Bonds, Lame Bonds Part 5/6
Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2000
SJ <>

(Part 5)

Mildred popped in for a quick visit. "Hiya hon, how are you feeling?"

"I'd feel much better if I could wear some real pajamas and sleep in a real bed."

"I ran into Mr. Steele in the hall. It sounds like you two are talking again."

"I'm sure that's only temporary," Laura lamented "It's only a matter of time until ..."

"But at least it looks like he might be able to stay in the U.S." Mildred jumped in ,trying to steer the conversation in another direction.

"I suppose I should thank you for helping Mr. Steele with his immigration problem."

"Oh it's really nothing. I'm sure you would have done the same thing."

"Funny you should say that, we had an argument a couple weeks ago where I swore I wouldn't help him anymore."

"Come again, Miss Holt?"

"You know, I practically pushed him into that whole stupid marriage."

Laura closed her eyes and relived the episode for the countless time in her mind. They had pleasant dinner and a relaxing evening following the Joan Kendall case. Laura wasn't training in the evenings anymore. She was lying against his chest just enjoying being at a standstill for the first time in weeks. His left arm curved around her shoulder crossing her chest to a point where his hand traced imaginary patterns on her opposite forearm. Out of the blue, she started to chuckle. He hadn't said anything. The newscast wasn't particularly humorous. Perplexed he asked, "What is so funny?"

"I'm just remembering the look on your face doing all that paperwork a couple days ago."

"I'm glad you find my misery so amusing."

"We'll actually, it was that look when you thought I might be seeing another man."

"Laura, under most circumstances, I trust you implicitly."
"Most?" she distanced herself to the other end of the sofa.

*Uh oh, wrong thing to say* he knew she wouldn't just let it go.

"What do you mean, most?" She pried.

"I'd say that ninety-nine percent of the time your judgment is above reproach," he thought that would be a compliment.

Naturally she was obsessing about the one percent. "And what about the other percent...when DON'T you trust me?"

"This," he gestured between the two of them. "Us...In this area, I don't think you have the vaguest idea what you're

She threw a pillow at him, "How dare you! Do you have any idea how hard I work at this? How many balls I have to juggle at one time."

"Laura, I'm not a ball. I'm not a yo-yo. I'm not a puppet. I DO happen to have a brain, a heart, two able arms and legs, " he tossed the pillow back at her.

"Good, I'm tired of always bailing you out of trouble. You think you can be "The Great Remington Steele" all by yourself, be my guest."

Mildred looked at Laura in disbelief, "You actually said that?"

"I don't know why I'm so hard on him all the time. I should have apologized, but I suppose I'm a little stubborn at times."

"It's never too late to say you're sorry," Mildred assured her.

"I just wish we'd stop doing things to each that required constant apologies. Then maybe we could spend our time together doing *other* things."

"Like setting off a few fireworks?"

Laura smiled coyly at the metaphor, "Yeah, like setting off a few fireworks."


"Well Miss Holt, how are you feeling?" The doctor greeted checking her chart

"If I say good as new, will you let me go home?"

He pulled her gown apart in the back and checked her sutures. "We'll run some more tests tomorrow and if they check out, I don't see any reason why you can't recuperate at home." He further stipulated, "If you have someone who will stay with you, observe a few restrictions and promise to take it easy, I think that can be arranged."

When Mildred declined to help her, Laura reasoned that was probably all for the best. After all, the indispensable Miss Krebs was needed to keep the office running smoothly in her absence. Frances' refusal, in light of her mother-hen routine earlier, confused Laura. Unless she wanted to stay in the hospital or have her mom fly in to harp on her for a week, she would have to ask *him*.

As the doctor signed her release and handed her post-hospital instructions, he reiterated, "Miss Holt, the only reason I'm even releasing you is that Mr. Steele has promised to adhere to these recovery instructions." He turned his attention to Remington. "You will need to get a stethoscope. You have to listen to both lungs every morning. Here, here, here and here." The doctor pointed to several spots to place the stethoscope. "If you notice even the slightest difference between her right and left sides, you bring her back in immediately. Her surgical bandage will need to be changed everyday. Most importantly, no exertion of ANY kind. No steps, no lifting, no fooling around." The doctor winked at both of them inferring the sexual kind of fooling around. "Next week we'll see about taking those stitches out."

Laura felt ridiculously conspicuous being wheeled to the exit of the hospital. Mr. Steele had the Auburn waiting for her. He eased her into the seat and got behind the wheel. "All set?"

Whether it was the discomfort of her injuries or the tenuous state of their relationship, she just nodded, still not being completely at ease. She didn't say a word until she realized he was heading in the direction of his apartment not hers. "I thought you were taking me home."

"If memory serves, Laura, there are quite a few steps to your third floor loft."

"I'm not staying with you."

"Laura, you promised your doctor."

"I just agreed to that so he would let me out of the hospital."

"So you lied?" he asked pointedly.

"Oh no you don't...don't even compare this to what you did."

"Laura do you ever notice, that when I do something, even the slightest bit dishonest, I catch hell . But when you do something dishonest, it's perfectly all right?"

*He is right* she contemplated. She was holding him to a higher standard. Again, remembering the conversation with Mildred she conceded, "Okay, Mr. Steele, you might have a point."

"I do?" he wasn't expecting that. At a stop light he extended his right hand, "Truce?"

Laura shook his hand, "Truce."

"I'll take you to your loft Laura, but I really wish you would let me help you."

"I'm willing to give it a try."

He made a turn and pulled into parking garage of his building. He scurried around to the passenger side to open Laura's door. He tentatively put out his hand, still unsure if she needed or wanted his help. Laura grabbed his hand and grimace as she tried to turn her body to climb out. Remington noticed the obvious discomfort.

"Wait a minute," Remington let go of her hand and slipped his arms around her back to lift her from the low seat. When she was standing, he slowly let go. His hands slid down her back and around to the front of her body tracing the contour of her ribs. He lightly touched the bandage through the thin fabric of her cotton shirt. His right hand caressed the heavily padded area that covered her stitches. Laura pulled his hand into her own, "Let's go, Mr. Steele." They remained hand in hand until they arrived at his door. Pulling the key back out of the lock, Remington motioned to Laura, "There's a notepad by the phone, make me a list of what you need from your loft. I'll run over there before I go to the market. I need to get something to make for dinner, any requests?"

"Maybe I can just call Frances to pack some things from my loft."

"Afraid of me looking through your drawers, touching your delicate unmentionables?"

Laura took a quick mental inventory of what her drawers contained. Thank God she recently sorted through her underwear and threw out quite a few. It was asking him to bring back tampons that made her feel awkward. "She'll have a better idea of all the things I might need."

"What's the date today...the sixteenth?"

"I think so, why?"

"Then I'm guessing you'll need all those special toiletries soon."

"How did you know?" Laura asked automatically.

"Laura, we've been together for four years. Don't you think I can tell when you're ...different?"

"What the hell does that mean? Are you saying I'm irritable? moody?"

"Actually Mildred marks my calendar for me."

"You mean the two of you keep track?...Oh good Lord," Laura went to hide in the bathroom.

Remington called from the other side of the door, "Linguini all right with you for dinner?"

Laura was resting in bed when he returned. She tried the sofa, but found it to be soft. She sank into the cushions and like the seat of the Auburn, it was highly painful to move. He set one suitcase and a shopping bag near her on the bed and took a smaller bag into the bathroom. He shouted from the bathroom,

"Sorry if I upset or embarrassed you earlier."

"It's just a little disconcerting to find out that you and Mildred conspire against me."

"I wouldn't call it conspiring." He cleared out a drawer for her clothes.

"Most people chart their cycles to predict ovulation not as a tool to forecast or explain their partner's unpleasant disposition."

"It might be good to know that information, too," he winked.

When he returned to the bed, he dumped out the contents of the shopping bag. A stethoscope, and an assortment of bandages came tumbling out. "Are you going to put on a little nurses outfit too?" Laura joked.

He picked up the stethoscope, "How about we give this a try?"

He inserted the earpieces. Laura picked up the amplifying end and whispered in a seductive voice, "Let's play doctor, Mr. Steele."

Remington's mouth dropped open at the suggestion.

Laura pushed herself up from the bed just as he leaned down for a kiss, "I guess it works if you heard that."

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going to help you make dinner."

"You're suppose to be resting."

"I've been on my back for days, besides I wouldn't call cooking physically challenging."

He followed her out the room still protesting, "Laura please..."

"Are you really concerned about my health or afraid of a woman with PMS wielding a chef's knife?"

"The former."

She emptied the grocery bags. Where should I start?.." She searched the cabinets and drawers for utensils and pots. "Chopping?...Put some water on?"

She was wreaking havoc in his kitchen. He showed a great deal of restraint, but when she started clanging his very expensive cookware, he jumped in to rescue his precious pots, "Laura, please, just let me do this by myself." He inspected the finish on his Calaphon as Laura stormed out of the kitchen.

"Forget it, I just hit a drive-thru on my way home."

"Laura, don't leave."

"How am I supposed to learn if you won't teach me...For once in my life, I'm admitting that I want your help and ..." Now she was angry.

"Don't be upset."

"I'm trying to take an interest ...I thought it could be something we could do together."

"I didn't know you were interested."

"Doesn't it bother you that we have nothing in common?...Work and pissing each other off, seem to be our only mutual activities?"

"Aren't you overlooking a few?"

"So you're admitting there are only a few? I knew this was a bad idea. Since you picked me up from the hospital, we've had three arguments already."

He looked at his watch, "Three arguments in five hours, that's about normal."

"That's it, Mr. Steele, joke about it. I, for one, am tired of arguing and apologizing." She picked up the phone, "Fred...Miss Holt, could you pick me up at Mr. Steele's? I'll be waiting out front."

End Part 5
To Finale