TITLE: Chocolate Cake


SUMMARY: Filler scene for 'A Little Sex, A Little Scandal'


DISCLAIMER: Scarecrow and Mrs King and characters are owned by Shoot the Moon Productions. Scenes and lines are borrowed as needed for plot and setting purposes.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: After originally posting this story on the SMK mailing lists I realized I had made an error, including a scene which could not have happened yet. That has been corrected in this version.

Lee and Amanda turned back towards each other after watching 'Randi-baby' storm into the elevator.

"Well, she must have misunderstood," Amanda laughed self-consciously.

"Yeah, yeah, I guess." Was Lee's reply.

"Well..." Amanda faltered. Was there anything left to say? The situation was laughable, really.

"Want some cake?" They laughed together, their easy friendship reasserting itself over any tension from Randi's accusation and abrupt departure.

Amanda smiled. "See you tomorrow," she said as she started to turn away.

Lee stopped her. "No, really... Why don't you come in and talk for a little while?"

"OK." Amanda nodded and accompanied him back inside his apartment. She was a little surprised at his sudden invitation, they didn't typically spend a lot of time together, just chatting, outside of a case. Maybe he was just feeling a little lonely, the empty evening suddenly spreading before him.

Once inside, Lee put Amanda's cake on the coffee table, and picked up the un-defrosted one to dispose of in the manner in which it deserved. Amanda picked up the wine and followed him into the kitchen.

"We won't be needing this, I'll make us some coffee." She said.

"No," Lee protested, taking the wine from her. "Amanda, you're a guest in my home. I'll make the coffee, you just go relax."

"Ok, sure." She wandered back out to the living room and casually surveyed it. It was a vast improvement over that rathole in which he used to live.

Amanda stopped in the kitchen doorway, watching Lee. "I'm really sorry about ruining your evening."

The coffee was almost finished, he turned to face her. "You didn't ruin my evening, Amanda." He waved his hand dismissively. Any regret he had felt over Randi's departure had disappeared before she even reached the elevator. She just wasn't that important, he could think of a half-dozen women just like her, any one of whom would serve the purpose she did.

Lee carried the coffee and cream out of the kitchen. Amanda collected plates and flatware, and followed him into the living room. She cut the cake, while he poured the coffee. She added a tiny amount of cream to her coffee, deciding to splurge a little, rather than risking the contents of his refrigerator in a likely fruitless search for milk.

"I'm sorry you didn't win 'Mother of the Year'." He reiterated his earlier sentiment, before taking a bite of her luscious chocolate cake, every bit as good as her famous poppy seed cake. How could the judges possibly taste this and vote for somebody else?

"It's an honor to be nominated," Amanda also took a bite of cake.

"Yeah, that's what all those actors say when they don't win Emmys or Oscars," Lee sipped his coffee.

"I'm serious, Lee. Think about it, Phillip and Jamie had to write an essay to nominate me. It really is a big thrill to me that they cared that much." Amanda set down her coffee cup, as though punctuating her statement.

"Well, you are a good mother," Lee scraped his plate, getting the last few crumbs and bits of frosting.

"Thank you, it's really sweet of you to say that," Amanda was touched. What the boys, her mother, and Lee thought was more important to her than the judges opinions.

"Really, the judging criteria was artificial. They marked it against me that my house wasn't neat as a pin, and I thought it was more important to let the boys play. And that whole 'witness to a murder' thing didn't help much, either!"

"Yep, you were being a good citizen, that should count in your favor." Lee piled their empty plates.

"Do you want to know what my favorite part was?" Amanda suddenly had a glint in her eye.

"I'm not sure," Lee was nervous about that glint in her eye.

"When you fell off the hood of the car..." She started wiping up crumbs from the table.

"Hey!" he interrupted, protesting.

"... and then asked me if *I* was alright!" Amanda laughed.

Lee chuckled. At the time he'd just been worried about Amanda, about Rita trying to eliminate her as a witness. Jumping on the car had been pure instinct for him.

"I can't think of anybody else who can fall off a moving car, and then be more concerned about the driver." Amanda finished her coffee.

"That was hardly your fault!" Lee wondered if there was something wrong with him that he was enjoying cake and conversation with Amanda more than he had his last date with Randi.

"I guess not," Amanda shrugged as she picked up the dirty dishes to take them to the kitchen. Lee must be mellowing, he didn't used to be so tolerant of the way she kept 'getting herself into trouble'.

"Definitely not! Rita's lucky I didn't shoot her for all the trouble she caused." Lee set the covered remainder of the cake in a corner of the kitchen counter. It was a lot of left-over cake, but he'd have to 'force' himself to finish it. Amanda had made it for him.

"I'm sure she'll get hers." Amanda went to wipe off the coffee table with a damp cloth.

"She better." He rinsed the cups, plates, and flatware and loaded them in the dishwasher.

"I should get going." She wiped down the sink, rinsed the cloth and hung it to dry.

"Thanks again for the cake." Lee helped her on with her coat.

"Thank you for the coffee." Amanda picked up her purse and reached for the doorknob.

"I better walk you to your car, it's dark out." He opened the door and held it for her.

"Oh... kay," She had started to protest, but decided not to. It had been a pleasant evening and Lee was good company.

Lee shut his door, making sure he had his keys, and placed his hand on Amanda's back to escort her to the elevator.

The End