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.
Rating: NC-17, a/u
Summary: Delivering the book and the dry-cleaning to Miranda's townhouse as usual, Andy finds herself in the closet in more ways than one as the door closes behind simply won't open. Afraid what her intimidating boss will say if she finds her there, Andy has to decide what to do.
In the Closet
A DWP MirAndy fan fiction
By Gun Brooke
Part 1 (of 2)
Another late evening, after another cold, miserably sloshy winter day. Andy Sachs sighed, a sound full of fatigue and exhaustion, as she unlocked the door to her boss' townhouse. Miranda Priestly, revered and feared in equal parts, was editor-in-chief of Runway, the head fashion magazine in the country, and, counting the daughter publications in Europe, Asia and Australia; the world.
As usual, it was Andy's job to deliver Miranda's dry-cleaning every evening, as well as the 'Book'. The 'Book' was the most sacred item in the world to Miranda. It was the dummy version of the newest issue of Runway, which Miranda worked on from her home every evening, or perhaps morning, only to turn over to the staff at the office the next day filled with scathing remarks and harsh critique. The best the junior editors could hope for was no comments. Praise was out of the question.
Andy struggled with the heavy garment bags, afraid she might drop any of them. There were more than usual and they kept sliding. She opened the closet door, turned on the light and stepped inside to hang the bags on the rack. Carefully, she spaced the hangers just so and turned to go back to the hallway. The door had closed and when she turned the handle—nothing. It simply didn't budge. Wiggling it, Andy sighed, annoyed as she was tired, wanting nothing but to go home and climb into bed. She tried again. Nothing. Placing the 'Book' on the shelf next to her, she used both hands, and felt for a key, or a lock to a deadbolt, or something, but the door wouldn't open, and there was no lock. How was this even possible?
Blowing her bangs out of her eyes, Andy groaned. She felt like kicking the door open, but the thought of causing damage to Miranda's property was enough to make her blood run cold. "Just great. Just freakin' great."
Miranda wasn't home yet. The house had been dark and quiet so clearly the new musical premiering tonight wasn't over yet. It was Friday, and Andy had not made any plans for the weekend as Doug, her best and only friend outside of Runway these days, were out of town, and she didn't feel like accompanying Emily and Serena to go clubbing. Andy confessed she was just too tired.
She tried the door again, several times, but still the lock wouldn't budge. She was just about to kick it, when she remembered she had brand new Blahniks on. Miranda would easily strangle her if she made an indentation on both the shoes as well as the door.
Andy groaned. What the hell was she going to do? There was no use calling anybody at Runway, since Andy had the only key available and they wouldn't be able to get in the front door, let alone pry open the damn closet door. Calling a locksmith was an even dumber idea. "Hello, I'm Andy. I'm stuck in my boss' closet. Can you come and break into the townhouse belonging to the most feared woman in all of New York?" Andy huffed at how her voice sounded meek even to herself. "Great."
She would just have to wait for Miranda. Perhaps Miranda wouldn't even notice that Andy was in her closet and she would have all night to figure something out. Maybe she could find something in the closet to pry the lock open with. She realized she was grasping at straws. Then her eyes fell upon the 'Book'. "Oh, shit. Shit, shit, shit." Why had she brought the book with her inside? Thudding her head against the door, she whimpered. "Because I do. I always do." The dry-cleaning was always so heavy; she couldn't wait to get rid of it, not even to just place the 'Book' on the side table right next to the closet.
"I'm so dead. So very, very dead."
Suddenly her phone rang, making Andy cry out. Glancing at the display, she felt herself go pale. Miranda. "H-hello, Miranda?"
"Have you delivered the 'Book' yet?"
"Uhm. Yeah. I mean, yes. I have. It's at the house." That wasn't a lie. Not really.
"I'm stuck in traffic, which boggles the mind since it's this late. I can't for the life of me understand why people can't simply just drive and get out of the way." Miranda huffed. "Where are you?"
"Still at the house." Andy closed her eyes hard.
"I see. Well, fine." Miranda hung up.
"Oh, God, she's going to murder me." Andy sank down onto the floor. She kicked off her shoes and pulled her legs up. The closet seemed cooler than the rest of the house. It was probably good for the clothes or something.
The minutes stretched and every now and then, Andy hopefully tried the doorknob, but to no avail. When the she heard the muted sound of the front door opening and closing. Heels clattered as the person, and of course it was Miranda, walked through the hallway. Suddenly they stopped and then Andy's phone rang. She quickly pressed answer and scurried to the far end of the deep closet on hands and knees.
"Yes, Miranda," she murmured into the phone. Panic was now flooding her system. She was so toast and would be fired if not now, then in five seconds.
"Andrea? Why are you whispering? Never mind. Where is the 'Book'?"
"The 'Book'…"Andy didn't know what to say.
"You said you brought it to the house. Were you lying?" Menacing, Miranda's voice was now a low growl.
"No, no. I wasn't lying. The 'Book's at the house," Andy hissed.
"I'm standing right here and I don't see it. Where did you put it?"
"It's—it's in the closet." Andy whimpered and curled up. God. She was so fired and without a paycheck she would have to leave New York, move back to her parents, and—
"Don't be ridiculous, Andrea. Why would you put it there?" Miranda's steps came closer and Andy heard her yank at the doorknob. "I can't get it open. What's going on, Andrea?" Miranda sounded equal parts annoyed and frustrated. Not to mention tired.
"I'm so sorry, Miranda." Tears rose in Andy's eyes. "It shut behind me and I couldn't open it again."
"It shut behind you—Andrea, are you still in there?" Miranda sounded incredulous.
"Why didn't you say so in the first place?"
How could she possibly answer that? Andy cringed. "I…I freaked."
"I knew you'd fire me." Her words came out before she had time to edit herself. Andy tugged at her bangs.
"For a mishap?"
What? Miranda fired people for mishaps all the time! "Yes?"
Miranda hung up.
Andy wasn't sure she wanted to know what was going on outside the door. She barely heard Miranda talk to someone and then step closer again. "Can you hear me, Andrea, or do I need to dial you again?"
"Uhm, I hear you." Crawling on hands and knees, Andy sat down just inside the door.
"Emily's arranging for a locksmith."
"No need. You can't very well remain in there indefinitely."
"I really am sorry, Miranda—"
"You already told me that. No need to become repetitious."
"Sor—I mean, all right. So, did you have fun tonight?" Oh, no. Whatever possessed her to attempt small talk with Miranda?
"It was an agreeable evening. I predict the show will run for quite some time. You should see it, Andrea."
Andy's jaw dropped. Conversation? "I just might. I love musicals."
"As do I. Any favorite singers?"
"For musicals?" Andy began to relax a little bit. "I adore Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, and Elaine Page. Kristen Chenoweth and Edina Menzel from Wicked."
"We share a lot of the same taste. It's a crime what happened to Julie's voice."
"Yes. I agree."
The silence stretched after that. Andy didn't know what to say, afraid of boring Miranda with questions, or anger her with silly comments. She tried to think of a topic that might do neither. "You must be happy to have the twins back from their trip to Europe on Sunday."
"I am. I have missed them terribly."
"Four weeks, that's too long for a mom, I suppose." Andy scooted closer to the door, leaning against it. "I'm sure they called you though."
"At least every other day. They emailed me pictures often, which was quite lovely. Cassidy is a good photographer. Caroline the better writer."
"I could guess when you heard from them."
Shit! Andy knew she was toast anyway, so she figured she might as well be honest. "Sometimes when you read your email, you had the softest smile and your eyes…uhm, would be shiny. Like with tears? I figured that was from missing them."
"You're very observant." Miranda sounded non-committal, which was odd, but also worrying.
"I've worked for you long enough to read some of your expressions. It's what a good assistant does, Miranda. If she wants to keep her job."
"I imagine so. What else have you learned from 'reading' me?" The air-quotation marks were readily audible.
"When you're upset with people you hate, like Irv, you're eyes look grey, rather than blue. Not sure how they change like that, but they do. The difference is, when you're upset with someone you usually like, let's say Nigel, you fiddle with your necklace, your belt, or bracelets."
Andy thought fast. Perhaps this was a bad idea, but not following the soft order delivered through the door, was even worse. "When you are mystified, surprised, or even intrigued, you rub your fingers, or the frame of your glasses, across your…lips." Andy gasped. Suddenly the closet was not cold at all, but hot and humid. Had she just mentioned Miranda's lips and the word rub in the same sentence?
"You seem to have far too much time on your hands if you have time to make such in-depth studies of me."
"No. It's pretty much on autopilot. The study part, I mean. It makes it possible for me to do my job well. If I can prevent any trouble or problem by reading you right, I'm closer to succeeding. It saves time, and time is something you don't have that I can give you. If I get it right and don't lock myself into a closet. Especially yours. Now you're wasting time waiting for the 'Book' after all." Andy hated failing Miranda, no matter what the issue was. The deep-rooted desire to be there for her, make her life easier, and less worrisome, it went beyond the editor-assistant dynamic. Andy had not seen Miranda give a true full blown smile many times, if ever, but if she could at least help give her boss more time with her daughters, something Andy knew was a constant source of sadness for Miranda, she would do it no matter what. Knowing she failed tonight, even if the girls weren't home, was a hard pill to swallow. Andy sighed and wiped at her cheeks.
"Andrea? Are you crying?" Miranda sounded startled.
How could she know? It wasn't as if she was bawling out loud, Andy thought. "I'm fine. I'm okay." Afraid that she had mascara stains on her cheeks, Andy rubbed at them. "J-just a little tired."
"No wonder. It is getting late."
The doorbell rang as if on cue. Miranda's step showed she went to open. Murmuring voices approached shortly after that.
"I'll get it open in no time, ma'am."
"Good. My—friend, has been suffering in there long enough."
Friend? Andy's brain stalled at the word.
There was a strange clicking noise, some pulling and then the door magically opened out into the hallway. Andy hadn't even had time to get onto her feet.
"There we go. You all right in there, ma'am?"
"I'll take it from here. Send your bill to my assistant at Runway." Miranda quickly dismissed the locksmith and walked him to the door. "That's all." Returning, she looked down at Andy for a moment before speaking. "Are you going to stand up and get out of there, preferably before the door closes again?"
"Oh. Sure. Yes." Andy rose from the floor and, thinking quickly, grabbed the 'Book' and handed it to Miranda. "Here you go."
Miranda placed it on the side table without so much as a glance. She kept her gaze locked on Andy, light-blue and piercing. "You have me at an advantage. I don't read you as well as you claim you do me." Miranda's cheeks colored faintly and Andy wondered if the was the double entendre in the last of her words.
"What would you like to know?" Andy carefully closed the closet door behind her, making sure it didn't lock completely.
"My first question should be obvious." Miranda tugged at her long necklace, then caught herself and stopped. "You seem to have a point," she conceded. "Now, I want to know… Can I could persuade you to stay the night?"
To be concluded in pt 2.