Steele Thinking About You
by Sabrina

Author's notes: This is my first attempt in writing fanfic, so please be gentle with me. I hope you like it. Just something else: the image of life being a journey like it is here described, isn't one of my own creation. I somewhere read it while browsing through fanfic, and I hope the author doesn't mind. I really liked it, scribbled it down on a slip of paper and here you have it. Letita Ryerson is the creation of Pat Christensen and I didn't ask for permission using her, but I hope she doesn't mind.
Funny flames, constructive criticism and all kind of comments please sent to:
Disclaimers: I don't own them, but hey, maybe I'm gonna marry-, no really, this "Remington Steele" story is not-for-profit and is purely for entertainment purposes. The author and her muse don't own "Remington Steele," so they belong to the actors, their agents, the producers, MTM Productions, the NBC Television Network or -, hell, I really don't know. In Germany RS is always changing the channels. At least four times (my count, I started around 1995). And thanks to Nancy for helping me!

That's it. The whole week was a catastrophe. The tears blur her view. "Letitia Ryerson --1900 1971. Loving mother, loving grandmother, loved by all."

The sun is going down, time seems to stand still. Everything around her is covered by a reddish-golden piece of silk. The nature of the graveyard around her integrates her in itself. She's becoming a part of it. A soft breeze strokes over the grass and through her hair, moves the strands so that they caress the softly rounded lines of her face. Birds are whispering their tunes into the quietness while she's crouching down there. Minutes ago she laid down some flowers. Red roses and white lilacs.

Why do we have to loose so much? Why did I have to loose you?

Everything seems to be useless. Are we really masters of our own fate? Are we able to influence the life we live by what we are doing or not? The breeze dries the tears on her face, leaving dark streams of mascara behind. Her eyes are burning, but she is still crying. Her body convulses in rhythm with her soundless sobs. Crying for all the loss. Because of being scared. Because of the tangible loss of her equilibrium, because of everything she lost in the past week. A week that's still passing by. She couldn't bear much more of it. It was enough for a week. Enough for a lifetime. Enough for the rest of her life. Why was it always her who had to loose?

What could I do to soothe her pain? I don't know. She never lets me close, not really. She's too afraid. Hell, I hate her damn fears. And then, there are mine. Yeah, we're a real great couple. Most of the time in my life when I saw people crying, it didn't bother me much. They cried, it was okay, it was normal. I felt pity for them, understood them or didn't, I really didn't care, I guess. But that changed the day I met her. The first time I saw her cry, something inside of me contracted painfully hard and a part of me was gone with her tears. When I held her that night, while the rain pounded against the windows in my living room, I didn't only comfort her, but me. I crushed her tightly against my chest, hugging her fiercely, making sure I wouldn't break apart while she was crying. I felt like breaking apart. I feel it now, too. I could go right down on my knees, starting to cry as well. It hurts so much. To see her like this.

He is standing almost directly behind her. Leaning against a tree not three yards away from her. His body is painted in the reddish gold of the evening like she is, but his face, his royal blue eyes are in the shadows the leaves are providing and they are glistening with unshed tears. One arm is hanging loosely next to his body; the palm of his other hand is touching the bark. He is there, in reach, but he isn't really. He leaves it to her, to decide if he is or isn't. His gaze is lost on her back.

Red roses and white lilacs.

Grace and spontaneity.

Tenderness and wildness.

Power and vulnerability.

Specialty and simplicity.

I lost one thing after another. My father. My mother. My grandmother. Wilson. My self-confidence. Myself. Where am I? I died a long time ago. But I came back to the living. The day he came into my life was the day of my rebirth. I started living again, bit by bit. And now, everything seems to fall apart. I'm falling apart.

My mother never died though. Not yet, to be precise. She's still alive, but the day my father left my family, she died. Practically from one day to next she decided to move to Connecticut. In reality she waited for another year and a half, I guess. Frances went with her. They left me. I've been on my own since then. Attending the courses at Stanford.

But back then, there was still my grandmother. I moved in with her. She didn't mind when I came back home late at night. She always said I'd to know what I was doing. And that she'd always be there if I need to ask her something. That she was there when I'd need her. But where is she now?

Reaching out but not touching. Like Michelangelo's painting "Adam's Creation". The fingertips almost touch but they don't. It has been always like this between them. They barely let each other in. Like sun and moon. Yin and Yang. The dependence was there before they could ever loose their independence. It was perfect synchronization and it frightened them. There had never been something like that before. Her head fitting snugly under his chin. Knowing what the other would do or think, sometimes before he even did. A shared look that meant more than a thousand words ever could. Being the missing piece the other always looked for without really ever knowing it.

I've never been in a situation like this. Mourning for someone. Not really. I lost my family the day my mother gave birth to me. I don't blame her for it, I never would or could. I never had a real family. But I understand it since the day we met. I'm learning. Family. Man, woman, children. The usual thing. Based on the love of two people and the products of their love. But what is it then, if it's just a mother and her child, or a father and his child. Is it still a family? I don't know. But I started to develop my own definition. Family. People who care for you, who love you unconditionally and whom you love. Following that, there are only four people who fit in it. Daniel, of course and Mildred. Monroe, he's like a brother to me. And Laura. The foundation for my own family if I get myself ready and her too. At the beginning of this week she lost a family member. And now, grief overwhelms her. Hope turned into desperation. I don't know how to help her. Damn it.

I've been in a situation like this too often. I never asked them to join me, to invade my life. I never asked them to leave me. They have already been there or they crossed paths with me and never really left me. But they leave me. All. One after another. I can't control it, but that's what I always tried. Controlling my life. To direct it into spheres where I still would be able to control it. There is always a first time to understand the fact you can't do something you want to. I was forced to acknowledge that I'm not able to control my life, over and over again. I've had to accept it. And I had a hard time doing so. I still have.

The sun warms her face, embracing her, barely perceptible. The breeze dries the anew fallen tears on her cheeks, soothes her flushed face. The tree's rhythmic rustle splashes in the background, an accompaniment to the bird's singing. Equilibrium still exists. The nature's union is still there. Although the world seems to break apart, it still exists as if nothing ever happened. It doesn't cease to exist. Only because someone died, it didn't mean that the world would die, too.

I loved my grandmother dearly. I still love her. I'll always love her. It's something eternal and essential in my life. I don't know, sometimes, when I'm thinking of the possibility that my mother would die, I fear I wouldn't mourn as much for her as I did for my grandmother. Would I ever miss my mother as much as my grandmother? Could I ever miss her that much? I know my mother loves me, but she always makes me feel she doesn't approve of what I'm doing. Her disapproval of my decisions. I don't know if she accepts that I can't be like her or like Frances. Or if she just thinks I don't try hard enough. More than once she blamed me for Wilson's leaving. Though she never put it into words, but there were more hints than one that she did so. That she thought it was my fault that he left. But I don't want to think about that right now. My grandmother never made me feel like that. She's my idol, and she's not a fallen one like Mr. Orange-Pico. She set her standards very high, but she managed to live up to them. Well, she gave me always the impression she did so. She used to maintain a life that was always true to herself. To the person she was. I always admired her for that. And that leads me back to the question who am I? Do I live up to that? To my true self?

Her sobs have subsided. But I know she's not done yet. A life is a journey. A road set forth with crossroads, endings, and beginnings. It is not one so smooth and easily traversed. There are always jungles to explore, to cut through; always mountains to tame and oceans to span. And then there are the deserts, wherein lies the contrasting forces of hot and cold; light and dark; calm and storm. These creatures so expansive in their sand-madness--their greatest obstacles, their emptiness. I once read that somewhere, I can't remember. But the very day I read it, it was burned into my memory. Maybe into my soul. The emptiness of my desert was filled with the clearest mirages the day I met her. But it is still desolate because she isn't really there. Only these mirages are there. I hang on to them like a drowning man who mobilizes the last bit of strength he has left to struggle against the waves which threaten to swallow him. Like air, water, and blood, she became irrevocably part of me.

She was at a loss for words. No logic or reason could penetrate this wretched despair she felt. Each minute dissipated like vapor, and she felt herself slipping away faster and faster like a helpless grain of sand being flung about in the desert winds. How could the death of a single person affect her so much? Or was it normal?

When the week started, I got the phone call. I somehow managed to call Remington and he accompanied me to the hospital. ICU. Intensive Care Unit. I never thought about seeing him again like that. I always thought it would be for-because of something -- something better. Like he'd get married. Or I would. Or just catching up on the old times. But it wasn't, not really. The doctor mumbled something about burns. I don't know which degree, I didn't really listen. Then, there was the word "infection". And then, he said something about he wouldn't last to see the next day's morning. It was different from everything we did before. Different from every second we spent before. That night. To talk, to make up for the time we had wasted in silence. About our pasts, our wishes, our futures. Of everything except the heavy shadow that loomed in the background behind our conversation. The conversation which was our final one.

She's started crying again. I feel so helpless. How was that? "Lord, give me the power to change what I am able to and the power to stand what I can't change." Another man ditched her. Not willingly though. I know he never would have if he had been able to. When we reached the hospital, I walked her inside his room, just when I was about to leave again, he asked me to stay. We've never been the best buddies. But we parted in respect. His parents weren't due till the early morning hours, so it was only Laura, he and I. And the doctors and nurses who came and went. Once in that night, when Laura was heading for the bathroom, we had our last conversation. We joked a bit and I actually managed to make him laugh although it hurt him, but then the seriousness settled in. I don't know if that conversation had been another one if we had been good friends. Of course, it was about her. I promised him with all I was worth that I'll never ditch her. That had been the moment he looked up at me and remarked impressed: "Funny, I never realized how much you really love her. It's there, in your eyes." In my eyes. Does she see it as well?

Sitting there at his bedside wasn't the first time for me. Sitting near someone I love, seeing him die. I also sat there, when my grandmother died. And I was the only one. She refused to see anyone else other than me in the hour of her death. I don't know why she made that decision. Why was I sitting there instead of my mother, her daughter? She told me life wouldn't be always easy on me. That it seldom was, even on her. And then she quoted Henry James. "I don't know why we live - the gift of life comes from - I don't know - a source or for what reason, but I think, that we all can go on living, because life is (always till a certain point) the most precious thing, that we do know, and because of that, it may be a big mistake to give it up, as long as the glass isn't completely empty--"

Death silently took possession of my grandmother and so it took of Murphy. We were there, the moment he drew his last breath. It was a sigh, his eyes closed, the expression on his face peaceful. His parents were there, too. They clung to each other, holding on tightly. I felt Remington's hand on my shoulder, a well-known weight that reminded me of the fact I wasn't completely alone.

We were there as the beeps of the heart-monitor came with less frequency. Some time before he had closed his eyes. His breathing slowed down. And in slow motion the few memories I shared with him came back to me. Although Murphy Michaels distrusted me from the beginning, I know he finally trusted me a lot. His wanting me to promise him that I'd take care of Laura was the loftiest point of a relationship that was always directed by our feelings for the woman we both love. He had the greatness to acknowledge my feelings for Laura, that he never wanted to before, and above all, he accepted and praised them in trusting in me. I don't know that I'll ever have the kind of greatness he did. Then I heard the long, unending beep of the heart-monitor. I knew what the sound meant- I didn't have to look at the monitor to know that Murphy Michaels had left this world.

She tenderly strokes over the gravestone's imprint, a sad smile upon her lovely face.

My father, my mother, my grandmother, and even Wilson, and of course Murphy have always been sources of my strength. The day Murphy left the agency he didn't leave my life. There had always been the occasional phone calls, postcards and other little reminders of our friendship. Jokes, only we could laugh about. But now, that he was gone --. When everything shatters into thousands of little pieces, there's still something left you can hold on to, Remington told me once. A thin red line you can follow. It's yourself, he said back then. I lost my thin red line. I lost myself. Strength needs a source, and mine is now at its last drops.

It is not so much giving in, but relenting to the inescapable reality. The truth of the matter.

"Remington." The hesitation in her voice. The regret. The longing. Her hand reaches behind her in silent invitation.

And he drops onto his knees, moves forward and takes her in his arms, and they comfort each other, aware of the precious time left. Forgetting the time lost. Being each other's thin red line.

The last rays of sun are disappearing behind the trees and the buildings. The sky is left behind looking like a kaleidoscope. An impressionist's work. And still, the birds are whistling their little melodies, the trees are rustling, as the sun's warmth left her. But another, more essential one embraces her and warms her from inside. Mirages cease to exist. They become real. They complete each other. Completely.

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