Author: JAZWriter/JAZWriter13

Fandom: DWP Miranda/Andy

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters within The Devil Wears Prada world. I am merely using the characters for entertainment purposes as allowed through fair usage laws. I make no profit, nor is this story of any value except insofar as I am able to attract positive feedback and exclamations of my brilliance. So there.

Author's Notes: One-shot. Internal dialogue that occurs after Andy quits in Paris. Mirandy. Not beta-read, so all mistakes are mine.

Part 1

Eighteen Months

It has been eighteen months. Eighteen months since she had the unmitigated gall to walk away. Eighteen months of living up to all the ridiculous monikers my reputation has spurred while I have raged at her audacity. Eighteen months of cursing her name and of ruing the day I made the fatal mistake of hiring the smart, fat girl.

Huffing I turn my attention back to the latest set of photographs from the San Diego shoot. The models all look the same—anorexic, brainless, bored. I catch myself drumming my fingers on the desk and stop immediately. I will not allow anyone to witness such weakness. I am not weak.

So what if my bed is large and I am small? So what if I have chosen not to take a lover since Stephen left? So what if I dream of flowing chestnut hair and haunting dark eyes? It means nothing. She is nothing.

Staring at the prints, I pick the least abhorrent ones and circle them before sending them down to Nigel. Nigel, the silent sufferer. Nigel, the loyal one. Nigel, the one who instigated a betrayal much worse than the action I took against him. My betrayal was professional. Her betrayal, a reaction to the unfairness of my handling of Nigel's future, was personal. She cut me to the core and punished me much more effectively than she probably ever imagined. Nigel stayed. She left. That alone corresponds to the severity of the aftermath.

If she had stayed, she would have seen how Nigel is no worse off than before. She would know that I am setting up a better future for him. She would recognize that I am not heartless. She would understand that I had to preserve one of the most important parts of my life as the other parts fell around my ears. I never imagined she would leave. I thought she was a safe person in my life, like my daughters. So much is uncertain in life. So many people cannot be trusted. I thought she was different.

I still believe she is.

That is the crux of my restlessness. Eighteen months and I still think of the silly girl. Eighteen months and I find I care about her well-being. Eighteen months have not lessened my instinctive ocular sweep toward the desk she formerly occupied as I enter the office or the squeezing of my heart when I see someone else seated where she should be.

Recognizing it is time for me to call it a day, I gather my belongings and leave. Roy pulls to the curb as I exit the building, and I grimace as I reach the empty car. Just before I duck into the interior, I look to my right. Frozen on the walkway she stands. She looks as if she has seen a ghost. Her face is pale and her lips pinched as she grips her purse tightly with both hands. I nod slightly in greeting and in goodbye. Letting out a breath, I close my eyes briefly. "Home."