***DISCLAIMER*** Scarecrow and Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. The story is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author. Some dialogue and situations have been taken from "Ship of Spies" written by Robert Bielak.

Title: More Than Friends

Author: Dottie

Date: June/July 2000

Rating: G

Synopsis: When did Lee first realize that his feelings for Amanda had begun to change?

Author's Note: This is my first attempt at Fanfiction, and all comments are more than welcome. I probably haven't done any creative writing since high school (a long time ago). I've always wondered what went on in the character's heads between scenes of the show. This is my answer to that question. Please let me know if you like it.




More Than Friends


Lee suddenly awakened with a start. "Amanda," he whispered hoarsely, as he quickly sat up in bed. He was momentarily disoriented, as he realized he was not in his own bed in his D.C. apartment. He automatically reached under his mattress, and touched the reassuring steel of his gun, but he left it there, as he sensed there was no immediate danger present. The gentle rolling of the ship brought him back to reality and he remembered that he was aboard a cruise ship, on a mission trying to find his friend and informant Orlando Gravas. He was also there to figure out the meaning of the partial message Orlando had sent just days before.

As he looked around the dark unfamiliar room, the details from his dream started to filter into his consciousness. He had dreamed of Amanda. In his dream, she was hanging over the side of the ship on the boom of the lifeboat, just as she had been, only hours before. Only this time, in his dream, he hadn't reached her in time, and she had fallen into the ocean, disappearing beneath the waves. Even though it was dark outside, he could see her clearly as she fell, the frightened expression in her eyes as she called out his name. What followed in his dream had been an inescapable feeling of despair and loneliness, as he called out to her. How could he go back home without her? How could he explain her death to her mother and the boys? He had a feeling that it would have been easier if he had been the one who had fallen from the ship instead of her. Calling out her name is what had awakened him. He had always been a light sleeper, even under the best of circumstances. In his line of work, it had probably saved his life on more than one occasion, but it certainly did wreak havoc when trying to get a good night's sleep during a major operation.

He shook his head and sighed gratefully, 'It was only a dream.' he thought. After a few deep breaths, he felt his heartbeat begin to slow down from the adrenaline rush he had just experienced. 'Amanda', he thought to himself. He knew that he felt responsible for her safety, just like he felt responsible for anyone else he had recruited, like Orlando or his friend Raul, who was a courier. That was all there was to it, he told himself, a sense of responsibility toward that person. Only in her case, he knew it went deeper than that. She had saved his life not once, but numerous times since that first case involving Mrs. Welch. And yet she was the one who always looked to him with such an expression of trust and confidence, no matter what sort of tight situation they had managed to wind up in. And this was not the first time he had dreamed of her. Sometimes they were dreams like this, full of dangerous situations they had encountered. Sometimes they were jealous dreams, as he saw her with Dean, or some other man, seeming to have such a good time in that other person's company. And sometimes they were dreams of the two of them together, going to an embassy party, eating at her house, or just going to the park together. Nothing romantic, just the two of them spending time together. It seemed that Amanda King was becoming more and more a part of his life. Yet in the real world, he made sure that she knew there was no emotional attachment between them, that theirs was a strictly professional relationship. After all, Amanda was not his "type". He could never fall for someone who was so conventional, such a "normal" person. He had decided that she was in his dreams simply because he saw so much of her during his waking hours.

But what if this wasn't just a dream, but a premonition of some danger she might be in now. She never should have been trying to climb aboard the lifeboat in the first place, but when she got an idea, she just had to follow through, even if she didn't have anyone there to be her backup. He knew she was just in the adjoining cabin next door, and surely she would stay put the rest of the night and be safe there. He picked up his watch and looked at the time. It was 2:30 in the morning. He couldn't exactly go wake her up because of a dream. She would think he was nuts. Maybe he could just sneak into her room and check on her. If she wasn't there, he would go search the ship to find her. If she was there and woke up, he could blame his presence on a noise that he thought he had heard coming from her room. He smiled as he devised this plan in his mind. He could have it both ways, assuring himself of her safety, while retaining his emotional detachment.

Slowly he got out of bed and approached the door. Fortunately, she hadn't bolted it from her side, and he was able to noiselessly open the door - without the help of his trusty lockpick. In case she wasn't sleeping, he whispered, "Amanda. Amanda, are you awake?" He heard no sounds but the deep rhythmic breathing coming from her bed. The moon shone in through her cabin porthole, giving him sufficient light to glide in beside her bed. Yes, she was there, safely asleep in her cabin, unaware of his turmoil next door. She was curled up on her side, a lock of her hair falling across her face. Automatically, he began to reach out to push her hair back. She was so beautiful lying there in the moonlight, her face devoid of worry, or the fright he had seen in his dream. He caught himself at the last minute, realizing that this would surely awaken her, and he would have to explain what he was doing in her room. He crept back to the door, and called out again in a low voice, "Amanda" just to make sure she hadn't awakened. When there was no reply, and no interruption in her breathing, he softly closed the door and crept back to his bed. He was relieved that she was safe, and he smiled as he quickly fell back to sleep himself.

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The next morning, Amanda struggled to get into the long white wedding dress she would be wearing to the ceremony. She couldn't believe she was going through with this. She and Lee had come on this cruise "undercover" as an engaged couple. They were forced to, because this was the ship his friend Orlando had been on when he had disappeared. This was a wedding cruise, and if they were going to find Orlando, or figure out what he had been investigating, pretending to be engaged was the only way aboard. Unfortunately, when the boat docked at San Angelo this morning, all the happy couples, including them, would be leaving the ship for their wedding ceremonies.

Lee hadn't told her all those little details before she had agreed to be a part of this assignment. It seemed he was afraid that if she knew what was involved, she would have given him an unqualified no, and his investigation would have been over before it had even started. At least if she had known that she was going to have to look the part of a bride, she could have brought her own outfit from home. She had a fairly new cream colored suit that would have worked out fine, and wouldn't have been nearly so difficult to get into this morning. Yesterday when she had toured the ship's bridal shop with the other prospective brides, she had seen several suits and tea length dresses that she wouldn't have minded. But she couldn't help but feel that they were way overpriced, and that she wouldn't need an outfit this morning anyway, since they would certainly crack the case before today, and would no longer need to maintain their cover. At the break of dawn this morning, she had made her way back to the shop, and found that the only thing left in her size was a very elaborate, formal wedding gown, complete with a floral headpiece and veil. She simply had no choice at this point, and brought it back to her room knowing that it would be charged to the agency, and that maybe the agency could use it again for some other case.

As she finished with her gown, she reached over for the veil and began to fit it carefully onto her hair. She caught her reflection in the mirror and it made her recall the last time she was dressed like this. She could almost hear her mother's voice as she helped her dress, " Oh, Amanda darling, you look just beautiful! Joe certainly is a lucky man to have won my baby's heart. I just know you two will be happy together." And they had been happy, for awhile, until Joe decided to take a job assignment outside of the country as soon as he had finished law school. She just couldn't see taking two small children to a third world country. What if they had gotten sick? What kind of home could they have under those conditions? So, Joe left without them, and while his career flourished, their marriage slowly became more and more distant, till they hardly knew each other anymore. Then finally, when they both admitted that they no longer had a real marriage, together they had both agreed to the divorce. It was a mutual decision, and very civilized, but it certainly wasn't how she had envisioned her life all those years ago, standing with her mother, in another white dress, so similar to the one she wore now. Her thoughts were dragged back to the present as she heard a knock on the door from the adjoining cabin.

"Amanda," Lee called out as he knocked on her cabin door. "Aren't you ready yet? They just made a last call for all couples leaving for the wedding ceremonies."

"Come in," she answered.

As he entered, he saw her standing in front of a full-length mirror, pinning her veil onto her head. She wore a white wedding gown, very form fitting and lacy on top, with a full flowing skirt that reached her feet. As she finished, she turned around to face him, nervously looking down and blushing. She was breathtaking to behold, and Lee was speechless at the sight of her.

"I'm sorry I'm taking so long," she said. "Last time I did this, I had Mother, and my best friend, Peggy helping me to get into all of this. It's not easy, what with all the buttons and catches, not to mention trying not to get the veil tangled, but I think I'm just about done now." She was babbling nervously, as she always did when she was flustered. "Do I look all right?" she questioned him.

"Yes," Lee said in a low voice "more than all right."

He was looking her over from head to toe, his gaze frankly admiring. When she looked down and blushed again, he realized he was letting his guard down a little too much. He quickly cleared his throat and took her arm. "Shall we?" he questioned, guiding her to the door. He gave her a quick smile and what he hoped was a more casual look. She nodded her head in agreement and they left the cabin.

'Get a grip, Stetson,' he thought to himself. 'You don't want her any more interested in you than she already is, and besides, we have a lot of work to do today. This is no time to get distracted.' He was aware that she sometimes seemed to have a bit of a crush on him, which he actively discouraged whenever possible.

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Once they were in the cab on the way to the wedding ceremonies, Amanda became very quiet, unlike her usual self. She gazed out the window away from Lee, and she looked as if her thoughts were a million miles away. They had been holding hands to preserve their cover, but he almost felt like there was a brick wall between them. 'I'm an idiot!' he thought. 'I told her, I'd crack this case before it came down to this, before we'd have to "get married" to preserve our cover.' Maybe that's why she'd been so anxious to help him solve this case. This was the last place she wanted to be.

"Look Amanda," he bent over and spoke softly into her ear. The cab driver was probably a local, but they didn't need him to overhear this conversation in case he was an agent or an informer. "We both know this marriage isn't for real. We'll have it annulled as soon as we get home. That way it won't be in any records. Just pretend it's a little bit of play acting." He actually had another plan involving falsifying data on the license to make the marriage invalid, but he wasn't sure if that would do it. He'd have to run it by legal as soon as they got back. "I'm sorry that you have to go through all this, that we couldn't crack the case before now. If it wouldn't endanger you, I wouldn't care about breaking our cover at this point." He looked at her earnestly, and tried to determine if this was the cause of her sudden shift in mood. He knew from previous conversations they had had that she took marriage very seriously.

Hearing his heartfelt apology, she searched his eyes, as if trying to figure out how much to tell him, trying to decide if she could trust him with the personal feelings she was experiencing right now. From his words, he obviously could tell something was bothering her, but he had no idea where her thoughts had been taking her this morning. Her eyes were wet with tears she had been holding back all morning. 'OK' she thought, 'I can't do this on my own, and he has a right to know what's bothering me.' She took his hands in her own and answered him just as quietly, "Lee, it's not that, it's just that . . . all of this," she said gesturing at her dress "well, it just reminds me a little too much of my first wedding, of marrying Joe, and then everything that went wrong." She looked back down in her lap, unable to look at him while she continued. " I know this situation is nothing like that, and I know this isn't for real," she whispered, "but the last time I looked like this, it was real, and that brings all those memories just a little bit too close for comfort. I'm sorry. I know I should be more professional than this. Just give me a minute and I'll try to put it behind me." When she shyly looked back up at him, she saw compassion and understanding in his eyes. He wordlessly wrapped his arms around her and silently held her.

Lee thought to himself, 'This is worse that what I was thinking. I shouldn't be putting her through this. I should have made Francine come on this assignment so Amanda wouldn't have to deal with this right now.' Of course he knew she had been married before, but it was nothing they had ever talked about. In some ways, he knew so much about her from the extensive background checks that had been run when she first joined the agency, but in others he felt like he hardly knew her. She was such a complex, complicated individual, so unlike all the girls he dated. There was so much more to her.

Amanda felt tremendously comforted by his embrace. 'He's such a good friend' she thought. 'The closest thing he probably has to compare this to is when Eva married another man. It's just not the same as being married to someone for ten years, but he's trying to let me know as best he can that he cares and that he's sorry that I'm having to go through this.' As the cab arrived at their destination, Amanda pulled away from him and gave him a big smile. As well as she and Lee got along as partners, his reaction had surprised her. She knew he was scared to death of all this emotional stuff. Well, if he could do this for her, she could put all her emotions away for awhile, and deal with them later. They had a job to do. "Hey, I'm OK now. Let's go get married, then we can wrap this up partner."

"All right," Lee answered her with a smile.

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'What a bizarre way to get married.' Amanda thought as they stood in line. 'No family, no friends, nothing at all personal about any of it. It's your standard assembly line marriage, complete with fake flowers, and pre-recorded wedding music.' She was trying to focus her attention on other things. She knew they were next in line and it would soon be their turn to walk up to the justice of the peace. I wonder if they're setting some kind of strange record today, "Most Marriages Performed in the Least Amount of Time".

Lee was lost in his own thoughts. He had never been married, and at this point in his life, thought he never would be. He just didn't think he'd ever be able to trust another human being that much, to want to live with her for the rest of his life. He'd just been disappointed in people too many times. They always left. Amanda, as remarkable as she was, hadn't been able to keep her own marriage afloat. 'It was probably all his fault', he thought.

Suddenly it was their turn.

"Let's go." he said.

"I can't" she replied.

"Why?" he asked with a panicked look.

"You're on my dress."

"Oh!" he exclaimed, as he quickly moved his foot off of the white material of her dress.

They marched up the aisle together and were exchanging vows before the justice of the peace. He was distracted, thinking about all the facts of their case, wondering what Orlando had meant by his message. He thought that they had checked every 24 and every C on the entire ship; the cabin, storage lockers, casino, lifeboat. 'What could he have been referring to? Was Orlando off base on this case? Maybe he had just disappeared on his own?'

He suddenly realized that the justice of the peace was declaring them man and wife, and was telling him that he could kiss his bride. 'Oh,' he thought, 'the ceremony was certainly over in record time.' He looked over at Amanda as she looked back at him expectantly. He moved closer and lifted her veil up over her head. He had managed to forget his earlier distraction at her appearance, but standing there in front of him, with her looking like that, all thoughts of the case momentarily left his mind. He had kissed her once before on an assignment, so it wouldn't be any different from that, he told himself. He saw Amanda close her eyes as they both leaned in and he captured her delicate lips with his own. It was a soft, unhurried kiss, but as they started to pull away from each other he leaned back in, and kissed her again softly, unwilling just yet to end the sensations he was feeling as his lips met hers. She looked up at him and smiled that incredible smile of hers, and reached up to brush his lips with her fingertips, wiping any traces of her lipstick away. They quickly walked back down the aisle, hearing the congratulations of the other couples assembled there.

Amanda was surprised by his kiss, as well as the feelings it had awakened in her. She knew they would have to kiss at the end of the ceremony, but also knew that it was just part of their cover. But Lee had kissed her so tenderly, his lips trembling slightly as they met hers. And when he reached over for a second brief kiss just as they were parting, it almost took her breath away. She reached up to his lips to wipe away the lipstick she had left behind, her eyes gazing at his lips, and caught herself wondering how it would feel if he gently kissed her fingers in return and took her in his arms to kiss her again. She shook her head slightly, knowing her imagination was running away with her.

After they walked back down the aisle, Lee led her to a table and handed her a glass of champagne. She thought that he looked every bit as nervous as she felt after the "wedding" and their subsequent kiss. She also thought he looked better in that tuxedo than any man had a right to. They made small talk about the ceremony and the flowers. Lee was answering her, "Yeah, well at least your 18 karat wedding ring is real, huh?

"Yeah," Amanda answered.

"What?" Lee asked? He knew that look when she was coming up with something.

"18 karat ....24 karat. Lee I think it means 24 karat gold!"

"No, no. 24 karat is spelled with a 'k', Amanda."

"No, no, it can be spelled with a 'c' or a 'k'. Jamie had it on a spelling bee. Didn't look right to me. I looked it up in the dictionary. Karat with a 'k' is for gold, but carat with a 'c' is for other gems. Maybe Orlando didn't know the difference either."

"Instead of paper money, Porto Fino revolutionaries are being funded with gold." Lee said with interest.

"Right." Amanda replied.

"You might have something here." 'How does she always come up with these things,' Lee thought to himself.

With that they decided to go back to the boat to see what they could find out.

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The case had been wrapped up. The revolutionaries plans had been foiled, the smugglers captured, and Emiliano and Orlando had been freed. Lee and Amanda were boarding the plane for home at last. He offered her the window seat, but as she was lowering herself to a sitting position, he caught her wincing slightly before she could cover it up.

"Amanda, what's wrong," he asked worriedly?

"Oh, it's nothing," she replied. "Just a little stiff from jumping out of that car. I guess I need more practice before trying something like that again." She gave an embarrassed smile, knowing that he did that sort of thing all the time, and was probably used to handling such maneuvers.

"Amanda, you did great. Not only did you get out of that car without breaking anything, but you had the presence of mind to disarm Jillian with nothing but a piece of pipe afterwards! I've seen trained agents do far worse. And besides, you're the one who figured out that it was gold we were looking for. After that, it didn't take too much effort to figure out it was being smuggled in the form of pipes." Lee meant every word he was saying. He was beginning to realize just how good her instincts were, and how good it was to have her with him in a pinch. She always seemed to come through. 'I trust her with my life,' he thought to himself. "Just try to rest, and you'll feel better in no time," he told her.

She was very pleased at his complimentary words. It wasn't that long ago that she felt she was sometimes more a burden to him than a help. Although she knew it wasn't really true, it was certainly nice to hear it coming from him. She took him at his word that she should rest, and shortly after take-off, she felt herself drifting off to sleep.

"Amanda, what did . . . . ." as he glanced over at her, his question was halted mid-sentence, because he realized she was sound asleep. 'She deserves to rest,' he thought to himself, 'but she's going to get an awful crick in her neck, sleeping like that.' The armrest between them had already been raised, to give him more room, she had said. Without any further thought, he carefully slipped his arm around her, and leaned her body towards his, allowing her to rest on his chest. She mumbled slightly as her body shifted, but she quickly settled down against him.

Even though she was asleep, Lee was very much aware of her closeness, of the way it felt to hold her against him. He could smell her perfume, and it seemed that every nerve in his body was tingling in response to her. He had been with plenty of women, but he had never felt this way before, and she wasn't even doing anything. 'Oh boy,' he thought to himself. 'What have I done. I can't move her back now. I'll just have to try to think about something else.' And try he did, with little success. His thoughts just seemed to keep turning back to her and to their history together.

Only a few months earlier, he had almost lost her. She was acting as a courier, on her own, without backup. The precious microdot she had received was lost when she was mugged outside the Laundromat and her purse had been stolen. In his typical hotheaded fashion, he had blamed her. Privately, after giving it some thought, he realized it was ingenious that she had hidden the sock with the microdot in her purse, away from the other laundry when the man making the drop had told her it wasn't safe. But he was so worried for her safety, and the safety of the agents who were now endangered, that his frustration and worry came out in him yelling at her - more than once. In her den, she had reached her breaking point, and had told him that maybe they should stop working together, and maybe she should resign from the Agency. He had stormed off at that, but soon realized as he was driving in the opposite direction what he would be losing if she resigned. He would no longer have an excuse to stop by outside her kitchen window to talk to her at night. He would never see her beautiful smile again, or the way her eyes lit up when she tied a bunch of disparate clues together to break a case. He had to go back to try to try to talk her out of it. As he approached the house, he could see something was up, and when he entered, he found three men in the process of kidnapping an unconscious Amanda! As he fought them off, Amanda woke up and even fought off one of her attackers with a lamp. That had really surprised him. Later, the man he had brought in for questioning admitted that he wasn't after any microdot, but Amanda herself, and that they were going to sell her. When he heard that, Lee had seen red and thought that he was going to tear the man apart limb from limb. Sell Amanda! Take her away from her home and family and . . .and him! Make her some rich man's plaything? No, not in this lifetime, not while he was there to protect her. As it turned out, they were both captured, but working together, they had escaped, captured the bad guys, and recovered the microdot.

He had intercepted her letter of resignation earlier that day, and realized that if he was going to persuade her to stay with the agency, apologies were in order. She had accepted graciously, and he had agreed that they were partners, a large concession on his part. Since then, it seemed that their relationship had subtly changed. He certainly made it a point to try not to get upset with her, and he had stopped acting like she was a pest whenever Billy had assigned them to work together. He was more comfortable with her, and occasionally had let his guard down in front of her. That was where he was running into trouble. Even though it felt good to have someone around that he could talk to, there were times that she looked into his eyes, and he felt like she was looking straight into his very soul. And there were times when he could not deny the truth that he was very attracted to her. So, he would respond by backing away from her and finding some new woman to date, preferably as unlike Amanda as possible, so he would not be reminded of her.

Suddenly his thoughts came back to the present as she shifted ever so slightly in his embrace. He suddenly realized in the plane, holding her in his arms, that yes, somewhere along the line, they had become more than friends. But he was not ready to act on that in any way. He had never been able to maintain a long- term relationship with a woman in his life. If he and Amanda became involved, it would be just a matter of time before it came crashing down on him, and he would be left alone again. Women he could find anywhere, but where would he ever find a friend like her again. Yet it was hard to ignore how he was feeling right now, how right it felt to hold her close in his arms. He didn't want to think about it any more right now. He was feeling tired himself, and let himself drift off to sleep, where his dreams took him where his conscious thoughts would not allow him to go.

Amanda slowly woke up, hearing an announcement about their impending arrival at Dulles International Airport. She was startled to find herself in Lee's arms. She had just been having the most wonderful dream about him, where they had just gotten married, and they were dancing and holding each other close. The way he was looking at her made her feel loved, needed, and desired. She didn't want to wake up, it had been such a terrific dream. Waking in his arms she was startled. How had she gotten there? Had her dreams caused her to snuggle up to him on the plane? This was going to be very embarrassing when he woke up, which she could tell was happening now. She quickly disentangled herself from him as she saw him open his eyes and yawn.

"Lee, I'm sorry, I don't know how I wound up over on your seat, I was just so tired, I fell right asleep." She said shyly.

"Amanda, it's OK" he said. He decided to level with her, and told her, "you fell asleep, and looked like you were going to have an awfully stiff neck when you woke up, so I leaned you up against me. I hope you don't mind. Are you feeling better?" he asked, trying to change the subject.

"Oh yes," she said, relieved, "I'm sure I'll be better in no time at all."

"Good," he said. He returned to reading the magazine he had been glancing at earlier, trying to look nonchalant. He felt anything but. He had been having an incredible dream about her. In his dream, they had just gotten married, and they were dancing together and holding each other close. He had kissed her, just like he had at their "wedding", but it hadn't stopped there, as he took her in his arms and kissed her again, more passionately. As he pulled back to look at her in his dream, her hand cupped his face, and she gazed up at him with a look of complete trust and love as she reached back behind his neck to draw him back into her embrace. No, as much as he wished he could really hold her like that, he was sure it wasn't worth taking the chance of losing her forever. He hoped that she didn't think anything of his holding her while she slept, and decided that he would have to talk to her later about everything that had happened on the case, and that it was all part of their "cover".

Amanda for her part was touched by his concern for her, and wondered if she had gotten things turned around earlier. Instead of her snuggling up to him because of her dream, maybe being so close to Lee was what had inspired her dream. Well, it didn't matter anyway. She saw him pull away from her as soon as he woke up, and she was sure from the expression on his face that she was going to get "the speech" later, where he would reiterate to her that they were not personally involved in any way. There were times though that he was beginning to open up to her. He was changing from the man she had first met, and someday, she was sure she'd be able to break through that tough armor of his. She was patient. She could wait. For now, she knew that they had become much more than just friends.

The End