Disclaimer: Devil Wears Prada does not belong to me. I claim only the storyline in my fan fiction, not the characters per se. No copyright infringement intended. No money made.
Pairing: Andy/Miranda (MirAndy)
Summary: Andy is obsessed with studying Miranda any chance she gets. Little does she know that she will soon study the woman she's come to love up close and personal in a setting she never would have been able to imagine.
A DWP short story
By Gun Brooke
It was easy to become hypnotized while sitting in on a meeting led by Miranda Priestly. Andy Sachs, in the capacity of second assistant, which meant taking notes and sometimes fetching things, was often bored by the subject, but always mesmerized by her boss.
Miranda commanded the meetings, whether they were small staff meetings or large stockholder gatherings, with her famous soft-spoken voice and equally infamous venomous choice of words. She could purr as a kitten and still come across like a cobra ready to strike at some unsuspecting minion without warning. Andy knew all about Miranda's way of praising. One nod, good, two nods, really, really good, a smile, brilliant. Then the pursing of the lips, oh boy, that was when designers, minions, and even burly stockholders became suicidal within seconds.
It still boggled Andy's mind that nobody seemed to have picked up on the rest of Miranda's mood signs. Her voice had different qualities, and yes, they were subtle, but so easily distinguishable. The purr could be soft, like a fleece blanket on a winter evening, wrapping around you and Andy could listen to that particular tone, no matter what was actually said, for a long time. Then the purr could have a sharp hiss to it, as if the fangs were coming out, the venom gathering behind them, and, sure enough, Miranda would say something really mean and sarcastic.
When she talked to any of her twins, the Bobbseys, she sounded almost girly herself. She would have a breathy sound to the light voice and she used this voice only with her girls. Before Stephen filed for divorce she had a special time for her husband as well, apologetic, tired, slightly exasperated. Andy thought it was the closest to people-pleasing as Miranda would most likely ever get. Somehow, that tone, coming from this formidable woman, made Andy cringe. After the divorce procedure was in effect, the people-pleasing tone never happened again so Andy heard it.
When Miranda talked to Patric Demarchelier, Donatella Versace, or Michael Kors, or any of their peers, she sounded professional, even friendly. None of the lethal hissing, no breathy quality, just straight on matter-of-fact, and with Donatella, friendly. When it came to people Miranda loathed, like Irv Ravitz, Andy had wondered if it would be possible to measure the Fahrenheit when Miranda's voice dropped to an icy register. It was a miracle that Irv's nose tip and earlobes didn't have permanent frostbite.
Andy's hand moved automatically as she took copious notes. Miranda and the others around the table brainstormed the next extended Runway issue, a twice as thick version of the magazine that would come out in December. Glancing over at Miranda, Andy's eyes were distracted by her boss's hands like so many times before. Pale, soft looking, and elegant, they moved to emphasize her words. Miranda normally kept her nails blunt and just slightly longer than her fingertip, with a perfectly executed French manicure. Like her signature hoop earrings, she wore large, statement finger rings. Especially since she stopped wearing her engagement- and wedding-ring; she had favored bold custom jewelry on weekdays. When going to functions and balls, she often wore diamonds set in white gold, but very understated in size.
Andy frowned. Something was not right. Or at least, something about Miranda's hands were not the same as usual. Miranda wore a chunky silver ring on her left ring finger and she kept pushing at it, which was no big deal, but the thing was she was trying to conceal doing it. And then there was the slight grimace that flickered over her face every now and then. If Andy hadn't known any better, she would've thought it was a sign of Miranda being in pain.
Back at the office, Miranda hurried into her private restroom, only to emerge ten minutes later, looking furious. Andy had started typing out the notes from the meeting, but couldn't take her eyes from the stark beauty of a wrath filled Miranda. Knowing full well she was literally poking the Devil, she opened her mouth.
"Something wrong, Miranda? Can I help?"
"Unless you forgot to write field surgeon on your résumé, I doubt it." Miranda sat down at her desk and it looked like she was cradling her left hand.
Worried now, as she usually saw Miranda as indestructible, well except for the time in Paris when she'd found her wiping tears in her hotel room after Stephen announced he wanted a divorce, Andy braved the threshold to Miranda's office. "You look like you're in pain. Please, isn't there anything I can do?"
Miranda scowled at Andy, but there was no genuine fire in her gaze. "Do we have a toolbox somewhere on this floor?"
Toolbox? Andy new she was expected to handle the unexpected, but she would never have guessed that entailed playing carpenter or plumber. "I think maintenance has a storage room somewhere behind Nigel's office. Why?" Andy knew she was risking even more by asking questions, which wasn't forbidden, but not recommended.
"If you're going to help me, you'll need some strong cutters." Miranda held up her hand. "I can't get it off." The last sentence was uttered with total disgust and slight panic. The former was a familiar tone, the second, not so much.
Andy bent over Miranda's desk and looked in horror at a very swollen, pink-purple ring-finger. Clearly the huge ring would not slide off and especially now when the finger was so swollen.
"God, Miranda. I'll go find the toolbox. I'll hurry."
"You do that." Miranda leaned back and closed her eyes.
As it turned out, Andy didn't have to look. An electrician was working outside Nigel's office and his toolbox was sitting right there. After ensuring him he'd get the wire-cutter back ASAP, she ran back to Miranda's office. She found Miranda standing by the window, cradling her hand while chewing on her lower lip.
"I have the cutter. Do you want to do it here…or?" Andy motioned for Miranda's restroom.
"The restroom." Miranda strode by Andy who scrambled to join her boss.
The restroom smelled of Miranda's perfume, an amazingly enticing scent of fresh flowers, fruit, sandalwood…and something else, something sweet. Miranda stood by the sink, looking down at the offending ring with her lips pursed.
"Why don't you sit down?" Andy could tell she would have to take temporary command here. "There, on the stool?" She pointed at the small makeup table. "I'll just clean this a little bit, even if it is in pretty good shape." Running the faucet, Andy felt rather silly using the expensive hand soap to clean a crude tool, but there was no way she'd let it near Miranda's skin without at least a rudimentary washing first. Turning to Miranda she realized she would have to kneel next to her boss, to not get in her own light. Not about to hurt her knees on the tile floor, she tossed two folded towels next to the stool and then knelt.
A mutest gasp from Miranda made Andy look up. Miranda's formerly pale cheeks were suddenly pink and she looked down at Andy with dilated pupils.
"Don't worry. I've done this before." Trying for a reassuring smile, Andy patted Miranda's knee before she realized what she was doing. Oh, boy, keep this up and I'll get fired.
"Then proceed." Miranda held out her hand.
Andy took the proffered hand and her brained seemed to fire all its synapses at once. The feelings just holding Miranda's hand ignited were of so many origins, it was ridiculous. If she had ever wondered what the true nature of her feelings for Miranda was, it was no longer a mystery. Andy knew as surely as she knew the sun set in the west that she loved Miranda Priestly with all her heart. This was no good news. It was a one-way street toward heartache.
Forcing herself to focus on the offending ring, Andy examined it closely. She wondered how long Miranda had struggled to get it off as it had nearly chafed the skin off in two places. "I think I'll try to cut it as close to the—"
"Just do it."
"All right. It will hurt, but I'll try to—"
Right. Shut up and do it. Andy took a deep breath as she pushed one of the blades of the cutter in between Miranda's sore finger and the ring. The soft moan emanating from Miranda proved how much it had to hurt. Squeezing the tool's handle together slowly, she could still not prevent it from jumping as it snapped its blades through the ring.
"Ah!" Miranda gripped Andy's shoulder tightly and closed her eyes hard. Tears clung to her lashes.
"Halfway there. Andy pulled another tool from the pocket in her slacks. "This tool will expand—oh, wow, don't set my hair on fire, Miranda. I'm hurrying." She smiled self-deprecatingly and pushed the other tool in between the cut edges of the ring. Squeezing the handle slowly, she pried the ring open, enlarging it gradually until she could slide it off. "You better wash your hands and perhaps have Runway's nurse—"
"No. I'll wash and you may put some band aid on it." Miranda spoke huskily as she pivoted and washed her hands while still sitting on the stool. "You surprise me, Andrea. I never knew you'd handle a personal crisis of mine this well. And expedient." She wiped her hands on a clean towel and pointed at a shelf. "First aid box."
Andy pulled out two band aids and attached them to Miranda's finger. Reluctantly she let go of the slender hand. "There. You need to keep it elevated a bit."
"Yes. Well." Miranda merely sat there, her eyes scanning Andy's face.
Andy couldn't move. She felt Miranda's gaze as a caress against her cheeks and it as frightening as it was wonderful. The ice blue in Miranda's eyes was not cold anymore. Instead her eyes radiated warmth—or was it heat?—and Andy wanted to stay in this wondrous state forever, but of course that was impossible.
"A-anything else I can do for you, Miranda?"
"A loaded question right now, don't you agree?" Miranda blinked slowly.
"Loaded?" Andy sucked her lower lip in between her teeth.
"You sit there, kneeling at my feet, and you ask to please me. You hold my hand so tenderly and tend to me as if I was made of glass—as if I was somehow valuable. It can be misconstrued. It can be interpreted as something less than innocent."
Andy was speechless. It was impossible to breathe normally and she wondered how transparent she might be since Miranda spoke such impossible words. Was she about to ridicule her, fire her, blacklist her? "Miranda…" Her voice failed her again.
Miranda shifted and cupped Andy's cheeks. "Your eyes will be your downfall if you don't learn to hide your thoughts better, Andrea. I can read you very well, if not with a hundred percent accuracy, and if I can, so can others. Still, I admit I hope you don't look at anyone else this exact way. That would be most unfortunate." She ran her thumbs under Andy's eyes and only then did she realize that she was crying a little.
"How…what do you mean, unfortunate?" Afraid to ask, Andy still had to know. She was trembling under Miranda's gentle touch.
"I simply wouldn't like it if you looked at someone else the way you look at me. Like you…as if you really care. And sometimes like you might pounce on me at any given time."
Andy could've sworn her heart stopped at Miranda's incredible words. "P-pounce?"
"Do you deny desiring me, Andrea?" Miranda whispered. "I've seen it in your eyes, on your face, for quite some time." She laced her fingers on her right hand through Andy's hair. "Your beautiful, chocolate brown eyes, they melt when I lock my gaze to yours. Makes me wonder how it feels for you."
"Right now? I'm ready to faint."
Miranda chuckled and some of the tension left Andy, which made her relax into Miranda's ever-caressing hands. They moved over her hair, down her neck, scratched her scalp gently, and cupped her shoulders.
"I do care, Miranda. I hope it won't make you uncomfortable. I never intended for you to know."
"I'm not uncomfortable." Miranda sounded taken aback by this fact. "And though I can understand why you'd err on the side of caution, I'm…I'm glad I know."
Whoa! Here was an unexpected turn of events. Andy rose on her knees. The close proximity between them was making her tremble and she had to put some distance between her and Miranda. If her boss saw how much she was affected physically, she would freak out and have her thrown out for sure. Andy pulled back and was about to stand up when Miranda slid off the chair and knelt next to her, their eyes now at the same level.
Andy lost what little breath she had left and just stared. Miranda slowly raised her hands and wrapped them loosely around Andy's shoulders. "Am I wrong when I think kissing you would be welcome?" She tilted her head just so. "May I, Andrea?"
Shivering in Miranda's arms, Miranda's arms, Andy only nodded. Her voice was way beyond malfunctioning. When she saw Miranda's face approach hers, Andy closed her eyes, only to snap them open again, not wanting to miss a thing. Still, when Miranda pressed her lips to Andy's, it was impossible to keep her eyes open. Closing them, she inhaled Miranda's scent and then she acted on instinct and hugged Miranda close to her. Somehow she knew if this was the only time she'd be allowed to experience this closeness with Miranda, she would make the most of it.
Miranda moaned into the kiss and pushed both hands into Andy's hair. Their lips parted just barely and then pressed together again at another angle. Miranda ran the tip of her tongue along Andy's lower lip and that made Andy in turn part her lips. She wanted to deepen the kiss and taste Miranda so badly. Carefully Andy met the tip of Miranda's tongue with hers. Her thighs trembled and she clung to Miranda, reveling in the taste of her.
"Andrea," Miranda murmured against her lips. "My God, this…I didn't expect this."
"Mm?" Unable to form words, Andy now abandoned all caution and pushed her fingers into the back of Miranda's hair. Silky and soft, it wrapped itself around her fingers and she felt as if it helped anchor her.
"I didn't expect you to penetrate all my defenses. And on the floor of my bathroom at that!" Miranda pulled back and frowned. "I never thought I'd fall head over heels for a girl half my age on the floor of a Runway loo." Her normally dormant British accent broke through and Andy couldn't help but giggle. Leaning her forehead against Miranda's shoulder, she laughed uncontrollably for several moments.
"Really, Andrea. I fail to see the humor—"
"Come on, Miranda. The way you said 'loo'…with such disdain. It was funny." Andrea could tell Miranda wasn't really annoyed. She had that tiny smirk going on that showed she was seconds away from a real smile.
"I suppose." And there it came, a broad, blinding, and rare, smile.
Andy had never seen anything more beautiful than Miranda Priestly smiling happily. She still held Miranda in a close hug and she just had to kiss the corners of that smile. She continued down Miranda's neck while she was at it, and finished with a long, smoldering kiss to the indentation below Miranda's neck. "You're right. I do desire you, Miranda. I can't help it any more than I can help the reason I desire you. Will you allow me to prove that I can still work for you?"
"For the time being." Miranda's cheeks flushed with color and her eyes glowed. "If this…this desire we are experiencing continue, and we decide we want something, uhm, more permanent, you can't stay on."
"Oh." Andy's brain had nearly malfunctioned at the words 'desire we are experiencing' not to mention her heart when Miranda said 'something more permanent.'
"By then you'll have earned your right to receive a very satisfactory letter of recommendation."
"Ah. Thank you."
"Don't thank me yet. You may still screw things up," Miranda deadpanned.
Slightly panicky, Andy flinched. "I won't, Miranda. I won't."
Cupping Andy's cheeks, Miranda's expression softened. "Workwise, I'll string you up if you do, but in private, that is another matter. Regardless of my reputation, and the testimonies from my ex-husbands, I don't use people I love. I don't deliberately take them for granted or mistreat them. Nor do I pass judgment and show them the door if they should happen to screw up."
Running her fingertips along Miranda's cheek, Andy smiled gently. "Did you say people you love?"
Blushing, Miranda closed her eyes briefly. "I did, didn't I?"
"I think you did."
"Am I to understand that you love me, Andrea?"
"Yes." Taking the leap, somehow knowing it was necessary that she'd do that. Andy knew it would make all the difference for Miranda.
"I'm probably going quite mad, and never would've thought I'd confess to love kneeling on the floor of a bathroom."
"At least it's luxurious with heated flooring." Andy wiggled her eyebrows. "Could've been worse."
Miranda shuddered. "I suppose."
"Now that said, my knees are starting to hurt. Mind if we stand up?" Andy didn't wait for Miranda to reply, but stood and held out her hand.
At first it looked like Miranda would ignore any assistance, but then she took Andy's hand and rose to her feet with her usual elegance. She checked her watch and nodded to herself. "Might I suggest you come home with me? We can have dinner together and discuss this unforeseen turn of events."
Andy smiled and regarded Miranda with such tenderness in her heart, she became all choked up. "Only you would call making out on the bathroom floor 'unforeseen turn of events'." She held up her hand. "And yes, I would love to have dinner with you."
"Well." Miranda pressed her lips hard against Andy's. "Go get our coats. Tell Emily to deliver the Book tonight."
"Yes, Miranda." Andy turned to exit the bathroom, when a slender hand stopped her. It slid up her arm, in under her hair and cupped her neck.
"Why can't I keep my hands off you, Andrea?" Miranda murmured. "It's as if they have a life and mind of their own when you're around."
"I don't mind. I love your hands too." Andy kissed Miranda's forehead. "Come on. I don't know about you, but these unforeseen turn of events has made me hungry."
Miranda gave that genuine smile again. "Yes, Andrea."