A DWP (MirAndy) story
By Gun Brooke
Miranda felt Andrea tremble against her. Usually only this protective regarding her girls, she held Andrea closer as she directed her fury toward the man in front of them. Irv still had the audacity to sit in her chair, his dark eyes like opaque beads.
"Miranda. Finally." He leaned forward, resting his chin against his laced fingers.
"Get out of my office and stay away. I'm only going to tell you once." Miranda made sure her voice was low and even, mimicking false friendliness.
"I'm sure I misheard that. Your office? I'm the chairman of Elias-Clarke and thus, this, and any other office, is my—"
"You should know by now how I hate repeating myself. Get out. And before you so foolishly object, you should know that Emily has already called security." Miranda knew she was enjoying this a little too much, but after all these days of heightened stress levels, who could blame her?
Irv tossed his head back, laughing scornfully. "Security? Oh, good. They can remove little Andy here. She's fired."
"You didn't tell him, darling?" Miranda turned to face Andrea, whose eyes were impossibly big and dark as they stared back at her. "You should've told him that you've already quit and have several interviews lined up. But I guess you didn't want to jinx it, did you?" She pressed her lips to Andrea's cheek, smiling against the soft skin as she could hear Emily gasp at her desk.
"You're…you're insane." Irv was stuttering now. "You're totally insane when you think you can flaunt this fraternization and think you can get away with it—"
"In fact, Ms. Priestly's relationship with Ms. Sachs is all above board and registered, Mr. Ravitz." A group of three people, led by a thin man in an impeccable Armani suit, rounded the corner and entered the inner office. "I'm David Salinger from Human Resources. I've been made aware of the current situation, which I'm appalled to say, has been exacerbated by your criminal activities, Mr. Ravitz."
"Criminal activities? Are you all mad?" Irv barked at them and stood, leaning on both hands against the desk.
"We have received proof, beyond the shadow of a doubt," the woman next to Salinger said curtly. "I'm sure you recognize me, Mr. Ravitz. You've been trying to have me removed from the legal department for the last six months in order to get your own guy to take my place. Well, the board has not been pleased by your work ethic this last year, so they kept me around. Good thing too, or Elias-Clarke would've sunk like a rock on your watch. Only the fact that a few of us kept Ms. Priestly from being outmaneuvered helped save this company."
"Not your job though, Irv," the third person, a burly man said.
"Byron!" Irv raised his hands in an exasperated gesture. "Don't tell me you're listening to these…these fools?"
"We've known each other for more than twenty years, Irv. Do you honestly think I'm all that surprised?" Byron Caldwell shook his head solemnly. "I've seen you pull some stunts in the boardroom. Some of them brilliant, many of them shady. When Miranda presented her suspicions to us last week, I was ready to defend you, but when I realized this had Irv Ravitz written all over it, I had to examine the proof again. Closely."
"These two fuck like rabbits, with her creating sleazy false pictures of them, and—" Irv's voice rose an octave as his fury took over.
Miranda smiled broadly. "False pictures? The ones in today's paper? They're not real? How on earth would you know that, Irv, if you hadn't seen my handiwork—the files your hacker stole from my home computer."
Irv blanched. "It's obvious. Obvious, when you look at them. That they're fakes."
"If they're fakes, then your accusation of our fraternizing has to be false also, right?" Making her voice velvety soft, Miranda took a step closer. "Andrea and I couldn't have fucked like rabbits if these pictures are false. Right?"
Irv took a step back, his foot momentarily getting stuck in the chair behind him. "Now, you just listen here…I know what you're up to—"
"I doubt it. Did you think I couldn't hear the insults you hurled at Andrea just now? The whole corridor heard you." Miranda pushed forward, not satisfied until she had Irv cornered. "What's more, my other assistant, Emily, has been under orders to start the tape recorder we installed months ago as soon as you set foot in my office, whether I'm here or not. So, if I missed even one syllable of what you said to Andrea, I can play the tape back to my heart's content to make sure I heard it all." She was close enough to make him very uncomfortable as he had nowhere to go. Part of Miranda wanted to chuckle at the way he resembled a startled animal, the rest of her wanted to throttle him or stomp on him for being such a horrible, disgusting little man.
"So, you blame me for her mess," Irv wailed. "She fucks her assistant, manipulates images of the two of them, and I get the blame."
"I told you, he'll never get it. He'll never assume blame for any of his dubious activities." Miranda spoke over her shoulder to the five people, counting Emily who was now standing next to a flustered Andrea. "I have apologized to the only one in this room who was directly affected by my…hobby. Andrea has kindly forgiven me." She rounded on Irv, so furious now her voice was little more than a hiss. "So you just shut up and listen, Irving. You committed a felony when you hired a person to hack into my personal computer. To add to that, you stole the images in question and sold my property to the tabloids with the intent of harming me. There is only one way for you to avoid the humiliation of having the police drag you through the building in front of everyone. You sign a full confession, apologize to Andrea, and resign from Elias-Clarke."
Irv stared at her with such unadulterated hatred, Miranda shuddered inside. Had he had access to a gun at this point, he would've shot her, point blank. She just knew it.
After breathing heavily for another fifteen seconds, he flung his hands listlessly in the air. "Fine," he muttered. "You bitch."
"You say the sweetest things." Miranda stepped aside. "I believe the security officers you asked for are here, Irv. Why don't you join them so you can clear out your office? After all your time here, I'm sure these strapping young fellows can help you call a U-Haul and carry some of your stuff."
As Irv hurried from the room, Miranda saw Andrea reach for the doorframe, holding on with pale fingertips. "Darling." She hurried forward and caught Andrea just as her legs gave in. "Shh. He's gone. He can't hurt either of us." She held Andrea close and motioned with her chin for Emily to close the door. Once they were alone in the office, Miranda helped Andrea to the couch. Sitting down, she guided Andrea to lean across her lap, her head on Miranda's shoulder.
"There now. Better?"
"H-he was awful and I got so mad. So angry, I swear I could taste iron. I just lost it."
"I nearly did too, when I saw what he had them write about you on Page Six. Then when I heard him bellow all the way to the elevators, I knew I had made a mistake to leave you alone…vulnerable to his attack." Dreading how this might have pushed Andrea away, Miranda held her closer, kissing the top of her head.
"I'm not afraid of Irv. I couldn't have cared less about him firing me. Not really." Andrea spoke mutedly into Miranda's neck. "I just didn't want to leave so I could make sure he didn't hurt you. I mean, verbally and stuff. I know you can h-hold your own against anyone. Really." She sobbed and then wiped at her tears with furious little gestures. "But you didn't see him. His eyes…I swear he was ready at launch at both of us, had you been there. He's…he's not right, you know. In the head. There is something really, really wrong with him."
"I have my own lawyers dealing with potential aftermath. If he steps out of line even a little bit, they have paperwork ready to go. Needless to say, I'm filing a restraining order against him. I have papers ready for you to sign if you wish to do so also."
"I think I do."
Miranda hugged Andrea closer and was about to kiss her when Andrea's phone rang, startling both of them. Sitting up, Andrea wiped again at her eyes and checked the screen. Sighing, she answered, her shoulders slumping. "Mom?"
Miranda flinched and held Andrea closer again. To her relief, Andrea didn't resist, but curled up again while she talked to her mother.
"Yes. Yes. I know. Miranda. Yes." Sighing, Andrea rubbed her temple. "Age is hardly a problem. Look at Aunt Trudy. Yes. Twenty-five, or something. No. No!" Sounding angry now, Andrea sat up again, her back ramrod straight. "She loves me. Yes. Yes, or course I do. I know it…how? Because I feel it. How she treats me. How she makes me a priority and plans for a f-future."
Miranda wanted to reassure Andrea again, then and there, but knew she would have to fake some patience and just give Andrea time to deal with her mother.
"I'm not a child anymore. I've been in other relationships. I know what love feels like. Nate? Oh, God, don't drag his name into this too. He left because we didn't love each other anymore. He moved on. So did I. Yes. Yes. I was miserable for a while, but not because of him. Because of her. I loved her and before I knew how she felt about me, I had to try to come to terms with the knowledge that one day my tenure would be up and I'd have to move on and never see her again."
Her eyes unreadable now and those full lips reduced to fine lines, Andrea reminded Miranda of a painting of a female Celtic warlord. Her otherwise so soft features seemed to consist only of sharp planes and angles.
"If you're that bothered with the pictures in the paper and online, there's not much I can say or do. They're out there. Suing will only attract more unwanted attention. Besides, if you really look at them, they're innocent. Hugs. Kisses. A few caresses." Andrea turned and looked at Miranda. Her eyes became liquid, their steely expression melting into one of unconditional love. "They speak of love, Mom. Don't you see?" Her gaze shifted to home in on Miranda's mouth. "I gotta go. No, I have to. Say hi to Dad. We'll talk in a few days, or a couple of weeks, when everything has died down. I promise it will. Not even Miranda Priestly remains hot news for very long." She disconnected the call and tossed the phone on the coffee table. Cupping Miranda's cheeks she kissed her until Miranda was completely out of breath. "I love you."
"Oh, darling." Miranda exhaled and held on tight to Andrea, so relieved, so happy now. "I don't deserve someone like you, but I'm a selfish bitch. I intend to keep you. I had this plan to persuade you to give me one more chance—a whole speech prepared actually." Miranda nodded to the silent cell phone. "Seems you beat me to it, in a manner of speaking." She tipped Andrea's head up to face her again. "You are my miracle."
"And to me you are the sorceress."
"What?" Smiling, Miranda regarded Andrea quizzically.
"Everything started happening because you summoned some love gods or something, by imagining us."
Miranda pressed her lips to Andrea's temple. "Really, Andrea? And am I to surmise that Irv is Cupid in this fantasy scenario?"
Her eyes huge, Andrea coughed against laughter. "No, no, I take it back. No scenario with Irv anywhere near us, please."
"So, what happens now? Irv is out, I assume. Restraining orders in progress. My mom and dad on the fence, putting it mildly. The girls…?" Andrea smiled tremulously. "There is the risk they will hate this whole idea."
"I don't think so."
"What if they're teased at Dalton because of the tabloids?"
"Then we'll talk to them. They learned at a young age to disregard the press, but just to be safe, we'll be more candid with them than I'm truly comfortable with."
Andrea leaned back to study Miranda's face. "You don't think you're getting me to have 'the talk' with them, do you? With the added bonus of explaining why lesbian love is a little different?" She frowned, only half joking, Miranda could tell.
"The thought hadn't occurred to me, but now when you mention it—"
"Uh-uh. Nope. No way. I'd be happy to be your second in command when it comes to such things. Riding shotgun, sure. Taking the helm, not so much."
"God. All these action analogies are wearing me out. Maybe time to get some work done before I take you to lunch?"
Andrea's expression changed to something entirely soft and tender. "You do that, sweetie."
Suspicious at the smooth tone, Miranda raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"I'm fired. Or, I quit, according to you. I'm a bit confused, but the gist is, I don't have a job."
Wanting to thud her head against the closest wall, Miranda had to concede. "Very well. Can I just ask a favor before you start setting up interviews for yourself?"
"Help me sanitize my chair and my desk. I don't want to risk touching anything he touched while he was in here."
"Oh, that I can do, Miranda. I know where Louisa keeps her stuff."
"The woman who cleans this floor."
"She must be new. Never heard of her."
"She's worked since 1978."
Miranda stood and pulled Andrea into her arms. "Well, since you know so much, I'm glad I count on you to help me."
Andrea caressed Miranda's cheek and kissed her gently. "Anytime, Miranda. Anytime."
Nine days after the sensational dethroning of Irv Ravitz, Andy stood in the doorway of Caroline's bedroom as Miranda hugged the mellower of her two daughters goodnight. The little redhead glanced at her over her mother's shoulder.
"So, Andy's your girlfriend now? I mean, like a real one. Not just a friend."
"That's right, Bobbsey. Not just a friend. Andrea and I are together. You and Cassidy seemed okay with that at dinner. Any other thoughts?" Miranda tucked Caroline's unruly hair behind her ears.
"Nah, not really. At least two of our classmates will understand when we call you our two moms."
Andy jumped and saw Miranda had stilled her hand against Caroline's hair.
"Your two moms?" Miranda whispered.
"Yeah, we figured it out when we were loading the dishwasher. Cassidy and I knew things would be different from now on."
"That's right." Cassidy came bouncing into her sister's room from their joined bathroom, smelling of soap and toothpaste. "I mean, Mom, it's pretty obvious. Andy comes to dinner. You guys give us the speech about how you love each other and yada-yada, and then suddenly we have chores. We've never had chores in our life, and suddenly we're loading the dishwasher. That's a sign."
"A sign," Miranda said weakly.
"Yeah, a sign. Andy probably had to do stuff like that when she was a kid and you don't want her to think we're just spoiled, rich kids…so we have chores now." Cassidy sat down next to Miranda on the bed. "And besides, that speech? We already knew about the mushy stuff. We're not blind. We see the papers too. Awesome pics you did, Mom. You screwed up Andy's hair on the beach one though."
Andy found herself slipping down the doorframe, laughing so hard now, she could barely breathe. "Oh, God," she murmured, wiping at the corners of her eyes. "This…this is amazing."
"It certainly is. So how did you girls go from chores to the concept of mothers?" Miranda asked.
"If you're changing things that much because of her, it must mean you want her to be like a mom to us, right?" Caroline spoke slowly, as if she was trying to find her way through this reasoning as well.
"Yes. Yes, I suppose so. I had no idea I was that transparent to my girls, though." Miranda hugged them both.
Andy watched them affectionately. Three Priestly females. What bliss. How scary. Then a small, lanky arm extended from the group hug, waving frenetically. Not about to waste any time, which she knew was not appreciated by any member of the Priestly household, Andy scooted closer, still on her knees on the floor.
Cassidy, of course it was feisty little Cassidy, tugged her into the family hug, and now Andy knew she was making a total fool of herself as she started to sob. She felt Miranda turn within the hug and shift her grip, pulling Andy into the center.
"Darling, what's the matter?" Miranda asked, sounding worried.
"I—I'm just happy," Andy tried to explain. "I love you. All three. And I've missed not being part of…of a family. Of anything. I've missed it so much." She hadn't thought she'd feel as if she belonged with Miranda and the girls so quickly. How could she have known? Only days ago, she was despairing over being so lonely and unhappily in love. Now, Miranda loved her and had gone to bat for her in a way that was totally surreal. The twins seemed to really like her and considered her parent material. How could they expect her not to break down?
"Did Andy's mom and dad kick her out?" Caroline whispered.
"No, of course not. Andrea doesn't live at her parents' house. They had words, Bobbsey. I'm certain once her parents think things over, they'll figure it all out."
"Yeah, they better. I mean, this is Andy we're talking about. She's pure gold. You said so yourself, Mom."
Andy poked her head up. "You did? When did you say I'm pure gold?"
Blushing faintly, Miranda raised her eyebrows at her girls who looked completely unfazed. "I'm sure I have no such recollection."
"I know exactly when it was," Cassidy said helpfully. "You said Andy was pure gold that time when she faked that call to you at that function when Irv had switched the seating arrangement at that banquet. So, Andy called you—"
"—and I made it sound like the twins needed you urgently so you could bow out without offending the stockholders." Andy grinned broadly, remembering how her wild idea had been met with a nod and a hint of a smile.
"Ah. Yes. Well." Miranda placed kisses on three foreheads. "Time to go to bed, girls."
"Is Andy staying?" Caroline asked.
Miranda nodded. "Yes, that's the plan."
"Cool. See you tomorrow, Andy. Night, Mom." Cassidy walked into her own bedroom.
Walking into the hallway, Andy took Miranda's hand in hers. "Pure gold, huh?"
"God. I'll never live that down, I can tell."
"Never. Gold is a good start. I can try for platinum when we go to bed, if you're interested."
Miranda stopped walking so abruptly, Andy stumbled into her. "Really? Platinum?"
"Then there's the ultimate…titanium."
"Oh, my." Swallowing hard, Miranda melted into Andy's arms. "I think you need to take me to bed, darling."
Kissing Miranda, Andy reveled in her taste and the scent she loved so much. "Anytime, Miranda. Anytime."
Cassidy tiptoed into her sister's room.
"Caro? I was just in the kitchen 'cause I forgot my iPad. The dishwasher sounds really weird." She sat down on the bed and chewed on her lower lip. "I think you were right. That Swarovski crystal set probably shouldn't have gone in."