Ambivalence - A little more - Remembrance Of Things Past
original script by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming
This one didn't really have a TAG - it just sort of stopped. So we're all free to guess what might have happened after the cameras quit rolling.
AU - of course
Scarecrow and Mrs. King is the property of Warner Bros. and Shoot The Moon Enterprises Ltd.
Thanks again to Buffy and randibaby for their help. As usual - all remaining mistakes are mine.
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Lee looked out his bedroom window, down into the alley and at the crumpled body of Russell Sinclair. Sinclair, the former TV action hero - Buzz Blade - whose bad choices and misfortune had cost him his success, his livelihood and, ultimately, his mind, had fallen to his death after making one last effort to kill Lee Stetson.
Returning to the living room, he began extinguishing the fuses attached to clusters of dynamite, which had been placed around the room by Sinclair.
"Le. . . . , uhhh, Lee." Amanda said as she crooked her finger under the strap that was around her shoulders, the last vestige of the bonds, which until a few moments ago, had secured her to a chair in Lee's apartment. Since both her hands were completely free, there was no reason why she couldn't remove it herself. However, Lee didn't question the logic, or rather the lack of logic, in her implied request. He returned to her side and, kneeling beside the chair, proceeded to undo the offending restraint.
As he made the minimal effort necessary to the task, they looked into each other's eyes - deeply into each other's eyes.
'He's so handsome,' Amanda thought, 'those eyes and those dimples . . . wow! And dashing . . . . sword fighting with Russell Sinclair.' Lee's performance in the duel with Sinclair had reminded her of Errol Flynn or Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in one of those old movies she had watched on TV when she was a kid.
'She really is lovely,' Lee thought. 'Her eyes...and that little smile... Whoa... hey, that's enough Stetson. Looks like Billy's going to keep us working together and this is no way to think about a - well, not a partner - an associate. Yeah, an associate.'
They had been on almost a dozen assignments and in more than one, Amanda had been in serious, even mortal danger. But, except for getting just a little exuberant at the end of their first couple of cases, she had kept her poise and had come through, almost like a pro. And now - the walls were covered with dynamite, the fuse had burned almost up to the first sticks of the stuff, and Amanda had kept her cool the whole time.
A little earlier, while he was untying her wrists, both had denied, unconvincingly, that they were disappointed that the case was over, and now there would be no opportunity for hamburgers and wine at Amanda's house, like real people; or the fact that Lee would be able to go back to the restaurants and nightclubs which he had frequented before his death.
Lee had considered their life-styles. 'That's our problem. Amanda is hamburger.' Very high quality hamburger, of course, but hamburger nonetheless. He, on the other hand, was wine; the best years from the finest vineyards, ahh - at least the best that he could afford on an agent's salary. Anyway, the two '. . . . . just didn't go together . . . .'
'Restaurants and nightclubs,' Amanda had thought. 'Not exactly my habitual haunts.' She remembered being in a nightclub. Once, when she and Joe were on their honeymoon, they had splurged. As far as fancy restaurants, she could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times they had been able to afford an expensive meal and a baby sitter. True, she'd been to a couple of nice places on dates, since the divorce, but still . . . . .
She considered herself the pizza after the ball game sort of person. Definitely not in Lee Stetsons' league!
Lee called Billy and filled him in on the events of the last half-hour.
"OK, Scarecrow, I'll send over a team to take care of the body and someone from our demolition department to deal with all that dynamite. I suggest that you and Amanda get out of there for now."
"Right. This place is such a mess, from the fight and that fuse burning across the rug. I'll probably have to stay at one of our safe houses for a few days."
"That's fine. You can drop by and pick one that's not in use at the moment. See you later."
"Bye, Billy." Hanging up the phone, he turned back to Amanda. "OK. Billy's sending over some of our people to clean up. So, why don't we get out of here and go for coffee, or, better yet, a drink. We could go in my car or I could meet you at Monk's. What do ya' say?"
"Well, I can't stay too long - mother and the boys'll be home soon. But why don't I just meet you there and we could have a little glass of wine?"
"Are you sure you're OK to drive?" Lee asked, putting his hands on her shoulders.
"Sure," Amanda replied. "Look at this," she held out her right hand, "steady as a rock." She was surprised that her hand did appear to be so steady - quite the opposite of how she felt on the inside. Although she wasn't sure whether that was because of Sinclair's dynamite - or Lee's proximity.
"Well," he smiled, "sometimes there's a delayed reaction to these things. But if you're sure you're all right to drive . . . . "
"Oh yeah," she interrupted, "I'm . . . . fine."
"Great. Then I'll meet you there."
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Half an hour later, they were sitting in a booth at Monk's, sharing a carafe of white wine.
"You were really great back there. Most people would have been scared witless in that situation - dynamite and burning fuses and all."
"Oh, I knew you'd get back in time and put out the fuse."
"You did, huh. Well, thanks for the vote of confidence in my abilities." Lee tried to look humble.
"Gosh, you haven't let me down yet," Amanda said with a shy smile, briefly laying her hand on Lee's hand.
"Thanks. Umm, you know . . . . we couldn't have cleaned up this case without you.
I didn't like Billy's idea of involving you, but it wouldn't have worked out if I hadn't been able to stay with you. So," he raised his glass, "thanks for putting me up and putting up with me."
Amanda raised her glass, returning his salute. "It was my pleasure. You know I'm really sorry that you almost got drowned in the rain the night mother and the boys came home so early."
"Hey, that wasn't your fault. I'm sorry about Sinclair putting that big bump on the back of your head."
"Oh, that wasn't your fault either."
"It was all in the line of duty, " they said almost at the same time, and then laughed at the same time.
After that, they lapsed into silence
Lee was in his agent mode - no emotions visible.
'I could get used to this, having her around. Of course, I'd have to take care of her, protect her. She is just a civilian, but, she's brave and smart and learns fast and being beautiful doesn't hurt! She has potential - she definitely has potential - as an assistant, of course.'
As she absently toyed with her glass, Amanda's normally expressive face gave no hint of what was on her mind.
'Gosh, I hope I can keep working with Lee. I know I've been of some help to him and I think I really could learn this spy business. I know he doesn't want a partner, but he needs somebody to watch his back. Of course, I'd rather watch his eyes and his dimples . . . . Never mind Amanda, let's just keep it professional.'
"I've got to get going," Amanda said after consulting her watch.
"OK. I'll see you in the office. I'm sure Billy will come up with something - some other case - for us to work on together."
"That'll be good. See ya."
"Bye. Drive carefully."
"I will. You too."
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Driving home from Monk's, Lee's thoughts drifted to Amanda - again. He remembered what she had said about his being exposed to the things real people do, and how that couldn't do him any harm. He'd had a little insight into how real people behave during the Connie Beth case, when they had posed as a married couple. That had been the first time Billy had insisted that he work with Amanda. Actually, he hadn't minded playing a typical suburban husband. With Amanda playing his wife, it all seemed quite natural. When it was over and she had returned his ring, he even experienced a momentary twinge of disappointment.
As he considered his feelings for Amanda, he was surprised to admit to himself that he had any kind of feelings for her.
'Having her around - letting her work with me is one thing, but getting involved on a personal level, well, no way! She's not a one night stand - not even a weekend. She's a trap, dammit! She's kids and Christmas bills and braces and mortgages and a mother-in-law and . . . . and..."no dear, of course I didn't forget our anniversary" . . . .! Hah!
Could be babies and bottles - sure as hell would be the end of freedom and fun!'
Still . . . .
'I wonder what our kids would look like - maybe a little girl with her mother's beautiful brown eyes and sweet disposition - but, she'd be daddy's little girl and . . . . Oh man, what did that poet say about - grow old with me . . . .'
"Forget it," he said out loud, banging his fist on the steering wheel for emphasis. 'I'm not ready to grow old with anyone!
Didn't Margot say something about having a three day lay-over in DC this week? I think I'd better call her, as soon as I get to a phone!'