1) Characters are not mine. Damn.
They belong to Lauren Weisberger (author of the book), Wendy Finerman/Karen Rosenfelt and 20th Century Fox (who produced the movie-The Devil Wears Prada).
2) Story is mine. <.snort.> Not like anyone is going to want to claim it anyway.
It was inspired by the promo pictures I saw of Anne Hathaway in a particular costume for an upcoming movie (WHOA!) and her adeptness at comedy.
3) One line totally belongs to my Beta and is used with her permission. It’s her Easter Egg and my good luck charm.
Special thanks to my Beta. In addition to being a super-duper comma maid and grammar pro, she is also my Intoxication Translator. She ROCKS that job and always makes things so much funnier. She never lets me list her as a co-author. She claims she’s not, she’s just a tweaker. I say whatever she wants to do in her personal life is entirely up to her. <.g.>
But I still loves ya Davida.
Written for Steph’s Academy Halloween Invitational, even though I am still waiting for my invitation. <.g.> Yeah, yeah, in the mail…uh huh.
BTW…if you are looking for a thrilling, scary, monster filled, gory tale…keep looking because this isn’t it. This is just a silly one-shot comedy.
Bat Got Your Tongue?
Andrea Sachs snuggled back into the worn vinyl seat and leaned her head on the window as her taxi made its way up 53rd. She absently stared at the buildings and the sidewalks full of people still out and about.
I must be out of my mind. I can’t believe I am actually attending this. Who would have thought a chance run-in with Nigel a few weeks ago would have gotten me an invitation to the Annual Elias-Clarke Charity Gala.
Andrea looked up from her lunch as she heard a familiar voice call her name.
“Nigel?” She set her fork down and pushed back her chair; she rose to greet the man. “Wow. You look great.”
Nigel leaned in and air-kissed her cheek, then leaned back to give her a good perusal. “Spin, darling.” He shook his head. “Still a four I see and…” he paused for a moment. “Is that from the new Nicole Miller Fall line?”
“Yes and yes.” Andy smiled. “It’s so good to see you. How are you? How’s Em? How’s....” her voice trailed off; she pointed to the table. “Can you join me?”
Nigel nodded and Andy waved over a waiter. After giving the waiter his order, Nigel began addressing her questions.
“I’m well. Still slaving away. Emily is training her replacement.”
“Emily is leaving?” Andy asked incredulously.
“No, our little girl is growing up. Miranda is moving her into Editorial and....” He leaned in conspiratorially. “I think, secreting grooming her for the big chair.” He took his glasses off and cleaned them with the napkin. “She had planned to move into the Art Department with me but then Miranda suddenly threw the editorial option at her. She jumped at it. I mean who wouldn’t?”
Andy leaned back in her chair. “Wow. Just... wow. Good for her.” Andy smiled, then sobered. “Are you okay with that?”
“I have to be.” He smiled wistfully. “I was never actually promised the job as Miranda’s successor and I don’t know how readily the readers would accept a man as the Editor-in-Chief of a women’s fashion magazine.”
“But you are an exceptional man.” Andy reached across the table and squeezed his hand.
“True, very true.” He sniffed.
“And oh so modest too.”
“So, enough about me. What have you been up to?”
“Still working at the Mirror. I finally got out of Obits and now do mostly human interest stuff. It’s pretty much fluff but once in awhile I get to write something important.”
“Any chance of you covering the Elias-Clarke Charity Gala this year? It mostly involves humans.” He grinned.
“I doubt it. Our Fashions Columnist will handle that; she loves to get all dressed up for those things.”
“Like you didn’t,” he scoffed. “But, if that’s the case, I’m not so sure she’d enjoy this year’s Gala.”
“Why? Fancy gowns are all the rage at these things.”
“This year it’s a costume party. The newest issue coming out is devoted to the evolution and impact of fashion in Comic books. The popularity of all those superhero movies and things lately gave Jocelyn the idea. She presented it to Miranda and surprisingly enough, she liked it.” He added in a whisper, “I wonder if she has a secret stash of comic books somewhere. I know I always loved Batman. The suit, the cape.” He smiled wistfully. “Since the Gala’s date coincided with Halloween this year and it was Runway’s turn to host, Miranda carried the comic book idea over and chose to theme the party to match the issue.”
He looked down at his watch and touched his lips with his napkin. “I have to go. I’ve got a meeting in twenty and mustn’t be late.” He tossed his napkin on the table and stood up. He reached for his wallet.
Andrea stood as well and waved him off. “On me. It was so nice to see you Nigel. It’s been too long. Maybe we can get together sometime for a drink?” She kissed his cheek.
“I’d like that. I’ll call you, okay?” He said as he walked away.
I still don’t know why he sent the invitation anonymously. What’s the big deal? She pulled her trench coat’s collar a little tighter around her neck. Well, the costume part I could have done without. It’ll be fun... it’ll be fun... it’ll be fun. Oh, who am I kidding? She rolled her eyes.
She felt the car slow and she glanced up ahead to see the line of other cars that had stopped to let out their passengers. She took a deep breath and patiently waited as the cab slowly inched forward as each of the previous cars departed. In anticipation of the final stop, she reached into her coat’s pocket and pulled out a few bills.
“Thank you,” she said to the driver as cheerfully as possible, and handed him the bills just as the valet opened the car door. The valet held his hand out and Andrea graciously took it and exited the car.
“Oh, thank you kind, sir,” she mockingly swooned, then winked at the costumed valet. “Thank you for saving me from another minute in that... that... big, yellow beast.”
“All in a day’s work, ma’am,” he replied playing along. He gestured to the glass doors with a sweeping motion. Andrea ducked her chin in acknowledgement. She pulled the trench coat’s belt a little tighter around herself. It wasn’t a cold night by any means but she just felt so self-conscious.
Another identically costumed museum employee held open the door and she entered MoMA’s grand lobby. Andrea eyes widened as she took in all the bright decorations. Large colorful comic book panels hung everywhere.
Elias-Clarke sure knows how to throw a party.
Andrea pensively looked down at the invitation she had just pulled from her coat pocket. She sighed, then removed her coat and handed it over to the hatcheck clerk and accepted the ticket. She looked down at her costume and silently chuckled as she contemplated where she needed to put both cards.
It’s not like I have pockets.
“Ma’am, may I suggest your utility belt?” the hatcheck replied.
Andy gave herself a mental head slap. “Right.” She stuffed them in one of the compartments.
She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. “Oh, almost forgot.” Reaching behind her neck, she pulled the hood over her head. She adjusted her attached eye mask. “How’s my ears look?”
The young hatcheck clerk looked at Andy from the top of her head to her six-inch stilettos. “ME-WOW!” he said with a smile.
She blushed and shook her gloved finger at him.
Taking another big breath and slowly letting it out, she started making her way through the grand lobby to the main reception area. Hundreds of Elias-Clarke employees milled about in various costumes.
Wow, so far I’ve seen two Wolverines and four Robins. She cringed. Oooh, and a Superman who has no business in those tights. Yikes!
Andy stopped at the doorway and showed her invitation. She took a few steps into the room, stopped again and looked around. The room was gorgeously decorated. She expertly lifted a glass of champagne off a passing waiter’s tray and winked at him as he continued by. Ah, liquid courage. She sipped slowly at first and then downed the remaining in a steady gulp. Wow, that’s good. She continued nervously perusing the room and stealthily replaced her empty glass with a full one as another waiter passed. I can do this. I can do this. By the time she made her way to the sculpture garden she had managed to down another two glasses and was working on the fourth. It’s only Nigel, Serena, Emily and Miran….
No, I can’t . “Gimme ‘nother one of those,” she stopped another passing waiter and traded her empty for a refill. “Thank you,” she called out as an afterthought as he walked away.
While anxiously scanning the room and its occupants, she discovered the location of the buffet tables. Food.
She made her way across the room, managing to only stumble once in the six-inch heels. She let out a groan when she spied the familiar colleague standing next to the buffet table. And so it begins. She quietly slipped up behind her prey and tapped the redhead on the shoulder.
“Andy?” Emily testily hissed out. “What are you doing here?” She grabbed Andy’s arm and pulled her away from the buffet table. “And why are you dressed like that?”
Andy pulled her arm out of Emily’s grasp and frowned when a bit of champagne sloshed out of the glass she was holding. “I was in-vite-ed,” Andy waved the invitation she still carried in her hand, then took a sip from her glass, “and I alllllways dress like this in my off-time. I’m tryin’ to start a trenD.” Andy looked up and down at Emily. “Poi-son Ivy? Really, Em? A bil... villain?” She gulped down a bit more of the bubbly and continued to look timidly around.
“It’s not like I was bloody well going to dye my hair just for one party.”
“You coulda been BATgirl; she’s a redhead too AnnnnD one of the good guys.”
Emily cocked an eyebrow at Andy.
“What was I’s thinking?”
They grinned at each other.
“So where’s S’rena and Nige and…?” Andy asked, apprehensively.
“Serena is holding court over there.” Emily gestured across the room. “Apparently she has some major fans tonight from Guns and Gadgets.”
“Where?” Andy looked around. “All I see’s some... OHMIGOD! That’s S’rena?”
“Hey! Keep your voice down.”
“Sorry, Em but she’s... she’s....” Andy stammered.
“I knooooow. I alllllways loved Birds of Prey.” Andy said drolly. “What I’s gonna say was that she’s perrrrrfec-T for that cos... tume.” She continued to stare for a moment longer, then added, “Wow!”
Emily slapped Andy’s arm. “That’s my girlfriend - no ogling.”
“I’m not ooooooglin’ her skimpy cos... tume. I’m admiring. I’m admiring her... her... crossbows.” Andy smirked and waggled her eyebrows.
“Like I believe you.” Emily gestured to Andy’ s costume. “Why that one?”
“It was somethin’ Nige said when I runned... ran into him a few weeks back. He said he alllllways liked Batman. So I figured I’d wear this to kinda match ‘im but I haven’t seen him yet.”
“He’s not wearing... He’s....” Emily pointed to a man approaching. “Right here.”
“Six? Me-ow! You look great.” Nigel said and leaned in for an air-kiss.
Andy took a stumbling step backwards. “Who? Wha’? Where? Whyyyyyy?” she stammered and downed the rest of her glass in a gulp.
“Six, six, six.... I’ll ask the questions if you please?” Nigel gestured down to his dark green suit with bright silver question marks on it.
“You’re s’posed to be Batman, not the Riddler. I dressed like in this... this... prac-tic-cally sprayed on, form fitted black leather thing... ‘cause you were s’posed to be Batman. You said you liked Batman.”
“Sooooooooo not my fault that you assumed things. I do like Batman but I wasn’t about to wear some form fitted black latex costume like....”
“ Like me? But we’re s’posed to match... kinda... I wouldn’t have....” Andy hiccupped. “What’s she gonna...?”
He cut his eyes to Emily and whispered, “How many of those has she had to drink?”
Andy looked around for another waiter. “Gotcha.” She grabbed a glass in each hand. “Wait a sec....” she asked the waiter and turned to her former colleagues, “Did you wan’ one too?”
“Not right now and I don’t think you want another one right this second either.” Nigel relieved her of the glasses and shooed the waiter away.
“Hey! Those are miiiiiine.”
He handed one over to Emily and held the other just out of Andy’s reach. “In a little while. You need some food first.”
She looked first at Nigel and then pleadingly at Emily who just shook her head. “Mean (hic) ies.”
The trio walked the buffet table, sampling and commenting on the food available. Emily and Nigel bookended Andy and led her to a quiet spot - near a potted plant and just off the beaten path - away from most of the other costumed guests. Serena joined them a few minutes later.
“Gang’s all here!” Nigel said cheerfully.
“Not EvvvvveryOne,” Andy said quietly, still checking out the guests. Her eyes lit up when she saw another waiter approaching; she moved too quickly for the other three. “ThanK you.” She raised her glass to him and took a big gulp. Then turned back to her companions. “Whaaaat!?!”
“Andy, what are you so worried about?” Nigel asked and then mirthfully added with a chuckle, “You are acting like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” Both Emily and Serena stared, then shook their heads at Nigel. “Well, I thought it was funny.”
“Where’s she, Nige? Wha’s she wearin’?”
“I don’t know.”
“C’mon Nige, don’ do this t’me. I’m emmmmmbarrassed enough. “’F’you tell me what she’s wearin’, maybe I can ‘void her long enough to make a nesssssscape.”
“Really, Andy, I don’t know.” He shook his head. “I tried to get the fashion department to tell me what costume they were making for her but she swore them to silence under penalty of termination.”
“You mean, like term’nation as in fire-ring?” Andy asked.
“Actually, the way they clammed up I think it was more like termination as in death.”
“Unlike the Term’nator, I’m gonna go now and....” she added in her best mock Arnold voice, “I won’ beeee baaaaaaack.” Andy handed her glass to Emily and turned to make her way, albeit quite wobbly, back to the entrance.
Nigel grabbed her arm and turned her back around. “Oh no you don’t. It’s been months Andy. You need to see her. I know she gave you a recommendation even after you left her in the lurch.”
Andy dropped her eyes. “Sh’isn’t gonna wanna talk to me.”
“You don’t know that. Don’t be such a scaredy cat, Six.”
Serena and Emily, who were now on either side of Nigel, smacked his shoulders in stereo.
“Ow; don’t bruise the merchandise, ladies.”
“Enough with the feline bad jokes, Nigel,” Emily admonished.
“Yeah, I do. I sorta runned into her ‘while back. I wave-ed and she ‘nored me,” Andy explained.
“Where were you?”
“Walkin’ ‘cross the street from Eeeeelias-ClarKe. She’s gettin’ into the towncar.”
“Maybe she didn’t see you,” Serena offered sympathetically.
“She look-ed riiiiiide at me, S’rena.” Andy replied with a bit of frustration.
“Andy? Serena’s right. Maybe she didn’t really see YOU,” Emily added. “You know how she gets. She could have been focused on something else and didn’t realize it was you.”
“Wha’? I alllllways thought she had SU-per X-er-ray Andyvision.” Andy snickered.
“C’mon Andy. She isn’t going to kill you. This is much too public a place for her to use her other superpowers.” Nigel offered, lightening the mood. He pointed to the growing crowd in the room. Their quiet, out-of-the-way spot was now surrounded by several small groups and several individuals.
“You three reeeeeally don’ know what cos... tume she’s wearin’?” She waited for them to all nod. “Well, F’I were M’randa....” Andy tapped her chin in contemplation. “Who’d I dress like? Lemme see....” She grabbed her glass back from Emily and downed what was left in it.
Andrea’s eyes lit up. “How’s ‘bout Wonner Woman?” Then she shook her head no. “Nah, she wouldn’ wanna be caught in those clucky... cluck... clunky brace-e-lets. They’re sooooo 1975.”
Emily snorted. Then they all snagged new glasses from the next passing waiter.
“Well, the Jo-ker’s sout. M’randa’d consider green hair a crime ‘gainst humanity.”
“Clowns give me the creeps,” Serena said, then shuddered.
“Less see - her white hair len’s isself to X-men’s StorM. Plus M’randa’s been known to walk inna rooms and cause the temp-er-a-ture to drop twenny d’grees.”
“Andrea, be nice.”
“Nize? Nize? I not nize. She could dress as the Increbidle HulK. You don’ wanna make her angry - you wouldn’ like her much if she’s angry.” Andy took a sip.
“Six!” Nigel chided.
“Whaaaaaa?” She grinned. “Maybe Har-leeee Quinn, your pardner in crime, Ivy.” She gestured to the Brit. “SUper genius an’ those eyes. Her eyes have hypnotized more models and photographers into thinking they were dirt. Less not mention alllll the assistantsses’ minds she controls....”
“Andy, behave,” Emily rebuked and then laughed in spite of herself. “Mind control does explain a few things.”
“Then how’s ‘bout Jean Grey? She gots... HAS t’lepathy and t’le –kin... t’le-kin... t’lekin’sis powers.”
“She could get her own bloody coffee then.... Wait... maybe I should have those powers instead. Job security.” Emily laughed.
Serena then asked, “Andy who is that other X-man one with the deadly touch? The one with the white streak in her hair?”
"Pepe Le P-U?" Andy broke out in drunken giggles.
"Andrea, Pepe LePew is a skunk."
"Nah, can'ts be a skunk...M’randa smells tooooo good alllll the time. Mmmm... mmmm."
"Andy, I meant the X-man superhero with the white streak and the deadly touch."
“OOOH-OH... That’d be Rogue. If sh’isn’t wearin’ the sp’cial gloves, she can kill with a SIIIIING-le touch.” Andy grinned. “Mirouge. Able to kill c’reers with a siiiingle purse of the lips.”
They were all laughing hard by now. Emily’s laughter stopped suddenly and her eyes widened when she looked past Andy shoulder and was immediately pinned by a pair of familiar blue eyes. The Caped Crusader held a gloved finger to his lips. Emily took a huge gulp of her drink.
Andrea was more than a little drunk and totally oblivious to anything other than her audience of three. “I gots it. The Black CAN-ary. M’randa’d look GREEEEAT in those fishnets AnnnnD that leather bussy... boozy... corset-y thing. But ‘stead of a shrill high-pitched cry, she d’sables her foes....”
Emily coughed loud and long.
“You okay Em?” Serena asked concerned. She stepped around Nigel and moved toward Emily.
Emily was now in the middle of the three facing Andrea. She discretely tried to signal Serena to look behind Andy. It took a few more phony coughs but the Brazilian got the hint. She did a swift double-take.
She moved back around to Nigel’s side and eye gestured for him to take a look. He started at the bottom with the two-inch heeled boots and was working his way up to the pointed ears but when his eyes met the icy blue ones staring back, he closed his own and bit his lip.
“Where’s I?” Andy asked herself. “Oh yeah, she’d d’sable her foes with a.... Waits…” Andy struggled to remain upright as she stepped out of her stilettos. Serena gripped her upper arm to steady her. “Tanks. I gots to get dooooown some to do this; she’s lid… lid... short.” She giggled and lowered her voice to a whisper. “With a ‘S’all!’” She then went back to a normal voice. “And BAM! They’d be dooooown for the....” Andy trailed off and stared at Emily. Emily was frantically rubbing her chin and making slashing moves across her throat.
Andy looked puzzled, then realization hit. She continued to glance at the faces of the trio, hoping against hope. “’Sa good thing M’randa’s snot here to hear this, ride? Ooootherwise,” she continued, “I’d need eeeeevery one of my niiiiine lives.”
Andrea handed her glass to Serena and began to count off on her fingers, oblivious to the person behind her mirroring her actions. Batman raised a gloved finger as each name was called off.
“Wonner Woman, Jo-ker, StorM, HulK, Harleeee Quinn, Jean Grey, Rogue, Black CAN-ary.” Andy smiled. “Ha!” She waved her hands to her friends. “Only eight. I still gots oooone life lefT.”
She bounced a fleeting look from one to the other and back again, looking for confirmation. All she received was sympathetic looks. She swallowed hard and closed her eyes. The shiver started as soon as she heard the familiar voice and felt the warm breath on her ear....
“Here Kitty, Kitty.”