This story is between Service Above and Beyond and Saved by the Bells.
Lee ran into the room from which he heard Amanda's scream. He saw her lying on the bed not moving. As he passed by the mirror, he saw that he was wearing a t-shirt with a panda bear on it and running shorts with a bandage around his right thigh. Lee went to lift Amanda from the bed in the beautiful blue dress she wore to the party which was supposed to be an easy assignment. There was a streak of red coming from a bullet wound on her forehead.
Oh God Amanda, no! he said to her.
Amanda's eyes slowly opened, and she said This is what partners do for each other.
You're not my partner! he said to her in a strained tone.
Then what am I? She asked in a dreamy voice.
You're my wife! he replied as he brought out her ring from his pocket to show her.
He woke up and nearly jumped from his bed. What the hell was that! He said aloud as he flipped the light next to his bed to a brighter setting. He took a few deep breaths as he got his bearings back. It was all just a dream. As he closed his eyes again, he turned his head and saw the light glinting off of an object on his dresser. It was the rings he and Amanda wore during the mission to the Betsy Ross Estates. What the hell! he said with a shake of his head. God I need a vacation. he muttered and then returned to sleep.
The next morning he went to the office and finally returned the rings. Leatherneck just happened to be manning the property desk that day.
These are three weeks late. Leatherneck said.
I've been busy. Lee replied.
Well, I can certainly understand that. How did it fit Mrs. King?
It fit fine too Lee said exasperated.
Leatherneck put the rings in an envelope and noted on a form that ring set 1911 fit Lee Stetson and Amanda King for the next time they were going undercover as husband and wife.
Luckily Lee's next mission did not involve Amanda which gave him a little breather, and that is when he decided he needed to get away.
This story happens sometime between Billy's Lost Weekend and Do You Take This Spy?.
Lee and Amanda were undercover as husband and wife again. That they loved each other made their cover all the more believable. Lee checked their room at the hotel, and when he looked through the curtains he saw something suspicious. He appeared to look everwhere but at the room across from theirs, but out of the corner of his eye he saw the sun glint off the lense of a pair of binoculars. He looked over at Amanda and wondered just how far they would have to go to protect their cover. He went over to where she was hanging up their outfits for the long weekend.
Amanda, we are being watched.
Yes, here. We have a lot to do to protect our cover this weekend.
Amanda stood still for a moment then smiled. Lee's voice told her everything she needed to know. She turned around and kissed him gently.
Let's get ready for dinner, we have a lot to do this trip, so we shouldn't waste too much time. she told him while grabbing a nice dress from the rack. Your grey suit with the blue banded tie would look great with this dress. She even reached for the tie and put it up against the dress. The blues were almost an exact match.
He went to go into the bathroom to change when she gently grabbed his arm and said Sweetheart, we're married remember?
Lee looked at her with a touch of surprise in his eyes. That she would play the part this well made his heart skip a beat. With a sideways look and a smile that could charm a rock, Lee started changing from the drab suit he was wearing to the grey suit she recommended. He then glanced in the mirror to see Amanda beginning to change clothes as well. She had grabbed a hotel robe to put on over her slip and sat down to touch up her make up using the very same mirror.
After they were both dressed, they went down to dinner and after that dancing. While they were dancing, their contact slipped some information into Lee's pocket and danced away. With the two taps on Amanda's shoulder, they knew that the next meeting wasn't for a day or so and reading the note now would be disasterous. They would wait. They stayed in the ballroom and danced several dances until there were only another half dozen couples still there.
Amanda leaned into Lee and told him We are supposed to be a happy couple Lee, and happy couples don't spend the entire evening in a hotel ballroom.
Lee pulled back with a bit of shock. He recovered quickly and then lead her out of the ballroom to their hotel room. Once they got there, Lee took a quick shower and came out wearing a hotel robe. Amanda then took her shower. After the water was off, Lee poured them both a glass of wine. They both knew that across the way, someone was watching, so they had to act as natural as possible. The bathroom door opened, and Lee turned to look. It was a good thing that his back was to the window, so that the watcher did not see the shock on his face. Amanda was standing in the bathroom doorway wearing Lee's shirt with his tie around her waist as a belt.
Before Lee could drop the wine glass in his hand, Amanda came forward and took it from him and sipped with a smile. Lee Stetson, I dare say you are blushing.
A..Amanda. was all he could softly stammer.
You told me to protect our cover, even from a peeping tom, so that's what I am doing. she said with a tinge of resignation.
I didn't expect this. he murmured and then brought her in for a kiss. He slowly backed up towards the bed. When they got there, it was Amanda who nudged him to a seated position. She then straddled his legs with hers as they broke the kiss. Right in front of his eyes were just a couple of his shirt buttons hiding her breasts from view. His hands were on her hips as he looked deeply in her eyes looking for permission. She smiled and nodded as his hands came up to undo those buttons. He went slowly, so very slowly. This was not the Amanda he knew. They had only made love once before, and overtures like this one usually came with time. For the first time a woman was going faster than he was. After the buttons were undone, he slowly brought his lips to the space between her breasts and kissed her. The feel of her breasts on his cheeks inflamed his mind. His body started to react to her being so close. His surprise at the change in her made him go slow.
Amanda sensed what was going on in his mind. Bringing some of her hair in front of her mouth she said You think you are so worldly my love, but what else is a bored suburban couple to do when the kids are in bed and the news is over? I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand on end. She then laughed, and with that laugh came the release he needed.
He fell backwards on the bed and dragged her down with him. He carefully untied the tie from around her waist and removed his shirt from her shoulders. He placed his lips on one of her breasts and kept them there until it was firm, then went to the other. All the while his hands were rubbing her back while she was on top of him. Her moans of pleasure spurred on his own desire. It became too much to bear, so he rolled them both over until she was on her back on the bed. He rid himself of the robe, and they laid there on the bed completely naked.
She rubbed her leg on his, opening herself to him. They shared another passionate kiss as he came closer and closer to fully coupling with her. He looked at her face, and there was a thin sheen of sweat on her forehead and cheeks. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer to her. She had gone so many years without the touch of a man who loved her, that she wanted him as close to her as she could get. She wrapped her legs around his waist and push on the small of his back with desire. She had bottled her passionate desire for so long, that she just had to let it go.
With that, Lee finally surrendered to his passion. He entered her body with as much care as he would entering a secured embassy. Once inside, every move was deliberate. He just couldn't believe that it was happening like this. He had to go slow, so very slow to extend the moment as long as he could. He had been with aggresive women before, but he never felt for them what he felt for Amanda. Just by being herself, she made him want her touch.
Their bodies moved as one in this moment. Their feelings for each other amplified their bodies responses to the closeness they had. Forgotten was the threat from across the way, they were in a world where they were the only two in it. When the time came and their bodies needed a final release, Amanda held onto Lee as much as she could as her body spasmed under his. That was the moment, the only moment, he would allow himself to give into the pleasure he was feeling. As their bodies climaxed, their sounds of pleasure were so tenderly primitive. When they were both done, he rolled away just enough to look into her eyes to see her joy. He held her close and savored the moment.
As they regained their senses, they remembered that they might have been watched.
The one who had been watching put down the camera when Lee's head hit the pillow. While this could have been used against Stetson and King, Petrovich decided that he would rather that they owed him a favor. Neither of them gave away his secret affair, so he would make sure that theirs was secure. He kept just one picture and negative from that roll of film, that of Amanda King standing framed in the doorway of the bathroom wearing Lee's shirt with his tie as a belt. Several years would pass before that picture was handed to Amanda with a note I need a favor for the negative.
This story and the stories after it are all after the series was cancelled.
Dr. Smyth sat at his desk reading over various reports, mostly activity reports. Two reports were of interest to him, the physical evaluations of Lee Stetson and Amanda King. Stetson's habit of ducking out of the evaluations had decreased over the last four years. He scanned the reports for the highlights and then read the footnotes. Stetson and King were in perfect health according to the reports, until Dr. Smyth dropped his cigarette holder right into his lap as his jaw hit the floor.
He picked up the receiver of his phone and called Melrose.
Billy, I want to speak to the King woman right now. he said with his normal condescension.
She is undercover with Stetson right now and won't be back for another ten days. What's this all about? Billy said from the other end.
Dr. Smyth stood immediately and hung up the phone and exited his office. Within minutes, he quickly pushed open Melrose's office door and went over to the desk.
Get her out of there Billy.
Do you know how long it took Stetson to build up the contacts to get in there? Removing them now would set us back half a year if not more! Billy replied angrily.
I don't care Billy, you get her out of there and at the Orion Club by tomorrow at noon for lunch.
Tomorrow! I can't even get a message to them that fast. I would have to send in extraction and replacement teams. That takes time to get together.
Fine, but I want Amanda King at the Orion Club no later than Sunday at noon.
Dr. Smyth approached T.P. Aquinas at T.P.'s favorite hang out, the ice cream shop. Smyth sat down and without preamble said, I need a couple of books Aquinas. One may be a bit of light reading, the other a lot heavier, but with the exception of where they intersect, I want it all.
What are the titles? Aquinas asked.
Lee Stetson and Amanda King, and I want them by eight Saturday night.
T.P.'s eyes widened with shock. This was no subtle scan of a person's life, this went very deep. This type of review was so rarely asked for that T.P. wondered what Symth was up to, but he knew Smyth too well to ask. After their latest run-in with each other, there was no love lost between them.
Smyth stood and turned to depart, then with a sideways look, said One more thing, this is for my eyes only. No one else is to know about it.
T.P. just nodded without saying a word.
Lee and Amanda were sitting at a black jack table, and Amanda was winning again. They had been there for four days and were no closer to the missile parts than they were when they got there. Their contact said that the seller would be there sometime in this two week window but couldn't get more specific. While the parts weren't from U.S. missiles, they were still parts for a nuclear missiles. The Soviets had finally come forward that someone from within one of their missile facilities had made off with plans for their nuclear missiles. Those plans were put into production somewhere in the U.S., and they were posing as a couple who were under duress from an outside source to get their hands on the parts.
Amanda looked up from her hand on the blackjack table and spotted something familiar. A blond with her back to them was wearing a white and blue sequined top with blue pants. The woman said something to her companion slipped into the ladies bathroom as he walked out of the room.
Sweetheart, I need to go powder my nose, be right back. she half whispered to him.
All right, but don't take long. Our friend could arrive at any time. he then held her hand to his lips with a smile.
She slipped off of her chair, then turned back to him.
Cash me out please. I think that I am about gambled out today. then she slipped away.
She got into the ladies' room, and her suspicions were confirmed. Francine was standing there apparently waiting for her. Amanda signaled toward the stalls.
I already checked Amanda, we're alone.
Francine, what are you doing here?
Orders from on high, you are to go home. You have to be at the Orion Club by noon on Sunday.
Dr. Smyth gave the order for you to meet him there.
Why would he want to see me?
He wouldn't say, but you have to leave in the next four hours to make the next flight out.
It is a three hour drive to the nearest airport.
I know, but it is important that you get there. I will leave first, then you count to twenty, leave, get Lee, and meet me at your room.
Francine left the bathroom starting Amanda's silent count. Francine went to the bar, noticeably keeping an eye on the bathroom door. At twenty Amanda left and made straight for Lee.
Sweetheart, I think that I would like to get changed for dinner. This might be good enough for the casino, but not for a fancy dinner party.
All right, I will meet you there in an hour? he said with a bit of surprise that she would be so fussy about what she was wearing.
I need you to come with me, I can't zip that dress by myself. she said with asperity.
Lee now knew that something else was up, she didn't have a fancy dinner dress with a zipper. He nodded then followed her to their room. When they got inside, they were surprised to see Leatherneck sitting on the sofa.
What the hell are you doing here Leatherneck? Lee demanded.
Let's wait for the lady to arrive, she knows what's going on, I just came along as part of her cover. Leatherneck replied but without his folksy accent.
Well you are certainly full of surprises. Amanda said a bit brightly.
At that moment, there was a knock at the door. Lee answered it and saw Francine standing there. He waved her in quickly.
From your notes, you two are playing a couple trying to buy missile parts for someone who is threatening you both. I can work with that. Francine said without preamble, showing just how fast the clock was ticking. You two meet us in that little park on the side of the hotel in about half an hour. There a fight will ensue, and you two will run for your lives away from us. She said nodding at Leatherneck.
Sounds good so far. Lee replied.
Lee, I know you are not going to like this, but I will be playing a tough, so I brought these. From out of Leatherneck's pocket came brass knuckles.
Really? Lee asked with asperity.
Really, since you have to honestly be scared of what I am going to do with you.
Okay, just make sure not to hit me to hard with that. The last time I got clocked by you, you nearly broke my jaw.
Amanda, I will be threatening you with a gun, so just swing that purse of yours as hard as you can at me. Francine told her. Well, maybe not too hard.
Will do Francine, Amanda said as she turned to go to the bathroom. She quickly turned again. What about our things here?
We will make sure that we get your bags back to you, just take anything small that you don't want to get lost or left behind. Francine told them.
Amanda then went into the bathroom. While she was in there, Francine and Leatherneck left to get into position. Amanda came out of the bathroom and rummaged quickly through their bags for anything that they really needed. She grabbed a few items and threw them into her purse.
Ready? Lee asked.
Yes, let's just get this over with. Amanda said in a worried tone.
That's what I want to know, why would Dr. Smyth do this to us? We have been planning this for months. she said with annoyance.
I don't know, but we don't have much time to get to the park then to the car and out of here.
They got to the park and the plan worked flawlessly for once. There were the threats, then the fight followed by the flight of Lee and Amanda. They made just enough of a scene where the seller of the missile parts who was watching really believed that Leatherneck and Francine were his potential buyers. Now that their middlemen were gone, he could really do business.
Amanda and Lee arrived at the Orion Club at 11:45 a.m. Sunday morning and were shown into the billiard room. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Smyth walked in carrying two large folders.
Well, if it isn't Amanda our littlest agent and Mr. Stetson, her fearless protector. he greeted them snidely as he waved them both to sit down at a table in the corner of the room.
Before Lee could come to her defense, she said Sir, I would prefer to be called Mrs. King.
Are you sure you really want to continue to use the name of your ex-husband who so recently bestowed it upon another? he said as he placed the two folders on the table in front of them with pages folded over. I am fairly certain that you would be happier to use another, and I am surprised you thought that not using it would keep us from knowing. Then he pointed to the forms that were showing. It was their tax returns, and they sat back from them quickly enough to know that they had been exposed by their honestly in just one thing. You trusted the IRS to keep your secret, did you? he smiled somewhat threateningly.
What? Why? was all Lee could stammer out that the truth was known.
The two of you have been acting rather strangely. Like that trip to the west coast where you were shot Amanda. The story Lee fed us was so very thin. From the records we retrieved, you were more likely on your honeymoon. Were you not?
The two of them just nodded since they couldn't deny it any longer.
Well, well, well. I think that I will address you as Mrs. Stetson now, and you Mrs. Stetson have been something of an experiment since the day that your husband here crashed into that interview of yours at Honeywell Typewriter. The rules have been bent to the breaking point or if inconvenient just broken. How is it that one of our best agents could commit treason on your behalf and end up more decorated than ever. The two of you together have been accused of treason, and you scored a big one for the good guys there as well. Mrs. Stetson, you have turned this agency upside down and backwards at times, and somehow have gotten good results. You have been entrusted with some of the most sensitive investigations within the agency. You have done such good work that you even have me out on a limb with you. Amanda and Lee both looked shocked at that declaration, but could not yet say anything. Yes, you two, I was the one who recommended that Mrs. Stetson, then Mrs. King, be made a full time agent which makes her my responsibility. So when you, my dear Mrs. Stetson, do something irresponsible, it makes me look bad. You know how I do not like that. We have never had an agent in your condition in the field. We do not even have a rule in the book for it, but it will be there very soon, thanks to you.
At this point, Lee found his voice Amanda is not irresponsible, she is one of the most responsible agents I have ever worked with in the field. What in the hell are you talking about?
Well, now that your marriage has come to light, it puts her condition into better perspective. I think that the two of you would be interested in the highlighted area on Mrs. Stetson's medical evaluation, the one that said that she was in perfect health and also says that she should not be in the field on assignment.
They picked up the report gingerly and read it. They turned to look at each other, and Lee's face showed a vast array of emotions in a very short time surprise, joy, sadness, apprehension, and more. Amanda's face was the same but softer as she looked down into her lap. The last line of the medical report was PREGNANT.
They heard in the softest tone that they had ever heard from Dr. Smyth, Let me be the first to congratulate you both.
Thank you they replied, Lee showing obvious distraction and Amanda with concern.
This does mean that Mrs. Stetson will be confined to desk duty until that becomes untenable for her, then she will be on leave. As for you Mr. Stetson, we will have to wait and see what will happen. I am giving you time to acclimate to this change by giving you the rest of this week and all of the next as paid leave. I am sure that you both have a lot to talk about. Also, I think that Billy should be informed of everything we have discussed tomorrow while Ms. Desmond and her partner complete your case. And with that, Dr. Smyth turned to leave. Oh, and speaking of Ms. Desmond, she too may be onto your secret. I see you are wearing wedding rings, yet those are not ones issued by the Agency. She does tend to notice these things, then he opened the door and left. It was only after that Amanda noticed that his ever-present cigarette holder had been missing during the conversation.
They turned to each other and just held onto each other for a very long while. Lee let her go slowly and looked into her eyes and said Let's go home Amanda. She knew that he meant Arlington.
That night at the hotel, Francine and Leatherneck were getting ready for bed. They too were posing as a married couple, but unlike when Lee and Amanda first started working together, these two just slid into the same bed together easily enough. Francine turned on her side to face the window, her back to Leatherneck. He settled to sleep with a few pillows propping him up facing the door. Both had their guns close by them.
Francine turned her head a little It's nice working with you again, it's been too long. I never knew what happened.
It's a long story, and I might tell you one day. The short of it was that I was burning out and needed a break. Just go to sleep, we have a lot to do tomorrow taking over this case.
Right. Francine said as she closed her eyes to sleep. Right before she fell to sleep, she muttered Thank God I didn't have to work with Fielder.
Sometime during the night, her hand slid into his, an old habit that didn't break over time.
Since they had planned to be away for two weeks, Amanda had Joe take the boys. Her mother had gone to see her aunt Edna. Amanda and Lee had the house to themselves for the next few days. That night they talked and talked until way past midnight. For the first time since they were married, they slept in the same bed in the Arlington residence. Lee was surprised how good it felt to sleep in this house. It was quiet outside and inside. They spent a whole week in the house preparing it for two big events. The first was Lee moving in, and the second was the baby. There would no longer be a guest bedroom, but they weren't thinking about having guests over too often.
It took less time than they both thought to get most of Lee's personal belongings moved over. Over the last few months, Lee had gone through everything in his apartment and gotten rid of most of the hold overs from his bachelor spy past. It was even easier for Amanda to give his half of the closet. They were both surprised how easy and fast the rearrangement of thier lives took, that they had all day Saturday to practice what they were going to say during dinner on Sunday when everyone was home. Amanda knew that she had to include Joe in announcement, which gave Lee pause, but he understood why.
Sunday afternoon arrived, and both were nervous. Dotty arrived home first and noticed right away that dinner was cooking and the dinning room table was set for six. Amanda met her at the door.
Are we having company Amanda? she asked.
Well sort of mother, Lee will be joining us as will Joe. Why don't you get settled and come back down to help me get things ready for when the boys get here. Amanda said.
Lee had been standing at the foot of the steps, and with his wonderful smile, helped Dotty get her suitcase up to her room.
Thank you Lee.
Amanda and Lee were so fast at keeping Dotty busy, she didn't notice the changes to the house right away. It wasn't half an hour later when the boys and Joe arrived. Amanda met them at the door, and Lee started chatting with Joe. By the time the boys had cleaned up, dinner was done.
When everyone was seated at the table, they said a quick grace then loaded their plates. They ate and talked of little things. After a few bites of desert, Amanda took Lee's hand. Lee was the only one who knew just how nervous she was because he was just as nervous.
Phillip, Jamie, mother; remember when I went away last February? Amanda asked.
They all nodded while eating. Amanda cast a worried glance to Lee, and Joe noticed it. Joe sat back in his seat and took a very good look at his ex-wife. He knew her very well, and her body language was screaming at him. Something big was coming their way. He stayed quiet, but for an odd reason, his stomach sank.
Well, Lee and I got married that weekend. Amanda continued.
With that, all forks except for hers and Lee's dropped. Dotty's mouth opened several times, and the boys just stared.
Married? Dotty asked, her voice higher than usual.
Yes, mother married, and now pregnant.
Joe got up and came around the table stopping between Lee and Amanda. He proffered his hand to Lee.
Congratualtions, he said.
Lee shook Joe's hand. Then Joe leaned down to kiss Amanda on the cheek. When upright again he looked back over at Lee.
You are a very lucky man Lee. I wish you both the best. He looked back at Amanda. But why did you want me here for this news.
Joe, Lee will be living here now. I am hoping you will not object to that. she said with a hint of a plea.
I approve Amanda. I know you are a good man Lee, I feel comfortable having you living here with my sons. Joe said, though both Lee and Amanda both heard the hint of doubt in his tone. Boys, you did well with Carrie. I want you to show Lee the same respect. You understand me?
Both boys nodded while still taking in the information. Dotty was still in a bit of shock, and to relieve her anxiety, she cleared the table. While in the kitchen, she started to notice the little things she had been kept from noticing before. She saw things like the wine rack and the expansion of the album collection on the shelf in the family room.
Joe left shortly after dinner was over to go back home to his wife. Joe and Amanda had set up more visits for the boys over the next few months to make things easier on Amanda during her pregnancy, at least through the rest of the summer. The rest of the evening was filled with questions which Amanda and Lee answered. After the boys went to bed, Dotty rounded on the couple. That they got married in secret really irked Dotty, and she let them know her disappointment. It was an hour or so before she calmed down then went to bed herself. Amanda and Lee finished the clean up. They too went to bed in that house. While it had been relatively quiet the past week, Lee finally got the full experience of living in a suburban house listening to the boys and Dotty settle in to sleep that night. Oddly enough, Lee got the best night of sleep he can remember that night with Amanda in his arms and her family on all sides even though the room was pitch black.
The next morning Amanda and Lee had to go back to work, though they were annoyed that she was now going to be stuck behind a desk. That was until they reminded each other why. Lee was amazed how Amanda was able to so quickly include him in the morning hussle around the house. He woke first to get a shower, then she took hers, and the rest of them took theirs after the couple left for the office.
When they got in that Monday morning, they walked into the Q Bureau. No sooner had they arrived than they got a phone call to report to Billy's office immediately. As soon as they got down there and to the double doors, Billy bellowed for them to come into his office.
What in the hell is this about Amanda being assigned to desk duty due to health reasons?! You look fine to me! he yelled.
Sir, I think you should sit down. Amanda said calmly. After a week of letting her condition sink in, she was able to keep her calm. Billy sat down. The medical condiction is prenancy. I am not sure how far along I am yet, but it isn't long.
Billy's jaw hit his desk. You're PREGNANT?! And with that everyone in the office knew. Francine had been typing up her report on the case she had taken over for them. She spun her chair around so quickly, she nearly got dizzy.
Billy looked at Lee with a keen look which Lee could only nod to. Lee, who had been standing behind Amanda and a bit to the left, took Amanda's left hand in his, showing the wedding bands. These are the real thing. And Lee smiled that impish smile that even Billy could not defend against. When the couple left Billy's office, everyone was staring at them.
With a gentle tightening of Lee's hand on Amanda's elbow, Amanda said after she took off her identification tag, Well, I guess I should go get this updated, shouldn't I?
With a smile, Lee replied Yes, it is a bit out of date.
It was the very dense Beaman who asked How is it out of date?
Francine and the rest of the agents just stared at him, but then turned back to the couple when Amanda said I am Amanda Stetson now Beaman, you really need to keep up.
With that one sentence Francine's face went through a host of emotions but settled on neutral as she stood and congratulated them. To cover her confused emotions, she asked Amanda By the way, when you hit me on the head with your purse as you were escaping us, what did you have in there? I was expecting it to be heavy, but it felt like I was being hit with a pillow.
Remember when I went into the bathroom right before we left the room? Well, I have a few sharp objects in there, so I wrapped them in toilet paper as to not hurt you. Amanda said with a shrug. Oh, and I added a whole roll to give it more weight.
In that moment, Francine forgave them both for their relationship with a laugh, just saying Thanks! How in the world didn't you know you were pregnant though? I mean, didn't you have morning sickness or something?
Actually, I thought it was nerves.
Nerves, you?! Amanda, since when did you develop nerves to get rattled?
All the time Francine, all the time. Amanda said softly.
Well, I won't keep you any longer, go get your ID fixed.
Lee had stayed silent during this potentially explosive conversation. He had picked up the form for Amanda to get the name change done. He even filled it out for her while she was talking to Francine. He handed Amanda the form on a clip board to sign before leading her out of the bull pen and down to the ID office.
About four months later, Amanda went in for another prenatal check up while Lee was undercover looking for another batch of arms dealers sending weapons to the Middle East. She wished she could go with him and then looked down at her expanding belly and reconsidered. The doctor had just finished the exam and was waiting outside the room for her to finish dressing. While she was dressing a nurse knocked on the door.
Come in! Amanda said.
Mrs. Stetson, a man handed me this to give to you. the nurse said as she handed Amanda an envelope.
Thank you, Ms. Clark. Oh, could you describe the man?
Sorry, he came and went so quickly, I didn't get the chance to look.
Amanda opened the envelope after the nurse left the room and read...
Amanda got a chill up her spine reading those words. Everyone knew that she was seated at a desk job during her pregnancy, so who in the world would be sending her a Zulu Blue priority message. She sighed knowing she couldn't disobey the order. Last time she was summoned with Zulu Blue priority was by Harry Thornton. She had a sneaking suspicion it was him again.
Thank you doctor, I have to get going now. she said to the doctor after he told her the results of her examination.
That's fine Mrs. Stetson, have a nice day. he said as he walked her out of the ob/gyn section of the hospital.
She went to the elevator and down to the second floor finding quickly room 219. She knocked quietly on the door and was called in by a weak but steady voice. She walked into the room and was right; it was Thornton.
Hello sir. she said with a smile though it faded quickly when she saw that he was hooked up to a lot of equipment.
Hello Amanda, please sit down, we have a lot to talk about and precious little time to do it. he said as he pointed to the sofa in the room.
The door opened again, and Paul Barnes came quickly inside.
How much have I missed? Paul asked.
Nothing. She just arrived. Thornton said as Paul closed the door then leaned back on it, barring entry to anyone from the outside. Now Amanda, Harry continued, what I am about to tell you can not leave this room, and even Lee can't know about it. If you agree to keep these secrets, even from Lee until the time is right or you have no other choice, then we can proceed with our plans. If you don't think you can handle that, you can go home now; and we will have to come up with an entirely new plan. We both hope that you will work with us on this.
Amanda sat there for a moment, thinking about it. But one day I will be able to tell Lee?
Yes, but hopefully you won't have to. Did you know that you still have your AOS 16 status? Harry asked.
I do? But that means that I am still Lee's superior.
That's right Amanda, for about the last two years you have been his superior, yet you have never used it. Now, please, will you work with us? Harry plead.
After taking a deep breath, Amanda nodded.
Good. The first thing you need to know is that Blue Leader was killed four days ago.
At that Amanda gasped.
Yes, Amanda, I know that's shocking, it is a terrible blow to the Agency. His death has left a vacuum, and Paul Barnes here is going to fill it. With Barnes taking over as Blue Leader, that will leave the Oz network vulnerable. So, the Oz network will still be under his general control, but we want you to take over the day to day operations of it.
ME?! she squeaked.
Yes, you Amanda. Paul said with a serious smile. We have been watching you since the masked ball where you were recruited by Lee. He may not have known exactly what he was doing at the time, but we knew that you had just been brought into the family, though Celeste only pegged you as a possible member of Barnstorm. I had to keep Oz deactivated until after Serdeych was captured. After we captured him two years ago, I decided to reactivate Toto and make you a member of Oz. It wasn't until after the Nightcrawler incident that I was ready to move on it, but then you and Lee decided to get married. I had to let that settle before moving in, and it has settled quite nicely, though your pregnancy has made things interesting. Your code name in Oz is Glenda and all but one member of Oz knows about you.
Lee doesn't know, Amanda said, and you want to keep that from him to until the time is right. And Celeste is in Oz?
She is the Wicked Witch, and before you think it, don't think that means she is not on our side. She is very loyal to Oz, but she is brutal when working for us. So, now that you know all of this, I will have Toto get in contact with you. He has been invaluable in keeping you and your family safe, when he could. He will be the one who comes over to ask for half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. You will have to make the decision whether or not to reactive the rest of the network and get whatever confirmation you want to show that the reactivation is complete. I just hope that we will never need Oz, since it is used only when the situation is dire. When Oz is put into play, all assets of Oz are put into high gear. For example, Scarecrow would bring in Barnstorm. I want Oz in good hands Amanda, and you have proven time after time that you can do it.
Amanda, Harry said turning her head towards him, trust yourself as much as Lee, Paul, and I trust you. We know that you will lead Oz as well as you have lead Lee through those midnight blizzards.
With that, Amanda sat very still and took in all that she had been told. She then whispered All I did was get on a train with a package, now this? She shook her head to clear it. She looked up at them What about Billy and Dr. Smyth?
They won't know who Glenda is, though they will know that she is the new head of Oz. Harry said.
What about me knowing who Blue Leader is?
Amanda, I am dying. I have maybe two or three months left to live. Someone has to know who Blue Leader is, so that if he is killed or captured, someone can warn the Agency. Your clearance level will be secretly heightened, and you will have a way to send out that alert without risking your cover. Paul and I will help you get things settled with this for as long as we can. Harry said kindly to her.
When Toto asks for the olive oil, you will tell him you have a message for Oz. He will straighten up and wait for whatever you want Oz to do to prove it is reactivated. said Paul.
Okay, I think I will just go home now and make dinner for mother and the boys. I just wish Lee were going to be home tonight. Do you mind if I use your phone?
Harry nods, and she picks up the receiver and dials the office.
Hello, Mr. Melrose please. Tell him Amanda is calling. She waits as she is put through to Billy's office.
Yes, um, I need to go home, I have a splitting headache. She tells Billy. Yes sir, I don't think I could concentrate on what I was typing. I will be back in the office tomorrow. ... Yes sir, see you then. She hangs up the phone.
She goes to collect her things, but it is Paul Barnes that helps her put on her jacket and then hands her the purse. With a smile at her, he says I will be in touch in a few days.
Amanda nodded and walked out of the hospital room, out to the parking lot, and drove straight home. When she got there, she just plopped right down on the sofa in the family room and thought of the great responsibility that has just been thrust onto her. All she wanted at that moment is for Lee to walk through their front door and to have him hold her. That she has to keep this a secret from him scared her a lot, but she knew that she can trust him not to get angry when she told him she can't tell him what the secret is.
After about an hour, she started going through what she had in the kitchen to make an early dinner that night. There was a knock at her back door, and she groaned when she saw it was Buck.
Buck what do you want? she said exasperated.
Oh, I was just wondering if I could borrow a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. he asked.
Toto she whispered.
Glenda I presume he replied.
I have a message for Oz. she said to him.
He straightened his posture and even the clothes he was wearing.
This is a test for the response time of Oz, only. Scarecrow is the last in the line. When he gives his partner a box of five roses, Glenda will know that Oz is ready for the real thing. she told him as she poured half a cup of extra virgin olive oil out for him.
Understood. Toto, also known as Buck, replied as Glenda handed off the cup of olive oil. Amanda's triple life had begun.
A week after Harry V. Thornton died, Lee came into the office with a box with five roses in it. It had taken seven weeks to completely reactivate Oz. Lee looked pensive and a little angry.
What is it Lee?
Something has happened in the Oz network Amanda, the Wizard is gone and someone called Glenda is taking his place. It is making me a little edgy right now.
I thought he retired.
So did I, but it looks like he hadn't until now.
Do you still trust him, sweetheart?
Yes, I still trust him. he said with resignation.
Then you should trust his decision.
Lee looked at her and expelled a frustrated breath, You're right Amanda, I will just have to trust that he knows what he's doing. I have to go down to Billy's office, want to come?
No, I have a few more reports to look at, and then type up your last one. I should make you do it, but it is just too agonizing to sit here and watch you hunt and peck for the keys.
He gave her a sour look, but then a kiss on the nose with a wink, as he walked out of the office.
After he left, she slipped on a felt glove, took a Post-It out of her desk drawer, and stuck it onto his jacket.
The typed note read...
Well done Oz, though the next time must be faster. Then it is real. and Lee found it the next morning on the driver's seat of his car.
Amanda had stayed at her desk through her eighth month of pregnancy. When she started to show, she became amazed at how little some of these agents knew about it. There were only a few that didn't treat her like an invalid, unfortunately Lee was not in that group. This was his first child, a miracle to him, so he didn't want to take any chances. Several times he overreacted when she had the slightest little injury. It took her nearly a month to convince him that something like catching her finger in a file cabinet drawer in the vault was not going to hurt the baby, yet he still wanted her to go home.
Amanda's cover as a producer at International Federal Films is what nearly got her killed towards the end of her pregnancy. Part of her job was to sort through outside submissions from amateur film makers. Almost all of them got rejected. She was watching another batch of really poorly made films with Francine. IFF didn't put out the best material to keep from gaining a reputation for good film making, but they did have some standards.
Why did we have to have a film production company cover? Francine said acidly after watching four very badly made films on subjects such as naval lint, The Joy of Sneezing, and the like.
Well, it allows us to carry camera equipment around and not get questioned to closely I suppose. Amanda said slightly tired.
Your boys could make better films than most of these clowns. Francine said absently.
Why Francine, I didn't know you had such a high regard for them. was the surprised response.
Amanda, your sons are a lot like you. They wouldn't send in such shoddy work. More popcorn? Francine offered.
No, I don't think so.
Okay, what's next?
Oh no, we have a repeat offender here. It's another one from Rupert Galt.
No! Do you think we could just reject it without watching?
I wish we could, but we have to check every one of these tapes.
Amanda handed the tape to Francine to put into the machine. Amanda was sitting there with her shoeless feet up on another chair trying to relax her back. Francine came to sit down beside her and pushed play on the remote. The film started normally enough, until what was on the screen scared both women.
Thank you for your rejections, Mrs. King.
Then the tape stopped with a click that was not normal for the video cassette player. Francine and Amanda began to move at once, with Francine at Amanda's back as they bolted as fast as Amanda could to the door. As Amanda opened the door, the tape exploded, and they dove for the floor down the hall away from that conference room. Alarms started going off throughout the facility, and agents running towards the explosion. Amanda turned over to check Francine who was propping herself on her hands to check Amanda. Both had gotten really lucky, as neither were seriously hurt.
Francine, you okay?
Yes, just a little singed. How about you?
I think I sprained my ankle.
Francine helped Amanda sit with her back to the opposite wall as more agents appeared, among them Lee and Billy.
Amanda! Lee yelled when he saw her on the floor.
I'm okay Lee, check Francine, she was behind me when the bomb went off.
Lee turned to look, but Billy was already there. The Agency medics were there shortly after and had Amanda and Francine on stretchers which were being rolled toward the Agency ambulance in the underground parking garage. Billy questioned Francine about what happened, though all Lee could think about was that Amanda and his unborn child almost got killed. He saw red and swore that the guy would pay for this. Then he felt Amanda's hand on his arm, he looked down at her.
Lee, don't get in trouble. she whispered.
She had been more injured than she thought at first. Her eyes closed, and Lee panicked until he saw her chest rise. They got to the parking garage and the ladies were loaded into the ambulance. Billy lead Lee to his car.
Come on Lee, you can ride with me. You might want to call her mother on the way. Billy said softly.
That sobered Lee more. This would be the second time in a little over a year that Amanda was put in the hospital unconscious. This time through, Lee did have the choice to leave Dotty out of it. They weren't hiding their relationship, and Amanda was his wife. For just a moment, he got really possessive and didn't want Dotty there. Then he thought of Phillip and Jamie. While following the ambulance, Lee took a deep breath and picked up the receiver of the car phone and dialed home. He then remembered that Dotty was out with Captain Kirk all day and the boys were in school, so there would be no answer. He put down the receiver.
No one would be home Billy. he said softly, Dotty is out and the boys are in school. Let's just hope that Amanda is on her feet in a few hours. For the first time, Lee's emotions were outside of his control. In that rolling box in front of them was his wife and unborn child. He couldn't stop it, for the first time in a very very long time, Lee cried.
As they pulled up to the hospital, Lee was finally able to get some control of his emotions. He looked over at Billy. Billy only nodded in understanding. By the time they got to the ladies, both were awake and had been admitted into the same room.
What happened back there? Billy asked while Lee took Amanda's hand.
It was Rupert Galt, a really bad filmmaker. Francine answered. He rigged the last tape he sent in to explode. Apparently we had rejected him too often, and since Amanda is the one who writes the rejection letters, he dedicated the explosion to her.
Hearing that Lee's eyes turned cloudy with anger. Amanda saw it.
Lee let Billy handle it, please. I don't want you in a holding cell right now.
I can't let this stand Amanda!
You won't by letting Billy handle it. Billy has been doing this longer than you have. I need you here Lee. The doctors want to keep me here overnight for observation. Mother can take care of the boys while you stay here with me.
Lee nodded at that, then looked over at Francine, Thank you.
For what? Francine asked.
For what! For risking your life to save Amanda, again!
I really didn't do much, her chair was closest to the door, so of course she got there first. Amanda, I still can't believe how fast you were able to move, given your condition.
Will everyone stop treating me like an invalid?! Amanda replied exasperated. I have been stuck to a desk for the last seven and a half months. I needed the exercise. The last shocked Lee until he looked at her face and saw that she was putting on a brave front.
After a few more minutes, Billy left to go back to the office to start the manhunt for Rupert Galt.
Lee stayed and chatted with both women for a few hours until a nurse arrived with Francine's discharge instructions.
Do either of you need anything? she asked on her way out the door.
No Francine, but thanks for the offer. Amanda said. You have done more than your duty today.
Francine smiled back at the two of them, Anytime. You never know when I will need a favor, then she slipped out.
Lee and Amanda stared at the space she had occupied.
A few hours later as Amanda was sleeping, Lee slipped out to get a cup of coffee after checking to make sure that the guards were in place. However, Amanda wasn't asleep. She had been waiting for Lee to take a break. She got on the phone to Paul Barnes. It didn't take Paul long to get to the phone.
Hello sir...yes, I'm okay, nothing broken...I need a favor, would you order Lee to stay away from the investigation, please?...Oh thank you sir, I really appreciate it. Then she hung up and closed her eyes again. She had been very tired, so she could now relax and really get some rest.
Lee was standing at the coffee machine on that floor. It seemed to take forever for it to dispense the coffee. He looked at his watch and saw that it was almost two in the afternoon. The boys would be getting home from school soon. They only had until around six in the evening before they would have to come up with a reason to be later getting home. He started running scenarios in his head, but nothing sounded quite right for the situation. Then the coffee machine stopped, and Lee took it out and gently blew on it to cool the contents.
He walked back to the hospital room, only to see Fred Fielder standing there. Without a word, Fred handed Lee a piece of paper. Lee opened and read it, then his jaw clenched in anger.
Stay out of the bombing investigation.
Lee crumpled the piece of paper and threw it into the nearest garbage can. He knew better than to yell at Fred, he was just the messenger.
Thanks Fred. I got the message. Lee said, still steaming.
He turned to the door of Amanda's hospital room and went inside. He sat down on the chair in the room and just watched Amanda sleep. Without the ability to investigate on orders from Blue Leader, he felt helpless. After another hour went by, Amanda's eyes flipped open fast. She looked directly at him.
Lee, I think you should get a doctor in here, sweetheart.
Because my water just broke, and I just felt a contraction. Not a big deal at the moment, but it will be in a very short time. she said with a smile.
Lee jumped up from his chair and went over to Amanda.
Are you sure?
I have done this before Lee, so I know what to expect. So, why don't you go out and get the doctor. She nudged him toward the door.
Soon after things begun to pick up the pace in Amanda's room in preparation in moving her to obstetrics. Now Lee could call home and leave a message that was no lie, Amanda was in labor!
During the entire delivery, Amanda's calm kept everyone around her calm, even Lee who went from eager to anxious moment to moment. That isn't to say that Amanda was completely quiet the entire time. There were moments when she could be heard right outside the door and her grip on Lee's hand got tighter than he had ever felt before now. Their daughter was born early the next morning around seven.
Hello Dorothy. Amanda cooed at her daughter while Lee just smiled at the little girl in his wife's arms.
For the rest of the morning and into the afternoon, they spent it quietly in the hospital with Dorothy Jennifer Stetson. That evening, Dotty arrived to take Amanda and Lee, though Lee drove home. The boys were boys when it came to their new baby sister. Dotty had made dinner, and they all ate. The adjustment to their new family member had begun.
When Dorothy woke to be fed, Amanda took her downstairs. She turned on just a few lights and sat on the couch. That is when she saw the envelope on the coffee table. She leaned over to pick it up and open it. Lee was just coming downstairs to see if everything was all right. He was a very nervous first time father. Amanda handed the envelope to Lee. He opened it with extreme care then took the note out. It simply read...
Rupert Galt handled. - WW
Lee looked at Amanda.
You don't have to worry about Galt anymore. This is from the Oz network. It looks like they got to him before the Agency did. he said very quietly.
Amanda only nodded as she read the note. She handed it back to Lee as Dorothy was asleep again. It was only when she turned away from Lee that her expression changed to sadness knowing that while her daughter was being born, a man named Rupert Galt who she never met was killed.
Meet the X-Files
Somewhere in North America...
The woods are very dense and overgrown. The smell of blooming foliage is everywhere. On this morning the dew lay on the grass in the open valleys glistening in the sunlight. The wild life scatters in what seems to be random directions. The only sounds are the trees and bushes rustling in the breeze and the quiet voices and steps of two people wending their way through this wonderland. She looks extremely competent in the woods, and he just slightly less so. They stop to take in the beauty of the scene in front of them, a lovely little pond with ducks swimming on it. He puts his arm over her shoulders; she lifts one hand to gasp his draped hand.
After a few moments, he speaks quietly to her, and they move on. The contented smiles leave their faces to be replaced with tight lipped determination. The language of the body seems to be the only way they need to speak since they hardly use words. They are coming down a slight hill going towards something smoking in the near distance.
When they get close enough, he signals her to stop and ducks behind a boulder. On anther signal she moves forward to join him. They both pull their weapons, he looking exceedingly competent, while she fumbles a mere moment.
You ready Amanda? Lee asks.
Uh huh, she replies with a slight nod to her head.
Just then a branch snaps behind them making them both quickly turn, guns raised.
Damn! is heard quietly muttered by a male voice.
They heard us, John, a female voice whispers back.
Out of the woods step another duo, a man with short-cropped blonde hair and a woman with medium length black hair. Both are dressed as Lee and Amanda, for the elements. Both of them also have their weapons drawn and only slightly raised. This tableau only lasts for a few seconds as Lee and Amanda note that the jackets of the two newcomers have the letters FBI on them. They lower their weapons slowly.
Who the hell are you two? asks Lee while slowly standing up and moving towards John.
Dogget and Reyes, FBI. John answers.
What are you two doing here? Lee asks testily.
We're looking for some people. Now who the hell are you two? John asks, annoyed.
Lee and Amanda Stedman, and you don't need to know who we work for. Lee answers in the same tone.
You better believe we need to know. No one is going to go anywhere until we know. John says with some force.
During the testosterone laden confrontation, both women roll their eyes, notice, and smile. With the two men looking as if they are going to come to blows, the women move off and talk.
Do you think we should stop this before it gets ugly? Amanda asks.
I think we should. What do you suggest? Monica says.
Well, we could figure this out between ourselves and fill them in, or we could go in and drag them apart. Who are you looking for?
Well, Amanda, we are looking for some old friends. There are some weird things going on, and we need to get a warning to them. These friends are former FBI agents who have disappeared. We are hoping to find them before it is too late.
Who are these agents, Reyes, we might be looking for the same people?
Call me Monica, and I can't say, it could put them into greater danger if I do.
Well, it looks like we are at as much of an impasse as those two. Shall we drag them away from each other's throats?
Amanda and Monica walk back over to the guys, and Amanda whispers to Lee We need to talk.
Lee guides Amanda a short distance away.
What? Lee asks, dragging his fingers through his hair.
I read in the files that we got that a John Dogget and a Monica Reyes worked with Fox Mulder and Dana Scully while they were at the FBI. They might be looking for them too. It may be a good idea to work with them. Amanda whispers.
It might, but can we trust them? Hell, Amanda, we have been shot at a few too many times on this mission already, and if I am not mistaken, some of those shooting at us were FBI.
Lee, I don't think that these two are a threat to us. Monica said that they are looking for them to give them a warning of some sort.
Warn them about what?
I didn't get that far with her, but I think we can trust them. Think for a minute, we have come across some weird stuff, and since Dogget and Reyes are X-Files agents, they would understand it more than we do.
All right Amanda, we'll go with it for now. Lee said with a heavy sigh.
While Amanda talked with Lee, Monica was talking fast with Dogget.
John, let them go. They aren't after us. Amanda is an agent of something. I don't think we'll get an agency out of either of them, but I think they are on our side.
Yeah, she didn't look all that comfortable with her gun either. Okay Monica, but let's stay with them for a while, just to make sure.
Sounds good to me. Monica flashed a quick smile.
They continued their trek slowly. None of them spoke, though both duos watched each other speculatively. Lee and Amanda looked less concerned about Dogget and Reyes than they were of Lee and Amanda.
About two or three hours later shots rang out through the woods. All of them slithered to the ground. John and Lee worked out a rough system of hand signals. Monica and Amanda watched, and also understood the directions. They found cover in the woods, but it wasn't enough. More than one bullet almost got too close.
It was Amanda who found the ditch, a hole covered by brush and other forest debris. She quickly examined it and found that it was big enough for the four of them to hide in with just a little elbow room. She signaled to Monica and laid down cover fire as Monica came over to her. Amanda pointed to the ditch, and Monica nodded. They squirreled over to the guys to get them to the cover of the ditch.
They got to the ditch just in time. Men in black masks swarmed through the woods. The four of them had no where left to run. They were trapped. The sounds of the search for them came closer and closer. Lee, John, and Monica kept weapons ready, while Amanda got the extra ammunition close at hand. They were getting low on bullets. The only other weapons they had were two knives.
Lee had his and one of Amanda's guns. He handed Amanda's to John since it had a silencer on it. Amanda took out her spare gun from its ankle holster. She looked concerned, though not nervous.
Then the firefight was on them. The men and Monica defended while Amanda kept them supplied with loaded clips. It was when she loaded the last clip that they had when she could look up and see that John had been shot on the shoulder, and Lee had a bullet-burn on his scalp. Monica also was hurt. She got out a first aid kit she always carried and motioned John down first. She wrapped his shoulder as fast as possible, and turned to Lee. She padded his wound more quickly, and in the next breath had Monica's cut hand bandaged. She then got up to the rim and joined in the gun fight.
The attackers were nearly on them when gun shots rang out from behind them. Amanda felt relief only briefly.
Lee's eyes were filled with sweat and blood. Amanda's bandage only helped so much, and it was not enough. He felt he was close to passing out and fought it off as much as possible. He finally succumbed when he blearily saw that the attackers were fleeing. As blackness fell over his vision, he hoped that those coming to help were friends.
John was fighting as best he could. He didn't allow Amanda to look at him long enough to see that he was hit somewhere else. If Lee could fight with a head wound, he could fight with the little gash on his neck other than the deeper shoulder wound. He also heard the different shots and saw Lee collapse. John tried to hold on a little longer, but when Lee collapsed he gave in as well. He just hoped that the ladies could hold out while he and Lee were resting.
Monica and Amanda saw both men pass out. They shook their heads, took deep breaths, and got ready for another wave of attacks. Amanda's face was still composed except for her eyes. Tears rolled down the side of her face. She turned her head to face away from Monica.
I hope that I can get home to see my kids. She breathed.
Monica squeezed her shoulder to help calm her. Amanda nodded and took another deep breath to steady herself. There was the sound of a branch cracking nearby, and both women turned in that direction. Out of the woods came a group of people led by a tall man with brown hair. He looked at them.
Damn it, he swore softly and then said more forcibly Reyes, how in the hell did you find me?
Mulder? Monica said with relief.
Answer the question, Reyes, what the hell are you doing here!
Looking for you to warn you that our enemies were getting close to finding you, but that seems moot now.
You lead them right to us! Who is this? He said pointing at Amanda who had yet to put down her weapon.
Amanda Stedman, and I am looking for Dana Scully.
Why? Mulder asked tersely.
We need information from her, and since you are here, you might be able to tell me where to find her. That will have to wait for a bit though. Lee, my husband, and John are both hurt and losing blood. I only have first aid training, this is out of my league.
Mulder motioned a few men forward to pick up and bring Lee and John with them. He said something quietly to one of them who ran off in another direction.
Come on, we will get them patched up. Mulder said sounding resigned.
John woke with a start. It was dark in the room, and there was only a small light in the middle of it. He didn't know how long he had been out but looking across the room, he saw that Lee was still out. He tried to sit up, but his shoulder was stiff and painful as was his neck. He laid back when he heard Monica and Amanda talking. He also hear Scully's voice. They found them, and then he realized that he had been stitched. Add another scar to his collection, he thought and then smiled. He did not want to intrude on the conversation, so he laid back and listened.
He's fighting it, but what can I do? Monica said.
You have to give him some more time. I know too well just how dangerous the work is. There were several times when I thought I had lost Lee. It was horrible. Maybe John doesn't want you to have to deal with that. Amanda said. She sounded as if she were giving motherly advice though the subject would never have come up in any normal conversation.
But how long do I have to wait? Monica said sadly. I've given him enough hints.
It isn't that simple for us, and you know it. Scully said. She sounded a little annoyed, but at the same time she tried to be comforting. Amanda, you want some more coffee?
I should be asking you that question; you should get some sleep. I got a little sleep when you were stitching Lee and John.
No no, I want to know why the hell you wanted to find me. She said while she stood up.
Okay, about fifteen years ago you did a couple of autopsies. We just found them a few months ago and wanted to ask you a few more questions. We were hoping that you would remember them and be able to fill in some gaps.
Monica sank deeper in her chair and closed her eyes.
That was before I joined the X-Files. I don't know how much help I can be. Scully said. Why is it so important?
They were agents that had disappeared. When we found these files so deeply buried; we got suspicious. There seem to be pages missing. I'll just give you the files, and you can fill in the gaps later.
Just then the door opened. The three women quickly raised their guns as Mulder and another man walked through the door.
Whoa! Mulder said as he put his hands up. The man with him looked just as surprised.
When the women lowered their guns, their breathing returned to normal. When they looked at the man behind Mulder, they all got really silly smiles on their faces. Mulder rolled his eyes and sat down next to Dana.
Hartwell, can't you turn that off. Amanda's husband may not like it; though I don't know how Dogget will feel about it. He laughed a moment then got serious. Hartwell and his people have agreed to help us get out of here. Scully and I will leave soon, though I won't tell you when.
At that moment John appeared in the inner doorway.
Not the same Hartwell that you knew in Texas is it? He said as he walked across the room. He was still a little stiff. How long was I out?
About six hours, you needed it. Scully said. You really should lay back down. You lost a lot of blood, though it could have been worse if you hadn't had Amanda with you.
John was looking at Hartwell suspiciously. Hartwell just looked back at him and smiled.
Mulder are you sure we are safe with his kind around here? John said.
John, what are you talking about? They carried you and Lee back here. Monica said a little bit heatedly, though with John's shirt off, she could see how fine a chest he had. She had to shake herself a bit.
Monica, do you know what they are? I have seen enough to believe some of Mulder and Scully's reports now.
Mulder and Scully looked surprised and pleased.
From behind John Lee asked What are they, some weird cult?
Amanda stood up and pointed to the chair she had been sitting in for Lee to sit down. He sat down gingerly and waited for the answer. Amanda sat on the arm of the chair and put her arm around Lee, giving him a quick kiss on his hair.
Hartwell sat on another chair at the table and motioned Mulder to answer with a smile.
They are vampires. He said casually and sat back waiting for Lee and Amanda to say they didn't believe in vampires.
That's a joke, right? Lee said.
Nope. Sorry, it isn't. They are very good at hiding, though we didn't hide well enough away if you could find us.
I don't believe it. Lee was blunt.
You should. Monica chimed in. She still couldn't get over seeing John in just his pants.
Don't argue Lee, they saved our lives in the woods. Amanda said.
Hartwell, would you be willing to show them your eyes so that they will believe. Mulder asked.
Sure sure. His irises glowed green and were hypnotic.
Lee and Amanda jumped up quickly. Oh my gosh!, was all that Amanda could sputter.
When she said that, the tension in the room lessened. Lee was the only person not looking at Amanda with perplexity.
Oh my gosh? Mulder laughingly asked.
Monica and Dana were giggling a bit.
It's better than cursing. It's actually refreshing. Dana said.
Okay, okay, I believe you now. Lee said as he sat back down, though his back was straight. He and Amanda both looked like they were ready to bolt.
Well, everyone should go and try to get some more sleep. Everyone leaves tomorrow. Mulder said.
Amanda, I will take a quick look over those files in the morning when I wake up. Dana said.
Mulder and Scully went up to the loft as Amanda, Monica, and John went to the room where Lee and John were supposed to be convalescing. Amanda and Monica rolled sleeping bags out on the floor, refusing John's offer of the bed to one of them. They slept well that night.
Before they left the small clearing, Mulder was talking quietly with John and Monica. Dana handed Amanda the files.
I didn't remember much, but I notated then as best I could. Dana said.
Amanda thumbed through it. Anything is better than nothing.
Mulder and Dana went off with Hartwell and a few of his people. A few stayed behind to make sure that both duos made it back to civilization safely. Before they got to their cars which were parked miles apart, Lee and Amanda turned and looked at John and Monica.
Well, it was great knowing you, but from here on out we're strangers. I think it will be safer for all of us that way. Lee said.
We know how to play the game Lee, if that's your name. John said with a smile.
Amanda and Monica exchanged a quick hug.
Take care. They both said at the same time.
They went their separate ways and never saw each other again.