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Waving the White Flag

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Andrea Sachs was clumsy, awkward and, at times, one of the most naive women Miranda had ever had the pleasure of knowing. Understandably, that meant that Miranda was somewhat confused when the feelings for her first manifested themselves. Andrea was a far cry from her usual chosen partners, who were generally charming, wealthy, ruggedly good looking and, most important of all, male. 

That wasn’t to say she hadn’t had dalliances with the fairer sex; she was alive in the eighties, after all. There likely wasn’t a single woman outside of the fashion industry with more experience under their belt than she, but that was beside the point. Andrea Sachs had done what so many of those charming, wealthy and ruggedly good looking men, and women, had tried and failed to do; Andrea Sachs had tamed the dragon, and melted what Page Six, at least once a week, not so affectionately dubbed a cold, not quite dead (thanks to her children) heart. 

How? Well, that wasn’t quite as confusing. 

You see, while Andrea Sachs was the very opposite of what Miranda had once considered attractive, with a little direction from her Creative Director and some rather heavy handed mentoring from Miranda herself, Andrea had flourished and become something- someone more. She is still clumsy, awkward and naive in certain aspects of life, but she had found within herself the kind of confidence she once lacked, confidence that draws Miranda towards her like a moth to a flame, and a beauty that is wholly enchanting now that she isn’t dressing herself via the clearance bin at Forever 21, or wherever it was she’d found inspiration for those hideous outfits she put together in her first week as Miranda Priestly’s second assistant. 

Andrea Sachs has become the woman she was always meant to be and, in her silent perusal of her now first assistant, Miranda cannot help but think there isn’t anything sexier than the confidence Andrea had needed to yell at her in such a way as she had mere minutes ago.

She is almost disappointed when the seething fury begins to fade and Andrea realizes precisely what it is she has just done, though Miranda would be lying if she claimed the embarrassed flush of her cheeks isn’t just as appealing as the gorgeous sneer and glare of moments past.

Keeping eye contact with her increasingly horrified assistant, Miranda sighs and slowly removes her glasses. She can admit that she has been the bitch today that Andrea had accused her of being. She has been rotten, due in no small part to Irv’s constant harassment and the trouble that her two darling twin bobbseys have gotten themselves into at school this past week. She can also admit that she has taken out her frustrations on Andrea, not because she believes her beautiful assistant deserves it, but because she had known that Andrea could handle it.

She still believes, but she also knows that everyone has their breaking point, and that Andrea has handled far more than she should ever have been made to handle from her uptight, bitch of a boss with the stick up her ass and holier-than-thou attitude. 

Her mouth twitches. “Sit down, Andrea.”

“Miranda, I am so-” 

She raises her hand, silencing what she knows will be one of the sincerest, most heartfelt apologies she will ever receive, and not deserve. She repeats herself, loath to do so in any other circumstance, but warmly and in as normal a tone as she can manage, just this once. “Sit down.”

Andrea does, dropping into the chair like a ton of bricks with those big, doe brown eyes of hers no longer wide in horror but in shock. Yes, her lovely little assistant knows her far too well, it really isn’t the wonder Miranda had pretended it to be when she first realized she was falling in love.

“Relax,” she murmurs.

Andrea blinks. “How?” She croaks, her voice thick with emotion. “When I just-”

“Hush.” She swallows visibly, but obeys instantly. Miranda smiles at her. It’s a small thing, but she knows how rare her smiles are at work and how coveted they are by her staff, especially her assistants. “I understand you are most likely mortified by all of the things you just said to me, but you were long overdue. The only question I have for you is; do you feel better?”

Three blinks in rapid succession precede an almost violent shake of the head.

“I assumed as much,” she says. “Yelling often leaves one drained, which is why I choose to never do it.” 

As those beautiful eyes disappear behind long, thick lashes, Miranda finally sets her glasses down on her desk and leans back in her chair. “You owe me nothing, Andrea,” she continues. “In fact, it is I who owes you. I have been a nightmare these past few days and, if I am to be completely honest, I am both impressed and proud that you have tolerated me for as long as you have.”

It’s then that Andrea begins to relax, sinking back into her chair as she opens her eyes and releases a relieved breath. “You haven’t been having the easiest week.”

Miranda hums. No, she hasn’t, but- “Which part of my week was your fault, Andrea?” She asks with her brow raised. “Are you secretly in cahoots with Irv to make my work life difficult, or perhaps you’ve joined forces with my children and helped them to play pranks on their classmates? Please, enlighten me; how have you, personally, upset me this week?”

Andrea nibbles on her lower lip, her forehead creasing, no doubt as she tries to think up some reason for Miranda to be justifiably mad at her. Miranda knows she won’t be able to. It had taken Andrea a mere month to show her competence as an assistant, and barely a month more as a competent person in general. She continues to go above and beyond what her duties require, and she often does it with a blinding smile that never fails to make Miranda feel better, even when she’s being a monster to work for.

“Andrea,” she murmurs, smiling softly when those eyes drift back to her. “You are an exceptional assistant that I have treated horribly for far too long.”

Andrea’s eyes begin to shimmer before she rolls them and scoffs, “You aren’t that bad.”

Miranda chuckles and allows a small glimpse of her affection for the woman to shine through when she teases, “Oh? So I’m not the absolute worst, then?”

The warmth returns to Andrea’s cheeks, turning them a darling shade of pink Miranda will forever mourn the fashion world’s inability to recreate. “No,” Andrea whispers. “Miranda, I didn’t mean that. I- I really am…”

“I know,” Miranda interjects as she stands and walks around her desk. She kneels beside Andrea’s seat, ignoring her sad little gasp and taking one of Andrea’s hands in hers. “I meant what I said; you are exceptional, Andrea Sachs, and it has been my pleasure watching you grow into the woman you’ve become.”

“You’re being nice,” she accuses with a quivering lip. “Why are you being nice to me?”

Miranda raises her other hand and brushes away the start of tears. “Because you deserve it,” she replies. “Because ever since you walked through that door, you have shown more competence, patience and kindness to me than anyone I have ever known, and I have come to adore you for so many reasons it would take an age to list them all.”

Andrea suddenly throws herself out of the chair and into her arms, and although Miranda doesn’t quite expect it, she somehow does and manages to stay upright (though it’s a close call). She wraps her arms tightly around the woman she loves, hugging her for the first time despite the dozens, if not hundreds, of times she’s wished to have Andrea in her arms since she’d given her that ridiculous speech about that ugly cerulean sweater.

If only she’d had the courage.

Andrea is so warm, so soft.

“You’re hugging me back,” Andrea mumbles into her neck. “You’re not dying, are you?”

Miranda laughs, her own emotions clogging her throat and making it sound far breathier than it ordinarily would. “If I were, is this how you imagine I would tell you?”

Andrea raises her head to look at her, eyes red rimmed and still very much wet. “Would you? Tell me, I mean.”

Miranda moves the hair from her face, smiling. “You are possibly the only one I would tell.”

Sighing, Andrea brings their heads together and closes her eyes. She breathes slowly, in and out, letting the silence between them linger for some time before she asks, “Why?”

“Because you care,” Miranda answers simply. “Because I care, and if there was anyone I would want there with me at the end, it would be you.”

“That almost sounded romantic, Miranda.”

“Almost?” She teases, “I suppose I will have to try harder in future.”

A bright, blinding smile grows on kissable lips as Andrea’s eyes flutter open. She leans back, just enough for Miranda to see the concern that causes the smile to dim too much for her liking. “You’re not, though, right?”

Ah, right. 

She probably shouldn’t leave such an important question unanswered.

“No, silly girl, I am not dying.”

“Good.” Another smile, a different smile, warm and too sweet not to leave Miranda’s teeth aching from the mere sight of it. “So, what’s this?”

“This?” She repeats.

“The compliments, the hugging, you slumming it down here on the floor with me,” Andrea says. “This.”

“My surrender,” Miranda replies truthfully.

Andrea frowns. “Surrender?”

“Mhm.”

“O... kay,” she drawls, briefly tugging at her own lower lip. Miranda hopes she’ll be able to take over soon. “What are you surrendering to?”

“My feelings for you.”

Andrea doesn’t look surprised by her confession, but there’s disbelief in her voice when she whispers, “You have feelings for me?”

Miranda smiles wryly, teasing, “That’s what I said, didn’t I?”

“Uh huh.” Andrea cups her face and brings them back together, her breath warm upon Miranda’s lips. “What sort of feelings?”

“Deep feelings,” she answers without hesitation. “All encompassing feelings. Feelings that a boss shouldn’t feel for her very capable, and very desirable assistant.”

“Oh, those feelings.”

The words are lackluster, yet the brightness in those big brown eyes couldn’t possibly be mistaken for anything other than happiness.

“Yes,” Miranda whispers.

“I have feelings, too.”

“Yes?” 

“Uh huh.”

She rubs their noses together, murmuring, “What sort of feelings?”

“Heavy feelings,” Andrea replies. “Feelings that keep me up at night. Feelings that make an assistant want to kiss her extremely irresistible boss… frequently.”

Miranda chuckles. “Not so irresistible if you can resi- mmm.”

Andrea kisses her and it is leagues above anything Miranda had ever dreamed. The act itself is far more pleasant. Andrea’s lips are much softer and beyond how deliciously plump Miranda had always thought they seemed. She had daydreamed, often, about having Andrea’s mouth on her, and reality has somehow outshined every single one of her wildest imaginings, whether from her day time musings or her night time fantasies; the real Andrea triumphs above all, as she has always done.

“Gods,” she gasps and whines all at once, breaking the kiss. “You are so fucking hot.”

The curse sends a jolt through Miranda and she breathes out a smooth, husky laugh that ends with them kissing again. Andrea’s hands find their way into her hair while Miranda’s own stroke down her back and slip beneath her blouse to roam against warm, soft skin.

Andrea moans into her mouth, then parts from her again, and Miranda barely stifles the whine building in her chest. “What?”

“I feel like I’m dreaming.”

Miranda smirks. “Want me to pinch you?” She doesn’t wait for an answer as she moves a hand to Andrea’s hip and lightly pinches her. She presses forward, nose against nose. “Wake up, Andrea.”

Shaking her head and laughing, Andrea leans back and runs a hand through her own hair. “I… I just-” She groans and gives herself another shake. “I’m making out with Miranda Priestly on the floor of her fricken office.”

“Well,” Miranda drawls, sticking out her lower lip. “You were making out with Miranda Priestly on the floor of her fricken office.”

Andrea giggles and, barring the happiness of her daughters, Miranda thinks there isn’t a sound in the world she delights in hearing more.

She sighs, then concedes, “I suppose we should put a pin in this until work is done for the day.”

“You have a meeting at three,” Andrea reminds her as she reaches for Miranda’s forelock and wraps it around her finger. She tugs gently and coyly suggests, “You could take me with you, continue this in the backseat of your car.”

“Have I ever told you,” Miranda purrs, “that I love the way your mind works, Andrea Sachs?”