Once Upon a Steele---A Reprise

copyright 1999 by Conner McBride

DISCLAIMER:  The characters in this story belong to
their respective owners at MTM and Shoot the Moon Productions.
I am merely utilizing the characters for my own enjoyment.
Also, the lyrics of the various songs used in this story
belong to their respective owners as well.  Please keep my
name and this disclaimer attached if you wish to pass this

NOTE:  I was not going to do a sequel to "Once Upon a Steele."
A friend read the story and somehow (translate--free tickets to
STAR WARS) managed to convince me the ending in "Once Upon a Steele"
was too open-ended and left too many questions...so here it is...any
comments and/or criticism are welcome.

A reprise...

"The tide goes out and the tide comes in, a whole new circle of life begins where tears are part of the pleasure and part of the pain... 'til they drift on down and ride to the sea again..." -Steve Wariner, "Two Teardrops"
/I yelled, she yelled louder and longer, so mad her eyes were blazing. And now she can't yell. Damn you Laura, I want you to be mad enough to yell and fight. God, how I want that!/ Bloodshot blue eyes focused on her chest, watering as her chest heaved slower and slower. Laura hadn't woken up in hours. It wouldn't be long now. Laura moaned in pain, so low it would have been impossible to hear had he not been so close. Remington squeezed her hand and brushed damp hair away from her face...
"Hold on to me when your world's turning cold and it feels like your life's spinning out of control You're hoping, praying, trying so hard to believe... Hold on to me when there's no middle ground and every emotion is coming unwound and you don't know if you can hold on to your dreams... Baby, you can hold on to me..." -John Michael Montgomery, "Hold On To Me"
Laura had been the strong one, the one who had felt like she had to carry the world on her shoulders. /Such small shoulders./ Remington Steele could not fathom the sadistic humor behind life's little ironies. /She's defied convention, pulled the biggest con on every con artist from here to Timbuktu and leukemia's killing her./ He wanted to beat his fists in rage against the gates of Heaven for some sort of divine explanation. Descoine, Keyes, Roselli, Immigration, Felicia---everything that had come between them and fucking leukemia, a disease of all things, stole her will to fight. Not his past, not her insecurity, but a fucking disease. She wasn't even angry anymore, accepting what came, demanding he do the same, and asking him to let her go. He couldn't do that. Remington couldn't fathom Laura not being vibrant and alive, laughing at life and dragging him along willingly for the wild ride.
"Oh oh, baby watch me go! I'm a happy girl, everybody knows that the sweetest thing that you'll ever see in the whole wide world is a happy girl..." -Martina McBride, "Happy Girl"
"Laura, fight for me one more time. I'm not so tough as you are. I need you, luv, Rose needs you. I NEED YOU!" Remington begged the center of his life for one sign, one simple acknowledgement that she was still on this world. She wouldn't leave him alone with Rose. She couldn't! He couldn't do it alone. Remington couldn't leave Rose without a mother. Rose...their little girl had been the one bright spot in Laura's illness for them both, able to pull Laura out of the occasional bouts of depression she would be plagued with when she felt Death too close or pain too near. Rose didn't understand what was happening, only that Mommy was very sick and not always able to take care of her or tell her stories. Rose was not in the room. Right now, she was sitting in Mildred's arms in the waiting room, along with Frances, who seemed unable to control her tears. Lee was there as well, brooding and angry. And Murphy and Berniece, her fellow collaborators in his "existance." The beeps of the heart moniter came with less frequency. It wouldn't be long. Laura's normally tanned skin held an unhealthy grey pallor and her lips had that odd bluish tinge that came with death. Remington's vision was blurred by his tears. Despite the tubes, despite the moniters and machinery surrounding her, he managed to cup Laura's small face in his hands. "I love you Laura." Four simple words were all he could manage. No great speeches, no platitudes, no fanfare. Laura Holt Steele went out of the world the way she had lived in it; without spectacle, quietly hidden, the small tower of strength behind a con-artist front man. Flatline. Remington didn't cry. He wasn't even angry. Nothing was there. He would cry later, when he was sure the tears would stop. He would feel anger later, when he was sure he wouldn't hurt himself or anyone else. Right now, he just wanted to stay frozen in time, his head on Laura's heart and his arms cradling her small body. She wasn't even eighty pounds.
"You'll never know how much I miss you. You won't see it in my face. You'll never know I'll never find another that can take your place. 'Cause I'll be smiling when I see you, no my tears won't ever show... Yeah, I might always love you, but you'll never know..." -Mindy McCready, "You'll Never Know"
The nurses came running in, gently prying her wasted body away from him, covering her face with the sheet. "We're sorry, Mr. Steele." Insipid condolences and all that. He barely acknowledged them. The room stank with death. He had to get out of there before he vomited. Laura wasn't in there anyway; only a wasted shell of a body which used to be his wife. Stumbling out into the waiting room, he somehow managed to focus. Everyone was staring at him. Rose was sleeping in Mildred's lap. "She's gone." He heard a strangled sob escape Lee's throat as the man got up and walked out of the room. Murphy held Berniece as she started sobbing, his own eyes glazed with a suspicious sheen. Mildred patted Frances' hand as her own tears fell silently onto Rose's dark hair. Rose didn't stir. Remington didn't care right now. He'd console and mourn later. Right now, he felt nothing. Without Laura, there was nothing to feel. He turned to stare blindly out the window. A light rain had begun to fall...
"Cause there's holes in the floor of heaven, and her tears are pouring down. That's how you know she's watching, wishing she could be here now... And sometimes when I'm lonely, I remember she can see... 'Cause there's holes in the floor of heaven and she's watching over you and me..." -Steve Wariner, "Holes in the Floor of Heaven"
"Wish you were here, wish you could see this place Wish you were near, I wish I could touch your face... The weather's nice, it's paradise, it's summer time all year... There's some folks we know, they say hello, I miss you so... Wish you were here..." -Mark Wills, "Wish You Were Here"

Once Upon a Steele

Email: gypsy@acadiacom.net