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Pure Shores

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“Don’t you dare walk away from me,” a stern tone demanded as Andy leant down to grab her suitcase.

It was resting next to a side table in the foyer, the one adorned with a white Peace Lily, which was fitting given the current circumstances.

“We’re not talking about this anymore, I’ve made my decision,” Andy replied. She kept her back to Miranda as she flicked up the handle of her white Samsonite and wheeled it towards the front door.

The clip of heels followed her, before coming to a halt. “I swear, Andrea,” Miranda began, voice now closer as Andy paused and reached for the door, tugging it open. The frigid November weather entered the foyer, chilling her to the bone.

“Andrea! If you walk out that door then—“ Miranda began again.

Andy spun around to face her. “Then, what!?” she demanded, glaring at Miranda who was standing barely two feet away, arms crossed and grey eyes livid.

Miranda's eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to speak.

"Go on Miranda, just say it. I dare you,” Andy said, cutting her off before she could get a single word out. Andy had a fairly good idea where this argument was headed. It was a last ditch effort on Miranda's part. She was about to lay into her with the last of her reserves, the only way she knew how: viciously. Andy watched as Miranda bristled at the interruption, and then pulled herself up to her full height. She had to admit that Miranda had always held the ability to appear six feet tall when she needed to. Particularly when she was angry. The only difference was that these days her posturing did very little to scare Andy. Five years of living with, and battling with Miranda Priestly had left her pretty much immune to the intimidation tactics Miranda deployed as editor-in-chief of Runway.

She watched, unmoved, as Miranda took a deep breath. She was clearly attempting to reign in her temper. Miranda preferred to deliver her death blows in a cool, detached manner - a habit well known among all those who knew and worked for her. However, this time, she was failing exceptionally, Andy noted.

"Then," Miranda began, voice shaking with barely contained rage, "Don't bother coming back."

Andy clenched her jaw and stared at Miranda. What had begun as a mere two feet between them now felt like the fucking Grand Canyon.

An ultimatum.

It was the one thing in five years they had managed to avoid, surprisingly. However, Miranda wasn't finished just yet, Andy could feel it.

"If you're going to insist on putting the emotional wellbeing of the girls at risk, when they've barely started college," Miranda spat, "Not to mention your own life over some silly story, then I no longer want you in this house. You're selfish Andrea!"

Andy took an unconscious step back, gripping the handle of her Samsonite so firmly she felt like it was going to split beneath the pressure. Her mind shot to the girls. They had recently turned 19 and were more a part of her than she could have ever predicted five years ago when she and Miranda had stepped out into a mob of photographers in the Lower East Side and confirmed their relationship for the entire world at a time when said relationship was shaky, at best. That moment felt like decades ago, and as she stood before yet another door, preparing to walk out, she wondered whether this decision might be just as life-changing.

"That was a low blow, even for you," Andy replied quietly. "I have never questioned your commitment to the girls when it came to work. You spend almost half of the year overseas, and I've never thrown it back in your face. I always had your back, Miranda. Always."

“Fashion, Andrea!” Miranda snapped, “My work is fashion! Shows, meetings, working dinners, events, and all in civilized countries where the threat of getting blown to pieces isn’t part of the job description!” she roared, her caste iron control visibly slipping, “You’re talking about an active war zone!”

“No, I’m talking about my job. Which is important to me. As yours is to you. I have never questioned your commitment to Runway, nor would I. I thought we agreed that I would be awarded the same respect.”

“You’re not a war correspondent!”

“You knew this promotion would mean more time abroad, you promised me your full support!” Andy threw back.

“I thought that meant Brussels! Not bloody Baghdad!” Miranda yelled, a hint of the past slipping into her carefully trained accent. “Refugees in Turkey and Saudi are one thing Andrea, but this?”

“This is my career Miranda, you of all people should understand this.”

“No, this is your life and I won’t stand for it!”

“You won’t…” Andy trailed off, shaking her head before straightening her back and looking at Miranda. “I’m done arguing about this. Ship my things to the office, or my parents, wherever, I don’t care, I have a flight to catch,” she finished as she lifted her case over the threshold and carried it down the stairs.

She handed it off to the taxi driver and ignored the compulsion to turn around. Pulling the door open, she climbed into the cab, not once looking back.