Title: 'A Spy of a Different Nature'

Author: MeriSalope

Rating: M (for language and violence)

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: 'Wrong Number', 'Murder Between Friends', 'Utopia Now', 'Welcome to America, Mr. Brand', 'Burn Out', 'DOA: Delirious on Arrival', 'Tail of the Dancing Weasel', 'A Class Act', 'The Weekend', 'We're Off to See the Wizard', 'There Goes the Neighborhood'

Foreshadowed episodes: 'Unfinished Business', 'Night Crawler'

Additional Credits: 'When You Say Nothing At All' written by Paul Overstreet & Don Schlitz

Timeframe: Season 3 post 'All the World's a Stage'

Summary: What happens when Amanda doesn't stay where Lee leaves her.

Author's Notes:

No creative infringement is meant towards Jill Kelley and her 'Need to Know' story published on the IFF Film Library site. While Ms. Kelley posted her story several years before this one, I didn't discover it until I was quite deep into my own tale. After failing to reach Ms. Kelley via the provided email address, I chose to continue 'A Spy of a Different Nature' anyway. While there are common characters, this tale in no way mirrors hers.

A huge thank you to my fabulous editing team: Tearza & Liam! Without your input, I would've been lost. Another huge thank you to my extraordinary beta, eLynda! Lady, I don't think this would've ever been finished without you. Thank you so much for keeping me on track!

Additional notes to follow. Comments & critiques are welcomed. MS

*/*

May 1986 (shortly after 'All the World's a Stage') Sunday night

"Ireland? Billy, are you sure? How the hell did Abernathy manage to get lost in Ireland on vacation? Yeah, yeah, all right. I'll get a bag together now. Have you already called Amanda? What? No I will not calm down! After all these years of pushing us together, now you want to split us up? Have you lost your mind, man?"

Scarecrow paced across his bedroom floor scowling at the phone while his section chief just kept piling it on. This night was going from bad to worse, and he didn't even have the pleasure of the obligatory basket for this particular excursion to Hell.

"He's being held by who? The IRA? Great, this just gets better and better. What are you going to tell me now... that this is also Zero Contact and a matter of national security? Billy, I was kidding, not trying to give you more ideas! I don't care whose nephew he is, I'm supposed to be on vacation, remember?"

His highly irritated boss held the phone from his ear while the man continued sputtering expletives across the line. Casting a glance over his shoulder, Billy saw Jeanie abandon the pretense she was still sleeping through what was growing into a very loud argument. There had once been a time when Scarecrow would have sprung cartwheels over the thought of leaving his plucky sidekick behind.

Fortunately, he didn't have to listen. There were times when it was a good thing to be the boss. This appeared to be one of them. His voice curt, he growled across the rant in his ear. "You're going. Alone. Tonight. Pull Abernathy out of whatever mess he's managed to find himself in, and get you both home. Preferably in one piece. Zero Contact, Scarecrow. See you in a few days."

The phone clicked in his ear, leaving Lee staring out the window in steaming fury. Bloody Abernathy! First feeding Francine to the Libyans, now playing Russian roulette with the damned Provisional Irish Republican Army! What was he going to do next, invite Castro bloody shark fishing?

Continuing to rave as he threw a bag together, he made sure there was nothing orange or green in his clothing choices. Bloody hell!

*/*

A sudden temperature drop had turned the evening's rain into a thick fog. Carefully navigating the quiet streets, Lee turned onto Maplewood Drive and parked in front of his partner's house. Maybe she could take her mother...

Running a hand through his very tousled hair, he exited the 'Vette and crept up the front walk carrying a delicate rosy lily. No lights. Not surprising since it was after midnight on a school night but he'd hoped. Good thing about the fog, though. No one would see him sneaking in to wake up his partner, and maybe steal a few warm sleepy kisses.

He made quick work of the lock, with a mental note to admonish her yet again about her shoddy security, and was up the stairs in mere seconds. Of course she'd be disappointed. Maybe the Pavarotti tickets would sweeten the blow since his chances of being back by Wednesday's curtain were pretty slim. He was fairly positive Dotty would be thrilled by her unexpected windfall, because Amanda had better not plan on taking Joe!

He paused in the doorway, drinking in her sweetly sleeping face for a few moments. They'd come so far this year. They'd always worked well together, even he admitted that back in the days when he was fighting to get away from her, but now... now it was like magic. They were even finishing each other's sentences most times. They had a good solid partnership, with the very real promise of becoming even more. She was so different from every other woman he'd ever known, and he knew now she was the one for whom he'd been unconsciously searching. Creeping closer to her bed, he lightly dragged the lily down the side of her delicate cheek.

With a grin, he quickly swallowed a soft chuckle when she promptly rolled over in annoyance. His Amanda wasn't one to waken easily. He leaned over to press a soft kiss against her tender lips, then left a red envelope on the empty pillow he wished was his. In a sigh, his name escaped her mouth as she cuddled her pillow closer. He closed his eyes for a moment, committing this scene to memory. It might be a while before he returned, and he knew this moment would keep him warm while he was gone.

"Dream sweet, my Amanda. I'll see you soon," he whispered before slipping away as silently as he'd appeared.

*/*

Her eyes opened slowly, an intoxicating sweet smell in her nose. Lying on the pillow was an elegant lily lightly touched with soft rose. Two months ago the sight would have made her very nervous, now it made her deliciously warm. Drawing the delicate bloom to her nose, she searched the shadows for her not-so-secret admirer. Her brow furled lightly as she took in the emptiness of her bedroom. With a soft click, she turned on the bedside lamp to reveal a red envelope also lying on the empty pillow. The same pillow she wanted so badly for a very familiar tawny head to rest upon. What was he up to now? Faintly she heard a powerful engine purr down the street and fade into the distance.

'Manda,

Abernathy managed to get lost down the wrong back alley in Dublin and is currently guesting with a rather unpleasant host. When you read this, I'll be heading over to rescue his scrawny ass. Since it's a rescue op, I'm under Zero Contact, but should be back very soon. Hope your mother enjoys the show. You really need to get Leatherneck over to give you better locks.

Lee

A pair of balcony seats for Luciano Pavarotti fell into her lap while she closed her eyes. Abernathy!

*/*

Less than an hour later found Scarecrow on the Agency's private jet, streaking east over the Atlantic. Bloody Abernathy!