Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Since "Santa's Got a Brand New Bag" ended with the evening of Christmas Eve, I thought I'd write this little piece to outline what Lee and Amanda did on Christmas Day. I hope you enjoy.
On December 25th, Amanda King sighed deeply as her front door was closed in front of her. Her frown deepened as she peered through the front window and watched her young men happily bounding down the front walk toward their father's sedan that was parked at the curb. She turned as the car doors slammed and slowly made her way across the staircase landing.
"Cheer up, Amanda, it's not as if you're never going to see them again," Dotty said as Amanda stepped into the den.
"I know, Mother. It's just that this is, you know...the first Christmas Day that I've ever spent without them. I mean, even after the divorce, Joe was always traveling, so we never had to worry about how to share holidays with them. Now, that he's back, everything's...different."
"I know, Darling, and I'm going to miss having the boys here for Christmas too, but isn't that the whole reason that you decided to do the presents last night instead of today?"
"Yes, it is," Amanda agreed with another sigh as she sank down on to the couch in a fit of depression.
"Besides, when was the last time that the boys got to spend any time with their other grandparents? You shouldn't want to deprive them of that," Dotty pointed out as she sat beside her daughter.
"I know, and I don't...want to... It's just..."
"Different, you said," Dotty repeated her daughter's words. She stared at her for a moment and then piped up "Speaking of things being different with Joe back, I think there's something else that you should seriously consider making different with him."
"What's that? If you're going to suggest that we try to work out our differences again..."
"No, Amanda, I'm not. It's much too late for that. You're very obviously in love with Lee." Off Amanda's look as if she were going to deny it, she added, "Don't think I didn't notice the two of you last night, stealing little kisses when you thought no one was looking."
Amanda blushed slightly. "You saw that, huh?"
"I did," Dotty confirmed with a nod. "I also saw Lee seeing you greet Joe with a kiss and I saw how he reacted to it. He was not happy at all. In fact, I'm quite sure that I saw a little flare of jealousy there."
"Jealousy? Mother, don't be ridiculous. Lee knows that that's just a friendly gesture and that there's nothing between Joe and me anymore."
"Does he? It didn't seem so by the look on his face last night, In fact, I'm betting by that look, he would have liked nothing better than to rip Joe apart with his bare hands."
"Oh, Mother, don't be so melodramatic. It was nothing."
"It's not nothing, Amanda, not when you're talking about love. Look at it from his point of view. Joe is a man that you shared ten years of your life with, a man that with whom you share two children and if you're kissing him and calling him "sweetheart" in front of Lee, how do you think that makes him feel? Do have a special name like that for him?"
"I...uh...I..." Amanda stammered and then cringed as it struck her that she'd called Lee "sweetheart" when they were shopping, then had turned right around and called Joe "sweetheart" in front of him when they'd arrived at the house last night. She sighed again and stared at the floor.
"Okay, then think about it this way," Dotty suggested. "Think about how you would feel if Lee were kissing another woman in front of you."
"I get what you're saying, Mother," Amanda nodded.
"What is Lee doing today anyway?"Dotty inquired.
"Probably sitting at home watching football," Amanda responded with a shrug as she recalled the first Christmas that she'd known him and how he'd described his normal Christmas activities.
"That seems like an awfully lonely way to spend Christmas day. Doesn't he have any family to spend the day with?"
"No, just an uncle who's in the Air Force and can't always get away for Christmas," Amanda explained.
"How sad," Dotty mused with a frown. "What about his parents?"
"They...Um...they died in a car accident when he was really little." She decided to give her the simplest explanation, not wanting to delve too deeply into the details of their deaths.
"Oh, that poor man. Well, it's no wonder he was clinging to you the entire time that he was here last night. I bet he was terrified." As her mother rambled on, Amanda couldn't help agreeing with her as she'd recalled the way that he'd worriedly tried to back out when they were at the front door last night. "He probably hasn't got the first clue how to act around a family since he's never had one of his own." Dotty then smiled at her daughter, "Of course, that could all change if the two of you start getting serious about one another. It would be so good for the boys to have a man around the house again and you never know. One of these days, you might just give him the family he's never had."
"Oh Mother, don't tell me you're going to try to get me married off again with a dozen babies." She rolled her eyes in exasperation.
"I never said a dozen, maybe just one...or two," Dotty suggested, a merry twinkle in her eyes. "Lee's a very good man. Don't you think he'd make a wonderful father? And with his good looks and your beauty, can you just imagine how adorable your children would be? Our course, then you'd need a bigger house, but you know that wouldn't be a bad idea anyway. I mean, I can't imagine that he would want to live here in a house that you used to share with Joe."
"Mother, you're really jumping the gun here. I mean, Lee and I have only been seeing each other for a short time." Amanda cringed inwardly at lying to her mother again, but she knew it had to be done. She then reflected back on how excited Lee had been about the prospect of them buying a home together, even talking about selling everything he owned to buy the one in Rockville that he'd fallen so in love with and felt would be the perfect fit for their family. Family, she thought, then his words that day really began to sink in. "I always planned that when I settled down, my kids would have horses." At the time, she'd thought he'd been talking about Phillip and Jamie, but her mother's words had now begun to make her wonder if he hadn't been hinting that he wanted kids of his own.
"Amanda, just how stupid do you think I am?" Dotty countered equally exasperated pulling Amanda from her thoughts. "You may have just admitted that you're dating him, but I've known for a long time that there was more between the pair of you than you let on. For example, just last week when the two of you were trying to help me help Harry, the way you interacted with one another, the way you finished each other's sentences, the way you both seemed to know what the other is thinking...That tells me that there's a very deep connection between the two of you. Then there's the fact that you ran off with him to God knows where when he was in trouble. Why would you do something like that for a man that you didn't care for very deeply?"
"I was in trouble too," Amanda reminded her, "And I already explained that to you. I left because I thought you'd all be safer without me here because we didn't know what those government agents were going to do or the people who framed us for treason. Staying here would have just put you or the boys in danger."
"I still don't understand that at all," Dotty said with a shake of her head. "How on earth did the two of you get mixed up in something like that anyway?"
"How did you get mixed up in that whole mess with Dr. Zernov?" Amanda challenged to turn the tables on her mother. "I work for the government, remember? It makes much more sense that I would get involved in something like that than you, don't you think?"
"We're getting off-topic here," Dotty said defensively. "The point that I was trying to make is that I don't understand why you're trying to hide a relationship that's obviously making you very happy, happier than I've seen in a long time. Why is that?"
"It's complicated," Amanda answered evasively.
"No, it's not, Amanda," Dotty argued. "It's very, very simple. You love him and he loves you, so there's no reason that you shouldn't be moving forward in your relationship. I have to admit that when you finally arrived last night, I was hoping that it wasn't due to work like you said it was and that it was because Lee had wanted to have a little alone time with you. The way that he looks at you as if he can't live without you had me hoping that his Christmas present to you would be a diamond ring."
"No, Mother," Amanda shook her head wondering how her mother would react if she knew that Lee had given her a diamond ring nearly two months ago.
"Well, what did he get you?"
"I...Um...I don't know," Amanda responded curiously. Now that her mother had brought it up, it was making her wonder what her fiancé had bought her for Christmas. "We were so busy with work; he didn't have time to get my present from his place."
"Maybe you should go over there and find out," Dotty suggested. "You could kill two birds with one stone that way; find out what he got you and keep him company. No one should be alone on Christmas Day. Everyone should spend the day with someone that they love and that man loves you very deeply. I see it in his eyes every time that he looks at you."
"Yeah, I know he does, but what about you?" Amanda asked. "You shouldn't be alone either."
"Oh, I won't be. I imagine my sister will be up any time now. I'll have her to keep me company and we'll probably just find some sappy Christmas movie to watch on TV."
Amanda had to admit the idea was tempting, but she still felt a twinge of guilt at the idea of not spending the day with her mother. "I don't know," she said hesitantly.
"Amanda, just go see him, wish him a Merry Christmas. Joe's not bringing the boys back until tomorrow evening so you can have the whole day with the man you love," Dotty said and then added suggestively, "Maybe even the whole night?"
"Mother, really," Amanda said with a roll of her eyes.
"Oh, please, Amanda, are you seriously going to tell me that on all these "work" trips, that the two of you have never-?"
"That is none of your business," Amanda answered quickly, but couldn't help the flush that crept into her cheeks as she said it recalling memories of the long weekend that she and Lee had spent at Pine Top.
"Just as I thought," Dotty crowed with a knowing grin. "Now, go on and give your man a little Christmas...cheer."
"You know, I think I will," Amanda replied determinedly as she rose from her seat. "I just want to change clothes first and I need to stop by the office and get his present."
"That's the spirit," Dotty cheered her on as she watched her daughter trotting up the stairs, hoping that by the time next Christmas came around, they'd be spending it with Lee as a real member of the family.