Life, in all its glory, evened out quite spectacularly. Miranda Priestly, who at one time, had been a tower of solitude was suddenly surrounded by people. Not insipid, vapid people, but genuinely lovely people who seemed to care about her and her family.
With the ousting of Irving Ravitz came a small power struggle between a longtime member of the Board and, of all people, Ann Shankley. Though it was dicey for a moment, Ann had been promoted to Elias Clarke CEO and Miranda had taken her place. She kept an overseeing eye on Runway but now had a say in the direction of the parent company as well.
Andréa had automated and streamlined so many things that she now had so much time to spare, she could write for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and on occasion, even Runway.
Life had turned out even better than she had first imagined it might.
"Darling," Nigel said as he sidled up to her with a whisky in hand. "Can you believe it?"
"No," Miranda chuckled as she toasted him. "I cannot."
She didn't have to ask, she knew what he was talking about. Andréa's latest birthday party was a small and intimate affair filled with laughter and happiness and friendship. They'd opened up the dining room in the Townhouse as was tradition now and invited everyone they cared about to an informal dinner. Emily and Serena. Ann, Sarah, and William, along with their newest little one, Lachlan. Douglas and Nigel were there, along with Sadiq and Mark and their daughter Olivia. Their weird little extended New York family that just worked. Miranda had never felt so at peace.
"When are you going to tell her?" Nigel smiled into his drink.
"Soon," she chuckled. "I'm trying to give her time to realise herself."
"For such an intelligent creature, she is incredibly dense sometimes," Nigel grinned as they watched Andy rub her stomach. "If I can tell, surely -"
"She is busy looking after all of us," Miranda smiled. "And we have been trying for a little while," she revealed, waving off his concerns.
"I hadn't realised."
"She didn't want children, initially," Miranda mused. "Until she did. I believe Sarah had a lot to do with that. Perhaps once we are in the Bahamas she will understand."
"Ooh, that's right, your dirty weekend!" He took the glare she gave him and allowed the change in subject. "More like two weeks, I suppose."
"Nigel, darling," Miranda snorted, draining the last of her whisky. "My entire life is a dirty weekend these days," she quipped, leaving him to laugh as she went to the love of her life.
"Hey," Andréa grinned as she wrapped her arm around her waist.
Miranda smiled in greeting and kissed her gently, winking at Cassidy who was now as tall as she was.
"Hello family. Are you enjoying yourselves?"
"Of course," Cassidy grinned. "I was just telling Mama I'm going out. Still cool?"
"Cassidy," Miranda sighed. "All that elocution down the drain. Yes, it is fine. As always I'd like you home before two."
"No worries, Mom," she grinned, grabbing her jacket and kissing Andy on the cheek. "Shannon's going to bring me home. Happy Birthday, Mama. Have a good trip if I don't see you tomorrow."
"You will see me, cos we're not leaving without saying goodbye," Andy chuckled. "Be good. Call if you need."
She kissed Miranda as well, then left, calling goodbye to her favourite Uncles and swinging young William around and nearly clipping the vase on the sideboard.
"How she inherited your clumsiness, I shall never know," Miranda shook her head as Ann joined them.
"Ladies," she smiled.
"How are you?" Andréa asked as she hugged the diminutive woman.
"I'm very well," she smiled. "Are you all set for your trip?"
"Absolutely," Andréa gushed. Miranda shared a knowing smile with Ann and listened to the love of her life gushing about the beachside villa they would be staying at. It was their first trip to Turks and Caicos and if they liked it enough, they would probably end up buying a place there. They could do that now, after all.
"Thank you for agreeing to keep an eye on the girls." Miranda managed to say between Andréa's gushing. "Please don't hesitate to call if anything untoward happens."
"Mom," Caroline groaned as she joined them, hand-in-hand with Jordan. "We're perfect angels, don't you know."
"Hmm," she smirked. "I'll believe that when I see it."
Andréa moved off to speak to Douglas and Emily, who were in cahoots at the dining table discussing the latest trends in shoes, no doubt.
"How are you?" Ann asked genuinely once they were alone.
"Personal or professionally?" Miranda smiled, something she did much more freely these days. "Because for once in my life, I almost feel as though everything is perfectly copacetic."
"It's funny when that happens," Ann smiled. "Does she know?"
"No," Miranda snorted. "Not yet. I'm hoping our time away will help her. I'd hate to take that away from her." They watched Andréa for a moment. She and Ann had become firm friends over their entwined lives together and Miranda knew Ann had a soft spot for her love.
"I have a proposal for you," Ann said suddenly, startling Miranda out of her musing. "When you get back. Not an immediate one, but I'd appreciate some feedback from someone with your understanding."
"Are you starting a line of poorly constructed shirts, Ann?" Ann laughed.
"No. I leave that up to the professionals, however, I happen to know that Alec is planning on resigning his seat. He'd prefer it go to someone who is going to remain faithful to the brand."
"Ann, it may have perhaps escaped your notice, but I am already on the board."
"Not you," Ann smiled. Miranda stared for a short while then blinked and looked over at her love. "She's a powerhouse on her own right now. Property mogul? Published columnist? Extraordinary PA?"
Miranda snorted. Ann wasn't wrong. While they hadn't completely combined assets due to Andréa insisting that she wasn't in it for the money, they'd had Saddiq finagle his way to finding enough capital for Andréa to invest in a tower development, which returned quite handsomely once the tenants were in. Andréa had quickly decided that she quite liked the property market and that was where she now made the bulk of her money. Miranda didn't have the head, nor the time, to devote to it. She simply agreed whenever Saddiq told her what Andréa was proposing and apparently she'd made money off their decisions as well.
"I," Miranda considered the implications of Andréa being on the board of Elias Clarke. "Oh!"
"Hmm," she chuckled. "Can you imagine her at the helm? Eventually?"
They looked over as Andréa picked Lachlan up out of his carrier and cradled him gently in her arms.
"I don't know if she would enjoy it, but I could float it?"
"Please don't assume I didn't want -"
Miranda waved her off.
"My heart will always be Runway, Ann, we both know that. I would not wish to be CEO of the whole company and I imagine even fewer people would want that too. Andréa has the wherewithal to be something great though." She sighed and smiled. "That was what started," she shrugged and waved her hand around. "All of this. I saw in her something more than what I saw in me. I knew one day they'd whisper her name and not mine and I sought to mold her into it." She blushed under Ann's grin. "I quite fell in love with her doing it."
"I can see why," Ann soothed. "How is Emily fairing?"
"She is doing better. I believe a trip home was just the ticket to her figuring out what she wanted. Eating was only the first step, now she must put in the work."
"I'm not ready to hang up the red pen yet, Ann," Miranda demurred.
Ann laughed, well used to her nature by now.
"Well. I, for one, have no concerns about the future if this," she nodded towards their little family. "Is who is in charge of it."
At that moment the front door slammed open and Cassidy came barrelling into the room and picked up her phone from the table.
"Sorry Mom. Thanks Mom, bye Auntie Ann. Love you, family!"
The door slammed again and Miranda turned to Ann, whose own eyes were twinkling with unshared laughter.
"Oh yes, Ann, I'm not worried. At all."