Pairing: Miranda/Andy The Devil Wears Prada
Rating: Mature audiences/MC-17 in the later chapters
Summary: A year after Paris, Andy breaks a story which affects Miranda's life and brings the two together.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, which is a true pity. Nor am I trying to obtain any monetary gain through this story. Don't make me waste my time litigating such a silly case. No, no. That wasn't a question. Don't bore me with details…
Special Thanks to law_nerd for beta-ing this story. She sure knows how to clean up a mess! This started out as a smaller story, but after an interesting, if very well-worded slap on my wrist for being rather lazy with the timeline, I rewrote it.
Andy ran into the Mirror and practically slid into her desk, scrabbling to answer her desk phone. "Andy Sachs, the Mirror," she said, knowing she sounded out of breath. Well, she was. Her cell phone had been ringing off the hook since 5 a.m. for Christ's sake, the subway had been running slow, and damn it, she hadn't even had a cup of coffee, yet.
The winded reporter sat up quickly as any air still in her lungs promptly left. "Miranda?" she wheezed, recognizing the voice, one that graced her dreams on a regular basis, but not the vocal intonation.
"Lunch. Today. Roy will pick you up at 12:30. That's all."
Andy stared at the phone, hearing only the dial tone. Replacing the arm of the phone onto its cradle as gently as if it were an armed bomb, the journalist took a few deep breaths to get her heart rate down. Lunch. Today. With Miranda.
She had hoped against hope that Miranda would contact her. She had hoped against hope to garner her former employer's attention. She had hoped against hope to hear her voice and maybe even to see her again. Now that the opportunity had presented itself, she was scared shitless.
Yes, that about summed it up: shitless. Andy began to tremble. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.
Not knowing what else to do, Andy booted up her computer. Her cell phone rang. Recognizing the number, she answered it quickly. "Honey, it's all over the news! I can't believe you did this!"
"Mom," Andy quickly interjected.
"I mean, after all she did, how could you even contemplate—"
"Mom," Andy tried again.
"And I bet she won't even acknowledge—"
"Mom!" Andy practically yelled. Blessed silence. Noticing several colleagues watching her with interest, Andy shrugged her shoulders and grinned before returning her attention to the call. She needed to take advantage of shocking her mom into silence before she rallied and began her tirade once more. "I am an investigative reporter. I investigate. I find the truth. And I tell it. It's that simple."
"But, honey, that woman—"
"That woman helped me more than you'll ever know. She is why I have this job doing what I love. Why wouldn't I do this for her?" More silence. How wonderful. But short-lived.
"But why you? Why did you have to write the story? Surely there are other reporters—"
"Because I know all the key players. Mom, I was her assistant for a long time. It was my job to know her schedule, who was close to her, everything. Only someone so close to her could find the story and break it. I had the opportunity, and I took it. Don't make me apologize for wanting to do the right thing." Andy sighed.
Every other call had consisted of congratulations, compliments, and admiration. Her mom, however, was upset that her article, her five-page spread in the Sunday paper, had benefitted the Dragon Lady, the bane of Andy's existence during her short tenure as assistant at Runway (and although Andy would not admit it, even now). Well that was just too fucking bad.
Sounding calmer her mother said, "I suppose. Doesn't she have attorneys for this sort of thing, though? Or couldn't she have hired a private investigator? Isn't that what the rich do?"
"Maybe. But I knew where to look. They might not have. Look, Mom, I have to go. I'll call you later."
"Okay, sweetheart. I love you," her mom graciously ended.
"I love you, too." After disconnecting, Andy sighed and set about listening to her voicemail messages.
Dialing in, she was surprised to find messages from Nigel, Emily, some reporters she'd met at various journalist functions over the past year, and her missing friends, Lily and Doug. She wasn't sure she wanted to call Lily or Doug. They had deserted her when she had needed them most. In some ways, she was glad her Benedict Arnold friends did not have her cell phone number.
Emily's message was short and to the point. "My God! You must call me." Andy chuckled.
Nigel's message was particularly humorous. "Six? Six. I can't believe it. I am speechless. Which makes it hard to leave a message. Wait until I tell you how she responded. I was right there waiting for her head to thud against the Berber carpet when she read it. Call me." His sing-song voice made her smile.
Emily first. Dialing the number she knew by heart, she heard her call answered after the first ring. Smiling as she heard the well-known voice, Andy said, "Hi, Em."
"I can't believe it!" she whispered forcefully. "Andy, what made you do this? Miranda is beside herself, and the phones are ringing off the hook."
Hearing this, Andy became a bit nervous. She needed to know what to expect when she saw Miranda today. "Is Miranda angry with me?"
"With you? No! With everyone else though. If you were here she'd probably kiss you!"
Stunned, the young reporter tried to grasp the meaning of Emily's words. So, Miranda wasn't mad at her. That was good.
"Oh. Well, I'm sure she is busy trying to use the information—"
"You think? Geez, Andy. She's been on the phone with her lawyers and PR for the past hour. I hate to admit it, but I," Emily let loose a large sigh, "I am impressed." She sounded pained by her admission. Andy blinked.
"Thanks, Em." Andy grinned. "Thanks."
"Shit. Miranda's eying me. We have to get together for drinks. Tomorrow night?"
"Uh, yeah. That'll be fun."
In a rushed voice, Emily said, "All right. I'll contact you tomorrow." Then she hung up.
Andy sat thinking about their conversation. No doubt Emily wanted details, just as Nigel did—just as Miranda did. Andy was prepared to reveal everything to Miranda and a limited amount to her former colleagues. Right now, though, she was hoping Nigel would be more cooperative than she intended to be.
"Six!" Nigel interrupted. "You wily woman. I didn't know you had it in you. I want details!"
"And you'll get them. But first I want to hear how she responded."
"Yes, I thought you might. Are you sitting?" he asked dramatically. At Andy's affirmation, he began his narrative.
"She arrived in a terrible mood. Evidently, paparazzi were waiting for her outside her door shouting questions related to the article. She didn't know what they were talking about. You know how she hates being in the dark about anything."
Andy hummed sympathetically. Yes, she knew. That was why the editor required her assistants to be with her at all the large events, feeding names and information about each person who approached her. Miranda hated being caught unaware. Andy had considered tipping Miranda off ahead of time but had decided against it. Perhaps that was due to her fear of contacting the fearsome woman directly, but Andy preferred to tell herself it was because she knew a couple of hours' notice wouldn't have mattered. Weak rationalization, she knew, but that was her story, and she was sticking to it.
"She got to her desk and noticed that your rag was on top. Emily had warned me, so I followed her into her office on some pretext. Her eyes got so wide—I've never seen her react to anything like that, Six. It was incredible. As she read the article, she began smirking. You know how she looks when she has the upper hand. And then her infamous evil laugh erupted—terrifying." Andy could practically see Nigel completing the sentence with a mock shudder. She grinned.
"After she finished the article, she returned to the front page and, I can hardly believe I saw this, her eyes filled with tears. Tears, for Christ sake! As if that weren't mind-blowing enough, this wide, soft smile covered her face. It was unbelievable, Six! And she said in this breathless voice, 'Andrea.' Then she sighed like a love-sick school girl and swooned."
"Oh my God. Dramatic much?" Andy smiled as she heard Nigel's laughter. "Are you serious, though? She smiled? She said my name?" the shocked reporter whispered.
"Yup. You really threw her for a loop. Now. I want details."
"I'm meeting Emily for drinks tomorrow night. Why don't you join us, and I'll be able to tell both of you."
"Siixxx, you're going to make me wait until tomorrow?" Nigel whined.
"Yes, but to tide you over, I'll let you in on a little secret. Are you listening?" Andy teased.
"You know I am, you little minx."
"I'm meeting Miranda for lunch today." As Nigel began to shoot questions at her, Andy laughed gaily. "Sorry, Nige. I've got to go. See you tomorrow!" She hung up, tickled. That was fun.
Feeling excited by Nigel's information, Andy pulled up her email. This would take awhile to clear out. Andy didn't mind, though. Normally she didn't even work on Sundays, but she had gotten behind with her assignments while concentrating on the article concerning Miranda. Andy had begun investigating it months ago. She had been following the news since she'd left Runway, tracking Miranda as best she could. She hadn't dared ask Nigel or Emily for information, although both had provided her with insight when they spoke. Such conversations were few and far between, though. She could count on her left hand how many times she'd seen them in the past year. Yet, Andy felt as if no time had passed whenever she spoke to either of them.
This contrasted greatly with how she felt regarding her separation from their boss. That seemed endless. Painfully long. So she read every little bit of information she could gather from newspapers and listened to every tidbit offered in passing. Eventually, things hadn't added up. That had bothered Andy. She needed to find the answers. Thus began her investigative expose. She informed no one until her research yielded fruit. Then she told only her editor. A week later, he ran it.
Three hours later found Andy beginning to get nervous. Roy was due to pick her up in ten minutes. Preliminary numbers showed that the paper had sold twice the normal amount. The chief wanted her to write a follow-up. She would have to discuss it with Miranda. More importantly, Andy wanted to know Miranda's feelings about the article. About her. She had smiled and said my name. She had tears in her eyes. That had to be good.
Packing up her bag and logging off the computer, Andy waved to her colleagues and hurried outside. Taking a deep breath, the young woman chirped out a hello to Roy and slid into the car. It was empty. Andy had anticipated seeing Miranda. She didn't know whether to be grateful for the temporary reprieve. "Roy?"
"Yes, Andy?" he answered as he eased into traffic.
"Where are we going?"
"To the townhouse," he answered easily.
Andy was surprised. Of course everything Miranda had done today had surprised her. Why shouldn't that continue?
"Isn't her house swamped with reporters and photographers?" Andy asked, concerned how it would look for her to show up today of all days.
"Not to worry. We have a plan to get rid of them." Andy could see the smile on Roy's face and wondered what they were going to do. Instead of pursuing that line of thought, Andy decided to try a new tack.
"How did she seem today? What am I up against?" Andy waited breathlessly, hoping Roy would indulge her curiosity. Normally, Andy wouldn't attempt to compromise Roy's loyalty to Miranda, but she was confident Roy would recognize she had no intention of hurting the editor with such information.
Roy seemed to understand. "She was in a foul mood going into the office. Lately, she's gotten a lot of press because of the divorce, but nothing like this. Excuse me, Andy." He turned onto Miranda's street and spoke into his blue tooth. "I'm heading your way. Thanks."
Andy puzzled over those cryptic words, craning her neck to see what was occurring down the street. She saw a crowd of paparazzi converging on a white-haired woman who walked down the steps and entered a towncar. Miranda!
While Andy watched the drama unfold, Roy continued. "When I picked her up, though, she seemed very pleased. And excited. I haven't seen her that, well, I guess the best word would be light, since you worked for her." Roy's eyes met hers through the rearview mirror. "I read the article, Andy. I know you're the reason why."
Not knowing what to say, Andy tried to make sense of what she was seeing even as she listened to Roy's words. Miranda's car had driven away and with it went the crowd of reporters hot on its trail. Roy pulled up, got out, and opened the door to an empty street.
"It's nice to see you again, Andy. Don't be a stranger." Roy smiled and held the door open for her. "She'll be returning through the back door." Nodding goodbye, Roy returned to the car as Andy ascended steps she never dared believe she'd be climbing again.
Andy turned the handle, finding the door unlocked, and entered quietly. She was met by two inquisitive stares. Caroline and Cassidy. Of course. It was the weekend, after all.
"You left Mom—"
"You work for the Mirror."
"But you helped Mom—"
Both looked at her expectantly. Andy took a deep breath trying to determine who was who. The one on the left who'd begun the interrogation must be Caroline. She was the one who'd convinced her to mount the stairs with the Book on that infamous day so long ago. Night. Whatever. Caroline was the leader, the one with the devious smile and persuasive words.
Not sure what to say, she was saved by a softly cleared throat. Lifting her head quickly to scan the area behind the girls, Andy saw Miranda leaning against a door jamb, a slight smile gracing her visage. "Girls, no need to attack our guest as soon as she steps in the door. I'm sure she'll be more forthcoming once we feed her." Elegantly motioning with her head for Andy to follow her, Miranda turned and walked toward the back of the house.
Andy was left wondering how anyone could make such a commanding gesture look elegant. Miranda pulled it off effortlessly.
Placing her purse and accordion file on a side table, Andy hurried to follow. Andy felt warmth roiling through her as she noticed how well Miranda's ensemble accented her porcelain skin, hourglass shape, and saliva-inducing backside. Andy's hands itched to touch her.
"I'm afraid you'll have to leave through the back door later. Although they are absent now, I have no doubt those sorry excuses for reporters will be back to hound me soon enough." Miranda led them to a tastefully decorated kitchen. On the table were placed a huge chef's salad, a plate with grilled chicken, crystal decanters filled with various dressings, and several beverages. Caroline reached for lemonade while Cassidy filled her glass with iced water.
Andy waited for everyone else to seat themselves before choosing the chair across from Miranda. The table was made of a light wood. Maple? It was beautiful with oscillations that reminded her of a quilt. Andy stared for a moment longer before turning her attention to her meal. She watched, surprised, as Miranda filled Andy's glass with water. That was what she'd planned on drinking. Apparently, Miranda knew her tastes. Andy shyly smiled her thanks and nearly fell off her chair when Miranda smiled back at her. This was a side of Miranda she'd never seen before. It was provocative. Andy felt her heart speed up as she dug into her salad.
The silence only lasted for a few moments before the girls started to talk about school, their friends, and the new movie they wanted to watch. Andy listened avidly. She had never witnessed Miranda's interactions with her children. It was enlightening. Miranda seemed as intent on their words as she was when reviewing the all-important Book. Her entire attention was focused on them. Andy wondered what it would feel like to be the center of such regard.
Like the flick of a switch, Andy felt the air change as she heard Miranda's next words caress her ears. "Andrea. Writing obviously agrees with you." A question hung in the air. Miranda expected answers. Interestingly enough, Andy didn't feel icicles freezing her veins in fear. She felt quite warm again, actually.
Taking Miranda's lead, Andy began composing her explanation. She felt calmness settling over her. After raising an eyebrow in question, glancing at the girls, then receiving a brief nod from Miranda, Andy began.