Author: Mary PM
Terror, angst, pain, loss, treachery . . . the usual suspects are back again to plague Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Will they defeat the odds and find their way back to each other? Or have they finally met an enemy too complex to handle? STORY COMPLETERated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Drama - Chapters: 23 - Words: 129,169 - Reviews: 76 - Favs: 43 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 08-21-05 - Published: 07-28-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2507595
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DISCLAIMER Scarecrow & Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot The Moon Production Company; "Holy Tears" lyrics by Tara MacLean, from the "Silence" album. The original portions of this story, however, are copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author.
Date Written: February—July, 2005
Rating: T for language and some sexual situations.
Summary: Terror, angst, pain, loss, treachery . . . the usual suspects are back again to plague Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Will they defeat the odds and find their way back to each other? Or have they finally met an enemy too complex to handle? This is a stand-alone story, and is not part of the "With or Without You" universe.
Angst warning: EH (Extremely High). Of course, if you've survived other 'Mary' stories, I'm guessing you'll make it through this one as well. You may need to make a few trips to the store for extra Kleenex – this 'story' over 300 pages long.
They linger on
Holding you, my light
Forever gone . . .'
"Seeing now that our sister has been set free from the physical body to enter into a new life with a spiritual body stronger and better than the flesh, we commit her spirit into God's hands. We give thanks to God for the gift of her earthly life . . ."
The minister's voice droned on, but he'd stopped listening. Stopped minutes ago, as the unflappable Marine guards folded the flag and placed it in his hands; hours ago, as the shiny hearse departed the small church in Arlington, Virginia; days ago, as he languished in the sterile hospital bed in a daze of grief and pain; weeks ago, when the gunshots ended everything in an explosion of twisted metal and burning flesh.
"I'm so sorry for your loss." Reverend Mills' trembling bottom lip betrayed the depth of his emotion as he shook Lee's hand. "She was a wonderful woman. She'll be missed."
Others shared the same sense of loss. Single file, they passed before him, murmuring futile words of condolence. Comrades-in-arms and acquaintances alike, all come to solemnly pay their respects to the empty coffin.
There hadn't been anything of consequence left to bury. Only the few charred remains and the sparkling engagement ring he'd offered up. It seemed fitting somehow that a ring that had barely seen the light of day while she lived should come to rest six feet under the earth. But her wedding band—that he hadn't been able to part with. He could feel it even now in his pocket, pressing into his thigh, its presence assuring him that it hadn't all been a lie.
They'd had far too many of those already. Traffic accident, indeed. Dotty and the boys hadn't believed it, that lame story the Agency spin-doctors had concocted. And so he'd told them the truth, one rainy afternoon in his hospital room, all of it, once and for all. What did he care if he violated his national security oath? It hardly mattered now; she was gone.
Wiping his eyes with shaking fingers, he looked up. Joe King stood before him, his features chiseled from stone. "Carrie and I are going to take Dotty and the boys home with us tonight."
Lee's gaze traveled over Joe's shoulder to Phillip and Jamie. Pale and silent, they stood woodenly between Joe's fiancée, Carrie Webber, and their grandmother. No one in the group seemed willing to meet his eyes.
"It's going to take time," Joe said. "Losing Amanda, learning about what you do, the secret marriage . . . it's a lot for everyone take in."
Lee wanted to reply, but his vocal chords didn't appear to be working.
"Well, we should be going. I need to get the family home." He met Lee's eyes one last time before he left. With a look that was almost accusatory, he mumbled, "I loved her, too, you know."
He watched Joe walk away, saw him put an arm around each of his sons, guiding them to the safety of his car, his life. Carrie followed, but Dotty West paused for a beat to stare across the cemetery. Refusing to acknowledge him, she, too, trailed after her departing family.
"Come on, Scarecrow, it's time to go." There was no mistaking the compassion in the voice of his superior and friend, Billy Melrose. "I'll ride back to the hospital with you. You shouldn't be out of bed."
"She was pregnant." The words ripped themselves from his throat, almost of their own volition—one final secret he hadn't been able to confess to her family. "We were planning to come in from the field, both of us. This was going to be the last case . . ." Lee laughed bitterly. "I guess that part was true, huh?"
Billy laid a hand gingerly on Lee's shoulder. "Come on, let's get you off that leg."
Lee allowed his eyes to rest for one final moment on the hole that would house what remained of his wife. Gripping the handles of his crutches until his knuckles hurt, he murmured a silent goodbye.
Only then did he allow Billy Melrose to lead him to the waiting limousine.