The following is a story that I have been tinkering with for a year and a half. I have gone back and forth on parts of it. It starts off on a rather heavy note, but lightens up to match the title. I can only "hope" it works for you all. It is a bit lengthy. I'm currently looking at 20 chapters of varying lengths. Current total word vount is upwards of 48,000. So, pack a lunch. KlaiBlue, over at Live Journal volunteered her time to beta read for me. She made some suggestions that I am still working with. Please don't hold typos and awful word use against her. I accept all blame for any "Ugh" moments.
Pairing: Miranda / Andrea - 'cause I just can't seem to care about any others.
Caroline and Cassidy are with us on this one.
Disclaimer: I, sadly, do not own anything… really. As I have mentioned before, all I own in this world is a 2003 Toyota Corolla- although it is an LE. Nothing to get out of me if you sue… so don't. Please, allow us poor folk some fun. We aren't hurting anyone.
Rating: Have to go with NC-17 Sorry all you "innocents", J don't want to harm your virtue or anything. Rated due to SEX and adult only themes.
Which leads to the WARNINGS: I apologize, sincerely if this should offend anyone, but for some odd reason I was motivated, moved, +/or hypnotically commanded to write about a rape. It is not overly explicit, however it does occur. If you are not up to this, for any reason, I am sorry. Rewriting it just wouldn't work. Again, sorry. I will alert w/ each chapter necessary w/o giving everything away.
Chapter 1: The incident occurs.
The Happiest Place On Earth
Andy Sachs had been working at her "dream job" for nine months since leaving her position at Runway. She had made a few good bylines and had even had two articles picked up by the New York Times. She was able to keep her apartment without taking on a room mate since Nate's departure, and she was back into a routine with Lily and Doug. Life was good. Until the morning it all went to hell.
Andy had been called into her bosses office and told that, due to the economy and the decline in sales, there needed to be some changes. Some shuffling of personnel and some restructuring was going to be taking place. The real bad news, however, was that Andy and three other newer employees would have to be laid off. Hopefully, this would not be a permanent situation, but for now, Andy was unemployed with only two weeks severance pay. This was not the way to start the summer.
Ten days into her unemployment, Andy was frantically trying to decide what to do. Her options were very limited. She had her résumé out all over town, but no one was hiring. She was beginning to think she would have to go home to her parents and admit defeat in the first battle of Andy versus the big city. She figured she could still send out stories and work on her writing while she lived at home and worked doing whatever, but it was not what she wanted to do. She wanted to stay in the city and succeed.
Andy set out mid day to make another round of résumé deliveries when her travels brought her into the Elias-Clarke neighborhood. Without thinking she found herself heading to the human resource department to see if they had any possible availabilities. Sandy, the young woman who had interviewed her so many months ago was shocked to see her walk through the doors. Andy sat at Sandy's desk and asked ever so hopefully, "Have anything on a temporary basis available? I got laid off, but it may only be a short term layoff, so I'm looking for something to fill in the down time."
Sandy smiled like the Cheshire cat and offered, "I have one position available. I'm not sure you'd really be the right fit for the job, but I know you could handle the responsibilities, and they are somewhat desperate."
"Well, sadly, I'm somewhat desperate too," Andy replied. "How bad could it really be?"
"Oh. My. God." Emily's voice could not hide her shock. "Do you seriously believe this is a good idea? Andy, she'll kill you."
Andy stood in front of Emily's desk with a travel tray full of coffee and a sheepish smile on her face. "I know, Em, but it's the only job I could find anywhere. Besides, it's only temporary. Either they'll find someone to replace me full time, or I'll get back to the Mirror. Either way, it won't be forever. I figure one month, tops."
Emily shook her head in disbelief and dramatically waved her hand towards the second assistant's desk. "It's your funeral." she conceded, and turned back to preparing Miranda's schedule for the day.
Miranda arrived in her usual air of importance, whispering directives as fast as her heels struck the floor. Her coat and purse hit the desk before she pulled up to a full stop. Her head turned comically slowly towards the second's desk. She froze when her eyes fell on the face she knew from so many months before. She stared. Confusion, anger, joy, and then evil satisfaction crossed her visage. Andy gulped, nervous fear pounding through her veins. She wasn't sure if she should stand, sit, crawl under the desk, or flee from the gaze that held her. Finally, with a slight lift of the corner of her mouth, Miranda continued into her office. "And Emily, be sure the new girl is trained properly. That's all"
And so it began. One month rolled into two. Soon it was four, and counting. Andy had easily slipped back into the yoke of executive assistant. Emily was actually relieved to have Andy around since she already knew the job and was the most competent person in the position. Miranda was so pleased to have her office running smoothly again that she had actually restrained herself from firing half the design department when they screwed up the cover layout of the latest edition. Andy, however, was nervous. She spent her days waiting for the proverbial shoe to fall. Miranda was being too nice. More to the point, she wasn't being evil and vindictive towards Andy. So despite the efficiency of the office, Andy daily expected a blow out that never came.
One of the oddities of the newer, nicer Miranda was the absence of round the clock demanding phone calls. Miranda actually kept her business calls to business hours. Officially, Andy was on the clock from seven am until she delivered the book to Miranda at night. Weekends were free unless her presence was requested ahead of time. This change actually allowed Andy to maintain her current relationships and pursue new ones. Her latest budding relationship was with Mark Dawson, a young man she met at one of Lily's art shows. He was an anti-Nate. He was blond and very GQ. Lily raised an eyebrow at Andy's choice, but the man was pleasant enough that he seamlessly melded in with Andy and her friends.
Andy was enjoying her life. Given that she was not currently involved with her chosen profession, she was still working and living in New York City. She did not have to concede a defeat. She had her friends and a new boy friend. She also had a boss who she at one time thought she hated, but who she now held in the greatest respect and actually thought she may be "liking". The woman had changed since Andy's previous tenure. Miranda had become a softer, gentler, saner boss, and yet, she was still demanding of the level of work produced. Perhaps, she was just more fair in her judgment. Whatever it was, it agreed with Andy.
For some unknown reason these thoughts were invading Andy's mind while in the middle of a Sunday "romantic" date. She tried to silent her musings of Miranda, but they kept invading. Mark did not seem to be bothered by her inattention. He would simply smile, grasp her hand and pull her back into the present. The evening sailed on and Andy drifted aimlessly with the changing tide.
As the evening activities came to a close, Mark finagled an invite for a nightcap. Andy excused herself to change into something more comfortable and returned in flannel pajama bottoms and a loose tee shirt. Mark stared at her in honest appreciation. "Wow, Andy, you look great. I think I might like you better in casual attire."
Andy smirked in disbelief but played along. "You are too kind sir. But if you like this, you should see me when cleaning house." She took the glass offered and relaxed back on the couch. Conversation flowed easily, as did the wine. Andy began to feel a little fuzzy and frowned in confusion. She was only on her second glass but felt like she was on her second bottle. She put her glass down and sat back blinking. Mark was there, asking for her in a concerned voice "Andy?, are you ok?"
"I…I'm not sure. I feel a little weird."
Andy dragged herself awake. Her head was splitting and her tongue felt three sizes too big. Her eyes refused to focus and as she sat up, her stomach twisted, forcing her off the bed to her knees. She literally crawled to the bath room and pulled herself up by the sink. The face looking back at her from the mirror was not one she recognized. She had a bruise on her left cheek, bruises around her wrists, and a pain between her legs that was completely foreign to her. As she stared at her reflection, images began to flash across her eyes. Images of strong hands dragging her across the floor. Images of thrashing on a bed. Images of rough, unwanted sex. The horror that appeared in her own eyes was the last straw. Andy lurched to the toilet and lost whatever contents her stomach had been holding. After what seemed like hours of dry heaving, Andy crawled back to her room, found her cell phone and called Lily.
Miranda Priestly was not known for missing things. She was always acutely aware of her surroundings and was quite aware as she flew through the outer office that Andy had not yet arrived to work. It was already after nine and Emily seemed to be a bit put out. It was quite easy to deduce that Andy had not called in to explain her tardiness. When the phone call came in she instinctively focused her attention to decide if it would require her immediate involvement or if it could be put off. Emily's near hysterical "oh my god" response pulled Miranda from behind her desk. The following question, "is she in hospital?", drew her to her office door. The conversation closer, "Thank you Lily. I will inform them. Yes, you too.", brought Miranda right to the front of Emily's desk. A single arched eyebrow was all the prompting Emily needed. Wiping away a stray tear she looked imploringly up to Miranda and choked out her news, "Andy is in hospital. She was attacked last night."
Miranda went white. Emily sat in shock. They simply stared at each other, needing the time to process what had just been dumped on them. Miranda, as expected, was the first to recover. "What do you mean, 'attacked'?"
"Her friend Lily said she was raped."
"Where is she?" slipped from Miranda's lips in a voice colder than Emily had ever heard.
"Cancel my morning, call my car. Tell Irv we'll need to reschedule for a later date, the accountants can wait a day or two. Call Nigel and let him know what happened. Ask him if he could please deal with the Central Park photo shoot this afternoon. And Emily, find out what really happened."