DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first DWP fic. It is unbeta'd so if you guys find any grammatical errors and stuff, please let me know so that I do not further embarrass myself. Hope you guys enjoy this, and feedback is always appreciated (especially of the constructive kind).
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Miranda knows a ridiculous amount of details regarding her first assistant Andrea Sachs. With little effort, she can tell you that Andrea shines when she's tackling a challenge, that she loves grilled cheese sandwiches (but only with cheddar), and arctic blue (not Cerulean as most people assume) is her favorite color. She can tell you these things, not because she and Andrea are close, but because she is inexplicably attuned to all that is Andrea Sachs.
Her mere presence lightens Miranda's day and gives Miranda joy and hope that, today, she will not be disappointed by Runway's degenerative incompetency. It is unsettling
worrying because the girl's absence elicits an equally strong reaction verging on depression.
It has been nearly a year since Andrea came back to Runway, but Miranda still refuses to think too deeply on the catastrophe that was Paris. Her world had felt bereft in those following months, and even then, she'd knownknown that she was lost without Andrea to temper her against her own disappointments.
In a wasteland of bland and imperfect Emilys, Andrea is a bright and vivacious flower.
Yet still, Miranda had triedeven went so far as to write the girl a recommendation for that silly little newspaper rag. It was all to no avail though. She'd rationalized, at the time, that blacklisting Andrea meant she cared, and Miranda hadn't wanted to care; This way, this way, Miranda could at least forget. She'd wanted desperately to forget.
What she wanted and what she needed, however, seem to have little to do with one another.
When Andrea had turned up on her doorstep six months later with a cup of scalding Starbucks coffee and an anxious expression, Miranda hadn't said a word. She'd simply taken the coffee and accepted the girl.
Andrea is leaving her again. Miranda can tell. It has been painfully obvious since the moment Andrea walked through those glass office doors and handed her the most wonderfully scalding coffee she's ever tasted. Today will be filled with immeasurable disappointmentsMiranda can tell because she knows a ridiculous amount of details regarding Andrea Sachs.
Andrea's nervous energy roils through the office for most of the day, and Miranda tries valiantly to ignore her hypersensitive assistant. She chooses, instead, to contemplate the layouts in a futile effort to stave off the inevitable confrontation. It is not to be. Toward the end of the day, just as Miranda has finished rattling off her latest list of errands, Andrea finds the courage to speak.
"Um Miranda?" says Andrea in her timid, earnest way. "Can we talk?"
Miranda does not wish to have this conversation, but she acquiesces anyways. Sitting in her leather seat, she endures as Andrea fidgets and babbles in a way she hasn't seen since the girl's first months at Runway. It is a painful reminder of all that has been, and all that will never be. The gist of Andrea's monologue, it seems, consists of her having completed her tenure at Runway and a request to move on to bigger and better things. More specifically to Rolling Stone, where Will Dana, the managing editor, has offered Andrea a position. Miranda makes a mental note to have Will fired for poaching from her office.
"I'm really grateful for everything I've learned," says Andrea, still fidgeting,
"and I'll stay for as long as it takes to replace me "
Miranda keeps her face carefully blank though part of her wants to laugh hysterically at the idea.
How about forever Andrea? Would you stay forever? Because that is how long it would take to replace you.
"but I need to know" Andrea pauses, then pushes on with renewed determination. "I need to know if you're going to stop me."
There. Therein lies the rub doesn't it? Is she going to stop Andrea? All it would take. All it would take would be one phone call. Then she could have Andrea againat least until the next job came. And the next, and the next
Want and Need.
Miranda wants to rage against Andrea's perceived disloyalty. She wants to deny this remarkably reasonable request for clemency. She wants to tear Andrea apart and stitch her back together so that Andrea can never contemplate leaving ever again.
She does none of these things. She tells Andrea to officially type up her two weeks' notice, congratulates her on the new position and reminds her to inform the other Emily that she'd been promoted. She is, in fact, remarkably cordial to the person she has now just realized, is breaking her heart.
When Andrea finally leaves, the sound of the closing door is shockingly loud.
Whole minutes pass in contemplation before Miranda deigns to move. Everyone has gone home now, and so should she. There, at least, she will feel free to disassemble.
She is putting away the art department's latest sketchbooks when she hears the door click open. She knows who it is without even turning. Andrea always smells like cucumbers and Jasmine blooming on a warm summer night.
"Why didn't you ask me why I was leaving?" Andrea asks, leaning against the filing cabinet, inches from Miranda's side. Her voice is calm and curious without a hint of the nerves she'd displayed earlier. The proximity makes Miranda ache, and Miranda resents this guileless dangling of forbidden fruit.
"Why ever did you think I would care?" she replies before she can properly think. "You are only an employee. They leave. That is the way of things."
Andrea's loud intake of breath sounds harsh in the empty air, and her soft "I see," is laced with such pain that Miranda instantly regrets her callousness.
She wishes she could say I'm Sorry, but the words die in her throat. Instead, she sighs and says, "It is no secret why people leave me Andrea. I am not unaware of my flaws. Can you truly blame me for sparing myself the vitriol of a diatribe?"
"No," Andrea says, "I suppose not. But did you really think I would do that? To you?"
"Well, it doesn't really matter anymore." Miranda shoves the last of the sketches into the cabinet with a little more force than necessary, before turning away from Andrea towards the door. She's two steps out before she feels Andrea's grip on her arm.
"Yes. It does," Andrea says, spinning her back around. Their lips hover just above one another's and she is fascinated by the sight of their harsh breaths mingling in the heatless office. "It does because I'm in love with you. I'm leaving because I'm in love with my boss."
"Whwhat?!" Incomprehension and confusion fill her voice, but underneath it all is more incomprehension and confusion. "What?" She is beginning to feel like a parrot.
Miranda is spared the task of forming words when Andrea's lips brush softly across her own. The kiss is brief, but Miranda feels the lightning shock of it down to her very soul. For a second, the world goes still, and Miranda is afraid to breathe for fear that she had misunderstood, that Andrea isn't really saying what she desperately wishes to be true.
"You're in love with me." Miranda tosses it out there like a statement, like a foregone conclusion, because she isn't sure what she will do if Andrea takes it all back now.
Andrea looks grim when she replies. "Yes."
Silence stretches for a minute or two before Miranda can give voice to her response.
And she does see. The tenderness and fear that shine in Andrea's eyes now have always been there. They were there, hovering over a hot cup of coffee whenever deadlines ran late; there, when she had a hard time with the twins; there, when Stephen had decided he didn't want her anymore.
Andrea had always been there. Always. And Miranda can no longer contemplate the day when Andrea will be absent. If she allows Andrea to walk away, it will be worse than Paris. So much worse. The thought compels her to grasp a fistful of Andrea's shirt and pull the other woman in for another desperate, passionate kiss.
Andrea's lips are pillow-soft against her own, and she kisses Miranda back with a devotion and tenderness Miranda has never experienced before. It is so very different from the mauling aggressiveness she has gotten used to from her ex-husbands. This is sweet, and tender and sweepingly powerful. Groaning, Miranda feels Andrea's hip press against her pelvis even as she swirls her tongue past Andrea's lips, ravishing the other woman's mouth. Andrea tastes like strawberries and sunshine, and Miranda acknowledges that she is hopelessly addicted.
They almost get caught when the night janitor comes in to empty out the trashcans. Only Miranda's acerbic tone has him avoiding her office just in time. The juvenility of their behavior astounds her.
"I haven't had to sneak around since I was sixteen," comments Miranda wryly as they right each others' clothing.
"Me either," says Andrea, and Miranda refrains from pointing out the difference of decades in their teenage experiences.
"So," Andrea says when they both look halfway presentable.
"So," echoes Miranda with a raised eyebrow. They stare at each other like two gunmen at a Mexican showdown before Miranda fires off the first shot.
"It appears we have a mutual attraction that we both wish to explore." she says, and Andrea nods. "As such, I believe a date is in order. Be at my house at eight o clock sharp tomorrow night, and pick a restaurant that isn't gruesome. Bring flowers. No wine. That's all."
With that, Miranda picks up her coat and steps into the elevator, leaving an open mouthed Andrea behind. As the doors close, Miranda cannot help the satisfied smirk that steals across her face.
Yes, Andrea, you will be mine.
After all, what is the point in knowing a ridiculous amount of details regarding one's former assistant if you aren't going to use it?
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