Title: The Strong One

Author: DebC

Email: debchilson@yahoo.com

Rating: PG

Keywords: Peggy

Spoilers: Face in the Crowd

Summary: Peggy reflects on almost losing Declan and on being "the strong one"

Disclaimers: Mysterious Ways and it's characters belong to Lions Gate and PAX. I don't work for either of these companies, but yes, there are times when I wished I did.

Author's Notes: This episode made me realize one thing… Peggy and I are an awful lot alike. We're both strong when we should be weak.

"The Strong One"

::You have to be the one to tell him, Peggy. You're stronger than I am.::

Miranda's words from yesterday echo in my ears. She had come to my office in hysterics, telling me what I already knew in my heart--that we needed to convince Declan to have this surgery. She was convinced that she couldn't do it all by herself… that she needed me to say the things she wasn't strong enough to say.

That's the curse of being the "strong one" in any group. People look to you for comfort and direction when the world around them is falling down, but they never stop to think that sometimes, you might need the same thing from them.

And right now… as I watch Declan being wheeled away from us, my world is falling down.

In the past year, he's come to mean so much to me. More than a friend, really. Declan has reopened the door to the world I'd shut out so long ago. He stood by me when I found out that my father was dead and then again when I finally got up the nerve to face the teenage boy who killed my husband. I'm not sure I could have handled those things without his presence--like a gentle nudging in the right direction--in my life.

Now, here I am faced with the thought that I could lose him if this surgery doesn't go well…

… and that scares me.

It scares me more than I care to admit. More than I can admit and still uphold the image of being strong.

The "strong one"… sometimes I wonder about that dubious title. Am I really so strong just because I keep my emotions bottled inside while everyone around me is going insane? Or is it just the opposite?

Perhaps Miranda is the one who is truly strong, because she at least has no qualms about showing her emotions? She wears her fear at losing Declan like a badge, showing it to all the world, while I stand here beside her… silently being strong.