DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To jah728[at]rocketmail.com

A Mother Knows
By jah728


Caroline bolted straight up in a cold sweat. Frantically looking around her bedroom she didn't see any of the terrors that chased her from her nightmare. "Damn it Cassidy," she muttered. "I am so going to kick your butt for picking that movie." She wiped some tears from her face and lay back down. She tried to relax and go back to sleep but every time she closed her eyes she remembered her dream. When Caroline opened her eyes, her active imagination suggested monsters in the shadows created by the nightlight. Getting more and more scared, she slipped out of bed and out of her room.

Her mom and Andy's room was just a couple doors down the hall. Caroline thought briefly of going into Cassidy's room but she blamed her for the nightmares. Caroline stood outside her mom's bedroom door listening. She quietly opened the door and peeked around the edge. She was able to make out the shape of her mom lying on her side facing the other way and Andy sleeping on her back. Caroline stood in the darkened doorway feeling silly for coming down here but she was too scared to go back to her own bed.

Andy didn't know what it was, but something woke her up. She fought the feeling of heaviness and cracked open one eye. She could feel Miranda on the other side of the bed and could hear normal breathing. Andy looked towards the bedroom door and saw that it was half open. With the dim light from the hall she could tell that one of the twins was hanging onto the knob. She lifted the blanket and motioned for the girl to join her.

In a flash, Caroline ran across the room and jumped into bed. She wrapped herself around Andy and buried her face in her shoulder. Andy hugged the girl and kissed the top of her head.

Just as Andy was about to drift back to sleep, she heard the bedroom door creak again. The other twin was cautiously edging into the room. Andy motioned to the other side of the bed and the little girl scampered over and climbed in next to her mom.

"What's going on," Miranda whispered in a sleep-roughened voice.

"I have Caroline and you have Cassidy."

"Oh," Miranda sighed as she cuddled her daughter. "No more zombie movies. Ever."

"Fine with me." Andy relaxed back into sleep.

Caroline was about to drift off when she had a thought. "How did Andy know it was me?" Before she could think about it any further, sleep claimed her.

The next morning Caroline woke up alone in the big bed. She used her mom's bathroom before going back to her room for a robe and making her way downstairs. When she slipped into the kitchen, she saw Cassidy eating a bowl of cereal, her mom reading a newspaper, and Andy drinking coffee while doing the crossword puzzle. Caroline got a bowl of her favorite cereal and took the seat next to Andy. As she ate she would glance at Andy.

After a while, Andy put her cup and pencil down. "What's up, Caroline?"

"How did you know it was me last night?"

"What?" Andy glanced at Miranda but saw that she was confused too. "What do you mean, honey?"

"Last night in the dark. You knew it was me. I could hardly see you and Mom, but you knew it was me."

"Well, I, ahh, I just knew, sweetie," Andy looked back at Miranda with an expression that said "Help!"

"But how, Andy? How could you tell?" Caroline was genuinely curious how anyone other than her mom and dad could tell her and her sister apart.

"Really, Caroline." Miranda removed her glasses and folded her paper. "A mother knows her own child."

"Exactly," Andy said with relief.

"You think of us as your own kids?"

"Well, duh," Cassidy interjected.

"Cassidy, hush." Andy moved from her chair to kneel next to Caroline. "Caroline, I am sorry you didn't realize how I felt about you two. I love you and your sister very, very much."

"But you and Mom want to have baby." Caroline could feel herself tearing up. She didn't want to cry. She didn't want her mom and Andy to know how upset she was about their plans.

"Honey, just because your mom and I talked about having a baby, doesn't mean I love you any less." Andy reached up and stroked Caroline's arm.

"Jennifer at school said if you had a baby, Cassidy and I wouldn't be important anymore." Caroline could feel a tear start down her cheek.

"Oh, honey. That's not true." Andy stood and picked up Caroline. She sat down cuddling the upset girl. "What did I tell you about Jennifer?"

"That she's full of crap," Caroline hiccupped.

"Andrea, really. Caroline, language." Miranda rolled her eyes at the two of them while Cassidy giggled.

"Oops," Andy grinned as she hugged Caroline. "My point being, Jennifer does not know what she is talking about." Andy pulled back and looked into the girl's eyes. "You know your mom loves you and I love you." Andy paused to think about her words. "A person can love more than one, two, or three people. Your mom and I have more than enough room in our heart to love another child and you and your sister. We're not replacing you munchkins, we're only adding to our family. Okay?"

Caroline nodded and put her head back down on Andy's shoulder. She felt silly for letting Jennifer bother her.

Andy put her cheek on Caroline's head and continued to cuddle. "I'm guessing your nightmare last wasn't just about zombies then. Was it?"

"No," Caroline whispered.

"But that movie you guys watched at Marilyn's house didn't help."

"Guess not."

"So next time your mom says you can't watch some movie, you're not going to watch it at a friend's house are you."

"No, Andy." Caroline felt like crying again. It wasn't her fault they watched the movie. It was Cassidy's idea. She said it was supposed to be a funny movie.

"Andy, it was my idea." Cassidy felt bad that Caroline had nightmares too because of the dumb movie. "Caroline only watched it because I wanted to."

"Cassidy, come here," Miranda pulled her daughter into her lap. "When I say no to a movie it's for a good reason." Miranda hugged the girl. "If I'm not familiar with the movie, I check the ratings and the reviews. Then I make my decision. Going to a friend's house to watch a movie I vetoed is wrong."

"Yes, Mom." Cassidy leaned into her mother, sorry she had ever heard of the movie.

Andy and Miranda looked at each other over the twins' heads. Andy raised one eyebrow and Miranda nodded.

"Okay, this is what we're going to do." Andy sat Caroline up on her lap and looked at her and Cassidy. "You two are going to help me weed the garden and clean up the backyard. Go throw some clothes on now. We'll shower after we're done. Then you are going to help with the laundry. And then, we'll go out for lunch. Okay?" Andy tickled Caroline and set her on feet.

"Okay, Andy." Caroline was relieved they weren't in bigger trouble.

"Go on, Cassidy." Miranda helped Cassidy off her lap and with a gentle pat shoed her on her way.

Andy and Miranda listened as the twins thundered up the stairs. "You're very good with them." Miranda stood up to get a fresh cup of coffee.

"Really?" Andy started clearing the dishes and picking up the newspaper. "I was totally winging it."

"Yes, welcome to parenthood, land of winging it."

"Wow. I was so sure there was a handbook or something." Andy grinned as she took Miranda's coffee cup out of her hand and set it on the counter.

"No handbook. No syllabus. No blueprints." Miranda wound her arms around Andy's neck. "You sure you want to do this?"

"This, as is kissing you?" Andy gently kissed Miranda. "Or this, as in having a baby with you," she whispered.

"Baby, silly. Kissing is always appreciated." Miranda tilted her head and kissed Andy again.

When they separated, Andy reached up and cupped Miranda's cheek. "I really want to try. How about you? Are you still sure you want to put up with me going hormonal at odd times and then adding a baby to our lives?"

Miranda took Andy's hand and kissed the palm. "I would love to have a little boy or girl with big brown eyes just like you."

"Well, I'm partial to blue myself. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. We have an appointment Monday afternoon."

"I'll have Rachel clear my schedule." Miranda paused and heard the girls racing back down the stairs. "It sounds like your minions are ready."

"I was going to make a comment about the pitter patter of little feet. But I'm not sure we'd hear it over the thundering herd."

"Oh, Andrea, we would hear. After all, a mother knows."

The End

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