DISCLAIMER: Scarecrow & Mrs. King and all its characters belong to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Enterprises. I'm just borrowing the characters for a while but promise to return them unharmed when I'm done.
PUBLICATION HISTORY: written September/October 2012; first published October 2012
TIME FRAME: This story picks up right at the end of the 3rd season episode "We're Off To See The Wizard".
What's in a Name?
by Hester (hester4418)
Amanda gave Lee a quick kiss on the cheek, then took the roses from his hand and pushed away from his desk. She was deeply touched by his gesture, because she remembered all too well how he had told her that the scent of roses made him sick. Apparently finding out the truth about Tin Man had helped him to finally come to terms with Dorothy's death, and this was his way of showing her that he was all right. And maybe even more, but she didn't want to get her hopes up too much.
She found a small vase and went to fill it with water, then arranged the flowers on one of the file cabinets. By now Lee was shuffling through some papers and looked rather busy, so after filing the case report on Serdeych, Amanda went to the vault. Despite her best efforts, chaos still had a hold on the small space and she wanted to get done as soon as possible.
A couple of minutes later, Lee had finally found what he was looking for. He pulled one particular folder out from a large pile of files and was just about to start reading when the sound of Amanda's voice made him look up.
"Lee, can I ask you something?" She was leaning against the wall just outside the vault, looking pensive.
Lee reclined in his seat. "Sure, what it is?"
"Does every agent have a code name?"
He thought for a moment. "Many do, but I don't think that everybody does. And quite often a particular code name is only assigned for the duration of a mission. Why do you ask?"
Amanda shrugged. "Just wondering. I mean, you're Scarecrow, Paul Barnes is the Wizard, then there's Blue Leader – though he can't have been Blue Leader all the time, can he?"
"No, I think that name came with the position. He probably had a different one when he was still in the field."
"What about Francine, does she have a code name?"
"Oh yeah." Lee grinned broadly.
Amanda was instantly curious. "Well, what is it?"
"I can't tell you."
His grin became even broader. "Because if I did, she'd kill you – right after she killed me!"
Amanda's eyes widened. "It really can't be that bad."
Lee chuckled. "You have no idea!"
She looked like she contemplated how to bribe him but then apparently thought better of it, shrugged and disappeared back into the vault. After a moment Lee resumed his work as well. It wasn't long before he heard her voice again.
"If I had a code name, what would it be?"
This time when he looked up he was surprised by the mixture of curiosity and apprehension on her face. Apparently she had given the matter some serious thought but had not arrived at any satisfactory answer. Smiling to himself Lee rose, rounded his desk and came to stand right in front of her.
"You," he began, "would be called..." He paused, enjoying the look of eager anticipation in her eyes. Dropping his voice, he finished mysteriously, "the 'Sparrow'".
"'Sparrow'?" The way Amanda repeated the word made it sound like a nasty disease. Chuckling inwardly, Lee observed her trying to process the name and obviously not liking the image it conjured in her mind. Abruptly she turned away, mumbling something under her breath as she tried to get back to the vault.
Lee brought up his arm and blocked the door, cutting off her escape route. He could tell she was in a huff, and it only added to his amusement. "What did you say?"
"I said, it's good to know how you really see me," she replied crossly, unsuccessfully trying to get past him.
"I meant it as a compliment."
"Oh really? When was the last time you saw a sparrow? As far as I know, they are generally plump and grey and make one hell of a racket."
Lee couldn't help it; he laughed out loud. Amanda stared at him in dismay. "What's so funny?"
"You," he smiled. "Usually you're spot on when it comes to the characterization of others. But this time, you're way off."
"Fine." She crossed her arms and gave him her best annoyed stare. "Would you care to explain?"
He moved a step closer, stopping just short of invading her personal space. "Sparrows are very sociable birds, always eager to mix with the crowd. They are masters at hiding in plain sight, and not afraid to take a risk when they see a worthwhile opportunity." He paused again for effect, choosing his next words carefully. "And you know what's best of all about sparrows?"
She still wasn't mollified. "What?"
Lee grasped her hand. "They are not afraid of scarecrows." With a sly smile he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.
Amanda stared at him for a long beat. Then the corners of her mouth turned up just as a slight blush crept up her cheeks. Her eyes fell on the red roses in their vase. Maybe there was hope yet.
(Many thanks to an anonymous reviewer for pointing out the Blue Leader error; I fixed it right away!)