Author: Misty Flores
Fandom: The Devil Wears Prada
Teaser: You realize you've ruined me.
Andrea Sachs was a unique blemish in a long line of Emilys.
Her name was whispered in hallways, a taboo word that made it more delicious to say, because towards the end of her term, Andrea had earned her name, and by then nearly everyone was tired of hearing it, because Miranda Priestly would say it so damned much.
Until Andrea was gone, and then a permanent ban had been put on the words 'Andrea' and 'Sachs'.
This was a particularly horrible for the director of purchasing for Saks Fifth Avenue, and Emily herself, who had taken to calling it simply 'Fifth Avenue', avoiding the homophone altogether.
Andrea was gone, and not because she was horribly incompetent or unable to anticipate Miranda's needs. She was actually damned good at it, and even Emily, when pressed, and out of Miranda's earshot, would complain grudgingly that filling Andrea's ugly shoes was a nearly impossible task.
This alone, did not make her special. There were at least five assistants dismissed before their time who were neither horribly incompetent nor were they terrible at anticipating. Sometimes… it just didn't work out. Particularly when Miranda was feeling contrary or when one of them did some God-Awful stupid thing like lose their mind for a half second and complain about the hours or neglect to learn how to tell Miranda's twins apart, or something idiotic like that.
No, what it was, was simple: while she was certainly not the first, nor the last of Miranda Priestly's assistants who did not fill out their term, she was most certainly the first who had done so of her own volition.
Andrea Sachs cemented her immortality in Runway history with a twist of her designer shoes and a phone in a fountain.
And Miranda had simply… let her go.
Andrea Sachs, quite simply, had gotten away with murder.
Everyone knew it. No one spoke of it. Not to Miranda, not even in Miranda's office, for fear that somehow the lingering residue of the name would get picked up on by the Dragon Lady and then heads would roll.
Andrea Sachs was a legend, the one person in the history of Runway to have walked away from Miranda Priestly, untouched by her influence, unafraid of her power, unaffected by the hurricane that was the great Editor-In-Chief.
Two years later, this was the upheld belief.
And then it got out that Andrea Sachs had been sleeping with Miranda Priestly for the better part of 10 months.
"You realize you've ruined me."
This was said dryly, matter-of-fact, without any room for interpretation. Andrea Sachs, at the moment leaning back against an absurdly comfortable chair with a cool towel draped over her forehead, opened her eyes and peered at the imposing Miranda Priestly, sitting gracefully across the room, Book in hand, chin resting daintily on her curved hand.
"My staff is impossible to handle in the wake of all this. They stare at me as if I've suddenly… become human. Now every assistant I hire will be deathly afraid that they will be swallowed up by the intimidating lesbian who seduced the mythical Andrea Sachs."
With a sigh, Andy closed her eyes and flopped her head back again, snuggling down further into Miranda's furniture and managing an uncaring harrumph.
"Right. I've ruined you. Because your livelihood doesn’t depend on being completely unbiased and anonymous. Because it's incredibly inconvenient for you when you're trying to track down a story about a public school's food program and ten different paparazzo's stick a camera in your face. Because you can't get a decent story out of anyone without them asking for an autograph." Her headache once again throbbed, and she pressed her palm against the towel, yanking it away. "I ruined YOU."
Miranda would never apologize for that. Andy didn't expect her to.
"I warned you," Miranda answered, and Andy could hear the pages flip as she went back to work, sounding calm and cool and everything Miranda had always been. "You were quite the wide-eyed romantic, insisting this affair was worth the risk."
Only Miranda would make fun of her well-meant, earnest declarations.
"Your hand was between my legs," she reminded her. "I was distracted. I didn't mean it."
"Of course you didn't." Miranda didn't believe her for a minute. "You don't have Irv breathing fire down your neck for damaging the integrity of the magazine for dallying with a girl half your age. Nor are you responsible for a staff that could barely look you in the eye to begin with, and now seem to be afflicted with more moronic impulses than a common Rodeo clown. And I don't recall seeing your name scribbled over every magazine labeling you as some sort of skirt chasing Dragon Woman attempting to relive your youth by having one last hurrah with an impressionable innocent youth."
"Hey, I make you look good," Andrea pointed out, winking open one eye. "I'm impressionably innocent? And mythical?"
A stern face, a hint of a smile, and then it was gone, as Miranda adjusted her glasses and once again continued flipping pages. "I've learned appearances are deceiving."
"Huh." Her headache lessened to a dull throb, and Andrea blew out her breath in thankful relief. "How'd Emily take it?"
A soft shift of a paper turning. The scribble of a pen. "I wouldn’t know," Miranda said a moment later. "She fainted dead away when she heard the news and hasn't spoken to me since."
Andrea's head lifted one more time. "Tell me you didn't just walk over her prone body and go back into your office."
"Don't be silly," Miranda answered flatly, eyes on her Book. "Have you forgotten about my Tuesday afternoon meetings with Irv? I was already late. It was the most inconvenient thing."
Andrea Sachs was a unique blemish in a long line of Emilys.
It was utterly surreal when, in the aftermath of the breaking story, Miranda simply began to use the name again, this time: in the domestic capacity.
"Call Andrea," Miranda said, thrusting files and a Hermes scarf at her, ignoring the fact that Emily had just wobbled at the mention of the name of… that person. "Confirm our dinner reservations and then remind her that it's incredibly inconvenient when she's late picking up the girls because then I get a call from the school complaining about the paparazzi, and honestly, the last thing I have time for is to hear their jabbering. And then call Tom Ford and tell him I want those sketches today - he's had an entire evening to work with and why on earth he-"
The utter stink of domesticity in Miranda's annoyed tone was revolting.
The rest of Miranda's instructions were fired at her with the same, precise speed, and Emily didn't have time to give herself a good swallow or to even wipe the stinging tears from her eyes. She obediently scribbled down the orders and then plopped down at her desk, allowing herself a half second of pity before she realized Jane was watching her carefully.
"Get to work," she snapped, eyes darting to Miranda's discarded things, now draped over Jane's desk, and then sucking in her breath, she dialed the number that Miranda had now ordered first on her speed dial list.
'Please,' she thought to herself. 'Please let the mobile go to voicemail, please-'
"This is Andy."
She opened her mouth, closed it, then tried again. "Andy," she croaked, wheezing slightly. "This is Emily."
"Oh, hey Em! How are you?" Andrea sounded bright and cheery and altogether evil and annoying. A well of disgust bobbed up her throat, and she forced herself to swallow it down.
"Fine," she managed. "Miranda wanted to confirm dinner with you-"
"At BOA, yeap. I got it. I'll see her there at eight."
The voice was like fingernails, scratching down a bloody blackboard. Emily allowed herself another hard swallow. "There is also something else. Miranda would like to ask that you refrain from being tardy-"
"Oh, God, that again? One time! One time, and she flips out. Because I can TOTALLY help it when the car gets a flat. I'm surprised she hasn’t fired poor Roy-"
Emily was going to hurl. "Yes, well - that's all-"
She slammed the phone down, and then her head, against the desk, closing her eyes and forcing herself to take a deep, soul-sucking breath.
"I love my job," she whispered valiantly to herself. "I love my job, I love my job, I love my jo-"
"Get me Patrick."
Her head jerked up, and immediately she was dialing.
"I have Patrick," she managed hoarsely, and rubbed the spot on her forehead that had hit the desk particularly hard.
An open tabloid landed on her desk. "Look!" Serena whispered excitedly, taking care to keep her voice low, and out of earshot of the great Priestly. On the glossy magazine pages was a spread of 'Fashion Do's', and bloody Andy Sachs was there, wrapped in a green coat and high boots, holding onto the hand of what appeared to be Cassidy, preparing to cross the street. "She's kept her size. She looks hot."
"Vintage chic," she read, and her head threatened to explode. "I hate my job."
"What?" Serena, as always, was happily dense. "This isn't making it easier for you?"
"Andy Sachs." Her friend's brow arched higher. "Oh, come on. It's like having an insider behind enemy lines."
"Whatever are you talking about," Emily muttered grumpily, clicking through emails. "This is a horrific nightmare. I've had the press calling nonstop asking me if I've ever had inappropriate relations with Miranda Priestly." When Serena didn't respond, Emily glanced up. "What is it?"
"Of course bloody not!" she exclaimed hotly, and did not care to understand why the thought was so damned mortifying. "We're professionals!"
"So was Andy," Serena mused, mouth impish. "And now they're loooverss…" The accented edge of her voice was droll with amusement. "How do you think it happened? Do you think Andrea seduced her? I never thought she was like that. With the women."
"Oh for fuck's sake…"
"Did you have any idea?"
"Emily." Miranda's tone, though quiet, cut through the office.
She got to her feet. "Get back to work," she ordered to Serena, who arched a playful brow and retreated to do her job.
It was going to be a long bloody day.
"You don't think," Andrea murmured, sweeping a palm along sinfully smooth bare skin to trace her knuckles underneath a beautiful full breast. "That it's a trifle bit insensitive to make Emily call me to confirm dinner reservations?"
Underneath her, sunken into decadently silky sheets, Miranda Priestly was at her most content, nearly purring underneath her lover's delicate touch. The weight of the naked body plastered to her with sweat and skin was by far the most delicious thing in the world, and there were many things that Miranda could be thinking, but Emily was certainly not one of them.
Palming across a hip possessively, Miranda lingered on the curve of her waist, keeping her eyes closed as Andrea shifted against her, cheek against her collar bone.
"Her job is to do whatever I ask her to," she answered quietly, remaining patient because she was still recovering from the lingering effects of a rather splendid orgasm at the hands of this woman.
"Mmm." The knuckles against her breast now shifted and a palm rubbed distractingly against her erect nipple, the friction nearly painful thanks to their sensitive state. It was anything but soothing. "But we used to work together. You were going to make me first assistant over her. It's a little bit like salting an open wound. Not to mention, you completely ruined me. I can't go in there without everyone staring at me like I'm a freak."
Andrea always was ridiculously sensitive. "If Emily were half as clever as she thinks she is she could discover it is in her best interest to make friends with you," she muttered, and that was about all she was going to say about that. Andrea Sachs was a talker, but Miranda had discovered there were other ways to shut her up, than just her usual glare.
Grabbing hold of the fingers at her breast, she pulled and tangled digits, until Andrea was draped over her, and their mouths opened against each other hungrily.
Andrea Sachs was a unique blemish in a long line of Emilys.
To Emily herself, she would always be… complicated, but even she was forced to see the good of the presence of the mythical Andrea Sachs when the morning of September 3rd, Miranda Priestly came out of a particularly irritable meeting with Irv and proceeded to behave like the very devil.
"Duck and cover," Nigel growled, walking out of Miranda's office with a fast-paced stride. "And for God sakes find some way to calm her down before she fires all of us."
The phones were ringing, Jane had been fired for mixing up the coffee order yet AGAIN (which was absolutely PERFECT two bloody months before Paris), and in a fit of complete desperation, Emily dialed a number she knew by heart.
"This is Andy."
"HELP!" she hissed, cowering low on her desk like she was in a trench. "She's completely unmanageable! Even for me!"
Immediately, the other woman understood. "What happened?"
"She had a meeting with Irv," she whispered, "And Andy, this is how you know I'm fiercely desperate. She's already fired Jane, and Jocelyn nearly jumped out the window - I haven't eaten in three days! If I faint again I shall be fired!"
"I'm on my way," she heard, and the phone disconnected.
Blowing out her breath, and disgusted at herself for sinking that low, Emily heard her name called and nearly wrenched her heel on her stilettos as she hobbled into Miranda Priestly's office.
Ten minutes later, Andrea Sachs, in vintage low cut jeans and unwinding a blue Hermes scarf from around her fat little neck, looking flushed and breathless and too damned disgustingly beautiful, witnessed Emily doing her very best not to cut her own wrists with her letter opener, carefully dabbing the tears from her eyes.
Unable to speak, Emily simply pointed in the direction of the Devil's lair.
Miranda's lover shook her head, squared her shoulders, and smiled faintly. "Wish me luck, soldier."
"Good luck," she whispered, too broken to do much else, tissue to her nose, eyes moving after Andrea Sachs as she stepped into the lion's den, and shut the always open door. "Godspeed."
Emily would never ask Andrea Sachs what happened behind those closed doors. Andrea would never tell.
She thought she heard raised voices. She thought she heard furniture being scuffed. She remembered absolute quiet.
A gaggle of employees crowded at the door, but Emily kept them away, held all calls, a trusted lieutenant guarding the gates.
"She actually went in there," Jocelyn breathed, mascara streaked from her near suicidal moment.
"Taking one for the team," Nigel added, looking impressed. "I like it."
"I liked her shoes," Serena commented mildly.
Fifteen minutes later, Andrew Sachs emerged, once again winding the scarf over her throat, and winked in her direction.
"You can rehire Jane," she said flippantly, and kept walking, out of the office and down the hall, ignoring the stunned employees that parted before her like Moses and the Red Sea.
"Emily." Her name caused a shiver of fear to roll up her back, and unsteadily she rose to her feet, carefully moving into Miranda's office.
The Editor-in-Chief of Runway Magazine flipped through Tom Ford's latest sketches, and said, "Confirm my dinner reservations with Andrea, and make sure Jane delivers the book to me on time tonight. Judging by the attitude this office has taken this afternoon it looks like it will be an utter mess. That's all."
It was like a moment from that Dr. Suess story that Miranda had her buy for the twins once, when all of Who-ville realized that Grinch's heart indeed, had grown three sizes.
It was all Emily could do not to dissolve into a puddle of grateful tears.
Shoulders squared, Emily strode out of the room, and told herself that Andrea Sachs truly was a legend. Not because she was the one person in the history of Runway to have walked away from Miranda Priestly, untouched by her influence, unafraid of her power, unaffected by the hurricane that was the great Editor-In-Chief.
No, it was because, for all of Andrea's contrary ineptness and determined stubbornness, she had somehow managed to do, what no other person had done before her.
She had touched Miranda Priestly. Influenced Miranda Priestly. Ruined Miranda Priestly, if Emily really thought about it, because the Dragon Lady now had a very human appendage.
In the oddest way, it suited her.
"You ruined me," Andy commented, smelling of wet fur and doggie slobber as she settled beside Miranda and ignored her lover's wrinkling nose. "Emily thinks she's my new best friend."
"I find it immensely ridiculous that she feels she has to call you every time I'm in the slightest mood. Please remove that blouse," Miranda added, removing her glasses to offer her a withering glare. "You smell like a kennel."
"Blame Cassidy for choosing a Saint Bernard," Andy snarked, plucking a wet bang off her forehead, and shifting it to the side. "They're drying her off now."
"Not with the good towels, I hope."
"Every towel in this place is a good towel," Andy replied dryly. "Don't worry, I picked the least expensive one I could find and tore the end off so we'd know it was Patricia's."
"I suppose it would be too much to remind you that we have a groomer on call?"
Snuggling into Miranda's side, Andy grinned cheekily. "Come on. Doggie baths build character."
"Did any water actually get on the dog?" Miranda asked, eyeing the way the wet blouse stuck onto Andrea's skin.
"You should see the floor. Maybe you shouldn't," Andrea amended, when Miranda's eyes narrowed. "I'll clean it."
"You're a terrible influence on the children," Miranda decreed, but didn't object when Andrea grabbed hold of her arm and slung it around her shoulders, allowing her to snuggle in tighter.
"But I'm a good influence on you." Her smile was smug, and the wet kiss she placed on the corner of Miranda's mouth brought about a reluctant smirk. "Ask your office. I'm a legend around those parts."
"Little do they know."
"What, that you're madly in love with me?"
Glancing up from the book she was now holding with one hand, Miranda eyed her from underneath her glasses. Her smile grew warm.
"Judging by the frequency of Emily's calls to you, pleading for help, I sincerely doubt that's the case."
"I think you plan those tirades on purpose, just to get me down there."
"Alas," Miranda said, stone-faced and sarcastic as ever, "My diabolical plan is revealed. You've ruined me."
Laughing, Andrea shook her head. "I knew it."