DISCLAIMER: All characters from the TV series, Scarecrow And Mrs

DISCLAIMER: All characters from the TV series, Scarecrow And Mrs. King are copyrighted to "Warner Brothers" and "Shoot the Moon Productions." All characters created outside and the plot of this story are copyrighted to the author. This work is non-profit and cannot be sold for profit. This is for entertainment purposes only and should be taken as such.

PLEASE NOTE: An extract has been taken from the original episode to set the scene.


by Kate.

Lee Stetson looked up at Billy Melrose, his section chief, with tortured eyes. "I blew it, didn't I, Billy?"

"What do you mean?" asked Billy puzzled.

"You think she's still alive?" Lee voiced the question that had been buzzing around in his head since he'd failed to save Amanda King from being abducted right in front of his very eyes.

"I haven't heard any differently, have you?" questioned Billy logically.

"No," replied Lee quietly and lowered his head.

"Lee, that drop has always been safe. There was no way you could have known," said Billy trying to comfort his friend.

Lee stared at him appreciating what he was trying to do. Unfortunately knowing it still didn't ease the wretched feeling of helplessness that had engulfed him since the incident. He sighed, stood up and walked dejectedly over to the door.

Billy also rose and stopped him before he left. "There's a copy of the Martinez file on your desk, if you'd care to look through it again."

Lee looked back at Billy sadly and walked out of the office without saying a word.

Billy waited until the door shut, then walked over and picked up the phone receiver. "Francine, run a check with the police and the local hospitals for anyone matching the description of Amanda King."

On the other end of the line Francine replaced the receiver just as Lee passed by her desk. She reached a hand out to stop him. "Lee, I know Amanda and I don't always get along but I really am sorry about what's happened. I hope we find her soon."

"Thanks Francine," said Lee giving her half a smile and patting her hand. "I appreciate that."

He walked over to his desk and sat down heavily. Absently he picked up the Martinez file then dropped it back on the desk unopened. He couldn't just sit here while God knows what was happening to Amanda.

Restlessly he got up and walked back towards Francine who was on the telephone. As he stood waiting for her to finish he couldn't help but overhear her side of the conversation. "…wondering if a woman has been brought in this morning, she's about five ten, early thirties, brown hair and brown eyes. Yes, I'll hold, thank you."

Lee stepped in front of her and Francine's eyes widened. "Is that about Amanda?" he demanded.

Francine hesitated and then nodded.

Suddenly Lee had to get out of the office. He couldn't be there while they were checking hospitals and morgues for Amanda. He didn't want to think of her hurt somewhere or even worse - dead. It just made him feel sick.

Francine watched as Lee grabbed his coat and made his way to the doors. "Lee, where are you going?" she called holding one hand over the mouthpiece.

"Home. I need to get changed," he replied abruptly. Without waiting to hear her response he stalked out of the room.

The Porsche screeched to a halt outside the tall apartment block and Lee got out slamming the door behind him. Upon entering his apartment he made his way to the bathroom shedding his dirty clothes along the way.

He got into the shower and let the hot water cascade over his body as he forced his aching muscles to relax. Bruises were already appearing where he'd fallen off of the car earlier. He grimaced as the injuries brought Amanda vividly back to mind. What had they done with her?

The shower finished, he padded into his lounge wearing just his robe and flopped down onto his couch. He let his head fall back and rubbed a weary hand over his eyes as he realised that for the third time in as many months he was having serious trouble dealing with his emotions when it came to Amanda. It was becoming a habit he acknowledged dryly to himself as he thought back to recent cases.

He sighed at how easily he recalled his anguish upon seeing Amanda laying prone on a bed in James Delano's house after being given a lethal injection. As he'd carried her seemingly lifeless body down the stairs he had wanted to do more than threaten Delano he remembered grimly. Luckily for Delano though, Amanda's welfare was more important to Lee than getting even.

Then, more recently, she had been mistaken for him and abducted by the Russians to trade for Rostov. He had chanced charges of treason to get her back safe that time.

That was the difference though. At least he had had a chance to do something. All he could do this time was wait. And that's what he was having trouble dealing with right now.

He'd had to wait for developments on other cases before though, so what was the matter with him now? Lee let his hand drop to his side and sighed again already knowing the answer but still reluctant to admit it even to himself. Somewhere along the line he'd allowed himself to come to care a hell of alot for Amanda King.

He couldn't understand how it had happened. Amanda had been a nuisance in his life from the moment she hadn't delivered that package. Always getting into trouble. Always arguing with him. Always insisting on tagging along no matter how much he made it clear that he didn't want her. A soft smile crossed his tired features. Always standing by him no matter what.

What would he do if he lost her? Lee sat bolt upright in surprise at the almost physical pain he felt as that thought entered his mind. Shaking his head slightly he refused to allow his thinking take that track. He had to think positively. Amanda was going to be alright.

He pushed himself off of the couch and gathered up his discarded clothes. Walking into his bedroom he dumped them in the basket and retrieved fresh ones from his wardrobe. Dressing quickly he decided to have a cup of coffee before returning to the Agency. He knew Francine would call if she'd turned up anything. That was what was bothering him. Francine hadn't called. It had been an hour and he was starting to worry in earnest.

He carried his coffee back into the lounge and tried to control his feeling of dread. He hated feeling like this. He'd vowed never to let anyone get close to him again after his partner died but somehow Amanda, with her frustrating stubbornness and amazing courage, had done just that.

The telephone rang and Lee's heart rose to his throat as he snatched up the receiver. "Stetson."

"Lee, how are you darling?" came a female voice down the line. "I didn't expect you to be in…"

"I'm sorry Angela but I can't talk right now. I'm just on my way out. Goodbye." Lee put the phone down not caring how he had sounded.

He drained his coffee and made his way back down to his car totally frustrated. He had to get a grip on his feelings. This wasn't a complication he needed in his job or his life right now.

Heading back to the Agency he hit some traffic and decided to take a back route. Down one such turning he had to come to a stop behind a couple of other cars because there was an ambulance attending an accident ahead of them. It looked like a car had swerved to miss a truck and smashed into a wall.

He tapped his fingers impatiently until finally the ambulance moved off. As he passed the car he frowned and hoped fleetingly that the person driving was alright. It looked nasty.

An hour later Lee was sat at his desk trying to concentrate on the Martinez file. He'd read the same page at least ten times and glanced at the clock even more. Francine hadn't got anywhere with her enquiries and Lee knew it was starting to look bad for Amanda.

He ran an agitated hand through his hair and stood up suddenly. He needed to talk to Billy.

At the sound of his knock Billy called out for Lee to come in.

"What can I do for you Scarecrow?" asked Billy.

Lee cleared his throat wondering how to begin. He didn't want Billy to know how affected he was about Amanda.

"I'm waiting," pressed Billy.

"Uh, I was just going to……" began Lee. He stopped as Francine knocked and walked into the room.

"Yes?" queried Billy.

"We've found Amanda King. She's in one of the local hospitals. Here," she said passing a slip of paper to Billy.

Lee was so relieved Amanda had been found that it was all he could do to stop himself from snatching the paper out of her hand and rushing straight out of the door.

"That's great news Francine," replied Billy smiling. "Arrange for someone to go over and see how she's doing will you?"

"Sure thing," said Francine. She turned to go but Lee's next comment stopped her.

"Uh, I don't mind going Billy," offered Lee trying to act casual. He stood and took the piece of paper from Billy's hand. "I'm just on my way out anyway to uh, to check on, uh…." He faltered. "Something urgent," he concluded lamely.

"Something urgent," repeated Billy solemnly.

"Yeah," agreed Lee quietly, unable to meet his superior's eyes.

"Well, that sounds important. You better get going straight away if you're going to check on Amanda too." Billy smiled understandingly at Lee. "Don't you think?"

Lee smiled back gratefully. "Yeah." He walked to the door and turned. "And thanks Billy," he said before leaving the room.

Francine turned to Billy. "And what was that all about?" she asked in surprise. "Since when does Lee go and do a routine check like that? "

Billy looked out of his office window and watched Lee almost run through the Agency doors. "Well, I could be wrong Francine but I'd say it's since he got a new partner. What do you think?"

Francine gave a snort of disgust and walked out of the office shutting the door loudly behind her.

Billy laughed out loud. "She obviously agrees with me."