- "Steele Menagerie"
Part 1 of ?
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000
- EmilyAnn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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)
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
"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
"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
"Why, thank you, Mr. Steele," Laura spoke through a
"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
"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
"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
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
"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