Disclaimer: This story is for entertainment purposes only, and not monetary. DWP belongs to its creators.
Author's Note: This is my first DWP fic, so please be gentle. I don't have a Beta, so all errors are my own. Chapter 2 is already written and I'll post it as Chapter 3 is complete and so on. This might be a slow burn, but I wanted to give it a spin. This story starts 11 years after Andy left. I wanted there to be some time between them and have some fallout in Miranda's world. I don't want a shiny bow, but a real push and pull. Hope you enjoy it. :)
The second Sunday in May is the most anticipated day of the year in the world of fashion and entertainment. Everyone who is anyone receives an invitation, which at times is more coveted than the likes of an Oscar or Golden Globe.
Even though it's run by Runway's rival, Vogue magazine, all publications are invited to celebrate the world of art and fashion, and this year is no different.
Miranda Priestly was in the line of limos, impatiently waiting for her turn to exit to the press line. She huffed and continued to roll her eyes at the pomp and circumstance this insipid event demanded. "Roy, how much longer," she asked her long-time driver.
"We are now fourth in line, Miranda," he replied.
She rolled her eyes and pursed her lips. She hated this party, but it was for a good cause. Even though she and Anna Wintour were old friends, they let the public think they were enemies; it was a sort of a well-known hidden secret in the fashion world, but they let the press think what they will... sort of their own private game.
Finally, it was her turn to exit the car. She was dressed in a black velvet bodice gown with sheer lace long sleeves, and long full green silk chiffon skirt. She rolled her eyes when Emily presented to her. The girl was no longer nervous around Miranda since taking over as the Art Director for Runway since Nigel left.
"Miranda, just try it on. You know the theme of this year is all about repurposed fashion. It's vintage Ellie Saab, for crying out loud." Emily said as she rolled her eyes.
"You know, Emily, I preferred you when you were scared of me," Miranda said as she snatched the garment out of her hand and went behind the screens to change.
"Well, a lot has changed in 10 years. I think of you more as my bossy older sister," Emily smirked. She loved her new relationship with Miranda.
Miranda smirked in return, "At least I'm not your Aunt. Come zip me up."
Emily went behind the screen and then exited so Miranda could follow. There was a gasp that came from Emily.
"Miranda, it's stunning. You look magnificent!"
Miranda looked in the mirror and thought to herself, "Not bad." She turned to Emily, "Very good. I'll wear the Chanel shoes and Fred Leighton jewels."
Emily is Miranda's new confidant and friend. She wouldn't know what she'd do if she lost her. She'd grown so much, and fit the bill right away after Nigel left a year after the Paris incident. She misses him. Damn, she misses him.
Hearing Roy's tap on the window, she was brought out of her daydream as the door opened. She plastered on her smile for the press and thanked Roy, and pulled him close to her so she could whisper. "Be back in one hour, unless you hear from me."
"Yes, Miranda," he tipped his hat and she was on her way.
Walking in the grand entrance of the Met, Miranda was greeted in the receiving line by her long-time friend of 30 years.
"Miranda, it's wonderful to see you. You look stunning," Anna said as they shared air kisses.
"Thank you, you look sublime in Chanel, you always do," Miranda said genuinely.
Anna pulled Miranda towards her, "I want to warn you. There are two people coming tonight, and I don't want you to be caught off guard."
Miranda pulled back to look at her friend with a puzzled look. Who on earth could she mean? "Who?"
"Andrea Sachs and Nigel Kippling. They're coming together."
Miranda gasped. She hadn't seen Nigel in 11 years and Andrea for about that long as well. She felt ill. "How on earth did they get an invite, Anna?"
"Miranda, Andrea is a very powerful journalist and Nigel is the most sought after design consultant. They're the best of friends and it made sense that they would come together."
Miranda was going to faint right there.
Anna left the receiving line, garnering some odd looks from members of her staff. She and Miranda shot them glares, and they went back to greeting guests.
"Miranda, are you alright? It's been over 10 years. Surely you've finally gotten over her," Anna asked gently.
Miranda took a deep breath and closed her eyes, "Anna, it's been a long decade, and I thought I'd moved on, but you just mentioning she'd be here tells me I'm not."
Anna smiled, "You know I think it'll be okay. She's a wonderful woman. She's not a girl anymore. She's the youngest investigative reporter at the New York Times, and has two Pulitzers to prove how incredible she is."
Miranda shot Anna a deadly look but softened when she caught her friend's eyes. She was going to be here tonight. The woman she's been in love with for the better part of a decade was going to breathe the same air as she, and it made it hard to concentrate. The belt she wore was suddenly too tight. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she felt Anna's hand run up and down her back.
"You'll be okay, Miranda. Go grab a drink. You're not working, but I am. I need to get back to the receiving line, but you go have a great time and just see what happens."
"I don't know whether to strangle you or thank you," Miranda muttered. She then leaned in and gave her friend air kisses and squeezed her hand. "Go. I'll be fine."
Like hell she was fine.
She made her way to the exhibit and grabbed a drink from a passing tray.
Miranda perused the art but wasn't taking it in. She couldn't believe that Andrea and Nigel were coming together and were still in touch.
I guess I deserve that. Shit.
Miranda mingled and talked with people in the industry. She saw the now-retired former CEO of Elias Clark, Irv Ravits, and his wife. Sure, they had their dealings that were not so pleasant, while he was CEO, but they made their peace and continued to have a cordial relationship. She ran into other editors and publishers, designers, and stylists; it was always a bit overwhelming after all these years. She did, however, have her one constant at Runway still, Emily.
The air shifted in the room as she continued to work her way towards the main hall. The grandeur of the whole thing was incredible, her friend knew how to throw a party, no matter how ridiculous she thought it was.
Then out of the corner of her eye, she saw the silhouette of the woman who has haunted her on and off for the past decade, "Andrea," she whispered.
She was on the arm of Nigel, and they were speaking with Anthony Vaccarello, the newest YSL designer. The man was droll and the designs were for sure sub-par. The YSL name didn't hold up to its former glory.
Vintage Valentino, Miranda smiled. She looks magnificent.
Just then, Nigel locked eyes with her as Andy and Anthony continued to talk. He leaned over and whispered in her ear. She smiled and continued her conversation, never knowing that Miranda was 20 feet behind her.
Nigel made his way towards Miranda, his eyes were warm and kind. She misses him. God does she miss him.
They stood in front of one another. Miranda felt a lump in her throat. Betrayal was an evil bitch, and she's paid dearly for it. She was lucky Emily was able to look past it all and stick with her. That was her only saving grace.
"Nigel," Miranda whispered. His name floated out of her mouth like a full weight was lifted off her shoulders. She grabbed his hands and kissed his cheek. "It's so wonderful to see you, truly."
"Miranda, I've missed you," his eyes showed longing for his friend. "How are you? How are the girls?"
Miranda smiled, her favorite subject. "Cassidy is living in London working as an Architect. Caroline is here in New York working at a Law Firm as a first year associate. They're both doing incredibly well."
Nigel smiled, "I see they didn't follow in your footsteps."
Miranda chuckled, "No! I did all I could to steer them clear of this world. I'm very proud. Cassidy is about to start the largest project in her career. She's designing a building that will be fully solar-powered and energy-efficient. She's dedicated her whole career to renewable energy Architecture. I'm so proud. Proud of both of them. Caroline is practicing environmental law. She's really making a name for herself. They both are."
"That's amazing Miranda. You look radiant."
Miranda looked over Nigel's shoulder and nodded towards Andy who was speaking with the wife of some actor she couldn't put her finger on his name. "I see you and Andrea are still in touch."
Nigel looked back and smiled. "Yeah," he turned back to Miranda, "she's my best friend. We do everything together."
"Nigel, I -"
"No, Miranda," Nigel placed his hand on her arm. "Not here. We'll talk later. Now is not the time." He looked again at Andy, "Do you want to talk to her? I didn't tell her I was coming to speak to you."
Miranda looked again at the beautiful woman. Her hair was a little shorter. No more were the bangs that hid her eyes, they were bright and open. No more was the young face, but a mature woman. How old was she now? 37? 38? She turned back to Nigel and shook her head, "No, not tonight." She pulled out her phone and fired off a text. "I must be going."
Nigel furrowed his brow and nodded his head. "You know she's not the same person."
Miranda smiled, "I know. I can tell. Also, Anna told me."
Nigel laughed, "Of course she did."
Miranda received notification Roy was outside. "I must be going. It was wonderful to see you, my friend. I've sorely missed you."
Nigel threw caution to the wind and hugged Miranda, and he wasn't surprised when he received the hug back. "I'll call you, Miranda. I'd like to get together so we can talk. I think we owe it to one another."
Miranda softly smiled back, "I'd like that. Congratulations on your success, Nigel. You've earned it. Even if I couldn't make it up for the horrible things I've done to you."
"Thank you, Miranda. We'll talk soon," Nigel said as he walked away.
Miranda took one last look at Andrea and walked away.
As she made her exit, she locked eyes with Anna and nodded and she received one in return. Her friend knew she didn't stay long at the Met Galas, or any function for that matter unless Runway was hosting.
Anna hoped her friend would wake up, and realize that she needs to make it right with Andrea and Nigel, Andrea especially. Happiness is a horrible thing to let squander. She watched her friend walk away. Shoulders forward, head slightly down. She deserved after all these years to finally get her happy ending.