Bonds of Steele...Redux
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2007
"Lori" <>
I know I said I wasn't going to post until Valentine's Day.. but this
is just a little something I had laying around, my little twist on
"Bonds." As always, feedback is encouraged...feel free to tell me what
you like AND what you don't! Some of you have already seen this, but I
think it's changed a little since then, so check it out.
***AN***(All the UNIDAC scenes, except the one where Laura is taken
there, remain the same and are not included in this telling of the
story. I moved the limo scene to the church and took some liberty with
the time of day)


Returning to the office following their early morning meeting at
UNIDAC, Laura and Remington were alone as they began to step off the

"Damn," Steele said, looking at his watch.

"What's the matter?" Laura asked, looking up from the purloined UNIDAC
computer access code manual.

"Oh, I should've been at the doctor's office half an hour ago."

"The doctor's office?" she asked.

"Yes, yes. A few tests came back negative," Steele responded.


"Listen," he said, practically shoving her out of the elevator. "Try
not to worry about it, I'll see you later. Okay? Bye." He blew her a
kiss. "Bye-bye. Yeah, sorry," he said as the elevator doors closed
between them.

"What was that about?" Laura asked aloud. She continued to talk to no
one in particular as she walked down the hall to the office. "That was
strange, even for him," she said. She was still going over the curious
exchange in her mind when she entered the office. A foul stench hit
her the moment she opened the door. She knew before she saw him, it
was Norman Keyes.

"I told him to put it out," Mildred pointed to where Keyes stood.

"Norman Keyes, Vigilance Insurance," the bald man said, cackling as he
approached Laura.

"I remember," she answered, reaching out to the woman who stood next
to him. "And you are?"

"She's Estelle Becker," Keyes interrupted before the woman could
answer for herself. "Listen Honey, where's Steele?"

"Out," Laura answered.

"I can see that," Keyes sniped. "When will he be back?"

"Look Keyes," Laura responded. "We're right in the middle of a case.
So if you don't mind…"

"I understand," Keyes interrupted again. "But Ms. Becker here has some
business to discuss with your boss."

"What kind of business?" Laura asked.

"I'm afraid that's privileged information," Estelle replied. "Just
when do you expect Mr. Steele?"

"Your guess is as good as mine," Laura answered truthfully.

"We'll come back later then. Sorry for the intrusion," Ms. Becker said.

"When you see him, will you give him a message for me?" Keyes
practically snarled. "You can run, but you can't hide." He waved his
cigar in Laura's face, and cackled as she blew the smoke back at him.

"That guy should be checked for rabies," Mildred said when Keyes and
Becker had left the office. "What do you think that was about?"

"I have no idea," Laura answered. "But we're going to find out. Dig up
what you can on Estelle Becker. I'm going to find out what Keyes is
working on."

"But don't we have a case?" Mildred asked.

Laura answered, handing Mildred the UNIDAC codebook. "There is a dead
man sitting in an office at the UNIDAC Corporation. The secret to his
murder is somehow connected to Room G949. We'll need to access their
computer and find out what goes on in that room."

"The computer system hasn't been built that can contain Krebs."

"Great. I'll leave you to the code breaking. Just get me something on
Estelle Becker first." Laura felt guilty about putting personal
business before the case, but if Mr. Steele was in some kind of real
trouble, the entire agency could be in jeopardy. She headed to her
office, but stopped short. She turned back to face her faithful secretary.

"Uh, Mildred," she asked, "did Mr. Steele mention to you anything
about medical tests?"

"No, why?"

"Try not to think about it."

Mildred shook her head as Laura opened the door into her office. Both
she and Mr. Steele had been acting pretty strangely today. "Miss
Holt," she called out, suddenly remembering the message she had taken
earlier. "If you talk to the Boss before I do, tell him Rudy's
Formalwear called. His tux will be delivered as requested."

"Okay," Laura answered absentmindedly. *Tux*?

Laura went back into her office and stood at the computer, trying to
concentrate on the case. She glanced out the window and saw Remington
Steele pacing the sidewalk. Her eyes grew wide as she watched him
getting into a red convertible driven by a very beautiful, very
familiar redhead. He kissed her. Laura couldn't decide which emotion
she was feeling. Was it anger? Jealousy? Pain? She had just witnessed
the man she loved, the man she was committed to, kissing a "love
broker." In broad daylight. She was going to get to the bottom of
this. She walked out of the office to Mildred who was busy at her

"Mildred, that friend of your nephew's, the Latin tutor…"


"That's the one. Has he mentioned her lately?" Laura asked

"Every time he calls," Mildred answered.

"Where is she these days?"

"UC Santa Barbara, tutoring her head off."

"Has Mr. Steele mentioned her lately?" Laura asked.

"Something on your mind, Honey?"

"Oh no, no, no, no… I was just thinking about past cases," Laura said.
She had turned to go back in her office when Mildred gasped.

"Oh no!"

"What is it, Mildred?"

"Estelle Becker…she's with the INS."

"INS?" Laura was stunned. Suddenly the pieces began to fit. Blood
tests… A tuxedo…. "That LOUSE!" she shouted. She retrieved her purse
and headed for the door.

"Where are you going?" Mildred asked.

"To take care of some business," Laura answered, practically stomping
toward the door. "Keep working on the UNIDAC files."

With that, she was out the door. Mildred sat for a few moments in
stunned silence before turning to her attention back to her computer.


Laura marched into Rudy's Formalwear on Sunset.

"I'm here for Mr. Steele's tuxedo," she announced.

"Just a minute," the man behind the counter said. He flipped through
some papers. "Steele, you said?"

"Yes, Remington Steele." Laura answered.

"It's gone," the man answered. "Says here we're supposed to deliver it
to the Little Chapel of Perpetual Happiness."

"Little Chapel of Perpetual Happiness?" Laura repeated. "Oh, right!
Delivered. I was supposed to pick up the flowers. I've been so
scattered this morning. What time is the ceremony?"

"Says to have it delivered by 12:30, lady."

Laura looked down at her watch. *Damn*. She had to hurry.


"Now, the rings," the minister said with a smile. He looked down at
Remington and Clarissa. "A symbol of your troth---your lifelong
commitment to one another."

"With this ring," Remington said softly. "I thee wed."

He never believed he would say these words, at least not until
recently. Even then, he never imagined he would be saying them to
anyone but Laura. *It's just a sham, old boy*, he reminded himself.
*Just buying a little time*.'

"With this ring, I thee wed," Clarissa echoed. The sound of her
friends' applause brought Remington out of his reverie.

"Lovely," the minister said. "And now we must ask if there is anyone
present who knows why these two should not be wed, let them speak now…"

Laura burst through the doors at the back of the church. "You'd better
believe it, Buster!" she exclaimed, marching up the aisle.

"Unbalanced cousin," Steele offered.

"You fraud! You liar!" Laura shouted as she pounded her fists against
Remington's chest. He wrapped his arms around her and turned to the

"You don't happen to have any wet sheets, do you?" he asked as Laura
continued to fight him.

"You snake!" she shouted as Remington picked her up and threw her over
his shoulder.

"Tends to babble when she gets excited," he said with a nervous grin.
He carried her off to a room on the side of the sanctuary. "I'll be
right back," he assured.

"Oh, put me down!" Laura shrieked, still fighting him.

"Calm down," Remington was repeating, "calm down."

Inside the room, he put her down. "Calm down, Laura," he said sternly.

"Calm down?" she seethed. "How do you expect me to calm down? You're
MARRYING Clarissa!" She took a long breath, trying to calm herself as
she sat down.

"It's not what you think…" he began, and even he realized how lame it

"I know about the INS," she said quietly. He looked at her, puzzled,
so she continued. "Norman Keyes came by the office today with an
Estelle Becker. She said she had personal business with you that was
privileged information. You were acting strangely, so I had Mildred
check her out." She looked him in the eye. "But why would you marry a

"Ah Clarissa's a wonderful girl," he said, not knowing how to respond.

"I didn't even know you were dating," Laura spat.

"Well, it's a…it's a bit complicated."

"Why don't you start at the beginning and work your way up to the altar?"

"Uh, that consulting contract you arranged with Vigilance Insurance…"

"What about it?" Laura asked, her eyes narrowing.

"It didn't sit too well with our old friend Norman Keyes. Seems he
took offense at having to report to me on important cases."

"I don't hear any wedding bells, yet," Laura prodded.

"Being a petulant prig, he informed Immigration that I was in the
country illegally. Look, I know you were only trying to help when you
gave me that passport in the name of Remington Steele, but…"

"Wait a minute!" Laura interrupted. "Are you saying this is MY fault?"

"Don't punish yourself, Laura," he answered. "I bear you no grudge."

"But you were stranded in London, a man without a country. That
passport got you back into the United States, you lousy ingrate!"

"Laura, it's very sweet of you to apologize, but there's no need. The
important thing now is to get me back to that altar."

"Remington!" Clarissa called.

"In a moment, Darling," he called back.

"Oh, just go," Laura said quietly. She sounded more dejected than he
had ever heard her.

"Laura, you don't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. If I'm
not married to an American citizen by six o'clock this evening, I'm
going to be thrown out of the country," he said more calmly than he
felt. He sat down across from her, took her hands in his and pleaded
with his eyes.

"So you're going to march down the aisle with the Happy Hooker?" Laura
felt as though she was going to cry. She just couldn't let him go
through with this.

"Laura," he said. "This is no time to be jealous."

"I'm not jealous, I'm angry! Can't you tell the difference?"

"Why are you angry? I'm the one that's being deported."

"For some cockeyed reason, I expected less of you."

"Less? Less what?" he asked, confused at her statement.

"Less trickery, less deceit, less of everything that makes me doubt
your feelings for me. Why didn't you come to ME with all this? Why

"Damn it, Laura!" He could no longer contain his frustration. "I love
you too much to put you through this charade!"

Laura felt like someone just punched her in the gut. *Did he just say
he loves me? Did he just say the words I've waited four years to hear
as justification for marrying a call girl?*

"Wait," she nearly whispered as she held up her hand. "What did you
just say?"

"I love you, Laura," he took her face in his hands and kissed her
gently. She knew he meant it. "This marriage is a farce. A charade to
buy some time to get things settled with the INS. You are the only
woman I want."

"Then I can't let you marry Clarissa. Sham or otherwise."

"Laura, there's no time to debate this. If there isn't going to be a
wedding, will you at least come visit me?"

"You're not getting deported," she said before she kissed him. "Now,
are you going to go out there and cancel this wedding or am I? We
don't have much time. We have plans to make, and I have to go and get
changed. I'm not getting married like this," she said, indicating her

"Are you sure?" he asked, afraid to believe it.

"Never more so," she answered. "We're going to solve this problem like
we do every other one--- together." She looked at her watch. "We've
got four hours. Now, you go get rid of Clarissa and I'll call Mildred."

Before she had the chance to call, Mildred showed up at the church and
dragged them both off to UNIDAC to rescue Alessandra Henry.


"Are you sure this is going to work?" Mildred whispered to Laura as
they walked the gangplank to the Monte Carlo Princess.

The ship had been docked in Los Angeles for several weeks, taking
daily and nightly gambling cruises into International waters, and it
was scheduled to depart at five o'clock.

"It has to Mildred," she answered. "It has to."

Laura looked worried. When they left UNIDAC, Remington told her there
was one thing he had to do and he would meet them at the ship. If he
didn't get there in five minutes, all would be for naught. Then she
heard that familiar voice that still took her breath away.

"There's my beautiful bride," he said. Remington was beaming as he
stood on at the top of the gangplank.

*How did he beat us here?* Laura almost asked aloud, but then she
realized how much time she and Mildred had spent at the loft. While
Mildred was making phone calls, Laura must have changed her clothes
five times before settling on a soft champagne colored suit.

He took her in his arms as she and Mildred boarded the ship.

"I'm going to go and see about the arrangements and leave you two
lovebirds alone. T-Minus 40 minutes and counting, kids," Mildred
called back to them as the ship began to pull away from the dock.

"You look so beautiful," Remington whispered into Laura's ear.

"Well, it's not just every day that a girl gets married," she replied.
She looked up into the blue eyes that she knew so well. "Where did you
go earlier? I had to change, but as I recall you were already dressed
for a wedding." As she leaned up to kiss him, she wrapped her arms
around him, tightening their embrace.

So caught up in each other, neither of them noticed Estelle Becker
watching them from the deck above.

"I needed to pick up something," he said, reaching into his pocket to
retrieve a small velvet box.

Her breath caught in her throat. *What is he doing?*

He opened the box to reveal a platinum ring bearing a large oval
diamond flanked by two stones so blue, they looked as if they were
once pieces of the sky. She drew her hand to her mouth.

"But this… you can't…"

"Sshhhh…" he placed his finger over her lips.

"It's beautiful," she whispered. "But this marriage isn't real."

"But someday Laura," he said, kissing her forehead. "Someday it will be."

He took the ring out of the box and saw her wheels turning. She
couldn't help but wonder if this was the ring he'd planned to give
Clarissa. He placed the ring in her hand.

"Read the inscription," he instructed her.

"To Laura, All My Love, RS," she read aloud.

"I know it's not my REAL name, but Remington Steele is the only name
that's ever meant anything to me," he said with a grin. "I found this
at an estate shop after you came to find me in London, and I knew it
was meant for you. I had two matching bands made."

A tear slid down her cheek as she let him place the ring on her finger.

"Come, my darling," he said to her. "Our guests are waiting."

When she looked into his eyes, all thoughts of the speech she had
prepared vanished. She had planned to go over the ground rules. To
reiterate that this was a marriage in name only--- but she couldn't
find the words.


Laura paced outside the little chapel. Leave it to Mildred to find a
floating casino complete with a wedding chapel. She had even arranged
for flowers and a cake.

"That's my cue," she said, quietly letting out a
long breath as she heard the music begin to play. She opened the
doors and walked past Mildred and Estelle Becker to join Remington
Steele at the altar. She was shocked to find herself wishing that
their officiate really was the Captain and not Mildred's friend Frank,
the Baccarat dealer.

As Frank led Laura and Remington in reciting their vows, the ship's
photographer snapped away. Mildred cried and even Estelle Becker
smiled through her tears. However, when Frank pronounced them man and
wife, something snapped Laura back to reality. After sealing their
union with a kiss, she leaned up to whisper into her husband's ear,
"In name only, Mr. Steele. In name, only."


The End…

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