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The Joust

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DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a Secret Admirer FanFic for loxodontack as part of the DWP LJ Community Valentine's gift exchange thingy. The prompt for this was as follows: Post Paris. Miranda goes to the gym and sees Andy kickboxing. Leads to Mirandy. Seremily is a bonus. (humour/fluff) Hope you like it! This was fun to do... :)

The Joust

By The Raven


Sighing deeply into her latte, Miranda Priestly decided that it was time to go to the gym. It was either that, or she might strangle her new second assistant and kick Irv in the balls for good measure. This really was too much!


Ever since Andrea had left her in Paris, it seemed that everyone around her was not only moronically incompetent, they were also frustratingly Not-Andrea. It was almost more than she could bear, this Not-Andrea thing. No one else in her employ or her life had ever really been so totally perfect, yet so incredibly inappropriate at the same time.


Oh well. When life gives you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt...


If nothing else, maybe she could paint a smile with lipstick on a punching bag and pretend it was Irv. Yes, that should work nicely, just so long as she did not ruin her manicure, that is.


With her decision made, Miranda rose from her chair and swept out of her office, Emily instantly in tow. Miranda did not even pause when she grabbed her purse and coat from her assistant, rather she kept walking towards the elevator and began to plan her workout in detail.




By the time Miranda had arrived at her gym, she had realised two things. One was that she had left her bag of clean gym equipment at the office, and two, she had failed to make an appointment with her personal trainer so she would have to work the gym alone.


Opening her phone, Miranda dialled Emily.


"Bring me my bag. That's all." Miranda put her phone away and glanced at her watch. Including downtown traffic at this time of day, and considering that Emily would have to interpret her meaning, she would allow twenty minutes for the arrival of her assistant.


In the meantime, Miranda decided to sign in and at least have a look around the gym to see what she would do with her time here. The gym was quite upscale, catering to wealthy clientele who needed discretion, security and a place to be where they were not being scrutinised. This suited Miranda's needs perfectly, which was good. Right now she needed her needs attended to after all.


Moving to the locker rooms, Miranda quickly found her locker and opened it up checking the contents carefully. Everything she needed was here, except for clothes. It was a testament to her distraction and to everyone else's utter incompetence that she had forgotten them.


With a sigh, she closed the locker and moved to the workout area observing with no small relief that the place was mostly deserted. She really did need some time to herself. Now if only Emily would arrive. Was it really so hard to understand what she wanted? It was just gym clothes, not the cure for Ebola!


After deciding that she would use the weight machines and then work on her cardio vascular routine, Miranda glanced at her watch, her mind defocusing for a moment. It was then that a sound registered. It sounded familiar somehow. Like a distant memory surfacing from long ago...


The grunt, thud, shout of it.


Intrigued despite herself, Miranda moved towards on of the adjacent rooms and peered in. Ah, kickboxing. One of her favourite pastimes from a time of yore. A time when she had been free to do as she pleased and no one would have thought anything sinister if she had shown up to work with a bruise on her face or a sore groin.


There was a woman in the ring who was sparring with what appeared to be one of the trainers of the establishment. It was stylised and controlled, obviously some lesson was being imparted upon the student. Fair enough of course, it was important to have plenty of lessons after all.


Miranda was however, intrigued and remained glued to the scene as the two circled each other.


The woman had long dark hair, and the satin shorts and sports bra she wore, left little to the imagination with regards to her body. Her head was covered by leather helmet and she was fully equipment with gloves and shin guards as well. Something must have alerted the pair to Miranda's presence, as they abruptly stopped and turned in unison towards her.






The face of Andrea Sachs stared at her in undisguised shock. Miranda herself barely had the time to conceal her own shock to be quite frank.


What on earth was the girl doing here, and what was she doing standing in the middle of a kickboxing ring wearing next to nothing while a drop of sweat glistened as it measured the distance between the curve of her jaw and the edge of her sports bra.


Miranda almost shook her head at the thought.




The arrival of Emily almost derailed Miranda's focus. Glancing at her assistant, Miranda could see that Emily had also recognised Andrea. It was hard not to. That pretty face was hard to miss. Andrea was hard to miss. No, Andrea was impossible to miss.


"Miranda?" That voice. Andrea seemed to have overcome her momentary paralysis and had decided to address Miranda directly.


"I see you have found productive ways of engaging your time, Andrea. But how, pray tell, have you managed to get into this gym? It would seem that the quality of clientele has diminished since the last time I was here." Miranda knew that she was being unfair and downright mean.


The gym was not out of reach of the ordinary working stiff. However, Andrea had really hurt her feelings, and Miranda did not care if she hurt them back.


Dark eyes narrowed and Miranda felt herself skewered by a glare that was downright admirable in its intensity. Andrea turned to her trainer and spoke to him in a low voice, and after the man glanced in Miranda's direction once, he nodded and hopped out of the ring and vanished to the mysterious place where trainers seemed to go when they were not needed or wanted.


"Hi Emily? How is the leg?" Andrea's voice was downright sweet when she addressed Emily. Miranda felt her blood begin to boil.


"Fine. Not thanks to you!" Emily practically spat at Andrea. Miranda almost smiled then. Good girl.


"Could you excuse us, Emily?" Andrea asked ever so nicely and Miranda felt her hackles rise. Of all the gall. "That is, unless Miranda wants you to hear what I am going to say next." Andrea added far too sweetly. Miranda pursed her lips.


"Emily. Go wait in the reception area." Miranda said and thankfully Emily only nodded before quickly leaving.


Miranda did not know wether to feel relieved or apprehensive about being alone with Andrea.


"Care to put your money where your mouth is, Miranda?" Andrea said, quiet menace in her voice.


"I beg your pardon?" Miranda sniffed, though she understood perfectly well what Andrea had said. How dare that impudent girl say such a thing to her? She was Miranda Priestly, after all.


"You don't beg anyone for anything, Miranda." Andrea said simply before continuing. "Scared?" The words made Miranda fume.


"Don't be a child, Andrea. It is unbecoming." Even as she said it, Miranda considered where she could get suitable gear at such short notice.


Miranda flipped out her phone. "Emily. Call Runway and get Serena to come and help you. No, you may not take what's-her-name, I don't think she could find the bottom of a lake if she was standing on it."


Pausing for breath, Miranda glanced at Andrea who seemed to be smirking at her. "Get me the equipment needed for kickboxing. Yes, you heard me, kickboxing. You have forty-five minutes to report back here. That's all." Miranda closed the phone.


Andrea laughed. "I suggest you go warm up, Miranda." With those words, Andrea hopped out of the ring and took off her sparring gear. "I will go cool off for a while. I will see you back here in an hour." Without a backwards glance, Andrea then walked out. Miranda fumed.




Forty-five minutes later Emily rushed in with Serena in tow. Normally Miranda would have never asked Serena to come and help Emily, but she knew that the second assistant would not be able to be efficient with this request without some support and that Serena would ensure that Emily would not have a nervous breakdown.


It has not been an easy ask. Miranda knew this. Without a word, she took the proffered equipment and inspected it. Headgear, gloves, shin guards, mouth guard. Thankfully the sort that did not need boiling, rather it had a quickset resin in it. Still, it would undoubtedly taste horrible and Miranda vowed to give Andrea a taste of it vicariously, through her fists.


When she inspected the satin shorts, Miranda knew that Serena had selected them. Another good reason why she had requested that Emily get the woman to help. Glancing up, she realised that both women were staring at her. Miranda knew that she was sweating and that she was not wearing many makeup. No doubt they were both in shock.


"Just because I seem to be made of ice, does not mean I do not sweat. This is adequate. You two are dismissed for the day. Tell Roy that I will not require his services anymore this evening. That's all." Miranda did not fail to see the perplexed expressions on both women's faces but she ignored them completely as she prepared herself.


She only had fifteen minutes left, after all. Damn that girl. Andrea. Her biggest disappointment, her biggest regret. Her obsession.


Damn her...


Carefully, Miranda bit into the mouth guard. Pride or no, she was not about to lose any teeth to this madness. Then as it set, she quickly divested herself of her sweat soaked clothes and pulled on the satin shorts, adjusting them until they were perfect and not restrictive or distracting in any way.


She had spent the past forty-five minutes stretching, warming up and recalling her long-ago training. She had also spent the past forty-five minutes realising that Andrea was half her age, obviously in training and that she was a totally unknown opponent.


Oh well. Miranda Priestly had never backed down from anything in her life and she was not about to start now.




By the time she had returned to the spot where this madness had begun, or at least this segment of it, Miranda was feeling more confident. Sure, she might be older than Andrea, but she had more years of experience, that had to count for something. That was all.


Andrea arrived almost at the same time that Miranda did, and for a long moment, they stared at each other.


The staff at the gym had been given instructions to give them space and while Miranda doubted that Andrea had the clout needed to ensure this, Miranda knew that no one would dare risk pissing her of. She was Miranda Priestly, after all.


"Shall we?" Miranda suggested, waving her gloved hand towards the rink. Andrea seemed to smirk at her before she nodded, before nimbly climbing into the ring.


"I take it you have some experience with this, Miranda." It was not a question. "Yes." Miranda answered before she slipped her mouth guard into place and tried to get a feel for the surface beneath her bare feet.


Her former assistant did not reply, rather she slipped her own mouth guard in and bounced on her toes a little. It was time to begin. Without preamble they knocked gloves, bowed and assumed an open fighting stance.


Miranda briefly wondered if her sanity had fled her, but then she realised that she had been waiting to confront Andrea since the moment the girl had left her. However, Miranda had not expected the confrontation to be quite so literal. Andrea moved in and Miranda snapped her focus back to the task at hand.


Andrea did not wait to test Miranda's resolve or initiative, rather she plunged in, a quick jab and a feint with her knee. Miranda rewarded the amateurish move with a solid blow to the younger woman's head. That would teach her to be patronising. Miranda then remembered to not think and just ask when an upper cut caught her in the abdomen.


They broke apart.


"Yowe prtty gowd at zhis." Andrea mumbled around her mouth guard. Miranda rolled her eyes and did not dignify the words, or semi-words with a response. Rather she went on the offensive.


Feint, feint and a kick to Andrea's body, drove the younger woman back, but Andrea was quite obviously not a beginner. She stepped into Miranda and delivered a flurry of movements until Miranda's guard broke and she landed a blow with her knee and then Miranda found herself flat on her back with Andrea's foot at her throat.


Oh no. Not like this.


Miranda grabbed the foot and lashed out with her legs, toppling her opponent before scrambling up to her feet, feeling more alive than she had in, years? Decades?


Andrea bounded to her feet and now approached Miranda more carefully. They circles, breathing hard, and Miranda could feel sweat running down her body and soaking into her shorts and sports bra. So far neither of them had inflicted any injury, but if they were not careful, it could happen.


Did Miranda want to be careful?


The decision was taken from her when Andrea attacked again, her foot arcing high to aim at Miranda's head. Wrong move. Miranda stepped in and drove Andrea down to the mat, pouncing her and straddling her, immediately applying pressure with her forearm to the younger woman's throat.


Miranda had not intended this to be a knockout fight. Knock-down was more than adequate. Dark eyes that were filled with fire gazed up at her. There was actually no malice in them, just adrenalin, and laughter?


Miranda spat out her mouth guard and then looked at Andrea expectantly. Thankfully she had the good sense to follow Miranda's lead and promptly spat her own guard out. "Now what?" Andrea asked.


Miranda did not respond, rather she eased up on Andrea's throat and pulled off her headgear before she leaned in and kissed that wicked, wicked mouth.


As soon as their lips touched, Miranda knew that she had wanted to do this from the moment she had set eyes on this woman.


Andrea did not disappoint. She reached up and yanked off her own headgear before she pulled Miranda down on top of her, kissing Miranda with all that she was worth. The clash of mouths was more intense than the clash of fists had been. Miranda moaned, feeling a flare of arousal ignite in her body.


The taste of sweat, and something that was unique to Andrea was instantly addictive. Miranda had to have more. "Are we done here?" She asked after they broke apart, panting. Andrea laughed, the sound filling Miranda with a strange feeling of joy.


"Yes." Andrea pushed on Miranda, who easily rose to her feet and hauled Andrea up. They gathered their things and almost shyly moved away from the ring.


"We should reconvene at my townhouse. I think we have a lot to discuss." Miranda suggested as they walked to the locker rooms. Miranda did not want to talk to Andrea. She wanted to consume her alive.


Andrea smiled at her. "Sounds good. Want to share a taxi?" Miranda was captivated by the confident ease with which Andrea spoke to her. "Yes. Now, let's hurry, I am hungry." Miranda replied tersely.


The younger woman laughed a little and soon they were both occupied in pilling gear into their bags and dressing. Miranda decided that she would keep her new kickboxing gear. Perhaps take up the sport again. No one would dare challenge her if she showed up with bruises or a limp at work.


She was Miranda Priestly after all...




The next morning, Emily Charlton came to work with a little more trepidation than usual. Yesterday, she had left her boss, Miranda Priestly at a gym with boxing equipment. For Christ's sake! To add to that, Andrea bloody Sachs has been there, at the gym, in boxing equipment.


It was sheer bedlam!


Thankfully, Serena had not only graciously agreed to help her with obtaining the ridiculous gear for Miranda. Emily suspected that Miranda knew that if she went alone, Emily might have a breakdown. Serena was a friend and Miranda, for all her quirks, was not stupid. She knew how far she could push, and always went a little further.


This had been just a little too much. Serena had been a godsend though, and they had spent a very pleasant evening having dinner together and trying to analyse their impossible boss. They had also spent some time just hanging out and having fun.


Emily could not wait until they could do it again. They had already tentatively agreed to a second date. Of course exactly when, was the kicker. It is not like either of them had a not of free time on their hands and both their schedules were unpredictable.


At that moment, Miranda swept into the office and tossed her things on the second assistant's desk, startling the stupid girl. Emily suspected that she would have to look for a replacement sooner rather than later, but so be it. She had chosen to do this, and Emily would be the best at what she had decided to do.


Though never as good as Andrea Sachs.


"Emily." Miranda's soft voice beckoned her. Instantly Emily was on get feet and at Miranda's desk.


"I am taking a long lunch today. I won't be back until two thirty. That's all." Miranda did not look up when she spoke, but Emily did her best in the few seconds she had to see if her boss was bruised.


Miranda looked as immaculate as she always did. In fact, she was practically glowing. Emily quickly turned and hurried away to do as Miranda asked, still pondering the lack of bruises and the glow that her enigmatic boss seemed to be infused with.


Perhaps she would ask Serena, just as soon as she had a free moment to do so...

The End