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.
Lose the One You Love
Miranda looked at her diamond Cartier watch. She sighed in frustration at what she saw. "Adrianne, we need to leave," Miranda said from the bottom of the staircase. "We need to pick up your mom in forty minutes."
"Just five more minutes, Maman," Adrianne yelled back.
Miranda rolled her eyes. "You said that twenty minutes ago," she mumbled to herself, turning around to appraise her appearance in the mirror. She had woken up early, worked out with her trainer and gotten ready early with the intentions of looking her best for Andrea. She doesn't understand why she continues to torture herself with false hope. Andrea has moved on, and is living in domestic bliss with Michael.
Her days with Adrianne had been wonderful. She had done everything with her little girl. Waking up early to make breakfast, Miranda watched her girl's eyes flutter open and give her that Sachs smile. She packed Adrianne's desired lunch as she got ready, Miranda made sure to not only drop of Adrianne at school, but to pick her up as well.
During Adrianne's school hours, she would work from home or spend time with Caroline and Cassidy. They only had to attend three of their classes for their senior year, and all three were in the afternoon. She soaked up whatever time she had left with them before they went off to college. When she would pick Adrianne up from school, they would chat about what Adrianne had learned on the way home. Arriving home, Adrianne would work on her homework and munch on her afterschool snack. While Adrianne worked on her homework, Miranda would make dinner for her family.
On three of those nights, after Adrianne was done with her homework, they had gone out to: the symphony, ballet, the Lion King. Even though it was the fifth time, Miranda still claimed it was dust in her eye and not tears when Simba's father died. After each event they would go to a restaurant of one of the girl's choice. At night, she would cuddle up with Adrianne as they went over the Book until Adrianne's eyes started to close.
All in all she couldn't have asked for a better week with her girls.
"You know, she gets more and more like you every day," Cassidy commented, walking into the foyer with a bowl grasped in one hand and a spoon in the other. "It's creepy, really." She smiled at her mom, lifting a spoon full of cereal into her mouth.
"I know," Miranda sighed. "Are you sure you don't want to join us? I'm sure Andrea would love to see you and your sister?"
"And we would love to see her, but Caro and I already made these plans. We can't cancel."
"Okay, let's go," Adrianne said, walking down the stairs.
Miranda looked at her watch. "It took you forty minutes to get ready."
Adrianne huffed. "I couldn't decide if I wanted to wear pants, a skirt or a dress for mommy. In the end I decided on my Marc Jacobs pants, my navy blue Oscar de la Renta cashmere cardigan with my metallic Gucci flats."
"You look wonderful, mon chaton," Miranda praised. "Now, we really must go."
"Bye, squirt." Cassidy blew a raspberry on Adrianne's cheek, causing her to chuckle. "Love you."
"Love you, too, Sissy. Tell Caro, that I want a rematch at chess. I think she cheated."
"Will do," Cassidy promised, laughing. "Tell Andy, I love her and she owes me coffee, okay. I'll see you soon. Work on that attitude. Your leg needs to be raised at a 90 degree angle. Other than that, tell Madam Garcia to shove it."
Adrianne's brow furrowed in confusion. "Shove what where"
"That's it," Miranda butted in. "Cassidy, enough. Adrianne, let's go."
Miranda and Adrianne rushed to get Andrea, making it just in time to see her flight had just landed Andy walked to security to see Miranda and Adrianne waiting for her. She smiled, walking a little faster. She huffed impatiently as she went through security. When she finally made it to them, she picked up Adrianne squeezing her little girl tight and peppering kisses all over her face.
Andrea balanced Adrianne on her hip. "It's good to see you, Miranda. You look…you look beautiful."
"Thank you, Andrea. You look immaculate for someone who has just come from a trip." Miranda looked at Andrea's carry-on bag. "Is that all you brought with you?"
Andy laughed at the appalled look on Miranda's face. "Believe it, or not, but some people don't need to pack their whole wardrobe when leaving on a trip."
Andy took a good look at her ex-wife. She wasn't lying when she had complimented Miranda. Since the first day they met, Miranda has always taken her breath away. Miranda was wearing dark washed skinny jeans, a white button down, ruched-front blouse with a dark brown leather jacket over it. Her signature platinum white mane was perfectly coiffed, light and carefully arranged.
"Nice jacket," Andy smirked, knowing that it wasn't something Miranda would normally wear.
"Cassidy," Miranda said as if it explained everything. "Shall we go?" Miranda said, noticing people snapping pictures of them, and the lingering paparazzi, taking shots of the once married couple and their daughter. Miranda lead Andrea and Adrianne out of the airport, slipping her dark Chanel glasses on. She smirked when Adrianne pulled out a pair similar to hers and slipped them on.
"Adrianne and I were inquiring if you have any prior plans this evening?" Miranda asked, stopping at a red light.
Andy looked at her ex-wife; hardly believing what she was seeing. When Miranda had said they were going to pick her up, she had thought that it meant Roy, Miranda's trusty drive for years, would be driving them. It was a complete shock when Miranda led them out of the terminal and to a Porsche Panamera Hybrid in a metallic dark slate gray that was parked in temporary parking. It was a beautiful, sexy car, she could confess quietly to herself. The gentle purr of the engine made heat pool in her stomach. It didn't help to watch Miranda drive the luxury German car, either.
It smelled of Miranda's Chanel's Chance perfume and leather, telling her that Miranda had driven the car quite a few times for her scent to permeate the car.
"No, I don't have any plans. Mike is out camping with some of his friends, and I planned on spending the rest of the day unpacking, doing laundry and catching up with Adri. Why? Did you have plans with Adri?"
"No, no. I was just wondering if you and Adrianne would like to join me for dinner. I'm having that sushi from that restaurant that you like delivered to the house at six. Not the one on 73rd street but the one on 43rd. The one of 73rd was appalling, to be frank. I don't know why you favor it so much, Andréa."
"Miranda, Sushi Yasuda doesn't deliver," Andy informed Miranda. "In any case, Adrianne and I would love to join you for lunch. I haven't had Yasuda for months."
Miranda glanced at Andy. "Are you sure that place doesn't deliver? I know we've had it delivered to the house several times, and when I called they seemed pleased to place my order."
Andy laughed. "They do it because it's you, Miranda. If some mere mortal called, they would have laughed and hung up." Andy let her fingertip caress the smooth leather of her seat. "I still can't believe you picked me up. When did you buy a car? I didn't even know you knew how to drive."
"A couple of months ago, Phillip and I talked about getting Cassidy and Caroline cars as graduation presents. We don't want them having to worry about getting to and from school, or using public transportation. It got me thinking and that weekend when I had Adrianne, we went to the Porsche dealership in Huntington. Adrianne helped customize the car and it was delivered barely a week later. I'm very satisfied with the outcome."
"You look good driving it," Andy complimented, letting her eyes roam deliciously down Miranda's form. She had always thought Miranda was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen, and it seemed that time and their divorce hadn't changed that opinion.
Miranda smirked but didn't say anything. The rest of the car ride was filled silence. Miranda and Andy were lost in their own thoughts, and Adrianne was napping in her booster seat.
"It sounded like Adrianne had a blast," Andy commented, placing her discarded chopsticks on her plate Adrianne had already gone upstairs with the directions to pack her bags, leaving her parents alone.
Andy had walked into the townhouse, a place she once called home, surprised to see the table set with various sushi and sashimi rolls. There were also cooked vegetables and sushi rice on the side. They had sat and ate while Adrianne took over the conversations by recounting her week with her Maman. When Adrianne would come to a particular part of her recapping that surprised Andrea, the brunette would glance at Miranda in astonishment only to find Miranda grinning softly at their daughter.
Miranda grabbed a piece of tuna sashimi dipping it in her soy sauce and wasabi mixture. "I enjoyed my time with her as well."
Andy chuckled. "She is so much like you. She has my looks, and your attitude and mannerisms."
Miranda smirked, wiping her mouth with her cloth napkin. "Deadly."
Andy laughed, because – yeah – it was deadly. But then, turning somber, she asked Miranda the question that's been plaguing her mind for a week now. "What made you change, Miranda? I mean, you took almost a whole week off. Adrianne said you are off on the weekends now and during the week that you come home from dinner as often as possible. That doesn't sound like you."
"Irv," Miranda stated, taking a sip of her water to quench her dry throat. "Did you know he was just two years older than me? Two years, Andrea. He died from a heart attack December seventeenth but wasn't found until two days later. Nobody bothered to find him, or check if he was okay because he didn't show up for work or spoke to his family. He was found by his housekeeper that comes in every Wednesday to clean his house."
"I – I don't understand, Miranda. What does that have to do with you?"
"During Runway's Christmas party, three days before Irv died, we had a cordial conversation on the roof about my stupidity of letting you because I put Runway before my family. I had wanted to get away from all those dreadful games, talks of spending time with loved ones and family, and found myself using the emergency staircase to the roof. When I arrived, Irv was there, smoking a cigar. We didn't say anything, just stood there looking at the view. Then he turned towards me…"
"You look just as miserable as me, Miranda," Irv said. He loosened his tie, rolled his sleeves. "I despise these fucking parties. Too much happiness and love around. Although, it does make you wonder what it would feel like to be that happy."
Weightless, Miranda wanted to answer but kept her mouth shut, knowing Irv wasn't done talking.
"You had that, Miranda. With your Andrea, but you blew it. What I wouldn't give just to be in your shoes, to be loved by her, happy, surrounded by family that loved and adored you." He shook his head wistfully. "Let me tell you something, Miranda. When you find happiness like you did before, you make it your priority. It's rare for people like us to find that level of happiness you had with Andrea. I've been married six times, and I haven't even found an ounce of it with any of my wives. My kids come close but even they're not enough. I have six grandkids that I don't know. I made work too much of a priority, and it cost me much more. I use to be happy with my work, but as I got older, I could see where I went wrong. Life is too short. Time is too fast. And before you know it, you're being invited to your daughter's wedding…not having a clue who the groom is, only to be shocked that it's a bride not a groom," Irv let out a bitter laugh. "I'm respected in the business world. I have money. Friends I golf with every weekend. But none of that matters when you don't have a family to share it with, or is waiting for you at the end of the day with open arms and love." Irv took a sip of his drink, squinting down the edge of the roof. "Do you see that woman? She's wearing a red dress, and practically fucking that man against my Aston?"
Miranda looked down where Irv was pointing. "Your wife?" she gasped, her hand flew to her mouth.
"My wife," he spat. "The poster child for plastic surgery is my wife. And I'm content with that. I give her my platinum card; make sure she has everything she wants, cheats on me with anything that has a dick, and I keep quite because she gives me a second of her time, makes sure she attends these horrible functions, fucks me now and again, and not wanting be lonely, I put up with it. That's our idea of a happy marriage. It works for us. And it doesn't even come close to what you had with Andrea." Irv downed the rest of his drink. "I better return to the party. Though, I'm sure no one noticed I was missing."
Irv started to walk away when a cold, delicate hand grasped his wrist. His eyes met the watery eyes of Miranda Priestly. "Thank you, Irv."
Irv gave Miranda a small nod. "Merry Christmas, Miranda."
Miranda softly wiped away her tear that had fallen during her retelling of that memorable night to Andrea. Andy used the sleeve of her long-sleeved shirt to dab her wet cheeks. For Miranda and Irv to share a beautiful moment on the roof was remarkable and heartbreaking.
Shaking her head from the memory of that night, Miranda continued. "Irv's death just cemented that I need to change my old ways, or I was going to lose more than you." Miranda smiled. "Now, here I am, putting my family first like it always should have been. Work has been hectic currently with the June issue and the board trying to find my replacement…"
"Replacement?" Andy felt faint.
"The board has asked me to take over Irv's position. They're bringing in Italy's editor-in-chief, Gianna De Santiis, to take my position. As CEO, my working hours will be lowered considerably. I'll have more time with the girls. I've already called my travel agent to request places to take the girls this summer for vacation." Miranda hesitated, her voice dropping. "I have never gone on vacation with Adrianne."
Miranda's eyes met Andrea's whiskey colored eyes. "May I take Adrianne on vacation?" Miranda scarcely whispered. Her fear of Andrea telling her no was evident in her hesitant voice and fidgeting hands.
Andy scoffed at Miranda's question. "Miranda, you can take her on vacation. We don't have a court order custody and visitation arrangement. You're able to take her whenever you want. I'm sure when you tell her the news she's going to go crazy. And the fact that you're able to take Adrianne on vacation is…amazing. She's going to love it."
Ashamed, Miranda's cheek flushed a light pink. She was embarrassed to say she had never taken her six year old daughter on vacation. "I'd like to think so. It certainly means I won't be missing out on Adrianne's childhood. I've already missed so much. It will always be a deep regret I missed out on so much of Cassidy and Caroline's childhood."
Andy reached across the table to grasp Miranda's hand. "You're here now. That's what counts."
Miranda's face twisted in deep pain and her murky blue eyes flooded with tears as she looked at Andrea. "I'm so, so sorry, Andrea for all that I've done to you. I'm sorry for missing Adrianne's birth and not being there for you when she was rushed to NICU because of her underdeveloped lungs. I should have been the one to comfort you, not Nigel and Doug. I put Runway matters ahead of my family, and I will never forgive myself for that." Miranda drew in a shaky breath. "You were right to ask for a divorce the moment I stepped into the hospital room. I'm just grateful you let me stay in Adrianne's life. "
Andy blinked back her tears, hastily wiping away the ones that had cascaded down her cheeks. "I forgive you, Miranda. The girls forgive you. And, Miranda, Adrianne forgives you. She loves you so much, Miranda. All I ever hear from her is 'Maman did this and Maman did that. She thinks the sun rises and sets on you. That how much she loves you. You need to forgive yourself, Miranda. We all have."
Miranda bit back her sob. "I love her, too."
"I know you do. You're a terrific mom to your girls, Miranda."
Miranda smiled ruefully, pulling her hand away. "Just not a terrific wife."
Andy grimaced. The bitter moments, arguments, missed dinners and empty beds played in her mind. It was true during the last years of their marriage, Miranda wasn't the best wife. As the unpleasant memories began to fade, she thought about the moments where Miranda was the best partner. Candlelit dinner, making love Sunday mornings, walks in Central Park, cuddling on the couch watching a movie with Caroline and Cassidy and sweet kisses that always left her breathless.
Andy smiled softly. "At times, you were that, too. I have memories that I will cherish with me for the rest of my life."
Miranda opened her mouth but snapped it shut when the thundering of tiny feet stomped down the stairs. Miranda offered Andrea an apologetic smile. They knew they had much more to talk about, but it would have to wait.
"I'm ready," Adrianne announced, dropping her beige and pink Gucci Zoo canvas tote bag onto the chair next to her Maman. "I love you, Maman." Adrianne threw her arms around Miranda's neck, hugging her tightly.
Miranda wrapped her arms around Adrianne's waist. "I love you, too, mon chaton." Miranda placed a lingering kiss on Adrianne's forehead. "You be good for mommy." Miranda's voice began to crack. It was always hard to say goodbye to Adrianne. When Miranda didn't have Adrianne, she missed her daughter fiercely. The house seemed quieter without her presence, and her life seemed a little too lonely. "I'll see you Thursday."
Adrianne nodded against Miranda's neck. "I'll miss you, Maman."
"I'll miss you, too. Remember you can call me anytime, and I'll answer. Even when I'm at work, I'll answer."
"Okay." Adrianne sniffed, pulling back from their embrace.
It's been five years since their divorce, and in those five years Miranda and Andrea hadn't shared a single touch between them. It was a complete surprise to the editor when Andrea pulled her into a tight hug. Pulling away, Andy offered Miranda a sweet smile before she made her way to the car. From the bottom of her steps, Miranda watched Adrianne and Andrea drive away with a heavy heart.
A/N: Thank you everyone for the reviews, follows and favorites. I'm glad everyone is liking the story. There's more to come. Sadly, the more to come won't happen for a week, or so. I'm leaving to go camping and my writing partner is in the process of writing her parts.