DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A little something to get things started, a stand-alone slice from a (slightly) AU series I'm calling "Life is a Banquet." I can't promise that you will always find it entertaining (what writer can?), but I can promise, on my honor as an editor, that it will be literate, well-punctuated, and (mostly) free of typos. Comments welcomed.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To medoramacd[at]yahoo.com

The Gift That Keeps on Giving
By Medora MacD


Monday, January 19, 2009
Shortly after Midnight

"Are you sure you want me to open this now? I could wait until morning and open it with the presents from the girls…"

"That might entail having to provide explanations I am not comfortable sharing with them at this stage of their life," Miranda said. She crossed her arms over the robe she had pulled on over her negligee when Andy had shuffled in after supervising a private Sunday night party at the restaurant.

Andy regarded the fancily wrapped box sitting on the end of their bed with trepidation now. She hadn't known what to expect from Miranda for her birthday — a new outfit perhaps or maybe a designer bag to replace the fraying Eddie Bauer utility bag she habitually carried — but it hadn't been…this.

Frappuccino! The thing was the size of one of the banker's boxes her father's firm stored legal files in. Lingerie? If it was, the Victoria's Secret store on East 86th must be darn near empty. She prodded the box with an index finger. It didn't budge. Nope, too heavy for fancy undies, even a boatload of them.

She cocked her head at Miranda, who looked back at her evenly, then she returned her gaze to the box, her eyes narrowing. Could it be…"toys"? The kind a mother wouldn't want her eleven-year-olds to see?

Shii..take mushrooms! She rubbed her jaw with one hand, hoping the gesture concealed the mixture of anxiety and…anticipation?…she found herself experiencing. Both of them had said they were open, over time, to exploring myriad ways of pleasing each other … but heck, it had only been three weeks and busy ones at that. They hadn't even scratched the surface of the more conventional means of making love to one another.

"By all means, Andréa, move glacially. You know how that pleases me." Miranda's lips were pursed, but a smile was playing around the edges of her mouth. "At this rate, the girls will be able to join in the moment. In which case, I shall expect you to answer the questions they will undoubtedly have."

Andy gulped, imagining just how awkward that might prove to be. "All right, already!" She pulled off the bow, grabbed an edge of the paper, and ripped off a wide swath of it, enough to reveal the labeling on the package it concealed.

"Huh?" She looked at Miranda in confusion and then back to the box. "You got me a…?" The penny dropped and she started laughing. "Oh, my god! Oh. My. God!"

Miranda smiled in delight. "You like?"

"Like it? I love it! It's perfect!" Andy turned and wrapped her arms around her. "I shall treasure it always. But really…? A top-of-the-line Breville? A Black and Decker would have done just fine. You didn't have to spend so much."

"Nonsense. It cost less than half as much as the Prada bag I was looking at and will get much more use, unless I miss my guess. I bought the extended warranty too. I want to make sure it lasts a long time." Her tone turned serious. "The quality of a gift should match that of the event that occasions it. By that standard, Avi, it should be made of platinum and encrusted with diamonds."

Andy tightened her embrace, melting a little as she always did when hearing Miranda's pet name for her. "Stainless steel, 1800 watts and convection cooking is more than enough. It's going to be perfect for hors d'oeuvres and after-school snacks."

She kissed the top of her partner's head. "Good thing you extended the warranty, Miri. It's going to take me a while to save up the money for the toaster oven that you earned."

"There's no need. Being your first…"

"And my only," interjected Andy.

Miranda raised her face to Andy for a lingering kiss. "Yes, being your first — and your only — is the greatest gift any woman could receive."

The End

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