I was inspired recently by my good friend esp13 to make a list of my favorite Steve and Kayla scenes. I decided that instead of doing a hierarchical top ten, I would try to include a cross section of all the things I love about this couple. These are all from their first run, between their first meeting and their first wedding. Not that there weren’t good scenes later, I just haven’t watched the later stuff recently enough to be able to remember. Here they are, in chronological order:
Rip Your Heart Out: Kayla thinks Steve killed Britta
The scene: Steve comes to Kayla for help when the police want to arrest him for Britta’s murder. Kayla, having heard Steve threaten Britta earlier that day (plus a lot of other circumstantial evidence), thinks he’s guilty and is afraid of him.
The scene that truly rips my heart out the most is the scene when Steve finally makes the breakup to Kayla stick after his testimony at the Ed Daniels trial. However, since I’m talking about my favorite scenes, I decided not to include that one because I can hardly bear to watch it.
My heart just breaks for Steve here, because it doesn’t occur to him that Kayla will think he’s guilty. And when he realizes his mistake, it’s another nail in the coffin of his horrible night, maybe the worst one. He thought she saw him as a person and not just a “Patch,” and when that’s not true, well, it kills him. His reaction, though, is to act scarier than ever. I just love the way SN says the line, “But I’m a murderer, and I killed somebody that I once loved.” There’s so much menace there, and he’s almost smiling, and yet behind it we can hear his hopelessness.
But this is also a very fine Kayla Brady moment. Because here she is, alone with a possible murderer and he’s grabbing her and acting threatening, and she answers his questions honestly and even says “I think it’s terrible that they call you Patch, and I just won’t do it.” The other part I love is when he says, “But I’m all bad, right?” and she says, “No,” immediately, and then hesitates before saying she’s seen him care about Max. That hesitation is perfect. Max is the safest example.
Steve in the mirror: “You’re good looking.”
The scene: In Stockholm, Steve and Kayla are getting ready to go out. Steve is ridiculously flattered and pleased when Kayla tells him he looks nice. When Kayla heads to the bathroom to change, Steve goes to the mirror. He tells his reflection, “You’re good looking, yes you are.” He hits the mirror and sneers, “Just keep telling yourself that.”
There were a lot of these “Steve looks in the mirror” moments on the show, and they were usually exercises in self-loathing. But here he’s trying to see what Kayla sees, and buck up his confidence at the same time. He’s still sneering at himself but he’s too happy to be as full of self-loathing as usual.
Vulnerable Steve: “What do you see in me?”
The scene: In Stockholm after all the adventures are over, Steve and Kayla are contemplating starting something. They play “ask me anything” over breakfast, and after a few warm-up questions, Steve asks what he’s been dying to know: “What do you see in me?”
Here Steve is not only vulnerable, but shy. He doesn’t respond to Kayla’s sexually suggestive question (What’s your favorite fantasy?) and instead goes for this one. He’s always accusing Kayla of having not seeing who he really is. But here we can see the buried hope that there really is something she can see, that no one else has been able to.
Needy Kayla: first kiss
The scene: Steve and Kayla get into a fight about some emeralds Steve smuggled back from Stockholm but that ended up in Kayla’s hands. Steve yells at her and throws her out, but she comes back later with the emeralds, very, very upset. “It doesn’t matter what I want,” she says, almost crying, “I just can’t stay away from you. So you tell me what I’m supposed to do, Steve.” Steve is affected by her obvious pain and need for him, and it’s what makes him kiss her for the first time.
I love this scene because it’s the first time Kayla’s need for Steve really comes through, so he can see it. She’s always been the strong and reasonable one, and he’s the one who’s a mess of conflicting emotions. But here he sees her vulnerability and pain. Being Steve, though, he can’t respond verbally, so he kisses her instead.
I also love the fact that Kayla asks to stay the night afterwards, and how shocked Mr. Sleaze is at that.
Kayla the Pursuer: Caroline sees Steve in a towel.
The scene: The night after Marlena’s death, Steve stays the night to comfort Kayla and protect her from Orpheus. The next morning, he comes out of the shower and gives Caroline a shock. Caroline lectures Kayla as Steve eavesdrops. Kayla defends her right to have Steve spend the night, but Steve runs away again after Caroline leaves.
One of my favorite things about Kayla is how after their first kiss she took the lead in their sexual relationship. She was never coy about wanting to sleep with him, and in fact most of the time was endearingly transparent about it. When Steve comes down the stairs in his towel when her mother is there, Kayla looks amused rather than embarrassed.
Anyone having any doubts about how strong Kayla is need only look at this scene. Forget facing down Orpheus or Harper Deveraux. If your mother found a sexy, dangerous-looking, half-naked man wandering around at your apartment, would you be able to say, “Nothing happened, but if you want to know the truth I wish it had”?
Kayla’s frustration at Steve leaving again makes her say, “I’ll tell you what I want,” and grab him and kiss him. He still leaves, but go Kayla.
Runners-up: Kayla drinking a beer with an egg in it, and showing up at the Cheatin Heat to play pool. The combination of boldness and nervousness is adorable. And Steve is completely disarmed to be chased in this way.
Happy: Steve helps out at the Emergency Center
The scene: on a busy day at the Emergency Center, Kayla’s volunteer calls in sick. Steve helps out, answering the phone, handling the patients, even leading them in a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” when they get restless. Afterwards he and Kayla kick back and chat.
These happy, inconsequential scenes are so important for letting us see that these two might actually have something to talk about if they ever got together. It’s nice to see Steve just relax and enjoy her company, and to see Kayla light up in his presence.
Needy Steve: he comes to Kayla after seeing Jo
The scene: After seeing, for the first time in twenty-plus years, the mother who gave him up when he was five, and thinking she might die, Steve goes to see Kayla and says, “I just need you right now.”
Does anything more need to be said? Sigh.
Breakthrough scene: “Shore leave” hookup
The scene: When Steve tries to break up with Kayla for poor sick Jack, she slaps him and challenges him to say he doesn’t want her or need her. He can’t do it, and they end up having sex instead.
Honestly, a lot of my favorite scenes are these “breakthrough” ones where Steve ends up giving in to Kayla when he’s determined not to. This one, however, is the angstiest of the bunch. This is as close as Steve and Kayla get to having angsty, angry sex.
The only thing wrong with this scene is the horrible dress Kayla is wearing.
Jealous Steve: “I just wonder if you’re satisfied.”
The scene: Kayla has recently married Jack after Steve pushed her away, and Steve and Jack are working together on a housing project. Here Steve asks Kayla how married life is, and specifically if she’s “satisfied.” Kayla tells him coolly that she’s perfectly satisfied with the way things are.
I had to include a Jealous!Steve moment, and this is my favorite. Steve’s sexual jealousy of Jack, after he pushed Jack and Kayla together, is poetic justice at its best. It’s obvious he’s been torturing himself with visions of Kayla and Jack in bed together. I love how Steve is so uncomfortable, but he can’t stop himself from asking.
What he doesn’t know, of course, is that Jack and Kayla aren’t sleeping together, and Kayla has zero interest in doing so. But Kayla, angry with Steve for pushing her away to begin with, senses Steve’s jealousy rubs his face in it. Without actually telling a lie, she implies that sleeping with Jack is going just fine.
Honorable mention: UST moment: right before this scene is one of my favorite UST moments, when Steve and Kayla have a conversational fencing match about whether they can stand to be around each other while Jack and Steve work together. As Kayla leaves, she trips and Steve catches her. In that small contact is about a thousand times more sexual energy than Kayla’s entire marriage to Jack.
Random scene I love: morning after with Jack, after being stranded in the cabin
The scene: Steve and Kayla have stayed out all night after their car was forced off the road, a night spent arguing and longing for each other. They come back to the Deveraux mansion together. Kayla is pissed she couldn’t get Steve to cave and make a move on her, so she gives Jack a long kiss as Steve looks on. Then Steve tries to lie about their accommodations (saying they found a motel and stayed in separate rooms), but Kayla tells Jack the truth.
I always love Jealous Steve, so that’s part of why I love this scene. But I also love how vengeful Kayla is. In addition to kissing Jack, her repudiating Steve’s lie is a very interesting moment. A shared lie would unite them, and Kayla is in no mood to foster further intimacy with Steve. When she tells Jack the truth and he believes her, it implies a trusting, exclusive marital relationship in which Steve has no part.
And there’s a wonderful follow-up to this scene too, when Steve talks to Jo about what happened. Jo tells him he did the right thing by holding back, and Steve says—in voiceover as the camera cuts to Kayla sitting with Jack—“Maybe. I just don’t know how much longer I can do it.” That always gives me the shivers.
Love scene: New Year’s Eve Hayride
The scene: Also during the Jack triangle, when things have come full circle and Steve and Kayla are having an affair, Kayla sneaks away from the Deveraux New Year’s Eve party to make out with Steve outside in the cold.
All right, this isn’t really a love scene. No clothing is removed. But I love this scene so much. First of all, I just love that Steve and Kayla have an affair. Especially Steve, whose instinct for self-sacrifice is so overdeveloped. It’s an indication of how much in love and in lust with each other they are, the stupid chances they take. Here is a perfect example. They are right outside the house where her husband is hosting a party, at midnight on New Year’s Eve when there is maximum chance that she will be missed. But they can’t stop. I love the way Kayla unzips Steve’s jacket like she’s stripping all his clothes off. I love Steve breaking off from kissing her and saying, “We need to stop meeting like this, because if Billy saw this it would really kill him,” and then just diving back in for more.
And a few others:
Favorite storyline: Jack triangle. Close second: Stockholm and aftermath. Close third: Britta triangle and murder
Mini-storyline: Smuggling the emeralds
Eyesnogging: At the EC, after Steve’s concussion
Unkindest timely interruption: the hot springs
Almost kiss: At Helga’s boardinghouse
“Hash it out” scene: After the failed date, when Kayla tells him she will give her heart to whoever she wants.
Fight: Emeralds fight. Close second, fight over Adrienne’s rape. Close third: fight after their rescue from the lab explosion.
Strong Kayla: When she tells Steve she’s not fragile
Moment with no words: When Steve sees Kayla flinch at Jack’s touch
Private undercurrents during an ensemble scene: When Kayla thinks she might be pregnant, and Steve knows it. She’s trying to avoid being examined by Harper Deveraux’s physician, and Steve is trying to subtly help her.
Steve refuses to explain: When he won’t let on that he’s been stabbed over the emeralds
Date: Playing pool for kisses
Snarky banter: When they bicker while handcuffed together, held captive by the fake cops
Straight-up romance: When Kayla finds the ring at the safehouse
More happy scenes I love: Too many to list, but I love the scenes at the safehouse when Kayla meets Marcus, and I love when Steve asks Kayla to go with him to Salem centennial. She tells him “You always look good to me,” and he says, “You sure you can see out of both of yours?”