- Text Size +
Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and its characters belong to WB and Shoot the Moon Productions. No infringement is intended. This is written for entertainment purposes only. Please do not redistribute or reproduce this story without my permission.

Thanks: Rita and Miss Edna, you make my stories readable by catching all my grammar and other errors. A special thanks to Amy, who helped me when this story was in its infancy and gave me great ideas for expansion.
You Are . . .

October 1987

Lee sat alone in the green room, staring at the ceiling. He shifted in the hardback chair, his fingers tapping impatiently on the tabletop. How had he ended up here? Why had he agreed to appear on this show? He ran his hand through his hair in exasperation.

He knew why.

Dr. Smyth had made it an order. One he couldn’t refuse, without jeopardizing his career and his new life.


It had all started a month ago with a letter from a lawyer requesting Lee submit to a paternity test. Then, three days later, he’d been hit with another suit. Then another. Suddenly he’d become the most popular man on Earth for everyone to name as father of their children.

His first reaction was to do nothing. Maybe it’d all go away. Like a bad dream. A nightmare. His second reaction was to contact a lawyer.

Then the shit hit the fan. Smyth found out about the paternity suits and came up with a crazy ass idea to clear Lee’s name publicly.

When he heard the scheme, Lee flat-out refused. He explained to Smyth that he’d told each of the women different cover stories.

Damn Smyth’s hide. He found a way around that by ordering Lee to say he’d been working with the intelligence community. That he’d been directed to give false names and occupations, depending on his assignments.

In the long run, Lee really didn’t have a choice. Smyth promised to keep him tied up in court for years, fighting child support garnishments and dragging his reputation through the mud.

It wasn’t his reputation Lee was worried about; he could live with his past. But he didn’t want to tarnish his relationship with his newfound family.

In fact, Smyth gleefully begged him not to follow this order. Even though it wasn’t work related, he’d see that Lee’s life would be hell if he didn’t go along with this insane plan.

There was one bright spot in all this mayhem . . . Amanda.

When he first told her someone had accused him of being the father of a child, she was furious. Her excessive rambling both frightened and confused him. Then, when she ran out of breath and her temper was vented, she calmed down and they were able to actually talk about it.

She knew he’d been faithful to her. There hadn’t been any other women in his life since a few years after he’d met her. Amanda had always told him that what happened in the past was simply that--the past. What they did in the here and now was what concerned her. She had pledged to stand by him and help him fight the paternity cases.


Lee slammed his fist on the desk. He knew he’d been careful. He’d used protection every time, even back when safe sex wasn’t the usual practice. Ever since he’d become sexually active, he’d carried condoms. One of the blessings of growing up a military brat meant he’d been around a lot of men. Men who had told him how to make sure he didn’t get caught up in the pregnancy game. And Barney had drilled it into him dozens of times. Always wear a cap. But there was that off chance that something had gone wrong. Maybe one broke or had a pinprick hole it in. That was all it took. One mistake.

But five times!

Five women from his past.

Five children.

Could one of the kids be his? He closed his eyes and prayed that all the tests came back negative. The only child he wanted to father was the one he hoped to conceive with Amanda someday.

A soft hand on his shoulder and a whiff of her perfume told him Amanda had returned. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah.” He ran his hand through his hair. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

“We’ll get through this. We’ll deal with whatever the outcome is.”

“I know. I’m . . .” He stood and began pacing the room. “I’m just sorry you have to be exposed to all this mess and that this is going to be embarrassing to you.” He stopped dead in his tracks, realization dawning. “My God, this is National television.” He threw up his hands.

A vision of Dotty watching the show one afternoon popped into his head.

“Your mother!” He closed his eyes and groaned. “I know she loves watching the talk shows. I can see her jaw dropping when she sees me come on stage as the man accused of being the father of five children by five different women.”

“She wouldn’t think any less of you. She knows you weren’t a saint before you became part of our family. Sometimes these things happen. It’s not like any of the children in question are infants.”

“I know.” Lee opened his eyes and saw his wife standing before him. “It’s just that . . .”

“Don’t worry.” Amanda ran her hand along his arm. “You know, it’s amazing.”


“That this hasn’t happened before.”

“I told you I’ve always been careful.”

“I know, sweetheart. But the odds were against you. Look how many black books you had through the years and how many names were listed.”

“You know not all of them were girlfriends I slept with. A lot of them were just contacts for the Agency.”

“Still, you were a playboy.” She winked.

Thank God she understood his past. He cringed every time he remembered his infamous black books. “What was I thinking?”

Amanda wrapped her arms around his waist and looked deep into his eyes. “You were thinking you weren’t worthy of love. That you didn’t deserve it. The only relationships you had were superficial. Your heart couldn’t be touched. You kept your distance. Your body was sated, but your heart was closed.” She kissed his lips lightly. “That is, until I entered your life.”

Lee hugged her tightly.

A knock sounded at the door. “You’re on.”

“Wish me luck.”

Amanda kissed him. “Good luck.”

Lee wound his way down the hallway to the entrance to the studio. He knew Amanda would be sitting in the front row. A stagehand put his hand out to stop him and mouthed, “wait.” From this vantage point Lee could only see the show host, Cory, walking toward the bottom of the stairs.

“Now, ladies and gentlemen, on with our show. Five women. Five Babies. Is one man the father?” Cory announced.

Lee walked down the steps to boos and cat calls. A huge TV screen to his right showed pictures of five children--three girls and two boys, ranging in ages from six to eleven.

“Welcome to the show.” Cory extended his hand to Lee.


“We just watched your recorded segment, and I have to say I admire you for your honesty. It takes a good man to step up to the plate and take responsibility for his actions. Even a man who lied about his occupation and his real name.”

Lee didn’t know what to say. He walked across the stage and saw Amanda sitting front and center. Knowing that she was there for him, he felt a bit of comfort as he strode over to the television screen, which also showed pictures of the mothers. He studied the children closely. The little girls were adorable and the boys handsome. Any one of them could be his. That was the problem. He couldn’t tell by looking. He thought he saw something of himself in each one. But could it be his mind playing tricks and looking for similarities?

“Lee.” Cory touched his elbow.

“What?” Lee shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

“I said, should we get this over with?”


“Shall we?” Cory gestured toward two chairs.

Lee glanced once more at the pictures. The mothers: Suzi, Wendi, Annie, Terri, and Cindi. Each one had been special to him at one time in his life. Not that he’d been in love with them, but they’d filled a hole in his heart for a short period of time. They’d been Band-Aids on the heart of the Scarecrow. That Scarecrow didn’t exist anymore, thanks to Amanda having shown him the true path to love and family.

And he’d also lied to each and every one of them. In fact, he couldn’t remember what stories he’d told them. What covers he’d used.

“Please welcome Annie back to our show,” Cory announced.

“You bastard!” Annie shouted, as she flew down the stairs and stopped to stand in front of Lee. “You told me you were an astronaut, your name was Lee Stetsman, and that you had to leave me because you were going to train to go to the moon. When I found out I was pregnant, I called NASA and they said they never heard of you. I’ve spent years trying to track you down.” She sat down in a huff.

Lee gulped. Again, he didn’t know what to say. She had every right to be angry with him.

A stagehand passed Cory a manila envelope, and he opened it. “When it comes to eleven-year-old Bobby, Lee, you . . .

ARE the father.”

Annie stood. “I knew it. I’ll see you backstage after the show.” She stormed off.

Lee closed his eyes. He still had four more results to get through.

“Let’s welcome back Suzi next,” Cory announced.

Suzi came down the stairs and walked over to Lee. She didn’t say a word. Her eyes blazed fire. He swore he could see steam rising out of her ears.

“Tell us again what you were told about the man in front of you,” Cory said.

Suzi turned to the audience. “This man told me his name was Lee Stanton. Dr. Lee Stanton. Doctor, my ass.” She turned and pointed at Lee. “All you wanted to do was play doctor!”

The audience laughed.

For the life of him, he couldn’t remember why he’d used the doctor scenario.

“I have the envelope. The results are in.” Cory pulled out a sheet of paper. “When it comes to nine-year-old Elizabeth, Lee, you . . .

ARE the father.”

“I knew it, too.” Suzi stomped off the stage.

“We’ll be right back after these messages,” Cory said. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine for a man who just learned he’s the father of two children and might be the father of three more.” He glanced toward Amanda, who mouthed, “It’ll be all right.”

Would it? Would it really be all right? He honestly didn’t know anymore. He just needed to get through the rest of the show.

“And we’re back in three, two, one.” A cameraman pointed at Cory.

“Welcome back to our show. We’ve just found out that Lee Stetson is indeed the father of two children he had no prior knowledge of until just a month ago. Now, is he the father of three more? Let’s welcome back Cindi.”

Cindi walked across the stage and sat down next to Lee. “A private investigator! Lee Steadman. Ha! You know that last case you said you were going on?”

Lee wracked his brain, trying to remember. “Umm . . . ”

“Didn’t think so. You told me you were going undercover to get the goods on some drug dealer for a client. When you didn’t come home for two days, I called the cops and reported you missing. I was worried sick. Figured the drug people put cement overshoes on you and dropped you in a river somewhere. Then I found out I was pregnant and cried because you would never know your son.”

Lee placed his arm around her. “I’m sorry.”

“We have the results,” Cory said. “When it comes to eight-year-old Jeremy, Lee, you . . .

ARE the father.”

“He’s a good boy, and he deserves the right to know his father.” Cindi rose and walked off.

“Next we have Wendi.”

Wendi entered and stood in front of Lee with her hands on her hips. “Lee Sampson. Musician. My ass. I never saw you with an instrument. Never even heard you sing, except in the shower, and you couldn’t call that warbling singing! The only instrument you played was me!” Her hand rose.

He tried to turn his head in time to deflect the slap. He’d seen her hand rise, but she still managed to hit his check with a stinging smack. He placed his hand on his cheek and rubbed it.

The audience clapped and cheered.

“Let’s try not to be violent,” Cory said.

“I’m sorry, Cory. I let my emotions get the better of me. I’ve been picturing slapping him across the face for years. Damn, it felt good.”

“Well, let’s get this over with.” Cory opened the envelope. “When it comes to seven-year-old Emerson, Lee, you . . .

ARE the father.”

Wendi rose. “I’ll see you in court for back child support.”

Before Lee had a chance to respond, she’d walked off the stage.

“Finally, we have Terri. Please welcome her back to the show.”

Terri casually walked over to Lee and sat down next to him. “I guess I should be honored that you at least gave me your correct name and the name of a company that actually exists.”

“As you remember,” Cory began, “it was Terri who initially started the ball rolling when she was determined to find the father of her child. After years of living overseas, she’d returned to the States with one goal in mind. To track down the father of her daughter. She’d managed to locate IFF, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and learned that they indeed had a Lee Stetson working for them as a director of documentary films. Then she was stonewalled, until she met an attorney who helped her paternity suit get off the ground.”

“Then,” Terri added, “my attorney suggested I call your show, Cory. I contacted your investigative team, and they told me to come in for an interview. Oh, and they also told me to bring a photograph of the father, if I had one.”

“And little did we know,” Cory interjected, “that while looking at a photograph of the man she claimed was the father, four other women, who had contacted our team, would see it and recognize him as the father of their children. The rest, shall we say, is history. On that note, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll have the results of the last test when we get back from our break.”

Lee was stunned. He couldn’t speak. He couldn’t look into the audience at his wife. He couldn’t look at the woman sitting next to him. He could only stare at his hands clutching his knees. His knuckles were white.

Why did his life have to take this turn? Why now? When he was happy with a woman and a family that he loved dearly. All he knew was, his life would never be the same again.

“Welcome back to our show. Now for the final test results.” Cory opened the envelope. “When it comes to six-year-old Amber . . .

you ARE the father.”

“I expect you to take an active role in her life, Lee Stetson,” Terri said as she left the stage.

Three daughters. Two sons. Two stepsons.

Seven children he was now responsible for.

Oh my gosh! He silently screamed his wife’s favorite expression. Speaking of his wife . . . he glanced toward the front row.

She was gone.

Where was she? His heart leaped into his throat. A hard knot formed in his stomach. Had she had enough? Did she want to divorce him? Was all this just too much for her to handle?

He rested his arms on his knees and covered his face with his hands. ‘Stetson, you’ve screwed up royally this time. How are you going to fix this? Make it all right again?’

A tap on his shoulder made him look up. “There’s one more test result you need to see, Lee,” Cory said as he sat down next to him.

“What?” Lee was too rattled to understand anything now. What was he talking about? He’d already been given the five test results.

“Turn to your left.”

Lee looked to his left and saw Amanda standing there. A huge smile lit up her face, and she held something in her hand.

He rose and went to her. “What’s that?” He pointed to what she held.

“Look.” She handed him a white plastic strip.

Perplexed, he turned the strip over in his hands. On one end, there was a small window with two blue lines showing.

“Lee, you ARE the father,” Cory bellowed, slapping him on the back. “Congratulations. Number six is on the way.”

Amanda nodded. “Yes, sweetheart. I’m pregnant.”

Lee shook his head. Not six. Eight.

He was now responsible for eight minors.

His brain was on overload. He felt like his head was going to implode. Suddenly he became dizzy. He put his hand to his head. All he could see were stars floating in his mind. Stars with the faces of infants.

“No. No. No. No!” he yelled.


“Lee. Lee.”

Lee fought through the fog. At first, it seemed like the voice came from a great distance away, then gradually became clearer. He felt something cold pressed against his forehead and a throbbing in the back of his skull. What had happened? The last thing he remembered was Amanda telling him she was pregnant--after he’d just learned that he’d fathered five other children over the past eleven years. Then his whole world had begun to spin.

Slowly, he opened his eyes. Amanda’s blurred figure knelt over him, swathing his face with a cold washcloth. Her fingers brushed the hair over his forehead.

“What happened? Where am I?” Pain shot through the back of his head. He realized the cushion he thought he was resting on was actually his wife’s lap.

“Stay still. You had a nasty fall.”

The room began to come into focus. He wasn’t on the soundstage anymore. He was in a bathroom. But when he looked around, he realized it wasn’t just any bathroom, it was their bathroom . . . at home. How did he get here?

“I think you’ll live. But you’ll have a nice lump on the back of your head for a while. You want to try sitting up?”

“Yeah.” Slowly, he rose to a sitting position. He shook his head, trying to make the cobwebs disburse. Not a good idea. His head spun again. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then opened them. “What time is it?”

“A little after nine a.m.” She brushed his hair aside with her fingertips. “Do you want to try and stand?”

“I think I’ll just sit here for a bit.” He didn’t want to let on that he was more rattled than he seemed.

Amanda leaned back against the edge of the tub. “Why were you yelling no, no, no? Was the stakeout with Fred that awful?”

The evening flooded back through his memory. Originally, he and Amanda had been assigned to go on the stakeout. But she had suddenly become ill, and Fred Fielder had been the only agent available at the last minute to fill in. They’d spent the night cooped up in a car, watching for a suspect to make a drop.

Lee began to tell her the story of his night confined with an agent whose life was spiraling out of control. It seemed an old girlfriend Fred had dated several years ago had reentered the picture. He’d told her he was a doctor and was surprised, to say the least, when she tracked him down. What had really rattled him, though, was that she’d come back with a child and claimed it was his. Now she was threatening to take him to court to pay child support. He’d scheduled a paternity test for the following week. There was no way he would pay for a kid, unless he knew for sure it was his. Fred had gone on and on for hours about how he’d always been so careful and now his life was a disaster.

Upon hearing Fred’s dilemma, Lee’s thoughts had gone wild. What if it had happened to him? After all, he did have a lot of black books and had been with a lot of women. Could a woman from his past show up on his doorstep one day, claiming he was the father of her child?

Then, to top it all off, Smyth had been waiting for them back at the Agency and made them write their report then and there. All Lee had wanted to do was get home to his wife, see if she was feeling better, and get some much-needed sleep.

When he’d returned home, he found the house quiet. He climbed the stairs to their bedroom on automatic pilot. All he wanted to do was lay his head on a pillow and get several uninterrupted hours of rest. The room was empty, but he heard water running in the master bathroom. That meant Amanda must be feeling better, if she was up and about.

He opened the door to let her know he was home and stepped inside. When Amanda turned to greet him, he saw something in her hand, and then he felt himself falling. That was the last thing he remembered, until he’d woken up cradled in her arms. He must’ve hit his head.

It dawned on him that the whole Cory show and being the father of five children was the result of a slight concussion. He’d transferred what Fred had told him about his life and imagined that five women had suddenly accused him of impregnating them.

“You’re not going to believe what I dreamed.” He laughed as he told her the journey his mind had taken him on.

“Sweetheart, all of it wasn’t your imagination.” Amanda glanced over to the edge of the tub.

“What?” Lee followed her gaze and saw a little stick sitting on the edge. One just like he’d seen her holding. He reached over and picked it up. A little window on one end showed two blue lines. “Does this mean what I think it means?”

She smiled and brushed his cheek with her hand. “We’re going to have a baby. This wasn’t the way I’d planned on telling you though.”

A father. Him. Lee Stetson. The Scarecrow. A baby with Amanda, and only Amanda. His heart sang with joy. They’d created a new life to guide and nurture.

“I love you.” His hand moved to her abdomen and caressed the life growing inside. “And you.”

“I love you, too.” Amanda’s lips met his.

“When?” He continued to rub her stomach.

“I won’t know exactly until I see the doctor next week, but by my calculations, the end of June. You know we’re going to have to do some serious house hunting soon. This house is already too small.”

Lee rose and helped her to stand, then picked her up in his arms to carry her to the bedroom. “How ‘bout this weekend?”

Eight Months Later

Lee stepped back and admired the framed artwork he’d just hung. It wasn’t really artwork as much as it was something he would treasure for the rest of his life.

There, in a white wooden frame, was the birth announcement they had mailed out to all their friends and family:

June 25th 1988

Lee and Amanda Stetson
Announce the birth of
Their daughter

Alisha Joy Stetson

A photograph of the newborn in the arms of her smiling parents was pictured below the announcement.

The End
You must login (register) to review.
Terms of ServiceRulesContact Us