DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: thanks to Telanu, Harriet and Lorraine for all their help. The title is from the 2008 California Supreme Court Decision In re Marriage Cases, which ruled that the state of California "may not ... preclude same-sex couples from marrying;" Woo and Lockyer were involved in one of the original cases brought before the court.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Woo, Lockyer, Priestly, Sachs
By The Last Good Name
Andrea sounded breathless when Miranda answered the phone. "Did you hear?" Andrea asked, without preamble.
Miranda shuffled through the paperwork on her desk. "Hear what?"
"The news!" Andrea said.
Miranda resisted the urge to pull the phone away from her ear and let Andrea talk. "Andrea, I'm busy. Is there a point to this call?"
Andrea sighed dramatically and Miranda forced her attention to the phone. "California just upheld their gay marriage case."
Miranda waited for the rest of Andrea's news. There wasn't any. "And?" she said.
"Gays and lesbians can get married in California now," said Andrea.
Miranda frowned. As usual, it felt like she was missing half the conversation. "We don't live in California."
"...Aren't you excited?"
Miranda rubbed her forehead. "About what?"
"We can get married!"
"I thought you said this happened in California."
"Yeah, but," Andrea said.
"And we live in New York. This is a state matter; California's constitutional laws have no bearing on New York's."
"I know, but--"
"Not to mention my last divorce isn't even a year old," Miranda said.
"Yeah," said Andrea, all the enthusiasm drained out of her in an instant. "I guess so."
Miranda immediately realized that something had gone terribly awry with their conversation. What, exactly, would have to wait for another time. Right now she had to engage in damage control. "Andrea--"
"No, it's--Never mind," said Andrea quickly. "It's nothing. I was just a little excited. You know, progress. Equality. All that."
"Andrea--" Miranda tried again.
"Miranda, it's okay," and now Miranda could hear the false cheer in Andrea's voice. "I didn't mean anything," Andrea said. "It's just good news. For people who live in California. And want to get married. You know." And then she hung up.
Miranda stared at her phone wondering what had just happened.
Andrea didn't answer her phone for the rest of the afternoon, and Miranda, as a rule, refused to leave messages. It was pathetic, asking people to call you back, as if you weren't important enough that they wouldn't immediately do so anyway.
As soon as they sat down for dinner that evening, Cassidy said, "Hey, Andy, did you see the news about California?"
"Yeah," said Andrea, lacking any hint of her previous enthusiasm. Miranda glanced at her, worried. "I did. Cool, huh?"
"Way," said Caroline. "Are you guys going to get married now?"
"I don't think--" said Andrea.
"Massachusetts is closer," Miranda said.
Silence descended suddenly and completely. Pins dropping would have deafened them all. Miranda rolled her eyes. "Massachusetts is vastly closer," she repeated, "and has been issuing marriage licenses since 2004." She paused. "To same sex couples."
"Yeah," Andrea said slowly. "You're right."
Miranda cleared her throat. "I didn't realize--"
The three of them continued to stare at her.
"I didn't know it was important to you," she said. They hadn't discussed their future in any sort of detail; how was she supposed to know that thoughts of happily ever after and cheap champagne would make Andrea teary?
"Didn't know?" said Andrea.
Her voice sounded thick, and Miranda braced herself for a horrendous evening if she made Andrea cry. Her traitorous daughters would no doubt make her life miserable, and she wouldn't get any sleep for fretting, and she had a breakfast meeting and-- "I," said Miranda.
"So does this mean you're going to get married?" said Cassidy. "Because Aurora's moms got married when they lived in Cambridge and after they moved here they got divorced and now one of her moms lives in Brooklyn and Aurora has to go there on Wednesdays and every other weekend and I don't want to live in Brooklyn. She has to take the subway to school."
Caroline said, "Ew."
"You aren't going to live in Brooklyn, bobbsey," said Miranda, latching on to the change in subject. Heaven forfend anyone have to move to Brooklyn. A sidelong glance informed her that Andrea's tears had been marginally forestalled, and her next words calmed Miranda's racing pulse.
"We're not getting married," said Andrea, "so don't go slating us for divorce already."
"But don't you want to get married?" said Caroline. "Charlie Banter's moms--"
"How many gay parents are there in your school?" interrupted Andrea.
"Lots," said Caroline.
"Charlie Banter is in the fourth grade," said Cassidy, "but his moms--"
"Girls," said Miranda. "I'm sure we'll discuss this more in the future." And they certainly would; she would not be caught unaware again. "But at the moment, let's just finish our dinner, shall we?"
"Yeah, that sounds like a great idea," said Andrea. Miranda shot her another worried glance, but Andrea didn't look up.
After dinner, Andrea insisted on helping Cassidy and Caroline with their homework--she had some sort of idea about active parenting, and the twins adored it when she helped them--and Miranda decided their conversation could wait until the twins were done. They all settled down in the study, and, more than once, Miranda found herself looking up from her computer to fondly observe her family. There was a great deal more laughter and joy in the house since Andrea had moved in, and the twins were thriving. They had even stopped acting out at school.
Two hours later, the girls were ready to go to bed, and Miranda ran over her chosen approach one more time: she would apologize to Andrea, initiate sex, and then, tomorrow, once they had both had time to sleep on it, they would talk.
Miranda hugged and kissed her girls good night and sent them off to bed with a promise that she'd look in on them before she went to sleep. As she turned to Andy, already opening her mouth for a heartfelt apology, the front door opened: the Book had arrived. It was outrageously early.
Miranda glared down the stairs. Andrea grinned at her, and then announced, "I'm going to bed."
"It's early," said Miranda, surprised. Andrea was already at the bottom of the stairs. When had she moved?
She gave a little shrug. "I'm exhausted; long day and all."
"Well, then," said Miranda and prepared to follow her upstairs to bed.
"What about the Book?" Andrea asked, her arms folded and small smirk on her face.
Miranda tried to read Andrea's tone; really, the girl was learning all the wrong lessons from her. "It can wait," she said, probing.
"No, go," said Andrea mildly, and turned up the stairs. "You have to go through it."
"Andrea, it will wait," Miranda said.
Andrea kept walking. "It's okay," she said, her back to Miranda. "I'm so exhausted I'll probably fall asleep as soon as I lay down."
"Andrea--" Miranda said, but she was gone. Passive-aggressive twit, Miranda thought, and contemplated chasing her up the stairs.
"Good night," Andrea called. "I love you."
Twenty minutes later, Miranda looked up from the Book (she had read all of three pages) and realized that she absolutely had to talk to Andrea. Now. Regardless of what Andrea had claimed, she had clearly meant something else, and to top it all off, there was no way she was going to let her go sleep upset.
At least the girls weren't upset with her. When she looked in on them, they were both breathing evenly, looking uncharacteristically angelic. Cassidy had dropped off over a book--one that Andrea had recommended a few days earlier--and Caroline, as usual, had left on her stereo to lull herself to sleep.
When Miranda entered her own bedroom she discovered Andrea under the covers with the lights out, facing the wall. Miranda hesitated; it was never good when Andrea faced the wall. Or when she didn't wait up reading. Sometimes she wondered if it wouldn't have been better to be banished to the couch than to face Andrea's back. Again.
Miranda sighed and forced herself not to rush through her bedtime preparations. Getting older was a tremendous pain, and if she took off even one night, it showed on her face for the next week. Once done, she crept back to the bed and slid over to hover near Andrea. Miranda wondered if she should try to touch her. Probably not.
"Andrea," she whispered.
Andrea didn't move. Her shoulders moved in a steady rhythm.
"Andrea--" Miranda whispered again, a bit louder.
"What," said Andrea in a normal tone, not turning. It sounded astonishingly loud in the quiet room.
Miranda slid slightly closer, her hand wavering over Andrea's shoulder. "I didn't--" Miranda let her hand drop to the mattress. "Tell me what you want."
Now Andrea stared at Miranda. "What?"
"Let's talk about this. I've obviously upset you. I'm very sorry for that."
"It doesn't matter," said Andrea, and suddenly snuggled into Miranda. "Since it's not legal in New York."
Miranda sighed at the feel of Andrea's body against hers once more; it had been ages since they had touched that morning, and Andrea's ass was pressed tightly up against her--she pushed her mind back to the plan. "Governor Patterson just announced that--"
"I thought you didn't read the news," said Andrea.
"He reminded state offices that all marriages performed elsewhere are legal in New York. Marriages from Massachusetts or California. Gay marriages."
"You don't want to get married," said Andrea.
"You took me by surprise, Andrea!" Miranda blurted, her voice rising. She clutched Andrea's arm, unable to help herself. "Whenever we've talked about marriage in the abstract, you've claimed that it was an archaic, paternalistic institution. You turned down a proposal!"
"I didn't want to marry him," Andrea said, and caressed Miranda's hand where it was wrapped around her arm. Miranda forced herself to unclench her fist. Well, she tried, anyway. Her hand didn't seem to want to listen, and kept grasping at Andrea.
"But you want--" Miranda said. "You said--you said--"
"I just thought--I was excited, okay? I saw the news, and I was excited, and I wanted to call you and celebrate, and--"
"Oh," said Miranda, all her tension dissolved in an instant.
Andrea peered into her face. "It's a good thing," she said, "a great thing, and I wanted to share it with you. Because I love you."
"I see," said Miranda thickly. She was going to cry, she just knew it. Damn. Only Andrea could make her cry like this, over nothing; it was impossibly annoying. She gritted her teeth and refused to let the tears fall.
"I didn't mean for this to become some big thing. I just--"
"Wanted to share the good news," said Miranda, blinking rapidly. It didn't help.
"Yeah," she said, and gently wiped the wetness from Miranda's cheeks.
Miranda sighed. "I have been married three times."
"Yeah," said Andrea again.
"I have also been divorced three times."
"Okay." Clearly Andrea had no idea where she was going with this. Neither did Miranda.
She shifted onto her back and stared at the ceiling. "I don't think I could--if we were to marry, I couldn't--" She stopped and inhaled deeply. Some things she was simply unequipped to share with the light of day. Or night. Whatever. "The girls would not appreciate another divorce," she said instead.
"Who says we're going to get divorced?" said Andrea, laughter lurking in her voice.
Miranda huffed. "It doesn't do any good to go into these sorts of things with your eyes closed."
Suddenly Andrea was leaning over her. Miranda automatically slid her arms around her, pulling Andrea down to settle snugly atop her body. Despite the emotional turmoil, or perhaps because of it, Miranda groaned in pleasure at the feel of Andrea pressing down on her. Where Andrea's ass had been moments ago, her thigh was now, and it was heavenly.
"Maybe that's why you keep getting divorced," said Andrea, staring into her eyes. "Because you expect to get divorced. This isn't some sort of temporary thing, Miranda. This is for keeps."
"Yes," Miranda said emphatically. Finally, something they agreed on.
Andrea didn't say anything.
Andrea continued to wait.
Miranda had the brief thought that she wasn't sure how long Andy would wait, but it didn't bear thinking about. She licked her lips. "It is 'for keeps', Andrea," she said, "whether we marry or not."
Andrea's eyes brimmed. Between the two of the, Miranda thought in irritation, they could keep Kleenex in business.
"I didn't mean--please don't cry," said Miranda. "If you want to get married, we'll get married. If you don't want to get married we won't get married. Whatever you want, we'll do it."
"I--" Andrea said.
Miranda pulled her close, burying her hands in Andrea's hair. "Tell me." Please.
Andrea didn't answer.
"We'll fly to California tomorrow," said Miranda, desperate now. "We can get Arnold to officiate. Or that mayor, the one who started all of this."
"You want to marry me?" Andrea whispered.
"I--" Miranda said, and swallowed. "I don't want to lose you." Please, please, I don't want to lose you.
"Okay," said Andrea, her voice as watery as her eyes.
Miranda pulled back and searched Andrea's face.
"Okay," repeated Andrea, sounding stronger now. "You're not going to lose me. And we're not going to get married," she clarified.
"It's not that I don't want to--"
"Yeah, neither do I," said Andrea. "At least, not right now."
Miranda stared at her.
"It is an archaic, paternalistic institution. But it's also huge news." Andrea said. "Besides, you know, you're right: Massachusetts is a lot closer." Andrea smirked again. Miranda's heart thumped.
"I am sorry," said Miranda.
"I know," said Andrea, and leaned in for a kiss.
As soon as their lips touched, Miranda moaned.
"You've been thinking about this, huh?" said Andrea, and slipped her hand between Miranda's legs. Little lights went off behind Miranda's eyes; she pressed herself against Andrea's fingers and moaned again.
"So how long did it take you to plan your strategy?"
"Wha?" said Miranda, her hips jerking against Andrea's questing fingers. Andrea was still talking? Why was Andrea still talking?
"You apologized, very nicely," Andrea said, "and then you were going to distract me with sex. Right?"
"What?" said Miranda again. Andrea was laughing. Laughing at her. When they could be having sex. "What?"
"Your plan, to get me into a better mood so I wouldn't be mad at you any more."
Miranda's stomach sank. "Um," she said.
Andrea laughed again, not slowing the movement of her hand. "I do love you, you know. Even when you're being an idiot."
Miranda figured the conversation couldn't get any worse. "Can we stop talking and have sex now? Please?"
"Sure," said Andrea, and proceeded to be true to her word.
Return to The Devil Wears Prada Fiction
Return to Main Page