Miranda and Andy were up early the following morning. Neither had gotten much sleep. Andy had obviously been restless most of the night which meant Miranda was restless as well. The entire situation irritated Miranda to no end. Knowing her beloved Andrea was in pain and there was little she could do to alleviate it tore at Miranda's soul. Her protective instinct was to step in, snap her fingers and make things better but this wasn't something that could be fixed by making a phone call of terrorizing an opponent. Death was the opponent and it always had the last word. As she sat beside her wife on their bed, she couldn't help allowing her mind to drift back to a time when she was in a similar situation. The only difference was it was her mother that had passed and Andy was the one sitting at her side.
Flashback: 14 Years Ago-
The offices of RUNWAY were silent as Miranda made her way through the halls. It was just as she had expected; the offices were always deserted on Sundays. She knew there was really no reason for her to be there either. Miranda just didn't want to go home; she had just buried her mother after all. The girls had been sent to spend the week with their father and she just couldn't deal with Stephen at the moment. He was drinking more frequently these days and Miranda was finding him altogether useless. What Miranda really needed was a distraction. She needed anything to keep her mind off of her mother. It wasn't as though Miranda was mourning a great loss. Sophia Princhek was not what one would consider a good mother. To be honest, there was little between Miranda and her mother except disdain. Thinking of her mother often made Miranda feel inferior, constantly questioning her own abilities as a mother. It made her sad.
The general public knew very little about Miranda's past; she made sure of it. The truth was Miranda's father had died when she was only ten, leaving Sophia Princhek with a child she had never really wanted in the first place. Miranda, or Miriam as she was known then, was reminded of that very fact every single day for eight more years until she had packed her meager belongings and made her way out into the world alone. It wasn't until years later when Miriam Princhek had transformed into Miranda Priestly that the two ever became re-acquainted. Miranda knew the more famous she became the more interesting her past would become to the press. To ensure that her new image remained intact, all loose ends had to be tied. That was the sole reason Sophia found herself moved into a luxurious home in London along with more than enough money to provide for her needs, wants, and most importantly… silence. As the years progressed, the two made very little headway in their relationship; eventually becoming what Miranda would call acquaintances. Once Sophia's health began to deteriorate, Miranda brought her to the U.S. and moved to an upscale retirement community in upstate New York. That is where Sophia had spent her last days. Miranda had rarely visited and Sophia hadn't asked her to.
Miranda made her way into her office and hung her own coat and placed her bag in the chair by her desk. She smirked as she thought how Emily would react if she had witnessed her performing the simple task. She could just envision her long-suffering assistant gulping like a fish while Andrea slyly looked at Emily as if she were an idiot. The thought of Andrea brought a genuine smile to her face without her even realizing it. Although she would never admit it, she was rather fond of the girl. She enjoyed seeing the different sides of Andrea. It wasn't always obvious to everyone, but Miranda was known for noticing the details.
Everyone looked at Andy and saw the 'aw-shucks' sweet and naïve girl from Ohio, but Miranda knew there was more to her. Andrea had a devious side. She had seen the cold glare Andy threw at the clackers when they had been incompetent. It wasn't quite as effective as Miranda's, but it was still rather impressive. She also enjoyed Andy's startling intelligence and wicked sense of humor. Miranda had overheard her on the phone dealing with the drama queen designers and narcissistic executives constantly demanding Miranda's time. She had almost felt sorry for the person on the receiving end of those calls…almost. The girl really did have a way with words. She was simply a walking contradiction.
Shaking those thoughts away, she took a seat at her desk and began reading over a few notes left over from Friday's photo shoot. She worked diligently until a sound interrupted her thought process. She frowned with annoyance. Who could possibly be in the office on a Sunday afternoon, other than herself that is? She got her answer when she caught a glimpse of Andy taking a seat at her desk.
A few seconds passed before Andy appeared in the doorway. "Yes Miranda?" She asked as if it were perfectly normal to be there today.
" What are you doing here?"
" Oh, I um… I'm just trying to get a jump-start on a few things for the upcoming week. You know, just trying to be prepared."
Miranda's eyes were like lasers and Andy felt like a skewered shrimp. Andy couldn't meet her eyes which meant one thing. "You're lying."
Andy swallowed hard and laughed nervously. "I'm not lying. I…"
" Andrea." Miranda said giving her the brow.
Andy's shoulders slumped. "Ok. I'm lying."
" Why are you here, Andrea?"
" Because I knew you'd be here." Andy said confidently.
Miranda was again taken by surprise at this side of her young assistant. She was constantly changing. Just a moment ago, she appeared nervous and shy, now she was looking Miranda in the eye without flinching.
Miranda simply tilted her head and waited for an explanation. Andy came further into the office and took a seat in one of the chairs in front of Miranda's desk without an invitation.
" I know about your mother and I know we're not supposed to talk about it. There is some 'Miranda Rule' somewhere on a list that states no one should comment or even acknowledge that you have feelings at all. Now, I'm sure I might be committing career suicide by doing this, but I don't care. I think the fact that you just lost your mother should be acknowledged and I don't think you should be alone right now."
" You are correct. You are committing career suicide." Miranda said icily.
Andy didn't seem fazed by it. Miranda knew she was going to have to seriously work on her intimidation tactics. Since the whole 'Harry Potter' incident, the silly girl didn't seem to be all that afraid of her anymore.
" Maybe, but… I keep thinking if my mother died, I know I wouldn't want to be alone. I would want to have a friend with me… even if it was just to sit with me."
" I'm sure the relationship you have with your mother is starkly different from the relationship I shared with mine." Miranda said before she even knew it. Discussing her life was not something she did… ever.
" Maybe, I don't know. What I do know is she was your mother and she died. I'm very sorry for your loss, Miranda. You deserve to hear that." Andy said shrugging her shoulders. "I'll go if that's what you really want or I could stay and keep you company… if you like."
Miranda eyed Andy suspiciously for a moment trying to gauge her true intentions. The only thing she saw was complete sincerity staring back at her. It was a bit unnerving.
" If you'd like to work on your day off, who am I to stop you?" Miranda said turning back to the files on her desk.
Andy nodded. "Okay then. I'll be at my desk if you need anything."
Miranda didn't acknowledge her as she returned to her desk. Once alone in her office, Miranda looked up from her work and stared at the young woman now sitting at her desk. She could see the reflection of Andrea's computer screen in the glass wall behind her. The girl was playing solitaire. She should have been angry, but she wasn't. A warm sensation settled in the pit of Miranda's stomach when she realized that Andy really had no reason to be here today. There was no work to catch up on or complete early. The silly girl had simply come to the office to offer Miranda support. It was probably the nicest thing anyone had done for her in years. Miranda caught herself trying not to smile as she went back to work. She knew she was definitely in trouble now.
Miranda's thoughts came back to the present as she sat patiently on the bed next to Andy. She placed a gentle hand on her wife's back as Andy spoke with her mother and various other family members. After the necessary calls had been made, Miranda kissed Andy on the cheek and ushered her off to shower.
Needing to feel more useful, Miranda headed downstairs to prepare breakfast in hopes of getting her wife to eat. She was putting the finishing touches on their meal when she heard the front door opening. She knew it was her son returning home from his stay with his uncle. She had placed the last of the pancakes on the table when Alex rounded the corner with Doug trailing not far behind. Miranda couldn't help but smile in wonder when she saw her precious boy. He was the apple of her eye. With a head full of unruly dark brown curls, full mouth, and striking blue eyes, he was truly a beautiful boy. Her smile went away when she saw him dropping his grungy backpack in the corner.
Miranda raised a brow. "I assume you will be putting that in its proper place after breakfast, correct?"
Alex grinned as he trotted over to hug her. "Morning Mom and yes, I'll put my bag away."
She chuckled at his new title for her. When he turned eight earlier in the year, he promptly informed his mothers that he was too old to call them Mommy anymore and that the term mother was too stuffy. So, he started calling Andy Moms just as the twins did and Miranda became Mom.
She returned his hug and kissed the top of his head mentally noting how tall he was getting. "Good morning to you as well, Alexander. Did you have a good time with your Uncle Douglas?"
"I meant, yes. I had fun. Uncle Doug has that new gaming and video system I told you guys about. It was totally cool."
Miranda chuckled at his enthusiasm as she made her way over to Doug for a hug. Doug was one of the few people Miranda genuinely embraced and meant it. He was Andrea's dearest friend and their son's godfather. "Good morning, Douglass. I hope he wasn't too much trouble."
Doug grinned. "Are you kidding? You know Alex and I always have a blast together."
"Yeah, Uncle Doug is awesome."
"Undoubtedly because he allows you to do whatever you want." Miranda said sending a mock glare Doug's way.
Doug pretended to be offended. "I'll have you know that I am the shining example of a role model, lady."
They all laughed at the ridiculousness of the statement. Everyone knew that Doug was a total pushover for his favorite nephew.
"Will you be staying for breakfast, Douglas? We'd love to have you." Miranda asked placing a plate of turkey bacon on the table.
Alex reached over and attempted to snag a piece only to have his hand tapped. He quickly moved his hand back.
"You know the drill, young man. Go wash your hands then we will sit down at the table like civilized human beings. As a matter of fact, why don't you go ahead and put your bag away, then wash your hands."
"But Mom!" He whined. "I just showered at Uncle Doug's and I'm starving."
Miranda simply lifted a brow in response.
Alex held up his hands playfully. "Whoa, you don't have to give me the 'death brow'. I'm going, I'm going."
Miranda and Doug both suppressed the laugh threatening to escape. Miranda shook her head. Her son was quite precocious for his age. He reminded her so much of her wife at times with his easy charm and sense of humor.
"I wish I could, but I got a call from my boss on the way over. There are some problems with one of the major mergers I've been working on. I'm actually about to head into the office now." He lowered his voice as he kept an eye on Alex until the boy had left the room. "By the looks of things, I probably won't be able to fly out for the service. That's why I wanted to come in and talk to Andy. How is she holding up?"
Miranda sighed and shook her head. "She's very… together about the whole thing. She hasn't said much."
Doug nodded. "I hate it when she gets quiet like that."
"Mmm… as do. I worry about her."
Doug just nodded.
"Why don't you go on up and talk with her? I'm sure she'd love to see you."
"I think I will. Thanks."
He leaned in and gave Miranda another peck on the cheek. "Please give me a call if you guys need anything or…" He trailed off at a loss of what to say.
Miranda cupped his cheek gently and smiled. "Of course. Thank you, Douglas."
Several minutes later, Alex bounced back into the kitchen with his hands freshly washed. He took a seat at the table and noticed the three place settings. "Where's Moms?"
"I'm right here." Andy said walking into the kitchen. She gave him a quick kiss on the head before taking her seat between them. "Hey bud. Your Uncle Doug had to leave. He told me to tell you he'd call you tomorrow. So, did you guys have fun on you 'guys only' weekend?"
"Yes. It was awesome! Uncle Doug's new game system is so much fun. Can I have one, pleeeaaase!"
Andy and Miranda glanced at each other fondly and smirked knowing they'd already purchased one for him. He was a straight A student and he stayed out of trouble. They saw no reason not to reward him for it.
"Just like the last time you asked, Mom and I will discuss it and let you know." Andy said ruffling his hair.
"Okay." He mumbled over his eggs.
Miranda gave Andy a good once over. She could see the beginnings of dark circles underneath her eyes. She had tossed and turned most of the night and was up before dawn. Andy caught her looking and they both glanced at their son silently communicating with their eyes. Andy cleared her throat and pushed her plate away.
"Umm… listen Alex… Mom and I need to talk to you about something."
Alex sensed the change in the tone of his mother's voice. He placed his fork down and gave her his complete attention.
Andy took his hand. "You're going to have to miss your soccer game this week. We will be taking a trip to Ohio for a few days."
"Oh." He said with a little disappointment. He hated having to miss a game, but taking a trip with his mothers could be fun. "Are we going to visit, Grandma A?"
"Yes, but not just for a regular visit. Do you remember I told you about my father, Richard?"
Alex nodded unsure why his mother was talking about her dad. She never talked about him.
"Well… he died yesterday."
"Your dad died?"
Andy nodded. "Yes, he did."
"Are you sad, Moms?"
Andy paused and glanced at Miranda before turning her gaze out the large window into the back yard. She and Miranda were always as truthful as possible with their kids. This was no different. "I know this may be hard to understand, but I honestly don't know how I feel right now, Alex."
Alex blinked and looked at Miranda. He had never met his grandfather because his mothers didn't get along with him. He had overheard his older sisters talking about him a few times. Alex knew the man had been mean to his mothers so he didn't really know what he should say or do. Getting nod from Miranda, he stood and hugged Andy tightly around the neck.
"It's okay to be sad if you want to, Moms. Even if he wasn't always nice, he was still your dad right?"
Andy tightened her hold on her son and kissed his cheek. "You're right. Thank you, sweetheart. I love you, bud."
"I love you too, Moms."
Their longtime housekeeper, Louisa, came in holding the phone. "Excuse me, but there is a call for you, Miss Andy."
Andy sighed and stood. "Thanks Louisa. I'll take it upstairs."
Miranda watched her wife make her way up the back stairway before turning her attention back to their housekeeper.
"Louisa, as you know we will be traveling to Ohio to attend the funeral of Andrea's father. We will be away for three or four days, possibly longer. You may take the next few days off if you wish."
The older Latina glared at Miranda and shook her head with urgency. "No. No. I will be here as I am every day. You insist on living in this huge place. It does not clean itself."
Miranda hid her smile behind her coffee cup. Louisa Lopez had been with her for over twenty years. She was much more than just a housekeeper. Louisa had been there when she brought the twins home from the hospital. She had nursed Miranda's broken heart through two divorces and countless personal and professional disappointments. Louisa Lopez was the closest thing Miranda had ever had to a mother figure and she adored her.
"I'm sure the place will not fall to shambles if you are away a few days, Louisa. Didn't you say that your granddaughter was in town visiting?" Miranda asked raising a brow.
Louisa put her hands on her plump little hips. "Are you trying to get rid of me, Miranda Priestly?"
Miranda's eyes widened a little. "Of course not. I wouldn't know what to do without you."
"This is true." Louisa nodded once with finality. "No. I will see my granddaughter after I finish my day here. You run your big magazine and take over Elias-Clarke. You want to do my job now too?"
Miranda could hear Alex chuckling behind her. She rolled her eyes. "I would not dare, Louisa. There is only one boss in this house. We all know who holds that title."
Louisa narrowed her eyes at Miranda and sucked her teeth. "You do not fool me with your kind words, so stop it. And for god sake, feed my boy more eggs. He looks hungry. I will come back when you are finished and clean the mess you have made of my kitchen."
Miranda smirked. "Thank you, Louisa."
"I do not know why I put up with you all these years, Miranda Priestly."
"We love you too, Louisa." Miranda said with a chuckle.
Alex laughed as he watched the interaction between Louisa and his mom. Louisa and Miranda had a unique relationship. They were both prickly on the outside, but complete softies on the inside. They were funny together too.
A comfortable silence settled between them as they went back to their breakfast. Miranda obediently placed more eggs on her son's plate.
"Mom?" Alex said finally breaking the silence.
"Why did her dad not like us?"
Miranda cursed the gods for having such an inquisitive son. "Well… I don't think he disliked us. He really didn't know us. I do know for a fact that he loved your mother very much which means that he loved you too because you are a part of her."
"But he never talked to Moms… or us."
Miranda sighed. "Sometimes as parents we love our children so much that we want to protect them from making mistakes or from anything we think might cause them harm. We sometimes think we know what's best for our children… even when we are wrong."
Alex frowned. "What did he think Moms was doing wrong?"
Miranda was at a loss how to answer.
"He thought I was wrong for loving your mom."
Two sets of blue eyes swung over to see Andy leaning casually in the doorway. She held the phone up and wiggled it in Miranda's direction. "The girls rang just as I finished my call. They're making travel plans as we speak even though I tried to talk them out of it. I thought you'd like to say hello."
Miranda ran a hand over her son's head as she moved over to take the phone. She and Andy shared a meaningful look as she passed. Andy returned her gaze to her son and knew it was time to have a conversation with him.
"To answer your question, my dad didn't think me being involved with your mother was a good idea."
"Why? You love Mom."
Andy nodded. "Yes, I do and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that."
"Was it because Mom is a girl too?" Alex asked. He was very aware that there were people in the world who believed there was something wrong with his family because he had two mothers. He simply ignored them because that was just stupid. His family was awesome.
Andy bit her lip. "Well, that was a huge part of it. My dad grew up believing that girls should marry boys and that was that. But he also thought Mom and I were not right for one another for a lot of other reasons too. He thought he knew what was best for me."
"Boy, was he wrong." Alex said rolling his eyes.
The look was completely Miranda Priestly and it made her genuinely smile for the first time all day. "Yep, he sure was."
Andy sat down at the table and propped her feet up on the adjacent chair. She leaned back with her hands behind her head. "Did I ever tell you the story of how I got Mom to go out with me?"
Alex shook his head.
"Well son, let me tell you. It wasn't easy. I had to go to some fancy party all the way in Paris to do it." She chuckled. "And I almost got myself killed in the process."
-Flashback: 13 Years Ago: Paris Fashion Week After Party-
Cool blue eyes met brown from across the crowded room. Andy couldn't help but wince at how cliché the entire situation was. True enough, she was a hopeless romantic, but she'd always rolled her eyes at the thought of two soul mates gazing at one another from across a crowded room. Yet, here she was staring at the woman who had plagued her thoughts every single day for nearly a year. She shivered feeling those familiar eyes roaming over her borrowed Valentino pantsuit. No one could look you over like Miranda Priestly.
After all the trouble she'd gone through to get here, it was now or never. She had seen Miranda a few times throughout the week, but hadn't crossed paths. Andy was sure Miranda knew she was there. Nothing happened at Fashion Week that Miranda wasn't aware of. She was also sure that Miranda had been deliberately avoiding her. Now with the week winding down, Andy knew she wouldn't get the chance to talk to Miranda again if she didn't do it now. Keeping her eyes on Miranda the entire time, she slowly made her way through the mingling crowd until she came to a stop a few feet away. She held her shoulders back, lifted her chin, and faced Miranda's glare full on.
" Hello Miranda."
Miranda ran her eyes over Andy's body once again from head to toe. Andy flushed as she always had when Miranda critiqued her attire. She smiled inwardly when it appeared the editor was pleased with her appearance.
" It's good to see you again, Miranda."
Miranda sniffed and glanced around the room in boredom. "Your presence here this week is certainly a surprise. Shouldn't you be running around chasing the local bake sale?"
Andy had expected Miranda's cool reception. "Funny. I'm actually here covering Fashion Week for 'The Mirror'."
" Ah yes, that's the name of your little paper isn't it?"
Andy bit the inside of her jaw. "Yes it is which I'm sure you already knew since you did send over a recommendation for me."
" Hmm." Miranda took the opportunity to snag a glass of champagne from a server passing by. She took a healthy sip. "I was under the assumption that you had moved on to more important things than fashion. Weren't you simply biding your time at RUNWAY in order to do so?"
" I never said fashion wasn't important, Miranda. Although… you are right. I don't usually cover events like this. I asked my editor to send me." She gave Miranda a sly grin. "Actually, it was more like I begged to be here."
" Begged?" Miranda eyed her closely. "You are quite the contradiction aren't you? You beg to be here now when it is not required of you, yet you run away when it is your job. I hope your current employer is aware of your tendency to leave prematurely. Since leaving is what you do best, why don't you do that now?"
" That's all."
" No. That's not all. You don't get to dismiss me anymore, Miranda."
" How dare you show your face here again?" The words came out with such venom most would have turned and ran; but Andy wasn't most people. She knew this woman better than most and she could see beyond the icy glare and harsh words. If Miranda was angry that meant that she felt something and something was better than nothing.
" I didn't leave you, Miranda. I left RUNWAY." Andy took a step closer to Miranda. "There's a big difference."
" To leave RUNWAY is to leave me." Miranda snapped.
" See that's where you're wrong." Andy took a step closer. "Look, I had no choice."
" I've told you before that everyone has a choice."
" I was becoming someone I couldn't recognize anymore. I couldn't become that person."
Miranda raised a brow. "You mean someone like me."
Andy rolled her eyes. "I didn't say that, Miranda."
" You didn't have to." Miranda finished the last of her champagne and placed the glass aside. "You said it every day with your superior attitude. You never really wanted to be a part of this. It shouldn't have been a surprise that you'd leave it so easily. You were quite the disappointment." She said turning to leave.
" Miranda, wait." Andy quickly moved in front blocking her path. Miranda turned and pinned her with a deadly glare. "Wait. You're wrong. True, I didn't really want that world, but you're wrong about the decision to leave being an easy one because it wasn't. Leaving you was the hardest decision I ever had to make and it wasn't because of some job."
Miranda was stunned for a moment. She could feel the eyes around the room on them. "This is over, Andrea. I do not wish to see you again." She took a breath and pasted on a fake smile on her face as if she was bidding an old friend goodbye and swept out of the room.
Andy took a quick look around and noticed everyone had gone back to their conversations. She slowly moved in the direction Miranda had gone. By the time she had made it out to the street, there was no sight of the older woman. She frantically moved her eyes over the traffic and spotted the woman speaking into her phone. Miranda's car hadn't arrived yet so Andy knew she still had time.
Miranda looked over her shoulder and saw the brunette heading down the stairs in her direction. She ground her teeth in frustration. "Is it too much to ask that my car be waiting for me when I require it, Emily. I don't know why this is such an impossible task." She hissed into the phone. Rolling her eyes at the response, she ended the call and stepped out onto the sidewalk to hail a taxi.
" Miranda! Miranda, don't you dare get into that damn car!" Andy yelled just as Miranda slipped inside the vehicle. "Shit!"
Miranda gave the driver the name of her hotel and was relieved when she felt the car begin to move forward. She sighed in relief and laid her head back against the seat and closed her eyes trying to forget a certain pair of beautiful brown eyes. She was abruptly jolted forward as the car slammed on the brakes.
Suddenly, the driver was yelling and pointing animatedly. He was speaking so fast, the only thing Miranda could make out was crazy woman… something about a crazy woman throwing herself in front of his taxi. Miranda's eyes widened and she quickly got out. What she saw nearly made her heart stop.
" Oh my god! Andrea! Oh god, please!" Her precious Andrea was laying spread eagle in front of the car. Miranda quickly pulled up her dress and kneeled next her checking for a pulse. "You stupid, stupid girl! What were you thinking?"
" I was trying to talk to you, lady." Andy groaned. "I should have known only you would be able to move that fast in stilettos."
Miranda let out a heavy sigh of relief. "You shouldn't move. You might be hurt. I'll call an ambulance."
Andy reached up and took the phone out of Miranda's hand. "I'm fine. He didn't actually hit me. I just got bumped and fell." She felt a throb in her hip. "Yep, that's gonna leave a bruise."
Andy heard Miranda mumble something about ruining a perfectly good Valentino and rolled her eyes. Of course, Miranda would be thinking about her clothes at a moment like this.
The driver had gotten out and was yelling frantically again. Andy winced as she sat up. "Sir, I'm fine. You can calm down. I'm not hurt."
" Andrea, I don't think he speaks English." Miranda said watching the man continue to rant.
" Well, I only speak Spanish and Italian and I don't remember much from my high school French class so…"
Miranda looked up at the driver and spoke to him in perfect French quickly getting him to calm down. They went back and forth for a few minutes as Andy watched the conversation with interest. She wondered what Miranda had said to the man to garner the angry look he was giving her. Knowing Miranda, she had probably told him how stupid Andy was. Finally the driver threw up his hands and returned to his car. Andy looked around and noticed that they had drawn a small crowd.
" Umm… could you help me up here? I think I'm blocking traffic."
" I should leave you here." Miranda said with a glare, but proceeded to help the younger woman to her feet. Miranda watched her wobble a bit and slipped and arm around her waist.
" Maybe you should see a doctor just to be sure you're not injured."
Andy waved her off as they came to a stop back on the sidewalk. She tried not to get lost in the enticing smell of Miranda's perfume. "No, I really am fine. I'll probably be a little sore for a while though."
" Whatever were you thinking? You could have been killed."
" Anything would be better than what I've been feeling this past year."
" Andrea..." Miranda said shaking her head.
" All I'm asking is for a few minutes… just to talk then you never have to see me again. Come on; let's just go for a walk."
Miranda appeared to be considering her options. "Are you even able to walk?"
" I already told you. I'm fine." Andy said trying to sound convincing even though her hip was killing her.
Reluctantly Miranda ended up walking with Andy aimlessly down the street. Neither spoke again until they came to a stop by a familiar fountain. Miranda turned and glared at her.
" What are you trying to prove, Andrea?"
" I think it's fitting. Don't you? This is where it all went wrong." Andy took a deep breath and stepped closer. "I'm sorry, Miranda."
" You came all this way, went through all this to say… you're sorry?" Miranda's voice was scathing. "It's obvious that your skills as a journalist are questionable if sorry is all you can come up with."
Andy shook her head slightly. She would have been more disappointed if she hadn't witnessed the look on Miranda's face when she thought Andy might have been hurt. "Well to be honest, I'm not actually sorry that I left."
" This is nonsense. I'm leaving." Miranda turned on her heals and started to walk away.
" I'm not sorry that I left the job, but I am sorry for leaving you!"
Miranda stopped but never turned around. Andy took a few steps forward. "I've spent nearly a year trying to forget you and I can't. You're all I can think about. Then I finally realized why. I can't forget you because I never really left you."
Andy waited until Miranda slowly turned around. Miranda just stared at her.
" It wasn't just about what happened with Nigel. No, I didn't like what you did to him, but in all honesty I understood why you did it. I'm not that naïve about how business works. It wasn't personal."
" Then why?" Miranda found herself asking.
Andy shrugged and shook her head. "It was just… Everything just came to a head and it scared the hell out of me. You scared me."
" Scared you?"
Andy flashed a sad smile. "Yeah. You're the best and worst thing to ever happen to me, Miranda Priestly. You're bossy, demanding, impatient, controlling, frustrating, and sometimes downright cruel."
Miranda's eyes grew angry. "I didn't come out here to be insulted."
Andy ignored her and continued to speak. "But you are also… generous, caring, and funny as hell when you want to be, not to mention brilliant, absolutely gorgeous, and criminally sexy." Andy never heard the gasp that slipped from Miranda's lips.
" That night in your room when you told me about Stephen and the divorce, all I wanted to do was just…" Andy felt her throat tighten and the tears came. She swallowed and shook them away. Now was not the time to lose it. "I saw you and you were beautifully human and…that's what scared me."
" Because I found myself wanting to see that person, be with that person… all the time… and I had to face what I had been trying to deny for so long. I felt more for you than I should have. I felt more for you than I'd ever felt for anyone else in my life."
Miranda stood absolutely speechless as she watched Andy struggle with her words. She wanted to say something, do something. She wanted to tell Andy that she had felt the same way; that she still did. But she found herself unable to do or say anything.
Andy's eyes were downcast and she suddenly found her shoes extremely interesting.
" There were times when I thought that maybe…just maybe… you felt something too. You would talk to me when no one was around. In the car, we'd laugh… well, I'd laugh… at some crazy thing that happened throughout the day and you would roll your eyes in that way and I'd know you were amused. Sometimes, you would look at me and I swear to god I thought I was the only person left on earth. But then the whole thing with Nigel happened and I was afraid that you'd do that to me one day. I didn't think I could handle that so..."
Andy hadn't noticed that Miranda had moved back towards her until she lifted her head. She was surprised to see the editor standing only a few inches away with an unreadable expression on her face.
"… I left before you had the chance to throw me away too." Andy sighed. "I don't expect… I… I just wanted you to know why I had to leave. I needed you to know so I could move on with my life."
The silence between them stretched so long that Andy thought their conversation was over. She figured she'd cut her losses and just leave while she still had some dignity left. "That's all…I had to say. I'm sorry I bothered you." Head bowed, she turned to walk away.
" I would never throw you away." A few seconds passed before Miranda's soft voice filled the evening air again. "I could never…"
Andy froze mid step then slowly turned back around. Miranda was staring into the fountain. Andy silently waited for her to continue.
" The divorce was… difficult, but I had… expected it. They all leave eventually." Miranda said wistfully at the wave of her hand. "But contrary to what many think, I did indeed hurt. It hurt because it was yet another disappointment in a long line of many; one more person who couldn't understand me, who couldn't live with me. So yes, it hurt but not because he was the great love of my life." Her voice was soft as a whisper. "But… the possibility of losing RUNWAY was something I couldn't allow. I have poured my soul into that magazine. I could not lose that too. I AM RUNWAY… and I could not imagine that there could ever be anything more painful than having it taken away from me… but…" Miranda laughed humorlessly and shook her head searching for the right words.
Andy still waited in silence. It wasn't often that Miranda Priestly opened up and explained her feelings. She wasn't about to interrupt something so monumental.
" As it turns out, I was wrong about that as well." Miranda looked up and finally met Andy's eyes for a brief moment. Andy was taken aback by the hurt she saw there. "Your absence from my life…was unexpected and…affected me in ways I never imagined. I could get over the loss of Stephen, even possibly my job, but not so easily you. Why is that, Andrea?"
" I think we both know why." Andy took a step forward and lifted Miranda's chin. 'Dear God, you had better be right about this, Sachs.' Andy thought to herself.'
They both shivered at the touch. She saw the blue eyes were shimmering with unshed tears. Miranda sighed and leaned into the soft palm now caressing her cheek.
" I left because I couldn't have this… I couldn't have you."
Miranda's eyes fluttered closed as she felt Andy's soft lips gently brush over her own. The kiss was slow, gentle, and impossibly sweet. When Andy pulled away, she dropped her forehead to Miranda's.
After a long silence, she spoke timidly. "Well, you haven't gone running and screaming through the streets; that's got to be a good sign right?"
To Andy's surprise, Miranda moved farther into her arms. They both let out a long sigh of relief. Andy was even more surprised when she heard Miranda's soft voice in her ear. "What is it about you that won't let me let go?"
Andy shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know but whatever it is, I hope I can keep it." She leaned back to look into Miranda's eye. "I hope I can keep you."
Miranda swallowed the lump in her throat. "You can't leave me again."
" I'll stay as long as you'll have me."
Miranda lifted a hand and wiped the tears at Andy's eyes away. "I don't know what to say to all this."
" Me either. I thought you would toss me out on my ass the minute you saw me at that party."
To Andy's surprise, Miranda chuckled and her eyes twinkled. It nearly took her breath away. "The thought did cross my mind."
" But you didn't and we have time now. We can take things slow; one day at a time. If that's what you want?" Andy asked hesitantly.
" Do you even know what you're asking, Andrea? This will not be easy." Miranda said evenly.
Andy grinned charmingly. "When has anything with Miranda Priestly ever been easy?"
Miranda narrowed her eyes at the gentle teasing. Andy leaned in and pecked her on the lips soothing her instantly. "But haven't I always been up for the job?"
" So… I have one more question." Andy said shyly.
Miranda rolled her eyes. "My god, you really have taken being a journalist to heart. What, pray tell, could you possibly have to ask now?"
Andy bit her lip and looked sheepishly into the intense blue eyes. "Will you have dinner with me?"
Surprising them both, Miranda laughed and wrapped the younger woman in her arms. "Yes dear heart. Yes."
"Awesome. You actually got hit by a car, Moms?" Alex asked excitedly.
Andy rolled her eyes. "I tell you that entire story and that's all you got out of it?"
"Well, no one wants to hear about their parents kissing. That's just gross."
Andy looked insulted. "I'll show you gross, mister!" She said launching into a tickle fight with her son.
Miranda stood in the doorway watching with a soft smile on her face wishing she could keep her Andrea as happy as she was in that moment. Louisa came to stand just behind her. The both watched them with amusement.
"It is a great shame Miss Andy's father never saw this. If he saw, there is no way he could ever say it was wrong." Louisa said quietly.
Miranda glanced at her before turning her eyes back to her wife and son. "Once again, Louisa, you know best."
"Mom! Help! Make her stop, Mom." Alex said through bouts of giggles.
Louisa laughed as she left the room. Miranda shook her head and smirked. "I refuse to be drawn into the shenanigans of you two."
Andy laughed. "Ha! You said shenanigans."
"Apparently, I live with two five-year olds. It's appropriate don't you think?"
"Good one, Mom."
"Hey bud, you're one of the five-year olds she's referring to in this equation."
Alex thought about it for a moment. "Hey! Not cool Mom. I'm eight!"
"You're right. I am so sorry." Miranda said in her signature sarcastic tone which made Andy laugh harder.
"I hate to break this up, but 'New Girl' made our travel arrangements and I need to speak with you."
Andy immediately sobered. "Okay bud, why don't you head on up and pack a few things? You can get Louisa to help you get started. I'll be up in a few minutes to give you a hand."
"Okay Moms. I'm on it."
"And I don't think I need to remind you that super hero costumes do not count as clothing, Alexander. I don't care how much you get Louisa to glare at me." Miranda said to his retreating form. They could hear him grumbling up the stairs.
Miranda floated over and moved into Andy's arms, holding her close for a long moment. She pulled back and fiddled with collar of Andy's shirt. "So many things in your life would have been different if I had just continued walking that day."
Andy tilted her head. "Maybe, but then I wouldn't have you and our beautiful girls…" Moving the stubborn lock of hair aside, she placed a gentle kiss on Miranda's forehead. She lifted her eyes up towards the ceiling. "… and we wouldn't have that amazing kid up there. I will never regret a single thing about that day."
"Really?" Miranda said with a knowing smirk.
"Okay, well maybe jumping in front of that cab. My ass was sore for days after that."
Miranda leaned in and kissed her soundly. "You're a pathetic romantic."
"You love it."
"That I do."
"So what were you saying about the arrangements?'
"As I said before, 'New Girl'…"
"She's really not new anymore, you know. Her name is Keisha. She's been working for you for over a year and she's amazing. Everyone knows you're taking her with you when you leave RUNWAY. Besides, she like your other wife. You really should start calling her by her name."
Miranda rolled her eyes. "She is no such thing."
"Yes, she is. She practically does everything I do."
Miranda raised a teasing brow. "Really?"
Andy frowned. "Okay, maybe not everything… or at least she better not be. But she's totally your work wife. The point is you should use her real name."
"In due time, darling. As I was saying, 'New Girl' has everything booked. I just need to know if you plan for us to stay with your mother or if we will need a hotel."
"I assume the girls are still coming?"
"You're their mother. They want to be with you. I would never try to talk them out of that." 'Besides, I think you will need as much love and support around you as possible.' Miranda thought to herself.
"Okay. In that case, I think we should stay at a hotel. Mom has enough room, but there will be people dropping by and I don't want the kids to have to deal with all of that. We'll be more comfortable at a hotel."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, book the hotel. I'm going to go help Alex pack before he tries to pack his Spider Man suit as an outfit." She gave Miranda a quick peck on the cheek as she headed towards the stairs. She paused for a moment and looked back at Miranda. "Thank you, Miranda… for everything."
"I love you, darling."
Andy smiled softly. "I know and I thank god for that every day."