Keywords: Post-ep for Pure of Heart
Spoilers: Pure of Heart, One of Us & anything in Season 1 that I feel like throwing in.
Disclaimer: Mysterious Ways belongs to Lions Gate, PAX and NBC. It was created and produced by such fine people as Carl Binder and Peter O'Fallon. They make the money, not me.
Summary: The Trio returns home from India and reflect
"We all have something that needs to be healed..."
"If you are pure of heart, you will succeed. If you have darkness in
your heart, you will fail."
--"George" Pure of Heart
The trip to India was over and the three friends had returned home without the information they had originally sought--what actually healed Dr. Gale's sister. They discussed all the way back to Portland--on the bus from Uttar Pradesh to the airport where they found Peggy's lost medical supplies and on the plane ride home. They ruled out mind-altering drugs, magic and a number of other hoaxes, because each of them knew that something special had happened on the mountain.
When Declan got home, however, he was still agonizing over what to tell his boss. "Well, you see, Dr. Gale," he muttered under his breath as he fed Mole and called for a pizza "I didn't actually explain this one. I can't explain it. Yes, I did see the Holy One..." His explanation trailed off there.
The Holy One. George. Declan chuckled. Who would have thought that the Holy One would turn out to be their bumbling guide? The one who got drunk and spent half the first morning throwing up. That guide.
One second thought, it made perfect sense. All those things--the drunk, sick, bumbling guide who kept getting into accidents, the earthquakes, losing Mole--and his glasses--and finally being trapped in a cave while the guide lie bleeding on the other side of a cave in--they were all tests to see if they were worthy of the Holy One's time. To see if they were pure of heart.
"Me, pure..." Declan chuckled to himself. "Who would have thought it, huh, Mole?" Mole cocked his head to one side as if listening and gave a little yip as if to say "I did." Declan ruffled the hair on his dog's head in a friendly manner and smiled. "Yeah, I know you did, buddy. Maybe I just needed to hear it for myself, ya know?"
He *had* needed to hear it. All his life, people had been telling him he was a screw up. They scorned him jumping at every mystery or miracle, called him scatter-brained and unfocused. He almost lost his job last year because Dr. Gale was one of those people who didn't understand his interest in miracles and amazing happenings. The funny thing was, he was actually beginning to believe the things people were saying. Especially of late. And when he thought George was going to die, he was convinced that his obsession with these investigations was what killed him--his insistence that George take them up the mountain. His refusal to go back when the earth tremors started getting rougher. His half-baked, unplanned tangents...
Those were the things that he thought made him the blame for what happened to George. And he probably would have continued to blame himself had Peggy not set him straight. She told him that he didn't get them in to messes like that; he got them out of them. When she first said it, he hadn't wanted to believe her, but when he saw how sincere she was, he couldn't deny it.
After all, it had been his knee jerk reaction that had kept George from drowning in the river. Most people would have been terrified to jump in after George, but Declan hadn't though twice. He hadn't even thought once, to tell the truth. He just jumped. And saved a man's life. How many people could say the same?
Declan shook his head in amazement. It was funny (funny as in "amazing coincidence" funny, not "ha ha ha" funny) how just when his faith was about to give out, something like this happened to reinforce that faith?
Peggy got home and headed straight for the shower. She stood under the hot, steaming water and just let it fall on her skin, relaxing muscles that were tense from first sleeping on the ground and then in an airplane seat. She sighed deeply, feeling herself relax.
She really was glad Declan had dragged her along on that trip, despite her constant whining. She's whined, Peggy admitted. She'd whined about every little thing because they were out of her hands. And when the weird stuff started happening on the mountain, she whined and bitched some more.
In her mind, she could still hear herself bickering with Declan and wondered why he even bothered to bicker back. Miranda, after all, hadn't said a word. At least not to them. Peggy wondered sometimes why either of them out up with her.
She wasn't easy going like Declan or calm and collected like Miranda. She was.... what was the right word? High-strung. She was a high-strung control freak with a needed to be right all the time. Sometimes that need made her push too hard, she realized. And sometimes, like on the mountain, Declan pushed back.
He pushed back a lot, Peggy corrected herself. Declan always pushed back. He never let up, never let her give up even when the going got tough.
And he always made her think.
Like on the mountain when he told her that her take-charge attitude was what made her special. She could tell he meant it; it was written in his eyes. But there was something more: a conviction in his voice that made her believe him without question. She'd never heard anything like it before... at least not in conjunction with herself.
No; Peggy Fowler was not ordinarily the type of person who inspired that kind of admiration in people. She was just "there" most of the time. But never in Declan's eyes. He really believed in her, she realized. Sometimes that faith was lost on her...
... but one trip into the mountains had recovered that faith. When she read the note Declan had found, Peggy realized that something had been keeping her from achieving that sort of faith in herself. Her fear of losing control.
For as long as Peggy, she'd been subconsciously trying to control every aspect of her life. Part of it, her experience as a psychiatrist told her, had to do with her father--his drinking, the fighting, being abandoned by him at a young age. Those were things she could never control... not as a little girl. But as an adult, Peggy could control most things.
She didn't really need to control everything, though. That's what the note told her. All she need do was believe in herself. And for the first time in a long, long time, Peggy *did* believe in herself. She felt as if she could do anything. And she owed it all to Declan and the trip she hadn't wanted to take.
Miranda sat alone on the floor of her apartment. She had an old trunk in front of her. It was covered with tags--the kind put on luggage and boxes for overseas travel. Flipping open the top, she pawed through it, finally coming to her senior yearbook. Opening it, she noted with a twinge of sorrow that the inside cover was bare--lacking the signatures and farewell messages that usually adorned other high school yearbooks. Sighing deeply, she opened to the page where her own picture had been placed. There, one lone message stared back at her.
***To Miranda, a brilliant young scientist. May your talents take you far and all your dreams come true.***
This inscription came from one of the few teachers Miranda actually remembered from her many schools. Mr. Murphy, a science teacher who had never let her family's wealth or her odd ways dictate how he treated her. She'd liked that about him.
Actually, he reminded her a lot of Declan in some ways. Well, not as goofy, but just as nice, she thought with a smile.
People like Mr. Murphy and Declan were the only ones to see through her apathetic façade.
Until George, that is. Miranda wasn't sure if he really was a Holy Man, but either way, his message had effected her. He had effected her. When she thought he was going to die, she felt as if her heart had been wrenched from her chest. And when he reached up and touched her with a hand so surprisingly gentle and said "you truly have the warmest heart" she nearly cried... a thing she had always tried not to do in front of anyone.
The façade--the impression she gave of being cold and detached--had been her way of protection herself. When she was younger, when the moving around got to be too much on her, she withdrew from others. Why? If she didn't let them get to close, there would be no tears when her parents packed her up for somewhere else. And when the kids at school teased her for being different, she hid inside that same disinterested shell.
She hid her heart, and with it herself, from the whole world. Oh, sure, sometimes someone got through--like Declan and Peggy. But for the most part, the shell worked in keeping people at arms distance.
Not anymore, Miranda told herself as she placed the yearbook back into her trunk. She wasn't in high school anymore. And she liked having friends. She *liked* having people care about her. But that wouldn't happen if she continued to hide away in shell.
Taking a deep breath, Miranda made a promise to herself. She would try
to open up to people more. Try to smile more. Try to show people her warm