Steele Trying to Make it Work
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2001
Nancy Eddy <>

Rated R

As requested---

Remington Steele entered the office with a smile for the woman sitting at the desk. "Good morning, Mildred!" he declared brightly. "Lovely morning, don't you think?"

Mildred Krebs looked up at him with an answering smile and a touch of
curiosity. "Good morning, Chief. You're in a good mood this morning," she

"Why shouldn't I be?" he asked. "The sun is shining, the birds are singing,
and all is right with the world."

Mildred chuckled at his enthusiasm. "If you say so, Mr. Steele."

He glanced toward the door of Laura's office. "Is she in?"

"Has been for an hour. You're running a little late today. Sleep in?" she
asked, and Remington wondered if the
receptionist/secretary/detective-in-training was on a fishing expedition.

"Something like that. Any calls?" he asked.

"Just your tailor, reminding you about your two o'clock appointment." She sat forward. "So, how was your weekend?"

Remington stepped back a bit. "My weekend? Nothing special," he said.

"Just- stayed around the old homestead, huh?" Mildred pressed.

"Mildred, why do I get the feeling that you're working up to something, hmm?"

She chuckled again, reaching into her desk to pull out a newspaper, folded to an inner page. Pointing, she indicated a small article. "Here."

Remington picked it up and read it, getting a sinking feeling in his stomach
with every word. Some LA reporter had picked up on his and Laura's being
stranded in the cabin in Vail, and had penned a news item from it. He winced, nodding toward Laura's office. "Has she seen this?"

Mildred shook her head. "Not that I know of. But you know Miss Holt. She's
not much for reading newspapers in the morning. I've been fielding calls
about it all morning from the press."

"Damn. What did you tell them?" he asked.

"That you were there on a case and I couldn't talk about it."

He smiled widely in gratitude, coming around to give her a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you. I knew I could count on you, Mildred."

"So. What happened?"

"Nothing much. A sudden avalanche trapped the two of us in a cabin for the

"And?" she prompted, obviously expecting more.

"Anything more, Mildred, is between Laura and myself right now," he said, and saw her hopeful expression dim a bit. "But we did- connect, I think. I hope." He took a deep breath.

"Really?" The telephone rang, and she picked it up with her usual, "Remington Steele Investigations."

The distraction gave Remington the opportunity to escape into his office to
escape further questions. He went straight for the connecting door to Laura's office and opened it without knocking. "Good morning," he said, smiling.

"Good morning," she replied, smiling at him as well.

"How's the ankle?"

"Much better," she assured him.

He moved closer. "I- missed you this morning," he told her. After dinner at
his place, they had ended up in his bedroom. Remington had fallen asleep with Laura in his arms, floating on a euphoric cloud- only to wake this morning to find her gone.

"I left a note," she told him.

"'See you later' is a note?" Remington questioned.

She rose from her chair and carried a file to the cabinets behind him barely
showing any sign of the sprain she'd gotten in their little adventure. "I had to go back to my loft and change before coming to work," she informed him.

When she went to move past him again, Remington placed a hand on her arm,
keeping her there. "Laura, what's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," she insisted. "I don't understand your making such a big
deal out of my slipping out of your apartment early this morning to go back to mine. It happens all the time."

"I know," he sighed, "I guess I was just- disappointed."

"Disappointed?" she asked, and immediately Remington was apologetic.

"Not by that," he quickly assured her. "Never by that. By not waking up next
to you again. I was- looking forward to it, I suppose."

Laura smiled at him and moved closer, sliding her arms around his neck. "Tell you what, Mr. Steele, why don't you make reservations for Catalina this weekend? If we're not working on a case, we'll take a helicopter over to the island Friday evening and spend the entire two days alone. Just you-" she said, unnecessarily straightening his tie, "and me. How does that sound?"

"Sounds delightful," he told her, knowing that he was grinning like a
schoolboy promised a treat for good behaviour. He was about to lower his head with the intention of capturing her lips when there was a knock on the door and Mildred entered, a file folder in her hand.

Laura patted his tie. "There you go, Mr. Steele. All fixed. What is it,
Mildred?" she asked.

Mildred lifted an eye brow in Remington's direction, but he simply returned
her look evenly before saying, "I'll be in my office if I'm needed for-
anything. I have some- phone calls to make." The last was directed at Laura,
who shot him a warning glance as he closed the connecting door.


Late that evening, after Remington and Laura successfully located a missing
accountant for a client, Fred drove them back to Laura's loft. Remington got
out with her, telling Fred, "Open the boot, please, Fred."

He didn't look at Laura as he retrieved the overnight case from the back of
the limo, then bent to tell the driver, "Take the rest of the night off, mate. See you in the morning."

"Yes, sir," Fred agreed, and Remington found himself grateful for the
chauffeur's powers of discretion.

"What are you doing?" Laura asked as he turned her toward the entrance of the converted warehouse.

"Preparing myself to take on those stairs after a long day at the moment," he informed her. "I really think it's time you started lobbying for a lift in the building, Laura. It's been three years-"

She pulled away from his hold on her arm on the steps. "That's not what I
meant and you know it. What's *that*?" she asked, pointing to the case in his hand.

"This? Oh, nothing. Just a few things for tomorrow morning.-"

"Tomorrow morning? Taking a lot for granted, aren't we, Mr. Steele?" she
asked, her voice rising slightly.

"Laura, let's not stand out here on the sidewalk bickering like an old married couple, eh? Let's go up to your loft and discuss this like two adults-"

"The only discussion you're interested in leads into the bedroom and you know it!"

Remington sighed. "So we're back to that again, are we?" He stood there,
disappointed, then nodded. "Very well. I'll just flag down a taxi-"

She stopped him before he could turn around. "It's not that. It's just - " she glanced around as if realizing that he had been right about their discussing this on the street. "Let's go upstairs."

Remington followed her at a slower pace, uncertain about what he was feeling
at the moment. He'd expected this, hadn't he? The return of the Ice Queen.
He shook his head, thinking what a bloody awful title that would be for a

The sliding door to the loft was standing open when he reached it, so he
entered. Dropping the case onto the floor, he closed the door and then turned to where Laura stood, facing away from him, playing with the edge of her piano. "Laura, for the record, I wasn't taking anything for granted. I just thought that - in case we- well, it would be a good idea for me to have a few things here so that I wouldn't have to take off the way you did this morning." He dropped his jacket over the back of a chair, and then moved over to her, placing his hands on her shoulders. "Laura, if you don't want me to stay the night, all you have to do is say so. I'll call a cab and go home. I won't like it, but I'll go, - if that's what you want."

He felt her shuddering breath through his hands and waited for her to make a
decision. When she turned around to look at him, he saw the answer before she said a word. "That's not what I want," she said. His growing smiled faded as she continued. "But-"

"But. Why is there always a 'but'?" Remington sighed.

"Having your things here- or mine at your apartment- just, well, it's almost
like living together."

"So? Would that be so horrible?" he asked, bending his knees slightly to
enable him to meet her lowered gaze. "I wouldn't mind. It's something I've
never tried actually," he said more to himself than to her.

"But I *have*," Laura reminded him. "And it- didn't work out."

"Laura, you weren't the problem in that relationship. Wilson wanted to
change you. To turn you into something you weren't."

"So after he left I turned into that person on my own," Laura said.

"Ah, but there are still glimmers of the old Laura," he told her, pulling her toward the sofa. "And I look forward to discovering still more of them."

"You do?"

"Hm mm," he nodded as they sat down, his arm around her, keeping her close.

"I'm just- not sure that I'm ready to go public with this. To let everyone
know that we're- that you and I are-"

"Lovers," he supplied.

"Involved," she said.

"I like my word better." He tucked her head beneath his. "Laura, I'm not
asking you to shout anything from the rooftops or to call a press conference. All I'm asking is that you give us the opportunity to be together. We can't help it if some stupid hack of a reporter wants to think the worst-" he stopped, wishing he could take the words back the moment he said them. "Never mind," he said quickly as Laura looked up at him.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Nothing," he said, jumping to his feet and heading for the kitchen. "Why
don't I make us something to eat, eh? An omelet, perhaps?"

"I don't have any eggs," she told him standing there, watching him.

"Okay, then, I'll go out and buy some," he said, grabbing his jacket. "Be
back before you know it-"

She was standing in front of the door when he turned around, barring his only avenue of escape. "Now. What's going on? What was that about a reporter
thinking the worst?" she asked him, her expression telling him that he wasn't going to get out of this easily. If at all.

Remington took a deep breath, then tugged at his ear as he said, "It seems
that our little- adventure in Vail made the local paper."


"Just a- tiny article. Not even enough to notice, really," he insisted.

"And what was that- worst that you mentioned?"

"Uh, nothing, Laura." She wasn't buying it. He could tell. "Just that- it
looked like the secretary had her sights set on the boss, that's all," he
finished quickly, feeling a bit nauseous. "Laura, don't over react, okay? It
was just one reporter. And I doubt seriously if anyone other than Mildred or
I read the thing. It was *so* small," he indicated how small the article was
with his fingers.

"Great," Laura sighed. "Just great. I studied, apprenticed, built an agency
from the ground up, and what happens? Everyone thinks that I *slept* my way
into my job!"

"Not everyone, Laura," Remington insisted as the telephone rang. "Shall I-?"
he asked when she hesitated.

"No," she said, diving in front of him. "The last thing I need right now is
for *you* to answer *my* telephone." She picked up the receiver and said,
"Hello? . . . Frances . . . what a surpri-" Remington saw her eyes widen, and when they turned toward him in silent accusation, he went back to the sofa and sank down onto it, his head in his hands. "Really? . . . Oh, it was nothing . . . No, no. We were there on a case . . . Well, I can't really discuss it, Frances. Client confidentiality and all . . . Really, I'm fine, Frances . . . Look, I'll call you, okay? I was just about to have dinner and go to bed . . . Give my love to Donald and the kids . . . Good night, Frances."

Remington lifted his head as she stared daggers at him. When she approached,
he slowly stood up and held out his hands in a defensive measure. "Laura, it's not my fault. I didn't write that bloody story, and I didn't-"

"I think we need to establish some ground rules, Mr. Steele," she said,
pushing him back down onto the couch.

"Ground rules?" he asked, swallowing nervously. Laura's ground rules were
usually distasteful. "Laura, we can't just go back. Forget what happened-"

"No, we can't," she agreed, pacing before him. "But we can engage in a little damage control."

"Laura, don't you think you're over reacting just a touch here? I mean, no
one's accusing you of anything. What's the worst than can happen, eh?"

She stopped, her mouth open in shock. "My entire reputation is in shreds!" she insisted.

"Why? Because a few people who are jealous of a woman with brains and beauty
think that she slept with her boss?"

"But you're *not* the boss!" Laura reminded him.

"So *I* slept with the boss," he modified, then grinned at her. "And I don't
regret it at all." She sighed, and he held out his hand. "Come here."

Once she was tucked under his arm again, she said, "What are we going to do,
Mr. Steele?"

"Well, the first thing we're going to do is find something else for you to
call me when we're alone."

"Let me think about that one," Laura mused.

"And second, what difference does it make,- really, whether people think
you're my- um- "

"Current enamourda?" Laura supplied.

"Yes, well, yes - no. That we're together. As long as *we* know the truth.
Isn't that what *really* matters? You're good, Laura. If we work together
for the next twenty years, I don't think I could learn nearly half of what you know about detective work. You're smart, you're beautiful, and even with all of the roadblocks you've come across, you've still accomplished far more than most would have. I know our arrangement hasn't been easy for you, having to stand in the shadows while I take credit for your work, but- *I* know the truth of it. And my admiration for you couldn't be higher."

"You've learned a lot," Laura told him. "More than I thought you would when
we started. You were wrong, you know."

"I was? About what, precisely?"

"That I'm the boss. I'm not sure when it happened, but we're a team."

"Partners," Remington said.


"Comrades in arms," he finished.

"You've convinced me," she said, turning into his arms and sliding hers around his neck to give him a long kiss. "Full speed ahead," she muttered at last.

"And damn the torpedoes," Remington said, pulling her closer still.

"Up periscope?" Laura said in a suggestive tone, and Remington grinned,
wiggling his brow in response.

"I don't think we'll have problem with that," he said, standing up and holding out his hand to her. "Shall we adjourn to roomier quarters, Laura?"

"By all means, -Mr. Steele," she said with a grin, moving toward the stairs
which lead to the bedroom.

Remington shook his head. "We are going to *have* work on that," he said,
following her.

The End