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Smoke break

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If anyone had told Andy Sachs her day would go as it had, she would’ve told them to seek a therapist or even better: check themselves into a mental institution right away.
But apparently the universe had decided to have some fun. Weird fun.




It was a hectic day at Runway. Even more than usual. After news of Miranda's divorce hit the papers, the phone line had practically been on fire. A disgusting amount of Andy's day had been filled with repeating „No comment.“ again and again to different reporters calling Runway in hopes of getting a scoop.
Vultures she thought after yet another reporter from some gossip rag asked for a statement regarding New Yorks one and only Ice Queen. Frustrated and hungry Andy blew a stray strand of hair out of her face as her hand moved to the drawer she kept her cereal bars in. Across from her sat an equally stressed blonde woman currently talking into two phones at once.

Kathryn, a young and ambitious major in fashion, the only one out of more than fifty applicants that hadn’t disappointed Miranda completely. She was only one week into her new job as second assistant and had a lot to learn, but it wasn’t an utter disaster Andy thought as she slammed the phone down. She grabbed her snack and started unwrapping it quickly. Miranda had promoted Emily to Junior Director of the Art apartment, working directly under Nigel right after Paris Week leaving Andy as First Assistant.

Taking a bite and chewing quickly, Andy allowed herself to reminisce for a moment.
Paris Week.
What a week it had been. She had planned to leave after witnessing Miranda backstab her colleague and friend of 18 years so ruthlessly. But when she halted after stepping out of that limo after Miranda and saw the look in the other woman's eyes, she found that she couldn’t. That look. Appalled at not finding Andy directly behind her. But also something more, something deeper. It almost seemed as if Miranda was panicing, as if she needed Andy to be-

Click Clack

The sound of -no doubt extremely expensive- high heels approaching at a fast pace shook Andy out her moment of contemplation.
Miranda was approaching her office with the expression of a woman on a warpath. And she definitely was. After a photoshoot had to be cancelled this morning due to an error in planning on the photographer's side and another memo from Irv Ravitz going on about budgeting, Miranda's mood turned sour quickly. With pursed lips and an everlasting air of annoyance she had stricken fear in every employee unfortunate enough to cross her path all day. And now it looked as if it had gotten even worse.
She strode past Andy‘s desk while carelessly throwing her coat and bag on Kathryn‘s who struggled to catch them due to the blunt force behind it as she strode into her office.

Oh boy.

Andy knew she was returning from a lunch with an associate and apparently it hadn’t gone well. Quickly swallowing the last bite of her bar she managed clear to her throat just as Miranda returned from her office and muttered a frustrated „Andrea“ as she headed to the elevator.
A notebook and a pen were grabbed as Andy practically jumped out of her seat to follow, casting a look that said „Sorry to leave you here alone“ to Kathryn when she passed the young woman who now seemed in dire need of a paper bag to breathe into.

Entering the elevator Miranda turned around and raised an expectant eyebrow to Andy who understood the invitation and stepped in. Miranda rarely shared the elevator with anyone, but it seemed she was willing to make an exception for her first assistant more often these days.
Not saying a word, the editor in chief pressed the button for the highest floor and stood in silence as they slowly ascended to the floor only a few levels up. Next to her Andy was holding her breath, knowing better than to ask Miranda what had happenend. She could feel the anger radiating off the older woman and was relieved when the doors finally openend up. Miranda wordlessly strode ahead, her brunette assisant following her every step. Down the hall, turn to the right, through a door, taking a left, climbing up a few stairs and finally through a heavy metal door, leading them outside and onto the rooftop of the Elias Clarke building.

They were greeted by the sight a couple of employees having a short break in the summer sun which quickly scrambled to leave as soon as they saw The Miranda Priestly enter the large space with fury in her eyes. No matter how often it happenend, Andy was always impressed with the sheer amount of fear Miranda was able to spark in the people around her without even trying. Like a goddess of war , she thought as the last spooked employee left through the door leading back into the building.
The door closed with a quite click and they were left alone.

Miranda turned her attention to the small metal case in her hand. Opening it quickly, she pulled a black cigarette from it and proceeded to light it with the lighter Andy had just realised was in the editors hand. She must’ve grabbed those while in her office but Andy hadn’t noticed, too occupied with waiting for the outburst that seemed to build up with every passing second.
Another moment of silence passed while Miranda took her first drag and slowly exhaled the smoke.

Andy had noticed the habit only in Paris after the last gala when Miranda had surprised her by casually taking out a cigarette after the party had died down. Apparently Miranda Priestly smoked when stressed or angry. It wasn’t the most healthy habit in the world, but then again it was better than turning to a bottle of scotch, Andy had thought back then.

„Cancel the dinner with McQueen tonight, it needs to be rescheduled. And you’ll take Patricia to the vet tomorrow, she hasn’t been eating properly. Also the designs sent in yesterday were absoultely atrocious, call the designer and tell him come up with something more fitting for this season if he intends to ever have a career in fashion.“

The instructions were fired off quickly while Andy wrote everyting down in her notebook.
„And tell Marco that if he doesn’t want me to blacklist him from every publication in this god forsaken country he will stop referring these incompetent designers to me, immediately. What does it take to get people to simply do their jobs. Am I asking too much?“

The last part was spit out with pure venom in the silver haired womans voice and Andy started to wonder if she would make it back to her desk alive after being in direct vicinity of her bosses fury. She looked up from her notes to see Miranda taking another drag from her cigarette and could smell the faint scent of chocolate coming from the smoke. Some imported brand that Miranda insisted on smoking, not willing to walk around with the stench of normal tobacco clinging to her priceless designer clothes.

Okay, cancel, reschedule, make an appointment at the vet, call Marco from the design department, get Mirandas afternoon coffee-

„And why is there no ashtray here!?“ an apalled Miranda muttered as she looked around.

If it wasn’t the devil of fashion herself asking, Andy would’ve laughed at that. Because despite her infamous ruthlessness, Miranda Priestly still had impeccable manners. And Andy had learned that that included not ashing on the ground. Ever.

But she was right, none of the usual ashtrays were to be found around the two women.
As the cigarette continued to burn, the ash starting to look as it would fall off any moment, Andy took her notebook and pen into her left hand and held out her right. Cupped, palm up, just beneath the burning stick.

And when it finally registered with her what she was doing, the world halted.

For the first time this day, her boss looked at her. Properly looked at her. Piercing blue eyes seemed to slightly widen as the assistants big brown ones met them. Andy forgot how to breathe. WHAT was she thinking. So accustomed to serve Mirandas every wish she had forgotten herself for a moment and offered her hand as a substitute for the missing ashtray. Looking into her bosses eyes she felt her cheeks grow hot and her ears burn. She felt slightly sick and knew she must’ve looked like it too. Here she was, on a rooftop with one of the most powerful women in New York, offering her fucking hand as an ashtray as if that was the most normal thing to do.
What was she thinking??

Pull back your hand, NOW a voice in her head all but screamed at her.
No, keep it there another whispered.

The woman in front of her still wasn’t moving, her almost confused gaze not wathering and the smoke from the cigarette wafting between them, disappearing into the warm air.
The silence stretched on and despite it all, Andy couldn’t help but think So that‘s all it takes to render the goddess of fashion speechless. Said goddess was still looking at her, now with a seemingly contemplative look, lips pursed and hand hovering over the offered palm, while her assistant waited for the insult she was sure to come.
One.
Two.
Three.

Tap

The noise of a finger tapping against tobacco wrapped in paper travelled to her ear as she saw the movement in the corner of her vision. The ash that landed in her palm was so light, she almost thought she imagined it as she continued to hold Mirandas gaze.
„And make sure to reconfirm my appointment for the facial tomorrow morning,“ Miranda murmered, her voice sounding more husky that before. „This day has been disastrous enough, I don’t need a repeat tomorrow.“ The regal woman broke their stare off to look ahead and onto the skyline surrounding them.
„Yes, Miranda“, Andy said, her own voice coming out more breathy than she expected.

What is happening. Pull yourself together.

And yet, her arm remained in it’s position, her hand never moving.
Another, long drag of the cigarette and even though one should faintly hear the traffic on the streets beneath them, Andy could swear the only sound around them was the faint sizzling of tobacco being burned as pink lips took a drag before releasing a breath of smoke into the air.
Mesmerizing.

Andrea Sachs had never liked smoking. Like most american girls, she had been brought up to despise cigarettes, seeing them as nothing but unhealthy, stinking little sticks. But here she was, on a rooftop in New York City, holding out her hand and she couldn’t help but think about how Miranda Priestly managed to make smoking look like.. like fucking art.

Silver hair shone underneath the unrelenting glare of the midday sun as the older women turned her head to Andy's direction once again. She wasn’t looking at Andy directly, her gaze wandering over the outfit Andy had chosen for the day instead. A flowy Chanel dress exposing a little cleavage and her arms and stopping mid thigh seemed like a good choice when she had laid it out last night, but under the Devils stare she started doubting herself. Trying her best not to squirm while waiting for an insult, Andy desperately tried to form a coherrent thought. But she couldn’t. For the love of all that was holy, her brain apparently had decided to shut down completely.

Miranda's arm slightly moving caught her attention and she watched in awe as her boss tapped the cigarette again, more ash tumbling onto Andy's palm.
Too nervous to meet the other womans gaze, Andy looked down instead, taking in Mirandas body. The black blouse and skirt combo, adorned with no doubt priceless jewelry and finished tastefully with black high heels, was without a doubt fashionable and powerful. But that wasn’t what caught her attention. It was the body language of her superior. Where there was tension coiled deeply into shoulder and neck before, there was now what almost seemed like.. like relaxation. Openness. And caution. What a curious mix Andy thought as she raised her eyes just in time to see Mirandas hand move above her palm, tapping the cigarette again, leaving more ash in her palm.

Something inside her moved and reared it's head, demanding attention. What it was, Andy couldn't say. All she knew was that she wanted to please the Editor in front of her.
And for some unknown reason, she wanted her to repeat the action, to tap against the cigarette once more. To make use of Andy.

Wait, what?!

„And I want the preview of the photos from last week on my desk before 3.“ The older woman muttered, her voice still huskier than Andy remembered it being.
„Of course,“ she answered almost on autopilot. Because she never questioned any task Miranda gave her, not anymore. And in that moment, with yet another tapping and more ash hitting her palm, she realised it wasn’t about it being her job but because there was nothing she enjoyed more than doing as Miranda told her. To have this powerful woman command her and in a way depend on her was.. exhilarating.

She looked up and watched as those lips took another drag of the black cigarette in these graceful hands and then her breath hitched once again as she noticed the icy blue eyes look directly into her brown orbs. She’d been caught staring, again. This was it, surely a snide comment would come.
But instead something akin to curiosity seemed to swim in those pools of blue that were darker than usual as they trapped Andy underneath their stare.
With a dry mouth she watched Miranda put out the now almost burnt up cigarette on the railing next to them and after a moment of hesitation, her boss moved her hand and let the dead cigarette fall into Andys hand.

„3 PM. My coffee. Try not to disappoint me,“ was barely whispered and then the editor turned on her heel, striding towards the door leading back into the building, leaving a frozen Andy behind.

It wasn’t until the click of the metal door signalled Andy that she was alone now, when she finally found her voice again.

„What just happened.“

Chapter Text

Just an hour later, everything had gone back to normal apart from the occasional glances Andy couldn’t help but throw to her right where the editor was sitting behind her desk. She was looking for something, some kind signal wondering if Miranda was as confused todays events as her, but nothing.


It was already 10 PM when The Book was finally brought to Andys desk. The office was dark and almost everyone else had already gone home, but she had to wait for the Art department to finalise their last changes before The Book could go to Miranda.
In those quiet hours alone Andy tried to work off a few e-mails, but her thoughts kept returning to the rooftop. That moment had left it’s marks on the brunettes mind who couldn’t help but remember it again and again, analysing every second of it, trying to understand what exactly had happenend. But she couldn’t. She couldn’t explain why it felt so intense. She couldn’t explain the look in Mirandas eyes. She couldn’t explain the feeling in her chest after Miranda had left. Excitement? Fear? Passion?

No, not that. Definetly not passion, I’m not going to lust after my boss who would probably murder me if she found out.
and yet..

And so an endless circle of What was that and Nothing,it was nothing, I’m blowing this way out of proportion was only stopped when her final task for the day arrived on her desk.

Grabbing her purse and jacket, the assistant made her way to the elevator, attempting and failing not to get nervous at the prospect of potentially seeing the Editor again in just a few minutes. By the time she arrived at the entrance and entered the limo, she had sweaty hands.
The drive was a short one and she thanked Roy as he held the door open for her.
As if on auto pilot Andy climbed out of the limo and headed towards the house. Opening the door after taking one last calming breath and she slipped in.

Everything was dark and eeringly quiet. The only sounds were the rustling of the plastic bags around the dry cleaning as Andy placed it in the closet. After another calming breath she headed a few steps forward and placed The Book on the table she always left it on.

I wonder if she’s around. Can she hear me right now?

A quick look around showed her that the Editor was not near, but she couldn’t stop feeling like she was being watched. A shiver run through her at the thought of the older woman standing in one of the dark shadows, watching her first Asisstant stand in the hallway.
After a few more seconds passed in silence, the nervous brunette shook herself out of it and turned towards the door, quick to leave the house that seemed to taunt her for her nerves.

When she was back in the car, being driven home, her thoughts were once again all over the place.

She must’ve been in bed already. Or perhaps otherwise busy. It’s been a long day after all. But I wish I could’ve seen her anyway.
But why? For what?
To talk about the rooftop? To not talk about it? To do it again? No. Not that. Of course not


Shaking her head at hereslf, Andy sighed. It was late. She needed sleep, that was all.


Meanwhile, in a far corner in the dark townhouse, a pair of blue eyes were still fixed on the door that had closed behind the young woman.


When Andy finally closed the door of her apartment behind her she felt the exhaustion hit her like a train. With heavy steps she went into her bedroom and started to get ready for bed, which she couldn’t wait to get in. The soft satin bedding seemed to call for her and once again she was thankful, that Nate hadn’t taken it with him when he moved out. She wasn‘t surprised when she came home from Paris to a half empty apartment, their relationship had been in a downward spiral for months anyway and she had to admit she was relieved that it had ended so silently.

After make up was removed, teeth brushed and an oversized Ohio Shirt put on, Andy practically fell into her bed, face first. Sleep came for her quickly and dreams of blue eyes and the scent of chocolate took over her night.


The next morning the loud beeping of her cell phone alarm pulled Andy out of her sleep. She started her usual morning routine and tried not to dwell on the patches of dreams she could remember from last night. Blue eyes, chocolate, warmth, the feeling of freedom and safety.
„Yeah right, safety. I’ll be lucky if my job remains safe if I don’t pull myself together“, she scoffed.

The morning went as usual with every employee scurrying to prepare for the arrival of the Editor in Chief.

Did she have dreams, too? Hah, as if. I bet she isn’t even affe-

Any chance to ponder further was gone when Miranda stepped out oft he elevator, throwing her coat and bag to Kathryn as she strode into her office, Andy quick to be on her heel with her notedpad.
While she noted the various tasks Miranda rattled off, the brunette started feeling like herself again. Tasks, errands, clear instructions, this she could do. No weird questioning herself. Just doing her job.

„-and clear my evening next Friday,the twins have a recital at school at 8.“

„Yes, Miranda“, Andy confirmed. „Is there anything I else I can do for you“, she asked as she looked up and, for the first time this day, met the older womans eyes.
Silence engulfed them and something unfamiliar burned in Mirandas eyes. The brunette could hear her take a deep breath before the editor pursed her lips.
Just as Andy startetd squirming under her superiors stare, Miranda muttered her typical „That’s all.“
And her assistant left to make her calls, desperately ignoring the pounding of her heart.


Andy wondered if Miranda was as confused as she was. But nothing was off about the Editor, nothing.
By the time she entered Art department she was sure she was going crazy.

„Geez, Six are you alright? You seem out of it. Has the dragon finally managed to break you?“ Nigels voice cut through the haze in her mind.
The stylish man was looking at her, eyes filled with curiosity and slight worry.
„What? No!“ she almost yelled before feeling herself blush.
damn it
„Everythings fine, sorry, I just didn’t sleep well, that’s all“ she said in the most confident tone she could muster, flashing him an apologetic smile.
He seemed to evaluate her reply for a moment before he turned away, looking for the previews of the designs Andy had been sent to fetch and she felt bad for not being honest to someone she considered a friend.

After Paris Andy and Nigel had bonded even more than before. He had been the one to help her understand Mirandas move as a business move deemed necessary to save Runway from Irv Ravitz‘ incompetent clutches. „Don’t worry“ he had said „I know she’ll repay for me for this. Our dragon lady takes care of her own.“

„Here they are!“ his voice exclaimed as he pulled a handful of photos from a folder and handed them over. „Well as much as I love to watch you stare holes into the air, looking like a confused puppy“ -Andrea blushed- „you better get these to her right away.“
„Oh, and Six?“ he said as she turned to leave. „If there is something you want to talk about, you know you can always come to me, right?“ His eyes were kind and the brunette gave him an honest smile before leaving.

„I know Nigel, thank you!“


The following days went by without anything eventful happening and yet, Andys nights were filled with dreams of smoke and control.
It was on a Monday when it happenened.

Another budget meeting with Ravitz had Miranda Priestly in her infamous dragon mode, reducing employees to a frightenend messes left and right. Kathryn and Andy tried their best to get Miranda, the magazine and their own sanity through this day and somewhat suceeded in doing so. Well enough that Kathryn was able to leave on time, ecstatic to be home for some couple time with her boyfriend, and even Andy wouldn’t have to stay much longer either.

Smiling to herself, she sent off the last e-mail for the day when she heard the sound of high heels coming in her direction. Miranda had stayed longer as well, spending the last hour or so cursing under her breath about some incompetent photographer while furiously typing on her notebook.
She seemed to be done for today and heading home. Thankfully the twins were at their fathers for his birthday so they wouldn’t notice her late arrival and she could relax after this long day. She definitely needed that, Andy thought. And I do too, I should try and take a bath when i get h-


„Andrea.“


Brown eyes widenend in shock and turned towards her boss who kept on walking towards the eleveator. When her instincts finally kicked in, she grabbed her notepad and followed behind until they reached the elevator. Miranda entered and once again ordered Andy to enter with the raise of an eyebrow. When the assistant saw a gloved finger press the button for the top floor, she could feel her heart in her throat.
Miranda wasn’t going home.


She was going to the rooftop.
With Andy.
Again.


The ride was silent, as was the short walk towards the door leading onto the rooftop. This time there was nobody else, most employees having already left to go and enjoy the warm summer night.
The click of a metal case, the sound of a lighter, sizzling as tobacco burned and a slow exhale.
Andy tried to etch each of these sounds into her mind, she wanted to remember every single one. She stood next to Miranda, an arm length away, waiting, as always.


„Tell me, Andrea“ the sultry voice of the silver haired woman started. „Do you let people ash into your hand often ? Is this some kind of new trend amongst youngsters that I haven’t been made aware of?“
Brown eyes grew big at the direct question and Andy knew she must’ve looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Not that Miranda could see that, the editor was turned away from her assistant slightly, looking off onto the buildings around them. Andy couldn’t find the right words as she stood there with her mouth open, staring at Mirandas profile.


What am I going to do? What do you say to that?? Oh god, I think I’m going to have stroke

„Andrea.“ She was pulled out of her panic when Miranda turned her head towards her and caught her eyes. „Have you gone deaf all of a sudden? I asked you a question.“
„No! I mean yes, I mean No! Oh dear, I mean no i’m not deaf. I’m just, well okay so-. Ah no i don’t let people do that often, never actually and I don’t know what I was thinking, but you needed an ashtray and I know how you hate ashing on the ground and I’m sorry if I made you uncomf-„
„Andrea.“ Andy slammed her mouth shut.

Oh no, this is going bad. She looks mad at me. Why do I always ramble? Why didn’t I prepare an answer, of course there was a chance she would ask me about it. What do I do know


In the meantime Miranda took a another drag from her cigarette while sizing Andy up. The silence continued until Miranda took another drag and asked „Was that some kind of trap? To tell HR or even better the papers? I can already see page Six in front of my eyes Dragon Lady uses Employee as thrashcan!. Listen to me, Andrea, I do not take to betrayal lightly.“


A trap? Why- oh god, of course. Thats actually plausible.


„No, no trap, i promise! I just- I wasn’t thinking and then I did it and then- I mean it’s okay, and no, you didn’t abuse me, quite the opposite, I haven’t been able stop thinking about it and I don’t know what that means but it’s not a bad thing, I think, I liked it, I just can’t get it out of my head and-“
„Andrea-“ The editor now looked seriously annoyed.


„Right. Rambling. Sorry. I’ll just shut up now. I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable, this is weird, VERY weird, I mean not you, obviously! But me, my head, it’s weird, I promise I-“


Andrea.“


Finally Andy looked up at her superior, prepared for a scathing reply. Why couldn’t she just shut up? Why did she always do this?


„There is no ashtray here.“


What?


Andy looked at the older woman for a moment, confident that she had misheard. An expectant eyebrow was raised and finally it dawned on Andy. Her mouth went dry, her heartrate picked up and slowly, her hand moved to stay in the air between the two women. Slighty cupped, Palm up.
The gleam of a cat that got the cream shone through blue eyes as the editor moved her hand above Andys.


tap


Warm ash fell into Andys hand and she had to restrict herself from sighing out loud. Despite feeling so stressed and embarrassed just a minute ago, she suddenly was..content. Relaxed. This was okay.
Miranda continued smoking, head turned back towards the surrounding buildings.


tap


„I don’t need you to bring the Book tonight. It will be delivered electronically tonight.“
„Yes Miranda“, Andy all but sighed.
At the soft tone of her asisstant, the editor turned to look at her again.


„Why?“ the older woman asked.
„Why what?“
„Somewhere in your incoherent rambling you stated that you like it. Why?“


Good question.


Andy furrowed her brows in thought, trying to find an answer.
„I’m not sure. I just.. I enjoy doing things for you. You had such a stressfull today and I was able to be of use of for you, I guess. So I liked that. It also helps me stop worrying, when I can be useful.“


GREAT, that didn’t come out cringy at all.


tap


More ash in Andys hand, more silence between the women. The sun hadn’t gone down yet, but soon it would. The soft light of a summer evening surrounded them as Mirandas eyes looked into her assistants. It almost seemed as if she was looking for something, but Andy couldn’t tell what.
All she knew was that she didn’t want this moment to end.


tap


The sound brought Andy out of her musings and a glance down confirmed her fears, that it would indeed end soon. The cigarette was practically dead, not much left. She tried not pout at that, still scared that Miranda would suddenly yell at her, demanding she leave Runway and never come back for daring to make her uncomfortable.


„Spit in your hand.“


Andys head flew up so fast, she almost snapped her neck. Miranda was looking directly at her, challenge in her eyes.
A moment passed.
And another.
And then Andy lowered her head, brought the hand with the ash to her mouth and spit in it.


Any chance at forming a coherrent thought was gone. All the young woman could do was stand there and wait for something to happen. She didn’t understand why she should-


Oh god, her hands are so soft


The older woman softly pulled her hand back into the space between them. One hand lightly held her wrist, while the other one now slowly moved the still burning cigarette towards the palm Andy had spit in.
Just before contact was made, Miranda looked back up into Andys eyes with a question in her look.


Andy could only nod, not trusting her voice right now. But she was also scared, she didn’t like burns and her hands were sensitive.
As if she could hear her thoughts, Miranda held her gaze and quietly said „I will not hurt you, Andrea“


Every doubt, every fear, every embarassment left her immediately.


„Yes Miranda“


Blue eyes glance back down to the cigarette and slowly the burning nip was dragged through the spit collected in the assistants palm. The sizzling noise of heat meeting fluid cut through the silence and Andys breath stuttered to a halt. No burn, no pain. Heat yes, but no pain.


So, thats why i was supposed to spit into it


And just like that, the cigarette was put out, now resting in her hand as well.
A heavy silence hung between the women as blue bore into brown.


„I don’t have to tell you that I am a rather private person, you know that, don’t you Andrea?“
„Yes Miranda“ The editor didn’t have to elaborate. Andy knew what she meant. Tell anyone about this and I will ruin you.

„Acceptable.“ The older woman was about to turn around to finally go home, but stopped her movement. Turning to her assistant once more she gently tucked a lose strand of hair behind the young womans ear and muttered „You were very useful today, Andrea“ before leaving.
„Thank you, Miranda“ the breathless assistant managed to get out before the silver fox left through the door back into the building.

Andy looked down into her hand.
Ash, spit, the nub of a black cigarette.
Control. Freedom. Trust.

A happy little giggle left her lips and Andy didn’t stop grinning until her head hit her pillow hours later.

Chapter Text

It continued like that. When tensions at the office arose or days were particularly stressful, Miranda would call on her and she’d follow her up to the rooftop. A cigarette would be smoked, none of the two even bothering to look whether the janitor staff had replaced the missing ashtray. The object was no longer needed because Andy was there. And she was useful.

Useful and utterly happy.

She relished in the editor’s attention, the looks she got, in the almost importance it gave her. No one else got the privilege of doing this for Miranda and Andy couldn’t be prouder.

If Nigel noticed the spring in her step these days, he did not comment on it, which was fine by the brunette, because she wouldn’t even know what to she would say if asked. “Miranda has promoted me to her personal ashtray and I’m weirdly happy about it?” No, thank you.


„So anyway, here I am, standing in his bedroom while he is in the shower. And I go to look for a shirt because I’m not gonna do a walk of shame, you know me, “ Doug laughed.

After a long week at work, Andy and her best friend had finally found time for a drink. Unlike Lily, who had judged her harshly for her change and left Andy’s life along with Nate, Doug had stayed. He was ecstatic about her finding her place in the big city and they kept in touch, regularly finding time to let loose over some drinks and funny stories.

Which brought them here, to a snazzy gay bar Doug had gushed over, drinking and laughing over Doug’s latest escapades.

Andy felt a nice little buzz as she giggled at her winking friend and he continued, ”So I open a closet door and guess what!”

She couldn’t help but already laugh, her friends animated way of telling stories had always amused her to no end.

„The closet is filled with toys! And whips! Handcuffs, collars and buttplugs. And some weird contraception I can’t even say what that was supposed to be for. “

„No way!”, Andy gushed, grabbing his arm over the table.

„Yes way! Turns out the super cute, shy guy is hella kinky. Guess it’s true what they say about the quiet ones,“ he laughed and took another sip from his cocktail. „But not the first one I meet, you would be surprised how many people have fetishes, it’s astounding. Just this morning some guy on this dating app asked for a picture of my feet. “

“Really? And have you ever.. you know. Tried some of that stuff out? “Andy inquired, suddenly curious. The conversation had taken an unexpected turn, but she couldn’t help her desire to find out more.

Handcuffs, collars and buttplugs. Collars. A collar around the neck. Suddenly the thought of piercing blue eyes crossed her mind. She wondered what Miranda thought of such things.

„Yeah, a bit of spanking here and there but never really got into it, you know? But I can proudly say I know a lot more about this stuff than your average Joe. You see, Mark, you remember Mark, the gruff friend we said Hi to at pride last year?” Andy nodded, remembering a very buff and funny man with a grey beard and a bright smile. “Yeah so, Mark is very much into this stuff and every time we meet up for brunch, he’ll indulge me in one of his stories. Its super interesting, I tell you! You should join us some time. “

“Really? What kind of stories?”

“Oooh, somebody is awfully curious” her friend chuckled with another wink.

“No, well yeah, but you know, I’m a naturally curious person, you know that and even if, I mean anyway, so- “

“Andy”, he interrupted her rambling, now with a kind look in his eyes. “Breathe. It’s okay, I was just pulling your leg.”

They changed the topic after that and continued their night with stories of office gossip and musing about dating in New York, ending the night when they both got too tired. Andy fell asleep at around 4 AM, falling into a fitful sleep filled with blue eyes and images of a collar.


After using her Saturday to come back from her hangover, Andy found herself restless on Sunday. Deciding to use the pent-up energy she decided to deep clean her apartment, it had been too long anyway. Sunday went by fast and soon it was Monday morning and the young woman found herself standing in the office writing down another set of tasks and changes to Mirandas calendar, while the editor was rattling off everything that was supposed to happen.

The workday went by as usual. When Miranda took her to the rooftop for a quick smoke break while ranting about incompetence and the downfall of some designer, her assistant’s heart beat more loudly than usual. Thoughts drifted to collars again and made her blush. She silently cursed herself and tried to pull it together as another tap let more ash fall into her outstretched hand.

This is going to be a problem


It happened on Thursday night.
Andy delivered The Book to the Town House, as always. It was about 10 PM when she placed the dry cleaning in the closet. She went to put The Book on table, as she heard a soft „Andrea“ from the study. She tensed for a second before slowly turning around and walking down the hall leading to the room her bosses voice had come from.
„Yes, Miranda?”
The editor was sitting in a chair, still in her business attire, glasses perched on her nose.

How does she always look this majestic

Bright blue eyes looked at Andy and the older woman held out her hand expectantly. The brunette closed the distance and held out The Book with both hands. Miranda took it, but instead of opening it, she placed it on the table next to her and met Andy’s eyes. The air felt thick with tension, both women silently sizing each other up. “Get me a glass of water,” the editor murmured. Her assistant promptly nodded, turned around and moved to where she knew the kitchen was. While she was grabbing a glass and a bottle of San Pellegrino, she noticed her hands slightly shaking.

Pull yourself together, for god’s sake

When she returned, the older women was still sitting on her chair, looking directly at Andy, who almost tripped at the intensity of the stare.

“Move the showing tomorrow to eleven, I need to make a call to Madrid at half past ten. And get me eight tops from Valentino before lunch.”

Of course. Andy swiftly took out her mobile phone and opened the notes app.

„Take a seat. “ What.

“Oh, uh, On-On the sofa?” the brunette stuttered. She had never been this deep into the house, let alone even think about sitting down.

No of course not, I meant for my assistant to sit on the floor. Honestly “, Miranda scoffed.

The silence between them stretched on. Andy looked down, contemplating the words.

„By all means, do move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me.”

The young woman made her decision that moment. She took a deep breath and slowly sunk down onto her knees.

After another calming breath, she looked up. Miranda looked shocked. Lips slightly parted as if about to say something, but no words came out. Instead, the regal women licked her lips.

So beautiful, even more like this

Andy sat still, phone still in hand, ready to take notes. She looked Miranda in the eyes and with all the courage she could muster, she dared to give a shy smile. „Is this alright or would you prefer me on the sofa? “ , the assistant inquired, suddenly feeling almost bold at watching an overwhelming intensity gather in her bosses eyes.

„No, this is..." Miranda cleared her throat, „this is acceptable. “

So, the agenda for the next day was changed. The older woman went on with her instructions, never moving her gaze from her assistant. After about 10 Minutes Andy felt her knees more than anything else. Never had she kneeled for this long before and it definitely was not the most comfortable thing. But I wouldn’t exchange it for the world, she thought, as she looked up to the editor.

Said editor was still sitting front of her. Blue eyes darker than usual, lips turned into a small smile, she looked ..magnificent.

“That’s all.”

And just like that, the moment ended. Andy got up, fighting to now show how weak she was on her legs, not even being able to say whether it was due to the kneeling position or the intensity of the shared moment. She wished Miranda a good night and quickly found her way home, continuously smiling, her heart almost jumping out of her chest.


The next day, everyone was looking forward to the free time the weekend would bring. The staff chalked it up to that, when they noticed that Miranda seemed much calmer than usual. Everyone but Nigel, who mentioned it to Andy. They were sitting together at a table in the art department, chatting over lunch.
“I’ve known her for years now, the weekend doesn’t justify this kind of mood from Miranda Priestly, I can tell you that. Something’s going on,” he continued as he wiped his mouth.
“You think?” The young woman across from him inquired. Could this be about whatever they shared? Did she even want to go there?

No, not right now. Nigel can’t know.

“Absolutely, but nothing we can do about it. She’ll let us know, when she decides to. She’s always done so.," a contemplative look crossed his face. "Anyway! Talking about happiness, what about you? Anything new after your little cook boy?, “ Nigle asked with a charming smile and curious eyes. Andy felt her face grow hot as she looked down to her food, her thoughts once again returning to bright blue eyes.

Damn it.

“I’m not pushing you to tell me anything, Six., “his words making her look up. Kind eyes looked at her as he continued “I just noticed that you seem happier these days and was wondering if there is a mystery man being the cause of that. Or a mystery woman, not judgement here, obviously “he chuckled at that last part.

But is that it. Is she my mystery woman. What are we even doing?

Her breath was coming in short huffs now as she her thoughts went on a rampage.

“Hey. Six. Again, you don’t have to tell me anything. It’s perfectly fine. You seem happy and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?” His hand covered hers and she felt herself calm down.

Yeah, I’m happy.

“Thank you, Nigel,” she smiled at him.

One last kind look from the art director and they continued their break chatting over the latest Valentino collection before Andy had to return to her desk.

Chapter Text

"What do you mean, he can’t make it??," Andy almost shouted into the phone.

It had been a long week; the staff was stressed enough with the newest Runway coming out and now this goddamn photographer had the gall to cancel the shoot last minute.

“You. Will. Make. This. Work.” The young assistant gritted through her teeth.

It took another 30 minutes of discussion and thinly veiled threats until the person on the other side promised to get the photographer to do his job -who on earth would risk letting this chance go by because of a f*cking break-up anyway?? and Andy could finally take a deep breath.

Having closed her eyes for a second, she didn’t notice a pair of icy eyes focusing on her before Mirandas voice cut through the silence with a muttered “Andrea”.

Immediately she got up with her notebook and hurried into the office, ready to take notes of what would surely be another long list of tasks for the day.


It was long after hours when Andy finally tapped “send” on the last e-mail of that day. She rolled her neck slightly, pressing her fingertips into the tension that had gathered in the back of it. Her eyes wandered towards the office to her right subconsciously, her tired mind no longer able to fight the urge.

Miranda was still sitting at her desk, a concentrated look on her face, a finger on her bottom lip, as she looked at the spread on her desk. It was late and everyone else had already left, but apparently the editor wasn’t finished with her workday and had decided to stay. Andy knew that the twins were at their fathers this week, so the older women probably used this chance to get some extra work done.

She knew she was pushing her luck by staring so blatantly at her superior – who was yet to notice – but she couldn’t help it. With most of the office being dark and the warm light of Miranda’s desk lamp illuminating her face, it was hard not to stare. The slight pout of her lips, the furrowed brow, the glasses held in her hand, it all painted a perfect picture of concentration and intent. And something about that continued to pull Andy in.

The assistant was pulled out of her musings when she heard the Ping! of the elevator. She turned around to face the approaching footsteps and accepted The Book from the colleague of the art department, before bidding them goodbye for the night.

As she turned around, her eyes settled on the editor once again, who now seemed deep in thought as she blankly gazed at the work in front of her. Taking a deep breath, the young woman walked into the office, came to a halt in front of it and held out The Book with both hands.

Miranda didn’t even look up as she murmured a distracted “Kneel first”.

What.

Andys mind went blank and even Miranda looked the slightest bit shocked by her own words, still not lifting her gaze from the desk, but her eyes widening, her body tensing up. It seemed to be a slip up, but before Andy could overthink this any more, she made a decision for both of them. On shaking legs, she walked around the desk until she stood at Mirandas side and then slowly sunk to her knees. For a moment, she looked down at the high heels in front of her before slowly dragging her brown eyes up to meet blue ones. Miranda had turned to her and was now looking directly at her. Where there was shock just moments ago, now something else resided. Her eyes had an intensity to them that made her assistant squirm beneath her stare. She seemed to burn holes into Andy as she waited to see what the younger woman would do. The brunette held out The Book with both hands again and the tension in the air seemed to only rise, almost making it hard to breathe.

There was contemplation in the look the infamous dragon lady gave her. One hand was still holding her glasses, the other one reached forward and took the book from her assistants’ hands.

An eternity in silence seemed to go by before a quiet “acceptable” left the editors lips, as her gaze moved to the book now in her hands.

The world seems to stop. At least it did for Andy.

Not knowing whether or not to get up, she continued to kneel and looked around, trying to ground herself by taking in her environment. The office was mostly dark except for the desk lamp next to Miranda and the light of Andys desktop which could still be seen shining onto her empty chair just outside of the office. “

A scribbling noise pulled her attention back to the woman in front of her who was now making notes inside The Book, acting perfectly normal, as if there wasn’t a young woman currently kneeling at her feet. But honestly, Andy couldn’t find it in herself to mind. She liked this place, even if she still didn’t quite understand why or where this came from.

“Do you know what you are doing, Andrea?”

The editor still didn’t look up from the book, just kept scribbling comments and notes.

Deciding to just go with honesty at this point, Andrea licked her lips and answered thruthfully, “No, not really. But I know it feels good and I feel like-“ Too far. She chastisied herself and looked back down onto the floor.

“And what?”

No. Don’t answer that. She’ll kill you. Or worse, fire you. Don’t answer that, don’t answer that, don’t answer-

“Andrea. Look at me.”

Even though she was trembling with nerves at this point, the brunette lifted her head and shyly met her boss’ gaze.

“I need you to finish that sentence for me. Now.” There was no tremble in the older womens voice, her usual quiet intensity and her pointed look all but nailed Andy to her spot.

“I know- I know it feels good and I- I – I feel like maybe, just maybe, you’re enjoying this too..?”

The last part came out more as a question then intended, having lost a bit of her courage towards the end of her sentence.

Mirandas chest rose as she took a deep breath, her eyes still burning into the woman in front of her, but now with less intensity and something almost soft around the edges. “I would be lying if I said that this.. “behavior” of yours was bothering me. It has been some time since someone has been this much of a.. helpful presence.”

Andy couldn’t believe her ears as the silver haired woman in front of her continued.

“But I also need you to make informed choices. I need you to think about this, Andrea. Ground rules. How far do you want to take this. Are you aware of the ramifications it would entail if anybody found out. Are you aware that you don’t have to participate in these kinds of things just because I am you superior?”

The last question stumped Andy. Not because of the question itself, honestly, she actually had thought about of all these things. No, it wasn’t the words, but the tone, the eyes. For the first time since stumbling into Runway’s world, Andy saw something akin to insecurity in the editor’s eyes.

Determined to nip that right in the bud, the kneeling woman spoke up, her previous insecurity now making room for a kind of fire that lit up inside of her.

“Yes, I have thought about these things, Miranda. I promise. I may not fully understand what it is that we are doing, but I don’t think you do either. Whatever this is, it is just between the two of us and I’m not asking for anything special, but I would love to be allowed to do things for you, whether they may be within my job description or not. If this is not what you want, feel free to tell me right now and we will act like none of this ever happened. Is that what you want?”

The charged question seemed to surprise Miranda as she leaned back slightly, her chin on her hand, her index finger lightly tapping against her bottom lip.

The silence was deafening, but Andy kept quiet, she knew the older woman needed this moment to think.

“Safeword.”

What?

“What” Andy repeated her thought out loud, staring up, completely dumb founded.

A sigh and pursed lips followed, as Miranda repeated herself "A safeword, Andrea. You know what that is, don’t you? Give me one.”

Andy did know what a safe word was, she had listened to Dougs and his friends’ stories often enough to know at least the basics of these things. It wasn’t that what left her speechless, it was the meaning behind Mirandas request or rather order. While hopeful, she hadn’t actually believed that Miranda would agree.

An impatient look formed on the mentioned woman and Andy quickly tried to collect her wits.

“Uh, Cerulean blue?”

Another second of silence passed and the editor looked at Andy with amusement in her eyes now.

“Acceptable. Now stand up, slowly.”

Andy followed the order and almost fell back on the ground when her knees buckled underneath her. The kneeling really was something one had to get used to. Surprise showed on her face when she felt a hand grab her upper arm, helping her stabilize herself. The grip went from strong to gentle and a thumb caressed her arm before Miranda let her hand fall back to her side.

“You may go home now, Andrea. It has been a long day, get some rest, I will need you to be at your full capabilities tomorrow.”

“Yes, Miranda,” the assistant whispered before leaving the office and making her way home with a quiet mind and a constant look of wonder on her face.

Back in the office her superior backed up the last of her things and notified her driver before making her way the elevator. When she got in, she smelled the light floral perfume of her assistant still clinging to the air.

What a day.

What a development.

A small smile formed on her lips as strode out of the elevator and out into the summer night.

Chapter Text

When her alarm woke Andy up the next morning, she turned it off and took a moment to just lay in bed. Looking up at the ceiling she was still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes as last night's events returned to the forefront of her mind.

Acceptable.

A smile crept onto her face and excitement mixed with nerves overcame her. Something had changed between them and now that they had addressed it, there was no knowing what would happen next. It was scary and Andy absolutely loved it.


The morning was a busy as usual and by the time Miranda arrived at the office, her assistants were in full work mode. That didn't stop Andy’s heart from stuttering for a moment when blue eyes briefly locked with brown ones but she prided herself on not actually stuttering as she and the editor went through the latter’s planned day.

After a few hours of controlled chaos, stressed calls and organizing meetings the day seemed to finally calm down. The frantic energy in the office lessened as most people were on their lunch breaks, there were no current emergencies that required panicked calls to someone’s assistant and the shooting had produced some good photos which Miranda and Nigel currently poured over in her office. Andy smiled to herself and released a grateful sigh.

"It's almost uncanny, isn't it?"

She lifted her eyes and looked over to the second assistant’s desk. Kathryn too, had relaxed her posture for the first time this day. Mirth shone in her eyes and a little smile appeared as she spoke again,"The quiet. It's uncanny. Like the silence before the storm, you know?"

"Sometimes it is", laughed Andy. "And sometimes it's just the perfect moment to go on your lunch break" she continued. At that her colleague visibly perked up, having not had a break all day while running around for all sorts of things. "Go on, Kathryn, I'll watch the phones. And pick up those Jimi shoes and the Hermes scarfs on your way back."

"Thank you, Andy, you're the best!"

"And don't you forget it," she replied with a wink and both women laughed softly as the blonde got up and reached for her handbag.
Just as the second assistant left for the elevators, Nigel stepped out of Miranda’s office with a smile on his face.
"I take it the meeting went good," Andy asked her friend at which his smile widened.
"I almost don't dare to say it, but it feels as everything went good today, Six" he spoke in a low tone as he stood next to her desk. "/Someone/ seems to be in what could almost be called a good mood". Andy’s eyes flickered to the glass doors of Mirandas office where the editor was currently typing something into her notebook.

The ping! of the elevator interrupted Nigel when he opened his mouth to say more and at the sight of the delivery boy holding Mirandas lunch in his hands Andy shot her friend an apologetic smile.
"No worries, you feed our dragon and we'll catch up some other time”, he chuckled. "See around, Six!"

Andy just laughed and got up to take the food from the boy who looked unbelievably out of place in the shiny office with his sneakers, jeans and the shirt baring the restaurants logo. He left after profusely thanking her for the tip and Andy quickly went into the kitchen to place the food on a plate and prepare cutlery and a napkin on the usual tray. At 12:30 on the dot she carried the tray into Mirandas office, placing it on the desk as the editor lifted her eyes from the document she had been reading. Her eyes caught Andy's and the young woman found herself frozen on the spot.
"Your steak", she lamely said.

Really? Your steak?

The blue eyes finally left hers and instead inspected the food and tray. After a moment of heavy silence a slight nod from the editor was followed by an "Acceptable".
Andy knew to take this as her cue to leave and swiftly turned around to let her superior eat in peace.
She returned to her seat and answered a few e-mails while taking any incoming calls. Time went by and she was in the middle of replying to a very passive-aggressive mail from a reporter who insisted on getting a statement from La Priestly when a soft "Andrea" pulled her out of the task.
Her body replied on instinct and before she knew it, she was standing in front of Mirandas desk, ready to listen to the next list of tasks. But when silence followed instead, she felt the shift in the air. Suddenly the air felt thick and heat crept up the back of her neck as Miranda sat back and just looked at her.
"Have you eaten today, Andrea?"

What.

The unexpected question threw Andy for a loop. Never had Miranda shown interest in her assistants eating habits. Memories of Emily and her questionable cheese cube diets came to mind.
Still.
She had been asked a question and she knew better than to leave Miranda waiting for an answer or worse, lie to her.

"I didn't have time for breakfast this morning, but I had a few cereal bars in between tasks."

At that the editors eyes narrowed the slightest bit, her lips pursed.

Oh no. That was not the right answer.

Miranda looked as if she was faced with a decision one moment and the next it seemed like she had made it. Intention and something dark showed in her eyes now and in an almost playful way she raised an eyebrow at her assistant.

"Eat."

Confusion painted Andy’s face as she looked at the editor, not quite understanding until the older woman made a vague hand gesture to her desk. The steak. And indeed, about two thirds of it was gone, but the rest was still there. And cut up in the bite sized pieces. Looking up to Miranda to see if she understood right, her jaw slacked lightly as the hint of a smile showed on the editor’s face. There was a glint of challenge in those icy eyes and it made Andy’s knees feel weak.

"Of course, thank you, Miranda" she whispered as she made a move to take the tray and carry it to the kitchen, her fingers trembling due to the intensity of current moment.

"No."

No?

"Here. Now."

Again, an eyebrow was raised at her and Andy audibly gulped. Not trusting her voice anymore, she moved her hand to the fork resting next to the plate and slowly picked up the utensil. She cast one more look at the editor, who was still leaning back in her chair, before she pierced the silver through one of the pieces of meat and then slowly brought it up to her mouth. She made it a point keep eye contact with the woman in front of her as she opened her lips to put the food into her mouth. In the corner of her eye she was sure she noticed Mirandas chest rising suddenly, as if she had to catch her breath.
It was silent as the assistant stood in front of the desk and chewed on the piece of steak. Still warm and perfectly seasoned, she barely managed to suppress the moan that tried to fight its way out. It had been a while since she's had food this good.

When she finally swallowed, she looked at Miranda with a question in her eyes, unsure what to do next.
Miranda answered for her.

"More."

A faint thought of the risk of someone catching them doing.. whatever this was, crossed Andy’s mind but then she thought of what people would see when looking through the glass doors. Miranda, sitting in her chair and her assistant, standing in front of her, back to the door. Nothing suspicious. The fork in her hand couldn't be seen, nor her face.

So she picked up another piece with the fork, savoring the taste and the feeling of the other woman’s eyes on her. Focused, demanding, watching.
She continued eating everything that was left on the plate, while Miranda continued assessing her. Not once did her eyes leave her assistant as she watched her eat what had been the unwanted rest of her lunch.
When Andy finished, she carefully but the fork back onto the tray, licking her lips to catch any residue of the delicious aromas left on her mouth.

"Andrea"

It almost startled her out of her daze, Miranda had been silent for so long. "Yes, Miranda?"

"Where are your manners? You're supposed to wipe your mouth with a napkin, surely you are aware of that?"

"Yes, of course, I'm sorry!" Panicked she looked down for the napkin but quickly realized; there was only one napkin on the tray. And the wrinkles on it with the traces of lipstick, clearly indicated Miranda had already used that.
Just like she had already used the fork.
And already eaten most of the steak.

Taking a deep breath the assistant slightly leaned forward, picked up the used napkin and used a clean corner of it to dab her mouth.

That seemed to satisfy Miranda as she now looked positively pleased, the corners of her mouth turned up just slightly and her eyes shining.

Ping!

The sound of the elevator brought the moment to its end and Miranda spoke her usual airy "that's all" before Andy picked up the tray. Just as she was turning to the door, she hesitated for a moment and locked eyes with her boss once more as she managed to whisper a "thank you, Miranda". A slight tone of awe carried in her words and a nod from the older woman assured her the message had been received. If there was an unusual amount of warmth in the dragon lady's eyes, she'd deny it afterwards.

On unsteady feet Andy carried the tray to the kitchen, passing Kathryn who had just returned and was now entering Mirandas office to bring her the shoes and scarfs she had demanded this morning.

For a moment she just stood there, looking down at the empty plate. Her rest. She had been given Miranda's leftovers.
Normally one would feel insulted at the mere notion of it, but Andy couldn't even if she tried. She felt honored. Nobody else got this. And the exchange.. god, she would kill to have the editor look at her like that again. Exhaling a shaky breath, she put the plate and cutlery into the dishwasher. She then turned to the napkin and carried it over to the trash can. And halted. The trash can was open, but her fingers just gripped the material in her hand harder. Some part of her didn't want to throw this away. While she stood there with a napkin in her hand and an internal battle of morals and sanity going on in her head, the decision was made for her when two colleagues entered the kitchen chattering away loudly. The sudden noise and company were enough for Andy to throw the napkin into the trashcan quickly, not wanting to seem suspicious.

She greeted them politely, put the tray away and went back to her desk. As she sat down, Kathryn got her attention with a quiet *psst*. She looked over confused when Kathryn whisper yelled "What happened while I was gone?". More confusion seemed to show on Andy’s face and Kathryn discretely signaled for her to look to their superiors office.

 

Oh.

 

There she was. The Dragon Lady. The cruel editor. The cold fashion icon. La Priestly.
Looking down on some photographs spread on her desk again.

And she was smiling. A small, relaxed smile.

Breathlessly Andy tore her eyes away from the woman and looked back at her colleague who still looked like she had seen a ghost.
The brunette just shrugged with what she hoped was a convincing clueless look and returned her attention to her computer, desperately fighting off the grin that was trying to appear on her face, as warmth spread through her chest.

Chapter Text

Andy was officially on cloud nine. The shared moment with Miranda just an hour ago had her feeling as if she could fly. She couldn't stop smiling brightly as she walked down the street with coffee in her hands, making her way back from her own short lunch break.

This day was perfect and nothing could ruin it.

But that would've been too easy. Of course.
Disaster struck in the form of one Irv Ravitz.


Andy found Nigel leaning against her desk, shooting her a worried look that had her stopping in her tracks. They both turned to look to Mirandas office. Behind the glass doors they could see Irv Ravitz throwing a tantrum, gesturing wildly at Miranda who sat in her chair, ever the face of disinterest.

"What's going on," Andy asked her colleagues while keeping her eyes on what was going on in the editor’s office.
Nigel answered her: "The usual. Irv's not happy with the budget, Miranda is not budging. He seems to be more and more set on kicking her out these days."

"That slimy worm," Kathryn muttered from her place at her desk. Both Nigel and Andy turned to her with their eyebrows raised in surprise. Kathryn usually didn't show any dislike against anyone. "What?" she asked them. "I don't like the way he looks at me. He practically ogles my body every time we share the elevator, it's.. slimy."

Slimy was a good way to describe Irv, Andy had to agree. And annoying. Irv had never been a fan of Mirandas, that was a well-known fact. But ever since his little coup got squashed in Paris, he had been even more relentless in trying to push Miranda out. More budget meetings, budget cuts, pointless conferences, anything to get in her way of producing the excellence that Runway was known and praised for. So far, he hadn't succeeded, but his determination to not let this go was starting to worry Andy. And she could tell she wasn't the only one.

"Trust me on this Miranda, you won't get away with these things forever!" Irv bellowed as he pushed the office doors open. He tried slamming them but the built-in stopper prevented the wanted effect and they gracefully glid shut in front of his red face. Huffing one last time he abruptly turned around and stormed past Nigel, Kathryn and Andy, leaving them in complete silence.

Nobody said anything. They didn't have to. The day was ruined.
"Andrea"

And so it began.


The rest of the day was torture. Miranda didn't lash out, but you could see the anger simmer just under the surface which made everyone even more nervous. Like a ticking time bomb, her curt replies and tense body language had the entire staff on edge. Nothing was good enough, nobody prepared enough, nothing was done fast enough.
Andy tried her best to be as helpful and fast as she could but nothing seemed to placate the editor. She moved appointments as best as possible to give her a minute to breathe between calls, prepared an appointment for a facial for the next morning, made sure there was always boiling hot coffee on her desk and about anything else she could think of, that could make this day better for Miranda. But nothing helped, the woman was still angry and stressed and Andy could cry from frustration.


After a long day of running around and a free ride on an emotional rollercoaster, Andy tiredly smiled goodbye to Kathryn as the second assistant left for the day. It was getting dark outside as she waited around for The Book to bring it to the Townhouse.
Would she see Miranda there? She didn't know, considering the editors foul mood when she left the office earlier. Damn Irv.

They had finally gotten somewhere and then that spiteful little man had to have his temper tantrum today of all days.
Frustrated Andy blew her bangs out of face and turned her chair towards Miranda’s office. Despite the lights being turned off, she could still very clearly see the empty desk and let her thoughts wander to what had transpired at noon.

"Eat."

The young woman shuddered at the memory. The taste of the steak melting on her tongue, the feeling of the fork in her hand, the intense stare of Miranda. Just the memory left her breathless as she ran a hand through her hair and felt her cheeks turn pink, thanking the universe that she was alone in the office space.
Miranda. She truly had discovered a part of Andy, that even Andy herself hadn't been aware of. It left her vulnerable and naked and the older woman could have hurt her in a way nobody else had ever been able to. Laugh at her. Be cruel. A snide remark. Anything. But instead she chose to .. to do what exactly? Participate? For a moment Andy's brows furrowed in self-doubt, fearing that Miranda was only doing this because she felt like it, but not feeling whatever it was that Andy felt. But then she remembered that look in the eyes of her superior. The intensity was unmatched. The small smile after the lunchbreak. The warmth in her eyes when she looked at her first assistant. No, this wasn't one-sided. Andy knew Miranda well enough by now to be able to read the woman. Her looks and body language told her things that others easily over looked.

And that was the thing, wasn't it? She knew Miranda. She could anticipate the woman’s needs like nobody else. And after some time, Miranda had gotten used to that too, often turning to Andy without a command or question on her lips and being provided with exactly what was needed by the brunette. They worked together so well, if one of them was left out of the equation, the other would stumble immediately. Professionally speaking, a perfect combination.
But that wasn't enough. Not anymore.

Even though she had been in denial for quite some time, she had to accept that she was attracted to her boss. That it was a woman was no surprise to her, she had already come out as bisexual in college and never hid that. But the way she was attracted was new. These desires, the urge to kneel at the woman’s feet, the shivers she got when she received a command, the inner peace at knowing she was useful, thoughts of collars and-

"Hey there!"

Andy almost shrieked from shock, the young man’s voice having ripped her out of her inner monologue. He looked apologetic, apparently she hadn't been able to hide her surprise.

"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you," he smiled while adjusting his thick rimmed glasses with one hand. The other hand was holding up The Book and then placing it on her desk. "Took a few more minutes because someone got the filters for the Gucci Feature wrong, but it's all fixed now."

Andy had calmed her beating heart and stood up, thanking him as she started to put her coat on and grabbed both handbag and The Book.
"So, you're bringing this right to her, right? Does that mean you have to stay this late every night?" the young man inquired, still standing in front of her desk.
"Yeah, I guess", she distractedly mumbled as she gathered the last of her things.

When she walked towards the elevator she noticed him walking alongside her and gave him a confused look as they came to a stop in front of the elevator doors. Andy had just pressed the button when he spoke again.

"I'm Matthew by the way, pleasure to meet you," Matthew grinned and ran his hand through his messy brown hair.

"Andy", she curtly replied.

The all too familiar Ping! saved her from whatever next Matthew was going to say. He closed his mouth, smiled and waved goodbye as the doors finally closed between them.

Andy didn't spare him another thought as on the ride down. She walked across the lobby and out into the evening’s fresh air, entering the car waiting for her.
"Hi Andy!", Roy greeted her with smile as he started the car. They made some small talk during the drive, but Andy couldn't fully concentrate on what was being said, her thoughts occupied by blue eyes as they neared the Townhouse. When she finally got out, she turned around and bid him goodbye before he drove off.
He used to wait and drive her home after, until just last week when she had asked him to just leave, feeling bad for being the reason that he too came back home late.

She stood in front of the house searching for the keys in her purse when the door suddenly opened and she was greeted with the sight of the woman who had been on her mind ever since she had left the office.

A moment of silence passed between them before Miranda spoke.

"Follow me."

At that the editor turned around and walked into the house, leaving a flabbergasted Andy behind. Quickly she gained her senses and got in, closing the door behind her. She clutched The Book tightly as she followed, thankful that there had been no dry cleaning to hang up today. She followed the other woman up the stairs and into the study, where Miranda settled into an armchair. Her assistant came to a stop in front her and held out the book.
The older woman made eye contact but no move to take the Book.

Realisation hit, and barely able to stop herself from smiling, Andy slowly sunk down onto her knees and once again, held up the book. This time elegant hands reached out and took it from her. The editor opened it with a pen in hand and began reading the first pages, while Andy took in the sight. She felt herself blush and looked down to her hands, hoping her bangs hid any flush.

"I'm not the most pleasant person to be around, as has been proven today once again. Do you understand that Andrea?"

At that Andy looked up to meet Mirandas gaze but was disappointed when she saw that the woman seemed to be deeply invested in the open Book in her lap.
Is she still angry? Is she angry with me too?

"I do what is necessary, as you may remember from Paris and I'm not particularly nice about it. Are you sure this is the kind of person you want to.. associate yourself with?", she said with a tone of displeasure in her voice.

At that the assistant took a moment to look, really look at the woman in front of her. Again, she was still wearing her outfit from the office, a black suit and a crisp white shirt underneath combined with her signature heels. Strength and Dominance perfectly wrapped up in Armani. But that wasn’t all there was to see.

Her hands. They're gripping onto the edges of the book just a tad too much. A purse of the lips but also tension in her shoulders. There's even tension in her thighs, it's like she is trying to stop herself from tapping her foot or fumbling with her hands. This isn't anger.

Andy’s eyes widened at the implication.

She's nervous.

Realizing she was yet to answer, the brunette squared her shoulders and finally spoke, "I am aware that you do whatever is necessary, yes. But that doesn't make you unpleasant company."

A beat of silence.

"Not to me," the assistant softly said before she could stop herself.

At that Miranda finally looked up from the Book, surprise in her eyes. As the tension seemed to slowly leave her body, she closed the book an put it on the table next to her.

"I see."

..

"Close your eyes, Andrea"

It was murmured so quietly, Andy almost missed it. Taking in a deep breath, she slowly closed her eyes.

It seemed like almost a minute passed before she heard Miranda get up from the armchair and then the sound of her heels walking past Andy. With her eyes closed, everything else started to feel much more intense. She could feel the rug under her knees. Smell Mirandas perfume as she passed her. And the sound of the door of the study being closed might as well have been right next to her ear.

After a click that sounded suspiciously like a door lock, the heels returned to her, one slow step after the other. The young woman was trembling with nerves as she realized the editor was now slowly circling her.
She could just imagine the classic look of contemplation; the same one Miranda wore when reviewing a piece of clothing. Critical, intrigued, knowing.

And then the steps came to a stop right behind her. The woman was standing painfully close, Andy could almost feel her body heat, knew that just a slight lean back would have her directly against those tantalizing legs.

Silence again, as Mirandas perfume started to cloud Andy’s senses more and more. She felt almost dizzy, sinking into a state of mind she could only describe as fuzzy.

"I know you've been trying your best to assist me after that little goblin left."

The words were spoken as fact. Not a question or implication. A fact.

"I see your efforts."

There was a softness to her voice, that hadn't been there before. Andy was sure she couldn't feel happier in this moment until there was the sound of movement and-

A hand.
On her right shoulder. Warm. Not gripping or pushing. Just, resting there.

The assistant’s mouth went dry and she was sure her heart had stopped beating for a second there.

"I see you."

Slowly the hand started to move towards the side of her neck, gently caressing the skin, fingertips ghosting over her pulse point before they slid further under her jaw. Andy forget how to breathe, her heart beating out of her chest. A fingertip pressed against her chin from underneath, forcing her to lift her face and the back her head come in contact with an Armani-covered leg.

"You have been very useful today, Andrea."

The phrase all but made Andy cry in relief, knowing she had done her best and Miranda had seen that. A second hand touched her left shoulder and then slowly applied pressure, to pull her even further back, until she let herself rest against the legs standing behind her.

The hand under her chin moved again caressing her cheek and running through her hair, the movement and the words rendering Andy speechless.
Despite her closed eyes she could feel tears starting to gather in her eyes.

This was so.. gentle.

Her emotional turmoil must have shown, because the hand ran through her hair again and Mirandas voice drifted to her ears

"I know, I know."

It was exactly what Andy needed to hear, releasing a shuddering breath and letting herself fall into the warmth and the soft touches given.

"You deserve this, Andrea. You deserve rewards for your hard work."

Sharply sucking in air, the kneeling woman barely managed to get out a weak "thank you".

The caresses slowly came to an end and Miranda removed her hands, patting down Andy’s hair back into order, before she walked around her, back to the armchair.

"Now. Open your eyes for me."

Chapter Text

"Now. Open your eyes for me."

Andy opened her eyes at the command, fully prepared to be blinded by the light. Instead, she was pleasantly surprised to notice the lights had been dimmed, basking the study in a much softer glow. Miranda must've done that while she still had her eyes closed. Said editor was now sitting in front of her again. The kneeling woman was still blinking away tears from the emotional moment when she noticed the way Miranda looked at her. There was determination in those eyes.

"I believe it is time we have a little talk, wouldn't you agree, Andrea?"

Nervously nodding, Andy willed herself to take deep calming breaths.

Calm down. This is not a we-need-to-talk-talk. At least I hope so

"Stand up," the editor said as she rose from the armchair. Her assistant however lacked the same grace as she got up, still not used to kneeling more than 2 minutes. Once again, a hand gripped her upper arm, providing warmth and stability. Mirandas hand never left her arm while she led her to the couch.

"This is a conversation to be held on equal grounds. Now, wine?" the silver-haired woman inquired.

"No, thank you," Andy answered. She didn't want to drink any alcohol right now, her head still dizzy from the closeness shared just moments ago.

"Very well," was said as Miranda sat down on the couch, too. The two women turned to each other slightly, neither one of them sure of what to say next.

Both of them were taken by surprise when it was the brunette who opened her mouth first.

"Have you.. done something like this before?"

A knowing glint shone in the editors eyes as she answered, "I had a rather.. liberal perspective on life when I was a young adult, although it has been some time since I reminisced."

So that's a yes, a yes-I-have-but-not-recently.

"How about yourself? I take it that all of this is new to you, considering you have told me about your lack of understanding for your own feelings."

At that, Andy’s fears came back, trying to claw their way up her throat. She looked down to her fidgeting hands , trying to sort her thoughts.

What if I'm not enough for her? Too new, too inexperienced, naive, not good eno-

"Andrea. Look at me."

She raised her eyes and whatever anxiety had grasped onto her, let go. The steady tone of Miranda brought her back to the ground and she found her voice again.

"No, I haven't done- or felt anything like this before. I have heard of things like this before, of course. Doug, my friend, he likes telling me about his friends' ..adventures all the time. But I've never felt.. I mean, don’t' get me wrong, I've never been someone to take charge in the bedro- uhm my, my private life. But this.. I've never wanted to.. to..," she stumbled over the last words when-

"To submit to someone," Miranda finished for her, her pupils seeming to dilate at the words she spoke.

The look she received now turned the warmth Andy had felt in her chest into something else entirely. Heat. Heat gathered and rested in her lower belly as a shiver ran down her spine.

"Yes," she continued. "To submit to someone."

Usually words like these would have her ducking her head in embarrassment, but something about the other woman made her sit up instead, her back straightening. Miranda seemed to notice and a hint of approval showed in the older woman’s expression.

A beat of silence followed before the she went on; "These.. dreams, wishes and the yearning.."

At the sound of "wishes", one of Mirandas eyebrow rose in interest, but she kept quiet as she let her assistant continue.

"..like I said: I don't think I've ever felt anything like it."

Having said her piece, Andy remained quiet, taking in the woman before her. Her body language was more relaxed now and again, that contemplative look returned before Miranda spoke again.

"Good. That means you and I are on the same page."

The brunettes eyes snapped up again to meet her superiors gaze, who spoke again.

"I need you to listen carefully now, Andrea."

The addressed woman could only nod, her attention completely captivated.

"I have a proposition for you. I considered this very carefully and while my initial instinct was to ignore this, I have decided to no longer forbid myself the things I want in my personal life. I have made enough sacrifices for mediocre people."

Memories of an intoxicated Stephen returned to Andy’s mind.

"We can continue this and see where this goes, but the discussion of boundaries is mandatory. As well as rules. You are free to leave this arrangement behind you at any time. No harm will come to your career or professional life, that I can promise. As long as everything is discreet. No blabbering to anyone."

At that Mirandas looked at her with determination and a look of vague threatening. Nothing that surprised Andy, the woman in front of her had a lot to lose after all.

"Before we discuss any wishes-whether they be yours or mine" Andy shuddered at the idea of Miranda fantasizing about anything " I want you to think about this. You can walk away right now and we may pretend none of this ever happened. If you do so, there are no hard feelings, I promise. And I understand if you need some time think, after all this-"

"No. I want this," the finality in her tone surprised Andy herself. But she knew. She wanted this. Had wanted this ever since the first piece of ash fell into her hand. Maybe even before that.

"I want this," she repeated. "I've thought about it long enough."

She swallowed thickly as they continued their stare off. Miranda seemed to be looking for something in her eyes and even though she didn't know what, moments later she could see that -whatever it was- the editor found what she was looking for.

"Acceptable."

A sigh of relief left the assistants lips as her superior went on.

"Now; tell me. You mentioned wishes. What is it you wish for? What is it you desire, Andrea?"

The way those lips wrapped around the word "desire" left Andy speechless for a moment before she gathered herself.

"I- I want to be of use to you. I wish to make your life easier, to take some of the weight off your shoulders, to make you proud. I also enjoy being close to you, I guess. To make you happy. And- I..I like the idea of being yours," she finished shyly.

"These are very good answers, Andrea," the other woman answered, squashing any insecurity that had tried to sink its' claws into Andy’s mind again.

"What.. What is it that you wish for," the young woman asked with all bravery she had inside of her.

"I want to make you better. You have so much potential, not just professionally speaking. No, you're much more than that. I want to form you. To mentor you. I want you to let me guide you, to push you to your boundaries and set them anew.
And when the time comes, I want to make you mine."

Andy quiet positively lost the last of her stature at those last words, her jaw going slack and eyes widening.

"But before I do so, you have to do something for me," Miranda continued.

Her assistant only managed to nod dumbly, not trusting her voice yet.

"You will write me a list. Three lists, actually. One, all the things you wish to do, the desires you've had, the dreams that keep coming. Second, a list of things you might be interested in, but unsure whether or not you may enjoy them. Third, and the most important one"

-The look on the older womans face turned serious-

"A list of things you don't wish to experience. No matter what it may be. Write them down. Hard limits. Not electronically. Handwritten. We do not want to leave a digital footprint. You will deliver these lists to me within three days. Should that not be enough time, tell me so. It is of upmost importance that you take whatever time you need with this. Am I understood?"

"Yes," Andy whispered.

Suddenly a thought struck her. "Will I get lists from you, too?" she blurted out.

That seemed to throw the other woman off, surprise clearly showing, eyes widening.

Shit.

Feeling like she did something wrong, the brunette was about to apologize when she was interrupted.

"Don't fret. I was about to get to that. Excuse my surprise, while it may be good etiquette, many people with.. wishes like yours don't consider asking for these things."

The young woman knew a compliment when she saw it and preened under the passive praise.

So I'm doing something right, even though I am new to this. Good.

Noticing her assistant blushing and straightening her back once again, the knowing look returned to Miranda’s face.
Said assistant was about to lower her head when two fingers under her chin stopped her from doing so. Slowly her chin was pushed up, making her face the editor again.

"Yes, you will receive the same information from me. After that we will discuss what needs to be discussed before continuing. Until then, we can continue as we do right now, but will not go any further. Should you wish to take a step back and return to .."normal" behavior, we can also do that:"

"No!" the answer tumbled from Andys' lips. "I want to continue what we do now. And after the..uhm..the lists, we can go further. But please let's not backtrack. Please.."

Icy eyes met warm brown .

"Alright. Now. It is late and I still need to review The Book."

Knowing the conversation had come to an end, Andy nodded and started to get up. Miranda escorted her to the door where the brunette stood awkwardly in the hallway, unsure of what to do next. "Good night and be safe, Andrea," the editor spoke with an interesting mixture of caring and sternness, making it clear that she meant it.
Before leaving, Andy swallowed, looked at her boss once more and finally let her tell-tale megawatt smile spread over her face.
"I will. Thank you for tonight and.. our conversation," she whispered. She knew the twins where at the townhouse this week and didn't want to risk either of them listening in from somewhere behind the railing.

The two women bid their goodbyes and Andy stepped out into the night, her head in the clouds and a spring in her step as she made her way to the nearest subway station.


Meanwhile a certain editor went back into the study, grabbed The Book and left for her bedroom. After such a long day, she decided that she would get ready for the night and then do her corrections on The Book in bed.

While she changed out of her suit, her thoughts went back to the woman who had just left.

"I like the idea of being yours"

Yes, Andrea and her were a wonderful match and she couldn't wait to find out just how well the two complimented each other.

Who knew.
Maybe. Just maybe.
If everything went well, she would get to go shopping for a collar some time soon.
A predatory smile formed on her face.

It truly had been too long.

Chapter Text

The day after went by as if nothing had happened.
Kathryn was becoming more and more secure in her position, Nigel shared some office gossip over lunch while Emily stopped by to leave an impatient comment about a photographer and Miranda went on with her day full of meetings and calls.

Everything was perfectly normal.
Except it wasn't.

While Andy had slept like a baby last night, she now was positively buzzing with nerves and curiosity. She had thought about the lists this morning on her way to work and decided to go online in order find out just what possible things she could put on these lists. Intimated and excited all the same, she couldn't wait.
But her workday didn't allow for enough quiet time, so by the time the day came to an end she hadn't even been able to google anything. As if sensing Andy’s dilemma, Miranda spoke up as she entered the office space once again.

"Coat. Bag."

Kathryn hastily got up to get Miranda her things, while the editor turned around to look at her first assistant directly.

"There seems to be an issue in one of the departments with the Book. Pure incompetence, as always. I have told them to deliver The Book electronically, so you both may go home now."
And with that she was gone. No crack in her stoic facade, the perfect poker face, as the woman strode towards the elevators.

Andy smiled brightly at Kathryn and both started collecting their things to get home on time for once. While chattering away as they walked to the elevators a few minutes later, they found themselves greeted by a familiar face.
At least familiar to Andy.

"Hello again," the young man standing in front of the elevators greeted them with a grin the first assistant started to assume was his trademark.

"Hi there," Kathryn answered in a friendly tone, her face questioning.

The guy from last night. Right. What was his name again? He gave me The Book last night and.. last night. Miranda. Lists. Right. God..

A blush crept onto Andy’s face and she forced herself to tune back into the conversation happening in front of her.

"..and the that's why I'm here today, even though us IT guys are usually all cooped up on the first floor. I'm Matthew by the way," she just heard him finish his sentence, talking to Kathryn as they shook hands.

Matthew. Right!

"Pleasure to meet you Matthew, I'm Kathryn and this is-"

"Andy, yeah I know! We met last night," he looked at the mentioned woman with an easy smile on his lips before he continued. "Some screw up with The Book, took a bit longer to deliver this time."
Andy forced a tight-lipped smile onto her face, not at all interested in what he had to say, wishing to be home as soon as possible to finally open her laptop to research what had been going through her head all day. "Happens all the time," she said in a polite tone.

Ping!

The elevators doors opened and as the two assistants got in, the young man addressed them once again.

"Well, as lovely as it has been to talk to you, I'll have to stay and wait for a colleague to turn up here. Big issue with tonight’s Book, again. I wish you a guys a good night tho," he grinned again in a way Andy would've probably considered as charming or handsome hadn't she already been halfway home with thoughts of limits and wishes swirling in her head.

"Good night," the two women echoed back before the doors finally closed.

As the elevator took them down a snicker coming from her right broke Andy out of her thoughts. She turned to see Kathryn barely holding in a giggle as the blonde looked at her with mirth in her eyes.

"Well, someone was very determined to leave a good impression on you," she said with a friendly, albeit amused face.

"Oh. Really? I didn't notice," Andy replied surprised. She had been too distracted to notice and if she were honest with herself, she couldn't really bring herself to care.

"Yes, really. Maybe you should go for it? I know we don't know each other too well, so I don't know what your type is, but he seemed sweet."

Letting out a small laugh Andy just shook her head. "I'm not really in the mood for dating right now," she replied, the lie coming easy. Why did it feel like a lie though?

Miranda and I aren't exactly dating, are we? It's just-- well. More?

"Earth to Andy, hello?"

"Sorry, what?"

"I was just joking about that guy, you know. You kind of went inside of your head there for a second. You okay?" the second assistant inquired while the elevator neared the last floor.

"Yeah, no, I know," again the smile came easy. Kathryn was never a pushy person and Andy appreciated that about her. Such a contrast to certain former friends. Former friends..
Friends!! Doug! Oh god, I should talk to him. He did mention Mark and his apparent infinte wisdom regarding these kinds of things. Maybe he could help me in the future.
When the elevator came to a stop and the two women finally got leave the building, Kathryn slowed to a stop right outside the building. Andy was just about to ask her if she wanted to share a cab when the blonde spoke again.

"I already texted Sam, he'll be here any minute now. As supportive as he is about my career, he is equally excited at the aspect of me getting off early, so we'll go for a romantic dinner date tonight," the young woman explained in a fond tone before biting her lip and grinning up into the sky. She looked every bit like a young girl in love, just as they were described in the romance novels Andy used to read as a teenager.

The brunette tried to remember whether she had ever looked like that when talking about her past relationships, but nothing came to mind.

Deciding to wait a few more minutes rather than leaving the pretty blonde standing in New York’s streets all by herself, Andy fell into comfortable conversation with her. Just as they were laughing about a mishap including 5 cups of coffee and the blouse of one of the most obnoxious colleagues from the fashion department, a voice called out.

"Babe!"

The smile on Kathryn's face grew even wider as she turned around the greet the owner of the voice. A short man with dark hair sported the biggest grin while walking up to them before enveloping Kathryn in a hug, lifting her up and twirling her around.

As she happily giggled and he laughed before kissing her nose, Andy lowered her gaze to the ground, not wanting to intrude on the couple’s moment.

When the two finished greeting each other with terms of endearment and smiles, her colleague turned back to Andy, introducing them.

"This is Andy, the one I told you about. Andy this is my boyfriend Sam," she concluded, waving her hand between the two.

"Ah, the infamous Andy who knows Miranda Priestly better than anyone else! I've heard so much about you," Sam offered an enthusiastic smile. His brown eyes lit up as he held out his right hand while the other wrapped around Kathryn’s waist.

Perfect. These two are perfect for each other, Christ, what a cute couple.

"And you must be the wonderful boyfriend Kathryn raves about all the time," she replied, shaking his hand with a grin.

And he really was just as she had described him. With his friendly smile and and the leather jacket over a graphic t-shirt, he somehow fit perfectly next to Kathryn's bubbly personality and bright grins.
The three of them laughed together and soon enough said their goodbyes. Just before Andy turned around to walk to the subway station, she caught a glimpse of Kathryn running her hand across Sam's chest with an expression of awe as he softly said "Yeah, it just arrived today. Amazing difference, right?"

She couldn't make out the exact words of Kathryn’s reply against the sound of New York’s everlasting traffic, but the tone indicated Kathryn's usual giddiness and Andy smiled to herself as she walked down the stairs, finally on her way to the train and therefore home.


Finally home.

Andy sighed happily as she took off her coat and shoes before walking into her bedroom. Quickly dinner was ordered via app and todays fashionable outfit was exchanged for an oversized shirt and sweatpants. Giggling to herself at the image of one distraught Miranda Priestly seeing such an ensemble, she grabbed her laptop and sat down on the couch.

Her fingers lingered over the keyboard for a second before she remembered her earlier thought. She grabbed her phone and shot off text to Doug before once again returning her attention to the screen in front of her.

And just like that, her fingers began typing.

-bdsm-

No. To general.

-submitting-

Again, she backtracked.

"We don't want a digital footprint"

At that, she opened an incognito tab and started again.

-Acts of submission-

And so, the young woman dove right in.



-Service. Training. Collars. Leashes. Ownership. Rewards. Punishment. Whips. Sadism. Spanking. Goddess Worship. Something called 24/7. Sex.-

Andy felt her face turn crimson as she continued reading, completely in reporter-mode now, wanting to find out as much as she could.

Ash. Cigarettes. My hand.

Just as she typed -ashtray, person- into the search bar the doorbell rang, forcibly pulling her out of her head space. She got up and greeted the delivery woman at her door, taking the chinese food and tipping before returning to her spot on the couch with her food.

As she opened the box she noticed her phone blinking and quickly picked it up, reading the incoming message.

-Yes, of course! You know me, I'm always down for getting some drinks with my favorite fashion girl!! Name a place and a time-

Chuckling to herself at Doug's enthusiastic response, she started typing.

-How about tomorrow? 10PM at Old Fashioned? -

The response came right away.

-Sure thing! Anything particular you want to share or do you just miss your wonderful best friend ;)

Andy bit her bottom lip, considering the truth but instead opted for the safer choice.

-Just wanna talk and maybe get your input on something. See you tomorrow! xoxo-

-See you tomorrow! -

At that she put down her phone and continued eating while reading up on something referred to as human ashtray, trying her best to concentrate and not get too flustered at the memories of smoke smelling like chocolate and the commanding voice of a certain editor. It didn't take long until she put down her food, picked up a nearby notebook with her left hand and reached for a pen with her right.

Time to write down a list I guess.


Morning came fast and the usual work stress just about smacked Andy in the face, shaking her out of the stupor last night’s research had left her in.

"I just don't understand, the pieces were pre-approved and I-" "Not by Miranda," Andy quickly said into the phone on her ear, clicking on the next e-mail waiting for a reply on her computer screen. While the designer on the phone kept whining, Kathryn ran past her into Miranda’s office, the usual cup of coffee in one hand and the other holding onto bags baring Dior's Logo.

"Listen, you know how this works. Take her feedback, be thankful for it and work on what has to be redone," the brunette growled into the speaker before putting down the phone. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and got about two seconds before a soft "Andrea" cut through her moment of silence.

Seeing the editor pass her desk, she quickly got up and almost stumbled in her haste to follow, coming to a halt in front of the elevator. A group of co-workers who obviously had been waiting for it too, stepped back as the editor in chief stepped in and signaled for her assistant to follow. While Andy tried to catch her breath, she failed to notice which button her superior pressed until she felt the elevator going up.

Oh... OH

Ping!

They exited the elevator at the top floor, the steps towards the roof all too familiar by now.

The sound of heels on concrete were almost all that Andy could comprehend as she turned her head around, checking to see whether there was anybody else around.

No. No one but us.

In front of her, Miranda came to a halt, the silver etui in her hand reflecting the sun as she took out a cigarette and lit it. The first puff came out with a certain air of frustration, the smoke slowly rising into the air between them. The editor’s eyes were once again transfixed onto the buildings surrounding them as she took another drag, one hand holding the cigarette, the other one curling around her midsection, her brows furrowed.

She stayed silent, unnerving her assistant who was used to her spouting angry remarks about stupid investors and immature men by now. When she took her fourth drag, the ash on the cigarette started looking like it was about ready to start its descent to the ground. Before that could happen, Andy quickly raised her arm, cupping her hand in a familiar movement and holding it underneath the burning stick.

At that, the editor finally turned her head and made eye contact.

Tap.

At the feeling of ash falling into her hand, Andy’s shoulders finally relaxed and her mind went quiet.

"Tell me, Andrea. Have you given our last conversation any thought already?"

The question came unexpected and for a moment Andy was stumped, before she remembered herself.

"Yes, Miranda. I started on the first ideas for lists just last night," the brunette answered with all the confidence she could muster.
An amused smile played around Mirandas lips before she tapped her cigarette again, leaving more ash in her assistants outstretched hand.

"Good."

A rush of heat spread through Andy’s body at the word and she could feel her cheeks burn with blush.

The rest of their time on the rooftop was spent in silence, only interrupted by the occasional drag of the cigarette or tapping off ash into the younger woman’s hand. That was until Miranda turned her head and held eye contact with Andy again. An expectant eyebrow was raised and looking down onto the cigarette the brunette finally caught on.

It was almost dead, the heat threatening to dampen itself after having burned down most of the tobacco.

Looking back up, she held her superior’s gaze as she raised her hand just below her mouth and purposely spit into her open palm before holding her hand back out again.
A smirk tugging at pink lips was all that gave away Mirandas satisfaction, but in Andy’s eyes it might as well have been a hymn in her honor.

When the silver-haired grabbed her wrist with her free hand, she found it easier to breathe than the first time, but still overwhelmed in the best of senses.

The still burning cigarette was brought to her palm and again, slowly dragged through the fluid in her hand as the sizzling sound of a dying flame engulfed them both.

"Good," the editor repeated and then turned around, leaving her assistant on the rooftop to collect herself before continuing with her day.



Old Fashioned was only half full when Andy arrived shortly after 10PM which was not that unusual for the bar on a weeknight.

The brunette had delivered The Book earlier this evening, this time placing it on the table in the foyer as she knew Miranda was out this evening, an art gallery opening of an old friend, no assistant needed.
She was a little embarrassed about how much she already missed their interactions in the evenings, far away from prying eyes but at the same time it was for the better this way, Andy needed her head on straight for this night.

"Andy, over here!" Doug was seated at a table near the bar, waving at her across the room, two drinks in front of him. With a grin she walked up to him and greeted him with a hug before sitting down. Putting her jacket and bag on the stool next to her she gratefully accepted the drink her friend pushed her way, clinking glasses with a "Cheers" and falling into easy conversation.

There had been some changes in personnel at the company Doug worked for, leaving a few openings for much better paid positions which he had excitedly applied for. Andy congratulated him and in return gave an update on the newest office gossip of Runway.

"-God, you should've seen them, they were so cute, Doug! I mean, Kathryn by herself is already such a sweet person and then comes her boyfriend matching that energy so well and just. So cute, I'm telling you!"

They were just finishing their second round of drinks and Doug waved for the waitress to bring them another before turning back to Andy.

"Speaking of sweet people dating.. How is it going for you? Met anyone interesting recently," he asked with a waggle of his eyebrows.

Interesting. That's one way to say it.

Andy felt herself blush at that and she could see that Doug had noticed too, as his eyes widened and his face split into grin.

"Tell. Me. Everything!" he exclaimed just as the waitress arrived with their drinks, removing the empty glasses.

Shit. Okay, deep breath. This is what you came here for. Remember the plan.

"Sorry to disappoint, but there is no one-"she started but was interrupted by a chuckled "Andy. Come on."

"No, I'm serious! But there is something.."
At the pregnant pause, Doug put his drink down, attentively listening.

"It's just. I've been single for a little while now and I'm always busy with work and I don't know, maybe I've been thinking of, of, you know. Broadening my horizons," she finished, grabbing her drink and taking a generous sip.

"Usually, I'd think this is you coming out to me, but since you already did that years ago, I'm a little lost here," Doug answered with a little smile and raised eyebrows, ever the face of friendly confusion.

Another sip from the drink, a deep breath, looking straight into his eyes, Andy steeled herself and spoke again. "No coming out, like you said that's already done. No. I've been thinking. The stories that you always tell. And your friend, Mark. It's-uh, it's interesting. I think I'd like to learn more about it. The things that are like, more out there, you know?. I've already read up on it, but we both know Google searches only provide so much. Like when writing an article, you know, for a good story, you need an inside source, real people and-" she slightly faltered at the look of bewilderment on her friends face.

Shame rose up, clenching her heart. Stupid. This was a stupid idea, oh god, what have I done.

"Never mind, forget what I said," the brunette mumbled, now almost close to tears as she looked down, already planning her exit.

She fumbled with her hands when suddenly they were covered by another set. Looking up to her friend she found none of the judgement on his face that she had expected.

"Andy," he spoke in a gentle tone. "Hey. I'm not judging, I was just surprised. I would love to answer any questions you might have, and I've been dying to introduce you to Mark anyway. It's okay." As he put extra emphasis on the last two words, the pressure on Andy’s chest was lifted.

"Okay?"

"Okay," she breathed, now allowing herself to smile too.

"Now," his tone turned mischievous as he pulled back his hands to take sip from his drink. "How long has innocent, pure Andy Sachs been thinking about broadening her horizons through the means of kink?"

"Oh god," she groaned, hiding her face in her hands. She knew she was in for a world of teasing now. But at least friendly teasing. She smiled at the thought.

"Honestly, I'm not sure. It just.."

Since I offered myself up to be used as an ashtray by my boss? Yeah, that's a great answer.

"..it just sounded interesting when you mentioned it and I've been looking for something new. "

Doug seemed placated at that. He continued asking her questions about it, but most of her answers were along the lines of "I don't know", "No, I haven't tried anything", "Nope, still not dating anyone" and "It just sound interesting" as she was determined to pretend to be just a little interested. For now.

They agreed that Doug would invite her to brunch with Mark the next time and then laughed together at more fun stories, before calling it a night.

Chapter Text

When Andy was little, she had always been a nervous child, often afraid of speaking up. Her parents had noticed and done their best to encourage her to be more confident in herself and speak her opinions. College and her passion for calling out inequality through writing had managed to solidify that in her and by the time she considered herself a full-grown adult, there was barely any trace of that shy child, except for the occasionally rambling when nervous.

That was until now. Now she was standing in front of the door to the Townhouse, dry cleaning and Book with her and three pages of paper in her bag. Three pages she had read so often these past hours, she could recite them by heart. Her nerves were through the roof.

"Three lists."

It had been three days and after rereading everything, especially her notes and lists, she knew she didn't need more time.
She was as ready as she would ever be. She had discreetly handed Miranda her lists during lunch hour. Nobody was around, Kathryn out for a coffee run and Andy had seen her chance. A flicker of recognition had passed across Mirandas face as she scanned the pages handed to her.

She had looked up to Andy, who had been biting her bottom lip, desperately trying to hold still.

"Good."

Without another word, the editor had opened a drawer in her desk and produced three pages of paper for Andy, handing them over to her assistant.
"Read. Then read them again. Think about it. And come to me tonight, when you bring The Book so we may discuss any questions you have."

"Yes, Miranda."

Shaking herself, Andy returned her focus to the door in front of her. She pushed the keys into the door and opened it.

Time to face the music.



The Townhouse was silent as she entered, the twins staying at their fathers for a night because he had wished for them to have some time to bond with his wife.
After placing the dry cleaning in the closet, she walked up the stairs with shaking legs. The soft glow coming from the open door of the study welcomed her like an old friend and with one last breath to calm herself, she entered the room, closing the door behind her.

The editor was sitting in her sitting on the couch, looking up to her assistant as the young woman entered.

"Andrea," she spoke while signaling for her to join her on the couch. "Anything to drink," the older woman inquired while Andy sat down next to her.
"Um, no, thank you."

"Very well. Let's not waste time then. You've read my lists." at that the brunette nodded eagerly. "What are your questions?"

"I think I actually have only one, really." As surprise showed on her superior’s face, she moved to explain herself, "I may have done some research, so most of the terms were familiar to me somewhat and if anything comes up, that I may have misunderstood, I think I'd be free tell you. Right?"

"Yes. Now, your question."

"Yes, um, safeword. I um- I realize I've told you a safeword for me. But I wasn't sure whether it would be the same for you? You know, because that one article kept bringing up the importance of um-the-the, you know, the-"

"Eloquent as ever, I see," Miranda spoke with a smirk tugging at the corner of her lips. "The Dominant, Andrea."

"Yes, the Dominant! The importance of the, um, the dominant to have a safeword, too. Is that something you want," she asked shyly, unsure whether or not the question was stupid.

Sure, feels like it.

"It's not about wanting or wishing for it, it is something everybody needs. No matter on what side of the arrangement, everybody has to have the option to safeword, do you understand, Andrea?"

With the editor looking at her so intently it was hard string complete sentences at this point, but she did her best. This conversation was important.

"Yes, Miranda. I understand. Thank you. So.. um, would yours be the same as mine or different?"

"For the sake of simplicity, we shall use the same safeword, if that is agreeable to you. Do you remember what it was?"

"Cerulean Blue."

"Good. Was that your only question?"

"Yes, “Andy breathed, her heartbeat picking back up at the aspect of Miranda questioning her own written words.

"Very well. I have to say, your lists are very thorough, which makes this much easier for me," Again, a blush spread on Andy’s face, knowing she had done good in the eyes of the other woman. Crossing one leg over the other, Miranda continued, "Now, I believe this to be a starting point. As of right now I don't have questions, but should they arise, I'll simply address them, just as I expect you to do so, too. Seeing as I don't believe in "jumping the gun" as the masses like to say, I don't think we should encounter any trouble.

Just one last thing."

Blue held brown and the world seemed to stop right there and then.

"Are you still sure that you want this, Andrea?"

Silence didn't get the chance to fill up the space between the women as the brunette spoke immediately.

A confident "Yes" fell from her lips.

It felt like a deal had been made.
A contract signed.
A heart given away.

I wonder if this is what they mean by selling your soul to the devil. Seems fitting.

And just like that, everything changed.

Most notably; the atmosphere in the room.
Andy could feel it in her bones, her body already itching to get off the sofa and on her knees. Miranda, too, seemed changed. More powerful, something in her eyes now making Andy’s breath catch in her throat.

"You know your place then," the editor spoke, a teasing tilt in her voice.
"Yes, Miranda," the assistant answered, already getting off the couch to stand in front of Miranda before sinking down to her knees. Feeling much more at home in this position, she looked up to the editor with a little smile on her face. She couldn't help it.

The older woman replied with a smirk while looking the kneeling woman up and down.
"Unless I tell you otherwise, this is where you belong, do you understand?"

"Yes, Miranda."

At that, the editor got up from the couch and walked to Andy’s side, one hand reaching for the skin on the back of the assistant’s neck, slowly going up and into her hair, the touch making Andy’s heart stutter as a shiver ran up her spine. Her nerves finally calmed down as emotions made her feel like a whirlwind tore through her chest for a moment before everything settled down and she was left with warmth and the feeling of safety at the mercy of the older woman.

For someone with such a cold exterior, Miranda sure had warm hands and the young assistant relished in the feeling, her eyes slightly drooping.

"You will continue addressing me by my name. Should I wish for something else, I will tell you so. Understood?"
She didn’t open her mouth, a relaxed smile stretching her lips. Happiness spread through her and the tingling feeling of a small flame licking its way through her body left her speechless. Slowly losing herself to the feeling of warm fingers combing through her hair, Andy hummed in affirmation.

Suddenly the hand gripped onto a fistful of hair, pulling her head back in an abrupt movement. The assistant winced more in shock than in pain as she looked up to her superior with wide eyes.

Miranda met her gaze with a look that left no room for discussion. Pursed lips, a slight furrow of her brows, a stern expression in her blue eyes.

Her voice held a calm sharpness in it -the tone that had made her the infamous Devil of the fashion world- when she spoke after a moment of silence.
"I expect you to answer when I ask a question."

"Yes, Miranda," the young woman whispered, looking up with a pleading look on her face. The calmness swept aside, giving way to a curious mix of emotions. She felt a sliver of fear but at the same time the small flame in her belly started to grow, her body heating up in a way she recognized as the beginnings of arousal build inside her.

The fingers in her hair didn't release their grip instead tugging again and a quiet whimper escaped Andy’s lips. Instantly she blushed in embarrassment, not having been able to help herself. She became aware of the position they were in, the picture they painted. Her, kneeling on the floor, looking up to Miranda who’s hand was gripping onto her hair, forcing her to bend backwards and face the intimidating woman. All that power with a single hand and a stern look. Heat hit her like a train, cursing through her veins as the editor continuously held her gaze.

"You will listen to me, and you will learn, won't you?"

Not wanting to risk angering the editor further Andy opened her mouth to answer right away but before she could, Miranda continued,

"You will be good, Andrea, won't you?"

"good"

Her composure continued to shatter at the sound of the word. How she longed for it.

"Yes Miranda," Andy said, surprised by how breathless she sounded but unable to care as the world around them faded more and more into the background.
Nothing else existed. Nothing was important.

Only Mirandas words.

"Good."

Slowly the fingers in her hair released their grip, brushing over the back of her head once more before Miranda retracted her hand entirely. She walked around the kneeling woman and then came to a short stop in front of her.

"Now. As I said, I intend to make you better, to form you, and for that there will be some rules established."

The editor started circling her assistant, assessing her carefully.

Andy did her best not to squirm under the eyes that seemed to dissect her part by part.

Even though she had chosen her outfit carefully this morning -a light off-white blouse and a flowy black skirt that stopped mid-thigh, black heels and topping everything with accessories by Chanel- that thought gave her little reassurance under the stare of La Priestly herself.

"When you arrive to deliver The Book, I expect you to hand it me in the way you did tonight. On your knees, holding it up with both hands. But only after you locked the door to the study behind you. In absolutely no way will any of this ever come close to the twins, do you understand? Locked. Doors. " At that the editor narrowed her eyes, ever the protective mother.

"Of course, Miranda!"

"Unless we are at the office, you only speak when spoken to. Exceptions may be made, especially for safe wording.

"Again, no one is to know about what the two of us are doing. You may only seek advice from your friends by keeping my identity to yourself."

"This will be monogamous. I.don't.share. And considering what I've read in your lists, you don't either. No dates, no other arrangements."

At that Andys brain short-circuited. I don’t share It insutiated something that Andy wished for without knowing how to declare it. To be hers. Something that is not meant to be shared, because it was far too important to its o-

"You are to follow my rules. Should you fail, punishment may come in whatever form I regard fit.

Understood?"

At that the woman came to a stop in front of Andy.

"Yes, Miranda," the assistant nodded while looking up to the vision before her.

After silent eye contact for another minute, the corner of Mirandas lips moved up, the editor almost smiling.

"Good. Stand up."

Getting up with a little more grace than the times before filled Andy with a brief rush of pride. She was getting better at this, not quite the helpless Bambi from the first time. Her legs still tingled as blood rushed through them, but she wasn't as unstable as the last few times and instead stood straight, a small smile on her lips.

That smile fell from her face when Miranda took two steps forward and entered Andy’s personal space with the same nonchalance she entered her office or her home with. Like it belonged to her. Her own domain.
Andy struggled to breathe calmly at the closeness, trying to make eye-contact with the older woman who seemed more fixated on Andy’s blouse at the moment.

"Repeat the rules back to me. Show me you've listened."

"Of course," Andy whispered, then cleared her throat and started speaking.

"When I deliver The Book, I will lock the door behind me, kneel in front of y-"

Her next words were lost as she felt fingertips ghost over neck, trailing down her skin, passing the first two undone top buttons and stopping right above the first button that actually helped hold the blouse together. It felt as though that single fingertip was burning a mark onto the assistants skin, leaving a trail of heat in its path.
Stern blue eyes looked back up to hair, an air of impatience around them as Miranda offered no words, only a raise of her eyebrow.

Continue.

"Uhm, I'm sorry. As I was saying, I will kneel in front of you and hold it up with both hands for you to take."

And just like that, elegant fingers popped open the button they had been playing with while she tried her best to form a coherent sentence.
Andy drew in a sharp breath and continued again.

"I will always lock the door behind me first. Absolutely no risking that either of the girls get close to..this."

Another button was opened, exposing her cleavage and her hands got sweaty.

"I only speak when spoken to."

Nimble fingers opened the third button, revealing even more of Andy’s upper body.
Mirandas eyes stayed fixated on the skin in front of her, seemingly deep in thought. But Andy knew better than to assume the editor wasn't listening, so she went on.

"Except when we are at the office or when it comes to safe wording."

Button number 4 gave way and Andy’s tongue felt heavy, her breath catching every time one of Miranda’s fingers brushed against her skin while going on about their task. The accidental touches felt more intense than anything the young woman had ever experienced before and breathing became an almost impossible task as passion and longing filled her entire being.

"Nobody will know about this. I may seek advice from friends but only if I-

The next button was pulled upon and now most of Andy’s stomach was on display, too. There was only one button left and her mind was all but gone.

"Only if I conceal your identity."

She had to fight with every cell in her body to not jump or flinch when a fingertip was placed at the top of stomach before slowly going down until arriving at the last button. The touch lit her on fire, a light pressure and a heavy presence grounding her at the same time she felt as if she was flying.

"This is monogamous. No one else. No dates, no nothing."

Finally, Miranda looked back up to her, her expression seemingly amused, but her eyes darker than Andy had ever seen them, staring into her soul. She almost whimpered again.

"I will follow your rules. Should I fail,” blue eyes darkened and the heat in the room felt stifflening, almost to the point where she felt like sinking back to her knees, back to her personal little comfort zone, “you punish me."

A deep breath, those eyes still burning into her.

"However you seem fit," she finished and the last button was undone, the blouse falling open.

"Good," Miranda murmured in a low tone before breaking the eye contact to let her gaze roam over the exposed torso in front of her.

Andy fought her instinct to cover herself with her hands, comments from co-workers about her body size returning to her mind.
By now she liked the way Nigel called her Six and she knew her body was completely fine,but..

But that's just it. Just. Fine. Okay. Bared in front of a woman that works with supermodels.

Not able to hide the insecurity showing in her face, she lowered her gaze, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth as the silence stretched on. She rembered all the times she simply hadn’t been good enough for others. All the times her teenage self had looked into the mirror and not seen what had been so carelessly advertised in any media she’d looked at. The world had made it almost impossible to love her body as it was, with her curves, the soft belly and the little lines on her skin that she later learned were called stretchmarks.

"Exquisite."

The single word made Andy snap her head back up, looking at Miranda with astonishment while the other woman still took in her half exposed assistant. It seemed ridiculous how a simple word could tamper down years of insecurity, but for some reason it did. Miranda’s word was law, after all.

"One more rule. You will eat breakfast every single day. No skipping, no forgetting, non-negotiable. This may be your body as of right now but should we ever decide to take this further, I will own you. Meaning you body will be mine. Your mind most importantly, but also your body. And I want you healthy, not running on nothing but those dreadful bars you eat and I will certainly not have you starving away. Understood, Andrea?"

They shared a long look, no lie detected on the older woman’s face.
Only the best will suffice for Miranda.

"Yes, Miranda. I will eat breakfast every morning," Andy whispered, moisture gathering in her eyes at the unexpected praise. She had prepared herself for anything but this, scattered memories of past lovers skimming over parts of her body she couldn’t bring herself to love, ignoring what needed reassurance. But this woman.. she stood in front of her with a cold and calculating look, taking everything in and she decided to call her..

"Exquisite."

"Good. Do you have any questions?"

Miranda brought up her hand and brushed aside the right side of Andys blouse softly, almost as if unwrapping a delicate present. As a fingertip followed the path of Andy’s clavicle the young woman swallowed and shook her head.
At that she felt the sharp sting of a fingernail pressing into her skin as Miranda continued her path over Andy’s skin.

Biting back a hiss, the brunette realized her mistake.

"I expect you to answer when I ask a question."

"No, Miranda, I have no questions."

That seemed to do the trick and the pressure vanished.
With a smirk the editor stepped back, taking one last look at blushing assistant and Andy realized what she must’ve looked like. With her flushed cheeks, wide eyes, trembling hands, open blouse and slightly parted lips.
She could feel a thin red line starting to appear just below her left clavicle and her chest rose in deep breaths, as the young woman tried to calm her beating heart.

“Good. Now, get back on your knees.”

Without even thinking, the brunette got back on her knees, feeling light-headed. She looked up and was met with a stare that set her soul on fire.
Lust.
There was no mistaking it.
“It is of utmost importance to show respect to your superiors, you know that don’t you?” the older woman asked as she seemed to grow even taller in front of her assistant who could hear her heart pound in her eyes.
“Yes.”

“Good. Put your hands on the floor.”

Trembling hands met the floor in front of Louis Vuitton high heels. Black, high, deadly.
“Show your respect then,” the words came out raspy, in a tone that made Andy want to do anything to hear it again.
Having no clear idea on what to do she looked down, fixing her stare on the heels in front of her. Memories of the sound of those very same heels filling the halls of Runway, striking fear in every employee, filled her mind as her body reacted. The arousal from before hadn’t disappeared, instead she could feel her muscles tense, her mouth water and a shiver run through her as it grew.
One deep breath and .. She lowered her head, her knees pressing into the ground, her hands trying to hold onto the same floor as if it could stabilize her. Her open blouse brushed the floor gently as she continued her path downwards and then..

Plump lips landed on the front of a heel. The material felt foreign under her mouth, but she couldn’t bring herself to care as she pressed her lips onto it.
Surprised at the sound of her superior drawing in her breath she nearly stopped herself but found that she couldn’t. She simply couldn’t. This was.. It was as if the world had shifted once again.

Again, she pressed her mouth onto the shoe in front of her. When her lips left the material, her mouth fell open on its own and before she could think about it or question herself, an eager tongue emerged from in between her lips and shyly licked the side of the shoe, slowly running up the side of the heel, wary of making contact with any exposed skin. She wished to go further, to worship everything in front of her but also knew that there were lines not to be crossed this evening.

Careful.

Before she could get ahead of herself, Andy slowly retreated, keeping her hands and knees on the floor, but not before leaving one last kiss.

“Thank you” The whisper had left her before she even realized, still on all fours. The silence that followed made her queasy and she was about to question her actions when a hand landed on the top of her head, caressing her hair.

“You’re welcome. Look up.”

Brown eyes met a strength and intensity none of the two was prepared for, time seeming to stand still. The editor in front of her looked down with none of the disdain she was usually known for, instead there was a heat only known to few.
It send a bolt straight through Andy’s body, nestling between her thighs. Gods, this woman was going to be the death of her.

“Take a deep breath for me, Andrea.”
If the older woman’s voice carried the slightest tremor revealing that she was not immune to the atmosphere either, neither of the two commented on it. Instead, Andy did as she was told and caught her breath while sitting back on her knees.

"Good. You may dress yourself again."

And with that Miranda returned to the sofa, but not before taking a bottle of Pellegrino, filling a glass with it and placing that on the small table next to her end of the couch.
She crossed her legs and watched silently as Andy, who hadn't gotten up from her spot on the floor, finished buttoning up her blouse again.

"Come closer, Andrea."
Without thinking the addressed woman crawled the short distance until she was right in front of Miranda. She was about to settle back on her knees, when the editor spoke again.

"Closer."

Wide eyes looked up, unsure what to do until Miranda pointed to the spot right next to her feet.
Again, the young woman shuffled closer until she was kneeling next to Mirandas legs, looking up to her.

"Good."

"Now," at that Miranda grabbed the glass of water, holding it out to her assistant. "Drink up."
Thankful for the gesture, Andy drank up the glass in one go, not having realized how parched she was.
After she had returned the glass and Miranda had placed it back onto the table, a comfortable silence engulfed the two woman.
Slowly, very slowly, what had just occurred started to sink in.

And at that a shy smile started to light up Andy’s face just as Mirandas eyes showed that softness that rarely anyone got to see.

"How are you feeling?"

Again, that soft tone. It touched upon heart strings that Andy much rather kept hidden and yet she couldn’t stop the blush from spreading.
She had to ponder on the question for a moment, many of these emotions still so new to her.

"Good," the assistant started. "Happy. I.. I can't explain it. Overwhelmed in the best way. Just. Really, really happy. And thankful. For everything."

The answer was apparently the right one, because Miranda followed Andy’s words by placing her hand on the brunette’s cheek, cradling the young woman’s face.
While leaning into the touch, Andy found herself wanting to ask Miranda the same question but didn't want to speak without being spoken to.
It must have shown on her face though because the editor smirked and then told her "You may speak freely." while still cradling her face.

"How are you feeling, Miranda?"

The smirk turned into a small smile and a thumb stroked across her cheek.

"I feel wonderful. I believe you and I will have a lot of .. fun together. You’ve done well."

Andy happily sighed before the hand slowly drew back. The stayed like that for some time after, not talking but simply soaking up the others presence while returning to the real world. The brunette rested her head on a spot on the couch right next to Mirandas thigh as the older woman moved her hand through dark hair. No words needed to be spoken. They sat in companiable silence for some time, Andys thoughts slowly returning to the real world and becoming more focused while still relishing in the attention of the woman sitting above her.

After some time Miranda turned to her and when she asked whether Andy felt ready to go home, the young woman nodded, starting to feel back to her usual self.

Just like the last time, she was escorted to the door.
After having bid her goodbyes and stepped out onto the sidewalk, she stopped for a moment and grinned up to the sky before started her journey home.

Chapter Text

The following days were as hectic as ever during office hours and relaxing after work. Andy would deliver the book long after the twins had gone to bed. Miranda would make her corrections while Andy rested at her feet, recharging after a long day of work. Occasionally Miranda would ask about whether she had eaten breakfast and Andy would proudly answer, That Yes, she was successfully following the rules.


It was about a week later when Andy found herself sitting down with Nigel in his office, eating lunch, and chatting away about the newest office gossip.

“..and you wouldn’t believe it, she then actually got up and-,” Nigel went on, that mischievous glint in his eyes as he continued the story of the newest scandal in the fashion department. Andy smiled whole-heartedly as she took another bite of her salad, attentively listening to her friend’s words. Due to the hectic nature of their work, they didn’t often get the chance to enjoy lunch together and she quickly realized she had missed sitting down with Nigel.

When the story finally ended with a chuckled “And that’s why there was not a single pink item in the last run-through”, the conversation continued to flow naturally, updates about their personal life given, while Andy narrowly avoided questions about her dating life. Nigel was too observant, and she was a bad liar after all.


She left lunch in a happy mood, walking back to her desk just to see Kathryn walk out of Mirandas office with a look of relief on her face.
Andy threw a questioning glance at her colleague while she sat down behind her own desk.

“The Chanel pieces almost arrived late,” Kathryn explained.

Oh no. The pieces arriving late would’ve ruined the entire plan for Mirandas schedule today, that would be catastrophic.

Panic must’ve shown on Andy’s face, because her colleague quickly continued:
“No worries! The woman in charge of the delivery house pushed the priority for us and they arrived 5 minutes ago. I just gave them to Miranda.” She grinned proudly and no one could blame her, to get the deliveries faster that originally planned was a notoriously difficult task.
Andy smiled back at her colleague and raised her eyebrows questioningly, “How did you get them to do that?”
“Easy, I recognized the woman from Pride last year! Sam and I met her and her wife when volunteering at one of the stands and-“

“Andrea.”

And there goes the small talk.

Andy quickly got up from her seat and grabbed her notebook on the way into Mirandas office, while Kathryn returned her attention to her e-mails.

When she came to a halt in front of the editor’s desk, said woman was still looking down on the pieces on her desk. Without raising her head, she started right away, “Get me Nigel, he needs to have a look at these. I want his opinion, tell him to bring the current drafts for the next issue to compare the colors. Also, let Alexander know that I will join his little luncheon next year.”
Andy scribbled her notes dutifully as Miranda took a deep breath through her nose and leaned back in her chair, eyes still on the items on her desk. The editor seemed lost in thought and her assistant allowed herself to take in the other woman’s appearance. While deep in thought, she still looked highly alert, shining eyes and furrowed brows behind a silver lock that had fallen into her face. Miranda’s right hand fiddled absent-mindedly with her necklace, the movement catching Andy’s attention.

And that started her downfall.

Because now she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

Elegant fingers moved slowly around the pendant and as fingertips slid over the silver chain holding it, Andy remembered how it had felt to have those same fingertips in her hair. She felt her face heat up and gripped the notebook with a little more force trying to shake herself out of this stupor, but to no avail. With a dry mouth and a spinning head, she watched as Mirandas fingers twirled the pendant between them, the silver reflecting the light as it moved.

There was always such grace in the way Miranda moved, such intent and elegance.

Look away.

Her hands looked so soft, all flawless skin and manicured nails.

Look away.

Mirandas ring finger followed the thin silver chain, starting from the pendant, going up to her neck and-

Look away.

-back down to the pendant. Miranda took the tear-shaped pendant in between her thumb and her index finger, slightly twirling the object.

Please, please, pull yourself together and just move your-

A chuckle broke her out of her thoughts.

Startled, she looked up to see Miranda staring at her directly, a smirk on her lips. A smirk that felt very dangerous.

“You seem distracted, are my instructions no longer interesting enough for you?”

Someone listening in could easily mistake Mirandas comment for a reprimand, but Andy looked into blue eyes full of mischievousness and easily recognized the slightly teasing tone.
Still mortified at having been caught staring and unable to shake off the stupor completely, the young assistant just stood there in silence while her blush deepened.

When Miranda rose from her seat, Andy opened her mouth to finally say something, but struggled to find the words. Should she apologize? Should she pretend it didn’t happen? Had she missed any instructions?

Oh god, how distracted was I??

Meanwhile the editor in front of her leaned over the desk and pressed two fingers under Andy’s chin, pushing her mouth closed.
Another smirk, a beat of silence and a nonchalant “That’s all.”

Andy returned to her desk with burning ears and heat gathering in her lap.
By the time she finally called Nigel to Mirandas office, she still hadn’t stopped squirming in her seat.


That evening when Andy entered the Townhouse with the Book and dry cleaning in her arms, she felt a shudder run through her. She had been able to pull herself together for the rest of the day after that incident, but know, being so close to Miranda and most importantly alone again, she couldn’t stop her body’s reaction.
After placing the dry-cleaning in the closet, she quickly turned around and walked her way to the study in which Miranda was already seated, as always.
She stepped in, locked the door behind her and then turned around, finally meeting her superior’s gaze. Already wondering what she could possibly do for Miranda to touch her again, even if just to run her hand through her hair.
An expectant eyebrow was raised, and she shook herself out of it, quickly walking to stand in front of the other woman, before sinking to her kneels and holding out the Book with both hands.

Half expecting this evening to continue like the past few, the assistant lowered her gaze to the floor, getting ready for comfortable silence. Maybe Miranda would make her get on her hands and knees again. Or perhaps she would be asked if she had eaten breakfast. Maybe they would just relax in silence. Could be whatever.

Well. She certainly wasn’t expecting Mirandas next words.

“Do you touch yourself?”

What.

As the brunette raised her head to look at Miranda, she was met with amused blue eyes looking down on her, The Book still open in her lap.

“You heard me. Don’t make me repeat myself.”

Andy licked her lips, swallowed nervously, and answered, “Ah yes, sometimes.”

She cringed at the way her voice had practically become a squeak on the last word. She wasn’t prepared for this conversation, and she most certainly had not expected it.

The eyes of the woman in front of her narrowed slightly as the next words were spoken, “How often?”

Oh god.

“Uhm, every once in a while,” Andy answered, the words sounding more like a question than an answer.

And Miranda seemed to notice that too, lips pursing unsatisfied. Now that was enough to finally slap Andy out of her confusion and shyness. She would not disappoint Miranda.
Squaring her shoulders, Andy spoke again.

“About once or twice a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how stressful everything is.”

“See, that wasn’t so hard to admit,” Miranda continued, the smirk having returned to her face now.

“You see, I believe that sexuality is a wonderful thing. But sometimes it controls us, rather than we it. Some of us more than others.”

The blush returned to Andy’s face as she realized that Miranda was referring to her staring this afternoon. Shame at having been caught returned. With an amused tone, the editor went on.

“And we can’t have that, can we?”

Andy went to silently shake her head but quickly remembered her rules and spoke instead.

“No, Miranda.”

“Exactly. Do you know why?” The editor closed the Book and placed it on the table beside her, before she leaned forward and placed her fingers underneath Andy’s chin, making the younger woman look at her.
“Because I can’t be distracted at work?”

A chuckle left the older woman.

“That too. But more importantly, this is about control. You cannot be controlled by your lust, because the only thing in this world to have this kind of power over you,-”

The fingers on her skin moved and suddenly Miranda was grabbing her chin with more force, making it impossible to look elsewhere.

“-will be me.

All amusement had escaped Mirandas eyes, as they looked onto Andy’s, stern, serious and dark.

“Yes, Miranda,” was the breathless reply that Andy managed. And she knew it was honest, too. She truly did want Miranda to have all the power over her. It made her feel safe and free and she didn’t want to imagine a world where she didn’t get to experience this anymore.

They held their silent eye contact for a long moment, blue eyes searching brown ones, looking to see if the message had sunk in. Once she seemed satisfied, Miranda let go of Andy’s chin and leaned back in her chair.

“Very well. From now on you will cease to touch yourself at all. We ought to teach you some self-restraint. Should you feel the need to find release any way, you will not do so without my permission. You may call me and explain yourself and I will make a decision based on that.”
The message was delivered in a calm and decisive tone, while Andy’s thoughts ran hammock insider her head.

Call her. Call her??

Mortified at the idea of calling Miranda to ask permission to masturbate, Andy internally vowed to simply not touch herself for the next few weeks.

I don’t have the biggest sex drive anyway. How hard can it be?

“Have I made myself clear?”

The tone was low and dangerous, waiting for the admittance of failure.

Thank god, I’m not that distracted.

“Yes, absolutely,” she answered with as much confidence as she could.
At that, Miranda got up from her seat to stand in front of her assistant.
“This is for your own good, you understand that don’t you?” The smug tone of Mirandas words wasn’t lost to Andy but she didn’t care. More rules, meant more of the other womans influence on her life and she loved it.

“Yes, Miranda”

“And what do you say to those that help you become better,” Miranda asked and held out her right hand in front of Andy’s face, the ring she was wearing reflecting the soft light of the den.
She looked every bit like an aristocrat.

Shyly Andy raised her hands to take the offered hand into hers, not gripping, but merely holding in place with her fingers as she threw one last look at Mirandas face, searching for any kind of rejection, but found none.
At the almost reassuring look in Mirandas eyes, Andy smiled with wide eyes and whispered “Thank you” before closing her eyes and pressing her lips onto Mirandas knuckles. She let her lips linger for a long moment, indulging, relishing in this moment, in the way the skin felt under her lips, the warmth.

With a heavy heart because of the moment being so short, she started to lean back and release Mirandas hand, but was stopped by the editors words.

“Again.”

There was no wavering in the voice, no question, no indecisiveness. It was a command. Clear and sure.

Andy didn’t even open her eyes and took a shuddering breath as she leaned back forward and pressed another kiss onto soft knuckles. When the flesh under her lips moved, she almost drew back, but forced herself to stay still instead as Miranda had not said anything. Even without opening her eyes, she realized the hand moved up and out of her grip, but instead of being removed completely, it came to a stop again, the first knuckle of an index finger now under her lips. Again, she pressed a kiss on Mirandas skin, trying her best not to tremble.

She couldn’t tell why exactly, but once again, she felt as if she were on fire. Slowly letting her hands sink back into her lap, the young woman sighed against warm skin. She opened her eyes just in time to see Miranda move her other hand to place it on the top of the brunette’s head before sinking into her long hair. A gentle tug at the back of her head and Andy raised her head, following the silent command as she leaned back and met the editors’ eyes. A content look met her as another tug followed and pulled her head back further, now almost looking at the ceiling.

“You will be good for me and follow this rule just as well as you have been following the other ones.”

The young woman’s eyes drooped, and Miranda placed the fingertips of her index and middle finger on her assistant’s lips. Again, Andy kissed what she was offered, and her mouth fell open to let out a relaxed sigh against her superior’s skin.

“You will be good.”

Mirandas words reached her ears and she felt as if in a trance, nothing mattered anymore, pure bliss had reduced her to ..
To what? She couldn’t tell. She couldn’t even think clearly.

Everything was Miranda.
Miranda was everything.

The fingertips on her mouth moved again, pressing down on her bottom lip, prompting Andy to open her mouth just the slightest bit. Just enough for ..

Miranda slowly pressed her fingers past trembling lips.

Oh god.

Arousal shot through like a shock and heat gathered in her lap for the second time this day.
The fingers came to a stop halfway into Andys mouth, and she didn’t dare to move, but couldn’t control her breathing as it go heavier, her senses overwhelmed.

“You enjoy being good, don’t you, Andrea.”

Unable to answer verbally, Andy could do nothing but let out a whimper against the older woman’s fingers. At that, her tongue accidentally brushed against warm skin and she all but fainted. The room felt hot, her clothing felt too tight, her hands gripped onto the material of her skirt and to her horror Andy caught herself rocking her hips with the tiniest movement, unable to stop herself.

“It’s alright, I shall forgive you for not answering properly this time,” Miranda almost cooed in a sarcastic tone, making no move to remove her fingers from Andy’s mouth or her other hand from the assistant’s hair.
Said assistant was still trying to still her body, but as her mind was lost to the passion eating at her, she didn’t stand a chance. And she couldn’t find it in herself to fight it either. She wanted this. She loved this. She felt so small, at Her mercy. Andy had never felt so safe and lost at the same time. It was glorious.

“You enjoy being a good girl.”

”a good girl.”

This time Andy didn’t even attempt to hide the moan and her hands gripped harder at her skirt. Without even realizing, she had closed her lips around Mirandas fingers. She refocused her eyes and tried to meet Mirandas’, the other woman fixated on her assistant’s mouth before she raised her eyes to look at Andy directly.

Miranda raised an eyebrow, licked her lips, and made sure to look Andy directly in the eye as she spoke again.

“Good girl.”

And just like that, the kneeling woman almost shattered. Breathing in through her nose, she felt her muscles clench and she could tell that just the slightest touch or wrong movement would have her tumbling over the final edge and reach her peak right here, right in front of this woman.

Just as slowly as they had entered, those fingers now left her mouth, leaving Andy to try and catch her breath while Miranda released her hair too.

I almost- oh god, I almost came from that. How is that even possible.

Completely shocked at the severity of her reaction Andy looked around in disbelief, her mind working overtime as it attempted to make sense of the situation while still in a haze. That chaos stopped when Miranda brushed through her hair and then sat back down in her armchair, from where she signaled for Andy to sit by her legs again.

As she crawled towards Miranda, she calmed her breathing but still felt out of it. As soon as she sat right next to Mirandas feet, a hand returned to her head and went through her hair, brushing aside strands, gently stroking her cheek, and ultimately coming to a rest on her neck. Miranda slightly pressed onto Andy’s neck, making her lean forward and finally resting her head on the editors thigh.
Breathing in and out deeply, the young woman finally calmed down, feeling grounded by the hand on her neck.

“Andrea.”

“Hmmm,” came a murmured reply as she raised her head and looked at the older woman. She was surprised to find something akin to worry in the other woman’s eyes.

“Are you alright?”

Oh.

“Yes, Miranda, I am. Are you..alright?”

The other woman took a breath before answering in a low tone. “I was worried for a moment, but that’s better now.”

Surprised at the editor’s vulnerability and determined to show how much she cared; Andy didn’t let it go. She thought back to when she had first informed herself about these things.
Aftercare.

“How about I get you a cup of tea,” she asked, purposely not asking what she could do, but instead offering something. She figured it wouldn’t help to put more responsibility to make decisions onto Miranda when said woman needed to relax.
A small smile graced Mirandas lips. “Acceptable.”

Andy got up and left to prepare a cup of tea in the kitchen before returning to the Study, locking the door behind her. She returned to kneeling by Mirandas side before she offered the cup to her.
And just like that they both relaxed into companiable silence. Miranda seemed much more comfortable now and resumed to editing the Book that she had put back in her lap while Andy was gone with one hand, as the other was placed back on Andys neck, her thumb stroking her skin.
It felt so unbelievably warm and tender, that Andy almost fell asleep with her head leaned against Mirandas thigh as she murmured another “Thank you”.

After some time, they made eye contact and when both were sure enough that the other had found her feet again, the evening came to a peaceful end.


On her way home, Andy let the events pass through her mind.
“Good girl.”
Biting her lip she cursed herself at her own naivety for thinking she could simply not touch herself.

I’m screwed.