DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To brithna[at]gmail.com
BETA: Peetsden

By Brithna


Andy looked at her reflection in the mirror for the seventeenth time this morning and was finally satisfied. She had to look good…beyond good. Her personal daily mission was to dress for Miranda and to see that gleam in Miranda's eye after she got done with her roaming eye review. She couldn't miss that, couldn't give Miranda a reason to be displeased…no way. Miranda's approval, silent though it was; was essential to Andy's existence. Very essential and very much a turn-on.

Today was different though, Andy thought as she made her way to the refrigerator and checked the calendar just one more time. Sadly enough her attention would be a little less focused on Miranda and more on the days coming event. Yes, today was Thursday, she sighed. The Thursday. The day her father was going to be in town for the afternoon to take her to lunch. The day her father was coming into the Elias-Clarke building, up the elevator and into Miranda's world to get the nickel tour and then whisk Andy away for the afternoon.

Andy should be excited right? She should be totally pumped, totally ready because Andy hadn't seen her father in four months. Then why did she dread it so much? So much so that she spent the entire night wishing she could cancel. To make matters worse, there would be nothing in the way this time to break her lunch date for her or interrupt it half-way through. No phone calls…no work in the way. Why? Because the time for this tour and lunch had all but been approved by Miranda. That's right. Miranda knew her father was coming and personally let her know that she would not be disturbed. Which was new. Very new. What was Miranda doing being so accommodating? Andy turned the bracelet on her right wrist a few times to calm her nerves before slipping on her coat. Roy would be downstairs by now…with Miranda just like every day for the past ten months.

"Good morning, Miranda." Andy said as she slid into the seat and Roy closed the door behind her. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the light blue pinstripe suit Miranda was wearing. Andy loved that suit. A lot. It made her wet just looking at it. God, if she ever got Miranda alone in that, there would be no stopping her…

"Good morning. I trust you slept well?" Miranda didn't look at her of course. She just played with her phone like she did every morning…for the past ten months. Andy was dying to know what sort of games she had on there because Andy knew damn good and well Miranda wasn't texting or emailing anyone.

"Uh…not great but not bad…I guess it was a draw." She couldn't say 'oh, I slept fantastic' because Miranda would know she was lying.

"Well I imagine after today is over you will indeed get a good night's rest." Miranda was still fiddling with her phone, frantically pressing the screen. She had to be playing a game. Just as Andy leaned a little closer to try for a peak, Miranda threw her phone in her purse. Damn-it.

"Yeah…yes, hopefully. Thank you for today. I know you...well. Just thank you." Brilliant Andy…just brilliant.

"You're welcome but there is something you need to know, Andrea." Miranda turned her head and gave her a piercing look. "If I should happen to call, do answer your phone because it will be about you, not Runway."

Andy felt the hair on the back of her neck stand at attention and the chill that ran through her body could not be ignored. That look and that voice were both sexy as hell but what in the fuck was Miranda talking about?

"Andrea, I have ears." Oh, okay. So she understood...at least a little that Andy wasn't really looking forward to this visit; but that still didn't explain why Miranda would be calling her in the middle of what would not doubt be an afternoon from hell-just to check on her.

"Uh, right. Yes, thanks." If Andy wasn't so superstitious she would have asked the world 'can the day get any weirder?' but she knew better. You never ever ask those kinds of questions. Especially when you work for Miranda Priestly.

The rest of the morning passed with its usual string of lattes, e-mails, phone calls and meetings…not to mention several ogling sessions. It was ridiculous really, that Andy should notice and read so much into it, but she couldn't help it. At least she had the courage to look right back. And she did - every single morning, afternoon, evening and every other opportunity in between. It was all in good fun, right? Right. To Andy it was their game; their way of dealing with it. They could look but they could not touch. So? They settled for a whole lot of looking.

It had almost been ten months since that kiss. Neither of them could explain the why or how of it all. It was lame to say but really - it just happened. It was a fluke, an anomaly, a shift in time…something. Actually what it really was -was fucking incredible. Right there in Miranda's office…with hardly any lights on and Miranda was in that white wrap blouse that Andy never could get enough of and it just happened. As soon as they both landed on the couch though, it was over. Suddenly they regrettably came to their senses and it was done. Both agreed it was a fluke, an anomaly, a shift in time…something and moved on; which frankly surprised Andy. It would stand to perfect reason that Miranda could use that as a good opportunity to get rid of Andy to cover for her transgression but she didn't. Instead Miranda kept Andy close and they never mentioned it. Only there was all that looking and eyebrow raising and brushing of hands and shoulders in the elevator…all that…yet they never mentioned it. Maybe they should? Maybe Andy should? Maybe if they could just get back to the couch and-

"Andrea." Fuck.

"Yes, Miranda?" Andy hurried inside to get her orders from the woman she was dying to kiss again.

For the sixth time this morning Miranda opened her calendar to check the date just to be sure she wasn't dreaming. Yes, it was Thursday. The Thursday. The day Andrea's father was going to be in town for the afternoon to take her to lunch. The day Andrea's father was coming into the Elias-Clarke building, up the elevator and into Miranda's world to get the nickel tour and then whisk Andrea away. Hopefully, it would just be for lunch and not for good.

But really what would Miranda do if the girl wanted to go back home? To Ohio? Miranda cringed at the very thought. She wouldn't allow it, that's what. And she knew he would try. Miranda had perfectly good hearing and had heard more than she cared to about Richard Sachs. This was his modus operandi: Every now and then he would come to New York, take his daughter to eat where he would then proceed to tell her she couldn't make it, couldn't survive on her own, and try to scare her; no guilt her into leaving. That was his way. But he hadn't won so far and hopefully today would be no different. Four months ago he tried over dinner and Miranda paced the floor all night until she couldn't stand it anymore and called Andrea about some ridiculous schedule change. She assumed the girl would sound irritated but no, she almost sounded grateful for the interference.

Today would be different though. Miranda was allowing him to come here, into her domain where she reigned supreme. She wanted to look at the man who tortured his daughter whenever he felt like it. She wanted to look him in the eye and size him up. She wanted to look him in the eye and somehow convey that he needed to give up because his mission was pointless. Andrea was never leaving this city. Never.

Miranda's eyes swept over to the couch in the corner of her office as she took another sip of her now lukewarm coffee. She could hardly sit on that couch without picturing Andrea underneath her with that beautiful wanton expression that begged for everything Miranda wanted to give her. Yet they had stopped. For Miranda it was fear…she had no idea what it was for Andrea but for Miranda it was definitely fear and she cursed herself for it every day since. To complicate matters…at the time she told herself that there was no merit in it; in an office affair…but it wouldn't have been an affair. Miranda knew that now but she couldn't turn back the clock. All she could do was get through today and hope and pray for the best because if Andrea stayed, Miranda was going to make a move.

She was done being a coward, she was done standing by, and she was definitely done looking. They did plenty of that so she knew without a doubt that Andrea would be open to trying…something because anything was better than what they were doing. All this looking each other up and down all the time and the innocent touches and on and on were torture for them both but they kept doing it. For ten long months they kept at it and it never did anything but get worse instead of better. So? Miranda was done. All she had to do now was contain herself enough today to get him in and out of here and then wait, pace, and terrorize anyone and everyone she felt worthy of her attention until Andrea came back from lunch. After that? Well after that Miranda was going to her apartment tonight and…she was still figuring out that part but tonight everything would change.

Miranda heard a great deal of noise and looked up. Andrea was back from Chanel loaded down with bags and more coffee. Thank God on all three counts. Miranda got up and took the bags and her coffee right out of Andrea's hands which earned her a funny look but Miranda choose to ignore it. "Andrea, I believe you have twenty minutes until your father arrives, correct?"

"Correct." Andrea's expression should have read: excited; but it didn't. Instead it read: I very well might vomit.

"Well then…you're pale. Do something about that. Use my bathroom if you like. I have a variety of things that should help, and then call Nigel and Jocelyn into my office. I'd like to discuss these pieces with them before they run off to lunch themselves. That's all." Miranda headed to the corner table in her office with the bags and Andrea disappeared into her personal bathroom. She came out five minutes later looking refreshed and as ready as she could be under the circumstance. Before Andrea could run back to her phone to call Nigel and Jocelyn, Miranda stopped her. "Andrea." Andrea turned sharply and her gaze flitted from Miranda to the couch very quickly. Miranda felt blood rush to her face and had to fight to keep from glancing at the couch in turn. Now was certainly not the time to strip each other naked and just go for it. Which she could tell from the look on Andrea's face was exactly what would happen if given the chance. "Andrea…I know you're nervous."

Andrea looked at her and then played around with the bracelet on her right wrist. Miranda had given her that for her birthday a few months ago and the girl apparently never took it off. Just like the couch and everything else…neither of them ever made mention of it. "I am but you know…it doesn't matter. He's my dad, so? What am I gonna do?"

"Yes, of course…now please make the call to Nigel and Jocelyn. That's all." It exasperated Miranda to see Andrea turn into a completely different person when dealing with her father so it was better to end the conversation here before Miranda made her even more upset.

"Yes, Miranda." Andrea went to her desk and Miranda played with her coffee cup while she waited. There really wasn't much to discuss about the pieces in the bags from Chanel. Miranda merely wanted Nigel there to stop her if things got out of hand. But hopefully that wouldn't be needed. Hopefully Miranda could keep her mouth shut.

Ten minutes later Nigel, Jocelyn and Miranda were elbow deep in skirts and blouses when she literally felt the atmosphere in the room change. He was here. He'd come in the building, went up the elevator and was now in her kingdom. Miranda remained still and feigned interest in the dialogue taking place in front of her; all the while listening very intently for his voice to add its presence into the equation. She didn't have to wait long. She could hear the whole thing going on from where she sat.

"Ah, honey its good see you." Richard…her father said as he was probably hugging her.

"Hey Daddy. Did you have a okay time getting here?"

"Yeah...yeah it was okay. I had a bit of trouble at the security desk but I guess that's what you get from a place like this."

Oh, and here we go. He had the balls to start his little game not five minutes into his visit. How charming.

"No…it's ah…they just have to call and make sure everything is squared away, that's all. It's nothing bad or anything." Andrea said and Miranda couldn't help but notice that her voice was already changing back to that timid, quite tone that could hardly string two sentences together. Miranda had to admit that at times, that quality in Andrea was…quite adorable; but not in this setting.

"Hm, well it sure seemed a bit overboard to me. I was beginning to think they were about to tell me I wasn't dressed properly." Miranda clinched her fists and tried to refocus on these blouses but it was no use because he just kept going. "I was almost run over there in the hall but of course no one watches where they're going here." Miranda clinched her fists again.

"Oh, I'm sure it was only an accident. We all run on a high setting around here Dad…busy, busy." Miranda could hear Andrea moving some things around on her desk no doubt getting ready to go. Time to move forward.

"Nigel let's break here. I imagine Andrea would like to introduce you to her father?"

Nigel coughed. "Do I have to?"

Miranda glared back. "Yes…you have to." Jocelyn nodded her head and stood up immediately without being invited to do so. Sometimes women were so much better at understanding issues like this without having to be told all the gory details. The three quickly and quietly made their way to the door with Miranda leading the pack. Miranda stopped just outside the doorway as Andrea was introducing her father to Emily.

"It's nice to meet you Emily. I'm sure you're probably just as over worked and underpaid as my Andy here."

"I…well I wouldn't put it like that but I suppose." Emily gave Andrea a 'what in bloody hell is that about' look and sat back down in her chair. Apparently Emily was done with introductions. Miranda couldn't blame her.

"Andrea." Miranda said quietly so as to not totally barge into their conversation in which Andrea was valiantly defending their work load and adequate pay. As soon as her name was spoken, her father was the first to turn around. His eyes met hers and it was instant scrutiny on both their parts.

"Yes, Miranda." The look on her face was undeniable desperation. She wanted out of this but there was nothing Miranda could do. She needed Andrea to make it through this day so she would know for certain, one last time, that Andrea was not going anywhere. She had already been down that road several years ago in Paris and did not want to revisit it.

"I thought you might enjoy the opportunity to introduce your father to Nigel…and Jocelyn." Why not. Jocelyn seemed to be handling this better than Nigel anyway. Might as well bring her in on the festivities.

"Yes…yes absolutely." Andrea came timidly closer with her father in tow. It made Miranda ill to see her like this…so nervous. Miranda pushed Nigel and Jocelyn forward.

"Dad, this is Nigel…Nigel this is my dad Richard…."

Andrea continued on making introductions. Nigel went overboard with the pleasantries of course but Jocelyn, to Miranda's surprise was quite cool with Richard. Perhaps she had heard tales of his incompetence as well.

"And Dad…this is…this is Miranda." Oh, boy.

Miranda stuck her hand out in her usual regal fashion; determined to not lower her status even one degree. But for Andrea's sake she did plan on being as accommodating and pleasant as Richard allowed her to be… "Mr. Sachs it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I have heard so much about you." She smiled her best fake smile and nearly choked but at least she spoke the truth. Andrea could not fault her for that. She had heard a lot about Richard…just not good things which she could in no way do anything about. Obviously.

Richard hesitantly took her hand. It was a horrible hand shake but Miranda kept her grip firm and tight. This was the first step in letting him know who ran this show and who might very well have possession of his daughter one day. Because that's what it would be…possession. Body and soul.

"Uh, yes…it's nice to finally meet you too Mrs. Priestly." Richard escaped her grip but didn't come away from it looking nearly as demoralized as Miranda had hoped. And then there was this 'Mrs. Priestly' thing.

"Oh, please call me Miranda." Again she nearly chocked as the words dripped like honey from her mouth…but it was rather amusing to see the look on his face as she corrected him. "Andrea, you're reservations are for noon?"

"Yes, they are." Andrea looked at her and her gaze never faltered. She was reaching out for a lifeline again.

"Then you should begin your tour and before you leave I need you to-"

"Now listen, my daughter and I only have so much time to be here before we have lunch. I'd like to use that time with her instead of her doing more work for you." Richard said as he folded his arms across his chest.

Everyone was dead silent…dead, dead silent. Not even a breath of air was released. Apparently he was in a show-down mood after all. So be it. Miranda hoped he was ready for what he was about to experience. Now if she could just pull this off without totally infuriating Andrea…that would be fabulous.

Miranda took a step forward and heard Nigel gasp. "Mr. Sachs…I can assure you that you will spend every single minute with your daughter this afternoon as this event has been thoroughly planned to insure that she remains available and undisturbed."

"Well, that is a surprise…coming from you."

"Dad, wait. You can't-" Andrea reached forward to grab his arm. She looked horribly embarrassed.

"No, no Andrea that's quite alright. I'm sure your father has his reasons for showing such disrespect…" Miranda felt Jocelyn take a step closer, yet Nigel gasped and moved back again. Perhaps it was time to give Jocelyn a raise. "Mr. Sachs I do not believe you have a true appreciation for what your daughter does here. She is…along with Emily, a very important part of this team. Though the two of them," Miranda motioned between Andrea and Emily because this would probably go over better in Andrea's eyes if she did not single her out. "Might not always receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work; it is valued by us all. Now, if you had allowed me to finish before jumping to an ill-advised conclusion; I was merely going to request that she let me know when she was leaving so that I might call our driver. That-is all." Miranda started to turn around and walk back into her office but decided to remain on the off chance that Mr. Sachs was dumb enough to continue running his mouth. And he was…

"Andy," He turned to his daughter. "honey, you know you don't belong here. Not with these people—"

"Dad, please stop. I like it here…and I'm good at what I do." Andrea pleaded for him to be quiet and looked as if tears were forming on those exquisite lashes which only served as gasoline to the fire that was burning in Miranda's chest. No one…no one got away with making her cry. No one. Having been the cause of those tears in the past, Miranda simply would not tolerate witnessing it again.

"Mr. Sachs, that is quite enough. Your daughter belongs here as much as anyone else that walks these halls and you are out of line to question her desires. If she wishes to stay – she stays. If she wishes to go – she goes; but not under duress. If she ever chooses to leave, it will be on her own accord. Now…" She turned to Andrea and tried to give her a reassuring look. "Andrea, enjoy your lunch and feel free to take as long or short of a time as you need."

Andrea yanked her coat and bag off her desk and took her father's arm. His eyes were still focused on Miranda. "Come on Dad. I think we should skip the tour and go. Can you call Roy?"

"Yes, I will call Roy." Miranda turned to Emily. "Emily, call Roy." Andrea rolled her eyes and gave Miranda a half smile, causing her to bite back a sigh of relief. At least she wasn't crying and maybe this meant Miranda hadn't gone too far in her interference.

Everyone remained still and quiet until the door to the hallway closed.

"Thanks be to bloody God!" Emily exclaimed. Miranda and company turned and looked at her in shock. "It's about time he was put in his place. Miranda," Emily looked right at her with no fear. "I take back every bad thing I've ever said or thought about you. That was brilliant. Bloody brilliant. Now if you would just do whatever else needs doing to fix whatever it is between the two of you – I'd be set for life. The two of you are killing me. Really." Emily promptly turned in her chair and started typing away at her computer, leaving Miranda, Nigel and Jocelyn staring in awe. Emily finally noticed them still standing there and said "What? There is far too much to do to stand around. Go, go." She waved her hand and shooed them away.

"Oh, my…" Nigel mumbled as Jocelyn pulled him down the hall.

"Emily." Miranda leaned against Andrea's desk.

"Yes, Miranda." Emily looked from her typing and sported a raised eyebrow.

"I suspect you know that you have crossed many lines…but for once in my life, I don't care. That's all." Miranda went back into her office and quietly closed the door. She guessed that Emily would have no problem with a little separation for a while. Once Miranda was seated at her desk she glanced at her cell phone. There was a missed text message.

Andrea: If I need you to…can you have my boss call me later with some impossible task to perform in an impossible time frame?

She wanted Andrea to do this on her own but Miranda couldn't deny her if she was openly requesting help. And it might be an odd notion but she was glad that Andrea realized there were in fact two sides to Miranda. But then again…Miranda's eyes fell upon the couch for the second time that day…yes, Andrea already knew there were two sides to Miranda.

MP: I can and will have your boss call you if that is needed. Do not worry.

Miranda sent the text and opened up her Jewel Quest game on her iPhone. It was time to get down to some serious, distractive work.

Oh, holy fuck. Andy rubbed her temples as she made her way toward to the airport exit. Could that have seriously gone any worse? Yes, yes it could have. Miranda could have really gone totally off the charts; but she held back and looked fucking sexy doing it. It was mind-blowing really, that Andy could be so upset with her father yet still be so turned-on by that damn suit…and the way Miranda had defended her was just…argh. Fucking sexy were the only two words Andy could come up with.

But no matter how fucking sexy Miranda was…Andy's dad really had hurt her. How many ways are there to tell your kid that she's just that – a kid, and can't take care of herself? Andy guessed there had to be a thousand ways and she also guessed that she was doomed to hear them all! And what in holy hell had she been thinking to invite him to actually step foot inside Runway? Really…what had she been thinking? Like that was the worst idea she'd had since spending twenty seconds walking in the opposite direction as Miranda that one idiotic and fateful day in Paris. Yeah, that had turned out just great…like trying to separate yourself from the magnet that's stuck to your back. Thank God that magnet had stayed right there on those steps and burned two icy blue holes into her until she turned around.

So after today's biggest mistake ever; dropping her Dad off at the airport was the highlight of her afternoon and for now it was: good riddance. He would not be coming back here unless she specifically invited him and he would definitely not be coming alone. If her mother wasn't with him then he wasn't welcome. She hated to do it but she would gladly use her mother as a buffer between them if she had to. But that was a long way off. Andy was in no mood to see either of them for a good long while.

Once Andy acquired a Grande Carmel Macchiato to drown her sorrows in from a Starbucks kiosk, she headed out of the airport and into the waiting car; sinking into the seat, grateful for the peace.

"Hey, Roy?"

"Yeah, Andy." Roy looked at her in the rear view mirror as he pulled onto the highway.

"Can you just…I don't know…drive around for a bit?"

"Need time to clear your head?" He smiled at her.

"You could say that…and hey I apologize for my dad. He was rude…that wasn't right." Richard had made a dramatic show out of opening and closing his own door. Andy knew Roy was offended. To Roy that was his job and if you didn't let him do his job then why was he getting paid? Roy was old fashioned that way.

"Ah, Andy that's no problem. I'm just sorry he acted that way toward you. He gives you such a hard time. If you ask me he should be happy his daughter turned out so well. Not to mention beautiful."

"Oh, Roy." Andy said quietly. If he kept going she was going to cry and she had been making a really good effort not to do that today.

"Hey, it's the truth. You're a good, hard-working woman Andy; don't let anyone tell you different. A couple of years ago you were just a snot nosed kid still learning and chasing after Miranda. Now you're a beautiful young woman who…well if you stop and think about it…you're her right hand and sometimes her left too! You're a cut above honey. It's a shame he doesn't realize that."

And here came a few quiet tears. "Wow…I don't know what to say Roy. Thanks." If he wasn't behind the wheel of a moving car, Andy would hug him until he couldn't breathe. She really had changed a lot in the past few years and Roy was right. There was no task that was impossible if she tried hard enough and with enough forethought and planning in place, there was hardly any need to run around freaking out. Andy just knew. She just knew what Miranda wanted and needed and could anticipate nearly every mood swing. Life was still crazy but it was damn sight easier than it used to be.

"Don't say anything. Just sit back and relax. I'll drive you around the park or something. No worries."

Just as Andy took another sip of her coffee, her phone went off with a text message alert.

MP: How are things?

How are things…not 'where are you?', not 'come back to work', not 'pick more coffee', just…how are things. That was definitely nice.

Andy: He's on a plane now.

Andy wasn't about to tell Miranda that she was wiping the last of her tears away as Roy drove her around with no particular destination in mind.

MP: I see. I have a meeting with Michael Kors at three forty-five. Take all the time you need.

Which meant she needed the car back but didn't want to demand. Andy shook her head and let it fall back onto the seat. Why did she have to be so damn nice today? "Roy, head back. She's got a meeting."

"Got it."

Okay…so her father was on a plane. Good. Very good. But…what did that mean exactly? Andrea had not volunteered any other information than that. Would she come back to the office and lay down her two week notice on Miranda's desk? She should have asked her. She should have just point blank asked her – 'Andrea are you leaving me?'…or something to that effect. Tonight. She would ask her tonight. Definitely.

Miranda put down her Jewel Quest game and finally started climbing the mountain called 'e-mail'. There was a lot to catch up on since she'd wasted very second of the past few hours.

Thirty minutes later Andrea was back. It took everything in Miranda not to get up and go to her but she managed to stay in her seat. But…that didn't mean she couldn't make Andrea come to her. So she did. "Andrea." Andrea walked in and it was clearly obvious that she had been crying. Not a lot…but just enough for Miranda's keen eye to notice. And in her view, any amount was too much. She was going to kill Richard.

"You're back." Brilliant. Stating the obvious was beyond ridiculous.

"Yes. Is there something you needed?" Andrea shook the wrist that was adorned with Miranda's gift ever so slightly and kept her gaze fixed on the magazines on Miranda's desk.

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah. I'm okay. It was okay." She chewed her lip and moved her wrist back and forth again causing the bracelet to shift once more against her skin. It must be some sort of comfort mechanism for her, which was…special. But then again a Grande Carmel Macchiato was also a comfort mechanism for Andrea. Miranda had witnessed that a time or two and considering the girl had one in her hand now….it all fell into place and made perfect sense.

"Very well. I will leave in twenty minutes."

"Roy is already waiting downstairs."

"Good. That's all."

Yet again Miranda did not have the answer she needed but she would by the end of the night. For the next fifteen minutes she organized the icons on her desk top and mapped out a plan for the evening in her mind.

After returning from her meeting, what was left of the day pasted quickly. Considering Andrea was out running errands Miranda's concentration had returned…for the most part. There may or may not have been some leveling up in Jewel Quest between a report…or email…or phone call but who was counting? Certainly not Miranda. At least the girl was here now and had not gone off with her father to Ohio. That gave Miranda enough hope to get through the rest of the day.

Later that evening, it was nearly seven, Andrea was long gone and Emily was hiding out in Serena's office doing God only knew what…something was going on with those two, Miranda was sure of it. As for herself, Miranda was working on a last minute budget report when there was a soft knock on the door. "Yes, what is it?" She looked up to find Jocelyn standing there. "Well? I do not have all night Jocelyn." True, because as soon as she was done looking at this report Miranda was finally getting up to go finish what she'd started ten months ago.

Jocelyn stepped forward, holding something behind her back. "This will only take a moment, Miranda."

"Good, because I am fairly busy as you can see."

"I know. I just got off the phone with Andy."

Miranda's chest nearly burst into flames. "Is something wrong? Is she not well?"

Jocelyn raised her free hand up in reassurance. "No, no it's nothing like that. I made up some idiotic excuse to call her. She's home…Miranda, go to her. Emily was right. Go over there and do whatever needs doing to get things moving in the right direction." Miranda felt glued to her chair as Jocelyn's cheeks turned a light shade of red and placed a bottle of wine on Miranda's desk. "It's written all over your faces. Just go. Wine always makes for a fantastic ice-breaker, hm?" She smiled and headed back to her office, leaving Miranda behind to gather her things.

Well that was one of the weirdest phone calls ever, Andy thought as she hung up the phone. Why in the hell was Jocelyn worried about what to get Nigel for his birthday when it was two whole months away? She must be hitting that stash of wine in her office pretty damn hard. Oh well…whatever.

Andy turned the stereo back up and Mozart filled the apartment again. It wasn't exactly one of her favorite CD's…The Requiem…but it was good for her nerves so she cranked it up a few more notches and got back to her book case project. Two weeks ago she bought two huge book cases off a neighbor down the hall that was moving and now all her books, music and a bunch of other crap was stacked on the floor waiting to be transferred to its new home.

The music carried her away as she concentrated on the stack of Runway magazines in front of her instead of the horrible day that was now officially behind her. The magazines would go across the two middle shelves of each book case. God knows she was going to need the room. Andy was the proud owner of nearly every issue as far back as 1980 and was still on the hunt to find the ones she was missing. She would eventually find them. It was…an obsession. When she got to 1986 Andy took what she called 'The Before and After' magazines with her to the couch and carefully removed them from their protective covers. The first one was the month before Miranda's claim to the throne began and the other was the very next month…when everything changed. The differences between the two were incredible, absolutely incredible. Even without all the benefits of today's technology it was a stork of genius, right down to the font on the binding.

Andy opened the 'After' magazine to Miranda's first Letter from the Editor. Her picture was there. She was beautiful. Already sporting that iconic haircut, her hair was a dark blonde. Miranda's facial expression was set in stone…all business, cold as ice but there was also a fire there hidden in her eyes. That fire and passion for her work was still there today but it wasn't nearly as visible. Miranda was growing tired of it all. Who could blame her? For over twenty years the woman had given everything to her work and after a while that had to become a very heavy burden; even for the most driven and dedicated person that ever lived. That the burden would be easier to carry if Miranda had someone around that loved her like she should be loved…body and soul.

Andy was that someone. All Andy needed was a chance to prove that to her. If they could just get past the part where they wanted to rip each other's clothes off and do every crazy thing they'd ever dreamed about…well then they could get down to the business of loving each other.

She had to make a move; especially after what had taken place today. Miranda had all but declared ownership of Andy right there in front of her father, not to mention three other people who weren't only her colleagues but her friends. It was all too much to ignore. Tomorrow she would invite Miranda over for dinner after work. Miranda wouldn't say no, Andy was sure of it. Using a simple, straight forward approach Andy would just tell her. Big words and flattery would not be needed. The truth would be good enough for the both of them. And then…well then she'd take Miranda into her bedroom and...

A noise broke through the music that surrounded her. She glanced at the door and the noise came again…and the air changed.

Miranda knocked on the door a little harder; wondering if Mozart himself was inside conducting his final work of art. The music was so loud the floor was practically vibrating. But then the volume was lessened and footsteps could be heard. In the next second, Andrea opened the door.

"Hey." She opened the door wide and smiled even wider. This was a good sign.

"Hello." Miranda held up the bottle of wine. "May I come in?"

"Absolutely." Andrea seemed to immediately understand that Miranda was not here as her boss and ushered her inside, putting Miranda's bag on a table by the door. "Sorry about the living room," she said as they passed through it on the way to the kitchen. "I just got those." She motioned to the two book cases and the variety of things stacked on the floor around it.

"They certainly are beautiful." Miranda put the wine bottle on the kitchen counter and admired the space to distract herself just enough to keep from saying something completely stupid. The espresso machine near the refrigerator was quite impressive. Suddenly there were wine glasses and cork screw in front of her.

"Could you open this? I'm horrible at it."

Miranda nodded and took the cork screw from her and they locked eyes as their hands brushed. They held each other's gaze for several moments then Miranda chickened out and looked away, turning her attention to the task she had been given as Andrea disappeared into the living room. Miranda heard the music fade completely then it was replaced by the faint sounds of the television. Miranda had always pictured Andrea as someone who needed constant noise so this told her she was right. Miranda would always need to remember that…

Brushing her hair out of her face, Miranda stood up straight and carried the glasses and wine bottle into the living room. Andrea was on the couch so Miranda took a seat next to her…but not too close.

"This is a very nice place…" There was probably something better to start off with besides that but this was all she could come up with on such short notice; in spite of all her planning.

"Thanks…I've almost been here a year. It's a little dark with the wood floor and wall coloring…but I like it. It feels safe." Andrea took a sip of wine and looked at the television for a moment. Her need to feel safe also fit Miranda's profile of her perfectly.

In fact just being inside Andrea's apartment for five minutes helped Miranda get a better view. The dark, rich colors of the flooring, the walls…even the furniture provided the protection. The music…noise, the bracelet…even the Carmel Macchiato provided the comfort. These small details were what Miranda wanted to know more about. But honestly that would all probably have to wait until Miranda had her fill of all the small details on every inch of Andrea's body…."It works in this space. So….how has your evening been?"

"Good so far." Andrea turned slightly to face Miranda, curling a leg underneath her. "I got the weirdest call from Jocelyn though."


"Yeah." She rolled her eyes. "She's all worried about Nigel's birthday….which is two months away. Who knows what's up with that?" Andrea took a sip of wine while Miranda tried not to laugh. She would tell her the truth later…in the morning. Over breakfast. "Oh, God. Let me moves these real quick." Andrea quickly put her wine glass down and went after the magazines on the coffee table. Seeing the confused look on Miranda's face, Andrea began to explain by holding up the two magazines. "See? 1986."

Miranda eyes focused in and could hardly believe what she saw. "Where did you –"

"Don't ask…but it wasn't easy. I would commit murder if something happen to any of those." She pointed to the book case as she slipped both the magazines back into protective coverings.

"May I?" Miranda nodded toward the two full shelves.

"Sure. Come on." Andrea confidently took her hand, which shocked, but pleased Miranda to no end, and led the way to the book cases then sat down on the floor. Miranda hated to break their contact but let go to take off her suit jacket and slip out of her shoes before joining Andrea on the floor.

"I have nearly everything from 1980 on. I'm missing a few here and there but I keep looking. After I get all those, I'll start going back further. For some reason 1980 seemed like a good place to start."

Miranda was still in shock. She didn't even have this many. "How do you find them?" She said as she picked a random issue and studied the cover. It was well before her time.

Andrea leaned closer to see which one she was holding. "I have my ways. Oh, I like that one a lot… I got it from a guy in Italy. EBay. What the hell he ever wanted with it is beyond me but now it's mine so who cares. At least I found it."

"Yes…I don't have this one." Miranda gently put it back in its place and picked another one; this time one from within her reign. It was just like she remembered it.

"Hey." Andrea said quietly. "Thank you for what you did today."

Miranda put the magazine down and faced her. Now they were getting down to it. "My interference may have been a bit…forward…but he was indeed out of line on several points. I cannot allow you to be treated in such a manner."

"I know. I know you meant well."

"I'm glad you see it that way. I was afraid you wouldn't but I could not allow it either way." Miranda paused for a minute choosing her words carefully. "You will always be someone's daughter, Andrea, but you are also a grown woman. You deserve to have your own life and you deserve to live that life as you see fit." Miranda noticed Andrea begin to turn the bracelet slowly against her wrist. "You don't take it off do you?"

"No." She looked at her bracelet then at Miranda." There's no reason to."

Miranda couldn't help but smile. "And playing with it like that," Miranda nodded to the way she was running her hand over it. "What does that mean?"

"Oh…" She stopped touching it; obviously self-conscious now. "It makes me feel better. It's hard to explain."

"Like the constant noise and the Carmel Macchiato's?"

Andrea smiled this time and moved closer to Miranda. "Yes, most definitely. Miranda…you know I'm not leaving, right? I think you worry when my dad comes to visit. You seem to stay pretty agitated until you know he's gone. I can tell." Andrea took her hand again and this time Miranda laced their fingers together. "But I'm not leaving, okay?"

"But I do worry." Miranda admitted it without hesitation. "You must know that I would not want that." She couldn't help but notice how they were leaning closer to each other now.

"You shouldn't. There is no way I could do that to you."

They studied each other in silence for a minute. Andrea had that same look in her eyes as she did ten months ago on the couch when Miranda was firmly pressed against her. Miranda wanted that moment back and more. She hadn't felt whole since they regrettably pulled away from one another. What a mistake. Well…Miranda was determined to see those months of wanting disappear into the past. They leaned even closer now, Miranda was breathing heavier and Andrea was hardly breathing at all.

Andy wasn't sure if it was the lack of oxygen or her knowledge of what was about to happen that was making her head fuzzy; but whatever the cause, she felt really weird…and really hungry and really thirsty. Not for food though, or water. Oh, no no…it was for much more than that. She was hungry for Miranda. And Miranda was right here. Just a few inches away and she was inching closer still. Then it happened again. Just like ten months ago. It wasn't gentle, this kiss. Definitely not gentle because Miranda was as hungry as Andy and when you've been starving for this long, all thoughts of etiquette are thrown right out the window.

Andy knocked Miranda back and was on top of her in an instant. "Miranda…" Andy moaned as their bodies made contact. All of the sudden Miranda stopped her and held Andy's face above her.

"Andrea...no stopping this time. No stopping."

"No, Miranda…no stopping. Not anymore…bedroom." Yes, Andy needed to get Miranda up because there was one very important fantasy she wanted to fulfill while Miranda was in that suit. Andy sat up on her knees and then stood. Miranda looked confused and not in the mood to really go anywhere at the moment but Andy wasn't about to take 'no' for an answer. She reached down, took Miranda's hands and pulled her up.

Of course getting to the bedroom took a while since no one's hands or mouths or feet could focus; but once they arrived, everything seemed to be working out fine for Andy. As soon as the door was slammed shut behind them Andy turned on Miranda and shoved her against it.

"My, my…you certainly seem to…oh, my God…" Andy shut her up with a deep kiss and pushed her against the door again when Miranda tried to move. But no, no, noooo…Miranda pinned Andy's arms back and turned them both until Andy was now the one trapped against the door. Andy yanked one of her hands free and slapped Miranda hard on the shoulder. "You bitch!...That is so not fair!" She tried to yank her other arm free from Miranda's grasp but Miranda held firm, chuckling as she kissed at Andy's neck.

"You need to give up, darling. The sooner you let me have my way...the sooner you get yours." Miranda placed how kisses over Andy's neck and sucked at her pulse point, which drove her absolutely crazy. Miranda let go of her other hand obviously knowing that Andy was about to let her do whatever the hell she wanted. "Oh and darling…" Miranda looked her in the eye as her hands trailed over Andy's tank top "I expect you to be nicer in your name-calling in a moment...hm?" With that she gripped the neck of Andy's tank top with both hands and ripped it right down the center. Andy inhaled sharply. That was probably the sexiest thing ever…

Andy let go of Miranda long enough to peel the ripped tank top off her shoulders while Miranda shoved her shorts and panties down to the floor in one swift move. By now Andy had forgotten all about her earlier protests, ready to allow Miranda to have her way. "Andrea..." Miranda kissed her throat again. "I think about doing this to you every day…at the office. Every day."

"Yeah?" Andy reached behind her back and released her bra. She grinned when Miranda let out a sharp gasp. "You think about fucking me up against the door?"

"Hm…yes. In my bathroom. Pulling you inside….God." Miranda's hands attacked Andy's breasts and she moaned. "Do you…do you know how many times I've wanted to fire you…simply because of the distraction…simply because of how bad I've wanted this."

"No…touch me…touch me Miranda. Show me what you've wanted to do." To emphasize her need, Andy pulled Miranda against her harder and lifted a leg around her waist. Miranda responded by putting her hand right where it was needed. At the first slip of Miranda's fingers over Andy's clit, they both nearly screamed.

"Oh, Andrea…God…" Miranda thrust against her harder and harder using her whole hand.

Andy held on tightly and was thankful when Miranda brought her other arm around her waist to help hold her in place. She was very close to falling in more ways than one. "Faster…faster…" she said breathlessly.

"You're amazing…truly amazing darling…" Miranda quickened her pace, continuing to use her whole hand. "When you come…I'm going to make you scream just like I've wanted to…"

And that was it. Andy couldn't hold on any longer and to hell with the neighbor's ears. True to her word as Andy finally fell over the edge, letting go of all the wanting of the past ten months, Miranda took possession of her body and soul, filling her with as much of Miranda's hand as she could take. Her body went slack yet pulsed and moved with Miranda harder and harder. She wasn't sure what she was saying…screaming…moaning or how loud or for how long.

Miranda would never be able to say that this was everything she thought it would be. It was more…much more. She had no idea anything could feel like this. Finally throwing off the hesitation and just doing it…just fucking Andrea up against this door…it was like everything was finally coming together. Finally. And now maybe they could move forward. She had known all along that if they could just get past this first time that would no doubt be nothing but raw desire…they could get down to the business of loving each other. But for now she just needed, wanted, had to keep doing this. She had to stay inside as long as she was allowed.

Andrea tore her shirt out of her slacks and raked her nails down Miranda's back. It was painful and absolutely exhilarating at the same time. It also made Miranda want her even more. "Yes…yes that's it. Hm…Andrea!" Miranda screamed her name again as she came one more time, moving frantically against Miranda sinking down into each thrust.

"Miranda…" From there Andrea screams and moans became completely incoherent again and her body almost became too slack for Miranda to hold up. It was almost as if the girl was about to pass out…which wouldn't be good. Not up against this door anyway. Miranda held still inside her and placed gentle kisses over her cheeks and lips…for which she received hardly a response…yes perhaps it was time to slow down. A lot.

Miranda repeated her name several times and finally Andrea took a deep breath and opened her eyes. "Hey…sorry." She blushed and buried her head in Miranda.

"I hate to inform you of this darling but you in no way have anything to be apologetic about. Perhaps I was a bit overzealous…" Feelings of desire and hunger welled up in Miranda again but she held them back. Right now her primary concern needed to be getting Andrea to the bed. "We need to move this to the bed. Can you?"

Andrea let her leg slid down from Miranda's hip but kept a firm grip on her back. "Yep. I'm ready when you are." They made their way to the bed and Miranda sat her down on the edge. For a moment she just stood there looked down at the most beautiful thing she had ever seen…it was breathtaking really, like coming home. Andrea reached up and started unbuttoning her shirt. Miranda started to take over but her hands were gently brushed back. "Please let me…" So Miranda let her. She would likely allow Andrea to whatever she wanted to, whenever she wanted to do it. "Will you do me a favor?"

"Yes…anything." Miranda pushed Andrea's hair out of her face and let her finger tips linger over her face.

"Wear this suit again for me tomorrow?" She let out a soft giggle. "I still need to get my fantasy that you so rudely prevented me from fulfilling."

"It involves this suit?" Miranda moaned as Andrea's fingers brushed her shirt back and let it fall to the floor. Next her bra was being removed…which was easy since it clasped in the front. With it gone, Andrea's gaze settled on Miranda's breasts and she felt her face and chest burn. It wasn't so much from embarrassment as it was from the look in Andrea's eyes. There was a deep look of desire there. She wanted Miranda and that was certainly a different experience. No one had ever looked at her like that.

"Yeah, it involves this suit. I love this suit. It kills me when you wear it." Finally Andrea moved her hands and eyes down to Miranda's belt and released it, then the button and the zipper. She tilted her head back up and held Miranda's gaze as she slid her slacks and panties down her thighs. Okay now she was slightly embarrassed; which was unnerving not to mention distractive. But then Andrea's arms were around her naked waist and she rested her head against Miranda' stomach. "This can't be a one-time thing Miranda…it can't be."

Miranda gently pushed Andrea back onto the bed and joined her, moving her until her head was resting in the pillows. "Come here."

"'Kay…" Andrea pulled the covers around them and settled into Miranda's arms, resting her hand in the middle of Miranda's chest.

"Why do you think this," Miranda motioned between them. "Would ever be a one-time thing?"

"I don't know…I mean I didn't. Not deep down. I just felt like it was something I had to say."

"It's not. Andrea, this is not a one-time thing. I can't deny that your body is…something that I…" Miranda cleared her throat while she thought of a graceful way to say this; if there was such a way. "Have wanted to…"

Andrea patted her chest and let her off the hook. "I get it…" she laughed.

"Good. As I was saying. This is not a one-time thing. I want…more and I won't let anything get in the way of that. I think I've shown you a bit of that already."

"You have. I want the same thing you know. I don't care what we have to go through; I want to be with you. Nothing can interfere with that…but." Andrea kissed her neck and trailed her hand down Miranda's body at a slow, glacial pace. "I am about to interfere with you…in several ways, if you don't mind." Suddenly she was resting her warm body on top of Miranda.

"No, no I don't mind that at all." Miranda pulled her down in a kiss and got ready to enjoy any and all interferences Andrea had in mind.

The End

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