Disclaimer: I make no money from this. I don't own either Andy or Miranda. Alas.
Pairing: Big shock-a-roo. Andy/Miranda!
Summary: Photos of a scantily clad woman end up in Miranda's possession. The woman is familiar and Miranda wonders if she is being deliberately tormented by faith, or if she struck gold.
A/N: Fluff and Sensuality. Sound good?
A DWP Andy/Miranda fan fiction
By Gun Brooke
Miranda knew she would never be able to erase the vision from her memory as soon as she opened the envelope and browsed its content. Someone had forgotten their briefcase in her study after the brainstorming session she'd just conducted at her house. Annoyed at having to deal with the owner of the briefcase and trying to figure out whom the offending item belonged to, Miranda had unzipped it.
A laptop, a personal one, adorned with ridiculous rhinestones and sequins, something she was sure she would have noticed at Runway. Nobody would dare to use something as tacky in her presence. This ruled out Emily and Jocelyn. Serena? Andrea? This gave Miranda pause.
She didn't find a wallet or anything containing a driver's license, merely notes, scribbled in some barely decipherable handwriting. No help there; they'd all taken notes at the meeting.
Then she found the large envelope in the last compartment. A regular manila envelope, of the kind that offices around the country used everywhere, even if it was slowly becoming obsolete due to technology. Miranda opened it and pulled out a stack of photos. Assuming it was from one of Runway's latest photo shoots, she perused the first one. Frowning, she tried to remember which shoot this was from. A tall model stood with her back to the camera, her brown hair in a low, messy bun. Wearing a vintage Chanel satin slip dress, the woman was photographed in a slight backlight, which obscured her features. Her skin shimmered and Miranda found herself following the outline of a softly rounded shoulder and the gentle curve of a hip. More curves than they usually went for with the Runway models, but oh, so feminine, so beautiful.
Pouring herself a glass of Merlot, Miranda sat down in the corner of her couch with the stack of photos. The next one showed a woman, the same one, she was certain, straddling a wooden chair, the same slip pulled up along toned thighs. The woman leaned her head against her arms on the backrest, small tresses of hair curled seductively where they'd dislodged from the bun. The light was now from behind the girl who was photographed with her right side toward the camera. Miranda placed the wine glass on the coffee table and directed the reading light onto the photos.
The following photo made her gasp and unwillingly tighten the muscles in her thighs. The woman had let her hair down in long tumbling waves. Still straddling the chair, she sat, again, with her back toward the camera and tipped her head back. Resting on straight arms, her palms pressed to the seat of the chair, her forehead and the outline of her nose was barely visible in the soft backlight.
"Stunning," Miranda murmured and pulled out the next photo.
Her heart stood still. For a moment, she was certain that it would never start beating again, but then of course it rushed on, at a speed she rarely had experienced. The young woman had allowed the spaghetti straps to fall off her shoulders and the silk slip now pooled around her waist. She had pulled her hair back, her arms raised to deal with the rich locks, and the only facial features visible were full, berry red lips. Lips that Miranda saw almost every day. Lips that spoke to her in the softest, most appealing voice. Lips that sometimes stuttered in confusion, but also smiled and illuminated the entire Runway floor at the Elias-Clarke building.
With trembling fingers, Miranda moved the photo to the back of the pile—how many were there, total? Some fifteen, twenty photos?
The next showed Miranda beyond a doubt that she was right. Andrea had her breasts modestly covered with one arms as she held the slip in place as it threatened to fall off her hips. She looked into the camera, her eyes half closed, her lips faintly parted as well. It was as if she saw her lover on the other side of the camera. Which begged the question, who was the photographer? And why had Andrea posed for these pictures?
Almost hesitant to look at the next picture and trying to calm her thundering heart, Miranda sipped the wine before she switched to the next photo. And stared. And stared. Feeling dampness bead at the small of her back, underneath her hairline, and definitely in her palms, she drew a deep, trembling breath. "Oh, my."
Andrea had allowed the silk slip to fall onto the floor. The only things keeping her breast from the viewer's eyes were her own palms. Gently cupping her breasts, looking up at the camera with an endearing mix of wanton lover and bashful young girl, Andrea sat dressed only in lace panties and practically offered her body to the onlooker.
A sound from the hallway made Miranda flinch. She hid the photos from sight by tucking them under a pile of older Runway issues. She heard steps coming toward the study. It made her nervous. Whoever was delivering the Book, they knew better than to stomp all over the house. No one but Andrea had ever gone further in than the foyer without being prompted.
As if summoned by the photos and Miranda's thoughts, suddenly Andrea stood in the doorway. "Oh, you're still up. I'm so sorry, Miranda. I forgot my briefcase earlier and—Miranda?"
Unable to speak normally, Miranda had to clear her voice twice, suddenly seeing Andrea through the eyes of the person who had taken them. Who was the photographer? One of Runway's most used ones? Demarchelier? She doubted it. People like Patrick rarely if ever did shoots like this for anybody. Still, the images had such amazing quality to them, both from the way Andrea was posing and how the light and filters were used. Feeling a growing concern about the stab of jealousy that pierced her chest, she refused to let it show. After all, she had come to terms with the unrequited, impossible desire she harbored for Andrea months ago.
Right after Paris, when she'd been so raw, so skinless while going through the very public divorce, her libido had tortured her every single time she was physically close to Andrea. Slowly, thanks to her Yoga instructor, she found ways to deal with the physical manifestation, and later also the emotional repercussions. Watching these photos, with a totally uninhibited Andrea doing a frame by frame striptease before her, had torn down every carefully mounted defense. Her methods of coping lay in ruins around her and Miranda could only stare at Andrea.
"Who took the photos, Andrea?" Miranda heard how husky and low her voice was.
Andrea flinched and went pale instantly. "You saw? You…you saw the pictures? You want through my things—" She looked anguished, bordering on outraged.
"Calm down. I was trying to ascertain whose briefcase it was. I had no idea it was yours. And I certainly didn't expect to see this." Miranda pulled the photos from under the magazines. She held them out for Andrea to take them, but the young woman merely looked into Miranda's eyes rather than at the photos.
"Have you looked at all of them?" she whispered.
"No. I've looked at what I surmise is the four first ones."
"Do you like them? I mean, I know I'm not a model, but…d-did you like them?" Huge velvet brown eyes looked unwavering at Miranda, no doubt hoping to not be eviscerated for asking her boss a question, let alone a personal one.
"I find them aesthetically pleasing, yes." Miranda knew she sounded acerbic and stiff, but how else could she sound. Her pulse had to be more than a hundred by now and she was trembling. Grateful that she only had a couple of lamps on, she hoped that Andrea couldn't see how flustered she was.
"Can we look at some of the others together or are you off to bed? I don't want to keep you." Andrea fidgeted restlessly.
The innocent question had to have the word bed in it. Imagining herself waiting on a bed while Andrea pulled of her clothes just like she'd done in the photos made her have to cover up a whimper.
"Miranda? You all right?" Andrea sat down right next to her. Slowly she raised a hand and touched Miranda's forehead and then her neck with the back of her fingers. "Oh, God, you're hot. Are you not feeling well?"
"I'm fine." Slowly burning hot enough to turn her into a crisp, Miranda tried to not lean into the touch. It wasn't appealing, nor was it the truth, to blame the blush on menopause. It was much more complicated.
"You feel feverish. Perhaps you're coming down with something. I should go and let you rest." Andrea rose as if to leave, reaching for the photos."
"I said I'm fine. By all means, let's watch them. Together."
"Oh, yeah? I mean, really? You think they're worth watching or are you going to rip me to shreds?" Andrea looked like she was trying to joke, but Miranda knew better. Andrea had watched her tear into photographers, stylists, and models one time too many to be at ease over pictures such as these.
"If the rest is as good as the first four, you have nothing to worry about." Miranda nearly choked on that lie. If Andrea agreed to join her on the couch for perusing risqué photos, all bets were off. Still, if she didn't detect the slightest reciprocation in Andrea, nothing would happen.
"Mind if I have a glass of Pellegrino?" Andre asked shyly, motioning to the small bar area over in the corner.
"Help yourself." Miranda smoothed the stack of pictures out while Andrea fetched her water. As she sat down next to Miranda, Andrea nervously sipped the tall glass, crinkling her nose at the sparkly water.
"Okay." Andrea motioned for Miranda to bring out the next picture. "I haven't had the chance to look at these since Serena brought me the developed copies and the disc."
"Serena? She styled you?"
"Yes. And she took the photos. She's great with a camera. I did it initially as a favor to her, but I ended up having a really awesome experience. Emily was not too thrilled that we spent an entire evening shooting glam-shots of me. Honestly, I loved trying out the poses, and Serena needed some photos to add to her portfolio. She's a gifted photographer and she knows a lot about light."
"I agree. I think we have underutilized Serena at Runway." Miranda glanced down at the fifth photo in the series of Andrea. Her breath caught in her throat. Here Andrea managed to be naked and still there was nothing sleazy or overtly sexy about the photo. Sensual, she rested against a sheepskin draped over some sort of bench. Her arms and the way she bent her left leg made the picture implicit, but the mere hint of her nudity was enough for Miranda to breath faster.
The sixth photo was a close up. "Oh, right, that one," Andrea said, blushing faintly. "I had Serena crop this image already in the camera as I wasn't aware that she'd begun shooting and I was showing way too much." She shrugged. "Still, Serena more or less begged me that I needed to allow her to save the close up of my face. She liked this one for some reason." She fiddled with the tall glass.
"What made your eyes get this dreamy expression? What were you thinking of?" Or whom? Miranda wasn't sure she wanted to know about that boyfriend Andrea used to have, or, God forbid, some lingering attraction to Christian Thompson. She could hope Andrea's wistful look was about ice cream, or some other carb filled dessert.
"I thought of you." Andrea coughed. "I mean, not overstepping boundaries or anything, but just thinking of how you would direct the shoot, had you been there."
"I wish I had. Serena has talent, no doubt about it, but if I had directed it, or even Nigel, the very good pictures could've been superb."
Andrea seemed at a loss for words. "Miranda? Really? You…you're not just saying that?"
"Andrea, darling, who are you talking to?" Miranda watched with some amusement how Andrea's jaw lost cohesion at the joints. She wondered what stunned her companion most; the small joke, or the 'darling' that she let slip without thinking.
"I guess you never sugarcoat anything." Andrea placed her Pellegrino glass on the coffee table. "I'm really surprised. I mean, pleased and surprised. I would've thought you'd still think I'm too fat."
"You never were." Miranda licked her lips, losing focus when it came to the pictures. "I was wrong to imply it."
"All right. Enough." Andrea rubbed her temple. "Who are you and what have you done to Miranda?" She tilted her head, but seemed suddenly quite at ease.
"Oh, I assure you it's me. Your mercurial Dragon Lady of a boss." Miranda donned her most feared haughty expression.
"You may be a lady on your best days, and you might have fire breathing tendencies on your worst, but you're no Dragon Lady. Not in the sense that some mean. Such people are jealous, envious, and carry around an overwhelming gender bias."
Miranda smiled and pulled out the last of the twenty some photos. "I am thinking this is the crescendo of the photo shoot?" Examining it, Miranda gasped out loud. "Oh, my dear God."
"Oh. Oh no. Don't tell me…" Andrea leaned in and peered at the photo.
Wet, with water drop pearling all over her pale skin, and her hair drenched with water that ran in rivulets down her body between, around, and straight across her curves. Where Andrea had covered herself before, here, the water creating distortions was the only thing between her and the camera.
"No wonder Emily was jealous and didn't want her girlfriend to shoot you."
"You know about them?" Andrea gaped again.
"The whole office does." Miranda flicked her hand absentmindedly and then ran her fingertip along the photo, virtually caressing along Andrea's body.
Miranda smiled inwardly. "Were you still thinking about me, how I'd direct and work with you during the shoot?"
"Yes. That…and I pretended I could feel you adjusting my pose, by moving my arms and legs around. I apologize."
Miranda lifted her head and looked intently at Andrea. "So, you daydreamed of having my hands on you? Merely for professional reasons, for the photos, right?"
"Uhm. Not quite." Andrea looked so pained and embarrassed; Miranda nearly took pity on her.
"You sure you want me to answer that? I mean, really?" Looking serious and not in the least bit coy, Andrea seemed like she had shed the stuttering, clumsy young woman persona. Instead, she regarded Miranda with, not serenity exactly, but perhaps with promise.
"Of course I am."
"I thought of you doing this." Andrea reached for Miranda's left hand. She took it and placed Miranda's palm against her cheek. Turning her head slowly, she kissed Miranda's palm. "And then I dreamed of touching you like this." She continued with the small, chaste kisses up along Miranda's arm. "And like this." Reaching her neck, Andrea lingered there, showering her with slow kisses on her neck.
Miranda tipped her head sideways to give Andrea better access. So courageous of Andrea, caressing and kissing the Dragon Lady. Miranda had heard of the ridiculous no-touching-the-boss-woman rule and it thrilled her that Andrea was now blatantly ignoring it.
"And like this." Andrea cupped Miranda's cheek and pulled her head sideways carefully. Eventually she was in position to reach Miranda's lips and kissed her, lingering, smoldering kisses. Andrea ran the tip of her tongue inside Miranda's lips, creating havoc with all her nerve endings.
Miranda had been passive until now. Feeling Andrea's plump lips against her own, she couldn't remain inactive anymore. Pushing her fingers into Andrea's hair, she tugged the young woman tighter than ever before, returning the kiss. She moaned into Andrea's hot mouth. "God. Oh, Andrea. Please." She dropped the photos on the coffee table.
"Sweet Jesus, what's happening?" Andrea echoed the moan. She pulled Miranda closer and buried her face into her neck. "I feel dizzy."
"Shh." Miranda needed to find her bearings as well. As much as she'd known how she cared for, and was attracted to, Andrea, making out with her assistant on her couch had not been part of her plans. Telling herself she was content to merely enjoy Andrea's professional progress, her growing fashion sense, and, physical beauty, she knew now that she had been lying to herself. Could enjoying Andrea from afar ever be enough again? Hardly. "Are you…" She cleared her voice and tried again. "Do you regret this?" How could words you chose to utter hurt you like acid on naked skin?
"Which part?" Andrea asked dreamily. "Telling you? Or kissing you?"
"All of it." Suppressing a moan, Miranda forced herself to breathe evenly.
"Neither." Andrea pulled back and her golden-brown eyes pulled Miranda in. "I hope you don't either. I don't think I would fare very well if you did."
Miranda pressed her trembling lips to Andrea's in lieu of an answer. Nipping at the plump, soft lips of the woman in her arms, she then caressed them with her tongue, murmuring words she couldn't even distinguish herself.
Soft kisses, even softer caresses, and, a surprisingly slow-burning arousal, made Miranda relax against Andrea. She allowed Andrea to untie her wrap-around blouse and then she felt her hands on underneath her camisole. "Mm. Andrea. Yes." Arching, Miranda knew through the way Andrea's hands warmed and soothed, and still made her arousal hit an all-time high, was unique. Not once, with any of her previous lovers, had she experienced the trust required to let go of that last shred of control. What was it that made it possible for her to hand herself over to Andrea like this? An inner voice hinted at love, but Miranda was still too shy, too bruised by her past relationships, to take that at face value. That didn't lessen her faith in Andrea. On the contrary, she felt the main reason for being cautious to call it love, was to protect Andrea from her.
"Andrea. Wait. Wait." Pushing at Andrea's eager hands, Miranda stopped them just as she was about to cup her breasts. "Let's not rush this." Miranda saw the faint quiver of Andrea's lower lip. Hurrying to explain before she hurt her, she pulled her closer. "You're far too important to me to want to risk us…failing. Do you understand?"
"No. Well, yes, in theory."
Chuckling gently, Miranda kissed Andrea's forehead. "In theory, you say? I think there's a real risk of my hurting you, if I allow us to get close too fast. I mean, physically. I already feel so close to you emotionally. I trust you. I have faith in very few people, but you are special."
"And since you trust me, why do we need to wait—physically?"
"Because I know how I feel, and I also know how badly I respond to fear." Caressing Andrea's cheek with the back of her hand, she tried to explain. "Yes, yes, I know, I have a reputation for being fearless and ruthless, and pretty much any less flattering word that ends with 'less'. It's not true. I don't become afraid very often, but when I do, I lash out. While well aware of this tendency of mine, it's a gut reaction when it happens. I would rather not risk doing that to you. To us. If we proceed slowly, at least, a little slower than this, there will be less chance of misunderstanding, miscommunication—"
"And any of the negative charged words that begin with 'mis'." Andrea tipped her head back and illuminated the room with her smile. "I'm prepared to give you as much time as you require. Just don't stop the kisses and caresses altogether. I mean, now that I know what kissing you is really like, it would be just as cruel." She was still smiling, but it was clear that she meant every word.
"Oh, trust me, Andrea, after kissing you; I know just what you mean. And as cautious as I am, I'm not prone to self-flagellation. I think you're kisses are quite addictive."
Andrea's eyes darkened. "What if…what if you change your mind?" She pressed her hands to her midsection, as if keeping herself together might help with any type of rejection.
"Calm down. I won't change my mind. The risk of you deciding this was a very bad idea is infinitely greater. I would understand." Miranda closed her eyes hard and then opened them. "It's true. I would understand only too well, knowing my own past. That wouldn't change the fact that it would break my heart."
"Miranda." Flinging her arms around Miranda's neck, Andrea hugged her so fiercely; Miranda feared she might fracture a rib. Still, she knew they both needed the close proximity, the reassurance.
"Will you stay tonight?" Miranda whispered. "I have several guestrooms."
"Yes. I'd rather sleep with you though."
"Slow, remember, darling?"
Andrea sighed. "I know. I just don't want to let go."
Miranda exhaled, suddenly feeling weightless and a little light-headed. "Then don't. Don't let go, Andrea." Slowly, they curled up together, half leaning against the armrest of the couch. Miranda inhaled Andrea's scent, completely intoxicating. "We'll go upstairs in a little while. Just not yet."
"Mm. Good." Andrea sounded sleepy and soon Miranda knew from her even breathing that she'd fallen asleep.
Reluctant to disturb Andrea, she made sure they were comfortable and pulled a crocheted throw over them. She glanced over at the coffee table, seeing the fanned out pictures of the beautiful woman in her arms. Who would've guessed that the thought of her would create that look in Andrea's eyes, and that smile on her lips? The camera loves her, and so do I.
Wrapped up in Andrea Sachs's arms, Miranda knew it would be so much easier being fearless from now on.