*DISCLAIMER** Scarecrow & Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot The Moon Production Company. The original portions of this story, however, are copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author. If you want to put it on your site, please email me, I would like to thank you for the high compliment. No infringement of copyright is intended, this is a labor of love.

This is a series of vignettes, from Billy's point of view. Dates indicate when these take place. Episodes referenced when appropriate. Many thanks to Jennifer who nagged--encouraged me to get these finished and posted.

Billy's Case Files part 1

by Ermintrude

Before the series

September 1983

Billy Melrose, Agency Section Chief, took a bite of his donut and washed it down with a swallow of lukewarm coffee. He looked out through his window into the bullpen – people busy at their desks – coming and going – all looked deceptively normal.

But Billy was a worried man. He was worried about one person in particular—Lee Stetson – Scarecrow – his best agent. Unfortunately, since the death of Lee's partner Eric, just before last Thanksgiving, Lee had been getting reckless, cocky and – Billy suspected – Lee was suffering badly from survivor's guilt. Every agent needed to be somewhat aggressive and courageous, but Lee was getting downright reckless. He hadn't endangered anyone else, but Billy wondered if the man was trying to get himself killed. Oh not deliberately, but Lee's calm stoic demeanor at Eric's funeral—the way he had supported Lois, Eric's widow, and held little Beth's hand... Billy knew Lee blamed himself for Eric's death. "He took that bullet for me, Billy. I should be the one we're burying today, not Eric."

Billy re-read Scarecrow's file. The man certainly had enough cause for survivor's guilt. A distinguished career in 'Nam – but he had lost buddies there – who hadn't? Then on his first major assignment to the Oz Network, Dorothy had been killed.

Billy re-read Lee's reports of his activities in the Oz Network before Dorothy's death. It was only a few months. Lee and Dorothy had spent time together – you could even call it dating – but Billy wondered just how much detail Lee had left out of the reports. Knowing Lee, Billy expected he and Dorothy had slept together. Lee had the rep even in college. But how close had they gotten? Was Lee in love with her? Probably. It would explain his actions when she died. And afterward.

When Dorothy had been killed at Silver Springs Airport Lee had held her body until they had to pull him off. After that he just shut down emotionally. Lee remained with Paul Barnes – the Wizard – for a few more years, but then he had asked for a reassignment.

Some years later Lee was posted to Italy, in Milan, to study under Dr. Angelo Spinelli, a top researcher into psychic phenomena and practical uses of telepathy and telekinesis. The Soviets were experimenting with psychics, so the Agency was interested.

During Lee's time in Milan he had gotten involved with one Eva Fortuna, a fellow grad student and Dr. Spinelli's assistant. Billy suspected it had gotten serious because Lee had sounded happy and looked forward to the future. But then he had turned distant again when he returned to DC after Eva and Angelo's wedding. They had moved to Moscow shortly afterward and Lee's assignment in Milan was over with the departure of the Spinellis.

Once back in DC, it took a few false tries, but Lee finally was partnered with Eric Jarvis, an older family man. The two were quite different: Lee the handsome dashing bold younger agent; Eric older, somewhat nondescript in looks, low key and understated in his actions and approach to the job. It was like oil and water, but they were very successful in the time – just short of a year – they were partnered. Lee even got close to Lois, Eric's wife and Beth, Eric and Lois' daughter. She was almost 6 when her daddy died, and Lee took that especially hard because he knew the family that had been torn apart by that bullet. Since then Scarecrow refused to be partnered with any other agent for more than a single assignment. If Billy tried to force the issue, Lee was so difficult and hostile that the other agent just asked for a change of partners. Even Francine Desmond, who had been getting close to Lee after her breakup with Jonathan, had categorically stated she would not work with Lee Stetson on an ongoing basis.

Billy sipped his tepid coffee and wished for another donut. 'What am I going to do about Scarecrow? I could order him to undergo a full psych analysis, but they'd probably recommend he come in out of the field for a while – that would really kill Lee. He's a man of action. Make him push paper and he'll quit for sure.'

'What Scarecrow needs is another partner. Someone like Eric, but different. Someone who can keep up with him, but who also will be more cautious and thoughtful. And someone with the people skills that Lee lacks. They will have to be quick on their feet and mentally sharp and not take the bull that Lee can sling so effectively when he needs to. Someone who's immune to Lee's charm or at least can see through his tricks. Someone at least as stubborn and hard-headed as he is.'

It was certainly time for Lee to be the senior agent: Emily Farnsworth, Paul Barnes and then Eric had looked after Lee, helped him along. If Lee could be paired with a rookie... But Billy had tried that and Lee didn't "want any wet-behind-the-ears rookie to nursemaid." No, this time Lee would have to be finessed into working with this new mythical perfect partner. So another rookie agent was out.

'Someone had better come along soon, because I don't know how much longer our boy will last in his present state. I'll know when I see it; I feel it in my bones. Scarecrow's due for a new partner – it's just someone none of us would ever expect. This time Scarecrow has to make the choice himself – that way he'll have only himself to blame. I'll have to keep my eyes open and make him work with that new partner – whether he wants to or not. I'll know it when I see it, even if Lee and his new partner don't. I just have to keep my eyes open and be ready to encourage the unconventional.'