Steele's True Colors
by Gilmoraddict

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But I see your true colors, Shining through, I see your true colors, And thats why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show, Your true colors, True colors are beautiful, Like a rainbow (Phil Collins)
Green Space
"Nice follow through, Partner!" Murphy whistled as Laura's ball sailed past the rough and landed on the edge of the green.
"Thanks, Murph. I'm pretty rusty though. That was pure luck."
"Yeah, well you're a natural. You've always had a nice swing. "Murphy's gaze seemed to infer his admiration for something other than Laura's prowess at golf. "I'm just glad you made it out here with me today."
"Me too. I needed a break from all the office stuff." Taking a deep breath Laura shoved her nine iron in her bag and waited for Murphy to play his ball. Truth be told her heart wasn't really in the game, but she had been honest about needing a break from work. It had been months since she had left early on a Friday. The weather was great, and Murphy was a good friend, who shared her interest in sports as well as private investigation.
"You still up for pizza and watching the Raiders' game Sunday?"
"Absolutely." Laura assured Murphy with only slightly forced enthusiasm. "Wouldn't miss it."
"So, what's HE up to today?"
"Steele?" Laura asked, knowing good and well who her partner was referring to. The ersatz head of their agency was a con man who had dropped into their lives during a particularly high profile case, and assumed the role of Remington Steele, the up to that point fictitious figure head Laura had created to give her agency credibility. That had certainly blown up their faces. Not that Steele didn't generate public interest. With his blue eyes, drop-dead good looks, and suave ways, he had become a mainstay in the Los Angeles social scene. He had brought the agency all sorts of attention, and business. Men were flattered by his attention. Women absolutely loved him, swarmed over him as a matter of fact. Mr. Steele was bigger than life. Laura wasn't immune, but she'd be hanged if she was going to fall for his smarmy charms. Shrugging her shoulders Laura said off handedly, "I have no idea."
"We'll probably read about him in the paper tomorrow."
Laura didn't bother to respond to Murphy. She walked toward the green, brooding over that handsome face that smiled so beguilingly at her every time she turned around at the office. And went out with a different woman every night.
Blue Skies
"Penny for your thoughts!" A brilliant smile lit the questioning face of the willowy blond seated next to him in a sleek black Mercedes convertible. They spun down the Ocean Coast highway, the sun glinting off Steele's sun glasses, and Carla's sun-streaked tresses, Steele focused on the ribbon of road stretching in from of them.
"Oh, sorry! Pressures of work you know." Steele covered his inattentiveness smoothly. "Lovely car - thank you for giving me a turn at the wheel."
"I'm happy to have someone else drive. Turn here - this is the spot." Carla called over the road noise, delighted to have such a handsome companion for the afternoon. The two had reservations to para -sail on the beach, to be followed later by diner at her parent's Malibu home. Steele and his agency had set up a security system for her father's gallery, and Carla considered Steele a bonus.
"This ought to be an interesting experience." Steele smiled politely as he opened the door for Carla, wondering how many dates with her would sufficiently answer the need to court the client.
"I'm sure you'll find para-sailing exhilarating! I never get tired of the high you get from soaring over the ocean." Carla beamed at Steele, and then slipping her arm through his, drew him over to the beach stand where they were preparing the apparatus for para-sailing. In next to no time the forms had been signed, the harnesses fitted, and Steele and his ebullient companion were aloft.
The sailcloth snapped and ruffled in the wind as the ocean swept by below Steele's and his companion's feet. Carla closed her eyes, laughing, seeming to revel in the weightless rush of the wind, but Steele could hardly bring himself to blink, trying to take in the entire vista from their bird's eye view, horizon line to horizon line. The blues of sky and sea met in a deep blur, the white sand beach flecked with bright colored bits of umbrella and beach towel revealing the passing of the miles. They soared alongside an idyllic sprawling campus, athletic fields, tennis courts, and ivory academic buildings. Steele breathed deeply of the salty air, a smile stretched wide across his face. Laura would love this experience. Picturing her thick hair blowing back from sun kissed freckles, her dimples flickering across her face as she laughed. Steele turned to touch her hand and speak to her, startled to find Carla, and not Laura, strapped into the harness beside him. He smiled half heartedly at the blond, giving her a 'thumbs up' to express his appreciation for the ride. He then turned to lose himself once more in the blues of sea and sky.
Steele wondered what Laura was up to today.
Gridiron Gold
Murphy nudged Laura with his toe. "Need another beer, Partner?"
"Huh? Uh, no Murph, I'm good, thanks." Laura glanced down at the amber bottle that sat nearly untouched by her knee. She was sitting on the floor leaning back against Murphy's couch, where two of Murphy's buddy's, Jeff and Phil, were ensconced. Both men roared with delight as the Raiders, newly located in LA, connected with Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Allen for a touch down. Laura smiled at Murphy as he shoved Phil's legs aside to grab a spot on the carpet next to Laura. "Great game - good to have the strike over so we can enjoy football again."
"Seriously. What, these guys didn't make enough money as it was?" Murphy joked, painfully aware that his own gridiron dreams had been shattered along with his knee in one of his last games at Stanford.
"Doesn't seem fair, does it Murph." Laura said sympathetically. "You were better than most of 'em too. Now you're running plays in a glamorous detective agency with Pretty Boy and me. Not fair at all."
"Well, you know I'm not happy about our current arrangement." Murphy glanced up at his buddy's and lowered his voice. "But I trust you Laura. I know you aren't going to do anything stupid. You've got the vision in this operation."
"I've got things under control Partner. Honest." Laura felt heat rise in her cheeks, and wondered who she was pulling the greater con on, Murphy, or herself. The vision she had most often these days was of blue eyes, impossibly thick silky dark hair, and the dimpled smile that followed each swaggering comment.
Murphy lurched as Jeff punched him in the arm. "Look at that Murphy - what a play!"
Murphy and Laura turned their attention back to the screen, and focused on the action there. The Raiders did LA proud. Football provided safe conversation for the remainder of the afternoon.
Chestnut Tresses
Polished hooves thundered down a grassy polo field, a lathered bay and palomino racing toward the same point, competing riders poised to strike a small white ball. A striking chestnut with three white feet and a star on his fore head streaked in from the side, his rider, dressed pale blue and wearing the number two, deftly turning aside the man in red, to pass the ball neatly to his own teammate.
"Great move, Steele!" was the jubilant shout from the number three man trailing behind. Steele smiled shortly, and turned once more to follow the play. Anticipating the next move of Jim Meecham as he came in from his left, Steele urged his mount forward and receiving Jim's pass, swung the mallet to send the ball neatly through the goal. In moments the chukka was complete. The teams nodded politely to one another, horses blowing steam from their noses as they exited the field.
"You handle yourself well, Steele. Come play again. With Roger out of the game for a bit we're short handed." Meecham slapped Steele jovially on the back as they led the ponies back toward the stable.
"You've got a fine string of animals Meecham. Wouldn't mind having a go at it regularly." Steele responded.
"Great! Bring that little filly of yours with you next time." Meecham suggested, grinning at Steele.
"Miss Holt?" Steele questioned with a raised eyebrow. He'd actually told her about today's polo match, hoping she might want to help with the ponies as she had for the match he had participated in during the Dillon matter. Steele smiled at the thought of Laura managing tack like a seasoned stable hand, and then the next evening, a movie star like vision in a beautiful white gown. She was a confusion of contradictions. It was exhilarating to work alongside her; but her come to watch him play? "I'm afraid Miss Holt is nobody's filly, mine or otherwise. Independent sort she is."
"Ahh - well, you've got a whole string of ponies yourself, don't you. I've seen those society columns." Meecham laughed bawdily. "Why limit your options, eh Steele?"
"Quite right." Steele mused. That had certainly always been his philosophy. He ran a vigorous brush through the tangled brown mane of the horse he had just ridden. So what was it that made him so restless these days? And so willing to stay in one place?
In the Pink
The sky behind the trees of McCullem Park was suffused with brilliant orange, pink and yellow lights, as the sun began to slip into the dark blue Pacific waters to the west. The park was still filled with those enjoying the evening's lingering light. Frisbees soared to leaping dogs, parents aired small children who had been in school all day, and bikes zipped along paths, swerving around the parks slower occupants.
Waving a greeting at one of these bikers, the slender loping figure of Laura Holt emerged from a fragrant cluster of shivering pines. She wore a pink tee shirt and gray sweats, with grimy white Nikes on her small feet. While Laura was breathing deeply, she seemed completely relaxed, and ran with the grace of a long limbed child, occasionally leaping over tree roots or runoff ditches that interrupted the running path she traveled.
Laura was a regular in the park. There were several reasons she ran. It was obviously important that she maintain physical conditioning - while she was fond of saying that her work involved more brain than brawn, there were instances where a case had been solved due to her swift pursuit of a suspect. There had also been cases where she had fleetly eluded thugs, or raced to avoid having her undercover surveillance revealed. Laura could leap climb and run with the best.
Lately, however, running served a different purpose. Laura took a deep shuddering breath and picked up her pace.
Steele. The risk she had acknowledged when she created Remington Steele as a fictitious superior had compounded exponentially when the mysterious Ben Pearson/Michael O'Leary/Douglas Quintain/Paul Fabrini/ John Murrell/ Richard Blaine slid into her life, and into the agency she had built around HIS name.
The tension once more knotted Laura's shoulders and she flexed her arms to shake it off. Wondering what crimes the debonair Mr. Steele had committed, and who might recognize him as an impostor, when he would slip up and compromise the agency by falling back into old habits, and which of his former compatriots - other Felicias, or Wallaces - would show up next. Where he would head when he left. The possibilities were endless. All of them bad.
What was worse, Laura shut her eyes briefly as she pondered this, was the attraction she felt for Steele. Normally oh so sensible, despite her most rational attempts to keep her relationship with Steele strictly business, she feared her reactions betrayed her.
And now he wanted to actually work on cases with her and Murphy. Murphy was convinced it was a recipe for total disaster. But what a sweet disaster. Laura smiled as she thought of Steele threatening the CIA agent about Sheldon Quarry. He was actually quite good, though she'd never tell HIM that.
The last pinks had faded from the sky, and a shadowed azure descended. Slowing to a walk as she approached the Rabbit Laura stretched up as high as she could then bent to place her hands flat on the ground. If only staying grounded was this easy in her business life.
Wiping perspiration from her face with the bottom of her pink tee, Laura climbed into the car to drive home. She'd be back to run the same path tomorrow.
Silver Swords
The silver flash of rapiers danced as two figures parried and thrust. Masks covered both faces. It was difficult to distinguish teacher from student as the two sidestepped and circled one another. A singing sound of metal against metal marked the tempo of the struggle. Posture meticulously erect, shoulders squared, excepting in the execution of a thrust, there was an ease and grace to both figures. One was slightly heavier and a few years older, and perhaps it was his age that finally gave the other advantage. The younger forced the slightly larger man back. Neither made a sound, except to breathe, as the intensity of their struggle accelerated.
Finally the more slender figure capitalized on his slight advantage in speed and agility, pushing his opponent to the mat with an almost apologetic thrust. He stood, drawing a breath in deeply almost as if in surprise. With a slight flourish, the younger man moved his rapier aside, and reached down to courteously assist the defeated man to his feet, pulling his mask from his face as he did so. Steele's sliding smile flashed as the students around the two burst into applause. Gus smiled back at his student, bowing slightly over their joined hands.
"An excellent match Steele."
"Thank you Gus. Next week, same time?"
"Steele, I think the student has surpassed the teacher. This is the third week you have bested me."
"Mere chance!" Steele protested.
"I will see what I can do about finding a new opponent for you, someone whose moves you can't anticipate so readily." Gus smiled, though, clearly proud of the man he had coached. "Until next week, then Steele, touché!"
With a touch of irony Steele thought 'I can win this contest, against this opponent. What I can't seem to anticipate are Miss Holt's moves.' She surprised him at every turn. No classical training, no way to strategize. Perhaps if he were to meet her on a fencing piste, but since that was not likely to happen, Laura was likely to remain a challenge, and an enigma. Steele smiled. Laura was the best kind of challenge.
Black and White
Dressed all in white, Steele and Laura made a stunningly attractive couple. Steele knew it, modesty a fault that had never troubled him. Smiling broadly, Steele preened a bit, basking in the admiration of those around them. Charmingly, Laura seemed to have no idea how lovely she was, how people smiled at the two of them together. She disciplined her gaze to encompass all of the surrounding space, gently gripping her lower lip with her teeth in her concentration. Steele found this habit of Laura's oddly provocative. Her auburn hair swirled in waves around her shoulders, and she occasionally raked her right hand through it, pulling it straight back from her face to fall in new layers.
"What made you choose me?" Steele asked, turning to watch Laura speculatively.
"I beg your pardon?" Laura turned startled brown eyes on her companion, eyes made darker by the contrast with her white attire.
Steele leaned back in his chair, snowy white sweater tied across his shoulders, sun glasses hanging by their frames from his white polo shirt. He began deftly spinning a tennis ball in with his long, eloquent fingers.
"I mean, why am I here with you today rather than Murphy?"
"Murphy can't play tennis - football injury to his knee in college." Laura's words were clipped. "Besides, isn't being someone you're not sort of your thing?"
"Of course. Murphy's misfortune, my good luck." Steele contemplated the impeccably groomed clay courts. "Tell me again about the case we're pursuing."
"We're here to take a tennis lesson from Chris Marten. He's the tennis pro here at the Gentry Club. It seems several of the members he has coached have experienced rather sizable corporate thefts. Mr. Marten is apparently very congenial, spends a great deal of time visiting with his clients, gaining their confidence, and possibly access to information that allows him to relieve them of assets. No one's been able to prove anything, so our goal is to feed him some false information. If he acts on it, we'll have our man." Laura leaned forward, becoming animated as she explained the plan to Steele. "You're clear on your part, right? Just charm him, tell him I handle all the bookkeeping, and I'll handle the rest. Family run business, o.k.?"
"Oh, absolutely. Can't think of anyone I'd rather be in business with." Steele wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at Laura. That's why he was Remington Steele, wasn't it!?
Laura's scowl disappeared as a handsome, athletic man approached them with a warm smile and outstretched hand.
"Are you the James? I'm Chris Marten. "
"Trevor James - and my wife Laura." Steele rose lazily to meet Marten's outstretched hand. Keeping a firm grip on Marten's hand prevented the tennis pro from turning immediately to see the outrage on Laura's face.
"Oh - I was under the impression you two were siblings." Marten turned to take Laura's hand as she attempted to compose herself.
"Ah, no, Mr. James, ah, that is, Trevor has a sister who works with us, but umm…"
"I prefer to play with my wife." Steele smirked, extremely pleased with himself. "That is, we'd like to be able to play together. Laura's been working on her game for years, and has an admirable stroke, but I've pledged to work tirelessly in my efforts to … catch up to her. Now, I have the balls here, shall we get started?"
Standing up abruptly, and knocking over her chair with a clatter, Laura blushed furiously. Reaching to right the chair she bumped heads with Marten who gallantly made the same effort. Both stood again, rubbing their heads. Steele reached smoothly across them to pick up the chair, and then put his arm tenderly around Laura's waist. He gazed adoringly down at her as he asked "Are you all right, Love?"
Laura stood stiffly for a moment within the circle of Steele's arm, then reaching for the visor she'd left on the table, pulled her elbow back, slamming Steele solidly mid section. "I'm just fine, Dear. Thank you."
"OOF. Good, good." Steele managed to whisper. "Ready when you are."
Picking up on the unmistakable tension, Marten shrugged and gestured towards the courts. "Great. Why don't we hit the courts, and see what we have to work with."
Black slacks, turtlenecks, and a black driving cap Laura had pulled low on her fore head helped Laura and Steele to disappear into the shadows of the empty office in a building which belonged to a friend of Murphy's. It was the third night they had sat this stakeout. Steele could just barely make out Laura's dark eyes against the pale oval of her face.
"Miss Holt, May I say I'm truly very impressed with your athletic abilities. You handle a racket with wonderful skill." Steele toasted Laura with the small flask he had secreted in his jacket pocket, a flask she had already declined to share.
"You did quite well yourself." Laura admitted. "I didn't know you had been taking lessons elsewhere. You handled Marten well too. Thank you for making time for all the sessions with him. I hope I haven't kept you from more interesting pursuits."
"On the contrary Miss Holt. It's been most interesting to spend time one on one with you- no Murphy, no Bernice - just rackets, balls, a net and your beautiful California weather." Steele voice was soft in the dark of the empty office where they were waiting for Marten to follow through on the false information they had provided him. "It's been far more stimulating than luncheons with well meaning blue haired matrons and long winded politicians."
A smile flickered briefly on Laura's face. "But you love having your photo taken!" Laura taunted.
"Laura, really. It does nothing for my image to be photographed with people two and three times my age."
"What, exactly, IS your age?" Laura prodded.
"Oh, grew up with the Beetles, Yellow Submarine, flights to the moon, color telly." Keeping things to himself was a lifelong habit for Steele. He masterfully turned the query back to Laura. "Who were your childhood music idols?"
"You a Beetles fan?" Briefly Laura pictured a young, unkempt teenager plugged into a radio. But then, could Steele have EVER been anything less than impeccably groomed? Although realizing he had revealed nothing, Laura ventured "Bach, Vivaldi, sometimes Gershwin. I really love all kinds of music."
Steele looked at Laura's outline in the dark room, smiling. Touché . Here it was again. The unexpected. "We must indulge your passion for music some time....."
The door creaked open. Laura hushed Steele with a finger laid gently on his lips. Holding their breath, they waited as a man carrying a flashlight crept into the room, slowly turning the beam of light around the empty room. Ascertaining that the office was empty, the man's arm dropped to his side. Laura reached for the wall switch behind her, flooding the room with light.
"Mr. Marten. Looking for something?" Laura glared at the startled man, who surprisingly enough, was not Chris Marten. The stranger turned and ran for the door. Steele had already begun to approach the man and was momentarily stunned when the man aggressively landed two solid blows, the first to Steele's abdomen, the second to his jaw. Steele fell under Laura's feet, who barely pausing, leaped over Steele's body, and bounded after the intruder.
Groaning Steele staggered to his feet and followed Laura out the door. Laura was halfway down the alley, vaulting to the top of a dumpster, and from there over a fence into a parking lot where the target of her pursuit dodged frantically between cars. Steele managed to pull himself onto the metal box, and over the same fence, wincing as his feet landed on the asphalt below. His eyes sought Laura, on the other side of the lot now, climbing the padlocked gate.
"Lauuu - rrra...." Steele grimaced, continuing to trail her, as she leaped lightly to the sidewalk and sprinted swiftly after Steele's assailant.
Recovering slowly, Steele struggled over the fence, and fell less than gracefully to the walkway below. Rubbing his injured stomach with one hand, his jaw with the other Steele stood and took a few shaky breaths before setting off in the direction Laura had gone.
Laura caught up to the intruder just as he opened a car door. With the intent of detaining him she grabbed his arm and spun him around, only to have him raise the flashlight he still gripped in one hand, and bring it down sharply on her head.
From halfway down the block Steele watched in horror as Laura crumpled to the pavement. Taillights blazed to life with the car's engine, and sped away. Steele's own injuries forgotten he rushed to Laura, dropping to his knees to gently pull her head into his lap. Her face was a chalky white, and stood out in stark contrast to the dark surrounding them. Steele's fingers probed her neck to affirm her pulse, and he then gently gathered her to him, holding her close, resting his chin on her fragrant chestnut hair as he thought for a moment.
Rising to his feet, slowly so as not to jar his precious burden, Steele carefully adjusted Laura, so that her injured head lay against his shoulder. Gently he carried her toward the bleak brilliance of a streetlight as it spilled over a pay phone on the side of the building closest to them. After awkwardly making a call, Steele slid slowly down the lighted wall, to cradle Laura within his arms.
The pounding headache woke Laura before she could bring herself to open her eyes. Drawing her eyebrows ever so slightly together she slowly brought her hand up to touch the bandage on her head.
"Welcome back, Partner." Murphy's voice was quiet. He reached out to gently squeeze the hand which lay at still her side.
"Hey Murphy." Laura opened her eyes to take in the white hospital curtains drawn around her and Murphy, and more slowly, the sounds of monitors, footsteps, and voices beyond them. "Emergency?"
"You're a quick study. How's the head?"
"Excruciating." In the silence that followed Laura muddled through the events of the evening. "How did I get here?"
"Steele." Murphy said quietly. "He called me from a pay phone close to the office where you were waiting. I picked you up and brought you here. You've got a concussion. They took a couple of stitches in your noggin. I think they'll let me take you home in a couple of hours, if I watch you for the rest of the night. Make sure you can focus, recite the alphabet, tell me the presidents, you know, neuro stuff."
"Great. Thanks Murph." Laura looked blearily at Murphy, who looked as if he had fallen out of bed to be there, wearing a wrinkled gray sweatshirt and jeans. She closed her eyes again, and after a lengthy pause asked. "And Steele?"
Murphy grimaced. "He's been down at the precinct filling out forms. He went to Marten's townhouse after I picked you up. Seemed to think he had something to find there. When the guy who hit you showed up, Steele persuaded him to make a full confession - Marten too. Called the police, and when they arrived they found enough evidence to keep Marten and his buddy in the courts, instead of on them, for a long time. I heard all this from my friend Herb Brown at the station. They're all pretty impressed with our boss."
Laura's eyes opened to watch Murphy as he reluctantly relayed these events. A smile slid slowly across her face. "You're kidding!?"
"Wish I was. There'll be no living with him now."
"Who?" Steele's brilliant smile peered around the curtained edge of the enclosure. In his black clothing he stood out sharply against the ghostly curtain.
"I'm gonna get a cup of coffee. Don't go anywhere with out me." Murphy touched Laura's shoulder lightly with his closed fist before standing to walk away. He gave Steele a cold appraising look as they passed.
"I take it Murphy got you patched up? You had him pretty worried. I think he contemplated taking a crack at me for not looking after you better."
Murphy had been worried. Laura frowned. "I don't need anyone looking after me, you or Murphy."
Smiling smugly at Laura Steele jibed "Of course not, Miss Holt. You almost had that thug."
Laura stared at the black screen of the monitor that sat off to one side of the cubical, catching a glimpse in her reflection of the glaring white bandage. Feeling a slight wave of nausea wash over her, Laura swallowed and closed her eyes. Steele was right. She had needed back up. But did he have to rub it in? Grudgingly she offered "Thank you."
"My pleasure, Miss Holt. I take exception to men who hit women with torches."
Momentarily puzzled Laura muttered "Women with torches? Like the Statue of Liberty?"
"Must be that crack on the head, you're babbling." Steele looked down at the black and white tile squares beneath his feet, then back at Laura's pale, freckled face. He took Laura's hand between both of his. "I'm actually sorry the case is finished. No more tennis dates, no more stakeouts."
"Oh don't be discouraged. We haven't gotten all the bad guys yet, Mr. Steele. There are some sucker punches still out there waiting for you." Laura gazed at Steele's beautiful blue eyes, and could see his fatigue. "It's late Mr. Steele. Murphy's here. Why don't you go home and get some sleep. I'll see you at the office tomorrow."
"Murphy's turn now, eh Miss Holt?" Steele asked a bit sadly.
"Well, he knows the presidents."
"You're babbling again."
"I've seem to be doing a lot of that lately. I am rather tired."
"Just rest Miss Holt." Steele leaned in slowly to kiss Laura's hand, never taking his eyes from hers. A blush spread across her pale face. Steele smiled. "I'll wait here quietly until Murphy returns."
He was the most infuriating man she had ever met! A bright light behind him seemed to cast a rainbow-like aura around his head. Laura blinked. Maybe it was the head clunk, but Laura could have sworn she saw something shining in his eyes.
"Mr. Steele..." was all Laura managed as her eyes drifted shut.
(Just a few possible between the scene moments in the lives of our heroes...)
The End
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