Title: There's Freedom in Deception
Word Count: unknown
Summary: Sometimes you find true freedom in deception. This is a story of Miranda and Andrea.
Author's Note: I've been thinking about this story for 3 months and I think I have to write it. I would love any comments on how I can make it better. So all mistakes are mine and I do not own any of these characters, nor do I profit from them. Please no flames. Constructive criticism is deeply appreciated. This is an on going story and will not be abandoned.
Also I plan on moving around time lines and using both movie and book for general background.
Miranda leaned back into her chair, sipping at her Starbuck's. Nigel's voice was quietly humming in the background as he spoke to Emily and Serena. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him lean further back to catch whatever Emily was saying. She wasn't interested in their conversation so she relaxed a little before the next show was to begin.
She felt more than saw the people ebb and flow around her. They found their seats; they chatted with their neighbors and proclaimed loudly, for any and all that would listen, how excited they were and how amazing they thought everything was. Their excitement was palatable but ultimately uninteresting to Miranda.
It was her third show of the day, in as many days. There was another 4 days left. She hadn't felt a flicker of excitement from any of the collections she had seen today and if she wanted to be brutally honest she actually felt like the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris had offered very little to the fashion world that had not been seen a million times. It had been a very disappointing year. She felt utterly bored. No, she mentally shook her head at that thought; I'm not bored, I'm underwhelmed. Everything felt the same. A nod to the past was good and well but lately it felt as if the designers were just calling it in. Vera Wang wasn't even bothering with Fashion Week in New York. She claimed that she had too many things to do and it was too hectic. The truth was that her designs were plain and uninspired. Miranda had almost frowned at one dress. Forget lips being pursed, the dress in question was so ugly Miranda had been unable to stop an honest frown from showing. No, things this year were not going to go well either.
To be fair, Miranda thought to herself, she had personally felt uninspired for some time. She wasn't able to pinpoint the exact day but it had been more than a year, maybe two or three. She wasn't sure. It was like a feeling that slowly crept in, stealing her joie de vivre. Not that anyone would have called Miranda carefree, then or now, but she had enjoyed her life. She had loved the fashion shows and their innovation and pageantry. She had loved the excitement of making the best magazine in the world. She loved the politics of outmaneuvering Irv. She had loved the power that came with holding a billion dollar industry in the palm of her hand. Lately though, it had all become rather routine. Very few collections inspired her. Irv had retired and the new CEO spent more time on failing publications than trying to cut the budget of the only publication to consistently earn money; what is what Irv should have done. The power was still nice but had lost its shine. Only her dedication to the magazine had not wavered. Much, she corrected herself. It had not wavered much. It was hard to put together something from the dreck that had been declared the best of fashion this last year. She and her staff had worked harder than usual pulling Runway together.
Nigel shifted in his chair again, drawing her eyes to him. He turned to face Serena, who was seated to Emily's right side, directly behind Miranda. Nigel had continued to function as her Editor-at-Large and right hand man, but Miranda had increased his role within the magazine, allowing him to hire people that he'd like to work with. That and a healthy pay increase had smoothed over the unpleasantness that Irv and his machinations had forced down their throats.
Emily didn't need to be at this show but she enjoyed attending and Miranda hadn't seen any reason not to accommodate her. It wasn't like they needed to pay for another room. Serena and she had shared a room for at least the last 3 years. Airfare and a seat behind Miranda could be written off as a job perk for the Bookings Editor; though most people would not consider it a perk to trail after Miranda. Emily was not most people though.
Serena had also recently taken over as the Beauty Director. She wasn't ready now but if she continued to learn, Miranda imagined that Vogue or Elle might try to steal her away. She was beautiful and smart and most importantly she could adapt to new situations and see what she needed to do instead of what everyone else wanted her to do, unlike… Miranda shut down that thought. Paris always brought that stupid girl to her mind.
Internally rolling her eyes at the direction her thoughts had taken, Miranda focused on the people around her. A discreet look at her watch indicated only another few minutes before the show began. She took another sip of her rapidly cooling coffee.
Her daughters had asked to come to Paris with her this year. She, of course, said no. They needed to focus on school. Christmas break had just ended and even though they had already applied to a number of universities, this was not the time to slack off. She was a little dismayed when she found out both of the girls had applied to universities out of country along with a handful of universities scattered across America. Neither of them applied to an in-state university. The house would be very empty after the school year ended. Miranda already dreaded it. In her mind's eye she could see herself spending more time at work, only coming home to change clothes and sleep for a few hours. Of course, when the girls came home on holidays, she would cut back but without them at home demanding her attention she could easily see herself living at the office. The thought briefly amused her. All those years of fighting with husbands and suitors, of packing her schedule to make time to see her daughters, all those distractions from Runway would finally be gone and she was dreading it.
She had made a lot of changes over the years, after her last divorce, 5 years ago. She was home more often. She ate dinner with the girls, talked with them about their day and attended every activity on their schedule. She started working after they went to bed, every weekend they spent at their father's and most morning before they woke up. She attended every party and gala that was required but she also put in the minimum amount of time at each soiree. She would rush back home to finish that day's work. Her time was split between Runway and her daughters. There was nothing else. She no longer dated. She never found a person she wanted to give her time to. Once or twice, there might have been someone who caught her eye. Someone with just the right color of eyes, or just the right laugh but ultimately it wasn't whoever she was looking for. Not that there was anyone she was looking for and at 55, she thought maybe her drive had just faded away.
Dear lord, she shook her head, what morose thoughts. Paris always brought out the worse thoughts. She had begun hating Paris a few years ago. Everyone knew she disliked the city. Most thought she hated being separated from her daughters or the offices of Runway. It was somewhat true. She overheard Nigel once remark to Serena that Paris always seemed less bright after Irv forced her to give away his job. Miranda felt a slight twinge of guilt over that because she knew that no one forced her to do anything. We all make choices. It's what she told…Miranda cut off that thought. Miranda really hated Paris.
Thankfully the show was going to start any minute. Miranda needed something to shake her out of these thought.
Another sip of the now cool coffee, Miranda turned to her assistant, handed her the cup and demanded a new cup at the end of the show. A quietly murmured "Yes Miranda" was the reply. Miranda refocused on the upcoming show. It was a new designer. He had come out of nowhere. She had only seen a small sample of his work. She had all but demanded a showing before Paris but he claimed he was unable to put together a collection to show her. Miranda wasn't used to being denied and even with the silent threat of not being shown in Runway, he still did not capitulate. It was slightly intriguing. Nigel had been dispatched to gather information. He came back with a lot less then she had hoped for. His name was René Thermopolis. He grew up in a small manor in an even smaller country. Money wasn't a problem for him. Apparently he had a financial backer. Who this person was, was unknown. Where he went to school was unknown. Where this small manor was located and which small country it resides in was unknown. Miranda knew next to nothing about him and it was intriguing. She didn't know anything about him that a google search couldn't turn up. Sure she could have hired someone to find out more but she wasn't really that invested. Only once had she truly thought about hiring a private investigator to find out about someone. Sometimes, if she's honest with herself she still thinks about tracking down…
Nigel snapped his head to the right. "What did you say?"
But before Miranda could answer the music began and Nigel looked towards the catwalk. It took only a moment for him to understand why after 5 years, Miranda would say the one name that was not allowed to be uttered. The one name that could have you packing your desk before you finished speaking. There, across from Miranda and Nigel, sat Andrea Sachs dressed in Chanel and speaking to Linda Fargo.