The News

By: newkid

Dicslaimer - SMK and it's characters belong to Shoot The Moon and WB

Summary - My version of how Lee and Amanda may have told everyone about their secret marriage.

Notes - I followed canon to the best of my abilities but I did take the liberty of slightly changing the Ship Of Spies episode. This story takes place a few months after their marriage.

Rating: PG

Feedback: Absolutely, but be nice about it. Possible spew alert.

CHAPTER ONE - Billy...

"Are you ready?" Amanda asked with a twinkle in her eye.

"Most definitely," Lee answered. "Who first?"

Amanda kicked her feet up on her desk and tapped her hand on her chin in obvious thought. "Hmmm," she began, "I think Billy should be first. Then Francine, the rest of the bullpen will figure it out. After that we'll head home and start on my family."

"How do we tell Dr. Smyth?" Lee asked, sounding serious.

Amanda walked over to Lee's desk and replied, "I don't think Dr. Smyth deserves to hear it first hand. Let's let him find out at the watercooler tomorrow."

"My wife does have an evil side," Lee mused.

Amanda stood up, rubbed her hands together in delight and said, "Come on, this is going to be fun."

Lee and Amanda left the Q Bureau and headed for Billy's office. They were exiting the elevator when they bumped into Billy himself. "Billy!" Lee greeted, pounding him on the back. "Just the man we came to see."

Billy looked suspiciously at the smiling pair and took a step back. "If you two are thinking about asking for some time off you can forget..." Billy started.

"No, no, no, nothing like that," Amanda interrupted, waving her hand. "We just wanted to talk to you, in private if you don't mind."

Billy nodded and the three headed down the hall, through the bullpen doors and into Billy's office. Billy threw Lee a strange look when he closed all the blinds. "What's this all about?" Billy asked, leaning on his desk.

Lee and Amanda sat down and grabbed hands. "Sir, Lee and I have something..." Amanda started to say.

"We got married," Lee blurted with a moon sized grin on his face.

"What he said," Amanda recovered.

Billy's jaw dropped momentarily before asking, "Married?"

"Married," came Lee's reply.

"yes, sir," Amanda piped. "Married."

Billy grew a smile, slapped his knee and practically shouted, "Well, I'll be damned!" He crossed his arms at his chest and shook his head. "I knew something was going on with you two. I had hoped that maybe you were starting to fall for each other. I guess I'm a few paces behind. Congratulations, I'm very, very happy for you."

Lee shook Billy's hand and said, "Thanks, Billy."

Amanda accepted a kiss on her cheek from her boss and asked, "Sir, we were wondering if you could do us a little favor."

"Anything," Billy answered, still smiling. "Anything at all."

Amanda looked at Lee, who winked back at her. "We need to tell Francine and, if you don't mind, we need your help," Amanda said.

Billy was confused. "Why do you need my help?" he asked.

CHAPTER TWO - Francine...

A few minutes later, Lee and Amanda stood outside of Billy's office. "I think she's in there," Amanda pointed. The two agents sauntered through the bullpen and into the breakroom.

Seeing Francine, sitting at the table eating an apple, they began their act. "Lee I forgot my purse upstairs. Do you have any change?" Amanda asked sweetly.

Lee shook his head and replied, "No, Amanda, I thought you had change."

They stared each other down for moment and then began digging in their pockets.

"Lee? Amanda? Are you in here?" they heard Billy's voice.

"Yeah, Billy," Lee answered, reaching into his front pocket.

Billy came around the corner looking worried. "I need to see you in my office," he ordered.

"Can it wait?" Lee asked, not looking up. "Amanda and I missed lunch and we're starving."

"No, it cannot wait," Billy stated strongly, "I need to leave for a meeting in five minutes. Now, unless you want me to tell you what I know in here, which I really don't think you do, then you'll come into my office now!"

Lee pulled his hand out of his front pocket and showed it to Amanda. He silently took inventory. One dime and a piece of lint. He was pulling the lint off of the dime when Amanda opened her own hand. Inside was a nickel, two pennies and a button. She surveyed the button silently, then took a quick peak at her blouse.

"Listen, I really need you in my office now," Billy ordered. Nobody seemed to be listening.

Lee was searching his four pants pockets, hit shirt pocket and his suit jacket pocket for anything that jingled. Amanda stepped to the vending machine and began pushing the change button, hoping for a windfall.

Billy was growing angry. "Alright kids, I am going to count to three and if you're not in my office by then I'm just going to start talking. One..."

Amanda pointed to the far corner of the break room and said in an excited voice, "Lee, there's something shiny over there on the floor." Both agents darted for the dusty corner, bumping heads on the way down.

Francine was silently taking in the spectacle. All she could see was two rear ends sticking up from behind the vending machine.


"Aha!" Lee shouted. They rose together, both holding onto the sparkling quarter. "Let's see, that makes...forty-two cents. I don't think this machine takes pennies. Francine, do you have any change we can borrow?"

"Three!" Billy exclaimed. "Okay, you asked for it. Amanda and Lee, you two are still married."

Silence fell upon the room and Lee and Amanda shot Billy a startled look.

"What do you mean we're still married?" Amanda asked.

Glad to finally have their attention, and the attention of Francine, Billy continued. "Well, you remember the case where you two had to get married, right?"

Amanda nodded and Lee answered, "Yeah, but I gave them a fake name."

Billy shook his head and explained, "There were two forms. One was for the cruise registration and one was for the marriage license. Apparently you didn't read it very well because it didn't ask for your name, exactly, it asked for what, if any, name you were going to be using after you were married. It's really meant for the bride, who would naturally take her husbands name, but you filled in your own name instead. So now, you are officially Lee Stetsman, married to our own Amanda King."

Francine looked like the cat who ate the canary. "Congratulations," she quipped. Enjoying the stunned looks on their faces. "And now it's too late for an annulment. Tsk Tsk Tsk."

Amanda and Lee stared at each other in disbelief. "We're married?" Lee asked, sounding dumbfounded.

"I guess so," was Amanda's quiet reply.

Billy was watching Francine's face and enjoying the prank that was unfolding.

Amanda and Lee were still staring at each other in amazement. "Well, your mother seems to like me," Lee stated blankly.

"And the boys," Amanda replied.

"So..." Lee breathed.

"So...?" Amanda questioned, still staring.

"Should we give it a go?" Lee asked, a smile slowly forming on his lips.

Amanda grinned, placed her hand on Lee's cheek and said, "I'm game."

Lee took Amanda's hand and began to lead her quickly out of the room. "Then let's go home, wife," he declared. "We've got a marriage to consummate!"

"Right behind you, hubby," she answered, following Lee.

Billy turned to Francine. Her apple had rolled out of her hand and onto the floor. Her jaw was dropped and there was a tiny piece of apple peal on her lower lip. Billy laughed uproariously at the sight of Francine in such a state. As he was leaving the break room he heard Francine stutter, "Wha-what just happened? Billy? Lee? Amanda?..."


Recovering now from their giggles, Lee and Amanda were in the 'Vette pulling up to the unsuspecting Arlington household. "Have you got a plan for your mother?" Lee asked his wife.

"Actually," Amanda answered, "I thought I'd just wing it. Just follow my lead."

They clasped hands and entered through the back door. "Mother!" Amanda called.

"In the closet!" came Dotty's muffled response.

"Mother, I found a stray wandering around D.C. He's really cute. Can I keep him?" she yelled through the kitchen, winking at Lee's obvious displeasure at being called a 'stray'.

They heard the closet door close and Dotty's footsteps grow closer. "Oh, Amanda, I thought you had gotten over picking up strays a long time ago. Why I remember when you were a little girl and..." Her words cut off at the sight of Lee standing in her kitchen. Lee was looking sheepish, bouncing his hands on his thighs and blowing out his cheeks like a blowfish. Dotty looked from Lee, to Amanda, then back to Lee. "Is this the stray?" she asked, pointing to Lee.

"Uh, yeah. Adorable huh? Should we keep him?" Amanda asked.

Dotty slapped Lee with a dishrag and stated strongly, "If this is your idea of a joke...Because for a minute there I thought this was some twisted way of telling me you're getting married."

Lee and Amanda gave each other a smile and each held up their left hands for Dotty to see the solitaire diamond ring and the gold wedding band.

"Oh!" Dotty exclaimed. "You ARE getting married! I'm so happy fo.....wait a minute." Dotty held up Amanda's hand for closer inspection of the ring. "Amanda dear, why does this engagement ring have a wedding band? And why, may I ask, is Lee wearing his ring already?" Dotty eyed them both, expecting an answer.

Lee shifted in place under her scrutiny. "Well, Amanda and I...that is we..." Lee nervously began.

"We eloped, Mother," Amanda finished.

Dotty stared blankly at them for a long moment before hesitantly asking, "Uh, Amanda, you're know. Are you? I mean, usually an elopement means that the bride is..."

"Mother!" Amanda gasped. "No I am not!"

Dotty was visibly relieved. "Oh, I'm so glad. I mean, not that another grandchild wouldn't be wonderful but..." Dotty said. "Now, may I ask just when it was that you two tied the knot, without inviting me, I might add? Was it this morning? Yesterday?"

Amanda made the same face she used to make as a child getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar. "Actually, Mother, we eloped in February."

"FEBRUARY!" Dotty shouted.

Lee could have swore he heard a flock of birds being scared out of the tree in the yard at the booming voice of his mother-in-law.

CHAPTER FOUR - the boys...

An hour later, Amanda heard the roar of her two boys coming home from school and climbed down the stairs to meet them. "Hi, fellas!" she greeted with a smile and a hair tousle for each of them. "How was your day?" She listened to the obligatory responses of 'Fine' and 'Okay' and then sat down at the table. "Boys? Could you come here a minute?' she asked. Philip and Jamie grabbed a snack from the counter and sat down on either side of their mother. "Boys, I have something to tell you."

"What, mom?" Jamie mumbled through his mouthful of chocolate cookie.

"Now, what I am going to say may come as a bit of a shock to you and but I hope you'll understand that I am very happy and I just hope that you will be too," Amanda prepared the boys for the news.

Philip took a swig of his milk and said, "Come on, mom, spill it!"

Amanda took a deep breath and said, "Alright, you know that Lee and I have been seeing each other for sometime right? Well," she paused to wipe her suddenly sweaty hands on her pant legs, "Lee and I got married."

The boys eyed each other, stunned. Philip spoke first. "Cool! Does that mean he gets to move in? Wait, when did you get married and why wasn't I invited? Did you tell Grandma?" he spewed off the questions.

Amanda held up a hand and said, "Whoa, slow down there. To answer your questions, yes, he is moving in. We got married a while ago but didn't tell you because we wanted you to get to know him first and the reason you weren't invited is because no one was invited which is a very long story in itself and yes, I told Grandma and she's very happy for us."

"So, he'd be like our step-dad," Jamie said hesitantly.

Amanda's voice softened and she replied, "Yes, Jamie, he is your step-dad. Are you both okay with this?"

Philip nodded eagerly and said, "Heck, yeah! Lee is so cool, mom. When is he moving in?"

"As soon as he can, sweetheart," Amanda answered, planting a kiss on the top of his head.

She looked at Jamie and prodded for a response, "Jamie? How do you feel about me marrying Lee?"

Jamie's face was stoic but he answered, "It's fine, mom. Lee's an okay guy. If you're happy then I guess I'm happy, too."

Amanda gave her boys a tight squeeze and said, "Thanks, fellas. That means a lot. Now, Lee is upstairs. He's a little nervous about being a good step-dad so please make him feel welcomed, won't you?"

"Sure, mom."

"No, problem."

Amanda kissed her boys again and dashed up the stairs to her hiding husband. She knocked on her bedroom door quietly and waited for Lee to answer. He quickly whipped the door open and said in a hurried voice, "How'd they take it?"

Amanda smiled at his jitters and spent a good five minutes trying to reassure him that all was well. "Will you come down now and help me with dinner?" She asked.

Lee obliged and together, hand in hand they descended the stairs. What greeted them at the bottom was more than they could have hoped for. There, on the last step were a grinning Jamie and Philip holding a hastily scribbled banner that read, "Welcome, Lee!"


That evening, Lee and the boys were playing a high-stakes game of monopoly. The winner of the game got to keep the pot, which consisted of two dollars from Philip, a Cincinnati Reds baseball card from Jamie and a promise for a long ride in the 'Vette from Lee. While the game was in full swing, Amanda took the opportunity to call Joe.

Amanda sat in the privacy of her bedroom and dialed Joe's number. Joe answered on the first ring. "Hi, Joe, it's Amanda," she said in a soft voice.

"Amanda, hi, how are you?" he said cheerfully.

"I'm great, Joe, thanks. The reason I'm calling is I have something to tell you."

"Is there something wrong, Amanda?" Joe asked sounding concerned.

"No, no, there's nothing wrong," Amanda reassured. "I do have some news, though."

"Can I guess?" Joe asked with a slight chuckle.

Amanda raised her eyebrows and answered, "Uh, sure."

Joe paused a moment and replied, "I'm guessing you're calling me to tell me that you and Lee are engaged."

Amanda let out a laugh and said, "That's an awfully good guess, Joe. Actually I'm calling to tell you that we eloped."

"Oh, sweetheart, that's wonderful news!" he exclaimed. "When?"

Amanda laid down on her bed and answered, "Um, in February."

" that was months ago! Why didn't you tell anyone then?" he asked, obviously surprised.

Amanda sighed, "It's a complicated reason but you know our lives with our job aren't always safe and that was one of the reasons we waited. We also wanted the boys to get to know Lee a little better. When we got married, they had only just met him."

"I understand, Amanda. Really I do. So, have you told them now? What do they think?"

Amanda smiled. The memory of the "Welcome, Lee" banner and the look of pure joy on Lee's face when he saw it was still leaving a warm and fuzzy feeling in her heart. "They really like Lee. They're happy for us. They even made him a little welcome sign."

"Well, I can't say I'm surprised. I mean, I'm surprised you got married so long ago and didn't tell anyone, but I kind of knew it was just a matter of time. You two are obviously made for each other," Joe spoke. "I'm very happy for you both. Congratulations."

"Thanks you, Joe. That means a lot." Amanda smiled. "Listen, I don't mean to cut this short but I really want to join the family downstairs. Say hello to Carrie for me."

"I will, Amanda. Tell Lee I said congratulations," Joe said. "B-bye."

"Goodbye, Joe," Amanda sighed. She hung up the phone and felt a sense of closure. She had gotten over Joe long ago but having him know that she was moving on made her feel like she had just started a new and exciting chapter in her life. It was a good feeling. She smiled to herself and bounced off the bed. Her family was having fun downstairs and she wanted to join them. She descended the stairs but stopped at the bottom and sat on the last step. That's where Dotty found her.

"Amanda, dear. What are you doing sitting here all alone?" she asked, sitting next to her.

Amanda smiled and looked down at her feet. "Oh, mother, I'm just enjoying the noise. I can hear Lee in there playing with the boys and it sounds so good. So natural. It just fits, doesn't it? I'm really loving my life right now. So, I thought I'd sit down for a minute and listen so I would always remember this day."

Dotty placed her hand on Amanda's knee and said in a soft motherly voice, "Amanda, I can honestly say that I've never seen you so happy. You positively beam whenever Lee looks at you. I'm glad you two found each other."

"So am I, mother," Amanda smiled. "So am I."