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Going the Distance

Chapter Text

September 2006.

Andy glanced over Irv Ravitz's shoulder, and saw Miranda glancing back over Stephen's as she led him away into the throng of guests. Suddenly, the words Their eyes met across a crowded room leapt into Andy's mind, and her cheeks went hot.

There were too many people here. It was obviously too stuffy.

Across the crowded room, Miranda mouthed the words Thank you.

Then she turned around and dragged Stephen out of sight.

Andy's heart started beating again, which was when she realized that it had stopped in the first place. She quickly turned her attention back to Irv, who was still holding forth about John Cheever and apparently hadn't noticed her moment of distraction.

He kept talking for a while, obviously pleased with his captive audience. Andy tried not to squirm with impatience. She'd been on the verge of breaking out of here when Miranda had gotten in trouble. Now she was going to be even later to Nate's party. And she doubted her friends would appreciate it if she explained why.

But finally, Irv looked away from Andy and cut himself off mid-sentence. "Ah," he said, and a little smile crossed his face. "Excuse me, Andy. I see someone I have to talk to. It was a pleasure.” He offered his hand.

Thank God. Andy took his hand and said, smiling, "The pleasure's all mine, Mr. Ravitz. Enjoy the party."

Irv walked away, and Andy turned around, exhaling heavily. Emily was staring at her, her eyes wide with awe.

"Well," she said.

"Yeah," Andy agreed.

Emily tossed her head back. "Well," she said again. "I am forced to admit…"

Andy grinned. Then Emily's eyes widened again at something over Andy's shoulder.

Andy turned around and saw that the “someone” Irv was talking to was a tall, stylish woman, a brunette with a stripe of white hair, almost like a skunk. It took a second, but Andy recognized her. "Isn't that Jacqueline Follet?" she asked Emily. "From French Runway?"

"Ugh. Yes," Emily said with a moue of disapproval. "Miranda hates her. Thank God she's already left."

"Yeah," Andy said, nodding. Thank God, indeed. After that little showdown with her husband, the last thing Miranda needed was to square off with some woman who would compete with her for the title of Biggest Bitch of the Night.

Then again…Miranda hadn't been all that bitchy tonight. Not with that “thank you.” Andy wondered if Emily had noticed that, and instantly decided not to ask.

She snapped herself out of it. No more thinking about Miranda tonight. She had a boyfriend, for God's sake, whom she'd been letting down for months, and… "Uh, Emily?"

"Go, go," Emily sighed, and gave Andy a resigned half-smile. "Maybe someday you'll learn to enjoy the finer things in life."

Apparently for Emily, the finer things involved starving herself while high-society people ignored her completely. No, thanks. Andy patted her arm, and blurted, "You know--maybe you and I should go out for a drink sometime. That'd be fun.”

As soon as she said it, she thought that she had to be crazy, but heck, maybe it would be fun. Emily had actually been pretty nice to her tonight. Grateful for her help, even, just like Miranda. Maybe they could be friends after all.

Emily looked stunned, and then gave an indifferent little shrug. "Perhaps," she said.

Andy, having no idea how to interpret that (and not caring too much right now), hurried for the door, calling Roy on the way so that he could pick her up in the Town Car.

Traffic was bad, and Andy writhed in the back seat. It was past midnight, and Nate's birthday was already over.

"Roy?" she said hesitantly. "Can you--I mean, would you mind pulling over right there? In front of that bakery?"

When she got home, the party was long over. Nate was sitting on the sofa by himself, and didn't seem to notice when she came through the door, holding a little cupcake with a candle in it. She tried to explain--explain that she was sorry, but that she'd had no choice--and he didn't even care. He just went to bed.

Blinking back tears, Andy blew out the candle and tossed the cupcake into the trash. No sense eating it. She was this close to fitting into a size four dress.

Dammit.

In spite of herself, she thought of Miranda again. Wondered what she and her husband were saying to each other tonight, or if they were saying anything at all. If they were going to sleep in cold silence, just like Andy and Nate were. At least Miranda's house had more than one bedroom where somebody could retreat and stew alone for a while.

Andy walked by the bed, where Nate was already pretending to sleep, and began to remove the dress as carefully as she could, determined not to damage a single inch of it.