Triple Play… by Robin
Written 8/2008 – 8/2009
Author Note: This story was started before Beverly Garland, the actress who played Dotty West in the series, passed away. This story is dedicated to her and the other cast members who have
passed since the series ended... They will all be missed. Special thanks to all of my beta readers who take time out of their busy schedules to make my stories better. Your comments on the story are encouraged and always welcome!
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters copyrighted by Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. It is meant for enjoyment purposes only, I retain the right to the plot and not the characters. Do not reproduce this without the author's consent.
SMK Time: Thursday afternoon – August 21, 2008
Lee Stetson was perched on the witness stand in a jammed packed courtroom. The trial had gone on for two long weeks, but today was the first day he was on the hot seat. He had spent the better part of an hour answering basic and rather tedious questions. How long had he worked for the Agency? Who recruited him? How long had he lived in DC? Nothing exciting or earth shattering, and Lee answered each question as simply as possible.
His wife, Amanda Stetson, was one of many people in the courtroom listening to the testimony. For years, they'd been partners, first unofficially, and after Amanda completed formal Agency training, they were made official partners. The two were inseparable despite Dr. Smyth's best efforts of splitting them apart after they revealed their marriage. Despite the current turmoil in their lives, Amanda had stood faithfully by Lee's side.
Today, Amanda had been urged by her husband's attorney, Jacob Goldberg, to skip court. However, Amanda Stetson was a strong-minded woman, and didn't heed his advice. She intended to be there for her husband for better or for worse, and apparently today would be part of the latter.
The humdrum questions continued. Everyone who had watched the news for even a few minutes over the last month had already known the answers. The boring questions weren't why the room was packed, or why the media had set up camp outside his onetime home in Arlington, Virginia. Most of the courtroom was filled with the press. They took up several rows, and the remaining spectators were strangers. Perhaps would be novelists, or bored housewives looking for something exciting; and currently, this trial was the hottest ticket in town.
"Where were you stationed?" Quentin Broderick the District Attorney, dressed sharply in a new Armani suit queried. Although he was a young prosecutor, he had known political aspirations. Broderick was a man with an agenda. He took on this case with zeal, planning to use it to make a name for himself. To him, Lee Stetson was the ticket for a position on the bench, or maybe he'd turn to the Senate. Either way, Lee Stetson was his springboard up the ladder of success.
"Here in DC." Lee answered succinctly. It was bad enough that the testimony against the agent had been mounting. Lee Stetson knew it was his neck in the chopping block, he did not intend to make this easy on the prosecutor. He'd have to earn his paycheck today.
Broderick knew his quarry was playing games with him. Drumming his fingers on the table in frustration, he continued. "Where else have you served during your career, Mr. Stetson?"
"After I finished my training in DC, I was transferred overseas. I was stationed in various European cities including, London, Munich, and Venice," Lee answered evenly, knowing the difficult questions were soon to be asked.
The D.A. strolled confidently in front of the witness stand. A good attorney knows never to ask a question if you don't know the answer. The prosecutor knew the answer to the question he was soon to ask, but the jury didn't. In a confident voice only a few feet from Lee, he asked his prey, "Were you ever stationed behind the Iron Curtain?"
Quentin Broderick gritted his teeth; that was a rookie mistake. His error was merely a question of semantics. Retreating from the witness stand, he shook his head and turned, rephrasing his question. "Did you ever work in countries or cities behind the Iron Curtain?"
Lee noticed that his throat was beginning to get dry. He wet his lips before answering, his voice slightly strained. "Certain assignments called for me to spend time in what was once the Soviet Union, and other eastern bloc nations."
Quentin Broderick walked over to the jury box, and stood there, smiling eagerly. He studied the juror's wide-eyed expressions, and then turned to face Lee Stetson. "Had you spent time in communist East Berlin?"
"During a visit to East Berlin, you met a man named Anton Yushenko. Isn't that true?"
"Did you report that meeting to your supervisor?" the D.A. continued.
"Isn't that a breach of protocol?"
"Technically," Lee nodded.
"You don't like to follow protocol, do you, Mr. Stetson?"
"Objection!" Jacob Goldberg shouted getting up from his chair at the defense table.
"It goes to show character," Quentin Broderick maintained, while he cocked his head slightly and waited for the judges' response.
"I'll allow it," the judge replied succinctly. "You may answer the question, Mr. Stetson."
Lee squirmed uncomfortably in his chair and gave thought to the question, before he answered with a suitable reply. "When we first met, I didn't realize that he was a spy."
"Mr. Yushenko was in fact, a Soviet spy," the prosecutor remarked pointedly. With a raised eyebrow, he persisted, "When did you realize he was a spy?"
"About a week after our first meeting."
"You're not a very quick learner, Mr. Stetson," the prosecutor taunted. "A spy who doesn't recognize another spy…"
"Objection! Your Honor, the prosecutor is badgering the witness," the defense attorney shouted out sharply.
Lee glanced over at his attorney, almost amused by the situation. Over the past few months, Jacob Goldberg had reassured him this case would never get to court. There was little or no evidence – merely speculation and hearsay. Yet, here he was, now testifying in his own behalf and things were not looking good for Scarecrow.
After spending years in the field working for the Agency, Lee took a desk job after he and Amanda announced their marriage. Just months before his arrest, he was promoted to 'Chief of European Operations'. The post was a prime position, stationed in DC with occasional travel to some of his favorite European cities. It was an excellent fit, and in all honesty, he'd expected to retire in the position. Since leaving the field, his life had settled down until his arrest. Now, it was turned upside down.
"Sustained," the judge ruled, glaring at the prosecutor. "Mr. Broderick, I've given you some leeway, but you're trying my patience."
"I'll rephrase the question." Broderick turned away from the judge, smiling defiantly. They all knew he was toying with Stetson, and he was enjoying it. "When you realized that Anton Yushenko was a spy, did you report the information to your superior in Berlin at that time?"
"No," Lee replied flatly.
"Your association with Anton Yushenko continued, didn't it Mr. Stetson?"
"In fact, you were you recruited by Anton Yushenko to be a double agent?"
The courtroom was silent, waiting for him to answer the question. Lee could feel his heart begin to beat faster; a loud roar filled his ears, and continued to increase in volume. His palms were starting to get sticky.
"Mr. Stetson," the prosecutor growled at him in a gruff tone. "Isn't that true? Wasn't that the beginning of your life as a double agent?"
Lee glared harshly at the man. He didn't dare look at his wife who was in the first row, right behind his defense attorney. Dotty was sitting next to her on the aisle. Thank God, Philip and Jamie weren't here. There were other friends of his in the room, but after today, he wasn't sure if Francine or Leatherneck would continue their support. If only Harry Thornton or even Billy Melrose were still alive.
The judge was now getting impatient. His deep voice seemed to bellow at him. "Mr. Stetson, please answer the question."
Lee turned and glanced up at the judge in his black robe, staring intensely down at him. He felt overwhelmed by circumstances. When had his life gotten out of control? Swallowing hard, he knew this was it – the moment of truth. Once he answered this question, there was no turning back. When he opened his mouth, nothing came out. Suddenly, he wasn't sure he could utter the words in open court.
Someone sneezed in the courtroom. Lee glanced over at the man, briefly. Then he closed his eyes for a moment. Perhaps this was all a bad dream. Unfortunately, he was pulled from his momentary reverie by a growling voice.
"Mr. Stetson, answer the question," the judge demanded.
When Lee opened his eyes, he was still staring at the man who sneezed. Averting his eyes from the elderly man, Lee stared down at his lap. Swallowing hard, he wetted his lips, and in barely a whisper, he answered, "Yes."
"NO, he's lying!" Amanda wailed, and there was an audible gasp among the people in the courtroom, an incoherent murmur from the crowd.
"Silence in the courtroom!" the judge demanded, pounding his gavel on his desk to regain order. "If there's another outburst, I will clear the courtroom."
The prosecutor was now smirking childishly. Months of preparation had come to fruition. Now standing only a few feet in front of Lee, he asked, "Could you repeat your answer so everyone in the courtroom could hear?"
Lee stared at the D.A., wishing silently that he could wipe the smirk off his face with a left hook. Then, he'd race over to his wife, grab her hand and run, like they had years ago after the Stemwinder incident. Unfortunately, he'd never make it out of the building alive, and he wouldn't risk Amanda's life.
"Yes," Lee repeated his one syllable answer. Again, he stared down, not able to look over at his wife; he didn't have to. She had to be staring at him in disbelief with her mouth open and tears in her eyes.
Rocking back on his heels gleefully, the prosecutor began to dig deeper into the hidden life of Lee Stetson. "Your association with Anton Yushenko continued as recently as last year."
"No," he replied. This response came easier than his last, almost with relief.
The prosecutor was caught off guard by that reply. For a moment, he seemed unsure of himself, but despite his young age, he was a well-seasoned trial attorney, and he soon recovered. "It was suspended for a time, but you resumed your alliance with Anton Yushenko, correct?"
"My association with Yushenko stopped back in 1987," Lee reiterated defiantly.
"But you resumed it last year, correct?" the prosecutor pressed.
"Yushenko contacted me again last year. I did not contact him," Lee clarified. Shaking his head, he wasn't about to give the prosecutor more ammunition against him.
"Why did you discontinue your alliance back in 1987?"
"I got married."
"Your wife, Amanda Stetson, was also an agent, isn't that true?"
"Yes, she is an excellent agent."
"Was your wife a party to your alliance with Yushenko, and the Soviets?" the prosecutor probed. "Did she also sell national secrets to the Soviets?"
"NO! Amanda was never a participant in any of my dealings with Yushenko, or the Soviets," Lee defended staunchly, his hands balling up into fists in his lap. "She never knew anything about it."
"You just said she was an excellent agent, and your partner? How could she not know?" he tormented.
Lee gritted his teeth, silently admonishing himself for giving any ammunition to the prosecutor. Taking a moment to regroup, he replied, "Amanda can be rather… naïve."
"Your wife is an excellent agent, by your own admission…" he taunted smugly, "yet you say she knew nothing about your selling secrets."
Lee glanced over at his defense attorney again. Wasn't this when he was supposed to object, badgering the witness or something? Amanda was supposed to be kept out of this. Running his hand through his short-cropped hair, Lee took a deep breath and answered.
"Amanda was my partner, but I had a higher security clearance than she did," Lee replied evenly. This point he had to make perfectly clear. He wanted to be absolutely positive there would be no further repercussions in Amanda's life once he was… gone. "Whenever I had to meet with Yushenko, I could easily use that excuse and Amanda would have no option but to allow me to handle the call alone."
The prosecutor nodded. "Do you love your wife, Mr. Stetson?"
Again, Lee glared over at his attorney, unsure of where the prosecutor intended to go with his line of questioning. His attorney remained motionless, almost as if he was watching a car wreck in slow motion and certainly, this was one hell of a car wreck. Lee waited for an objection from him, but nothing. All eyes in the courtroom were on him. The pressure was mounting.
"I care for my wife," Lee answered matter-of-factly.
"That's not what I asked," Quentin Broderick replied. "Do you love your wife?"
"What difference does that make?" Lee snapped irately, glancing up at the judge for assistance.
"Answer the question, Mr. Stetson," the judge replied determinedly.
There was silence in the courtroom for what seemed an eternity before Lee finally began.
"Amanda is very…" Lee paused again; he knew Amanda would hate him for saying this, but it had to be done. "She's a very nice person. Extremely… loyal. Being married made things easier for me, more predictable, less… suspicious."
"Did you marry your wife for love?" the prosecutor persisted.
Although Lee was under oath, he had no choice but to lie. If he told the truth, Amanda would always be suspected of being his partner in crime. Closing his eyes for a moment, saying a silent prayer for forgiveness, he answered as evenly as he could muster. "No."
"In fact, you married your wife to throw off suspicion, didn't you?"
"Yes. The Agency knew there was a mole somewhere on the inside. By marrying Amanda, it caused such an uproar, nobody suspected me," Lee explained, hoping it would put any doubt to rest that Amanda was involved in any way.
"Your plan worked for a while, Mr. Stetson," the prosecutor responded, almost congratulating him. "But eventually greed got the better of you. A bank account is hard to hide from the IRS forever."
Lee Stetson didn't respond. He refused to be baited into giving them anything. A bank account with his name was all they tangible evidence they had. Despite the enormous balance and occasional transfers in and out of that account, he never personally had access to the money or benefited from it. Yet, he permitted them to paint him as their scapegoat. A high price for his oath of allegiance, but he refused to allow them to bring Amanda down as well.
The D.A. realized Lee wasn't going to talk without specific prompting, so he pursued him with another line of questioning. "You sold national secrets to Anton Yushenko, who was stationed in Berlin, and worked for the Soviets, didn't you?"
"I allowed the Soviets access to certain classified information."
"Which no doubt you were paid a significant amount of money for, isn't that true?"
"I was compensated for my troubles," Lee replied flatly. At this point, Lee was running on his Agency training – totally emotionless. He sold himself to protect his wife. Guilt or innocence no longer mattered. All that mattered was his wife would be safe – he had to protect her at all costs.
"You were paid well over a million dollars, weren't you, Mr. Stetson?" Quentin Broderick harangued him. "Over the years you've been compensated with several million dollars, isn't that true?"
Lee didn't get a chance to answer. Amanda Stetson had watched and listened in painful silence. Other than her short outburst when her husband admitted to being a double agent, she barely blinked. The testimony had been too much for her to take. Although seated, her eyes fluttered, but finally closed. At first, her head bobbed forward in her chair, and then her body slumped limply. She would have slid out of her chair and hit the floor if Dotty hadn't caught her.
"Amanda…" Dotty cried out as the eyes in the courtroom switched from Lee to Amanda. "Someone get a doctor."
Lee bolted from the witness stand, but didn't make it to his wife's side before he was grabbed, and physically restrained by two muscular bailiffs. Lee struggled with the two men, but he was no match for the two armed court officials. He watched helplessly while strangers attended to his wife, swiftly removing her from the courtroom with Dotty right on their heels.
Before the courtroom door closed, Dotty looked back at Lee. Their eyes locked for an instant, but that was all it took. Lee Stetson might be able to fool the jury and even the prosecutor, but his mother-in-law could see how desperately he loved his wife.
End Part One
Author's Note: The remainder of this story will be posted on my IFF Film Library website hosted by angelfire. Fan fiction net doesn't allow for a direct link. If you go to the author link, you can find the website, or search for IFF Film Library on any major search engine. Happy Reading and more importantly, Happy Endings!