Not Quite Falling

Title: Not Quite Falling
Author: DebC
E-mail: debchilson@yahoo.com
Rating: PG
Keywords: Miranda
Spoilers: Phoenix, Ties That Bind
Disclaimers: Mysterious Ways and it's characters are the property of NBC, PAX, and Lions Gate. This fanfic was written solely for fun and I am not profiting from it in anyway.
Summary: Miranda does something just for fun

"Not Quite Falling"

Miranda Fiegelstein sat in the chair behind Declan's desk, her face hidden behind a laptop computer while she caught up on her e-mail. A knock on the office door startled her, and she snapped the laptop shut as she called out "Come in."

The tall figure of Roger Ballard, the fireman she and Declan had investigated last week, appeared in the doorway and the door opened. Roger didn't say anything at first, just stood there eyeing her, so Miranda took the cue and eyed him back. He's cute, she thought, and her mind immediately reversed to the conversation she and Declan had over the telephone the previous week.

Is he single? She asked.

Declan sort of laughed. "I'll put in a good word for you if you do me a favor," he replied, leading into the real reason he'd called.

"Hi," she said in her best dead pan, trying to smother the smile that the memory had evoked. She now wondered if Declan had really put in that good word.

"Hi, umm..." the firefighter looked around the naturally cluttered office. "Is this Professor Dunn's office? Declan Dunn?"

"Yeah," Miranda replied. "He's... not here." She told him. *He's not here*? She thought sarcastically. Boy, that sounds so smart. "He's in a class." She added, smiling at him.

"Oh," Roger studied her. "You're Miranda, right?" he asked.

"Yeah."

"I, umm," he was smiling back now, a shy kind of smile you wouldn't normally expect from a rugged-looking man like him. "I just stopped by to thank Declan--and you--for finding my brother the way you did. It means a lot to me."

"You're... welcome to wait," she suggested and was both pleased and set on edge when he stepped inside the office and took a seat on the couch.

"Thanks," he said to Miranda and she gave him a "for what" look in return. "For letting wait... and for what you did for me."

"I only tagged along," Miranda told him, which was really all she'd done in Phoenix, after all. She hadn't done anything special there, except keep Declan company.

"Oh..." Roger was quiet for a minute and then said "I've been wondering... why *did* Declan go to Phoenix in the first place? I mean... why'd he take such in interest in what was happening like that?

"Declan's always had an interest in weird stuff," Miranda explained. "It's his hobby."

Roger nodded, accepting that explanation. "And you help him all the time?"

Miranda nodded. She was feeling more comfortable around the firefighter.

"Do you believe in it?" he asked, throwing her off guard. "Do you believe in the weird stuff he investigates?"

Miranda thought about what to say. "It fascinates me," she said at last.

"And none of it seems outrageous to you?"

"Sometimes, yes," she admitted. "But... when I think about some of the outrageous stuff that's happened to me, it's hard not to believe, even when things seem far-fetched."

"Like what?" Roger asked, he was listening to her now, leaning forward--elbows on his knees, chin propped in his hands.

"Well..." Miranda began, telling him about the time when she and several other people had been "summoned" to Alaska and the banks of the Miranda River to sing and then bungee jump off the top of the river by the "spirit" of the man whose body parts they all shared. "Only, I hadn't received any of his organs," she told him. "Just his blood from a transfusion when I got my appendix out."

"Were you scared?" Roger asked. "That seems pretty freaky to me."

"It *was* pretty freaky. I didn't know what was happening me--none of us did--or how to stop it. But once we jumped, it stopped on its own."

"Cool," came the reply. "I've never bungee jumped before. What's that like?"

"It's... it's like nothing I've experienced before. Free-falling with just a big rubber band for support, the air rushing around you as you go down... I don't know if I can really describe it and make you understand what it felt like, but it was cool," she said.

"Sounds kind of like how I felt when I was a kid and the firemen let me slide down the pole at the station house. I thought there was nothing in the world that could top it."

"Do they still let you do that?" Miranda asked. She couldn't help it. She'd always wanted to slide down the pole at a fire station, but never got the chance before.

"Sure," Roger replied. Then he smiled suddenly, a slow, sly smile that Miranda both admired and found herself mirroring. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Roger asked her.

"Do you wanna slide down the pole?" she answered his question with one of her own.

"Yeah," they both said at once.

Twenty minutes later they were at Station 7, and Miranda was looking down the hole to the floor below. "Kind of far down," she commented, looking over the edge. Her long hair swung in front of her eyes momentarily. She straightened up, brushing her hair away from her face and turned to find Roger watching her. She'd caught him staring at her a few times since he showed up at Declan's office, and by this time, she swore that look had something to do with attraction. And, she had to admit, he was kind of nice... and he had a cute smile... and beautiful eyes. Okay, she was staring back at him now, she realized.

Thankfully, he spoke up just then, saving them both an awkward silence. "Here," he said, "let me show you how to get on this thing."

"Okay," Miranda replied, watching as he wrapped himself around the pole and slide down. Her eyes followed him.

"Now you try it," Roger called up. "Just do what I did."

Taking that advice, Miranda grabbed hold of the pole, awkwardly wrapping her legs around it. She felt herself sliding downwards and willed herself not to look at the on-coming ground. Instead, they settled upon Roger's eyes and she held his gaze. She could see herself in his eyes. Funny how the refection she saw didn't match her image of herself. The woman in his eyes seemed so vibrant--full of life and fun. She was smiling and seemed very happy. Do I really look like that? Miranda thought. Do other people see me like this or is it just Roger? About that time, her feet touched the ground, Roger's strong arms going to her waist for support. Their eyes were still locked, energy coursing between them as he held her.

"That was fun," Miranda said at last, breaking the spell of their eyes.

"Wanna try is again?" Roger asked. "The second time's better--once you know what you're doing."

"Sure," came Miranda's reply. His arm slipped around her waist casually as they ascended the stairs one more time. Miranda allowed it; she liked the way his arms felt around her. She thought back to their conversation about why she followed along with Declan's investigations. She had to admit, some pretty great cool things had happened to her since she'd known Declan--and this was definitely one of them.

(fin)