DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Inspiration: I saw a clip of this in my head a few days ago and was saving it for laterBUT last night I was really having a major fit over something else I was working on and emailed my Peet to bitch and complain. After I got done bitching I thought about this idea and I thought what the hellif you can't figure out what to say on the other one, try this. Eight pages were done in no time. Enjoy. Editor: Peetsden (from LJ)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To brithna[at]gmail.com
Andy was typing furiously trying to finish the last bit of an article before she had to run out the door to accompany Doug on a gay-boy-pity-party club outing. His latest and greatest just dumped him and she volunteered to tag along with him mostly to ensure he didn't get too drunk or do anything severely stupid.
Satisfied with the rough draft, she closed her laptop and stretched, looking around the room. She loved this room. The dark wood paneling, the low lights, the awesome desk. Aside from the bed that took up too much room this was the best office ever. Oh, well. There was no time to dwell on redecorating right now. She needed to be out of the house before Nigel arrived.
Tonight was the night. Miranda was going to break the news to him since they both agreed that it was time to start letting people in. Once the press found out, they were likely to be in for it for quite a while and Nigel of all people deserved to hear this news first hand.
Andy checked herself over one last time in the hallway mirror and ran upstairs to Miranda's office.
"Hey, honey I have to go. Nigel will be here any minute and Doug has probably already started without me."
Miranda's sad face was too cute for words. "Alright, if you must. Please promise me that you will be careful darling. I know Douglas is in need of your services, but please just be careful."
"I'll be careful I promise. Honestly, I'm only planning to be gone a few hours. Hopefully after a few drinks I can persuade him to go home."
Andy walked around the desk and sat down in Miranda's lap, wrapping her arms around Miranda's neck. "I love you. Good luck tonight."
Miranda kissed her lightly "Thank you darling, I'll need it."
"I think he'll take the news better than you expect." Andy placed soft kisses down Miranda's neck.
"Andrea, you need to stop doing that or Douglas will be without a date."
"Hm. You're right. I'll just have to pick this up where I left off at a later time."
Miranda cupped her chin and kissed her deeply but pulled away before Andy could properly respond with a kiss that would likely end with them both naked on the couch. "Yes you will. Now go. Nigel will be here any second and I can't have you here letting the cat out of the bag before I've had a chance to at least soften the news with wine."
Andy climbed off of her and kissed the top of her head. "Okay. I'll call you when I'm on my way home."
"Have fun. Give Douglas my regards."
"I will. Love ya."
Miranda listened to the front door close and let her head drop back to look at the ceiling. "Please let this go well." Not only was Miranda about to tell Nigel that she and Andrea were seeing each other, she had to tell him they were living with each other. He was probably going to pass out, especially since it had been going on for a full eight months. It was a pure miracle that no one had found out yet. Perhaps the press was a little blind after all.
According to them, their coming out would be nothing spectacular. No press conferences for the masses or full page ads. They just planned on doing things out in the open and letting the press figure things out for themselves. Miranda refused to live her life behind a closed door any longer and prayed the press would lose interest and move on to bigger and better things quickly.
The door bell rang and Patricia's internal alarm system went off. No matter how many hundreds of dollars Miranda spent on training for that horse of a dog, she still barked every time someone so much as touched the door bell.
Miranda made her way downstairs and snapped her finger to shut off the alarm system which caused Patricia to retreat to the living room where she would no doubt lay on a couch that she was clearly banned from. So be it. It was a pointless battle.
Miranda opened the door and ushered Nigel in out of the cold.
"Nigel, darling " She treated him to her standard air kiss and he returned the gesture.
"Miranda, I would say it's good to see you, but I only last saw you a few short hours ago so I'll say it's good to see you here at home."
"That seems to fit the situation. Put your coat away and let's go into the kitchen. I hope you don't mind eating in there. I'm afraid the dining room is a bit of a mess at the moment."
"Yes. Currently there is a model of The Globe Theater being built on my dining room table. The girls now owe me several thousands of dollars because that glue is never going to come up." Miranda sighed and brought Nigel into the kitchen. She considered herself lucky that the whole theater wasn't permanently stuck to the table.
"You should hire them to work in the art department. God knows we need some fresh blood."
Miranda would sooner see her daughters work at Home Depot before she allowed them to enter into the fashion business. Which was shocking, but true. She wanted her daughters to have a different life in spite of all the glamour and money that came with this profession. Miranda would not wish her job on anyone. Especially her daughters. "Ah, I do believe they have other aspirations. Such is life. But you're right; we do need some fresh blood. Why don't you start looking into that tomorrow?"
"I do believe I will. What's on the menu, I'm starved. I had lunch with James this afternoon and could hardly eat a thing. He would not shut up long enough for me to chew."
Miranda poured them both some wine and started plating the food. Andrea and the girls had cooked a feast. "We have salmon string beans and a few other things. The cook outdid her self." Indeed.
"It looks wonderful. Thank you for having me. I must say I was a bit surprised. It's been forever since you have invited me."
Miranda took her plate to the table "Yes I know, darling. We shall have to correct that in the future, but tonight I wanted to discuss a few things with you."
"Well do go on. I have a feeling this had nothing to do with Runway. Am I correct?"
Miranda tried not to choke on her salmon. She wanted to get a little further into the meal before they spoke but it was too late. If she stalled now he would see right through it. "Yes in a way. It might have a small amount to do with Runway but for the most part you are correct in your observation."
"Ah, well please continue. This salmon is delicious by the way."
"I will be sure to tell the cook you gave it a favorable review." Andrea would be thrilled. She always stressed out about cooking salmon. Suddenly, Miranda was feeling a hint of stage fright. "Well frankly darling I'm not quite sure how to break this news to you and I am certainly unsure of how you will take this "
Nigel instantly got a worried look on his face like she was about to tell him something positively dreadful. "Oh God, Miranda you're not sick are you? It's not the girls is it?"
"No, no, nothing of the sort. It is of a rather personal nature but nothing that I myself consider to be bad." Her choice of words there was deplorable but Miranda really couldn't think of anything else to say. "Nigel I wanted to tell you that I've been seeing someone."
Nigel drew in a deep, surprised breath "What? I had no idea! My goodness "
"Well who is it? I cannot believe you've been keeping this a secret from me. I thought we were better friends than that." He laughed it off playfully but she could tell he was a bit mystified as to why she had kept it from him.
"I only kept it from you because it was necessary. It wasn't something I was prepared to let people know about until now."
"Miranda you might as well spill it before I die right here at the table, and I'd rather not die since this is such wonderful meal."
Miranda shifted in her seat a little and played with her napkin. She regarded him hesitantly then, as Nigel has so eloquently put it, spilled the beans. "Nigel, I've been seeing Andrea. You remember her of course?"
Nigel's face went blank and he blindly reached for the wine bottle that was between them. Miranda reached it first and poured more wine for him. "Nigel, did you hear me darling? I am seeing Andrea Sachs." Miranda looked over at the kitchen counter to make sure the phone was nearby in case she needed to call the paramedics.
"You're joking. You have to be."
"No. I am not joking. I would never joke about something like this."
"I can't even you? And Andy? My Six?"
"Miranda are you have you gone insane? The press "
"Nigel I care nothing for the press. They can go to hell for all I care. I'm telling you now so you hear it from me first. I owe you that."
"You mean you're coming out? Now? But the girls "
"The girls have known all along. They love her. And so do I." Might as well clarify that now so there is no doubt.
Nigel's eyes almost popped out of his skull. "You're serious about this aren't you? My God."
"Yes Nigel, I am serious about this."
"Irv will make a play against you. This will weaken you. The allegations that will come out "
"Irv cannot touch me. I have already seen to that. Who I am personally involved with has no bearing on the magazine and frankly is none of his business. As for the allegations, what are you referring too?"
"Miranda this is going to be big. I mean my God, this has been going on for how long? Since she was working for you? I mean honestly that wouldn't surprise me at all after hearing this revelation. You always did have your eye on the girl."
Yes she had. Miranda couldn't keep her eyes off Andrea back then and was even worse off now. "No, Nigel this was not going on when she worked for Runway." Why he even thought that was beyond her. Of all the things to assume.
"I don't believe you."
Now it was Miranda's turn to feel her eye balls dislodging themselves from their sockets. "Excuse me? Did I hear you correctly? You don't believe me?"
"No. No I do not. Is that why she left? Because you finally got tired of having an office affair? Is this the reason Stephen left?"
"Now it is my turn to not believe. Are you honestly asking me these questions in my own home? How dare you?" To say she was pissed was a bit of an understatement.
"You brought me here to tell me this so you should have been prepared for my questions. I've known you for over twenty years and this is the most shocking thing I have ever heard come out of your mouth!"
Miranda pushed her plate away and threw her napkin on the table. She had clearly lost her appetite. "Nigel this was not going on then. Either believe that or you may leave."
"How long then? Tell me."
"A long time. Around eight months she's been living here for over two."
"What? She's been living here and no one has found out yet?"
"Calm down and please stop shouting. Yes, she's been living here and no, no one has found out. We have not taken out an advertisement to make the general populace aware as you can see."
"Hm, yes I suppose so. I don't even know what to say Miranda. How did all this start? When did you know?"
"Know what?" Miranda got up from the table and started making coffee.
"Know when you had feelings for her."
"A lot longer than eight months."
Why did he need to know so badly? It wasn't even any of his business but she was going to tell him anyway. It almost made her feel good to know that at least one person in the world would know and hopefully feel happy for her. "Almost two years ago." Miranda poured the coffee and raided the refrigerator for cream. What a mess. Could no one cook in this house without destroying the refrigerator? At least the end results were well worth it. When she brought everything to the table Nigel still looked like he was trying to solve a math problem.
"That was that was three months before the Paris trip from hell! That was before your divorce before everything."
"Yes it was Nigel. But again let me assure you, nothing happened until eight months ago. Although, I admit that I was never mind. Have some coffee."
"No way, what were you about to say? Out with it." He waved his spoon at her.
Damn it. Why did she even have to go there? No one knew this. Not even Andrea. "I have no idea why I'm about to tell you this, but I've been faithful to her since then."
Nigel's face took on a puzzled look. "I'm not reading you clearly, darling. I mean I would certainly hope you've been faithful to her for these past eight months. I've certainly never known you to cheat."
"No you're missing the point. I have been faithful to her even back then. Two years ago. As soon as I knew as soon as I knew how I felt, I was hers from that moment on. I can't explain it any better other than to say that I knew in my heart that even if she never felt the same way I couldn't be with anyone else. I was already lost to her."
"Miranda that's probably the most romantic thing I've ever heard."
"Well be that as it may, it was torture. I was still married, remember?"
"Oh God. How did you when you say you were faithful then "
"Yes, you're on the right track now. When I realized my feelings for her, I was not intimate with Stephen again. Ever. The first time I tried all I could think about her and I instantly felt like I was cheating. I just couldn't "
"This is why you ask me to escort you to all the Gala's and parties and such, isn't it?"
"Yes. Yes it is. I couldn't date anyone, not even just for an event. I tried that once too and it was nearly killed me."
Before Nigel could reply, the phone rang and Miranda hurried to answer it. One look at the caller id and she instantly worried. It was Andrea's cell phone and it was much too early for her to be coming home. Something had to be wrong.
"Hello, darling are you alright?"
"Hey, wow so you said darling either you're in another room or you told him."
"Andrea, answer me."
"Oh, yes, yes I'm fine. Sorry. I didn't mean to worry you but I wanted to see how things were going because I am dumping Doug before he dumps me. It looks like he's found a boy toy for the night and I'm a third wheel. I'm stopping at a book store down the street from the club first, but I wanted to know when it would be safe for me to come home."
"Now come home now. It's cold out and I would like you to be home before it starts snowing. Of course you can, do what you like, but my wish is for you to be home. Now."
"Take me to the bookstore tomorrow?"
"Darling, I will take you to every single bookstore in this city tomorrow. Just come home."
"Seriously? You're on. Remember you said that in the morning."
"I will. I won't forget. Take a cab please. You shouldn't be walking all that way."
"I am. I see one now. See you in about fifteen minutes. Did everything go ok with Nigel?"
"Yes, I believe so. If you're not here in fifteen minutes, I am sending out a search party."
"I'm getting in a cab now. I love you."
"I love you too darling. I'll have coffee ready for you."
Miranda hung the phone up and rolled her eyes when she saw the amused look on Nigel's face. "What?"
"You're in love."
"Yes, I assume that would be quite obvious."
"Oh, it is. It truly is. I am shocked but happy for you Miranda." He reached across the table and took her hand. "You deserve a little happiness, you know. I still can't believe this has all been going on inside your head for two years and that you were prepared to go to such lengths to be faithful to someone you didn't even have. It's certainly admirable."
"I couldn't believe it either, but the matter was out of my hands. Ultimately, it's what drove Stephen to cheat on me which is understandable I suppose. I had planned to ask him for a divorce when we got back from Paris but he beat me to it. Good riddance. It took me a while to work up the nerve, but I finally got what I wanted. As I always do." Miranda couldn't help but smile.
"How did it start? How did you reconnect after all that time?"
"Ah, my friend, I won't be telling you that no matter how hard you beg. That is just between Andrea and me and always will be. I'm sure you understand."
"I understand but I still want to know. You're horrible."
"I know darling. I know."
"Well, I'm going to head out before the snow starts falling as you mentioned earlier. Give Andy my love and tell her that I will be calling her soon. Now, give me a hug. It won't kill you."
She gave her old friend a hug and an actual kiss on the cheek. He deserved it as a reward for not passing out. He put his coat on and headed down the street to the subway station with a wave and a kiss blown into the frosty air.
Miranda stood outside in the cold and waited for the other half of her faithful heart to come home.
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