Fandom: The Devil Wears Prada
Characters/Pairing: Emily, original character, Nigel (Miranda/Andy)
Summary: Emily is struggling to accept Miranda’s relationship with Andy, and the new girl at Runway can’t understand why the assistant is more devilish than the boss.
Word count: 1 102
Spoilers/Warnings: None; set after the movie.
Notes 1: Written for comment_fic and the prompt by effingeden: It never matters how deep the ache is, it fades to nothing when s/he smiles (theme: hurt/comfort)
Notes 2: A big THANK YOU for all the comments on my first DWP fic. The prompt mentioned above made me finally write the sequel some of you lovely people asked for. <3
(The previous Emily-centric fic is What Happened In Paris?)
“Hey, Emily”, the new girl says, “Miranda is not as bad as they say.”
I stare at her for a moment, then I remember that time a couple of days ago when Miranda told me I looked like a fish, and I press my lips tightly together.
“What do you mean by that?” I ask her, just barely allowing the words through my teeth.
“Well, I’ve heard rumours… that she’s like the boss from hell, you know, and everyone is afraid of her…”
I raise my eyebrows and say coldly:
“Then why did you take this job?”
“I didn’t care much about the boss”, she says and shrugs her shoulders, “but I love Runway, I love fashion – that’s all I care about.”
“In case you didn’t know this”, I say slowly and try to burn her brain with my eyes, “Runway is Miranda… so be careful what you say about her. Be careful. That’s all.”
“But… but I didn’t say – I just meant…”
I get up; I have an errand to run and I don’t have to listen to her anymore. She’s still new at the job, but I think she can manage without me; she’s good, I have to give her that, and one could think she’s much easier to handle that what Andy had been when she first arrived.
I know that she didn’t mean to say anything bad about Miranda.
It’s just that I can’t stand listening to her talking about Miranda. She doesn’t know anything. She has only been here for a couple of weeks. She didn’t know what it was like before.
I know, of course, that Miranda has quite a reputation. It doesn’t surprise me to her that she’s expected to be devilish. She has always been a demanding boss, and she rarely smiles, but when she’s not happy about something she’s ready to say so right away.
But I’ve never complained about her manners. Never. I have just done everything she has asked of me and I’ve not expected anything in return. If Miranda is satisfied, you get to stay, and if not, you’re fired. Simple as that. I have stayed. And I have adored her, secretly, for ever.
Now, then. She’s changed. Now that she’s with Andy.
I’m still struggling to accept that, to get used to that idea. Andy doesn’t work here anymore. But she shows up, sometimes, at lunch… She gives me a smile, she talks a little, and she’s friendly with the new girl who apparently likes her a lot, and then she goes to see Miranda, and two minutes later both of them leave for lunch.
Miranda smiles when she leaves with Andy. Miranda smiles when she gets back.
Sometimes Andy comes by late at night. She comes to pick up the Book, to bring it to Miranda. Sure; she used to do that before, and now that she’s doing it again; that gives me or the new girl one thing less to do.
I suppose Andy thinks she’s doing me a favour and that it gives me a little more time off and a little more beauty sleep. She couldn’t be more wrong. Sometimes, I cry at night. I don’t want to, but I do. When I think about Andy with the Book, at Miranda’s house, and then she puts it away and they… no; surely Miranda goes through the Book first, but Andy stays, and when Miranda is done, they…
I don’t want to think about it. But sometimes I do. I torture myself with mental images of the two of them, doing… what people in love are doing…
And the new girl is surprised because Miranda Priestly does not appear to be the devil that rumour has it that she is!
‘The new girl’… she has a name, of course. I know her name, don’t get me wrong; I learn things like that really quickly – it’s very important in my line of work. Forget a name at the wrong place and time, and you’re dead. Seriously.
Of course I know her name. It’s just that I can’t bring myself to say it. I don’t know why. She hasn’t done anything wrong.
But neither have I.
I have done everything right. What does Andy have that I have not? Why is Miranda with her? Why is it that Andy makes her so happy that anyone can see how she is glowing?
It’s when I have thoughts like that that it happens. Miranda doesn’t scare the new girl. But I scare her, by looking like I’m one of the devil’s little black angry elves.
Nigel is the only one who knows. Not that I can talk to him about it.
“Emily”, he says, “you need to let it go. Things change, and even if it hurts, you’ve got to accept changes. Don’t be unhappy. Don’t let her make you unhappy. You will only be bitter, and what good will that do to you?”
But I think it’s too late. Look at the new girl, how careful she is not to annoy me. I’m bitter already.
Once, only once, did I cry at the office and Nigel tried to comfort me.
We were both working late. Miranda was not there. Crying doesn’t do much good, really. Not much at all.
But Miranda does.
Yes, it’s true. Just by existing, she is hurting me; hurting me by not understanding what she means to me. Being around her is painful. It has always been, in a way, but before Andy, it was different because I lived on one tiny glimpse of hope that she would look at me one day and see the truth in my eyes.
Now I know that that will never happen, and I can see no end to this heartache.
And yet… I, too, just like the new girl, can very well see that Miranda Priestly is not only a highly efficient, ambitious and successful woman and the best fashion editor in the industry – not only that, but she is also a happy woman who smiles warmly. I feared for a while that this passion of hers was going to affect her work, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. She leaves a little earlier some evenings, that’s all, and she smiles a lot more.
And Miranda is so beautiful when she smiles.
It never matters how deep the ache is, it fades to nothing when she smiles.
And although I know the cause of that smile, I love the beauty of it just like I love everything else about her, and I hope she never stops smiling.