DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Inspiration: Went to work this morning at 530am. By 6 I was sitting in my office drinking coffee and staring at the wall. This idea popped in my head. By 9ish it was done. Thank you Peet for reading it for me today. Editor: Peetsden (from LJ)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To brithna[at]gmail.com
Miranda sat on the bed in her suite and looked down at her phone. She was about to tell Andrea a lie and it made her sick. All morning long she had been fighting the nausea that threatened to overwhelm her. She had never lied to Andrea. Not once in almost four years.
Even when the truth was painful she had told it and took whatever consequences followed. Hopefully, this would be the first, last, and only time she would have to do this for any reason at all.
Even though the reason for this lie was for a good one, a very good one in fact, she knew the potential for it to backfire was astronomical. Miranda reached for the glass of Alka Seltzer that had been patiently waiting for her for the past twenty minutes. She drank it all down quickly and dialed Andrea's number. As was typical, Andrea picked up on the first ring.
"Hello, darling. Did you sleep well?"
"No, you know I never do when you're away. Caroline kicked me all night. I swear when they turn sixteen I'm forcing them to sleep in their own beds when you're gone. Thank God that's only a year away. My shins are taking a beating."
Miranda smiled. The girls always slept with Andrea when she was away. They collectively claimed it was to keep Andrea company. Miranda knew better.
"Good luck with that darling. I'll wager you a hundred dollars that you never get your wish. No matter how old they."
"You're on. What time is your flight? I'm ready for you to come home."
"I still have a few meetings this morning. I'll land in New York at three." The lie had just been told. Miranda almost vomited. She would land in New York at three, but she had no more meetings. What she did have was another flight to catch in an hour. To Cincinnati.
"Well, we'll be waiting with bells on. The girls want some movie time with you tonight and I think they want Chinese take-out for dinner."
Miranda groaned. "I hate you for bringing that awful food into their lives."
"No you don't. You just don't want anyone to find out that you have a secret love for fried rice and egg rolls."
"I do not."
"Yes, you do. I have to go honey. They're fighting over a shirt. Call me when you land."
"Take the shirt and burn it. I hate it when they fight over clothes. I love you, darling."
"I love you, too. That's just what teenagers do honey. Have a safe flight."
Nearly four hours later Miranda landed in Cincinnati and was fighting her way through the baggage claim area. She hated having to find her own bags, especially when she had a lot of them. Oh, well. It was for a good cause and she wouldn't complain. This time.
Once she was in her rental car that wonderful feeling of nausea came back. This had better work. If it didn't, she wasn't quite sure what she would do. A small part of her didn't even want this to matter. But the rest of her knew it was more important than anything else. It had to be done, in spite of how old fashion it seemed.
Miranda was going to ask Andrea's parents for their blessing to marry their only daughter. Without that blessing, she would not ask her. As hard as it might be to deny herself that happiness, Miranda knew that without it, a rift would grow so wide between Andrea and her parents that it would eventually cause a rift between them. And that was the last thing Miranda wanted. It had taken her parents a solid year to accept Miranda and Andrea's relationship. Hopefully they could find it within themselves to accept a little bit more.
Miranda pulled into their driveway and breathed sigh of relief. Both cars where there which meant they were both home. As soon as she stepped out of the car Andrea's father, Richard was on the porch ready to greet her.
"Miranda this is certainly a surprise." He shook her hand. "Is everything alright?"
"Yes of course. Everything is fine, I had a bit of a layover and thought I would stop by. I hope I am not interrupting anything?" They entered the house and Miranda followed Richard into the kitchen.
"No interruption. Kathleen is out back trying to will her vegetable garden to grow. The poor woman was certainly not given a green thumb. But every year she still tries. Let me go get her. It's time for a cup of coffee anyhow."
Richard left and Miranda poured three coffee cups of coffee. She had had enough coffee in this house to know where everything was.
Kathleen came through the door in a bit of a rush. It was obvious she did not believe Richard when he told her that Miranda was here just to visit.
"Miranda, are you sure everything is alright?" She stepped forward and actually gave Miranda a hug. Too shocked to anything else, Miranda hugged her back and took this as a very good sign.
"Yes as I told Richard, I had a layover and wanted to stop by. He tells me you are gardening?"
The three of them took their places at the table. "Yes, he continues to poke fun at me but one of these days he will eat his words."
"Well, I certainly haven't tasted any of those vegetables so I'll take my chances."
Kathleen cut him the same glare Miranda had received countless times from Andrea. That must run in the family. "Richard you will shut up if you know what's good for you." That line must run in the family too.
"Yes, dear. Now, Miranda, how have you been?"
"Oh, fine. Busy as usual but that's nothing new. The girls are so busy I feel like I have two jobs taking up all my time instead of one. That's the nature of the beast I suppose."
"Yes, it is. I remember what that was like and I only had one child." Kathleen smiled.
"You must come for their next art show at Dalton. I believe it is some time next month. I know they would love for you to be there." That was no lie. The girls had instantly taken to Richard and Kathleen, even when things were not the best.
Richard poured them all more coffee. "We will. It's time for a visit anyway."
"I'll tell them you're coming then " Miranda was running out of things to say. There was only one thing on her mind and now that she was here she wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Miranda was not accustomed to being nervous but then again she had never asked someone's parents for their daughters hand in marriage either.
Everyone at the table had grown quiet and it was as if Andrea's parents now sensed there was a purpose for this impromptu visit. For a split second Miranda closed her eyes and thought about everything that Andrea meant to her. She was ready.
"Richard Kathleen, as I am sure you've guessed, there is a purpose for this visit. I need to speak with you about a rather important matter."
Kathleen lightly slapped Richard on the arm. "I knew something was wrong."
"No, no, nothing is wrong. Honestly everyone is fine at home. I would not lie to you about that." But she would lie to Andrea about what she actually doing today? Miranda's stomach rolled. "I need to ask you both a question. A very serious question."
Richard fumbled around with some napkins that were on the table. "Well Miranda...out with it. I've never seen you hesitate before. Go ahead."
Miranda cleared her throat and tried to focus. "I know that things have not always been the best between us and I am very aware of the reservations you have about my relationship with your daughter. Believe me when I tell you that I understand."
"Richard and I know that now. We didn't always, but I think we can all finally agree that Andrea knows her own mind."
"That is very true. I ah let me just say what I have to say all at once. Just hear me out first and then we'll talk." They both nodded in agreement. Kathleen and Miranda drew a deep breath at the same time. "I came to ask for your blessing. I want to marry your daughter and I will not do that without your blessing. Without it, a rift between the three of you would grow so wide that I would never be able to build a bridge over it. It would kill her and I won't allow that. I would rather go through life without experiencing the joy of being married to her than see her torn apart. So that's it. That's why I'm here.
Richard's face was pale and Kathleen's face was completely unreadable. Miranda took a sip of coffee to calm her stomach and waited patiently.
Kathleen was the first to speak. "You mean to tell me that you would not ask her if we did not approve?"
"That is exactly what I'm telling you. I would not ask her and she would never know I was here. I would never tell her a thing about it."
Color was coming back to Richard's and he stumbled into the conversation "I must say I never expected to see this day."
"Neither did I Richard, but I am committed to her and I would like to complete that commitment if the opportunity is given to me."
"You seem very serious about this." Kathleen said.
Miranda looked her directly in the eye "I am never more serious about anything in my life than when it comes to her and my children."
Richard and Kathleen looked at each other and seemed to be having one of those silent conversations that every couple is capable of when they truly know each other. Miranda wasn't able to read what was being said but soon Richard turned to her "Miranda, I am sure you are aware that our disapproval in the beginning had nothing to do with the fact that you are a woman."
"I am." No, their disapproval involved her age, her notoriety, and her behavior not necessarily in that order. She couldn't help her age and her notoriety was not entirely in her control either. Her behavior thought was a matter. Once Miranda was able to make them see that she held Andrea above all others and tried on a daily basis to treat her with love and respect, they came around.
"Over the past few years you have been able to dissuade many of our misgivings, even though I still don't like the fact that my daughter is subjected to the press so often."
"Well, I can assure you if there was something I could do about that I would. In the beginning I sued everyone I could get my hands on but if I had kept that up I would be broke by now. I'm sure you understand that."
Kathleen put a hand on Miranda's arm. "We do. But I'm sorry to say that there still remains the fact that you do not have the best track record when it comes to marriages."
Miranda chuckled. "And thank God for that; otherwise I would not be sitting at your kitchen table right now. I would sooner die than hurt her. I say that with all seriousness."
Richard and Kathleen turned to each other again for another one of their silent conversations. Suddenly Richard got up from the table and headed into the living room. "I'll be right back."
"Do the girls know that you were coming here?" Kathleen said quietly.
"No. I did not want to get their hopes up. But they have mentioned this possibility a few times. More than a few times actually."
Before Miranda could say anything more Richard came back in the room and leaned against the doorway. "Miranda, do you have a ring?"
"Does this mean I have your blessing?"
"Yes. You have our blessing."
Miranda had a hard time containing herself. Jumping for joy was completely out of the question. "No. I do not have a ring. I was waiting until I knew how you felt."
"Well" Richard stepped up to the table and pulled a small box out of his pocket. "This was her grandmother's. I know it's not as grand as what you would have chosen for her, but I think it would mean a lot to her. We know it fits her. She puts it on all the time when she goes through her grandmother's jewelry box."
With a shaking hand Miranda took the ring box and opened it. Richard was right. It was not as grand as what Miranda had in mind but at the same time it was absolutely the right choice. It was delicate but certainly strong, just like their relationship. "No this is perfect. This is perfect. Thank you." Then Miranda got up from the table and did something she never thought she would ever do. She hugged Richard tightly and then Kathleen, as well.
"Richard and I wish you luck. She will likely pass out. Make sure she's sitting down please."
"I will I will."
"Now you probably need to go. What time is your flight?" Richard picked up her bag for her.
"It's it's in an hour and half." Miranda felt a little light headed and tried to focus.
"Are you alright? Please tell me you're not about to pass out. Wouldn't that be something? Make sure you're both sitting down when you ask her since it's apparently a good possibility that both of you will not be able to handle this." Kathleen laughed and patted her on the back.
"I'm fine. Better than fine. You're right I should go. Thank you for this. You have no idea how much this means"
Richard walked her to the door. "Oh I think we do. Take care Miranda. We'll see you in a month for the girls Art Show."
"Yes, that sounds lovely. I'll have this done by then, I think eh, I hope. Stay with us at the townhouse this time. No hotels." Miranda waved and got into the car.
For the first time in Miranda's life she did not mind waiting in line to check in at the airport, and she thoroughly enjoyed going through security in spite of the ring in her bag that she did not want to lose sight of. Walking through the masses of people was of no consequence and waiting in line to get a cup of coffee was a complete thrill. Every flight should be this exciting. In fact, this airport was probably one of the best places on Earth. Why had she never realized this before?
Miranda wasn't sure how much time had passed, but eventually she was in her first-class seat headed for home. Before she knew it she was standing in front of Andrea who was waiting for her by the front door just as she always did when Miranda came home.
Miranda couldn't even wait to get inside the house all the way before she wrapped her arms around her and held her tightly.
"Hey, are you okay?" Andrea brushed Miranda's hair away from her forehead and kissed her.
"Yes, I'm perfect. I'm just really glad to be home."
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