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Secret Service

Chapter Text

Prologue

And So It Begins

Hurrying down the street, Andy tries not to think about the fact that the wind chill is ten degrees below zero, or that her last interview of the day isn’t for three more hours, or that she is furtively looking around hoping to catch a glimpse of—no. She won’t think the name. She won’t.

Andy may not be able to control her dreams, but she can damn well control her wayward thoughts. It’s been six fucking years, after all! When will these feelings fade? When will she be able to move on? When will she be able to walk down a New York street without hoping to somehow see—her?

So caught up in her thoughts, she nearly misses noting that she’s striding by the Elias-Clarke building. Nearly. She can never pretend even to herself to be entirely oblivious to her surroundings, not whenever she is near here. Even as she navigates with head down and body huddled, Andy finds herself searching with her peripheral vision for a known face.

She finds one.

“Six!” Nigel exclaims as he grabs her arm.

Andy’s head shoots up in surprise. “Nigel!” she responds as she is hauled close for a bear hug. She feels a wave of affection flow through her.

They had kept in touch when she’d left Runway, at first. But as time passed and deadlines dogged their heels, they had drifted away from each other. Nowadays, they exchange emails every so often. They haven’t seen each other in about a year, though, and Andy feels guilt settle in her gut knowing she could have done more to keep their friendship alive.

“We have to catch up. Dinner tonight? Say eight o’clock at that new Italian bistro on 47th and 7th?”

Andy quickly agrees, silently vowing to not allow their relationship to wane again. As she walks away, Andy swears she is being watched. The prickling sensation up her spine tells her so. She does not look back.