Fandom: Heroes/The Devil Wears Prada
Characters/Pairing: The young(er) “1961” ensemble: Miranda Priestly, Angela and Alice Shaw, Chandra Suresh, Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman, Bob Bishop, and some minor original characters. Implied (non-sexual) Miranda/Alice.
Summary: Direct continuation of last chapter: Miranda remembers when she came to Coyote Sands with her friends, and how her friendship with Angela and Alice began.
Word count: 2 724
Spoilers/Warnings: This first part of this chapter is very much based on “1961”, Heroes season 3; so it’s a bit spoilery for that.
Previous chapters: 1.Someone You Care About, 2. Flying, 3. A Safe Place, 4. Fishing & Digging.
Notes1: This will probably make more sense if you have some basic knowledge of the above mentioned episode, but the fic is also deeply rooted in DWP as this is Miranda’s point of view. Andy is not present in this chapter, but don’t worry, she’ll be in the next one. ;) Notes2: Strange as it may sound, I started writing parts of this before I had written any of the other chapters; this story started because I got the idea to connect Miranda’s backround with Angela’s… So, I’m inventing Miranda’s childhood/teens here; that was fun (and yes, writing young!Angela and Alice was fun too!). I hate to beg for comments, but it would be interesting to hear any opinions on characterization (if you read this and find that you have opinions).
Notes3 I realize that logically, Angela is probably more than one year older than Miranda, but oops… please forgive me for taking this liberty with the ages! And I’m not sure exactly how old the twins were in the movie, but I’m thinking that they are around thirteen here.
They passed a high fence with a wooden sign that said ‘Coyote Sands, reclocation center’, and they saw people walking around between the small houses, or cabins, and they all looked quite busy and content.
When all of them got off the bus, they were told to stand in line. A man dressed in white came up to them; he was dark, and seemed eager to greet them, and he called all their names like the first day of school.
Miranda smiled at him. The doctor seemed kind; he was going to help them, because he wanted answers more than anything; that was the one strong wish he had, not that she was sure what he wanted answers about.
And not that Miranda was in need of any help. At least, she didn’t think so, but she knew that her aunt and uncle had sent her there because of her father. And Angela wanted it desperately; they had talked about it. Angela hoped that the doctor could help her, and Miranda and Alice were there to support her.
“Miranda?” he said and smiled back, “Miranda Priestly? And Angela and Alice Shaw? Good; that’everybody. Welcome to Coyote Sands. My name is Doctor Chandra Suresh. Please, follow me, and take a snack…”
The doctor showed them around and told them what and where everything was, and promised them movies and popcorn. The place seemed pretty special, but Miranda hadn’t known what to expect, so she decided to like it all. Except that she agreed that it seemed weird that they had guards there, but the doctor talked about their protection; another thing he felt strongly about, Miranda could tell, but she didn’t understand why.
The three of them got a little house all to their own, and Mr. and Mrs. Shaw were shown to other quarters. Miranda was glad that she didn’t have to live with them – not that she didn’t like them, but it felt more exciting to be alone with her friends. That was one of Miranda’s favourite things in the whole world – well, except from reading fashion magazines, shopping, and dreaming of the wonderful life far away from her aunt and uncle she was going to have when she grew up.
Then three boys walked in without knocking and ruined the moment. They were called Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman and the third one was a boy with glasses called Bobby Bishop. The three of them obviously wanted to get to know them, and while Miranda didn’t feel like she needed company, and Alice clearly didn’t like them at all, Angela didn’t seem that displeased to be welcomed by three boys who said that she was beautiful.
Miranda followed them to the door, and although it had started to rain, she even went outside to make sure that they didn’t stay around trying to spy and eavesdrop.
“Knock next time”, she warned them, “and show some manners, or we won’t talk to you again.”
“Relax”, Charles Deveaux said, “we just wanted to say welcome. We live over there…” He made a vague gesture. “Come see us later, I’m sure we’ll have fun.”
“We’ll see about that”, Miranda said, and the boys started walking away.
“Hey, Miranda!” Angela called. “Do you have any extra socks?”
“What?” Miranda went into their little cabin again and saw that Alice sat on her bed and clutched a book to her chest as if somebody was trying to take it from her while Angela was going through Miranda’s bags.
“Hey, stop that!” she cried, “Angela Shaw, what do you think you’re doing?”
“Looking for socks”, Angela replied, “for Alice. Why didn’t you help her pack, you know what she’s like when it comes to clothes…”
Miranda pushed Angela away from her bed and rolled her eyes at Alice, who giggled.
“First of all”, Miranda said, stretched her leg out and waved her foot in front of Angela, “do these shoes look like I’d ever wear socks in them?”
“Well, no… but you get cold feet sometimes like everyone else, don’t you?”
“I don’t.” Miranda refused to admit to any such thing. “And I would have helped Alice pack if I thought that I needed to, but I figured it doesn’t matter much what she wears out here anyway, since this is supposed to be some kind of camp…”
“I wasn’t talking about prom dresses”, Angela snapped, “just socks…”
“Well, forgive me for not needing any!”
“Don’t fight!” Alice got up and squeezed in between them and tugged at her sister’s arm. “Banana, stop yelling at Miranda, it’s not her fault that I forgot. Miranda, she’s just looking out for me…”
Miranda sighed and smiled at the younger girl.
“I know, honey, I’m not gonna scratch her eyes out… It’s just that I hate it when she touches my clothes, you know…”
“Yeah, but I don’t even want to be here”, Alice complained.
“But it would be boring without you”, Miranda said, “Angie and I wouldn’t want to be here alone, and you wouldn’t be at home without us, would you?”
“I guess not…”
“Good”, Angela said, “because I’m always going to be there for you, but I need you to be there for me too.” Angela turned her head and looked out of the window; it had stopped raining. “You see?” she said, “everything is going to be fine. I think I’m going to change skirt…”
Miranda sighed again. They were really hopeless, both of them. Alice was a dreamer, her head constantly in the clouds, and her family picked on her sometimes for being unpractical and absent-minded. All of them agreed that they didn’t want to hang around stupid people, but Alice really took the philosophy of ‘it’s the inside that matters’ to an extreme, and if it weren’t for the other two, she’d have no sense of style at all, because she just didn’t care, as long as she had her precious books.
Angela on the other hand pretended sometimes that she didn’t care that much about her appearance, beyond looking ‘proper’, but Miranda knew that it was just an act. More than once had Angela followed her home after school, especially during the last year, and asked if she could borrow this or that.
Miranda usually said yes, if Angela begged nicely, and if it wasn’t something she was extra careful with, in which case Angela sulked. Sometimes, Miranda gave her a piece of clothing she didn’t want anymore, and Angela called her lucky for having so much clothes and getting everything she wanted.
“Sure, it’s awesome”, Miranda agreed, “but it’s just because my aunt and uncle thinks it’s easier to give me things than to care about me. I’ve got clothes, you’ve got a loving family.”
“You can borrow mine”, Angela said, “anytime. If you want Alice; go ahead and take her; she’s all yours. Then maybe I’ll get to have some privacy for a minute or two.”
She didn’t really mean it, of course.
That was what made Miranda like her in the first place, a few years earlier
Miranda was new in school – she had just moved in with her aunt and uncle during the summer – and she was in Alice’s class. She was actually a full year older, but she was one year behind because her parents had moved around a lot when she was a small child and she had started the first grade twice in different schools.
But now she was twelve years old and an orphan, and that could have made her feel sorry for herself – but then she was seated next to Alice Shaw in class. Alice was such a small girl; small for her age even, with long dark hair and eyes almost too big for her face.
Miranda thought that she had never seen a prettier girl, and even before they had exchanged two words, Miranda made up a story about the girl being an enchanted fairy princess trapped in this world, and she, Miranda, was a brave knight who would finally help her find her way back to her own kingdom.
She paid very little attention to what the teacher was saying, and then it was lunch break. Unfortunately, she couldn’t go out with the others at once, because the teacher wanted to talk to her a little and she had to stay.
Miranda looked for Alice when she came out in the sunshine. She didn’t see her at first, but then she saw – Alice was sitting with a book under a big tree, as if she wanted to keep away from the other kids… but her wish for solitude, or her shyness, didn’t stop three boys from gathering around her.
The boys were all bigger than Alice; bigger than Miranda even; they looked like the fighting kind of boys, and they walked in a circle around Alice and the tree, chanting:
“Alice is a bookworm, Alice is the teacher’s pet, Alice is a bookworm…”
They were kicking up dust and Alice didn’t move; she just stared down at her book, and she was clearly uncomfortable.
Miranda was going to run over there and teach the boys a lesson – she was a knight, after all – but before she got there, she saw someone else beat her to it. Another girl with long dark hair, but bigger than Alice, came running.
“Hey”, she shouted, “leave my sister alone, you bastards! Go pick on someone your own size, you fucking illiterate cowards!”
Miranda admired her choice of words, and when she was a little closer to the small crowd she added:
“Yeah, you heard her – stop that, or we’ll break every bone in your bodies.”
Miranda didn’t shout, she just stared coldly at them; she knew that as long as she could hold her back straight and her voice calm, a cold stare cold make the emptiest of threats seem believable. She had not yet learned that verbal threats weren’t even necessary at all; she was still young.
One of the boys laughed mockingly, but with some hesitation.
“Yeah, right – as if you could!”
“Try me”, Miranda said, as if she wore full armour and a sword.
“Why should we listen to you?” the boy said, “we don’t even know you.”
“I don’t know you either”, Miranda snorted, “and frankly, I don’t want to know you, and you only have to know this: boys who bully a girl half their size are scum, and her sister and I are not afraid to fight you to prove it.”
All three boys laughed, but one of them looked a little nervous and another one had the decency to blush – whether he was ashamed of himself or of the prospect of getting beaten up by two girls she didn’t know – and after searching in vain for something to say, all three of them turned around.
“Say: I’m sorry, Alice!”, the other girl commanded.
The boy who had blushed turned around swiftly and repeated the phrase awkwardly. One of the other pushed him hard, but at least all of them walked away.
Alice jumped up from the ground.
“Would you really have fought them? I’m so glad that you didn’t; I wouldn’t want you to get hurt because of me.”
“Who says that they wouldn’t get more hurt? You haven’t seen me give anyone a straight right yet…”
But the truth was that Miranda was relieved that she didn’t have to fight. Not that she was afraid of it, but she wasn’t really a fighter, and she started to come to her senses again and be aware of the fact that she wasn’t wearing an armour but a blue dress bought by her aunt in Paris, and she’d hate to see it ruined by the dirt in the school yard.
Miranda turned to the other girl who came to Alice’s rescue.
“You are her sister, right? I only assumed because you have the same hair…”
“Yes, I’m Angela. I would have fought these boys myself, but thank you.”
Miranda shook hands with Angela, and from that day onwards she did almost everything together with the Shaw girls. No one bullied Alice anymore – they couldn’t, because although Angela was always going to be two classes over them, Miranda was always by her side in school, and although she didn’t make many new friends, few people seemed to want to be her enemies.
Miranda didn’t worry about that. As long as she had the Shaw girls, she didn’t need anyone else. They went swimming and horse riding, she and Angela read fashion magazines, Miranda and Alice wrote plays that Angela directed – with Miranda’s help – and Miranda was welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Shaw to have dinner or sleep over at their house whenever she wanted, and she loved to feel that she had a family again.
Because her aunt and uncle were there, but they never really made her feel that. And they were only too happy, she could tell as clearly as if they had said it to her face, to send her off to the camp with the Shaws. And she wasn’t going only as company. The day they told her – she knew that she was going to remember it forever.
She was not their child, she did not belong to them – she had hoped that she could belong to them at least halfway, because of her mother, but in their eyes, she was only her father’s child; she had his genes, and they were bad. Up until then, Miranda hadn’t known exactly how her father’s genes were no good, but then they told her.
Her father had not only seduced her mother and made her pregnant even before they eloped to some sleazy old place to get married, her aunt said, but he had undoubtedly also infected his child, Miranda, with his unnatural, perverted ways, and she was only too happy to see that Miranda apparently did not remember much about him.
“What do you mean?” Miranda was beginning to get scared.
“You know that your father died in a ‘plane crash’, don’t you. Well, that was no passenger plane…”
“What? Was he some kind of pilot?”
“No. He was flying, all right, but not in a man-made vehicle. He was simply… flying.”
Miranda then learned that the thing that disgusted her family so much was that her father, how unlikely that may sound, had the ability to fly; something that clearly is against nature and all God’s laws of the universe.
They wouldn’t even have believed it if they hadn’t seen it – but they saw it, and they could never forget the shocking sight. And although Miranda swore that she couldn’t fly, they wanted to make sure that there was nothing wrong with her, and that’s why they sent her away. For her own sake, they said.
Miranda knew better. They were afraid of her; that must be the reason why they didn’t want her in their home. But she wasn’t sad. She knew that there was nothing wrong with her – not now, when she had a possible explanation to why she had this way of feeling things about people and what they wanted. She had known that her dad had been a flyer, she had just forgotten. She dreamed about it sometimes, but she thought that it was only dreams. She knew now that it was memories of her childhood; when her dad had taken her to a ride up to the treetops and higher, and she hadn’t been afraid. But then he died. Miranda remembered how devastated her mom had been, and then, after a while, her mom didn’t even want to talk about Miranda’s dad anymore. She didn’t want to hear one single word about him. Miranda realized that that’s why she had eventually forgotten about the flying, because whenever she hinted something about it, her mom acted like that was just fantasies, and after all, no one else that Miranda knew or had heard of could fly, so why would her dad have been any different?
But he had been different, and so was she. And now there was this camp at Coyote Sands, and a geneticist… And Angela was going there, and that meant that Alice was coming too, so even if Miranda had a choice, she would have chosen to go with them.
To be continued… for I don’t know how long, but at least one more chapter is on its way!