This Must Be The Place by chilly_flameThis Must Be The Place by chilly_flame is, in my opinion, one of the most realistic interpretations of the Mirandy ship in the whole of The Devil Wears Prada fandom lore. Truth and Measure is the lesfic Bible (I think it was Lee Winter who coined the term years ago on this very website) and that story stands apart not just in DWP fandom, but in the whole wlw fanfiction for oh so many reasons. But This Must Be The Place is how this relationship could have happened if the movie canon was followed to the T and that’s an astonishing achievement and makes for a beautiful storyline.

I actually looked back and counted all the reviews I was privileged to write for TLR and it turns out I’ve reviewed eleven stories and yet none of them was a Mirandy fanfic. I’m not exactly sure why this happened, except maybe because my own humble attempts at writing had their origin in this fandom and also maybe because this is hands down, by far my absolute favorite ship. Ever. And This Must Be The Place is one of the my favoritest (yes, yes, not a word, but should be) stories. Ever.

The story begins nine years after the events of the book/movie with Miranda Priestly still the Editor-In-Chief of Runway, still a total Ice Queen, still kicking ass and taking names. Except, she’s an empty nester approaching sixty and has done some deep introspection on relationships, love and loneliness. She’s an insomniac who drowns her sleepless sorrows in herbal tea in feeble attempts to at least pretend to do something about her sleep disorder. One of such nights, as she idly scrolls through TV channels and DVR, she comes up across a familiar face. A beautiful, matured, painfully sad face.

Andy Sachs has been through hell in the past nine years since she brazenly threw her phone in the fountain in Paris. A world renowned war zone reporter she has seen death and destruction in her line of work. But the closest she came to losing her life was when she had witnessed an assassination attempt on a congressman right in the heart of US. She’s slowly clawing her way out of a deep depression and her PTSD still flares up painfully from time to time.

Fate, with a little reluctant push from Miranda herself, intervenes and the ladies meet at an award ceremony. What follows is a series of non-date dates, where they drink cocktails at an empty Manhattan lounge, walk the empty midnight streets and decorate the Christmas tree together while hashing out their past, laying to rest hurts and misunderstandings and falling in love, as equals.

But Andy is suffering from past trauma, and Miranda is fearful of loneliness and opening up to someone who may pick up the camera and depart to a new war zone any day. Will they allow their budding love story to fully blossom or will they sail past each other, content with a flighty connection and laying their joint demons to rest?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Look, DWP is a rich, rich fandom. Off the top of my head I can name a Top 20 Mirandy fics, easily. And yet no matter how you slice it, This Must Be The Place remains the ONE story that brings the protagonists together in a realistic way that is so seamless as only the simplest, the most natural of things are.

I had a conversation with a fellow reviewer not too long ago and we both agreed that broken characters, with trauma and drama in their pasts, make for amazing stories. Whether it is how they overcome said brokenness or how they embrace it, it always makes for a great read. On close inspection it is Andy who has all the trauma in her past, and yet Miranda Priestly is such complex character, such an utterly compelling personage that you want to delve deeper into her psyche, see what makes her tick, what causes her to be the way she so famously is.

This story has plenty of journey from both characters and despite not being very long, it is thoroughly satisfying.

Supporting cast is stellar, par for the course for this fandom, for everyone loves Nigel Kipling and Emily Charlton. But Nigel Kipling and Emily Charlton, both happily settled and successful professionally and personally? Sign me up! Oh and Nigel calling Miranda his “melancholy baby”? Priceless.

Cons And Heads Up

Andy suffers from severe depression and PTSD in the story. The authors tackles the subjects very tactfully and gently, but the effects of both are on the page and discussed in the open.


Milena's FavouriteIf you love DWP and ship Miranda and Andy, this is your story. This is where you will find how these two extraordinary women come together and STAY together nine years after the canonical events.

The writing is exceptional, which is chilly_flame’s trademark. The pacing, the dialogue, the scene setting – all done in a wonderful way to reflect the mood and the melancholy that occasionally permeates the characters and the story.

The sex scenes are hot, and very sensitive to issues such as changes the woman’s body undergoes at menopause and lack of experience with women on Miranda’s part.

Of course, Snow White is not part of this fandom, because if she was and if she was as inane as she is in OUAT, Miranda would have banned her from ever finding employment in media on either coast. That’s all.

Excerpt from This Must Be The Place by chilly_flame

Miranda leaned back against the luxurious array of pillows and sipped her tea. So far it had not lived up to expectations; she had not rested any better having drunk a small pot of it before trying to sleep. Then again, she had not slept worse, so that was something. She sighed, and turned on the flat panel monitor that hung on the wall. The house was empty now, though the girls would be home in less than a month for Christmas break. There would be no evening phone calls, since Friday meant they were both probably out socializing. As much as Miranda had anticipated some peace after the long week, tonight felt lonelier than expected. Normally one or the other called, Caroline from Poughkeepsie, Cassidy from Providence. She felt proud that they’d each done well apart, but it was sad to imagine either of them as lonely as she. They’d been a trio for so long that life had changed a great deal this past September.

She sighed, and clicked through her recordings for the week.

Hours later she’d worked her way through two news programs and an old documentary on typography when she scrolled to Derek Halpern’s show, recording live. The show was hit or miss, depending on the guests, but it was worth a shot. The first personality was a novelist Miranda didn’t care for, but that segment was nearly over. When the next guest appeared, Miranda paused the DVR quite suddenly as she recognized the face staring back at her.

Andrea Sachs. Rather, Andy Sachs, who still held onto her boyish moniker. Andy, who had spent nine years transforming from a youthful naïf with a stubborn streak to an award-winning journalist who’d reported from some of the most dangerous, war-torn regions in the world. Miranda had followed her career in a silent, curious way as she became more well-known. No one ever mentioned Andy’s name in Miranda’s presence, which she found somewhat amusing, but then Andrea had abandoned her job at Miranda’s side in the most obvious way possible long ago. Looking at her now, it made sense. The girl, or rather woman, had guts. Miranda admired anyone who had guts, even if they acted like an idiot now and then.

That said, Miranda was shocked to see her tonight. Seven months prior, Andrea had dropped off the radar after a witnessing the attempted murder of a Democratic congressman, gunned down at a public library on a perfectly innocuous Thursday afternoon. Before that, Andrea had been a globetrotting foreign correspondent, and Miranda had seen her in the typical reporter garb of wrinkled button-down shirt and jacket, occasionally topped off with ill-fitting but necessarily protective headgear. She had remained as lovely and wide-eyed as she had been as an upstart, even with little in the way of makeup. But tonight, she was far more beautiful than Miranda recalled. In high definition her skin was flawless, perfectly sculpted features almost too large to fit her petite face. The collection of mouth, nose, cheekbones and eyes made for a compelling package.

But her expression was different now, and it made Miranda feel an intense sadness. There was something in her eyes that spoke of things no human should ever experience. As much as this was the same young woman who’d run for her coffee and carried her dry cleaning, the subtle melancholy in the tilt of her mouth was unfamiliar, and it caused a little squeeze in Miranda’s chest.

This would be worth spending a few minutes on tonight, certainly. She’d almost been tired before she’d found the program, but the brief spike of adrenaline put off any hope of sleep now.

Find the full story here (link)

Bits And Bobs

Fandom: The Devil Wears Prada

Length: 47,747

Author: chilly_flame

Rating: M

Rating Guide:  G= General, T = Teen and up, M=Mature, E = explicit

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