DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written in response to a Mid-January Challenge where a book title was given as the prompt. The title had to be the inspiration, not the book. I was given The Other Side of Midnight. A pic posted by needled_ink1975 on her Live Journal page provided the remaining inspiration.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By quiethearted (QH Fletcher)
This was obsession. There was no other way to look at it and being unable to control it was fast making Andy Sachs question her sanity. Though she realized it probably wasn't the most healthy way to deal with her problem, she had found that she was able to minimize the effect on her life. She allowed herself one hour every third night to turn the demon loose. Andy couldn't stop a rueful smile at the ironic appropriateness of that thought. It was a demon that plagued her thoughts, or more accurately, the devil herself.
Andy knew, while she still worked at Runway, that she had developed a small crush on her boss. Realistically, who wouldn't? The woman was a walking, talking fantasy come to life. Miranda Priestly was beautiful, sexy and powerful, all the things that drew the eye and the libido in her direction. Most importantly, she was completely unapproachable which only sent her appeal into the stratosphere. Yes, Miranda was made to live in the fantasies of lesser mortals and Andy Sachs was no exception, a fact the young reporter had lived with quite well while working for the woman and even after she had left Miranda's employ.
Until that fucking article came out, Andy thought, her expression turning grim. She had been quite content to allow the editor life in her late night fantasies for the almost three years since she had first walked into the woman's office. She did feel a bit guilty about the white-haired diva sneaking into the bedroom while Andy was still with Nate, but hey, everyone needs a little help now and then. If the brunette's orgasms were unusually powerful when Miranda floated in her mind that was just beneficial to Andy and her boyfriend, right? I mean, I mega got off and Nate thought he was the cause which always put him in a good mood so he laid off my job for a few days. Good for all involved, right?
Andy recognized a rationalization when she saw one, but then that had been SOP for her since the day she first started working for the editor. 'Standard Operating Practice' is right, she scoffed. Whatever minimized the obstacles to the brunette fulfilling Miranda's every wish was perfectly acceptable as long as it got the job done. Andy really hadn't realized how many of her own personal lines she had crossed as if they never existed until that final confrontation in Paris. It was only in realizing that in order to always be able to give the fashion diva exactly what she demanded, Andy would have to become the woman, to lose everything that made her Andrea Sachs and become Andréa, that the young woman knew she had to get out, had to run as far and as fast as she could, or lose everything she held most dear in her own personality. Knowing she couldn't let that happen and still be able to look at herself in the mirror without wanting to throw-up, she tossed her phone in a Paris fountain and kept walking.
Leaving Miranda, however, had not ended the crush. It had ended her relationship, her friendships and almost her career, but not her crush. That had only grown, becoming larger and pervasive with each glimpse of the diva on the street or mention of her in print. Still, it had been nothing Andy couldn't control. Until that fucking article.
Andy now found her life divided by three defining moments, 'Before Miranda', 'After Miranda' and 'Until that fucking article', which had set the tone for the last six months. It wasn't actually the article itself, though that had been fascinating in its own right. It was more the picture that had illustrated it. Named one of the Top Ten Women in Business by Forbes magazine, an interview with the editor had accompanied the honor. Knowing the editor normally disdained giving interviews, Andy had been surprised to see she had acquiesced to this one. However, knowing that Forbes was one of the few non-fashion magazines that had always graced the corner of Miranda's desk in the mornings, perhaps the reporter shouldn't have been so amazed. So Andy had bought a copy off a news stand and shoved it into her messenger bag for later reading. She would be forever grateful that she'd been too busy the rest of the day to pull it out and only got time that evening at home because that picture
Taken in the editor's office, it was the epitome of everything the woman was. Andy had set for hours just studying it. She couldn't say what had arrested her about it other than it was just so totally Miranda, the image of business elegance. It showed her beauty, strength and power, making it easy to believe this woman influenced billions of dollars in fashion trade with her every whim. Those things were always apparent to anyone who saw or photographed her, but this photographer was especially skilled and had a discerning eye, because he caught more. This image of Miranda was blatantly sensual.
Soft and almost ethereal, it impacted Andy in a way that no other picture of the editor ever had. She couldn't take her eyes from that single curling lock that fell down over one eye, though she had seen it many times while in the woman's presence. The hands were small and competent, but the way fingertips brushed knuckles left the young woman imagining how they would feel brushing her body. The mouth was almost pursed in that way the editor had when she being tolerant of something she didn't wish to do. All Andy could think of was how those lips would feel under hers. Would they hold that shape or would they soften and spread to receive her? The tantalizing curve of breast barely a shade lighter than the diva's chest that was revealed by the white shirt made the reporter's fingertips itch to touch. But it was the eyes that truly drew the young woman. There was such mystery there and, to someone who had spent long days looking into them, there was also a wisp of sadness and a daring of someone to try and take that feeling away.
Andy awoke the next morning with a bit of a headache from the wine she had consumed, a telltale stickiness between her thighs and that picture resting on the pillow next to her. It would prove to be the first of many nights when she slept with this Miranda beside her.
Unable to just sit, Andy stood holding on to a support rod and tapping her foot as she waited restlessly for the subway train to reach her stop. Torn between frustration and elation, she wasn't sure how she should be feeling right now. Though terrified was slowly seeping into the mix and she feared it would take precedence over the others ultimately. She pushed those thoughts away as the train came to a stop and darted out the doors as soon as there was sufficient clearance. She only had barely more than an hour to reach her apartment, transform herself into Runway chic and get downtown to the Met. How she had ended up in this situation still amazed her.
It had been a normal enough day. She had started out with an interview and rushed into work to finish both that story and another. She had vaguely noticed that the writer for the Mirror's equivalent of Page Six was out with the flu, but as it didn't impact on what Andy was currently working on she paid little attention to the fact. It wasn't until much later than she noticed a good deal of conversation around the woman's desk. From what she could pick up there was some important function that night and there was a bit of discussion as to who would fulfill the obligation in the sick writer's stead. She couldn't help a small grin at the knowledge that wardrobe seemed to be the major stumbling block to assigning someone to attend and write up the event. It wasn't the kind of problem she was used to hearing at the Mirror, as opposed to her last job. Still, it wasn't her problem, or at least, not until she caught two words followed by a summons. Gala Runway.
There is a God, Andy thought as she rose slowly from her chair to find out what her editor wanted, though she feared she already knew. Yep, there sure is and right now He hates me.
She had used every argument she could think of, but all had been overruled. Her first mistake had been admitting there was still courtier hanging in her closet. Her second had been not taking into account the fact that it wouldn't fit anyone but her. The men were out because well, just because and the women were either too short, too large or lacked the proper assets to fill out certain parts of the dress.
Great, she thought as she made her way out of the subway and turned towards her apartment. The one thing I never wanted to happen. My tits just got me an assignment. To say she was in a bad mood was equivalent to saying Miranda was bit upset when Demarchelier's computer had crashed taking an entire shoot of photos with it.
Reaching her apartment, she was half undressed by the time she entered her bedroom. The sight of the photo at her bedside gave her pause. She had framed the magazine shot and kept it close at hand. Considering its most frequent use, a better location could not have been found. Tonight was one of the nights she set aside to let this carefully controlled obsession live. From eleven to midnight, this Miranda was allowed to breath in the younger woman's fantasies. Something she much preferred to the thought of having to deal with the diva in the flesh. Not as much flesh as the reporter would have preferred, but enough to strike terror in the younger woman's heart. She would need a quote from the editor for the story. How the hell was she supposed to get it without her dream intruding?
Slightly more than an hour later, she stepped from a cab in front of the Metropolitan Museum, a bit later than she would have liked to have arrived, but still a good twenty minutes before Miranda would make her appearance. Thankful that she still had the fashion diva's quirks committed to memory, Andy dashed up the steps. With luck she would have the quotes she needed by the time Miranda descended the grand staircase, then she need only lurk on the periphery of the crowd that would surround the editor until she had the right phrase to tuck into her own story and a clear shot to the nearest exit. Maybe she wouldn't stay in God's bad graces all night and her plan would work.
"Get lost on your way to last season, Six?" The slightly amused voice interrupted her thoughts.
"Nigel!" Turning, Andy threw her arms around the man's neck and gave a hug equal to her pleasure at seeing him.
"Wrinkles, Andy!" he cautioned even as he returned the heartfelt greeting before pushing her gently to arm's length. "You may consider them a fashion must, but I do not," he admonished. "Now, turn."
Unable to control her grin, she spun slowly in place, allowing his perusal.
"Hmmm you've lost weight since the last time I saw you. You're down to what? A three?" At her nod, he continued. "Yes, well, it's time to stop. Starvation would not be a good look for you, fashion propaganda notwithstanding."
Andy's laugh was deep and joyful, causing several heads to turn her way. The view of the beautiful dark-haired young woman in the clinging red dress kept them turned. That one was located in the shadows at the top of the stairs went unnoticed by all. Exquisite, the watcher thought, saddened that the greeting she would receive would be much less just less all the things that made the girl still live in her heart after all this time. Mask slipping firmly into place, she stepped out of the shadows.
"I absolutely love you, Ni-" Andy stopped mid-word, mouth still open, eyes wide and staring over his shoulder.
Brow furrowed in concern, Nigel touched her shoulder but went unnoticed.
"Six, you all right? Six?" At last, he turned to see what had the young woman so mesmerized. Ahhh. Some things really never do change. Giving up on regaining the reporter's attention, he turned to also watch Miranda's descent. She was, as usual, quintessentially elegant and beautiful in a midnight blue Valentino creation that left her neck and shoulders bare while providing a bit more cleavage display than usual. In a phrase, the diva was dressed to seduce and it had worked to perfection if the look on his young friend's face was any indication, a looked mirrored throughout the room. Idly he wondered if any of the smitten had a chance with his now single friend and boss. Curious as to what use Andy might put that information to, he stated as much.
"She's still single, you know. Hasn't dated a soul since the divorce. It's almost as if she's waiting for something or someone."
As she lost sight of Miranda in the converging crowd at the bottom of the stairs, Andy turned a blank look on her friend.
"Not for anyone we know though." Her voice was as expressionless as her face, giving no hint as to the feelings it masked. "It was really good seeing you, but I'm here to work. Give me a call and we can get together for lunch or a drink." She slipped off into the crowd before he could respond.
For the first time since reaching icon status, Miranda Priestly had not taken a stance and allowed the room to come to her. Instead, she had steadily advanced through the crowd to the consternation of Emily who tried desperately to keep up while murmuring hurried descriptions and names of the people who dared to slow the diva's progress. With single minded intent, she had made her way to the last place she saw Nigel standing, only to find him talking, not to Andréa as she had hoped, but to Serena. She spared a fleeting glance for the Brazilian's outfit, giving the barest hint of a nod at its acceptability.
"I thought I saw you talking to someone, Nigel," she offered in her soft voice. She gave Serena another glance, this one clearly dismissive. After the younger woman left with a murmured excuse, Miranda waved a confused Emily to follow. Nigel was amused to see the people around them draw away, creating an island of isolation around the two of them.
"I've spoken to several people this evening, Miranda," Nigel decided to be coy as he watched the editor's eyes darting around the room. If she was looking for who he thought she was, he had every intention of finding out the editor's intentions toward his young friend. He cared for them both, but Andy was by far in the position to be irrevocably injured and he would do his best not to let that happen. In his opinion, unrequited was much better than damaged.
Miranda's irritation was evident in the roll of her eyes, since she knew he was aware who she spoke of. Nigel always had been able to read her better than most, especially her husbands. Only one person anticipated her with more ease.
"Andréa, Nigel. You were speaking with Andréa."
"Yes, I was," he admitted. "She looked wonderful, didn't she?" His choice of tenses was deliberate.
"Did? Has she left?" The editor had quickly picked up on his implication.
"I don't know. She may be around here somewhere. Why the interest?" he dared ask. Being one of the few people in the world who could question the diva and live had its advantages and he intended to exploit every one.
"I thought it would be pleasant to say hello," she hedged, not realizing how much her answer was giving away as she was more focused on unobtrusively searching the crowd than the current conversation.
"Really?" It was all Nigel could do not to laugh. "Miranda Priestly? Say hello to an ex-assistant? Especially one who walked out on her in Paris. Either you need a drink or need to stop having them," he chided. "Try again."
Miranda blushed, realizing her mistake, something else Nigel had never seen her do, the action only serving to aggravate her already rapidly descending mood.
"Eventually, we will be in a place where there are no witnesses," she cautioned. "I'm sure it would be ruled justifiable were I ever caught."
"I'd worry about that," he laughed, "except that I'm the only person who can satisfy your curiosity at the moment."
Her negligent wave acknowledged the truth of his statement while also seeking to downplay its importance.
"Well?" she snapped, putting the lie to her own actions.
"Why is it important, Miranda? You know, or can get, all her numbers and her address. Contacting her would not be an issue for you."
"If she's here to work, she needs a quote from me. If not, why is she here? In either case, why would she not speak to me? This is my party. It's rude to leaving without speaking to the hostess."
Nigel couldn't restrain a laugh at that.
"Miranda, only the bravest approach you in the first place, a fact you well know. In the second, Andy has no reason to believe you won't kill her after what happened in Paris. As to the third, what, exactly, have you done to change her opinion on that?"
His look was so insufferably smug Miranda couldn't decide whether to simply slap him or to proceed with her first inclination, regardless of witnesses. It was only her knowledge that he was right about having information she wanted that saved him from both, though why she wanted it she couldn't begin to explain to herself, much less Nigel.
"Am I truly that frightening, Nigel?" She was afraid of the answer and knew only he was brave enough to give it to her.
"Yes. Yes, you are," he acquiesced. "And the most frightening thing about you is that, even with your faults, you still inspire love and in the most unlikely of people."
"Pity I don't inspire it where I most want it to bloom," she commented, her voice barely audible.
"Oh, I think you do." He smiled at the flash of hope in the icy eyes that met his before resuming their search. "However, blooms that aren't picked wither and die where they grow."
"And is that what you advise I do? Pick one?"
"It might not be a bad idea," he advised, wanting to see both his friends happy. "I happen to know where there is an especially nice incarnadine blossom that would suit you on many levels."
"Do you? And what makes you think this flower wishes to be gathered? And especially by me?" She was desperate to be reassured she would not be making a fool of herself if she pursued the younger woman.
"Maybe because she was struck dumb by your entrance. Or the fact she made an excuse about being here to work to get away from our conversation only to rush out the door without speaking to anyone else."
"Hardly actions that speak of wanting to be near me," Miranda scoffed.
"Some people find it hard to be close to the one thing they want most desperately, but think they'll never have." He made a show of checking his watch. "In about fifteen minutes, she'll be walking through her front door. How much longer did you say you were staying?"
The corner of her mouth curled upwards. "It would probably be best if Roy were waiting out front in say, half an hour."
"I'll just save Emily the effort and text him that information," Nigel offered, reaching into his jacket for his cell. "Along with anything else he might need to know. He's always been so wonderfully discreet."
"Yes, he has," she agreed. She laid a soft hand on his forearm. "Thank you, Nigel. You are more of a friend than I often deserve."
"As I said, in spite of your faults," he smiled gently. "Now, I believe the worshippers wish to make their obeisance. Who am I to stand in their way?" With a smile, he walked away tapping at the keys of his phone.
Andy slammed into her apartment so furious with herself for running away that she didn't notice that the self-locking door had not quite caught. She had arrived home safely enough, but without her dignity and the quote she needed for her story. Shedding her dress, she had the presence of mind to return it to its protective cover and hang it in the back of her closet. Pulling a robe over her lingerie, she walked to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of wine, fretting over what she was going to do as she took a sip. She would just have to write it without the quote from Miranda. Settling in front of her laptop, she opened a document and got to work. She was just finishing when a tone from her cell alerted her to a text message. She almost laughed aloud when she saw the message from Nigel contained the perfect quote. Taking a moment to work it into the story, she saved the document and forwarded it her editor's inbox. She closed the laptop's lid with a snap and reached for her glass. A glance at the clock told her it was just past eleven.
Topping off her glass, she sauntered towards her bedroom. For the first time since leaving the Met, she allowed herself to indulge in the responses that seeing Miranda had caused in her body. They were, after all, what had caused her flight. Her first sight of the fashion diva had resulted in her nipples tightening. As the woman descended, Andy could feel the swelling and heat between her thighs escalating. The throbbing kept time with each step the editor took down that long staircase. Her arousal quickly became such that the brunette knew the moment she heard that voice, she would come. Quite visibly and in a room full of people, she would orgasm with a power that would send her to her knees. After all, one hour at a time she had trained her body to do just that at the sight of Miranda Priestly. So she had run, hurrying back to the place and the hour where she could set her obsession free without concern for consequences.
Taking a final sip of wine, she set the glass on the bedside table and picked up the photo. Her eyes followed the sweeping 'S' of the snow white lock across the forehead. Andy had never been able to see it without her fingers tingling to brush it back, feeling the silky softness slide across them. Following a pattern she had established over months, she looked next at the hands, so small with their long tapered fingers. She wanted so much to feel their touch on her and in her. The brunette felt the familiar clench between her thighs. She wanted to slip her own fingers inside the white shirt and cup the warm, lush softness she found there in her hand, feel the nipple harden into her palm while she tasted those red lips.
Resting one knee on the bed, she leaned over and placed the photo on the opposite pillow, fingers loosening the tie at her waist. She shrugged the robe off her shoulders and let it slide down her arms to the floor. The red merry widow she wore left the upper curves of her areoles exposed so it wasn't difficult to slip her fingers inside and pinch her nipples, rolling them back and forth. A shudder passed through her as the pool of her arousal grew. One hand slid down over her stomach to slip under the lace of her thong and tug at the tight curls there. A single nail flickered over her clitoris and Andy threw her head back gasping. She began a slow, steady massage and felt her clit harden under her finger. As her hands worked at nipple and clit, her hips began to curl and flex driving herself higher and closer to a climax.
Lips parted as she struggled to draw breath, she locked her eyes on the picture that had started this. Miranda was as sensually erotic as Andy had ever seen her and she couldn't stop the moan that rose to her lips. Moving her hand lower she plunged two fingers as deeply as she could get them, drawing them out only to push back in. She repeated the movement thrusting her hips to intensify the sensation. She could feel her climax building and she worked feverishly to bring herself to completion. Still, it wouldn't come. Bringing her other knee to the bed, she rested back on her heels and spread her thighs further. Her gasps were quickly becoming sobs of frustration as she manipulated her body seeking a release that would not come.
"Oh, damn. Miranda, please," she groaned as her efforts became frantic. "Please .I can't .help me Please."
Suddenly, a cool hand slipped in to squeeze her breast and pinch the aching nipple, warm lips fastened to her neck just below her ear and slender fingers pressed between her legs driving into her while a thumb stroked her clit rhythmically.
"Come for me, Andréa," whispered across one ear and Andy exploded, screaming Miranda's name. Lights streaked and sparkled before the brunette's eyes before darkness descended and she collapsed face first onto the bed.
Sometime later, Andy shifted towards consciousness, her mind registering that she was now naked and cradled against a smaller, shorter body. She inhaled deeply. I know that perfume. Only one person wears it. Chanel blended it for Her eyes flew open.
"Miranda!" Andy shot up in the bed and stared down at the woman lying next to her. Not the picture, the actual woman.
"Yes, Andréa." Bending one elbow, the editor rested the side of her head in her palm and studied the woman sitting beside her.
"You're naked," Andy accused.
Lifting the sheet which had covered them both, the diva peeked under it before letting it drop back into place.
"So it would seem. But then so are you, and you know how I hate to be overdressed for any occasion," Miranda teased gently.
Realizing the other woman was right, Andy grabbed the sheet that had fallen to her waist and pulled it up to cover her breasts. Miranda, with a mischievous curl to one corner of her mouth, simply reached out and tugged it back down.
"Something so beautiful should never be hidden, Andréa, especially not when it gives me so much pleasure to admire you," the editor chided.
"You what how did you get in?" Andy finally settled on asking, though she did give up on the sheet, warmed by the thought that Miranda wanted to look at her. Beside which, if she argued the point, the woman might get up and leave, definitely not what Andy wanted to have happen.
"It seems your door was not properly latched. You really should be more careful about that. Anyone could walk in and catch you doing anything."
"Oh," Andy blushed. "Then you really did "
"Oh, yes," Miranda laughed. "I most definitely did."
Frantically, Andy looked around her having remembered what else the editor would have found when she walked in unannounced.
"Looking for something?" Miranda's voice took on a devilish tone. "This maybe?" She reached behind her and held up the picture.
"I can explain that." The brunette bit her bottom lip, not really wanting to explain at all.
"I think the explanation was obvious." She laid the photo in the younger woman's lap before continuing on to stroke one nail up the center of the brunette's toned stomach.
Andy couldn't suppress her shiver.
"Miranda-" she started.
"How long?" The diva interrupted tapping the frame with the same nail.
"Since the day it was published," Andy admitted. She had to strain to hear Miranda's next comment.
"So much wasted time." Lying back on the pillow behind her, the editor held out her arms. "Let's not waste any more."
The brunette leaned slowly forwards, catching a glimpse of her alarm clock. 1:00 AM. She smiled as her body came to rest atop Miranda's. Breasts pressed tightly together, the diva's thighs opened to cradle the younger woman's hips making their contact even more intimate. The picture slipped to the floor unnoticed. Just before the taste of Miranda's red lips made thinking impossible, a single thought flitted through Andy's mind. Now I'll find out what happens on the other side of midnight.
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