I am a huge fan of Scarecrow & Mrs. King. For a long time, I've wanted to write a piece of fan fiction based on the show and here it is!
This particular piece is based around the second episode from Season 1—after Lee and Amanda have already met. Much of the dialog is taken directly from the episode. However, it is told entirely from Lee’s point of view and only includes those scenes Lee directly witnesses.
The day started with gunrunners, specifically a blown-up gunrunner called LeMarq who had been selling U.S. guns to rebels in South America until his unexpected demise. Billy wanted Lee to find out about the man, and Lee was all set to start grilling his sources when Amanda showed up in the agency lobby.
Amanda didn’t belong anywhere near gunrunners—or anything agency related in Lee’s opinion. Amanda belonged at home looking after her sons and her mother. Amanda could easily get herself killed.
Yes, he gotten her involved in agency business to begin with—but that had been an accident, a once-in-a-million-chance, a fluke. Which he’d told her.
She still wanted to work for him—or the agency, at least.
Lee couldn’t think of a worse idea; the image of Amanda working for him—for the agency—always involved blood, Amanda’s blood, and a great deal of screaming, possibly his screaming since Amanda was more the squeeze-my-eyes-tight-and-the-problem-will-vanish type.
“No,” he told her. “We don’t have any work.”
“Then I guess I’m free to consider other offers, attractive offers.”
“So, I should call Warren Davenport.”
“Warren Davenport?” Who the hell was Warren Davenport? Lee had checked out the men in Amanda’s life: other than Phillip and Jamie, her sons; Dean, her limp boyfriend; and Joe, her ex-husband, he wasn’t aware of anyone else.
“Warren Davenport at Honeycutt Typing. He wants to interview me for a position.”
That didn’t seem dangerous. Lee beamed.
“Great,” he said. “I’ll tell Billy to write you a letter of recommendation.”
“No, no, that won’t be necessary. My skills speak for themselves: 90 words per minute.”
“I’m sure you’ll be happier in an air-conditioned office that casing some dive with me,” Lee said, sidling towards the elevator that would take him back to the dangerous work that Amanda should absolutely not be involved in. If he stayed much longer, he might be tempted to offer her a typing job himself.
“No doubt,” Amanda said, and then smiled in that way that made Lee feel suddenly very young and foolish, like a naughty boy caught with paint on his hands.
“Espionage,” Amanda said gently, “is highly overrated.”
As the elevator doors closed, he heard her mutter, “They don’t even pay over-time here.”
We’re a lot more interesting, Lee would have said, but that would have undermined his goal to keep Amanda at arm’s length—from him, from the agency. She was a dangerous enough women without the help of the CIA.
“Where’s Mrs. King?” Billy said when he reached the basement.
“At a job interview.”
“We need her.”
“For her typing?” 90 words per minutes was respectable, but Betty Marsh in billing could type over 100 wpm; besides—
“We need a suburban house wife. Or rather, you need one. Betty Bodeen has disappeared.”
Two days ago, Betty Bodeen, a housewife from the Betsy Ross Estates, had placed an urgent call to Congressman Holcomb’s office. By itself, that incident meant nothing. People were always putting in urgent calls to their legislators as if a member of congress could control a neighbor’s failure to eradicate crabgrass.
However, amongst LeMarq’s blown-up possessions, investigators had discovered a single note: Harriet Rosement, 12374 Independence Lane, and Independence Lane was also in the Betsy Ross Estates.
Billy said, “You’re going undercover, but you’ll need a wife. Single men don’t go over so well in neighborhoods like that.”
“Why can't Francine act as my wife?”
Francine—one of the agency’s few women spies—disliked playing housewives whom she claimed were all frumpy (since Amanda looked anything but frumpy, Lee wasn’t sure who Francine’s model was—perhaps, Francine was referring to the idea of housewives). In general, Francine’s preferred undercover role was a high society parvenu.
“Francine’s already visited the estate as a member of the agency. No one else is available except Mrs. King.” Billy patted Lee’s arm. “She’ll be great.”
“Your wife is not available,” the receptionist at Honeycutt Typewriters told Lee sternly. “She’s interviewing with Mr. Davenport.”
“Oh, I’m sure he won’t mind,” Lee said and edged past her towards Mr. Davenport's office. She tried to bar his way, but Lee had taken out Soviet assassins. A 5’3” skinny receptionist involved far less exertion—one just kept moving forward.
“There you are,” he cried as he burst through the office door.
Amanda sat looking up at a man whose leer froze on his face when Lee barged through the door. She twisted to look at Lee, and her mouth feel open. He headed towards her.
“I thought we agreed no job until the triplets are in nursery school,” he said pulling Amanda upright. She would start objecting the moment he paused, so he rattled on, turning to Mr. Davenport. “You know the little woman is so eager to earn pin money. But I told her the first four years of a child’s life are more important than a new roof.”
Mr. Davenport still looked frozen, but the leer he’d been wearing when Lee entered the room hadn’t faded. Lee fought the urge to drop his overprotective husband routine and simply hammer the man with his fists. Did Amanda have no sense? The man was obviously a leech, looking to hire a vulnerable divorcee for his personal pleasure.
It was a good thing Lee had shown up to save her from this job.
“Come on, cookie face. It’s two o’clock. Feeding time.”
Amanda tried to apologize to Mr. Davenport, but Lee maneuvered her out of the office: “Timmy, Tammy, and Tommy are very hungry.”
Amanda let herself be manhandled down to the street, but Lee knew her compliance was temporary. Once they reached the sidewalk, she strode off like a drill-sergeant.
She let loose when Lee caught up: “What the Sam Hill did you think you were doing? First you cannot get rid of me fast enough. Then you barge in and drag me out of an interview. You say you are my husband, which I do not find funny.”
Lee thought it was hilarious, but he knew better than to comment. Amanda’s divorce had not been overly pleasant, and she shied at mentions of marriage. Lee tried to be as matter-of-fact as possible:
“I’ve got an assignment for the next three days. You’re going to pose as my wife.”
“Find someone else.”
Lee did laugh now. “Believe me, this is not my idea. Apparently, someone thinks we work well together.”
“Someone. Not you.”
His dismissal that morning had apparently rankled.
“Billy ordered—suggested—that we enlist your services for this case, especially since it is right up your alley.”
She wasn’t buying his mea culpa, and Lee realized that he was going to have to explain the dangerous part of the mission—the part that involved people getting covered with blood.
“Drugs are being smuggled from the United States to guerillas in Central America. A lot of people are getting killed. We want to know where those guns are coming from.”
“Oh, that sounds right up my alley,” Amanda said, so pleasantly it took Lee a few seconds to realize she was being sarcastic. He buried a grin.
“There may be a link to some people in the Betsy Ross Estates. Billy wants us to pose as a run-of-the-mill suburban couple to see if anything is going on. He thought it would be kind of nice if at least one of us was authentic.”
“I don’t have to ask which one of us that might be.”
Lee narrowed his eyes at the faint lash in the words.
“I’ve spent years operating in places like Morocco, Istanbul. I’ve mastered French, Dutch, a little Urdu. What the heck do I know about everyday life?”
He didn’t mean the last sentence to sound so forlorn. Everyday life was a concept from his childhood and even that had been far more ordinary. Becoming a spy had been a natural choice—he didn’t want to go into the military like his guardian, Uncle-Colonel-Clayton-Sir; Lee had never been a natural order taker. And non-government work wasn’t really an option in his family.
But the life did rather cut one off from civilized, ordinary exchanges.
Whether Amanda heard his plea or not, she relented. She would go undercover—as long as it was only for three days and she could see her boys.
“When this is all over, you never have to see me again,” Lee told her and tried to ignore the constriction in his heart.