Steele Holted After All These Years Part IV/?
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001
NewSue <>

Steele Holted After All These Years

This is purely for entertainment purposes. There is no profit being made. I
do not own the characters of Remington Steele and Laura Holt, MTM does.
Thanks again to Lauryn, my tireless beta reader who has been of invaluable
assistance especially for this chapter!

"Damn it, Spock! I'm an <eye> doctor not a <fan fiction writer!>" But
criticism is welcomed anyway:>

This part Rated PG 13

Part IV/?

Steele went into the room he had booked earlier which was adjoining Laura's. He slammed the door shut. Once inside the room, he threw open his suitcase and started stalking angrily between the closet and the dresser until every item was stowed away. He thought about his plans for San Francisco this weekend and wondered how everything could have gone so terribly wrong. He really had thought Laura truly cared about him and was just holding back because she was uncertain about his undeclared feelings. He had even been considering declaring those feelings this weekend. What a fool he'd been! Still, he wouldn't give Laura up without a fight. Even if it was to Indiana Jones himself. He settled down in bed, sighed heavily, and turned on an old movie on TV while he watched the clock and listen for Laura's return.

Laura, meanwhile, was walking the Stanford University campus with Patrick. She was trying to hide her inner emotional turmoil, even from herself. She felt angry with Steele for following her to Palo Alto and making a scene in front of Patrick. She was even more incensed about the things he had said to her tonight, not to mention, earlier today. But guilt plagued her too. She had never seen him look so hurt, so wounded, so angry as he did tonight. Maybe, she thought, he really does care about me. Finally, she decided to force it out of her mind for this evening, and try to enjoy Patrick's company. He was so much more uncomplicated. Patrick was taking her to all their favorite haunts on campus from the days when they had been lovers.

"It's still just as beautiful, isn't it, Laura?" Patrick asked. Laura looked up at the large, cascading fountain. Her gaze followed the water down to the pool of light into which it fell. This had been a favorite meeting place for them, since it fell roughly between their two dormitories.

"Yes, it really brings me back," she said with nostalgia. "Remember the time we stripped down and went wading in there?" she pointed to the water and laughed mischievously.

"Of course I remember, Laura, " Patrick answered with a smirk. "You were always doing something wild and unpredictable."

"Just like "Barefoot in the Park," Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, 1967." Laura stopped short, surprised at herself. Where had that annotation come from? "My God, it's catching," she added under her breath.

"Except, Laura, as I remember it Robert Redford kept most of his clothes on!" Patrick said smiling.

"Yes, unfortunately," Laura replied, her dimples showing.

"Laura!" Patrick said loudly in mock admonishment, "I am shocked! Or I would be if I didn't know you so well."

Laura hiked up the shirt of her gown and started to remove her elegant high-heeled shoes and Patrick looked at her in surprise. "Are we going skinny dipping tonight, Laura?" he asked, his eyes fixed on her long, beautiful legs.

"Oh, no, I thought I'd just dip my toes in tonight, " Laura replied with a mischievous wink, "it looked so inviting I just couldn't resist."

"I know the feeling," said Patrick flirtatiously.


Meanwhile, Steele was getting bleary eyed after watching two old Cary Grant movies back to back. He had enjoyed seeing "His Girl Friday" again but he realized "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" just didn't stand up to repeated viewing. He changed the channel to Cinemax's "After Dark" but found the skinflicks there offered him hollow consolation tonight. "She wouldn't spend the night with him," he thought. He dozed off briefly and when he awoke at 4 am he still had heard not a peep from next door." I can't believe it," he fumed. "I wait three bloody years for that woman and she just falls into bed with some old college boyfriend in one night!" The anger swelled in Steele's chest. Suddenly, he just had to know. Perhaps she had gotten in when he dozed off. He threw back the covers, and got out of bed in a huff. He knocked on the adjoining door. "Laura?" he called. When he didn't get a response he picked the lock quietly and entered. The room was empty. "Damn her!" he said aloud.

He was startled when he heard the key turn in the lock. What if they were coming in together? He panicked briefly but decided not to try to hide. He would stay and confront her, however ridiculous he might look. Laura entered alone and as he looked her up and down his stomach turned. Her hair was disheveled, her gown wrinkled, and she was carrying her high heeled shoes. What was worse was that she was wearing that man's dinner jacket around her shoulders. When Laura saw Steele she put her hand to her heart, startled. "What the hell are you doing in my room?" Laura demanded.

"What's the matter Laura, expecting someone else, were we? I was in my adjoining room awaiting your return so that we might talk, Laura. Obviously," he motioned toward her with his chin, "it's a little too late for that now," he said bitterly.

"Late for what? Just what are you implying?" Laura asked hotly.

Steele ignored her "When it got so late, I got worried and knocked. When there was no answer I . . . "

"You mean you broke into my room?" she interrupted furiously.

"I wouldn't put it like that, exactly, I just let myself in." Laura rolled her eyes at him. Steele went on the attack. " I guess I don't have to ask where you've been until four in the morning!" Steele wanted to lash out at Laura. His anger had been building all this time. "I do have a question, Laura; if I hadn't followed you here this weekend would you still have gone away with me to San Francisco next weekend on raincheck, as you call it?" Laura looked baffled. "Would you have left this . . . this . . . Patrick's bed," he spit out the name distastefully, "then come into mine the following week without me being any the wiser?"

"Why don't you get your mind out of the gutter? You assume far too much," Laura said in quiet anger, her eyes flashing. "You know me better than that," she ground out.

"Do I? Forgive me, Laura. That was uncalled for. Unfortunately Laura, I think I do know you aren't the kind of woman who spends the night with a man she doesn't care deeply about. What I didn't know," he said in quiet, calm voice, "was how very little I mean to you."

Laura was moved by Steele's obvious pain. He so infrequently exposed his vulnerability like this. She wanted to go to him, comfort him, throw her arms around him . . . but she was still so angry. "I will have you know that I fell asleep on the couch in Patrick's suite tonight while we were having a drink and looking at old yearbooks."

"Sounds cozy enough, " Steele's expression relaxed slightly. He was still angry but relieved that Laura hadn't done the unthinkable.

Laura continued shouting. "How little you mean to me? How dare you say that when you are the one who tells me that the only guarantee you can give me is that you won't cut a fast tango through my life? Tell me, Mr. Steele, does that line usually get the ladies to tumble into with bed you? Because I need more!"

"Yes, well, perhaps Patrick can give it to you," he said bitterly.

"Did I mention that Patrick accepted a tenured position at UCLA? He wants to see more of me when we get back to LA," Laura baited.

"I'll wager he does want to see more of you," Steele said sarcastically. "And based on the way he was leering at you tonight, I know exactly which parts he wants to see more of." Steele opened in mouth to speak and closed it again, realizing he had gone too far. He took a deep breath and began more calmly, "I am sorry. I am sorry that I followed you here this weekend and made a scene at your reunion. I was just worried about you when I heard his message on your machine and I was upset that you lied to me. Spying on you was unforgivable. Don't concern yourself Laura, I won't be getting in your way anymore. It has become painfully obvious to me that this is none of my business. I will take a flight back to LA in the morning." He turned to exit through the connecting door. His hand was on the knob. Laura noticed the muscles of his back were stretched taut.

"Wait," said Laura quietly, "Don't go." Steele hesitated then turned around again to face her. Their eyes met.

"I'm sorry I deceived you about the reunion," Laura began. "I thought you might be hurt that I wasn't taking you. I didn't want the great detective, "Remington Steele" to overshadow my accomplishments." "I know it sounds silly, but . . ."

"Not at all," he replied, "I can understand that. Then you weren't planning to meet Patrick?" he asked, searching her eyes with his gaze.

"No, I didn't even know that he was going to be here, to tell you the truth. But I thought if he did come and you were here . . . well, let's just say I thought there might be trouble."

Steele laughed uncomfortably. "I guess those razor sharp instincts of yours were right again!" Laura, I have to ask, . . . were you two . . . lovers?" his voice dropped on the last word. She nodded.

"We were," she stated. Steele winced. "Many years ago."

"And now? Is he playing the Cary Grant role to your Tracy Lord in "The Philadelphia Story?""

"I agreed to have lunch tomorrow with Patrick. He wants to get serious but frankly I am confused. I loved Patrick. God, how I cried when he left. If Wilson hadn't come into my life when he did . . . I am very attracted to Patrick but there is a certain blue eyed Irishman who I just can't seem to get out of my head . . . I can't wait for him forever, especially when I don't know how he feels about me." She looked up at him, questioningly.

"You by far are the most exasperating woman I have ever met!" he began yelling.

"That I knew," Laura replied with a half smile.

"Laura, you know I am not very good at expressing my feelings verbally but damn it, are you daft?" Steele asked loudly. For three full years now I have been by your side personally and professionally. Risking life and limb and occasionally saving your beautiful skin! Not that it was a one way street but think about all that we have been through together. I have tried to be there for you whenever you would let me in to your tightly controlled little world. And now this . . . Patrick fellow comes waltzing back into your life after years and you welcome him with open arms. You have the nerve to tell me that he wants to get serious? You act like you have no idea that I care for you? I have been patient with you and your battle scars and your bloody little inhibitions. I am sorry your father left you, Laura. I think Wilson was the biggest fool in the world to let you go but I'm neither of them! I am getting pretty sick and tired of being punished for their actions. Look at me, Laura, I am still here!"

Laura looked into his eyes. "But why? Why have you stayed? Is it true what Daniel said, that it's because we have yet to experience the "ultimate moment?"" she challenged.

Steele looked at her with incredulity and rage. "It's because I love you! You stupid woman!" They both looked shocked. He couldn't believe those words had just escaped his lips. Laura's eyes widened in surprise. The room was deadly quiet as they stared at each other for a long moment. Laura broke the silence.

"You do?" asked Laura, her voice was so uncertain it quavered. Steele sighed.

"Yes, Laura, I do, but I am sorry it slipped out, under the circumstances."

"Under what circumstances?" she asked. "Why the sudden declaration? Because of Patrick? Are you just staking your claim?"

"What claim do I really have? The man with no name? I saw how you looked at him tonight, Laura. Perhaps he can make you happier than I ever could. He can give you his name; I've none to give. He is a respectable, world-famous archeologist; I am a former thief and con man. I want you to be happy, Laura."

"But you make me happy, God help me, don't you know that by now?" Laura smiled. Steele's face lit up. "I don't give a damn about your name! I already know who you are, what kind of a man you really are. That is enough for me."

"A rose by any other name, eh?" Steele joked. Then more seriously he began, "but what about Patrick?" He looked up at her uncertainly, searching Laura's eyes.

"Oh, he offered me the moon, the stars, and a white picket fence all wrapped up with a neat little bow tonight. I'll admit a part of me was tempted by all that security, especially in such an a attractive package." Here she smirked playfully at Steele and he glared at her. "The bottom line was he wasn't you and I found the certainty of him to be less appealing than even the possibility of you."

"Oh, Laura, love come here," they fell into each other's arms. "I want us to be more than that, so much more than a possibility. God, I thought I'd lost you," his voice was hoarse with emotion. He embraced her tightly, passionately. He kissed her with a deep hunger, a yearning possessiveness. She responded to his onslaught and pressed herself against him. After a minute, he pulled back slightly to look at her with a crooked half smile. "I'd like to say that tonight has made me realize how much you mean to me, and that I am finally ready to commit to you properly, but that wouldn't be entirely true, I'm afraid." His blue eyes were dancing.

Laura pulled away from him. "It wouldn't?" she looked up questioningly. Steele tilted her chin upward with his index finger so he could look her in the eyes.

"No, Laura, I've known for a long time how very much I cared about you. I had planned on finally asking you to be a permanent part of my life this weekend in San Francisco."

"You did?" she asked in surprise, smiling warmly.

"Yes, Laura, you have changed me in so many ways . . . I never dreamed the straight and narrow could be so stimulating." He smiled widely. "I wake up every morning looking forward to seeing your lovely face and hearing your soft, lilting laughter. I go to bed every night wishing that I was holding you in my arms and when I sleep I dream only of you. For quite a while I tried to tell myself that it was just the thrill of the chase or merely an incredible physical chemistry between us . . . but I can't lie to myself any longer. It isn't fair to either of us. I am irrefutably, irrevocably, mad for you, Laura Holt!"

"The feeling is mutual, Mr. Steele. Now are we going to discuss it ad infinitum," she said her eyes sparkling, "or are you going to DO something about it?"

"The latter, Miss Holt," he answered, ripping Patrick's jacket off her shoulders and throwing the offending garment across the room in one smooth motion, "and please call me Remington," he winked, "It will be less awkward in the throes of passion."

"Either way, it's quite a mouthful," she smirked as his arms encircled her waist, bringing her very close. She felt the heat emanating from his body. "Pretty sure of yourself, aren't you?"

He silenced her with a searing kiss.
End Part IV
To Part V