(WARNING: This ep is meant for those with a strong AU stomach!)

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 used characters and ideas from 'All the World's a Stage'.
Thank you ele for all your help! (my beta girl!)

Episode 6 of 'If': cAtatonic

This is the sixth episode of "If We Had Never Met". 'Six' is considered by
biblical scholars to be the number of man...

Act 1: Just an Ordinary Day
Setting: 4247 Maplewood Drive, Arlington, Va
Early March 2002

"Mmmmmmmmm", Lee didn't want to stop kissing his beautiful wife as they
stood in *their* kitchen. He reluctantly allowed Amanda to pull away.
"Amanda, you said this is your last day at Honeycutt, right?"
Lee gently guided Amanda's face back toward his as kissed her emphatically.

"Mmmmmmm", Amanda thought 'Boy, is this habit forming!' She was barely able
to respond, "Yes, this is my, mmmmm, last day at, oh! Lee, if you keep
doing that, I'm not going to make it to work..."

"*That* is my plan", Lee smiled as he captured Amanda's lips once more
with his own.

"Lee", Amanda didn't want to cut their intimate moment so short but she had
promised Mr. Harriman that she would finish that Scarecrow project today.
"I'll be home as soon as I'm done..."

Lee caressed Amanda's long, soft, mahagony hair and traced the curve of
her chin with his fingertips, "Promise?"

With a kiss to the tip of her husband's nose, Amanda trailed her hands from
the front of Lee's shirt to encircle her arms around his shoulders, "I
promise!" She then gave her husband a knowing look, "You'll be busy with
the realtor today anyway. How many properties is he going to show you?"

Lee smiled, he was looking forward to finding their new place. A place
where they could keep horses and the grandkids could romp around. "I'm
going to see that small ranch over in Arandale, and there's another one in
McLean...I think he said there were a few others. I should be home by late
this afternoon." Lee enfolded his wife once more in his embrace, "Amanda, I
can't wait for us to have a place in the country!"

Amanda smiled as she admired that sparkle in her husband's eyes, "I know Lee,
but anywhere with you will be wonderful! And besides, I think it's
pretty terrific that Phillip and Delores said they were interested in buying
this house. It'll be perfect for them with the new baby."

Lee saw *that* look again. He didn't say anything but he recognized that
look of longing in his wife's eyes. 'In time', he thought 'in time'.

"Hey," Amanda broke through Lee's reverie, "have you thought any more about
Francine's offer?"

"About taking over as Section Chief? I don't know Amanda, I've never had
what you would call a desk job." Lee mused, 'I'm not getting any younger
though'. Lee's body made sure he didn't forget his age. With all those old
wounds, aches, and pains he would wonder if something didn't hurt!
"Francine didn't expect an answer right away."

"Hmmm", Amanda leaned her head forward to kiss her husband one last time
before she left for work. "Have I told you how much I love you today, Mr.
Stetson?"

Lee teased, "Hmmm? Not in the past 5 minutes, Mrs. Stetson."

"Oh! If I only had more time, I could show you..." Amanda passionately
lingered her lips over her husband's mouth before tearing herself away.

"Tease!"

"Mmhm, that's right!" Amanda said with a smile. "I'll give you the real goods
when I get home! Until then, try and eat some breakfast, you know it's the
most..."

"Important meal of the day, yeah, yeah, I know! I'm not exactly thinking
about food right now!"

Amanda laughed as she grabbed her coat, "Good! That was *my* plan!"
With that, she ran out the door.

Amanda had just opened her driver side door when, "Oh!"

Lee playfully caught his wife's arm, "Amanda, promise me you'll be home
early so we can pick up where we left off..." He leaned down to buss Amanda
one last time before she drove away.

"Mmmm, I promise!" Amanda was touched that Lee showered her with so much
affection. She shot him a brilliant smile as she backed out of their drive.

As she took off, she noticed that black UAZ parked a few houses down again.
'Hm! I wonder if we have some new neighbors? That 4x4 has been parked there
all week...'

*************

Lee reveled in the process of home, make that ranch, hunting! He enjoyed
looking at each property and determining if there would be enough space
for the grandchildren and guests but not too much house for Amanda or yard
for him to tend.

The realtor had just finished showing him the last property when Lee received
a frantic cellphone call from Francine.

"Lee where's Amanda?"

"Francine, what's with all the excitement? What do you want with Amanda? You
have another case you want her to work on?"

"Lee, this is serious. Do you know where she is?"

"She's at work! What is this all about anyway?" Lee was getting irritated.

"Lee, do you remember Martinet?"

"Martinet?" Lee's memory was somewhat fuzzy. There were so many cases he
had worked on for the Agency.

"How about Sergei Krutiov. Ring a bell?"

"Krutiov? The Puppet Master? Francine, that old man has been wasting away
in prison for how many years now? I thought he was dead!"

"You thought wrong Lee. Sergei escaped over a week ago from Leavenworth's
outpatient health clinic."

"What? I didn't see that on the news."

"It's all been hush-hush. The feds don't want to blemish their reputation
during our nation's time of crisis. Anyway, Krutiov's back in town and has
been working his 'psychological equation' on Martinet's wife. Turns out
she's just been arrested for attempted murder. Tried to kill her husband.
She's showing all the classic signs of brainwashing. They've got her down in
psychoanalysis as we speak..."

"Francine, what does this have to do with Amanda?"

"The Agency received a tip from Krutiov's disgruntled room-mate. Seems that the
old bird was bragging about escaping to settle a score..."

"With Martinet...and me. Francine, that still doesn't explain why you're
concerned about Amanda. Krutiov doesn't even know I'm married!"

"I've sent two field agents over to your house just in case.."

"Francine, what are you talking about?"

"Lee, according to Krutiov's old roomate, Sergei is out to destroy you...and
wipe out Amanda. He found out you were married through some old contact
at the Russian Embassy. Seems they've been tracking you all week..."

Lee excused himself from the realtor and jumped into his Viper. All the way
home his heart was racing. Why was he worried? He knew he'd get home and
everything would be just fine...

"If anything happened to her!"

No, he wouldn't let his mind go there. 'She's going to be *just* fine!'

About 15 miles from home, Lee decided to call Honeycutt. Just in case.
Surely Amanda would still be there. Didn't she say she had to finish that
last project?

A nasal voice answered the telephone, "Honeycutt PC! How may I direct your
call?"

"Amanda Stetson please."

"One moment sir..."

Lee tapped his fingers on the steering wheel as he waited impatiently to be
patched through to Amanda's office.

"Hello! This is Amanda Stetson,

I'm sorry I'm not able to take your call right now..."

"Damn! Voiemail!"

Lee was beginning to worry. Usually he could find the silver lining in every
situation, but this! This was different. He had seen what Sergei had done
to other people's minds. He knew Krutiov would enjoy this. Lee beat his
fist on the steering wheel. "That old man's sick!"

Five more miles to go, Lee pushed the gas pedal to the floor.

thump thump thump

thump thump thump

All was silent except for the pounding of the wheels on the road and the
pounding of Lee's heart in his chest. "If anything ever happened to Amanda!"
He couldn't bear the thought.

Lee began to ease up as he pulled unto Maplewood Drive. Everything seemed
normal. The neighbor's black 4x4 was parked like it always was down the
street. There were no field agents milling about their property.

Amanda's Wagoneer was parked in the drive. 'Everything must be okay!'

Lee jumped out of the Viper and whistled as he walked through the front door.
As he jumped down the steps to the living room, he could see Amanda standing
there looking out the kitchen window. "Hi there!"

Amanda didn't move.

"Amanda?" Lee took a deep breath.

His wife stood there like a statue.

Lee gulped as he placed his hand on Amanda's unyielding shoulder. He slowly
turned his wife to face him.

Amanda's eyes were open wide but her pupils were fixed and dialated. Lee
looked directly into his wife's face. She was unresponsive. All he received
back was a blank stare.

"Amanda!" Lee felt his heart leap to his throat.

It was no use, she was...catatonic.

tbc