By Thomas Mc
Notes: This story can be read as a standalone but it is also the first chapter of the story ' Crossed Roads ' Which is also found on this same web site.
This story is set shortly after the secret wedding of Scarecrow and Amanda, and during the summer after the end of the second season of the 'Beauty and the Beast' series.
December / 1988
Lee Stetson, (code name Scarecrow), pulled up his coat collar, as he stood, shivering, in the shadows by the dock. Despite his best efforts to keep out the cold damp New York air, he could still feel it down to his bones. He did a quick scan of the area, checking for intruders, and then returned his attention to the dark waterway. He could just make out the Swedish merchant ship that was carrying the package he was here to pick up. Dimitri Benko, the defector he was here to retrieve, had contacted them a little over two months ago with useful information about the ship that Lee was currently watching come in. Dimitri had told them that the ship was actually a Russian spy ship. Some careful checks had verified the info and now Lee was here to bring him in as soon after the ship docked as possible.
The Spy ship was really just a bonus, a minor win, the real prize was Dimitri's knowledge of a massive spy ring that was believed to be working out of the United Nations, a major thorn in the side of the entire free world. He would be debriefed and given a new American identity. The one loose end to all of this was motive. They still had no idea why Dimitri had decided to defect. In this business it was dangerous to trust unless you knew the motives. Lee looked at his watch. It was a few minutes past midnight. He looked back out at the ship. Judging by its current position he figured that the ship would be docking in about an hour.
Lee became aware of a small boat out on the water slowly scanning about with a search light. He watched the boat for a few seconds then, as was his usual careful habit, he did another quick scan of the dock area and detected movement a few hundred feet away. At first all he could make out was a large amorphous shape in the shadows near the warehouses. Cautiously Lee edged deeper into the shadows, his senses at high alert. The shape moved again but in the dim light he could not get a clear enough view of the shape to identify it. The shape started moving from the warehouses towards the docks and Lee ascertained that it was a man, a very large man, wearing some kind of dark, hooded, floor length cape. Whoever it was he had to be at least six and a half feet tall and very powerfully built.
The stranger went to the water's edge and reached down. He appeared to be helping someone out of the water. After a few moments of conversation with the new arrival, too low for Lee to overhear, the large hooded figure picked up the other man like he weighed less than a bag of potatoes. The big stranger started carrying the other man towards the warehouses. He seemed to be totally unaffected by his burden as he moved with an easy catlike grace that Lee envied.
Lee glanced back out at the ship, there was plenty of time still before it docked, then he proceeded to stealthily follow the hooded figure. Just before he reached the warehouses the large stranger stopped and Lee stepped deeper into the shadows and froze. The stranger turned around and scanned the area where Lee was hidden. Lee tried to see the strangers face but the hood was so deep that all he could see was dark shadow and a momentary glint that might have been his eyes. Then Lee caught a glimpse of the face of the second man that was being carried and his interest peaked. The man being carried appeared to be unconscious and his face matched the description they had been given of Dimitri Benko.
The large stranger turned back around and began moving along the line of warehouses. Lee was once again on the trail, carefully working his way closer to the large figure he was tailing. Knowing he would be at a serious disadvantage if it came down to a hand to hand confrontation with his massive, and very agile, quarry, he felt for the comforting weight of his gun. The quarry suddenly stopped and whipped around to look straight at him, then just as quickly turned back and sprinted around the corner of the building he had stopped next to.
Lee stood rooted to the spot in surprise and shock for a few critical seconds, and then with a curse he shook off his momentary paralysis and took off after his quarry, pulling his gun as he went. When Lee rounded the corner, the alley between the buildings was empty. He ran to the T-junction at the far end only to be faced with dead ends in both directions. The massive figure was gone, vanished into thin air. Lee whipped around, with the feeling that he was being watched but there was no one there. Who was the hunter now, and who was the quarry?
Lee spent the next forty-five minutes searching the entire area but he came up empty. No quarry and no place for him to hide. All the time he kept seeing that frightening image from the second time his quarry had turned. He just couldn't get it out of his mind. With another colorful curse he finally put his gun away and headed towards the dock where the ship he was to meet was just easing in to its berth.
~ o ~
The next morning Lee was sitting at his desk in the Q-branch office, carefully examining his finished report as Amanda looked on sympathetically. Their boss, Billy, had not been happy about his failure and Lee was not particularly pleased with himself either. Regardless of the reason, he had hesitated and had lost his quarry. He sighed and signed the report. It was as complete as he could make it or, to be more precise, as complete as he was willing to make it. The only thing he had left out was the reason for his hesitation. When his quarry had turned around that second time the light from the nearby building, had illuminated the figures face and he had seen something that he would never forget for the rest of his life. There was no way he could include what he had seen and heard because it could cost him his career.
At least the information they had been given on the ship had been correct. The spy ship had been impounded, the crew questioned and an important Russian spy operation had been thwarted. Unfortunately the informer was still missing. Things were also complicated when it was discovered that some of the ship's crew had come down with pneumonic plague.
Questioning of the crew had brought out that Dimitri had been found out but had escaped. It was believed that he had jumped overboard. A massive search of the area, where the large unidentified intruder had disappeared, had turned up empty. It was now believed that the man the stranger had pulled out of the water had been Dimitri.
The down side was that the disappearance of Dimitri had apparently caused the major spy organization they were after to pull back and that part of the investigation had eventually turned into a dead end.
~ x x x x x ~
It had been a three days since the Dimitri affair and Lee continued to fret over what had happened. Had he really seen and heard what he thought he had seen and heard? He just couldn't purge that image from his mind.
As Amanda was rubbing Lee's shoulders, she could tell that he was troubled. "Lee, what's wrong?"
Lee reached up to his shoulder and patted her hand. "It's nothing."
"Don't give me that. I've known you too long." She had come around and was now standing in front of him, arms crossed, her best stern mother look on her face. "Something is bothering you. Does it have something to do with the spy ship case?"
Lee looked up at her. There was a haunted quality to his gaze. "It was that intruder on the docks."
"What about him?"
"The second time he turned around. The light from the warehouse shown under the hood and I caught a momentary glimpse of his face."
"Why didn't you put that in your report?" She was puzzled.
"Because it wasn't human!" He blurted out in a rush.
"What do you mean it wasn't human? Was he deformed?" She asked, feeling a bit confused and unsure.
"No, it wasn't deformed. It really wasn't anything like that at all." There was an unsettling intensity to the haunted look in Lee's eyes as he continued. "He had the face of a lion."
It took a moment for her to absorb what he had said before she could respond. "It was a mask. . . . You were fooled by a trick of the lighting." That haunted look worried Amanda. She cared too much for this man, and an agent couldn't afford to be haunted by fear or doubt.
"No, I was too close to make that type of mistake." He looked into her eyes with a frightening intensity. "Amanda, it looked right straight at me. I saw its eyes. There was no mistake, it was not a mask. It was the face of a lion. It growled at me and I saw its fangs." He shook his head. "It had long sharp fangs. The only other explanation is that I've gone insane."
Francine entered the Q-branch office, holding a folder. She took one look at the two of them and jumped to a conclusion. "Look Lee, we all mess up now and then. You just have to let it go. You're not the first agent to freeze when caught by something unexpected from out of left field. You will get another crack at him." She waved the folder she was carrying. "We just got this from our contact in Russia. It seems that Dimitri has a girlfriend there in New York. She's scheduled to get married in two days."
Lee smacked his fist on the desk top. "That's the missing piece. That's why he defected." Now that Lee had something solid to work with, he became energized. "We need to mount a full twenty-four hour surveillance on her and we also need to be at that wedding in case he shows up. Francine, see if you can get us into that wedding somehow."
~ o ~
Back in New York again, Lee and Amanda stood at the buffet table serving food and watching the wedding guests. They had spotted a local Soviet operative and managed to quietly remove him from the scene. By tomorrow morning he would wake up to a splitting headache and smelling of alcohol.
Immediately after the wedding was over they returned to Washington.
Lee was reporting to Billy. "Dimitri never showed up and the wedding went on without a hitch."
Billy, Francine and Amanda all cringed at the pun.
Amanda added, "Besides that Russian agent, the only other unusual incident was when an elegantly dressed woman apparently stumbled into the middle of the ceremony by mistake. She immediately apologized and left."
Amanda was again picturing the incident in her mind. The thing about it that stuck with her was the look of surprise then deep sadness in the woman's eyes. It had matched Amanda's own feelings about the situation. Dimitri had defected, leaving everything he knew behind, in order to join the woman he loved but she was marrying someone else. Then it hit her. "Oh my gosh, we may have missed an important contact." She looked at the others in surprise and chagrin.
"What do you mean?" Billy and Lee both asked.
"That woman that I just mentioned. Maybe she was there on behalf of Dimitri. If she was there to bring the girlfriend to Dimitri and found her getting married to someone else, then that would explain why she looked so surprised and sad."
"Do we know who she is?" Billy asked.
"Not a clue. It happened so quickly there was no time to react. The whole thing took less than five seconds." She seemed lost in thought for a second. "Now that I think about it, there was something oddly familiar about her . . . but . . . I just can't put my finger on it." She shook her head.
"Another dead end." Lee shrugged resignedly, shaking his head. It looked like their investigation was right back at square one and the best lead they had run across in nearly two years had vanished without a trace.
~ o ~
On an eighteenth floor balcony overlooking Central Park a beautiful elegantly dressed woman stood facing a large fierce looking lion-man. Their attitude spoke of a closeness that belied their disparate appearance.
The Lion-man spoke. "There is nothing you could have done Catherine. The die had already been cast. Even if Dimetrie had lived, it would have been too late to stop the wedding."
The woman responded. "I know that Vincent." She shook her head. "Still, it's just so damn tragic." She paused as she looked out over the park. Then she spoke more softly. "At least he died still believing that he would soon be back with his love."
The lion-man quietly put his arm around her and pulled her into his comforting embrace as the two of them gazed wordlessly out into the night.
~ The End or The Beginning ~
This story is continued in this web site at - - www . fanfiction .net/s/4709152/2/Crossed_Roads
Or go to my profile page and select 'Crossed Roads'
Author's Note: This was my first attempt at a full out crossover story. The reason I posted it this way is because this is a three way crossover and this site currently only allows two crossover entries per story so this was the only way I could include it in all three lists.
I tried to stay true to the character and canon for all characters involved, please let me know your thoughts on my success or failure.
"Beauty and the Beast" and its characters are owned by Witt-Thomas Productions and Republic Pictures. - - "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and its characters are owned by WB and Shoot The Moon. - - (though not appearing in this chapter) "Remington Steele" and its characters are owned by MTM Productions and the NBC Television Network.
No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is the property of the author and is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans. Original concepts and story elements may be used by other authors as long as appropriate credit is given.