A/N: Hello everyone! It's been a long time since my muse has produced a Mirandy story, so I'm pleased to be working on this one! It's A/U, of course-Miranda and Stephen are not yet divorced—and will probably be shorter than my last one. This is FEMMESLASH, so if that's not your thing, read something else. Feedback is always welcome, but no flames please.
Pole Dancing With Integrity
Miranda Priestly hung up the phone with a trembling hand. Stephen was drunk again—too drunk to drive home. She could hear loud music, hooting and yelling in the background wherever he was, and her suggestion that he take a taxi had been met with, "Don't wait up… love ya, babe."
It was proof of just how shitfaced he was. There was no love left in their marriage, only grim determination not to deprive Caroline and Cassidy of another father on her part and a bottle of scotch on his. Miranda's lips pursed tightly as she punched in Roy's number. When her driver answered, she told him to be there in ten minutes.
The GPS function on her phone showed her that Stephen was at an unknown address in a part of the city Miranda never went to. The editor cursed softly as she threw on a black trench coat and slipped a blonde wig over her silver hair. Wherever her husband was, she was sure that it would never do for Miranda Priestly, fashion goddess, to be seen there.
When Roy arrived, he shook his head as Miranda gave him the address. "Are you sure you wanna go there, Ms. Priestley? That ain't a nice place."
"That's why you'll be accompanying me."
"Who's gonna watch the car if I do?"
Miranda stared at him, about to let fly with a blistering retort, when she realized he was right. It was Runway's car, not hers, and Roy would be blamed if anything happened to it. Roy was the most discreet driver Miranda had ever hired and she wanted to keep him.
"I'll park close" Roy said, reading her mind. "And I'll watch you go in. If anything seems hinky, call and I'll come running."
Miranda nodded and they glided off into the night. Roy drove through and then out of Manhattan. After about twenty minutes he pulled up in front of what was unmistakably a strip club. Miranda got out without saying a word, grateful for the wig, the flat shoes she had changed into, and the fact that the coat was one of Stephen's and covered her down to her ankles. The fat troll watching the door let her through as soon as she shoved a fifty into his face. "Ya wanna job honey?" he chortled in a phlegmy voice. Miranda ignored him.
The club was dark and reeked of cigarettes and booze. Behind her Chanel smoked glasses Miranda squinted and scanned the room for her husband. It didn't take her long to spot him. Stephen was leaning one elbow on the stage where a stripper with long red hair and a hugely inflated bust rolled on the floor. The girl flipped her legs behind her head and wiggled her tongue between her ass cheeks. How lovely, Miranda thought with a disgusted wince. As she made her way closer, she noted that the girl was rolling on pile of green bills. Wonderful, she thought as Stephen added a ten to the pile. Just perfect.
"Excuse me" Miranda said coldly to the people at Stephen's table. None of them were familiar to her. Like her husband, they all looked like professional types and all had loose neckties and red faces. Stephen's head turned at the sound of her voice and he gave her a wide, unpleasant grin. "Hey baby! Decided to come slumming?"
"You need to be home" Miranda said.
The men at the table hooted and meowed. Stephen laughed too. "No I don't" he said. "You don't need me for anything. You have your little magazine and your little dresses and your little shoes." He belched loudly and turned back to the stage with his buddies. Miranda stood still, too incensed to form a coherent response and wondering if she should call Roy in to drag him out.
The redhead jumped to her feet as the lights went up and the music stopped. She began gathering up the scattered fives, tens, and twenties around her as a disembodied voice boomed, "Give it up for CRIMSON everybody! And now, the Satin Lounge proudly presents the lovely Miss INTEGRITY!"
Even in the midst of her rage, Miranda wondered what kind of stripper would choose a stupid name like "Integrity". The lights dimmed and the noise grew deafening as the men went wild. Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" blared from the ceiling speakers and the spotlights over the stage came up to reveal a shapely brunette with large, dark eyes.
Familiar large, dark eyes.
It took every bit of self-discipline Miranda could summon up to keep her mouth from dropping open as Andrea leapt into the air and wrapped her thighs around the metal pole that sprouted from the middle of the stage. She spun around it twice then strutted to the edge of the stage, pulling off the top of her black bikini as she did and tossing it into the crowd. The men roared their approval and Andrea tipped them a wink, a shy smile curving her full red lips.
She was beyond beautiful. Feeling dazed, Miranda noted that the girl was still light and slim, and that she had one of the prettiest upper bodies a woman could have: a whole handful, yet firm and proud. And her own; Miranda was sure of it. Andrea strutted and leaped and spun, every move fluid and precise.
Stephen whistled loudly and waved a twenty-dollar bill in the air. When the song ended, Andrea sauntered over and he tucked it into the edge of her black thong. Stephen pointed at Miranda. "How about a lap dance for my darling wife? She might learn something from you."
Andrea cocked her head at him and pursed her lips, drawing several obscene suggestions from the other men. Finally, she shook her head. "Fifty for that, big boy. I take special care of my ladies."
Stephen guffawed and handed her another twenty and one of the other men produced a ten. Andrea bent over and tucked the money into a band she wore around her ankle, flashing the other side of the club a view of her luscious, round bottom. As she straightened up, Andrea's chocolate eyes locked with Miranda's icy blues.
The girl froze. Blinking in shock, she turned back to Stephen and pulled out the money he'd handed her. "On second thought, I don't think she'd enjoy it". She tried to give the bills back, but Stephen but he waved her away and plunked his whole wallet on the stage. "I know she wouldn't. Do it anyway. Now."
Miranda found herself being grabbed by rough hands and shoved forcefully onto a metal chair. Miranda held her head high, refusing to be intimidated.
Andrea stared at Stephen for a moment, her eyes gone black with fury. Then she smirked. "Actually stud, I think you need a lesson on how a woman likes to be treated."
She slipped off the stage and made her way to Miranda's chair, her dark gaze never leaving the editor's face. Gracefully, she straddled the older woman's lap and leaned forward, "Play along" she whispered as her lips brushed across Miranda's cheek to blow soft, warm breath into her ear.
Miranda couldn't stop the shiver that moved down her neck and then down her spine, or the sudden flare of heat low in her belly. How often, in Andrea's Runway days, had she caught herself imagining scenarios like this? At the time she had been mortified and disgusted with herself. Miranda Priestly was many things, but a dirty old woman wasn't one of them. Now here she was, in a sleazy dive with her utterly gorgeous ex-assistant sitting on her lap, planting kisses all over her face. Half of her hoped the whole thing was a dream and the other half was praying that it wasn't.
"You see, a woman likes to be cherished" Andrea purred as she caressed Miranda's neck, careful not to touch the blonde wig. "Especially if she has spend every day being Superwoman and nobody ever thanks her for it. Especially…" Andrea tugged Miranda gently forward, removing her glasses so the older woman's face was buried in her cleavage. "…if she comes home to an empty house every night because her husband is spending his time in a dump like this."
Miranda gasped against the girl's skin as a long fingernail teased the back of her neck. "Especially" Andrea finished sadly, "When so many people betray her."
The older woman couldn't stop herself from pressing a kiss against Andrea's warm, silky skin. The girl trembled and lifted Miranda's chin so she could kiss her forehead and her eyelids "You can't touch me", she whispered. "Against club rules. Keep your hands in your lap."
One of the men laughed. "That must be why they call you Integrity, huh? You always give these little sermons along with your lap dances?"
Andrea grinned and blew him a kiss. "Only if I think you need it."
The man grinned and placed another ten on the table. The dance ended and Andrea replaced Miranda's glasses. She was about to slide from the editor's lap when Miranda locked her hands around the girl's waist. The table howled and more bills fluttered onto its sticky surface. Andrea smiled wryly and shrugged as she bent over Miranda again. "Easy, girlfriend! Hands down, remember?"
"What are you doing here?" Miranda hissed in Andrea's ear as a delicate tongue traced her neck, setting off even more heat and shivers.
"Working" Andrea whispered back. "Gotta pay the rent. Mmm…you smell good."
"As a stripper?"
Andrea shrugged again. "Money is money. Now that Nate's gone I have to make the rent on my own and since you put me on the blacklist, I haven't been able to do much in the way of writing." She had dropped her head so that her hair covered Miranda's face, effectively hiding their conversation.
Guilt was a rare emotion for Miranda. She never unleashed her full wrath unless she thought her target had truly earned it and Andrea had, abandoning her in the middle of Fashion Week like that. None of her assistants had ever done such a thing, if only because they didn't want to miss out on the celebrity parties and free clothes. Andrea managed to quit before Miranda could fire her, so Miranda took fierce pleasure in making sure no major publication would ever want anything to do with Andrea Sachs. She had never given a thought to what might happen next; she had just assumed that the girl would return to Dogpatch or wherever the hell she was from.
"I wasn't about to let you ruin New York for me" Andrea went on, turning around so that the editor got a close-up look at her glorious, gyrating hips. "I love it here and I'm going to stay. Even if it means never selling anything I write. Even if it means I have to do this for a while."
Integrity, indeed. "When do you get off?" Miranda asked.
Andrea looked over her shoulder and ran a small, pink tongue over her glossy lips. "Whenever I want."
"Baby, I think I love you!" groaned one of the men at the table, flinging a twenty down.
"I mean" Miranda hissed when Andrea turned back around. "When does your shift end? We need to talk. I'll pay a month's rent, if you like."
"We can talk, but I'm not taking your money." Andrea rose and began stuffing the cash into her g-string. "I'll meet you at Black Hannah's tomorrow for lunch."