**DISCLAIMER** "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
SYNOPSIS: A filler that takes place in the time between Lee going to bed and them going to check on Frank Bodine's house.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Amanda King finished drying up the last of the dishes and put them back into their respective cupboards. Still thinking about the earlier conversation with her 'husband', secret agent Lee Stetson, she walked back slowly to the lounge and stared at the less than comfortable looking couch that was to be her bed for the night.
"The senior agent always gets the bed," she muttered to angrily herself, recalling his words from earlier that evening. "So much for good old fashioned male courtesy."
She walked over to the couch then picked up the cushions and fluffed them with more fierceness than was necessary, re-arranging them into comfortable pillows at one end. Job done, Amanda's annoyance rose another notch, but this time at herself, as she looked around the room and realised she'd forgotten to ask Lee to bring down a blanket.
She glanced at her watch and saw that it had only been fifteen minutes since he had gone upstairs. 'He won't be asleep yet,' she thought to herself, 'I'll call up and get him to throw one down.'
Amanda walked out into the hallway and stood at the bottom of the stairs. "Lee?" she called out and then waited. Nothing. "Lee, can you hear me?" she called again, louder this time. "I need a blanket." Still no reply.
"I don't know how he survives sneak attacks if he can't even hear me calling him," she muttered as she stomped angrily up the stairs.
Once she was standing outside the bedroom door, it took all her willpower not to grab hold of the door handle and barge straight in unannounced. Instead, she raised her hand and knocked loudly. "Lee," she called, "can I come in? I need a blanket for downstairs." The silence that met her enquiry finally snapped her remaining patience. "Fine, well, I'm coming in anyway."
She opened the door and stopped to let her eyes adjust to the darkness inside the room. Using the light shining in from the hallway, Amanda found the light switch and flipped it on. Her eyes narrowed as she looked at the bed and saw Lee sprawled out on his back in the middle of it, sound asleep.
"Nice to see someone is getting some rest," she mumbled crossly before walking over to the built-in closets to search for a blanket. When she found nothing in the first one, Amanda couldn't resist the urge to slam the doors shut with a loud bang. She looked over at the bed but the only reaction from the figure lying there was the sound of a soft snore.
Lips pursed in indignation, Amanda opened the other closet and found the object of her search. Having retrieved the plaid blanket from the shelf, she again shut the doors loudly and looked to the bed with the hopes of waking him up. After being rewarded with yet another gentle snore, Amanda stalked over to the light switch and angrily snapped it off. "Sweet dreams," she muttered sarcastically to herself then left the room, slamming that door after her as well for good measure.
Inside the bedroom, Lee opened his eyes. He couldn't stop the chuckle that escaped him as soon as the door slammed shut. He'd been awake the whole time and had found Amanda's anger an interesting side to her he hadn't yet seen properly. Turning onto his side he shut his eyes again and let his body relax in readiness for sleep. A smile lingered as he thought how good it was to know that Amanda had a certain amount of fire in her. 'Maybe there's more to her than I realised,' was his last thought before drifting off to sleep.
Downstairs, Amanda had turned off the lights and was lying on the couch trying to get herself comfortable. She turned onto her left side and shut her eyes, hoping that sleep would come quickly. It didn't. Instead, much to her annoyance, her mind seemed to want to dwell on the enigmatic man who was fast asleep upstairs.
Irritated, she turned over onto her right side and tried to empty her mind but still she wasn't successful. With a sigh of resignation, she turned onto her back, opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling. She obviously wasn't going to get any rest until she'd thought a few things out and those 'few things' were obviously ALL about Lee Stetson.
Ever since he had suddenly appeared in her life just two short weeks earlier, her entire world had been turned upside down. When she looked back over that brief time, her life seemed to have turned into something out of a James Bond movie: car chases, piloting helicopters, Russian agents.
She groaned, "Oh come on, Amanda, don't romanticise this. You're lying on an uncomfortable couch that has bullet holes in its cushions; you're covered by a blanket that's itching you all over and it's past midnight. This is 'not' how James Bond does it in the movies."
She sat up and pushed the blanket away from her body in disgust. Scratching her arms, she stood up and walked into the kitchen then put the kettle on. She got a mug out of the cupboard and placed it next to the kettle then she sat down at the table and waited for the water to boil.
As she listened to the hum of the kettle, her thoughts went back to Lee. Amanda couldn't remember ever having met someone that pushed her buttons the way he did. She prided herself on her patience but somehow, Lee always managed to get her madder quicker than she had realised she was capable of. What was it about him that irked her most? His constant desire to be rid of her or the total disregard he seemed to have of her as a person in general?
She shook her head. 'Probably the lack of respect.' she acknowledged unhappily.
Although, what she'd ever done to upset him so much she was at a loss to understand. After all, it wasn't her fault that he had picked her out that day at the station, it wasn't her fault that there were twenty men in red hats on the train and it certainly wasn't her fault that Mr. Melrose had decided to take her on part time.
All she wanted to do was help out, couldn't Lee see that? She shook her head again. No, all Lee could see was a person whom he had been forced to work with when he didn't want anyone around him at all.
She wondered briefly about Lee's previous partner. It was obvious from the way he spoke that they had been close. It was also just as obvious that Lee felt that 'he' should have been the one to die.
Amanda felt the sadness and sympathy wash over her at Lee's misplaced guilt. Although she didn't know the details, she felt certain that if he could have, Lee would've prevented his partner's death whatever the cost.
True, she'd only known Lee a short time but she trusted her own judgement and every fibre of her body screamed that Lee was a decent, trustworthy and honourable man who for all his cold, uncaring outward façade, hurt as deep as anyone else when it really came down to it. And he definitely was hurting when it came to his partner's untimely death.
That's what made Lee so interesting she acknowledged to herself. His sudden outburst that day had shown a side of him she doubted he very often exposed, especially to someone he hardly knew. Sure, he was good looking and charming but one of the main reasons she stuck around was that she wanted to get to know the real man underneath.
She laughed derisively at herself. "Like that's ever going to happen, Amanda. He'll be clear of you the first opportunity he gets." She shook her head in resignation and looked at her surroundings. Was getting to know him better really worth going through all this? She had a lovely family and a loving boyfriend, so what on earth was she doing here, at twelve thirty in the morning, thinking about a man who didn't even want to acknowledge she existed? "Lack of sleep. It makes you do funny things," she said aloud and then raised her eyebrows in realisation before adding, "like talking to yourself".
The switch of the kettle clicking off made her jump. She got up and poured the hot water into her cup, stifling a yawn. She padded back to the table and sat down again, enjoying the warmth emanating from the mug encircled tightly in her hands. She raised the drink to her lips and took a sip, then put the mug back down as she yawned again, her eyes feeling heavy. 'I'll just finish my coffee, then try and get some sleep,' she thought tiredly.
Lee came downstairs at three in the morning and entered the living room. He stopped by the couch but found only a crumpled blanket. Puzzled, he looked around and spotted the light coming from the kitchen. "Amanda," he said as he walked in, "it's time to…"
He stopped and gazed down at the sleeping woman in front of him. Amanda was sitting down and bent forward, her head resting on her left arm, her right hand clasping a nearly full mug of cold coffee. He smiled softly and gently took the mug from her hand, placing it on the other side of the table out of the way. Then he reached out to shake her awake but his hand stilled just before touching her shoulder.
She looked so peaceful and yet so vulnerable that he just wanted to leave her there and keep her out of harm's way. He wanted to protect her, he recognised with some surprise. It was a feeling he hadn't had in a long time and he wasn't about to welcome it back with open arms. The smile left his face and was replaced with a mask of cold indifference. He leant forward and shook her firmly. "Amanda. Amanda, wake up. It's time to go and check Bodine's house."
"What?" she mumbled groggily.
"It's time to go, Amanda," Lee reiterated in a louder, more annoyed voice and shook her again.
"All right, all right, I'm awake, don't shout," she grumbled as she lifted her head and blinked away the last vestiges of sleep.
"Come on, I'll make you another cup of coffee while you get ready," he offered in a kinder tone and took the mug over to the sink to rinse it out.
"Oh, thanks," Amanda replied in pleased surprise. 'Maybe that's his way of saying sorry,'she thought as she yawned. She got up slowly and headed towards the door.
"And don't be long!" Lee called after her as she left the room.
Amanda stopped where she was, looked heavenwards and gritted her teeth as she mentally counted to ten. "Maybe not".