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In Another Life

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"My e-mail is dryer than the desert," Andy grumbles, face squished between the palms of her hands.

"Give it time. You can't expect to be a world-renowned journalist in one month."

Turning in her chair, she sends a glare to the woman clearing their dishes off the table. "Miranda, if I wasn't living here, I wouldn't be able to afford giving it time. I'm literally out of a job."

It hasn't been the case for long, of course. Up until a month ago, Andy was a better-than-mediocre journalist at a less-than-mediocre paper. When said paper went under, Andy had the genius idea of foregoing a back-up in favor of the much more stable endeavor of making it on her own as a rock star freelancer. So far, it hasn't quite been going as planned.

"You'll be fine," Miranda, known sympathizer, dismisses her concerns. "Are you coming to bed?"

"Sure," Andy grumbles again, snapping her laptop shut with a little more force than necessary.

"Maybe I should think about a career change," she suggests as they settle into bed, Miranda moisturizing her hands while Andy pulls the comforter over them.

"Don't be dramatic," Miranda says.

"I'm not," she argues. "Nobody wants to read what I write. Maybe without the backing-up of a newspaper, I'm not actually cut out for this world."

"Then what are you cut out for?" Miranda arches a skeptical eyebrow. "You weren't very good at coffee runs either."

Andy considers for a moment. "My dad wanted me to go to law school, did you know that? Maybe I could have been a kick-ass lawyer."

"I hate lawyers," Miranda states.

Andy lies back, staring at the ceiling. "Maybe I should have gone to law school."

"Are you done talking?"

Andy wants to say yes, before she smells shea butter. "You have creamy hands?" She wrinkles her nose.

"I don't have to use my hands," Miranda suggests.

 


 

Andy wakes up from a wonderful, sound sleep, feeling well-rested, satisfied, and overall much better. She stretches in place, rolls over, and drops straight to the floor, hitting her forehead on the corner of her nighstand on the way.

That's sure a way to forego a gradual wake-up, and as her eyes pop open, she frowns in confusion and not a little pain. She doesn't sleep on the left side of the bed, not since embarking on a five-year relationship with a woman too stubborn to let her keep it. And fun as last night was, it wasn't nearly crazy enough for them to fall asleep on the wrong sides.

That's nothing compared to the fact that this isn't her bed. And this isn't her bedroom. And this is not her house.

"What the..."

"Babe, you okay?" And that man, the one staring down at her from between the sheets with messy hair and a light stubble and alarm in his eyes--that's definitely not Miranda.

"Who are you?" Andy squeaks, scooting back across the floor as he sits up in bed. As a woman who spent over a year living alone in a Manhattan apartment, she's already planning her escape route: grab the heaviest thing she can access (that lamp will do nicely), smash it over the strange man's head (if he doesn't go down, knee him in the groin), run out screaming, and for heaven's sake, don't be n-- Oh. Well, at least she's no longer naked, but she can't imagine Miranda not smacking her over the head with a lamp over Tweety pajamas.

"What?" the man on the bed chuckles, climbing down to join her on the floor.

"Stay away from me!" she yelps, but hits a closet when she scoots further back.

"Oh. Oh. It's okay, babe," the man pacifies, seeming to understand something she doesn't. "You hit your head." Right on cue, her forehead throbs with pain, and when she touches the bruised area with her fingers, it hurts more. "How many fingers am I holding up?"

"Who are you?" she repeats more anxiously. Maybe her head wound is responsible for some weirdly vivid hallucination. Either way, this is not good.

"Okay. It's me. It's Rafael." He presses a hand to his chest. His face is open and warm, his eyes kind with concern, and Andy thinks that if he is a rapist/killer, he's the nicest one she's ever met. "Maybe we should get you to a hospital."

Maybe they should. "Where am I?"

"You're at home."

Where is home? Behind her, a window is open, shining light into the room, and Andy turns and gingerly rises to her feet. The man--Rafael--is quick to support her instead of pinning her down to the floor, so for now it's safe to assume he won't be harvesting her organs.

He supports her biceps as she approaches the window, and maybe later she'll shrug him off, but at the moment she's preoccupied with the familiarly unfamiliar view. There aren't townhouses lined up along the street, nor is there her scarcely used backyard should she be looking out the other side of her house. She, however, knows this view all the same: knows the river and the bridge and the differently-colored houses that look like mismatched Lego pieces.

"Is this... Cincinnati?"

"Of course." Rafael rubs up and down her arm. She shrugs him off.

"What am I doing in Cincinnati?"

"I think we should get your head checked."

"I think I need a drink."

The coffee Rafael makes her is not spiked, but the caffeine does help clear her head a little. With the growing reassurance that she won't be murdered any time soon, Andy allows herself to survey her surroundings with more attention to detail.

If the view from the window wasn't enough, this apartment assures her that they're not in New York. In no New York City building would they find one this big, and judging by the shabby furniture, it isn't expensive either. But it's homey, filled with pictures and trinkets that make Andy feel safe and comfortable, at least as much as she can get in these circumstances with a man she doesn't know.

"Rafael," she says his name slowly, to ascertain. He nods. "You live here?"

"We both do." He smiles gently.

"So... you're my... you're my..." She dreads the answer, but at the same time concedes that the sweet, disheveled, kind of dorky look--it used to be her type before she fell for the formidable snow queen.

Miranda.

When Rafael takes her hand in his in a nonverbal answer and gives her a loving look that makes her feel too exposed, she yanks her hand back. "Where's Miranda?"

"Miranda..." His forehead wrinkles in puzzlement. "Adkins?"

"Who?"

"From law school?"

"From where?!" Which is when Andy's eyes, among the pictures and trinkets, lock on something on the wall right across from the kitchen, next to the apartment's door.

She rises from the wobbly kitchen table while Rafael's gaze follows her, slowly heading toward her target until two framed certificates come into clear view. Not just certificates. Diplomas. For Rafael Jennings and Andrea Sachs.

University of Cincinnati. College of Law.

"Proudest day of my life," Rafael recalls fondly and he's suddenly beside her. "Up there with the day we got into the firm."

"I think I'm dreaming," Andy says hollowly, eyes trained on a diploma she doesn't remember receiving. "Either that, or something insanely weird is happening."

"What do you mean?"

"See," she begins to snap out of it, "I told Miranda last night that I should have gone to law school instead of becoming a journalist, and I think I woke up this morning in this messed-up, alternate reality where I'm a lawyer and live in Cincinnati and have a boyfriend. Who's a boy."

"Andy..." Rafael says carefully, looking at her as if she's sprouted a second head. "Let's revisit the hospital idea."

"I need to get out of here." She turns on her heel.

Rafael grabs her. "Okay, maybe that's not a good idea."

"Let go of me. I need to go to New York."

"New York?! Andy, let's sit down--"

Andy rounds on him. "Tell me this: am I a journalist?"

Rafael is unmistakably taken aback. "Journalist? No. We're environmental lawyers."

Andy stares at Rafael. Rafael stares at Andy. Andy turns back around. "I need to get out of here."

 


 

Andy scares Rafael into telling her where her wallet is and then ignores all his pleas and his urgent, helpless call to his mother and storms out of the apartment.

By the time she's on a plane from Cincinnati to New York City, listening to the loud noise of the engines and looking down at the dense clouds hiding the world underneath, she's had time to concede that her alternate reality theory is absolutely batshit. And absolutely plausible.

In the middle of the day, her first destination after touching down at JFK and getting through customs is the one place she should know better than to show her face in in a shapeless, suede jacket and ill-fitting pants. But that's what Alternate Andy had in her closet and there was no time for fashion.

Entering through the revolving doors of the Elias-Clarke lobby, the place is familiar and strange all at once. It looks exactly the same--polished floor and high ceiling, women in heels and impeccable makeup--and at the same time Andy doesn't feel like she belongs.

She tries not to feel like a thief sneaking in uninvited as she walks behind a clacker toward the golden turnstiles. Miranda always has a security guard waiting by the handicapped door to let her in, but the rest of the building's unimportant employees resort to pressing their personal cards to the scanner, just as the clacker proceeds to do. Andy hurries behind her, runs into the unmoving, metal arms, and nearly gets impaled, if they were sharp enough.

A man helps her up from the ground, and now along with her head, her ribs bear the brunt of her failed attempt. She leans on him as she gets to her feet, looks up, and beams.

"Mark. Thank god." His bald head and grey security suit are the most welcome sight she's witnessed all day. "Can you help me?"

Mark, evidently, doesn't feel the same way. "Do we know each other?"

"Mark. It's me. It's Andy. Miranda Priestly's girlfriend?"

Mark's eyebrows jump so high up his forehead they may as well make the round trip across his shiny head. But at least he seems to recognize Miranda's name, which means that in this alternate reality she hasn't been incarnated as a pelican and is currently migrating to Mexico. "Excuse me?"

"Mark, I worked here for eight months. Andy Sachs."

"Oh," Mark says politely. "I apologize. So many people pass through here on a daily basis, I don't always remember everyone. Where do you work?" His eyes run over her outfit, and after Miranda's mention, Andy imagines he's having a hard time placing her at Runway.

"Worked. I worked at Runway. Listen, can you just let me in?"

"I'm sorry, ma'am." He pulls his jacket closed and squares his shoulders. "Non-employees can't go in without a security pass."

Andy doesn't mention that for almost five years, he and his colleagues have been operating under clear instructions to let her in without question. "Okay, well..." She runs a desperate hand through her hair (an awful thing she discovered earlier is that her bangs are still there... and a curling iron is currently a necessity). "Can you call Miranda?"

She's so close, only nineteen floors away from reuniting with the one constant in her life after less than twenty-four hours that have seemingly stretched into an eternity. Mark, friendly again, places a hand high on her back and leads her to the reception desk, where she waits impatiently while he dials a number.

"Yeah, this is security. I have a..."

He lifts a questioning look at Andy, who tries not to huff in frustration as she says, "Andy Sachs--"

"Andy Sachs here for Miranda Priestly... Sure thing." He smiles and hangs up. Andy smiles, too, her entire face lighting up.

"I'm sorry," he deadpans, "no pass."

"Wha--" Her face falls at once. "No, who did you talk to? Was it Rebecca?"

"Who?"

"Sandra?" She tries to quickly go through her mental list of recent assistants. "Maya?"

"Ma'am, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."

"No, wait," she says desperately. "Please, just try again. Ask to speak to Miranda. Let me speak to her--"

"Ma'am--"

"Please!"

By now, their interaction has attracted the attention of several people around, and perhaps that, accompanied by Andy's urgency, prompts Mark to pick up the phone one more time. "Yeah, it's security again. I'm sorry to bother you. Could you..." He glances up at Andy, closes his eyes in resignation, and Andy knows she's officially in his bad graces. "Could you check with Miranda? It seems... it seems important." Andy nods encouragingly. "Yeah, I know. I know. I know... Andy..."

"Sachs."

"Andy Sachs... Yeah, I'll hold."

"Thank you," Andy mouths. He looks two seconds away from strangling her.

"Yeah, I'm here... Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Gotcha." He hangs up.

"Well?" Andy asks, anxious and hopeful.

Mark looks less than remorseful to inform her, "If you don't leave, we'll have to escort you out."

Andy's heart sinks.

 


 

She does have the idea to call Miranda's personal cell, but after getting sent to voicemail for the sixth time (Miranda only answers familiar numbers), cedes defeat. So, she does the only thing she can think of. She goes home.

Her street looks exactly the same, and so does the townhouse, except for different plants on the stoop and the Emmersons across the road have a different car parked outside. Force of habit gets Andy all the way up to her front door before she remembers she doesn't have a key. But she's a pro at getting herself locked out, and so she reaches behind the lamp on the wall to the right of the door for the spare key she's taped there... only to find out that Alternate Andy was not so thoughtful.

And so it comes to be that at 7 P.M. she's shivering on the front steps of her own house when a silver Mercedes pulls up to the curb. She's already on her feet by the time Miranda is out of the car and the first sight of her, of the white hair and beautiful clothes, the unmistakable scent wafting even from a distance, the mere presence of her--it's like a breath of fresh air. Andy's heart soars.

Their eyes meet over the roof of the car, and the smile Andy is waiting for, the warm embrace, the reassurance that she's fine, she hasn't gone mad, she's home--they don't come. The Mercedes pulls away and Miranda takes out her key, approaching Andy.

"So you're the person who's been trying to get into my office all day," she says as she passes Andy on her way up the stairs, as nonchalantly as if she has stalkers waiting on her doorstep every day. At least her penchant for exaggeration has remained intact.

For a second, Andy is rendered speechless by the indifference before she collects herself in time to see Miranda stop by the door. "Miranda," she calls, and it comes out as a plea.

Miranda doesn't look back as she calmly says, "You have three seconds to leave my property before I call the cops."

"Miranda!" Andy says in outrage. The door opens. "Miriam."

Miranda freezes.

When she turns back to Andy, her eyes are cold and fiery at the same time. "What did you call me?"

"We need to talk," Andy says bravely.

"Where did you hear that name?"

"I know a lot more than your name." Only Andy, who knows Miranda, she wants to believe, better than anybody else, notes the subtle change in Miranda's features before they're blank again and knows her words have shaken her.

"I'm calling the police."

"No, you're not."

Now Miranda is the outraged one as she takes out her phone, and up until the last moment, Andy doesn't believe she'll go through with it. But she listens in horror, and tries to stop Miranda, and gets scared and hurries back down the steps while Miranda reports a suspicious-looking trespasser with very possibly a weapon.

"Why did you do that?" Andy lets the hurt she feels show in her frown and her voice. Miranda is unperturbed.

"The police will be here soon. I suggest you leave."

With that, she opens the door and pauses again when Andy calls, "You don't wanna know how I know your name?"

"That is not my name," Miranda hisses icily over her shoulder and opens the door wider.

"Just like you didn't grow up Jewish?"

"Well." A wry, ugly smile--the fake one Andy hates--spreads across Miranda's face, full of teeth and venom. "I see the tabloids have been keeping busy."

"Okay," Andy accepts the challenge. "How about things impossible for the press to know? Like the birthmark on your hip that looks like Mickey Mouse." Miranda's eyes widen. "Or how you're deathly afraid of snakes. How you love sneaking cheesecake when no one's watching. And how you cried when Caroline left for Berkley and Cassidy for MIT."

Looking around, Miranda scans the area--perhaps for eavesdroppers, perhaps for Ashton Kutcher and his crew--before descending the stairs. "Who are you?" she demands.

"Andy!" they hear from across the road, the loud voice disturbing the peaceful quiet of 73rd Street. Behind her, Andy is equal parts shocked, horrified, and irritated to see the person approaching her, who, for his part, looks immensely relieved.

"Rafael?"

"Thank god I found you. Are you okay?" he asks as he joins her on the sidewalk.

"What are you doing here? How did you find me?"

"Find my Friends." He holds his phone up by way of explanation.

"You're stalking me?!" Andy sputters.

Miranda chuckles. "Ironic."

"I was worried about you," he says in self-defense. "You wake up one morning and tell me you're going to New York, after mumbling some nonsense about alternate realities and journalism. I had to follow you to make sure you were okay."

From the corner of her eye, Andy sees Miranda begin to ascend the stairs anew. "No, Miranda, wait."

"Who is this?" Rafael's gaze shifts between the two women.

"Rafael," Andy says, "you should go."

"You should both go," Miranda supplies.

"Miranda."

"Ma'am, I'm sorry," Rafael placates. "She hit her head this morning. She's just a little confused."

"Don't infantilize me like that." Andy turns raging eyes on her so-called boyfriend. "I don't need you to manage me. I don't even know you! Miranda."

"Babe, I'm just trying to understa--"

"Don't call me babe. Miranda."

"Andy--"

Down the street, a white car appears and nears them, POLICE written in blue on the side. It stops in the spot Miranda's Mercedes vacated, where two officers, a burly man and a burlier woman, exit the vehicle.

"What seems to be the problem here?" the man asks authoritatively, hooking his thumbs into his belt loops.

"Everything is fine, officer," Rafael says nervously, tugging on Andy's arm.

"Miranda," Andy tries, pleading once again.

"Ma'am," the woman addresses Miranda, "you called about a disturbance?"

"Miranda," Andy whispers, shaking her head. Across the distance between them, their eyes meet, and the Miranda Andy knows and loves, the Miranda she went to sleep with last night, the Miranda she's been going to sleep with for the last five years--for a moment she's there, and for a moment Andy's chest fills with bright hope.

And then Miranda coldly says, "I want these people gone."

The cops advance on Andy and Rafael, who puts a hand before him and tugs on Andy's arm again. "We're going. We're going right now."

"No," argues Andy, releasing herself from his hold. "Miranda, tell them. Don't do this. We--" She turns to the officers in frustration. "We know each other. This is a mistake."

"Ma'am," the woman turns to Mirana again, "would you like to rescind your complaint?"

"I would like"--Miranda lifts a menacing eyebrow--"to get into my house and have a quiet evening."

She proceeds to do just that when Andy runs up the steps. She only gets as far as the top one, a touching distance from Miranda, when she feels strong hands on her, forcing her away, restricting her arms behind her back.

"Wait, what are you doing?" Rafael demands.

"Miranda!" Andy yells to the startled woman in the doorway.

"You can't just arrest her!" Rafael calls as Andy is dragged, struggling and kicking, toward the police car. "You have no cause. She has rights."

"Miranda, this is my house, too!"

"Back off."

"I'm her lawyer."

"This is my house, too!"

"You can follow us to the station."

"Miranda, you know me!"

As Andy is lowered into the back seat of the car, as the door is closed behind her, as the car starts moving, she watches the woman she shared her life with watch her being taken away, doing nothing. She doesn't chase the car, but she also doesn't disappear behind her door. For the first time in a long time, Miranda looks lost.

 


 

"When are they letting me out?" Andy asks despondently from behind the bars of her holding cell. Now that the adrenaline has worn off, she feels nothing but fatigue and despair, and the stench of urine is hard to ignore, as well as her methhead cellmate's sharp gaze boring into the side of her head.

"They just wanna hold you until you calm down. They want to be sure you won't go back there," Rafael explains. "I'm sure it won't be long now."

Slumping on her metal bench, Andy thumps her head back against the wall and closes her eyes. "Andy..." She reopens them. "What's going on?"

"I don't know," she admits.

"Well... we're currently in a jail in New York City after you hopped on a plane and harassed some stranger. I think you're gonna have to do better than that."

"That's the best I got, Rafael," she says dispassionately. "Trust me, any more than that and you'll lock me in a psych ward instead."

Running his hand up and down a metal bar, Rafael says, "How about I get you something to eat? Have you eaten anything today?"

The grateful smile Andy flashes him is genuine, and when he's gone, she closes her eyes again.

"Harassment, huh?" She opens her eyes and the methhead is offering a crooked smile with rotten teeth. "Not as innocent as you look."

"Andrea Sachs," a loud voice echoes off the walls of the place with the worst acoustics she's ever been in. The voice's owner, the same policeman who put her behind it, unlocks and opens the door of her cell. "You're free to go."

"I am?" she asks in eager surprise.

"The complaint against you has been withdrawn. Your friend here can take you home."

Relieved, Andy leaves the methhead behind and follows the officer's gesture down the hall... but it's not Rafael she finds there.

Her steps, too, echo as she takes tentative steps as if toward a timid animal. Miranda, indeed, looks as stiff and rigid as if she were to bolt at the slightest touch. But when Andy stops before her, she remains.

"You came," she observes in not a little wonderment.

"I'm not sure why," Miranda admits.

"Are you gonna take me home?"

"I'm going home. You can come along if you want," she announces and spins around, marching toward the exit. Andy follows enthusiastically.

 


 

By the time they're out of the precinct, it's pitch black outside, and even in the city that never sleeps, the car ride is silent. Miranda never drives in the city, and yet she's driving now, the roof of her favored Porsche up as she navigates the streets of Manhattan with remarkable ease. Andy, in the passenger's seat, knows she must smell terrible, and look even worse, and for the first time in years, she feels awkward sitting next to Miranda and saying nothing.

"Why did you come?" she ventures. Miranda doesn't respond. "It was the things I said, wasn't it? You know I was right."

"You were wrong about my daughters," Miranda's cool, restrained voice finally comes out for the first time since leaving the precinct. "They go neither to Berkley nor MIT."

"But I was right about the other stuff?" Andy pushes. Once again, Miranda remains quiet, but Andy knows it's a "yes."

They drive for a while, and finally Andy notices that they're nowhere near the townhouse, nor going in the right direction. That's when she sees the lights in the distance, the American flags. Miranda, even in this reality, reads her mind. "You'll be staying here tonight. My assistant booked you a room."

"Why are you doing this?" Andy smiles when the car stops.

"I'm just ensuring you don't end up on my stoop again," she answers evasively, but Andy has always been able to call her bluffs.

"You could have left me in jail. You could have done anything but drive me to a hotel." Miranda's eyes are focused on the road ahead of her. Andy's smile widens. "You're intrigued. You wanna know how I know all those things about you."

Miranda turns her head, fixes her with an impatient glare that is meant to hide a desperate need. "Well?"

Andy unbuckles her seat belt, opens her door, closes it behind herself. Miranda rolls down the window when she bends toward it to say, "In another life we were in love."

With a self-satisfied smile, she leaves Miranda gaping behind her and heads into the Waldorf Astoria.

 


 

It's not a surprise when the knock comes on her door. By then, Andy has taken a much-needed shower, replaced her dreadful clothes with the hotel's plush robe, and clipped her untrimmed hair into a bun, so she feels much more like herself when she comes face to face with Miranda.

Miranda, who stands with her hands clasped before her, looking as uncertain as Andy has ever seen her.

"Come on in," she whispers.

Miranda does, depositing her handbag on a nearby table and shrugging off her blazer. She walks straight to the floor-to-ceiling window of the room, overlooking the city lights and skyscrapers, and stares as if she has never seen Manhattan in her life. "What did you mean?" she asks the glass before her.

"I literally don't know how to say it without sounding crazy," Andy says quietly behind her.

"Then sound crazy."

Andy draws a deep breath. "Last night, I went to sleep with you in our bed. This morning, I woke up in Cincinnati with a man I don't know, with a job I never wanted, in a life that's not my own. And it's been the longest day of my life."

Miranda turns to face her, an expectant eyebrow climbing up her forehead. "And your explanation is...?"

"That's where the crazy part comes in," Andy says bashfully.

"I see," she says matter-of-factly and starts taking sure steps toward Andy, and Andy moves toward her, and Miranda puts a halting hand up to her chest when she's too close. And that's when Andy sees it.

"You're married," she realizes, and the pain that accompanies the words is all-encompassing. The woman she's loved and who's loved her back for half a decade, and someone else has her. Her heart sinks right down to the floor.

"I am."

"To Stephen?"

"Steph-- no." Miranda shakes her head. "No, that has been over for years." Her eyes widen momentarily. "How do you know about Stephen?"

"The same way I know about your name and your birthmark and everything else."

"Or you could have read that in the tabloids," Miranda dismisses and walks over to the bed, sitting regally on the edge. "Lord knows they milked that divorce dry."

"So who's the new one?"

"I'm surprised you don't know." Miranda's look is challenging.

"I can guess." Now it's curious again. But Andy can, because she wasn't there to instill the desire for social justice in Caroline or encourage Cassidy's passion when Miranda pushed her to stick with music, and she wasn't there to help Miranda discover her true self, and discover her own alongside her.

"I can guess he's a man." Miranda immediately loses interest: that much, she'd figure, was obvious. "I can guess you're unhappy." Miranda's eyes snap up in a mixture of rage and indignation and vulnerability. "He's mostly for show. So the shareholders don't worry. So the press doesn't ask questions. So you can maintain an image."

"And what image is that?" Miranda asks, and she must have intended to sound haughty, but seems to surprise herself with the hoarseness of her voice. She clears her throat.

"You tell me," Andy says easily. "Why did you come to my room?"

"To get answers," Miranda replies with a warning edge to her tone. And then she catches the movement of Andy's hands. "Don't." She closes her eyes when they come to rest of the knot of the robe's tie.

They don't remain closed for long. It's not Andy who encourages them to open, and when Miranda sees her naked body, she licks her lips, and she can't seem to look away.

"Don't you have a boyfriend?" she asks feebly while trying to stare her fill, as if afraid the view would be taken away from her at any moment and so trying to commit every detail to memory.

Andy kneels before her. "Don't you have a husband?"

"Yes," Miranda hisses and lets her grip the sides of her thighs.

"Do you want it?" Andy whispers.

"Yes," she whispers back and welcomes Andy's kiss.

 


 

Andy is home. She's in a hotel room that countless before her have occupied and countless others will; she's in a body that doesn't feel like her own (size six); she's with a woman who's wearing a wedding ring (and isn't much of an expert with her tongue), but her arms are around Miranda and Miranda's legs are entwined with hers and she's home.

"I think..." she says haltingly. "I think I was so busy thinking about what I didn't have... that I didn't stop to appreciate what I did."

There's no response from Miranda, and when Andy checks to see if she's fallen asleep, she finds her staring at the ceiling, but she doesn't seem to have heard a word Andy said either way. "You okay?"

"I felt it," Miranda finally whispers.

"What?"

"In another life," she says. "We were in love."

 


 

Andy wakes up from a wonderful, sound sleep. She stretches in place, rolls over, and throws an arm around her bed companion. And opens her eyes.

"You're real?" she asks a sleeping Miranda in buoyant astonishment. "I'm real?"

"Let me sleep," Miranda groans.

"This is our bedroom?" Miranda steadfastly ignores her. Andy grabs her hand, free of a wedding ring. Miranda cracks an eye open, studying Andy suspiciously.

"What's wrong with you?"

"You'd think I was crazy if I told you."

"I already think you're crazy." Miranda yawns, pulling herself up to sit against the headboard. "Well?"

Andy looks up at her, flashing a face-splitting grin. "I found something new to write about."