Disclaimer: I do not own "Scarecrow and Mrs. King", but have been a long-time fan. I named my daughter Amanda after Mrs. King, whose spunk and determination were so admirable. I have had this story bouncing around in my head for awhile now, and hope you enjoy it.
Author's Notes: Takes place after "The Khrushchev List", and marriage is still a secret
Friday, August 21, 1987, 8:00 AM
Amanda unlocked the door to the Q Bureau, shut it behind her, and moved towards the small refrigerator to put away her lunch for the day. As big as the filing project Billy had assigned her on Monday sounded, she was pretty certain she wouldn't have time to go out for lunch if she wanted to get done by the end of the day. She sat down behind her desk to wait for the movers who were delivering the files to the Q Bureau that morning, and thought back to last Monday's weekly staff meeting.
Monday, August 17, 1987, 9:37 AM
Billy Melrose sat at the head of the table in the conference room, and looked down at his checklist of items for discussion and review this week. Things had been pretty slow around the office lately, which was usually a blessing and a curse. It seemed like something bad always seemed to happen to someone in his department whenever it got too quiet. Only two things left to cover and they'd be done for the week. "Amanda, one of our field offices is being shut down. All of their files will be transferred here for storage temporarily. I'd like you to create a record of what all they send us, and then store everything in the cold storage area of the Q Bureau vault. I can't imagine we'll need to access any of it, but I want to keep it handy for awhile until they finish shutting the office down. With a good record of what they have sent, we'll have an easy time of it transferring it to long-term storage when we're ready." Amanda nodded and responded with enthusiasm, "Yes sir!" Lee Stetson, who was sitting next to her, shook his head in amusement - only his wife, Amanda, could sound excited about filing. Billy continued, "The movers will bring all the boxes up to the Q Bureau first thing Friday morning." Amanda nodded, then turned to Lee and mouthed, "Cold Storage?" with a quizzical look on her face. Lee mouthed back, "Explain later," as Billy continued.
"Last item on the Agenda is for you, Scarecrow. We have an Omega One situation, and you've been requested to handle it. I will brief you on the details in my office after the meeting. You'll be out of town for about a week, and it'll be Zero Contact during that time." Billy glanced up and saw the matching looks of dismay on the faces of his best Agents. Billy continued, "After I brief you, you'll be escorted back to your place to pack a bag and then delivered to the airport to ensure no contact is made with you." The looks got more miserable. He sighed to himself. Scarecrow and Mrs. King hadn't been fooling anyone in the office about their relationship for months now, and times like these almost made him feel sorry for the couple. "That's it, people. Let's be careful out there. Scarecrow, you're with me." Everyone stood up and began to leave the room. Amanda picked up the papers in front of her and began to turn, and dropped the entire pile on the floor. Anyone who was looking could tell it was deliberate - that would be Lee and Billy. Billy turned his head away from the couple to smile as Amanda said, "Oh my gosh!" and dropped to her knees under the table and started shuffling the papers around on the floor. Lee stood up and cleared his throat, "Uhm Billy, let me help Amanda clean this up and I'll be there in 5, OK?" He smiled hopefully at Billy, who nodded, "Five minutes, Scarecrow," and he closed the conference room door behind him to give the couple a little bit of privacy. If the lovebirds wouldn't be able to see each other for a week, the least he could do was give them five minutes to say goodbye.
Lee immediately dropped to his knees under the table. Amanda now ignored the papers and reached for Lee's hands, "Oh Lee, a whole week?" He nodded, "You know the drill, these Omega One situations are assigned to single agents who don't have families who will miss them. If we're going to keep our marriage a secret, I can't tell Billy not to let me do Omega One assignments, besides they asked for me." Amanda nodded, and slowly began to pick up the papers. Lee leaned forward and brushed a kiss against her lips. "I'll only be gone a week, and you've got that fun filing project to keep you busy." She shook her head, "That's not till Friday and I'll be worried sick about you the whole time you're gone, and you know it. Now, what did Mr. Melrose mean by cold storage in the vault?" Lee answered, "Do you remember when I first moved into the Q Bureau and we cleaned up the mess that had been left behind, I showed you the secret door inside the vault?" Amanda's forehead furrowed as she tried to remember, and then her face brightened. "Yes, there is a button on the brace of the shelf along one wall that opens a door to a second vault area." Lee nodded, "Right, that second vault is called Cold Storage. We put all the highest security files in there when we moved in, and there weren't that many, so there should be plenty of room no matter how much material they send over here." Amanda finished piling up the papers and put them back on top of the conference table, and they moved closer together so they could embrace under the table. Amanda whispered, "I love you. Promise me you'll be careful and come home safe and sound." Lee whispered back, "I love you too, and I promise. You be careful while I'm gone too." Amanda giggled, "Silly, how much trouble can I get into doing filing; the worst that can happen is I get a bad paper cut." They embraced tightly and kissed again before Amanda and then Lee stood up and left the room. Amanda took her papers back up to the Q Bureau, she wanted to get caught up on all of their paperwork before the filing project arrived. Lee made a beeline to Billy's office for the briefing.
Friday, August 21, 1987, 8:15 AM
A knock at the Q Bureau door shook Amanda from her daydream. She stood up and found a young man with a dolly holding several file boxes and a clipboard. *If this is all there is I'll be done in no time!* The young man asked, "Mrs. King?" She nodded, and he held out the clipboard. "I'll need your signature on each line as each group of boxes arrives." She glanced down at the clipboard and saw 10 lines waiting for a signature. At 3 boxes a trip that was 30 boxes. *Oh my gosh, this will be a project!* "Just start piling them over on the floor by the far desk, please." There were actually 2 young men with dollies bringing in piles of boxes. As each group came in, she noted the box numbers, found the appropriate line of the form and signed her name. When they were all done, she handed the clipboard to the first young man, and closed and locked the Q Bureau door. She didn't want to be interrupted while in middle of all this. She turned around and looked at the piles and piles of boxes. It was a very good thing she had brought her lunch, getting these organized might take most of the day! She got a notepad and began to prepare a list of box numbers and the contents of each box. She would type up her notes when she was finished sorting through things. As she began to work, she couldn't help but wonder where Lee was, if he was safe, and if he was missing her as much as she was missing him.
To be continued...