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I agree with the above posts that there is A LOT of storyline potential for Steve and Kayla given they have anywhere from 14-16 basically unexplained years to work with (and supposedly much of Steve's time was with the Dimeras). And they both have numerous ties through family and friendships. Geez, Kayla is Chief of Staff and Steve is a P.I. There is material even with that. As for their popularity with fans, I frequent a lot of different boards and I think that they are generally well received and the "newer" viewers feel as connected to them as they would any other characters brought on in the last few years and they stilll maintain a lot of support from longer time viewers who saw their first run.

What I loved about SN and MBE's interview is how they both stress how much effort and thought much they put into portraying their characters and how they want to deliver for the audience. MB: Stephen and I love working together, and we love this show. We will work our scenes and try to find the rhythm, and make something up out of nothing much. I am just saying anything they give us, even simple things. We want to work and deliver the best to our audience, and to Patch and Kayla fans. I love that they really love and care about their characters. While Dena thought no discussion or follow up was necessary after Kayla found Steve in bed with Ava, SN and MBE both lobbied hard to get some type of resolution or discussion - MBE specifically said in a soap mag interview that some explanation or reaction from Kayla was owed to the fans. Not so that things could be all sunshine and roses because I am sure they would have loved some angst and conflict between S&K as they dealt with the whole Ava situation, Pop's death, Joe's early birth, etc.

And luckily their commitment to their characters is backed by real talent. IMO, Stephen Nichols has some of the best range of any actor on the show - he can make you laugh at Steve's humor in one scene and then in the next bring on the deep angst and pain unlike many male actors can do. I find MBE to have a naturalness about her that really draws me into her scenes - and she can totally go toe to toe with SN in portraying the deep emotional stuff.

And this is not necessarily related to SN and MBE's viability on Days, but I have to say that they really have that same commitment to their fans. Just in the last couple of years since they have come back to Days, they have done at least 4 four Steve and Kayla specific big fan events as well as regularly showing up at the general Days events. When fans communicate about aspects of S&K history, they really do try to incorporate those things in. For example, SN knew how a lot of fans were disappointed about the lack of fallout from the Ava storyline so as soon as they taped their hard-fought-for scenes, he let the fans know that something would be coming. Or they knew that a number (but not all) of S&K fans had faithfully been on the "Baby Boy Johnson" bandwagon since their return so when baby Joe was born, Stephen made sure to call him "Baby Boy Johnson" in one initial scene as a shout out to those fans. Yellow Roses was probably the most symbolic thing in S&K's relationship in the first run and Steve used to surprise Kayla with them all of the time - for a long time fans had been reminding SN that Steve had not given any yellow roses to Kayla so when they had the "Kayla ovulating" scenes earlier this year and Steve was supposed to give her roses, SN told the prop department to make sure they were yellow roses and lots of them. I completely acknowledge that these examples do not have any real impact on the show, but I think they demonstrate small ways in which SN and MBE do try to connect with their fans.

So sorry this was a bit of a gushing post but I am not feeling very happy with where I sense TPTB may be going with S&K and I just wanted to express some love. Finally, gotta admire Fairman's great taste with this quote about S&K and SN & MBE because ITA.

As Patch and Kayla perhaps no super couple on “DAYS” history has ever packed the emotional wallop of these two characters road to love. Their portrayers stick together through thick and then to give the audience what they want to see.
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