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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Set at the tail end of 3R1x02, Doctor Miranda Foster is still brooding over the events of the night, but somebody's got a cure for her.

My very first 3R fic! As is the usual with my fics, I can tell this one wants to be a series. Whether it will be or not, I have no idea - since I'm still getting used to Miranda and Lisa as characters - but these two haven't quieted down yet, so there's a good chance there might be more of this one!
“'s a great day, huh?” David asked, pausing to take a sip from his beer before glancing over at Miranda and Andy, a faint, satisfied smile all he would allow himself to show. He never allowed himself to get too high or too low about things. Balance.

“Yeah, great day.” Andy replied, David's words coaxing a smile from him

Miranda, for her part, didn't answer – just continued staring out over the river (Monongahela, she heard Andy's voice echoing in the back of her mind), lost in thought.

The silence stretched out between the three of them as the two waited for her answer to come. Agreement. Assent. Camaraderie of a sort. But it never came.

Finally, David cleared his throat and leaned forward, glancing around Miranda and meeting Andy's eyes for a moment. He then looked past him, nodding towards the door and after a moment, Andy nodded solemnly in agreement.

“I'll leave the rest of these here for you,” Andy said as he straightened up from the railing, pausing to take another small swig from his bottle of beer.

“What? Oh,” Miranda said, startled out of her trance. She glanced down at Andy, at the cooler that sat between them with a couple more beers still inside it. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I got an early morning,” he agreed good-naturedly, smiling a bit as he stretched, letting out a low, growly groan of weariness. “Meetings.”

“Yeah, I gotta take off, too,” David said, giving Miranda a brief smile as he backed away from the railing and circled around the two of them, sauntering towards the security door. “Got dinner with Shara from the pediatric wing.”

“Ugh,” Miranda groaned as she returned her attention back to the view, shaking her head to herself. “Bye,” she added dryly.

David just laughed as he left, the door ratcheting shut behind him, leaving just Miranda and Andy alone together. Andy coughed a bit and looked up at her for a moment. “You, uhh... you gonna be okay?”

“Yeah,” Miranda said after a few moments of silence and even then, she sounded distracted. Only half there. “I'll be fine. You go.”

“Well, if you drink the rest of those, find Pam or someone and they'll hook you up with a cot in the old ward. It's kinda dusty, but the beds are pretty comfortable,” Andy suggested with a rueful smile.

Looking at him, at his expression, Miranda knew enough not to ask how he knew that and simply nodded. “Thanks,” she said, returning the smile as she reached out, gave him a firm pat on the shoulder. “Now get the hell outta here and get some sleep.”

Andy chuckled. “Yes, sir,” he said, giving her a playful salute as he turned on his heel and made his way towards the door. “Have a good night.”

“You, too,” Miranda said, already turning her attention back to the river vista spread out before her, silently mesmerized by the way the city lights glimmered and bounced off of the dark water. Red here, blue here, yellow here. If she thought about it, if she looked up at the town itself, she thought she could figure out where each color came from. The red from the stop light at the corner. The blue from a bar just up the street.

She watched the lights dancing on the water, the occasional tugboat or ferry seeming to shove its way through the water rather than gliding along on the surface of it. Taking a sip from her bottle, she barely tasted the brew inside it, distantly noting how her stomach rumbled – hacked off at her for filling it with alcohol rather than actual food, which she knew she needed. She hadn't eaten before they left for Boston and hadn't had a chance to eat since she got back, but she really just needed the stillness for a while.

Miranda didn't hear the security door open, even as noisy as it was, though she wasn't exactly startled as she heard a familiar voice. “Hey, doc. Fancy meeting you up here.” There was openness, friendliness in that voice as well as the tiniest hint of teasing. Tip-toeing out to see how thick the ice was before stepping out any further.

“Hey, doc,” Miranda said, a grin slowly finding its way to her lips as she turned weary eyes to find Doctor Lisa Reed approaching. Lisa was still in her green ER scrubs, though she'd thrown on a cardigan – much like Miranda had bundled up, herself – to stave off the over-friendly chill of the Pitts air. “Did you get lost again? The ER's that way, you know. First floor.” She straightened up from the railing and pointed behind her – her best approximation of where she figured the emergency room could be found – and her grin broadened.

“Haha,” Lisa replied in a perfect deadpan, rolling her eyes a little. She drew the halves of her cardigan tightly closed around her, arms folding over her middle to hold it in place as she moved to join Miranda at the railing. “What are you doing up here? I thought you went home hours ago.”

Miranda slowly shook her head, eyes lowering to study the bottle she held in her hand. “Nah, I – I, um.. I just wanted to come up here and... think for a while, I guess?”

No reply from Lisa, but Miranda could see her nodding out of the corner of her eye as she folded her arms atop the edge of the railing. “Yeah, I... heard about Mr. Hayes,” she said quietly. “I'm sorry, Miranda.”

“He was Andy's patient, too,” she pointed out with a shrug, her expression impassive as she picked at the label on her bottle.

“Yeah, but Andy's fine. Andy's always fine,” Lisa said with a huff of rueful laughter. “He's a regular Bounce-Back Kid... but I'm not talking about Andy. I'm talking about you... and you're not fine.”

“Leese --” Miranda began, already drawing herself up, readying herself to give her more of the same that she'd given to the guys, but Lisa was having none of it.

“Mir,” Lisa immediately shot back, her tone maddeningly patient, turning her green eyes to study Miranda's profile, reaching up to brush the pale blond fringe of her bangs out of her eyes so that she could see her without impediment. As nice as the view was, there were few lights on the roof so she had to practically squint to see Miranda's face, though thankfully the lights reflected by the river below certainly helped. “Please?”

With a sigh, Miranda tipped her head back, took a sip of her beer, eyes leveled on where she figured the banks of the Monongahela were roughly meant to be. “I don't know,” she said at last, taking another, longer drink, of her beer.

“Got any more of those?” Lisa asked, a soft, lightly hopeful lift to her words. “Maaaaybe one that I could have?” Miranda could hear the tiny, angelic smile in Lisa's voice and chuckled.

“Yeah,” she said, nodding as she hopped down off the railing and bent to open the cooler. She retrieved a beer, popped the cap off on the metal railing and then handed the bottle over to her. “Here.”

“Thanks,” Lisa said, her smile girlish and sweet as she took it between both of her hands, the sleeves of her sweater tugged down over her pale hands. “Ahh, it's wet!”

Miranda laughed and shook her head as Lisa shifted the bottle to her left hand, shaking the droplets of sterile slush from her sleeve and fingers.

“What's so funny?” Lisa asked, trying to sound affronted and doing a bad job.

“You are,” she shot back with a shameless grin. “You're up to your elbows in blood and guts all day and you're such a girl about some stuff. It's just funny.”

“Well, I am a girl, so that fits, I guess,” Lisa dryly, lips pursing as she lifted the bottle to those same lips and took a sip of beer. Moving closer, she folded her arms in front of her on the railing, matching Miranda's slouch. She reached under her left arm with her right hand, catching hold of the denim at the elbow of Miranda's jacket, giving it a light tug. “Tell me.”

Miranda glanced down and to the side, lips curling slightly at the tug on her sleeve, but the smile was only briefly in the present. It very soon took on a distant, troubled aspect. “Carson's son hadn't seen him in fifteen years,” she said softly, slowly shaking her head. “Sometimes I just... I just wonder why I came back here. It wasn't because it was the only place that would hire me. I got tons of other offers.”

“So? Why did you choose your father's hospital?” Lisa asked, leaning forward a bit so that she could see Miranda a bit more clearly.

“I hate this place,” Miranda said, letting out a choked laugh as she took another sip of her beer. Lowering the bottle again, she turned her eyes back to the river. “But it was his home. More than our house was.”

“Mir,” she whispered, expression pained as she reached up, placed her hand on Miranda's upper arm, gently grasping there.

“Did you know my father was buried here?” Miranda asked, aiming a quick, questioning glance at Lisa, brows lifting slightly. For her part, Lisa just gaped at her. “Yeah. St. Martin's cemetery, just across the river. Wanna know why he picked that one? It's not because we're Catholic... it's because you can see it from the roof of this hospital.”

“Wow,” Lisa murmured, casting green eyes out towards the river, herself. “I – I don't know what to say. God.”

“Do you think... he would have been proud of me today? Because I don't think so,” Miranda added, shaking her head.

“It wasn't your fault Carson had an aneurysm. It wasn't your fault that it blew. It wasn't your fault that he died, Miranda,” Lisa said, her words spoken quietly but steely with conviction. “Nobody could have prevented that. Not even you.”

“I try to be good like he was. Like Andy is. You know? Everyday, I try, but I keep missing the mark, somehow,” she murmured, bowing her head. “Maybe I just don't have it.”

“You don't have what? The dedication? Because Andy usually has to push you out the door every time your shift is up,” Lisa said with a barked laugh of disbelief. “Sophia could have chosen anyone to be lead doctor on today's run, but she picked you--”

“Lisa, I don't --” Miranda began, straightening up from the railing, turning to her, shaking her head.

“You've got the compassion, you've got the drive. You've got the best bedside manner of any doctor I've ever worked with,” Lisa went on, standing up straight herself and catching hold of the front of Miranda's denim jacket, giving it a tug. “You're not like Andy; you're not like your father. You're like yourself and I love that about you!”

Miranda hung her head with a sigh, shoulders slumping a bit as she reached with her free hand, carefully uncurled Lisa's fingers from the front of her jacket and bent slightly at the waist to press a kiss to the backs of her fingers. “Your fingers are cold,” she noted, lips brushing against the delicate skin of Lisa's slender fingers. She brought Lisa's hand to her chest, pressing the back of it to her heart and covering Lisa's palm with her own, holding it in place as she tried to gently rub some warmth back into her hand. “You know what else I've got?”

“Yes, I do,” she said, a small smile shaping her lips as she took a step closer. “You've got me.”

Looking up, Miranda net Lisa's gaze with a grateful smile, hand still rubbing Lisa's. “Yeah,” she agreed, nodding. “If it wasn't for you, I probably would have left months ago. You know that?”

“Yeah, I know,” Lisa replied, moving in close and slipping her arms around Miranda's waist while at the same time pressing herself close, embracing her and resting her chin on her shoulder. “I'm good with that.”

Miranda chuckled softly, her own arms closing around Lisa and holding on tight. “Oh, you are, huh?” She asked, a faintly playful edge to her words, to which Lisa giggled in response. “Is that right?”

“Very right,” Lisa agreed, nodding against Miranda's shoulder. “Because I'd miss you if you weren't here, Mir.”

“Well, I guess I'm not going anywhere, then,” she said, giving Lisa a squeeze. “Glad that's decided.”

“Me, too,” Lisa whispered. They were quiet for a while as they just held on to each other, but then Lisa finally took a deep enough breath so that she could speak again, her words coming out in the softest whisper. “I won't lie to you and say that it stops hurting. You're smart; you know that's not true. But I want to be here for you. I want to help try to make it better, Miranda.”

“You do,” she replied, just as softly, arms tightening around Lisa. “It's just... sometimes I wonder, you know? Did he just love this place that much or --”

“I don't –“ Lisa began, starting a bit as Miranda pulled away from her to turn back to the railing. Setting her bottle down on the edge of the balcony, she rested her hand lightly on Miranda's back, concern welling up in her chest, making it feel uncomfortably tight. “Mir? What do you wonder?”

“My father spent every last day of the last fifteen years of his life here. Building this hospital and the transplant unit, making them everything he dreamed they could be. I just wonder, sometimes, if the reason he spent all his time here is because of what everyone always says about him, you know? That he was this passionate, dedicated surgeon. Or...” There was a heavy, dreadful pause and Miranda took a deep drink from her beer. “Did he spend all his time here so he wouldn't have to see what a disappointment I was? Wouldn't have to come face to face with his failure?”

“Miranda,” Lisa let out a pained sigh as she slipped her arms around Miranda's waist from behind, burying her face in Miranda's shoulder as she held on tightly to her.

“Because I think I was,” she added, her voice sounding far away, detached from what she was saying but at the same time, strangely pensive. “I think I was the only thing he ever failed at in his life and he didn't know how to handle it.”

“Maybe he didn't,” Lisa said quietly, her tone even as she lifted her head. She reached up, one hand settling on Miranda's hair, gently stroking it. “But you know what? Hey... look at me.” It took a few moments and another bracing slug or two of beer, but Miranda finally craned her neck, peering at Lisa over her shoulder to meet her eyes. “I feel sorry for your father just like I felt sorry for Carson. Because your father never got to know you, never got the chance to meet the person you grew up to be. Never got the opportunity to see what an amazing doctor you are and what a wonderful woman you've become.”

“Thanks,” Miranda muttered under her breath, finally breaking eye contact with Lisa, her cheeks flushing ever so faintly pink at Lisa's words.

“You did good tonight, Mir. You helped to save a lot of people,” she whispered as she leaned in, resting her forehead against Miranda's cheek, nuzzling her skin lightly against Miranda's and feeling the warmth of that blush against her own skin. “It doesn't matter that your father built this place. It's not about that, anymore.”

“No? Well, then, what is it about?” Miranda asked, free hand settling on top of Lisa's where it rested at her waist, gripping it tightly.

“It's about you. Doing your best for this place and these people,” she said, lacing her fingers with Miranda's. “You care so much... and that matters, Mir. That makes a difference.”

“But we're not supposed to care, Leese,”she replied with a ragged sigh. “Not that much. That's not part of the rules.”

“Ha! Like you give a damn about the rules,” Lisa countered with a snort. “Yeah, right. I heard about that cop you faced off with in Boston!”

Those words coaxed a startled chuckle from Miranda. “Where'd you hear about that?” She asked.

“Ryan told me,” Lisa said matter-of-factly, letting out another huff of laughter.

“When?” She blurted out, eyes going wide, a tinge of panic in her voice.

“It was all he could talk about when I ran into him in the break room. You know, after you guys got back,” Lisa said with a smirk.

“Ohh, God,” Miranda groaned, turning her head a bit and giving it a shake. “So embarrassing.”

“Embarrassing!? No way! As a matter of fact, I think you've got a new fanboy,” she insisted with a giggle. “He was so amped up. All he could talk about was how take-charge and awesome you were. How you got right up in this cop's face and didn't back down for a second, even though the guy was, like, fifteen feet taller than you were.”

“He was not,” Miranda grumbled, face twisting into a peevish frown. “It was Ryan's first run, I think he just got a little... over-excited. Everything seems bigger and more intense when you're whacked out of your brain on adrenaline and blind panic and one too many Venti lattes.”

“Well, I'm sorry I didn't get to see it for myself,” Lisa said, a warm smile turning up the corners of her own mouth. “But that doesn't mean I'm not still insanely proud of you. Because I am.”

Miranda coughed, cleared her throat uncomfortably and shifted, bending to sit her beer on the edge of the railing next to Lisa's as she turned, draping her arms over Lisa's shoulders. “What about you? I heard you had a good day,” she began.

“Ooh, subtle,” Lisa teased, giggling a little as she slipped her arms around Miranda beneath her jacket, leaning against her even as Miranda leaned back against the railing. At least Miranda had the good grace to look bashful at her abrupt subject shift. “Yeah, I guess it was a pretty good day. Kristy Martinez got the only slightly dented but still beautiful pair of lungs which you brought back for her today.”

“So why do you still not look all right about that?” Miranda asked, head tilting slightly as she gazed at her steadily.

“I thought I really fucked up today,” she admitted with a tense sigh, ducking her head. “She asked for BiPap, because she'd had asthma her whole life, you know? Next thing I know, she's crashing and I -- I thought it was my fault. That I caused it.”

“Leese,” Miranda sighed, reaching up to smooth her hand over Lisa's hair, still in its snug, neat ponytail. “You couldn't have known.”

“Well, you didn't know, either,” Lisa countered, tipping her chin up a little so that she could meet Miranda's eyes. “About Carson.”

“No. You're right. I didn't,” she agreed, though with some degree of effort. “He was... a nice man. It just didn't feel fair, somehow. I guess I just -- I liked him. I liked Carson.”

“I know you did,” Lisa replied softly, leaning in to lightly brush the end of her nose against Miranda's. “That's okay. So, I guess it looks like neither of us got it as wrong as we thought we did.”

“Guess so,” Miranda said, giving a deliberate nod. Pursing her lips, she drew back a little to study Lisa's face carefully. “So now what?”

“Well, I was thinking I'd like to take you back to my place... and strip off these scrubs and give you a long, deep … massage,” she finished with a sly smile, lips brushing Miranda's as she spoke, drawing a husky chuckle from Miranda. “And then we can both crawl into a hot bath, have another beer or two, maybe some pizza...?”

“In the tub?” Miranda inquired with a snicker.

“Why not? You're a big fan of breaking the rules, right? I don't think a little pepperoni in the drain would be the end of the world, would it?” She teased, grinning as she ran her hands up and down along Miranda's sides beneath her jacket.

Another soft laugh and Miranda's smiling lips met Lisa's in a firm kiss for a moment before slowly breaking it. “Mmm. You got a deal, doc.”
Chapter End Notes:
"I know the world's been mean to you
I've got a cure
Hold tight
I know the world's not fair to you
I've got a cure for its crimes

I've got the cure
I've got the cure for you
I've got a cure
I've got the cure..."

"The Cure," Tegan and Sara (http://www.myspace.com/teganandsara)

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