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Where We Love Is Home

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She was just like a car crash, for people knew they shouldn’t look but still failed to bring themselves to look away. She had her eyes focused on her way to her private office and wouldn’t look away to check if her jacket had effectively landed on her second assistant’s desk. Regardless, it was up to Andrea to put it away.

Where was that cheeky girl, by the way? Oh, here she comes, boiling hot Starbucks in hand and way too many bags to handle without spilling it and burning her hand.

Miranda heard a squeal and sighed, unnerved that people must make such noise when she’s in such dire need of focus, when she hasn’t even got her coffee yet, seriously, where was that impossible, insolent girl?

As she peaked above her glasses, she barely had time to register what was happening before her legs decided against her will to jump off her chair and run towards her crying second assistant. Her bags were on the floor, the coffee had spilled and most probably spoiled some of the clothes. Andrea shook her hand violently and looked absolutely horrified when she realized that Miranda had witnessed it.

“Mi- Argh, Miranda, I’m so, so sorry, I promise I’ll-“

“No-no, no, you will come with-“

“But the-“

“Leave it.” Miranda decisively said and guided the girl to her office, to her bathroom, running the cold water on the sink. Let us say she guided her, because dragging an employee to the bathroom could get Miranda in trouble with HR.

“Don’t take your hand off the water. You could get a higher degree burn if you don’t cool of the burnt area quickly enough.”

Andrea had no intention of taking her hand off the cool running water. It provided instant relief and she knew form having burnt herself in the kitchen somewhat recently, that as soon as took the hand off the water, it would start burning like hell again. She didn’t know that this also helped prevent it from getting worse, but wasn’t Miranda Priestly full of surprises?

Emily turned around the corner to find that both desks were empty. The phones were ringing and there were spilled coffee and stained designer clothing on the floor.

Not for the first nor tenth time that week, she wished bloody Andrea Sachs would be fired. Emily found her unfashionable, dumb and painfully inadequate for the job. She cared so little for her, she didn’t even bother hiding what she thought and would frequently belittle and make fun of her.

In all fairness, if the redhead knew where Andrea was and why Miranda’s office was seemingly empty, she’d hate her all the more for it. Even though her hair was a very vibrant red, green didn’t suit her at all. Color theory can be a bitch sometimes.

“Better?” Miranda whispered.

Andy nodded and was starting to move her hand away form the running water when Miranda touched her arm and said, very clearly “No.”

“I can’t just be here all day…” The girl murmured and regretted how it sounded as the words came out of her mouth. She had been working at Runway for enough time to understand that Miranda was not the one to show a caring face to anyone in the building. And she’d fucked up the coffee, the clothes and her hand and wrist.

Since Nigel helped her get sort of a make over and oh, especially since she dropped the heavy unpublished Harry Potter manuscript on the editor’s desk, she had grown more comfortable in Miranda’s presence. Still, she was completely floored by the way Miranda laughed and said “Imagine what PageSix would have to say about that…”

She must have stared. Lovingly, yes, but still stared, because Miranda noticed the way her eyes lingered and thought to herself that perhaps taking Andrea to Paris, in detriment of Emily, was not her finest idea. She still had to tell her that.

Later, tomorrow or the next  weak, at the townhouse, she decided, and walked out of the bathroom to order her first assistant to get any sort of ointment for burnt skin.

Obedient as ever and because “You may never ask Miranda anything!”, she left that very second and refrained from questioning her about Andrea’s absence. Well, Emily thought, if she was stuck with running errands again, then Miranda shouldn’t take long to inform her that she should start interviewing candidates for the girl’s position. Never had a trip to the nearest pharmacy been such a pleasant experience.

When Miranda stepped back into the bathroom, Andy was startled but quick to say “I think it’s getting better, really, I can-“

“Emily will be back with cream that’s specific for these things. You’ll apply it and rest. Let me know, at the end of the day, if you’re fit to work tomorrow.”

“I can still do my job… and you shouldn’t have sent Emily out to get anything for me, she’s got work to do, Miranda, I- Thank you, but there’s no ne-“

“Andrea, look at me.” She did. Miranda continued, the look in her eyes hardened and her soft spoken voice lacked its recent warmth. “I hope this is the last time you take the liberty of telling me how you think I should do my job or what tasks I should delegate my assistants.”

“I didn’t mean to- I’m sorry.” There are days like this, when you feel like it’s a miracle you haven’t been fired yet. “I’m sorry…” She repeated, but her voice was broken and her hand was burning again but she needed to get out of there. Just when she thought it couldn’t get worse, the knot it her throat tightened and the tears rolled down her face.

“Promise you’ll call me by the end of the day.”

“I- I promise.” The lifted her chin up, with a little help of Miranda’s finger under it. This was new, looking Miranda in the eye from this distance.

The editor’s shoulders relaxed, but there was no way she would wipe away her second assistant’s tears, kiss her forehead and tell her everything would be okay. As she understood just how much she wanted to do just that, she let go and looked down to her watch and quickly disappeared to get own damn coffee.

Just then, Emily appeared with the cream she’d retrieved from the pharmacy. Change of plans.

“There you are, Emily. Get me my coffee.”

“Yes, Miran-“

“And help Andrea with her hand, make sure she takes the cream home with her and applies it as directed. That’s all.” She dismissed her first assistant, leaving her gaping like a fish out of water to attend to her meeting in the art department.

Andrea got out of Miranda’s office and received a livid death stare from Emily, who angrily dropped the little bag from the pharmacy on her desk and left.