Well, I was right… Andy sighed as the gaggle of athletic-type reporters kept up with her even faster-than-normal pace all the way to the dog park. When they reached her customary bench she took a lesson from Miranda and spoke quietly, forcing the reporters to stop speaking and listen to her. "I'm going to let Patricia off her leash now. She loves to run and play in the park, but you need to back off or else we're just going to end up in the ER. She doesn't like it when people crowd around her, or me." She smiled as all the reporters stepped back. Not quite far enough it seemed. As Andy let the St. Bernard off her leash, instead of running off the way she normally did, Patricia stood her ground, growling at the large number of people gathered around.
"Patricia!" Andy ruffled the fur at the dog's neck. "S'okay girl…" She looked at the reporters all standing around and held Patricia's collar. "It might be better if you would all, slowly, sit on the ground." She watched them all lower themselves cross-legged to the grass. Patricia still looked at them suspiciously, but stopped growling. "G'wan. Go play." She gave the protective animal a little shove in the direction of the wide open grass and breathed a sigh of relief when the pull of other dogs at play outweighed the protective instinct. Soon, Andy smiled as she sat on her usual bench and watched Patricia, business as usual, bounding around the park.
One of the reporters piped up. "So you are the official dog walker?"
Andy shrugged. "Seemed logical, I run anyway."
There was a second of silence as all the reporters blinked. Andrea Sachs had answered, actually answered, a question. Every one of them opened their mouths to ask a question when Andy held up her hands. "Stop, right there." She laughed as all their mouths snapped closed at once. "I will answer some questions." She held up one finger and waggled it at them. "One at a time." She pointed to one guy, he'd fallen behind a few times, but had still managed to make it all the way to the park. "You."
"Do you have a reply to the allegations made by Miranda's ex-husband?" They all seemed to lean toward Andy, waiting breathlessly for her response something that seemed to take, forever. When she finally spoke, they all deflated a bit.
"No." She smiled. "Next." Pointing to a different person she nodded. "You."
"Is there any truth to the rumor that you and Miranda were together while you were her assistant?"
Andy laughed and waggled a finger at the reporter. "Nice try." It was basically the same question as the first one. She smiled and turned to another person. "Next."
"What are your feelings on Judy Genero's upcoming trial?"
She thought about it for a moment, I could just tell them no, but then answered. "I'm prevented from speaking about the ongoing case specifically, but I believe in the legal system most of the time and I hope that in this case it works as it's supposed to." She blinked and pointed to another reporter. "Next."
"How does Miranda feel knowing that she is older than your Mother?"
Andy's lips twitched. "You would have to ask Miranda that." She grinned. "But I wouldn't expect a response if I were you."
All the reporters chuckled at that, and Andy pointed to another person. "Last one. You?"
"How do you feel about Miranda being older than your Mother?"
Andy sighed and shook her head. "I don't care in the least." She ruffled her bangs a little self-consciously then added with a smirk. "If you knew her like I do, you wouldn't either." With that she whistled loudly, and yelled for Patricia, cautioning the reporters to remain sitting. The dog obediently trotted over to the bench, circling wide around the seated people. "C'mon Patricia," She latched the leash to the collar. "…time to go home."
The reporters sat, stunned, as the young woman and the dog jogged quickly to the park exit. "Did that just happen?" One reporter blinked out of his daze. "Did we just have a press conference?"
"Yeah." Another reporter laughed. "She should be a politician… she answered every question without saying a damned thing."
"I know." A third reporter grumbled. "What the hell are we supposed to do with those answers??"
They all began to rise from their seats and they all chuckled as someone spoke up. "What do you think? The same thing we always do." They all turned to him and he shrugged. "Make shit up."
Miranda and Dorothy watched as Andrea passed through the back gate.
"She runs every day?" Dorothy was astonished.
"Yes, unless I can talk her out of it." Miranda could only remember a handful of days when the young woman had skipped her morning run. "I've only been able to do that a few times, when it was raining extremely hard or to dangerous due to ice." She shrugged. "It is my sincere hope I can manage to stop her from going out in the ice and snow this winter as much as she did last winter."
"You are planning that far ahead?"
"It's not that far off." Miranda focused on Dorothy. "Only a few months."
"But…" Dorothy swallowed hard at Miranda's confused look. "What if…" you aren't together by then.
The older woman knew exactly what Dorothy was thinking. "We are going to be together for a very long time." Miranda's voice was firm and confident on that point although her brain wasn't so sure. At least, I hope we will. "If you will excuse me, I still have a few more pages to go over in the Book."
"What is that? You keep saying the book but I don't…"
Nodding, Miranda gestured for the woman to follow her, explaining along the way. "The Book, is a mock-up of the magazine. It is delivered to me each evening and I go over it, putting my notes on the changes I want made." She sat at her desk and opened the Book in front of her. "It is then taken to the Art Department first thing in the morning so my changes can be implemented."
Dorothy looked at the note Miranda was pointing to, "That says move blonde half an inch to the right."
"Yes." Miranda looked at the page. "The blonde is too far to the left. It throws off the balance of the page and draws attention away from the rest of the designs."
"It looks fine to me."
"I do not settle for 'fine' where Runway is concerned." At the risk of sounding arrogant, Miranda continued. "Under my guidance Runway has become the premiere fashion magazine available. My decisions, my attention to detail, have made it so and I intend on keeping it that way."
Dorothy shook her head. "You say move this and change that and they do, even if the change is a slight as half an inch?" No one argues with her? My poor Andy has to put up with that kind of ego?
"Of course." Miranda almost didn't understand the question. "I tell them what to do and they do it." She turned the page and absently reviewed the layout there. "That," she stuck a Post-it to the page, "is their job." She continued looking over the last few pages, hyper-aware of Dorothy's eyes on her.
Dorothy was amazed. She had never met anyone that….confident, that powerful. There was nothing in the woman's demeanor to suggest that she doubted her Post-it suggestions wouldn't be obeyed. She recalled Andy ranting at them about Miranda's influence over the fashion industry; how her decisions affect millions of dollars and countless jobs. Dorothy became lost in her thoughts, trying in vain to imagine exactly what having that much power would feel like. Probably very 'God-like', she thought, But what about Andy? Where does she fit in to this woman's life? Is my Andy just another worshipper at the feet of the 'great Miranda Priestly'? There was one thing she realized though, Miranda can do anything, give Andy anything. The thought tore at her heart.
Andy doesn't need me. She nodded to herself and knew what she had to do. Andy might not need me anymore, but Richard and Chad certainly do.
Andy returned to the house feeling fairly proud of herself. She'd reduced the stress she'd been feeling regarding ignoring the press. It was odd being on this side of a news story, because she'd finally understood that even if she and Miranda didn't see their personal lives as 'news' other people did. The reporters, annoying as they were, were just trying to do their jobs and Andy knew that if it were her going after a story, she might just be doing the same.
But she'd answered their questions fairly vaguely and knew she hadn't given them very much if anything to work with, so whatever stories they fabricated from the impromptu press conference would be easy to discredit.
Miranda was alerted to Andrea's return when Patricia padded into the study and lay down on the large pillow in the corner with a contented yawn. Andy entered the room a moment later, crossing the room quickly to give Miranda a quick kiss. "Finished with the Book?"
Miranda nodded. "Have a nice run?"
Andy nodded. "Yep." She told Miranda about the question and answer session, relaying the questions and the answers she'd given. Naturally Miranda wasn't amused by the age questions, but the answers made her chuckle. "You realize of course, their minds are in the gutter and they will take your answer and relate it to our interaction in the bedroom."
Shrugging, Andy turned a devilish grin on her partner. "Maybe that's how I meant it."
"Andrea…" Miranda began a warning but Andy cut her off.
"Miranda…" the brunette rolled her eyes. "You know you are amazingly fantastic when…"
"Shhhh…" Miranda pulled her closer and stopped the young woman's verbal reply with a long, deep kiss. She pulled away with a smug expression on her face. "As are you."
"Mmmmm…" Andy dove back into the addicting kiss and was on the verge of divesting Miranda of her annoying clothing when she stopped and looked around. "Uh… Where's Ma?"
Miranda shrugged. "She asked about the Book and I explained it to her. Then she seemed quite distracted for a while and left. She was up rather early. Perhaps she went to take a nap."
Distracted? "Maybe I should go check on her?"
"Of course." Miranda was actually slightly concerned about the woman herself. "I will be leaving for work soon."
Andy glanced at the clock and nodded, "I'll be back down before that."
"Ma?" Andy stepped into the woman's room. "What are you doing?"
"Oh." Dorothy whirled to face her daughter. "I'm… I'm packing." She turned back and placed a folded shirt into the open case on the bed. "I'll get a flight home tonight… you don't need me." She barely whispered the rest of her thought, but Andy heard it. "Miranda can do anything."
"Ma, Miranda is not a replacement for you." Andy moved to sit on the end of the bed. "You are partially correct though." She reached out to still the woman's hand. "I don't need you to take care of me anymore, I really am all grown up." She tightened her grip on the hand as Dorothy tried to pull it away. "But I do need you, as a friend. You're my Mom, and I will always need you, to come to for advice. I love you, Ma." She looked into the woman's startled face.
Dorothy felt the tears welling in her eyes. "Do you think we can be… friends?"
"I think we can." Andy smiled. "Why don't you stay at least one more night, and we can talk more about it?"
Nodding slowly, Dorothy bit her bottom lip. "Okay."
"Everything alright, Andrea?" Miranda waited for Andy at the bottom of the stairs. "Roy is here, I need to go."
"Yeah, Ma's going to rest for a little while." Andy wrapped her arms around her partner and leaned into Miranda, nuzzling against her smooth neck. "She was going to leave… because she thought I didn't need her anymore."
"Shhh…" Miranda patted the young woman's hair. "You will convince her otherwise, Andrea." She brushed aside the brunette hair, kissing the forehead she found underneath. "No matter how old you get, you will always be a child in your parent's eyes, even when you are an adult. The flip side is that even when you are an adult, your parents are always your parents." Something struck Miranda. "She should know that from her own mother."
Andy shook her head. "I never met my grandma on Ma's side, grandpa either." She remembered her mother's whisper about how Andy had never known her grandma.
"Perhaps you should speak to your mother about that." Miranda brushed the backs of her fingers over Andrea's soft cheek and asked quietly. "Do you need me to stay?"
"Thank you for asking… But you need to get to Runway…"
"Andrea, Runway can wait." Miranda smiled at the young woman's shock and shook her head. "You are far more important to me than Runway."
"I…" Andy swallowed hard barely able to whisper. "You can't mean that. Runway is such a huge part of you…" Two elegant fingers pressed against her lips, stopping her words.
Miranda shook her head; serious blue eyes searched her young partner's face. "If you need me to stay, I will."
Andy took a deep breath and smiled. "I love you, so much." She hugged the woman tightly against her, feeling the surprisingly strong arms return the gesture. "I'll be just fine. Go to work."
Miranda pressed her lips together. "You're sure?"
"Very sure." Andy risked a light kiss on lipstick covered lips.
"Very well." Miranda exhaled softly. "But, I'm canceling any lunch appointment I may have. I would like you and your mother to come to the office, I'm sure she would like to see where I work," she grinned, "How I support you in the manner to which you've become accustomed. I would also like to have lunch with you." Miranda picked up the Book and headed for the door. "Come early and you can give Dorothy a tour before we eat."
Andy winked and smiled softly. "Okay." She watched as the white-haired woman put her sunglasses on and took a deep breath before opening the door and walking confidently through the swarm of reporters to the waiting car. Now a smile of pure love crossed Andy's face and she spoke quietly to herself.
"I'm gonna marry her."
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