Title:  Miracle
Author: akire
Email: akire@mailcity.com
Status: C/U
Category: Crossover: Highland/The Sentinel/Stargate SG1/Mysterious Ways
Spoilers: umm, got a basic grasp of the Highlander universe?  Fine.
Oh yeah, weíre a Clan Denial fanfic.  In The Sentinel, we pick up after
TSbBS with explicit mention of that ep and S2 pt 1+2.  Stargate, after
The Curse at least.  Mysterious Ways, weíre stealing character more
than plot, but mention of events in one of the first eps of season two
(sorry, no name!) 
Disclaimers:  D/P, Pet Fly, PAX and MGM/Gekko really DO own them.  If
you donít recognize it, itís probably mine.  If itís silly or crazy,
definitely is mine.  But if anyone sends the lawyers after me, Iím
sending out the boys with swords ;)  Oh yeah, and imitation is the
sincerest form of flattery.  If you recognize a specific fanfic
creation, it belongs to its author (when this series is finished, I may
tally them up) 
Rating: PG, prob.  Hey, Iím not offended by much, if it should be rated
higher, tell me! 
Content Warning: purists beware.  Language may offend some readers. 
Summary: Declan Dunn, self-professed investigator of Ďmiraculous
phenomenaí and professor of anthropology, is in Cascade to deliver a
series of lectures.  However, his easy trip to the coastal city soon
becomes complicated as he stumbles across a mystery. 
Dedication:  To Babs, who had the same idea ;) 

Thatís long enough. On with the show!

  ~~##~~

"...and Iíd like to thank Doctor Dunn for coming to Rainier to give
what I am certain will be a most fascinating keynote lecture series for
this yearsí conference."

Declan jerked awake from the stupor he had fallen into as the Chair had
made his long and boring concluding speech.  Surreptitiously stretching
in the uncomfortable wooden chair he had perched on after retiring from
the lectern, he nodded and waved his thanks as the audience applauded
politely.  In truth, he had no wish to be here, but his own Chair had
made it quite clear that his tenure at the department was...well,
tenuous.  If he wanted to continue to have a job, he had to obey the
Chairís Ďsuggestioní to improve his research and teaching profile.
That meant accepting an invitation to be special guest at this
conference.  Painful, but easier than writing a book his department
wouldnít be embarrassed over.

Declan fully tuned in as the moderator came on stage to announce that
coffee was now being served in the foyer.  He knew he was going to need
caffeine to survive the drudgery of small-talk.

  ~~##~~

The wind was so cold it felt like it had come to Cascade via the
Arctic.  Shivering slightly, he pulled his lined jacket tighter around
his body.  The thick clouds which seemed a permanent feature of this
city were letting through only the faintest amount of moonlight to
augment the street lighting.  He knew he could have caught a cab back
to his hotel room, but walking would allow him to expend some of the
nervous energy that had accumulated after being trapped by Professors
Dull and Duller at that damned function.

Why had he agreed to come to Cascade again?  Oh yeah, his job depended
on it.

The grass was damp and spongy under his boots as he took a short-cut
across a quadrangle and into a carpark.  There were still people on
campus, those leaving his lecture, and those who were coming out of the
library with that slightly book-dazed look that students who had been
cramming developed around finals time.

Smiling to himself at the consistency of students everywhere, he jumped
the kerb and strolled down the wide boulevard towards the main road and
off-campus.  There were fewer and fewer people around, as most of the
students were heading to the dorms in the other direction. The only
other people heading the same way were two men a dozen metres in front
of him Ė good friends, he decided as he watched their horseplay through
the darkness.  But they were walking faster than he was, and were soon
swallowed into the night.

Declan began to run through his schedule for tomorrow in his mind,
checking to see if there was anything he needed to prepare for tonight
so he could get an easy start in the morning.  Coming to the end of the
main path, he took the left branch, which wound down to the roadside.

Heíd have to check at the office tomorrow to see if he could borrow a
portable CD player and...Declan jerked suddenly as the high-pitched
squeal of brakes screamed out into the stillness of night, followed by
a far quieter but still sickeningly audible thud of contact.

Declan was running before he knew it, pelting down the path with
reckless speed for the dark and unfamiliar ground.  As he rounded the
curve which gave him clear view of the road, he just caught sight of
the bright tail lights as a car sped away and fishtailed around the
corner.

Under the streetlights, he saw the pair from before.  Declan swallowed
convulsively as the shorter man knelt down to cradle his companionís
head.  Cursing himself for not bringing his cell phone, Declan ran down
to them.

"Are you alright?  What about your friend?  Does he need an ambulance?"
As he approached, panting, Declan smelt that peculiar coppery tang of
spilt human blood.

The kneeling manís head whipped around, his curly hair flying loose.
"What? Whoís there?"

"My nameís Declan.  Was it a hit and run? I saw the car speed off, but
I didnít get its plate.  Do you need an ambulance?"

The curly hair went flying again as he shook his head emphatically.
"Nah man, weíre cool."

Declan frowned and knelt beside the body, perturbed when the other man
moved as if to shield the victim from him.  Even so, the smelt of blood
was strong, and Declan could see that several bones were lying at
unnatural angles.  "Listen, you guys just stay put, and Iíll go fetch
help."  He was up and running back towards the library before another
word was spoken.

Blair sighed explosively and followed Declan with his eyes until he
disappeared back into the gardens.  "All those empty roads in Cascade,
and we had to cross the one with drunk drivers and witnesses!"  He
turned back down to the body lying at his knees.  "Feel free to wake up
any time now, man.  Weíve got to get going before that Declan dude is
back with reinforcements."

As if Blairís words had summoned him, Daniel gasped loudly and arched
of the road for one drawn out moment before flopping back down onto the
bitumen.  "Damn, did anyone get the number of that bus that hit me?"
He grimaced as his arm reset itself with an audible pop.

Blair smirked despite their situation.  "Wasnít a bus, it was a
hatchback, but I got the number."  He had no idea what he was going to
do with it, but he was a cop now, he could at least run it through DMV.
But he had more pressing concerns to deal with first.  "You up to
walking.  We had a witness."

Daniel cursed in his native tongue.

"If that meant Ďfuck,í then yeah.  He ran off to get help before I
could stop him.  Iíd rather be gone before he gets back, if you
understand my meaning."  Grabbing Danielís good arm, he helped lever
him upright.  "My carís parked out the front of Hargrove.  Itís about a
three minute walk from here.  Letís get going."

  ~~##~~

Declan waved his hands around expressively.  "It was dark, I couldnít
see their faces that clearly.  The one that wasnít hurt had long curly
hair, and they were both wearing long jackets."

The chief of campus security and the uniformed officer who was taking
Declanís statement exchanged a look.  "Youíve just described half the
student body there, Dr Dunn."

Declan looked up at the two skeptical faces.  "Iím not making this up. 
Why would I?"  He frowned at the carefully neutral expressions on the
two officers.  "What about the road?  There was lots of blood, I smelt
it!" 

The uniform shrugged and pocketed his notebook.  "We got about ten mils
of rain last night.  If there was anything there, its been washed down
the drain and into the sea by now."  The pen followed the notebook.
"Listen, Dr Dunn, for what its worth, I believe you saw a minor
accident, but since the victim obviously got up and walked away, it
canít have been too serious.  If they want to file an incident report,
they will.  But without anything further, there is nothing we can do."

Declan nodded, scrubbing his hands through his hair and over his face. 
"Yeah, yeah, youíre right.  I guess I just panicked."  

The officer nodded once more.  "Not the best way to start your stay in
our city, Dr Dunn, but hopefully the rest of your stay will be incident
free."  Declan heard the subtext loud and clear Ė if we hear from you
again, weíll drag you downtown for wasting police time.

Declan rose and shook his hand.  "Thanks anyway."

"Not a problem sir, maam."  Tipping his hat, he left the room.

"Will you be right to find your next lecture location, Doctor?" The
security chief was businesslike but courteous as she escorted him from
her office. 

"Fine, thankyou Ms Cho."  Satisfied, the security chief left him alone
on the steps of the building.

Alone, Declan strolled down the steps and into the courtyard, deep in
thought.  He knew what he saw.  But then how did a body that needed to
go to hospital Ė or maybe even the morgue Ė get up and walk away?  His
companion couldnít have carried him.  Though it was difficult to judge
build in the darkness, Declan would bet that the curly-haired one
couldnít have lifted his larger companion, let alone carry a dead-
weight away from the scene.  Perhaps he fetched a car?  But Declan had
only left them alone for five minutes, tops.

What had happened on the road that night?

  ~~##~~

The familiar Buzz in his brain preceded the knock on the door and the
loud "Itís just me!"

Buttoning up his shirt, Daniel crossed the hotel room and unlatched the
door.  Blair was lounging against the door frame.  "Morning!  How are
you?"

"Fine," he replied with a grin as he ushered his young friend inside.
Door firmly closed, he continued.  "But I thought you said Cascade was
a nice, safe place to visit?"

Blair laughed.  "Safe in terms of Immortalís skulking in dark corners
trying to lop your head off.  But I think we do make up for it on the
psycho-madmen-evil-vigelante-nutcase-criminal element."

"Add bad drivers to the list," Daniel joked as he made a show of
rubbing his completely healed arm.

"Oh yeah, that.  I ran the tags through DMV.  One of the students at
Rainier is the registered owner.  Iíll see that he gets a visit from
the ghosts of Christmas past.  If heíd hit anyone else, heíd be up on a
manslaughter rap right now."

Daniel rolled his eyes and fetched his sword, sliding it into its
hidden sheath.  "Donít remind me.  So, what excitement am I in for this
morning?"

"How does brunch on the Quay with my partner sound?"

Daniel paused.  "Great."  Picking up his keys, he paused and frowned.
"Does he know about theó"  he drew his finger across his neck.
"Schick?"

Blair shook his head.  "Nope.  So no telling stories that didnít occur
in this century, okay."

Daniel shrugged on his jacket and checked for his wallet.  "No problem.
Letís go."

  ~~##~~

Jim Ellison, Daniel decided, was not the first person he would pick in
a lineup as Blairís best friend.  He shrugged inwardly as he shook
hands with the giant man and took his seat.  So what?  He and Jack
didnít exactly seem like a perfect match on the outside either.

But even before they had ordered, Daniel was revising his opinions.
The almost brotherly closeness between the two cops was obvious to
anyone who cared to look.  He smiled behind his menu and made a mental
note to send Reia an email outlining his positive impressions of her
studentís chosen companion.

Once the waitress had been dispatched to the kitchen with their orders,
the trio settled down to the serious business of Blair-baiting.  Blair
had outlined his fabricated history so Daniel wouldnít say anything
that seemed false, but that still left a lot of room to create some
teasing stories from their past which were only slightly altered from
actual events.  The teasing banter flew around the small table as the
food was delivered and consumed with gusto.  There was something,
Daniel thought, about good company that improved a meal.

Jim and Blair were halfway through telling a story about a case that
ended up with Blair driving a wrecking crane when two pagers
simultaneously went off.

Blair grimaced as he read the small screen.  "Damn.  Simon needs us."

Jim nodded, already waving for the check.  "Must be a case."

"Sorry Daniel, but weíve got to go in to the station."  Ferreting
around in his backpack, Blair pulled out his keyring and snapped off a
key.  "Here, you can borrow my car for today, it has a Rainier parking
permit.  Iíll ride with Jim."  Firmly he pushed the key into Danielís
hands.  "You can drop it off at the loft tonight after todayís
conference session, and Iíll make dinner.  Okay?"  His tone made it
clear that there was to be no arguing.

Daniel smiled at the firmness he heard in that voice.  "Okay, if youíre
sure."

Blairís smile got cheeky.  "Sure.  Just donít crash into anyone, okay?"

It was all Daniel could do not to snicker aloud.  Getting a firm
control of himself, he shook hands with both men and watched them leave
the cafť in a hurry.  Settling back into his seat, he continued to sip
leisurely at his coffee, watching the ocean through the window.  He
wasnít due to give his paper until after lunch, he had time to just
enjoy the morning.

Outside, Blair turned to his partner as they strode across the carpark.
"What díya think Simon has for us?"

Jim shrugged as he unlocked the truck.  "I donít know, but it must be
important if heís calling us in on our day off."

Blair sighed as he tossed his backpack into the truck and clambered in.
Important cases usually had lots of horrific corpses and madmen with
big guns involved.  Just what he wanted on his day off.

The big engine roared into life and Jim lit their siren and took off
towards the station.

"Dr Dunn?  Declan?"

Startled, Declan turned to the speaker.  "Sorry Dr Sanger?"

"Are you okay? You look like youíve seen a ghost?"

Declan smiled at her choice of words.  "Just a familiar face."
Gesturing for her to lead the way to this great cafť she had be raving
about, Declan followed, already committing the truckís license plate
and description to memory.

  ~~##~~

The little laptopís screen glowed in the darkened hotel room.  A tangle
of cables ran off to a socket in the wall, hooking the small machine
into the web.  A quick search had yielded him the website of the
Cascade Police Department.

Declan paused typing and thought.  He doubted that the man he was
looking for was a uniform Ė more likely a plains-clothed cop or a
detective, someone else who could use a siren in an unmarked car.
Scrolling through the list of pages, he began to click on each
department in turn.  Forensics, the bomb squad, police dogs...he left
the pages for narcotics and vice open in separate windows, as these two
pages, unsurprisingly, didnít have photos of their officers posted.  He
smiled as he opened the next page listed.  Major Crimes, what a broad
classification!

The page loaded speedily, first the banner headline, then a group
picture.  He read the caption as the jpg firmed up from pixels to a
clear picture:

    Cascade PD Ė Major Crimes, at their bullpen.  Back row: Detcs.
    Brian Rafe, Jim Ellison, Capt. Simon Brown, Joel Taggart.  
    Front row:  Blair Sandburg, Rhonda Jones (squad secretary), Isnp.
    Meagan Conner (NSW)

Declanís eyes widened as he looked at the fully-loaded picture.  "Well,
well, Detective Blair Sandburg Ė a police officer leaving the scene of
an accident?"  Curiosity well and truly aroused, Declan closed down all
other windows, found his notepad, and began to read carefully through
the website of Cascade PDís Major Crimes squad. 

  ~~##~~

Blair laughed as he stirred the soy sauce into the stirfry and turned
down the heat.  "That sounds just like Sanger.  Sheís a great teacher,
and a brilliant theorist, but she canít handle stats to save her life."

Daniel nodded.  "I kind of got that impression."  He was in an
excellent mood.  Blairís cooking smelt wonderful, the detectives were
relaxed after solving that case they were handed in record time, and
his paper at the anthropology conference had gone over with minimum
fuss.  No-one had even reminded him of that fiasco in Los Angeles.  Of
course, that was nearly ten years ago, when many of the delegates were
still undergrads.  He smiled to himself as he watched Blair and Jim
moved around each other in the small kitchen in an unconscious ballet. 
He could write today up in his diary as a Good Day.

Conversation paused as they sated their appetites.  Finally mopping his
mouth with a napkin, Daniel sat back.  "So do you think youíll make it
to the conference?  The schedule has a session on South American
cultures tomorrow."

Blair nodded as he rinsed his plate off in the sink. "Yeah, I hope to. 
Weíre just got to finish the paperwork from today, but Simon said once
thatís done we can resume our day off."  Wiping his hands on a towel,
he returned to the table.  "Whenís the South American stuff?"

Daniel fetched his coat and rifled through the pockets for his
timetable.  "Umm, session one, first thing tomorrow morning." He handed
the page over so Blair could read the list of speakers and topics.

Blair grinned.  "Oh man, Decker is giving a paper on his research into
tribal religious practices."  He looked up from the page.  "For as long
as Iíve known the guy, heís been going back to this same tribal area in
Peru each summer.  Heís gone from detached observer to an actual
participant in tribal life.  He must be getting some amazing
insights..."  He sighed.  "But Simon wants that paperwork by lunchtime.
Damn."

Jim shrugged as he put his plate in the sink.  "I can do that, Chief."
He walked over to read the timetable.  "The session ends at 11am.  You
can swing by the station afterwards, check the reports and sign off on
the sheet.  If you do your written report tonight, it would take us
maybe ten minutes to put it to bed at the station tomorrow."

"Really, man?"

Jim tried to look offended, but his grin gave him away.  "I do remember
how to write a report, Einstein!  Go listen to your conference."  

Almost bouncing with excitement, Blair resumed reading the outline.

 ~~##~~

Pushing a handful of coins into the slot, Declan dialed a number from
memory and hoped that Peggy hadnít decided to break a habit of a
lifetime and come to work late today.  As the number connected, he
glanced at his watch.  Quarter of an hour before he had to be at the
lecture hall for his next presentation.  Hopefully it would be just
enough time.

"Hello, Peggy speaking."

He grinned.  "Hi Peggy, itís Declan."

He could almost hear her expression move into that slightly
skeptical mask she often wore around him.  "Declan, hi.  Howís life
north of the state line?"

He looked out of the scratched windows of the phone booth.  "Wet.
Listen, I have to go back to class soon, and its way too early to call
Miranda.  I was wondering if youíd do me a favour and give her a
message."

The sigh was clearly audible.  "Okay, Iím ready.  Shoot."

"Can you ask her to dig through the research archives for me."

"What is she meant to be looking for?"  Declan could hear it in her
tone, she was getting interested despite herself, like she always did. 
He smiled.  He knew it would be a smart move to get Peggy to play
courier rather than just leaving a message on Mirandaís answering
machine.

"Two things.  Firstly, anything she can dig up on a detective Blair
Sandburg."  He spelt the name out for her.  "Secondly, I want her to
see if she can find any records relating to people who have come back
to life after a fatal accident."

"Declan?"

Well-aware of the time, he gave her a very brief run-down on what he
had seen two nights ago.

"Maybe he wasnít injured, just startled?"

He shook his head, then remembered she couldnít see him.  "No way, not
with that amount of blood loss.  Listen, Iíve gotta run.  Please,
please make sure Miranda gets that message today. She should be awake
and coherent about tenóten-thirtyish."

Another sigh.  "Okay, Iíll do it."

"Thanks Peggy, Iíll get you a souvenir."  He grinned when she laughed. 
"See you when I get back."

"Iím counting the days."

"Sarcasm does not become you, Peggy."

"Goodbye, Declan!"

He laughed again.  "Bye Peggy."  Hanging up, he looked at his watch,
cursed, snatched up his bag and bolted through the rain to the lecture
hall.

 ~~##~~

Blair and Daniel edged past peopleís knees as they tried to get a good
seat.  Blair was almost quivering with suppressed excitement.  "Man,
this is going to be so great!  I canít wait for Deckerís lecture."  He
grinned and waved to another person as they passed, calling out to them
by name, asking them about their dog.

Daniel just shook his head and kept moving.  He had rapidly become used
to the fact that Blair knew pretty much everyone on campus personally. 
And despite the chaos that surrounded his less than dignified departure
from academia, a lot of them were still very glad to see him.

Grabbing two seats in the middle of the lecture theatre, he sat down
and settled himself for a morning spent in lectures.  After a minute,
Blair joined him, bouncing in his seat.  "I hope Decker talks about
shamanic practices in the context of tribal life.  We know so little
about that, and heís in, like, the perfect position to gather primary
data."

Daniel smiled. "Yeah, that too."  He shifted in his seat and took out
the well-folded schedule.  "But Deckerís on last.  First up is a
lecture on intuitive ethnography by a Declan Dunn." He shrugged.
"Sounds a bit different."

Blair frowned.  "Declan, did you say?"

Daniel smiled.  "Let me guess, you know him."

"I think so, but not in a good way."  He leaned in to whisper
confidentially.  "The witness to your little...accident.  He said his
name was Declan."

Daniel blinked.  "You donít think itís the same guy, do you?"

Blair shrugged, a look of concern on his face.  "Well, how many guys
named Declan do you think are on campus?"  He settled himself with
visible effort.  "It was dark, I doubt he saw our faces."

"Letís hope so."  Any further conversation was curtailed by the
moderator stepping up to the microphone and launching into his
introductory notes.

Movement from the side of the stage drew Blairís eye, and he stiffened
slightly.  "Itís him," he breathed.

  ~~##~~

Declan flowed through his lecture effortlessly, warming to his subject
and responding to receptivity of his audience.  He loved to lecture,
liked sharing knowledge.  As he wound down and concluded, he allowed
himself a happy smile.  His Chair wanted him to participate in the
academic community, well, he was participating.

The moderator opened the floor to questions, and he focussed himself on
the task at hand.  The questions he fielded easily until the last one. 
The question was easy, and the answer flowed from his lips
automatically Ė which was fortunate, because his mind had frozen as he
saw who was sitting in front of the questioner.

Detective Blair Sandburg and his mysterious friend, whom he had last
seen bleeding on the road.

He stumbled back to his seat on the front row and resisted the urge to
twist in his seat and stare.  The next two presentations flowed past
him without a word registering in his mind.  All he could think about
was how to get the two alone for five minutes so he could solve this
mystery.

Ten rows behind Declan, Blair was fidgeting in his seat for an entirely
new reason.  He forced himself to pay attention to Deckerís lecture,
and even managed to loose himself somewhat in the fascinating
presentation.  But part of his attention remained firmly fixed on
Doctor Declan Dunn.  He had not missed the Ďdeer-in-the-headlightsí
look when that kid behind them had asked his damn stupid question.
They had been recognised.

Damn it.

  ~~##~~

"Sorry, Kath, got to dash, or my Captain will kill me!"  Blair was
almost towing Daniel through the crowds in a desperate rush to be gone
before Dunn caught up with them.  "Call me, okay!  Bye!"

Daniel drew level with his friend.  "Geez, Blaer, cause a scene why
donít you?" He murmured in German.

"I so do not want to meet that guy.  He so recognised us, man,
and....oh shit."

Declan Dunn was directly before them, leaning with determined glint in
his eye.  "Detective Sandburg?  Do you mind if I have a word?"

Blair set his shoulders square.  "Of course, Dr Dunn."  Daniel blinked
Ė he had never heard Blair in Ďcop-modeí before.  He trailed along
after the pair as they moved out through the lobby to the steps of the
building.  This was going to be interesting.

Declan waited until they were clear of the crowds before speaking
again.  "I donít know if you remember me, but we met very briefly two
nights ago?"  He shoved his hands into his jacket pockets.  "On a road
on the far side of campus."  Declan looked Daniel in the eye.  "I
believe you were lying in a pool of your own blood at the time, so I
wonít be offended if you donít recognise me."

Daniel smiled inscrutably, not entirely sure how to play this.  Blair
took the lead.  "Dr Dunn, what are you talking about?"  He screwed up
his face in his best imitation of Ďconfused cop.í "Iím certain weíve
never met before, especially not in a pool of blood."

Daniel was quietly impressed, Declan less so.  "Listen, let me be
blunt.  I donít know what I saw out on the road that night. But I think
I saw a man bleeding so profusely he almost certainly needed medical
attention vanish in the five minutes it took for me to get help.  I
just want to know what happened?  Because if you were as injured as I
thought you were," he told Daniel with a shrug.  "And yet you walked
away, and are showing no sign less than forty-eight hours later, then
itís a miracle.  And Iíd like to know more."

Daniel gave a slightly apologetic shrug of his own.  "Iím sorry, Dr
Dunn, but there were no miracles.  If I had been hurt as badly as you
suggest, then Iíd be in hospital rather than here."  He tried for
concerned.  "Are you sure it was us? Maybe it was someone else with
similar build, or features?  Perhaps theyíve been taken to hospital by
their friends?"

Declan nodded. "Itís possible," he conceded.  Looking between their
faces, he knew that heíd get nothing more out of the direct approach.
"Listen, Iím sorry if I was a bit rude, Iím just really concerned about
this guy."

Blair switched off the cool cop persona.  "Thatís more than most people
would be.  But Iím sorry, Dr Dunn.  It wasnít us that you saw.  Now, if
youíll excuse us, I need to be back at the station."

Declan watched them go.

  ~~##~~

"Next time youíve got some time off, come and see me.  Colorado Springs
is a beautiful area." He told Blair as he approached the departures
lounge.  He had already checked his sword into baggage, and Blair could
not move through the metal detectors with his own weapon.  As much as
he liked to travel, Daniel dreaded that short gap when he was
defenseless.  He calmed himself with the knowledge that there was
nowhere to take a Challenge up in the bustling airport, but being
unarmed in a strange city still made him jumpy.

"Iíll do that, man."  Blair clapped a hand on his shoulder.  "Listen,
go sit with the other academics in there, get the hostess to bring you
a drink, enjoy the in-flight movie and before you know it youíll be at
baggage collection in Colorado."

"I know," he told him with a grin.  "It still makes me nervous though."
Leaning over, he and Blair wrapped each other in a giant bearhug.
"Watch your neck, Blaer," he told his friend seriously.  "And come up
and visit me some time."

Blair stepped back and laughed.  "Iíll come Tuesday, its amateur
night."

Daniel groaned and gently thwatted him on the back of his head.  "See
you around, Blair."

"You too, D.  Have a good flight."

Daniel turned and walked through the metal detectors and into the
departures lounge without looking back.  He chose a seat at the edge of
a group of other conference goers who were also flying out that
morning, and slung his pack between his feet as he nodded a general
greeting.

He had been seated only a minute when another body dropped lightly into
the seat next to his.  "Morning."

Daniel schooled his features carefully. "Good morning, Dr Dunn," he
said cordially.  Flying out today too?"

He nodded.  "Back home to Portland.  You?"

Daniel would not be drawn.  "Yes."

Declan was not to be deterred.  "I just wanted to apologise if I
startled you the other day."

Daniel allowed himself a little smile.  "Did you find your mystery
victim."

"I checked the hospitals.  Nothing."  Declan sounded like he was about
to say more, but was cut off by the tannoy announcing the boarding call
for a flight to Oregon.  "Thatís my flight."  He dug through his pocket
as he rose from his seat.  "Hereís my card.  Just in case you ever need
to contact me."  He shrugged his backpack over one shoulder.  "I
research miraculous phenomenon.  If you should ever hear of anything
that fits that description, let me know.  Nice to meet you, Dr
Jackson."  Then he was gone.

Daniel thumbed the card pensively.  This Dunn character had obviously
gone to some lengths to unravel the mystery Ė he knew Blair was a
detective, he had known Danielís current name even though they had
never been properly introduced.  The information was easy enough to
obtain, as long as you were willing to put in a bit of effort.

As his own boarding call was announced, Daniel slid Declanís card into
a pocket.  He had no doubt that Declan was the kind of person who would
dig until he found what he was looking for.

That worried him.

  ~~##~~

"Hiya Mole!  Miss me?"

The ragged dog barely lifted his head as Declan barrelled through the
door of his office.  "Mangy mutt!"

The inner door opened to reveal Miranda, reading as she walked.  "Hi
Declan."

"Hi Miranda.  Did Peggy get you my message?"

Miranda looked up.  "Iím fine Declan, thanks for asking."  Declan
managed to look mildly repentant.  Miranda took what she could get.
"Yes, I got your message.  Thereís a lot of information."

Dumping his bag by the door, he slipped behind his desk and cast a
curious eye over the stacks of files lying around.  "Like?"

Miranda perched on the edge of the desk and dug through the stacks to
surface with a thick file of printouts from the news archives.  "Well,
this Blair Sandburg has a list of anthropology publications a mile
long.  But what I think you might find interesting is the news
reports."  She began flicking through the file.  "About four and a half
years ago he started making the news reports as part of Major Crimes.
He was originally some kind of observer, until about eighteen months
ago, when he was expelled from Rainier and signed up as detective."

"Expelled?"

Miranda handed him a stapled bundle of news clippings.  "He admitted to
falsifying research, and of fraudulent publications.  There was a big
news conference about it.  Apparently, he tried to claim that heíd
found a person known as a..." she flipped through her notes.  "A
Sentinel.  A person with five supernaturally heightened senses."

Declan nodded slowly.  "I remember that.  I was going to check it out,
but we got busy and then he admitted it was all made up."

Miranda raised an eyebrow.  "Yeah, thatís the one."

"Anything else?"

She handed him another, much smaller, bundle of clippings.  "About a
year before all that, he was attacked and drowned in the fountain on
the university grounds."

"Drowned?"

Miranda nodded.  "Yeah, this is where it gets interesting, especially
in relation to that other stuff you asked me to look up.  Apparently
the paramedics called it, but he voluntarily resuscitated.  Thatís a
fancy way of saying he started to breath again on his own."

Declan tossed the stack of clipping back into the open folder.  "Died
and came back to life without medical intervention."

Miranda nodded.  "Exactly.  And heís not alone.  Iím not kidding
Declan, Iíve only been at it a day and Iíve already uncovered hundreds
of recorded cases just like Sandburgís in America alone.  People being
declared dead who then just woke up.  People with fatal or near fatal
injuries seen to be walking around unhurt hours later.  People getting
up in morgues and walking away."

Declan blinked.  "Hey, remember that guy with the land, the bank loans
guy..."

Miranda nodded.  "Yeah, he woke up in a morgue too."  She tossed that
folder onto the pile.  "If you really saw what you think you
saw...well, the guyís in good company."  She jumped off her perch.
"Anyway, its all there.  Iíve got to go to class, but Iíll drop by
later.  Bye."  Miranda grabbed her own bag off the couch next to Mole
and sailed out of the room.

Declan rubbed at his stubble slowly.  He thought he might have
witnessed a miracle.  But if even a fraction of Mirandaís findings
could not be attributed to normal causes then...this was too big to be
a miracle.  This was...he sighed slowly.

This was huge.

And he had no idea what he was going to do with it.

  ~~##~~