Disclaimer: Miranda Priestly and Andrea 'Andy' Sachs are the property of Twentieth Century Fox and Lauren Weisberger, and I am just borrowing them and taking them for a spin. No copyright infringement intended.
Pairing: Miranda/Andy (MirAndy)
Rating: A/U Alternate Universe. PG—NC-17 depending on chapter.
Summary: Miranda Priestly is a resistance leader in the Danish countryside during WW2 with Andrea Sachs as her aide-de-camp. Every new assignment means putting their lives on the line, but other events forcing them closer together on a personal level prove to be just as lethal - to their hearts.
By Gun Brooke
MirAndy A/U Fan Fiction
Miranda looked at her comrades in arms where they had gathered. Twice, she had made last minute changes when it came to the locale for their last briefing. After Andrea's run in with the German convoy, security had to be paramount, or their attempt at getting the refugees out would end in disaster for all involved. The thought of Rakel and her family entered her mind, but she pushed it out just as fast. Miranda needed to stay focused.
"As you can tell by the list over on the far wall, I have divided you in teams of four. You will be responsible for a group of refugees each, and make sure you get them to the right vessel. We have every type of water craft at our disposal that can be found on the east coast. Smaller freighters, fishing boats, sail boats, motor boats, even larger rowboats. Once your group is aboard their boat, one of each team will accompany the refugees and assist the boat owner, or fishermen, in returning the boats to their respective harbors. We have one night to pull this off. If we need more time, the word will be out how we did this, and the Germans will up the number of soldiers standing guard. Any questions?"
A couple of the men raised their hands, but their questions were valid. Mostly it was about the logistic on how they would get the refugees to the beaches and harbors.
"Most of them are already in safe-houses along the coast line. Our comrades in other resistance cells are doing exactly what we're doing, both here on the mainland, and on the islands Sjaelland and Fyn. This is an unprecedented, joint effort, and as our leaders sees it; our only chance." Miranda walked among the men and women, giving each one an opportunity to approach her personally, but mostly they seemed content just to be reassured. "All right. Time to head out. Curfew is not yet in place, but we still need to move inconspicuously. Be careful, everybody, and return home safely."
Only when the four in Andrea's group remained, did Miranda approach her lover. She wanted to hold her close in her arms, but this was not the time or the place for such demonstrative gestures. Instead she tried to feel reassured that Andrea looked calm and efficient. She seemed ready.
"All set?" Miranda stopped next to the group of three men and Andrea.
"We are." Andrea's eyes took on a definitely warm hue when she looked at Miranda. "We're going to drive directly to the farm since we have the farthest to go. After we get there, it should only take us an hour to get to the docks. We have three fishing boats at our disposal, and Peter here will be the one staying to drive the trucks back before dawn. The rest of us are going on the boats.
Miranda thought her heart was going to stop beating. She had expected Andrea to be the one driving the trucks back to their owners, and the men going on the boats. Trust Andrea to turn the tables. Miranda knew she couldn't undermine Andrea by protesting in front of her comrades. Instead she made sure Andrea left the building last, so she could squeeze her hand hard. "You come home to me, Andrea."
"I promise. You be safe too." Andrea walked over to the bicycle stand. She stopped with her hands on the handlebars, her head tipping forward. Letting go of the bike, she dashed back to Miranda and hugged her fiercely. "I love you." She didn't wait for Miranda to reciprocate, but rushed back to the bike and the men who looked confused at her. Not looking back once, she pedaled down the empty street.
Miranda stood in the doorway until she couldn't see Andrea anymore.
Andy helped the last children off the truck. They were pale, but quiet where they clung to their parents.
"Andy? Will we all fit on this boat?" Rakel came up to Andy. She held on to her youngest granddaughter, My's, hand. Nervously eyeing the closest boat, a small open fishing-boat. "It looks…well, not very steady."
"Miranda said all the seamen are experienced. The sea is pretty calm. Not much wind, and thank God, not much moonlight. That works in our favor." Andy put her arm around Rakel's shoulders. "I'll be accompanying you. I won't let you out of my sight until you and your family is safely in Sweden."
"Will you make the secret chocolate, Andy?" My's shrill tone grasped at Andy's heart.
"Not on the boat, sweetheart." Andy knelt in front of the child. "But when you're in Sweden, you know the secret and you can help your grandmother and your mother to do it the right way. Just a tiny pinch, remember?"
"I remember." My smiled tremulously. "I'll keep the secret."
"Good." Andy leaned in and kissed the girl's cheek. "We should get your onboard now."
Andy consulted the man guiding a large group onto the biggest fishing boat. "How many can I put on that one?" She pointed at the smaller vessel.
"About ten, including the skipper and yourself. He'll need you to assist on the way back."
"All right." Andy motioned for Rakel and her daughter to bring the children onboard. Two elderly women and a young man joined them. They huddled together as the night was chilly, and the children's teeth clattered. Andy had to clench her own teeth to not do the same.
"We're ready to depart in ten minutes," a weathered man in his early fifties said. "I have more blankets in that box in the stern. You need to cover them." He glared at Andy. "I wasn't aware they'd provide me with girl as a helper."
"She's not just a girl," Rakel said, her voice calm and confident. "You're lucky to get her and not one of the gung-ho lads I met earlier. Trigger happy, I'd say. This young woman is an asset. To anyone."
"Yes, ma'am." The fisherman looked quite chastised.
Soon the armada of fishing-boats of all sizes, together with sailboats, harbor pilots, and even two smaller yachts, made their way out of the harbor. Andy looked out of the water, and further down the coast, at the horizon, she could vaguely make out what looked like black beads of different sizes against the blue-black velvet sky.
"I'm nervous. What will become of us?" Rakel's daughter Hanna sat next to Andy, taking her hand. "Where will we go? We don't know anyone in Sweden."
"Sweden has accepted refuges from man occupied countries in Europe. Their neutrality is a godsend in that respect. Sure, many Danish voices criticize Sweden for not taking a stand against the Germans, but if they did, where would we take you? Switzerland is too far away."
"True. So they are…accommodating?"
"Yes. There is a rather large Jewish community in Sweden, so if you want, you'll be able to contact a rabbi and get some guidance that way."
"That would be good. I hope our own rabbi in Aalborg is on one of these boats. And what about our oldest, and our sick?"
"Some are on the larger boats and the yachts, where they're more comfortable." Andy squeezed Hanna's hand. "This effort is the largest, most coordinated ever. We're not about to leave anyone behind for the Germans to get their hands on."
"I hate them. I know they're people. I still hate them." Hanna sobbed. "This boat is so small. What if we all end up in the water? The children can't swim."
"Then we'll help them and one of the other boats in the convoy will pick us up. But it won't happen, Hanna. The captain is used to much worse circumstances when he's out fishing. I promise." Andy tried to convince herself as much as Hanna. "Just look at him. He is strong as an ox."
"He looks quite impressive."
"That didn't keep him from standing at attention when your mother told him off."
Hanna chuckled. "She's a force of nature. Much like Ms. Miranda."
Until now, Andy had managed to keep her thoughts off the topic of the woman who was now her lover. Whom Andy had expressed her love to only hours ago. She could still see the image of Miranda when she closed her eyes. Impeccably dressed, her hair in a perfect, modern updo and with those piercing blue eyes probing Andy's as if she was reading her mind. As if Miranda had to. Andy had the feeling she wore her heart in plain view, easily hurt, entirely visible, and in danger of being broken. Yet, Rakel has said Miranda needed her, in fact, the former housekeeper had insisted Andy not abandon Miranda no matter what. As if that would ever happen. Miranda might grow tired of Andy one of these days, but Andy could not see herself not love the passionate, difficult woman that was her boss and fearless leader. Ever.
The boat began to fall behind a little in the wake of the bigger vessels. There were still some other boats of the same size in front of them and behind them, which Andy was grateful for. She would find the ocean even more intimidating if they were out there all alone in the dark.
"Which harbor are we heading for?" Rakel asked.
"Either Varberg or Halmstad. It depends on what the skipper thinks is best. Our friends on the Swedish side will have people to greet us in both locations." Andy stood and walked over to the skipper. He was the only one with a roof over his head as he steered the boat from the tiny bridge. "How's it going? We on track?"
"Track?" the skipper huffed sounding exasperated. "If by that you mean are we on schedule, yes, we're doing all right. Keep the children close to you. The sea will get rougher from now on. If anyone needs to puke, lean over the railing away from the wind. Just don't go overboard."
"Aye, aye, Captain," Andy said, mimicking a little salute. The rough fisherman tried to hide a smile.
"Go sit down, girl."
Andy was glad she took his advice because suddenly the boat acted as if a sea monster was playing with it. The waves where not very high, but they were long and tossed the boat in strong, nauseating rolls. It didn't take the children and Hanna long to clutch their stomachs and moan. Andy held My halfway over the railing while the little girl vomited violently.
"Poor sweetie, that's awful for you. You'll feel better soon. This will calm down eventually." Andy prayed she was right. Soon she felt her own stomach rebelled, but she forced the bile down by sheer willpower. The thought of doing this again when going home was less than appealing.
Eventually the children and Hanna had emptied the content of the stomachs, and rested half lying down against Rakel and Andy. The old couple and their young man who turned out to be their grandson seemed not as affected, but the woman sobbed heartbreakingly every now and then.
The time seemed to stand still as the fishing boat convoy valiantly stomped across the ocean toward Sweden. Andy felt as they'd been aboard the boat for days, when the skipper called out to get her attention.
"Land in sight, girl."
"Oh, thank God." Andy sighed in relief. "Did you hear that Rakel. We're definitely on Swedish water now. We're safe. You'll be ashore soon."
"Andy, I can't believe it." Rakel wiped at the tears running down her cheeks. "Can this be true? Are we really safe?"
"Yes. Yes, you are."
And they were. The boats entered the harbor of Varberg, where they were met by the Swedish resistance sympathizers. Andy took a tear-filled farewell of Rakel, Hanna and the children, hugging them, and promising they'd be together again once the war was over. She had only known them for a short time, but they were closer to her than most people, not counting Miranda.
"We need to return. We have only five more hours before the sun's up." The skipper spoke curtly. "Come on, girl."
"I got to go with Mr. Charming here," Andy said, smilingly wryly. "Take care and try to write us when possible. Please."
"We will, Andy." Rakel hugged her one last time. "And tell Ms. Miranda thank you. Take care of her."
"I will." Andy drew a trembling breath. "I love her, Rakel."
"I know. I can tell. You'll be good for her. No go. And be safe, Andy."
"I will. Bye." Andy jumped into the boat, which now looked big and abandoned. The skipper pulled out and soon they were heading back, all in all eight of the smaller fishing-boats. Andy checked her watch, barely able to see in the faint light from the moon above the clouds. 3AM. They would barely make it before dawn. This could get tricky.