Coming Out


By: Shelly

Summary:Amanda and Lee decide now is the time to come clean about their relationship. Mayhem ensues.
Rating:PG
Time Frame: Six months after the wedding.
Disclaimer:Scarecrow & Mrs. King and all related characters are the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only. No infringement is intended. The story itself is the property of the author.
Author's Notes:Okay, I was 11 when the show first aired and I was addicted to it back then. Now that I'm all grown up, it's worse! This is my second foray into fanfiction. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


PART 1

Friday Evening

Amanda sat on Lee's couch, alone. She looked at her watch and mentally noted that Lee was now an hour late. She wasn't worried though. He had called about thirty minutes before to apologize. Apparently Billy had called him down to interrogation at the last minute. Amanda had sighed, put her "world famous chili" on low heat and settled on the couch.

She had been lucky enough to get out early today and had spent the afternoon getting her hair and nails done. Lee had insisted she treat herself. They had finished a particularly rough case the day before and had been rushing to finish their report for Billy. Lee had noticed how frazzled Amanda was looking and offered to finish the report alone. Amanda smiled at the thought of Lee doing paperwork for her. That was certainly a change! She had to admit that marriage had changed him. Not to say that he hadn't changed dramatically from the dashing loner she had met almost five years ago, but to willingly offer to do paperwork? She had her reservations about leaving their report in Lee's hands, but she needed the time alone to recharge herself.

They had been married for six months and were still carrying on the façade of partners at work. Her family was getting to know Lee as her boyfriend and her mother kept hinting about wedding bells in the future. The boys had warmed up to Lee quickly and seemed closer to him than they had ever been with Dean. Jamie had even told Lee one afternoon that he was way cooler than any of Amanda's "other boyfriends". Lee had gloated about that for weeks.

Their time alone was limited but they had known going into this that that they were going to have to deal with a "part time" marriage. It was exciting at first, but Amanda was beginning to long for some degree of normalcy in their lives. She was planning on broaching the subject with Lee tonight.Her mother and the boys had gone to visit Aunt Lillian for the weekend so Amanda and Lee were going to have an entire "married" weekend to discuss things.

Amanda looked at her watch again. Another half-hour had gone by and still no Lee. She wanted to call the Agency but thought that would arouse suspicion. Anyway, Lee said he would call when he was able to leave so there was no reason to worry...yet. She sighed again and leaned her head back. Soon she was asleep.

A key in the lock woke Amanda with a start. She jumped up and ran into the kitchen to hide. Lee walked through the door and placed his keys on the table. "Amanda?" He looked over to the couch, saw that she wasn’t there and grinned. "In the bedroom already? If you insist." He chuckled under his breath. Amanda could barely hear him from her hiding spot around the corner and stifled a giggle. Lee confidently sauntered toward the bedroom door. Amanda quietly snuck around the corner and came up behind Lee. Without a sound she quickly wrapped her arms around her husband and shouted "Hold it right there mister."

Lee jumped and whirled around in Amanda's arms. "Whoa there! That's a real good way to get yourself knocked out! It's a good thing I smelled your perfume and knew you were there." He leaned forward and kissed his wife on the forehead.

"Oh, you did not." Amanda playfully punched him on the arm. "I scared you and I must say it's about time. Weren't you supposed to call me when you left? For all I knew, you could have been some creep breaking in to steal me. As for you knocking me out, I've been spending my spare time at Dr. Pain's and have learned plenty of moves that would surprise you."

"I expect to be surprised tonight Mrs. Stetson. Do you know how long it has been since we've been able to spend a night of marital bliss together? I didn't call because I figured you would be asleep by now. Have you seen the time?" Lee stepped out of their embrace, took his coat off and tossed it over the back of the couch. As he headed for the bedroom, Amanda followed, picking up his coat behind him.

"I'm glad you brought that up Lee. I wanted to talk to you about that this weekend." Lee was sitting on his bed taking off his shoes. Amanda walked to his closet and neatly hung his jacket. When she turned to face Lee she was greeted with the sight of him in his boxers and socks. "Why do I suddenly feel overdressed?" Amanda laughed.

Lee shrugged. "That is something you can remedy you know." He started to walk toward Amanda with "the look" on his face.

"Hold it, I distinctly remember mentioning that I wanted to talk to you about something." Amanda put a hand up to hold Lee off. As much as she wanted to melt into his arms, she knew that if she didn't at least get the subject out in the open now, they might never get to talk.

"Do we have to?" Lee pouted, looking very much like a small child. One look at her face and he knew the answer was yes. One thing he had learned about Amanda, when she had something on her mind, she wasn't going to let it go until she was satisfied. He shrugged and threw his hands up in defeat.

"Okay, okay, but I still think you're overdressed."

Amanda rolled her eyes but otherwise ignored his comment. "Lee, let's eat. I made chili and I know you must be hungry. Put on a pair of pants and come on." Amanda left the room. Lee grabbed a pair of jeans and smiled as he heard Amanda getting dishes out of the cupboard.

They ate in silence, enjoying the time with each other without the usual interruptions. After the dishes were washed and put away, they retreated to the living room. Lee turned on the radio and joined Amanda on the couch.

"Okay, hit me with it." Lee put his arm around Amanda and pulled her close.

She lay her head on his shoulder. She had been thinking all day of the easiest way to open the subject and had finally decided that blunt was best. "I think we should get engaged."

"Amanda, do you have amnesia again? We're already married." Lee joked with her.

"You know what I mean Lee. I want to go public." She sat up and faced Lee. He looked at her in silence for a moment then took a deep breath.

"What makes you say that? I thought we had agreed that it was safer for everyone involved to keep this a secret." He lightly brushed the hair away from her eyes and caressed her cheek.

"I know what we agreed to, but that was over six months ago. Face it, all the bad guys that count already know that I work for the Agency. That in itself puts mother and the boys in danger. Besides, don't you think we would be safer if you were in the house with us all the time?" Amanda took his hand in hers and squeezed. "Not to mention the added bonus of being able to wake up with your wife beside you every morning." She smiled at Lee and winked.

Lee had to chuckle. She had a point. They had agreed to the secret marriage in order to keep her family safe. At the time, it seemed the smart thing to do. They had never considered that Amanda's involvement with the Agency, not just with Lee, put her family in danger anyway. There was however, one thing she had not considered.

"What about work? Do you really think Smyth will let us continue to work together if he knows we're involved? You know how he's always saying that emotions cloud judgement."

"I know and I have thought about that. I wouldn't want to be separated from you. I know how much you need me to watch out for you." Lee looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "I mean, how many scrapes have I gotten you out of over the years Scarecrow?"

"Yeah, I guess you could say that." Lee replied sarcastically thinking of several scrapes she had, in fact, gotten them into. He decided now was not the time to point that fact out. "Look, I see your point," Amanda smiled, "and I agree with you to some degree." Amada's smile began to fade. "Now wait, before you start moping. Hear me out."

Amanda turned her wide eyes to Lee and nodded. "Why don't we talk to Billy Monday morning. Fill him in on what's been going on and feel him out. We can gauge how to continue by his response. Does that sound reasonable?"

"Very." Amanda was smiling again. "Have I told you today how very glad I am that you picked me out of the crowd?"

"Not nearly as glad as I am. Now, why don't you show me your new moves?" Lee flashed his thousand-watt smile, stood, took Amanda's hand and led her toward the bedroom.

PART 2

Monday morning

Amanda and Lee exited the closet/elevator together and purposefully headed straight for Billy's office. Billy was seated at his desk, halfway through his morning donut. He looked up as his two best agents walked through the door. He became concerned however when Amanda immediately seated herself and Lee shut the door and the blinds.

"I'm not going to like this am I?" Billy looked to Lee as he seated himself next to Amanda and took her hand. Billy smiled to himself. 'Yes,' he thought, 'the smartest thing I ever did was to pair these two together.'

"Sir" Amanda started, "We have something we wish to discuss with you." She looked to Lee for encouragement. He squeezed her hand and continued.

"Billy, we have a little announcement to make and we wanted to pass it by you first." Lee looked deadly serious. He never let go of Amanda's hand.

Billy looked first at Amanda then at Lee. "If you're going to tell me that you two have a thing going on, I already know." Amanda's mouth opened in surprise and she turned to Lee.

"Actually, there's more to it than that." Lee looked sheepishly at his superior and friend. What he was about to say might upset Billy. Not that he would be upset that they were married, but that he was left out of the loop, so to speak.

Again Billy looked first at Amanda, then at Lee. His gaze fixed on Lee. "If you're going to tell me you're married, I already know that too." He held back a laugh as Lee's jaw dropped to match Amanda's.

Amanda regained her composure. "Sir?" she gulped, "How long have you known?"

"Since your last routine background check. Did you really think you would be able to keep something like this from me? I'm the master of secrets you know." Billy leaned back in his chair. He was truly enjoying the reaction he was getting.

"Billy, why didn't you say anything?" Lee was starting to worry. If Billy knew, who else did?

"I figured it was 'need to know' or you would have told everyone. Besides, I knew you would come forward when you were ready. Really, you two, why all the secrecy? I was overjoyed at the news and have been dying to congratulate you both."

He stood and walked around his desk to where Lee and Amanda were sitting. He took Amanda's hand and motioned her to stand. When she did, he gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you Amanda."

Amanda blushed. Flustered, she asked "What for sir?"

"For making my best agent an honest man. That's what for. I always had a suspicion you would be the one to do it." He walked over to Lee and shook his hand hard and clapped him on the back. "You take good care of her or you'll have me to answer to, understand?"

"Yes sir, thank you." Lee was positively beaming. He had hoped spilling the beans would go over well, but her had never imagined it would be like this.

Billy walked back around his desk and returned to his chair. "So, now that the cat is out of the bag, what next."

"Well sir," Amanda began as she returned to her seat, "as you pointed out, we are ready to come out and announce our marriage to everyone. Actually, since my family thinks Lee and I are dating, we were going to announce an engagement and then hold a wedding ceremony. You would be the only one to know that we are already married."

"Our only concern at this point is how the agency is going to react to our relationship." Lee joined in.

"We already know how Smyth feels about me. I'm afraid..." Amanda cleared her throat and looked at Lee. He noticed her expression and amended his sentence. "I mean, we're afraid, that he will try to separate us or worse. We don't want that. We want it to be clear that we are a package deal. You either get both of us, together, or neither of us."

"I understand." Billy's expression turned serious. "I don't think we'll have any problems with Smyth for the time being. And if we do, I can call in a few favors that might over-ride his sphere of influence. You two let that be my problem. As far as I can see, the only problem you have to worry about is getting engaged."

Lee and Amanda looked at each other and smiled. "Thank you sir." Amanda said.

"Don't mention it. Look, it's a slow day. You two take off for a while. If anything comes up I'll get in touch. Oh, and Lee, did you type the report I found on my desk this morning?" Billy was trying to hide a smile as Lee fidgeted in his seat.

"Yeah, why?" Lee looked uncomfortably at Amanda. She raised an eyebrow and looked at Billy.

"Never in my life have I seen so many typos. I knew it couldn't have been Amanda. I considered sending it to Crypto to have it translated." Lee cringed.

"I'll take that sir." Amanda reached for the file in Billy's hand. "It won't happen again." She shot Lee a repremanding look and stood to leave. Lee stood with her and together they left Billy's office.

Amanda noticed Francine watching them from her desk. Amanda smiled and waved. Francine pretended to be deep into the file she was reading.

"I'm going to enjoy telling Francine we're engaged." Amanda said under her breath as they exited the double glass doors and headed for the elevator.




PART 3

Monday Evening

Lee and Amanda had enjoyed a quiet dinner out and were headed back to Amanda's house to make the big announcement. They had stopped by Lee's apartment earlier in the day to pick up Amanda's engagement ring, which she was proudly wearing on her left hand. As Lee's car made the familiar turn onto Maplewood Drive Amanda began to get nervous. Lee picked up on her discomfort.

"Amanda, are you okay?" Lee reached over and took her hand in his.

She looked at him and tried to smile convincingly. "Sure, why do you ask?"

"Well, you haven't said a word since we left the restaurant. You're being too quiet." Lee gave her hand a squeeze "Don't worry, this will go off without a hitch. You're been in worse situations than this."

"Yeah, you're right, but my mother can be worse than the best Russian interrogator." Amanda shrugged and leaned her head against the window. "I know she'll be happy for us. She really likes you. I guess I just feel like it's the end of an era."

"End of and era?" Lee laughed. He had grown to understand his wife's ramblings over the years. He even surprised himself sometimes. But this time he couldn't understand what she was trying to say. "You make it sound like we're breaking up."

"Oh no! Lee, that's not what I mean!" Amanda sat up straight and turned toward Lee. "It's just that, for the last five years, I've had you all to myself. I don't want to sound selfish, but I'm going to have to share you now."

"Like I haven't been sharing you for the last five years? I'll be glad to be able to be part of your family without having to hide in the bushes." Lee looked at his wife and gave her a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, it'll be fine."

Amanda looked into Lee's eyes and realized that he was right, that this was right. "Won't mother be surprised when her bushes suddenly stop being trampled by the neighbors dog." They both laughed as Lee eased the car to a stop in front of her house.

"Ready?" Lee watched as Amanda steeled herself.

"Ready. Let's go before I loose my nerve again." Lee got out and walked around to open Amanda's door. They walked to the front door together.

**************

Dotty watched from the front window as Amanda and Lee walked to the front door. She noticed that Lee had his arm around her. They were talking and laughing. "Well, I'm glad she's finally found someone she can have a good time with." Dotty said to herself. As they got closer to the door, Dotty quickly made her way to the kitchen.

Amanda opened the front door. "Mother, we're home!"

Dotty hollered back from the kitchen. "I'm in here dear."

Lee and Amanda rounded the corner to the kitchen. Amanda gave her mother a quick kiss on the cheek. "Where are the boys? I need to tell them something."

"They're upstairs, I'll go get them." Dotty started toward the stairs.

"Wait!" she stopped in her tracks and spun around. She looked at Amanda, who was positively beaming. Looking straight at Lee she accused "You didn't!"

Lee grinned from ear to ear but didn't say a word.

"Mother, please get the boys." Amanda said impatiently.

"Philip, Jamie! Get down here right now!" Dotty yelled up the stairs, never taking her eyes off Lee. He was still grinning but not budging an inch.

The boys thundered down the stairs. "What's wrong Grandma?" Philip asked. "Oh, hi mom, hi Lee."

Jamie was right behind Philip. "What's going on?" Jamie asked. "Hi Lee! I got my last roll of film developed, wanna see it?" He started to go back upstairs to retrieve his pictures when Amanda stopped him.

"Wait! Everyone to the living room and sit down. Lee and I have something to tell you." Amanda herded her family to the living room.

"Well," Dotty started, "don't keep us in suspense! What's going on"

"Mother, boys," Amanda brought her hand out from behind her back and held it out for all to see. "Lee and I are engaged."

The boys jumped up and ran to Amanda, nearly knocking her over in a bear hug. Dotty stood and walked over to Lee. "Welcome to the family Lee." She gave him a hug and kissed him on the cheek.

"Thank you Dotty." Lee smiled, relieved that everything was going just like he had promised Amanda it would.

Philip and Jamie released Amanda and walked to Lee. Philip offered his hand and Lee took it. They shook and Philip smiled. "I know you'll take good care of my mother."

"You can count on it." Lee assured Philip.

Jamie stood in front of Lee, looking him up and down. "So," he said, "you're going to be our step-father."

"I guess so." Lee looked questioningly at the young boy.

"Does this mean you're going to stop being cool?" Jamie asked him, eyebrows raised.

Lee laughed out loud. "No, I think I'll still be cool, even if I'm your stepfather."

Dotty and Amanda looked on as Lee withstood the boys' scrutiny. Finally, Dotty came to his rescue. "Alright boys! Bed time. Let's leave your mom and Lee alone. They have some planning to do." 'Goodnights' were said all around as Dotty whisked the boys back upstairs.

Amanda dropped in a heap onto the couch. Lee settled beside her and put his arm around her.

"You were right, that wasn't so bad." Amanda whispered.

"Of course I was right, when have I ever been wrong?" Lee squeezed her gently.

"How much time have you got Stetson?" Amanda looked at him with a smile.

"The rest of my life, Amanda, the rest of my life." Lee looked into her eyes and realized that he was, by far, the luckiest man in the world. He leaned forward and kissed her sweetly and deeply.

PART 4

Tuesday Morning

Lee and Amanda had arrived at work together, but soon went their separate ways. Amanda needed to make corrections to their report and Lee wanted to fill Billy in on the previous evening before the staff meeting. They had decided to make a general announcement after the meeting in the bullpen.

Billy had already called the meeting to order when Amanda quietly came in and sat in the chair closest the door, file folder in hand. She glanced down the table to Lee who winked, smiled and nodded. Billy continued speaking.

".....so with the capture of the Verone brothers, I believe we were able to stop a major gun running ring before they had a chance to fully establish themselves. Good work Scarecrow and Amanda." Billy looked to each of them and smiled as the other agents clapped. "Okay people, you have your assignments. Let's get going." The room rose to their feet as did Lee and Amanda.

Lee cleared his throat, "Excuse me please, everybody, I have an announcement to make." Everyone stopped and turned to Lee.

"Everyone, I want you to know that as of last night, I asked Amanda King to be my wife and she said yes." Lee looked at Amanda and smiled. She lowered her eyes and blushed as the entire room gasped in surprise. Suddenly, from the back of the room, there came a thud. Heads turned as Francine fainted dead away.

 

**************

Francine came to on the couch in Billy's office. Lee and Amanda were seated across from Billy who was looking over Amanda's revised report. Francine sat up with a start. Her sudden movement caught the attention of Billy, who grinned.

"Good morning Princess, I see you're ready to join us?" Billy joked with her.

Lee and Amanda turned around as Francine stood up. She walked over to Amanda. "Is it true?" she asked, incredulously.

"Yes Francine, it's true." Amanda replied and proudly showed off her ring.

Lee suppressed a laugh as Francine wobbled on her feet again. Amanda quickly stood and helped to steady her. "I can't believe it. I had suspected something was going on. Remember, I warned you about him. But, Amanda, marriage?"

"Yes, Francine. Lee and I love each other and we are going to be married." Amanda helped Francine into her seat.

"A very cozy thought Mrs. King." came a voice from behind.

"Dr. Smyth." Billy stood. "To what do we owe this unexpected pleasure?"

"I've heard through the grapevine that our little lovebirds have decided to make it legal." He took a short drag on his cigarette. "I'm here to tell you that by making it legal, they are going to be breaking MY law."

Lee quickly stood, the color rising in his face. "Now, see here a minute..."

"No Scarecrow, you see here. The mere fact that you two are involved breaks at least two Agency policies that I can think of. I'm sure if I tried I could come up with a couple more." Dr. Smyth walked over to the couch and made himself comfortable.

"Dr. Smyth, be reasonable." Billy was trying to be the peacemaker. He could see that it was taking all of Lee's self control to not march over and slug Smyth.

"I am being reasonable Billy. It's only because of Scarecrow's invaluable contributions to our fine organization that I'm not sending both of them up the river. Effective immediately, Scarecrow no longer had a partner." He looked to Amanda. "At work that is. Billy, you can decide which desk with be Mrs. King's new throne." He smugly stood, cigarette clenched between his teeth and left the room, leaving the door open behind him.

6["I knew it!" Lee yelled, pacing back and forth.

"Lee, lower your voice." Amanda said and dropped like a heap into the chair he had vacated. Francine was still in a daze in Amanda's chair.

"Lower my voice! That man in insane! He is taking the best agent I have ever worked with and putting her at a desk, and you want me to lower my voice?" Lee pounded his fist into his hand. "I'm going to talk some sense into him." He started for the door which Billy quickly jumped up and blocked.

"No you don't Scarecrow." Billy turned him around and made him sit on the couch. "I told you I'd take care of this and I will. It's going to take some time though. Until then, we're just going to have to go along with the old buzzard."

Lee looked at Amanda who was being uncharacteristically quiet. She had a far-away look in her eyes and was smiling. "Amanda, what are you smiling about?"

Amanda shook herself out of her reverie and looked at Lee. "I'm the best agent you've ever worked with?" Lee stood up and walked over to her. He took her hands and pulled her up on her feet. He looked at her for a moment and saw the tears in her eyes. This was killing him, tearing him apart. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close.

Finally, Francine spoke up. "Don't feel too complimented. He's only had three partners."

"Can it Francine." Amanda's muffled voice came from Lee's chest. She pulled herself away from his embrace, wiped her eyes and looked at Billy. "Okay sir, we knew this was coming. I will go where you want me to go and will do the best job I can. But I will not be happy until I am partnered with Lee again. You said you would be able to take care of this. I am trusting that you will. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go wash my face and try to freshen up. It's going to be a long day." With that, Amanda straightened her skirt and blouse, ran a hand through her hair and marched out of the office, through the bullpen and to the elevator. She never looked back.

Lee watched Amanda walk out and sighed. "I can't believe how lucky I am Billy. Did you see that? She has busted her butt to get where she is and to know what she knows and she is willing to take a desk job away from the field. I wish I had her strength."

Francine smiled. "You do Lee. By having her, you have her strength." She stood and followed Amanda out the door.

Lee looked at Billy with a puzzled look on his face. "Where do you think that came from?"

"Maybe Francine is finally seeing what you see in Amanda. Look, go to her and find out where she wants to be placed. I'll make room for her wherever she wants to go. I want her to be as comfortable as possible while I'm trying to work this out." Billy looked at his friend, hell, he considered Lee a son, and gently placed his hand on his shoulder. "Get going okay, Amanda needs you and I need to start making some phone calls."

PART 5

Tuesday Afternoon

 

Francine made her way through the Georgetown Foyer and up the wooden staircase. As she rounded the corner and neared the Q Bureau door she could hear the muffled sounds of crying. She tried the door and found that it was unlocked.

"Amanda?" Francine looked around the office but did not see her. She realized the sounds were coming from the vault. "Amanda, please come out here."

"Francine, I'm in no mood for your 'wit' right now." Amanda called from the vault. "Please go away."

"Amanda, come out, I want to talk to you." Francine forcefully pleaded. "Either you come out or I'm coming in."

Amanda weighed her options and decided that the vault was no place to be trapped with Francine. She wiped her eyes and came out. Francine handed her some tissue from the box on her desk and motioned for her to sit on the couch. Amanda complied.

"Are you going to be okay?" Francine asked as she sat beside Amanda.

"Yeah," Amanda sniffled and dabbed at her eyes, "Mother always told me that a good cry will make you feel better."

"Really? I always seem to get nothing out of them but a headache and puffy eyes." Francine grinned.

"Me too." Amanda sighed and looked up at Francine. "What are you doing up here?"

"Checking on you." Francine put her hand on Amanda's. "Look, I know a brave front when I see one. I know how torn up you are about all of this. I just wanted to let you know that I'm here for you."

Amanda looked at Francine, trying hard to understand where she was coming from. Ever since she had started working for Lee, doing odd jobs here and there, and then when she was officially hired, Francine was always there to try to make Amanda feel less than adequate. Yet, here she was, holding her hand and doling out tissue.

"Francine, that's awfully nice of you and I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but why are you being nice to me?" Amanda raised an eyebrow and looked straight into Francine's eyes.

"Look," Francine started, "I know I've always been a bit difficult where you're involved..." Amanda snorted "...but I have my reasons. I'd like to talk them out with you if you don't mind."

Amanda nodded and wiped her eyes again."I've known Lee for a long time. I was his friend when Dorothy was killed and he was there for me when Jonathan skipped out on me. I know what he's like, or at least what he used to be like. Don't get me wrong, he was always loyal and patriotic, but now he's more than that. Amanda, you've made him care again and that makes him a better man."

Amanda smiled at Francine and squeezed her hand. She opened her mouth to speak but Francine stopped her. "Wait, I'm not done yet." Francine stood and walked to Amanda's desk. She had her back to Amanda when she started to speak. "I was fiercely jealous of you, you know."

She turned around to see the surprised expression on Amanda's face. "Oh yes, jealous. Not because you were working with Lee mind you, but because I worked my tail off to get where I was. It took me years of training and hard work. You were handed a package at a train station and suddenly you were working with the best of the best. Billy always knew it. He knew you had the talent to succeed. I knew it too. I just didn't want to admit it."

"Francine, you're excellent at what you do. Don't ever think you're not." Amanda watched as Francine walked back over to the couch and sat down.

"I know I'm good, but you're better." Amanda started to protest. "No Amanda, you are. Do you know why? Because you're real. You're not superficial like ninety percent of the bozos in this business. You're real and you're honest. That is what makes you one of the best. Billy saw it, Lee saw it, and I'm finally seeing it for myself."

Amanda was speechless. Francine was telling her that she was a good agent. That she was a good agent!

"Amanda. I will do whatever I can to make sure you get back in the field with Lee. That's where you belong and that's where he needs you." Francine stood to leave.

"Francine, thank you." Amanda said.

"Yeah Francine, thank you." Lee poked his head around the doorway. He had come up the stairs a few minutes after Francine and had heard the whole thing.

Francine looked at him with a start then turned back to Amanda. She winked and said, "Don't thank me. I'm only doing this because Scarecrow will be absolutely unbearable until this is resolved."

Amanda smiled in understanding.

Lee turned his head to acknowledge someone coming up the stairs. "Billy, did you get something that quick?" Lee asked him. Billy had been starting on his phone calls to override Dr Smyth's decision when Lee had left him.

"You could say that." Billy grumbled. "We got a call from a kid named Frank McDonald. He has some information about an assassination attempt on Senator Williams from Maine. He's supposed to be speaking at a pro-GTA rally on Saturday."

"The Global Trade Association?" Francine asked.

"Yes." Billy replied. "It's been a hotbed of activist activity for the past few months. I need you two to go see this kid and find out what you can."

Amanda stood to leave but Billy stopped her. "Sorry Amanda, I mean Lee and Francine. If I send you out with Lee, Smyth will have my head."

Amanda's shoulders slumped, Francine looked noticeably uncomfortable and Lee was ready to hit the roof.

"I really am sorry Amanda. You know if I thought I could get away with it, I'd let you go." Billy felt terrible about this entire situation.

"I know, sir. If it's okay with you, could I have the rest of the week off?" Amanda had no desire to be around the office while Lee was in the field.

"I suppose so." Billy smiled at her. "You go ahead and take the time. Hopefully by next Monday this will all be resolved."

"Lee?" Amanda couldn't help but notice how quiet he was. "I think I'll just go home and spend some time with mother."

"I'll be fine Amanda." Lee gave her a reassuring smile. "Why don’t you meet me at my place for dinner and I'll let you know everything that happens."

Francine and Lee turned to leave with Billy right behind. Amanda picked up her purse and keys. She felt awful about lying to Lee, but she wasn't about to let him go off without her to watch him.

If the Agency wasn't going to back her up on this one, she would do it alone.


PART 6

Tuesday Evening

Amanda was at Lee's apartment promptly at 7:00. Lee wasn't home yet so she poured herself a glass of wine and settled on the couch with the radio on. She was feeling particularly guilty and was trying to relax before Lee arrived.

After Francine's talk in the Q-Bureau, Lee and Francine had gone down to Billy's office for further briefing on 'their' new assignment. Amanda had told them all that she was going home to spend time with her mother. This wasn't entirely untrue. She did go home and she did see her mother, but she didn't stay very long.

She had changed out of her skirt and blouse and put on an old pair of jeans and her Georgetown sweatshirt. Looking through the cost closet, she had found one of Dean's old fishing hats. She had put in on and looked in the mirror. It wasn't a brilliant disguise, she admitted to herself, but it would have to do. After all, she wasn't going to be walking up to them and asking for directions. She was going to hang back and observe. 'Totally harmless.' she had thought to herself.

"Totally boring." she said out loud. Thinking back on the afternoon, she now fully appreciated why Lee hated stake outs so much. They were so much better with company.

When Lee and Francine had given up for the night, Amanda had raced back to her house and changed again. She was thoroughly exhausted from all the rushing round and sitting still. And lying had never sat well with her either. She was thinking of what to tell Lee she had done all day when she heard his key in the lock.

"Honey, I'm home." he called out to her with a smile in his voice.

"In here Lee." Amanda called from the couch.

Lee set his keys on the entry table and rounded the corner. He noticed the half empty glass of wine on the coffee table and thought that wasn't a bad idea. He poured himself a glass and joined Amanda on the couch.

She snuggled close to him and leaned her head on his shoulder. They sat in silence for a while, enjoying the quiet and the company. Lee finished his wine and leaned forward to put the glass on the table. When he sat back he turned to face Amanda.

"So, how was your day?" Lee asked. He had been concerned about her and had almost talked Francine's ear off about how unfair Smyth was being.

"Fine, just fine." Amanda was feeling a bit queasy knowing that the lying part was about to come up. "How was yours?"

"Boring." Lee sat back with a huff. "I hate stake outs and Francine is not the company I wanted for this one." He ran his hands through his hair and rubbed his eyes.

"I know, but there's really nothing we can do about it for right now." Amanda patted his arm. "I thought I'd ask Billy to put me in the steno pool. I know shorthand and can type..."

"90 words a minute if you don't count typos." they both finished together and laughed.

"Steno?" Lee was surprised. "Why steno? That seems to me to be a waste of your talents."

Amanda was feeling like she had successfully changed the subject and was beginning to relax. "I just figured that the girls in steno and I have something in common."

Lee raised his eyebrows, wondering where this was going. "And what would that be."

"You of course." Amanda grinned at her husband who seemed to blush. He pulled her into a hug and laughed a strangled kind of laugh.

"Yeah, I guess so." he admitted. "What did you do with your mother today?"

Amanda stiffened at his question. So much for changing the subject. "Nothing special really. We just hung around the house and watched TV."

"You mean your mother, the pride of the KGB, wasn't grilling you about a wedding date?" Lee had leaned his head back against the couch and couldn't see how very uncomfortable Amanda had become.

"Um, well, she did bring it up." Amanda's stomach was doing flips. She couldn't understand why this was affecting her so. She had been lying to her own family for almost five years now. But this was Lee. It felt so much more wrong somehow.

"What did you tell her?" Lee sat up again and was watching her now.

"I told her we hadn't decided yet. She left it alone after that." Amanda would not look at Lee's face now. She couldn't look at Lee's face. She knew he would be able to tell she was hiding something. In fact, she was surprised he hadn't noticed already.

"Well, we do need to decide sometime soon, hmmm?" Lee put his finger on Amanda's chin and turned her face to his. "What do you think?"

Amanda still would not make eye contact with him and was getting more nauseated by the minute. "I always thought we would just do it again in February."

"That's six months away yet." Lee had now noticed that something was wrong. Amanda was fidgeting and wouldn't look him in the eye. "Amanda, are you okay?"

She out on her best smile, looked at Lee and promptly had to jump up and run to the bathroom. Lee sat on the couch for a moment, stunned, then followed. He arrived at he bathroom door to find it closed.

He knocked lightly. "Amanda, what's wrong?"

"I'm all right." he heard from the other side of the door, but she wasn't very convincing. "I must have eaten something funny today and the wine didn't sit right. I'll be right out. Don't worry."

Lee was very worried. He sat on the corner of his bed waiting for Amanda to come out. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, but was really only five minutes, she opened the door. She was holding a wet washcloth in her hand and was wiping the back of her neck with it. Lee stood to help her to the bed. She waved him away.

"Lee, if it's something else, like the flu, I don't want you to catch it." He stood back, looking dejected. "I think I'd better go home and get some rest."

"If you think so." Lee knew now that something was definitely up.

"Yeah, I think so." Amanda said quietly. She could tell he was on to her and wanted to leave before the questions began. She knew he wouldn't be mad at her for following him, but he would worry and she didn't want that. She left the bedroom with Lee following, picked up her purse and keys and headed for the door.

"Let me drive you home, please?" Lee asked. He was genuinely concerned for her. She had been through a rough time today. Actually it had started a few days ago. Lee was afraid it was beginning to take it's toll on her.

"No, Lee, I'll be fine. Plus, I might need my car tomorrow." Amanda hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. "Goodnight sweetheart. I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Count on it." Lee opened the front door. "Look, call me as soon as you get home okay. I want to know you're all right or I'll just worry all night. Then I'll have to come over and climb up your trellis and then you certainly won't get any rest." He grinned devilishly.

Amanda smiled. "I'll call as soon as I get there. I promise." She turned to leave, turned back to him as if she wanted to say something, changed her mind and left.

Lee closed to door behind her, a thousand thoughts flooding his head. He was first and foremost concerned for Amanda's heath, both mental and physical. Something was bothering her and she wasn't ready to open up to him. He though back over the events of the past few days and realized that they both had gone through a lot. Unfortunately, it wasn't over yet. He hoped she wasn't regretting their decision to go public. 'Maybe she'll feel like talking tomorrow' he thought.

Lee poured himself another glass of wine and settled on the couch to wait for Amanda's call.



PART 7

Wednesday Morning

Amanda woke early and again dressed not to impress. She wore old jeans, a sweatshirt and Dean's old hat. She drove to the airport, parked the Wagoneer and rented a small, brown Honda. 'Very inconspicuous.' she thought. She had got the idea that Lee was on to her and was planning on being extra careful today.

She parked down the street from the Georgetown front of IFF and waited for Lee and Francine to head out. She didn't have to wait very long. She cranked up the Honda as Lee and Francine pulled onto the street from the parking lot and headed down the street. Amanda followed close, but not too close to be spotted. She had been followed herself enough times to know how close was too close.

They arrived at their destination with little complication. Lee and Francine were parked about half a block and across the street from an older apartment building. Amanda had parked a block further away and across the street from Lee. She sat quietly and watched. It was only 8:30.

She knew that if something didn't happen soon, Lee would make it happen. With the GTA gathering being this Saturday, they would have to find something and soon. Amanda took a sip of coffee from her thermos and settled back, one eye on Lee's car and the other on the building they were watching.

**************

In Lee's car, Francine was napping and Lee was half reading the newspaper. Lee looked at his watch. It was 10:45 and so far not a soul had come or gone from the apartments. He was starting to think that they had been given bogus information when the car phone rang. Lee reached for it and switched it on.

"Scarecrow here." He had half expected to hear Amanda's voice on the other end, checking up on him.

"Lee, I need to patch a call through to you." Billy said.

"Okay, Billy, who is it?" Lee was watching the building again. He thought he had seen some movement from behind one of the first floor windows.

"It's Amanda's mother." Lee could tell Billy was grinning as he spoke. Billy had met Amanda's mother on occasion and had remarked at one time that he now knew where Amanda got 'it'.

Lee's forehead furrowed with worry. "Did she say what was wrong?"

"No, only that she didn't know where Amanda was. She thought you would know." Billy sighed. "I tried to explain to her that you were probably very busy, but she would hear nothing of it."

"That's okay Billy, put her through." There was a moment of silence, then a clicking sound. "Lee Stetson here."

"Lee!" Dotty half shouted into the phone. Lee cringed and held the phone away from his ear.

"Hello Ms. West. What's the matter?" Lee hoped it was nothing serious but the fact that Dotty didn't know where Amanda was worried him.

"Have you seen Amanda today? I called her at work and they said she was taking some time off, but I haven't seen her all day. She must have left at the crack of dawn. I figured she would be with you, but you're working and she's not. It's just not like her to leave so early and not let me know how to get in touch with her. You know, in case something happens to one of the boys…" she took a breath and Lee jumped in at the opportunity.

"Dotty, no I haven't seen her yet today but we are supposed to get together for dinner tonight. She's probably out shopping. If I happen to hear from her, I'll have her call you." Lee was looking in the side mirror of his car and noticed someone sitting in brown car about a block back. Someone who almost looked like they were watching him. "In fact Ms. West, I wouldn't be surprised if I hear from her very soon."

"If you're sure. . ." Dotty hesitated.

"I'm sure. I'll talk to you later. Bye now." Lee hung up the phone but never took his eyes off the now familiar form in the car behind them. Lee was about to get out and talk to his 'tail' when the front door to the apartments opened. Amanda was forgotten for the moment. Lee reached over and woke Francine up. "Up and at 'em, we're on the move."

Francine sat up and looked to where Lee was pointing. "Hmmm, interesting. I wonder what a prominent politician would be doing on this end of town in a run down apartment building."

"You mean politician wannabe. Sam Marting hasn't won an election and probably won't. But still, this is not his usual neck of the woods." Lee corrected her as they watched him get into a black sedan and drive away.

"Well, now we know who is running the show. What say we go see what we can find in those apartments." Lee was getting ready to open the car door when Francine stopped him.

"Lee, shouldn't we call Billy and tell him what we've found?" Francine picked up Lee's phone and started to hand it to him.

"You go ahead, I'll be right back." Lee checked his gun in his shoulder holster and opened the door.

"Lee, wait for me!" Francine hollered to him.

"I'll be right back." Lee called from over his shoulder, already halfway across the road.

"Damn that man." Francine swore. "How Amanda can stand him is beyond me." She quickly hung up the phone and followed Lee to the back of the building.

Amanda sat back and watched the events unfolding in front of her. She looked at her watch and noted the time. I was 11:00. If they weren't out in fifteen minutes, she was going in after them.

She took another sip of her now lukewarm coffee and made a face. When she looked up again she was shocked to see the black sedan returning. "Oh my gosh, this is definitely going to be bad."

**************

Lee and Francine had found the back entryway and were slowly checking the first floor rooms. The first floor was empty so they walked up the stairs to the second floor.

At the top of the stairs, Lee motioned for Francine to go left while he went to the right. Lee had just rounded a corner when he was hit on the back of the head. He slumped to the floor as Francine whirled around to see what the commotion was. The barrel of a gun greeted her. She slowly raised her hands and dropped her own gun to the floor and kicked it toward their assailant. The man inched forward and picked it up, never taking his eyes off of her. He inched back and took Lee's gun from his unconscious grip.

"You're making a big mistake." Francine told him. "We have back up on the way." She knew no one was coming. She mentally kicked herself for allowing Lee to make her follow him without calling Billy.

"It sure didn't look like it from my vantage point." the man said. "Looked to me like your buddy here didn't give you time to call anyone." He motioned for Francine to walk into one of the rooms. He made her sit and tied her to a chair. He left for a moment, returning carrying Lee over his shoulder. He unceremoniously dumped Lee on the floor near the bed and handcuffed him to the metal bedpost.

With a snort he shut the door behind him and walked downstairs.

Francine struggled with her bonds for a moment until she realized it was no use. She was definitely tied well. She was able to reach Lee with her feet and started to nudge him, hoping to wake him up.

Finally, Lee shook his head and opened his eyes. "What the…what's going on."

"We were caught Mr. Wayne and I didn't get the chance to call the cavalry, no thanks to you!" Francine practically hissed at him.

"Hey, I didn't tell you to follow me." Lee defended. "Besides, Amanda's out there."

"You must have been hit harder than I thought. Amanda is taking the day off, remember?" Francine rolled her eyes. 'What is it with these two,' she thought, 'always convinced that the other will save the day.'

"Right Francine, " Lee was trying to loosen the bedpost that he was cuffed to "but she's using her vacation time to tail us."

Francine stopped her wiggling and raised her eyebrows. "Are you sure?"

"I spotted her before we came inside. I'm sure it was her." Lee gave up on the bedpost and lay his head against the mattress.

"Great! She'll call for backup and we'll get out of her one piece." Francine relaxed.

**************

Amanda looked at her watch. It was 11:20. Lee and Francine had been inside for twenty minutes and that man had been in there for about fifteen. She was getting a very bad feeling. She reached for the glove compartment and opened it. Gingerly she reached in and removed Lee's spare handgun. She had taken it from his apartment last night. She held it like one would hold a snake. She hated guns, but if Lee was in danger, she was going to have to deal with it.

Amanda took a deep breath, checked to see that the gun was loaded, silently thanked Leatherneck for the shooting lessons, and made her way to the back side of the building.

PART 8

Wednesday Afternoon

Amanda opened the back door of the apartment building a crack and peeked in. She didn't see anyone in the hallway so she quietly walked inside and closed the door behind her. She crept down the hall, looking in each room, trying to find a trace of Lee or Francine. When she reached the front of the building, near the staircase, she heard voices.

"They're tied up. The guy is knocked out and the girl ain't going anywhere anytime soon. She's tied up tighter than a mummy."

"Good, we can't risk our plans being screwed up now."

Amanda peeked around the corner and recognized the second voice as the man from the black sedan. She surveyed the room and saw that there were only the two men there. She also now knew that Lee was unconscious and Francine was tied up tight. It was all up to her.

She stood still for a minute, listening to the two men discuss their plans.

"Have you contacted Chuck and Grant about Saturday yet?"

"Yeah, I talked to them yesterday. I gave them the rifles and we went over their positioning on the mall. Chuck will take the first shot, Grant will second if Chuck misses."

"He'd better not miss. I've waited too long for this opportunity to have some idiot mess it up. Once McDonald is out of the picture, I will be able to get myself into his seat with relatively little trouble."

"What about the two upstairs?"

"We'll take care of them later. In fact, I'm going to go check them out, see who we're up against."

Amanda stepped back and ducked into a doorway as the man from the sedan walked out and up the stairs. Now was her chance. They were separated and vulnerable. Amanda pulled the gun from her waistband, cocked it and jumped through the now open door.

"Hold it right there." She said to the man. He stopped in his tracks, his back to Amanda. "Turn around real slow, no sudden movements." The man turned to face her, his hands raised. "Good, now sit down over there." She motioned to a chair. The man sat down and Amanda picked up a bicycle chain that was lying on the floor. She wrapped his arms and hands with the chain and engaged the combination lock. "There, now, you just wait right here, I'll be back."

Amanda shut the door behind her as she made her way to the second floor. When she reached the top of the stairs, she could hear sedan-man talking to Francine. He was trying to find out whom they were working for but she wasn't talking. She heard a loud slap and heard Lee yell at sedan-man for hitting Francine. She heard another slap and realized that he must have hit Lee, too.

Amanda was trying hard to keep her anger in check. She had the gun out and was ready to fire if necessary. She inched her way toward the room that she thought the noises were coming from. As she neared it, the door opened and sedan-man was standing in front of her.

"Freeze!" Amanda yelled. The man jumped in surprise and reached under his coat. Amanda didn't give it a second thought. She lowered her aim slightly and fired, hitting him squarely in the knee. The man howled in pain and hit the floor, clutching his leg. Amanda rushed forward and pulled the gun from the holster inside the man's coat.

"I would suggest you stay right there." she spat at the man. Amanda walked through the door and straight over to Lee. She knelt down and touched the bruise that was forming under his left eye.

"Ouch!" Lee cringed. "Get me out of these, there's another one of them out there."

"Relax," Amanda set the gun down and pulled a lock pick kit out of her pocket, "he's tied up downstairs with a bike chain." She worked the lock on the handcuffs for a second or two. "There." she said as they opened. Lee rubbed his wrists as Amanda started working on Francine's ropes.

"Did you shoot Marting?" Lee asked, thoroughly amazed.

"Yeah, but only in the knee." She finished with Francine's ropes and turned to face Lee.

"Lee said you were on the way, but I didn't believe him." Francine stood up and stretched. "I'll go check on Amanda's victims and call for back-up," she shot a look at Lee, "you know, like I should have done almost an hour ago?" She marched out the door, saying something snide to the downed Marting on the way.

"You knew I was out there?" Amanda lowered her eyes and Lee grinned.

"Yeah, I noticed you a few minutes before I rushed in here." He laughed. "Do you usually spend your days off following me around?"

"Only for the past week." Amanda helped Lee to his feet. "Come on, Francine's going to need some help."

As they walked into the hallway Lee took Amanda's hand. He had picked up the gun that Amanda had set down. "When did you get a gun?" Lee asked.

"Oh, that, well. . ." Amanda hesitated for a moment ". . .it's yours. I took it last night before you came home."

 

"I know, I always check it before I go to bed." Amanda started to say something but Lee silenced her. "We'll talk about it tonight, right now, you have to call your mother, I promised her I'd have you call when I saw you today. She's worried."

"Oh dear, did she call the office?" Amanda knew she hadn’t told her mother she was taking the time off.

"Yes she did, but I told her you were probably shopping." Lee and Amanda had reached the bottom of the stairs. Francine had called Billy and now there were agents crawling all over the place.

"Was this before or after you found out I was following you?" Amanda teased.

"During." Lee responded. He saw Billy in the distance and right behind him was Dr. Smyth. "We've got trouble." He motioned to Smyth who had just noticed Amanda standing with Lee.

PART 9

Wednesday Evening

Lee stood in the alley beside the apartment building with his hands deep in his pockets. Billy was there with him. Sam Marting was being wheeled out on a stretcher, his knee bandaged where Amanda had shot him. The other goon, Duane, had already been taken to the Agency where he had been convinced to give up the names of the assassins. Men were on their way to collect Chuck 'Trigger Finger' Carlson and Grant Thomason. Billy signed off his walkie-talkie and walked over to Lee.

"Relax Lee, I'm sure it won't be that bad." Billy tried to reassure him.

"Oh really," Lee threw his hands into the air, "Amanda disobeys a direct order and gets caught by Smyth himself. I'm sure he'll promote her."

Lee thought back a few hours. He and Amanda had just come downstairs when they saw Billy and Smyth come through the mass of agents in the hallway. Smyth had walked right up to Amanda.

"Blatant disregard of direct orders." As he spoke he blew smoke in her face. "I see that you have been picking up some of your ex-partners less desirable traits." Amanda had tried not to cough. "I need to have a word with you Mrs. King. . ." he took her arm to lead her away. Lee had started to follow when Dr. Smyth said over his shoulder ". . .alone."

Amanda had looked back at Lee with an almost terrified look in her eyes. That was almost two hours ago.

"What is taking so long?" Lee had started pacing again.

"I don't know Lee, please stop pacing, you're making me tired." Billy sighed and leaned back on his car. He knew how Smyth could be. Amanda had disobeyed a direct order, but, in her defense, if she hadn't who knew what would have happened. Billy hoped Smyth would see it that way as well.

Suddenly, Lee stopped pacing. Billy looked up to see Smyth walking toward them, alone.

When he reached them, he lit the cigarette he held in his teeth and smiled. "A very interesting day you've had Scarecrow."

"Where's Amanda?" Lee demanded.

"I sent her home, she wasn't needed here anymore. Neither are your services Scarecrow. I expect to see both of you tomorrow morning at 8:30 sharp for debriefing." Smyth looked to Billy. "A word with you in private Billy?"

Billy looked at Lee then walked away with Dr. Smyth. Lee walked to his car where Francine was waiting for him. "How are you doing?" she asked.

"I don't know yet. Smyth didn't say anything about Amanda except that he had sent her home." Lee leaned against his car and sighed. "I didn't even get to see her. He must have been talking to her for two hours."

"Well, I saw her before she left." Francine offered.

"And?" Lee's full attention was on Francine's next words.

"She didn't look upset, but not too happy either. She mumbled something about turning in a rental car and debriefing at 8:30. She seemed preoccupied, but then that's not unusual for Amanda." Francine smiled at Lee. "She wasn't falling apart if that's what you want to know. I'd say to head home, she'll probably turn up there after she gets her car back." Francine patted Lee on the arm and took off to catch a ride with Billy.

Lee mulled Francines words over in his mind. Hopefully she was right and Amanda was okay. He got in his car and headed home.

**************

Thursday Morning

Lee was in Billy's office at 8:00. He hadn't been able to sleep. Amanda had not shown up or called. He thought about calling but it was late and he didn't want to wake her if she was sleeping. So he stayed up all night worrying.

Billy walked into his office. If he was surprised to see Lee there, he didn't show it. "Good morning."

"What's so good about it?" Lee wryly replied.

"Did you talk to Amanda last night?" Billy asked as he seated himself.

"No, she didn't come over or call. Did Smyth tell you what happened yesterday?" Lee was up and pacing again.

Billy suppressed a grin. "As a matter of fact, he did."

"And?" Lee stopped and turned to Billy.

"You'll have to be patient Lee. Smyth will be here soon and you'll get all your questions answered." Billy leaned back in his chair. "In fact, here he comes now." He nodded toward the window. Smyth had just walked through the double doors and was sauntering toward Billy's office.

Lee sat down and told himself to keep calm. No matter what was said, he had to control himself or he would just make things worse.

"Good morning kiddies." Smyth said as he opened the door. "Scarecrow, I see you're up early this morning. I expected you would be. Billy?"

"Good morning, sir." Billy sat up a little straighter in his chair as Dr. Smyth seated himself across from Billy and next to Lee.

"Let's get started, kay?" Smyth held an unlit cigarette between his teeth. He turned to Lee. "I am assigning you a new partner this morning."

"What!" Lee jumped up. "I don't want a new partner, I want Amanda."

"Temper, temper Scarecrow." Smyth was unaffected by his outburst. He had expected it. "You're new partner has proven to be a valuable asset to this organization. This agent is relatively new but is not considered a rookie. I think you'll be pleased."

"I don't think so." Lee snapped back.

"Don't be so sure." Smyth grinned. "Scarecrow, meet your new partner, codename 'Angel'''. With that the door to Billy's office opened. Lee looked up and immediately had to sit down.

Amanda walked in with a smile on her face. "Good morning sir, Dr. Smyth, Lee."

"Good morning Amanda." Billy was grinning from ear to ear. Smyth had let him in on the news last night. During their two hour 'meeting' Amanda had convinced Dr Smyth of how well she and Lee worked together. Of course it had helped that one of the phone calls Billy had made was to the President, and he had called Smyth.

Lee was still speechless. Billy looked to Dr. Smyth. "I could use some coffee, how about you?"

"That sound good, Billy." Smyth stood to leave. "Angel, welcome aboard." He extended his hand to Amanda who took it and shook.

"Thank you, sir. I won't let you down." She looked at Lee who was still trying to get a hold of the situation. Billy and Dr. Smyth left and shut the door behind them, leaving Amanda and Lee alone.

"Angel." Lee looked up at Amanda with a smile on his face. He stood up and took her hands in his. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was under direct orders not to." Amanda pulled him closer and wrapped her arms around his waist.

"And you chose to follow them?" Lee put his arms around her waist, too.

"I have to start sometime don't I?" Amanda kissed him softly and lay her head on his chest.

"What did you two talk about last night?" Lee asked, his curiosity piqued.

"We don't have near enough time to go into the details. You have an appointment in debriefing in five minutes." Amanda squeezed him and took a step back. She took his hand and led him out of the office.

"Don't you have the very same appointment?" Lee asked as they reached the elevator.

"Nope, Smyth considered last night as my debriefing." Amanda pushed the call button. "In fact, I have the rest of the day off. I'm going shopping and will be at your place with dinner waiting when you get home."

"I love you Angel." Lee said when he entered the elevator.

"I love you, too Scarecrow. I'll see you tonight." The doors slid shut and Amanda turned to collect her things from Billy's office

Thursday Evening

Lee opened his apartment door to the delicious smell of homemade lasagna. He put his keys on the entry table and walked to the kitchen. Amanda was preparing a salad, her back to him. He walked up behind her and circled her waist with his arms.

"Hello." Amanda said with a smile. She turned in his arms and kissed him.

"Hello yourself." Lee replied. "Dinner smells wonderful."

"Thank you, it should be ready in ten minutes." She turned around again to finish the salad. Lee leaned against the counter next to her.

"So, Angel, care to tell me how you acquired your codename?" Lee picked at the carrots Amanda had cut up. She playfully smacked his hand.

"I don't know, it's kind of embarrassing." She shook her head and continued to cut up the cucumbers.

"Come on, tell me or I'll have to torture it out of you." He grinned at her and snatched a cucumber slice before she could catch him.

"Well, okay." Amanda set the knife down and wiped her hands on a dishtowel. She turned to Lee. "Promise me you won't laugh." Lee raised his hand and swore. "Well, Dr. Smyth said that since I was going to officially be your partner and I was getting involved in more and more high profile cases, I should have my own codename. He apparently had been thinking this over for some time because he immediately bestowed 'Angel' on me. His reasoning was that I have been a guardian angel to you, helping you out even when you didn't want the help." Lee nodded, it sounded reasonable to him. "And, because I am, in his words, so 'sickeningly sweet and wholesome'." Lee choked on the carrot slice he had popped into his mouth.

"He actually said that to you?" He was trying not to laugh. He had promised after all.

"Yes he did," Amanda continued, "and I don't mind saying that I was very offended, but since he was giving me my job back and with you no less, I decided not to make an issue out of it."

"Probably a good idea." Lee agreed. The oven timer buzzed and Amanda reached for the oven mitts.

"Time to eat, can you carry out the salad?" Amanda headed for the oven.

Later That Evening

Lee and Amanda were seated on his couch each enjoying a glass of wine. Lee's arm was around Amanda's shoulder and he was absentmindedly playing with her hair. "When are we going to get married?" He suddenly asked.

"Oh yeah, we never did finish that discussion, did we?" Amanda leaned her head against his chest.

"What was all that about?" Lee asked. He never had got the chance to ask her about the episode in the bathroom Tuesday night.

"Well, I guess I was upset about hiding my sneaking around from you." Amanda admitted. "That and the fact that I 'borrowed' your gun without asking. It was too much for my delicate system to handle."

Lee squeezed her shoulder and smiled. "Let that be a lesson for you my dear." Lee said and turned her head to face him. "You simply can’t keep anything from me. I'm too irresistible." He leaned forward and kissed her.

"I guess not." Amanda conceded. "So, we were discussing a wedding date. Am I correct in guessing that you don't want to wait for February?"

"I can't wait that long to be able to wake up every day with you, can you?'' Lee looked into her eyes and could tell she felt the same way. "It's not like we won't celebrate our 'real' anniversary, we'd just spend it private. You know, one last secret to keep between the two of us."

"That would be nice." Amanda smiled at the thought of it. "How about October 3rd?"

"The 3rd? Why?" Lee couldn't figure what the significance was about the 3rd.

"It would be the fifth anniversary of the day we met." Amanda looked at him and their eyes locked.

"Perfect." Lee said. "We'll tell your mother tomorrow. But for now a toast. . ." Lee refilled Amanda's glass and handed it to her. He held his glass up and continued. ". . .to my Angel, you've made me complete."

Amanda smiled, tears in her eyes. The moment was perfect. She was with the man she loved, was able to share her love with him to the world and had the job she loved back again.

"To my husband. . ." Amanda continued, ". . .I couldn't ask for more than what we have together." They each took a sip from their glasses and settled together on the couch for the evening.

END