The Best Gift-Giver
Pairing: Miranda/Andrea, The Devil Wears Prada
Special Thanks to my betas quiethearted, Gin akasarahsmom, shesgottaread, and peetsden. They always catch those pesky errors and let me know when a word or turn of phrase sounds out of place. I couldn't ask for better friends to smooth out the rough edges. Also, firebird93 reached out to offer me some more help with the editing...I very much appreciated it!
Disclaimer: I do not own The Devil Wears Prada, its characters, or the Bliss Soho day spa. I am not profiting from this story (except through positive comments which feed my Muse). It is created through the fair use doctrine or some such pish-posh.
Prompt from quiethearted: Secret Santa with them all trying to guess who theirs is. Andy has Miranda. Miranda has Andy. Both sweating what to get the other. Miranda goes it alone, but when out with the gang for drinks, Andy pumps them all for what they'd give Miranda if they were her Secret Santa, but without letting on that Andy has her. So gifts keep turning up that make Miranda think first that it's one person and then the next, and so on. Miranda is going dbl crazy. Trying to come up with gifts for Andy, and trying to figure out who her SS is.
A/N: I changed the story a bit, but I did pretty much keep to the prompt. This takes place about two weeks after Paris Fashion Week. I kept true to the date that was reflected on Andy's Sidekick (December 3rd) when she threw it into the Parisian fountain (and therefore Paris Fashion Week occurred in December). It is AU insomuch that Andy still works for Miranda after Paris.
This story has six chapters and an epilogue. All parts are posted and linked. My Muse loves positive feedback, so if you enjoy this story, please feel free to comment. And thank you.
Nigel waltzed into Miranda's outer office and smirked as he stopped in front of Andy's desk. She knew that look-it was a precursor to news Nigel found amusing, most times because it would make Andy's life a living hell.
"Dare I ask?" she said, shooting a furtive look toward the lair where Miranda prowled. The woman had been on edge all morning. Andy knew that sooner or later Miranda's irritation would spill onto her, as scorching as any Starbucks especially-made-for-Miranda, center-of-the-sun hot coffee was.
"Hot off the presses," Nigel whispered and shoved a sheet of paper under Andy's nose.
Reading it, Andy's eyes grew wide. "Uh, oh, Miranda's not going to like this," she muttered.
"Mmmm. Just hope you don't get her—she's impossible to shop for as it is, and with a fifty dollar limit," Nigel shuddered convincingly, "nightmares, for sure."
"Oh, great. With my luck," Andy grimaced. She stared at the internal memo once more. "Secret Santa. Really? Isn't that insulting to those who are Jewish?"
"Well, dear Irv is not, and that is all that matters since he decided to make this mandatory. Plus, he is convinced that this will irritate..." He jerked his head toward Miranda's office.
"No kidding! She's already in a bad mood. Any idea why?" Andy whispered.
Raising his eyebrows, Nigel shook his head. "Actually, I thought she's been in a pretty good mood lately, for her anyway. No heads rolling, no firings, no blood trailing after minions once they left her cave—she's been amazingly even-keeled since Paris. Granted, it's only been two weeks, but..."
Andy pressed her lips together, thoughts racing through her mind. Now that Nigel mentioned it, Miranda had been rather toothless since Paris. Not subdued. Not depressed or sad. Just more pleasant. Thoughtful. And yes, now that Andy thought about it, happier.
Not today, though.
"So, get online and register, Six. We only have a week. I already know who I have," he sing-songed and with a smirk left.
Keying the necessary website, Andy registered, pausing to read the directions. Every Elias-Clarke employee was required to "play," each assigned the task of becoming a Secret Santa to someone else within that person's particular magazine or division. That meant Andy would get someone within Runway. After finishing the necessary steps, Andy closed her eyes tightly and pressed the Enter key, knowing a name was about to be assigned to her. Opening one eye, she gasped softly and opened her other eye quickly.
Of course. Of course she was Miranda's Secret Santa. Shit. Shit, shit, shit!
Looking up from her desk, Andy locked her computer and hopped up. A moment later she stood before Miranda's desk, smiling politely at her back. The editor stood looking out the window for a few more moments before turning away from the view. When the editor's eyes locked on hers, Andy gulped. She looked so perturbed.
"Andrea, my girls decided this morning to stay with me over their winter break. I am unable to miss the corporate holiday party on Friday." She looked at Andy, a wrinkle forming above the bridge of her nose.
Andy understood now. Cara, their nanny, was leaving to visit her family in Washington Friday morning. Caroline and Cassidy originally were supposed to be spending their break with their father. Miranda was slow to trust anyone and even pickier when it came to allowing someone to care for her children. Since Miranda's return from Paris, the press had hounded the editor and her girls regarding the impending divorce. No doubt Miranda was loathe to bring a virtual stranger into her home, not knowing whether any possible caretaker might be looking for information that could be sold for a pretty penny.
"Oh! Well, um, you know, maybe I could hang out with them on Friday night. I mean, if they wanted to have a few friends over so it's not just me, then whatever. Uh, I could just be there, somewhere, just, um, in case. Until you got back." Andy's poorly worded offer died a not-so-slow death at the sight of Miranda's softened eyes and the ghost of a smile directed her way.
"They ask about you. You have made quite an impression on them, it seems," Miranda said softly.
"Huh," Andy said stupidly. Blinking hard, Andy shook her head slightly and smiled. "Well, that's, that's nice. It will be fine. On Friday." Andy nodded several times before recognizing how idiotic she no doubt looked.
"Now if only I could solve this Secret Santa problem as easily," Miranda complained while crossing the room to her desk and sliding into her chair. Looking at the various periodicals waiting for her attention, Miranda said softly, "That's all."
Pivoting on her heels, Andy made it to the doorway before hearing her name float past her ear. She turned and intense blue eyes held hers for breathless moments, the walls lowered, allowing Andy to see sincerity and gratitude as she heard the words, "Thank you." Smiling brightly as warmth suffused her, Andy nodded jerkily and made her way to her desk, nearly missing her seat as she sought shelter from those piercing eyes and grateful words.
Trying to control her breathing while fanning her overheated face, Andy heard the ruckus that signaled Emily's arrival. Still on crutches, Emily insisted on traveling around town to complete the myriad errands that needed to be finished. Andy had offered to do them, but Emily's pride would not allow it.
Andy ran to the glass doors and held one open, knowing that this would irritate the redhead, but not caring. She wanted to help, and she would in whatever way she could. With a huff and a small nod, Emily clumped past, not saying a word as Andy relieved her of several heavy bags. Honestly, Andy had no idea how Emily made it across the hall with them never mind across the city.
"Traffic was a mess, and all those ridiculous Santas roaming the city made walking anywhere virtually impossible," Emily groused. Leaning her crutches against the wall near her chair, Emily flopped down. "Ugh. My arms are killing me!"
Andy watched Emily as she rubbed her biceps briskly. "Drinks tonight? Looks like you could use some relaxation," Andy offered.
"Drinks! Like we have time," Emily said sulkily.
"Sure we do! Invite Serena and Nigel. A few drinks, some laughs. What do you say?" Andy prodded.
"What about your boyfriend? Won't he get angry that you aren't with him?" Emily asked, her voice reflecting curiosity.
"Nate? Oh, no. He broke up with me just before Paris. As a matter of fact, he leaves for Boston tomorrow to be a sous-chef," Andy admitted softly, her eyes flitting toward Miranda's office.
"Oh. Well. Drinks, then," Emily sniffed, but the look she shot Andy was much kinder than her words, causing Andy to grin.
"Now if only I could solve this Secret Santa problem as easily," Andy muttered, grinning as she echoed Miranda's earlier words. She needed ideas. Maybe tonight she would find them.