Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. The plot is mine, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
"No, I don't wanna go to the hospital! I don't like doctors," Lee argued adamantly with his insistent fiancée' as he struggled to his feet with her help. Upon rising though, the pain in his head plagued him and he conceded, "I will take that ride though."
Amanda nodded and helped him to the car, her lips quirking slightly in amusement at his choice of words considering his desire for dessert earlier. As she got into the drivers' side of the Wagoneer and pulled away from the curb, she couldn't help thinking about the smoldering look he'd given her at the time and how hard it had been for her to say no to going back to his place. It wasn't that she hadn't wanted to, but she also knew that they did have to be at work early and he had that big meeting tomorrow. She knew if they had their "dessert," he wouldn't get enough sleep and she also knew how much this assignment meant to him. It was an opportunity for him to shine and he deserved that opportunity; he'd earned it.
"What's the smile all about," he questioned as he gazed at her from the passenger seat.
"Smile? What smile?" She replied as she cast a brief sideways glance at him before turning her eyes back to the road in front of her.
"Uh-huh," his voice sounded disbelievingly. "Care to share?"
"Oh, look, here we are; Home sweet home," she declared as she pulled the wagon up to the curb in front of his building. "Let's get you inside, why don't we? I wanna take a look at that bump on your head." She quickly unfastened her seatbelt, nearly leapt out of the car and hurried to his side to help him, fearing he'd still be unsteady on his feet after a blow like that.
She was too late though, as he'd already stepped out of the car and was in the process of closing the door when she reached him. "Amanda, I said I was fine. My head is fine." He gave her a mischievous smirk as he reached for her, sliding his hands to her slender waist, and dropping his voice, added, "That head, anyway." He pulled her to him, pressing against her seductively.
Not missing a beat, she cocked her head to the side invitingly and countered, "Well, it's just a good thing you're so hard-headed," just as his mouth descended on hers. Her body gave off an involuntary shiver that had nothing to do with the chill of the February air. She let out a tiny moan as her fiancé' teased her lips with his tongue and wrapped her in his arms.
He pulled back slightly, resting his head against hers and whispered, "Let's go upstairs."
She nodded mutely, took his hand and they walked into his building together, Lee grinning smugly all the way. However, once they were inside his apartment, after taking her coat off, she made a beeline for the kitchen.
"Amanda," he protested. "The bedroom's this way." He gestured down the hall.
"You go on. I'll be there in a minute," she called back undeterred from her mission.
He shrugged out of his coat, hung it next to hers and let out a frustrated sigh, but he knew that tone in her voice. There was no arguing with her with that tone...the "mom" voice, as he'd come to think of it. It was the same one she used with her children when she expected them to do something. He glanced briefly toward the kitchen trying to ascertain what she was up to, shook his head and headed to the bedroom, loosening his tie as he went. He idly rubbed the back of his head where it still ached from having struck the ground, not that he'd tell her that because she'd just start mothering him again.
He still couldn't help smiling though as he stripped off his suit jacket, dropping it and his tie to the chair in the corner. That was one of the many things about her that had made him fall in love with her; Her selfless desire to care for and nurture everyone around her, including him. He was just sitting down on the edge of the bed toeing off his shoes when she returned with a breezy, "Here, we are," icepack in hand. When he simply stared at her in wonder, she explained, "For your head to take the swelling down."
He took the icepack from her hand, set it aside on the nightstand, reached for her and pulled her into his lap astride him, causing her to let out a squeal. "There's another kind of swelling I think you could help me with," he crooned with an impish grin. "No ice required."
She planted a quick kiss to his lips, kicked her heels off and replied, "Mm-mm. Not yet. Not until I look at that knot on the back of your head."
"Not yet?" He murmured close to her ear as he nuzzled her neck. "So, you're not saying no then."
"Lee..." she sighed as he began to get to her, the touch of his lips on her skin setting her ablaze. She couldn't believe that after all their dancing around each other, this man was finally going to be her husband just a short week from now. It saddened her a bit that they couldn't properly celebrate their upcoming marriage, but she knew that as long as they had each other and stuck together, they'd make it. After all, hadn't they already cheated death together time and time again? All those thoughts were tossed aside when Lee began to work loose the buttons of her blouse, planting warm soft kiss on each new patch of skin he exposed, sending her senses into overdrive. While they'd made love before, they got so little time alone together, they were still fairly new lovers and were still learning all the things that pleased each other most.
She gasped when he deftly unclasped her bra and took one nipple in his mouth, while he found the other with his one hand, his other hand reaching to pull her silk blouse loose from her slacks. He released her breast with his mouth for a moment and breathed against her skin, "You like that, huh?"
"Yes," she hissed.
"Good. How about some more?" Without waiting for her response, he pushed her blouse to the floor along with her bra and lowered his mouth back to her breast, taking her hardened nipple between his teeth. She gave into the sensations for a moment, but wanting to touch him too, began to furiously work loose the buttons on his shirt, quickly slipping her hands inside to explore the hard planes of his chest. She then yanked the shirt forcefully out of his pants, causing Lee to have to stop what he was doing. He laughed and teased, "You're in an awfully big hurry for a woman who said she didn't want dessert." He undid the cuffs as his sleeves to give her a helping hand.
Pushing the shirt from his shoulders, she counted, "Oh, no, I never said I didn't want it. I just said we have to be at work early and that's still true, but I'm here now." She then gave him a seductive grin. "Besides, our honeymoon is only a week away, so just consider it practice for the real thing."
"Well, I'm a firm believer in practice making perfect." He smiled warmly at her, nodded and eased her off his lap, urging her to stand up as he undid the buttons and zipper on her pants, and continued the exploration he'd begun, placing tender kisses to her abdomen and her hips before he pushed her slacks to the floor dragging her panties with them.
She stepped out of them, peeling off her stockings and then reached to undo his pants as well. Lee took in a sharp breath as her nimble fingers brushed against his erection. "Oh, Amanda," he sighed, her name the barest breath on his lips as she reached inside his pants and boxers to stroke him. She gently pushed on his chest to get him to lie down on the bed and he willingly complied, lifting his hips to allow her to pull the offending garments off of him.
She paused in her caresses long enough to drop his remaining clothes to the floor and stood stock still for a moment just to admire his naked form in front of her, still marveling at the idea that he was all hers, now and forever. "I love you," she whispered softly as she rejoined him on the bed and kissed him tenderly.
"I love you too." He reached around her pulling her atop him as he began to explore her curves in earnest now that there were no longer any barriers between them, one hand cupping her bottom, while the other he slipped between them to caress the swollen nub at her center, delighted by how wet she already was for him.
"Lee..." She crooned as she rocked against his oh-so-skilled fingers. If this was what it was going to be like once they were married, she found that she was more anxious than ever for the next week to pass as quickly as possible. Their kisses soon grew from the tender, teasing ones they'd begun with to a fierce, frenzied duel of tongues and teeth as they sought to devour each other.
As she felt her climax nearing, Amanda rose to her knees and gripping him firmly, slid down onto him, pushing him into her body as deeply as she could, crying out his name as she did so. "Amanda," he groaned. He gripped her hips and pushed up into her as he felt her tightening around him, watching in fascination as her body convulsed above him, her cries of release only heightening his own desire. He rolled her onto her back and drove into her, thrilled when she locked her legs around him, her hands gripping his rear to urge him onward as if she still needed more. Would she never stop surprising him? He couldn't wait to make her his wife to find out. He lowered his head back to the sensitive pulse point on her neck as he slid in and out of her, her cries of pleasure spurring him on, until sooner than he could fathom he was erupting inside her and crying out her name as she was crying out his. He buried his face in her neck as she latched onto him, holding him tightly in her arms, accepting the full weight of his body pressing her into the mattress.
"I love you," he repeated as they held onto each other while their overheated bodies began to cool.
"I love you too," she replied in kind as she rained kisses on the side of his face, cradling his head in her arms. "But you've still got that ugly bump on you head...right there." She lightly fingered the knot on his head.
He couldn't help laughing even though he winced slightly at the pain. "You never give up, do you?"
"Not on people I love, nope. Uh-uh."
"Okay, you win," He grumbled good-naturedly as he pulled himself from her embrace and reached for the discarded icepack.
"Well, we already took care of the swelling you wanted taken care of, after all. Now, it's time to take of the swelling I wanted to look after."
Lee laughed even harder, thinking now more than ever of how the next week couldn't go by fast enough to suit him.
Twenty-four hours later, Lee was no longer laughing as he sat numbly in Billy's office listening intently to every word McJohn was saying about the bacteria that had infected him and tried to make his brain register that for all their planning, his and Amanda's wedding day might never come to be. He might not make it that long; for that matter neither might Amanda if he'd somehow infected her when they'd made love last night. He paid close attention to what the doctor was saying, but in all the facts and figures he was not hearing the one thing he needed to hear to ease the terror that had seized him from the moment Billy had told him about it in Amanda's kitchen. That left him no choice but to ask. He took a deep breath to steel himself for what was to come, not quite sure how he was going to do so without ruining Amanda's reputation around the agency.
"So...it's...um...airborne, huh?" he inquired, trying to sound nonchalant. When McJohn only nodded, he probed further. "Is that...uh..." He let out a deep sigh. "Is that the only way it can be transmitted...You're...um...you're sure about that?" All three sets of eyes turned to him questioningly.
"Is there a specific question you have, Scarecrow?" McJohn asked him.
The younger man shifted nervously in his seat. "Um...yeah...yeah, there is." He ran a hand through his hair as he tried to figure out how to put it in the right words. "The thing is...I...um...I didn't exactly sleep alone last night."
Billy gave him a look that told him that he'd caught on instantly and nodded knowingly, but said nothing.
Francine, however, replied with a disdainful snort. "So, which flavor-of-the-week did you call after Amanda dropped you off? Cyndi? Bambi? Mimi? I know you and Amanda have had this on-again, off-again thing, but that's a little cold, even for you."
Lee let out a sardonic chuckle and glowered at her. "Don't tell me you actually bought Amanda's bogus breakup story? I thought you were smarter than that, Francine. Even the girls in Steno didn't believe it and you KNOW most of them are not exactly Rhodes scholars. Amanda and I never broke up."
Francine dropped her mouth open, but recovered quickly with a shake of her head. "Be that as it may, I don't even see why it would be a problem...If I remember from past experience...you were always Mr. Precaution..." She gestured with the pencil in her hand, pointing it at the lower part of Lee's anatomy for emphasis.
Lee jumped to his feet angrily. "When are you gonna get that Amanda's different?"
"Oh, I got that memo the second she walked in the door, but still...I know you and how you are about taking every precaution."
He was becoming more irritated with her, the more she argued."She's on the pill, okay?"
"And how exactly do you know this? I mean, how can you be sure? After all, she DOES have two kids alrea-"
"Because I trust her!" He cut in. "Besides, last night wasn't the first time that we-" He broke off abruptly, ran both hands through his hair and began pacing furiously in front of Billy's desk. This...this dragging out of his sexual history, especially with Amanda, was exactly what he'd been trying to avoid, but leave it to Francine to dredge it up.
"Okay, okay, I get that you care about her," Francine responded in a more conciliatory tone. "Anyone with eyes can see that, but still, Lee, you're the definition of the eternal bachelor."
He halted in his pacing and whipped around to face her. "We're getting married!" Shit! Way to blow it, Scarecrow, he cursed himself and unable to meet her eyes,he abruptly turned to McJohn, finally snapping, "Look, this is serious! I have a legitimate concern here! She's a mother of two, for God's sake and if I-" He paused, took a deep breath to calm himself and queried in a softer tone with a look of panic in his eyes, "Just tell me. Could I have infected Amanda?"
"No." McJohn shook his head firmly to assuage Lee's fears. "As I said, once you become contagious, it's airborne only. Prior to that, it can't be transmitted at all except by way of injection like they did with you."
Lee nodded and sat back down, relief coursing through him. "Good."
After McJohn had finished relating to them what he knew about PD-2 and had exited the room, Francine, in a gentler tone piped up, "Lee, I'm sorry. I'm just-" She halted, not wanting to admit that she was terrified.
Lee sat numbly staring at his hands, not looking at her and responded quietly, "I know. Me too."
"So...um..." she hesitated as seeing her friend's still downcast eyes. "Married? You and Amanda..."
"Next Friday," he confirmed. He swallowed hard and finally met her concerned eyes across Billy's desk. "Well, that was the plan until..." He found himself unable to finish that thought. If only he hadn't been so stubborn and had accepted Amanda's offer of a ride home in the first place...
Billy, who'd been mainly silent during the whole thing except for his exchange with McJohn, began listing off things that needed to be done while Francine copiously took notes and just as she was about to head off to get them done, couldn't help pausing at seeing the forlorn look on Lee's face.
Lee stood again to meet her gaze and found himself surprised by her launching herself at him and hugging him tightly. "Hey, it's...uh...it's gonna be okay," he attempted to reassure her as he hugged her back.
She pulled back, resting her hands for a moment on his shoulders, nodded and released him. "It better be. I've waited a long time to see you get shackled and I wouldn't wanna miss that for anything." She gave him a warm smile and hastily made her exit. He watched her walk away, not having the heart to tell her that with the plans he and Amanda had made, it was a sight she'd never see and now he may not get to see it either.
Amanda paced worriedly in the Q Bureau while she waited for her fiancé' to return, hoping against hope that it was with better news than Billy had delivered just an hour ago. Had it really only been that long? For that matter, had it really only been twenty-four hours since she was wrapped in Lee's strong arms talking about their future with him as they drifted off to sleep together post-lovemaking? She blinked back the tears that had started to form as the overwhelmingly frightening thought occurred to her that the future she wanted with him so desperately might never happen.
She refused to let the tears fall though, not until they knew more. After all, hadn't she just been thinking last night of how many times they'd faced death together and come out on top? Why should this time be any different? The Agency was good at what they did and Lee was the best in the business. That's why he'd been chosen to head up the conference to begin with, wasn't it? Try as she might though, she couldn't summon up the pride in him that she had last night, not when it was his own sheer stubbornness in not accepting her offer of a ride home that had gotten him mugged.
No, it's your fault, an unbidden voice in her head taunted her. If you'd only agreed to go home with him the way he wanted in the beginning, you'd have driven there together and he'd never have been mugged. "Stop thinking like that," she scolded herself aloud. Now, with everything happening, she couldn't help wondering if this idea of a mystery marriage was the best idea, after all. If they'd been together... They were stronger together than they were apart. If they made it through this, she'd remind him of that and insist that they try to have as normal a life together as possible. Life was too short, their jobs too volatile to spend one more second apart than they had to once they were married. If you get married, the cold voice broke in, reminding her painfully of the cold, hard reality they were facing.
Another twenty-four hours passed and Amanda finally relaxed for the first time since Billy had dropped the bomb on them in her kitchen. Lee's softly whispered, "Hold me," as he wrapped his arms around her, not caring who was watching, gave her peace in knowing that once again, he was hers. She'd gladly hold him for the rest of her life.
Francine looked up from where she'd been helping Dr. McJohn tend to Billy and smiled at seeing the embracing couple, breathing a sigh of relief that he was going to live to see another day. As she watched the way they clung to one another, Lee brushing soft kisses into Amanda's hair, she found herself also filled with elation that they'd found happiness with each other. Still, she couldn't resist teasing them. "Okay, you two, get a room already."
Lee and Amanda eased up on their embrace, but still held onto one another as they turned to face her both chuckling softly. "Got one booked already for Friday night," Lee replied with an impish grin as he released Amanda to reach into his pocket and pulled out her engagement ring. He turned to her, holding her ring in front of her. "On that note. This needs to go back where it belongs." He slid the ring onto her finger. "And this time, it needs to stay there."
"Lee..." Amanda said breathlessly as she nodded in agreement. "We'll figure out a way to break the news to Mother and the boys."
The following morning, once Lee and Billy had been fully checked out and given the all clear by the med team, the soon-to-be newlyweds were enjoying being back in each others' arms, kissing feverishly on her couch when they heard the slamming of car doors and abruptly broke apart.
"They're back early," Amanda stated, a bit startled.
"And I'm gone," Lee replied on automatic pilot.
"No, no, no." She urged him to sit back down. "We need practice in this too."
"I guess so," Lee shrugged. He knew they needed to tell the family about their upcoming marriage since they were now counting down mere days until their wedding. He just thought they'd have a bit more time to talk about just how to break the news, but they'd come home early from their trip.
He nodded and they both looked toward the doorway just as Dotty called, "Amanda, we're home, Darling," as she entered the room. She surveyed the condition of the den and queried, "What's going on here?" Then nodded to Lee with a "Hello, Lee."
"Dotty," he nodded back with a smile.
"Oh, this...this is just a work project...you know...um...for a film," Amanda hastily answered as she began to gather up the blueprints left behind.
"On architecture, " Lee supplied.
"Right," Amanda agreed.
"Hold it," Dotty interjected. "Drop it right where it's at."
"What's going on?" Phillip questioned as he and his brother entered the room as well.
"Boys, I think your mother has something she'd like to share with us," Dotty answered as she reached for her daughter's left hand.