Author: Tammy M. Parnell
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Warner Bros, Shoot the Moon Productions, Kate Jackson, & Bruce Boxleitner. The subject matter was derived from a Reader's Digest article. No infringement intended.
Summary: A health scare for Amanda bridges the gap in her relationship with Lee
Setting: 3rd Season
Note: Some might find Amanda's actions out of character
by Tammy M. Parnell
She said nothing at the uncomfortably direct question, her eyes anywhere but focused on his.
Lee tried again. What's wrong?
she lied, shaking her head, eyes intently on the little goldfish swimming circles in the bowl. I'm fine.
His hand reached out to touch her face, forcing her to look at him. You've never lied to me before.
She moved away towards her desk, arms crossed protectively against her chest. I can't, she said simply. It's too personal.
Lee sighed in frustration, annoyed at the ever growing distance between them that had surfaced in the form of a coach on her kids' soccer team. John Geraldson III. Lee grimaced at the name. But Amanda had seen something besides his good looks that had attracted her to him, and they had been a serious item for a few months. She never told Lee why she had broken up with him, but by that point her lack of communication had not surprised him; he couldn't remember the last time they'd been together as friends. Their days passed by as partners, nothing more, nothing less. Their connection severely strained, though not all together broken.
Why won't you talk to me anymore?
The question was sincere, though Amanda noted the frustration in his tone. He had been patient, she knew. Her days of dating John had been blissful at first, but they slowly grew sour as he began his condescending attitude. Gentlemanly gestures, such as opening car doors and pulling out chairs, things Lee did as second nature to be kind, John used as a controlling mechanism. Once she had allowed him power over her body, he wanted it absolute. Their lovemaking had been beautiful, Amanda remembered, but things had changed afterwards, and not for the better. She grew moody and snapped at Lee, but he had taken it, never forcing a reason from her. He deserved some sort of answer.
It's about John, she sighed, sitting on their office sofa.
Lee joined her, close but not invading her personal space. I thought you had stopped seeing him.
A few weeks ago, she confirmed.
She took a deep breath and looked resolutely into his familiar green eyes, feeling their connection for the first time in months, allowing herself to feel it. This is so hard to discuss with you, Lee. I don't know where to start.
Anywhere you're comfortable with.
His compassion was touching, and she squeezed his hand. John and I were very close. Well, I thought we were. I mean we got serious after awhile. We were intimate. She refused to look at him as she said this, somehow shy to admit this to him. Things happened... He thought that by my making love to him that I... that I was somehow inferior after that. He acted like he had every right to control me. He never hurt me, she assured him quickly, seeing the concern etched on his features. Not physically. But his attitude change hurt me. And I took it out on you. I'm so sorry, Lee. I know you would never act that way.
It's okay, Amanda. It wasn't your fault. I can hardly blame you.
There's more, she said after a fretful pause. Lee saw her struggling with some inner demon and waited patiently for her to continue. After, well, after the first time, I... I started bleeding. It... it had been awhile, so I didn't think much of it. I thought maybe my period had come early. But it happened again the next time. That was the last time, too, but the bleeding didn't stop. It's gone on and off, Lee. And I'm scared.
Lee couldn't help himself then; he scooted closely to his distraught partner, a comforting arm around her shoulder. Have you seen a doctor?
There were tears beginning to form in her eyes. I haven't told anyone else. I don't want anyone to worry.
You need to make an appointment, Lee took charge. I'm driving you to your doctor's, Amanda. Just make the call, and I'm there.
Thank you, she whispered, her arms wrapping tightly around him, allowing her tears to fall in the comfort of his warm embrace. It had been much too long in either of their opinions since they had last held each other. And somehow it just felt right, like a different kind of home, and one from which they never wanted to move.
He clasped her hand tightly in his own as they waited nervously by the phone. Amanda had been somewhat relieved to find a note from her mother, saying she would be out of town for the weekend. Since the boys were on a Trailblazer camping trip, it was safe for Lee to join her at the house. The doctor was due to call anytime with the results of the pap smear. Post-coital bleeding was often a warning signal for cervical cancer.
When the phone rang, they both jumped overanxiously, laughing nervously at themselves as Amanda answered in a shaky voice, Lee watched her face in concern, then saw the tension subside. No, no thank you. We already subscribe. She set the receiver back on its cradle. I hate waiting.
Me, too, Lee answered, standing to wrap his arms around her. He hadn't bothered to think of the consequences of cervical cancer, taking one step at a time, knowing only that he wanted his partner alive and well. Feeling her steady heartbeat against him, he knew just how much her presence in his life had changed him, how much he loved her.
The realization caused his arms to tighten around her. We'll get through this, Amanda. Together we will.
I know, she whispered, hoping he would never loosen his hold.
The phone rang again, and Lee regretfully released her, moving quickly to the other room. She took a deep breath, determined to face the truth.
She waited for Lee to pick up the extension before she spoke.
Amanda? This is Doctor Phillips.
Yes, we've been waiting for your call.
Relax, Amanda. We ran it three times, and the test came back negative for cancer. Amanda's mouth widened into a beautiful smile, and Lee's heart soared, letting out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. The doctor continued. What we found is that you have a condition called microglandular hyperplasia, or in laymen's terms, an excessive growth of cells in the cervix. Now, this condition is usually nothing to worry about, as long as you get routine exams and take care of yourself. I can prescribe some medication that should control the bleeding if it gets too be too much of a problem, but otherwise, you have a clean bill of health.
Oh, thank you so much. She hung up the phone, quickly turning and finding Lee right behind her. I'm okay.
Thank God. He hugged her again, in relief, happier than he had been in a long time. Don't scare me like that again, partner. It would take too long to train some other housewife to take your place.
Amanda laughed, a wonderful, sweet sound that Lee realized he hadn't heard in much too long. You sweet-talker, you, she kidded, lightly punching his shoulder.
How about we go out to dinner to celebrate? Lee suggested with a smile.
Are you asking me out on a date, Lee?
Damn straight. I don't think I can compete with John Geraldson III.
Oh, Lee. There is no competition when it comes to you.
His smile turned tender as he leaned in to gently kiss her cheek. She blushed slightly, a pleasant warmth growing in her, knowing she could trust him absolutely and without question.
She kissed his cheek in return, quickly, then headed upstairs. I'm going to change. Be down in a minute.
Take your time. The words held a double meaning, they both knew. Amanda nodded, her heart touched that though their attraction was undeniable, he would wait till she was ready before their relationship progressed. No wonder I love him, she thought as she closed her bedroom door, wondering what had ever possessed her to get involved with another man. Projection, she thought with a grin. Or maybe substitution... Well, I'm sure it had to do with my feelings for Lee, she convinced herself, feeling suddenly giddy.
Lee waited at the foot of the stairs, wanting to yell in excitement that his partner was okay. It had been a close call, terrifying actually, to think of a future in which Amanda wasn't present. Realizations had been made in their fear, and he knew that the hated distance that had once seemed so large, had disintegrated and would never again wedge its way between them. Their connection held fast--his future was her future; her life, his life. And in each other's arms, that was their home.