Disclaimer: See Part 1
“Are you her?”
Andy set her half-finished coffee down and turned her dark eyes toward the awed voice, startled to see what had to be a teenaged girl standing there, shifting her weight on her feet back and forth. Not your typical New Yorker. Andy thought as she took in the girl's long blonde hair, vivid blue eyes and deeply tanned skin. She looks more like a surfer girl. She also looked a little lost and Andy smiled kindly at the newcomer. “Her who?”
The nervous girl clarified, “The one dating Miranda Priestly.”
Andy narrowed her eyes, “Are you a reporter?”
“No!” The girl's eyes widened and she held up her hands defensively. “I just thought I'd seen your picture in the papers.” She took a deep shaky breath. “Sorry to disturb you.” She turned to go.
“Wait.” Andy exchanged looks with her mother and grinned back at the girl, answering the original question. “Well, I live with Miranda and I'm going to marry her. It's a little more than dating, but… okay, yeah, I'm her.” She chuckled and added with an amused tone. “I don't think Miranda's seeing anyone else right now.” Or ever .
“Wow.” She wrung her hands together, knowing she was acting like a dork. “I'm sorry, it's just that I've never met anyone really famous before.”
Chuckling at that description of herself, knowing how not true it was, Andy gestured from the girl to an extra seat at their table. “Have a seat.” The reporter in her couldn't resist interviewing someone who seemed to regard her as famous. Maybe she could figure out the puzzling attitude.
“Oh, no I…I couldn't…”
Dorothy saw the opportunity for distraction and nodded. “Yes, join us for a bit.” With the stranger at their table she wouldn't be required to talk to Andy about anything, much less the disturbing issue of her grandmother.
There was one thing, Andy knew, that would get the girl to sit. “You wanna see the ring?” Andy grinned as the girl sat immediately, and she held her left hand out.
“Wow.” The teen's eyes bugged out slightly. “That's awesome.”
“What's your name?” Andy asked.
“Huh?” The girl dragged her eyes from the ring and was caught in inquisitive brown eyes. “Oh, it's Sarah…”
“Mmm…” Andy smiled at the girl. “Nice name.” Leaning back into the chair, Andy crossed her hands over her flat belly, leaving the left one visible so the girl continued to stare at the ring. “And what brings you to the airport on this fine day, Sarah?”
The tone of Andy's voice set her at ease and Sarah was able to speak almost casually. “I met a group of friends here and we spent a couple of days seeing some shows and what-not.” She sighed. “They took an earlier flight and now my flight's been cancelled.” She laughed at the shock on her companions' faces. “No worries, the airline gave me a hotel room and I'll fly out tomorrow.” She shrugged. “At least school is out of session right now.”
“School?” Dorothy was appalled that this child was running around New York on her own. “High school?”
The girl laughed. “No, UCLA…” Sarah ran her fingers through her hair. “One more year and then I'll have to find an actual job… or so my parents say. I'm pretty happy at the company I'm doing an internship for.”
One more year? She's nearly as old as I was when I moved to New York! She looks so young… Did I, do I, look that young? “Where are you interning? What are you studying?” Andy remembered the feeling, the looming of real life, the uncertain future.
“Architectural engineering.” Sarah chuckled at their expressions. “I got an internship at a place that designs roller coasters.”
“Wow.” Andy exchanged a look with her mother. “The girls love roller coasters.” She shook her head. “I've never been to an amusement park with them, but James took them once and they couldn't stop gushing about the coasters they'd ridden.”
“Wood or steel?” Sarah was curious now and this was a subject she could actually discuss competently. “Most people have a preference.”
“I don't know…” Andy thought about it. “When I was younger I liked them all, I suspect the girls do too.”
Sarah smiled. “Wood is classic, but choppy… steel is smoother.”
“So, between studying and designing roller coasters, you follow the tabloids?” Andy grinned at the girl's blush.
“Well… not exactly.” She sighed and admitted, “My room-mates all worship at the alter of Runway, so I've heard all about fashion and Miranda Priestly and all that forever… now that her…um… your relationship is front and center in the papers it's been nothing around our house but Miranda this and Andrea that…”
It was Andy's turn to blush, but she was amused at Sarah's pronunciation of ‘Andrea'… more like her mother and Emily said it…” With a devious glint in her eye, Andy leaned forward. “Tell them that isn't how Miranda pronounces it. Miranda calls me,” She spoke slowly, enunciating the syllables. “ ‘Ahnn…Dray… Ahhh…' not ‘Ann…dree… uh.'”
“Really?” Sarah thought that was so awesome. “Cool.”
Andy glanced at her watch. “It's nearly time for your flight, Ma.” She stood but turned to speak to Sarah. Sadly, she was not any wiser about why people thought she was so special. The blonde was nice though and she was glad to have asked her to sit. “It was nice to meet you.”
“Oh… you too!” Sarah stood and laughed. “My friends will never believe I met you!”
Wrapping her arm around her mother's shoulders, Andy smiled. “I think I know how to help with that.” She winked at the girl. “They'll believe you.” As she and her mother began to move toward the gate Dorothy needed to be at, Andy spoke over her shoulder. “Trust me.”
Oddly enough, as Sarah watched the mother and daughter walk away, she did trust the brunette. Somehow, Andy was going to keep her word and her room-mates were going to know about this chance meeting at the airport.
Andy walked off the elevator into the halls of Runway and immediately felt the tension. Uh oh… she thought and continued to Miranda's office. Miranda's doors were closed, which was slightly unusual; she liked them open so Emily could hear when she was being summoned. Stopping at the frantic assistant's desk, Andy questioned the situation. “What's up, Em?”
“Oh, my Gawd.” Emily practically breathed frustration. “The Versace shoot is a disaster and now Miranda is positively yelling for the set to be draped in fabric.”
Andy's eyes narrowed. “Um… and?”
“She won't tell us what kind or color!” Emily sighed. “I don't know what to do!”
Holding out her hands, Andy pressed the air in front of her. “Easy… I'll help.” With a wink at Bethany, she issued a request. “Call the Art department, will you? Ask them how much fabric it will take to cover the set and what type photographs the best.” Reaching over she patted Emily's arm, “We'll figure it out. Be right back.”
Both assistants watched as Andy walked up to Miranda's office door and with barely a knock, slipped inside. Emily waited for the door to click closed behind Andrea then turned to her co-worker. “Don't ever do that.”
“No worries.” She would never in a million years enter Miranda's office without express permission from the Boss. Bethany reached for the phone to carry out Andy's request, dialing as she answered Emily's comment slash command, “I don't want to be fired!”
“Oh!” The white-head rose from the desk and tired blue-grey eyes rested on the visitor. “Andrea… is it time to go home yet?”
Andy's heart melted at the almost dismal tone and she circled the desk to gently rub the woman's back. “It's nearly lunchtime.”
Miranda moaned. “Is that all?” The feel of Andy's hand on her back was lovely and some of the frustration she'd built up was beginning to ebb away. “This has been a terrible morning.”
“What can I do to help?”
It wasn't a hollow offer, Miranda knew, Andrea was serious about helping. “I'm not sure.” Miranda sighed and pointed to the preliminary pictures. “See these? Awful.”
Andy looked at the photographs in question and agreed there was something…off, about them. “Emily said something about…fabric?”
“Mmmm…” Miranda eyed the photos critically. “I think the set would look much better covered in fabric.”
Keeping her expression and voice neutral, Andy agreed. “Okay.” Now she carefully asked. “What color?” Miranda looked at her, but didn't say a word, and Andy couldn't help but chuckle and tease the woman. “You fraud.” She laughed at Miranda's eyes begin to widen in outrage. “You have no clue what color you want!”
“Blue.” Miranda had decided that much. “But I don't know what shade of blue.”
“What about my favorite?” Andy grinned.
“Cerulean would be too dark.” Miranda continued to look at the photos and the dresses the models were wearing. “It should be lighter.”
“Lapis?” Andy asked, and the white-head shook. “Turquoise?” Another negative response. “Well then, like I said, how about my favorite shade of blue?”
Miranda's eyebrows twitched. “I told you Cerul…”
“No,” Andy stopped the woman from talking with two fingers on her lips. “Not Cerulean, I'm talking about my all time very favorite shade of blue. The one I could look at forever.” She moved closer, removing her fingers from the soft lips, the brunette moved closer. “I'm talking about ‘Miranda Blue', the shade your eyes become when we are this close and I'm about to…” She smiled and whispered, “There it is…” Andy looked into Miranda's eyes for a long moment before pressing their lips together. Andy could feel the tension leaving the editor. Pulling away reluctantly, Andy smiled at the older woman and winked. “Stay right here, I'll take care of everything. Then we are going to lunch.” Andy stood and headed out of the office.
A little twinkle entered Miranda's eye and waiting until the door was open she chuckled, calling out loud enough for Andy, and her assistants to hear, “Yes, Dear.”
Laughing over her shoulder, Andy grinned and turned her smiling attention to Bethany. “Did you get those measurements?”
Bethany was in awe and nodded silently as she passed the Post-it to the brunette.
“Great.” Andy pulled out her cell phone and dialed. Nodding when it was answered, Andy smiled and winked at Bethany even as the receptionist on the other end of the line spoke.
“Yes, I'd like to speak with Blair Warner please.” A pause. “This is Andrea Sachs.” Andy laughed at herself as she realized she now pronounced her name the same way Miranda always had.
“Thank you, Andrea.” Miranda stood from her desk and linked her arm with her young lover. “At least now something is on track.”
“Miranda?” The sarcastic tone in the editor's voice concerned Andy. “What aren't you telling me?”
“Let's go to lunch.” Miranda tugged the brunette toward the door, Andy stood her ground.
“Miranda?” Andy wasn't going to be put off. “What's going on?” Closing the office door Andy urged Miranda to the couch. “Talk to me.”
“There have just been a lot of tiny things to annoy me this morning, Runway issues, reporters, the D.A. called…”
“Oh?” Andy widened her eyes curiously. “Something new about tomorrow?”
“No, see… that is what I mean, he didn't have to call, he was just repeating what we already know…” Miranda sighed. “It annoyed me.”
“You were the one who told me we could get through this together.” Andy brushed her fingertips along Miranda's jaw. “We will survive this.”
Miranda's blue eyes twinkled. “Of course we will.” The white-haired woman agreed leaning in to press her lips lightly against Andy's. “Can we go to lunch now?”
Andy grinned as the corners of her eyes crinkled. “Of course. You want the deli with the awesome Greek salads?”
“That sounds lovely.” Miranda stood and offered her hand to Andrea. “And let's walk. Let the reporters stretch their legs.”
“Sounds good to me.” Andy accepted the hand and linked her elbow with Miranda's as they walked out of the office.
Bethany watched as the couple walked down the corridor. She wanted to say something… have a nice lunch… or something… but didn't want to intrude. They seemed quite wrapped up in each other. She wasn't sure if she had said anything, if they would have even heard her.
Andy picked a crouton out of her salad and spoke quietly to Miranda. “I'm thinking about doing one of the talk shows.”
“Really?” Miranda held her fork midway between her plate and mouth. “I thought you were totally against that option.”
“Well, the thing is… since Steven has made all those claims about the girls, I thought the best way to counteract that would be a talk show.” Andy picked through her salad for a small bite, avoiding Miranda's eyes. “I know you won't do the show with me.”
Miranda was silent for a full minute then asked carefully. “Which one are you thinking of doing?” She raised her eyebrows in question. “The one with all the cackling women?”
“Nooooo…. Not that one.” Andy chuckled. “I was thinking about Regis and Kelly…” She saw Miranda's back straighten even more than normal and gestured for her to relax. “I know… I know… but I can ask that he not be there… I think he's on vacation this next week anyway, so it would be a guest host and Kelly.” The protective streak Andy knew Miranda had for her was coming out in full force at the thought of her and Regis in the same room. They had watched the show enough to know how he oogled the guests, many times even calling them by their character names instead of their actual, real life names.
“It would be acceptable if he were on vacation.” Miranda speared a tiny tomato and cut it in two. “Otherwise I would have to come to the studio and…”
“And what?” Andy was curious. “What exactly would you do to him, Miranda?”
“I'd make him regr… no, that's wrong…” The Editor gazed into Andrea's eyes for a long moment. “I'd never be able to do anything to make him regret looking at you.”
Andy blushed. “Sweet talker.” Her phone ringing interrupted any further comment and when she saw who it was on the screen she answered it quickly. “Dougie!!”
“Good Grief, Andy, Did you have to spring you and Miranda on the press while I was gone??” Doug laughed.
“Well, if you would answer your phone every once in a while…”
“Hey! I'm working! Kinda.” He sounded like he was smiling. “I could have been there for you… fending off the reporters.”
“We still need ya, Dougie. The press is relentless.” She looked over Miranda's shoulder out the large windows of the deli and counted. “There are over a dozen of them watching us eat lunch as we speak.”
“You and Miranda are out?” Doug laughed, “well then what do you expect?”
“Pretty much this.” Andy smiled into the receiver. “So you aren't mad at me? Lily yelled at me, and hasn't really talked to me since…”
“'Course I'm not mad!” Doug sounded the exact opposite of mad. “And Saturday night after I get home from this Godforsaken conference we'll go out and celebrate.”
“That sounds great, Dougie. Thanks for calling.”
“Sure thing sweetie. Oops, gotta go, time for another ass-numbing lecture.”
Andy smiled at the phone as it completed the disconnection; at least he wasn't freaked out. Miranda's quiet voice pulled her back to the present.
“I didn't know your friend stopped talking to you.”
“I called Lily Monday morning when I wanted to know where Doug was, she agreed that we should get together for drinks, and we haven't spoken since.” Andy pushed her salad away. “It'll be okay, it's just Lily, she gets like that…”
“You're sure?” Miranda thought Andrea sounded sincere, but the young woman had a habit of trying to keep things she thought would disturb the status quo from being discussed.
“Yes.” Andy nodded. “I'm totally sure. Doug wants to get together Saturday night for drinks, Lily may join us then.”
“Um… Me and Doug?” Dark eyes widened. “Do you want to join us?”
Miranda took a sip of her drink. “I wouldn't want to intrude.”
Suddenly Andy thought the room temperature dropped several degrees. “You are more than welcome to be there, I just didn't think you would want to hang out with Doug. It might freak him out if you come along.” Andy chuckled. “When I was first hired at Runway he knew more about you than I did.”
“Fascinating.” Miranda motioned for the check.
Uh oh… That was not a good tone for Miranda to take. Andy wasn't sure how to handle this in front of the press. It would be best to wait until they got back to Miranda's office but... She put her hand on Miranda's forearm. “I'd like it if you were there…” Andy smiled at her fiancée. “The paparazzi will have a blast.”
Shaking her head, Miranda pulled her arm out from under Andrea's hand and put off the idea. “I'm going to be out of the office tomorrow for the trial, so Saturday night I'm sure I'm going to be working to catch up. You go ahead and have fun with your friends.”
“Well damn… you have to come with me now or else I'll feel like some kind of irresponsible kid.” Andy's jaw dropped at Miranda's look. “Oh my god… you think I'm an irresponsible kid!”
“No.” Miranda protested, not with much oomph though.
Now Andy was getting mad, and she wasn't sure quite why, so that made her angrier. “Going out with friends, friends that I haven't seen in several weeks may I remind you, is not irresponsible… Your work and mine are different, I've only got three more articles assigned to me at the moment and one of them is actually done in my head, all I have to do is type it out when I get home. The other two will be done this afternoon as well…”
“Andrea,” Miranda actually pressed her fingers against Andy's lips. “We cannot do this here.”
Feeling very much like a scolded child, brown eyes narrowed and Andy picked up her phone. Dialing quickly she took a deep breath. “Roy, pick Miranda up from the deli would you?” She listened for a second. “Yes, that one. Thanks.” She clapped her phone shut and spoke as she stood. “He'll be here in a few minutes to take you back to your office. I'm going home.”
Miranda blinked as Andy walked away from the table, out the door, and down the street. To the nearest subway station, no doubt. Miranda thought. What was that all about? Glancing at the check, she tossed a few bills on the table and stood. The car pulled up outside, Roy hadn't been too far away. Back to the grind? Miranda thought and shook her head giving Roy quiet directions where to take her instead.
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