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.
Summary: An alternate way Lee could have expressed his feelings for Amanda. Takes place third season.
First Posted: 5/28/00
Feedback: Expected, please!
Archive: Permission granted to post at smkfanfic.net and fanfiction.net -- any others, please ask permission before posting or linking. Thanks!
Author's notes: This is my first foray into fanfiction. Any feedback, good or bad, is welcomed.
Amanda sang along with the radio as she drove the familiar streets from her Arlington home to the place she had called work for the past two and a half years. She was listening to what her boys would call a "sappy station". She called it relaxing. At this stage in her life she needed all the help she could get in that area. Living a double life was never easy, she supposed, but living it with a 12 and 10 year old in your house was harder still. Her mother had almost given up trying to get her to admit that she was hiding something from her. After her break up with Dean, her mother had stopped teasing her about having an affair but she still hinted now and then about Amanda's comings and goings. "Oh well", she sighed. "I don't think I would want it any other way."
Her thoughts turned to Lee. As time moved on, they had become closer as friends. In fact, they were almost inseparable. She knew that he had considered her a nuisance at first, but she had proved herself a valuable ally time and time again. She couldn't remember the last time Lee had willingly gone on an assignment without her. "What would he think if he knew how I really felt about him?" she thought to herself. "How silly, he could never feel seriously about a frumpy housewife from the suburbs." She shrugged and turned her attention back to the song on the radio. Lately it seemed that every song reminded her of Lee.
As she turned her car into the garage under the IFF offices, she saw Lee running to his Corvette. He started the engine and raced out onto the street. She waved as he sped by but he didn't notice her. "Well," she thought, "so much for being inseparable!" She stepped out of her car and made her way to the foyer.
Amanda unlocked to door to the Q-Bureau and walked inside. She smiled at her tidy desk and set her purse on the corner. There was a piece of paper taped to the flower vase in the corner. Apparently Lee hadn't been in too much of a hurry to leave her a note. She picked it up and read.
"A – I had to meet with a contact and couldn't wait for you to get in. Don't worry, I'll be fine and I don't need back up. I'll be back in time for lunch. Meet me at Ned's at 12:30– L"
She chuckled at his attempt to put her at ease. He knew how much she hated it when he ran off on his own. She looked over at his desk with a frown. He had to be the single most cluttered person she had ever known. His apartment was looking a lot better these days, but she chalked that up to his embarrassment whenever she cleaned it for him. She always seemed to find something that would make him uncomfortable. "Well, the least I can do is straighten this mess up." She walked over to his desk and started to make neat piles out of the scattered files. Suddenly the door opened. She dropped the file she had in her hand and quickly took a step back.
"Oh, it's only you." Amanda relaxed when she saw Francine standing in the doorway with an armload of file folders.
"So nice to see you too." Francine snidely replied.
"I didn't mean that like it sounded Francine." Amanda said as she walked back around to her desk and took half of the files from Francine. "You know how upset Lee gets when I clean his desk. I thought I had been caught."
"Believe me, I know how he can be." Francine agreed. "I was just bringing these up to file in the vault." She set the remaining files on Amanda's desk. "Would you mind taking care of that for me?"
"Not at all." Amanda smiled at Francine. "Lee has run off somewhere and I can wait on finishing up that report on our last assignment. Some mindless filing might make the morning move a little faster."
"Thanks Amanda, I'll see you later." With that, Francine turned on her heel and walked out the door, shutting it behind her.
Amanda picked up half of the files and headed for the vault.
Several hours later, a worried Lee burst into their office. "Amanda!" he shouted. She had not shown up for lunch, which was very uncharacteristic of her.
"In here!" he heard her reply from the vault. The door was cracked so he walked over and opened it wider. "Did you get back from your meeting early?" she asked as she continued to file.
"Amanda, its 1:30. I've been waiting for you for over an hour!" Lee huffed.
"Oh my gosh, I must have lost track of time. This vault is more like a tomb sometimes." She turned to see Lee pacing back and forth at the vault door. Amanda softened her tone. "Lee, were you worried? I'm sorry."
"Of course I was worried! You are never late. What was I supposed to think!" He continued to pace with his hands shoved deep into his pockets.
"Lee, please stop pacing, you're making me dizzy." Amanda joked. Lee looked at her with his ‘don't kid with me' look. She immediately lowered her eyes and wiped the grin from her face. "Lee, I said I was sorry. Why didn't you call?"
Lee saw the way his actions were affecting her. When she lowered her eyes his heart melted. Did she have any idea that the reason why he was so worried was because he was in love with her? He couldn't remember when he had realized that the feelings he had for Amanda were more than friendship. He had stopped acting the ‘playboy' several months ago much to the chagrin of more than a few socialites. Every time he was out with one of those shallow creatures all he could think about was Amanda. Hell, all he could think about every second of every day was Amanda. "Too bad I'm such a chicken," he thought. He knew she felt something for him. She had shown it on several occasions. But just what she felt, and to what degree she felt it, was a mystery to Lee.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I flew off the handle. I was worried." She looked up at him, relieved. "What do you say we go get lunch now. You must be starving."
"That sounds great." Amanda said. "I'll drive."
They arrived at her car and got in. When she started the car the radio blared. Amanda blushed and quickly turned it down.
"Jeez Amanda, are you deaf?" Lee joked with her.
"Actually, I was singing along on my way to work this morning. Kind of a stress reliever." She smiled at him as she shifted the Wagoneer into gear.
"You? Sing? I don't believe it. And why would you possibly need to relax?" he teased.
"Of course I sing." she replied " Is that so hard to believe? As for stress, I can't imagine why I could ever need to relax!"
She eased the car out of the garage and onto the street. She turned the radio up slightly to break the silence and headed toward Nedlindger's. Lee watched her out of the corner of his eye. He couldn't believe how beautiful she was. She had her hair pinned up and off her neck. Lee found himself wondering how it would feel to bury his face in that neck and kiss it. She looked at him and he quickly turned his attention out the passenger window.
"Lee, are you okay?" Amanda asked.
"Mmmmm, yeah, why." he replied.
"I thought you were looking at me. You looked like you wanted to say something." She never took her eyes off the road.
"Oh, no, I was just thinking." Lee said in a distracted tone.
"About what?" Amanda asked, glancing at him.
"About how much I love you." Lee thought.
"Nothing" he said. He was mentally kicking himself. What was so hard about opening up to her? She had changed him so much since he had met her, yet he still found it difficult to express his feelings.
"Nothing huh? If you say so." She smiled at him and he smiled back. "We're here"
They arrived back at the Agency at almost 3:00. Amanda resumed her filing in the vault and Lee settled himself at his desk. The vault door was open and from his position he could easily watch Amanda in her task. She had such a serious expression on her face, as if these particular files were the most important assignment she had ever been given. Then again, she always threw herself into her responsibilities, whether they be escorting a princess or filing a folder. He smiled at his good fortune to have selected this woman from a crowd. Or maybe it was fate? The shrill ringing of the phone snapped him back into reality. He groaned and reached for the receiver.
"Scarecrow here. Sure thing Francine, we'll be right there." Lee looked back toward the vault. "Amanda, Billy wants us downstairs."
Amanda finished filing the folder in her hands. "Good timing, I just finished." She walked out and shut the vault door behind her. Lee stood up and together they headed downstairs to the bullpen.
When they arrived at Billy's office, they noticed that Francine was already there. Billy was seated on the corner of his desk. Francine looked uncharacteristically morose. Lee opened the door and motioned Amanda through. Billy looked up and nodded at the two.
"Have a seat." Billy pointed to the couch against the back wall of his office. He smiled as he noticed Lee's hand on Amanda's back as her led her to the couch.
"What's the matter, sir." Amanda was always one to get straight to the point. Billy remembered for a moment the woman Lee had brought into his office over two years ago. She was merely a shadow of the self-reliant woman seated in his office now. Amanda had grown in more than just her knowledge of the ‘spy game'. She was also more forward and less prone to ramble as she used to.
Billy sighed and looked around the room from face to face. He settled on Amanda's. Hers was the most calming at this moment. "You all know Mike Wittier?"
Lee spoke up first. "We were at Station One together. He's overseas in London. In fact, we met up with him last year, remember Amanda?" He looked at her and she nodded. "Why?"
"He was transferred back to the States three months ago. He was taking some time off to enjoy his new baby. He had asked for the transfer for a desk job."
"Finally settling down, huh?" Lee smiled and glanced at Amanda, a glance that was not lost on Billy.
"Excuse me, sir, but why are you speaking of Mr. Wittier in the past tense. Has something happened?" Amanda asked.
"Unfortunately, yes Mrs. King. Mr. Wittier was found dead at his home this morning by the nanny. His wife and child were also victims. Francine?" Billy stood up and walked around to his desk chair. He tried to avoid eye contact with Amanda. He knew how this would affect her. His suspicions were confirmed as he glanced her way. Her head was hung and her hands were over her eyes. Lee noticed this too and handed her his handkerchief. She quietly thanked him and wiped her eyes as Francine began.
"The family was found in the master bedroom. Mike and his wife, Janine were both killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, apparently execution style. Mike was bound, Janine was not. The baby, Mike Jr. was found dead in his bassinet. Preliminary autopsy reports show that the child was shot first, then the wife and finally Mike. They seemed to want him to suffer. I have photos of the crime scene." Francine stood to carry the pictures over to Lee and Amanda. Lee shook his head and walked over to her, looking at the pictures out of Amanda's view. She was still visibly shaken and he didn't want to upset her further.
The room was silent for a few moments as Lee studied the photos. Suddenly Amanda spoke. "So, sir, what do we have to go on? Do we know who did this?" All eyes were on her. She had not uttered a peep the whole time Francine has been speaking. Now she was raring to go.
"We're not sure." Billy replied, "We do know what his last few overseas assignments were. He had not worked on anything since moving back. Our theory is that it was revenge. All of his case files are being sent over here from the London office. They will be here tomorrow. I will need you two to look them over and see if anything looks out of place."
"Good. Sir, may I please be excused?" Amanda looked at Billy and again, he could read the pain in her eyes.
"Of course you may Mrs. King. In fact, why don't you go on home and take it easy for the evening. We're all a little shaken by this. You can come in tomorrow and look at it all with a fresh perspective." Billy stood and walked over to couch. He took Amanda's hand and helped her up. He escorted her to the office door.
"Thank you, sir." She looked to Lee.
"I'll be up in a minute. Will you wait before you leave?" He could see too how much the news has affected her and he didn't want her to leave until he could see if she really was okay.
"Yeah, I'll wait. Don't be long." She turned and walked out of the bullpen and turned right toward the elevator. Billy shut his door again and turned to Lee.
"Do you really think she should be involved in this Billy?" Lee was still looking at the pictures. They were disturbing even to him. He hated to think that he was desensitized to violence, but this was extreme. His eyes kept returning to the picture of the infant.
"I know it's going to be rough for her, but I need her unique view to find out if there is anything in those files." Billy sat down again and turned toward Lee.
"I just don't think she can be effectively emotionally detached from this. You know how empathetic she can be." Lee was gathering all the file photos together.
"Lee, this is not open for discussion. You'll just have to keep a close eye on her, that's all." Billy's voice was firm but understanding.
"It's not like you're not used to having to baby-sit her anyway." Francine grinned at Lee.
"Can it Francine." Lee snatched the rest of the papers from her, turned and left the office.
Francine turned to Billy with a look of mock innocence on her face. "Was it something I said?"
"Can it Francine." Billy said as he left his office behind Lee.
Lee opened the door to the Q-Bureau. Amanda was sitting at his desk looking out the window.
"Hey there." Lee said and quietly shut the door behind him. She turned toward him and he could see that she had been crying. "Are you going to be okay?"
"I'll be fine. I just need to try to detach myself from this." She sighed and wiped her eyes. She looked at Lee's handkerchief. It was stained with mascara. "I must look a fright and I may have ruined your handkerchief."
Lee walked past Amanda's desk and settled himself on the corner of his desk. "You look fine. And don't worry about the handkerchief, I have plenty more where that came from."
Lee took Amanda's hand in his and squeezed it lightly. "Do you want me to drive you home?" He was worried about her and was reluctant to leave her alone until he was sure she was going to be all right.
"That won't be necessary Lee. I can drive myself home." Amanda smiled at the thought of Lee being so concerned for her.
Lee felt her hand in his and thought about how it made his skin tingle. Her touch had that effect on him now and it caused him to crave the moments when they could be close. "I've got an idea. Why don't you come to my place tonight and have dinner with me." He looked down at her expectantly.
His request had definitely taken her by surprise. She looked flustered for a moment but then collected herself. "Of course. Would you like me to bring anything?"
"Just yourself." Lee was visibly relieved that she had accepted. He stood up. "I've got to get going if I'm going to be entertaining tonight. Be there at seven." He leaned forward and before he could stop himself, gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
Amanda sat still for a moment but when she turned to say something he was already out the door. She raised her hand to her face and lightly touched the spot his lips had just been. "Well, that came out of nowhere" she thought. She smiled to herself and grabbed her purse and made her way home, already feeling better about the afternoon.
"Mother! Have you seen my black sweater?" Amanda shouted from her bedroom.
"Yes dear, you hung it in the hall closet when you brought it back from the cleaners." Her mother shouted back from the kitchen.
"Could you bring it up here please?" Amanda had just come out of the shower and was towel drying her hair. A few minutes later her mother tapped on the doorframe.
"Here you go dear. Where are you going tonight? You certainly are fussing over yourself. Amanda! Do you have a date!?!"
"No mother, it is not a date. Mr. Stedman needs me to help him finish up the editing on a new film. The production company bumped up the deadline on us again." Amanda busied herself with her hair. She decided to pin it up off of her neck. With that done, she carefully applied her makeup. She slipped on her sweater and a pair of black jeans and her shoes and with a final inspection in her mirror made her way downstairs.
"Wow Mom, you look great!" Philip remarked from the couch. Jamie's head popped up next to his brother's. "Yeah Mom, you really look nice."
Amanda leaned down and kissed each one on the head. "Thanks guys. I'll probably be late tonight so listen to your Grandmother and don't give her a hard time."
"Okay" the boys said in unison as they turned back to the television.
"Mother, I'm leaving." Amanda called into the kitchen. She picked up her purse and keys and headed for the door.
"Wait!" Dotty shouted. "You really do look lovely dear. It's too bad you're not going on a date."
Amanda rolled her eyes at her mother. "We are not going to have this conversation right now, I'll be late. Goodnight mother." With that, Amanda walked out to her car.
Lee gave the place one last inspection before allowing himself to relax.
Everything had to be perfect tonight. He thought back to the afternoon and the news that had spurred him into action.
He couldn't believe Mike Wittier was gone. They had been buddies back when Lee was just starting out in the business. Lee looked at the clock. It was almost time. He silently prayed that he wouldn't screw everything up.
He straightened his tie and ran nervous fingers through his hair.
Amanda pulled up in front of Lee's apartment building. From the street she could see the lights on in his living room. She gave herself one last look in the mirror. "It's now or never Amanda King" she said out loud
"Don't screw everything up." She got out of the car and headed into the building.
When she reached Lee's front door she hesitated. What if she had misinterpreted Lee's invitation? She smiled as she remembered the quick kiss Lee had placed on her cheek this afternoon. Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door.
Lee jumped when he heard the knock. He looked at the clock. As usual, she was right on time. He slowly walked over to the door and opened it. What he saw took his breath away. Amanda was standing there wearing all black. She smiled at him. "Can I come in?" she softly asked.
"Absolutely." Lee was beaming. Never had he seen her look more beautiful than she did tonight. He stepped aside to let her in.
Amanda walked toward the couch and set her purse down. "What's for dinner?"
"A surprise." Lee smiled and Amanda laughed at the twinkle in his eyes.
"A surprise? I hope it didn't involve one of your refrigerator 'experiments'!"
"Nope! Do you remember two years ago when I was ‘killed' and had to hide out at your place?"
"How could I forget." Amanda shook her head. "Mother and the boys came back early and I had to evict you."
"Right. Do you remember what we didn't get to do that weekend?"
"I didn't get to make you a hamburger and have a normal meal with you." Amanda had a perplexed look on her face. "If I remember correctly, you said you weren't sorry you missed out."
"Well, I was very sorry I missed out." Lee walked over to her and placed his hands on her shoulders. He turned her around and led her toward the dining room table. Two candles were burning and in the center of the table was a bouquet of flowers. Amanda looked at the plates and started to laugh.
"Hamburgers! You made hamburgers?" She turned to face Lee.
"I hope you like it." Lee looked into her eyes and realized that she was tearing up. "Hey, I didn't mean to upset you! Are you okay?" He put his arms around her and pulled her close.
"I'm fine." Amanda sniffed, allowing herself to become lost in Lee's embrace. "It's the sweetest thing you have ever done for me."
"No" Lee said as he tilted her head up to meet his gaze, "this is." With that said he took a deep breath and kissed her. The world seemed to stop.
Amanda was taken by surprise and for a moment didn't know how to react. Her head was spinning with a thousand thoughts. "Wow. What is going on here? Is he really kissing me? What brought this on? Is he still kissing me? Why on earth am I thinking?" Amanda relaxed and melted into Lee's arms.
Lee couldn't believe he was kissing Amanda. His mind was filled with trepidation as he felt how Amanda tensed when he took her into his embrace.
"What am I doing? Why did I do this? She's going to slap me, I can tell. I've really done it this time." Then he felt Amanda relax and return his kiss. "Thank God" Lee thought.
After a few moments, they broke their embrace. Amanda took a step back and looked at Lee. He had put his hands in his pockets and was grinning at her like the cat that ate the canary. "Wow" was all she could say. She smiled back at him. Now was the time to voice her thoughts. "So, what brought that on?"
"Sit down and let me get you a drink." Lee walked into the kitchen and poured each of them a glass of wine. He looked at Amanda sitting on his couch. She had pulled a tissue out of her purse and was dabbing at her eyes. He smiled, shook his head and walked back into the living room.
"Here," he handed her the glass and sat down next to her. "I hope I haven't offended you." Lee said.
"Oh, no! Not at all." Amanda quickly set the tissue down next to her leg on the couch and took a sip of her wine. "I was certainly taken by surprise but you have not offended me."
"Good, I was afraid I might have over stepped the boundaries. You see, I've been wanting to do that for quite some time….."Lee started.
"Lee. . ." Amanda interrupted.
"Wait, let me finish." Lee set his glass on the table and took her hand.
"As I was saying, I've been wanting to do that for a while now but I didn't have the courage. I don't know when it started, you know, when I started looking at you as more than a friend, but lately I have noticed that I can't take my eyes off of you. I fall asleep thinking about you and I wake up thinking about you, too. I can't wait to get to the office so I can see your smile. For the longest time I've been denying my feelings.
Trying to explain them as friendship, that's all, just friendship. But I've finally realized that it's more than that. Amanda, I love you." Amanda squeezed his hand when he said that. He stopped talking and looked at her.
"You what?" Amanda squeaked.
"I said I love you Amanda King. You are by far the most beautiful, smart and caring woman I have ever known." He looked into her eyes and was trying to read her reaction.
"I can't believe it." Amanda stood up and walked toward the dining room table. Lee stood to follow her and then thought better of it.
"I know this is sudden. You need time to process this. I understand." Lee looked down at the floor. This was not going as he had planned it. Amanda was supposed to gush with her love for him and then they were supposed to plan their future together. She certainly was not gushing.
"Sudden?" Amanda was trying hard to not raise her voice. "Let me tell you something Lee Stetson, I've been mooning over you for almost two years and you say this is sudden?" She suddenly turned toward him and he could see she was crying. "I have been dreaming of this moment, Lee. Dreaming of it! Now that it has happened, what am I doing? I'm second guessing myself and I don't know why." She looked up at him "Why am I doing this?"
Lee stood and rushed over to her side. He put his arms around her and held her close, slowly rocking. "I don't know why you're doing this" he whispered into her ear "why don't you tell me what you're feeling."
"I love you, too." She said into his chest. She felt him exhale as if he had been holding his breath. He tightened his arms around her. "I've loved you since the moment we met, although I would have denied it too. I never thought you would feel that way about me."
Lee pulled back slightly, being careful not to release Amanda from his grip. "Why not?" he asked.
"Come on Lee, a housewife from the suburbs with two kids and a mortgage? I'm certainly not the socialite type you are usually arm in arm with." She sighed and shook her head. "That's not to say that I haven't prayed you would change."
"But I have Amanda. You've changed me. You've helped me see that there is more to life than living on the edge. You've shown me the importance of love and family, more than I've ever known in my life. For that I will be forever grateful." Lee looked deep into her eyes and could tell that he was getting through to her. "Come and sit down."
"Let me tell you more about Mike and why I decided to not wait any longer to tell you how I feel about you." He handed her glass of wine to her. Lee took a deep breath and began.
"Mike and I started working for the Agency in '73. We were at Station One together. He and I worked a few cases together but after a few years he transferred to London. We still kept in touch though. We would call each other about once a month and catch each other up on the local gossip."
"He sounds like a good friend." Amanda offered.
"He was great. Who do you think taught me how to hot wire a car?" Lee chuckled at the thought.
"You mean you weren't born with the knowledge?" Amanda ribbed.
"No, I wasn't born with it. Anyway, back to Mike. He met Janine about five years ago. She was a secretary at the London office. They were friends at first. Neither one had any family overseas and they had a lot of other things in common. His phone conversations started becoming more of a ‘guess what Janine and I did this month' thing and less about the local gossip. I used to tease him about falling in love with her. He would always deny it and act all bent out of shape." Lee took Amanda's empty glass from her hand and stood up. Amanda followed him into the kitchen where he refilled the glasses. He handed hers back and took a sip from his own. "So, every month for the first two years of their ‘friendship', I talked to Mike and every month for the first year and a half, he still denied there was anything between him and Janine. Finally, about a three years ago, he changed his tune."
"That's wonderful Lee." Amanda leaned against the counter.
"Yeah. It was great. He finally opened up to her and they started officially dating. They were married right before I met you." Lee shook his head and looked down at his glass. "We still talked every month. About a year ago, after he met you, he pointed out to me that my conversations were all about you and what we had done together. He was starting to tease me about falling in love with you. Of course, I denied it. I'm a lone wolf you know. I don't need anyone, right?"
"Lee, I know you better than that. You have changed. I think you're starting to realize just how much you do need people." She put her glass down and reached for him. He stepped forward and put his arms around her. They stood that way for a moment.
"So," Lee started and took step back, "I learned a lesson from all of this. I was afraid to tell you how I really felt. I was afraid that you wouldn't feel the same way. When I heard about Mike, it reminded me how very short life can be and I decided to take a chance. I don't want there to be any regrets when it comes to us."
Amanda smiled at him. "I am very glad you took that chance Lee. I know I was afraid to take it myself."
"Really? I didn't know that you could be afraid of anything Amanda King." Lee smiled at her. Even though he was kidding, there was some degree of truth to his statement. I never ceased to amaze him at how she handled herself in situations where even the most highly trained agent would turn and run.
"I was afraid of being rejected by you." Amanda looked up into Lee's eyes.
"Well, now you know you don't have to worry about that, don't you?" He took Amanda's hand in his own and led her to the dining room. "Now, we have a ‘normal' dinner to eat before it gets any colder."
Amanda and Lee sat down and enjoyed a quiet and ‘normal' dinner. Finally after all the plates were washed and put away, Amanda turned to Lee. "I really do need to get going, I have to get some sleep tonight." She leaned her head against Lee's chest as he wrapped his arms around her.
"I wish you didn't have to leave." Lee sighed, "I'm having such a good time tonight."
"I know," Amanda whispered, "me too, but just because we've reached this new stage in our relationship doesn't mean we should put the rest of the world on hold while we explore."
"As usual, you're right. Can I pick you up in the morning?" Lee kissed the top of her head and took a deep breath, smelling her shampoo.
"That would be nice. It's going to be a hard enough day as it is." Amanda backed away from Lee, picked up her purse and fished out her car keys.
"I'll be there at 7:30 okay?" Lee walked with her to his front door. "Oh, Amanda? I love you."
Amanda turned to Lee with a smile on her face. "I love you too. I don't think I will ever get tired of hearing you say that." She kissed him quickly on the cheek, turned and left.
Lee shut the front door and walked over to the living room window. He watched her walk to her car, get in and drive away. "That went surprisingly well," Lee said to himself. He turned off the lights and headed for bed. Amanda was right. Tomorrow was going to be a rough day, but somehow he knew that they would get through it together.