- More Bonds
- Part 1
- by LaughingCat@aol.com
Time: After Bonds. I couldn't help myself and I joined the
ranks of the many.
Summary: Like I said, just another postscript to Bonds. I saw
the episode and was sitting at the computer, and was in a depressed
mood to boot. Feedback is welcome, though this isn't exactly
the epitome of talent. I'm not sure whether to add more or let
it stand on its own where you can make up the rest; you tell
me. Whether or not I finish depends on feedback.
Laura groaned and hit her head softly against the wall. It was
hard to imagine that only two weeks ago, she'd been sitting right
over there on her sofa, kissing him after an evening spent in
idle chit chat and another one of his scrumptious meals. Then,
just two days after that...and she still remembered the entire
debacle in painfully stark detail. If she'd just been paying
as much attention at the time as she did now, maybe she would
have noticed what a wreck he was when it looked like he'd be
deported for lack of a bride. Later on the boat, he'd tried to
joke about it, and that was all she'd paid attention to. The
idea that he could just toss out a flippant laugh when her agency
-- and her partner -- was circling the drain. Why hadn't she
seen through it? She'd known for four years that humour was his
defense mechanism; it should have kicked in. But she was just
too worn out and angry. And scared. Scared that it wouldn't work
out, scared that they'd be caught. Scared most of all that two
years would end, and he'd go back to his apartment, and it wouldn't
mean anything, he still wouldn't love her.
- She didn't tell him that, no.
She told him it was the worst day of her life. After they got
off the boat and to her loft, where she insisted on staying even
though he had to stay too for the appearance, she delivered a
burning harangue to him. Every time he tried to get a word in
edgewise, or calm her down, she struck him -- both verbally and
physically. In the recesses of her mind, she knew she had to
stop and be rational, but she refused to let it surface. Anger
was all she wanted to think about; on the shallowest levels of
her mind she convinced herself that she hated him and wanted
him to know in every way. Small voices screamed at her to stop,
stop shouting and hurting him, stop convincing him she never
felt anything real for him, and she ignored them with abandon.
Finally she'd gotten into the shower, still yelling for a few
minutes more, just because she felt like it and didn't want to
care about him. Then she'd headed straight to her bed without
even checking to see if he was sleeping on the sofa or whatever.
- Laura surprised herself by actually
falling asleep. Part of it was that she wouldn't let herself
be wakeful, refused to let him keep her awake. The other side
was that she really was flat out exhausted. That, plus one of
the nagging emotions she didn't let herself think about -- that
she really was hurting, and had hurt him more than she could
have dreamed. She couldn't bear to let it sit on her chest. That
was why, when she woke up two hours later to see her alarm clock
silently beaming 2:02, she'd decided just to give up. Maybe she
wouldn't actually apologize, but she could make up with him under
the pretense of figuring out how they were going to handle two
years of marriage. Fake marriage, actually. If he'd asked her
before...but no. He'd told her he wouldn't have. He didn't love
her. That was a dead end; the smart thing to do -- the rational
thing -- was to go out there and see if he was awake and ready
to set up a plan.
- The couch, however, was empty.
And so was the kitchen he'd spent so much time in, the dishes
drying on the counter as though he'd just put them there. In
a way they were really more his than hers; only he knew how to
garnish them with any sort of worthy viands. She'd checked everywhere
else, even gone outside the loft to see if he'd gone for a breath
of fresh air. Calling his apartment and the office did little
good, and Fred was on a much-needed vacation that Steele himself
had insisted he take.
- Finally she'd fallen onto her
couch, exhausted from searching for any clue or sign of him.
Terrible, lonely thoughts were speeding through her brain so
quickly she could only make out impressions of them before another
one jumped in behind its fading shadow. She didn't even bother
trying to reassure herself that he'd gone to the apartment to
get something and didn't hear the phone, or that he was only
taking a walk. The emptiness in the room seemed so final and
forbidding. She could look into a chair he'd sat in or a place
he'd once stood, and couldn't even conjure up the image. It was
as though they were there, but the room itself, and everything
she'd shouted at him, was in a race with her memory to lock them
off, and was always one image ahead of her. Everything was exactly
the same as it had been the night before, no trace of his being
there tonight remained. The sofa seemed unused, the kitchen ceased
to recall him, the table was clear...except for one folded piece
- She'd unfolded it slowly, knowing
that it would be a bill or a solicitation, nothing more, yet
not wanting to deprive herself of this one chance. She gaped
as she read it, and went a bit dizzy.
Dear Laura, it read in his crabbed, slanted handwriting,
I'm sorry about everything that happened.
- After that came a cross-out.
The whole paper was full of them, every few words.
- I know I've made a mess of
things. I just didn't know how badly until you told me. I thought
maybe we could make this work. I realize now that you only did
it out of obligation, and so maybe it's better if we don't even
try. You're right, we shouldn't. It'll only break our spirit
and our commitment to each other...I would tell you it'd break
my heart, but that happened already, when you told me you would
have said no. I tried to tell you about the problem with
Immigration at first, you have to believe me. But I thought about
it for a while, and I realized that you couldn't help me, and
in asking you to I might jeopardize our (scratched
out and replaced with your) Agency. I could never do that
to you. I know it means more to you than anything else, certainly
more than I do. I love you, Laura. I was just too stupid to realize
it wasn't a mutual feeling. I don't blame you for not wanting
to be with me, or for anything. It's been painfully obvious for
the last four years that you don't love me, and so I should have
left the first time Estelle Becker summoned me. I'm sorry to
be responsible for the worst day of your life, but don't worry,
I can fix it for you. I'm going to go ahead and leave, like I
should have, and I'll leave a letter explaining to Ms. Becker
what's happened, and another one announcing Remington Steele's
passing on of the Agency to Miss Laura Holt, who he recommends
highly as a detective. You can change what you want, and mail
them when you like. I'm just sorry I can' t do any more for you
like you've done for me, and I wish that you'd never have met
me. Maybe then you would be the one in the limelight, where you
deserve to be, and will be soon. I look forward to reading about
you someday, even if I can't be with you myself.
Two weeks later, back in the present. Laura glanced down at the
paper again. It had been creased and re-creased, almost to the
point of falling apart. She'd tried over and over again to contact
anyone she knew who was connected to his past. Daniel, Monroe,
the lady at the bowling place who knew pickpockets, Weasel from
the pool bar, even, a couple of times, Felicia. Those last calls
were always made with dread. So far, none of them was quite sure
where he was. Felicia insinuated that she did, but Laura doubted
it, since she'd talked to Monroe and he'd said Mick didn't really
talk with her anymore. Daniel didn't know, or wasn't telling.
Last night, though, he'd called and said he might have a lead,
from an old friend in Italy.
Laura turned. The clock read 6:27. Her plane left in an hour
and a half. She put down the note and grabbed her bag, and started
to walk out the door. But before she left, she turned back around
and picked up the note, contemplating it for a moment before
gently slipping it in her pocket and walking out the door.
- End Part 1?
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