Actions

Work Header

Five Things Stephen Learned in Couples Therapy

Work Text:

Miranda sat behind her desk and spun the chair towards the window overlooking Midtown. "And Andréa, find a couple's therapist and organise an appointment for me and Stephen."

Andy was stunned that Miranda had finished off her instructions with the absurd request. Frowning she looked down and saw she had actually written the request word for word. Clearly, it hadn't been a figment of her overactive imagination. Snorting out loud, Andy found she wasn't able to hide her disbelief.

Miranda spun her chair back around and her eyes trailed over Andy. Seeing her frown and her full bottom lip bitten between her teeth, her eyebrow arched. "You have something you wish to say?" She prodded.

Andy wasn't sure she should answer honestly, so shrugged.

"He is rethinking the divorce. But has insisted on therapy so we can impartially discuss our relationship." Miranda explained softly. "I was the first to ask for a divorce, many months ago," Miranda admitted. "I'd had twins were looking for my attention, Runway needed my focus and then Stephen. I just wanted one less thing to have to try and fail at."

Andy was even more stunned. It felt like Miranda was taking her into her confidence like she had that unforgettable night in Paris. She only had one suitable response though. Sighing, she nodded. "Yes, of course, Miranda. Is there anything else?"

Smirking slightly, Miranda flicked her wrist, shooing her from the office. "That's all."

A few days later, Miranda stalked into the office, her heels clicking furiously on the marble floor as she barrelled into her outer office. Snatching her sunglasses from her face, she then shrugged out of her coat and threw it on Emily's desk. "Andréa, my office, now. Close the door." She demanded.

Andy jumped up and grabbed her notebook and pen before entering Miranda's office hesitantly. She closed the door, hovering nervously as Miranda paced.

"Well, that was a colossal waste of my time and money. I spent the last hour being berated by my husband and judged by some unfashionable harpy."

"I'm sorry, Miranda." Andy didn't know what else to say. The therapist she'd organised came highly recommended. Dr Burnham was well known throughout New York for having never encountered a relationship she couldn't save.

"Stephen couldn't even find three things he liked about me. Just three little things." Miranda hissed, clearly pissed off. "And then he just had to mention lack of intimacy and the fact I have never—" Miranda stalled as if remembering herself, where she was and who she was talking to.

"Fucking asshole." Andy hissed. "God, for two hundred bucks an hour, I'd gladly pose as a marriage counsellor and tell your husband he is wrong about everything." She muttered, without thinking.

Miranda stopped pacing and turning slowly, gazed at Andy thoughtfully. Her finger brushed her lip as she contemplated the offer. "He's been intoxicated each time you've met, hasn't he?" She asked.

Andy nodded, not really understanding.

"It might just work," Miranda smirked. "But we may have to turn the new and improved Andréa Sachs back into the original Andy Sachs."

xxx

Andy waited in the posh office Miranda had procured from a friend who owed her a favour. Attached to the wall behind the large solid wood desk were various diplomas. Well made fakes that wouldn't be easily spotted unless they were given more than a cursory glance.

The room held two large comfortable armchairs and a matching sofa, elegant furnishings that screamed money.

She was dressed in a severe Armani suit with sensible flat shoes on her feet and had foregone her contacts and wore her old thick-framed glasses instead. That, and with her hair platted to keep her unruly curls from her makeup-free face, she looked so far removed from Miranda Priestly's fashionable assistant, it would be hard for Stephen to recognise her.

Tugging her fingers nervously, she knew Miranda would be arriving shortly, having received the usual text from Roy advising her the editor had already left Runway to pick up Stephen.

Andy questioned the plan, wondering how it could ever end positively. Before she could even contemplate backing out, she heard Stephen's whining voice heading towards the office.

Taking a deep breath, she sat at the desk and took up her pen and started to write down questions she would ask the couple after spending the days before researching.

Miranda knocked twice before entering the office she had "borrowed" ahead of Stephen. Glancing at the woman sat scribbling on a notepad behind the desk, she smirked when she raised her head to glance up at her. She was frankly stunned by the difference in Andy and couldn't quite hide it. She hid her smirk behind pursed lips. "Dr Sachs." She murmured.

Andy stood and held her hand out and was surprised when Miranda grasped it and offered a light squeeze. Her hand was surprisingly warm. "Ms Priestly, Mr Tomlinson." Andy greeted warmly. "Please sit, make yourself comfortable." With her free hand, she gestured to the wide sofa and offered the pair a small, close-lipped smile.

"Miranda," Miranda advised softly and let her hand go to move towards the sofa, taking her coat off before sitting. She folded the coat over her knees. "This is Stephen, my husband."

Huffing, Stephen sat at the opposite end of the sofa, as far away from Miranda as was practically possible.

Andy sat in the armchair angled towards the sofa and crossed her legs at the ankle. "Dr Burnham sends her regards, however, she believes I am better prepared to assist you both."

Stephen snorted derisively and folded his arms across his chest in a defensive gesture.

"We'll start with you, Mr Tomlinson– uhm– Stephen. I believe it was you who thought couples therapy would help. Tell me, what has brought you this decision?" Andy asked.

Stephen preened as if her turning her focus on him had given him the advantage. "I asked Miranda for this doubting she would find the time. She's always so busy. I have to drop everything to be there for her and her brats but never even contemplates doing the same for me."

"Excuse me—" Miranda hissed, her face hardening with anger.

"You never think about how your behaviour is affecting other people." Stephen insisted. "You never think of others. You never think of me."

His whining criticism set Andy's teeth on edge. Trying to temper her anger, she spoke quietly and firmly. "Have you ever actually asked her?" Andy asked., her tone deceptively soft. "My advice, make your request instead of criticising and describe how what you're asking will make you feel. At the end of the day, I'm sure Miranda wants you to be happy, so this approach would be far more calming and easier to respond to than getting blamed or scolded for something."

Andy licked her lips and brushed an errant curl escaping from her braid out of her face. "I do have one further thing to add, however before we move on further. Having chosen to marry Miranda, knowing she has children, and referring to them as her brats, is wrong. You chose Miranda and by doing so, chose her children. They did not choose you." She chided.

Stephen looked momentarily shame-faced while Miranda smirked, clearly pleased by the observation. He leaned forward and Andy caught the scent of scotch on his breath as he spoke and recoiled. "Yes, but—"

Before he could finish with yet another complaint or counter-argument, Andy scowled at him. "Are you always primed with scotch at" —she looked at her watch— "2 pm?" She demanded. "I prefer it if my clients are not intoxicated."

"He often imbibes over lunch," Miranda added. It was a statement of fact, nothing more.

"That's not true, you're the one who— I did this because you—" Stephen tried to make his pathetic excuses.

Miranda didn't react at all. She understood, if she met his words with contempt, it would look bad on her.

Andy was semi-grateful for the introductory psychology course she did at college and the advice she had given Miranda. She turned to Miranda instead of concentrating all her attention on Stephen. "Why did you agree to couples therapy, Miranda?"

"I want the chance to work out whatever problems we have," Miranda explained. "It is no good pretending everything is okay when it clearly is not."

Stephen sneered and rolled his eyes. The two women ignored this non-verbal contempt of her words.

"It's good you can recognise your relationship needs work," Andy explained softly. "Can you tell me what you are looking for?"

"I am looking for support and understanding instead of feeling criticised for being who I am. I believe unnecessary blame for the failure of our relationship is put upon me and despite trying to talk about things, I'm not heard and we simply continue to argue over the same things, we go round and round like a broken record. I have a rather hectic work life, and my time, when not concentrating on my magazine, is focussed on my children and Stephen."

"As if. Runway always comes first. Just admit it, you're a workaholic and a control-freak." Stephen was growing red-faced. "You are married to your job, Miranda. The twins may get your scarce attention outside of Runway but I come last, after the blasted dog. I barely even get a look in."

"The importance of my work has not diminished since we met. You knew this when you courted me and eventually asked me to marry you." Miranda counteracted coldly.

"Oh yeah, there you go again, dismissing me, as always." Stephen hissed, playing the victim. "We don't even have sex anymore. You're so damn cold, Miranda, I'm surprised I haven't got frostbite."

Andy was furious he'd brought up their sex life. The last thing she wanted was to imagine Miranda and Stephen together. Closing her eyes, she took a deep, calming breath. "So what you are saying, is you want Miranda to change?" Andy interjected.

"Yes, exactly." Stephen grinned, clearly believing she saw things from his perspective.

"And if asked, would you be willing to change?" Andy asked lightly. "Ask yourself, why is it Miranda must change while you remain as you are?" She gazed at Miranda for a moment before turning back to the man. "The way you talk, it's like Miranda is the only problem and things will only improve if she changes."

"Yes, but if she was different, everything would be better and I'd be happy." Stephen insisted.

"That's absurd. You can't change Miranda. You can only change you," Andy told him.

Stephen continued to speak as if she hadn't spoken. "If she wasn't so wrapped up in her little fashion magazine and her adoring minions and gave me the time I need. I wouldn't have to look elsewhere for—"

"The time you need," Andy repeated his words. "I see." And she did, with startling clarity. "So let's see if I've got this right. I believe you want Miranda to leave her little fashion magazine and become the perfect little housewife and mother and to fulfil your every desire. You want to be the one with power and success because you are threatened by her." Andy declared.

"No! No, I'm not." Stephen insisted hotly.

Andy smirked, knowing she had riled the man. "You believe she is selfish for not putting you first. I have heard you criticising her, even after she voiced her concerns quite openly about that very thing. It clearly shows you were not paying attention to what she was saying. You do not listen to her so perhaps your wife simply pulls away to protect herself."

"She's always—" Stephen trailed off as Andy turned her eyes back to Miranda.

"I would like to ask you some questions, Miranda, and I would like you to be honest." Andy felt her eyes widening, almost begging the other woman to trust her.

"Fine." Miranda's lips pursed.

xxx

Andy sighed in relief. "Okay." Glancing down at her notebook, she started asking the questions. "Do you ever have to do things to avoid Stephen's resentment?"

Miranda looked down. "Yes." The word came as a whisper.

"Does Stephen try to convince people you're a bad person?" Andy asked gently.

"Yes." Another whisper.

"Has Stephen ever told you that you are sexually unattractive?" Andy asked, cringing slightly.

Miranda's head shot up and her eyes blazed as she glared at her, her jaw moving. "Yes." She spat the words between gritted teeth. "He has stated multiple times how frumpy he finds me."

"Does Stephen insult your family?" Andy asked.

With her jaw still clenched, Miranda spoke. "You heard how he described my children."

"Okay, I have one last question. Has Stephen ever humiliated you in front of others?" Andy licked her suddenly dry lips, knowing she had perhaps crossed a line.

"Yes, on multiple occasions." Miranda was growing furious.

"Can you hear yourself, Miranda?" Stephen scoffed.

"Why the hell would you want to fix this cluster-fuck, Miranda?" Andy shook her head. "We all cross lines when arguing, we act childish, throw temper tantrums and say really hurtful things. And perhaps you even say things on purpose, because you know exactly what to say to get under someone's skin." Andy made her point clearly, she understood first hand how vicious Miranda could be when riled. "But there are clear lines that should never be crossed and without getting too personal, I can clearly see your husband does that." Andy glared at Stephen and saw him looking ashen-faced. She was so fucking angry at him. "There is no excuse for emotional abuse, Stephen. You may do it unknowingly, in an attempt to gain control and dominance over Miranda, but words are powerful." He shrank back into the sofa as Andy spoke to them. "Emotional abuse can be even more harmful than physical because it slowly destroys the way someone thinks about themselves."

"You–you don't know what you're talking about." Stephen sputtered.

"Maybe so." Andy agreed good-naturedly. She was no relationship expert. Her own relationships with Nate and her friends had totally fallen to the wayside during her time at Runway. "What I do know is that Miranda is not the only one to blame for your marriage failing. Can you imagine how draining it is for her to come home after a hectic workday, only to be continuously criticised, blamed, confronted and whined at by the person who is supposed to love and support her?" Andy swallowed. "If you can't see that, you are a narcissist. You want others to know how great you are and put your wife down to try and make them see just how outstanding you are." Her temper got the better of her. "Well, you are NOT! " Taking a shuddering breath, Andy attempted to calm down. "There's a term for what you do, Stephen; gaslighting. This generally happens when a person has unresolved self-esteem issues which stop them from taking the blame for things." She tugged her fingers. "I have a couple of final points to make."

"Go on." Stephen exhaled.

"If you've already decided to leave, if you've already checked out of your marriage, stop dragging your feet and just go," Andy advised. "If you want to save your relationship, you must change the way you treat Miranda. You are not trying to communicate, you not trying to compromise, you are so resentful and that is what's coming between you."

"We used to be friends." Stephen relaxed and looked at Miranda. "What happened to us, Mira?"

"We started to live separate lives. We both have busy jobs and you travel often." Miranda explained. "We failed at IVF and after a time you disengaged."

"I've been unfaithful," Stephen admitted. "Multiple times."

"I know." Miranda shook her head and chuckled darkly. "I haven't."

"What about your Andréa?" Stephen asked.

Miranda's hand shot to her chest and she gasped as her eyes skittered away, looking at anything but her. "No."

Stephen turned towards her. "So, what now, Doc?" He asked, leaning forward his elbows on his knees.

xxx

Andy could barely contain her glee at Stephen's words, but she had a point to make. "Are you willing to admit you are wrong?" She asked.

"But—" Stephen rallied.

"There's no buts about it." Andy shook her head in disbelief. "You have a strong, capable wife who you don't appreciate. She has a stressful work-life and comes home to additional stress from a husband who has clearly checked out of the life they share, and who could seriously do with checking into rehab and sobering up."

"But—" Stephen sputtered again.

"Just look at her." Andy waved her hand in Miranda's direction. "She's beautiful yet distant, and that is down to you. She stonewalls you because of the lack of understanding you show in your contempt of what she's achieved and your criticism of who she is."

"You think I'm beautiful?" Miranda focused her baby blues on her and she saw the uncertainly held in their depths.

Andy met her eyes and spoke honestly. "I can easily say, you are one of the most beautiful women I have met, Miranda and it is not simply from the way you look or the clothes you wear but in the way you carry yourself through the world."

Stephen scoffed. "You should see her in the morning."

Andy scowled. "If I was ever lucky enough to have that privilege, I would appreciate it in ways you cannot fathom." She shook her head in disgust. "Seriously, keep treating your wife like shit and she'll end up at my house, wearing my t-shirt and no pants like Winnie the Pooh."

"What kind of therapist are you?" Stephen asked incredulously. "Seriously I'm out of here." He stood up and moved quickly to the door. "Miranda!"

"I'm one that knows you are seriously wasting your time here. I had hoped you actually wanted to resolve things, but your behaviour is showing that you've given up." She glanced at Miranda. "Don't leave here with him." She pleaded. "Stay with me."

"Andréa, I—" Miranda started.

"Andréa, as in— holy shit!" Stephen moved back towards where they were still sat and peered at Andy before scoffing. "You ain't got a hope in Hell, kid " He stated emphatically.

Andy stood up. "Shut up you." She moved closer causing him to take a step back. "You worthless, narcissistic, nasty piece of shit. You don't get to speak for her, not after—"

"Fucking dyke." Stephen hissed.

"Andréa, enough!" Miranda's voice was soft and deadly.

Andy knew she'd gone too far already but there was no stopping her deepest thoughts from escaping. "—what you've said and done. You are wrong about everything, Stephen. You have no fucking idea just how extraordinary Miranda is, and yeah, there may be missed dinners, or forgotten birthdays and anniversaries, but she is worth it." Andy shook her head. "I know I'm young and I might not actually stand a chance, but I do know when someone truly loves you, you can tell from their words, actions and the effort they put into the relationship, just how much they care about you." She glanced at Miranda and saw the tears trailing down her cheeks, leaving rivulets of mascara in their wake. "You can tell from their treatment how they feel about you. So if they care, it will show and you'll never doubt their love for you."

xxx

Miranda exited Elias Clarke and glanced across the street, secretly hoping it would finally be the day she would see Andréa once again. It had been almost a year since that unforgettable day when the brunette had finally walked away from her. She had seen her only once since, a week later after providing her with a reference for the New York Mirror.

Sighing, she moved to the car and Roy opened the door fully. She slid into the car smoothly and as she settled her feet inside and took her sunglasses off, she noticed the person sat waiting on the opposite side of the backseat. "Andréa, what—" She gasped.

"A little bird told me your divorce is being finalised today." Andy smiled gently. "I just wanted to wish you good luck."

She couldn't take her eyes off the younger woman. The changes in her were obvious, she had matured and face held a few more lines. "Nigel." Miranda huffed, shaking her head slightly. "I should have known. He is the only one who dares to speak your name."

"We've remained close," Andy explained. "If you remember, the day I left, I told you I'd wait, Miranda." Andy swallowed. "You can't say I haven't been patient and I've kept my distance as you asked. So if you're amenable, I would really like to take you on a date."

Miranda pulled her cellphone out and pulling up the calendar, pressed and held onto the screen, deleting whatever entry she had. "I believe I am now free this evening," Miranda smirked. "I shall expect to be picked up at 7 pm. That's all." She smirked as Roy slid behind the wheel and started the motor. "Are you simply going to sit there, or will you leave me now to get this divorce over with?"

"Okay, okay." Andy held her hands up in surrender before scooting across the seat and pressing her lips against her cheek. "I'll see you later, Miranda."

"Andréa, darling." Miranda breathed. "Thank you." She watched as the brunette slid ungracefully from the car and jogged across the road. Rolling her eyes, she smirked until she realised Roy was watching her. "Go." She hissed.

Roy grinned good-naturedly and pulled out into the Midtown traffic. "She's going to keep you on your toes, boss. I hope you realise that?"

"Oh Lord, I hope so." Miranda grinned back at him.

"She is good people, Miranda," Roy stated. "You'll always know where you stand with her."

Nodding her agreement, Miranda thought back to the moments before Andréa left.

"I'm leaving, Miranda" Stephen insisted.

"And I should care, because?" Miranda asked.

"Jesus, you realise I could ruin you with this?" Stephen hissed. "Just wait 'til I tell my lawyers."

"Try it," Andy stated softly. "I should warn you that this whole conversation has been captured on tape, which I will gladly entrust to Miranda's attorney. You admitted to infidelity, which, if your widely-publicised prenup is true, means you'll get nothing."

Stephen stormed from the room, the door crashing against the wall with so much force, the plaster on the wall cracked.

"Did you mean it?" Miranda demanded.

Andy knew she wasn't asking about the recording. "Every word," she confessed. "I absolutely adore you and given the chance, I would cherish you for all my life." She smiled sadly.

"Andréa, I—" Miranda started.

"I quit, Miranda." Andy interrupted. "I can't continue working with you feeling as I do and deep down, I know he's right. The odds you would even contemplate being with me are slim. There's such a vast inequality between us, but understand this, I'm not always going to be who I am right now. I aim to succeed in my life as you have in yours."

"I am fully cognizant of the fact I would be extraordinarily lucky to have you," Miranda whispered. "But you need to stay away and keep your distance from me." Miranda bit her lip as tears sprang into her eyes once more. " He will seek to ruin you otherwise."

"I know. " Andy turned away and walked towards the door. "He won't get that chance." Taking one last glance over her shoulder, she spoke with conviction. "I'm a patient woman, Miranda. When the time's right I will come back to you."

"I'll be waiting." Miranda was emphatic.

She had been surprised when the cheque for $200 she'd sent to Andréa's address had eventually found its way back to her marked, Not At This Address.

She'd not demanded her assistant find Andréa's address information, acknowledging it would be too tempting to track the woman down and undo every unselfish thing she'd achieved simply by letting her go.

xxx

Andy was nervous and excited. She'd been privy to the small blurb the Mirror would be including on their social page, advising of the finalisation of the divorce between Miranda Priestly and Stephen Tomlinson.

Better yet was the knowledge that Miranda would be safe when Stephen was investigated by the IRS for tax evasion. Stephen had tried to drag her name into the divorce proceedings, without success since she and Miranda had stuck to their words and kept their distance. But trying to protect herself, in the only way she knew how, Andy delved into Stephen's life and found inconsistencies amidst his finances, namely money being ferreted into an offshore bank account and filing false corporate tax returns.

She hadn't actually reported her findings, but having left the information open at her apartment, someone else had. Nigel had read the documents she had put together avidly and when she refused to act upon it, he had been delighted to. After years of being called a queer, fairy and a fag off the boorish, drunken asshole on multiple occasions, he wanted Stephen to get him comeuppance.

Walking through the streets of the Upper East Side quickly, Andy contemplated the night to come. She hoped Miranda was ready to meet her halfway and develop friendship, and more. Being friends was important, and as it stood, she didn't have many true friends, although there were Nigel and Doug who had her back in all ways and who would be there to pick up the pieces, if necessary.

Arriving outside of Miranda's townhouse, she stalled and wondered if she'd acted too soon. When a car pulled up curbside, the front door opened and a beautiful little redheaded girl charged through the door.

"Hey, Andy." Caroline stopped and bounced a little before pushing herself forward and wrapping her arms around her waist to hug her tightly. "We've missed you."

"Oh, Care-Bear, you're growing so tall." Andy chuckled. "You need to stop."

"Nu-uh," Caroline mumbled. "I don't wanna go to dad's." She admitted. "Can you ask mom if I can stay home?"

Andy felt a presence by her side and turned her head to see Miranda's first husband, James, smiling at them, even as he rolled his eyes. "You just want to stay and be nosy, admit it."

"Well, duh." Caroline grinned up at her.

Cassidy stepped out of the house, followed by Miranda.

"Bobbsey, get your bag, please," Miranda asked.

Pulling back, Caroline looked up at her, her eyes blazing with determination. "You can't go away again. Not even if mom asks, okay?"

"I promise, Care-Bear." It was an easy commitment to make to the eleven-year-old. She let go of Caroline, who rushed back into the house and held her arms out to her twin. "Come give me some sugar, Cassi-dee." Cassidy pressed herself closer to her mom, hiding her face. She stepped closer and hunkered down. "Won't you even look at me?" She asked.

Miranda attempted the loosen her little girl's grip on her skirt. "Cassidy, remember your manners and greet Andréa."

"Hello," Cassidy mumbled the greeting reluctantly, without looking at her.

Andy stood up and moved quickly before Miranda could say anything further. Reaching the two, she gripped Miranda's waist twirled her away as she grabbed Cassidy and caused her to squeal when she was hoisted up and over her shoulder. She jogged back down the stoop, jostling the young girl and then hopped on one foot until the little girl was laughing loudly and threatening to throw up on her.

James and Miranda's laugher reached her as she settled and pulled Cassidy against her chest, holding her closely. "I swear, I won't leave again, Cassi-dee."

"Mom always said you'd come back," Cassidy admitted. "I didn't believe her."

"Oh, honey." Andy pressed her lips against Cassidy's head before putting her down and squatting so she was at eye-level. "Your mom wouldn't lie about that. I made her a promise and you know what—"

"You always keep your promises." Cassidy and Caroline interrupted in unison.

"And you know it. you're probably going to see so much of me, you'll be sick of the sight." Andy smiled widely at them both. "Go on now, say goodbye to your mom. Your dad's waiting."

"But—" Caroline started.

"Andy—" Cassidy whined.

"But nothing, Care-Bear. And don't Andy me like that, Cassi-dee." Andy interrupted with a grin. "Go on, it's time for me to keep my word to your mom."

xxx

Christmas was upon them and they had taken the months since reconnecting slowly, with Miranda working hard to not let her usual barriers come between them. She had quickly realised that Andy wasn't as docile as she once imagined.

She had always found the younger woman's flexibility refreshing, but knowing she wasn't a pushover was even more exhilarating. They began their relationship openly and they were often brutally honest with one another which led to minor conflicts due to differing opinions, yet contrary to popular belief, which had been printed in Page Six alongside a photograph of them glaring at one another across a candlelit table on their third date, she was able to inspire happiness and love.

And it was love that they felt for one another. She knew in every fibre of her being that Andy was the one she wanted to spend her life with. Despite her being annoyingly chirpy in the mornings and addressing her children with those ridiculous nicknames.

She had learnt that arguing or disagreeing over something showed that they both still cared, and we're passionate about coming to a resolution rather than brushing everything to the side and breeding apathy or resentment.

And now, since it had been a few days since they had seen each other, and with the twins off to spend the holiday with their father, she and Andy had made plans to spend their free time over the holiday together. She hadn't been able to get her off her mind all day nor tamper the sudden bout of nerves she felt when she thought of the uninterrupted time they would spend at the townhouse.

Standing on her small terrace, overlooking her small back garden, Miranda jumped a little when a low, feminine voice behind her greeted her. Turning around, she saw the beautiful brunette standing in front of her.

"Hey, I apologise for scaring you," Andy unsuccessfully tried to stifle her giggles. "The twins let me in as they were leaving for their dads."

Miranda saw the brunette had her long hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, that showed offer her beautiful face and gorgeous hazel eyes. She was a sight to behold with her flushed cheeks. "Darling, you surprised me. I wasn't expecting you for another hour."

Andy smiled shyly. "I finished my articles earlier than I anticipated."

Miranda shook her head. "I haven't made a start on dinner. If you like we can go—" Andy took two steps towards her and her hands cupped her face as she leaned in to place a passionate kiss. With hot lips pressed against hers, Miranda found herself becoming lost in the moment. "—out." She breathed.

Andy's lips were so soft and when her tongue licked across Miranda's lips, begging for entrance, she readily opened her mouth and moaned quietly when their tongues connected. Bringing her hands up to her waist, she pulled Andy into her, and their kiss deepened. They continued to kiss as their hands started to trail over each other's bodies.

When finally she broke the kiss, they remained close. Frankly, Miranda never wanted to let go. She placed a few more tender kisses to Andy's lips, as she stared deeply into her expressive orbs. "Did you want to eat out?" She finally asked,

Andy smiled and blushed as dropped her head. "Well, no, not really. I just want to spend time with you."

"Come with me, darling," Miranda whispered, entwining their hands together and pulling her into the warm house. Within minutes, they were stood breathless and glancing at each other, in Miranda's bedroom.

Miranda leaned forward and planted her lips back over hers to continue their kiss. They both moaned as their tongues swirled together. She let her hands roam up and down Andy's body, using her left hand to touch her left breast and my right to grab hold of her right ass cheek.

Andy moaned louder and ground herself into her. She was so turned on that she was dripping wet. She turned their bodies around so that Miranda's back was facing her bed, then gently pushed her down onto her back on the mattress.

Miranda gasped as Andy crawled on top of her and returned to kissing her. Her hand snaked around Andy's body again and grabbed her ass cheeks, pulling her tighter against her. Andy's hand worked its way over her stomach and unclasped her trousers to trail over the front of her lace panties. She squirmed as Andy rubbed her dripping pussy through her thong.

Miranda moaned out. "Oh, yes."

Taking that as an invitation to move her hand under her panties, Andy's fingers grazed over her clit, making her hips jerk. She continued to run her fingers between her outer lips, collecting the moisture against her fingers as they continued to kiss.

Miranda's hands trembled slightly as she held Andy close, feeling two fingers just at the entrance. She wanted this so much. "Please, darling. I want you inside me."

Andy smirked down at her as she slowly entered her.

Miranda moaned and her hips bucked as Andy began a slow in and out motion with her fingers. Her pussy was hot and wet and she could feel the muscles sucking the invading fingers deeper inside her.

Andy curled her fingers up towards Miranda's stomach, aiming for her g-spot and was rewarded by a deep-seated moan. She needed Miranda to come completely undone. She wanted to love her so hard and long that she would never contemplate taking anyone else into her bed. She smiled and picked up the speed, moving her hips in perfect sync with her fingers and using them to drive her fingers in deeper and faster.

Miranda continued to pull Andy into her body by her ass. She was a writhing mess, her chest heaving, her face was flushed. Her eyes were closed and her mouth open as she panted and moaned breathlessly. Her legs and hands held Andy tightly to her body.

Andy had never seen anything as incomparably beautiful as Miranda in the throes of passion. She rotated her thumb to begin rubbing her clit, as her fingers continued to move inside. The result was instantaneous, Miranda's back arched and her hips bucked uncontrollably. Her moans grew louder in volume and her hands gripped her even tighter. Her hips drove her fingers hard and fast as her thumb rubbed her clit. She could sense that Miranda was on the cusp of an intense orgasm. She dropped her head down to her breasts and took one of her nipples into her mouth, sucking her nipple greedily between her lips through the blouse she still wore.

The bed rocked back and forth with each movement of her hips. "Oh, darling. I'm going to—" Her back arched off of the bed, as she pulled Andy tighter against her.

When Miranda's body began to shake uncontrollably, her eyes shut tightly and her lips trembled. Andy felt her clenching around her fingers and a flood of moisture ran against her hand. She thrust her fingers forward as her orgasm caught her completely in its grip. Miranda let loose a long-drawn-out moan of pleasure. She stayed still, letting the older woman ride out her orgasm until her trembling subsided and her back collapsed back onto the bed with an audible sigh of release.

Still breathing heavily, Miranda looked up at her with a very satisfied smirk, watching the brunette through half-closed eyes. Andy slowly withdrew her fingers causing another moan to escape her lips. She settled onto her side beside the woman and popped her fingers into her mouth, tasting Miranda's essence on them. "Did you enjoy that?" Andy eventually asked.

Exhaling softly, Miranda chuckled. "That was rather unexpected. But I do believe we are both rather overdressed."

xxx

Andy settled on the sofa beside the editor and found herself being wrapped up in the circle of her arms. Grabbing the remote, she extended her arm and pressed the button to power the TV on. A local TV channel popped up and Miranda groaned when she realised her ex-husband was speaking.

Stephen had paid his back taxes and in a move that had surprised everyone, left his position at the company he worked at take a position at a local non-for-profit in Brooklyn.

"Find a movie or something." Miranda insisted.

"Wait a moment," Andy asked, listening intently.

Miranda smirked and took hold of Andy's shirt and pulled it over her head, revealing her breasts. She smiled happily as she ran her fingers over Andy's chest and breasts.

"We've spoken of the recent changes in your life. Will you tell me what prompted these sudden changes in your life, Stephen." The interviewer asked in the background.

"I decided to have therapy, starting with marriage counselling with my ex-wife." Stephen paused. "I learnt a few valuable lessons."

Miranda tugged at Andy's yoga pants, peeling them and her panties off and tossing them to the floor.

Andy raised an eyebrow causing Miranda to giggle before straddled her thighs and pulled her in for a deep kiss. Miranda felt Andy's hands grip her ass and squeeze her cheeks together.

"Believe it or not, I'm a fan of therapy. It's really important for personal growth, self-care, and I honestly believe anyone can benefit from it." Stephen expounded. "Having therapy doesn't necessarily mean you are broken, or that you have failed. It means you give a damn. I've realised that counts. A lot."

Miranda moaned into the kiss, as she pulled her own blouse free and their nipples brushed together.

Andy trailed her hands up and down Miranda's body until they once again gripped her ass cheeks. She smirked into the kiss as she reached down Miranda's body to cup her through her jeans. Standing, she turned them and sat Miranda on the sofa and began to kiss her way down her body, slipping from her knee to kneel on the floor and tugging at her jeans and panties. She started to pull them down her legs.

"I identified these patterns, in my first and second marriages and I am beginning to know why they occur and how better to handle certain situations when they arise. I have hope for my future." Stephen stated. "That hope has been hard to find."

Andy pulled Miranda's panties off completely and twirled them around her finger before letting them soar across the room. She grinned at the editor as she laughed happily. She adored witnessing Miranda's clear delight.

"Can you tell me five things you've learnt?" The interviewer asked. "It may help our viewers."

Andy raised herself on her knees and brought her mouth and hands back to Miranda's body. She flicked her tongue over hard nipples, causing the older woman to moan and arch her back.

"Most of what I learned was not from a therapist. There was a young woman who basically made me see that the key healthy relationship is to make requests rather than demands." Stephen stated. "I was guilty of demanding impossible things in my relationships, and not really communicating how certain things made me feel anxious or unsettled and by making these demands, I left both my ex-wives feeling underappreciated."

Andy caressed Miranda's breasts as she sucked a nipple into her mouth and bit down lightly.

"Mm, more," Miranda demanded. She trailed her fingers through Andy's long silken hair, as she continued to lick, nip, suck and caress her breasts. It had been a revelation of how sensitive they were.

Andy started her downward journey, kissing over Miranda's stomach until she reached her bare panty line. Pressing her lips over her hips and her neatly trimmed mound, she smiled up at her before running her tongue between her wet folds.

"One of the things really holds you back from working through issues is your resentment," Stephen suggested. "Therapy isn't magic. You don't just show up, sit for an hour, nod your head and then go home with your mental health or your marriage issues fixed. In fact, I realised that my marriage was over. I had already checked out but was unwilling to admit it."

Miranda's hands continued to scratch at Andy's scalp and looking up, she saw Miranda had her head thrown back and her back arched. She couldn't stop her smile at the sight.

"Enough." Miranda slid off the sofa as Andy pulled back and she was surprised to find herself on her back with Miranda on top. "My turn." She moved down quickly, settling between Andy's long legs and ran her tongue against between her labia.

"Oh God, Miranda! More, oh please." Andy begged.

"Resist the urge to be on the defensive and learn to listen." Stephen offered. "If someone simply wants to help, let them."

Miranda's tongue pushed into her and Andy moaned and arched into the contact. She plunged her tongue in and out of her until she was writhing and she held her hips down. Andy's hands had a hold of the back of Miranda's head and held her right against her. Feeling her begin to tremble and clench against her fingers, Miranda recognised Andy was going to climax. She increased her efforts, sucking her clit into her mouth as three fingers plunged into her and curled just so as she thrust into her, stimulating her g-spot.

"Things will always feel worse before they get better." Stephen paused until urged to continue. "I eventually joined alcoholics anonymous and dried out. I have been sober for 96 days." Pride suffused Stephen's voice.

Andy's moans grew so loud, Miranda wondered if her neighbours could hear them. Dismissing the idea as absurd, she concentrated her attention on making the beautiful woman below unravel. Andy's moans trailed off, as her breathing grew more erratic. With one hard thrust of her fingers and grazing her teeth over her clit, she let out a scream of pleasure.

Miranda looked up and noticed she had suddenly pulled her arm over her face as she shook and cried out. She felt her face become wet but continued to ease her through the waves of pleasure.

"The last thing, this is for women specifically, don't wear mascara or whatever it is. Therapy can make you cry as you discuss your fears, the past hardships, and even not-so-attractive qualities. It's inevitable."

Andy settled down and was lying quietly. Her breathing was still laboured and as Miranda removed her tongue and fingers and placed a tender kiss to her lips, she shivered lightly. Miranda crawled back up Andy's body, kissing the skin below her gently as she moved higher. She finally pressed her lips against Andy's and grinned smugly.

"You know, I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with a waterproof mascara," Stephen said. "Maybe I should ask Miranda about that—"

"I believe they have." The interviewer offered.

The words had Stephen chuckling. "Well, as you can see, I'm clueless about such things."

"One final question. Page Six have been particularly brutal about your ex-wife's new relationship. Do you have anything to add?"

"As part of the original prenup, there was a non-disclosure clause, so I cannot discuss certain things," Stephen admitted. "But deep-down, I know Andy's a good woman and it's always been clear she adores Miranda. After everything, I hope they're very happy together."

Miranda grabbed the remote from where it had landed and switched off the TV. "I never thought I would say this, after everything, but he's not all bad." She stated.

Andy grabbed her by the hips and pulled her down against her. "I still think he's an asshole." She muttered. "But he did one thing right in the end." Miranda caught her eyes and she saw the question in them. "He let you go so we could find our way back to one another."

Miranda kissed her softly and they settled into placing gentle kisses against each other's lips until their bodies wound down from the simmering desire that had seen them making love. She finally spoke. 'I must warn you, I've decided I'm keeping you, darling."

Andy laughed and curled around her. "Perhaps it'll be me who'll be keeping you."

Miranda smirked at her. "Does that mean the twins, Patricia and I shall also be moving into Douglas's apartment?"

"Oh God, no," Andy exclaimed with a bark of laughter. "With Nigel there ninety per-cent of the time too, it'd be a little cramped."

They chuckled at the words before lapsing into a comfortable silence. Andy pressed herself closer and hugged Miranda closer to her body, just enjoying being together with their legs entwined. They gazed into each other's eyes and their hands caressed each other gently.

"You know, you could move in here." Miranda offered hesitantly, releasing a quivering breath as Andy slowly trailed her fingers over her collarbone.

"I think I'd love that," Andy admitted, her eyes still locked on Miranda's. Her hand rose to stroke Miranda's cheek. "And I love you."

Andy could easily remember the moment she realised she was in love with Miranda Priestly, as photographers and journalists surrounded her at the steps of the Petite Palais, and the very idea of it had terrified her. She told herself there was no way she would ever admit it, or even say it, and yet here she was waiting for Miranda's reaction to her heartfelt declaration.

Miranda was frozen, totally panicked. She could see the hope in Andy's eyes dimming and knew she had to react. But how? She was so overwhelmed, happy, and grateful. "You better—" Miranda's eyes fell closed. "—I mean—" She paused. —me too."

Andy's heart soared at the final admission and the moment was so awkward Andy couldn't stop her laughter. "Jeez, Miranda—" She continued to laugh so hard, tears trailed down her face and she had to clutch her stomach when it started to ache.

Miranda pulled away from Andy, ready to move away. She did not appreciate being laughed at after trying so hard to voice her feelings. Yet, her attempt was purportedly worth laughing about. Climbing to her knees, she turned her back to the brunette. "I do not see what is so hilarious." She hissed. Rising to her feet, she began to move from the room only to be grabbed around the waist and held tightly against a naked body.

Andy was no longer laughing. In fact, she was hurt that Miranda was not able to see the humorous side of the moment. Taking a deep breath, she turned Miranda in her arms and lifted her chin to meet her eyes. "You don't get to walk away, not now." She insisted. "Surely you know, even if you'd simply said thank you, I would understand. I know you love me, Miranda. I see it in the way you enjoy the little things I do for you and think they are big, in the fact the highlight of my day is being able to talk to you, the way you never fail to listen to everything that I have to say, regardless of how crazy it may be. I don't ever doubt your love."

"I love you, beyond all reason." Miranda swallowed hard. "My world changed the moment you entered it and you touched me in a way no other has before you." She sighed. "Thanks to you, I know I'll be enough for the wrong person, but to the right one, to you—"

"You're everything." Andy breathed. For Andy, there were moments she could tell the world exactly what Miranda was thinking and feeling, and yet, there were also times when she may as well be an entirely different species. She found both sides of Miranda completely magical and was thrilled at the prospect of knowing her more intimately.

This was just the beginning for them, and although they knew it wouldn't be easy, it would be worth it.

fin