**DISCLAIMER** "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. We retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
SYNOPSIS: An old friend helps Lee and Amanda with a case.
TIMELINE: Somewhere during the latter part of the third season but doesn't conform to canon.
"Amanda, we've finally had a breakthrough on the Tremayne case," said Lee as he burst into the Q Bureau.
Amanda looked up from the report she was writing. "That's great. What did you find out?" she asked interestedly.
"Nothing…yet." Lee walked over and dropped yet another file on top of the large pile in front of her. She grimaced and sighed.
Oblivious to her exasperation, Lee picked up his letters and continued to talk. "I'm meeting with a guy tonight called Jerry Miller. He works for Tremayne at ChemiMed and says he has vital information that could help us."
"Tonight?" Amanda's face fell. "What time tonight?"
"Nine o' clock," replied Lee, sounding pleased with himself. He started to sift through his mail.
"Oh," said Amanda in a small voice. She looked down and tried to concentrate on her work.
Lee glanced up, surprised at her lack of enthusiasm. A look of dismay came over his face and he briefly closed his eyes as he remembered their plans. "Oh, Amanda. I'm sorry. We were going out to dinner tonight weren't we?" he said quietly.
Amanda looked at him with a small, hurt smile. "That's alright, I understand."
"No Amanda, it's not alright," Lee gently admonished. He put his letters down, walked around the desk and perched on the edge. Amanda gazed up at him as he took the pen out of her hand and laid it down. Taking her hands in his, he stared into her eyes. "I've let you down a couple of times this month due to work and..."
"Six times," cut in Amanda quietly.
"Six times?" repeated Lee incredulously. He shook his head in self-disgust. "Six times. I don't know why you put up with it Amanda."
She blushed slightly and looked down.
"Look, why don't you come with me tonight, hmm? ChemiMed is having a cocktail party and that's where I'm meeting Miller. It may be work but at least we'll be together," he urged with a smile.
Amanda smiled back at him. "OK, that would be nice."
"Good," he said, getting up. "I'll be over for you about eight, OK?"
Amanda nodded. "Oh, but don't forget you've got to get a loaner from the Agency pound first."
"What?!" Lee exclaimed, turning around to look at her. "Oh, don't tell me they haven't finished with my car yet?"
Amanda shrugged her shoulders. She knew how he was about his car. "Well, the garage said that if you want every little scratch out, it's going to take a couple of days."
"A couple of da…Oh, that's just great," moaned Lee in frustration. He checked his watch. "OK, I'll let Billy know what's happening tonight and then go and see Leatherneck. With any luck he'll still have something."
As soon as he'd left, Amanda sighed and sat back in her chair staring thoughtfully at the door. Their relationship had changed in the last few months. It was only subtly, but there was definitely a change.
They had begun to have dinner together once in a while and she'd also noticed that Lee seemed more tolerant of her lately as well. Rather than losing his temper, she would often catch him smiling indulgently at her now.
And yet, even though it was frequently implied, they had never actually said anything about their feelings to each other. She was beginning to wonder if they ever would.
She knew without a doubt that she loved him and was almost as certain that he felt the same. In fact, they would often get close to admitting as such but then, at the last moment, either one or the other would pull back. She shook her head and smiled slightly at their reluctance to take the next step. She knew they'd both been hurt, but if one of them didn't give their relationship a nudge in the right direction soon, they would never move on.
With that thought in mind, Amanda mentally reviewed her wardrobe for something to wear for that evening. It had to be something special. Something that would make him take notice. She smiled as she remembered a dress she'd bought a short while ago but had never had the occasion or, if she were honest, the courage to wear. She checked the clock. Another hour and then she could leave.
END CHAPTER ONE