Title: Car Shopping

Author: MeriSalope

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King is the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot-the-Moon Productions. I make no money from the story and no copyright infringement is intended.

Credits: References are made to the following episodes: Charity Begins at Home, The Weekend, & Flight to Freedom.

Additional Credits: Sammy Hagar, I Can't Drive 55; The Romantics, Talking in Your Sleep; Paul McCartney, Spies Like Us

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Timeframe: Chapter 1: between the conclusion and tag in Charity Begins at Home, Season 2

Chapter 2-4: post season 3, pre season 4

Summary: The 'real' reasons Lee & Amanda decided on their new vehicles.

Authors Notes: Comments & critiques are welcomed. Please enjoy this fluffy little side trip which isn't fraught with danger and mayhem. MS

Late October, 1984

The salesman just shook his head in disbelief as the brand new C4 left the lot. All that power chained down by an automatic transmission. Was he mad?

Lee settled his long legs comfortably in his new prize. It would take some getting used to, shifting through the gears was second nature... but not fearing for the clutch when a certain intrepid housewife ended up behind the wheel made it worth it. He didn't bother to ask himself why it was even a consideration, taking Amanda King into account when buying his new car. It was self-preservation, pure and simple. It's not like they were partners, right?

Cruising through the streets of Washington, he took the entrance ramp for the Loop to open her up. Lee tensed briefly, his foot thudding against the floorboard when he couldn't find the clutch. A quick glance over his shoulder had him merging smoothly into the flow of traffic just as Sammy Hagar began to rant about having to drive 55. Loud pounding drums filled his ears while a boyish grin stretched his cheeks. Maybe a quick run up towards Hagarstown?

Maryland countryside flew by as he patted the steering wheel with growing affection. The 'Vette definitely handled better than his poor abused Porsche. Her apologetic voice echoed in his mind, "Well, maybe you can save some parts." A grimace crossed his face at the thought of his precious German convertible, pulverized at the bottom of the cliff. Sure, it had problems, but it was a classic! The explosion, of course, was the coup de grace.

Firmly putting the cremation of his beloved car aside, he deliberately thought of nothing at all, concentrating instead on the music of the highway. The open road lay before him and only the wind in his wake. He'd caught a lucky break, that night playing cards with Ari and Ranier had definitely come in handy now. Catching that inside straight flush had paid for this new little beauty, allowing him strut away from the table with his head held high... his arm wrapped around the provocative Monica. All in all, a most profitably enjoyable evening.

Mountains in the distance made him realize just how far he'd come. He should probably be heading back. Even though all the reports were filed and he'd tied up his last case in a tidy red bow (on the bones of his Porsche!), it was getting late. Thoughts about the clean lines and quick accelerator of a much tastier toy were getting rather enticing. Crystal would certainly look nice climbing out of the passenger seat.

With a quick salute towards far off Camp David, Lee shotgunned around one of the 'official vehicles only' access points, arrowing south in a silver streak. Music cradled him, weaving a magnetic spell. Listening peripherally, he chased the curves and bends of the road before him, grinning like a madman. This baby cornered like it was on rails! Life was looking pretty damn good.

The words of the newest alternative sensation from Detroit were tightening a surprisingly seductive web around him. "I hear the secrets that you keep, when you're talking in your sleep." The rogue shifted his hips in the bucket seat, trailing after his thoughts. 270 flowed into the 495, and he exited automatically. A sweet voice with the barest hint of a drawl whispered across his mind as the memories of a soft brunette talking in her sleep crept in unbidden, chasing away the suddenly overblown blond Crystal.

The couch was damned uncomfortable, he tossed and turned trying to find a position that might put all of him into almost any semblance of a decent night's sleep. He needed it, if he was going to be sharp the next morning. Casting a bitter glare at the bed, more than big enough for both of them, he shifted again losing the pillow in the process. It was going to be an incredibly long night.

Her husky voice pulled him from a light catnap. He sat up begrudgingly. Of course she wanted to chat. Why wouldn't she? Lying there in the big comfortable bed with mounds of pillows and soft sheets cradling her gentle curves... which he hadn't noticed, thank you very much! Why was he even surprised? What did she think this was, a bloody slumber party?

Leaning back into the couch, he finally found a spot that didn't twist his spine into more curves than his tumbling Russian twins, and settled in to listen to what was certain to be a boring dream about grocery lists or baseball games. What was she saying? It sure sounded like his name, but not in a way he'd thought would tremble from her tender lips!

"Mmmm, Lee. O yes. Please... plea..."

Dammit! No!

He shook his head decisively and jabbed a slim cassette into the new player before raking his right hand through his hair in frustration. The Stones poured out of the speakers, effectively throwing the memory back to wherever it had escaped. With both hands tight on the wheel and his jaw clenched, he threw yet another lock on that particular mental door. What was he thinking?

A long line of brake lights ahead again had him scrambling for the clutch which wasn't there. Of course it wasn't. This time he was saving his precious transmission from that mistress of mayhem! He sat in the mess of DC traffic and fumed. Rush hour, go figure!

As soon as he could, he got off the next exit, fleeing from the commuter snarl. It was dark and growing later. He should just go home, order a pizza. Watch the Giants grind the 'Skins into the gridiron with a cold beer. For some reason, Crystal's charms no longer appealed.

He drove for a bit, deliberately not thinking of anything at all. Particularly not a troublesome brunette with a knack for finding chaos in the most unlikely of places.

And yet, he certainly wasn't all that surprised to find himself turning down an all too familiar quiet suburban street. Maybe she'd like to go for a ride...