I don't own these characters I just enjoy playing with them

Story takes place where the Zacaro Incident left off.

Lee looked over at Amanda, who still hadn't woken up since he carried her out of the Agency; he couldn't believe how she had been able to hide how hurt she was from him.

Quietly getting out of the corvette, he walked to the house and opened the door to her kitchen before returning to the car and gently lifting her up. He couldn't help looking at her as he carried her-even with the huge bruise covering her face he couldn't deny she was beautiful.

Laying her down on her bed, he brushed a stray piece of hair away from her eyes and then placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.

A small smile played across Amanda's face as she opened her eyes for a brief moment and looked into Lee's eyes. He watched her as her eyes closed again before he moved towards the door.

He was pretty sure she would be out of it for awhile and as much as he wanted to cuddle up next to her on the bed, he knew that would be a mistake. So instead, he headed downstairs and tried to occupy himself with a book he'd found on Amanda's nightstand.

Trying to relax on the couch Lee opened the book, and was a bit surprised she was reading a biography on Gorbachev; at first thought it must be for one of the boys' school projects, but then he noticed her neat writing in the margins, and realized she was making notes for herself. Soon he found himself only reading her notes, and not for the first time found himself a bit in awe of how smart and insightful she was-she had a clear and concise approach to how she organized her thoughts that would have made a veteran analyst proud.

Amanda woke up, trying to remember how she had gotten home. The last thing she remembered was being in the bullpen. Trying to roll over to check the clock, a moan of pain escaped her lips. Figuring she was alone and no longer had to hide the pain from anyone, tears started to roll down her face.

Opening the door to check on her Lee's heart broke as he watched her struggle to move and noticed the tears running down her face. "Hey"

Amanda turned her head and saw Lee standing in the doorway, "Oh, I didn't know anyone was here. How long have I been asleep?"

"About three hours."

She tried to blink back her tears, hoping he wouldn't see them, but he had already stepped closer to her and she could feel his hand on her face wiping them away.

"Amanda, stop trying to hide the pain from me."

"I'm sorry..."

"No, Amanda, I'm the one whose sorry. I should have noticed how hurt you were, but I was so worried about getting us out of there I didn't pay attention..."

Lee don't blame yourself...I-I worked pretty hard to hide the truth from you."

The two of them stayed silent for awhile just looking into each others eyes. Lee wanted to reach down and kiss her, but instead he pulled away from her gaze and stepped back, clearing his throat, thinking of anything he could do to distract himself, "Ummm can I get you anything?"

Amanda looked down at her hands, and knew what she wanted was for Lee to hold her, and kiss her, and she was beginning to believe that maybe Lee wanted the same thing, but he always pulled back, which left her feeling very confused.

Trying to move again she winced and Lee immediately was at her side trying to help her. "I thought a bath might help, but not sure I can make it."

"I'll go start the bath water and then come back and help you up," Lee smiled at Amanda and headed towards the bathroom.

Watching Lee walk away Amanda couldn't help but shake her head. i'One day I'll figure you out Lee Stetson.'/i

"Your tub awaits my lady. Let me help you up." Lee reached behind Amanda's back to help her up, but stopped when she let out a yelp of pain.

"I'm sorry Amanda..."

"No, I'm okay really...just moved to fast," she said, catching her breath as the pain faded momentarily.

Lee raised his eyebrows, knowing she was still trying to hide how much pain she was really in.

"Amanda didn't we just talk about this? Please stop trying to hide the pain from me, ok?"

Amanda gave Lee a sheepish grin while he finished helping her up. As they reached the bathroom door she stopped. Lee unable to keep the concern from his voice looked at her.

"What's wrong?"

"Umm nothing...it's just well unless you plan on helping me, undress and then lifting me into the tub...well, I think this is as far as you go." Amanda couldn't help but smile at Lee while she said this noticing his face become flush.

"Oh, uh right. I guess I'll uh..."

"Lee you need to let go. I'll be alright, really." Amanda could feel Lee's breath on her face and fought the urge to kiss him.

Lee, working to control his feelings, reluctantly let go and watched her walk in to the bathroom and close the door.

i'Come on Stetson that's your partner. Try and keep it together.'/i

Amanda stood on the other side of the door, trying to steady her breathing. i'You're nothing but a big chicken Amanda King,'/i she thought, trying to chastise herself into action.

Struggling to get her sweater over her head, she couldn't help smile a little wondering what would have happened if she had asked Lee to help her with her clothes, which made her laugh, but caused her to wince in pain at the same time; it still felt good, though, so a little pain was worth it, just for a moment of levity.

When she finally managed to get her cloths off, she stood in front of the mirror for a few moments and stared at her bruised body. i'Well if he hadn't run away if I had asked him he certainly would have when he saw this.'/i Shaking her head and sliding into the tub she sighed as felt the hot water work on her aches.

Downstairs, Lee headed to the kitchen, and finding some of Amanda's homemade soup, he began to heat it up, also starting the oven to heat up a loaf of homemade bread he had found. A moment of distraction wasn't enough, though, as his thoughts drifted to upstairs. Closing his eyes, he pictured her soaking in the tub while he stood behind her, running a sponge down her back.

i'Stop it Stetson. She's your partner, your friend. You shouldn't be thinking about her this way.'/i

Feeling slightly better after the bath Amanda put her nightgown and robe on, and headed into her bedroom. Hearing her stomach begin to growl, she started towards the stairs and stared at them.

That's where Lee found her as he walked up the stairs carrying a tray with the soup and bread.

"Amanda, what are you doing?"

Amanda looked at him feeling slightly foolish. "Well I was hungry so, I was going to go downstairs, but when I got to the stairs for the first time ever I realized just how many stairs there were and I wasn't sure I could actually make it down all of them and if I did make it down I know I would never make it back up...Lee, just how did I get up here in the first place?"

Lee broke out into a smile as he listened to Amanda ramble, "I carried you. Now go get back into bed I have some dinner right here for you."

Turning back towards her bedroom she shook her head and mumbled, "He carried me, of course."

Helping her settle back into bed and placing the tray across her lap, he handed her the pain pills Dr. MacJohn had sent home with her.

"Here it's time to take these."

Amanda took the pills, and started eating her soup; she was already starting to feel tired again, and knew the pills would probably knock her out soon enough.

"Thank you. Lee you don't need to stay. I mean I'll probably just fall asleep again and you probably want to get home...it's Friday night-I'm sure you have something better planned then babysitting me." She really wanted him to stay, but was afraid he might start to resent her if he had to cancel a date.

"Well I did plan on running home."

"Oh..." She smiled at him, and tried to keep the disappointment from her voice.

"Well, I'll see you in a couple of days. Thanks for bringing me home and taking care of me today."

Placing a finger under her chin he smiled back. "Amanda, I plan on running home taking a shower and changing. Then I'm coming back."

"Really? I mean you don't have to..."

Leaning over, he gently kissed her forehead. "No, I don't have to, but I want to. I'll be back soon."

Back at his apartment, Lee threw his jacket over a chair, and headed towards the shower, stripping off his clothes as he went. Closing his eyes as he let the water wash over him visions of Amanda danced in his head. Opening his eyes he shook his head trying to clear it he stepped out of the shower and walked to the mirror.

i'So Stetson what's happened to you? It's Friday night and if you weren't heading back to Amanda's what would you be doing? A quiet night at home maybe a movie or a book. What happened to the man who always had a girl to fall into bed with?'/i

Sighing, he of course knew the answer. i'Amanda what have you done to me?'/i Thinking about Amanda yet again made his whole face light up.

i'Face it Stetson, the only woman you want now is your partner.'/i

Amanda finished her dinner and slid the tray off her lap and laid her head back. She wanted to stay awake until Lee returned, but she could barely keep her eyes open.

Feeling herself drift off to sleep, a small smile played on her lips as she couldn't help dreaming of Lee: music played in her head as the two of them danced, and as they looked into each others eyes, their lips met and they shared a soft, gentle kiss.

Amanda, completely lost in the dream, didn't notice the subtle changes going on at first, but suddenly the kiss was no longer gentle, it was rough...uncaring; when she tried to pull away, he held onto her tighter, his fingers painfully digging into her arms, before one hand reached up to cup her chin, forcing her head up, and she found herself staring right into Tony's cold, predatory eyes.

Lee smiled as he entered Amanda's house; he always felt a sense of warmth, happiness and peace when he was here. Quietly, he headed up the stairs, knowing she would be asleep, but he felt a need to check on her.

Standing just inside the doorway to her bedroom, he just stood there and watched her sleep, and noticing her smile, he wondered what was going on in her head, and felt as though he could stand there all night just watching her.

He noticed the change almost immediately: her slow breaths became fast and ragged, and the smile disappeared from her face, as a small whimper escape her lips.

Moving to the side of her bed, he placed his hand on her shoulder, and gently shook her, "Amanda, wake up."

He felt her try to pull away, and looking at her face he saw tears starting to run down her cheeks.

"Amanda, please wake up." He started to shake her a little more, but she wouldn't wake up; not knowing what else to do, he sat on the edge of her bed and pulled her to his chest, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Shhh, Amanda. You're safe," he whispered in her ear as he rubbed her back. Feeling her starting to struggle against him, he couldn't decide if he should let her go or hold onto her even more; feeling at a complete loss, but deciding on the latter, he continued to beg her to wake up.

Amanda tried to pull away from Tony, but the more she tried pull away the tighter his hold became, and soon she found it hard to breathe.

She could see the lamp, but no matter how hard she tried this time, she couldn't get to it, because her arms wouldn't move...it was like she was underwater, and couldn't swim; she couldn't stop him this time as he continued to hit her over and over.

"Lee please help me." Her voice was so soft he had trouble making out what she was saying, but he couldn't miss the pleading and fear in her voice.

"Amanda, I'm right here. Come to me. Please come to me. You're safe you just have to wake up!"

She could hear Lee's voice begging her to come to him, but it seemed so far away.


"I'm right here Amanda. Can you hear me? I'm right here."

Lee could hear his voice crack as he pleaded with her. "Amanda, honey, please wake up."

Amanda blinked her eyes a few times, but woke up in a state of confusion; she could feel someone holding her, but with the dream so fresh in her mind, she didn't realize it was Lee at first and started pound at his chest with her fists "No, let me go. Lee please help me!"

"Amanda! It's me. Amanda look at me." Lee moved her away a little from his chest and lightly held on to her arms.

Looking into Amanda's eyes, he watched as she processed where she was and that she was safe then watching as she dropped her head clearly embarrassed.

He placed a finger under her chin trying to get her to look t him again. "Hey, it's okay Amanda. Do you want to talk about it?"

Amanda raised her head and could see the concern in Lee's eyes, but she shook her head and tried to look away.

"Amanda aren't you the one whose always telling me I shouldn't keep things bottled up? I think I can help, but you have to let me in. Okay?"

"It's silly,or well...you'll think it's silly."

"I doubt it so give me a chance."

"Okay..." Wishing she could tell him about the pleasant part of her dream, but knew she wasn't ready to share those feelings at the moment she took a deep breath and began.

"I was back in Tony's cabin, but this time I couldn't get to the lamp...I couldn't stop him. I tired and tried, but this time he just kept hitting me."

Looking down at her hands she stopped. "I told you it was silly. I mean its over he's in jail and..."

"Amanda stop. Look at me."

He waited until she raised her head again and looked into his eyes. "It's not silly at all. I don't know what you went through in that cabin, but there's nothing wrong with being scared. Even after it's over."


Lee reached over and put a finger on her lips "No buts Amanda. Everyone gets scared and you've had a pretty rough couple of days. I'm surprised you handled it as we'll as you did." Lifting her hands to his lips he softly kissed the tips of her fingers.

"I guess you're right." Amanda gave him a shrug as she tried to hide a yawn.

"I know I'm right. You're tough a lot tougher then most give you credit for, but being scared is normal. Now lets get you tucked back in and don't try and argue I see those yawns your hiding." Lee winked at her as he gently pushed her back towards her pillow.

"Lee... Will you ummm...never mind." Amanda was to embarrassed to ask him to stay with her pulling her quilt up to her chin she gave him a small smile."Goodnight."

Lee walked to other side of the bed and removed the tray, placing it on the dresser. Turning back, he looked at her, trying to hide herself in her quilt; he wasn't sure how she was going to feel about his next move, but he was pretty sure it's what she wanted and needed: it was really what they both needed.

He laid down in her bed and pulled her close to him. He almost expected to protest, but instead she snuggled in closer to him smiled and closed her eyes.