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A Mistake of the Permanent Kind

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Andy woke up and felt a sharp pain flash in her forehead, her body ached, and her mouth was as dry as the Sahara Desert. Obviously, she was hungover, which was the only thing she was certain of. Things like why she was hungover were a complete mystery at that point. She tried to open her eyes, but the room was so bright she was forced to close them again.

Andy heard someone grunting next to her, and despite the throbbing pain behind her eyes, she opened one just enough to see… Red? Andy asked herself, until it slowly sunk in.

“Emily?!” Andy screeched and sat up, immediately regretting both actions as her body kindly reminded her of the hungover eagerly waiting to claim her life.

“Shut up,” was the redhead’s grumbling response. “My head feels like it’s about to explode.” Emily whined.

Andy just sat quietly and squinted at Emily. Try as hard as she might, Andy had no recollection of the events leading to this scenario slowly unraveling in front of her.

“Em. Why are we in a hotel?” Andy turned her head back to Emily, who was now gradually lifting herself into an upright position.

“Shut. Up,” Emily grunted, “What the hell are you wearing?” Emily looked at her also squinting, obviously finding it as difficult to keep her eyes open as Andy did.

Andy looked down, and suddenly she understood it wasn’t just the hangover making her feel all sweaty and uncomfortable. It was the cheap white suit she was wearing.

“The worst quality suit I’ve ever seen,” Andy said and opened the top buttons of her shirt, hoping it would make her feel less like she was suffocating.

“I’m surprised you can tell,” Emily snorted mockingly. She was rarely able to resist her urges, when it came to Andy and fashion. “Shit, my head,” Emily whined finding her own voice too sharp for her pounding headache.

Andy ignored her redheaded frenemy and looked around the room again, trying to piece together what exactly was going on. She touched her left ring finger absentmindedly as it felt sort of numb. As she looked down to her hand she gasped, “What the?” She had a tattoo. A ring tattoo. In her left hand. In her ring finger. “Em. What the fuck is this?”

“I’ve got one too,” Emily said her tone colored with horror. “Andy. You better tell me this is not what it seems.”

“I would really love to. More than anything. More than I’ve ever wanted anything. But I’m like 93 percent sure, we are married. And if there aren’t two people with poorly done tattoos hiding in the bathroom, I think we are married…”

“Stop it.”

“…to…”

“I mean it, Sachs.”

“…each other.”

“Oh, for fucks sake,” Emily said and flopped on her back and buried herself under the blankets and started screaming.

“Not sure if that will help,” Andy said after she noticed something peaking in her inside pocket. “Mrs. Charlton-Sachs.” It turned out to be their marriage certificate.

Emily’s screaming morphed into a never-ending sequence of profanities.

… …

After some more screaming, cursing and death threats Emily had calmed down enough that they could start putting together more pieces of the puzzle, and it didn’t take them too long to figure out the biggest picture.

Serena had broken up with Emily the day before, and fortunately, or unfortunately considering the consequences, Miranda was on a vacation with her children and her new man, meaning Andy and Emily had for the first time in three years a week off from work. To mend Emily’s broken heart, they had decided to take a trip together to Las Vegas of all places.

They had found Emily’s clothes neatly folded in the closet. It was the exact same suit as Andy’s, but just black, which made Andy erupt in laughter, telling Emily, “Apparently our wedding theme was good and evil,” which earned her a glower from Emily.

The marriage certificate had the address for the chapel they had married in. There they learned the depths of their idiocy. The smiling lady that greeted them at the front desk guided them into a room and put on a recording Andy and Emily had made just before tying the knot. She then backed out of the room leaving the “happy” couple alone.

Andy looked at the screen and her headache found her again. This was humiliating.

“Hi! We are getting…” Andy said to the camera while giggling so hard she disappeared from the frame.

“Married,” Emily snorted, “Get your ass up here, Sachs.”

Andy slowly got back up, laughing and leaned against Emily who helped pull her up.

“We figured that we are going to be alone forrrrrever,” Emily said waving her hand. “Because… be-cause… bee-cause? Bee-Andy?”

“Because we love Miranda,” Andy declared to the camera.

“Yeah, right. I love Runway, you love Miranda. We’re going to be alone forever, because neither of us is everrrr going to leave Runway.”

“Correct,” Andy nodded with vigor. “I love Miranda, and you love Runway.”

“Yeah. And nobody gets that. Nobody! Not even…” Emily was quiet for a while and Andy sloppily patted Emily’s shoulder, “Whatever. Nobody gets us, so we are going to be alone forever.”

“Unless!” Andy tapped her index finger against her temple and winked, “Unless we are together alone.”

“Prrrrecisely.”

The recording ended, and Emily stormed out of the room. Andy quickly followed after.

She found Emily yelling at the smiling-front-desk-lady, “This can’t be bloody real, don’t you have any human decency! We were clearly piss drunk and should have never ever been fucking married!”

Emily so kindly pouring her heart out resulted in them being escorted out from the chapel. Emily was still fuming at the parking lot, and muttered to herself, “I need a drink.”

“Really? I’m pretty sure that is what got us into this mess,” Andy said and started scrolling through her contact list.

“How can you take this so lightly? We are freaking married.

“I know that, Em. I have been here with you the whole time. And your constant screaming makes it impossible to forget. I’m calling my dad, we do need to get this annulled, don’t you agree?”

“How the hell can you act so high-and-mighty in a situation like this, when you don’t know how to chew with your mouth closed?” Emily scoffed.

“What a testy wife I have,” Andy shook her head and grinned at Emily, who was readying herself to strangle Andy. “Hi, Dad. I have a quick question for you…”

… …

Back at work on Monday, Miranda was in a meeting and Nigel had grazed Miranda’s office with his presence. He was as quick as usual to pick up on the mood in the room. The newlywedded couple explained him their predicament, which made him laugh more than Andy felt necessary.

“We were drunk,” Andy said and handed a glass of water she had fetched to the man nearly choking on laughter.

“Hammered,” Emily added staring into nothingness.

Nigel took a sip of water, barely being able to stop his chuckling long enough to manage said sip.

“And in our drunken state we somehow assumed this would fix Emily’s broken heart,” Andy said.

Emily furrowed her brow and looked at Andy waiting her to add the rest of the explanation.

“And maybe mine,” Andy said trying to swallow the words.

“That wasn’t really a surprise. The rather tearful karaoke rendition of Uptown Girl you did, had ‘Miranda I love you desperately’ written all over it,” Nigel said and smirked at Andy.

Andy looked confused, “Huh?”

Nigel chuckled again, “Emily sent me a video that night.”

“To my defense; the video is hilarious. It’s the only thing keeping my spirt high enough to function.”

Andy buried her face in her hands, “Awesome.”

“So, you’re going to get an annulment?” Nigel asked.

“Yeah,” Andy lifted her head. “My dad’s friend is a divorce attorney here and he already got us a court date.” Andy wasn’t sure if she was ever going be allowed to live this down. Her father had been at least as amused as Nigel had been.

“Next month,” Emily grunted.

“Did you…” Nigel grinned, “Consummate your marriage?”

“No!” Emily’s growl sounded nearly demonic.

“At least we are pretty sure we didn’t,” Andy shivered.

There were so many gaps in their shared memory it was terrifying. They had been back at the hotel seven hours after they had gotten married. Seven hours of which they knew only a handful of things. For one they knew that they had gone to a bar with a mechanical bull. Andy had video footage of Emily riding it.

There were also pictures of Emily shouting at a street performer playing the lute, but to be honest that could have been taken anywhere. Emily’s phone had a picture of the two of them posing with a man with a massive neck tattoo that said ‘infinciple’. And then there was apparently a video of Andy singing karaoke, which Emily had neglected to mention.

Knowing that they didn’t really know anything and were just lucky to be alive, had made Andy decide to stop drinking. Emily had decided to stop drinking with Andy.

… …

On Wednesday they were back to their usual routine with the added twist of Nigel still not managing to look at them without laughing. There was little they could do except to wait for their court date and try to keep anyone else from finding out, but they were failing with that part Andy realized as an angry Brazilian stormed into the office.

“You conniving little bitch!” Serena yelled, “I knew you were after Emily!” She glared at Andy and even if Andy had seen Miranda give her the-look-that-could-kill a million times, Serena’s made Andy actually afraid to breath. She feared Serena’s flaring nostrils would somehow suck in parts of her soul.

Andy tried to hush the seething woman to no effect.

“I’m not…” Serena started to talk loudly, and Andy grabbed the woman by her wrist and pulled her into the small kitchen, which was part of Miranda’s offices.

“Quiet. Miranda does not know,” Andy turned to face Serena, “And I hope to gods we will be able to keep it that way.”

“Like I fucking care,” Serena glared Andy, “You steal my girlfriend and expect me to be all polite and nice about it.”

“You broke up with her, so she isn’t technically your girlfriend.” Andy whispered, but could see the veins pulsating in Serena’s neck.

Andy was about to die.

“But that doesn’t matter. It was just a stupid drunken idea. I have no interest in Emily. She’s like a bitchy sister you have to love, because she is family. And, honest to god, I can’t emphasize the bitchy-part enough.”

Serena was tapping her feet and Andy could tell the jury was still out on how this was going to end. Andy could see Serena’s cheeks jolting as she clenched her teeth together.

“If you want to talk about this further, it will have to be later. Emily will be back soon, and I really need to get back to my desk before Miranda needs me.”

“Fine,” she scoffed. “You’re waiting for the Book today?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll come back once Miranda has left.”

The angriest Brazilian Andy had ever seen left, and Andy returned to her desk. She waited for a while listening to Miranda but relaxed as soon as she realized she was still on the phone shouting at the person, who had hired ‘the buffoon of a photographer’ to do the Dior spread.

… …

Like she had promised, a half an hour later after Miranda had left, Serena appeared in the office. She stood in front of Andy’s desk staring at Andy, only an ounce less scarier than she had been earlier that day.

Andy cleared her throat, “I said we could talk about this, but just… shouldn’t you be talking about this with Emily rather than me?”

“Do you know why we broke up?” Serena said with something resembling sadness in her otherwise convincingly murderous eyes.

“Um… Emily told me that you felt you were not compatible.” Andy said hesitating slightly. Talking of things Emily had shared with her felt a little like she was betraying the trust she shared with Emily. Or they didn’t as much share it as Emily didn’t trust Andy at all, and Andy overshared everything with Emily.

Serena laughed dryly, “Something like that. Emily told me she would never get married when we first got together.”

“Oh,” Andy swallowed, being married to Emily had never felt more wrong, even if it felt wrong all the time already.

“And I thought I was okay with that. And then I started to think that maybe I wasn’t.”

“But Emily still was.”

“Yeah. Or so I thought, but maybe it just wasn’t me whom she wanted to marry.” Serena glared at Andy with a new-found anger.

“Come on, Serena. You know Emily barely tolerates me. Even if I am her only actual friend.”

“Yet, not even two days later after our breakup she is married to you.” Serena flopped down into a chair accompanied by a long sigh.

“The reason we are married,” Andy stared at her ring finger, and could see the outlines of her tattoo – the layer of concealer covering it had faded slowly during the day – and got a sudden flashback.

“I’ll show her who can’t commit.” Emily laughed nearly manically.

“Miranda hates tattoos,” Andy giggled.

Somehow those two statements had made enough sense to them as they had allowed a man, who was a friend of a friend of the man they had met in a bar right after they had gotten married, tattoo them. Of course, it was the infinciple-guy.

“The reason?” Andy heard Serena’s voice.

“Uh… Yeah. The reason we got married was because we, and I remind you, we were drunk and thought that was the only way we wouldn’t end up alone, even if we worked for Miranda the rest of our lives.”

“That makes absolutely no sense,” Serena scoffed.

“I agree, but we weren’t our best selves while making these decisions.” Andy rolled her eyes, “But we are getting an annulment and this all will be like it never happened.” Except for these tattoos, but that wasn’t something she was going to share with Serena. Andy was quite sure it would not sit well with her and Andy still wanted very much to keep her life. “I really think you should talk to Emily. Maybe being married to me has shown her it isn’t all that bad,” Andy snorted.

Serena’s eyes started to flare up again.

“Sorry. Too soon?” Andy offered her a look she assumed a sacrificial lamb would give when pleading for its life, and Serena seemed to calm down a bit.

Serena left, and Andy picked up the phone to call Emily and inform her of her flashback, hoping it would help Emily remember something more. She was also going to plead her to talk with Serena before Andy would really have to sacrifice herself to sooth the fury goddess that was Serena.

… …

Andy opened the door to Miranda’s house and stepped inside, carrying Miranda’s dry cleaning and the Book. She placed the Book on the side table and went to hang the clothes, as she backed out of the closet she could hear the twins giggling.

Andy had grown on the little demons, but they still tried to get Andy into trouble. It was more benevolent and usually only made Miranda laugh heartily when they managed to prank Andy.

“Hello, Andy.” The twins grinned like the little devils that they were.

“Well, hello.” Andy whispered.

“You want to see what we made in school today?” Caroline asked.

“Is it upstairs?” Andy arched an eyebrow amused.

The twins nodded.

“Yeah, not going to happen.” Andy laughed as quietly as she managed.

“Come on,” Cassidy grabbed Andy’s left hand. “What is this?”

To Andy’s horror she realized there was barely anything covering her tattoo anymore, “Just a doodle.”

“I don’t think so.” Cassidy said and touched the tattoo, “It’s a tattoo!” She exclaimed.

“Let me see too.” Caroline got closer and the twins stared at her hand.

“Are you married? Mom didn’t tell us.” Caroline said, and Andy could not help wondering if she was often the subject of their conversations, and quickly realized that wasn’t something she should be focusing on.

“No. Or yes. It’s a bit complicated.” Andy tried smiling as convincingly as she could, “You should not tell Miranda. You know what she thinks of tattoos.”

“We won’t.” The twins nodded and smiled.

Andy felt quite sure they would keep their word. Maybe. There was no way they were keeping their word.

… …

“Andréa.” The next morning Andy was called into Miranda’s inner office, and felt a shiver go down her spine. Andy gave up on the last lingering sprinkle of trust she had had that the twins would have been quiet about her situation.

“Yes, Miranda?” Andy said as calmly as she managed.

Miranda eyed Andy, “I hear congratulations are in order.” It was the angriest congratulations she had ever got, and that included the time Andy’s mother had congratulated Andy for being an idiot after she had mistaken ‘drive’ for ‘reverse’ and backed through the garage door.

“Uh.”

“I was not aware you were in a committed relationship,” Miranda said bluntly. “May I ask when this happened?”

“Um… Last Saturday.” Andy struggled with her words, Miranda’s glare was blood chilling.

“A large reception?” Miranda asked, and Andy was surprised of the amount of details Miranda was asking. Usually she did not take any interest in the personal life of her employees.

“No. Just a tawdry chapel in Vegas.” Andy decided to stick to as close to the truth as she could but leaving Emily out of it. Somehow, she didn’t think Miranda would find their marriage as amusing as Nigel and Andy’s father had.

Miranda huffed, obviously agreeing with the lack of taste their venue showed, “I see. The twins told me of your rather… unusual ring,” Miranda offered her hand and Andy swallowed as she placed her hand in Miranda’s. Miranda rarely touched her and like on those rare occasions Andy could feel her face warming up. Miranda’s thumb brushed over the tattoo, “Why you cover it? Are you embarrassed of it?”

Andy swallowed and tried to avoid Miranda’s blue eyes now staring at her, “I… Yes. It wasn’t one of my best ideas.”

Miranda hummed in agreement, “Even if I have not actually seen it, I must agree.” She still hadn’t let go of Andy’s hand and Andy wondered how pathetic it was if she was to pass out from this amount of touching.

… …

“You bloody idiot!” Emily shouted gritting her teeth.

“I know. I panicked. I do not lie well.” Andy rubbed her temples.

“Where do you think you’re going to find an idiot willing to tattoo themselves a ring and to fake being married to you by this weekend?!” Emily was nearly hyperventilating.

“I could tell her they were in an accident and are in a coma?” Andy offered.

“What if she wants to send flowers?”

“Why would she want to do that?”

“I don’t know, why does she want to meet your wife?”

“Yeah, right. Wife. I just talked about my spouse all the time.”

“Of course. That makes absolute sense,” Emily squeezed her head between her hands, “Must have been the most natural conversation ever.”

“Maybe I should be in a coma,” Andy grunted.

“I can get you there if you don’t get better at this. Why didn’t you just say it was a mistake and you’re getting it sorted?”

“Because what kind of an idiot gets married drunk in Vegas. Let me have at least a shred of dignity.”

“We got married drunk in Vegas! We are those idiots, Andy,” Emily hissed. “And are you going to lie to Miranda that you are married even after this mess is cleared?”

Fuuuuck. Sweet Mother of Jesus and her zombie armies of doom.” Andy slid down her chair and disappeared under her desk.

“Somehow, I have never agreed more with you,” Emily said and hit her head against her desk with a loud bang.

… …

On Friday Andy stood in front of Miranda’s house holding the key just inches from the lock, struggling to close the remaining distance as her hand shook uncontrollably. Last night Emily had delivered the Book after losing her trust in Andy being able to handle the web of lies they had woven, but to Andy and Emily’s distress Miranda had informed them it was Andy’s job to handle delivering the Book.

“You can do this,” she assured herself as she opened the door. Andy stepped in and was greeted by Miranda who was standing in the foyer her arms crossed across her chest. I can’t do this, was Andy’s immediate thought.

“Good evening, Andréa,” Miranda said straight-faced.

“Evening, Miranda,” Andy proceeded to hand the Book to Miranda, and then took the dry cleaning to the closet. She tried to turn towards to the front door hoping to be just allowed to leave. Usually she would have loved to be invited to spend time with Miranda, but now the risk of losing their jobs was too great.

“Andréa. To my study,” Miranda said.

Andy twirled around and followed Miranda. All the while screaming inside.

“About tomorrow, will seven work for you… and your spouse,” Miranda seemed tense, but Andy assumed she was just tired.

“Uh… I think so.”

“You don’t know?”

“Um… She is really busy but will come if she can.”

“Oh? You never told me what… she does.”

“She… has an art gallery,” Lily had luckily agreed to fake being Andy’s wife, but at a terrible cost. “She is preparing for her next exhibition currently.”

Miranda dismissed Andy without another word and Andy left her house thinking that she was the worst liar in the universe. She had one thing going for her, the horrible tattoo ring. Even if Miranda had not believed anything she said, there was a very real tattoo around her finger, confirming her story.

Of course, she might just seem like a weirdo that had tattooed her ring finger for no reason. Oh, god. I hope she doesn’t think I’m a weirdo that tattooed her ring finger for no reason.

… …

The dreaded tomorrow arrived, and Andy found herself sitting in Miranda’s dining room. To Andy’s surprise Miranda’s new man was not taking part, but Andy disliked the man so much she was not even going to ask. Even without him the whole dinner was going to be pure torture.

Lily’s price for agreeing to be her fake wife, that her real wife would keep her job was for Andy to use at least three different pet names, one of which had to be ‘Sweet cheeks’. She also had to smack Lily’s behind while saying it. Doing anything of the sort in front of Miranda felt so wrong. Miranda hated PDA, she considered it vulgar in all its forms and this was just. No.

“Babe, will you hand me the wine,” Lily said and brushed the tip of Andy’s nose.

Andy swallowed knowing this was her chance to make her first payment, “Of course, honey.”

Andy poured wine for her ‘wife’ and Miranda excused herself. Lily leaned close to whisper, “Too safe. You better up your game.”

Miranda had returned which Andy realized only when the new bottle of wine was hit against the table with force. Andy tried to take silent calming breaths as the tension in the room was slowly getting so palpable it probably was forming a consciousness of its own.

Lily did not like Miranda for many reasons. Working for Miranda had caused Andy a relationship and almost her friendships. Lily thought Miranda made Andy work too much, with way too little pay and with way too little thanks.

She also knew Andy was head over heels in love with the woman. And even if Lily did not think Miranda was worth her, this invitation had made Lily sure there was a chance Miranda could return said feelings. To reveal those, she was coming up with all these stunts. Andy feared to have such hope.

“Don’t you think my beautiful wife should finally get a raise for lasting as long as she has with you,” Lily was going to get her fired if nothing else.

Miranda stared silently, and Andy said with a fake smile to Lily, “My angel, this surely is not a topic for this dinner.”

Lily smirked approving Andy’s second attempt. Miranda downed her glass and poured herself another one.

The dinner drew closer to an end, and Andy had never been more grateful for anything ever. But as much as Andy just wanted to leave, she knew the only way to leave the house was to slap her friend’s ass.

“Thank you for a lovely evening, Miranda. I’ll see you Monday,” Andy added the ‘Monday’ to test the waters, as she was not sure if she still had a job.

“Indeed,” Miranda just said and Andy readied herself when she saw Lily come to the foyer from the bathroom.

Lily grinned at Andy knowingly, “Thank you, Miranda.”

Lily walked next to her and Andy turned away from Miranda, “Come on, let’s go… sweet cheeks.”

… …

Next week Andy found, for her relief, that she still had her job. Even if Miranda did not talk to her, apart from the usual commands.

On Wednesday Andy accompanied Miranda to a designer preview, and Lucia, with her friendly curiosity, suddenly brought Armageddon upon Andy and Emily.

“How was your weekend in Vegas with Emily?” Lucia asked Andy as they were sitting behind Miranda just before the first model walked out. Andy froze and hoped and prayed that Miranda had not heard.

Andy could see the horror in the young designer’s face, and Andy knew Miranda was pursing her lips, “I-I… Uh... There are still modifications I’m... Uh... still planning to make,” the girl offered.

Miranda waved her hand and the slightly rattled designer continued. The rest of the showing went well, but as they arrived back at Miranda’s office, it was clear Miranda had heard Lucia. She didn’t even take off her coat, but marched straight into her office, commanding Emily and Andy to follow her. Miranda stopped in front of her window, but didn’t say anything, just kept staring out.

Emily looked at Andy, and Andy mouthed, “We are fucked.” Emily’s eyes widened, and she had difficulty staying upright.

They stayed quiet waiting for Miranda to start talking, which she eventually did, “Of course, you are getting this marriage annulled,” her voice was commanding to a degree Andy didn’t remember she had ever heard before, “Or I will have to fire Em… one of you.”

“We…”

“This isn’t up for discussion, Andréa.” Miranda turned around and glared at Emily. Andy looked at Emily and could tell she was going to pass out any minute. Andy, without thinking, reached out to hold Emily’s hand, which she realized was another huge mistake, as she saw Miranda’s glare shifting from Emily to their hands and to Andy.

“I am not questioning it, Miranda. We are getting it annulled.” Andy said.

Miranda looked surprised, “You are?”

“In three weeks.”

“Three weeks?” Miranda scoffed, “That will not do,” and dug up her phone. She dialed someone never taking her eyes off Andy, and after a brief conversation with a man named Hector said, “You have a court date next Wednesday. You better inform your lawyer.”

“Yes, Miranda.” Andy and Emily said in unison.

“Emily, you may go.” Emily nodded and left the room. “Now, Andréa. I would like the whole story.” Miranda took off her coat, and threw it into one of the armchairs, and sat down behind her desk tapping it with her fingers.

Andy explained how Emily had been dumbed, and they decided to take a trip to Vegas and for a reason or another had decided to mend it by getting married. Andy told her the bits of the story of their tattoos she had managed to remember, leaving out the fact she had agreed to it just because she knew Miranda hated tattoos.

“That perhaps explains why Emily would have such poor judgement, but either you are just stupid,” Andy furrowed her brow at Miranda’s remark, “or you are leaving something out.”

“Let’s just say I’m stupid,” Andy said bluntly, because the actual reason was just simply too embarrassing.

“Andréa, the whole story,” Miranda demanded.

Andy swallowed, and said, “We… we got married, because we realized we were going to be alone for the rest of our lives, because we both love Runway.”

You love Runway? Could have fooled me,” Miranda huffed amused.

“Well, I love the people at Runway.”

“Oh?” Miranda arched an eyebrow in disbelief.

“I love someone at Runway.”

“Do tell,” Miranda’s eyebrows relaxed.

“I… love… Nigel. Yeah, I love Nigel. Desperately,” Andy said and heard Emily snort and fall of her chair in the outer office.

“You love Nigel? You do know he is gay?” Miranda was not buying any of it.

Andy backed a bit to see if Emily was okay. The redhead jumped up and gave Andy a thumbs-up, “E-exactly.” Andy looked at Miranda again, “That is why my love will never be fulfilled and thus the eternally-alone thingy.”

“Thing-y?” Miranda gave Andy a thoroughly disapproving look, and after she seemed to deem Andy had understood how little she appreciated her word choice, relaxed and said, “That does put me in a difficult position, I suppose I could have him transferred to Tokyo,” she added and grinned playfully at Andy.

“Tokyo? Oh…” Andy’s eyes widened as she realized that someone else had recently transferred to Tokyo, “Jocelyn is in Tokyo now.”

Miranda irked like hearing the woman’s name gave her heartburn.

“But she just kissed my cheek under the mistletoe!” Andy said a little horrified.

“An ill-advised practice. For several reasons,” Miranda said straight-faced.

“But…” Andy could not believe Lily was right and had to pinch her arm to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. “That man you went on a vacation with?”

“Is my brother.”

Andy stared Miranda completely flabbergasted.

“Do not tell me he is the reason you are married to Emily,” Miranda sighed.

“Fine. I won’t.” Even if he was totally the reason.

“Good,” Miranda sighed, but then seemed to remember something, “but Andréa…” she squeezed her takeaway cup so hard it lost its shape, “I have some questions, concerning… Lily.

A bead of sweat formed on Andy’s temple, “Lily is just a friend who agreed to help us.”

“For a friend you two really are… affectionate.”

“No, no. That was just her price,” Miranda’s eyes narrowed, “She agreed to help if she was… allowed to push your buttons. I would have never agreed to it, if I thought she actually could!” Andy said now realizing Lily might need to leave the country. And change her name. Maybe even face.

“That she managed,” Miranda scoffed.

“Miranda. She was just helping me.”

“We'll see.”

“Miranda.”

Ignoring Andy Miranda said, “Obviously, those tattoos will have to go. Book an appointment for the both of you.”

“Yes, Miranda.”

“That’s all. For now.” Miranda said and turned around in her chair.

Andy started to head towards her desk grinning despite herself. Then stopped, and spun around suddenly remembering everyone who had been transferred to Tokyo, “Vivian? Melissa? Oh, god… Elena? I just said her new glasses were pretty.”

“You married Emily, because you thought I was dating someone,” Miranda stated casually without turning around.

Andy wanted to say that it was nowhere near the same thing, but then just shrugged and turned around to return to her desk with a spring in her step. What did she care? Miranda wanted her as much as she wanted Miranda, and there was not much room left in her brain to consider such menial little things like right and wrong.

… …

“I’m glad things are working out for you,” Emily sighed as they went to have lunch after their court appearance.

“Did you talk to Serena?” Andy smiled at Emily.

“We did talk.”

“And?”

“I’m hopeful we will figure it out, but I don’t know.”

“I kind of do. When she found out we were married, she wasn’t far from clobbering me to death.”

Emily laughed, “I can imagine.”

“But that reminds me.” Andy said getting more serious, “How are we going to tell Miranda and Serena the judge didn’t agree to an annulment?”

Their case had been the third annulment of the day, and the judge had had enough. She told them she was making an example of them. Emily had again started screaming and cursing which had not helped their case.

“I have no idea. We could not tell them?” Emily said and shrugged her shoulders.

Andy looked at Emily baffled, “Fake that we aren’t still married?”

Emily groaned, “Why in the name of all things holy it takes so long to get a divorce?”

“I don’t know. But… we aren’t telling?”

“Can you imagine how Miranda would react if she knew we were still married?” Emily said and visibly shuddered.

“Or Serena,” Andy swallowed still remembering the threatening veins in Serena’s neck. “Yeah, I guess that sort of makes sense.” Andy lifted her left hand extending her pinky, “We’ll lie to the women we love, so they shan’t murder us.”

Emily wrapped her pinky around Andy’s, “Precisely.”

Both groaned from pain as the first laser treatment to remove their tattoos had left their skin blistered. Despite the pain, the two idiots made a pinky promise, and at that moment it felt almost as a good idea, as getting married had felt less than three weeks earlier.

Yeah, they should have known better.

The end