DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
BETA: Peetsden –but I couldn't keep my hands off of it after the fact so there will probably be a few mistakes. Oh well.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To brithna[at]gmail.com

Twelve Rounds
By Brithna

 

Today was clearly going to be an absolute disaster. There was already too much to do and too much going wrong for it to be a good day; and to make matters worse, Andy wasn't even at the office yet. Why wasn't Andy at the office yet? Because she was stuck here, at the doctor's office…with Miranda. Yes, the vision of perfection known as Miranda Priestly had a doctor's appointment first thing this morning. And why was Andy here along for the ride? She had absolutely no freakin' clue.

"May I ask you something?" Andy asked as she tore through her messenger bag to retrieve her laptop. She was in desperate need for something to do.

"I suppose." Miranda replied as she stared straight ahead at the wall. She hated anything that had to do with a doctor.

"Why am I here?" Surprisingly enough Andy felt pretty okay with asking that question. After everything that had happened last year, Miranda Priestly no longer scared her. In fact, Andy was so 'unafraid' that she spoke her mind whenever it was appropriate…and sometimes even when it wasn't. This of course resulted in some serious verbal altercations between them but nobody ever got fired…not even close. They went back and forth like that so often, it just seemed like a normal everyday thing. It was fucked up. It was stressful. It was exhilarating…

Finally Miranda answered. "Andrea, you are here because I need you to correct the schedule, tend to my e-mails, and I may very well find some errands for you to run in between." Slowly she turned her head to face Andy with a raised eyebrow. "Do you have a problem with that?"

Andy wanted to say yes just for the hell of it but refrained. "No, Miranda. I do not have a problem with that." The rest of their waiting period was spent with Andy correcting the schedule and tending to the e-mails. Miranda never did come up with any errands for her to run though. Typical. Eventually the nurse came into the waiting room to get Miranda and Andy could swear her boss almost asked her to come in with her. When she turned her back and walked away Andy rolled her eyes and her neck. It popped in about a hundred different places.

A while later Miranda came barreling out at top speed. Andy threw everything into her bag and ran to catch up. When they were in the car Miranda pressed a piece of paper, her prescription, into Andy's hand and stared out the window. "Get that filled today." She said…yelled really. She was pissed. Like royally pissed. Andy looked at the prescription quickly before placing it in her bag. Ah, holy shit. Lipitor. It took everything in her not to laugh. No wonder she was pissed. "Do not even think about opening your mouth." Miranda whispered this time in a tone that translated into death and destruction.

So…Andy didn't open her mouth for the rest of the ride. Instead she made a list in her head of all the things Miranda might like to start eating for lunch everyday besides a slab of red meat because that was definitely off the menu now. Even if the doctor had failed to notify Miranda of such a fact Andy would make sure that happened one way or another and if Miranda had any clue at all that Andy wasn't afraid of her anymore, she was probably already expecting Andy to not only fight; but win the argument that was sure to come.

Andy could finally see the Elias-Clarke building coming into view and started getting ready to jump out of the car. Miranda would undoubtedly be in a 'jump and run' mood after this morning's events. And yes, here she goes. Andy hated it when she did. Miranda being too far away was not something Andy approved of. Just as Andy caught up, Miranda suddenly stopped on the steps and turned to say something. That was when Andy saw him.

This man, this medium height, medium build, greasy hair with a tattoo on the side of his neck - man, was running straight for Miranda. Andy was only able to shove Miranda, who was apparently oblivious, out of the way just a short distance...not nearly far enough; and was between them just as he reached out to Miranda…or maybe for The Book…or her purse. Andy wasn't sure which and it truly didn't matter at the moment. Nothing mattered except for one thing: This fucker was not about to lay one hand on something that belonged to Andy…and unbeknownst to the rest of the world, even if Miranda was a pain in the ass every single day; she belonged to Andy. Period. And forget that Miranda wasn't aware of this fact. That was completely irrelevant.

Andy gave little thought to anything else as she pushed him back, grabbed the collar of his dirty jacket with her left hand and punched him hard…not once but twice with her right. He screamed like a girl and fell; taking her down with him. Andy was fully prepared to keep giving him exactly what he deserved; but suddenly her right arm was grabbed from behind. Without looking, she jerked her arm away from this new intruder and started to swing it backward. Just before she made contact, Andy saw Miranda's face right there out of the corner of her eye. Miranda moved just in time and grabbed her arm again.

"Andrea, stop." She said very calmly as she let go of Andy. Since she was being so nice Andy figured Miranda was due to get her way…but not before…one more swing. Andy turned and punched him right in the face again. He screamed again like a girl, how pathetic, and then went silent. As in knocked the fuck out silent. Already having forgotten Miranda's directions to stop; Andy was ready to hit him one more time and tried. Someone…a security guard, grabbed her and pulled her back yelling something like 'lady you need to chill out' and she yelled a few choice words in return.

Andy was chill; totally chill…it was everybody else that needed to get a grip on the situation. It was like nobody realized what had just happened. Someone tried to touch Miranda…Did no one get how critical it was to Andy that that not ever, ever fucking happen? Seriously? This was fucking unbelievable! Andy didn't even allow Miranda to walk on the street side of the side-walk and this was so much worse, yet she needed to chill out? Yeah, right.

The guy was now surrounded by Roy and a couple security guards but that wasn't very reassuring to Andy. She was so angry she could barely see or hear anything; not even Miranda who was kneeling there beside her, trying to make me her calm down. Andy attempted to get up again and Miranda all but sat on her. "Andrea!" Miranda took her face in her hands and shook her. "Listen to me!" She yelled again and that finally got Andy's attention. Miranda never yelled at anybody, not even her kids. "You need to stop." She spoke softer this time but was still firm. "You have to calm down…please, you must calm down." Please? All those times Miranda asked Andy if she'd smacked her little head on the pavement came rushing back into her memory. Had she? Because Miranda just said the word please. And in such a nice way…almost a sweet and tender way. What the hell…

"Okay…okay." Andy blinked a few times and was finally able to see straight. Miranda was scared. It was plainly written all over her face.

"Come inside the building with me Andrea. The police are on their way, as is an ambulance." Miranda gripped her arms and tried to pull her up but Andy wasn't having it.

"No...no fucking way. I'm not going anywhere until that asshole is in hand-cuffs. He could get up again!" Obviously Miranda didn't grasp the seriousness of this situation either. What in the hell is wrong with everybody today? He could get up…he could try again and then what? Well she'd just have to kill him. Plain and simple with no regrets on the side…absolutely none.

Miranda kneeled down again and held her face just like she had a moment ago. At least this time she didn't shake her. "Andrea, nothing will happen. Come inside. Don't make me drag you, because I will. Now get up."

Okay, fine. Andy gave in and got on her feet. "Just so you know if he gets up and comes in here, I'm kicking his ass all over again."

Miranda ignored her and shoved Andy through the growing crowd and into the building toward the security desk. She snapped her fingers at a woman standing there. "I want ice and a towel, right now." The woman ran off as Miranda pushed Andy into a chair behind the desk. "You will sit here and you will not move do you understand me?"

"Yeah." Andy looked behind her toward the door and Miranda's hands were on her face again.

"No. Everything is fine. Please, do not get up again." And there was that word again. Please. Okay, fine. Andy sat back and decided to make at least a small effort to do as asked. Miranda smoothed Andy's hair back then took off the scarf from around her neck. "Now give me your hand."

Andy lifted her hand and then it hit her…pain…and a lot of it. She looked down and realized why. Her knuckles were a mess…a bloody mess and the top of her hand was swelling rapidly. Hopefully the other guy was feeling at least a little bit of pain. Knowing that he was would definitely go a long way in easing hers because this fucking hurt. "This fucking hurts…"

"You'll be lucky if your hand isn't broken." Miranda wrapped the white scarf around her hand and it was instantly stained red. "Ice. I want that ice now and I want to know where the ambulance is!" She snapped at the woman again. Two seconds later the ice and towel appeared. "Straighten your hand." Andy did so and Miranda put ice in the towel then wrapped it around her hand. "Don't let that come undone and keep your hand elevated. Are you listening?" She tipped Andy's head up with her finger.

"Yeah…listening. Hey, your scarf…it'll get ruined."

"Andrea, do you honestly think that I care about that scarf today? You are the silliest thing sometimes." She started to say more but was cut off by the growing noise in the lobby. People were coming.

"Where is the lady that knocked this guy out?" Now there was a cop coming behind the security desk and several people were pointing at her. Great, fucking great. Was she about to get arrested? Miranda stood up and the dragon was back.

"She is here and she can be questioned at the hospital. Later."

The cop stared at her for a minute then apparently figured out that Miranda was the boss of everybody and anybody within reach so he played his cards nice and slow. "Alright. Sounds good to me. We'll need both your statements…later. The word outside is that he went after your purse or something?"

"Correct." As always Miranda was short and to the point. "Where is the perpetrator? He has disrupted my entire day and I want him prosecuted."

Andy rolled her eyes. Perpetrator? Really? Only Miranda would say something like that.

"He's headed to the hospital in the back of a police car. Most of the Emergency Vehicles on duty right now are tired up in traffic. Imagine that. He'll be fine…we slapped him around enough until he woke up." The cop looked past Miranda and finally turned his attention to Andy. "You knocked him out cold young lady…out cold. His nose is definitely broken. Good job."

Huh…cool. At least someone around here was happy with the job she did. "That sounds freakin' awesome…can I do it again?" The cop and Miranda said 'No!' simultaneously. "Okay, fine."

"Do you have a car? If not we can take her to the hospital."

"I have a car and we're going now." And just like that, they were off to the hospital courtesy of Roy. It seemed to be taking forever and everything was starting to hurt worse. Her hand…her left forearm. The 'perpetrator' scratched the hell out of it when he pulled her down to the ground. She must have made some kind of sound because Miranda was instantly beside her.

"It's starting to hurt worse?"

"Yeah." Andy blinked back a few tears. She was hurting but she was angry too. What if she hadn't been there? Something bad could have happened and just thinking about it made her furious again. Before she knew what she was doing, Andy hit the car door hard with the side of her left hand in frustration.

Miranda quickly threw an arm across her body. "You have to stop. Everything is fine now. The Book is safe…so is my bag…Everything is fine."

"What!" Andy yelled and Roy turned his head then went back to paying attention to the road. "You think this was about The Book…and your stupid purse? Miranda Priestly you-are-delusional! Seriously delusional. Let go of me." Andy moved closer to the door and Miranda moved back to her own space. Was the woman seriously that obtuse? Did she seriously have absolutely no clue?

"So…this was not about The Book or my purse?" Miranda asked quietly as she stared straight ahead with her hands in her lap.

"Don't talk to me." Yeah because Andy was so not in the mood to talk to stupid people right now. Especially when all she wanted to do was scream and no matter how much she wanted to she wasn't about to start screaming at Miranda.

Finally after what seemed like an hour, they arrived at the hospital. Roy escorted them into the Emergency Room and Andy was immediately taken into a little exam cubical since Miranda Priestly got whatever she wanted no matter where she was. Miranda sat in a chair by the exam table and did not say a word expect to call Emily and inform her to forward everything to Nigel for the rest of the day. At this news Andy let out a sigh. She was hoping that Miranda would leave but she seemed set on being here the entire time just to aggravate the hell out of Andy. Great.

Before Andy was seen by a doctor, an x-ray technician came to take her away. Miranda wanted to follow but agreed to stay when the technician assured her that they would be back shortly. Thank God because Andy needed a little time and space to cool off. She still wanted to scream. When they made it to the x-ray area the technician removed the towel, ice and scarf; all of which went straight into the trash. Andy hated to see that scarf go but there was no hope for it being cleaned. Now that everything was removed and her mind was a little clearer Andy got her first good look at the damage. It wasn't pretty. At all.

True to the technician's word the x-ray portion of this ordeal went by quickly and they were soon walking back down the hall to her exam cubical. But oh, no…here comes the guy she beat the shit out of not an hour ago. Apparently it was his turn for an x-ray or two…maybe three. He was being escorted down the hall by two cops in a wheelchair and hand cuffs. She tried hard not to look at him, she really did; but it didn't seem to do much good since he recognized her right away. Fuck.

"That's the bitch! That's the bitch that hit me! I want her arrested!" He tried to scream at her…like a girl but it came out sounding a little funny since his face was all messed up - and of course she had to laugh at him.

"Ha! Shut the hell up!" She yelled right back and the x-ray technician, God bless him, grabbed her by the arm and started dragging her down the hall way. The idiot continued to call her a bitch while the cops were trying to shut him up.

Andy turned her head and got in the last word. "Who ya callin' a bitch? Bitch! Shut up before I come kick your ass all over again!"

"Andrea!"

Oh, shit. Andy turned her head around…they were back at her little home-away-from-home now…and Miranda looked like she wanted to strangle her. It didn't help that all the nurses within hearing range were laughing, and a few were even clapping. Miranda cut everybody a glare and a silence fell over the Emergency Room like no one had probably ever experienced before. Miranda came forward, hauled Andy inside the cubical and pushed her down to sit on the exam bed.

"Are you always so eloquent…and violent? Must you continue?" Miranda fell into her chair.

"He started it!" Andy refused to look at her.

"Do you have any idea…any idea how exasperating you are, Andrea? Any idea?" Miranda rubbed her forehead and closed her eyes.

"Do you have any idea how exasperating you are, Miranda? Any idea? Don't even go there. You are the queen of exasperating."

"I hardly think so."

"Of course you don't! Remember? You're delusional!"

"You're the delusional one, Andrea if you thin-"

"Ladies, ladies…let's play nice shall we?" And here's the doctor! Fabulous. Her name tag said 'Dr. Pitts' and she looked like she didn't take shit off of anybody so hopefully she could get Miranda to shut the hell up before Andy had to beat the shit out of her too.

"Excuse me?" Miranda's eyebrow rose and her voice was pure ice. Andy tried hard not to think about how sexy that was.

The doctor pulled up a chair and looked over her very thin chart. Andy was having too much fun watching Miranda's face to say anything. "Well from outside there," She pointed toward the curtain, "You two sound like an old married couple going twelve rounds." Dr. Pitts chuckled, ignored Miranda and turned to Andy. "But! I think you've already gone twelve rounds right?"

"Pretty much!" Andy proudly held up her hand and cracked up. Old married couple? Not in a million fucking years. Not after today. Yesterday? Maybe. Today? No. Miranda was a complete idiot and Andy wasn't in any hurry to marry an idiot. Not today…tomorrow maybe.

"Alright, is it Andy or Andrea?" Dr. Pitts said as she looked over some notes.

"It's Andy…hi."

"Hi. I'm obviously the doctor, imagine that…and you can call me Kim. Now let's see that hand." Kim stood up and unwrapped the gauze the x-ray technician had wrapped it back up in. "Oh, boy."

"Your profession opinion is 'oh, boy'?" Miranda asked from her chair.

Kim turned her head, "No, it isn't. I'm sorry; I didn't catch your name?"

"Miranda."

"Well, Miranda it's nice to meet you. Can I keep going here or would you like to take over?" Kim didn't wait for an answer before turning around to survey the damage again.

"Oh, I love you…seriously love you." Andy grinned and looked around the doctor to flash a grin at Miranda too.

"You're being ridiculous, truly-"

"Ladies…don't make me separate you. Now…as I was trying to tell you before I was interrupted…" Andy could swear she heard Miranda actually growl. "I checked your x-rays and the good news is – you didn't break your hand, which I have to admit actually shocks me." Kim reached over and took her left hand to compare the two. "You have very delicate hands." Turning her head to Miranda she repeated herself, "She has very delicate hands, have you noticed?"

"Yes, actually I have. And she is also very foolish."

"I doubt that, right Andy? Sometimes there's only one way to take care of business."

"Yep." She gave Miranda another grin.

"Okay so anyway – you're hands not broken. Fantastic news."

"Whoohoo! Wait - then why does it hurt so fucking much?" Andy looked down at her hand as if she was asking it the question instead of the doctor.

Miranda groaned. "I really had no idea your language skills were so sophisticated."

"Is she always like this?" Kim asked Andy as she reached over to a near-by cart for some supplies.

"I'd say yeah but that's not true. Sometimes she's really nice. Sometimes." Andy flashed another annoyingly huge grin at Miranda.

"Enough…forget I asked. You two are really something. Now…why do you think it hurts? In layman's terms you broke a guy's nose and fractured his jaw…so yeah your hand is supposed to be hurting."

"I fractured his jaw!" Andy nearly jumped off the table and did a dance.

"Yes, you did."

"Can I do it again?" Andy asked enthusiastically. She had plenty of pent up frustration to give it another go. Her answer came in the form of another simultaneous 'No!' this time from Miranda and the doctor.

"Okay, fine."

"Anyway…you did a fantastic job on that guy's face…but now you need stitches." Kim pointed to the split skin at the knuckles of her index and middle fingers. Oh, fuck.

"No…no way. Absolutely not." Andy shook her head multiple times. Stitches were a no-go. Needles…knives …anything like that was a no-go.

"Yes way. That has to be closed up. You have no choice."

"Oh, yes I do. Ask her." Andy pointed over toward Miranda and she got treated to a raised eyebrow. "She'll tell you everything you need to know about making choices; whether you want to hear it or not. So I'm making a choice- no stitches."

"Andrea." Miranda got up and came around to the other side of the exam table.

"Don't come over here I'm still mad at you."

"Be quiet for once and listen to me. Today of all days I wish you were still afraid of me. You need stitches therefore you're getting stitches. End of discussion. Will you give her something?" Miranda looked at the doctor with an expression that Andy had a hard time comprehending. Miranda was worried and doing a really sucky job at covering it up.

"Yes, in fact I'm about to give her something now and then when we're ready for the stitches I'll administer a local to the area. First though – we're going to clean up your forearm. I checked that guy over real quick and his nails are an infection waiting to happen. So, are we ready?" Kim looked at each of them then settled her gaze on Andy.

"No, but okay. I hope you're happy." Andy glared at Miranda.

"For the moment yes, I am happy." Miranda smirked no doubt feeling triumphant.

"I hate you right now." Andy kept glaring and Miranda kept smirking. Finally the doctor broke them up again before more words could be exchanged.

"Okay, okay…now that's the worst lie I've heard in this E.R. in days. If you hated her you wouldn't have knocked that guy out for her. Am I right?"

"Yeah…" Andy gave up and laid her head back against the inclined bed. Suddenly she was really tired.

"Right, that's what I thought. And you? How many times has somebody knocked someone out for you?"

Miranda rolled her eyes but answered the question. "None."

Just then a nurse came in with some pain medication. Kim instructed the nurse on what she wanted done then left but not before saying, "Folks like you make me wonder if I'm a marriage counselor or just plain crazy…" Miranda and Andy both blurted out 'plain crazy' and the doctor walked out laughing her ass off.

It felt like it took forever but the pain medication finally started to kick in and it was all good. Except for one thing: Andy was sort of a light-weight when it came to drugs. "Hey, guess what Miranda?" The nurse was working on cleaning and bandaging up her forearm and Andy was feeling no pain…well almost no pain.

"What?" Miranda was still standing beside her, watching every single move the nurse made.

"I feel much better."

"I imagine that you do."

"You should go sit down ya know…we might be here a while. I should get you some coffee." Yeah it was way, way past time for Miranda next dose.

"Don't be ridiculous Andrea. Coffee isn't on my list of priorities at the moment."

"Coffee is always top…top priority. See you are delusional." Andy looked up at her and Miranda still had that worried look on her face. That needed to go away. "Why are you worried…you look worried." Before Miranda could reply the nurse finished up and left to go get the doctor. Finally, they were alone.

"Andrea, you nearly broke your hand today so yes, I'm worried. You could have been hurt…I mean more than you already are." Miranda took a deep breath and took Andy's left hand in her own. Apparently Nice Miranda was back and that was okay. Andy didn't feel like fighting with her anymore.

"But I wasn't." Andy held up her right hand again, proud of her achievement…like only a fool could be.

"You could have been and you know it."

"Yeah, but I wasn't."

"Stop arguing with me, please." She squeezed Andy's hand for emphasis.

"That is the third time you've said the word please. It's nice you know. You being nice is nice." Andy tried to close her right hand without realizing it and winced at the pain. "Oh shit...I just remembered I'm about to get stitches..."

"Don't move your hand. Just try to concentrate on something else."

"Okay…it hurts but I still feel pretty good right now…even if it's four times the size it should be. Hey…know what."

"What?" Miranda brushed her hair back with her free hand. Andy wished she would just leave it there on the side of her face. It would have helped her not be so nervous.

"I'm sorry I got so mad when you said that thing the car...about The Book and your purse." Andy blinked back a tear. The doctor would be back any second now and the thought of getting stitches would just not go away.

"Oh, that. It's fine. I think I understand now."

"No, you probably don't."

"Yes, I think I do." Miranda was sounded exasperated again which irritated Andy. She wasn't in the mood for that.

"No, you probably don't. God, you know when the doctor said we sounded like an old married couple she was right. Expect that we're not married and there is no way I'd marry you today anyway! We're fighting too much…like more than in a long time. What is up with that?"

"What?" Miranda just stared at her like she had three heads…or was it something else? Andy wasn't sure.

Right then Kim came back into the room. "I'm back! Please tell me you're not fighting again or I'll go get a priest and we'll get you married off right here…but wait is that legal yet? I don't know…anyway, let's get this show over with."

Miranda looked horrified for a moment then actually chuckled which was a shocker. "Oh no, doctor I don't think we need a priest just yet."

"Huh…well fine then. Let me know if you change your mind. I know a good one. Okay, we're going to start with some Lidocaine. You'll love it and it's not going to take much. I think we can get away with six stitches."

"Oh, fuck…" Andy swallowed and felt really sick all of the sudden. "Wait can I have some water?"

"Sure thing." There was already a glass of water on the side table so Kim handed it over and she took a nice long drink. "Alright put your arm here," Andy put her arm on the little tray and the doctor started getting the dreaded Lidocaine shot ready.

"I don't really want to…"

"I know you don't Andy but you'll thank me later. If I don't close this up now it's going to look like hell later and your hands are too pretty for that. Wouldn't you agree Miranda?"

"Agreed." Miranda said stiffly.

"Now this is going to probably sting just a tiny, tiny bit but I promise in no time at all you won't feel a thing."

"I don't like needles." Andy's voice was a little shaky and that sick feeling was getting stronger.

"Let's try this, you look at her," The doctor pointed to Miranda. "And I'll concentrate on this. Just look at her and maybe tell her something nice. You two have been at it since you walked in the door probably."

"Okay, okay I'll try that." Andy looked away and tried to slow her breathing down and focus on Miranda's face. They locked eyes and it got a little easier…then she felt something sticking her and Miranda took over.

"Just look at me. Everything is fine. Really."

"Yeah?"

"Of course."

"I'm supposed to be saying something nice to you now."

Kim broke in before she could continue. "That's right but I'm done with that part now; see I told you it wouldn't be bad. I'm stepping out for just a second to let this work and then we'll finish and then you can go home. Sound good? And don't say anything too nice to her until I get back. I definitely want to hear that."

"Sure, no problem." Andy kept looking at Miranda as the doctor walked out.

"You did fine." Miranda rubbed the top of her left hand with her thumb back and forth, never stopping. She probably realized that helped in some small, weird way.

"I guess. I'm still thinking of something nice to say…There's always nice things I want to say to you…but I don't."

"Why?"

"Because you'll bite my head off."

"I might not. You won't know until you try."

"True…Hey, thanks for holding my hand." Andy glanced at her other hand and quickly decided it was much better to just look at Miranda.

"Don't look at it. Look at me…and don't thank me for this."

"But you should be back at work. I mean Emily is probably…like having a heart-attack without you there." True.

"I'm sure Emily will survive. She always does. I am right where I should be…"

"Hey! Check it out, I left you two alone and you didn't get into an argument! Progress has been made!" The doctor came back in and got ready to go to work. Finally. Andy was more than ready to have this over and done with.

"You talk far too much doctor." Miranda quipped back.

"I know. Okay, here we go Andy. Concentrate on her just like before and in a very short time we will be done."

"Hurry." Andy closed her eyes for a second and felt Miranda hold her hand tighter. She took a deep and slow breath then opened her eyes again. It felt like someone was running their finger over her knuckles and she wanted to look but knew she shouldn't. Miranda read her mind.

"Don't look."

"Hm…yeah…not looking. Oh, I figured out what to say…the nice thing."

The doctor broke in "Oh, goody. I wanna hear this."

"Hm...okay you can listen too. I don't care." Andy focused on Miranda's eyes and tried to forget about what was happening. "I was trying to tell you earlier that I didn't do it because of your stuff. I did it because I didn't want you to get hurt and I didn't want him to touch you. That would have been like…I don't know. I just wouldn't have been able to handle that very well."

"And I was trying to tell you that I know…I understand."

"Oh, you do?"

"Yes, I do and I dare say that if your idea of handling something 'well' is to nearly kill someone; then I would hate to see what you would have done if he had gotten his way."

Kim butted in again. "She probably would have killed him, am I right?"

"Pretty much, yeah."

"I would ask you to promise that you will never do such a foolish thing again; but I doubt you would ever be able to keep such a promise."

"No, she probably won't."

"Will you please be quiet? Really…" Miranda sounded like she was about to lose it.

"Yep, I sure will. All done Andy!" The doctor reached for the dressing and wrap. "See, I told you it would be over in not time. I'm going to wrap all this up to keep you from moving it around too much and I've got a sling to help you keep it elevated for a while. You won't need it very long; it's just to help you with the swelling."

"Awesome, you were right. I didn't feel it at all. I can go home now?"

"Yes, you most certainly can. I'll have some instructions for you to look over when you get home and a prescription for pain medication to get you through the next couple of days."

"Fantastic. I'm ready to go now." Andy started to get up but the doctor gently pushed her back down and continued to wrap her hand up.

"Whoa, not so fast. Let me get your sling and your paper work and then you can go. Is she going home with you?" There was a rather hopeful look on the doctor's face as she spoke to Miranda.

"Yes, she is." Andy started to say something but was cut off. "Don't say a word." Miranda glared at her then smiled and for a long moment they just stared at one another, forgetting all about Kim.

"Ooookay, I don't think you need me around anymore so I'll just go. Let me know if you're getting married anytime soon. I'll be there with bells on. Seriously." The doctor sauntered out of the room probably feeling quite proud of herself. Andy couldn't blame her one bit.

"Miranda, I can go home by my-"

Andy never did get to finish that sentence because suddenly she was being kissed harder than she'd ever been kissed in her life. Not wanting to waste time worrying about the fact that she might be dreaming, Andy pulled the delusional, exasperating woman in closer and went for it. When she felt Miranda slide an arm around her, Andy just about died.

Finally she was getting kissed and held by the woman that she really did love; whether she wanted to admit it or not. Most days she didn't want to admit it but there were quite a few days…especially when they weren't busy exasperating one another, that Andy did want to admit it. Today was definitely one of those days in spite of how exasperating Miranda had been through much of it. So? Why not admit it?

She waited until she needed air then pulled away. Miranda however did not need air and kissed her again. This time gently and slowly. "I love you, Andrea." Miranda said as she ended the kiss and rested her forehead against Andy's.

"Ah, you beat me to it Miranda." Andy whispered. "I was about to say the same thing." Andy kissed Miranda's lips several times then continued. "I love you too. That's why I nearly killed somebody today. Okay?"

"Okay…"

"Oh, man! You guys do need to get married! This has been the best day of my career. Seriously." Kim just had to pick now as the perfect time to come back into the room. Miranda took a deep breath and stood up straight.

"Yes, I believe you've made your wishes perfectly clear Doctor. If that day ever comes we will be sure to invite you as I'm sure you will be unable to contain yourself if we don't."

"Sounds like a deal to me. Sorry to interrupt by the way but I've your sling and here's your paper work. There's a cop outside that wants to talk to you…I think he'll be willing to meet up with you tomorrow so you can go home and get some rest. Don't forget to eat something with you pain medication and do not forget to read over your paper work." Doctor Pitts handed all the paper work and sling to Miranda. "Here, you look capable enough. And noooooow I really have to go. Try not to fight on the way home, okay?" The doctor waved goodbye and disappeared.

"Okay…She's relentless, huh?" Andy climbed off the exam bed and Miranda silently helped her into the sling. "Oh, that feels better…I don't have to hold it up now. How do I look?"

"Wonderful…tired but wonderful." Miranda kissed her again then started gathering their things.

"Hey, wait a second. Are you just kissing me to get me to shut up?" Yeah, seriously…or maybe she was just feeling too good from the pain medication…

Miranda walked up to her and leaned in close. "Yes, I often kiss people just to shut them up Andrea. If you must know…you've had that coming for quite some time."

"Well, good then." Andy tried to stand up straight and look serious…it wasn't working. "It's about time you did that anyway. I've been waiting for you to get your act together for quite some time."

"Maybe I do need to kiss you to shut you up." Miranda ended that sentence by putting her words into action and minutes not seconds went by before the kiss was broken.

"Wow, I feel so much better now. Like no stress."

"Yes?" Miranda nodded for her to continue so Andy took a deep breath and hoped this wouldn't ruin everything.

"Yes. You stress me out. We stress me out. The way we go back and forth…it's fun sometimes but mostly it feels like we're just mad at each other because of what we should be saying but never do." Andy finished her statement off by resting her head on Miranda's shoulder while she prayed that Miranda wouldn't say something nasty in return.

"It is stressful." Miranda slipped an arm around her shoulder and hugged her. This besides getting kissed by her- was the best thing ever. "It's stressful and I think you're right…we've been neglecting certain…issues."

"Yeah…we should go. I'd rather talk about these issues anywhere else but here."

Miranda agreed and they put their game faces on…and of course Miranda's ever present sunglasses. Verbally communicating that the two of them had more than a little to talk about before allowing the outside world to see inside their own; was not needed. Miranda walked out in regal fashion with her busted up assistant dutifully following behind.

Once inside the car though, things changed back again and Miranda stayed close by. This yo-yo effect might get a little hard to negotiate but Andy was definitely willing to give it a try. Miranda must have read her mind…"I'm willing to give this a try if you are."

Andy smiled and kissed Miranda's cheek. "Woman, you're delusional if you think I'm not willing…seriously delusional. I'm going to sleep now." Andy closed her eyes and laid her head against Miranda's shoulder.

"Yes, please do. I'm tired of you telling me I'm delusional. You enjoy that far more than is necessary." Even through closed lids Andy could see Miranda smirk and roll her eyes.

The End

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