Title: HAPPY RETURNS
Summary: Secret Santa gift for air_one_23
What I want: a Miranda\Andy fan fiction set after Paris. I think it would be neat if there were some sort of friendship between any and the twins that occurred after the Harry Potter incident. Not picky on how or what. The Twins kept in contact with Andy through e-mail and or text messages until she left Miranda in Paris. Whether or not, she keeps in contact with the Twins after Paris is up to the author, but something brings her back into contact with the priestly family at Christmas, where neither Andy, nor Miranda can avoid their issues with each other.
Disclaimer:This is especially important as I'm sure I DO NOT own or have rights to The Devil Wears Prada or any of its characters.
Miranda had lost track of time. Days began to blur together since Andrea walked away from her. Somehow, for some reason she couldn't put her finger on, proving on a daily basis that she was the best at what she did, just didn't mean as much anymore. Miranda Priestly was the queen of fashion. No one ever questioned that. But since Paris, she just didn't seem as royal. If anything, she felt small. "Everyone wants to be us." She could hear herself saying, it played over and over in her mind. But Andrea didn't want to be like her. Power, money, material things truly didn't appeal to the younger woman. So she walked away. Leaving Miranda at a loss and empty.
Andrea had settled into her new job at the New York Mirror. Her life was calming down, returning to a sense of normalcy. Well, kind of normal, Nate was gone and she was alone for the first time in years. Somehow though it was giving her a sense of strength, knowing she could make it on her own. She had feared that she might fall apart. Greg, her new boss, was giving her the opportunity to write. Most of the pieces were small, less in-depth than she wished, but she was writing again. It made her feel alive. After walking away in Paris, she was sure nothing will ever be as satisfying as working for Miranda. The woman pushed her to be the best that she could and not allow her self to fail. Andrea intended to take everything the woman had taught and brought out in her and use it in her new job. The only thing she couldn't do was stop missing the white-haired devil. She knew for sure in Paris, when she saw Miranda let down her walls and remove the Dragon Lady mask, that she had fallen for her. It broke her heart to walk away. In all honesty, she could've lived with what Miranda had done to Nigel. That was business, she understood the side of Miranda that didn't lose, but she could not live with knowing she would see her every day and that the woman would never realize everything she now did for her was for her and not her job. So she walked away.
The vibration of the phone on her desk snapped her out of her thoughts. It was a text from Cassidy. She may have walked away from a Miranda, but she refused to walk away from her girls. The young woman had grown to love and adore them and she refused to be another adult that abandoned them, because of their mother. Andy opened her phone to read the text.
'Andy, I did it! I got in A on my English paper'
Andy smiled and texted back
'That's awesome Pix! I'll e-mail you later. Way to go!'
Andy closed phone and returned to editing her latest article. It was due in a couple hours, and she needed to put the finishing touches on it.
Miranda was sitting at her desk in her study. The book had been delivered early tonight and she had already looked over it twice. She decided she would send out a few e-mails tonight and free up some time tomorrow. Not that she would actually have any free time, but it was one less thing to do in her busy day.
She turned on her laptop and was in the middle of responding to an inquiry from James Holt when her screen went black. "What the?" Miranda punched the keys fiercely, but still nothing happened. "Bloody hell!" Mimicking her first assistant favorite swear. The idea that something like a silly laptop could interfere with her completing her goal was unacceptable.
She rose from her chair, went up to check on the girls who were fast asleep and headed to their study to finish her work on their computer.
Miranda was halfway through clearing your inbox when she heard the familiar ding announcing new mail and saw the small bubble appear at the bottom of the screen.
She clicked on it. It was for Cassidy. "Who the world would be e-mailing my daughter at eleven o'clock at night?" She open another window and went into Cassidy's e-mail account. When she first saw the sender's address, she didn't recognize it. Clicking on it she opened the e-mail and scroll down to the bottom to find the sender's name. The older woman gasped and what she read, "Love ya, Andy" she scrolled back to the top and reread the sender's e-mail address . Miranda leaned back in her chair and stared at the screen in front of her. Not truly knowing how to feel, she read the e-mail.
I'm so proud of you! I knew you could do it. You just had to put your mind to it. That makes three A's in English this semester right? Way to go. Wish I was there to give you a big hug! I can't, so here HHHHUUUUUUGGGGGGG! LOL
So things are good here, I just finished that story on the street lights malfunctioning I was telling you and Caroline about last week. Boring I know, but at least my work is being printed, huh.
Anyway, give Lil Pix a hug from me. I miss you two, a lot.
Take care of your mom for me!
Miranda read, reread and read the e-mail again. Andrea Sachs was still in touch with her girls. "I wasn't aware they even knew who she was" she said out loud. The older woman wanted to be angry, she wanted to be livid. But she couldn't. Andrea had walked away from her, but not her daughters. She didn't abandon them like everyone else. Also, it seems she was more aware of what was going on in their daily lives than she was. Cassidy had not told her about getting an A in English today, or had she? Suddenly that feeling she couldn't put a name to regarding her former assistant was back. Care, she cared about her, just like Andrea cared about her babies. Miranda read the last line of the e-mail again "take care of your mom for me!" Was it possible that the young woman still cared for her as well? So, what should she do with this new information? If she meant enough to her girls for them to keep it a secret from her, they were obviously afraid she would disapprove. But, Miranda realized, she didn't. Another person in their crazy lives that cared about them and not who they were warmed her heart. A single tear roll down her cheek.
The older woman had an idea. She would bring her former assistant back into her daughter's lives. As a mother who truly did love them, that was the only acceptable solution.
Two days later Andy sat down at her desk at the Mirror to find a white envelope with her name typed on the front. She looked around. No one seems suspicious. The reporter opened it and pulled out a beautiful piece of plain white stationary. Her curiosity was piqued. She unfolded it and read the type out loud.
Please join us for dinner on Friday at Pastis, 7 PM.
We hope to see you there.
No signature. Okay, that's weird. Andrea carried the note to her boss's office and knocked.
"Come in" she opened the door, "Sachs, what can I do for you?"
She handed him the note, "I wondered if you knew anything about this." She showed him the envelope as she spoke, and he read the note. "It was on my desk when I got here."
"Yeah, I signed for it from a messenger early this morning."
"But it doesn't say who it's from."
"I have no clue Andy. I don't think it's anything to worry about though, Pastis is a very public place and it's obviously from a group; us, we.
"Yeah, I guess you're right." She took the note back from him. "Guess I wouldn't be a very good reporter if I didn't follow up, huh." She smiled at him and left. That meant she needed to be out of the office by five to have time to go home and change for the mysterious meeting tonight. Good thing she had hung on to a couple of dresses from Paris. She'd given Emily most of the clothes, but she kept all of the Chanel.
Andrea arrived at the restaurant ten minutes early. When she walked up to the maître d', William, she remembered, he greeted her.
"Ms. Sachs. So wonderful to see you again."
"You to William. How've you been?"
"Wonderful, wonderful, so sweet for asking." He walked around to her, "follow me, your party is already here."
Andy took a deep breath, smoothed her dress and followed William. He led her to the back of the restaurant as he stepped aside and pointed to the table, she gasped.
Cassidy and Caroline squealed "Andy" they looked at their mother, who nodded. They jumped off the chairs and moved to Andy who knelt down to take both girls in her arms and hug them. "Pixies" She kissed the girls foreheads. "I've missed you so much." The tears in her eyes leaked onto her cheeks. The younger woman looked over their heads, while she held them, at Miranda to see she too had streaks on her face. Andy mouthed "thank you" to her and hugged them tighter before letting go and standing up.
The girls turned to look at their mother and Cassidy asked, "how did you know mom?"
"We'll discuss that later. Why don't you take your seats." Miranda motion to their seats then looked at Andy "Andrea" she nodded to her.
"Miranda" Andy nodded back then took her seat.
"I can't believe this." Caroline said, pulling Andy's attention back to the girls as she sat down. A huge smile lit up the young reporters face and even the older woman couldn't help but smile. "This is awesome" she turned to her mother, "thank you mom"
Cassidy chimed in "seeing Andy really means a lot to us."
"You're welcome bobsies. I'm glad you're happy"
"It means a great deal to me all also Miranda." Miranda turned to look at her, "thank you, truly, thank you."
The older woman did something Andy never would have expected, she laid her hand on top of the younger woman's and squeezed it as she spoke. "You are truly welcome."
Both women felt a spark move through them at the touch. Both Caroline and Cassidy saw the reaction on both the women's faces. They gave each other knowing looks, and without a word between them, knew the mission that lie ahead of them.
Miranda removed her hand and laid back in her lap. "What would you like to drink Andrea?"
"Whatever you're having is fine." Andy could see was some kind of red wine.
Miranda motioned to the waiter and he came over. "Another glass of wine for Ms. Sachs, please."
"Right away" he was off to retrieve it.
Andrea turned her attention back to the girls, "So Pixies, how's it going?"
Both girls opened their mouths to start speaking, but Miranda interrupted them.
"Yeah. Sorry, I know you're not big on nicknames, but one day when we were talking it just came to me and it kind of stuck." She looked back at the twins, "and the girls seem to like it."
"Please explain" the waiters sat the glass of wine down in front of the young woman.
"Thank you" she told him and took a drink before she continued. "Well, they're mischievous stinkers" she grinned at them and they giggled. "With their beautiful sun kissed hair and innocent looking faces, it just, it just fit." She dared look at Miranda, who was smiling at them then at Andy.
"Yes, well, I guess you have a point. They are stinkers" Miranda looked back at her girls who were making the 'who us?' face, which made both older women chuckle.
Andrea continued, "Cassidy is Pix , because she's usually the instigator, nine times out of ten and Caroline is Lil Pix because she just follows Cassidy's lead to whatever uncertain end."
Both girls smiled proudly at Andrea knowing their differences so well.
The waiter returned with menus and handed one to each person at the table. They began looking at them and Miranda asked "what looks good this evening bobsies?"
"I'm thinking about the veal." Said Cassidy.
"Ewe" Caroline wrinkled her nose. "The seafood pasta looks good to me, oh, wait. Never mind." She looked at Andy.
"Get it Lil Pix, it will bother me" she smiled.
Miranda was looking at Caroline with a confused expression on her face.
Caroline responded, "Andy's terribly allergic to shellfish." She watched her mom try to comprehend. "Severely allergic, like she carries an epi-pen and everything."
"Oh, I see." Miranda turned Andy, "I guess that means the crawdad sorbet I was going to order us or desert is out" she said deadpan and went back to looking at her menu.
Andrea laughed, "did Miranda Priestly just make a joke?"
Again deadpanned, "I do not joke Andrea"
This had all three laughing hysterically and a smile finally reached the corners of Miranda's lips.
They ordered their dinner and enjoyed a wonderful evening together. Andrea and the girls chatted about anything and everything. Miranda sat back and watched their interaction with sheer joy. She found herself looking at the younger woman throughout most of the night. Miranda had almost forgotten how comfortable she was around Andrea. And, she was sure the young reporter had grown more beautiful, if that was possible.
As they were finishing their dessert and coffee, Andy turned to Miranda "I have to cover the new otter exhibit opening at the zoo tomorrow, do you think the girls could go with me, if they want." She looked at them.
Both girls looked at their mother with hopeful smiles on their faces.
"I believe that would be acceptable." She replied
"Awesome" the girl said in unison.
"Great" Andy said, "how about I come by and get you about eleven thirty and we can get something to eat before we go to the zoo."
"That sounds cool" said Cassidy.
"Yeah, we can go to that place you told us about" Caroline added.
Andrea turned to Miranda, "you are more than welcome to join us if you'd like"
Miranda wasn't expecting that. "I… I don't know. I need to go to the office tomorrow…"
"Come on, mom" Cassidy pleaded.
"It'll be fun" Caroline gave her best pouty eyes.
Miranda chuckled, "we'll see"
The girls looked at each other again. Step one, in place.
After the four exited the restaurant, Andy leaned down and kissed each girl on top of the head. "I'll see you tomorrow. Goodnight Miranda." Andy turned to walk towards the subway.
"Goodnight Andrea" then, "can we give you a ride home?" She suddenly realized she didn't want to part company with the younger woman just yet.
"No, thank you. Sweet dreams, ladies." She gave a little wave and started walking in the opposite direction.
"Thank you" Miranda said softly, but only her girls heard it.
The Priestly's climbed into the car. Miranda looked out the window most of the ride, lost in her thoughts.
The twins looked at each other and nodded. Cassidy spoke "mom"
"Yes baby" she turned to look at her daughter.
"You missed her to didn't you?"
A small smile crossed the older woman's lips.
"It's okay," Caroline scooted up against her mother, "she misses you too."
Miranda was startled "she does?"
"Of course." Cassidy replied.
Miranda put an arm around each daughter and pulled them in close. They were all quiet the rest of the ride home.
True to her word Andy arrived on the front steps of the priestly home at 11:30. Her finger had just reached for the door bell. When the front door swung open and Cassidy was standing there with a smile on her face. "Hi ya Pix"
"Hi Andy. Come on in." She grabbed the journalist by the hand and drug her through the threshold. Caroline came bounding down the stairs and right into Andy for a hug.
"Morning Lil Pix."
"Hey Andy," she stepped back. Andy could see a happy gleam in her eyes. "Mom's going too. Isn't that great."
Andy felt very warm inside, "oh, yeah, that's awesome."
They headed into the house back toward the kitchen.
"She'll be down in a minute." Cassidy told her.
"Okay. No hurry."
Upstairs. Miranda was pacing from her closet to the full-length mirror, holding up one outfit after another, she couldn't decide what to wear. "How ridiculous. I command the world of fashion with a simple nod of my head, but I can't decide what to wear to the zoo with my former assistant and daughters."
The fashion icon finally decided on a pair of charcoal Bill Blass dress slacks, a white silk button-down blouse and a pair of 2 inch heels, comfortable for walking.
When Andy saw Miranda, descending the stairs. It was like she was watching a dream come to life, she gasped. "Wow, Miranda, you look great" the younger woman spoke out loud without meaning to.
"Thank you Andrea." She felt heat in her cheeks. "Shall we go." Miranda placed the trademark Hermés's scarf elegantly over her head and put on a pair of Gucci sunglasses.
They grabbed lunch at a small out-of-the-way hole in the wall diner. The girls were so excited, they played with the juke box, ordered milkshakes, hamburgers and fries. Miranda reveled in their glowing faces. Andrea had a patty melt and fries and the older woman indulged with a cheeseburger. The journalist smiled at her when she saw the look of pure ecstasy on her face when she bit into the burger and closed her eyes. Andrea thought she might have actually moaned.
Andrea took the check and went to the counter to pay as the twins finished their milkshakes and Miranda her coffee. She was relieved that the older woman made no comments regarding the establishment, food, coffee or paying for the meal. Seeing this side of the icon was something Andrea had dreamt about but never dared believe she'd see.
Miranda watched as the young woman moved to the cashier to pay for their meal, enjoying the view of Andrea's swaying hips. She was wearing a pair of True Religion jeans that hugged her rear end very nicely.
"Mom" Cassidy pulled her attention back to the table.
"Isn't this fun"
"Yes" she grinned, "it is very enjoyable." The food was decent, the coffee, while not Starbucks was strong and hot. But most importantly, her babies were happy and that made her happy.
Andrea walked back to the table, put her hands on her hips. "So, we ready to go?"
"Yes!" Cried both girls and they jumped out of the chairs.
"The zoo is only a few blocks, I thought we'd walk." She looked at Miranda, "if that's all right with you."
Miranda looked right at her holding her gaze, "we'll do whatever you like. This day is for you and the girls, I'm just along for the ride." She smiled and replaced her glasses.
Miranda watched as they exited the diner and headed down the block, each girl instinctively took one of Andrea's hands. The three chatted the whole way, swinging their arms back and forth as they walked. The fashionista was again happy to walk behind them to see the sway of those wonderful hips. She had stopped paying attention to where they were, her eyes were focused elsewhere and was suddenly shocked as they stopped and she walked right into Andrea. Their bodies caused a shock of energy when they collided.
They stumbled and the girls giggled. "I'm sorry… I was…" she couldn't meet the younger woman's eyes. "Looking at the sign," she pointed unconvincingly to the banner announcing the exhibit 's opening.
"It's okay." Andrea looked at her and spoke softly. "I didn't mind." She turned her head too quickly to see the blush rise up Miranda's neck.
After Andrea had finished gathering information and pictures for her article, she sat down on the bench next to Miranda to watch the twins enjoy the new otter exhibit. "Thank you Miranda" she said, folding her hands in her lap. "This day means a lot to me."
"Hm. You're welcome." She looked at her babies chasing the swimming animals back and forth across the giant glass enclosure. "They seem to care about you very much."
Andrea couldn't help but smile. "I care about them very much. I love them to death." She turned to look at the older woman, who is now looking right at her. "I could never hurt them. I couldn't abandon them." She looked back down at her hands in her lap.
"So it would seem." She looked back at the twins, "tell me Andrea, how is it that you and my daughter's came to have this relationship and with me quite unaware." Miranda turned her gaze back to the brown eyed beauty.
"Well, I guess it just kind of happened. After getting in the Harry Potter book, they just, got nice. Sometimes I'd find notes waiting for me with riddles or jokes, I started leaving them notes as well. They asked for help with homework or a question about how you were." She looked up sheepishly, but Miranda's expression didn't change. "Then there was a night that I got there, you were out, and there was a terrible electrical storm. I found them cowering together in tears on the stairs, Caroline was crying."
"Yes. She's always been very afraid of storms." Miranda glanced to Caroline then back to Andrea.
"Anyway" the journalist continued, "I helped them back into bed and read to them until they calmed down and fell back to sleep." Now Miranda was looking at her with disbelieving look on her face. "What? They were scared, I couldn't just walk away and leave them sitting there crying until you came home." She said, a bit defensively. Then she saw the tears in the rims of the older woman's eyes. "I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have gone into your house like that, but I just had to help them."
Miranda just nodded. She couldn't find her voice.
"So after that, we started texting and e-mailing each other. Then after I lef… when I didn't work for you anymore, they thought you would be upset that we were still communicating. I think they just wanted something that was just theirs and they know they can count on me for anything." Andrea smiled and sighed. Just as she had finished the girls found their way back to the older women with huge smiles lighting up their faces.
Over the next months Andrea and her Pixies spent time together more often. Miranda didn't join them again except when Andrea would stay for dinner.
Interacting with Andrea had become very comfortable to Miranda. She found herself looking forward to seeing her and decided she was going to take a chance. The older woman took a deep breath and dialed the number in her cell phone she had not yet called, it was for emergencies.
Andrea was on her way back to the office to write up the article for the interview she had just finished when her cell phone rang. Her mind was occupied in thoughts of the article and didn't look at the caller ID when she answered. "Andy Sachs"
Andy's heart sank and she stoped dead in her tracks. "Miranda? Is everything okay? Are the girls okay?"
"Yes, yes. They are fine" she grinned at the younger woman slightly panicked voice.
"Oh" Andrea quickly became nervous. "What can I do for you?"
"I… um, I was…" stop this just asked her you silly woman. Miranda thought to her self. "The girls are at their father's this weekend and I was wondering if you would like to join me for dinner. Since neither of us will have their company to enjoy." Okay… how much lamer, could I possibly be. Miranda rolled her eyes herself.
Andrea was speechless. Miranda Priestly had just asked her to dinner.
"Um, sorry, sure, sure. Just tell me when and where.
"How about seven this evening at the house." Miranda held her breath.
"Okay" Andrea said quietly.
Miranda let out her breath. "Fine. I will see you then. That's… I will see you then." Miranda hung up.
Andrea pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at it. "Holy Shit," she blinked at the device. "Holy shit." She smiled, "I have a date with Miranda Priestly." She dropped the phone into her pocket and took off running down the street, it was two o'clock. She only had five hours to get ready for a date with Miranda Priestly. "Holy Shit" she muttered as she ran toward her office.
She took a deep breath and reached to ring the bell but stopped short as the door swung open to reveal a breathtakingly beautiful Miranda standing there. Andrea stumbled back but caught herself on the railing. The older woman gasped lightly and reached to grab the journalist.
"I'm okay… okay." She regained her balance and looked Miranda up and down before she saw the older woman catch her eyes roaming. And then without thinking, "you look amazing" then sucked in her breath.
Miranda's cheeks turned pink. "Thank you. You look exceptional yourself. Please, come in." she stepped aside to let Andrea enter and closed the door behind her. The older woman gathered her nerves. She made million-dollar decisions every day, could bring grown men to tears with a look, ruled an entire industry with an iron firm fist, but this one single young woman made her question everything she ever thought about herself.
The older woman led Andrea to the dining room, where she had set an elegant table for two with candles, soft classical music playing and wine chilling.
"Miranda, this is just, just beautiful" she felt tears stinging her eyes.
Miranda smiled, "I hoped you would like it." She placed her hand in the small of the younger woman's back to guide her to the table. "Would you like something to drink?" She relished the heat coming from the woman's body.
Andrea felt the hand on her back all the way down to her toes. "Yes, please." She let Miranda lead her to a chair and pulled it out offering her a seat. The younger woman sat and took a long deep breath. "Miranda," she searched for her eyes. But the fashionista focused her attention on pouring the wine. When she sat Andrea's glass down, Andrea took hold of her hand around the glass. "Miranda" she said again softly, "look at me. Please"
Suddenly Andrea was looking into the bluest eyes she had ever seen, full of fear and desperation, questioning. "Yes Andrea" her voice was low and rough.
Andy stood back up, not releasing Miranda's hand. Eyes still gazing at each other, she leaned in closer, slowly, giving Miranda the chance to retreat if she was wrong, if she had misjudged everything around her. Miranda didn't move, she couldn't breathe. Gently Andrea touched her soft lips to Miranda's "Mm" The older woman whimpered. Andrea moved closer, carefully sliding her arm around Miranda's waist and pulling them together. The older woman moved her hand up to Andrea's neck sliding it into her long tresses to hold the back of her head.
Slowly they separated lips, rested their foreheads together and smiled at each other.
Andrea spoke first "I have wanted to do that for over two years."
"Please enlighten me as to why you waited so long" Miranda teased.
"I was afraid the Dragon would burn me to a cinder".
"That," Miranda chuckled, "is a very good reason." She stepped back a step to look at Andrea better, their hands still in the same places as when they kissed. The older woman moved her hand and gently wipe the smear of lipstick from around Andrea's lips.
The younger woman closed her eyes, moved her face into the touch and hummed. "Mmmm" she opened her eyes to see Miranda smiling back at her. "Two years?"
Andrea blushed, "about that, yeah." She blinked slowly. "I never let myself believe you could or would ever feel the same way, it hurt too much to think about it."
Miranda stepped back, her legs bumping the chair forcing her to sit.
Andrea was startled and afraid she'd said something wrong. Miranda sat there looking at her with her mouth open.
"That's," her voice cracked, "that's why you left me in Paris." She gulped.
Andrea bowed her head and took her seat.
"You, you never hated me." Miranda stuttered.
Andrea looked up quickly, "NO! Never." She took a drink of her wine. "It was easier to blame the situation with Nigel. I couldn't, I couldn't stand what I did the night before." She took another drink. "I couldn't stay near you any longer. I was willing to have you hate me and be angry with me for leaving instead of finding out my true feelings."
Miranda sat back to take a drink from the glass that had somehow made it to her hand, before she realized it was still empty. She set it down and gathered herself together and poured herself some wine then refilled Andrea's glass. "Well" she said after finally taking a drink, "I… I don't know how I feel about that." Suddenly Miranda felt anger building inside her. "Is this why, is this the reason you, you and my daughters?" her icy tone was back, she had risen from her seat.
"NO! GOD NO!" Andrea stood from her chair.
"That's the most despicable thing I have ever seen. Using my daughters to get to me."
"What No, Miranda, please…"
"I think it's time for you to go." Miranda took her by the elbow and led her to the door. "I can't believe I allowed myself…"
"Miranda listen to me, please!"
"You have nothing to say that I want to hear." She had the door open and was moving Andrea out of it. "I will not hurt my daughter's, you will slowly stop seeing and talking to them. You are not welcome here again."
"Miranda wait!" tears streamed down Andrea's face, "Miranda, please listen."
"Good night Andrea!" and the door was slammed in her face.
Andrea stood there, sobbing with her palms supporting her against the door. "Miranda" she cried softly.
The porch light was turned off to leave her crying in the dark.
Miranda leaned against the door after turning off the porch light, tears streaming down her face. She lightly touched her lips, still numb from the kiss. How could she have been so stupid, silly, silly old woman. Now her babies would be let down, heartbroken again, because of her stupid mistake. The older woman pulled herself from the door and started up the stairs to go to bed. Not caring about the mess she was leaving in the dining room, no longer hungry. She was too far away from the door to hear Andrea's words before she left down the steps of the townhouse.
Andrea stepped back "Miranda" she gasped through her tears, "I love you." The journalist turned and walked away.
The holidays were approaching quickly and Miranda's mood at RUNWAY had been unbearable for weeks. She was firing at least one person a day, run-throughs were a nightmare, she was making changes at the last minute just to fulfill a whim constantly. Everyone walked on eggshells more than usual, trying to meet all her expectations and get the next issue to print before the holiday break.
Andrea continued at her job as usual, as well as communicating with her Pixies. She didn't care how angry Miranda was, she would not abandon them. They had to be much more careful now, but none of them were willing to let each other go. Caroline and Cassidy had always known about Andy's feelings for their mother, they too hoped one day their mom would accept her feelings toward Andy, and they could finally be the family they knew they were supposed to be.
After watching their mother sulk around for weeks, they knew they had to do something.
"I think we should invite Andy to Christmas". Cassidy said as she and her sister sat on her bed, trying to form a plan to reunite the two adults they love so much.
"What good will that do?" Caroline asked. "She'll just get mad and throw her out, if we could even get Andy to come, and then she'd be angry at us too, on Christmas."
"No, think about it Caro. Andy said mom thought she was using us to get to her. Mom didn't let Andy explained that we knew and wanted to help but Andy would let us."
"So, all we have to do is tell mom the truth. That we've known all along that they love each other. But Andy wanted mom to realize for herself if she had feelings for her".
"Okay" Caroline still wasn't sure how that was going to fix anything on Christmas.
"Listen. We invite Andy, tell her mom said, for one day, Christmas, she could see us because we had gifts for her."
"All right, but what about mom?"
"Easy. Before Andy gets here, we tell her everything. Once we've spilled the beans mom will be excited to see her again. And when she shows up they will kiss and make up and we will get the best Christmas gift ever."
"You really think that'll work?"
"It has to Caro. Mom and Andy are so sad. They are supposed to be together, ya know."
"Yeah" Caroline replied, "okay, let's do it!"
Cassidy giggled, "she doesn't call his her Pixies for nothing."
Both girls laughed, happy to know they were about to get their best Christmas gift ever.
"I don't know Lil Pix. Your mom made it very clear she never wanted to see me again."
"Don't worry Andy, she said she'd stay in her study while you were here."
"Come on, Andy" Cassidy chimed in. "We got you the best gift ever!" She winked at her twin.
"All right, but I'm only staying long enough for us to exchange gifts, then I'm out of there."
"What time do you want me to stop by?" Andy asked.
"About five. Is that okay?" Cassidy asked crossing her fingers.
"Okay. I'll see you then. Love you guys."
"Love you too Andy" they said in unison. After they hung up they high five each other. "Yes!"
It was noon, their mother was due home by two. They had plenty of time to put the rest of their plan into place. They set the dining room up the same way Andy had described it to them and had the chef make both of their favorites. They called Roy, to help with getting the right wine and candles. He was happy to help, he always thought the two women belong together. "They balance each other." He told the girls one day. That was exactly what they wanted in their lives, balance.
Miranda didn't arrive home until almost 3, but the girls were okay with that. It gave them a few extra minutes for finishing touches and the knowledge that their mother was making sure everything was finished before she left, so they would not be disturbed during the holidays.
"Mom, why don't you go and take a nice hot soak. Start your vacation right." Cassidy offered.
"Yeah mom, we'd rather have you relaxed."
"Darlings, that sounds like the best idea I've heard in weeks." She hugged them both and moved to the stairs heading to her bedroom.
After about an hour, just like the girls had hoped, Miranda came back down the stairs, dressed in a casual, comfortable outfit. She found her daughters in the den listening to Christmas music and reading.
"Hi mom. Feel better?" Cassidy asked.
"Immensely." She smiled and took a seat in the chair across from them on the couch. "What are you two reading?"
They looked at each other, here we go… Caroline answered, "some books Andy recommended."
The glare was there in her eyes as soon as the name came out Caroline's mouth. "I thought you didn't talk to Andrea much anymore." She seethed.
Cassidy set her book down. "We wanted to talk to you about that"
Caroline fell in. "There is something you need to know mom."
Miranda looked at them quizzically with a raised brow.
Caroline continued. "We've always known how Andy feels about you. She told us when we first started getting close."
"She wanted us to know that even if you never felt the same way, that she would never abandon us." Cassidy said.
"Mom" Caroline moved to kneel in front of her mother, "we know you love her."
Miranda began to cry.
Cassidy moved next to her sister. "But she made us promise not to get involved. Andy said it was between the two of you."
"But it's not mom. We love you both so much and we want you to be together." Caroline took her mom's hand.
Cassidy took the other, "we want to be a family."
"Oh babies." Miranda released their hands to stroke their faces and pulled him into her and held him tight. Crying into their soft red hair. After a few minutes she sat back, still cupping their cheeks. The older woman caught her breath. "How did I get so lucky?"
The girls beamed at her. "So you'll fix it." Caroline said.
"With Andy." Cassidy finished.
"I don't know if I can darlings". Miranda began to tear up again.
"Just tell her mom" Caroline said confidently.
Right then there was a soft knock on the front door. "I'll get it." Cassidy jumped up and ran to the door.
Caroline pulled her mother to stand. "Just tell her, be honest." She repeated as Cassidy walked through the door with Andy in tow.
Both women gasped with a look of shock on their faces. Andy noticed Miranda's tear stained face and her fear of the older woman seeing her in her home was replaced with the fear of something being wrong. She stepped closer. "Miranda, are you all right," she looked at each girl, "is everything okay?"
Miranda smiled. How could she have ever thought anything but the best of Andrea. Her Andrea. She moved toward the journalist who backed up a step into the door frame and stumbled. Miranda instantly moved to catch her. They stood looking at each other and the girls cleared their throats. When the women looked at them they saw both of them pointing over their heads. Miranda and Andrea looked up. Mistletoe. Both girls together, now holding hands, said smiling "you know what that means."
The two women looked at each other again, this time Miranda move first and leaned in to Andrea's lips. The kiss was soft and gentle, but so full of love and promises. When they parted Miranda cupped her cheek "oh, my Andrea. I love you."
Andrea took Miranda's hand and turned it over to kiss the palm. "I love you too Miranda" she leaned in to kiss those soft lips again. This time, when they broke, their attention was shifted from each other to the two bodies hugging their waists.
"Merry Christmas" the twins said.
"Merry Christmas" Miranda and Andrea said and kissed each other again, under the mistletoe.