"Steele Menagerie" Part 1 of ?
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000
EmilyAnn <nnaylime113@yahoo.com>

Okay, I'm taking a deep breath and diving right in. Since I only recently started rewatching RS, and came into a very established fandom, I feel I'm still catching up. However, I'm going to post something of my own. This is the first part of a new story I'm working on. I want to polish the last part and I will try to get it out by the end of the week. Please feel free to let me know what you think. I tried very much to try to make it like an episode . . . Having just finished the WONDERFUL "Steele not Taken," I feel as though I should appologize for posting this at all.

Title: Steele Menagerie

Author: EmilyAnn (nnAylimE113@yahoo.com)

Rating: PG

Timeline: Second Season

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction created by one fan for the enjoyment of other fans. I freely acknowledge that I have no rights with regard to the television program "Remington Steele" which is owned by MTM and Twentieth Century Fox.

Summary: A wealthy dowager hires the Steele agency in hopes of discovering who's trying to kill her companion.

Notes: This is my initial foray into the field of Remington Steele fanfic. For this reason, I will greedily devour any and all feedback - positive, negative, constructive, or 'other,' and hopefully use it in the development of later stories. Secondly, I have not had this work beta-ed. I felt it would be unfair of me to ask for one until people were familiar with my writing style. Now that ya'll've seen it, I will put out a general plea -- if anyone would like to beta my future endeavors, please let me know. Finally, for reasons that will become quickly apparent, I'm presuming that Laura's cat (which was only seen in one episode anyway) is no longer with her.

Archive: I'm not fully sure I understand the archive requirements, but yeah, I guess so. Just let me know if I need to do anything else.


"Mrs. Langmore, could you tell us what brings you to the Steele Agency?" Laura Holt asked the question from behind her desk. Flanking her was the titular head of the agency, Remington Steele.

"Someone's trying to kill my Francois; I need you to find out who." Hedy Langmore, their potential client trained her icy blue eyes on the pair in a silent appeal for help.

"And what makes you think this, eh?" Steele questioned

"Well," she began, fidgeting nervously with a strand of pearls. A few days ago someone took some shots at him while he was walking around the grounds. And last night, his dinner was poisoned. We spent the whole evening having his stomach pumped."

"If you'll excuse me, Mrs. Langmore, isn't this a matter for the police?" Laura asked.

"Oh, no! I couldn't go to the police." Mrs. Langmore balked at the suggestion. "You see, Francois is in Los Angeles illegally." She bit her lip before continuing. "I'll need you to handle this matter with the utmost discretion."

Steele nodded in understanding, a finger thoughtfully aside his chin. "Of course, Mrs. Langmore, of course. Miss Holt and I are well-known for our handling of the more 'sensitive' matters."

A wave of relief passed over Mrs. Langmore's face - the muscles in her jaw relaxing slightly, as she settled back in her chair. "So you'll take the case?"

"We'd be delighted." Steele stood and clasped Langmore's hand heartily in his own.

"The first thing we'll need to do is meet Francois," Laura took control of the conversation.

"Of course. He's downstairs in my limo." She paused for a moment before adding, "I was hoping he could stay with you until this is all straightened out."

"We'd be delighted, wouldn't we Miss Holt?" Steele didn't wait for an answer before continuing, "Laura's loft has served as a home away from home for many of our more important clients."

"Why, thank you, Mr. Steele," Laura spoke through a forced smile.

"Is there a lot of room?" Mrs. Langmore asked. "My Francois gets a little grumpy if he doesn't have enough space to stretch his legs."

"I'm sure it will be just fine." Laura tried not to take the potential insult to her home personally.

"Thank you. Thank you both." Mrs. Langmore smiled warmly at both Laura and Mr. Steele. "I'm sure Francois will be delighted to meet you. He's very good with people."

Their new client breezed from the office as Steele raised an eyebrow in confusion.

"He's very good with people?" Laura repeated her words in a tone of incredulity. "Mr. Steele, is she describing a paramour or a pet?"

"I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, Miss Holt." Steele smiled awkwardly. "I'm sure we'll find out soon enough."

"Speaking of paramours, Mr. Steele. . ." Laura took a deliberate step in his direction and ran a suggestive finger along his lapel.

"Oh, is that what we're discussing?" Steele cleared his throat and shifted his weight as Laura's hands moved their way toward the back of his neck to draw him closer.

Licking her lips she sighed, "yes," and tilted her head leaving Steele unsure of whether she was answering or acquiescing.

Needing no further invitation, he drew the backs of his fingers along the line of her cheekbone before pulling her closer. His mouth was only millimeters from her own when the sound of Mildred's terrified scream sent them flying apart.

"What the . . ." Steele strode, scowling, toward the door.

"My sentiments exactly, Mr. Steele." Laura followed a few steps behind, straightening her blouse and drawing a rough hand through her hair.


They found Mildred crouching in her chair wearing an expression of unadulterated terror. Standing on the other end of the reception area was Mrs. Langmore. She was holding a sturdy metal leash and at the end of the leash, scowling rather menacingly at Mildred's cowering form, was a Bengal

"Really, Ms., Ms. . . ."

"Krebs," Mildred supplied.

"Yes, Ms. Krebs. Really, Francois is perfectly tame. He won't hurt you." Mrs. Langmore tried to coax Mildred out of her corner.

"And I'm telling you, lady, we don't allow tigers in the building." Mildred narrowed her eyes at the dowager.

"Thank you, Mildred." Steele stepped in, not wanting to see the results of this particular catfight. "Mrs. Langmore, why don't we all step into my office; shall we?" He held the door open and extended his arm allowing Laura, their client, and her pet entry.

As soon as the door closed behind the quartet, Laura turned on Mrs. Langmore. "You never told us he was a TIGER!"

"Really, Laura." Steele approached the feline and scratched under his chin. Francois purred and nuzzled Steele's leg in response. "What difference does that make? Someone's still trying to kill the poor animal, and Mrs. Langmore has retained us to determine who."

"Besides," Steele added, dropping to a knee to get closer to the tiger, "I think he rather fancies me."

"He would," Laura glared Steele, "predatory beasts always look out for one another."

Mrs. Langmore looked from Laura to Steele in confusion, attempting to pick up on the subtext of the conversation.

Finally, she broke the awkward silence. "I have a list . . . of Francois' care requirements . . ." she began, holding out a sheet of paper, which Laura plucked from her hand.

"Ten pounds of raw horseflesh daily, ground and mixed with fish oil and corn meal," she read, aghast.

"I will, of course, reimburse you for all expenses incurred in Francois' care."

"That's more than generous Mrs. Langmore." Steele reveled in his role as head of the agency.

"Thank you, Mr. Steele. Miss Holt." She nodded at each of them. "I knew I could expect the best from your agency." Mrs. Langmore handed Steele the leash and breezed out the door.

"Now what, Mr. Steele?" Laura challenged him, her hands on her hips.

"Now, Laura, we take Francois back to your place and have Mildred ring up a local butcher."

"Ten pounds of raw horsemeat a day . . ." she muttered under her breath as Steele and Francois preceded her from the office.


Though people in LA are jaded, the image of Laura, Steele, and Francois driving down the road in Laura's Rabbit with the top down, made even those who claimed to have 'seen it all' do a double take.

"I don't think this was such a good idea, Mr. Steele!" Laura shouted to be heard over the roar of the wind.

"We both know there wasn't enough room in the Auburn," Steele responded. "We don't want Francois, here, to get uncomfortable." He reached back and scratched under the great cat's chin.

"Of course!" Laura responded, more than a little put out. "Heaven forbid anything should happen to the tiger!" She felt guilty almost as soon as the words were out of her mouth, and clenched the steering wheel tighter as she returned her attention to the road.

After turning a corner, she seemed to have calmed, and broke the silence. "You know, Mr. Steele, you seem very comfortable around Francois. Could this be another part of your past?"

"Merely a slight detour through India, Laura. Hardly anything you would be interested in."

So he had been in India. She filed this information away with the other trivia she had gleaned, for future reference.
End Part 1
To Part 2