DISCLAIMER: These aren't my characters, I'm not making any money out of this.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A very big thank you to my hard-working Beta parisintherainx for her help writing this! You rock!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Redscribe


 "The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision."

                - William Arthur Ward


It had all gone to hell.

When the plane carrying the off-on-location Runway team had been unexpectedly diverted to a spit of a town with a tiny airport in the middle of nowhere, Andy Sachs had, quite naturally, freaked out. Forbidden to make calls on her cell while they were in the air, she'd simply hunched in her seat and begged the gods above to show her an inch of mercy. Apparently, they were busy with more pressing matters.

Just before they landed, the photographers had cast testy looks at each other while surreptitiously eyeing the models, the models had complained and pouted their perfect lips, Nigel had called for painkillers and Miranda Priestly had knocked back a double, straight up.

As they disembarked onto the lonely airstrip, Miranda seethed and raged as Andy scrambled to find some form of accommodation. If only Emily had been here and not faithfully keeping things running back in New York, she would have summoned a fleet of limousines and whisked them off to the closest five-star hotel, but the best Andy could do was to hail a few dingy taxis with a vague promise of salvation when they reached town. It was hard enough to even get transport, as chance had thrown an Elvis festival into the mix, and the tiny town of Kalamazoo was bursting at the seams even before the plane-full of irate New Yorkers descended into the nevertheless spangled chaos.

Andy had really tried to make things work before jet lag, fear and a phone waterlogged from tears of frustration had really combined nicely to complete the overwhelming sense of fuckery.

'Use Nigel's,' had been Miranda's only response, delivered in a whip-crack tone.

The taxis had deposited the Runway team in front of the town's only available motel, which was nevertheless swamped with costumed individuals thrusting their hips at each other and loudly ordering ever-more-extravagant combinations from the shabby kitchen.

The desk clerk, of course, had absolutely no idea who Miranda was. Looking severely harassed, he offered them the only thing they had left: three cramped rooms with single beds. Miranda's teeth ground together audibly. Before Nigel could stop her, she'd shouldered past a teary Andy and given the poor man a blistering speech on why she needed, nay, demanded better. The clerk had sniffed in his ignorance and derisively flipped three keys over the desk. Andy had quickly darted in and scooped them up with a thank you and jotted down a few details as Miranda went white. Every single person in the Runway party had cringed as one, and then suddenly invented ways to become very, very busy. Andy had learned at her time at the magazine that this was the only possible way of avoiding the titanic fury of Miranda Priestly when provoked.

Somehow, they'd gotten upstairs without Miranda's wrath burning down the building (although the eaves had looked distinctly singed). The models and photographers had split up two of the rooms, leaving Miranda, Andy and Nigel to the other. After shucking suitcases and coats, Nigel had taken one look at the hard chair that was to be his bed for the night, rolled his eyes, and departed for the tiny bar. This, unfortunately, had left a very nervous Andy in the room with a white-hot Miranda.

Oh god, Andy thought. She'd be fired. Ruined. Cut loose for allowing the situation to degenerate into such a miserable state. Andy fought off hysteria as she frantically sifted through her suitcase, even in terror managing to look as if she was frightfully busy.

'Andrea.' Miranda's voice came from behind her and was honey soft. Oh god, Andy thought, wincing. She's too mad to even yell.

'Stop rumpling your hideous sweaters and go and get me the largest bottle of whisky you can find.' And with that, Miranda turned to face the window with her fingertips pressed lightly against her temples.

So Andy did. Hell, if she had an excuse to get out of that room for even a second, she was going to take it. She'd blurted a thank you and left immediately.

There was a liquor store a few blocks away from the hotel, which was being patronized almost exclusively by myriad versions of Elvis in varying states of intoxication. From amongst the dusty shelves, Andy plucked the most expensive bottle she could find and paid for it with a company card, ignoring the raised eyebrows from the attendant. She felt like a hobo walking slowly back to the hotel with the fine liquor wrapped in a paper bag. And, worse still, it was if she was naked without her phone. What if Miranda needed something else? Andy then decided that it was probably good idea that she was out of touch, considering the mood she'd left Miranda in.

The worst thing was, it had been getting better. Ever since Andy had swallowed her pride (as well as some very clunky shoes) and asked Nigel to help her to fit in, Miranda stopped shooting her withering glares when she dumped her coat into Andy's arms in the morning. A time or two in the weeks that followed had seen Miranda regard her outfit with an almost amused crook of the mouth. Andy was making an effort, and Miranda could tell. She was as busy as hell with running the magazine, Andy knew from personal experience, but every now and then Miranda would stop and look her up and down with a glint of approval. So naturally, Andy had tried even harder. Was it against the law to try to look good in a place like Runway?

And it wasn't just what she wore to work. Following Nigel's little sermon, she'd really tried hard to nail the job, and she could tell that Miranda was pleased. She'd stayed up for three nights in a row memorizing phone numbers of important clients. She'd put in a standing order at the local Starbucks that she could update with a simple text message. She'd tried, damn it, and it had almost surprisingly, given her results. There had been less pointless errands to test her, and just the tiniest shade more of responsibility. She'd even been trusted with the key to Miranda's townhouse. Andy kept it in a coffer that her mother had given to her for her twenty-first birthday, nestled in with her prize possessions. She hadn't told Nate.

When she reached the hotel and navigated a path through the reveling performers, Andy made her way up to the room, snagging a couple of glasses and a small bucket of ice from the bar as she went. She saw Nigel perched on a tatty stool, deep in conversation with a good-looking Elvis over a glass of something pink. Better than the chair in our room, she thought as she made her way up.

Miranda was showering when Andy had knocked and entered, placing the bottle and glasses down on the small table in the corner. The room was even worse at second glance, with peeling wallpaper of a hideous green hue and thin, scuffed carpet. A forlorn painting of a boat hung crookedly on one wall. Obviously, Andy would be sleeping on the floor, unless Nigel had permanently abandoned his chair for his new friend downstairs.

There was a rustling sound. Andy turned on instinct and then whipped around again, red-faced. She had copped an eyeful of a startled Miranda wearing nothing but a towel.

'Miranda! I-I'm sorry!' she stammered, clutching her hands together and staring hard at the wall, trying to erase the image of Miranda's water-reddened thighs from her mind. The towel had been far too small for Andy's comfort.


It was broken only by the sound of Miranda shuffling through her suitcase. Andy wrung her hands and bobbed nervously on the spot, blushing furiously, wondering why on earth Miranda hadn't blasted her head off for being here when she'd walked out barely dressed. Oh, Jesus.

'You can turn around now,' said Miranda, in an amused voice. The shock of it was the only thing that propelled Andy around to face her. Was Miranda laughing at her? How the hell was she supposed to react to that? Andy pointed at the whisky in desperation.

'I got you your drink,' she blurted. Why could she still see Miranda semi-naked and dripping in her mind's eye? Her face was on fire.

'Yes, I can see perfectly well, thank you.' There was that customary hint of annoyance again. Somehow it made Andy feel better. It put her back into her place.

'Well? Aren't you going to pour?' Miranda seated herself on the edge of her bed as if it were a throne. 'I highly doubt that neither you nor I will want to sample any of the gastronomical monstrosities being given shape and form downstairs.'

Andy fixed a couple of drinks, dropping in the ice-cubes first and covering them with a splash of whisky. At Miranda's raised eyebrow, she added a slosh more. Wanting to apologize for the whole shower incident, Andy held out the drink and tried a smile. Miranda took it and sipped, rolling the whisky around on her tongue before swallowing.

'Not bad, for Kalamazoo,' she allowed, sipping again. Her voice took on a dangerous lilt. 'You're not drinking, Andrea.'

Andy immediately gulped and coughed as the liquor burned her throat.

'Good stuff,' she said, through tears.

'Indeed.' Miranda looked as if she was considering something a thousand miles away. 'Has your phone dried yet?'

'Uh,' said Andy, fumbling for her cell phone and squinting at the screen. Everything seemed normal, but time would tell.

'Call Jacqueline and tell her I'll need the folio as soon as I get back. And call Meredith, and have her check on the twins. Confirm our flights for tomorrow, oh, and tell Lucas no, again. If he keeps pestering me, I'll have his balls.' This was punctuated with another sip of whisky. Miranda swirled her drink and tapped her immaculate nails against the rim of the glass.

Andy made the calls and prayed that her phone wouldn't drop out. When she was done, she took another swallow of her drink. It burned as it went down, dispelling any hunger pangs and numbing her tongue. She hadn't tasted anything this good since her father's birthday, when he'd opened a bottle he'd saved for years. Miranda interrupted her musing.

'Go and find Nigel. Tell him that he should expect a call from Henry in a few hours.'

With something almost akin to regret, Andy finished the last swallow of whisky and left quietly for the bar downstairs. Nigel, it seemed, was nowhere to be found. Obviously he'd taken up Elvis's offer of a better place to sleep. Andy settled for leaving him a voicemail, and perched on the very stool that Nigel had abandoned.

The Elvis party was winding down now, with several participants groaning and rubbing their stomachs after their feast. Glad that she'd skipped the food, Andy ordered a drink from the tired bartender. It wasn't nearly as good as what Miranda was drinking, but it did the trick. For the moment, it was too late to be pestered with calls, and she had a minute to herself.

A blush lit her features once more as she remembered Miranda's shocked expression. Oh, God. Come to think of it, thought Andy, as she sipped, she had looked pretty decent for a woman of her age. Andy scrunched her eyes shut. She was not sitting here with a drink admiring her boss's thighs, no matter how shapely they'd been. Oh, Jesus. Throwing her second drink back, Andy made her way slowly upstairs, fending off the advances of several drunken impersonators.

The room was dark. Miranda had taken the bed, and lay still, breathing deep. The bottle Andy had left behind was less than a quarter full. Jesus, she'd drunk enough to knock out a hippo. Someone had poached Nigel's chair, so it was the floor for Andy. Miranda had graciously left a single flat pillow and a blanket folded up on the floor. Andy shook out the blanket and arranged it so that half would make her bed and half would cover her. She cursed the model that had no doubt seized both the chair and her only chance at getting a decent night's sleep and went to shower.

It was almost impossible to find her pajamas in the dark, but she managed. She threw on her old comfortable t-shirt and striped PJ bottoms quickly, for fear of Miranda waking up and seeing her. Dressed, Andy sat down on her blanket. The room tilted a little, and her ears were buzzing. She wondered if she should clean her teeth, and then decided that she couldn't be bothered. Plenty of time to look like hell in the morning. Andy flopped onto the blanket and watched the room spin.

It was hard to sleep with so much whisky in her blood, and besides, the room was freezing. Shivering under the thin blanket, Andy tried rubbing her arms to stay warm. It didn't help. She seriously considered getting up and knocking off the rest of Miranda's bottle, if only to force herself to pass out. She sighed, rolled over, and let out a few garbled curses.

A toe prodded her in the side.

'Get in,' slurred Miranda.

Andy blinked.

'What?' she whispered, confused. Miranda simply couldn't be talking in her sleep, not after that poke.

'Stop your sniveling and get in.' An arm holding up the corner of Miranda's bedding accompanied the command. She could vaguely make out that Miranda was wearing something lacy. 'I can't sleep with you whining down there.'

'Are you… sure?' Andy slurred in reply.

'Yes. Hurry up, it's freezing in here.' Miranda hissed in reply. Shivering with more than cold, Andy eased herself onto the very edge of the very small mattress. It smelt like sleep and whisky. Miranda heaved over some bedding and then turned to face the wall. The bed was warm.

'Thanks… uh, Miranda,' said Andy.

'Shush!' said Miranda, the drink showing in her voice. 'Trying to sleep.'

Andy perched on the edge of the bed, luxuriating in the warmth. The roof swam a little as she stared, her eyelids eventually fluttering shut.

Andy was pushed out of almost-sleep by a hand brushing over her hip. At first she thought it was Nate. She made a little contented noise, until the faint scraping of a fingernail revealed that it was in fact, not Nate at all. She blinked a little in confusion, but nevertheless lay very still as Miranda's hand gently traced a light pattern over the deep curve. She could feel Miranda's solid warmth behind her, the tickle of her breath on the back of her neck. Andy's breath sped up a little. She could still taste alcohol on her tongue.

'Just like Sleeping Beauty,' said Miranda quietly, her very warm hand still moving under Andy's shirt. 'I wonder,' she said, her voice lilting, with just a hint of slur, 'what you'd think if you were awake?'

The fingertips stroked gently, moving up onto Andy's sensitive side.

'Mmm,' Andy said, as she leant back on instinct, the shift once again twirling the room like a top.

The hand stopped moving.

'Nng,' said Andy, focusing on the sensation, and not on the little voice that cried warning. 'Don't stop… Nice.'

A sharp intake of breath. The fingers attached to Andy's hip twitched a little.

'You sure?' Miranda's voice was rougher now, uneven against her ear. Andy could feel Miranda's immaculate nails resting lightly against her skin, under her loose t-shirt. Perhaps it was a bad idea. Quite possibly, it was a potential disaster. However, too much stress and whisky, and not enough sleep were making it hard for Andy to care at all. In the comfortable fuzz of drunk, all she could think was 'why not?' That, and 'good.'

'Mmm-hmm,' her head rolling back as she relaxed. Miranda swept her hand slowly up the length of Andy's side, her hand firm on flesh and very warm. It felt good. Andy squirmed a little and leaned back further, into the curve of Miranda's warm body, baring her neck as she did so. For a second she realised that it was a reflex action that Nate had instilled in her, and then Miranda's mouth was on her neck and…

Miranda was soft at first, her lips barely touching Andy's neck, causing shivers to skitter down Andy's shoulders. Her fingertips tiptoed over Andy's chest, down, between her breasts and across her stomach, hot as a cinder. Andy could hear herself whimpering to the rhythm of the kisses, getting ever louder as Miranda's enthusiasm grew.

When Miranda's hands found a hardening nipple and stroked, Andy squeezed her eyes shut and moaned. The ringing in her ears was louder now, her face flushed, and her feet freezing in the cold air where the blanket had slipped off them. Maybe they shouldn't, but… Andy blinked; dizzy, unable to tell Miranda to stop. Not now. She was panting; her nipple on fire, the feel of it was shooting all the way down to her curling toes.

Music floated up from the rooms below. Clearly the party had revived, with 'Love Me Tender' being murdered horribly to rapturous applause.

With a long sigh, she shifted closer to Miranda, getting an elbow in her eye for her troubles.

'Ouch, damn it,' she muttered, clapping a hand over one eye as Miranda swore, flushing.

'S'OK,' said Andy hazily, easing herself onto her back. Her eye throbbed, but she found it very easy to forgive Miranda. She raised a hand and smoothed back Miranda's messy hair. 'I'm OK.'

Through the darkness and fog of whisky, Andy could see the whites of Miranda's eyes gleaming, taking everything in, as the blankets slipped aside to reveal Andy's t-shirt pushed up above her breasts.

'Beautiful,' croaked Miranda, and kissed her. Her mouth was hot, and wet, and deadly soft, and her hands didn't stop. Andy's shirt was pulled off and tossed onto the floor. Miranda's fingertips traced around Andy's nipples while Andy kissed back and pawed uselessly at Miranda's negligee. The second Andy's grasping fingers found skin; Miranda shivered and broke the kiss.

Miranda shook her head, for the first time looking uncertain. She gently took Andy's hand and kissed her knuckle, before planting it firmly onto the lumpy mattress. She slid over Andy, pressing her to the bed with her body.

'That's unfair-' Andy started to say, before Miranda silenced her with another whisky kiss. Her tongue slid over Andy's and her teeth scraped gently on lower lip. Miranda's hold loosened a little as Andrea writhed beneath her, the faintest hint of sweat showing at her temples.

And then Miranda really was on top of her, her body in its immaculate lace sliding up and down on Andy, one leg in-between hers, the strong thigh pushing gently into her dampness, pitching a series of moans down into Andy's ears as she gently licked at her neck again and again. Andy mindlessly slid her hands over Miranda's back, caressing the silk and lifting her own thigh to meet Miranda's moving flesh, earning her a pleasing whimper.

'Oh, fuck… Andrea," gasped Miranda. They moved together, thrusting their hips. Andy felt herself starting to slide out of bed and wriggled over a little, attempting to do so without breaking contact. Another deep kiss, then Miranda slid down further, her tongue sliding over the hot skin of Andy's stomach, finding her sensitive inner hip. Andy squealed as the warm tongue rasped on her skin, then bit down on her lip, embarrassed at the strength of her reaction. She felt her pajama bottoms being tugged off, her underwear too. She worried for a second about being completely naked, and then Miranda swiped her tongue over her hip again. Mmm.

Miranda moved down, in-between Andy's thighs, and started kissing. Andy heard her gasp as she encountered wetness and blushed furiously. She covered her face with one arm, thinking she'd bite through her lip. Miranda was not discouraged, making a contented noise before flicking her tongue over Andy's clit. Andy moaned, raising her hips, as Miranda swept her tongue further down. Pleasure unfurled through Andy's veins, mingling with the whisky and spinning in her brain.

'…Number forty-seven said to number three, you're the cutest jailbird I ever did see, I sure would be delighted with your company, come on and do the jailhouse rock with me…' Someone was bellowing along to the music downstairs, accompanied by laughter and the sounds of glasses breaking.

Andy laid back, one arm over her head, moaning in time to Miranda, not caring now if anybody heard her, her recklessness spurring Miranda on to greater efforts.

'…was dancin' to the jailhouse rock!'

Miranda's tongue swirled. Andy's breath caught sharply as she pushed hard against her mouth, one hand clenching the sheets.

The thunderous applause from downstairs almost drowned out Andy's climax.

Her breath was still coming heavily and her eyelids fluttering when Miranda mustered up the courage to ease herself back up to the pillows.

'Jesus,' Andy kept whispering, her hair spread all over the pillow, her head lolling back, 'Oh, Jesus.'

'Andrea…' Miranda began, but Andy shook her head.

She eased herself up and kissed Miranda as best she could, bruised lip and all. Miranda kissed her back, her tongue tasting of Andy. The kisses turned into caresses, Andy's hand slowly finding its way underneath Miranda's shift, begging to be allowed onto skin. With a shiver, Miranda relented.

Andy was as gentle as she could be, tugging the shift over Miranda's skin and pulling the blanket over them both. They kissed softly. Miranda's nipples were very, very pink. She brushed them over and over with her tongue, smiling a little at the sounds Miranda made. Eventually, Miranda took Andy's hand and guided it down over her hip and between her thighs. Andy's fingers slid in easily, moving gently in the wetness.

With one hand clutching Andy's shoulder and her lips parted, Miranda came, tears leaking from the corners of her bright eyes. Exhausted, she slumped forward, her face buried in Andy's neck.

Andy was glad it was dark, as they lay entangled in each other, the roof still swirling a little. She breathed in Miranda's glorious scent, pulling her abandoned sleepwear back on. Giving but a single small thought to how this would all look in the morning, she fell asleep with her mouth open, Miranda gently stroking her hip.

The cell phone alarm was quite insistent. Andy grimaced through a headache and reached over to mash the buttons as she usually did. She was hazily surprised when her grasping hand met empty air, which was because she was in a bed, and not on the floor. She was in bed. Not on the floor. She rolled over and goggled at a slumbering Miranda, who looked completely different in the slackness of deep sleep. Andy blinked, twice.

Run! Her brain screamed. Oh god! Bathroom! Now! Andy slithered out of bed and grabbed some clean clothes before flinging herself into the tiny bathroom and locking the door. She stared at herself in the mirror. Oh, my god! Andy looked as if she'd been in a fight, with one eye mottled with a dark purple bruise. She'd need a hell of a lot of concealer to do away with that. Her lower lip was shreds, and her neck… Oh, hell, the last time she had a hickey that big was in eighth grade!

'Jesus Christ,' she whispered, touching the red patch just above her collarbone. It took a long shower and a hell-load of make-up before she was ready to go out and pretend nothing had happened. Nothing at all, right?


Miranda had barely moved, apart from to roll into Andy's warm spot. Andy coughed a few times. She had to say something, fleeing the scene without a word had to be a bad idea, and it was probably not too polite to shake your boss awake in the morning, especially after…

'I'll, uh, see if I can find something for breakfast,' she said loudly to Miranda's rumpled form. The Miranda-shaped lump croaked something that sounded like 'Starbucks' and rolled over.

'Of course, I'll…' she remembered that she'd not seen one on her way to the hotel. Damn Kalamazoo. Well, she'd do her best, she thought, ignoring the tingle between her thighs. Jesus!

'Just get me coffee, any coffee.' Miranda groaned, sitting up and holding her head. 'And Andrea, about… last night…' she pursed her lips.

'I'll get you your drink!' replied Andy, half-hysterically, darting for the door as her cheeks flamed.

In her haste, she practically fell over Nigel, who had been sleeping with his back to the door. When she'd picked herself up and hauled Nigel to his feet, she got an explanation.

'Lost my room key,' he said, pulling off his glasses and rubbing his eyes. 'And the desk clerk wouldn't give me a spare.'

Now, there was a horrifying mental image: Nigel walking in to the room to discover Andy and Miranda going at it. Andy decided to send the clerk a gift basket when she got back to New York. A big one.

Nigel grimaced, clearly pondering the taste in his mouth.

'If you see a large buffalo, could you please tell it that it left something foul in my mouth last night?' He pushed past Andy, blinking and frowning, in search of a shower and fresh clothes. Praying to god that she hadn't left anything suspicious in the room, Andy started downstairs to see what passed for coffee in Kalamazoo.

'You got roaring drunk and confessed all of your secrets to each other, didn't you?' Nigel delicately bit into his airport bagel as they waited to board their flight back to civilization.

'Uh… Yeah,' said Andy, fighting down her blush. 'Told her all about my college adventures, old boyfriends, you name it.'

'And did she, in her infinite wisdom, see fit to tell you anything… Juicy?' Was that a smile on Nigel's face? Miranda was in the bathroom; if she had any gossip, now was the time to spill it.

'Nothing much,' deferred Andy, flicking through a book of samples. 'Nothing about work, anyway. Just about uh, some guy she dated back in Paris.'

'Then why, dear Andrea, does she keep blushing whenever she sees you?' Nigel lowered his glasses and peered over at where Andy was sitting.

'No idea,' Andy lied. 'Must have spilled something big that I don't remember.'

'Heaven forbid,' drawled Nigel, already more interested in not getting bagel crumbs on his Gucci jacket.

'She said she wanted to see me when we get back, after the Holt shoot. Do you know what that's about?' Andy asked, quite confident that she sounded nonchalant.

'I'm quite sure that I have no idea,' said Nigel, delicately removing a stray hair from Andy's shoulder.

'Great,' nodded Andy, pasting a resigned grin onto her face. Yeah, just great. Fuck, fuck, fucking fuck. Well, Miranda hadn't fired in-between her morning coffee and getting to the airport, so that was something, at least. Oh god, she was back from her trip to the bathroom. Just in time, too, as it was announced that their flight was boarding.

'Call Henrietta, and tell her to prepare the samples for me to review when I get back. And call Emily to confirm the meeting with Jean-Paul tomorrow at three.' Both Nigel and Andy ignored the faint blush that tinted Miranda's flawless complexion. Her hair was absolutely perfect, and her outfit immaculate despite spending a night in Kalamazoo. When she'd swept down the stairs as they were leaving, several very hung-over Elvis's had dropped their jaws.

'I'll want you to sit next to me, Nigel. We need to talk about the jackets for the Holt shoot.' Miranda boldly strode up to the front of the boarding queue, ignoring the whispered protests of the other passengers. Andy and Nigel trailed after her, the photographers and models following them like particularly well-dressed sheep, Andy feeling relieved and just a little disappointed that she would not have to face Miranda just yet.

The Holt shoot was finished. Three photographers had quit, and several models had stormed off the set, hysterical after Miranda's biting criticism. James Holt had taken it as he usually did - one quick, barely-there grimace and then an effort to improve before Miranda dropped him like yesterday's trash. After all, his entire career depended on how well he did at Runway.

'And tell that insipid Georgian girl that she'll never model in this town again!' snapped Miranda, as she made for her office. Emily anxiously trotted behind her toting a folder of prints, occasionally giving Andy a filthy look. Andy was staggering under a mountain of jackets, trying not to drop them while also attempting to get a feather out of her nose so that she wouldn't sneeze over four thousand bucks worth of coat.

'And somebody get me more Starbucks. Hot Starbucks,' she snarled. 'Not you, Andrea, we need to talk.'


Emily threw the prints down onto her desk and, with a glare at Andy, swept over to the lifts to go and fetch the coffee, her phone already whipped out to call through the order.

'And would you put down those hideous coats!' said Miranda, rounding on Andy, who meekly rolled them into a ball and put them onto a chair. Some lowly wardrobe assistant would no doubt come looking for them later.

'Follow.' Miranda crooked her finger at Andy and marched into her office. 'Shut the door.' Andy did so, reminded unpleasantly of her first interview with Miranda. This was going to be a hell of a lot worse, if that were even possible.

'God, if James doesn't stop showering me with…' Miranda muttered as she sipped at her mineral water. Andy stood with her fingers twisting nervously behind her back. This was going to be about Kalamazoo. It had to be about Kalamazoo. Oh, Christ. Miranda was going to fire her. Or sue her for sexual harassment. Or fling her out of the window into oncoming New York traffic. Either way, this was bad.

Miranda took another long sip at her mineral water and nailed Andy with a long look. Andy freaked out.

'Miranda, I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry that anything happened in Kalamazoo… I was really, really drunk, and...' Andy stopped, horrified, as Miranda went bright red, '…and that's not why you called me in here, is it? Oh, Jesus...'

'I was going to ask you,' said Miranda in a strangled voice, 'if you wanted to come with me to the shoot in the Maldives next month, actually…' Miranda was looking everywhere but at Andy.

'Uh…' said Andy, incredulous. 'You're not firing me? Not after…' She turned scarlet. Oh look, now they matched. 'Not after what happened?' Andy finished in a whisper.

'No,' said Miranda quietly. 'I'm not. Andrea… I know that perhaps things were said and …done… that were…inappropriate for a working relationship…But…' Here, Miranda paused, her lips softening into what was very nearly a small smile. 'I can't say that I regret what happened, Andrea.'

She what? Andy's traitor brain reminded her just how damn good it felt when Miranda was licking her neck. And she'd enjoyed it?

'Oh, good,' said Andy weakly. 'That's… good… Maybe…' Maybe there could be some kind of… understanding…

Emily briskly knocked once, and then charged into the room proudly bearing Starbucks. She bobbed her head submissively at Miranda and placed the steaming hot coffee neatly on her desk.

'Is there anything else that I can get for you?' Emily, in her simpering, was completely oblivious to what passed between Andy and Miranda.

'No,' said Miranda coldly, back into boss mode in an instant. She sipped her scalding latte. 'That's all.'

She turned away to look out of her window, a clear signal that the meeting was over. Emily immediately left the office, Andy a second or so behind her, wondering if that really was all, in the end.

The End

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