A/N This story is for a friend of mine. One night she dreamed the following: "Amanda went crashing into a ditch with her station wagon & Lee jumped out of the car saying 'Get out of my way. My wife may be hurt' thus letting Billy & Francine know that they were married." Another friend teased that it was a good prompt for a fanfic. I can't remember how I ended up being the one to write said fic, but here it is. A dream fleshed out in fanfic form. Hope she enjoys-and that maybe others will too. :)
A big thank you to Erin for the beta. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and I make no profit.
It had started out like any other day. How in the world had things gone so terribly wrong?
Lee Stetson walked into IFF humming a cheery tune. It was Friday, and the weekend promised to be a good one. Although his marriage to his partner Amanda King remained a secret from everyone, including her family, he had been spending more and more time with her mother and sons of late. This weekend both boys had big events coming up. Saturday was the championship game for Philip's sports team, and Sunday an exhibit of Jamie's photographs would be part of an art expo. To Lee's immense pleasure, each boy had invited him separately to his event. For Jamie especially, this was a huge step, and Lee was starting to feel like he really belonged to a family. Okay, no one knew he was family other than himself and Amanda, but it still counted, right?
To make the morning even more cheerful, it looked to be an easy day. Lee and Amanda had managed to crack a difficult case the day before and bring in an international drug lord. Once they finished the paperwork, they would be free for the weekend. Lee planned to take his lovely wife out to dinner.
Somehow things never quite worked out the way they were supposed to.
Amanda said she needed to run a few errands during lunch, so she left in her car. Lee ate with Billy, chatting amiably. Everything still seemed to be adding up to a perfect day.
Billy and Lee had just returned to IFF when word came that an arms dealer named Tito Santelli, caught by Lee and Amanda several months back, had escaped and was vowing revenge. Lee called Mrs. Marsden immediately. "Has Amanda gotten back from lunch yet?"
"No, Scarecrow, she hasn't."
Okay, no need to panic, Lee assured himself. He knew full well that he had been ridiculously overprotective since California, but Amanda could take care of herself. Plus, they had just gotten the news—there wasn't enough time for anything to have happened yet. No one could set up their revenge that quickly. He drew a deep breath. No panicking. She's fine.
He returned to the Q Bureau. He tried to continue working on the paperwork. He tried to pretend that he wasn't watching the clock, waiting for his wife to walk through the door. He tried to tell himself that there was absolutely no reason to worry.
In the end, of course, there was every reason to worry. In the end, however, he was worried about entirely the wrong thing.
Amanda was fifteen minutes late getting back when the phone rang. Nerves frazzled, Lee snatched the receiver and snarled, "Stetson here." Please be Amanda, please be Amanda, please be Amanda...
"Greetings, Scarecrow," a heavily accented voice came over the line. "So glad to be able to speak with you personally."
Lee frowned. This wasn't the voice of weapons dealer Tito Santelli. "Who is this?"
"I'm hurt," the voice said mockingly. "I would have thought you'd remember me. It's only been a day since you ended our operation."
Miguel Rodriguez. Damn, they had just closed the Rodriguez case yesterday. "Don't tell me you wasted your one phone call on me," Lee said sarcastically. "And, no, I won't be your lawyer. Or find you a lawyer. Or help you in any way."
Rodriguez snorted. "I have neither need nor desire for your help, Scarecrow. However, you might be in need of mine. You see, I arrived in the States to find my brother in custody and our organization in shambles. I seem to be at loose ends. I dislike loose ends ever so much, Stetson. So I decided to take action. I came across your lovely partner not too long ago. She was at a pharmacy."
Not Miguel Rodriguez, Lee realized. There had been rumblings of Rodriguez having a brother, but since he had been out of the country when the bust went down they hadn't really thought much of it. Big mistake. Clearly. "Where is she? What did you do?" He knew he was giving away too much, that he shouldn't react so emotionally to Rodriguez's words, but Lee could no longer quell his rising panic.
Rodriguez chuckled, a low, sinister sound. "Not to worry, Scarecrow. I didn't hurt her. I never even spoke to her. She is still running her little errands like a good little woman. I believe she was heading toward the dry cleaners when I stopped to call you."
"So why are you calling?" Lee demanded, wondering what the point to all this was.
"Well...I didn't hurt her, Scarecrow. At least not directly. I have a feeling that the damage I did to her car might end up causing her harm sooner or later though. She was so busy with her little errands. I didn't want her to stop." Again, he chuckled.
Lee closed his eyes. "You cut her brake line, didn't you?"
"Ooh, you're quick," Rodriguez praised. "For all the good it will do you. Have a nice day, Stetson." The line went dead. Lee immediately began dialing Billy's office. He blurted out what he had learned and asked for a trace on the call. He concluded with, "I'm going to go look for her, Billy. I have to know if she's all right." He hung up before Billy could respond.
Lee sprinted down the stairs, but Mrs. Marsden stopped him at the door. "Mr. Melrose says to wait on him, Scarecrow."
"Yeah, like hell I will," Lee snapped. "I don't have time to wait; I have to find Amanda."
"And we will," Francine's voice came from the elevator. "But you need backup."
Lee rolled his eyes. "Fine, you're backup. Now, c'mon, let's go."
Billy ended up catching up to them in the parking garage, and they headed out in Francine's car. Lee knew the route Amanda normally took when she did errands. He directed Francine toward the market that was usually Amanda's next stop after the dry cleaners.
The Wagoneer wasn't in the parking lot of the market, but a few streets later, Lee spotted it. "Up ahead, Francine, there she is!"
Francine accelerated and quickly caught up to the Jeep. However, they were approaching a busy intersection, and the light was red. Amanda wasn't even slowing down. Lee cringed. He knew what was coming next.
Sure enough, the Jeep went barreling through the intersection, narrowly avoiding collision. Francine managed to force her way through the light without incident as well and continued following the runaway car.
Amanda's luck didn't hold out when she reached the next intersection. Cars were already stopped at the light in front of her. Lee watched as Amanda wrenched the steering wheel and sent her vehicle careening headlong into a ditch off the side of the road.
Francine pulled to a stop, and Lee was immediately leaping from the car. Billy put a hand on his arm to slow him down, but Lee, all coherent thought long gone, shouted, "Get out of my way! My wife may be hurt!" He was off, running toward the wrecked car before Billy had a chance to reply, leaving two stunned people in his wake.
Amanda had apparently hit her head, for she was slumped motionless over the steering wheel. Lee swallowed hard; finding her unconscious in a car was far too reminiscent of California. He reached in to check her pulse and almost sobbed in relief when he found it. Billy and Francine wandered over.
"Ambulance is on its way," Billy informed him. "You got anything you want to tell us, Scarecrow?"
For a moment, Lee couldn't figure out what in the world his superior was talking about. Then he remembered his frantic words and flushed deep red. "Ah, no, not anymore I guess."
Billy chuckled. "I told you a long time ago that whatever your relationship was, it was fine with me. If you recall, I also told you you should get married. I'm not sorry you took my advice. I would have liked to have known about it though."
Lee rubbed a nervous hand over the back of his neck. "Yeah, sorry about that. We thought it would be better this way."
Francine shook her head. "I can't believe how Amanda played me when I told her to break up with you! She had me believing that she had!" She sniffed. "See if I ever try to be nice again. "
"She did appreciate your concern," Lee assured her. "It just was unnecessary. I love her." He gazed at the slumped figure of his wife. "Where's that ambulance anyway?"
"Give them time, Lee" Billy soothed. "She'll be fine."
She better be, Lee thought. What would he ever do without her?
Thankfully, Amanda's injuries were minor. She did have a slight concussion and was kept in the hospital overnight for observation. Lee, Dotty, and the boys all fussed over her. A couple of agents managed to capture Samuel Rodriguez, making the bust totally complete. Tito Santelli was still at large, but reports indicated he had decided fleeing the country was higher on his to do list than revenge was. Lee hoped he would be recaptured soon, but he didn't have the energy to spare worrying about it.
Since the cat was out of the bag at work, Lee and Amanda were remarried in a small private ceremony with her family, Lee's uncle, and Billy and Francine present. To Lee's relief and delight, both Philip and Jamie were pleased to have him as a permanent member of the family. It was wonderful to have everything out in the open and be able to acknowledge his relationship with those he loved.
As he finished typing up the last of his report on the Rodriguez case, Lee had to chuckle to himself. "I never would have thought it, but you may have done me a favor, Samuel. Thanks, man."