Steele Sweet on You
By Suzy Steele

A missing scene from the episode.


Approaching cruising altitude over the Arizona desert…

Donald Piper relaxed in his airplane seat, economy class, as the stewardess with the drinks cart handed him and Frances their drink selections and then continued to the row behind them.

"Oh, Donald. This is so extravagant. Cocktails on an airplane."

"And why not?' He gave her cute nose a little nuzzle with his own. "It's just you and me for the next four hours. No kids, no phones, no barking dog."

"No one shooting at you."

"Now, Frances. I wasn't in any real danger there. Mr. Steele had us well protected."

"And my sister, too," Frances defended loyally. "You know, it was nice to finally see her at work. Mother couldn't explain what she did. Now I understand it a little bit better."

"Her boss is something else, too. A real man of action. I couldn't believe how he just leapt and tackled that guy."

"Donald…" his wife warned him.

"And that was plenty of action for me," he vowed. "I'll stick with crafting a nice, dull porcelain bridge or learning the latest treatment for gingivitis."

His wife took a sip of her whiskey sour. "Donald? Do you think you'd like a shirt with French cuffs for Christmas?"

"Frances, you know I wear my short-sleeve dental jacket at work." At her fallen expression he added hastily, "But a shirt like that might be nice for church. Or one of the kid's recitals." He was rewarded with her smile.

"You'd look very handsome in it," said Frances with the same smile she'd shown him at Laura's loft. "You know," she added with a giggle, "it was fun getting to stay in her loft. It felt kind of fast, if you know what I mean."

"I do," her husband said with an answering grin. "All that open space."

"Donald!" But there was no scold in her expression. "You think Laura…?" Then she shook her head, answering her own question. "Probably not. My sister's very practical these days."

"And very generous. Letting us stay with her for the rest of our visit."

"Maybe not so private," she agreed. "But it let us get to know each other even better."

"We couldn't exactly stay in my hotel room. It was a crime scene. And the hotel was sold out."

"It was very sweet of her to let us stay. She didn't say anything, and she's such a busy professional woman, but I'm certain she never has the time to give her bathroom and kitchen the deep cleaning they deserve."

"I'm sure she'll be grateful," her husband agreed. "It was even nice of her boss to send us to the airport in his private limo."

"Much nicer than a taxi," Frances agreed and gave her husband's arm a meaningful squeeze. "Lots of privacy." They had snogged like teen-agers in the back seat and their limo driver hadn't batted an eye.

"And it saved us at least twenty bucks," he added practically. Even a dentist had to count pennies when there were three kids and a mortgage. He added, "That Remington Steele seems like a pretty good guy. I mean, he's a famous detective, suave, hob-nobs with the rich and famous, and yet he treated us just like family. Not the least bit pretentious."

At that, Frances gave him a meaningful gaze.


"Well, of course he treated us like family," she said, not bothering to hide her exasperation at her husband's slower social skills. "Didn't you notice?"

"Notice what? Frances, we were just a little bit distracted these past few days. I got shot at! You found Howie's corpse in the shower! My former patient tried to kill us."

"Men. You never see the obvious."

"What obvious?"

"About my sister," she said patiently. "And Mr. Steele."

His brow furrowed. "Frances. You are not going to play matchmaker again. My cousin Ralph didn't speak to me for three months after you tried to fix him up with your friend Diane."

"I'm not!" she protested. "All I'm saying is that I saw how Mr. Steele looks at my sister. He's sweet on her."

"He's a famous detective!"

"And she's my sister. Why shouldn't he like her? She's pretty good looking if I say so, myself." Her expression grew mischievous. "In fact, someone like Mr. Steele might be just the ticket to loosen her up again. If you know what I mean."

"Frances! That's wicked."

She smiled. "I know. But true, nonetheless." At his expression she added, "Don't worry, Donald. I didn't say a peep. But don't you think Laura deserves some happiness? Especially after that bum, Wilson. No one dumps my little sister and gets away with it."

He eyed her. "I thought you and Laura didn't get along so well."

"Well…" Frances squirmed a little. "While you and Mr. Steele were chasing Wendell, Laura and I had time to chat. Get to know each other a little better. We discovered we both were frustrated by Mother's expectations after Dad left. Laura and I resented each other, when we really should have resented Mother."

"Then I'm glad you're closer now. You need to stay in touch. Phone bills or not."

"And the kids would love to get to know their Aunt Laura better."

"So make sure she comes back for Christmas. Two Holt woman are a strong, united front against your mother. Dearly as I love your mother, of course."

Frances sighed. "Oh, Donald. I'm so glad I was jealous and chased after you. We're closer. My sister and I are closer." She sighed again. And then squeezed the hand that clasped hers with a sudden remembrance. "Would you believe it? I even learned that Laura has the same problem that I do with cho-" She wheezed. "Choc-"

"Chocolate," her husband supplied kindly. And then he gasped and nearly upset his drink. "Oh, no!"

"What? What's wrong, Donald?"

"You shoulda told me, Frances!"

"Why? Told you what?"

"That going away gift? It was a box of chocolates! The most expensive one I could find. Truffles and raspberry swirls and-" He groaned and clenched at his hair.

"Oh, no!" echoed Frances. She glanced past Donald and out the airplane window. "We're trapped at thirty thousand feet! We can't help her!"

"Well, Frances. If Mr. Steele is as resourceful as I think he is, and as sweet on Laura as you think he is, then I suppose he'll be able to manage the crisis." Then he grinned. "And, if what you say is true, then there's no time like the present for him to gain practice."