A/N: This story idea came from celesse201, there were multiple ideas given which I will incorporate in this request while placing my spin on this.
Disclaimer: As always I am just fooling with these characters. I do not own or make any money from them. They are owned by Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox.
Summary: A few years after Andy leaves New York she finds herself pulled back into Miranda's world. Can Andy keep herself and the Priestly's safe from the forces working against the family?
Andy sat in her study in a pair of basketball shorts and muscle top having taken part in a strenuous workout with her employer and mentor P.J.
She was attempting to complete the report P.J needed on her last assignment but discovered she could not concentrate. She was thinking of the email she had received the day before, on her return to L.A.
Andy opened her emails and re-read the cause of her ruminations.
Date: Tues May 04, 2010,
Subject: We need you
We haven't heard from you lately. We need you in New York; mom needs you more than ever. Please come home to us.
Cass and Caro
Her mind was over-run with memories of the past.
Andy relived the day she had come across the Priestly women in Central Park. It was a week after her return from Paris. She had got a job as Cub Reporter at the Mirror. The Queen of Fashion had provided a dubious reference where she labelled Andy as her greatest disappointment.
"Andy!" She made out the childish squeal before finding herself bowled over by twin arms and a huge St Bernard.
"Good afternoon Cass, Caro." She gave the girls a bear hug. "Hello, Patricia." She said patting the dog. Patricia greeted her affection with a loud woof and a slobbery kiss. Laughing she looked up she saw the steel blue eyes of the editor contemplating her. "Hi, Miranda." She whispered as she attempted to untangle herself from the twins.
"Andréa." Miranda uttered. She scanned Andy from feet to head and pursed her lips.
Andy looked down and grinned as Miranda showed her obvious displeasure at the scuffed Doc Martin's, Levi jeans and Northwestern hoody. The editor was not impressed.
She shrugged unapologetically. "Well as lovely as it was having you run into me. I must go; I need to be in Soho for an appointment. Miranda, thanks for the reference. Girls here's my email, should you need anything I will always be here, okay?" She handed Cassidy a business card before spinning around and walking away with her head bowed down to hide the tears flowed.
Seeing Miranda again had brought back every ounce of pain she had experienced from walking away from the only woman she could imagine herself loving.
Andy shook herself out of her thoughts and responded to the email in the hope it would allow her to get on with her report and enjoy a well-earned holiday.
Date: Wed May 05, 2010,
Subject: RE: We need you
I've just returned from an overseas assignment. The last time you told me your mom needed me ended in disaster. The only people your mom needs is the two of you.
Please care of each other.
My love always.
Andy sighed and attempted to focus on her report. She examined the information she was typing at least three times paying specific attention to the detail with the time frames outlined. Andy did not make mistakes. In her line of work that could get her or her client killed. Making a few edits; she fired off the report by email. Hearing her mail client chime she saw two words; 'Dinner tonight?'
She grinned knowing dinner with P.J would be a welcome distraction from her thoughts; from the memories that were plaguing her since her return to the U.S.
Andy had been at the Mirror five months when the axe fell, subscriptions had fallen, and the lay-off was inevitable, as the last in she was first out.
She decided it was time to pack up and leave New York to travel and then return and settle into law as her parents had always wanted. Andy held the hope that going into law could be the one thing that could breach the distance that had come between her and her parents since Nate had left with Doug Lily following him out of her life. The unwavering support she once had from her family and friends had disappeared after she had told them she was gay.
Andy had decided that she would tell the people she knew in New York of her imminent departure in one heartfelt email, thanking them for their love, support and friendship. She also emailed the twins, but as yet she had not yet received a response from them. She had received emails from the twins throughout her time at the Mirror but had only caught brief glimpses of their beautiful mother.
Andy sighed, she didn't want to leave without saying goodbye to them.
She wandered over to the front door on hearing pounding on it and wrenching it open found a twin set of ice blue eyes glaring at her. "Hi girls. How did you get here?" Andy asked. "Come on in." She stepped back and let the twins enter the almost empty apartment.
Cassidy looked around while Caroline glared at her. The brunette could recognise the fury blazing in the young girl's blue eyes. "You're leaving us?" Caroline hissed ignoring Andy's question.
"No...Wait...No Caro! I'm leaving New York, not the people I love." Andy attempted to explain. "I will always carry you with me, in my heart. You and Cass."
"And mommy?" Cassidy asked.
"Yes. I will always care for the three of you." Andy stated.
"Mom needs you," Caroline stated. "Tell her Cass."
Cassidy looked down. "I was passing her study when mommy saw your email last night. She sat there for a few minutes in shock, and then she cried, My mommy doesn't cry over people she doesn't care for. She cares about you, Andy."
Andy scoffed. "As if. She's not said three words since I left Paris. I fact she's said just one, my name, and then pursed her lips at me over how the way I dress. She told my new ex-boss I was her biggest disappointment."
"She also told him he'd be an idiot not to hire you. This morning she hissed down the phone to him he was an idiot for letting you go." Caro told her.
"Why don't you get another reference from her and stay in New York?" Cassidy asked.
"It's not that easy honey. When I came to New York, I had my boyfriend and other friends here too. Now I'm alone." Andy told her. "I've already had more than I ever expected from your mom when she didn't blacklist me after I left her in Paris..." she trailed off when she heard the door buzzer, stepping over she pressed the intercom. "This is Andy."
"Andréa, my assistant has advised me that my twins are with you," Miranda stated.
"I'll buzz you in Miranda," Andy mumbled. She pressed the button to allow access to the building and glared at the twins. "What did you do?" She asked.
"We text the new Emily and told her to tell mom we would be here with you for dinner," Cassidy said.
Andy rolled her eyes and ran her fingers through her dark hair as there was a soft knock on the door. Andy opened it to find Miranda looking furious. "How dare you..." Miranda said, her anger clear as she brushed past the brunette and into the apartment.
"What?" Andy stuttered. "Do you think I dragged your precious girls here having just thrown an impromptu dinner party in my empty apartment? You've got to be fucking kidding me right?" Andy was furious. "I leave New York the day after tomorrow. I don't need this...this...whatever the fuck this is." She exploded as tears formed in her eyes.
Miranda looked shocked, opening and closing her mouth in disbelief that Andy would speak to her in such a way. Her eyes softened as she noticed the tears. "I didn't mean...I don't know why..." she sighed and turned to the twins. "Bobbsey's how did you get here?"
"We took a cab," Cassidy admitted looking at her feet.
"Cass and I knew you'd come for us Mom, and we wanted you to see what we do, that you care for each other. We want you to stop Andy from leaving us again." Caroline explained.
Miranda closed her eyes and breathed deeply, her girl's words had affected her more than she expected. Andy looked down at Miranda to see the mask fall back into place. "I what would give you that idea Caroline. Andréa was a capable assistant, nothing more." She said, "Come now girls; we should let Andréa finish packing."
"No!" Caroline stated. "We need you, Andy. Mom needs you. She's had over ten new Emily's, but she hasn't replaced her Andréa. She doesn't smile anymore when she hears the front door open when the book gets dropped off, she's sad, and it is not because of Stephen." The little redhead stomped her foot. "We can see you care about each other. Why are you dancing around this thing between you? Adults! You are all so stupid sometimes; it's infuriating."
Andy knelt down in front of the fiery redhead and pulled her into a hug. "What can I say to make this better Caro? You know I can't stay in New York for your mom, living in the hope that she may one day provide something she's not willing or able to give me. You heard her; I am a capable assistant, nothing more. You can't force people into loving you." She looked up at the editor. "But your mom will always be one of the very few people who has left an indelible mark on my soul."
Miranda tore her eyes away from Andy. "Come on now girls." Her tone was firm, realising this Caroline held onto Andy tightly before letting her go and running from the apartment.
Cassidy looked at Andy and her mom and shook her head. Launching herself into Andy's arms, she sobbed as Andy drew soothing circles on her back. "Cass, let me show you something," Andy asked. Pulling back the young redhead nodded, and Andy lifted her sweater sleeve up.
Cassidy looked down at her forearm. Tattooed there was two entwined floral C's, each with a tiny dragon lying on the inner curve of each letter. One in purple and one in green. "Do you think I could ever forget the baby dragons that captured my heart?" She asked tenderly.
Cassidy shook her head. "May I take a photo, to show Caro?" She asked. When Andy nodded, she pulled her cell phone from her jacket pocket as Andy held out her arm and snapped a few photos before running out of the apartment to find her sister.
Looking up at Miranda she saw the mask had fallen and she could see the sadness etched in the blue eyes. "Good luck on your travels Andréa. I hope you find what you are looking for in the world." Miranda whispered before turning and marching away, leaving the brunette knelt on the floor of her empty life.
Dinner with P.J and his wife Kate was a lively affair, pulling out the big guns he'd had his housekeeper prepare all Andy's favourite dishes. "Andy, there's a reason for dinner tonight." He told her as their meal was ending and he led them to the living room.
Andy raised her eyebrow in a query as her curiosity flared. "Care to expand?" She asked as she watched him pouring them a drink.
"In Thailand, when we met, I had concerns. A beautiful young woman travelling alone is not unusual, but it always troubles me. What triggered my interest in you was that you had a fire in your eyes that had me mesmerised. I have only seen that fire in one other woman, my Kate." P.J grinned across at his wife who had seated herself next to Andy on the wide sofa. "You amazed me when you faced those street thugs in Bangkok. You were brave and so very foolish."
Andy grinned at the remembrance. "So you both jumped in and kicked ass."
"Exactly, and then we took you for a beer. You told us about yourself, how your parents had reacted to you being gay, that your friends had disappeared and how you'd left your life in New York behind." Andy frowned wondering where this was going. "You're distracted today; you don't let me kick your ass in training normally, and today I whipped your butt. What's going on Andy?" He asked.
"The twins emailed me. They're claiming Miranda needs me in New York. There was no real information provided, and I told them, no, but I can't seem to shake the gut feeling something's wrong." Andy explained.
"Then go with your gut. Check things out; speak to your friend Nigel. Your gut instincts haven't been wrong as long as you worked with us; it's one of the greatest things about you; your instincts are spot on, it's why you've generated a name for yourself in the industry, even if it is a fake name." He grinned.
Andy grinned back. "Well at least you guys have stopped calling me Rookie, that last job was harder than I expected, I got that guy good though. It's a shame the footage ended up online. That's why I need to take time away."
"I warned you when I offered you the job you would have no time for yourself, family, and other commitments; you spend most of your in the company of your client." P.J grinned. "Kate and I are lucky; we found each other within the business. You've yet to find your soul mate."
"Don't assume that," Kate told him. "I think we have only scratched the surface with the young one here." Kate offered Andy a small knowing smile.
Andy snorted. "I'll check into things in New York further, but I'll make no promises to the twins. Now, will you guys be okay without me? Remember, I'm okay to step in if needed."
"Don't be absurd; you haven't had a break in the last 18 months. Go relax, eat lots of good food and sleep with a beautiful woman or three." P.J told her with a loud laugh as Andy, and his wife glared at him.
"On that note, I'll be off. Thanks for dinner guys." Andy told them. She pulled Kate into a fierce hug as she stood and then stepping towards P.J followed suit with him. "You're an asshole P.J," she told him as she pulled back and offered him one of her trademark megawatt smiles. "Never change."
"You wanna know something kiddo?" He asked. Noticing Andy's patient look he continued. "If Kate and I are lucky enough to have a daughter, I hope she turns out just like you." He smiled. "Now get outta here and ride safely."
Andy gave him a shy smile. "I'll check in with you both in the next few days old man." She muttered, affected by his words. She spun and rushed to the front door. Shrugging on her leather jacket, she picked up her bike helmet and made her way out of the house.
Straddling her Harley, she kicked up dust as she made her way home, her thoughts on the moment she had met P.J and Kate on her travels through Thailand.
"Pị h̄ı̂ pĥ." Andy didn't want to show the three thugs that had cornered her in an alley off the Kao San Road any of the fear she felt. "I said go away!" Andy growled in English through gritted teeth. At that moment she decided she hated Bangkok with a vengeance. "C̄hạn mị̀mī ngein." She tried to tell them she had no money.
One thug laughed. "Reā mị̀ t̂xngkār ngei." She understood she was in the grave danger; the words filtered through her brain; they didn't want money. Fear coursed through her, raising the hair on the back of her neck as she saw the flash of a blade in one of her attacker's hands.
Out of nowhere, two people came to her rescue. She watched in awe as a pale hand grabbed the wrist that held the knife and snapped it back forcibly, disarming the would-be attacker and causing him to cry in pain. She caught the growl coming from her other rescuer. "S̄ām bn h̄nụ̀ng thī̀ ǹā xạbxāy." She attempted to translate and came up with the words 'three on one, disgraceful'. She watched as the man took on the two others and left them in a heap on the floor of the alley.
"Come with us." She looked up taking in the wide smile and bright blue eyes and a shock of red hair on one of her rescuers. "My name is Kate, that bruiser with me is my husband P.J. We will keep you safe, I promise." Her voice was quiet and melodious and reminded her somewhat of the beautiful silver-haired editor.
P.J came over and stood by Kate. "You're a fierce little one aren't ya?" He clapped her on the shoulder. "You look like you need a beer, come on, kiddo. No harm will come to you while you're with us." He grinned and pulled his wife closer. "I thought you said this honeymoon would be relaxing." He chuckled again.
Kate stepped towards Andy and offered her arm. Taking it, Andy smiled. "Can you teach me that move?" She asked Kate. "That was awesome."
"We'll see," Kate told her. "Come on, we found a great little bar up the road from this tourist trap."
Andy had learned a lot throughout the last two years since meeting P.J and Kate.
She spent that first night telling them about her past, her lack of family and friends in the world, describing to them to them her time at Runway, which seemed to fascinate Kate, having heard about the mercurial editor.
They returned the favour the next day explaining that P.J ran his own Executive Protection Agency which outsourced personal security officers to clients all over the U. S. The business offered protection from such threats as assault, kidnapping and stalking.
Kate had explained that Executive Protection Agents needed to exhibit skills for the role, including effective communication and excellent human relation skills and the usual specialised training in areas that include defensive techniques, disarming, weapon use, driving, CPR and first aid.
P.J explained that he rarely needed the defensive skills. His focus was to communicate with clients verbally and with a gesture. He thought his staff should have solid writing skills and leadership, communication, decision making, negotiation, counselling, and conceptual skills. He explained that his team were the people you first meet before gaining access to the client and how they responded to guests could make or mar the client's reputation.
She looked back on the day before she left Bangkok at P.J and Kate's side and changed the course of her life.
They had spent two days together. On the third day, Kate left P.J with Andy to run errands. Andy was walking next to him through King Rama IX Park when he made the offer. "You know I believe you would be a good fit for my company kiddo." He told her softly.
Andy laughed loudly. "Don't tease me P.J. I have none of the skills required to do the job. Look at me?"
"I am looking at you, Andy. Kate and I see a beautiful, fierce and independent young woman that could, if taught, provide excellent service for our clients. We need more women in the industry. There are certain things you can do for our female clients I, as a man, cannot."
The offer stunned Andy, but she was curious about the suggestion. "What would it entail?" She asked.
"We'd start with the training, firearm's, specifically pistols, this will get you the certification required to allow the use of more military-type firearms. There are people out in the world, working within this industry, that carry a firearm and they've never been through training on how to conceal or carry a weapon properly. We do this so when you're wearing a sports coat or a jacket; it's not noticeable. I will show you how to use low-profile holsters."
Andy sat on a bench as P.J continued to explain.
"We will teach you how to conduct advance to threat management. We teach the traditional formations, but we also do a lot of training that's specific to a one or two man detail, focussing on teaching you how to cover the multiple aspects of detail work. Our training will put you through scenarios in such venues you may come across in the field. We work so the first thing you attempt is to use your verbal skills to de-escalate a situation. If the perp doesn't comply with the request, you will use techniques learned in the combative course. You would learn defensive driving skills. Kate would teach you mixed martial arts. You'd learn that move you saw the other day, and also the Crash Technique, how to check and down an arm drawing a weapon and tackle them using a full body attack." P.J laughed at Andy's look of wonder.
"Is there anything else I'd have to learn?" Andy asked.
"My executive protection team offers someone who's well-rounded and cultured. So we provide courses on etiquette and professionalism. I don't think it would be an issue for you; you've already flown in the high-brow circles of the New York Publishing world. We would train you in private investigation work; you would learn how to complete corporate background checks, and we would show you how to install and maintain home security systems." P.J sighed. "Just consider it Andy. Kate and I leave for the south of France tomorrow. You're welcome to join us."
"Why me?" Andy questioned.
She heard Kate's voice coming from behind. "Why not you Andy? If you say yes, I would advise you carry a utility knife. It is not just a weapon but has other applications as a tool. If there's a bad car accident, we can use the knife to cut the seat belt to extract the client out of the vehicle, or something of that nature. They come in handy all the time." She sat beside Andy and offered her a small smile. "I had an inkling P.J would corner you today. Please say yes Andy."
She looked at the redhead seated beside her she saw the puppy dog look and laughed. "Yes," Andy stated giving the women a mega-watt smile. She looked at P.J. "What have I got to lose?"
"Just wait 'til we're in France. I will fit you out with the most beautiful suits." Kate giggled. "You will look smoking hot when I've finished with you kiddo!"
Andy rolled her eyes and grinned at P.J. "Oh Goody, it looks like I have another job where people want to dress me."
"Welcome to the team, Andy..." he looked at her and smiled. "Now about that name..."
Andy was known by her peers and clients as Alexis Sackville. The only person who knew her pseudonym, was Nigel Kipling, Creative Director of Runway U.S.
She decided she would contact Nigel when she got home; due to the three hour time difference she left him an email.
Date: Wed May 05, 2010,
Subject: Twin Terror's
I returned to L.A. last night to a twin terror alert. The two little imps have demanded I come home. Miranda supposedly needs me. I've been out of the loop awhile, as I've been in Australia. Are you able to tell me what's going on?
Her cell buzzed immediately. Checking the caller ID flashing Nigel's name she grinned and picked up. "Road-kill grill: You kill 'em we grill 'em..."
"One of these days Six you will answer your cell like a normal human being." Nigel chuckled. "Though it is a better greeting than Valley banana factory, you send 'em; we bend 'em."
Andy laughed. "I thought you'd be asleep with your latest spunky monkey; it's almost 1 am."
"Ah, my latest spunky monkey swung off into the distance last month. We've just finished a shoot, so I'm sat in my office enjoying a Scotch," Nigel sighed.
"I'm sorry about Jared Nige," Andy told him. "Do you want me to find him and break his legs?"
Nigel chuckled. "No! He's not worth the effort. I've realised I may never find someone who doesn't mind the hours I put in at Runway."
"I understand that. I've had orders of P.J to take time off, eat good food and find a woman or three to sleep with." She grinned as Nigel cackled and clapped his hands.
"I like your boss. His wife reminds me of a young Miranda; she's much nicer than La Priestly though." Nigel knew not to be too harsh about Miranda when talking to Six. "So you have time off? Do you fancy paying Uncle Nigel a visit in the Big Apple? I have things to discuss, regarding the twin terror alert."
Andy looked at her calendar. "I can be there Friday afternoon if that's okay for you. My tattooist has made me an appointment for tomorrow, plus it'll allow me to catch up on some sleep and to organise flights and a hotel."
"You're having your sleeve finished? Fantastic. You will not be staying in a hotel. You can have my guest room." Nigel told her
"If you insist." Andy sighed. "I'll text you to let you know what time I'll be landing. Can you at least tell me some of what's going on?"
"Stephen. He's even more irrational; the alcohol has destroyed what little common decency he had. His CEO fired him for inappropriate behaviour just before Christmas and thought it would be a smart move to change the divorce settlement to include third-party custody of the twins and alimony. Well, the press got a hold of the story...and...Well, you know how Miranda gets when her girls get dragged through the press." Nigel sighed. "She's been receiving threats at home Andy, she's scared, but she's refusing to let a security team in."
"Why am I sensing you've just had a lightbulb moment?" Andy felt exasperated. "What makes you think she'd hire me? I don't come cheap, and we have the whole past thing going on..."
"You're not a stranger," Nigel told her triumphantly. "That is the biggest argument she has about it, having a stranger in her home."
"Let me think about it, Nigel. I don't know how I feel about being dragged back into Miranda's world after all this time. I'm not the same person I was two years ago."
"Even better. La Priestly won't be able to push you around anymore." She could feel Nigel radiating happiness at what he believed solved the Miranda problem.
Andy sighed. "I'm gonna go Nige. I'll see you Friday." She disconnected the call and ran her hands through the short strands of her hair in frustration.