Bonds, Lame Bonds part 2/6
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2000
SJ <>


(Part 2)

"Mr. Steele!" Frances called to him as soon as she saw him sitting in the waiting area.

Frances was excitable under normal conditions. Having her baby sister rushed to the hospital unexpectedly elevated her disposition to a frantic state. She fired one question after another at Remington, not giving him any opportunity to respond, "What happened? Where is she? What did the doctor say?" Donald gripped her shoulders from behind, "Sweetheart, calm down. Let Mr. Steele tell us what he knows."

"I'm afraid I don't know. They won't tell me anything," he looked rather ragged and dejected. "I have no legal standing as far as the hospital is concerned. All I know is they took her into surgery. They wanted Frances for patient history and consent."

Mildred arrived soon after the Pipers. She gave Mr. Steele a what-did-you-do-now look but before she could speak, the surgery doors parted. A doctor emerged taking off the surgical cap and smoothing his hair. Frances barged her way to confront him. "Do you have any news on Laura Holt?"

"Are you family?"

"I'm her sister."

"Can you come with me?"

It really wasn't a question. The doctor turned and led Frances into the recovery room. Mildred grabbed Remington's hand in a comforting gesture. Frances came back moments later.

"She has extensive bruising and three broken ribs. One of the broken ribs punctured her lung and it collapsed. They are going to keep her in ICU for a while." Donald went over to her and hugged her as she broke down and sobbed.

Frances dabbed her eyes and Donald looked at Remington. "Mr. Steele, what happened?"

He explained, "We were on a case. She might have been injured when she was locked in a wind tunnel or when she jumped from a moving car and tumbled down an embankment or when she tackled the perpetrator. I had no idea she was hurt. She seemed fine the last time I saw her." *The last time I saw her * Remington cringed in remorse at the memory of the last time he spoke to her. Hell, the way he treated her all day. And to think should may have received her acute injuries while she was rolling around in the mud at Unidac while he did virtually nothing. He selfishly thought she was getting what she deserved for breaking up his wedding plans.

Frances sniffed, "She'll be in ICU recovery for a few hours. I have to go to the administrator's office and sign some forms."

"Can I see her?" Remington asked hopefully.

"I think they only allow family." Frances answered

*There's that "family" word again. Granted we had a bit of a falling out today, but there is no one in the world closer to Laura than me* "Well that's probably for the best. I would just upset her again, I'm afraid." Remington resigned.

"Chief, you want to get some coffee or something?" Mildred could sense Mr. Steele's depression.

"No, thank you, Mildred." He dropped his face into his hands, "This is all my fault...I should have been helping her at Unidac instead of running off to that ridiculous wedding."

Mildred sat down next to him and put her arms around his shoulder. "Notice I'm not arguing with you, Mr. Steele," Mildred joked light-heartedly.

"You know, that sounds like something Miss Holt would say."

"Don't worry, Boss, she'll pull through this just fine."

"Physically, she might recover. I've hurt her, Mildred. Emotionally, I'm afraid I've done some irreparable damage."

"Miss Holt won't be alert for a while. Let's go home and get you changed. You wouldn't want to apologize to her in that, would you?" Mildred tugged on the lapel of his tuxedo.

"You're so right, Miss Krebs. Thank you." He kissed her on the top of her head. "I want to find Frances and let her know I'll be right back."

He would have been right back, but he was detained by the police when he arrived at his apartment. As far as the authorities were concerned, and until Miss Holt herself sets the record straight, they were still treating it as an assault case. Her injuries and torn clothes combined with an eyewitness who reported their argument on the street supported their presumption. After all, a decorated limo with personalized plates and a well dressed man arguing with a woman in Laura's condition tends to be somewhat conspicuous and memorable. Their theory of the crime was that Steele followed her to her loft and beat her following their argument on the street. Of course he didn't have an alibi, he was driving around looking for Laura. They escorted Mr. Steele to the station and held him in an interrogation room for close to an hour.

"I've told you several times already." Remington huffed.

"So you're intent on sticking to that Unidac story?" One detective asked when the other returned to the room.

"Rape kit is negative." The second detective declared as he shut the door.

"Rape kit?" Remington questioned surprised by further absurdity of the situation.

"Just part of procedure...whenever an unconscious, battered woman is found."

"I would like to get back to the hospital now, gentlemen. Am I under arrest or may I go?"

"Just don't leave town."

*Well if Mr. Moyer doesn't come through with that extension, at least they can't deport me* Remington thought to himself as he left the police department.


He knew it was past visiting hours when he got back to the hospital. Frances had sent Donald home to be with the children as she sat alone in the waiting area outside the ICU. She was grateful for the company.

"Have you seen her yet?" Remington asked as he neared.

"For a few minutes. It was awful, Mr. Steele. They showed me pictures of her bruises, then a social worker grilled me about abusive boyfriends, crazed stalkers. I tried to explain that she has a very dangerous job but they didn't seem interested in that."

"I know. They seem to think that I'm the abusive boyfriend."

"You're joking!"

He nodded, "And until Laura wakes up and tells them differently, I'm their number one suspect."

"I signed a waiver instructing the staff to include you as family."

"Thank you."

"I know how close the two of you are. Last week she said something about the two of you going away together for the Fourth of July holiday... Laura doesn't tell me much, but she seems to be very happy."

Just when he thought it wasn't possible to feel any worse than he already did, Frances said something like that. He rubbed his face, inconspicuously wiping away a tear welling up. "Why don't you go home. I'll call you if there is any change."

The next morning, Mildred gently shook him and offered him a cup of coffee. "Were you here all night?" He squinted, relieved her of the coffee and simply nodded. "Any news on Miss Holt yet?"

Remington stood and stretched. " change. They just keep telling me she is heavily sedated and rest is the best thing for her."

Walking closer to the ICU glass doors he stared there for a moment. The same police detectives arrived. They identified themselves to the attending nurse who handed over the envelope containing the photos of Laura's injuries and the remnants of her clothing. Remington made his way back in Mildred's direction. The officers stopped his progress and taunted him, "Mr. Steele...We're ready for that confession any time you are."

He said nothing. Mildred of course heard it too. "What was all that about, Chief?"

"They think Laura was assaulted...and I'm the one who did it. As much as Laura needs to rest and recover, I wish she would wake up and let them know what really happened."

Laura had a fleeting conscious moment later that morning. She barely opened her eyes and labored to take a sip of water. The doctor saw it as a good sign. Remington was scared by how frail Laura seemed. The doctor didn't know the spitfire Laura Holt; the Laura Holt who operated at break neck speed, the Laura Holt who chased criminals and dodged bullets. Laura drifted in and out throughout the day. As much as he wanted to stay by her side, Remington still had the INS investigation looming. At four in the afternoon, he went into Laura's room. She was asleep. Regardless, he held her hand and stroked her cheek. "I have to go for a while. I'm going to straighten out this whole immigration mess. I'm going to do it the RIGHT way this time. I'll be back shortly."

End Part 2
To Part 3