Author: charmedbywits and leggoomyeggoo
Title: Lose the One You Love
Rating: Hard T
Fandom: The Devil Wears Prada
Pairings/Characters: Miranda/Andy, Andy/OC, Nigel/Doug, Cassidy, Caroline and OC.
Genre: Romance, Family and Angst
Summary: Sometimes losing the one you love turns out to be the best thing possible.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot belong to the respective author. I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: I want to give out a massive thanks to Punky for helping with the beta work. If any mistakes are founded, please blame me. Another thanks goes to styx63 for the translation help. And my sincerest thanks go out to Punky and xenavirgin for putting together this awesome ficathon.
* "Charlotte made a delightful lamb stew with vegetables and homemade bread?"
** "Does that sound good to you?"
*** "It sounds better than what Michael made. He made chicken alfredo from the jar."
Lose the One You Love
Miranda Priestly sat in her office going through the latest spread for the June issue of Runway. It was to be their biggest issue yet, an astounding nine hundred and fifty pages. The issue would also be Runway's 125th anniversary issue. There was a lot of pressure on her shoulders to bring out the best issue of Runway ever to have hit the stands. Not only did she have the stress of Runway's anniversary issue weighing heavily on her shoulders, she also had to deal with Irv's unexpected death and the problems and changes that brought with it to Runway. With the board trying to decide what to do about Irv's position, she had taken on Irv's responsibilities along with her own. She was lucky to have three hours of sleep each night.
Shaking her head from the problems that laid ahead, with her trusty red pen in hand, Miranda made a large "X" corner to corner on the page of the latest Dior photo-shoot featuring their spokeswoman, Charlize Theron. She simply loved the new Dior since they hired Raf Simons as their creative director. Raf's designs were flawless, elegant, gorgeous and simply breathtaking. It was such a step away from the former creative director style. John Galliano's theatrical flamboyant style had faded out years ago. Although, it looked like Simons was starting to follow his predecessor's footsteps. Dior going through two creative directors within three years was not good publicity for the designer label, even if they're at the height of their peak. Miranda certainly prayed that wouldn't happen.
For the next thirty minutes, she flipped through shot after shot, marking the ones she found unsatisfactory, placing the ones she wanted in the June issue on the side and sipping her coffee until the ringing of her personal phone broke her concentration.
Looking up from the page she was studying, she snatched the offending device. Seeing the picture of the two of the most important people in her life, Miranda answered it.
"Hello, Andrea," Miranda greeted her ex-wife, getting up to close her office door, glaring at her two assistants. "Is everything alright with Adrianne?"
"Hello, Miranda," said a cool voice on the other end. "Adri is fine. I'm actually on my way to Dalton to pick her up; she had a half day today. I was wondering if you could have her from tonight till Monday. I have to fly out to L.A. for an executive meeting. Fox Searchlight Productions wants to finalize everything before the movie is released."
Miranda sighed, sitting heavily in her leather chair. She thought about Andrea's accomplishments. Her ex-wife had published a book at the age of twenty-seven. The book had made it to the New York Times best sellers list for thirty-five weeks straight. Two years ago Fox Searchlight Productions contacted her about making her book into a movie. It was to be released in a month.
"Of course I'll take her, Andrea. She's my daughter, too. You act like it's an imposition to have her with me."
"I didn't know, Miranda," Andy snapped. "We've been in this position before, only to have been told no because of Runway matters. Look, I really don't want to argue with you. I'll see you tonight."
Miranda slumped in her chair, pinching the bridge of her nose as she heard the beeping sound of Andrea disconnecting their call. Sighing sadly at the screen, Miranda without care tossed her phone onto her glass desktop. She really hated how their relationship had turned after their divorce. You have no one to blame but yourself, a taunting, bitter voice echoed in her head.
It's been six years since her divorce to Andrea Sachs, and she still loved the woman. Their romance had come as a shock to her, having to have never been attracted to another woman before. She had been very much attracted to her two ex-husbands, having a healthy sexual marriage until her work took over, so for her to find a younger woman attractive baffled her mind.
She had met her ex-wife during the Met gala in 2003. Her trusty sidekick, best friend and right-hand man, Nigel, had introduced the pair. She remembered being mesmerized by the doe-eyed beauty that seemed to outshine everyone in the room. The theme for the Met Gala that year was Goddess: The Classic Mode. Andrea had showed up to the fashion event wearing a gorgeous Gucci gown. The pleated, champagne colored gown with its plunging V-neck and silk fabric gave Andrea a golden, enthralled look, being every bit of the theme Goddess. Her dark hair cascaded down her shoulders in gentle waves, bringing out the color of her dress, and the Harry Winston classic cluster necklace with its 259 marquise, round and pear-shaped diamonds only seemed to make her shine out even more.
That night she had watched as Nigel's young niece captivated and charmed some of the most powerful and influential people in the world with her easy, too big smile, calm, laid back demeanor and heartwarming laugh. Her full honest belly laugh was so real that it drew a sharp contrast with the high grating laughter of the fake multitudes. It was refreshing to see when today's world everyone and everything seemed so fake. She had never believed in love at first sight until that night as she watched Andrea dance with Nigel.
Snapping out of the bittersweet memories of when she met the only person she loved barring her three daughters, Miranda went back to work. She had promised her two older daughters she would be home by five to have dinner with them before they left to their dad's house.
In no time at all, Miranda finished all her work, leaving only a few articles on various topics to be looked over but could wait until she went in Tuesday morning. The weekends were dedicated to her daughters – at least now they were. Last week she had gotten tickets to the symphony, knowing her little Adrianne has been asking to go for weeks. Last month at her daughter's request they had went to the Ballet show of Sleeping Beauty.
Just thinking about her little girl brought a smile to her face. She and Andrea had joint custody of Adrianne. She usually had Adrianne from Thursday to Sunday night with Andrea having Adrianne from Sunday night to Thursday morning. She would pick up Adrianne every Thursday after school. With today being Tuesday she would be having Adrianne for six days until Andrea picked her up Monday. Sadly, it was the longest she had kept her daughter since she was born. She couldn't deny that she was excited at the prospect of all they could do in those days.
Gathering up her phone and briefcase full of needed papers, she walked out of her office.
"Emily, cancel my appointments from Wednesday until Tuesday morning. I want the book delivered electronically before nine every night. Make an appointment with Francesca and Simone, Adrianne is in need of a haircut as do I. Tell Lucia I want bold, colorful, floral prints not that black and gray she tried to pass off last week. If she can't deliver, tell her to take her newly acquired fashion sense down to H.R. I want you to R.S.V.P 'yes' to Diane's summer party. I want to arrive at eight and leave at nine. Also, reply 'no' to Betsey's party and request to guest star on her show. Why she insists on dressing like she's seventeen, I'll never know. The woman is older than my mother, for Pete's sake. Call my ex-husband and remind him that the girls have a Lacrosse game Friday night. Tell Jonathon I wanted a smiling, happy family for the Burberry shoot summer wear shoot. He gave me a family that looked like they were meeting their death. And make reservations at the restaurant Adrianne likes."
By the time Miranda finished, her second assistant, Sara, had her purse and coat waiting for her. Miranda slipped on her coat, snatched her waiting purse from her assistant's hand and without another word, walked into the waiting elevator
The beeping of the text alert broke Miranda's resolve as she worked endlessly on upcoming proposals for the July issue of Runway. She had learned early on that it was good to be one step ahead when working for a magazine.
She had come home to the divine smell of her chef making a delicious lamb stew with vegetables. It was perfect after the rainy, gloomy and cold weeks New York had been having. Add a couple of fresh baguette slices and a glass of Merlot to go with the stew, Miranda had quite an enjoyable meal. Her daughters filled in the bulk of their conversations during dinner with talk of the latest gossip around their group of friends, school, celebrities and anything else on their mind.
At seventeen, Cassidy and Caroline Priestly had their own lives but always made sure to save time for their mom. In the fall both girls would be leaving away for college. Cassidy was attending Yale University her major undecided while her twin was leaving to study biology at Harvard University. Though, they shared the same womb and exact DNA, they couldn't be more different.
Weighing at five pound and four ounces, Cassidy Renee Priestly, was her oldest daughter. Out of all her daughters Cassidy worried her most. She was a free spirit, a wild child. She had lost count how many times Cassidy had changed her hair color or style. She was glad her daughter had her hair back to its natural color, but displeased at the half shaven head. When Cassidy had gone out with a couple of friends to celebrate her seventeenth birthday, coming home with a tattoo inked across her shoulder, she had flipped. Mother and daughter didn't speak for two weeks, but eventually both gave in, apologizing. As much as she worried about Cassidy, she knew her daughter would find her way and be fine in life. Cassidy was intelligent, witty, beautiful and had a phenomenal artistic eye.
The second oldest by only three minutes and forty-nine seconds, Caroline Rose Priestly was serious, literal and realistic about life. She was blunt to a fault, and told it like it is. She spoke her mind when needed to. To an outsider she was tough as nails, not letting anything get her down, but those who knew her knew different. If you could get past the hard exterior, you would see a young woman with a heart of gold that loved her family and friends fiercely. Caroline was a person who you would want in your corner. She was loyal to her friends and family, defending them until she would turn blue in the face. She didn't trust easy, and it was hard to earn back once that trust was broken. At the young age of thirteen, she had witness her friend die from leukemia. It was that life changing moment that would help Caroline discover what she wanted to do in life. Being a pediatric oncologist had been her career choice since her friend succumbed to the horrible disease.
Snapping her attention back to her cell, Miranda let a rare grin ghost her lips.
Miranda, we'll be arriving in ten minutes – Darling
Miranda stared at the message bubble for long moments; her gaze never wavering from the endearment she had given her ex-wife. She wondered why she never changed Andrea's name in her contacts from Darling to Andrea.
Miranda stood, she didn't have time to ruminate why she hadn't made the change to Andrea's contact name, there was a little girl that owned her heart waiting for her. Just as she opened the door a black, sleek Lexus pulled up in front of her townhouse. Watching as half of her family stepped out of the vehicle; Miranda felt the absence of their constant warmth, laughter, and love that seemed to fill the townhouse.
"Maman," a sweet, childish voice exclaimed excitedly as the passenger door was thrown open.
Miranda crouched, readying her body for the impact of forty pounds being thrown into her body. Just as she anticipated, she felt the impact of a tiny body smashing into her body, arms and legs wrapping tightly around her.
"Adrianne," she breathed, closing her eyes. She inhaled the sweet, innocent scent of the baby lotion Andrea still used to moisturize Adrianne baby soft skin, cotton candy from Adrianne favorite Chap Stick and tangy tangerine that was Adrianne's favorite shampoo.
A clearing of a throat broke their moment. Electric ice blue eyes met molten dark chocolate orbs.
Miranda stood easily, silently thanking Jill, her personal trainer. "Andrea," Miranda nodded stiffly.
Andy offered Miranda a small, strained smile that didn't reach her eyes. "Miranda." Andy handed Miranda Adrianne's bag. "She has a book report due Thursday." Andy combed her fingers through her daughter's hair. "She refused to eat dinner that Mike prepared. Can you try and feed her before bath tonight?"
Miranda nodded, cringing at the thought of Andrea's boyfriend of two years spending time with the woman she loved and her daughter.
She would never forget the night Andrea had told her she had been seeing someone for the last year, and was now ready for them to meet Adrianne. That night over coffee at Andrea's apartment she met Michael James Williams, or Mike as he liked to be called. He was your typical American boy stereotype from his perfectly styled blonde hair, blue eyes and boyish looks and charms. He was a thirty-three year old, divorced, public school teacher. They had met one day at a Barnes and Nobles both reaching for the same book. Miranda hated him, and their sickening sweet story that you would read about in some Harlequin romance book.
"Charlotte a préparé un délicieux ragout d'agneau avec des légumes et du pain fait maison*," Miranda said, addressing her daughter in French. "Est-ce que ça te semble bon**?"
"Bien meilleur que ce qu'a préparé Michael: du poulet Alfredo en conserve***," Adrianne told her Maman her nose winkling in disgust.
"Um, hello, what did I tell you guys about speaking in French in front of me," Andy huffed angrily but the twinkle and amusement in her eyes told a different story. She had always loved when Miranda spoke French to her. When she was pregnant she had told Miranda how she read that sign language helped in developing languages later. Miranda made it her mission to learn sign language, along with the rest of the family. It had helped when Adrianne was fussy, and couldn't verbally tell them what she wanted when she was a baby and toddler. The day Adrianne spoke her first word; Miranda hired a French tutor like she had with the girls. Now, Adrianne was fluent in French, and was starting to take Spanish lessons.
Miranda and Adrianne gave Andy identical innocent looks. Andy rolled her eyes. "She has ballet lessons tomorrow. Madame Garcia said she needs to work on her attitude before the performance. She's not holding her pose well. Her working leg isn't being held high enough." Miranda nodded, making a mental note to have Cassidy work with Adrianne. "I called Cara, and arranged for her to take and pick up Adrianne for school. She's also going to watch her until you get off. You just need to call her. I told her eleven will be the latest you'll arrive home."
Miranda waved it off. "That won't be necessary. I took the following days off until you arrive home. Call Cara and tell her, her assistance won't be needed."
"You took Wednesday to Monday off?" Andy said slowly, her voice eliciting the shock that showed in her expression.
Miranda raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. "Yes, Andrea. Is that such a shock?"
"Can you really blame me for being shocked, Miranda? You have never taken a day off during our whole relationship. Our honeymoon was cut short because Runway called. You even put Runway first when…" Andy trailed off, her mind wandering off to unwanted memories.
Miranda spared a glance at her daughter who was too busy playing on her iPad. Miranda probably guessed she had received the Book in her email, and Adrianne was going through it. She reverently ran a tender hand down Adrianne's head.
"Things changed," she murmured quietly, looking Andrea in the eye. "What time shall I expect you Monday?"
"Around six," she said, still digesting Miranda's words. "My flight lands at five."
"Adrianne and I will pick you up," Miranda said in a tone that would brook no argument.
"Thank you." Andy bent down, eye level to her daughter. "I'll call every morning and night, baby. I love you and I'll see you Monday afternoon when you and Maman pick me up at JFK."
"I love you too, mommy."
Andy kissed Adrianne's forehead as she smiled lovingly down at her little girl. "I'll see you soon." She stood. "Have a good night, Miranda," she told her ex-wife.
"Good luck in L.A., Andrea. Call if you need anything."
Miranda and Adrianne watched as Andrea's black Lexus LS hybrid drove off until Andrea turned off the street.
"Come on, darling, let's go get you fed," Miranda said, following her daughter up the stairs.
"What do you think about page 56?" Miranda asked her daughter, peering over her glasses at the chestnut beauty. Adrianne was sitting to the right of Miranda at the kitchen table. In front of her was a half-eaten bowl of soup, and an empty used glass from her late night dinner. In her tiny pale hands was an iPad that was decorated with stickers of Disney's princesses and fairies.
"I don't like that dress on the blonde model," she said, zooming in on the picture. "Her skin is too pale to be wearing a white dress. She's not doing it any justice. I think it would be better with the other model. She's has that perfect skin tone that goes well with anything." Adrianne focused the screen on a beautiful woman with dark, exotic eyes, caramel colored hair and a beautiful rich honey-colored skin tone. "The white dress would pop beautifully against her caramel skin tone, and the red dress she's currently wearing would showcase magnificently on the other model. I think a deep, ruby red lipstick would do wonders, too," Adrianne finished making a note on the side for the photographer to reshoot the shot. "Honestly, Maman, do you work with incompetent people all day? A monkey could do their work," Adrianne quipped, marking an "X" through the page.
Miranda snorted in an unlady-like manner. "I'm not going to deny that fact, Darling," Miranda said, standing and gathered Adrianne's dishes. "You have thirty minutes until bedtime. Shower, brush your teeth and I'll be up to see you to sleep."
Adrianne stood. "Can we work a little bit more on the Book?"
Miranda looked quizzically at her daughter. "You don't want to finish reading your Harry Potter book?"
"No, I want to go through the book. This is an important issue for us, Maman. We need to get it right. And I fear with your incompetent staff of baboons, our magazine would be subpar. I refuse to let that happen to my magazine." Adrianne huffed indignantly before she turned on her heels, and marched upstairs.
Miranda chuckled as she shook her head at her daughter's antics. Adrianne had a flare for being overdramatic and sounding and acting too much like her. Resuming her task at hand, Miranda made her way into the kitchen.
"Good night, Darling," Miranda said softly, placing a chaste kiss on her daughter's forehead. She stood and gazed at her little girl. She looked just like Andrea. Her alabaster, baby smooth skin shined in the amber glow of her night light, her thick, dark, chestnut air framed her heart-shaped face, dark doe-like brown eyes that were a little too large for her face, rose bud lips and a pert nose, made her look just like her dear Andrea. The only resemblance she could find from their donor was Adrianne dimples and the splatter of light freckles along her nose.
Turning to exit the room, a small, sleepy voice called to her.
"I love you, Maman," Adrianne said, her voice slurry and thick with exhaustion.
"I love you, too, Darling," Miranda replied back, glancing once more at her daughter before she made her way a couple of feet down the hall to her own room.
Miranda did her nightly ritual of combing out her hair, washing and moisturizing her face and brushing her teeth, and ran through what needed to be done in her mind for the following days. She wanted to do so much with Adrianne in a short matter of time. She deeply regretted the time she wasted by putting Runway first, and missing out on moments with her daughter's she would never be able to get back.
Finished, she made her way out, shutting the light off on her way. She made her way to her iPod dock, turning it on. Soon the soft, lush and rich voice of Diana Krall filled the room, crooning softly about falling in love.
She settled into the chaise lounge by her bay window that over looked her moderate sized backyard. Grabbing her iPad, she began to finish what was left of the Book. In no time, she was finished. Since the anniversary issue was so big, she was working on it in parts. She was proud to say she was halfway through.
Just as she was settling in bed, the door of her bedroom opened. Wordlessly, she lifted the covers. She smiled when Adrianne's small form molded next her, snuggling closer. She definitely didn't get that from me, Miranda mused. Relishing in the heat and weight of her daughter next to her, Miranda closed her eyes, letting the world around her drift quietly.