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For Love's Sake Only

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The knowledge didn't strike Andy in sort of revelatory epiphany. It came little by little, like the filling up of a cup drop by drop until it overflowed. On a rare day off, sitting in her pajamas, enjoying a cup of coffee, reading Bradbury’s Clarisse asking Montag the question that changed his life, the emotion coalesced in her heart and engulfed her being. And her mind finally understood the overwhelming sensation.

Her predilection for blue eyes, white hair, and older lovers finally made sense. The fixation her mind had on a certain editor was now understandable. Her disappointment in no one measuring up to an impossible standard was finally clear. It all clicked in her mind.

I’m in love with Miranda Priestly. The thought bounced around in her head as she laid her book down and set her coffee aside. She sat for long minutes recalling each comment, each conversation, each moment she shared with the enigmatic powerhouse of a woman. Andy analyzed every interaction. Brown eyes widened as she fell headlong into a shocking conclusion. Miranda Priestly loves me, too.

If Andy had been standing, the realization would have made her knees buckle. Rubbing her hands over her face, she stood and rushed to shower.

There were plans to make, lives to change, and dragons to tame.

“What are you doing here?” The sharp tone was unmistakable. “How did you even get up here?”

Andy turned to the agitated voice of her former coworker. “Hi, Emily.” Andy smiled widely, pleased at seeing the redhead. The glower she received in return made her laugh. “You do a remarkable imitation of Miranda.”

The comment caused a brief upturn of lips. “You still haven’t explained what you’re doing here or how you gained entrance.”

“I brought Stan a cup of coffee and asked if I could come up.” At the blank look Emily gave her, she explained, “Stan is the security guard you pass every day on your way up here. He’s worked here since before I worked here.” Emily shrugged; Andy shook her head at her. “What are you doing here anyway? You still work here?”

“Where else would I work?” Emily asked, the idea itself blasphemy to her.

“I didn’t mean Runway; I know you’ll die chained to this magazine.” She bumped the redhead’s shoulder lightly as they walked. “But, it’s been almost four years. I thought you were going to British Runway after your year as first assistant was up.” Turning to look at Emily, Andy voiced incredulously, “You’re not still Miranda’s first assistant, are you?”

“Don’t be daft,” she chided, “Nobody could survive in that position for so long.” Andy laughed while the redhead smiled mischievously. “I’m assistant editor of design. Better pay, better opportunity, all around better work environment.”

“Congratulations, Em,” Andy said sincerely. “But, you could have an even better job at British Runway. That begs the question: what are you still doing in the Big Apple?” Andy had an inkling, but she wanted Emily to say it outright.

“There are sometimes more important things than a better job,” she hedged.

Andy leaned close to Emily and whispered conspiratorially in her ear, “You finally bumped uglies with Serena, didn’t you?” She resisted laughing at Emily’s blush as long as she could. But the acid glare the redhead leveled at her was her undoing. She burst out laughing.

“Have you always been this crude?” Emily sniffed disgustedly at Andy who had stopped walking in her overabundant amusement.

“No,” Andy said through a wide smile but managed to control her laughter, “that’s what four years in the field, working everything from fashion shows to the crime beat, does to you.” She flashed Emily a warm smile; she was genuinely happy for her. “Good for you, Emily. You finally figured it out.”

Even while shaking her head, Emily could not keep the smile off her face. “So," she elongated the word and punctuated it with a raised eyebrow, "what are you doing here? What have you come to accomplish?”

Andy sobered slightly, spinning a small envelope in her hand. “I came to give Miranda something.” She did not meet Emily’s blue eyes.

“Finally figured it out did you,” Emily parroted; Andy could hear the smirk in the redhead’s voice, “About bloody time.”

Surprised brown eyes swiveled to blue. “Hopefully not too late,” she uttered after a moment.

“I suppose you’ll find out soon enough.”

They came to a stop outside the doors of where they spent a year of their lives.

“You intend to simply walk through?” Emily sounded amused by the concept.

“Well, yeah, that was kinda the plan.” Andy wasn't sure what to make of Emily’s amusement.

“Good luck. But, I highly doubt you’ll be able to plow through Brunhilda.” She nodded to a petite blonde seated behind her old desk.

“She doesn’t look that tough.” Emily arched a brow and made a motion for Andy not to even attempt it. “Her name’s not really Brunhilda is it?”

Emily shook her head but a wicked smile lit up her face. “It’s Emily. And, she lives up to it gloriously.”

Andy groaned, letting her head thump against the glass.

Emily chuckled and pulled the envelope out of Andy's hand. “I’ve got a meeting with Miranda in about thirty seconds, I’ll make sure she gets this.”

“Thanks, Em,” she said sincerely and nodded gratefully at the redhead.

Looking over at the blonde, Andy shook her head before looking at Emily. "She'll never be you."

"And, no one will ever be you," Emily whispered to Andy's retreating back.

Andy fidgeted in her seat. She tapped her foot. Her knee bounced. Her fingers played with the edge of her napkin. She worried her bottom lip.

Glancing at her watch, she saw the appointed time approaching. Taking a deep breath through her nose, she released it slowly through her mouth. Andy forced herself to sit still. She meditated and centered her scattered mind.

It was an uncanny sixth sense (honed through months of being in the woman’s presence) that alerted Andy that Miranda had stepped into the room. Turning her head, she watched the editor practically glide to their table. Four years had done nothing to diminish the beauty and mystique that covered the woman so enticingly. Standing to greet Miranda, Andy flushed lightly at the feel of lips pressing against her cheeks.

Sitting down, Andy opened her mouth to tell Miranda how pleased she was to see her, but before she could utter a word Miranda slipped a familiar looking stationary in front of her.

“What exactly does that mean?” Miranda chose the direct route.

Andy swallowed nervously before she picked up the cardstock and read the neat lines of her print (which she already knew by heart):


All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name. -Andre Breton

I have found a name imprinted on my heart I have never had the clarity of mind to read before. Please meet me at recette at noon for Sunday brunch.

Andrea Sachs

Handing the brief note back to Miranda, Andy plowed headlong into her mission. She wouldn't be deterred in her quest for Miranda’s heart. There was a time when she was adept at achieving the impossible; she was ready to take on the challenge again. And, four years in atmospheres much worse than Runway had forged in her an unbreakable confidence.

“It’s your name,” Andy said clearly, looking Miranda directly in the eyes, “branded across every available surface of my heart.” She saw the slight widening of blue eyes, and her peripheral vision caught the pulse point at the juncture of Miranda’s neck jump at her words.

“Why?” Miranda’s voice was strangely high pitched.

“Why not?” Andy shrugged, lobbing the question back easily. She settled in comfortably, sure of the fact the editor was staying for the duration of brunch, at the very least.

“I could be your mother.” Miranda took a sip of the mimosa the waiter so conveniently placed in front of her.

“Thank god you’re not,” Andy smiled sipping her own drink, “I don’t think it’s at all proper to feel about one’s mother the way I feel about you.”

“I’m twice your age.” Hard blue eyes stared at the brunette for a moment, assessing her sincerity as she addressed a valid concern.

Andy was open, revealing everything she felt for Miranda with her eyes and body language. “But I’m catching up,” Andy’s voice was warm and amused. “I’m half your age now. But, when I’m fifty and you’re seventy-five, I’ll be two thirds your age. And, when I’m seventy-five and you’re one hundred, I’ll be three fourths your age.”

“It doesn’t quite work that way,” Miranda interjected blithely, blue eyes marginally warmer. The boldly laid commitment at the inception settled something in her while simultaneously exciting her.

“Can’t argue with math.” Andy smiled. “Any other objections at the onset?” The question was asked with a teasing tone, but she wanted Miranda to lay out her major worries so she could appease them and move on.

“We’re both women.”

Their conversation paused as their waiter approached with the meals Andy had taken the liberty of ordering. Taking a moment to taste her food, she turned over the comment in her head. “I must admit, I didn’t see that as one of your concerns,” she finally admitted, a bit dumbfounded.

“It’s not.” Miranda waived off the comment as if suddenly unimportant.

“Then why…” Andy watched the editor through narrowed eyes. The expression on the Miranda’s face didn't change a fraction, but a spark of amusement lit her eyes. “You’re trying to get a rise out of me,” she released a relieved laugh. “Just tell me what you want, and I’ll give it to you.” Andy licked her lips before smiling suggestively.

The hungry look that overtook Miranda’s face at the words caused a jagged spike of desire to shoot through Andy. The editor quickly masked her reaction, focusing her attention on her plate.

Both women consciously ignored the momentary lapse.

The rest of the meal passed pleasantly. Each enjoying the other’s intelligence and wit. Each appreciating and cataloguing the major events in their respective lives over the course of the last four years. Each reveling in the simple presence of the other.

Two hours later found the women finishing steaming coffees.

“This has been surprisingly pleasant,” Miranda voiced, unusual warmth taking any sting out of the honest statement, “but, I must take my leave to go pick up my girls.”

Andy nodded and rose to escort Miranda out. She felt good. Her plan was turning out much better, and easier to execute, than she originally imagined. She smiled brightly, happiness easily curving her lips. This being in love with Miranda Priestly isn’t so hard.

Stepping out into the bright afternoon, Miranda stopped and turned to face her. Heaving a large sigh, she fixed genuinely sad eyes on Andy, “Whatever this is, it stops here.”

Andy's heart immediately deflated. “What?” Shoving her hands in her pockets, she involuntarily curled into herself. “Why?”

“I would run out of breath before I ran out of reasons.”

Shaking off the immediate pain of the blow the editor had dealt, Andy bolstered her confidence and courage. Nothing with Miranda was ever easy, there was no reason it should start being easy now. “Why don’t you tell me all the reasons over lunch this Friday?”

Andy held her breath as Miranda looked at her with an unreadable expression.

“I can’t,” the tone was final. Andy’s heart dropped again. “Is the following Friday amenable to you?”

Andy’s heart bounced. She felt lightheaded at the extremes of emotion with each successive second.

“Yes,” she said almost breathlessly, “next Friday works just fine for me.”

Miranda nodded minutely before leaning in to kiss her cheeks in farewell.

Andy stood glued to the sidewalk long moments after the editor's sleek Mercedes drove out of sight; a crooked smile plastered to her face.

Monday, Andy sent Miranda e. e. cummings.

Tuesday, she sent roses.

Wednesday: William Shakespeare.

Thursday: Tulips.

Friday: Eliza Acton.

Saturday: Cherry blossoms and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Sunday the young woman paced the length of her apartment for an hour before working up the nerve to call Miranda. Phone pressed tightly to her ear, Andy was not sure whether she wanted Miranda to answer. On the third ring, she decided she would much rather hear the editor’s voice than leave a message.

“Hello,” Miranda sounded soft, relaxed; wholly different than Andy had ever heard it. It made her heart flutter.

“Hi,” her mind went blank after that, all the words she had prepared escaping her. A warm flush muddled her thoughts.

“Andrea,” Miranda prompted, amusement tempering her usual impatience.

“Miranda,” Andy swallowed and tried to think of something to say, “I just called…”

“To say you love me?” Sarcasm dripped from Miranda’s voice.

Andy laughed, mind finally engaging again. “You’re in a good mood,” she said through a wide smile, her voice playful and teasing.

“Aren’t I always?” Miranda sniffed, feigning affront.

“God no, you’re usually in a terrible mood,” Andy settled in, tucking herself comfortably into a corner of her couch, “out for blood; wanting to see heads roll; just plain mean because it amuses you.”

“Whether it amuses me or not is beside the point, I have a reputation to uphold,” she did not sound put off in the least at the brunette’s assessment; but rather proud of herself. Andy smiled listening to Miranda’s voice. “But, I did have an unusually agreeable week.” She was listening so intently, Andy heard the hesitation in Miranda’s voice. “Thank you.”

The words slammed into Andy with enough force to expel a surprised breath. She was only slightly shocked the editor had alluded to her gifts, but she was downright blown away that Miranda had expressed her gratitude. Immediate warmth engulfed her chest at the words; happiness at pleasing Miranda spread through her from there. “You’re welcome,” she responded softly. She rolled her eyes at herself. You’ve got it bad, Sachs.

Andy felt the sudden shift in mood even through the miles between them. Miranda was going to ruin the moment.

“What of our social and financial differences?” Gone was the soft, relaxed woman who had answered the phone.

Andy groaned internally. So, this is how it’s going to proceed. She sighed heavily. Miranda would draw out one major concern in each interaction, dampening the feeling of happiness each elicited in the other. Andy had a feeling the process was going to be torturously grueling. She rubbed her eyes, preparing herself to refute what was a non-issue for her.

“We aren’t in 18th century Europe, so I’m going to say our societal differences are of little concern,” Andy tried for levity, “And, last I checked I was gainfully employed. Though I have to warn you, if you’re after my money, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I can’t yet provide you the life to which you’re accustomed. But, if you feel like you need to give up all your money, I can promise I’ll at least keep you fed.”

The silence on the other end of the line was so pronounced Andy imagined she could feel Miranda’s withering stare through the distance.

“Or, I could quit my job and you can be my sugar mama,” Andy tried again for levity, but fell flat even to her own ears. Frustration at the topic was eating at her patience with it.

“Andrea,” Miranda's voice was pitched low, barely audible, a clear warning.

“What Miranda?” Exasperation finally won out. “You don’t like the idea of me pretending I’m a whore, but that’s what you’re insinuating. Trust me, I wouldn’t be so subtle about it. If I were after your money, I’d just fuck you and charge you for the service,” she let out on an exasperated breath, slightly offended that they were having a discussion concerning money at all.

There was absolute silence for several heartbeats after the words left Andy’s mouth. “Noted.”

The conversation had gone much more enjoyably after another extended silence in which Andy got her irritation under control and Miranda let the issue rest.

The following Monday, Andy sent the editor Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Tuesday: Bleeding hearts.

Wednesday: Percy Shelley.

Thursday: Lilies.

They had agreed on lunch at 2pm.

Andy rushed through the doors of Smith & Wollensky not stopping to catch her breath as she wove her way through the dining area to the only full head of white hair in the establishment. Halting the editor from rising completely out of her chair with a hand on her shoulder, the young woman pleaded desperately, “Please stay.” She was too busy catching her breath and hoping Miranda would stay to notice that she was actually touching the editor, consciously and with purpose, and she was not retrieving her hand.

“You’re late,” Miranda was angry, “You’ve kept me waiting for twenty-two minutes.” The unspoken I wait for no one was clear in stormy blue eyes that regarded her with something more than anger. Miranda had yet to remove Andy’s hand.

“I know. And, I’m so sorry,” Andy was contrite, “it was unavoidable. Please sit and let me make it up to you.”

Shaking her head in disbelief at her own actions, Miranda retook her seat. She sat stiffly, her eyes watching the brunette’s every move. “You’re worse than my girls,” she finally spoke, releasing a long suffering sigh.

Andy breathed deeply, smiling brightly at the editor. “Caroline and Cassidy must be much better behaved then I remember them, then,” she teased. She watched warily as Miranda’s expression became more unreadable than usual.

“My girls,” Miranda voiced absently, “my twin daughters. I have fifteen-year-old twin daughters.”

“Yeah,” Andy said cautiously, slowly, trying not to misstep, “I know you have children. I’ve met them.”

“My children who are the world to me,” Miranda said pointedly, “who recently turned fifteen.”

Realization dawned on Andy. “Skipped the terrible twos and threes to be dropped into the terrible teens. I’m pretty sure I can handle it,” she winked at Miranda, “I’ll make a great stepmom.”

Miranda’s expression turned stony.

Crap! Wrong thing to say. Andy immediately tried to backpedal. “I wasn’t trying to be glib. I’m just not sure what you want me to say here?” She reached out and clasped Miranda’s hand asking for clemency.

“Their opinion matters to me a great deal,” Miranda looked at their entwined hands.

“I know it does, Miranda,” Andy rubbed her thumb against delicate skin, “and it should. But, give me a chance before you decide they won’t like me for you.”

“How can you be so sure they will approve of you, of this?” Miranda unconsciously tightened her fingers around Andy’s.

“Because, they aren’t eleven anymore, I’m no longer your assistant, and I make you happy,” sincere brown eyes held the editor’s skeptical gaze, “They’ll see that and not begrudge you that happiness. Even if it is with me.”

“And what, pray tell, makes you think you are the key to my happiness?” Miranda did not remove her hand from Andy’s.

“You waited for me.”

After weeks of poets, flowers, text messages, phone calls, brunches and the occasional lunches, they had finally made it to a dinner date.

And to the moment Andy had been anticipating since she allowed Emily to deliver her first message to Miranda.

The fact that they were sitting at Pastis, with its French décor, atmosphere and cuisine, was somehow fitting.

“How do I know you won’t walk away from me again?” Bright blue eyes pierced Andy with their intensity; Miranda’s whole being seemingly hinging on the young woman’s response.

Fear at the possibility of being crushed in her vulnerability made Andy’s insides tremble. She knew Miranda already knew the answer to that question. Andy had expressed it in every way but actually speaking the words directly to Miranda. She had been answering that very question since the beginning; she had answered it a hundred times, a hundred different ways.

Taking a deep breath, Andy leapt hoping Miranda would catch her. “Because I love you too much to let you push me away again.”

“Good.” Miranda nodded, a ghost of a smile turning up her lips. She took a forkful of food and thoroughly enjoyed it, going as far as closing her eyes in her enjoyment.

Andy smiled a sad half smile, shook her head, and dug into her own meal. It was by far not the worst reaction she could have received, but she was disheartened that her sentiment was not reciprocated. She was not surprised, or even unhappy, just disappointed.

The dinner was lovely as was the conversation.

At the close of their evening, Andy walked Miranda to her door, smiling at the picture she was sure they made. Her disappointment having long dissipated in the heat of Miranda’s presence, she readily stepped into the editor’s foyer when the woman opened the door wide to allow her in.

“Did you want to have a nightcap?” She asked curiously when Miranda closed the door behind her but did not proceed further into the house.

“No,” she looked intently at Andy, “I simply wanted to give you a proper goodbye.”

“Okay,” Andy smiled widely, unassuming and innocent to the editor’s intentions, “lay it on me.”

So, Miranda moved in, hands sweeping up arms, neck and jaw to gently, adoringly cup Andy's face in her hands.

“I love you too much to push you away again.”

And then, Miranda kissed Andy. Perfectly, sweetly, tenderly. She kissed her like she had been doing it her whole life, with her whole being.

Andy’s world fell away; and suddenly, she knew what it felt like to fly.

In retrospect, having dinner at the townhouse was not a good idea.

The food sat unattended in the kitchen and Andy was pretty sure she'd never find all the buttons of her shirt. She couldn't bring herself to care at the moment, however, that come morning she would probably not be able to locate half her clothes; Miranda had taken everything off her in such haste. Andy couldn't in good conscious not reciprocate, so she was certain Miranda’s cleaning lady would be finding discarded, torn clothing the next time she cleaned the Miranda’s bedroom.

The little moans of pleasure escaping the usually composed editor quickly ran all other thoughts out of Andy’s head. She had one purpose: make Miranda explode, in the best possible way. Kissing and gently nipping a path down Miranda’s torso and abdomen, she planned to do just that.

“My sentiment is not frivolous or transient, Andrea,” Miranda was deadly serious, her voice floating down to the ears of the woman moving down her body. Eyes dilated with desire, hair in sweaty disarray, body burning to be touched, Andy halfway to her goal, Miranda chose that moment to have a serious conversation.

Really? Now? Andy almost pretended she didn't hear her. But she couldn't leave Miranda's vulnerability unanswered. She slid up Miranda’s deliciously naked body. Placing most of her weight on her forearms, she kissed Miranda gently, lovingly. She pulled back slowly, her fingers carding through lush, white hair.

Andy’s eyes gazed into the blue ones below her. “Neither is mine, Miranda. When I say I love you, I mean it how cummings and Millay describe it. But, I also mean it in a more basic way." She leaned close and rubbed her nose against Miranda's because she could and it felt intimate in a different way than kissing her mouth. "I mean it like you're a part of me now. Like I would cease to function without you in my life. Like you've become necessary to my survival. I don't know how else to tell you so I borrow words from other, more eloquent people. But, I do really mean them when I say them." She kissed Miranda's closed eyelids and forehead and cheeks. "You should take it as the highest compliment that you've left a writer wordless and fumbling to describe a thing so common as love.”

“You have a flair for longevity,” Miranda teased gently just to be contrary, but her heart melted in her chest at the words. She was, at that moment, happier than she had been in a very long time, if ever.

“It’s my job as a writer to be long-winded and eloquent; and your job as an editor to be brief and concise.” Andy kissed Miranda, slowly and thoroughly. “Can I love you now?”

“Please,” Miranda gasped. And, Andy did love her. With her mouth and hands and body and soul.

The two woman moved in tandem and to the rhythm of the blood burning in their veins. Interlocked and pressing delicious friction to the other. Each moving in frantic concert to reach completion. To reach release. To become wholly one, together, with each other.

Their names bounced between each other in strained gasps and heady moans until exhaustion pulled them to rest.

“Four years, Andrea, really,” Miranda murmured sleepily against Andy’s neck, “I almost gave up hope.”

“Liar,” the brunette hugged the woman tighter, her heart swelling with love, “you would've never given up hope. It’s what you live on.”

“Finally got laid Sachs?”

“Shut up, Carl,” Andy threw a crumpled paper at his head, but her tone was anything but displeased.

“Just thought I’d ask, since the wattage of that smile hasn’t gone down any since the beginning of the week,” he ribbed gently, happy she was happy. “Either you got laid or you hit the lotto. And, since you’re still showing up to this hellhole, I take it you just got the best sex of your life.”

Soft laughter erupted from the brunette. “Maybe I’m just happy.”

Her wayward coworker just wagged his eyebrows and made an exaggerated noise of disbelief.

“Don’t you have something to go do?” She stood and playfully shoved him out of her office.

Halted by a courier as she turned back into her office, Andy lifted her eyebrows in puzzlement as the young man handed her a single long stemmed red rose (complete with thorns) and a small envelope. Raising the delicate bulb to her nose, she inhaled the sweet fragrance of the flower as she absently walked back to her seat. Sitting and placing the rose gently on top of her desk, Andy opened the envelope, curiosity hurrying her motions. Immediately recognizing Miranda’s stationary, she read and reread the words with rapt fascination.


I love you.

For no other reason than that I love you.


P.S. – I wanted to say it because words matter to me and to you. And while I’ll readily admit I’m rather conservative with them, the fact doesn’t mitigate my affection or its constancy.

The smile that spread Andy's lips could've rivaled the brightness of the sun.

Delicately tracing the words over and over, Andy fell a little more in love. This is what true love feels like.