Dom finds himself memorizing little things about her without even realizing that he's doing so. Little, stupid things, like how she crosses her legs at the ankles while she eats, or the look of detached concentration on her face in between takes. Her back is always straight and her head is always held up, almost proudly. Even now, in the bar, grinning at everyone around her over her mug, she's poised, confident.
Miranda is too proud and determined to let people feel sorry for her. If she's having difficulty at all, she won't show it.
And Dom knows it must be a cardinal rule that you're not supposed to get involved with co-workers, you shouldn't. Not like that's stopping some of them, but Dom would like to think that he still holds at least some shred of decency.
When people start filtering home for the night (er, early morning), Dom finds himself escorting Miranda out the door. Not that he's taking her home or anything, right. (Not yet, anyways, the overly hopeful voice at the back of his mind says. He's learned to ignore it lately.) Just to make sure that she got home safely, seeing as she was tipsy and slightly teetering on her feet. Just to make sure she's alright, of course. If it were Liv or Elijah or anyone else, he would have made a big show of it- hook their arms together and skip away laughing. But he can't even fathom doing the same to her. This was Miranda they were talking about. Miranda who could drink as much as the boys and hold her own, but who still looked delicate at the end of the night, no matter how much she resented that. So he doesn't touch her arm, doesn't crack many jokes, just opened the door for her in an exaggerated manner, bowing deeply. "After you, miss," he intones melodramatically, smirking, and Miranda smiles back at him in amusement. Dom's satisfied with that. Better to play it for laughs than to let them catch on that you mean it.
He walks a few steps behind her once they're outside, dipping back and forth into the pools of light the streetlamps make. It reminds him of stomping through puddles as a child, and there are real puddles dotting the sidewalks from the morning's rain, except now it wouldn't be dignified for him to run ahead of Miranda and splash in them. Though, knowing her, she'd probably kick off her impossibly high heels, hitch up her skirt and join him. He'd do that with Liv or anyone else (though he hopes that he never sees Elijah in heels, he doesn't think his eyes could take that). He doesn't know what twist of fate has changed the nature of things, but Miranda's different. He should be treating Miranda the same as his mates, but he just can't.
Her hair glows, offset by the streetlamp, and Dom thinks of her as some old glamorous movie star, the kind with the fancy black dresses, who always had several lights trained on her to set her apart from the rest of the cast, to make her stand out. Miranda doesn't need specially trained lights or special makeup. Her beauty makes moonlight sufficient lighting and lamp poles sufficient backdrops
Miranda slows her steps and waits for Dom at the street corner, pivots back and forth on her heels impatiently. "This is where I get off," she tells him, and Dom tries not to look too eager or awkward. Oh please ask me to walk you home, he thinks. No matter how juvenile or pathetic it sounds in his head, he wants to continue watching her, if only two steps behind.
Dom shoves his hands deep into his pockets and tries to look nonchalant. "You'll be alright getting back alone?" Miranda smiles back at him, gleaming white teeth, perfect little stars against the rose of her lips and the black of her blouse.
"Thank you, but I'll be fine. Don't worry." Another flash of teeth and Miranda's already crossing the street, lifting an arm to wave goodbye.
Dom lifts a hand in response and tries to smile.
He makes her tea on the set exactly the way she likes it, without even thinking about it- just another minute fact he's stored away about her. When he hands it to Miranda he realizes that she's never actually told him about how she likes her tea, so he waits for the surprise to kick in. He expects a suspecting look, or maybe confusion, but her face melts into gentle delight instead, her smile wide and still shining through her battle-weary makeup. Even after she's taken the cup from him Dom stays, sensing that she needs attention right now. Affection, or something. His hand gently slides down the line of her back. The fabric is thin, and Dom doesn't have to press hard to feel the exact curve of her back, the smooth plane of her shoulders above where his hand rests.
He doesn't let himself grow too hopeful this time.
His hand stays at the small of her back. He can feel her muscles shift through the material, and Miranda lets out a soft sigh. He has to bite his lip to keep from caressing her.
Dom supposes that if he had known where the point of no return would be, if he had been given enough time and warning to steer clear, he might, just might have avoided falling for her. But not only is he too late for that, wherever the point might have been, but he's not so sure that he even would have avoided it. It probably won't end well, he knows this. But he wouldn't give it up even if he had known.
He dreams that night about being lost in a field, somewhere out where he doesn't recognize, nowhere near where they've been filming. It's desolate, and he would be alone except that he can see a woman at the far end of the field. He starts running towards her, typical dream logic, but she always seems to be the same distance away from him, no matter how hard he tries. The woman turns, showing bright teeth and golden hair, but he still can't get to her.
The doorbell jerks him awake. It takes him a few moments to get his bearings back as he slides yesterday's jeans back on, glaring at the alarm clock (is it that late?) and grumbling incomprehensibly to himself as he shuffles down the hall and opens the door. If it's Orlando, he'll kill the wanker, just-
Miranda's on his doorstep, looking tired and somewhat lost.
Dom rubs at his eyes blearily with one hand, the other still frozen on the doorknob. "Mir?" His voice croaks, and he winces.
Miranda immediately launches into a flurry of apologies and sorrys. The words fuzz and run together in Dom's head, and he just stares at her instead. She looks pale and almost gaunt in the darkness, the faint beginning of dark circles under her eyes, looking like just another trick of makeup now. Dom wants them to just be leftover makeup, wants to swipe the smudges away. If they weren't real, he would want to smear them to the sides with his thumbs, smudge the soft skin even more.
"Miranda, you know I want you, right?" He's tempted to slap a hand over his mouth as soon as it comes out. Fuck, fuck, way to go.
"Huh?" Miranda blinks, eyes fuzzy and unfocused, tired, and Dom realizes with relief that she didn't hear.
Okay, time to back pedal. When all else fails, drop the subject.
"We're mates, right?" Which is even more idiotic, but she smiles and nods in response. "Mates take care of each other."
He's not sure exactly what excuse he's using, what he's saying or what on earth he's doing, but it must be the right thing to say, because she steps through the doorway and presses her cool, slim hand into his.
She hovers over him like a mirage, shimmering in the half-darkness like she's made of air and nothing more. A mirage that doesn't dissipate when his fingers curl into her shoulders, and he's almost surprised: part of him had expected to find nothing more but muggy air and cool bed sheets like always. She curves above him, a question mark, and he answers by pulling her down on top of him, to rest on his legs and chest and shoulders.
She curves like a bow, a tie over a line of music, and when she dips her head to lick a hot wet line down the side of his face, Dom can't do anything but let himself give, and take everything he's hoped for recently.
He spends the rest of the night with half-lidded eyes, watching the honey-gold of Miranda's hair splayed out onto the pillow, gleaming even in the half-light.
When he finally does sleep he dreams the same as before, the same field and the retreating golden back, Miranda still running away from him. This time his legs work faster, better, and he's able to chase after her, his breath heaving in rhythm. Just a little faster, just a little more, he can do it.
But when he manages to catch up to her and grasp her shoulder, she disappears.
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