Remember Lot's Wife

Episode 3 of "If"

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Brothers and I'm making absolutely no money for this writing! I have borrowed ideas from ACM Kid, Relative Situation, Unfinished Business, and Missions of Gold, etc.

(Thanks to all who helped fill me in on background info. Your help is priceless!)

Background: This is episode three of "If". Lee and Amanda continue their extended honeymoon (February, 2002) as they visit Lee's uncle, Col. Clayton in Green Valley, Arizona.

"If" Episode Hx: 1: If We Had Never Met

2: A Timely Answer

3: Remember Lot's Wife

Act 1: Remember...

Setting: Rugged mountain terrain in Pakistan

Feb 2002

The 'Hercules' EC-130H of the 355th Wing of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base flew rather close to the tops of the rugged mountain terrain in western Pakistan. On board, a nervous communications officer attempted to complete his message to the base in Kandahar...

!Squawk!

"Lot..."

!Squawk!

"Lot...szhhhhhhh...come in Lot, this is Lot's wife, over...!kkhhh!"

"szhhh...Lot's wife, we ...szhhhhh...copy" Replied the high-strung airman at the air base in Kandahar.

His captain stood directly behind him, listening intently.

Henry continued to stand behind the private as he clasped his headset up to his ear and held his breath. This EC-130H had been sent to manage tactical air operations for the war. Their onboard battlefield command and control center was essential to the war effort.

Henry sucked in some air. As the commanding officer, he knew this mission was supposed to be routine. Command, control, communicate, countermeasure. They had not expected anything to go wrong.

Although the United States they loved and served had air superiority and had overtaken Kandahar's airfield...risk of anti-aircraft fire could not be ruled out. Henry listened intently for more communication from 'Lot's Wife' over his headset.

"kkkkkkhhhhhkkk...Lot...!kkkkkhhh!...we must abort our mission...!szhhh!...we repeat...we must..szhhhhh...abort...!Kkkkkkrnhhhhhhhh!"

szhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! !

Henry stood still. Noise. White noise. He slammed his headset down. Noise! That was all that was left of 'Lot's Wife'.

Henry spit out "Damn!"

The private stated, "The line is dead sir..."

"Try again airman!" Henry had no time for this!

The timid private tried again, "Repeat, Lot's wife, repeat...there's nothing sir..."

"Someone double check that radar!" Henry shouted then muttered under his breath, "This is hell!" He hated losing so many men.

********

Amanda watched her husband in amazement. Lee had not seen his uncle Robert Clayton since the old Colonel had retired and moved to Green Valley several years ago. Now that they had arrived, she witnessed an undesirable change in the man she loved. Lee seemed to revert back to a frightened and petulant child.

Amanda walked over to put her hand on Lee's shoulder. "I don't need to be mothered!" Lee said as he brushed Amanda's hand off.

Amanda stepped back. She recalled discussions they had had about Lee's past and issues he had with his uncle. At the wedding, things had gone so well, Amanda had thought 'bygones must be bygones'.

She realized now how wrong she had been...and they had only been there for 5 minutes!

"Lee"

"What!" Lee snapped back.

'Whoa!' "I just wanted to know if you'd like me to go make a pot of coffee." 'And I hate making coffee!' she thought. "You must be tired after all that driving today." Amanda said as tenderly as she could. 'Boy, is this going to be fun!' she thought sarcastically.

Col. Clayton stood observing Lee's wife. Truth be told, he was shocked that the boy finally settled down. 'Would make his parents proud' he thought. He could tell Amanda was of good stock, good people.

"Must be hungry, let's go order Chinese!" the Col. barked.

Amanda thought 'Oh, great! Eating out must be hereditary'. "Would you fella's mind if I made dinner tonight?"

In unison, Lee and Robert exclaimed "No!" and about blew Amanda's ear drums. She didn't realize how desperate they were for homecooked food.

"Oh, great, I'll run to the store then..."

"Oh, no Amanda! I'll drive you" Lee said and whispered "Don't leave me here with him alone!"

"Okay, let's go!" Amanda replied as the Colonel gave them directions to the nearby Safeway.

*****

After enjoying their big dinner, Lee and his uncle went to the den to continue their arguement about how the war should be handled. From the kitchen Amanda could hear...

"Boy, you always think you're right!"

"I am always right!"

"That stubborn attitude got you in trouble before and, Lee, I see no difference now..."

Amanda burst in, "Hey guys! Care for some pie?" She said as she shoved a plateful of pie into each of their hands. 'Maybe this pie will shut them up for a bit. Too bad I couldn't put in some tranquilizer!'

As they began eating their pie, Amanda sat down next to Lee and watched the local news.

The articulate newscaster reported, "It's a sad day here in Tucson. Ten airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base lost their lives today in what appeared to be anti-aircraft fire...relations with Pakistan are heating up...in other news..."

"You see boy! That's what I'm talkin about! We need to nuke the damn.."

"No, Colonel, you are wrong! We need diplomacy..."

Amanda couldn't take it any more and shouted "Boys, boys!"

Lee and his uncle looked at her in shock. "Oops!" she breathed. Amanda recognized that she had just spoken to two grown men like she would her boys. 'Oh great! How do I get out of this one' she wondered.

"Amanda, could I see you for a moment?" Lee asked. Amanda wasn't so sure she wanted to go with him.

Lee led Amanda to the kitchen and said, "I see what you are trying to do..."

"Make you eat pie?" Amanda said, hoping they wouldn't argue too.

"You don't understand! My uncle is inconsiderate, unkind, loveless..."

Amanda tried to break up the tension, "Well, he wasn't exactly Herr Drosselmeyer!"

"Yeah, the only difference was I didn't have to wear a tutu!" Lee retorted.

Amanda snickered softly, "Lee, you would have looked cute in a tutu!"

"Watch it!" Lee shook his head and curved up his right lip, "Amanda, I don't know what I'm going to do with you!"

Amanda grabbed the front of Lee's shirt and pulled him closer to her, "Oh, boy, do I have some ideas!" she winked and pulled him even closer.

Lee leaned over to growl in his wife's ear, "Yeah, later!" and gave her a smooch.

"Can't a MAN feel WELCOME in his OWN house!" The colonel boomed. Lee immediately released Amanda and stood ram rod straight.

Amanda stood there wondering why she felt like she had just done something wrong.

The Col. would never admit it but he enjoyed riling up his nephew. He was more than pleased that Lee had married such a wonderful woman and he was even glad they were so affectionate. "Well, I'm going to bed! See you at 0700 hours!" H e said sternly.

Lee replied "Yes sir!" without even thinking.

Amanda looked at Lee and thought 'What happened to you!' She was suprised he hadn't saluted...

****

As the Colonel turned off his light to get some shut eye, his face broke out in a little smile. That pretty much never happened to him. Yep, he was smiling.

That look on Lee's face when he had caught them kissing! Now that was funny!

****

Lee pulled Amanda toward him as he sat at the edge of the guest bed. Amanda could feel the tension in her husband's shoulders and started to rub his back. Lee marvelled at this woman. He finally had someone on his team, someone to stand by his side. He let out a deep breath and started to loosen up.

Lee pulled Amanda closer and held her tight as he leaned back on the headrest.

"Lee," Amanda said tentatively, "Do you mind if I start getting ready for bed?"

"Oh" Lee said as he tucked Amanda's hair behind her ear and said, "No, go ahead." Amanda left his embrace and turned off the light before starting to undress.

As he watched his wife get ready in the moonlight, Lee started to share some of his deepest, darkest feelings, feelings he wanted to forget. "Amanda..."

"Hmmm?"

"Did you know that the first time I saw my uncle was when I was 7?"

"But I thought your parents died when you were 5?"

"Yeah", Lee said as Amanda crawled into bed. Lee sat up and began to undress and get ready for bed too. "I'll never forget that first day I saw him. I had been bounced around from house to house. First my Grandmother on my mother's side...but she passed away. Then my father's mother but she was too old...and finally I was sent to live with my Dad's half-brother."

"Colonel Clayton?"

"Yeah, but he wasn't a colonel then..." Lee continued as he finally settled into bed. Amanda reached over to give Lee a huge hug and laid her head on his shoulder.

"Grandpa Stetson died when my father was 8 years old. When he was ten, my grandmother married Donald Clayton and, about 4 years later, my uncle came along." Lee reached his arm over to caress Amanda's hair.

"My dad was out of the house before long and so he and my uncle were never really that close. I guess that would explain the strained relationship we've always had..."

******

Somewhere, that same night, the same moon dimly perforated the darkness of another window facing the Arizona desert.

The man hidden by the heavy leather wing chair gripped a glass of scotch in his left hand. A loaded revolver was grasped in his right.

His fingers caressed the trigger. He studied the loaded gun in his hand. Ada would have a fit, he better not make a mess. He slowly put the gun down on his solid mahogany desk.

He slipped the top drawer open and pulled out the unopened bottle of sleeping pills. With one fluid motion, he downed the scotch. As he set the glass down, he grabbed the bottle of pills in his hand and screwed off the top. With a heavy sigh, he broke the seal and dumped the pills in his mouth.

Good night sweet prince...

tbc