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 out over the dark water. Her part of the unnerving night was over and all she could do now was wait. She had talked to Bjarne, and her stomach turned at the thought of Andrea facing two long across open sea in a very small boat.
'I love you.' Andrea's words haunted her. Miranda had never felt her entire inside melt like it had at those words. She stood mute and watched Andrea leave on a borrowed bicycle, and all Miranda really wanted was to call out and stop the young woman from leaving.
Miranda shifted and checked her gold watch. Almost 7AM and dawn was breaking. Soon the sun would be climbing and if the boats weren't back, the Germans would know.
"Any sign of them?" A dark voice next to Miranda made her flinch. Bjarne was back.
"No." Miranda squinted at the horizon. "Unless…I think I see something."
Bjarne raised his binoculars. "You're right. The first boats are returning and they're approaching fast. Very fast." He sounded concerned.
"What's going on?" Miranda tore the binoculars from his hand. She watched two yachts and a larger fishing boat approaching and they were indeed going very fast. Behind them, several smaller vessels began to appear. Tapping her foot, Miranda let the binoculars scrutinize every boat within sight, but at this distance, it was impossible to say which one was Andrea's.
Soon the first boats docked and Bjarne and two other men helped with the ropes as they greeted their comrades. Miranda didn't wait. She stepped into the group of burly men and skewered the first captain with her eyes.
"How many boats are we waiting for still?"
"Eh. Ma'am. Let's see…" The bearded man glanced around him. "The five smallest ones, two sailboats and one of the pilots. They're not as fast and when the planes came so close—"
"What planes?" Miranda hissed. "Luftwaffe?"
"Yes. Six of them, in formation. We dissolved the convoy to make it harder for them."
"You left the smaller ones to fend for themselves?" Miranda's voice was a low growl.
"With all due respect, Ma'am, they're smaller targets, harder to hit. We couldn't risk these boats. We might need them again."
Miranda knew he was right, but the knowledge that Andrea was still out there, with German planes buzzing around them made her tremble. She swallowed the hot, searing pain that consisted of tears of terror, and walked out on the farthest point of the pier. She hated feeling helpless, and she loathed the fear that she might lose this amazing, bewildering young woman, her Andrea, before they even had a chance to fully understand what was going on between them.
Another hour passed and two more boats arrived, one barely afloat and towed by the other. Miranda helped the men ashore; one had his arm in a makeshift sling.
"Report," Miranda barked, but her hands were gentle as she helped the older man sit on a crate. "Blanket," she urged Bjarne. "He can't go into shock. It could kill him."
"They came at us from everywhere, Ma'am." The fisherman sighed. "We moved in circles, all of us, but they still got one of the boats really badly. It…it overturned."
"Oh, my God." Miranda pressed her lips together. Suddenly she felt deprived of oxygen and the morning mist was so cold and pierced her very soul. "What happened?"
"We were too far away, but two other boats tried to perform a rescue. The damn planes kept firing throughout the whole mess. The worst thing was, we were still so far out. I'm not even sure we were even on Danish water. They sure took us by surprise…" The man paled. "I think I might just faint for the first time in my life." He slumped sideways.
Miranda and Bjarne caught him. "We need a stretcher of some sort." Miranda snapped her order out. "And I mean now."
"Here. We keep old ladders around for this purpose." Another fisherman came running with one and they placed the semi-conscious man on it.
"You were very brave tonight," Miranda murmured close to his ear. "You have saved a lot of good people."
"Thank you, Ms. Miranda."
Surprised that he knew her name, Miranda looked around, but nobody had heard him as far as she could tell. "You're welcome."
"I knew your father. I knew you too, when you were just a young girl," the man whispered. "You're a courageous girl. You always were." He smiled weakly and closed his eyes.
Miranda blinked at new threatening tears, annoyed at her emotional state. She motioned for some of the men to take the fisherman to be treated. A local doctor belonged to their group and he would be standing by in case of emergency.
Another grueling hour passed and then a slow moving convoy approached. The local pilot boat was towing two fishing boats. No sign of the third fishing boat or the sailboats.
Miranda didn't wait for the men to secure the pilot boat. She jumped aboard and climbed the ladder to the bridge. "Report." She saw several people huddled in the aft section of the vessel. They were wrapped in blankets and two were covered completely. Miranda's heart nearly stopped right then and there.
"We've taken heavy fire, Ma'am." The pilot didn't try to get up from his chair and only then did Miranda spot the pressure bandage around his calf. "I'm all right. Just a flesh wound from some wooden splinters. It's worse down there."
Miranda's feet finally moved again. She jumped off the ladder and rushed to the aft section. "Andrea?"
Nobody moved, but two women poked their head out from the blankets. "Are we home?" one of them, a young woman, asked, her voice trembling. "My sister needs help."
"Hush, Bettina, I'm not that bad off. Just a sprained wrist," her sister said, sounding calmer. "That girl over there is much worse off. We've gave her all the blankets we could spare that the pilot had. She's so cold after being in the water so long."
Miranda knew. She just knew. Falling to her knees next to the almost entirely covered body of someone very slender, she pulled the top blanket away. Masses of chocolate brown hair, now tousled and matted by seawater, and a bruised, naked shoulder came into view.
"Oh, Andrea…" Miranda groaned. She touched Andrea's cheek and was shocked to feel how ice cold it was. Was she dead? Miranda pushed a trembling hand into the blankets and placed it between Andrea's breasts. Small movements betrayed shallow breathing. Relieved, but still more frightened than she'd ever been, Miranda whipped her head around at the men on the dock.
"What are you waiting for? Bring the damn ladder and get the wounded out of there. Start with this woman. Bring her to my car."
"Aye, Ma'am." Bjarne had obviously used his head and brought several ladders over. He jumped into the pilot boat. "I talked to the other guys. They say the sailboats drew the fire away from these boats and set course for a port further south. Perhaps Grenå."
"Good." Thank goodness. If they hadn't, no one on these boats would be alive. "What about those two?" she pointed at the two covered bodies over in the corner as she got ready to accompany Andrea to her car.
"They drowned. One was Andy's skipper, and the other was the pilot's shipmate. As far as I know, the rest are still alive, but we don't know about the sailboat crews of course."
"Keep me posted. And the refugees?"
"All were delivered safely to Sweden. No word of anyone getting capture anywhere, so far."
"Very well. I place you in command for now, Bjarne. I have to be highly visible at Nordia or it might become obvious that I was involved with the rescue effort."
"I understand. Bente and I have things under control. Get Andy back to Stavnsdal. Don't worry about our people. Just take care of her."
"I will. Stay safe." Miranda hurried to the car where the men placed Andrea on the backseat. It ran on a charcoal gasifier and the bulky contraption created a distinctive sound as Miranda started it and drove off towards Nordia and her home, praying that Andrea would be all right.
Andy tried to open her eyes. She had already attempted to open her mouth to tell the agitated voices close to her to shut up, but it was impossible to even make the faintest sound. If she only could see who it was. Her eyelids felt glued together, and she was so cold, so cold.
"Why isn't she waking up?" a female, strangely familiar voice barked.
"Ms. Priestly, the girl's been through a lot. We have no way of knowing how long she was in the water and if she's inhaled—"
"Are you suggesting there is nothing you can do, Dr. Andersen?" The woman hissed, her voice menacing. "I can't lose her."
"Her vital signs are stabilizing. She needs to get warmer. She's in bed with four warm water bottles and several duvets. If her brain isn't injured, she'll wake up soon."
Dr. Andersen? That sounded familiar. It made Andy think of having stiches in her scalp.
"So, what do I do? Just watch over her until she wakes up?"
"Yes. I'll be staying with my brother just down the street. Here is his number. You can call me if she needs me and I'll be here within minutes."
"Very well." The woman sounded calmer. "Thank you, Doctor."
"You're welcome, Miranda. Trust me, this girl is strong."
"It's just, she's been through so much lately. I fear for her."
"Just keep her warm. Make her feel safe." The doctor said farewell and the room went silent. Andy forced her hand to move, trying to feel around her, to judge where they had taken her. Soft sheets surrounded her and as the doctor had said, thick duvets covered her body. Andy relaxed and tried to get warm.
Suddenly the memory of cold, salty water closing over her head made her flinch. Her body began to tremble, the water surrounded her, filled her nostrils, her mouth. Andy's arms flailed around her as she tried to swim to the surface, and yet she sank further into the deep, dragged down by her thick coverall. She kicked her boots off, and now she could use her legs properly and swim.
Another body hit the water right next to her, and she made out the outline of her skipper, the grouchy man who called her 'girl' with barely convoluted disdain. Still, there had been a sort of protectiveness about her too.
Now he sank past her and automatically, Andy's arm extended enough for her hand to grab his collar. She swam to the surface, her lungs close to bursting, and they almost did when they reached it. Holding on to the listless Skipper, Andy yelled for help. Coughing, yelling, and then coughing up sea-water, she tried to make herself heard over the roaring wind and the gunfire from the Luftwaffe. Over and over, weaker and weaker, her voice rang out, and still they sank under the surface, over and over as well. Andy knew now that they were both doomed. They were going to drown and she would never see Miranda again.
"Andrea, please. Open your eyes for me. You're dreaming. You're safe, darling. Please." Miranda had crawled into bed with Andrea once Dr. Andersen left, and now she held the shaking young woman close. Surely if she was dreaming, even if it was a horrible nightmare, her brain was intact?
"M-Miran-da?" Andrea moaned. "Cold."
"I know, darling. I know. Just open your beautiful eyes and look at me. I'm warming you. Can you feel me?"
"Yes." Slowly swollen eyelids open to reveal slightly bloodshot, brown eyes. "Miranda."
"Andrea. Oh, thank God." Miranda looked so pale, but also so lovely, her snow white hair loose around her shoulders, and void of all makeup. "How are you feeling?"
"Aching all over. Cold. Am I…home?"
Miranda whimpered. "Yes, darling. You're home. Home with me, here, in our bed."
"Good." Andrea closed her eyes briefly. "I couldn't save him. I t-tried. I really t-tried. I'm so sorry." She began to cry, muted sobs as if her heart was breaking.
"I know. Everyone knows. We thought we lost you too. It's a miracle that you're back." Miranda pressed trembling lips against Andy's temple. "You're such a brave soul, Andrea. We all recognize it and it's just like you to be so humble, so sure that you're not." She rocked Andrea, felt the coldness leave the young woman's body.
"So, this is my home now?" Andrea spoke with trepidation.
"It is. For as long as you want." Miranda gathered her courage. "I can't imagine you not being here."
Andrea pressed her face against Miranda's neck. "I think I can go back to sleep now."
"You do that. I'll be right here."
Andrea wrapped a weak arm around Miranda's waist and pressed her face into her chest. Nuzzling Miranda's breasts, she sighed and promptly fell asleep.
To be concluded in part 10