Crossed Roads
(Steele, Scarecrow and The Beast)
By Thomas Mc

Part 24 : Reunion

Dorothy West was still trying to make sense of it all. She sat on the plane looking at the hand-written note from Amanda that had brought her on this trip. It told her to come to New York with Phillip and Jamie to meet her sister. The note had also said that they were booked into an already paid for suite in a very exclusive hotel next to Central Park.

She looked over at Phillip and Jamie in the seats next to her. She had been watching the TV coverage of the big New York spy ring bust when the note had arrived by special courier accompanied by three 'first class' round trip plane tickets to New York. When she had called I.F.F. where Amanda worked, they had only told her that Amanda was in New York and refused to tell her any more.

~ o ~

Frances and Donald sat on the plane next to their children, Mindy and Danny, discussing the rather cryptic note from Laura that had accompanied the first class round trip tickets to this flight. It had invited them to a family reunion party in New York where they would meet Mother's long lost sister. It was actually pretty exciting and mysterious. Frances and Laura had always known that their mother was adopted but they had never expected to meet any one from her birth family.

According to the note they were booked into a hotel that faced Central Park and that their suite was already paid for by a friend. Frances was impressed. Anything that faced Central Park was extremely expensive. The children were just excited about the idea of a vacation and they were looking forward to the possibility of seeing Central Park.

~ o ~

As Dorothy walked down the concourse into the Terminal she spotted her daughter waiting for her. The boys spotted their mother and ran forward into hugs and kisses. Then their adolescent dignity reasserted itself and they backed off. Amanda stood up and greeted her mother.

Finally Dorothy asked. "So, what about this sister of mine that you found?"

Amanda smiled. "She's a wonderful person but I would rather wait until you see her and form your own opinion. I will tell you this, you will recognize her the minute you see her." There was a definite twinkle of humor in her eyes.

A man in a uniform picked up their bags and placed them in a large limousine. The boys were fascinated and Dorothy was impressed. All during the trip Dorothy kept trying to get Amanda to tell her about this sister that she said she had found. All Amanda would tell her was that they were supposed to be twins separated at birth. She wondered how similar and how different they were. When she was young she had met a pair of twin brothers that had been as different as night and day. One had been tall, slim, dark haired and very energetic. The other had been short, light brown hair, very muscular and very even tempered. Finally the limo stopped outside a very elegant hotel.

Amanda lead them through the grand entrance and they were greeted by a beautiful elegant woman. She held out her hand. "Hello Mrs. West. It is a pleasure to meet you." There was something very familiar about the woman.

Amanda introduced her. "Mother, this is Catherine Chandler. She is the one that found the records of you and your sister. She is also the one who arranged this little family get together."

"Well, I only helped where I could." Catherine gave her a self depreciating grin. "I'm sure you are anxious to meet your sister and the other members of your expanded family." She indicated a set of double doors close by.

As soon as her name had been mentioned, Dorothy had recognized Catherine from the various articles that she had read about her. She had been interested in Catherine since that time she had disappeared. The news coverage of that event had sparked her interest and she had loyally followed Catherine's career in the papers since then. To her it was like one of those Hallmark stories about rising above adversity. Now she was face to face with the object of that interest and found her to be as elegant and gracious as she had always pictured her.

"Right this way mother." Amanda broke into her reverie as she led her mother and her sons through the double doors into the little generic hotel meeting room.

As they passed through the doorway Dorothy spoke to her daughter. "Amanda, I don't know if I'm ready for this. I don't even know her. What if we don't connect? What if she doesn't like me?" She looked uncertainly down at the floor.

Amanda stopped and suddenly there was dead silence. Dorothy looked up and found herself looking into a mirror. Then her mirror image moved and the illusion was shattered. The two women gazed at each other in shock for several seconds. Phillip and Jamie were standing beside their grandmother with their mouths hanging open.

Amanda spoke up. "Mother, I would like you to meet your twin sister, Abigail Holt. Abby, this is my mother Dorothy West."

As they tentatively reached out Dorothy remarked emotionally. "All my life I have felt like there was a part of me missing, and now you're here."

Then there were tears and hugs and everyone babbling at once.

~ o ~

Frances, Donald and their children were exiting the concourse when they spotted Remington and Laura waving to them from the waiting area. After a round of greetings Remington took their claim checks and handed them to the porter.

While waiting, Frances asked Laura about her obvious injured state. "Laura what happened to you?"

"Mother got involved with a retired spy and found herself in the middle of a major spy ring case." We came out here to find out what happened and got embroiled in the same case." She looked down ruefully at her leg. "Mother and I both came out of it with similar souvenirs."

"Is she OK?" Frances asked concerned.

"She's just fine. She also has a new boyfriend." Laura replied with a smile. "And a new sister."

The porter returned with a cart loaded with their luggage. Remington and Laura led them out of the terminal where a limousine sat waiting for them. Mindy and Danny were both suitably impressed by the ride along with Frances and Donald. Frances tried to get Laura to tell her about the long lost sister but she refused to give any details.

They were even more impressed when they pulled up in front of the high class hotel where they were staying. Catherine met them in the lobby and was introduced. She then directed them to the small conference room off the lobby.

As they entered the room Frances spotted her mother as the children called out, "Grandmother," and ran up to her. She looked down at the children in surprise and delight.

Then from the other side of the room Abigail approached leaning on her new cane and called out, "I'm over here children." The two children did a double take, took a couple of seconds to recover from their shock then ran over to her.

Frances and Donald stood in shock looking back and forth between the two women. Laura chimed in at this point. "Frances, Donald, This is Dorothy West . . . Mother's identical twin sister." She turned to the mirror image. "Dorothy this is my older sister Frances Piper and her husband, Donald."

Donald recovered first and held out his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you Mrs. West. As you can guess, this is quite a surprise for us."

Frances reached out and took her hand. "That means you're my aunt Dorothy?"

Dorothy pulled her in for a hug. "That's right, Niece. And it's great to meet my sister's children." She looked down at the two stunned children. "And grandchildren."

At this point Lee and Amanda joined the group and were introduced. Frances and Amanda were each fascinated with their new cousin. Next, Paul approached in a wheelchair, which Father had insisted on him using for at least a week while his stitches healed, and was introduced to everyone. Soon diner was announced and a large table, that could seat everyone there, was set up. As soon as everyone was seated the staff began to serve the food. Apparently the menu was made up of favorites from both families. For the rest of the event Catherine remained in the background acting as hostess and event director.

The dinner turned into an orgy of discovery as the two families exchanged gossip and family histories. The injured condition of Paul, Remington, Laura, Amanda, Abigail and Lee were also brought up and discussed. The tales were edited for those not fully in the know and Vincent and his community were not mentioned at all. Laura mentioned that the reason Catherine Chandler was wearing a hat with a veil that covered half her face was because she had gotten a black eye, as well as a cracked rib, out of their little fracas. This brought out tales of her involvement. After about three hours things began to wind down and everyone headed for their rooms for the night. It had been an exciting and exhausting day. Catherine went to the check-in desk to make sure everything went smoothly.

When Dorothy got up to go Abigail asked her to stay for a while longer. They talked about their earliest childhood memories. Then Catherine came back in. She was no longer wearing her veiled hat and she locked the conference room door behind her. Abigail had spent a long time discussing the next development with Catherine, Vincent and Father. In the end, with Catherine's urging, Father had finally decided to allow it, all the while grumbling that Vincent would do whatever he wanted to do anyway.

Abigail got very serious as she took hold of Dorothy's hands. "There is one more new friend that I want you to meet. When Paul and I were about to pass out from loss of blood, he found us and saved us." She looked down for a moment then back up. "The first time I saw him, he scared the hell out of me. I'm still not really sure whether I passed out from fear or blood loss . . . or both. I really would like you to meet him but I wanted to prepare you. Although he can be very," She paused, "Very frightening looking, he is really very sweet and I have come to think of him as a very dear friend." There was another pause as she gazed into her sister's eyes. "Amanda, Lee, Laura, Catherine, Paul and I all owe our lives to him." She squeezed her twin sister's hand. "Because of his very unusual appearance it would be extremely dangerous for him if the world found out that he existed. So before you meet him I need your promise that you will never tell anyone about him." Abby glanced over at Catherine who gave her an encouraging nod. "Dorothy, will you promise me to keep his secret if I introduce him to you?"

Dorothy had not missed the glance over at Catherine. For a long moment she gazed into her sister's eyes noting the sincerity reflected there. Finally she answered. "Yes, Abby, I will keep yours and his secret. And please, call me Dotty . . . It seems to go so well with Abby." She smiled at her sister and squeezed her hands.

Abby nodded to Catherine who then went through a door located at the back of the room.

"Dotty," Abby continued, "you must understand that he is very sensitive about the way people react to him and as scary as he may appear, he is really very nice."

Catherine came back in leading a very large person by the hand. He was huge and covered from head to foot in a dark hooded cape. The deep hood prevented Dorothy from seeing his face. At first she thought he was wearing fur gloves, then she caught sight of very long sharp claws and glanced at her sister in surprise. Catherine and the figure approached to about ten feet and the figure reached up and pushed back his hood. Dorothy's breath caught in her throat as she got her first good look at Vincent. He was at once both very frightening and exceedingly magnificent in appearance, much like the lions he resembled. Both fear and awe were fighting it out for supremacy in her mind.

Abby gave her hands a squeeze then, letting go, stood up and went over to the creature. She took a hold of his other hand, apparently unconcerned about the claws. "Vincent, I would like to introduce you to my twin sister, Dorothy."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dorothy." He responded.

At the sound of his voice her insides turned to jelly and the awe won out. "Um . . . it's nice to meet you . . . Vincent." She stood up. As she cautiously approached, she noticed that Catherine had put her arm around his back and rested her head against his side as he had put his arm around her. It looked to her like there was more going on here than just friendship.

She realized from what Abby had said earlier that Amanda and Lee had already gotten to know him. After a few minutes to get used to his appearance and encouraged by the examples of Catherine and Abigail, she finally relaxed and began to get to know this fascinating creature / new friend.

The End

Characters :

Scarecrow and Mrs. King

Lee Stetson - Secret agent for an un-named agency (Codename - Scarecrow)
Amanda King - Suburban mother / agent (Secretly married to Lee for one and a half years)
Dorothy (Dotty) West - Amanda's mother
Francine Desmond - Seasoned agent and Billy's right hand person
Billy Melrose - Lee & Amanda's boss
Paul Cartwright - retired agent (AKA - John Abbot , Peter Blair , Joe Dawson / Codename – 'Cowardly' Lion)

Remington Steele

Remington Steele - ex-conman (real name unknown) discovered that Steele didn't exist and stepped into the role)
Laura Holt - Highly qualified private detective and creator of the Remington Steele Detective Agency (Married to Remington for two years)
Abigail (Abby) Holt - Laura's mother
Mildred Krebbs - Secretary / PI in training
Frances & Dr. Donald Piper - Laura's Sister & Brother-in-law

Beauty And The Beast

Catherine Chandler (The Beauty) - Assistant District Attorney of New York City (and wealthy socialite/heiress)
Vincent (The Beast) - Half man half lion (origin unknown) sometimes referred to as the Creature of Central Park
Jacob Wells (Father) - Medical doctor and leader of the tunnel community (raised Vincent from infant)
Joe Maxwell - District Attorney of New York City
Rita - Computer operator and friend of Catherine

"Beauty and the Beast" and its characters are owned by Witt-Thomas Productions and Republic Pictures. "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and its characters are owned by WB and STM. "Remington Steele" and its characters are owned by MTM Productions and the NBC Television Network.

No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is the property of the author and is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans. Original concepts and story elements may be used by other authors as long as appropriate credit is given.