Steele Untitled Part 4/?
Date: Friday, March 01, 2002
Sinead O'Byrne <>

OK-took me less time than I thought! Here it is! Don't forget to tell me what you think! If it wasn't for feedback, this would've taken a lot longer! ENJOY!

I woke up to hear a groan come from the bedroom. I smiled, thinking of the hangover Harry must have. I walked into his kitchen, raiding his cabinets and fridge looking for what I needed. I found the bunch of ingredients quickly, and mixed the rather obscure group of objects together. I strained it into a glass before moving on to make something for breakfast. I was in a cooking mood. Just as I finished making sausage and eggs, Harry stumbled in.
"Tabitha! What are you doing here?" He said when he saw me cooking in his kitchen.
"Making you breakfast. Here." I said giving him the glass.
"Your famous hangover relief?"
"You got it. And your breakfast is ready." I said, as I piled the food onto a plate. He gulped down the mix of ingredients before swiping the plate away from me and walking over to the table, where he proceeded to chow down. "Look, I'm going to be busy today, but I'll only be at the hotel. Give me a call if you need anything. If you don't feel like going out to get groceries or something, that fridge is running low, or if you just need someone to talk to, you know where to find me." He gave me a weak smile.
"Well, I'll be on my way. Like I said, call if you need anything."
"I will, don't worry. But I'm not an invalid."

"I didn't think you were." I smiled at him, and walked out of his apartment. I drove back to the hotel, where I jotted down the notes on my newest plan on a piece of paper. I flipped to the real estate section of the Times. I quickly found the perfect spot to base things. He'd be right under her nose the whole time. Being since it was a Saturday, I figured that Mildred would be home, and dialed the number.
"Hello?" Answered a groggy voice.
"I'm sorry Miss Krebs, did I wake you up?"
"It's all right. What do you want now, though?"
"You want to see Harry and Laura together, right?"
"Does the desert want water?"
"To the point of doing anything?"
"Well, I have a plan to get the two of them together."
"What is it?"
"It's a little complicated, where can I meet you to talk about it?"
"How about going for brunch, there's this great diner that I know about."
"Sounds great!" I quickly got the address and was on my way. I arrived there soon after, to find Mildred waiting for me.
"So, what's the grand plan?" She asked me once we were seated.
"Wellà" I launched into an in-depth description of what I wanted to do. I watched Mildred, trying to gauge the older woman's reactions, and how far she would go to see the two of them together. I watched her face for telltale signs of what she thought of my plan, and found that she was almost all for it.
"In other words, you just want me to play along, stall Miss Holt when needed, advert her elsewhere, AND bug stuff?"
"I'm sure you can handle placing three mini-mikes and a camera in the office?"
"Yes. But kidnapping? And the threat of murder? What if Miss Holt catches on?"
"Don't worry Mildred. All the work will be done through a trustworthy middle man."
"How trustworthy?"
"I'd trust my life, all my worldly possessions, and my two poodles with him. And I don't trust Shamus and Shannon to too many people."
"Why what? I like specifics."
"Why are you setting up such a grand plan? What's the point?" I thought about for a minute, she was right. It was something that belonged in a story book, not real life.
"Because it's elaborate. I like things on a grand scale. You have anything better?"
"How about we see what he's going to do before we do anything. Knowing those two, they'll probably work this out on there own."
"They might normally, but I know Harry, and I've never seen him this shaken, this upset, EVER." She gave a look, as if to consider what I was saying.
"Not ever. I've only seen him cry once before, and that was because I had just beaten him shitless, and then it was because I think I ruptured something of his, which would cause almost anyone to cry." OK, so I was exaggerating a little, but I DID beat him shitless once.
"Was he really crying?" She asked out of pure sympathy for him.
"Yes. To the point of shaking with each sob. It wasn't a pretty sight. I don't know which was worse, him passed out, or him crying." I said, turning the situation a bit more lighthearted.
"I don't doubt that." She looked down at her watch. "I've got to go, I have an extra bowling practice, semi-finals are Tuesday." She said, with a small smile.
"Well then, good luck to you, I never could bowl. My best score is 106." I said with a little bit of laugh. I got the bill, and started walking out. A thought had been nagging me all day. An idea less crazy then my harebrained kidnapping one. But it'd depend solely on Harry, but I had the feeling that he'd be a willing participant, though unknowing. I also had the feeling that he had already started the first step of my plan, without having any clue of my intentions. I drove back to my hotel and phoned Daniel.
"Change of plans. If Harry shows up, keep him there."
"What? Why?"
"Because, if he leaves, Laura will finally realize how much she's hurt him. And I'm going to stay here and berate her about it. And keep Lish out of it this time. This round, she can't have any knowledge of it. As much as I hate her, I don't think she deserves the wrath of Laura Holt." He laughed.
"No one deserves the wrath of Miss Holt. It's amazing that Harry's put up with her this long."
"It is. Ta-ta. Make sure Shamus and Shannon keep in shape."
"Keep in shape? The way they inhale food I'm surprised they haven't exploded!"
"Do you feed them often?"
"Twice a day like you said."
"Good. Then they won't explode!" I said, knowing how much by two black poodles ate. They were of a Westminster-finalist descent, but they were the farthest things from show dogs ever. The two runts of the litter. But they were lovable, and that's what I loved about them. "Bye Danny."
"Good-bye Tabitha." He said, and I hung up. I reclined on the bed, thinking of how I was going to pull this one off. I never masterminded cons before, preferring to be a bit player. I never liked the idea of getting money by stealing. Probably came from spending the first ten years of my life in one of the worst neighborhoods of New York. There was hardly a day when a cop didn't arrest someone from my neighborhood. Mostly kids on drugs or gang charges, with the occasional prostitute thrown in. I saw more stuff those first ten years than most people, thank God see in a lifetime. I lived and associated with pickpockets and pushers, because that's all there were around me. When I moved in with Daniel, I discovered that not all criminals were ugly junkies, and that not all crimes were over women or drugs. It opened me up to a whole new world. I came up with some of the best ideas for cons, but I always left it up to Daniel to actually plan everything out.
Daniel was good at seeing what was too complicated, and tweaking it down, and upgrading plans that were too basic. But this one was too easy to screw up. Though knowing me, I probably would. Very basic, but it relied very heavily on Harry, and my acting skills. First, I had to count on Harry leaving. Walking out. If not, I'd just do the easy task of forcing him out. But, with some gentle prodding if needed, he'd probably leave on his own. I knew him to well to think otherwise. From his many letters and calls, I knew that he didn't stick around to be Remington Steele. He stuck around because he loved Laura. and with this most recent revalation, I doubted that he'd stick around. Laura just proved that she didn't love him. Well, not quite. There was definitely something there between them, but it was hell to figure out what. I think she did love Harry, but the emotion is so deeply buried, or so unrecognized, that she was too stupid to say yes. I knew that she had been hurt before, her father left when she was 16, her former live-in boyfriend walked out one day, and whenever she'd been able to get a boyfriend in high-school they were short lived with the exception of one Marty Klopman who had been by her for a while.
I gave up thinking, after my thoughts started to scare me. It was amazing what you can deduce about a person simply from a few simple facts. Great thing for being a reporter. I picked up my keys and drove over to the Rossmore, thinking up a speech to tell Harry on the way. When I arrived, I found the Auburn, the car that he always bragged about, gone from where I had seen it last night. I thought nothing of it at the moment, and quickly got in the elevator and went up to the fifth floor. I knocked on the door, and when I got no answer, I tried the knob, it was open. I walked inside, looking around. The place had a different air to it. An almost barren, wasted, sad air. "Harry? You there man?" I asked, closing the door gently behind me. I checked the fridge, and found the same stuff that was in there the last time, minus the canard au vin rouge that I had chowed down upon. "Harry man? You conscious? You alive?" I asked, walking into the bedroom. The bed was made, a rare sight for Harry. Normally the sheets were tucked in haphazardly, just to get it done. I remembered something that he always said about making the bed.
"What's the point? Making it nice just to mess it up again?" It was so true, especially for Harry, who moved around a lot in his sleep, even when there wasn't someone else in his bed. I was the same way. But I was violent. I punched and kicked, Harry only rolled around and stole the sheets. There were too many time to count when I'd hear whoever Harry was with complaining about how she was freezing while Harry had himself cocooned in the comforter. I walked into the bathroom to find it almost immaculate. The razor wasn't out, nor the shaving cream. The sink was clean, no toothpaste anywhere, no dirty toothbrush out. The only thing adorning it was a bar of soap. It seemed almost too perfect. No magazines out, no books, nothing, it looked ready to be shown for a prospective buyer. "No." I whispered, throwing open the medicine cabinet. All that was left was a bottle of aspirin. I half-ran back into the bedroom, and threw open the closet. Blank, empty. Nothing. Not one suit, not one tie, not anything but the hangers. I checked the drawers. Blank as well. I walked back out into the living room, and checked the wall. There were the movie posters, minus one. The Casablanca one. His favorite movie. The one that he sniviled at every time. The one he could recite line for line. The others hung crooked, as if they had been pulled off, then re-hung with haste. It all clicked. My plan was in action sooner than I thought. He'd left, with no prodding or pushing from me. I thought of exactly what I was going to do to work this plan out. I went to grab a piece of paper, that and a pencil being some of the few things left, and started to sketch out a timeframe.
Monday-early-check for word from Harry.
After that-noonish-walk into office
act surprised that Harry's gone
let Laura stew, acting as if this was all her fault
tourture Laura in a way, tell her all about how much Harry spoke of her
egg her on to chase him down.
Night-Call Daniel-make sure Harry's arrived
find where Harry is
act like plan 1 was in action
make sure Felicia knows nothing except Harry's there for the taking.
Tuesday-check back with Danny
Later-show up at office again
berate Laura
ship her off
After that-pack
Take Red-eye to England
Wednesday-set up warehouse
take Harry, keep him there
make sure no one knows of me
keep eye out for Miss Holt
when she arrives, detain her.
Set up clues, etc.
force Laura to rescue him,
pray that this works.
Looking back over the time frame, I frowned. It wasn't the best, just an idea of where I wanted this to head. The only thing that didn't fit was Wednesday. Everything was plan B, that was leftover from plan A. And Mildred WAS right. Kidnapping him and holding his impending death over Laura was too much. It was something out of a fictional novel, or a really bad TV show, the kind that they show along with things like "It's a Miracle". In my opinion, any show that has the word "Miracle" in the title isn't worth watching. I thought about the other options. It could just be that Laura had been stringing him along for purposes of a having a name to the face and didn't care for him in the least. Money does strange things to people, and once Harry came onto the scene, Remington Steele investigations began to take a lot more clients, and make a lot more money. Where it had been just barely in the black the week before, it had almost doubled within a week of his showing up. And Laura seemed to be the queen of all things city, including nightclubs. It had taken quite a few of my reporter friends to finally admit that, apparently, she didn't like the fact that she danced and drank the night away on more than one occasion. I glanced down at my watch. It had been two hours since I had shown up here, four since I met with Mildred. I decided that four hours was more than enough for bowling practice and dialed her house.
"Hello?" she asked.
"Sorry to interrupt your day again, but that whole 'see how things go' thing is now in action."
"What do you mean by that?"
"things have already gone. So has Harry."
"He packed up and left."
"Did he leave ANYthing behind?"
"I didn't really check the bedroom, give me a moment." I said, walking over and picking up the bathroom extention that had a much longer cord. "Packed up everything from the bathroom, but give me one minute." I said, walking into the bedroom and looking over the top of the dresser. "Wait, he left something." I said, picking it up. I instantly recognized the blue leather. As well as the US front, and I prayed that it wasn't so. "It's a passport."
"a passport? Which one?" I flipped it open to look at it. There was Harry's face beaming brightly on the page, and I looked down at the name. "Damn!" I muttered, half out of shock, half out of concern, not only for him, but for Laura and Mildred.
"What? What's wrong?"
"It's the one I hoped he took with him."
"What do you mean 'hoped he took with him'?"
"I don't think he intends on coming back Mildred."
"Why not? Which passport did he leave?"
"Remington Steele's."
End Part 4
To Part 5