A Little Filler
by rankamateur

For - Fast Food For Thought written by Robert Gilmer

Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Warner Bros. and Shoot The Moon Enterprises Ltd. Just borrowing them for a few minutes.

Another little bit of 'what if?' What if Francine hadn't shown up just as Amanda invited Lee in for coffee?

PG for one (four letter) word

Lee offered to walk Amanda to her room

"Across the hall?"

"Yeah, well, you can't be too careful."

"Good thinking."

"Second nature, field experience."

"What kind of field experience?"

"You know."

"Not necessarily...."

Amanda stepped into the hallway and Lee followed, escorting her to her room, which was a distance of perhaps 20 feet from his door.

"I could ask you in for some coffee, if you don't mind instant"

"Thanks," Lee said. "I'd like that."

Amanda's room was just a bit different from Lee's in that, in addition to the bed, the night stand and the other features standard in all motel rooms, instead of a table and chairs, this room had a very small bar, a breakfast bar or a cocktail bar - that was up to the guest. It boasted a small sink and a small cupboard. Amanda rummaged around in the cupboard and retrieved two cups and spoons, two packages of instant coffee, plus some Low-Cal sweetener and a container of powdered creamer. There was also a small pan and a hot plate with one burner. All the ingredients for their instant coffee. Of course heating the water on this inefficient hot plate would be a slow process, but neither of them seemed to mind the prospect of spending that much additional time in each other's company.

"So, what about *field experience*?" Amanda asked innocently.

"You know - when we have been in the field together, it has been my experience that I had to watch out for you, ahh, keep you out of trouble, keep you safe."

"Keep *me* out of trouble? It seems to me that I remember a few times when I had to keep *you* out of trouble."

"That's what partners do Amanda, they keep each other out of trouble."

The annoyance that had crept into her expression and her tone of voice, just melted away at that last remark.
"You're right, that's what we do. OK, water's boiling. Are you ready to try this - umm, Brand X instant coffee?"

"I'm game....we don't have to drink it if it's that bad."

Amanda poured some hot water in the cups and added the coffee. Lee put some cream in his, Amanda a little sweetener in hers, a few stirs, a small sip and a wry face from each of them.

"Probably not what you'd get in a Viennese Coffee House," Lee observed, as he put the cup on the bar.

Amanda had set her cup down and was leaning on her elbow, her cheek resting in the open palm of her hand.

Lee thought of a line from Romeo and Juliet.....the one about... 'being a glove upon that hand that I might touch that cheek....'
Of all the many women he had dated over the years, Lee couldn't recall one who had made him think of Romeo and Juliet - Moll Flanders maybe, but......
'Oh yeah, me and Amanda as Romeo and Juliet, those passionate, young, star-crossed lovers, hmmmm..... Oh hell, we're twenty years older than they were and, well - look how *their* affair turned out!'
Maybe he and Amanda weren't "star-crossed", but they did have some kind of connection, something beyond just the physical - the hand holding, having his arm around her waist, the times she would reach up and absent-mindedly straighten his tie, little things that seemed so natural and which, he had to admit, he thoroughly enjoyed. They seemed to sense each other's next move, which made for a great partnership in the field. They almost seemed to read each other's thoughts. There was one thought he had never read in Amanda's mind however - I love you. He knew she cared for him on some level, maybe on several levels, but love him?
'Well, why should she care for me in *that* way....a guy who's spent most of his life buckin' for Playboy of the Year! I'm just not her type.'

Amanda waited for what seemed an eternity for Lee to snap out of his reverie.
'He's probably day-dreaming about how differently his evening would have gone if he had been with Randi or Cindi or.....'
Or any of the other "I" women who filled his little black books.
'But,' Amanda sighed, 'that's not me and that's why I'm not his type and that's why we're just friends and it seems that's all we'll ever be. Oh well. I think I'm gonna interrupt his little dream.'
"Hello....the lights are on....is anybody home?"

But there was something between them that Lee couldn't define. Something he had never had with anyone else.
'It started that morning at the train station,' he thought, 'that very first time, when we looked into each others eyes and she agreed to help me. Amanda, my soul mate? My Juliet? Oh sure....get back to reality, pal.'
Just then Lee realized that Amanda had come out from behind the little breakfast bar and was standing in front of him, slowly moving her hand back and forth in front of his eyes.

"Oh yeah. Listen, uh, I....I'm sorry. I guess my mind was a thousand miles away."
'more like four thousand - how far is Verona from DC anyway?'

Lee caught Amanda's hand in his own and held it. He leaned forward and kissed her fingertips. They looked into each other eyes for a long moment and then, without releasing her hand, he leaned forward again, this time kissing her lips. When she eagerly returned his kiss, he put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer and intensifying the kiss, a kiss he really didn't want to end....

'Oh wow....,' was the only coherent thought that came to Amanda's mind.

Finally Lee pulled back, still holding her hand and gazing into her eyes. He straightened up and cleared his throat.
"Ah, I guess...I....I'd better go. You have to get up early for your breakfast with Marvelous Marv."

"Right." Amanda responded breathlessly. "Will I see you in the morning, before Marvin's chauffeur picks me up?"

Lee nodded. He was still holding Amanda's hand as he moved to the door, opened it and turned to face her. He leaned in for one more little kiss.
Then, with a kind of far away look in his eyes, he said softly, "Good night, Juliet."

Amanda thought for just a fraction of a second and answered in an equally soft voice....

"Good night, Romeo. Tell Lee I'll see him in the morning."

The End