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Girlfriend. Really, Andrea?

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As far as a working day goes, this one could not be more mind-numbingly tedious. Miranda watches her staff run around trying to organise themselves, after they arrive in her office, rather than before as they should have. It would be quite laughable if not for the fact that it is her time they are wasting and not just their own.

 

“Why is no one ready?”

 

“Sorry, Miranda. We had some last-minute accessories arrive which we thought might be more suitable,” Jocelyn explains nervously.

 

Miranda ignores her. If not for the fact that she has a fresh cup of Starbucks in her hand then all of them would be looking for employment elsewhere by now. 

 

“I have the Presbyterian Hospital on line one for you,” the voice of her second assistant calls through from the outer office. 

 

Heart in her throat, Miranda picks up the handset, sending a simple prayer up to a God she no longer believes in that her girls are ok.

 

“Miranda Priestly speaking.”

 

“Ms Priestly, my name is Chloe and I’m calling from the Presbyterian Hospital. I have Andrea Sachs in our care asking for you. She said you were her girlfriend?” A small snort tells Miranda that the woman doesn’t believe for one second that this is actually true.

 

“Andrea Sachs? You’re sure she said her name was Andrea Sachs?”

 

“Yes, Ma’am.”

 

Miranda purses her lips, all too aware of the people in the room who have stopped to stare at her. Brows furrowing, she speaks again.

 

“And she called me her girlfriend?”

 

“Yes, Ma’am. We didn’t believe it either when she told us,” the woman, Chloe, adds with a nervous chuckle. “Shall I tell Ms Sachs you won’t be attending?”

 

“No, no. I’ll be right there. Please ensure Ms Sachs is treated with the best care available and have her moved to a private room. That’s all.”

 

Miranda stands up. “The run-through is cancelled for now, which may be the only reason that you will all still have a job tomorrow. Make sure you are better prepared next time. Now, go.”

 

“Was that about our Six?” Nigel asks and she can see the genuine concern on his face, all too aware that they have kept in contact since Andy walked away in Paris two years ago.

 

“I don’t know that she’s ‘our’ Six, Nigel, but yes. That was about Andrea.”

 

“Why would she be calling you her girlfriend?”

 

“I haven’t the faintest idea but I’m about to find out. Please hold the fort in my absence,” Miranda instructs, already heading to the outer office where her not-completely incompetent assistant is already waiting with her coat and purse.

 

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

 

“Where is Andrea Sachs?” Miranda demands in a low growl. At any other time, she would have delighted in the fear that graced the woman’s face when she spoke.

 

“Are you family? Only her next of kin are allowed to visit and she has no one listed on her records.”

 

“You will tell me where she is immediately or you will be explaining to the head of finance why his hospital is suddenly short half a million in funding next year.”

 

“Um, room 226. Just down the hall on the left.”

 

Miranda stalks off down the hall that the receptionist had pointed to, the worry on her face almost imperceptible but definitely there underneath her cool exterior. She pauses for a moment by the door, taking a deep breath and then swings it open, striding in purposefully.

 

“Andrea? What is going on?” Miranda asks, eyes devouring the woman in the bed, searching for injuries. Her eyes land on the cast on the young woman’s left arm and the bandage around her head. She sighs. It looks bad but it could be worse. The woman is at least conscious.

 

“Miranda! You came!” 

 

“Of course I came. I couldn’t exactly leave you here, now could I?”

 

“Thank you,” Andy replies gratefully, shoulders relaxing.

 

 “Now, what’s this nonsense about you calling me your girlfriend?”

 

Andy lays in the bed looking confused. “But, I thought…”

 

When she trails off Miranda turns to the Doctor. “What has happened to her?”

 

He doesn’t answer and turns to the visibly upset brunette in the bed. “Do I have your permission to discuss your condition?”

 

Andy nods, wincing when the action causes her pain. 

 

The doctor turns back to Miranda and refers to the chart in his hand. “She fell down the stairs to the subway. There was a brief loss of consciousness at the scene but all in all she was very lucky. She has a grade two concussion and a broken wrist. The fracture we were able to stabilise with a cast, without the need for surgery.”

 

“And the concussion?” Miranda asks. “She doesn’t appear to be feeling herself.”

 

“A grade two concussion can cause confusion, temporary amnesia, dizziness and nausea. It will heal on its own but she will need to be monitored. She has also been given a strong painkiller which could be contributing to the confusion. Once she sleeps it off she should be much better.”

 

“Surely you’re not releasing her yet?”

 

“No. She will stay here tonight but will be allowed to go home in the morning. Does she have someone who can look after her?”

 

“I will make any necessary arrangements. Please leave us now.”

 

The doctor quickly ducks out of the room, closing the door behind him. Miranda walks over to the bed and takes a seat on the edge of the mattress.

 

“Are you ok, Andrea?”

 

“I’m fine,” the brunette replies quietly, refusing to meet Miranda’s eyes. “I’m sorry for calling you, I thought… well, it doesn’t matter what I thought.”

 

“You thought we were girlfriends?” Miranda asks gently, reaching out and placing a hand on Andy’s thigh, squeezing comfortingly. Andy's eyes widen as she sees the glint of gold and diamonds on her hand.

 

“Oh my god, you’re married? Miranda, oh. Oh no.”

 

Miranda is lost as the woman in the bed starts to cry. All she can do is move forwards and hug the woman, gathering the brunette in her arms and letting her cry. When the woman’s tears start to ease, she tries to calm her further.

 

“Hush, Andrea. It’s not what you think. I’m-”

 

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Andy cuts her off, still sniffling as she pushes the older woman away. “I’m so tired.” She shuffles down the bed, keeping the arm with the cast on it on top of the covers and doesn’t protest when Miranda pulls the sheets up and tucks her in.

 

“Ok, darling,” Miranda agrees softly. “Why don’t you sleep now? Everything will seem better when you wake up.”

 

“Will you stay here? Will you stay with me?”

 

Miranda inwardly sighs when she sees her only option is a reclining chair next to the bed, but she doesn’t falter.

 

“Of course, I will. Close your eyes. I’ll be right here,” she tells the patient in the bed who looks at her with wide baleful eyes.

 

“You promise?”

 

“I do. Now go to sleep, Andrea. We will talk in the morning.”

 

Miranda moves to the chair next to the bed and sits down, taking out her cell and making several quick calls. She keeps her voice quiet but she suspects that nothing will disturb the now lightly snoring woman in the bed. She smiles to herself, revelling in the peaceful expression on her face. 

 

Miranda shoots off one last quick text to the girls to let them know that Cara will be staying to look after them overnight and then resigns herself to a long night in an uncomfortable chair.

 

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

 

It is a longer night than she had prepared herself for. The nurses come in several times to check on Andy, taking her vitals and noting them down on the chart. She is groggy and barely seems to understand, falling back to sleep immediately when the nurses finish their checks.

 

“Is she alright?” Miranda whispers to the nurse, far more politely than the other woman was expecting, judging by the shock on her face. 

 

Miranda Priestly’s reputation is well-known throughout the hospital. As one of the most generous patrons, she is afforded a higher level of care than most but she is also their most demanding contributor. When Caroline was in the hospital with a broken leg she made no less than three nurses and one doctor cry during the girl’s stay.

 

The nurse swallows nervously. “Her vitals are good and she’s getting plenty of rest. The doctor will come round in the morning and discuss it with you further, but yes. She’s doing well.”

 

Miranda nods, relieved and settles back into the chair. She waits for the nurse to slip out of the room and close the door behind her, before reaching for Andy’s hand.

 

“Oh, Andrea. What a mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”

 

The woman in the bed doesn’t answer but Miranda can feel the slight tightening of fingers around her own as if she knows she is there, even in her sleep.

 

Pressing a button on her chair, she reclines it for the first time that night and still holding Andy’s hand, allows herself to fall asleep. 

 

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

 

“Miranda?”

 

That voice. So different from the day before, Miranda immediately knows what it means and opens her eyes, meeting warm brown ones staring back at her.

 

“Your back must be killing you,” Andy says knowingly, with a slight grimace of empathy. “I know how much you hate sleeping on the couch let alone in a chair.”

 

“The things we do…” Miranda says with a huff and a dramatic roll of her eyes. There is no need for her to complete that sentence and they both know it.

 

“I had a horrible dream,” Andy informs her with a pout that Miranda can’t help but find adorable.

 

“I had a waking nightmare,” Miranda counters, with a small smile. Andy wrinkles her brow, staring up at the older woman.

 

“What happened?”

 

Miranda moves to sit on the edge of the bed, resting a warm palm on her stomach and rubbing gently in soothing circles.

 

“I had a call from the hospital telling me that Andrea Sachs was asking for me and calling me her girlfriend ,” Miranda informs her sternly, though the twinkle in her eyes gives her away.

 

Andy gulps and then pouts again, knowing full well the effect it has on the editor.

 

“I’m sorry?” she says with a shrug, and yes, ok. Miranda finds it endearing. It’s something that she will deny thoroughly, though, if anyone picks up on it.

 

“You really need to update your hospital records and next of kin details, Andrea Priestly. We’ve been married for eight months.”

 

“Yes, Miranda,” Andy replies cheekily.

 

“And… and maybe we should consider telling people about our relationship,” she adds with a sigh.

 

“Really?” Andy perks up, eyes full of hope.

 

“Yes, really. I love you, Andrea and I’m tired of hiding it from the world.”

 

Andy throws herself forwards into the willing arms of her wife, hugging her tightly.

 

“I love you, too.”