Car Wars - written by Stephen Hattman and Steve Feke -
The Rest Of The Story - by Rankamateur

Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Warner Brothers and Shoot The Moon Enterprises Ltd.

A little AU.

What might have happened after Lee and Amanda brought the car back to Gino. Poor Gino. Poor car.

Thanks to Erin for some error trapping.

As the fork lift, carrying a block of metal, the wretched remainder of what was once a classic, priceless automobile, drove by them, Lee started to speak to Gino. He wanted to make some sort of explanation - some kind of apology..... Amanda put a warning hand on his arm and mouthed the word 'Wait.'

'Wait?' Lee thought, 'wait for what.'

Gino was getting angrier by the microsecond "Do you know what that car was worth?" he demanded, through gritted teeth.

All of a sudden Lee had visions of shattered kneecaps - cement overcoats -the cold, murky depths of the Potomac!
'Whoa, that's ridiculous!' he told himself. 'Gino works for The Agency too. He's one of the good guys. He's just a trifle upset. Well, maybe more than a trifle....'

Lee watched as Gino's face gradually turned a shade of purple that Lee hadn't realized existed in the known color spectrum.
It was a good thing that Amanda didn't understand Italian. Gino let loose with a string of epithets that would have made a sailor blush - an Italian sailor blush. If his poor, sainted mother could have heard him - she would have turned over in her grave. That is she would have if she were dead, which actually, she wasn't. She was living in a condo in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Finally the torrent of words ended. Gino's chin drooped down towards his chest. His eyes were somewhat glassy and full of tears. "What am I gonna tell LaRue? How'm I gonna account for this in the inventory? He's gonna take half of my paycheck for the rest of my life. What am I gonna do....," he asked rhetorically. "What am I gonna do?"

"Gino," Lee began, "look, just try and calm down, relax, take some deep breaths. Please, come to dinner with us - with Amanda and I, tonight. We'll explain exactly what happened and we'll work on some kind of a report for LaRue - something from the three of us."

Gino's fury was spent, for the moment. He looked up at Lee and nodded assent.

"OK," Lee smiled. "There's a new Italian restaurant in Georgetown called Papa Luigi's. It's supposed to have the best Fettucine Alfredo this side of the Atlantic. We'll meet you there."
"Amanda," Lee turned to face his .......umm, his business associate, "would seven o'clock work for you?"

"Sure, I can get the boy's squared away early and meet you at the restaurant."

"Great. So, Gino, we'll meet you in the foyer of Papa Luigi's at 7:00."

Gino looked from Lee to Amanda and then in the general direction of where the corpus of what had been a wonderful, *valuable* old car, had been taken.
"Whatever you have in mind Stetson, it better work." With that, Gino turned and walked slowly, dejectedly towards his office.

"Oh Lee, we've got to come up with something that's going to get Gino out of this mess. Gosh, and it's all my fault..."

"Amanda, it is *not* all your fault. You certainly didn't know that there were three million in drugs in that car. The main thing is - you weren't hurt by those scumbags! Come on now, we'll come up with something to help Gino - even if all we can think of to tell La Rue is the truth - a tiny little space creature..."

"Lee..." Amanda couldn't think of a snappy rejoinder so she just poked Lee in the ribs. That would have to do for now.

Dinner at Papa Luigi's consisted of an excellent salad, a marvelous Fettucine Alfredo and a good Frescati to wash it down.

"I've heard Fettucine Alfredo described as heart attack on a plate," Amanda observed with a smile.

"Maybe so," Gino responded, "but what a way to go! All right, let's have the story - what happened and *what* are going to tell La Rue?"

"Well," Lee began, "it all started with a tiny little space creature..."

"Which my youngest son, Jamie, dropped down into the window of my car..."

"And it got stuck in there and it started to rattle..."

"Then I rolled the window down, trying to get it out but I couldn't and then when I tried to roll the window back up - it wouldn't..."

"So she took the car to her mechanic..."

"Mr. Mike. But he said he couldn't get to it until much later in the day...."

"And we needed Amanda to transport some files and for that she needed a car....'

"So we came to the yard and borrowed the Stratford," they finished, more or less together.

After looking from one to the other, back and forth, as they proceeded with their narrative, Gino began to feel somewhat dizzy, and queasy. This was worse than any ping-pong match he could imagine.

"Wait a minute - wait a minute! Forget the space creatures and the stuck window - you took the car and brought back four square feet of scrap metal! What happened *AFTER* you left the yard?"

"You remember the Swedish meatball that crashed the gate at the US-Canadian border? Lee asked. "He had stashed three million dollars worth of cocaine in that car. It was intended for Nick Falcone's organization. His goons were looking for the car and when they saw Amanda drive it out of the impound yard, they went after her and the car. At one point they pulled a knife on her. And then later, when they finally figured out where the drugs were hidden, they were going to get rid of the car *and* Amanda. It was a very close call. We saved Amanda but we lost the car. Now I ask you Gino - would you have wanted it any other way?"

Gino looked stunned at the idea that Amanda had been in such danger. "If you put it that way, of course I'm glad that it was the car that was lost and not Mrs. King. But what about La Rue? He probably doesn't even know Mrs. King and even if he did know her - you know La Rue!"

"The car was evidence but the *real* evidence was the drugs - and we've got them - so the car doesn't matter. It wasn't Agency property to begin with - not really. So nothing's lost and the bad guys are going to jail. That's what we're going to tell La Rue. OK?"

"OK," Gino said somewhat uncertainly. He seemed to be thinking about Lee's story. After a few minutes his expression softened and a small smile appeared. 'It might work,' he thought.

"Well, I...I really have to get going. I need to get home and make sure the boys got to bed all right."

"Sure, Amanda. Gino, are you ready?"

Lee paid the bill and they made their way to the parking lot, stopping first by Amanda's car.

It was obvious that Gino felt better - a lot better. Whether it was the solution that Lee and Amanda had presented to him or the rather large amount of Frescati he had drunk or some combination of the two, didn't really matter at that moment. There seemed to be some hope for his continued employment at The Agency and for his fiscal well being. He was a much happier man.

"Lee, Amanda, I can't thank you enough - you guys have really been great. I don't know what to say..."

"Hey, don't worry about it," Lee said cheerily, "we all work for the same company, right?"

Gino, through a comforting haze of relief, gratitude and wine, took Lee's hand and shook it warmly. Then he turned to Amanda and took her hand. Raising her hand to his lips, he kissed it and then, straightening up to his full height, he reached up and gave Amanda a tiny little peck on the cheek.
"Buona sera, Mrs. King. Good night, Lee."

With that, Gino turned and started walking, just a wee bit unsteadily, towards his car.

"Good night Gino," they said at almost exactly the same moment.

"Will he be all right?" Amanda asked anxiously.

"Sure," Lee said. "I've seen him in action before. He's OK."

Lee turned to Amanda. He thought about Gino's very continental gestures - kissing her hand and then her cheek, and on rather short acquaintance too!

He took the keys from Amanda and unlocked the door for her. He returned the keys to her and then, as he continued to hold one hand, he reached down and took hold of her other hand as well. Raising both hands to his lips, he kissed first one and then the other. Without letting go of her hands, he leaned forward and kissed, first her left cheek and then, moving his lips across her face and, *accidentally* brushing her lips in the process, he gently kissed her right cheek. He stepped back, with a very satisfied smile on his face, and released her hands.

"Buona sera, Mrs. King," he said softly.

A somewhat dazed and confused Amanda got in the car, somehow managed to get the key in the ignition and start the engine. She put the car in gear and, with a wan smile and a small wave of her hand, drove off, *without* fastening her seatbelt!

Lee stood there for a few moments, still smiling.
'It'll be a cold day in Cairo when the Scarecrow can't top an auto mechanic in the romance department! Especially where it concerns Mrs. King....'

The End