Leading Up to Steele 1/1
Date: Friday, January 05, 2001
Janice <jskyers@netmail.hscbklyn.edu>

Leading Up to Steele 1/1
Janice Skyers

[Here's my take on what might have happened shortly before "Benjamin Pearson" arrived in Los Angeles. Enjoy!].

September 29, 1982, London.

"Well it's as simple as this Harry," the older gentleman began explaining, holding a very serious expression on his face. "If you don't go through with it, you and I might have to spend the rest of our lives scaling walls and eating sardines out of a can,"

Harry's face wrinkled in distaste. "Speak for yourself Daniel,"

"Try not to botch this one up Harry," Daniel advised strongly.

"BOTCH!" Harry shouted, leaping up from the settee, feigning arrogance. "I've never botched up a job before so why would I now,"

"Well that's true," Daniel had to agree in a light tone of
voice. "But there's a first time for everything-isn't there
Harry," the older man pointed out to his former pupil, a very worried expression on his face.

"I won't fail or as you put it-botch things up," Harry hissed. "I am an artist remember-"

"Artist yes," Daniel said slowly in a quiet tone of voice, as he removed an imaginary piece of lint from his jacket. "But it won't be as easy as you think to get your hands on those gems-" he added, looking up at Harry.

"Royal Lavulite wasn't it?"

Daniel nodded his response. "Worth over two million dollars,"

Harry whistled. "That could buy an awful lot of champagne and caviar," Harry commented lightly, a devilish grin brightened his handsome face.

"So you'd better get cracking and come up with a plan on how to get your hands on those gems due to arrive in Los Angeles shortly,"

Harry suddenly looked thoughtful, a hand to his jaw.

"Hmmm-do we know who'll be providing security for those beauties?"

"Indeed I do-Remington Steele Investigations-more
specifically a female private detective- Laura Holt I believe- will be overseeing the-"

"A female dick Eh," Harry cut in, a very curious look on his face.

"She's quite capable of handling the job-that I can assure you," Daniel warned lightly.

"Picked up the shovel again Eh Daniel,"

Daniel frowned.

"So tell me what did you find out about our Laura Holt?"

"Enough to convince me that she's very good at her job and will do whatever's necessary to stop would be thieves-"

"Like me?"

"-from getting their hands on those gems," Daniel continued, a serious look on his face. "Steele must have thought she's quite capable of handling this assignment-why else would the Boss of the establishment choose not to involve himself in the thick of things," Daniel gathered.

"So Steele's not involved Eh," Harry said, wondering how that bit of news might work to his advantage.

"From what I understand-no. Miss Holt will be-and Steele's
associate, Murphy Michaels, will be working alongside her,"

Now it was Harry's turn to frown. "Great," he complained.

"Oh I'm sure you can handle Mr. Michaels," Daniel said quickly with a great deal of confidence. Harry on the other hand, appeared doubtful. "This is who you should be concerned about," Daniel added, handing him the black and white photograph of the female private eye dressed in a business suit; Harry wasted no time in retrieving it.

"Attractive!" Harry commented lightly, his handsome features
brightened by a delightful smile. "She certainly doesn't look like any of those female dicks I've seen in the movies," he went on.

"Wipe that very satisfying smile off your face young man," Daniel admonished. "Your visit to Los Angeles is strictly for business-not pleasure might I remind you,"

Harry frowned. "A romantic devil you are Mr. Chalmers," Harry said in a very disappointing tone of voice.

"Suddenly I'm having second thoughts about this," Daniel fussed.

"About what?"

"Whether or not you're the right man for the job," he told the younger man.

Harry's temper suddenly flared up. "Well if you don't think that I'm not capable of handling the job Daniel you can always-" Harry shouted angrily. Daniel realizing that he has hit a sensitive nerve, jumped in quickly to explain himself.

"All I meant was that you can't afford to get your heart caught while on the job," Daniel explained in a soft tone of voice.

"Why are you so concerned?" Harry asked, setting worried eyes on the man.

"Miss Holt might be pretty-and attractive as you put it, but whatyou must keep in mind is that she represents the other side-"

"And what side is that Daniel?"

"The law. And forgive me for being so blunt, but you are a thief-"

"I see-no mixing business with pleasure,"

"None whatsoever," Daniel stressed strongly. "So you can rule out seduction," he warned the young man.

"I must admit that I'm curious-"

"About what?" Daniel asked, looking very perplexed and at the same time crossing his legs.

"What she'd look like donned in a very elegant evening gown, with her hair up, with very expensive jewels decorating that graceful neck of hers," Harry explained in a light tone of voice, a hint of mischief in those oceanic blue eyes.

Daniel frowned, his patience wearing thin. "Well I guess you're going to die of curiosity," Daniel expressed bluntly.

Harry glanced at the photograph once more before looking at Daniel. Daniel saw a look of disgust written on the younger man's face. "I thought you'd left it entirely up to me in the way in which I'd proceed in getting my hands on the gems," Harry said.

"Well yes," Daniel confirmed in a sincere tone of voice. "But I must caution you about something-"


"Miss Holt's nothing like Felicia. She's not going to fall for that smarmy charm of yours," the older man reminded his former pupil.

Harry gritted his teeth, resenting the fact that Daniel had the ability to read his mind. Seduction was exactly what he had in mind. By seducing Laura Holt, he figured that she'd fall into his arms and ultimately into his bed, thereby spilling her guts on the route the gems will take once they arrive in Los Angeles.

"Keep it strictly business Harry," Daniel warned him in a light tone of voice.

<Okay,> he thought, <I guess it's on to plan B, whatever that is>.

"I don't see anything wrong with indulging in a smidgen of pleasure while pursuing the gems," he said.

"By getting in too deep with this woman you're bound to make the wrong decision-

"What's that suppose to mean?"

"It means that you'll end up leaving Los Angeles without the gems because you've decided that stealing them from under this young detective's jurisdiction might cause her to lose her job and that's something you couldn't live with. You can't allow your heart to rule your head, and believe me Harry heart always wins."

"Been there have you Daniel," Harry said quietly.

"I was never that foolish," Daniel tried to say in a very convincing tone but failing miserably.

"I see," Harry quipped, eyeing the man suspiciously. "But I have to find a way to hook up with Miss Holt since it appears that she's the one who'll lead me straight to the gems. Am I right?"

"Why yes-and that's why I've come up with the perfect cover for you. This way she won't be suspicious of your movements."

"Who am I posing as this time?"

"Well I've got it on good ground that a South African agent by the name of Benjamin Pearson will be traveling to Los Angeles to oversee the transport of the gems,"

"Tell me that that's not my cover,"

"It is Harry. You'll assume the name Benjamin Pearson for this assignment."

"Are you bloody crazy Daniel," Harry shouted. "How can I pose as this Pearson fellow when he'll be turning up in Los Angeles. He'll no doubt be working very closely with Laura Holt,"

Daniel's face suddenly lit up with a broad grin."Precisely!" He exclaimed. "And she's no doubt expecting the man to show up at the agency the moment he arrives in Los Angeles, and so-"

"You're forgetting one thing-" Harry interrupted.

"What's that?"

"Maybe she's already put in a request to have Ben Pearson's picture wired to her office-"

"Trust me Harry- she hasn't- well based on the information I received from my source in South Africa, she's not yet done so. And I sort of hinted-" Daniel added, smiling coyly.

"But that could change and if it does, where would that leave me- and you for that matter?"

"Oh Harry- you worry too much. Don't worry- my source will do all he can to prevent Ben Pearson's picture from getting into the wrong hands,"

"You mean Laura Holt and Murphy Michaels don't you?"

Daniel nodded slowly, a ghost of a smile on his face.

"If Miss Holt discovers that I'm an imposter, she's bound to call the authorities and have me arrested, then you can just kiss your retirement goodbye. I won't be able to get my hands on the gems if I'm sitting in a jail cell-"

"That won't happen," Daniel assured him. "By the time she discovers that you're an imposter- not the real Ben Pearson- you'll be on your way back to London with the gems,"

"What's to prevent her from coming after me?"

"She no doubt will," Daniel said reasonably. After all, the woman is a detective and a damn good at that, he surmised, judging from the information he dug up on the Stanford University graduate. "Remember my boy that the distance between here and Los Angeles-"

"What's your point Daniel" Harry cut in, sounding impatient.

"By the time she discovers that you're NOT the man you claim to be and also discovers that you're the one who stole the gems and as a result decides to track you down-"

"With the aid of blood hounds no doubt," Harry cut in.

"We'll be well on our way to-"

"I hope you're right Daniel-" Harry interrupted quickly, looking very worried.

"I am Harry," he assured him again. "Now," he added in a cheerful tone. "Here's your passport with your new name," he told him, handing that very item to the younger man who retrieved it from him.

"Thanks- I think," Harry said, checking out the photograph inside the passport. "When do I take off?"

"Tomorrow night. You can pick up your ticket at the airport-"

"You did make the reservations under the name of Benjamin Pearson, didn't you?"

"Of course. And I took the liberty of digging up some background information on this Pearson fellow, which I'll give you later on. You should study it tonight and tomorrow morning I'll give you a test,"

"Test-I didn't realize that I was still in school," Harry
commented dryly.

Daniel had to laugh. "Now I'm a bit weary and so I think I'll turn in for the night,"

"Hmmm-I on the other hand cannot afford the luxury of
sleeping-I have to stay up and do homework,"

"You'll be all the better for it my boy. Trust me it's for your own good."

"Fine." Daniel said after a brief pause. "See you in the morning," He added, putting one foot on the step, attempting to climb the stairs. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Daniel suddenly realized, turning eyes to Harry.

"What?" Harry asked, looking a bit self-conscious.

"Miss Holt's picture," Daniel told him.

"Oh?" Harry said skeptically. "I thought it was part of my homework,"

Daniel smiled tightly, extending his right arm. Harry reluctantly gave up the photograph. "Well goodnight Daniel," Harry said quietly, his mind distracted by the brunette depicted in the picture he'd just returned to Daniel.

"Goodnight Harry," Daniel returned quietly, an amused expression on his face. As he ascended the stairs, Daniel wondered what 'wicked' thoughts might be passing through Harry's mind where that attractive brunette was concerned. Women, especially very attractive ones, were always Harry's weak spot. A con man and a thief coupled with a female private detective could be extremely volatile, Daniel imagined. Tonight, he'll keep his fingers crossed, hoping that the real Ben Pearson or his picture doesn't turn up in Los Angeles before Harry hooks up with Laura Holt, posing as the South African agent of course. If his well thought out plan of having Harry steal those precious gems goes up in smoke, Daniel can just kiss his early retirement goodbye.


September 30, 1982 - 9:30 AM

"So let's go over it once more Harry," Daniel suggested. "And this time no stuttering," Daniel advised strongly, causing Harry's shoulders to slump in protest.

"Okay. But I hope this chap-the real Ben Pearson doesn't show upin Los Angeles and complicate matters. I can just see it now," Harry added. Looking up at Daniel, the older man saw worry lines set in the center of the younger man's forehead.

"See what?"

"Miss Holt going-will the real Ben Pearson step forward, and when that man isn't I," he stressed, hitting his chest lightly with his fingers, "what do you suppose will happen. I'll tell you what," he went on, looking very worried. "She'll call the coppers and have me arrested for impersonating a government official. And might I point out again-" Harry said hastily.

"I know-you won't be able to get your hands on the gems if you're locked behind bars," Daniel finished, knowing fully well what the younger man was about to say.

"Then again," Harry fretted. "She might just discover that I'm planning to steal the gems before she realizes that I'm not the real Ben Pearson. Either way, I'll be in a lot of trouble,"

"Oh Harry," Daniel said casually. "You worry too much,"

"Easy for you to say Mr. Chalmers," Harry responded quietly. "It's not your head that will be placed on a platter and-"

"I could always send Monroe," Daniel threatened lightly, lifting the telephone receiver to his right ear, his fingers at the ready to dial the number.

"Now let's not be too hasty," Harry began quickly, snatching the receiver out of Daniel's hand, returning it to the hook. I'll get the bloody gems for you,"

"Good decision," Daniel said, smiling slightly. "Now where were we?"

"I think I was about to be interrogated once more by you," Harry teased, causing his mentor to frown.


September 30, 1982, Remington Steele Investigations, approximately 1:00 PM

"What do you suppose Ben Pearson looks like Laura?" A wide-eyed curious Berneice Foxe asked her employer.

"Average looking I suppose," Laura Holt responded half-heartedly, not looking up from her work.

"Don't tell me you're not dying to know what this South African agent looks like. Is he tall, dark, and handsome or-"

"Have you finished typing that report on the Henderson case I gave you earlier?" Laura cut in abruptly, finally lookiing up at her secretary, whose face was covered with disappointment.

"Almost," Berniece answered quietly, looking slightly embarrassed.

"Almost isn't good enough. I'd like to review it before I go home tonight," Laura said firmly.

"Fine," a disappointed Berniece hissed, then spun around and walked out of Laura Holt's office, closing the door behind her.

Suddenly a bright smile lit up Laura's face. "Gee I wonder," she said rising from her chair. "What does he look like?"

"Berniece," she said after buzzing the secretary on the
telephone. "See what you can do about obtaining a photograph of Ben Pearson. I think it would be a good idea to see what he looks like before he and I meet face to face,"

"I see," Berniece said. Laura sensed her secretary's face covered with a smirk. "Okay, I'll try," Berniece told her gladly.

"And wipe that smirk off your face," Laura instructed lightly.

"Me-smirk?" Berniece joked. "I'll get on it right away," she
added quickly.

"Thanks," Laura said.


Back in London at Heathrow Airport, approximately 6:00 P.M.

"Well good luck my boy," Daniel Chalmers said, extending his right hand. Both men exchanged a hearty handshake.

"Thanks old chap," Harry said with a smile, which quickly faded away. Suddenly he looked very worried.

A bit of consoling was in order Daniel thought. "It's all going to work out my boy. It will," he emphasized strongly.

"I hope so,"

"I know so," Daniel said strongly. "Now it's time to board your flight to Los Angeles. Have a safe trip Harry. See you in a few days,"

"Hopefully," Harry said, sounding doubtful. They exchanged an affectionate hug just before Harry walked away to board his flight.

After boarding the plane, Harry wondered what would be his next move after he hooked up with Laura Holt. How's he actually going to get his sweet little hands on those gems? "Slip in fakes for the original perhaps when no one's looking," he said in barely a whisper.

"Sounds good to me," he heard a familiar voice said quietly.
Looking up he saw the tall, curvaceous blue-eyed blonde who took the liberty of taking a seat next to him.

"I hope this seat's not taken?"

Harry eyed the blonde with disgust.

"What the bloody hell are you doing here Felicia?" Harry said angrily.

"I thought it would be obvious Darling," she purred.

"It's not. So would you care to enlighten me as to why you're on this flight that's headed to Los Angeles,"

"Oh I thought you might need a little help," she said sweetly.

"With what?"

"With stealing those precious gems,"

Harry should have looked surprised but he wasn't, which surprised Felicia. "Your kind of help I can do without Felicia," he told her frankly.

"I don't know about that Darling. And furthermore you have very little choice in the matter,"

"Really," he said skeptically. "And why is that I wonder?"

"Simple," she said fastening her seat belt. "If you don't allow me to assist you on this assignment, the moment we arrive in Los Angeles I'll go straight to Remington Steele Investigations and inform the Boss that you're a fraud-not the real Ben Pearson," she
threatened,keeping her voice low.

"Hmmm-blackmail," he whispered back. "But I think you'd be
wasting your time Felicia. For one thing Steele's out of town and won't be involved in the case,"

"How can you be so sure?"

Harry grinned delightfully. "I'm not. But let's get back to why you've decided to follow me to Los Angeles, shall we," he added, eyeing the blonde suspiciously. "The only reason why you've decided to HELP me out on this little caper is because of who I'll be working with,"

"And who's that?" She asked innocently.

"You somehow found out that there's a strong possibility that I might be working very closely with a private detective, and as it turns out happens to be female,"

"I didn't," Felicia protested.

"No?" Harry questioned skeptically. "Jealousy rears its ugly head Eh Felicia. Might I remind you, that there is no us anymore,"

"Don't be so sure Darling," she said quickly. "Well I suppose I'd better leave before this plane takes off. Wouldn't want to wear out my welcome," she said reasonably, unfastening her seat belt. "Good luck Darling," she said.

"Thank you," he said genuinely.

Felicia departed rose from her seat, then hurried off the plane, feeling slightly ticked off at the man she knew as Michael O'Leary.

Harry breathed a quiet sigh of relief that Felicia would not be accompanying him to Los Angeles, and at the same time retrieved the photograph of Laura Holt that he'd stolen from Daniel's room to have a good look at it.

"A pleasure to meet you Miss Holt," he whispered, a sweet smile brightening his handsome face. "A pleasure indeed."

And so it began...