hands went on there own journey. His left hand was placed strategically in her hair, guiding her mouth to his, while his right hand dipped below her waist, latching her lower body tightly to his.
After several minutes past, Amanda broke the kiss, placing both hands on his chest. She struggled to get air into her lungs. She tried several long breaths, but nothing seemed to be working.
Lee found himself in a similar state. His hair was tousled about, and he placed his hand on his chest, fighting desperately to catch his breath. He stood up, and took Amanda's hand, urging her to stand. He felt somewhat safer in that position. After they calmed down a bit, Lee cupped Amanda's face with his long fingers. He was wearing an unfamiliar expression on his face. His gaze was dark, but his face was very serious. "Amanda," he breathed. "Please don't ever leave me again," he begged.
Amanda nodded her head in his hands and responded quickly. "I'll never leave you again," she promised sincerely.
They exchanged several soft kisses and hugs. They suddenly noticed the time, and headed back to the car, with their hands interlocked together.
"We have a lot of work to do tomorrow," smiled Lee.
"We have a lot of things to do forever," whispered Amanda as she laid her head on his shoulder.