DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For the LGBTfest, for prompt 232: "The Devil Wears Prada: Andy Sachs/Miranda Priestly. The most unexpected consequence of their relationship? When Heritage of Pride invited Miranda to be the Grand Marshal of the New York Pride Parade." This story is a sequel to, and owes a tremendous debt to, Telanu's Too Long We Have Tarried (as in, I pretty much stole everything from her and it, so it might be an idea to read that one first). The title is (also) from The Owl and The Pussycat. References: Finnerman, W. (Producer) and Frankel, D. (Director) (2006) The Devil Wears Prada United States: Fox 2000 Pictures.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Beautiful Pea Green Boat
By The Last Good Name
They had been married for three months when Heritage of Pride called.
It was unexpected, to say the least.
"You can't do this to us!" Caroline said.
"It will be fun," said Miranda.
"It's child abuse!" Cassidy said.
"You'll like it," said Miranda. "And besides, Andrea wants to do it." At the very least they should have realized that it was important to make Andrea feel like part of the family. Their relationship was still so new, and Andrea was still so skittish about everything.
"Mooom!" they both said.
Miranda turned to Andrea, who was standing there with her jaw hanging open unattractively. Miranda gently closed her mouth, and then said, "Make sure that weekend is free."
"You want to" Andrea started to say, and then she nodded. "Of course, Miranda."
And that was that.
Or rather, that wasn't that, because no sooner had Andrea called Heritage of Pride to confirm that they would indeed be quite happy to marshal their little parade, than Miranda had a wonderful idea.
"We should get involved with the community," Miranda said.
Andrea stared at her, her large brown eyes wide and innocent. "What community?" asked Andrea.
"What community, really, Andrea. These are our people. And I'm sure they'll love me; I've already done so much for them."
"Done so much for them?" Andrea sounded choked up; she could be so wonderfully sensitive.
Miranda attempted to head off Andrea's impending tears. "For us, too, darling."
Andrea frowned. Miranda suppressed a smile. It really wasn't fair; she had so much more experience in relationships and sometimes she felt a little manipulative. But as long as peace and harmony prevailed in the house. Also, as long as it didn't occur to Andrea to cut her off. She had quite come to depend on the regular, and excellent, sex.
"Is this about the Pride parade?" Andrea said suspiciously.
"Of course," Miranda said. "We'll volunteer for the parade! You have such excellent ideas, dearest."
"I'm sure they need more volunteers," Miranda said, mind already whirling with ideas. It would work wonderfully: they could become part of the community, and she could perhaps offer guidance for some of the moreoutrageousefforts of her newfound people. She wrapped her arms around Andrea and breathed in the scent of her lovely bride: being married was so much better than she remembered. And Andrea was so bright; she always had such good ideas.
And Andrea looked so completely impressed by Miranda's quick acquiescence to her idea that Miranda had no choice but to kiss her. When she pulled back ten minutes later, her own hair was mussed and Andrea's blouse was torn. Again.
"What a bright webpage," Miranda said. She had finally had time to investigate the people organizing her little summer soirée, and it seemed they had a preference for florescence and black.
Andrea peered over her shoulder. "Yeah, that's pretty gay."
"Andrea!" Miranda said, scandalized. "You can't say things like that."
"What? It looks like a bunch of gay people got together and designed a webpage. Which is exactly what it is."
"Yes, well." Miranda pursed her lips. "They really do need our help, those of us who have taste."
Andrea raised her eyebrow. "Too bad Nigel isn't here."
Miranda peered suspiciously at Andrea. Did Andrea think that she wasn't up to the task? "The next planning meeting isn't for another three weeks. Hmm."
"That's good," said Andrea. "It'll give you time to reconsi"
"To what, darling?" Miranda asked, distracted and poking at the links. The page really was exceptionally bright. All that unrelenting pure color; it was bad for the eyesight. Maybe she could get the art department to look into it.
"To clear your schedule," Andrea said, her voice full of happiness.
The day of the next Heritage of Pride meeting, Miranda came home two hours early. It had taken some doingIrv in particular was fairly intransigent about rescheduling their meetingbut she was determined to start off on the right foot. Andrea, however, didn't seem quite as committed. She acted lethargic, and slovenly, and kept trying to distract Miranda with work. With the Book, for goodness sake. And then, just as they were scheduled to leave, Andrea decided she needed to spend several minutes in hushed conversation with the girls, about heavens knew what.
"Andrea, we are going to be late," Miranda called for the tenth time. She peered at her watch, and then up the stairs.
"Just a minute," she called, and then the whispers started again.
Perhaps they were arranging a surprise for her birthday. Miranda didn't generally like surprises, but she would tolerate a great deal if it made Andrea happy.
Several minutes later, Andrea came scurrying down the stairs. "Okay, I'm ready," she said, her face flushed.
Miranda looked at her speculatively. That was a lovely sweater; perhaps they had time tovery quickly, of course, in the downstairs bathroomno. They really did have to go. It wouldn't do to get a reputation.
Miranda had never realized just how badly volunteer organizations needed a strong hand willing to guide matters. This group in particular were horribly disorganized, and crammed into an unappetizing space to work; they didn't even know how many people would show up from meeting to meeting!
"This is no way to run a celebration," she declared.
There were titterings from the floor, but she ignored them and gamely continued. It was for their own benefit, of course.
Midway through her re-organization, Miranda realized that Andrea seemed especially tired and was resting her face in her hands. Miranda made a mental note not to keep her up late for a few nights, to let her recover. It would be a difficult promise to keep, but needs must.
Three hours later, the cadre of volunteers was simplified enough to suitably arrange things to Miranda's liking. Some people had protested, but once she had taken the time to convince everyone that her approach would be the most beneficial, they agreed that a lean, aggressive force would work best for such a huge undertaking.
As everyone filed out after the meeting, she made sure to offer a personal comment to everyone still there.
"Good night," she said to yet another poorly dressed, strangely coiffed young man. Or woman; it was so hard to tell. These people were worse than the stockholders, and a great deal less interested in the long-term success of their venture. "It was lovely to see you, good night. Do come again."
Once the last of the volunteers had leftnot without offered several more suggestions, all of which Miranda greeted with a gracious, "I'm sure we'll discuss that at a later date"she turned to find Andrea.
Who was nowhere to be found.
"Andrea?" Miranda called. She faintly heard something down the hall, and she followed the sounds of people talking and the clinking of glasses.
When she got to the door, she stood in amazement, watching as a young woman with shockingly pink hair and a great deal of metal attached to her visible person said, "She's fucking insane. She's run off all our volunteers, and it's already January!"
"You have no idea," Andrea slurred. "Lemme tell you about our wedding."
"That's right!" said a tall black man wearing a great deal of feathers and leather, none of which was made of colors found in nature. "She's the one who got the law changed. I knew I had seen her somewhere."
"Well, if she's on our side, I don't want to know what the bad guys look like," said Pink-hair.
Miranda decided that she had heard enough. Andrea clearly needed rescuing. "Andrea, I've been looking everywhere for you."
Three pairs of eyes turned to look at her, each bearing identical expressions of alarm and amazement.
"Are these your chosen lieutenants?," Miranda said.
Tall man dropped his drink, and Pink-hair made a small, high-pitched sound. She sounded a bit like Emily; perhaps they knew each other. The hair was nearly the same, anyway.
They might not have been who Miranda would have selected, she considered, but she did have to admit that Andrea was a wonder at arranging things at the last minute. She could work with them.
Andrea smiled tremulously. Miranda's stomach flopped with arousal, and she barely heard Andrea say, "Um, this is Rudolph"
"Randolph," the man hissed.
"Nah?" Miranda asked, against her better judgement.
Pink-hairNah, evidentlyblushed. It clashed with the hair. "Um, Susannah, really, but, um"
"I see," said Miranda.
Andrea's pulse was beating very fast in her neck, and she had turned an appealing pink. It was all distracting Miranda terribly. "We should be going, Andrea," she said, aware that her voice was going a bit hoarse.
Andrea jumped up and dashed to the door. "Yeah, Isee you guys later."
But halfway out the door, something occurred to Miranda: "Did you get their phone numbers?"
Miranda sighed. Andrea would thank her for this in the morning, she reminded herself. She would thank herself. "If they are our right-handpeople, we need to be able to contact them."
"Theyright-handcontact?" Andrea said.
"Goodness," said Miranda. "How much have you had to drink?"
"A lot," said Andrea passionately.
Miranda turned back to Susannah and Randolph. "I'll need your phone numbers, so that Andrea can contact you to help organize things. This is going to be a difficult project, since you've left everything so late, but I think we'll be able to handle things well enough."
"What about Alice and Danny?" asked Susannah.
"We've left everything?" said Randolph.
Miranda frowned. "I believe Danny had an emergency of some sort at home; he left crying about an hour ago. Alice is on-board with the changes, or she will be soon enough."
They both went extremely pale. Andrea swayed on her feet a bit.
"We'll need to start coordinating things, but it can wait until tomorrow. When Andrea has sobered up," she said pointedly.
Andrea shrugged. "It seemed like a thing to do?" she said.
Miranda just barely refrained from pinching the bridge of her nose. She supposed it was to be expected; Andrea was new to the community, she had only just discovered that these were her people. Besides, Miranda had read that the gay scene in New York revolved around bars and clubs and alcohol. Andrea would soon tire of it. She hoped.
Alice never did come around, but Susannah and Randolph rose the occasion, under Andrea's steady guidance. Although it was taking a bit longer than she had anticipated for Andrea to tire of the gay scene; Randolph especially seemed to delight in introducing Andrea to new and exotic drink combinations. Not to mention the feathers.
One night in April, after a long day wrangling photographers and models, an even longer evening assisting Randolph in arranging the lineup for the abominably named "Pridefest", and a thorough investigation of Andrea's nether regions, Miranda wiped a bit of sweat off her forehead and tugged Andrea closer. Andrea unstuck herself to shift a few centimeters, and sighed contentedly.
Miranda smiled, and then, caught up in the moment of intimacy, confided to Andrea, "I have always wanted to ride in a float."
Andrea looked surprised. Well, Miranda considered, she probably thought that Miranda would prefer to drive the car herself.
"You're supposed to ride in a car," Andrea said. "You're the Grand Marshal. That's what the Grand Marshal does."
"But I've never ridden in a float," said Miranda. "Wouldn't it be fun? We'll plan it ourselves, something tasteful. None of this messy exuberance."
"Miranda" said Andrea.
She didn't need further prompting to describe her vision. Having Andrea around to bounce ideas off of was one of the nicest benefits of their relationship. Next to the sex, of course. And now that she had secured Andrea's approval, she could get started on the specifics of things. It would be wonderful.
Susannah was less than enthusiastic about the matter.
"There's only two months until the parade, Miranda. You can't just decide"
"Oh, Susannah," said Miranda. She really was worrying a great deal about her role in things; organizing the floats was such a thankless task. All those groups who though they were the most important people in the parade. "Put us in the beginning, to lead the celebration."
"It's green," said Caroline.
Miranda smiled at them. "Isn't it lovely?"
"It's puke green," said Cassidy.
"Pea green, dear. Puke has a touch more yellow." What were they teaching in those expensive art classes? Perhaps she should get Andrea to investigate.
"Oh God," said Caroline, while Cassidy moaned, "I hate my life."
The girls could be so dramatic, but then, they were nearly teenagers. Miranda decided to ignore them; all the best parenting books said that was the preferred course of action. "Isn't this going to be fun?" she said brightly.
"I'll be so humiliated," said Cassidy.
"This was your idea," said Caroline, glowering. "You said"
Miranda frowned in confusion. "Actually, boopsie, the float was Andrea's idea."
The twins turned identical glares on Miranda. They really did look alarmingly like her sometimes, Miranda though happily. And that reminded her: did Andrea want children? Emily never did finish that pro-con list.
Andrea was much more appreciative that either Susannah or the twins when she first saw it.
"It's a boat."
Miranda glowed. "Yes, isn't it lovely?"
"Butwhat about the car?"
"Car? What car?"
"The car for Pride. You know, the Grand Marshal car."
Miranda frowned. "Andrea, we discussed this. I am going to ride in a float."
There was something strange in Andrea's voice. Miranda studied her for a moment. Perhaps she was coming down with something; usually she was never this slow "We," Miranda said quickly, realizing the problem. The fiasco with the proposal was never going to be repeated. Never. "I mean we. We are going to ride in the float."
"Right. In a float. For Pride. A green" Andrea turned to her, evidently too amazed for words.
"I knew you'd like it," said Miranda.
The last Sunday in June dawned bright and sunny.
Miranda was up with the sunperhaps a bit before the sun. She called Nigel as soon as the hour was appropriate.
"Hello?" he asked. He didn't sound quite as perky as she was used to.
"Are you still asleep?" she demanded. "This is our day!"
"I'm still straight," said Nigel.
"My day, then. When will you be arriving?'
"What?" he said.
Miranda couldn't wait to hear what petty little concerns he had. "Andrea is also sleeping the day away, but there is so much to prepare. I need you here with me."
"Miranda," he said. "It's 5:30 in the morning. On a Sunday. I have been on vacation since Friday, and I will be out until a week from Monday. I am straight. And I am going back to sleep."
And then he hung up. Hung up! Well. That was completely unacceptable. She started to redial, and then Andrea, still hidden under the covers, mumbled, "Miranda, where're you doing?"
"Oh, darling!" said Miranda, and went to draw the curtains. "It's our day! Isn't it glorious?"
Andrea stared at her for a moment, and then reached out to grab Miranda's shirt. "Oh, no you don't." She tugged Miranda toward the bed.
Well, there were a few hours until they had to be at the parade route. Miranda went.
Several hours later, Cassidy burst into the room. "Roy's here! We're supposed to be leaving right now!"
"What?" mumbled Miranda, waking up very nearly instantly.
Caroline was right behind her sister. "Mom! Get out of bed. Have you even showered yet?"
She thrashed at the sheets, trying to find her way out to look at her girls. It took a very long while, and Andrea, traitor that she was, simply lay there laughing and refusing to help.
"Andy," said Cassidy, "is that a hickey?"
The cheers of the crowd swelled again and again as they progressed along the parade route; she had never before considered the benefits of a primarily gay male readership, but perhaps that was a mistake. It was wonderful. It was glorious. It was her due.
Andrea stood next to her, wavering slightly, a beer clutched in one hand. There was a slight droop to her shoulders, and she kept squinting at Miranda, but she looked thrilled. Exhausted, of course, but thrilled.
"Oh, darling. We'll have to do this every year!" said Miranda.
"Definitely child abuse," said Caroline.
Unsurprisingly, the float was the talk of the town on Monday.
Life, Miranda thought, was good.
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