Steele at Home Part 3/4
Date: Friday, October 20, 2006
"Lori" <>

Notes, Disclaimers, etc in Part One

Steele at Home

Part Three

Remington sat up in bed, his back against the headboard. He closed his
and rubbed them with the heels of his hands. It was late, he was
but sleep eluded him. He laughed softly. The man who had lived his
life running from commitments was lying awake, unable to sleep because
wife hadn't come to bed. They had shared a bed for less than a month,
yet he couldn't remember his bed without her in it. Tonight he found
feeling slightly neglected. No, neglected wasn't the right word. He
never complain about their physical relationship. Laura satisfied him
no other woman--- being with her had been well worth the wait of those
long years. It was just that he was having a hard time adjusting to
to share her. Having her all to himself in Ireland had spoiled him, but
they were in Los Angeles and his beautiful Laura was in her element. He
couldn't wait for this case to be finished. She had been relentless in
pursuit of justice for Uncle Andy. Her tenacity was one of the things he
loved about her. Over the years, he'd loved watching her dig her heels
mull over facts, ferret out clues---she was brilliant and he'd learned
much from her. He sighed, knowing that when this case was over, there
always be another. "Laura!" he called out to her. "Come to bed."

Laura looked up from the files spread across the dining room table when
heard her husband calling her. She glanced at her watch. It was late,
she wasn't getting anywhere. But something was nagging at her. There was
something she was missing. McIntyre was such an obvious suspect, and she
knew Remington harbored suspicions of Kari Simmons. She kept thinking
was something else. Something they had seen but weren't thinking of. But
what was it? "Just a few more minutes!" she called back.


It was almost an hour later when Laura tiptoed into the darkened
She sat on the edge of the bed and began taking off her clothes.

"You can turn the light on."

She jumped at the sound of his voice. "You're awake."

"Couldn't sleep."

"Are you all right?" she asked, reaching to him with concern. "You're
sick, are you?"

"No," he opened his arms to her. "Something was missing. Come here."

She folded herself into his embrace. "I'm sorry," she said quietly.
just this case. I can't get it out of my mind. I know we're missing

"Ssshhh," he stroked her hair as he held her close. "Let it go for a
You need to rest."

She stretched up to kiss him as she slid from his arms. "I'll be right
back," she assured him, disappearing into the bathroom. She brushed her
teeth and washed her face. When she finished undressing, she reached for
silk pajama top that hung on the back of the door. His. She hadn't yet
returned to her comfy cotton gowns, but a lacy peignoir didn't seem
They both needed to rest. They needed to fall asleep in each other's
She smiled. Knowing her husband, and herself, she doubted they would go
right to sleep, but there was no need to add to temptation.


He picked up the silver frame and carried it to his bed. He set it down
the nightstand as he did every night. "Soon," he said to the photo.
be here with me. I need more than just your picture, my love."


Mildred looked up from her desk as the Steeles were entering the office.
had been prepared to tease them for coming in late, but then she saw
Even the sartorially fastidious Remington Steele looked a bit
"You two look like hell," she blurted out.

"Thank you, Mildred," Laura rolled her eyes as she picked up the mail.

"Long night," Remington replied, pulling off his sunglasses and rubbing
the bridge of his
nose. "Or rather, long case."

"Oh Chief," Mildred stood to go get their morning beverages. "You two
a break."

"We'll take one when we solve this case, Mildred." Laura set the mail
back on Mildred's desk and picked up a stack of pink
message slips. "Nothing from Detective Jarvis?"

"Not yet," Mildred answered. "But I'll put him through just as soon as

Laura turned back to her husband. "You're okay with taking care of Mrs.
Wells this afternoon?"

"Of course," he answered. "Everything is taken care of. I'm just going
to do
a final walk-through of the system with her. We will have to make sure
schedules are clear for Friday night. She's insisted we attend the

"We'll be there," Laura assured him. "Hopefully we'll have the
case wrapped by then. Maybe I can pick up something when I see John
today," she said, entering her office.

"Laura," his voice was low as he drew out her name. He closed the door
behind him. "McIntyre could be dangerous. I don't want you going to see

"Rem, I'm a big girl," she sat down in her chair. "I don't need my big,
strong man to protect me," she said with a little too much sarcasm.

"No," he spat back at her. "Laura Holt doesn't need anyone. Forgive me
being concerned. Forgive me for thinking we were PARTNERS! Remember that
Laura? We work best as a team? Weren't you the one who said that?"

"You're the security expert!" she roared back at him. "Do you want ME to
to the museum and let YOU deal with McIntyre?"

"No, Laura. I want us to work together. I want us to spend more than
bloody minutes together every day! I want you to let me in." He slammed
the door connecting their offices as he stormed into the one
assigned to him.

Laura sank back in her chair. She knew he was right.
Something about this case was causing her to push him away---
speaking. At home, things were good. Maybe it was because he knew her so
well. He knew from the start that she would obsess on proving Andy
Friedlander innocent of drug use. He knew that she would pursue her goal
the cost of everything else. She sometimes hated that he knew her so
But there was something else. He wasn't altogether supportive of her
of McIntyre. He'd thought her focus was short-sighted. How could they
together when they didn't agree on the suspect? They'd been at
cross-purposes before. And he was right--- they worked better as a team.
had turned into one hell of a detective, though she wasn't sure exactly
that had happened. Still, there wasn't anyone she trusted more to back
up, not even Murphy. She stood up to walk to his door. She placed her
flat against it and bit her lip.

Remington let out a long breath and leaned back in his chair. Why had he
blown up like that? He knew before the words had completely left his
how Laura would react. She had never wanted protecting, by him or anyone
else. But she didn't understand. She was his wife. His need to protect
was almost primal. Was this what she had always been afraid of? He
himself with the fact that the distance between them seemed to be
limited to
the office. Would it always be like this? Were they back to square one?
was it just this bloody case? He looked up when the connecting door

"I'm sorry," they both said at the same time. Then they laughed.

"This isn't going to be easy, is it?" she asked, moving to stand behind

"Has it ever been easy with us?"

"No," she smiled, "I guess not."

He reached out for her hands. "I know you need your independence. That's
of the things I've always loved about you. This partnership, both
and professional is a difficult change. Just don't shut me out, okay?"
He pulled her hand to his lips.
"I know this case is important to you. We'll figure it out, together."

"I have an idea," she said, looking at her watch. "Why don't you drop me
Police Headquarters on your way to the museum?"

She paused at the confused look on his face. "I can compare notes with
Jarvis while you finish up with Mrs. Wells. Then you can swing by and
me up before we go to see McIntyre."

"I like the way you think, Mrs. Steele."


Laura sat in the lobby of the police station. Jarvis hadn't been able to
offer anything new, and now she was watching for Fred and the limo to
and pick her up. She was going over the case in her mind, lost in her
thoughts. She almost didn't notice the man who walked into the lobby
a cart. He caught her attention when he started to empty the trash bins.
studied him. He seemed slightly familiar. More precisely, his uniform
familiar. He wore khaki pants and a matching work shirt. The logo just
his breast pocket was shaped like a diamond and said "Crystal Clean."

Laura's eyes drew open wide. "That's it!" she exclaimed, just as she saw
limo pull up out front. She'd just discovered that missing link that had
been nagging her for days.


Kari Simmons didn't look up from the script she was reading as she
down the hall of the network offices. She didn't notice the man walking
directly toward her until they collided. "Oh!" she said. "I'm sorry."
looked up and saw the man's face. "Charlie!"

"Hi Kari," he replied. "It's been a long time."

"Seems like forever," she answered with genuine affection.

"Look at you," he said. "The big star. Long way from the cleaning crew."

"I'm not a star," she blushed slightly. "Just a girl who got lucky," her
voice dropped as she choked up just a little, "thanks to a really

"Yeah, I heard about Mr. F," Charlie responded. "Terrible shame."

"Yes, it was."

"Hey," he said as if the idea had just struck him. "You wanna have
with me?"

"I don't know," she hesitated.

"What's the matter?" his tone was sharper now. "You too good for your

"No, no. Not at all," she caught the change in his demeanor. "I just
have to
learn the script for the new show."
She held up the book in her hand. "We start taping tomorrow."

He was beginning to make her nervous. "C'mon Kari, even big fancy
gotta eat."

He grabbed her by the arm and led her to a side door.


"Why would someone from the cleaning crew have a copy of Kari's
Laura asked as Fred drove them to the studio. She had to admit she
have the answer. But she was sure she was on to something. When she saw
man cleaning the police station lobby it all fell into place. The
unidentified man in the khaki uniform was the missing piece. He was what
been nagging at her. Why had he been in McIntyre's office? Why had he
in possession of Kari's contract? And why hadn't she or Remington
his presence that night?

"Maybe it wasn't the contract he was after," Remington leaned forward in

"What else could it have been?"

"What else was in that folder, or should I say ON the folder?"

"Her photo."

"Laura, I'm getting an uneasy feeling - shades of secret admirers past."

"Change in plans, Fred. Take us to Kari Simmons' apartment." She phoned
Mildred while Remington gave Fred the address. "Mildred," she said into
phone. "I need you to call the Crystal Clean Cleaning Service and find
who is assigned to John McIntyre's office. Specifically, who may have
there last Thursday night. I need names and addresses, Mildred. And I
them yesterday!"


After finding that Kari wasn't at home and no sign of anything out of
ordinary, they went back to Plan A and headed for the studio. Walking
the offices, they were greeted by a harried John McIntyre.

"Steele!" he rushed up to them. "Thank god you're here!"

"What is it, Mr. McIntyre?" Laura asked.

"It's Kari Simmons," he answered. "She's missing. She's not on the
soundstage. She's not in her dressing room. Her car is on the lot. She
working on the script for tomorrow's taping."

"Maybe she just needed a break, went for a walk," Laura suggested with
confidence than she felt.

"Or maybe she went to the commissary?" Remington offered, looking at his
watch. "It is almost dinnertime."

"Steele, you've met Kari," McIntyre was incredulous. "She doesn't eat."

"Mrs. Steele," Molly came out of McIntyre's office. "There's a call for
a Miss Krebs."

"Mildred. Maybe she's got something," Laura said as she followed
assistant back into the office.

McIntyre stopped a young woman coming toward them down the hall. "Susan,
have you seen Kari Simmons?"

"Yeah," the young woman answered. "A little while ago. She was leaving
Charlie Wilson."

Both Remington and McIntyre looked confused. "He cleans your office,"
woman addressed McIntyre. "Kari used to work with him."

Now, Remington was really worried, but he tried not to show it. "Ah,
you see? Dinner with an old friend. Nothing to worry about."

"I don't think so," Susan countered. "She didn't look too happy about

At that moment, Laura reappeared in the hallway. Walking up to
she began to speak. "Mildred got a name," she said.

"Charlie Wilson," they said in unison.

"How did you know?" she asked.

"He's got Kari," Remington answered. "Did Mildred get an address?"

She nodded, "Come on."


to be continued...
To Part 4

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