Gun Brookes Advent Calendar 2012

Star Trek Voyager /Devil Wear Prada – Crossover

Dangerous by Design


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Door 15


“Not sure what all this was about, but clearly Tal needs a friend where she likes it or not, or even concedes to it, or not.” Andy knelt next to Tal and took her hand between both of hers. “No matter what you think, I’m no fool. Nobody, nobody, talks to anyone close to Miranda that way. So I’m thinking, you’re doing it as a cry for help, or something.”

Tal stared with tear filled eyes. “Is she for real?” she asked Miranda, clearly trying for a contemptuous glare, but with very little success.

“She certainly is.” Miranda looked indecisive, which in itself was nothing short of sensational.

“Not sure what that’s about, but Tal, you can’t afford to push people away. You’re in new territory now, with tons to learn. Trust me, I know. You need advice, and as you’re about to be photographed in a way that you’ve never experienced before. I’ve only done it a few times, for fun, but I know how intrusive it can be, and how vulnerable you might feel.”

Tal looked at Andy as if she had sprouted antlers and joined the Andorian race. “Vulnerable?” she asked slowly. Sighing she looked up at the ceiling. “Yeah, I guess.”

“For sure.” Andy took Tal’s hand. “Let’s just start over, okay? As you’ll be wearing some of my clothes, I’d be happy if we could at least be civil, but I’d prefer if we could be friends.” She smiled hopefully, knowing she would most likely receive another acerbic and cynical remark. Hoping Tal would realize that if that happened, Miranda might just choke her.

“All right. I’m sorry I mouthed off the way I did. You caught me on a bad day and—“ She shrugged. “Did you say ‘your clothes’?” Tal looked confused.

“Yes. I’m Sarah Candes.”

You are the one the beauty staff’s been swooning over?”

Andy felt her cheeks warm. “Uhm. Well not me personally, but I’m glad they seem to like my clothes.”

“Like?” Miranda huffed. “I overheard them earlier and I can promise you they were literally salivating.”

“Gods.” Andy shook her head. This was still surreal to her. “All right. Back to what we talked about. I’m glad you’re feeling a little better, Tal. Should we bring the staff back so we can go on with the shoot?”

“Wait…just wait a minute.” Miranda narrowed her eyes and tilted her head. “I just realized you two have similar coloring. One human, one Bajoran. We’re going to do a designer/model combination shoot for a few shots.”

“Wh-what?” Andy swallowed. “That means people will know who I am. They might think you chose to feature my clothes because—“

“Because you’re very talented. Anyone with half a brain will see that from the clothes in this shoot alone.” Miranda pressed her lips together. “Why are you being difficult all of a sudden, Andrea?”

“D-difficult?” Andy tried to wrap her brain around the sudden turn of events.

“Yes, Andy, why are you?” There was suddenly a glimpse of laughter in Tal’s eyes.

“Oh, please.” Andy snorted, suddenly seeing the humor in the whole situation. “All right. You got me. And, Tal, I mean it, you better not be totally insufferable when we shoot this together. I’m not as nice as I look.”

“Yes, you are.” Miranda’s voice had changed again, now holding that soft tone she reserved for Andy and her girls. “Tal will be wise and not take advantage of that.” The steel back in her voice, she shot Tal a look that actually made the jaded young woman square her shoulders and become ramrod where she sat.        

“Gotcha, ma’am…Miranda,” Tal said.

Andy flinched. Tal calling Miranda ma’am was a huge faux pas, but Miranda obviously let it slide. Perhaps she chose her battle with this moody young woman. Andy was more than curious about Tal, as she clearly had some pull, even if she was an untried and unknown model. Suddenly, Andy thought of something. What if she asked Seven to run a check on Tal? It might prove useful to Miranda if Andy could find out enough about Tal, for her to forestall any issues that might arise. It was worth a try.

“What are you thinking about?” Miranda asked, looking slightly suspicious. “You have that look.”

“What look?” Andy did her best too look cheery and innocent. “I’m just thinking which outfits Tal and I should wear during our mutual shoot.”

“Sure you are.” Miranda wasn’t buying it.

Deciding that she needed to truly distract Miranda, Andy leaned in to whisper out of earshot from Tal and the returning beauty staff. “Actually you’re right. I’m thinking of what to wear tonight, when the twins are safely tucked in and I have you to myself. I plan to do some research…and some replicating. You did say you might be persuaded to use…enhancements.” She grinned, enjoying the blush on Miranda’s cheekbones.

“Andrea.” Closing her eyes briefly, Miranda gave a sigh that could be interpreted as a moan if you were close enough. “I already told you, you’ll be the death of me.”

“Nah,” Andy pushed Miranda’s bangs from her eyes with tender fingertips. “You’re safe with me. I would never let anything or anyone hurt you.”

Miranda jerked, startling Andy as she gripped her free hand tightly as her eyes darkened.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  



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