Timing and assumptions: Just after series ended. Obviously, no one knows about the marriage, Lee and Amanda are still sneaking around to get time together, and all those who were peeping toms into their lives want to know how it all ended up. Generous references to the past and the events of the 4th season… and occasionally you might see a character utter a familiar line…
Written: Dec 2000-Jan 2001
Rating: PG-ish… probably more accurate as a G, but this allows for one’s mind to wander…
Comments? I’d love to see ‘em. Encouragement to continue? I’d love that too. Flames? Sure, why not, I need something to roast marshmallows by…
She decided to move around the boxes to get back to the car and call for backup. As she moved, she jostled a box, and distracted everyone. Her partner took advantage of the disturbance, and punched Sims in the midsection. He then quickly moved into a position where he could sweep his leg around and Sims, who had managed for fire a round, lost his balance and came off his feet.
In the chaos, Fritz ended up being grazed by that wild shot. Williams stood stock still, not fully realizing what was going on, until he saw Sims go down. Williams turned and pointed his gun at the agent who was quickly ensuring that Sims wasn’t going to be up anytime soon. The female agent realized what was going on, raised her gun, and fired off a shot, not fully sure where it would land, as her partner, realizing what was happening, launched himself towards the nearest pile of crates for cover.
She had shot Williams in the chest before he was able to fire off a round.
Fritz lay perfectly still, unconscious from hitting his head on the floor.
Her partner, from the cover of crates, looked back towards where she was.
Williams hit the floor on his back, and the result of what she had done was visibly apparent on the white dress shirt he had been wearing.
The gun in her hands dropped to the floor just seconds before she did.
A thin ray of sunlight started to filter through the drapes, and woke up one of the sleeping agents.
Lee Stetson was facing his beloved wife; his arm slung over her waist, hand in the small of her back where it often rested when they were out together. He smiled to himself, as they often woke together this way – she always slept on her right, he always on his left – and as a result, the first thing they saw when they went to sleep and woke up was each other. “Which doesn’t happen often enough to suit me,” Lee thought wryly.
Amanda looked exhausted, and rightly so considering the events of the previous night, but she had slept the entire night through without difficulty. Lee, however, had woken up regularly to check on her, worried that she would be suffering from nightmares or sleeplessness. He was lucky to have convinced Billy that they could debrief in the morning so that they both could get some rest. Lee just wondered when they would be required to come in to go over the whole thing again.
As if on cue, Lee heard the phone ring in the living room. That had to be Billy. He had turned the ringer off in the bedroom, as he often did when he and Amanda could sneak a night together, so that they were not disturbed. He moved slightly and reached to pick up the phone on the bedside table.
“Yeah, Billy. I’m awake. What do you want?” Lee smiled as he heard his boss laugh in the phone.
He was often right when his phone rang lately – it was either Amanda, or Billy, or some other innocuous caller. Not like the days when he didn’t know who would be calling due to all the women who had paraded in and out of his apartment, bed, and life. The Playboy edition of Lee Stetson’s life was out of circulation, and he was a happier man for it.
“Lee, it’s time to bring Amanda in and go through the paces.”
“I know. I know. But what would it hurt to let her sleep in a little more? It’s going to be a beautiful Sunday morning, and she’s probably having a nice dream in her comfortable bed—“
“Lee, I know she’s at your place. Dr. Smyth sent out the order last night to have agents follow her home, and they tell me that she never left your place last night. In fact, we know—“
“WHAT?!! What’s Smyth thinking now? That’s she’s a threat to national security? Ok Billy, yes, we never headed for her house last night. She didn’t want to go home. She needed to de-compress, and I didn’t think that it would be a good idea for her to go home in the condition she was in. What would her mother think?” Lee took a deep breath. He had to remind himself to speak in a low voice so that he wouldn’t wake up Amanda, but that didn’t seem like a concern – she had moaned and turned over, still sleeping, dead to the world from exhaustion. “So she came over here. Come on, Billy, how many times have you already gone looking for one of us at the other’s house? What’s the big deal? She’s stayed over here before after a rough assignment. That’s what friends do—“
“Cut it, Scarecrow.” Billy sounded irritated. “You’re getting too defensive. Remember, whatever your relationship with Amanda is it’s fine with me.” Billy sighed, and smiled to himself. He knew that Lee and Amanda had a taken a very serious turn in their relationship, although how serious it went, neither agent was admitting. But there was a time, place and purpose for every conversation, and now was not the time for this one. “She’s still asleep, huh? Did she rest well?” Billy’s concern was apparent in his voice.
“Yeah, she was fine. She was almost asleep on her feet when we got here, so we settled on the bed. She didn’t want to be left alone.” Lee slowly got up off the bed and looked over at Amanda. Not an outright lie – she had been tired when they arrived at the apartment, and he had carried her over to the bed, but they had held each other until she fell asleep. He didn’t like lying to Billy – his boss, his friend for many years. “She might want to go home to change before we come in, Billy. She slept in what she was wearing, and might want to freshen up a little. And check in on the boys.” Also not a lie—no matter how infrequently they had stayed together or were out for a night because of an assignment, Amanda usually headed home right before work to change clothes at her home and to check on the boys.
“Good. I want you both in the debriefing rooms by 7:30. After you’re done, Amanda’s got one on one time with Dr. Pfaff to talk through this…” Billy braced himself for the torrents to follow.
“Oh, come on, Billy, Pfaff? She doesn’t need a head shrinker. She’s fine. I know I’m not an expert, but I’ve seen enough agents with first time deadly force, and I’ve gone through it myself to know. No apparent nightmares. No shock. She doesn’t need the one on one. Maybe some time off for good behavior…”
“She’ll get that too Lee, but I stand firm. She’s going in to Pfaff, and you’re both taking time off.” Authority was starting to creep into Billy’s voice, and if it came to it, he would force the order down Lee’s throat.
“Come on, Billy, you know as well as I do that Pfaff’s useless. I mean, what kind of shrink is effective when he’s got an oral fixation and lies down on the couch during sessions? He’s always sucking on those ice cream bars whenever I’ve seen him, talking about how we feel—“
“That’s his job, Lee. Besides, you haven’t had need to see him in a while – he’s given up the ice cream bars. Doc McJohn told him to get his cholesterol down.” Billy smiled. That would keep Lee at bay for a few minutes.
“Yeah, he’s probably using lollipop’s to satisfy himself now, right? Billy, what’s so funny?” Lee knew he was right. “He is, isn’t he? Oh god, don’t put Amanda through all that. She’s been through enough. Let her get through debriefing and take the time off, and let her figure out if she needs Pfaff. Besides, we’ll both be off, and I have to plans to go anywhere, so if she needs someone to talk to, she can come and talk to me.” Lee thought quickly about whether they could pick up and leave or if there was anything going on with the boys that would keep Amanda at home for the next few days while they were off duty. He couldn’t think of anything. He knew Philip and Jaime’s schedules almost as well as Amanda since they had let her family know that they were seeing each other. It would be good for the both of them to get away for a while – just the two of them. They hadn’t really had any time together since their ill-fated honeymoon.
It would be different if the two boys knew about the elopement that had taken place in February, but Lee firmly believed that that knowledge would put the whole family at risk. If the great and fearsome Scarecrow moved to suburbia, the rumors would fly – he’d gotten soft, there were weaknesses, he was leaving the business. It was bad enough with the rumors around the office about he and Amanda, but that hadn’t weakened anyone’s opinion about them – they were the most effective and successful team The Agency had, and no one could second-guess them. Even rookies were impressed when they found out that Amanda had been a divorced stay at home mom from Arlington and had been in the right place at the right time when she was picked up as a random civilian courier in a train station. Lee looked over at his wife’s still form. Now she was the partner of the infamous Scarecrow – the once self-proclaimed lone wolf, a dangerous agent, now a husband and stepfather. If only they knew…
Billy raising his voice broke his reverie, “…not qualified and that’s that. She’s seeing Pfaff. I’m shutting down the Q-Bureau today once you give me a run-down of what’s going on up there. You can use the time while Amanda’s in with Pfaff to finish any outstanding reports and write any updates you need to. Get Francine up there with you so that she knows what’s going on in case anything you’ve got becomes a powder keg.” Obviously while Lee tuned out, Billy was giving him the “you’re not a qualified shrink” talk again. He’d supported Amanda (whether Billy knew it or not) over the previous 4 years since they’d met, and she had brought him into the land of the living. Of course, he was qualified. But he gave in. There was going to be no changing of Billy’s mind today.
“Ok Billy, we’ll see you when we get there. I’ll stay with her the whole way. But do me this favor, please? Call the dogs off - she’ll spot them when we’re in her neighboorhood, and you know that as well as I do. And why does she have a tail?”
“Sorry, Lee. Smyth’s orders. All I know is that Smyth wanted them to stay on her until she debriefs. I don’t understand it either – this was a routine stakeout for the both of you, and it shouldn’t have escalated to this level. And before you start,” Billy said, cutting off the beginning of Lee’s protest, “I know she wouldn’t do anything to compromise herself or The Agency, but you know how Smyth feels about her. Just stay with her, let her know we trust her, and get the both of you in here.” Billy hung up on Lee, and sighed. This was going to be a tough day, and Scarecrow wasn’t going to make it any easier by attempting to be Amanda’s protector. Internal Affairs had called that morning, and let him know that they were going through the motions of doing their background checks on agents. Lee and Amanda’s names came up as going through the wringer. Billy sighed. Well, maybe, for once, Scarecrow hadn’t done anything that would bring two tons of paperwork onto his desk.
At his end, Lee sighed and hung up the phone, shook his head and wondered how much Billy knew. And with Smyth assigning agents to watch Amanda’s whereabouts through the night, he wondered if he should do his own sweep of the apartment for bugs while they had some time off. Usually The Agency did regular sweeps, but with Smyth ordering a watch on Amanda, that last sweep could also have been to plant some of their own bugs. Perhaps he should spend a little of their time off doing a little extermination work of his own. Besides, Amanda could stand to learn how to look for those kinds of things. He smiled to himself – always trying to teach her something new if he could. Smyth was right – she was his protégé. But she was a damn good agent too, and the instincts and reactions that she had were hers and hers alone. “No one can teach you that kind of stuff,” Lee muttered aloud.
“You can teach me anything you want, Scarecrow,” Amanda turned over and looked at her husband. He looked so concerned, and surprised that she was awake. “Does Mr. Melrose have you cornered with reports again while I go through debriefing?”
“Sorry, Manda. Did I wake you?” Lee sat down on the bed, leaned over and kissed her on the forehead.
“I’ve been awake since I heard the phone ring in the other room. So, what’s Dr. Smyth trying to pin on me now? I heard you ask to have the dogs called off. Are there people outside?” Amanda looked amused at this. She had never felt comfortable around Dr. Smyth, and figured that he must have something new up his sleeve about her.
“You’ve been awake – why does that not surprise me? I guess I should have figured that when you turned over you weren’t sleeping. You rarely turn over in your sleep, and you didn’t have that little smile you always seem to have. I blamed that on last night, but I underestimated you, huh?” Lee ran a finger down the side of her cheek as she sat up. “Yeah, Smyth’s got the watchers outside the building. I was so worried and relieved last night that I didn’t think about watching if there was anyone behind us. That and there were so many of us leaving at the same time…” Lee trailed off, thinking about his conversation with Billy. Something didn’t add up. “Amanda, Billy’s scheduled time with Pfaff for you today.
“I know, standard procedure, I heard you two on the phone. He’s just looking out for me, Lee, that’s his job. You know as well as I do that if one of us goes south, we’d drag the other down. You’re my partner, and you’re the best man The Agency has. Ugh,” Amanda stretched and got up off the bed, and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. “I look horrible. Lee, how could you let me sleep in these clothes? I’ve got to go home and change; I don’t have any—Oh, no, Mother. What am I going to tell her this time? Wait a minute, did you say Dr. Smyth had us followed last night?” She stopped at the look on Lee’s face and his finger to his mouth. What was bothering him finally came to light - something Billy had tried to say before he cut him off came back to him: “In fact, we know…” What did they know? Did they know about their marriage, or just that they were involved in more than an Agency partnership? And how did Billy know whatever it was that he knew? He was positive at this point that there were Agency bugs in his place.
“Amanda, you were tired, and you headed straight for the bed last night. And you wanted a little comfort, so we talked and happened to fall asleep. I called your mother and told her that we got caught up in some paperwork, and you fell asleep here. I knew that you didn’t want her to worry. I didn’t want to wake you up and all my sweats are in the wash.” Lee bent down by the window and started looking under a table. “By the way, how’s your head? You hit the ground pretty hard last night…”
“My head’s fine. I still have a little bit of a headache, but otherwise I’m ok. I think.” Amanda winced slightly at Lee opening the drapes to let a little more light in. “Maybe I should grab some aspirin.”
“I’ll get you that aspirin. Oh, and could you give me a few minutes to get cleaned up and I’ll take you home so you can change? Billy wants us in debriefing by 8:30, so we’ve got a little time. Why don’t I go get some coffee started? Interested?” Lee held up a wire that he had just found tucked under the edge of the carpet. He also found a small circular microphone that was secured just behind a table lamp. Lee raised an eyebrow and handed it over to her.
“Yeah, I’m very interested. But let me make the coffee, since I pretty much forced you to let me stay here last night and unwind.” Amanda nodded her head, understanding. They didn’t know how long the bug had been there, and she didn’t know what possessed Lee into looking for things out of the ordinary, but she was glad that their conversation last night hadn’t tipped any clues about their relationship, or anything about what happened last night other than the fact that she had been very scared, and confused when it was over. She absently pulled at the diamond heart necklace she usually wore.
Lee started pulling back the edges of the carpet some more, and didn’t find any more wire, but kept hunting for more bugs. Someone had definitely been there, and been busy because there were all sorts of loose sections on the edges of the carpet. Near the door to the bedroom, Lee found yet another piece of wire anchored out of the way – antenna wire. Amanda had gone into the kitchen by then and started the coffee brewing. She pulled out the utility shears that she had put in the kitchen a few months ago, and handed them over to Lee. He grabbed them and headed back into the bedroom and started clipping in half the wires he found.
Amanda started doing a quick search of the living room. Almost immediately she found a small microphone on the back of a photo on the sofa table of the two of them that had been taken a couple of years ago at a Christmas party. Amanda handled the frame carefully – she had been surprised the first time that she saw the photo in Lee’s apartment shortly after it was taken, and even more surprised that he had kept it in such a prominent spot in the living room.
Amanda called out “Lee, coffee’s ready!” and he came out of the bedroom on his hands and knees, still following the molding, looking for more loose carpet edge. She plucked the mic off the frame, and headed for the kitchen. The two mics found their way down the garbage disposal as Lee looked opened the window in time to hear a scream from one of the agents in a car down below.
“Good morning guys! Eddington, is that you? You always did scream like a girl in Dr. Pain’s sessions. I don’t know how many more bugs you’ve got up here, but Amanda’s doing some exterminating work, and she’s not too happy. You must be slipping if the housewife found some of your work,” at this point Lee was hit from behind with a large sofa cushion, “– that or she’s better than you care to admit. Remember, she’s taking the same courses you guys did long ago – and now she’s got Leatherneck working with her too… Oh, just so you know, we’re going to finish our coffee, head for her place, and then head into the office. Let Smyth know that we’re on our way.” Lee closed the window and smiled.