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

The Long Way Home
By Brithna

 

For a week and a half now Andy has been walking to work in the morning, bag in one hand, coffee in the other, totally oblivious to the rest of the world. Honestly, she's damn lucky she hasn't gotten ran over by a car or something. But so far she's fine. Just no longer quite so oblivious, like she used to be.

Andy used to be able to just brush things off or just…well. For lack of a better term or phrase, she used to be able to ignore the fuck out of everything she saw, heard, and felt. But not anymore. That all ended about a week and a half ago.

They'd been to Paris. Again. Only this time things had gone much differently. There was no big plot to over-throw the 'government'. There was no stabbing anyone in the back—by either party. There was no pre-trip break-up or post-trip divorce. Come to think of it, there hadn't even been a Fashion Week. It was just a quick stop on the way home from a bunch of boring meetings in Los Angeles.

Right. Los Angeles. Because suddenly, heading for Paris was totally the best and fastest way to get from Los Angeles to New York. Yes. Totally. And of course, since no one ever questions Miranda's logic and Andy certainly wasn't going to start—that private Runway jet just kept right on going.

But there were other reasons why Andy didn't raise her voice to question or outright object. Honestly, she was simply happy enough to go wherever her boss desired her to go—not to mention well-practiced in brushing off all things weird where Miranda Priestly was concerned.

But, in the middle of their first night in Paris, brushing off and ignoring things came to a rather abrupt halt.

Andy slept most of the way there and Miranda did too, so when they arrived in Paris both of them were about as rested as could be. Having no knowledge of this detour, of course, Andy had been a little panicked about the details since she was usually the one in charge of details; but Miranda had everything worked out. Yes, Miranda had everything little thing, right down to Andy's favorite flowers, worked out and ready to go. And even though she was growing less and less oblivious by the minute, Andy still never questioned a thing.

After all, Miranda never did, or said, or even thought anything unless she really wanted to. So the only thing to assume was that: Miranda was doing exactly what she wanted to do. And really, who was Andy—in her now even less oblivious state—to stop her?

Their suites were next to one another; but the doors in between remained open. Floral arrangements spread throughout both rooms all featured the hibiscus flower…Andy's favorite flower, in all sorts of colors. In her closet, Andy found a wardrobe that would do more than cover a few days and in her bathroom… God, in her bathroom there was a robe. A gray one. Just like the one Andy had pictured in her mind for many, many, many long months.

After that everything was just on autopilot. They had dinner downstairs at a table that afforded them complete privacy. They spoke of everything but Runway. They laughed. They joked. They kissed…right there at the table. Yes, right there at the table Miranda just leaned over and kissed her. First on the cheek. Then on the lips. Then she took Andy's hand and they went back to their rooms.

Things followed in the way Andy had now come to expect in this very, very short period of time. Miranda was attentive…very, very attentive. Yet, they did not have sex. Miranda left her utterly and completely breathless, but they did not have sex.

And in a way, that is exactly what Andy expected.

The next day was more of the same. In between breakfast, lunch and a late dinner there was more talk, a little shopping, a lot of walking, and an awful lot of leaving each other breathless. For the first time in a very long time, Andy was really happy and Miranda—from what Andy could tell—was really happy too.

But then they came home.

Now in all that time, neither of them said a single word about what their standing would be upon arriving back in New York. Not one word. Even on the ride back—they simply held hands while Miranda read copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns and Andy read every newspaper she'd been able to grab before they boarded the jet. That's all. That's all they'd done and now a week and a half later Andy's starting to wonder what it all meant in the first place.

Miranda hasn't been mean to her or anything, or treated her any differently than she already has been for a while…but…well, maybe that was it. Miranda's still carrying on as she normally did. No better, no worse. She seems fine. But why do all that? Why plan that whole little two day trip and hold Andy's hand for practically the entire flight back if all Miranda wanted was to come home and basically act like it never happened?

Clearly, Andy's got to say something because walking blindly to work every morning is only going to become more dangerous as time goes on. Clearly.

Yesterday Andy almost said something but lost her appetite for it when Irv showed up un-expectedly. Sure it pissed Miranda off to see him—un-expectedly or not—and put her in a badass mood, but that really didn't have much to do with Andy's continued silence after his departure.

Irv puts her in a badass mood too and she always has a harder time shaking it off. Miranda, however, is usually good to go after about thirty minutes of peace, but it never works out quite that way for Andy. That fucker's actions back then twisted so many things around in her head until Andy could hardly think straight. He almost caused her to quit her job, so any time Andy sees him, she sees his murder in her head for about the next hour or so.

In light of that, she kept her mouth shut and decided to try the next day…today.

And what do ya know, as soon as she clears her throat in Miranda's doorway, Andy gets nervous. She hasn't been truly nervous in Miranda's presence in a really long time so this can't be good. Or maybe she isn't really nervous. Maybe the fear of rejection is finally gripping her heart, once and for all. Yeah. That's probably it.

As soon as Andy's done clearing her throat, Miranda calls her inside and for a moment Andy just stands there and takes the scene in. Miranda's head is down, her pen is poised in the air and her glasses are slipping ever so slightly down the bridge of her nose. She's been looking at some reports from accounting since lunch and Andy guesses that Miranda is probably bored out of her mind.

"Andrea, come in," she says softly, breaking Andy out of her thoughts. Softly…Miranda almost always speaks to her like that now, even before when Andy was busy ignoring everything and being oblivious. Well, she certainly can't do that anymore. Those days are over.

Finally, Andy goes in but turns around halfway to Miranda's desk and shuts the door. That gets Miranda's attention for sure and she puts her pen down and looks up, eyebrow raised.

Saying a silent prayer and thinking briefly about the wonderful two days they spent together and how surely everything would be okay at the end, Andy puts a confident face on and steps up to the desk. Miranda, of course, still has that eyebrow arched high. At least her lips aren't pursed or anything like that.

"I need to talk to you, Miranda."

"Very well," Miranda says, standing from her chair at the same time. For a moment Andy isn't sure what she's about to do and is surprised when Miranda pulls a chair around to be closer to her own. "I have a feeling, Andrea," she starts again, "That whatever you are about to say, should not be said with us on opposite sides of a table. Am I right?" Miranda finishes by motioning for Andy to sit down. She almost trips on the way but recovers quickly.

"Right…well." Andy stops to clear her throat again and before she continues, Andy once again tries to remember those two days and how wonderful they were. How wonderful she and Miranda had been together. How attentive Miranda was and –

"Andrea?"

Oh. "Sorry." Andy blinks and feels like an idiot. "I was just…I'm sorry. All I wanted, Miranda…was to know, you know…those two days—"

"Were wonderful."

Oh. "Well, yeah. Yes." Andy shakes her head and closes her eyes, too nervous to look Miranda in the face. "It was. And then we came home."

"Correct." Miranda says flatly.

"And then," Andy opens her eyes at once—suddenly not nervous at all—and looks at Miranda directly. "Nothing."

This seems to fluster Miranda a bit and she leans back in her chair. "Am I to gather you are referring to a continuance of what took place on those two days?"

"Yes," Andy says, feeling her face get hot.

"Honesty," Miranda leans forward touches Andy's knee, "I have seen no move toward such a thing from you either, Andrea."

Oh. Seriously? She was waiting on Andy? Seriously?

Unable to stop herself, Andy tosses her hands up in frustration and stands. "Miranda, how could you ever think I would feel comfortable with that? How could you ever think I would approach you…I just…"

Andy, in her growing irritation, goes across the room and ends up sitting on the couch since she really doesn't know what else to do besides strangle Miranda. How could Andy have ever approached Miranda? Even if there was the example of those two days, how could she, the lowly Second Assistant, approach Miranda Priestly? How? There's not a pill or drink strong enough in the world to give her that kind of bravery. None existed. If one did, then Andy would have approached a long damn time ago! Didn't Miranda know that she would have to be the one to guide them along? At least in the beginning? At least until Andy knew for sure what was really going on between them and could gain confidence in it?

"You're intimidated."

Suddenly Andy realizes that Miranda is standing in front of her. "More like afraid," Andy sniffs and blinks back a tear. "And intimidated."

"I have to admit, I did not expect that," Miranda says as she sits down next to Andy. "Not after those two days," Miranda continues. "But I suppose I should have. It's not as if I explained…anything."

"No." Andy wipes her eyes and somehow manages to laugh. "No. You didn't explain anything, Miranda," she says. "We just shopped, ate….and made out…a lot."

"Yes." Miranda laughs with her just a little and it makes Andy realize how much she's missed hearing the sound of it in the past week and a half. Andy loves it, the non-fake, real, and honest laugh that Miranda is unknowingly quite capable of producing. "Speaking of which…" Miranda whispers as she turns Andy's head and brushes her lips against Andy's ear. "I would like to point out that you were not the least bit intimidated in those situations."

Before Andy can reply, Miranda brushes her lips against Andy's ear again then moves down her neck. Suddenly Andy finds herself unable to recall what the word 'intimidated' even means and turns her head to meet Miranda's lips with her own.

And they move even closer.

It's clear that they are good at kissing. Very good at kissing. After all, they spent large portions of nearly two whole days doing just that. In spite of this being Miranda's office Andy can't help but wrap her arms around Miranda's neck and lean back until her back hits the arm of the couch. Miranda gives no complaint and soon they are laying there making each other breathless once again.

In between kissing and occasionally—finally—touching a little bit of bare skin here and there, Miranda begins to explain herself. It seems Andy's been trying Miranda's patience and the woman finally grew tired of it—hence, the long way back home from Los Angeles. Miranda simply couldn't wait any longer, which makes perfect sense, because when has Miranda ever been able to wait for something? And the reason why they'd not had sex in Paris a week and a half ago? Well as it turns out, Miranda Priestly isn't in to one night stands or anything remotely casual.

That's when Andy pushes Miranda—who is doing some incredible things with her hands underneath Andy's shirt—back a little.

Miranda looks down at Andy with a confused and completely precious look on her face. Andy slides both her hands down Miranda's back until they come to a stop on her ass, which happens to look fan-fucking-tastic in these slacks. Miranda sucks in a breath when Andy squeezes and pulls her close. At this, Andy grins.

"Miranda," she says slowly, still grinning. "When did I ever give you the impression that I was into casual?"

Miranda doesn't do anything but swallow hard, turn red in the face and look a tad bit apprehensive. "Well, I…wasn't sure," she says, still looking apprehensive, like she's afraid of being hurt.

How that's even possible—Andy doesn't know.

"I'm not playing with you, Miranda. Casual is not what this is. I just needed you to tell me what you wanted."

The look on Miranda's face transforms immediately to something of relief and perhaps…perhaps something deeper. Whatever it is, it's beginning to look like its killing Miranda to not say it.

"What is it?" Andy asks, bringing one hand up to smooth back Miranda's hair.

Miranda blinks and says, "I want you," not looking apprehensive at all this time.

"Well, that sounds fine to me," Andy says, not looking nervous at all this time.

"And next time we go to Paris," Miranda adds, "I want to make love to you, Andrea."

Andy makes a quick note of how Miranda uses the word 'love' in place of the very casual sounding word 'sex'. It's all Andy can do to not cry. Thankfully, Miranda starts kissing her throat so she completely misses the look on Andy's face. There will be plenty of time to explain later. For now, there is only one other thing Andy wants to say.

"How soon can we go?" She asks, barely getting it out, already breathless once again.

Miranda mumbles, "Thursday," as she works her way down. "I have a meeting in Los Angeles again."

"Oh…oh God," Andy gasps because Miranda's hands are doing incredible things again and for a second she thinks about begging for more…right now…but pushes that thought away. She already knows Miranda will say 'no', as hard as it might be.

In the meantime Andy will pray for Thursday to hurry the hell up.

"We'll take the long way home again." Miranda whispers as she places several gentle kisses on Andy's collarbone and moves her hands to more conventional regions. Andy realizes what she's doing immediately. She's slowing down because, apparently, Andy's thoughts are transparent. "And I'll make love to you then. I will…"

Andy pulls Miranda up to her mouth then and they kiss and kiss some more, deep and slow and Andy can feel the words that Miranda hasn't said yet. She has a sneaking suspicion that Miranda can feel those same words come from her too and knows that this is it. She'll never be the same. She'll be completely oblivious to anything but Miranda for the rest of her life. She'll be damn lucky if she doesn't get run over by a car too at some point but right now that doesn't matter because Andy has just remembered something.

Tomorrow is Thursday.

The End

Note: I'm not a big fan of Miranda and Andy always ending up on the couch—and here I've done it twice in a row. Sorry for the repetitive quality in this. And I swear I'm working on M&M's 3. Having a hard time getting going on it. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have it done.

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