Title: Coconut M&M's – Part Three

Author: Brithna

Beta: Peetsden

Fandom: Devil Wears Prada (What the hell else would I be doing?)

Pairing: Miranda / Andy (What other ship do I ever sail?)

Disclaimer: I don't own any of them. You know this. And yes- I'm thankful for the book, but I'm more thankful for the screenwriters than anything else. They are the only reason this fandom exists.

Rating: NC-17 / NSFW

Summary: Miranda learns to share the hard way.

Coconut M&M's – Part Three

Andy glared at her phone one more time then pushed it away, deciding that playing with the silverware again was a better idea. She'd already bent the spoon; there wasn't a pencil in sight. But she bent it right back so it wasn't like it was damaged or whatever. Now she was staring off into space again, playing with the fork, unable to shake the feeling that all the things she'd set in motion tonight, might just turn out to be a bad thing; so much time had gone by since she received that text from Roy saying that he was on his way to the townhouse. Poor Roy. He was going to kill her. That or never drive her anywhere again. In fact, after tonight, Roy just might quit.

God bless him though; he listened to Andy rant and rave about Miranda and trust issues and on and on. She never did tell him outright that Miranda thought Andy had been cheating on her though. She'd let him figure that out on his own. Besides, Andy really didn't think she could say the words out loud: 'Miranda thinks I'm cheating on her.' That probably would have made her cry and crying was the last thing she wanted to have happen.

When Andy finally shopped bitching long enough to tell Roy to make Miranda pick up her own dry-cleaning…well he just about died and launched in to one hell of a speech. In fact, he wouldn't even unlock her door until he'd said his bit, without so much as a break for air.

"Andy, look," he'd said, "I know you're pissed off. I get that but you have to consider that she's just afraid. Whatever's happened—she's just afraid. That's what you have to learn about Miranda. I've been driving that woman around for years. For nearly two decades and when she gets scared it's just hell, okay. It is Hell unleashed on Earth! And she says dumb things because of it. That's just the way of it, Andy. Now I know it's not right—"

Andy, she'd started to say something after that because how in the hell was any of that an excuse? But Roy shut her up by quickly waving a hand in front of her face and saying, "No. Be quiet and listen to me, young lady."

So Andy did.

She shut up and sat up straight like her daddy was talking to her… Ha! Her daddy. Jesus Christ, her parents didn't know, of course, and Andy didn't even want to think about telling them. That was a topic for another time anyway and there were much more important things on her plate right now.

Anyway, Roy had kept going. He said, "But you can't fault her completely. She's not exactly the sanest person around and her defense mechanism...that's what this is! This is her defense mechanism against the possibly of being hurt…of losing you."

Well, Andy never exactly thought about it that way and after she sat there staring at him for about two minutes, she realized he was right. To a point. And only to a point. Andy would only let that excuse go so far. It could only cover so much of this up and excuse it because damn-it, Miranda should know better. Andy would never cheat on her. Never. Had the past six months meant nothing? Had Miranda really not gotten a fucking clue somewhere in there? Apparently not.

Andy basically pretended to listen to Roy for another five minutes and after telling her one more time how disastrous the dry-cleaning thing might end up being, he finally let her out of the car.

And yes, her tactics were a little strange but this was all for Miranda's own good. Of course, there was always a chance that none of this would work; but Andy was determined to try. It might be all for nothing but she was too pissed to even consider failing. That just wasn't an option. Nobody accuses Andy Sachs of cheating. Nobody ruins Andy Sachs' perfectly planed Free Weekend. Nobody withholds chocolate from Andy Sachs and lives for very long.

Little did Roy know, picking up the dry-cleaning was only the first of several tasks Miranda would have to complete tonight.

As soon as Andy got into the townhouse, she put her bag down on the table in the foyer and set out to do some real damage. The first thing she did was go upstairs to Miranda's office to find the biggest block of post-it notes she could and the biggest, fastest red pen that Miranda owned. After that she went back downstairs to the foyer and had herself one hell of a party. She wrote a little nastygram on a post-it: Take Patricia outside. That's all she put on it: Take Patricia outside.

There…that ought to do Miranda a lot of good. She hated taking the dog out. Hated it, hated it, hated it. She even bribed Andy to do it a time or two on the weekends when they were there at the house alone. And Andy had done it, of course, because she liked Patricia. Hell, Miranda liked Patricia; for God's sake Patricia was like Miranda's third baby—she just didn't like to take care of Patricia. That's why there were assistants and dog walkers and last but not least—the kids.

What was really pathetic was the fact that there was, in all honesty, nothing to it because all you had to do was open the backdoor! The backyard was fenced in! All you had to do was open the door and Patricia knew what to do from there and she would come back in when she was good and ready. All you had to do was just sit out there on the most beautiful and expensive lawn furniture money could buy or, if the weather was right, you could just leave the door open and go back inside. It wasn't like you always had to go for walks around the block or to the park. This was just opening a door. And Miranda hated it.

With a smile on her face, Andy put the post-it on the closet door where she knew Miranda wouldn't miss it. The bright colors certainly helped too. A neon pink post-it with red block lettering…nope, can't miss that!

Once that was done, Andy got busy writing another nastygram on yet another post-it. There was one thing in this house that Andy knew for certain Miranda had never done. Taking out the trash… No. Miranda Priestly had never taken out the trash. Never. But she was tonight!

Andy wrote: Take the trash out, in red block lettering and put the note on the back door where Miranda would see it when she took Patricia outside. She knew Miranda wouldn't miss it because the backdoor was white. Just like every other door in the house. Come to think of it, the entire house was white. White and blue…white and blue. Ironically enough half of it was cerulean. Ha! That should have been a clue right then and there; they were destined to be together. That was one of Miranda's favorite colors and half of the damn townhouse was decorated in it! And there Andy goes and shows up for her first day of employment in what? A cerulean sweater. Brilliant!

When Andy placed the note on the door she stood there for a moment and looked at it as another plan began to form in her mind. She was going to do something else…actually, she'd been thinking about this for a while. Just like she'd been thinking about taking the girls out and getting a little closer with them, she'd been thinking about stepping out with Miranda. Obviously, except for work shit, that was something they did not do. Ever. Not beyond sitting on the back porch and reading for hours—which didn't count anyway. That's not to say that Andy didn't love those times. God, Andy loved every single thing about whatever time she and Miranda were able to spend together—she just wanted to move on. For them to be more.

And there was a way around it; the fact that so many others would see them…there was a way to do it safely.

Coincidently, the restaurant Andy was sitting in right now was pretty safe. It was just down the street from the townhouse, only a couple blocks away. Being a Friday night, the place was packed but when Andy really thought about it that actually worked in their favor because it was packed with local people from Miranda's own neighborhood. Sure they'd recognize her but once you know who Miranda Priestly is, you try hard not to stare. That was a given. So Andy knew they wouldn't be gawked at and hell, as far as the rest of the world was concerned, Andy was Miranda's Assistant. She was…is Miranda's Assistant! So, if Andy was there waiting with a bag full of paperwork and bullshit, what's to say that the world wouldn't just see Miranda Priestly and her Assistant, instead of Miranda Priestly and Andy Sachs, two people in love? It wouldn't be like that. Like obvious. No one would know. At least not yet…hopefully…maybe. Unless Andy did something stupid.

So Andy wrote another nastygram. Well, this really wasn't nasty at all but Miranda might think so. In fact, this might put Miranda over the edge. If taking the dog out and taking the trash out didn't put Miranda over the edge, then this just might. Going outside. In public. In this kind of a setting under these kinds of circumstances…yeah, this might put Miranda over the edge.

But Andy would just have to chance it.

Girding her loins—as Nigel would say—Andy put the note on the other side of the door so that when Miranda came back in from taking care of Patricia and the trash, she would see it. There was no way Miranda would miss it on account of the porch light.

After that Andy left and walked down to the restaurant. There was a line of course, but during her walk, she called and in no time at all Miranda had herself a back corner table reserved. And that's where Andy was now. Waiting. With a partially fucked up spoon and…oops, a really fucked up fork. Oh, well! These people needed to buy better silverware apparently. Either that or Andy just needed to quit screwing around with shit. Besides, the waiter was already giving her nasty looks for molesting everything on the table but she couldn't help it! Her nerves were shot. Popping one of Miranda's valium never sounded so good. Shit… Andy forgot to pick up Miranda's refill today. Hopefully, Miranda had at least one left in her purse and would take it now. Right now. That'd be a blessing. A real blessing. Actually, that might be the only thing that saved Andy tonight—if Miranda popped a valium or two…or three. But Andy had a sinking feeling that would not happen. The last thing Miranda was probably thinking about right now was taking a valium.

To make matters worse, Roy's text hadn't said whether or not she'd picked up the dry-cleaning and definitely didn't give Andy any indication as to what Miranda's currently state of ugly might be. And it had taken forever. Enough time had gone by for Miranda to go back and forth from the townhouse to Runway about five or six times. Maybe she'd actually sat there and watched the rest of the movie like Andy had told her to do? She hoped Miranda hadn't done that though…and surely it hadn't taken that long for Miranda to figure out what the hell had really gone on with the calendar? She hoped Miranda had at least a little bit of sense. Defense mechanism be damned. She hoped Miranda loved her enough to come home. Well, she was coming home. Miranda was coming home. Roy had said that much. And now Andy was nervous. So nervous, in fact, that she'd bent the fork, the second fork on the table. This meant there was now a fucked-up spoon, a fucked-up fork and now a fucked-up second fork. Great. The only thing left untouched on her side of the table was a butter knife.

There were so many people in the restaurant, the voices all around her, Andy really wasn't sure how she heard it but, finally, she heard Miranda's voice. When she looked up Miranda was standing at the hostess desk and everything inside her went cold. Miranda did not look happy. Well, when did Miranda ever look happy in public? Never. But something about this just told Andy she was completely screwed. Miranda was here though so that had to count for something, right?

About the time Miranda headed her way, Andy remembered to breathe and blindly tried to get her silverware back in some sort of order on the table. Miranda didn't look her in the face when she sat down but once she was settled there wasn't anything else to do but look at each other…and Miranda was furious. So furious that Andy couldn't understand why her eyes were still blue. They should have been red with flames. There should have been smoke coming from the top of Miranda's head, out of her mouth, her nose, and her ears. And where there's smoke, there's fire.

This is when Andy knew Miranda hadn't just seen the things left for her on post-it notes. Miranda had done them. She'd gotten the dry-cleaning too. And this restaurant thing was the last straw. This restaurant thing had pushed Miranda to the limit and Miranda didn't do limits. She pushed against them and broke them every single time. In fact, Irv was the greatest example of all of Miranda breaking limits. Every limit he set—she jumped over it like it was the moon. So what's to say Miranda wouldn't do that with this? Just because Miranda had gone to the dry-cleaners, taken Patricia out, and taken the trash out did not mean she wouldn't do something awful.

Not knowing what else to say, Andy said, "I'm glad you came."

Miranda pursed her lips, of course, so that right there meant somebody's career was ended; if there was a career to be ended. Maybe it was Andy's? At this point it didn't matter if she fired Andy or not though. That didn't even factor in. The fact that they worked together had absolutely nothing to do with this. That part of them had yet to be a problem so the prospect of being fired didn't bother Andy in the slightest. But, in reality, it could be used as a weapon against her. It could. When Miranda was angry, anything could be a weapon.

Miranda finally spoke. She said, "I think you've lost your mind."

The waiter came by with water for Miranda before Andy got the chance to say anything. He left the table quickly though and Miranda had been doing nothing but glaring at her the whole time.

"I already ordered for us," Andy said lightly while Miranda still glared. "I know you like the pan-seared steak."

"How very charming of you," Miranda said in a low and sarcastic voice, still glaring. "Would you like to tell me the meaning of all this, Andrea?" She motioned to the table. "Have you not done enough tonight?"

Andy's blood started to boil a little at this. Done enough? Hell no! Andy hadn't even begun to do enough. Andy wanted to rip Miranda's head off. Andy wanted to throw her cell phone at Miranda's head…the silverware even. So no! Andy hadn't even begun to do enough.

But of course, Andy knew she couldn't say all that so she just looked at Miranda…which Miranda grew tired of pretty damn quickly. "Are you just going to sit there and not speak? Am I to endure that too?" she asked, looking around to make sure no one was within earshot; but honest to God it wouldn't have mattered.

If someone was sitting three feet from them they still wouldn't have been overheard. The restaurant was so loud and back here at this corner table it was even louder; the voices echoing off the walls, bouncing right back to them.

"What is this supposed to be? You and me? Here?" Miranda asked again, her face turning redder by the second. "I went to the dry-cleaners, by the way. That was a delightful experiences I'll have you know…simply delightful." Miranda paused for a second to roughly fan her napkin over her lap. "And then," she continued, "And then I go to the townhouse and what do I find, Andrea? Post-it notes. Post-it notes all over the house. How childish!"

Andy couldn't help but roll her eyes. Childish? The only child here was Miranda. "I don't think it was childish at all," Andy finally spoke, determined not to falter. She'd done those things, she'd written those post-it notes, she'd told Roy to make Miranda get her own goddamn dry-cleaning so there was no way she could back out.

"Of course you don't," Miranda sneered.

For a while Andy returned Miranda's glare—much to Miranda's obvious disapproval because she actually frowned. Ironically enough Miranda wasn't much for frowning. She either grimaced, pursed her lips or just had a blank look on her face most of the time so this frowning thing was a real treat.

"Well, Miranda. Did you actually do those things? On the post-it notes?" Andy asked even though she knew the answer and tried her best to sound totally un-phased, not to mention haughty as hell. "Did you take Patricia out? Did you take the trash out? I see that you're here so you at least did one of them."

She could instantly tell that it was all Miranda could do not to get up and walk out. Her fists were actually balled up on the top of the table and she looked at Andy like she'd never seen her before. Like she was just a dumbass college graduate looking for a job that wore bad sweaters and horrible shoes… That is exactly how she looked at Andy. But Andy didn't shirk back; there was no point in shirking back. She had to remain strong. She had a job to do, there were things she wanted to accomplish and things she wanted to teach Miranda.

Mainly—that Andy wouldn't ever cheat on her. But on the whole Miranda needed to learn that there were limits to what Andy would take. And, okay…yes, there was a certain amount of bullshit you had to take to be with Miranda. That was a given. Andy knew that. But there was a limit and it wouldn't be a limit that Miranda could jump over or break either because if she thought picking up her own dry-cleaning, taking the dog out and taking the trash out were bad, then she better hang on to her ass.

If pushed, Andy could come up with a mile long list of things to do to Miranda that would be a hell of a lot worse than that but she prayed Miranda wouldn't try her. That would be devastating. This was devastating enough as it was. Wasn't it?

Miranda's shoulders finally relaxed and her jaw unlocked. She said, "Yes, Andrea, I did all those things and yes, I am here. Are you happy? I hope you are because after these stunts you've pulled—"

Oh, God…NO! Andy's brain refused to hear anymore. That was the wrong thing, the wrong thing to say! Andy saw red. Andy saw lights in the back of her eyes. This was like being accused of cheating all over again! "Wait…wait!" she pleaded in some sort of weird, desperate and angry way. "Before you really say something you'll regret…please just wait."

It didn't take a genius to know that Miranda was about to continue on but before she could, the waiter arrived with their food and Andy had never been so happy to see a pan-seared steak in her life. Before either of them could say or do something they both would regret, Andy started in on her food—with her fucked up fork—and Miranda, miraculously, did the same with a completely blank look on her face.

There was no telling how much time passed but Andy just kept eating, refusing to speak because right now nothing good would come of it. And the longer she thought about it, maybe this was just how fights with Miranda would have to be handled—with a careful silence. Maybe she shouldn't have done all those things after all. Maybe going for the first thing that came to mind—those wondrous post-it notes—had been the wrong way. The more she thought about it the more uneasy she became because, yeah, Miranda needed to learn a lesson or two but damn…pushing all of her buttons at once, when she was obviously already experiencing so much doubt and insecurity had just been downright mean.

A little while later, with equally heavy sighs, they both looked up from their plates and surprisingly said, "I'm sorry," at the exact same time. Immediately, they both turned red in the face and looked away from one another. As hard as it was, Andy didn't look back up. Bursting into tears right here in this restaurant really wasn't something she wanted to do but it was getting harder and harder by the second; her eyes were already watering. And then Miranda tipped the scale and those tears fell anyway.

"I'm afraid of losing you," she stated plainly, like it had been what she'd really wanted to say all along.

Andy looked up, tears streaming down her face for the hurt she felt over not only Miranda's accusations and resulting post-it note party, but for the simple confession from Miranda that had to have taken everything she had to admit aloud.

To say it was merely touching was like saying winning the lottery was really no big deal at all. Even before Andy fell in love with her, she knew Miranda wasn't the type to own up to her feelings. Sure, Miranda was one of the most brutally honest people you'd ever meet in your life, but she wasn't honest at all when it came to how she felt about things on a personal level much less what she was afraid of. For her to finally say this now, well it was like falling in love all over again. How could it be avoided?

"Well, I wasn't going anywhere, you know." Andy sniffled and tried to stop crying but the look on Miranda's face just about made it impossible. If there was any doubt—and there honestly never was—that Miranda was in love with her, then it was officially eradicated by her eyes. The look was soft, regretful and most of all...open. Right now, in one look, Miranda Priestly was completely open to Andy.

"I realize that," Miranda said. "I might have been severely late in doing so, but I realize it. And I apologize."

"Me too." Andy paused for a second to brush the tears away. She seriously had to get a grip since her seat just happened to be the one facing the sea of people who were all probably doing their best not to look but were also probably failing miserably. "The post-it notes," she shrugged and looked down at the table, "I really shouldn't have done that."

"It was…effective."

Andy looked up, surprised, of course. That was really the last thing she expected Miranda to say about it.

Miranda returned her earlier shrug. "Patricia, I'm sure, greatly appreciated it at least. And I'm sure Cara will be delighted to find herself with one less duty come Monday morning."

"Yeah, but I am sorry." Andy winced just trying to imagine what Miranda's expression might have been after seeing the first note. "That was kind of like pushing every button you've got."

"After what I did, I'd say you were allowed. But if it takes care of your tears, I accept your apology and I hope that you would do the same. I will not doubt you again, Andrea."

Miranda stopped then but Andy could tell she wasn't finished. Her jaw was set firmly and in a highly uncharacteristic move, Miranda placed both her elbows on the table and leaned forward. Andy held her breath.

"And I am especially sorry for the calendar. What I said before…about throwing our lives into it."

The way Miranda's voice had faltered in the middle only made Andy's tears return. That had hurt. All along, Andy thought the calendar idea was pretty brilliant since it ended up helping Andy get more time with Miranda that didn't involve Runway. Miranda had seemed to like it too so when she'd made that remark…yeah, it had kind of sucked, actually.

"Well, my apology certainly did not have the outcome I had planned for," Miranda said and before Andy could comprehend what was really happening, Miranda reached across the table and brushed tears away from one cheek and then the other. Holy shit…

Seeing the look of shock on Andy's face caused Miranda to pull her hand back and Andy regretted the reason for it. In spite of why, being here, out in the open with her was a good thing but, seriously, they couldn't…

"I know what you are thinking," Miranda said sternly with a raised eyebrow that got Andy's attention. "But I'm warning you, Andrea. An hour ago I thought I'd lost you. So be prepared. I'm about to be rather hopeless at holding back."

Well… "Okay," Andy laughed and felt a grin spread across her face. "You have to stop saying stuff like that if you don't want me to cry anymore."

"I'm serious." Miranda held her right hand out. It was nearest to the wall and honestly, who would see? Andy barely thought about it for another second before reaching out too. Their hands gently clasped in the middle and, Jesus…Andy started to cry again.

"Sorry…" She wiped her eyes quickly with her free hand, determined to pull herself together because when in the hell was the last time she'd cried like this? She honestly couldn't remember.

"Don't…" Miranda said softly, rubbing the top of Andy's hand with her thumb. "Everything will be alright." And just like that, Miranda pulled her hand away, reached down for her bag and totally changed the subject. "I was thinking on the way over, even though I was in quite a…mood, that we should change some things."

Change some things? Oh boy. "Like what?" Andy said hesitantly.

After Miranda got done digging through her bag she pulled out her tablet. Andy had gotten her a Nexus tablet for Christmas. Miranda basically ignored everybody for the rest of the day, playing an immediately downloaded solitaire game on the couch until her eyes just about started to bleed. It was the damnedest thing Andy had ever seen and she could hardly begin to complain about it because who would have ever guessed such a thing was even possible? Needless to say, it was a very merry but very quiet Christmas considering Caroline and Cassidy spent the day with their eyes glued to the TV watching a pile of new movies. Really, Andy wouldn't have had it any other way. She was just happy to have been invited.

"The calendar," Miranda finally said once she'd cleared a space on the table. Tapping the screen half a dozen times, she held up the tablet for Andy to see. Their shared Google calendar stared back at her. It was littered with blocks of color; pale green was the most prominent since that represented work hours but there were happy little blocks of light blue and dark purple spread throughout. Andy smiled and then stopped smiling in almost the very same second because there were blocks of neon pink there too. Neon pink...

"You should spend more time with the girls."

Andy blinked and looked again, feeling something settle inside. "I'd really like that," she said, still studying the calendar.

"As you can see," Miranda pointed to the first block, sounding like she was in a board meeting or something. "They're blank. I imagine the three of you can think of something. In the meantime, however, the days are at least sectioned off so you can plan accordingly." And then she just kept rambling on, basically explaining the rest of Andy's life to her like it was the most normal thing in the world. "You know next month," she slid her finger across the screen, making the next month appear, "I will be traveling for a day or two here and there. I thought perhaps, if you agree of course, I could bring it within myself to drag Emily along, that way you could stay home. With the girls? Instead of Cara?"

"Uh…okay." Andy shook her head, trying to ignore the fact that her feet were going numb from the realization that this was really happening.

"You're certain?" Miranda asked her.

Andy shook her head again rather vigorously. "Yeah…yes. Totally. This is just surprising. I'm sorry."

Miranda nodded then made another confession. She said, "I know, but you were right. You should spend more time with them. And I know you've been trying to tell me that… I might not have acted like I was paying attention at the time, but I was."

Well… Do not cry, Andy told herself and instead of opening her mouth to say something, she just smiled and Miranda took that as her cue to continue.

Looking down at the screen again, she quickly slid her finger across it a handful of times, meaning she was at least six months ahead. For a moment Miranda seemed to study the screen, even going so far as to bite her bottom lip. That was a classic and obviously involuntary move on her part, meaning Miranda was deep in contemplation. Finally she sighed like she always did once a decision had been made and held it up.

Being so far ahead, nothing was colored in here at all, or should have been. But there was color. One block, in the middle of the month, was colored in bright blue. And come to think of it, that same block of bright blue graced the previous month that Miranda had just shown her, Andy just hadn't been paying attention. And duh, that was technically their anniversary. Which meant Miranda kept track. Every single month she'd been keeping track and that was completely unexpected.

It wasn't left blank either. In bold letters it said: Move in. Move in… Wait a second…

"You are no doubt surprised." Miranda said with a look on her face that told Andy she was braced for the worst possible answer to her unspoken question.

"Yeah…" Andy really didn't know what to say. "You did all this on the way over?" She asked barely able to think straight, and her voice got a little high pitched there at the end.

"I did," Miranda said lightly. "And I now know that fiddling with this thing," she waved her hand over the tablet, "and walking at the same time is clearly not my specialty."

Andy took a deep breath and smiled, imagining Miranda tripping about five times on her way to the restaurant. Miranda didn't give her a chance to speak, merely going on, her words carrying a heavy tone of finality.

"I estimate that six months will provide you and the girls plenty of time to get better acquainted. That is needed for such a thing and…it will also provide us with the opportunity to…well, do a lot of things. Speaking purely for myself, I know I have work to do." Miranda stopped then and nodded her head like she was telling herself that as much as she was telling Andy. And she wasn't talking about Runway, Andy could tell so she nodded back, accepting Miranda's self-evaluation for the miracle that it was.

"I am also more than sure," Miranda continued, "that by then you and I will have become known to the rest of the world and things will have hopefully settled down when the date arrives. If they have not, of course, and you are uncomfortable with the idea, we can postpone. Although, I want to make it clear that I hope that is not the case. There is no limit to the lengths I am prepared to go to protect you and the children, Andrea. I want this very much…and under no circumstances will I allow the media to prevent me from living my life."

"Oh, I know." Andy shook her head, seriously feeling like she was in some sort of a stupor. "I know you will." And that was the absolute truth. There was no doubt in Andy's mind that New York City would soon be littered with the dead bodies of God only knows how many sneaky little bastards with cameras before it was all over with. Miranda was nothing if not lethal when it came to her kids being messed with and by the look on her face, that meant Andy was included in that equation now.

"I will." Miranda said again, snapping Andy from her thoughts.

"I know, Miranda." Andy repeated and this time she was the one to reach across the table. Taking Miranda's hand she said, "I know you will and I will totally be ready. Totally."

"As will I," she said, squeezing Andy's hand tightly. "And you will need to move on, of course."

Andy sank down in her chair a bit at this. She knew what Miranda was talking about and as much as she knew it was the truth, she dreaded the day.

"It will bring good things. Do not think it will not be difficult for me."

"Oh, I wasn't," Andy said quickly, straightening her posture. "I was just thinking about me, really. I'm sorry." Because yeah, this was going to suck for Miranda too. Slower coffee deliveries were likely to kill her.

"I will miss you," Miranda sighed and Andy instantly felt guilty. Here she'd been thinking about Miranda missing the efficiency but that wasn't it at all. Or at least not all of it.

"You're right though. It will bring good things." Andy smiled and hoped she sounded confident.

Miranda nodded and let go of Andy's hand, no doubt ready to move on to the next topic on her agenda—whatever that might be. And boy did she move on…

"There is something more..." Miranda reached down again for her handbag. She put the tablet away and whatever she pulled out of it, she kept under the table and Andy immediately found herself holding her breath again. "As you are aware, I have been holding many things back." Miranda looked up at her with eyes that were clearly watering. "While a complete turnaround might be slow in coming, there are two things that, as of tonight, I will refrain from withholding any longer."

Andy let go of that held breath only to hold in another, feeling her stomach tighten. Miranda reached across the table then and set something in the middle: a bag of Coconut M&M's. There was no doubt Andy's eyes bugged out of her head. And there was possibly a squeal released in there somewhere. To prevent another one from escaping, Andy clapped a hand over her mouth then Miranda did the first of many best things of the night. Or two of the best things…

She opened the bag and as she began to pour the contents into the middle of the table, Miranda said, "No more withholding chocolate. I promise." There was a small pause and then she said, "And while I'm sure you're aware…you are quite intelligent after all…I love you, Andrea. It's high time you heard that."

Well… Andy was stunned. So stunned she forgot how to talk for a whole minute. While Miranda waited—patiently thank God—she popped a couple of M&M's into her mouth like she'd been telling Andy she loved her for ages and it was no big deal at all that this was the first time. But Andy knew better. This was just Miranda's way of trying to look cool and evidently keep her emotions in check.

Two could certainly play at that game so just as coolly, Andy smiled at her. "I love you too," she said, popping a few M&M's into her mouth at the same time. "Thanks for the dessert."

Miranda smiled back and there was something incredibly mischievous in her eyes all the sudden. Apparently, since it was clear that all had been forgiven and their lives were now mapped out for the next six months at least, they were moving on other things. Andy'd seen that look before and just like always, it made her heart slow down and her skin immediately started to burn for Miranda's touch.

"Oh, this is more like a dessert appetizer, darling."

Appetizer… Swallowing hard Andy gave up on sounding cool. "I'm okay with that. Totally okay with that."

Miranda smirked and before popping a few more M&M's into her mouth she said, "I thought you might be."

All Andy could see was Miranda pushing her down into the bed hard after practically ripping off her clothes. One thing was sure, when Miranda was in a certain mood she could care less about being careful with Andy's clothes.

And it was pretty clear, by the look in her eye that Miranda was in that kind of a mood tonight.

Out of absolutely no where the waiter appeared and Miranda ordered coffee for them both. Andy barely heard her and couldn't offer up an objection; her mouth was tightly shut against a moan that was just waiting to escape.

"You're getting wet. Aren't you?"

Andy opened her eyes—she hadn't even realized they were closed—and inhaled sharply. Without thinking she said, "Don't. Please don't tease me right now."

Miranda smiled wickedly, of course, and took a sip of her coffee. "But darling, you are the one that arranged for my back to be turned to the crowd."

"I mean it, Miranda." Because seriously, when it suited her, Miranda had quite a way with words and could be doubly good at tormenting Andy at the most awful times yet in the most delicious way. And she was already wet; Miranda had guessed correctly, knowing Andy so well.

"Oh, I imagine you can handle it, darling. I imagine you can handle it quite well. Have some coffee why don't you."

"I hate you," Andy whined because not only was Miranda not shutting the fuck up, the look she was giving Andy… God, she was about to melt right into the chair. And hot coffee was not going to help. At all.

In between sips of coffee and handfuls of M&M's shared between them, Andy resigned herself to Miranda's mission to make her die right here in the restaurant. By the time it was over with, Andy was not only soaked and burning up, she was lightheaded and hardly breathing. Hearing about how much Miranda would 'thoroughly enjoy' fucking her, right here at the table, was definitely not helping. Beyond the bed, they weren't very adventurous when it came to places to have sex. They always went straight for the bed.

Well there was that one time Andy had delivered the book a few weeks ago, surprising the hell out of Miranda by dragging her to the floor in the study. What was usually just a kiss before leaving after a long day, turned out to be a tremendously great time without so much as a "Hi, how's your night been? By the way, I'm about to fuck you senseless right here on the carpet." Yeah. And now there was this image of Miranda bending her over this table right here in front of half the neighborhood and Andy knew without actually feeling it that she was squirming.

"Stop squirming." Miranda said as if on cue.

"Stop talking." Andy growled in a low voice.

"Whatever for? I simply find myself with an overly active imagination tonight. That's all. It's been over a week, darling."

Andy groaned then and rolled her eyes. Giving in completely—at least for a moment—she leaned across the table. "The table?" She asked, barely loud enough for Miranda to hear her. "Seriously?"

"Oh, yes. I'm quite serious." Miranda raised an eyebrow and regarded her thoughtfully. "Don't you think it would be lovely?" Miranda leaned in closer and in that low voice that made Andy nearly pass out, she said, "After all, the vision you create…on the bed…on your knees. I am more than confident, Andrea, that you would be equally stunning here. Bent over the table…"

Andy couldn't help it. She whimpered and banged her fist none too lightly on the table. Miranda actually jumped back. "We're going," Andy stated. That's right…stated and waved to the waiter for the check.

"In a hurry?" Miranda laughed. That's right…laughed. A full-bodied laugh. And loud.

Forget the check. Andy grabbed her wallet out of her bag and threw down more than enough cash to cover their meal. "Let's go."

So they went, and silently too because if Andy were to open her mouth it would only be to beg for something that she really couldn't have right here in the street. Obviously. Surely…

Before Andy's brain had the chance to completely derail, she felt Miranda grab her arm and pull hard. She said, "I see no reason to wait," and since Andy was in total agreement she stumbled along as Miranda dragged her down an alleyway between two shops not far from the restaurant.

Once they'd gone down the alley far enough to ensure that they wouldn't be seen, both their handbags landed on the concrete with a dull thud. Miranda, being so incredibly smart, already knew what Andy wanted and she shoved Andy, face first, against the wall.

Before leaving the townhouse, Andy changed into something more comfortable and her blouse was thin, bra even thinner and as if her nipples weren't already hard enough—having them rub against the brick. Well, Andy didn't mind when Miranda pressed her into her even harder with her body. No, she didn't mind a bit.

Miranda planted Andy's hands in place against the wall and without a word of warning, bit her hard on the neck then sucked gently, flicking her tongue against Andy's burning skin.

"Fuck…" Andy hissed and rolled her hips.

"Oh, I'm about to, darling. I can certainly tell that you're in need of it." Miranda whispered into her ear and Andy nearly screamed.

"I do," Andy panted and rolled her hips back hard against Miranda again. She stifled down another scream when Miranda moved her hands to Andy's breasts, working absolute magic with her fingers, pinching and rolling Andy's nipples in between them roughly. All Andy could do was grip the wall in whatever way possible and press back against Miranda in search of some kind of rhythm.

Continuing to alternate between biting, sucking and then gently kissing Andy's neck, Miranda matched her rhythm and moved a hand down to Andy's hip. "I missed you," she said, leaving Andy's neck for a moment and rubbing her face in Andy's hair. "So much…I missed you. And I love you like this, darling. When you just can't help yourself. Completely wild…"

Wild didn't even begin to cover what Andy was feeling. Before she could convey that though, Miranda's other hand disappeared from Andy's breast and went down to her hip and she felt those same strong hands find their way under Andy's skirt.

"Please…God, please, Miranda." Andy begged because even though she knew she didn't have too; it was a complete turn-on for them both, as was most things. Like what came out of Miranda's mouth next. Definitely a turn-on.

When Andy felt Miranda start to jerk her panties down, she rolled her hips back hard again, making Miranda moan. "Yes, that's it darling." Andy could barely hear her; they were both making too much noise. Miranda gently nudged Andy's feet apart and when she quite willingly spread them even further, Miranda approved—greatly. She bit Andy's earlobe and jerked her panties down the rest of the way until there was a ripping sound, making Andy whimper. Then she said, "You're such a good girl for me, Andrea."

And that did it. That whole 'good girl' routine, if it had been anybody else they'd have been knocked in the head or something because Andy wasn't anybody's 'good girl'…but damn-it. The first time Miranda had said it—which happened to be the first time they were together—it took Andy all of two seconds to become a whimpering, pleading mess. Not too long after that it was crystal clear that Miranda was ready, willing and definitely able to fuck Andy until she was out of her mind with just words. And Miranda knew damn good and well what that talent did to Andy. Oh, yes, Miranda knew plenty about it because one of her favorite things to do was to lay curled up against Andy's side, whispering all those words while she shamelessly touched herself with Miranda watching her every move. Yes…that was a favorite for them and had quickly earned Andy the title of 'Goddess'.

When Andy felt her skirt being shoved up and the cool night air hit her ass, she pressed her face into the wall and moaned, helpless to stop. It didn't sound like Miranda could help herself either. Especially when she slid a hand down in between Andy's thighs.

They both gasped and for a moment all movement stopped. Miranda buried her face in Andy's hair again and whispered, "I was right. You do need this, don't you?"

"I do," Andy shook her head, nearly in tears from needing Miranda to move her hand so badly. "I do need it. Please…Please Miranda. You know what I want…"

And God did Miranda know… Slowly, she started moving her whole hand—that was already thoroughly soaked—against Andy who nearly went blind from the sensation of it.

"You like this," Miranda said in her ear again, making Andy move faster because God, her words. "When I make you come first…before…" They moved harder against each other then; Andy was so unbelievably wet that there was hardly any friction. Miranda added more pressure. "You'll get so tight, wont you? When you come for me…"

"Yes," was all Andy could get out, afraid that saying more would only result in her screaming her head off.

"And then I'll go inside." Miranda gasped when Andy bent her knees a little and pushed hard against the heel of her palm and after that Miranda could barely come up with complete sentences. But, her words were no less effective on Andy. And she could feel Miranda grinding against her ass harder…yet another turn-on. "You'll be so good for me, darling," Miranda finally managed to say. "And I'll open you up so wide…"

That was it. Andy couldn't take anymore and she beat her fist against the wall, knowing what was coming next. Desperate now, Andy pushed upward, offering herself up for that explosive orgasm Miranda was always ever so capable of ripping out of her very soul. She ached for it. Begged and pleaded for it. And then it was finally there…almost sneaking up on her.

Immediately forgetting where they were, Andy started to scream. Miranda covered her mouth, all the while saying the sorts of things that just made her come again even harder. In the middle of it all she kept riding that strong hand fast and hard and finally, Miranda—like always—couldn't hold back anymore.

"Can you keep quiet?" She panted. "It's so beautiful…I have to see you. The way you move."

Andy could do nothing but shake her head over and over. Honestly, she wasn't sure if she really could be quiet but there was no way she was being denied this. There was no way she was denying Miranda her show either. She loved watching Andy lose all control and match each thrust of Miranda's hand with the slow but forceful rocking motion of her hips. After all, Miranda made a goddamn career out of looking and watching every single day…so of course she loved it. Of course…

Miranda moved her hand from Andy's mouth and placed it on her hip. Another round of desperate pleas escaped from Andy even though she knew exactly what she was about to get—whether she begged or not.

It was hard and fast and rough…exactly what she wanted. In between moaning, whimpering and losing her mind, she heard Miranda say a string of hardly-ever-uttered curse words and then something about the fact that her heart was about to explode…and that Andy was so tight and hot and being so good…

Almost blind to everything except the burning hot sensation of Miranda thoroughly fucking her, Andy barely felt her move back a step. She smiled though, somehow, and moved faster, giving Miranda her show.

"That's it, darling. That's what I want… I need to watch you fuck yourself on my fingers. I need to…"

Going weak in the knees with every word Miranda managed to say, Andy felt the inevitable buildup and knew she wouldn't be able to last much longer. That was probably just as well, considering where they were.

Andy buried her face in her arm and once Miranda started twisting her fingers over and over with each stroke, there was nothing to do but come. Feeling each time her body gripped Miranda's fingers that were now completely still inside her, Andy cried into her arm, tears streaming down her face once again because when Miranda held her tightly around the waist to keep her from falling, it finally hit her that the worry and desperation of wanting to have something lasting with Miranda was over. It was over. Everything was settled.

Andy would get closer to the girls. Andy would move in. Miranda would protect them with everything she had. Miranda wanted and needed her. Miranda needed them and Andy would do her damndest to make sure it stayed that way. Even if she had to have another horrible post-it note party one day down the line—because let's face it, Miranda was still going to be an idiot once in a while—she'd do it. She'd do anything to keep them together.

Especially since Miranda had just learned to share her M&M's.

Feeling Miranda slide out of her, brought Andy out of a blissful haze. She stayed still though, fully leaning against the wall for support and sighed, content and safe as Miranda smoothed down her skirt then wrapped both arms tight around her waist.

"I love you," she said, still breathing heavily. "I love you so much…so much, Miranda."

Miranda turned her around carefully, keeping a tight hold on her waist. "I know you do," she said, hugging Andy even tighter. "I know you do. And I love you. I will show you how much…just stay with me. Please, just stay..."

"Oh, Miranda…" Andy took her face in her hands and kissed her. This was the first kiss they'd shared since being on the couch earlier and it was deep and soft and made up for the few hours they'd spent apart tonight.

She wasn't quite sure how she managed it but finally Andy had enough strength to turn them both. The heat radiating from Miranda's body was like a furnace and the way she dug her nails into Andy's back…well that was all encouragement Andy needed.

Disregarding the fact that they were still in this dark alley, Andy managed to kick away her ripped panties that had fallen around one leg. Moving her hands down Miranda's waist and pulling away from their kiss, she said, "I know what you need, Miranda."

Even in the dark Andy could see Miranda's eyes close. She bit her lip then and faintly whispered, "Oh, I'm sure you do, Andrea."

"I do…" Andy replied and kissed Miranda again, slowly pulling her dress up to her hips inch by inch.

If Miranda had thought even for a second that Andy was done being a good girl…a goddess…in this alley, then she better hang on because Andy had barely begun to earn either title tonight.

Having kept Miranda's mouth occupied long enough to get her dress gathered up around her waist; Andy grabbed her hands and pulled them down until Miranda caught on. She held the dress up on her own and soon her panties were ripped down and kicked aside. By now Miranda was panting so hard, and Andy could practically hear her heart thundering in her chest…because this was one of Miranda's favorite things.

"You want this, Miranda?" Andy asked, already knowing the answer but damn-it—Andy could be pretty good at working Miranda up into an awfully desperate state with words too. Miranda was half out of her mind already and couldn't speak. All she could do was lean against the wall and attempt to breathe. "Do you want me to lick you?" Andy asked, reaching down, sliding her fingers so gently over Miranda. That always drove her crazy; when she wanted it so badly but Andy only teased and teased. "Do you want my tongue? Inside? Do you want me to be good?"

Miranda's head fell back against the wall. "Yes, yes…please, darling…please…"

The 'please' is what ended the torture. Andy dropped to her knees, thankful that it hadn't rained in ages so the ground was dry. But honestly, she would have done it regardless.

In fact, she'd rather let an entire truck load of M&M's go into the trash than miss out on what she was about to taste.