Legal stuff - I don't own these characters Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Bros. get that honor, but I do like to play with them.

Time Frame - A few weeks aftethat he Wrong Way Home (3rd season)

This is the first story in my With My Whole Heart Series.

"Amanda, dear?"

Dotty looked over at her daughter, trying to figure out why she looked like she had just had gone five rounds in a mud pit.

Amanda wondered how she was going to explain her way out of this. Just a simple little drop he said. Nothing bad will happen he said. Shaking her head a bit she wondered when she would learn that nothing was ever easy, or simple when Lee or the Agency was involved.

"Yes, Mother?"

"Don't 'Yes Mother' me, Amanda. Now, do you care to explain your appearance?"

"Oh, ummm, well the Ferguson's dog was in our yard, and I tried to catch him, but I fell and..."

Dotty rolled her eyes and shook her head "Oh Amanda how do you get yourself into these messes?"

"Just luck I guess." Amanda shrugged her shoulders and started towards the stairs.

Amanda peeled off her muddy clothes and stepped into the shower, trying to sort through her feelings about what happened at the drop. She knew she hadn't done anything wrong: she had walked up to the contact, said the right sequence code, and was given the package. Out of nowhere, two men jumped her and tried to steal the package. She managed to hold onto it though, which she was pretty proud of and get it to the Agency. Mr. Melrose had congratulated her on a job well done, and even Francine had grudgingly told her she had done a good job!

Lee however, was a different story. When he got her back up into the Q Bureau, he just yelled at her, calling her careless and irresponsible. Nothing she said seemed to calm him down, actually nothing she did lately seemed to please him. She was beginning to feel like she did when she had first started at the Agency. Nothing she did then seemed to please Lee either, and he had spent most of his time trying to get rid of her. She really thought they were past that and had become friends and maybe starting to become even more. Now though she just wasn't sure. Leaning her head against the shower wall she turned the water off and tried to push her thoughts about Lee to the side

"Lee, she did a good job. She managed to fight off two men and not lose the package."

"Yea, I know Billy its just ... Ah I don't know." Lee ran his hands through his hair "Why her? That drop has been safe for years, but no Amanda goes to it and all hell breaks loose."

"So are you mad at Amanda, or are you mad that Amanda was attacked?"

When Lee said nothing Billy laid a hand on his shoulder. "Look Lee I'm up here because Mrs. Marsten could hear you yelling at her and she said its been happening quite a bit lately. I don't know what's going on with you, but taking it out on Amanda isn't going to help and it's certainly not fair to Amanda, either."

Lee shook his head "Yea Billy, I guess you're right."

"I know I'm right Lee, so figure out what your problem is."

Billy left the Q Bureau, hoping Lee would figure things out, because he had a feeling Amanda was nearing her breaking point with Lee. He knew she was good for Lee and together they made a great team, his best team really, but right now he had to decide what was right for Amanda. If Lee couldn't work out his issues he would have to look into giving her a new partner. He wasn't going to lose Amanda because of Lee's pig headedness.

Lee sat at his desk knowing full well he should head over to Amanda's and apologize for his behavior, but the last few times he was there he had also seen HIM there. Lee watched from outside the kitchen window as Joe King worked at worming his way back into Amanda's life. Joe was constantly looking for opportunities to touch Amanda it was all Lee could do not to charge into Amanda's house and deck him. No, he couldn't face that again he'd apologize to her tomorrow.

"Mom, Dad's here."

Amanda came out of the kitchen inwardly cringing; she just wasn't in the mood to deal with Joe tonight. "Thank you Phillip now get upstairs and get ready for bed."

Nodding to his mom and then turning to his dad "Uh... Dad, are you still planning on coming to the game on Saturday?"

"I'm going to do my best to be there. Now get upstairs like your mom asked."

"Yeah, okay." Phillip looked back to his mom and shook his head. He knew when his dad said he'd try his best, it really meant no.

Amanda watched Phillip head upstairs before turning her attention back to Joe.

"So what brings you by tonight?"

"Do I need a reason?"

"Well actually, Joe, yes."

Joe stared at Amanda for a few moments, trying to figure out what happened to the woman he had been married to. She was still loving and caring, but so many things about her had changed. He had thought when he came back she would want him again, but he was discovering that this might not be true, and he wasn't sure how he felt about that.

"I'm sorry, maybe I should have called. It's just I thought you and I could talk a little."

Amanda sighed and looked over at Joe realizing he just didn't understand that she had truly moved on from him. "Let me go check on the boys. Go ahead and wait in the den."

Listening outside the boys' room for a few minutes, her heart broke a little as Phillip told Jamie not to hold his breath for their dad to make it to the game this weekend. Placing a smile on her face in hopes of masking her own disappointment in their dad, she entered the bedroom.

"Okay fellas, show me your homework, and then it's time to get ready for bed."


"Yes, sweetheart?"

"Why can't Dad just be honest with us? I mean if he doesn't want to come to our game,why doesn't he just say so?"

"Oh Phillip, I don't think he doesn't want to come, but well, you know sometimes something with work..."

"Mom, you work and your hours are pretty weird, but you manage to come to games and things at school most of the time."

Amanda pulled both of them into a big hug "I love you two. Now get ready for bed you can stay up and read for a little bit, but I expect to see two sleeping boys when I come back upstairs."

"Okay mom." Both boys said in unison.

Amanda walked back downstairs, mentally preparing herself to face Joe.

"Hey Phillip, did you notice Mom didn't really answer our question?"

Phillip just shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah, parents are tricky that way."

As much as she wanted to get this conversation with Joe over with, she still felt like she needed to be hospitable: heading to the kitchen she poured two cups of coffee and headed into the den.

"Here you go. Now what would you like to talk about?"

Joe noticed a lack of warmth, but he really wanted to spend time with her and find out if he had any chance at all.

"Well I wondered what you had been up to this week. I've called a few times, but I never seem to catch you."

"My work hours can be a little strange sometimes."

"Ah, yes your job. I've been meaning to talk to you about that."

Amanda waited for him to continue, knowing he would show his disapproval for her working. She had been offered a part time job in the English department at the University early in their marriage, but he had told her she would be too busy taking care of the house and typing for him. She had been disappointed, but in the end she caved. Looking back she realized she caved a lot in their marriage: it was probably for that reason alone that Joe had been so surprised when she said no to following him to Estocia.

"I guess I'm surprised you were offered a job at the Agency."


"I mean obviously you're just a secretary, but still it's not the type of place I would have expected to hire a housewife."

"I'm not, a secretary that is, but if I were it would be nothing to look down upon."

"Oh right, sweetheart, you're an agent. I mean you've only been working there a few weeks, but of course they noticed your brilliant deduction skills right away."

The patronizing tone of Joe's voice grated on Amanda's nerves, but she had only been cleared to tell him so much, and that was only because the Prime Minister had mentioned that how good of a team she and Lee made, and Joe had overheard him.

"I really can't discuss what I do, but I do enjoy it."

Joe laughed, figuring she was just getting wrapped up in a fantasy, and making her job sound bigger than it really was.

Amanda picked up the coffee cups and stared at him, not even trying to disguise the anger she felt building up in her: she was tired of the men in her life putting her down!

"You know Joe, instead of worrying about me and my job, maybe you should pay some attention to your sons. Maybe pay some of the past due child support you owe, or show up to their game this weekend: just do something to show them you care!"

"Okay, I'm sorry I laughed, but sweetheart you know you are just getting carried away with..."

"Joe, just stop! I'm not in the mood to play this game with you. You'll never think of me as more than what you want to. Joe, I'm not your wife, so you don't get to run my life anymore."

Joe watched her for a moment before he spoke again. "It's him, isn't it?"

"Him who?"

"Agent Stetson…you've allowed yourself to build a fantasy around him."

"It's really none of your business Joe, but I have no illusions about my job, or Lee."

"I see. Well, I'll be going now. I'll make sure to get a check to you soon."

Amanda didn't even bother to say goodbye, or walk him to the door, she just watched him leave. Sitting back down on the couch and placing the cups back on the table she held her head in her hands. She didn't even hear her mother come in from her date, but when she felt her mother's arm wrap around her, she allowed herself to cry.

Dotty just held her daughter; she had seen Joe leaving, and could tell he wasn't happy. She knew Amanda would tell her what happened when she was ready, but right now she knew the best thing she could do was to just hold her baby.