COMPLETE THE SCENE--JUAN SPILLS THE BEANS
By: Melissa Jones
First printed: More Red Holt Steele #4 & #5
Summary: Remington comes clean about his “fake” marriage to Laura.
Disclaimer: This “Remington Steele” story is not-for-profit and is purely for entertainment purposes. The author and this site do not own the characters and are in no way affiliated with “Remington Steele,” the actors, their agents, the producers, MTM Productions, the NBC Television Network or any station or network carrying the show in syndication, or anyone in the industry.
Remington pushed open the glass door to Remington Steele Investigations and stepped to the side to let Laura Holt-Steele through. He followed her in, letting the door swing closed behind him.
"Morning, Mildred," Laura said pleasantly to Mildred Krebs, who was sitting at her desk just inside the door.
"Morning, morning, morning," Remington bellowed in his usual way.
"Morning, Mr. Steele. Morning, Mrs. Steele," Mildred returned. "You two glad to be back?"
"Well..." Remington began, stopping in front of Mildred's desk.
"I know I am," Laura said.
"You are?" Remington asked, a twinge of disappointment lining his voice.
"Don't get me wrong. Ireland was wonderful. Especially the last couple of days," Laura said, sending a knowing side-glance to Remington, who returned her coy smirk with one of his own. "Still, I'm happy when I'm working, and I'm glad to be back to work."
"Well, I suppose it will be nice to get back to the old routine," Remington admitted.
"Speaking of which," Mildred interrupted. "There's a ton of stuff on your desk for you to sign, Boss."
"Oh?" Remington asked, glancing toward his office.
"Yeah. There's a lot of paperwork to catch up on," Mildred informed them.
"Paperwork. My favorite," Remington muttered sarcastically.
"Well, we'd better get started," Laura said, clasping her hands together and going to her office. Remington groaned and turned to enter his office.
"Oh, Boss?" Mildred called. Remington turned and faced her. "Welcome back," she said, grinning wickedly. Remington flashed her a pained smile and turned again toward his office. He stopped again at the sound of the front door opening.
"Excuse me," a man said in a heavy Spanish accent. "We are looking for Mr. Remington Steele."
"I'm Remington Steele," Remington said, turning and walking up to the gentlemen. He shook the hand of the first man--a portly, middle-aged Hispanic stranger. The second, younger Hispanic man was more familiar.
"Juan!" Remington cried, shaking his hand vigorously. Juan spoke a few words in Spanish, then gestured to his companion.
"I am Esteban Meurata, Juan's cousin. He asked me to come with him today to translate for him. Juan said that he is glad you remember him," the stranger said.
"Of course I remember him! He performed my wedding ceremony a couple of weeks ago," Remington replied. Juan grinned and spoke again.
"He says he can't stay long, but he just wanted to come by and thank you for letting him perform the ceremony."
"Well, the captain wasn't there, so what could we do? He did an excellent job," Remington complimented. Esteban translated, and listened to Juan's response.
"He says it was good practice for performing his sister's wedding the next day. It was very lucky that you caught him two days after he had been ordained."
"What?" Remington asked in shock and confusion. "What do you mean, ‘ordained?’"
"Two days before your ceremony, Juan was sworn in with the ability to perform wedding ceremonies. He did it so he could perform his sister's wedding ceremony that weekend. He said your wedding was good practice," Esteban explained.
"You mean he was legally able to marry us?" Remington asked, swallowing hard. As far as he had known, his marriage to Laura wasn't really legal. She had insisted on it, mainly out of anger for his original attempt to marry a call girl behind her back. Remington had done everything he could to keep the marriage illegal, even though he secretly wanted to marry Laura all along. The lack of legality of their marriage was one of the many regrets Remington had about the entire situation. But now...
Esteban stared at Remington in confusion. "You knew Juan could marry you legally. That is why you asked him to marry you and your wife, sí?"
"Of course...and the fact that the captain wasn't there," Remington said, his stomach turning in excitement and apprehension. "I had thought only the captain could marry people. Imagine my surprise when Juan was able to marry us."
Juan smiled proudly at Remington.
"And since we were beyond the three-mile limit, that makes it all the more legal," Remington mused aloud. A smile crept across his lips, and his heart leapt with excitement. Laura was really his wife. They didn't have to pretend anymore. They were really married. Now, if only he could convince Laura that this was good news. After her insistence for illegality, who knows how she would take this. Remington returned his attention to Juan and Esteban.
"Juan, I can't tell you how happy you made me. I'm sure my wife and I will be happy for many years to come, and we owe it all to you," Remington said, taking Juan's hand again and shaking it. Juan grinned and spoke to Remington once more.
"He says it was his pleasure, and he wishes you luck. He also thanks you for the opportunity," Esteban said. He smiled broadly at Juan's next statement. "He says, ‘have a good life with the fox.’"
"I will, believe me," Remington returned. The men excused themselves and left. Remington stared at the door in front of him, lost in thought.
"Boss? You all right?" Mildred asked. Remington snapped back to the present and looked at Mildred.
"Uh, yes, I'm fine. I'm just...just fine," he said, distracted. He stared at Laura's office door, his apprehension growing. After their romantic consummation in Ireland, they had agreed to live their lives as a married couple, as business partners, as friends, and as lovers. They knew it would be difficult...they had enough trouble before trying to make it work as just business partners and good friends. Now, there was even more to their complicated relationship. At least now they had the honesty of their feelings to help ease the tensions.
But how would she take this news? He knew she loved him, but he couldn't forget their history of hiding true feelings, and even distrust. How would she react if he told her now that the marriage he had sworn was illegal was legal after all? Would she believe that he had lied to her to manipulate her into marriage, or would she trust him when he told her that he had no idea that Juan could legally marry them? Maybe he shouldn't tell her.
No, he thought. We're past all that. We promised to be honest with each other from now on. I can't lie to her anymore. Remington sighed, squared his shoulders, and headed for Laura's office. He was going to tell her the truth, no matter what her reaction. Remington knocked lightly on the red door, and slowly turned the knob.
CONCLUSION (By: Melissa Jones)
Remington entered his wife's office, trying to control his nervousness and think of the best way to break the shocking news. He shut the door behind him, staring with uneasy anticipation at his wife.
Laura glanced up from her paperwork, a tiny smile coming to her lips at the sight of the man she considered to be her husband, despite what Immigration thought. The smile melted into a curious stare as she noted Remington's agitated expression.
"What is it?" she asked.
Remington looked at her, swallowing hard. "What is what?" he returned innocently.
"Something's wrong," Laura said.
"No, no, no . . . nothing's wrong," Remington dismissed, faking nonchalance.
"Then why do you look as if you're about to give a speech on gun control to a room full of armed men?" she asked wryly.
"Do I?" Remington asked, putting a hand to his pale face.
Laura rose, walking over to stand before him. "Remember our agreement?" she asked softly, rising from her chair and walking up to him. "No more secrets, no more deceptions. Total honesty. Please, tell me what's wrong."
Remington stared at her for a moment, loving her. He recalled their long talk in Ireland the day after they consummated their relationship. They finally admitted their true feelings to each other, as well as their hopes and fears for the future.
After hours of conversations and revelations, they ended with a promise of total honesty in their relationship. He could never break her trust again. Remington nodded, taking a deep breath.
"Okay," he said, preparing himself for her reaction. "I just had a visitor. Two, actually. Juan and his cousin."
"Juan?" Laura inquired.
"The . . . uh . . . the fellow that performed our ceremony," Remington clarified. Laura nodded. "He was here, and his cousin came along to translate."
"Really? What did he want?" Laura asked, folding her arms and leaning up against the side of her desk.
"He came to thank us for letting him perform our ceremony," Remington explained. He hesitated. "He said it was good practice."
"Good practice? For what?" Laura asked in confusion.
"For performing his sister's wedding," Remington answered, fearing her response.
"His sister's wedding? But Juan doesn't have any real authority to marry anyone," Laura protested.
"Well, it seems he does, actually," Remington replied. Laura looked at him, puzzled and alarmed.
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Well, it appears that he was...ordained, with all the legal rights to perform weddings, two days before ours, so he could perform his sister's ceremony. He owns a small ship, which makes him a captain," Remington explained, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his beige slacks to keep Laura from seeing them shake.
"If that's true, and since we were past the three-mile international line, then that means..." Laura deduced, her voice trailing off as realization struck.
"We're legally married," Remington finished softly. Laura stared at him for a moment in shock. Remington returned her stare intently, trying to deduce her reaction beneath the shock. She revealed nothing to him before turning her back to him and walking toward the window. Remington shifted uncomfortably, convinced that she wasn't taking this as well as he'd hoped.
"Laura," he began, taking a deep breath to stop the trembling in his voice. "I know you agreed to marry me only if it weren't legal, and I know I promised you that it wasn't even remotely legal, but I assure you, I had no idea that Juan could legally marry us." Laura said nothing. She stood, unmoving, staring out the window, grasping her arms against her body. Remington continued, his fear of losing Laura's trust overwhelming him. They had come so far in their relationship. Was he destroying it all?
"This comes as much of a shock to me as it does to you. I never tried to deceive you. I never tried to manipulate you into a real marriage. You've got to believe me, Laura. Please, you must believe me," he begged.
"I do," Laura said softly, still staring out the window.
"You do?" Remington asked hopefully. Laura nodded. Relief washed over Remington. He grinned, but the smile drained rapidly from his face, and was replaced by worry. Laura still hadn't moved.
"Well, then . . . I guess you're okay about this. Right?" Remington asked, swallowing hard. Laura stood silent for a moment longer.
"How do you feel about this?" she asked, her voice tight.
"What do you mean? How do I feel about what?" Remington asked, his brow furrowed into a confused scowl. Laura lowered her head.
"How do you feel about us being legally married?" Laura asked. She turned and stared at Remington pointedly. "Honestly." Remington studied her expression. She was clearly upset, but she seemed almost afraid of something. He bit his lower lip nervously as he pondered her question.
"Honestly?" he asked.
"Honestly," she repeated seriously.
"Well," he began carefully. "I must admit, it's quite a shock, and ordinarily the thought of being married for real would scare the hell out of me, to say the least." Laura dropped her eyes, and Remington finally recognized an emotion in her face--disappointment. His heartbeat accelerated. Could it be that she really was happy about being legally married, and wanted him to be, too? Remington decided that it was time to hedge his bet. He slowly approached Laura, pouring on as much charm as his nerves would allow.
"However," he said, coming to within inches of her. She looked up at him hopefully, her eyes moist with emotion. "The thought of you legally being my wife makes me feel better than I've ever imagined. I realized a long time ago that I wanted to spend my life with you. Now, I can. Legally," he finished, smiling at her adoringly.
"Really?" she asked.
"Really," he answered. Laura lowered her gaze and closed her eyes, fighting to control her emotions. "What about you? I mean, how do you feel about this?" Remington stared at her, holding his breath in hopeful anticipation. She looked up at him. A slow smile spread across her lips.
"I've always dreamed of becoming your wife. An impossible dream, I thought," she answered softly. "I guess some dreams really do come true."
Relief washed through Remington and he grinned broadly.
"I guess they do," he said softly. He pulled Laura into a tight embrace. She hugged him with equal intensity as Remington laughed joyfully. He pulled her out of the embrace. Remington leaned in, meeting Laura in a slow, passionate, loving kiss. They pulled apart, and Laura rested her head on Remington's chest.
"I was so afraid you'd be furious about this," Remington confessed, basking in the warmth of her presence in his arms.
"Why would you think that?" Laura asked, pulling away enough to look Remington in the face, a slightly hurt expression on hers.
"Well, I mean, you're the one that insisted that the marriage be completely illegal. I was afraid that you'd think that I manipulated you into a real marriage by not telling you about Juan."
"But you didn't know about Juan," Laura replied, confused.
"Of course I didn't, but I wasn't sure that you would believe that."
"You didn't think I'd trust you," Laura translated.
"Well . . . " Remington shrugged sheepishly. "I mean, given our past history, I wasn't sure exactly how you'd react. I mean, I know we promised to trust each other from now on, but sometimes it's a little difficult to quit things completely. Especially after years of not being totally honest."
"True," Laura admonished. "But I'm learning," she added softly, tightening her arms around him. He smiled.
"As am I, Mrs. Steele. As am I," he replied softly, kissing her forehead. They looked deeply into each other's eyes before slowly meeting in a passionate kiss. Their kiss was rapidly followed by another as they wound their arms up each other's back. Remington held Laura as close to him as possible, enjoying her warmth against him and the sweetness of her mouth as his lips caressed hers. The realization that he was actually kissing his wife -- his real wife -- filled him with a joy he had never known before, and never thought possible. His desire for her surfaced, intensifying with every taste of her mouth. Finally, he felt Laura pulling away slightly. He realized that the office in the middle of the business day was no place to lose control of their passions. They parted reluctantly, but still clung tightly to each other.
"I think we should celebrate tonight," Remington said huskily, trying to regain control of the senses and desires that Laura had unleashed in him.
"I agree," Laura said breathlessly, clearly as flustered from his kisses as he was from hers.
"How about dinner out tonight, and maybe a bit of dancing, eh?" Remington asked brightly. Laura pondered his suggestion momentarily.
"Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a private celebration for two at home," Laura said, staring at him suggestively. Remington grinned.
"Excellent idea, Mrs. Steele," he returned. Laura returned his grin, and they met in another loving kiss.