Title: The Next Step (False Start II)
Author: Ann (geisterschloss@hotmail.com)
Date posted: April 2002
Synopsis: A retelling of the first season episode "Service Above and Beyond", set in the "False Start" universe.

Also archived at: www.blueboxersandbeyond.com

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. The story, however, is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed, reproduced, archived, reposted, or forwarded without the permission of the author.

Situations have been used from the episode "Service Above and Beyond" (written by Peter Lefcourt) and several lines directly quoted from other episodes. No infringement of copyright is intended.

Many thanks to my beta team, especially those with a black belt in nagging (you know who you are). Without you this story not only wouldn't be the story it is, it wouldn't even be finished. And yes, Merel, I'm already working on the next installment.

This story is a bit odd for me as it's the first time I've ever written a sequel. As well, it's the sequel to a story that I had never really intended to write. The best way to explain this is to include the author's note that I posted with the original story:

Author's Note:
Quite a while back a few of my beta readers and I had a discussion about Alternate Universe stories and how some people take them to mean that the characters can do and be absolutely anything the author wants. One of us remarked that this argument, taken to an extreme, could result in a story where Lee and Amanda ended up having sex the day they met. Of course, we all agreed, this is an absolutely ludicrous idea. The first day indeed! Would never work! Not on the first day! Never in a million years! No one could make that believable. But then my twisted little mind started to think ... what about the second day ...

Well, my twisted little mind did find a way to get Amanda and Lee into bed the day after they met and the result was my story "False Start". I had fun writing it and people seem to enjoy reading it - enough that some of them asked what happened next in this strange universe I had created.

You can read this new story on its own, but it will make more sense if you've read "False Start". To give you a brief synopsis of this universe, after a visit to Lee's apartment results in them consummating their physical relationship, both Lee and Amanda pull back, fearing that the other thinks of what happened as simply a one night stand. Lee takes an assignment to Germany and begins an investigation into an attempt by an East German named Curt Hollander to buy American missiles. His investigation leads him to an American businessman, James Delano. Forced to return to the States to continue his assignment, Lee finds out that Billy has hired Amanda and she now works in the Agency bullpen. Lee invites Amanda out for lunch, and they both discover how wrong their assumptions were. They decide to continue their relationship but at a much slower pace. Lee invites Amanda to a reception Delano is hosting, which brings us to ...

The Next Step