AN ADDITION TO THE STEELE THAT WOULDN'T DIE
By: Phaedra Phelan
Summary: What happened after Remington and Laura closed their door that first night after their marriage on that fishing boat and before they took off for their 'honeymoon' in Mexico?
Disclaimer: This "Remington Steele" story is not for profit and is purely for entertainment purposes only. 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.
When the door closed behind the last of the guests after the marriage of Laura and Remington, Laura sank gratefully against it. She really felt quite ill at that point. It was as if suddenly every bit of strength had gone out of her. Her head was pounding; her period had started and she felt as if she truly could have murdered Remington Steele with her bare hands.
Remington sensed that this day had truly 'pushed the envelope' as far as Laura was concerned, and he earnestly wanted to make up for the stupid turn of events. It would have been so much simpler to just ask Laura to marry him in the first place. True, she would have said 'no' at first but now he realized that she would, on reflection, have acquiesced and all that tawdriness with Clarissa could have been avoided.
"Laura, I'm going to run that bath for you, and-and you can use my razor-or whatever. It will be a privilege for me to have you nick my blades."
Laura did not respond. She walked numbly to the bedroom and fell across the bed and started to cry.
"Dear Lord," Remington murmured. He went to the kitchen, found a bottle of Excedrin and brought it along with a glass of water to Laura, who accepted it without a word.
Remington took Laura's shoes off and then without a word began to remove her mud-soaked clothes, tossing each piece on the floor beside the bed. When he got down to her lingerie, Laura stopped him.
"I'm a mess." She got up and went toward the bathroom where she knew the bottom shelf of the linen closet was stocked with all of her personal needs. Remington had noted her own toilet on his occasions at her loft and kept everything there for her from her favorite cologne and deodorant to the brand of tampons she used.
"Do you want me to wash your hair for you? You're going to have a time getting all of that mud out of it."
"No, I think I need some time to myself, Remington." She saw the hurt in his face the minute the words were out of her mouth. It was the same reaction he always showed when she said those words. She was touched by his desire to help her and it seemed to pain him so when she closed him out this way. She realized that she would have to find another way to convey to him her need for private time.
Laura got into the hot steaming tub and just lay there for a very long time, trying to let her nerves settle, let the pain in her back and in her head ease, let her mind focus on where she and Remington Steele had landed themselves now, on this, the strangest Friday of her life. Finally she rinsed her hair under the shower, got out of the tub, donned the top of Remington's pajamas that he had put out for her, and wrapped herself in his turkish terry robe.
When Laura went back to the bedroom, Remington was sitting on the corner of the bed, himself totally wrung out by the events of the day.
The bed was turned back for her and she sought refuge there now.
"You can have the bedroom tonight. I dare say you do not want to bear the sight of me at this point. I'll sleep in the living room.
"Remy, my back is hurting so. That mud wrestling did not do me any good today-especially with everything else going on in my body. Please."
"Certainly, Laura. I'll give you my first class treatment." Remington brightened a bit and got a bottle of lotion scented with eucalyptus from the night table and proceeded to give Laura a very thorough massage, starting at her shoulders and proceeding down her back. Her naked skin was soft under his touch and Remington felt her tense muscles begin to relax under his skilled hands as he worked on her all the way down her shapely legs. He had ministered to her this way before on occasion and he was familiar with all the pressure points to relieve her menstrual distress as well as her migraine headaches. As he worked on her tiny feet, Remington marveled at the strength in this petite package that was now his wife.
Yes, he knew that Laura was his wife now. The phony papers, the forged blood tests were all irrelevant. When Keyes' appearance forced them to weigh anchor and pull out into international waters, everything changed. Juan, as the skipper, was fully empowered to join them in a marriage that was legal anywhere in the world.
Naturally Mildred, with her excellent knowledge of law realized it when she said, 'We're past the three mile limit. It's as legal as hell.' Remington smiled wryly. It was what he had wanted more than anything and he hoped that Laura, for all her protest to the contrary, wanted it as much as he did. He would have to make her glad that it had happened-however it had happened. He had never in his wildest dreams imagined that he would want so much to be married, want so much the regularity of married life, the domestication, the belonging to another person, the intimacy that comes from being with a woman whom you know so well that you know all the goings on of her body.
Remington drew the covers up over Laura now.
"Thank you, Remy," she sighed. He loved it when she called him that. Up until now, she only dropped to Remy when they were passionately involved.
"I hope you will call me that always, Laura. I love to hear you say it." He wanted to say 'I love you, Laura' so much at that moment but his past demons still held him fast on that score.
"Umm. . ." Laura was just about out of it but she heard him and reached for his hand. The degree of intimacy that she felt with Remington amazed her. He knew her so well-all about her-and she didn't mind. She wanted to tell him that she loved him, that that was why she broke up that marriage of convenience with Clarissa, that it had nothing to do with the agency. It had stopped having anything to do with the agency a long time before and she knew it. "You must be tired as well."
"I think that is fair to say, Laura. The stress of trying to keep you from knowing what was going on-wore me out completely this week. I'm going to get a shower now myself."
"Then, come-sleep in your bed. I'm through being angry."
Remington nodded and went into the bathroom to shower. The now familiar smell of Laura, her cologne, her hair, was in the bathroom and Remington just stood still, soaking it all in.
'Well, sport, you're all Laura's now,' he mused. 'But you've been all Laura's for a long time. If I had realized that in the first instance, that she would not refuse my proposal of marriage, it could have all been resolved so simply.'
Remington finished showering and got ready for bed. When he went back into the darkened bedroom, he lay down beside Laura and exhaustion overtook him while he was still trying to sort out the events of the day.
It was nearly three a.m. when he heard Laura moaning as she ran to the bathroom.
"I'm sick." She was already on her knees over the toilet when he got to her. Laura waved him away, but Remington ignored her. "Migraine. . ." she gasped.
She was gagging and retching and Remington just held her around her waist as she threw up everything that was in her from the day till there was nothing left and yet she was still gagging.
Remington wrung out a wash cloth in cold water and wiped her face. He'd only seen Laura like this a couple times-both with migraine attacks.
"Oh, God, I'm gonna have diarrhea too!"
"Here, here." Remington helped Laura up onto the toilet just in time as her bowels began to run like water.
Remington handed her the trash basket and she continued to gag into it.
"Oh, my God, I'm so sick," she gasped as Remington wiped her face with the cold cloth. "Go, please. . . this is awful."
"Sickness and health, darling. Having the a case of the flux occasionally is just a part of the human condition, I fear, but when Mother Nature double teams you like this, it can't be any fun at all."
The episode ran its course and Laura finally sat exhausted, drenched with perspiration and suddenly very cold.
"I think-it's passed."
"You're sure. I'm not squeamish, Laura. I will wipe your beautiful bottom if you need me to."
Laura shook her head and smiled weakly because she knew that he meant it.
"There's a prescription-in my purse-for Combid for the nausea."
Remington went to get the medicine from Laura's purse and then to get a fresh pajama top for her. His hands were shaking. It completely unnerved him to see Laura this sick. Migraine was the only thing that seemed to be able to lay her low, and he felt especially culpable in this instance.
When he came back to the bathroom, Laura was still sitting on the toilet seat, resting her head on the cold porcelain of the sink to try to relieve the pain in her head. When Remington came in, she started to try to get up and put things in the bathroom back in order.
"Leave that. Just leave it." Remington took off the sweat-drenched pajama top she was wearing and put the dry one on her, gave her the Combid, and then led her back to bed.
Laura looked up at him and loved him.
"You don't have to take care of me like this. After all, we're not really married."
"Laura, when I was a child, there was no one to take care of me. If I had a cold or upset stomach, I suffered through it alone. I remember being sick, hurling in the street in Brixton when I was twelve or thirteen and no one paid attention or thought about stopping to render me aid. The intimacy of a life shared with another person-on all levels-I want that. I need that. The times when I've been hurt since I've been Remington Steele-the two broken legs, the one broken leg, the broken ribs-everything that has happened to me-you were there at the hospital. You came to me, Laura. I will never forget that."
"You are awful when you're sick." Laura smiled wistfully.
"I've loved having you around when I've been ill and I don't ever plan to leave you unattended when you're not well."
The expression in Remington's blue eyes revealed something of him that Laura had seen only infrequently-the compassion and sadness and need of a man who had led a lonely life and never wanted to be lonely again.
"I wouldn't mind being really married to you." Laura's voice was just a whisper.
"Oh, Laura, I thought you to be better detective than that. We were married in international waters. Regardless of the fact that Juan sells fish for a living, he was acting at that time as captain of a vessel on the high seas. It's like Mildred said, love, 'It's as legal as hell.' And I'm very happy to be married to you, Mrs. Steele."
Remington kissed her forehead now. "Truth be told, I'll be heartbroken if you decide to divorce me in two years. I'm looking forward to a lifetime sharing a marriage bed with you."
Laura reached for Remington's hand and held it. "You've always been here for me when I've been sick or in danger. No man has ever been there for me like that-not my father-not Wilson-not anyone."
"I do what I can, Laura. My-my feelings for you-run very, very-deep." Remington wanted to declare his love at that moment, but he still just couldn't go further even though he felt that his chest would burst trying to hold back his love expressions. "Now I'm going to straighten up the bathroom and you are going to let that drug take effect."
Laura's eyes followed Remington as he left the room. She lay in bed reflecting on what Remington had said and tears, strange grateful tears welled up in her eyes and slipped down her cheeks.
Laura heard Remington straightening the bathroom and she hoped that she hadn't left things in too much of a mess. She knew that he meant what he said about taking care of her. He was always so gentle yet competent in these situations. She knew that she could fall asleep now, if only the pain in her head would lessen. She heard Remington come back to bed and reached out to him.
"Remington, hold me for a while, please. I hate that I'm feeling so rotten."
"It's all right, darling. Here, here." Remington drew her close, smoothing her hair, kissing her forehead and then just holding her as she lay quietly in his embrace till the drug finally took effect and she fell asleep.
Remington lay wide awake. The combination of strong, even dominant woman and soft sensitive child in Laura had always intrigued him, fascinated him. He had come to believe more than once that the soft, gentle girlish side of Laura was closer to the real Laura than the fiercely independent young woman who had earlier in the evening forbidden him to call her "the little woman." But whatever baggage came with Laura, Remington was ready to take it on. He knew that he loved her. There was no question of that.
When morning came, Laura awakened and sensed that she was alone in bed. Her headache had eased and the nausea of the previous night had passed. She got up and showered and was just finishing as she heard Remington coming back into the apartment. He had been to her loft and gotten fresh clothes for her.
"Oh, darling, I was hoping you would sleep till noon."
Remington was startlingly handsome making Laura quite self-conscious of her post-migraine pallor and swollen eyes as he kissed her 'good morning.'
"I know I look like a train hit me because I feel like a train lit me."
"But you're better?"
"Yes, I think it's over."
"Good, I'm going to make some tea and toast for you and we can plan what comes next."
"Our honeymoon. Remember what Estelle Becker said. Actually I look forward to it."
Just then the phone rang. It was Mildred.
"Boss, I just wanted to tell you and-and Mrs. Steele that I've got your honeymoon all arranged. It's my gift to the two of you-a week at a resort in Las Hadas, Mexico. Your flight leaves Monday morning at seven from LAX. I'll drop the tickets and itinerary off this afternoon."
"Why that sounds splendid, Mildred." I'll tell Laura all about it."
"Is she OK?"
"Well, she had a bad night with a terrible migraine, but I think she's on the mend." Remington smiled at Laura.
"Oh, you poor guy, you started out married life with the headache treatment."
"Well, I think I deserved it-after yesterday." Remington paused. "Thank you, . . .Mildred-for everything."
Remington hung up the phone.
Mildred has arranged the honeymoon for us in Las Hades, Mexico. I guess we should try to get organized for that."
"I wish we didn't have to go anywhere."
"You mean-a honeymoon at home?" Remington's eyes gleamed.
"Yes-just you and me."
"I should have liked that as well. . ."
". . .but we've got to present ourselves in such a way as to validate this marriage."
"Yes." Remington sighed and drew Laura close to him, hugging her. He paused and looked at Laura. "Of course, if those people at the INS ask us all those intimate questions they use to test married people, I think we'll score one hundred percent, eh?"
"I think so," Laura smiled up at Remington.
"I will tell them that my-wife, Laura, uses whatever face cream is on sale, but wears "Rive Gauche" perfume, washes her chestnut hair in herbal shampoo that makes it smell like the glen on a spring morning. She never wears nail lacquer. She loves clothes designed by Carole Little. She wears lacy teddies, or bikinis-only front closing bras, thank you-that she sleeps in long cotton nightgowns at least part of every night. She gets her period at the middle of every month, just like Big Ben right on time, and she uses tampons. She absolutely cannot cook but she loves great food. I love to watch her eat. She's a chocoholic, mostly reformed, and she loves cotton candy."
Laura flushed at Remington's declaration.
"And what will you tell the INS about me?" Remington asked.
"That my husband wears a special blend of sandalwood cologne made especially for him that drives me wild. He wears hand tailored Italian suits, shirts made to order in France, and silk underwear that he orders from Harrod's in London twice a year. He shaves with a wet razor-not electric. He has his nails manicured once a week. He sleeps mostly in pajama bottoms. He loves to cook-Duck a l'Orange is his specialty. He is kind, gentle and very passionate. He sleeps on his back and does not snore and-I sleep on his chest. . ."
". . . with her lovely scented chestnut hair all over me and her legs tangled in mine so that I don't know where I begin and she ends. . ."
"I can't remember how my life was before I met him and now I don't know where my life ends and his begins. . ."
"Oh, Lord, Laura. . ." Remington held her hands to his lips and kissed them both. "Why did we wait so long to do this?"
Laura just shook her head, unable to speak as Remington Steele took her into his arms and held her to his own wildly throbbing heart.