Fic: Everybody's got the right
Fandom: Devil Wears Prada
Description: Emily learns what it's like to be an assistant to Miranda Priestly.
Title is taken from Everybody's got the right (to be happy) from the musical Assassins, by Stephen Sondheim. Consider this a prequel of sorts to On-the-job Training.
"Our job, first and foremost, is to keep Miranda happy, and secondly, to help Miranda her get her job done -- in that order. You may be tempted to reverse them -- don't, if you consider job security of any importance to you." So said her predecessor, when Emily first came to Runway as Miranda Priestly's junior assistant.
At first, Emily didn't understand how those two tasks could be mutually exclusive -- it seemed to her that if you helped Miranda get her job done, it would keep Miranda happy, and if Miranda was happy, it would help her get her job done. She aspired to work for a higher power -- for the sake of fashion itself. Thus, she also didn't understand why it would be better to prioritise Miranda's personal happiness over the good of Runway -- sure, Miranda Priestly was larger than life, worshiped by every girl who came within ten feet of her, and of course, Emily had long admired the woman even before coming to work at the magazine -- but Miranda couldn't be bigger than the organization. To this, someone clarified, "You don't get it, do you? This isn't about the greater good. You work for Runway. Miranda IS Runway, and you better not forget it."
After a single day on the job, Emily wasn't convinced. She was convinced, however, that she was the stupidest person on the planet, a hindrance to Runway, and unworthy of all things related to fashion, and society at large.
After three months, things got marginally better. Miranda started to remember Emily's name, at least. One day Miranda said to her, "I would like you to deliver the Book to my house tonight."
Emily supposed it was meant to be an honour -- the Book was only the most important document in the entire building, and only the livelihoods of every employee at Runway depended on it. Of course Emily absolutely loved extra responsibility with no extra compensation -- who didn't?
But really, she was in no position to complain. Not being a US citizen, Elias-Clarke was sponsoring her work visa, and she hadn't started paperwork for a green card yet. In other words, her legal right to stay and work in the country depended on her job security, and her job security depended on making Miranda happy, and helping her get her job done -- in that order. She never forgot.
That first night, the Book was late, and by the time Emily got to Miranda's house it was clear that everyone in the household save Miranda had retired for the night. The woman was visible in the kitchen when Emily entered the front door. Thinking that she was being polite, Emily walked the Book all the way up to Miranda and placed it next to her. The look Miranda gave her for her efforts instantly shriveled her insides.
"In the future, you can leave it in the foyer." That Miranda spoke disdainfully was an understatement. Emily slowly backed out, wanting to sprint out of there and hurl herself in front of a car. "Since you are here, however --" Emily's footsteps stopped, against her will, as Miranda reached out and grabbed her by the chin curiously. "Is that hydro-powder eye shadow you're using?"
"Yes," mumbled Emily, "Shiseido."
"Colour goes well with your outfit." Miranda dropped her hand to her side and returned her attention to whatever it was she was doing. "That's all."
That night, Emily dreamed brokenly of Miranda's hand on her cheek, on her neck, telling her that the belt she was wearing brought out the colour in her eyes, and when she woke up she found herself aching and wet. She went to work as if nothing had happened; certainly Miranda didn't treat her differently than usual. The first assistant, however, noted that Emily was exceptionally attentive and on top of her game, and praised her for it.
From that day on, whenever she saw Miranda alone in her house, which was maybe everyone one night out of six, she made it a point of bringing the Book to her directly. It would mostly earn her a nauseating glare, but occasionally there'd be an off-handed compliment, and even physical contact with some part of her body. Emily wasn't sure which one she preferred after a while -- either way, she would never fail to bring herself to a quick, mind-blowing orgasm once she got home in the shower.
God, she really needed a life. Or a girlfriend. One or the other.
"She started sleeping with you yet?" said the first assistant one day, almost jovially, during a quiet spell when no one else was in the office. Emily spat her coffee. "Huh, maybe I guessed wrong. Could have thought for sure, from the look in your eyes lately."
"What look?" Emily grumbled, wiping coffee off her monitor. "And Miranda's married. With two kids, for Christ's sake. What's so funny?"
The first assistant wiped her eyes. "Oh, God. When has that ever stopped anyone? She sleeps with all her assistants."
"Why, don't YOU look excited."
"I'm not. I'm just," Emily fumbled, "surprised that it's still a secret."
"Well, firstly, everyone says she does it, but no one dares say it out loud. And secondly, no one blabs. Job security, you see. And it's just part of the job."
Part of the job. She was kidding, right? This was no undesirable burden to be foisted on one assistant after the next. This was -- this was --
"Get me Olivier," Miranda breezed through the room, tossing her handbag onto Emily's desk. Emily watched the sway of her hips, the line of her calves, the slope of her shoulders, and she realised that yet again, most inappropriately, thanks to her propensity for emotional masochism and cognitive dissonance, that Miranda had become yet another person in the long line of emotionally and verbally abusive women (and men) that Emily had fallen for.
Fuck it all to hell.
That night, Emily found Miranda arguing on the phone. "I will not stand for this," she was saying to the person on the other end, in that quiet, threatening way of hers, "I refuse to take it --"
"I'd take it standing up or bending over," Emily said, surprised at her own daring, "however you want to give it to me," she added for good measure, as dropped the Book on Miranda's lap. Miranda looked up, furious at the distraction.
Emily left the house wondering if she had just gotten herself fired. Damn her and her big mouth. She began to pack a suitcase and dug her passport out, just in case.
"Miranda wants you in there, right now," were the words that greeted her when she arrived that morning.
"I want you supervising the shoot in Central Park today," Miranda said. "Everything must be inventoried and accounted for, and any loss comes out of your paycheck."
"Why are you still standing here?"
Emily got a move on.
At first Emily thought Miranda was letting her off easy. Then she realised that firstly, it was nearly 100 degrees out (or about 37 degrees celcius, for Emily). Secondly, the definition of "supervision" was extremely liberal. She was in charge of running errands for every person at that shoot, from the models to the photographer to the makeup artists, and it went on all day. By the time she made sure everyone's lunches were in order, there was no time to eat hers (not that she was going to eat that much anyway) and when she got back to the office there was a mountain of menial tasks that needed to be done before she left, so dinner was out of the question.
"Long day, Emily?" Miranda drawled as Emily limped to where she was standing in the kitchen.
"Nothing out of the ordinary," Emily replied as evenly as she could. "Have a good evening."
What? Emily wanted to ask, but instead she croaked, "Where do you want me?"
"Right where you're standing is fine."
In full view of anyone walking in through the front door. The woman's family must be extraordinarily liberal, or extremely understanding.
But Emily obeyed, bracing her hands on her knees. She was starving, exhausted, and could barely keep her balance as Miranda fucked her from behind with thin, tapered fingers. She very nearly fell over when Miranda replaced her fingers with her mouth. Feeling Miranda's nose pressing into her anus, her tongue flicking her hole, her fingers playing with her clit, Emily came less than five seconds after Miranda started.
"And I thought only men had this problem," Miranda said, displeased. "I'm not done with you yet."
Those were the most heavenly words Emily had ever heard fall from the lips of another human being.
"Okay," the first assistant grinned when Emily came in the next day, barely able to walk from a general soreness below her waist, "now I KNOW you've slept with her."
"If asked or coerced, I will say that I have no idea what you're talking about," Emily rasped, "but the woman is insane."
"I can only say one thing: thank god it's you and not me."
Maybe it's you who's insane, Emily thought, as the first assistant walked away, or maybe it's me. Either way, Emily had changed her allegiance. She didn't work for fashion's sake anymore. She worked for Miranda's.
The next time Emily saw Miranda at her house, Miranda let Emily do all the touching, and Emily made love to Miranda like her life depended on it. She kissed and licked every inch of Miranda's skin that was visible, and then, when Emily stripped her, she kissed her some more. No nook, no cranny, no hole went untouched. Miranda was a marvel, a freak of nature; she must have made a pact with the Devil to look so gorgeous when the laws of nature decreed that she shouldn't. Emily brought both of them to climax over and over without touching herself once; she didn't have to, with Miranda lying there, flushed and naked and panting and looking at Emily as she had never done before, with eyes that said "more" and "well done" and finally, a reluctant "that's all."
This went on for months. Maybe Miranda had never had an honest-to-God lesbian lover up until now, at least not an experienced one, because Miranda seemed constantly surprised at what Emily brought to the table. It was a pity that Miranda never outwardly expressed her satisfaction with Emily's handiwork, but that was simply Miranda's way of doing things; furthermore, it was tacitly agreed that the work Emily did in the office was completely and intentionally distinct from what Emily did in Miranda's home. But Emily supposed she couldn't have it any other way, and even if she could, maybe she wouldn't want to.
"I have good news," said the first assistant one day. "You're getting a promotion. Congrats, new first assistant."
Emily cheered until she realised what this meant. "You're leaving?"
"Oh, you'll do fine without me. Just hire a new you to replace yourself and you should be all set."
Emily realised this also meant that all her second assistant duties would be handed off to the new her. The thought did not fill her with much pleasure. Even Miranda noticed Emily's moodiness.
"Your usual enthusiasm appears to be lacking," Miranda commented as Emily pushed two fingers in and out of her vagina later that week. "Is your favourite nail polish not on sale?" In response, Emily flipped Miranda so that she was on all fours, and entered her roughly from behind, pushing her fingers in deeply. "Oh, mm. Quite nice, Emily."
Impulsively, Emily cradled her arm around Miranda's stomach and rested her face on Miranda's back, breathing in the scent of Miranda's skin.
"You're too close, Emily," Miranda warned. Emily pressed her thumb against Miranda's anus, then pushed it in past the tight muscle. Miranda gasped, clenching around her thumb, and promptly forgot what she'd been saying.
This was as close as she was ever going to get, Emily thought despairingly, and it would never be close enough. She leaned her breasts against Miranda's back, trailing featherlight kisses along her neck while pumping her hand in and out of Miranda, with the knowledge that this might be the last time she ever got to do so. Emily made love to Miranda as if she would never have the chance to do so again, and perhaps Miranda felt it, because she was uncharacteristically gentle that night when she lowered her mouth between Emily's legs. Or maybe the woman was just tired. Who could tell.
Emily advertised the job opening shortly after, and somehow, every new second assistant that she picked simply just was not to Miranda's liking. Too bad for them, Emily thought, but until a new second assistant got hired, Emily would just continue with her former job duties. It wasn't too much to ask of her. Not at all.
When a dumpy journalist undergraduate called Andy Sachs walked into the door, Emily nearly burst out laughing. This was so easy, it was almost cruel.