Steele Dreaming

by Tanya Reed

Well, here it is...the last chapter...the end of this monster. For those who stuck through the whole thing, I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it conveyed what I tried to. This chapter, folks, is what it all meant.

Disclaimer: Remington Steele does not belong to me and never will. :(

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"Laura…Laura." The voice came to her from what seemed like far away.

She was being shaken. Someone was calling her from the darkness and the deep sadness she felt for the young woman she was quietly observing. Laura fought it. She wanted to know what was going to happen next.

The shaking and voice got more insistent. Slowly, Laura swam from the darkness towards the light.

Her eyes opened. She was staring into another pair of eyes. They were blue and slightly apologetic. They were his eyes. With a cry, Laura threw her arms around him and held him close. She began trembling as sobs started deep in her stomach and painful tears found their way down her cheeks.

Surprised, Remington held her. All of his residual anger, still lurking below the surface, quickly melted away. Concern rushed into the corners that the evaporated anger had occupied like a high tide in the Bay of Fundy. His heart softened and protectiveness grew. Someone had hurt his Laura. His Laura. He suddenly realized that that was all that mattered.

Gradually, Laura's sobs ceased. When they were under control, Remington pulled from her slightly. He studied her face, reaching up a hand to wipe the remainder of her tears away with a gentle finger.

"Are you all right?" he asked softly.

Laura looked at his face, studying every curve, every feature. There was love in that face. Love for her. Until that moment, Laura hadn't really let herself believe that his love for her was real and that he wouldn't be going away.

"I'm fine now." She smiled up at him, her face dimpling.

The hand that had caressed away tears seconds before now moved up and brushed dark hair from Laura's forehead.

"What happened?"

"What happened?" Laura opened up her mouth to tell him but stopped. A puzzled look came to her face. "I…I don't know. I think I was dreaming."

"About what?"

"I'm not sure…I think you were there." Laura's face lapsed into its thoughtful look. "I wish I could remember."

"Nightmares are best forgotten."

"I don't think it was a nightmare exactly…"

"Are you sure you're okay?" his face was still tinged with concern, and he was still holding her.

She broke away completely, saying, "It's the strangest feeling. It's like I've been through…something…an ordeal maybe, and it was important, something I should never forget."

"Laura, you said yourself it was only a dream."

"Yes, I suppose you're right." She suddenly realized that, despite the fact that on awakening she had burst into tears, she now felt better than she had for a long time. Everything that had been making her so sad and so confused was now gone. She was sure of herself, sure of him, sure of their love. It was a wonderful feeling, as if she had been set free.

Remington watched her for several seconds, seeing peace and happiness settle on her features. He remembered the way he felt when he had believed that someone had hurt her. At that moment, he had been willing to go out and fight the world. She was so precious to him, and he had not realized until this moment that it had been him who was hurting her. Him. He put his hand on her shoulder, about to apologize.

"I'm sorry," Laura said before Remington even had a chance to speak. "I didn't mean to say that I'd be better off without you. It's not true. I'm sorry I hurt you. I don't want to hurt you, not ever again."

She reached up and gently touched his face. A wistful smile came to hers, and he saw complete and total acceptance in her eyes. It was like an electric shock to his heart. Never, never, had anyone looked at him that way. Unconditional love-there it was, just in his reach. All he had to do was take it.

"Oh, Laura," he whispered without even thinking, "I love you."

She wrapped her arms around him and kissed his cheek saying, "I love you, too. Now was that so hard?"

He returned her hug, repeating, "I love you. I love you."

"I love you and you love me, and you know what I think?" she spoke very softly, with her lips next to his ear.

"What? What do you think, my Laura?"

"I think we're going to be together forever."

And they were.

END