Continuing Tales

Both of You

A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by Maerynn

Part 27 of 53

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The morning zipped by quickly after that. The breakfast was eaten rather easily as they both fell into a comfortable conversation. When the time came to leave for school, Adrien hastily dismissed his driver, which earned him a knowing smirk from the man that had been driving him around ever since he was in diapers. The young man insisted on instead walking his girlfriend to school hand in hand again, taking an infinite pleasure into casually chatting with her about their homework, their duties as Paris' heroes and whatever topic that came to brush their minds.

Once the pair reached their classroom, they noticed that Alya had eagerly grabbed the opportunity to switch places with Adrien, sitting beside her own boyfriend, clearly hinting that she had been dying to do so for a very long time but had refrained for Marinette's sake. The new couple chuckled to themselves, not minding the slightest getting an excuse to spend even more time together. Marinette smiled softly at Adrien as she sat beside him, their thighs barely brushing under the desk, something she wouldn't for the life of her have managed to walk from unscathed only a few months prior. And yet, it now felt only natural, instinctive, their new normalcy. It was quite odd how much something that had always seem to her to be merely an unattainable and silly dream a few weeks before now felt as innate as breathing.

Being with Adrien, with her partner, she felt whole. Complete. Like he had always been a missing huge part of herself.

The first half of their classes for the day were over before either of them could bat an eye. As Adrien, Alya, Nino and herself were on her way to lunch, the boys playfully bantering with each other while their girls rolled their eyes at them, Marinette couldn't help but grumble as her bladder suddenly saw fit to remind her of its existence. "Sorry guys, gotta hit the bathroom real quick before we head out."

Alya smirked teasingly. "No problem girl, just join us in the courtyard once you're done being a wuss."

Both boys burst out laughing at that tease, which prompted Marinette to stick her tongue out childishly before heading toward the bathrooms, quietly scanning the news websites on her phone to reassure herself that no akuma was on the loose unbeknownst to them at the time.

The young woman absentmindedly pushed the door of the girls' bathroom, wholly absorbed in her own thoughts. She had a lot to do that night before patrol, and the awful akuma from the day before had taken its toll on both herself and her poor boyfriend. It wasn't until she had made her way halfway through the room that she heard it. A loud sniffle quickly followed by a faintly choked sob. Her attention instantly snapped up from the text she had been busy typing to Alya to the girl curled up on the cold tiled floor, her arms wrapped protectively around her knees, head held as low as it was physically possible. The way her shoulders were shaking made it obvious she was crying uncontrollably despite her obvious efforts to stop. Her way too familiar blonde locks were tangled in a fashion that suggested she had been tugging on it out of either frustration or spite. Marinette froze on the spot, unsure of how to deal with the situation. She was too far away from the door already to retreat without making it awkward for both of them, and it was now impossible that the crying girl hadn't noticed her yet.

Still struggling to make the best decision possible to spare both of them from an uncomfortable situation, Marinette spoke as softly as she could. "I'm really sorry, Chloe, I didn't mean to intrude. Do you want me to get Sabrina? I won't tell anyone about it."

Her first instinct had been to spin on her heels and run away from the upset blonde as fast as she could, but she was glad she didn't when Chloe shifted ever so little. The young woman lifted her gaze toward her slowly, painfully. Marinette cringed when she noticed the dark circles the mascara had left on her cheeks and the way her lower lip was violently shaking. Whatever had caused her dismay visibly had really hit close to home and was utterly breaking her. No matter how Marinette despised her, she couldn't help but feel sorry for the mayor's daughter. Chloe sniffled again and answered with a broken voice, "Sabrina… Sabrina and I aren't exactly on speaking terms currently."

Marinette truly was at loss then. Apart from Adrien, whom she couldn't possibly drag into the girls' bathroom without raising any suspicions from their classmates, she wasn't aware of any other friend Chloe might have.

Defeated, she lowered her gaze to the floor and spoke softly again as she retreated toward the door. "Sorry, I'll give you privacy, then."

Just as she was about to open the door, Chloe's voice stopped her. "How can you do it?"

The question had been asked softly, without any animosity. That alone made Marinette's hand hover over the door handle, hesitating. "Do what?"

Chloe sniffled again, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand. "This. It's no secret that you hate me, and yet you are standing there, being way too kind to me only because I'm upset. Why do you care at all?"

Any trace of hesitation Marinette may still have instantly vanished at that. The young designer pulled out her phone and sent a quick SMS to Adrien explaining that she had been held up and to not worry about her. She then made her way to where Chloe was sitting, dropping herself beside her on the cold tiled floor. "Hate is a very strong word, Chloe. I don't think I could ever hate anyone."

The blonde's blue eyes widened. "See? That's what I'm talking about. You're literally oozing kindness and selflessness from every single pore of your damned skin. It's so irritating!"

Marinette lifted an eyebrow skeptically. "Irritating?"

Chloe squealed in frustration. "YES! Because I don't know how to do it! EVERYBODY loves you! Everybody in this fucking school is friend with you somehow. Adrien worships the very ground you walk on, Alya loves you like just like a sister would, half the boys in our class are crushing on you. And here I am, poor lonesome Chloe that can't even manage to get one friend to stick around more than a few months. Sabrina venerated me, and I still managed to drive her away in the end."

Taken aback by Chloe's sudden outburst, Marinette didn't find anything fit to answer. She wasn't even sure if she was lashing out at her or praising her, so she let her resume her vent.

"Everyone thinks I'm nothing but a rotten spoiled brat. And I have only myself to blame for this. All of my life all I had to do is demand to obtain. But that's not how it works in the real world… One heck of a reality check I had, that even the worst temper tantrum in the world doesn't always land you what you want…" A single tear trailed down her cheek.

"I've been trying since the beginning of the year to change that wrong perception everyone has of me, but I don't even know where to begin with. Every time I open my goddamn mouth, all that seem to come out is nasty mean things. I ended up not talking at all, and nobody even bothered to notice."

Now that she pointed it out, Marinette had to reckon it was true that Chloe had been abnormally quiet since fall. She wasn't even able to recall the last time she had said anything remotely mean to anyone. Tentatively, she reached for her arm, patting it in what she wished would be perceived as a reassuring fashion. "Chloe, what is this really about? Since when do you give a single fuck about what people think about you?"

The blonde girl smiled softly through her tears. "It's Nathanael," she confessed quite easily. "Not that it would matter anyway."

Marinette quirked an eyebrow, wondering if the rumors about her infatuation with the redhead were true after all. "What about him?"

Chloe shrugged. "He won't even look at me, no matter how hard I try. I've been as nice as I could to him since August, to no avail."

"What have you tried so far?"

The blonde girl sighed. "I bought him a scarf the same blue his eyes are. He gave it back to me without a single world. Then I bought him a charcoal Agreste beret that would look awesome in his red locks, but he refused to even cast a single glance at it."

Marinette chuckled involuntarily, making Chloe's gaze snap suddenly to hers. "You think it's funny?"

The young woman smiled. "Not at all. Say, why do you like Nathanael at all?"

Chloe sighed. "He's truly one of a kind. His hair red as sunrise, his blue eyes so pure. His slender musculature, his long and slim fingers…

Marinette smiled again. "That's merely physical features. Nathanael won't ever cast a second glance at you if he thinks you are after him only for his looks, no matter how hot you think he is. Is there anything else you like about him?"

Chloe squealed softly, intently looking at the floor. "I don't know! He soothes me?"

This definitely took Marinette by surprise as she instantly asked back quizzically, "Soothes you?"

Chloe shrieked unwillingly, unable to maintain her cold facade:

"I don't know, it's like his constant calm and assured demeanor no matter what calms me somehow. His quiet temper and his overflowing creativity make me feels safe in a way I've never been before. Does it even makes sense?"

Marinette smiled softly. "Actually, it does. Adrien says that watching me sew or draw oddly calms him."

Chloe smiled genuinely at that. "Yeah, that's it! When he's drawing it feels like everything has fallen into place. Looking at him even from afar feels like I've found my place and nothing bad can happen to me if he's close to me."

Marinette smiled. "Sure sounds pretty much like love to me."

Chloe shrugged sadly. "How can I make him love me back anyway?"

The young designer smiled knowingly. "Show him how much you care about him. Seeing him draw soothes you? Find a way to be with him when he draws. If you're so intent on buying him gifts, buy him art supplies instead of fashionable items. Listen to what he likes and act accordingly."

Chloe smiled softly through her tears. "I'll… I'll try. Thanks, Marinette."

Chloe stretched herself in front of the mirror, looking intently at the damage her crying had done to her makeup. Wiping the smudged mascara from her cheeks, she whispered meekly. "Marinette, can you promise me something?"

Curious with the sudden topic change, Marinette perked. "Sure thing. What?"

"Please make Adrien happy. Poor guy already had twice his fair share of suffering for a whole lifetime, if you ask me."

Marinette smiled fondly before answering. "Don't worry about it. I plan on sticking with him until he grows sickly tired of me."

As she was about to open the door and head out, the shy voice of her up-to-this-very-second-arch-enemy stopped her. "Hey, Marinette?"

The young woman glanced back warily at Chloe as the blonde was finishing touching up her makeup in the mirror. "That doesn't mean we're friends, right?"

Marinette smirked knowingly. "Don't worry, I wouldn't dare to dream about it, Chloe."

With that she exited the bathroom, walking toward the courtyard as she waved happily to Adrien and Alya who were obviously waiting for her. Her boyfriend raised an eyebrow questioningly, obviously wondering what possibly could've held her up so long in the bathroom. She leaned in to kiss his cheek and whispered in his ear as she retreated, "Ran into someone pretty upset. Took time to comfort her."

The pride she read in his familiar green eyes made her heart swell as she sneaked her small hand into his, letting him lead her toward a table.

Neither of the girls had noticed the odd looking grayish butterfly very angrily flying back out the window, from where he had been watching since Marinette entered the bathroom, unknowingly preventing him from infecting Chloe.

Both of You

A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by Maerynn

Part 27 of 53

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