The morning after they arrived in London, Remington and Laura got a cab from the hotel where they were staying to Kates house. Remington was uncharacteristically quiet during the cab ride as he stared out the window chewing on a fingernail, deep in thought. "Nervous?" Laura asked him perceptively as she gave his other hand an encouraging squeeze. She found his hand clammy with sweat.
"Nervous? Im bloody terrified," he admitted. He had been in a lot of dangerous situations in his life but they seemed to pale in comparison to the thought of finally meeting his son. "What if he doesnt like me Laura? What if hes got all this anger built up towards the father hes never known and doesnt want to have anything to do with me?" he voiced his concerns, his sentiments echoing his own feelings towards the father he had never known.
Laura patted his hand in support and lovingly turned his face to hers. "Its going to be okay. Yes, Im sure it will be a shock for him at first to discover youre his father but once he gets to know you and you him Im sure itll be fine," she reassured him. "After all, who wouldnt love you?" she added with a smile as she kissed him tenderly.
Remington & Kate had agreed that they wouldnt tell Harry today, thinking it may be too much all at once today would just be a get to know you meeting. As far as Harry knew he was just meeting his mothers old friend.
Quicker than Remington hoped the cab pulled up outside Kates house in a fashionable part of London. So different to the rough streets of Brixton where he had met her long ago. Where they had conceived a child together a child he was about to meet for the first time, he thought as he steeled himself then paid the cab driver and got out of the cab, going around the other side to open the door for Laura. She gave his hand a reassuring squeeze as they walked hand in hand up the stairs to the front door. He rang the doorbell, trying to stop his hands from trembling a bit.
It didnt take long for Kate to answer the door. She looked as nervous as he did. She hoped all would go smoothly and he and their son would hit it off, before Harry learned the truth that he was his father.
"Hi Harry sorry, Remington," she corrected herself quickly, reminding herself not to call him by his former name in front of Harry who also bore that name, as she had told him she had named him after his father.
"Hi Kate," he replied giving her a quick peck on the cheek.
"Laura hi, how you doing?" Kate greeted her with a smile, genuinely happy to see them together as she knew thats where he belonged.
"Come in Harrys just out in the garden kicking his football around," she informed them as she showed them in. Her home was tastefully furnished and spoke of understated wealth, comfortable but not over the top. So different to the places we both grew up in Remington mused, glad that their son had had a much better start to life.
As they walked through to the back of the house Remington noticed the photos of his son through the years that adorned the walls and he stopped for a moment to look at them. There were photos of young Harry as a baby, then as a toddler, his first day at school, birthdays and so forth. A lump came to his throat as he realised all the milestones he had missed out on in his sons life his first steps, his first words, starting school, his first football game, even his very start to life. As he thought this he was even more determined not to miss any more.
Laura watched him, the man she loved, as they walked through the house. She saw him staring at the photos and could guess what was going through his mind all the things he had missed out on in his sons life and she knew how hard that must be for him.
As they came into the large kitchen, Kate turned to him with a smile and said quietly, "So, are you ready to meet your son?"
"As ready as Ill ever be," he replied with a nervous smile of his own, tugging on his ear lobe, as he looked out the kitchen window and caught a glimpse of the young boy with a shock of jet black hair, so like his own.
"Harry..our guests are here," Kate called out the back door.
"Okay Mum," he replied as he picked up the ball and came inside.
Remington stared at him for a moment, swallowing the lump of emotion that immediately came to his throat. It was like looking at a younger version of himself from his hair, a lock of which had fallen over his forehead, to his deep blue eyes, even his smile was the same. He was tall and lean like his father as well, already taller than his mother. Laura found herself getting a little emotional as well, as she fought to contain herself so as not to give anything away. She stole a glance at Remington to observe his reaction to seeing his son face to face for the first time.
Kate too had to hurriedly blink back the tears that had sprung to her eyes - finally, after all these years, they get to meet, she thought to herself.
She found her voice. "Harry, Id like you to meet my friends, Remington Steele and Laura Holt."
"Pleased to meet you Mr Steele, Miss Holt," Harry replied politely as he went to shake both their hands. As he shook Mr Steeles hand and looked at him, Harry couldnt help but notice that he looked an awful lot like him. Kate watched their interaction she knew that look in her sons eyes, it meant his brain was ticking over something and she wondered if he had guessed the truth.
Remington shook his sons hand, trying not to stare at him. "Call me Remington," he stated with a smile, stopping himself from saying Dad. "Im very pleased to meet to meet you too Harry," he added, trying to hide the catch in his voice.
"And you can call me Laura," she stated with a smile as well, as she shook Harrys hand. "Its lovely to meet you Harry," she added, marvelling at how much he reminded her of his father. Even his accent was similar a cultured English accent with a hint of Irish from his mother. Harrys however had been acquired through his education, rather than being tutored by a mentor as Remingtons was.
"Ah well... why dont we all sit down and have a drink?" Kate said a little hurriedly as she motioned to the kitchen table. "Youre a Manchester man Harry?" Remington asked, noticing the football jersey his son was wearing, trying to sound casual while his emotions - love, happiness, pride & regret burned inside him.
"Sure am," Harry replied, a lopsided grin crossing his face. "How about you Mr Steele,, I mean Remington? Do you follow football?" he asked.
"Well they dont have it on the tv as much in America as I would like, but I try and watch a game when I can. I used to follow Manchester myself back in the day," Remington replied as he shared a meaningful look with Kate.
"Harry, why dont you and Mr Steele go outside and have a kick around? He might be able to show you a thing or two," Kate suggested with a smile, hoping it would give the two of them a chance to get to know each other.
"Sure Mum," Harry replied enthusiastically. "Would you like to Mr Steele... sorry, Remington?" he asked.
A smile lit up Remingtons face. "Id love to Harry, although I warn you I havent played for quite a while I might be a bit rusty," he laughed as he followed him outside, closing the door behind them.
With that Kate let out a breath she hadnt realised shed been holding. "That went well," Laura remarked with a warm smile.
"Yes it did... thank goodness," Kate agreed as she smiled back at her.
"Hes the spitting image of him isnt he?" Laura remarked as Kate nodded with a grin.
"Yes he is I didnt get much of a look in at all." As she said this Laura thought how hard it must have been in some ways for Kate to live with a constant reminder of her first love who had left her.
"Hes a wonderful young man Kate hes a credit to you," Laura stated sincerely.
"Thanks. Ive tried to do the best I can for him.".
Laura hesitated then went on. "I hope you dont mind me being here - I didnt want to intrude, after all this is between the two of you, or should I say the three of you, but he asked me to come with him." Kate smiled and shook her head. "Not at all in fact Im glad youre here. He needs you I know this isnt going to be easy for him," she stated as she gazed out the window at her son and his father, finally together, and a tear come to her eye.
"Can I ask you something?" Laura went on as Kate nodded. "Why didnt you tell him about Harry when you were in Los Angeles?"
Kate sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "I did try a couple of times but there never seemed to be the right time and.." she hesitated then went on, "when I realised he was in love with you I didnt want him to feel obligated to me just because we have a child together. I didnt want him deciding to come back to me because of Harry while all the time hed be thinking of you - that wouldnt have been fair on anyone. I guess I had two hearts to think of," she replied as she looked out the window at her son. "And I knew he belonged with you," Kate stated frankly, smiling at Laura as she did so.
"Thank you," Laura replied sincerely, returning the smile.
"I think your secretary guessed though she saw a photo of Harry in my purse and put two and two together. I asked her to keep her suspicions to herself though." Laura nodded, remembering how shed been surprised at Mildreds less than shocked reaction when theyd told her the news that Remington had a son.
"Yes she did she didnt say anything though until we told her about Harry," Laura reassured her.
"So I gather you two have sorted some things out then?" Kate asked with a grin, in reference to Laura & Remington, as Laura nodded with a grin of her own.
"You were right hes definitely a twenty," Laura replied as they both laughed, remembering the conversation theyd had back in LA. "So hows your arm?" she then asked Kate.
"Oh its getting there my doctor reckons with a bit more physical therapy it should be right as rain."
They fell into a companionable silence for a moment or two then Laura remarked. "It must have been hard for you - being so young, finding yourself pregnant and alone and just as your career was starting."
Kate nodded. "It wasnt easy thats for sure. Being an unwed mother with no father on the scene in the early 1970s, still very much had a stigma attached to it. Most people expected me to give him up for adoption or not even have him at all, but there was no way I was going to do that. Miles was very good to me and helped me out Im not sure what I would have done without him really. I dont know how many back stage dressing rooms Harry fell asleep in when he was a baby with makeup artists and roadies acting as babysitters," Kate stated with a nostalgic smile, remembering when Harry was small. "I did what I had to do - I guess it made me grow up fast. When I managed to start making a bit of money I was able to get a part-time nanny which helped, but Ive always tried to be a hands on mum as much as I can. I was luckier in a lot of ways than a lot of other single mums really."
"How did you keep the fact you were pregnant and then had a child out of the press?" Laura asked. Shed never read anything about Kate having a child or seen any photos of the two of them together.
A smile crossed Kates face. "Well it was certainly a challenge. There was a lot of baggy clothes, and interviews and music videos shot from the chest up when I was pregnant and a guitar helps to hide things as well, she stated a little wryly. "Miles had a few contacts at the papers too he managed to convince them to keep things out of there. And then once I had him I become very protective of my privacy and his really. I wanted him to have as normal a childhood as possible I didnt want paparazzi following him to school and the like."
"So thats why you stopped touring and dropped out of the spotlight?" Laura asked perceptively as Kate nodded.
"Yes and I wanted to focus on him while he was little. When he started boarding school earlier this year Miles suggested it might be time to think about resurrecting my career and start performing again, now that hes older and more independent. Plus, Ive got a bit more time on my hands now when Harrys at school. I guess I didnt want the fact that Im famous to impact on his life too much, and also so he could make his own way in the world and not just be known as Kate Kellys son. I suppose thats going to be a bit of a challenge now too, given that his fathers a famous detective but Ill guess thats just another thing well have to work out how we handle," she stated as her gaze drifted to the window to watch her son and his father, who were having their own conversation.
As they kicked the ball back & forth to each other Remington asked Harry about all the things he liked to do, his favourite subjects at school and the like, and what his life had been like so far, trying to find out as much as he could about his son, who until very recently he didnt even know existed.
Harry also had a few questions of his own. "So how do you know my Mum?" he asked as Remington swallowed the lump in his throat.
"Ah..we knew each other a long time ago in London when we were teenagers," he replied, trying to sound casual.
Harry hesitated for a moment then looking at the man standing in front of him said, "Did you know my dad?"
That stopped Remington in his tracks. He wasnt prepared for that question, his mind madly scrambling to come up with an answer. Should I just come right out and tell him? he wondered desperately.
Just then Kate opened the back door and called to them, "Lunch is ready," as Remington silently breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well we better not keep your mother waiting eh? he said to Harry with a grin then added as he put a hand on his sons shoulder, "Well finish that conversation another time hey mate?" Harry nodded as they went inside together.
A couple of days later Remington went back to Kates house, this time by himself. Laura gave him a kiss and wished him luck as he got into the cab, knowing this was something he had to do on his own this was his & Kates and their sons moment. Today he was going to tell Harry he was his father. He had asked Kate if he could tell him it was the least he could do he thought, after all these years.
When the cab pulled up outside Kates place, he paid the driver then got out, wiping his clammy hands on his legs before going up the path and ringing the doorbell. Kate answered it, looking as nervous as he felt. She wasnt sure how Harry would react to the news would he be happy, angry, upset, confused? She desperately wanted it to go well and she didnt want their son to get hurt.
"Hi," they greeted each other with nervous smiles. "Hes upstairs in his room," Kate informed him as Remington came inside. He nodded, steeling himself to do what he knew he must.
"Kate before I tell him, I just wanted to say thank you," he stated sincerely.
"For what?" she asked.
"For giving me a son for carrying him, giving birth to him, raising him by yourself for 13 years. And for letting me be a part of his life," he said, his blue eyes filled with emotion.
"Youre welcome," Kate replied with a watery smile as they shared a heartfelt hug.
"Well here goes better late than never eh?" he stated with a lopsided grin, trying to hide his nerves. Kate nodded and looked intently at him the moment she had waited so long for, for her son to finally find out who his father was, had arrived.
"Ill be here if either of you need me," she stated with a smile. "I wish I could tell you how hes going to react but I just dont know," she confessed.
"Well I guess well find out eh?" Remington replied with a smile as he planted a kiss on her forehead.
"His rooms the first on the right up the stairs," Kate informed him as she watched him go up the stairs to their sons room.
Remington stopped outside Harrys bedroom door and took a deep breath. He could hear him playing the guitar and a proud smile crossed his face - he had obviously inherited his mothers talent. With a pang of guilt, he wondered what he could teach his son how to pick a pocket or a lock? he thought a little regretfully. He hesitated for a moment then knocked on the door.
"Come in," Harry called. "Oh hi Mr Steele... I mean Remington," he greeted him, surprised to see him standing there.
"Hi Harry sorry to disturb you. You sounded pretty good there mate," Remington said with a smile.
"Thanks," Harry replied with the same smile. "Mum taught me how to play".
"Shes pretty great your Mum hey?" Remington stated fondly.
"The best," Harry agreed with a grin as Remington nodded with a smile.
"I didnt know you were coming over today. Is Miss Holt, I mean Laura with you?" he asked a little hopefully as Remington tried to hide his smile. The lads got a little crush on her like father, like son, he realised with a degree of amusement.
"No not today she ah... had some things she needed to do. I was wondering actually if we could finish that chat we were having the other day - about your dad," Remington stated seriously. "Mind if I sit down?"
Harry nodded and looked at him expectantly as he sat down. Remington hesitated for a few moments, trying to find the right words to tell him. "I want to tell you a story Harry to explain to you who your father is," Remington said, his voice quiet, as he looked intently at his son, whose intent blue eyed gaze mirrored his own.
Harry nodded. "Sure."
Remington cleared his throat to calm his nerves a bit, tugging an ear lobe as he did so, then began. "Its a story about a boy who also called himself Harry," he started with a smile. "He didnt know if that was his real name though to this day he doesnt know what his real name is, hes had quite a few over the years. You see Harry, this young boy didnt have a great mum like you. Well she may have been a great mum but he never knew her," he stated a little wistfully.
"And like you, he never knew his father. So he was passed around between various distant relatives, a couple of foster families, and some orphanages, never really feeling like he belonged anywhere or to anyone. So when he was a couple of years younger than you are now, he decided to head out on his own from Ireland where hes been born and spent his childhood, to England. He stowed away on a ferry from Dublin and came to London."
"He ran away from home? young Harry stated incredulously.
"Well in a manner of speaking you see Harry, he never really felt like he had a home, not a real one anyway. So he tried his luck on the streets of London the ah... rougher parts, not like round here," Remington added a little drolly. "It was hard but he learnt how to survive - he did what he had to do, not all of it things he was very proud of," he stated seriously. Harry listened, fascinated.
"Anyway, about 5 or so years after coming to London, when he was a few years older than you, he met a beautiful young girl one day. She was Irish by birth, just like him. She was busking at a tube station and she had the voice of an angel", Remington went on as the memories came flooding back to him. "They became friends and eventually fell in love," he added with a smile.
"Youre talking about my mum?" Harry guessed as Remington nodded.
"And then not too long afterwards the girl, your mum, was discovered by a record producer who recognised her talent and offered her a record deal. Her star was on the rise and all her hard work was paying off. Before they knew it she was on the verge of becoming a successful recording artist and Harry started to worry."
"What about?" young Harry asked, a bit confused.
Remington sighed. "He started to worry that she wouldnt need him anymore, that he would only hold her back. He was just a kid from the streets after all."
"So what did he do?" his son asked.
Remington hesitated for a moment, feeling the familiar pang of guilt and regret. "He left her," he stated simply as he watched the look of anger cross his sons face. "I know that must be hard for you to hear Harry. Believe me, the Harry in this story regretted that decision and regretted hurting her ever since. He was young and foolish, just 18 then. You see all his life whenever hed got close to someone theyd let him down in some way, so I guess he got scared that history would repeat itself, so he left her before she had the chance to leave him. Unbeknowns to him, well to both of them at that point, the girl, your mother, was pregnant with you."
Harry was silent for a few moments then asked, "So where did my father go? What happened to him?"
Remington got up and walked over to the bedroom window and looked out. "He went everywhere Harry. A lot of different names, a lot of different places. He travelled around, tried his hand at many things, never staying in one place too long, until about three years ago anyway."
Harry looked at the man standing in front of him, wondering how he knew all this and suddenly the penny dropped. What he had hoped and dreamed of for so long, meeting his father was he standing here now in front of him? he wondered. "You said my father had a lot of different names over the years," he stated as he looked at Remington and tried to blink back the tears that suddenly sprung to his eyes.
"Yes he did Harry," Remington replied, trying to fight back his own tears.
Harry gulped down the lump in his throat then summoning up his courage asked, "So whats his name now? Is it Remington Steele? Are you my dad?"
Remington looked at his son, not trying to hide his tears anymore, the emotion of the moment overwhelming him as he nodded. "Youre a smart lad Harry," he said with a smile. "Yes I am. Im the Harry in the story Im your father."
Kate had crept quietly up the stairs to sit on the landing outside Harrys room to listen to their conversation and also to be close by in case they needed her. She also had tears streaming down her face by this point as she heard him finally tell their son the truth.
Harry paused for a moment, trying to stop himself from crying. "Why didnt Mum tell me?" he asked, his voice trembling.
"I asked her if I could tell you I felt I owed that to you and her after all these years," Remington replied sincerely. "I know it cant have been easy not having a dad for thirteen years, believe me I know that feeing, and Im sorry I havent been there for you and your mum. If I had known, I would have been there for you both, I assure you. But I only found out about you just recently Harry. Your mum and I hadnt seen each other for almost fourteen years and then as fate would have it we ran into each other when she was in Los Angeles a few months ago. When your mum got back home she wrote me a letter telling me we had a son. So I knew I had to meet you and tell you the truth. Id like to be part of your life Harry, if youd like that," Remington stated sincerely, his blue eyes searching his sons for acceptance & understanding.
Harry was quiet for a moment or two taking it all in, which seemed like forever to Remington as he waited to see what his sons reaction would be. "I Id like that," he replied with a watery smile as his father smiled back at him. "So what do I call you? Mr Steele? Remington? Harry?" he asked.
Remington paused then said hopefully," I was kind of hoping you might like to call me Dad."
Harry looked at him, by now the tears freely flowing down his face as he got up and flung himself into his fathers arms. Remington hugged him back, holding him close and planting a kiss on the top of his head, running a hand through his sons hair, so like his own. "Oh Harry... son," he murmured, his voice raw with emotion.
With that, Kate opened the door and came and hugged them both, the three of them crying together. When they had composed themselves a bit, young Harry stated with a grin, "I kind of had a hunch you might be my dad well I hoped anyway. We do kind of look alike."
Remington grinned proudly back at him & Kate. "That we do son, that we do."
The three of them then went downstairs to talk. "So obviously theres a few things your Dad and I need to work out Harry," Kate said to their son as they sat down at the kitchen table, "But is there anything youd like to ask us or you want to talk about? I know this is a pretty big revelation to deal with."
Harry was silent for a moment or two looking at both of his parents sitting there next to each other, both of them watching him expectantly. "Are the two of you getting back together?" he asked with more than a little hope as Remington and Kate exchanged a somewhat uncomfortable glance.
"Do you want to answer that or will I?" Kate asked.
"No I will," Remington replied as he cleared his throat. "No mate were not," he stated simply as Harry tried to hide his disappointment. "Laura and I well, were more than just business associates were partners in life as well as work. But your mother will always have a special place in my heart and well both always be here for you," he explained gently as Kate nodded.
"Okay, I understand," Harry replied quietly, but both of his parents wondered if he did really. As he said that he looked at his mother and noticed a flicker of something in her eyes.
There was a bit of an awkward silence then Remington said, "So Id like you to come to LA at some stage so we can spend some time together how does that sound? Ill need to work it out with your Mum around your school terms and everything of course."
"That sounds great Ive always wanted to go to America," Harry replied with excitedly with a grin that mirrored his fathers.
Kate smiled at the two of them then said "How about I get us all some lunch? Do you guys want to have a kick around with the football or something while youre waiting?" she suggested.
"Sounds like a plan," Remington replied with a smile as Harry nodded enthusiastically then he raced upstairs to grab his football.
"I guess I knew that question was going to come up didnt make it any easier to answer though," Remington admitted with a sigh as he gave Kate a meaningful look.
She nodded and replied "No it didnt", avoiding his gaze as she got up from the table and busied herself getting things out of the fridge for lunch. As she bent over and her top rode up a bit. Remington caught sight of the tattoo across her lower back that hed discovered a few months back.
"You never did tell me what that symbol was and what the words meant," he remarked.
Kate stood up and looked at him. "Its the Celtic symbol for motherhood and the words, Mo chroi, mo shaol mean in Gaelic, My heart, my life. I got it done after I had Harry," she explained.
He nodded thoughtfully. "Thats beautiful Kate," he stated sincerely as he smiled at her and the sudden intensity of emotion that swept over Kate took her a bit by surprise. She had thought she had been getting over him but seeing him with Harry had brought all those feelings that shed tried to bury back to the surface again.
Not knowing what to say she just looked at him intently, trying to fight back her tears. "Excuse me for a moment, I ah... just need to grab something," she said hurriedly as she left the room, not really trusting herself to stay in that close proximity to him at that moment.
Remington observed her reaction with a pang of guilt & regret, knowing that this couldnt be easy for her and that as much as he would like to he couldnt take her pain away as he knew it was Laura, the love of his life, that he belonged with. He sighed and rubbed his forehead just as Harry came back into the kitchen, ball in hand.
"Ready Dad?" he asked with a grin as Remington smiled back at him, both of them liking the sound of the name Dad. "Sure am," Remington replied, wondering to himself a little how they were going to work this all out.
Later on that night after Remington had left, Kate went in to Harrys room to give him a kiss goodnight before he went to sleep. "How you doing kiddo?" she asked as she came and sat down on the bed next to him. "I know that was a pretty intense day for you," she added as she lovingly brushed the lock of hair off his forehead that reminded her so much of his father.
Harry nodded then said "Im okay Mum. I mean its a lot to take in but well its kind of nice to finally have a Dad," he admitted as she smiled.
"Hes a good man Harry and I know hell be a good father to you," she stated sincerely.
Harry hesitated for a moment then said "Mum can I ask you something?".
"Of course you can sweetheart," she replied.
"You still love him dont you?" he asked perceptively, his blue eyes that were so like his fathers holding hers intently.
A bittersweet smile crossed Kates face. "Cant get anything past you can I tiger? she laughed softly as he grinned at her. It had just been the two of them for so long they were very attuned to each other and their bond was very strong.
Kate sighed, wondering how to answer. "I guess I always will love him in a way Harry. But sometimes in life, despite how we might be feeling, we have to do whats right. And whats right for your father and ultimately for us as well, is for him to be with Laura." she replied.
"But..." Harry went to argue but Kate shook her head and put a finger to his lips.
"Theres no buts Harry," she stated firmly. "Your father and I are different people now to those two kids we were back in Brixton and we live in two very different worlds. Sometimes life doesnt always work out how we planned but thats not necessarily a bad thing," she explained to him, trying to convince herself as well. "Our paths crossed again for a reason and that was for the two of you to meet and get to know each other, not for your dad and I to get back together."
Harry pondered this then hugged his mother. "Will you be okay Mum? he asked with concern.
"Are you kidding me Harry? Your mums a pretty tough old broad you know," she laughed, putting on a brave front for him.
"Well youre not that old," he laughed too as she took a playful swipe at him.
"Now how about you get some sleep hey? Youve had a pretty big day," she said as she gave him a meaningful look and a peck on the cheek.
"Night Mum I love you," Harry stated as he settled down under the covers.
"I love you too my blue eyed boy," Kate whispered with a smile and a tear in her eye as she affectionately ran a hand over his head then left him to sleep.
To Part 1-3