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Thanks, we don't need a vacuum cleaner! But...

Chapter Text

Andy looked up at the town house she was standing in front of. It looked just as pretty as all the other houses in this area. But somehow it was a tiny bit more impressive than the other houses. How so? Andy didn't really know that herself.

She sighed deeply, then picked up the bulky vacuum cleaner and carried it to the front door. There she pressed the bell lightly and briefly and waited.

A few seconds passed without anything happening. Andy almost ready to turn around and go on to the next house. But then the front door was swung open and two identical-looking red-haired girls looked at her curiously.

"Hello." Andy said uncertainly and wondered how strange the situation was, since the twins seemed to be studying them from top to bottom with critical eyes.

"What do you want?" Asked the two girls curiously at the same time and all of Andy 's hairs stood up.

"I ..., I ... um ... are you allowed to open the door to strangers at all?" Asked Andy, who had recovered at that moment and found it somehow strange to have children in such a affluent area open the front door.

"We may." Said the two again at the same time and grinned devilishly at Andy.

"So why did you ring the bell?" Asked both of them and looked at Andy with a skeptical look.

Andy pulled the vacuum cleaner in front of him and pointed at it.

"I sell vacuum cleaners." she said, but before she could continue, she was interrupted by a very serious but low voice.

"Girls!?!" Said a woman who appeared at the front door and the girls looked around at her. Their faces immediately looked down guiltily.

"Girls, what are you doing here?" Asked the woman and looked appraisingly at Andy with cool blue eyes.

"Mom, we ..." began the girls, but the woman pushed them inside.

"Go in, we'll talk about it in a moment." she said and then looked back at Andy.

"Who are you and what do you want?" She asked Andy directly and Andy winced at the sharp but quiet tone.

"I ..., I ... sell vacuum cleaners." she brought out quietly and the woman raised her eyebrows skeptically.

"We don't need a vacuum cleaner." Said the woman and Andy swallowed, twice, then nodded her head.

"Thanks ma'am for your time." she said, pulling the damn vacuum cleaner over to her, then turned around.

“Wait!” The woman called after her.

"Come in." It wasn't a request, it was more an order.

Andy turned around in a flash and looked at the woman. She was dressed quite elegantly, had silver short hair and her hairstyle looked very nice. Beautiful even. And her face was too, high cheekbones, a long nose and a mouth that was ruffle up when Andy stared at her.

Andy blushed and quickly removed from the sight of the woman and shamefully picked up the vacuum cleaner and dragged it awkwardly to the front door.

"Is it going a little slower?" Asked the woman impatiently and Andy looked at her in shock.

"Sorry" Andy said quietly as she walked past the woman into the townhouse.

"Leave this thing here and follow me." said the woman decisively.

Andy looked back and forth between the vacuum cleaner and the woman.

“Oh my god, no one here is going to take your vacuum cleaner away. So come on at last!” Said the woman gruffly and Andy looked at her with wide eyes, but then followed her down the hall into a stylishly furnished room. Wow...

The twins were already sitting on a sofa and their mother sat in an armchair and looked closely at Andy. Andy felt rather uncomfortable being looked at in such a judgmental way, so she began to fidget uncertainly.

"Ma'am, should I introduce you to the vacuum cleaner?"

“Oh stop calling me ma'am. I am Miranda. Girls, how did you come up with the idea to open the front door by yourself?" Miranda asked her daughters with a stern tone.

The girls looked at each other and then at their mother.

"We looked at the security camera and she looked harmless, so we thought it wouldn't be a bad thing to open the front door." One of the girls replied and Miranda sighed deeply at this answer.

"Bobbseys how many times have I told you that even harmless-looking people ..." she pointed to Andy with her hand. "... can be crazy and mean people?" Asked Miranda and the girls looked at her in dismay.

"But ..." the other girl started, but Miranda held up her hand to stop her.

"No buts!!! I am deeply disappointed in both of you that you opened the front door. I never want to experience something like this again. So can I trust that you will never do that again?” Asked Miranda and the two girls nodded their heads at the same time.

"Good." Miranda said and then looked back at the wriggling Andy.

“Oh, stop fidgeting at last. What's your name?” Miranda asked gruffly and Andy looked at her with big brown eyes.

"Andy Sachs." she uttered, intimidated.

"Ah, what does Andy stand for?" Miranda asked curiously.

"For Andrea."

"Good. So Bobbseys look at Andrea and now think about what will happen to you if you don't do your homework and don't do your best in school. Because that ... ”she pointed her hand at Andy again. "... will then be your future." Miranda explained with a sigh.

Andy looked at her in shock.

“Hey, I always did my homework and got good school grades. I even went to college.” Andy said challengingly and in defense of her honor.

Miranda looked at her curiously.

"Ah, so why are you selling vacuum cleaners now?" She asked unmoved and raised her eyebrows.

"Um ..., well ..., I ..., I wanted to be a journalist, but I haven't found a suitable job." Andy explained and then shrugged her shoulders helplessly and looked down at the floor.

"Are you at least good at selling vacuum cleaners?" Asked Miranda, but Andy shook her head in resignation.

To be honest, she hadn't sold a vacuum cleaner since she took that stupid job two weeks ago.

"Hm ... I could imagine why that is." Miranda said thoughtfully and Andy lifted her head and looked at her.

"What?" She asked interested and Miranda looked her up and down again before she looked into Andy again.

"You are not interested in fashion." Miranda said and Andy was about to defend herself. But Miranda waved it off.

"No, no ... that was not a question." Miranda said and took her glasses off her nose and played with her absently while she continued to look at Andy.

"Give us a show." Miranda demanded and Andy looked at her confused.

"What?"

"You should introduce us to this vacuum cleaner!" Demanded Miranda and Andy continued to look at her confused.

“You want to buy a vacuum cleaner?” She asked excitedly.

"No no. But I would like to check my theory about your incompetence to sell a vacuum cleaner.” Miranda explained and Andy looked at her horrified.

"Um ... thanks for your time, but I should go now." Andy said and turned around with sagging shoulders and wanted to leave the room in a hurry. She was very suspicious of this whole situation.

"Stop!" Asked Miranda and Andy looked at her again uncertainly.

Miranda sighed deeply and rolled her eyes.

"How are you going to sell a vacuum cleaner when you are such a small, shy mouse and look like this?" Asked Miranda, pointing to Andy's clothes.

Andy looked down at herself. This morning she had put on dark corduroy trousers, a blouse, a sweater and over them a warm jacket. Comfortable sneakers were on her feet. Andy couldn't see what was wrong with her clothes with the best of intentions.

Miranda rolled her eyes again and groaned loudly.

“Andrea, nobody in our area needs a vacuum cleaner. So you will never find a household here that will buy one from you. But and it is important that you understand that, especially the way you look and act, nobody will open the front door for you, except for my naughty daughters. So if you ever want to be successful, you should rethink your wardrobe and refine your sales strategy.” Miranda explained and Andy, who had been nibbling on her lower lip the whole time, looked at Miranda with frightened brown doe eyes.

Miranda thought that was kind of cute. Then she shook her head to get rid of that stupid thought.

"Thanks for your time." Andy said softly and turned and walked down the hall to the front door.

Miranda got up quickly and followed her.

"Andrea?" She asked and Andy turned back to her.

"Yes?" She asked.

"I was not finished yet. Come back!" Asked Miranda and Andy blinked at her confused, but went back into the room. She wasn't sure why she didn't leave immediately. But she did what Miranda wanted.

"Girls please fetch Patricia." Miranda demanded and Andy looked after the girls fearfully and then at Miranda.

Both girls came into the room a moment later with a huge dog and Andy backed away, startled.

The girls grinned devilishly at her while the great St. Bernard slowly stomped towards them and Andy's stiffened. The dog circled her comfortably and sniffed her before he lay down on the ground at her feet and began to yawn.

"Good Good. Patricia also finds you harmless. You have the job.” Miranda explained.

"What?" Andy asked confused and excited at the same time.

Miranda rolled her eyes and sighed in annoyance.

"Mom?" Asked the twins at the same time.

“Cara, the nanny got married and is leaving next week. We need a new nanny. My girls and dog find you harmless enough that you are unlikely to be nuts. So you have the job.” Miranda said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Andy looked at her with wide eyes and opened her mouth, closed it again and opened it again.

"What?" Asked Andy again very confused and blinked at Miranda.

"What exactly did you not understand?" Asked Miranda impatiently.

"Everything." Andy managed to say.

"I mean, I wanted to sell you a vacuum cleaner, not take a nanny job." she said bravely.

“Don't be ridiculous. You can't be serious that you'd rather continue to sell vacuum cleaners, and you are obviously not suitable for it.” Miranda replied irritably.

"No of course not. But I ... “Before Andy could continue talking, Miranda interrupted her.

"Well, then that would be explained. Come by here tomorrow at 7 a.m., Cara will explain to you what your exact tasks will be. That's all." Miranda said and Andy looked at her like a goldfish on dry land.

"What?" Asked Miranda when Andy was still standing in front of her and stared at her like she was an absurdity.

"I haven't agreed to take the job yet." Andy said boldly.

Miranda giggled for a moment before realizing what she was doing. Then she looked coolly at Andy with a boring expression.

"Hmm ... it would be pretty stupid in your situation to turn down my job offer. So are we now agreed that you will come here tomorrow?” Asked Miranda and put her glasses back on her nose.

Andy nodded her head.

"Good, see you tomorrow." She said and left the room and climbed the stairs.

The twins looked at Andy and Andy looked at them.

"This is your cue to leave." Said the two at the same time and Andy broke out of their shock and looked at the two girls.

"Yes ... of course." She managed to say, turned around and left the townhouse with the bulky vacuum cleaner.

Happy to be out on the street again, she hurried to the company car that was waiting for her a few houses away on the sidewalk. Only when she had stowed the vacuum cleaner away and was safely seated in the car did she allow herself to pause for a moment and take a deep breath.

"What the fuck was that?" She wondered aloud, shaking her head.

Chapter Text

Andy dropped onto her shabby sofa with a deep sigh and stared at the yellowed ceiling after coming home for the evening. Nate looked at her with concern.

"How was your day?" he asked cautiously.

"Lousy, really lousy. I didn't sell anything. But as if that wasn't enough, I got stuck with a family which was pretty crazy. The mother offered me a job as a nanny. And you know..." Andy straightened up before continuing "...I'm sure I'll never survive that job." she said as Nate handed her a glass of red wine.

"A nanny job?" he asked, raising his eyebrow questioningly.

"Yeah, it was so surreal. I rang the doorbell at this townhouse and two girls, they're twins opened the door for me. Their mother appeared shortly after and was quite upset with them for opening the door without permission. I was invited into the house and then placed in front of the girls as human scum. Miranda said look at her, this is how you will end up if you don't do your homework and don't always do your best in school. I felt so humiliated. You have no idea, it was horrible. Then Miranda looked me up and down and told me right to my face that it's no wonder I'm not good at selling vacuum cleaners. I would have loved to sink into the ground. I wanted to leave. I really did. But she wouldn't let me and called me back. So assertive, like she always gets what she wants. And then just like that, after her giant St. Bernard sniffed me and marked me as harmless, she said I had the job. I had no idea what she was talking about. And really, she had no muse to explain it to me. Luckily, the girls had asked her and only then did she tell me that she was giving me the nanny job. I just looked at her like a fool because I had no idea how to react to that. She just said like that *you have the job, I'll see you tomorrow then. That's all.* She didn't even wait to hear what I had to say about whether I even wanted the job." told Andy and Nate looked at her in wonder.

"So, did you take the job?" asked Nate curiously and Andy looked at him with a sigh.

"Miranda said I'd be pretty stupid not to take the job and that was that. I'm supposed to be there tomorrow at 7 a.m." Andy replied resignedly and Nate grinned broadly at her.

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Meanwhile, Miranda had requested a security check up on Andrea Sachs. She had never been naive enough in her life to believe in coincidences. So she strongly doubted that Andrea was who she seemed to be pretending to be.

Andrea had mentioned that she wanted to become a journalist. So what was wrong with assuming that this poorly dressed girl was sneaking into her family to sell firsthand private and personal secrets about Miranda, her marriage, her children, and whatnot to the next gossip rag in order to make a name for herself?

No, Miranda wasn't stupid enough to think it was a coincidence that today, of all days, when she was at home, she was standing outside her door with these stupid vacuum cleaners.

But as she read through the information that had been emailed to her about Andrea, she frowned more and more. The girl had run the college newspaper in college as editor-in-chief, and her articles were well thought out and well researched. She certainly had potential. So why was she selling vacuum cleaners? Why hadn't she found a more suitable job?

Was she a gold digger and would go after her husband? Miranda suddenly laughed out loud. Oh yes, as if Stephen would ever be interested in that horribly dressed girl. That was hilarious. No, no, that would never work. Miranda shook her head to shake off that ridiculous thought.

Then she printed out the employment contract, as well as the confidentiality agreement that Andrea was supposed to sign first thing the next morning before she would do anything at all in her household.

Next, she pulled the book towards her and began to look through it intently, writing on post-its her comments on what should be changed.

***************************************

The next morning, Andy stood nervously outside the townhouse, wondering for the hundredth time that morning why she had taken this nanny job. Before she could think more carefully about whether it made more sense to turn back around and just walk away, however, the front door was yanked open and the twins stared at her questioningly.

"How long are you going to stand out there looking stupid?" they asked simultaneously, and Andy winced.

Yeah, so much for exchanging pleasantries early in the morning. Thank you.

Andy sighed deeply and then entered the townhouse. A woman immediately came striding up to them and extended her hand to Andy.

"Good morning, I'm Cara, the still nanny." Cara winked encouragingly at Andy.

"You must be Andy. The twins have already told me about you. Come on in and give me your jacket. Miranda is already waiting for you upstairs in her study." Cara explained, sending the twins to the kitchen for breakfast while she hung Andy's jacket up in the closet.

"Shall we?" she asked, pointing to the stairs and Andy nodded her head, not sure if she really wanted to.

Slowly the two women climbed the stairs to the first Floor and Cara led them down the hall to a door. Cara knocked and a soft "come in" sounded from inside the room.

"Go in." prompted Cara to Andy and Andy looked at her hesitantly for a moment, but then obeyed her request.

"You're late." declared Miranda immediately, but didn't look up from the forms she was reading a moment ago. Confused, Andy looked at her wristwatch and frowned, since it was actually before 7a.m.

"Andrea, I'd appreciate it if you'd come over here instead of standing there stupidly by the door." said Miranda gruffly as she lifted her head and saw Andy still standing by the door.

"Excuse me." mumbled Andy intimidated, stepping closer.

"Have a seat. This is a confidentiality agreement, you need to sign it right away." Miranda explained and Andy took it in her hand, looking at it uncertainly.

"I will not tolerate my private life being sold to any gossip magazines. That means if you do anything of the sort, I hereby promise you right now that I will ruin your life and then blacklist you. Do you understand?" asked Miranda seriously.

Andy didn't understand, so she shook her head. Miranda sighed softly and pursed her mouth.

"That means you'll never have a chance to get this anywhere again, no matter what city or job you apply for. So sign it and we can move on." Miranda demanded, and Andy looked at her, startled.

"If you refuse to sign this, then you can leave right now." said Miranda quietly but firmly.

Andy looked at her thoughtfully for a moment, but then signed the confidentiality agreement.

"Good." said Miranda, then placed another form in front of Andy.

"This is your employment contract, this is valid for the next two weeks during which you will complete a probationary period here. You don't have to sign it right away. I reserve the right to terminate you without notice at any time if I do not agree with the way you are working. Of course, you can also terminate at any time as you see fit. However, in this case, I reserve the right to give you 14 days notice to find a new nanny. Is that all clear to you?" asked Miranda, a touch as if she were talking to a child instead of a young woman.

"Yes, that's understandable." said Andy clearly.

"Good." said Miranda, pulling out another sheet of paper and placing it in front of Andy.

"With this paper here, you agree to let me decide about your work clothes." explained Miranda and Andy looked at her with wide eyes.

"What?" she asked confused and then looked down at herself. She was wearing a blue sweater today, a blouse underneath, a skirt, black tights and comfortable shoes. She couldn't see what was wrong with it.

"Well her clothes give me eye cancer." declared Miranda in disgust and Andy chuckled out loud. Miranda looked at her with a snort.

"I can't see what's so funny about it." retorted Miranda, looking challengingly at Andy.

"Um..., well..., I didn't know that word even existed. What's wrong with the way I'm dressed?" asked Andy uncertainly, and Miranda looked at her appraisingly from top to bottom and back, putting on a disgusted expression.

"Everything. Listen, as my nanny you take responsibility for my daughters and I can't see how my daughters can respect you and look up to you as a role model when you walking around in those rags. Furthermore, as my nanny, you will accompany my daughters to school or to extracurricular events. Under no circumstances can I let you walk around like that. I would make a fool of myself in New York. Don't you know who I am?" asked Miranda hissing and Andy shook her head.

Miranda rolled her eyes and gave one short snort.

"I'm Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway, the most well-known and famous fashion magazine in the entire world. And as such, I can't have my nanny running around like this. My reputation as a dragon lady, an ice queen, a devil in Prada. I don't want to be called a woman who employs the worst-dressed nanny in New York." Miranda explained in a quiet but serious tone.

Andy swallowed and tried to hold back her tears that seemed to slowly gather in her eyes. She felt humiliated and reduced to something that wasn't really very important to her, but seemed incredibly important to Miranda to insult her in such a way that no one had ever done to her before. Andy clearly felt wrong about this place. So she quickly got up from the chair, wanting to get away from Miranda as quickly as possible.

"Andrea!" said Miranda in a cutting tone and Andy stopped rooted to the spot.

"Yes?" she asked, turning back to Miranda.

"Lord god again, are you always so easily rattled and so quick to run away?" asked Miranda in frustration and Andy looked at her with shining eyes before running her hand over her eyes and wiping away the still unshed tears.

"You'll never be successful like this." said Miranda quietly, getting up from her ergonomically designed desk chair and circling her fancy, expensive desk that must have cost quite a bit and that Andy could never have afforded in her lifetime.

She stepped close to Andy and looked at her challengingly with her blue eyes.

"If you run away now, when it's just a matter of appropriate work attire, what's the next thing you're going to run away from? Isn't it easier for you to sign this and let me give you appropriate clothes for your work than to go back into vacuum cleaner sales business?" asked Miranda matter-of-factly.

Andy bit her lower lip and nibbled on it while she thought. Then she nodded her head in resignation.

"Good, that's settled then. So sign here." said Miranda, pointing to the line where Andy should sign. Then she handed Andy the pen and Andy signed with a shaky hand.

"If you want you can submit all three documents to a lawyer for review." said Miranda and Andy nodded her head.

"My father is a lawyer, he always wanted me to follow in his footsteps and take over his small law firm, but I decided against law school and to go into journalism. He wasn't too pleased about it." told Andy, and Miranda looked at her in surprise for a moment.

"Interesting. Now let's get on with it. Undress!" she demanded, pointing at Andy's clothes.

Andy looked at her speechless and irritated.

"What?"

"My God Andrea, what's not to understand or are you a prude?" asked Miranda, looking at Andy with a smirk.

"What, no, no of course not. But..." Miranda stopped her and held up her hand.

"No, no buts. Strip. Now. I don't have all day." said Miranda impatiently and Andy's head turned red.

"Or do you need help with that?" asked Miranda sarcastically.

"No."

Andy first took off her blue sweater and laid it over the back of the chair, then took off her skirt.

"Everything?" she asked quietly, and Miranda nodded her head at her as she took her glasses off her nose and slid the one temple between her lips.

"Of course." was all she said, and Andy swallowed.

Next she slowly unbuttoned her blouse button by button.

"Can you go any slower?" asked Miranda annoyed, rolling her eyes.

"Sorry." muttered Andy softly, hurrying to unbutton the remaining buttons. Then she took off her blouse. And pulled down her shoes and her black pantyhose last.

Dressed only in black panties and a green bra, she stood in front of Miranda, who looked at her closely from top to bottom and then back again with an unreadable look.

"I deal with half-naked models every day, so don't worry about this being anything salacious or objectionable. It isn't. And it doesn't count as harassment in the workplace either." said Miranda seriously.

"Hmm... I see I have to take care of your underwear too." said Miranda after a long moment of just silently looking at Andy.

"Why?" asked Andy, fidgeting unsteadily from one leg to the other.

"Because your underwear, is just as awful as the rest of your clothes." replied Miranda with a sigh.

Miranda even felt a little sorry for her. As insecure, fidgeting and embarrassed as she was standing in front of her, having no idea how much she pleased Miranda with her figure, which truly could not be considered model measurements, but was very beautiful to look at. Andy had a curvy body and looked incredibly sensual. Miranda shook her head, dispelling those inappropriate thoughts.

Instead, she stepped up to Andy and placed her hand on Andy's hip, stroking it lightly and gently, lost in thought, and estimated the cup size of Andy's breasts so that she could provide suitable underwear for Andy tomorrow.

While Miranda's hand was on Andy's hip, a shiver ran down Andy's spine and her fine hairs stood up. She immediately stopped fidgeting and tried to stand still.

Miranda smiled gently at her before taking her hand down from Andy's hip and walking over to the sofa that was nearby and picking up the new work clothes and then handing them to Andy.

"Look at this, I want to see if it works." she said, stepping back to her desk and leaning against the front.

Andy took the cream blouse first and hastily pulled it on. With shaky fingers, she buttoned the buttons from the bottom to the last button at the top. Next she put on the black pants.

Miranda walked back to her and stopped close in front of her, then unbuttoned the first two buttons and grinned at Andy.

"We don't want you to choke, do we?" she asked, amused, and Andy looked at her with her big brown doe eyes. Then she shook her head.

"No." she whispered softly.

"Good. How do you feel in those clothes?" asked Miranda, trying to make Andy feel at least a little bit like she got to help decide what she wore to work.

"Okay." she said quietly, and Miranda nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, I think for today that works pretty well. I'll have some things put together for you. Unless you prefer to be dressed in a real nanny uniform?" asked Miranda with a grin.

"No, no. That's okay. Thanks." brought out Andy.

"Good. That's all." said Miranda, sitting back down behind her desk. Andy looked at her confused, not really knowing what was expected of her now.

After Andy didn't move, Miranda looked at her in irritation.

"Is there anything else?" she asked, but Andy shook her head.

"Then why are you still standing around here? Go and let Cara explain everything else." Miranda said, and Andy finally understood that she had been dismissed. Hastily, she gathered her things.

"No, no. Leave them here, I'll dispose of them right away." replied Miranda, but Andy looked at her in horror.

Miranda rolled her eyes and sighed deeply.

"Fine take them with you, but don't ever wear this around me again." she said and Andy sighed in relief, gathered her things and then hurriedly left the study.

Chapter Text

Andy stepped out of the study in a daze and stopped, uncertain. She had no idea where Cara was. Was she allowed to go looking for her in the townhouse? Damn. Petrified and undecided, she stopped and looked around, perplexed.

Shortly after, the study door opened and Miranda stepped out and ran right into her.

"My God Andrea, what are you still doing here?" she asked in amazement and Andy looked at her again with those big brown eyes unsure. Miranda really hoped that eventually the girl would stop looking at her like that, it was really annoying.

"I don't know where Cara is and I didn't know if I could go look for her." stammered Andy and Miranda rolled her eyes. Then she held a note in front of Andy's nose.

"This is your hair appointment, get a decent haircut." said Miranda and walked down the hall. When she noticed Andy wasn't following her, she looked back at her.

"Cara's in the kitchen with the girls. Come with me." she demanded and Andy obediently followed her, still frowning, since this woman seemed to be so easily in charge of their lives without a second thought. First the clothes, then a hair appointment. What else would come?

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Arriving in the kitchen, Andy saw a man sitting next to the girls. Unsure of what was expected of her, she took a step back. Miranda looked at her in wonder, but said nothing more about it.

"Stephen, this is Andrea our new nanny. Andrea this is my husband Stephen." Miranda introduced the two.

Stephen looked up briefly from his newspaper he had been reading, gave Andy a quick appraising look before turning back to the paper, bored.

Miranda sullenly pursed her mouth at her husband's rude manner, but then turned to Cara.

"Cara please explain everything to Andrea after the girls have left for school. And find somewhere to put those unspeakable clothes." she said, pointing to the pile of clothes in Andy's arms.

"Yes, Miranda." said Cara dutifully before turning to the girls and telling them they needed to get ready for school.

******************************

After the girls were finally in the car and taken to school by Roy, Cara handed Andy a stack of loose papers, notebooks and post-its.

"What's this?"

"Oh these are the things you need to keep track of. They're the various homework assignments, school projects, notes, addresses and phone numbers, of teachers, friends, acquaintances, sports teams, and a few more. I've tried to balance that somehow, but as you can see I've never really succeeded. There are different appointment calendar, those of Miranda, the girls, Stephen and a family planner. There's a bunch of appointments in there too."

"Wow, that's really a lot." sighed Andy, but took it all and stowed it away in her big, bulky shoulder bag, which Miranda hadn't taken away from her yet.

"Yeah." laughed Cara, patting Andy's shoulders amicably. "You'll be fine. Most appointment are pretty regular with the girls. It's rare that anything changes in their schedule. The most important thing is to keep track of their homework, school projects and tests. The twins are a little sloppy about that. While they are very smart and quite advanced in thinking for their age, they are also lazy and spoiled. So don't take too much from them. They need to slowly learn that they have to take care of all this stuff themselves. They will test you in every way they can think of. Don't let them steer you off course, though."

"Okay, fine. But honestly, I've never had much to do with kids. What do I do when they get too rowdy?"

"Oh, you'll think of something, and if you can't help it, you can call me. Do you want me to tell you a little about the twins or do you like to find out for yourself what they're like?"

"No, no. Tell me anything that might help me, please."

"Well, they both hate it when you can't tell them apart. Which they also regularly get a kick out of swapping their roles. They look the same down to the smallest thing, but you can tell them apart by their personalities. Caroline, the older of the two, is always the one who will try everything first, express problems or wishes first, take the blame most on herself. But the mastermind behind any prank, wish or idea is always Cassidy. While Caroline is loud and quick-tempered, Cassidy is level-headed and quiet. Caroline will need your help the most, even if she denies it or rejects you, literally letting you die of thirst on her long arm. She is always the one who needs and appreciates your love, praise and appreciation the most. If you can gain Caroline's trust, then everything else is insanely easy," Cara explained, and Andy wrote it all down in her little notebook, which she had pulled out of her shoulder bag before Cara had begun to tell.

"What else is there to know?" asked Andy, but Cara shook her head.

"Anything else you'll have to figure out on your own." she said, winking at Andy.

"I've got to go. I'll see you later and don't forget your hair appointment." Cara called out to Andy before running down the stairs, grabbing her jacket and bag out of the hall closet and then leaving the townhouse.

Andy sighed deeply and then went to her room, which she would always occupy when staying at the townhouse.

There she sat down at the small desk and then pulled out of her large shoulder bag the stack that Cara had handed her. First she looked at each loose of paper, post-its, note and sorted them by subject.

Andy loved making lists and being well prepared for anything. She wasn't the most fashionably dressed person and not really interested in that nonsense, but she was a perfectionist. She always gave her best and was only satisfied when the result was really satisfying. Yes, okay the job as a vacuum cleaner saleswoman she had really messed up and really did not cover herself with glory. But the job as a nanny she would do as well as she could. No, she would do it even better than good. She knew she could do it and consequently failure was not an option.

While Andy was making the lists she needed for her work, she completely forgot about time. She was all the more surprised when she looked at her wristwatch and realized how late it already was.

"Shit!!!" Andy jumped up from her chair and quickly hurried down the stairs and out of the townhouse.

But outside on the sidewalk, she only realized she had no idea where the hairdresser she had an appointment with was located. Pissed off because she had left her purse and cell phone upstairs in the room, she went back and retrieved both. Her cell phone then directed her, using Google Maps, to the correct hairdresser, which was in the neighborhood, just a few blocks away.

Sighing, Andy entered the hairdresser.

"Yes?" asked a woman in the reception area.

"Um...I had an appointment, unfortunately I completely forgot the time today. Could I still make the appointment?" asked Andy, smiling uncertainly but kindly at the woman.

Luckily for Andy, she was able to squeeze in and also only had to wait half an hour for her turn.

"Hello, I'm Jean Luc, how can I help you?" asked a young man who was dressed rather smartly and quite openly obviously very gay.

Andy looked at him for a moment with her big brown eyes.

"Um..., my new boss made the appointment and wants me to get a decent haircut." said Andy, looking at Jean Luc a little perplexed.

"Umm..., who's your boss?" he asked as he ran his hands through Andy's long, but very dull dark brown hair, scrutinizing it closely.

"Miranda Priestly." Andy replied and Jean Luc looked at her with a raised eyebrow and whistled through his lips pressed together.

"Oh, okay. Did she say what she meant by a decent haircut?"

"No, she didn't."

"Hmm..., so what should we do?" asked Jean Luc more to himself, looking at Andy's hair from every angle he could think of. He frowned skeptically, smoothed it out again when a better idea came to him, only to look sullen again right after. After a long moment of thinking really hard, he threw his hands up in the air in exasperation and looked dramatically at Andy.

"How much do you like your hair length?" he asked a little uncertainly, knowing from experience that women were always very particular about their hair length.

"I don't know, I never thought about it."

"So would you be okay with us cutting all of this off and making it a very nice pixie cut?"

Andy thought about it for a long moment. What Miranda would think of that. Oh fuck it, it was her head and her hair. She had to live with the results, not Miranda. It would be crazy to adjust her hairstyle to Miranda's wishes as well. It would be, wouldn't it?

"So?"

"Yeah, let's do it." said Andy boldly, and Jean Luc grinned broadly and happily at her.

Half an hour later, Andy looked at herself in the mirror in amazement. She really, really liked what she saw. She looked like the young Audrey Hepburn in the movie "Sabrina". Beautiful...interesting what hairstyles could do to you.

Her hair was now short on the sides and back of her head and the elongated side parting fell from left to right over her right eye.

Jean Luc had told her that she could do anything she wanted with this hairstyle. She could even recreate a iroquois with hair gel if she felt like it, or use cute hair clips to hold her angled bangs in place, or simply clamp the bangs behind her right ear. She could take the hairstyle from well-behaved to sassy. There were so many options and Andy took it upon herself to try all of them over time.

Happy and satisfied, she left Jean Luc and headed back to the townhouse to continue working on the lists. It wasn't until she was on her way back that she remembered Nate. Shit, she had totally forgotten about him. What he would say about her new haircut? Nate had always loved her long hair.

Sighing, she climbed the stairs in the townhouse and went to her room. Once there, she continued to work on her lists for a while. Once everything was done in that regard, however, she picked up her phone and Googled Miranda Priestly, reading through everything she could find about her. Starting with her official resume, which was posted on Wikipedia, to her achievements and the gossip from the relevant gossip newspapers.

"Oh bloody God!" a woman suddenly shouted in surprise when she opened the door of the room and found Andy in the room.

Andy lifted her head from her cell phone, turned to her and looked at her in amazement.

"I..., I hadn't known anyone was here." the red-haired young woman said a touch too hysterically. Andy looked at her questioningly.

"Hi, I'm Andy and you are?"

"Emily Charlton, Miranda's first assistant." explained Emily snootily. In her arms she had several bags of clothes.

"What's this?" asked Andy, quickly taking the heavy load from Emily and placing it on the bed.

"These are your work clothes. Not that I think you'll be employed here for more than a few days. But Miranda specifically said to provide you with work clothes for at least 2 weeks." replied Emily arrogantly.

Andy stared at her with wide eyes.

"This is all for me?"

"God no, don't be ridiculous. There's more out in the car." retorted Emily, snorting disdainfully before turning and leaving Andy's room and hurrying down the hall.

Andy stumbled after her.

There were actually several more shopping bags stowed in the car, which Andy looked at with wide eyes.

"Oh my goodness." whispered Andy in awe. "What's all in there?"

"Shoes, underwear, accessories, handbag, just about everything you'll need." replied Emily, looking appraisingly at Andy.

"Um...okay." said Andy, taking the bags in her hands. "Thanks, for dropping them off."

"Yeah, whatever." said Emily and then got in the car and just drove off without saying goodbye to Andy. Andy watched the car go by for a while before she going back to the townhouse.

Upstairs in her room, she looked through the individual shopping bags. Good God, Miranda couldn't really believe she wore something like that to work. Or??? Andy looked down at various outfits spread out on her bed, all so fancy and so totally useless for nanny work. With kids you had to be dressed flexibly and agilely, but these outfits all looked like they could only be taken to the theater, art openings, galas and other fancy occasions and events. But surely not to the park to the playground!

And the underwear, it looked beautiful and felt soft and smooth in Andy's hands. But you get such underwear from your life partner, your sweetheart or your boyfriend, but not from your boss. What was that???

Andy shook her head in confusion and irritation and lowered herself onto the bed. Had she become Miranda's favorite dress-up doll or what was that all about?

Chapter Text

"Oh, here you are." Cara stuck her head in Andy's room and grinned broadly at her.

“Wow, your hairstyle is awesome. I really like it. Oh, your clothes have already arrived.” Cara said amazed and came into the room.

"What's going on?" She asked when she saw Andy's expression.

"Nothing, I just mean ... I'm just trying to understand ... you know ... I mean why is Miranda giving me all this stuff? I'm just the nanny and who knows how long I'll work here. This is crazy. Is it ... right?" Andy asked desperately and looked at Cara with her big brown eyes.

“Well, that's the way from her. Don't think too much about it and be happy that you have nice clothes now." Cara replied friendly.

Andy looked at her with wide eyes.

“My God Cara, you're not mad at me, are you?” Andy asked anxiously and Cara looked at her confused.

"No, why should I be mad at you?"

"Well, because Miranda gave me all these things."

“Oh nonsense, that's okay. In the beginning she did the same for me. Until I had a better grip on my choice of clothes myself. So don't worry." Cara waved her off and Andy was relieved.

"Cara, but seriously, how am I supposed to wear these clothes and these shoes work?" Andy asked helplessly and doubtfully, pointed to the shoeboxes, which were all open.

Cara laughed and gently brushed Andy Pony out of her eyes.

“You just have to talk to Miranda about the fact that you need sensible footwear when you are out with the girls in the park, on an excursion or on various other occasions. Simply explain to her and she will get you what is appropriate for her understanding. Don't worry, she's only half as crazy as you think right now. But trust me, you will have to wear these shoes and these fancy dresses, especially when it comes to accompanying the girls to their performance in Dalton. "

"Performance?"

“Yes, both of them are very musical and have performance and concerts every now and then. Miranda won't make it to most of the concerts herself, so it's your job to be there and support the girls. And there is a dress code in Dalton. And really, you will feel a lot more comfortable if you are dressed like the other people there.” Cara explained sensibly before looking at her watch.

“The girls are coming soon. They already ate at school. Their next appointment with their therapist isn't until 4.30 p.m., so it's good if we let they rest a little before we have to go. They will argue and sulk and say that they are already too big for an afternoon nap. But they have a long day behind and therapy is also strenuous, so it is important that they rest beforehand. There is no discussion about that.” Cara explained and Andy noted it down mentally because she did not have her notebook at hand.

"Let's go downstairs and wait for the girls downstairs."

***************************

"Girl, it's time for afternoon nap, so who would you like to have with you?" Asked Cara after the girls had stowed their school bags and jackets in the built-in closet in the hallway.

"Oh Cara, we're already too big to take a nap." Caroline moaned, but Cara shook her head.

"No discussion. So Caroline do you want me to spend time with you or Andy?"

Caroline and Cassidy looked at each other and talked to each other in silence, as they always did and which looked pretty creepy to Andy when she first noticed it.

"I'll take Andy." Caroline said with a sigh and Andy grinned at her.

"Great, come on then, we don't have that much time."

Caroline rolled her eyes while her sister and Cara giggled.

As soon as Andy and Caroline were in Caroline's room, Andy sat down on Caroline's bed and knocked next to her. Caroline looked at her skeptically.

"Come here, let's make it comfortable." Andy said cheerfully and Caroline frowned.

"You want to take a nap with me?" She asked with a frown.

"Sure, what else, so come on or did you have other plans?"

"Hm ... so far no nanny has gone to bed with us to take a nap."

“I haven't been a nanny either, so let's try this out. Okay?"

"You know, I can go to mom and tell her you're a terrible nanny if you want to force me to do things I don't want." Caroline said seriously and put her little hands on her hips and gave Andy a challenging look.

"Yeah, I bet you could. But you know, I'm not going to be kind to you and let you do things you want just so I can keep this job. I don't care. I will be kind to you because I am a kind person. However, I will also be strict with you when a situation calls for it and you certainly won't always like it. But you have to trust me because I only want the best for you and your sister and it is my job to protect and support you as long as it is in my power. But I don't want to come here every day and be afraid of losing my job just because you don't like something that I say or will determine. So let's get this straight, I'm here because I want to be there for you and your sister. So tell me right away, should I go or do we want to try it?" Andy asked and Caroline looked at her puzzled. Nobody had spoken to her that seriously before.

Slowly she crawled onto her bed and Andy happily took her in her arms. They both lay down and Andy snuggled contentedly against Caroline.

"I knew you were a cuddler." Andy teased Caroline, who then snorted once, but allowed Andy her to be pulled even closer. A few moments later they both fell asleep.

***************************

"Andy, Caroline wake up!" Cara shook Andy's shoulder. Andy grumbled and turned while Caroline perked up pretty quickly.

Cassidy, Caroline and Cara looked at Andy, who was still pressing her head into the pillow and muttering to herself "another 5 min. Mom."

“Andy, it's Cara. We have to go to therapy, so come on.” she said softly, trying to pull Andy into a sitting position. Andy grumbled and looked at the three in confusion.

They could see exactly how it slowly began to rattle and rattle in Andys head until she suddenly shot out of bed, getting caught in the bedspread and slamming hard on the floor.

Cara hurried over to her and helped her get up.

"Are you all right?" She asked worriedly, while Andy ran through her short hair and still didn't look very cheerful.

“Yeah ... I ... I'm so sorry. I ... we can go." She said completely off the track, while she slowly got up and tried to stand upright with shaking legs.

"So no more nap time for Andy." Announced Caroline and grinned broadly at Andy. "Much too dangerous for she."

Cara and Cassidy giggled.

Andy looked at her pained, it was just too embarrassing. Her job was to take care of the children and not fall asleep and yet she was quite asleep and waking up was all the more annoying because she still felt foggy.

"Come on." she said gruffly and the other three giggled.

“So you're a nag when you wake up. Good to know.” Cara said and winked at the girls who giggled again.

"No, I'm not really." Andy replied, nibbling poutily on her lower lip.

"Okay, you know, you can continue to sleep in the car, maybe that will improve your mood." Caroline offered cheekily and Andy rolled her eyes.

"Thank you, nice of you." She replied and when all four were sitting in the car, Andy really dozed off again on the way to the therapist. Caroline and Cassidy grabbed their cell phones and took quiet photos of her as evidence and looked at each other a little devilishly. It was always good to have evidence in case they wanted to blackmail someone.

Both girls were young, but they weren't stupid.

***************************

That evening when Miranda came home from work, clearly late, it was well after 10 p.m., she found Andrea on the stairs.

"Andrea?" She asked astonished and the young woman, who had just read some papers in her hand, jumped up nervously.

"What are you doing here?"

"I have been waiting for you. Here are my notes on the whole daily routine.” Andy replied and handed the papers to Miranda. Miranda looked at her in surprise and only then did she notice Andy's new hairstyle. She looked closely at Andy for a long moment before saying "nice".

Andy's face flushed instantly and her eyes lit up clearly.

"... Thanks ..." said Andy shyly. "May I go now?" She asked softly and Miranda nodded her head. Andy thanked her quickly and wished her good night before she grabbed her bag and jacket from the built-in closet and was out the front door.

Miranda watched her go and shook her head. God, was the girl in a hurry. But she had really surprised Miranda with her new hairstyle, pleasantly surprised. When she told Andrea to get a decent haircut, she actually thought that the girl would have her tips cut and that she would make her shine again with a hair treatment. She never expected a pixie cut. Miranda was seriously impressed with how the new hairstyle made Andrea's natural beauty even more beautiful.

Amazed at her thoughts, she shook her head and sighed deeply, brushing her thoughts aside.

Since the book wasn't there yet, Miranda went upstairs with the papers Andrea had just given her. But before she took it to her study to read, she stopped by her daughters' rooms. Both were fast asleep, but that didn't stop Miranda from blowing a goodnight kiss on her cheek.

***************************

The next morning the twins were already sitting at the table and having breakfast while Stephen left his newspaper. Miranda sat down with them and sipped her hot coffee while looking at her girls curiously.

"Bobbseys how was your day yesterday?" She asked curiously and the girls started giggling. Even Stephen looked up briefly from his newspaper before reading on.

"It was funny." Cassidy explained first and Miranda immediately raised her eyebrow and looked at her questioningly.

"Yes? What happened?"

"Oh, Andy just fell out of Caroline's bed and fell asleep in the car on the way to the therapist." Cassidy replied, but got an angry look from Caroline.

Miranda looked at the girls in confusion.

"Can you explain that to me in more detail?" She asked seriously and before Cassidy could tell more, Caroline jumped in.

"Oh mom it was nothing, Andy took a nap with me and fell fast asleep. When Cara woke us up, she was only a little beside her and therefore fell out of bed. It was all okay, Cassidy exaggerated.” Caroline said soothingly and Miranda raised her eyebrows again, on the one hand because her daughter spoke so protectively for Andrea and on the other hand because this indicated that Caroline had already connected with Andrea.

"Has she hurt herself?" Miranda asked worried.

“No, no, she's okay. Here look.” Cassidy took out her cell phone and showed her mom the picture of Andy sleeping in the car on the way to therapy.

Miranda took the cell phone and took a closer look at the picture. Seeing Andrea sleep was quite a sensation, she looked lovely doing it and so relaxed. Very different from what she had seen before from Andrea. When she was awake, the girl around Miranda seemed terribly scared, shy and nervous.

"Hm ... Andrea didn't mention anything about this event in the notes she gave me about your daily routine yesterday." Miranda replied dryly and both girls laughed loudly.

Caroline stopped laughing at first when something occurred to her.

"Um ... she won't get in trouble, will she, Mom?" Caroline asked softly, but when Miranda shook her head and looked at her gently, her little face lit up again.

"Thanks mom," said Caroline, leaning over and giving her a peck on her cheek. Miranda was surprised by this brief affectionate exchange, as her daughter was rather stingy with these expressions of affection.

"It's okay, Bobbseys." Miranda said softly and patted Caroline's shoulder gently.

Chapter Text

Andy quickly learned that the twins' week was packed with appointments. On Mondays they had riding lessons, Tuesday therapy, Wednesday music lessons, Thursday sports, and on Fridays the twins were picked up by their dad every other week. On the weekends where they stayed with Miranda, she had play dates, school and/or sporting events, concerts or performances on Saturdays and Sundays. Once all these appointments were done, they had homework to do every day, and their workload was a lot for 11 year old girls, in Andy's opinion.

Cara had withdrawn more and more during the first week and let Andy do it. On Friday afternoon, however, all four of them had gone to a fancy ice cream parlor and the girls invited Cara and Andy out for ice cream as a going-away present for Cara and a housewarming present for Andy.

Since the first week was really exhausting, Andy had decided to visit Dalton in the second week and talk to the twins' teachers to find out which subjects they really needed to catch up on, which ones they were doing well in, what tips and advice the teachers had to motivate the twins to cooperate more, especially with homework, where there were regular discussions.

Andy diligently took notes and then created a study plan at home, both to ensure that the girls' grades improved and their performance and skills were solidified, and to minimize the many daily discussions, tears, tantrums, and stress involved.

It took a few weeks, but the girls gradually settled well into Andy's learning plan. And as it worked better and the girls' grades slowly but steadily improved, they felt better about themselves, gained more self-esteem and confidence, and began to approach their homework and school projects with more motivation. So especially the discussions, tantrums and tears fell away. Which was really a good thing, because it left more time for recreational activities or just being a kid.

For a while it went surprisingly well and Andy was really happy that she managed the job so well and that the girls had accepted her so well and liked her. She herself had begun to love them after only a short time.

Nate didn't like that because he knew Andy and knew how hard she would take it if Miranda fired her at some point because of some mistake or whatever came to her mind and then it would break Andy's heart when she was no longer a part of the twins' lives. But Andy couldn't help it, she was the way she was, just a soft nut with a way too big heart.

That's why it hit her very hard when the twins suddenly started to change their behavior completely. For days they had been arguing, yelling at each other, crying, fighting each other, being bitchy, grumpy, verbally aggressive and completely confused.

"Okay, okay, okay...stop it, I can't take it anymore!" cried Andy desperately as she stumbled into Cassidy's room after hearing from her room the twins going at each other again and yelling loudly at each other.

Exhausted and drained, Andy flopped down on Cassidy's bed and began to cry in frustration. She pulled her legs to her and buried her head in her hands, letting her tears run freely. She had no idea how to fix the twins' emotional chaos. She had asked them several times to tell her what was going on, but the twins wouldn't tell her. She was at the end of her patience, composure, and wisdom on how to act.

Cassidy and Caroline stopped arguing and looked at her in dismay before crawling over to Andy on the bed and looking at her with concern.

"Andy?" they both asked quietly, and Andy lifted her head to look at them with teary eyes and a hopeless look.

"I don't know what's going on with you guys and how I can help you. And if this keeps up, I'm not sure I can keep working here. I...I...I'm sorry." Andy began to cry again and the girls began to cry and lean on Andy as well.

Andy quickly wrapped them in her arms and hugged them tightly. They sat like that for quite a while, crying, until Andy calmed down again.

"I..., I really want to help you. Please tell me what's wrong." Andy asked quietly and the girls looked at each other silently communicating.

"Stephen and Mom are fighting." murmured Caroline softly and Andy looked at her with her big brown eyes.

"We hate it when they fight." Cassidy whispered.

"We can hear them, even though they're quiet." Both girls confessed at the same time and Andy suddenly understood what was going on. No wonder the girls were so messed up right now. Only Andy couldn't understand why they were fighting each other instead of standing by each other.

"But then why are you fighting?" asked Andy quietly, looking at both girls in wonder.

"Caroline thinks Stephen is right to berate Mom for never being home or for never bothering to come home on time." Cassidy confessed, and Caroline squirmed out of Andy's embrace.

"She doesn't love us, so she's never around. Cassidy thinks that's not true. That's why we fight." Caroline now confessed and she began to cry again. Andy quickly wrapped her back in her arms, as did Cassidy.

"No, no, no... you can't think of your mom like that. She loves you guys, yes really, she loves you so much. You are her Bobbseys, her darlings, her wonderful smart girls. She's so proud of you guys," Andy said. It hurt her heart that the girls assumed their mom didn't love them and was hardly ever home because of it.

"Then how come she's never here?" asked Caroline skeptically, looking challengingly at Andy.

"Because she's the editor-in-chief of Runway, she has a lot of responsibility." Andy whispered softly. Secretly, Andy also didn't know why Miranda worked so much and so hard and took so little time for her daughters, when the two of them missed their mom so much and just wanted to live a normal family life.

Andy sighed deeply.

"But that's what I'm here for. She hired me to be there for you, to support you, to protect you, to love you, and to kick your butts when you don't do your homework. I know that's not the same as having your mom with you, but you like me too, right?" asked Andy, winking at the twins.

"We love you Andy!" They both exclaimed at the same time and Andy smiled warmly at them.

"I know, I love you guys too."

"Please don't tell Mom we had a fight and it's been such a lousy last few days." Caroline asked softly and Andy nodded her head and stroked through Caroline red hair.

"I promise I won't say anything, but only if you promise me not to fight anymore. Can you promise me that?"

"Yes." both girls said again at the same time and Andy smiled happily at them.

"But Andy, what are we going to do if they fight again and Stephen says so many mean things to Mom?" asked Cassidy thoughtfully.

Andy swallowed once, twice.

"What does Stehpen say to your mom?" she asked quietly, though she was sure she didn't really want to know.

"He said she's a cold bitch and that she has no heart. That she's manipulative, selfish, vindictive and selfish. That her work is more important to her than her family and that she doesn't love us. Neither him, nor us twins." Caroline confessed seriously and Andy looked at her with her wide eyes in dismay.

"He's so mean to mom and mom doesn't say anything about it, she..., she doesn't even defend herself. She..., Caroline and I, we know Stephen's words hurt her. She cries sometimes when she's alone in her bedroom." Cassidy said sadly and Caroline nodded her head to confirm it.

"I'll figure something out so you won't hear your parents fighting anymore. Okay?" asked Andy, ruffling her short hair in the face of this new challenge.

Andy sighed deeply and then began to think of a new plan to help the girls.

***************************

Back when she was a kid, her sister Rachel and she had a tree house out back where they could retreat and be by themselves whenever they wanted. Andy remembered many wonderful and great times she had spent there, as a child, but also still as a teenager.

Unfortunately, there was no tree in the garden behind the townhouse that was suitable for a tree house, so Andy went around the townhouse looking for a place where the girls could retreat.

But neither in the basement, nor in the three floors above, she found a suitable place. Sighing, Andy turned the doorknob to a door she had not yet opened. Surprised, she saw a staircase leading up. Carefully and quietly, Andy climbed the stairs and found herself there facing another door. Fortunately, this door was not locked, so Andy was able to open it and what she found behind it really pleased her.

It was the attic, which ran the length of the townhouse. Andy turned on the overhead light and wandered through the rows of boxes, crates and pieces of furniture left behind, beaming happily. She had finally found a place for the girls.

Over the next few days, she kept coming up to the attic while the girls were at school and tidying up and cleaning. Andy moved the sofa, which turned out to be a sleeper sofa, into the right corner of the attic. It took her what felt like hours, but when it was done, she was overjoyed. Then she laid old rugs, which actually still looked perfectly fine to her sensibilities, across the cold floor, draped a small coffee table in front of the sofa bed, several floor lamps, for which she had bought softly shining light bulbs, beside and behind it. She still attached colorful strings of lights to the attic ceiling. Andy found bedspreads, woolen blankets and pillows in some boxes, which she positioned on the sofa bed. Last but not least, and this was a real stroke of luck, she found an old radio that still worked, so she could even listen to some music when she continued to decorate the attic with small things. Then she got a supply of snacks, which she hid in a wooden box, on the lid she neatly wrote *For extreme emergencies*.

After Andy was quite sure that the attic was now a cozy retreat for the twins, she decided to let them in.

Excited and very nervous, she entered Caroline's room.

"Hey kids, I have a surprise for you. I..." before Andy could go on, both girls had jumped up and were bouncing around excitedly in front of Andy, asking her to show her the surprise.

"Okay, okay, calm down. Before I show you the surprise, there's something I want to talk to you both about, so sit down for a minute." asked Andy and the twins obeyed.

"I have thought of something to help you. But I don't want you to talk to anyone about it because it has to be a secret between you two and me. Okay?" asked Andy, and the twins looked at her questioningly.

"A secret?" asked the twins at the same time and Andys looked at them amused.

"Yes, one of the biggest secrets we will ever share. So I would like to ask you, before I show you the surprise, that you will keep this secret forever and never tell anyone about it. Could you do that for me?" asked Andy in a soft and very mystical voice and the twins nodded their heads.

"Good, then swear to me on your honor that you will never trust anyone with our secret." said Andy seriously, looking deep into the girls' eyes.

"We promise." they both said again at the same time and Andy beamed a huge warm smile at them.

"Very well, then come. But we have to be quiet and take the back stairs so no one sees us. Okay?"

"Yes." the twins said conspiratorially quietly.

Andy took Caroline's hand in hers and walked with her up the back stairs, Cassidy quietly following. Then, on the third floor, Andy stopped at the attic door and looked conspiratorially at the girls again, then looked ahead and back and to the side, as if expecting to be surprised by someone else.

"Come." She whispered softly and opened the door, quickly pushing the girls up the attic stairs.

Both twins looked at her irritably. They knew it went up to the attic, but what on earth could be there that Andy wanted to show them?

"Shht...and be careful going up." said Andy again conspiratorially and the girls did as they were told.

Once at the top of the stairs, Andy looked at the girls again.

"You know, you'll have to go in by yourselves, I don't have an access pass." she said as she opened the door and pushed the girls inside.

At first, the girls looked at Andy questioningly, but then cautiously walked into the attic. Since Andy had placed some boxes and crates and racks of clothes, with old clothes, so that they blocked the right side of the attic at the entrance to the attic, the girls did not immediately see what Andy wanted to show them. It wasn't until they kept walking that they saw it. As soon as they saw it, they came running back to Andy and pulled her into the attic with them.

"Andy what is this?" she asked excitedly and Andy beamed at her.

"This is your retreat from now on. Whenever you feel bad because your parents are fighting, you can come here and do whatever you want. You have to promise me, though, that you won't do anything to endanger yourselves here, okay?"

"We promise. Thank you so much!" they said again at the same time, hugging Andy stormily, and Andy grinned lovingly at them, stroking their heads gently.

Chapter Text

A few weeks later Miranda came home very early, firstly because two appointments had been cancelled at short notice, without really good reasons, and secondly because she had little desire to go back to Runway. The last weeks had been stressful and frustrating for her, more than ever before. She had been surrounded by nothing but incompetent employees who just couldn't seem to get the simplest things she asked for done exactly as she wanted and imagined.

It was a Thursday, the girls had already asked to stop playing sports a few weeks ago and Miranda had allowed them after realizing that volleyball was not really a sport for her girls. The risk of injury was also far too great, so she had gladly agreed to let the girls stop playing the sport.

She unlocked the front door and entered the house. Everything was quiet, suspiciously quiet. Miranda hung her coat in the hall closet, set her purse down on the dresser, and then went into the kitchen, where she bumped into Mrs. Piers, the housekeeper.

"It's pretty quiet today, where are the girls?"

Mrs. Pries looked at Miranda in surprise and Miranda raised her eyebrow questioningly.

"Oh, they're somewhere in the house, shall I call them?"

"No, no. I'll just go find them. When will dinner be ready?"

"In about 45 min."

"Good."

Miranda turned, walked back through the hallway, and climbed the stairs to the second floor. The girls' room doors were open, but the rooms were empty. Miranda looked around Cassidy's room for a moment before walking over to Caroline's room. Both rooms were surprisingly tidy. Which was odd in itself, since both of her daughters were rather sloppy with their things. So either Andrea was cleaning up after the two of them, or she had finally taught the girls to take better care of their things.

Miranda let a glance roam over Caroline's pinboard and looked curiously at the various lists hanging there. Hmm... that was new, too. But where in God's name were her girls and Andrea?

Miranda looked in every room on the second floor, in her bedroom, the adjoining bathroom, as well as her dressing rooms, in Stephen's bedroom and bathroom, in Andrea's nearly unused nanny's room.... nothing. Frustrated, she climbed to the third floor, certain that she would not find her girls there, since there were only guest rooms and the stairs to the attic.

Nevertheless, she climbed up and looked into the first guest room, which she reached first, when she found it just as empty as the other rooms she had been in before, she suddenly heard a muffled noise.

Frowning, she looked at the door that led to the attic. It was only ajar. Quietly, she opened the door and cautiously climbed the stairs.

At the top she heard soft voices. Carefully, she opened the attic door and heard her children's voices more clearly now.

"Andy, I'm ready. Can you go see if everything is right?" just asked Caroline, who could not yet see Miranda. So she entered the attic quietly and took a few steps closer. Only then did she see her daughters and Andrea. Surprised, she held her breath for a moment.

Andrea was sitting on the folded-out sofa bed, just taking in Caroline's work, while Caroline snuggled up to her. Cassidy lay next to them, nibbling on her pencil as she thought hard in her head.

Andrea read Caroline's work intently as her fingers gently stroked through her hair.

"It's pretty good so far, but you need to work on your word choice. You use way too often, the same words. See here, you write *and then* and here again and there the same way. Instead of writing *and then* you could write *first, after, or last, or before*. It makes your essay more interesting. Okay?" asked Andrea gently, and Caroline nodded her head and took her work back, lying down on the sofa next to Cassidy.

"Okay, I'll change it right now. Thanks Andy." said Caroline and Andy smiled softly at her before picking up her magazine again and continuing to read the article.

"How are you doing Cassidy?" she asked.

"Okay, what are you reading?" asked Cassidy, straightening up and climbing over her sister to give Andy her homework assignment.

"Oh, just this article on biotechnology." explained Andy and the girls looked at her curiously.

"Will you explain it to us?" they both asked at the same time and Andy laughed.

"Yes, put it on the list and I'll read up on it in more detail and then explain it to you." said Andy, looking back down at Cassidy's math assignment.

Caroline, meanwhile, had grabbed a paper and written down the topic.

"Done." she said, beaming, and Andy looked up from the math assignment.

"Great."

"Andy can we have a snack?" asked Cassidy, and Caroline clapped her hands.

"No, for one thing it just says *for extreme emergencies* at the top, and for another, dinner is coming soon." explained Andy, handing Cassidy back her assignments.

"There's a mistake here, you need to go through all the math again and you'll notice what's wrong." she said, handing the assignments back to Cassidy.

"Are you eating with us today?" asked Caroline excitedly and Andy frowned at her.

"Hmm..., what does the datebook say? Hand it to me please." asked Andy and Caroline climbed off the sofa bed and took the appointment book from the coffee table and then handed it to Andy.

"So Emily confirmed two afternoon appointments for today, so your mom won't be home until 9 p.m." said Andy and the girls looked at her sadly.

"What about Stephen?" asked Cassidy quietly.

"Umm... His schedule is very fuzzy, as usual. His secretary couldn't exactly confirm his schedule for tonight. Sorry, so it'll be a surprise." said Andy sighing and the girls dropped back onto sofa bed.

"So if one of your parents is present then not, if no one is then I'll be there for dinner." explained Andy and the girls snorted a little.

"Andy why don't you ever eat with us when one or both are there? Cara always did!" Caroline exclaimed in frustration.

Andy looked at her sadly and gave her a peck on the top of her head.

"Honey you know why I don't eat with you guys when one or both of your parents are there. So don't bug me about it anymore. Okay?" asked Andy gently and both girls nodded their heads sadly.

"Okay." they said at the same time.

"Thanks." replied Andy "Back to your assignments, I need to continue reading the article."

Miranda quietly retreated and descended the stairs again. Several questions swirled in her mind that she desperately wanted answers to. First, why had the girls made themselves comfortable upstairs in the attic, then why was Andrea monitoring Stephen's and her own schedules, and lastly, why did Andrea refuse to eat with her children when Stephen and/or she were home?

Chapter Text

"Mom, you're here already?" the girls exclaimed excitedly as they came into the kitchen with Andy to see if dinner was ready.

Both girls greeted their mom with a peck each on the cheek and Miranda smiled at them delightedly.

"Yeah, my last few appointments fell through and I didn't feel much like going back to the office." replied Miranda and then looked at Andy who was standing in the kitchen doorway fidgeting a little nervously.

"I tried to let you know earlier, but I couldn't find you. Where were you?" asked Miranda curiously and the girls looked at each other and then at Andy and then at Miranda.

"We were..." before Cassidy could spill her secret, Caroline nudged her and quietly hissed at her to shut up.

Miranda looked at the girls and then at Andy questioningly.

"The girls and I, had some things to do. We were at the house, but it's a secret." Andy answered quietly and Miranda looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

"Yeah, that's right mom, it's a secret. But we haven't done anything bad. We've been good, right Andy?" asked Caroline and Andy nodded her head.

"Okay, good." sighed Miranda.

"Andrea I hope you'll eat with us for dinner tonight." said Miranda to Andy shortly after and Andy got even more nervous.

"Um...I actually have some things to do.... I..." before she could speak further, Miranda looked at her, frowning.

"Oh, don't be ridiculous, whatever you have to do so urgently can wait until after dinner." replied Miranda and Andy looked at her with wide eyes in disbelief.

"Yes, Miranda," was all she managed to say.

"Good, then let's go over to the dining room, Mrs. Piers has already prepared everything. And we don't want the food to get cold do we?" asked Miranda, not expecting an answer.

Anyway, the girls were very happy that Andy was eating with them today, so they pushed her into the dining room before Andy could escape or make any other excuse.

"Andrea, you sit next to me." demanded Miranda, and Andy tried to swallow the fat lump in her throat and get her heart beating normally again. Her hands began to shake slightly and her stomach knotted automatically. Miranda still made her nervous, partly because she was such a beautiful and stylish woman and partly because with Miranda you could never be sure what might happen next and what twisted ideas or demands she had in store.

"God Andrea, it's just dinner, not your execution. So relax and stop fidgeting." Miranda demanded a little more sternly than she had intended and Andy instantly stiffened.

"Mom!!!" Caroline exclaimed indignantly, scowling at Miranda with a look that could kill.

Miranda looked at her daughter in surprise and then at Andy and then sighed deeply.

"It's just dinner, please relax." she said more gently to Andy and Andy nodded her head.

Unfortunately, it wasn't just dinner among the two women and the two girls, as Stephen joined them a short time later.

Miranda looked at everything carefully and was very aware of the tense atmosphere. Only, unfortunately, she did not know why this atmosphere was so tense. The girls tried to take over the conversation and talk about their day at school, while Andy seemed to be listlessly poking around in her food, keeping her head down, very tense and probably wishing she were invisible. Stephen was listlessly joining in the conversation, instead just looking alternately at Andy and Miranda with unreadable stares. And Miranda was more concerned with taking it all in and figuring out what was wrong.

The girls ate their dinner rather quickly, which amazed Miranda quite a bit, where the girls did most of the talking and didn't even seem to notice the tense situation. Once they finished eating, they pushed their plates in front of them.

"Mom, we have some things to do before we have to go to bed, can we get up?" they both asked at the same time and Miranda nodded her head in resignation. For the first time in about 20-30 minutes, Andy seemed to relax as she stood up with the girls to go upstairs with them.

"Andrea, I'd like to see you in my study later, once the girls are in bed. That's all." she said and Andy stopped rooted to the spot.

"Yes, Miranda." she said softly as the girls stepped to her side and pulled her down the hall with them.

**********************************

While Miranda had quietly slipped out of the attic earlier, she had stopped by her daughters' rooms once more and taken down some of the lists that were pinned to the bulletin board there and looked at them a bit, then she had stopped by Andrea's room and found some lists and other pieces of paper and notes there as well. She had taken all this earlier and put it in her study. And now she wanted to talk to Andrea about it, but also about Andrea's behavior during dinner.

Miranda couldn't quite figure out these girl. Yes, certainly her coworkers at Runway all feared her, especially her impatience, her high standards, her perfectionism, and the sharp, often condescending and insulting words she had for any coworker she deemed incompetent.

Yet here in her own home, she wasn't Miranda the Editor-in-Chief of Runway. No, here she was Miranda the private person. And as such, she was much gentler, more patient, and also more soulful. So why in God's name was Andrea afraid of her? Had she ever given Andrea any reason to be in the past 4 months since she started working here? Hadn't she given Andrea fancy new clothes so that she now looked much better and didn't feel belittled in the upscale circles, like in Dalton? Hadn't she given her every freedom in how to deal with her daughters? She had given little direction in that regard, and so far she had never expressed any concerns about Andrea's parenting goals or how she approached her job as nanny. Or had she not fulfilled every request Andrea had made of her so far?

Miranda paused. Andrea had actually, when she thought about it carefully, never made a request to her before. Hmm... Andrea was a complete mystery to her.

**********************************

"Andy, you have to stop shaking and worrying. Please." begged Caroline, desperately.

Ever since they had come up from dinner, Andy had become a nervous wreck. She was shaking all over and had not uttered a decent or normal thought. She had only ever mumbled that she was totally was screwed.

Caroline and Cassidy sat next to her and hugged her lovingly.

"If Mom fires you, I'll never speak a word to her again." Cassidy declared, and Caroline nodded her head in agreement.

"Mom has no reason to fire you at all. I'm going to go and tell her." Caroline decided, but Andy held her tightly and looked at her pleadingly.

"No little one, please don't do that. It's okay, if she decided to fire me then that's fine and she has every right to do that." said Andy softly but Caroline looked at her horrified.

"No, no, no, it's not okay. We love you and she can't just throw you out of our lives like that. She has no right!!!" Caroline exclaimed angrily and Cassidy agreed with her, nodding her head.

"I love you guys too, even though I shouldn't." replied Andy dejectedly and the twins looked at her in wonder.

"Why shouldn't you love us?" they both asked curiously at the same time.

"Because it's not good to associate me with you guys so much, because I'm not your mom and your mom can terminate me at any time. And Nate doesn't like it either." Andy confessed quietly.

The twins looked at her quietly and understood what Andy was saying. But they didn't like it very much.

Andy sighed deeply, wiped her tears from her face with her shirt sleeves and looked at the twins confidently.

"Come on, you have to pack your school bags for tomorrow now and then get ready for bed." said Andy and the twins groaned at the same time.

"Andy?" the twins asked after everything was done and Andy was about to tuck them both into bed.

"Yeah?"

"We can never go to sleep if we don't know what Mom wants you to do in her study. Can't we wait here until then and you tell us if you get back?" asked Caroline and Andy smiled bravely at her.

"Okay. I'll be going then so you can get to sleep soon."

Andy got up with a sigh, kissed the girls on their heads some more, and then walked out of Caroline's room with a heavy heart. Both girls crawled under Caroline's covers and snuggled up to each other.

Chapter Text

Once Andy had descended the stairs to the second floor and approached the door to the study, she stood still for a moment and took a deep breath. Before she could decide to just walk away, she knocked softly but boldly on the door.

"Come in."

Andy opened the door and stopped uncertainly in the doorway. Miranda was sitting at her desk, looking straight down at some papers.

"I...if I'm interrupting, I can come back later." muttered Andy quietly, already about to leave.

"Andrea don't be silly, come in and sit down." said Miranda looking up at her. Andy slowly came into the study and all the way until she sat down on the chair in front of Miranda's desk, Miranda looked at her closely and then frowned, considering that Andrea looked very ravaged. Her short hair was a mess and her eyes were red. Had she been crying? Why, what had happened? Miranda sighed deeply. Before she could ask, however, Andrea spoke first.

"The..., the girls.... said they can't go to sleep until they know if you're firing me." brought Andy out quietly and Miranda looked at her in surprise.

"Andrea don't be ridiculous, why would I fire you?" asked Miranda surprised straight out and Andy looked at her irritated.

"Because..., because..., you asked me to come here.... And..." stuttered Andy nervously.

"I asked you here because I wanted to talk to you about it." Miranda held up the notes she had taken from the twins' bulletin boards, then placed them in front of Andy.

"I'd like you to explain this to me." said Miranda quietly, and Andy looked at her with wide eyes.

"Oh, okay." said Andy relieved and took the slips of paper and went through them.

"So this is the list of the twins' different teachers. If we get stuck on different assignments, we call the appropriate teacher and ask. If we can't reach anyone, we either call the appropriate tutors or other classmates that we think can help us." explained Andy, the first 3 lists.

"This is the list of homework that needs to be done this month. I asked the teachers some time ago to give us an overview at the beginning of the month of what homework will be due. This way we can work on it more effectively and turn everything in on time. Everything that is done is checked off and we can see what still needs to be done. The more we get done, the more free time we have to do fun or nice things." Andy now confidently explained because she was fully in her element as she picked out the next list.

"This is the reward list, it's made up of three different things. The girls get one star for each task they complete without grumbling or growling. The first is volunteering to clean their room, the second is each homework assignment completed, and third is getting ready for school. For this, I give the girls this list where I write down exactly what they need to pack in their school bags for the next day. After they are done with it, I check it again and check everything off. When the girls reach a certain number of stars, they get a reward. This can be anything. A field trip, a DVD afternoon or ice cream or anything else, but nothing material."

Andy pulled out another list while Miranda listened quietly and intently, looking at her with interest and also a bit of admiration now that she saw for the first time how Andrea so confidently stood up and explained her lists and what was behind them.

"This list here is our list of topics. As soon as the girls find a topic interesting, they write it on the list and I find out more about that topic and then explain it to them at a later time. Something like a little lecture, the girls are supposed to take notes on it, ask questions or make assumptions or theses themselves and then give me a short summary about it later so I can check if they have internalized or even understood the topic. The topic list is an optional thing, but the twins are very curious about a lot of different topics and they enjoy it, so the list is always well filled." Andy explained, looking at Miranda for the first time.

"Good and what's this?" asked Miranda, holding up a round disk with different faces on it and a pointer attached to the disk.

Andy sighed deeply and she fidgeted restlessly back and forth in her chair.

"Andrea?"

"Um... that's the mood barometer. The twins were experiencing some mood swings a few weeks ago. Although things were going well in school and they were taking well to everything I provided, they were emotionally through the roof. They were driving me crazy with it, so I talked to their therapist and she recommended this to us. The girls are supposed to mark their mood with it so I know how they are feeling, even if they can't or won't verbally express it." Andy explained quietly.

Miranda looked at them thoughtfully for a long moment and then nodded her head. In her eyes Andy could decipher sadness, but she wasn't sure she was interpreting it correctly.

"I am impressed by all these lists and what you have accomplished with the girls. I really had no idea you were so organized. But what amazes me is that you give me your detailed notes every night, but never mentioned in them the mood swings of the girls. Please tell me why it was going on and if they are still struggling with it." Miranda asked quietly.

Andy, who had blushed in the face of Miranda's praise moments before, now suddenly looked at her rather pale.

"The mood swings have subsided and the girls are pretty okay right now. As for what caused the mood swings..., well.... I mean... I don't want to or no... I can't talk about it." replied Andy quietly, looking down at her hands that she had placed in her lap.

"Why can't you tell me?" asked Miranda, looking closely at Andy as she fidgeted uneasily in her chair, her eyes downcast.

"I don't want to violate the girls' trust, and it's something that's none of my business as a nanny and I should stay out of." Andy explained dejectedly, then suddenly looked up. "But... I took care of it and the twins are better now." Andy quickly followed up.

Miranda looked at them in irritation and confusion.

"Andrea, if it was something serious, I'm going to have to insist that you tell me what was going on." said Miranda seriously.

Andy looked at her with wide eyes that quickly gathered tears, which she hastily wiped away with the backs of her hands.

"What if I refuse to tell you?" she asked in a shaky voice.

Miranda looked at her for a long time before answering.

"Then I'm afraid I'll have to fire you because I can't trust you and you're withholding important information about my children." Miranda then replied seriously, but also with a hint of regret.

Andy swallowed and quickly tried to think over the current situation. If she told Miranda that the girls could overhear their marital quarrels and were therefore disturbed, she would be betraying the girls' trust. However, if she remained silent and did not answer Miranda, she would be fired and thus would no longer be able to assist and protect the girls. Someone else would then get the job as nanny and who knows if they would love the twins as much as Andy did.

Tears began to run freely down Andy's cheeks as she pondered what to do now.

Miranda, meanwhile, looked at Andy in horror and dismay. There was no way she had wanted to make Andrea cry, she just wanted to know why her daughters were miserable. Damn it.

"Miranda please, I can't tell you, but you have to trust me that I've handled the situation and the girls are fine." Andy brought out in a tearful raspy voice. She fervently hoped that Miranda would not dismiss her.

Miranda sighed deeply, got up from her desk chair and paced up and down her study. She didn't want to terminate Andrea, after all, she was doing a good job with the girls, they had improved in school. Her daughters loved Andrea, Miranda couldn't ignore that. The girls would be very, very, very upset with her if she fired Andrea. Who knew what kind of mess that would make.

"Does it have anything to do with you guys being up in the attic?" so Miranda suddenly asked after that came back to her mind, and Andy looked at her in horror.

"You..., you... know about the attic?" she asked, stuttering.

"Yes, I looked for you all over the house earlier and found you up there. I admit I was eavesdropping for a while, which is not a good trait and something I've always refused to do until now. I apologize for that. But I would really like to know why you and the girls were up there. Can you at least answer that for me?" Miranda asked a little more gently now, but still in a way that made it clear she really wanted answers to her questions.

"It's a retreat for the girls, a place where they can do whatever they want, as long as they don't endanger themselves in the process. Actually, it was their place, but they insist that I be present. So we are often there together. The girls like to do their homework there, read or watch movies on the old TV with the DVD players or just listen to music or we talk and chat about this or that. It has been a good thing to counteract their mood swings. We really don't do anything bad there. Please don't take the Attic away from them." asked Andy desperately as this thought crossed her mind.

"Okay, but why can't the girls retreat to their rooms and do all the things there that they do upstairs in the attic?" asked Miranda curiously.

"Because they can't be undisturbed there and their rooms are too perfectly decorated. The attic is cozy, quaint and also mysterious with all the boxes, crates, clothes racks and the old furniture. There are no expectations, lists or rules there." explained Andy, hoping that Miranda would somehow understand.

"Hmm..." she just mumbled, looking thoughtfully at Andy.

"You're very involved in my daughters' lives, honestly I'm a little jealous of you. I..." Miranda stopped and looked at Andy dejectedly and sadly.

Andy, on the other hand, looked at her with her big brown eyes in disbelief. She never thought Miranda would be jealous of her.

"Miranda you don't have to feel that way, the girls love you more than anything and they enjoy the time you get to spend with them. Okay, yes, they are often sad because you don't have as much time as they would like, but I have tried to explain to them how important your job is. That you have a big responsibility for the magazine and all your employees and that you want only the best life for your girls and that this requires a lot of hard work on the job. The girls understand that, really." explained Andy, upset.

"Thank you Andrea, that was very thoughtful of you. One more question, I heard that you don't want to have dinner with the girls when Stephen or I are home. What's the deal with that?" asked Miranda and Andy blinked at her sheepishly.

"I'm just the nanny, I shouldn't be too involved in the family dynamics. I also don't want to be a disruptor and interrupt you guys at family dinners."

"Cara often shared meals with us, I didn't feel she was a disruptive factor. Where did you get that idea?"

"Miranda, please... I..."

"Andrea, am I such a horrible person that you don't want to have dinner with me?" asked Miranda softly, interrupting Andy's stuttering.

Andy lifted her head in fright and looked at Miranda with her big brown eyes.

"God no Miranda, you're not a horrible person, it's not that. It's..."

"Is it my husband?"

Bingo, Miranda had hit the nail right on the head.

"Yes" Andy replied quietly, preferring not to confide the truth to Miranda. Because the truth was that Stephen, especially when he was drunk, would ambush her from time to time and then look at her lustfully and had also touched her unpleasantly here and there a few times. Andy had always pushed him away and avoided him as much as possible. But having dinner with him and the girls had been a horrible experience, one she'd had in her first days here at the house and so didn't want to repeat.

"What did he do?" asked Miranda, upset, looking at Andy with narrowed eyes.

"Nothing... he... just doesn't like my company." Andy lied as best she could, hoping Miranda would buy it.

Miranda looked at her closely for a long time and curled her lips. She knew how her husband could be and what an asshole he was sometimes, especially when he was drunk. Had her husband molested Andrea and she was too scared to tell her? Damn.

"Hmm..., you would tell me if he offended you in any way, wouldn't you?"

Andy nodded her head and immediately blushed.

"Fine, you don't have to attend the dinners anymore if you don't want to. It's okay." said Miranda and Andy looked at her relieved.

"Thank you."

"That's all." she said and Andy breathed a sigh of relief, took all the lists from the desk and hurriedly got up from her chair. Before she left the study, however, she turned back to Miranda.

"About the attic, may the girls continue to use it?" she asked quietly and Miranda nodded her head.

"Thank you, good night Miranda." she said delightedly and scurried out of the study and quickly ascended to the second floor.

"Andy, what happened? Are you fired? Why were you crying?" the girls immediately assaulted Andy with their questions and Andy sat down on Caroline's bed with a sigh, looking at the girls with a rather tired expression.

"Your mom just wanted to know what all those lists are that you have on your bulletin board." she explained to the twins, lifting the lists up and showing them.

"She also knows about the attic and wanted to know what we were doing there. I explained it to her and she allowed us to continue to be there. She also found out about your mood swings, but I didn't tell her why you were so messed up. So I cried because she said if I didn't tell her, she would fire me because she couldn't trust me and I was keeping important information about you from her." Andy explained and the twins looked at her with wide eyes.

"She fired you?" she asked at the same time, horrified.

Andy shook her head and ran her right hand through her short hair.

"No, she didn't fire me. Anyway, she didn't say anything more about it. But you know, I think it would be important if you told your mom why you were miserable." Andy said, and the twins looked at her, chagrined.

"What if she gets mad at us or if it makes her feel bad?" asked Caroline quietly and Andy pulled her into her arms.

"She loves you both more than anything in this world. Trust me, she'll want to know and it's important that she knows. How else could she prevent you from getting into a situation like this again?"

"Okay, we'll tell her, but can you be there?" asked Caroline.

"Okay. But now you really need to go to sleep. We'll talk about it more tomorrow and decide how to explain it to your mom."

Andy kissed Cassidy on the top of her head and asked her to go to her own room while she tucked Caroline into bed and wished her a good night. Then she turned out the light and went to Cassidy's room to say good night to her as well.

When Andy left the townhouse half an hour later, she heaved a deep sigh. Whew, what a nerve-wracking evening.

Chapter Text

"Ah, look who's coming home!" said Nate sarcastically when Andy finally got home. It was already well past 10pm.

"Hi honey." said Andy tiredly, kissing Nate gently on his cheek. His three-day beard scratched her as she did so, and although she had never minded it before, it was bothering her more and more lately.

It reminded her of Stephen, who had cornered her a few days ago and had rubbed his cheek against hers when he tried to kiss Andy. Andy had luckily been able to turn away and free herself from his clutches.

Seeing Stephen sitting nearby at the dinner table today and feeling his sneaking glances at her had really made her quite sick. The realization that she couldn't talk to anyone about it either didn't help her feel much better.

She couldn't confide in Nate, Miranda, or anyone else. Nate would explode with anger and want to confront Stephen and then it would surely come to a fight.

Miranda wouldn't believe her, calling her a lying bitch who was causing trouble in her home and family, and she would certainly fire Andy.

Lilly, her best friend, who was pissed anyway because she could meet Andy so rarely in the last months, because of Andy's job, would only advise her to quit and get another job. But she didn't want to leave the girls and abandon them. The nanny job was okay and she liked doing this job and she loved the twins.

She couldn't tell her parents about it either, she would immediately demand that Andy came home and her father would sue Stephen for harassment at work. But Stephen had so much money, he would twist everything around so that Andy was the one harassing him. There was just no one she could talk to about it.

"I'm going to take a shower and go to bed then. Good night." so Andy said quietly and went into the bedroom.

Nate watched her go, frowning, and then sipped his beer bottle. Andy and he had been in minimal contact for weeks now, barely speaking on the few occasions they had, let alone being physically close.

It annoyed and frustrated him enormously how Andy was drifting more and more away from him and had changed. First outwardly by their chic new clothes and the new hairstyle. And now also emotionally and mentally. She didn't tell him anything about work anymore since he had hinted that she only talked about it and he found it unhealthy how much she had bonded with the twins and only lived for her job.

He understood that the children were important to Andy. But what about him? Was he no longer important to Andy? Couldn't she even take a night off to hang out and party with him and her friends? Where had the happy, lively, beaming and laughing Andy remained?

Andy had also rejected his advances more and more in recent days and weeks and had largely avoided him. Just a good night kiss on his cheek was still inside, but otherwise Andy refused to cuddle, kiss, fondle and sex completely. She always had an excuse, sometimes she was too tired, had a headache, her menstruation or came home so late that they had no time because Andy had to get up early again.

Nate put his beer bottle on the coffee table in frustration and went into the bedroom. He quickly took off his boxers and shirt and entered the bathroom where Andy was already in the shower.

Andy, who was lost in thought and reflecting on the nerve-wracking evening, was deeply startled when Nate's arms wrapped around her bare stomach and pulled Andy's wet body against his body from behind.

"God Nate, you scared me. Get out!!!" she screamed as she calmed down. Nate looked at her uncertainly, but then let go of Andy and left the shower.

Andy followed him a while later and Nate looked at her closely.

"Andy, what's wrong? Tell me what it is already?" he asked in a stern voice and Andy winced. Nate noticed and looked at Andy questioningly.

"God Nate, it's been an exhausting evening, please I can't take any more. Just let me go to bed and sleep." Andy asked softly and Nate looked at her in frustration.

"Damn it Andy, all I wanted to do was hug you, kiss you and help you shower. Is that so fucking bad that I wanted to do that?" asked Nate upset and stepped up to Andy who avoided him and took a few steps away from him.

"Do you even love me anymore?" asked Nate doubtfully and Andy looked at him with her wide eyes confused.

"Nate..." she said softly and her headache increased.

"What Andy, you can't even answer me this simple question?"

"Nate, I'm tired. Can we talk about this tomorrow or this weekend? The girls are at their dad's, so I have a free weekend." Andy said quietly, but Nate shook his head.

"I want to talk to you now, we don't have time tomorrow and who knows what will be going on again this weekend. Andy we haven't been out together in ages and met Lily and Doug. Something always came up. So no, you can't put this off until the weekend. I want to talk to you right now, right here," Nate said firmly.

Andy rolled her eyes in frustration and groaned loudly.

"Nate understand, I can't, I've had a rough night and I'm already through the wringer. I can't take any more today. Please let me sleep already." Andy asked desperately and Nate looked at them dejectedly and slumped his shoulders.

"Okay, fine." he said, quickly putting on his boxers, shirt, sweater, jeans and shoes. "I'm going out. Get a good night's sleep." was all he said, and then he left the bedroom and shortly after that the apartment.

Andy sat down on the bed, completely drained, and began to cry. She knew she had hurt Nate and was still hurting him with her behavior. But she just couldn't take any more at the moment or tell him what was going on. She didn't know herself if she still loved him. At the moment she only knew that she couldn't stand him near her and also not his reproaches, his looks or his questions.

It was just all too much for her at the moment.

************************************

While Andy was desperately trying to find some sleep, which she couldn't find tonight, two little girls were also sleepless. Quietly the twins snuck into their mom's bedroom and gently woke her up.

"Bobbseys what are you doing here?" asked Miranda after she was blithely enough and looked at her alarm clock the late hour.

"Andy told us that you questioned her because we felt bad. She said it would be good if we talked to you about what made us feel bad. We couldn't sleep, that's why we wanted to talk to you now." Caroline explained and Miranda looked at her and then Cassidy questioningly.

"Okay, out with it then." demanded Miranda in a gentle tone as she let her daughters crawl under her covers and the two girls snuggled up to her.

"We heard you and Stephen arguing." Cassidy whispered, and Miranda held her breath.

"We were mad at all the things he said to you. And we were mad at you for letting him say that. We were also mad at you because he was right about some things. We were so angry and didn't like you two anymore." Caroline continued to explain.

"Andy helped us, we love her, you can't fire her just because she can't always tell you everything. She can't tell you everything because she promised us. She's there for us when you can't. Please don't mess this up. We need Andy." Cassidy said softly and Caroline nodded her head.

"We don't want to lose her." she said.

Miranda stayed silent for quite a while, not knowing what to say. Her daughters had overheard the arguments. That was already pretty bad. But now she was afraid of losing the one person who had obviously taken very good care of them all the time, while she herself had worked too much and often, really very often, had come home very late.

"Andy says you come home so late because maybe you want to avoid the fights too, but that makes Stephen even angrier and he fights even more. Andy says it's a vicious cycle that you have to break, that you go down a different path. Please mom, we hate it when you and Stephen fight and we want you home more than we have the last few weeks. Please go a different way. We love you, but we don't want any more fights." Caroline said firmly and tears ran down Miranda's cheeks, not caring.

She pulled her two girls into her arms and hugged them tightly as she promised them to do better from now on and work on the problems Stephen and she were having.

The girls gently wiped the tears from Miranda's cheeks and kissed her happily on the cheek.

"Thanks Mom." she said at the same time and Miranda promised herself in that moment that she would really do everything to make her two girls happy again and never make them feel bad again.

Chapter Text

"Andy, Andy, there you are at last. Oh my god you look like shit, are you okay?" asked Caroline as soon as Andy entered the townhouse the next morning.

Andy ignored Caroline's comment about her appearance and looked at her questioningly.

"What are you doing up already?" she asked instead.

"We told Mom everything last night and she promised to make things better from now on. And she wants to start right away today. We're going on vacation for a few days and you're coming with us!" Cassidy exclaimed excitedly and Andy looked at the two girls confused.

"Andrea, there you are. I see the girls have already told you about our short trip. I'm going to sign the girls out of school today. Please go upstairs and pack some things for yourself and then check what the girls packed. We are leaving in an hour." said Miranda and was going up the stairs.

"Miranda I can't come with you, I have..."

"What do you mean you can't come? Andrea don't be ridiculous. Of course you're coming." replied Miranda quickly, looking firmly at Andy.

"No, no, I can't. Nate and I, we were going to talk this weekend and go out too, We hadn't spent time together in a while. I promised him I would. I can't come with you." replied Andy in exasperation.

"Nonsense, you're coming with us on a short vacation. And from the looks of you this morning, you need a few days rest too. We'll be back in town Sunday night, you can still talk to your friend then. The girls want you there and they need you too. So go upstairs and pack your things." Miranda demanded and climbed the stairs without looking back at Andy again.

Andy stood at the bottom of the stairs looking after her with wide eyes. Damn, Nate would think this sucked, and he'd be right about that. But how should or could she say *no* to Miranda? She had no idea. It was easiest to let Miranda have her way.

"Andy come on, Mom wants to leave at 8:00 sharp. We have to hurry." Caroline pushed Andy up the stairs while Cassidy went up ahead of them.

"What about Stephen?" asked Andy quietly after he had come back to her mind.

"He's not coming, Mom says he has some things to do here in town." explained Caroline, grinning jauntily at Andy.

"Oh, good." Andy was really glad that at least Stephen wasn't coming. So this short trip wouldn't be quite so bad.

An hour later, they were in the car. Miranda was driving, Andy was sitting next to her, and the twins were in the back seats. While Miranda steered the car out of town, the twins had nodded off again in the back, as had Andy in the passenger seat. Occasionally Miranda would look over at her and wonder if she had really done the right thing. After all, she had more or less forced Andrea to come with them. She hadn't even listened closely when Andrea had objected and mumbled something about her boyfriend.

As soon as Miranda had steered the car into the driveway to their beach house in the Hamptons, she quietly woke the twins and told them to bring their bags to the beach house. Then she turned to the sleeping Andy.

"Andrea?" she asked softly and gently, stroking Andy's cheek lightly. Andy's eyes fluttered open after a moment and she looked around the car, startled and disoriented.

"I..., okay... oh... what?" she asked completely beside herself, sitting up straight and looking at Miranda in confusion. Miranda smiled warmly at her, something she usually did only with her daughters. But Andy seemed to need it now.

"Shht... all good, we arrived and I only woke you up because I didn't want you to sleep in the car, it's too warm for that." explained Miranda calmly.

Andy looked at her confused for a long moment and Miranda could tell exactly when Andy was truly awake enough to be acutely aware of their surroundings. Somehow, Miranda found that adorable. Oh dear...she quickly shooed that misplaced thought out of her mind and refocused on what she wanted to say to Andrea before they went to the beach house.

"You're welcome to continue sleeping at the beach house if you need to. And before we go in, I also wanted to tell you that I will be taking care of the girls all weekend. That means for you, you don't have to take care of anything, and you're not here as a nanny, but as a friend of the family. You are welcome to join our company, but you don't have to. It's completely up to you." said Miranda and Andy looked at her with her big brown eyes irritated.

"Why?" she asked softly and Miranda gave her a gentle smile.

"Because you've done so much for my girls and because you were there for them during a very difficult time. It's a little thank you to you. Please enjoy the weekend, rest and do whatever pleases you. And if you feel like company, we'd love for you to join us, but as a friend, not a nanny." Miranda replied, stroking Andy's cheek gently once again. Andy immediately blushed, so she quickly lowered her head.

Since Miranda knew how valuable Andrea was to her twins and how much she had tried to make her daughters feel better, Andrea had gained her full respect and appreciation. She held Andrea in high regard for her kindness, helpfulness and dedication. Therefore, it was not difficult to be kind and caring to her and to show it even where she was usually not so soft and mild, with other people around her.

"Good?" asked Miranda uncertainly when Andy had said nothing and lowered her head. Andy nodded her head, a bit overwhelmed by Miranda's nice gesture.

"Good, then let's go to the beach house. Come on."

Miranda got out of the trunk, the rest of the bags and suitcases. And as soon as Andy stumbled out of the car more than got out, she rushed to her and helped carry them.

"What took you so long?" the girls immediately asked curiously when both women finally entered the beach house.

"I was just telling Andrea that she doesn't have to worry about you tormentors this weekend and that she can rest and do whatever she wants. So if you two need or want anything, come see me. I'm totally here for you this weekend." explained Miranda and the twins looked at her with their big blue eyes.

"Really mom?" they asked simultaneously and Miranda nodded her head.

"Yes, this weekend I will be there for the two of you all the time. Andrea is welcome to join us though, but only as a friend, not as a nanny. So promise me you won't bug her about anything. Can I count on that?"

Both girls nodded their heads eagerly and looked very excited, given the fact that they had their mom with them this weekend to take care of them and everything else. That hadn't happened in a long time.

"Well, please show Andrea to her room, I was thinking of the guest room way up under the roof. She can rest much better there and be undisturbed."

"Thank you Miranda." said Andy softly and Miranda gave her another smile. The girls looked at their mom in surprise, knowing that their mom didn't often smile at other people. At least not anyone on the staff or her co-workers at Runway.

Both girls immediately pulled Andy to the stairs leading upstairs.

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While Miranda and the girls spent the day together on the beach, Andy had opted to go back to bed and sleep some more. She was more exhausted than she realized after all. After getting enough sleep, she had made herself a little snack downstairs in the kitchen and then had left to go for a walk on the beach.

Once she had found a nice corner of the beach with few walkers, she had sat down in the sand and let her eyes wander over the sea, the fine sand trickling through her fingers, and started thinking about her relationship. Most of all, she thought about how much, or even if, she still loved Nate. And even after hours of thinking, she wasn't clearly sure about her feelings for Nate.

Nate was certainly very upset with her, both for spending the weekend with Miranda and the twins and for not being able to tell him yesterday if she still loved him. Andy knew that she had hurt Nate very much with that. And that it wouldn't be so easy to make it up to him.

But did she want to make it up to him? Did she have enough strength at the moment to fight for their relationship? Or did she even love him enough to want or be able to muster the strength to fight?

After Andy's thoughts went round and round, she decided to go back to the beach house. But since she had walked quite long and very far before, the way back was of course just as long and so far. Therefore, she arrived there only when it was already getting dark and the sun had almost set.

Andy would have liked to kick herself in the ass, because she had been on the road for so long and had not told anyone. Surely now she would have drawn Miranda's ire for being so unreasonable and not even leaving a note on the kitchen table.

Andy hurriedly walked up the steps to the beach house. She really hoped Miranda wasn't too angry with her.

"Andrea." A soft voice called out and Andy stopped at the top of the stairs. Miranda was lying on a sun lounger and had a joint in her hand, which she brought straight to her lips and took a light pull on.

Andy looked at her in surprise and Miranda blithely winked at her.

"Come on, keep me company." Miranda asked and Andy sat down next to her on the second sun lounger. Miranda held out her hand with the joint to Andy and Andy looked at her with wide eyes, but then shook her head.

"I don't think it's a good idea to smoke pot with my boss." replied Andy reasonably and Miranda giggled.

"Hm... when you look at it that way, you're probably right." she replied, then thought for a moment.

"I guess it's not even good if my nanny sees me smoking pot. Do you?" she asked with a wink, and Andy grinned broadly at her.

"I didn't know you smoked pot. I last smoked pot when I was 16 and my parents grounded me for weeks." Andy confessed, and then took the joint Miranda handed her, brought it to her mouth and took a light drag, holding the smoke in her mouth for a long moment before letting it out slowly.

"So, I guess now we're both co-conspirators, right?" said Miranda blithely, and Andy agreed with her.

"With me, it's just therapeutic smoking. My therapist said it would pull the stick out of my ass." continued Miranda, giggling once again.

"You're going to a therapist?"

"Not by choice, but the board used the recent layoffs I've taken in the last 2 months as an excuse to make me go. They felt I had an anger and aggression problem, that I was too impatient and demanding of my co-workers." Miranda snorted contemptuously.

"With so much incompetence, it's a wonder I haven't fired more people. Well, anyway, they said either I go to therapy and get my problems under control or I get someone put on my side who can then override my decisions at any time. And if that doesn't work, they even threatened to take Runway away from me." said Miranda in anguish as she thought back to the ultimatum.

"And of all the options, therapy was still the least evil."

"I see... and how's that going?" asked Andy curiously, clearly brave by the feeling of the joint starting to affect her and already feeling a little lighter and more carefree.

"Oh, just fine." replied Miranda sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

Andy began to giggle and Miranda joined in.

"Hmm... it seems the stick is out of your ass too." Miranda remarked and giggled again. "I like it."

"What?" asked Andy after she stopped giggling for a moment and looked at Miranda with her big brown eyes.

"Don't get me wrong, you're doing a good job as a nanny, very good in fact. But you're always so insecure around me, so nervous and fidgety. It's a little exhausting. It irritates me to no end, especially because at home I'm not even the bitch or ice queen I need to be as Runway's editor-in-chief for the magazine to be successful," Miranda explained, taking another drag on her joint and then handing it to Andy.

Andy took the joint and took another pull as well before handing it back to Miranda.

"It's not you. It's myself that's driving me crazy. I just want everything to be perfect and for things to go the way I planned and thought it out. But as soon as you ask me to come over or pay attention to me, where you rarely if ever do, I always think I've done something wrong and get scared of losing my job." Andy explained and Miranda looked at her silently this time.

"Hm..., I guess I should pay attention to you more often then, so you don't get rattled the next time I call you into my study. Right?" asked Miranda, blithely winking at Andy.

Andy began to giggle again.

"What?" asked Mirada, confused.

"I'm just picturing you paying more attention to me. Kind of like, we're sitting in your study, drinking tea together while we do each other's hair and tell each other our secrets." replied Andy, starting to laugh out loud at the image that was building up in her head.

Miranda started laughing as well.

"We should get my therapist to do it so she can see how soft and sweet I am." replied Miranda while still laughing and stubbing out the joint on the patio floor and then flicking it into the hedge.

"Mom, Andy, what are you doing here?" asked a moment later the twins who had been lured in by the loud laughter.

"Oops... I think we're in trouble now." declared Miranda, hiding her face behind her hands and continuing to laugh.

Andy, who had only taken two drags on the joint and was consequently more herself than Miranda, looked at the girls with a wide grin.

"Your mom and I were just trying out a therapeutic stuff that made us pretty funny. We're fine, don't worry. Come here." asked Andy, pulling the twins to him and the twins cuddled up to their right and left on the sun lounger.

"What time is dinner?" asked Caroline and Miranda suddenly stopped laughing and looked at her girls questioningly, quickly considering her options.

"How about pizza?" she asked, and the girls jumped up enthusiastically and hugged their mom stormy.

"Yes!" they both exclaimed delightedly and Miranda and Andy started giggling again.

"Okay, okay, I'll look up the number for the pizza place and then we'll order together." Andy pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket and turned it back on. As soon as the phone was turned on, it immediately showed her missed calls and messages. Andy groaned loudly and Miranda and the girls looked at her curiously.

"What is it?" asked the twins and Andy shook her head.

"Not important." she replied and deleted the messages and call ads and then googled for the nearest pizza place.

After the pizzas were finished, the girls retreated to the living room and hogged the TV, picking out a movie to watch.

Meanwhile, Miranda cleaned up the kitchen and Andy sat at the kitchen island with a cup of tea, holding her cell phone in her hand. She was feverishly wondering if it was a good idea to call Nate back or if she would be better off waiting until Sunday night when they would be back in town.

"Okay, so it's probably none of my business, but what is this about?" asked Miranda quietly, pulling Andy out of her thoughts. Andy looked at her, blinking.

"My boyfriend, he had called several times and left messages." Andy confessed and Miranda looked at her thoughtfully.

"Hm..., what about your boyfriend?"

"He..., well..., we... were going to take some time this weekend to talk about us and our relationship. I don't think he was too thrilled that I sent him a message telling him I was traveling with you guys."

"So he's mad at you?"

"Yeah, I guess."

"It seems like we're both in relationships with men who are obviously making our lives harder than they already are." Miranda replied, sitting down next to Andy at the kitchen island and gently placing her hand on Andy's hand, which was still holding the cell phone.

Andy looked down at Miranda's warm, soft hand and she didn't quite know how or why, but Miranda's hand on her hand was quite soothing and left a pleasant tingle throughout her body. Therefore, she smiled a wide smile at Miranda as she looked at her.

"Yes, it seems so." she said, and then sighed deeply.

"And are you going to call him or can we go over and join the girls and watch the movie?"

"I'm not really looking to face his anger right now, and I honestly don't want another fight. I think I'll face it on Sunday night when we get back."

"Very good." rejoiced Miranda, smiling happily at Andy and giving Andy's hand another gentle squeeze before grabbing it properly and pulling Andy down from her stool and dragging her with her to join the twins in the living room.

Both women made themselves comfortable on the sofa, Andy in one corner and Miranda in the opposite corner, while the girls made themselves comfortable on the floor with some pillows and blankets.

Miranda really didn't get much of the movie, as she was much more secretly watching Andy as she watched the movie. Occasionally Andy would look over at her and Miranda would quickly drop her gaze back to the movie each time. However, a few times the two women's eyes met and both Miranda and Andy would then grin at each other. Miranda blamed her behavior on the after-effects of the joint. She still felt pretty breezy, cheerful, and chipper. And there was something else that irritated her a little. Earlier when she had put her hand on Andrea's hand, she had enjoyed this physical contact very much. Normally she avoided physical contact wherever possible. Except with her daughters. But touching Andrea felt good and also very natural. And laughing and giggling with her on the terrace earlier had also been very nice.

Perhaps it really was the case that once the stick was out of the ass, that the girl and herself felt comfortable enough in each other's company. Interesting...

After the movie finally ended and Miranda put the girls to bed, Miranda came back into the living room to find Andy curled up on the sofa asleep. Miranda joined her at the sofa and stroked Andy's shoulders with her hand.

"Andrea, wake up!"

Andy's eyes fluttered open lazily and Miranda gently stroked her cheek.

"Time for you to go to bed." said Miranda softly and Andy looked at her with sleepy eyes.

After getting up from the sofa, she stepped close to Miranda on an impulse and gave her a peck on the cheek.

"Thank you Miranda for taking me on vacation with you. It was a very nice evening." Andy stated quietly, still standing very close to Miranda.

"Go to sleep Andrea." she said again gently but firmly and Andy grinned broadly at her.

"Good night Miranda." she replied happily and then hurried out of the living rooms.

Miranda watched after her as she placed her fingers over the spot where Andrea had just kissed her. It had been surprising, but also beautiful. Somehow she had warmed up very quickly and her heart had started beating fast at this brief physical contact.

Chapter Text

As soon as Andy lay in her bed, she felt anything but tired. Her thoughts kept returning to the good night kiss she had breathed on Miranda's soft and silky skin. Miranda smelled so incredibly good. Andy would have loved to run her hands through Miranda's silvery hair and pull her head toward her to place her lip on Miranda's lips and kiss her completely senseless.

The idea of it made her insanely aroused, so she slipped her left hand under her sleep shirt and placed it on her right breast, massaging it gently and imagining it was Miranda's hand touching her so tenderly and playing with her nipples that had grown hard.

Andy's right hand slid gently down her belly and slipped under her boyshorts that she had put on to sleep. With her fingers she stroked through her labia, which were now quite wet, and dipped into their moisture. With her middle finger she began to stroke, rub and caress around her clit while her left hand was now kneading her breasts ungently and in her imagination Miranda was doing all this to her.

Andy then entered her hot, already pulsating pussy with two fingers and began to fuck herself at a slow pace at first. But then got faster and faster as her blood began to rush, her breath ragged and her heart pounding wildly. Before pushing herself over the edge, she covered her mouth with her left hand to hide her loud moans, which burst out of her as her orgasm overwhelmed her and left her powerless.

As soon as she recovered, she took her hand out of her boyshorts and licked her wet fingers. She had discovered quite a while ago that she tasted good, so she saw no reason not to distract her wet fingers. Even Nate loved to pleasure her orally and lick her until her orgasm overwhelmed her.

Oh wow, this was so bad. She had been thinking of Miranda the whole time, lying between her thighs and licking her, tasting her, nibbling her clit with her teeth while her fingers invaded Andy's body and fucked her and her body writhed and tensed and went on fire under Miranda's ministrations.

This was absolutely, really, really bad. It should have been Nate she was thinking about when she did this. Not Miranda. Damn it!!! Miranda was her boss! She was married, had two kids, and she was so damn beautiful, intelligent, and aloof. How in the world could Andy fantasize about Miranda there?

Andy buried her face in her pillow and groaned out loud in frustration. Fuck, fuck, fuck!!! This was so bad.

Before she fell asleep, her last thought was Miranda. Miranda with the soft skin, with the outrageously seductive scent, with the teasing giggles as they smoked a joint together. Miranda who had gently woken her and told her to go to bed. Miranda, Miranda, Miranda...

Andy got lost in her dreams about Miranda that night.

So it was hardly surprising to Andy that her first thought the next morning was Miranda.

Quickly Andy slipped out of her bed and hurriedly went into the shower to take a cold shower and
wash off the fantasies about and with and of Miranda with very, very, very cold water.

When she came into the kitchen half an hour later, the twins were already sitting at the kitchen table. Both had their cell phones in front of them and were busily typing sms. Andy walked over to them and kissed both girls on the head and wished them a good morning.

"Good morning Andy!" The two exclaimed enthusiastically, looking at her brightly.

"Are you guys hungry yet?" asked Andy and both girls grinned at her.

"Yeah, but Mom said she wanted to make breakfast for us. And if you come down before her, we're to tell you not to lift a finger at all." the twins said conspiratorially, grinning at Andy.

"Okay, fine." said Andy and sat down at the table with the girls and picked up the morning paper and started reading.

A moment later Miranda entered the kitchen.

Andy lifted her head from the newspaper and looked admiringly at Miranda, who was really very beautiful to look at today, with her chic short-sleeved red blouse and her cream-colored pencil skirt. Andy had no idea which designer Miranda's clothes came from, but she could well imagine that they were very expensive things.

"Cassidy go get the ingredients from the fridge and Caroline we need the frying pan." Miranda ordered and her daughters hurriedly put their cell phones aside and did what their mom asked them to do.

Meanwhile, Miranda walked up to Andy, put her hand on Andy's left shoulder and to Andy's horror, Miranda leaned down to her and breathed a soft kiss on her left cheek.

"Good morning Andrea." she whispered softly in Andy's ear and then straightened back up.

Andy stiffened for a brief moment and looked at her with wide confused eyes, but Miranda just smiled mischievously at her.

"Oh, is the cane back?" she asked with a wink, and the girls looked questioningly at their mom while Andy slowly shook her head.

"Very well." replied Miranda, turning to breakfast preparations.

"Mom, which stick do you mean?" asked Caroline curiously and Miranda began to giggle.

"Oh Bobbsey, that's just an inside joke between Andrea and I." explained Miranda as Andy blushed.

After she recovered, Andy got up from the table and joined Miranda at the stove.

"Can I help you with anything?" she asked, feeling uncomfortable leaving Miranda to do everything on her own.

"Yes, be a dear and put some coffee on already. There are several coffee blends in the cupboard upstairs that are very tasty." Miranda asked, smiling gently at Andy. She then turned back to the mixing bowl where she put the ingredients for the blueberry pancakes.

While Andy put on the coffee and Miranda prepared the blueberry pancakes, the twins set the breakfast table.

Breakfast, like dinner the previous night, was very entertaining and Miranda was pleased that Andrea was relaxed enough to join the twins in their chatter. Last night Miranda had thought that maybe it was the joint that made Andrea so relaxed, but today she wasn't stoned, so seemed really comfortable in their company.

"What do you want to do today?" interrupted Miranda, the lively conversation about some teen star she didn't really know that well, but whom her twins seemed to have been admiring lately. So Miranda would be hearing more about this teen heartthrob in the near future. Inwardly she sighed already with these thoughts.

"Miniature golf!" the two called out at the same time, and Andy chuckled as Miranda playfully turned her eyes to the imaginary sky and then sighed deeply.

"Okay, so it's country club for lunch today and then a round of miniature golf. What else?" asked Miranda curiously.

"We haven't had a barbecue in a while. Oh, let's do that tonight. Please mom." asked Caroline and Cassidy quickly agrees. Both girls looked at their mom with a puppy dog look and blinked their eyes sweetly. Miranda rolled her eyes again playfully and then grumpily agreed.

Andy chuckled as the twins had their way of getting Miranda exactly where they wanted her. And she wasn't surprised that Miranda gave in to them so often, where the twins really knew how to use their charm.

"Well, if we're going to barbecue tonight, we need to go shopping first. Andrea will you join us?" asked Miranda curiously and Andy looked at her thoughtfully.

"Um...I'd like to stay here, if that's okay?" asked Andy uncertainly, but received a warm smile from Miranda.

"Of course it's okay." she said and Andy smiled gratefully.

"Mom, can I stay with Andy?" asked Caroline.

"Bobbsey, you'll have to ask Andrea." was all Miranda said, already starting to clear the breakfast table.

"Andy?" asked Caroline sweetly, giving her the exact same puppy dog look she had used on her mom earlier.

"Sure." replied Andy, helping Miranda clear the table and making herself useful. "What do you want to do?" she asked a moment later.

"How about go swimming?" asked Caroline excitedly, while Cassidy secretly wondered if she too would rather stay with Andy and Caroline instead of going shopping with her mom. But no, having her mom all to herself would probably be way cooler than hanging out with Andy and her twin sister, Cassidy decided.

"Um..." Andy looked regretfully at Caroline. "I didn't pack any swimsuits at all."

Miranda's eyes began to sparkle at that moment.

"No problem, I figured you probably didn't think of bathing suits. And so I made a small selection for you. I was going to give it to you later, but I can give to you right now." explained Miranda as she took the plates from Andy and put them in the dishwasher.

"Oh, really?" asked Andy in surprise, and Miranda winked at her.

"Yes. Bobbseys please continue to put away the dishwasher while I give Andrea her bath things." demanded Miranda, then took Andy's hand in hers and was already gently pulling her out of the kitchen without looking to see if the twins complied with her demand.

On the way upstairs to their bedroom, however, Miranda let go of Andy's hand when she realized what she had just done. Miranda was not a tactile woman, but something about Andrea tempted her to want to touch her. And this idea was more than bad, in fact it was very, very, very bad. After all, she was a married woman, had two daughters, and Andrea was her nanny and also half her age. So, she chastened herself, she had to stop feeling good about wanting to be so close to the girl and forget the pleasant feeling that spread through her body as soon as she held Andrea's hand in hers.

"Miranda, can I ask you something?" asked Andy uncertainly, as soon as they arrived in Miranda's bedroom and Miranda was looking in her closet for the bathing suits.

"Yeah, sure." said Miranda as she came back out with a package from the walk-in closet and placed it on her bed, opening it carefully.

"It was a spontaneous short vacation after all, how did you know I needed bathing suits?" asked Andy, looking at Miranda curiously.

Miranda looked up at Andy and smiled cheerfully at her.

"Well right now there are the latest swimwear for the coming summer everywhere. And when I saw these models, I thought they would look very good on you. And besides, summer is coming soon and summer vacation is coming up. The girls are going to spend two weeks with their father in Greece and they asked if you would accompany them. My ex-husband has heard so much about you from the twins that he will approve if you join them. Of course you have the choice to refuse. And then the girls are also on vacation with me for a week, we wanted to come here. So you see it's not a witchcraft that I already thought of bathing suits for you. I didn't know exactly what beach type you are, so for now I chose three different styles, a swimsuit, a bikini and a tankini. Of course, that's not all, tell me what you want and I'll get it for you." explained Miranda beaming, but Andy frowned at her, whereupon Miranda's beaming smile also faded.

"What's wrong?" asked Miranda immediately, concerned, and Andy looked away from her, embarrassed.

When Andy didn't answer, Miranda approached Andy and put her hand on her shoulder, turning the girl around to face her.

"Andrea, tell me!" she demanded, but not sternly, still with a concerned tone.

"I don't quite understand why you give me so many clothes, accessories, handbags, shoes, underwear and now swimwear? I'm just the nanny!" retorted Andy and Miranda looked at her closely with a raised eyebrow.

"No, no, you're not just the nanny. You're a beautiful young woman and it gives me pleasure to give you all the nice clothes because I know they'll look wonderful on you. Did I overdo it too much?" asked Miranda a little desperately and in a low voice.

Andy looked at her closely and seeing how dejected Miranda was just standing in front of her, she just couldn't say "yes".

"I'm unsure, I mean I was just wondering why you were doing all this. Cara said in the beginning that I should just enjoy it and not question it. If you enjoy dressing me and giving me nice things, how could I refuse?" asked Andy uncertainly and Miranda looked at her thoughtfully.

"So I did overdo it." she said softly, sinking down on the bed.

"A little." Andy admitted and sat down next to Miranda on the bed and, to Miranda's surprise, took her hand in hers and gently stroked it, squeezing it lightly.

"The closet in my room at the townhouse is already bursting at the seams and the dresser is also very well filled. Many of the things are really beautiful and they all look so precious that sometimes I don't dare put them on for fear of accidentally getting them dirty or wrinkled while working. But I am really very grateful to you for giving me all this. Even though I don't really understand why you do it, except that as your nanny I'm not supposed to be the last stray. Thank you Miranda." Andy said and leaned over to Miranda and breathed a little kiss on her cheek and quickly pulled away.

Miranda immediately blushed and swallowed twice before turning her face to Andy and giving her a glowing look.

"So... which one do you like?" asked Miranda, getting back on topic and showing Andrea the swimsuits.

"Actually, I bathe in the nude." replied Andy blithely and Miranda's jaw dropped open in surprise and she stared at Andy.

A big grin immediately spread across Andy's face and she began to giggle.

Miranda poked her in the side and Andy gave a short squeak.

"Very funny Missy and you almost had me there." snorted Miranda and Andy continued to grin widely at her.

"I think I wish the stick was back in your ass." muttered Miranda and Andy started giggling again.

"Oh stop it. Now tell me what you like about these bathing suits so I can get more." Miranda asked and winked at Andy. Andy immediately stopped giggling and looked at Miranda with concern.

"Hmm... actually I wear swim shorts and a shirt, at most a bikini top underneath, but never less." explained Andy, so she took the tankini in her hand and looked at the two pieces carefully. Wearing the tankini would undoubtedly show a lot more of her skin than she was comfortable with, so she sighed deeply and put both pieces back.

Miranda furrowed her brow and looked at Andy thoughtfully.

"So you don't like any of this?" asked Miranda disappointedly.

"The swimsuits are really nice, but I don't see myself in them. I..., I... hmm... I would feel uncomfortable in them, they just show too much skin. I rather like bathing in my own swimsuits. May I?" asked Andy and Miranda sighed deeply and rolled her eyes.

"Okay, but you don't have them with you." She indicated and Andy shrugged her shoulders.

"I packed boy shorts and I brought some shirts, that will do." replied Andy carefree.

"Alright, but when you go down to the beach, please remember to put sunscreen on Caroline completely, every 30 min!!!! With her fair skin, she gets sunburned quickly. And I also want you to put on all your sunscreen, let Caroline help you with that." explained Miranda, striding into her bathroom and getting the sunscreen she had stashed there in her cosmetic bag.

"Yes, Miranda." said Andy dutifully, taking the sunscreen.

"Good. I was thinking that I should spend a little longer shopping with Cassidy so we can both spend some time alone for once. But you can always call me if you need anything." Miranda explained and Andy smiled gently at her.

"Cassidy will definitely really like being able to spend some time just with you alone. It might be nice if you could set it up with Caroline, too," Andy mentioned, but immediately kept her mouth shut when she realized she had just told her boss what she thought would be good.

However, Miranda was not at all upset with her, but smiled warmly at her.

"A very good idea. I'll try, when we get back home, to rearrange my schedule so that I can spend time with both girls, but also alone with each of them."

Chapter Text

Miranda had really enjoyed the time she had spent with her youngest daughter at the mall. At first they had just been wandering around the various boutiques, trying on this outfit and that, and having a lot of fun giving each other advice. Cassidy really had a good eye for fashion and her critique or encouragement of the different outfits was very insightful. Unlike Caroline, Cassidy seemed to really care about fashion and also be brave enough to combine different styles with the different colors. Which was very refreshing.

In between, they had talked about the latest school gossip and Cassidy had told her about the one boy she had been excited about for a few weeks. Miranda's heart had stopped short when her daughter confided this to her. In her eyes, her daughter was still her little baby, so it was impossible that she was already interested in boys. She was only 11 years old!!! But then she realized that it was just a little girl crush, so completely harmless. That made Miranda relax again, but she resolved to listen more carefully to what her daughters told her from now on. It could never hurt to know about such things in time.

She wonder if Caroline already adored a boy, too? Hm... possible. Miranda planned to spend time with her firstborn as soon as possible to find out.

But now, as she walked down to the beach and saw Andrea, who actually looked pretty stunning in her ridiculous boy shorts and impossible shirt, frolicking in the water with Caroline, she noticed this particular look Caroline was giving Andrea. It was the same look Cassidy had gotten while talking about the boy from school. Was it possible that Caroline was in love with Andrea??? Oh, no...

Miranda sighed deeply and hoped for the best.

"Andrea, Caroline is coming out of the water, we want to go to the country club for lunch soon." Miranda called out to both of them.

Andy immediately came running out of the waters towards her and Caroline followed a few steps behind a little slower. Miranda immediately handed Andy a large bath towel, which Andy immediately wrapped around her body. She was shivering and her lips were already turning blue. Miranda gave her a worried look before Caroline finally got to her. Caroline looked just as chilled out, so Miranda immediately wrapped her daughter in the towel and rubbed her warmly with her hands.

"You're both pretty unreasonable to stay in cold water for so long. And here I thought you were more reasonable Andrea." Miranda scolded her and Andy winced at the scolding.

"Sorry Miranda, we lost track of time." explained Andy quietly and Miranda sighed deeply.

"Now come on, you guys need to get in a hot shower quick so you can get warm again." Miranda wrapped her left arm around her daughter and her right hand she put on Andy's shoulder and pushed them both upstairs to the beach house. Only when they reached the top did she let her hand drop from Andy's shoulder.

"I need to talk to you for a minute, but go take a shower first." she whispered in Andy's ear and Andy looked at her briefly, confused. Before she could say anything back, however, Miranda was already pushing Caroline through the kitchen toward the stairs.

Andy looked after the two of them, frowning, before following them.

After Andy had showered, she returned to her room with a towel around her wet body and winced when she saw Miranda sitting on her bed.

"Miranda? I'm really sorry, I completely forgot the time. I should have paid better attention to Caroline..." before she could speak further, Miranda stopped her apology tirade by raising her hand.

"Andrea, that's not what I wanted to talk to you about. Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. Just relax, please." explained Miranda, but Andy was still looking at her nervously and unsure.

"Then what is it about?" she asked after a long moment of trying to relax again.

"It's about the way Caroline looked at you when I came down to the beach. It was the same look Cassidy had when she told me about this boy in her class that she seems to have a crush on lately." Miranda explained with a sigh and Andy finally started to really relax and give Miranda her calm smile again.

"What are you worried about? Are you worried that Caroline might be a lesbian or bisexual?" asked Andy softly and Miranda looked at her with big blue eyes.

"God no Andrea, don't be ridiculous. I'm not homophobic. I don't care if my girls could be homosexual, as long as they are happy, I am. No, no I'm not worried about that. I worry that it might complicate your work with the twins." Miranda confessed, sighing deeply once again.

"Oh. No, you don't have to worry about that. It's just a little crush, nothing serious. Caroline's fine and I'm fine too. Once the new Harry Porter movie comes out, I'm sure she'll be interested in Harry or Ron or one of the twins again. So everything's okay." said Andy confidently and was very happy that Miranda wasn't homophobic.

"Are you sure?" asked Miranda doubtfully, and Andy nodded her head eagerly.

"Yes, absolutely sure. Can I get dressed now?" she asked, grinning slightly at Miranda.

"Oh, yes..., of course. I..." Miranda blushed and quickly got up from Andy's bed and hurriedly left Andy's room.

Chapter Text

After lunch at the country club, the twins, Miranda, and Andy borrowed miniature golf clubs from the front desk and strolled over to the miniature golf course. The girls ran ahead excitedly and Miranda and Andy followed them.

"Mom, we were just thinking about how we wanted to play and we can't agree." explained Caroline as she ran back to the women, followed closely by Cassidy.

"What were your thoughts?" asked Miranda, smiling gently at her excited daughters.

"I want to be on a team with Andy and thought you and Cassidy would make up the other team. But Cassidy wants Andy on her team too." explained Caroline excitedly and Miranda looked at her pouting.

"Ah, so no one wants to be on my team? That breaks my old heart." confessed Miranda, playfully putting her hand on her chest and looking sadly at her daughters.

Caroline and Cassidy looked at their mom frowning for a moment.

"No mom, it's not like that. We...." before Cassidy could speak further, Miranda raised her hand.

"No, no. It's okay." she said, playfully dejected.

"I'd vote you on my team every time." said Andy quietly, and Miranda looked at her in surprise.

"Yeah, really?" she asked in amazement and Andy nodded her head.

"Yes." she said, looking at Miranda warmly and gently.

"Thank you." said Miranda softly, seriously thinking about reaching for Andrea's hand and tenderly taking it in hers and squeezing it gently.

"So how do we do it now?" the girls suddenly asked impatiently, interrupting the small moment Miranda and Andy were looking at each other. Miranda quickly turned her head to the twins, breaking eye contact with Andy. Inwardly, Miranda sighed in relief because as much as she would have liked to touch Andrea's hand, she knew how inappropriate her request was.

"We'll do it this way, you and Cassidy play against each other and Andrea and I play against each other. It's that simple." explained Miranda and the girls gave her a pouty look, but accepted what their mom had decided. Both girls turned and stormed off to first mini golf course.

"Are you good at miniature golf?" asked Miranda as she turned back to Andrea.

"Yeah, pretty much." said Andy, grinning broadly at Miranda.

"Hm... you do know that any sane person lets their boss win. Right?" asked Miranda and Andy looked at her confused.

"What, why is that?" she asked, unsure for a moment, and both women continued on to the miniature golf course.

"Because no one wants to piss off their boss and risk termination." explained Miranda wisely, winking at Andy.

"Hmm... I´m lucky you're not my boss right now." replied Andy cheekily, sticking her tongue out. Miranda began to grin, pleased that Andrea was handling the situation so well and not letting her intimidate her.

"Touché, you are quite naughty young lady. Where did your cane go? I'm starting to miss it." said Miranda, winking at Andy. Andy blinked her eyes in surprise.

"Would you like to begin?" she asked, but Miranda waved it off and let Andy begin.

Andy approached the first miniature golf course, which the twins had finished playing by now, and looked at it closely. While Andy looked at the course and then stood at the beginning of the course and got into position, Miranda, who was standing a few steps away from Andy, looked at her closely.

Andy had her feet positioned so that they were shoulder-width apart and the tops of her feet were parallel to the planned direction of the shot. The ball was on the red dot on the track and the club foot of the mini golf club was completely on the ground.

Andy was highly focused, while Miranda rolled her eyes. Trust Andrea to have a miniature golf game down to a science as well, it went through her mind and she had to giggle at the thought.

Andy's hands lightly lifted the mini golf club and lightly and carefully kicked the mini golf ball. The miniature golf ball rolled quietly at a mild pace and aimed straight for the hole. For a moment it looked like it wouldn't make it, but then it plopped into the small hole. Andy, who had been eagerly watching her miniature golf ball the whole time, cheered briefly and then looked at Miranda with a beaming broad smile.

"Oh don't be ridiculous! The first hole is the easiest, anyone who can't do it is an idiot!" exclaimed Miranda. But Andy continued to grin at her.

"Prove it!" demanded Andy and Miranda raised her eyebrow.

"Let's make it a contest." retorted Miranda, after thinking for a moment.

"What do you suggest?"

"Oh, the loser has to drive the car back to town tomorrow." replied Miranda, grinning broadly at Andy.

"Umm..., you know, that's not going to work. I don't have my license with me." Andy explained, nibbling on her lower lip as she looked at Miranda with concern.

Miranda looked at her in surprise before retorting something.

"Why don't you have your driver's license with you? Explain it to me!" demanded Miranda.

"I don't need my driver's license in New York. I don't have a car and I always ride the subway. And on Friday morning, I didn't know about our short trip. If I had known, maybe I would have taken him then." explained Andy and Miranda snorted.

"Well, okay... so if you lose, you'll promise me never to ride the subway again." Miranda demanded and Andy looked at her with her big brown eyes and swallowed once, twice.

"Miranda I don't have the money to afford a car. And really the subway is only half as dangerous as they always say it is." Andy explained reasonably, but Miranda looked at her with raised eyebrows and curled mouth.

"Well anyway, this is what you're going to do if you lose. What am I going to do if I lose?" asked Miranda and Andy thought about it for a long moment.

Now Andy knew she was good at miniature golf, so what were the chances she would lose to Miranda and then have to honor her absurd betting debt? Hm..., actually not very high, she decided, and therefore looked challengingly at Miranda.

"Alright, I'll take the bet. And if you lose, you'll have to participate in our next outing, without grumbling and growling." replied Andy, confident of victory.

"Hmm... where are you guys going on your next outing?" asked Miranda cautiously as she twirled her mini golf club back and forth in her hand.

"We're taking the subway." replied Andy, and Miranda looked at her in horror.

"No way is that going to happen!" she said sternly and Andy gave her a pouty look.

"But the girls wished for it!" retorted Andy, thrusting her hands on her hips and looking challengingly at Miranda.

"Maybe, but not everything they wish for has to be fulfilled. Especially not when it's something so dangerous. When were you going to tell me about your trip?" asked Miranda grimly.

"Um..., I..." stammered Andy, looking guiltily at Miranda.

"Hmm... that's what I thought. When was the trip supposed to happen?" Miranda asked irritably now, and the light, happy, easy-going mood that had existed between the two of them all day seemed to be over.

Andy dropped her shoulders and looked dejectedly at the ground.

"Andrea?" asked Miranda sullenly.

"Well actually not as soon as. Not until the girls each have 20 stars on their reward list combined." Andy confessed quietly, fidgeting from one leg to the other, still not looking at Miranda.

"And how many stars do the girls have already?" asked Miranda a little more mildly now, aware that she had put Andrea back in a mood where she was fidgeting nervously and totally tense again.

"Cassidy has 13 and Caroline has only 11." replied Andy quietly.

"Ah..., hm..." Miranda nibbled on her lower lip and looked at Andy uncertainly and thoughtfully. "Okay..." she said then, wishing she knew how they could get back to the relaxed mood that had prevailed just a few minutes ago. But she didn't have a plan, and honestly, she had never been a person who found this kind of thing easy. So she picked up her miniature golf club, lined up at the beginning of the course, placed the miniature golf ball on the red dot, and then hit it with a wave of frustration.

The miniature golf ball flew in a high arc about 20 to 30 meters in the air before it then flew down hard from the sky and disappeared somewhere between trees and bushes.

Andy looked at Miranda in surprise.

"Great." hissed Miranda in annoyance and Andy took a few steps back from Miranda. It was more of an unconscious action. Miranda noticed it anyway, though, and looked at Andy in surprise.

Andy's eyes widened and she looked like a scared bunny.

Miranda immediately put her miniature golf club aside guiltily and stepped up to Andy, taking her hands in hers. Andy still looked at her uncertainly and fidgeted unconsciously.

"Please forgive me, I didn't mean to scare you. I was just so upset because I messed up my first punch like that. Please forgive me." murmured Miranda apologetically and sighed deeply.

"I..., see it's not easy for me to expose my Bobbseys to such danger and just allow them to ride the subway and the fact that you didn't want to tell me about this trip did the rest. But when I think about it, I'm sure you have a good reason why you didn't deny my girls this wish. Do you?" asked Miranda quietly.

"Yes, I did. Children are always attracted to things that are forbidden to them. I was, and am, afraid that at some point they might get the stupid idea of riding the subway alone and expose themselves to much greater danger than when I'm with them. Therefore, I did not immediately dismiss their wish, but agreed to it. And there's a reason why I haven't told you yet," Andy replied, and Miranda looked at her curiously.

"And that would be?"

"Well, I just wanted to make a stop or two with the girls. To worry you about that would have been illogical. Besides..." Andy stopped and nibbled nervously on her lower lip.

"Yeah?" asked Miranda, raising her eyebrow.

"We..., we haven't... not yet..., well you know, until Thursday night, we'd never really talked about my work with the girls." Andy replied quietly, and Miranda swallowed once, twice.

Right... before, Miranda had never taken the time to talk with Andrea exactly about her work with her Bobbseys. There had been Andrea's notes every night, where she had always written down for Miranda what she had done with the girls during the day. For Miranda, that had been sufficient.

Miranda thought for a long moment and looked thoughtfully at Andrea. She really wished for the loose and happy vibe back.

"Okay, let's drop the bet, that was a stupid idea. You and the girls can take the subway, but I'll be with you and one other guy from the security team. We will only ride 1-2 stations and then Roy will bring us back. Furthermore, you will promise me never to ride the subway again and agree to let Roy or another driver take you to and from the townhouse. I will also provide you with a car." Miranda explained seriously and Andy looked at her with wide eyes in confusion.

"Miranda, I..." Miranda raised her hand and interrupted Andy.

"No, this is how it's going to happen, there will be no further discussion about it." Miranda stated adamantly, looking at Andy with a look that really didn't allow for any discussion. Then her look softened and she sighed deeply.

"Andrea, understand, I just don't want you to continue to expose yourself to avoidable danger. The twins love you and they need you. They would be heartbroken if something happened to you if you continued to ride the subway, especially late at night. And I would feel very guilty for not stopping it." Miranda explained much more gently now.

Andy looked at Miranda with mixed feelings. On the one hand, she found riding the subway half as dangerous, and she loved her independence and the freedom it gave her to ride or walk wherever she wanted. But Miranda seemed to want to limit that very freedom. And that didn't sit well with Andy right now. But she could also understand why Miranda acted this way and forbade her to ride the subway. Only Andy was a grown woman and somewhere Miranda should be limited in how far she interfered in Andy's life. After all, Miranda had already interfered in her life far too much. More was just too much. But how could she say no to Miranda? She had never been able to. So Andy nodded her head in resignation and Miranda looked at her in delight.

"Mom, Andy, why are you fighting?" asked Caroline excitedly, and Cassidy saw her sister looking at the two adults in dismay.

Andy immediately knelt down to the two and took them in her arms.

"No, no, we're not fighting. Your mom and I were just talking about something we didn't agree on. Now we have come to an understanding and everything is okay. Right Miranda?" asked Andy, looking at Miranda with a worried look.

Miranda also wrapped her daughters in her arms and Andy broke away from the twins to give them more space.

"Andrea is right, we were just talking about something, not fighting. Everything is okay." declared Miranda confidently and the twins looked at her skeptically for a moment.

"What was it about?" asked Caroline cautiously.

"It was about our trip on the subway. Your mom thinks it's too dangerous and so now we've decided that she's going to accompany us, as well as a man from the security team." replied Andy and the twins looked first at Andy and then at Miranda in surprise.

"We really get to go on the trip?" both girls asked excitedly at the same time and Miranda nodded her head. Both girls bounced excitedly and cheered.

"Yeah..." They exclaimed enthusiastically and hugged their mom tumultuously. "Thanks mom"

"Well, well, okay... let's keep playing. Shall we?" asked Miranda, who was obviously a little embarrassed that her kids were hugging her so effusively just because she had agreed to this silly outing.

Andy and the girls looked at Miranda happily and nodded their heads eagerly.

"Well, back to your miniature golf course, Andrea and I have work to do here." instructed Miranda and the girls quickly ran back to their lane.

"The girls looked pretty worried that we were fighting." said Miranda dejectedly as she picked up her mini golf club again and positioned herself to now take her second swing.

"Yeah, I think I need to talk to them again about how it's a natural thing to have an argument. That it doesn't have to be something bad, but that it's also something important. As long as you can make up afterwards or deal with each other normally, fights are perfectly okay now and then." Andy said and Miranda, who was now tapping her mini golf ball very calmly and also very carefully with her mini golf club, looked up at Andy shortly after instead of following her mini golf ball.

"Hm... maybe I should have that conversation with the twins. After all, I screwed that up and have a big part in making them feel bad about all the fighting between Stephen and I." Miranda mused thoughtfully.

"Yeah, that might be good. But if you want, I could be there to support you." Andy offered and Miranda smiled warmly at her.

"Thank you, I think I'll be very happy to take you up on your offer." replied Miranda, and only then looked at her miniature golf ball. It had come to a stop a few inches from the hole and Miranda sighed deeply.

"Hm... I guess today is not your day, maybe we should stop the game and rather watch the girls play. Yeah?" asked Andy looking at Miranda indulgently.

Miranda looked at Andy frowning before a thought occurred to her and she looked at Andy with a knowing look.

"Oh, no Andrea, are you trying to use *reverse psychology* on me right now?" asked Miranda pointedly, and Andy looked to the side sheepishly.

"Um... would it help to make you feel better and move on?" asked Andy, smiling warmly at Miranda.

Miranda snorted briefly before grinning at Andy.

"Just because I blew two punches doesn't mean I'm losing. So let's move on, and just so you know, I never give up that easily!" retorted Miranda, pushing her mini golf ball into the hole with a light kick and looking at Andy triumphantly.

"Let's go tiger." declared Andy and began to giggle and Miranda poked her in her side.

"Brat!" She exclaimed, sticking her tongue out at Andy and striding majestically over to the nearest miniature golf course.

Chapter Text

After dinner, which consisted of grilled hamburgers and a light salad, the girls, Andy and Miranda had settled down on the sun loungers on the terrace. Before that, they had loaded the fire bowl with firewood and started a small fire, which burned quietly and made occasional crackling sounds.

Andy had snuggled up with Caroline in a warm wool blanket, while Miranda and Cassidy snuggled in another wool blanket on their sun lounger.

While the twins and Andy talked about funny things, Miranda looked up at the darkening sky and let her mind wander to the past afternoon.

Miranda, who usually always acted doggedly in any competition, game or even in her job, always wanting to win, even having to win and hating to lose, had taken a step back this afternoon and allowed Andy and herself a casual game of miniature golf without competition or doggedness.

Both women, after putting aside the little subway argument, had so much fun and a great time together. Miranda didn't even care what the score was in the end because she was just way too happy.

She was happy to see Andrea with those huge, warm and happy smiles on her sensual mouth every time she perfectly holed her mini golf ball. She was happy with the relaxed atmosphere that had arisen again between the two of them and the opportunity to joke, laugh and talk with Andrea.

They really talked a lot about this and that in between. There were so many topics they discussed and there was so much to learn and get to know from each other. Andrea, was not like other young people Miranda had met so far. God knows, all of the young assistants she had met so far in her career at Runway had been boring, often annoying and some of them squeaky, scared and nervous. Nothing that would ever have been interesting to get to know better. But Andrea had depth, she was really interested in world affairs, politics, art and music and the various other issues such as environmental protection, animal welfare and human rights. She seemed to be really interested in other people and their stories. She didn't judge anyone and had great compassion for the different situations people could get into.

And Miranda enjoyed hearing more about Andrea's opinions on all these topics. Some of her opinions, of course, were not yet fully developed from her youthful and sometimes naive point of view, but it was interesting to see how Andrea's thought processes revolved around the different topics and how she came to the different assumptions.

And Miranda had never opened up so much to anyone, other than her two daughters, and talked so freely about many things. She had even talked a few times about her own feelings, especially about her fears and worries about her daughters and that she had so little time for them so far and that she would like to change that from now on. Andrea had listened to her attentively the whole time, rarely interrupting her and taking her fears and worries very seriously and trying to gently calm her down and minimize her fears and worries.

Andrea had then in turn shared her own fears and worries, especially regarding her journalistic skills, with Miranda and she had also listened attentively and also very interestedly, expressing her opinion now and then and also offering her help.

So Miranda learned that in the last 4 months, whenever the twins were at school and there was nothing else important to do, Andrea had written articles and sent them to the different magazine and newspaper publishers. But of all those articles they had sent in, just a handful had been published. Yes, it was exciting for Andrea to have her articles published, but she was also disappointed that it was only a handful of articles and not every single article. After all, she had been editor-in-chief of the college magazine and had won several writing contests. So Andrea found her current professional career more downbeat than motivating.

Miranda had immediately offered her help and support, wanting to push her career and pull strings in publishing, but Andrea had declined. She wanted to make it on her own.

How annoying the girl was sometimes. At least she could persuade Andrea to give her her articles to read once they were back in town. Maybe she could arrange something for the girl after all.

Miranda felt happy and also intoxicated, somehow just like the night before, only with the difference that she wasn't stoned today. This afternoon and evening had been one of the best she had had in many years and all because Andrea was with them and made them all laugh, joke and have interesting conversations.

Miranda could really imagine that a friendship with the young woman would be very rewarding. Well okay, Miranda could imagine other things, but she didn't dare. Especially because she was a married woman. Admittedly a rather unhappy and humiliated married woman, but still married. Besides, she was twice as old as Andrea. From there, she preferred to push all inappropriate thoughts and fantasies that occasionally, and today especially, haunted her mind regarding Andrea, far from her mind and hoped for a possible friendship.

While Miranda had been thinking about the beautiful day and Andrea, it had become quieter and quieter around the twins and Andrea. When she looked closer, she found the three of them slumbering. Carefully and gently Miranda woke Cassidy with a kiss on her head and gently pushed her off her lap, then gently woke Caroline and Andy with a kiss on their heads as well.

"Come on, it's time for bed." she said softly and pushed the three of them inside the house as soon as the three of them were awake enough. Together they climbed the stairs, but before Andy could continue up the stairs to the loft, Miranda gently held her by the arm while already sending the twins to their rooms.

"It was a very nice day today, thank you very much." Miranda leaned over and gave Andy a little kiss on her cheek. "Good night Andrea." she whispered and stepped back from Andy.

Andy blushed immediately, but also leaned over and kissed Miranda back on her cheek.

"I had a great time today too. Good night Miranda." she whispered softly in a sleepy voice. Her face had a pink flush and Miranda smiled warmly at her.

"Shoo, shoo, into bed with you." replied Miranda softly, pushing Andy up the stairs to their rooms. "Sweet dreams." she whispered softly after her. But Andy had heard it anyway and turned to Miranda once more with a huge warm smile.

"Sweet dreams to you too." said Andy, winking at Miranda before turning and hurriedly climbing the stairs.

Miranda looked after Andrea and shook her head as some inappropriate fantasies of and with Andrea immediately surfaced in her mind. She quickly pushed them aside and went to her daughters' rooms to tuck them into bed and wish them a good night as well.

Chapter Text

Andy came slurping into the kitchen the next morning and kissed the twins on their heads before she going to the coffee maker and starting to put the coffee on.

Both girls were engrossed in their cell phones, so they didn't look up until a moment later and looked at Andy in amazement.

"Andy, you're not even dressed yet?!?" They exclaimed in surprise at the same time.

Andy, wearing only her boyshorts, thick wool socks, and a large hoodie with *Northwestern* written on it, turned to the twins and smiled broadly at them.

"I was also just looking for a coffee and the morning paper before slipping back into my bed." She confessed and winked at the Two Girls, who looked at her in amazement.

"You want to go back to bed? What about breakfast?" asked Caroline excitedly.

"Yeah, that was my plan, Sundays are comfort time, so cozy up in bed watching movies or reading and hanging out." explained Andy as she waited for the coffee to run through.

"Is this how you always spend your Sundays?" Cassidy asked curiously.

"Well, since I became your nanny, I don't do it very often." Andy confessed, looking at the twins with a sad look the twins haven't often seen on Andy.

"But I thought I'd make the most of the time today." she quickly followed up, smiling jauntily at the twins again.

The twins regarded each other silently for a moment and then looked at Andy again.

"Can we join you?" the twins asked and Andy was now grinning at them.

"Yeah, sure. But first you have to eat breakfast and ask your mom if it's okay. Maybe she would like to do something with you two. Okay?" asked Andy and the twins nodded their heads.

"Well, I'll see you later maybe." said Andy, winking at the twins and pouring the hot coffee into a mug, taking the morning paper under her arm and shuffling back out of the kitchen and climbing the stairs to their rooms. Once at the top, she quickly slipped back under her still-warm comforter and sipped her coffee while she began looking through the newspaper.

A while later, the twins poked their heads through Andy's bedroom door after knocking neatly and hearing an "Come in" from Andy.

Andy lifted their comforter and the twins crawled under the covers and snuggled up to Andy.

"Can we watch TV?" asked Caroline and Andy nodded her head and shortly after fished for the remote that was on their nightstand. Both girls started zapping through the programs and then stopped at a nature movie, which she then watched intently.

Shortly after, there was another soft knock on Andy's door and Andy and the twins called out "Come in" at the same time.

As Miranda poked her head into Andy's room, she looked embarrassed for a moment. But Andy only lifted her comforter again and Miranda hurriedly got into Andy's bed and snuggled up by Caroline's side and began to watch the nature movie intently as well.

During the movie, Andy had slipped out of her sitting position and slid further under her covers and a little later dozed off snuggled at Cassidy's side.

After the nature movie ended and the following movie was rather boring and the twins found nothing interesting in the other program channels and their mom had also fallen back asleep next to them, they slipped out of bed and went downstairs to find some worthwhile task or activity.

Andy, subconsciously missing the warm little body of Cassidy at her side, slid closer to Miranda and snuggled up to her.

Miranda woke up and as soon as she realized that her daughters were no longer with her, but Andrea was cuddled up to her, she moaned softly. Andrea's body was so nice and warm and soft and her own body reacted immediately by starting to tingle all over, her heart started to beat faster and her pleasure center reacted in a way it hadn't reacted for ages. Immediately Miranda blushed and shifted a little and carefully away from Andy's body.

When Andy noticed the movement, her brown eyes fluttered open, looking in surprise and amazement into Miranda's blue eyes, which were just inches from hers.

"Huh...oh... Miranda?" she asked in confused, suddenly sitting up as if stung by bees and sliding an arm's length away from Miranda.

"Sorry, I'm not sure...but...oh, I don't know..." Andy stroked frantically through her hair, which had grown a bit longer in the last 4 months and now curled over her ears, no longer resembling the sassy pixie cut.

"Andrea, please calm down." said Miranda softly and quietly, placing her hand on Andy's arm.

"Nothing bad happened. I think we both just fell asleep and the girls eventually left us to find something more interesting to do," Miranda explained as she slid out of bed and smoothed her rumpled clothes.

"Everything is okay, don't worry about it. I'm going to check on the girls and then we're going to have to pack up and head back to the city." sighed Miranda sadly as she had really enjoyed the weekend with her girls, which included Andrea.

"Yeah, Miranda." was all Andy could get out and Miranda gave her an encouraging wink.

"You look cute blushing like that and still totally sleepy." she explained as Andy blushed even more and Miranda hurriedly left Andy's room to give Andy a break.

Andy's heart started beating fast and a pleasant heat immediately spread through her body. "Oh, wow. Did Miranda just flirt with her?"

No, no, no definitely not!!! That was probably just...oh never mind, whatever it was, it was nice. Andy sighed and began to wave through her hair once more before she sat down on her bed and began to giggle. Oh, wow, she had been cuddling with Miranda in bed. It was just too bad she hadn't gotten to see as much of it herself.

********************************

As soon as they approached New York, Miranda asked Andrea for her address. Surprised, Andy looked at her.

"Miranda, I thought..." before she could continue, Miranda interrupted her.

"That we were going to the townhouse? Andrea don't be ridiculous. I'm not planning on yanking Roy out of his well-deserved Sunday today so he can drive you home where we're already on our way." explained Miranda, Andy still looking at her in irritation.

"But I can with the..." she didn't get any further, as Miranda interrupted her once more.

"Andrea, we talked about this and you also promised me that you wouldn't take the subway anymore. So what's your address?" asked Miranda a little impatiently.

Andy told her and Miranda quietly thanked her and went down the necessary departure.

As soon as they stopped in front of Andy's apartment building, Miranda frowned and looked at the residential area. It looked very dodgy, dirty and dangerous.

"This is where you live?" she asked horrified, and Andy smiled warmly at her.

"Yeah, thanks for the ride." she said, unbuckling her seatbelt.

"Andrea?!?" asked Miranda, not quite sure she really wanted to let Andrea out of the car in this neighborhood.

"Yeah?" asked Andy curiously.

"Um...this area doesn't seem very safe to me. Please take care of yourself. I'll notify Roy later to pick you up at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Please be on time." said Miranda and leaned over to Andy and breathed a kiss on her cheek.

"Good night Andrea." she whispered softly and Andy looked at her beaming before she also leaned over to Miranda and breathed a kiss on her cheek as well.

"Good night Miranda and thank you so much for a lovely weekend and the ride over here." then she turned to the twins who had been watching all the action curiously.

"Good night you two, take good care of yourselves and your mom. I'll see you in the morning and please pack your school bags tonight. I'm counting on you guys. Good night!" shouted Andy and the twins rolled their eyes.

"Yes, Andy. Good night." they both replied at the same time, grinning at Andy before getting out of the car and walking quickly to the front door.

Only when Andy had disappeared into the apartment building and Miranda had waited a moment longer, sighing and deeply concerned for Andrea's safety, did she start her car and drive off.

Chapter Text

As soon as Andy unlocked the door to the townhouse the next morning, she was already pulled into a warm embrace by Miranda and had a kiss breathed on her cheek.

"Good morning Andrea." she said brightly, as if they hadn't seen Andy in ages and now that she was finally here, she was happy to see her again.

"Come with me to my study for a minute." asked Miranda, taking Andy's hand in hers and together they went upstairs to the second floor.

"Don't worry, I've already woken the girls up and they're already getting washed and dressed. We packed their school bags together last night and even called one of the twins' classmates to find out what they missed at school on Friday." Miranda chattered the whole way upstairs.

Once upstairs in the study, Miranda pressed a hot cup of coffee into Andy's hand and asked her to take a seat on the couch. Miranda then sat down next to her and looked at her intently.

"How did the conversation with your friend go?" asked Miranda quietly, continuing to look at Andy with interest.

Andy started to fidget a little in her seat, so Miranda took Andy's hand in hers and squeezed it gently, letting her thumb stroke the back of Andy's hand slowly, which somehow made Andy calm down immediately.

Before she began to speak, she sighed once, briefly.

"Nate was a little angry at first because I didn't check in with him all weekend, but he calmed down. The conversation that followed was okay and we talked about a lot of things and realized in between that we just weren't working as a couple at the moment. So we agreed to take a break for the time being. Nate thinks I should consider whether I want to take over the apartment or rather look for a new apartment. Either way, it's going to be tough. Which makes me have to ask you something." Andy explained quietly.

Miranda immediately looked at Andy in alarm, dreading the question Andrea might ask.

"What..., what is it?" she asked nervously.

"Honestly I have three options, either I take a roommate so I can finance the apartment, which I don't want to do because I found it hard enough living with Nate. The second option would be..." before Andy could speak further Miranda raised her hand and stopped her.

"You could live here in your rooms, you wouldn't even have to pay rent." explained Miranda confidently, but Andy immediately shook her head.

"No Miranda, no, no, that won't work. Look I need my privacy to feel comfortable and living where I work would not ensure that. Imagine if you lived at Runway. Your coworkers would know you were there and if a problem arose, they would bother you with it even on your own time. Don't get me wrong, I love the twins and they seem to like me a lot too, but I don't think they would recognize or perceive the boundaries between work and free time and I couldn't just send them off to enjoy my free time. And already I would be in a pretty tricky situation. I don't mean it in a bad way. Please don't be mad at me. Okay?" asked Andy anxiously, looking at Miranda with a pleading look.

Miranda resignedly took a deep sigh.

"You're right, of course. Don't worry, I understand and I'm not mad at you either. It was just an idea to help you. Please tell me what the second possibilities are." Miranda asked and Andy straightened her shoulders and sat up much stiffer before sighing softly.

"The second option would be..., um... to leave the job here and get a full-time job..." at that moment Miranda looked at Andy with a very panicked and horrified look and Andy hurried to say "...of course I don't like that option at all. I don't want to stop. So the only option left is the third one, but for that I need your permission." explained Andy quietly, looking at Miranda a little anxiously.

"Go ahead and say it." asked Miranda, relieved that Andrea rejected the second option as much as she did.

"I need a second job." said Andy, and Miranda looked at her in surprise.

"Okay, I don't mind if you want to take another job, as long as you keep working here and you realize that the nanny job is your priority," Miranda explained with relief. What was she worried about, anyway? Miranda asked herself inwardly.

"Thank you Miranda." said Andy relieved and happy, while Miranda looked at her thoughtfully.

"You know what? I just got a brilliant idea." said Miranda after a little while and her eyes started to sparkle. Andy looked at her with raised eyebrows.

"Yeah?" she asked uncertainly and Miranda smiled warmly at her.

"Remember I told you about my second assistant and how incompetent she is and how I'd like to fire her?" asked Miranda and Andy nodded her head.

"Well, once I am allowed to fire her, I will then need a new second assistant and here I am offering you that job. I am firmly convinced that you will handle this job competently and with masterfully. What do you say, will you accept the job?" Miranda asked excitedly and curiously.

She herself thought her idea was very brilliant, especially because she knew that Andrea would be able to handle this job very well and also manage to organize her schedule in such a way that she could spend much more time with her daughters and maybe even save her marriage.

Andy looked at Miranda for a moment, speechless. She would never have expected this job offer. But yes, it would definitely be exciting and interesting to work with Miranda. So why not?

"Yes, that would be great." replied Andy and Miranda looked at her with a bright smile.

"Very well. I'll let HR know right away today and they'll draw up an employment contract for you. Then I will inform my assistants and initiate everything else. And we can start tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it." Miranda explained, getting up from the couch and holding out her hand to Andy to help her up.

"I'm looking forward to it too. Thanks Miranda." said Andy and together with Miranda left the study.

"See you tonight Andrea." said Miranda softly before they parted and Andy, who had heard, leaned over and quickly gave Miranda a small kiss on her cheek and gave her a light hug.

"See you tonight, have a nice day." she said, smiling warmly at Miranda before turning and hurriedly climbing the stairs to the second floor.

Miranda placed her fingers on the spot Andrea had just kissed on her cheek and gently stroked it. Andrea's lightly breathed cheek kisses and hugs were quite something and so intoxicating and refreshing.

Miranda was still smiling on the way to the kitchen, which made Stephen look at her skeptically.

"Are you okay?" he asked, looking at Miranda with a frown. Immediately Miranda's smile faded and she looked at Stephen, bored.

"Yes, yes, everything's fine. I just had a very good idea and maybe this will give me more time with my family. You'd like that, wouldn't you?" asked Miranda, looking at Stephen with as much affection as she could muster.

"Yeah, that would be great." was all he said, turning back to his daily newspaper as the twins looked curiously at their mom, but Miranda just whispered "Later" to them and the twins nodded their heads.

***********************************

The twins were excited that Andrea was now going to work for their mom at Runway and they were very sure, just like Miranda was, that Andrea would be able to arrange Miranda's schedule so that their mom would always be home on time from now on. They were very happy about that.

But now that Roy had dropped the girls off in Dalton and was driving towards the Elias Clarke building, Miranda began to have more and more doubts about whether this was such a good idea.

Miranda liked Andrea very much, even more since the short vacation. So much so that she was now afraid that Andrea would run away as soon as she met Miranda in dragon mode at Runway. Oh god, as soon as she was in dragon mode, Andrea would go away and leave her and the twins. And the twins would be very upset and disappointed because their mother had screwed up again.

But how could she be any different at work than she had been? The magazine would suffer if she suddenly went on a cuddle and cuddle spree with her coworkers, just so Andrea wouldn't notice what a stone cold bitch she was at work.

She couldn't withdraw the job offer either, that wouldn't be fair to Andrea. So what was she supposed to do?

Shit, shit, shit.

***********************************

Meanwhile, Andy called Emily at the office.

"Hi Em..." before she could speak further Emily was already interrupting her in a panic.

"Oh no, is she in a crappy mood today?" asked Emily and Andy chuckled because that was Emily standard question whenever Andy called her.

"No Em, calm down. Miranda left here today in a very good mood. No honestly I wanted to ask you something." explained Andy and Emily rolled her eyes.

"Get to the point, I don't have time." replied Emily rudely and irritably.

"Okay, okay. So Miranda offered me the job as second assistant and ...." that's as far as she got.

"Bloody hell!" Emily exclaimed, interrupting Andy. "Why?"

"Well, you know Miranda is unhappy with Emily 2 and she would rather fire her sooner than later because she finds her incompetent. But since she needs a second assistant and I need a second job, she offered me this job." explained Andy calmly.

"Anyway, I wanted to know now what I'm getting myself into, what do I need to be aware of? What are my responsibilities? What should I definitely know and do and what shouldn't I do?" babbled Andy and Emily, still a bit in shock that Miranda now wanted to employ Andy at Runway as well, when she was already her nanny, snorted once in disdain.

"Like you're up to this job." she said mockingly, and Andy rolled her eyes.

"Well, that remains to be seen. Now will you answer my questions?" asked Andy impatiently and Emily gave a theatrical sigh.

"God Andy, you've been working for her for 4 months, you should know her best. Why are you getting on my nerves with this kind of stuff?" asked Emily annoyed.

"Em I only know Miranda as she is here at home, I don't know how she is at work. But I've read some stuff so I'm a little concerned and would really appreciate any tips." explained Andy calmly and very kindly.

"Okay, fine. Listen, you must never ask Miranda questions, never touch her, furthermore she hates riding in an elevator with other people, she hates it when her coffee is not hot enough and she hates it when you are unpunctual, incompetent and slow. On the other hand, she likes to make grown men, as well as her co-workers, especially her assistants cry when they are incompetent in her opinion. She is perfectionist and everything must be exactly as she wants and imagined. But she will never explain to you what you did wrong. She just becomes a cold bitch and is really mean and horrible to you in this case. At this moment everyone wishes to be far away from her and best not to be at the receiving end. It's hell, so think twice about whether you really want to work here." Emily explained dramatically before simply hanging up.

Andy was already used to Emily hanging up so abruptly, so she wasn't surprised, but it still annoyed her. So she sighed in annoyance and went to her room and started thinking about all the things Emily had told her about Miranda.

Of course, she knew herself that Miranda would be a very different person at work than here at the townhouse or on a short vacation. That wasn't really a surprise; after all, Miranda was the fashion queen and had to manage Runway and her staff and lead them to the best results. That just also meant being strict, disciplined and just the way Miranda obviously was when someone didn't perform well or didn't do his/her job properly. On the other hand, Andy couldn't imagine Miranda being mean and horrible to her if she did something wrong. At least not the way Emily had described it.

Sure, not long ago she had felt insecure and nervous in Miranda's presence and had regularly been afraid of being dismissed by her if she did something wrong.

But since the short vacation, some things had changed in their relationship. It was no longer just employer and employee. Since the short vacation, it had moved to a more personal level and Andy felt comfortable in Miranda's company, even a little protected and safe. Miranda really cared about her, she was interested in what Andy thought and what her opinions were on different topics. They had even cuddled in a bed, okay it had been unconscious and an accident, but damn that had to count for something, right?

Andy decided that she would just wait and see how things developed and that she would do her best not to disappoint Miranda and to support her as best she could.

***********************************

Miranda arrived home very late that evening. Surprised that Andrea wasn't sitting on the bottom steps waiting for her with her notes, Miranda frowned.

All day Miranda had been thinking about how to approach her problem with Andrea, and she had decided to just talk to Andrea about it as soon as she got home.

But now that she was here, Andrea wasn't there. Where the hell was she? Had she already gone home?

Miranda quickly took off her jacket and hung it in the hall closet. She put her purse and the book, which she had brought herself this time, on the dresser next to it before going into the kitchen. But this was dark, so she went straight on and climbed to the first floor, which was also in the dark. On the second floor, she first checked on her daughters and found them fast asleep in their beds. Relieved that they were doing well, she kissed them both on their cheeks and said good night to them quietly.

After looking down the hall, she saw Andrea's bedroom door wide open. Quietly she went to Andrea's room and there she found the young woman asleep and still fully dressed in her bed. On Andrea's stomach lay an open book, which she held with her hand, while her head rested on the pillows and her hair was tousled.

Miranda quietly left the room and hurriedly retrieved a blanket from her bedroom, which she then brought back to Andrea. Gently covering Andy with it, Miranda took the book from her hand and gently bent her over to breathe a goodnight kiss on her cheek as well.

"Good night, sweet dreams." whispered Miranda tenderly before turning off the light and quietly closing the door to the room and returning to her own bedroom. Tomorrow morning, there would be plenty of time to talk to Andrea.

Chapter Text

Since Miranda had not looked through the book the night before, she had set her alarm for 5 o'clock. After showering, putting on her makeup, and getting dressed, she quietly descended the stairs and retrieved the book, with which she then retreated to her study.

When her alarm clock rang again at 6:30 a.m., she put the book aside and climbed up to the second floor. Quietly she entered Andy's room and since it was already light outside, she could see Andy sprawled in bed even without turning on the light.

The young woman seemed to have tossed and turned several times during the night, as the blanket Miranda had covered her with the night before now lay completely askew over the bed and Andrea's body.

Silently and also a little reverently Miranda looked at the beautiful creature on the bed. Andrea's face looked so relaxed that Miranda was very sorry that she had to wake Andrea up now. She would have loved to look at her further and take a lot of time for it. But, she sighed deeply, it didn't help anything, she had to wake Andrea up.

"Andrea, time to wake up." She whispered softly into Andy's ear as she stroked her hand lightly over Andrea's arm.

Andy grunted and furrowed her brow, then turned away from Miranda and buried her head in the pillow, mumbling softly something Miranda couldn't understand.

Miranda sat down on the bed with Andy and leaned down to her once more, letting her hand rest on Andy's shoulder.

"Darling, it's time to get up." Before Miranda realized what she had just called Andrea, it was too late and it had already slipped out of her mouth. Horrified, she quickly got up from bed and took a few steps back. Damn, where did that come from now???

Andy's eyes slowly fluttered open and she grumbled as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes with her hands.

"Grmm..."

Miranda looked at her silently, but in her stomach butterflies began to dance unbidden. Seeing Andrea so sleepy was adorable. Miranda swallowed and tried to calm the butterflies again, while Andy very slowly perked up.

"Good morning, time to get up." said Miranda in a very husky voice, smiling lovingly at Andy.

Andy was still looking at Miranda in a daze and somehow she didn't seem to understand what was going on right now, so Miranda sat back on the bed and took Andy's hand in hers.

"When I came home yesterday, I found you here sleeping. I didn't have the heart to wake you. But now that it's past 6:30, I'm afraid I had to wake you so you could get ready for work. I'm going to go wake up the twins now and I'll be right back. Okay?" asked Miranda and Andy nodded her head in irritated.

"Alright, I'll see you in a bit." said Miranda and left Andy's room.

Andy, meanwhile, was still sitting in bed, completely motionless, looking at the now closed door.

She had fallen asleep ... shit ... And Miranda had just woken her up.... and now???

Before she was awake enough to know how to proceed, Miranda came back into the room and grinned gently at Andy.

"You're not a morning person, are you?" she asked with a wink, and Andy shook her head.

"Well, as sorry as I am, you still have to get up. Come..." sighed Miranda regretfully and held out her hand to Andy and Andy gratefully accepted it and let Miranda pull him out of bed.

"Go take a shower, I'll pick out your clothes for the day." with that she pushed Andy into the adjoining bathroom and closed the door before turning to the closet.

While the shower was running in the bathroom next door, Miranda picked out a short sleeved dark blue romantic ruffle style blouse, a black short skater skirt, and matching underwear and a white La Perla bra, blue Jimmy Choo's and a handbag and laid it all out on the bed. She then looked around to see where Andrea kept her jewelry and quickly found it in the top dresser drawer. There she took out a beautiful multi-row necklace and matching earrings and placed them on top of the dresser.

As soon as Andy came out of the bathroom, dressed only in a towel and rubbing her hair dry with another towel, Miranda showed her what she had picked out.

"I hope my selection is pleasing to you." Miranda explained, winking at Andy before leaving the room.

Andy, now awake enough, took a closer look at the selection Miranda had made.

Okay, fine... she would never have picked out that short skirt herself, and neither would the shoes, but if Miranda thought she would look good in them, who was she to criticize Miranda's choice?

So Andy put on everything Miranda had laid out for her and then left her room a little nervously to check on the twins. They had also just finished showering and getting dressed.

"Good morning Andy, Mom already told us that you slept here tonight and that she picked out some clothes for you too." Caroline exclaimed excitedly and Cassidy giggled.

"You look so pretty. Mom really does have good taste." said Cassidy admiringly and Caroline rolled her eyes.

"Thanks Cassidy." Andy gave hers a good morning kiss on the top of her head before greeting Caroline, the same way.

"Is your mom mad because I fell asleep last night?" asked Andy uncertainly as she looked through the girls' school bags one last time to make sure they had packed everything.

"No, she didn't seem mad about it, more delighted that she got to pick out your clothes for you today. I bet if she was allowed, she'd want to dress every poorly dressed person in New York properly." Cassidy replied, winking at Andy and her sister.

Andy sighed in relief and grinned at Cassidy.

"Sweetie, I think you'd win the bet."

"What bet?" asked Miranda, who had just entered Caroline's room. Andy and the girls began looking sheepishly at the floor and muttering "Nothing." at the same time.

Miranda looked at the three frowning, but then dropped it. Instead, she looked at Andrea in her pretty outfit.

"Turn, please." she whispered to Andrea and Andy turned before tugging on her short skirt a little unsteadily.

"No, no, stop that. You look beautiful, no need to feel insecure or embarrassed." Miranda explained, looking at Andy with a warm smile. Andy immediately felt a little better and nodded to Miranda.

"Well, breakfast is waiting for us. Come." Miranda demanded and everyone followed her downstairs to the kitchen.

Stephen was already sitting at the kitchen table, holding his cup of coffee in one hand and the morning magazine in the other.

As everyone entered the kitchen he looked up and as soon as he saw Andy in her fancy outfit he immediately looked at her excitedly and also lustfully. Miranda immediately noticed this look from her husband and a rage began to bubble up inside her.

"How dare he stare at her Andrea like that?" she scolded in her head. She quickly looked over at Andrea and saw how uncomfortable the young woman was.

Miranda quickly strode over to her husband and gave him a kiss on his lips to distract him from Andrea.

Instead of kissing him, however, she would have preferred to slap him and throw him out of her house. But, well..., unfortunately, that wasn't possible. After all, he was her husband and she wanted to save her marriage. To make a scene for him now would be awkward and totally inappropriate. So she hoped that Stephen would quickly turn back to his morning magazine.

"Good morning darling." she therefore said a little frostily. Stephen frowned but said nothing and looked back down at his magazine.

The twins rolled their eyes and Andy's stomach knotted and a wave of jealousy rose in her when she saw Miranda kissing Stephen. She quickly turned and hastily left the kitchen and hurried up the stairs. Arriving at the top of her room, she immediately took off her short skirt and pulled out a pair of matching pants from her closet.

Meanwhile, down in the kitchen, Miranda swallowed her anger at her husband's behavior toward her Andrea and nibbled listlessly on her toast. After the girls finally finished their breakfast, Miranda sent them upstairs to brush their teeth and then bring down their school bags.

Miranda leaned down to her husband and gave him a kiss on his mouth.

"See you tonight darling." she said and left the kitchen without looking back at her husband again.

Sighing, she climbed to the second floor and went to Andrea's room. The young woman was sitting at her desk, reading the morning paper. Regretfully, Miranda noticed that Andrea had exchanged her skirt for plain black pants.

"Andrea, can I talk to you for a minute before we have to go?" asked Miranda quietly, and Andy startled and jumped up a little. She hadn't realized Miranda had approached her.

"So jumpy???" asked Miranda, raising her eyebrow and looking thoughtfully at Andy.

"A little." Andy confessed.

"I was just thinking and didn't notice you. Sorry."

"No, no you don't have to apologize. I need to apologize to you for my husband's behavior toward you. I'm sorry he made you feel so uncomfortable that you even changed your clothes." replied Miranda, sighing deeply as she sat down on Andy's bed.

"It's okay." replied Andy weakly, but Miranda shook her head.

"No, it's not! I'll talk to Stephen about it tonight and..." Miranda stopped as she saw Andrea's horrified look.

"No please don't Miranda. I don't want you to fight about me." Andy asked desperately. Before Miranda could respond, the twins came rushing into Andy's room.

"Mom, Andy, we have to go or we'll be late!" Both girls exclaimed at the same time.

Miranda let out a frustrated sigh, wishing she could have continued this conversation with Andrea so she could put the young woman's worries to rest.

"Bobbseys you guys are right. Do you guys have everything? Then let's go." she replied after a moment.

Chapter Text

As soon as Roy dropped the twins off at their school, Miranda turned to Andy and looked at her a little nervously and uncertainly. Andy noticed Miranda's uncertainty immediately and frowned at her.

"Are you okay Miranda?" she asked quietly and Miranda swallowed once, twice.

"Before we go to the office, I have a confession to make. I'm..., I'm... Andrea..." Miranda took Andy's hand in hers and gently stroked the back of Andy's hand with her thumbs.

"...I'm very different at the office than I am at home. I'm the boss there and I have to be who I am so that everything runs and works the way I want it to and so that the magazine is successful. And I won't always be so friendly, I have to be my..." at this point Andy smiled a big grin at Miranda, confusing Miranda immensely.

"What's so funny?" asked Miranda uncertainly.

"Oh, this conversation just reminds me of a scene I saw on Star Trek, Starship Voyager." replied Andy, only confusing Miranda more with her explanation.

"Star Trek, Starship Voyager?" she asked, raising her eyebrow skeptically.

"Oh yeah, you know I'm a bit of a hidden nerd, I like to watch series like that. And what you were about to tell me sounded like that one scene where Captain Janeway says to Seven of Nine *I'm the Captain, I can't always be your friend.*" Andy explained, beaming.

"Hmm... I think the exact same thing I was about to explain to you. So you understand?" asked Miranda uncertainly and Andy nodded her head.

"Yes Miranda, I understand and honestly I was already on the phone with Emily yesterday to find out exactly what I am and am not allowed to do. She had a whole list of things I should never do and she also said some things about how you act sometimes. She told me to think carefully about whether I really wanted to work in your office." said Andy and Miranda looked at her in amazement.

"Well I can well imagine all the things Emily told you about me and yet you still want to work for me?" asked Miranda surprised.

"Yes, of course. Why wouldn't? Have you been worried about that?" asked Andy, now looking at Miranda in amazement.

"Yeah, to be honest I was actually worried that you would run away screaming as soon as you saw me in dragon mode or me being an absolute stone cold bitch in the office and realized how gross, mean and nasty I can be." Miranda confessed quietly, looking down at her still merged hands in embarrassment.

"Well, you know, I got to know you better last weekend and we had such a nice and great time together. I know now that you are a really nice, caring, kind, lovely and brilliant woman. And however you may be in the office, I assume you will have reasons for that and that no matter what happens, we can still talk about it later and we will be fine. Yes?" asked Andy, looking warmly at Miranda with her big brown eyes.

"Yes" was all Miranda replied, but Andy could clearly see Miranda finally relax and breathe a sigh of relief.

"Good." Andy winked at Miranda and Miranda beamed at her, clearly more relaxed.

"Good." she said, again stroking the back of Andy's hand with her thumbs. "I'm really glad you understand. Tell me more about this Captain and Seven of Nine. It sounds interesting." asked Miranda and Andy had to chuckle.

"Oh, explaining the relationship of the two would take too long for now. But I'd love to show you and the girls the DVDs sometime and explain it all to you." Andy replied and Miranda smiled warmly at her.

*********************************

As soon as Roy pulled up in front of the Elias-Clarke building, Miranda straightened her shoulders, put on her sunglasses, picked up her bag and book, and stepped out of the car. Andy hurriedly got out on her side and then stepped next to Miranda, smiling warmly at her.

"Shall we?" asked Miranda nervously, and Andy nodded her head.

"Yes, I'm curious about the dragon." replied Andy, giggling. Miranda looked at them for a moment with raised eyebrows.

"Quite the sassy young lady. You should fear the dragon, not challenge it." retorted Miranda, but then grinned at Andy and winked at her.

"Oh, I liked fairy tales and stories about dragons when I was a kid. Dragons are great in my opinion, they are so majestic, beautiful, strong, powerful, hungry, hot-blooded and they can spit fire." replied Andy, looking at Miranda very admiringly for a tiny moment. Miranda immediately blushed.

"Careful, the dragon might devour you if you don't." Miranda whispered softly as she leaned over to Andy and her mouth almost touched Andy's ear.

Andy held her breath for a moment and had to swallow for a moment.

"Enough joking, let's go inside." said Miranda, moving away from Andy again and both women entered the Elias-Clarke building.

Overwhelmed by the large reception hall, Andy stopped and took a quick look around. There were so many people in the hall, some hurrying to the elevators and others standing in small groups talking.

Miranda nudged Andy lightly with her fingers.

"Are you coming?" she asked a little impatiently and Andy nodded her head and quickly strode after Miranda.

As they walked to the elevators, Andy noticed the instant change in Miranda. Nothing reminded her of the way she had been just a few minutes ago, sitting in the car so nervous and even a little unsure of herself, worrying about how Andy would perceive her as a boss in dragon mode.

Now she seemed energetic, striding down the hall with a firm step, shoulders pulled back, head held high, and a look Andy had never seen on Miranda's face. Miranda was clearly in her dragon mode. Impress.

Likewise, Andy noticed that the people around her were hurrying to get out of Miranda's way, not looking directly at her, but quickly lowering their gazes.

Interesting.

As soon as they got to the elevators, the people waiting there immediately stepped back so Miranda could get right into the elevator that had just arrived. Andy stopped in front of the elevator and hesitated, remembering what Emily had told her about how much Miranda hated having to ride in the elevator with someone.

Miranda looked at Andy in confusion.

"Andrea, why won't you come in? What's wrong?" she asked worriedly, and her dragon mode seemed to shut down for that moment.

Andy hurried to get into the elevator and Miranda pressed the button to get the elevator moving.

"Well?" asked Miranda once the doors had closed.

"Emily said you hated having to ride in the elevator with someone. I wasn't sure if I should..." before she could talk further, Miranda interrupted her.

"Oh Andrea, don't be ridiculous. The elevator rule doesn't include you." Miranda replied warmly, lightly stroking Andy's cheek with her hand.

"I hate having to ride in an elevator with only strangers. I imagine every time how it would be to be stuck in an elevator with all these incompetent people in case the elevator has a malfunction and that alone is enough to make me feel uncomfortable from the start. But with you, it's different." Miranda explained, and Andy immediately smiled her megawatt smile at her.

"Emily, of course, will throw a fit as soon as she finds out you get to ride the elevator with me, but well..., it's kind of fun to tease her a little sometimes. Everyone needs a little fun in the workplace." Miranda replied, winking at Andy.

"Oh, I can imagine that pretty well. Do you like to annoy her?" asked Andy curiously, looking at Miranda a little mischievously.

"Well, I have to take the fun where I can find it. And Emily really makes it easy for me a lot of the time. Don't ever tell her that though, it would ruin everything. She's developed a kind of hero worship for me, whereby she always swinging back and forth between wanting to please me and do everything for me and wanting to wring my neck or push me out the window. Just yesterday she had another fit like that when I explained to her that your desk should be set up in my office as long as Emily 2 is still occupying the desk in the outer office. You should have seen the look on her face." Miranda giggled and grinned amusedly at Andy.

"At first she blushed and asked me with so much disgust in her voice and her nose wrinkled so deprecatingly if she shouldn't have her desk with me in the office as a first assistant instead of you, where you are only an intern or third assistant. I looked at her seriously and then asked her if she would really like to spend her whole workday with me in the office. And..." Miranda giggled again. "...well she suddenly turned so pale and her eyes were so dilated with fright that I was almost afraid she would faint and collapse in front of me. She then began to stutter and I then released her from her torment and simply sent her out. But for the rest of the day, she didn't dare come near me." Miranda explained with another giggle.

"So I'll be sitting in your office? Won't that bother you at work?" asked Andy worriedly, but Miranda shook her head.

"No, I don't think you'll bother me and if you do I can always send you on errands. And once Emily 2 is gone, you'll get her desk. This is just temporary." explained Miranda.

"Well, what will my first assignment be?" asked Andy as the elevator doors opened and both women stepped out into the hallway and then into Runway's reception area.

Before Miranda could respond, however, an excited Emily came rushing to them and took the book from Miranda while handing Miranda the day's schedule.

Miranda looked at the plan briefly, then handed it back while she gave Emily a list of things that needed to be done today. Emily hurriedly tried to write everything down in her notepad as she continued to follow Miranda down the hallways of Runway.

Andy let the two women walk a few steps ahead as her eyes roamed through the individual rooms they passed. In all of the rooms, which were only shielded from the hallway by a wall of windows, employees were already hard at work. What Andy didn't know was that just moments before, these employees had been jumping around like frantic chickens, knowing that Miranda was about to step onto Runway's floor.

Once they arrived at the outer office, Miranda tossed her purse on the right-hand desk and then entered her office. Andy, who had followed her, immediately looked around Miranda's bright, tastefully decorated office in awe.

A few moments later, a nervous and excited blonde slender tall woman entered the office.

"Miranda, I'm so sorry I..." Miranda glanced at the woman and the woman immediately stopped speaking.

"Emily, get breakfast for Andrea at Starbucks. Andrea, what do you want?" asked Miranda, turning to Andy.

"Miranda?!? No, that's not ...." Miranda interrupted Andy before she could tell her she didn't need anything.

"Andrea, don't be ridiculous, you haven't eaten anything today, so what do you want?" Miranda asked again, now a little more impatient, but still friendly. Blonde Emily (Simone) and redhead Emily, meanwhile, looked at Miranda with wide eyes at the friendly tone in Miranda's voice, which they had obviously never heard like that before.

Andy, flushed because all the attention had just been focused on her, sighed deeply.

"A muffin?" she asked uncertainly, but Miranda rolled her eyes.

"Emily get Andrea the cream cheese bagel with cucumber and a vanilla latte to go with it. That's all." said Miranda as she sat down at her desk and Emily 2 was already stumbling out of Miranda's office.

Emily, the real Emily, was still standing rooted to the spot in the office, looking from Andy to Miranda and then back to Andy.

"Emily print out all my appointments for the next 4 weeks and mark which appointments of them are important, moderately important and unimportant so Andrea can go over them and rearrange them. Explain everything she wants to know. That's all."

Emily's right eyelid began to flutter a little uncontrollably before she turned and walked hastily to her desk.

Miranda grinned at Andy, who was still standing in the middle of Miranda's office.

"Did you see her fluttering eyelid?" asked Miranda very, very quietly, and Andy nodded.

"I bet by the end of the day she'll either have my neck wringed, whereby I hope that you will protect me from her. Or she'll be picked up screaming and crying by an ambulance and sent to the nearest psychiatric hospital." Miranda continued to whisper, trying to suppress a giggle.

"You're evil Miranda." retorted Andy, giggling as she sat down at her desk and turned it on.

"Hmm...maybe." was all Miranda said, winking at Andy.

Chapter Text

After Emily gave Andy the printed appointment schedules and Emily 2 brought her breakfast from Starbucks, Andy worked intently at her computer, occasionally nibbling on her cream cheese bagel with cucumber or sipping her vanilla latte.

Normally, Miranda didn't condone eating at work, but she made an exception for today and for Andrea.

Both women worked at their respective desks in comfortable silence throughout the morning. Occasionally, Miranda would look over at Andy and smile at the young woman who was working very intently. Sometimes, though, Andrea would look up at her and return her smile. The butterflies in Miranda's stomach then began to dance anew each time and it was difficult for her to concentrate on her own work again.

Emily, meanwhile, sat restlessly at her desk, pushing papers from side to side on her desk, only to unconsciously move them somewhere else again. The morning went differently than she had expected. Miranda was far too quiet today. It was like the calm before the storm. And Emily was very sure that she didn't want to be around when the storm broke.

Emily 2, whose real name was Simone, was still out running errands. When Miranda had told her yesterday that her hours were numbered and her replacement was already waiting in the wings, Simone had burst into tears and run crying to the nearest restroom.

Miranda had just rolled her eyes and kept working, but Emily eventually had to run after Simone, calm her down and drag her back to work.

Emily sighed deeply... she loved her job, she told herself over and over again. Sometimes it helped and sometimes, like yesterday, it had just been a weak mantra. She fervently hoped that things in the office would not change drastically. Otherwise, even her mantra was no longer helping.

"Miranda?" asked Andy suddenly and Emily listened in the outer office.

"Yes?" asked Miranda.

"What's a run-through?" asked Andy naively and Emily rolled her eyes and put her hand at the root of her nose and held it dramatically. Hadn't she clearly told these stupid girls that Miranda was not to be asked questions??? Oh bloody hell, surely the storm would start now.

But unlike what she expected, Emily only heard Miranda's typical soft voice, but without sarcasm or resentment.

"A run-through is a pre-meeting of my staff to put together outfits for the next photo shoot and make suggestions regarding them. Only when I agree with everything, the outfits are approved for the photo shoot." replied Miranda and Emily sat at her desk with wide astonished eyes and opened mouth, as she never expected Miranda to answer a question so easily instead of shooting down her standard answer *Don't bore me with your stupid questions or incompetence.* and making said person look like the last fool.

"Oh, so it's important. Do you want me to leave your office later then so I'm not interrupting?" asked Andy kindly and Emily rolled her eyes, another stupid question. If the first question hadn't upset Miranda, the second one definitely would. Definitely!

"Oh Andrea, don't be ridiculous, no please stay. That reminds me, the run-through is around 2 p.m. isn't it?" asked Miranda, once again surprising Emily, who now began to shake slightly uncontrollably. What for she didn't know exactly herself. Maybe it was because of the "please" Miranda had said to Andy? Bloody hell, when had Miranda ever said "please" or "thank you" to her????

"Yeah, at 2:00." confirmed Andy a short time later.

"Hmm..., you have to leave at 3pm to pick up the twins from school. It's best if I reschedule the run-through so you can attend. Emily?" called Miranda, and Emily broke free from her stupor and quickly stumbled from her desk to Miranda's office.

"Yes?" she asked squeaking uncertainly.

"God Emily, relax and stop squealing. Move the run-through from 2pm to 1pm. Let everyone know. That's all." said Miranda calmly.

"Yes, Miranda." said Emily and immediately turned around.

As Emily left the office, Miranda rolled her eyes and then looked over at Andy and winked at her.

"God only knows why she's so squeaky today. I mean, I wasn't mean to her, was I?" asked Miranda thoughtfully, but Andy shook her head.

"No, I didn't get any of that." she replied, smiling at Miranda.

*******************************

Just before 11 a.m., Miranda got up from her office chair and stretched briefly, trying to relieve the tension in her shoulders, then sighed once deeply because she couldn't quite do it.

Andy looked up from her computers and smiled kindly at her.

"Are you okay?" she asked softly.

"Umm... I have a meeting now with Irv Ravitz, the CEO of Elias-Clarke, he wants to go over the new budget numbers and as always will try to cut costs where he can, no matter how lousy that will be for the magazine. He's an annoying little man with way too much of an ego, and he's out to make my working life miserable. So no, it will be anything but okay. If anything, it's going to be dirty and exhausting." sighed Miranda, and Andy gave her a comforting smile.

"I wish you the best of luck." Andy said and Miranda heaved another sigh.

"Thanks, sweet of you. In the meantime, you should go get lunch, but coordinate with Emily." asked Miranda as she was already halfway out of her office.

"Okay." called Andy after her.

Emily had quickly retrieved Miranda's bag from the closet and handed it to her. As soon as Miranda strode off down the hall, Emily entered Miranda's office and gave Andy a distinctly displeased look.

Andy looked up at her and in the face of Emily's look, frowned.

"What's wrong Em?" asked Andy worriedly.

"Don't call me Em, we're not friends!" hissed Emily, thrusting her hands on her hips and looking a shade more disdainfully at Andy.

"Okay, but tell me what that look of yours means." Andy demanded, getting up from her desk chair.

Emily blinked angrily at Andy and took a step closer to Andy.

"I know exactly what you're up to, so don't act innocent!" Emily exclaimed angrily.

Andy looked at her in amazement with her big brown eyes.

"Bloody hell, stop looking at me with your innocent big eyes, it doesn't work on me." Emily continued to shouted.

Andy looked at her in horror and ran her hand through her hair, tousling it briefly and sighing deeply.

"Okay, okay...calm down Emily. I honestly have no idea what this is about exactly. Just tell me so we can talk about it. Okay?" asked Andy, looking calmly at Emily.

"Oh, don't play dumb with me! You're trying to take my job. But you know what, I'm not going to let you do that. You're not getting my job!" screamed Emily now almost hysterically.

If this thing wasn't so serious, Andy would have almost started laughing, but so she swallowed once or twice and closed her eyes for a brief moment, praying to God for a little serenity. When she opened her eyes again, she relaxed and looked at Emily sympathetically.

"Emily I don't want to take your job away from you. I have no idea where you got that idea." Andy replied cluelessly and Emily blinked at her before blushing furiously.

"Well, that's pretty obvious, first you grab Simone's job and from there you go after my job. You're such a fake snake." hissed Emily, who had now started to get a really unnatural red head.

Andy looked at her with concern.

"Emily, please you need to calm down. I assure you that I will not take your job away. Please, you have to believe me, nothing is far from my mind. And the reason I'm taking Simone's job is because Miranda would have liked to fire her 2 weeks ago, but she's not allowed to because of the new regulations and she doesn't want any trouble from the board." Andy explained calmly and wanted to offer Emily a hand to calm her down, but Emily took a few steps back and just hissed.

"Don't you dare. I don't trust you and we are definitely not friends. And just so you know, I'm going to Paris with Miranda in the fall. So stay away from me or I'll show you how I deal with people who get in my way." Emily hissed viciously and Andy really started to worry.

"Okay, I get it." said Andy, raising her hands to indicate she surrendered.

"Good." replied Emily with satisfaction, then turned to leave Miranda's office.

"Um Emily?" asked Andy as an idea occurred to her. Emily turned to her again and looked at her skeptically.

"Yeah?"

"How long have you been working for Miranda?"

"Why do you want to know?" asked Emily warily.

"No reason." said Andy quietly.

"About eighteen months."

"Hmm... if you've been working for her for so long, she must really appreciate your work. Then why are you so afraid I'll take your job away?" asked Andy curiously, and Emily frowned and snorted disdainfully. Without answering, she turned around and left Miranda's office.

Andy watched her go, frowning, wondering if there was more of this catfight to come, or if perhaps her question had put the matter to rest. She really hoped so, because she didn't like being at odds with anyone. Especially not at work, because it made everything more complicated than it had to be.

Chapter Text

Around 12 o'clock, Serena arrived and greeted Emily with a joyful smile.

"Can we go?" she asked gently and Emily returned her soft smile.

"Just a minute." she said, getting up from her desk and walking into Miranda's office.

"Andrea, I'm going to go to lunch with Serena now and I'll be back in 25 min. If Simone shows up in the meantime, send her to lunch. As soon as I get back, you can go to lunch, you have 20 min. While I am gone, I need you to take over the phone duty and really answer every call that comes in. No matter how many times it rings. Miranda hates it when a call goes to her box. So come into the outer office and sit at the desk." demanded Emily and Andy obediently got up and hurried into the outer office where Serena was waiting for Emily.

"Hi, I'm Andy." she said addressing Serena and Serena smiled at her delightedly and looked Andy up, down and back in awe.

"I'm Serena, nice to meet you. You look good." said Serena admiringly and received a withering look from Emily. "What? It's true, isn't it?"

"Oh shut up Serena!" said Emily annoyed and then turned to Andy.

"You can sit at Simone's desk and until I get back you are tied to that desk. Don't do anything stupid!" said Emily sternly and then turned to leave. Serena looked apologetically at Andy and Andy smiled kindly at her before Serena hurried to catch up with Emily.

Andy sat down at Simone's desk, sighing.

Shortly after, a man appeared in front of her, eyeing her with a curious look.

"Nigel Kipling and you are?" he asked pleasantly.

"Andy Sachs, Miranda's newest assistant." explained Andy, looking kindly at Nigel.

Nigel looked at Andy more closely and suddenly his expression brightened a lot more. Andy looked at him in confusion.

"What?" she asked uncertainly and Nigel grinned broadly at her.

"I get it now. Well, you see, over the last few months, whenever Miranda found an outfit particularly nice, she'd ask me to see if I could procure it up in a size 6. I wondered all the time and wondered what she wanted with it. And now, I think I figured it out. The clothes were for you. Am I right?" asked Nigel, delighted to have finally solved the mystery.

Andy blushed immediately, but nodded her head.

"So you're Miranda's mystery nanny. Glad to finally meet you." said Nigel, holding out his hand to Andy. Andy took it and squeezed it lightly.

"So Six, stand up and spin around once for me so I can get a better impression of you." asked Nigel and Andy willingly stood up for him and spun around once.

Unlike this morning when Stephen had looked at her so shamelessly, Nigel's gaze, did not make her feel uncomfortable. What that was because of, Andy couldn't really put her finger on, but it was what it was.

"Hmm... something is wrong. I think it's the pants, they don't really match the ruffled blouse. As I recall, a skater skirt was supposed to go with this outfit. What happened to that?" asked Nigel frowning and Andy looked down at the floor embarrassed.

"Um..., I... I felt a little uncomfortable with the short skirt, so I chose the pants." Andy confessed and Nigel looked at her thoughtfully.

"Ah, I see. Well... Unfortunate, but okay. I guess we'll just have to work on your confidence. I'm looking forward to working with you. Any idea why the run-through was moved up?" asked Nigel, and Andy blushed sheepishly.

"Miranda wanted me to be there, but since I have to leave at 3pm to pick up the twins, she moved up the run-through." replied Andy, shrugging her shoulders sheepishly.

"Interesting." was all Nigel said, then took a closer look at the day's schedule. After a moment he looked back at Andy and smiled at her with a look Andy couldn't quite place.

"Very well, I'll go to lunch. I'll see you." he said, waving at Andy.

***************************

While Andy took some calls and conscientiously wrote down each message on notepads, Simone returned from running errands. Fully loaded with shopping bags, she had a hard time opening the door, so Andy quickly got up from the desk and held the door open for her.

"Hello." said Andy kindly, and Simone gave her an exhausted smile as well. Andy quickly took some of the grocery bags from her and set them aside.

"Emily says to send you to lunch as soon as you get back," Andy explained, but Simone frowned and sighed deeply.

"I still have to get the coffee from Starbucks for Miranda. I didn't make it before. So lunch is out for me." said Simone resignedly.

"Hmm... I could go get the coffee." replied Andy kindly and Simone looked at her skeptically.

"No, no, that's my job." she said seriously, but Andy looked at her warmly.

"You know, you would be doing me a favor if you let me do this task. I really need to get out, I'm not used to spending all day in the office and a moment in the fresh air would do me good I think. You'd just have to take over the phone duty for me, that's all," Andy said gently, but Simone wasn't convinced yet.

"What if there's trouble over this?" she asked anxiously and Andy sighed inwardly.

"If there is trouble because of this, I will take full responsibility. Okay?" Andy asked and looked at Simone tensely.

"Okay, okay. Miranda wants ...." That's as far as Simone got, because Andy had already rushed into Miranda's office, grabbed her bag, and then stormed out like a swarm of bees was on her heels.

"I already know how Miranda wants her coffee. See you soon." She called out to Simone before she was gone. Simone looked after her in amazement.

As soon as Andy stepped out of the Elias-Clarke building into the sun, she breathed a sigh of relief. The argument with Emily had taken more out of her than she would have liked. Emily really had no reason to be afraid for her job. But she had been right about Andy taking Simone's job. But that wasn't her idea, Miranda just thought Simone was incompetent and wanted to get rid of her. She was just Simone's replacement.

Andy sighed deeply, the realization that Simone seemed much nicer than Emily it´s knotted Andy's stomach. Before, she hadn't had a face to the person Miranda was going to fire and whose job she was going to take over. But now she knew what Simone looked like and that she was nice. That made the whole situation difficult.

Andy was not someone who wanted to intentionally hurt or injure someone else. Yet here she was, doing just that. She was taking Simone's job. Damn!!! But if she wouldn't take the job herself, someone else would. Things were already a done deal and Miranda's mind certainly wouldn't change just because Andy stepped down and didn't want to do Simone's job after all. No, much worse Miranda would get mad and angry at her and who knows how that would then affect her own life.

Maybe she could help Simone somehow? Find out what she was good at. What her desires and dreams were. Simone couldn't possibly dream of being second assistant. There had to be something else this woman wanted for her life, and Andy would gladly help her with that as much as was in her power.

All that remained was the problem with Emily. Andy sighed deeply. She was somehow not used to people disliking her as a person so much and blaming her so severely. But how was she supposed to get Emily on her side or convince her that she didn't want to take her job away? Oh dear, only one day at Runway and already a lot of problems.

***************************

With a big smile, a shopping bag and a thermo cup in her hand with Miranda's hot coffee in it, Andy entered the outer office again after about 30 min. Emily and Simone looked at her in amazement.

"Andrea where you been for so long? Miranda was already asking for you." hissed Emily before she saw the thermo cup in Andy's hand.

"Bloody hell no, are you crazy or what? How dare you bring Miranda's coffee in one of those thermo cup?" asked Emily hysterically.

Before Andy could answer, however, Miranda came out of her office.

"Andrea there you are. Where you been for so long? And what's this?" asked Miranda, looking down at Andy's hand in wonder.

"It's a thermo cup and it's got your coffee in it." replied Andy cheerfully, smiling a megawatt smile at Miranda.

"Ah... And where did you get that crazy idea that I wanted my coffee out of a thermo cup?" asked Miranda a tiny bit bitchy and Andy's smile faded.

Instead, she suddenly looked at Miranda very, very seriously and quietly. Then she straightened her body and tightened her shoulders.

"Okay, let's say there are about 8 million people living in New York and half of them are adults and each of those people has a cafe-to-go once a day, that's 4 million paper cups with plastic lids and a plastic spoon for stirring alone. There's nothing wrong with having a cafe-to-go yourself every now and then. But if you consider that 4 million other people and that only here in New York have a cafe-to-go on a day, then I find that very, very alarming, especially for the environment, which is severely burdened by the garbage. Especially because the once used hardly recyclable cup including lid ends up in the garbage or on the streets or in parks. And then, in addition, still large quantities of limited resources, like crude oil, energy and water are used, which could be used otherwise much better, if each individual New Yorker could do without its Cafe-to-go and drinks instead its coffee at home and uses for it a normal cup or a thermo cup, which one can use several times. Hmm... and exactly for this reason I got the idea to fill your coffee into a thermo cup. But also because you already had 4 cafe-to-go cups this morning, I had one because of the vanilla latte and together that's already 5 hard to recycle cups that were totally unnecessary." explained Andy with a serious reddened face and with an upset voice.

Miranda raised her eyebrow, tilted her head a bit, looked at Andy seriously with her blue piercing eyes thoughtfully while she swallowed once, twice. No one had ever dared to speak to her like that before. And here was Andrea, half her age, doing it. Miranda was impressed, especially because the young woman seemed to be fully behind this environmental protection thing, had thought carefully about the whole thing, and had clearly informed herself as well. And wasn't afraid to speak her mind on the issue and fight for what she believed in. Miranda had almost never met anyone like that at Runway. At that moment, Miranda unconsciously fell a little more in love with Andy.

"Andrea please calm down and give me the thermo cup. I'm afraid we don't have time to talk about this topic in detail. How about you write me an essay about it? Convince me and I promise you that I will only use thermo cup." Miranda replied calmly and Andy looked at her uncertainly for a moment.

"How many words and when?" she asked, however, after a silent moment, smiling challengingly at Miranda.

Andy loved to bring environmental protection closer to the people and to explain to everyone that even every single person could do a lot for the environment in a small way, but only if one started to do it, instead of always suppressing it or leaving it to the other people, the economy or politics. Because that was wrong, because every person could do something for the environment and be it only to abolish small irrelevant habits, like one or more Cafe-to-go's or to avoid garbage from the beginning, where it was possible.

"Hmm... how about 2000 words and whenever you finish it?" asked Miranda, and Andy grinned broadly at her.

"Okay." she said.

"Good, now let's start the run-through." Miranda demanded, taking the thermo cup from Andy's hand and gently pulling Andy into her office.

Emily, as well as Simone, who had silently witnessed this situation, at their respective desks, watched Miranda and Andy with huge stunned eyes and open mouths in disbelief.

Firstly, because Andrea had dared to give Miranda this lecture about environmental protection, and secondly, because Miranda had not reacted as usual, but had remained calm. If someone else had pulled this stunt, that someone would clearly now be a crying wreck and without a job.

Chapter Text

Andy was amazed at how much Miranda's bright office had changed in the short time she had been getting the coffee. The room was now filled with two clothing racks full of outfits, many small and larger boxes of accessories, handbags, hats, scarves, and more. While Nigel and three women in the room were already impatiently waiting for Miranda.

Miranda quickly introduced Andrea to the other staff in the room.

"Okay, let's get started." declared Miranda and Lucia picked up a top from the clothing rack and put it on Kira, the model, in front of her, then explained what else she had in mind for this outfit, but Miranda quickly waved it off and told her she didn't like it. With that she made Lucia stutter for a moment.

"No." Miranda said, going through the outfits by the rack of clothes.

"I've seen all that too." she explained and Lucia explained what else she had in mind, but Miranda said quietly frustrated.

"No, no. You've had hours to prepare and you don't have anything that really excites me. That's very disappointing. What have you been doing all this time?" she asked with a sigh, but no one in the room answered her and Miranda didn't expect an answer. Instead, the three women looked sheepishly at the floor while Nigel watched the scene with interest.

Andy also looked curiously back and forth between the people in the room, wondering what was coming. Maybe now the dragon would awaken? Andy was very curious about this, but to the amazement of everyone in the room, it didn't happen.

Miranda, frustrated, picked up the thermo cup from her desk and sipped from it. As soon as she tasted the hot coffee on her tongue, she looked over at Andy in surprise and gave her a small smile.

Andy, who hadn't had the thermo cup filled with Miranda's usual Starbucks coffee blend because she wasn't at Starbucks at all but had gone to a small barista store nearby and therefore had a special coffee blend created for Miranda, grinned back at her knowingly.

Miranda hummed appreciatively at the tasty coffee before turning back to her co-workers and looking through the second rack of clothes herself in a better mood.

In doing so, she found a ballarina skirt, which she took out and held out to Nigel.

"What do you think?" she asked and Nigel smiled at her.

"This works, you know me. Give me a long ballarina skirt, some ruffles and I'm all over it." he explained enthusiastically.

Miranda nodded in agreement and passed the ballarina dress to Kira.

Andy's eyebrows lifted skeptically and her mouth tightened as she found this ballarina dress rather, well... not really pretty, but rather.... ugly. But who was she to question Miranda's fashion taste? So she preferred to keep her mouth shut.

"Where are the accessories for this dress?" asked Miranda, and Jocelyn hurriedly ran to the window and took out two almost identical looking turquoise belts from a box.

"It's a tough call, they're both so different." she explained and Andy chuckled up.

Both Miranda and everyone else in Miranda's office immediately looked at Andy in amazement.

"Andrea, what's so funny?" asked Miranda softly, surprising her co-workers, who had rather thought that Miranda would now verbally put Andy down or take him apart.

But that never happened.

"Miranda, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt, and I didn't mean to be rude. To me the two belts look the same and I can't see the problem." explained Andy a touch nervously, given that all the attention was on her right now.

"Well then, come to me." said Miranda softly and gently, taking the two belts from Jocelyn.

Andy approached Miranda and Miranda gave her one of the two belts.

"Feel how the belt feels. Pay special attention to the back." Miranda asked quietly and Andy took the belt in her hand and did what Miranda asked her to do. After feeling the first belt, Miranda gave her the second belt, which Andy felt as well.

"Did you feel a difference?" asked Miranda curiously as Andy handed her back the second belt.

"Yes." said Andy, looking curiously at Miranda.

"Good, the first belt is real leather, you can tell because the fibers on the back are rougher. The second belt is faux leather and has a back with a finer softer fiber layer or a woven layer." explained Miranda as she handed both belts to Andy again.

"Look closely at the front of both belts." asked Miranda and Andy looked at both belts in detail. The faux leather belt was matte, while the genuine leather belt shone when moved back and forth in the light.

"See what I mean?" she asked, and Andy nodded.

"Well, while the faux leather belt doesn't change color here, the genuine leather belt shimmers and shines in the sunlight. And therefore it is just the right belt for this ballarina dress, which is rather plain and therefore needs an eye catcher." Miranda explained further as she placed the belt around the ballarina dress and then fastened it. "I think we need another jacket here." said Miranda and Nigel hurriedly looked around for a suitable jacket and then handed it to her.

"And the question of whether faux leather is preferable to real leather is tricky. Since faux leather also consumes a lot of resources in the manufacturing process, like a cafe-to-go cup. So here environmental protection is up against animal protection and the question of what should be prioritized, animal life or environmental protection, makes it complicated. But you are welcome to try to find a solution to the problem that many people have already dealt with. How about it, are you up for it?" asked Miranda, grinning at Andy.

Andy bit his lower lip and nibbled on it. How Miranda could know that Andy was against killing animals to make genuine leather from their skins was beyond her. But that's how Miranda was, just intelligent and brilliant in her thinking.

"Sure." Andy only brought out, and Miranda sparkled at her with her blue eyes enthusiastically.

She liked the way Andrea took on every challenge she gave her and she was sure the young woman would handle the tasks well and not disappoint Miranda.

After the ballerina dress outfit was put together to Miranda's satisfaction, more outfits were put together. And Miranda, to the amazement of everyone else in the room, explained to Andy exactly why she picked out which outfit and why she combined it with this or that accessory. Miranda explained to her the different color combinations, fabric types, their textures, their differences, which fabrics were most suitable for which clothes or rather not, which different skirt types and fits there were and for which occasion or body shapes, they fit best.

Andy learned that an A-line skirt flattered every woman, a balloon skirt was an eye-catcher, a cargo skirt provided a sporty leisure look, a godet skirt emphasized the female proportions well and the pencil skirt was ladylike.

While Miranda explained everything to Andy in detail, Andy made notes in her notebook. The two women were so busy with each other that they completely forgot the other employees and also the time. By the time a beep from Andy's cell phone went off, announcing an incoming text message, both women were practically cocooned in their little bubbles.

Andy looked over at her cell phone, which was sitting on her desk, startled. Miranda frowned at the interruption. Andy quickly rushed forward and picked up her cell phone, looking at the message she had received. Then she turned to Miranda and looked at her apologetically.

"The message is from Roy, he writes that he's waiting for me downstairs so we can pick up the girls from school," Andy explained as she gathered her things and put them in her purse.

"What is it so late already?" asked Miranda stunned, looking at her co-workers in surprise, as if she had forgotten that they were also still present.

Nigel grinned at Miranda and Miranda rolled her eyes.

"Okay, everyone out of the room, please." she demanded and they all hurried out.

Miranda approached Andy and looked at her regretfully.

"It was nice having you here with me today. Too bad you have to leave already. Kiss the twins for me and have a nice afternoon. I'll try to be home in time to have dinner with the twins and you today." Miranda said softly and Andy smiled warmly at her.

"See you later." Andy whispered and was about to leave the office. But Miranda held her lightly by the arm, then she leaned over to Andy and gave her a kiss on her cheek.

"See you later." she also whispered back softly and smiled fondly at Andy before leaving.

Shortly after, her coworkers came back into Miranda's office and cleaned everything up while Nigel gave Miranda a look that made Miranda a little nervous as soon as she saw him.

"Nigel, don't you have work to do?" asked Miranda pointedly, but lacking her oft-used sarcastic undertone.

"Oh, I think I have work to do somewhere, I just wanted to stop by and ...." he stopped and Miranda looked at him confused.

"And what?" she asked curiously as she took down her glasses and cleaned them with an eyeglass wipe.

"Well, I thought it was interesting that today's run-through was more like a lesson. And I wondered why that was," Nigel replied, grinning broadly at Miranda.

"Andrea doesn't know much about fashion yet and by explaining some things to her, she'll be much better able to handle the tasks I ask of her in the future and know what to look for and what exactly I want without having to explain it to her again in more detail." Miranda replied, looking smartly at Nigel.

"Ah, so that's it. Now that begs the question, why have you never had your other assistants share this knowledge with you before?" replied Nigel.

"Well, all the other assistants just weren't Andrea." explained Miranda, then waved both her hands. "That's all."

But Nigel just laughed and winked mischievously at Miranda before finally leaving her office. Miranda gave a deep sigh of relief and got back to her work.

Chapter Text

Unfortunately, Miranda didn't make it home in time for dinner that night. She didn't arrive home until Andy was just tucking the twins into bed around 9pm.

"Hello." she said softly and also a touch sadly. Andy and Cassidy smiled at Miranda as she approached Cassidy's bed.

"Hello Bobbsey, I'm sorry I couldn't make it sooner." she said apologetically, but her daughter hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"Don't worry mom. Andy says she'll have your appointment schedule ready by tomorrow or the next day at the latest, so you can always be home for dinner. And Caroline and I, we know how much you do your best to be with us. So don't worry." replied Cassidy and Miranda looked lovingly at her daughter.

"Thanks Bobbsey, how was your day?" asked Miranda and Andy turned on her heel to leave Cassidy's room to give them both some time alone.

Miranda grabbed Andrea's hand though and squeezed it gently.

"Thanks Andrea, can we talk for a minute later?" she asked and Andy nodded at her and smiled warmly.

"I'll be over at Caroline's, take your time." replied Andy and left Cassidy's room.

While Miranda was with Cassidy, Andy tucked Caroline into bed and sat with her still. Caroline snuggled up to Andy and they were both listening to music on Caroline's stereo.

After a little while, Miranda joined them and Andy kissed Caroline goodnight and said goodbye. She then went over to Cassidy again and kissed her goodnight as well before going to her room and waiting for Miranda.

While she waited, she read through her little 2000 word article on environmentalism that she had promised Miranda.

Since she had gathered a lot of information on this topic beforehand, because she had wanted to write about this topic for a long time and then submit this article to a publisher or magazine, she managed to write the article very quickly in the afternoon and refine it while the twins were doing their homework. Quite proud that she could already hand over the article to Miranda, she smiled to herself.

Meanwhile, Miranda entered Andy's room and looked curiously at the young woman.

"My article is already done and I'm curious to hear what you have to say about it." Andy quickly explained, handing Miranda her printed article.

Miranda smiled delightedly at Andy and accepted the printed page, then sat down on Andy's bed and began to read.

"Um...Miranda, have you had dinner yet? Do you want me to get you something from the kitchen?" asked Andy uncertainly.

"No for dinner and yes, that would be very sweet of you if you could get me something from the kitchen." replied Miranda, looking up briefly from the articles and smiling gratefully at Andy.

"Okay, be right back." said Andy and hurriedly left her room.

A while later she came back with a tray of dinners and put it on the bed next to Miranda.

"Thank you. Your article is very good. How did you manage to write it in such a short time?" asked Miranda in amazement, while she started eating.

"You know, since I've been in New York, I've joined a club that organizes cleanups on a volunteer basis for the various parks in New York. And during my first cleanup, I noticed pretty quickly how thoughtless people are in leaving so much trash lying around in the parks, where there are trash cans on every corner. It startled me a lot. I was not used to this from my home. And because it still pulled me down days later, I decided to collect material and information about it and to write an article about it to make the population aware of the grievances. Therefore I had already everything together and had to summarize it only for you in 2000 words. Since I have more material, it could become a series." Andy babbled excitedly and Miranda smirked at her.

"Your article is really good and has convinced me to only use thermo cups from now on. Maybe I could ban all Runway employees from buying cafe-to-go from now on. But I think that would certainly violate any civil liberties or human rights. I'd have to check with HR. And I'm thinking about including your article, well it would have to be revised a bit first, in the magazine. Maybe runway could run ads for thermo cups, too. Can you figure that out tomorrow?" asked Miranda and Andy bounced excitedly on her bed, beaming a megawatt smile at Miranda.

"Oh Miranda, that would all be great. I mean that would be super great. You would do that for me?" asked Andy excitedly.

"Yes, your article is very good, it would be a waste not to publish it. I'm very confident that your series would go over very well with the readers." Miranda explained and Andy pulled her into a huge bear hug and hugged gently her.

"Thank you Miranda, you are great. That reminds me, there's a new cleanup in a few weeks. I could take pictures of the action there and add them to my articles. Would you mind if I took the twins with me? It's never wrong to get children and young people interested in the topic and make them aware of it." Andy asked hopefully.

"Hmm... ask the twins and if they would like to participate, I don't mind." replied Miranda with a smile.

"Great, I'll ask them first thing tomorrow. If they'd like to come, would you like to join us and keep us company?" asked Andy, looking at Miranda with a puppy dog look that always worked on Miranda when the twins put it on.

"Oh Andrea don't be ridiculous and stop giving me that look." replied Miranda, giggling at Andy.

"Is that a *yes* then?" asked Andy hopefully, looking at Miranda with her big brown eyes.

"I'll think about it, okay?" asked Miranda neutrally.

"It would be a fine thing for the club if you came along. The headlines *Famous fashion icon, Miranda Priestly, campaigns to clean up New Yorkers parks* would bring you a lot of positive fame and the club maybe new volunteers and more notoriety." replied Andy, but unlike what she thought, Miranda's face darkened and Andy looked at her confused.

"Did I say something wrong?" she asked quietly.

"Well...yes." admitted Miranda quietly.

"I didn't mean to. I'm sorry." said Andy immediately and tears came to her eyes. Miranda looked at her in surprise.

"No, please don't cry. I'm convinced you didn't say anything wrong on purpose. Maybe I was just disappointed that you only wanted my presence at this cleanup, because of the publication and not because you like to be in my company." Miranda answered quietly and Andy looked at her with her wide eyes in amazement.

"Oh..., Miranda I like being in your company. Please don't think it's not like that. It is, I'm sure of it." Andy replied confidently and Miranda looked at her with her head tilted askew.

"Really?" she asked softly.

"Yes, really, really. I promise." replied Andy, looking lovingly at Miranda with a warm smile.

"Okay, thanks. I'll think about it. Emily will be here soon with the book, maybe Roy could drive you and Emily home, then he wouldn't have to drive twice. Hm...?" Miranda indicated and Andy nodded her head eagerly.

"That would be great. I'll text Roy to wait for me." Andy said before sliding off the bed and searching for her cell phone in her purse.

"Alright, I'd best say goodnight to you now. Have a safe trip home and thanks for dinner." said Miranda, sliding off the bed and picking up the still full tray.

Andy put her hand on Miranda's arm and leaned over to her.

"Good night Miranda." she said softly and breathed a kiss on Miranda's cheek.

"Go on, before Emily changes her mind and leaves without you." said Miranda and Andy grinned at her before hurriedly leaving her room and running down the stairs.

Just as Andy got downstairs, Emily unlocked the front door and came in.

"Hi Em, hand me the dry cleaning and the book. I'll hang it up for you real quick." Andy requested kindly, taking everything out of Emily's hand.

Emily rolled her eyes and snorted disdainfully.

"You're more annoying than all the annoying people I know put together. I told you plainly that we're not friends, so don't call me that." she said contemptuously, turning on her heels.

Andy sighed deeply, put the book on the dresser in the hallway and hurried to follow Emily. As soon as they were in the car and Roy drove off, Emily groaned deeply as she realized she would have to take the dry cleaner and the book to Miranda forever.

"What's wrong?" asked Andy anxiously, and Emily gave her a pained look before answering.

"Usually the second assistant brings the book, but since you're also her nanny and leave work as early as 3 p.m., it will forever be my job to wait for the book and drop it off at Miranda's in the evening." Emily explained, annoyed and frustrated.

Andy looked at her sympathetically.

"A courier service could bring the book, or the book could be digitized and then mailed to Miranda." Andy naively suggested. Emily stared at her as if she were a cow with two heads.

"Bloody hell no, Miranda would never agree to that nonsense." retorted Emily irritably.

"I could ask her." Andy offered helpfully.

"Are you completely insane???" asked Emily in horror. "I explained to you that you don't ask Miranda anything, and certainly not nonsense like that!"

"Well, she can't say more than yes or no, can she?" asked Andy calmly, and Emily blushed.

"Okay, listen to me carefully. You are not going to ask Miranda anything like that, do you understand???" asked Emily irritably.

Andy looked at Emily in frustration and an anger was also building up in hers that she knew she had to let go of and not keep to herself or she would have a hard time falling asleep tonight. So she turned to Emily and looked at her with narrowed eyes.

"Okay, now you should listen to me carefully. I'm going to do exactly what I think is right. And whether you like it or not, it's my decision. And if it goes wrong, it will be my responsibility to record Miranda's displeasure. So you don't have to worry about getting in trouble anymore. I'll take it all on myself." explained Andy and Emily looked at her in amazement.

"Oh bloody hell, if you want to get yourself in trouble, go ahead and do it. The sooner I'll be rid of you and everything will be back to normal in the office." replied Emily, turning to the window.

The rest of the ride passed in a tense silence.

Chapter Text

In the first few weeks, Miranda had given Andy plenty of leeway to get acquainted with Runway, the different job functions, departments and staff. She had even sent Emily to the archives to search out Runway magazines for Andy for the last 5 years, which was no less than 60 magazines plus 5 special issues.

Miranda had had the idea that Andy could write an article about how Runway had changed over the last 5 years. And Andy had enthusiastically accepted the challenge.

Miranda also quickly found that she loved introducing Andrea to her world and explaining everything that was important and interesting. She loved how Andrea absorbed every new knowledge like a sponge and how she could talk and discuss freely with Andrea about this or that.

And somehow, it was quite strange, since Miranda was never a very tactile person and there was also the unwritten rule at Runway that no one was ever allowed to touch Miranda, Miranda liked to touch Andrea very much. It was never intrusive or wanton. It just happened so unconsciously that her hand would often sneak onto Andrea's lower back to accompany her into the elevator, or that her hand would suddenly land on Andrea's knee while they were talking about something and sitting close to each other, or that she would tuck a stray lock of Andrea's chin-length hair behind Andrea's ear. They were small and quite innocent unconscious touches. But anyone who could observe these random little touches immediately got a deeper insight into how much Miranda felt for Andrea.

For Andy, who had always been a very tactile person and sometimes needed touching to feel emotionally comfortable, these little touches from Miranda were very welcome and she was not afraid to return them whenever she felt the need for it or had the impression that it was needed to give comfort or encouragement. For example, if Miranda was upset because something wasn't going her way, Andy would simply put her hand on Miranda's back and rub it gently in small circles for a moment and smile warmly at Miranda. Or she would squeeze Miranda's hand briefly and give her an encouraging wink. The effect was almost instantaneous and Miranda relaxed immediately.

Andy also became friends with Nigel, Serena, Jocelyn, and several other staff members rather quickly, and although Emily remained stubborn, rejecting Andy's offer of friendship over and over again and refusing to acknowledge Andy's natural friendliness and helpfulness, Andy didn't give up on her and kept trying. So it often happened, especially when Emily wasn't expecting it or was unguarded, that Andy would sneak up on her and just give her a quick hug and whisper in her ear.

"Easy Em, you're doing a great job, everything's okay."

Emily was so horrified and beside herself each time that she pushed Andy off of her in disgust and let her know that she was going to report Andy to HR for physical harassment. But for some reason, she never did. Which gave Andy the assurance that Emily did like to be praised and squeezed, especially when things were more stressful and hectic in the office and Emily was on the verge of hysteria and panic.

"Bloody hell, go away, you annoying hell child, before I forget myself and wring your neck!" was then always her annoyed and irritated response. And although Emily didn't want to admit it, she was always a little calmer afterwards and could also concentrate better on her work again and got on Miranda's nerves less with her hectic hovering around and confused mumbling.

Andrea also had some ideas for improvements at Runway and Miranda was happy to accept these ideas. So the IT department scanned the book and prepared it for digitization. This would allow Miranda to log into her Runway mail account anytime, anywhere, to review the book whenever she had the time and also the leisure. This would simplify the process overall, as her staff could implement Miranda's suggestions for improvement in a timely manner, rather than having to wait for the book to be brought back to Runway by Miranda.

The *Project thermo cup* was also implemented after Miranda got the okay from Sherry, from HR. So two thermo cups were purchased for each employee, there were about 150 permanent employees, as well as three new coffee makers that were placed in the three employee kitchens. In the kitchen next to Miranda's outside office, of course, came one of the best coffee makers currently on the market. Andy made sure that the coffee machine was energy-saving and environmentally friendly. On the other hand, from now on Miranda forbade cafe-to-go's and even fined them if she found out that someone did not comply with this ban. Anyone caught with a cafe-to-go now had to pay $10 into an extra fund. The money was then donated to an environmental organization.

Andy even looked through some personnel files, with the permission of HR and Miranda, to see what each employee's credentials, skills, and job interests were, and found that some employees would be much better off working and functioning more efficiently in other departments. For example, Emily, who could fulfill her potential much better in the Art Department with Nigel.

After making several suggestions to Miranda in this regard, Miranda had arranged several job changes. So Simone, who as a second assistant, was really failing, was transferred to Serena in the Beauty Department. And there she practically blossomed under Serena's wing.

Miranda, on the other hand, still kept Emily with her and didn't want to promote her until after *Paris Fashion Week* in September. She knew that Paris was her biggest dream and that Emily would kill anyone who tried to ruin it for her. That included even Miranda.

And since Andy loved to make lists, she also made lists for herself and for possible new assistants, which made it easier for everyone to find their way around and to better realize Miranda's wishes. There was now an extra list for everything, starting from all runway related important organizational topics, like designers, photographers, models, freelance journalists to Miranda's favorite restaurants, favorite photographers, favorite location for photo shoots, favorite stores and much more, everything was now listed and safely stored in the computer and listed in an extra folder.

Miranda found Andrea's dedication to making the different lists totally cute, but also efficient and helpful. Therefore, Miranda let her do it. Sometimes she even wondered if Andrea's reward system or mood barometer, which she had already introduced with the twins, would also work wonders here at Runway? She often had to giggle at these thoughts. Of course, only secretly, never publicly, otherwise her coworkers would have thought she was crazy or even human. And that could or should never happen.

What Miranda didn't realize, however, was that since Andy had started working at Runway, her coworkers perceived her boss quite differently, as Miranda now seemed much more relaxed, even cheerful and carefree when Andy was around.

So it was no big surprise that whenever a problem or disaster arose, any employee who had the misfortune of having to tell Miranda made sure Andy was present in Miranda's office. Where Miranda used to turn into a really horrible, mean, bullying and insultingly sarcastic person whenever something didn't go the way she and her perfectionism demanded, Miranda now looked over at Andy (who would always smile warmly at Miranda), rolled her eyes, sighed deeply, and then just said, "Fine. That's all."

The more Miranda was relaxed at work, the more relaxed her co-workers were around her. And the more relaxed and content her employees were at work, the smoother things seemed to go at Runway. Employees became more confident, more creative, and also more willing now to take risks and come up with bold new ideas and make them happen. Runway seemed to be buzzing, like a beehive, all employees were fully into the stuff and motivated, attentive and ready to accomplish anything - even the impossible.

Even the HR department noticed that something was going on at Runway, and was surprised that no complaints about Miranda's impossible despotic behavior had come in for a few weeks, when several complaints had come in every day.

Frowning, Sherry from the HR department went to investigate the matter. Except for a completely nervous Emliy, who was still waiting for the storm that could break at any time, she did not find out anything, except that all employees were happier and more confident in their work.

*******************************

So everything was going extremely well. Until one morning, a few weeks later, Andy did not get off the elevator with Miranda, but Miranda entered the office alone.

Miranda, who had become so accustomed to Andy's company in her office, had kept Andy in her office even after Simone's transfer to the Beauty Department and could not bring herself to move Andy to the outer office at Simone's old desk.

She hadn't realized how much she enjoyed Andrea's company and even needed it to be relaxed and have a good day at work, that now that Andrea wasn't with her, she hated sitting alone in her office. Whenever she looked at Andrea's empty workstation, her stomach knotted and she wondered where the hell the young woman was???

And on this very day, La Priestly had returned, she was impatient, pedantic, bitchy, beastly and in a really bad mood. No matter how hot her coffee was made by the new, great, super, modern coffee maker, she didn't like it. No matter how brilliant and interesting the latest ideas from her editorial team was, she didn't like it. And no matter how smoothly everything ran at Runway, she was just annoyed with everyone and everything. And she let that be known to anyone who dared come into her office that day.

Around noon, when Emily was already completely distraught and close to having a hysterical fit, Andy finally showed up.

"Bloody hell where have you been? Miranda is in an extremely bad mood and it's all because you weren't here." Emily declared annoyed and pulled Andy into the kitchen.

Andy looked at Emily in confusion.

"Em calm down, what exactly is going on?" asked Andy cluelessly.

"She's beside herself, she's impossible, nothing came right for her today. She's attacking everyone, whether it's justified or not. And I've gotten the brunt of it so far. So get in there and fix it!" demanded Emily and Andy looked at her frowning.

She had never seen Miranda like this before, and she couldn't really imagine Miranda being like this today just because she hadn't been there. It didn't make sense to Andy.

"Okay, okay. But I'll make some coffee for Miranda first and then I'll go in and see what I can do." Andy explained, pushing the necessary buttons on the new coffee maker and taking Miranda's favorite coffee blend from the kitchen cupboard, as well as her favorite mug, which had a picture of the twins and where it said *for the best mom in the world* underneath.

After the coffee went through, Andy entered Miranda's office. Miranda was sitting at her desk, just writing on her notepad. Without looking up, she grumbled around, cursing the person who had just entered her office and disturbed her.

Andy swallowed once and tightened her shoulders before boldly stepping closer. Miranda raised her head in annoyance and was about to scold, but when she saw Andy, her expression softened and a smile graced her face.

"Andrea, there you are at last. Where have you been? I was getting worried." she said with relief, then hurriedly stood up and circled her desk, approaching Andy and putting her hand on Andy's arm, looking at her warmly.

"Hi Miranda, I brought you your coffee. I heard you haven't had a decent cup of coffee yet today. Let's sit on the couch and I'll tell you where I've been. Shall we?" asked Andy gently and Miranda nodded her head.

Once they were seated on the couch and Miranda was sipping her coffee, Andy began to narrate.

"Miranda do you remember this morning when I got out of the car with the girls and why I did that?" asked Andy uncertainly and Miranda nodded her head.

"Yes, of course I remember. It had to do with the play the school was putting on. But it couldn't have lasted that long, could it?" asked Miranda skeptically, looking at Andy with raised eyebrows.

"Well I didn't think it would take this long today either, but it did. Today was the costume rehearsal and each kid had to put on their costume and we had to look at where things needed to be changed, improved, adjusted or completely redesigned. That dragged out the meeting today." explained Andy apologetically.

"How many more of these meetings are there going to be and why do you have to attend? I mean, Lordy, again, I need you here. Runway is more important than some stupid play the twins don't even attend." complained Miranda and Andy looked at her regretfully.

"Miranda, the twins are participating, Caroline is accompanying the play on the piano, and Cassidy is helping with the sets. And you know why I have to participate. Either I am or you would have to. Dalton's policy is that parents must also participate in school social activities. And since you are much more important to Runway than I am, it is me who participates in such parent activities. And as for the other appointments, most of the upcoming appointments are scheduled for the afternoon, so you will hardly notice that the girls and I are participating. Today it was only in the morning, because last time some of the other mothers were upset that the appointments are always in the afternoon, when they have much more important appointments to attend to." Andy explained calmly.

"I understand." said Miranda quietly, and Andy looked at her intently.

"Are you mad at me?" asked Andy worriedly, but Miranda shook her head.

"No not at all, I'm just upset that this play has taken up so much of your time. I really needed you badly a few times today." replied Miranda, looking disappointedly at Andy and then sipping her coffee.

"I'm so sorry, but when it came to errands, you could have used the courier list, it has the top rated and most trusted courier services in it." said Andy quietly, but Miranda shook her head.

"No, no, that wouldn't have worked. Only you know what I want. No one else." replied Miranda a little more upset and Andy gave a deep sigh.

"You could have explained it to people."

"Maybe, well anyway, you can go for today. We've got it covered." replied Miranda as she got up from the couch and walked back to her desk, sat down and turned back to her work.

Andy looked at her in confusion, but then left her office as Miranda wished, hoping to talk to Miranda again tonight in more detail about today.

"Close the door, please." Miranda called after her, and Andy closed the door as Miranda wished.

Emily looked at Andy questioningly. "Well?"

"Umm... I don't know if I could fix anything. It doesn't feel like it. She sent me away for the day." replied Andy dejectedly.

Dejected mostly because Miranda hadn't even wished her a nice afternoon with the twins, nor was there a proper goodbye, where the last few weeks there had always been a kiss or at least a warm handshake.

"I told you she was and is impossible today," Emily said, and Andy looked at her thoughtfully for a moment before grabbing her things and leaving Runway for the day.

Miranda, meanwhile, sat at her desk, unable to concentrate on her work one bit. Today had just been lousy and all because Andrea wasn't there.

Damn it, when had Miranda stopped being herself? When had she stopped being the dragon or the ice cold business bitch? When had she started acting like a lovesick troll?

The way she had longed for the young woman's company all day, it couldn't go on like this. Especially not when in a few weeks the summer vacations would begin and Andrea and the twins would be on vacation with her ex-husband for three weeks.

No, no, this had to stop now. She was a married woman, twice Andrea's age, and she had a fashion magazine to run. She couldn't let her feelings for Andrea distract her any further. Enough of the lovesick behavior, and she'd best start now.

"Emily?" she called, and Emily opened the door a moment later, peering curiously into Miranda's office.

"Yes?" she asked, and Miranda looked up at her.

"Andreas desk needs to be dismantled here. Tell the IT department to dismantle the computer today and replace it with the computer in the front office. Then find two strong men and have the desk and the writing chair taken away. Notify Andrea of the change in the morning. That's all." said Miranda and Emily immediately turned around and called the IT department right away.

So that was it. Miranda would have to scale things down at home too, no more goodbye kisses, no more intimacies or endearments, no more going on outings together or cleaning up the park. No more silly feelings for Andrea, and no more time together. None of that was allowed to happen from now on. Everything had to be brought back to a professional level. This was the best thing for everyone.

Chapter Text

For the past few weeks, since Andy had rearranged Miranda's schedule, Miranda had always been home promptly at 7 p.m. to have dinner with her children and husband. After the meals, she had always taken an hour to spend with her daughters or husband. After that, she had gone to her study and started working until 9 p.m., either on the book, which was now fully digitized, or on preparations for upcoming photo shoots and organizing them, or she had done other important things before tucking her daughters into bed.

Some evenings Andy had been with her, quietly working on her laptop or spending time with the twins until she was driven home by Roy at 10pm.

But tonight, suddenly, everything was different. Miranda let it be known that she would not be able to make it to dinner, but would be home very late.

So Andy left her notes on Miranda's desk and let Roy drive her home at 10 p.m. without having had the chance to see or talk to Miranda that night.

*******************

The next morning, when Andy arrived at the townhouse, the twins were already awake and greeted Andy excitedly.

"Mom got you a car, it's outside the door. She wants you to drive us to school from now on and pick us up with it. And she wants you to drive the car home, too." Caroline explained and handed Andy the car key. Andy took the car key and looked at Caroline with raised eyebrows.

She had known that Miranda wanted to give her a car, but since the subject had never come up again, she had thought that Miranda had either forgotten about it, which Andy didn't really mind, or that she didn't think it was important to pursue the matter anymore.

And now Miranda had just left a car on her doorstep without having talked to her about it beforehand??? Fortunately Andy, since the short vacation, always had her driver's license with her.

"Where's your mom? I'd like to talk to her." explained Andy, but Caroline and Cassidy looked sadly at Andy.

"She left really early today. She woke us up at 6:30 and then left right away. She didn't even want to wait for Roy, she took a cab." replied Cassidy.

"Ah, okay. Did she say anything about being mad at me?" asked Andy, but the twins shook their heads at the same time.

"No, she just said to us be nice to you today and she wished us a nice day." said Caroline.

"Oh, and she said she left you some instructions on your desk." Cassidy said.

Andy's mood sank to zero and her heart began to beat fast. Confused, she climbed to the second floor and entered her room. On her desk was a list of instructions about certain errands Andy was supposed to do today before she got to the office. Next to it was an envelope. With shaky fingers, Andy picked up the letter and carefully opened it. Inside the letter was a single piece of paper.

"Andrea,

I'm sorry, but the way things have been going lately, it can't go on.

I am your boss and can no longer be your friend! I hope you understand and will comply with my wishes.

However, I still want you to be my nanny for the girls because I know how much they love you and need you. I would also like to keep you on as a second assistant, but only under certain conditions. I hope you understand that I am not angry with you or your work.

I would like you to drive the girls to school in the car that I have given you and pick them up in the afternoon.

Furthermore, I want you to do the instructions that I leave on your desk every morning from now on and then come to the office. Once you are in the office, I want you to know that you are now under Emily's authority. She will tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. I won't be available for that anymore.

I've been thinking about giving the twins more freedom. Therefore, I want you to leave the house around 6:45 pm. I will be home around 7pm, so the twins will be unsupervised for 15 min, with probably Mrs. Piers and Stephen still present in the house. I hope the girls make good use of this new experience and gain a bit of independence, which I plan to keep building on depending on how they behave.

That's all!

Miranda"

Andy read through the letter several more times until she fully understood what Miranda wanted from her. Basically, the letter said that Miranda wanted to return to an employer-employee relationship. About the exact *why*, Miranda had not written. But Miranda was her employer and she had every right to determine things the way she wanted them. So who was Andy to question those decisions?

Well it hurt, a lot, that Miranda didn't want to be friends with Andy anymore, but what could she do about it? Well she wouldn't beg or plead or question Miranda's decisions and try to force Miranda into a friendship she didn't want. No, no, no...she would never do that.

No, instead she would do her job as she always did and just keep walking. Yes exactly, that's what she would do. Who needed Miranda and her friendship anyway???

Tears ran freely down Andy's cheeks and her heart contracted painfully. Who was she kidding? Her friendship with Miranda had been important to her and it hurt like hell to just be pushed aside like that. Especially because she felt so much more for Miranda than just friendly feelings.

But surely it was quite good that Miranda had drawn the line here, before it still got out of control.

Yes exactly, it was a good thing!!!

Andy went into the bathroom, washed her face and fixed her makeup. Then she smoothed out her clothes, tightened her shoulders, put on a smile that never reached her eyes and left her room.

Then she began her work, as she did every day, both at the townhouse and later at Runway. She did not let her sorrow show. She was, as always, friendly, hardworking, helpful and attentive. No one, neither the twins, nor her work colleagues at Runway showed how she really felt.

But when she entered her empty apartment in the evening, she immediately threw herself on her bed and began to finally let go of her grief and cry herself to sleep. She didn't care if she still had her clothes on while doing so, or that she had missed dinner, or that her stomach was in knots. She just didn't feel like it, didn't have the strength, and didn't have the motivation to get up and undress or make herself something to eat or take off her makeup.

*************************

Across town, Miranda wasn't doing much better. She had been miserable and missing Andrea all day, always careful to keep Andrea as far away from the office as possible, sending her off on any errands she could think of.

Although she had always been home on time for dinner the last few weeks, eating together with her daughters and her husband, she couldn't help but notice how different those dinners and the time she had spent together with Andrea and her daughters had been, both on the short vacation and in the time since.

With Stephen, somehow everything was exhausting, tense, or just plain boring. When Stephen was around, the girls were quieter and had little desire to talk about their day. She herself didn't feel like it either and Stephen also seemed to have little motivation to tell them.

Only later, when Miranda was alone with the girls, the girls were more open and lively and freely told everything that came to their minds.

When Miranda was alone with Stephen, she had no idea what to do with him. Neither did her husband care about her work, her opinions or her interests, nor did Miranda care what Stephen thought, did or cared about. The usual topics, such as politics, art, music, etc. had also been worked through in the course of the last 3 years in which they had been married. There was really nothing left to talk about. At least nothing came to her mind.

Miranda realized that living together with her husband didn't really interest or fulfill her anymore. Except for the fact that she wanted to prevent another divorce because she was afraid of the tabloids and what they might write about Miranda and her daughters, she couldn't think of any really good reason why she wanted or should keep this marriage going.

In contrast, she could think of so many reasons why she enjoyed Andrea's company. Andrea was so lovable, warm, lively, happy, cheerful, intelligent, beautiful with the most beautiful smile that warmed her every time she saw it. And her daughters loved the young woman. Spending time with her and the girls was a pure joy for Miranda and she felt happy, relaxed, free and also appreciated.

She hadn't felt loved and appreciated with Stephen in a long time. Damn... had she ever felt this way with him? Yes of course there was that time, but it had been a long time ago.

Back then, it seemed a lifetime ago, Stephen had come into her life after she had separated from her 2nd husband, the father of her daughters, because he had cheated on her with a younger woman.

Stephen had been charming, interested, attentive, charismatic and humorous at the time. He had wooed her with everything a woman could think of. This included beautiful bouquets of flowers with thoughtful and loving greeting cards, romantic dates in the best and fanciest restaurants in town, expensive gifts such as jewelry, especially valuable wines, even some books (first editions) that were very valuable and also much appreciated by Miranda.

Another plus was that Stephen, for one, had as full a bank account as Miranda and was not known as a womanizer or trophy hunter in the high society of New York. Before dating Miranda, he had been single for several years after his wife, to whom he had been married for over 13 years, died of a terminal illness. No children resulted from the marriage at that time.

Stephen had therefore also been nice about the twins from the beginning, bringing them little gifts, trying to remember who was Caroline and who was Cassidy, never really managing to do so. Overall, he had taken a genuine interest in their lives, asking about their hobbies, their school experiences, their friends, and more. He had really made an effort to connect with the twins.

All in all, Stephen had made so much effort to make Miranda feel that she was the most precious, significant and beautiful woman to him, and that her children were welcome, that she couldn't help but give in to his marriage proposal, after a few months of courting.

At the beginning of the marriage, everything had gone very well and Stephen had been understanding of Miranda's career, their busy schedules, the little free time Miranda could spend with her daughters and Stephen.

But then Irv Ravitz had taken over Elias-Clarke Publishing as CEO and had begun to make Miranda's life miserable. Irv had clearly been out to get rid of Miranda from the first second he was in office. He hated her, and he made no secret of it. He thought she was too old, too expensive, too.... whatever?

Miranda had been busy ever since, securing her position as Runway's editor-in-chief over and over again, consolidating it, defending it, and fending off all of Irv's counterattacks.

She had always been a perfectionist, but with the fear of losing Runway, her perfectionism intensified and she worked harder and longer than ever before or as anyone else to make Runway the best fashion magazine in the world and to secure her position as Editor-in-Chief.

But the more she worked, the less time she had for her family.

The onset of her menopause made everything much worse, she had insomnia, hot flashes and sweats, she was irritable due to mood swings and it totally screwed up her sex life so that she didn't even feel like having sex with Stephen, not to mention that she was in pain when they did have sex at some point.

At some point they separated physically because she could no longer stand sleeping in bed with someone while she was restless and sweaty, and she had to change her sweaty bed clothes several times some nights. As a result, Stephen moved into the guest room and they began living next to each other instead of with each other.

Because of this situation, Stephen became more frustrated, angry and turned into an annoying troll who made Miranda's life even more difficult and exhausting than it already was because of Irv Ravitz, Runway and her menopause.

Therefore, it was no wonder that Stephen was more and more inclined to alcohol and thus started more and more fights and at some point only called her an ice-cold bitch.

Yes, Miranda knew that she was to blame for everything or for many things and that she had to do the right thing now. But what was the right thing? Was it already too late to save her marriage or was it that only a divorce was the best for all involved? She really didn't know at the moment. And then there was Andrea.

She was drawn to her like a moth to a flame. She knew that wasn't good and her desire for the young woman could take away everything she had worked so hard and long for.

Besides, she was twice her age, a complicated and busy career woman, what did she have to give to the young, beautiful, loving and warm Andrea?

God damn, Andrea was so young and she had so many dreams and desires.

Well Miranda could make some of her dreams and desires come true, especially when it came to a career as a journalist, but Andrea wanted to make it on her own and had asked her not to interfere.

But the most important dreams, Miranda couldn't make possible for her anyway. Andrea wanted a family, children and a husband, she wanted to travel the world, improve the world, save the environment and so much more.

No, no, no...Miranda had no right to ruin Andrea's life, just because she had fallen in love with this young woman. That shouldn't be allowed to happen.

So yes, she had to continue to stay away from Andrea, even if it drove her crazy, her heart ached, her stomach knotted every time she thought of Andrea and all she wanted to do was cry and curl up in her bed.

Chapter Text

Five weeks, many sleepless nights and countless tears later....

It was strange, the separation from Nate, with whom Andy had been in a relationship for more than 4 years, had not bothered her as much as being pushed away by Miranda now. And that was pretty borderline, where she hadn't even been in a relationship with Miranda. Miranda had only been her boss and a friend and mentor for some time. Nothing more, but nothing less either.

Andy didn't really understand why it hurt so much now that Miranda didn't want to see her anymore, talk to her anymore, or be in the same room. Why couldn't she just as easily move on and continue living as she had after Nate left?

The breakup with Nate had been so easy, there was no heartache, no heartbreak, no tears, no regrets that it was over, there wasn't even any fighting about who got to keep what things or stuff. Andy left everything to Nate, whatever he felt like taking with him. And she was okay with that. Yes really, she doesn't mourn anything, nor does she mourn Nate.

And now? Damn it, how could this stupid crush on Miranda throw her so off balance? It wasn't fair, and it wasn't pretty. It was painful, annoying, and exhausting too. Yes exactly, it was so exhausting to pretend all the time that nothing was wrong, that she didn't mind Miranda keeping her out of the office all the time with errands and ignoring her.

But it hurt her so much and there was no one Andy could talk to about her secret feelings for Miranda and the difficulty she was now having getting over it. There was no one to cry to, no one to give her good advice, no one to hold her and comfort her.

Well, there were the twins, who often took Andy in their arms and cuddled with her, but they were children and there was no way she could confide in them. Besides, the two girls unconsciously made Andy's pain worse by telling her about they mom or just being so similar to they mom in many ways.

Andy loved the girls and she liked her work with them, but right now she wished she could give it all up and walk away. But how could she leave the twins behind and run away? Wouldn't that add to her own pain?

Well, she would probably find out soon. Andy sighed deeply and pushed away her thoughts of her resignation letter, which she had smuggled into the pile of letters on Miranda's desk today, and gave herself over to the last beautiful memory with the twins and Miranda, while the twins sat next to her and did their homework. Later, she would tell the twins that she would soon no longer be with them. That was going to be really hard. But what hadn't been hard in the last few weeks?

*******************************

The last fond memory Andy had of Miranda and the girls was the day they helped clean up the park of carelessly discarded trash. First they had collected the trash lying all around all morning and taken photos for Andy's article, then they had all returned to the townhouse happy and very proud of what they had accomplished at the park.

After everyone had showered and was freshly dressed again, Andy had surprised Miranda and the girls with a well-filled picnic basket that she had already sneaked into the townhouse in the morning and left in Mrs. Piers' care. She had intended it as a treat for Miranda and the girls.

Together they walked back to the park with Patricia, the picnic basket, a picnic blanket.

They spread the picnic blanket out next to a large maple tree that gave them plenty of shade. Andy then whipped up snacks, salads, fruit and vegetable sticks, small pies, lemonade for the girls and thermo cups of hot coffee for Miranda and himself from the picnic basket.

The girls were so ravenous that they pounced on the goodies and Miranda had to remind them that they were young ladies and not barbarians. The girls laughed and Andy winked at Miranda while Miranda nibbled on the snacks herself, trying to eat slowly and lady-like.

After the meals, Andy pulled out a Frisbee disc from the picnic basket and the girls began tossing it back and forth between themselves, while Patricia kept running back and forth between the girls.

Meanwhile, Andy, mind you very content, happy, full and also a little tired herself, after stowing the plates, cutlery and leftover food back in the picnic basket, had laid back against the thick tree trunk and watched the girls. Miranda, on the other hand, had laid back on the picnic blanket and dozed off shortly after.

Andy looked at her very quietly and reverently for quite a while. She enjoyed being able to look at Miranda like that without getting in trouble for it. Miranda was the most remarkable woman Andy had ever met and it wasn't just because of her fancy clothes or that she looked stunningly beautiful, but rather because Miranda's essence more than fascinated her. Miranda was incredibly brilliant and intelligent, she knew about so many things and she loved to share her knowledge with Andy. But also the way Miranda adored and loved her daughters and the way she interacted with them, that also made her remarkable. Yes sure, Miranda spoiled her daughters and they was occasionally little divas about it, but they were unique little girls despite everything.

"Andrea, you're staring." muttered Miranda, turning from her position and looking at Andy all at once with her open blue eyes, rendering Andy momentarily speechless.

"Oh...um... Miranda, I'm sorry. I think I was just thinking about something and happened to look in your direction." Andy explained stuttering, looking at Miranda with reddened cheeks in embarrassment.

"Ah, is that so? What exactly were you thinking about?" asked Miranda curiously, sitting up.

"Um...about today's cleanup and how I want to continue writing my series of articles." Andy replied and grinned at Miranda, proud that she had come up with that clever answer so quickly.

Miranda raised her eyebrow and looked at Andy thoughtfully. But before she could say anything else, the twins came running. Caroline dropped close to Andy and hugged her stormily, while Cassidy sat down on the blanket next to Miranda and snuggled up to her mom.

"Andy, Andy do you know what that nice lady over there said to us?" whispered Caroline softly in Andy's ear as she pointed to an old woman a few feet away.

"No honey, what did she say?" asked Andy back quietly as Miranda watched them both curiously.

"She said that we were a very beautiful family," Caroline whispered softly in her ear. Andy looked at Caroline and then over at Miranda and Cassidy, who were both looking at her curiously.

"That's what she said?" asked Andy, and Caroline nodded her head and looked at Andy, beaming.

"And what do you think about that?" asked Andy softly in Caroline's ear.

"Cassidy and I would love that. That would be so great." declared Caroline excitedly.

"I would like that too." Andy whispered in Caroline's ear and Caroline looked at her in amazement before giving Andy a huge hug.

"What's this about?" asked Miranda, a little annoyed that she didn't catch what they were whispering about.

Caroline and Andy looked at each other for a long moment.

"I was just telling Andy that Cassidy and I just saw the ice cream truck over there. I tried to talk her into letting you buy us ice cream. But Andy said that in that case we'd have to fight our own battles with you." Caroline explained without batting an eye. Andy looked at her in amazement and also a little oppression, she had not known how well Caroline could lie.

*******************************

Miranda took the stack of letters and went through them one by one. She put important mail on the right side of her desk and the unimportant mail on the left. She would then look at the important mail first, and perhaps hand the unimportant to Emily to deal with.

As she picked up a large white envelope in her hand, she paused. Andrea's clear, unadorned, finely neatly written script immediately drew her in. Curious, she opened the envelope and pulled out the papers inside.

The first sheet was a letter of resignation and was dated so that Andrea's last day of work at Runway would be in three days, on Friday. The following sheet was a resignation letter for her job as a nanny.

Miranda looked at the two pieces of paper in shock and in her head a loud voice screamed "No, no, no, she can't do this to me and the twins."

Miranda put the two pieces of writing aside and looked at the other papers. There were two personnel files, the first was for a woman who would take Andrea's job as second assistant next Monday and the second personnel file was for a man who would take the nanny job, also on Monday.

Miranda laughed mirthlessly and shook her head. Andrea had obviously thought of everything, not only had she planned her resignation, but she had also made immediate arrangements for her replacement. Very efficient and well organized, as always.

Damn, Andrea couldn't be serious. Miranda picked up the papers and crumpled them up as her heart contracted painfully and stopped for a moment before it suddenly started beating wildly again in her chest, pounding against her ribcage, and it started rushing suspiciously in her head. Damn!!! What was she going to do now???

Emily looked from the outer office to Miranda's office in alarm when she heard a sob and her jaw dropped. She had never seen Miranda look so pale and vulnerable. Tears ran freely down Miranda's cheek.

Unsure how to respond, Emily first retreated and took cover for a bit. But then she abruptly jumped up from her desk chair and quickly ran down the hall.

"Nigel, you have to come with me. Something is wrong with Miranda. You have to go check on her." Emily pleaded and Nigel looked at her frowning.

"Slow down dear, what exactly happened?" he asked a little bored and looked up from his work and looked at Emily.

"She looks pale as a ghost and is shaking all over and crying. You need to come and fix that. Bloody hell, I don't know what else will happen, she'll probably have a heart attack or something." Emily exclaimed in panic and Nigel looked at her with raised eyebrows.

"Well, well, it won't be that bad. But I'll go check on her." declared Nigel and Emily sighed in relief.

As soon as Nigel and Emily reached the outer office, they heard Miranda hurriedly gathering her things and cursing softly to herself.

Nigel pushed Emily into her desk chair, then went into Miranda's office and locked her door.

For a moment he watched as Miranda cursed wildly, shoving her things into her bag, fumbling with the papers she held in her right hand, and wiping tears from her cheek in frustration with her left hand.

He had never seen her lose her temper and control over herself in all the years he had known Miranda, which was almost 19 years after all. And seeing that now was at once fascinating, but also incredibly worrisome.

Miranda hadn't even noticed that he was standing in her office watching her slowly begin to fall apart.

Hastily, Nigel walked around Miranda's desk and approached her from behind. He pressed against her back and caught her arms, taking her into a comforting hug.

"Shht...honey, everything's going to be okay. Just calm down, I'm here and I'm here for you, okay?" he asked gently and Miranda, exhausted and drained, let Nigel hold her as she began to sob properly. Which was another sensation, since Miranda had never tolerated touching before and had never publicly shown her emotions and vulnerability like this.

Nigel took a deep shocked breath and continued to hold Miranda securely in his arms, offering comfort to his girlfriend.

"Shht...it's going to be okay." he murmured softly and Miranda seemed to gradually calm down.

"What happened?" asked Nigel after quite a while and after Miranda had calmed down again.

"Andrea..." Miranda swallowed "...she quit...." Miranda whispered softly and Nigel looked at Miranda with raised eyebrows while Miranda wiped her tears and sniffled a bit.

"Hmm... that's not much of a surprise, the way you've been treating her these past few weeks." replied Nigel with a sigh.

"I haven't done anything to her, and I haven't treated her badly." Miranda quickly defended herself, but Nigel shook his head.

"God Miranda, you pushed her aside, ignored her, constantly kept her on her toes for errands throughout the day. Six didn't let on, but it was clear to anyone who knew her more intimately how much it took it out of her that you kept her away." explained Nigel and Miranda looked at him with wide teary eyes.

"I had to do it," Miranda whispered. "My God Nigel, I'm married, I'm twice her age, I'm her boss, I couldn't keep acting like a lovesick troll and let her distract me. I..." Nigel was now looking at Miranda with huge wide eyes.

"You're actually in love with her, aren't you?" he asked in amazement, scratching his bald head nervously, and Miranda sighed deeply.

"What am I going to do?" asked Miranda helplessly, so helpless and vulnerable, Nigel had never seen his longtime girlfriend like this.

"Hmm...I guess that depends on what you're willing to do. Do you want to stay married to Stephen?" asked Nigel cautiously. But Miranda shook her head.

"No, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I..., well..., the marriage between me and Stephen has failed, we..., we.... it's just not working anymore. I know a lot of it is my fault and I feel terrible about it. I've been trying for the last few weeks to get closer to him again, to have more time for him and the girls, and to save the marriage. But I don't know how. Too much has happened between us, too many fights, too many hurtful words from him, too much guilt and mistakes on my side...and then there are the feelings for Andrea. With Andrea everything is so different, more beautiful, easier, more meaningful. I..., Nigel I want Andrea so much in my and my daughters lives. She is exactly what we needed. She is the missing piece that would make us a real family. She is always in my thoughts day in and day out. I wake up in the morning and I think of her, I go to bed at night and the only thing that gets me asleep is the last thought of her. I dream about her and her beautiful smiles. I'm..." Miranda began to cry again and Nigel stepped closer again, rubbing his hand over her back to soothe her.

"I know I have to let her go..., she is so young and so intelligent, she has her life ahead of her and a great career as a journalist. I can't tell her how I feel about her, I don't want to trap her in a relationship with me. I want her to be free to do and make what she wants and dreams. I..., but without her.... Nigel, what am I going to do?" Miranda asked desperately.

Nigel looked at Miranda thoughtfully for a long time before answering.

"The situation is quite tricky. You're sure you want to divorce Stephen?"

"Yes, I think so." Miranda replied uncertainly.

"Okay. And as for Six, I would say that you just need to sit down with her and have a clarifying conversation. Apologize to her for pushing her away and explain why you did it. Tell her how you feel about her, tell her about your fears and worries. Listen to how she feels, what she thinks, what she wants, how things should go on between you, and trust that she is young but intelligent enough to be an equal in this conversation." Nigel explained and Miranda gave him a pained look.

"Nigel, I don't think I can do that. You know how I am. I'm just not the type to apologize or be so open about my feelings. You know, don't you?"

"Yes, I do." said Nigel, smiling warmly at Miranda.

"But if Six means as much to you as you just told me, you won't be able to avoid jumping over your *self* and having to communicate with Six. And I promise you, that girl won't hurt you or reject you or put you down. That's not who she is. You know her best out of all of us and you know she doesn't have a bad bone in her lovely body. She is the forgiving type, she will understand your motives and then she will tell you exactly how to proceed. And yes, there is a possibility that she is still holding on to her resignation, which I think is a good thing. Because once your employer-employee relationship is over, you both have a chance to redefine yourselves. You don't want a relationship with her, but maybe you can establish a renewed friendship?" indicated Nigel.

"Do you think that's still possible, I mean a friendship?" asked Miranda doubtfully.

"Yes, I think so. But only if you finally learn to communicate and be honest with yourself, but also with Six, and give the friendship a sincere chance." explained Nigel, looking at Miranda seriously.

"I hope you're right." sighed Miranda, because she really didn't want Andrea to disappear from her life.

"I'm sure you can do it." Nigel replied.

"Okay, I guess I'll go home and talk to Andrea now then. Thank you Nigel." said Miranda, squeezing Nigel's hand briefly before sighing and walking to her office door and opening it.

"Emily cancel all of today's appointment. Bag." she said and Emily immediately jumped up and grabbed Miranda's bag.

"Yes Miranda." said Emily obediently, but glad that her boss seemed to be back to normal.

Chapter Text

"Andyyyyyy? Hey are you still with us?" asked Caroline impatiently.

Andy startled out of her reminiscence and looked at Caroline for a moment, disoriented.

"Oh sorry, I was lost in thought. What's wrong?" she asked and Caroline rolled her eyes.

"We finished the homework and wanted to show it to you so you could go over it." Cassidy explained calmly.

"Yeah, okay. Um, how about you guys pick something out of the *for extreme emergencies* snack box while I go downstairs and get us some lemonade? And then after that, I'll look at your homework and then I need to talk to you guys about something. Huh?" asked Andy, and the twins looked at her in surprise. On the one hand, because Andy allowed them to take a snack from the emergency box, which Andy had never allowed before, and on the other hand, because Andy wanted to talk to them about something. Somehow that couldn't mean anything good.

"Andy, what do you want to talk to us about?" both girls asked at the same time and Andy's heart tightened painfully.

"Let me get something to drink for us first and then I'll tell you, okay?" asked Andy, getting up from the sofa bed.

"I'll be right back, so please leave me a snack." she said, winking at the girls.

"Okay." both girls said at the same time.

************Trigger warning****************

Andy hurriedly ran down the back stairs and entered the kitchen. First she got a tray, put three glasses on it, then she opened the refrigerator and just as she was about to take out the lemonade pitcher, she noticed a warm body pressing against her.

Surprised, she turn around and looked at Stephen in horror. He smelled a little of alcohol and looked at her with lustful eyes as he pressed his body against her and quickly took her hands in his and held them tight so she couldn't escape him.

"Look who I've captured here. I thought since Miranda pushed you out of her bed, you'd left. And yet you're still here." whispered Stephen in Andy's ear, getting very close to her face.

Andy tried to break away from Stephen and fight against his restraints. But Stephen held her hands even tighter and pressed against her even more.

"Let go of me or else..." whimpered Andy, continuing to struggle.

Stephen laughed sarcastically.

"Or else what?" he asked, laughing.

"Come on Stephen..." Andy tried in a reasonable calm way to get through to the man.

"I..., just let me go... and I'll do... what you want... you don't have to be rough." explained Andy, but Stephen grinned meanly at her and snorted contemptuously.

"You think I'm an idiot?" Stephen pressed painfully against Andy's body and put his lips on her cheek, wanting to kiss her. Andy turned her head away in disgust.

"Damn it why are you resisting like this? We both know this is what you want. All this time you've been barking up the wrong tree. Miranda is as cold as a dead fish. I'm..."

"You're disgusting, I've told you before to leave me alone, that I'm not interested. Get off me!" hissed Andy, trying to kick Stephen in the balls with her knee. Unfortunately, she didn't succeed because they were positioned wrong. But in her attempt to free herself she hit something in the fridge which came loose and then fell loudly to the floor.

**********************

Miranda opened the front door and set her bag down on the dresser next to the hall closet. Unsure where to look first for Andrea and her girls, she stood in the hallway for a moment and listened in on her townhouse.

From the kitchen she heard a loud noise, immediately attracted by it she hurriedly strode to the kitchen. Horrified at the scene that presented itself, she hastily strode toward Stephen and Andy.

Without thinking much about it, Miranda put her hands on Stephen's shoulder and tried to pull him away from Andy, in the process Stephen's hand broke away from Andy's hand and with full force he lashed out, hitting Miranda's face and pushing her aside with his arm.

Miranda's upper lip immediately burst open and blood ran down her chin as she staggered against the kitchen counter and slid down it with a loud cry of pain.

Andy watched in horror and fear and now forcibly pushed Stephen away from him to rush to Miranda.

The twins, who had also heard the loud crash and wondered why Andy hadn't come back, had run down the back stairs. When they saw that Stephen was holding Andy and their mom had rushed into the kitchen and was now hurled against the kitchen counter by Stephen, they hurriedly ran back up the stairs.

"Caroline we need to call the police." Cassidy whispered to her very frightened sister, who could only nod.

Cassidy hurriedly picked up her cell phone and called 911, just as they had learned to do.

Meanwhile, Andy had rushed to Miranda's side, but Stephen quickly caught her. The two were wrestling with each other.

Miranda picked herself up off the floor with a groan and grabbed Stephen from behind, dragging him away from Andy with a strength she herself didn't know she had.

Annoyed, Stephen pushed Andy off of him and all of his rage was now directed at Miranda, whom he immediately lunged at and pushed against the kitchen counter.

Andy, sank unconscious to the floor after banging her head against the still open refrigerator.

Meanwhile, Stephen berated and cursed Miranda horribly...

"I hate you, you are such a cold bitch. I only married you for your money. But you are so fucking..." Stephen yelled and screamed like he was out of his mind, full of hate in his eyes and words, while he kept trying to hit Miranda, who was able to deflect most of Stephen's blows and landed a few blows on Stephen herself to defend and protect herself.

In the background, the sirens of the police cars grew louder and louder, but neither of them heard it.

The twins, on the other hand, ran to the front door and opened it so that the police officers could come in.

***************Trigger warning end***************

The police officers quickly overpowered Stephen and handcuffed him. Then they took him out of the townhouse.

Miranda, worried and with tears running down her cheek, immediately knelt beside Andy's still unconscious body.

"Dear?" she asked softly, with a shaky part. The twins, frightened, knelt beside their mom and also looked anxiously at Andy.

Andy's eyes fluttered open a moment later and she groaned softly. Then her eyes darkened and she looked at Miranda in panic.

"Shtt... It's all right. The police have arrested Stephen. The ambulance is on its way." Miranda explained as she gently stroked Andy's cheeks with her hands.

"The...girls?" asked Andy as she tried to sit up.

"No, stay down until the ambulance gets here. The girls are here and fine, don't worry. They were so brave and called the police." said Miranda gently as she stroked Andy's tangled hair. Then she leaned down to Andy and kissed her on her forehead.

Chapter Text

At the hospital, the two women were separated; while a doctor tended to Miranda's burst upper lip and then examined her further, Andy was taken to another examination bay in the emergency room.

Impatient because she didn't know how Andrea was doing, Miranda let her doctor examine her. Fortunately, the doctor found only minor to moderate bruises and scratches, so she was allowed to leave the treatment room after half an hour. Immediately, she went in search of Andy and looked around the ER for her.

Andy, who had reclined on a gurney in an exam bay, listened to the young resident's instructions. Because she was endlessly tired, her head throbbed like hell and her now-cast left arm hurt, she didn't really get much of the instructions.

"Keep the cast dry while showering or bathing, preferably with a plastic bag. At..."

Miranda joined them, and the resident looked up at her.

"Can Miss Sachs, leave the hospital?" she asked quietly and calmly.

"Yes, but she should not be alone for the next two days and should rest and take it easy for at least a week because the concussion may cause possible side effects such as impaired consciousness, impaired coordination, impaired perception, balance problems, migraine, dizziness among others. As soon as their condition worsens, they should consult a doctor again. I will give you another painkiller for Miss Sachs." the resident explained and left the two women.

Miranda approached Andy and pulled her into her arms. She was so relieved that her Andrea was doing well under the circumstances and could take her home.

Andy was at first very surprised by Miranda's embrace, but then she leaned into Miranda's arms, exhausted and drained.

Miranda gently stroked Andy's head with her hand, always careful not to accidentally hit the head injury.

"Dear, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me." Miranda pleaded softly and Andy turned from her embrace and looked at her frowning.

"What exactly do you want me to forgive you for? That you ended our friendship? Or ignored me for weeks and pushed me away? Or that you fought with your husband to protect me?" asked Andy, looking at Miranda tiredly, but also a bit annoyed.

Miranda smiled at her gently and also a little shyly.

"That I was an idiot and that I pushed you away and ignored you. I'd like to talk to you about that later, okay?" asked Miranda shyly and Andy looked at her with her brown big eyes.

"Okay." Andy said softly.

"That I got into a fight with my husband to protect you, I'm not sorry about that by the way. I would protect and defend you all the time." pushed Miranda afterwards. Andy looked at her in horror.

"Miranda, you can't do that, that's wrong! Stephen could have hurt you really badly and I would never stand for you to feel bad because of me. Don't you ever do something stupid like that again! Do you hear me?" asked Andy, upset.

Miranda looked at her thoughtfully.

"What do you think I should have done instead?" asked Miranda with a raised eyebrow.

"You should have called the police and stayed away from the situation instead of messing with Stephen. He looked at you with so much hate in his eyes. I was terrified he was going to snap your neck or strangle you." Andy whispered softly as tears ran down her pale cheeks.

Miranda pulled Andy back into her arms and gently hugged her, stroking her back soothingly.

"Dear, I couldn't think straight when I saw Stephen crowding you. I just had to pull him away from you. I was so afraid he was going to hurt you. I will never let anyone hurt you, no matter what I have to do to do it. Do you understand?" asked Miranda, but Andy shook her head.

"No, no, no!!! Miranda you can't do that. You can't put yourself in danger, you have to stay safe, for you and for your girls." explained Andy excitedly.

Before Miranda could say anything back, the resident returned with the discharge papers and medication.

Roy picked up the two women outside the hospital a short time later. Miranda helped Andy into the car and then sat next to her.

"To the townhouse." ordered Miranda, and Andy looked up at her in surprise.

"But..." before Andy could object, Miranda stopped her, putting a finger to Andy's lips.

"The resident said that you shouldn't be alone for the first 2 days and that you should rest for a week. So you will stay with us at the townhouse until then. No arguments." Miranda determined, taking her finger from Andy's mouth and looking at her seriously.

Andy shifted uneasily in her seat.

"Miranda...did you.... did you find my resignation?" asked Andy sheepishly.

"Yes, that's why I came home early, to talk to you about it." Miranda confessed, frowning.

"Hm..., not only did I give you notice, but I also gave notice of my apartment. I was leaving town on Saturday." explained Andy quietly and Miranda looked at Andy in horror.

"I...if I'm going to stay with you for the week, I have to get the rest of my stuff out of my apartment before then and give the apartment key to the landlord."

Miranda's heart began to beat faster, pressing painfully against her chest, then contracting convulsively moments later. Andrea was going to leave her, not just her and the girls, but the city. No, no, no, this shouldn't be happening. Damn it.

"Why?" asked Miranda in a shaky voice.

"Why?" Andy looked at Miranda thoughtfully for a moment.

"Your friendship meant a lot to me, and when you pushed me away, it hurt. And I didn't know how you'd react to my resignation. Whether you'd blacklist me. So I made travel plans." replied Andy calmly.

"I would never blacklist you." Miranda stated horrified and upset that Andrea would or could assume such a thing about her.

"Like I said, I didn't know. I wouldn't have assumed you'd just break off our friendship like that either." whispered Andy quietly, looking out the side windows onto the busy street.

"Roy, take us to Andrea's apartment. Where...where were...you going to travel?" asked Miranda haltingly.

"I was going to Boston first. Nate moved there a few weeks ago. We never really had a final conversation. I wanted to catch up on that. Then I was going to visit my parents and store some things there. And after that, I was going to keep traveling and see where I could move to, find a new home and a job."

At that moment Miranda's hope for a new friendship with the young woman sank and she decided never to tell Andrea about her feelings for her. No, Andrea deserved to be happy, wherever that would be. She herself had hurt Andrea and thus lost her chance to have the young woman in her life.

After Roy pulled up in front of Andy's apartment, Andy got out. As Miranda followed her, Andy looked at her in surprise.

"The resident said you shouldn't be alone for the next few days. So I'll come with you and help you pack. Roy will carry everything down later." Miranda explained reasonably and Andy looked at her resignedly.

"Okay." she sighed softly and entered the stairwell with Miranda. Together they climbed the stairs slowly, Andy was tired and exhausted and Miranda had to put her arm around Andy's waist to support her as she climbed.

"Thank you." whispered Andy as they finally reached the top of the third floor, Miranda disengaging her arm from Andy and Andy retrieving the apartment keys from her purse.

As soon as Andy unlocked the apartment door, both women entered the apartment. Andy immediately went to the right into the bedroom and took out her suitcase and backpack from the closet and began to pull open some drawers and take out clothes with her healthy hand.

Miranda, who had stopped at the apartment door, looked around her in surprise from there.

Contrary to what Miranda had expected, Andrea's apartment was completely empty, except for a sofa, which looked very worn, that was in the middle of the living room. But other than that, the shelves on one side of the living room were empty, there was no TV, no books, no mementos or decorations, no potted plants or pictures on the walls. Andrea's apartment was, simply put, cleared out.

Only the kitchen table facing her was occupied by a laptop and three books. Otherwise, there was no indication that Andrea had inhabited this apartment. When Miranda took a few steps into the apartment, she could see Andrea through the window in the wall leading to the bedroom. Relieved that Andrea at least had a bed with a pillow and blanket and clothes to wrap up in, Miranda heaved a sigh of relief.

"Andrea?" she asked, and Andy looked over at her, pausing in what she was doing.

"Yes?"

"Your apartment is so empty. Where are all the things that make an apartment a home?" asked Miranda worriedly.

Andy sighed heavily once and then reached back into the drawer in front of her and pulled out more underwear to put in her suitcase.

"Nate took most of it and what was left I either sold, donated or gave away. You know I wanted to find a little place, right? Well, I thought it would be good to be rid of all that stuff, less baggage and dead weight. You know?" asked Andy, still packing her suitcase.

"I can understand a little, but how long have you been living in this empty apartment?" continued Miranda, concerned.

Andy blushed and looked away from Miranda sheepishly, continuing to occupy herself with packing.

"Since Nate left." mumbled Andy softly, so softly that Miranda couldn't really hear her answer.

But Miranda was not deaf, she could hear very well. In fact, much better than most people, though of course her hearing had diminished over the years. But she still heard well enough that she had heard Andy's murmurs.

"But that was almost two months ago!" Miranda exclaimed in horror.

Andy looked over at Miranda in surprise.

"How could you live like this the last few months?" continued Miranda as she now joined Andy in the bedroom, frowning at the young woman.

"When we were friends, I was at the townhouse most of the time anyway and was only here to sleep. After that, I did a lot of things outside my apartment, so I was mostly just here to sleep, too." replied Andy quietly.

Miranda swallowed once, twice. Damn, what had she done to Andrea when she'd just pushed her away like that???

"What things did you do?" asked Miranda, embarrassed and guilty.

"I've been outside a lot, the summer weather is gorgeous and invites you to hang out in the park or around town a lot, walking and such, even if it's already evening. I took some classes, went to the library and did some research, did some volunteer work here and there, wrote some articles with my laptop at Starbucks, and otherwise explored the city." Andy replied, folding and closing her suitcase, which looked pretty beat up and which Miranda seriously doubted Andrea could really still travel with without it falling apart. Mentally, Miranda made a mental note to buy Andrea a new travel case.

"I see." was all Miranda said. "What classes were they?" she continued curiously.

"Oh, mostly just yoga, Pilates, or other exercise classes to get me in a little more shape." Andy replied.

Miranda looked at Andy in surprise. She had always adored Andrea's voluptuous, curvy body, even when she didn't know she was attracted to the young woman. Now on closer inspection she could see differences, the clothes she had bought for Andrea in size 6 were a little looser than Miranda would have liked. She guessed with a practiced eye that Andrea was between a size 4 to a size 2 by now. That was wrong, dammit!!! How had Andrea been able to reduce her dress size in such a short time?

While Andy went into the bathroom to gather her toiletries, Miranda went back into the living room and opened the refrigerator in the kitchenette. Horrified that there was nothing inside, she flipped the refrigerator door shut again.

"Your refrigerator is completely empty." Miranda said. "What were you planning to eat today?" she asked toward the bathroom, frowning.

Andy looked out of the bathrooms and toward Miranda.

"Um...the fridge has been unused for a while. I've always had something on the go. Breakfast and coffee at Starbucks in the morning, lunch and dinner anything to go or anything." confessed Andy. That she had hardly had any appetite in the last few weeks due to her heartbreak and had thus skipped many meals, she preferred not to tell because Miranda already looked pretty pissed off and Andy didn't want to freak her out even more.

"Andrea that's very unreasonable. And here I thought you were an adult and could take better care of yourself and your health." Miranda said, putting her hands on her hips and staring seriously at Andy with her cool blue eyes.

Instead of answering Miranda, Andy retreated back into the bathroom and continued to pack her toiletries.

"What did Miranda even care how much she ate, what she ate, or what she had in her fridge? Hell she had just quit the friendship and exposed Andy to her heartbreak." Andy grumbled to herself as she furiously packed her makeup.

Miranda came up to her and looked at her thoughtfully.

"What?" asked Andy irritably as Miranda just stood there staring at her but saying nothing.

"I'm worried about you." said Miranda softly, surprising Andy.

Andy looked up at her and what she saw made her a little queasy. Miranda looked genuinely worried. Andy swallowed her anger and tried to put on a smile, which didn't seem to convince Miranda, or herself.

"I'm fine, you don't have to worry. Except for what happened this afternoon..." with that she held up her plastered left arm and then pointed to her head injury. "...Everything's okay." replied Andy with a smile.

Miranda curled her lips and continued to look at Andy with concern.

"What happened this afternoon was very violent and Stephen will definitely be very sorry for harassing you and attacking both of us." Miranda replied softly, feeling guilty that Stephen had hurt her Andrea like that.

She herself was still shocked about what Stephen had said to her in his anger and rage. He had yelled at her and told her that he hated her and had only married her for her money. And here she had always thought that he was not such a man and that they had married for love. Miranda admitted to herself that she had made a very big mistake in not having Stephen investigated by her security team. Now, mentally, she made another note to make up for that mistake and then use it to her advantage in her divorce.

She vowed to herself that Stephen would get nothing, not her money or anything else. He would pay for harassing, assaulting and hurting her Andrea and for betraying herself. He would end up being sorry he had ever crossed their paths.

Miranda's cell phone buzzed in her pocket, snapping her out of her thoughts. Hastily, she pulled out her cell phone and answered the call.

Andy listened with only half an ear while she returned to the bedroom and stowed her toiletries in her backpack.

"Okay." said Miranda, ending the call.

"That was the police, they called and asked if we were out of the hospital yet. They would like to take our statements. They'll be at the townhouse in about an hour. Are you ready to go?" asked Miranda.

"Yeah, let me just check to make sure I have everything," Andy replied, looking in every drawer, closet and corner. Once she was sure there was nothing lying around that belonged to her or was important enough for her to take, she picked up her backpack and went to shoulder it on.

"Andrea, put the backpack back down right now, you're hurt. I'm going to call Roy up and he's going to take your bags and backpack down." said Miranda seriously and Andy flinched.

"Okay." she said quietly and Miranda called Roy upstairs.

Chapter Text

Andy looked out the side windows of the car while Roy drove them to the townhouse. Miranda also seemed lost in her thoughts, looking out her side window.

Andy thought about the last few hours. Although she should be distraught and excited about the afternoon's events, she actually felt quite calm. Andy didn't know if it was the painkillers that finally seemed to be kicking in or the fact that Miranda was no longer ignoring her, fighting for her, protecting Andy, kissing her, hugging her and calling her dear. And in her apartment, Miranda seemed genuinely concerned for her, too.

But what did it all mean?

For Andy it meant, at least for today, that Miranda had practically become her hero, in bright shining knight's armor, as she protected her, fought for her, and then cared for her, and had now invited her to her home for a week.

I wonder what exactly this week brought? At the thoughts of spending a whole week living in Miranda's house with Miranda and the twins, Andy's heart began to leap and pound like crazy against her rib cage. Could she get her hopes up that this might be a beginning of a new friendship or something more? Her heart swelled with hope and the butterflies in her stomach began to flutter and dance and buzz excitedly.

But her head told her to be careful, Miranda could end whatever this was just as quickly when she remembered why she had ended their friendship the first time.

Oh no...please, please don't. Being thrown out of Miranda's life a second time would definitely not be something she would survive. Good thing she had plans to leave town anyway. Maybe it would be good to just have a friendship at a distance than to be too close or shut out of Miranda's life altogether.

Andy was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice Miranda watching her carefully from the side, making her own plans for the coming week together with Andy, at her house. She definitely took it upon herself that she would take care of Andrea this week, as best she could, and make up for her mistakes.

Roy stopped in front of the townhouse and pulled both Miranda and Andy out of their respective thoughts. Miranda got out first and then circled the car to help Andy get out, while Roy retrieved Andy's suitcase and her backpack from the trunk.

As soon as Miranda unlocked the front door to the townhouse, the twins came running down the stairs and hugged their mom and Andy gustily, questioning them eagerly.

"Easy Bobbseys, Andrea has a concussion and a broken arm. She needs to rest so give her a break. Roy please take Andrea's suitcase upstairs to her room. Bobbseys show Roy where Andrea's room is." ordered Miranda as she took Andy's and her purse and placed them on the dresser next to the hall closet.

"Come let's go upstairs so you can lie down for a moment while I make some calls." said Miranda, leading Andy upstairs to her study on the second floor. There she gently pushed Andy down on the couch and put a wool blanket over her.

"Thank you Miranda." said Andy softly and Miranda smiled warmly at her before turning and walking to her desk.

Andy watched her go and although she would have liked to keep watching Miranda, a short time later her eyelids fell heavily shut and she dozed off. Only peripherally did she catch Miranda calling Leslie, from PR, and then her lawyers to draw up the divorce papers and file a restraining order against Stephen with the court. The other calls, she slept through completely.

After Miranda finished making the calls, she looked over at Andy from her desk. The idea of soon not having the young woman in her life was terrifying. At least she had Andrea to herself for another week before leaving New York. Sighing deeply, Miranda got up from her desk chair and quietly walked over to the couch. There she knelt down and contemplated the sleeping woman for a moment.

Tenderly, she brushed Andy's hair out of her face so she could look at her better.

Andy's eyes opened sleepily and looked at Miranda in disorientation.

First noticing Miranda's blue eyes looking at her warmly, Andy's gaze next wandered to Miranda's mouth. Seeing the chapped upper lip, fixed with a liquid band-aid, she frowned and looked at Miranda with concern. It hurt her heart that Miranda had been hurt by Stephen. She would have liked to kiss Miranda's wounds good again. But she doubted Miranda would approve, so she just gently stroked Miranda's cheek with her left hand, which was in the cast. Miranda leaned into the touch and sighed softly.

"I'm so sorry Stephen hurt you." Andy whispered softly, but Miranda shook her head.

"Shht... I'm fine and it's all going to get better. How are you?" asked Miranda, looking at Andy with concern.

"Right now I'm fine, the pain meds are working. Just a little tired." replied Andy, still looking at Miranda mostly sleepy.

The moment both women looked at each other and lost in their gazes for a short time was interrupted by the front doorbell ringing.

Miranda sighed as she stood up and left the study, heading down the stairs.

Andy, on the other hand, remained still on the couch, deciding not to sit upright until it was necessary. Until then, she wanted to stay lying down, as she was still tired.

Miranda came back into the study with two police officers, a woman and a man, a few moments later.

Andy sat up straight and looked anxiously at the two new arrivals.

"Ms. Sachs, I'm Officer Meyers and this is my partner Officer Davon. We are here to take your statement about today's events. Before we begin, I need your full information. What is your full name?" asked Officer Meyers, sitting down in the chair next to the couch and looking closely at Andy.

"Andrea Sachs."

"When and where born?"

"On 7/13/1981, in Cincinnati." replied Andy, and Miranda looked at her in bewilderment.

Oh darn, Andrea's birthday had only been about 1.5 weeks ago. How had she missed that or forgotten? Miranda shifted uncomfortably on her desk chair, where she had sat after leading the police officers into her study.

Damn, damn, damn. Her stomach knotted at the thought that Andrea had celebrated her birthday all alone in her empty apartment. No one should celebrate their birthday like that. And especially not her Andrea.

"What's your relationship with Mr. Tomlinson?" officer Meyers continued.

"He's Miranda's husband, my boss, I work for her." explained Andy, looking over at Miranda. Surely no one cared at the moment that she had resigned and was no longer working for Miranda as of Friday. Therefore, she preferred not to say anything about it.

"How long have you worked for Ms. Priestly?"

"Since the beginning of February."

"Okay, explain exactly what happened today, please." Officer Meyers demanded, while Officer Davon took notes.

Andy described exactly what had happened that afternoon, after she finished, Officer Meyers looked at her thoughtfully before asking her next question.

"Was that the first time Mr. Tomlinson sexually harassed you?" she asked, and Andy's face suddenly paled as she looked over at Miranda and saw Miranda looking intently at her.

"No." Andy confessed quietly and Miranda had to suppress a gasp holding her hand in front of her mouth.

"How many times was it?" continued Officer Meyers.

"I did not count." replied Andy in a whisper, resigned and embarrassed.

"When was the first time Mr. Tomlinson sexually harassed you?"

"It was my first week here at the townhouse. The twins and I were alone, Mrs. Piers had already left the house after she finished dinner. The twins and I ate dinner in the kitchen. Mr. Tomlinson joined us and sat next to me. He reached across the table to take some of the food from the casserole dish, brushing my breast with his hand. I thought it was an accident. But shortly after, he put his hand on my thigh and rubbed it. I pushed his hand away." replied Andy, without having to think much about it. She still remembered the scene very well, partly because it was the first time she had been exposed to something like that, and partly because she was incredibly angry that she hadn't been able to put Stephen in his place right away.

"Did you bring it to Mr. Tomlinson's attention at the time that his behavior was unwelcome?" Officer Meyers continued curiously.

"No, the twins were sitting at the table with me, I didn't want to make a scene or upset them." replied Andy quietly exasperated.

Miranda tried to think back in her memory to the first few weeks Andrea had started working for her, and she remembered how Andrea was always in a hurry to get out of the townhouse. Oh my God, DAMN!!! Why had she never told me about this??? Silly girl!

"What happened next?" asked Officer Meyers.

"The next time it happened I was in my room. The twins were already asleep and I had left my room door open so I could hear the girls if they needed anything. I was writing my notes about the day's activities, which I always gave to Miranda in the evening so she would know what the twins and I had done during the day. Mr. Tomlinson came in and immediately put his hands on my shoulders and massaged them. I said loud and clear this time that I didn't want him to touch me like that. He just laughed and said that I would play the unapproachable girl very well. But he would not fall for it. I didn't know exactly what to say or think about it, but luckily I heard the front door close. So I hurriedly got up and left my room and said goodbye to Miranda," Andy explained, looking over at Miranda.

Miranda looked thoughtfully at Andy with wide startled eyes.

"There were a few more encounters after that, but I said no each time and dodged Mr. Tomlinson or got away." Andy confessed, muttering.

"Did any sexual activity ever occur between you and Mr. Tomlinson?" asked Officer Meyers seriously, and Andy looked at her, aghast.

"No, never." replied Andy immediately.

"So he was only harassed you?"

"*only* harassed?" asked Miranda aloud, exasperated.

Officer Meyers looked over at Miranda. "Ms. Priestly, please calm down." she urged Miranda, and Miranda looked at her angrily with narrowed eyes, but said nothing more.

"Ms. Sachs, did you ever report Mr. Tomlinson or tell anyone about his behavior?"

"No."

"Why not?" asked Officer Meyers in surprise.

"I was afraid."

"Of what, exactly?" asked Officer Meyers with a raised eyebrow.

"That I wouldn't be believed, after all it was my word against hims, except for some bruises and scratches I had no proof and Mr. Tomlinson is a rich man who can spin the situation any way he pleases. Then I was also afraid of losing my job. I needed the money and the twins needed me and I had already grown fond of them." Andy replied softly and Miranda looked at her disappointed and annoyed.

Why hadn't the stupid girl trusted her enough and confided in her? Didn't Andrea know that she would do anything for her? Damn it!!!

"Have you ever provoked Mr. Tomlinson?"

"What?" asked Andy, confused and surprised, looking from Officer Meyers to Miranda and then back again.

"Flirted with him, dressed provocatively, or given him any indication that his behavior might be desirable?" asked Officer Meyers calmly.

Miranda abruptly stood up and stepped forward.

"How dare you ask Andrea such a ridiculous question? Of course she did nothing of the sort. She's the victim here!" retorted Miranda acidly in a deadly calm and threatening tone.

Officer Meyers and Officer Davon looked at her in surprise.

"Ms. Priestly, I'm just trying to find out what went on. Mr. Tomlinson, in his statement that he gave at the station earlier, emphasized that Ms. Sachs had made a pass at him and tried to seduce him wherever she could. And that you Ms. Priestly misjudged situation when they got home this afternoon." Officer Meyers calmly explained.

Miranda gave her a fierce, ice-cold look before slowly walking toward the woman.

"I certainly didn't misread the situation. I saw exactly how my husband pinned Andrea against the refrigerator with his body and held her hands and Andrea tried to struggle free. And I certainly did not imagine that my husband, after I tried to tear him away from Andrea, attacked me. If I had misunderstood the situation, he would have had enough opportunity to communicate peacefully and calmly and explain the situation instead of attacking and hurting us. And whatever my husband says, he is lying. Andrea is the most honest person I know. She would never do something so low and go after my husband." Miranda hissed softly and angrily.

Officer Meyers swallowed twice and looked at Miranda with wide eyes.

Andy looked at Officer Meyers with her mouth open in shock, then looked at Miranda and shook her head. That's how she had always imagined the whole situation could be interpreted. But Miranda being on her side and defending her was something she had never imagined before.

"I've told you everything that happened today, so if you have no more questions, I'd like you to leave me alone." Andy said into the silence that had been building unbearably over the last few minutes.

Miranda looked at them in surprise, as did the two officers.

"Well Ms. Sachs, I think we have everything so far. Do you want to press charges against Mr. Tomlinson?" asked Officer Meyers.

But Andy shook her head vigorously, quickly realizing that wasn't a good idea, as her head immediately began throbbing and buzzing again.

"No, I don't want to press charges against Mr. Tomlinson." said Andy clearly, and Miranda looked at her with raised eyebrows in horror.

"Andrea, this is ridiculous. You should press charges against Stephen!" demanded Miranda sternly.

"No, I won't, I don't have the time or the inclination to get involved in something like this. Not to mention the fact that it's testimony against testimony, I'm sure it would hurt my future more than help it. Who would take me seriously as a journalist if this story ever got out. So no, no charges." Andy said as seriously as she could and Miranda frowned and curled her lips.

"Fine, as you wish." replied Miranda icily. "I will, however, file assault charges against my husband. But since it's been a long day, I'd like to come down to the station tomorrow and give my statement then." Miranda explained, addressing Officer Meyers and Officer Davon.

Both officers nodded and then went downstairs with Miranda, where Miranda said goodbye to them and then went back to the study.

Chapter Text

Miranda re-entered the study a few moments later, surprised that Andrea was no longer in the room, she sighed deeply and rubbed the root of her nose.

Frowning, she climbed to the second floor and strode down the hall to Andrea's room. There she knocked softly and when she heard nothing, she carefully opened the door and poked her head into the room.

Miranda found Andy in her bed. She had pulled the covers over her head and was sobbing so loudly that even Miranda could hear it through the covers. Sighing, she sat down on the bed and put her hand on Andy's shoulder. At least, she hoped it was Andy's shoulder.

"Go away!" cried Andy in a tearful voice, burying herself even more into the pillows.

"Dear, why are you crying?" asked Miranda, staying seated on the bed.

"Because I'm so angry and I don't know where to put my anger." came the muffled reply from Andy under the covers.

"Tell me why you're so angry. Maybe we can find a solution?" explained Miranda confidently.

"I'm angry because I'm a coward and Stephen gets away with all this shit. I'm angry because I feel bad about that and other stuff. Just go away and leave me alone!" cried Andy, frustrated and crying under the covers.

"Dear, I can't go away and leave you alone." replied Miranda gently.

Andy threw the covers off her and sat up abruptly.

"Why not? Why do you even care how I am? We're not friends anymore." said Andy in a shaky croaky voice.

Miranda looked at her with a pained expression and Andy immediately felt guilty.

"I'm sorry Miranda, I'm so sorry. I'm just..." Andy buried her face in her hands and started crying again. Miranda put her arms around Andy and hugged her lovingly.

"Shht... Dear, I would love to be friends with you again, if you'll let me. I promise I will never push you away again." Miranda whispered softly and soothingly in Andy's ear.

"Why...why..." Andy broke away from the embrace and wiped her tears with her right hand, trying to focus. "...Did you end our friendship?" asked Andy in a still shaky voice, looking at Miranda curiously.

Miranda detached herself from Andy a little more and looked away from her in embarrassment, with her hands she began to pluck away a piece of lint on the bedspread with great interest.

"I..., I... realized... God Andrea... I, don't know if I can tell you this." Miranda confessed desperately, getting up from the bed. Before she could leave the room in a hurry, Andy gently held Miranda by her wrist.

"Don't go, please tell me. I promise I won't freak out or anything." replied Andy, looking warmly at Miranda with her brown teary eyes.

Miranda sat back on the bed with a sigh and looked at Andy thoughtfully for a long moment.

"Do you remember the day you came into the office so late?" asked Miranda, and Andy nodded her head.

"Yes, certainly. After that you had ended our friendship and everything had changed and...." Andy stopped because she didn't really want to say how much it had made her life worse and how much she had suffered from heartbreak since then.

"That day I realized how much I missed you and how much I was worried about you because you weren't there and my brain was making up all kinds of scenarios about what could prevent you from coming to the office to see me. That day I was so distracted, worried, in a bad mood. I was acting like a lovesick troll. And then you were finally there and I suddenly felt better, I was relieved that you were with me and it was as if a rainy day had suddenly turned into a sunny day." Miranda confessed softly and looked away from Andy in embarrassment.

Andy looked at Miranda with wide eyes in wonder.

"And then?" asked Andy.

"I got scared about how much I let my feelings for you affect me and how much it distracted me from my work. What it was turning me into. I had to stop that and that was the solution. I was such an idiot. I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm so sorry. And I realize I can never make it up to you." Miranda confessed softly, and single tears escaped her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.

Andy slid closer to her and tenderly wiped away the tears with her fingers as she wrapped her other arm around Miranda's waist and pulled her to her.

"Are you saying you like me more than you like friends?" asked Andy softly as she now held Miranda completely against her, holding her gently and stroking Miranda's back soothingly with her right hand.

Miranda nodded into Andy's neck and let out a sniffle.

Andy's heart began to beat faster and thump wildly against her chest as her thoughts spun around in her head and butterflies began to dance again in her stomach.

"Wow, wow, wow, Miranda has feelings for me!!! Crazy! Insane! Really???" it swirled through Andy's head.

Miranda broke away from Andy a bit and looked at the young woman. Andy looked at her too, but with a warm look and a wide smile.

"Kiss each other already!" the twins shouted cheekily at the same time, startling both women.

Andy grinned broadly, leaned over and breathed a kiss on Miranda's cheek. Miranda blushed immediately. But the twins rolled their eyes.

"Not like that!!! With your mouths, your lips, and tongue and all!" the girls demanded and began to giggle.

Miranda turned her head to her daughters and looked at them with narrowed eyes.

"Did you want anything in particular?" she asked softly in a tone that silenced the two girls.

"Um... dinner's ready." Caroline confessed and Cassidy nodded her head eagerly.

"We're hungry." muttered Cassidy impatiently.

Miranda sighed and looked gently at Andy.

"Well then, let's go downstairs. Come on dear, the little pests are hungry and we should feed them before they get any more crazy ideas." Miranda explained, winking at Andy. Andy grinned broadly at her as she let Miranda help her climb out of bed. Together, all four of them went downstairs to the kitchen.

**********************************

Miranda smiled to herself as she listened to the conversations between her daughters and Andrea. It fascinated her to see how easy it was to reconnect with Andrea and to see her joking and laughing along with her daughters, even though the afternoon had gone more than badly.

Miranda appreciated Andrea trying to lighten the mood and take her mind off the terrible afternoon, so that the twins were okay and not too worried.

Miranda knew she would have to talk to her Bobbseys soon, as well as Andrea. But for now, she pushed her thoughts about that aside and enjoyed, the ease of dinner.

"Andrea, you shouldn't just push your food back and forth on your plate, you should let it go into your mouth." Miranda admonished Andy after noticing that she had barely eaten anything while talking to the twins.

Andy looked at her in amazement.

"Um...I, I'm not really hungry. Must be the painkillers, and maybe I'm a little nervous." muttered Andy and Miranda looked at her frowning.

"Why nervous?" asked Miranda with raised eyebrows.

"I was going to earlier, well before.... well you know *that* happened..., talk to the girls about the new development. I mean..., I'd better do that as soon as possible. Right?" asked Andy nervously, looking at Miranda.

Miranda looked thoughtfully at Andy for a long moment, while the girls exchanged glances and shifted restlessly in their chairs.

"Mom, Andy, what's wrong?" both girls asked excitedly.

"Hold on Bobbseys!" said Miranda, looking at Andy again.

"Are you sure you want to discuss this with the girls today? I mean, you look pretty tired and the day was pretty intense too. I wanted to talk to you about it too. Maybe tomorrow would be better?" asked Miranda skeptically.

"No, no..., I think I should get it over with today." explained Andy, looking at Miranda and the girls, already mentally thinking about what exactly she wanted or should say to the girls. Actually, she had been thinking about it for a few days now, and she had already had a ready flow in her head, but that was before Stephen had pulled that shit.

"Do you want me to be there?" asked Miranda quietly, and the girls looked at their mom. They were aware whatever Andy was going to tell them wasn't good, especially if their mom wanted to be there to support Andy.

"No, I think I can handle it on my own. Thanks Miranda." said Andy, getting up from the table and looking at the twins.

"Are you guys coming? I'd like to get this over with. Let's go upstairs to the attic. Yes?" asked Andy and the twins nodded. Miranda sighed deeply and fervently hoped that the conversation would go well. The girls loved Andrea and who knows how they would take the news. She also hoped there wouldn't be too much crying and screaming.

**********************************

"Andy, what are you trying to tell us?" asked Caroline anxiously as she and Cassidy snuggled up to Andy on the sleeper sofa in the attic.

"Give me a minute, okay?" asked Andy, kissing both girls on their heads and pulling them both into her arms.

"I quit my job." Andy whispered softly and the twins broke free from the embrace and looked at Andy in shock and surprise.

"Why?" both girls exclaimed excitedly at the same time.

"Well..., I..."

"Andy come on, you can tell us the truth, we're not babies anymore. Tell us and then we'll tell you how nonsensical it is!" explained Caroline and Cassidy nodded her head in agreement.

"Okay, okay... first of all I love you guys really much and it has nothing to do with you that I quit. Okay?" asked Andy, looking tenderly and warmly at the two girls in front of her.

"We know you love us. Now tell us the reason why you quit." demanded Caroline impatiently. Andy smiled wistfully at her now before looking away and into space.

"I fell in love with your mom." she whispered softly, still looking away from the girls sheepishly.

"Oh Andy, we already know that. Is that why?" asked Caroline, surprising Andy. Andy looked at her and then at Cassidy intently.

"Well, not exactly. I was happy with being secretly in love with her as long as we were friends and still spent a lot of time together. But a few weeks ago, your mom didn't want to be friends with me anymore and avoided me, both here and at Runway. And you know, that hurt me a lot. And because I couldn't really take it anymore, I quit. And..., well..., I want to leave town. Start over somewhere new, where maybe I can be happy again." replied Andy sadly, and the twins looked at her in shock.

"You want to leave us?" both girls asked at the same time desperately.

"No, no, I don't want to leave you guys, but I think I have to. I know that's hard to understand, but it is." replied Andy resignedly.

"But why didn't mom want to be friends with you anymore? Why did she do shit like that?" asked Caroline, upset.

"Earlier I asked her the same thing and well it seems she developed feelings for me too, what they are exactly she didn't say clearly, just that she got scared of it and that's why she ended the friendship. Maybe because she thinks that it could cause a lot of trouble. We haven't been able to talk about it much." Andy explained, sighing.

"But if mom is in love with you too, why do you guys have to make it so hard? I don't get it." replied Caroline in frustration.

"I don't know if your mom is in love with me. Even if she is, she's still married to Stephen. And even if she did get divorced, it would still take a few months to a year. And in that time, it wouldn't be good for us to be together because of the press and the divorce process. Also, I'm still hurt that she pushed me away and I'm afraid that she might do it again if things get difficult or complicated. I..., oh man...I'm just not good right now, it's all too much and too hard for me. That's why I quit. Are you mad at me for that?" asked Andy anxiously, single tears streaming down her face.

Caroline immediately wrapped her arms around Andy and Cassidy, who had been listening and watching most of the time, hugged Andy as well.

"No, we're not mad at you. But Mom is such a jerk!" scolded Caroline.

"Please don't say stuff like that about your mom. It's not okay." beg Andy quietly, and Miranda, who had been listening to the conversation between Andy and her daughters from the stairs most of the time because she was worried about the conversation, swallowed twice as she wiped her own tears from her face.

Oh God, she had hurt Andrea so much and disappointed her daughters. Damn!!!

Chapter Text

Miranda knocked on the door, interrupting the conversation between Andy and the girls.

"Come in!" the girls called, and Miranda entered the attic and walked over to them.

"It's time to go to bed, and Andrea needs rest too." explained Miranda of her presence.

"Okay mom!" The twins exclaimed simultaneously and got up from the sofa bed.

"Andy are you still coming to say goodnight to us when we are in bed?" asked Caroline and Andy nodded her head.

"Of course honey." she answered and Caroline looked at her happily.

"Great, we'll hurry too." she replied.

"Um... please don't forget to pack your school bags for tomorrow. I'll check it then." replied Andy and the twins sighed deeply.

"Okay, Andy." then they left the loft, leaving their mom alone with Andy.

Miranda sat down with Andy on the sofa bed. Andy looked at Miranda from the side.

"How much did you overhear of the conversation?" asked Andy, and Miranda looked at her in surprise, then gave a short groan.

"I overheard most of it. I'm sorry I was eavesdropping. I was worried about you and the twins. I know how much they love you and how hard the news must be for them and also how hard it must have been for you to tell them." Miranda confessed, looking apologetically at Andy.

"May I?" asked Miranda pointing to the seat next to Andy and Andy nodded her head. Miranda climbed further onto the sofa bed and sat down next to Andy. Both of their shoulders touched as they did so and Andy found the warmth that came with the contact was more than comfortable.

Carefully, but also wearily, Andy rested her head on Miranda's shoulder and leaned against her. Miranda smiled gently at her and stroked Andy's cheek, causing a tumultuous tingling in Andy's body.

"What a day!" sighed Miranda. "When I found your resignation letter, I panicked. I think Emily caught on because a little later Nigel showed up. He had to calm me down and then I had to tell him what was going on." told Miranda and Andy listened quietly.

"We talked for quite a while and he said I need to talk to you, about my feelings, my fears, about your feelings and your plans for the future and how to move forward. He thinks I can trust you to be adult enough to participate in this conversation as an equal." Miranda replied and Andy gave a short chuckle.

"Nigel's right, you know. I am adult enough to understand a lot of things very well. You probably should have talked to me a few weeks ago." Andy muttered, and Miranda sighed deeply.

"I know, but I'm just not very good at communicating when it comes to my feelings and fears." Miranda replied.

Andy placed her right hand on Miranda's left hand, which she had let rest on her thigh. Miranda turned her hand over and opened it, immediately Andy's and Miranda's fingers intertwined before locking them both hands.

"It hurt to be pushed away from you." Andy whispered and Miranda's heart contracted painfully.

"I'm sorry. It hurt me a lot, too, not having you near me anymore. All those days were so dull and gray and boring. I..." Miranda closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

"I fell in love with you, too. I didn't know how to deal with it." Miranda whispered and single tears came out of her eyes. Andy lifted her head from Miranda's shoulder and looked at Miranda with a sad, compassionate look.

"I honestly have never felt this way before. Not with any of my husbands. These feelings were new to me and I suddenly didn't recognize myself. It scared me. I know that's not a good excuse for how I acted." Miranda continued.

"I don't want you to leave us, although I know I can't ask you to stay and I would hate myself if I did. And please believe me darling, it would never have occurred to me to blacklist you. I know how smart and talented you are. If you need to visit Nate and your parents, then fine, but I want you to know that you can always come back to us and always have a home with us and we love you." Miranda explained and Andy smiled warmly at her.

"Thank you Miranda, that means a lot to me. I'm going to spend the next few days thinking about what I'm going to do next." Andy placed a very gentle kiss on Miranda's cheek and Miranda smiled warmly back at her. Meanwhile, a yawn escaped Andy's lips.

"Time for you to go to bed. Come on." demanded Miranda, getting up from the sofa bed and offering her hand to Andy.

********************************

Once the twins were tucked into bed by both women, they met briefly in the hallway, but then separated to get ready for bed themselves.

Miranda went to her bedroom to do this, while Andy went to her room.

First Andy picked out sleepwear from her suitcase, consisting of a shirt and a pair of boxer shorts. With that she then went into her bathroom and put it on the shelf of the vanity.

While she slowly unbuttoned her blouse, which had really seen a lot today and had even been cut open on her left arm in the emergency room, up to her upper arm, she took a quick look at herself in the mirror. Her eyes looked really very tired back at her, her face looked pale and her hair was messy.

Strange that Miranda hadn't said anything about her appearance all evening and hadn't asked Andy to change her clothes, comb her hair and at least wash her face. Fortunately, she had hardly put on any make up today, so there was no smeared mascara. There were only small tear tracks, from earlier crying.

Andy would have loved to jump in the shower to wash off the exhausting and nerve-wracking day, but a glance at her plastered left arm reminded her that she probably couldn't do that tonight.

Suddenly, without her wanting to, memories of the afternoon overtook her, causing her to freeze and her body to shake violently.

That's exactly how Miranda found Andy, when after about 30 min. after she herself had taken a quick shower, removed her makeup and put on her nightgown and bathrobe over it and then went to Andy's room to see if the young woman needed help or was already ready for bed.

"Andrea?" asked Miranda anxiously as she found Andy shivering in the bathroom at the vanity table, pale and rigid. Cautiously, Miranda approached Andy and looked at her intently. When she realized Andy wasn't responding or noticing her, she gently placed her hand on Andy's shoulders.

Andy flinched and her eyes snapped open wide and she backed away from Miranda, disoriented.

"Darling, what's wrong?" asked Miranda, taking a step toward Andy.

It took Andy a moment before she could think clearly again and notice Miranda in front of her.

"Darling?"

"Miranda." whispered Andy softly, throwing herself into Miranda's arms frantically. Miranda immediately wrapped her arms around Andy and held her gently.

"What happened?" she asked softly as Andy began to cry on her shoulder.

"Shtt... I'm here. Everything's fine." whispered Miranda softly over and over until Andy calmed down and Miranda could lead her back to the bedroom.

There she sat Andy down on the bed and sat next to her, still looking at her worriedly, waiting for Andy to open up and tell her what was going on.

Andy, meanwhile, looked at her hands, which she had placed in her lap and were still shaking.

"Stephen's lips were..., were.... On my cheek and he smelled unpleasantly of alcohol. He..., he... was so close and I felt so trapped. I..., I tried to free myself..., but..., but he only held me tighter and his body pressed against me even more. I..., I was... so... I..." Andy began to cry again and Miranda pulled her back into her arms and cradled her reassuringly.

"And... then, you were there..., and then.... he broke away from me, but he hit you.... with his hand on your upper lip.... and then there was your blood..., I..., I... was so afraid that he would..." Andy continued sobbing and Miranda's stomach began to turn. She had to swallow several times to not burst into tears as well. She had to be strong for her Andrea and be there for her. It wouldn't help anyone if she broke down and started crying as well.

"Shtt... it's over. I'm fine..., I'm here with you..., nothing will happen to you. I will never let anything like this happen to you again. I promise you. Shtt...Stephen will never be able to hurt you again, I will make sure of that." Miranda promised as she gently held Andy reassuringly.

It took quite a while for Andy to calm down and when Miranda realized that Andy had almost even fallen asleep on her shoulder, she disentangled herself from Andy a bit.

"Darling let's go to sleep. Okay?" she asked gently and Andy nodded, completely tired and powerless.

Carefully Miranda then helped Andy take off the blouse and pants she was wearing, then she got the sleep shirt from the bathroom and helped Andy pull it over her head.

"Let me help you with the bra. Yeah?" asked Miranda and Andy just nodded.

Miranda turned Andy around so she could slide her hands under Andy's shirt to undo the bra there. Very gently and tenderly she let her hands wander over Andy's soft skin until she reached the top of the bra clasp and unhooked it.

Andy shivered at this pleasant, light and gentle touch and a small moan escaped her mouth.

Miranda raised her eyebrow in question.

"Did I hurt you?" she asked anxiously.

"No, feeling your warm gentle fingers on my skin is very nice." replied Andy as she turned her head back to Miranda and smiled warmly at her.

Butterflies began to dance in Miranda's stomach and her face flushed. Her head began to buzz and she didn't know where to put herself or what to say in response.

Andy turned completely to Miranda and breathed a peck on her cheek before wrapping her arms around Miranda's waist and pressing herself against Miranda. Miranda's arms immediately wrapped around Andy's body and rested gently on Andy's back. It felt so good and also so right the way they both stood there like that, holding each other.

For quite a while they just stood there, until Andy couldn't stifle a yawn and reminded Miranda what they had actually been up to.

"Time for bed. Let's get your bra off and then..." Miranda paused and looked at Andy thoughtfully for a moment.

Andy looked at Miranda curiously.

"And then?" she asked.

"Then..., well.... I mean... I guess..." stuttered Miranda uncharacteristically and Andy smiled a small smile at her.

"Would it be okay if I slept with you together tonight?" Andy then asked shyly, surprising Miranda with the question, since she had wanted to ask the exact same thing but hadn't dared.

"Yes, that would be acceptable." replied Miranda while her heart started beating fast.

"Great." whispered Andy, looking at Miranda gratefully and lovingly.

After Miranda helped Andy with her bra straps, Andy tucked back her comforter, took Miranda's hand in hers and pulled her into bed.

"Darling, don't be ridiculous. We're going to sleep in my bed. Come on!" demanded Miranda shyly, pulling Andy out of her room to take her to her bedroom.

Excited that she would get to sleep in Miranda's bed, Andy stumbled down the hallway behind Miranda. Once in the bedroom, Andy had to stifle a laugh when she saw Patricia sleeping on Miranda's huge bed.

Miranda let go of Andy's hand and edged her bed to gently remove Patricia from her bed. Patricia looked sleepily at Miranda with her big brown dog eyes before yawning loudly and then slowly jumping off the bed and curling back up in her dog bed, which was next to Miranda's bed, closing her eyes and falling back asleep.

Miranda pushed Andy into bed and gently tucked her in with the covers. She then walked around the bed and slipped under her own covers. Both women were very far apart at first.

"May I..., slide closer?" asked Andy shyly, and Miranda nodded her head. Before she slid into the middle of the bed, she turned off the light.

As soon as she slid close to Andy, Andy snuggled up to her, resting her head on Miranda's shoulder and her plastered left arm across Miranda's stomach. Miranda put her arms around Andy and held her gently.

Andy leaned forward a bit and breathed a kiss on Miranda's cheek.

"Good night, sleep tight." she whispered into the darkness of the bedroom and Miranda whispered back. "Good night darling."

Within minutes, both women were asleep, exhausted and drained from the exhausting day and its events.

Chapter Text

Contrary to expectations, the night turned out to be very restless. First, Caroline came stumbling into Miranda's bedroom crying late at night. So Miranda woke up and pulled her daughter into bed with her to calm her down.

Caroline then lay down between the sleeping Andy and Miranda. A little later, Caroline was asleep again, snuggled up to Andy.

But unfortunately Caroline didn't stay in this position for long, but after about half an hour turned and hit Miranda's face with her arm, who then startled up. Dazed and rubbing at the aching spot, she saw Caroline in the semi-darkness of the bedroom lying spread out like a starfish in her bed between her and Andy.

Sighing deeply and groaning, Miranda tried to push her daughter back into a position that was more comfortable for everyone present. As soon as Miranda managed it, she wearily lay back down in her pillows.

No sooner had she fallen back asleep than she heard her second daughter approaching her bed.

"Mom?" asked Cassidy softly, shaking Miranda's shoulder.

Miranda just mumbled, "Huh?" and let Cassidy slip under her covers. Cassidy immediately snuggled up to her mom and they both fell right back asleep.

At some point, Miranda woke up again and looked around the semi-dark bedroom in a daze. Irritated by what had woken her up, she stared and listened into her room. Only after a long moment she saw something dark moving in front of the window.

Startled, she sat up and turned on her bedside light. Relieved that only Andrea was standing in front of the window, she hurriedly slipped out of her bed and approached the young woman.

"Andrea?" asked Miranda softly, looking intently at Andy. But Andy didn't respond a bit, instead nibbling her lower lip and just staring blankly out the window.

Miranda rubbed at the root of her nose, wondering what to do about Andrea. She was aware that Andrea was not awake, but just sleepwalking. Fortunately, her daughters had never developed this peculiarity.

Therefore, Miranda did not know exactly how to react. Sighing, she left Andy there and hurriedly went to the first floor to start her laptop and google how to deal with sleepwalking.

After finding out the information she needed, she hurriedly went back to her bedroom. Relieved that Andy was still standing in front of the window and had not moved, she quietly and carefully approached the young woman.

Then Miranda took her hand and led her back to the bed and tucked her under the covers. Afraid that Andrea might leave the bed again without her noticing, Miranda decided to continue sleeping on the armchair next to the bed. Quietly she pushed the armchair right in front of the bed, then she got a quilt from the guest room and settled down in the armchair, sighing.

The armchair was very comfortable when you sat on it and looked through the book and corrected it, or when you sat on it and wanted to relax and recover for a moment. But to really get a good night's sleep in it, it was too uncomfortable.

Miranda just couldn't find a position she felt comfortable in. Around 4 a.m. she gave it up and got up with a sigh. She quickly put on her robe and checked on her girls again, all three of whom seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Relieved that they were at least getting the sleep they needed, she quietly left her bedroom.

Tired, annoyed and irritated, Miranda climbed down the stairs and turned on her fancy, modern, eco-friendly and energy-saving coffee maker that Andrea had talked her into a few weeks ago. As soon as the coffee, which tasted really good, was ready, she took the cup and went up to the first floor to look at the digital version of the book on her laptop in her study and go through it.

Concentrating, she worked on the book for about 1.5 hours before she finished looking through it. Then she went back upstairs to the second floor and checked on her girls in her bedroom. Caroline was now again sprawled out like a starfish in the middle of the bed, while Cassidy lay curled up like a caterpillar, hooded in her comforter.

Andy was on the other side of Caroline, lying on her stomach. Her tangled hair covered her face and her long legs lay uncovered while the rest of her torso, including her arms, were curiously wrapped in the comforter.

Since there was still a little room on Andy's side, Miranda decided to take the comforter off the chair and lie down next to Andy after setting her alarm for 7 o'clock. She would then be late for the office, but would still have the opportunity to get at least another hour of some sleep.

When the alarm clock went off at exactly 7 a.m., Miranda annoyedly pushed it out and snuggled back up against Andrea, who was so wonderfully warm in her arms.

*****************************

Mrs. Piers, who was already in the kitchen preparing breakfast, frowned when at 7:30 there was still no movement in the house. So she wiped her hands on her apron and climbed the stairs to see where everyone was.

Surprised to find everyone in Miranda's bed, she quietly closed the bedroom door and went back to the kitchen. There she picked up the house phone and dialed, Runway's phone number stored in memory.

"Miranda Priestly office, what can I do for you?" she heard Emily's voice.

"This is Mrs. Piers, Miranda's housekeeper."

"Oh my God, has something happened?" immediately asked Emily in a panicked, shrieking voice.

Mrs. Piers held the phone receiver away from her ear for a moment until Emily quieted down.

"Other than, what happened here at the house yesterday afternoon, I'm not aware of any other event. I'm only calling because Miranda is still sound asleep and I think she really needs that rest." replied Mrs. Piers calmly, while Emily was now really panicking.

"Miranda is still asleep? Oh my God!!! She's going to kill me!" Emily cursed in exasperation.

"Honey calm down, she's not going to kill you. And if it helps you, I'll take the blame. Best cancel or reschedule all morning appointments. As soon as Miranda wakes up, she'll decide for herself whether or not she still wants to come into the office." With that, Mrs. Piers hung up the phone and smiled at that. There just hadn't been any point in continuing to listen to the nervous girl's tirade while she herself had much more important things to attend to, like notifying Roy, possibly school, and then the household.

*****************************

Caroline woke up first, seeing her mom sleeping very closely cuddled up with Andy, she nudged her sister. As soon as Cassidy was awake enough, she giggled with Caroline at the sight of the two women.

"I'm hungry." mumbled Cassidy, climbing out of bed. "Let's go get breakfast." she said, and Caroline thought that was a good idea.

"Oh, did you see what time it is?" asked Cassidy quietly after looking at the alarm clock.

"No, what time is it?" asked Caroline as both girls ran down to the kitchen, being very loud as usual.

"It's already after 8 o'clock. We're going to be late for school." Cassidy explained, looking at her sister a little scared.

"Umm... Not our fault, Mom or Andy are always waking us up. And where both of them are still asleep, it's not our fault we didn't wake up on time." replied Caroline confidently.

"Mary, Mary we overslept!" The two of them called cheerfully as they came into the kitchen.

Mrs. Piers smiled warmly at the two.

"Yes, I noticed that. I've already excused you both from school for today. So sit down and eat your breakfast." ordered Mrs. Piers and the girls giggled.

"Yes, Mary!" The girls exclaimed and began to first drink their cocoa and then heartily devour their breakfasts.

"Don't let your mom see that." replied Mrs. Piers, winking at the twins before going to the pantry to see what she needed to get for today's shopping while the twins continued to eat their breakfast.

*****************************

Miranda's eyes fluttered open and at first she wasn't sure what was over her face. It tickled in any case, but smelled very pleasant. With her free hand, she stroked her face and pushed aside strands of Andy's hair to discover, just inches from her face, the young woman's sleeping calm and relaxed face.

Next, Miranda noticed how her body was intertwined with Andy's. They were face to face, their upper bodies pressed together and their arms wrapped around each other, as were their legs.

It felt so right, so warm and just fantastic to lie cuddled together like this. So it was no surprise that Miranda brushed her lips over Andy's cheeks and her lips felt magically attracted to Andy's lips and settled gently and lightly on them.

Miranda's tongue slid gently over Andy's lips. Andy's lips parted as her own tongue slipped out of her mouth and met Miranda's tongue. Both women moaned at the contact and the careful, initially light kiss turned into a passionate all-consuming kiss within seconds, interrupted only by brief gasps for breath.

"Yeah!!!!" The twins exclaimed, raising their thumbs in approval, giggling and startling the two women.

Miranda groaned loudly and disengaged slightly from Andy's embrace, while Andy pressed her head into the pillow and suppressed a giggle.

"Bobbseys, what did I explain to you about lady-like behavior?" asked Miranda in the direction of her daughters, looking at them intently.

"Knock first, wait to be called in, and only then enter!" The girls exclaimed simultaneously, rolling their eyes.

"If you both know that, how come you never follow it?" asked Miranda, sighing.

Both girls shrugged their Axel and grinned lovingly at Miranda.

"Did you guys want something in particular?" asked Miranda now mellowing.

"Yeah, Emily's here and she brought you some work over and she's expecting new instructions from you." Caroline explained.

"The locksmith is here too and he are changing all the locks and he need some signatures from you." replied Cassidy immediately.

"And Mary says the police called and asked when you were coming to the station to give your statement so they could draw up the charges against Stephen." Caroline explained last.

Miranda slumped back into her pillows sighing and looked at Andy sadly and disappointed.

"I'm sorry darling, I'd love to stay here in bed with you all day, but it looks like I'm going to have to get up." Miranda whispered.

Andy looked at her lovingly and breathed a kiss on her cheek.

"Don't worry about it, it's okay. We can keep cuddling later." Andy explained, winking cheekily at Miranda.

Miranda kissed Andy softly on her lips and then slid out of bed.

"Bobbseys let Emily and the locksmith know I'll be down in 10 min." Miranda ordered as she was already on her way to the bathroom. How fortunate that she had showered last night and had already laid out her clothes. Annoyed that she didn't have time to do her full makeup and hair, she grumbled to herself.

Andy, on the other hand, was lying in the huge king size bed and smiling broadly and completely stupidly to herself in love.

"Miranda was a totally insanely great and very passionate kisser, who knew??? Her kisses were passionate, wild and hungry. I wonder what the rest would be like?" Andy blushed at these thoughts, her body started to tingle and between her legs it suddenly became very hot and also very wet. Andy moaned out loud.

"Oh my god, why did she want to leave town???" Andy thought about it for a whole long moment until it came back to her. She had quit her jobs and her apartment too. Shit, shit, shit... If she was going to stay in New York and build something with Miranda, she desperately needed a new job and an apartment.

With a jerk, Andy sat up and hastily climbed out of bed. But before she could leave Miranda's bedroom completely headless, Miranda came out of the bathroom fully dressed and, as always, immaculately made up and coiffed. To Andy, she looked like the most beautiful vision she had ever seen.

"Darling, what are you doing?" asked Miranda, raising her eyebrow questioningly.

"I was going to go to my room, get dressed, get my life organized, and.... And, God I just remembered how stupid I've been acting. I don't have a job, I don't have an apartment, I don't have anything to offer you or give you. I'm so..." before Andy could babble on desperately, Miranda pressed her mouth to Andy's lips and kissed her lovingly and tenderly.

"Shtt... today and the next few days are for you to rest, then you and I can figure out what happens next together. So please calm down." explained Miranda gently and with a warm loving look after she detached herself from Andy again.

"Okay." whispered Andy, looking at Miranda with embarrassment at how she had panicked.

"Alright, I'm going to go down to Emily's now, and then I'm going to go to the police station and give my statement. After that, I'm going to see my lawyers about the divorce papers. And then I'm going to go to work. But I promise you that I will be home around 5 pm at the latest. In the meantime, I want you to rest, not exert yourself and take your medication as soon as you feel any pain. Mrs. Piers will look after you and the girls and make sure that the three of you don't do anything stupid. If you can wait until this afternoon, I would love to help you shower." Miranda explained, winking cheekily at Andy.

Andy immediately blushed and her heart began to beat and race wildly.

Miranda pushed Andy back into bed, covered her with the covers and breathed a little kiss on her cheek.

"Get some more sleep, I'll ask Mrs. Piers to bring your breakfast upstairs. See you soon darling. If anything comes up or you need anything, please call me." Miranda said before leaving her bedroom with a sigh.

Chapter Text

Promptly at 5 p.m., Miranda rang her front doorbell to the townhouse. Mrs. Piers opened it for her immediately and took her purse from her.

"How is Andrea and how were the girls?" asked Miranda curiously, and Mrs. Piers grinned broadly at Miranda.

"Andy slept most of the day. The twins have been around watching her most of the time. Meanwhile, they did their homework, watched movies, read, or played with their game console. They really were exceptionally caring and sweet towards Andy." Mrs. Piers proudly explained and Miranda smiled warmly at her.

"Did Andrea eat enough?" she asked anxiously.

"Oh yes, she was practically famished for breakfast and ate it all up, for lunch she slept, but earlier she had a little afternoon snack." explained Mrs. Piers delightedly.

"Fine, where are the girls now?"

"They're upstairs in the living room playing on their game console. Andy is asleep on the sofa next to them."

"Okay, I'll go check on them then."

Miranda climbed the stairs to the second floor and approached the living room.

When she entered the room and saw Andy asleep on the couch, she put her finger to her lips and gestured for her girls to be quiet. Then she quietly walked over to her two girls, leaned down to them and greeted both girls with a kiss on their cheeks.

"Hi Mom." the two girls whispered and Miranda looked at them lovingly before walking over to Andy on the couch. There she knelt down and breathed a kiss on Andy's lips.

Andy's eyes opened shortly after and looked at Miranda sleepily, but in love.

"Hey, there you are." she whispered softly, placing her right hand behind Miranda's neck and gently pulling her to her, giving hers a tender kiss.

"I missed you." Andy whispered after the kiss and Miranda looked at her lovingly.

"I've missed you, too. How are you?" she asked, concerned.

"Good, good. I've been sleeping a lot or just resting and watching movies with the girls. How was your day?" asked Andy curiously, sitting up now.

Miranda rolled her eyes when she saw what Andy was wearing today. Her outfit consisted of an old shirt from Northwestern College and a very baggy looking pair of sweatpants, plus warm thick wool socks.

Miranda curled her lips at the sight of it and gave Andy a pained look.

"Darling, why are you wearing something so awful?" asked Miranda in disgust, and Andy looked down at herself, and then looked at Miranda again, grinning broadly.

"You told me to rest today and I can only do that in floppy clothes." replied Andy apologetically.

"So how was your day today?" asked Andy again, getting back to the topic at hand.

"First, I made my statement at the police station and filed assault charges against Stephen. Stehpen was presented to the magistrate and he set bail. So Stephen is back on the loose. But I also had my lawyers draw up a restraining order yesterday so he can't come within 500 yards of the house, the girls, you and me. Stephen's lawyers will be contacting my lawyers soon about the divorce. Let's see what offers they make and if it is possible to speed up the whole process. My attorneys think that Stephen will get a lenient sentence for the assault, since it was the first time he was physically violent towards me. Furthermore, my lawyers think that we can negotiate a settlement. Something like, I drop my assault charges and get a quick and easy divorce in return, if only to avoid a scandal and the press frenzy." Miranda explained, sighing deeply.

"Are you mad at me for not wanting to press assault and sexual harassment charges?" asked Andy, looking at Miranda anxiously.

Miranda looked at Andy for a long moment.

"I can understand you not wanting to do it. So don't worry, everything is okay." replied Miranda softly and kissed Andy lightly on her lips.

"I didn't get a chance to shower this morning, did you take a shower in the meantime?" asked Miranda quietly so the twins couldn't hear her.

Andy immediately blushed and shook her head.

"No, I was waiting for you." She whispered back into Miranda's ear, to which Miranda now blushed as well.

"Well, then we should urgently take care of this problem. Come on darling." Miranda stood up and offered her hand to Andy.

The twins looked questioningly at both women.

"Andrea needs a shower and where she can't take care of it well on her own with her left arm, I'll help her. You two be good, if anything comes up let Mrs. Piers know. We'll need a moment." she explained to her daughters as she gently pulled Andy out of the living room.

Both girls giggled.

Andy let Miranda lead her to their bedrooms, once they got there and Miranda locked the bedroom door, she pulled Andy into her arms and kissed her stormily.

"I've been fantasizing all day about being in the shower with you and what we could do there." Miranda whispered in a sultry raspy voice. Andy groaned as her own fantasies caught up with her again.

"You can't imagine how distracting that was at work." explained Miranda before her lips nibbled along Andy's neck and her hands moved down Andy's back to her buttocks and grabbed the butt cheeks pulling Andy closer.

Andy moaned at the feeling of being pressed into Miranda's body like this, her heart beginning to beat wildly and her mind whirring as her body began to tingle and vibrate.

"Oh Miranda..." moaned Andy lustfully. "Should we..., shouldn't we...,...you're married...go slow?" asked Andy stuttering as her body screamed to be taken over by Miranda.

"Yes, yes darling, we should go slow..." replied Miranda as she slid her leg between Andy's legs and pressed against Andy's crotch rocking her body against Andy's body.

Andy threw her head back and moaned softly from the pressure of Miranda's leg between her thighs, driving her crazy and insanely aroused.

Miranda's teeth nibbled along Andy's exposed neck.

"Oh how I've wanted to do this all day!" moaned Miranda in between nibbling, licking and sucking on Andy's neck.

Andy's legs slowly gave way, but Miranda held them gently.

"Miranda?!?" Moaned Andy, trying to gather her thoughts again. "We should...oh my god.... we should stop... Before we can't stop anymore." replied Andy reasonably, not wanting to be reasonable. She wanted Miranda to take her, to kiss her, to touch her, to seduce her, to love and fuck her, to make her senseless and....

Oh damn... Before she could think or say anything else, Andy's fingernails dug into Miranda's back and she started rubbing her crotch against Miranda's leg.

"Oh darling..., I can't.... and don't want to stop..." Miranda kneaded Andy's buttocks with her hands, pulling them even closer to her body and her lips greedily licked Andy's collarbone, spreading kisses on it. "I need to feel you, taste you, love you. Please, please... allow me..." begged Miranda between the various soft, stormy or nibbling kisses.

Andy's head whirred and jerked, her thoughts swimming somewhere and she couldn't for the life of her think of why she should stop Miranda when she wanted it just as much.

"Take me... I'm yours." Andy murmured, and Miranda's stopped abruptly. Her reason suddenly spoke up and her mind cleared again. No, no, no, this was not how she wanted her Andrea, not to satisfy her own itch, because she was just losing her senses and control of her temper, just because she was horny. She pulled away from Andy. Andy looked at her in fear and confusion.

"Miranda?" she asked shrilly.

"Oh darling, we can't do this. I want to, but I can't. I want to do this right. I want to ask you out on a date first, take you out to a fancy dinner, then take you out dancing or to a concert or musical. I want to show the whole world how proud I am to have you by my side and how much I admire, adore and love you. I don't want what is between us to be a dirty secret. I..., please forgive me for wanting to break off here, even though it's tearing me apart inside because I'm so insanely aroused and turned on right now." Miranda asked, embarrassed and a little afraid.

Andy smiled warmly at her and pulled Miranda into her arms.

"The idea of a date, then a musical, and you wanting to introduce me publicly as the woman you love sounds wonderful. Can we still go take a shower together, preferably very, very, very cold?" asked Andy, grinning mischievously at Miranda.

"Yes, I think a cold shower is a very good idea." replied Miranda, kissing Andy tenderly on the lips as her hands snuck under Andy's shirt and gently stroked Andy's bare back, slowly sliding the shirt over Andy's head.

Once Andy's shirt was off, Miranda eyed Andy's upper body skeptically.

"Do you remember the first time you were in my study and I told you to take your clothes off?" asked Miranda as she untied the bow on Andy's sweatpants and the sweatpants slid onto the carpeted floor shortly thereafter and Miranda helped Andy step out of the pant legs and kneel in front of her.

"Yeah, I remember. You told me my clothes were giving you eye cancer, I thought it was funny. But you were serious. Then I was shocked when you told me to take off my clothes. I didn't want to, but I was afraid you would call me a stupid girl. So I did and felt very uncomfortable about it." Andy confessed, now standing in front of Miranda dressed only in a bra and boxers.

Miranda put her hands on Andy's hips and gently stroked her fingers over the warm soft skin.

"You looked incredibly sensual and sexy then. Even that day I fell a little in love with you and your body. I was aware that you were uncomfortable, but as soon as I stepped up to you and put my hand on your hip, you calmed down and stopped fidgeting. I like to think that my touch calmed you down and not my authoritative presence made you startle and freeze. What was it?" Miranda asked softly as she slowly unhooked Andy's bra and then slid it off her shoulders and arms.

"Your touch did it." whispered Andy back, and she began to shiver, but not because she was cold, but because Miranda's right hand was lightly and tenderly stroking Andy's protruding collarbone.

"Can I be honest?" asked Miranda, and Andy looked her right in the eye, then nodded.

"Yes, I ask that. Let's always be honest with each other." asked Andy and Miranda nodded in agreement.

"Good, I don't like how much weight you've lost. It worries me since it happened in such a short time. You're not anorexic or sick?" asked Miranda very worried, looking at Andy with questioning eyes.

Andy shook her head vigorously.

"No, no I'm not anorexic or sick. I just had..." Andy stopped because she didn't want to blame Miranda, even though it was partly her fault.

"Please tell me what it is." Miranda asked gently.

"I just wasn't hungry, I was so..., so.... in heartbreak, so there were many meals that I either skipped or simply forgot about." Andy confessed quietly, embarrassed.

Miranda put her hand on Andy's cheek and stroked it very gently.

"I'm so sorry I caused you so much pain. I wish I could promise you that I would never do that again. But the truth is I always screw up one way or another. Nigel says I need to learn to communicate instead of pushing people away." Miranda sighed, looking away from Andy sheepishly.

Andy stepped up close to her and put her arms around Miranda's waist and kissed her gently on the cheek.

"Look at me Sweetie." asked Andy and Miranda looked at Andy, mostly because she was surprised that Andy called her that. Never before had anyone called her Sweetie.

"What are you afraid of?" asked Andy anxiously.

"Of so many, that I might mess things up between us, that I'm too old and unattractive for you, too old-fashioned, too career-obsessed, too uncommunicative, too callous and cold as ice and, and, and..." explained Miranda, and Andy looked at her with a compassionate gentle gaze.

"I'm also afraid, for example, that I'm not good enough for you, too young, too naive, too silly, too stupid, too unattractive, too fat, too ugly, too sensitive and insecure, have nothing to offer you, can't give you anything and that I might mess things up between us, and, and, and..." replied Andy and Miranda looked at her surprised.

"So you see, we both have fears and maybe we let that influence us too much or steer us and scare us. Nigel is right, we need to communicate with each other, it's the only way we can counteract our fears. And just because I know some of your fears now, I can tell you that most of what you're afraid of is ridiculous." Andy winked at Miranda before continuing to speak and slowly unbuttoning Miranda's blouse.

"To me you are the most interesting, brilliant, attractive woman I have ever met. Your age doesn't bother me at all, I've never once thought about it being an obstacle. I love how determined and passionate you are and how successfully you keep Runway running and I love it when you explain things and issues to me and also ask for my opinion. How you then patiently listen to me and agree with my point of view or sometimes change it and steer it in the right direction. I don't think you are emotionally cold or cold as ice. I know how loving you are with the twins and how much you love them. I know how much Patricia means to you. You have given me so many beautiful clothes, shoes, underwear, accessories and handbags even though I am just a simple poorly dressed Midwest girl. You were and are so generous to me, so caring, accommodating, kind and loving. How could I ever think that you are emotionally cold? And you hold me gently and securely in your arms, your kisses are tender, gentle, passionate, stormy and wild too. I feel so much better with you because you make me feel loved, valued, visible, important, wanted and desired." Andy explained as she now slid Miranda's blouse off her shoulders and admired Miranda's upper body and her beautiful La Perla bra.

Miranda looked at them speechless and tears shone in her eyes, which she tried to hold back. Never had anyone, except her twins, said such beautiful or loving things to her and about her.

"And as long as you don't push me away again, or ignore me, or silent when there are problems or misunderstandings between us, but talk to me and we work out a solution or compromise together, you and I won't be able to screw anything up." Andy stated confidently as she now unzipped Miranda's pencil skirt and let the skirt fall to the floor.

"A relationship is not a one way street, we both have to work at it and always be aware of how important we are to each other and how important our relationship is to us. Can you promise me that we will figure it out together and work through everything together?" asked Andy and Miranda nodded her head quickly.

"Yes." whispered Miranda softly.

Andy smiled happily at Miranda with a wide beaming smile before she breathed soft kisses on Miranda's bare shoulders and pulled Miranda into her arms and held her lovingly.

Miranda also put her arms around Andy and held her lovingly as she whispered in her ear.

"You have given and given me the best that you possess, that is your beautiful and pure heart, your kindness, your friendship, your love, your care, your cheerfulness, your joy of life, your smartness, your beautiful body, your beautiful smile that brightens every dark day or banishes every bad and negative thought from my mind. You love my daughters just the way they are, you see their individuality and you supported, encouraged and protected them. So please don't think that you have nothing to give or offer us, when you have already given us so much and made us so much happier and more perfect with your love. No one else has ever done that before." explained Miranda lovingly.

"Thank you Sweetie for your kind words, they mean so much to me and ease my fears too."

"Come on darling, we should go take a shower before the twins miss us and come to check on us." Miranda broke away from Andy and took her hand in hers and led her into the bathroom.

Chapter Text

The bathroom was stylishly and very luxuriously furnished. The floor tiles and wall colors were in a soft caramel tone, while the bathroom furniture, consisting of two large vanities with base cabinets and a bathroom cabinet with glass panes in country style, were designed in cream. The fixtures were in matte bronze. Above the two large vanities were two huge large mirrors that were softly lit and seemed to be the main source of light in the bathroom.

Opposite the bathroom door was a large window with several green plants on its windowsill. In front of the window was the freestanding whirlpool tub, with a cozy looking wicker chair with seat cushions next to it on the right side and a small table draped with three candles of various sizes on the left side.

Andy chuckled when she saw next to it a tall and two short identical looking rubber ducks with cool dark sunglasses.

"The twins." remarked Miranda, shrugging her shoulders as she pushed Andy into the huge shower, which was shielded from the rest of the bathroom by a glass wall. Inside the shower, which could have easily fit more than 5 people, was a bench seat with heated seats, which Miranda gently pushed Andy onto.

"Would you like to leave your wool socks and boxers on?" asked Miranda winking as she placed her left foot on the bench and carefully rolled her hold-up stocking off her leg, then repeated the procedure on her right leg. Andy stared at Miranda's pale thighs, her shapely calves and her red-painted little toenails. Only with extreme self-control did she manage not to stroke Miranda's thighs and spread kisses on them.

"No, of course not." replied Andy, as soon as she had detached herself from the beautiful and over from exciting sight. She hurriedly took off her wool socks and gave them to Miranda before pulling down her boxers and then turning away from Miranda a bit.

Miranda who had also removed her La Perla panties looked at Andy curiously and questioningly.

"What's wrong darling?" she asked anxiously and Andy looked back over her shoulder at Miranda.

"I...I...um...do you know that you got me pretty aroused earlier and that's why I'm very wet?" asked Andy sheepishly with her cheeks flushed and Miranda grinned broadly at her.

"Ah, is that so?" she asked back with a wink.

"Yes, of course." replied Andy nervously.

"Well then, you did the same thing to me by the way." replied Miranda grinning mischievously and pointing to her crotch.

Andy stared at Miranda's pussy, which had a very neat short-cropped shave and was glistening wetly.

"Do you like what you see?" asked Miranda curiously, and Andy immediately nodded her head.

"Yes." she whispered softly as a wave of arousal rolled through her body and her own pussy began to throb wildly.

"Good." said Miranda delightedly, stepping up to Andy and pulling her off the bench and into her arms.

Both women held each other for a long moment as their naked bodies nestled against each other, both of them finding it hard not to immediately jump each other and fuck each other senseless.

"Um... Sweetie?" asked Andy, breaking away from Miranda's embrace. "What are we going to do about my plastered arm?"

"Oh, I forgot all about that. Wait a minute." said Miranda, grabbing her robe that was hanging on a hook by the bathroom door and exiting the bathroom.

Andy looked around the bathroom a little more, eyeing the large window skeptically. Suddenly aware of her nakedness, she immediately held one arm in front of her breasts and her other hand in front of her pussy. Unfortunately, she couldn't see another bathrobe in the bathroom that she could have put on.

A few minutes later, Miranda reappeared in the bathroom, holding up a rubber glove usually used for cleaning.

"I think this might work." she explained, looking at Andy in confusion.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"Um, I noticed the window and suddenly found myself a little uncomfortable so naked in front of it." Andy confessed and Miranda suddenly giggled.

"Darling, that's a mirrored glass window. We can see out, but no one can see in. It's opaque. So you don't have to feel uncomfortable. Come let's put the rubber glove over your cast arm and then finally take a shower."

Since the rubber glove was very elastic, Miranda was very successful in sliding it over the cast of Andy's arm.

"Come let's take a shower." Miranda demanded once again and turned to a computer console embedded in the wall. There she clicked a few buttons, setting the water temperature and pressure. Next, she took off her bathrobe and hung it back on the bathroom door.

Once she was back with Andy in the shower, she tapped a button one last time and immediately the water started raining down from the ceiling onto Andy and Miranda.

Surprised, Andy looked up and let the warm water gently sprinkle over him.

"Wow, this is heavenly!" She exclaimed delightedly and Miranda grinned broadly at her.

"Yeah, there's something about a rain shower. But there's still a regular shower head if you prefer." explained Miranda as she pulled Andy into her arms and pressed her against her, breathing soft, gentle kisses over Andy's wet face and Andy giggled to herself.

After a few minutes, the rain shower went off and Andy looked at Miranda in wonder.

"The timer turns the rain shower off after a few minutes so you can soap up. Come and pick out a hair shampoo and shower gel." asked Miranda, gently pulling Andy over to the shelf where the various shower gels and shampoos were.

After Andy opened a few bottles and smelled them, she had finally decided on a hair shampoo and shower gel.

Miranda sat Andy back on the bench and put some hair shampoo in her hands and then began massaging it into Andy's hair and gently scraping her fingernails against Andy's scalp. Andy moaned softly into this pleasant touch and Miranda smiled happily to herself.

"Darling did you know you were sleepwalking?" asked Miranda as she continued to massage Andy's head with the hair shampoo, making sure none of the hair shampoo got into Andy's eyes.

"Um... Yeah. I mean... I don't know... I haven't done it in a while. Anyway, Nate didn't mention anything about it. Why?" asked Andy sheepishly.

"Well last night I woke up to find you standing outside the window with your eyes open, but a blank stare." replied Miranda and Andy groaned, nibbling on her bottom lip.

"I'm sorry I woke you up." apologized Andy, but Miranda immediately calmed her down with a "Shtt... you don't have to apologize, after all sleepwalking can't be controlled or influenced. Or?" asked Miranda.

"Not really." replied Andy.

"How often do you sleepwalk?" asked Miranda anxiously as she took the shower head, which was attached to the wall nearby, out of its holder and turned it on. Immediately, the water trickled pleasantly warm over Andy's head and Miranda gently rinsed the shampoo out of Andy's hair.

"When I was about 4 years old, my grandpa used to play catch with us kids. It was quite funny and we had a lot of fun. But suddenly my grandpa fell and he held his right hand to his left chest. His face was contorted with pain and it scared me quite a bit. He had a heart attack, he survived because an ambulance was called quite quickly and he was taken to the hospital. But I had to deal with these images in my head for a long time. That's when it first started with the sleepwalking. It went on for weeks, that I got up in the middle of the night and wandered around. My parents put a stair guard on my bedroom door so that I couldn't wander out of my room in my sleep and stay safe. When the sleepwalking didn't stop, my parents then took me to the pediatrician first, but neurologically everything was okay. Then they took me to a child psychologist, who then blamed psychological stress for it. He then taught me stress management strategies, such as autogenic training or meditation, drawing pictures of events that stressed me and other things. The sleepwalking subsided and occurred only sporadically during adolescence. I began to write in a diary and found that I loved to write. At that time I also developed the desire to become a writer or journalist. Writing helped me relieve the stress of school or other stress and the sleepwalking stopped altogether. At least as far as I know. Neither my roommate in college, nor Nate ever mentioned anything along those lines. Nate had only said a few times that I was talking nonsense in my sleep." Andy explained, looking up at Miranda, who was by now massaging conditioner into her hair.

"So no wonder you were sleepwalking last night, with what happened yesterday afternoon. That was pretty intense even for me." explained Miranda as she leaned down to Andy and lightly placed her lips on Andy's lips and kissed them very gently.

"So the conditioner needs to stay on your hair for a while, come on I'll soap you up now." said Miranda and Andy stood up.

"What about you? Can I wash your hair now?" asked Andy excitedly, but Miranda shook her head.

"Why not?" asked Andy, pulling a pout.

"Darling you only have one hand available, I think it would just be too inconvenient for you. But once you lose the cast, I'll let you wash my hair anytime, provided you stay here with us." replied Miranda, looking intently at Andy.

"Now that I get to take you in my arms and kiss you and touch you, I never want to be anywhere else but here with you." explained Andy, pulling Miranda into her arms and kissing her gently on her cheek.

Miranda smiled at her happily, relieved and warm.

"I just need a new place to live and a job." Andy followed up, and Miranda raised her eyebrows, looking at Andy thoughtfully for a moment.

"Why do you need a new apartment where you can live here with us?" she asked a little shyly, but also upset that her Andrea didn't want to live with her. While she filled her hand with shower gel and with her other hand told Andy to turn around. Then she spread the shower gel on both hands and gently slid it over Andy's shoulders and soaped them.

Andy slightly turned her head back to Miranda and looked at her questioningly with her warm brown eyes.

"You really want me to stay with you and the girls?" she asked quietly, unsure.

"Yes, of course I do. I offered it to you a while ago, didn't I? Don't you remember?" asked Miranda as her hands slowly traveled down Andy's back, now soaping her shoulder blades in small circles.

"Yes, yes I do remember, but that was weeks ago and by then I was already secretly in love with you and I found the idea of living in a house with you and Stephen quite uncomfortable." Andy confessed, leaning lightly into Miranda's hands, enjoying the touch of her warm, soft hands and fingers against her skin.

Miranda's hands continued to wander down Andy's back, slowly approaching her lower back.

"Well Stephen isn't here anymore and he's never coming back here. So what do you say, would you like to stay here with us?" asked Miranda curiously as her fingers danced tenderly over Andy's back, effectively spreading the shower gel.

Secretly, Miranda wondered if she could soap up Andrea's bottom as well. But first she needed an answer to her question.

"I'm unsure." Andy confessed, nibbling on her lower lip and crossing her arms in front of her chest.

Miranda stepped around her and looked at her questioningly.

"Darling why are you insecure?"

"I don't want to make things harder for you than they already are. I mean Stephen, the divorce, the indictment, the press." replied Andy desperately and Miranda looked at her tenderly and put her hand on Andy's cheek and stroked it gently.

"Darling, the press knows you as my nanny and they won't think anything of you living here in the house now. A lot of nannies live at their jobs because it's actually a 24 hour job and it's easiest that way for everyone involved. And as for Stephen and the divorce, he has maneuvered himself into quite a mess, he better keep his mouth shut if he doesn't want to get into more trouble. And I promise you he's going to get in a lot of trouble if he's stupid enough to try to make trouble for us!" vowed Miranda, and Andy looked at her in horror.

"What are you going to do then?" she asked fearfully.

"Oh honey, don't worry about it, everything will be fine. I promise." replied Miranda as she now reached for her hair shampoo and filled her hands with it, washing her own hair with it.

Andy took some shower gel in her healthy hand and started lathering her left arm, neck, breasts and then her stomach with it. Miranda watched her from the side as she massaged her shampoo into her hair.

"That looks incredibly sensual darling." she whispered to Andy and Andy looked up at her as she now also soaped her thighs and her calves with the shower gel.

"Hmm... you look very sensual yourself, sliding your fingers through your wet hair and spreading the shampoo in it, while your delightful looking breasts, which I really want to touch, rise and fall. And first your abs..., I would love to touch you so much, caress you and explore your beautiful body, with my fingers, my lips..., my skin against your skin.... Oh..." Andy stopped as she realized how she was babbling out her fantasies, getting more and more aroused by them herself.

Miranda grinned mischievously at her.

"I would definitely like that a lot. Save that thought or idea for our date night. In the meantime, could you soap up my back?" asked Miranda kindly and Andy looked at her highly pleased as she finally got to soap up Miranda too.

Hastily, she took some shower gel in her right hand and then began to step behind Miranda and run her hand over Miranda's shoulders, spreading the shower gel. Then she ran her hand down Miranda's spine to her bottom, which she would have loved to reach into. But she didn't dare, saving that thought for later. Slowly, she then spread the shower gel from Miranda's spine all over Miranda's back, brushing Miranda's left side as well. Miranda uncharacteristically squealed and Andy chuckled softly.

"Are you ticklish?" she asked teasingly and Miranda quickly turned to her and looked at her seriously with a furrowed brow.

"Don't be ridiculous darling, of course I'm not ticklish." said Miranda seriously, but Andy didn't believe a word she said and quickly slid her fingers down Miranda's side. Miranda began to squirm and twitch, shooting a nasty look at Andy as she tried to fight off the younger woman.

"Darling?!?" squeaked Miranda as Andy continued to tickle her. Miranda quickly wrapped her arms around Andy, preventing her from teasing her further.

"Darling you are playing with fire. You're lucky that I love you and therefore don't punish you for being so naughty with me." Miranda explained with a wink and Andy looked at her with wide eyes in surprise. This was the first time Miranda spoke directly about loving Andy.

Immediately, a huge megawatt smile appeared on her face.

"What?" asked Miranda uncertainly, looking questioningly at Andy.

"You just admitted that you love me." replied Andy happily, beaming, while in Miranda's arms, snuggling up to Miranda and breathing light, sweet, little kisses on Miranda's cheek.

"Darling, of course I love you, that's why I want you to live with us and share your life with us." declared Miranda and Andy sighed happily against her neck.

"I love you too, very much and even more." whispered Andy in Miranda's ear and kissed her softly under her ear and then nibbled Miranda's earlobe.

A shiver ran down Miranda's spine and she moaned softly.

"Darling, you're distracting, we need to finish showering!" declared Miranda weakly, with no urgency in her voice. Instead, she continued to hold Andy tightly against her body and let Andy continue to nibble, lick and suck on her neck.

Andy grinned against Miranda's neck.

"Hmm... why don't you make me stop?" replied Andy cheekily, and Miranda sank into Andy's arms, sighing.

"You're not playing fair darling." complained Miranda as Andy now put her right hand to her breast and stroked her nipple, playing with it until it was hard and naughty in the air. Then Andy leaned down and pulled the nipple into her mouth and gently nibbled on it until a loud moan escaped Miranda's mouth.

"You like that?" asked Andy cheekily, looking up at Miranda.

"Yes, very much. And I wish we could keep going, but please darling, let's finish up here, the twins are probably waiting for us with the dinners already." said Miranda sighing and Andy gave a deep sigh as well.

"You're right. Excuse me, but your breasts are really too beautiful to ignore." Andy explained, winking at Miranda.

Miranda blushed and smiled warmly and gently at Andy. So far, all of her men had always found something wrong with her body. Her brushes were either too small or too saggy for them, her belly had retained too many stretch marks from the twin pregnancy, or they thought the C-section scar was too ugly.

But so far, their Andrea had not said anything negative about their 51 year old bodies. No, on the contrary, Andrea had so far given her the feeling that she liked Miranda's body very much and would like to explore it.

"Come on, let's get on with it." said Miranda, a little embarrassed, and the two women continued to soap and then shower each other off.

After drying off, blow drying their hair and getting dressed again, they descended the stairs and were eagerly awaited by the twins in the kitchen.

Both girls looked at the two women a little annoyed, but also curious.

"What took you so long?" asked Caroline annoyed, but Cassidy giggled and nudged her sister in her side, whispering something in her ear. In response, Caroline giggled too, and Miranda and Andy looked at the two girls curiously.

"Whispering is pretty rude. What are you two giggling about?" asked Miranda, raising her eyebrow.

"Nothing mom." both girls said at the same time.

"We're hungry and Mary's had dinner ready for ages. Can we eat already?" asked Caroline impatiently.

Miranda sighed deeply.

"Yes, now that we're here, you can finally eat. Happy?" asked Miranda and the girls grinned happily at her.

Chapter Text

During dinner, Miranda told her daughters about the divorce and that she had filed a restraining order against Stephen so that he would not be allowed within 500 yards of them. Miranda also reminded her girls that they should never open the door to him again.

Both girls were very happy that their mom finally divorced Stephen and that he would never play a role in their lives again. And yes, they vowed never to open the door for him if he dared to come over.

"Um...Bobbseys, there's something else I'd like to tell you." replied Miranda nervously, looking at Andy. Andy smiled softly at Miranda and put her hand on top of hers, squeezing it gently to encourage her.

"I'm in love with Andrea and Andrea is in love with me. We want to try to build a relationship and I have asked her to live with us. What do you guys think about that?" asked Miranda nervously and the twins looked at their mom and Andy stunned for a moment before jumping up from the table and screaming loudly "Yeah!!!" and hugging their mom tumultuously and then moving to Andy.

Both girls were so excited and had countless questions.

"Is Andy sleeping in the bedroom with you?", "When are you getting married?", "Can we call Andy Ma?", and several other questions that it was too early to answer. Miranda groaned loudly inside and playfully rolled her eyes. Andy grinned and tried to suppress a giggle.

"Slow down Bobbseys. Andrea and I, are just getting started and still have to figure all this stuff out. Andrea also hasn't agreed to live with us yet. So before we start thinking about getting married and what you can call Andrea anytime soon, let's start slow and see how it all plays out. Okay?"

"Okay, Mom!" The twins exclaimed simultaneously and Miranda smiled lovingly at her two darlings.

After dinner was finished, the table cleared, and the plates and silverware put in the dishwasher, everyone moved to the living room on the first floor. Miranda planned to work on the book, while the girls wanted to watch a movie together with Andy.

However, Andy had another idea. Miranda, who wanted to sit in an armchair, was gently pulled onto the sofa by Andy. There she sat down very close to Miranda and wrapped her arms around Miranda's waist, put her head on her shoulder, snuggled up to her and breathed a tender kiss on her neck.

Miranda, unaccustomed to cuddling from her previous partners, looked at Andy curiously, trying to figure out how she herself felt about this cuddling. It was nice, novel, it warmed her body and she liked it very much. The twins had grown quite a while out of the age where they wanted to cuddle a lot with their mom. Miranda now realized how much she had missed it.

So she too put her arms around Andy's neck and pulled the young woman even closer to her and began to breathe light soft kisses on her face and run her fingers through Andy's hair.

"Darling I like cuddling with you, but I can't get on with my work like this." Miranda explained sadly.

"Can I watch you proofread the book?" asked Andy smiling sweetly and Miranda nodded her head in surprise. None of her previous husbands had ever taken an interest in her work or had the inclination to watch her do it.

"Of course darling." said Miranda and Andy smiled happily at her.

Both women sat down so that Miranda could work and Andy could snuggle up to her, but watch closely as Miranda looked through the book and recorded her notes on the digital version of the book.

While Miranda had been looking through the first few pages and making change notes, Andy watched her silently at first, but after a short while she began to question Miranda and Miranda began to explain why she wanted something changed. Why she wanted this, rather than that font size or font, this background didn't match the object in the foreground, why something should be touched up here and there, why this ad shouldn't follow that article, and, and, and....

Andy listened intently the whole time and after Miranda had worked halfway through the book, she left the next page for Andy to review and asked her opinion.

Andy looked carefully at the page and after a long moment saw what possibly Miranda might not like about it and explained to Miranda what she herself would change about it.

Miranda looked at Andy very pleased as she was of the same opinion as Andy. Admiringly, she looked at the young woman before she breathed a loving kiss on her cheek.

"You are learning very fast darling and it's nice to go through the book with you." Miranda whispers into Andy's ear and Andy grins happily at Miranda.

"I love listening to you explain things. I'm happy that it allows me to learn so much from you, about you and your work. That was the best part of working for you at Runway." Andy explained a little sadly, since now she wouldn't be working with Miranda every day.

"Honestly, I never explained myself before the way I did with you. I don't know exactly how it happened, but I'm very happy about it because it's also very fun and enjoyable for me." Miranda explained, smiling lovingly at Andy before kissing her softly again and snuggling up to Andy even more.

Miranda turned the next page and Andy held her breath in amazement.

"Wow, that's my article on *café to goes vs. thermo cups*!" Andy exclaimed in surprise, quickly skimming the article. "And you guys barely changed it." She whispered softly, tears of joy running down her cheek.

Miranda looked proudly at Andy and gently wiped the tears from Andy's cheeks with her fingers.

"The article was well written and well thought out as it was. Only a few small changes had to be made." told Miranda and Andy looked at her with a wide happy smile.

"So..., so it's coming out in the August issue?" asked Andy excitedly and Miranda nodded her head.

"Yes, darling. And your article about *Runway and how it's changed in the last 5 years* is coming out in the special issue in December, just in time for the New Year." explained Miranda proudly.

"Oh wow, that's so awesome." Andy whispered in awe.

"Yes darling it is. But you'll still have to keep working, because you know yourself that you don't get very rich publishing a few articles. The hourly rate for freelance articles isn't very high." Miranda explained a bit sadly, because she really wished that Andrea's work would be valued at more than $200 per article.

She liked the way Andrea approached her articles, how she used her words to explain what she wanted to explain. How she brought out the different aspects of the different sides and opinions. And how she expressed her own opinion, but didn't force it on anyone, but allowed each reader to have their own opinion and approach to the topic at hand without being patronizing. Moreover, her writing and style was very refreshing and even difficult topics were written in a loose and uncomplicated way, so that every reader could easily understand the article without having difficulties.

Therefore, in Miranda's opinion, it was reprehensible to pay so little money for an article to such a good journalist as Andrea. Miranda decided to look for job offers for Andrea in the next few days, where the young woman would blossom and become very successful and famous.

The idea that Andrea would find a job on her own and not get any help with it, Miranda pushed very far aside. Because why was she the editor-in-chief of Runway and so successful, if she couldn't help her girlfriend to find a good job as well? That was absurd and even Andrea had to realize that and let her help her! Anything else would be ridiculous.

Both women were caught in their own little bubble and didn't notice how the twins looked at them curiously every now and then and started to giggle because the two women looked at each other so amorously and gave each other so many gooey looks and kisses.

It was new for the twins to see their mom so happy. They had never seen her smile, kiss and cuddle so much. It was quite a new experience for the two girls.

With the two women so distracted from themselves, the twins took advantage of the moment.

"Mom, can we make a bowl of popcorn?" asked Caroline, and Cassidy held her breath, eager to hear her mom's answer.

But Miranda just said, "Yes, certainly." and both girls grinned widely at each other and stormed out of the living rooms and ran down to the kitchen.

Andy giggled and looked at Miranda.

"Sweetie, do you realize you just allowed the girls to eat popcorn right now?" asked Andy and Miranda looked at her confused.

"What?" she asked and Andy giggled again.

"You just allowed the girls to make themselves a bowl of popcorn, while they both have to go to bed soon." explained Andy again and Miranda blushed.

"Um... I guess I was distracted." She admitted sheepishly.

"Yeah, I guess so and the little imps took full advantage of the opportunity." Andy replied and snuggled even closer to Miranda and kissed her gently.

"Sweetie, what role will I play in the twins' lives? I mean I'm not their nanny anymore, so I don't have the powers I had before. To what extent am I allowed to interfere in the girls' education and lives?" asked Andy, after thinking for a moment.

Miranda looked at her silently for a long time.

"What role would you like to play in their lives?" she asked cautiously.

"Well, I would like to play the role of an active parent, with all the rights and responsibilities, but also with all the benefits and fun that are necessary for that, to be able to support and accompany them on their way to adulthood." replied Andy and Miranda looked at her with shining eyes, pulling Andy tightly to her chest and squeezing her tenderly.

"Darling" whispered Miranda "you are so wonderful, I...I can't tell you how happy you make me, wanting to be an active parent to my, no to our girls. That's..., that's really... wow, you leave me very speechless." Miranda confessed happily and with immense relief.

"Sweetie, I love the girls and I can't imagine not being an active participant in their lives. So you're okay with me getting all up in this and acting out my motherhood?" asked Andy.

"Yes, darling. I'm more than okay with it, it's amazing. You know, Stephen never wanted to be an active parent and get involved. He couldn't even keep the twins apart. His initial interest in the girls quickly waned after we were married. And James..., well he only ever sees the twins on the weekends and vacations and during that time he plays the good dad, the one who lets them do anything and barely sets any rules. It's frustrating to then have to be the one doing the parenting and setting rules and enforcing them. I often feel like I'm always the wet blanket and always just have to say no and then get all the resentment from the girls." Miranda replied a little dejectedly and Andy gently stroked her cheek and then kissed her much more gently.

"Sweetie, the girls love you immensely and so much more. You're their mom and you'll always be an important part of their lives. And just because you take their upbringing seriously, and they can always count on you and trust you 100%, and you care that they are always okay and can grow up to be wonderful young women, you will always be much more in their hearts than James could ever be. Please believe me when I tell you that you are the most important person in the girls' lives and even if they are sometimes grumpy or grumpy because of this or that rule they have to follow, that will never change. Okay?" asked Andy, looking lovingly at Miranda before tenderly kissing away the tears on Miranda's face.

"Thank you darling. How come you always know exactly what to say to me to make me feel better?" asked Miranda curiously.

"Well that's because it's the truth for one thing and because I really, really, really love you and want you to feel good." replied Andy, winking at Miranda.

"Umm... I'm not sure I really deserve you. You are so much better a person than I am. You're so loving, warm, level-headed, caring, compassionate, kind, and so many more things that I'm not really good at." Miranda confessed softly.

Andy looked at Miranda speechless for a long moment. How could this wonderful, brilliant, intelligent, loving woman think so little of herself??? Who had convinced her that she wasn't or wasn't a good person?

Andy took Miranda's cheeks in her hands, gently stroked them, and looked at Miranda seriously.

"You know, I told you earlier why I love you so much, admire you and want to be with you, and I can tell you anytime, over and over again. But somehow you also have to internalize it and accept it, because otherwise you will question it over and over again. And I think life is too short to always doubt yourself or my love for you. Constructive self-reflection is important, but harsh self-criticism does more harm than good. Please stop being so hard on yourself." begged Andy before leaning over and kissing Miranda on the mouth.

After the kiss, Miranda gave a little frustrated sigh.

"I promise to be better." said Miranda and Andy beamed broadly at her.

"Very good. I think I should go check on the goblins, it's suspiciously quiet in the house, don't you think?" asked Andy frowning and Miranda had to admit that Andy was right.

Both women left the living room together, bumping into the girls in the hallway, beaming happily as they held a bowl of popcorn.

Andy immediately took the bowl from them.

"Thanks girls, really sweet of you to get us popcorn. It's bedtime for you guys now though. So up, up, get ready for bed. I'll check on you in exactly 15 min." Andy explained and the girls looked at her with wide eyes before they started to protest.

However, Andy persisted.

"Everyone can grab another handful of popcorn, but it's still bedtime. Tomorrow is another school day, so pack your school bags too, I'll be checking."

"Andy, you're not kidding!" Caroline and Cassidy exclaimed simultaneously in frustration.

"Well, since your mom has allowed me to be an active parent to both of you, it's also no longer my primary job to be fun. So tick tock, the clock is ticking." explained Andy and Miranda grinned at both her girls.

"Damn it!" muttered Caroline softly, turning around and pulling her sister with her.

Cassidy, however, looked back at the two women for a moment.

"Are we allowed to sleep in your bed again tonight?" she asked hopefully, but Andy shook her head.

"No, everyone sleeps in their beds tonight!"

"Are you sleeping in your bed too?" asked Caroline cheekily, winking jauntily at Andy.

"Sure I'm sleeping in my bed today. Your mom needs her rest and the three of us disturbed her more than once last night. So we'll let her sleep in peace tonight and everyone will stay in their own beds." Andy explained, missing the way Miranda looked at Andy in horror at the idea of having to sleep alone tonight.

Yes certainly, she had been sleeping alone in her bed for the last 2 years since she had asked Stephen to move into the guest room, and was therefore used to sleeping alone. But she had really hoped from now on to always share the bed with her Andrea, to snuggle up to her and fall asleep with her in her arms.

After the girls had sullenly gone upstairs to the second floor to get ready for bed, Miranda pulled Andy into her arms and looked at her, pouting.

"I don't want to sleep without you." Miranda mumbled, and Andy looked at her in amazement. She hadn't expected Miranda to want her back in her bed so soon, where she had been sleepwalking last night and Miranda had gotten little sleep because of it.

"I assumed you'd rather sleep alone and that's why I said everyone sleeps in their own beds tonight." Andy explained and Miranda looked at her in surprise.

"Darling don't be ridiculous, why would I rather sleep alone than with you?" asked Miranda raising her eyebrow questioningly.

"Stephen slept in the guest room. I assumed that's why you always prefer to sleep alone and last night was just an exception because I asked you not to let me sleep alone because I was so emotional last night." replied Andy and Miranda sighed deeply.

"Darling, Stephen slept in the guest room because I had trouble sleeping some time ago due to my menopause. At that time I was restless and also often mentally and physically unbalanced due to my hormones going crazy and couldn't tolerate physical closeness well and so I asked Stephen to move into the guest room. And by the time I was through my menopause, our relationship had changed and it remained that he slept in the guest room. But with you it's different now." Miranda replied, looking lovingly at Andy.

Andy's mom, who was a few years older than Miranda, had also gone through menopause a few years ago. But she had received every support from her gynecologist, who had given her good advice and familiarized her with the different ways to counteract the symptoms. So her mom was doing reasonably well.

Andy looked at Miranda sympathetically.

"What did you do about the discomfort?" asked Andy cautiously, and Miranda looked away from Andy sheepishly before sighing deeply and then taking Andy's hand in hers and leading the young woman back to the sofa and they sat down side by side.

"After the discomfort started to make more and more of a mess of my life, I sat down with my gynecologist and talked about the different options. Hormone replacement therapy sounded reasonable at first, but as I looked into it more, the risks, like getting breast and uterine cancer, were too high for me.
So I tried herbal remedies, starting with St. John's wort and monk's pepper, through red clover and black cohosh, to rhubarb root extracts and soy milk cures. Sometimes it made me feel better and other times not so good. I was constantly searching for the ultimate remedy that would help me. I was so stressed by the complaints, but also because I put myself under pressure, that I stood in my own way. At some point I had to realize that there would probably not be this ultimate remedy that would simply take away the discomfort and make me normal again. I realized that I had to be more relaxed about this instead of running through the wall with my head. So I searched the internet for alternatives, found some blogs on the subject and tried to implement the things that had helped other women. I changed my diet so that it was healthier and I took important vital substances, especially selected amino acids and phytohormones, I started doing yoga and Pilates regularly, especially to do enough relaxation exercises. And yes, once I approached it in a more relaxed way and also separated Stephen, who was not very helpful or supportive during this time, from me and my situation a bit, I felt better. I just had to ensure a relaxed positive balance between my body and my head, at least in my personal life, where at Runway it was already not easy to relieve the daily stress." Miranda explained quietly.

Andy looked at her sympathetically before pulling Miranda into her arms and snuggling up to her.

"So now, are you feeling okay again or is there still some discomfort?" asked Andy quietly.

"No, now that I'm through menopause, I'm mostly sticking to my healthy eating program and supplements, as well as doing daily yoga or Pilates sessions and trying to relax when I can find the time, I'm feeling better." explained Miranda, smiling gently at Andy. It felt good that there was someone who cared about her.

"Good, that's really good. My mom had opted for hormone replacement therapy at the time, maybe I should call her and tell her to get checked out by her gynecologist. Oh, darn that reminds me, I need to call my parents anyway and tell them about my change in travel plans." Andy exclaimed excitedly, having completely forgotten about it. Before she could jump up from the sofa, Miranda gently held her by the wrist.

"Wait darling, I think you can call your parents tomorrow too, now it might be too late to call them." Miranda explained reasonably and Andy nodded her head.

"Yeah, you're right. I'll do it first thing tomorrow." Andy took to himself.

"Do you get along well with your parents?" asked Miranda curiously, since they had never broached the subject before.

"Yeah, generally we get along fine. Well, it took my dad a while to get over the fact that I didn't want to follow in his footsteps and chose journalism over law. But my mom was always behind me and supported me. Neither of them were happy that I decided to go to New York with Nate after college, but they accepted it. They didn't take the separation of Nate and me very well and even wanted me to come back to Cincinnati for a while. But I was able to convince them that I'm doing well here and that I'm getting along. So overall, we're good." Andy replied, a little thoughtfully.

Was it really like that or did she just hope it was? Hm... she would find out when she visited her parents.

"I would like to know more about your parents and your relationship with each other. And I hope you will allow me to learn more about you. But for now, let's check on the twins and see if they're ready to go to bed yet. Come on." asked Miranda, getting up from the sofa and holding her hand out to Andy, who accepted it, smiling broadly and allowing herself to be pulled up from the sofa.

"I would love to tell you all about my family, but you have to stop me as soon as it gets too boring for you. Okay?" asked Andy and Miranda smiled a little grin at her.

"I love listening to you too, and if you start babbling, I promise I'll stop you by any means necessary." Miranda explained, winking cheekily at Andy before she captured Andy's lips with her own and kissed them lovingly.

Chapter Text

Thursday was very quiet, with the girls at school, Miranda at work, and Mrs. Piers taking care of the household. So Andy had plenty of time to think, rest, and wander restlessly around the house.

And to call her parents. Both were less than thrilled that Andy canceled their visit, or rather postponed it indefinitely. They had hoped that they could talk to their daughter about her future when she came to visit. That from the visit now for the time being did not become, they were both frustrated and made it also quite clearly opposite Andy.

Andy was more than annoyed and angry at the end of the conversation, so to work off her anger she grabbed Patricia and took a long walk with her in the park. When she came back, there was already a bunch of paparazzi's waiting in front of the townhouse, calling out to her.

"Is it true that Mr. Tomlinson was arrested?", "What did he do?", "Did he attack the dragon lady?", "Andy what happened to your arm?" and many more questions rushed at her as she hurriedly climbed the steps to the townhouse.

Andy ducked her head and made no comment. As soon as she closed the front door behind her and Patricia, she slid down it, trying to calm her quickening heart and focus her thoughts.

This was so bad...damn.... Miranda would freak out as soon as she saw the paparazzi's and then..., then everything would get so much worse for Miranda and the girls when the press and Page Six found out the real events of Tuesday afternoon and cannibalized it and used it against Miranda.

Her own stay here at the townhouse would also raise questions and that would make everything so much worse. Damn it... she had to get out of here so she could protect Miranda and the twins and to prevent a scandal.

Hastily, Andy got up with wobbly legs and quickly went up the stairs to her rooms on the second floor. In her room, she dragged her backpack onto the bed and cleaned it out. She did the same with her two suitcases. Once she had an overview of her things, she decided what was important to take with her.

She quickly packed a handful of underwear, bras, shirts, sweaters, pants and some more into her backpack. Then she sat down at her desk and pulled out stationery from her desk drawer and began writing a farewell letter to Miranda.

As she wrote the letter, tears rolled down her cheek, which she just wiped away with her hand regardless.

After she finished writing the letter, she put it in an envelope. She then took it to Miranda's bedroom. Before placing it on Miranda's pillow, however, she took the pillow once again and pressed it firmly against her, sniffing it with her nose to lock Miranda's scent into her memory and store it until she could hold the woman she loved in her arms again.

Then she went back to her room and shouldered her backpack on her back and quietly descended the stairs.

"Darling?" asked Miranda, just as she slipped into the house through the front door and saw Andy running down the stairs with her backpack on her back. She raised her eyebrow questioningly and furrowed her brow.

"Miranda?" asked Andy, stunned, looking at the older woman with wide eyes of wonder, like a thief who had just been caught in the act.

"What..., what are you doing home already?"

"Mrs. Piers called and told me about the paparazzi's setting up camp in front of the house and Emily found this online." Miranda pulled her phone out of her pocket and pulled up the online version of Page 6.

Andy starred at the headline and what was written underneath.

******What happened at the Dragon Lady's townhouse Tuesday afternoon?******

Witnesses reported that on Tuesday afternoon a police patrol stopped right in front of Miranda Priestly's house and a little later her husband Mr. Tomlinson was led out of the house in handcuffs. Shortly after, the nicest and best dressed nanny in town, Andy Sachs, was carried out of the house on a stretcher and transported to an ambulance. Miranda, the badass and ice cold dragon lady never left her nanny's side during this. So what was going on in the dragon's lair? Stay tuned, we will find out for them and report back.

Andy turned pale and her legs gave way. Miranda immediately helped her sit down on the steps of the stairs.

"How did they find out?" asked Andy in a shaky voice.

"I think the neighbors were chatting. Frankly, I was surprised there was nothing about it on Page Six yesterday. But darling tell me why you're sitting here with your backpack. What exactly were you up to?" asked Miranda, looking intently at Andy.

"I..., I..." stuttered Andy and then covered her face with her hands and started crying.

"Were you going to leave us? Run away from the new situation?" asked Miranda softly, while she pulled Andy into her arms and hugged the young woman to her, kissing her on the top of her head.

Andy nodded her head, not daring to look into Miranda's eyes, afraid of the disappointed look Miranda would undoubtedly give her.

"Oh darling... you can't leave us." declared Miranda seriously, gently pulling her hands from Andy's face.

"Look at me darling, please." Miranda begged softly and Andy opened her teary eyes, finally daring to look at Miranda.

"Why do you want to leave us?" asked Miranda curiously.

"I don't want to leave you guys, but I have to. I don't want the girls and you to suffer more because of the press, just because I live here with you and that might raise questions and complicate your divorce." Andy confessed softly, leaning into Miranda's warm embrace.

"Darling, you can't leave us just because of that. That would be beyond stupid, and you're not stupid, are you? You know, your presence in this house makes the girls and me happier than we've ever been before. If you leave now because you are afraid of the press and what they might write about us, then those barbarians out there will win. And we will be very sad and unhappy about your departure. Please trust me that I have the situation under control and that I want to keep you with us. Because no matter what happens I love you, the girls love you and we will get through this together as a family." Miranda stated confidently and Andy looked at her with her big brown eyes.

"Come on, let's take your backpack upstairs now and unpack. Yes?" asked Miranda, not expecting an answer, but standing up and reaching her hand out to Andy and pulling her up to her.

Both women climbed the stairs and then took Andy's backpack to her room. Once there, Miranda helped Andy take off her backpack and put it down. After the backpack was put down, Miranda pulled Andy into her arms and gave her a soft and tender kiss and Andy held onto Miranda.

Her idea of leaving the woman she loved more than anything to protect her had taken more out of her than she could say or handle. But now being held in Miranda's arms and feeling safe and secure in them was all it took to recover and calm down.

Miranda held Andy tightly for quite a while before breaking away from her with a sigh.

"Darling, I'm afraid I have to get back to the office. But I'd like you to accompany me, so you won't be alone here and possibly get stupid ideas again. What do you think of the idea?" asked Miranda cautiously, but Andy just smiled warmly at her.

"A very good idea, I still have to empty my desk anyway, complete some files and get everything ready for your new assistant," Andy explained and Miranda rolled her eyes.

The fact that Andrea would no longer be working in her office as of Monday had somehow been pretty successfully put out of her mind. She didn't at all like seeing someone new working and sitting in Andrea's place on Monday.

"Yes, well... I'll go downstairs and get on the phone with Leslie and get her to do something about the horde out there. I'll meet you downstairs in 10 min, is that enough time for you to change?" asked Miranda and Andy looked down at herself.

Andy thought she actually looked okay, just dressed appropriately for the summer and the heat that was outside.

Miranda grinned broadly at her and kissed Andy on the forehead.

"You're perfectly dressed for home, but not for the office. I'll find something out for you quickly. Wait." she said, already opening Andy's closet. Andy sighed deeply and took off her denim shorts and shirt.

Miranda handed her a short sleeved green silk blouse and with it a cream A-line skirt that would end above Andy's knees. Quickly Andy put both on while Miranda picked out black Balarina shoes from Andy's shoe rack and handed them to Andy as well.

Andy was pleased that they were Balarina shoes, but also surprised, since Miranda liked high heels more than flat shoes. Therefore, she looked at Miranda questioningly.

"Well, I don't want you to fall and break your right arm too." Miranda explained with a grin.

"So now go wash your face and comb your hair, I will then do your makeup." Miranda pushed Andy into the bathroom. Andy quickly washed her face and combed her hair while Miranda gathered everything she needed to do Andy's makeup.

After that was done, both women descended the stairs and grabbed their respective handbags and then left the townhouse. Miranda looked at the paparazzi's with a cool icy stare so that no one dared ask her or Andy any questions or approach the two women.

Roy was already dutifully waiting next to the car, holding the car door open for both women.

"Hey Andy, good to see you. Hope you're okay?" he asked, looking down at Andy's plastered left arm.

"Yeah, good to see you too. I'm doing all right. Thanks." replied Andy kindly and Roy smiled warmly at her.

During the drive to Runway, Miranda texted several times, called Leslie, and then checked her email. Andy had leaned back in her seat and was quietly looking at Miranda, letting her mind wander.

"Darling, what are you thinking about?" asked Miranda once she was done with her emails and saw Andy looking so thoughtful.

"How are we going to act in the office? I mean..." before Andy could speak further, Miranda put her hand on Andy's cheek and gently stroked it.

"Don't worry darling, most people in the office know that you are special to me and that I like you very much. They may not know how deep my feelings are for you, but they know we're friends. As long as we don't make out wildly and have public sex on my office desk, we're good. Okay?" asked Miranda, winking at Andy.

Andy immediately blushed at the thought of having sex with Miranda on her desk. Some of the fantasies she used to have really revolved around herself sitting on the glass desk, her legs pushed out from each other by Miranda's arms, Miranda's head poking in between and passionately licking through her wet folds and sucking on her clit as she fucked Andy with two fingers tumultuously.

"Darling!!! Don't go there, behave yourself!!! Someday we'll live out this fantasy, but not today." Miranda explained in a whisper so Roy wouldn't hear any of their conversation.

Andy looked at Miranda in surprise.

"How did you know?" asked Andy, embarrassed and ashamed.

"You groaned for a second and you're like an open book to me sometimes." replied Miranda, giving Andy a very sultry look before biting her lips to get her own fantasies under control.

"Sorry, my fantasies get out of control sometimes." replied Andy apologetically, but Miranda shook her head.

"No never apologize for that, not when I want to hear all about it and make it happen." explained Miranda, blushing now herself.

"Okay." said Andy, grinning broadly at Miranda.

As soon as Roy had stopped at the Elias-Clarke building, both women had gotten out of the cars and taken the elevators up together. As soon as they entered the runway area, Andy noticed how quiet it was in the hallways and workrooms today.

Curious, she looked at Miranda from the side.

"Where is everyone today?" she asked, and Miranda shrugged her shoulders.

"Maybe at lunch, or maybe they took the opportunity when I left earlier and all went home too because they thought I wasn't coming back. Anything is possible." replied Miranda.

Both women continued walking down the hallways until they were almost in front of the outer office. Andy stopped and looked ahead with a queasy feeling.

The outer office was dark, not a single lamp was burning in it and even from Miranda's office no light shone in, as it was also in darkness.

"Miranda?" asked Andy anxiously, and Miranda frowned.

"Hmm..., maybe the power went out." She offered as a solution, but Andy shook her head.

"If the power was out, it would be dark in this hallway too." Andy indicated.

"Come on darling, we'll find out the cause and then call the technicians." stated Miranda confidently and walked to the glass door and opened it for Andy and herself.
Andy hesitantly joined her and entered the dark outer office. As soon as she stepped through the door, the lights were turned on and all the people who had been hiding in the outer office jumped out and shouted loudly "Surprise!"

Andy stared in shock at the people and had no idea what just happened, when Nigel did was pull Andy into his arms and hug her tightly, wishing her a belated happy birthday. After Nigel, came Serena, Jocelyn and a few others Andy had befriended over the past few months and all gave her a friendly hug and congratulations.

Only after the general excitement had died down did Emily come and give Andy an annoyed look, rolling her eyes before her expression softened and she pulled Andy into her arms.

"Come here you silly thing." she said as she hugged Andy warmly and congratulated her.

"You couldn't have told us sooner that it was your birthday and invited us all for a birthday drink?" she asked again in her usual arrogant manner.

Andy pulled back from the hug and grinned broadly at Emily.

"I love you too Em." declared Andy, kissing Emily on the cheek. Emily pushed Andy away from her in horror.

"Arrrrg... go away you filthy child!" she exclaimed, but everyone who overheard laughed.

Everyone knew that Emily liked Andy just as much, especially because Andy had made the office atmosphere a lot easier and more harmonious since she started working at Runway, and had tamed Miranda.

Miranda was the last to pull Andy into her arms and wish her a belated happy birthday.

"Oh wow, thanks for the surprise, you're all great together." said Andy touched, looking at everyone with moist eyes. Miranda offered her a cloth handkerchief, which Andy gladly accepted to dab her tears carefully so her makeup wouldn't smudge.

There was a huge birthday cake for Andy to cut while everyone sank Happy Birthday for her. Everyone except Emily, who refused, but helpfully put the cake pieces on the plates and then passed them to the others.

"Thanks Em." whispered Andy, after everyone finally had a slice.

To go with the birthday cake, Miranda had organized a buffet, with lots of goodies, and a glass of champagne for everyone to toast.

The birthday party was in full swing when Andy finally, in a quiet moment, dropped down on the couch next to Miranda.

"Thank you sweetie, for the birthday party. I was really totally surprised and I'm very touched that you organized it for me. It was very, very sweet and also very thoughtful." she whispered softly as she briefly squeezed Miranda's hand tenderly. "Can I show you how grateful I am later when I get home?" asked Andy, and Miranda's eyes looked at her in surprise for a moment.

"If you must." she said softly before nibbling on her bottom lip and blushing.

"Yes, I must or no, I very much want to." replied Andy, grinning broadly at Miranda.

***********************************

Andy had Roy pick him up at 3 p.m. and together they picked up the twins from school. The afternoon was rather quiet. While Andy rested on the sofa bed upstairs in the loft, the girls did their homework. Afterwards the three of them retired to the living room and there was a piece of birthday cake for each of them, which Andy had taken especially for the twins. After the cake was eaten, the girls started playing on their game console while Andy read a book.

When Miranda came home just before dinner time, she surprised Andy by saying that the girls and herself still had presents for her.

Andy looked at her with wide eyes.

"But I already had a birthday party!" she whispered softly, but Miranda waved her hand away.

"That was just for work, but this is for family now. Mrs. Piers cooked extra your favorite food today, good thing you told her what you like to eat sometime. Girls get your presents so we can get started." Miranda asked and the girls rushed off.

After the gifts, from the twins Andy had gotten the Complete DVD Box of Starship Voyager Seasons 1-7 and from Miranda a brand new laptop, with the latest and greatest writing programs and other great new features, were unwrapped and Andy had hugged her girls and Miranda in high delight, they had a pleasant and very entertaining dinner.

At first, the twins and Miranda's had looked at Andy's favorite meal, which consisted of mashed potatoes, spinach and fried egg, with some disgust, probably because Andy had gleefully mixed her mashed potatoes with the spinach and the result looked very unappetizing. But after the twins had copied Andy and then tasted the food, they had to admit that it was quite tasty. Miranda disagreed a bit, but ate some of the food.

"Hmm... I just realized I'm hosting another child in my house." Miranda sighed and pushed her plate away from her, frowning at the pile of slush on Andy's plate and rolling her eyes.

But Andy smiled a wide smile at her, the green spinach still stuck here and there between her teeth, and Miranda quickly hid her eyes with her hands. She couldn't believe that the woman she loved could be so childish and show her the spinach leftovers in her mouth so willingly.

"Darling!!! You're full of spinach leftovers!" Miranda exclaimed and the twins and also opened their mouths so Miranda could see the spinach leftovers in there too.

"Oh my God, close your mouths damn it sometimes!" exclaimed Miranda in horror and the girls and Andy started giggling.

"Mom, language!!!" demanded Caroline and the twins giggled again when they saw their mom's face looking clearly beastly at them.

"Sorry sweetie." said Andy, leaning over to Miranda and breathing a peck on her cheek in apology.

"Andrea!!!" warned Miranda, not really wanting spinach residue on her cheek.

"What?" asked Andy innocently, grinning at Miranda again with a megawatt smile.

"Nothing darling, you're just being impossible. What am I going to do with you?" asked Miranda, but then took Andy's chin in her hand and gently stroked it with her thumb, looking at Andy lovingly and warmly before kissing her tenderly on the lips.

Chapter Text

Andy sighed in delight, finally the twins were in their beds and had received their good night kiss. Andy gently pulled Miranda into her bedroom and locked the door to the room.

Miranda looked at her curiously.

"I promised you earlier that I still wanted to thank you for the birthday party and now I can finally do it." Andy explained as she carefully and slowly unbuttoned Miranda's blouse and looked warmly at Miranda with her big brown eyes and occasionally blew kisses on Miranda's cheek.

"At first I thought I might give you a massage. But then I saw my plastered arm and I realized I couldn't really do that very well. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to do other things well either. So my thought was that I could crawl your back, that maybe this could be seen as a little thank you. What do you say?" asked Andy as she slid Miranda's blouse off Miranda's shoulders and once it was off, hung it over a hanger.

"Darling you don't have to thank me. I was embarrassed that I forgot your birthday, and I didn't like the idea of you celebrating your 25th birthday alone and lonely. And I felt all the more guilty, so I thought I could make it up to you with the birthday party." Miranda explained, sighing, as Andy's hands rested on her shoulders, gently stroking them and then stroking along her arms, approaching her hips. However, before placing her hands on Miranda's hips, she took Miranda's hands in hers and alternately brought them to her mouth and kissed them softly and tenderly.

"Thank you Sweetie, it was a nice idea to celebrate my birthday like this and I never thought that so many people liked me in office." Andy whispered and smiled.

Then her hands wandered over Miranda's hips and her right hand unzipped Miranda's skirt and then let it slide to the floor. Then Andy knelt down and picked it up and put it away neatly as well.

Andy looked admiringly at Miranda, who was now standing in only her La Perla bra and panties, and unconsciously licked her lips

"Sweetie, you look so beautiful. May I?" asked Andy and Miranda looked at her a little irritated.

"What?" she asked therefore.

"Touch you." replied Andy, smiling warmly.

"If you want." said Miranda, winking at Andy.

"Yes, of course I would." Andy confessed, blushing before standing very close to Miranda and sliding her fingers over Miranda's torso. Miranda sighed lightly at this gentle touch.

"May I take off your bra?" asked Andy and Miranda nodded her head while her eyes were half closed and she started humming.

"Darling you can do pretty much anything, I trust you and trust me I will tell you already if I don't want something." Miranda replied and opened her eyes again and smiled warmly and lovingly at Andy as well before wrapping her arms around Andy and placing her lips on Andy's lips and kissing the young woman softly and tenderly.

Andy unhooked Miranda's bra and stroked her bare back before pulling back from Miranda's embrace and brushing the bra off Miranda's arms, tossing it aside regardless.

With Miranda standing in front of Andy in just her panties, Andy placed light gentle kisses on Miranda's collarbone and her hands danced over Miranda's bare skin, especially caressing the areas she recognized as her favorite. These included Miranda's hips, breasts, her responsive nipples, flat stomach and upper arm muscles.

Miranda enjoyed the delicate touches and also let her fingers roam over Andy's body, which was still fully clothed. Both women moaned as their lips locked together again and their tongues began to slide around each other, teasing their lips together.

Andy reluctantly broke away from Miranda and nibbled on her swollen lower lip.

"Sweetie, please lie down on the bed, stomach down." Andy asked. She then walked over to the bed to uncover the covers and place them at the foot of the bed and patted the bed.

"Come here sweetie." asked Andy softly.

Miranda came and lay down in bed, folded her arms under her head and looked curiously to the side as Andy quickly undressed. However, she left her bra and boxers on.

Once she had her skirt and blouse neatly put away, she slipped into bed with Miranda.

"Can I sit on you?" she asked quietly and Miranda nodded her head, a little disappointed that she couldn't get a good look at her Andrea that way.

Andy sat down on Miranda's thigh so that her crotch was about to press against Miranda's bottom as she leaned over to whisper in Miranda's ear.

"Relax and tell me what would make you feel better." Andy whispered softly in Miranda's ear as she began to slide her right hand down Miranda's back and breathe light kisses on Miranda's skin with her mouth.

"Would you like me to try massaging you a little?" asked Andy as she slid her right hand through Miranda's short hair and gently massaged her scalp.

"No darling, that would be inconvenient for you. Please keep stroking me, it's very nice and pleasant. Tell me about your fantasies." Miranda asked and Andy grinned widely at her.

"Are you sure you want me to tell you about it?" asked Andy shyly and Miranda nodded her head.

"Yes, I'm very sure." She confessed, smiling a small sultry smile at Andy as she looked back at her.

"Okay, but you have to know that my fantasies are often pretty dirty and also very filthy. Everything I imagine in my fantasies is a little..., well it is.... rough, raw, sometimes very animalistic and also very bizarre. But outside of my fantasies, I like it better when having sex and making love rather loving, tender and gentle. I used to feel bad because I had such fantasies, but now I know that it's okay and nothing reprehensible. It's just fantasy and even if I wanted to live out those fantasies, it would still be okay." Andy explained and Miranda rolled her eyes.

"Darling tell me your fantasies and I promise I won't think badly of you. Trust me and I might, if you want, share my own fantasies with you later." replied Miranda, winking at Andy.

"Sweetie, I'd like that. So okay. Remember, Emily had told me before I started working for you guys at Runway all the things I wasn't allowed to do so I wouldn't upset you. And then when you ignored me and pushed me away, I imagined that I did something that would definitely upset you. I imagined that I did it to get you to call me into your office to punish me." Andy told me as her fingers danced over Miranda's back, tracing light patterns on it, and Miranda hummed softly.

"I imagined that you would look at me with an icy look of annoyance when I opened your office door. My body would freeze, but also heat up at the same time, in view of finally seeing you again. My feet would develop a life of their own and slowly move towards you. As if in a trance, I would be drawn to you and only come to a stop one step in front of you. You look at me meanwhile angry and furious and your eyes move over my body, as if you would like to undress or burn me with your look. I'm nervous and scared, but also excited and fidgety. I'm making you madder with it!" continued Andy, and Miranda looked back at Andy, eyeing her curiously as Andy's fingers stroked her sides, lightly touching the sides of her breasts and giving her goosebumps.

"Go on darling!" demanded Miranda impatiently, wriggling a little under Andy and Andy licked over her lips unconsciously while her crotch bumped so pleasantly against Miranda's bottom in the process.

"You would command me to lie across your lap and I would obey the command. My hands would touch the carpeted floor while my belly would rest on your thighs and my butt would hang in the air with my legs on the carpeted floor. Your hand pushes up my skirt and your fingers pull my panties down over my butt, which then floats in the air completely naked." Andy bit her lower lip and Miranda looked back at her curiously.

"Yes?" she asked in a hotter voice and her eyes were curiously fixed on Andy as her right hand had come loose from under her head and was now resting lightly on Andy's thigh, gently stroking it.

"Your hand would then strike my left buttock and the first sting would be very painful but also very arousing and would turn me on. Between my thighs, I would then shamefully notice myself getting wet and try to mask it by squeezing my legs tightly together while your hand would not stop delivering more strokes on my ass. Each new blow on my ass would be more painful than the previous one and I can no longer suppress my whimpering. Tears drip down from my eyes onto the carpet. Only after about 10 blows on each butt cheek, you stop and you are completely out of breath yourself." Andy continued to tell and Miranda looked questioningly at her young lover, while she noticed how the fantasy slowly turned her on herself and it started to throb more and more in her pussy. Therefore, she sheepishly turned her head away from Andy so that the young woman wouldn't see how her fantasy was affecting her.

"You would then push me down from your lap in disgust, noticing how wet I already am because a little trace of it had already formed on your skirt. Your hard, cold, but very soft and rough voice commands me to sit down on your desk. Your eyes look at me hungrily and fierily this time as I sit my ass down on the cool glass top. The cool glass top gives my hot, throbbing ass some relief, but also sends shivers down my spine. Your hands hastily rip my panties off me and my thighs are roughly pushed apart by you so you can stand between them. You are very close to me and I can feel your hot breath on my cheek, but I can't look at you because I feel ashamed. My heart beats faster and more erratically and begins to pound wildly as my blood rushes through my veins. Your hand goes behind my neck and you pull my head roughly towards you and kiss me wildly, biting my lip so that blood oozes out, which you lick and suck on again and again. Your other hand tears open my blouse and pulls my breasts out of the bra. My nips immediately become hard and you pull, pinch and twirl them, while I moan in your mouth from pain, but also from arousal." Andy continued, while Miranda now felt exactly how she was getting hotter between her thighs, at the idea of what her Andrea told her.

"Tell..., tell on." asked Miranda in a shaky huskier voice and Andy grinned broadly at her as she leaned over and began to nibble on Miranda's ear, neck and nape, her crotch pressing against Miranda's bottom as she did so. Miranda began rocking against Andy and getting some friction out of it. Andy grinned as she breathed a kiss on Miranda's shoulder blade, then straightened up and continued.

"Your hand then slides into my hair and suddenly pulls hard, jerking my head back. Your hot, wet tongue licks down my neck and your teeth leave little bite marks and your lips spread smooch marks on it. I whimper and moan and press my pelvis against your belly because I need friction. But you don't let me, you move away from me but are still close enough to lick over my breasts with your hot tongue and then you would take my breast in your mouth and bite hard and forcefully into my nipple while your hand kneads my other breast roughly. And without me noticing, you would suddenly push two fingers, with your free hand, inside me and fuck me hard and deep and fast. You would stop and push your fingers, which are wet from my moisture in your mouth and lick them with pleasure and then look at me with a devilish look. You then command me *Don't come until I allow you!* I swallow hard and whimper because I need my release so badly. But you don't care. Instead, you kiss your way down my naked belly and your wet, hot tongue slides between my moist folds a short time later and you lick, suck and bite at my clit while your fingers are inside me again, continuing to fuck me fast and deep. My orgasm rolls over me so fast and sends me over the edge that I can't do anything about it. My body tenses like a shooting bow and with a snap the string snaps and I come with a deep raw huskier scream." Andy whispered as she stroked Miranad's butt and approached her crotch before sliding her fingers back up over Miranda's back.

Miranda shuddered and whimpered softly, but Andy got it anyway.

"Sweetie, are you okay?" asked Andy, knowing that perhaps her fantasy had aroused Miranda and she was now possibly in trouble.

"Yes..., yes... I'm fine, go on!" asked Miranda a little out of breath as she realized how close her own orgasm was. Hastily she bit the back of her hand and suppressed another moan and whimper.

"You'd be terribly angry that I came without your permission and you opened your pants because of it.... well your skirt has turned into pants in my fantasy...as fantasies sometimes have a way of doing. And your hand is taking your penis.... yes, I know you don't have one, but in my fantasy you suddenly do, and it would be quite large and thick, out. And without warning you then push it inside me and fuck me senseless and always before I'm about to have my orgasm, you stop thrusting inside me and stop inside. Only after a moment you push yourself again in me and fuck me further. You would then torture me in this way until I would desperately beg you to finally let me come, but you would just look at me hungry and wild and keep fucking me and keep fucking me until I.... Now most of the time at this point my office fantasy ends because either Emily would pull me out of it and demand something or the stupid phone would ring." Andy confessed sighing as her fingers were still tracing patterns on Miranda's body. That after such a fantasy she usually had to go to one of the toilets to masturbate and relax again, she prefers not to tell Miranda.

However, Miranda had become very hot and dizzy with this fantasy that she was imagining her Andrea being fucked senseless with a penis, and her own fantasy of holding Andrea's hips with her hands and her penis slowly moving in and out of Andrea's pussy while she sucked and nibbled on Andrea's nipple and Andrea turned under her, moaning and shuddering, had taken over. And just at that moment, Miranda was overtaken by a hot wave, her body tensed and then exploded and Miranda fell apart with a deep but low moan.

Andy looked down at Miranda in wonder.

"Sweetie, did you just come from my fantasy?" asked Andy incredulously, climbing down from Miranda. Miranda, having recovered from her little surprise orgasm, turned back to Andy and looked at her sheepishly, her head reddening, then nodded in embarrassment.

"Wow."

"Um...yeah, I..., I'm surprised myself." Miranda confessed sheepishly, but Andy looked at her with so much love that Miranda pulled her to him and kissed her tenderly.

"Thank you for sharing your fantasy with me. It was quite arousing and also very dirty." explained Miranda while blushing deeply and then looking at Andy with a very hungry and lustful look. "Would you like to hear my fantasy now or would you rather I show it to you?"

"Show me, please?" begged Andy and Miranda pulled Andy into her arms and hugged her tightly.

"Are you sure darling? I mean we were going to wait to have sex and make love."

"Yes sweetie, I am very sure. I want to make love to you now and not wait. Please show me your fantasy." begged Andy and Miranda nibbled on her bottom lip before rising from the bed and sliding out. Andy looked after her questioningly.

"What are you doing?"

"Well for my fantasy I need some things." explained Miranda as she disappeared into her large closet. Andy looked after her curiously.

A short time later Miranda came back with some Hermes scarves and some other things.

Andy swallowed and looked at Miranda intently. Miranda sat back down with Andrea and held up the Hermes scarves.

"In my fantasy, I tied you to a chair because you were always so nervous around me and fidgety at first. That annoyed me quite a bit because I didn't think I was that bad to be so afraid of. After all, I was never the dragon lady here at home like I often was at the office." Miranda told me thoughtfully.

"Well I find a chair very uncomfortable right now and I don't have a rope either. But the scarves do. Do you trust me darling?" asked Miranda curiously, looking closely at Andy.

"Yes, I trust you." replied Andy quietly, eager to see what Miranda had in mind.

"In my imagination, I tied your hands and arms to the back of the chair. Unfortunately, my bed doesn't have a crib head frame, so I'm just going to tie your arms very loosely with the scarves and tuck the ends under the mattress, okay?" asked Miranda and Andy nodded her head.

"Good, before I tie you down, we should clarify how important your boxers are to you?"

"Um..." Andy looked down at her boxers and considered them for a moment. "They're already one of my favorites." she then explained.

"Well, let's get her off before I tie you down." replied Miranda and Andy quickly took off her boxers and then threw them on the floor, next to the bed.

"Lie down darling and relax. I'm going to tie you so that you can free yourself at any time or I can free you very quickly if you become uncomfortable. And please promise me that you will tell me if something you don't like or don't want to continue. Okay?" asked Miranda seriously as she wrapped a green Hermes scarf around Andy's left plastered arm several times before doing the same to Andy's right wrist with a cream colored scarf.

"Yes sweetie, I promise you. I'll tell you if I don't like something." Andy promised and looked at Miranda with a warm look.

Miranda leaned over to Andy and kissed her tenderly before looking at her lovingly.

"Good girl." She then whispered as she slid out of bed and first reached up Andy's left arm and pinned the scarf between the bed frame and the mattress. Then she walked around the bed and did the same with Andy's right arm.

"How are you feeling darling?" asked Miranda as she looked at Andy.

"Fine sweetie, don't worry, everything is fine here with me." explained Andy.

"Okay, in my fantasy I tied your legs down too. How does that make you feel?" asked Miranda curiously, and Andy looked at her with wide eyes, thinking about it for a moment.

"I don't know, let's try it out." Andy offered and Miranda nodded her head. Hastily but carefully she tied Andy's ankles with the scarves and pinned them between the bed frame and the mattress as well. Andy now lay stretched out in bed like an X.

Miranda sat down next to her and looked at her in awe and admiration.

"Darling, I blindfolded you too." Miranda murmured softly, looking at Andy sheepishly. Andy swallowed once, twice, and blinked at Miranda in amazement.

"Okay, do it." she demanded, and Miranda looked at her lovingly, relieved.

"You have to tell me if it gets to be too much for you, and please believe me that I would never hurt you. Okay?" assured Miranda once again, while tying a Hermes scarf around Andy's head, covering her eyes.

"I trust you." declared Andy as her chest rose and fell while she began to breathe a little faster with excitement.

"I love you my brave and beautiful darling." declared Miranda as she sat on Andy's hips and straddled them. As she did so, her La Perla panties, still on and still very wet from her previous orgasm, grazed Andy's pubic mound. Andy held her breath for a moment and then moaned softly, at the touch.

"Are you okay with this, or am I too heavy?" asked Miranda, concerned.

"No..., no that's okay. It's just that your panties..., just grazed me for a moment and.... and... you're so wet. It turned me on." Andy confessed sheepishly, and Miranda grinned down at Andy.

"Do you want me to take it off?" she then asked and Andy began to nod vigorously.

"Yeah... Let me feel your wet pussy on my skin. Please." begged Andy and Miranda quickly climbed down from Andy to remove her panties. Then she got back on top of Andy and Andy moaned as Miranda's hot, wet pussy lowered onto her skin.

"Do you like that darling?" asked Miranda as she rubbed her pussy a little over Andy's pubic mound and gyrated her pelvis.

"Oh, yeah..." was all Andy brought out.

"Beautiful..." Miranda leaned forward, supporting herself with both her hands at Andy's sides, and kissed Andy gently before deepening the kiss and making Andy moan into her mouth.

Then she sat back down again as she ran her fingers over Andy's torso, tenderly touching and exploring Andy's skin. Her fingertips gently brushed over Andy's nipples, which immediately hardened.

"Very responsive." whispered Miranda, giggling softly, and her hands rested on Andy's breasts, massaging them very lightly as her fingers flicked over Andy's nipples.

"That feels very nice." whispered Andy back, wanting much, much more touching and preferably between her thighs as her pussy really needed attention. But Andy could wait a little longer and was curious to see what Miranda did next.

But Miranda wasn't going to do anything except run her hands and fingers along Andy's torso, her breasts, her flat stomach, her arms, her cheeks, her neck, while her mouth and her warm lips and her hot wet tongue, traced the same paths, leaving little kisses and nibbling and sucking here and there on Andy's skin and nipples.

"Ahh..." moaned Andy, every time Miranda sucked or nibbled a little harder and her pussy began to throb and press against Miranda's pussy.

"Please sweetie, touch me where I need you more than anything." pleaded Andy, after Miranda had really,really,really been pleasantly torturing her with her hands, fingers, mouth, lips and tongue for too long, getting her very, very, very aroused.

"Where do you need me the most darling. Tell me." Miranda asked softly, after releasing her mouth and lips from Andy's neck, which she had been nibbling on until just now.

"I need you inside me and your mouth on my pussy. Please sweetie!" begged Andy in a shaky voice.

"So impatient darling. Tztztz..." replied Miranda as she climbed off Andy and Andy began to whimper at the loss.

"Please don't go!" she pleaded.

"Shttt... I'm not going, I just want to reposition myself. Shtt..." explained Miranda softly as she lay down next to Andy, settling her head against Andy's shoulder, pressing her body against Andy's body, and placing one leg between Andy's outstretched legs.

Her fingers of her right hand then wandered over Andy's flat stomach, tenderly and lovingly stroking it, while her lips breathed kisses under Andy's ear.

"Your body is incredibly beautiful and I love touching you and exploring you." Miranda whispered softly in Andy's ear and Andy shuddered.

Assaulted by a sudden desire to be very close to Miranda and touch her, Andy whimpered softly.

"Please untie me, I'd like to hold you in my arms." Andy asked a little desperately, needing more physical contact. Miranda looked at her frowning for a moment.

"Are you okay sweetheart?" she asked worriedly as she untied the scarves from Andy's wrists and then took the scarves off her ankles as well.

Andy immediately pulled Miranda into her arms and hugged her tightly, sighing in relief.

"Thanks I feel better now, I just needed you in my arms so I could be close to you." She replied, pushing the scarf around her eyes to the side with her right hand.

The look Miranda then got from Andy was overwhelming as Andy looked at her with such boundless love and glassy eyes.

Miranda swallowed once, twice, before pressing her lips tumultuously to Andy's lips and initiating a passionate kiss that made both women forget who they were, where they were, and where the future would take them in that moment. None of this mattered at the moment, all that mattered was them, their tongues dancing around each other, the tight embrace that enveloped them both, making them feel safe and secure, and their hearts beating fiercely in unison against their respective chests as they kissed and lost themselves.

As the kiss went on endlessly, both women began rocking their pelvises against each other in a tumultuous rhythm, their pussies pressed together and rubbing deliciously against each other. Their hands then found their way to where both women needed it most at a time they could no longer determine for themselves.

Fingers slid through damp folds and rubbed against small swollen knobs. Loud moaning sounds pervaded the bedroom, but neither knew quite from whom, which sound came, because they were so intertwined and lost in each other and it didn't really matter, because the time together was intense, passionate and stormy and they forgot everything around them and only the here and now counted.

Both women slid into their orgasm at the same time and held on to each other while their bodies tensed and exploded from the inside out and then seemed to fall apart and then slowly put themselves back together again.

It took a long moment, if not many minutes, for either woman to come back to herself and then kiss the other woman next to her gently and tenderly and lightly and lovingly.

"I love you." whispered Miranda as soon as she could speak again, and Andy looked at her with tears of happiness in her eyes, in love and completely blown away.

"I..., I...love you even more." whispered Andy haltingly once her breathing was back to normal and she could speak again. "That was..., that was.... I mean... I've never felt like that before. I think you ruined me for every other person." Andy babbled and Miranda looked at her triumphantly.

"Well I guess my mission has been successfully accomplished with this then." she replied, winking at Andy before breaking away from her and grabbing the comforter from the foot of the bed and placing it over Andy and herself.

"Let's go to sleep now." She asked and kissed Andy, who was already half asleep, on her forehead, then on her cheeks and finally on her lips.

"Good night my sweet girl, sleep tight and sweet dreams." she whispered while Andy fell asleep with a megawatt smile.

Chapter Text

Eighteen months later, after Miranda had been divorced from Stephen for about 6 months and her relationship with Andrea was public knowledge.

Miranda sat in her study trying to focus on her work that she had brought home for the weekend to distract herself from how much she missed her Andrea.

Andrea had left her and the kids 4 days ago with a small travel bag to do research for an article she was writing for her job at Vanity Fair and to do that she had to travel to Texas, Waco for a week.

Miranda sighed deeply, even though she talked to her Andrea on the phone every night and they texted back and forth frequently during the day, she missed the young woman immensely and couldn't wait to finally hold her again.

Miranda knew that it was important for Andrea to have the freedom to leave her cozy, warm, safe family nest every now and then and go out into the world to interview people or do research for her articles.

But Miranda really hated being away from Andrea during this time. She always felt bad during this time, both because she was worried about Andrea's safety and because since their first night together making love, they had formed a connection with each other that she had never experienced with any partner before.

The connection they had could be compared to that of twins if you thought about it more. Both women somehow knew, in an uncanny way, what the other woman was feeling, thinking and needing. And they gave themselves completely to this connection and enjoyed it, that they felt so connected.

But once Andrea was away on work trips, that connection was more of a curse for Miranda. She felt incomplete and also partly lost without her Andrea. She didn't know where to go with her feelings and with her thoughts, she was restless and unfocused, she slept poorly, her mood was subdued and what was worst of all, she couldn't hide it very well. So everyone noticed when Andrea was traveling.

Those around her, especially her family, which had grown in the last 18 months, but also her coworkers at Runway, had adjusted in different ways and tried to support Miranda during this time. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.

******************************

Miranda sighed deeply again and pushed her work aside, realizing that she couldn't get anything done at the moment anyway. Instead, she descended the stairs and wandered into the kitchen. There she leaned against the doorframe and watched her family as they were cheerfully gathered around the kitchen table, preparing for a picnic they had planned this afternoon.

"Mimi, I need your help!" Little Olivia exclaimed before hopping down from her chair and running to Miranda, giving her a quick hug and then pulling her back to the kitchen table.

"What do you need my help for honey?" asked Miranda lovingly, pulling Olivia onto her lap and smiling warmly at her Bobbseys, who was making sandwiches with Matt.

"I'm in charge of fruit salad, but I can't get the peel off." Olivia explained in frustration, handing Miranda the banana, which she picked up from the kitchen table.

Miranda took the banana and bent the banana stem between her hands, cracking the banana peel. Once that was done, she handed the banana back to Olivia. Olivia beamed happily at her and then pulled down the banana peel, placed it on her cutting board and took the child's knife that was lying next to it and began to cut the banana into small pieces.

"You're doing really well honey." replied Miranda, kissing the little girl on the head and winking at her Bobbseys who started to giggle.

Since Matt, had taken over the nanny job from Andy 18 months ago, he and his little four-year-old daughter Olivia, whom everyone just affectionately called Olli, had become part of the Priestly family.

The twins and Andrea had already met Matt and Olli a few months earlier in the park and met them there again and again, so it was a huge surprise for the twins when Matt greeted the twins with Olli on his arm on Monday, the day he started his job as a nanny at Miranda.

The twins had been thrilled at the time because they liked Matt and Olli very much and they got along great with both of them and also decided right away to take them into their family.

Matt, who raised Olli alone because his wife had died in a traffic accident a few years ago, was thrilled to be welcomed so warmly by the twins. And since he hardly changed anything about Andy's rules and parenting style, he had also won Miranda over very quickly.

But it was Olli who chose Miranda as her Mimi (grandma) and adored, trusted and loved her from the first moment she met Miranda. Miranda also fell in love quite quickly with the little, lively, smart and cheerful girl. And so she was only too willing to fulfill her duties as "Mimi".

Miranda quickly realized that as Mimi she had much more freedom that she didn't have as a mom for her daughters. So she could spoil Olivia to her heart's content and drop the rules she had set up for her daughters and turn a blind eye or even both. She often got a raised eyebrow from Matt, but also sometimes stunned looks from her daughters and her Andrea.

But then she usually didn't care and smiled at everyone with a delightful smile and shrugged her shoulders.

"I'm Mimi, I'm allowed to do that and now stop looking at me like that!" she would often say and pull Olivia into her arms and cuddle with the little one. And looking at the two of them like that, no one could really be mad at them, or at least not for a long time.

Miranda didn't even find it strange to be a mimi to Olivia. She even enjoyed this privilege very much and because she loved the little girl so much and had her father more and more in her heart, she had the basement converted in the first months and created a small basement apartment for the two. Thus both had been woven into the Priestly life more and more. And now no one could imagine what life was like without Matt and Olli.

Matt, who at 32 was still pretty young to be a perpetual widower, had dates from time to time. And meanwhile, Miranda and Andy took over Olli's supervision. Both women loved having Olli with them, especially when the twins were with their father or grandparents and the house seemed so quiet and empty then. Olli always managed to keep the two women on their toes and infect them with her cheerfulness.

The only problematic thing was when Matt introduced the family to the women he was dating. Neither Miranda, nor Andy, nor Olli, nor the twins could make friends with most of the women. They always had something to criticize here and there, sometimes the woman was too silly, sometimes too serious, sometimes too old, sometimes she had too strange views about this and that, sometimes she was an environmental sinner in Andy's opinion, sometimes a woman's laugh was too shrill, or her voice too squeaky, and so on. There was always something to find fault with or criticize.

So Matt had a hard time finding a new girlfriend, which didn't really surprise anyone. At least not the female residents of the townhouse. Therefore, the twins and Andy had dedicated themselves to the task of finding a wife for Matt.

Miranda stayed out of it, but also demanded a say, since she was the Mimi and didn't want some random woman to take over the mother role for her Olivia, who was unsuitable. So also in this way, many women fell out, which Miranda did not like or which she considered unsuitable.

But today, Matt would definitely date a woman he had chosen for himself and so they were also preparing the picnic. Matt would meet the woman in the park, while the twins, Miranda and Olli would have a picnic nearby and watch the two from a small distance.

Once Matt, got to know the woman he was dating better, he would decide whether or not to come over with her and introduce her to the family.

Matt, who was a little nervous about his date himself, but also knew that Miranda missed Andy a lot and needed some comfort, stood behind her chair and put his arms around her from behind and gave her a quick squeeze. Miranda patted his hand and looked at him with a small smile of gratitude.

"Andy's fine and she'll be back here soon." He promised her softly before turning back to the picnic preparations.

"Yes mom, Matt is right, only 3 more days and Ma will be back." the twins declared simultaneously, smiling warmly at their mom.

"Yes Mimi, you don't have to be sad, Andy will be back soon and until then you can cuddle with me." Olli promised and Miranda lovingly hugged the little girl.

"You can cuddle with us too." the twins promised quickly and Matt looked at Miranda with a wink.

"With me better not. I don't want any trouble with Andy." he said and the twins began to giggle.

"Thank you." whispered Miranda touched for having such a great family. Before she could say anything more back, the front doorbell suddenly rang. Everyone looked at each other in surprise, as no one was expecting visitors.

Matt, wiping his hands on a towel, left the kitchen sighing. After a moment he came back and grinned broadly at Miranda.

"It's for you Miranda." he explained and Miranda looked at him in surprise. But then lifted Olli off her lap, then stood up and left the kitchen.

When she opened the front door, she was greeted with a wide megawatt smile from her Andrea, who immediately pulled Miranda into her arms and kissed her tenderly. Miranda quickly wrapped her arms around her lover and kissed her back stormily and longingly. The kiss lasted for quite a while and only broke off when both women had to catch their breath.

Miranda, however, continued to hold Andy close and looked at her with a huge delighted and happy smile before letting her gaze wander and linger on a vacuum cleaner that was standing next to Andy.

Her eyebrows raised and she looked at her lover curiously and questioningly.

"Thanks, we don't need a vacuum cleaner! But I'm infinitely glad you're back with me. I love you and I missed you." Miranda explained, while she pulled Andrea to her again and started kissing her again, barely able to keep her hands off her lover's beautiful body. She had really missed her a lot.

"So what's the vacuum cleaner for?" asked Miranda curiously after she broke away from Andy and pulled the young woman into the house.

"It's actually for Matt, his vacuum cleaner broke the other day and I promised him, because I know about vacuum cleaners, I'd get him a new model that will work for him. I'll give Matt a full demonstration you never wanted to see." Andy replied, winking at Miranda as she pulled the vacuum cleaner into the house as well, then set it down and pulled Miranda back into her arms.

"I also love you immensely and more, and I've missed you a lot too. That's why I finished my work quickly." Andy whispered into Miranda's ear and began to nibble on it lightly as her hands lightly roamed over Miranda's body.

"Um... the kids are in the kitchen, but I'd like to see your full demonstration now...." Miranda whispered seductively in Andy's ear, already imagining Andy introducing her to the vacuum cleaner as she undressed her young lover and then showed her how much she had missed her over the past few days. Therefore, she pulled her Andrea and the stupid vacuum cleaner, up the stairs and hastily both women disappeared into the bedroom....

End