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Miranda Priestly sighed to herself. It happened quite often but normally it was in frustration at the incompetence surrounding her. This sigh was different. This one was a contented sound and it perfectly matched how she felt. Without opening her eyes, she shifted on the soft surface and reached out for her wife. Her very new wife. Furrows appeared on her forehead when her hand only encountered cold sheets and a crinkly scrap of paper.

Not happy about being denied the sensation of Andrea in her arms, Miranda moved to sit with her back to the headboard. The note was somewhat informative, but less than truly helpful.

Went running down the beach, back soon... Love you.
A

Without knowing when Andrea left there was no way of estimating how long it would be before her return. There was, however something that she had been meaning to do for the last week and now Miranda thought would be the perfect time.

Slipping into the luxuriously soft blue/gray robe that Andrea had given her, Miranda walked through the house to the kitchen. She smiled when she saw the coffee ready and waiting for her. Andrea had started it, or set it to start when she left for her run. “She's so thoughtful.” Miranda murmured as she poured herself a cup and wondered for the millionth time how she had gotten so lucky.

She made a stop in her office to retrieve her laptop computer and the flash drive the girls had given her at the wedding. Miranda chuckled as she examined the small flash drive that resembled a high heeled shoe and saw that there were two files there. One had the imperative title, Read Me First. She clicked it and only had to wait a short time before the video began. She grinned as she watched her daughters adjusting the camera and making funny noises to 'test' the microphone. Once they were satisfied with the quality they began to speak to the camera, to Miranda.

“Hi Mom!” Caroline waved.

“Hey Mom!” Cassidy grinned at the camera.

“We just wanted to let you know how great we think it is that you and Andy are getting married.” Caroline rolled her eyes at Cassidy's “like they didn't know already” comment. “We're both so happy that you found her. We can tell that she makes you happy and we're glad.”

“You deserve it, Mom.” Cassidy's lopsided grin made Miranda smile. “We love you.”

“Yes,” Caroline agreed, “We love you.” Her blue eyes, so similar to Miranda's own, glistened with unshed tears. “So when we get to our terrible teen years and go all hormonal on you, you can show us this video to remind us that we think you're the best, and Andy is cool, and that we love you very much.”

“Right.” Cassidy laughed. “We love you, both of you and we love that you are together.”

“This is your message.” Caroline shrugged. “Andy has one for her on her flash drive too, but the other one is the same file on both drives and it is for you both to watch, together. It's our wedding present to you, both.”

“Have a great honeymoon, Mom.” Cassidy smiled into the camera. “See ya back in New York.”

Caroline nodded. “Yep, see ya then.”

The video cut off and Miranda was left staring at the blank screen. A happy tear rolled down her cheek. She knew in her heart that the girls loved her. She knew that. Setting the laptop aside, Miranda continued her train of thought. But there was always that guilt of not being there for them as they had grown up that ate at her. It was one of her greatest regrets and something she shared with Andrea. The young woman had been quite sad at the thought of missing the girls' childhood, even though she really would only have been a child at the time herself. Andrea's voice pulled Miranda out of her thoughts.

“Miranda?”

Miranda suddenly found herself surrounded by Andrea's lanky arms. The concern in Andrea's tone brought even more tears to Miranda's eyes. “I'm fine, my Darling.” She returned the embrace and was content to remain here for quite some time. Andrea had other ideas.

“I'm going to go take a shower, and then you are going to tell me why you were crying when I came in here.”

“I'll tell you now.” Miranda lightly pressed her lips to Andrea's. “I watched my message, from the girls.” She kissed Andrea again, to stop her from speaking then explained. “They were happy tears, Andrea.”

“Okay. I'll watch my message in a little bit.” Andy smiled at her wife. “I'm going to go take a shower.”

“If you must.” Miranda inhaled deeply.

Grinning at that, Andy shook her head. “You are so twisted.” She kissed Miranda's lips lightly, to take the sting out of her words.

Returning the kiss, Miranda informed her wife, “There is also a file that we are to watch together.”

“Hmmm...” Andy nodded. “Okay, I'll hurry.”

###

Andy slid into the bed next to Miranda and situated the laptop on their legs, half on her thigh, half on Miranda's. Plugging the little 'book' into the correct port, Andy found the files and clicked on the “Read Me First” icon.

Andy grinned at the screen as the girls went through the setup routine with Caroline clearly adjusting the camera to Cassidy's satisfaction before both girls were visible. They were wearing the clothes they had on before they'd changed into their bridesmaid's dresses.

“Hi Ma.” Cassidy grinned and bounced a bit in her seat.

Caroline was more reserved, but still enthusiastic. “Hello Ma!”

“We just wanted you to have it on record that we think it's great that you are marrying Mom.”

Caroline nodded. “Like we told Mom. Now when we go all “hormonal teen” on you, you'll have this recording to throw in our face. We love you Ma, we really do. You make our family complete, and you make Mom happy. Happier than we've seen her...”

“...ever.” Cassidy grinned at the screen. “She's so totally in love with you,which I find very cool because I know you love her too.”

Andy smiled and glanced at Miranda. “I do.”

“The other file on this drive is the same as the one on Mom's. It's your wedding gift, from us.”

“We love you, Ma.”

Caroline nodded. “We love you. Have a great honeymoon and we'll see you back in New York.”

Andy reached out and nearly touched the screen. “Thanks, Munchkin.” She felt Miranda's fingertips on her cheek, wiping away the moisture there. Turning to her wife, Andy smiled. “Happy tears.”

Miranda merely nodded.

“Should I play the other file?”

With a deep breath, Miranda shifted closer and nodded again. “Yes.”

Andy clicked on the icon and they both smiled as music began to play. It was obviously one of Cassidy's compositions, new to both of them. Then the black screen faded in and Andy heard Miranda's gasp, but couldn't take her eyes off the screen. It was James, holding an infant, waving the little hand at the camera before the shot widened. He leaned down to place the child next to Miranda in the hospital bed. Now the new mother had one infant on each side of her and was smiling, tiredly, into the camera. Andy knew that she would have to watch this video several hundred times to see it all. The montage that followed the image of Miranda with the newborn twins was blurred with her tears. There were images of Christmas mornings and birthdays along with piano recitals and just normal outings all caught on tape by the nanny or as they grew older, each other. As the end of the video approached, it became more of a slide show, but Andy shook her head at the images. It was her, images of her, but they had been rather expertly joined with ones of the twins. From infancy on up, the slide show alternated between images of Miranda and Andy with the twins. In some cases both women were in the picture, lovingly watching over the girls at whatever activity they were doing.

It was Caroline and Cassidy's entire childhood condensed into a six minute presentation and then morphed so that Miranda and Andy had been there with them, the whole time. The music wound down and the picture faded to black as the girls dressed as they were in Andy's message waved and blew kisses at the camera.

Andy just sat looking at the screen, unable to speak for a long moment. “I can't believe they did that.”

“They are very thoughtful.” Miranda didn't offer any more comment, but Andy could tell that her wife was also very moved by the video.

“We should call them and thank them...” Andy wiped a tear away.

“Yes.” Miranda set the laptop aside and pulled Andrea to her. “Later.”

“Yeah.” Andy sighed as she stretched out on the bed next to Miranda. “I am pretty tired. Maybe we should take a nap first.”

Miranda's eyebrows raised, but she didn't say a word as they settled into one of their favorite sleeping positions. Andrea's head on her shoulder, the young woman's arm draped across her stomach.

A few moments later, Andy shifted her arm so that her fingertips could absently brush Miranda's breast. “Miranda?”

“Mmmm?”

“I may not be quite as tired as I thought...” Andy grinned and kissed the shoulder under her head. She didn't have to look to know that Miranda was smiling too.

They would call the girls, but it would definitely be later. Right now they were going to follow their childrens' orders and enjoy their honeymoon.

End.

Written 11/17/2012

Chapter Text

Andy rolled in the bed, hugging the pillow that Miranda had vacated. Her dark eyes tracked her naked wife as Miranda walked across the room into the bathroom. “Clothing designers are either insane or they're idiots.” She smiled as Miranda poked her head back through the doorway.

“Why would you say something like that, Andrea?”

“Because creating something specifically to cover a body as gorgeous as yours is insane.. and idiotic.” She grinned wider when Miranda rolled her eyes and went about her business. Andy sighed and spoke louder, allowing Miranda to hear her. “This has been so nice. Martha's Vineyard is great and I love this house. I think I have ever since my birthday vacation. That week was great just relaxing with you and the girls after the debacle with my parents.” She sighed. “I love you so much... I'm a little sorry that out honeymoon time is over. I don't wanna leave tomorrow.”

Miranda chuckled as she returned to the bed. “I know my Darling. I love it here as well. I always have. And I love you too.” She settled into Andrea's embrace. “But, as much as we would like to, we cannot remain on our honeymoon forever.” She kissed the shoulder under her cheek. “We have things to do and the girls will be starting school again soon.”

“I know.” Andy hummed contentedly as she ran her fingertips over Miranda's bicep. “It's just been so nice having you all to myself. Not having to worry about reporters, or work...”

“Mmm... yes. It has been a lovely two weeks. We can always return whenever time permits.” Miranda hesitated. “We have some things to discuss, before our arrival in the city.”

“We do?”

“Mmm...” Miranda licked her lips and nodded. “Yes. There is the small matter of the safe deposit box...”

“Miranda... I'm not sure..”

“Shhhh...” Miranda shook her head and pressed her fingers against Andy's luscious lips. “You will have access to it and that is final.” She felt Andrea relax and dropped her hand away. “You should also know the extent of the accounts, before you are blindsided with them at the bank.”

“Um...” Shifting out of the hold Miranda had on her, Andy scooted to sit up, her back against the headboard. “Accounts?”

“Indeed.” Miranda too sat up and reached into the drawer of the cabinet next to her side of the bed. She pulled several colorful folders out and handed them to Andy. “These are the reports that Archie sent.”

Andy glanced at the labeled tabs. She wasn't surprised to see one folder for 'Real Estate', one for 'Stocks', one for each of the girls and one marked 'Joint funds'. The one that did surprise her was the blue file with her name clearly printed on it. She frowned and opened that one first. Her frown deepened as she glanced over the pages inside. “Miranda? What is this?”

“That... I believe... is an accounting of your holdings.”

“My...” Andy shook her head. “Miranda I don't have 'holdings'.”

“You do now.” She shifted slightly away, sensing Andrea's discomfort. “I instructed Archie to start a portfolio for you. You will need to sign some forms to be able to access it properly.”

“I don't understand this...” Andy blinked. “Miranda this says...” Her voice became a whisper, “I'm a millionaire.”

“Yes.” Nodding, Miranda pointed to the relevant lines. “It is mostly stocks, but there is a significant amount of cash available to you. It will grow with time. Archie is very good at what he does.”

“I can't... what... why...”

Miranda licked her lips again and admitted. “I wanted you to be taken care of, even if you were against it.” She slumped her shoulders slightly. “And I had my own selfish reasons.”

“This is NOT selfish!” Andy continued to look at the huge numbers on the page in front of her. “My God...”

“The selfish part is that most of your portfolio is made up of Elias-Clark stock.” She exhaled softly and continued. “Your holdings combined with mine are nearly enough to at least keep Irving silent. My goal is to gather enough to oust him when he becomes too annoying.”

“He is behind the photos isn't he.” Andy shook her head. “Trying to break us up before our wedding... Isn't that annoying enough?”

“We don't yet know who is responsible for that particular nastiness.” Miranda kissed Andrea's bare shoulder. “When the investigators give us their reports we will decide what to do.”

“We'll do whatever you want Miranda. This is not my money. It's yours.” Andy wasn't completely unaware of how these things worked and she knew one thing above all else. “There had to be money spent in order to make this much.” She looked at Miranda. “You put up the money to begin with... this is all yours, not mine.”

“I authorized Archie to use up to three million while building your portfolio.” Miranda rolled her eyes a bit at Andrea's shocked expression. “It was only a loan and he didn't even use that much. It has all been repaid to the main account, which by the way is half yours now as well. What you see in this report are the proceeds and those, my Darling, are entirely yours.”

“I can't deal with this.” Andy closed the file. “It's too much...”

“This is why I didn't want to spring this on you at the bank.” Miranda took the file from her wife's hands. “Probably best if you don't look at the Real Estate folder then.”

“What?” Andy eyed the thickest file. “Why?” Miranda's gesture toward the file did nothing to answer her questions or quell her anxiety. She slowly opened the green folder.

“I must introduce you to Lydia. She manages the properties.”

Andy was slowly turning page after page, her eyes taking in the pictures of the various real estate that Miranda, that she and Miranda, owned. At least according to the section on the page that listed the owners of the properties. Her brain couldn't quite wrap itself around some of the photographs though. Many were views from various angles that also included sweeping landscape scenes, mountains, oceans and rolling green hills. “Manages?”

“Yes.” Miranda shrugged. “Since it's a waste to just have the buildings and homes sit empty, they are rented out to people. Some are on vacation. Some need a temporary offices or a place to live for a contract job. It varies.”

“You let people live in your houses?”

“The ones I'm not living in, yes.” Miranda chuckled as Andy looked around the room. “No one comes here, or the townhouse. But the other places are often occupied.” She smiled softly. “It's why I stayed in the hotel in Paris, the year you accompanied me. The chateau was currently being used by a lovely young family, while the mother was working in a nearby village. Lydia takes care of all the arrangements. She works with Archie on the money collection, but Lydia makes sure that everything is working properly and clean and stocked for the tenants before they arrive. She or one of her associates also performs the evaluation after the tenants vacate the residence to see if they deserve the return of their cleaning deposit.” Miranda waved. “It's all very tedious, but worthwhile to have the properties looked after so carefully.” She cringed slightly as Andrea turned to the page detailing the house they were currently in.

“Miranda?”

Unlocking her jaw, Miranda responded softly. “Yes?”

“This only lists me as owner of this house.” Andy looked to her wife for answers. “The other ones have both our names on them.”

“Indeed.” Miranda smiled. “You said yourself that you love this house. I knew that. I've known that since we stayed here during your birthday trip. That is why I had it put in your name alone.”

“No.. Miranda...”

“Andrea... listen to me. I do not want there to be any kind of problem with legalities. I have hope that this country will continue to move forward in regards to equal rights, but if that does not happen... No matter what legal entanglements Keith or his successors find themselves dealing with, this is cut and dried.” She traced her young wife's cheek lightly but spoke firmly, “This is your house, no matter what, now and forever.” With a tiny tilt of her head, Miranda smiled. “Turn the page.”

Andy turned to the next property in the file. The owner listed on that one was Caroline. The next one named Cassidy as owner. She turned to the last page, the townhouse. Miranda was the undisputed owner of that home, however, she and the girls were also named as owners.

“Any new acquisitions will automatically be put in both our names.” Miranda sighed. “But the girls love the townhouse, it is their primary home, so I wanted their names on it just for sentimental reasons.”

Andy traced under her name on the document that declared her part owner of the house in New York. “Miranda, I don't know what to say.”

“Don't say anything, just accept it. You know how stubborn I am.” Miranda closed the file and took it, placing it back in the drawer with the report on Andrea's holdings. She gestured to the two files labeled with the girls' names. “You are also named as controller on the girls' trust funds, just in case.”

Opening the file on top, Andy's eyes widened. “The girls are...”

Miranda finished for her, “Very, very, rich young women. Understand that is not all from me. James is quite well off in his own right. His family is steeped in old money. A lot of it is comprised of their trust funds. His mother adores trust funds.” Miranda pointed to a line on the accounting report. “They cannot even access those until they are twenty-five.”

“But they can access the rest?” Andy was still overwhelmed at that responsibility. “I barely had a thousand dollars in the bank at their age.” She shook her head. “They can just get it any time they want?”

“No.” Miranda grinned. “They have to ask Archie.”

“Not you?”

“They can ask me... but if they want to get something for me, they ask Archie and he can clear it.” Miranda shrugged. “For small things they don't have to ask, but they use the card attached to the account... so if Archie sees any outrageous spending he can call them on it, or stop their cards.”

“Outrageous?”

“If a charge for a large screen television comes through, he will question that.. because he knows they already have one.” Miranda shrugged. “It hasn't happened. I did get a phone call once regarding some large charges at several clothing stores, and a rather expensive lunch bill, but the girls were out shopping with their friends at that time, so they were all legitimate charges.”

“Mmm... I'm sure Allison got some nice clothes on that trip.” Andy's voice took on a slightly mother-like tone. “I don't think they should buy their friendships...”

Miranda laughed. “No worries, my Darling. I believe both Caroline and Cassidy know how to deal with their bank accounts. My concern is for you. Many times people who have had wealth thrust upon them have difficulty coming to terms with the new found responsibility.” Turning Andrea's head to meet the young woman's dark eyes, Miranda grinned. “Even now you are contemplating how much you can donate to charities and homeless shelters.” Sliding her hand past Andrea's shoulder and down her arm, Miranda took the folder from her wife's hands. “You will have to meet with Archie regarding all that, after we return to New York. As you know I already have several charitable contributions that are automatically sent, so you will need to coordinate with him, so as not to overlap any.”

“You don't mind... if I donate?”

“It's your money, Andrea.” Miranda sighed. “I would hope that you keep some of it though. I really do intend on making sure you are well taken care of, no matter how our marriage turns out. You could leave, right now and be a very wealthy woman.”

“Miranda...” Andy slid down, savoring the feel of her skin sliding against Miranda's. “I've told you before, I don't care about the money. I'm not leaving you, ever.” Placing soft kisses on Miranda's quivering stomach, Andy smiled. “I'm going to spend the rest of my life proving that to you.”

Miranda closed her eyes and inhaled sharply. The sensation of Andrea's teeth raking along her ribs sent electric jolts down her spine. “Mmmm... yessss” She tangled her fingers through Andrea's dark hair and decided that going over the contents of the safe deposit box could wait.

Written 1/6/2013

Chapter Text

 

Miranda blinked at the doctor and tilted her head slightly as if to hear the last words better. “Excuse me?”

“Patricia is in excellent health for a dog her age, but you should probably try to cut back on her walks a bit now. With some care now her quality of life will be extended.” The veterinarian smiled and ruffled the fur on the St. Bernard's neck. “Saint Bernards do not need a lot of exercise.” She cautioned Miranda seriously. “She's not a good jogging companion like other breeds and she will wilt in hot climates. Saints suffer from heat exhaustion quite easily and need access to shade and plenty of fresh, cool water during hot weather.”

Nodding, Miranda couldn't focus on the kind doctor's continued words. The previous ones echoed in her mind... not a good jogging companion... not a good jogging companion. This was horrible. Andrea took Patricia running all the time. A daily walk is all Patricia needs. Why did Andrea not know that? The runs that Andrea took Patricia on were hurting the dog! This was unacceptable, but, Miranda's heart broke slightly. Andrea loves Patricia, it will kill her to know her actions have been bad for Patricia! Realizing that the doctor had stopped speaking, Miranda thanked her politely and guided Patricia out the door.

###

Caroline and Cassidy were at the table eating their breakfast when their step-mother, Andrea Sachs, joined them in the kitchen.

“Hey, Ma!” Cassidy grinned. “When did you get back?”

“Late!” Andy ran her fingers through her hair. “My flight didn't even get in until Midnight.” She kissed both girls on the top of their head and mussed their hair slightly. “I'm going for a quick run.” Andy grabbed Patricia's leash from the drawer and called for the large dog. “C'mon, girl. You wanna go to the park?”

“It is quite warm this morning.”

Andy looked up as her wife, the infamous, Miranda Priestly entered the kitchen with such a regal air it seemed as though she didn't really belong there, for a moment. Queens didn't hang around in kitchens, did they?

“Do not let Patrica overheat. Perhaps you shouldn't run with her today.” There had been no time to speak to Andrea about the issue, but it had not been a problem since the young woman had been out of town for the last few days. That had been why Miranda had taken Patrica to the vet herself to begin with.

Laughing at that, Andy moved to take Miranda in her arms and kiss her thoroughly although with slightly less fervor than last night's welcome home kiss had contained. “I won't overheat either... thanks for the concern.”

“I have more faith in your ability to know when you are overheating and your ability to cool yourself down.” Miranda knelt to pet the St. Bernard dog. “Imagine doing what you are doing, but wearing a fur coat while doing it!”

Shaking her head at that, Andy put her hand on her hip. “You know she doesn't really 'run' with me, right?” The blank look on Miranda's face made Andy blink. “Um... St. Bernards can't run that much, it would hurt her hips. I looked it up when I was your assistant and had dog walking duty on occasion.” Andy ruffled the fur on Patricia's neck and snapped the leash to her collar. “I jog, fairly slowly, or walk to the park. We usually have to stop at a few lights to cross the streets anyway. When we get to the park there is only a short jog to the area where the dogs can run off their leashes. I let her go and then follow the circuit around there a few times. Patricia plays with her doggie friends and I run. There are only two places that I'm out of sight from the dogs and then it's only for about five steps before I can see them again. Since I keep to a fairly regular schedule, like most other people do, more often than not there are people there that will watch her too, if I want to run a on a different path. Patricia plays and then usually ends up just resting under her favorite tree.” Andy shrugged. “After I'm done, I'll cool down some, there is a bench I often use to wait for her, if she's still playing with the other dogs. That's where I met with Emily when she was planning our wedding. Otherwise I'll just call Patricia back and we jog, slowly, home.”

Miranda took a deep breath. “You never cease to amaze me, Andrea.” A small smile tugged at the corners of Miranda's lips. “Even when I feel it would be impossible, you do or say something that makes my love for you grow.”

Andy smirked. “Well, yeah... that's me.” Leaning in for a quick kiss, Andy whispered. “Andy Sachs, making the impossible possible since Two Thousand Six.”

“Do be careful though. It is quite warm today.”

Bowing slightly, Andy smiled. “Of course.” She grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and shoved it into her small backpack. “C'mon, Patricia. Let's go to the park.” She didn't have to tug on the leash to get the large dog moving, but Patricia headed toward the front door instead of the one leading the back way out of the kitchen. Andy laughed. “Out the front? You wanna go see if Benji can play too?”

Miranda watched her wife leaving the house and felt absolute joy bubble up in her chest. Her life had been changed irrevocably when Andrea had entered it, changed for the better.

“I am so glad I married her.”

Caroline and Cassidy just looked at each other, rolled their eyes, grinned and continued eating their breakfast.

Written

Chapter Text

 

“You had better be right about this.” Emily glared at her former co-worker. Her expression only softened slightly when familiar long arms embraced her, and Serena's warm voice tickled her ear.

“I'm sure Andy knows what she's doing.”

“Well, she bloody well better...We are the ones who will have to deal with the fallout if she's wrong.”

Andy Sachs put the finishing touches on the last decoration and turned to face the couple. “I'm not wrong, so just calm your tits, Em.”

“No. Shan't.”

Chuckling, Andy glanced at Serena. “Well then you calm her down... I'm going to check on the food and cake.” Turning to leave the conference room, all forward motion stopped as Andy's wife, the big boss here at Runway walked into the room.

“What's all this?” Miranda's bored tone was deceptive. Often when Miranda seemed the most uninterested in something, that something was the subject of fairly intense scrutiny.

Lowering her shoulders in defeat, Andy mumbled, “Well, crap.” She threw her hands out, indicating the streamers and decorations. “Surprise!”

“Mmm... It certainly is.” Reaching out, Miranda tested the texture of one crepe paper streamer hanging a little too low. She released it with a bit of, obvious, distaste and did not react to Emily's small squeak of outrage. She knew the sound was directed at Andrea and not herself. “I was told you were going to be conducting interviews until late this evening.”

“And I...” Andy sighed. “Was told that you were going to be off-site until at least five o'clock tonight.”

“Ugh...” Miranda waved away those plans. “The designers were all horrible. I did not need to spend an extra moment with any of them.” She took a step closer to her wife. “Now, what is all this?”

Relieved that Miranda was not actually angry at her, but at the disappointing designs she had seen today, Andy also moved closer, close enough to wrap her arms around Miranda's waist. “C'mon, Miranda... it's your birthday!”

Lifting her hand to Andrea's forehead, Miranda spoke in her driest tone, “You don't feel feverish.”

Andy tossed her head to dislodge the hand. “I'm not!”

“Andrea, you know full well that my birthday is not until tomorrow.”

“Ah ha... but tomorrow is Saturday and all your minions will be at home.” Andy grinned when Miranda's eyes had opened wider at the term 'minions.' “I know, I know... you don't like to call them minions.”

“Well,” Miranda glanced at Emily and Serena, smirking slightly at Serena's smile, “not in front of them, darling.”

“Speaking for the minions in question,” Serena bowed slightly, “it would be a pleasure to attend a party in your honor.”

Emily, emboldened by her partner's ease around their boss, spoke up. “Everyone is looking forward to it, Miranda.”

“I highly doubt that.” Miranda's small smile filled her tone with amusement. “But, as I seem to have some time this afternoon, I don't see why the party plans cannot continue.”

“Yes!” Andy picked Miranda up and twirled her around, kissing her soundly before releasing her. “You go back to your office, I'll finish up things here.”

“Very well.” Miranda straightened her clothes and looked around the room again then made a small sound, the beginning of a chuckle, that she cut off quickly. “I shall endeavor to be appropriately surprised when the time comes.” Her soft laughter escaped when Andrea's brilliant smile appeared. It was with that vision in her mind that Miranda made her way back to her office.

###

Andy double checked the array of food, finger foods that she doubted would be touched until Miranda led the way. The people already assembled here hadn't gone near the food table, not even Nigel. The rhubarb tarts that Miranda liked would most likely go first, with the tiny bites of shredded meat wrapped in lettuce leaves following closely behind. Her eyes slid to the small portion of pigs in a blanket that she intended on eating the majority of herself and grinned as she snuck one now. She was still chewing when the girls arrived.

“Ma!”

“Mmm...” Finishing her bite quickly, Andy jumped to help the twins carry the bags of presents into the room. “Awesome!” She showed them the table where she wanted them to arrange the presents.

When she had passed the word about this party, small presents had found their way to her. Andy had concealed them in one of the guest room closets. Miranda never went into the guest rooms. She left the girls to finish the task while she checked to make sure the cake and plates were ready. They had been delivered just after Miranda's earlier departure. Calling across the room, Andy teased the girls, “You got everything, right?”

“Yes.” Caroline assured her. “We got it all.”

Cassidy bounced in place, totally excited about the party. “We even got the one I saw you wrapping this morning. You left it in your room!”

Andy's face paled. “You what?” She looked across the room at the pile of presents that the girls had set out, her eyes zeroing in on one box in particular. “Oh...” She started to move toward it, but at that moment more people arrived, and Bethany rushed through the door, nearly breathless.

“Miranda is on her way!”

Everyone found a hiding place and the lights were brought down.

Miranda did actually jump when everyone appeared from their hiding places, so the surprise aspect of the party was upheld. It was not like a 'normal' party however, because usually the subject of the party would receive hugs or handshakes from the attendees. Of course, Andrea hugged her, and the children did, too. The only other people who braved very quick hugs were Serena and Emily.

Despite the lack of physical contact, the party went quite smoothly. People didn't dare hug Miranda, but they managed to speak to her and wish her a happy birthday. As Andy had predicted, Miranda had to be the first one to try the array of fingerfoods available. After that everyone tried some, so the food was eaten and, much to Andy's surprise, the cake was quickly consumed as well. Andy was glad she had gotten a photo of the cake before the carnage. It had been a classic Chanel-themed cake, because Andy, and anyone else who paid attention, knew that Miranda adored Coco Chanel.

Nigel had arrived with the others, but now spoke quietly to Miranda. “I'm afraid I must be going.” He grinned and plucked a brightly wrapped box off of the table. “But first you must open my present.”

Miranda looked at the box suspiciously. It was thin, so it could be a scarf or possibly a blouse, but Miranda wasn't sure that anyone would dare purchase a garment for her. No one besides Nigel or Andrea. She took it from his hand and narrowed her eyes. It was too heavy for a scarf. She began to delicately undo the tape when Nigel huffed a bit. “Oh, just rip it!”

Amused blue eyes glanced up as she continued to unwrap the gift, her way, only to reveal a plain white box. Opening it, Miranda smirked as she lifted out a pristine copy of a past Runway issue. “Thank you, Nigel.” Her tone was decidedly dragon, but somewhat amused. “Very thoughtful.”

Grinning wider, Nigel chuckled. “Well, I do have my moments.”

“Miranda?” Andy wasn't sure why this particular gift was thoughtful and was glad when Miranda decided to let them all in on the joke.

“Nigel has seen fit to gift me with one of the early issues that we worked on, together. One of the main articles was how older women influenced fashion and how fashion influenced them.” If Irv Ravitz had given her this particular issue, it would have been a slap in the face and a definite slight against her, but Nigel's intentions were obviously less malicious. Miranda raised her eyebrows as she turned to the article in question and scanned it quickly. “I dare say we may have to revise Runway's stance on that particular topic.”

Gretchen, a lovely woman with short graying hair, who was in charge of editorial content nodded and responded, “Yes, Miranda.”

Now everyone was laughing outright, and Nigel put his hand on his heart, bowing slightly. “Have a good evening, Miranda.”

One by one the guests began to pick their gifts up off the table and approach Miranda. Andy was amused by the image. It reminded her of people offering gifts to their Queen, or Goddess if you went back far enough in history. Standing back to watch, Andy took a deep breath and was so proud of her sometimes cranky wife. Each gift was received, examined and appreciated by Miranda with exceptional grace. Andy wondered why she had ever feared otherwise. The procession also gave her a bit of breathing room. The gift she had wrapped this morning was decidedly not for this party, although many would probably appreciate it somewhat. The way the presents were being given though meant that Andy could hold back that particular one until later, when they were home.

There was a lull in the presentations, and Andy took the time to speak quietly to Emily and Serena, to make sure they were going to attend the small dinner she was planning at the townhouse tomorrow. What she didn't realize was that Miranda had decided not to wait for another person to gather the courage to approach her and took the initiative to reach for another present from the table.

###

“We would not miss the celebration tomorrow.” Serena wrapped her arm around Emily's shoulder, squeezing slightly. “We have plans that night, however, so we will not be staying late.”

“Great!” Andy smiled and glanced at Miranda. When the box in Miranda's hand registered with her brain, the smile faded from her face. The first thought forced its way out as a whisper, “No.” Then she moved, reaching out to stop Miranda even as she spoke louder than she had intended. “Miranda, no!”

All eyes turned to Miranda who was too far into the process of taking the top off of the box to stop. Everyone held their breath when Miranda lifted a set of lingerie from the box, her hand visible through the two layers of silken lace in it. No one moved, including Miranda.

Andy finally found her voice. “That one was supposed to be opened at home.”

Miranda looked over the article of clothing, going so far as to hold it up to examine it closer. Nice that she was interested in it, not so much that everyone else got a really good look at it. Andy could see that they were all trying very hard not to picture Miranda wearing this particular item. That was something Andy could help with, especially after Miranda's not-so-amused comment floated through the room.

“It isn't my size.”

Clearing her throat, Andy agreed, “Um... no. It's...ah...” She glanced around the room and, blushing profusely, confessed, “It's mine.”

Miranda's eyes widened. Picturing Andrea wearing the item put the gift in a much higher category than the joke she had first thought. Knowing that the other party goers were also thinking of Andrea in the skimpy outfit caused her to quickly put the item back in the box and close the lid. “I see.” Her lips twitched as Andrea moved closer, and she whispered into her wife's ear, “A two part gift?”

Nodding, Andy replied, “Two... three... four... as many parts as you like...”

Smiling at that, Miranda handed the box to Andrea and promised, “We will discuss this later.”

Andy winked. “You bet we will.”

“Perhaps another gift is in order?” Serena held out a cheerily wrapped package.

Wary of the glint in Serena's eye, Miranda took the package and unwrapped it with her usual carefulness and some amount of hesitance.

Serena chuckled and echoed Nigel's earlier comment. “You can just rip it open, Miranda.”

Miranda smirked and continued the unwrapping. As it turned out, she unwrapped it backward and although she knew it was a video disc of some sort, when someone in the crowd gasped Miranda steeled her reserve and turned the little blue case around.

The group's inhalation was audible as Miranda's lips began to quiver. She pressed them together, valiantly trying to stop her reaction. That only lasted a moment though, just until she couldn't hold back the bright laughter that escaped her. Tossing the collector's edition of Psycho onto the gift table, Miranda held on to the edge of the table and continued laughing.

Serena joined in the infectious laughter. “I will never see that movie in the same light again.”

Miranda waved her hand, indicating Serena should stop speaking. She, however, agreed. “Nor will I!” Her laughter subsided, and she wiped a tear from her eye. The subtle, and not so subtle, reminders of the time she had walked in on Serena in the master bathroom's shower at the townhouse served to ground Miranda in a way that very few other things could manage. “Thank you, Serena.”

“You are most welcome, Miranda.”

Andy smiled as the atmosphere at the party lightened. It wasn't often that an honest to goodness Miranda-laugh was heard inside the Runway offices. She winked at Serena then turned a look of pure love on Miranda. Miranda-blue eyes returned the look, and Andy nodded. She spirited the lingerie away and continued to enjoy the party while looking forward to later.

###

Andy looked in the mirror and finished removing her makeup then picked up her toothbrush. “So... the office party went well.” She was standing side by side at the vanity with Miranda in their bathroom, going through their nighttime rituals. Andy looked at Miranda's reflection. “Don't you think?”

“Mmm...” Nodding, Miranda continued to remove her makeup. “Aside from the one small gift being opened too soon in the day, yes, it was a pleasant gathering.” The rest of the evening, spent at home with her family, had been lovely as well.

“Miranda, you know I...” Andy stopped talking when Miranda held up her hand for silence.

“Yes, yes... you've already explained it, and Cassidy apologized repeatedly. She told me she was sorry, again, when I wished her goodnight.” Miranda sighed. “It was just a mistake.”

“You liked my other gift though, right? The one that was supposed to be opened at the office party.”

Chuckling, Miranda finished her task and turned to face her wife. “Yes. Prada running shoes, for when I decide to begin training on one of the treadmills downstairs, are quite acceptable.”

“You really should you know. Running is good for you and very relaxing. Besides, what's the point of having side by side treadmills if you can't run with someone?” Andy had been thrilled when they reworked that area of the basement into a small gym. It was all state of the art stuff, including an 'endless pool' that was quickly becoming routine for the girls to use. The problem now was getting Miranda to use the little gym. She knew that once Miranda had gained confidence in her running ability, the older woman would begin joining her for runs in the park. Granted, Andy didn't use the downstairs facility very much right now either. She more often opted to run outside in the park. Besides, Patricia loved playing in the dog park.

“I prefer to get my exercise through, alternative methods.” Miranda's eyes slid to the lingerie box that had found its way from the party to their bathroom.

“Oh, yeah... it is actually your birthday now isn't it?” Andy's dazzling smile appeared when a quick check of the clock confirmed that yesterday was over and today had begun. “Okay,” she gestured for Miranda to leave the room, “go on then. I have a present to wrap.”

###

When Andy was ready she stepped through the doorway of the bathroom, her eyes were immediately drawn to her insanely beautiful wife. Miranda sat at the head of the bed with her back against a pile of pillows. Her glasses were low on her nose as she perused the Book.

Andy watched her wife working for a moment, slightly amused that the short time it had taken her to prepare had been used by going over the Book. Miranda rarely missed a chance to work, however the dress code for working at home was much more relaxed. A fact that often delighted Andy and rarely contributed to a large amount of work being completed at home. The silk Miranda wore this evening covered much more than Andy's outfit did, at least it didn't show quite as much, but Miranda's neck and shoulders were easily accessible. Andy cleared her throat to catch the woman's attention. And catch it she did. Her million-watt smile appeared when Miranda tossed her glasses aside and, never taking her eyes off of Andy, pushed the book and post-it notes to the floor. Andy's voice softened to ask, “You like?”

“Oh...” Miranda nodded slowly. “Most definitely.”

Andy walked slowly to the foot of the bed and began to crawl up toward Miranda. “I'm glad you approve.” She felt the heat along the lengths of their bodies as she pressed Miranda down into the soft bed. In a matter of moments Andy had slipped the spaghetti straps of Miranda's nightgown down the silky shoulders and pushed the shimmery fabric down where it bunched at her waist for a second until Miranda raised her hips to allow the garment to be removed entirely. Once Miranda was totally nude, Andy bent to kiss the luscious skin on Miranda's shoulder and laughed as Miranda demonstrated her karate knowledge to flip them over so that Miranda was now on top. “I love when you do that.”

“I love doing it.” Miranda slid her hand to the back of Andrea's neck. Gentle pressure tilted Andrea's head and provided her lips greater access to Andrea's throat. She spoke softly against Andrea's skin, “I love you.”

Before Andy could reciprocate the sentiment, Miranda continued speaking, her lips brushing the pulse point on Andy's neck as she murmured, “I love this. You, writhing at my touch. You slick and hot under my fingertips.” Tugging at the outfit, Miranda raised up slightly to look into Andrea's eyes. “I love this outfit on you, but even this is too much of a barrier between us.”

Andy smiled. “Then unwrap your present, Miranda.”

Slowly, carefully, Miranda began to remove the sheer fabric.

Arching into the touch, Andy moaned Miranda's name. The sound seemed to spur Miranda on, and Andy's lingerie was removed very quickly. It was too bad, Andy mused, that no one would ever know that Miranda had finally torn the wrapping off one of her presents.

That was the last coherent thought Andy was able to form as Miranda thoroughly enjoyed her gift.

###

Miranda woke slowly luxuriating in the warmth the woman in her arms provided. She sighed softly, content to be in the moment.

When Andrea stirred, Miranda spoke softly, “You were wrong last night.” Miranda kissed the back of Andrea's neck as she loosened her hold on the woman's waist, allowing her wife to stretch and turn in the embrace. The light from the just risen sun allowed her to see Andrea's dark eyes. “You aren't my present.”

“No?”

“No, Andrea. Presents are often only given on certain days, trinkets or tokens that are admired for a while, then possibly displayed on a shelf, but ultimately forgotten.” Miranda cupped her wife's cheek and brushed her thumb over Andrea's lips. “You, are a gift to me every day. One that never ceases to amaze me.”

Andy smiled. “Happy birthday, Miranda.”

Leaning in for a kiss, Miranda murmured, “Indeed, it is.”

 

end.

Written 7/6/14

Chapter Text

“It is very disappointing...” Miranda looked through the clothes hanging on the portable rack. “You people have had hours and hours...” Glancing at the nearest lackey Miranda was slightly annoyed that the underling was not even paying attention. She followed the surprised and slightly terrified gaze toward the door. “Andrea?” Now totally disinterested in the run through, Miranda gave her wife her complete attention.

For as long as Miranda had known Andrea, the younger woman seemed to radiate emotion. At this moment the prevailing aura was sadness. “What is it?” Sucking in her breath, Miranda could hear a bit of panic seep in around the edges of her concern. “The girls...”

“No...” Andrea held up her hands and closed the distance between them, speaking quickly, “The girls are fine.” She guided Miranda to her chair then swallowed hard and pulled a paper from her pocket, unfolding it for Miranda. “This came over the news wire about twenty minutes ago.”

The rest of the people in the room were motionless as Miranda's makeup covered cheeks became a shade lighter. They all scattered at Miranda's quiet, barely heard, command. “Get out.” They all scattered except for Andrea, who knelt next to Miranda's knee.

“I'm so sorry, Miranda. I know you were friends.”

“Oscar de la Renta,” Miranda stared at the announcement in her hand, her eyes never leaving the headline, “legendary fashion designer, dead at 82”.

“He was such a sweet man.” Andy smiled up at her wife, both holding their tears in check. She had only met the man a handful of times, but that included a dinner at the townhouse. Whenever he had attended the same event as they had it always ended up with he and Miranda at some out of the way table, chatting. Andy knew that most people gave them plenty of space, believing that they were planning, possibly changing, the future of fashion. She also knew that most likely they were talking about their early days in the industry and their trials working their way up the ladder of success.

“We must send condolences to his wife and son...”

“Shhhh...” Andy smiled and nodded. “Done. Flowers will be delivered later today.” She had called the florist on the way to Miranda's office.

A single tear slid down Miranda's cheek. “What would I do without you?”

“Probably about the same thing I'd do without you.” Raising up slightly, Andy kissed Miranda's lips lightly before brushing away the tear with her thumb. “But we've had this discussion before and we will most likely have it again.” She reassured her, often extremely, age-sensitive wife, “We can discuss it at great length twenty years from now.”

“Yes.” Miranda's lips twitched into the beginning of a smile. “We will.”

Andy knew that tone, this conversation was over. There was definite purpose behind the words. “But now you have things to do?”

With a deep breath, Miranda nodded. “Yes, I do.” Standing, she pulled Andrea up with her and wrapped her arm around her wife's waist. “Emily.”

The newest Emily promptly appeared in the doorway. “Yes, Miranda?”

“Tell Nigel I want every photograph we have of Oscar de la Renta viewed for possible use on the cover of the next issue. I want six choices on my desk in two hours.” She watched with satisfaction as the harried woman scurried away.

“A tribute issue?” Andy squeezed the woman in her arms. “Do you have time for that?”

“I'll make time.”

Nodding at that, all Andy could do was stand back and let Miranda do what she did best. Andy could tell that Miranda was already planing the issue in her head, the faraway look in her eyes, the slight nods and shakes of her head as she approved and rejected a hundred different things in a matter of moments. Watching the process was always amazing, watching it right now was beyond anything Andy had felt before.

Andy knew that this wasn't just a woman planning a magazine issue. This was the woman she loved, saying goodbye to a friend.

Fin

Written October, 2014

Chapter Text

“Andy?”

The brunette jerked awake and looked around the unfamiliar room. The uncomfortable chairs and vending machines penetrated her fuzzy brain; waiting room. “Oh,” She smiled at the young man in front of her. Chuckling at herself, she ran her fingers through her slightly graying hair and thought, Young man? He’s barely fifteen years younger than you. It was a Miranda way of thinking, she knew, and her smile only faltered a bit. “How is she?”

“She's okay. C’mon.” He couldn’t contain his smile any longer. “There are a couple of people we want you to meet.”

Following the enthusiastic man down the long, quiet hall, Andy couldn’t help but wish… then they were entering the large private room and nearly all the air escaped her lungs at the sight. “Oh.”

Familiar blue-gray eyes looked up. “Hey, Ma.”

“Hey, Munchkin.” Andy couldn’t take her eyes off of the newborn children nestled on either side of her daughter. “You did good.”

Nodding, Caroline looked down at the sleeping twins. “Yeah…” She looked up at her husband. “Sweetie, can you, um… give us a minute?”

He knew what she was going to do, make the introductions, and he knew it needed to be in private. “Sure, Hon.” Leaning down, he kissed Caroline on the forehead and started to walk out of the room. Andy’s voice stopped him, momentarily.

“Hey.” Dark eyes turned to him and she gave him a genuine smile. “You did good too.”

He took a deep breath, eyes shining. “Thanks... Ma.”

“So,” Caroline smiled. “I guess you need to meet them, formally.” Indicating the sleeping infant snuggled against her right side, Caroline whispered, “This is Andrew Alan.” She watched as Andy’s eyes widened in shock and nodded, “Yes, Andrew, after you.”

“Oh, Caroline…” Andy had no idea what to say to that. She moved to the right side of the bed and very gently stroked the child’s cheek with the back of her index finger. “He’s beautiful.”

Nodding, Caroline took a very deep breath and released it, slowly. “And this,” she turned her head to look down at the angel sleeping on her left arm, “This is, Miranda Ann.”

Oh my God. Andy circled around and pulled a chair to the edge of the bed. Slowly with the very tip of her index finger stroked the little girl’s cheek, barely able to feel it. “Her skin is so soft.” Her breath caught in her throat as her vision was blurred by tears. “Just like…”

“I miss her, Ma.”

Wiping the moisture from her own eyes, then from Caroline’s, Andy sniffed, nodded and whispered. “Me too.” The loss made her heart ache. “She would have been, was, so proud of you.” Looking down at the sleeping angels, Andy swallowed hard. “Oh, she would have adored these two.” Little Miranda Ann chose that moment to open her eyes and Andy gasped. Oh my God!

Caroline nodded at the gasp. “I know. It’s amazing isn’t it? When they put her on my stomach, her eyes were already open and she was looking around.” A proud kind of awe crept into the woman’s voice. “She’s not going to miss a thing, just like…”

Andy nodded and finished the thought. “Just like your mother.”

“They won’t get to know her.” Caroline was crying again.

“Don’t cry…” Andy stood and leaned over the bed, placing a kiss on her daughter’s forehead, just where Alan had earlier. “Please don’t cry…” Andy heard the words and felt soft fingertips on her cheek. Her vision blurred as the tears continued.

“Wake up…” The words drifted in her head. “Andrea, wake up… You’re having a bad dream…”

Andy opened her eyes and took a shuddering breath as she focused on loving blue eyes framed in silver white hair. Oh my God…

“Andrea? You were crying.” Miranda’s face was the picture of concern. “Are you alright?”

“No,” Andy shifted and held Miranda desperately close. “No, I’m not. I need you to hold me.”

“Shhhh…” Kissing her wife gently, Miranda soothed the woman. “It was just a bad dream.”

It wasn’t a bad dream, it was a nightmare, the nightmare. She hadn't had this particular night terror in a long time, but didn't dwell on why it had returned tonight. Andy could only nod against Miranda’s shoulder as the older woman murmured reassurances to her. Andy tightened her grip around Miranda's waist and whispered, “Just, please, hold me.”

“Of course,” Miranda’s arms were already wrapped around the distraught woman so she tightened them slightly. “For as long as you want.”

Andy was only mildly comforted by the arms around her, because the words, although meant sincerely, weren’t true. Miranda would never be able to hold her that long, no one could. Emotional overload took over and Andy’s eyes closed. The memory of the nightmare haunted her, at the edge of sleep, and she mumbled, “Don’t leave us, Miranda. We're going to have beautiful grand-children… Please don’t ever leave us…”

Miranda laid her cheek against the dark head but said nothing. She couldn’t. She couldn’t promise not to leave. They both knew it was a promise she would eventually have to break. Keeping one arm around Andrea’s shoulders, Miranda rolled to her back and studied the ceiling. A tear escaped her eye. I can try though, she knew what she had to do. I need to start taking better care of myself, less caffeine, shorter hours at work… another tear rolled down her face, grand children…that thought alone brought a smile to her face.

Wouldn’t that be amazing to see?

fin

Written 7/28/2018

Chapter Text

 

Andy Sachs-Priestly, roving reporter. Andy snorted to herself at the designation. She wished she was a little less roving at the moment. She had been on the road for nearly a week now, but the end was in sight. One more night, she told herself, one more interview, one more night and tomorrow evening I will be home. She would have liked to keep driving, but she was exhausted from the trip and knew it wasn't safe. That was the one thing Miranda had insisted on before this trip had started. “Be Safe.” Her wife had been very specific. “You are not to drive for more than eight hours per day.” It would have been less, but the weather forcasts had assured them of clear roadways. So the limit was set at eight hours and they had looked over the maps and planned her route with requisite stops well before the self-imposed limit. Miranda had made hotel reservations for her at each stop. It would have been annoyingly controlling from anyone else, but Andy knew it was just Miranda's way of looking after her and assuring herself that Andy would be comfortable during her travels. Andy was feeling a bit sorry for herself though, missing her family terribly.

The hotel room was not as lavish as Miranda would have liked, Andy was sure but it was fine for her, especially since she was only staying one night, and now she was out and about in search of junk food. She planned on spending most of the evening eating junk food and watching whatever terrible movie she could find on TV. In a fit of mischievousness, knowing Miranda would be scandalized, Andy pointed her rental car toward the large Walmart parking lot. She reasoned that no one would know her this far from New York. This last stop was a smallish town and Andy sort of liked it. It reminded her of the area where she grew up. Ruthlessly resisting browsing through all the holiday sales displays Andy contented herself with loading up on snacks that she would normally have to hide from Miranda. Hide because the woman would either chide her for eating them, or eat them all herself. Andy tucked her bags into the trunk and started back toward the hotel. As she exited the parking lot and drove on the frontage road she saw a lone figure, with a handmade cardboard sign.

“Need money for GAS.”

The woman holding the sign was standing next to a small cooler, and a gas can. The cynic in her figured it was a huge scam and the woman just wanted money. The part of her that trusted people told her to pull over and help. She still had a few hours before she could call Miranda. Her wife would be at the office until late, and the girls were spending the night tonight with their friends. Yet another reason Andy had wanted to be home tonight. Having the house all to themselves wasn't an opportunity to be missed, if they could help it.

Parking the car near the woman, Andy got out and spoke to her. “I don't have any money on me.” She pointed to the nearby gas station, in front of Walmart. “If you take your can to the gas station I'll fill it up for you.”

“Oh!” The woman's accent was evident. “Thank you.. thank you...” She hurriedly gathered her things and moved to a white van nearby. “The can or the truck?”

Andy smiled. “The truck is fine.”

“Oh..” The woman was surprised. “you sure?”

Andy nodded. “It's fine. I'll meet you there.” She got back in her rental and moved it to the gas station, parking in an out of the way spot. She had already filled up the tank on hers earlier. It only took a moment for the woman to pull her van up next to a pump and Andy joined her. She tried to follow the thick accent as the woman thanked her profusely. Andy merely nodded and smiled as she went about the business of putting her card into the pump and getting it started. She gestured to the nozzle when the process was complete. “There ya go.”

“Thank you.. thank you...”

The woman was speaking extremely fast but Andy caught some of the story about how she had lost her job and had two sons that she was trying to make a good Christmas for next week. Mostly Andy just smiled and nodded. Then as the tank of the van seemed to near being filled Andy reminded the woman. “You need to get your gas can and fill it too, so you'll have some extra.”

“Oh!” The woman quickly went to get the can. The hose clicked off automatically in the few moments she was gone. When she returned she filled the can and continued her profuse thanks.

Andy waved off her words. “It's really okay. Happy to help.” She accepted a hug from the woman and chuckled. “Merry Christmas.”

“Yes, Yes...” The woman was near tears. “Merry Christmas to you.”

Andy waved and walked back to her car. She was involved with several charities in New York but it was extremely nice to help someone directly. Taking a deep breath, she drove back to the hotel and hoped that the woman would be okay. There was a bit where she felt like posting to social media, but then there was the ugly side of those sites that would slam her for being boastful or making it all about her. It would be nice though to let people know that it was really okay to help people.

Ah well, she sighed as she stepped into her hotel room. Tossing her snacks on the bed, Andy changed quickly and was comfy in her sweats and t-shirt, halfway through a bag of Cheese Doodles when her alarm chimed to let her know it was time to call Miranda. Dialing quickly, Andy clicked the television off and laid back, closing her eyes to savor the sound of Miranda's voice in her ear.

“Hello, Darling.”

“Hey.” Andy licked the cheesy powder off her thumb. “I miss you.”

“I miss you too.” Miranda had obviously just finished eating something, Andy could hear silverware and china being placed into the dishwasher. “One more night, Darling.”

“I know.” Andy grinned as she rustled the bag next to her as she heard Miranda going up the stairs. “I will just have to eat all these Cheese Doodles by myself.”

“You're so ridiculous.” Miranda chuckled. “You know you can close the bag. I hear they travel quite nicely.”

“Ha!” Andy accused. “You just want me to bring them home so you can eat them!”

“Oh no.” Miranda's voice lowered in tone. “Cheese Doodles will be the last thing I will want to eat when you get home.”

“Miranda!” Andy faked being scandalized then laughed. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Miranda was smiling, Andy could tell.

“So how has your evening been?” Miranda was obviously preparing for bed. “Please tell me you haven't been scarfing down junk food all night.”

“Of course I have!” Andy laughed at the snort Miranda gave her for that. “I'll probably go to the fitness center tomorrow morning and run some of it off.” Miranda had been very clear about her running in strange cities. She was to use the hotel's equipment if she felt the need to work out. “They have good equipment here, I checked it out when I got here.”

“Hmmm...” From the sound of it, Miranda had just slid into bed. “Very well then.”

Andy pictured it and sighed. “I wish I was there with you.”

“Me too, Darling.”

Andy could hear the exhaustion in Miranda's voice. “Go to sleep, Sweetheart.” Andy assured her. “I'll be there tomorrow night.”

“Mmmm...” Miranda slurred her words a bit, fighting sleep to talk to Andrea. “Tell me about your evening. What did you do tonight?”

“Not much.” Andy opened her eyes and sat back up. “Arrived here, checked in, then went back out and bought some stuff... junk food and put gas in the car... now here just vegging out, watching TV.” She yawned. “Gonna get some sleep soon, have to be alert for the interview tomorrow then the long drive home.”

“Yes. Home.” Miranda agreed. “Get some sleep, drive safely.”

“I will.” Andy would never really become immune to the warm feeling that came with knowing that Miranda was worried about her. “Hey... if you're sleeping and I'm sleeping, that means we're sleeping together! Right?”

Miranda chuckled. “You're so ridiculous.”

“Yeah, but you love me anyway.” Andy waited for it.

“Of course I do.” Miranda scoffed. “Just as you love me.”

“I really do.” Andy agreed. “So much.” She shifted to lay on her side. “Good night, Miranda.”

“Good night, Andrea.”

Neither of them wanted to hang up, so they didn't. They both lay there listening to the other one breathing into their ear. It wasn't the same as being in the same room, naturally, but it was soothing. For a split second Andy thought about the woman she had helped earlier and again realized exactly how lucky she really was. As she heard Miranda's breathing even out she told herself that she wouldn't ever take Miranda and the girls for granted. She also promised herself that she would take a more active role in the charities she contributed to in New York. Waiting a few more moments, Andy made sure Miranda was sleeping before disconnecting the call. She quickly closed the bag of snacks and cleaned up a bit before snuggling back down into the bed. As she closed her eyes she wondered about her choice not to tell Miranda, or anyone, about helping the woman. She thought she may possibly tell Miranda at some point. It was kind of nice to just have that moment for herself.

Merry Christmas to me, she thought and smiled as she drifted off to sleep.

End

Written December 17th, 2019

Chapter Text

Andrea Sachs, roving reporter, looked around the tented area of the park with amusement. The orderly chaos that seemed to grow with every hour was oddly comforting, reminding her of her days at Runway. Specifically reminding her of the days just prior to a large event when Miranda was in a mood and the minions were trying to appease their resident Goddess.

She snapped a few photos, mostly for her own use to glance at as she was writing the article about this event. Keeping a feel for the atmosphere would help the article for sure. As of now she only had the most superficial of things to report regarding the attendees of this particular New York Fashion Week. So far though, she realized, that she'd only seen the bigger names that were in attendance. Her press pass allowed her practically anywhere, but she had stuck fairly closely to Miranda's schedule. That was partially because she knew that Miranda would be at the best of the best designer's booths, but also because it allowed her to see her wife, albeit briefly, throughout the day. Now with two days of the event left to go Andrea wondered if striking out on her own might make for a better article, or at least better material to base it on. She spotted an empty bench nearby and wondered if just sitting down and waiting for a story to come to her would work. Familiar voices pulled her from her thoughts.

“Ma! Ma!”

“Girls?” Andy looked toward the young women making a bee-line toward her, that is they were swerving through the crowed in as much of a straight line as possible. When they were close enough to hear her without any yelling Andy questioned their presence. “What happened to shopping?” She looked past them to see James carrying a few bags for them. When he caught up she smiled at him. “You got roped into pack mule duty?”

He nodded and lifted the bags in his hands, “It's just a few things and now that we've found you.” He handed the bags over to his children. “I will see you next weekend, okay?”

“Sure Dad.”

The girls both hugged him and he kissed their heads. “I'll be back from LA by Thursday, so I'll pick you up for sure on Saturday. The plane leaves Saturday afternoon and we can be skiing in Vail on Sunday.” He looked at Andy apologetically. “Work stopped us this weekend. I have to fly out and settle some things.”

“Sure.” Andy knew that next weekend was going to be busy for Miranda anyway. Processing all the information from a fashion week usually took at least two weeks. “Safe flight.” She watched him walk away and turned to the girls. “So, your weekend gets shifted.”

“Meh...” Caroline waved off the inconvenience, much like Miranda would do. “We decided to make our friends jealous by attending this for a day anyway.”

Andy nodded. “Ah...” She grinned at the girls, well then I guess you get to be junior reporters for the day. “How did you know where to find me?”

Cassidy chuckled. “I just called the new Emily and asked for Mom's itinerary. I figured you'd be around here about now.”

Blushing at that, Andy nodded. “Yeah.”

Her grin widened and Caroline asked, “So, what do junior reporters do?”

“Well, you look around and if you see something interesting you find out more about it.”

Cassidy pointed, “Why don't we find out why that little girl is crying.”

Andy looked in the direction Cassidy had indicated and saw the little crying girl, maybe eight years old, sitting on the bench that had been empty just a moment before, the very one Andy had contemplated using to people watch before the girls had arrived. “That sounds like a great idea.” She smiled and ushered the girls toward the upset child.

###

Cassidy reached the bench first. “Hey... are you okay?”

Andy and Caroline arrived a step behind Cassidy and if either of the girls were surprised when the little girl looked up she couldn't tell. The child's face held all the classic markers of Down's Syndrome. As Caroline and Cassidy sat on either side of the child, Andy knelt, keeping her knees off the ground resting herself on her heels. “My name is Andy.” She pointed to the girls as she introduced them, “That's Caroline and that's Cassidy.” She tilted her head to try and catch the girl's eyes. “We saw you crying and thought we might be able to help. What's wrong?”

Rubbing the back of her hand across her eyes the girl blinked. “I shouldn't be talking to you. Daddy's boss said not to bother the pretty people!”

Cassidy questioned, “Pretty people?”

Nodding, the child gestured to the woman and girls speaking to her and the gathering in general. “All pretty people, not like me. Daddy's boss said,” her face scrunched up imitating the mean boss. “stay out of the way.” She sniffled. “She said I would never be a pretty person.” Tears began to flow again, so much so that she didn't see the outrage growing in three sets of Priestly eyes. “Daddy says not to listen to her, that she's just mean.”

“I'll say!” Cassidy was ready to pound the person responsible for hurting this sweet girl.

A decidedly masculine voice sounded behind Andy, “What's going on here?”

Andy stood abruptly, but smiled as another, softer but equally demanding voice spoke from another direction, “That is my question exactly.”

Recognizing the second voice easily, Andy's grin widened when their eyes met. “Miranda.”

The child identified the first voice. “Daddy!”

His voice was strained. “What's wrong, Princess?”

As the man knelt to comfort his daughter, Andy moved closer to Miranda and, in low tones, explained the situation. She wasn't sure how to feel as the Dragon made an appearance. It always gave her a thrill to see Miranda at her most Dragon-like, but it also usually made her slightly sorry for whoever was about to be eviscerated. This time, however, not so much. The woman who hurt this child totally deserved whatever the Dragon was about to dish out.

Miranda noticed the badge on the man's lanyard. “Emily.” She saw the man and his daughter glancing at her then she looked to her left as the summoned assistant appeared. “The Ferretti show begins soon, correct?”

A slight pause as the Emily checked the schedule and then a nod. “Yes, Miranda.”

“Send Alberta my regrets and schedule a lunch meeting with her after fashion week, at her convenience.” She spoke to the assistant as she moved toward the father and child. “I believe the Vermeulen show begins soon as well, I will be attending that one, inform them and adjust my schedule accordingly.”

She had already seen most of the Ferretti and the Vermeulen designs during Milan Fashion Week but had opted to attend the Ferretti show here due to her friendship with Alberta. Now Miranda realized that Hendrik's show was exactly where she needed to be, with one addition to her entourage.

Miranda addressed the child. “What is your name, young woman?”

“Emily.”

Miranda's lips twitched and she licked them to stop the smile from forming. “How fortuitous. All of my assistant's are named Emily.” She held out her hand. “Come along with me to a runway show. I would like your input on the designs, and the models.”

Emily looked at her father and he nodded his agreement, slightly shocked, but he knew that no one said no to Miranda Priestly.

“We'll come with you.” Cassidy and Caroline patted Emily's shoulders.

Andy grinned. “Me too.”

Emily still looked a bit apprehensive as she turned back to her father. He smiled encouragingly and winked. “You'll be fine, Princess. These ladies will take care of you. I can't come with you, I need to get back to work. The show does begin soon.” He tapped the badge that indicated his involvement with the Ferretti booth and could already hear the show coordinator's shrill screeches cutting through the short distance from their company's tent to the bench.

That made Miranda slightly curious. “What is it you do, Mr....”

“Cole.” He answered automatically, still somewhat in shock, “Phillip Cole. I'm a makeup artist. Our company contracts with designers, photographers and film studios for short term contracts.”

“Mmm....” In fact, Miranda recalled several times this man's name had come up during meetings with Serena. So he was quite good at what he did. “We will return Emily to you later, after the show.”

Nodding, he answered the only way he could, the only way anyone could. “Yes, Miranda.”

###

Miranda held on to little Emily's hand as they walked. She knew they made an odd pair, her in her power suit and the child in her brightly colored sun-dress. What fascinated her the most was the curiosity and enthusiasm her young companion displayed as she looked at the crowded space. “You are a people watcher.” Miranda smiled down at the child. “Andrea also pays close attention to the people surrounding her.” A hint of a smile appeared on her lips. “Perhaps you will be a reporter when you are older?”

“I want to be a model.” Emily sighed and recalled the ugliness that had set her crying earlier. “But I'll never be a pretty person.”

Stopping in the middle of the swirling crowd, Miranda turned and knelt much as Andy had earlier not letting her knees touch the ground but putting herself eye level with the child. “You are a pretty person. Do not ever let anyone convince you otherwise. We are all unique. We all have distinctive traits that make us beautiful to the people who love us, no one elses opinions matter in the slightest.”

“But you're a pretty person, so it's easy for you to say that.”

Andy watched the scene with some amazement. She wasn't surprised that the crowd left a large space around their little group clear and honestly wasn't surprised at the reassurance Miranda gave Emily. She did surprise herself however when she crouched down as well and informed Emily, “Miranda is the Queen of the Pretty People. If she says you're beautiful, then you are.”

Emily's eyes widened. “You're the Queen?”

Miranda shot an indecipherable look at her wife then acknowledged the title. “Yes. I am.” She stood and rolled her eyes at her girls' grins as she took Emily's hand again. “Now we musn't dawdle. It is time for the show to begin. I wouldn't want them delayed due to our late arrival.”

“They will wait for you to get there?” Emily thought about that for a few steps then added, “Because you're the Queen?”

Miranda licked her lips and nodded as they walked, “Because I am the Queen.”

###

News of Miranda's arrival swept through the backstage and everyone was excited about the sudden change. For the designers, the prestige of Miranda attending would be enough to escalate interest in their designs. For the models, having Miranda see them in a runway show could possibly get them work in the magazine. On the other hand, if anything went wrong in front of Miranda she was not known for giving second chances. Some of them took turns peeking out at the crowd, even though the lights had already dimmed for the beginning of the show and they really couldn't see anything.

Miranda settled into her front row seat with little Emily. “Pay attention now, and if you have a comment regarding any of the designs or models, whisper them to me quietly.”

Emily nodded and sat up straight, ready for the show to begin.

Andy and the girls settled in to their seats as well. Andy loved it when she could share in Miranda's job, even peripherally. She had fallen in love with her wife through this world and it was a great treat when she could revisit that feeling. She didn't think she could love Miranda any more than she already did, until the models began walking the catwalk and one particular model stepped down the runway. Andy saw the small smirk on Miranda's lips when little Emily jumped out of her seat and made a small gasp. Miranda allowed Emily to stand during the model's walk then gently helped her sit back down. Andy heard the excited whisper. “She's like me!”

Miranda nodded. “She is. She has worked very hard to obtain what she wants, as you can.” A tiny twinkle appeared in Miranda's eyes. “Would you like to meet her?”

“Yes!” Emily practically vibrated in her seat for the rest of the show, which was nearly over but probably felt like an eternity to her.

When the last model did finally walk down the runway and the lights came back up, Miranda stood and held her hand out to little Emily. “Come along.” She walked to the backstage area and first congratulated the designer on the line, then moved on to where the models were gathering. “Ms. Stuart?” Miranda waited for the young woman to turn around and for both her and her caretaker get over the shock of Miranda Priestly addressing her. “I want to congratulate you on your first runway show. I will be watching your career with great interest.” Miranda accepted the young model's thanks then she indicated Emily. “My new friend here also wanted to speak with you for a moment.”

“Hi.” Emily hid her face in Miranda's side.

“Hello.” Madeline smiled and knelt down to hug the younger girl.

Madeline's agent, who turned out to be Madeline's mother, also hugged little Emily. “Did you like the show?” She smiled when Emily nodded.

Miranda interjected. “Young Emily here was under the impression that 'people like her' could not be models.” She smiled indulgently at the child. “I brought her here to discourage her of that notion.” She spoke earnestly, “Madeline is a role model for many people.”

“Thank you.” She smiled as she wrapped her arm around Madeline's shoulder. “I'm very proud of her.”

Nodding, Miranda glanced at her own children and smiled. “As you should be.” She offered her hand to little Emily. “Come along, Emily. I'm sure your father is anxiously awaiting your return.”

“Bye.” Emily waved as they walked out of the tent.

###

Backstage at the Ferretti show was similar to the one they had just left. Miranda and her entourage made their way through the crowd. She stopped long enough to air kiss her friend's cheeks and promise to have lunch with her soon then moved on to find her newest Emily's father. It was the young woman herself who spotted him.

“Daddy!” She released her grip on Miranda's hand and ran ahead to fall into his arms.

“Hello, Princess. Did you have a good time!”

“Yes!” Emily was trying to speak so fast that anyone else would have thought it was gibberish, but Phillip was able to follow his daughter's words.

“You saw a model like you?” He looked up at Miranda for clarification.

“Hendrik Vermeulen's show featured a young woman from Australia who happens to have Down's syndrome.” Miranda smiled at her new friend. “Young Emily here found that very interesting.” She winked at the girl. “As did I.” She took in the astonished look on his face and nodded. “Now,” she glanced around as if making sure no one was listening, “we should discuss your future.” Miranda found a chair and made herself comfortable. “I have heard many good things associated with your name.” She smiled. “How would you like to come to work at Runway?”

“He works for me.”

Miranda turned toward the voice. “Not for much longer.” The Dragon appeared. “Your prejudice against differently-abled people will be your downfall.” Miranda sniffed. “It will not take long before your company closes its doors.”

“My company is doing just fine.”

“It won't take long for word to spread regarding your appalling attitudes.” Miranda began listing off names of people who would be most definitely be informed regarding the woman's attitude and would also most certainly make the company that was doing 'fine', far from fine.

“You can't do that!”

Miranda merely looked at the irate woman with a mixture of pity and disgust. Her gaze never left the woman, even when young Emily's whisper to her father reached her sensitive ears.

“She's the Queen.”

One perfect eyebrow rose slightly and a smirk pulled at the corners of Miranda's mouth. “You will find that I have many skills.” Her smirk widened when she heard Andrea choke back laughter. Andrea knew more than most exactly what Miranda's skills encompassed. Miranda stood and took Andrea's hand. “I believe we're done here. Shall we go to lunch?”

“By all means.” Andy looked at little Emily. “It was nice to meet you.” She smiled when the child nodded and they waited while Caroline and Cassidy both got hugs goodbye. Miranda spoke to Phillip as they began walking away.

“My people will be in touch.”

He held tightly to his daughter's hand and nodded, again answering the only way he could. “Yes, Miranda.”

End.

Written 1/20/2020

Chapter Text

Andrea Sachs-Priestly signed the credit card receipt and placed her card back into her wallet. Dinner had been a nice respite from the unending interviews she had to do for research into her freelance stories and next novel. Her dark eyes studied her dining companion and smiled. “You're fidgeting.”

“Andrea.” Miranda huffed. “I do not fidget.”

Chuckling at that, Andy reached over and stilled Miranda's hands as they busily shredded one of the extra napkins she'd requested. “Well then what did that napkin ever do to you?”

With a sigh, Miranda released the paper square and turned her hands in Andrea's. She tangled their fingers together. “I'm sorry. I just...”

Mischief showed in Andy's eyes. “The photo shoot should have started five minutes ago. Do you think that's long enough to leave them on their own?”

“I cannot be checking on them every time.” Miranda exhaled softly. “How will they ever learn if I don't let them...”

“... fail?” Andy supplied then asked. “But what if they succeed?”

Miranda mumbled. “I don't know which is worse.”

Grinning at that, Andy stood. “Well, I stuffed myself silly just now and I need to walk some of it off.” She held out her hand. “Join me?”

Taking the offered hand, Miranda nodded. “Yes, that sounds lovely.”

They exited the restaurant hand in hand, not oblivious, but not caring about the photographers outside taking pictures of their departure or of the one person, camera in hand, that broke away from the pack and followed them. At this point, it was a normal occurrence and there hadn't been that many camera clicks. Both of them doubted any of the photos would hold the editor of Page Six's interest at all.

###

Andy could feel the tension building as they walked along one of their usual paths in the park. A fork in the walkway had Andy tugging on Miranda's hand, guiding her to the right, instead of their normal left hand path. “Maybe we should go this way tonight? Hmm?”

Miranda resisted. “Andrea, I cannot check up on them all the time.” She pulled her wife closer, wrapping her arm around Andy's slim waist. “The whole point of putting them in charge is so that I can step back a little, and spend more time with you and the girls.”

Smiling at that, Andy nodded. “I understand that, and I love you for it.” She gave Miranda a quick kiss on the lips then pulled away, towing Miranda behind her. “But I want you to relax. So we're going for a walk, and we're going this way.” Andy looked back and winked, “If it just so happens that we walk past the photo shoot then so be it.”

It was the determined look in her wife's eyes that got her. Miranda knew there was no fighting it once Andrea got an idea into her head. “Fine.” She stepped up to walk shoulder to shoulder with Andrea. “But, I'm not going to get involved with the shoot. We'll walk past, see that everything is going smooth and walk on.” She patted the hand in hers. “I doubt we'll even stop.”

Andy smiled and dark, knowing, eyes stayed forward when she spoke. “Yes, Miranda.”

When they rounded the next turn in the sidewalk both women took in the chaos unfolding in front of them and both had a comment about it.

“Uh Oh...” “What on Earth?”

Releasing their joined hands, Andy watched as Miranda stalked forward. Every step allowing her to transform from the wife Andy knew to the Dragon that was about to breathe fire on the lot of them. The noise stilled in the wake of her passing, until she got to the heart of the chaos.

“What is going on here!”

“Miranda!” Nigel wiped his hand over his head. “Well, you see...” The man Nigel had been arguing with stepped up, nearly in Miranda's face.

She pulled back slightly, not moving her feet, much like a cobra about to strike, as the man ranted at her. This was the photographer. She had seen his work and hired him on that alone, not having time to meet the man prior. Nigel had met him though, once, and his references were all acceptable. Now here he was in her face ranting about how the shoot should have begun ten minutes ago, his model had not arrived yet and how she would never work again and how this delay was losing the light he needed for the perfect shot, and he turned and waved his arms at at golden Labrador retriever then yelled louder about the 'stupid dog' interrupting people trying to work for the last fifteen minutes.

The dog whined, but seemed to realize that a new person was there. They all watched as the dog walked directly to Miranda and nudged her shins with his nose. Even the photographer seemed ranted out as he watched, silently, while Miranda knelt down to the dog's eye level. Complete silence in the park until Miranda stood. She kept her eyes on the dog. “Andrea, call 9-1-1.”

Andy instantly had her phone in her hand, but asked before she connected the call. “Um.. why?”

Glancing over, Miranda licked her lips and sneered at the photographer. “Aside from the fact that I'm about to kill this man?” She looked back at the dog and the harness he was wearing. “This is a service dog. I believe we have a medical issue.” Now she spoke to the dog. “Show me, where.”

At that, the dog turned and instantly began trotting off down one of the lesser used paths. He turned once to make sure he was being followed and seeing the new people were keeping up he continued until he found his person. He nudged her shoulder and licked her cheek, then barked once and laid down next to her waiting for the people. It didn't take them long to arrive.

###

“9-1-1 What is your emergency.”

“Hello,” Andy spoke to the operator, “We are here in the park and are following a service dog without an owner. We believe the owner is down and in trouble.”

“Okay,” The 9-1-1 operator stayed professional. “Can you tell me where in the park you are?”

Andy looked around and gave their location as precisely as possible. She sped up when she heard the dog bark and saw the prone figure he was laying next to. “Can you send someone please, the woman is on the ground and looks unconscious.”

“An ambulance is on the way.” The dispatcher spoke calmly. “Can you see if the service dog has any medical information, maybe in a pocket of his vest, or possibly on some jewelry the woman is wearing? Bracelet or necklace?”

“Okay, let me check.” Andy didn't see any jewelry, she moved toward the vigilant dog. “Easy now... just let me...” She eased closer and opened a small pocket on his harness. There was a folded card there. “Yes, a card in the dog's vest. It says the woman is epileptic.” Andy returned the card to it's place and gave the dog a pet. “Good dog.”

“Okay, the ambulance is nearly there.” The operator continued to give instructions. “Don't move her. Let the EMTs check her over, in case she hit her head when she fell.”

Andy waved her hand to keep the others away and also to signal the EMTs to their location. She spoke to the 911 dispatcher who had remained on the phone with her. “The ambulance is here. Thank you so much!” She disconnected her call and backed away with the others to give the EMTs room to work. They were all amazed when Miranda called the dog over to them and out of the way for the medical people. Well, everyone was amazed except Andy. She knew that Miranda was great with animals and contrary to popular belief liked dogs and cats nearly equally.

The EMT's finished their examination and gently moved the woman to a gurney. As they started to roll her toward the ambulance the dog next to Miranda barked once, looked up at Miranda as if to say thank you, and ran to the gurney, jumping up to settle on the woman's legs. Miranda nodded as the EMTs didn't even blink and continued toward the waiting vehicle. She watched the ambulance drive away then turned to the photographer with murder in her eyes. “You're fired and I wouldn't count on working anywhere within my influence again if I were you.” She looked back toward the photoshoot the site and ordered Nigel. “Find another model and get this shot done.” She glanced up at the darkening sky. “You may need to bring in lights...”

Nigel nodded. “Yes, Miranda. I'll take care of it.” He was already frantically trying to think of photographers he could call to replace the man Miranda had just fired as well as a model to replace the young woman who had just been taken away in the ambulance.

Andy moved closer to Miranda, wrapping her arm around her wife's waist. She spoke softly. “Miranda?”

“I told you I wasn't going to get involved in the shoot.” Miranda returned the embrace. “We will finish our walk.”

“Okay.” Andy leaned into Miranda and without another word to anyone, they walked on. She didn't say a word when she saw Nigel, from the corner of her eye, stop the paparazzi who had been following them since the restaurant. She amused herself as she eyed the nearby jogging path and wondering which runner Nigel would proposition to be a model for a night, and how that would work out. Andy knew that if Nigel didn't salvage this shoot to Miranda's satisfaction it would be redone, and Miranda would be there to oversee that one, for sure. Nigel knew it too. Andy also knew something else. “So, when are you doing the layout with service dogs?”

Miranda glanced down and smirked. “As soon as that young woman is feeling better.”

“I love you.” Andy guided Miranda down a different path. “Let's go home.”

Nodding, Miranda followed her wife and chuckled. “Yes, Andrea.”

End
11/14/2020