Steele Missing a Link
- The Characters of Remington
Steele and Laura Holt don't belong to me, I'm just borrowing
them. This is just a bit of fun and tribute from the SteeleWatchers.
- So please don't sue
Original content Copyright 1999-2000 SteeleWatchers and individual
- Permission to reprint
PG-13 (for the time being, that is)
- Thanks to Adriana,
who wrote a great Part 1 and Nancy for this awesome page.
Madrid, Spain 1987 Hotel
Mildred stared at Miss Holt wide-eyed, as she was jerked out
of sleepiness. "What?"
Her haunted gaze never met Mildred's. "He was there at the
museum with Freddy tonight." Mildred's eyebrows came together
in a frown. Mildred sat Laura down on the couch hurriedly. "Tell
me what happened."
Mechanically, Laura began to recite the events of the evening.
At the end of the story, as far as Mildred was concerned, Laura
plunged ahead to the incident at the museum. The look on Mildred's
face made her feel even guiltier for not confiding in her earlier.
She nodded agreeing with Mildred's small frown. "Earlier
that night, I'd seena woman he had known, but I never thought
he'd be here as well."
"Oh, hon." Mildred put her arm around Laura's shoulder.
Could she solely blame Miss Holt? A wave of possessiveness went
over her, as if clutching Miss Holt tighter would knock a certain
crook out of the younger woman's mind.
"What am I supposed to do, Mildred? Maybe we should leave"
"We can't leave! Murphy got shot remember? He'll need at
least a week to recover, and we have to finish the case"
Laura "We'll find him then! He can't leave for at least
another few days!"
Mildred heart froze as she stopped to reach across the table
and put her arms on Laura's shoulders. Her eyes were filled with
concern, for herself and the woman across the table. Her eyes
brows raised ever so slightly.
"C'mon, hon. The past is done with, and you should leave
it lie and move on. It isn't going to help anyone for you to
chase a lost dream."
Laura opened her mouth to argue, but
"He left you, remember? After all this time, would it really
be worth it? You don't know what his life has been like, and
it could only confuse things even further." Her gaze searched
out Laura's and held it for a while, almost pleadingly.
"I don't know, Mildred, it's like, everything'sdifferent
"Hey. Nothing's different." She looked away, then back
at Miss Holt. Poor kid. Laura brought her eyes up to Mildred
once more, and for one second Mildred imagined her the teenage
daughter coming home too late. She started to smile, until her
mind went back to reality. She sighed, "It's been a hard
day. I think we both should call it a night, hmm? We'll figure
out everything in the morning." She pushed a tired smile
to the surface, and Laura smiled back. "Things'll turn out,
so don't you worry."
Laura smiled as Mildred went back to sleep. What would she do
without that woman? Laura sighed: she would go to bedanother
4 a.m. `night,' after all.
She wouldn't sleep though
Michael woke up with a start. He'd even dreamt of her. A full,
Technicolored picture had formed itself of her in his unconscious
mind. Her soft brown hair that fell lightly over her shoulders,
her smile that lit up the darkest scenarios and had filled his
dreams, those eyesno!
He'd made his decision a long time ago, with many very good reasons.
He hadn't belonged in Los Angeles; he'd known that for a long
time. She hadn't needed to confirm it for him. He was doing the
And he loved Felicia. Marrying her had been the best decisions
of his life. He'd believed that. All his "very good reasons"
has dissolved overnightWhat now?
Would she be looking for him? He'd seen the headlines: "Head
Figure's Presence Questionable" "Remington Steele LostSecretary
Mourns." No, she wouldn't have come all the way to Spain
for him; there was no way she'd be searching after all this time.
His eyebrows drew together in a frown.
Why was she here? He had to find out, had to make sure he wouldn't
have to see herwhy? No, he didn't want to deal with that now.
First, he would deal with the matters at handnamely keeping Hawkes
quiet people like that were unpredictable.
"I saw Mr. Steele tonight." Miss Holt's declaration
had haunted Mildred throughout the night. If what Miss Holt had
said was true, the chances of running into him were higher
than when they didn't know if he was still alive! The possibilities
were endless. She didn't like it, any of it. Especially the look
in Miss Holt's eyes whenever HE was mentioned. Did she think
he was a god or something? Mildred shook her head at the distasteful
Her eyes traveled to the bed across the room. It was empty. It
was for the best, she decided, as she climbed out of bed and
hopped into the shower. There were many things she wanted to
say to Miss Holt. But they could wait until Mildred had woken
She found the younger woman in the hotel lobby. She held a coffee
mug in her hand, taking sips invariably. Her hands were so steady
yet the look in her eyes made Mildred cringe.
"Hey, hon." Mildred sat carefully, studying the younger
woman's face. Her eyes were lined with lack of sleep, yet there
was an outstanding set to her mouth.
Her voice was sudden and pained: "Why did it have to be
Mildred was lost. "What are you talking about?"
"Mr. Steele, of course. Why did I have to see him now?"
"Oh, hon" Mildred moved to put her hand over Laura's.
Laura pulled away. "No, I mean, after all this time!"
Mildred grabbed a hold of Miss Holt's shoulders gently, but firmly.
"Listen, hon. We came here to do the case, so that's our
first priority. That goes especially because Murphy got shot."
Her eyes dug meaningfully into Laura's. "Anything else comes
later." Laura nodded and a pair of blue eyes flooded her
memory. It was a minute before she noticed that Mildred had brightened
and was looking at her eagerly.
"Well?? Tell me about the case!"
Laura smiled. Back on track. From what she had seen of Freddy,
he was a nervous, insecure wreck, and it wouldn't be hard to
break him. All she would have to do was to keep track of his
movements, keep herself from his suspicion, wait for the Aztec
Display in Mexico City a few weeks ago and then catch him at
the act. His father would be able to take it from there. Easy.
And that was that as far as Mildred was concerned. After wrapping
up the case, she could leave.
Or she could stay.
Mildred's touch jerked her back to the present. "I'm going
to go see how Murphy is doing."
"All right. I'm going to see about catching up with Freddy."
Michael waited until the young man turned the block, away from
the Police Station, before rising from the bench. The sunglasses
hid his face and his jacket clutched his neck, as he strolled
conveniently in the same direction. The bulge in the man's jacket
uld answer his questions as to what exactly he'd been doing
in a place one might think he was trying to avoid. Dealing with
someone, who had just pulled off a major heist, this job was
much too easy for Michael to pull. As Hawkes leaned over to peer
into a window, Michael gently removed the folder from the other
man's jacket to put it in his own, then to duck naturally into
a coffee shop and peer out.
That's when he saw her. Across the street in a light shirt, one
he remembered from years ago, she stood watchingthe city, he
guessed, from inside a blue rental car. Dammit! Why couldn't
she stay away from him? What was she doing there, just sitting
His must have been leaning forward, for he almost fell forward
as a woman came out of the place.
In the dimmed lights, two lamps became one; then everything became
clear. Murphy felt the pain in his side first, then his head
as he tried to rise. A gentle hand put him back down. He could
recognize Mildred's face, better as the curtains were opened,
and he was grateful for her presence. Any resentment towards
Mildred who might have taken his place in comforting Laura washed
"How do you feel?" Her voice was comforting.
"Like Hell." His head throbbed with each recollection
of last night. His eyes gestured to the pain. "How bad is
it?" It ached, and he winced, but he didn't want to touch
"If you mean surgery, there was none. The way I heard it,
from Laura, then the doc, you got shot, fell unconscious, then
you're here. You should be back within 2 weeks."
"Two weeks?" Murphy put his head in his hands: he couldn't
believe he'd just asked Laura to finish the case alone by his
condition. "How is she?"
"Miss Holt? She's all right. She went to find out about
FreddyWhy?" Did he know? Wait! What kind of answer was that?
He was concerned. "Oh, you mean if she was harmed, then
It had suddenly occurred to Mildred that there was little possibility
that Murphy could know; he wouldn't have seen a "pair of
Pacific-blue eyes," as Miss Holt had describedhmm. She said,
"How much do you remember of last night?"
That question struck Murphy as odd. What was there to know? He
hadn't hit his head, so there shouldn't be any doubt that what
he knew was right. Unless there was something he'd never known"Well,
there were two men, a woman and of course Hawkesam I missing
Mildred face took on a very odd look: "Miss Holt insists
she saw" Mildred's phone suddenly went off and Murphy winced
as the sharp ring. Mildred quickly quieted it. "Yes? Where
are you? Oh, that's oddWhat? Oh! All right, I'll be there in
a few minutes." She turned to Murphy who now looked concerned.
"I'll fill you in as soon as I get back! Sorry I have to
rush like this."
Murphy nodded. "Thanks for coming."
"No problem." From his window, he saw her run out of
the hospital and flag down a cab with amazing speed. Remarkable
woman, that Mildred.
Laura waited inside the small motel room. She'd drawn the curtains
and she'd locked the door securely. The set-up was too perfect
with her here now.
Hawkes had come here just 10 minutes ago. She'd seen him come
and go, and so she'd followed him in here to findThe ransacked
desk was clear evidence that he'd been looking for something.
The corpse in the adjoining room showed he'd found a suspect.
The fact that it was still here was evidence he hadn't found
the item. All she would have to do to get arrested was walk out
of there. She could have also tried the police, but what could
she tell them? She had no explanation, except that she herself
had been seen mysteriously following a man. Orwhat she'd donecall
Mildred, who might help her out of this particular jam.
She clutched herself against the increasing wind that came through
the thin walls. A floor down the door sounded, and Laura turned
to unlock the door for Mildred. She needn't have moved. The door
flew open and in entered the blond Laura had just the night before
taken the trouble to avoid.
Laura's mouth dropped. What, how? Felicia saved her the trouble
with a casual wave of her hand and a casual `smile.' "I
followed you and when you didn't come out, I came in." The
slamming of the door echoed in the room.
She circled Laura once, slowly, coming to stop a little in front
of her, like a predator inspecting its prey. Her voice had the
same ominous tone as she said, "Little LisaI expected you
to have changed since I last saw you." Her gaze shifted
around the apartment to the corpse. "Well, it looks like
you have yourself mixed up in more than one mess."
What was Felicia doing here? Secondly, what was she doing that
would concern Felicia? Could Freddy mean so much to her? And
what did she mean with more than one mess?
Felicia shook her head as if `pitying' a child. "Poor Lisa.
I should have known about you and that innocent façade
of yours." Her eyes flared at Laura's blank look. "Do
you think I should look anywhere else for the tramp whose name
was on my husband's lips this morning?" Felicia tilted her
head in nasty smile. "Did you pay him to stay all those
years while you tried to seduce him? Did he pity you so much?"
Laura couldn't move as Felicia's words kept coming; she felt
her mouth open in helplessness.
"Your husband? I never met himI don't understand. Freddy?"
That didn't make sense, but who else?
"Michael, of course! Do you think it's not obvious? Do you
think you have any right?" The rest of Felicia's words were
lost on Laura. Her eyes settled on Felicia, yet their eyes never
met. Oh my god. She was the one. The one he'd left her for, the
one he'd married. She was the one he'd committed himself to.
All those years, all that time, she'd never known, never suspected.
"You don't know what his life has been like," had said
the wise old owl
And who was she? The pain dug into her heart. She was just another
tramp he'd left behind. She'd meant nothing to him ever. He didn't
leave her; he was never hers. Never. How could she have ever
thought anything more?? Laura felt her heart freeze over into
Felicia's storm of words was still coming. Laura broke it steadily.
"I have no right. Take him. He's yours." It was Felicia's
turn to look blank. "Leave." Felicia stood still. "Leave!"
When Felicia stood there looking at her, Laura pushed past her
into the bathroom. A throaty "excuse me" escaped from
her lips before she slammed the door.
A knock sounded at the door. She stormed to the door, ready to
rip the wood apart. "Who is it?" she snapped, loudly.
"It's me, MildredMiss Holt?" The address was right,
The door whooshed open. "Sorry, Mildred." Was she?
The younger woman moved briskly into the room. Her voice was
steady, yet"Thanks for coming."
"Sure, honwhat's up?" Miss Holt had sounded like something
was really wrong, but now
Laura's eyes pointed to the corpse that could be seen through
the open door. Mildred raised her eyebrows sharply she could
have been listening to a realtor! "I saw Freddy come in
and out. I think this man was the fourth man we saw last night.
He didn't have what Freddy was looking for, so he was killed."
Mildred cringed; Miss Holt continued briskly: "I think it
was the book."
"But they stole it last night"
"Yes, and he had it, too. Someone else must have it, then."
Laura ignored Mildred's obvious conclusion. "We came to
get Freddy, and if getting it and luring him back to the US is
the only way" Laura shrugged nonchalantly. Mildred looked
at her. What had gotten into her? Laura ignored it. "Let's
get out of here. Pretend I'm your daughter, you're worried, so
you hurriedly drag me out: no one will question it."
Mildred nodded slowly. They succeeded in leaving without suspicion,
then caught a cab.
Across town, in the safety of his hotel room, Michael inspected
the contents of the folder that he had made his that morning.
That double-crossing bastard! He had underestimated Hawkes. He'd
known their names and everything before they'd even known him.
The pictures paper-clipped to a form captured last night's robbery,
and he could recognize his own figure only too well. Who had
taken these? In the background of the photo, behind a statue
he saw a familiar brunette. His previous wariness turned to curiosity
was she connected to Hawkes? Then why would she capture herself?
It didn't make sense! The other man, the third one, Lucas, wasn't
smart enough to manage any of thisneither had Hawkes been supposedly.
He went through all the papers. Wait a minutethere was a number
and an address here for a place downtown. He'd check that out
now. He took a look at the photo once more. She was hunched down,
tense, as if she were waiting for someone. Another photo showed
the entrance of a fifth man was that Murphy? He remembered that
man. He'd always been all over Laura, and he had been a nuisance.
If he recalled, Murphy had been shot last night.
He could find out without having to see her. He couldn't see
her, not now. But he had to know. A small voice asked why he
wanted to know, but ignored it. Because, he thought.
He opened a drawer, tucking the file in the secret compartment,
putting it on top of Don Quixote.
By the time they'd reached the hotel, Laura had cooled off. She
wanted to evade the questions by just apologizing, but Mildred
wouldn't give her the chance.
"You want to tell me what happened in the room?" the
"room" being at the crummy motel. `Crummy' in more
ways than one, Laura thought. Mildred came around the couch to
sit across Laura.
"What do you mean?" As if Laura didn't know.
Mildred reached her hand to touch Laura's shoulder. "I know
it's been hard this last day, but I need you to level with me."
She waited until she had Laura's full attention. "You called
me this morning. You were as good as could be expected. When
I arrived, however, you were as frozen as an iceberg. Why?"
Such a simple question, Laura thought.
"I guess the body upset me more than I realized. It's been
a while, Mildred." Mildred's silence spoke volumes.
Laura shifted uncomfortably. She didn't have a good answer for
this one. She couldn't bring herself to meet Mildred's eyes without
giving herself away, but she didn't want to lie to her. As far
as Mildred was concerned, though, "Mr. Steele" was
just a past episode. And to explain Felicia and all their previous
run-ins would take forever. She said, "I had a run-in with
this woman I saw at the partyand it was unpleasant," she
forced out of her mouth. Understatement of the Year.
Mildred looked doubtful. Miss Holt wasn't lying, but"What
had happened exactly?"
"She just-she-reminded me of him, and I guess it-startled-and
upset me." She nodded, as if agreeing with herself. Dead
giveaway! Did Mildred notice?
Mildred raised her eyebrows. "Let me know if I can help
you." Her eyes searched Laura's, but she let it go to Laura's
surprise. Squirming again, Laura thought of something. She brightened:
"I'm going to visit Murphy now."
Mildred nodded placidly, as Miss Holt took her leave. As soon
as the cab turned, Mildred grabbed her purse, and stomped out
the hotel like the IRS agent she still was. She was going to
get to the bottom of this!
"I'm glad you came." Murphy looked up at her, smiling.
She grabbed the chair beside and drew it up beside his bed.
She smiled. There was a silent agreement between them to not
talk about the case or his injury. Good, Laura thought. That
leaves out the museum.
"I've missed you, Laura. It's been too long I should have
come visited you a while ago when I was in Arizona."
Laura nodded, but she smiled. "I'm happy for you that you
found Denver. From what I heard, it's beautiful there."
Murphy nodded and he went on to tell her all about it. They exchanged
stories of funny situations they'd gotten into during their work,
and laughed together. She thought about all the time that she'd
known him. Laura loved being with Murphy: she felt this closeness
she didn't have with anybody else. She was comfortable with him,
and she could discuss anything that didn't involve men. He watched
out for her and he cared. When they were at Havenhurt, they'd
gotten together studying. She would lie on his dorm couch dozing
off because of lack of sleep, while he would dictate the effects
of World War One, and then get mad when she wasn't listening.
But then they'd always crack up laughing. Murphy had nice eyes:
they were warm and comforting, and she had missed that. A warm
feeling went over her and she almost wished she loved him. But
she didn't. She smiled.
Murphy stopped. "What?"
"I'm really glad we're friends." She hugged him, but
then he pulled back painfully. She winced in empathy.
"How's your side?" For one second, he caught a glimpse
of guilt in her eyes, and then it was gone, hidden. He said,
"Hey, I'm fine. This here," pointing to his side, "is
all my fault. I'm really sorry I got you mixed up in all this.
We can go home if you want, and I'll pay you for your trouble."
Laura shook her head resolutely. The hard look in her eyes scared
Murphy. "No. We'll finish this case. Then we'll go home
after you get better."
A new voice surprised both of them. "I'm afraid that's going
to be complicated, Senora," the police officer said. "I'm
going to have to question his presence at the park last night
before he goes anywhere." He circled the room, and Laura
shivered at the memory of Felicia doing the same. Murphy looked
at her, concerned. Laura raised an eyebrow at the Officer in
question. "There was a robbery at the Museo del Prado, as
I'm sure you've heard, and I'd like to question all those that
were in a 2 mile radius that night." As in you think I'm
a suspect, Murphy silently translated.
But Laura's face took on the appropriate solemn expression. "I'm
sorry to hear that what was stolen?"
"A priceless First Edition version of Cervante's Don Quixote."
Laura opened her mouth to speak, but he cut her off. "Excuse
me, I'm Officer Rodriquez." He looked at her. "You're
the young woman that called for your friend, aren't you?"
Laura nodded. "I thought I recognized you. Laura Elizabeth
"Yes, that's right." She smiled: This didn't have to
be a bad thing. She could use him to extract information without
blowing their cover. But not now, not here, and not with Murphy.
Rodriguez looked at Murphy and then back at Laura. "I can
see that now is not a good time. However, I'd like to question
both of you within the next week." He took down Laura's
number and the hotel of where she was staying.
Murphy's eyes followed him out. His presence had ruined the comfortable
atmosphere they'd had He grimaced: "Just what we need."
Laura looked out the window, wondering if Murphy had noticed
his pick-up location and if he would pursue it she hadn't told
him that she'd moved him, the reason being she couldn't stand
to be where HE had been. But she didn't want to discuss him.
She was sure Mildred had given him an abridged version, sparing
him the "Medusa look" she know she had emulated last
night. Murphy deserved her side, but not now. She shivered.
"Hey, are you alright? You look pale." Murphy's eyes
narrowed, and she knew he suspected that something was up. She
knew he would find out, too, eventually, but until he did"Laura?"
She sighed, and she made an attempt to smile. "I'm okay
I guess I'm still suffering fromjetlag." Liar.
Murphy knew it. "Will you look at me and tell me that?"
Laura's head came up then, and her `smile' faded.
She shifted her shoulders into a decidedly `I'm telling the truth
position.' "I'm sorry, I just" How to explain it "I
guess it'ssomething about Spainthatmakes me uncomfortable."
She shifted under his gaze. It wasn't an outright lie. It was
better than someone.
Murphy nodded absently. He studied her face curiously. There
was something about her, something different. Something that
he distinctly didn't like. She wasn't this way last nightHe couldn't
put his finger on it, though, and the look in Laura's eyes told
him she'd challenge him if he mentioned it, and since he didn't
have an explanation
Laura got up slowly. "Mildred will be wondering where I
got to." She smiled. "I'm really glad we got to catch
up again. Take care, will you?"
Murphy nodded and after she'd left, he looked at the place where
she'd sat. "I'm really glad we're friends," she'd said.
That was a good thing, and he could agree with that. Then what
had just come between them? And what was with all that weird
She had been here. Above the stench of the corpse and cheap furniture,
he could still smell her perfume. It made his heart wrench, but
he shook that feeling violently off. Concentrate, he told himself.
An official form told Michael that there was no suspect for the
murder. He could place Laura here at about two p.m., around the
time of the murder, which would fit in with the other places
she had been seen. Laura Holt had been very busy today. His mental
list went like this.
So Hawkes was looking for the book. And somewhere Laura tied
into all this. He had to get her away from this. Whatever that
meant, he promised himself that she would be safe. A siren approached
the building. He wiped his prints quickly, and he left via the
Would he ever stop running?
She fit the description Michael had given him: blond, plump,
and he supposed nice, when she wanted to be. She didn't want
He didn't know how she'd found him, and by the looks of it, neither
did she. She didn't want to be here, but she pulled up a barstool
and they started talking. She asked the questions the man expected,
and because he knew, he gave her the longest answers and descriptions
possible. He figured he could hold her for at least 2 hours.
Laura hoped that the hot water from the shower wash would away
her anger and her hurt. She wasn't so lucky. In some ways, she
was glad things weren't more complicated. In others, that was
Wrapped in a towel, she ventured out into the balcony. The stars
shone and the mountains made a beautiful silhouette in the warm
night. Below a man catered tangerines, and through town, she
could see other balconies, lined with pink bougainvillea. Almost
perfect, but not quite.
Once she'd stood here, like this, on his balcony. It was night
again and the light from the overhead fireworks had cast itself
over them. "I don't know what I'd do if my world suddenly
fell apart like that," she'd said. "You'd go on,"
he'd replied. "Because that's the only choice any of us
ever have." He was so right, and the fact that he'd said
it made it worse.
In the shadows of the city, she saw figures moving about, and
she imagined that one of them was him. Imagining the impossible
didn't hurt, after all. He was coming for her, to sweep her up
in his arms, like he might have done 5 years ago. She would lean
into him, and he would whisper his love for her, and she would
feel safe once more.
She clutched the robe against her body, feeling more alone that
she ever had. She thought about him, where he really was, and
a great sense to see him came over her, if only for a minute.
Then it would be all right. She'd be able to move on with her
A noise from inside the kitchen drew her out of her reverie.
Was Mildred back? A gut feeling told her that it wasn't Mildred.
She pulled the robe closer as she peered in. The shadow in the
hall was a man's and in the mirror's reflection, she could almost
make out a face. Just inside the door was a vase. She grabbed
at it, but her wrist was yanked in. She gasped, but her attacker
pulled her whole body in the room.
There was something very odd about this, and she panicked, pulling
away frantically. He caught her off balance and reached for her.
"Who are you?" she demanded, as he pulled her against
him. She could smell his after-shave and she felt like she couldn't
breathe, it was intoxicating.
He spun her around and her eyes crashed with piercing blue. "Don't
Suddenly Laura knew that she couldn't move on with her life.
The towel dropped and she stood there, waiting.
End of Part 2
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