Lee and Amanda deal with a world fraught with confusion, intrigue, and curses.
Author's notes: There is a glossary at the end of the story of the foreign words. Special thanks to Emma and Shelly who kept me writing, and to my dad who planted the idea of a costume ball in my head while we were at GenCon in August.
Somewhere in Russia
The night was still. The castle was well guarded and the jewels were thought to be safe. After all, who would want gem stones that had been cursed for nearly a hundred years? No one did, except the original owners and a rival across the border.
A leather-clad hand and arm appeared and reached through the window. The arm was soon followed by a tall, well-built masculine figure. He silently crept down the hall of the castle. In one of the rooms was a treasure that could make him richer than he ever thought possible. Outside the guards continued to make their patrol around the castle walls.
The next morning as the sun rose above the mountains, Sir Nikolai summoned the castle guards. Moments later thirty armed men raced for their horses and began searching the countryside for the thief. By nightfall, there was still no sign of the jewels or the thief. It was if they had both disappeared into thin air.
3 nights later
Church bells rang in the distance. Lightning flashed across the stormy sky and thunder rumbled loudly. It had been one day since the boy had been given a heavy leather pouch and another pouch filled with more gold and silver than he had seen in his lifetime. Before the man in black had collapsed dead in front of the boy, he had told the boy to take both pouches to Baron von Mueller.
The boy raced through the woods as if his life depended on it. He had only a few more hours of travel to get to the von Mueller castle. As dawn approached one of von Mueller's guards discovered the boy's body at the edge of forest. The guard would remember the look on the boy's face for the rest of his life.
1187 years later...
"Lee, I'm not saying that you and Amanda won't see each other in the office, but Amanda has finished her training and should therefore be allowed to handle her own caseload. She would still be able to help you with your paperwork."
Lee started to protest, but decided to let it go. The rational part of him knew that Billy was right, but another part of him wanted to protect Amanda from everything. He sighed and nodded his reluctant understanding. Amanda would be ecstatic to discover that Billy thought she was ready for her own cases, but she would be disappointed that they wouldn't be able to work on the cases together until Billy gave the O.K.
Billy heard Lee sigh and smiled. He knew that Lee and Amanda would be disappointed for awhile, but he wanted the type of backup that Dr. Smyth couldn't refute so he could keep his best agents as a team.
Two weeks later...
"What kept you?"
"It takes time to get these, you know." The woman opened her bag and brought out a couple of invitations. "Did you get the plans?"
"Yeah. Fletcher was kind enough to provide me with all the information we'll need. Too bad he won't remember anything in the morning..." The man and woman started to go over the security reports and plans for the upcoming Ball.
"'Insucessful,'" Lee said walking through the door to Q-Bureau.
"What?" Amanda looked up startled by the unexpected appearance of her husband's voice.
"You wrote, and I quote, '... the mission was insucessful in so far as no information was exchanged.'"
"What's wrong with that?"
"Amanda, I don't think that we're allowed to invent our own words. You're just lucky that I caught it before my meeting with Billy," Lee teased as he placed the copy of the report on her desk.
"And there's no likely chance that it was a typo? You do realize that the 'u' key is right next to the..." Lee leaned in and kissed his wife.
"Lee, Billy wants that repor... You should remember to lock the door if you want to smooch on the job." Amanda and Lee quickly separate when Francine's voice broke their moment.
"I was... uh..."
"We were going over..."
"Yeah, sure," Francine cut in. "I caught you two again and if either one of you says you were rehearsing, I'll scream. Now, Lee, Billy needs that report on the Galindez operation ASAP and he means yesterday. Amanda, you're replacing Fletcher at the Embassy Ball this weekend and there's a staff meeting in five minutes, don't be late." Francine left before either Lee or Amanda could say anything.
"What got into her?" Amanda shrugged her shoulders as she gathered the files they needed for the staff meeting. Lee shrugged his shoulders and they left their office.
The past two weeks had been tough on them. Other agents began questioning the fact that Scarecrow and Amanda King seemed to no longer work on cases together. The only thing that got them through their enforced separation were the quiet moments in their office or after work. Both prayed that they would be allowed to work together soon.
"Any questions?" Everyone mumbled no and hurried to get to their assignments. Lee and Amanda waited while the room emptied. "Amanda, Lee, is there something that I can help you with?"
"How long?" Lee asked.
"Sir, Lee meant how much longer are we going to be separated?" Amanda answered quickly. She had noticed that Lee's patience was starting to wear thin during the meeting.
"Not much longer." Billy could see that they were starting to feel the strain of not being able to work together as often as they had been able to before, but in the last two weeks he saw his best agents adapting to the separation, although Amanda seemed to be handling it better than Lee. Amanda smiled and squeezed Lee's arm before thanking Billy.
The courier passed through customs easily. When he was told that the Duchess had specifically asked for him to deliver the Jewels to her in person, he nearly died of shock. Parker Sutherland walked out into the main concourse of Dulles and was greeted by an Embassy Aide.
"Do you have the package?" Sutherland patted the briefcase that was handcuffed to his left wrist and nodded. The aide escorted him out to the limo and they headed for the beltway.
At the Embassy...
Natasha Petroff paced the sitting room. The Jewels were supposed to arrive today. She was nervous and with good reason. The last time Moose and Squirrel, or the Jewels as her family called them, had been outside of her homeland was just before the outbreak of World War Two.
Boris sat in his study watching his wife pace back and forth. He was worried about her. Ever since the letters started coming three weeks ago, Natasha was constantly worried about the Jewels coming to America. He understood some of her worries, but he knew that no matter what he tried to keep her mind off the Jewels, she would begin to worry again.
"Natasha, kedvenc, don't worry. The Jewels will be safe. Ur Sutherland is the best in the business, you had seven different agencies check his background." Boris smiled remembering what Natasha was doing before all the security nonsense began.
"I know, but I can't help it, kedvenc. I have this feeling that something will go terribly wrong." Natasha turned away from her husband and leaned back into him. Boris knew that all he could do was hold and pray that the Jewels did indeed arrive safely and that no harm would come to Parker Sutherland.
"Lee, something's wrong with this."
"I know. You're going to an Embassy Ball, without me I might add, and I'm stuck doing all the paperwork from the last three days." Lee was still irked that he didn't even have a clue as to what Amanda's part was in her new assignment. Amanda had been in a meeting with Billy for almost two hours and was now reading through a stack of papers that Francine had dropped off.
"Lee! I'm not talking about the assignment. Well, I am, but it's really nothing, but it could be something..." Amanda trailed off when Lee glared at her. "Lee, I'm not thrilled that I have to go to a ball without you either, but we have to do what we have to do. Now, I have to get caught up on everything that is going on with the Embassy and find a costume for the ball..."
"Okay, Amanda. Enough, please." Lee's voice had a harsh edge to it. Amanda stopped talking and looked down at her hands. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lash out at you. I'm just so.."
"Frustrated?" Amanda offered raising her gaze to meet his eyes.
"Yeah. And I miss you." Lee smiled as a small smile spread across his wife's face.
Amanda smiled and set down the guest list that she was looking over. "I miss you, too." Silence fell between them. Lee leaned in to kiss her and Amanda shouted, "That's it!"
"I know what's wrong." Amanda started searching through the stack of papers. Finally she handed Lee two sheets of paper. Lee looked at them questioningly.
"Okay, what am I looking at?"
"The guest list from yesterday and the guest list from today of people attending tonight's Embassy Ball. Up until today there were only 145 people coming, now there are 147."
"So, two people confirmed their invitation late."
"No," Amanda said shaking her head. "The Embassy only sent out 145 invitations. They wanted the Ball to be small because of the Moose and Squirrel setting that's on display for the next week."
"Moose and Squirrel setting? Who owns them, Boris and Natasha?" Lee started to laugh.
"Yes. Now quit laughing. You have a ton of paperwork to do and I have to do some research." Amanda grabbed a pad of paper and the guest lists in Lee's hand. Before she left, she blew him a kiss and walked out, leaving Lee standing in front of her desk with a look of amazement. She had never been in such a rush before.
At two in the afternoon, Amanda came back to find Lee practically buried in books and papers. Amanda struggled to keep her laugh in, but failed. "I really wish I had a camera."
"Oh yes, I would." Amanda couldn't remember the last time Lee looked so cute, especially with a yellow post-it note stuck to his temple.
"Did you find out anything?" Lee asked sobering up a little. Amanda nodded. "Well?"
That's for me to know and for you to wonder about." Amanda paused, "Are you doing anything tonight?"
"Well, I was wondering if one- do you know how to tie a Windsor Knot and two- would you like to come to the Ball with me?"
Lee thought for a moment, "Yes, I know how to tie a Windsor Knot and yes, I would love to escort you to the Ball."
"Good." Amanda smiled. She had found the perfect way to keep her cover and see Lee at the same time. "Meet me at the Embassy at seven."
"Meet you at the Embassy?"
"Yes, Darling. Meet me at the Embassy. I'll be there looking over the security. Your costume should be coming along any minute, now."
"Really. And what, dare I ask, shall I be going as?"
"A spy." Amanda didn't know if he had even watched The Avengers, but hopefully he had some idea. "Oh, and hand me this when you get the chance to talk to me, so I know it's you." Lee took the card she offered him and looked at her questioningly.
"'Mrs. Peel, we're needed?'" he read aloud. "I take it then, you're 'Mrs. Peel'?"
"Yes. Oh good, here's the costume. Thanks, Jerry. Lee, I have to run. I'll see you at seven and don't be late." Amanda was out the door before he could respond. Lee opened the box that Jerry McFeeley, the message boy, had brought up while his wife was talking. The door opened again and Amanda poked her head back in, "And, Sweetheart, you might want to take the post-it note off your head." Amanda laughed and shut the door.
Lee reached up and grabbed the post-it note and put it on top the book nearest to him. He returned to the box sitting on Amanda's desk and pulled out a smaller box that was heavy and a black suit and a handwritten note attached to a video tape.
"Is he out?"
"Like a light. What about him?" the Squirrel, pointed at the unconscious man in the corner of the room.
"Fletcher? We'll keep him here for now." The Moose said as he opened the briefcase handcuffed to another unconscious man, Parker Sutherland. "Bring over the paste jewels, kedves." Katya handed Boris the replica of the Moose and Squirrel stones and placed the real gems in the specially made pouch. "By the time they figure out that the Jewels are fake, we will be long gone."
'So far so good,' Amanda thought as she gazed over the crowd. The courier had arrived later than was expected, but other than that the evening was a success. Amanda spotted Lee in the far corner of the room talking to the French Ambassador's secretary. 'He looks incredibly handsome in the black suit and burgundy silk tie,' Amanda thought to herself. Amanda smiled when she noticed the bamboo handled umbrella in his hand and the black bowler sitting at a slight angle on his head.
Lee looked around for Amanda, hoping that she would save him from the 'secretary from hell.' Out of the corner of his eye he saw her. She was wearing a tweed flat cap, gray jacket, pale gray t-shirt, jodhpurs, and black ridding boots. "Pardon me, Miss. Posh, but I do believe I see my wife. Please excuse me." Lee said in a soft British accent and left the woman stunned. Lee's progress toward Amanda was halted when the trumpets sounded and the guests formed two lines in order to let Duke and Duchess Petroff and the Moose and Squirrel collection enter the ballroom.
Just as Lee was about to move, a couple bumped into him. The man was about his height and build, and wore a costume much like the villain in Dudly-Do-Right; the woman was stunning. She was about five feet ten inches tall and had short blond hair and piercing blue eyes that stared out at him from under her train engineer's hat. They mumbled their apologies and left in a hurry.
Lee noticed a commotion around the area where the jewels were headed. He started over but was warned off by Amanda's look. As much as he hated to admit it, Lee knew that this case was something that Amanda had to do on her own.
Amanda had been looking at the jewels when Natasha Petroff had nearly fainted. Amanda waited patiently as the Duchess recovered. One of the Hungarian guards spoke in the ear of the Duke. He nodded and approached Amanda.
"You wish to speak to my wife?"
"Yes. Is she all right?"
"No. She has had a shock, Mrs... ?"
"Emma Peel," Amanda replied almost immediately. The Petroffs knew that she was Agency, but they didn't want to know any of the agents real identities until after the ball was over.
Boris smiled as if he knew a secret that no one else knew. "Mrs. Peel, of course. I should have guessed. Especially with your partner, Mr. Steed, is watching us so closely." Amanda looked behind her and saw Lee turn away. She smiled. Lee was still worried about her, but he was keeping his promise, for now.
"May I speak with both of you and your wife privately?" Boris nodded and turned to get his wife. They walked into the study that adjoined the ballroom, reassuring the guests that the Duchess was all right and just needed some fresh air. After they shut the door to the study, Amanda asked, "Your Highness -"
"Please, call me Natasha, Mrs. Peel," Natasha said firmly.
"Natasha, what happened to make you nearly faint?"
"The Jewels are missing."
"They're missing? How do you know?"
"The bluish-gray stone that makes up the body of the squirrel. It doesn't sparkle like it usually does."
"What do you mean?"
"I have the same display case and lights that we are using here. The Squirrel stone always has an opal-like sparkle to it. The stone that is in the case out there sparkles more like a diamond." Natasha paused. "Mrs. Peel, you have to find out who stole the Moose and Squirrel before someone ends up dead."
"Kedvenc, you mustn't let the yourself believe in the curse. It's over a thousand years old."
"Boris. Natasha. What do you mean? Is there some kind of legend that is attached to the stones?"
"Yes." Natasha paused and took a deep breath. "Many years ago, my ancestors found some unusual stones up in the mountains. The stones had been passed down from generation to generation until the late fifth century when Misha Nikolai made the setting that has become known as the Moose and Squirrel. Ever since the setting was made, locals believed that the setting was cursed. Every time the setting was out of the country without a member of the family present at all times something bad would happen. Civil wars would break out in smaller countries or larger wars would begin.
"In the eighth century, the Jewels were stolen from the Nikolai family. What followed was some of the worst times for Europe and Russia. Some of local legends say that the stones were once part of a terrible device and that they were separated for the good of mankind and if the stones were ever reunited, the person who did so and future generations of his family would be forever responsible.
"The Jewels were recovered by the Nikolai family just before the Renaissance began. Ever since, each generation has been warned not to let strangers take the Jewels without a member of the family nearby to prevent anything from happening to the Jewels or the country the are in.
"Occasionally the Jewels had been sent out without a family member with disastrous effects. The last such time was World War Two when the Jewels were on tour in Germany and later in Japan." Natasha looked into her lap where her hands gripped her husband's as if she were afraid to let go. Amanda let the information sink in before she asked her next question.
"You mentioned the curse, but what about the death you mentioned earlier?"
Boris spoke up, "Death is linked to the curse of the stones. There have been stories in the past about a man and boy who came in contact with the stones around the time the stones were stolen in the eighth century. I dismissed them as just stories, but many believe that they are factual."
"What happened in the stories?" Amanda was curious and a little frightened, but she wanted to be careful not to let the Petroff's know that she was rattled by the legend Natasha narrated.
"Both the man and the boy died," Natasha replied quietly. She looked up at Amanda before continuing. "They say that the man was the one who stole the Jewels originally. Shortly after he gave the Jewels to a boy, he died. There was no official account of the man's death but there was one of the boy's.
"The boy's body was found in the woods near the castle of Baron von Mueller, a rival of the Nikolai family. One of the guards had discovered the body of the boy and had later dictated the description of what he saw. The guard described the boy's face as 'someone who had witnessed many a terrible things. His face was contorted and his mouth was frozen as if he were screaming when he died.' That was the earliest of such reports."
Amanda stood up when Natasha finished. Boris held his wife tightly. He knew that this draining her. He asked, "Is that all you wish to know, Mrs. Peel?"
"About the stones' legend, yes." Amanda paused, "Do either of you have any idea who might have taken the stones?"
"Sadly, no. We can only assume that whoever took Moose and Squirrel were the same as those who wrote the letters we gave to your Agency." Amanda nodded and was about to say something when the head of the Embassy security walked in.
"The Embassy has been locked, your Highness."
"Thank you, Sergei. Please see that you and your staff cooperates with Mrs. Peel and her people," Boris said still holding on to Natasha.
"Yes, your Highness."
Boris helped Natasha to her feet and announced, "My wife is not feeling well. I will take her upstairs and join the Ball in a few minutes." Both Amanda and Sergei nodded their understanding as the Duke and Duchess left the study. When they had left, Amanda turned to Sergei.
"Sergei, I want you to go to a man wearing a black suit and carrying a bamboo umbrella. Ask him if has something to give to me."
"As you wish, Mrs. Peel. May I ask why you do not look for this man yourself?"
"I have to collect my thoughts before I see him."
"Very well." Sergei left Amanda alone in the study. A few minutes later there was a soft knock on the door and Lee stepped into the room. Amanda met him at the desk and held on to him. After awhile, Lee motioned for the two of them to sit down.
"Amanda? What's wrong?" Amanda took a deep breath and proceeded to tell Lee what the Petroffs had told her.
"So what should I do now, Lee?" Amanda asked. She was having trouble thinking straight after summarizing the legend of the stones and telling Lee about the letters the Petroffs had gotten earlier.
"Go back to the beginning. What bothered you about the guest lists?"
"There were too many people. I checked out the two people that had been added. They're clean. Fletcher had checked out everyone on the list before them." Lee looked at her. "And before you say anything, I have been double checking those people. I'm up to a Mr. Javorszarvas and a Ms. Mokus."
"Jarvorszarvas and Mokus?"
"Yeah. It's really strange; their names mean Moose and Squirrel, respectively." Amanda and Lee looked at each other as it hit them.
"Moose and Squirrel?" Lee asked. "Please don't tell me we've stumbled upon those two again."
"Okay, I won't." Amanda remembered the case Lee referred to. They had working on a smuggling ring operation that had ties to the KGB. Agents Moose and Squirrel were among the top KGB operatives that had masterminded the ring. Just before Billy told them to escort Doctor Vande Berg to the DoD conference in D.C., they had wrapped up the case and captured all but the elusive Moose and Squirrel. Amanda's smile changed rapidly as something dawned on her. "Lee, Has anyone seen Fletcher since yesterday?"
"No. I talked with Billy about using Fletcher in another operation since he was free, but Billy said that Fletcher called in sick yesterday afternoon and he never showed up today." Lee noticed the rapid change in his wife's facial expression. "You think he has something to do with the Moose and Squirrel?"
"Maybe. Before I took over his position today, Fletcher was the one in charge of all the guest's background checks. He may have gotten a couple of invitations or he may simply have placed their names on the guest list."
"Amanda, do we have any descriptions of the Moose or the Squirrel?"
"Only of the Squirrel." Amanda thought for a little bit trying to see where Lee was going with this question. "Agent Katya Grovof is five feet ten inches tall, short blonde hair, blue eyes -. Lee?" As Amanda gave the description of Squirrel, Lee remembered the couple that had bumped into him earlier.
"They're still here. I saw Squirrel over by the punch bowl before I came in here. She was dressed in a train engineer's uniform and she was with a man dressed as the villain from Dudly-Do-Right. They were talking to a couple of Senators."
"Right. What are we waiting for? Let's get them." Amanda got up and headed for the door. Lee shook his head and followed her out to the Ball. Even after everything she had been through, she was still eager to go out and get the bad guys.
At the other end of the ballroom, the Moose and Squirrel spied Lee and Amanda heading their way with some of the Embassy guards.
"Darling, I think we're in trouble," Katya whispered.
"I agree. We'll split up and meet back at the hotel." Katya nodded and they separated. The Moose made his way toward the stairs on the right side of the room and the Squirrel headed for the patio doors on the left. Lee and Amanda reacted instantly. Amanda intercepted the Squirrel at the doors.
"Leaving so soon?" the Squirrel turned around quickly. She swung her fist at Amanda's head. Amanda, reacting out of instinct, ducked and then retaliated with a left hook. Her fist made contact with her target and the Squirrel sunk to the floor, unconscious.
Lee chased the Moose to the stairs and tackled him. His umbrella slid across the floor and hit the wall. Lee was yanked up and his bowler hit the floor at the foot of the stairs with a loud clang. Lee and Moose struggle for a few more minutes before they separated. Moose looks around quickly for a weapon. He sees someone in a Zorro costume, complete with sword, standing nearby. Amanda sees the Moose take Zoro's sword away from him and shouts, "Lee! THE UMBRELLA!"
Lee looks down and picks up his umbrella. He tries to think how a bamboo handled umbrella will help him against the sharp foil that the Moose has.
"PULL THE HANDLE OUT!" Lee holds the outside of the 'brolly' and pulls on the handle to reveal a sword attached to it. Lee jumps out of the way of the first sword thrust just in time and returns the Moose's attack with one of his own.
During the commotion Boris Petroff comes down the stairs. He sees the bowler and picks it up. The sword fight came closer to the stairs after a couple of minutes. Boris could see that 'Mr. Steed was starting to lose the fight and decided to help out. The next time the fight came within striking distance of the Duke the bowler came crashing down on the Moose's head. The Moose went down, out cold, and the fight ended. Boris walked over to the unconscious man, picked up the bowler and dusted it off with his handkerchief.
"I believe this belongs to you, Mr. Steed," Boris said handing Lee the black steel bowler.
"Yes, your Highness, I do believe it does." Lee smiled as he accepted the bowler. Lee left the Duke as he went in search of Amanda. He had lost sight of her after the last instruction she shouted to him.
Lee found Amanda sitting outside near one of the water fountains. In her hand was a red rose. "Well, Mrs. Peel," Lee said, as he sat next to her on the bench and placed his umbrella in front of him to lean on. "What are we up to next? Is there anyone that has swallowed £50,000 worth of diamonds for breakfast? Or are astronomers turning white at the sight of Venus?" Amanda couldn't help but smile.
"You watched the tape?"
"Yes, I did. I had to see what you thought was so important that you included a video cassette with my costume." Lee smiled. He didn't know how Amanda would react to the sudden closure of her first major case, but it looked like she was handling it very well. "Hey, you did good. Billy will be really proud of you."
"You think so?"
"Yeah, I do. And you know what?" Amanda shook her head no. "I think it's time we talk to Billy about putting us back together."
"I think you're right, Mr. Peel"
"Mr. Peel? I thought I was John Steed."
"No, I wanted to be with my husband tonight, not my partner." Amanda and Lee laughed and sat in silence until one of the agents came out to gather information from them.
Several hours later, Agents found both the missing Moose and Squirrel Jewels and Agent Fletcher. Unfortunately for Fletcher, he didn't survive his stay with the Jewels. The Jewels were returned to the Petroffs and Fletcher's death was attributted to the curse.
After spending a quiet weekend alone and recuperating from the Ball on Friday, Amanda and Lee met for breakfast in a Georgetown cafe.
"Did Dotty and the boys get home safely?" Lee asked after they each ordered a light breakfast.
"Yeah. But I had a hard time explaining this." Amanda pointed to the splint on her left ring finger. "At least it's only a partial chip and sprain." Amanda had been so worried about Lee that she didn't feel the pain in her finger until after they had been debriefed and Lee pointed out that her finger was swollen.
"I still can't believe that you actually hit the Squirrel in the jaw."
"Yeah, well I wasn't near a lamp or flower pot..." Amanda began to giggle.
"Nothing." Amanda began to laugh harder.
"No, what is it?"
"It's nothing, really." Lee looked at her. "I just realized that we managed to work together and not break Mr. Melrose's orders." "Yeah, we did, didn't we?" Lee joined Amanda in laughing. At that moment their breakfast arrived and they moved on to more sober topics like how to tell Billy that enough was enough. On the way to the office they both thought back to the event that began their separation at work- their revelation to Billy about their marriage.
Two and a half weeks earlier...
They had spent a good couple of hours in the car. Watching as the lights from inside the houses along the street went off one by one. At one point Amanda had begun to cry again, and Lee had kissed away the tears as they ran down her cheek. As morning began to inch it's way across the horizon they had come to only one conclusion. They couldn't do this on their own. They needed someone who knew about their situation, someone who could offer them some insight that they couldn't see.
Billy's voice came back into focus, "... you need to be ready to go on this case next week. So you better get started on the background."
"Oh joy," Francine quipped as she opened the door to the bull pen. "More paperwork. Next time I want to be an escort."
"It's all your's," Lee said as he closed the door behind Francine. Turning back to Billy he cleared his throat.
Billy looked up from the papers on the desk. "Is there something else you two needed?"
Lee looked towards Amanda for confirmation, and she nodded encouragement.
"Ah, Billy. There's something Amanda and I need to talk to you about."
"Okay." Billy set the pen he had picked up back down on the desk and looked at Amanda and Lee expectantly.
"Right, ah... You see, Billy. Amanda and I have been seeing each other for awhile now and we thought you should know that..." Lee paused and looked at Amanda again.
"Yes, please continue, Scarecrow." Billy could tell Lee was nervous about something. Secretly, Billy hoped that Lee had finally asked Amanda to marry him.
Lee covered his mouth with his fist and coughed out, "We got married."
"What?" Lee repeated his last words again coughing over them. "Amanda, what is Lee saying?"
"Well, Sir. What Lee is trying to tell you is..." Amanda paused, took a deep breath and quickly said, "We got married."
"What?!" Billy shouted so loudly that agents right outside his window looked over quickly before continuing on their way. Billy walked over to the window and closed the blinds before continuing. "And when did you get married?"
"February?!" Billy said shocked. He knew that they were getting serious, but he had hoped that they would've consulted him before they actually took that step.
"Uh, yeah, Billy. It was during the Grant case." Lee said finally.
"I see. And can either of you explain why you didn't mention this to me sooner?" Lee and Amanda took turns explaining how and why they got married when they did and why they had decided to keep it a secret. Surprisingly, Billy took the news rather well, but he did say that he would have to do something that neither of them would like.
Lee and Amanda arrived at the Agency both worried and excited. Worried about how Billy would take their ultimatum and excited because not only did Amanda do very well on her first major assignment without Lee, but they had also captured the last two people involved in the Kralov Smuggling Ring.
When the elevator doors opened, Lee and Amanda walked out in the middle of a celebration. Several of their colleagues congratulated them. Amanda and Lee walked around looking for Billy or at least find a clue as to where Billy had disappeared to. Lee was just about to give up when Billy walked in.
"Ah, good. The guests of honor have arrived!" Billy walked over to the punch bowl and poured himself a cup before getting everyone's attention. "As you all know, for the past few weeks Mrs. King and Scarecrow have been working separately. Most of you have expressed concern about the separation becoming permanent." Several people booed at the word 'permanent.' Billy raised his hands to calm everyone down. "But that won't happen because, as of now, the partnership of Scarecrow and Mrs. King is hereby reestablished!"
Cheers went up around the room. Good friends of both Lee and Amanda went over to them and congratulated them on both the success of the capture of Moose and Squirrel and their reaffirmed partnership.
As they headed back to their office after being congratulated by most of their coworkers, Francine stopped them.
"Lee. Amanda. I'm glad I caught you. I just wanted to apologize for my behavior this past week. I haven't been myself lately."
"Is everything all right, Francine?" Amanda asked. Both she and Lee had noticed that Francine was still not quite herself yet, but she was definitely better than what she had been in the past.
"Yeah. Everything's fine." Francine noticed that Lee seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere. "What's wrong, Lee? Got a hot date?" Noting Lee's startled look, Francine laughed and went back to the party.
"Well, I'd say Francine is back to normal. Wouldn't you?" Amanda asked as the doors to elevator closed. They smiled and Lee's answer was muffled by Amanda pulling his toward her. Amanda and Lee nodded to Mrs. Marsten and started up the stairs. They talked about the sudden reestablishment of their partnership and some of the things that happened during the private dinner they had with the Petroffs on Saturday night. Lee opened the door to the Q-Bureau and noticed that there was more things in the office than there had been when he left on Friday evening.
On his own desk were three things: a red rose, black umbrella, and black bowler. On Amanda's desk were three packages: one large, one medium, and one small. The small package proved to be a couple letters of commendation from the POTUS and FLOTUS (aka the President and First Lady Of The United States). The large package was from Boris and Natasha Petroff. It contained a note addressed to 'Mr. and Mrs. Emma Peel' stating that they hoped Lee and Amanda would one day go forth on to 'many great and splendrous things.' Also in the package were two crystal wine glasses, two bottles of wine, and the fake Moose and Squirrel setting.
The last package was simply marked "Congratulations." Inside was a note of congratulations from Billy and a photo album, mostly empty.
Author's End notes/glossary: There are inside jokes from the television series: The Avengers. Lee's costume came from 'From Venus With Love' and Amanda's costume came from 'The £50,000 Breakfast.' (e-mail me if you want more information about the series or explanation of the jokes)
kedvenc: angel, darling, pet (and a few more, but I don't want to list them)