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[personal profile] chainofclovers
Well, I've responded to one of the prompts provided by my wonderful friends-listers. My response to [livejournal.com profile] law_nerd's "(reading) between the lines" is under the cut. Started out with the idea of Miranda eavesdropping on Andy while she talks on the phone; ended up with something kinda porny. Thanks for a great prompt!

Title: Gratitude
Pairing: Miranda/Andy
Rating: M
Fandom: The Devil Wears Prada (movie)
Disclaimer: I own nothing.


Miranda promised Andrea she would rest her headache in bed, but she can hardly sleep on a quiet night, much less the middle of the afternoon. Especially not when Andrea is talking on the phone relatively loudly just across the hall. She knows she should get up and close the bedroom door the rest of the way, but this headache is a bad one, and she stays put.

“Mom!” Andrea says suddenly, and Miranda’s ears perk up. She’d been half-enjoying, half-resenting the sound of her voice before, but now she’s listening to the words. “Mom, listen,” she repeats. “She didn’t get fired from the magazine. She resigned.”

Miranda’s head pounds, a sharp, long, familiar pulse that says budget Irv press scandal resignation worthless. Andrea frequently suggests to Miranda she should tell herself the story she knows is right, that her body will feel better when she’s able to think more positively. She says, we’re all just the stories we tell ourselves anyway, and I love you, and I believe you. Everyone who matters believes you. Andrea had only been living in the townhouse for a month before Miranda’s forced resignation. They’d barely had time to settle in before chaos spun everything out of control.

“If I was still with Nate, and he lost his job, wouldn’t you expect me to stand by him? Ironically, I’m standing by Miranda because you raised me right. I love her, and I’m sticking with her.”

Miranda wants to storm across the hall, yank the phone from Andrea’s hands, and tell that woman exactly what’s up: there’s plenty of money, that this town hasn’t seen the last of Miranda Priestly, that nobody’s making Andrea do anything against her will. But almost as soon as the anger rises, it dissipates. Everything Miranda wants to tell Maureen Sachs are things Andrea already knows. That’s all that matters, that Andrea knows what’s fine and what isn’t, and is here anyway. Maybe she was letting Miranda hear her conversation on purpose.

Andrea’s the one who’s spent the last three weeks cooking healthy meals for everyone, now that they’ve let the cook go. The one who lets Miranda sleep in on weekday mornings, if she can, and makes sure the girls are up for school. Who teaches them when to listen to criticism and when to let it roll off their backs like water. The one who holds Miranda and kisses her like it’s still the first week they got together, telling her she’s beautiful and trying to fill the gulf that opened up the afternoon she left Runway.

“Still bad?” Andrea asks softly.

Miranda’s eyes snap open. Andrea is standing at the bedside, leaning right over her. Miranda realizes it’s been a couple minutes since she heard Andrea’s side of the phone conversation, that it must have ended while she was lost in thought. “Not so good,” she admits.

“Scoot over.” Miranda scoots, and Andy stretches out and presses her warm body close. She strokes her index finger down Miranda’s face, down her neck, and digs several fingers into her shoulder, right where the tension starts. “An orgasm would be good for your headache,” she continues.

Miranda smiles. Sex, Andrea’s favorite at-home remedy. She nods slightly. Maybe it would help.

“Just relax,” Andrea whispers. “Don’t want to jostle you.” She sits up to unbutton Miranda’s trousers and pull them gently down her legs. Miranda’s underwear gets the same treatment. Andrea stands up abruptly to shut the bedroom door, and giggles as she settles back in, remaining seated for leverage. She strokes Miranda’s hips and thighs, strokes her stomach under her blouse, barely teases the dark hair above Miranda’s sex. It’s so quiet in the room, just breathing and friction. Miranda breathes more loudly when she feels herself getting wet, and only then does Andrea stroke between her legs. She does so gently, almost casually, as if the orgasm she’s promised is on no particular schedule. And, Miranda supposes, it isn’t. Today is Sunday, Andrea’s day off. Every day is Miranda’s day off, at least for now. She’s tensing up and trying to hurry for no reason, and she wills her body to calm. She’ll get her orgasm. She’ll get her job, her self-respect, a break from public scrutiny. She can wait, for once.

“Oh, oh—!” Miranda cries, very softly. Apparently, she’ll get her orgasm very soon, now that she’s relaxed enough to feel it. She can sense it approaching of its own accord, and still she makes sure none of her muscles are tensed in anticipation.

A cloud passes over the sun, and in that moment of grey, Miranda comes. She lets go, and a substantial gush of moisture coats Andrea’s hand. The pleasure of that release (tangible, messy, unashamed) fills her, and takes away almost all of the pain. Then Miranda is decidedly not calm. She scrambles into Andrea’s lap, is wrestling with the button on Andrea’s jeans and wedging her hand beneath the fabric. Begs, “Inside inside inside,” because a second orgasm is waiting, and she needs Andrea to enter her.

Their eyes meet as they fuck. “We have everything we need,” says Andrea, almost sternly.

“I know,” Miranda says, because she does know that, sometimes. Like right now, not that she always appreciates the lesson. Since day one, being with Andrea has forced her to undergo a massive priority shift, but she wasn’t exactly ready to lose her job. “Show me,” she adds shakily, and Andrea maneuvers so a fourth finger joins the three already writhing inside her. Miranda moves her own hand against Andrea, searching for a rhythm. The second orgasm starts small, but ripples outward until it’s impossibly big, bigger than she is, more powerful. Limbs aflame, headache gone, she fucks Andrea faster, until they’re both crying out together.

Andrea doesn’t have to ask if Miranda’s feeling better. They slump against each other, then lie down in a wordless tangle. Miranda feels humbled by this afternoon. A silent Thank you overwhelms her being, a rare prayer of gratitude, flesh and love to flesh and love.

Date: 2012-04-07 05:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-07 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ursine79.livejournal.com
Wow! Loved the building tension and then the resulting release. Pun intended. ; )

Date: 2012-04-07 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thanks so much. And I always appreciate a pun. :)

Date: 2012-04-07 07:02 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-07 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jah728.livejournal.com
Wow. I like the way Andy takes care of Miranda. And not just with her headaches.
Thanks for the read.

Date: 2012-04-07 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you for reading! Glad you enjoyed.

Date: 2012-04-07 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Many thanks!

Date: 2012-04-07 06:15 pm (UTC)
law_nerd: Blue dragon: icy and majestic (blue dragon)
From: [personal profile] law_nerd
Lovely. As usual, entirely delightful (though, perhaps, doubly so as it also functions as a very happy distraction from my own headaches real and the metaphorical one that is school work).

Thank you!

Date: 2012-04-07 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
So glad I could provide a distraction. You're very welcome--thank *you* for prompting. I hope your literal and figurative headaches resolve themselves soon.

Date: 2012-04-07 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daemoni2008.livejournal.com
I had recently mentioned to my fiancee that I wanted someone to write a story where Miranda gets fired (or forced to resign) so imagine my surprise when I found this. It was better than anything I had imagined. Thanks for sharing!

Date: 2012-04-07 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Oh, cool! I'm really glad I fulfilled an interest without even realizing it. Miranda gets painted as professionally invincible a lot of the time, and I just don't think anybody can be invincible at all times, especially not when they're on a power trip like hers.

Thanks so much for reading and letting me know that you enjoyed it.

Date: 2012-04-07 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xenavirgin.livejournal.com
Always so chuffed to see a new piece by your, good, self kidlet.

And this..."The pleasure of that release (tangible, messy, unashamed) fills her," I, just this line so totally got me. It's visceral and yet so amazingly wonderful.

Brava!

Date: 2012-04-07 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed that line. It was at that point when I realized "Oh, hey, I'm writing porn. Haven't done that in a while." :)

Date: 2012-04-07 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soukup.livejournal.com
Also! I almost forgot to say that I loved the sex. Very hot, very grounded, very immediately real.

Date: 2012-04-10 01:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-07 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jayeindc.livejournal.com
This is just lovely. Miranda's vulnerability, her fragility is heartbreaking. It's so counter to what we expect from Miranda. And, of course, Andy is the only one Miranda feels safe with in this state; the only one who wouldn't take advantage, like Nigel might, or be disappointed in Miranda, like the twins might. No, it has to be Andy who will soothe the ache, the pain, and ultimately, lift Miranda up.

I'm reminded of that Marilyn Monroe quote, "But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” Andy is seeing Miranda at her worst, and is handling it beautifully.

Date: 2012-04-10 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment. You're right, I think this is the actual "worst"--the feeling of defeat seems much more personally damaging than rage, impatience, vindictiveness, etc. (though you could argue that by hurting others you do hurt yourself, too). Anyway, I'm really glad you enjoyed the story despite seeing Miranda in a different state. Thanks so much for reading!

Date: 2012-04-07 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damelola.livejournal.com
Glorious. Such a real tone to it, without losing the poetry. In awe of what you do with words, as always.

Date: 2012-04-10 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
What a kind thing to say. I really appreciate your reading! (Also, I don't have tumblr, but I've headed over there a couple times to see what you're working on, and it's such a great project!)

Date: 2012-04-07 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soukup.livejournal.com
I love this so much. You know that I often get turned off by it when M's really emphatically vulnerable, but this is one situation where I can absolutely buy her falling apart somewhat, at least for a while. I love that Andy is so transparent when she's trying to dissimulate something (letting M overhear her) -- that's very IC. And I just adore the scenario you've set up here. It's such a joy to watch M realize that Andy's feelings for her really don't have to do wtih her job or how much power she has, that she doesn't have to be the big bad scary shiny impressive powerful editor to be desirable to Andy, or to earn Andy's loyalty.

Their eyes meet as they fuck. “We have everything we need,” says Andrea, almost sternly.

What a beautiful way of putting it.

I also love your mention of M's reaction to having her whole life and all her priorities turned upside-down by this relationship: not that she always appreciates the lesson. It makes sense to me that this is something she'd find very terrifying/inconvenient, that it would really throw her for a loop to fall in love. Nicely done.

This is gorgeous. Thank you so much for posting it!

Date: 2012-04-10 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
It's such a joy to watch M realize that Andy's feelings for her really don't have to do wtih her job or how much power she has, that she doesn't have to be the big bad scary shiny impressive powerful editor to be desirable to Andy, or to earn Andy's loyalty.

Yes! I think Miranda's feelings for herself are very much tied to power and the ability to impress, so it makes sense that when that image gets shattered for her, she'd be half-expecting (or even fully expecting) Andy to feel the same way. Of course, she doesn't, and my intention was to make it clear that Miranda does believe her, and accepts the way Andy sees her even if she isn't quite there in her own sense of self.

Thanks so much, as ever, for the thoughtful comments and for being such a perceptive reader. Hope you're doing well!

Date: 2012-04-07 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ubiquitousmixie.livejournal.com
I have to tell you--you're one of the few writers that manage to bring me back to the fandom, and I'm always blown away by your fics. This was truly breathtaking.

Date: 2012-04-10 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
That's a big compliment. Thank you so much! I'm hardly here myself, but every so often the mood hits.

Date: 2012-04-07 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chilly-flame.livejournal.com
Marvelous. A lovely look at a situation rarely seen, and it absolutely works. Allowing Miranda calm and rest after decades of action almost seems like a favor, albeit one masked by disaster (whatever might have happened).

And the smuttiness wasn't too shabby either. :D Well done, as ever!

Date: 2012-04-10 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! And I agree--there's something peaceful and full of relief about having to stop, even though the circumstances aren't ideal.

(Unrelated: any tips for how to watch "Once Upon a Time"? I looked at abc.com and they don't seem to have the whole season up, though I could be confused. I don't have a TV [I just stream Netflix or watch on network websites on the rare occasions I get into a TV show] but I'm intrigued!)

Date: 2012-04-10 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chilly-flame.livejournal.com
Check your PMs. I never torrent but I have a legit (temporary) option for you!

{7 April 2012}

Date: 2012-04-08 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livejournal.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] asofte referenced to your post from {7 April 2012} (http://femslash-today.livejournal.com/465938.html) saying: [...] of Hallelujah by - Emily/JJ {The Devil Wears Prada} {fic} - Gratitude [...]

Date: 2012-04-08 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twisted-twister.livejournal.com
Very tender and humbling, I think. This is love. Like always, you create an atmosphere that is so distinct that we can feel everything with the characters.

I'm happy that Miranda found cure for headaches; not the first time I hear of this solution, but sadly it never worked for me...

Date: 2012-04-10 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for such kind feedback.

Re: headaches, I do know it works for some people, at least for tension headaches. My headaches are stubborn, but I wouldn't have put in the detail without at least a little bit of real-life proof. When I write sex scenes I try to make sure everything is at least within the realm of the possible: it bothers me when the mind-blowing sex in a story doesn't even seem like it could have happened. Mind-blowing sex is *totally* possible, so why shouldn't it be written that way? (I know you weren't criticizing the headache thing, btw. And I wish it did work for you! Your comment just reminded me of something I've been thinking about a fair amount lately.)

Anyway, thanks again for being such a great reader, and I appreciate your comment.

Date: 2012-04-08 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] punky-96.livejournal.com
What a different point to start from! Fantastic. Amazing the spectrum of emotions and interplay between them in such a short piece. I am always amazed by your fics. Thank you.

Date: 2012-04-10 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2012-04-08 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] politic-x.livejournal.com
This is my favorite thing you've written. There are very few DWP fics that I've felt compelled to read immediately after finishing them, but gah. It's so complex, intelligent and real that I had to reread to absorb it all. You give Miranda believable vulnerability, Andy believable strength of character. We believe the situation though it's unique. Miranda and Andy cost-conscious? Miranda forced to resign? Miranda worried?

Both characters are written with complexity; difficult to find that these days - not just in fanfic, but in fiction in general, television, movies, etc. Though Miranda merely has a headache, the story is written so well that it feels like foreshadowing. We can see how Andy will take care of Miranda should she become infirm or disabled in the future.

I love that the sex is a gentle act of healing/caring (trying not to jostle Miranda because of the headache, yet trying to get rid of the headache). And that it's an affirmation, too ('We have everything we need').

And throughout the story, there is a beautiful rhythm in your sentence structure - leading the reader quite naturally from one thought to the next. (Example: 'Today is Sunday, Andrea's day off. Every day is Miranda's day off, at least for now.')

This is gorgeously written. On my shortlist of favorites.

:) Laura

Date: 2012-04-10 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you so much. I hadn't even thought about this story as a sign of how Andy would react to a real physical disability in the future, but you're right, and I appreciate hearing that interpretation.

Thanks so much for the attention to language and for letting me know what you thought. This really makes my day!

I hope your own writing life is going well!

Date: 2012-04-08 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serene-ms-s.livejournal.com
Andy's healing touch, just what Miranda needs now and always.

Date: 2012-04-10 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Definitely! :) Thanks for reading.

Date: 2012-04-08 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jintymac.livejournal.com
Whew! What a relief for Miranda ;-)

I love how you started so gently and then everything became a huge explosion so suddenly. Isn't it lovely when that happens? *g*

Date: 2012-04-10 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Definitely a relief. :) Thanks so much for reading and letting me know how you felt!

8O

Date: 2012-04-08 10:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-orlean.livejournal.com
That was nice, sweet, hot and very intimate.
So just the two of them and the world outside doesn't matter.
Wonderful written.

Orgasms are good for headaches... Okay, I'll take that advice. ;)

Re: 8O

Date: 2012-04-10 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. I was definitely going for "intimate"--even though the outside world has a lot of impact on them both in this story, I wanted to end with a feeling of pure togetherness.

Date: 2012-04-08 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-lou-jaxon.livejournal.com
A masterpiece! Brilliant writing...

Thank you for sharing it.

Date: 2012-04-10 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

Date: 2012-04-09 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bsofthewest.livejournal.com
Outrageously wonderful. There was sex and sensitivity to a really terrible situation. Really a good piece.

Date: 2012-04-10 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for this kind comment!

Date: 2012-04-09 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iimzadi.livejournal.com
Wow short but powerful. Excellent Thank you

Date: 2012-04-10 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading and letting me know you enjoyed it!

Date: 2012-04-10 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crystalthexx.livejournal.com
God I love this. As always. I've read it three times now. Beautifully written. Thank you x

Date: 2012-04-12 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chainofclovers.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for reading; I'm really glad you liked it.

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