A Good Night's Steele
Original Script by:
Lee Zlotoff and R. J. Stewart

The episode opens with the picture of a polygraph machine as it spews out paper, then we see the monitor screen with a heartbeat indicated. Someone wearing a latex glove unplugs the monitor, and it goes flatline, as does the graph. The gloved hand drops the plug, then moves to take another plug from a second outlet and proceeds to plug it into the first one's spot, at which time the monitor begins to work once again.

The corridors of the hospital echo with soft, sensuous laughter as we see a woman with long fingernails playing with a plastic IV bag of blood as she talks on the telephone at her desk. "You're in a bawdy mood tonight. You're so tacky . . .I LOVE it," she sighs, smiling into the phone. "Now? You gotta be kidding. It's so late. . ." In the hallway, a figure in scrubs walks silently toward the woman's office. "You're right. I AM tense." She laughs again. "What exactly would you prescribe, doctor?" She listens. "Really? Well, that is one proven cure," she agrees, still squeezing and fondling the plastic bag on the desk. "No, not there. It's so COLD. And I'm in a warm mood tonight. . . Not there, either. That's too dangerous." She laughs. "You. Where?" The scrub clad person enters the office unseen, as the woman's back is to him. "Ooh. That DOES sound intriguing," she admits, laughing. "You've sold me. . . Yeah. I'll see you there in fifteen minutes." Another laugh. "Okay. Bye." She hangs up, the bag in her hand, as the intruder puts something her around the neck, strangling her. Her fingers clench on the bag, the long fingernails puncturing the plastic, sending blood everywhere- onto her white labcoat, her carpet, the desk, before her hand, covered in blood, falls to hang limply toward the floor. She's dead.


Steele is in his kitchen, basting a duck, whistling contently. The doorbell rings, and he pauses, taking a sip of wine before the bell rings again. He removes his apron. "Coming, coming," he says. As he heads for the door, he says, "Yes, yes, yes." He opens the door, and Laura enters. "Uh, Laura. You're early."

"I need to talk to you," she says, heading toward the living room, only to have him grab her arm and stop her.

"Well, yes, the need is mutual, but I was hoping that dinner tonight would provide ample opportunity-"

She places a hand to her head and winces. "That's another thing. About dinner tonight- Could-" she pauses, sniffing. "What is that smell?" she asks.

He looks nervous. "Smell? Uh, my new aftershave, perhaps?" he suggests. "Now, I'm sure whatever's on your mind can wait for just a few more hours," he tells her, turning her back toward the door.

But Laura moves past him. "It seems to be coming from in there-" she tells him, and Steele moves quickly to head her off.

"Now, Laura, I'm prepared to accept responsibility for any reprehensible thing I may have done- PROVIDING I can do it over dinner tonight," he tells her.

Laura is suspicious. "WHAT reprehensible thing?" she asks.

"Well, surely the reason you're here is because uh, I've, uh, insulted some client, mislaid some piece of evidence- commited SOME faux pa - and then later, when we're both suitable dressed, and the mood is set, I promise to become a picture of repentance. Fair enough?" he asks.

Laura looks at him. "Does this sudden urge to repent have anything to do with the fact that your aftershave is burning?" she asks, pointing toward the kitchen doorway.

Steele's eyes widen as he sniffs the air. "What? No." He turns to run back to the kitchen, Laura a step behind. "Oh, no, no!" he cries, turning down a burner under a pan.

Laura freezes in the door way. "You're- cooking!" she exclaims.

"Yes. So much for the element of surprise," he says, looking over the other pans simmering on the stove.

Laura puts down her purse. "You're cooking dinner," she says again, obviously in shock. "I never knew you cooked."

"I was counting on the shock to weaken your defenses," he tells her, grinning as he stirs something in another pan.

"I just assumed that dinner meant some restaurant." He grabs a potholder. "I don't know what to say."

He opens the oven. "Say 'yes'?" he suggests. "And let me make up the question."

Laura frowns. "Oh, this is terrible."

Steele turns to her, upset. "Actually, it's canard au vin rouge, and the least you might do is taste it before passing judgement." He turns to baste the duck.

"I only meant that you've gone to all this trouble, and I came here to cancel because something's come up and I have to fill you in-"

Steele looks up at her, put out. "Cancel?" he asks, closing the oven. "You don't cancel canard au vin rouge," he insists as the doorbell rings again.

"Oh, damn. He's early," Laura mutters, heading for the door.

Steele looks around. "Oh damn WHO's early?" he asks. "Laura!" he calls, following her at last.


A man stands in Steele's apartment. "You don't have to call me Dr. Lindstrom, Mr. Steele. Philip will be fine." Steele sits down, smiling, as the man continues. "I really appreciate your letting me come to your apartment like this. But if the hospital board of trustees ever found out I went to see a private detective-"

"Do they really control the funding of your clinic that completely?" Laura asks.

Lindstrom's answer is directed at Steele. "I'm afraid so. The entire sleep disorders project comes up for review next week," he tells Steele.

"Ah," Steele says, totally lost. "Sleep disorders. Yes."

"About ten days ago, morphine started disappearing from the drug cases. Labs have been broken into- records have been destroyed- What's that smell?"

"It WAS canard au vin rouge,at one time," Steele explains as Laura gives him a little smile. "But, as you were saying, doctor?"

He hands Steele a folder. "Then one of my best staff physcians, Sheila Marcus, suddenly disappeared." The photo of Dr. Marcus is only half a photo, showing her in a bathing suit beside a pool, a man's arm around her shoulders. The part of the photo with the man is missing. "No call, no message- just- gone."

Steele studies the photo. "And you suspect she's responsible?" he asks.

"Sheila? No, I don't believe she's capable of anything like that. Besides," he begins.

Laura finishes. "Her car still hasn't left the hospital parking lot."

Steele closes the folder as Linstrom says, "That's why when Miss Holt me of your idea of infiltrating the clinic to find out all of the-"

"Infiltrating, you say?" he asks, looking at Laura.

"But, don't worry, Mr. Steele," Lindstrom assures him. "I'll make sure that no one knows that you're not a real insomniac." Steele listens closely. "And with Miss Holt posing as your physician-"

Steele smiles, as if he's suddenly remembered the "plan." "Ahh. Infiltrating your clinic, as an insomniac with Miss Holt posing at my physician." Laura smiles at him. "Ah, yes, of course. How could I forget? I wonder if I could have a word with you over the duck in the kitchen, doctor?" he asks Laura as he rises.

Laura stands as well. "Yes, of course, Mr. Steele," she agrees.

In the kitchen, he enters to go to the oven, saying, "I suppose it's difficult to find a good insomniac this late on a Sunday afternoon." He opens the oven. "Insomniac? For God's sakes, Laura, I'm supposed to be Remington Steele," he reminds her, taking the duck from the oven.

"Precisely," Laura agrees, watching him as he places the pan on the counter. "And if Remington Steele checks into that clinic, he can't help but become a target for whoever's behind the trouble."

He picks up the baster. "First you deflate my duck and now you want to cook my goose. WONDERFUL."

"I thought you loved plunging into the thick of things?" she asks as he picks the duck up. "Trusting your instincts? Living by your wits. A true detective, poised at the edge of danger."

He grins. "No need to quote me so accurately," he says.

"How was I supposed to know that you'd choose tonight to dazzle me with your gourmet gifts?"

"Hoisted by my own canard," Steele comments wryly.

"Lindstrom's in trouble," Laura reminds him. "The man's career, his whole life is tied up into that clinic." She points toward the door. "Can you really walk out there now and tell him we simply refuse to help?"

"What else can I say," Steele tells her, "except-"

We cut to Steele being examined by the embodiment of Nurse Ratchet as Steele says, "AHHH!" The woman's fingers grip his lower jaw tightly as she looks inside, then she removes the tongue depressor and replaces it with a thermometer as she roughly examines his eyes and ears. When she finally finishes, Steele asks, "Aside from the neck problems I'm going to have, how do I seem?"

"As healthy as a prize pig," she tells him in a rough voice.

"Ah, what a delightfully descriptive way you have," he comments.

She glares. "You want poetry? Go to the library. We specialize in SLEEP here. Follow me, Steele," she orders.

"Anywhere," he agrees, not at all happy.

In the corridor, Laura and Lindstrom are walking down the corridor, both wearing white lab coats. "I'm thrilled you could fill in for Dr. Marcus on such short notice, Dr. Holt," he says loudly. Another doctor is consulting with a nurse over a file, and watches as they approach the station.

"Well, the adminstrator at my clinic is a very understanding man," Laura assures him with a smile.

"Naturally, I want you to take over Dr. Marcus' cases," he tells her, then looks at the nurse at the desk. "I need the files for Nestor Bickman, Ivan Turbell, and any new admittances, please," he tells her as Steele and the nurse approach.

"Remington Steele," she tells the other nurse. The other doctor looks interested.

Dr. Lindstrom looks at her. "Nurse Blackwell," he begins, but she turns to Laura.

"I'll get him settled and see to it that the work up is left in your off- that is, Dr. Marcus' office."

Laura removes her stethescope from her neck. "Everyone seems to have a different theory about why she took off so suddenly," Laura comments. "What's yours, nurse?"

Steele watches the nurse. "Well, apparently gossip is an illness that WE can't even cure." She turns. "Come, Steele."

He hesitates, leaning forward to tells Laura with clenched teeth, "Even if that woman's innocent, I think we should give serious consideration to framing her." He jumps as she yells.


"Coming," he calls back.

Lindstrom hands Laura the case files. "If you'll pardon me, I have a review presentation to make." He takes off.

"Yes," Laura says, moving away as the other doctor hails her.

"Uh, excuse me - is that Steele? That's not- Remington Steele is it?" he asks.

Laura looks in the direction that Steele went. "I believe it is. Why?"

"Hey, forgive my manners." He shakes Laura's hand. "Terry Wickert. Same slave ship, different oar. You must be standing in for the mysterious missing Marcus, am I right?"

"I am, and it's Laura Holt," she says.

"Well, welcome to the big sleep," he tells her. "Come on, I'll - show you where the bodies are buried," he offers.

Laura indicates the files in her hand. "Well, uh-"

Terry pulls her down the corridor at his side. "So, uh, where did you go to school, Holt?"

She hesitates. "Uhh, Stanford."

"Stanford, huh? You must have studied with Dr. Laker."

"Yes, Dr. Laker," Laura agrees, smiling, trying to bluff him. "Wonderful man."

Terry laughs. "I would hardly call Elizabeth Laker a wonderful man."

Laura laughs as well. "Oh, Elizabeth. Of course. I was thinking of a brother."

"Her brother?" Terry questions. "I thought her brother was a plumber?"

Laura covers quickly. "Well, internal medicine isn't one of my favorites, but the man DID earn his degree." She shakes his hand. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have so much to catch up on," she says quickly, then turns and takes off the hall, leaving a confused Terry behind.

Steele is marched down the hall by Nurse Blackwell. As he passes a ward door he notices a young man standing in its' entrance staring at him. He continues down the corridor contemplating whether or not to turn his head. Finally he does but the young man, now standing in the corridor, is looking back into his ward. Steele, still looking back, walks straight into Nurse Blackwell who has stopped at the door of his assigned ward. "Oop. Excuse me nurse" he offers, not sure how she'll react.
The nurse puts out a hand to push Steele back before walking to the door and then turning around to announce, "This is your room. The second bed on the right is yours. Have a pleasant stay."
She gives him a fake half-smile before walking away as Steele replies, "How could it be anything .." He stops mid-sentence because the Nurse Blackwell has left him standing in the hallway.
Steele opens the door and walks in, quickly poking his head back out to look at the young man standing in the corridor. Steele pulls back just inside the door, pauses and then enters his ward. The young man is unsure but slowly continues to Steele's ward.

Steele is in a hospital room, inspecting his bed as a heavyset, middle aged man looks on with a disapproving scowl on his face. The man watches Steele for a moment, then gets up, holding out his hand. "Bickerman," he says, surprising Steele. "Nestor Bickerman."

"Steele. Umm, Remington Steele."

"What're ya in for, Steele?" he asks bluntly.

"Can't sleep," Steele admits.

"Thank god you're not one of them," Nestor says.

"Them?" Steele questions.

"The sleepers. I don't think I could handle sharing a room with a sleeper. Do you know what snoring sounds like to a man who hasn't slept in months?" he asks.

"No, what?" Steele asks cautiously.

"Like fingernails on a blackboard," Nestor tells him. "A dentist's drill, hitting a nerve."

"Ahh," Steele says as a young man walks by the door, wearing a robe and hospital gown. He pauses, eyes wide, frightened.

"Hey, what are you staring at?" Nestor asks, approaching the obviously terrified young man. "Get out of here." The man leaves. "There's a sleeper for you. Half the time they can't keep that guy awake. They call him a narcoleptic. But to me, he's just another lazy bum," Nestor tells Steele. Steele listens, nodding. "I got a hundred guys like him working for me. Never trust a sleeper, Steele."

"No," Steele agrees quietly, not sure what else to say.

"So what kinda work you do?" he asks.

"Well, I-"

"Me, I'm in petrochemicals. Been in petrochemicals since the war. I didn't like it at first, but it sorta grows on you."
Steele smiles.

Later that night, after the lights are off, Nestor is STILL talking. "I think sleep is over rated, don't you, Steele?" he asks. "It's just a big waste of work time, if you ask me." Steele is tossing and turning. "What can you do when you're asleep? Dream. Dreaming's for suckers. Give me facts, data, reality." Steele sits up, looking at Nestor. He gets out of bed, putting on his slippers and grabbing his robe. "That's what makes me tick. Not that I haven't had a couple of good dreams in my time." Steele goes to the door. "As a matter of fact, in the summer of 79, I dreamed I was in this house with a thousand rooms," he is saying as Steele opens the door and leaves. "So I walked into the first room and there was this chest with a thousand drawers-"

Steele is walking the corridors when he hears the nurses talking. "Check all the patients in the ward, first," one says.

He ducks into a room, only to discover that it's a cadaver room, with plastic draped bodies hanging from the wall. "Oh," he moans, but starts down the line, only to pull his fist back as a hand comes out to stop him. Laura comes out, wrapping her arms around herself to ward off the chill. "What a charming place for a midnight rendevous," he tells her. "How could we have missed it all this time?"

"It isn't listed in the better guides. But we weren't looking for Sheila Marcus, then, either," she reminds him, looking at the cadavers.

"You already checked the morgue?"

She nods. "Nothing. Then I remembered this was a teaching hospital."

"Of course. Anatomy. There would have to be cadavers," he realizes, indicating the bodies, "for the students to work on."

"It might take weeks before they noticed their stock was multiplying," Laura whispers.

Steele glances to the side. "Then again, if one could start taking inventory," he suggests, pointing out a table with a body on it. Laura hesitates, then pulls the plastic away, to reveal Sheila Marcus' body, with marks around the neck.

"Sheila Marcus," Laura says.

"I was afraid someone had donated her to science too soon," he comments. "So young."

"Look at these bruises on her neck."

"Strangulation?" Steele suggests.

"It's a safe bet," she says.

"Well, what next?" he asks. "A call to inform Lindstrom?"


"No?!" he repeats.


They enter Marcus' office as Steele reminds her, "Laura, he's supposed to be our client. What about our professional code of ethics?"

She smiles. "YOU'RE lecturing ME about ethics?" He sits down on the edge of the desk.

"Hmm. I must be losing sleep. But even so, don't you think the man has a right to know?"

She smiles reassuringly. "Think about it for a minute. If we tell Lindstrom, then the man is duty bound to report it to the hospital board. And if he can't deliver them a culprit at the same time,-"

"Then they might shut him down tomorrow," Steele says.

"That's right," Laura agrees.

Steele looks toward the door as he hears something, then stands up and moves closer. He indicates she should follow him. "Ah, yes, Dr. Holt, the constant pressure of brilliant sleuthing has driven sleep from my life," he says loudly as they near the door. Steele points toward the door. "If it weren't for the support- indeed, the LOVE of my associates, I don't know how I would continue." He indicates that she should open the door. She does, and Steele pulls the young narcoleptic into the room pushing him against the wall. "Looking for something?" Steele asks, lifting the man off the floor.

"I know why you're here, Mr. Steele," he says nervously.

"You do?"

"Yeah. You're- looking for me."

"I am? Why?"

"Because I'm the guy- that- that did it!" he declares. Suddenly his eyes roll back into his head and they close, his head falls over. Steele lowers him to the floor, worried. Laura checks for a pulse, and the man begins to snore.

"Is he?" Steele asks.

"Asleep?" Laura asks. "Yes."

They both look at him, surprised.

After moving him to the sofa, Laura taps him on the cheek, while Steele shakes his arm. "Hey. Hey, hey."

The man sits up, frightened. "I didn't hurt you, did I, Mr. Steele?"

"I'll survive," Steele assures him. "Forgive me for pressing the point, but what is you've done exactly, Mr, uh-"

"Ivan. Ivan Tarbell. Ivan the Terrible. Terrible. And I'll confess to everything, alright?" Laura gives Steele a confused look. "What do you need? Proof? I'll give you proof." He pulls a bloodstained lab coat from his robe. "I woke up in the sleep room with that tucked under my arm. I'm GUILTY," he insists.

"It's Dr. Marcus' jacket," Laura tells Steele.

"You don't have to split atoms for a living to put this one together," Ivan tells them. "As soon as I heard Dr. Marcus disappeared, I knew I was the guy. So, just tell me what I did, and I'll go along quietly."

Steele is shocked. "You want me to tell you what YOU'VE done?"

"Explain my condition to him, will ya, doc?" he says, getting up and moving away.

Steele looks at Laura, who's flustered. "Well, uh- you see, Mr. Steele-"

"Look," Ivan jumps in, "Some narcoleptics just fall asleep on the snap of your fingers," he says.

Laura nods. "Exactly." She snaps her fingers. "Just like that."

"Or when they're too excited," Ivan continues.

"Yes," Laura agrees, looking at Steele. "Over stimulation very symtamatic." Steele looks at her, then back at Ivan.

"Sometimes they have hallucinations-"

"Terrible hallucinations," Laura says. Steele frowns.

"And then there's- deluxe narcoleptics, like me, who's got all those and a few extra symptoms to boot. Like night terrors. Well, you must know about my history, doc?"

"Well," Laura admits, "I haven't had a chance to go through it in great detail, Ivan." Steele looks at her.

Ivan sits down again. "When I was sixteen, I thought a hideous, winged serpent was screeching down over my bed to tear me apart, so I grab a battle axe to fight it off. The axe turns out to be a lamp."

Steele lifts his hand. "And the- screeching serpent?"

"My mother," Ivan admits. "I didn't hurt her seriously. But then, again, when I was in college, my roomate found me in my underwear, trying to drag the dean's car into the quadrangle fountain."

"Another horrifying monster?" Laura asks.

Ivan shakes his head. "Poisonous meteorite. But the Dean wouldn't buy it."

"Don't tell me-" Steele says.

"Yeah. He was still in the car. Look, I don't want to read about this one in the papers first. Please. Can't you just tell me what I did to this poor woman?"

Steele is dumbstruck for a moment, then says, "Ivan, can I have a word with Dr. Holt for a moment?"

"Sure." Steele and Laura start to move toward the door. "Hey, if I'm not awake when you get back - it's nothing personal, okay?"

Laura nods. In the corridor, Steele says, "That's it. Case closed. Brilliant work, Laura."

"Let's not RUSH anything," Laura insists.

"Rush anything? We have one corpus delecti, one confessed murderer, and a splendid piece of physical evidence to join the two," he says, holding up the lab coat. "Dinner awaits."

"Not so splendid," Laura says, pointing to the coat. "This jacket is covered with blood, only we didn't find any wounds on Sheila, remember?"

"You know, Laura, sometimes your preoccupation with detail really concerns me."

"So we don't say a word until we know whose blood this is," she tells him.

"Allright, very well," he agrees. "This is a hospital, after all, it shouldn't be too hard to get this checked discreetly."

"I'll see what I can find on Ivan," Laura tells him. "It's odd, though, he can't remember what happened."

"Just don't turn your back on him while he's asleep," Steele warns. "His mother, the Dean, Dr. Marcus. He seems to do his best work on authority figures, Doctor," he points out. "You know what they tried to do to Genivive Bujold in 'Coma'." He shivers.


The next morning, Laura and Lindstrom are walking down the hallway, as she asks, "Then it's possible, Dr. Lindstrom, for a narcoleptic to function even when he's asleep, and when he wakes up have no recollection of what he did?"

"Um hm. It's called automatic behaviour."

"Could they do something violent?"

"I don't think so. But there are always exceptions. This is a fairly new field, remember." He frowns. "Tell me, Dr. Holt, do your questions relate to a particular case?"

"Well, we have come up with some promising data, but it's still too early to make an accurate diagnosis."

"And Mr. Steele?"

She looks at her watch. "Oh, by now, he should be well into a full work up."


In the lab, Steele is talking to the technician, a short, dark haired woman with sharp features and glasses. "Naturally, I felt dreadful about spilling my blood sample all over Dr. Holt's jacket like this and immediately offered to rush it to the cleaners at my own expense- What did you say your name was again?"

"Rona," she tells him.

"Rona. Ah, Rona. You have no idea the memory that name stirs in me," he tells her, getting her attention. "Rona," he sighs.

"Really?" she asks, starting to look a bit dreamy eyed as Steele smiles to himself a those "memories".

"Anyway," he says at last, "I offered my arm to Dr. Holt for another blood sample, but since I'd already donated two pints to your blood drive this morning-"

"Two pints?" Rona questions, amazed. "That's quite a lot."

"Oh, well, a man gives what he can, Rona, but, Dr. Holt felt that it would be medically unsafe for me to lose anymore blood, and simply suggested that your lab could run a test on the jacket."

"Well, that would be HIGHLY irregular," Rona points out.

"Tell me, do you wear those glasses all the time, or just when you're concentrating on your work?"

"Well, I do take them off at night," she responds. "Before I go- to bed."

"Pity I couldn't be there to see your eyes- unencumbered?"

Rona moans, totally lost to his flattery.

"Anyway, being that Dr. Holt is new on the staff, I couldn't bear the thought of my clumsiness causing her anymore embarrassment, I naturally offered to bring the garment down here and ask for your help in person. But, if it's going to be a problem," he says, starting to turn away.

Rona grabs his arm. "I suppose I COULD hang onto it, try to do it later, Mr. Steele," she tells him, taking the jacket.

"I'd be ever so greatful," he assures her.

"Gratefull is nice," she says, taking off her glasses. "But, uh, your room number would be better."

Steele realizes the tables are turned. "My room number."

"Yeah, well, I am slated for night duty, and you DID say you were an insomniac-"

He looks at her nervously. "I did, didn't I?" She sucks on the earpiece of her glasses, watching him. "Yes."


Laura is in the sleep room, looking at the machines, the same machines we saw in the opening scene. She's examining the print out when Ivan, wearing electrodes on his head, comes up behind her. "Are they here yet, doc?" he asks, causing her to jump nervously.

"Who's that, Ivan?"

"The police," he says. "I thought it over and I- I decided- prison isn't gonna be all that bad. Three squares and a place to hang your hat. Least I'll be locked up so I don't hurt anybody."

"Ivan, I'm your doctor. And I couldn't call the police unless I was certain you had committed some crime." She puts a hand on his shoulder. "Now, maybe you could tell me again about everything you can remember that night." He gets back on the bed.

"Well, I came -down here as scheduled- You know that - Nurse- Blackwell? She hooked me up to the electrodes-"

"Nurse Blackwell. Was she the one who monitored the polygraph all night?"

"I suppose so. And after I was all wired, I came in here, they plugged me in, and-"

"And then you went to sleep."

"I'm a narcoleptic. Sleep is my life."

"Do you remember the night terror?" Laura asks.

"There was this, big, dark form standing over me, with a- snake in his hand. And I was thinkin- Don't come any closer with that snake. Take it away! Take it away! But he didn't, so I- grabbed him like this- around the throat, and the next thing I knew, I woke up with Dr. Marcus' jacket in my hands."

"You don't remember anything else about that night?" Laura asks.

"Sorry, doc. Maybe- Mr. Steele can help us, huh?"

Laura is about to say something else when Nurse Blackwell speaks. "Dr. Holt. What is this?"

"I was consulting with my patient," Laura tells her softly.

"Mr. Turbell is in this room so we can monitor his daytime sleep seizures," Blackwell reminds her. "And it does NONE of us any good to have this process interfered with." She stares at Ivan, who falls back onto the bed, sound asleep.

Laura watches him, then looks at Blackwell. "Of course."


Steele is walking down the corridor, wiping his mouth with a tissue, when Terry sees him and calls out. "Steele, right?"

"Dr. Wicker," he says, shaking hands. "Terry, to my friends. And I'm betting you're gonna be one. Can I buy you a cup of coffee?"

"Afraid I never touch the stuff," he says seriously. "Can't sleep as it is. Uh, Dr. Wicker?"

"You're uh- Dr. Holt's patient, aren't you?"

"I believe so, why?"

"No reason, it's just that she's - hopelessly new around here, and I just thought a - a man of your ilk might like a second opinion. On the house, of course."

"You don't say. Tell me, are you always so generous with your services, doctor, or am I showing a bit too much ilk?"

Terry laughs. "You see right through me, don't you, Steele? And why not? YOU'RE the detective. All right, okay, I'll come clean." He takes Steele's arm and turns him down the corridor as he talks. "Look, Lindstrom is right on the edge with this clinic. One more bad break and he'll be one more M.D. looking for a hook to hang his shingle on. If you asked me, that's why Sheila Marcus wised up, passed on the tearful goodbyes and took off. But I've got my own little survival plan."

"Really?" Steele says.

"Wicker's Sleep Centers. A chain of private sleep clinics. You see, we franchise out the name, and within a year, we'll be branching out into our own line of mattresses and pillows."

"Sounds most ambitious," Steele agrees. "Why tell me?"

"Well, I need partners, for one thing. And who better than a man with a sleep problem- and who also makes a headline now and then." Steele smiles, beginning to understand. "Just picture this copy. 'Sleep as safe and sound as Remington Steele with Wickers.' I'm telling you, we could sell a lot of pillows."

"It certainly gives one pause," Steele agrees again.

"Then you'll sleep on it, mm?"Terry asks.

"If only I could," Steele says, moving away.


Laura is checking Nestor's heart, as he frets, "What do you mean there was a screw up with my test results? You know my heart's over here, doc," he says, noticing that she's listening to the right side of his chest.

"I'm know that, Mr. Bickerman. I was just listening to your vena cava manoris." She switches sides.

"Well, I'm due to get out of here in two days," he says. "Where's Dr. Marcus, anyway?" he asks.

Laura stands up. "I don't know. Family emergency, I think."

"You know, I didn't ask to be here in the first place. But try saying NO to your chairman of the board. 'You wanna be president of Vericorp Petrochemical, Nestor?' BJ says to me." Laura examines Nestor's eyes with an instrument. "'Just show us a clean bill of health'."

"Your labial petranostrum seems normal," she comments, looking closer. "Turn."

"Fifteen years I've waited for this promotion. And the company quack hears I have a touch of insomia," Laura gets up again. "And BAMMO! It's either a spin through here," She starts checking his ears. "Or it's no leather chair with a built in back massager, no office on the 84th floor, no diamond tie clasp with the company logo-"

"I'm sorry about this, Mr. Bickerman, but we can't seem to locate your paperwork. So we're going to have to run another full series of tests-"

"That Nurse Blackwell sure seems to lose a lot of paperwork, doesn't she?" he comments.

Laura stands up. "Nurse Blackwell. I guess that IS her area." Steele enters the room.

"Ah, Dr. Holt. Hope I haven't kept you waiting," he says with a smile.

Laura points toward his bed. "Make youself comfortable on the bed, Mr. Steele." She grabs the water pitcher and holds it out. "And I'll need you to fill this for me, Mr. Bickerman."

His eyes widen. "Why? You thirsty?"

"I meant with a sample. For your new tests. I'd like to get them going as soon as possible."

He takes the pitcher as she pushes him toward the bath. "But I just went," he complains.

"Ah, try for me, anyway, won't you?" He goes into the room, and Laura joins Steele to stand by his bed. "Were you able to get the blood on that jacket tested?" she asks softly.

"Easy enough, except of course for the cost. You don't suppose we'll get my room changed by tonight?" Before Laura can question him, Nestor comes back out.

"This is pretty big. How much do you need?" he asks.

"Just to the line."

"What line?"

Laura takes out a pen and marks the pitcher near the top. "Try running the water," she suggests.

"You might want to take a closer look at Dr. Wicker," he suggest.

"What for?"

"Well, for one thing, I hate people who are abusively nice. And for another, he can't wait until Lindstrom's clinic collapses so he can start his own sleep disorder empire. And furthermore, I find the thought of using Remington Steele to hawk pillows just short of revolting."

Nestor comes back out. "Sorry, Doc. No go. Maybe with a few more cups of coffee."

Laura turns to Steele. "We'll have to finish this tonight."

Nestor thinks she's talking to him. "I can finish this tonight," he assures her.

"I can't wait," Steele comments.


That night, Laura is sleeping on the fold out couch in her office, a piece of paper in her hand, when she's disturbed by something moving the bed. Turning her head, she opens her eyes to find Steele laying there, asleep. "Hey," she says, shaking him.

"Hmm,. Yes."


"Yes, the hay is wonderful at harvest time," he agrees sleepily. "Soft, sweet smelling-"

"Come on," Laura insists. "We can't do this now!"

"Ahh, believe me, Laura," he tried to reassure her, his voice slurred from exhaustion, patting her cheek, "I'm not trying to sleep with you. I'm just- trying to sleep with you." He settles back down. Laura frowns, then pulls him to a sitting position.

"Here. Look at this," she says, showing him a polygraph printout.

He looks at it. "What a charming idea for a bedspread," he comments.

"It's Ivan's printout the night Sheila Marcus was killed. There's a half hour gap with no readings."

Steele tries to stay awake. "You mean- Ivan left the sleep room that night?"

"It would appear so," Laura tells him.

"Guilty," Steele declares, laying back down and trying again.

Laura turns him over. "It's not that simple," she insists, making him sit back up as he groans. "Come here."

"Laura, please. I'm trying to get some sleep. And the only safe place seems to be your bed," he tells her, laying down again as Laura digests that statement.

She lays down beside him to say, "But with the missing morphine and the records, Nurse Blackwell is a prime candidate. If-if only there was something I could-"

"Sink your teeth into?" he suggests. He pulls her closer. "Consider me available."

"Thanks." She lays there for a second. "But if you don't get back, Bickerman's gonna start missing you."

"I don't miss Bickerman."

She laughs softly, and sits up, pulling him with her. "Come on."

"Uhh, Laura, please. Just five minutes," he begs, resting his head on her shoulder. "A kidnap. I mean - catnap. Uh, yes." Laura looks frustrated.

She shows him to the door. He goes into the corridor. "I'd say goodnight, but- honesty prevents me."

She comes out, turning him toward his room. "Good night."

"Yes," he agrees, moving a few steps away as she closes the door. He turns, as if considering returning or saying something, but seeing that the door's already closed, he continues on his way.

The scrub suited murderer is in the hall. Laura is at her desk, studying something, when her door is opened. She looks in that direction as it closes again. "I said goodnight," she says, "Is that you?" She goes into the corridor, and finds it empty, but she goes down the hall to another room. The light inside goes out as she gets there. She enters to find it's an empty ward. There's a noise in the hallway outside, and Laura retraces her steps discovering that her office door is locked, before finally going to the elevators, and getting in one as the killer makes a dask for the stairs.

On another floor, she goes to the stairwell door and hears noises. Hiding, she waits for the killer to make his appearance, grabbing an IV bottle from a counter. Fingers are curling around the corner when suddenly Rona's voice draws Laura's attention.

"Dr. Holt?" She sees the IV bottle in Laura's raised hand. "Are you all right?"

"Fine, thank you," she says, turning to look down the now empty hallway again. She peers at the bottle. "The light in here is so bad. Uh, this is plasma, isn't it?"

"It's an empty IV bottle," Rona informs her.

"Great," Laura says, "it's good to know we have extras if we need them." She puts it down. She notices the file in Rona's hand. "That wouldn't be Mr. Steele's blood test you have there-"

Rona figets. "Uh, oh, yes,- I just thought I would-"

"You thought what?"

"Well, I just thought that- since Mr. Steele brought me the sample personally, I should-"

"Surely you'renot entertaining notions of responding in kind?"

Rona's face falls in disappointment. "I didn't think it would hurt anything."

"As his doctor, I'll see to it that he learns of the results," Laura tells her, grabbing the file and leaving.

"You never let us technicians have a crack at any of the good ones, do you?" she bemoans.


Ivan is in his bed, Steele is pacing the floor nearby. "Ivan, there comes a point in every man's life when he must examine the consequences of his actions and probe deeply into the innermost reaches of his true self." Ivan is VERY stressed out.

"I'm in it up to my neck, right?" he asks.

"To be specific, there's considerable evidence pointing to you as the culprit."

Steele sits on the edge of the bed. "Oh, no. Please. Don't hold back. You gotta tell me, Mr. Steele. What happened?"

"Dr. Marcus was strangled to death. Her body hidden in the cadaver room." Ivan falls asleep again. Steele frowns, taps him on the cheek. "Ivan? Hey. Hey, come on. Wake up."

Laura enters the room. "He didn't do it."

"What?" Steele asks.

"Somebody just locked me out of my office and followed me down to the nurses' station."

"Any idea who?" Steele asks her.

"No, but if you were with Ivan, it couldn't have been him," she points out.

"That seems logical enough, but-"

"And I got the blood test results from Rona."

Steele grins. "Was she- terribly disappointed?"

"Oh, she'll survive," Laura assures him. "But according to the report, the blood on that jacket was type A."


"Sheila's blood type was O, and Ivan's is AB negative."

"Well if it's not her blood, and it isn't his blood-"

"Somebody's trying to frame him. It's clear."

"What about the gap you found in his readout?"

"I don't have an explanation for that yet, but- I think it's time we let Lindstrom know what's going on." She smiles. "You wanna tell Ivan the good news?" she asks, turning toward the door as he goes to Ivan's bed.

"I really think I should," he agrees.

Ivan wakes when he slaps his face lightly. "I did it. I did it!"

Steele sits down again. "Shh. Perhaps you didn't do it."


"Well,-you didn't kill Dr. Marcus."

Ivan is totally confused. "Did I- Did I miss something?" he asks.


Steele and Ivan sneak into the doctor's locker room. "Are you SURE I'm innocent?" Ivan asks him as he looks for a specific locker.

"I intend to prove it to you. Just keep your eyes open and PLEASE-"

"I'll try to stay awake," Ivan promises, "I really will."

"Good. The sight of someone sleeping now is apt to make me violent."

"I only recently found out myself that I was a narcoleptic," Ivan tells him. "The fact is," he says as Steele finds Wicker's locker, "it's ruined my life. Imagine, prom night, I finally get Effie Stoneglass, the most popular girl in the senior class to dance with me-guess what I do when the band starts playing?"

Steele starts working on the combination lock as he asks, "Fall asleep?"

"Like a rock. And the first time I was ever intimate with a woman,-you know that moment you always hear so much about?"

"You mean?"

"I slept right through it. And she had the marriage annulled the next day."

"Ivan, I'm sorry," Steele says. "I had no idea. It's been rough, hasn't it?"

"Why, you try to adjust, but- you have to be awake to do that. All the friends it's cost me. And the careers- you know, there's no easy niche for a sleeper in our world, Steele." Steele opens the lock and removes it, opening the door. "How'd you do that?"

"A certain god given talent and a lot of practice," Steele tells him as he surveys the contents of Terry's locker. "A yellow tie? Humph. And this man imagines that I could be his partner."

"Well, what're we lookin for?"

"Well, whoever framed you knew about your case history. I just wanted to see if there's anything in the good doctor's closet that rattled as much as he did. He finds a stethescope with Marcus' name on it.

"What would Dr. Wicker be doing with Dr. Marcus' stethescope in his locker?"

"What indeed?" Steele wonders, then finds the complete photograph of Sheila- AND Terry.

"What is that?" Ivan asks.

"A most illuminating picture," Steele says.


Steele, Ivan, and Laura are in Lindstrom's office, and he looks at the photo as he tells them, "Sheila and I had more than just a professional relationship. "In fact, the night she disappeared, we planned a rendevous on the phone. But she never showed up."

"Why didn't you tell us this before?" Laura wonders.

"I'm a married man. I was hoping this entire thing could be cleared up without probing into Sheila's love life. But I see now we're well into that territory."

"Did you know Sheila was seeing Terrance Wicker?"

"No, I didn't. But it doesn't surprise me. Sheila loved men. ALL men." Steele is having trouble keeping his eyes open. "Not in a way that was dirty and cheap, she was just- "

"Philanthropic?" Steele suggests.

"Exactly," Lindstrom agrees. Ivan smiles as Steele closes his eyes for a moment.

"Perhaps she found out that Wicker was trying to close you down," Laura suggests. "OR- that he had a morphine problem. If that stethescope turns out to be the murder weapon, it would certainly make him a prime suspect."

Lindstrom is uncertain. "I don't know. What do you think, Steele?" he asks.

Steele's eyes are closed, and Ivan looks at him with alarm. "Mr. Steele? Mr Steele," he whispers, nudging Steele.

"Pardon me, I'm- meditating," he explains. "I find it very beneficial whenever I'm about to embark upon the demanding last leg of a case."

Lindstrom looks concerned, but says, "I wondered if you concurred with Miss Holt about the stethescope."

"Stethescope. Uh, absolutely."

The three of them leave Lindstrom's office, and Steele asks Laura. "What did I just agree to?"

"That the stethescope might be the murder weapon," she tells him.

"I came up with that?"

"That was great, Steele," Ivan says. "Meditating. I never thought of calling it that."

They are confronted by Nurse Blackwell. "It's time for Mr. Steele to go on the machine," she informs them.

"Machine?" he asks.


Steele is laying in the sleep room bed, electodes on his face. He starts to sit up, but Blackwell pushes him back. "Try to relax, Mr. Steele," she insists. "Now, there's NOTHING to worry about. I'll be here ALL night."

"What a comforting thought," he tells her.

"I can see your machine quite well from my station."

"I'm so glad," he says, smiling to show clenched teeth. "I wouldn't want you to miss anything."

Late that night, Steele is unable to sleep. He looks at the monitors, then gets out of bed and stuffs pillows beneath the covers, then quietly moves around the other bed with the sleeping man in it. He unplugs his machine, and then unplugs the other one, plugging it back into his side. Smiling, he pulls the curtain to hide the first, not working monitor, and then removes the electrodes.


Laura knocks on Terry Wicker's office door. "Dr. Wicker?" There's no answer, so she opens the door. Through the dim light from outside through the blinds, she sees him sitting at his desk. "Dr. Wicker?" She starts to turn and leave, only to find herself held tightly by the killer, a stethescope around her neck. She struggles, finally reaching out for the desk, where she grabs a hypodermic needle and stabs her would be killer in the arm, causing him to release her and run away.

Steele, hearing the noise, comes running down the hallway, finding Laura coughing. "Oh, my god. What happened?" he asks.

"I stabbed him with something," she explains. Steele reaches over to turn on the light.

"It appears you did," he comments, causing her to turn toward Wicker's desk, where Wicker is still sitting a pair of surgical scissors in his chest. Steele turns to make sure Laura's okay.


The next morning, Ivan is waiting in Dr. Marcus' office when Laura and Steele come in. I DIDN'T kill him," she insists.

"You're trapped in the darkness with someone squeezing the life out of you with your own stethescope- you reach for the closest weapon, surgical scissors- and - you defend yourself," he says.

Ivan's scared again. Laura tells Steele, "I didn't pick up surgical scissors. I picked up a hypodermic needle."

"Who's dead?" Ivan asks.

"Dr. Wicker," Steele tells him.

"Dr. Wicker? You don't think I was-"

"Relax, Ivan," Steele says. "Relax. Laura, do you realize what you're saying? That if you didn't kill Dr. Wicker, then he's not our man."

"He isn't."

"But what about our evidence? The picture? The stethescope-"

"The stethescope was a plant, just like the jacket."

"Why-" Ivan asks, "Why would the murderer want to frame two people?"

"I don't think he's trying to frame anyone. He just wants to buy some time," she says. "Each clue that he leaves behind takes us down another blind alley."

"Blind alley," Steele says. "That's a delightfully quiet spot for a rest."

"The missing morphine is the one things we haven't nailed down. The clue must be in there somewhere." Laura notices the wires in Steele's pockets. "What are you doing with these, anyway?"

"As strange as it may sound, I couldn't sleep," he explains. "So I slipped out of the sleep room to see how you were progressing. I thought I might keep them so I could- slip back in." Ivan winks at him approvingly.

Laura points out, "But someone must have noticed that you were off the machine right away."

"Only if they came into the room to check both machines," Steele says. "From the nurses' station, only my polygraph can be seen. And, it was running when I left."

"How did you manage that?" Laura asks.

Steele looks at her. "I- switched connections with the other machine," he tells her.

"What did you say?"

"I connected the other patient to my machine," he clarifies, trying to read her. "I like that look in your eye," he says.

"What does that mean?" Ivan wants to know.

"It usually preceeds a brilliant case ending deduction," Steele tells him.

"You DID it," Laura tells him.

"I did?"

"Of course. It's so obvious. Why didn't we see it before?"

"How about exhaustion?" he asks. "Now, what exactly-"

"Later. Come on, Ivan. We'll need your help," she says as she leads the way out of the room, leaving the two men to follow.

Ivan pauses to tell Steele, "You know, for a doctor, she seems pretty good at this."


Nurse Blackwell is carrying a tray when Laura approaches her. "Nurse Blackwell."

"Dr. Holt."

"I would like a word with you."

"If you must."

"In private."

"Well, I do need to prepare some additional medication." Laura indicates that they should proceed to the medicine room. Blackwell enters first, and Laura waits for Steele to come around the corner, followed by Ivan, pushing a janitor's cart. Ivan stops the cart before the records room, as Steele looks around. Ivan pretends to be doing something with the cart as Steele kneels to pick the lock.

"I was merely curious about the sleep room procedure," Laura tells Blackwell. "When you monitor the patients all night, do you ever leave your station?"

"Twice. But only breifly."

"How briefly?"

"Well, I try to check in on all the other patients on the floor if I have time- "

"Is that what you did the night before it was discovered that Sheila Marcus had disappeared?"

Across the hall, Ivan asks Steele, "What's the matter, Mr. Steele?"

"Patience, Ivan. Fatigue has blurred my natural gifts. This should do it." He hears a click and tries the knob- only to find that it's still locked.

"You can do it, can't you?" Ivan asks.

"Of course I can. Don't be ridiculous."

Laura is still badgering Blackwell. "And according to the reports, it was always you who discovered the missing morphine."

"I am supposed to inventory all the drugs every night," Blackwell informs her. "And naturally, I would be the one to discover any discrepancies. Now, if you'll excuse me-"

"Just a moment. I'm not finished yet."

Steele is having trouble focusing. He sighs, "This is most embarrassing Ivan. There's a pride factor at work here. I should be able to do this in my sleep." He stops, realising what he has said. "Forget I said that" he amends as he continues to jigger the lock.
"I know you can do it Mr Steele" Ivan offers his encouragement. Steele slowly looks up at him before turning his attention back to the unco-operative lock.

Steele finally gets the lock open. "Takes me five minutes to get through a hospital standard," he muses. "If the union ever got wind of this, well-" He stands up as Ivan asks,

"You belong to a union?" Steele glares at him, then leads the way into the room.

Blackwell tells Laura, "I don't believe I care to hear anymore of this- Dr. Holt."

"Very well, you won't have to," Laura tells her."For the moment." They leave the room.


In the records room, Ivan and Steele are going over printouts. "You come across anything yet?" Ivan asks.

"I might if only these lines would hold still long enough," Steele says, rubbing his eyes.

"Dr. Marcus told me that these printouts are as individual as fingerprints," Ivan tells him. Steele's attention is caught by something. "So we should be able to spot it right away." Laura enters the room.

"Any luck?" she asks.

"Not so far," Ivan tells her. "Do you really think it could be-"

"Hold on," Steele says, raising his hand. "Have a look at this," he says.

Laura points to the read out. "Well, here, they're an insomniac- and then the readings suddenly become-"

"Narcoleptic," Ivan confirms. "That's definately narcoleptic."

"And then it goes back to insomnia," Steele points out.

"How long is that span of narcolepsy?" Laura asks.

"About half an hour," Steele confirms as Ivan's eyes widen.

"The gap in my printout was half an hour."

Steele looks at Laura. "It appears we found our killer," he tells her.


Later, in the lab, Laura and Steele are hiding behind a table, sitting on the floor. "I hope he shows up soon," Steele says. "I'd hate to sleep through the resolution of our case."

"Hang on. If he shows up," Laura promises, "you can spend all day tomorrow in bed."

"In bed. That has such a nice rhythym to it. Especially when you say it with that soft lilt in your voice."

She smiles. "You never told me I had a lilt in my voice before."

"I never told you I could cook, either," he reminds her. "But that never stopped me."

"Still trying to weaken my defenses?"

"Such a noble struggle. I'd hate to give it up."

She laughs softly. "So would I. You know, I've never had a man cook for me before."

"Umm, the recipes we could share," he muses moving closer.

Laura closes her eyes, expecting him to kiss her, only to be surprised and disappointed when his head falls onto her shoulder. He moans softly. Laura lifts his chin, and is about to kiss him when a flashlight beam alerts her to someone else in the lab. She gently shakes Steele, pressing a finger to his lips to keep him quiet.

The killer searches the counter, only to be surprised as Steele turns on the lights, having moved around to the other side of the room, separating himself from Laura. "Looking for this, Mr. Bickerman?" she asks, holding up a vial.

Nestor, in scrubs and surgical mask, is alarmed. "Couldn't sleep again, eh, Nestor?" Steele questions.

Nestor lowers the mask. "Well, I was just- uh-"

"You were just trying to retrieve your blood sample so no one would learn that your sleeplessness was caused by your drug habit," Laura finishes.

"And if the chairman of the board frowned on insomnia," Steele points out, "I imagine he would be rather intolerant of a morphine addiction, hmm?"

"You almost pulled it off," Laura admits. "Just a few more days and you'd get that clean bill of health and that chair with the back massager. But Dr. Marcus was able to get one of your samples through the lab."

"So you killed her and framed Ivan who was in the sleep room with you that night," Steele says, moving closer to Nestor, who backs away.

"And when Dr. Wicker discovered the discrepancy in the sleep printout, he had to die too."

Nestor pulls a gun from behind him. "You're right. I AM an addict. And those hypocrites at Vericorp are responsible for it! They sent me on a mine renewal tour about six years ago. I spent months, crawling around abandoned mines, looking for a vein for those parasites to tap into. But one day, a beam gave out. And a- load of shale came down on me. Five operations, and a ton of painkillers later, and I was an addict. It ruined my sleep, my marriage. But I'm NOT going to let it ruin my career. Now, get over there, Steele, next to the doc!"

Laura steps forward, pushing the empty IV bottle across the room, distracting Nestor, giving Steele the chance to jump the man. They struggle, and Steele forces him to drop the gun. Laura moves closer to help, but Nestor pushes Steele back, causing him to knock Laura to floor. Nestor gets away, and they follow him. As he approaches the nurses' station, Ivan is leaning against the wall.

"Ivan!" Steele calls out. "NOW!"

Ivan lunges for Nestor, grabbing ahold of him, muttering, "I will not fall asleep, I will not fall asleep!"

The extra weight causes Nestor to crash into a cart, and Nestor is stunned. Ivan gets up. "Did I do it? Did I do it?" he asks.

Laura shakes his hand. "This time, Ivan, you DID it!" Steele puts an arm around the man's neck, smiling.


At Steele's Lindstrom, Ivan, Laura and Steele are enjoying a meal. "This is great," Ivan says. "I don't remember the last time I actually made it through an entire meal. Usually I got a little groggy after the salad, and before you knew it, I was face down in the entree." Laura glances at Steele, smiling, until she notices that he's nodding off. "But this time, I have never felt more awake in my entire LIFE!" Ivan announces, delighted. I mean, that's really something, isn't it, Steele?"

Steele, fork in hand, shakes his head slightly and pastes a dazed smile on his face. "I'm glad someone's made a full recovery."

Lindstrom says, "Well, Ivan will always be a narcoleptic. But with properly monitored treatment should lead a normal, functional, life."

"And the clinic?" Laura asks. "You hinted at good news."

"We're back in business." Steele is trying to listen, but he's exhausted. "Vericorp, Bickerman's company, was so upset about all the bad publicity he brought them, that they made a substantial contribution to the clinic to try and balance things out. The committee had no choice but to renew us."

Steele nods. "A comforting thought for those still afflicted, I'm sure."

Ivan smiles. "I did it. I made it to dessert."

Laura looks at Steele, who's dozed off again. "Dessert. Mr. Steele?"

"Hmm?" he says, jerking awake. "Ah, yes, ah, dessert. Of course." He wipes his mouth and gets up.

Laura rises as well. "Excuse us," she says, following Steele into the kitchen. He opens the refrigerator. "You still look a little weary," she comments.

"Yes," he agrees, taking some whipped cream and mousse from the fridge. "But as Buddha once said-"

"Buddha?" Laura questions.

"Oh was it- Kurt Vonnegut?" Steele asks himself, rubbing an eye. "At any rate, he said, 'Be careful of what you pretend to be- because-- you - are what you pretend to be."

Laura joins him. "In other words-?"

"I've become a raving insominiac," he tells her, dropping the whipped cream onto the dessert.

"You mean, you haven't slept since we left the hospital?" Laura asks, surprised.

"Oh, I think I nodded off once in the shower, but I'm not sure."

Laura takes the spoon from him, and turns him around. "Well, we'll have to have Dr. Holt take a look at the patient," she says. She listens to his heart. "Sounds strong enough."

He looks put upon. "Of course, levity comes easily easily to someone who doesn't have to face a lifetime of examining their bedroom-" Laura's fingertips move to gently massage his temples, and his eyes begin to close. "Ceiling. You can play at a doctor anytime you wish, but I-" He falls silent. "Oh, my. That feels good."

Laura places a hand to his brow. "Temperature seems normal," she says.

Steele opens one eye. "Or rising slightly," he comments, then closes his eye again as she resumes her massage.

She moves her hands to his shoulders. "Shoulders still tense. Can't have that."

Steele moans softly. "You think I need physical therapy?"

"Well," she says continuing to rub his shoulders, "perhaps a little of that, and- my lilting voice," she says, as his head drops to her shoulder.

"Yes," he agrees sleepily. "And your lilting voice."

Laura waits a beat, then slips beneath him, lifting his head to kiss him. Steele opens an eye, returning the kiss, dips Laura, their lips still locked. When he lifts his head, she smiles. "Time for dessert, Mr. Steele."

He frowns.

The End