- "Born to Steele"
Epilogue to "Steeling a New Life"
with Thekla Kurth
Remington followed Laura down the theater aisle until she stopped at a row about halfway to the front.
"Are these seats all right?" she asked.
"Yes, they're fine," he assured her, helping her sit down. "But I still
don't think coming here to a matinee was such a good idea."
He had been arguing the point--and getting nowhere--ever since Laura
had suggested a movie. But she was restless and bored sitting around
the condo. She felt she'd go crazy if she didn't get out of there for a
couple of hours. The office was off limits to her, thanks to her
husband and Mildred. But she had known he couldn't say no to a movie.
"What about those pains you had in the car?" he asked, concerned, as he
sat down beside her. "Have you had any since we came inside?"
"I told you; it's only indigestion," she assured him.
He dryly added, "Probably from the pineapple pizza you had at 10 o'clock last night. The whole pizza. Really, Laura," he tsked.
"I'm eating for two," she said, shrugging it off.
"Two or six?"
"Before the movie begins, why don't you get something from the snack
bar?" she suggested, ignoring his remark. "A large popcorn, a large
soda, and a chocolate bar. And get something for yourself, too," she
added, patting his chest.
Remington just shook his head, half amazed and half bemused. He rose and went back up the aisle to the lobby.
Laura settled back into the seat to await her husband and her snack. It
was only seconds later that she felt the tightness in her abdomen
again. The discomfort had begun in her tower back late last night, but
it had passed and she'd written it off as overwork from rearranging the
nursery for the umpteenth time. On the ride to the theater, she'd had a
few pangs in her abdomen. Surely it was just indigestion, she
rationalized as she shifted around to a more comfortable position. She
wasn't as concerned about the pain as her husband obviously was. After
all, it was too soon for the baby. She still had three weeks to go
before her due date. At the very worst, it was probably false labor and
she refused to be one of those women who raced to the emergency room at
the slightest twinge.
- The pain passed a few seconds later.
She smoothed her hands over her tent-sized denim jumper. She felt like
a balloon in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
She had two more bouts of indigestion before Remington returned, frantically juggling the food.
"I hope you won't be in need of anymore sustenance,'' he said. "l just
used my last cent. I'll be forced to run outside and break open a
parking meter if you want another candy bar."
She kicked his ankle, then said, "I think I have a few dollars in my purse."
After munching on a handful of popcorn, she added, "Besides, this theater takes credit cards."
The movie began.
Less than halfway into the film, Remington noticed that Laura had
barely touched her popcorn and soda and had not even opened her candy.
This was unlike her. The movie was forgotten as he began to watch his
wife more closely. Her face was slightly pale and clammy, her forehead
was beaded with perspiration, and she had one hand resting on her
Remington didn't like the way she looked. Something was definitely
going on. He gently touched her arm. "Laura," he whispered," are you
Before she could answer, she dropped her popcorn and pressed her other
hand to her abdomen, biting her lip to suppress a groan. Remington
moved to help her up, but she grabbed his hand and clutched it until he
She whispered raggedly, finally admitting, "I don't think it's indigestion after all."
He quickly helped her to her feet and with one arm about her for
support, ushered her up the aisle. He wanted to say "I told you so,"
and chastise her for insisting they come here instead of going straight
to the hospital when she felt the first pain, but it wasn't the time.
He needed a clear head to think; he needed to be calm for Laura.
Speed and time were of the essence, so he headed for a pay phone in the
lobby to call for an ambulance. Helping Laura lean against the wall, he
frantically searched his pockets for change. Then he remembered he'd
used it all at the snack counter.
"Laura, you said you had some cash in your purse..."
She handed it to him without a word.
He opened her wallet and found two $5 bills. "You don't have a
quarter?" he groaned. Then he had an idea. "Wait here while I get this
changed at the candy counter."
He bolted over to the counter, where the clerk was busy flirting with an usherette.
- "I need some change," Remington said breathlessly.
The clerk didn't even took up at him. "You going to buy something?"
- "No, I just need change for the phone."
- "Sorry. I can't give out change without a purchase."
"Oh?" Remington reached over the counter and grabbed the clerk's shirt.
"My wife is in labor. Give me a quarter and you can keep the bloody
The usherette looked from Remington to Laura and then back at the
clerk. Frowning, as though feeling forewarned at the sight of an
obviously uncomfortable pregnant woman, she patted the clerk's hand and
headed back into the theater.
The clerk took the five, reached into his pocket and pulled out a
quarter. Remington snatched it from him and raced back to Laura.
"I heard that. If you'd carry cash, this wouldn't be happening," she moaned, turning an even lighter shade of pale.
When she started sliding down the wall, Remington grabbed her just in
time, never losing a beat. "That's a worn out subject, Laura," he
They were surprised when the clerk dragged a padded bench over to them.
At their startled nooks, he shrugged and returned to guard his popcorn.
Laura ignored the layers of dried cola on it and sat down.
Remington squeezed her arm in reassurance and returned to the phone. He
had already dropped in the quarter when he noticed the cord to the
receiver was pulled away from the base. The machine refused to return
"The phone's out of order," he said as much to himself as to Laura.
"The limo..." Laura groaned. "It's out front ..."
"I'm not driving you all the way to the hospital," Remington declared.
"What if you start having the baby? I'm calling an ambulance."
"The limo phone!"
"Of course! How stupid can we be?"
"Speak for yourself, buster!" Laura said sharply.
He started toward the door, but stopped when heard Laura yelling, "Don't leave me!"
Remington ran back and pulled her to her feet, but then thought better
of it and picked her up. It would be better if he just carried her to
"Anything I can do?" the clerk asked.
"Yeah. Fix your phone," Remington snapped, using his back to open the door.
"Hang on, Laura," he pleaded. "I don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies."
"I knew you'd say that sooner or later!" she said, breathing deeply.
The rest of the day's events went by so quickly that, when everything
was done, even Laura and Remington weren't sure what had happened. The
ambulance delivered Laura safely to the hospital, and Remington was
certain he had never been through a more terrifying, nerve-shaking,
exhilarating ordeal in his life.
But he was sure of one thing: he had never known a more wonderful
moment than watching Laura hold their infant son in those first few
seconds after his birth.
Remington sat on the side of Laura's hospital bed and held her hand as
she slept. Her finger still looked naked to him without her wedding
rings, but she had been forced to stop wearing them several weeks
earlier. She hated taking them off, but the swelling in her fingers
left her no choice.
He glanced at his own wedding band as he continued to tightly hold
Laura's hand. It still seemed like yesterday when they had exchanged
wedding rings and repeated their vows in front of Laura's immediate
family. They couldn't help laughing when they realized they had both
chosen ring containing Royal Lavulite.
But it wasn't until they were alone that evening that they discovered
the true treasures of their rings. Their special worth lay not in the
Lavulite itself, but in the inscriptions. Both had searched for and
found exactly the right words to express their feelings. The
inscription in Laura's ring said "I'll be loving you always," while Remington's said "Who needs to dream? You're my dream come true."
Remington's s eyes filled with tears as he relived the night they'd
first read those inscriptions. He caressed Laura's ring finger and
brought it to his lips for a kiss.
The motion awakened Laura. She gave him a weak smile when she saw his
beaming face. When she noticed he was holding her left hand, she
said, "I should be able to start wearing my rings again soon."
Remington just smiled. "Brendan won't care whether you're wearing them or not."
Laura laughed. "You're already calling him Brendan."
"Well, it *is* his name."
"I know, but Frances called each of her children 'The Baby' until
they were several years old. It almost sounds funny to hear you call
such a tiny baby by a real name."
Remington once again kissed Laura's hand. "I just want to make sure
that our son knows his name," he explained, lovingly gazing into her
Laura smiled in understanding. She knew exactly how important it was to
Remington that their son had a name. She recalled the special poem she
had found in a calligraphy shop during her fourth month of pregnancy.
She had bought it for Remington and he had proudly displayed it in the
nursery. She smiled, thinking of Brendan soon sleeping in that lovingly
Her thoughts then returned to the present and she asked, "Did you get some change so you could call everyone?"
"All taken care of," he assured her. "Mildred thought it only fitting
that Remington Steele's son was almost born in a movie theater. Your
mother said she might have known you'd be too patient to wait the full
nine months. And Donald congratulated me on finally finding the correct
"What freeway exit?" Laura sleepily asked.
"Maybe someday I'll tell you about it," Remington vaguely promised. He
smiled, squeezing Laura's hand. "But for now, I think you need to get
some sleep. You know Mildred and Frances--they'll be knocking down your
door just as soon as visiting hours start."
Laura mumbled something in agreement and closed her eyes. Remington
thought for a moment she was already asleep, but then her eyes
fluttered open. "We did good, didn't we?" she half whispered.
"Indeed, Mrs. Steele," Remington assured her with a kiss. "Indeed."
Remington noticed the bright Christmas decorations that adorned the
nurses' station as he made his way to the nursery for yet another took
at his son. What a difference a year could make, he mused. Last
Christmas he and Laura had been held hostage by a trio of crazed
Santas. And now here he was one Christmas later, a happily married man
with a new son. With any luck, he would be able to taken Laura and
Brendan home for Christmas. He couldn't imagine a better Christmas gift
He finally arrived at the nursery window. His son was sleeping soundly
in his crib, even though the nursery was filled with a dozen infants
seemingly auditioning for a Christmas cantata. Remington marveled anew
at how tiny, yet perfectly formed, his son was.
He felt he would burst with pride. Stopping a passing nurse, he proudly proclaimed, "That's my son. Brendan Daniel Steele."
The nurse smiled as he pointed out the baby and said, "I know, Mr.
Steele. He's darling." She walked on, thinking that all new fathers
were alike, famous investigators or not.
Brendan Daniel Steele continued to sleep, oblivious to the fact that he
was beginning a new and wonderful life. He wouldn't have to live on the
streets and wonder where his next meal would come from. He wouldn't
have to sleep under a box in an alley and stuff newspapers inside his
ragged clothes to keep warm. He wouldn't have to wonder what it felt
like to be wanted and loved. And he wouldn't have to wonder who his
parents were or what his name was.
Remington remembered the night Laura had surprised him with the poem by
Edgar Albert Guest. The poem itself was beautiful, but what really
touched Remington was the significance of Laura's gift. It meant she
had truly accepted him as Remington Steele and that she understood the
importance of his proudly passing that name on to their children.
Remington unconsciously repeated the verses of to himself:
You got it from your father;
It was all he had to give.
So it's yours to use and cherish
For as long as you live.
If you lose the watch he gave you,
It can always be replaced,
But a black mark on your name, Son,
Can never be erased.
It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear;
When he got it from his father,
There was no dishonor there.
So make sure you guard it wisely;
After all is said and done,
You'll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your son.
He was brought back to the present as his tiny, dark-haired son yawned
and slowly opened his eyes. Remington tapped on the window and waggled
his fingers in Brendan's direction. Brendan gazed at his smiling father
and fell back into a contented sleep.
Written Summer, 1988
Poem "Your Name" written by Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
Disclaimer: The characters of
Steele are used without
- This story copyrighted
1988 by Debra Talley. It is purely for entertainment