- Steele Untitled part 2/?
Date: Saturday, February 09, 2002
- Sinead O'Byrne <SteeleaScarecrow@hotmail.com>
OK-here's part 2, of I'm hoping to be about 3-4! Enjoy!
Permission to Archive
Raiting-pg, mild language
When I walked in to the office the next morning, I found Laura
and Mildred hunched over a computer screen. "Geez! When
she said EVERYthing, she meant it!" Laura said, looking
at the monitor. "She's written for just about every newspaper
in the country! New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, People,
EW, Us, London Times, Newsweek, a slew of local papers, you name
it, she's written for it!" I instantly knew what they were
talking about. .
"You're forgetting the bunch of gossip rags where all you
do is pick up a star and create a scandal about them, and collect
thousands of bucks for it!"
"Miss Blaine." Mildred said, not really a greeting.
They were slightly at a loss for words, after all they had been
looking at my personal profile.
"So what else is there, other than my article-ography?"
"A couple of credit card bills, but nothing else. It all
starts in 1970." Mildred pointed out.
"try under Tabitha Catherine O'Sulliva, that's my real name."
"Is that where Mr. Steele got Cat from? Your middle name?"
"No, she used to go by Tabby, I took the initiative and
started calling her tabby-cat!" Harry said, breezing through
the glass doors. "What's with the soiree, some party that
I wasn't invited to?"
"Yeah, Harry, you can say that. Then again, I wasn't invited
"Well, when you look up someone's records, it isn't best
to have them watching." Laura said, calm and collected.
"Well, what do you want to know? I can tell you, save on
your electric bills." I said, smiling.
"And can you prove it?"
"Really, Miss Krebs, I'm nothing like Harry here, you can
believe almost every word I say."
"So where were you BEFORE 1970?"
"Why don't we sit down somewhere?"
"Che Rive?" Harry suggested, and I gave him a look.
"Harry," I said in a warning tone.
"This is the second time you'd come in and go straight to
lunch. Don't want to have your pity run out."
"Pity?" He asked.
"Yes, why would anyone keep you around, if it wasn't that
you're so pathetic!" I said, grinning. I looked over at
Laura who was struggling to keep a straight face as we tossed
insults back and forth. "Sorry about us Miss Holt, but Harry
here is just SO easy to insult, that it's hard not too. I'd suggest
that you stay back, if we're not insulting each other, we're
either fighting or competing." I said in between insults.
"Reminds me of when he first came here." She said.
"Well, he IS easy to insult, isn't he?"
"Yes, so easy." We were both laughing now. And Harry
and Mildred were smiling too.
"I appreciate not being talked to like I wasn't in the room."
"I didn't realize that you had the intelligence to hold
up an actual conversation." I grinned triumphantly. He'd
run out of comebacks.
"So are we going to hear about your past Miss Blaine, or
Miss O'Sullivan, or whatever you're going to be called."
"Tabitha, please. As soon as we figure out if we're leaving
or staying or whatever." I looked at Harry and Laura.
"I suppose we could go to Che Rive." Laura said, shrugging.
"We don't have a reservation." Mildred pointed out.
"She has a point." I caught a familiar glint in Harry's
"OK Harry, how much of the place do you own?"
"I only have a couple of shares."
"Knowing you, that's a couple hundred." I said, watching
as Laura's face contorted into half shock, half anger.
"So I bought a few shares once I made some money of my own."
"So just how much of the agency's funds DID you use?"
I asked him.
"None. The agency only pays for stuff like clothes."
"At four hundred dollars a suit." Laura pointed out.
"So? I like high class."
"Can we go?" Mildred asked.
"Wise idea, Miss Krebs." I said, pushing past Harry
to the door, removing the keys to my rental car from my pocket.
After a little bit of shifting around and trying to figure out
who'd go with who, Laura eventually passed the keys off to Harry,
and he and Mildred drove, and I went with Laura, eager to see
just how well the car handled, after all, the rental place was
just down the road. I watched as Laura ran a hand over the dash
as she climbed in.
"Classy car." She pointed out. It was pretty nice.
A sleek, lapis-blue Porsche 911 convertible, with black leather
"yeah. The one thing that I've picked up from Harry and
Daniel. Danny can fling anything around like a sports car, even
a Rolls, but his favorite had always been a Diablo.
"Do you honestly think Danny can FIT in a Diablo?"
"He isn't the thinnest man ever, but it's not like he's
fat or anything."
"Compared to what I've seen, how he is now is either thin,
or fat, compared to how he used to be. I swear the only person
that I know that'd be able to FIT into one of those things is
Felicia, and then she might break something with one of her bones
that sticks out." This got her to laugh a little again.
"you know Felicia?"
"Kinda hard not to. Don't let Harry hear this, but one of
the things between us is that he always insists on proving himself
right. I had tried to tell him that Felicia was no good, nothing
but trouble, but he refused to listen to me. Look what happened.
Felicia bruises his ego, and leaves him quite literally hanging,
almost caught by the cops."
"What?" Laura asked, almost stunned.
"Felicia ran off with another guy, bruising his ego. After
all, he'd been the one who dumped, not the one who got dumped.
Then Felicia comes back with this sob story that Danny and I
saw right through, convinced Harry to try a heist with her, and
when they got there, she tripped an alarm, and left Harry hanging
by his repelling harness over some very valuable jewels. He just
barely made it out." We'd pulled up in front of Che Rive.
Harry and Mildred were just getting out as I skillfully slung
the car around into a parking spot.
"Well then, you've arrived." Harry said, waiting for
us to get out of the car.
"Yes, we have." I said, a little grin on my face. I
knew that he wanted my rental car, I could see it in his eyes.
Either the car or Laura, who was getting out of the car. It didn't
matter, he wanted something. I knew how to judge Harry's moods
by his eyes, they gave him away. That and his voice. He'd worked
so hard to try and knock out some of the brogue that he had,
make himself sound more refined. But whenever he was mad, or
upset, to hell with being refined, he couldn't seem more Irish
if his name was St. Patrick! We walked into the nicely decorated
restaurant, and Harry waltzed up to the matre'd. They talked
in hushed whispers for a few seconds, before the matre'd grabbed
for menus and led us to a table. I had to laugh once we were
"What's so funny?" Mildred asked me.
"Nothing, just that whenever there's a problem, there's
logical solution, and Harry's is use money or charm."
"Or just plain common sense." Harry said.
"Well, are going to hear about your childhood?" Mildred
asked, eager to find what could be so unknown, not even her computer
can find it.
"OK, where to start? Um-.all right." I was slightly
nervous, after all, this was part of Harry's past too. And if
I screwed up and said something he didn't want known, he'd have
my head. "Well, I was born in Jersey, up north, right by
New York, lived there for ten years. Then my mom, she gets this
wise idea to take a vacation. Now, we hadn't been on a vacation
before, my dad ran off before I was born. Well, she decides to
take me to see my æuncle' Daniel. He isn't really my uncle,
just my moms best friend, they grew up together. Well, we get
there without a hitch, all is fine and dandy when we go to meet
him. But he has his hands full with Harry here. A twelve year
old who insisted on doing everything HIS way." I said, watching
Harry squirm in his seat slightly. "Well, it took me besting
him at poker to get him to at least sit in the same room as me."
"It was seven-card Cambodian stud! Of course you'd win with
"Seven card Cambodian stud?" Laura asked, vexed.
"Everything's wild! Well, anyway, I was naturally better
than him at everything, from riding to gambling. OK, he's the
better story-teller, I'll give him that much, and the better
private detective. But anyways, Daniel's always been kind, let
us stay at his place, hang out, took us on tours of London, the
works. Then, the last day of our vacation, en route to the airport,
my mom walks out, not knowing that two guys were brawling right
there, got caught by a stray knife, took about a week before
she died. Well, since Daniel was almost family, and since I was
staying with him anyway, he took me in, refined me, sent me to
school when Harry here got kicked out."
"I didn't get kicked out, I ran away."
"Daniel didn't like it either way." We paused long
enough to place our orders. I had my usual for a fancy place,
coq au vin, with Harry, Mildred, and Laura going for more upscale
things. "Well, anyway, while Harry spent his days engrossed
in his theory that you could find a Bogart or Grant movie on
at anytime of day, I was engrossed in finer arts, like music
"If you can call punk rock music." Harry commented
"First, I don't play punk rock, secondly, I'd like to see
YOU play something."
"Harmonica?" he suggested.
"A harmonica pales in comparison to guitar, AND piano."
"And I like art." He pointed out.
"Yes, you kinda have to know WHAT you are lifting off of
a museum wall."
"And I'm a good artist too."
"Not as good as I am."
"Let's see you draw something better than I can."
"Let's see you paint something better than I can."
"Let's see you draw."
"Let's see you paint."
"Let's see you draw."
"Let's see you paint." I glanced over at Laura, who
was failing at trying to stifle her laughter behind her hand.
Even Ms. IRS' shoulders were quivering slightly, and she was
"Let's see you draw."
"Fine, have a sheet of paper?"
"Not with me."
"If I draw, you gotta paint."
"Well then, after lunch, we'll decide." I looked over
at Mildred and Laura again. "Sorry for HIM, but he's always
so competitive when it comes too something that I can do better
than HE can. He always insists on being right, but could you
please help me prove him wrong? You're the most impartial people
I can find."
"Well-..OK, just let's finish hearing about your past."
"Fine. OK, now where was I? Oh yeah, school. Well, I finished
my education, and picked up doing just about everything. I tried
to stay out of cons as much as possible, doing more of the posing
as whatever than actually scamming people outta their life savings.
But you gotta do what you gotta do. But, I picked up writing
and art, and got to freelancing. How'd you guys feel to an interview?
I want as many different angles for this as possible, you're
almost guaranteed the cover of Time or Newsweek or People!"
"we'll think about it." Laura said quickly.
"OK. Now, what else do you want to know?"
"How about why you're so slippery?" Mildred asked.
"Well, if you suddenly changed your name, your new trail
won't have much on it either, would it?" We finished our
lunch, and a pulled my wallet out of my purse to pay at least
my part of the bill.
"It's all right, I've got the tab, Tab." Harry said,
a smile crossing his face.
"Ha-ha. Very funny. Try out for the Friar's Club."
I said dryly. I flipped open the wallet, to at least get the
tip. I have this thing about paying. I always was rather generous,
much like Harry is. "Shit" I mumbled as the grip in
my hand went, and the wallet slid across the table to where Laura
and Mildred were sitting. Laura went to hand me back my wallet,
and then stopped and looked at something again, before almost
bursting out laughing. I had a feeling what she was looking at.
"Lemme guess, the photo of me, my mom, Harry and Daniel
is what you're laughing at?" She handed the wallet back
to me, and nodded. I looked over the photo again. It was a photo
taken the second day of our vacation. Harry was still somewhat
unrefined, and was wearing a pair of torn and tattered old jeans,
an old looking white tee-shirt. In additon to this heinous outfit,
he had just started to grow a beard, and was so proud ofd it,
that he had these streaks of dark stubble across his pale skin,
with his hair down to his shoulders, and flopping slightly in
I wasn't much better looking. First of all, I looked ready to
kill Daniel, my mother, Harry, and whoever was taking the photo,
for not only making me pose, but for being stuck next to Harry.
Second of all, I had been trying to grow my hair, and some of
it had escaped the ponytail holder that it was in, so I had a
few strands of my blonde hair strewn across my face, with my
bangs almost obscuring my brown eyes. Daniel and my mother weren't
that great looking either, but better than us. I suppose the
only reason why I even kept in my wallet was because the sight
of harry and I always brings a smile to my face.
"What photo is that?" Harry asked, desperate to know
what embarrassing photo eit was of him.
"This one!" I said, showing him the photo. A flash
of anger flashed across his face, then embarrassment, then laughter.
I passed the photo onto Mildred, and she looked at it, then up
at Harry, then back to me and laughed as well. "I do have
more of you at different stages, each one uglier than the next!"
He just glared back at me. I suppose a woman could consider him
handsome. But once they have to put up with him for more than
a week, his personality more than ruins his looks. I figured
Laura must be a saint for putting up with him, and said as much.
I swore she blushed slightly.
"He can be hard to put up with at times." She said,
and I watched Harry's reaction. The waiter came to take the check,
and Harry wound up paying.
"Well, I came to ask Harry a question, got lunch, told the
story of my past, and completely forgot my question!" I
said. "Thanks for lunch, But I might as well try and find
some star out on Rodeo and try for an interview."
"At the very least, let me drive you there." Harry
said, and I can see a familiar glint in his eyes.
"You wanna drive that Porsche, YOU rent it!" Laura
and Mildred laughed at this. "But I'll tell ya what, since
you got lunch, I'll let you drive it back to your office."
This would also give me the chance to ask him the question that
had been in the back of my mind for a while.
"You got it!" Harry said, returning the keys of Laura's
Rabbit back to her. Once we were safely settled in the car, I
looked across at him, and thought of how to broach the subject.
I eventually just gave up and decided to be blunt about it.
"OK, Harry, how much do you love her?" I asked, catching
him completely off guard.
"You love Laura, you bought a ring for her, how come she
isn't wearing it?"
"What!" This time it was more of an expression of shock
than a question.
"I saw it, a large diamond surrounded by Royal Lavulite.
Now, why haven't you given it to her? And how long have you had
it?" He took
a minute, and a deep breath before answering.
"I've been too much of a bloody coward to give it to her,
and I've had it for a while. Right after her house got blown
up almost three years ago."
"Three years! Harry, what are you waiting for, the apocalypse!?"
"A good sign?" He suggested hopefully, turning off
onto a side road.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm extending this conversation, besides this car is great."
"OK, Harry, take your chances. The longer you wait, the
more of the chance she'll grow tired of waiting."
"Grow tired of waiting! HER? Hell Tabitha, I'm the one waiting
"In that case--." I said, trying to give him a reason
"In that case, what?"
"In that case, just try it, and from the looks of it, she's
just as taken with you as you are with her."
"Now, can I ask you one question?"
"What?" I said, unsure of what it would be.
"Why the sudden interest in my love life? You and Daniel
always seemed to think NO woman was good enough for me."
"You mean you weren't good enough for any woman." I
said, and laughed when he glared at me.
"Because Laura's perfect for you Harry! I saw it, Daniel
saw it, hell, you find me someone who DOESN'T see it, and I'll
give you a million bucks!"
"You don't have a million dollars." He pointed out.
I gave him a pissed-off look.
"Not the point, Harry. The point is, that you and Laura
are the world's best match since Adam and Eve!"
"Adam and Eve didn't fight nearly as much as we do."
He said dejectedly.
"But you guys always make up, don't you? Now give me a date."
"Date for what?"
"For when you're gonna propose! I want to know when I can
call you at 8 in the morning to find out how great things went."
"You're giving me an ultimatum?"
"Well, since you're to cowardly to suck it up and admit
your feelings for it otherwise--."I said, letting it trail
"Fine. Tomorrow night, if I can work up the courage."
"OK wimp." Not even my egging him on could do much.
He was truly nervous about it, and I considered it to be a good
thing. I knew all of Harry's nervous ticks, and he was showing
one now. Normally, with manual-shifting cars he was like me,
go as fast as you can, with quick racing changes. But when Harry
got nervous, he got like a hat-person driver. Hell, we even past
a lady who was beyond a hat-person driving better than Harry
was. He didn't get reckless, just slow, and if he didn't get
it together soon, I was sure he'd strip the gears. After all,
you try doing a racing change into 4th going 20 MPH! He didn't
notice what he was doing, his thoughts elsewhere. Suddenly, the
car gave a lurch as he sped up.
This was the other thing he'd do when he was nervous. He got
almost erratic as he drove, flinging the car over a speed bump
like the Dukes of Hazard. Finally, after about sixty speed and
gear changes he pulled into the underground lot. "Bye!"
I said, easily sliding into the other seat.
"Lady Luck always wins, and you're the luckiest guy I know!"
I said, offering him some words of advice.
"But luck doesn't count in love."
"Yes, but do whatever it takes, all's fair!" I laughed,
and sped off. It was still pretty early so I decided to stop
by a spa for a few hours before heading to Rodeo. While I was
there, I realized that I had completely been able to back down
out of our bet. Oh well. I came out a hell of a lot more relaxed
than when I went in, that was for sure. I parked myself outside
Fred Segal, waiting for someone famous to walk through the doors.
I checked my bag for the umpteenth time for everything that I
needed. Tape recorder, pen and paper, and æpress' badge.
I was just about ready to go home, when I spotted none other
than Tom Cruise walking down the street!
"Mr. Cruise!" I called, waiting for a reply.
"What do ya want?"
"A few words?"
"can you set up an appointment?"
"No, now if you could please move." He said pushing
"UGH!" I muttered under my breath. "Stars these
days. All this fame has gone to their heads!" I drove back
to my hotel, and decided to call it an early night. But first,
I had a phone call to make. I dialed the familiar number, and
waited for it to connect long-distance.
"Hello, Danny." I said, waiting for his reply. I was
probably the only person other than my mother who could get away
with calling him Danny.
"What do you want Tabitha?" he asked me, sounding somewhat
"How're Shamus and Shannon?" I inquired. I had asked
Daniel to watch my two poodles while I went globe trotting.
"The two things that are all fur and mouths?"
"Yes, that would be them."
"You'll never guess where I am."
"Currently being paid for by the great Remington Steele
himself, otherwise known as Harry."
"Yes. And I can see why you call Laura stubborn."
"She is, isn't she, but she's what Harry needs."
"Yeah, and I finally convinced him to do something he's
thought about for years."
"Pack up and leave?"
"No, you asshole, propose!"
"Propose, as in they're going to get married?" Asked
a new voice, one that I knew too well.
"Yes, Licia." I knew she hated it when I called her
"Michael's marrying HER?" she repeated.
"Yes, that's what I just said. And if you set a foot here
in LA sometime in the near future, or on their wedding day, I
will personally see to
it that you won't be able to make it to anything else Harry might
have in his future."
"Now Tabitha..be civil, at the very least, hire a hitman!"
I knew Daniel hated Felicia as much as I did. And from the sound
of things, she'd done something to REALLY piss him off.
"But what, Licia?"
"What makes you so sure that she'll say yes?"
"Why would she say no?" I asked, almost threateningly,
making sure Felicia got the point.
"OK, bye." Felicia said, hanging up the extension.
"What did you do to him, hold him at gunpoint?" Daniel
"No, I found the ring, and asked him about it."
"Well then, when's he proposing?"
"If all goes well, tomorrow night."
"well then, I'll have to call the next morning."
"I'd wait, just not to tempt fate, you know?"
"OK, I'll wait for your sake."
"It's Harry's sake, Daniel. Harry's sake." I said,
told him goodbye, and hung up. I fell asleep easily, and woke
up early the next morning, ready and raring to go. I looked outside
to find a beautiful day in front of me. It was the beginning
of November, and it was still up in the 70's. Then again it was
SoCal. I took my Porsche out for a spin, completely intending
to go back and wish Harry luck, but I found myself distracted
by an amusement park. I wound up spending the day there, finally
leaving at 7.
I sped back to the hotel, to see if Harry would call me early.
Just as I was about to go to bed, the phone rang. Just as I picked
it up, I heard a sound, then they hung up. I knew exactly who
it was. And he didn't sound to happy either. I pulled out his
address, and I was lucky that there were no cops en route, otherwise
I'd have been pulled over for sure. I rushed up to 5A and knocked
on the door.
"W-who's there?" said a muffled voice that was stiff
"Harry it's me." I heard come over to the door, and
"What happened?" I asked taking a look at him.
"I don't know."
"Yes you do. You're worn ragged, and you've been crying."
And I knew Harry didn't cry often. His face was gaunt and white,
his bloodshot eyes sticking out noticeably
"S-she turned me down."
- To Part