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 later—BUT 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 hell—if 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

Faithful
By Brithna

 

Part 2

Miranda watched Nigel leave and looked up at the night sky. A flurry of snow was whipping through the air and the flakes were lit up by the street lights. The possibility of snow in early November was rare but winter seemed to be knocking on their door early this year. Hopefully by morning the temperature would be back to normal; but in the meantime Miranda would gladly stand here and wait, not giving the still dropping temperature another thought.

Normally she wasn't this anxious to have Andrea home but tonight Miranda needed to have her close. Her conversation with Nigel had brought back some not so happy memories and a small part of her craved reassurance that Andrea was in fact with her and that it wasn't all just a dream.

Her heart rate picked up speed as she saw the headlights of the cab turn the corner. Andrea would no doubt be puzzled by her appearance on the sidewalk, but that could be explained away. The cab pulled up to the curb and Miranda stepped up to open the door.

"Miranda, what in the hell are you doing out here?" Andrea climbed out and hugged her. The cab driver graced them with a funny look then drove away. It really didn't matter now. From this point forward all restrictions were off as far as Miranda was concerned.

"I saw Nigel off and just wanted to wait for you. I've only been out here for a moment." Miranda took her hand and led her into the house. "Here, get your jacket off and go upstairs and change. I'll get you some coffee."

Andrea pulled her back for a quick kiss "No, you change too. You've been in those clothes all day. It's time to relax now. Besides, I want to eat a little something before I hit the coffee. I forgot to eat dinner, remember?"

Miranda followed her upstairs and Andrea made quick work of changing into some blue plaid lounge pants and her favorite faded-blue Patriots t-shirt. Miranda never thought it would be possible for something that hideous to look so sexy, but it worked. Quite well.

Miranda put on a silk night shirt and slipped into her robe. "I'm going down while you finish up. Don't be long."

"I won't. Let me plug in my phone and I'll be down in a second. I expect a full report by the way."

"Hm, you shall have it. It wasn't too eventful."

"Somehow I doubt that. Come on, the phone is plugged in now."

They headed downstairs and Miranda made Andrea a plate of food. "I'm not quite sure how you forgot to eat but you really shouldn't do that. You know how you get without food. It's like a bear comes out or something. You're worse than the girls."

Andrea immediately started to wolf down her food "I know…I know. You hardly have the best eating habits so don't start. Now, tell me about your dinner. Did he pass out?"

"It went well. He didn't pass out."

"Awesome, you owe ice-cream now. I won the bet."

"I made that bet with you while I was under duress. It doesn't count."

"Like hell it doesn't. You tried that excuse on the last bet we made and it didn't work then either."

Miranda came up behind her and wrapped her arms around Andrea's waist while she finished eating. "I hardly think a bet on whether or not I could wipe the floor with you at Mario-Cart is a bet worth bragging about." That was definitely true. Miranda had to cook a full course breakfast for two weekends in a row over losing that bet, even though she tried to claim inexperience to void the bet. That excuse clearly didn't work out in her favor.

"You might be right, but I still got breakfast out of the deal. Twice. Enough stalling, sit down and tell me how things went. I want a play-by-play review."

Miranda had expected nothing less. Unfortunately, the reporter in Andrea always wanted the whole story. Miranda rolled her eyes and took a seat at the table with a fresh cup of coffee. "As I said, it went well. Of course he didn't believe me at first but he came around. Oddly enough his biggest problem was believing that we were not…involved while you still worked at Runway."

"You're kidding. That was his biggest issue?

"Yes, I thought I was going to kick him out of the house but he finally came to his senses. It seems he had some sort of epiphany and claimed that 'I always had my eye on you'. Do you want a piece of that sinful cake you insisted upon making?"

"No, I'm stuffed. Coffee time." Miranda got up and put her plate in the dishwasher and brought her a cup of coffee.

"Well, you kinda did ya know. All that looking me up and down. "

Miranda blushed. Okay maybe Nigel was right. That didn't mean she had to admit to it.

"I am guilty of no such thing. You two make it sound as if I was some sort of drooling caveman."

"Keep telling yourself that honey. One day I'm sure you'll believe it. So, what happened after that? Did you tell him when all this started?"

"Yes, I told him. And I told him you were living here. He was surprised the press hadn't caught on." Miranda reached across the table and tucked Andrea's hair behind her ears. "There, that's better. I couldn't see your face."

"You're so sweet. I love it when you do that. It reminds me of the first time you did it. Speaking of…did you tell him how we met again?'

"Certainly not. That is none of his business."

Andrea leaned back in her chair and smiled, pointing a finger at Miranda. "Ah, you just don't want him to know you were stalking me in an airport."

Miranda rolled her eyes and prepared to defend herself. They would most likely argue over this point for many, many years to come. "I was not stalking you. That is purely a figment of your imagination."

"I disagree. Do you I need to remind you of what exactly happened that day and how you watched me while you planed your attack?"

Miranda couldn't help but smile. "I do not need reminding, thank you very much. I remember that day quite well."

How could she not? Her entire future changed that day. She would remember it forever. Right down to the horrible color of the walls in the airport terminal.

HOW THIS ALL GOT STARTED---INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW

Miranda groaned and prayed for strength. Not only could she not believe she had slept all the way from New York City to Los Angeles, but she still had another flight to go. Fabulous. Miranda always hated to fly but after 9/11 it was even less appealing. From that day on for almost a solid year she had nightmares the night before every flight she took. Those finally stopped but she still suffered from well hidden anxiety attacks before takeoff.

Her next flight was to Hawaii to meet the rest of the crew for a shoot. The only reason she wasn't there already was because her daughter Caroline had a small run in with a basketball and a backboard post, nearly knocking her uncoordinated-self unconscious. Hence, Miranda was delayed a day in travel. Honestly, it was nice to not have everyone tagging along, driving her crazy. That would be over soon enough. Now all she needed to do was find some coffee and figure out what to do for an hour.

Miranda thumbed through e-mail and text messages on her phone as she blindly followed the masses along the terminal hoping to spot a Starbucks kiosk. Finding a text from her daughter Cassidy, she stood still from a minute to re-read it. Apparently Caroline was feeling much better. Great. Now if she could just get Cassidy to stop making fun of the huge bruise of the side of Caroline's head, she could stop worrying about the twins and could focus on Runway.

Miranda put her phone back in bag and glanced at the large windows to her right that overlooked a section of the runway. She felt the blood drain from her face as she spotted a portion of her heart that she had not laid eyes on in over a year.

Her Andrea was sitting on the floor, propped up against the wall behind a mass of chairs. She was surrounded by a clutter of papers and a backpack, and was intently focused on her laptop. It looked like she had been there for a while.

Miranda had waited a long time for a moment like this. She was constantly warring with herself on how to make a move toward reconnecting with Andrea but never seemed to be able to find a starting point. For someone she had not seen or heard from in such a long time, Miranda was dedicated to Andrea in every sense of the word. And now here they were, in this airport terminal, only yards away from one another. How could she not take advantage of that? Miranda took a deep breath and looked around her.

By the grace of God there was a Starbucks kiosk just up ahead. Faith alone told Miranda that she had enough time and that Andrea would not notice her as she walked by. Miranda hurried to the kiosk and retrieved two coffees and a few newspapers. It was now or never.

Miranda made her approach from the side, slipping through the mass of chairs. It just so happened that Andrea's beautiful long hair was hanging down, shielding her peripheral vision. With each step Miranda's resolve deepened. She was going to get this girl to fall in love with her or die trying. That's all.

Taking the last step very carefully, Miranda took a deep breath and held a coffee cup down just out of Andrea's reach.

"Andrea…" She had meant to say more than that as a 'hello' but ran out of breath before the other words even had a chance to be articulated.

Andrea looked up in complete shock. She was even more beautiful than Miranda remembered on a daily basis. "Take this coffee…I didn't mean to scare you. May I sit?" Miranda gestured to the chair beside her and watched Andrea shake her head in the affirmative and blink a few times. Okay, this wasn't exactly the reaction Miranda had been hoping for but she would take what she was given and be thankful for it.

"Andrea, put the coffee down before you spill it." Miranda took a sip of her coffee and set it down beside her. Now what? If Andrea was to remain mute there certainly wouldn't be much communication going on.

"Andrea, have you lost your voice? I certainly hope not. Otherwise, this conversation is going to be one-sided and I find those to be positively dreadful."

"I uh…Miranda, I just didn't expect to see you here."

"Well, neither did I. In fact, I'm not even supposed to be here. I'm a day late to a shoot. C' est la vie." Miranda found it amazing how calm she felt now that she had heard Andrea's voice. Maybe she could get through this after all.

"I see. This is weird….uh, thank you for the coffee."

"Weird? You're welcome. I thought you could use some. If I might inquire, where are you traveling too?"

"Yes, weird. I assumed I would be the very last person you would want to see. I'm heading home. I was here visiting my sister."

Of course, why wouldn't she think that? Everything had ended so badly. "Ah, I see. I trust you had a good visit. When is your flight?" Miranda relaxed back into her chair and tried to look casual. The more comfortable she appeared to be, the more comfortable Andrea would become; hence furthering Miranda's cause.

Andrea finally took a sip of her nearly forgotten coffee. "Hm, I needed this. Thanks again. My flight is…well…who knows. I was supposed to be gone hours ago but my flight was canceled. Plane problems or something. They put me on another flight but I got bumped off of it. Over booked."

That would have put Miranda over the edge. She could not imagine being stuck in an airport for hours on end. "My goodness. Do you have any hope of ever leaving this fine establishment?"

"I hope so. They have my number. They're supposed to call me when they have something. I keep checking too. I figure I'll give it a few more hours then call my sister or something. Honestly, I'm beginning to feel a little bit like Viktor Navorski. Have you ever seen that movie…? The Terminal."

Miranda couldn't remember the last time she saw a movie that was not based around her daughter's tastes. She didn't have time, but come to think of it, she didn't make time either. "No, I don't believe so."

"You should see it. Long story short, this guy gets stuck in an airport terminal forever. It's a little sad but very sweet. I'll never look at a mosaic tiled wall the same way again."

"I would sooner kill myself." Absolutely. How does one get stuck in an airport? Did the man not know what a door handle was?

Andrea laughed and Miranda had to suck in a breath. Even thought she had always professed to find it abysmal, Miranda loved that laugh.

"You should see it sometime. I think you would like it…sorry, I know I'm talking too much. You hate that." Andrea instantly looked nervous again. Miranda realized she was going to have to clear a little of the air between them if there was any hope of Andrea finding a relaxed state.

"I will see if I can carve out some time for that one evening. If you think I would like it then you're probably right. Andrea, why are you so nervous?"

Miranda could actually see Andrea swallow hard while taking a deep breath. "Because you're Miranda Priestly…and I'm well, me…and things ended badly, and I mean come on, why would I not be nervous?" Now she was blushing, which was a little odd. Why would you blush if you're still afraid of your old boss? Interesting.

"Andrea, how about we start with me just being Miranda, and you just being you. I'm no longer your boss, therefore, Runway Miranda Priestly is in the back seat if you will. Work is work…personal is personal. I know you may have a hard time believing that but it's true. You can relax."

"Um…okay. I'll try."

"Is there anything you would like to talk about? From before?" If there was then that needed to be done quickly. Miranda didn't have much time before her flight. She had thirty more minutes at best and before it was over Miranda wanted to at least have Andrea's phone number.

"As in Paris? Honestly?"

"Yes and yes."

"Not exactly. I really don't want to talk about it. I'm over it. I made mistakes…by the look on your face right now I think you know you made mistakes too. Can we just bury that?"

What an interesting concept. Could they? Yes, Miranda thought they could and it would certainly be helpful in winning her prize. Now all she had to do was admit that she had made mistakes and it would be over with. Hopefully. "In that case, yes, yes I did make mistakes. Especially where you were concerned. But if you would rather we can certainly leave that whole mess behind us."

Andrea placed her laptop on the floor and stretched her legs out. The yawn she produced was nothing if not adorable. Okay, this was just as bad as Miranda imagined it to be. She was a complete mess around Andrea.

"Okay we'll talk about one thing and then really, I'm done. Where did you go wrong with me?" she placed her backpack against the wall and leaned her elbow on it. Miranda wondered how much longer Andrea could stay awake.

"Frankly I should have treated you better. Coming from someone such as myself, I know that's shocking, but it's true. You…you were deserving of that and much more."

Andrea seemed to be trying to gauge how serious Miranda was about the statement she had just made so Miranda matched her stare hoping that it would convey her feelings on the matter. Apparently it worked. "Thank you for saying that. I shouldn't have left you like that. You deserved better."

"Thank you. Are we done?"

"Yes. We're done. How are the girls?"

Miranda began to give Andrea a brief recap of the twin's latest saga and glanced at her watch mid-way through. Her flight's boarding call would begin in ten minutes but Miranda already knew she wasn't going anywhere. As she finished telling Andrea about Caroline's basketball incident, she pulled out her phone and sent Emily a text message instructing her to call the airline and have them pull her bags from the plane and that she would reschedule her own flight later and to tell Nigel to carry on the best he could. That's all.

Miranda muted her phone and finished telling Andrea the latest of the twin's adventures. Andrea returned the favor and told Miranda about her job and some of the more interesting things she had been up to lately. Drawing conclusions from the conversation Miranda figured out that Andrea was in fact single and had been since she quit working at Runway. What a coincidence.

Suddenly something occurred to Miranda. She could not see Andrea's face. Well she could but not enough. Andrea's bangs had grown out to match the length of her hair and it was down around her face. It was beautiful, but it interrupted the view. Without thinking Miranda reached down and tucked Andrea's hair behind her ear on one side. She left her hand there, cupping Andrea's cheek. The young woman was now completely silent.

"There, that's better. I couldn't see your face. I should probably apologize for that move but I'm not going too."

Andrea didn't move away from Miranda's grasp. "No...You shouldn't apologize. It's fine. My hair is…"

"Your hair is beautiful." Miranda pulled her hand away and relaxed back into her chair. "Your hair is beautiful just like the rest of you. I always thought so, you know. Even in the beginning. Your beauty was just a little hidden back then."

Andrea blushed "Miranda, I don't know what to say."

"There is nothing to say. It was a compliment. Take it. It's true or I would not have said it. I always thought so. I just couldn't tell you such things. Not then."

"Why?"

Miranda was a little taken aback by how straight forward Andrea was being about this. It was refreshing but certainly unexpected. "Besides the fact that I was your boss?"

"Yes, besides the fact that you were my boss. Or was that the only reason?"

"No. It wasn't the only reason." Should she be brave for once and just say it? What did she really have to lose? "Andrea, I was a married woman." There. Let her chew on that for a minute.

Andrea sat absorbing that revelation and studying her hands that were folded in her lap. "Miranda, there is only one reason why that would have mattered." She did not look up as she spoke.

Miranda leaned down again and lifted Andrea's chin with her index finger. "Yes, there is only one reason for that answer to be a factor in such a thing…Andrea…I need you in my life. I need you to come back to me. To me. Not Miranda Priestly, but to me."

Andrea took her hand and kissed her palm. "Miranda, I never left you. I've always been right here. I just think we had to find our way back to each other without everything else being in the way."

Miranda had to dig deep within herself to fight back the tears that threatened, to make a rare appearance. Andrea was right. It would not have worked in any other scenario. If something had happened between them back then it would just have ripped them apart in the end. "I was here too, but I think you're right. Perhaps everything really does happen for a reason."

"Perhaps. I feel really good right now." Andrea smiled and stretched again. Her sleepy look was gone but she still looked exhausted.

"The feeling is mutual. Let's get out of here. I want to take you to dinner."

"Miranda you have a flight to catch and I'm hoping I will soon too."

"Hm…I don't have a flight to catch."

"What? You do…you're going to..."

"No. It turns out that I didn't get on my plane. I had better things to do."

Neither one of them would end up finding the time or the ability to care about being on time for a flight for three whole days. And when they did finally return to New York, they would be sitting side by side, holding hands.


Andrea waved her hand in front of Miranda's face "Hello? Hey, hello in there?"

"What? Oh, yes what were we talking about?"

Andrea smiled "You just relived that whole day in about 10 seconds didn't you?"

"Hm…it was probably closer to eight seconds this time. Come on. Let's go watch our movie." Miranda stood up and pulled Andrea out of her chair. "I love you, Andrea."

"I love you too Miranda. I always have. Now make some popcorn. I'm ready to go watch poor Viktor round up some quarters for a cheese burger."

Part 3

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