- Knit One, Steele Two
(Don't own the characters, have no rights to them, just love
them, and enjoy adding to the story)
- Part 1
'Do that to me one more time, once is never enough, with a
man like yooouuu,' crooned the Captain and Tennille through
the speakers of a state of the art tape deck.
- A woman sat reclined, eyes closed in euphoric rhapsody, as
a handsome young man massaged her shampoo-laden scalp in rhythm
to the music. Across from the row of sinks three women plopped
down in succession into three rose-colored salon chairs, under
three raised pink dryer hoods. Following them in perfect rhythm
were three smocked attendants who lowered the dryer hoods over
the women's roller encrusted heads.
- The mirror behind the dryers revealed two women at salon
stations having rollers whisked from their hair by briskly competent
stylists. The women in the chairs chatted companionably as their
coifs were perfected, over the smooth sounds of Toni Tennille
and the soft whoosh of the hair dryers.
- "Oh, you've gotta go sometime. The views are gorgeous!"
- "I'd love to see it, but Harvey is so close with the
I'd never be able to talk him into it." The
woman held up her knitting to examine her work, then returned
to her stitches, not really even needing to watch her hands as
they flew at their task.
- "I tell you what. You just go and stay at our little
cabin. Leonard wouldn't mind at all. We're off to visit our kids
for the next couple of weeks," gushed the freshly blonde,
curled and hair sprayed sixy-ish woman. "You and Harvey
can just make yourselves at home."
- "Well, aren't you sweet! At that price, Harvey won't
be able to say no! How I'll ever return the favor?"
- "Don't be silly! It'll just be sitting there empty if
you don't go, Eunice! You're doing us a favor keeping an eye
on the place."
- "Some sweet talking guy comes along singing his song,
Don't mess around, You got to be strong, Just Stop, 'cause I
really love You Stop, I'll be thinking of you, Look in my heart
and let love keep us together."
- As the taped Captain and Tennille concert rolled on, the
women gathered their belongings, stood up simultaneously, and
patting their hair, sauntered confidently out of the salon.
- "This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name
and message, I'll get back to you."
- Mildred settled back on her sofa in front of a rerun of 'The
Rockford Files,' needles and yarn in hand.
- "Jimmy, old buddy! It's Angel! You know how they
allow you one phone call? Well, this is it.'
- Snick, Snick, Snick. Stitch upon stitch, Mildred laid down
rows of pale yellow yarn. There was a baby on the way! She smiled
just thinking about it. She had about given up hope that Miss
Holt would ever stand still long enough to let the Boss rub two
sticks together and start a fire, but well...
- The whole thing had been classic farce. Mr. Steele planning
to marry Clarissa, Miss Holt so mad she couldn't see straight,
a little mud wrestling, Clarissa picked up for solicitation and
suddenly, it was Miss Holt as the blushing bride.
- OK, so she hadn't exactly looked bride like, nor had theirs
exactly been the wedding every girl dreamed of but, hey - Mr.
Steele and Miss Holt belonged together, even if they were too
pig headed to go about things in a regular way. At least, they
were married - and together. Miss Holt - er, Mrs. Steele - ending
up in a family way was proof of that!
- Apparently, once they extricated themselves from Tony and
the British Intelligence and the Boss's inheritance and made
up their minds to, uh, honeymoon, they must've forgotten all
about biology. Best thing that coulda happened, as far as Mildred
- Mildred held her knitting up to the light to get a better
look as she passed two stitches behind for a cable and then glanced
down at her pattern book for a moment.
- Miss Holt began having morning sickness a few weeks after
the pair got back from Ireland. She'd needed Mildred to spell
things out for her. Some detective! On the other hand, Mildred
thought as she grinned a little wickedly, maybe Laura was distracted
by the Boss and all the things they were finally enjoying together.
Mildred knew she would be!
- Dropping a stitch, Mildred grunted as she focused on her
task for a few moments.
- Of course, the newlyweds were a little rattled about the
whole baby thing. Oh, Mr. Steele was strutting around like the
only rooster in the barnyard with a goofy smile on his face;
but at the same time, he never took his eyes off Laura afraid
she might go to pieces if he wasn't watching her.
- Mrs. S. was a little queasy and pasty, so she could understand
the boss hovering, but Laura was tougher than anyone Mildred
knew. She wasn't gonna let a baby slow her down - not much, anyway.
- "Come on, Angel, you know I can't do that!"
Jim said shaking his head.
- Mildred sighed happily and stretched. Setting her knitting
aside and turning off the television, she reached for the phone.
"Hello - Eunice? Yeah - it's Mildred. You're not gonna believe
this! Mr. Steele and Miss Holt - I mean, Mrs. Steele - are havin'
a baby! . . .Yep, just married a couple of months now. I'm making
them that sweater I made Bernard when he was a baby. Could you
look up the blanket pattern you always make? It's only ten rows
or so, isn't it? . . . No - that's fine. Just call me back when
you find it."
- Unlocking the door bearing the silver letters Remington
Steele Investigations, Mildred flicked on the lights and
setting her knitting bag to the floor next to her desk, walked
purposefully through reception toward the workroom to get coffee
going. She jumped when she heard a strangled sound coming from
Laura's office. She looked through the open door to find Miss
Holt slouched at her desk, head propped up on one hand, reading
in the dim pool of light cast by her Correia lamp.
- "Miss Holt! What are you doing here?!" Mildred
gasped with one hand at her throat. "And looking like something
the cat dragged in!"
- "Thanks, Mildred," Laura answered dryly. She blanched
a bit at this point and turned to heave unproductively over the
trashcan that she had pulled close. She smiled wearily. "Nothing
in my stomach. Couldn't sleep, so I figured I might as well get
some work done"
- "Stay right there. I'm gonna make you some tea."
As Mildred hurried back into the workroom to heat water, the
insistent ring of the phone shattered the early morning silence
of the office. Grabbing the wall phone, she pulled her earring
off to hold the phone against her shoulder as she stood at the
little sink and said briskly, "Remington Steele Investigations."
- "Mildred, I can't seem to locate Laura! I'm hoping she
ran by her loft to pick something up, but you know she's been
a little under the weather. She isn't picking up the phone, and
I'm a bit worried. I'm going to have Fred run me by the loft,
- Steele rattled on so frantically that it took Mildred several
tries to break in to his worrying. "Mr. Steele! Hold it!
Mrs. S. is here at her desk working, safe and sound," Mildred
assured Steele. She decided not to mention how ill Laura looked.
"You know how she likes to get a jump on the day."
- "She's there? And she's OK?"
- There was only silence for a long moment as Mildred finished
filling the coffee carafe with water and stretched the cord across
the room as she poured it through the coffee maker to heat it.
"Mr. Steele?" she finally said.
- "Yes, Mildred. Well. . . excellent. I'll be in shortly
myself and catch up with Laura then. Thank you, Mildred."
- "Sure thing, Mr. Steele." Mildred hesitated, then
asked, "You want me to put her on the phone, Boss?"
- "No, no. I'll talk to her in person when I arrive. "
- Mildred sighed as Mr. Steele hung up. Were these two ever
going to learn to talk to one another? She poured hot water into
a mug, grabbed a tea bag and headed into Laura's office.
- "Mrs. S., that was the boss. You must' a forgotten to
leave him a note - he was afraid something had happened to you."
- Laura sighed with frustration. "So now that we're married,
I can't make a move without clearing it with HIM first?"
- "Well, now, I don't know about clearing every move with
Mr. Steele; maybe just let him know where you are. He worries
about you. You gotta admit, you aren't exactly doing great just
now." Mildred searched Laura's face as the younger woman
struggled with her emotions, finally settling on merely exhausted.
Mildred laid an encouraging hand on Laura's shoulder. "Sip
that tea. I've got some crackers in my bag. Eunice says the best
thing is to keep nibbling on saltines."
- Laura groaned as the busy receptionist/secretary/apprentice
detective hurried back to her desk. She raised her voice to carry
into the reception area, saying, "Mildred, I appreciate
your concern but I think what would help is if I could just focus
on business for a while!"
- "Sure, Miss Holt...Mrs. Steele. Here are the crackers
just in case you want 'em. I got another lead on a bureaucrat
in Dublin who might be able to help me with that search for Mr.
Steele's records. Should I keep working on that?"
- "Perfect. It would be nice if we could come up with
a birth certificate for Mr. Steele before we need a name to put
anyone else's." Laura's voice trailed off as she
- Steele pushed through the agency door within the half hour
of his phone call. His clipped 'Good Morning Mildred' as he strode
purposefully into his office felt like anything but. The closed
doors did little to muffle the raised voices that soon echoed
from within Laura's office.
- "Is it asking too much to have my bride beside me in
our bed when I awaken in the morning? Or for you to at least
leave some clue alluding to your whereabouts?"
- "I couldn't sleep. I always work when I can't sleep.
How can you not know that after working with me for four
- "Laura. We're supposed to be married. I confess I don't
know a great deal about that sacred institution, but doesn't
being married mean some things change?"
- "What are you talking about!? Everything's changed!
I'm living in YOUR apartment; I'm using your name!"
- "And I'm using yours - the one you gave me, remember?
The apartment is OURS, Laura; not MINE."
- "Then why is half of MY stuff still at MY loft!? Using
the name 'Remington Steele' was YOUR choice - anytime you're
ready to go back to Michael or Mick or Dougie, just say the word!"
- For being as puny as she was, Miss Holt could sure crank
up the volume! Mildred sat perfectly still waiting for the next
volley, but silence fell heavily over the office. With a sigh
she placed a call to a friend of hers in the Washington DC Department
of Immigration, hoping to bypass some of the snafus Mr. Steele's
lack of documentation presented.
- Learning that Daniel Chalmers, an American citizen by birth,
had been Mr. Steele's father gave Mildred some thoughts on how
to obtain legal records for the boss. While she sat on hold,
the always efficient Miss Krebs pulled out her knitting to occupy
her fingers. She held up the growing front panel of the little
yellow sweater. There was something so satisfying about watching
a project come together!
- Suddenly the door from Mr. Steele's office swung open, and
Steele's head popped through. "Mildred
Didn't realize you were on the phone."
- "I'm on hold, Chief. What can I do for you?"
- "When you have a minute, could you come in here? I think
I've persuaded Laura that we need to consolidate our living situations.
I thought maybe you could help us procure an agent, a list of
what we want in a house, possible locations...whatever it takes
to buy a home."
- With a quick clunk, Mildred hung up the phone. Trading her
knitting for a pen and notepad, Mildred, charged ahead of her
amused employer into his office. "I'll try my call later.
It's about time you kids settle some things."
- Part 2
- Mildred sat propped up in bed, her needles flying, staring
at the phone resting next to her and willing it to ring. There
was some comfort in the lengthening rows of stitches that fell
from her needles. The little yellow arm of the sweater Mildred
was working on was nearly complete. Only shaping the shoulder
remained. As Mildred re-read the pattern, the sharp ring of the
phone made her jump and the needles fell to the floor as she
scrabbled to pick up the receiver.
- "Hi, Aunt Mildred - It's me, Bernard!"
- "Oh - Hi, Bernard! How is the graduate coursework abroad
- "Great, Aunt Mildred. Austria is fantastic. We see different
parts of the country every weekend and different parts of the
city every day. I hope I didn't call too late."
- "No, Bernard, this is fine. I'm always glad to hear
from my favorite nephew. I'm so glad you're enjoying your studies
there." Mildred hesitated. "Bernard, by any chance
have you heard from your parents lately?"
- "Last weekend, I think. Why? Is something wrong?"
- "No - just wondered if they'd said anything to you about
taking a trip."
- "No way - you know my folks - it took a minor miracle
to get them to Santa Barbra for my graduation. And even then,
Dad drove straight through on the way home so he wouldn't have
to pay for another night in the hotel!"
- "Right, right. That's your dad! I must have misunderstood
what your mom said when I talked to her a couple of days ago.
Did I tell you Mr. Steele and Miss Holt got married?"
- "That's great, Aunt Mildred. Hey, I've got to go. Some
of the guys are heading off to the one of the local
- "Okay, buddy - have a great time. Send me a post card.
Love you, Bernard!"
- "Love you too, Aunt Mildred. Tell Mr. Steele congratulations
- Mildred hung the phone up and leaned over the edge of the
bed in search of the errant knitting needle that had rolled under
the bed. "Where is Eunice?" Mildred muttered out loud
as she struggled to right herself again. "She shoulda called
by now with that pattern, or at been home when I called! She
and that tightwad Harvey never go anywhere."
- Steele glanced across to where Laura lay reclined in the
passenger seat of the Rabbit. He reached to tug her coat more
snugly up over her shoulder.
- "I'm awake." Laura opened one velvet brown eye
to return her husband's gaze. "Just resting my eyes. Where
- "We went through Redding about fifteen minutes ago.
I would guess that we're about half way to Seattle. Ready for
something to eat, or to stretch your legs?"
- "I'm OK, Mr. Steele. Thanks." Laura peered over
into the back seat where Mildred was snoring softly, her knitting
lying forgotten in her lap. "Mildred seems to have fallen
- "I'm glad. She's been so worried about her sister and
brother-in-law these last few days, I don't think she's gotten
much rest." Steele looked at Laura rather pointedly and
asked, "Mr. Steele?"
- "Well? 'Remington' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
It sounded much better as the fictitious head of the agency.
I have to admit, I've never felt entirely comfortable calling
you Remington." Laura smiled a little sheepishly. "Harry.
I thought 'Harry' suited you, even before I found out that was
the name Daniel called you. How did he come to call you Harry?"
- "I'm not sure. On more than one occasion when introducing
me, Daniel would smile and tell people I was just some 'Tom,
Dick or Harry' he'd run into, and gradually 'Harry' stuck. Personally,
I was always rather fond of names from the films." Steele
was quiet for a bit. "It was a Chalmers family name, you
know - Harrison. I'm really not sure how Daniel came to the conclusion
I was actually his son. I would love to have heard more of that
- "Me, too." After resting one hand comfortingly
on Steele's leg for a bit, Laura sat upright, pulling a map open
to study it. "Why don't we stop in Weed, at the foot of
Mount Shasta? There ought to be plenty of places to stay there,
- "I like the sound of that, Laura. Now that Mildred's
had a bit of a nap, we could all benefit from a good meal. And
later, for dessert
?" Steele smiled, wiggling his eyebrows
at Laura, whose blush was appealingly evident even in the dim
light of the car.
- "Mr. Steele!" Laura hissed reprovingly at Steele.
Glancing back at Mildred who was still sound asleep, she added
"That's the kind of attitude that got us into this trouble
in the first place."
- One of Steele's most winning smiles slid across to light
his face. "Trouble? I prefer to think of it as the kind
of attitude that finally won you over."
- The Steeles and Mildred were soon ensconced in rooms in at
small bed and breakfast. Steele and Laura left their drapes open
wide in order to look out on the majestic snow-covered peak.
Steele sat propped against the headboard, Laura's hair spread
across his chest where she lay secure in his arms.
- Steele was profoundly content to be simply holding Laura.
His chin rested on the top of her head, his arms lightly on her
belly and their as yet undetectable child. In these moments when
they ceased worrying about which of them was most vulnerable
in their relationship, each found the other to be the perfect
answer to all they needed and wanted.
- Somehow the differences in their pasts and their temperaments
made them fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Where Laura was
impulsive, Steele was cautious. Where he was impolitic, she was
insightful. Where she was naïve, he was worldly. And where
she was now at her weakest, for the first time in her life not
able to depend on her body's usual strength and grace, he found
himself feeling strangely strong.
- Impending fatherhood wakened in Steele fiercely protective
feelings he had not suspected himself capable of. If he could
always stand between Laura and anything that might harm her,
he would. He was hardly able to bear the thought that acting
on their love had resulted in her being so ill over the past
- "Hmmm?" she responded languidly.
- "Are you alright with being 'Mrs. Steele'?"
- "You mean being married? To you?" Laura looked
up at Steele's solemn face, illuminated only by the dim light
of the moon reflected into the room by the snowy mountain. Slowly
smiling, she said, "It's been a little crazy, the way we
backed into marriage, the chaos of our honeymoons, trying to
suddenly fit our lives into 'your' place, or 'mine,' and then
throwing morning sickness into the whole mix, but
it's alright. I haven't been able to picture myself being with
anyone but you for a long time now."
- "Thank you, Laura. Not exactly a ringing endorsement,
but under the circumstances . . ." Steele swallowed. "
. . . I'll take it."
- "Thoughts on how we ought to proceed once we get to
Mildred's sister's place?"
- "Hopefully, we'll find them happily watching their favorite
television program in their den, all of Mildred's worry for naught."
- "Mildred's an ace worrier," Laura said with a smile.
"But her instincts are pretty good. We'll all feel better
once we figure out what's going on. Tell me - as useless as I've
been over the last few weeks, why didn't you and Mildred go to
Seattle without me to check on her family?"
- "Laura, it took me four years to consolidate our partnership.
I'm not about to let you find out you can manage without me.
Besides, Mildred doesn't smell nearly as good as you do."
Steele inhaled deeply as he whispered into Laura's ear.
- Laura snuggled into Steele's embrace with a sigh. "As
much as it pains me to admit it, I've come to depend on your
support, Mr. Steele
- Part 3
- "Turn here - their house is the deep red one on the
left, the one with the hedge along the side," Mildred said,
directing Steele from the back seat.
- "No lights. Doesn't look as if anyone's home,"
Laura observed, glancing at her watch. "Do Eunice and Harvey
have any hobbies like bowling or square dancing that would take
them out of the house at night?"
- "Harvey collects coins and Eunice knits. They're homebodies.
I can't tell you the last time I called and she didn't pick up
the phone, Mrs. S."
- "Well, let's knock and see if they answer." Steele
pulled the seat back forward and offered Mildred a hand out of
the cramped back seat of the Rabbit.
- She groaned a little as she unfolded herself and walked stiffly
toward the house and knocked.
- "No answer," she said.
- The three looked at one another and without discussion Mildred
and Laura formed a screen with their bodies while Steele swiftly
dispensed with the lock.
- "Eunice? Harvey?" Mildred called out as they entered
the house. "Anybody home?"
- A swift search the house confirmed the occupant's absence.
Laura and Steele met Mildred in the master bedroom, where the
apprentice detective was contemplating the open closet. She turned
and took in the rest of the room. Wordlessly, she led her employers
down the hall to the bath, where she opened cabinets and drawers.
The group continued into the living room, where Mildred silently
opened the coat closet and stared. The three turned and Mildred
slowly and carefully examined this room. Pursing her lips, she
continued through the kitchen toward the family room in the back
of the house. Steele and Laura looked at each other and then
silently fell in step behind her.
- Mildred finally sat down on an overstuffed sofa facing a
large console television. The Steeles separated to sit on either
side of her. The plump blond seemed lost in thought and her companions
were loath to break her concentration. Slowly she rose and walked
to the wall behind the television, reaching out to touch a small
brass nail that protruded from that smooth surface. Her hand
wandered to three more nails. As she walked to the next wall,
she touched two other small brass nails. The wall behind the
sofa boasted an additional three.
- A slow smile crept across Mildred's face, Laura and Steele
smiled in response.
- "I like that gleam in your eye, Mildred," Steele
- "OK, Mildred. Spill," Laura encouraged.
- "You know how I said Harvey collects coins? Unless I
miss my guess, those nails used to hold some of his framed collections."
Mildred was thoughtful. "Eunice always has a knitting bag
sitting around the house. Bupkis, no bag. Her favorite blue coat
is missing from the closet, there aren't any toothbrushes or
toothpaste in the bathroom, and the trash cans are all empty."
- Steele's grin widened. "She's got the makings of a superb
detective, doesn't she, Laura?"
- "I'm sorry, Mildred." Laura shook her head. "All
that's good, but there are still a few holes here. Like, where
are Eunice and Harvey?"
- "That part's still a little fuzzy. But even though Harvey
hasn't willingly spent a dime on travel in thirty years of marriage,
it sure looks as if they just went away for a few days. Eunice
is friends with the lady next door. Let's see if she's talked
to them," Mildred suggested.
- "Mildred! What are YOU doing here?!" A shocked
voice interrupted Mildred's suggestion.
- "Eunice - Oh!" Mildred flew to wrap her arms around
her shocked sister. "I've been so worried! I've been trying
to reach you for days! The Boss and the Mrs. came with me to
check on the two of you!" In her joy at having Eunice appear,
Mildred missed Laura's pained expression at being referred to
as 'the Mrs.'
- "How did you get into our house?" Harvey asked
as he suddenly appeared behind the two sisters, dropping several
small suitcases to the floor as he glared at the Steeles. "And
where are my framed coins that were on the wall behind you when
we left here three days ago!"
- Harvey continued to stare suspiciously at Steele across the
small kitchen table, apparently not swayed by the detective's
most disarming smile. Steele found himself sliding closer to
Laura and taking cover behind her earnest personage.
- "So you went to your friends Arlene and Leonard's lake
cabin for a few days?" Mildred asked.
- "Well, I've never met Leonard, but Arlene and I go to
the same beauty shop. She's been raving about the views at Crystal
Lake and offered to let us stay at their place. They weren't
going to be there anyway since they were visiting their kids,
so she dropped the keys and a map off here, and away we went."
Eunice chattered on, saying, "It was wonderful! Guess I
never imagined you'd worry about us. We'd just talked, after
all, and I figured it would be a few weeks before you called
- "Probably would have been, except I was waiting to hear
from you about that knitting pattern - remember?!"
- "Oh, yeah! Congratulations, you two, on the baby! Sorry,
Mildred. It just flew right out of my head."
- "Thank you. How long have you known Arlene, Eunice?"
Laura asked in her most professional manner.
- "Oh, quite awhile now. We get our hair done at the same
time every Friday at the Cut 'n Curl. Such a nice place - and
real reasonable, too! We get plenty of time to talk during those
visits. I've heard all about her kids, her grandkids, her bursitis
. . ."