Title: Keep on Trying
Status: One Chapter, Complete.
Rating: PG- 15
Summery: Declan and Miranda investigate a mysterious case of spontaneous human combustion. A BtVS/Mysterious Ways crossover. Response to the ‘To Boldly Go…’ -challenge.
Spoilers: For Buffy past ‘chosen’, but I think you’re alright for mysterious ways.
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended. Mysterious Ways and all related characters are copyright Peter O’Fallon and PAX-TV (Ion-television). No infringement intended.Keep on Trying
“You know, it’s very unlikely to actually be a real case of spontaneous human combustion, Declan. There have been about 200 cited cases in the last 300 years and none of them have been scientifically researched and proven.”
The raven haired woman who’d spoken was currently trailing behind her best friend and mentor while carrying a heavy bag full of equipment. Said best friend -a professor of anthropology at the university she went to- turned to her with an incredulous expression on his face. His eyebrows reaching over the frame of his glasses.
“Miranda, over two dozen people saw the guy crash through the window and then a few seconds later catch fire and turn in to ash! Two dozen! Are you saying they all hallucinated the same thing?”
Miranda just raised an eyebrow at him. He was impossible to reason with until the unexplained phenomenon was actually proven to have an explanation. Of course Miranda herself was interested in this particular case as well, she was curious to see what could have caused something like this.
Because Declan was right, twenty-five people had seen the phenomenon and they had interviewed nearly all of them. Each time the story was the same. The colour of the man’s hair or the clothes he had been wearing might have differed, but the actual event was described exactly the same way with each person they questioned.
Could it have been a trick of the light? Maybe an external source causing the combustion? Chemical reaction in the body? No, each of those explanations sounded very unlikely. But hey, Miranda had seen some pretty weird stuff in her time with Declan, investigating the unexplained.
“Come on Miranda, show some enthusiasm! It looks like we got a real case here!”
“I think I’d be more into it if I didn’t have finals coming up, Declan.” She sighed, and she could see her older friend cringe. So he’d forgotten that little fact, huh? Well it wouldn’t be the first time, and one of these days… she’d, well, she'd probably still be with him investigating the unusual even if it was inconvenient for her. She never could say no to Declan.
“Finals. Right. Sorry, I forgot about that. You know, I could probably do this by myself if you wanna go study…”
Miranda barely managed to keep her face in its usual passive state, instead of the look of disbelief and amusement it wanted to take. Declan doing this by himself. She snickered inwardly. This case was probably going to require lab-work and research-equipment. Something her friend wasn’t very good at as she usually took on the technical aspects of the investigations.
Apparently she didn’t quite succeed in her efforts as Declan took on a slightly affronted expression that made it even harder for Miranda to keep the smirk of her face.
“I could do it! You don’t think I can do it!?”
“I’m sure you could do it by yourself, Declan.” She said, in a way one would talk to a small child. He didn’t seem very convinced of her sincerity, but dropped the matter as they finally arrived at their destination.
It was just an average abandoned warehouse near a busy street. Miranda and Declan had researched it and never at one point had it housed any sort of chemicals or anything that could explain a person going up in flames and turning to ash.
“Look! Over there. I think that’s where the guy landed.” Declan pointed at slightly singed spot on the ground. There seemed to be a few shards of glass left the police hadn’t collected. And from the look of things they hadn’t gotten all of the ash either. “Okay, you set up everything here while I go take a look inside, alright?”
“Yeah.” She replied, distractedly as she got out all the things she was going to need.
And they got to work.
Placing the papers back on the lab table, Miranda directed her eyes towards the samples she had taken from the warehouse. The tests confirmed it. The ashes were human remains. So that meant that someone had literally turned to dust. Did that mean that they actually had an honest to god case of spontaneous human combustion?
Miranda suddenly started feeling some of the excitement that Declan had been feeling a few days ago. They might actually have something.
She had to tell Declan.
She was distracted from gathering her results and the equipment and samples she had been using, when she heard a knock coming from the doorway. When she looked up, she saw a woman in her early twenties with long red hair standing in the hallway.
“Um, can I help you?” Miranda asked awkwardly. With the exception of Declan and Peggy – the psychiatrist who worked at the hospital and helped them sometimes- she wasn’t that good with talking to people. The fact that she was usually dressed completely in black and rarely spoke made socializing slightly difficult as most people seem to consider her weird.
The redhead quirked a smile that seemed to come very natural to her and nodded enthusiastically. “Oh, yeah. Is this the science lab? ‘Cause, I’m new at this university and I kinda got lost on several occasions, but luckily the people seem to be really nice here so they gave me directions and I ended up here. And, wow, this looks like a really good lab to work in. Is this stuff new? I haven’t seen this kind of equipment before, I mean the stuff at UCSunnydale, the school I went to before, was alright in the tech department, but they had nothing like this. I’m Willow by the way, Willow Rosenberg, and you are..?”
This was all said at a rather impressive speed and after Miranda had processed what the redhead, Willow, had said she smiled hesitantly and replied “Eh, I’m Miranda Feigelsteen. And yes this is the science lab.”
“Oh, good, so you’re Miranda Feigelsteen?” Willow grabbed a piece of paper out of her pocket and nodded after she had read it. After that she gave Miranda an apologetic look that was still somehow cheerful and said “I’m really sorry to have to do this, but I can’t let you keep those results.”
And before she had a chance to be alarmed the redhead muttered something that Miranda recognized as Latin, and the world went a little fuzzy.
“Miranda, you alright?”
Miranda looked up and found Declan standing on the other side of the table looking at her with concern on his face. When did he get here?
“What are you doing here, Declan?” she asked, somewhat confused.
He seemed surprised at the question. “You were supposed to meet me like an hour ago, remember?”
“What? That’s not until 15 minutes from now.” She looked at her watch and discovered that she seemed to have missed the last 45 minutes. “Or not.” Then she noticed something else was missing as well. “What happened to my samples? And all the results?”
“You lost the samples? Where’d you leave ‘em last?”
“I didn’t lose the samples, Declan, they were right there on the table a minute ago!”
“Do you think someone took ‘em?”
“I don’t know, just... help me look,”
At that moment a certain redhead left the grounds and was heading towards her car. Willow felt slightly guilty for stealing the samples from the raven haired student, but they just couldn’t afford a link that lead to the school.
One of the baby slayers, Jenny, had been rather careless with the cleanup and had even left witnesses. Witnesses that had taken the better part of two weeks to locate and have their memories slightly altered.
But still, she knew of Declan Dunn and Miranda Feigelsteen. They had come pretty close to uncovering the supernatural community a few times with their investigations, and were starting to become well know to the Scoobies. They even had a bet going on how long it would take them to finally find a real miracle.
Willow really hoped someday they would find what they were looking for.
A/N: So the challenge was to pick a fandom that no one had written on this site before. So I started looking in the television list and noticed there weren't any fics with mysterious ways.
Now, I don't know about America or England and how popular that show was there, but I don't think it's that unfamiliar, right?
As for Through the Dark, don't worry I'm still writing that. It's just that I couldn't resist writing a response to this challenge.
Reviews would be much appreciated. ^^