Legacy of Steele

Malibu CA, May 2008

Remington Steele stood cooking breakfast and watching his wife talk on the telephone. She was pacing in front of the floor to ceiling picture window that separated their kitchen from the Malibu shoreline.

"Okay Honey," Laura said into the phone. "We'll see you in a few days… I love you, too." She smiled as she set the cordless phone back into its cradle on the marble countertop.

"Kate?" her husband asked.

Laura nodded. "She just wanted to make sure we're going to be there on time," she answered, pouring them each a cup of coffee. "And she's Kat now, remember?"

"Kat," he said, shaking his head. "Funny, I though we named her Katharine."

"We did. With an 'a' like Hepburn," Laura replied, smiling. "It's just a phase she's going through, don't worry. Can you believe she's graduating?" Laura was beaming with pride.

"No," was his succinct reply. He turned off the stove and cut an omelet in half, dividing it onto two plates.

"And coming to work with us at the agency?" Laura continued.

"Laura," Remington practically scolded, "We've talked about this. She's too young. She's barely nineteen."

"Sweetheart," she soothed. "She's been with us the past two summers, and she's and excellent criminologist. Besides, you didn't have a problem when Danny joined the agency. He was only eighteen, just started at USC."

"But that was different, Laura," he said as he carried the plates over to the table.

"Why --- because she's a girl?"

"No," he answered. "Because she's our daughter. Our only child."

"And she's brilliant. Rem, be reasonable."

"I was reasonable when she graduated high school early. I was reasonable when you sent her off to Stanford at sixteen…"

Tears brimmed Laura's eyes as she listened to her husband. He had become such a great father.

"…But Laura, it's bad enough that I've had to watch you put your life on the line for these last twenty five years. I'm not ready to put my little girl in that position." He turned to stare out at the Pacific. The view that he loved was one of the main reasons he and Laura bought the house. He remembered the day he first brought her to see it. It was in early summer 1988, they had just celebrated their second anniversary and the INS was no longer an issue.

Remington beamed as he held a blindfolded Laura's hand and led her into the empty room. He casually glanced over to be sure she wasn't peeking.

"Okay, open your eyes," he said. He kissed her as he removed the blindfold. Then biting his lower lip, he watched her take in their surroundings.

Laura opened her eyes to the most breathtaking view. They were in a house, specifically a great room with beautiful wood floors and a gorgeous stone fireplace. The room was lovely, but she couldn't take her eyes off the wall of windows. The entire back of the house was open to the Pacific Ocean through floor to ceiling picture windows. She wandered over to the gourmet kitchen, and ran her hand along the marble countertop. She looked up at her husband, who was still smiling from ear to ear.

"What is this place?" she asked.

"Our new home," he answered. "If you say "yes," that is."

"Oh," she said with a gleam in her eye. "You mean I actually get a say in the matter this time?"

Laura had long since forgiven his deception of letting her believe their marriage was fake, when all along it had been completely legal. However, there were times when she still liked to tease him about it.

Even though she loved him, and she knew that he loved her, a part of her had been afraid that it would all be over now that they had fulfilled the commitment required by the INS. So afraid in fact, that she had been putting off telling him their news. She knew she had to tell him soon, otherwise her body would betray her and he would see for himself. The fact that he wanted to buy a house pushed her fears to the back of her mind. The house seemed to be perfect, and a lovely place to raise their child.

"It has definite possibilities, Mr. Steele," she said, walking back to where he stood. "I think we should see the rest of the place."

He took her hand and led her through the house. It was two stories; or rather, three as there were two large rooms on the beach level. It had four bedrooms, four bathrooms, huge closets, and the price was right. She had to admit, it was perfect…as was the timing. They wandered back to the kitchen and stood together at the window, looking out over the ocean.

"I think we should take it, Rem," she said, wrapping her arms around his waist. She kissed him with all the love she felt for him, and practically held her breath before saying her next words. "I think it's the perfect place to raise our family." She stepped back, taking his hand in hers and placing it flat against her abdomen.

Remington's blue eyes grew wide as he looked into Laura's shimmering cinnamon ones. He felt tears well up, and swallowed the lump in his throat. His voice barely more than a whisper, he asked, "Are you… are we…"

Tears fell from Laura's eyes as she looked into the face of the man she loved so much. "Yes, Love," she said. "We're having a baby."

"When?" he asked."How?"

When she laughed, he responded, "Okay, I know HOW. When? How far along?"

"A couple of months," she answered. "You're going to be a Daddy in January."

He wanted to pinch himself. He was standing a beautiful home, holding the woman he loved more than life itself, and she was having his baby.

Laura walked over to him, and wrapping her arms around his waist, she laid her cheek against his back. "In all these years," she told him, "you've never let anything happen to me, and WE won't let anything happen to her. Besides, with degrees in both Forensic Science and Criminal Justice, she'll probably show US a thing or two."

The sun shone brightly in the California sky as Remington and Laura Steele sat with their family, watching the Stanford University Commencement, Class of 2008.

Remington was happy for the cover of sunlight, as he might be able to hide his tears behind his designer sunglasses. He smiled. Twenty years of living with Laura and Kate had turned him into a sentimental fool. No, he thought, smiling. He wasn't a fool, but he had been. That was a lifetime ago, before he met Laura Holt and attempted to fill the shoes of Remington Steele.

"…Thomas Aaron Spencer, Melissa Kay Springer, Joseph Kyle Stanton, Abigail Katharine Steele…"

The Steeles and their entourage were on their feet, cheering as Kate walked across the stage to receive her sheepskin. Remington didn't care who saw the tear of joy that slid down his cheek. That was his little girl up there. He had never known such pride. She was so much like her mother. Brilliant. Strong. Feisty. Independent. Beautiful. He knew she would be an amazing investigator, but the father in him was not ready for her to be all grown up.

Remington Steele stood quietly in the doorway. He was watching his little girl try to follow her mother as she practiced her dancing. Turning one of the lower level rooms into a dance studio for Laura had been one of his better ideas. It was a place where she could go to unwind, and she was enjoying sharing her passion for dance with their daughter. His heart swelled as he watched them, his beautiful girls. Kate looked so much like Laura with her shimmering brown eyes and freckles, he could not imagine a more precious sight.

"Daddy!" Kate squealed as she ran into her father's arms.

"How's my little princess today?" Remington asked, scooping the little girl up in his arms. "Did you and Mummy have fun?"

Kate nodded her head and looked across the room at her mother. "Mommy is teaching me my ballet."

Laura was leaning against her ballet bar. She loved watching Remington with their little girl. He was such a good father. Of course, at only three years old, Kate had Daddy wrapped around her little finger. Laura smiled, it served him right for all the years he'd had her wrapped around his.

Remington carried his daughter across the dance floor and embraced his wife in his other arm. Kate giggled as her parents kissed.

Laura Steele had not expected to cry, but she did. Her heart swelled with such joy as she watched her daughter graduate from her own alma mater. Kate had worked so hard, earning two degrees in three years. She wasn't sure where her daughter got such dedication. She watched her move across the stage. She really was beautiful --- tall and lithe, like her father. She was so much like him. She had that same perpetual twinkle in her eye, and they always seemed to have their heads together. So much so that Laura had occasionally felt like an outsider to their own private world. However, that didn't happen often. Laura was so happy that she had been the one to give Remington the family he had always longed for. She thought about her life leading up to this point. She had been through so much with the man who became Remington Steele, but this beautiful, ambitious young woman was by far their greatest accomplishment.

As the ceremony ended, the graduates poured out into the crowd to join their families and friends. Kate Steele ran directly into her father's arms. He lifted her off her feet and spun her around as he had done so many times before.

Laura watched Remington and their daughter. He was right; it was hard to believe she was all grown up.

Laura held her husband's handkerchief to her eye as he knelt down in front of their daughter.

"You're going to have a great deal of fun at school," Remington said, kissing Kate's forehead.

"I know, Daddy," the little girl said with a smile, as she tugged on her tiny backpack. "School is going to be great. I'll be fine," she said, sounding much more mature than her six years. "But you should look after Mommy. I think she's taking it pretty hard."

Laura laughed out loud at Kate's words. 'Wise beyond her years,' she thought. She was not ready for Kate to be starting school. Where had the time gone? She laughed again when she realized that even though she wasn't ready, her baby girl was. Kate had been excited about school ever since they had taken her to orientation and she had gotten to meet her teacher and some of her classmates.

Kate looked away from her parents to the young blonde woman standing in front of the school. "There's Miss Larsen," she said. "I have to go."

Laura leaned down to hug her little girl, "Are you sure you don't want Daddy and I to go in with you?"

"No Mommy," she answered, "I'm a big girl now."

With that, she turned and marched toward the school building. Remington wrapped his arms around Laura's shoulders and she leaned into his embrace.

"She's right, you know," he said softly.

Laura just looked at him, trying to hold back her tears.

"She's going to be fine," he said, kissing her temple.

She knew he was right, Kate was very smart and very capable, but she was also very stubborn. She liked to be in charge, in fact sometimes she insisted on it. Of course, those were some of the reasons they had chosen to send her to private school. Malibu Academy was a small school, even though they served children from first through twelfth grades. They had an excellent gifted education program and Kate would be among her peers who were as advanced as she. Everything was as it should be, but Laura couldn't help but feel that her baby was starting to slip away, as her world expanded, she wouldn't need her Mommy… at least not as much as she always had.

"Congratulations, Princess," Remington said, kissing Kate's cheek as he set her back down on the ground.

"We're so proud of you." Her mother pulled her into an embrace.

"Way to go, Kiddo!"

Kate's smile grew wide as she caught sight of the woman who had become a surrogate grandmother over the years.

"Aunt Mildred!" she exclaimed, stepping out of Laura's embrace and throwing her arms around the older woman. "I'm so glad you made it."

"Are you kidding?" Mildred Krebs replied. "Wild horses couldn't keep me away, Honey."

The Steeles were interrupted as a bespectacled academic rushed up to them. He reached out and vigorously shook Remington's hand.

"Mr. Steele," he said almost breathlessly. "Thank god you're here.""Of course, Dean Harrigan," Remington replied. "Where else would I be on my little girl's special day?"

Laura watched this exchange with interest. The dean seemed particularly harried, and she had a feeling that at the root of it was something more than commencement.

"Mr. Steele," the dean went on. "I need to speak with you… professionally."

"Oooohh, my first official case!" Kate smiled widely, rubbing her hands together.

Immediately, Laura took control of the situation. She turned to her daughter. "Honey, you go with Aunt Mildred and Aunt Frances. Uncle Donald and Danny have already gone to your dorm with the truck. You go and help them load up your things. Daddy and I will be along as soon as we've finished with Dean Harrigan."

As the three women left, after a slight protest from Kate, Laura noticed a thin veil of relief come over the dean's face.

"Thank you, Mrs. Steele," he said and then, looking around warily, he continued. "Walk with me."

Remington Steele took his wife's hand as they walked in silence, following the dean to his office. Once inside, Harrigan offered them each a chair. When they were all seated, the dean turned to Remington.

"I have two words for you, Mr. Steele," he said, and paused before continuing, "Royal Lavulite."

Laura and Remington exchanged looks.

"I've heard that you're somewhat of an expert on the subject," the dean went on.

"Yes," Remington answered. "Both Mrs. Steele and I have an extensive knowledge of the gems."

"What does this have to do with us?" Laura asked.

"You've heard of the Star of Karos?" the dean answered her question with one of his own.

"It's the largest piece of cut Lavulite in existence," Remington stated.

"Last I heard," Laura began, "it had been acquired by a private collector."

The dean nodded. "Marshall Wingate. He's an alumnus and agreed to allow us to display the stone for a fundraiser. As you know, the Annual Alumni Gala is next weekend."

"And you want us to provide security," Remington concluded.

"Not exactly, Mr. Steele," the dean corrected, letting out a long breath. "I want you to find it."

"You lost it?" Laura said without thinking.

"I believe it's been stolen," Harrigan answered. "Normally, we wouldn't even have been in possession of the Star so early, but Wingate had to leave the country. I arranged for top security, and no one knew the stone was on campus."

"No one?" Remington asked.

The dean shook his head. "I didn't even tell my staff."

"Obviously someone knew," Laura stated. "Where were you keeping it?"

"The Art Museum," Dean Harrigan answered. "Under lock and key. With the addition of armed security guards, it is … was the safest place on campus."

Laura's wheels were turning. "We'll need a list of anyone who had access to the museum. And we'll need to get in touch with Mr. Wingate."

"No!" the dean exclaimed.

"Dean Harrigan," Remington said to him, "we need to know if he told anyone the stone was here."

"He can't know it's missing," Harrigan lamented. "We really depend on his funding."

"We understand that, Dean," Laura tried to reassure him. "We'll be discreet."