Author's Note: this is an answer to a promise for fic once
the semester was over. It's not fully over yet, but here it is.
This is set during the early part of Season 2, after Mildred's
advent into their lives. Thanks to Amber for the beta.
Laura Holt easily tailed the long, dark limo through the familiar
streets of Los Angeles. The trick was to stay far enough back
to follow without Fred or Mr. Steele realizing that the white
VW Rabbit belonged to her. Not for the first time, she wondered
why she didn't trade the little car in for something a bit more
But there was something special about the white convertible -
something that no one else but Laura had been able to see from
the first moment she'd found it in the car lot. It looked so
small and sensible, an appearance that Laura herself seemed to
radiate. But the convertible was the clincher. With the top down,
the little car took on a sporty appearance, as if it were looking
for something else - some kind of excitement that might be just
around the corner.
Seeing the limo take a quick left turn half a block away, Laura's
thoughts turned back to the reason why she was here now, following
the Agency limo at a distance.
For the last three months, Mr. Steele, the titular head of Remington
Steele Investigations, had taken to disappearing every Monday,
Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 10 am and noon. When
quizzed about it, Fred had denied all knowledge of the fact,
and Mr. Steele had constantly evaded her attempts to pin him
down - as usual.
So today, a Friday, Laura had called Mildred and told her that
she was meeting with a possible new client, and then waited on
the street across from the building for Mr. Steele to leave the
underground garage area. Once the limo had appeared, she had
counted to ten, then swung into traffic behind it, determined
to get to the bottom of whatever the charming con man who had
dropped into her life a little over a year ago might be up to.
The last thing she needed right now was for him to be playing
some kind of con or scam on some unsuspecting person or persons.
And while she really didn't *think* he was doing that - she
needed to solve the mystery behind his regular disappearances.
It had been easy meeting clients without him there before *he*
came into her life. Daniel Chalmers claimed that she had conned
them into believing that there really was a "Remington Steele"
who would be overseeing their cases. Maybe she had. A few words
of reassurance, a little lie that Mr. Steele was 'detained' or
'working on another case' and that she would bring him up to
speed when he arrived or returned, and the clients would give
her the information she needed.
Now, however, it wasn't as easy. Once Remington Steele had become
a flesh and blood person, with a face that was often found in
the society and police sections of the local papers, people expected
to see *him*, not his 'assistant'. She sighed. At least that
was better than being mistaken for his secretary, she supposed.
The limo turned into a parking area, and Laura frowned slightly
upon realizing where they were going. What on earth was Mr. Steele
doing at Los Angeles Community College, she wondered, still keeping
her distance. She parked the rabbit behind a truck and trailer,
using it as a blind between her and the limo. Fred stopped the
car in front of the building and opened the back door for his
passenger to step out.
Laura held her breath as she saw Mr. Steele's head turn, could
almost see those blue eyes behind the expensive sunglasses that
he favored, and then released it when he spoke to Fred and walked
into the building. Fred got back into the car and drove off,
leaving Laura free to find a parking space marked "Visitor".
Going to the trunk, she retrieved a thick, academic-looking book
from inside, along with an old pair of thick rimmed glasses before
following her quarry into the halls of academia.
She paused at the first cross hallway, and saw him as he stood
talking to a middle aged woman. She had a look that Laura knew
all too well. She was smitten and hopelessly lost in the sound
of that English/Irish accent and those blue eyes. She wasn't
his usual "type", Laura told herself.
His usual conquests were late twenties, lithe, blonde, and without
a brain. This woman was plump, with red hair that looked like
it came out of a bottle - probably to hide the gray. But Mr.
Steele's charm knew no age boundary, Laura knew. Even ex-IRS
Fraud Investigator Mildred Krebs had fallen victim to it in Mexico.
She held back, arms wrapped around the book and pretended she
was studying a board with various announcements posted on it
- but out of the corner of her eye, she saw the two of them disappear
into a class room moments before the halls began to clear.
As she slowly approached the classroom, she was almost run down
by a young man as he barreled past her, causing her to lose the
book she'd been using as a cover. Grabbing her arm to keep her
from falling, he apologized. "Sorry. Late for class,"
he said, stopping to pick up the book she'd dropped, glancing
with some surprise at the title. "War and Peace? You're
in the wrong wing for Lit," he said. "That's -"
"I know where it is," she said, taking the book. "Thank
you." He turned as if to continue on, but this time she
was the one who grabbed an arm. "Uh - what class is that?"
she asked, nodding toward the closed door that Mr. Steele had
"Criminology 101," he explained. "Mrs. Davis.
And if I don't get in there, she's going to count me late."
"You're in the class, then?"
"Yeah," the young man said, obviously anxious to go.
"I'm curious about a friend of mine who might be in the
class - tall, older, dark hair, blue eyes?"
"Holmes," he said, nodding, then glanced toward the
door. "Look, I gotta go. Sorry about running into you -"
Laura let him go, considering for a moment the idea of barging
into the class and ending whatever game he was playing. But knowing
the scandal that might ensue, even if he wasn't there on a con-the
idea of the famous detective Remington Steele being in a basic
criminology class would create questions that would only lead
to *more* questions-she decided to wait until later, in a more
She returned to the office, barely acknowledging Mildred's greeting.
"Hi, Miss Holt," the woman said in her usual jovial
tone. "How did the meeting with the client go?"
The more Laura thought about it, the angrier she became. How
dare he go behind her back and do something that might bring
any disrepute the agency? The agency that *she* had built with
hard work and long hours. Well, not alone--she'd had a lot of
help from Murphy and Bernice.
"Miss Holt?" Mildred said, and Laura realized that
she had gone into her office without answering the receptionist.
"Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Mildred. Have you heard from Mr. Steele?"
"No, but it's Friday, and he usually shows up before one.
He has an appointment with Mr. Graves then, so he'll be here."
"I wish I could share your confidence in Mr. Steele, Mildred,"
Laura sighed, sinking into her chair.
"Nothing," Laura said, managing a smile. "Let
me know when he comes in, okay?"
"I-was about to go to lunch," Mildred explained. "Why
don't we go together?" she suggested. "You know, a
little 'girl time'?"
"Maybe some other time," Laura said. Mildred seemed
to have become determined to play matchmaker for her employers,
and probably thought this was simply another bump in the road
of their relationship - whatever that was. "But thank you
for the invitation. I have-" she indicated the papers on
her desk, "--work to take care of."
"You know what they say, Miss Holt-all work and no play.
And you have to eat. Tell you what; I'll bring you something
back. What do you want?"
"A chicken salad, I suppose," Laura said with a real
smile. Most of the time, Mildred was a real gem-having taken
over running the office as if she'd been doing it for years.
It wasn't her fault that she didn't know that her 'boss' was
really a con man whose real name Laura didn't know.
"One chicken salad coming up," Mildred declared. At
the door, she said, "I'll leave this open so you can hear
in case someone comes in."
"Thank you." Laura picked up her pen and started to
read the paper in front of her, but the events of the morning
caused her to put it down. Maybe he wasn't working a scam. Maybe
he had a legitimate reason for being at LACC and in a Criminology
class - under an assumed name.
And not even an *original* assumed name, was her next thought.
"Holmes?" she said aloud in disbelief. At least the
young man she talked to hadn't told her that Mr. Holmes was teaching
the class. That would have been a disaster. Half of the class
would be fawning over him, and the other half - the boys - would
have been laughing at his lack of any *real* knowledge. Experience
wasn't enough. Laura had gone through three years of criminology
before going to Havenhurst.
The sound of the outer door opening drew her attention, and Laura
went still when the object of her anger appeared in the doorway
of her office. "Skipping lunch again, Laura?" he asked.
"Mildred's bringing me a salad," she told him, refusing
to let herself be moved by his appearance. Those gorgeous blue
eyes - "Did you have a nice morning?"
"Very nice. Informative, actually." He was in the office
now, fiddling with the file cabinet. "Well, if I can't convince
you to go to lunch, I'll just -"
"I didn't hear you ask," she told him.
"You said that Mildred was bringing you something -"
Laura nodded. "A salad. But you're right. I don't have time
for lunch. Paperwork."
He studied her desk for a moment. "I thought you were going
to do that this morning?" he recalled.
"I had a meeting with a possible client," she said,
knowing that she was doing the same thing that she was angry
with him for doing to her. Lying.
"Would that client have been someone at the college by any
chance?" he asked.
"The - college?"
"Los Angeles Community College," he clarified. "You
should never try to tail someone in that car, Laura. I made you
before we made the first turn."
"And Johnny Blake told me that an attractive brunette was
asking about me."
"Holmes," she said, narrowing her eyes.
"I'll admit that it's not the most original name, but Mrs.
Davis and I decided that it would look a bit - strange for Remington
Steele to suddenly appear in her class."
"Why *is* Remington Steele in her class?" Laura asked.
"What kind of scam -"
"Laura, you cut me to the quick. Officially, I'm - auditing
He nodded. "Sitting in, observing."
"And - unofficially?"
"I'm a student."
"I told you that I wanted to learn, Laura," he told
her, moving closer to the desk. "And while you're an excellent
teacher, I think I need to learn more quickly than I can by following
"And what did you tell Mrs. Davis about why you wanted to
learn something that you should have known already?"
"I told her that it was a refresher course of sorts,"
he answered, leaning forward, resting his hands on the desk and
the arm of her chair. "Did you really think that I would
be running some kind of con, Laura? After everything that's happened
this last year or so? I thought we'd settled all of this -"
"We have. I just - I'm sorry. I jumped to a conclusion,
and I shouldn't have. I can't promise that it won't happen again,
"Then I'll just have to work twice as hard to prove to you
that I'm committed to being Remington Steele, won't I, Miss Holt?"
he questioned, his voice soft, with a hint of the Irish accent
that flared only when he was tired, or scared - or deeply moved.
Laura smiled at him and lifted a hand to his cheek. "Why
don't we go have lunch and you can tell me what you've learned
so far?" she suggested, standing up.
"An excellent idea, Miss Holt," he agreed. But instead
of moving away, he moved closer to capture her lips with his
"Next time, just let me know what's going on, okay? That
way, I won't be as likely to jump to a false conclusion,"
she said as the kiss ended.
"I wasn't sure how you would react," he told her. "The
last thing I wanted was for you to laugh at me -"
"I wouldn't have -"
"Or be upset that I felt that I needed more than you could
"Why now?" she asked as they left her office.
He shrugged. "I'm tired of playing catch up, I guess. Of
being behind your leap to the obvious conclusion to a case. I'd
prefer to get there with you."
"You will, Mr. Steele," she assured him. "You
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