TITLE: Amanda and the Wizard


DISCLAIMER: Scarecrow and Mrs King is copyrighted by Warner Bros and Shoot the Moon Production Company. Typical lines, situations, clichés, etc are borrowed from SMK as needed.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: "O Canada" was proclaimed Canada's national anthem on July 1, 1980, one hundred years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, a well-known composer; French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. I loved hockey and singing along with the National Anthems.

TIME SETTING: 'We're off to See the Wizard' / 'Over the Limit'

THANKS: To Gaylynn for her feedback, insights, encouragement. Happy Birthday, Gaylynn!

As Paul Barnes slowly regained consciousness, he became aware of her soothing touch. One hand was stroking his hair, and the other rested on his back.

"Don't worry about Paul, Amanda," he heard Lee Stetson say.

Lee reached down and rolled him over, Amanda kept an arm around Paul, supporting him. "Oh!" she exclaimed.

"He's badly bruised," Lee continued. "He's going to be a little sore for a few days."

"Sore doesn't begin to describe it," Paul spoke up, groaning at his injuries. As Lee told Amanda that he had shot Paul with 'stunloads', rubber bullets, they assisted him to his feet. She held him up, and he leaned heavily against her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

Amanda noticed that the Russian woman was waking up. "Look," she said, "Your Russian is better than mine, you better tell Dorothy we're not in Kansas anymore."

Paul smiled at Amanda in admiration as they laughed and winced at her bad joke.


Soon after entering the bullpen, Paul Barnes spotted the object of his 'mission'. Amanda King was seated at her tidy desk, diligently typing away. He paused as he noticed the roses. The Wizard knew as well as anyone how Scarecrow felt about roses, that he'd given some to Amanda was an indication of just how firmly hooked he was. The question was, did he realize his feelings yet?

Over the past couple of years, Paul had watched their relationship develop, through communications with Lee and the Agency. At first, Scarecrow had complained bitterly to him about being forced to work with a housewife. As the months passed, he seemed to accept her presence in his life, a solid friendship apparently forming. The past few months he had noticed another change taking place. More often than not, Scarecrow seemed to welcome working with her, not only resisting, but actually choosing her company on a case. Paul doubted that Lee even realized how much he talked about Amanda, how often her name would come up in conversation.

Still, Paul decided, all's fair... He continued his progress across the room, coming to a stop in front of Amanda's desk.

"Amanda!" he exclaimed, "Are you still here?"

She glanced up in surprise. She'd been so engrossed in her work, she hadn't noticed his approach.

"Hi, Paul," Amanda smiled up at Lee's mentor. "I didn't realize how late it was, I have all these reports to take care of." She continued, glancing up at the clock on the wall.

"You really should take a break. Have you had dinner yet?" Paul tried to sound casual as he made an opening. She shook her head, and he continued. "I'm starved. Please come with me, I hate to eat alone?"

"I guess I can't allow you to starve all alone, can I? I just need to check in with mother and the boys, and we can go!" Amanda picked up the phone and dialed her home. She had already called earlier to tell them to have dinner without her, so Dotty was happy to hear that she was getting some dinner herself.

"I'll drive, and then we can come back here so you can collect your car." Paul offered as Amanda collected her purse from the bottom desk drawer. She nodded in agreement, and they left the bullpen to catch the elevator to the Georgetown foyer.


Lee Stetson, waiting in the foyer for the elevator, stepped back in surprise as Paul and Amanda emerged, laughing over some story.

"Hi, Lee!" Amanda smiled warmly at him.

"Amanda, Paul," Lee smiled back uncertainly. "What are you up to?"

"I persuaded Amanda to save me from a lonely dinner," Paul replied unselfconsciously.

"Why don't you come along?" Amanda suggested.

"I can't, I already have plans," Lee responded regretfully. Leslie would kill him if he stood her up again, she was still annoyed about being ditched for the Verdi Festival a couple of weeks ago. He watched them leave together, then entered the elevator wondering if he was missing something.


"Come on, you only live once!" Paul was trying to persuade Amanda to order dessert.

"No, really... I'm stuffed, I couldn't eat another bite!" Amanda protested.

"Ok," he backed down, "But I insist that you share mine."

"On one condition," Amanda finally saw the opening she had been waiting for, "You have to tell me why you chose 'Scarecrow' as Lee's codename."

"That could take a while," Paul protested, "It's all related, and starts with me forming the 'Oz' network, and how I decided to name it."

"Oh, it's getting kind of late... can't you just give me the short version for now? I promise, we'll get together again and you can tell me the whole story!" she wheedled.

"Hmm," he pretended to be thinking about it. "On one condition, you have to dance with me!"

"Deal!" Amanda agreed. "I'll need a little exercise in order to eat some dessert anyway."

Paul was delighted, he'd been hearing so much about Amanda King the past couple of years, and he wasn't disappointed. She was beautiful and intelligent. He stood up and politely offered her his hand, she took it and they strolled to the dance floor. They moved together easily to the music.


Lee felt the hairs on his neck stand on end when he entered the restaurant with Leslie. He hesitated in the foyer, scanning the room. Leslie wondered only slightly at his behavior, as she asked the Maitre'd for a table for two in the non-smoking area. She went to stand next to Lee after being informed that there would be a short wait.

"Lee," She put a hand on her arm, "He said it will be about 5 minutes."

"Um, Leslie, suddenly I don't feel like Italian food. Do you mind if we go somewhere else?" Lee had spotted Paul and Amanda dancing together. He didn't want Amanda to see him with Leslie. Or he didn't want to see Amanda with Paul. He didn't know why it should matter, friends are allowed to run into each other out on dates, right? Why are they still here anyway, it was over 2 hours since they left the Agency.

"Sure, Lee. That's fine with me. What do you want?" Leslie couldn't figure Lee out. They had a good time together, but he was always leaving abruptly. Or canceling dates on short notice. She didn't know how much longer she could put up with this.

She was especially confused that they hadn't slept together yet. This was not the Lee Stetson she had heard all about. At first she appreciated that he seemed to respect her, but lately it just seemed whenever it was time to move into the bedroom, he would suddenly have an early morning tomorrow.

Lee thanked the Maitre'd, canceling their table. He took Leslie's arm, and they left the restaurant.


On the dance floor, Paul, the ever observant though now retired agent, noticed their arrival and sudden departure. He decided not to say anything to Amanda.

"Well...?" She prompted, "We made a deal."

"Oh, yes, Scarecrow." He smiled down at her. 'She has the most beautiful dark brown eyes, a man could get lost in there.'

"You understand, it wasn't that I didn't think he had a brain, he just didn't seem to know how to use it. Scarecrow is quite intelligent, but he was impulsive, he didn't always think before he acted. I just gave him the name to remind him to think first. 'Professor of Thinkology', you know." The Wizard explained.

Amanda tilted her head to one side, returning his gaze, as she considered his explanation. He saw the light of understanding enter her eyes as she recognized her partner.

"That makes a lot of sense," She laughed. "He's still very impulsive, though, you know."

"I've noticed, believe me! He has grown up a lot though. Especially over the past two years, I've noticed a real change in him. Perhaps it's the company he's been keeping."

Amanda blushed at the apparent compliment. She didn't know how to respond and was glad when the song came to an end. They applauded politely, then returned to their table where the dessert was waiting. It was a chocolate crème brulee, and Paul insisted that Amanda have the honor of breaking the sugar crust.

"Do you like hockey?" he asked suddenly.

Amanda nodded, her eyes sparkling. "I can't believe the things those guys can do, while skating on ice!"

"I'm taking my son to a Capitals game tomorrow night. Perhaps you'd like to bring your sons along as well?"

"I didn't know you had a son! How old is he?"

"Ed is 13. He's a great kid, I don't spend enough time with him. Possibly because he lives here with his mother and I live in London." Paul was obviously proud of his son. "His mother has done a wonderful job of raising him all alone, but she doesn't even let him watch hockey on TV. She thinks it's too violent."

"I used to think that, too." Amanda nodded, "But then I actually started watching some games, and I gained an appreciation for the talent and skill involved in playing. It's nothing like seeing a game live, though. Phillip is 12, and Jamie is 10 -- they'll love it!" She finished, finally answering his original question.

"Good, they're close in age, they should hit it off OK." Paul paid the check, and they left the restaurant. He drove her back to the Agency so that she could collect her roses and car.


Paul turned away from the concession stand, his arms loaded with hotdogs and beverages. Trying to balance the load he almost plowed headlong into Lee who was approaching the counter.

"Whoa! Paul," Lee was startled to see the Wizard. "What... are you feeding an army?"

"Scarecrow!" Paul was also surprised. "Well, of course, there's my son, Ed. And my date has two. So, yeah, I guess I am feeding an army."

"YOU are dating a woman with children?" Lee snickered. "I didn't think you could be domesticated."

Paul smiled back ruefully, and a trifle smugly, "Well, this one may be worth it."

"Mr Barnes! Mom sent me to help you. She says to hurry up the game will be starting soon!"

Lee stared in shock at the boy who was approaching them. "Jamie???" he whispered, recognizing him readily from countless ballgames and kitchen window viewings. A knot formed in his stomach as it became abundantly clear to him that Paul was again out with Amanda. He looked back at Paul, betrayal showing in his eyes.

"Thanks, Jamie," Paul wasn't looking at Lee. He was busy passing off part of his load. "See you, Scarecrow." He called back casually over his shoulder, as he went to rejoin his date. He didn't have to look at Lee, he suspected he knew what he would see. He didn't care, as far as he was concerned, Amanda was fair game. It wasn't his fault Scarecrow hadn't recognized what was right in front of him.

Jamie and Paul arrived at their seats just in time for the singing of the National Anthem. Since their arms were full, Amanda snatched the caps off their heads so they would be properly respectful. Paul smiled as she sang along. She noticed the twinkle in his eye as she traded him his cap for a hotdog and beer. Paul kept the same for himself and passed the rest of his tray down to Edward. The boys sat together in the row ahead of them.

"What?" She smiled defensively at Paul, "I like to sing along. I even know 'Oh, Canada', but not the French part. Of course, they only sing that when they're playing Canadian teams. Isn't it funny that most hockey players are Canadian, but more than half the NHL teams are in the United States?"

"I didn't say anything!" Paul grinned as he pulled his cap back on and took a sip of his beer. "I know French...

"Ô Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits."

He sang in a surprisingly impressive baritone, attracting the attention of fans for several rows nearby. They hooted and whistled their appreciation. Paul stood and bowed to acknowledge the attention, tipping his cap when he spotted Lee sitting with Lapointe in the next section. Amanda grabbed his arm and pulled him back down to his seat. She didn't see them. The boys pretended not to be with the adults behind them.

"Do you mind?" She hissed, "They're about to drop the puck. Behave yourself." She tried to act stern, but was secretly impressed, and couldn't help the small smile that escaped. Paul left his hotdog in the unoccupied seat next to him, and laid his arm across the back of Amanda's seat, as he settled back to enjoy the game.

The small group enjoyed the game along with the rest of the crowd. Cheering and booing as the situation demanded.

Ed raised his eyebrows and leaned towards Phillip. "Your mom's cool! My mother and her friends don't know anything about hockey!"

Phillip and Jamie glowed with pride at the older boy declaration. "Yep, she's really smart. She knows all the player's names and numbers, and even a bunch of guys on other teams!" Phillip bragged.

Paul nudged Amanda. "Hey, you're cool!" he teased.

"Stop it!" she slapped at his hand, blushing at the overheard, high-praise from three boys.


Lee was exiting the elevator to the Georgetown foyer, on his way back up to the Q-Bureau when he noticed Paul Barnes clearing himself past Mrs Marston.

"Hey, Paul," he greeted casually, "I thought you were retired. Why are you still hanging around here every day?"

"Hi, Scarecrow," was the nonchalant response. "I'm just in the neighborhood visiting."

"Great, why don't you come on up to the Q-Bureau?" Lee invited. He knew Amanda was at her desk in the bullpen.

"I didn't say I was here to visit you." Paul resisted. He wondered if Amanda was at her desk in the bullpen.

"I didn't ask. Come on." Lee insisted.

Mrs Marston made mental notes of their tones and demeanor. Something very interesting was up. She wondered if it had anything to do with Mrs King and Mr Barnes' dinner together the other night.

"OK, Scarecrow, what do you want?" Paul demanded as the door shut behind them. "Or do I even have to ask?" He coolly seated himself behind Lee's desk.

"I want to know what your intentions are towards Amanda!" Lee responded belligerently, running his hand through his hair, and pacing the room agitatedly.

"How is that your business?" Paul chuckled.

"She's my partner ... and my friend." Lee defended his interest.


"And what?"

"What's that got do with what's between Amanda and me?" Paul challenged.

"Look, Amanda's a lady. She's not like those other women you date."

"So I've noticed," Paul mused, a far away look in his eyes.

"And I don't want to see her get hurt!" Lee concluded.

"Me, neither," Paul agreed.


"So, I'm still not convinced this is any of your business, but... I think I could be falling in love with her." Paul finished softly, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. He played 'church and steeple' with his fingers, delaying the moment when he would have to meet Lee's eyes.

"What???" Lee was stunned.

"Why am I not surprised that you don't get it?" Paul finally looked up. He stood up from the desk, clapped Lee on the shoulder, and left the Q-Bureau.

To be continued...