DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story would follow The Revenge of Six in my series of DWP fics.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To jah728[at]rocketmail.com
"Please, Miranda?" Andy drew on all of her experience and poured every bit of emotion she could into making her famous 'puppy dog' eyes. It was her 'go to' expression whenever she needed to get her way with Miranda. Although a sure thing, Andy was careful not to over use or abuse her power.
Miranda rolled her eyes at her wife's antics. "Andrea, you should rest." Turning away from Andy's persuasive expression, Miranda re-entered her walk-in closet. She listened for the faint grunt that signaled Andy rising from the end of the bed. Andy was within two weeks of her due date and everything she did required an extra effort.
With her back to the doorway, Miranda sorted through her Hermes scarves. She expected Andy to join her and continue the conversation. However, she didn't expect the solid bump to her back that nudged her into the open dresser drawer. The force wasn't enough to cause any harm but the assortment of scarves fluttered back into the drawer when Miranda dropped them to brace herself.
"Dammit!" Andy stamped her foot in frustration. "I'm sorry Miranda." Andy moved to Miranda's side and laid her head against her wife's shoulder. "I love this baby, but I will be so happy when it gets here. I miss hugging you," she whined.
Miranda slipped behind Andy and wrapped her arms around her wife and splayed one hand protectively over her protruding belly. "I'll take care of the hugging duties," she whispered in Andy's ear. Tightening her grip slightly, Miranda kissed behind Andy's ear. "Why do you want to accompany me to the shoot? We're using an empty warehouse on the waterfront. The only amenities will be a suspect restroom. You'll be much more comfortable here at home."
Andy sighed as she relaxed into Miranda's embrace. "I don't want to be alone. The girls have the field trip, you'll be at the shoot, and Cara doesn't start until after the baby arrives. Even the housekeeper is on vacation this week." Half turning in Miranda's arms, Andy brought her big, sad, brown eyes to bear.
"Fine," Miranda kissed Andy's nose as she released her to retrieve her phone from the bedroom nightstand. Miranda watched Andy waddle out of the closet as she made her call. "Roy, Andrea will be accompanying us to the shoot. Bring the stretch limo. After you pick us up, we can swing by Runway for Nigel, Serena, and Emily. That's all."
Roy brought the massive car to a smooth stop in front of the Elias-Clarke building. Before he had a chance to get out and open the rear passenger door Nigel had it and ushered Emily and Serena into the back.
Once the ladies were situated, Nigel ducked in and pulled the door closed behind him. Miranda was ensconced on the rear facing bench seat behind Roy. Andy was stretched out as much as her increased size would allow in the far corner. In order to converse without raising their voices Emily and Serena scooted closer to Andy's end of the L shaped seating. Nigel settled at the head of the long bench seat near Miranda. "I didn't realize we were going to the prom," he said as he took in the luxurious interior.
"Really, Nigel." Miranda took one last glance at her Blackberry before turning her attention to her friend and colleague. "Since Andrea is joining us, I merely made arrangements for her comfort." Staring intently down the interior at her wife, she raised her voice and added, "If Andrea gets tired she will be able to rest in the car while the rest of us continue on with the shoot." Miranda lifted an eyebrow and waited for her wife's response.
"Yes, Miranda." Andy sighed and rolled her eyes. She had practically sworn a blood oath earlier that she wouldn't over exert herself and at the slightest hint of fatigue she would return to the car and rest. If she behaved and wasn't too tired, Miranda promised to take her to lunch after the shoot wrapped up. Andy always looked forward to spending additional time with Miranda.
Emily glanced at her boss before sliding closer to her friend to whisper, "How did you get her to agree to let you come?"
Andy just tilted her head slightly, opened wide her large liquid brown eyes, and pressed her lips into a sad moue.
"Bloody hell," Emily muttered in disgust. "Miranda never stood a chance."
Miranda paused in her review of the photos Nigel brought with him to glare towards the rear of the car. "Emily if you have finished harassing my wife, I would like to hear your plans for this shoot."
While Miranda and company discussed Runway business, Andy investigated the various cubbies, drawers, and wet bar. Roy had made sure the small fridge was stocked with Pellegrino, fruit juice, and a couple bottles of decaffeinated iced tea. Andy almost squealed when she came across a bag of M&M's in one drawer. For many reasons, she didn't dare let Miranda know about the treat. For one, Roy would get in trouble for indulging Andy's guilty pleasure. For another, Miranda would confiscate the bag.
Andy knew Miranda loved her, but her obsession with Andy only eating a healthy diet was driving her mad. Andy lost most of her speed and agility during the last few months of pregnancy. This meant she was not able to sneak many of her favorite snacks. Andy knew she was truly screwed when Miranda dragged the stepstool into the dining room two weeks ago. Miranda had been on a mission and ferreted out all of her hidden treats. Andy was especially sorry when the bag of corn chips on top of the china cabinet went into the trash. She had been looking forward to finding a quiet corner in the basement and tearing into the bag. Adding insult to injury, Miranda even brainwashed the twins into ratting her out. Andy gently pushed the drawer closed and planned on 'resting' in the car many times during the shoot.
As far as Andy could tell, the shoot went well. For the most part, Miranda and Nigel stood off to one side observing and talking while Emily ran back and forth between the photographer and the models to get the exact shots she wanted. The idea for the shoot had been Emily's and Nigel let her run with it. Miranda was ostensibly there to supervise but in actuality she wanted to see how Emily handled the pressure.
During the shoot, Andy did her best to stay out of everyone's way. Serena had someone set up an extra director's chair to one side so that Andy could sit and observe the organized chaos between trips to the car to 'rest'. Of course, Andy's resting involved getting something to drink and a handful of M&Ms. After resting, she invariably had to use the restroom. Luckily it wasn't as suspect as Miranda had indicated. Someone made sure the facilities were clean and well stocked before the Runway crew arrived.
Finally, the shoot was completed and everyone started packing up the equipment, clothes, and accessories. Michael, one of the hair stylists working for Serena, finished packing his equipment in the beauty department van and assured Andy she could continue to sit in the director's chair Serena provided. He made arrangements to have someone grab it when they took out the clothes racks.
When Serena stopped by to check on Andy she was quite upset that Michael had already gone and forgotten a stack of towels and several capes. Shaking her head she gathered the armload of forgotten items and went to ask Miranda if she could put them in the limo's trunk.
As Andy watched the building slowly revert to an empty warehouse, she started feeling weird. She didn't feel sick, just on edge or twitchy. She had been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions off and on for the past month. When she called her doctor in a panic a week ago Dr. Veeder assured her that they were normal and she wasn't in labor yet. Today they were driving her crazy. Feeling a need to move around, Andy struggled to push herself out of the canvas chair. As soon as she was standing, a pain unlike anything she had ever felt before jolted through her. Andy practically doubled over. No, no, no. It's too early. No!
Nigel finished instructing his staff concerning the packing of the clothes and decided to wander over to see how Andy was doing. He rounded a screen that had been set up to allow the models a bit of privacy while changing when Andy, coming around from the opposite direction, almost ran him over. "Six, what's your hurry?" Nigel reached out to steady his friend.
Andy grabbed Nigel's arm, "Where's Miranda?"
Andy's panic stricken expression and iron grip terrified Nigel. "What's wrong?" When Andy groaned and bent over again, Nigel practically shrieked, "No, no! Stop that this instant. You cannot do this now."
Andy slowly straightened up and glared at her friend. "Miranda! NOW!"
Nigel turned and dashed towards the other side of the cavernous warehouse. Less than halfway to Miranda's last known position he found Emily. She took one look at Nigel's pale face and wild eyes and the euphoria she felt from completing her first shoot evaporated.
"Emily." Nigel slid to a stop and took a great gulp of air. "Miranda, where?"
Emily pointed towards the front of the building where Miranda was talking to Serena.
"Go help Six," Nigel said before speeding towards his boss.
Some of Nigel's panic infected Emily and she rushed to her friend. She found Andy panting heavily and holding her very pregnant belly. "No, no. You must stop this instant. You cannot do this now!" Emily grabbed Andy's arm and pulled her back to the recently vacated chair and tried to get her to sit down.
"Emily, I don't want to sit," Andy practically sobbed. Shaking herself loose from Emily she grabbed the chair arms to steady herself. Closing her eyes as she leaned over the chair Andy said in a small voice, "I need Miranda."
"I'm right here, darling." Miranda came up behind Andy and wrapped her arms around her wife.
Andy stood and covered Miranda's hands with her own as she leaned back. "Please don't tell me to stop. I know it's too early."
Miranda kissed Andy's shoulder. "Of course, I'm not going to tell you to stop your labor. It's not like there's an on/off button." Miranda turned her head and glared as Nigel and Emily looked embarrassed. "Come along, darling. Let's get you to the car."
Nigel and Emily flanked the couple as Miranda slowly escorted Andy across the building.
Emily glanced around at the few people still packing equipment and frowned. "Should I stay and make sure everything gets wrapped up properly?"
Miranda briefly took her eyes off Andy to look around the warehouse and considered the offer. "No, I know you or Nigel would be able to handle closing down the shoot. Let's see if someone else is capable of rising to the occasion." Since Nigel, Emily, and Serena were Andrea's friends, Miranda decided they may prove to be helpful and would accompany them to the hospital.
Nigel nodded his agreement. "I know just the person. I'll meet you at the car." Nigel sprinted towards one of his staff. By the time he had given the necessary instructions and caught up with Miranda they were ready to enter the limo.
Before Miranda could help her wife into the car, Andy stopped and grabbed Miranda's arm. "Miranda?" Andy stared down at the large wet spot on her skirt.
Miranda's eyes almost bugged out but she did her best to control her panic. "It's alright darling. Your water broke. Let's get in the car so that Roy can get us to the hospital."
Andy balked at entering the car. "I can't get in like this. I'll mess up the seats." Andy looked about ready to cry.
Miranda sighed and silently counted to ten. Just as she was about to gently but firmly urge Andrea to get in the damn car, Serena interrupted.
"Here, Andy, let me spread these on the seat." Serena climbed into the limo with the armload of towels and capes Michael had forgotten. She had just stowed them in the trunk when Miranda and Andy showed up. As soon as she saw Andy's dilemma she motioned for Roy to pop the trunk. Serena spread a couple of the capes on the rear facing seat and overlaid them with a layer of towels. The towels would absorb any moisture and the waterproof capes would protect the seat. Hopefully, these precautions would ease Andy's worries.
Serena stayed in the car to help guide Andy to her seat while Miranda followed. Emily ducked in and closed the door. When Andy looked around for Nigel, she saw him up front with Roy. Before she could tease her friend, another contraction hit and she gasped while leaning into Miranda.
Miranda wrapped her arm around Andy and gently coached her through the pain. When it was through she looked to Emily, ready to issue new orders. Before the words even formed she heard, "Hold for Miranda."
Emily passed her cell phone to her boss. "Dr. Veeder, Miranda."
Not missing a beat Miranda summarized Andy's condition and informed the doctor that they were currently on their way to the hospital. After a quiet 'that's all' she handed the phone back to Emily and turned her attention to comforting and reassuring her wife.
Serena began to unobtrusively time Andy's cries when they signaled another contraction. She chewed her lip and glanced nervously from her watch to the traffic outside the limo.
Emily sat ramrod straight watching Miranda's face. Miranda Priestly was as close to freaking out as she had ever seen. Although the indications were subtle, Emily Charlton had worked for the woman long enough to pick up signs so slight as to be hard to describe. There was the hint of something in Miranda's expression that belied the gentle attention to her wife. Emily recognized the undercurrent of fear and panic that Miranda was working hard to mask. If Andy hadn't been in labor, Emily knew she would have picked up on Miranda's mood and done something about it.
She remembered the first time she witnessed Miranda freak. Cassidy ran into someone during soccer practice and was bounced into one of the metal goal supports. The concussion was mild but Miranda did not care. The second assistant at that time was not fast enough with retrieving the required coat and bag and was unemployed in seconds. Luckily Roy was already downstairs waiting with the car due to a scheduled meeting with James Holt. James was postponed and Emily accompanied her boss to the emergency room.
Emily had always admired her boss, but that day admiration morphed to awe. She watched as the quietly panicked woman in the car became the dragon as soon as she charged through the emergency room doors. Doctors, nurses, and ambulatory patients cleared the way as she strode to her daughter's room. Emily did not relax or turn her back on Miranda until Andy showed up ten minutes later. Once again the transformation from dragon to wife and mother was startling in its suddenness. Emily was jerked from her memories by cursing from the front seat.
"Fuck!" Nigel leaned forward and stared out the front windshield.
"Nigel, language. Roy, where are we?" Miranda was surprised by Nigel's curse but she was more concerned with how long it was taking to get to the hospital.
"Screwed. Totally, royally screwed." Roy groaned when he thought of what Miranda would do to him.
Shocked by Roy's words, Miranda turned to upbraid the man. Her mouth snapped shut when she saw all of the traffic surrounding the limo at a dead stop. She felt her stomach drop when she saw Roy banging his head against the steering wheel.
"Miranda?" Andy tried to turn to see what was happening.
"Don't worry, darling. It's just a little traffic problem." Miranda kept her arm around Andy and held her in place.
"Miranda, we don't have time for traffic problems!" Andy cried and squeezed Miranda's hand as another contraction rolled over her.
For a brief moment, Miranda almost let her panic overwhelm her usual good sense. Taking a deep breath, she resumed coaching Andy through the pain and getting her to breathe. As soon as Andy was collapsed against her, Emily handed Miranda the phone again.
"Doctor, we're stuck in traffic." Miranda listened and looked over her shoulder at Roy. "Where are we exactly?" After she relayed the approximate address to the doctor, Miranda lost what little color she had. "How long? That's unacceptable! I don't care if the bomb squad is worried! My Andrea is having a baby!" Miranda listened for another minute before hanging up and tossing the phone towards Emily's seat. "FUCK!"
While Miranda was on the phone with the doctor, Serena pulled out a couple more capes and spread them on the floor. Kneeling in front of Andy she gently removed Andy's shoes and reached up to take her hand. "Emily, help me get Andy on the floor." Serena's calm confident expression kept Andy and Emily from questioning her direction.
However, Miranda was not so easily convinced. "What do you think you're doing? Andrea, get back up here this instant."
Andy stretched her legs out as she settled on the floor and leaned against the bench seat. "Miranda, I don't think we're going to make it to the hospital." She reached up and took Miranda's hand. "Hold me? Please?" This time there was no need for the puppy dog eyes as Miranda immediately slid off the seat and moved in behind Andy once she scooted forward a bit.
Miranda wrapped her arms around Andy and looked over her wife's shoulder to glare at Serena. "Do you know what you're doing?"
Serena motioned for Emily to pick up the phone and nodded as she dialed the doctor once more. "I assisted the midwife when my youngest brother was born. I am aware of the generalities." Before Miranda could do more than squeak in outrage, Serena continued. "I am sure the doctor can coach me on the specifics."
"Dr. Veeder, I'm putting you on speaker." Emily held the phone out towards Serena.
Serena knelt on the floor and pushed Andy's legs apart. "Doctor, my name is Serena. Will you help me help Andy?"
"Hello, Serena. I would love to help you both. Andy how are you doing?"
"I'm scared, doc." Andy closed her eyes and Miranda nuzzled behind her ear.
"That's perfectly understandable. Serena is going to take good care of you, okay?"
Andy started nodded before realizing there was no way for the doctor to see. "Okay."
"I've also sent a paramedic unit towards your location. But I'm not sure if they'll get there in time. As I told Miranda, the bomb squad is investigating a suspicious package about two blocks from your location. They've stopped all traffic until they determine it is safe."
Twin groans could be heard from the front seat and Emily bit back a few of her own curses.
Serena followed the doctor's instruction for positioning Andy. Before removing Andy's skirt, she asked Roy to retrieve the small blanket she saw in the trunk. Roy was out and back in record time and passed the blanket to Serena. Emily dug a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel out of her purse and passed it to Serena. Serena arranged the towels where she could get to them, along with a clean folded plastic bag she found in one of the cabinets.
Soon the contractions started coming closer and closer. The doctor instructed Serena on what she needed to do. Miranda coached Andy on her breathing and tried to keep her as relaxed as possible through the pain. Emily held the phone up so that Serena could hear the doctor and the doctor could hear her.
Andy had tears running down her face each time the pain hit. At one point Andy screamed when a particularly strong contraction hit.
In the front seat Nigel and Roy were sitting rigidly, staring straight ahead. Neither man wanted to witness what was happening in the back. Andy's scream made Nigel jump a foot. "Oh my God! What happened?"
"What the frak do you think happened?!" Andy shouted. "It's like that damn movie. I have an alien trying to get out of my body!"
Andy barely registered the twin thumps as the men bailed out of the car and slammed their doors. Emily watched them run to the front bumper, with their backs solidly to the front windshield.
The disembodied voice continued to walk Serena through each step of the birth. In turn, Serena described out loud every detail she was seeing so that the doctor, Andy, and Miranda knew exactly what was happening.
Oddly enough, Serena didn't feel at all nervous. She was surprised that her hands were steady and that her heart wasn't trying to beat its way out of her chest. It was only about ten years ago that she helped the midwife deliver her brother. Serena and her siblings were all born at home. The night her brother decided to arrive, a summer storm was wreaking havoc with the roads. The midwife was already at the house and the doctor was delayed in route. Serena handed the midwife what she needed and watched as her little brother came into the world.
"Doctor, I believe I see the top of the head." Serena bent closer to Andy and waited to catch the baby as it slid out.
"Andy, I need you to really push with the next contraction."
Andy pushed and sobbed. Miranda comforted and coached. Serena announced when the head was free. Andy yelled when the shoulders passed. Emily vowed to never get pregnant. And finally, the baby was delivered.
Serena held up the slippery, crying baby. "Congratulations, Andy, Miranda. You have a beautiful girl."
Andy wept and turned to see her wife wipe tears from her eyes. "A little girl, Miranda."
"A beautiful little girl, darling." Miranda kissed Andy's temple.
"Congratulations, Serena, you've delivered your first baby. If you ever become interested in a career change let me know."
"Thank you, doctor. I think I will stick to fashion and publishing. Thank you for helping me help Andy." Grabbing one of the towels, Serena gently wiped off the wailing baby.
In awe, Emily gazed lovingly at Serena. "Is there anything you can't do?"
Serena wrapped the baby in a clean towel as she thought. She smiled as she laid the child on Andy's belly. "Whistle," she said as she wiped her hands.
"What?" Emily tried to make sense of her girlfriend's words, but she was entranced by the sight of Andy gathering her child to her chest. Her brain almost short circuited when the formidable Dragon Lady cooed at the crying baby.
Serena grabbed another towel and plastic bag. "I cannot whistle. Andy, we are almost done."
"Emily," Andy groaned as she held her baby close, "you need to teach your girl to whistle." With one last push the afterbirth was delivered and Andy collapsed back into Miranda's arms.
As instructed by the doctor Serena left the cord intact and placed the afterbirth in a bag near Andy. Serena helped lower and straighten Andy's legs and covered her lower half with the throw.
Wrapped in Miranda's embrace, Andy counted all of the little fingers and toes. Whispering softly into Andy's ear, Miranda stroked the baby's tiny head while she was nestled in Andy's arms. Serena smiled at the tender scene. She hoped one day that she and Emily would have a similar experience. Although, she would prefer to deliver in a hospital.
"Do you have a name picked out?" Serena asked.
Miranda smiled as she stroked the baby's fine dark hair. "Catherine Elizabeth."
"A beautiful name for a beautiful child." Serena stiffly shifted off of her knees. Her body had an interesting assortment of aches and pains from the uncomfortable position she maintained during the birth. But there was no question that it was all worth it.
Emily picked up her phone and took the doctor off speaker. After a few words of thanks, she ended the call. "Bloody hell," muttered Emily, "now the cavalry shows up." She slipped pass Serena, who was sitting on the floor, and reached over to open the limo door.
A petite auburn haired EMT stuck her head inside. "Hello there, my name's Megan." Megan smiled when she saw the baby in Andy's arms. "Looks like you didn't need anyone's help."
Miranda glared at the newcomer. "On the contrary, we had all the help we could possibly need." Cupping the baby's head, Miranda looked Serena and Emily in the eye. "Thank you," she whispered.
Emily and Serena were both pleasantly shocked by the thanks. Serena bowed her head slightly as Emily got out a very shaky 'you're welcome.'
Not recognizing the moment for its historic context, the EMT smiled brightly. "Excellent. Do you mind if I come in and check on Mom and baby?" Megan waited respectfully for Miranda's nod and climbed in with her duffle bag.
Serena and Emily moved towards the rear of the interior to give the EMT room to check Andy and the baby. Miranda continued to hold her wife and watched every move Megan made. The dragon was ready to defend and protect what was hers.
Megan quickly checked Andy and then turned her attention to the baby. After tying off the umbilical cord, she handed a small pair of scissors to Miranda. Megan grinned at the charmed look on Miranda's face as she cut the cord.
Megan was finishing with the baby when traffic finally started to break up and move. As Roy and Nigel slipped back into the car, Megan asked Miranda if it would be okay for her to accompany them to the hospital. She had jogged two blocks through traffic to get from her ambulance to the stranded limo. When Miranda gave her permission, Megan pulled out her portable radio to let her partner know where to pick her up.
Roy breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled up to the hospital emergency entrance. This was one trip he would never forget. Before he could get out, Nigel waved him off and got the door for the ladies. Roy watched as the Runway contingent escorted a wheelchair bound Andy and baby inside with the little EMT following along behind. Relaxing for the first time today, Roy swore the afternoon felt like it was six weeks long. He found a suitable parking place for the massive car and settled in to wait. Glancing towards the back he groaned when he remembered the mess.
Dr. Veeder met Andy at the door and escorted her, the baby, and Miranda to one of the exam rooms. Nigel, Emily, and Serena found a quiet corner in the waiting room and collapsed.
Andy was relaxing in the hospital bed waiting for her baby to be brought back. The doctor said she needed to admit Andy and the baby for at least a few hours to make sure the both of them were alright. The baby had been taken away to be cleaned up and checked out.
Serena and Emily stayed long enough to see Andy settled before they said their goodbyes and headed back to Runway. They both had a lot of work to get caught up on.
Nigel decided to stick around for a while longer. He would wait until tomorrow to see how his protégé handled the wrap up at the warehouse.
"You did good, Six." Nigel leaned down and kissed Andy's cheek. Miranda was sitting next to Andy on the other side of the bed.
"Thanks, Nigel. Day didn't go exactly as planned, huh?" Andy shrugged as she looked up at her friend.
"Nope. I can't wait to see what the car service says when Roy takes the limo back." Nigel pulled a chair close to the side of the bed and sat down.
"Really, Nigel." Miranda sniffed and flicked her hand. "If they throw a fit, I'll just buy the car. Our family could use the room."
Nigel started laughing so hard he had to take off his glasses to wipe his eyes. Finally, catching his breath he smiled at his friend. "Miranda, you do realize that normal families buy minivans and not stretch limos, right?"
"Normal?" Miranda drawled. "Why would I want to be normal?"
"Why, indeed." Nigel shook his head.
After a long evening, Andy and Miranda finally slid into bed together. The baby was sleeping in the bassinet a few feet from the bed.
"I thought the twins were never going to wind down," Andy said as she stretched out in the luxurious bed.
"Well, they were very taken with their new little sister." Miranda pulled Andy on top of her into a full body hug.
"Oh, God, that feels good," Andy groaned. "Am I squishing you?"
"No," Miranda assured her wife. "You feel wonderful." Miranda ran her hand up and down Andy's back.
Andy pushed up and smiled down at Miranda. "Next time I'll know what labor is supposed to feel like."
Miranda eyes went wide as saucers before grabbing the sides of Andy's head and pulling her down into a bruising kiss.
When they finally broke for air they stared into the other's eyes.
"Next time?" Miranda raised one eyebrow as she gazed at her love.
"Well, I was thinking Catharine might need a sibling closer to her age to help her tease and pick on the twins." Andy carefully shifted to the side so that she was only draped over half of Miranda's body.
"Hmm," Miranda sighed. "Fine, but next time we are living at the hotel across from the hospital for the last month of your pregnancy."
"Yes, dear." Andy smiled as she drifted off to sleep.
Miranda kissed Andy's forehead and allowed herself to relax for the first time all day. She too had a smile on her face as she slipped into sleep.
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