Helloooo!!! sorry that I haven't written in a while peeps...i have been working and of course writing this at some silly hour of the morning so I don't get in trouble lol!! This is for MOONEY!!!!!!!!!-Gasp yes its me- I am your secret santa...I was going to keep it a secret then kinda got stumped on how i was gonna post it lol so...um...tis me lol!! I hopes you like it i really really do!!!!
so...ta da!! tis a fic...a long chappie one...-puffs up with pride-
I am going to post it all in one go because its a present and Mooney can enjoy the mirandy loving all in one lol.
I hope everyone had a wonder christmas...with lotsa prezzies..and smiles :)!!!
hugs and christmas cake crumbs!!
Black Ice (1/4)
The snow was getting thicker. What had begun as a flurry was now a white whirlwind around her car, a carpet covering her windscreen as the wipers fruitlessly tried to bat it away, an onslaught, blinding her to her surroundings.
She'd been driving for over an hour, needing to get out the house, the silence ebbing its way into her heart, screaming into her mind, her work for once an unwelcome distraction. She couldn't focus, once every two years the numbness set in, knowing she'd be spending Christmas alone, the sparkling lights and laughter mocking her as she stared out over New York city.
The girls were at their fathers, the maids off for the holidays, and she was left with nothing but her thoughts and feelings, contemplating thinking everything over until the insanity set in, skin crawling as she overloaded herself with everything she'd attempted to ignore. There'd been no noise to take her away from the depression that was caving in on her, a cage of her own creation, one which had no escape. She was trapped within a world, lonely, with nothing but her job for comfort, and once the world walked away, the life that echoed down the halls of her house abandoned her, leaving a void where the silent whisper of truth could flutter into her ears.
It was times like this she realised how unhappy she was.
So she'd ran, like always, desperately hunting out anything to occupy her thoughts something that needed her focus leaving no room for anything else. She'd jumped behind the wheel of her car, gunning the engine, the rumble a welcome hum in her head, fuzzing the edges of her thoughts. She hadn't had a plan in mind, weaving in and out leaving the main streets, the traffic clearing, no longer bumper to bumper. The steering wheel gliding between her fingers as she accelerated, a thrill at the power in her hands, riding like it was on rails, gripping to the corners as she raced on to an unknown destination.
The snow had started falling a while ago, her mind barely registering the flakes tumbling down, batted away within seconds, weak and feeble as she'd driven on. But a storm had flared up, snow piling up on the streets meaning the tires could no longer bite to the road, planing over patches of ice becoming increasingly dangerous. She'd intended to head home, turning the car round only to realise she didn't know where she was, the snow covering the world in a carpet, transforming the image of the world, now an unknown vision, unrecognisable. Everything looked the same, every street every turning. Her body was leant low trying to see the street signs some indication of where she was. Soon it would be too dangerous to drive, barely able to see anything.
She blinked, a flash of black, starting at the surprise, body reacting without thought, instinct taking over as her fingers flexed, yanking the steering wheel. It all happened so fast, car veering to the side, heart jumping into her chest as she slammed her foot on the break, feeling the car slide, time seeming to speed up, for once everything beyond her control, car skating towards something solid. Her eyes squeezed shut, clenching in fear the impending impact, the approaching agony she could do nothing to stop. The car hit hard, pain seared through her, the crunch screaming out, wounded metal as her body was thrown forward, the momentum causing the seat belt to cut into her, slicing into her shoulder, body battered as the air bag burst free, head colliding with the head rest. Seconds past and the haziness began creeping in, blackness begging at the edges of her eyes, pictures flashing, memories, emotions, her childhood, her marriages, arguments, angry words the slashed deeper than anyone had ever known, articles raping her life over the pages, her children, their bright blue eyes, eager and hopeful, the only look of love she'd ever experienced, at least that's what she believed, she was too far gone to see the final memory, chocolate brown eyes, filled with emotion, unrecognisable to Miranda, the expression dissolving as the darkness finally claimed her.
She didn't know how much time had passed, when her eyes flickered open, the cold piercing into her skin, caged within a world of ice, the car covered, light from the sun shielded from her eyes by a wall of snow. Her head pounded, burning behind her eyes, every movement sending pain stabbing into her mind, jolts of agony searing all over like electricity sizzling through her nerves. She ached all over, a bruise already blossoming over her shin.
She had to move, had to do something, she'd fumbled for her phone moments ago just to discover it had succumbed to the wreckage another casualty in the crash, its life crushed from it, leaving it as nothing but ripped wires and shattered plastic.
She shifted, groaning as her bones grated together, body screaming in defiance, refusing to be moved. But determined as ever she forced the door open, trying to stumble out with as much dignity as she could muster, the light dimming, sunlight slowly bleeding into the sky, casting an eerie glow over the world, the snow tinted pink, as though the sun was seeping into the earth. She dragged herself forward, relieved that nothing was broken, her limbs all in working order if slightly battered and bruised. She could feel dried blood on her face, fingers clenching wishing to wipe it away, everything shattering the perfect image she'd erected around her. The vision of invincibility just another illusion, a lie in which the world looked in on, not realising behind the icon there was another woman just as weak to the fates as everyone else.
The car was crumpled, the tree it had mated with looking no worse for wear. Nature winning over man made any day. There was no hope for it, a write off, and as much as Miranda would worry, there were other more pressing things on her mind.
Her eyes gaze around, blurred at the edges, mind trying to jump start, stalling at every little hurdle. She'd hit herself hard, the remnants of darkness still lingering. Her gaze fell on a street sign, the words of which still visible, the snow having not claimed another victim. The words danced over her eyes, drawing something from the depths of her memory, she knew this street, at least knew the name of it, but she'd never been here, a little back place in the middle of no where, an unknown corner of New York. And yet she recognised the name, her mind becoming more certain by the minute. She remembered her eyes scanning something, a contract, someone who worked for her, who had worked for her, a familiar voice ringing in her head, strands of conversation flittering in mentioning the very same street.
Andrea lived here, somewhere, but where remained illusive, her mind scratching through the remnants of a memory, searching for once wishing to find the ex-assistant. A trickle of joy bled through her when she struck upon what she needed to know. Hurriedly searching for details in the world around her, the snow soaking her skin, shivering, unable to feel her fingers or toes as a carpet of night attempted to swallow the city. She slipped forward, her heels not gripping onto the ground, tripping over hidden obstacles only adding more bruises to the ones already peppering her body. She whirled around, gathering the information she needed snaking down the road, hunting for the number. Finally she found it, praying Andrea was at home, unable to fight the fleeting fear she'd gone to her parents for Christmas.
She braced herself against the wall before pressing the buzzer, trying to control her body, shaking uncontrollably now as icy on the outside as everyone thought she was on the inside. The minutes ticked by, Miranda's thoughts becoming more morbid by the moment, the irony of the ice queen dying in a snow storm; finally frozen to death and it wasn't by her heart.
Finally the intercom crackled into life.
'Hello?' the voice was suspicious, but obviously Andrea. She was clearly wondering who would be calling when the world was overly unwelcoming to anyone leaving their house.
'Hello Andrea.' Miranda didn't announce herself, there was no need, anyone who worked for her never forgot her voice, the sound of it imprinted on their memory forever more. The silence hung in the air, the seconds ticking by, as though Andrea had disappeared from the other end, but she couldn't hide from her now, she'd revealed herself to the devil, and as much as Miranda loathed to admit it, she needed Andrea's help. Of all the people she had to come to it was the one who got away.
Suddenly a buzzing noise rang out, accompanied by loud click as the door before her unlocked, granting her entry into the tiny hall inside. She barely even eyed up the peeling wall paper and dented floor boards beneath her feet, cautiously ascending the stairs, gripping the railing, an object on a normal day she wouldn't ever dream of touching.
She finally reached Andrea's floor, legs almost too weak to hold her weight, shaking under the effort of climbing the final few steps. She didn't hear Andrea's gasp, or feel two arms wrapping around her waist as she crumbled, for the first time in her life falling at someone's feet, the final strands of energy rippling away.
Andy stood their wide eye, heart hammering as she struggled to hold Miranda up refusing to let the woman fall. She hadn't know what to think when she'd heard her voice, body going numb within moments as the voice that haunted her existence had crackled down the line of the intercom. So many emotions had flared up, Miranda making her feel more than was humanly possible, sheer fear flooding her frame, wishing to give into instinct and run. But Miranda knew she was here, and in all honesty Andy couldn't deny the curiosity over what had brought the older woman to her home, so against everything she'd let her in.
Of all the reasons she'd expected this hadn't even entered her head. She'd barely even touched the woman the whole time she was working with her, and now she had a handful, Miranda's body pressed hard against her own as she clung on, slowly forcing the older woman to her feet, keeping the encouraging words to herself as she guided her into her house, staggering under the almost dead weight resting on her shoulders, Miranda was a lot heavier than she looked.
She lowered the older woman onto the sofa, screeching as she tumbled down too, Miranda's arms still slung over her shoulders, pulling her with her as she fell.
She saw Miranda wince, half at the noise, half at the pain from having Andy's weight crashing onto her. Andy scrambled, ignoring where her hands fell, desperate to get up and away from the older woman. This wasn't the Miranda she knew, Miranda wasn't weak, she was untouchable, pure perfection that nothing could shake. And yet here she was looking down at her, broken, the damage she could see making her sick to her stomach.
Her eyes took in the cut on the editor's forehead, dry blood crusting over her eyebrow tainting the tip of her fringe red, her stockings were torn; a purple bruise blossoming over her ankle, smaller ones peppered all over, her ivory skin now a carpet of colour.
Andy's eyes roved over her body, mouth dry at the sight spread out before her. Her eyes slowly trailed over the wreckage of the woman who'd lingered within her nightmares for many months, her rumpled skirt, white shirt soaked through clinging to her skin, the material highlighting every curve leaving nothing to the imagination of what lay beneath, overly exposed and too dizzy to do anything to retain her dignity.
Andy's lips parted, eyes snapping shut, trying to ignore the stab of desire that flared up within her, sickened at herself. This was the woman she'd loathed, so many late night thoughts, curses falling from her lips, just trying to survive another working day within the clutches of the devil; and now her body was sending up mixed signals, the sight forcing something else to surface. She shook her head, shock was could do funny things.
Her eyes flickered open, starting when she found icy blue ones staring at her, narrowed, the fire within them burning as brightly than ever before, a small accident not knocking her off her game for long.
'I think I would have frozen to death slower outside.'
Andy stumbled forward, all her grace gone as she reverted back to the nervous assistant she once was. But she had more boldness than ever before, when she'd walked away something had changed within her and that was one thing Miranda could never take away. She reached out intent on lifting the older woman into her arms, a shower was the quickest way to warm her up, and it saved her having to carry the health kit from the bathroom cupboard. She'd barely even moved an inch within Miranda's personal space before Miranda's hand swung out, fingers clutching tightly around Andy's wrist.
'What do you think your doing?'
Andy held back her impatience, knowing the woman was difficult on a daily basis and whatever had happened would have shaken the editor up even more, 'Helping you. A shower is the best way to warm you up, you need support so I'm just going to help you up and guide you over ok?'
Miranda's eyes narrowed, 'I don't need you. I can make it on my own.'
Her voice pierced into Andy's skin, the vicious tone spearing from her lips as though without thought. She was being defensive, unused to being weak in front of others eyes, her barriers thoroughly shattered and by no fault of her own, she felt vulnerable and was lashing out. Andy stepped back, schooling her expression, refusing to show anything on her face. She wouldn't let Miranda get to her, the woman had come to her home, collapsed in her arms, as much as the editor denied it, she needed Andy, and Miranda knew it.
Andy watched Miranda as her feet hit the floor, eyes zeroing in on the older woman's hands, knuckles whitening as she gripped on tight to the couch, using anything to subtly steady herself; refusing to admit any ounce of weakness.
Andy rolled her eyes and braced herself. Pride comes before fall. Sure enough the moment Miranda's hand lost its crutch, her legs caved, throwing her sideways into Andy's open arms. Andy took the impact without a word, not saying a single thing, face expressionless, not wishing to rub salt any deeper into the metaphorical wound of weakness. She faced forward, guiding the older woman over to the bathroom, eyes falling on the older woman's face, turned away, lips pursed as a light blush spread over her cheeks, ashamed at her weakness, for once Miranda was like everyone else, human, and she HATED it.
She gently let go, letting Miranda rest against a stool which had been situated so Andy could do her make up in the morning. She hovered for a moment, unsure of how to address Miranda and tend to her wounds. She had barely built up the nerve to speak before everything was ripped from her. Miranda, demanding as always.
'Why are you still here?' She was clutching her clothes closer into her body, looking away, not wanting to admit she needed help.
'Um, you're head's bleeding,' Fine, Andy could be a waspish bitch too.
'I'm well aware.' The gentle barb had brought a little fire back into Miranda's eyes.
A stab of anger spiralled through Andy and she clung to it, using it to edge her forward, determined to make Miranda see sense. Being kind didn't work with this woman, and Andy didn't have any other choice but to be more forceful as much as the prospect of ordering Miranda to do anything made her feel sick. 'Then you're also well aware it needs cleaning. So sit.'
'Andrea I think you forget who you're speaking to.'
'I also think you forget whose house you're in, so sit down, shut up and then you can have your shower.'
Miranda's eyes flashed, mouth opening to probably threaten Andy with everything she had, not used to anyone daring to speak to her in such a way let alone a lowly assistant but Andy had. Hurt or not the woman was infuriating, resisting every ounce of help she was offered. Andy understood this was awkward, and an unnatural situation for the older woman to be in, but she was just going to have to suck it up for once. Andy took a deep breath, eye fluttering shut but for only a moment, attempting to calm her nerves, Miranda's actions grating over everything, her body having been thrown into turmoil having been unprepared for the ice queen to enter her home. She brought her hand up, the action surprising Miranda enough to have her words halted, the silence presenting the opportunity Andy needed.
'The more you say, the longer this will take, and wasting time has never been your thing Miranda. So please, just let me do this.'
Miranda lowered herself slowly, eyes never leaving Andy's. Andy felt as though she was being sized up for a fight, soul searching, eyes scoring into every weakness. She didn't flinch, chin held high, facing the older woman down, refusing to freeze beneath her icy gaze. She turned her back on Miranda, fumbling for what she needed, shielding her shaking hands from angry eyes, knowing Miranda would zero in on them within seconds.
'By all means take your time.'
Andy didn't dignify the jibe with an answer, inhaling instead, counting to ten in her head before turning, a cotton ball and antiseptic lotion held within her hands.
'This might sting a little.' Half of Andy was tempted to make it hurt all the more, her vengeful streak flaring up wanting to deflect the pain back to the woman who caused it, her words carving a hole in her soul, determined to hurt, to hate; each barb another grain of salt stinging right to her heart, until she drowned within an ocean of tears, fighting every day to keep her head above water. Andy had been determined all those months/years Miranda wouldn't win and sure enough Andy had walked away, whether that had been a success of failure depended on the way you looked at it. Andy clung on to the only certainty she had, she hated Miranda for the damage she'd done, her ability to walk over anyone in her path, uncaring of anything other than her goals. Her emotions bled over into envy, a woman who had what she wanted. Andy craving success of the same within her own field, and yet didn't know if she had the emotional strength to take what she wanted regardless of anyone else. She'd spent those months working for the woman always on the outside looking in, seeing the icon and everything that revolved around her. Miranda wasn't sunshine by any means, but Runway orbited around her, clamoured to be closer, craving any ounce of attention from the wrathful deity.
The other half stood on the other side, the glass no longer between them, seeing the woman for what she was, and she couldn't deny the ball of compassion bubbling forth. She'd once seen this woman cry; the image imprinted on her memory forever more, the tears drying on Miranda's cheeks as she'd stumbled in, the fading evidence of a little honest emotion. Miranda felt like everyone else, but had no one to turn to. After all the pain Miranda had inflicted on everyone, Andy still cared, and this emotion engulfed everything within her.
She focused on the woman, ignoring the icon and Miranda's attempt to hide behind it. She would keep her distance, and yet give Miranda all the care she possibly could. Maybe something, if anything might break through the frosty cage she'd tangled around her.
So, with a gentle flick of her hand Andy soaked the cotton ball, her fingers, no longer trembling, sliding beneath Miranda's chin, guiding her to where she wanted, the other woman uncertain but silent, for once giving in to Andy's attentions.
And Andy couldn't deny the little ray of joy that illuminated in her heart.
What was she doing? Miranda didn't understand, she felt vulnerable and didn't welcome weakness. She just wanted to hide away, crawl into a corner to lick her wounds where no one could witness her pain. Broken before someone else's eyes was not something she'd ever allowed in her life. Not even her husbands.
She prepared herself for the pain, knowing anyone else would relish in the opportunity of inflicting anything on her, the sting intensified by the anger guiding their hand. But Andrea hadn't, the young woman's fingers had slipped beneath her chin, so gentle and warm against her skin, and without a word had tended to her, with all the care of a mother doting on their young.
Miranda didn't dare to look at her, unwilling to give her emotions away in her eyes. She couldn't stand to see the compassion swimming within Andrea's gaze, knowing the young woman would look upon her as always, everything she said only seeming like a surface wound, not able to dig any deeper.
Her eyes flickered shut, holding back a hiss as her skin stung, the liquid seeping into the small cut, triggering the feelings that singed through her system, forcing old memories to flare up. She'd never been taken care of, always made to fend for herself even as a child. She wasn't allowed to be young and carefree. The responsibility forced onto her, always made to hold her head high and face the world with an adults eyes. She was never able to see it untainted, with all the joy and hope of an innocent, her parents words like a minefield within her dreams, blowing up every star until the light slowly flickered and died. Only when she'd walked away, one cold morning with nothing to her name had she slowly fanned the ember that had once burned so brightly, she'd fought for everything she had, scrabbled inch after precious inch to aspire to her dreams, only to find that within the real world, dreams are often more beautiful than reality. Dreams come to you perfect, untainted, snowy white and pure, while the world fills it with shadows, a darkness that creeps up upon you unnoticed until it's too late. She had what she wanted, and while she wouldn't give it up for the world, she still wished the empty void within her had something else in which to keep it warm.
But in all the years, all the drama, the fights and battles in which she'd fallen only to fight her way back, not once had anyone stepped in to lend her a helping hand, to pick her up and nurse her back to health. She'd been left to struggle on her own, every emotional wound stitched back together through her own determination. It felt alien to have someone else's hands on her so softly. Even during passionate moments with her husbands their hands had been rough, selfish and unwelcome, her body tensing under every touch, wishing it to be over and always wondering why.
She didn't welcome anyone beyond her defences, and yet, Andrea's kindness made her feel guilty for the first time in years. The young woman pouring all the compassion she could into a single moment, a moment which would forever be imprinted on Miranda's mind.
Miranda swallowed as she felt a slight flutter, like a gentle breeze swirling beneath her skin. She shivered, her body noticeably shaking, fighting against the blush that threaten to score over her cheeks. She didn't understand her thoughts or feelings, she never let herself get lost in thought like this, constantly forcing her mind to focus on everything around her. Sat there, without any meetings or demands, her body was finally free to think, and she was a little uncertain over what she'd found. The feeling settled in her stomach, gentle, a presence barely noticeable if it wasn't something that made Miranda uncomfortable. She'd never sensed such a thing before, always in control, her emotions and thoughts consciously guided, every action calculated. This was her body acting on instinct, for once her heart was screaming louder than her head.
But she didn't have time to listen as her thoughts were shattered, Andrea's voice floating in clouding everything out, bringing her back into the real world, eyes snapping open as the icon reclaimed her place, locking everything else away, within the corners in which they'd crept out from.
'All done. Its not too bad, it doesn't look like it needs stitches at least, which is good because it's impossible to get you to a hospital in these conditions, and sewing has never been my strong point.'
A joke, Miranda willed her face to remain expressionless, ignoring the little voice within her, scolding herself for seeming so heartless, allowing Andrea's nerves to consume her, not even extending an olive branch when unknowingly Andrea had given something Miranda had never had. Kindness. She'd had respect, fear, everyone looked up to her, the woman they wanted to be, but no one had ever cared until now about the woman behind the mask, and now here she was hiding behind it once again.
She stood without a word, eyes narrowing in on Andrea as she made a move to help her. She refused to crumble, one moment of weakness and her whole emotional structure seemed to collapse, mind clamouring up all sorts of nonsense, confusing every orderly thought within her. With a deep breath she gathered herself together, sending Andrea from the room with a glance, unsurprised the woman was still able to understand every expression.
She locked the door, welcoming the silence, left alone with her thoughts her guard able to slip away without any onlookers. She let her clothes slip from her frame, falling in a sodden pile at her feet. Her gaze fell upon the figure in the mirror, one she recognised but never honestly knew, naked, the wall of labels ripped away from her with ease. All the money within the world couldn't hide who she really was, at least not from herself. She was old and lonely, living a life unloved.
She turned away, not wishing to see the woman she was, her beauty slowly slipping away as the years progressed, her body now battered and bruised, as damaged on the outside as she was in. She turned the shower on before twisting her head, gazing over her shoulder. The steam clouded around her, shielding the image from view, but she could still see her face, the cut on her head, one which had been so lovingly repaired only moments ago. How something so ugly could seem so beautiful she'd never know.
She sighed, cursing herself for falling into her thoughts again. Pursing her lips she whipped her eyes away, stepping into the scolding waterfall allowing the heat to score into her skin, the momentary pain a punishment for weakness. She succumbed to the warmth, the feeling finally floating back into her body.
She tilted her head back, eyes slipping shut as she cast a wish to the world; willing the water to slowly wash the unwelcome emotion away.
please review...they give me much needed christmas cheer cos uni essays and exams are getting me down sigh!!! so yes...review...and be nice. I have read through it all and attempted to beta even got my friend to read what she could until her bro took his comp back...so i tried!!!!