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An Unexpected Request

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AN UNEXPECTED REQUEST + 2 SHORT STORIES (BONUS)

The Devil Wears Prada and its characters are owned by Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century FoxAn Unexpected Request is a non-profit work made for entertainment purposes only.

Unexpected Request (2010), The Bet (2015) and The Wedding (2015), as well as eventual original characters, are under © by D.H. Furlan (Danieli Hautequest).

 

*This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real-life names, people, dates, places, facts or situations will have been mere coincidence.*

 

 

 

 

This is an improved version of the translation ‘Unexpected Request’, fanfiction posted years ago, still under my pseudonym DANIELI HAUTEQUEST.

 

 


 

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AN UNEXPECTED REQUEST

By D.H. Furlan [Danieli Hautequest]

 

CHAPTER 1

 

“Oh, wait! I'm on my way! Please just a minute!” Andrea Sachs yelled over the loud music.

Sunday, cleaning day. Madonna resonated through the small apartment, while Andy tried to make the place look like a habitable environment again.

The young woman stopped the music, and ran to the door. Still panting, she peeked through the peephole.

Andy could not believe what she saw.

“But what...? Shit!!!”

Terrified, Andy stared at the entrance for interminable seconds, until another series of impatient knocks spurred her into action.

She opened the door.

It was none other than Miranda Priestly.

They looked at each other. Andy with her mouth opened like a fish, and Miranda, with her patented raised eyebrow that was visible even under her sunglasses. Andy was sure that behind them, the woman rolled her eyes.

“Can I come in?” Miranda asked in her low, icy tone—which always sent a shiver down Andy's spine—already invading the young woman's personal space, forcing her to take two steps back, then step aside, giving way.

Andy closed the door and leaned against it for a moment. Her body was shaking.

Miranda took off her expensive Christian Dior and took a quick look around, her disappointment clearly evident.

Andy felt extremely embarrassed. Instinctively, she hugged herself, trying to create a shield against the dominant and still quite intimidating aura of the elegant and increasingly impatient woman.

“I-I was cleaning up…that's why the mess, I-”

Miranda stopped her with a wave of her hand. She then gave a resigned sigh and looked at the younger woman.

Although the editor's makeup was impeccable, Andy could see how tired she was. The young woman frowned, intrigued. As far as she knew, Miranda should be in Europe with her daughters...

In the eight months that Andy had left Runway, they had only exchanged minimal words during a few uncomfortable encounters. However, Andy was seeing that Miranda Priestly still had the power to make everything else take a back seat.

The young woman quickly removed the pillows from the only couch in the apartment, tossing them in a corner.

“Please sit down,” she asked softly.

To her surprise, Miranda nodded without any resistance. In fact, the woman dropped her body onto the couch in relief.

“Would you like something to drink?” Andy offered carefully.

“No.”

“Er…well…”

Embarrassed, Andy hurried over and brought out a chair, placing it in front of Miranda. She sat casually, her legs slightly spread and her arms resting on her thighs, which were exposed by tiny navy blue Lycra shorts.

That seemed to get Miranda's attention. She inspected Andy's posture and clothing, as she critically raised her eyebrows.

Obviously the shorts and white spaghetti-strap blouse, ragged and dirty, did not make a good impression. But Andy would not be unnerved anymore. For God's sake, she was at her home! She did not work for Miranda Priestly anymore. She did not have to worry about what the woman thought of her manners or clothes.

In a rush of courage, Andy raised her head in defiance.

“What do you want?” She tried to keep her voice steady. But when Andy heard another sigh and saw Miranda look away, an idea occurred to her. “Di-did something happen to the girls?”

Miranda just nodded weakly.

Andy froze.

“B-but what…I-” She stammered, and was silenced by the older woman's hand gesture.

“Andrea, don't interrupt me. Let me tell you everything you need to know,” Miranda ordered in her usual commanding tone.

Andy widened her eyes and quickly nodded in practiced agreement. She knew there was no point in arguing when the woman used that voice.

Miranda sighed again.

“When my girls came to ask that they could contact you, I confess I was surprised. Looks like you really made a good impression on them,” the older woman smirked.

“Harry Potter…” Andy muttered under her breath.

Miranda shrugged.

“Not only that. They kept talking about how you could always tell the two apart, and that, in your provincial way, you were ‘nice’."

Andy's lips formed a half smile. Should she take that as a compliment or an insult? The girls sometimes had some characteristics of their mother which bothered her.

“If it was something you were willing to do, and it made my daughters happy…why not?” Miranda pointed out casually.

And you wouldn't have to make so many excuses for not being with them, Andy thought bitterly.

She was the one who heard the complaints. Andy admitted that Miranda had improved considerably since the divorce. The editor was more careful with her daughters, but her job was always time-consuming.

“There was an understanding between the three of you. Of course I kept an eye on this ‘friendship’. The girls gave me reports of everything. It was our agreement.”

Andy already suspected.

“I'm aware of my limitations…as a mother,” Miranda continued, in a heavy voice. “My daughters must have mentioned that I'm trying to be more present. At least we're having more time together...”

Andy stared at her, openmouthed.

Miranda was having a conversation…a serious conversation with her. Just like in Paris…

It was extremely disconcerting!

Miranda took a deep breath, looking even more tired.

“I would do anything for my daughters…” She said, full of conviction in her intimidating tone. “Plainly, I came here to ask for your help.

So Andy was sure. When cleaning the bathroom, she must have inhaled too much disinfectant, because she was hallucinating! Miranda Priestly did not ask, she ordered!

But before Andy could say anything, Miranda continued to speak.

“My daughters have been diagnosed with leukemia, Andrea.”

Had she not been sitting, Andy would certainly have fallen to the ground like a rotten fruit. She was pale, her head was spinning.

“W-what?” The young woman managed to ask in a weak voice.

She loved the girls.

Two months after Paris when she got the first call from the twins, Andy had been surprised. Without preamble, they invited her to go to the theater with them to watch the Lion King. Even though she did not understand the rapprochement attempt, Andy felt touched. But she was also worried about what Miranda might think. However, the girls ensured that their mother knew and allowed Roy, the driver, to take them to the theater.

Andy's common sense told her she should keep a safe distance from that family, but her heart responded with something different.

When she left Runway, Andy thought she was doing the right thing. But it hurt as much, if not more, than the conflicting feelings that made her make the decision at the first place.

Andy took the risk. She was going the other way around, and accepted the invitation.

When Andy met the girls, they were spoiled brats. The young woman had a difficult time fulfilling their whims. The science project was martyrdom, and Andy would be forever indebted to Christian Thompson for his help with the Harry Potter manuscript.

However, after she started spending more time with the twins, Andy found that most of that arrogance was a barrier against disappointment. The girls were afraid of being left behind again. In their little heads, the father easily gave up parental custody. Miranda never had enough time. The stepfather left them without looking back.

The twins felt alone. Maybe that is why they tried to bring her back into their lives. And Andy came back, but not before making some rules.

The young reporter made it clear that she would be with them because she wanted to; she no longer worked for Miranda. Therefore, the sisters needed to learn certain limits.

It was with great surprise that Andy noticed that Cassidy and Caroline Priestly could be sweet and thoughtful girls. They looked like normal kids, not celebrities. Even her mother's inherited snobbery seemed to have diminished since they started spending more time with Andy.

That worried her.

Miranda could accuse her of poisoning her daughters' minds.

But the woman was there in front of her. Not to condemn or stop Andy from seeing her girls. She wanted her help.

“A-are you sure?”

Miranda shot her a glare, which said: ‘Are you an idiot or what?’

Andy shivered and moistened her suddenly dry lips. Then she swallowed the lump of fear that had settled in her throat.

“I mean…when did you find out?”

With her left hand Miranda rubbed the back of her neck in a nervous gesture.

“As you know, I went to Europe to meet my daughters on their vacation,” her voice was exhausted.

Then she pressed her lips together.

“Although I took some work with me, I managed to set aside a good part of the days for us.

A little work, of course, Andy thought cynically.

But it already meant something.

On another occasion, Miranda would say she was very busy. That she would make it up to her daughters next time.

“On my fourth day with the girls, we were in Brussels. Since I arrived, I've found Cassidy a little discouraged. But she had no fever, nothing apparent. The next day they wanted to go to the Grand Place. Halfway through the walk, Cassidy's nose began to bleed uncontrollably. I took her to the hospital. The doctor examined her. Said Cassidy looked a little anemic. That scared me. I can be accused of a lot of things, but neglecting my children's health isn't one of them,” Miranda said seriously.

Andy nodded. In fact, most of the time, it was employees who took the girls to medical appointments; but even so, their health was very well monitored.

“I told the doctor they had regular checkups. The last one, two months ago, had been normal,” Miranda added. “Still, the doctor wanted them to have a blood test, and that's when leukemia was discovered…It all happened so fast…”

“But…you said the two…”

Miranda nodded and took a long breath.

“They ran the tests on Caroline, too. Although the disease has not yet manifested itself, it is in her system...

“My God, Miranda…I'm so sorry…I…”

“I need your help, Andrea,” the other woman repeated, staring into her eyes.

“W-what I can do?”

“Have my child.”

“WHAT?”

Miranda rolled her eyes.

“I took the bone marrow test, mine is not compatible. There were complications when my girls were born; I can't have more children. You know that in such cases, siblings of the same parents have a good chance of compatibility. Jeremy is not suitable for the transplant either, but he has offered to donate his sperm. We will continue to look for a donor…but I want to have an alternative…”

This time, Andy could not resist. She pinched herself. It hurt. She was not dreaming. It was a real nightmare.

Despite the absurd situation, the path pointed out by Miranda was plausible, perhaps the most practical, given the circumstances...

“W-why me?”

Miranda looked at her as if Andrea were really stupid.

“Because you're the most clueless, naive, and annoying person I've ever met...”

Andy was about to protest.

“And also, the most honest, loyal and hardworking...there are few people who can surprise me, Andrea, and you never cease to amaze me...”

Andy's words died in her throat.

Miranda sighed.

“You left me…when I needed you the most…”

“Miranda, I-”

“I didn't think you'd have the guts…It was…a shock…”

“Mi-Miranda…”

“It's probably hard for you to believe, but I also didn't like how things ended with Nigel. On the other hand, I don't miss opportunities, Andrea… But…did you need to be so drastic?”

Only Andy knew how much.

“Apart from that lapse, you've always been loyal. During the circus in Paris, you could have allied with the enemy. But you tried to warn me, you wanted to help…” Miranda paused for a moment, as if the whole conversation was too painful.

Andy imagined it was in many ways.

Would Miranda have been so honest and open with someone before?

Andy doubted it.

This realization filled her with a new sense of confidence, but also a certain unsettling feeling.

She was back in dragon fire!

“I thought of you because I know you won't use our family disgrace to promote yourself or extort money. If you accept, it's because you really want to help my girls. I know I'm asking a lot…” Miranda breathed heavily. “Think about it, Andrea…Please…If you accept, then we will do it under suitable conditions. I just ask you to keep it confidential. I want to avoid exposing my daughters to tabloid vultures as much as possible.”

Andy just nodded in understanding. She was numb with disbelief.

The Ice Queen ‘opening up’? ‘Asking’, using ‘please’…The twins' situation…It was too much to process.

“Are you going to think about my request?” Miranda asked with an expression Andy had not seen before: Fearful urgency.

“I-I will…”

Miranda nodded in acknowledgment and gave a tight smile. She rose gracefully from the couch and replaced her sunglasses. Her face, an unreadable mask again. The Miranda Priestly everyone knew and feared.

She turned and walked to the exit.

Andy did not follow her. She did not trust her legs. She just watched the woman leave.

At the door, Miranda stopped. Without turning to the younger woman, she said, “Just don't be long…we don't have much time…”

“I-I know…”

“Thank you, Andrea…” Miranda whispered. Then she opened the door and left.

Andy did not know what to think or do with the jumble of emotions burning in her chest.

Her heart decided for her.

She hugged her legs, rested her chin on her knees, and cried.

Chapter Text

Andrea Sachs sighed and wrung her hands nervously. As soon as the Mercedes stopped, the young woman took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and opened the luxury vehicle door, not making a point of waiting for the driver.

Roy looked at her quizzically. He knew Andy had gone back to spending time with the twins, but tonight, Miranda would be home. His gaze then became apprehensive.

“Good night, Andy,” the man didn't disguise his concern.

The young reporter gave him a tight smile.

"Thanks... Good night, Roy,” she replied in a weak voice, and with unsteady steps, Andy went through the entrance passageway of the exquisite townhouse.

She sighed heavily and pressed the doorbell.

The door opened immediately.

Miranda.

“Good night Andrea,” the name sounded in that characteristic heavy accent.

To her dismay, the young reporter felt the familiar shiver down her spine, this time, accompanied by a blush.

Miranda obviously noticed Andy's reaction and raised her eyebrows, causing the young woman, if possible, to turn even redder.

The editor's lips curved slightly at the corners in a rehearsal of a victorious smile. Her intense blue-green eyes began to move slowly over Andrea, assessing. As they reached the black Chanel boots, her eyebrows arched, and her gaze grew brighter.

“Come in,” her tone came out low and a little husky.

Apparently, Miranda was pleased with her former assistant's choice.

In addition to the famous boots, Andy wore a Miu Miu skirt just above her knees, La Perla socks, a long-sleeved Prada blouse and a Gucci jacket, as well as a charming Burberry beret. All in black. As accessories Andy had a Bottega Veneta shoulder bag and a gold Emporio Armani necklace and earrings. Her hair was carefully brushed and the soft makeup completed the ensemble.

Andy couldn't respond verbally, she just nodded, walking into the house. Though she was intentionally using various items from her time in Runway, Miranda's acceptance was stirring her up in a dangerously worrisome way.

The editor offered her right hand.

Andy stared at the woman, her face reddening again.

Miranda rolled her eyes.

“Your coat, your beret,” her tone was exasperated.

"Oh...!" Andy mentally kicked herself, and she finally handed the items to Miranda. The older woman took them from her carefully, and placed them in the closet under the stairs.

Andy's brain was a little slow. In fact, she was exhausted. She had been thinking a lot, about a lot of things at once. Plus, Miranda's presence—beautiful, calm, and teasingly in control—wasn't helping.

Andy's reasoning might have fallen short, but to her alarm, certain parts of her body were quite active...

She had justly escaped from these ‘things’, and now she was back in the dragon's lair!

"The girls-," Miranda was interrupted by the little redheads.

"Andy!" The sisters yelled as they ran down the stairs.

Miranda started to protest the rush, but stopped when she saw the joy on her daughters' faces.

Andy released all the tension and welcomed them with a big smile and open arms, which were soon filled with happy twins.

"Mom said you were coming!" Caroline hugged one side of Andy's waist.

"We missed you!" Cassidy added and, like her sister, hugged the woman.

“I missed you too! Good to see you girls!” Andy stated excitedly. She turned her face discreetly to see Miranda's reaction to the show of affection between them. The woman had a watchful eye, but her expression was unreadable.

“Don't smother Andrea, dears,” the editor gave a sardonic smile, and then she gently placed her right hand on Andy's back. “Let's go,” she urged, and broke the gentle touch.

But the young woman was not moving. She was frozen in place.

Aside from the light accidental touches, Miranda had never purposely touched her before. But Andy did, gently on her shoulder, as she bent down to whisper names in the editor's ear during a party. She never forgot how in tune they were, how she seemed to feel what Miranda needed.

"Andrea?" That impatient voice. “Are you going to camp in the hallway? Would you like me to bring a lunch box for your dinner?”

“Uh...? Uh...er..." Andy stuttered, forcing her body to move, something made easier by the twins, who practically dragged her along with them. The sisters talked nonstop about the movie they'd just watched, a title that, not surprisingly, hadn't come out in theaters yet.

Priestly exclusivity! Andy gave a mental sigh. She knew the price of these perks very well. She felt compassion for Miranda's new assistant. Given the situation of the girls, there was certainly a lot to come.

The four went to the kitchen. When only with her daughters, Miranda avoided the formal dining room. Dinners at home were one of the few moments she had with the girls. For this reason, Miranda wanted them to be more comfortable.

Carena, the cook, smiled when she saw Andy. With her frequent visits in Miranda's absence, the young reporter befriended the squat, easy-smiling Latin American lady.

"Buenas noches (good night), Andy!" The cook greeted her in the mix of languages she allowed herself to have with the younger woman.

Buenas noches, Carena. How are you?"

“Well, well,” the lady's smile turned to a puzzled one. She finally realized that Andy was there with Miranda, and that she was the owner of the extra seat at the table.

'Later...' Andy mouthed, at the cook's confusion.

“Carena, you can go,” Miranda sat down in her chair, after seeing that the table was set. Andy and the girls also took a seat.

“Thank you, Mrs. Priestly. Good night."

Miranda gave a nod, as Andy and the twins said their warmest goodbyes. After all, Caroline and Cassidy spent much of their time in the kitchen with Carena, who sometimes even tucked them into bed when Miranda was too late.

Andy suddenly felt completely out of place.

She had eaten there animatedly with the twins several times over the past few months, but never with Miranda at home. Andy never had a meal with her that wasn't related to work. It was strange, unnerving.

Cassidy and Caroline's noise with the meal woke her from her stupor. That's when she noticed Miranda watching her...

Again the fucking blush!

"Andy, what did you do while we were traveling?" Caroline asked after swallowing a mouthful of minestrone.

“Um…the usual. I worked, I started reading a book that had been on the shelf for a while, that sort of thing,” the reporter tasted the food. It was divine! Carena was really great.

"What a boring thing!" Cassidy teased and laughed along with her sister.

Andy shrugged, smiling. "Miss Boring, that's me!" She joked.

"How are you at work? Did anything interesting happen this week?” Miranda asked casually, as if they always had that kind of conversation.

Andy was shocked once again. It seemed Miranda intended to make her feel that way often throughout the night.

"Er...it's all right. Um...well...I asked Stevie for the week off..."

“Why, Andy? Did something happen?" Cassidy was frowning. She and her sister looked at their friend worriedly.

"No, no! I needed to sort things out, so I used the spare hours I had; just that,” Andy hastened to explain.

The girls accepted the excuse, returning to their soups.

After the unexpected visit and the emotional bomb that had been dropped in her lap, Andy did nothing but think about Miranda's request. She couldn't write a line, so she asked her editor for a few days off, citing family health problems. It wasn't a total lie... At least the health issue, unfortunately.

After three days of agony, Andy had the courage to call Miranda and set up a meeting. To her surprise, she was invited to dinner with the woman and daughters at the townhouse. Even a ride with Roy was part of the bargain.

"Mom, did you know that Andy is running for an award?" Caroline suddenly mentioned it.

Andy shot her a glare.

The girl fluttered her eyelashes, her face totally angelic.

You big-tongued! As if Miranda would care about-

"Is it true? This is interesting. What's this about, Andrea?”

Andy was shocked again. It was getting ridiculous! It was time to face that Miranda was trying to be something close to kind, at least in front of the girls.

She decided to collaborate.

“An article I wrote last month about the new generation of single moms, including independent ones... It was nominated for the Aspiration Award, for young journalists, promoted by the Times”. (1)

Miranda raised her eyebrows slightly. “Well, just the nomination is a great achievement. It's an important award. Congratulations, Andrea.”

Andy was delighted with her truly sincere tone.

Miranda then pursed her lips slightly.

“Looks like you're finally making a name for yourself in the serious journalistic world. Definitely leaving your frivolous Runway time behind, huh?”

There was the old hurt.

"Er...I-"

“It was a great article.”

"D-did you read?"

“Obviously,” Miranda replied in a tone of finality, as if it were nothing.

But for Andy it was immeasurable!

She never thought Miranda would care about anything she wrote. Especially after the way she left Runway...

Afterwards, the four spent the rest of the meal talking about lighter subjects. Excited, Caroline and Cassidy told of their vacation. But no one commented on why they came back early. Andy wouldn't bring it up. She still didn't know how much territory she could run with Miranda when it came to the girls.

After dessert of wild fruit salad with fresh cream, the twins wanted to drag Andy with them upstairs to watch a movie.

“In a little while, my dears. Mom needs to talk to Andrea first.”

"Oh...!" Caroline complained not at all happy.

“It won't be long, Bobbsey,” Miranda assured her.

"Promise?" Cassidy had narrow eyes, an expression much like her mother's patented one.

Miranda smiled.

An open and genuine smile. The kind of smile she only gave her daughters.

It was so beautiful...so special...

Dangerous things were stirring in Andy's young heart again!

“Yes, I promise,” Miranda stated.

But the sisters were still not satisfied.

“How about playing Guitar Hero while your mom and I have a quick chat? Then we can all watch the movie together, huh?" Andy felt compelled to try.

From the smiles she got, it was a great idea.

"Are you really going to watch the movie with us, Mom?" Caroline was hopeful.

Andy felt terrible. She acted without thinking. Now she expected 'the look' in her direction, and an apology for the children.

However, Miranda smiled again at her daughters.

“Yes, Mom will. Now go, we'll be there soon.”

The girls ran upstairs, chatting happily as usual.

Miranda turned to Andy.

"Uh...er... I...should I say...I'm sorry...?” The younger woman automatically questioned.

Miranda sighed.

“No, it's okay, Andrea,” she looked thoughtful, her face taking on a frown. “It's sad to see how something as simple as watching a movie with my daughters can make them so happy. Maybe because it's become so rare,” Miranda added the last part in a low voice, as if to herself.

Without another word, the editor turned and walked toward one of the rooms on the first floor.

Andy followed her.

It was conversation time. One that could seal their lives forever.

 

————————————————

(1) The Aspiration Award was invented by the author.

Chapter Text

Andy stood in the doorway, watching what appeared to be a drawing room.

“Sit down,” Miranda instructed halfway to the opulent, well-served bar at the back of the space. Though, realizing that Andrea was still in the same place, she stopped, and as if remembering something, the woman gave an impatient sigh. “Andrea, 'please', have a seat,” she said slowly.

It was not her intention to remind the editor to use good manners. Andy was just immersed in the assessment of the room, as she had never been there before. The decor was refined and luxurious, an impeccable showcase set to impress. Compared to the rest of the townhouse she knew, the area was so impersonal that Andy felt a real shiver run through her body. Yet, her ego was grateful for that rare moment when Miranda Priestly remembered the magic word 'please'.

Andy smiled slightly and did as a request, taking a seat in one of the fancy armchairs. At least it was comfortable.

Miranda huffed and reached the bar. She chose a bottle of Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005, opened it with an exclusive corkscrew, grabbed two wine glasses and came back. Without any comment, she handed one of the glasses to Andrea, and poured it. Then Miranda sat in the armchair across from the younger woman, calmly filled her own glass, and placed the bottle on the floor, on the small Persian rug between the furniture.

Andy looked at the piece of crystal in her hand, and admired the crimson liquid for a moment before taking a long drink. Delicious. Good French wine. She noticed that Miranda was also sipping hers. They took their time with the drinks. Both needed to relax a little before the conversation.

After a few more minutes of tactical silence, Miranda looked at Andrea with curious blue-green eyes, as if to say: so what?

Andy took a deep breath.

"Er...well..." She started nervously, then stopped, trying to regain control.

It was weird having Miranda Priestly waiting so eagerly for something she had to say, or being so patient.

"Uh...well...Since I'm here, you must imagine that I intend to accept your request...otherwise, I could have just called and said no, and-"

"So, do you accept?" Miranda wanted to restate the obvious.

“Y-yes...but we need to discuss everything...Look, it's an unusual situation, and-"

"Of course. I understand perfectly. Say your terms,” Miranda instructed.

Andy swallowed hard. Setting boundaries for Caroline and Cassidy was one thing, but saying what she wanted and would accept from Miranda Priestly was another matter far more dangerous and full of ramifications. She froze. Her mouth was ridiculously half-open.

Miranda rolled her eyes.

“Andrea, as the wine apparently anesthetized your neurons, which by the way, already seemed to be off today, let me deal with that...If we have any disagreements, we'll discuss the topic, right?”

Andy nodded, her face flushed, her eyes expectant.

“First: all of this will be in a contract,” Miranda began.

Andy gave a nod.

“It is strictly forbidden to talk about our situation to the press, before being authorized by me. You must keep our real deal a secret. However, if you need to share it with someone, your parents or a close friend, for example, make sure they keep their mouths shut. Because if it leaks, you're the one who's going to pay for it..."

Andy swallowed and gave another nod.

"Every month I will deposit a significant amount into your account, and-"

"No! I don't accept this." Andy cut her off quickly.

"Andrea, you-"

"I already said no!" Andy repeated indignantly. "My love for your daughters cannot be bought!" She stated vehemently.

Miranda gave a tired sigh. Sometimes it was hard to remember not to treat her like everyone else. The girl was ridiculously honest.

"I didn't mean to offend you, Andrea..."

Andy pursed her lips and took a deep breath. Then she nodded in acceptance.

“But you will be in my care. I will be responsible for medical expenses, clothing, food and other procedures related to your pregnancy,” Miranda added firmly.

After a little hesitation, Andy gave another nod.

"You will come to live with us."

Andy's eyes widened. "What...?"

Miranda frowned, her gaze intimidating. "Andrea," she restarted in calm measure. “My daughters will be in home treatment. I'm sure your constant presence will make them happier. Also, you will be carrying my child. I don't want to have to keep an eye on you in that flophouse you call home. Here it will be easier for me to take care of your needs. Be practical, Andrea.”

Andy thought for a moment Then she gave a resigned sigh along with a nod.

"Furthermore, this will be more favorable to our decoy..." Miranda said with a slanted smile.

Andy's eyes narrowed with concern. "W-what decoy?"

Miranda gave that wickedly sensual smile. "That we are a very happy family..."

Andy swallowed hard. "W-what do you mean?" She dared to ask.

“Why Andrea, we are a passionate lesbian couple who have decided to add a member to the family.”

"WHAT?"

Miranda rolled her eyes, but the predatory smile was still on her lips. She stared at Andrea, her gaze determined.

“I don't want the press fighting over a piece of my daughters. Instead, let's give them something juicy to publish in distraction. We will be a couple in love who are waiting for a new family member. The girls will study at home to be closer to their 'new mother', and be able to monitor the pregnancy, which is somewhat problematic. The perfect setting..."

“B-but...it will give the impression that we've had an affair for years... And there's your divorce, and-"

Miranda stopped her with a dismissive wave of her hand.

“They will use this anyway, Andrea. For these rags the more sensational the better. About the divorce, it's already been finalized, and thanks to Stephen's treachery,” she was distinctly pleased, undisturbed by the infidelity. “My ex-husband has been demoralized enough, he won't expose himself to ridicule again. So, let's allude to the idea that the rush is because I don't want to waste any more time. Since they're going to throw a midlife crisis in my face, a new child will just be an addendum to the gossip,” Miranda explained in detail in one breath.

Andy's mouth was hanging open. She then closed it with a snap.

"My God...you've thought of everything..."

Miranda looked at Andrea as if she were the slowest human on Earth.

“Of course I do,” she replied dryly, but then gave the younger woman a defiant look. "Are you still going to accept my request?"

Andy was stunned. She opened and closed her mouth several times, not knowing what to say.

Miranda's cell phone rang. She looked at the ID and sighed, resigned.

“Have your time, Andrea. I'll be back soon,” the editor got up and left to take the call in the hallway.

As soon as the door closed, Andy's mind raced.

She was gripped by an overwhelming fear of rejection. Andy was afraid of not knowing how to deal with the reaction of her family, friends, co-workers. She was worried about her life exposed to the public. If her relationship with Miranda were real, getting through this wouldn't be easy, but at least she would have a precious bonus...

Andy let her shoulders slump in defeat and took a long breath.

Facing the plan scared her a lot. But what terrified her most was knowing how painful it would be to leave. Leave that house, the children. Leaving Miranda, after knowing how it could have been, if it were true...

Andy wanted to cry.

However, despite everything, she knew she would accept the plot. Despite her selfish feelings, she would help the twins. She needed to! She loved them so much. If doing something for the girls meant sacrificing her heart, Andy would do it...

Miranda had not gone into details about the disease. Although the twins acted normally, Andy noticed the subtle changes. Someone who didn't know them well or knew where to look might not have noticed. But Andy saw the weariness in their eyes, the slight hesitation, the worried glances… She also wondered if the girls were already taking any medication. Probably yes. At least the side effects weren't visible yet. But Andy knew it was just a matter of time before...

Again, she felt like crying.

Though, she was brought out of her melancholy introspection by the noise of the door being opened and closed.

“So Andrea, do you need more time? Although our fight against it, I don't want to rush you. I know it's a difficult decision, very much to consider. If necessary, I'll wait a few more days..." Miranda questioned in a surprisingly soft voice.

Andy's last defense crumbled.

She sighed and gave a watery smile, trying to hold back tears.

"Not. It's all right...I agree to help,” her voice came out hoarse but resolute.

Miranda looked at her for a moment, saying nothing. Then her expression changed, she looked a little hesitant.

Andy was worried. She knew that look. "Miranda, is there anything else?" She sounded a little exasperated.

The older woman gave an uneasy huff, sat down in the armchair, and looked at Andrea for a few seconds.

“It was Jeremy on the cell phone. My worthless ex-husband has become sterile,” she delivered at once.

“W-what? But how so?"

“He just received the result of the sperm count test. A few years ago, Jeremy had an incident with his mount. He fell and hurt 'there'...his doctor thinks that, added to his age, is linked to his loss of fertility..."

"B-but...now what?"

Miranda rubbed her neck nervously.

"We'll have to look for an anonymous donor."

“But doesn't that lessen the odds? What I mean to say is-"

“Yes, but we will still have a brother or sister of the same mother. The chances are still there, and I can't miss any of them, even the smallest ones, Andrea.”

"I understand...You are right..."

Miranda was quiet, thoughtful. Then she turned to Andrea with an expectant look.

"In this case, we will choose the donor together...I think he might 'look like you'..."

Andy's eyes were huge.

"A-are you saying what I'm thinking, Miranda?"

The older woman took a deep breath. Her face showed sadness.

"Yes. Contrary to what others think, I'm not that insensitive or ungrateful. I wouldn't use you as a surrogate and then dispose of you. I know how all this will affect you emotionally. I know how much you will be putting at stake for us, Andrea. Even before Jeremy's mess, I wanted this child to be a part of your life. After all, you will bear it trying to save my daughters. The twins love you, and I'm sure the child will feel the same. I want you present in their lives...I want this child to be legally yours too, no matter what happens..."

Andy's heart was pounding so hard, she thought she was about to have a fit.

My God...a child. Being a mother...I'm really going to have a baby with Miranda Priestly!

Chapter Text

"What took you so long?" Caroline asked indignantly.

She and Cassidy went to get Andy, dragging her to the couch. The twins were in the TV room surfing the cable channels, as they waited impatiently for the women.

“Mom had to take a call, honey. That's why we took longer than expected,” Miranda explained calmly, heading towards the larger couch, which would apparently accommodate them.

"Mom, can we have popcorn?" Cassidy asked, stopping her midway.

Miranda's eyes narrowed.

"Please!" The sisters insisted on a rehearsed plea.

On another occasion, Miranda would have flatly refused. For God's sake, they'd just finished dinner! However, a lot has changed in such a short time...She would enjoy her daughters' appetite while it lasted. Miranda knew that soon the twins would be facing nausea and other side effects of the medication...and to think they were just beginning...

Miranda sighed, mentally composing herself. One day at a time. In that one, she would put smiles on her girls' faces.

"Right," she agreed in a falsely resistant tone. “But none of these flavors even more unhealthy. You two already had too many carbs at dinner. And no soft drinks! Light popcorn and apple juice. Are we understood?” Despite the concession, there were still limits!

"Yes!"

"Thank you Mom!"

The twins responded happily.

Miranda looked directly at Andrea, who had a knowing little smile. The editor arched an eyebrow. The young woman shrugged slightly, her smile even wider. Miranda narrowed her eyes but allowed a slight tilt of her lips.

Andrea was feeling more comfortable with her.

It was something they talked about after settling the 'plan'. Since they would have to pretend to be in a relationship, they needed to be more open with each other. Recover the intimacy that had been growing between them by the time Andrea left Runway.

"Do you want the same thing as the girls, or something terribly caloric and sticky like bacon, cheese and the like?"

Andy smiled slyly.

"The same. Including the juice.”

Miranda raised an eyebrow again, this time in undisguised surprise. She was sure Andrea would pick something disgusting just to challenge her.

"I need a diet, you know..." The young woman added slightly blushing.

Miranda's face softened in a way Andy never imagined it would be offered to her.

There was her heart melting and doing those strange and dangerous things! The red in her cheeks sure gave her away.

Miranda looked at her intently for a while, then nodded in understanding and left to take care of the snacks.

Andy took a deep breath, resisting the urge to fan herself with her hand.

"Huh?" She questioned absently after a while.

“I asked if are you going to sleep here. Are you will stay?" Cassidy repeated hopefully.

"Exactly! It's getting late. It's dangerous to go to the hole at the end of the world where you live!" Caroline added.

Andy laughed.

"What an exaggeration!" She messed up the girls' hair, who laughed. "I don't live that far away!"

"But it's still a hole..." Cassidy pointed out disdainfully, much like her mother.

Andy shook her head, but a small smile graced her face. It was a great chance to talk to them. Knowing Miranda, the woman would be thinking the same thing. She would probably spend more time in the kitchen. They had agreed to tell the twins about the situation. Andy wanted to explain everything to the girls herself, something that Miranda happily accepted.

"But...answering your question...yes, I'm spending the night,” Andy waited for the heated responses to end before continuing. "Speaking of home, I have a few things to discuss with you guys," she inserted, and two pairs of curious eyes stared at her immediately.

Andy spent the next few minutes talking about Miranda's plan. The girls listened attentively, sometimes letting out "wow!", "cool!", or interrupting her with practical questions. In the end, not a surprise to Andy, the twins were delighted with everything, especially knowing they were so loved.

* * * *

When Miranda returned to the TV room, she found the three of them lying on the rug. They were on huge cushions propped up against the foot of the couch, the girls hugging Andrea, as they watched the movie trailer.

"I thought the couch was big enough."

"Oh Mom, that's better!" Cassidy opposed, laughing.

“It's true! Andy gives amazing hugs! Why don't you come too? After all, you two need to practice!" Caroline joked, sharing a laugh with her sister.

Miranda raised her eyebrows and looked at Andrea. "I see you've already talked to them."

The young reporter shrugged and gave her a playful smile.

Miranda let out a small sigh accompanied by her usual eye roll, and walked up to the three.

"Here," she offered the tray of snacks, looking down. "Really? Do you still want me to serve you, girls?"

The twins didn't move a finger to help, but Andy quickly sprang into action. She disentangled herself from the small bodies that were clinging to her, knelt, and took the tray from Miranda's hands.

To her surprise, Andy saw the older woman kick off her shoes with her feet in practiced skill, bend down, and then raise an eyebrow in defiance.

“Get over there,” she commanded, bumping her shoulder lightly with Andrea's, moving to her side, between Caroline and the younger woman.

Andy's eyes widened and her face flushed immediately at the joking and sudden touch.

If her body reacted like that with a simple touch...what would it be like when they actually started acting?

Andy was in trouble!

The girls smiled as they watched them, enjoying the little tug-of-war between the women. That plan would be fun!

Miranda cleared her throat discreetly, and Andrea snapped out of her stupor, placing the tray on the floor. Soon, each of them grabbed their popcorn and juice, including the older woman, who leaned back against the cushion, and popped a handful of popcorn into her mouth.

Andy looked her out of the corner of her eye, fascinated by the display of naturalness. She would never have imagined that Miranda Priestly ate junk food, much less such a trivial one! Apparently, the editor really liked it, as she chewed with relish. Andy also loved popcorn! What else would they have in common?

I see a great deal of myself in you...

That came to her mind suddenly, and Andy imperceptibly shook her head to dispel the tumultuous thoughts.

"What are we going to watch?" Miranda asked between mouthfuls.

 "The Phantom of the Opera!" Caroline replied, her mouth full of popcorn.

"But haven't we already seen this movie?"

“Andy hasn't watched this version yet,” Cassidy said.

Miranda nodded without any protest, and snuggled in, getting dangerously close to Andrea.

The young reporter could feel the older woman's body heat. It seemed to flow in waves towards her, calling to her, urging her to lose her mind...

Andy swallowed, an inappropriate smolder of desire powerfully enveloping her.

Could she put up with that for nine months?

Andy really was in trouble!

Chapter Text

Andy would have to watch the movie again, because by the end, she could barely remember what she was supposed to have seen. But the devastating effect of Miranda's proximity was vivid in her memory! Andy wasn't completely lost because she knew the plot, and had watched the old version. Otherwise, she would have had a difficult time with the twins' enthusiasm for commenting on some parts.

"Bedtime, Bobbseys," Miranda announced, standing up and stretching her body.

"Oh Mom!" Caroline complained.

"Just a little more! Andy is here!" Cassidy asked.

"And you will see her every day, very soon," Miranda replied with a winning smile. "I bet Andrea is tired too," she added, turning to the other woman suggestively.

Andy quickly agreed. "It is true. I'm dead tired!" She also got up.

The girls narrowed their eyes and pouted but said nothing more.

"Andrea will go with you while I take things to the kitchen," Miranda instructed, and bent down to pick up the empty popcorn cups and glasses, and place them on the tray.

The twins perked up and pulled Andy by the hands, dragging her out of the TV room and up the stairs. Three excited voices echoing down the hall.

Realizing she was smiling, Miranda rolled her eyes and went to take care of her pending task.

* * * *

Andy helped the girls with their bedtime rituals. Miranda said that when they learned about the disease, the sisters started sharing a bedroom again, they felt safer that way.

When the twins were under the covers, Miranda arrived. She sat with Caroline, and Andy, who was standing between the two beds, sat with Cassidy.

"Andy, when are you moving in?" The girl next to her asked softly. Her eyes were already sleepy.

"We haven't discussed a date yet."

"Why?" Caroline wanted to know, from across the room, turning to look at the younger woman.

"It's better for Andrea to take this slowly. Come whenever possible, until she moves in. It will be easier for us to get used to it," Miranda answered for the younger woman.

"Oh, okay…I think I understand," Caroline said through a yawn.

"Okay, darlings, go to sleep now," Miranda asked softly.

This time there were no protests.

"Good night Bobbsey," Miranda kissed Caroline's forehead, going to do the same with her other daughter.

On the opposite side of the room, Andy also kissed Cassidy on the forehead, and then switched places with Miranda. After saying goodbye to the girls, the women left the bedroom, in the hallway, Andy froze.

"Uh...Miranda...er...w-where am I going to sleep?"

"In the bedroom that belonged to Stephen, adjoining mine. It will be yours from now on," Miranda explained naturally.

"Oh...! Unh, well..." Andy stammered, her face flushed.

"Come with me, I'll get you something to wear."

Andy silently followed Miranda up the stairs to the master bedroom. There, she discreetly glanced at the decor. It had expensive furniture, like the rest of the house, but the aura of personality was clear. There was a bit of Miranda Priestly in every corner. Strangely, Andy felt inhibited at such a show of intimacy. She knew that few people had been there. The finding caused her to stop her investigation.

While Andy stood in the middle of the place, looking at her nervously wringing hands, Miranda went to the sprawling closet at the end of the room.

"Take, I think it will fit you. It's the biggest I have," the editor handed her a pearly nightgown, looking the younger woman up and down in reference to her size.

Andy pursed her lips. It looked like Miranda was making a comparison. She wasn't and never was fat, as Emily loved to poke. She was just different from Runway's scrawny models.

"Thank you…" She said grudgingly, taking the item of clothing. It was soft, and expensive, Andy was sure.

"In the bathroom there are toothbrushes and other things you might need."

"Hmm, right. Thank you," Andy thanked again. "Good night," she said goodbye and turned to the door. She took only two steps before Miranda stopped her.

"This way, Andrea. It's faster," the editor motioned to the door to the younger woman's left, not quite able to hide the amusement in her voice.

"Oh, right! Adjoining rooms..." Andy said sheepishly and crossed the bedroom, under the older woman's watchful eye.

In the bedroom Miranda had decreed would be hers henceforth, Andy raised her eyebrows in surprise. She bet the place was redecorated. She was sure Stephen wouldn't have a picture of a tulip, let alone curtains in salmon with white roses!

Andy pursed her lips thoughtfully.

Was Miranda so sure she would accept her request?

Andy shrugged. In fact, she was relieved not to have to 'see' Stephen everywhere.

The reporter started her exploration of the place. Although she felt a little intimidated by such luxury, she liked what she found. Andy had to get used to that standard of living. After all, it was Miranda Priestly's house. The woman was made of money! Andy just had to be careful not to let it go to her head, not to forget that it was all going to be temporary.

As in Miranda's bedroom, hers had ivory wallpaper with pale, slightly darker geometric stains. There was a king size bed, and facing it, a bookcase with a 40-inch LED HDTV, a Blu-Ray, and a beautiful stereo. All new. On the right wall, there was a door that would likely lead to the closet and bathroom, and two more decorated bookshelves and a writing desk. Andy thought that when her things were there, the room would look more like her.

The young reporter entered through the other door, and as she had imagined, it led to a wide hallway with a large closet built into the left wall, and at the end of the passage was the bathroom. She looked inside the closet. There were only bed linen and towels.

Andy went to the bathroom and gave a huge smile.

"YES!"

She squealed happily as she looked at the tub. She would finally have her dreamed soaks! Next to it, on a shelf, were bottles of salts, bath foam, and everything else she might need.

When she wants to please, Miranda Priestly spares no effort! Andy assumed smiling, looking around. There was a cabinet with a dark marble sink and shiny faucets.

She then looked in the lighted mirror.

Her smile faded.

God...do you have any idea what you're doing, Sachs?

Andy sighed and let her shoulders slump in dismay. She searched the cabinet for a toothbrush and toothpaste. Andy grabbed one of the fluffy towels from the closet and headed for the shower. The tub would be for another day. It was late, and she had lost all her enthusiasm.

After taking care of what she had to do before bed, Andy reached for the delicate nightgown she had left on the headboard. She felt its texture, and not controlling herself, she brought it to her nose.

It smelled like Miranda...

How pathetic she was!

Grumpy, Andy unwrapped herself from the towel, tossed it on an armchair beside her, and quickly pulled on the nightgown. Next, she was in the deliciously comfortable bed and under the soft, fragrant comforter.

Andy spent several minutes in the dark staring at the ceiling, unable to relax. She sighed heavily, squirmed and pulled off the nightgown. She hugged it, Miranda's unique scent—a mixture of expensive products and the woman's natural essence—strangely soothing her.

"I'm really pathetic..." Andy muttered and closed her eyes.

Soon, she was sleeping.

Chapter Text

“Good morning,” Andy greeted from the kitchen doorway as Carena served Miranda and the girls. The twins welcomed her warmly, as did the cook, who quickly set up another place at the table.

“Good morning, Andrea,” Miranda finally said. Seeing the younger woman dancing on her feet, embarrassed, still in the doorway, she raised her eyebrows. “Aren't you going to sit down? Would you prefer Carena to bring a breakfast tray over there?” She scoffed, but a small smile was visible.

The children laughed. Even the cook smiled surreptitiously. Miranda's strange mood served to break the ice.

Andy gave a shy smile, walked with all the grace she could muster, and sat down with the girls. Then she helped herself to coffee, orange juice and two toasts with date jam.

“Did you sleep well, Andrea?” Miranda asked gently, before raising her cup of coffee to her lips.

Andy had just taken a generous bite of toast and nearly choked on her food. It was still weird having the woman being so friendly. And it felt like something real!

"Hu-hum!" She managed to answer, after swallowing what she had in her mouth with some coffee.

"Did you like your bedroom, Andy?" Caroline asked eagerly, and not overly motivated, took a sip of her juice. "We help Mom choose the new decor."

"But until then, we didn't know it was for you," added Cassidy disapprovingly, playing with her cereal.

"If Mom had said it was for you before, we would have chosen something more like you," added Caroline.

"I couldn't assume anything, Bobbseys. I was just trying to anticipate things in case Andrea agreed to live with us," Miranda defended herself, with a frown. Being scolded by her daughters in front of the younger woman was ridiculously embarrassing.

"Oh, but I liked it a lot! And you guys can help me unpack my stuff when I bring everything. I'm sure the bedroom will be amazing!" Andy was quick to assert.

"Are you going to let us help?"

"Really?"

The twins had expectant faces.

"Of course!"

The girls were extremely pleased.

Before Miranda covered her lips with her cup, Andy could have sworn she saw a sweet smile.

"We are going to choose our tutors today.  Can you help us?" Cassidy suddenly exposed, after finally eating some cereal.

"Anh-"

"Please Andy! After all, you need to train to be our second Mother!" Caroline remembered jokingly, and laughed along with her sister.

The young woman looked at Miranda, who shrugged and nodded.

"Okay," Andy smiled.

The girls applauded excitedly.

"Hmm...Instructions?" Andy asked, already knowing she would get several.

Miranda did not disappoint.

By the time they got to the car, the editor had explained in detail what would be required of the applicants, as well as what Andrea would tell them.

"Earlier I instructed Emily to bring you some clothes until you can go back to your apartment," Miranda was in the backseat of the Mercedes, after putting on her sunglasses.

"Uh... I-"

The door slammed shut, and the car pulled away.

"Thanks..." Andy muttered to the vehicle, which was already making its way to the property gate.

* * * *

After three long hours 'interrogating' applicants, where Andy analyzed dozens of résumés and had to contain the sometimes biting curiosity in the twins' questions, she finally accepted four specialists to fill the vacancies for tutors in science, humanities, mathematics and artistic studies.

One of Miranda's demands was that only women could teach the lessons. No man, except Jeremy, the girls' father, would be let alone with her daughters.

The procedures were agreed upon by the tutors, who then signed the contracts carefully prepared by Miranda's lawyer. With everything taken care of, Andy and the girls had a little fun time. The twins dragged her into the TV room, and the three spent a few minutes playing Guitar Hero.

"Oh Andy! Just one more song!" Caroline begged.

"I can't now, Sweetheart. I will be late. You know how your Mother hates to wait..."

The girl pursed her lips. "Right..."

"Tomorrow we play more!"

"Are you coming back tomorrow?" Cassidy asked hopefully.

Andy smiled happily. "Do you two want that?"

"Absolutely!"

"Of course!"

Andy looked lovingly at the girls. "Are you guys going to be okay without me here?"

"Hu-hum. Carena has been instructed in how to take care of us from now on," Cassidy assured.

"Besides, the nurse Mom hired to medicate us should be arriving shortly," Caroline added.

Andy pursed her lips, worried, and the girls hugged her tight.

"If something happens, call me" she asked, gently pulling away from the embrace to look at them.

"Right. But we'll be fine," Cassidy assured with a smile.

Andy nodded. Inside, praying that everything would really be okay.

"Do not be late. After all, your girlfriend is waiting!" Caroline scoffed and everyone laughed.

After a little more teasing, Andy left the girls with Carena and went upstairs to take a quick shower. She would meet Miranda for lunch, and from there they would go to the clinic, so that Andy could take the necessary tests for pregnancy.

In the bedroom, the young woman began to undress while still walking. She needed to hurry! However, Andy stopped halfway, and raised her eyebrows. Her face took on a curious look. Three large bags and two small ones, plus a shoebox, were arranged meticulously on the bed.

Hmm...the clothes... Let's see what Em brought me! She clapped her hands excitedly and ran to the presents. Well, today I'll be...Gucci's poster girl! Andy noticed moments after emptying the larger bags.

Jeans, turtleneck shirt, coat, and even the pantyhose belonged to the Italian brand. The clothing items had a modern-chic feel. Apparently, Miranda wanted her comfortable, but in style.

Geez, Em must have struggled to find something my size in the Closet. She must be gnawing with curiosity... Andy's lips curved in a mixture of pity and satisfaction. Well, Em will soon find out! She now had a mischievous smile.

Andy opened the shoebox. "Chanel…" She smiled meaningfully. It looked like Miranda had adopted the brand for her feet.

The young woman picked up one of the smaller bags. Makeup and perfume. Miranda is really complete! She laughed.

Andy went to the last bag, the smallest of them all. Inside was the lingerie. She smiled mischievously. Hmm...Parah... She grabbed her clothes and headed for the bathroom.

* * * *

"W-what are you doing here???" Emily Charlton asked in a perplexed and high-pitched voice to Andrea Sachs, who was approaching the reception area of Miranda Priestly's office.

The young reporter entered the building normally, as if she had never stopped working at Runway. Andy was greeted by smiling security guards, with whom she spent some time updating herself on how they were doing.

Emily got up quickly and was soon taking Andy by the arm, trying to drag her back to the elevator.

"What is this commotion? It looks like-" Nigel Kipling choked on his own words at the scene. "Andy...? Are you crazy? SHE can't see you here!" The art director ran and grabbed the young woman's other arm, helping Emily to drag her away.

"Let Andrea go. Now," the three heard the cold, low voice.

Emily and Nigel froze, and backed away from Andy as if she were on fire.

The young reporter turned to them smiling. Then she shrugged and walked towards the office.

"B-but...Miranda...she-"

"Emily, that's enough," the editor cut her off firmly, and the assistant snapped her mouth shut, eyes wide with astonishment. Miranda turned to Andrea, her blue-green eyes sparkling with amusement. "You look great, my Dear," her tone was soft. "The clothes look perfect on you. Come on," Miranda called with a half smile, and as Andrea walked past her, the editor placed her right hand flat in the middle of her back, guiding her into the office.

The door closed.

"T-the clothes...they were...were for her!" Emily babbled in disbelief.

"My Dear?" Nigel questioned, his mouth still slightly open.

"SHE was smiling..."

"SHE was touching..."

Inside the office, Andy laughed outright, and Miranda had a smirk.

"What a scene!" The younger woman wiped her tears with the hands.

"Be careful with the eye mask..." Miranda paused "my Dear," she finished, and Andy burst out laughing again.

After a few more minutes the two had fun replaying the episode, Andy told Miranda about the tutors. The editor was pleased with the report. She admitted to the younger woman that she made good choices.

It was the first time Miranda had openly praised Andy's efforts, and it gave her immense pride.

"Well, I think they've had enough time to debate the craziest plots about our meeting. Plus, it's almost time for our clinic appointment," Miranda recalled.

"It's true. We better get going."

After Andy did her makeup again, they left the office. They found Nigel parked in front of Emily's desk, whispering to the assistant. Seeing them leave the room, the two fell silent. Their faces were alert, like dogs waiting for their owner's orders.

Miranda gave them a narrow look, clearly showing her displeasure that they weren't working.

She took aim at Emily.

"Rearrange my schedule. I'm having lunch with Andrea, and then we'll have another appointment. I'm not coming back today. My office number is not to be called, and my personal number is for family emergencies only. In any other case, I don't want to be bothered," the editor barked in her typical quick rant, put on her sunglasses and offered her arm to Andrea, who with a smile, accepted the gesture of affection.

Emily and Nigel's mouths were ridiculously open.

"Bu-but...Mi-Miranda-"

"That's all," the older woman cut off the catatonic assistant and walked arm in arm with Andrea towards the elevator.

Chapter Text

Roy shouldn't have been so surprised. After all, over the past few months, Andy had bonded with the twins and visited them, or hung out with them, often. In addition, a few days ago, Miranda paid an unusual visit to her former assistant in her apartment. Last night, Andy even slept in the townhouse!

Yes, Roy shouldn't have been so surprised to watch Andrea Sachs leave the Elias-Clark building with Miranda Priestly...

Except to see them arm in arm, talking and smiling at each other.

First: Miranda Priestly's real smiles were rare and exclusive. Unlike for her daughters, the man has never seen such genuine affection directed toward another person. And what was she giving Andy...Yes, that WAS a smile!

Second: No one has ever touched Miranda Priestly, let alone in public, without her provoking the action. For God's sake, the woman didn't even like sharing elevators!

In short, it would have been Miranda who took Andy's arm, who had a playful smile and a captivated look as she chatted with the older woman, whose attention was also completely Andrea's. They were both loving every minute of it!

What the hell was going on?

Roy had a hard time keeping his face blank when they arrived at the Mercedes. He greeted them in a politely professional manner, without looking directly at them. The driver felt inhibited by the sudden display of intimacy.

Good heavens, he had no idea they were intimate!

Roy opened the car's rear door for them to enter. Holding on to his placid mask was even more difficult, as they sat eerily close...

He closed the door and took a deep breath, trying to calm down.

The man got behind the wheel and, regrettably, had to clear his throat twice before he managed to ask where they were going.

Turning to him, Miranda's face took on its usual air of impatient disdain. She quickly gave Roy the address, and told him to use the car's privacy screen.

"Have you seen his face?" Andy asked through her hand as she tried to contain her laughter. "Poor guy!"

Miranda rolled her eyes.

"Change starts at home, Andrea," she analyzed in a bored voice. "Besides, I know the scene will add to Emily's gossip, and the story will begin to take shape," Miranda delivered in a proud tone, visibly pleased with her ploy.

Andy pursed her lips.

"When Roy realizes where we're going, then yes, he'll have more material..."

In the elevator, they decided to go straight to the clinic, as they took too long in Runway. Then they would have lunch, and after that, Andy would go home. She needed to reorganize. Since they'd already laid it out, Andy intended to go back to work the next day.

Even though they traveled in silence, they remained in a friendly atmosphere, and more significantly, Miranda was still very close to Andy. Along the way, the anxiety for what she was about to do at the clinic, and her body's reaction to Miranda's innocent touches, were driving the young woman crazy.

Since they started with the physical aspect of acting, Andy had policed herself to do what was expected. Not to let on how much the older woman really affected her.

It wasn't the fact of being touched or touching Miranda Priestly, which in itself was something extraordinary, but the way her body responded, needed, sought hers.

"Nervous?" Miranda surprised her with an interested voice, taking Andrea's hand, which was next to her on the back seat, enveloping it in electric heat.

Andy's body betrayed her. She immediately felt hot, her face flushing. The reason for the throbbing between her legs was undeniable.

A dangerously ravenous desire.

Impossible.

Andy swallowed hard.

Unaware of the younger woman's conflict, Miranda gave Andrea's hand what she thought was a reassuring pat.

"It's going to be all right," her tone was sweet, and she ran her thumb gently over the hand she held affectionately.

Andy swallowed a second time.

What the hell did Miranda think she was doing?

Andy suffered from trying to stifle her libido, which it had raised to the tenth potency. She needed to control herself! She was not a hormonal teenager!

Finally the car stopped, and Andy stifled a relieved sigh. Soon, Roy opened the door. Miranda still held her hand. The young reporter, seeing the driver, who pretended not to notice the gesture, blushed even more.

When Miranda gave a show, it was complete. She turned to Andrea, a mischievous smile on her lips.

"Come on, my Dear."

This time, Andy was not amused. In fact, she almost moaned.

That husky voice!

Andy forced a ravishing smile.

"Le-" Her voice didn't come out. She cleared her throat discreetly, and saw Miranda's eyes light up with something she would need time to unravel. "Let's go," Andy finally answered, and to her greatest embarrassment, her tone was low and thick.

There was the gleam in Miranda's eyes again.

The editor nodded, got out of the car, and helped Andrea. Then she took the young woman's hand in hers, as if usual.

Roy was frozen in place, his mouth hanging. He wasn't imagining things! He could feel the air crackling around them both, filled with…sexual tension.

Andy and Miranda Priestly?

The driver finally accepted what had been hammering into his head along the way. He continued to watch them until they entered the building.

It was a fertilization clinic.

Roy ran a hand over his chin, the understanding, if possible, making him even more astonished.

Apparently things are well underway...they've obviously been together for a while...and now they've decided not to hide anymore...

The man remembered to close the car's rear door, of which he still held the handle in an iron grip. He then got back into the driver's seat and took a deep breath. He loosened his tight tie and let out a sigh.

Roy had to admit, they made a hot couple!

He picked up his cell phone and called Emily.

* * * *

Miranda Priestly was a cautious woman. Everyone who worked for her, including employees on her properties, signed a privacy statement. Miranda knew of her fame, and was very proud of it. After all, over the years the woman had meticulously created a mask of intimidating power. Miranda didn't care that others thought she was a tyrannical boss woman with no heart and called her the dirtiest names. The search for excellence always left its blemishes. However, her private life, especially the image of her daughters, was sacred.

Something that disappointed her, and yes, did affect her in her last divorce, was her ex-husband contacting the press. Miranda received the paperwork and only learned of the fact, in Paris, with the drama of seeing the news printed on Page Six. Stephen not only exposed her, but her girls as well. He shared about his sadness at the kind of education the girls had, and Miranda's lack of attention towards them.

She knew she should have included a confidentiality clause in the marriage contract. That would be a mistake Miranda would not make again. Moreover, if she had the chance, everything would be different...

Miranda Priestly was a practical woman. Press gossip about Andrea and her would be welcome. She would use it to her advantage. So much so, that the editor did not mind demanding confidentiality, left it to the clinic. Although the internal rules are strict, she would be surprised if an employee didn't dare to sell information to the press. That none other than Miranda Priestly took her young former assistant, and supposed lover, to a fertilization clinic. And then the plan would go ahead.

Miranda looked at Andrea, in the chair beside her. The young woman rubbed her hands nervously. They were waiting for the doctor, who was taking an emergency call in the hallway. The woman said they would soon have the test results.

Miranda had to hide a mischievous smile as she remembered Andrea's face, when the doctor suggested that her 'partner' should be with her during the procedure.

Obviously, Miranda didn't miss the opportunity.

It would take Andrea a while to be able to face her, and even longer, stop blushing when she noticed Miranda watching her, just like right now.

The girl's rosy cheeks were absolutely adorable.

"Sorry for making you wait. My youngest daughter fell off her bike, and she was telling me about the lovely cast she now has on her arm," said the doctor, walking back into the room.

"I hope she's okay," Andy was sincere.

The doctor smiled. "Oh, she's fine. After the scare, she now thinks her first cast is 'cool'," the woman said with amusement, sitting in her chair in front of them. "At least I have your results," the doctor waved the papers so they could see them.

The envelopes were already open. While talking to her daughter, the woman had probably read the prognosis. Miranda liked that. There was nothing that irritated her more than wasting her precious time.

"Miss Sachs, according to your medical history and our tests, you are in excellent health. Let's move on to the final phase, with the blood test."

"So…I-I'm fertile?" Andy asked the obvious.

The doctor smiled at her nervousness, so normal.

"Yes Darling. If there is nothing serious in your final exam, you can continue with the fertilization process perfectly."

Andy was speechless.

Miranda rolled her eyes.

"When will Andrea be able to do the blood test?" She asked, considering the girl had apparently lost her reasoning ability.

"If you two prefer, tomorrow morning. You can check with Joanne, my secretary. As soon as we have the results, and everything is ok, we can schedule a date for fertilization. To move things along, you can start looking for potential donors in our database. Joanne will also instruct you on this."

Miranda worked everything out with the secretary, as Andrea was too distracted to deal with anything at the moment. It felt like the weight of everything had finally fallen on the younger woman. The editor had to practically guide her to the car.

With them inside the vehicle, Miranda got tired of that ridiculous inertia.

"For God's sake, Andrea! We haven't done anything yet, and you're catatonic. Imagine when you get pregnant?!"

Andy's eyes widened. After a few seconds she sighed languidly, very embarrassed.

"I'm very sorry...I-I think I panicked..."

Miranda rolled her eyes and snorted.

They made the rest of the way to the restaurant in silence. Once there, they were led to a table and served quickly.

Andy was a little uncomfortable with the attention they were getting from other customers. Miranda Priestly's presence always generated some kind of reaction from people. Those outside her world admired and envied her, and why not, lusted after her. Those who belonged to her social casting performed the same steps, but also greeted the editor with rehearsed smiles, which Miranda returned with praise.

The situation, however, was different.

Perhaps Miranda Priestly walking into the restaurant arm in arm with a young woman half her age, being incredibly useful in helping her choose what to order, and smiling at her several times, might have made everyone a little stunned.

More ammo for the press.

Just as Miranda had planned.

Andy didn't want to think about what her parents would say. She had more or less memorized how to explain things, but the young reporter knew it would be complicated. Not because she was with a woman, but because that woman was Miranda Priestly.

* * * *

After lunch, as agreed, Miranda told Roy to go to Andrea's apartment. Along the way, they confirmed dinner at the townhouse for the following night.

When they reached the building, Miranda made a point of giving Andrea a long kiss on the cheek in front of Roy. The man held the car door open for the young reporter pretending he didn't notice, but his flushed face said otherwise.

That Miranda Priestly was dangerously sensual, Andy already knew. But she noticed something that was freaking her out: Miranda Priestly liked to tease.

"My God, this woman will be the end of me...and it was just our first day!" Andy blurted out in the building's elevator, fanning herself. Fortunately, she was alone. Andy grimaced. She was so distracted, she had no idea how she got there.

Chapter Text

Andy was woken up by the insistent ringtone of her cell phone. It was Miranda. The older woman quickly said that Roy would take her to the clinic.

“But, Miranda, we agreed that I would take the subway, and-”

“Change of plans, Andrea. Roy will take you.”

“But-”

“And by the gods, try not to freak out. We're already on the radar...It's no big deal...yet...”

“Bu-but...Miranda-”

“That's all,” the editor hung up.

Andy spent a few seconds looking at her phone, until her eyes widen, when she finally absorbed the information. Agitated, she jumped out of bed. Unfortunately, her intrepid movement led her straight to the ground, as in her hurry, her feet curled up with the sheets.

After getting free of the bed linen, Andy got up grumbling insults. She went to take a shower, thinking about how much crap should be in the media, for Miranda warn her and say that she needed an escort.

* * * *

“Good morning, Roy,” Andy shyly greeted, getting in the car. She had noticed ‘suspicious people’ around.

“Good morning, Andy. Miranda asked me to give you this,” he was somewhat apologetic, handing her a newspaper. “And don't worry; ‘they’ are still few. I will deceive them about our destination. Miranda doesn't want them to know...well...you know...everything yet...” The driver stuttered, blushing.

Andy nodded in understanding, her face also very red. Then she sighed deeply, and began to read the damn Page Six.

New meat for the Dragon?

It was the title below a photo of Andy and Miranda at an event, back when the young reporter was still working at Runway.

In a subtle, but no less inquisitive and evil way, they mentioned the former boss woman having lunch with her former assistant at a famous restaurant in the city. They cited the intimacy reported by others customers as a 'shock'.

Even if covertly, they suggested that perhaps there was something more than friendship between the two women, remembering that they were both now single.

The story didn't contain much information, but they were already in the right direction. The cards were on the table. It would be up to Miranda and Andy, from then on, to lead the game to their advantage.

A good move from Andy was to clarify the situation for those who were important to her. As soon as she arrived home after lunch with Miranda, she called her boss, and then, her family. Stevie could feel betrayed to find out about them through the competition, and Andy's parents, would be crazy to learn about their daughter's new reality from the press.

With Stevie things were 'easier'. When he recovered from his shock and asked three times “You and Miranda Priestly?” It seemed that finally the man had assimilated the situation. His brain activity returned a mile a minute. Within seconds, Stevie inundated her with questions and requests for exclusivity. Something that to his extreme happiness, Andy granted.

It was part of the plan.

Miranda thought that having a newspaper where they could manipulate information according to their interests would be an excellent asset. Plus, she had exposed how much this could boost New York Mirror's sales. Despite her ethical sense and her discomfort at participating in Miranda's schemes, Andy had to admit that the woman might be right.

With her parents, it was a bit more complicated.

After stalling to say the name of the person she was in a new relationship with, Andy finally told about Miranda. She then had to stop herself from slipping off the couch, when she heard the resigned “I knew it” from her mother.

“What do you mean? How did you know?” Andy had asked astonished.

“Oh, my Dear! We may be from the country, but your father and I are not silly. When would you accept calls from a boss at three in the morning? We were suspicious...The woman was a tyrannical boss, but call at dawn to say or ask for meaningless things...Wouldn't there be any hidden intentions?”

That part of the conversation made Andy thoughtful. She remembered Nate: You know, in case you were wondering - the person whose calls you always take? That's the relationship you're in. I hope you two are very happy together...

It was impossible. Miranda just liked to pester people. At the time, Andy was the target of her vicious pursuit.

Right?

“So, being with a woman is no big deal for both of you...” Andy had questioned her mother, praying that it would be true.

She knew her parents had no problems with homosexuality. But it was the old story: 'Everything is allowed, as long as it is not at home'. Andy would be persecuted by the rest of the world. She hoped that at least she could find understanding and encouragement in her parents.

“Andy, I admit that when I gathered the clues, I was surprised. Just like your father. But we love you, Sweetheart. You know we've never had a problem with these things. Then Miranda Priestly...we have a hard time understanding why she. As you may imagine, your father was outraged...he thinks it's absurd that you were interested in a woman who treated you so poorly. We're worried about you... What kind of relationship is this?”

Andy had sighed.

“I know, Mom. Miranda is extremely demanding, and yes, she was such a lunatic bitch to me. But that was work. I'm not defending her methods. I'm just saying that people have no idea how much Miranda is demanded as well. In her private life, with her daughters...with me...Miranda is so different...she has so much in her that other people don't see...”

“Darling, you know it's going to be a complicated relationship...and I say that not just because of homosexuality. Miranda is a powerful public person. Plus, she's much older than you. Miranda is a divorced mother, not to mention she was your boss...”

Andy quickly assured that her relationship with Miranda began only after the divorce, and that the older woman being separated, and a mother, didn't bother her. As for fame and the press, they were part of the package. About Miranda's age, Andy's mom had to agree that the woman was in great shape. Her beauty and charm were still stunning. Finally, Andy emphasized how much she loved and got along with the twins.

“We just want your happiness. I understand we don't know Miranda Priestly like you. But you have to admit that the woman we know is not the kind parents want for their children...however, since you fell in love with her to the point of facing everything that is coming, we have to give some credit to “your Miranda”...Just give us some time to assimilate everything,” her mother had said sincerely.

The words filled Andy's heart with hope, and also, with remorse.

Even for her parents, she still needed to keep the decoy. Andy didn't tell her mother about the farce. It was less shameful to illustrate the plot, than to confess that she was just a deluded in love. Even though Andy had noble motives to help the twins and participate in that theater, deep down, what spoke louder was her desire to be close to Miranda Priestly.

Andy also didn't mention about the pregnancy. She would give her parents homeopathic doses of her fake fairy tale...

* * * *

As he had assured, Roy was able to distance themselves from the paparazzi enough for Andy to get out of the car and access the clinic through an unnoticeable entrance. There, the young woman quickly took the blood test, the result of which would be given online, and left the building through the same secret path she entered. Soon, she easily blended in with other people on the street.

Andy bought an Espresso Macchiato and an Asiago Bagel at a Starbucks, and ate her breakfast while walking to the subway. Already wondering what day she would have, the young reporter thought she deserved the treat.

Arriving at the Mirror, Andy unfortunately noticed that more 'strangers' were on the prowl, in the terrible job of pretending they weren't. Since her situation with Miranda was at the beginning and was just a succulent speculation, they still kept some distance. They would try to get a picture or watch a more meaningful occurrence, when they finally could move on to a more direct action: to turn their lives into hell. Her devil loved fire, but Andy feared that, for her, the heat would be too intense...

* * * *

In the evening, as agreed, Andy went to the townhouse for dinner with Miranda and the girls. Although the older woman had insisted that Roy come get her, Andy wanted to go on her own. The ride with him in the morning had already excited the paparazzi, who, until her departure from the newspaper building, increased in number and reduced the distance.

After passing by a group of indiscreet journalists, as some even questioned directly about her alleged relationship with Miranda Priestly, Andy was greeted by the older woman and the twins. The girls, as always, showed their happiness in seeing her. Miranda did not disguise her contentment by giving a small, but genuine smile, and allowed her eyes to show concern. A brief gesture, but sufficient to reassure the young woman and make her comfortable.

The warm atmosphere was a relief. Andy really needed peace. Her nerves were restless.

In addition to the damn paparazzi, the workday was tense. In the newsroom, her co-workers looked at her all the time. Some had comforting smiles, others malicious ones, and some just contemptuous glances.

However, no one said anything.

Stevie promised that he would talk to his team. Andy felt bad for having such perks, but it was all a matter of trade-off. She would continue to swallow her discomfort and move on.

* * * *

“My girls, when they want, can be very impertinent, huh?” Miranda had a smile that was a combination of indignation and pride.

Andy's lips formed a half smile.

The impertinence Miranda referred to was due to the fact that, at a certain point during dinner, the girls began to pressure Andy to move in at once.

Deep down, the young woman also wanted this, but she did not want to reveal her expectation. Andy was doing as Miranda suggested, adapting slowly.

However, for the twins, it was enough. A move in the coming days would be perfect.

While they tucked them into bed, Miranda and Andy ended up promising that they would talk about it.

With the girls asleep, the women went to the second living room. It was much cozier. Miranda poured them wine and they settled into comfortable armchairs, facing each other.

“Do you think we would be rushing things? Or do you agree with the girls' suggestion?” The editor wanted to know after a brief silence, while tasting her drink.

Andy shrugged.

“It's fine with me,” she tried to sound normally. “And you, what do you think?”

Miranda did not answer the question, she outlined strategies.

“On Saturday the moving company will pick up your belongings from that 'place',” she said dismissively, but a smile took the bite out of her words. “Is three in the afternoon good for you?” But before Andy could answer, she continued, “So on Sunday, we can help you unpack your possessions.”

Andy just smiled and nodded in agreement. Would Miranda help with the move? At best, the woman would bark orders!

They spent some time in silence, the exquisite taste of the wine in their mouths sweetening their thoughts.

“Your blood test was normal, and according to our doctor, we can continue...I think it would be wise to move things forward and take a look at the donor database. We can start tomorrow. Finding a suitable one, we started the fertilization process on Monday...”

Andy almost choked on the wine, but recovered in time. “Su-sure!”

Miranda nodded. “We could do that tomorrow afternoon.”

“Okay... Do you want me to get it right with the clinic?”

“Yes...please.”

“Right.”

“Organize everything and then send me the details. I'll ask Roy to take you.”

Andy thought of protesting, but to deal with pregnancy matters, she had agreed to use Roy. The young woman nodded her acceptance, and gulped down the rest of her wine.

“Right...” She said quietly, taking the bottle of wine from the coffee table, pouring herself some more.

Miranda smiled slyly.

Andy took a good sip of her drink.

Miranda watched her closely.

The inspection of the older woman was starting to disturb her.

“What's the matter? Did I drool? Did I spill wine on my clothes?” Andy looked down to check.

“No. I'm just watching the farewell...”

“Anh...? What farewell?” Andy was confused. Miranda was very strange sometimes!

“From alcohol, Andrea. You'll go a long time without drinking even a drop.”

Andy frowned. She couldn't drink during pregnancy, and it wouldn't be advisable while she was nursing. Andy was sure Miranda would be an excellent watchdog so she wouldn't get out of line.

“Oh...I see...” Andy babbled listlessly. But she soon gave a big smile. “So let's go to my farewell!” The young woman said impertinently, theatrically held her glass in the air and drank a generous amount of the crimson liquid.

Miranda raised her left eyebrow and her lips formed a mischievous smile. She took the bottle of wine and poured them new doses.

“To your farewell!” She let out in a jovial tone.

It would be a long night...

Chapter Text

Andy woke up slowly. Her foggy mind took a while to process simple actions, like understanding sounds or opening her eyes. Then she felt the delicious heat on her back...as well as the weight of a hand on her waist.

She opened her eyes immediately.

Bad idea. Everything was spinning.

She closed her eyes again with a snap. Her body began to shake, and her brain to work in jerks.

Andy couldn't believe it!

She'd gotten drunk last night with Miranda, and somehow, the two of them ended up in the older woman's bed. Andy couldn't remember the details. Her lazy mind refused to let her know what exactly had happened.

Then something came to her.

She remembered that after the third glass of wine, Miranda was much more open...

Andy gave a mischievous smile.

Miranda Priestly's college life had been pretty exciting!

Andy didn't know why, but before that she couldn't imagine that ‘La Priestly’ was like anyone else. Going to parties, getting drunk with friends, flirting...It looked like the woman was born with pursed lips and wearing Prada!

Andy was having a human vision of Miranda. More and more, she became aware of this reserved side of the woman.

This scared her immensely!

Because if Andy was already captivated by Ice Queen Miranda, imagine a mix of that with a woman who could be fun and thoughtful!

Andy knew that such preciousness was revealed only to selected people. However, no matter how much her heart wanted to believe, the young reporter wouldn't be so naive to think she was special. That would only hurt her more. Miranda just wanted a friendship. After all, it would be the least for the woman who was willing to get pregnant to try to save her daughters. Andy would learn to be content with this...

A grunt.

Andy froze.

The tightness at her waist became more evident, as well as the contact of the body against her.

“Come back...to sleep...” It was said in a groggy, deep voice.

Andy froze again and swallowed hard. After the shock wore off, she mentally shrugged. It was better this way. She would have to be rested to deal with everything that was to come...

Andy closed her eyes, and then reopened them.

It would be difficult to relax in that situation. Miranda's warm breath on her neck was making her body react in a way that was far from innocent.

All Andy could think about was turning around and alluring the woman!

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes again, and tried to calm herself.

Friendship, Andy...just a friendship...

Despite the tension, the hangover was stronger, and minutes later, she fell back asleep.

* * * *

Sleepy eyes opened and looked out onto a still unfamiliar ceiling. Andy sighed, resigned.

It wasn't a dream...

But something was different. Miranda was not there.

Andy dramatically threw an arm over her face.

Oh my God... I have the dumbest ideas...

Andy sat up carefully, afraid she might feel dizzy. Luckily she was fine. The young woman was about to get out of bed when something on the bedside table caught her eye.

A note:

Good morning, Andrea. I hope you're well. I gave Carena instructions to prepare a breakfast according to your...condition. As well as helping you if you need any medication. I called your work and your boss kindly granted you the morning.

At this part, Andy snorted. She wondered how Miranda ‘gently’ persuaded her boss. As for Stevie, after the shock of the unexpected call, he must have accepted everything without a thought. After all, they had a deal.

The girls went to school.  They want to say goodbye to their friends... The nurse, disguised as a nanny (Andy could imagine Miranda's eyes rolling), went with them.

In your closet are clothes and accessories. I took the liberty of making a few things available for when you wanted to spend the night.

Don't forget to settle with the clinic and then update me.

That's all.
MP.

Andy saluted.

“Yes ma'am!” She let out ironically.

Although her memory of last night was coming back randomly, physically, except for the awful thirst and horrible taste in her mouth, she was fine. The extra sleep certainly helped.

Andy got up to go to the bathroom, but stopped halfway.

“Jeez... Miranda doesn't like to share elevators...let alone her personal bathroom” Andy thought aloud, but then her lips curved into a mischievous grin. “She's not here to see!” Andy laughed and moved on.

As she opened the bathroom door, she sighed in surprise. It was beautiful, and gigantic.

The white porcelain sink with a gilt faucet, which Andy swore was real gold, sat on a gray marble top, both arranged over an exquisite white wood cabinet. The part reserved for the shower was huge. The spacious spa bath could easily fit four people.

“Mmm...So much space...” Andy commented dreamily, unable not to think of delicious ways to enjoy this.

She decided not to use the bathroom and ran to her bedroom to take a long shower. She was strangely excited.

* * * *

After dealing with her pent-up desire, Andy enjoyed a hearty breakfast, and then called the clinic. Despite the short deadline, Miranda Priestly's name did indeed have a remarkable effect. The visit to check the database was scheduled for sixteen in the afternoon.

“Now, it's fun time!” Andy gave an excited applause. “Emily!”

She could have called Miranda's cell phone directly. However, they would refrain from such action unless it was a real emergency. In other cases, the message would get through to Emily, so their relationship would always be in the spotlight.

Andy had to admit, this part of the plan was interesting. Emily trying to contain her anger and painfully being cordial was very funny. The first assistant knew a slip with Andy, and Miranda wouldn't think twice about firing her.

Runway, Miranda Priestly's office,” Emily answered the call in a mechanical voice, after the second ring.

“Good morning, Em!”

“Andrea?” Emily asked shrill.

Andy had to cover the mouthpiece of the phone so the other woman wouldn't hear her laugh.

At Runway, Emily took a deep breath.

She's your boss's lover, deal with it and keep your job! The poor assistant told herself, finally regaining control. “Good morning, Andrea,” she managed to say in a professionally rehearsed voice. “What can I do for you?”

“Miranda?”

“At a meeting with the Art Department.”

Andy gave a theatrical sigh. “I imagined something like this. Please, Em, can you give her a message?”

“As if I had a choice...” Emily grumbled.

"What did you say?" Andy questioned, at all costs trying to keep the laughter out of her voice.

“Of course, Andrea...”

“Please tell her our appointment is scheduled. It will be at sixteen o'clock.”

“Bu-but that's not on the appointment book!” Emily blurted out in annoyance.

Andy smirked. “Now it is! Rearrange with Miranda. Thanks, Em! Bye!” She hung up.

At Runway, Emily was huffing with rage. In a fit, she grabbed her hair.

“ARHHH!” She growled in frustration. Then the first assistant closed her eyes and let her shoulders slump, relaxing them. Emily took a deep breath, and with her eyes still closed, she recited her daily mantra: I love my job, I love my job, I love my job...

At the townhouse, Andy was laughing wickedly.

* * * *

In the middle of the afternoon, Andrea Sachs left the elevator and walked quietly into the reception area of Miranda Priestly's office.

Emily squirmed in her chair. Every time she saw such ‘sacrilege’, it was agony. However, the first assistant just smiled and reluctantly said “good afternoon”.

“Miranda?”

“She-”

“Come on, Darling,” the editor cut Emily off as she suddenly appeared, calling Andy into her office.

Watching the young reporter approach, Miranda left whoever she was talking to on her cell phone waiting. She looked Andrea up and down shamelessly, nodding her head in approval.

“Ugh! This is making me sick!” Emily complained as the two disappeared through the door.

“What makes you sick?” Serena asked suddenly, causing her friend to jump out of her chair.

“Bloody hell! Where did you come from? Are you trying to kill me?” Emily accused dramatically, putting a hand to her chest.

Serena rolled her eyes.

“You were too busy complaining to notice me. Come on, tell me. What is happening?" The Brazilian beauty insisted.

“Those two...” Emily started but held back, seeing the women in question were leaving the office.

Hand in hand, as was the habit, the couple talked about ordinary things. Miranda didn't even bother giving last-minute orders to her assistant. In fact, she didn't seem to notice that Emily and Serena were there.

“That!” Emily blurted out in exasperation, pointing to the closed elevator doors as the couple departed. “The smiles, the sweet words, all this flirting are driving me crazy!”

Serena was also stunned. Not for the same reasons as Emily. But yes, to see Miranda show affection in front of them. Serena knew about their affair, but so far, she hadn't seen anything.

She turned to her friend with a beautiful smile.

“Em, I think your problem is lack of sex...See how this is doing Miranda good!”

“Ewwww, Serena!”

The blonde chuckled loudly.

* * * *

“Anh... Why are you looking at me like that?” Andy asked suspiciously.

After the fun at Runway, in the car, Miranda started looking ‘strangely’ at her as they chatted.

“No reason, Andrea...” The older woman almost purred. “You were quite agitated last night, weren't you?” She smiled.

Andy froze. Oh...my...God! What did I do? “Er... How so? Oh, Miranda...Did I do something inappropriate? If yes, please forgive me, I-”

The older woman stopped her with a wave of her hand and a shake of her head.

“No, my Dear, if you don't remember last night, don't worry about it...” Miranda had a mysterious smile, and Andy could have sworn a sexual aura accompanied her words.

Oh my God, I don't believe this! I threw myself at Miranda Priestly, and I don't remember anything?

The young woman discreetly glanced at the older one, who had just answered her cell phone.

No...I don't think so...Otherwise, we'd be having a much more serious conversation...I must have once again made a fool of myself, acted or said something ridiculous... Andy decided and sank into the soft leather seat, a sudden melancholy taking over her.

Chapter Text

“Andrea,” Miranda called softly, gently touching the young woman's hands, which rested in her lap.

Andy stirred, mumbled, but still didn't wake up.

They had gotten stuck in a small traffic jam along the way, and Andy, having entered an introspective silence, dozed off.

Miranda smiled. She put her mouth to the young woman's ear, blew her warm breath on it, and said, “Andrea,” seductively and in her irresistible French accent.

Andy woke up with a start, and was faced with a wonderful pair of blue-green eyes.

Miranda's smug smile vanished. The older woman looked lost. Andy found herself transfixed by the dangerously surprising closeness.

The tension between them was intense.

“We-” Miranda started but stopped to clear her suddenly dry throat. “We arrived...” She managed to say it in a low, husky tone that shivered Andy's body, colored her face red and sent waves of desire between her legs.

The young woman swallowed and instinctively moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. Miranda followed the gesture with watchful eyes, and Andy's blood pressure got even higher. She just nodded languidly, not trusting her voice. In fact, at the moment, Andy didn't trust anything that came from her treacherous body. All she could imagine was pushing Miranda Priestly lying on the leather car seat, and having her dreamy libidinous moment with her.

In unspoken agreement, the two took a deep breath, squared their shoulders, and prepared to get out of the Mercedes. Miranda played her role perfectly, and aside from the shiver they both felt when she helped Andrea out of the vehicle, everything felt normal.

What game was that?

Andy was confused, worried. And no matter how crazy it would be to admit it, she felt terribly turned on.

They entered the clinic hand in hand, drawing attention with their elegant bearings, designer clothes and singular beauty. At the reception desk, after Andy told the attendant the reason for the visit, the smiling and helpful woman directed them to the room with the donor database.

“Mrs. Priestly, Sachs, I'm Anne Hampton, database specialist. Please have a seat.”

After the traditional handshake between the woman and Andy, the newcomers did as requested.

“The database search can be done directly by the couple. But here we like to help the first attempt. This makes subsequent searches easier and more accurate.”

“This's certainly helpful!” Andy was relieved.

Miranda just raised her left eyebrow slightly, and gave a barely perceptible nod.

The specialist had an encouraging smile.

“Let's do this together. You will give me the data and I will type it in the fields. Everything will be displayed on the screen in front of you,” she highlighted the usefulness of the two monitors.

“Right,” Andy was anxious.

Miranda, once again, just nodded.

“Well, first of all, what should the candidate look like?” The specialist asked, looking at them expectantly.

“Someone who looks like Andrea,” Miranda was adamant.

The alleged couple spent about forty minutes in the company of the clinic employee, while the woman searched for donors with the parameters required by Miranda. At the end, they had a printed list, which would also be in the couple's online account, which would be updated whenever someone fits the search profile.

“We can look at the list tonight, after dinner,” Miranda suggested, once they got back to the car.

“Uh-hum...Anh...Miranda...?” Andy was a bit shy.

The older woman looked at her intently.

“Yes?”

“I-I was thinking that the girls could participate in this with us...After all, it will be their brother or sister, and...Well...”

Miranda's eyes softened. She gave one of her rare genuine smiles, which, as usual, took Andy's breath away.

“Perfect…” Her voice was low and intimate.

Andy melted, but soon blushed with embarrassment. Her stomach had chosen that moment to growl.

Miranda raised her eyebrows, an amused smile adorning her features. “Hungry?” She asked the obvious, teasingly.

Andy shrugged. “Always!” She laughed.

Miranda's gaze and smile turned sensual. “That's true, my Darling...” She purred.

Andy swallowed hard. She wasn't imagining things! She needed to take courage. Something had happened, and Andy needed to know what!

“Roy,” Miranda called into the car's intercom. “Change of plans. We will have coffee. Go to the bistro I like.”

“Yes, Mrs. Priestly.”

Andy glanced discreetly at the older woman, who had put on her glasses and was reading some papers she had taken from her briefcase. Andy bit her lip in anticipation. However, she thought it best to talk about 'that' later. After all, Miranda was busy.

Oh, please. How much bullshit was that? Miranda was ALWAYS busy!

With a small sigh, Andy accused herself of being a coward. She turned to the window, let her shoulders slump in defeat, and hid in her insecurity.

* * * *

As soon as they broke the news to the girls, dinner proved even more interesting. The sisters were thrilled with the idea of being able to help, as they defined, in the ‘child's conception’. Several times Miranda and Andy berated them for just talking about the list, and urged them to turn their attention to dinner.

“Wow, don't you two want dessert?” Andy feigned astonishment after they had finished their meal. “It's nut ice cream with chocolate sauce!”

“No!”

“Come on, Andy, the list!”

The sisters said almost at the same time.

Miranda smiled from behind her wine glass.

“But I want!” Andy stated insistently. “And I will enjoy every spoonful! It's sacrilegious not to eat this wonderful dessert. I refuse!”

“Nooo!” Caroline blurted out indignantly.

“Mooom!” Cassidy wanted her to do something.

Miranda just shrugged. Her smile was now visible.

The girls turned flashing eyes to Andy when they saw her playful face.

“You're kidding us!” Caroline accused with a frown.

“That's right!” Cassidy added, narrowing her eyes. “You might as well have your ice cream while we look at the list!”

Andy laughed. “Oh, but you should have seen your faces!”

“Hahaha!” Cassidy teased sarcastically, but her lips curved discreetly into a smile.

“Oh, stop fooling around, and let's go to the donors!” Caroline demanded impatiently.

“I haven't finished my wine yet...” Miranda said seriously.

The girls immediately turned to her.

“Mom!”

Miranda smiled. “But...I can take the glass with me...Let's go to the living room.”

Andy rolled her eyes. The woman loved having the last word.

* * * *

After several minutes of “this one looks really boring”, “this one must be ugly”, “oh, no one is that perfect! Must be a psychopath!” they finally sorted out five potential donors.

Miranda glanced at the watch on her delicate wrist, and was surprised by the lateness of the hour.

“We lost track of time. I have to look at The Book and Andrea needs to go home. Girls, bed.”

“Oh, Mom!” They complained.

“No, Bobbseys, no excuses!”

Despite being reluctant, the sisters got up and started walking with the adults to the stairs.

Caroline stopped short and looked at her sister. “We still have to think about names!”

“Bobbsey, it's too early,” Miranda placed her hand gently on her daughter's back, encouraging her to keep walking.

“But it's true!” Cassidy added, turning to Miranda and Andy. “We have a lot of possibilities!”

Andy smiled at the girls' anxiety.

“We have time to choose a baby name. We can calmly think about it later.”

“You don't understand, Andy!” Caroline looked at her as if the woman were stupid. “There are many possibilities!”

Andy pursed her lips, and before she could ask a question, Cassidy added, “After all, who knows how many babies are coming!”

Andy's eyebrows rose, then her eyes widened.

Miranda smiled, placing her other hand on her back.

“They are right. They are twins, and this increases the chances of having more in the family, even with the fertilization procedure we are going to use.”

It was Andy's turn to stop. “B-but...” She babbled in disbelief. Her knees were weak.

“I think you were too busy panicking, like now, to assimilate the information when our doctor told us about it,” Miranda's voice was almost sympathetic.

“T-Twins?” Andy questioned dazedly, finally getting back to walking, but in a robotic way, guided by Miranda and Cassidy.

* * * *

“Hey, Lily!” Andy answered her cell as soon as she got to her apartment. She grimaced. Andy knew her friend was going to give her a hard time.

“Holy shit, Andy! I don't believe it! You and Miranda Priestly? Is that true?” Lily asked in a burst of words. Before her friend could say anything, however, she gave an exaggerated snort and continued, “Of course it's true...it was kind of obvious...”

Andy pursed her lips. “Anh...What do you mean, Lily?”

“Oh, really!? You kept talking about the woman...You answered her calls anytime and for anything! You defended her, Andy! Miranda Priestly treated you like a slave, and you still justified her tyranny!”

Andy wanted to defend herself, but no matter how much it hurt her ego, she admitted it was true. Miranda was horrible, but still, Andy wanted to prove herself, to show that she was capable. She wanted Miranda Priestly's attention...

Andy was a poor lovesick, even if, at the time, still completely unaware of it.

“Anh...b-but...when did you notice?”

Lily snorted again, this time more resigned.

“Doug and I got worried after the second month you started working there...”

“Doug too?”

“Especially him, girl...”

Andy sighed.

Doug was gay. Of course he would have understood first if his friend was interested in another woman.

“Why didn't either of you talk to me about this?”

“Nate...We were rooting for you both. You treated him like shit...”

“Lily...” Andy warned in a hard tone, and her friend was silent.

They had a fierce argument about it when Andy and Nate broke up for good. Lily was wrong to want to blame only Andy for the end of the relationship. Andy was not relieved of responsibility for the breakup with Nate, especially after the episode with Christian Thompson. Still, Nate wasn't a poor victim. He also had his share of mistakes, mainly in terms of selfishness.

The truth was that their relationship had been a dream with a fragile foundation. When they finally had to grow up, adjust to adulthood, the young couple's idealism collapsed.

Andy moved forward, started rebuilding herself. Nate wanted to stop in time.

Andy's priorities and ambitions changed perspective, as well as the path chosen by her heart. In Paris, she finally understood that it was beating for someone else. Still, the fear that she was deceiving herself, as well as the fear of losing the false security she had with Nate, had Andy contacting him, trying to reconcile.

It didn't work.

Nate was still in Boston, and Andy, with no hope of Miranda returning her feelings, moved on with her life.

It wasn't easy.

Even though the relationship had been in turmoil for some time, not having Nate around was difficult. Andy was used to his company. About having Nate fix her something to eat, taking care of her when she got home exhausted after another long day at work. Getting used to living alone again and with a single life was complicated, even more because her heart ached with the distance...From Miranda.

Then, fate knocked at her door in the form of two naughty twins...and there she was...

“Why didn't you tell me anything before?” Lily sounded hurt.

“We're talking about Miranda Priestly, remember? You and Doug can't stand her...the three of us were starting over, Lily...I was afraid that we would drift apart again...” Andy partially lied.

“It was you who moved away from us...”

Andy sighed impatiently. “We all screwed up, okay?”

Lily took a long breath. It was true. Yet, she didn't like having come back from England and found out about the news in the newspapers. In fact, the news did not please her at all.

“Andy, I confess it will be hard to get used to this. Besides, despite knowing about your crush on her, honestly, we never imagined that Miranda Priestly...that...that she...”

Andy pursed her lips in a mixture of hurt pride and understanding. “That Miranda would give me a chance,” she finished for her friend.

“Exactly,” Lily was sincere. “Now, tell me...How did that happen? How did you tame the Ice Queen?”

Andy's shoulders relaxed in relief. Lily was trying.

Andy made it clear that she had nothing with Miranda while the woman was married, and she, when she was still dating Nate. This seemed to calm Lily, who started with the typical questions from curious friends.

More lies would come.

Andrea Sachs was getting pretty good at it, and it worried her greatly. Nonetheless, she would not give up. So, she would continue to do her best.

Chapter Text

Miranda opened the townhouse door, and her eyebrows rose in surprise and suspicion. None of the girls came to meet her, and she could hear music, in her opinion, awful, coming from the kitchen.

The woman gave a disgusted sigh.

She hung her coat in the closet under the stairs and placed her handbag on the sideboard. She then kicked off her high heels in one quick movement, and headed for the kitchen, her steps silent. Once there, Miranda stopped in the doorway, an amused smile crossing her exhausted face.

Andrea and the twins were facing the kitchen island, the three of them dancing as they took care of what appeared to be dinner. At least it smelled great.

Caroline turned to grab something from across the room when she saw her.

“Mom!” The girl squealed in delight and ran to her.

Cassidy soon did the same, and they both hugged their newcomer mother.

“Hey, Bobbseys,” Miranda greeted happily and kissed the twins' red heads.

It felt good to be home. Wrapped in the loving warmth of her daughters, Miranda could disarm herself. For someone who calculated every move and spoke daily, the little moment of peace was a balm to her tired mind and soul.

In the last few months with Stephen, Miranda had always been working late or away on business engagements, in a pathetic attempt not to face another dead-end marriage. When she arrived home late at night, the girls were already in bed. Miranda knew it was unfair for her daughters to pay for another one of her wrong choices, but she couldn't shake the sense of self-preservation. With the divorce, Miranda wanted at all costs to reduce the distance between her girls and herself. Soon after, however, their illness came. Her desire to be close to her daughters was even more urgent. Since then, there hasn't been a day that Miranda Priestly hasn't reassessed her life, her priorities.

There was still time. Miranda would be the mother they needed.

Unaware of the older woman's inner conflict, Andy was embarrassed at being caught dancing like that. But at the same time, she felt an immense tenderness watching Miranda with the girls. Of realizing her confidence, and that she was really welcome in their lives.

The editor met her gaze and the two stared at each other intensely.

Miranda Priestly was not a woman to miss out on opportunities. She wouldn't miss that one.

Andy felt her body shiver and her face flush. She had the strangest feeling that a promise, of something she still didn't understand, had been made, and sealed by Miranda Priestly's determined blue-green eyes.

“Good evening, Andrea,” the editor finally greeted, with a half-smile.

Andy swallowed hard. Miranda looked at her like she was a juicy steak about to be devoured.

“Go-good evening,” she stammered.

Miranda's smile turned predatory.

“Mom, we didn't hear you come in!” Caroline said the obvious in happy bewilderment.

“Truth! You came home early!” Cassidy reinforced exultantly.

“I had an annoying meeting. So I decided to go back home to get away from so much incompetence. Plus, with this loud ‘music’, it's no wonder you didn't hear me.”

Andy quickly turned off the stereo. “Dinner is ready.”

Miranda gave a slight smile. It was new, and not bad, having Andrea take care of them. It was Carena's day off, and it looked like Andrea had taken on the task of feeding the Priestlys. Judging by the divine scent, the young woman would be successful.

“We help Andy!” Caroline told her excitedly.

“We chopped the vegetables!” Her sister added.

Miranda sneered.

“Now, are you corrupting my daughters, Andrea? Do you want them to be exemplary housewives? What happened to the women's revolution, anyway?” She joked.

Andy just huffed and shrugged, shaking her head. The girls laughed.

Soon the table was set and they were all served with portions of braised vegetables, grilled chicken with truffle sauce and rocket salad with cherry tomatoes, walnuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and oregano.

“Mmm...It's really wonderful,” Miranda said, after the first bite, not hiding her surprise and pleasure.

Andy and the twins radiated happiness.

Miranda looked directly at the younger woman.

“I see you learned a thing or two from the cook, huh?” She provoked with disdain.

Andy was going to hit back saying ‘chef’, but decided to let it go. She didn't want to ruin the mood with unnecessary argument. She just smiled, shook her head and continued to eat. Poor Nate, it looked like he would never stop being the target of Miranda Priestly's nasty remarks.

The girls spent a few minutes talking about the TV series they loved so much. Miranda, as always, exasperated about her staff's incompetence, and how she was surrounded by idiots.

“After my last meeting, Emily said you had called, and, completely stunned, she added that you would talk to me...at home...” The older woman had a smirk.

Andy almost choked on the grape juice she was drinking, unable to contain her laughter, when she remembered the scene.

“Oh, that must have been good!” Caroline noted with curiosity.

“Come on, Andy, tell us! We love to hear about Emily freaking out!” Cassidy asked with a smile, much like her mother's.

Andy knew she shouldn't encourage the girls to be mean to others, but she wasn't innocent herself. She loved to tease Emily!

“Yes, Andrea, tell us…” Miranda purred.

Andy reddened instantly.

“Uh...So...it wasn't a big deal...Just that thing about making 'our relationship' more evident,” she told shyly.

Miranda's smile was pure evil.

“Emily must have lost her mind...Now she believes you call the townhouse home.”

Andy had the grace to be embarrassed again.

* * * *

After dinner, the girls went upstairs to watch one of their series and rest. With the gradual increase in medication, those who knew them well realized that they were getting tired more easily. Although they didn't talk about it, Miranda knew that her daughters were sad to leave school; they would miss their friends. Yet, Andrea's constant presence, as Miranda had hoped, was helping this process. See the twins' excitement over fertilization.

On the issue of medical treatment, a discreet nurse would stay in the townhouse daily until the rest of the medical staff and equipment were carefully chosen. This time, however, Miranda Priestly would not feel her usual pride in seeing a job well done. Success would be bittersweet.

“According to the tests and my menstrual cycle, I'll be fertile until next week,” Andy served them coffee, sitting next to the older woman on one of the stools on the kitchen island.

Miranda knew that Andrea prepared the drink to her taste: strong and extremely hot. She took a long sip and moaned contentedly.

Andy's face turned red, and she tried to suppress the surge of desire at the sound.

“We have to choose the donor…” She managed to say in an unsteady voice.

Miranda pursed her lips slightly. “Do we have new candidates?”

“One more fit our preferences. I put him together with the others.”

"Keep it up. Sunday we can make our choice.”

Andy nodded.

“I was thinking about calling the clinic tomorrow and making an appointment for the procedure.”

Miranda smiled with real admiration. Andrea seemed to have the power to read her needs. Such strange skill always amazed her.

“Excellent. Do it.”

They spent some more time sipping their coffees, in silence, each wanting to know what the future held for them.

Suddenly Andy finally had the courage.

“Er...Miranda?”

The woman in question raised her eyebrows, apparently a little upset at being disturbed.

“Yes, Andrea?”

“Um...Er...About that night...Well...I-I...Oh my God! I don't remember at all...B-but I have the strangest feeling that...Well...That I did something...”

Miranda let a smirk spread across her face.

“You're dying to know, aren't you, my Dear?” She asked the obvious, her eyes dancing with amusement.

Andy made a face that was a mixture of insecurity and frustration.

“Hu-hum...!”

Miranda raised her left eyebrow, her face now without any sign of frivolity.

“It's better this way. You were drunk. Certain attitudes should not be taken into account in such situations,” her tone was reproachful.

“B-but...”

“Besides, despite your pitiful drunken state, the kiss wasn't the worst,” Miranda declared with a devilish smile.

Andy's eyes widened.

“Wh…what?” She squeaked out, jumping off the stool. “But...”

Miranda's cell phone chose that moment to ring, and she answered it immediately.

“But...Miran-”

The older woman cut her off with a raise of her hand. Then she got up and headed towards her office, leaving behind an open-mouthed Andrea.

I kissed Miranda, and I don't remember? How so?!? It's not possible! She's just messing with me… Andy pursed her lips thoughtfully. But for what? She took a deep breath, her shoulders slumping. Miranda Priestly is a teaser. For her, it's just fun…as for me… Andy remembered sadly.

* * * *

“Where are you going?” Was asked in a cold, unquestioning voice.

Andy shuddered and abruptly interrupted her silent exit. She turned on her heel and faced Miranda.

The older woman took off her glasses, her gaze sharp.

“I'm going to meet Doug,” Andy said, embarrassed at being caught.

Miranda raised her eyebrows.

“Why were you trying to go out as a fugitive?” She inquired dryly.

Andy rolled her eyes.

“I wasn't. You left me talking to myself and locked yourself in your office. I thought you'd probably be working, and I didn't want to bother you. I left a note on the sideboard,” the young woman said quickly in a single breath, pointing to the piece of furniture, where the small paper was visible beneath a delicate sculpture, one of the few Andy liked in the house.

Miranda examined her clothes without any subtlety.

“And why this sudden desire to escape?” She asked with a blank face and a horribly ironic voice.

Andy felt her blood begin to heat up.

“So is this how it's going to be? Am I going to be a prisoner here?” For a few seconds, she swore she saw pain flash through Miranda's eyes, before the woman narrowed them.

“No, Andrea…” The editor said through gritted teeth.

Andy sighed.

“I come back to spend the night. I promised to be with the girls for breakfast. I just need some air, get out a little…” Although she was under no obligation to explain, she wanted to.

Miranda pursed her lips. Then she sighed, almost imperceptibly.

“Take Roy with you.”

“No, thank you. I take the subway. I'm meeting Doug at one of our favorite pubs, it's not far away. On the way back I take a taxi.”

Miranda made a face.

“Take Roy, Andrea...” She insisted in an impatient voice. “It's late for the subway and having to deal with possible complications on the street. Besides, you must be crazy, thinking I'll let you take a smelly cab with a potential pervert.”

Andy felt her blood heat again and shook her head in defiance.

“It's still nine o'clock. When I worked for you, after delivering The Book, I left here much later. And I took the subway.”

Miranda narrowed her eyes dangerously.

“Now things are different…” She said slowly in an icy voice, as if that made it easier for Andrea's limited mind to absorb her point of view.

Andy took a long breath. She was going out with Doug just to ease the tension a bit. A discussion at this point would not be a good idea.

She would give in a little.

“Okay, let's do it like this: I'll take the subway, and on the way back, I'll call Roy,” she used a tone that left no room for debate.

The older woman nodded slightly.

Andy gave a small victorious smile and went to the door.

“Good night, Miranda,” she said, gripping the doorknob.

“Um…” Was the grumpy response from the woman, who was already heading back to her office.

Andy rolled her eyes and forged ahead. As soon as she reached the street, she regretted it. There was a horde of paparazzi lurking. Andy ran back onto the property and the driver was waiting for her.

“Ho-how could I forget?”

Roy just shrugged.

“She knew this was going to happen...” Andy thought aloud.

Roy's smile said it all. “Let's go?”

Andy sighed audibly and followed him to the Mercedes.

Chapter Text

Though Andy was reluctant to admit it, having a chauffeur-driven car was wonderfully comfortable and practical, and she arrived at the small pub in less than fifteen minutes. The place was a haven to the old friends, when they wanted to chat and enjoy good service at affordable prices. Fortunately, the two security guards at the establishment and Roy kept the paparazzi outside, and Andy could talk to Doug more easily. She desperately needed to vent to someone.

Right after last night's phone call with Lily, Andy had called Doug. She was surprised he hadn't contacted her sooner, but Doug said he was waiting for her. The young man knew it was a difficult time, and didn't want to add any more worries to his friend's already turbulent life.

“WOW!” Doug blurted out in delight to see her. He gave her a long hug. “You look great, Honey!” He was studying her intently.

The dark gray jeans with silver accents, the tall boots, and the double-row military-style jacket, both in light brown, along with the impeccable makeup, combined beautifully.

“How did Miranda let you go out like this?” Doug teased.

Andy gave a sarcastic snort. “Tell me about it...” She mumbled.

Doug smiled with raised eyebrows. “Come, let's sit,” he said, taking her by the hand.

The friends moved to a table at the back of the pub. Here they would have privacy, and Andy wouldn't risk giving strangers what they shouldn't know. Doug pulled out a chair for her, taking a seat next to Andy. A waiter approached to take their orders, then left.

The young woman was biting her lip in anticipation, not knowing where to start. Seeing her dilemma, Doug covered one of her hands, which was on the table, and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

“You know what you say here, stays here.”

Andy smiled tenderly. That's why she had chosen him. “I know. Thanks.”

He smiled back.

Andy sighed deeply.

“I know we had a brief conversation yesterday regarding my ‘situation’…But, Doug, be honest with me. What do you really think about Miranda Priestly?”

Doug thought it was an odd question, but Andy must have had her reasons.

“Well, you know I grew up following fashion magazines. And let me tell you, Honey, in this world, Runway is the Bible, and Miranda Priestly, the Goddess!”

Andy laughed at the analogy. She also thought Miranda was a Goddess, but for several other reasons...

“Before all the fuss with Nate and our worries about you, I never had a problem with Miranda. In fact, I've always been enchanted with her! Because, let's face it, although she can be terribly mean at times, it's exactly her aura of power that makes La Priestly so attractive. The woman is perversely hot!” The young man said mischievously, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

“Doug!” Andy poked him in the ribs.

“Hey! No need to get violent just because I innocently lust after your woman!”

They laughed their heads off.

“So...Don't you hate Miranda?”

Doug shook his head. “But she still scares me like hell!” He added with a laugh.

Andy joined in the laughter. Then she got serious.

“So, it doesn't matter what I say, will you assess the situation impartially, without any preconceived disdain?”

Doug nodded in agreement.

“Like I said yesterday, the time you worked for Miranda Priestly is behind us. Now it's a completely different situation. I understand that, Andy.”

She took a long breath. “Right...The thing is...”

Andy told everything. The girls' illness, about the invented relationship, the pregnancy plans. By the end, Doug's eyes were huge.

“Holy crap!” He blurted out in disbelief. Throughout the tale, Doug was silent, taking in every detail. “No wonder you're freaking out!”

“And then there's her fake seduction game! Miranda confuses me…Sometimes she acts almost like a normal human being, but then she starts messing with me like that…” Andy was almost crying.

Doug pursed his lips. “I don't think so.”

“Unh...?”

“Fake. I don't think it is fake, Andy. Think with me. Despite the short time you've known each other, you've seen more of the woman under the icon than many people who have been at her side for years...Miranda trusts and esteems you very much otherwise she would never have asked you to be a part of her crazy plan. She wouldn't risk hurting you by messing with you like that. Miranda would have a lot to lose. I think the woman, the way she can handle it right now, is trying to tell you something. After everything you've told me, now I'm sure Miranda has feelings for you.”

“But...”

Doug rolled his eyes.

“For God's sake, Andy stop being so insecure! Honey, you're beautiful, funny, super smart, and you have the most wonderful heart I've ever seen. Miranda would be an idiot if she let you get away. And as far as I know, Miranda Priestly is nothing silly!”

Andy pondered what his friend said.

Could the whole game be a weird way for Miranda to show interest in her? Was the woman trying to achieve a goal with her malicious innuendo?

For the first time, Andy was rationally analyzing the facts without her usual fears...The growing intimacy between the two of them, the looks, the smiles and suggestive jokes...The mention of a kiss...

Her eyes widened.

Doug smirked. "Finally you get it, huh?"

“Oh my God!” Andy's heart was pounding. “What do I do?”

Doug snorted. “You must be kidding me! What do you do in such a situation? Will I have to draw for you?”

Andy shot him a glare.

Doug smiled. Then he became serious, looking at her intently.

“Let's cut to the chase: Do you want Miranda to want you?”

Andy swallowed hard. “Umm...Yes, but-”

“No, no! No hesitation. Do not think. Just answer what your heart says. Do you want Miranda to want you?” Doug repeated.

Andy was silent for a moment.

“I want to...More than anything...” She confessed in a whisper.

Doug's smile was huge.

“So, Darling, there is no option but victory. Get your woman!”

Andy knew she must be going crazy, because a wicked grin crossed her face, and she heard herself say, “Two can play this game!”

“Exactly!”

The friends laughed excitedly, until they were interrupted by Andy's cell phone.

It was Miranda.

“Umm...Yes?” Andy answered, embarrassed and suspicious. Was Miranda a telepath?

“Andrea, show some manners and concern for your friend, and ask Roy to take Douglas home before he brings you.”

Andy gave a sweet smile. It was Miranda's way of apologizing.

“Yes, of course…thank you,” she said in a warm voice.

“Umm…” Miranda mumbled in a husky tone, before hanging up.

Andy smiled mischievously sensual.

“What was this?” Doug asked eagerly.

Andy related the quick conversation. Soon, the friends were plotting ways for her to definitely win Miranda Priestly.

* * * *

“You came back early,” it was said in a low, sharp voice.

Andy put a hand to her chest, suppressing the startled cry that rose to her lips that would surely wake the girls up.

With the key Miranda had given her days ago, Andy had sneaked into the townhouse, taking care not to make any noise. She had her hand on her bedroom doorknob, when she was taken by surprise.

“Damn! You need to stop scaring me like that!” Andy complained quietly but firmly.

Miranda shrugged.

“And you need to stop sneaking around the house,” she had a impish smile, apparently pleased with her skillful attack.

The older woman waved her hand toward the master bedroom, and Andy followed. Once inside, Miranda closed the door carefully.

“I just wanted to remind you to call the clinic tomorrow.”

Andy rolled her eyes.

What a shameless excuse! Miranda was dying to know what she had talked about with Doug!

Andy was amused.

“Of course, don't worry. I'll settle everything for next week as soon as possible.”

Miranda nodded.

“How was it with your friend?” She asked, trying to sound casual.

Andy grinned.

“We talk nonsense and laugh a lot. It was good.”

“Umm…” It was the seemingly disinterested reply.

Andy remembered something.

“Doug and Lily will help me with the move. So tomorrow I won't spend the night here. Since we won't be able to meet at my apartment until after work, we'll start packing up and finish the next morning. We'll sort out what I don't want, and the rest, the moving team will bring it here in the afternoon.”

Miranda nodded, her lips pursed. Then a mischievous smile appeared on her face.

“Just be careful not to drink too much, otherwise you won't have the energy to move in the next day.”

Andy's eyes widened. “Anh...?”

Miranda smirked at Andrea's failed attempt to play dumb.

“You're moving in with your ‘girlfriend’. It's normal for your friends to intend to use the occasion as an excuse for a party.”

Andy had the decency to look embarrassed.

“Do it, Andrea. Say goodbye to your old life. Laugh, play with friends, drink. Everything will change soon…” Miranda said suddenly serious, her gaze sympathetic.

Not that Andy needed her permission, but knowing Miranda didn't condemn her for it makes her feel relieved.

“Uh...About the paparazzi...”

Miranda half smiled. “I tried to warn you...”

Andy rolled her eyes but smiled. “I wasn't being a good listener. But you could also have been clearer...”

Miranda's smile was playful. “Where would the fun be in that?”

Andy snorted.

“Although convenient, I confess that using Roy all the time will need adaptation...”

Miranda nodded.

“By the way, Doug was very happy with your offer. He asked me to thank you,” Andy said with an affectionate smile.

Miranda gave a little huff and waved her hand, as if she offered her chauffeured car to others daily.

Andy came closer and kissed her left cheek.

“Thank you, Miranda. It meant a lot to me…” She said in a low, husky voice, her breath against the older woman's ear. “Good night...” Andy whispered in a dangerously intimate tone, and without waiting for an answer, she opened the door and quickly left the room.

Chapter Text

The next day, Miranda was not present for breakfast. Carena said the woman left early, muttering that she would have a meeting at a bistro, and that she would eat something there. However, something told Andy that Miranda Priestly had actually sneaked away!

Before going to work, Andy contacted the clinic and scheduled a date for fertilization. Then she called Miranda.

“Hello, good morning!” She greeted in a sweet, melodiously warm voice, as the older woman answered the call.

“Umm…Andrea,” Miranda said in a low tone. “I believe you called to talk about your fertilization,” she cut to the chase, trying to bring the uncomfortable conversation to a quick end.

"Exactly. Tuesday, eight o'clock. We need to send in the donor code on Monday so that everything is prepared.”

“We'll do it…Anything else, Andrea? I'm really busy, you know...”

“Oh, please, no staying up late working. The girls missed you at breakfast...me too...I'll miss you guys tonight...”

Even if the situation was unsettling, Miranda wouldn't deny that it was good to know that Andrea was worried about her and that she was missed. Her heart leapt, her face flushed. Miranda Priestly wasn't used to feeling that way. She didn't know what to say.

“Umm…” It was the only thing she let out of her suddenly dry throat.

Andy smirked.

“See you tomorrow, Miranda,” she hung up without waiting for an answer.

The older woman raised her eyebrows and looked at the phone in her hand. Andrea hung up on her. Miranda replaced the phone on the hook and leaned back in her chair.

A cheeky smile took over her face.

Despite the disconcerting moments, Andrea's sudden boldness was interesting, very interesting. Apparently, ‘her girl’ has finally decided to play.

* * * *

Andy's moving in was quick. After all, the young woman didn't have much, and she didn't want to take half of her belongings to the townhouse. Except for a small trunk that belonged to her grandmother, Andy got rid of the rest of her furniture. She took the opportunity to throw a bunch of junk away and pack some clothes to donate. They put the things Andy still wanted in the bedroom, and the rest were piled up in the living room. A truck from a charity house would come by to pick up everything the next day.

It would be a fresh start.

Andy didn't want to carry any material memories of her life with Nate. After talking to Doug, she promised that she would fight to make the act with the Priestlys something real.

She was betting everything on it.

It was time for Andrea Sachs to stop running from her fate, no matter how strange it might seem.

While she took care of things, Andy and her friends lived up to the alcoholic party Miranda cleverly mentioned. They were amused when Andy told them that the older woman guessed they would use the event for a ‘bachelorette party’. Doug and Lily were in awe of Miranda's thoughtfulness, and wasted no time in making a lot of jokes about it.

.


.

Miranda Priestly arrived at the townhouse, and once again, none of her girls came to meet her. This was becoming a constant. Rather than upset her, though, the situation was comforting. Andrea's presence calmed the twins. They no longer had to wait anxiously for their mother, in a clear sign of need.

Andrea was truly a discovery. Weird girl. Beautifully weird and intriguing.

Miranda walked up the steps in silence. She stood in the doorway to Andrea's bedroom, and couldn't contain a satisfied smile. The young woman and the girls were sitting on the floor near the bed, surrounded by boxes and chattering animatedly.

“Mom!” Caroline squealed with delight, going to hug her.

Cassidy joined her sister.

“Have you come to help Andy?” Caroline asked.

“She didn't bring much, so we've already started,” added Cassidy.

Andy looked at Miranda curiously, waiting for her answer.

The older woman shrugged.

Andy gave a huge smile.

Miranda stared at her.

Andy was no longer smiling.

The air between them changed, it was filled with unspoken feelings.

Then the moment was interrupted by Miranda's cell phone.

“Go on,” she instructed them, answered the call, and left the bedroom barking orders and insults.

Miranda was there, but work continued at Runway and followed her home. Andy was a little disappointed, but she knew it was part of the package. Although, she was soon distracted by the girls' curiosity about her belongings, as they unpacked the rest of her things.

It was with pleasant surprise that, a few minutes later, Andy saw Miranda again. She thought the older woman would be trapped in her obligations, but Miranda not only returned, but she also wore something more comfortable and brought snacks and drinks.

The twins squealed happily, and Andy felt extremely welcomed.

Suddenly, unpacking the move took on a deeper meaning. It was the first time that Andy really shared part of her life with Miranda and the girls. The three of them watched intently as she took pieces of her story and placed them in their home, which in the coming months would also be hers.

Andy wanted that space in their lives forever.

Any sane person would say she was crazy, but Andy took on the task with iron determination. She had already given her heart to the three Priestlys.

“I see you left your furniture behind,” Miranda said after she took a small bite of her wholemeal sandwich.

Andy shrugged. “I didn't have much...and they were old.”

“And horrible, too,” Miranda accused in disgust.

Andy shrugged again. “Truth!” She admitted with a smile.

The older woman saw a chest in the corner and raised her eyebrows.

Andy spoke before Miranda. “Oh no! The chest belonged to my grandmother. Also, it is a beautiful piece of antiquity.”

Miranda frowned, cocked her head a few times, surveying the object with a critical eye.

“Umm…” She pursed her lips. “It's not so bad. And it's going to be hidden in your bedroom, so…” She shrugged.

Andy snorted but smiled.

“Umm...It's not so bad,” Caroline mimicked her mother, and laughed along with Cassidy.

Andy almost followed them, but the older woman's piercing gaze made her think otherwise.

“Girls...” Miranda scolded them in a low, dangerous voice. She hated being mimicked.

The twins were immediately silent. It would be unwise to push their luck and waste their mother's sudden good humor.

* * * *

Despite Miranda's comments and not always welcome advice about Andy's belongings, it didn't take them long to get things in order.

“Andrea, you choose how we're going to spend our first night as a family,” Miranda said suddenly, as if it were irrelevant. Though, it had enormous significance. Both women, in their own way, knew that.

Miranda's consideration touched Andy. “Thank you…” She whispered. Her eyes locked onto hers.

The intimate atmosphere between them was broken by the twins' enthusiasm.

“What do you want, Andy?”

“Choose something that will be good for us too!”

Andy laughed, and Miranda had a crooked smile.

The young woman kept chewing her lips in mock concentration. Miranda rolled her eyes at her antics, and the girls waited anxiously.

Andy finally looked at the twins, blinked, and then turned to Miranda.

“I want a light dinner...because later we'll have a movie marathon and popcorn!”

“YES!”

“COOL!”

The girls applauded.

Miranda snorted. “Can I repent of my benevolence?” She asked in false annoyance.

“NO!!!” Andy and the twins declared vehemently.

Miranda smiled sardonically. “That's what I thought,” she gave a dramatic sigh. “Then it's settled: dinner, movies and popcorn. Girls, shower. Andrea...”

Andy narrowed her eyes.

“Do what you want,” Miranda sniffled, and the other three laughed.

* * * *

Dinner that night had a different feel, too. After all, it was the first in ‘family’, as Miranda had alluded to. It was also the first time that Andy, since the day the older woman came to her old apartment, had appeared in casual clothes in front of the editor. However, unlike the shabby shorts and shirt from before, the designer clothes Andy wore drew a nod from Miranda. They were gifts from the older woman. Andy loved them.

The moment was cozy and, although light, the dinner was delicious. Carena had prepared a vegetable pie and grilled steak. Miranda was on her best behavior, and the twins were very happy that Andy had finally moved in.

“Girls, Andrea will go through the fertilization process on Tuesday,” Miranda said suddenly, as if it were nothing.

Her daughters widened their eyes, and then big smiles took over their youthful faces.

“That's great, Mom, Andy!” Caroline, the more considerate of the two, exclaimed excitedly.

“When can we start choosing baby names?” Cassidy, the most practical, inquired.

Miranda looked at Andrea, who gave her a smile with a nod.

“Tomorrow we're going to pick the best donor and sort out some baby names.”

“Nice!”

“Awesome!”

Miranda and Andy smiled, pleased with the twins' enthusiasm and that everything was going as planned.

* * * *

After the first batch of popcorn, Miranda's ‘three girls’, with the sweetest faces and strategically flattering words, managed to convince her to have a little more of the treat.

“Mira...”

“Andrea!” The other woman screamed, putting a hand to her chest. “Are you trying to kill me?” She emphasized, upset.

Miranda was distracted going about her task with the snacks and thinking about a certain person, when that certain person came up behind her without warning, and scared her to death.

Andy bit her lip, truly regretful. “I'm sorry...I...The girls asked me to come...They want different flavors...”

Miranda sighed and rubbed her temples, trying at all costs to control her temper and not ruin such a pleasant evening.

“Right...And what are the requests of my fickle and demanding daughters?” She asked through her teeth, with a forced smile.

Andy shivered. She knew Miranda was about to explode.

“Uh...Cassidy wants bacon, and Caroline wants savory-sweet popcorn.”

Miranda sighed again. “We're out of savory-sweet.”

“Uh...er...I can go buy some,” Andy offered, and without waiting for an answer, she walked past Miranda, intending to do so.

Although, the older woman took her by the arm, stopping her exit.

“Don't be silly, Andrea. You're not going out at this time of night, and with a bunch of paparazzi outside, just to satisfy Caroline's whims.”

They looked at each other at the strange situation.

Andy laughed heartily, and Miranda didn't hold back a laugh.

On another occasion, Miranda Priestly wouldn't give a damn about anyone going to solve her daughters' demands. In fact, she herself would have impatiently delegated such abuse.

“We have the sweet popcorn. Once it's done, I add some salt, and voilà!” Miranda sketched it out, only then realizing how close they were.

In the laughing session, she instinctively took Andrea's hands.

Andy noticed.

The young woman blushed, but did not move away, on the contrary. Andy took a step forward, her face coming dangerously close to the older woman's.

They looked at each other deeply. The attraction was undeniable. All the fun from before was forgotten, in their eyes, desire burned.

It's too early...

Oh my God!

Faces closer and closer...

Lips already sharing the same breath...

They would share their tastes...

“Mom!” Cassidy called running into the kitchen, making them jump in surprise.

Miranda and Andy looked at the girl, eyes wide and cheeks rosy, and even though they dropped their hands, they were still very close.

Cassidy had the distinct feeling that she had interrupted something. The girl wanted to die because of her bad timing!

“What do you want?” Miranda asked impatiently, pulling away from Andrea. She went to the other side of the kitchen, pretending to look for something in the cupboard.

“Uh...Carol said she thought better of it...She'll want some cheese popcorn...”

Miranda whipped her head around to glare at Cassidy, but before she could roar her frustration, Andy took the lead.

“Okay, my angel. Tell your sister we're going to make her popcorn.”

Cassidy gave a grateful smile. “Thanks!” The girl left there in a hurry.

“At least she was polite...” Miranda observed in an unsteady voice.

She could almost imagine the taste of Andrea's mouth. The woman knew her face was still flushed. She felt incredibly wet and throbbing between her legs...

If Cassidy hadn't shown up…It was for the best… Miranda thought with a sigh, trying to suppress her inconvenient desire.

Andy approached her. “Miranda...I...”

“No...Not now...”

Andy bit her bottom lip but nodded.

“Go stay with them. When I'm done here, I'll take the snacks,” Miranda instructed.

“Right…” Andy accepted, albeit reluctantly.

* * * *

Minutes later, Miranda arrived in the TV room carrying a tray of popcorn.

“Andrea, I just forgot to ask you to bring the juices. They're on top of the...”

Andy was on her feet even before the woman had finished her sentence.

“No problem, I'll go get them,” she said with a smile, and to her delight, Miranda gave a small one in return.

Apparently, the awkward atmosphere in the kitchen was behind them.

Soon Andy was back. She distributed the drinks, and again feeling bold, she sat down next to Miranda on the spacious couch.

The older woman didn't move away from her proximity.

Andrea and she needed to talk about ‘that’, whatever ‘that’ was. But at the moment, what Miranda Priestly wanted was to overdo her carbs and fats a little more, and watch a movie with her daughters and her ‘alleged girlfriend’, who ‘allegedly’ or not, gently held her hand.

* * * *

With every minute of the movies, the silent closeness between Andy and Miranda became more evident. At the end of the second one, an animation, instead of just holding hands, Andy had her head on Miranda's shoulder, sleeping peacefully.

“Shhh...” The older woman let out softly as the twins, from where they were lying on the carpet, turned to start talking.

The girls saw their position and grinned.

Miranda rolled her eyes. “Bed.”

The twins' smiles got even bigger, but they got up, and after saying good night carefully to their mother, headed upstairs.

Miranda waited for the silence of the girls' footsteps, and then gently shook the young woman's shoulder.

“Andrea...” She whispered affectionately.

“Hmm...?”

“Wake up. The movie is over.”

“Hmm…” Andy grunted again, but steeled herself and opened her wayward eyelids.

Miranda was looking at her in a way she had never seen before. Evident affection and something else unreservedly exposed.

Here was her chance.

Andy sat up and slowly stretched her arms. The movements made her blouse tighten over her ample breasts and the fabric raise a little, showing part of her flat stomach.

Miranda swallowed hard.

Andy looked at the older woman and was met with hungry eyes. It was her turn to feel her mouth dry.

Words were unnecessary. In sensory agreement, they both moved, faces dangerously close.

“Miranda…” Andy said in a whisper.

“Andrea…” It was the husky reply before their lips finally met.

Despite the need they felt, the kiss was gentle, a simple brush. But when Andy wrapped her arms around Miranda's neck and heard her little sigh, she took the opportunity to deepen the contact. They finally tasted the flavors, their tongues touched and desire took over.

None of them could specify how long they remained in the heated exchange. They only moved away when they really needed air.

Andy laid her forehead against Miranda's shoulder, her breathing labored, her heart pounding in her ears.

WOW! I would never forget something like that!

Andy has had her fair share of mouths throughout her life. Some kisses better than others, but nothing like that. Miranda caused feelings she couldn't name, but they were unique, and extremely powerful.

“I may not remember the first time...But I think this kiss must have been a little better, right?” Andy teased. She felt Miranda's body shake as the older woman laughed, the two of them still holding each other.

Miranda stroked her hair gently. “Do you really think you would have forgotten if you had kissed me, Andrea?” She was petulant.

Andy laughed, shaking her head. She looked at Miranda.

The woman smiled mischievously.

Andy's eyes narrowed. “So you were just messing with me, huh?”

Miranda's smile faded. Now she was looking at Andrea intently, as if pondering everything.

“We need to talk...”

Andy sighed. Then she bit her bottom lip, nodding her head in agreement.

Miranda's attention was drawn to those lips that were still red and swollen. She had an indescribable desire to retake them, put her moral obligations aside and enjoy the moment. Though, too much was at stake. Andrea deserved her consideration. Miranda wouldn't ruin her chance with one false move.

The older woman sighed and cleared her throat discreetly. “But not now...” She finished in a husky voice that revived all of Andy's senses.

The air between them was still heavy with desire, and they both needed their minds alert for the conversation they would have.

“Tomorrow...?” Andy asked quietly.

“Tomorrow…” The older woman agreed with her, and regretfully, she pulled away from Andrea, and stood up.

“Umm...Miranda?”

“Yes?”

Andy got up and kissed her again. This time it was a peck, but their feelings were still powerful.

“Good night...”

“Good night, Andrea…” Miranda answered in a low, choked tone. Without another word, she turned away and walked toward the stairs.

Andy dropped her unsteady body onto the couch. Her face was flushed, desire evident in the flow produced by her sex. If she already loved the way Miranda said her name, from then on, it would be even harder for her not to get turned on every time she heard it in that deliciously refined voice.

A few minutes later, after giving Miranda a little time, Andy walked up the steps to her bedroom. There, she closed the door, leaned against it and took a deep breath. Her eyes roamed over the place, which was finally to her liking. Her new home.

Andy smiled and ran two fingers over her still-red lips. Her first day in ‘family’ was better than she could have imagined.

Chapter Text

When Andy came down for breakfast the next day, she felt quite anxious. Would Miranda pretend nothing happened? Would the woman avoid the kind of intimacy they had until they could talk about it?

Andy walked into the kitchen with unsteady steps, and found Miranda making omelets. Noticing her presence, the older woman greeted her with a smile. She went to her, surprising Andy with a gentle kiss on the lips, as if they had always done that.

After openly affectionate looks and husky good mornings, they allowed themselves one more kiss. This was soon broken when they heard the noise coming from the stairs, announcing the arrival of the girls.

Miranda finished the eggs and served them. As they ate, they talked about donors and some baby names they liked.

Suddenly, Miranda gave Andrea a meaningful look. “We can go out to lunch.”

Andy glanced at her briefly, then smiled and nodded in determined agreement. She knew very well what that meant: they would be hanging out openly as a couple in the company of Miranda's daughters. Confirming the rumors, showing how serious the relationship was; in short, give the hungry wolves a real treat.

After breakfast, the twins dragged their mother and Andy into the living room. Caroline pulled out her notebook so they could choose the donor, and Cassidy brought up the list of suggested baby names.

Half an hour later, they had a donor and selected ten names, five female and five male.

Miranda insisted that they make the final choice only after seeing if the child really ‘looked like’ the name. Her daughters and Andrea thought it logical and agreed with the idea.

As a donor, they chose a 28-year-old. In addition to similar physical characteristics to Andrea, he was an actor and poetry writer. The young woman and the twins loved the artistic vein. Miranda scoffed with mock indignation, hoping the man wasn't too sentimental. Andy and the girls laughed. They knew the woman was joking, as she liked good art.

* * * *

“Damn...” Andy muttered, as they got out of the car, in front of Morandi.

They were soon bombarded by camera flashes and questions like, “Is your involvement now official?” “Are the girls okay with the relationship?” “Do you intend to get married?” “Does the age difference help a gold-digger?”

At the last question, Andy froze. If Miranda hadn't gripped her arm tightly and whispered, “Leave them, Andrea. It's just a scene they want…” Andy would have come back and had a little chat with the pseudo-journalist. However, she knew Miranda was right. She had to learn to keep calm at these nasty insinuations.

With that determination, the young woman took a deep breath, turned to Miranda and smiled her most loving smile.

The older woman responded with a smirk. Andrea was in the game; and by the sparkle in her beautiful brown eyes, ready to win.

Indifferent to the horde of reporters, they made their way to the restaurant with the air of a privileged and happy family. Andy was arm in arm with Miranda, each holding one of the twins' hands.

Inside the establishment, they finally had peace. Morandi's staff gave them the necessary privacy, and the service was great. Andy loved Italian food, and Focaccia Taleggio ai Funghi became one of her favorite dishes.

After a long and fun lunch, outside the restaurant, once again the Priestlys and Andrea Sachs walked by as if no one was around. In the car, Andy and the twins began to chatter about how divine the Babà Napolitano, which they had for dessert, was. Though she snorted at the nonsense conversation, Miranda smiled at the joy of ‘her girls’ at something so trivial.

Andrea's carefree energy was endearing. Surprising that someone so desirable also incited feelings of affection and protection. Miranda knew she couldn't protect her from the evils of the world or the cruelty of people, but she would do everything in her power to help Andrea mature, and, when necessary, take care of her wounds. Miranda just hoped she wasn't just another one to hurt her.

* * * *

“No way!” Andy blurted out in surprise, eyes wide.

Miranda pursed her lips. “Come on, Andrea. I saw what you work with. The thing is prehistoric.”

“But Miranda, this notebook is top notch…It's so expensive! It would take me months of work to pay for something like that, and-”

“It's a present, Andrea, take it,” the older woman cut her off, a little annoyed. Then she sighed. “Please…” she added, now in a warm tone.

Andy, who had opened her mouth to say something else, snapped it shut. The request completely softened her. “Okay, thank you...”

Miranda smiled with satisfaction, and waved the cashier—who was pretending not to observe the couple's exchange in wonder—to add the device to the bill.

After leaving the restaurant, in the middle of the conversation, Miranda mentioned that she needed a new personal notebook. However, her biggest intention was to buy one for Andrea. During the young woman's move-in to the townhouse, Miranda saw what she had, it was terrible. An up-and-coming reporter deserved better to work with. Also, later as the pregnancy progressed and the press harassment grew more relentless, Miranda wanted Andrea to work more from home.

As a result, they left the store with four notebooks, plus a digital camera for each of the twins.

* * * *

“Mom, what are we having for dinner tonight?” Cassidy asked hopefully.

“You're already thinking about food...Do you want to be the size of a house?”

“Miranda...” Andy warned discreetly but firmly.

The older woman narrowed her eyes at Andrea's glare, but said nothing. It was rare for the young woman to confront her in this way. Andrea seemed to have no limits when it came to the twins, for that alone, Miranda let the affront go.

In fact, they had talked about it before. Andrea didn't think it was healthy for the twins to be obsessed with diets, and Miranda replied that she didn't want them to be overweight. Then they remembered the girls' condition. With the treatment, the twins would have less appetite, and at times, they would barely be able to keep anything in their stomachs.

Miranda again was shocked by the reality of the situation.

She sighed. “What do you want to eat, girls?”

“Pizza!” It was the chorus of excited twins.

“Right...” The mother conceded grudgingly. However, she looked at them carefully. “But this carb party isn't going to become a habit,” she warned in a serious voice, and Andrea and the girls clearly got the message.

In the last part of the day out, they went to Central Park. They had a beautiful late afternoon, wonderful for a short walk.

Although she knew of the paparazzi stalking, Miranda's attention was completely on her three girls. They walked slowly, talking about commonplace things. Miranda was arm in arm with Andrea, the closeness between them, and the time spent with her daughters, making her heart noticeably lighter.

* * * *

After choosing the flavors, Miranda went to call the pizzeria, but Andy stopped her.

“Let me do this. We'll have real pizza.”

The girls squealed in happy agreement.

“Andrea...”

Andy gave Miranda a sweet smile.

“I wouldn't give you guys anything that wasn't hygienically safe. It's a small but wonderful Italian canteen. It belongs to a family I know. They have low calorie pizzas, if you prefer. Trust me.”

Miranda was unarmed. She trusted, especially when it came to her daughters' welfare.

After the twins were medicated by the nurse, they went upstairs to their baths and change into their pajamas. Miranda was tired. Time with her daughters was always an adventure, and she hadn't had much sleep last night, spending it thinking about a certain person...Yet, despite her exhaustion, she still needed to make some calls in her office.

The woman turned to tell Andrea she would be back soon, but was stopped by eager lips.

After the surprise, Miranda pulled Andrea against her body and returned the kiss with ardor. She wouldn't deny that she'd spent the entire day craving the contact. The girl's mouth was delicious...It inspired Miranda to want more, all of her...

“The girls…Dinner…We…I need to make some calls…” Miranda managed to say between kisses, her voice erotically sensual.

Andy let out a small moan but stopped kissing her. However, she kept Miranda in her arms, giving them time to catch their breath.

Andy sighed loudly. “Go to the office, I'll take care of the pizza...” She instructed in a voice still charged with desire, as she gave them a safe distance.

Despite wanting to continue what they were doing, Andy understood that this wasn't the best time. Besides, they still need to talk about everything.

The older woman had a repentant face. She didn't say anything, just nodded, kissed Andrea's lips softly, and walked towards her office.

Andy took a deep breath. The woman was driving her crazy!

While Miranda checked things out, and the girls showered, she then would be distracted by her new toy.

The notebook was amazing!

Andy was busy with the device, when she heard the intercom. The young woman answered the call and went out to get the pizzas. The delivery boy smiled when he saw her.

“Hey Andy!”

“Nick!”

The two hugged for a long time, and then the typical questions of those who need to catch up began. Unfortunately, they couldn't talk much, because the young man had other deliveries.

After sharing one last hug with Nick, Andy took the pizzas inside. Miranda and the girls were waiting in the kitchen. The twins surrounded her, excited to pick up their slices. Miranda, on the other hand, stared at Andy with unreadable eyes, in a way that hadn't happened since they'd gotten closer.

The young woman was surprised.

Andy crouched beside Miranda's chair and took her hands, which were in her lap. The older woman didn't move away from the contact, but she didn't reciprocate either.

“Did something happen?”

Miranda looked at her deeply, her blue-green eyes pure steel. “You tell me, Andrea…” Her voice sounded cold.

By then, the twins had stopped eating and were watching them carefully.

Andy frowned. “I don't understand...”

“Who is he?”

“Excuse me?”

“The boy who held you in my yard.”

Andy couldn't believe it! Miranda Priestly was jealous!

“Holding who?” Cassidy butted in.

“How so?” Caroline added to the confusion.

It was time for Andy to clear up the misunderstanding.

“Now, wait a minute! I was really hugging, just hugging a dude. His name is Nick, one of the delivery guys. He is the canteen owner's nephew and brother of a good friend of mine, Liza.”

“Oh...” The girls said together, going back to eating.

“You two seemed pretty close…” Miranda pointed out, pretending to be interested in a slice of pizza, which she placed on her plate.

Andy smiled. “We have a story. Nick was in love...”

Miranda narrowed her eyes dangerously. She was already controlling herself not to call Emily and order her to investigate the boy...better yet, make him disappear for good! Did Andrea have an affair with him? He was still a child! But look at the age difference between them...to Andrea, it seemed that this sort of thing meant nothing, and...

“With a friend of mine...”

The addition to Andrea's sentence managed to stop Miranda's crazed mind. Her eyebrows arched, her eyes were questioning.

“Nick is young, handsome, manly...and very gay.”

“Oh…” It was the only thing Miranda could say.

The girls chuckled between bites, and Andy couldn't contain a half smile. She pecked the older woman's mouth and went to get her dinner, still smiling.

Miranda's face was glowing red, but she remained silent. The woman was too embarrassed to utter anything, even insults.

* * * *

During dinner, Miranda managed to calm down and the meal was pleasant. After they were done, the older woman sent the sleepy twins upstairs, and washed the dishes with Andrea.

“Tired?” Andy asked at Miranda's sigh, after the older woman had closed one of the kitchen cabinets.

“A little...”

Andy couldn't resist hugging her from behind. To her satisfaction, she felt Miranda melt at the contact. Andy kissed her soft white neck, closing her eyes to inhale the older woman's fragrance.

Miranda took a deep breath as she felt Andrea's heated mouth on her skin, all her earlier weariness forgotten. She turned in the embrace to face the younger woman.

Eyes to eyes. Understanding.

Their mouths locked and Andy lost sense of everything but the mad desire to consume Miranda Priestly, in all her facets.

Andy didn't know how, but during the flurry of mouths, tongues and moans, the older woman had her pressed against the sink.

Miranda pushed one of her thighs against Andrea's sex and touched her left breast under her blouse, while her mouth devoured the girl.

Andy moaned so erotically, she ended up waking the older woman out of her libidinous trance.

“Andrea...we have...we have to take it easy...” Miranda murmured in a husky voice between kisses, removing the hand she had on the younger woman's breast and her leg from between hers.

Andy gave a sardonic snort and sighed loudly. She hugged Miranda tight as they tried to recover, and she calmed the desperate throbbing between her legs.

“Andrea...I'm afraid things are getting out of hand...” Miranda felt the young woman tense in her arms. She pulled back a little to look into her eyes. “But I don't regret anything, on the contrary. And because I want it to continue, we need to do it the right way...”

Andy relaxed and presented her with a beautiful smile.

“I think we should have our conversation,” Miranda recalled.

Andy nodded.

Miranda smiled.

“But first, I think we'd better take a shower and get ready for bed... It's getting late...and we...well, we almost...”

Andy had the grace to blush. “Yes...”

“We'll meet later, in the living room.”

Andy nodded, then watched Miranda walk up the stairs. Soon, it was her turn. She intended to take a long shower...very cold!

Chapter Text

When they met in the living room, Andy didn't hide a sweet smile when she saw Miranda in her usual gray bathrobe. The older woman, in turn, gave an appreciative nod to Andrea's new cerulean blue bathrobe, another of her presents.

“Come,” Miranda took the young woman's hand, sitting beside her on the love seat.

They looked at each other for a few seconds, uncertain. Andy took a deep breath. She had rehearsed what she wanted to say to Miranda. It was time to be bold.

“Can I start?”

“Of course,” Miranda's voice sounded relieved. After all, sentimental conversation had never been one of her specialties.

“I'll get straight to the point: I know things started out unusually. But for me, this is serious, Miranda. Although…although I desire you madly, this is not just a physical attraction…”

Andrea's nervous, but firm and bold speech seemed to urge Miranda to put her discomfort aside. She took the young woman's hands in hers, and looked at her closely.

“For me it's also very serious. I know that to get here, I...well...I...”

“You teased me. A lot,” Andy completed for her, with a sardonic smile.

Miranda blushed slightly. “Umm...Yes. But it was the only way I found...to get closer...”

Andy nodded in understanding. Just like Doug said. If she didn't reciprocate Miranda's feelings, the flirting would be taken as a naughty joke about the fictional situation, and they'd go ahead with the deal. If Andy had feelings for Miranda, sooner or later she would understand the older woman's true intentions.

“Even though I have these…feelings…I didn't want to risk being short-sighted and scaring you, Andrea. I say this not just because of my girls. If you didn't want anything like that with me, we would at least have your friendship. I hope you know, I really, really cherish you greatly. Besides, we're going to have a child together...”

Andy smiled affectionately. Miranda being so open, especially about something so delicate, made her heart extremely happy. She felt safe.

“But I want to have something more with you, Miranda. I've been wanting this for a long time...I just didn't imagine it would ever happen. You're a fulfilled, famous woman, my former boss...It was my impossible dream. That's why it took me so long to see your real intentions. If not for Doug, maybe I would still be in denial…”

Miranda smiled. “I assumed your friend had something to do with it...”

“I-I told him...Doug knows all about our real situation.”

Miranda pursed her lips. “I assumed that too...”

“Doug is highly reliable.”

The older woman nodded.

“You need someone you can talk to. It's part of your sensitive nature.”

Andy chuckled at her superior tone.

“And it looks like I owe your friend a debt of gratitude,” Miranda added, with a raised eyebrow.

Andy smiled. If Doug knew this, he would die of emotion!

“I wasn't the quickest creature to notice my feelings, Andrea. Also, I was terribly afraid to act on them. If it weren't for the girls, maybe what we have would still be something far from happening...”

Andy narrowed her eyes. “I knew the twins were behind this!”

Miranda let out a witty laugh.

“Obviously! My adorable little monsters realized that my indignation at your departure had a deeper reason. My daughters know me well, Andrea. They know I wouldn't have resented that much, if the person didn't mean something to me. So, they wanted to see your side...”

“They reconnected, tried to create a bond with me. That's why they asked me so much about you...The little devils were probing my feelings!” Andy was stunned.

“But Andrea, above all, know that they truly liked you. Otherwise, they wouldn't have bothered. My girls would have tried to distract me, and not bring us together.”

Andy nodded.

“They sensed my real feelings for you, and continued with the plan. Gradually, the two of us would meet more often because of them. In their little heads, one thing would lead to another...”

“I will not lie. In my heart, I hoped this would work…It was a comfortable tactic. I had my fears, my defenses, Andrea. I had a lot to lose and learn. Starting over, while it might seem temptingly exciting, was also terribly frightening. If the girls' plan had been successful, I would have time to gradually adapt to it...”

“But then the disease came...”

“And everything changed. In an instant, we see how much we have harmed ourselves in the name of our convenience. How much we get caught up in our insecurities. We agreed to talk about the pregnancy because we trusted you. If it wasn't enough the closeness we'd gain from this, my girls still asked me for a promise…That I'd try, really try with you…” Miranda sighed, and Andy gave her hands a comforting squeeze. “My daughters didn't want me alone, in case they…” She couldn't continue.

Andy impulsively hugged her. Miranda tensed for a moment, then relaxed and consented to being taken care of. The older woman didn't allow herself to cry, but Andy could feel her pain. It was hers too.

They remained hugged and silent for a while. Calmer, Miranda made them more comfortable on the love seat. Andy wrapped her arms around the older woman's waist, her head resting on Miranda's shoulder.

“I know I hurt you a lot with my quitting in Paris...But I needed to get away...” Andy said in a low tone.

“From me…” Miranda pointed out in a husky whisper, stroking Andrea's hair. Now she understood.

It was time for Andy to clarify a few things.

“Before our trip, even though I still didn't have the courage to assess it closely, I knew something was different inside me. In Paris, we spend more time together. Being so close to you was starting to affect me deeply. And when I saw you crying for the girls, trusting me like that...I lost my last resistance...”

“But, as always, I was a bitch and scared you away…And you threw yourself into Christian Thompson's arms,” Miranda recalled bitterly. It still irritated her and made her feel extremely possessive.

“Another mistake…And then there was all the fuss with Nigel, and I used that as an excuse. The truth is I was scared of what I might be feeling. I was afraid to dive so deeply into you, that afterward, there wouldn't be much of me to save...”

Both were silent for a moment, reflecting on their fears, their wrong choices. Thinking about how everything, in a totally unusual way, ended up taking them there.

Suddenly, Andy let out an amused snort.

“Your daughters are scary, Miranda!” She turned to the older woman. “They led us right into this!”

Miranda nodded, smiling proudly.

“Oh no! You can't encourage it!”

“Andrea, Dear, knowing how to handle situations is a gift...”

“But being blatantly manipulative is mean!”

Miranda's smile grew wider.

Andy rolled her eyes. Look who she was talking to!

“Do you still want to face the challenge of belonging to our family?” Miranda asked suddenly.

Andy smiled sweetly. “Yes, I want. I'm not running away this time, Miranda.”

They stared at each other steadily for a while, amusement forgotten.

“Andrea, you know I'm an extremely difficult person to deal with. Other than that, I'm almost twice your age, twice divorced, and mother of twins, who, as you also know, are two manipulative mini-geniuses. And soon, we'll have another kid on the way. It's a very heavy burden...”

“I knew it wouldn't be easy, Miranda. Even before, when everything was an act, other people weren't aware of it, and the consequences would still be real. But now that I know about your feelings, I have something else that gives me the strength to go through all of this…” Andy said with a determined look. “Besides, I'm a strong girl…despite my 'sensitive nature',” she scoffed, and the older woman snorted in amusement. “And you, Miranda, are you ready to face the challenge of being with me?” Andy asked in a sensual tone.

“Now would be the perfect time for me to understand your suggestion, and take you right here…” It was her counterargument. “Especially with the two of us in so little clothing...”

“But...?” For all they had talked about, Andy had expected that hesitation.

“We have to go slow. Basically, I'm an old-fashioned woman,” Miranda told her in a bored voice, with a shrug. “However, I don't think I need to say how much I want you…” She whispered that part in a husky voice. “I'm not relieved of responsibility in recent…events…I will be more careful,” Miranda looked meaningfully at the young woman, who nodded. “Due to our exceptional condition, we skipped several steps. I don't want to miss anything with you, Andrea.”

Andy smiled in wonder. Miranda's tone and fond look warmed her heart in a powerfully unknown way. Miranda Priestly wanted romance. This made Andy feel extremely respected. Loved.

Then, she gave a sly smile.

“But we can still keep hugging and kissing, can't we?”

Miranda huffed, bringing her closer, causing the young woman to return to her previous position, her head on the editor's shoulder.

“Don't be ridiculous, Andrea. Of course we can, and we will. After all, that's what couples do.”

Andy melted.

A couple!

It was Miranda's weird way of confirming they were in a real relationship.

Andy purred as she felt the older woman stroke her hair.

“Can we stay like this for a while?” She asked in a loving tone, curling up with Miranda, the other woman's body enveloping her with warmth and protection.

Miranda smiled and kissed the brown hair she adored so much.

“Hu-hum,” she agreed contentedly, and inwardly, thanking whoever was responsible for rewarding her with a second chance.

Chapter Text

When a numb feeling in her arm woke her, Miranda finally realized her limited position, and that they had fallen asleep on the couch. She called Andrea softly, and led the sleepy young woman up the stairs. Miranda gently put Andrea to bed, and kissed her good night on the lips. Then she went to her bedroom, tired, but happy that they had finally talked.

The next morning, the mood at breakfast was one of anxiety. Andy and Miranda would send the donor code, definitely proceeding with the fertilization. As for Cassidy and Caroline, they would have their first day with the tutors.

As much as they didn't want to admit it, the twins were nervous. Before, it would have been a good opportunity to pester their mother's employees, but the situation was different now. The sisters would study at home while they were undergoing treatment, and for that, they would have to be friendly with the tutors. Plus, Andy would oversee things closely. She carefully selected people who, although competent, were kind and interesting, as the sisters were easily bored. In the face of so much effort and consideration, the girls felt obliged not to let Andy down, so they swore their full commitment.

Miranda ate her breakfast in a hurry, she was late. On the other hand, Andy would go to work a little later. The young woman stayed to welcome the first tutor and give her final instructions. In fact, she wanted to be with the twins to encourage them in the beginning of this new experience. She was worried. Many changes awaited the girls, and if it depended on her, Andy would do anything to ease the stress.

The twins grinned as they watched their mother and Andy share a peck on the lips, as Miranda left for work. The editor rolled her eyes at her daughters, but a loving smile graced her face. Andy just smiled silly, her cheeks pink.

“You're finally together,” said Caroline, extremely pleased, once her mother's car pulled out of the gate.

Although they had already seen the intimacy between the women, that morning, the girls had noticed that their mother and Andy had a distinct aura, as the two were truly a couple.

Andy narrowed her eyes. “Thanks to you two, isn't it?”

“Mom sold us out,” Cassidy muttered under her breath, mortified.

Andy's smile was dangerous. “We're still going to talk about it...”

The twins had regretful faces. “Are you mad at us?” Caroline asked, worried.

Andy softened. “Of course not! Come here, my Darlings,” she opened her arms.

The girls ran for the affectionate hug.

“But we're still going to talk about it,” Andy added, and could hear the resigned snorts.

* * * *

After contacting the clinic and providing the donor code, Andy welcomed the science teacher with the twins, and then left for work. She had to admit that going with Roy, instead of taking the crowded subway, was very convenient. It allowed the young reporter to arrive at the newspaper calm and smiling, still feeling fresh from her shower.

Andy had just sat down in her chair, when she noticed her cell vibrate. It was a message from Miranda inviting her to lunch.

Andy smiled happily and quickly wrote a positive reply.

The young reporter began her work with a renewed spirit. She knew her happiness was bothering some envious coworkers, but Andy didn't give a damn! She was dating Miranda Priestly and had every right to rejoice.

Fifteen minutes later, her cell signaled to life once more. Andy quickly grabbed the device, hoping it was Miranda. After all, few people had her new number. Though, when she looked at the ID, her cheerful smile turned into a guilty expression.

“Hi, Nige!”

“Well, well, if it isn't the powerful, and elusive, Andrea!” He scoffed.

The young woman sighed and pursed her lips.

“I see you've been in league with the enemy, huh? And look...Guess who gave me your new number?” He continued, in a mocking tone.

“Nigel...”

“Hell, Andy! Of course I'm hurt!” The man dramatized. “You disappear for months, and then one day, out of nowhere, you not only reappear, but arm in arm with The Dragon Lady! And there's more…You have…have a—Nigel gasped—a…’thing’ with her,” he managed to say, as if it was a curse. “You're living in the woman's house, for God's sake! When did this relationship start?”

Andy sighed heavily. Nigel was right. She owed him an explanation. Andy had used the excuse of what Miranda had done to Nigel to get out of Runway, then disappeared, didn't answer her friend's calls, only to come back a while later as Miranda's girlfriend.

“I know...I'm sorry, Nige...But I needed to escape...”

“What kind of escape is this that threw you into Miranda Priestly's arms?”

Andy looked around. Despite her being discreet, some of her coworkers watched her from the corner of their eyes, all dying to know more details about her relationship with Miranda.

“Nige...It's a long story...and now is not the best time...”

The man snorted, but then heaved a sigh. “And will we have that time? Will you talk to me, Six?”

Nigel calling her by the ridiculous nickname he had given her, made Andy feel strangely happy.

“Yes, we will talk. I promise.”

“Alright, Andy...Be careful...Despite your foolishness, I still care about you...now even more!”

Andy smiled. “Thank you, Nige...I missed you.”

“Yeah...Me too, Six, me too...Drinks on Thursday, happy hour at the Firehouse.”

“It's a deal!”

* * * *

Miranda Priestly was not having a good day. She had barely made it to Runway, and received a message from Irv Ravitz. The man wanted her in his office to talk some nonsense about the budget. Inconvenient little thing, Miranda had responsibilities. She couldn't just run out to hear his pointless prattle.

Though, in addition to the annoyance of having to put up with his presence, lately seeing Irv also gave Miranda a devilishly victorious smile.

It was with great satisfaction that a month after Paris, Miranda discovered Irv Ravitz's dirty secret. She needed an asset for when he decided to cowardly attack her from behind again. Miranda had been looking for a long time for a crack on his good-guy facade, until finally he got careless.

Miranda saved the information for the right time, and used it when Andrea agreed to help her with the girls. Miranda would not jeopardize her career. She would have her back covered and her Editor-in-Chief position assured.

And by none other than Irv Ravitz!

The man's role would be to tame the rest of the board, in case they had the ridiculous idea of measuring her competence by who she bedded, or accusing her of moral failure.

Irv tasted of his own poison.

It was funny for Miranda to see that, after all, Irv Ravitz and she had one thing in common: young lovers of the same sex. However, she was no longer married. Irv, on the other hand...

* * * *

Umm...Another message from Miranda, Andy saw in the viewfinder, before opening it.

There is no possibility of even thinking about lunch. I don't know what time I'll get home. Don't wait for me for dinner. That's all.

Andy's mouth was slightly open.

All that remained was Miranda to say her infamous ‘bring my Starbucks. You have five minutes!’

Andy wouldn't deny that she was a little upset. Though, she knew that being with Miranda would be like that, a seesaw of ice and fire. Although the older woman had a softer side to her and to the girls, she was still Miranda Priestly.

Andy didn't want her in any other way.

After all, it was the woman's multifaceted and intriguing personality that fascinated her so much.

However, Andy wasn't going to be whining about Miranda's change of plans. She called Doug and Lily, and in less than ten minutes, she arranged to meet her friends for a quick bite to eat.

* * * *

The small gathering was fun. Doug and Lily teased Andy about her sudden fame, and wanted to know how things were going. Everything went fine, until her cell rang and Andy saw who the caller was.

“Hi, Mom! Is everything okay? I…” Andy was speechless. Her eyes got huge and her jaw dropped. “Damn…I don't believe it! He...Yes...Yes, Mother...I'll talk to her...No, Mother...Sorry... I...Yes, Mother...I...I'm sorry...Yes...Right...Bye...”

“What happened, Andy?” Lily asked anxiously. When her friend said ‘Mother’, she knew it wasn't a good thing.

Andy was livid. “The paparazzi found my parents...”

“Oh shit!”

“When my Dad went out this morning to buy things for breakfast, he ran into six idiots with tape recorders and cameras, asking the most indiscreet questions...”

“Oh dammit!” Lily grimaced in sympathy.

At this point, Andy's eyes were already watering.

“And it gets worse...It seems like one of them offended my honor, and my Dad gave him a nice punch in the nose, and they ended up at the police station...It was a big mess” She told, hiding her face with her hands in sadness, shame and insecurity.

“Holy crap!” Doug was also stunned.

Lily moved closer to her friend and hugged her. “What will you do?”

“Talking to Miranda...Mother demanded that she wield her whip and chase the idiots away!”

“Holy crap!” Doug let out a second time.

* * * *

Andy didn't know how she got back to the newspaper. She was on autopilot, her mind elsewhere. The young reporter stared at her computer screen for several minutes without working, thinking about how to talk to Miranda.

After a sigh, Andy finally decided to send an email. From the tone of the message sent earlier, she guessed that Miranda wasn't having a good day either. Avoiding a direct confrontation would be the best alternative.

Andy wrote a short note. She tried not to be too emotional. She didn't want the older woman to think she blamed her.

Five minutes later, Andy got a message:

I will take care of it.

* * * *

Miranda Priestly was extremely displeased with herself. She'd been careless, and that wasn't something she'd digested well. The editor should have guessed what the press would do. They knew she was used to dealing with them, and with Andrea under her protection they would look for a weakness elsewhere.

“Emily.”

The first assistant came running on her high heels. “Yes, Miranda.”

“Close the door.”

Emily widened her eyes, frozen in place. Miranda had never asked for a closed-door conversation with her before.

“Are you unable to understand what it means to close the door? Is this too much for your intelligence and motor locomotion?” The older woman asked in a cold, sharp tone.

That snapped Emily out of her daze and set her into action. She ran and did as ordered.

Miranda took off her glasses and placed them gently on the table. With a quick movement, she pointed to the chair across from her.

“Sit down.”

Emily's eyes widened again, but this time, her body readily obeyed the demand. Miranda rarely offered the chair. The subject should be something really serious.

* * * *

“Take care of it, Emily...Don't disappoint me...” Miranda looked at her defiantly.

The first assistant was startlingly pale, and her hand ached, due to how quickly she had to take down the instructions Miranda barked.

Emily nodded.

“I understand perfectly, Miranda,” she replied in the firmest tone she could muster.

“That's all.”

Emily left the office on unsteady steps.

At the assistant's desk, Serena, who had just arrived, saw her friend's condition and rushed to help her.

“A hard time, I presume...”

“You have no idea…” Emily sighed, sitting back in her chair. She ran her hands over her face, still feeling hopelessly livid.

“What happened, Em?” Serena was really worried.

The other woman smiled ruefully. “I can't talk about this...”

Serena pursed her lips, but nodded in understanding. “All right. But, girl, you're very tense...”

Emily looked at her as if she was being mocked. Her name was tension, since she started working for Miranda Priestly!

Serena caught her preposterous statement and had the grace to look sorry.

“I mean, more than usual...”

“Sure...”

“Let's go out for drinks later, you need it!”

Emily thought about resisting the temptation, they had to be at work early the next day. However, she really needed a good shot of whiskey...

She found herself nodding, and her friend smiled in satisfaction.

“Emily, I believe that talking to Serena means you've already accomplished the task assigned to you…” Miranda said dryly from the doorway, catching them both by surprise. “Serena, tell Nigel to come here,” she commanded, turned and walked back to her lair.

The young Brazilian made a face. “You better start doing what she asked,” she said to her friend, hurrying off.

Emily took a deep breath, relaxing her shoulders. “It's serious...very serious...I-I never imagined...”

“Imagined what?” Tara, the newest second assistant asked, stumbling into the reception office with Miranda's Starbucks.

Emily's eyes narrowed. “That you could be more stupid! Hurry up with her coffee!" The redhead said vehemently, making the girl act.

When the excuse for an assistant was in the lioness's den, Emily took another deep breath, squared her shoulders, and prepared to perform the impossible, as usual.

* * * *

“Is everything okay, Andy?” asked Caroline, concerned. She had realized that the young woman was deep in thought, her book forgotten in her hands.

The twins and Andy were reading in the living room, snuggled together on the couch.

“Is it because of Mom? She sometimes stays late at work. Mom is trying to be more present, but there are days…” Cassidy justified in words that Andy had used several times before with the two sisters, regarding Miranda's absences.

The young woman smiled at the irony.

“I know, Sweethearts,” she assured them, hugging the twins. “Besides, your Mom warned us she couldn't come to dinner. I'm just tired. It was a difficult day.”

“Are you worried about tomorrow?” Caroline asked.

“Hu-hum...There's that too.”

“It's going to be all right, you'll see,” Cassidy said with a reassuring smile. “Umm...Andy...we never thank you for what you've done...and what you're still going to do for us...”

“It's true, Andy. That means a lot to us. And not just because of the disease...You being here is very important for us...and for Mom, too...”

Andy's embrace intensified.

“You have nothing to be thankful for. I love you, guys. You three are very important to me…” She said emotionally. Her emotions had been crazy all day, and Andy was on the verge of tears.

“This story about the plan...We thought about it because we love you...”

“And we knew Mom liked you in a different way...”

“We knew you would be perfect for each other...”

“And for us too...”

Andy's heart smiled contentedly.

* * * *

When Miranda arrived at the townhouse, everything was quiet. She thought Andrea and the girls were already in bed. The woman was heading for the stairs, when a soft light in the living room caught her eye. She walked there slowly, and found Andrea sleeping in one of the armchairs. A book was in her lap, and only one of the lamps lit the room.

Andrea had obviously fallen asleep waiting for her.

Miranda's heart fluttered.

Foolish girl…

She sighed heavily.

“Andrea...” Miranda named in a soft voice, touching her shoulder lightly.

“Umm?”

“Andrea, wake up...go to bed.”

“Mi-Miranda?” Andy asked sleepily, rubbing her eyes.

“And who else would it be? This is still my house, isn't it?” The older woman teased. “Or were you waiting for someone else?”

Andy rolled her eyes, standing up. Despite Miranda's failed attempt to make a joke, she saw how dejected the older woman was. She didn't like it at all. Andy knew they would have to talk about some things, but this was not the time.

Andy followed what her heart told her to do. She hugged Miranda.

At first, the older woman stiffened, but soon after she melted, allowing the weight of the day to finally become known, and Andrea to help her with it.

Miranda Priestly was tired. Very tired.

“Come, let's go to bed. We have to make babies early in the morning,” Andy joked with a smile.

Miranda snorted loudly, but a small smile dared to cross her face. She accepted being guided to the stairs, her soul, much lighter than a few minutes ago.

Chapter Text

Since the first time Emily Charlton set foot on Runway, her existence was not the best. Being abused and mistreated by Miranda Priestly was routine. It was part of the job. Or so Emily told herself constantly, as she resisted the urge to lash out at Miranda, kick off her damn high shoes, and run like a madwoman to stuff herself at the first diner she found.

Nonetheless, as much as she suffered, Emily remained steadfast in her British persistence and personal stubbornness. She would nobly pass the ordeal and then reap the rewards.

Anyone who could handle being Miranda Priestly's assistant and receiving her recommendation when leaving the job, would be able to work anywhere in the city, in the country. Probably, anywhere in the world!

But as masochistic as it sounded, Emily actually did not want to leave Runway. Her dream was the Art Department.

Amid the mad rush of her duties, Emily paid attention, learned. Who better to look up to than the tyrant bitch, but also Goddess and genius, Miranda Priestly?

More than anyone, Emily knew the Editor could make an adult cry with just one of her looks. Miranda was extremely demanding, her taste par excellence, somewhat psychotic. The woman really enjoyed the suffering of her employees.

Yet, eccentricities aside, Miranda Priestly was the best. She reigned absolute.

Emily had no pretense of being like her, Miranda was unique, a legend. However, one day, Emily wanted to be there, at the top, being part of her court.

The conversation she had had with Miranda the day before had unsettled her. Maybe if the older woman had fired her, she would not have surprised Emily so much.

Emily knew Miranda and Andrea went to a fertilization clinic, Roy told her the treat. Obviously they kept it to themselves. They were not crazy about spreading the gossip with their coworkers. Still, Emily thought it was one of Miranda's moves, who will know why, was fucking Andrea ‘Andy’ Sachs.

The Fashion Queen could have anyone she wanted, but she chose the carb-eating, good-girl, cocky-smart provincial Sachs.

How this annoyed Emily!

True, Andrea blossomed after Nigel's magic touch. To the amazement of the first assistant, Andrea managed to maintain her weight, God knows how!

She would never tell anyone, but Emily had to admit that Andrea was very attractive, with those expressive eyes and disgustingly gorgeous lashes, plus her full mouth and shy smile. The girl had her merits. She even developed a fashion sense.

Even though it hurt her deeply, Emily admitted, too, that Andrea was the best assistant Miranda had ever had.

Emily tried so hard, but it was never enough. The ex-fat-cocky seemed to guess Miranda's wishes. Even when the woman was fiendishly demanding, Andrea found a way to fulfill her whims.

The girl was smart and adaptable, there was no way she could not admit it, too.

However, it was more than smartness. Emily had always thought the two of them had something, a kind of connection. The first assistant, although, never wanted to follow that line of thought. It was something she did not even want to imagine. Then later, with Andrea's escape, the redhead forgot about it.

But it was true, the two did have ‘something special’. Such knowledge, strangely, soothed Emily, as her dispute with Andrea was never really fair.

In a gruff and emotionally retarded way, Miranda made it clear that ‘Andrea’ was now part of her family's life. For Emily, the sudden display of confidence was genuinely shocking.

Miranda might as well have barked orders without giving any explanation, as usual. But no, she exposed the situation and convoked Emily to the front lines.

It would be a hell of a battle, which Emily Charlton would do anything to win!

For the first time on Runway, she felt truly needed, and coming from Miranda Priestly, it meant a lot.

It was Emily's chance to prove herself, to get closer, to grow in Miranda's eyes. It was her chance to be able to worry and help out with something personal, because as delusional as she might seem to others, Emily Charlton really cared about Miranda Priestly.

This morning, though, it was not Miranda's dilemma that bothered her the most. It was the soft, naked body with a delicious scent of sex, tangled up with hers.

On one of the few times in her life, Emily said “fuck it”, and went with the flow. When the drunken haze gave way to a raging lust, she went ahead with it. The woman was delectable, even Miranda had sometimes, in her insulting way, praised the girl's attractiveness. If she wanted to give herself to Emily so willingly, why not?

Damn friendship!

She was the only friend Emily had in Runway. No. She was the only real friend Emily had in that hell of a city, in the whole fucking country!

The redhead was terrified that she had ventured such a gem for a few hours of pleasure.

Okay, Emily had been out of the game a while. It was a memorable night. In fact, best sex she's ever had.

She could not deny that several times she had daydreamed about that delightful accent...Hearing it overcome with lust, saying naughty things and moaning her name, was fabulously arousing. Not to mention her skin, her body…How many occasions have Emily had libidinous hallucinations with her curves, which even today made many of the models that circulated around Runway die of envy? Curves that were put at the mercy of her hands, mouth...

Emily bit her lower lip with a muffled moan, her arousal again stoking the throb between her legs.

What would come from there?

They had lust, friendship and affection...Emily was in serious trouble!

“Stop overthinking...” said the husky voice, as strong arms pressed her closer to a warm body.

That accent should be banned! “I'm not...”

“And don't pout, either,” was said in an amused tone.

Emily huffed and rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. Her worries put to rest. Serena knew her so well...

* * * *

Breakfast was rushed, Miranda and Andy were late. At the very least, Miranda had the opportunity to meet one of the girls' tutors, unfortunately for the woman. The good thing was that she would still keep her job, despite the trauma.

In the car, on the way to the clinic, after a few moments of silence, it was Miranda who suddenly broke the introspective mood.

“I'm sorry, Andrea…” She said in a low tone, almost a whisper.

Surprised, Andy whipped her head toward her, tightening her grip on the older woman's hand.

“Miranda...What...”

The other woman sighed. “Your parents...”

“It's not your fault. It was those unscrupulous vultures who were there pestering them both, not you.”

“But because of me...”

“Because of us. After all, the parents are mine,” Andy reminded, with a wry smile. “I accepted our ‘plan’, and I WANT to be with you three. We knew that problems like this could happen. I won't deny that this situation sucks. But I also know that this is part of the package...”

Miranda gave a tiny sneer.

“I'm certainly not the most popular person on my ‘in-laws’ list right now.”

Andy shrugged, and then smiled.

“You'll have more work with my Dad...Even more, after the...You know...” She couldn't even say the word ‘police station’. Just thinking about it made her shiver.

Miranda nodded in understanding.

“As for my Mom, she was mad, more with the situation and the paparazzi. She wanted you to do something…well…because of your influence and everything…” Andy added, biting her lip.

“It's done.”

Andy arched her eyebrows.

Miranda's smile was sinister.

“At this point, a team of bodyguards, very well trained, must be watching over your parents.”

Andy pursed her lips.

“But you don't even have bodyguards!”

Miranda shrugged.

“I know how to deal with these ‘people’. For now, I can take care of you and the girls very well. Don't forget that Roy is also skilled at solving potential ‘problems’,” she stated lightly.

“Umm...It's true...” Andy agreed. Roy was capable, as well as a huge man. “Still, I think they, especially my Dad, can't be enjoying this very much…” She shivered again.

Andy did not even consider looking at the number of missed calls on her cell. She turned off the device, as she did not want any more pressure before her fertilization. Andy knew her parents must be fuming! And it was just the beginning of the ‘news’. They would kill her for sure!

Miranda shrugged once more.

“I think so. But I'm afraid they'll have to hang on until the dust settles.”

Andy sighed.

“You're right…I'll talk to them later. At least my Dad is no longer in danger of being taken to the police station…” She grimaced.

Miranda laughed. Not the rehearsed one for formalities. It was a melodious, heartfelt laugh.

On another occasion, Andy would have loved to hear so unusual and delicious sound. But at the moment, it was not making her happy at all.

“Miranda!”

The other woman stopped laughing, but her eyes sparkled, and she had a wide smile.

“I couldn't help thinking that my father-in-law has so much fire. I imagined the scene of him, indignant coming to the defense of his beloved daughter...I think I'd better get ready for our battles!” She laughed again.

Andy crossed her arms with a mock stern look.

“If it had been the girls, wouldn't you have defended them too? Maybe you wouldn't punch someone in the face, but in your own way you would do something...Screw the guy's career, make the creature disappear off the face of the Earth...‘Typical’ things of yours...”

“Absolutely,” Miranda said with finality in an amused tone, and inside, she was smiling malevolently. In addition to the bodyguards, she used her ‘specialties’. Emily carried out her orders very well...

Andy did not even want to imagine what motivated that look on Miranda's face. She ‘almost’ felt sorry for the pseudo-reporter.

Almost.

Then something occurred to her.

“Um…” Andy cuddled up with the older woman. “You called them in-laws,” she reminded with a goofy smile.

Miranda just snorted.

Andy took her lips in a soft kiss.

“Thanks for taking care of everything...” She took Miranda's lips again, this time in a much more passionate way.

“We're here,” Roy informed them a while later, over the car's intercom, as they stopped at the clinic's strategic entrance.

The couple reluctantly interrupted the depth of the kiss, still sharing a few pecks on the lips, until they pulled away from each other.

“Is the area clear?” Andy asked Roy, looking out the windows.

“Perfectly. The fools went after the bait.”

The two laughed evilly.

Miranda snorted at the unnecessary conversation. After all, that was the idea. Henceforth, the old Mercedes would be used as bait, as Miranda hired an extra driver for the role. Whenever they went to the clinic, he would drive out in the first car, taking the press with him. Miranda and Andrea would exit through the employee access, in the back, and get the new Mercedes, driven by Roy.

Andy and Miranda quickly reapplied their lipsticks and put on their sunglasses. The older woman got out of the car and offered her hand, looking meaningfully at Andrea.

“Let's go?”

The young woman took a deep breath, mustering her courage, and nodded firmly.

Her life would never be the same again.

Chapter Text

“Andrea, do you really think this is necessary?” Miranda asked emphatically, as if she were talking to a child, her eyebrows raised in disbelief.

“You heard the doctor, there's no problem. Every help is welcome!” Andy's voice was hampered by her position.

“Oh, I heard, yes. She looked at you like you were an idiot, I remember it very well.”

“Miranda!”

The older woman rolled her eyes, but went back to stroking the hair under her fingers.

“You've already been fertilized, Andrea. This preposterous belief is for the other type of fertilization…” Miranda saw her pouting.

“I know, but I want to do it anyway, right?” Andy finished in a low voice.

Miranda sighed. If Andrea thought being in that ridiculous position would help, let the girl get her wish.

At the clinic, they used the ICSI technique, a more sophisticated procedure, where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg, promoting fertilization. In this method, healthy woman with quality eggs guarantee great chances of a pregnancy in the first attempt.

With advancing age and still not thinking about having children, at thirty-two, Miranda collected some of her eggs. As they were still young, they ensured the perfect material for fertilization.

With the ICSI technique, embryo transfer is simple, and in most cases, painless. In a gynecological position, a catheter is introduced into the uterus, and the embryonic material is then injected. Thrilled, Miranda and Andy followed the entire process through an abdominal ultrasound. Forty-five minutes later, it was all over.

After listening to the doctor's recommendations, Andy hurried out, dragging Miranda toward the car. Since then, the young woman had been lying in the backseat with her legs up and her head in Miranda's lap. Glad the new Mercedes also had insulfilm. Otherwise, Andy would have been a sight for the people of New York.

* * * *

When they entered the townhouse, Andy ran upstairs. The girls arrived just in time to see her disappear down the hall.

“What's got into her, mom?”

“It's everything alright?”

They asked confused and worried.

Miranda rolled her eyes.

“Andrea is being silly. She must have her legs up by now. ”

The twins laughed.

“Oh, one day we were talking and she mentioned it,” Cassidy reminded.

“Truth. We think it's a superstition. Besides, it's not for her case,” Caroline smirked.

Miranda snorted.

“I'll go check on Andrea,” she told them, but then took a closer look at her daughters. “Are you two okay?”

Caught off guard, the girls slightly arched their eyebrows, but soon assumed blank looks.

“Yeah, we're fine…” Cassidy was quick to answer.

“Why did you change your T-shirt?”

“Uh...Because I accidentally soiled the other one...”

Miranda narrowed her eyes.

“With what?”

“Uh...er...I...”

“You bled again, didn't you?”

The girl looked repentant, like it was her fault.

“Oh, Bobbsey,” Miranda hugged her daughter. She nodded to Caroline, who was watching them anxiously.

In moments, the three were locked in a loving, comforting embrace.

“It wasn't a big deal…” Cassidy said in a hushed tone, still held by her mother.

Miranda pulled back to look at her.

“Don't ever say that again!” She commanded vehemently. “Don't ever hide those things from me again no matter if you think it's nothing. Do you two understand?”

“Yes, Mom...”

“OK, sorry...”

“Are you really okay, Cassidy? I think we'd better call the doctor...”

“No, Mom. I'm fine, I swear.”

“Do you feel nausea, dizziness, weakness? Does it hurt anything?”

“No, nothing, it was just the bleeding. The doctor said it would happen...and with the medication increase, it would be more constant.”

Miranda sighed heavily. How she hated it! The feeling of helplessness was terrible.

“I would never know this happened, would I?” Her eyes and voice were cold.

“It's not the tutor's or the nurse's fault, Mom! Don't fire them,” Caroline stepped forward, her eyes watering. “It was my fault...”

“Our fault…” Her sister added. “We deceived them both.”

Miranda took a deep breath.

“Tell me everything...”

“When I saw that Cass was a little pale, I asked for some time so we could drink some water. So, we went to the bathroom, and after Cass cleaned up, she changed her T-shirt, and we headed back. We told Camille and Sarah that Cass accidentally got wet, hence the change of clothes...As everything happened so quickly, they didn't suspect anything...”

Miranda sighed. Her daughters were too smart for their own good.

“I will not fire them. This time. But we are going to talk about this. It is their obligation, in my and Andrea's absence, to always be with you two. It doesn't matter if the situation apparently has no danger.”

The girls, heads down, nodded guiltily.

“We didn't want to prejudice Andy's fertilization…” Cassidy explained.

“She was going to freak out…Andy needs to be calm…” Her sister ratified.

Miranda sighed.

“Mommy understands, just don't do it anymore. As simple as it was, it could…” She paused. “It could have been worse...”

The girls nodded in understanding.

“Don't tell Andy now, Mom…” Caroline pleaded.

Miranda pursed her lips. She knew she should not hide something like that from Andrea, but in the current situation, it would be for the best. Thank God the girls were now okay. Unfortunately, such misfortunes were part of the process.

“Right,” she finally agreed with them.

“We're going back to our studies,” said Cassidy, already tired of all the sentimental talk.

“Are you well enough-”

“I'm fine, Mom. Go see Andy. She must be wondering why you're not there with her.”

“Right.”

“In a little while we're up to say hi to her,” Caroline added.

Miranda nodded in agreement, and then gave each of her daughters a kiss on the head.

“Take care.”

“OK, Mom!” The twins said together, trotting through the house.

Miranda smiled and shook her head.

Certain things don't change, she thought, going to check on her other ‘girl’.

In the doorway to Andrea's bedroom, she snorted.

The girl is ridiculous…, Miranda narrowed her eyes. Then she sighed slowly. And she's in this situation, precisely because she cares...The girl is ridiculously fascinating..., Miranda rambled, then rolled her eyes and walked into the room. “Here, let me help you,” she offered, tucking a pillow under Andrea's back, which had her legs up against the wall. “How much longer are you going to stay like this?” Miranda asked disdainfully, sitting down on the bed next to the young woman.

“Just a few more minutes...my back is already hurting.”

Miranda snorted once more.

“Why is it, huh? Your stubbornness is beyond my reach, Andrea.”

It was Andy's turn to snort. Look who talked about stubbornness!

“Where are the girls? Are they studying?”

“They should, no? As I recall, it's still study time,” Miranda snapped.

“I know that! It's just that I heard them when I went upstairs.”

“They saw your rush. The girls wanted to know if everything was all right. Like me, they think it's–Miranda pointed to Andrea's position–a waste of time.”

“Whatever. I want to do it anyway...”

Miranda shrugged.

“If it brings you peace of mind, then who am I to object?” She remarked in a bored tone, even though she knew she was still objecting.

Andy sighed. The woman was impossible!

That is when they saw the flash.

“Ooh! We did it!” They heard Caroline shout for joy, as she ran from the doorway with her sister.

“Photo for posterity!” Cassidy giggled, already far away, jogging down the steps.

Andy laughed.

“These little brats! I can't believe they took a photo!"

Miranda was smiling mischievously.

“You're the one who put yourself in this situation, my Dear,” she teased, and then leaned in and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Enough of this, Andrea. Come,” Miranda ordered, pulling the young woman to lie down on the bed with her.

Andy went without protest.

Miranda hugged her from behind and buried her face in Andrea's neck, her scent relaxing the older woman instantly.

“Let's get some rest until lunchtime.”

Andy smiled, snuggling closer to the woman. On a weekday, she would not turn down a moment like that with Miranda Priestly! As if on cue, Andy yawned widely. She was tired. She did not sleep at all, the night before.

As Miranda held Andrea, the word Cassidy uttered repeated in her mind: ‘posterity’. She looked down at the younger woman, so calm in her arms. Andrea had fallen asleep with one hand on her stomach, in inadvertent protection.

* * * *

After a long and pleasant nap, Miranda and Andy went down to lunch with the twins. As soon as they saw them, the girls teased Andy about the photo. The young woman took it in stride, amused by their mischievousness. In fact, Andy thought it would be a nice funny photo to keep as a keepsake.

After a few more jokes, already at the table, Miranda finally got tired of all that noise.

“Don't encourage them, Andrea…”

Andy just smiled and shrugged.

“When will we know about the pregnancy?” Caroline asked between bites of her steak, not heeding her mother's warning about her antics with her sister.

“Twelve days from now, I'm going back to the clinic for testing,” answered Andy.

“Yet?” Cassidy complained.

Miranda stopped with the fork halfway to her mouth, and raised her eyebrows.

“Making babies isn't that simple, Bobbsey.”

“It usually is. All it takes is a man to take a woman to-”

Miranda cleared her throat, interrupting her daughter's train of thought.

Then the older woman sighed.

It was strange to see how her own ‘babies’ were growing up so quickly.

Miranda sighed again.

She was old.

Andy's smile was huge. Poor Miranda! She then decided to go to the rescue.

“Cass, a pregnancy isn't just about the act. The woman doesn’t always have intercourse and becomes pregnant right away. Of course, our case was atypical, already halfway there, but, even so, there has to be some time to see if I will handle the transfer of embryonic material and continue with a pregnancy.”

“Oh, I get it...”

The rest of lunch went without any major problems. The girls talked about their new study routine. Much to Miranda and Andy's happiness and relief, despite the different system, the twins were enjoying their lessons.

Miranda was pleased to note that her daughters were doing well. After a loving farewell and quietly telling them to call if anything happened, the older woman was ready to head back to Runway.

Andy walked her to the door.

“Are you coming to dinner with us today?” She asked, while straightening the collar of Miranda's blouse.

The older woman pursed her lips.

“I'll try.”

Andy made a coy face.

“Pleaaaase…” She purred, batting her eyelashes.

Miranda rolled her eyes and snorted, but her mouth curved into a small smile.

“I'll try,” she said with conviction, this time.

Andy grinned and gave her a tender kiss on the lips.

Miranda rolled her eyes again, before putting on her sunglasses. She took a step towards the Mercedes, then quickly turned around, catching Andrea by surprise as she took the young woman in her arms, and gave her a passionate kiss.

“Much better…something to make a woman come home wanting more,” Miranda said in a husky, sensual voice, along with a dangerous smile.

Andy, still a little dazed, just nodded in agreement, a big goofy grin on her flushed face.

Miranda chuckled victoriously, turned on her heels, and headed off to meet Roy in the car. Along the way, her hips swayed provocatively, much to Andy's delight as she watched her with undisguised lust.

This woman will be the death of me..., she thought, fanning herself.

Chapter Text

Miranda arrived in time for dinner, to the delight of her daughters and Andrea, who tried to give her even more reasons to want to return home, always. After the meal, Andy finally steeled herself and called her parents.

“How was it?” Miranda asked, as soon as she saw Andrea at the entrance to the living room, where she was waiting with the girls.

Andy had no reaction.

“Andrea, for God's sake have a seat!” Miranda commanded. Seeing the younger woman there, standing in the doorway, frowning and chewing her lips, was unnerving her.

Andy snapped out of her stupor and walked over to the older woman on the couch, dropping down to sit next to Miranda, who lovingly hugged her.

“Mom bent my ear one more time, obviously. My Dad is driving her crazy! He's so mad my Mom didn't even let him talk to me...”

Miranda sighed languidly.

“I'm sorry, Andrea…”

“Yeah...”, “We're sorry, Andy”, said the girls, really hurt.

Andy gently disentangled herself from Miranda, went to the rug and knelt between the twins, hugging them lovingly.

“Hey, Sweethearts, you have nothing to be sorry for.”

Caroline shrugged.

“If it weren't for us, you wouldn't be on your Dad's blacklist. This sucks...”

“Yeah, sucks!” Cassidy agreed.

“Language, girls…” Miranda warned with narrowed eyes, as Andy smiled.

“Yeah, suc-” the young woman paused, looked at Miranda and winked, “it's really bad. But it's not your fault, guys; those annoying paparazzi that made them both nervous. Besides, my Dad is overacting-”

“He doesn't like us,” Caroline cut her off.

“Because of Mom,” added Cassidy.

Miranda felt her heart sink.

Andy took a deep breath.

“My Darlings, my parents have nothing against you, on the contrary. Since we started spending time together, I've told them about the two of you.”

The twins had skeptical looks.

“I confess that my Dad has a problem with Miranda because of the time I worked for her. But Mr. Sachs needs to understand that this was before, in other circumstances. After he calms down a bit, I really want my parents to meet you two, and see how much more wonderful you are.”

“But if your Dad keeps hurting you, we'll screw with him!”

“Cassidy...” Miranda scolded, although inside she thought the same. Okay, Richard Sachs hated her, but she hoped he would stop taking it out on his daughter. Of them all, Andrea was the one who least deserved that toxic behavior.

After some more conversation, the girls finally relented. They agreed to meet Andy's parents without prejudgment, when the time came. A little later, Miranda sent them both to bed and remained in the living room with Andrea.

Miranda Priestly, who had zero tolerance for small talk, when she began to develop a closer relationship with Andrea, realized that the girl's babbling did not affect her. Andrea was ridiculously fun, so clueless at times that she managed to break through Miranda's defenses. The girl was dangerously special.

“Nigel was climbing the walls today,” Miranda said with amusement in her voice, after kissing Andrea's neck, which had her head resting on the older woman's shoulder, cuddling with her on the couch.

Andy laughed.

“And since when is this new?” She scoffed.

Miranda chuckled.

“Nigel has been more bouncy than usual, since I started delegating more roles to him,” she said dismissively.

“Hmm...”

“At first, I think he thought I was going crazy…I think he still thinks so. But now, he thinks he understands the reason for my madness,” Miranda explained, giving Andrea an extra squeeze, clarifying her point.

Andy laughed.

“Poor Nigel!”

Miranda rolled her eyes, but smiled. She admitted that since she started giving Nigel certain tasks, her office life had been less stressful. Miranda still commanded with an iron fist, but it was good to ‘just’ check things out. Of course she had to be careful, she was surrounded by idiots, but Nigel was doing satisfactory work.

“I'm meeting up with Nige the day after tomorrow for happy hour.”

Miranda's eyebrows rose and she looked down at Andrea, encouraging her to explain the situation.

“He called me yesterday. Apparently, Nige is worried about me,” Andy shrugged.

Miranda narrowed her eyes.

“Was Nigel gentle with you?”

Andy gave a sarcastic snort.

“In the beginning, he wanted my head. Nige was hurt...”

“With good reason, I suppose...”

Andy sighed.

“Yeah, that's true. But we sorted it out, and agreed to sit down and talk properly. Despite everything that happened, I trust Nige...I want to tell him everything...”

Miranda nodded. She also trusted the man, even though she was no longer entitled to any kind of consideration from him. Yet, Nigel adored Andrea, and she certainly deserved his affections. Plus, it would be good for them to have one more ally.

Miranda knew that Nigel, as much as he understood her motives, was still a little hurt about Paris. Since then, their friendship has been shaken. Miranda was not very good with people, and Nigel, even a friend, feared her boss image. It was complicated sometimes. However, Andrea getting close to him again would consequently help Miranda and her longtime friend leave their differences behind.

The woman smiled in satisfaction. It was good to see a situation solved, without her having to meddle in the matter.

“What was that little smile of yours?” Andy was suspiciously.

Miranda's smile got wider, but she did not respond, instead, she lowered her lips to Andrea's.

In seconds, Andy had forgotten everything else, other than the taste of her mouth, the heat of her body, the emotions that Miranda Priestly, and only she, aroused in her. Sometimes that intensity still scared Andy, but it felt so good.

Several kisses followed. As well as caresses and moans of contentment.

“Umm…” Andy gasped after they broke their last kiss, snuggling up against Miranda's body like a kitten. “Let's go to bed?” Her voice was sensually husky.

Miranda stiffened.

“An...Andrea...We...I don't think we...”

Andy laughed.

“Sleep, Miranda. Just to sleep,” she clarified, amused.

The older woman relaxed, then laughed. It was amazing how laughing, together with Andrea, seemed more and more natural.

They stayed cuddled together a while longer, in silence, content and carefree. Until, Andy yawned loudly, and they both lazily stood up.

“Um...Miranda?” Andy called as they climbed the steps.

“Yes, Darling?”

“I...We...Can I sleep in your bedroom?”

Miranda had a little hesitation. Her ex-husbands had a separate bedroom, precisely because she hated the excessive snuggles and hearing their snoring. When they had sex, after the act, they usually went to their own space. Besides, Miranda could not relax in their company. On the few occasions they stayed together, she slept poorly. It made her uneasy to grant someone such power to be near her in a moment as unprotected as sleep.

With Andrea, though, she enjoyed the contact, of sleeping cuddled up with the younger woman. With her, Miranda could truly relax. In fact, she did not feel helpless at all, on the contrary. The few times they slept together, the feeling of belonging was immense.

Still, Miranda knew that by accepting her request, she would be opening another part of herself to the girl. Andrea would probably want to sleep next to her every night, as her pregnancy progressed.

The thought, instead of annoying her, made Miranda smile.

With Andrea, everything was different. It was just that, what made everything so wonderfully special.

Differing to her reluctant nature, Miranda Priestly would listen to her heart.

She smiled sweetly at Andrea.

“Get ready in your bedroom, and then go to mine. I'll be waiting for you.”

The smile Andrea gave her, certainly, ensured that the effort to readapt would be worth it.

 

 


 

 

Thursday at seven o'clock sharp, Andrea Sachs walked into the Firehouse looking for Nigel Kipling. Jazz resonated at a pleasant volume. The tables, already all occupied by friends engaged in lively conversation, or couples talking closely together.

The pub was sophisticated and spacious, with varied live music, conveniently close to Runway. Precisely because of this proximity, that before going to meet her friend, Andy said hello to Miranda, who that night, would have to stay a little longer in the office. The girls did not like the fact that they were going to have dinner without them, but Miranda and Andy had softened their tempers by offering them to go eat at Sarafina, for the weekend.

“Hey, Six!” Nigel called when he saw her.

Andy smiled and walked over to her friend, giving him a long, affectionate hug.

Nigel pulled back a little, frowned, looked her up and down, and walked her around to peek at every angle.

He nodded, with a little smirk.

“Well, well! I'm glad to see you've been keeping the line. And it looks like you've finally learned a thing or two about fashion. At last, my valuable tips entered that little head of yours!” He teased, again examining her little fluttering dress in a tight blue. “Dior?”

“Hu-hum!”

“Perfect!”

Andy grinned.

Nigel helped her with the chair, taking his own place then.

“You look fabulous, Six!”

“I haven't used number six in a while…” She pointed out with a giggle.

“Oh, that's obvious! But I like the nickname, so be happy with that. Plus, it's good for you to always remember the numbering, and never go there again!”

Andy laughed along with him. It felt good to be with Nigel.

A waiter came to serve them.

“Drinks on me!” Nigel offered, and Andy froze. “What was the name of that delicious purple drink we had that night?” He asked excitedly, and then frowned, as he noticed Andy's concern. “What's the problem?”

“Um...Drink...I can't...I can't drink alcohol.”

Nigel frowned even more, and then his eyes widened.

“Oh my God! You're not going to tell me you've become another hooked on meds!”

“What!? No, it's not like that!”

Her friend pursed his lips. Then he ordered an exotic drink for himself and a strawberry juice for Andy.

“Okay, what's going on?” Nigel asked as soon as the waiter left.

Andy took a deep breath, and began to explain...

By the end of the tale, if possible, the man was looking even more haunted than Doug's, when Andy told him her story with Miranda and the girls. Miranda Priestly's human and at the same time coldly strategist vision, had baffled the Fashion Director.

“I don't know what to say, Six...Besides the fact that things now fall into place...And that I'm even more worried about you...”

“It's...a little complicated, right?”

Nigel snorted.

“Just a little?”

“But for me, as crazy as it may be, it's the right thing to do, Nige!”

He sighed.

“So that's what matters, Six. I confess it's still going to be hard for me to get used to seeing Miranda REALLY being kind to someone other than her daughters. But I also confess that I liked the little I saw. Despite our last differences, I always worried about her.”

They stopped to get their drinks. After a sip of juice, Andy asked, “Are you still really hurt by Miranda?”

Nigel sighed heavily.

“I was sad...disappointed...not exactly with her, but with what the industry sometimes forces us to do. I know that to you, who are full of this freshness and childlike sense of ethics, it may seem silly, that you always have a choice. But what if that choice makes you lose everything? Runway is Miranda's life. She played with the cards she had. I would never accept that my ascension meant her downfall. I am who I am because of Miranda Priestly. She molded me, taught me and still teaches me. I can be many things, but ungrateful, it's not one of them.”

Andy was silent, pondering what she heard. She was unfair to Miranda. She was naive and rash. At the time, though, she had the excuse of not being in her best judgment. However, she would like to talk to Miranda again about it, finally with a new perspective on everything.

“But then, why are you still a little aloof with each other?”

Nigel smirked.

“We're talking about Miranda Priestly, remember? With you she can be...I don't know how she is! But for us, lowly mortals, Miranda is still The Ice Queen. We've had a friendship for years, but this is a professional matter, which, yet, also involves feelings...It's kind of complicated to have a frank and sentimental conversation with the woman, you'll agree.”

Andy nodded. Even for her, who knew a secretive side of Miranda, it was not always easy. The woman was very challenging, and sometimes Andy had to use a lot of patience and care to get her to open up, at least a little.

“I understand, Nige. But if you keep walking on eggshells, it won't help to dispel this heavy mood. Miranda is worried about you. She resents what happened. She thinks you are hurt by what she did. But, as we all know, Miranda is too reserved to take a step to salvage what, for her, is a broken friendship. It will depend on you, my Dear.”

The part of Miranda worrying about him still echoed in Nigel's head.

“Did she...did she say that?”

Andy shrugged.

“Not in those words...but still...” She let it trail off.

Nigel, still in awe, just nodded.

He feared and admired The Queen of Fashion, and he was very concerned about the woman Miranda. Nigel missed her biting sense of humor, their real conversations, knowing how Miranda was really doing, and being able to be there for her when she needed him. Nigel, more than anyone else, knew that behind the facade of grandiosity and glamorous life, hided a sad woman.

He looked at Andrea, so worried about Miranda, her love for the older woman clear and hopeful and sincere. There, in front of Nigel, in the form of a young woman so strange among them, and absurdly adorable in her beauty and soul, was Miranda Priestly's opportunity to finally be happy. It would not be an easy path, especially with the twins' difficulties, but it was not impossible. Now he understood.

It was time for Nigel Kipling to take part in that story, too.

“You're right, Six,” he finally said with conviction. “I'm going to stop ‘walking on eggshells’. I'm going to try a subtle rapprochement, and let things slowly get back to normal. Besides, you're going to need all the help you can get. More twins...Have you thought?” Nigel could not resist teasing.

Andy shivered.

“Oh, I don't think about anything else!”

Inside Andy was smiling smugly. In one night, she got back on track with her friend, made him decide to act on his friendship with Miranda, and even got them a powerful ally.

Andrea Sachs was incredibly proud of herself!

Chapter Text

“Are you still writing?” From the half-open door, Miranda asked delicately not to frighten the younger woman. “You can't exaggerate, Andrea. Working from home is meant to be a relief, not an overload,” she said as she walked in and closed the bedroom door behind her, her tone worried, but firm.

To Miranda's relief, Andrea had talked to her boss. Until the press situation subsided, she would be working from home. In fact, the young woman was concerned about protecting herself from annoyances with the media, but, above all, being able to be closer to the twins, who would soon enter the most invasive phase of their treatment.

“Hey!” Andy greeted happily, her welcoming smile lighting her face. “I'm not exaggerating, Miranda. I've already finished an article that was pending and sent it to Stevie. I was just replying to an email from Lily,” she stated with a sideways smile, placing her notebook on the bed, and standing up.

The couple met halfway. They hugged each other tight and long. Then Andy looked at the older woman, her affection openly displayed in her brown eyes.

How Miranda loved those eyes...

“Hey…” Andy repeated with a sweet smile.

“Hi, Darling,” Miranda answered in a tired tone, but she was smiling warmly, her hand on Andrea's cheek.

The young woman closed her eyes at the touch, and Miranda took advantage of the moment to admire her, before taking Andrea's lips with hers.

Andy moaned in satisfaction and wrapped her arms around Miranda's neck, bringing the older woman closer to her. Their mouths joined in a longing, leisurely kiss. When they broke contact, they hugged each other tightly, a second time.

Andy inhaled deeply the scent of the beautiful, exhausted woman in her arms, and then placed small kisses on her neck.

Miranda sighed heavily. It felt good to be home.

She was tired, really tired.

It was the price to pay, and she would do it without complaint. Sacrifices. She was an expert at them.

Yet, there in Andrea's loving arms, Miranda Priestly could afford to finally feel miserably human.

Andy cared greatly about the burden Miranda had imposed on herself, but she knew that, at the moment, it was a necessary evil. The older woman was trying to buy time, so she could have some of it later with Andy, as the pregnancy progressed, and with the girls, during the most difficult part of their treatment. In addition, there was also the exposure to the press and pressure from Runway's board, which lurked every day, waiting for a slip. Miranda, more than ever, needed to methodically calculate her steps.

For her part, Andy was trying to make things flow more easily. She would not be a fool to act like one of Miranda's exes, bombarding her with demands for things they knew were part of her personality and troubled life. Unlike them, Andy did not want to change her. However, if something bothered her, the young woman would subtly insert it into the middle of a conversation, let Miranda get the message and stay alert. When possible, the woman would deal with it.

Something that, luckily for Andy, Miranda's exes did not understand was that she needed her space. The woman hated lectures. She needed to calmly digest her mistakes, work out actions and adapt. With the recurrent pressure from her exes, Miranda pulled farther and farther away, the problems getting bigger, an imminent end.

Andy learned, too, that Miranda loved being taken care of, but that she hated to let it show, even more, in front of others. After all, Miranda Priestly had a reputation to uphold, and her own heart to protect. At home, Andy's care was more obvious, but she always made sure her actions and speech were concerned and loving, but not intrusive.

When Miranda was at work, Andy kept a constant eye on her schedule. At mealtimes, she pestered Emily—who would not deny her that, because she cared too—to find out if Miranda had ‘forgotten’ to eat, or canceled a lunch or dinner engagement. If so, Andy had food delivered to the office, which through Emily, was subtly passed on to Miranda. Knowing that it was sent by Andrea, the older woman ended up ‘resigning’ herself to feeding.

At home, unlike asking if the older woman had eaten during the day, Andy did not delve into the matter. Nor Miranda. The woman would just reply “yes, thank you” in a falsely disinterested tone. Andy knew that in time Miranda would be more comfortable with such attention. On two recent occasions, her thanks have even come with small smiles.

Miranda could open up in a moment, show hidden and exquisite parts of her personality, and moments later, become a piece of ice.

Patience.

Andy knew she would have to use a lot of that to have a relationship with Miranda Priestly. Though, she was more than willing to practice daily. Her heart had already been taken.

“Have you seen the girls?” Andy asked, pulling back a little to look at Miranda, tucking a wayward strand of silver hair behind her right ear.

“Uh-hum…I gave each one a kiss before coming to the bedroom. They were sleeping heavily.”

Andy sighed, her face taking on a worried expression.

“They were pretty tired today...”

It was Miranda's turn to sigh. She nodded, getting the message.

Andy hugged her once more. The two were silent for a while. Each recognized her suffering in the other.

“You ate?” Andy asked a while later.

“Yes. It was delicious, dear. Thank you.”

A complete sentence in a comfortable tone.

Andy's heart fluttered happily. In response, she just lightly kissed Miranda's lips.

The Book?”

The older woman gave an exhausted sigh.

“I took care of that before I came home.”

“That's good. Why don't you go take a shower, while I turn off the notebook, and make the bed, huh?”

Miranda nodded in agreement. She pecked Andrea's lips, and then headed to the bathroom.

* * * *

After showering and taking care of her other needs, Miranda returned more relaxed, her body, begging for rest.  Since Andrea asked to sleep with her, the two have spent the nights together in the master bedroom. However, it was Miranda who took that definitive step. The night after the first time, the older woman had simply told Andrea that she was waiting for her, and there, they had settled their unspoken agreement.

Miranda, seeing the lampshade on Andrea's nightstand turned on, turned off the lights in the bedroom, and lay down beside the young woman on the spacious, inviting bed.

“What's in that little head of yours?” She asked, pulling Andrea's body to hers. When she returned, Miranda noticed the younger woman staring at the ceiling.

Andy sighed, snuggling closer to Miranda, her head resting on the older woman's shoulder, as she placed her arm possessively over her slender, delicate waist.

“I don't know...I think I got a bit contemplative today...”

“About what?”

“My life...”

“Umm...”

Andy smiled, she knew that tone. She turned to face Miranda.

“Stop worrying. I have no regrets about being with you. The problem is with me, my thing.”

Miranda's face gave nothing away, but inside, the woman was relieved. She also had her insecurities. Miranda struggled with the fear that one day Andrea would simply tire of her, and of the weight of it all, and leave, not looking back.

“What do you mean?” Miranda encouraged more composed, and really interested.

Andy shrugged.

“My job...You were right, I had a romantic take on journalism, and now I see it's not quite that way...” She told her, turning around and nuzzling Miranda's neck.

On another occasion and with anyone else, Miranda Priestly could not have refrained from giving a disgustingly victorious laugh and saying “I told you so!”. Though, Andrea's admission worried her. It meant that the young woman had a disappointment, and that she was suffering. This upset Miranda significantly, but at the same time, it pleased her. Andrea was growing up, and it was wonderfully good, and convenient for Miranda, to be with her at that moment.

“What made you think like that?” She questioned, stroking the soft hair she adored so much.

“This isn't new...It's just gotten to the point where I can't be stubborn, and not admit my mistakes...”

Miranda pressed a gentle kiss to her hair, encouraging her to continue.

“After a month at the Mirror, I was realizing that I really had a naive, idealistic view of my profession…I know that in journalism there are brilliant professionals, people who make a difference in their search for the truth, in exposing injustices and inform for the common good. But also, the medium is infested with A LOT of selfish, petty and greedy people...It's terrible to see what some ‘professionals’ can do to get a hook for an article, how they can sell themselves to put their names in evidence...”

“The world is more and more like this, Andrea…” Miranda knew this fact first hand.

“I know...But...but I thought that journalism, ‘serious journalism’, was still different...That things weren't so corrupted yet...”

Miranda pressed another kiss to her hair. Sleep was forgotten, her mind, alert.

“It was a shock to see that your dream, that your enchanted world wasn't all that different...from Runway.”

“Yes...It is worse. Runway is what it's for: fashion, glamour, looks. It has its rotten and cruel side, like any industry. The magazine may be labeled futile by those who don't know in depth its particularities, but it doesn't hide behind noble subterfuges. I judged you, your world...I was naive, unfair and prejudiced. Something that was not the way I knew and idealized, rather than trying to understand, I quickly sentenced it. I've never really left myself open to acknowledging the work done by Runway...done by you...I'm sorry...”

Miranda sighed. Andrea finally understood some things, but was not she, again, mistaken in others?

“Wouldn't you be being idealistic all over again, thinking so badly about your career? Seeing that things aren't as you imagined, wouldn't you once again be hastily putting them on your reject list?”

Andy was quiet for a while, pondering what to say.

“I'm not giving up…I'm just being realistic, after all. Despite my disappointment, I still want to be one of those few people who make a difference...I'm just looking for new alternatives.”

Miranda smiled satisfied.

“What do you have in mind?” She already imagined the beautiful paths that Andrea could take in her career.

“Columns, feature writing...Where I have the freedom to write something that could make a difference in someone's life...And…” She hesitated, chewing her lips.

“And...?” Miranda encouraged her.

“I...I would like to write books...”

“Fiction?”

“Hu-hum...I love writing. I had some projects, but I never took it forward...”

“Everything has its time. If you think you've reached yours, go ahead. You are very talented, Andrea. Your journalistic writing is solid and passionate. It really touches people. I have no doubt that you will know how to expose this in your other texts as well.”

Andy was amazed at the heartfelt praise, even more from whom. She hugged Miranda tightly, hiding her face in the older woman's neck.

“Do you really think that?” Her voice sounded timidly uncertain.

Miranda chuckled.

“If you didn't think you're capable of it yourself, you wouldn't even have bothered to tell me. Stop being insecure...Or would you just be putting on an act?” She teased with a smug laugh.

“Miranda!” Andy complained in mock outrage, giving her a nip on the neck, right behind her ear.

Miranda's giggle died in her throat. What was supposed to have been a playful punishment for her comment, sent a shiver that instantly turned to wet heat between her legs.

That was a bad idea, for someone who needed to keep their libido under control.

“Are you better now?” Miranda wanted to know, going off on a tangent, but her tone had the audacity to sound unabashedly hoarse.

Andy smiled inwardly.

Point for me! “Hu-hum...thanks for listening.”

“Can we sleep now?”

In response, Andy gave a long yawn.

“Yes, let's sleep.”

Andy broke off the hug and rolled over to turn off the lampshade. When she returned, Miranda hugged her again, this time from behind, in the sleeping position they were used to.

The older woman tenderly kissed her neck.

“Good night, Andrea.”

Andy smiled, her eyes closed, her body basking in the heat of the other molded to hers.

“Night,” was her happy, sleepy reply.

Chapter Text

Cassidy and Caroline would soon enter an important and heavy phase of their treatment, and the girls' private clinic at the townhouse needed to be set up quickly.

Not to draw attention, Miranda had agreed with the companies that provided the equipment to wrap them in furniture boxes, and that everything would be delivered by trucks and discreet staff. To the paparazzi or anyone else snooping around, Miranda Priestly would apparently just be touching up her decor.

However, the delivery of the clinical materials had shaken Andy more than she could have imagined.

Watching the men put things in the third-floor rooms was still bearable. Seeing them open the boxes, and the technicians set up the strange and intimidating medical apparatus, began to bother Andy immensely. It got worse, when they tested the life support machine. The noises and all the lights made her nauseous, and the young woman ran to the nearest bathroom, to throw away her breakfast.

Andy returned a few minutes later, still somewhat unsteady. Glad she managed to convince the girls not to leave their studies downstairs to curiously watch the delivery of materials. Andy did not want them to see her like that.

“Miss Sachs...”

“What now!?” She asked at the technician in charge a bit sharply.

Andy then sighed, trying to calm down. She knew the guy was not to blame for any of the situation. He did his job, and judging by what she saw, very well. But Andy could not help it. She could not help but feel their presence there like an intrusion, like an announcement of sad, turbulent times.

“Uh...Miss,” he babbled awkwardly. “Well…everything is set up and working perfectly. We placed all material and machinery in the rooms, as requested. Please make sure everything is all right, and then sign the papers so my people and I can leave you alone,” the young man tried to joke, but his smile immediately withered in Andy's glare.

Miranda would have been proud!

“Right...” She just said.

They divided the third floor into six rooms. Two would be for the medical team, one for the doctors' rotation, and the other, for the nurses. The remaining four were separated into one for storage of medical material and clinical analysis, another would be the examination room, and next to the doctors' dormitory, there was the bedroom that the girls would use during treatment. In the last space—which most unnerved Andy—a real ICU was set up. For all that was holy, she hoped it was not necessary.

* * * *

Seeing Andrea Sachs step out of the elevator that afternoon and barge into Runway's reception, did not give Emily Charlton the same sense of outrage as before. Maybe because she imagined why Andrea was there, and even more, why her face was so downcast.

“Hi, Em,” Andy greeted with a smile that lacked its usual glow.

“Andrea,” Emily replied in the warmest tone she could muster. There was a time for everything, and this was one of the rare occasions when Emily needed to be truly human. “Are you okay, Andy?”

At the nickname, the other woman smiled more convincingly. Then, she bit her bottom lip, sighing heavily.

“To be honest, I'm not, Em...But I have to bear it, I have to...”

“Emily, call…” Miranda started to demand as she suddenly left her office, but stopped when she noticed Andrea in the reception area. “I'm glad you're here, Dear,” she said with a small smile, which quickly faded as she took in the younger woman's face. “Come on, I'm almost done here, then we can go,” Miranda clarified, and when Andrea came to her side, she patted her arm comfortingly. The editor gently led her with a hand on her back to the office, and closed the door.

Emily stared at her computer screen for a few minutes, Andy's sad words and fierce resolve still resonating in her head.

“Andrea Sachs, I see I underestimated you in so many ways...” The first assistant pondered in a low, thoughtful tone, and then the phone on her desk snapped her out of her stupor. Emily sighed, and went back to work.

* * * *

“Andrea, what-” Miranda began, before being interrupted by the young woman, who threw herself into her arms in a sudden cry. The older woman held her tight, letting her vent. She imagined the cause of that commotion. Andrea's huge heart was so fragile...

Sometime later, with the sobs extinguished and only a few sporadic sniffles, already a little calmer, Andy started to withdraw from the embrace, but Miranda stopped her, keeping her in her arms.

“I wet your blouse, sorry...” Andy said awkwardly, sniffling.

“Don't worry about it, Darling,” Miranda pressed an affectionate kiss to her hair. “I'll get you a box of tissues,” she offered sweetly, guiding her to her desk, where she picked up the object, handing it to Andrea. “Come, let's sit down for a bit,” she invited, leading the young woman to the couch in the corner of the office. Once they were settled, Miranda immediately put an arm around her shoulders.

Andy blew her nose and wiped her eyes with several tissues. Then she gave a heavy sigh.

“I'm sorry, Miranda...I know I have to be strong...but...but when I saw the rooms with all that medical equipment...When I saw the machines running...When...when I thought of the girls , I-I...”

“Shh...” Miranda hummed and hugged her. “We need to be strong for them, Andrea, but that doesn't mean you don't have the right to be sad and cry...”

“I don't want to fall apart in front of them...I don't want the girls to be worried...I don't want them to suffer one more ounce than the inevitable...”

Miranda smiled sadly, and at the same time, marveling, at how Andrea always thought of others first. The girl never failed to amaze her. Miranda was now sure that she must have done something good in her life, to have been blessed with someone so special. She promised herself, once again, that she would take care of such a precious gift. As difficult as breaking down her defenses could be at times, Miranda would no longer deny her Andrea from actually seeing her.

“So, cry with me...don't be afraid, Andrea, look for me. And…I...I'll need you, too…” She admitted in a small voice.

Andy turned in the embrace to stare intently into the beloved blue-green eyes. The two said nothing more, not with words. The understanding between them was already sealed.

Andy gave a shy little smile.

“Wouldn't it be better for us to go? I think we're almost late...”

Miranda raised her eyebrows with a playful smile, which Andy knew meant trouble.

“Almost? I'm not a woman to do things halfway, Andrea, you know. Let's be late, then.”

Andy looked at her, confused.

“Um...But, Miranda...”

The older woman stared at her as if she was a desiccated animal.

“Andrea Sachs, you must be crazy, thinking I'm going out with you like this. You look like a drugged panda bear! Go redo your makeup, while I'm going to terrify Emily for a bit, before we go. That's all!”

For the first time that day, Andy laughed loudly.

* * * *

“While we wait for the test result, which is ready in no more than fifteen minutes—Dr. Dominique Jones clarified looking at Miranda—let's chat for a bit, Andy,” she proposed with a tender voice and an affectionate look.

The young woman nodded with a nervous smile.

The doctor was aware of the Priestly girls' case. She knew how important and complicated that pregnancy was. Too much emotional charge, and that, worried her. Dominique feared for the good development of the gestation, and also for her patient's health. She had a private conversation with Miranda the day before, and the woman shared her apprehensions.

“Do you feel any change in your physiology?” The doctor started gently.

Andy pursed her lips and instinctively looked at Miranda, who gave her hand an encouraging squeeze, and smiled, nodding.

“Well, I was on the lookout for the signs you indicated. Three days ago I started feeling some of them. It feels like PMS. I've been having mild cramps, my breasts are sore, and my nipples feel very sensitive.”

“Does this cramp last all day?”

“No, only in the early hours of the morning.”

“Right,” Dominique wrote it all down on Andy's file. “Anything else?”

“I've been peeing a lot and feeling very sleepy, too. Oh, and I seem to have an endless hunger!”

At that last part, Miranda stifled an amused laugh.

Andy shot her a glare, which to the doctor's and her surprise, made Miranda chuckle openly.

“Sorry, Dear, but hearing you're hungry isn't new!”

“Hahaha!” Andy blurted out in mock outrage.

“Anything else?” Dominique interrupted them with a small smile.

“I've been more sensitive,” Andy continued. “More than usual,” she amended, as she saw Miranda's eyebrows rise. “All of a sudden, I'm a crier. I mean, I've always been very emotional, but it's a little too much...Hmm...And this morning, I felt nauseous...”

Miranda, who did not know the last part, looked at her, waiting for an explanation.

“That's when I saw the machines…” Andy clarified, more to her than the doctor. “I felt bad...”

Miranda gave a small contrite smile, and nodded her understanding.

“Did you vomit?” Dominique wanted to know, continuing with the notes.

“Twice. Then it was gone. So far I haven't felt anything.”

Dominique smiled.

“Well, that's all the symptoms of a pregnancy-,” she was interrupted by the intercom. “Yes?” The doctor said into the mouthpiece. “Oh, please bring it up here,” she asked excitedly, and put the device in place. “Your exam,” Dominique told Andy, with a smile.

Seconds later, they heard the knock on the door. An assistant excused herself, handed the result to Dominique, and then hurried away.

The doctor opened the envelope and quickly read its contents. Next, she gave a smile that made Andy and Miranda relax in relief. The presence of pregnancy was confirmed. The doctor had barely finished speaking, and Andy was hugging Miranda tightly.

“Thank God!” The younger woman said in a choked voice. Damn hormones!

“But...”

Faced with the caveat, Andy quickly pulled away from Miranda, both of them looking anxiously at the doctor.

“You know that our mind and body can play tricks on us, even more in the case of a so desired pregnancy...”

“You mean I could have a phantom pregnancy...”

“Something I doubt, but it's still a possibility. You'll be back in ten days, and we'll do your first transvaginal ultrasound to make sure the pregnancy is in the uterus. If everything is fine, we will assess the baby's development.”

Despite the doctor's warning, both she and her patients were hopeful that the good news would soon be confirmed.

Chapter Text

Why did that idiot have to get sick just today? I was supposed to be on my way home by now, but NO! I'm doing the job of an incompetent without any sense of timing! As if I didn't work hard enough already, hell! Emily Charlton mentally grunted as she crept into Miranda Priestly's townhouse, carrying The Book and hangers with clothes.

Oh, Tara, I'm going to put you down, get ready... She swore. The shit is, when you get fired, I'm going to have to scramble to find a new you...and that's always a stressful crusade... “Damn it...” Emily mumbled under her breath with a grimace, after setting The Book on the little table near the stairs, and opening the coat closet to hang up Miranda's clothes.

“Talking to yourself, Em?” asked an amused voice behind her.

Emily jumped in fright, hitting her head on the low frame of the coat closet door, and threw the clothes into the air, which flew and splattered on the floor.

“Holy shit, Andrea! Are you trying to kill me?” The redhead complained angrily, rubbing the top of her head.

“Oh, Em, I'm sorry!” Andy was really upset. “Let's see if you're hurt,” she asked worriedly, lowering Emily's head so she could take a look.

“Okay, okay...I'm fine!” The British woman was firm, pulling Andrea's hands away. “Let me fix this. If Miranda comes, I'm fried! Of course she won't want to know whose fault it is, will she?” Emily was mordacious.

Andy pursed her lips.

“I'm sorry,” she repeated. “But don't worry, Miranda hasn't come back from the party yet, and she shouldn't be home for another hour.”

“Oh…lucky me,” was the sarcastic comment.

On one of the few occasions that Emily did not have to accompany Miranda to a party, instead of enjoying the moment of freedom, she had to do the job of that irresponsible bitch Tara!

“Let me help you,” Andy offered, and soon the clothes were in place.

“What are you doing down here at this time of night? Aren't you supposed to be sleeping or upside down gorging on chocolate, while ‘people like me’ still work hard?” Emily used her usual spiteful tone.

Andy shrugged.

“I'm not sleepy. I was watching a movie, but I got thirsty, and I came for a drink of water. So I heard your voice, and decided to say hello. By the way, why did you come? Isn't that Tara's job now? I mean, she's still there, isn't she? Or has she already been fired?”

“To my dismay, Tara is still there,” Emily's sounded really painful. “But for a very short time, I'm sure. I have never seen such incompetence in one person! Plus, the clueless had the audacity to get sick today.”

Andy laughed at Emily's answer, shaking her head at her vicious attitude. Seeing her rubbing her head where she'd hit the coat closet, the young woman offered:

“Em, I'll get an ice pack for you to put in there. It will help prevent possible swelling and should reduce pain.”

Emily rolled her eyes.

“Don't move. I'll be right back!” Andy stopped her from protesting, and went quickly to the kitchen.

“Always the kind one…” Emily snorted, but then turned thoughtful.

Andrea's ability to truly care about people, even mere strangers, had always destabilized Emily. As they worked together, she had rarely seen her lose her bearings with someone, even when that someone had done a lot to deserve it, including herself. And even then Andrea was not too harsh. She just made her point without deliberately offending or hurting anyone.

Andrea always treated her with camaraderie and politeness, and Emily, instead, most often reciprocated with mockery and disdain, without taking into account the times that she was a real bitch.

However, at the time, Emily Charlton had the idea that Andrea Sachs was aspiring to take her job. That behind that good-girl facade was a very efficient and dangerous opportunist. That Andrea was acting calculatedly in order to impress Miranda, and quickly climb the food chain.

Andrea Sachs wanted to impress Miranda Priestly, but not for the reasons the first assistant envisioned.

Emily's certainty that Andrea was untrue and conspirator crumbled, when she told her she was the one going to Paris. Any usurper in sheep's clothing would not have resisted boasting, even a little bit. But Andrea was mortified. Emily could see in her eyes, perceive in her voice and body language how much it hurt her. How difficult the situation was for her, too.

Rationally, Emily knew that Andrea was not to blame for her having suffered the bloody accident. Rationally, too, Emily knew that Andrea had earned her elevation to first assistant. She did not do tricks or anything like that. It was competence, with a little help from the strange connection she had with Miranda.

As for the trip, never would Miranda Priestly walk around Paris with an assistant on crutches!

Emily was not naive either. She knew Miranda had been malevolently amused by putting Andrea on a mission to break the news to her.

Though, such knowledge did not stop Emily from being totally hateful. She was frustrated, angry, and yes, jealous. Emily brushed rationality aside, and as usual, she did not think twice about dumping the blame for everything on Andrea. Afterwards she even regretted it, even more after receiving the gifts from Paris, which the young woman sent.

But it was too late. Andrea was already gone.

But she did come back, and things were vastly different now. It was time for Emily to make some amends.

As if reading her mind, Andy returned.

“Here,” she handed her the ice pack along with a comforting smile.

Emily placed the pack on the sore spot.

“Thanks...”

Andy pursed her lips anxiously.

“Em, I know there's a lot unsaid between us...but there are some important issues I'd like to discuss with you. I was going to call to arrange this, but since you're here…” She tried in an uncertain voice.

Emily just nodded in agreement.

Andy smiled happily.

“Great! Let's go to the main living room,” she invited eagerly. “We can hear Roy coming from there, in case we're distracted when Miranda gets back. Then you can run out the back door!” She teased.

“Hahaha!” Emily grumbled, unable to stop thinking that would be exactly what she would do. The redhead started to follow Andrea, and then froze. “Shit…”

“What's up, Em?” Andy wanted to know, confused.

“Um...Andrea...Er...So...I need to warn someone that I'm going to be even more late...” Emily said awkwardly, cursing herself inwardly for feeling her face flush slightly.

Andy cracked a smile. Before she could say anything, however, they heard Emily's cell phone.

“It took a while…” The first assistant snorted, before reaching for the device in her purse, and answering it. “Hi...! No, I'm still whole...Miranda hasn't arrived yet. Yeah, I know...Um...I'm talking to Andy. In fact, she wants to discuss a few more things with me. I must be a little late, sorry,” Emily chuckled. “Don't worry,” she promised, her features already more relaxed. “Me too...See you later.”

“Oh, I'm so happy for you, guys!” Andy said enthusiastically, as Emily tucked her cell phone into her purse.

“Uh...? What are you talking about?”

“You and Serena, of course! You two finally got the courage!”

Emily's eyes were huge.

“B-But...How...?” Then her eyes narrowed until they were just two slits of murderous glare. “Nigel...I'm going to kill that gossip bastard!”

Andy laughed heartily.

“Easy there, tigress! He didn't tell me anything. I just put things together. Ever since Runway, I noticed a tension between the two of you...Then last week, when I went to visit Miranda, I saw you two whispering, the intimate looks and all that stuff. I just tricked Nige into confirmation,” she said with a shrug and a smug smile.

Emily could not help but smirk.

“Always the smartass, aren't you?” She teased.

Andy's smile changed to a sweet one.

“I'm really happy for you, Em.”

Emily truly smiled. She believed in her sincerity.

* * * *

Andy felt a presence and saw Miranda, standing beside the bed, looking not content. Despite this, the young woman smiled, pleased to see her. Miranda, though, pursed her lips and eyes, and motioned for her to remove the earphones.

“Oops, I'm sorry! I was gaming. Hey! Wow, you-”

Miranda cut her off:

“Andrea, honestly, I was hoping I'd see you in your sleep, and not stuck with this notebook. Is that how you're taking care of yourself?” She was already regretting having given Andrea the damn thing!

Andy felt like a kid who had just been scolded, and as one, she pouted.

“Yeah, I know...But I couldn't sleep...”

All the annoyance on Miranda's face evaporated, being replaced with worry. She sat down on the bed, and caressed the younger woman's face.

“Did something happen? Are the girls okay? Do you feel anything? Why did you not call me? I-”

“No, it's nothing like that! The girls and I are fine. I was just too excited to be able to sleep.”

Miranda raised her eyebrows.

“I had a conversation with Emily earlier. She was the one who brought your things tonight, and I took the chance,” Andy added.

This time, Miranda just raised her left eyebrow in defiance.

“Should I be worried why a conversation with my assistant would get you excited, Andrea?” She questioned in a false intimidating tone.

Andy snorted, and then flashed a cocky smile.

“Let's say I'm advancing with our front line. Emily and I finally came to an understanding.”

“That's good...for both of you,” she did not delve into the subject. Something in Andrea's voice said it was just between the two of them.

“But that's not just what kept me awake so far...”

“No?”

“No...It was curiosity, too.”

Miranda huffed impatiently.

“It's too late for riddles, Andrea,” she said a little gruffly. The stupid party held her more than she would have liked. The older woman just wanted to shower and sleep.

Andy sighed heavily. Then, she took a lingering look at Miranda's outfit, top to bottom, several times, pausing to study her face.

Miranda swallowed. Andrea's eyes were on fire. The girl looked like she wanted to devour her. Oh, how Miranda would love to surrender!

“Today you had to get ready at Runway, and I've really wanted to see you in this dress...Ever since I saw it in the closet, I've been wondering what it would look like on you...” Andy said in a low, sensually husky voice, looking once more at the low-cut black outfit. She instinctively licked her lips at the smooth alabaster skin of the swell of Miranda's breasts. “Perfect...”

The older woman swallowed again. She was transfixed, mesmerized by Andrea's smoldering lust.

“You look so beautiful…” Andy added in a whisper, before advancing on her prey.

Soon, Miranda felt herself being laid down on the bed, a warm body on top of hers, and her mouth being invaded by a delicious, insistent tongue.

“And...Andrea...” She said through ragged breath. “Oh...God!” Miranda let out a guttural moan, feeling kisses and a scalding tongue on the exposed skin of her cleavage.

In a quick movement, Miranda pulled Andrea by the hair and brought that evil mouth to hers. The shock was desperate, the tongues in a dispute of desires, the bodies in a frenzy for more contact, the clothes, at the moment, a frustrating barrier.

When Miranda felt the dampness of Andrea's knickers under her fingers, and heard her moan loudly in pleasure, she was startled. The older woman then realized that she had switched positions, and was on top of Andrea.

Miranda had no idea how she got there, let alone when she reached inside the younger woman's pajamas!

She took her hand away immediately.

“Andrea...Darling...We...We still can't...” Miranda spoke in a breathless voice, not sure who she was trying to convince.

“I know...” Andy confirmed in a sorrowful tone, her breathing also quite irregular. “I'm sorry…I totally lost control. But, Miranda, I...Do you have any idea how much I want you?”

Miranda took a deep breath, turning Andrea on the bed until she was hugging her from behind.

“I know, Dear...I can be more restrained in showing my passion since our conversation...But don't be fooled...For me, it's also been a torment...” She confessed in a shaken tone.

It was Andy's turn to take a deep breath, trying to calm her treacherous body. Hearing Miranda's statement made her raging hormones once again combust.

“I know that until we have definitive confirmation of the pregnancy, it's better to wait...But after our next test...I want...God! I may be pregnant from you, and we haven't even made love yet...I want to be completely yours...”

Miranda bit her bottom lip, trying not to moan out loud, her sex again throbbing at the desperately passionate tone of Andrea's declaration. Before she could speak, she had to clear her throat twice.

“I want that too...The last few days have been...complicated...”

Andy gave a humorless laugh.

“Tell me about it! Plus, these damn hormones are driving me crazy!”

Miranda snorted.

“I'm serious!” Andy snapped. “It's the only explanation. I always liked sex. And since I assumed to be in love with you, the idea of actually being with you has given me the most delicious fantasies and solo sessions. But for a few days now, I ONLY think about it! And as even my solo sessions are on hold...”

Even without being able to see her face, Miranda knew that Andrea had blushed beautifully. She marveled at how Andrea could be so open about sex but at the same time seem so adorably shy.

After understanding and accepting to act on her feelings for Andrea, the idea of sex with her was something more and more constant and exciting. For Miranda, sex had previously been irrelevant, just another of the obligations of her relationships.

The unbridled desire for the young woman took Miranda by surprise, and it only increased. She was beginning to think that, at midlife, she was finally truly getting to know her body, her needs. While such sensory imbalance can be a little frightening at times, Miranda has never felt more alive. And they had not even completed the act yet!

Miranda knew there was the technicality of never having slept with a woman before. But she also knew that it would be enough to do some good research and let instinct do the rest. When Miranda Priestly invested her attention in something, nothing but excellence would be tolerated.

Unfortunately, at that moment, her instinct was asking for something her mind adamantly forbade.

“Go to sleep, Andrea. It's already too late. I'm going to take a shower, I'm terribly tired,” Miranda gently disentangled herself from the other woman's body, rolled onto the bed and got to her feet.

“Um...right...” was the sulky reply.

Miranda sighed. Then she smirked.

“Take the opportunity to put on fresh linen and change your nightwear. I was still in my shoes and party dress. We are not going to sleep in a germ colony.”

“But, Mira-”

“That's all!” The older woman cut her off and turned on her heel, heading for the bathroom. From there, she could clearly hear Andrea's indignant complaint.

Miranda smiled slyly in satisfaction.

The task and the feeling of outrage would give Andrea something to think about, other than sex. As for Miranda, she would literally drown her libido in a cold shower. She would not touch herself. Since they started their relationship and agreed to take it easy on the physical part, just like Andrea, she promised to wait until they made love.

However, resisting Andrea's charms was increasingly difficult. Even more, with the younger woman attacking her like that! Miranda almost lost control completely...

Three more days to come… She pondered dejectedly, as she undressed. Then, the woman shivered, as she felt the icy water shock her still-boiling body.

Chapter Text

Once Miranda and Andy arrived at the clinic, Dr. Jones explained the test procedure again. After changing, Andy was helped by a careful Miranda to lie down on the clinical examination gurney, and moments later, the doctor began transvaginal ultrasound.

Andy grimaced in discomfort as she felt the probe being inserted, and Miranda gave her hand a comforting squeeze. The young woman was not watching the screen of the medical apparatus. Her attention was on Miranda, who was looking at her intently with a reassuring smile.

“Well, Miss Sachs, congratulations. You're pregnant!” Dominique told exultantly.

Andy's relief was audible in the form of a tearful sob. The emotion that engulfed her was nameless.

Miranda reached down and hugged Andrea.

“We did it, my Dear…we did it…” Her voice was shaky.

Dominique gave the couple time to deal with the feelings. She herself was extremely happy with the confirmation of the pregnancy. In cases like that, success had an even more special shine.

Minutes later, with the two of them more composed, Miranda lovingly brushed away some of the tears that still stained Andrea's face. She then stood beside the younger woman again and held her hand tightly.

“Can we continue?” The doctor asked with a smile, and the couple nodded in agreement.

“Unh...Ho-how many babies are there?” Andy finally got the courage to ask, looking at the screen. Which did not do much good, since, to her, the image was just a bunch of blurs.

Dominique waggled her eyebrows in suspense.

“Only one,” she finally told them, taking pity on their expectant features. “You will be the mothers of a beautiful little girl, or a handsome little boy.”

Andy pulled Miranda into a tight hug, nearly suffocating the older woman.

“Darling...I can't breathe...”

“Oh sorry!” Andy let out awkwardly, leaving her free. Damn hormones!

After taking in two deep discreet breaths and smiling, Miranda assumed her stoic look, and took Andrea's hand again.

“Let me take the probe off so we can talk,” the doctor suggested, not quite able to hide her amusement, which died after the glare she got from Miranda. “Stay down until I get back,” she was quick to say.

After receiving her patient's nod of agreement, Dominique went into the exam room bathroom to discard her gloves and wash her hands.

“I will print a copy to explain everything to you. In the meantime, Miss Sachs, you can slowly get up and put your clothes back on,” the doctor instructed as she returned, from behind the examination room.

Miranda helped Andrea do as requested, handing over her clothes, respecting her privacy. Then, they went to Dominique, who was already sitting in her chair, with the copy of the ultrasound in hand.

The doctor waited for the two to be seated, before starting.

“The development of the pregnancy is fully satisfactory,” she said, pointing with her pen to a darker section marked with a red circle. “Since you are young and healthy, we have almost a hundred percent chance of a conclusion. However, knowing the importance of this pregnancy, we will have a more constant monitoring. Until the third month, when embryo formation ends, and where the risk of miscarriage increases, I want you to have a transvaginal ultrasound every ten days, from today.”

Andy pursed her lips. The exam was quite uncomfortable, but she understood the need for follow-up.

“Right,” she was brave.

“Well, since everything is fine, what about the sex?” Miranda asked suddenly.

Andy's eyes widened.

No, she can't be doing this... The young woman thought mortified, her face already reddening terribly.

“Why, you two said you didn't want to know. Well, we can find out the sex of the baby from the eighth week of gestation. The result is collected through fetal DNA tests, and-”

Miranda rolled her eyes, interrupting her speech.

“No, doctor! I want to know about sex. Andrea and I having sex, is it safe?”

Dominique raised her eyebrows, and Andy, lowered her head, and buried her face in her hands.

“Miranda!” The younger woman let out in a hushed tone. She could not believe the woman had asked that so bluntly!

Miranda sighed. Andrea's strange shyness was sometimes a mystery. They were supposed to be a long-time couple, which would lead to the thought that they already had physical intimacy, that they had been put on hold due to the pregnancy procedure. Andrea was an extremely desirable young woman. It would be purely normal for her partner to want to know when it would be safe to make love to her again, would not it? Miranda shrugged. Go figure!

Dominique smiled playfully at the scene, and then withered away at another glare from Miranda.

“AND..?” The older woman demanded an answer.

The doctor moved in her chair, uncomfortable. She hurried to respond at once, and get rid of the situation.

“With the success of the procedure and the pregnancy confirmed, you can return to your sexual activities normally. Just keep in mind that Miss Sachs shouldn't exert too much effort, and that she should take all the other precautions we've talked about. In other words, no extravagances,” Dominique tried to joke, without much success.

Miranda raised a cheeky eyebrow. The woman thought they would do what, contortionism? Granted, some of the positions she was seen in her research were pretty physical, but they could refrain from them, for now.

To her dismay, several images of what she would like to do with Andrea, crossed her mind, and to make matters worse, Miranda felt her face flush.

The woman stood up abruptly.

“Well then, since everything is settled, let's go, Andrea.”

Andy was dying to laugh.

“Thank you, Dr. Jones. Until ten days from now,” she shook her hand, still trying to control herself.

“If something happens, make an appointment. Being urgent, call me-”

Miranda whipped her head at the doctor.

“It won't be necessary,” she wanted to finish that small talk right away.

“Um...Sure...Just in case-”

“That's all! Andrea, let's go,” Miranda called again, put on her sunglasses, and turned to head out of the room, not looking back.

“Anh...Sorry...She...” Andy mumbled awkwardly.

Dominique, wide-eyed and not understanding what was going on, just nodded.

Andy rolled her eyes and smiled, hurrying to catch up with the older woman. Miranda was already halfway down the hall, her high heels echoing in quick, steady steps. Andy followed her silently. She knew the woman. Miranda was in a foul mood. She hated feeling exposed, and on those rare occasions, Miranda reacted by biting everyone's head. Andy would give her the space she needed to cool off. She did not want to spoil their happiness for such a silly reason.

In the car, the younger woman tentatively took Miranda's hand, which flinched on instinct, before giving a small sigh and an acknowledgment squeeze, holding contact.

After a moment, Andy felt safe to talk.

“Are you going straight to Runway or home with me, to tell the girls the news?”

Miranda pursed her lips and took a long breath.

“They are waiting for us. I will go with you.”

Andy smiled happily.

“But I can't stay long. I'm going to have a full day,” Miranda amended quickly, regretfully.

“I know,” Andy had a sweet smile.

Miranda huffed along with an eye roll.

“Come here.”

Andy wasted no time, and soon she embraced the older woman.

“We will be moms...”

Miranda did not respond, but grinned.

* * * *

The couple barely opened the door to their home, and was attacked by two anxious twins.

“So, is everything alright?” Caroline asked pulling Andy by the hand.

“How many babies are there?” Cassidy questioned her mother, holding her arm.

Miranda raised her eyebrows.

“Were you two watching the door? Weren't you supposed to be studying?”

Cassidy rolled her eyes.

“We were. But we heard the car and came running.”

Miranda frowned.

“Running…How many times have I told you two not to do this anymore? You need to be more careful, Bobbseys.”

The twins looked down.

“We know...”

“But we were very restless...”

Miranda sighed.

“Mom understands...Just be more careful, will you?”

The girls nodded in agreement.

“And then?” Caroline asked, elated again, looking from Andy to her mother.

“Obviously Andrea is pregnant,” Miranda said with a smug smile.

“YEAH!” The sisters voiced together, doing a ridiculous celebratory dance.

“Awesome!”

“I knew it!”

“How many babies are there?” Cassidy wanted to know in suspended curiosity.

Andy smiled playfully, increasing the suspense.

“One,” she finally told them, smiling.

The response Andy received from the twins was not what she expected.

“Oh...”

“Only one?”

The girls complained, and Andy felt groundless.

Noticing that the situation was getting out of hand, Miranda sighed heavily. She placed a lovingly comforting hand on Andrea's back.

“Don't mind that, Dear. They were just betting on how many twins it would be. That is, nobody won. But the girls are delighted to know that they will have a little sister or little brother,” Miranda stated firmly, pointing at Andrea with her eyebrows.

The twins finally realized that they made Andy sad. Caroline, who was closest, hugged her, soon followed by her sister.

“We're very happy, Andy, really!” The girl assured her sincerely, inside, kicking herself for being such an idiot.

“We thought we would have more twins in the family and made a dumb bet, that's all! But we're incredibly happy!” Cassidy added vehemently.

Andy felt better and returned the hugs.

Miranda smiled in relief to see them together.

“Well, now that the news has been delivered, I need to go.”

“Oh, Mom!” Her daughters complained in unison.

“I really need to go. But I come home early.”

Miranda's three girls rejoiced at that.

* * * *

Miranda did not make it home until close to twenty-two. She really intended to leave early, but they had a last-minute problem with a shipment of samples. Miranda hated to disappoint her girls, but she intended to make a small compensation the next day.

Resigned, she climbed the stairs. At least, she hoped to catch the twins awake for a kiss goodnight. In the half-open door of their bedroom, Miranda heard the TV on. Rita, the night nurse, was sitting in an armchair in the corner of the room, entertained with a book. As for the girls, they were watching something.

“Good evening, Ms. Priestly,” the nurse greeted when she saw her.

Miranda just nodded to her, and walked over to her daughters.

“Mom!” The girls let out excitedly, sitting down on their beds.

“Hi, Darlings,” Miranda kissed each one's forehead. “Are you two okay?”

“Yes, we're fine.”

“Everything is alright.”

Miranda nodded in satisfaction.

“I thought Andrea would be here.”

“She was. Andy went to your bedroom just now.”

“The poor thing was dozing. So, we asked her to go to bed,” Caroline added to her sister's explanation.

Miranda smiled. She knew Andrea was getting more and more sleepy.

“I'm going down to kiss her goodnight, and I'll be back to be with you two.”

“No need, Mom. You can stay there with Andy.”

“We were about to turn off the TV and go to sleep.”

“We know you have been working hard. Go rest too.”

The woman smiled tenderly. Her daughters increasingly learned from Andrea's kindness.

“Right. But tomorrow I'll make breakfast.”

The girls smiled from ear to ear.

“Pancakes?” Caroline asked, her green eyes gleaming. Her mom's pancakes were the best!

“With syrup?” Cassidy was practically salivating.

Miranda laughed.

“Yes, pancakes with syrup!”

It was good to see them excited about food. Lately, there were times when it was difficult to get the twins to eat something. Due to the medications, they sometimes felt quite nauseous.

After her daughters' enthusiasm, Miranda said goodbye and left their bedroom, smiling. Hopefully, she would find Andrea still awake, and could kiss her before they went to sleep. Upon entering the master bedroom, though, Miranda was taken completely by surprise. The lights were off, and the place was lit only by the flames of a few small candles.

“Hi…” She heard the voice, and swallowed.

Andrea was lying on the bed, her wonderful hair spread across the sheet, wearing a nightwear Miranda did not know about. It was crimson, with black details in delicate lace, sinfully transparent and very short.

Miranda's heart raced, and she felt herself getting wet immediately. It was inevitable. She could not tear her eyes away from that vision.

Andy smiled seductively, and gracefully, she rose to her feet. In moments, the young woman was in front of Miranda, her mouths, dangerously close.

“Hi...” She said again in a husky voice, putting her lips gently over the older woman's.

Andy broke contact sooner than Miranda would have liked.

“Andrea-,” the younger woman placed two fingers over her lips, silencing her.

“I'd love to take you out to dinner, have a lovely night...but I know that will be for another time ahead. This,” she said, using her arm to show her around. “It's my attempt at romance,” Andy explained, with a rather shy smile.

Miranda looked at the place more closely. She saw on Andrea's bedside champagne on ice and a bowl of strawberries. The woman noticed, too, that the candles were meticulously placed around to light the bedroom, but still keep the atmosphere in a dreamy aura.

Miranda placed an affectionate hand on the adored face in front of her.

“Everything is perfect, my Dear.”

Andy smiled beautifully, and Miranda's heart, if possible, fell a little more in fascination.

“I set up a bath for you.”

Miranda nodded with a smile and planted a soft kiss on Andrea's lips, then headed for the bathroom.

There, her smile widened.

Some of the beautiful candles decorated the surroundings of the bathtub, which was prepared with a full bath. On the cabinet, there was a wineglass beside a bucket of mini white wine, and a covered tray. Inside it, Miranda found canapés of Parma and fig, ricotta and spinach, smoked salmon, and some grapes and peaches. Smiling, she washed her hands, popped one of the treats into her mouth, and poured herself some wine. Andrea knew that she had probably not fed properly, and the young woman wanted her in full force.

Miranda smiled mischievously at the thought.

After eating three more canapés and some fruit, she finished her wine. While she rewarmed the bath with more hot water, the woman did her oral hygiene and took off her clothes. When she finally got into the bathtub, she sighed contentedly, as she let her body be surrounded by the liquid care.

Miranda started with her bath, barely able to control her arousal. Just thinking about what awaited them, she felt her sex throb in anticipation. As she washed between her legs, she had to hold back a moan and fight the urge to touch herself.

Soon... The woman thought smugly.

Then she froze.

Will I know how to do this right? What if I can't please Andrea? She wondered uncertainly, a great apprehension suddenly engulfing her. No, Miranda, don't sabotage yourself! Not this time! She quarreled with herself, hastily continuing her bath.

Little did Miranda know that, in the bedroom, Andy had her own worries.

Umm, she's taking a while...Am I putting pressure on her? Is Miranda having second thoughts? Did... She broke off, seeing her return.

The older woman wore her usual blue bathrobe. Her gaze, however, was distinctly predatory. Miranda stopped in front of Andrea, who was sitting unmoving on the bed, watching her. Wordlessly, the older woman dropped her robe at her feet.

Andy's mouth was literally hanging open.

Miranda was totally naked.

Nothing like knowing how to break the ice, the older woman thought grimly.

One of the things that made her apprehensive was being naked in front of the younger woman. Miranda knew she had an attractive face. In addition to nature being generous with her genetics, she used the best products. Her body, despite being well cared for and her muscles toned by years of yoga and Pilates, as well as being daily flattered by the wonderful clothes she wore, was the body of a woman older than Andrea. But judging by the hungry look she was getting, her young partner still found her quite desirable.

Like everything else in her life, when she wanted something, Miranda Priestly went on the attack. There was her reward.

Andy rose slowly, but did not touch her. She was still having a hard time believing this was actually happening. Her eyes caught on the small, pink-tipped breasts, the smooth alabaster skin, and the thin, trimmed bundle of pale hair between shapely legs.

“Yo...You're beautiful...” The young woman stammered, her husky voice barely coming out.

“And you…although this outfit is exciting…are wearing too much, my Dear,” Miranda commented with a smile, then her eyes narrowed in concentration. “May I?” She asked in a deliciously sensual voice, holding the spaghetti straps of the other woman's nightwear.

Andy swallowed and nodded.

Miranda slowly lowered the straps until the dark pink tips of Andrea's breasts were exposed. She let the garment slip to the floor, her attention on the full mounds, which rose and fell with the young woman's already altered breathing. Miranda took them in thoughtful hands, feeling the texture, the weight.

“Perfect...” She said in a tone heavy with desire, and not resisting, she proceeded to kiss them softly.

“God..!” Andy gasped, threading her fingers through Mirada's hair, wanting her to put more pressure into her caresses.

Though, to the young woman's dismay, Miranda stopped kissing. Before Andy could protest, to her surprise, the older woman knelt at her feet. In agonizing slowness, Miranda got her hands into the waistband of her tiny crimson knickers, and began pulling it down, the scent of Andrea's arousal assaulting her in a way she had never dreamed of.

Hunger.

For the first time in her life, Miranda Priestly wanted to sate herself with someone.

She gave a loving kiss on each of the smooth, trembling porcelain thighs, and then rose to her feet again. Inadvertently, she hugged Andrea, both of them sighing at the first contact of their naked bodies.

“I want to make love to you,” Miranda said in the young woman's ear, as her hands began to roam down her back. “I want you to be totally mine, Andrea…”

“Oh, God…yes…” Andy agreed in a voice broken by lust. She was so wet. The affectionate, but also extremely greedy touch, with which Miranda worshiped her body, was getting her impossibly turned on.

Miranda pulled away and led her by the hand to the bed. She laid Andrea down gently on the pale blue linen sheets, and then let her body cover the younger woman's.

“Umm...Feeling you like this is amazing...” Andy said in a heavy voice, before the older woman took her mouth in a hungry kiss.

As Miranda ravished her mouth, Andy held her tight, her fingers tracing her back. It seemed that all the contact between them was still insufficient.

Sometime later, from Andrea's mouth, Miranda's kisses trailed her neck, behind her ears, along her chin. With each ride, the young woman moaned and asked for more. Miranda finally reached her breasts, once again kissed each of them carefully, and then took an erect nipple with her avid and hot mouth. Andrea was so soft, so delicious.

Andy moaned and arched her body, her fingers stroking Miranda's hair, trying to keep her there, but at the same time, needing her somewhere else. As if understanding the silent plea, one of Miranda's hands moved down the young woman's body, stopping between her long legs, her fingers on the smooth skin of her sex.

“Andrea...tell me what you like, Darling...guide me...” Miranda asked before rubbing her wet folds with two curious fingers. Andrea was incredibly wet.

Andy moaned loudly, giving her approval. Miranda bit her lower lip at the wonderful sound, and at the pleasure she herself felt, touching Andrea so intimately for the first time.

“Oh…Umm…like that, Miranda…” Andy moaned. “Yes…Oh God…So good…Oh! So good...”

Encouraged, the older woman stopped at the entrance to Andrea's sex.

“Inside…inside me, love, please…” Andy begged. “Yes...! Oh God! Yes, yes...Like that!” She roared her pleasure, as she felt Miranda entering her with two fingers.

The older woman grunted throatily as she was surrounded by Andrea's warmth, and began to move slowly inside her lover.

Andrea would be totally hers.

Such a realization took the rest of Miranda's control, and she took the younger woman's mouth in an urgent kiss, as she entered her deeper.

Soon, the lovers found a rhythm. Needs, moans and small cries of pleasure echoed more and more heatedly through the bedroom. When Miranda bit Andrea's shoulder it was the breaking point. Feeling her screaming her name as Andrea's wet, hot sex squeezed her fingers, was almost enough to make Miranda follow her in her release.

Glad the walls were soundproof. Andrea was not the quietest person when it came to lovemaking, and Miranda saw that it drove her crazy. To have to contain such delight would be a crime.

After Andrea's sex spasms stopped, Miranda withdrew from her gently. She wiped her hand on the sheet, and hugged her tightly, as the younger woman slowly calmed down.

Andy chuckled, her breathing still ragged.

“Are you sure you've never slept with a woman before?”

Miranda let out a petulant sound, but Andy felt her smile against her neck. She began to stroke the older woman's silver hair, still damp from the bath, and now disheveled by their passion. Andy smirked when she heard Miranda's breath falter as one of her hands went down the woman's back, coming to rest near her bottom.

Without warning, Andy shifted position, straddling Miranda. Not giving the older woman time to process the action, she broke free of the embrace and moved down her body.

“Andrea, what are you...Oh, God!” Miranda lost herself at the feel of her lover's mouth on her sex, an enormous pleasure invading her, and her body responding as if it had a life of its own.

Andy no longer considered that it was her first time with a woman. All pent-up desire and her hormones took over. Afterwards she would love every bit of Miranda's delightful body, but right now, Andy urgently needed to taste her woman.

As she sucked and licked the older woman's folds, Andy saw that she would quickly become addicted to this. Miranda was so appetizing, and her low, husky moans and mutters produced a hunger in Andy she had never felt before. The more the older woman demonstrated her pleasure orally and filled Andy's mouth with her taste, the more she wanted from Miranda.

Andrea Sachs was showing Miranda Priestly that she was right, when she said the two had a lot in common. Andy could take longer to face certain situations, but like Miranda, when she decided on something, she went on the attack.

Chapter Text

Cold and an instinctual emptiness alerted Andy, who was slowly waking up, missing the warmth of Miranda's body next to hers. The young woman frowned and grunted in annoyance. She fluttered her heavy eyelids and saw, still with half-closed eyes, the older woman hurrying across the master bedroom.

“Already up?” Her thick voice stopped Miranda halfway.

The older woman turned to her, a lopsided grin gracing her face.

“Work, Dear.”

Andy pursed her lips, a little more awake.

“Even so, it's still early...” She stated, then looking shamelessly at the other woman's body.

Miranda was all nudity and temptation.

The older woman made an affronting sound, but her lover's heated gaze was already melting her in certain areas, as was her resolve not to go back to bed and enchant Andrea.

In three strides, Miranda was on top of her, her mouth on the younger woman's neck, as their bodies tightened in an urgent embrace.

Andrea managed to get Miranda out of her mind without even trying hard. All she had to do was stare at her with her big brown eyes and pout her lips, and any attempt Miranda made would be worthless.

The younger woman touched her in a way no other had ever come close. This scared Miranda greatly. Andrea Sachs would be the only person capable of breaking her beyond repair. Miranda knew that this power was reciprocal, but still, such knowledge did not relieve her. On the contrary, it made her more attentive. As she had been vehemently telling herself since they started that journey, she would not make the same mistakes with Andrea.

Miranda Priestly would not change who she was, nor would Andrea want to. After all, despite her absurdities, it was this multifaceted woman that Andrea fell in love with. Though, Miranda knew that certain ways in which she handled things would need to be adjusted. It was being a slow, and sometimes painful, but effective process.

The night before, Miranda had started acting on something that had always been a bone of contention with her exes. For Andrea, she would change a routine she had strictly maintained for the past fifteen years.

The Book.

Miranda did not interrupt her time with Andrea to see it. From then on, except in extraordinary situations, she would handle the inspection of The Book in her office. Her note-taking would be delayed, but Runway would survive. Like her, the magazine would also need to adapt.

“Umm...Much better this way...” Andy gasped a while later, as she was nibbled on the chin, and one of the older woman's hands caressed her neck and shoulder.

Miranda agreed with a husky laugh.

How Andy loved to hear that sound!

Miranda. Her Miranda did not fail to surprise her. And it was wonderful!

Their night was remarkable. The intimacy, affection and physical harmony between them were perfect, a renewable desire, and increasingly mature.

“We can't do this now, Darling…” Miranda was not very convincing, as she felt one of Andrea's hands slip between her legs.

“Why not? It's still early…” It was said again, in a sly voice.

Miranda grabbed Andrea's wrist, taking the dangerous hand away from where she desperately wanted to be touched, but which at the moment, she could not.

“I promised the girls I'd make breakfast...Besides, I need to adjust my schedule...I still need to see The Book...” Miranda gently kissed her fingers.

Andy froze and widened her eyes.

“Oh…” She stared at Miranda. “The night before, you still haven't...”

The other woman just nodded.

“Oh…” Andy let out for a second time, the real meaning of the gesture taking her breath away. That meant so, so much!

Miranda huffed.

“That open mouth of yours is ridiculously inappropriate, Andrea,” she pointed out dismissively, with a knowing little smile.

Subject understood and left behind.

Andy recovered quickly.

“Since I'm still a little sleepy, you could take care of me in the bathroom. That way, I don't run the risk of falling while I take a shower...”

Miranda laughed.

“You and me in a shower...How does that change the issue of me being late?”

“I promise it will be quick…I'll even help you in the kitchen after that,” Andy offered in a sweet voice and an innocent look.

Miranda bit her lower lip. That drove her crazy.

The mixture of sensuality and innocence that Andrea presented was always something that stirred her libido, and even more so now, with the young woman naked against her, and Miranda really knowing what she was capable of in bed. Andrea had no shame whatsoever, and luckily for Miranda Priestly, it turned out that she, in the company of her lovely lover, was also quite brazen.

She gave Andrea a predatory smile.

Miranda was definitely going to be late that morning.

* * * *

After a real awakening and a memorably pleasant shower, the couple went down to the kitchen to prepare the breakfast Miranda had promised her daughters. To Andy's amusement, the older woman refused her help. She had her sit on one of the island's stools and watch her in action.

Soon, however, Andy's amusement turned to torture.

See Miranda's appetizing ass in designer pants as she waltzed through the kitchen. Smell the delicious scent of her perfume. Seeing her hair falling over her eyes, and knowing it was still wet because Miranda would not have time to dry it, and even more vividly remembering why she did not have that time, was proving to be a test of endurance.

Andy wanted to run through the kitchen and push Miranda over the island, and have her for breakfast. But there were the girls, which, cleverly, were soon heard by their heavy footsteps coming down the stairs.

“Good morning, Mom, Andy!” Caroline greeted happily, giving each one a kiss.

“Good Morning! Mom, is this our pancake?” Cassidy asked, as well as her sister, kissing them both.

Miranda gave them a sweet smile, which soon changed to a playful one.

“Yes...my conspirators.”

The girls smiled smugly.

“We realized that Andy was up to something...”

“We just helped by sending you straight to your bedroom...”

“Judging by your faces, it worked…”

“Whatever you two have done!”

Andy chuckled, and Miranda, shocked, dropped the pancake spatula on the floor.

Her babies, really, were growing up.

* * * *

“I'll not be long. Listen to the doctor, okay?” Andy asked, for the third time, at the door of the townhouse, as she said goodbye to the girls.

The twins rolled their eyes.

“Okay.”

“Don't worry.”

They said once more.

Andy smiled.

“We'll behave ourselves after the medication,” Caroline promised again.

“Right. See you later, Darlings,” Andy finally agreed, then gave each of the girls a hug and kiss.

She feared the psychological burden of the disease. Andy knew that the girls sometimes felt sad. She practically spent her days with the two of them, and Miranda was more present than ever. But the twins missed going out, seeing their friends. The loss of Patricia in a sad being run over, months ago, did not help with the issue of isolation. Andy had talked to Miranda about having another pet. However, they were afraid that the girls were not ready yet.

Andy was terribly worried about them both. Their features were increasingly looking tired, and they were losing weight. Also, soon they would have to deal with hair loss.

The feeling of helplessness made Andy's heart ache. Miranda and she did what they could, but it still was not enough. Although the pregnancy had been confirmed, Andy would continue, every day, praying for a donor to show up as soon as possible. Since the baby, even though it meant hope for this new family in so many ways, was not a certainty. Not for the girls.

* * * *

“How is she, Em?” Andy whispered at the first assistant's desk, as if she were asking for a tactical report before a surprise attack.

Emily was staring at Andrea with her mouth hanging open. Then she pointed an accusing finger at her.

“Yo-you! What did you do?” The redhead demanded to know, being careful not to raise her voice.

Andy's smirk was wickedly arrogant.

“Um...that good, hum?” She purred.

“She only saw The Book this morning!” Emily said in shock. "And...She...she's...calm... And it's driving me crazy!”

Andy chuckled softly.

“Em, seriously, you need to be careful with that masochistic side of yours,” she teased, amused.

The redhead glared at her.

“How much time do I have?” Andy's tone left no room for retort.

Emily sighed heavily. Then she looked around, like she was doing something unspeakable...like conspiring against her boss. Luckily, idiot Tara was still out on some errand. It was enough having to deal with Andrea.

“Fifteen minutes before the call to Valentino.”

“Excellent!” Andy took a deep breath, and as if getting in the mood, she headed for the devil's lair, with an extra sway in her hips.

As much as Emily did not want to admit it, this was sexy as hell! She did not even want to think about what they would do in Miranda's office...

“Hi, gorgeous!” Andy greeted from the door.

Miranda, who had been busy looking at some photos, lifted her head in surprise.

“Andrea! What a pleasure to see you here!” She said sincerely.

It did not worry her that the younger woman was there. Andrea's face was sly, but serene. Whatever prompted Andrea to pay her a visit, it certainly was not a family emergency.

Miranda immediately went to her, gave her a peck on the lips, and after pulling her inside, closed the door.

Soon, the older woman found herself pinned against the wood, Andrea's mouth devouring hers.

“That's more like it!” Andy stated in a thick, breathless voice after their mouths parted.

Miranda just nodded, her blood still running hot and her ears ringing. She tightened her grip on Andrea before pulling away.

“What brings you here, my Dear, besides the fact that you almost give me a coronary?”

Andy chuckled sensually.

“Know it's mutual...” She confessed, slowly moving closer, until she was inches from the other woman's body. “You have no idea how wet I am…” Andy said in her ear in a sinfully lecherous tone.

Miranda sucked in air in libidinous agony. The lust of hearing that, of feeling her lover's body, almost burning hers without even touching her, was making her almost lose control.

“Andrea...” She warned her through gritted teeth.

“Okay, okay…I know,” the younger woman accepted, walking away to the other side of the room. “Work and all,” she added, waving her right hand in the air nonchalantly.

Miranda sighed.

Andy smirked.

“I'll leave you alone, I promise. I just came to say hello.”

Miranda raised her eyebrows.

Andy went to her, and this time, she gave her a pure kiss on the lips.

“Until later...”

Miranda shook her head and smiled dangerously, then pulled Andrea against her body in a tight hug, and claimed her lips. It was a slow, full kiss. Before things got out of hand, however, she pulled away from the contact.

“That's more like it…”

Andy snorted. Miranda always wanted to have the last word!

But not this time.

Andy just smiled, her eyes dancing with the promise of mischief. After opening the door for her, Miranda watched her hips sway as she walked away.

Andy stopped in front of the assistants' desks. Tara was already back.

“I'll borrow Emily for a few minutes, okay?”

Miranda frowned.

What is Andrea up to? She shrugged, turned on her heels, and marched back to her office.

“Let’s go, Em?” Andy called with a smirk.

Emily rolled her eyes and got to her feet.

Tara watched the scene, dumbfounded, not understanding anything.

“Bu-but what about me...?”

Emily shot her a glare.

“Do your job!” She commanded scathingly, before following Andrea out into the hallway.

Chapter Text

Andy walked with Emily to Nigel's office, where he and Serena were waiting for them for their little strategy meeting. After the usual air kisses and compliments about clothes and accessories, once everyone was seated, Andy got right to the point.

“We don't have much time. Em already gave you two the details of our situation, didn't she, Serena?”

The blonde nodded enthusiastically.

“Thank you for the trust.”

Andy looked at her intently, her expression, deadly serious.

“Don't let me down.”

“I won't. I promise,” the answer was firm.

They exchanged understanding smiles.

“Well, good news for starters,” Andy continued. “I'm pregnant,” she told with twinkling eyes and a wide smile.

Three pairs of eyes widened, and then three sincere smiles, including Emily's, appeared on their faces.

Serena was the first to hug Andy.

“Congratulations!” She said affectionately.

“That's all we needed! Dragon babies flying around! God help us!” Nigel joked.

“Hey, it's just gonna be ONE cute baby!” Andy objected, in false reproach.

Nigel had a mischievous smile. He knew of her fear of more twins in the family. He then had the answer to his unspoken question.

“I have no doubt it will be beautiful. But he or she will be a baby dragon, there's no denying it!”

Andy snorted.

Nigel smiled lovingly.

“Congratulations, Six. I'm really happy for you, folks,” he gave her a tight hug.

Andy's eyes were watering. She blamed her hormones, obviously.

“Thanks, Nige,” she hugged him again. Then, Andy looked at Emily.

“Don't get any ideas, Andrea, you won't hug me!”

Andy rolled her eyes.

“Umm…but congratulations,” Emily added in a warm tone, with a slight tilt to her lips.

Andy looked at them happily.

“Thank you, guys. Though, that means we have to act quickly,” she warned, getting back to the main point. “I'm going to need the three of you so that my pregnancy, and the girls' treatment period, goes as smoothly as possible. Plus, a less irritated Miranda means better days for everyone in Runway, too,” Andy had a knowing smile.

The others nodded in confirmation.

“So, what would make Miranda satisfied at the office?” Andy investigated.

Emily rolled her eyes.

“Miranda satisfied? Does it exist?” She was wickedly sarcastic.

Serena giggled, and Nigel, smirked.

Andy narrowed her eyes.

“No time for jokes, guys...”

“Fire someone, or make a poor creature cry, be disgustingly superior to mere mortals…” Emily was enumerating in a bored tone.

Runway working beautifully,” Serena interrupted her girlfriend with the obvious.

Emily shot her a glare. Then she sniffed.

“If that's the plan, Tara has to leave!” She stated categorically.

Andy bit her lip in dismay.

“Yeah, I know…We have to hire two new high-level assistants. And although I feel sorry for her, we know Tara doesn't even come close...I'm surprised she lasted this long.”

Emily's eyes were incredibly huge.

“Hey! Wa-wait a minute...Did you say TWO new assistants...? What…what about me?” She yelled, jumping up from her chair.

Andy's smile was sweet.

“Em, I didn't want to spoil the surprise, but since we're discussing our tactics, I have to tell. Miranda is planning to promote you.”

“Wh-what?!” Emily questioned incredulously, as if she had heard the most absurd thing in the world.

“Miranda thinks it's time for you to go to the Art Department. She will soon instruct you to start looking for a new assistant.”

Emily was stunned. She looked like she was going to pass out.

“Come sit down,” Serena asked gently, guiding her trembling girlfriend by her arm, back to her seat.

Nigel ran and brought a paper cup of water.

“Here,” he handed it to the first assistant.

Emily took two long gulps and took a deep breath. Then, she looked at Andrea with narrowed eyes.

“Do you have something to do with this?”

Andy was surprised.

“No, Em. This is all you.”

Emily's snobbish aura was back.

“Bloody hell, it's about time!” She let out petulantly, then her brows furrowed. “Now I understand your concern. With me still there, it would be complicated, imagine the situation, with two newcomers.”

Andy sighed heavily.

“Exactly...”

“But then, why this promotion right now?” Emily contested, to everyone's astonishment. “Miranda will need me to keep things in order!” She blurted out indignantly.

Andy hugged her.

“What the hell! Get off me, Andrea!” Emily demanded, trying to escape from the long arms that held her like a mad octopus.

“I always knew that behind that rude, bitter facade of yours was a good person,” Andy said, before let her go.

Emily huffed and shot a glare at Nigel and Serena, who were smiling. They both knew that, being so fragile, Emily protected her heart with a thick layer of arrogance and suspicion.

Andy was touched by her discussing her long-awaited promotion with the well-being of Miranda and her family in mind. It made her even happier, realizing that she and Emily were gradually rebuilding the principle of friendship they had had before the Paris fiasco. It felt like it was a defining moment for all of them: Before and after Paris.

“Emily is not without reason,” Serena observed thoughtfully.

“True,” Andy agreed, with a watchful eye. “But Miranda wouldn't take that step if it wasn't really necessary.”

Nigel raised his eyebrows.

“That means we'll have an opening in the Art Department, and Emily will fill it.”

Andy nodded.

“As everyone knows, Margot is pregnant. What you guys still don't know, is that she's going to take time off from the profession to dedicate herself to her family.”

“Hmm, I understand. Instead of making us find a replacement, Miranda thought of our dear Emily,” Nigel added.

“Miranda didn't want anyone taking Em's turn,” Andy said with a shrug.

Emily's eyes narrowed again. Now she was sure Andrea had something to do with it! However, the fucking promotion was more than deserved!

“Okay. So, the idea would be…” Serena urged Andy on, trying to figure out what she was getting at.

“Margot must still remain at the Art Department for two months before she goes on maternity leave. We'll have that time to discover and mold the perfect assistants. We will need to investigate our contacts. Candidates coming from HR, well, we know how it usually ends...”

Emily exhaled loudly.

“Once chosen, Nigel will give them a sense of fashion. Serena will teach etiquette and makeup classes. Em and I are going to train them.”

“Are you going to step directly into this, Andrea? Don't you have a lot to deal with right now?”

“I know, Em,” Andy confirmed with a smile at her concern. “Most of the work will be up to you, but I can give them a useful tip or two. After all, I was the best assistant Miranda Priestly ever had,” she said with a playful smile.

Emily rolled her eyes, but did not object. It was true.

* * * *

Andy and Emily had barely reached the reception area, when they heard Miranda demand attention in her usual low, unnerving voice.

Emily started and looked at Tara, who got up immediately.

“Why isn't she at her virtual meeting?” The first assistant muttered in confusion.

Tara's eyes were wide.

“They canceled on her…” She told in a strangled tone.

Emily grimaced.

Tara waved terrified and hurried to the office. Though, before she could enter, the assistant was stopped by Andy's voice.

“Let me go.”

“B-but...”

Emily huffed impatiently.

“Do as she tells you, creature!” The redhead commanded, keeping her voice low.

Tara jumped up and ran back to her desk.

“Emily…” It was called from the office again, this time with more irritation.

“Yes, Miranda...”

The Editor-in-Chief set aside the tissue samples she was examining, and looked up and over her glasses at Andrea.

“I thought you stopped responding to the nickname a long time ago...” She recalled in a scathing tone, her lips pursed.

Andy just smiled knowingly, and closed the door with the latch.

Miranda completely forgot about the samples. She placed her glasses on the table, leaned back in her chair, and watched her partner walk towards her with sensual steps and predatory eyes.

“What are you doing, Andrea?” She questioned in a false sharp voice, undeniably hoarse.

Andy had an innocent smile.

“I'm helping you make good use of the free time you've been given. After all we're women who know how to take advantage of opportunities, aren't we?”

It was impossible to control. Miranda could not hide the smirk, the pink cheeks and the hungry eyes, which shamelessly devoured the body that was coming dangerously close to her.

Are we going to do this here? She asked herself in astonishment.

Miranda never allowed such bodily enjoyment. All her exes wanted to, but she never allowed them to infest her domain with their scents. However, watching Andrea unbutton her blouse and show off delicious skin, made her imagine the sexiest scripts.

Within moments, Miranda rose with surprising speed. She pulled Andrea to her, their mouths colliding in uncontrolled need. A while later, she broke the kiss and turned her lover on her back abruptly and pressed their bodies together, holding her in place by the waist, while her mouth and teeth feasted on the back of her neck and shoulders. Miranda then bent Andrea over the table, lifted her skirt to the hips, lowered her exquisite knickers to the knees, and entered her with two demanding fingers. She closed her eyes briefly, and made a guttural sound at the wet heat that awaited her.

Andy just had time to clamp her mouth shut and muffle her cry of surprise mixed with pleasure, as her other hand gripped the edge of the table tightly, trying to anchor her in place. Afterwards, she let herself be carried away by the wonderful and extremely erotic feeling, her lowered moans, coming along with the pushes of Miranda's fingers into her center.

Andy then gripped the table with both of her hands and leaned further over, lifting her hips, shamelessly exposing herself to the older woman, who thanked her by thrusting her fingers faster and deeper.

“You love to tease, don't you, my dear Andrea?” Miranda husked close to her ear, after pulling the young woman's head back by her long brown hair.

Miranda's fingers grew incredibly more diligent.

“Hold on, ‘my angel’, the ride will be long!” She promised in a lewdly dangerous tone.

Andy barely had time to stifle another cry of pleasure.

* * * *

In the car on the way home, Andy had a smug smile. She was a little sore in certain places, but Miranda's ‘ride’ was well worth it.

When Andy left the townhouse that afternoon, she never imagined things would turn out this way. She teased, obviously. But she never thought that Miranda would succumb to desire in the middle of the office and get her revenge. They fucked wildly, and Andy loved every second of it!

Sometimes she liked a rougher session, it was exciting. Miranda made her madly aroused by losing control. When the woman turned her against the table, Andy was already dripping!

She squeezed her legs together trying to calm the throbbing in her sex. Just remembering what they did was making her wet again. Too bad Miranda was not there...

Andy was pulled out of her fantasies by the ringing of her cell. She quickly grabbed the device, thinking it might be Miranda, and frowned at the number on the display. All the lust from before replaced by apprehension.

“Yes...?”

“Hi, Andy, it's Hellene,” the night shift doctor said promptly.

“What happened? The girls-”

“They are fine now.”

Andy took a deep breath, trying to calm down. Freaking out would not help at all.

“What happened?” She asked again, in a more controlled way.

“The girls had a violent reaction to the treatment, but the situation was brought under control. Now they are resting.”

Hellene then calmly explained to her what had happened.

Andy sighed heavily. Just when she was not home!

“I'm already on my way. I'm almost there,” Andy stated, after looking out the window where they were. In the mirror, she saw Roy watching her worriedly. Andy muttered ‘run’, and he nodded and sped up. “Have you contacted Miranda?” She asked Hellene.

“No. I'm doing as you instructed.”

“Excellent.”

Andy did not want to overwhelm Miranda. It was agreed that they would only call the woman in a real emergency. In other cases, the incident would be reported to Miranda when she got home, and the twins were already feeling better.

“Thank you, Hellene. Could you take them to the master bedroom? I want the girls close to me.”

“Of course, no problem, I'll talk to them. I'm sure they will love the idea. See you soon.”

“Thanks,” Andy sighed and tossed her cell into her handbag, eyes fixed on the window.

* * * *

When Roy pulled up beside the townhouse's well-kept garden, Andy barely waited for the car to stop, and ran out the door. She took the stairs two at a time, and was soon at the entrance to the master bedroom, where she found Hellene.

“Are you supposed to be running like that?”

Andy took a long gulp of air, trying to calm her pounding heart.

“Probably not...”

Hellene shook her head.

“They are already settled. There's only one more medication today, after dinner. The girls shouldn't have any problems with this one,” the doctor added at Andy's worried look.

“Thanks...”

Hellene nodded and headed for the stairs.

Andy sighed before opening the door.

“Hi, sweeties!” She greeted with a smile.

Though dejected, the two redheads also smiled, happy to see her.

“Andy!”

“You're back!”

“I came as fast as I could,” Andy dropped her handbag on the floor, kicked off her shoes, and ran to hug them.

The girls were sitting up in bed, looking for something to watch on the expensive, rarely used TV in the master bedroom.

After an affectionate hug together, Caroline moved to the side for Andy to sit between them.

“How are you feeling, girls?”

“We're fine now,” Cassidy replied without looking at Andy.

“What is it, my angel?”

“We were scared, Andy…” Caroline confessed in an uncertain tone. “I felt really bad and I passed out...”

“And I had seizures…” Cassidy added in a thin voice. “It's weird when your body does things without you being in control...”

“Yeah, I know...It's a horrible thing.”

“Do you know? Have you ever been through this?” Caroline investigated with interest.

“Yea...I'm allergic to bees. I found this out when I was bitten. I had anaphylactic shock and went into a seizure. It was terrible. I thought I was going to die...I was camping with some friends, and we passed by a beehive. As I'm a sweet person, the bees couldn't resist!” She joked.

The girls laughed. Knowing that Andy shared such an experience with them, made them not feel so fragile.

“Who helped you?” Caroline was really curious.

“My friends. We had EpiPen in the first aid kit. They helped me with it, and then took me to the nearest hospital.”

“How old were you?”

“I had just turned eighteen.”

“Seizures are weird…” Cassidy pointed out.

“Yea...”

After a short silence, Andy declared excitedly:

“I'm going to take a quick shower, and then we can veg in front of the TV until your mom gets home. What do you guys think?”

“Sure!”

“Would be great!”

Andy smiled at the enthusiastic response. She placed a loving kiss on the forehead of each one, and went to her bedroom, through the side door, to get some pajamas. She chose a simple, comfortable cotton one, and returned to the master bedroom. The young woman waved to the girls and went to the bathroom. Although she was sleeping with Miranda, Andy kept most of her things in the room that served as her office.

In less than ten minutes, Andy was back. The girls were lying on the bed, busy with something on TV. Upon seeing her, they made space and Andy settled between the sisters again. The twins snuggled up to her, and the three of them started laughing at the funny show.

A short time later, they were asleep.

This is how Miranda found them.

She smiled tenderly at her girls.

But it was a bittersweet smile.

Miranda left Runway in a hurry. Despite the hurdle of reorganizing her schedule, she had no commitments that night, and could afford to go home at a decent time. Something wonderful. Miranda wanted to enjoy the end of an unexpectedly exciting day.

The libidinous session with Andrea, in her office, of all places, was the hottest sex Miranda had ever had. The younger woman drove her crazy with surprising ease. It was astounding to finally trust someone to the point of getting lost in that person.

However, as she got into the car, Roy's serious gaze puzzled her, and Miranda's carnal thoughts were pushed aside. Arriving home, the uncomfortable feeling was solidified in her search for the girls, and turned into a palpable pain, when the doctor told her what had happened.

Miranda sighed heavily and squared her shoulders. Her daughters were fine now.

She bent down and kissed the twins' foreheads, not holding back her lips from quivering with emotion, as it touched her babies. When Miranda was trying to understand how she would kiss Andrea in the middle of the two without waking them up, the young woman opened her beautiful eyes.

“Hi…” Andy said softly in a whisper, and very carefully, slowly shifted away from the girls.

She got up from the bed and hugged Miranda tightly. Then, she gave her a peck on the lips, and pulled the older woman by the hand into the other bedroom, so they could talk.

“Hellene told you,” Andy stated, after studying her partner's face.

Miranda sighed and nodded, not entirely hiding the confusion of her feelings from Andrea. The younger woman hugged her again, and they held each other in silence for several minutes.

“Why don't you take a shower while I wake the girls up?” Andy suggested later. “They need dinner before the last medication,” she reminded Miranda in her ear, and then kissed her neck, the older woman's scent calming her and giving her a wonderful sense of belonging.

Miranda nodded again, and this time, she was the one who led Andrea. Back in the master bedroom, the older woman proceeded to do what her partner had told, while Andy began to wake the twins up sweetly.

“Cass, Caro, your mom is at home. It's dinner time, darlings.”

Miranda heard the pure love in Andrea's voice and her heart fluttered painfully with feeling. When under the shower, she finally let the tears she had been holding back flow along with the hot water. Minutes later, more composed, Miranda finished her shower, and like Andrea, she did not worry about her clothes. Since she would not have to deal with The Book at home, she could change into a nightgown and relax until bedtime.

Back in the master bedroom, Miranda found Andrea and the girls talking animatedly about something.

“Mom!” Her daughters squealed, happy to see her.

“Hi, Bobbseys,” Miranda tenderly kissed her heads.

“What about me?” Andy complained, pouting ridiculously.

Miranda huffed and the girls giggled, but Andy got a kiss on the lips anyway.

The younger woman smiled in satisfaction.

“Dinner is ready.”

“Come on, I'm so hungry today...” Miranda assured with a cheeky smile, looking directly at her.

Andy gasped and instinctively crossed her legs, her cheeks were already hot. Good thing she was still sitting!

The girls looked at the women, now strangely silent, and then looked at each other, when they finally understood what was going on. Andy and their mom had ‘the look’.

“Ugh...!” Caroline complained.

“Stop it! There are still children in the enclosure!” Cassidy pointed out with a grimace.

Andy blushed even more, and Miranda let out a laugh.

* * * *

As expected, the twins did not have much of an appetite during dinner. Though, with extreme care and patience, Andy managed to get them to eat as little as necessary. To Miranda and her relief, at least the girls perked up with the dessert of mousse aux chocolat. As Carena knew that the twins were struggling to feed, she was always innovating. They did not have a strict diet, just should not eat raw food, so as not to give rise to infections, as well as very fatty things.

After the sisters took their meds, they went with their mother to the living room to wait for Andy, who would finally call her parents to tell them about the pregnancy.

About ten minutes later, Andy stumbled back. Her face was so pale, that Miranda did not hesitate to get off the couch quickly and run to meet her.

She hugged the young woman tightly.

“Was it that bad, my dear?” Miranda asked in Andrea's ear, concern for her partner clear in her voice.

Andy pulled back a little to look at Miranda, and her face was a mask of disbelief.

“They...they're...My parents are coming...They'll be here tomorrow.”

The older woman raised her eyebrows, and her face took on a surprised expression. On a rare occasion, Miranda Priestly felt like swearing aloud in front of the girls.

Chapter Text

The doors on the Runway floor barely opened, and Miranda Priestly stepped out of the elevator like she was heading into battle. The Editor-in-Chief arrived at the reception area with a stiff posture, her usual hurried gait, with an extra weight on her steps.

“Emily, with me,” she called in a sharp tone, after tossing her coat and handbag onto Tara's desk.

The first assistant immediately jumped out of her chair, notepad and pen in hand.

“Cancel my yoga class,” Miranda commanded, taking the coffee waiting for her on her desk. “Rearrange my schedule. I'm leaving the office at four-thirty in the afternoon,” she instructed, after taking a sip of her coffee, and sitting down in her chair. “I don't care what you have to do, work it out, Emily,” the editor clarified, opening The Book.

The first assistant wanted to scream.

She killed herself organizing Miranda's appointments, and when the editor came up with her absurdities, it meant hours of extra agony. What happened this time?

“Andrea's parents will arrive at six-thirty. Tell Roy to pick them up at the airport.”

Emily's eyes widened. There was her answer!

“Call them and talk about the deal,” Miranda said with pursed lips, inspecting The Book, making notes on it with her red pen. “Mr. Sachs probably won't want to accept any more favors from me. For Andrea's sake, convince him that it will be better for everyone. As if Andrea needed more worrying...” She muttered under her breath to herself, heaving a sigh. Then, the editor lifted her head and looked at Emily, her gaze coldly dangerous. “No matter how, do it.”

“Yes, Miranda!” Emily said with a start, and ran out of there.

From her desk, Tara watched the nervous redhead take a deep breath, as she sat back in her chair. The second assistant was thanking heavens that she was not the one having to fulfill Miranda's mission.

Emily looked at Andy's father's cell number in the address book, and after squaring her shoulders, she called. Once she was answered, the first assistant did something that was one of her specialties.

Emily Charlton resorted to emotional pressure.

After Mr. Sachs refused the ride outright, Emily argued for Andrea's well-being, and then pleaded, informing him how Miranda would take it out on her, a poor assistant, for failing to convince them to accept her boss's proposal. This seemed to move the man, who probably, remembering the hard times his daughter had been through, felt sorry for Emily and finally agreed that Roy would come get them.

One problem solved. Now, let's go to the next one! But, first... The redhead picked up her cell and hit speed dial.

“Em!” Andy answered her, euphoric. “I was going to call you just now!”

“Well, I heard the news. Mom and Dad will be visiting, how sweet!" Emily was sarcastic. “At least, I solved the issue with the airport ride.”

Andy sighed.

“They finally agreed...”

“But of course! I used a few tricks from my survival arsenal,” Emily was snobby.

“I confess that I feel more relieved...It was already very challenging to convince them to stay here. It was fine with me if they took a cab to the townhouse. But Miranda wanted a full service, and she offered Roy. I knew that if my parents didn't accept the ride, Miranda would be upset.”

“And that would also upset you, by association,” Emily added, rolling her eyes.

“Thank you, Em...”

Emily snorted.

“As if I had a choice!” She was falsely bitter.

Andy chuckled.

“Talking to them couldn't have been easy,” Emily observed, genuinely worried.

Andy sighed heavily.

“It was terrible. My mom never disliked Miranda the way my dad did, but after the paparazzi and yesterday's news…Well, let's just say she was pretty nasty. And my dad...Jesus! I've never seen him so disturbed. It was so hard...He was always a fair, controlled man. But lately…”

Emily rolled her eyes and sighed. She hated that kind of talk, but Andrea's waif voice was impossible to resist.

“I imagine...” The redhead began. “But think that it must be very difficult for them to digest all this. Aside from the lesbian novelty, your partner isn't just anyone...”

Andy gave a sarcastic snort.

“One minute Miranda is the Devil wearing Prada, and then suddenly she's your lover and caring mother of your baby…It must be hard for them to assimilate so many changes at once,” Emily continued. “We know the choices are yours, but you also know that they somehow affect those closest to you.”

“Yeah, I know...”

“To our parents, we'll always be their little children,” Emily recalled scornfully. “In their eyes, you're their beautiful little girl being used by the big bad wolf, who after chewing you well will throw you away.”

“But it's nothing like that!”

“You know that, Andrea, they don't. Your parents are far away, they haven't seen you two together. They only know the Miranda Priestly from before, and the one the media loves to paint. Show them the truth. I know we feel outraged when our parents are overprotective, but have a little patience, put yourself in their shoes. In a few years, if some Casanova wanted to seduce Caroline or Cassidy, how would you react?”

Andy pressed her lips together, the more hostile plots running through her mind.

“You're right...”

Emily made an indignant sound. Of course she was right!

“Andrea, you're not supposed to act like the girl in question and bow your head before them. Just show things as they really are. I bet in time, your parents will get used to the idea. With Serena and me it was like that. Unlike her family, who are very open and have known about her homosexuality for years, my mother didn't take our relationship very well...But I let her know how I truly felt. I gave my mother her time, so she could think of everything.”

“I'm sorry, Em. I had no idea.”

“My mother is more resigned. We're slowly reconnecting,” Emily was quick to add. She should not get too emotional. That interaction with Andrea was awkward enough!

“Em...What if my parents don't want to hear from me anymore?”

“It would be sad, Andrea, but it would be their choice. Your parents would have chosen not to be a part of your life anymore. It wouldn't be your fault. Besides, you have your new family and friends. I know our parents are irreplaceable, but you have a lot of people who love you, Andrea. You will not be alone.”

“Thanks for listening to me, Em...Really...” Andy said emotionally.

The redhead snorted.

“Yeah, yeah! Now let me go back to work and kill myself to rearrange a schedule that, minutes ago, was perfect. Should I remember who is to blame?”

Andy chuckled, as she wiped away some of the tears that ran down her face during the frank conversation.

“Good luck!” She joked, her heart, much lighter.

“To you too, Andrea,” Emily said, before hanging up.

The redhead looked at her cell.

Jeez...I'm getting really soft...I think I need more coffee! She thought, frowning.

Emily saw Tara watching her with a silly smile.

“What are you looking at, creature? Why are you still here? Don't you have to get some samples?”

The girl's eyes widened and she jumped out of her chair.

“And bring coffee!” The redhead added, as the second assistant entered the elevator, in a panicked hurry.

“Very well, Emily...” Miranda whispered to herself, hiding behind the wall, near the door.

The editor had gotten up to see Nigel, when she caught the start of the conversation between Andrea and her assistant. Miranda was happy to find out that Andrea did not have just one more ally. Apparently, she was making a friend.

* * * *

“Mom!” A pair of twins squealed glad to see her.

“Hello, Bobbseys,” Miranda gave each of them a kiss. “I came early to make sure everything is ready for our visitors.”

The girls rolled their eyes.

“How are you two feeling?” Miranda eyed them carefully.

“We're fine,” Caroline assured.

“Andy who's been acting odd,” Cassidy added.

Miranda stopped walking, and looked intently at her daughters.

“What do you mean?”

“She's very nervous, Mom...”

“But pretend that everything is fine...”

Miranda pursed her lips, her irritation with the Sachs, increasing.

“Where is she?”

Caroline snorted.

“In the office...pretending she's working!”

Miranda had a sweet smile.

“You two care a lot about her, don't you?”

Caroline gave Miranda a look similar to one of hers, which clearly said: Are you slow or what?

“Of course we care about her!” The girl finally spoke aloud.

“We love Andy!” Cassidy added firmly.

“We know sometimes she hides things because she doesn't want to worry us,” Caroline confessed.

“But that's not good in her condition,” Cassidy pointed out.

Miranda took a long breath. Sometimes the maturity of her girls was disconcerting.

“I'm going to stay with Andrea for a while, okay?”

“Of course, Mom,” Caroline accepted for both of them.

“Besides, we have painting class in a little while,” recalled Cassidy eagerly.

“Right. And darlings, I’m going to ask you one more time: Please, be kind to Andrea’s parents.”

The twins made frustrated noises.

“Don't worry!”

“We won't upset Andy any further.”

Miranda smiled in relief.

After kissing their mother, the girls went upstairs.

Miranda sighed heavily. She dropped her shoulders and walked into the kitchen.

“Good afternoon, Carena.”

“Good afternoon, Ms. Priestly!” The cook was surprised to see her at home at this time of day.

Miranda went to one of the cupboards, got a glass, and then a bottle of mint liqueur, which was sometimes used in recipes. She poured herself a good dose and downed it in one gulp. The woman did not usually drink this early, but she was very tense, she really needed something to ease her temper until her in-laws arrived. Obviously, she would not risk whiskey, despite the temptation.

“Is everything suitable for dinner?” Miranda asked Carena, after washing the glass.

“It will be ready at quarter to eight, as agreed.”

“Excellent. After you finish preparing the meal, you can go home. We'll take care of setting the table.”

“As you wish, Ms. Priestly, thank you.”

Miranda nodded in response, and walked out of the kitchen, heading for the stairs. Along the way, she took off her blazer and unbuttoned the top three buttons on her blouse. Apparently, the liquor was already doing its job.

Miranda entered the master bedroom and got rid of her shoes. In the bathroom, she tossed the blazer into the laundry basket, and then went looking for Andrea.

The side door to the adjoining room was open.

“Hello, dear.”

“Miranda!” Andy blurted out happily, running from her desk to hug her.

They held each other for a long time, until Andy turned to look into Miranda's eyes, hers, softening in the older woman's presence. The great esteem and sense of security that Andrea felt from being in her arms touched Miranda significantly.

She did what any woman in love would do.

Miranda kissed her girl.

“Umm...You taste like liquor...” Andy purred next, burying her head against her partner's neck, starting to kiss her.

“I needed to relax a little...”

Andy sighed.

“I need that, too,” she confessed, laying her head on the older woman's shoulder, stroking her back.

After a few seconds of silence, Miranda turned and looked at her intently.

“How are you really feeling, Andrea?”

“Nervous…anxious…” Andy sighed again. “And kind of pissed off, too...”

Miranda pursed her lips.

“Nate called earlier...” Andy said apprehensively.

Miranda's eyes went cold.

“But, how did he...” Her face turned stony. “Which of your ‘friends’ gave him your number?”

Andy bit her lip, hesitantly.

“It was my parents...”

It had been a long time since Andy had seen Miranda this way. Even for her, who now shared her life with the woman, it was still frightening.

Seeing Andrea's apprehension and knowing that having a conniption fit would only complicate things further, Miranda took a deep breath, trying to maintain control.

“What did the cook want?” Her gaze, as well as her voice, was emotionless.

Andy gently let go of the hug and sat on the edge of the bed, followed by Miranda.

“He wanted to repeat his bullshit, talk pathetically about his wounded pride, stuff like that...” Andy said with a shrug. “I was surprised, happy, that Nate hadn't taken a stand against us, even after the press had tormented him for some time. But, it seems that, knowing that my parents are coming here...That things are really serious, this time...”

“It was too much for his manhood,” Miranda pointed out dismissively. “Did your parents tell him about our real situation?” Her tone was defiant.

“No! They still had a little discernment. Nate called them last night. My mom said my dad talked about the visit unintentionally in the midst of a stupid fit...She even apologized. My mom didn't think Nate would call me full of shit...”

Miranda took another deep breath. Instead of a glass, maybe she should have finished the bottle of liquor. Andrea's parents had not even arrived, and she already wanted to strangle them!

However, Miranda was in that situation for Andrea. For her, too, she would suppress her anger, so as not to burden Andrea with unnecessary pressure.

Miranda sighed and smirked.

“Well then, let's leave that behind, dear. Come here.”

Andrea's huge smile eased her still upset heart a little. Soon, the young woman was sitting on her lap, wrapping her arms around her neck, Andrea's hot breath in her ear melting away all ill feelings. Miranda Priestly regained her peace.

Andy knew that her parents' attitude had distraught Miranda, but the woman stood her ground, did not vent her anger, preferring to protect her partner's well-being and heart.

Andy was overflowing with feelings.

She turned and met Miranda's eyes, her hand gently stroking the smooth skin of her chin.

“I love you…I love you so much, Miranda Priestly. God, how I love you…” Her tone was passionate.

The smile the older woman gave her was unprecedented. It was a mixture of love, affection, acceptance and relief. Andy would face anything not to lose this.

“I love you too, Andrea Sachs...I love you like I've never loved before...” She confessed, taking the young woman's lips with her own.

Soft, careful and meaningful. The kiss could not have been more perfect.

Then they hugged each other. Hearts united in hope, joy and solidification.

The couple spent time savoring the moment. Miranda stroked Andrea's hair, but when her hand went to her shoulders, the older woman made an unsatisfied face.

“Your muscles are too hard, my darling. You need to calm down a little. All this tension is not good for you or our child.”

Andy smiled at ‘our child’. No matter how many times she heard that, it would always make her give Miranda a silly, proud smile.

“Come. Let's take a shower. Then, I'll give you a massage,” the older woman said lovingly.

“You know you're spoiling me, don't you?” Andy joked, after getting up.

Miranda's response was an amused grunt.

* * * *

“Mom, Dad!” Andy said excitedly, before hugging them as soon as they got out of the car.

Despite the weight of the situation, they were her parents. Andy loved them and missed them both immensely. The Sachs, though not happy with their daughter's actions lately, returned the affection warmly. After all, she was their only child, and they missed her so much.

“Come on, let's go inside,” Andy asked, still hugging them, guiding them both inside the townhouse. “Laurie and Richard Sachs, this is Miranda Priestly, my partner,” she introduced formally with a flushed face and a shy smile.

The three stared at each other in silence, motionless.

Laurie's features were uncertain. Richard's face, reserved, although his eyes were narrowed, a ticking time bomb about to go off. And Miranda, well, she was Miranda.

Andy was starting to panic, when her partner took a step forward.

Miranda offered her hand to Laurie.

“Pleased to meet you,” no smile.

“The pleasure is mine...” The other woman accepted the gesture. They exchanged a quick but firm handshake.

Miranda turned to Andy's father.

“Mr. Sachs.”

He hesitated for a moment, but like his wife, the man returned the greeting. Richard could not stand the woman, but he would not give her the satisfaction of saying he was impolite.

“Shall we go to the living room?” Miranda asked, leading the way with her hand.

The four walked in silence. Andy's parents, uncomfortable with Miranda's hand possessively on their daughter's shoulders.

“Please, make yourselves comfortable,” Andy offered, and then sat with Miranda on the loveseat, opposite the larger couch her parents sat on. “Did you two have a good ride?”

“Would you like to freshen up before dinner?” Miranda took the cue. “It was a long flight, and...”

“Stop it!” Richard Sachs interrupted her.

Miranda just raised her eyebrows.

“Dad!”

“No, Andrea! I refuse to stand here pretending this is just a simple family reunion!” He argued, and then turned to Miranda with a heated glare. “What do you think you are doing to our daughter?”

Before Miranda could have any reaction, they were interrupted by the hurried arrival of the girls.

“We hear the car!” Caroline said with a bright smile.

“And we came to meet you. Andy has told us so much about you two!” Cassidy added in her most cordial tone.

Andy's parents froze, and then melted. Quickly, their faces took on sincere smiles.

Laurie was the first to get up.

“Caroline, Cassidy, how nice to finally meet you!” She surprised the girls with a quick hug.

Richard was more cautious. He gave them a handshake, but his eyes were as soft as his voice.

“Our daughter talked a lot about you two, too. It’s really nice to finally meet you, girls.”

Andy smiled at Miranda, who discreetly rolled her eyes.

Her daughters were incredible!

No doubt, they had been secretly listening to the conversation, and then came just as things got out of hand. However, this time, the tactic was different. Instead of the girls dealing with ‘the intruders’ with cold politeness or vicious comments, they were being thoughtful and kind. The twins were really trying hard for Andrea. Miranda felt extremely proud.

“Oh, we brought gifts!” Laurie said, and the girls' eyes widened.

Even Miranda was surprised. She looked at Andrea, but the younger woman just smiled and shrugged.

As Andy had said, when she reconnected with the twins, she began to share their adventures with her parents. Although they were suspicious of Miranda, they did not take it out on the girls. Especially since they knew how much Andy liked them. Because of everything their daughter had told them about the twins, the Sachs were already fond of the little redheads.

“Andy told us you guys like games and reading, so we've brought you a few things,” Richard said casually.

“Really? It's so cool!”

“Can we see?”

Laurie looked at Miranda, who nodded.

“Richard, can you bring us the packages?” She asked, not wanting him to be alone with Andy and her partner.

The man excused himself and went to the side of the stairs, where the luggage was placed.

“What about me, will I get gifts, too?” Andy asked pouting, and Miranda had to hold back a snort.

The girls laughed.

Laurie frowned, but shook her head and smiled.

“Of course, dear.”

Richard returned with the packages, and the next few minutes were spent with Andy and the girls tearing up wrapping paper enthusiastically. Miranda watched them with warm eyes, and Andy's parents watched Miranda, intrigued.

“Would you like to freshen up while the three of them have fun?” Miranda offered again, in a serene tone.

This time, Andy's parents responded differently.

“Yes, thank you,” Richard was curt but respectful.

“A shower before dinner would be great, especially after such a long plane ride. And a change of clothes would be a blessing,” Laurie added, with a shy smile.

Miranda had to refrain from smiling. In addition to the physical resemblance, like Andrea, her mother also babbled when nervous.

“I'll show you the guest room.”

Andy looked around for her partner, who, with her eyes, assured her that everything would be okay.

“You will stay on the second floor. Follow me,” Miranda called, walking ahead of them.

They climbed the stairs and stopped at the entrance to the second bedroom.

“I'll ask Roy to bring your luggage. Come in.” Miranda gestured, opening the door.

Andy's parents were once again surprised by such luxury.

“Feel free to use what you need. Dinner will be served at eight o'clock, on account of the girls' last medication, which is after the meal, and cannot be given too late,” Miranda explained, heading for the exit.

There, however, she paused.

“Before I go, I want to emphasize something. I only ask that you try to contain your animosity against me a little in front of your daughter and my girls. You can hate me. You may think I'm manipulative, that I'm robbing the cradle, and whatever else you want, but...please...respect Andrea's condition.”

“Why, are you afraid that if she loses the baby, you won't be able to save your daughters?” Richard antagonized.

Miranda did not turn to face them, but the tension in her body was evident.

“No, Mr. Sachs. It's because I love her,” she closed the door behind her.

“Richard, it was a cowardly attack!” Laurie chided him, shaking her head.

The man sighed and sat down on the bed.

"I know...I regretted it as soon as I said it..." He confessed, rubbing the back of his neck.

Laurie sat beside him and put her arm around his shoulders. The situation was so confusing.

Miranda was not a sweetheart, but she was behaving. At no point did she raise her voice or be rude to them, unlike Richard. Despite the woman's measured affection, Laurie could see how she watched Andy with her girls. Miranda stood at a safe distance, like a waiting lioness, ready to rip the throat out of anyone who dared harm the integrity of her family, which clearly included Andy.

Who could blame her?

It was her home, her territory. Miranda had resigned herself to having them there, willing to hear all their accusations, because of Andy. That meant something, did not it?

“I know I'm doing things wrong...” Richard admitted in a defeated tone. “But I worry about Andy, Laurie. She is our girl, our only child. I just want her to be happy...”

Laurie sighed.

“And if, despite all the contradictions and complications, Andy's happiness is really this family, will you learn to respect that?”

Richard did not respond, his silence, contemplative.

Chapter Text

“Is everything ready?” Miranda whispered in Andrea's ear, after hugging her from behind.

“Hu-hum,” Andy nodded, leaning against her. “We just set the table. The girls went to enjoy their gifts a little longer, until my parents come down,” she turned to face Miranda. “Are you okay? Did something happen?” Andy questioned at her tense body and detached gaze.

The older woman sighed, hiding her face in the crook of Andrea's neck, the warmth and scent of her partner, slowly reassuring her.

“Nothing I didn't expect...”

Andy gave a weary sigh.

“I'm sorry…I should have resisted, told them not to come. You and the girls don't have to go through this...”

Miranda stared at her.

“Let's just show them the truth, Andrea. Accepting it or not will be their problem. I know we don't have to go through this, but it's for you, for us. You are part of this family. We want to see you happy. We know how important your parents are to you,” Miranda had listened intently to the conversation between Emily and Andrea. She was aware of her partner's need for her family.

Andy, already with watery eyes, hugged her tightly. Circumstances, in addition to her crazy hormones, were making it increasingly difficult to control her emotions.

Sensing her dilemma, Miranda stroked her back, kissed her neck.

“If you want to cry, then cry, darling.”

Andy gave a rueful sigh, pressing herself more firmly to Miranda's body. She could not. Andy knew that if she started crying, she would not be able to stop anytime soon. They still had one more round with her parents, and she needed to stand firm in front of them.

“Is everything all right?” Caroline asked as she felt the heavy atmosphere, after entering the dining room, with her sister.

Andy turned to the twins. She did not say anything, just opened one of her arms and waved at them. The girls responded quickly.

That is how the Sachs found the four of them, enveloped in a silent embrace of undeniable complicity.

“Sorry we took so long...” Laurie said embarrassed, both at having to interrupt them and at Richard's cowardly attack, which still greatly annoyed her.

The four broke contact. Andy placed her hands on the girls' shoulders, while Miranda turned to the Sachs.

“No problem. Please have a seat,” she offered civilly, but her tone and gaze were icy.

Laurie nodded. Richard just followed his wife to the designated spot at the table, where they took their chairs.

The first few minutes of dinner were torture. Unlike the polite script for the circulation of the dishes, and some compliments on the meal, there was an uncomfortable silence.

Caroline looked at Cassidy, who with her eyes confirmed the same thought: Something happened in the guest room.

It was time to act.

“Mrs. and Mister Sachs, do you like living in Ohio?” Caroline asked suddenly, taking the adults by surprise.

“We never went there. How is your city?” Added Cassidy, interested.

“Well—Richard began—our city is normally quiet, but...”

From then on, dinner took place in a more relaxed mood, full of conversation about the Sachs, their town, and the fun part, Andy's youthful adventures. Even Miranda smiled discreetly a few times. On another occasion, when it was just the girls and them, she would want to know more about her partner's childhood stories.

Afterwards a delicious dessert of Tricolore pie with ice cream, the twins reported on their science project, while the adults sipped coffee.

Andy excused herself for a moment, and then returned shortly after with the girls' medication.

“Sweethearts,” she called affectionately, and the twins turned in their seats to get a better look at her. “Time for medicine,” Andy had a tender smile. She handed each of them a small paper cup.

The girls smiled and nodded, taking their medication with a little water from their glasses.

Andy placed a hand on each red head, in a loving gesture.

“I know you guys are enjoying the chat, but it's too late. Why don't you go brush your teeth and get ready for bed? Rita is waiting for you two in the bedroom.”

Usually, the sisters would have protested, but they knew the adults needed to talk. So, the twins just nodded, with knowing smiles. They got up and gave Andy hugs and kisses good night. The girls went to their mother, and the scene repeated itself. They then stopped in front of Andy's parents.

“Good night, Mrs. and Mister Sachs.”

“We enjoyed having you with us.”

The sisters said shyly.

Andy's mother smiled and opened her arms.

The girls gladly accepted the offered affection, which was accompanied by kisses on their red heads.

Despite the occasion and all the drama, the sisters really liked Andy's parents. Regardless of the problems with the girls' mother, the Sachs treated them very well, always kind and considerate. Mrs. Sachs was a lot like Andy, which made the twins, feel even more comfortable with them.

After Laurie, the sisters turned to Mister Sachs, and feeling more confident, gave him quick kisses on the cheek.

The man blushed a little, but he had a satisfied smile.

“Good night,” his voice sounded sheepish.

Then, two rockets with red hair ran up the stairs.

Miranda controlled herself not to scold her daughters for the noise and physical exertion. She was going to let it go this time. After all, the girls had been exceptional during dinner.

Miranda and Andy excused themselves and started picking up the dishes.

“I can help,” Laurie offered.

Miranda nodded.

“Just leave them in the sink.”

After the leftovers were discarded, the hostesses put the dishes in the dishwasher and turned on the appliance.

“Maybe we'd better go to the living room,” Miranda's tone left no choice.

They went there in silence. Andy's parents and daughter sat in the same places as earlier. Miranda walked over to the bar and got Laurie a peach schnapps and Andrea a glass of mineral water. Then, the editor returned to the bar and poured two glasses of whiskey, one for Richard and one for herself. With everyone served, Miranda took a seat next to her partner.

They spent some time sipping their drinks, until Miranda made a sneering sound.

“Let's just get this over with, shall we?” She took everyone by surprise, her attitude, the Ice Queen herself.

Miranda felt Andrea shudder and had to hold back a smile.

Yes, my love, it's my turn to speak!

She gave the Sachs ‘the look’.

“I knew you would come here full of indignation, questions and accusations. Yet, you said things you had no right to say,” Miranda used her low, dangerous voice, looking directly at Richard.

The man lowered his head.

“I'm sorry…I really shouldn't have said that. It was cruel. Even...even-”

“For me, I know,” Miranda added dryly.

Andy looked at them, frowning.

“Miranda, what-”

The older woman turned to her, her features softening.

“It's over, darling.”

Richard looked at the editor, astonished.

“Most of the things you've heard about me are true,” Miranda's tone sounded nonchalant. “I'm extremely demanding with my employees, with some of them, I'm even cruel. I only value excellence in my work, I don't accept anything else. If someone lacks competence or strives to do their best, they are free to work elsewhere. I fire this rabble mercilessly, simple as that,” she pointed out at once.

Richard started to interrupt her, but the woman stopped him with a lift of her hand.

“No! You'll keep your mouth shut and listen!” The extremely cold tone froze the man. “Since you arrived, we've heard your bullshit. Now it's your turn to hear what we have to say.”

Laurie squeezed her husband's arm, also demanding that he keep quiet.

“I know I was a bitch to Andrea when she was my assistant. I confess I've never demanded so much of anyone else before,” Miranda wore a sardonic smile, which then turned to a contemplative look. “Andrea intrigued me because, no matter how impossible it seemed to be, she always found a way to make what I wanted come true. It made me admire her, and over time, even though I didn't realize it, it turned into something bigger. However—she looked closely at the Sachs—I only really understood and accepted this change of feelings when Andrea had already left me. I never acted inappropriately with your daughter when she was still working for me, or either of us was involved with someone else.”

The Sachs did not know how to react. They never thought they would hear so much. Miranda Priestly was exposing herself...for Andy.

“You think I'm taking advantage of your daughter,” Miranda accused, after taking a sip of whiskey. “No, I just took the opportunity,” she was categorical. Then, the woman gave a bored sigh. “With the money I have, I could easily have paid for a surrogate. It was just giving the poor woman a contract with so many traps, that she would be afraid to even hear my name, let alone think about talking to the press about our deal.”

Andy glanced sideways at Miranda, smirking. Sometimes she was very clueless...Of course Miranda could have done that! But Andy was so blinded by the chance to be close to the woman, that she simply accepted the ruse and thought no more about it. Nigel and Doug certainly noticed the holes in the story, but they kept quiet, hoping that Miranda and she would finally get together, literally.

“I'm a woman who knows how to use opportunities, Mister Sachs,” Miranda stared at him, seeing the man squirming uncomfortably on the couch. “The twins had already been secretly working to bring us together again. And then, with the turn of events, instead of a surrogate, we opted for Andrea. For them, and yes, also for me.”

“And I accepted for the same reasons,” Andy assured, looking at her parents. “I wanted to help the girls, but I also wanted to be close to Miranda. We both used the opportunity given to us by fate. A rather crooked one, it's true, but still, an opportunity.”

“When I say I love Andrea, I mean it,” Miranda's tone left no room for argument. “When I say I care about her well-being, regardless of ‘our child’, I mean it.”

Andy took one of her hands and gave it a comforting squeeze.

Miranda allowed herself to give her partner a tender smile. Then, she turned cold eyes to the Sachs.

“Concerning our age difference, get over it. I don't understand why you don't realize that this is not a hindrance to us,” her tone was smug. She narrowed her eyes. “I doubt if I was a man, it would be so upsetting.”

Andy's parents had the grace to be embarrassed. The truth was, the age issue was just more ammunition against the relationship.

Miranda gave a weary sigh.

“I understand that things have been very complicated, with so much news and sudden changes. I know you two got into serious trouble because of the media and everything else. About that, I'm sorry. But, honestly, some of your attitudes were exaggerated and malicious. Andrea is an adult, a very enlightened and intelligent woman. As her parents, you should give her judgment more credit and respect her decisions.”

Miranda paused to take a deep breath.

“Enough of this, I've said everything I wanted to say,” her tone was one of finality. She turned to Andrea. “Darling, I'm going upstairs. I will wait for you in our bedroom.”

“No, love, I'm coming with you,” Andy replied promptly and turned sharp eyes to the Sachs. “My parents and I don't have anything else to talk about at the moment.”

“But-”

“That's all,” Miranda cut Richard off, her tone menacing. However, she was so emotionally exhausted, that even seeing him shiver gave her no pleasure.

“See you tomorrow, Mom, Dad,” Andy said not to be rude. Then, she wrapped an arm around Miranda's waist, and walked with her to the door.

Andy knew her mother was just following her husband. But Mister Sachs deserved the earful! Her parents had no idea how Miranda had controlled herself. Yet, Andy was aware of how much the effort had taken her partner down. It was a very stressful day. Andy resented having forced such a situation on her new family.

“How…how can she be so cold, using that soft voice when she says she treats others like pawns, but at the same time, speak so fondly about her daughters or Andy? Even her face changes...It's like they're two different people...” Richard wondered still unsteadily, after the couple's departure.

“The woman is a mystery...” Laurie pondered. “But Miranda really cares about our girl, Richard...” She added, after a dismayed sigh, feeling ashamed that she had allowed her husband to create a wall between their daughter and them. “Miranda didn't belittle you in front of Andy when she had the chance. She refused to harm our girl...”

The man's response was a languid nod. Such a selfless attitude coming from her really took him by surprise. Miranda would have every right to belittle him in front of Andy. Still, she chose not to hurt her by hurting her parents.

“Despite the deserved scolding, at no time was she disrespectful to us. Miranda loves our girl, Richard. We can't deny it anymore. As for Andy, we know her. Our daughter loves this woman with all her heart...”

The man sighed.

“It seems so...”

“So, what else can we do? Are we going to continue to be a problem for them? Are we going to force our daughter to make a choice and walk away from us? Because that's exactly what Andy will do...”

“No, I would never allow that!”

Laurie hugged him affectionately.

“We don't have to understand, but we need to learn to respect their relationship.”

Richard let out a long sigh, snuggling with his wife.

The two were silent, wondering what things would be like from then on.

* * * *

“I don't like to see you so worried, my love,” Miranda said as she returned to the bedroom, fresh from the shower and already wearing her nightgown.

Andy smiled, making room for her beside her on the bed. As soon as Miranda lay down, Andy hugged her from behind, her face in the older woman's neck.

“Have I told you I love the way you smell?”

Miranda smiled.

“Maybe you mentioned it, dear,” she sighed, letting Andrea's warmth and comfort ease some of the tension she still felt.

“Thanks for everything you did today,” Andy said, carefully.

Miranda made a sarcastic noise.

“Are you thanking me for chewing on your parents? You're so weird sometimes, Andrea,” she scoffed.

Andy chuckled. She was happy. She felt her partner finally more relaxed.

“They deserved it. Although I know you controlled yourself for my sake. Really, thank you...But I'm sick of it all.”

Miranda turned in the embrace, facing Andrea, her eyes questioning.

“If my parents don't stop the drama, I'll let them know that their presence in our lives isn't necessary,” Andy said seriously.

Miranda's eyes narrowed, but she let the younger woman continue.

Andy stroked her chin gently, and then she ran her finger over Miranda's brows, smoothing them.

“I know how difficult it was. I also know that something happened while I wasn't with you. Something that hurt you a lot...I won't allow this anymore, Miranda. I loved the effort and consideration you showed for me, but I won't let you and the girls go through something like that again. We told my parents the truth, their attitude, from now on, will define mine.”

Miranda frowned.

“Andrea...”

Andy stopped her by placing two fingers over her lips, and gave her a loving smile.

“Cassidy and Caroline are in a very delicate condition, they don't need any more hassles. Also, another member of our family is on the way. We need to think about this child. It is also my duty to ensure the well-being of my family.”

Miranda smiled and took Andrea's hand, kissing her wrist. She was not going to argue with her partner about that.

They looked at each other intensely, full of meaning, the mood, completely changing.

Miranda used Andrea's hand to pull her towards her, covering the young woman's mouth with her own in a deep kiss. Feeling Miranda's hand move under her nightwear to her breasts, Andy stopped her. The older woman broke the kiss and looked at her, confused.

Andy had a heated smile.

“Let me make love to you. Tonight, let me take care of you, my love...”

Andrea asked in such a sweet way, that Miranda could not resist, and nodded in agreement.

Andy smiled beautifully. Then, she knelt on the bed in a hurry, and stripped off her clothes. Miranda's throat went instantly dry, unlike her sex. Andrea was dangerously testing her resistance!

Andy gently removed her lover's clothes and stood for some time reverently admiring her. Their eyes met and they both smiled. Andy lay on top of Miranda, and moaned softly at the contact of their naked bodies. Their mouths locked together again, urgently.

As they continued kissing, Andy stroked Miranda's silver hair with one hand, while the other roamed over her smooth body. They stayed like that for a long time, until, feeling her lover's rapid breathing, Andy's lips descended on her throat. From there, they went to the valley between alabaster breasts with peach colored nipples, and Andy kissed and licked the heated flesh, always very slowly. Without warning, she took a hard nipple in her mouth. She sucked, scraped her teeth over it, Miranda's little moans encouraging her, her own arousal, making her pussy throb in tune with the older woman's sounds of pleasure.

Andrea left her breast, but there was no time for Miranda to feel the loss, because the younger woman's mouth covered hers again, as one of her hands found her folds. Miranda gave a long moan and arched her back into the touch where she so desperately needed it.

Andy moaned loudly at the feel of how wet Miranda was, her own pussy soaking wet, smearing the older woman's thigh. She spent the next few minutes controlling herself, as her mouth enchanted Miranda's, and two of her fingers moved slowly inside her partner.

Feeling her moans growing more uncontrollable, her body moving with the thrusts, and Miranda's inner walls starting to tighten around her fingers, Andy stopped.

“Andrea...”

“I want, I need to eat you out, drink you...I need you to give it to me...I want you to come hot in my mouth…” Andy said in a voice filled with lust.

Miranda moaned hoarsely, her hips rocking, trying for some relief with the fingers still buried deep inside. She was so close...

“Andrea...” Miranda grumbled, as she felt her lover come out of her. “Andrea, what…Oh…Andrea…!” She let out in a guttural tone, her hips rising slightly from the bed, as she felt the younger woman's mouth on her wet folds.

Still slowly, Andy sucked and licked intently at the soft, delicious flesh, being careful not to touch her clit, driving Miranda even madder with desire.

“Umm…Oh...oh! Andrea...”

Andy broke contact quickly.

“That's it, Miranda…come for me, love…” She sucked and licked her clit, and then dove into her heat again, greedily swallowing her taste, as Miranda moaned her pleasure in an overwhelming release, calling out to Andrea.

Chapter Text

When they went downstairs to breakfast, Miranda and Andy were surprised to see that the cook had been relieved of the task. Laurie, with the help of the twins, was preparing the meal, while Richard washed the dishes, already taking care of the mess. After the girls' warm welcome and polite greetings exchanged between the adults, the group was ready to taste the delicious delicacies.

Laurie had overdone it, so much that they had to take everything to the formal dining room, where the table was much larger than the one in the kitchen. The breakfast was so varied, that it could rival that of a small inn, with fruits, cold cuts, various types of bread, eggs, bacon, toast, muffins, pancakes and waffles, as well as coffee, milk, teas and juices.

The twins and Andrea, who defended her gluttony for ‘being eating for two’, wasted no time, and advanced on the appealing food.

Even though the girls were not on a specific diet due to their treatment, Miranda still paid attention to what her daughters ate. However, because of Andrea and the situation, the mother was sometimes a little less strict.

Miranda had to admit, Laurie Sachs was an excellent cook.

Going against her own diet, the editor tried a little of each dish. She finally understood why Andrea was crazy about pancakes. Miranda knew hers were very good, but Laurie's were divine.

She looked lovingly at Andrea, who smiled with her mouth full, in a funny grimace, making the twins giggle.

Miranda could not help but roll her eyes and curl her lips in a slight smile. Sometimes, she forgot how young Andrea was. Though, she doubted her partner's current electrical state was due to just that. Miranda knew that much of Andrea's enthusiasm was due to the change in vibe they felt from the Sachs.

The editor had been very worried, imagining that her partner would have to carry out her intention to get away from her parents. Even if it was Andrea's choice, it would mark her deeply. Miranda was relieved to see that the Sachs understood the unspoken threat, and that, for everyone's sake, they were attempting an honest and respectful interaction.

“Um…Mom?” Caroline caught her eye, after swallowing a mouthful of scrambled eggs.

Miranda took a sip of her coffee.

“Yes, Bobbsey?”

“We...—the girl paused, looking at her sister, who nodded in agreement—can we skip class today?”

Miranda frowned. It was a strange request. The twins knew it was not debatable.

“And why would you do such a thing?” Her eyebrows were raised and her eyes sharpened, taking in her daughters.

“It's just that we...”

“Wanted to enjoy the day...”

“With Andy and her parents...”

“After all...We don't know when we'll see them again...”

Miranda sighed inwardly.

She lost her father at a very young age, and her mother, when she was finishing college. Jeremy's parents, sadly, passed away shortly before the twins were born. Apparently, the girls were adopting the Sachs as grandparents.

Although Andrea and Miranda's parents had their differences, they always treated the twins with genuine attention and affection. Like their daughter, the Sachs have been won over by an irresistible pair of red heads. Such an interaction made Miranda happy, as well as being very helpful in smoothing things over between the adults.

But, skip classes?

It was not something Miranda Priestly approved of, except in extreme cases or disease.

Disease.

The phrase “we don't know when we'll see them again” hit her with a cruel impetus. In the current situation, it was quite ambiguous.

And painful.

Miranda sighed inwardly once more.

She had made her decision, but that did not mean she was not going to make them sweat for it.

“You know I don't approve of this kind of behavior...”

The girls bowed their heads.

“Miranda,” Andy interjected in a careful tone, placing her hand gently on her partner's arm, the young woman's beautiful brown eyes, pleading. “I know you don't like it, but they would make up for classes they missed today gradually during the week. The girls study at home, they could take advantage of this convenience...It's a special occasion...”

Miranda held back a smile. Instead, she pursed her lips. The editor looked intently at her three girls, who were waiting with anxious faces. Then, as she slowly raised her eyebrows and squinted her eyes, Miranda saw the three of them wither and stare at the table, expecting the worst.

“Okay, I allow it…”

Three heads snapped up, eyes wide.

“Really? Yay!”

“How nice, Mom!”

The twins celebrated happily.

Andy smiled sweetly at her, along with a nod.

The Sachs watched the scene with mixed feelings. Miranda not only allowed Andy to make remarks about the girls' education, but she gladly accepted the idea. Besides, her acting did not fool them at all. As longtime parents, they knew that Miranda had been playing with Andy and her daughters the entire time. The woman kept surprising them!

“But I'm going to want full reports on the progress of the studies,” Miranda added, in false seriousness.

The girls enthusiastically agreed. They liked to tell their mother about their schoolwork and get that kind of attention from her. What should have been a condition, for them, sounded like a bonus.

* * * *

Andy was finishing typing an article, when a warning knock on her home office door, caught her attention.

“Hey!” The young reporter said happy to see Miranda walking in and immediately got up to hug her. “You came home early. Didn't you have dinner with Irv?” She felt the older woman shudder in disgust at the name.

“We rescheduled it. After yesterday's stress, and the hell of a day I had at Runway today, I chose not to take any chances. Besides—her tone was now husky—I had a great incentive to leave early…”

Andrea gave a throaty laugh, and Miranda shivered at her partner's hot breath in her ear.

After Andy and the girls said goodbye to the Sachs at the airport and headed back to the townhouse, she called Miranda. Happy, Andy told her that the day with her parents and the twins had been great, light. However, from a relaxed moment, gradually the conversation between the couple became heavy with desire. Andy was in a sassy mood, and she offered several ideas of what she would do with Miranda, if the older woman was home.

“Did you think of me today, love?” Andy questioned playfully in her ear, sucking on her earlobe.

Miranda's response was an urgent attack.

It did not take long for moans and sighs to echo through the room, as tongues fought for dominance, and hands clasped and traveled over willing bodies.

Sometime later, just because they desperately needed air, the women broke the kiss. They leaned against each other, breathing raggedly.

“Have you—Andy cleared her throat lightly—have you said good night to the girls?” Her voice was still breathy. She was dizzy with lust.

Miranda only mumbled a confirmation, her lips busy kissing and biting Andrea's neck.

“I have…I have to proofread the last paragraph of the article…and send it to Stevie…Ohh…!” Andy gasped sensually, rocking her hips instinctively against Miranda. The woman had bitten in a very pleasant spot behind her ear. “Wh-why don't you run a bath for us, in the meantime?” She offered in misery. What Andy really wanted was that mouth immediately between her legs!

“Hu-hum...Wonderful idea...” Miranda agreed with difficulty, between kisses. Andrea was so delectable. She was tempted to devour her right there. “Don't take too long...”

Andy bit her lower lip at the sinful, promising tone, and almost cried at the loss of Miranda's body. She watched with glazed eyes as the older woman walked into the master bedroom, her mind reminding her that she still had work to do, but her sex wanting to guide her in another direction.

* * * *

“Uh…” Miranda moaned contentedly, as she felt Andrea's fingers massaging her hair, and leaned closer against the body behind hers, in the spacious bathtub.

Andy smiled.

“Close your eyes,” with her hands she splashed a good amount of water over Miranda's head, rinsing off the shampoo.

Andy loved those moments when she could really pamper her partner. She loved washing Miranda's hair, soaping her attractive body...

The urge she fought to contain until the end of the bath finally surfaced.

“I'm sorry, love...I didn't mean to take so long...” Her voice was hoarse in Miranda's ear. Andy nibbled the older woman's earlobe, moving her hands through silver hair slowly to a pale neck.

“But we're here now...” Miranda's tone was heavy and suggestive.

“Yes...” Andy agreed in a whisper, her hands moving down her lover's arms. “Let's not waste any more time,” she caressed Miranda's belly, and then cupped a soft breast, while her other hand came to rest on a thigh, dangerously close to her partner's soft folds.

“Andrea...” Miranda half demanded, half pleaded.

“Yes, my love?” Andy encouraged in an innocently lascivious voice, one hand slowly caressing the older woman's breast, while the other still roamed her thigh.

The proximity of that hand on her sex, without touching it, was driving Miranda crazy.

“Andrea…” She tried one more time, lifting her hips, seeking contact. “Yessss...!” Miranda moaned shamelessly, as she felt Andrea's hand where she needed it so much.

Andy groaned in empathy. Despite the water, she could feel Miranda's heat and arousal.

The older woman's breathing was getting heavier, her moans, constants and increasingly hoarse. Andy held onto Miranda's waist to keep her safe, as she rubbed her swollen folds.

“Andrea…Oh…!”

“Yes, my love?” Andy's breathing was also labored with desire. “This is what you want?”

“Oh…Andrea! God!” Miranda yelped erotically at the sensation of two fingers entering her in a single stroke.

Unlike the gentle, slow lovemaking of the night before, it felt like the girl wanted to consume her. These mood swings were unpredictable and always magnificent.

Andrea was so deep, so deliciously deep.

“More...” Miranda was greedy.

Andy groaned loudly at the request, her movements faster and faster, the desire to take her woman, clouding her senses.

“What else do you want, Miranda? Do you want more fingers?” Andy managed to ask in a voice totally out of control, a third finger stopping at the older woman's opening. “Or do you want me to fuck you faster and harder?”

“Oh God! Both…both, Andrea!” Miranda's voice came out in a frantic whimper.

Andy happily complied.

Within seconds, Miranda was arching her back against Andy's body, the older woman's moans getting louder and louder, as Andy thrust into her with three fingers in quick, deep movements, the noise of the churning water, sounding like a background to the erotic melody.

“Oh...! Andrea...Oh...I...”

Andy felt her pussy throb powerfully. Hearing Miranda so open in the throes of passion, always made her lose her mind.

“That's it...Come, love...Come for me...Give it to me!” She demanded on a growl, slamming her fingers inside the older woman vigorously and as deeply as possible, pulling them out and circling Miranda's clit, then entering her again.

The older woman came in a howl, her body arching, her center gripping Andrea's fingers powerfully. If the young woman had not been holding her waist tightly, Miranda was sure she would have slipped and drowned in the bathtub.

After a while, Miranda moaned languidly at the withdrawal of the fingers that already knew her so well. She smiled, as she felt Andrea wrap her arms around her waist, pulling her closer, placing soft kisses on her hair and neck.

As her aftershocks faded, Miranda turned to look at Andrea, and saw how aroused her young partner was.

She smiled evilly.

“Get out,” Miranda used her best authoritative tone and icy gaze.

Caught off guard, Andy frowned.

“Huh?”

“I still haven't learned to breathe underwater, Andrea. So, get out,” Miranda pointed out with disdain.

“But, what-”

Miranda narrowed her eyes.

“I want my mouth on you. I want to eat you out! I want you to come in my mouth…Do you understand now?”

Andy closed her eyes and groaned loudly.

“Jesus!” She blurted out in a husky voice. Opened, her eyes were filled with restrained desire.

Miranda smiled victoriously.

Then, she was startled when, without warning, Andrea jumped to her feet, grabbed the nearest towel, and ran out of the bathroom.

“Miraaandaaa!” Andy called to her impatiently.

The older woman huffed and rolled her eyes, but a mischievous smile crept across her face.

Miranda was incredibly slow, until she finally reached the master bedroom.

There, however, she got a surprise.

Apparently, her young lover could not wait for her. Andrea was lying on the bed, one hand clutching the sheets, the other between her legs, long fingers caressing rosy, ready folds. She had her eyes closed and head tilted back, little moans escaping her perfect mouth.

Miranda bit her lower lip to the point it hurt, her clit clenching suggestively at the sight.

So beautiful. So exposed. So tempting.

“You didn't wait for me...” She accused, but the scene was breathtaking.

Andy opened her eyes and made as if to remove the hand from between her legs.

“No,” Miranda stopped her in a firm, yet aroused voice. “Go on...” She sat at the foot of the bed, staring at her. “Go on...”

Andy bit her lip and let out a soft little whimper, continuing the caresses. Miranda's smoky gaze and heated tone dispelled any misgivings.

“You drive me crazy…” Andy wanted to share with her partner what she provoked in her. “I was almost coming just from touching, hearing you…I…Oh…! I need...”

“What do you need?” Miranda asked in a whisper, her hungry eyes watching Andrea's fingers enter her wet opening, and then go to her hardened clit, swollen folds, and back inside her, starting the pleasurable cycle all over again. “What do you need, Andrea?” She asked again, seeing that her lover was about to come. Miranda's mouth was dry, but her juices were already wetting the sheets.

“I, I need to…give this to you!” Andy managed to say through a guttural groan, her lustful eyes locked with Miranda's. “Please...come drink me like you promised...It's yours...it's all for you, Miranda...I'll give it to you now...Come drink me, please!”

In one swift movement, Miranda straddled Andrea's legs apart, pushed her hand away, and buried her head in the young woman's sex. Miranda sucked on her lover's folds urgently, her throat greedily swallowing all her arousal, as she repeatedly said ‘mine’.

Andy arched her back and came with a long cry.

As Andrea rode her release chanting her woman's name, Miranda carefully drank the gift offered to her.

Fortunately, both got what they wanted.

Chapter Text

Miranda felt something suddenly interrupt her sleep. With her eyes still closed, she automatically ran her hand over the other side of the bed, confirming that the place was empty. Then, the woman heard a disturbing noise.

She sighed heavily.

“Here we go again...” Miranda muttered under her breath, as she slowly opened her eyes. Once they got used to the light (was it morning?), she sat up in bed, ran her hands through her messy hair trying to give it a decent look, and mechanically got up.

Miranda reached the open door of the suite carefully, and the sight that greeted her, unfortunately, was the one she had imagined.

Andrea was sitting on the floor in front of the toilet, vomiting terribly.

It was the third time that week.

Miranda sighed once more.

She went to the bathroom cabinet, grabbed a washcloth and soaked it in the sink. After that, she bent down, gently brushed Andrea's hair away, and placed the cloth on the back of her head.

“That'll help, sweetheart,” Miranda's voice came out low, affectionate. With her other hand, she brushed wet hair away from her partner's forehead. Andrea's sweat was cold.

“This is awful, Miranda…” Andy confessed in a pained, panting tone, after the urge to vomit had subsided a little. This time, the symptoms were more intense.

Miranda got up quickly and flushed the toilet. Right after, she returned to her position beside the younger woman. Her left hand was again holding the washcloth at the back of Andrea's head, while the other tenderly stroked her brown hair.

Miranda knew this situation all too well. She hoped Andrea did not suffer from severe nausea and vomiting on a daily basis, as she had with the twins' pregnancy. It was months of torture, alone. Jeremy was never really present.

“Do you think you can get back to bed, my dear?” She investigated gently, seeing that Andrea's face was less pale and her breathing normalized.

“Hu-hum…I think so. Just give me the mouthwash first, please,” Andy asked weakly.

Even without seeing her face, Miranda knew that Andrea grimaced in disgust at her condition. She smiled in sympathy.

“Of course, darling. Hold the towel.”

Miranda went to the cabinet a second time. She took the bottle of Andrea's mouthwash—alcohol-free and flavorless, completely safe for the duration of pregnancy—and got the necessary amount. Then, Miranda came back to Andrea, and gave her the cap with the liquid.

After rinsing and gargling for a while, Andy spat the antiseptic into the toilet, and Miranda flushed it again.

“Come on, I'll help you,” the older woman offered her hand, with a reassuring smile.

Miranda got up and guided a shaky Andrea back to the bedroom. Before gently putting her to bed, she glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand, and saw that it was still very early, like other days. Andrea would probably have her morning sickness at about the same time. This would allow Miranda stay with her in such situations, without having to further change her schedule. It was a relief.

“Keep still. I'll bring you something to help with your nausea,” she said affectionately, after leaning Andrea comfortably against the headboard, with two pillows propping up her back.

“Tea and crackers?” Andy used a coquettish voice. She loved being pampered by her.

Miranda gave a little snort.

“Yes, smarty. I'll be back soon,” she pressed a kiss to Andrea's forehead and headed toward the stairs.

* * * *

In the kitchen, Miranda raised her eyebrows to see that she was not alone.

“Why did you wake up so early on a Sunday morning, Bobbseys?”

“We lost sleep...”

“So we went down for a glass of milk...”

“And some pills,” Dr. Hellene added, arriving with two small paper cups in her hands.

Miranda quirked an inquisitive brow. She had noticed the twins' exacerbated pallor. The mother then watched the doctor serve them milk.

“I want to know what happened,” she demanded, as soon as her daughters were medicated.

The doctor looked at the twins giving them the floor, she who was not going to face Miranda Priestly, so early in the morning. Her shift would be over in less than an hour. Hellene just desperately wanted to go home.

“We got sick, mom...”

“When we feel better, Hellene thought it would be good if we walked around a bit to help with circulation and breathing,” Caroline added, with a shrug.

Miranda sighed. It looked like it was going to be one of those days...

“But why are you awake?” Cassidy asked suspiciously.

“Andrea had morning sickness again.”

The girls made faces and sounds of disgust.

Miranda rolled her eyes. Obviously, she did not want to comment that her daughters had the same problem, much less, that since the beginning of their treatment, such indispositions had almost become a routine for them.

Her three girls had rebellious stomachs. One because of a new life, the other two...Well, maybe it would be better not to formulate.

Miranda sighed once more.

“I'm going to make ginger tea and get some crackers for Andrea. How do you two feel about having breakfast with us?”

“That would be nice,” Caroline said with a small smile, and her sister nodded in agreement.

Although they were not looking forward to eating, it was great to share these moments with Andy and their mother.

Miranda turned to the doctor.

“Hellene, your shift ends in a few minutes. If you want, you can go home now.”

“Thank you. Have a good day.”

The editor replied with a nod, and the doctor left the kitchen in hasty relief.

Miranda turned back to her daughters, smiling.

“You two will just sit down and help me in any way you can, okay?”

The twins rejoiced. They loved helping their mother in the kitchen, which, luckily, was becoming more frequent, especially on weekends.

* * * *

“Hey, my darlings!” Andy blurted out excitedly, after seeing them in the doorway.

Caroline had a small tray of tea and crackers. Miranda and Cassidy, on the other hand, flanked her carefully, in case the girl needed help.

Andy was surprised to see the twins already awake. Then, she noticed that the redheads were more haggard than usual, and looked at Miranda.

Understanding the unspoken question, the older woman only gave a slight nod.

Andy sighed inwardly. It looked like it was going to be one of those Sundays...

Caroline placed the tray on the bed beside Andy. Right after, the girl walked up to her and gave her a quick hug and a good morning kiss on the cheek.

“How are you feeling?” She asked affectionately.

“I'm still a little nauseous, but no retching,” Andy replied with a satisfied smile, after also receiving a kiss from Cassidy.

Caroline nodded in understanding.

“Have a cracker and a sip of tea so your stomach doesn't rebel again. Then slowly eat the remaining crackers and drink the rest of the tea in small sips. When you're finally feeling well, and you don't risk doing something repulsive to the smell of the other food, we'll bring you breakfast,” the girl had an authoritative voice, much like her mother's, as if she was the adult, and Andy, the naughty child who had the audacity to get sick.

Andy looked at Miranda, who shrugged, a sly smile gracing her tired face.

“Thanks, Caro,” Andy picked up the tray and proceeded to do as she was instructed, while the other three sat around her on the bed, waiting for her to finish.

After she ate the three crackers and drank all the tea, Andy actually felt better.

“And now, how do you feel?” Cassidy wanted to know.

“I'm fine. The sickness is gone,” Andy looked meaningfully at Miranda. “Mm...In fact, I'm-”

“Hungry,” the older woman cut her off, completing the sentence.

The girls laughed, Andy shrugged, and Miranda performed her usual eye roll.

“Cassidy and I will bring breakfast,” the older woman picked up the tray and left the room, along with her daughter.

As they waited for the others to return, Andy and Caroline talked about what they could do next. As they did not wake up feeling well, they thought it best to spend the day watching movies and reading. A pleasant and peaceful family Sunday.

Despite the girl's normal conversation, Andy noticed that she was a little reserved. The reporter did not think it was just due to malaise. It was as if something was bothering Caroline. However, Andy did not have time to ask about it, since Miranda and Cassidy were already back.

After two more trips, Miranda finally finished bringing the meal from the kitchen, and they all sat down on the spacious bed with Andy. Miranda leaned against the headboard beside her, and the twins faced the couple. On the trays were toast, chopped fruit, apple juice, coffee and milk. A light meal, so as not to irritate three sensitive stomachs.

As they ate breakfast and made a brief itinerary for the day, Andy noticed that Cassidy was in the same strange mood as her sister. When the girls were talking about a new game that was about to be released, Andy looked at Miranda, and pointed her eyes at the twins.

The older woman gave an almost imperceptible nod. She noticed too. Although trying to act as usual, the girls were a little scattered.

As soon as they finished their meal, Miranda lovingly turned her attention to her daughters.

“Is something upsetting you, Bobbseys?” Her tone was soft.

“Talk to us, my loves,” Andy added sweetly.

The girls were embarrassed.

“You two noticed...” Caroline stated the obvious, in a shy voice.

“But of course! We love you, guys,” Andy was categorical, as if that explained everything.

The sisters smiled, touched by their consideration. They looked at each other in their silent conversation, and then, they nodded in agreement.

“We're worried about something, but...we didn't know how to talk about it with you two...”

“We knew this would happen...”

“But with this actually happening...”

“We don't know what to do...”

“Tell us at once, Bobbseys,” Miranda was anxious and getting impatient.

“Our hair...”

“They keep falling out...”

“They're getting thinner and thinner and starting to look really awful...”

“We talked to Hellene, and she thinks it's time for us to shave our heads...”

Andy and Miranda looked at each other, mortified. They knew it would only be a matter of time, but like the girls, when the time finally came, the decision also shook them deeply.

“And what do you guys think of this? I mean, shaving your head?” Andy asked carefully, holding herself back from running and hugging them. Such an attitude, at that moment, would leave the twins feeling more fragile. Also, she was having an idea.

“We think she's right,” Caroline's lips pursed.

“But we don't want to go bald!” Cassidy frowned.

“And wear a ridiculous wig...”

Andy huffed and gave a sarcastic laugh.

“I'm surprised you two, so smart, have so little imagination.”

The girls, like Miranda, looked at her, puzzled.

“It's a rare opportunity for the two of you to do something that your mother wouldn't otherwise allow, until you come of age.”

“What, Andy?”

“Tell us!”

The twins were extremely curious.

“Colored hair! You guys can use the COOL colors and CRAZY haircuts, which you love so much in anime and games! Imagine the faces of your friends, when they see this, hmm?”

The girls' eyes widened. They looked like they had just heard the secret of the universe.

The twins looked avidly at their mother.

“Can we?”

“Please!”

They could barely control their happiness.

Miranda shrugged.

“Given the circumstances, the idea is plausible,” she gave her approval, trying to keep her voice steady. “Go check out the weird sites you two know. But choose something fashionable, yes.”

Cassidy made an affronted noise.

“No need to worry, mom! Those hairs are super cool!”

“Sure. Of course they are,” Miranda shooed them away with a wave of her hand, feigning disdain.

The girls got up hurriedly. They had to make a tremendous effort not to run out the door, and irritate their mother.

“No synthetic wigs!” Andy added.

“Got it!” Caroline answered from a distance.

The women looked at each other and were finally able to reveal their true feelings. Andy just gave a sad smile, seeing that Miranda's eyes were already watery, as were hers.

Miranda laid her head in Andrea's lap, and her arms wrapped tightly around the younger woman's waist.

“I don't know what we would do without you. Thank you...For being with us...For everything...”

Then, Miranda Priestly allowed herself to openly show her something Andy had not seen since Paris.

She cried.

Chapter Text

On Monday morning, six wigs were delivered to the Priestly Townhouse, three, for each of the girls. The hardest part came minutes later, when Andy, as well as Miranda, who made a point of being present, watched Sarah, the day nurse, shave the twins' heads with the hair clipper.

As much as the sisters wanted to look strong, they got emotional and cried a little, when the reality of the disease hit them again. This time, Miranda and Andy did not hide their emotion either, and with the procedure over, they enveloped the twins in a hug full of feelings.

After the emotional period, the beauty session began. Andy and Miranda helped the girls try on the wigs. Andy, as usual, raised the mood with her banter, and Miranda, kept the atmosphere relaxed with her remarks that, in their strange way, were funny.

The highlight was when the Sachs called the girls. Andy's parents already knew about the situation and were very encouraging. Laurie was excited at the twins' euphoria with their new haircuts, and both she and Richard made sure to asking for pictures of the girls with their new look.

As she watched her daughters and Andrea chatter with the Sachs over speakerphone, Miranda was overcome with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. It was wonderful to know that, in addition to the angel Andrea was in their lives, the twins had indeed gained caring ‘grandparents’.

However, her emotions soon became clouded. The girls missed someone. Jeremy was increasingly absent.

As Andrea became more involved with the twins, Jeremy moved away. Not because he disliked Andrea or had any issues with her relationship with Miranda. He did not care. Apparently, Jeremy finally had the perfect excuse to simply abstain. Furthermore, his recent marriage to a woman years younger, who loved parties and travel, left the man with less time for visits.

Honestly, Miranda would prefer it that way. Though, she knew that her daughters suffered from feeling rejected, and that, yes, managed to bother her. She even attempted a conversation with Jeremy, which ended in accusations, spiteful words, and silence.

Miranda was pulled out of her dark thoughts by the laughter of her three girls. As if by magic, her heart warmed again, and she felt her lips move in an automatic smile.

* * * *

“It's about time! Did you finally remember us?” Eliza Martinelli inquired with a mixture of joke and truth, when answering the call.

“Oh, Liza, I'm sorry!” Andy pleaded embarrassed. “But you guys had my new number...Nick gave it to you, didn't he?”

“Yes, he gave it to us. And he also told us about the brief encounter you two had, and that you seemed fine. That's why we haven't been in touch before,” Eliza's tone was now sweet and truly understanding. “We figured you needed some time to get things straightened out first.”

Andy smiled in relief. It was not her intention to neglect her friends. Also, Liza's father had been very sick as a result of a heart attack, and Andy did not want to add to their worries.

“Sof is there?”

“I'm off today. We just put it on speakerphone. But then, sneaky girl! I want to know everything! First of all, since when do you like women?!” Sophie Johnson, tired of the small talk, got right to the point.

“Hi to you too, Sof!” Andy teased.

“You know me! I'm famous for my subtlety. Go, spit it out, Andyyyy!”

The three of them laughed. Andy's heart was pounding happily. How she missed her friends!

Andy relaxed, and let her body snuggle better into the bed.

“Since Miranda Priestly!” She jokingly confessed.

“That's what I heard!” Sophie shot back, and Andy could imagine her friend's raised eyebrows. “But isn't that the same Miranda Priestly, spawn of devil, the one who made your life hell while you worked for her?” she provoked.

“It's like they say: every story has two sides! The woman can be such a handful, but also, she is many things that others are unaware of...Besides, they are two different situations...”

“That's what we thought...” Eliza took the line and analyzed it seriously. “We know you well, Andy. You would never be with someone so…challenging, especially with everything the situation involves, if you didn't love her.  You're happy—it was not a question—we can feel it in your voice.”

“Very much. I...I've never felt this way about anyone before...”

“So, whatever happens, hold on to it,” it was Sophie who advised. “It's big luck, girl.”

Andy smiled lovingly at their attitude. No judgments, just genuine concern for her well-being.

“And what about your parents, how did they take the news?” Eliza wanted to know, thoughtfully.

Andy took a deep breath at the memory.

“Um…I think not well, huh?” Sophie commented worriedly.

Andy told her friends about their reaction, the mess with the paparazzi and her parents' visit. Obviously, she left some details out of the conversation, like her pregnancy, for example.

“Wow, how much stress!” Eliza uttered surprised.

“Although I also think your parents overreacted, at least they came to their senses,” Sophie added.

Andy smiled.

“They are completely in love with the girls.”

She told a little more about the twins, her love for the little redheads, clear.

“Our girl has grown!” Sophie joked. “Andrea Sachs has a family!”

“We're so happy for you, Andy!” Eliza congratulated excitedly. “Oh, we also have good news.”

“We're moving to New York!” Sophie delivered for both of them.

“Oh, no way! You guys are kidding me, right? Is this serious!?” Andy let out surprised and enthusiastic.

“Truly truth!”

“Very serious!”

The couple confirmed, laughing.

“Oh, what incredible news! Come on, tell me everything!”

Andy's friends spent the next few minutes reporting on Sophie's transfer to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she would work as a guest pediatrician until the completion of her doctoral fellowship. If all went well, they would stay in town for good.

“Have you guys told Lily and Doug the news yet?”

“No, we came to you first. So, will you help us with the move?” Sophie convened.

“We'll pay for it with my famous chicken cheese pie and lots of beer, don't worry,” Eliza added slyly, knowing her friend loved her cookery.

“Deal! I can barely wait!” Andy got really eager at the thought of the pie. The drinking issue, she would deal with later. “Girls, I still can't believe it…Having you guys close again is gonna be wonderful! When do you move here?”

“On next Saturday!” Eliza was also enthusiastic.

“Oh, that's good! Maybe Miranda can go, too.”

Silence.

“Hmm…Girls?”

“Uh...Miranda...?” Eliza questioned uncertainly.

Andy rolled her eyes. She knew the reaction well. She could not resist smiling evilly.

“Yes, Miranda, my woman. The one who sleeps next to me every night!”

“Hmm…But, Andy…Wouldn't that be...weird? I mean...She's Miranda Priestly! Meeting us like this...with us all disheveled and dusty...I don't think it would make a good impression on her...”

“Plus, I can't imagine her helping with a move...” Sophie awkwardly reinforced her wife's line.

Nor Andy.

She remembered her own move into the townhouse and grimaced. But Andy wanted the company of her partner. It was time for Miranda to also integrate into the other sides of her life, especially, getting to know her friends.

“Stop it, you two. Miranda will take it easy on account of the occasion (big lie). Know that she helped me move in (a half-truth). I want Miranda to meet my friends (Andy was finally totally honest).”

The last part convinced the couple. As intimidating as La Priestly was, they no longer wanted to deprive themselves of participating in Andy's life. Even more so, at a moment when they thought it was so necessary to be close to their friend.

 


 

“Hmm…where are you going?” Emily's voice sounded ruffled with sleep, after she woke up when she felt Serena getting up from the bed.

“Make breakfast.”

Emily rubbed her eyes, and could better assess the deliciously naked woman standing in the middle of the bedroom. Suddenly, she felt more awake.

“I'll go with you,” her tone was husky, but no longer from sleep.

Serena smirked.

“No, no! Today is breakfast in bed. You stay here.”

Emily smiled.

“Oh, what a treat!”

“You earned it,” Serena assured with a seductive voice and a wink. “I'll be right back!” She walked off the bedroom, with an extra sway of hips.

Emily watched her attractive ass until Serena was out of sight. She sighed happily, as a smug smile took over her face. Sometimes it was still hard to believe that such a gorgeous, wonderful woman was really with her.

As much as Serena loved her and clearly showed lust for her body, at times Emily still felt self-conscious from the long years she had struggled with her self-esteem. However, Serena knew her well. She always managed to get the passion and attitude out of her, dormant under a bunch of bullshit.

Though, the night before, Emily Charlton surprised her. She did not wait for Serena to set the mood. She was the one who ran the show.

Emily could be stubborn, a little clueless sometimes, but she was not an idiot. She would not let their relationship fall into a static pattern. She would not lose Serena to her paranoias.

Last night was the turning point. Emily went to her girlfriend's apartment for the night. Lately, she lived there more than in her own house. Serena knew how to make good use of her earnings from her modeling days. She lived to a high standard, and Emily, loved it!

Serena did not suspect her other bag. It was normal for Emily to bring clothes and other belongings to get ready for work, the next morning. It was their habit, too, that upon Emily's arrival, Serena would leave her watching over dinner, while she took a quick shower.

As soon as Serena slipped out of the kitchen, Emily took the opportunity to execute her plan. She turned off the oven (the roast beef would taste a little off, but it would be worth it), and waited to hear the water running in the bathroom, before she got everything ready.

When Serena finished her shower, her shock could not have been greater. Emily was waiting for her on the other side of the bedroom, dressed in sinful black lingerie, garter belt and dark pantyhose, and completing the ensemble, a lacy burgundy bodice. Her face was meticulously made up, displaying a teasing look and a knowing smile.

Serena went silent, and Emily, in a seductive tone, ordered her to remove her bathrobe. From then on, Emily dictated the actions of her girlfriend, who between delighted and aroused did her best to fulfill them perfectly. Serena knew how to provoke Emily to get the reactions she wanted, but such willingness was most welcome. Even more, when Emily showed the accessory bought especially for that night...Well, it would certainly be an unforgettable moment...

Upon returning with breakfast a few minutes later, Serena bit her lower lip, holding back a moan, seeing her girlfriend's heated gaze. Emily had kicked off the sheet and was regal, displaying the pallor of her naked beauty, which contrasted exotically with the red of her hair.

As she prepared the meal, Serena could not stop reliving last night's delicious moments. Apparently, neither did Emily.

The desire was mutual, the actions, synchronized.

Serena pushed the cart with the food aside, and Emily jumped feline off the bed. Within seconds, the redhead was pressing her body to her girlfriend's back, keeping her against the wall, her mouth biting, licking the blonde's neck.

“Em…” Serena breathed heavily, as the other woman took both her breasts with greedy hands, Emily's mouth, still on her neck. “We have to work...” She was compelled to remember, as much as she did not want to.

“We still have time, love…You live five minutes by subway from the bloody magazine!” This was said in a guttural tone, as Emily lowered an impatient hand to the sex she knew was ready for her.

“Oh, Em...!” Serena moaned loudly at the feeling of probing fingers, penetrating where she so wanted, needed, her hips swaying willingly for more contact. “We-”

“Hush, love,” Emily commanded, before shutting Serena up by turning her around and taking her mouth in a heated kiss, while her other hand, once again, claimed her lover.

* * * *

After the fantastic night and morning with Serena, Emily spent the entire day in a dreamy haze. Even Miranda's unreasonable demands were not enough to shake her good mood. Because now, no matter how much she suffered in the office, Emily Charlton finally had a life.

Miranda no longer bothered the assistants with the delivery of the Book, as she began to inspect it in the mornings. In fact, the assistants were also excused from dealing with the dry cleaning (Emily was sure Andrea had something to do with it), which was only supervised by the first assistant, but delivered to Miranda's townhouse by the company that took care of the clothes. Lately, except for rare occasions, before nine at night, Emily was at home.

Miranda continued to manage Runway meticulously, but by a new set of parameters. In addition to the changes in the assistants' duties, Nigel was in more demand than ever. Miranda did not travel and did not attend photo shoots or fashion shows that forced her not to sleep at home. It was now Nigel's job to represent Runway at such events.

Emily was no fool. She knew Miranda had not made such changes out of a surge of camaraderie, or in Nigel's case, only in recognition of his worth. Miranda was just adapting Runway to her new needs. Some of those changes should have hurt her spiteful sense, but Miranda was practical, she knew the best time to put aside a whim for the greater good. Though, for Emily and the rest of her co-workers, whose lives were improved by such tactics, it did not matter the reasons.

* * * *

Emily had just walked in and closed the apartment door, when she heard her cell phone. The redhead rolled her eyes, already wondering who it could be. She dug in her handbag for the device, as she took off her beautiful, but painful high heels, and dropped them in a corner of the living room.

“Andrea,” Emily kept the smile out of her voice. She knew Andrea was dying of curiosity. So much so, she barely waited for her to get home.

“Hey, Em! So, how was it? Tell me!”

Emily snorted, but smiled.

“I just walked into the apartment, Andrea. At least let me breathe,” she said with mock sharpness, and dropped her body onto the couch, with pleasure. “I imagine the coast is clear,” the redhead teased.

“Very clear, Miranda is in the kitchen with the girls taking care of dinner. How was it, Em?”

Silence.

It still stunned Emily to hear about Miranda's personal life. Despite the significant changes in Runway, she was still Miranda Priestly. Emily had a hard time associating the boss with the familiar, caring woman Andrea mentioned from time to time.

“Emilyyyy?!” Andy pestered her in a sing-song voice.

The irritating sound snapped the redhead out of her stupor.

“No need to kill my eardrums, Andrea!”

Andy grinned. Emily was back.

“So...?”

Emily sighed wearily. It was one of those days.

“We did the first screening with the people that we collected from our contacts. All of them were very capable, but just being ‘capable’ isn't good enough, when it comes to Miranda Priestly,” she recalled with pompous pride.

Andy rolled her eyes. The idolatry that her friend had towards Miranda was already her trademark.

“How many of them are still alive?”

“Five.”

Andy frowned worriedly.

Of the twenty candidates she, Emily, Nigel and Serena nominated, only those remained. Even more disturbing, was the fact that it was only the first selection.

“I confess that we were stricter than usual. But the situation is different. It requires them to be perfect for the job, as you well know.”

“Yes, I know, Em. What about my boy?” Of the four candidates nominated by Andy, one of them was a man.

Emily pursed her lips.

“You know I don't like the idea of male assistants very much...”

Andy snorted.

“Stop being so territorial!”

Even though her friend could not see her, Emily lifted her chin in affront.

“Some of them have applied in the past. Complete failures! Most of them, Miranda didn't even want to interview, and she told me to get rid of them all,” she continued, dismissively.

“Whatever, but they weren't ‘my boy’.”

Emily pursed her lips once more. She had to surrender this time.

“Yes, they were nothing like him. I have to admit, he's great. He was one of those selected.”

Andy rolled her eyes. Of course he would be chosen! Gustaf was perfect.

“Do you need to dramatize everything? Couldn't you have said it right away? Remember that I'm a pregnant woman. Too much anxiety is not good for me!”

Emily made a sneering sound.

“The way you think you're smart, you were pretty sure he was one of the five!”

Andy's response was a victorious chuckle.

“When will the next stage of the selection be?”

“Tomorrow. We're running out of time, remember?” Emily questioned in that harsh tone of hers, as if the other woman was an idiot.

Andy rolled her eyes. In fact, she found her friend's supposed chronic bad temper amusing.

“Right. The day after tomorrow, when only the last three candidates remained, we'll arrange for the four of us to choose the assistants.”

“Are you going there?”

“No, you three who are going to take a break from Runway, to spend a little time here with me!” It was Andy's turn to be ironic.

Emily snorted loudly.

“I got it the first time, Andrea! My question is due to the fact that, how are we all going to get out of our places together for your meeting? Besides, you going to Runway again to meet us, this time, in addition to making her annoyed, will surely stir Miranda's curiosity.”

Andy smiled.

“Don't worry, Em. I deal with Miranda!”

“Whatever. She is ALL yours!” The redhead was quick to say. If Andrea thought she was capable of the feat, she would not argue.

“Yes, she's all mine!” Andy stated in a good-natured tone.

“Oh, Andrea, spare me!”

Andy laughed heartily.

Chapter Text

“Okay, I give up,” Miranda announced in a sharp voice, after an impatient grunt.

The woman took a deep breath, took off her glasses and placed them on the bedside table. Then she closed the magazine, which a few minutes ago she had grown tired of trying to read, and placed it beside her glasses. Miranda shifted a little on the bed, and looked down at Andrea, who was lying on her lap, snuggled with her, as if the older woman was her dearest teddy bear.

“Since your dramatic sighs won't let me read in peace, just say what you're pretending to hide, but are dying to tell me.”

Andy played innocent.

Miranda huffed.

“I don't have the patience for nonsense at the moment, Andrea. I had a shitty day. It's getting late, I want to rest. Spit it out, now,” she demanded in her most authoritative and obnoxious tone.

Andy shivered.

“Do you remember my friends, Liza and Sof-”

“How could I forget? You talk about them constantly,” Miranda cut her off roughly, eyes narrowed.

Andy took a deep breath.

Emily had called earlier to report on the candidates, and had warned her about Miranda's foul mood.

This time, it had almost nothing to do with Irv. Although Miranda had dinner with him that night, because of the agreement they now shared, their relationship was more civilized. The dinner was just a publicity stunt.

The reason for the woman's irritation was mainly due to a ruined dress.

Miranda had carefully chosen the piece for a photo shoot in the morning. However, a costume assistant had the misfortune of letting the wonderful Valentino fall into a mud puddle, in Central Park, where the photos were to be taken.

Needless to say, the poor thing was disgracefully fired, and the atmosphere got terribly tense at Runway. Jocelyn almost followed the assistant's path by being ‘remiss’ in having someone so inadequate on her team. Had it not been for a quick and persuasive Nigel, Jocelyn would have returned from maternity leave only to be fired.

Perhaps it's better to talk about it another time...

“I'm still waiting, Andrea.”

Andy sighed.

She did not want to turn that into a fight. So, she briefly told Miranda about Sophie's situation, and her friends moving to New York.

“Lily and Doug will help them, and I'd like to go, too. As the move is on Saturday, I thought...Well, I thought maybe you'd like to go with me...”

“Obviously...”

Andy frowned.

“What is obvious? My idea or do you want to go with me?”

Miranda looked at Andrea like she was stupid.

“That I'm going with you. I'm finally going to meet your famous friends, all four at once. How lucky, hmm?”

Andy's eyebrows shot up in surprise.

It was so…easy.

She pursed her lips thoughtfully. Then, understanding made her eyes narrow.

Andy stared intently at the older woman.

“Miranda, the majority of the world's population thinks you are a tyrannical bitch. Today you reminded me of that perfectly, I must confess...But no matter how crazy, I love you nonetheless. But if you're thinking of going, just to bite my friends' head...”

“I can't believe you think that of me, Andrea…” Miranda said in a mock hurt voice, her eyes gleaming with wicked amusement. “I just want to meet your friends, dear,” the older woman had a practiced grin. “Besides, I need to keep an eye on you,” this time, her tone was sincere, as she began to stroke her partner's messy hair.

Miranda turned off the lamp and lay down on the bed, her arms bringing Andrea closer to her. The older woman gave a satisfied sigh, her body relaxing, her breathing calm, soon she would be asleep.

“Go rest, darling. Good night. I love you…” Her voice sounded sweet, her right hand making slow, gentle circles over Andrea's belly.

“Good night...I love you too...”

Andy was amazed. If there was one thing that could improve Miranda Priestly's mood drastically, was the possibility of making someone else suffer.

She felt sorry for her friends.

The ‘good part’ was that the torture session would be with everyone at the same time. There, she would deal with it, and try to pick up the pieces of her friends after Hurricane Priestly.

Andy shifted against Miranda, searching for the ideal sleeping position. She felt her scent, the heat of the older woman's body enveloping her, Miranda's hand, still on her belly, over their child.

Andy grinned.

Miranda Priestly might be El Diablo, but ‘her Miranda’ was wonderful and smelled so good...

* * * *

“Um...” Andy half grunted, half moaned, waking slowly, feeling Miranda's hands caressing the insides of her thighs. Sleepy, Andy propped herself up on the bed on her elbows, and looked down. Her nightwear was up to her waist, and she was no longer wearing her panties.

Seeing that Andrea had awakened, Miranda turned her unfocused eyes to her partner's, her shaggy silver hair, making her incredibly more attractive.

“How are you feeling? Should I stop?” Miranda's tone was husky and suggestive.

“I…I'm fine. I don't feel sick...Oh...love...!” Andy melted when she felt her lover's lips rubbing against her pussy. “Umm...So good...Don't stop, Miranda...continue...please...”

The older woman wasted no time, her mouth and tongue eagerly delighting in soft, wet folds.

When she woke up earlier, Miranda was relaxed, all the tension from the day before forgotten, thanks to Andrea and her blessed understanding and patience.

After carefully getting out of bed, Miranda had studied her young partner. Andrea's stunning body, placid face, long dark brown hair spread across the pillow. So, she had heard Andrea murmur her name in her sleep, and Miranda's heart had warmed with love.

However, she let her eyes roam over shapely legs, almost entirely visible, as Andrea's short nightwear had lifted to the top of her thighs, where between them, her pale panties did not hide the shadow of dark hair. The older woman had stifled a moan, as her body responded strongly with desire.

Miranda had returned to the bed, lay between Andrea's long legs, and gently caressed, kissed, and licked her athletic thighs. She smelled fragrant skin, and Andrea's scent took her senses. Without hesitation, Miranda had removed the younger woman's panties, and seconds later, as brown eyes searched hers, she finally surrendered to passion.

* * * *

“I'm going to need Emily, Nigel and Serena for a few minutes today,” Andy said like it was nothing, brushing a few strands of hair off Miranda's forehead, at the back door, before the older woman left for work.

“Come again?”

“I'm going down to Runway later, and I need a few minutes with them; we'll have a meeting.”

Andy decided on direct confrontation. She did not need to say the contents of the conversation with her friends, but letting Miranda know her intention would earn her points with the editor.

The older woman gave her a crooked smile.

“May I know what you have to discuss with The Three Stooges?”

Andy laughed heartily.

“That was mean, love!” And then, she laughed some more. It would be difficult to disassociate the image of her friends from the clumsy trio, from then on.

Miranda huffed in amusement. After the pleasing time with Andrea and the family breakfast, her mood was even brighter.

“I'll rephrase my question. What do you have to discuss with them that requires you to meet them again at work?”

Andy had to be careful. Miranda was very respectful of the professional environment.

“This concerns Runway. I'm helping, providing a kind of advice on a project of the three of them. I can't say yet what it is, because we're currently in the elaboration stage.”

Miranda frowned, but before she could say anything, Andy continued:

“Trust me, love, it will be good for Runway. I know how much you value the work environment. I wouldn't ask for something like that, if it wasn't really important.”

Miranda pressed her lips together thoughtfully. It was an unusual request, and she was extremely curious. Though, she trusted Andrea implicitly.

“Right. You will have thirty minutes. Choose a time when your meeting will not affect how Runway works.”

“One hour...”

Miranda flashed her shark smile. The girl's boldness was refreshing.

“Don't push your luck, Andrea...” Her tone sounded dangerous.

“Please, Miranda...” Andy begged in a syrupy voice and pleading eyes.

The older woman snorted.

“Thirty-five minutes.”

“Fifty.”

Miranda's eyes narrowed.

“Forty five minutes. That's all.”

Andy grinned hugely.

“Thank my good mood,” Miranda said with a playful smile, her eyes gleaming provocatively.

In response, Andy pulled the older woman by the lapel of her coat, and kissed her long and deeply.

* * * *

Emily was in a daze.

“Stop looking at me like that!” Andy complained, rolling her eyes.

“I can't help it, I'm still in shock. Miranda calmly telling me I had forty-five minutes for our meeting was quite an accomplishment, even for you!”

“Her call also took me by surprise,” Nigel added in awe.

“Ditto!” Serena confessed as well, as they went to the room, where they would have the final selection of assistants.

“You need to have more faith in me, guys.” Andy's tone was now smug.

“Oh, Andrea, spare me!”

Nigel and Serena chuckled along with Andy at Emily's response, which was becoming typical of when the reporter wanted to be a smart-ass.

“I dare not imagine what you did to achieve such a feat...” Serena remarked with a smirk, while Nigel and Emily grimaced at the sexual innuendo.

“I just took advantage of a sudden good mood,” Andy purred with a wink. “And I got straight to the point. Miranda hates beating around the bush, and I don't like lying to her. I didn't tell her the reason for the meeting, but I made it clear our intention that it would be good for Runway. Afterwards, I asked her to trust me,” Andy shrugged nonchalantly.

When they entered the room, the three candidates were already waiting. Andy was extremely professional. At the moment, Gustaf was just another contender. She did not want to be accused of favoritism. The situation was very important for such incidents.

“Congratulations. The three of you went through interviews and practical tests. Now, in the final stage, we're going to have a kind of role-play,” Andy told them, smiling at their confused faces. “Today, I will be Miranda Priestly. Those who pass the nerve test and are chosen as the new assistants will be trained specifically to deal with Miranda's strange mood. Being competent is not enough. They need to bear the emotional burden of the position, otherwise, they won't last a week with her, and all our efforts will have been in vain.”

The candidates—Gustaf and two young women—looked at each other, whispered, and gave Andy understanding reactions. The concern was valid. The great challenge of being Miranda Priestly's assistant was precisely enduring the tyranny of the woman.

“As for our role-play, no matter how much I know Miranda, to the point of thinking of some of her ways to make your lives hell...Miranda Priestly is unique. Still, believe me, I will do my best. I'm going to be...very unpleasant. And that's just going to be a sample of a few minutes. Imagine that pressure every day,” Andy looked at them sternly. “Do you still want to go through with this?”

Three startled candidates, after a slight hesitation, nodded in agreement.

The smile Andy gave them could be described as pure evil.

Even Emily, Nigel, and Serena could not help but shiver in recognition.

Miranda would have been proud of her Andrea.

Chapter Text

Andy looked intently at the three contestants, mentally reviewing the steps she would take during her performance. As they had a limited time, she would have to use some tricks to be able to assess important parameters of their personalities, which would guarantee their survival with Miranda.

“Everyone who will interact with the three of you has been instructed on how to act within our role-play. They will treat you like Miranda Priestly's assistants, so remember to use the weight of her name to get things flowing. However, pay attention to the limits. Despite her fame, Miranda's image must be preserved by her employees, especially her assistants. Be very careful with your NDA's. Certain things must never leave Runway,” Andy explained with narrowed eyes, and the candidates nodded firmly in understanding. “Nigel and Serena, help me pull this desk back farther, so I can see their reactions. Emily, you can assemble the equipment now.”

The redhead smirked. While Nigel and Serena went to do as requested, Emily looked for the best spot. She chose a small shelf on the wall to Andy's left, where the first assistant moved some decorative knickknacks to the side. Emily pulled a camcorder from her handbag, and positioned it at the perfect angle to capture the four of them' conversations and physical responses.

The contestants looked at each other and turned to Andy questioningly.

“All other steps were meticulously noted in reports. Yet, this last phase, in addition to a contextual analysis, will be recorded, so that Miranda can see the points in favor and against, and what weighed in our decision. Despite all our efforts, in the end, we at the judging panel will still need to convince her to give the winners an opportunity to prove themselves. We want to cover all the bases, leaving no room for retaliation, or, what would be worse, an immediate refusal on her part.”

The candidates gulped at the knowledge that Miranda herself would see the test, but nodded in agreement. Andy was right.

“Nigel, you stay here with me, acting the same way you would in an everyday situation, if you were with Miranda. Emily and Serena will be in the hallway with the candidates, mentoring them as if they were already at the front desk with the new assistants.” Andy glanced at the contestants. “When you are dismissed, you must go to the back of the room. I want you to watch your peers perform. As we have little time, my interaction with them will also serve as a learning experience for you. When I'm done with the last candidate, everyone leaves the room.”

Andy sat in the chair behind the makeshift desk, took her glasses out of the shirt pocket, and meticulously placed them on her face. She assumed a pose that made the room freeze, and the others present stiffen in nervous attention.

“Emily, turn on the camcorder and leave with Serena and the three candidates,” she commanded looking at her over the top of her glasses with narrowed eyes, her tone low, soft, and extremely intimidating.

“Yes, Miranda,” the first assistant answered promptly, also in her role, something that was facilitated by Andrea's amazing performance.

Nigel had to contain a chuckle. Though, all his amusement disappeared, when he came across indifferent eyes, familiar, but not on that face.

“How are preparations for next photo shoot coming along?” Andy asked him, as soon as Emily and the others left. Her voice came out straight and sharp.

“Uh...Er...”

Andy narrowed her eyes.

“By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me,” her lips pursed dangerously.

Nigel recovered quickly, his survival instinct kicking in.

“Everything is going according to plan. The location has been confirmed, and Jocelyn has put together a few more pieces for your approval-”

“I hope I do not regret giving that dead fish one more chance, Nigel…” Andy's disgusted, menacing tone alluded to the incident in Central Park, something Miranda would surely have remembered.

“You won't...I'll be keeping an eye on her...”

“Then know that any further slips from her, you will answer for that, too.”

The man swallowed hard.

“Yes...Miranda.”

“Good,” Andy turned her attention to the papers she was pretending to read while scribbling. “Emily...”

Seconds later, three frightened candidates entered the room.

Andy stared at them over the top of her glasses.

“Did you three grow up in a herd of elephants? In case you forgot, this is a fashion magazine. Agility does not mean sloppy posture,” the three of them shuddered at the reproachful look and voice. “Go back and enter again.”

Like scolded children, the candidates repeated the action. Although still fast, they remembered to stay classy.

“You, bring me coffee. Then call Donatella, and reschedule our meeting for tomorrow at 3:30 pm,” Andy said, glaring at Gustaf. “You, I want some samples of scarves from the new Hermès collection,” she delegated to the redhead, Annabelle. “And you, go over to the Closet, and bring me the red belt that was used in last week's photo shoot,” she explained to Alicia, the blonde. “That's all.”

“Yes, Miranda!” The candidates said at the same time and left elegantly, and in the corridor, they moved at a run, towards the elevators.

Emily smiled like a lunatic to see known suffering applied to someone other than herself. Serena, on the other hand, was torn between feeling sorry for the three unfortunates, and amusement, as she smirked at her girlfriend's malicious happiness.

As they waited for the candidates, Andy, still acting as if she was Miranda, asked Nigel about various Runway procedures. It was very believable, both because of her act and because she knew exactly what to discuss. After all, her experience at the magazine, her intimacy with Miranda and interest in her partner's work, made her aware of Runway's inner mechanisms.

“Did you fall down and smack your little head on the pavement? Only something like that would justify taking so long to bring me a simple coffee,” Andy commented dryly and with a disdainful look at Gustaf, minutes later, when the three candidates arrived almost at the same time. “At this rate, when you call Donatella, she will not have time to see me until next year.” Andy took a sip of her drink and had to keep from jumping out of her chair. The coffee was sizzling hot, as Miranda loved, and perfectly blended.

“There was a mishap with the coffee machi-”

“Details of your incompetence do not interest me,” Andy was deftly obnoxious.

“While I went to the nearest Starbucks, I called Donatella's secretary, and I've already arranged everything,” Gustaf dared to continue, in a rush.

Andy raised an eyebrow, pursed her lips, and gave him a slight nod.

“Um…that's all,” she struggled to keep her face unreadable. Her boy had managed to reverse the unfavorable situation and complete both tasks.

Gustaf turned on his heel and walked to the back of the room, with a relieved smile. The coffee part had been tricky. Though, he remembered something emphasized many times by Andy and her team: Do not waste time freaking out, improvise.

Gustaf used the setback to deal with two problems at once. While trying to resolve the situation with Miranda's coffee, he contacted Emily and got the fake phone number. However, the call was not simple either. Whoever they asked to be Donatella's secretary gave him trouble to reschedule the meeting. She was extremely harsh and pedantic. But Gustaf, with much politeness and adulation, asserted Miranda's name, and the girl eventually agreed to fit her into the next day's schedule.

Andy picked up the bags Annabelle and Alicia had brought in, and tossed the contents onto the desk. She turned to Alicia, her eyebrows raised in impatient inquiry.

“Five belts?”

Alicia had an unruffled look.

“You didn't specify which red belt from which session last week. We had two of them, where five red belts were used. I brought them all, to save your time.”

“Um...” Andy grumbled, but inside she was smiling. The girl was smart and bold. She showed that underneath her pretty blonde head was a quick brain. “This one,” Andy took the belt, and seemed to be no longer aware of her presence.

“Yes, Miranda,” was Alicia's cue to move on. The young woman nimbly put the rejected belts in the bag, and went to Gustaf's side, with a victorious smile. She was still in the running!

Andy turned cold, narrow eyes on Annabelle.

“What is it?” She pointed with a limp finger in contempt.

“The samples...”

“I do not believe Hermès only has—Andy stopped to count—eight samples from their new collection.”

The girl now was wringing her hands and biting her lip.

“Actually, there were sixteen…”

“And why do I only have eight samples?”

“You said you just wanted some...”

Andy looked at her as if the girl was the dumbest creature she knew.

“Do I need to say everything in detail? Is your little brain insufficient to analyze that some means at least a sample of every piece in the entire collection? How will I evaluate what will be released by the brand, if I do not see all the pieces?”

Annabelle's eyes were already watering. She knew she had made a big mistake.

“No, Miranda...I'll get the rest-” The girl still tried.

“Forget it,” Andy sentenced, going back to scribbling her papers.

“But-”

“That's all. Out,” Andy shooed her away with a wave of her hand, not even looking at her.

Annabelle just took a deep breath, and let her shoulders and head drop in defeat. She sadly left the room, followed by her frightened opponents.

Nigel's mouth was hanging open. Andy's performance was perfect. The orders and the retorts. The intimidating attitude, the terrifying looks. Her low, soft voice as she said terrible things. Yet, he did not think she would go that far. That she would emulate Miranda in all her hideous glory, stepping on someone already on the ground.

Andy did not fail to surprise them, but this time, he was worried. How much was an act, and how much was Andy really absorbing from Miranda?

As if reading his thoughts, the young woman looked at him intently. They studied each other, in silence.

“Turn off the camcorder, Nigel,” Andy asked, her tone still somewhat distant.

He did as instructed, and when he turned back to her, Nigel saw her features soften, a dismayed smile take over her face and her beautiful brown eyes heat up.

“It was terrible, but necessary. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use Annabelle as an example of what a little lack of attention means with Miranda. She won't take it easy. If we know her well, Miranda will test them ruthlessly. It's good to know what awaits them.”

Nigel nodded, relieved.

“I'm not the Andy I used to be, Nige,” she added with a smirk. “I got beaten up by life and toughened up about some things. And yes, I have learned a lot from Miranda. But my heart is still warm.”

Nigel smiled at Andy's contrast with one of Miranda's nicknames. Ice and Fire. He liked it like that.

“You really scared me for a moment, Six.”

Andy laughed.

“High School Drama Classes!”

Nigel snorted, amused.

“Sorry if I was being pushy, but I had to stay in character so I wouldn't get confused,” Andy told him with a smirk and a shrug.

Nigel snorted, once more.

“I was really impressed!”

Andy nodded proudly, and the two of them smiled knowingly. She then got up, and opened the door to the room.

“Come in, guys. Miranda is already gone. Let's do the final evaluation and choice, with everyone present,” she convoked them with a smile.

* * * *

“Emily, where is Andrea?” Miranda inquired from her office door, surprised to see the first assistant back at her desk, but no sign of her partner.

“Andrea is finishing our project report to present to you. She should be here soon.”

Miranda pursed her lips and gave a slight nod of understanding. She turned on her heels and walked back to her office.

“She just asked about you,” Emily said, as Andrea reached the reception area, shortly after Miranda left.

Andy smiled.

“I figured she would already be looking for me. Did you finish editing the video?”

“Here,” Emily handed her a DVD protected by an exquisite brown papier-mâché cover, her eyes dancing in amusement. She was still stunned by Andrea's performance. Serena and she, when they saw the recording, could barely contain their surprised and excited reactions.

Andy made a dismissive noise, but got serious, then. Later they would have time to laugh about it all. For the moment, though, she was still a woman on a mission. Andy placed a folder of the same color and stylish material as the DVD cover on the first assistant's desk, and tucked that last item from the presentation into it. She took a deep breath and looked expressively at her accomplice, pleased that Tara had gone on an errand. All Andy did not want was to still have to stress about the girl.

Emily gave her an encouraging smile.

“Luck!”

Andy nodded in response and strode to the Editor's office.

“Excuse me, Miranda,” she said from the doorway.

The older woman raised an eyebrow at her partner's serious tone and gaze. We are finally going to end this mystery. “Close the door. Sit down,” Miranda invited her solemnly.

Andy nodded, doing as requested.

“Here's the result of our project,” she handed the folder to Miranda.

The Editor frowned, intrigued, and opened it. As she quickly ran her eyes over the contents of the folder, her frown became more ingrained.

“But this is-”

“A selection process. Two new high-level assistants. You wouldn't have time to deal with something like this, so we did it for you. In the folder are the files of all candidates and reports of each stage. In the final, held today, we also had a video. I wanted you to be able to see the parameters adopted for our choices. If we have your approval to proceed, the new assistants will be meticulously trained until Emily leaves for the Art Sector.”

“Andrea…” The Editor's tone was emotional. After all they had been through, the girl still managed to surprise her.

“Miranda, I wanted this to be presented as professionally as possible. So much so, that everything is being given to you with consistent data, without any shortcuts or favoritism. I only ask that you evaluate our proposal carefully. It was structured to help with your work and the maintenance of Runway.”

“I will do it, Andrea. I will give my answer to the four of you tomorrow. Be in my office as soon as I arrive,” Miranda responded to the important tone of the conversation.

“Thank you.”

Andy had her indication there to leave. She got up and walked quickly to the exit. As much as she wanted to kiss her woman good-bye, Andy maintained her professional demeanor and left the office, without looking back.

As soon as Andrea left, Miranda smiled, shaking her head in wonder. Then, she glanced curiously at the documents, but remembered her outstanding appointments. After some more mental debating, she gave a resigned sigh, tucked the contents into the folder, and set it aside. Miranda would take care of that calmly later, next her more pressing obligations. Andrea's project would have her full attention.

Chapter Text

On the way to Runway, although her face was neutral, inside, Miranda Priestly was grinning evilly. She gave Andrea a sideways glance. The young woman was beside her in the backseat of the car, her posture tense and, like Miranda, immersed in her ‘professional mode’. The Editor grinned inwardly, once more. The day promised to be very interesting.

The night before, upon arriving home, Miranda had acted normally with her family. By unspoken agreement, Andrea and she would address the matter of the new assistants only in the office. Still, that did not stop the situation from messing with both of them.

Andy was dying to know what her partner had thought about the selection process and her choices. She admitted that she was a little anxious about the Editor's reaction when watching the video. Meanwhile, Miranda had to fight not to express her true emotions.

Sensing it would be an anxious night, Andy suggested they watch a movie with the girls, to which Miranda readily agreed. By the end of the film, the weight of the day's demands was more expressive than the uneasiness about the future conversation, and the couple had no trouble sleeping.

* * * *

When Miranda and Andy arrived at the front desk of the Editor's office, Nigel and Serena were already waiting for them, along with Emily.

“You, take care of the phone calls. I do not want to be interrupted, no matter the reason,” Miranda commanded, still on the move, after tossing her coat and bag onto Tara's desk. “Come on,” she called up, and the other three followed her, with Andrea, to her office.

Tara watched them, confused by what was happening, even more so when the door closed behind them. Instinctively, the girl felt a strange shiver.

Miranda sat at her desk, took a sip of the coffee waiting for her, and then looked over the top of her glasses at the four of them, nervously standing in front of her.

“I was…really impressed,” she got right to the point in a soft voice, much to the surprise of Andy and her friends. “The four of you have covered all the bases—she stared emphatically at Andrea—and the two chosen ones look…satisfactory,” admitted the Editor in a mocking tone. “Obviously, later on I will see how truly competent they are.”

Miranda had decided not to make them suffer too much with suspense. It would be a ridiculous waste of time, which would only make Andrea even more anxious. The four of them had planned everything perfectly. No loose ends. Miranda Priestly knew when to give in, as well as, when to reward.

“However,” the Editor continued, looking at them intently. “I have considerations to make.”

Andrea and her friends tensed, and Miranda smiled inwardly. Even though she was being complacent, she could still have some fun.

“Nigel, take the unselected girl to be your assistant,” the older woman proceeded in a bored tone, as if it was nothing important. Miranda had to stop herself from smiling at the man's stunned face. “I know you are in need of help, and she, despite having made a silly mistake at the end of the selection, should be suited to your needs. I believe you will have no problem instructing her.”

Nigel had an extremely grateful smile. As his duties and travels increased, his life became noticeably more hectic. Having a personal assistant would help significantly.

“Annabelle will be perfect for the job. Thank you, Miranda.”

The Editor nodded in consent. Then, she turned to Andrea.

“Except for extremely necessary situations, in which your advice is essential, from now on, the instruction of the assistants will be under Emily's tutelage, and supported by the rest of her team.”

Andy sighed and nodded. She knew Miranda did not want her to overdo herself with Runway's affairs. Besides, apparently, the most complicated part was already behind them.

“Emily, in addition to a bonus that the three of you will receive for the extra work, you will also get a plus for having to emergency train two newcomers, at once.”

The future former assistant had huge eyes. Financial bonus? For her? It was unheard of!

Although also astonished, Serena had the sense to give her mute girlfriend a discreet elbow on the arm, putting her into action.

“Th-thank you, Miranda,” Emily stuttered, dumbfounded.

“Dismiss the girl at the front desk. I hope that on Monday, your pupils are ready to start.”

“Yes, Miranda.”

“That's all.”

The four turned in their shoes, heading for the door.

“Andrea, you stay.”

Andy stopped halfway, turned back to the Editor, and walked back to her.

As soon as the others left and wisely closed the door, Miranda stood up, her eyes warming. The older woman stopped inches from her younger partner, their breaths instinctively seeking each other.

“Right now, I cannot tell you how much what you did meant to me, because I want to give you my undivided attention…” Her tone came out low, husky, and meaningful. Then, her eyes softened, and Miranda's face took on the rare smile that made Andy's heart soar in delight.

Miranda placed an affectionate hand on Andrea's smooth face, her blue-green eyes showing some of the many feelings churning inside her.

Andy put her hand over her partner's, and a huge, happy smile lit up her face.

“Later...” She whispered huskily.

Miranda just nodded and released her. It was being extremely difficult to contain her desire and not take Andrea into her arms.

Recognizing in her partner her own dilemma, Andy quickly kissed her on the cheek and ran out of the office.

* * * *

Andy would take the opportunity to work on her article until the girls woke up for their afternoon medication. With the start of intravenous chemotherapy associated with oral, the twins needed rest periods between their activities. It alarmed Miranda and her that, within a few months of discovering the disease and starting treatment, the girls were already so weakened. Even worse was the knowledge that much was yet to come.

“Come in,” Andy said, after two soft knocks on the door.

“I'm sorry to interrupt,” Carena apologized with a smile, as she stuck her head inside. “But some things have been delivered for you. I think you'll love to see it.”

Andy frowned, intrigued.

“They're from Miranda,” the cook added with a smile, which widened as she saw the young woman's face brighten, and she practically jump out of her chair.

Andy passed Carena in an enthusiastic hurry.

“They're in the living room!” The lady said, shaking her head, with a smile. “Don't run!” She reminded her emphatically.

“I'm not running, just walking fast!” It was the playful answering from the stairs.

Carena snorted, and shook her head, once more.

In the living room, Andy was stunned in wonder. On the end table was a vase with an enormous arrangement of orange flowers, a small delicate leather box with a red bow, and an impressive basket of treats from Magnolia Bakery. As she got closer, she noticed that the gifts had numbered envelopes.

Andy went to the first one and admired the flowers intently. She smiled, enraptured by their scent and beauty. Next, she took the envelope and opened it. On the elegant card was Miranda's beautiful, firm handwriting:

I imagine you have been enchanted by the flowers. Despite their exotic appearance and apparent delicacy, dendrobium cuthbertsonii are strong, lasting up to nine months.

They remind me of you.

The uniqueness of your smile, the warmth of your laughter, the effect of your voice, your beautiful eyes. Soft beauty that sometimes hides immense strength. A set that dismantles my reservations, and fills my soul with joy, love and fullness. Thanks to your benevolence and persistence, my heart has finally found peace.

Andy let out a sob, thrilled, her heart beating fast and powerfully with feeling. Although Miranda showed her love even in small gestures, she was not one to do it so clearly in words.

With shaking hands, Andy took off the envelope from the small box, undid the bow, and opened it. There was a key. Curious, she opened the envelope. There was not a card, but a note on elegant stationery:

I'm glad I saved the surprise for a special occasion. In fact, with everything that is been going on lately, I have forgotten about it.

Andy laughed at the last part.

But in the end, this will be revealed at a most propitious time. This is a copy of the key to our new home in the Hamptons. After my divorce from Stephen, as you well know, I did not want to keep the old one. This new house had been under negotiation for months. See, the owners did not want to sell!

Andy rolled her eyes, imagining Miranda's tone. As if the owners had an obligation to dispose of the property!

Well, let us just say they finally found my proposal irrefutable, and our lawyer finalized the purchase of the house a few days ago. It is all ours and I want to meet you there, today.

Andy felt a frisson.

The house is not yet fully furnished. In reality, it only has the master bedroom merely decorated. But it will be enough for our stay. Roy will take you there at five-thirty. Do not worry about the girls. I have already arranged everything with our medical team and Carena.

Do not be late.

Andy was smiling, totally fascinated and excited, wondering what her partner might have in mind. When she wanted to please, ‘her Miranda’ really spared no effort!

Andy walked over to the basket of goodies, her stomach growling in sympathy. She took the last card:

This is to give you energy for our date, to cheer up our child, who, I do not know why, loves sweets...

Andy shook her head, smiling at the teasing.

And assuage some of our girls' resistance, since we will not be staying at home overnight.

Andy's heart swelled with love.

By the way, apart from you, my dear, you do not need to bring anything to eat. I took care of that, too.

Andy huffed at the infamous pun, and then chuckled to her stomach, again demanding attention. She smiled, thinking it was time to wake up their girls for the medication, and the special snack, they would have that afternoon. Her smile turned tender to see that Miranda included them in her pampering. The twins would definitely love the attention.

* * * *

“Oh...Miraaandaaa!” Andy moaned loudly. “Just like that…don't stop! Oh...fuck! Faster! Yes! Fuck me, love!” Her tone was hoarse with lust and screams of pleasure. High with arousal, her hips were bucking frantically along with Miranda's hard thrusts.

The older woman just kept grunting deliciously, mouth and teeth feasting on a soft porcelain neck, the dildo going deeper and faster inside Andrea, the other end of the console, rubbing wonderfully against Miranda's clitoris.

“Oh...Miranda! I...Oh, oh! I-I'm...”

“Yes! Come for me! Give me what is mine, my Andrea!” Miranda demanded in a voice laden with hunger, her movements growing even more diligent.

Her lover's possessive tone and redoubled energy were the breaking point. Soon, Andy came in a loud howl, her nails digging into Miranda's back, who instinctively bit her shoulder, also reaching climax.

They had passionately intense lovemaking before, but nothing like this. Having to hold back emotions and overwhelming desire, since she had seen the result of the project and the video, left Miranda at the pinnacle of her stimulation. When Andrea had arrived at the new house, she barely gave the girl time to get in, and attacked her, right there, in the living room. After the desperate orgasms still standing, the two half-naked women, kissing and trying to remove the remaining clothes, stumbled to the bedroom.

That is when Miranda Priestly showed another one of her surprises.

For someone using a dildo for the first time, the older woman proved herself extremely well. After the shy little discomfort of putting it on, lust resumed when Andrea gave her one of her crooked smiles, sensuously spread her legs, exposing herself fully, and said in a lascivious tone, “Come, and take what's yours.”

As they both recovered a little, Miranda made a move to withdraw from Andrea, but her young lover held her back.

“Stay a little longer…” Andy felt the need for the connection, to feel full, to feel Miranda's weight all over her, their sweaty bodies joined in delicious perfection.

Miranda nodded, smiling, and buried her head in a neck covered in wet brown hair. She was immersed in a languid bliss, and still in awe of her actions so spontaneous and visceral. What the girl awakened in her was something powerful and extremely invigorating.

Despite understanding why, at first, it was uncomfortable for Miranda to watch her partner act like her. Andrea was perfect. However, what bothered her was not that Miranda saw the emulation of her actions, but that Andrea conveyed it.

For Miranda, Andrea meant warmth. A fiery, but kind force.

Something totally different from herself.

That is when Miranda realized what it all really meant: A monumental demonstration of love.

Andrea's concern for her was what led the young woman to architect such a project, which caused her to spend time and intellect instructing her team, guiding their choices. That in the final stage, Andrea would take on the biggest challenge: Suppress her huge heart.

Miranda's annoyance turned to loving pride. Heart and mind came together, taken over by wills and plans.

Miranda then, more relaxed, had watched the recording once more. In this one, when she was not chuckling evilly at her partner's teasing and masterful acting, or at the frightened reactions–including Nigel's–, Miranda was filled with an overwhelming sense of pompous arrogance and…desire. Seeing Andrea being so hard and objective for her, stimulated in the woman an oppressive lust. But Miranda would have patience. She would give Andrea the reward she deserved. She would demonstrate how much her efforts were appreciated.

All the pain of waiting was worth it.

“For someone who didn't care about sex, you really are a find!” Andy teased, and then moaned softly, as she felt the dildo move, as Miranda rose up onto her elbows, to look down at her.

The older woman could have made a joke, but she opted for the truth:

“Full credit to you, Andrea,” her tone sounded serious, meaningful, and Andy's heart stirred, as did her sex.

Miranda realized that her young lover was aroused again, and began to move her hips slowly, she, too, once again being taken over by lust.

“Later, after I completely adore your body and cannot move anymore, I want you to tell me the behind-the-scenes of this project of yours. I guess I do not need to say how much I loved...and had fun with it.”

Andy moaned throatily at her woman's suggestive tone and hungry gaze, her eyes dark with desire, riveted to hers.

“Now, enough talk, I want you again,” Miranda finished, her thrusts getting deeper.

Andy's response was a long, pleasant sound, pulling the older woman by the hair, and taking her mouth in a ravenous kiss.

Chapter Text

The next morning, a tired, but quite pleased and happy couple was welcomed into the townhouse by a pair of lively twins and a hearty breakfast. If it had not been for Andy's commitment to helping her friends move, they would have been spending a lazy family day.

Apart from the expected weakness, the girls were excited about the event. After the heavier treatment began, it would be their first time out. Adding that to the fact that they could meet Andy's friends, Saturday promised to be very special.

After breakfast, the four of them went to get ready to leave. Andy helped the twins choose the best outfits, masks, and wigs, as well as making them, at their request and with Miranda's consent, smooth, corrective makeup. The little ones wanted to be at their best. They knew about their physical limitations and that they should be medicated, but they did not want, not on a first get-together, to look so fragile.

"It's going to be nice to meet your friends, Andy," Caroline said for the thousandth time, when they were already inside the car, heading to Eliza and Sophie's address.

As before, Andy smiled and nodded in agreement.

"They'll love you, darlings. Liza and Sof were so happy to hear you're coming with us. As for Lily and Doug, they already know so much about you from me that they can't wait to finally meet you two!" She assured, again.

The twins smiled contentedly.

Once they heard that Andy and Miranda would help with the move, the girls wanted to participate. At first, Miranda did not like the idea very much, worried about the condition of her daughters. But the two of them, and Andy, convinced her that it would be safe, they would not be exposed. Besides, it would be good to get out, unwind a little. By promising not to strain physically and wearing masks, they won the bargain.

* * * *

"Roy, we should be here for a while. You can go back to the townhouse. When we decide to leave, I will call you."

The driver touched the brim of his cap.

"Yes, Miranda. Andy, girls, have fun."

Andy shot him a glare. He knew full well that it would be such an ordeal.

"Thank you so much, Roy," she was sarcastic.

After a slight smile, the driver got back in the car and drove off.

Andy held Miranda's arm, took Cassidy's hand, while her partner, Caroline's.

"Shall we go?" She prompted with a smile.

The girls responded with enthusiastic nods, and Miranda, with her usual ‘huh’ and pursed lips.

After all the fuss about their relationship, little by little the press chasing after them waned, as other subjects became more interesting in the eyes of the sensationalists. Although they were still followed by the paparazzi, they were few and far between and relatively discreet.

They walked to the building's entrance. The place was well lit and decorated, very cozy. It did not match Miranda's lifestyle, but it was far superior to Andy's old one. It felt like her friends were moving up.

When they reached the front desk, Andy had to control herself not to laugh at the silly girl. The recognition was obvious. The doorwoman's stutter as she addressed them, and her adoring gaze towards Miranda, left no doubt.

After the young woman instructed that they could go up, in the elevator, Andy finally laughed, along with the girls. Miranda just huffed. She found that so tiring.

They stopped at the entrance to the apartment. But, before Andy could press the bell, the door abruptly swung open, and seconds later, she found herself trapped in a heated embrace.

"Hey, Sof, good to see you, too!" Andy said in a squeak, laughing.

Sophie Johnson was always exaggerated, and her great height gave her even more possibilities to occupy spaces.

Andy chuckled as her friend lifted her off the floor like a child, but seeing Miranda's worried face at the tightness against her belly, made Andy immediately try to reverse her situation.

However, the older woman was faster:

"Now, Andrea did not tell me that besides being a doctor, you were an athlete," she teased in that insulting way of hers.

Sophie released Andy in a fright, the icy ironic tone coursing through her bones.

"Um...Basketball. In fact, I got my college scholarship just because of that," she told with huge eyes and a flushed face.

Then, the doctor recovered. She smiled and offered her hand, which Miranda, to Andy's relief, took without hesitation or annoyance.

"Excuse my scene, but I haven't seen Andy in a long time. Sophie Johnson. It's a pleasure, Miranda."

The older woman pursed her lips slightly, but it was not an unpleasant sign, Andy knew, it was admiration. Sophie did not call her Mrs. Priestly. It was already a plus point. Andy had instructed her friends to call her partner by name only, as it would avoid ill-tempered retaliation. Miranda hated being called Mrs. by 'acquaintances' or employees.

"The pleasure is mine, Sophie. Andrea actually forgot to pass on that information. It was just an inference," she voiced superiorly.

Sophie laughed, not taking this the wrong way.

Andy shrugged, smiling.

"Our girls," Miranda introduced, and Andy felt her chest warm with love and pride, "Cassidy and Caroline Priestly."

Sophie smiled at the endearment, though she looked at the girls curiously.

"Please do not notice the masks," Miranda commented in an unimportant tone, without elaborating.

"Did you really play basketball?"

"Were you any good?"

The twins asked anxiously.

Sophie bent down to be level with the two of them.

"We can look into that later. There's an excellent basketball court in the building," she told them with a wink.

The twins immediately looked at Miranda.

"Can we, Mom?"

"Please!"

They asked hopefully.

Before, Miranda would not have thought of refusing. In the current situation, the girls were not even able to go to the basketball court, let alone play there. Not wanting to leave room for speculation right away, she settled for ambiguity.

"We will see," she said with a smile to her daughters, but her eyes carried the message she wanted to convey.

It was received.

"OK, Mom."

"Thanks."

The twins replied, already without much enthusiasm. They remembered the promise made to their mother. Sometimes, it was just hard to hold back.

"Please, let's go inside. The others are in the kitchen," Sophie indicated, making room for them to walk in. "We decided to start organizing things there. That way, Liza will have the place ready for our lunch."

"Um...Chicken pie!" Andy remembered, practically salivating.

Miranda snorted, and the girls laughed along with Sophie.

Before they reached the kitchen, though, Andy was attacked again.

Miranda watched apprehensively:

First, Eliza, who hugged, looked at her, hugged once more, as she lightly scolded and praised Andrea, in a distinctly emotional voice, as she finally saw her friend again, after so long.

Then, it was Douglas' turn. Thank goodness he was more restrained.

Lastly, that Lillian woman, who did not hug Andrea as exaggeratedly as the hostesses, but the praise, and especially the scolding, were present.

To Miranda's dismay, the four friends came up with the idiotic idea of having a group hug, squeezing Andrea as if she was the ridiculous filling in a human sandwich. In Miranda's opinion, a very appetizing treat, but still, it was a pregnant filling, even if at the moment it was barely noticeable. When they started singing a clueless frat song and spinning and squeezing her Andrea tighter, Miranda had had enough.

"Although, God knows why, Andrea is not only allowing, but also participating in this childishness, I do not think all the pressure on her belly is good for our child."

The hug ended instantly, in a sudden movement.

"Miranda!?"

"Oh my God! Pregnant?"

"Andy, you bastard!"

"WHAT???"

"Geeee!"

Miranda just smirked. Sometimes it is better to get straight to the point. She put an end to that nonsense and made room for something Andrea was agonizing over how she would tell her friends. Besides, no one could blame her for getting a little territorial. Three women, two openly lesbians, pressing up against her girl, was not a very welcome sight.

The twins looked at each other.

"I'm happy we brought our handheld consoles," Cassidy commented, her eyes twinkling with her knowing little smile.

Caroline huffed through her mask and nodded in agreement.

"Let's go to a corner while they discuss this."

Her sister nodded and they went to sit on the floor, at the back of the living room.

"Andy!" Eliza said happily and hugged her friend, and to Miranda's relief, this time, more carefully. "What wonderful news! Pregnant? Tell us everything!"

Lily's eyes were narrowed, staring at Andy sharply.

"Yes, friend, tell us everything..." She demanded through her teeth.

Miranda did not like the reproachful look and tone at all. Her protective instinct was on alert by the second. Ever since Lilian found out about their romance, she had upset Andrea somehow. As much as she tried to mask it, Andrea was always somewhat quiet, or evasive, after a get-together or phone call with her friend.

Already anticipating a war, Doug went to the rescue.

"Miranda, I'm delighted to finally meet you," he said a little shrill, offering a shaky hand.

She gave a real smile at his attempt at distraction. She owed him greatly.

"Likewise, Douglas," Miranda returned the greeting with a firm handshake. "I have heard wonderful things about you. I appreciate all your support for Andrea," she said softly, noting his clothes. Above all, the young man had a sense of fashion.

Doug puffed out his chest in satisfaction at the recognition and pleased look at his outfit.

"We always looked out for each other. I just wanted to see my Sunshine happy. If it was through you," he shrugged, with a smile.

Miranda reciprocated with a nod.

"I am glad about that. After all, I think this should be the concern of true friends," she pointed out solemnly. Miranda had promised to behave. Despite Douglas's attempt to calm things down, Lilian's imperious, impatient pose was getting on her nerves. Who did the brat think she was, to attack Andrea in public, let alone in front of her?

Miranda turned her piercing gaze to the young woman, who watched them with an air of disdain.

"Lilian...The fussy, demanding friend," she said in an exaggeratedly sweet voice, her smile, extremely predatory.

Lily hesitated for a moment, but was not intimidated. She squared her shoulders and looked the older woman straight in the eye.

"Miranda Priestly...The Devil Girlfriend and cradle-robber."

Eliza and Sophie had wide eyes and mouths hanging open.

Doug let out a thin, surprised little squeak. It looked like he was going to faint.

Andy grimaced, prepared for the monstrous altercation that would follow.

Miranda Priestly gave a melodious laugh.

Lily waited, but her resolve was wavering. If she was honest, inside the sound unnerved her terribly, like a loud wind, the harbinger of a horrible storm.

Then, all of Miranda's supposed fun was gone.

Andy knew that look.

Miranda was going for the kill.

Sincerely? Lily asked for it.

Andy was fed up with all the demands, all the so-called protection. Ever since she had heard about her involvement with Miranda, Lily had said she would get used to it and respect it. But every now and then, she hurt Andy with accusations and malicious words about their relationship, or Miranda's person.

Her friend swore she would behave, and look how she reacted. Admittedly, the news about the pregnancy was a bombshell, even more so delivered the way it was. But for God's sake, did Lily need to be so picky? Did she need to be so possessive, right in front of Miranda?

"Good to know she is not just a big mouth. The girl is got panache," Miranda decreed after a few seconds of suspense, eyeing Lilian as if she was a microorganism. "Someone showing personality is something I really like," the older woman confessed with a smirk. Then, she narrowed her eyes. "However, there is a difference between asserting yourself, defending your point of view, and imposing yourself on someone. You have your mind set about me and about my relationship with Andrea. I do not care if you do not like me. After all, few people merely put up with me," Miranda's predatory smile was on display again. "Nevertheless, that does not give you the right to inflict your opinion on Andrea, to use your supposed friendship to instill guilt in her. Even more so, in the situation she finds herself in, and what that means for our family."

"Oh, really? And what would that be?" Lily inquired shortly, back at her mocking tone.

Miranda shot her a glare. Afterwards, she did the mea culpa by looking discreetly at her partner.

Andy nodded, urging her to continue. It was no use trying to go back. Also, despite all the confusion, she knew her friends would not tell anyone about the twins' true condition.

"Andrea is pregnant, yes. In addition to a blessing for being our child, someone we desperately want and already love unconditionally, there is a possibility that it could help our other two girls. Cassidy and Caroline have been diagnosed with leukemia-"

"You hypocrite!" Lily raged cutting her off, startling everyone except Miranda, who seemed to be waiting for the explosion. "You keep telling me not to impose my will. What about you, what did you do with Andy? Always commanded, orchestrated! Because of you, she broke up with Nate! She became a different person, all to please you!" She vehemently accused. "So, when you need someone to be your surrogate, who do you think of? Andy! The poor girl in love who wouldn't refuse! Who would do anything for you! So that's it? While she bears the salvation of your daughters, you take the opportunity to have a taste, too!?"

"ENOUGH!!!"

Andy's scream silenced Lily and left everyone stunned. They had never seen her completely lose her temper in such a way. So much so that, worried, the girls automatically got up. Though, they stopped, keeping a safe distance, which would not make Andy or Miranda even more upset, for fear of seeing them directly involved in the tumult.

"Lily, if that's what you think of me, then you don't know me at all!" Andy argued wildly.

Her arms were stiff at her sides, hands in tight fists, her breathing ragged. Eyes watering as she was being filled with anger, resentment, and disappointment.

"I'm tired of saying this to you, and I'll say it again, for the last time: Yes, I've changed. I've grown up! Nate, no. A new world opened up and I took the chance. I adapted to it. Nate, no! The end was inevitable. We didn't have a common path anymore. Is Miranda to blame? Can we blame someone for attracting us? This is crazy! And even if she had orchestrated something, I'm not as naive as you think. I got in and stayed in this situation because I wanted to. My God, it's not just about Miranda and me, but two kids and a life to come! What gives you the right to judge our relationship and intentions like that?! What gives you the right to be so cruel?"

In moments, Miranda was at her side, her right hand lightly on Andrea's shoulders, comforting her.

"Calm down, darling..." She asked in a soft, low and intimate voice.

However, Andy was too agitated. She had a lump in her throat that she needed to purge.

"Now I ask: Who are you? The Lily I grew up with was a loving person. She stood up for her friends, yes. But she let common sense guide her. What happened to you?"

"Happened you, Andrea," Miranda declared, her tone calm, but sure.

Chapter Text

After Miranda's words, a significant silence filled the room, everyone staring at the older woman, most of them, with apprehensive faces. Andy, on the other hand, was confused, while Lilly seemed to have been seized by panic.

"I...I don't understand..." Andy finally stammered, in an uncertain voice.

Miranda turned to Andrea, took her hands and looked into her eyes. Her sweet face, rarely seen by others, directed with extreme attention to her young partner.

"You always see the best in people. Although something dangerous, because your heart can be easily hurt by disappointment, it is one of the things that fascinate me most about you: Your ability to love, regardless of how many flaws others may have. Lucky me," Miranda explained with an affectionate smile. "However, because of your lack of malice, sometimes you do not notice certain things. In this case: The fear of losing someone you love."

"But, I-"

"Lilian thinks she missed her chance once, and she is seeing it happen again. But now, her fear is different. It is intense and devastating," Miranda paused and glared at the other woman menacingly. "Because she knows this time it will be for good."

Lily closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she reopened them, they were glowing with fury.

"You...you had no right!" She screamed in a voice choked with suppressed crying and despair.

"Did you have? Do you think it is right that because of your cowardice, you can continue this little game of yours? You did not get between Andrea and Nathaniel, since you knew he never deserved her; that at some point, their relationship would fall apart, and you would be there, with Andrea, ready to help her put the pieces of her heart together. Maybe then, you would finally get your last chance. But, who knew...Their breakup happened, but it was in my arms that she found comfort. You feel it. You know Andrea. You know what we have is not something small, fragile. That is what terrifies you. You know that, unlike that silly boy, I will do anything to keep her with me. That I will not repeat his mistakes," Miranda pointed out in a clipped, effective tone.

She paused, and then sighed.

Suddenly, the older woman looked tired.

"I promised Andrea I would be kind to her friends. But not all my efforts on her behalf could keep me from defending the woman I love, defending our family. I will be ruthless to anyone who threatens them. So, Lilian, as you people say: Get over it. After licking your wounds, and Andrea forgiving you, try to be the friend she loves and needs so much. This person I met definitely does not deserve Andrea's friendship, much less, get close to our children," Miranda spoke at once, without raising her voice. "That's all," she turned away, no longer paying attention to the young woman's presence.

Lily was livid. She gave a rueful sigh and dropped her head, eyes fixed on the floor; the lack of retort, acquiescence in the truth in Miranda Priestly's stern words.

Andy felt lost, so many things running through her mind at once and suffocating her heart. Suddenly, a desperate loathing enveloped her. She did not want to, would not be able to be around Lily, until she could think and take it all in.

As if sensing her state, the girls finally came to her and hugged each side of Andy's body. Miranda let go of her hands, but put her arms around her partner's shoulders, the contact, the loving bond, maintained.

"Can we go home?" Andy asked in a small voice.

"N-no...I'm leaving..." Lily blurted out, and without waiting for an answer, grabbed her bag from the couch, and hurried to the door, still looking at the floor.

"At least a selfless attitude," Caroline whispered, but still, audible.

Miranda was going to scold her, but gave up. It would only add more depth in the already worn-out theme.

Sophie ran, following her fleeing friend. She opened the door, and out in the hallway, just gave her a tight hug, feeling Lilly's body trembling against hers, in an effort to stifle the crying a little longer. They would talk later. Lily could have made a huge mess, but they were friends, Sophie worried. She hoped that somehow she could help in such a delicate situation.

Sophie and Eliza always knew the secret. They were sure Doug was also aware that all of Lily's exaggerated concern for Andy was something much deeper, than a fraternal bond. Still, they turned a blind eye. Andy was completely unaware, and they did not want to jeopardize their friendship. Sophie and wife thought that, in time, Lily would let go of her fixation on Andy and move on. From afar, they could not see that the situation had worsened even more.

It was the maxim: You cannot hide from the truth forever. Astute, it decides to show up at the most inopportune moments. Lilian Wilson asked for, and Miranda Priestly gladly revealed it.

Sophie would not deny that, in Miranda's place, she would have done something similar. Maybe she had even acted before, and in a less manipulative and traumatic way, but she would have, yes, put an end to Lilly's ridiculous behavior.

Upon returning to the apartment, the doctor noticed that a charged and silent atmosphere had settled in the living room. The twins were still holding on to Andy, Miranda, supporting the three of them. Sophie looked at Eliza, who sighed sadly, mortified, not knowing what to do.

Doug, always the sensitive and pacifist friend, stepped forward.

"Guys, let's sit down for a while, shall we?" He asked anxiously. He feared for Andy, she was so pale.

Miranda and the girls guided Andrea to one of the couches, which was already unoccupied and clean. Cassidy and Caroline sat on the floor at their feet, and the other three adults, settled on beanbags.

"How are you feeling?" Miranda asked softly in Andrea's ear.

Andy shook her head. She did not want to, would not be capable of speak at that moment.

"How about lying down for a while? You are freezing cold and shivering," Miranda offered, worried.

"That's right, Andy. Our bed is set up. Let me just get some things out of there and cover it with a sheet," Eliza added with a sweet smile, happy to be of assistance.

"Here," Sophie handed her a glass of water, as her professional side studied Andy silently. Apparently, it was more sadness and disappointment, than anything physiological that had struck down her friend.

Andy smiled weakly at both of them. They were really sweethearts. How good it was to have them close to her again.

"Yeah, Andy, go get some rest," Caroline insisted in a loving tone. "It's not good to leave until you calm down..."

"Besides, we want to know more about the basketball court Sophie mentioned," Cassidy added with a smirk, earning from her sister an enthusiastic nod. "And those—she said with a thumbs-back at Sophie, Eliza and Doug—we like."

Andy was forced to laugh along with the others, and felt her soul a little lighter. The girls were really adorable little brats. Her heart warmed with the immense love she had for such gems. She looked at Miranda, who was studying her with careful eyes.

Her family.

As she had already sworn in the episode with her parents, Andy would not let anything or anyone interfere with her happiness.

* * * *

"Doug, stop snacking!" Eliza scolded, slapping the sneaky hand that occasionally dared to invade the bowl of shredded chicken.

"Ouch!" He complained exaggeratedly.

Eliza laughed wryly.

"Stop being so finicky! I didn't even hit hard!"

"Violent dyke!"

"Soft pussy!"

They showed each other their tongues, and then had a good laugh.

"Maybe the girls can discuss something with you two, since childishness is something you are well versed in," Miranda accused in a low, sharp tone, surprising them both.

Doug gave a little squeal, and jumped up from the bench he was sitting on at the kitchen counter.

Eliza screamed a 'Jesus!', and let the spoon she was holding fall to the floor.

Miranda's little smile was evil.

After verifying that Andrea was still sleeping peacefully in the hostesses' bedroom, she would take the opportunity to test the waters.

"God, woman, you scared me to death!" Doug said in a shaky voice, this time without any pretense, his heart racing, thudding against his hand on the chest.

Miranda ignored him. She looked at Eliza.

"The girls?"

"With Sophie, on the basketball court."

Miranda pursed her lips.

"Still there?" She questioned rhetorically, annoyed.

Eliza smiled sweetly. She understood her concern.

"Don't worry. As my wife assured you, the girls won't tire out themselves. Sophie has experience in this kind of situation, Miranda."

The older woman frowned thoughtfully.

"Andrea said that, in addition to being a pediatrician, Sophie also has a degree in Child Occupational Therapy. I confess that I was curious and took a quick look at the subject, and although I found it very interesting, I do not know the particularities of the occupation. Furthermore, Andrea did not know the details of Sophie's execution field, or whether your wife is eligible to work with children with...cancer..."

"Actually, it's one of her specialties. I won't go into the technical details, which I don't even know myself—Eliza chuckled—but let's say Sophie tries, through physical stimulation and behavioral analysis, to help children with cancer exercise their bodies safely and relieve pain, while the mind is also worked, distracted and strengthened. It's necessary to combat the likelihood of depression arising from the limitations of the disease."

Miranda nodded in understanding, and then smirked.

"Did you take a long time to memorize that line?"

Doug, who was just listening, giggled as he watched his friend getting caught.

Eliza responded with a playful smile.

"It worked out?"

Miranda became serious.

"Yes. I will want to know more about it from your wife."

The conversation was interrupted by laughter passing through the front door, heading for the kitchen.

Miranda and the other two went to see what the fuss was about. Eliza and Doug laughed, while Miranda raised her eyebrows at the scene:

Sophie was carrying a girl under each arm, the three of them, teasing each other and laughing heartily. When they reached the entrance to the kitchen, the doctor carefully placed the twins down on the floor.

"Mom, you had to see it! She's really good!" Caroline told excitedly.

"Sophie taught us a lot of tricks!" Cassidy added happily.

At this, Miranda stared at the woman, with narrowed eyes.

Caroline rolled her eyes and huffed.

"Don't worry, Mom. She didn't let us do anything risky. We watched Sophie do the shots, sitting down.

"And when we played, it was either passing the ball to her, still sitting, or Sophie carrying us on her lap to make the lay-ups," Cassidy concluded her sister's speech.

"It was so fun!"

"It's been a while since we have played. It was different, but very good!"

Miranda turned to Sophie, who was watching the twins, delighted. She smiled, truly smiled, at the taller woman.

"My girls apparently had a great time."

"The three of us had fun," Sophie stated with a grin.

"Doug, why don't you take these two to see what we've installed in the TV room?" Eliza instructed with a smirk.

The twins looked from one to the other, curious.

Doug's smile was smug.

"Come with me, you won't regret it!"

He did not have to ask twice. Soon, the three hurried after the surprise.

Miranda turned to Eliza, who snorted:

"Videogame," she rolled her eyes. "The big kid in the house loves it."

Sophie shrugged, with a witty smile.

Miranda shook her head. From Andrea, it went up to four. They were incorrigible.

"I was talking to Miranda about your degree in Occupational Therapy, love," Eliza said after pushing her wife's hand, who wanted to poke at one of the finished pies.

"True. I believe it might fit in with the treatment of my girls."

Sophie's face changed completely.

"Absolutely," she affirmed in a professional tone. "May I elaborate?"

"Proceed."

"Why don't you two go talk in the living room, while I finish the second pie?"

Sophie nodded and left, followed by Miranda.

In the living room, after settling on the main couch, they resumed their conversation. A few minutes later, Miranda had a thoughtful face. Then, she looked at Sophie intently.

"How likely are you to advise us on this?"

Sophie stared at her, surprised.

"Um...With my studies...it would be a very irregular schedule, and I don't know if it would be convenient for you. But I can recommend a great professional-"

"My daughters liked you," Miranda cut her off. "No matter what time you have available, we will fit in."

Sophie stared at her again.

The woman was really straightforward!

The doctor thought for a moment. It would be rushed, tiring…but they were Andy's children. She was sure Eliza would think the same.

Sophie gave the older woman an open smile.

"I accept your offer. Thank you."

Miranda nodded, satisfied.

From there, the two began to arrange schedules, discuss payments and the like. Minutes later, they were interrupted by Eliza.

"Lunch is ready. Could you wake up Andy? She'd kill us if we started eating the chicken pie without her," she asked Miranda, with a smirk.

"No need, I came attracted by the smell!" Andy arrived half staggering and puffy-eyed. However, despite her rumpled appearance, she was looking more relaxed and flushed.

Sophie laughed emphatically.

"Never fails!"

Andy stuck out her tongue.

"Um...Pie, pie! Did someone say chicken pie?" She wanted to know in an insanely playful way, and ran to the dining room.

In one leap, Sophie was on her feet and right behind her.

Miranda shook her head.

"How did you put up with this for so long?"

Eliza shrugged, with a loving smile.

"Actually, I missed them terribly. They're crazy, but they make life so much more fun!"

Miranda made a disgusted sound, but was forced to agree.

Internally, of course.

Imagine if she would openly encourage such behavior...They would never stop!

* * * *

Andrea was absolutely right. Eliza's chicken pie was divine. So much so, that not fearing to sound like a desperate housewife, Miranda did not make a point of holding back from asking for the recipe. To her satisfaction, Eliza gladly provided it.

Over lunch, Miranda and Sophie shared their conversation. The adults were delighted with the news, and the twins just loved it.

After a cup of coffee made by Doug, whom Miranda greatly appreciated, they spent the rest of the afternoon tidying up what was left of the move. The girls helped as much as they could. Even Miranda, instead of just giving orders, meticulously organized one of the shelves.

At one point, Andy stopped to admire her friends and family. She felt a certain absence. Still, she would not let that dampen her happiness at seeing important people in her life getting along so well.

* * * *

"The day didn't go the way I thought," Andy confessed in the elevator, as they left.

"Really," Miranda nodded, pulling Andrea closer to her. She noticed in her the mixture of joy and sadness.

"We're so glad we came, Andy."

"Your friends are great!"

"Liza is so pretty and sweet. And Sophie will help us with therapy and teach us more cool tricks, too!"

"Doug is so cute and fun! He promised to always stop by and play videogame with us!"

The girls told excitedly, as they exited the elevator and passed through the building's foyer.

The smiles of the four died quickly, as they opened the dark glass doors of the exit, and they were surrounded by several photographers and reporters.

"Miranda, is it true that your daughters are sick?"

"Why did you hide it?"

"Is the relationship a sham? Andrea is just a surrogate?"

"Is their cancer really terminal?" Someone had the gall to ask.

Miranda and Andy put the girls between them, and used their bodies to protect them as much as they could. Heads down, the twins hurriedly followed them, as the couple cut through the sea of undesirables.

Roy ran up to them and led the way, helping the family into the Mercedes.

"I'm so sorry Miranda. They just showed up here out of nowhere. I tried to warn you, but your cell phone wouldn't respond," the driver explained, mortified.

Lips pressed together, the woman just nodded in understanding; elevator interference certainly responsible for the lack of communication.

"Let us get out of here, Roy, now! I do not care if you have to run over one or two for this."

The man gave a sardonic smile, before rolling up the car's privacy window and pulling away, reporters flying sideways.

The frightened twins hugged tightly to the adults, and Andy, still in shock, had a lost look in her eyes. Then, suddenly, she turned to Miranda.

"How do they...Do you think..."

Miranda's eyes were cold.

"Looks like your 'friend'—she spat out the word as if it was poison—wasted no time," she accused through her teeth, not making a point of trying to hide the anger in her voice.

Miranda took a deep breath, and looked down at her cell phone through narrowed eyes. She pressed the dial and, seconds later, in her low, most demanding tone, she declared:

"I need your security services again, Mr. Stuart, now, at the townhouse. We are heading there, and I do not accept that my family and I are once again attacked by a paparazzi mob. Yes. That's all."

As soon as she closed the device, Miranda hugged Cassidy and Andrea, who was hugging Caroline, the stillness inside the car, extremely deceiving.

Chapter Text

To buy them a little time, the car circled the neighborhood, while Roy tried to get rid of some of the paparazzi. When the security team finally arrived, Stuart and his people quickly created a cordon, and the Mercedes was able to enter the property, without any problems.

"Andrea, how about you and the girls shower before dinner?" Miranda suggested as soon as they walked through the front door. "I will call Dominique to see you later."

Andy thought about protesting, but Miranda's determined gaze, and her own realization that it had been a day full of unpleasant surprises, made her just languidly nod in agreement at her premature appointment with the doctor. She felt herself shaking again.

Miranda studied her daughters, and they shared the same apprehensive look as Andrea. She gave the three of them a reassuring smile, and kissed each girl's forehead and placed a loving kiss on her partner's lips.

"Trust me. I will take care of it."

The three nodded with an air of understanding on their faces. They knew it was a promise Miranda would keep, no matter what it cost her.

Concerned, the editor watched them go up the stairs with slow, heavy steps, a significant silence established in the house.

As soon as they were out of sight, her expression changed. The fury Miranda had fought to keep inside could finally show on her face. She flipped open her cell phone—which she already had in her hand in an anxious grip—and set off on the hunt.

"Cut the theatrical politeness, I need your services," Miranda barked when the call was answered, as she walked briskly to the library office, on the first floor. "We had an unseemly situation with serious consequences," she emphasized in a dangerous tone, through gritted teeth. Miranda Priestly hated to be taken by surprise! "Someone is been saying the wrong thing," the editor continued in a harsh voice, after closing the door behind her. "I want you to find out who that individual is," she pointed out vehemently. "I have my suspicions..." Miranda told the other person in disgust, sitting in the chair in front of the desk.

* * * *

Upon entering the master bedroom, Miranda noticed that Andrea was still in the bathroom. She went there, along the way, getting rid of her own clothes. She pushed the rest of the door ajar. The younger woman was under the shower, static. Miranda pursed her lips at the scene, and called out softly to Andrea, so as not to startle her.

"Can I come in, dear?"

Andy immediately turned around, and a small smile crept across her face. She nodded in agreement.

Miranda gave her a tight smile and opened the shower stall door. She did not say anything else, just held out her arms to her.

Andy wasted no time. Soon she was embraced by the older woman, her tears running along with the hot water.

Miranda held her protectively, giving her time to vent, as she kissed Andrea's hair and stroked her back, and promised herself, once again, that she would destroy whoever had hurt her family.

Minutes later, Andy took a long breath and loosened the contact, looking at her partner. Her expression was sad, lost.

"Our girls are scared, Miranda...So am I..."

The older woman sighed and let her own dismay show on her face.

"I know, my darling...But you three will be fine...I will take care of everything..."

Though still hurt, Andrea's eyes were now also glowing with something Miranda was not used to seeing in them: Anger.

"Promise me...promise me that you'll find whoever did this...and make that person bitterly regret it..." Andy's tone came out heavy and extremely severe.

Miranda narrowed her eyes, scrutinizing her steadily.

"Even if it was Lillian?"

Andy's gaze was icy, as was her voice:

"Especially if it was her..."

* * * *

Doctor Dominique Jones pursed her lips. Afterwards, she carefully removed the blood pressure cuff from Andy's arm.

"Your heart rate is irregular and your blood pressure is a little high. Low can be ‘normal’ in pregnancy, high, it calls for attention. You need rest. I advise a light meal and bed.

"Like I'm ever going to be able to relax to sleep," Andy grumbled in exasperation.

The doctor smirked.

"I was expecting that. I brought you some fennel tea to calm you down and help you sleep. It's in the kitchen, along with a manual on how to brew it right for you."

Andy sighed.

"I'm going to fix us something to eat. Will you have dinner with us, Dominique?"

"I'd love to, but we ordered pizza, and my kids must already be looking forward to it. Their dad is on a business trip, so you can imagine," Doctor Jones shrugged.

Andy smiled.

"Thank you for coming."

Dominique nodded with a sweet smile to her patient and partner, who accompanied them, in silence.

"Take care of yourself. And if you feel anything unusual-"

"I call you," Andy cut her off with a smile and an eye roll. "Don't be long. You also need something to eat," she pleaded and gave Miranda a light kiss on the lips, before leaving them in the living room.

"This girl loves you with all her heart."

Miranda eyed Dominique closely and nodded in agreement. Her eyes then narrowed.

"Tell me what I need to know."

The doctor took a long breath.

* * * *

After a quick dinner, the busy day had the girls going to bed early. Andy, who after the meal drank the prescribed tea and participated in a brief phone call with her parents, was already sleepy. She would stay with the twins until Miranda resolved unfinished business, and called her into their bedroom.

Back in her office, the editor had just hung up her cell phone after a conversation with Emily, who, like her PR, was working to minimize the damage caused by the press, when the device rang.

Looking at the display, she took a deep breath.

"Jeremy," she answered, resigned.

The conversation was disastrous. The man had the gall to blame Miranda for the exposure of her daughters. Tired physically and emotionally, the woman did not control her biting and accurate retorts.

"Are you threatening me, Miranda?"

"You were the one who came with the demands and threats. I am just reminding you of the minimal rights you still have, thanks to the twins," she was firm, her tone extremely cold. "You can accuse me of many things, Jeremy, but never for not caring and trying to protect my daughters. I know I do not always do this right, but I try. And where are you? Are you here for their chemo sessions? Are you here when they throw up and bleed so much, they can barely stand? Are you here when our girls cry in pain, in fear? Andrea has been here and has always been with them. Thank God I have her around, when I am not enough. Andrea gives us hope. And not just with the pregnancy. It is her presence. Her love has been our strength, Jeremy."

The man was quiet. Miranda did not mask her feelings. Such a disarmed and heated display, made him suddenly feel extremely small.

One of the few times since Miranda met him, Jeremy Ryan had the humility to apologize.

"I'm sorry...I was nervous about all this...I didn't have the right-"

"Never question my relationship with Andrea again, much less mine, or her dedication to the twins...This girl loves them. She loves us...You should know better than to listen to the rubbish that comes out in the press.

"I'm really sorry..."

"If it comforts you to know, I am already taking action. I will catch the rat that hurt and exposed them in such a vile way..."

"If you need anything...I'm serious, Miranda. Anything..."

The woman sighed.

"We will be fine," her tone was calmer now. "I will tell the twins you called."

"Thanks..."

Miranda disconnected the call, her indignation being overtaken by sadness. They were friends once. They shared something special, even if Jeremy's selfishness sometimes prevented him from remembering it.

Her personal cell phone rang again. Miranda let out an exasperated huff, and had to fight the urge to throw it at the wall.

"Great, just what I needed..." She said between disbelieving and sarcastic, after seeing who the call was from. "What do you want?" Miranda demanded in exasperation.

"To know why I didn't know about your girls' condition."

"Because it is a personal matter, Irv, and as long as it is not compromising the magazine, it is none of your business. As far as I know, Runway is doing magnificently," she was extremely nasty.

Miranda heard the man sigh.

"My resentment is not because of the magazine. God in heaven, the fact is serious...If I knew that, you would have more freedom..."

"What for? So you can use this as ammunition against me, in one more of your ploys to get me out of Runway? Or is it an act to play good-guy and win points with the investors? After all, with the press watching us closely..."

The man sighed again.

"I know I deserve your distrust—the editor snorted wryly—but it was business," Irv was adamant. "God, Miranda, I have children too! Your two girls...I have no idea what it must be like..."

They were silent for a while.

"After your dirty move on my boy—Irv was sarcastically jocular, and Miranda, grinned evilly—we came to a sort of agreement. Besides, I have to admit that Runway looks great. Your sudden romantic taste has brought extra publicity. The girl is a doll, I've always liked her. Other than that, your usual competence as Editor-in-Chief, and responsiveness to shareholders, only has done us good. What I mean, is that I know that even this difficult situation will not affect your work. If I know you well, it will be more of a way to prove yourself. Do it, but also know that you have my support for certain adjustments...You can take a few hours to work from home, spend more time with your daughters, monitor your partner's pregnancy more closely, which with all the pressure, I imagine is very delicate...When you need to be away, do it. Now I understand that, in addition to a natural course, your delegation of more responsibilities to Nigel carries a much greater weight."

Miranda took a deep breath, becoming thoughtful. What surprised her most was that Irv had never for a moment assumed her involvement with Andrea was a facade or a cunning trick.

She would swallow her pride.

"I will reflect on how I can adapt to your offer..."

"I won't use it against you, Miranda," Irv insisted on reassuringly. "I know we've had our differences, and that we're still going to argue a lot about our differing views on certain things. But my offer is sincere...If you want, I'll sign a term sheet."

"It will not be necessary," the editor was quick to clarify, genuinely in awe, the conversation, increasingly surreal.

"If you need anything, just ask. I know people who know people..."

Miranda smirked. Having him as an ally would not be a bad thing.

"Thank you, Irv..."

The man was silent for a moment.

"Take care, Miranda," he disconnected the call, and the editor stared at the cell phone for a while, her mind racing as she analyzed such a strange day. As they left the townhouse in the morning, she never imagined that so much could happen.

* * * *

Lilian Wilson tried to numb her guilt and shame with a bottle of whiskey. The drink was almost gone, but the ruthless feelings were resisting.

At one point, Lily was startled. Then she frowned. It sounded like the doorbell was ringing.

She shrugged. She had neither the strength nor the will to get up from the couch.

However, the bell rings became more insistent. The continuous noise was bothering her. Lily decided to go to the bedroom, there, she would be in peace.

The young woman got up with some difficulty, and was halfway there, when an irritated shout, and a vigorous knocking at the door, stopped her in place.

"Lilian Jane Wilson, I know you're there! Open the door otherwise my scandal will be even bigger!"

The young woman took a deep breath, mortified.

"LILY!!!"

The woman in question nearly dropped the whiskey bottle. She sighed heavily. Judgment apparently came early. Better face the sentence at once.

With slow movements, Lily placed the bottle on the nearest shelf. She staggered to the door and opened it abruptly. Without waiting to be invited in, Sophie Johnson walked past Lily and stopped, facing her, from the middle of the living room.

After closing the door, Lily turned fearfully to the other woman.

"By all that is most holy, tell me you didn't do that?!"

Lily sighed and lowered her head, shame and guilt preventing her from meeting the taller woman's eyes.

Sophie started pacing, her right hand rubbing her face as she tried to keep some calm.

She stopped and turned to look at Lily again.

"You...How could you? Did you really do that?"

"I...I'm sorry..."

"Did you really do that?!" Sophie repeated herself in a heated scream.

Lily sobbed, before responding with a weak nod and tone:

"Yes..."

"Fuck, Lily!" Sophie raged. "How...how could you?"

The other woman still had her head down, accepting the lash she deserved.

"I even understand that you were angry with Miranda...That in a fit of foolish jealousy or petty revenge, you wanted to make her suffer. But did it have to be that way? They're just children! How could you use them like that? It was low, too cruel!"

Lily lifted her head suddenly. Her brows were drawn together, her expression confused.

"Um...What are you talking about?"

Sophie, who had started pacing again, stopped, and faced her friend.

"What do you mean?" The doctor was also confused. "Don't tell me…" A spark of hope stirred her heart. "Lily...Are we talking about the same thing?"

The other woman arched a thoughtful brow, her somewhat drunk state making it difficult to think.

"Um...I don't think so..."

Sophie smiled and a relieved expression came over her face.

"Lily, come, sit here with me. Let's restart this, shall we?" She headed for the couch.

Still not understanding, Lily nodded in agreement and sat down next to her, facing her friend.

"What happened to the girls, Sof?" She wanted to know eagerly.

Sophie sighed and recounted what had happened in a nervous haste. With every second, her account grew more and more agitated.

"So...you guys thought I could..."

"Sorry...but you have to agree that-"

"The coincidences were many..." Lily finished for Sophie. She sighed, and ran a hand through her hair in a reflexive restless gesture. "Was it Andy who asked you to come?"

"No. At this hour, the poor thing is sleeping. The doctor went to see how she was doing, and prescribed some tea to help her relax. After I learned about the situation, I talked to Miranda. I needed to find out about this immediately with you."

Lily sighed once more.

"I know I made a mess and deserved the suspicion. After all, it was all at once..." She paused, and looked straight into her friend's eyes. "But I swear. I swear I had nothing to do with it, Sof. After the fiasco at your apartment, I came straight home to meet Mr. Whiskey," Lily jerked her thumb at the bottle on the shelf.

The other woman nodded in understanding.

"I may have crossed the line, but I would never have gotten that low…" Lily stated after a sigh.

Sophie studied her for a moment.

"I don't judge you if you don't believe me..." Lily confessed in a small voice. "But I'm sure Miranda won't stop hunting until she finds the culprit...And on that at least, I have a clear conscience."

It was enough for Sophie.

"I'll let you rest. When you're better from your hangover, talk to us. Liza is worried about you, too."

Lily nodded through a desolate sniff.

"And stop drinking, will you? That won't help at all. Take a shower, drink plenty of water, and try to eat something light before going to bed."

"Thank you, Sof..."

The other woman sighed and took her in a hug.

"You made a huge mistake, my friend. But Andy loves you. She's hurt, but she's got a big heart. Keep your cool, get back together, and give it time."

"I don't know, Sof...I disappointed her too much..."

"Give it time," Sophie reaffirmed, before giving her friend a kiss on the forehead and standing up.

After Sophie left, Lily slowly went to her bedroom, thinking it was time to finally get some courage.

Chapter Text

The woman's bleary eyes stared at the ceiling, struggling to stay open. Miranda Priestly was terribly tired. However, as tempting as the soft mattress and her partner's body next to her were, there were still steps to be taken.

Miranda sighed in resignation, gathering her strength.

She sniffed Andrea's silky hair and placed a soft kiss on it. Then, with practiced care, she moved the young woman's arm from around her waist, and slid her body out of bed. Andrea needed to sleep properly. Miranda knew that her young partner was still shaken, and that worried her greatly.

The editor stretched the sore muscles in her back and neck, and walked with painstakingly silent steps to the bathroom. At the end of her morning routine, she headed for the kitchen. The house was silent. Normal, for six-twenty on a Sunday morning.

Miranda gave a long yawn.

Before she took action, though, she needed to stay wide awake. In the kitchen, the editor did something she had rarely done in a while: She made her own coffee.

When she did not have Carena's services, it was usually Andrea who took care of the fragrant dark drink, and the result was always commendable. One thing was to bring coffee according to her requirements, another thing, was to make it. Andrea was an expert at both.

The thought drew a mocking smile from Miranda.

A while later, the coffee pot did its thing and the woman picked up the cup and raised it to her lips. Strong, plain and scalding hot coffee. Everything Miranda needed on a day like that. She gave an appreciative sigh, before taking another long drink.

Once the editor had emptied the cup, she repeated the brewing process. Finished, Miranda picked up her new cup of coffee and sat on one of the stools, at the kitchen counter. She took a more moderate sip, and took her cell phone out of her bathrobe pocket.

Miranda pressed the device's memory and smirked, hearing the surly voice coming from the other end.

"Detective, we need to talk."

As much as the man wanted to curse her for interrupting his sleep, he readily agreed. Miranda Priestly might be a bitch, but she paid incredibly well.

The editor was objective and reported the news about Lillian. As soon as Sophie left her friend's apartment, she called Miranda and told her what had happened. Yet, the older woman still had her reservations.

"Good to know. But I was going to tell you to discard the girl. I got some interesting information last night. I was waiting for a viable time to call you," the man's voice was more awake.

Miranda listened to him intently. In the end, unfortunately, she found herself surprised, and in a negative way.

"We are talking about a person very close to us, Detective...I want you to investigate this thoroughly, so that injustices do not occur..." Her tone was firm. "I want your report as soon as possible. That's all," she hung up.

After a heavy sigh, Miranda ran a hand over her face in a desolate gesture. Although she expected the worst in people, such a revelation actually left her bewildered. For now, she would not tell anyone, including Andrea. She would not hurt her family over something still under investigation.

Miranda gave a new sigh and squared her shoulders. She picked up her cell phone again, and after the device's memory called for the number, she was answered by Leslie Walton, her PR.

Despite being also woken up by Miranda, unlike the detective, Leslie answered her cordially and alertly. After all, for the most part, her job was to deal with problems, and they could happen at any time, and always with little time for mediation.

Miranda wanted updates from her delegations, made just the night before. The editor was vehement in demanding that Leslie take care of her family's exposure in the tabloid press. While Miranda's lawyers would take legal action, Leslie was supposed to temper the gossip.

Leslie reassured Miranda that emergency measures had been taken. In addition to calling in favors from her contacts, the PR shared with the media one of the notes they had made. In it, Miranda made a minimal statement about the moment the Priestly family was facing, and that she hoped to have everyone's support and respect.

Leslie's and the lawyers' actions would not entirely hush up the case, but they would at least give Miranda's family some space, until a new tidbit of celebrity life caught the attention of the press.

After talking to her PR, Miranda moved on to the third call. She also needed to contain the issue at home. She called Emily.

* * * *

Andy stirred and, half awake, noticed that the other side of the bed was empty. This caused her to open sleepy eyes, reach out and look for her cell phone on the bedside table. The clock on the device said ten minutes to seven.

Andy grumbled about missing Miranda, and was about to put her cell phone away for sleep again, when she spotted the messages. It was her 'secret' number, so they came from important people in her life.

Andy opened the section and scanned it quickly. As she had guessed, there were messages from her parents, Doug, Liza, Sof, Em (probably also on Serena's behalf), Nige…and Lily.

Andy arched her eyebrows in surprise, and began chewing her lips thoughtfully.

After a few seconds, her curiosity won out. While still very shaken by the previous day's revelations, Andy wanted to know what Lily had to say. Despite everything, Andy hoped she had not gone so far down and harmed the girls so cowardly.

Andy, I have NOTHING to do with the disclosure of the twins' disease to the press. I sent you an email. Please read it!

Andy sighed. She would, yes. But only after a good breakfast.

* * * *

Still groggy from sleep, Andy walked into the kitchen, just in time to see Miranda finish a conversation with her famous "that's all", and hang up on the person on the other end.

"Why are you already awake? Feeling sick?" The older woman asked with interest, putting her cell phone back in the pocket of her bathrobe. Andrea still looked markedly tired, and this worried her.

"No, not even a little bit," Andy bent down and gave her a tender kiss on the lips. "I missed you in bed and woke up..."

Miranda studied her intently. There was more.

"And...?" She prompted with narrowed eyes.

Andy sighed, taking a seat beside her on another of the stools at the kitchen counter.

"I automatically picked up my phone to check the time. Then I realized I had several messages...One was from Lily..."

Miranda pursed her lips.

"And...?" She repeated herself, her gaze even more intense.

Andy shrugged.

"She just said that she has nothing to do with the twins' situation, and asked me to read an email...I haven't read it yet, I wanted to see you...and stay wide awake first."

Miranda pursed her lips again. Then she told Andrea about the conversation she had with Sophie.

"I still haven't assimilated out everything that happened yesterday at the girls' apartment...but I'm really relieved to know I wasn't so wrong about her..." Andy confessed, frowning.

Miranda nodded in agreement.

"Since you are up, how about helping me with breakfast? Our family needs a special today, do not you think?"

Andy grinned.

"I'm starving!"

Miranda's response was an eye roll and a loud snort.

* * * *

After preparing a delicious breakfast, the couple lovingly woke up the twins. Upon learning of the special meal that awaited them, the girls, luckily also without nausea, got up promptly. Unlike Andy, the sisters truly felt more relaxed.

Breakfast was a slow and relaxed affair. No one touched on the problems. They just talked about the good times with Andy's friends and other everyday things.

With the meal over, the twins were medicated and slipped away to play video games. Miranda excused herself to make final arrangements, and Andy took the opportunity to go to her office.

Several minutes after looking at the message header, she finally clicked and opened Lily's email.

First, thank you. I'm glad you're, at least, giving me the chance to talk, even if it's this way. Second, I say it again: I have nothing to do with the disclosure of the twins' disease. I understand the distrust, even more so in the face of such a coincidence. But it wasn't me, Andy!

I know I was a bitch, but I would never play dirty like that! I may have a lot of guilt and remorse about the way I treated you, but otherwise, I have a clear conscience. Besides, I have no doubt that Miranda will soon find the 'real' culprit...

I don't know if you already know, but yesterday Sof came to talk to me. That's when I found out what happened. That's when too I got up the courage to come clean with you. While an email isn't a great example of bravery, it's what I think we can handle at the moment...

Andy nodded at the words.

I don't think I need to relive what happened in the girls' apartment. Suffice it to say that Miranda was right about some things. Indeed, for years I had a crush on you, and now I realize that it has turned into a sort of fixation. However, I never premeditated anything, as she claimed.

Still, I understand Miranda's accusations, and even her attack. I acted extremely badly with you two yesterday, I overreacted, provoked. Only I haven't been an asshole all this time with you, Andy. Honestly, I always tried to be a good friend.

As much as it pained me, my support of your relationship with Nate was from the heart. So much so, that I also tried to move on. You, more than anyone, know how many dates I've had looking for someone interesting...

Andy smiled at that part.

Lily changed affairs every week!

Then she pursed her lips.

Now she understood why her friend could not maintain a relationship with anyone.

Andy took a deep breath, and went back to reading.

Though, when you started working for Miranda, I noticed something. Even if she mistreated you, Miranda still treated you differently. And you, despite suffering from her crazy demands, were fascinated by her...And not only because of the boss image. You guys had a connection...Miranda moved you in a way I've never seen before...

Andy took a deep breath, once more.

Until then, my 'thing' for you was platonic. I never thought you could be interested in a woman. When you started dating Nate, I saw in him a nice guy who, if he was smart, would know how to keep you. So, I decided to try to find my happiness, too.

Then Miranda came and turned our lives upside down. It destabilized me...I tried...I swear I tried to want your happiness, even if it was with her. I even promised you that...But Miranda was right about that part, Andy. I couldn't help feeling resentful, thinking that I'd wasted my chance...So I lost my mind, and I let a ridiculous jealousy get the better of me...

I know I did wrong. I know I made you suffer with all my demands and heavy words. About that, I'm really, really sorry! But believe me. It wasn't easy for me either. I'm not justifying myself, I'm just...It was not easy...

All this time, I've also been tormenting myself for my actions, knowing that I've hurt you. I was torn, unstable. But now, I see clearly what I did. Your words were true, Andy, this Lily is not the one you knew before. This one, as Miranda rightly said, doesn't deserve your friendship. But still, this person, even full of flaws and having done many stupid things, doesn't want to lose you...

Andy paused to wipe away a tear that was running down her cheek. After a ragged sigh, she continued.

"I know I don't have that right, but I hope that one day you'll find in your heart the will to forgive me...Until then, I swear I'll use this time to adjust to everything. To be the kind of person you deserve as a friend, and who deserves to be a part of your life. As Miranda put it: to be someone who deserves to be close to your family..."

"Please take care of yourself, Andy...For you...for your child..."

"Lily."

Andy finally let the sob she had been holding back break the silence of the room. She could no longer contain the tears, which flowed voluminous and dripped down her chin. Her chest ached, but there was no more anger. It hurt, but it was a liberating cry.

Miranda, who had been watching Andrea's wail from the half-open door, sighed ruefully, her heart, clenching in sympathy.

She had climbed up behind her partner, when she heard the painful sob. She ran to find out what was going on, but seeing Andrea hunched over her desk and the open notebook, Miranda knew it was a reaction to whatever the young woman had read in Lillian's e-mail.

As much as it hurt, Miranda felt like she should let her purge it by herself. Had she approached right away, Andrea might have swallowed her sadness—as she unfortunately had been doing a lot lately—and trying to be ridiculously strong.

After a while, though still sad and limp from crying, Andy felt calmer. She lifted her head, and after a long sigh, began wiping her face with the back of her hands.

"Hello, my dear," Miranda was gentle so as not to startle her, finally stepping into the room. She bent down and hugged her shoulders.

Andy leaned against her and placed her hands on Miranda's arms, and they were silent.

"Come on, let us go to bed," the older woman instructed, shortly afterwards.

"But..."

"I just want to hold you."

That cut off any protest.

Andy nodded in agreement, and with Miranda's help, she got to her feet and was led by her into the master bedroom. There, the bed, still unmade, welcomed them warmly. The older woman laid Andrea down with gentle care, then settled down next to her and hugged her from behind.

"We woke up very early, and we already took care of what needed to be done. Let us get some more rest, darling," Miranda said affectionately, after giving her hair a kiss.

Andy, eyes already closed, still found the sense to question:

"What about the girls?" Her voice was groggy.

"Do not worry, they are in excellent company."

With the mind numb, Andy just nodded, being carried away by exhaustion.

Miranda watched her sleep for a few moments. However, the serene, cadenced rhythm of Andrea's breathing, plus the warmth and scent of her body, soon relaxed her and dragged her, too, into a well-deserved rest.

Chapter Text

Andy slowly opened her eyelids, and was greeted by Miranda's tender blue-green eyes, studying her intently.

"Hi..." The young woman stretched with languorous contentment and an adoring smile. "Have you been awake for long?"

Miranda smiled back, then reached over Andrea's face and brushed back a few strands of brown hair, which fell over her eyes.

"No, I just woke up."

Andy was feeling much better.

"I'm hungry," she said with a sly smile.

Miranda rolled her eyes, but turned around and grabbed her wristwatch from her bedside table.

"No wonder, we slept for almost three hours. It is already time for lunch."

"Wow! What are we going to eat? It's Carena's day off, and I confess that I don't feel like cooking anything else today—Miranda nodded in agreement—and since going out is out of the question, I think we'll have to order something."

"Do not worry about it," the editor sat up in bed and looked lovingly at Andrea. "Come on, let us change into comfortable clothes and go downstairs. Our girls must be hungry, too."

"Before we go," Andy pointed out, and Miranda paused to leave the bed, turning back to her, "I want to say thank you."

The older woman raised her eyebrows, and her hitherto tender face took on an icy expression.

"Thank me for what, for making your life hell?" Her tone came out hollow.

Andy shook her head. She sat up in bed and took Miranda's hands in hers, and looked at the older woman carefully."

"No. For letting me be a part of your life. Part of the girls' lives. For letting me be the other mother of our child..."

"Andrea-"

"No, Miranda. Stop it, please," Andy cut her off between firm and affectionate, and reinforced the request by giving the hands she held comforting squeezes. "I know you've been blaming yourself ever since this circus started. I know what you did to Lily...I know you, you took an opportunity...From the way Lily had been behaving, you knew the story would come out at some point. That I would finally connect the dots, or that she would burst out, and tell me everything. You were afraid this would happen later, at a more dangerous time for my pregnancy."

The older woman gave a defeated sigh and nodded weakly in confirmation of Andrea's theory.

"Of course I was hurt by this story, especially the way I discovered it," Andy confessed heavily. "But I understand your motives, Miranda. It was for my sake and our child's. Just like me, you want to protect our baby. My resentment is with Lily, and how things got to this point. Not with you. As for the rest, it got out of our control. When we started with this, we knew we would have to face more pressure from the press the moment they found out about the pregnancy. But this happened completely unexpectedly, along with the absurdity of the disclosure about the girls' disease."

"I know you blame yourself too for not being careful enough. But, Miranda, even you couldn't have foreseen that things would go so wrong...Please stop tormenting yourself. You've been wonderful to me and the girls. You even won my friends over," Andy flashed a proud smile. "And you've still been exceptional. Look how you've taken care of everything. For all that, I thank you."

Miranda's response was to take her in a tight hug.

* * * *

"Mom? Dad?" Andy could not believe her eyes, when she found them in the kitchen with Eliza, handling boxes of Chinese food. She ran to hug Laurie, then Richard. Andy turned to Miranda, smiling, her gaze thrilled. "But how?"

The older woman shrugged.

"Courtesy of Irv and his private jet."

Andy's eyes filled with tears, and she walked over to Miranda and hugged her.

"I was right," she said softly into her ear, so only her partner could hear. "You're exceptional. I love you, Miranda Priestly..."

In response, the older woman lightly kissed her lips, Andrea's happiness, causing her to lose any reservations.

"Hey, I'm here, too!" Eliza drew attention to herself, seeing that Andy's parents were a little embarrassed.

Eliza had had a good conversation with them both. They were really trying to get used to their daughter's new life. They learned to respect Miranda and the relationship the couple had. But certain things would still take time.

"As if it's possible not to notice you!" Andy laughed, giving her friend a hug.

"Are you calling me flashy? Or...fat?" Eliza had exaggeratedly huge eyes, in a caricatured representation of affront.

"Humph!" Andy laughed heartily. Then she gave her a knowing smile. "Are you looking for compliments? Right! You're extremely beautiful. But your aura, my friend, is even more radiant!" She kissed her loudly on the cheek.

Eliza laughed.

"Okay. I'll let it go this time."

Miranda rolled her eyes at their nonsense.

"Where are our children?"

"Your girls, and my big kid, are in the TV room, playing video games," Eliza told them in a mocking tone.

It was Andy's turn to roll her eyes.

"I was wondering where Sof was."

Eliza snorted.

A few minutes later, Andy got another surprise, with the sequential arrival of more of her friends. First it was Emily and Serena. Next up, Doug. And lastly, Nigel.

Miranda wanted Andrea and their girls in a relaxed atmosphere, one that would take some of the weight off the latest happenings. Furthermore, with everyone there, it would be easier for them to talk about the immediate issue and synchronize responses and actions.

 


 

Monday morning, Miranda insisted that Andrea use Roy, while she would head to Runway with Tony, the second driver. With the press finding out about Andrea and the girls' situations, there was no point in continuing the charade with the two cars. The women had business to attend to, and having both drivers would be practical, for now. Also, separate vehicles and the security escort, while annoying the couple, would grant them some space until things began to quieten down.

Andy took a deep breath, when she finally managed to get past the screaming reporters and into the New York Mirror. She went straight to Stevie's office, which was waiting for her with an unfriendly face.

"We had a deal," he said gruffly, as Andy closed the door.

"Oh, sure! I screwed up with you, Stevie! I contacted some tabloids, threw my name even more in the mud, and put the girls in the spotlight, on purpose! For God's sake, spare me!" She could not control her outburst.

After everything they had been going through, that kind of pressure was all she needed. In fact, Andy went there prepared for something like that, but when it actually happened, her temper could not handle it.

Stevie was startled by the harsh tone and words, but no one could blame him for being cautious. He had seen a lot of strange things, coming from the most supposedly trusted people. However, with his experience, he also knew when someone was lying to his face. It was not the case.

The man sighed and ran a hand through his thinning gray hair.

"I'm sorry, Andy. Please make yourself comfortable," he gestured to the seat opposite his desk, and then dropped into his own chair.

Andy just nodded and did as requested.

"I'm sorry, too, Stevie," her voice came out a little shaky. "As you can imagine, we're not having an easy time..."

"So the news leaked," he stated the obvious.

"I don't know how, but someone found out and sold the information to the tabloids. We were taken by surprise, just like you."

"Do you have any idea who it was?"

"No. But Miranda has someone investigating."

He nodded in understanding.

"Andy, are you really a..."

"A surrogate? A fake thing?" She completed the question with a humorless laugh. "No. What we have is real. The pregnancy may have happened earlier because of the girls, but it's 'our' child," Andy was keen to emphasize. It was not a complete lie. The order of things was somewhat altered, but it was something that only concerned them.

Stevie nodded in understanding once more.

"We kept our agreement. We hadn't said anything about the disease, because it was really our intention to divert attention from the press. We didn't want the girls to have any more stress."

The man sighed, mortified.

"I comprehend, Andy...I have no idea how hard it must be for all of you..."

Andy nodded in acquiescence.

"Miranda has made a public statement," she opened her purse, and from it, withdrew an envelope. Andy gave it to Stevie. "The Mirror has exclusivity."

The editor opened the beautiful pastel green custom envelope. He glanced quickly over the context on the elegant letterhead and nodded. The note was appealing, but without overstatement, and there were no loopholes. Perfect.

"Thanks, Andy..."

She smiled. She owed the man a great deal.

"Well, I came here to clear things up and also give you this," she took another envelope out of her purse and handed it to him.

Stevie just placed it on his desk.

"Is it what I think it is?"

"My resignation letter."

Stevie sighed sadly. Yet, with the way things had turned out, he had expected that.

Andy had been rethinking her career for some time now, and after her conversation with Miranda on the subject, a few things became clearer. She would go after her dream as a writer, but she would not give up her ideal for responsible information, a journalism of a social nature.

However, at the moment what Andy really wanted was to stay away from any kind of exposure.

She would spend the treatment of the girls and her pregnancy at home, taking care of her family. After the turbulent period, calmly, she would return to work. Furthermore, she was nominated for the Aspiration Award. If Andy was one of the finalists, as Miranda thought, it would certainly give her career plans a big boost.

* * * *

Back at the townhouse, not wanting to interfere with the girls' studies, Andy just said hello from the twins' bedroom door, letting them know she had arrived. Andy's parents took advantage of the fact that the sisters would be busy in the morning, and went to see Eliza and Sophie's apartment.

Andy walked to her office. She would take the opportunity to do something that had been tormenting her since the day before. There was an email she needed to read. Andy needed to close that cycle once and for all.

She opened Nate's message.

As Andy imagined, he was a complete asshole.

Nate accepted all the crap published in the press. In fact, he relied on it to attack Andy and try to salvage some of his mediocre manhood. His speech was rude, petty, sexist and totally prejudiced.

Instead of getting annoyed, Andy just let out a weary sigh, and after chewing her lips for a moment, she shrugged and forwarded the message.

Lily could see a little more of the man she so blindly defended, even if at the time, her intentions had not been the most unassuming.

Andy knew her gesture could be seen as payback. In part it was. She would not deny it. But to her, it meant more like she was washing her soul. Finally, all parties would come clean.

"Andy, Doctor Johnson is here," Carena said with a smile, after knocking on the door and sticking her head into the room.

The young woman smiled tenderly at the lady, always so kind to them.

"Thanks, I'll be right down."

Andy found Sophie in the kitchen with Carena, drinking strawberry juice. The friends greeted each other happily with a hug, and then Andy also received a glass of juice.

"Yours has extra milk," Carena winked at her and went to tend to her pans.

"Hmmm, yummy! Thanks!" Andy said to the already distracted woman. She next turned to Sophie. "Did my parents come with you?" Andy sat on a stool next to her friend, at the counter.

"No, they'll come later. Liza took them for a walk."

Andy smiled.

"Shall we go buy the stuff?"

"Let's go. I'm already a little late," Sophie pointed out, drinking the last of her juice.

Andy nodded in agreement, and with three swigs, she also finished her drink. After washing the glasses, the two said goodbye to Carena and left.

The day before, during one of the many conversations, Andy had offered to go with Sophie to buy the equipment the doctor would use to treat the girls. It would not be much, just a few balls, ropes, mats and a mini basketball hoop.

The sessions would take place in the game room. The exercises, most of the time, would be through play while sitting on the floor. There would also be the part composed of specific massage for pain, which would not only relax the muscles, but likewise help to relieve the discomfort and stiffness caused by the medication and the advancement of the disease.

Sophie had invited Andy to join the exercise sessions with the twins. It would be great for her to keep fit without worrying about physical wear. Obviously the girls loved the idea, as did Andy. She had not exercised in a while. It would be wonderful to be able to do it in the company of the twins, and still help Sophie. Undoubtedly, the girls would be more confident with Andy with them.

Chapter Text

Around lunchtime, Eliza took the Sacks back to the Priestly townhouse, and happily accepted the invitation to join them for the meal. Laurie told Andy and the twins that she was delighted with the home decor stores they visited. Richard, although not connected to the subject, did not deny that the decorative objects were really beautiful, even if they were expensive.

The need for an escort of two bodyguards was an odd addition to the tour, but Eliza and Andy's parents understood the situation, and they preferred their presence to having to deal with the paparazzi's pursuit alone.

Carena cooked a delicious meal, and even the twins, who had been feeling a little nauseous and without appetite lately from the heavier treatment, managed to eat some pasta and dessert. After lunch and some conversation, as soon as they were medicated, the girls finally went to rest.

Even though Andy and Sophie had bought the material for the exercises, they postponed the start of activities until the following week, when the twins would have a break between chemotherapy sessions. Sophie did not want to risk unnecessary stress by starting a new schedule at a time when they were most vulnerable.

Not wanting to be away from the girls, and also wanting to avoid another encounter with the paparazzi, Andy insisted that her parents spend more time with Eliza. As the twins would sleep for hours, and Andy stated that she would write something that afternoon, the two eventually agreed. Laurie was really dying to help assemble the objects that Eliza had bought for the new apartment, and Richard, would take the opportunity to get to know a little more about the neighborhood.

Once Andy had dispatched them and verified that the girls were fine and still resting, she went to her office to get her laptop. She had some ideas for her book and wanted to write them down, before she forgot them.

* * * *

With a mug of cold milk, a pack of Oreos and classical music on her iPod for company, Andy was absently typing, leaning against the headboard, when she saw the master bedroom door open.

"Miranda?! What are you doing here at this hour?" She asked in surprise, and certainly louder than she should have, seen the older woman's disapproving look.

Andy grimaced, and, all flustered, immediately pulled the headset out of her ears, at the same time trying to put her laptop aside.

Miranda's immediate response was to just narrow her eyes and purse her lips.

Andy sighed, then mustered up some dignity and used more graceful movements.

Miranda watched the younger woman, her gaze encrusting, one perfect brow arching.

"Bed crumbs, Andrea? Frankly! You can be even worse than our girls."

Andy was embarrassed, and to her mortification, she felt herself flush guiltily, she knew Miranda hated crumbs in the bed. Andy usually wrote in her office, but she was having a little backache, and thought the soft mattress would be more convenient.

The young reporter got up and tried to clean up the mess. Then, she painstakingly straightened the sheets. She looked shyly at Miranda and blinked her long, dark eyelashes exaggeratedly.

The editor snorted and her frown melted. She opened her arms, and soon, saw them filled with Andrea. The two hugged for a long time, basking in the contact, connecting to the scents.

"Now, seriously, what are you doing here? Not that I'm complaining…" Andy wanted to know, as she kissed Miranda's neck.

"Solve one of our problems..." The other woman said after a small appreciative moan.

"Sex at this hour, love?" Andy teased.

Miranda gave a husky laugh, and pulled back a little to look at her.

“As fantastic as the idea is, I am afraid it is not the case.

Andy pouted and Miranda kissed it away. Then, the two looked at each other for a moment. The older woman smiled lovingly and placed a hand on her partner's belly.

"How is our child doing today?" Her voice sounded sweet and her eyes sparkled.

Andy huffed along with an eye roll.

"Already killing my back!" She complained, but she was smiling. She knew that another period in her pregnancy was starting.

Miranda nodded in sympathy. She had suffered greatly from it, with the twins. Then, she looked at Andrea intensely, and all her serenity drained away, her gaze becoming tense.

Andy was immediately unnerved.

Miranda sighed heavily.

"Come, sit here with me, darling," she took Andrea by the hand and led her gently, both of them, settling on the edge of the bed. The editor turned to the younger woman and took both her hands in hers. They looked at each other for a few moments, in silence, until Miranda sighed, once more. "We found our snitch, Andrea...Before a confrontation, I wanted to prepare you..."

Andy felt herself freeze and her heart clench painfully.

"Prepare me…" She repeated in a fearful whisper.

Miranda took a deep breath. She would not prevaricate. The editor tried to protect Andrea and the girls as far as she could, but when she finally got confirmation from the detective, she needed to act.

"It came from someone very close to us..." Andy voiced her fears in an unstable voice, and Miranda nodded.

* * * *

Andy Sachs was completely livid. Her hands were trembling, her stomach was churning and thick tears were streaming down her pale face. As conclusive as Miranda's argument was, she did not want to believe it.

"It's not possible..." She doubted it one more time since she had heard what Miranda had to say.

The older woman sighed heavily, running a hand through her hair in a botched gesture. Surely, she would have to fix it later.

"I know it is hard…" Miranda pointed out again. "So much so, that when the suspicion arose, I did not say anything. I wanted to be sure, before telling you..."

Andy stood up abruptly.

"Still...There must be something wrong! It's not possible...There must be something the detective missed..."

"Andrea...As much as it hurts, this is the truth. And severe attitudes must be taken."

Andy turned her red, wet eyes on her partner.

"Please, Miranda...Don't arbitrarily sentence her. Give her a chance to explain herself...Please..."

"Explain what, Andrea? Do you want me to waste my time, and stress myself even more, listening to a bunch of lame excuses?! The call came from her house! It was made by a woman who knew exactly what she was talking about. What else do you need? You said you wanted justice, for me to deal harshly with whoever hurt us...She sold us out. She sold the girls' peace!" The older woman exploded. The rage she tried to hold back at having been so vile deceived, breaking through her barriers.

"But, Miranda…" Andy stammered, not knowing exactly what to say. She had never seen her partner raise her voice like that before.

The older woman got up as well, and then began pacing the bedroom frantically, until she suddenly stopped.

"Do you think it is not painful for me, too? You, more than anyone, know that I am not one to trust people easily..." She said through her teeth, her eyes burning.

"Yes, I know that! Hence, my persistence! She's not an unimportant person to us...Please, Miranda. I'm not telling you not to act. I'm just asking, begging you to at least listen to her!"

"She betrayed us, Andrea!" The editor retorted firmly, her decision already made. "That is why I insist on let the guillotine down!"

Andy stared at her for a few seconds. Then, she shook her head with a sarcastic chuckle.

"So, this's how it's going to be..."

Miranda frowned, surprised at the sudden change in demeanor. She was looking at Andrea, as if the younger woman was out of her mind.

"While I've always agreed with you, great, but when not, your word is final..."

"Andrea...You are being unfair..." Miranda said almost in a growl, trying at all costs not to lose her temper altogether.

Andrea was being unreasonable!

Miranda knew that the situation was messing with her partner's emotions significantly, and probably her crazy hormones decided to give her lack of judgment a little push. But that was already going too far.

"Unfair, me?! My God! It's Carena we're talking about! The woman who practically raised your daughters! Poor twins, if it wasn't for her!" Andy snapped fiercely.

Miranda blinked slowly and took a deep breath. That hurt.

"Where are you going?" She asked in disbelief, seeing Andrea walking quickly towards the exit of the bedroom.

"Take a walk. I don't want to be here when you let the guillotine down," Andy slammed the door behind her.

"Shit!" Miranda swore, her body slumping onto the bed, her shaking hands running through her hair, leaving it as chaotic as her emotions.

* * * *

She took a swig of whiskey and grimaced in disgust. It was not her favorite drink, let alone, drinking such an amount of alcohol in the middle of the afternoon. However, the argument with Andrea, and all the events that followed it, asked Miranda for something stronger, to somehow, try to relax her still restless nerves.

When finally calmer, she was able to think clearly about everything. The editor saw that, even though Andrea had overreacted, she had given her partner enough cause to be upset.

Miranda had acted shamefully.

Her intention in talking to Andrea was to try to prepare her for the truth as carefully as possible. Instead, she was adamant and got carried away by her own feelings, taking some of her frustrations out on the person she was supposed to protect.

It had been years since Miranda Priestly had gotten angry or raised her voice like that. So, she did this precisely with the woman she loved, and who, moreover, was pregnant with her child.

Miranda really had made a big mistake.

Andrea was not being overly accommodating, just considerate, given their emotional bond with the cook. For all she had done for Miranda and her daughters, Carena deserved to be treated with respect and to have the right to be heard.

Funny, that after all the unnecessary drama, Miranda did exactly what Andrea had asked her to do. She explained the events punctually and gave the older woman space to defend herself.

Miranda Priestly saved herself from committing a great injustice. One that, she knew, would profoundly affect her relationship, not only with Andrea, but with her daughters as well.

The call to the tabloids actually came from Carena's house and was made by a woman. Still, the tearful and astonished cook joined the dots with Miranda, and the truth was soon confirmed by the detective, who, desperate to have missed such a connection in the story, quickly discovered the rest of the facts.

The exposure of the twins' plight and Andrea's pregnancy to the press had been the work of Elena, Carena's eldest niece.

The foolish young woman was spending a few days with her aunt, specifically because she had gotten into trouble in the neighborhood where she lived. Carena remembered that, in a fragile moment, she talked to her husband about the Priestlys' complicated case. Emanuel was completely trustworthy, but Elena surreptitiously overheard the conversation, and saw there a way to improve her life and easily feed her addictions.

After everything was cleared up, and Carena had washed her hands of any retaliatory actions that Miranda might take, the editor locked herself in her office at the townhouse.

Andrea was still out of touch.

Her cell was on voicemail, and she had not used Roy. The driver said that Andrea deftly evaded bodyguards and paparazzi, and took a taxi. Miranda called Eliza, who discreetly informed her that her friend did not show up. They did not want to worry Andrea's parents. In fact, Miranda was terribly embarrassed. It would be the perfect excuse for her in-laws to condemn her, and with good reason.

Yet, if Andrea remained unreachable, Miranda would risk upsetting her even more, and send Emily to get all her friends' numbers. If the editor was still not successful, she would even turn to the detective to look for her partner all over town.

A few minutes later, however, Miranda's personal cell phone finally rang.

The woman sighed and was overcome by an immense feeling of relief, seeing Andrea's number on the display of the device.

"Darling, I...I'm sorry...Where are you?" She wanted to know in a tired voice.

"Um...Miranda?"

"Douglas...?" The woman felt her spine freeze, and her hands immediately began to tremble. "What happened, where is Andrea?" Her tone came out sharp, urgent, and she was already on her feet, quickly leaving the office.

"We're at the Presbyterian..."

"I'm on my way," Miranda cut the call off, grabbed her purse from the sideboard in the entryway, and ran over to Roy.

Chapter Text

As Roy moved flanked by the convoy of bodyguards keeping the paparazzi at bay, Miranda took the opportunity to contact Carena and tell her what was happening, but asked her not to alert the girls yet. Next, the editor called Dominique. However, the doctor was already on her way to the hospital. At Andrea's request, Douglas had been instructed to call her as well.

With urgent matters in progress, the editor could finally take care of her appearance. She had been so shaken, that it did not even cross her mind as she left the townhouse. Luckily, she had stayed in the outfit she had worn at Runway, earlier. Plus, the way to the car was safe from prying eyes, and Miranda was not in danger of getting pictures of her in that state. It would be a delicious tidbit for the tabloids, The Queen of Fashion, in such a sloppy situation. It would only add weight to the spectacular event that would be her arrival at the hospital following Andrea's emergency admission.

Precisely because she was Miranda Priestly, the woman was always one step ahead. No matter the occasion, her handbag was equipped with a small kit with what could quickly secure her iconic facade.

First, the editor took the mouth freshener spray, which while it would not eliminate her whiskey breath, would effectively mask the alcohol. Next, she touched up her makeup and fixed her hair as best she could. Lastly, the woman spritzed herself with perfume and smoothed out the creases in her clothes. Due to her constantly impeccable posture, the set of black trousers and blazer jacket, and white button-down shirt, were presentable.

With her camouflage in place, Miranda Priestly finally felt a little more in control.

* * * *

As she imagined, as soon as she left the car, the woman was surrounded by reporters, who speculated about her partner and the girls. Stuart's men escorted Miranda to the Presbyterian's entrance, where Douglas was anxiously waiting for her.

"Where is Andrea?" The older woman took off her sunglasses and walked past the young man, the heels of her Jimmy Choos echoing loudly as they thudded firmly against the floor, as Miranda moved quickly, people in her path, instinctively moving away from her.

"Andy was admitted to the ER, and now she's with her doctor, being examined..." Doug said breathlessly, trying to keep up with the woman. It was amazing how fast she was! He really needed to get back to exercising.

After the reception procedures, facilitated by Miranda, as well as Douglas, being on Andrea's emergency contact list, the two headed to the waiting room. Though she was trembling from tension, Miranda sat elegantly in one of the uncomfortable chairs. Nervously, Doug paced back and forth, running his hands through his messy hair.

In one swift movement, the editor grabbed the young man's sleeve, bringing him to a halt, and pulled him down, until Douglas' ear was close to her mouth.

"You are annoying me," she declared under her breath. "Now, stop attracting more attention. Sit down, and tell me exactly what happened," Miranda demanded, letting him go, then.

Doug swallowed hard at the icy tone and nodded effusively. Wisely, he skipped the place beside the woman, and took a seat in the next chair. The young man turned his body a little towards Miranda, his head down, a trick to keep his words secret.

"Andy knew I was off today, so she came over to my apartment after your…your disagreement," he recounted as nonchalantly as he could. "Andy was a nervous mess, she wasn't making any sense, she just cried. Tired, she ended up falling asleep on my couch—Miranda sighed sadly—later, when she woke up, Andy tried to talk, but once again, she became very agitated, and well, then…" Doug paused, livid.

"Then...?" The editor prompted in an impatient tone with furrowed brows, refraining from punching him. After all, again the young man was of great help, despite his stupidity, at times.

"Then, Andy started feeling sick...And...Bleeding...She asked me to call the doctor and you to the hospital..."

"God..." The woman sighed, feeling a little dizzy. The situation was worse than she had thought.

"Miranda...?" Doug was worried about her extreme pallor.

The editor shook her head and took a deep breath.

"I am fine..."

Doug made an admiring sound.

"Even scared, Andy still had the discernment to ask me to be discreet when we came here...She didn't want to harm you guys any further..."

Miranda felt her heart tighten and her eyes sting with inopportune tears. She took a long breath, trying to maintain what little control she had left.

The two sat in introspective silence for a few minutes, until Doug walked over to the hospital coffee machine and returned with a large cup for each of them. Despite low-quality, the drink was very hot and strong. In addition to helping with the nerves, in Miranda's case, the coffee would also wipe out the last vestiges of whiskey.

Later, when Dominique finally looked for them, the two were still quietly sipping their coffee. At the sight of her, Miranda and Doug stood up promptly.

"Come with me, let's talk privately," Dominique was quick to orientate, and the other two nodded, the editor, relieved at the doctor's consideration.

In an unoccupied room, Dominique began:

"Andy had a little bleed, which stopped as soon as she got here. She's had a battery of tests and so far, mother and child are fine and stable. I've given her a sedative so she can rest properly. I want her to stay in the hospital until tomorrow, for observation."

"What does this occurrence truly mean for Andrea and our child?" Miranda asked in a firm, icy voice. She needed to keep herself together.

Dominique sighed, running a hand through her long, dark curly hair.

"Andy is strong, she is fighting valiantly to keep this baby," the doctor looked at Miranda seriously. "Among the things we've talked about, we know that in the first trimester of pregnancy, minor bleeding can occur and usually doesn't denote problems. However, Andy was unwell before the bleeding, and she had been showing small warning signs for some time. From a pregnancy that requires special attention, it could become a high-risk one. If Andy doesn't rest correctly and really stays away from all the commotion surrounding your family, the pregnancy may be lost."

Miranda's response was to close her eyes and take a deep breath, then give a weak nod. She feared something of that magnitude, but actually hearing the truth was overwhelming.

Dominique sighed, dismayed. She knew it was not the couple's fault, but she had to be blunt, make clear the urgency of the situation, if they were still to succeed.

"Now go and stay with your partner. When Andy wakes up, she's sure to be happy to see you."

Miranda nodded once again.

"If you want, I can let Liza know, and ask her to tell Andy's parents that their daughter got sick while visiting me," Doug offered with a sweet smile, though he was shivering all over his friend's condition. Obviously, Liza and he would not say anything to the Sachs about the couple's argument. This was between Miranda and Andy, and they did not need any more stress.

The older woman turned to Douglas, her brow furrowed. She had even forgotten about his presence. Miranda then gave him a small, grateful smile, along with a nod.

"Thank you for everything, Douglas...You are a good friend—she looked at Dominique—shall we?"

* * * *

She stopped her trembling hand halfway. Miranda sighed heavily, her guilty eyes moving, once again, over her partner's sleeping figure. Andrea was resting peacefully. It did not even look like she had been through such difficult times in the last few hours.

Miranda took a deep breath, and finally placed her hand on the belly, which was beginning to show the progress of the pregnancy. She shifted her chair with her body and laid her head on the bed, next to the young woman.

Miranda had not just failed Andrea.

"My beautiful child...I am so, so sorry..." She said softly and in a choked voice, hot tears forming inside her closed eyelids. "I am sorry I hurt your mommy and put you at risk...I...I cannot..." Her voice trailed off, and Miranda had to clear her throat slightly. "I cannot lose you, my sweet baby...Forgive me, my angel...Mom loves you so much...I promise I will try harder..." The woman finished in a shaky voice, and even with her eyes still closed, tears managed to escape and were already running freely down her face, until they fell on the sterile hospital sheet.

Also drained physically and emotionally, Miranda ended up falling asleep, her hand, protectively over two of the most important people in her life. Minutes later, however, the editor woke up when Dominique arrived to see Andrea. She then took the opportunity to wipe her face and compose herself in the bathroom of the hospital room.

Back, after the doctor assured Miranda that Andrea and the baby were still stable, the older woman resumed her seat in the chair beside the bed. She took out her cell phone and started a text conversation with Emily. Miranda would try to use the time to get things done at work. She needed a little distraction.

* * * *

Andy woke up slowly and smiled as she recognized the smaller, soft hand in hers. She turned her head to the side and confirmed her suspicion, as she found loving blue-green eyes watching her intently.

"Hi, darling..." Miranda whispered in a weary voice and watery eyes.

Tears were already streaming down Andy's face.

"I'm so, so sorry..."

"No, no, none of that," Miranda pushed her chair closer to Andrea. "If anyone should apologize, it should be me...I was not listening..."

"And I freaked out and left the townhouse like a petulant teenager. I shouldn't have exposed myself like that..." A sob was not avoided.

Miranda kissed Andrea's hand, her eyes also liquid with sadness.

"My love, you know, couples argue and do silly things sometimes. We have been through a lot of stress, and on top of that, you are pregnant. Your 'raging hormones' do not always cooperate—that drew a chuckle from Andy—so, no guilt. You need adequate rest and a peaceful environment. Now we just have to think about you getting well and our child..."

Andy finally let out the crying she had been holding back. Within seconds, Miranda was sitting beside her on the bed, hugging her tightly. She allowed herself, too, more tears to run down her tired face.

They were silent for a few minutes, seeking comfort and reassuring each other.

"Dominique talked to me...I...I don't want to lose our child, Miranda... I can't...I-I already love this baby so much..."

The pained tone stung the older woman's heart, as she tried to swallow her own guilt and properly cherish her partner.

"We will take care of ourselves even more, my love...Plan things more efficiently, do our best..." It was the only thing she could really promise. To Miranda, such impotence was excruciating.

They were silent again.

Some time later, calmer, Andy settled into the hug, leaning her head on the older woman's shoulder.

Miranda let out an affronted huff.

"You will be glad to know that, even though I was stubborn, I ended up doing what you wanted...I heard Carena. And you were right."

Miranda spent the next few minutes telling Andrea about her conversation with the cook, and how they discovered the real culprit.

Andy pulled back a little from the hug and faced her. She had a smug smile.

"I knew it!"

Miranda sighed.

"I should have known, too..."

Andy squeezed Miranda's shoulder in comfort.

"Love, given what you had on the case, you weren't wrong. You just needed to give her a chance to explain herself. Glad it all worked out in the end..."

Miranda nodded.

"Carena left Elena's fate in our hands. She will not interfere in our decision, let alone uphold her family if they side with her niece. Something that Carena finds difficult, since they send the girl off to live with her, as they did not want to deal with the problem anymore. I have never seen Carena so upset and hurt. Not even when I suspected her..."

"Given the facts and evidence you presented, Carena understood the reasons for your distrust. As for her niece, she felt betrayed. After all, Carena welcomed Elena into her home, and the girl used her aunt's trust to harm people dear to her. What are we going to do?"

Miranda pursed her lips. Then she shrugged.

"Elena is a lost soul. She used the money to feed her addictions. She does not have a job and lives with relatives. It is kind of complicated to punish someone who already has nothing..."

Andy marveled at her partner's calmness and, above all, such empathy. Gone was the woman with the guillotine, back, her Miranda.

"I think being admitted to a detox clinic would be quite a punishment, wouldn't you? They say people there are tough…" Andy added with a knowing smile.

Miranda looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

"Are we offering punishment or help?" She could not resist asking.

It was Andy's turn to shrug.

"I confess that if someone close to us had betrayed our family knowing exactly how much it would harm us, I wouldn't be so complacent—she thought of Lily—but, as you said: Elena already has nothing...Besides, we know that in her condition, she probably wasn't thinking clearly. I understand Carena's distress, and I know how much it has hurt us, but what else can we do? At the very least, we can make sure Elena has a chance to recover and not harm anyone else."

Miranda nodded in agreement. Andrea's view on the matter aligned with hers.

"Fine, let us do this out of consideration for Carena..." She knew that as much as the lady was disappointed in her niece, she would be sad to see Elena suffering even more. Carena had an enviable heart. Miranda herself, for years had been graced with her kindness, even though most of the time, she did not deserve it.

Andy's smile was satisfied.

Miranda rolled her eyes.

There was an almost imperceptible knock on the door, and then Dominique opened it and walked into the private room.

"Welcome back!" The doctor said good-naturedly at her patient. "How are you feeling?" She asked with a smile, but in a professional tone, as Miranda returned to her chair to let Doctor Jones check on Andrea appropriately.

Andy shrugged, lying back on the bed.

"In light of everything that's happened...I feel better now. When can I go home?" She had expectant eyes.

"I want you to stay here until tomorrow for observation. Remember you gave us a scare..."

Andy sighed heavily, but did not retort. Instead, she nodded.

"For now, you and the baby are stable, and everything is running as planned," Dominique stated, after examining her patient. "Your parents and friends are outside. When you are ready to receive them, they will be cleared to enter," the doctor said with a friendly smile, leaving the room afterwards the couple's thanks.

"My parents…" Andy pursed her lips, looking at Miranda tensely. "Is everything fine?"

"Yes, your friends were discreet about...our disagreement," Miranda's tone was heavy and her brow furrowed immediately.

"Love, please, stop blaming yourself..." Andy insisted. "Moreover, as much as I love them, my parents don't have to know the details of our conjugal life."

The older woman sighed, but nodded in agreement.

"Could you help me make myself more presentable before they come in?" Andy asked, with rosy cheeks.

Miranda smiled tenderly.

"Of course, my dear," the older woman stood up and helped Andrea to a sitting position again, placing two pillows to prop her back against the headboard. Next, the editor grabbed her handbag off the end table, and used her touch-up kit on both of them.

The couple, finally, looked less shaken.

"I'm ready," Andy stated, after propping herself up better against the pillows. "If it's okay with you, I'd like to see them now," she said excitedly.

Miranda nodded along with a smile.

"I will be right back," she placed an affectionate kiss on Andrea's lips, and headed out of the room.

A short time later, Miranda returned accompanied by the Sachs, Eliza, Doug, and even Sophie.

Andy smiled happily. It was wonderful to have them there.

The next few minutes were spent with displays of affection and frivolous conversation. Miranda and the doctor had already updated everyone and, by mutual agreement, no one emphasized the circumstances, which would only put more pressure on Andy's condition.

Although worried about their daughter, the Sachs understood and just wanted to help. Laurie, to everyone's delight, even promised them her famous pancakes for breakfast, which the group would have the next morning, when Andy got home.

"Oh, I almost forgot," Laurie said suddenly, opening her handbag and pulling out a medium-sized envelope. "One of the bodyguards was here and asked to deliver it to you, at Carena's behest," she told her daughter, handing her the exquisite black paper object.

Miranda had a satisfied smirk, already imagining what it was about. She would need to thank Carena for the wonderfully propitious idea.

Then, the editor sighed inwardly.

Once again, she saw how unfair she had been to the woman, who always only showed love for her family. She would properly redeem herself with Carena, starting with her niece. One day, Miranda Priestly would finally let go of the guilt.

Andy's eyes were wide. When she saw the sender, she grinned and hurriedly opened the envelope. Upon reading the letter, her smile seemed even more radiant.

"I did it...I won! I won in my category at the Aspiration Awards!" Andy looked at Miranda in amazement, her eyes already filled with tears of happiness.

The older woman wasted no time in giving her a long hug.

"Congratulations, my love. I was sure you would win," her tone was proud, enthusiastic.

Soon after, it was the others' turn to give their greetings to Andy, and then they all engaged again in lively conversation. Minutes later, however, seeing Andy starting to get sleepy, her parents and friends declared it was time to let her rest.

Miranda walked them out into the hallway, there, excused herself from the others, and led her in-laws to a more secluded corner.

"I would like to ask a favor..."

The two looked at her in surprise.

"Say it, dear," Laurie, with the intimacy they had been developing, encouraged her with a smile.

"Could you two tell the girls what happened? I really do not want to leave Andrea's side just yet, and the twins must surely be suspicious by now...I know you will know how to do it nicely..."

The Sachs smiled, touched. Knowing Miranda, it was an extremely important request. As they had once trusted the woman's promise to take care of Andy, Miranda now trusted them, with the twins.

"Leave it to us," Richard stated confidently.

"I'll lay the groundwork with the cheese crepes they love," Laurie teased with a wink, drawing an amused snort from Miranda.

For the first time, the Sachs truly felt like part of the family.

Chapter Text

Miranda Priestly narrowed her eyes and skimmed them subtly over her daughters. She took a generous sip of her coffee, and then calmly set her cup down on the table.

"Caroline…" The mother drew her attention in a dangerously low tone.

The girl grimaced and immediately stopped the spoon she was using just to play with her chopped fruit topped with plain yogurt and honey.

"I'm sorry..."

Miranda frowned. She turned to Cassidy, who had also barely eaten her homemade strawberry jam toast. She also saw that their orange juices were mostly intact.

The woman sighed deeply.

"You two should have stayed in bed, resting. I let you girls come downstairs, just because you insisted you wanted to have breakfast with me."

The twins lowered their heads.

Miranda sighed again, this time, with a dismayed expression.

In the last few days, she had been immersed in a maddening workload, and her daughters, even more fragile physically and emotionally, missed her greatly. Although Irv's support, and Miranda worked more from home than at Runway, much still needed to be done. The editor wanted to advance what she could, but not at the expense of her family. After all, it was all for them.

"Bobbseys," Miranda called to the two of them in a soft voice. "During chemo weeks you always get more tired and nauseous. If you two did not have the stomach to eat right now, you should not have insisted on coming with me. All you had to do was ask me to stay with you upstairs. We have talked about this before, sweethearts. Mom does not want you girls to wear yourselves out for nothing. I know I have been going to Runway more lately, but I will always try to stay with you as much as I can, okay?"

The twins smiled and nodded enthusiastically. Their mother had been keeping her promises flawlessly.

"Good morning," Andy arrived with shuffling steps, thick voice and eyes still sleepy. As the others returned her greeting, she placed a smacking kiss on each girl's smooth head. At home, the twins no longer cared about the lack of hair.

Andy got behind their chairs, bent down a little, and wrapped her arms around their shoulders.

"Did you sleep well, sweethearts?"

"It wasn't bad...

"We don't wake up so much..."

Andy nodded in understanding, along with a smile.

"And you? Did you sleep well?" Cassidy asked with a smirk.

Andy snorted.

"Do you still doubt?!" She laughed along with the twins, and walked over to Miranda, who was grinning. As the pregnancy progressed, Andy became even sleepier. However, she had never felt so good.

After the episode in the hospital, Andy adopted the strategy of isolating herself from the world as much as possible, until the end of the pregnancy. The young woman only left the townhouse for medical examinations that really needed the clinic, and the rest, was managed at home, by Dominique. Andy had been extra careful when reading or watching something, and her friends and family had been avoiding discussing topics that could cause her tension. She admitted to being in an alienated period, but Andy was not going to take unnecessary risks again. At least, she was taking advantage of her seclusion to finally devote herself to her book.

Miranda had to suppress a moan as she received Andrea's good morning kiss, which, even though it was quick, was very naughty, her tongue darting dangerously along the length of the older woman's lips.

Andy gave her partner an impish wink and sat down between the twins. Soon, the girls and she were chatting happily. The twins even started to nibble on their food.

Andrea and her magic.

Miranda could not get enough of watching her interact with their children.

Then the editor sighed heavily. She had duties to fulfill. Miranda needed to attend a meeting at Runway.

"Well, I was just waiting for Andrea to get up, to leave. I will be back as soon as I can."

Her three girls immediately lost some of their shine.

"I promise."

The three of them smiled. Miranda rolled her eyes, but she also had a carefree look on her face.

"We'll have guests for lunch, don't forget," Andy reminded her with a knowing smile.

Miranda made a sneering sound.

"Are you talking about those two?" She argued with mock disdain. "Eliza and Sophie practically live in the townhouse. They could save time by moving here altogether."

Andy put her finger to her chin and made a thoughtful face.

"Umm...You know...it wouldn't be a bad idea! Liza would make her delicious dishes, and Sof, could keep a closer eye on our physical condition."

"True, Andy!" Caroline helped, with a conspiratorial smile.

"It would be so cool!" Cassidy added excitedly.

"Perfect! We can make the offer to them today! What do you think, Miranda?" Andy argued, and the twins and she smiled slyly.

The older woman narrowed her eyes.

"Andrea..."

The twins and Andy laughed heartily.

* * * *

"Hey! Wait, wait!"

Roy, who was already driving the car out of the property, stopped immediately, tires screeching against the asphalt at the sudden command of the brakes.

Miranda rolled down the window of the Mercedes and faced a breathless Andrea.

"You should not run like that," the older woman was stern, although concern could also be felt in her voice.

Andy blushed at the deserved scolding.

"Sorry...But it was only a few meters. I just forgot to give you this," she shyly showed her an envelope.

Miranda looked at Andrea over her sunglasses and raised her eyebrows.

"And 'this' would be...?"

"Um...so...the beginning of my book..." Andy was chewing her lips and shifting feet anxiously.

Miranda's eyebrows rose even higher. It had been a while since she had seen Andrea so insecure. Her partner looked like the out-of-place young woman in her hideous cerulean blue sweater. Not that Miranda wanted a return to that phase, but she had to admit it was refreshing that she could still make Andrea nervous, from time to time.

"Elaborate," the editor prompted in a bored tone, going along with her plan.

"Uh...So...I've only written forty pages, but I wanted you to take a look already..."

"Hmm..."

At the rough sound coming from the other woman, Andy clutched the envelope to her chest, as if to protect her writing.

Miranda wanted to roll her eyes. Of course she would love to see what Andrea had written! However, the editor held back. She would keep the staging until the end. While a part of her felt sorry for Andrea, her young partner needed to learn to be more confident about her work, in front of anyone. For God's sake, Andrea was a solid, well-recognized reporter!

Andy sighed, clearly unmotivated.

"Uh...Right...I don't think it was a good idea...Bad timing...Don't worry about it, I understand..."

"Give it to me..."

"I know you're too busy to waste time on this-"

"Andrea, give me the damn envelope!" Miranda demanded exasperatedly.

Andy fell silent and her eyes widened. Reflexively, she offered her the package, and Miranda practically pulled the envelope out of her hands.

"Good. Now, stop wasting my time, which, as you yourself pointed out, is scarce. I am already late. After all, we will have guests for lunch."

Andrea then laughed at her lack of control.

"Okay. Thank you..." Gone was the frightened young woman, back, her partner.

Miranda's smile was pure evil.

"Do not thank me yet, darling," she rolled up the car window, leaving Andrea with a mouth hanging open, as she watched the Mercedes pull away from the townhouse.

Miranda Priestly finally laughed.

 


 

Miranda dressed and finished getting ready for bed. She was leaving the ensuite bathroom and heading back to the master bedroom, when the sight made her stop her steps.

Andrea was standing, next to the bed, wearing only comfortable white cotton panties. A few stray reddish-brown strands adorning her face, the rest of her hair, flowing in a straight cascade down her smooth, alabaster back.

The young woman was looking down, her eyelashes long and naturally dark, blocking the view of her beautiful eyes. She was absorbed in smearing almond oil over her prominent belly and even fuller breasts.

At nearly six months pregnant, Andrea Sachs was magnificently admirable.

After the initial complicated period, although still a pregnancy that required special attention, with the preventive measures adopted by the family, Andrea finally found peace and tranquility, and the pregnancy blossomed.

Every time Miranda saw her like this, lost in the aura of attention to the body that housed the unborn baby, she felt her heart, if still possible, expand a little more. It was immeasurable how much Andrea meant to her.

As if sensing the other woman's emotion, Andy turned toward Miranda, who was watching her with loving, longing eyes. Andy just smiled and handed her the bottle of oil.

Miranda knew that smile and the fire in her gaze. She knew exactly what her young partner needed.

In two strides, she was beside Andrea.

The older woman took the almond oil and poured a generous amount into her right hand, placed the bottle on the bed, and rubbed her hands together to distribute the viscous, aromatic liquid evenly.

Miranda massaged the younger woman's belly and back carefully, her hands gliding minutely over the soft, warm skin. Andrea's sighs and little moans were, undoubtedly, heating her desire, despite her attention to the task.

Miranda then stopped and placed a long, motherly kiss on the protruding belly, before picking up the oil and repeating the process, focusing on Andrea's chest. The older woman slowly circled her right breast, and on the left one, in addition to smearing it with oil, she could not resist lightly pinching an inviting nipple.

When the caress went from careful to erotic, neither of them could specify.

Despite the lingering concern, Andrea's condition was under control, and they could continue with their intimacy, as long as cautiously.

It did not take long for Miranda's hands to take possession of Andrea's body again, but this time, with a new purpose. Her mouth joined them, kissing and nibbling delicious skin, until Andrea was trapped in a slow, deep kiss. Miranda's touches remained soft, meaningful. She wanted to prolong the moment as long as possible.

When Andrea's labored breathing proved it was dangerous for her to still stand, Miranda led them to the bed. She helped her partner to sit on the edge, and laid her partially on the soft mattress covered with linen sheets. Then the older woman proceeded to remove her silk pajamas slowly, her eyes locked with Andrea's, who watched her in eager anticipation through lids heavy with lust.

"Miranda…" Andy could not suppress the call in a husky tone, as she saw the older woman discard her lacy black panties.

Miranda gave her a small sensual smile, and with her eyes still locked with her young partner's, she gently spread Andrea's legs and knelt on the floor between them. With reverent hands, the older woman gripped the elastic band of Andrea's white panties and pulled them down, at a teasingly slow pace, until she tossed aside the piece already ruined by her partner's arousal.

"Mi-Miranda..." Andy repeated her plea in an even huskier voice, her hips moving involuntarily.

Miranda, who was alternating kisses and small bites on her quivering thighs, smiled in satisfaction, her hot breath near Andrea's sex, causing the young woman to give a languid moan in response.

"Do not worry. I will take care of you, darling…" She assured in a deep tone, and used her arms to steady Andrea's legs in place.

With her thumbs, Miranda parted her partner's swollen, wet lips and ran a naughty tongue up and down her opening, until she covered Andrea's pussy with her mouth. The older woman kept her movements always long and slow, while Andrea's breathing became more ragged, and her moans and requests more and more urgent, until the young woman filled the bedroom with the scream that attested to Miranda's success.

Chapter Text

"Gustaf," it was said in a low, demanding voice.

Seconds later, the young man in question appeared out of breath at the office door. The woman was having one of those days! At least she had finally stopped calling him boy.

"Yes, Miranda?"

The editor looked at him over her glasses, with narrowed eyes and pursed lips.

"Why are there only five fabric swatches on my desk?"

"Maybe because you said it would be enough?" Gustaf responded promptly, trying not to roll his eyes.

Miranda frowned, her gaze burning at the audacity.

"That was yesterday. Bring the other three. You have ten minutes."

To the editor's astonishment, Gustaf flashed a smug smile.

"Just a moment, they're in my drawer," he said shrewdly, turned on his heel, and quickly went to get the swatches.

As soon as Gustaf was out of sight, Miranda let out a huff and allowed a small smile to spread across her face.

In the months following the arrival of the new assistants, testing them was deliciously refreshing, and with countless benefits. Despite the daunting tasks, they both remained examples of efficiency.

Gustaf returned with the fabric swatches and silently placed them on Miranda's desk. Back to her bored look, the woman only raised her eyebrows, before shooing him away with one hand. The assistant gave a polite nod, and within seconds, she was alone again.

The editor smiled, shaking her head, once again in awe. Andrea and her troupe surely did a good job. Things at Runway were quite complicated. She did not even want to imagine what it would be like without Alicia and Gustaf managing the chaos.

Miranda had her mind-wandering interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone.

"I was waiting for your call," she commented with a playful smile, as she answered. "Yes, yes. You know I want the best, even more, under these circumstances...Do not let me down. Okay. That's all."

Miranda Priestly's little smile was arrogantly victorious.

* * * *

As promised to her family, Miranda left Runway early, and arrived at the townhouse a little before 7pm. After receiving a warm welcome from her daughters and exchanging a few friendly words with Eliza and Sophie, invited to dinner, the editor went upstairs to look for Andrea. They said she was in the bath.

Upon reaching the master bedroom, Miranda found her young partner looking at herself in the full-length mirror in the walk-in closet. Andrea was wearing nothing but a set of delicate, comfortable underwear in a shade of dark green.

"Hi, darling," Miranda greeted her softly as she hugged her from behind. On tiptoe, the older woman sniffed her neck still fresh from the bath, giving it a loving kiss. "You are getting more and more beautiful every day."

Andy snorted in disbelief.

"I'm getting bigger every day, you mean…I'm going to look ridiculous in the awards dress," she pouted, her eyes watering.

Miranda smiled in sympathy with her partner's insecurities, so normal at this point in her pregnancy.

"My beloved," the editor appealed to the sweet, melodious voice that Andrea loved. "Your body is just adapting to house our child, who grows beautifully in you," she calmly continued her now familiar speech. "You have barely gained any weight. Plus, your skin and hair show that radiant glow that only pregnant women have," Miranda stated, and then placed another kiss on the neck near her lips. "As for the dress, do not worry, I will arrange everything. It will be magnificent."

Andy took a long breath.

"I'm being silly, aren't I?" She asked the obvious, leaning her body closer to the one who was supporting her. She hated these hormonal crises.

"Just pregnant," Miranda chuckled. "A beautiful pregnant woman, who will look even more stunning in an exclusive creation by Donatella Versace," she decided to be a little indulgent, just to lighten the mood. She could not bear to see Andrea upset.

Andy was grinning, her eyes, meeting Miranda's in the mirror.

"Really!?"

"Uh huh…"

"Now I'm curious," Andy said excitedly, her insecurities already forgotten.

Miranda's little smile was sly.

"You will have to wait until next week, when you will have your first fitting on the dress."

Andy pouted.

"Trust me. The wait will be worth it," Miranda assured in an enigmatic tone, with a smirk.

Andy smiled tenderly. Then, she closed her eyes, her lips, letting out a small, appreciative moan, as she felt Miranda's mouth kiss and bite her neck and ear.

"Don't start something you can't finish…" She scolded, her tone, already husky.

Miranda's laugh sounded thick and teasing.

"I would never do such a thing, darling..."

"Dinner...Our friends are here..." Andy tried to argue, although her voice did not sound convincing.

"It is still early. Those two are smart, they will distract the twins," Miranda pointed out.

The hands, from Andrea's waist, came up. Wasting no time, they opened the bra and quickly got rid of the piece, so they could hold breasts, even fuller.

"I will be quick, I promise. Just an appetizer..."

Andy opened her eyes, watching them again in the mirror, the sensual scene, melting away any vestige of resistance. Her smile, like her voice, was seductive, "So, will I have full service later?" She turned in the embrace, facing Miranda.

"It will be my pleasure," was the promise in a lascivious tone, before their lips met in urgent demand.

* * * *

"I love the ways you make good on your word," Andy said breathlessly with a giggle, hours later, after Miranda had fulfilled her promise made before dinner.

The older woman let out an amused huff.

"Thank you, my dear. It is really been a pleasure, believe me," she stated mischievously. Andrea continued to feed her desire madly. Despite the challenge, her current body state had a delicious new allure.

"Oh, no doubt about it! Mine, too," Andy teased, her sweaty, satisfied body snuggling closer to the one hugging her from behind, on the unmade bed.

"I liked it, by the way," Miranda said between kisses on her neck.

"Me too!" Andy bit her bottom lip. "Do you want a second round?" She moaned softly at a nibble near her ear. "Love, as much as I want to, and you know I always do, we need to take it easy…Dominique said sex is still safe as long as we're careful…"

Andy hated to remember such a restriction. She wanted to have Miranda incessantly, and it was not just because of her crazy hormones. Would the desire become less intense over time? At the moment, Andy thought it impossible.

She felt Miranda's snort on the back of her neck.

"I am talking about your book," the older woman explained in a mocking tone.

Andy stiffened.

The woman and her damn sudden changes of subject!

Because of her tumid belly, Andy turned awkwardly in the embrace, facing Miranda.

"First off, do not give me that look," the editor was quick to demand, not wanting Andrea to tense up.

The young woman sighed.

"You need to trust yourself more, Andrea. Be more assertive in front of your editors. Are you always so insecure?" Miranda finally expressed what she thought of her defensiveness.

Andy was chewing her lips nervously.

"No. It's you. Only with you..."

Miranda smiled.

"Good, then," she frowned, "I guess," she added.

"Umm...You said you liked it..."

"Although it was still in the beginning, I found the narrative line interesting. I confess that I was surprised. Crime Novel?"

Andy shrugged.

"I had the idea when I was in college, but I thought it needed time to mature..."

Miranda nodded in understanding.

"Resuming the idea now, with you more experienced, was the right choice. From what I have read, the narrative is solid. While not my type of reading, it has intriguing characters and the writing style managed to hook me. The story is very good, Andrea. With the right preparation and editorial attention, the book is bound to be great."

Andy put her arms around Miranda's shoulders and buried her face in the older woman's neck.

"Thank you," her voice was muffled by the proximity to her partner's smooth skin, though Andy's smile was noticeable.

"Do you know that I will want to read the manuscript until you close that book, do not you?"

"Uh huh…"

"And that I will make numerous observations in your work."

"Uh huh…I'm counting on it..."

Miranda paused and frowned. Suddenly, she felt totally manipulated. When the editor was about to continue the conversation, however, she was interrupted by Andrea's loud yawn.

"Enough for today, let us go to sleep," Miranda then suggested.

"Uh huh…" Andy agreed once more, already groggy, carefully turning her back to the older woman again. "You always know what to say..."

Miranda huffed at the sleepy nonsense.

"That's all, Andrea," she blurted out in mock reproach.

"I love you..."

Miranda smiled lovingly, but felt that her young partner had already fallen asleep.

"Love you, too..." She whispered anyway, and placed a soft kiss on her hair.

After turning off the lampshade on her nightstand, Miranda snuggled closer to Andrea, the heat of the bodies still damp with sweat, which in the past would have made her look for a shower, with the young woman, causing her to smile contentedly. Despite arrangements to replace her lost work hours, Miranda Priestly now knew that time spent with family always had its precious rewards.

 

 


 

 

"Do not be ridiculous, Andrea. Let me see," Miranda demanded, already impatient, at the inter-connecting door to the bedrooms.

"Calm down, wait just a little longer! I'm almost ready!" Andy yelled from the other end in a nervous tone.

Since early in the morning Nigel, Serena and Emily had been helping her get ready for the awards ceremony. Aside from the first fitting, in which Miranda made her pointed remarks about the outfit, Andy did not let the older woman see her in the dress again. She wanted it to be a surprise for that night.

Andy had been reluctant to attend the ceremony, both, to be able to continue avoiding the press, and also, for fear of leaving the twins only with the medical staff, in a very difficult week. Though, the restriction of the event to be covered only by authorized media, and Eliza and Sophie committing to stay with the twins, were decisive in Andy finally agreeing to be out for a few hours.

"There," Nigel swung open the door and smirked as he caught Miranda by surprise, and then froze at the glare he received from the woman.

Still narrow-eyed, Miranda positioned herself to the side waiting to see Andrea, her perfectly painted mauve lips pursed in uneasy anticipation.

"I present the diva of the night!" Serena dramatized, dragging, along with Emily, a shy and extremely apprehensive Andrea Sachs.

Miranda's adoring gaze and smile were immediate.

Her Andrea looked magnificent.

The deep blue Versace was exquisite. The long-cut dress with strategic layers disguised her pregnancy and the need for special shoes. Her long hair was in a loose bun, her makeup sober, flawless in highlighting her beautiful eyes and generous mouth in a matte red tone. The white gold earrings and the ring, with a diamond in the shape of a rose, perfectly completed the ensemble.

Miranda walked over to Andrea and took her hands, which were cold and a little shaky. The older woman brought them to her lips and placed a gentle kiss on soft, fragrant skin.

"You look beautiful, my love. Truly ravishing."

Andy sighed, calmer now, and smiled brightly.

Miranda turned to Nigel, Emily and Serena.

"Good job."

The three smiled proudly and relieved. Andy was extremely insecure and anxious, while Miranda behaved like Miranda. Dealing with the two of them in such moods was not easy. Glad that all the work was worth it, and that the couple was finally going to a formal event, after so long.

* * * *

As they hurried past the paparazzi horde at the entrance, Miranda and Andy then gracefully entered the hall, where the Aspiration Award was to be presented. The Times spared no effort. The place was tastefully decorated in black, gold and silver, and apparently, the catering was delectable.

Their arrival was very noticeable. Andy really did look magnificent, and Miranda, although also in a Versace, wore a more discreet black model. It was Andrea's night. The editor knew that her presence alone would attract stares, and she did not want to do anything that would display her even more, Andrea was already too nervous. Aside from the award, it was the first major event they attended as a couple.

During the minutes leading up to the award ceremony, Miranda tried to convey the necessary confidence and stay close to her young partner. At one point, however, while they were talking to an influential couple in New York society, Irv interrupted them to take Miranda to a high-ranking editorial group. As much as the woman wanted to take a back seat, she was Miranda Priestly. Many wanted her attention.

As she talked to editors and investors, Miranda watched Andrea discreetly. She smiled slightly when she saw the young woman laughing along with her companions. Her partner's caring and friendly nature had already won them both over.

Nevertheless, soon afterward, Miranda stiffened as she noticed who was approaching Andrea.

Christian Thompson.

How could she be so careless?

She did not bother to find out if he would be on the guest list. After all, she barely remembered the slippery blonde. As far as she knew, Christian had never looked for Andrea again.

Miranda noticed that her partner tensed up at the sight of him. The editor wanted to put a stop to the man's supposedly gallant smile, along with all his teeth.

"Andy, you're still a vision," he greeted with a crooked smile and looking down at her belly, interrupting the conversation between her and the couple in her company.

The young woman smiled awkwardly.

"Christian, it's been a while," she introduced him to the other man and his wife, who, after polite exchanges, excused themselves to join some friends.

"Look at you…Now you're Miranda's girl, in all propriety," as soon as they were alone, Christian commented with a smile that was a mixture of mockery and sorrow.

Andy shot him a glare. She was not in the mood for games. Also, from the glass of whiskey in his hand and his already heavy eyes, it was evident that Christian had been making good use of the buffet's liquor supply. All Andy did not want, and needed to avoid, was stress and scandal. The press had finally left her family alone. She did not want to give them any reason for further media harassment.

"What do you want, Christian?" She was harsh, making clear her intention not to prolong the contact.

The blonde held up his empty hand in mock surrender along with his trademark smile.

"Gee! Just wanted to say hi to an old friend," he retorted cynically, his eyes devouring her body. "You really look beautiful," he sighed, "it's such a shame..."

Andy could not resist a smirk.

"Not for me, believe me. I'm where and with whom I want to be."

Christian sighed dramatically. Then he smirked.

"It was great to see you again, Andy, but I think I'd better go now. Dragon in sight," he commented scornfully, seeing Miranda Priestly's subtle but decisive approach.

"Good to know that, despite being arrogant, you're still smart."

Christian gave her a wink, and after turning on his heel, walked away, with one hand in his pocket and the whiskey glass revisiting his lips.

"The air here was kind of suffocating, was not it?" Miranda asked dryly, wrapping her arm protectively around her waist.

Andy smiled at the welcome display of possessiveness.

"Yes, quite a lot. Thanks for the rescue."

Miranda just nodded, and then narrowed her eyes slightly.

"Apparently, we still have surprises in store," she added quietly.

Confused, Andy discreetly turned to where her partner was looking at.

Lily was holding hands with a beautiful young woman.

"Hi..." The newcomer greeted them shyly.

Andy was smiling, her heart singing happily. She had already forgiven her friend some time ago. After everything was clarified and the most tumultuous phase had passed, they kept in touch by email, and in recent weeks, by phone. Still, the conversations remained casual, mostly on Lily's part, which still feared more intimacy. However, her being there meant that the adaptation period was finally over. That Lily was ready for a real rapprochement.

"Lil!" Even with the mobility and contact complicated by the bulging belly, Andy hugged her enthusiastically.

"Hey!" The other woman did not hesitate to return the gesture. "Congratulations! I'm so happy for you, Andy! And look at you, girl, you look amazing!"

"Thanks, Lil! You look amazing yourself. Glad you're here," the young reporter then frowned.

"Diana received invitations and I wanted to surprise you. I wouldn't miss this night for anything!" Lily guessed what was on her friend's mind. "By the way, let me introduce you. Diana Donovan. Diana, Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly."

The tall blonde with stylishly short hair smiled.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you. And congratulations!"

"Thank you!" Andy shook her hand, smiling back at her. Lily was dating!

Even Miranda was politely kind to the younger couple.

"Well, we're going to take a look around before the ceremony. It's almost time," Lily glanced at Miranda, who nodded almost imperceptibly.

"Lillian, Diana, Andrea and I would be delighted to welcome you both to our home. I think dinner would be lovely," the editor offered cordially, looking from the couple to her partner, who nodded excitedly in agreement.

"Yes, that would be wonderful!" Andy verbally endorsed it, with a hopeful smile.

Lily and Diana looked at each other and then smiled.

"We greatly appreciate the invitation."

"We'll be happy to attend."

"Great! After the awards, we can arrange everything just right," Andy pointed out with satisfaction.

After promising to talk later, once the couple had left to look around the hall, Andy turned with a loving smile to Miranda.

"Thank you..."

The older woman shrugged.

"It was time for you two to take the next step. I just took the opportunity of this being in a safe place."

Andy gave her a smirk.

"Not just the dinner invitation...Lily conveniently being here today. Thank you...It means a lot to me..."

Miranda looked at her, confused.

"I do not understand your implication..."

Andy snorted.

"Do you really think I bought the story that Diana got invitations? This party is exclusive to publishers, sponsors and the elite."

Miranda shrugged again, but a small smile crooked her lips.

"Maybe the girl belongs to the industry, or who knows, she is an unknown heir..."

Andy snorted a second time.

"Uh…I don't know...Their clothes...something tells me they've visited The Closet..."

Miranda was now smiling broadly.

"Do not be ridiculous, Andrea."

Andy's response was to wrap her arms around the woman's neck and take her lips, showing anyone who would see how grateful she was to be Miranda Priestly's girl, in all propriety.