Steele Missing a Link
Part 5
by Melanie
(Revised. Thanks, Betsy!-Krebbie)
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 us!
Original content Copyright 1999-2002 SteeleWatchers and individual authors.
Permission to reprint required.
All names, sites, and places here are purely fictional.

Do you know what it feels like? To have to pick from a billion options, knowing only one of them won't ruin your life? Kill me for not picking the right choice, for betraying Michael now, but then I'm already damned for my last choice, for marrying him in the first place. I didn't know! I didn't know, I haven't known, the truth about Michael's feelings. For some time. She knows.

Does she?

This question sat on Felicia's lips, but she couldn't say it, so she settled for listening to the words that came out as she spoke to Freddy Hawkes.

Felicia looked at Hawkes. He said, "In Spain, they look down on women who betray their husbands."

"In Spain, they look down on women," Felicia replied.

"I won't be to blame for your divorce."

"Or for your own arrest, I imagine," she retorted. She could see that she amused him. The situation amused him, because this entire trip was for his entertainment.

When Michael fled to be with Laura Holt, as Felicia was sure he would, Felicia would be ready. She'd have a new passport. She would be someone else.

"You don't believe in the same things as I do," Hawkes offered.

"But I've always believed in those things. Shall I tell you what they are?" Felicia asked.

"I'm not interested," he dismissed her.

" There's a young woman who'll figure you out before you figure yourself out. When she does, leave and she won't be able to touch you," Felicia added, cryptically.

"Well, I'll keep that in mind," Hawkes absently replied.

"No you won't but it doesn't matter." No, it didn't, he didn't, Felicia thought to herself. All nameless people fade away.

But her husband had an identity.

* * *

Corinthia Temples
8 p.m.

It was getting colder and colder as the sun moved farther and farther away from them. The sun's retreat moved shadows across the stone's angles, so that Laura could see all of the ledges of all five floors in the oval space of the temple. Below her, from her vantage point atop the hill, the land seemed to shrink, and she sensed that falling over the edge, losing herself, posed a larger threat. She was on top of the world, standing above, wanting to look down forever, just to know that she could still do the things she'd set out to do so many years ago. That she didn't need him, and that if she did, she still had a chance, as long as she stood here and froze time.

Laura smiled at Murphy, whose arms were once more comfortably wrapped around her. She tensed as she glimpsed a shadow moving.

"Murphy. Murphy, do you see that?" she asked.

"A man," he frowned.

"And a woman. The temples were closed an hour ago. Is that Felicia?" Laura asked in surprise.

"Is it? I don't know. Laura?"

"Felicia shouldn't be here, Murphy. Leaving her behind would make everything that much easier for him."

"Maybe Hawkes brought her as a hostage?" Murphy wondered aloud.

"But if he tried to collect a ransom, he'd be traced. It doesn't make sense, unless " Laura hesitated.

"Laura, come on," Murphy said urgently, and started toward the staircase. She let him steer her two flights up, so that they could both look out across the arena below. Murphy stood behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders. The two figures they had been watching moved to where Murphy and Laura had stood a few moments ago.


"Felicia's working for him, Laura," Murphy said bluntly. His fingers on her shoulders loosened. "Why does that surprise you?"

Because I wanted him to love someone, she thought. She replied, "Because she doesn't strike me as someone who could work that way."

"Work what way? She screwed the entire world with her heist. Why don't you think she'd screw her husband?"

The words hung in the air. She did screw her husband.

"Can you hear what they're saying, Murph?"

* * *

Corinthia Temples
8:30 p.m.

"Do you see them, my dear?" Hawkes asked.

Felicia nodded; she had seen Laura and Murphy since they first came up the stairs. Even if she and Hawkes weren't able to escape through the tunnel, they still had ten hiding places. The sun continued on its last arc across the Madrid sky. She could see lights from below the hill, maybe from flashlights coming to search for them, preceding dogs that would pursue them. Felicia smiled. "You're too late, Freddy."

"Let's go!" He grabbed Felicia and they ran until they were near-airborne. They slowed and he asked derisively, "Have you figured out what you believe in?"

"What do you care why I've chosen to help you?" she breathed.

"You mean help your husband, not me, if you have a chance."

"Consider us divorced," Felicia retorted.

"Were you ever married?" he asked.

"Relationships have never been your strong point. I can see that," Felicia replied curtly.

Hawkes stopped and grabbed her. "I don't know what's going on in your head, but if you double-cross me, I'll kill you."

"I'll keep that in mind."

* * *

Corinthia Temples
9 p.m.

"Why do you want me here?"

"Because I need you. I wouldn't have asked you here otherwise, Mildred. Do you see the third inlet across from us?" Steele pointed to a staircase leading below ground. "There are ten passages throughout this temple. Most are dead ends, including that one. Once down the right one only one one can travel throughout the city."

"So where's the right one? I thought there were two passages," Mildred interrupted anxiously.

"The other one is on the other side of the temple, reachable in the gardens, but we would lose time if we used it. Mildred, I want you to "

"The other eight? Where's the right one?" Mildred interrupted again.

Steele waited until she realized he would not answer.

"Okay, go ahead," she said at last.

"Mildred, I want you to go there." Steele pointed to a spot on the map. "I want you to run from that entrance to another, any other, opening shown on the map. I'll give you a copy of the map. Hawkes won't touch you; I swear it. Miss Holt can apprehend him and turn him in, and that will be the end of it."

He stopped. "Mildred?" he asked, noticing a peculiar expression on her face, as though she were seeing him for the first time. She blushed. "Do I look so old?"

"No, it's not that," Mildred said softly. "I was thinking about old times, that's all. Laura will never be old, will she?"

"No," he smiled. "She'll always be young, beautiful." He paused. "Tired. Which would be fine, except" his voiced trailed off.

"Maybe Laura's not the only one who needs to relax," Mildred offered, glancing down at the map. "But the underground" She looked away from him. "Why didn't you take advantage of the tunnels before?"

"Spanish legend a curse, actually: `He whoever enters the heart of the city shall confront his own heart's dilemmas,'" Steele replied.

"I guess Hawkes didn't hear that one."

"Foreigners," he scoffed.

"I didn't know you had a oh you don't, that was a joke. Sorry," she said, slightly embarrassed. He turned away to smile.

"Once he gets into the tunnels, a man can leave the city undetected. Yes. That's how it works," he said tonelessly.

"And he would go?"

"So would she." He turned away from Mildred and picked out Felicia and Hawkes with his eyes.

"Don't tell me," Mildred warned, before he could continue.

"Mildred," he began, but the stern expression on her face stopped him.

"I don't want to know what you plan to do afterwards. That's your business and I'm not interested. I don't want to discuss it with you, because I don't trust your personal judgment, and I'd have to strangle all of the people involved with this case." Her scowl relaxed slightly. "But this isn't personal. And I will trust you this time. But don't ask again."

* * *

9:18 p.m.

"Did you know HE was coming?"

Laura followed Murphy's gaze toward Steele's figure in the distance. "It's his payoff. Why wouldn't he be here?" Laura replied.

"Then why is Mildred here, too?" he asked.

"Mildred? I didn't ask her to come here." She pushed him aside to get a better look.

"So get Mildred out of here, Laura. Find him. You know, there are plenty of things I could call him "

"Don't bother. I got it," Laura said evenly. She reached for the rope that Murphy had brought..

"Laura "

"I'm thinking of moving through the corridor to get there," she said, motioning with her arm.

"Laura, Felicia and Hawkes aren't there anymore!" Murphy exclaimed.

"What?" Laura asked. Murphy searched the shadows for Felicia and Hawkes. She leaned forward over the edge.

"Please don't fall!" Murphy blurted out.

"We have to get Mildred. The sun's setting, Murphy."

He grabbed her arm. "Slow down, Laura. We find Felicia and Hawkes first."

She turned and glared at him defiantly. "Why do I get the feeling that you think I'm being hasty?" she asked.

"Hey, I got us here," Murphy replied. "We'll do things my way."

She pushed away from him. "By putting Mildred's life in jeopardy! Maybe there's a reason that doing things my way worked."

"Laura, will you stop arguing with me? I'm not prioritizing Mildred, but if we go now, when we don't know where those two are, then we put all our lives in danger!"

"If you didn't want me here, you should have spoken up a long time ago," Laura seethed.

"And don't second guess me," Murphy continued, "just because you think you knew him better than I did. This is my case, and I won't have you jeopardizing it."

"You've both failed."

Murphy and Laura looked up to see Felicia standing next to them with a gun in her hand. "It sounds like you have a nice plan. Really. I have faith in you. Especially you." She pointed the gun at Laura.

"Felicia." Laura stepped forward. "It's nice to see you again. I trust you've been well," she said sarcastically.

Felicia nodded. "I guess that's what married life does for you. But then, that's not something we share, is it?" She shrugged with pity. "I'm afraid I couldn't describe it for you." Felicia smiled.

Laura kept her emotions under control. "Proud of him, are you? Your trophy husband. I saw him, just this afternoon, actually. He looked good. That's what being away from you does for him."

"Still trying to convince people you're intelligent?" Felicia asked sweetly.

"Still trying to convince yourself that your husband loves you? You're looking very tired these days, Felicia."

Murphy moved his hand to Laura's shoulder reassuringly.

"Is he your new boy-toy?" Felicia shifted the barrel of the gun towards Murphy.

Not willing to change the subject from Steele, Laura continued, "You can't have him. He was never yours. Sorry," Laura offered, unsympathetically.

But as Laura spoke, Felicia moved in front of Murphy. "It isn't nice to settle for second best, is it?" Felicia replied.

"I'm sure you'll be able to tell me, Felicia."

Felicia took a step back, gesturing with the gun that they follow her. Murphy released Laura and they moved apart.

Laura's mind was racing with a jumble of thoughts: If Felicia is with Freddy Hawkes, then Mr. he won't need to make the trade with Freddy, to trade the book for Felicia. But if he didn't know Felicia was going to be here, then Freddy still would get the book. So does but even if getting the book was Felicia's initial goal, it wouldn't keep her here. The only reason why she'd stay was it wasn't enough unless

"Give me the gun, Felicia," Laura ordered.

"You want the book. I don't have it," Laura continued. "You want your husband. I don't have him either. And I don't know where either of them are, so you'll have to leave. And you're wrong if you think you can get either of them."

In the background, sirens began to wail. Felicia kicked Murphy in the leg where he had been shot. He yelled, before falling to the ground, wincing.

"I'm coming back," Felicia promised.

"I'd be disappointed if you didn't." Laura waited until Felicia turned, then worriedly asked Murphy, "Are you all right?"

Murphy nodded. From the ground, he followed the blonde head into the tunnels.

"The wife?" he inquired.

"The wife." She helped him up.

"You wonder why he "

"Let's not," Laura cut him off. She moved back toward the ledge.

"But what if he had a valid reason, Laura? Laura?" Murphy asked.

"I said I don't want to talk about it," Laura replied firmly.

"I'm not trying to criticize you," Murphy said gently, "but he had two years to live with his decision. If we hadn't shown up "

"I know," Laura answered wearily. "They'd be together, without this mess to upset their lives. Murphy, listen to me. I know what their lives were like. I know that they have several mansions across the world, so that in-between jobs, they can go from one exotic place to another, to relax and to plan the next months of their lives. I don't resent that. I could stand here and try to justify all of the reasons why they were unhappy, but it would be a lie, because they were happy."

"Why are you here?" Murphy asked, staring intently at her.

"I don't want you to think that I'm a heartless bitch." Laura looked away. "Maybe I am, but that's not the reason why I'm doing this."

"Because you have to," he supplied.

Laura shook her head. "Because I don't. Because we were hired, and because I never apologized properly for that night."

"Laura, I wasn't expecting anything in return," he said uncomfortably, as he retreated slightly.

She prevented him from turning away. "Which is why I owe you." She tugged his sweater. "Now let's find Mildred before he gets her killed."

* * *

9:22 p.m.


"I heard it all, Mildred. Murphy's fine." Steele moved about in the dark, finally coming up with a bundle of rope. "We have to find Freddy. Go to where I told you. Did you give Laura or Murphy the message I put in the case folder when I gave it back to you?"

She faltered. "No. I didn't know there was a message!" Mildred shifted away from him distrustfully.

"I'm going to look for them," he said, dismissing her.

"Laura and Murphy," Mildred stressed.

Steele ignored her. "The police. Laura and Murphy can take care of themselves. The message had instructions for how to get rid of Officer Rodriguez. He was following her. If she didn't "

"You're not leaving me," Mildred exclaimed.

"Go to where I told you," he said again.

Arrogant, abrupt tyrant, she thought. But he was gone. She'd let him believe he could order her around.

* * *

9:26 p.m.

Laura was running. She was running, but it didn't feel like she was running, because then she'd have to breathe, and she couldn't anymore. Up two flights of stairs, to the other side of the temple, via the hallway running along the perimeter. Her face felt hot and her lungs ached, but she was so scared and angry, she thought she was going to

"You! Do you have any idea what you've just done?" she demanded.

"Laura, get out of here." Steele glanced at her briefly as he tied two ropes together.

"No, I want a fucking explanation now!" she demanded again.

"You're going to get us both killed!" He kept tying.

"Who cares? You don't exist anyway!"

Steele stopped tying and finally turned his head to face her. "This isn't about us. This is MY life; this is YOUR job. I asked you to help me and you agreed."

"But this isn't what I agreed to!" Laura couldn't help raising her voice. She paused and took a breath. "All right, I did, but I hope to God you know what you're doing!" She turned away abruptly.

He stepped forward and said calmly, "Why, Miss Holt. You're unharmed, I see."

She turned on him. "Don't you dare be polite with me. Your wife's on the loose, making threats, conspiring with Hawkes, and it's not helping your plans. What are your plans, now that you and your wife aren't communicating? Or has this been a long-term problem?"

"My marriage is none of your business," he replied icily, and he tossed his ropes over the ledge.

"Right, my mistake," she continued angrily. "But you asked for my help you owe me an explanation of why my partner ended up lying on the ground." She added quietly, "I thought we were on the same side."

"We are. Shh, there he is." Steele jerked Laura back so that he could see Freddy.

"So get him!"

"Not until I know he has the book," Steele answered.

"Well, he obviously has it on him if he's getting ready to leave."

"Laura, he could have it stashed to retrieve later, after he thinks he has us out of his way."

"I don't care," she breathed. "I want to know where Mildred is."

"A diversion. She'll buy us time." he answered.

"You ? She ? Unless she gets killed!" Laura fumed.

He looked at her as though he had only just now realized that she was upset. "Have you been like this all night?" he asked. He admired her as she breathed rapidly, thought of wrapping his arms about her, then reconsidered.

"You have to agree that neither of us expected us to work together again," she conceded. She knew he had been waiting to hear her say it. "Where would Freddy put the book?" Laura tried lightly. "I know he has to leave the city through these tunnels, but what if what if someone else were to leave another way and were to meet him later?"

"Who's the accomplice?" Steele asked. "The only other man that was involved was killed in the hotel, where, incidentally, Rodriguez could have seen you." He watched her and could sense her distrust. "How dare you! I would never double-cross you! Laura? Laura, I won't let you suggest "

"I wasn't suggesting that you were double-crossing me," Laura replied. "I was exploring the possibility that" She took a deep breath and continued. "Why not? Felicia's had every opportunity, she knows everything! About the case, about us."

"Again: my marriage is none of your business," he said flatly.

"But you asked for my help! Damn it!" Laura couldn't stop herself. "My partner's been shot, my career's gone to hell I could be sitting on the fucking beach if I weren't here in this hole because of you!"


"Lauraaaaa did you hear that?" Steele asked, worry seeping into his voice.

"Yes, I heard the shot," she replied anxiously. They rushed towards the ledge. "Freddy's running toward Mildred!" Laura looked imploringly at Steele. "Do something!" She stopped. "No!" She grabbed him. "Find her. Your wife. I don't care what she's doing, who she's helping. Just find her!" With that, Laura took off running.

Steele watched her retreating back. From some distance away, she turned. She looked like a stranger.

He moved.

* * *

9:29 p.m.

"Stay right where you are, Miss Holt."

Laura tried to pull away, but the pain stopped her. Felicia held her arm so tightly that Laura wanted to scream. "You're too late, Felicia." Laura barely managed to get the words out. "Your husband's gone."

"Michael's not with you?"

"Why didn't you take care of me when you had the chance?" Laura asked. "He can find you here, the police can find you here. What are you after?"

"Same thing as you, Laura," Felicia replied coolly.

"Did you learn my name while fucking your husband?" Laura couldn't resist taking the opportunity to taunt Felicia. The grip on her arm tightened and the pain increased.

"Leave her alone, Felicia."

"Murphy!" Laura exclaimed gratefully.

Felicia turned toward Murphy. "You again. You were struggling the last time I saw you. Just recently, actually. What went wrong?"

"Your entire life, Felicia," Laura supplied. "If you gave me half a chance, I'd feel sorry for you." Laura waited for Felicia to wrench her arm again, but she was released. Standing up straight, she saw the gun in Murphy's hand.

"Murphy "

"Don't ask. Just come," Murphy said. Laura obliged.

"Do you take orders from all men?" Felicia sneered at Laura. Felicia looked ugly when she wasn't with with him, Laura thought.

Laura realized that Felicia had been a part of all that she had missed over the last two years. They were at the last hurdle in a race that Laura had thought she was going to win. But, Laura thought, Felicia couldn't have him because he doesn't love her. And I can't have him, because he can't be had.

But now it was time for action. "I want the book, Felicia," Laura demanded. "Give me the gun, Murphy." He didn't hear her, but Laura seized his gun, and then took Felicia by the arm and ushered her out. As they walked, Laura said, "I know you've never had a life, Felicia, but you're going to get it back. God knows you've taken mine."

To Chapter 6

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