Chapter 1: The Conspiracy
This Chapter takes place after the end of Chapter Two
“…alright,” Nino sighed, dropping his cash on the table and tugging his coat around his shoulders. “If that’s what you want then that’s that I guess.”
“Thank you,” Adrien said, downing the rest of his wine before standing up.
“You good to get home?” Nino asked as the pair of them stepped out into the chilly night air. “Or did those two moscatos wipe you out?”
“Haha,” Adrien said dryly. “Make fun of my taste in wine all you want-”
“Oh I will,” Nino assured him.
“-I like the way it tastes,” Adrien shrugged.
“You are such a model,” Nino said, rolling his eyes as he pulled Adrien into a brief hug. “Take care.”
“Same time next week,” Adrien said with a small wave over his shoulder, disappearing into the crowd towards his townhouse at the end of the row.
Nino watched him go for a few moments before taking out his phone, glancing at the text from an unfamiliar number on the screen with a small smirk.
[Cygne Club. 9:30. Heist on.]
“I didn’t think you would come.”
Nino stared grimly into his drink as he dimly registered someone sliding into the seat beside him, the dull lull of jazz and chatter enveloping the only pair still sitting at the bar on a Wednesday night.
“I almost didn’t,” Nino said as gravely as he could manage. “How did you get my number?”
“Friend of a friend…but then again a friend of a friend is why I’m here,” Alya said as the bartender placed a cosmopolitan down in front of her without a prompt. “…you remembered.”
“It’s all you ever drank,” Nino said, staring at Alya’s cool reflection across the bar. “Hard to forget something like that, isn’t it?”
“You forgot to tell me you were back in Paris,” Alya said, taking a small sip of her drink and leaning on the bar.
“I didn’t forget,” Nino said, taking a swig of his drink with a small grimace. “I knew what you would say if I did.”
“So you know what I’m going to say now,” Alya countered.
“And I think you should now know that my answer’s still no,” Nino said.
“Now you know,” Nino said, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye.
“That’s quitter talk,” Alya said with a stern glare.
“Well I’m a quitter,” Nino said with a shrug.
“People like us don’t quit, Nino; we get soft or we stay sharp,” Alya said, regarding him over the rim of her glass.
“I’ve been out of the game for almost eight years now,” Nino said, looking away bitterly. “Ever since…”
“You still think about it…don’t you?” Alya said, tapping her nails against the bar. “Our biggest failure…it keeps you up at night, doesn’t it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nino said, biting his lip.
“The biggest job we ever had; the only one that ever mattered,” Alya said, staring off into space with an almost dreamlike expression. “Years of our lives spent in pursuit of a goal that was snatched away from us at the last minute.”
“I…I moved on,” Nino said, grinding his teeth.
“You moved away,” Alya said.
“Damnit, woman, you know what I had to do,” Nino said, resisting an urge to bang his fist on the bar. “We both did what we had to to survive after that.”
“I know,” Alya said, laying a hand on Nino’s forearm. “I had my work; you had yours. We both found other jobs and pretended to live like all the other people in the world but you can’t deny who you are, Nino!”
“Like hell I can’t,” Nino hissed.
“Once a matchmaker, always a matchmaker,” Alya said, slamming her fist on the bar before shooting an apologetic glance at the startled bartender.
“…I haven’t meddled in anyone’s love life in years though,” Nino sighed, swirling his Coke around in the glass. “Not since-”
“I know,” Alya said, rubbing her eyes under her glasses. “We…we got so close…but that wrinkly son of a bitch Gabriel had to ruin everything by taking Adrien to Japan, didn’t he?”
“I’ll never forgive him for that,” Nino said darkly.
“That is why he,” Alya said, tossing her hair for effect. “Is in hell now where he belongs…but we are still here…and we have a chance to complete our unfinished masterpiece.”
“I said I was through!” Nino said, slamming his fist on the bar before mouthing a sorry at the bartender.
“Don’t you lie to me!” Alya hissed, jabbing a finger at Nino. “You saw him at dinner; don’t tell me you didn’t feel the urge like I did. You’ve always felt it; it’s a part of who you are man!”
Nino rose from his seat, turning away and staring out the window as Alya laid a hand on his shoulder.
“You know they need us,” Alya said gravely.
“…I know,” Nino said softly.
“And you know why they need us,” Alya said, forcing him to turn back and look at her. “Say it…say it out loud…”
“It’s…it’s because they’re idiots,” Nino said, clenching his teeth.
“Big idiots,” Alya said fiercely.
“Huge idiots,” Nino said.
“She said she just wanted to be friend with him but I know when she wants a guy,” Alya said, clenching her fist.
“And he said he didn’t want her but couldn’t shut up about her during dinner,” Nino said, eyes burning.
“Don’t you see?” Alya said, tilting Nino’s chin until he looked down at her. “Fate has led us both here to finish what we couldn’t all those years ago…we have a second chance. We are doing God’s work.”
“By convincing our friends to have extremely kinky sex with one another,” Nino said.
“Exactly,” Alya said. “This is a gift wrapped in leather harnesses and I will be damned if I let this opportunity pass me by again…but I can’t do this alone. I’m gonna need a right hand man.”
“I…I don’t know if I can,” Nino said, glancing away.
“You are the only man who can,” Alya insisted. “If not us…who? If not now…when?”
Nino made a great show of struggling with Alya’s words, turning back and downing the rest of his drink.
“Alright,” Nino said after a moment, turning back to Alya with a small smile. “One last ride.”
“One last job,” Alya said. “Let’s finish what we started.”
They held a resolute glare for a few moments, lips twitching before bursting into identical peals of laughter.
“Missed you, Césaire,” Nino said after a moment, realizing his hand was still lingering on Alya’s.
“You know it’s bad form to flirt with your partner while on a job,” Alya snickered, rocking back and forth a little.
“But when has that ever stopped us?” Nino said.
“Point,” Alya shrugged. “So…any ideas?”
“A few,” Nino said, tilting his head back and forth. “But…I think we should start with Operation Escaping Cougar.”
“Operation Escaping Cougar?” Alya said, trying to remember the codenames she and Nino had devised when they were trying to get Adrien and Marinette together in high school. “What do you…oh…oh no…”
“Oh yes,” Nino cackled. “We’re in it to win it now…time to let the cat out of the bag.”
Chapter 2: What Happens in Roppongi...
This chapter takes place post-chapter 10
The front door slammed and Nino glanced up from the frying pan to see a stuffed zebra sail past him and land ass over teakettle on the couch.
“What did Zebra Colter ever do to you?” Nino sighed as Alya stomped into the kitchen all but steaming out her ears. “How’d it go? Did she get there okay?”
“Friends…with…benefits,” Alya seethed, making choking motions with her hand as Nino casually twirled the curry around the pan.
“…I get the feeling you’re upset about something,” Nino said, popping a piece of chicken in his mouth and chewing thoughtfully before adding another dash of curry powder.
“Friends…with…benefits,” Alya repeated, moving the rice off the burner with more force than strictly necessary as the timer beeped.
“I know,” Nino nodded. “I’m upset about it too. Everybody thought Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis would have great chemistry together but the movie just kinda sucked, didn’t it?”
“After all this time,” Alya said, gripping the edge of the counter. “Literally twelve years and she finally had him sitting in the palm of her hand and she just…chokes because she had to come down with a sudden case of fucking commitment issues.”
“Is it really a sudden case?” Nino asked, holding a spoonful of curry out for Alya to try. “I mean hasn’t her problem always been that she didn’t want to ask Adrien out in the first place?”
“I guess,” Alya said, leaning in and taking a bite of the curry with an approving nod. “I just always thought that if she did buck up the courage to ask she wouldn’t immediately shoot herself in the foot.”
“I don’t think she screwed herself as much as you think she did,” Nino said, turning off the stove as Alya rummaged around for a pair of bowls in Nino’s cabinet.
“Oh no; I know for a fact that she’s screwing herself almost nightly since Tuesday,” Alya snorted.
“I mean yeah this isn’t exactly ideal but I know Adrien better than anyone living and most people dead,” Nino said, spooning some rice into the bowls and piling them high with chicken curry. “Boy’s got a mainline from his dick to his heart.”
“…like a vein?” Alya asked, eyebrow raising. “Because I think most people with working hearts and penises have those.”
“You know what I mean,” Nino said, passing Alya her bowl as they traipsed into the living room. “He’s never successfully pulled off friends with benefits before and I don’t see him starting now.”
“That’s supposed to make me feel better?” Alya asked, flopping down on the couch with a small sigh.
“He keeps fucking it up because he catches feelings like a pre-school teacher catches a cold,” Nino said, waggling a forkful of curry at Alya. “Which, in our case, can only be a good thing.”
“So you’re counting on a guy whose feelings have never been reciprocated—sidebar: how the fuck is that a thing that’s happened—who is so pathologically people pleasing that he worked at a job he hated for six months before saying anything to suddenly buck up and tell Marinette how he feels?” Alya asked. Nino opened his mouth to respond, brow furrowing before slowly turning back to his curry.
“Well…shit,” Nino said.
“You see the problem?” Alya asked. “Your boy would rather Marinette be happy than talk about any hypothetical feelings he might have for her-”
“-and Marinette has talked herself into being friends which is something Adrien isn’t going to undo,” Nino sighed. “Damn.”
“Damn indeed,” Alya said, shaking her head. “Have you ever seen somebody ruin their own lives as much these two?”
“Nope,” Nino said, sprawling out on the couch as Alya kicked her feet into his lap. “God forbid they actually talk to each other like regular human beings…”
“Seriously,” Alya sighed. “I don’t even know what to do at this point…”
Nino’s hand idly massaged Alya’s calf, staring at the screen with his lip caught between his teeth.
“Well…we could get absolutely smashed on strawberry daiquiris and watch mid-90’s like responsible adults,” Nino suggested.
Alya blinked at the screen for a moment, brooding silently as she stared into space.
“Might as well,” Alya shrugged, shoveling another forkful of curry into her mouth. “Anything to keep me from considering what Adrien and Marinette might be doing to each other…”
“Oh please no,” Nino shuddered, pushing Alya’s feet off and getting up off the couch. “I don’t need to be thinking about what they’re doing to each other; I had to rescue Adrien from a Russian sex shop in Tokyo and that damn near scarred me for life.”
“Yeah you mentioned that before,” Alya said, craning her neck over the couch as Nino started piling rum and ice cubes in a blender. “What happened with that?”
Nino stared into open space for a moment, fingers twirling an ice cube around as his eyes landed on the upturned zebra plush across the room.
“What happens in Roppongi…stays in Roppongi,” Nino said gravely.
Chapter 3: Couch Co-Op
This chapter takes place post-Chapter 12
“You ready?” Adrien asked, glancing across the couch as Marinette settled into position.
“Of course,” Marinette replied.
“We can do something else if you wa-”
“No I’m in a very playful mood.”
“Okay…well if you change your mind-”
“Oh, I think I can handle anything you want to throw at me~”
“Okay, you asked for it then~”
“I certainly di-ooh that was good.”
“You have more-fuck-practice than you let on.”
“Well this is my equipment after-ah-all.”
“Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised you’re this good…but I feel like I should warn you that I’m more practiced than you might-”
“-think,” Marinette said, biting her lip as her fighter slammed Adrien’s into a breakable wall on screen. Curled up on the side of the couch dressed in a baggy t-shirt and pair of Adrien’s boxers, Marinette watched Adrien’s brow knit as he struggled to counter the stream of punches her character threw.
“Mngh you’re cheating,” Adrien groused.
“That’s scrub talk, Adrien,” Marinette sing-songed, ducking a flurry from Adrien and sending him through the floor. “You know for someone who only played this game weekends at her friend’s apartment-“
“Oh you are kidding me right now.”
“-I thought I would be rusty at this,” Marinette said, taking a sip of her drink as Adrien’s attempt at a flying cross soared over her character’s head.
“I usually have more luck than this,” Adrien said, hammering away at Marinette’s defense by hammering the light attack button.
“Stop button mashing and maybe you’ll get somewhere-hey!” Marinette slapped Adrien’s hand away as he reached over and tried to fiddle with her joystick. “Not my fault you keep pressing A like that’s the win button or something.”
“Not my fault you picked the most broken character in the game,” Adrien snickered, catching Marinette’s foot as she tried to shove him back onto his side of the couch (trying hard to ignore the way his boxers rode up on her thighs as she tried to kick him in the head). “Stop trying to kick me!”
“Stop trying to cheat then!” Marinette giggled, trying to get her other foot up against his chest. She could have pushed him off but her foot tangled in the sleeve of his tank-top and slid half of it off his shoulder. Adrien slid forward, faceplanting on her bare stomach as she raised the controller over her head, tugging the t-shirt up over the hem of her shorts.
“Using a character that can hit across the stage is cheating!” Adrien grunted, trying to wiggle his way up her body to get to the controller as her other hand shoved into his face.
“It’s part of the game!” Marinette insisted, looking down at the exact moment he looked up at her, catching his eye for a brief moment.
If anyone had walked in, they might have mistaken them for a couple just relaxing on the couch after a day of just bumming around the couch. And for a moment, Adrien made the same mistake. He lay there for a moment, relishing in the simple act of snuggling on the couch with no expectations, no pressure to do anything more intense than simply lie there with her, watching her bright blue eyes flick between him and the screen. He was so tempted to kiss her again, savor the sensation of his lips pressing against hers without-
“Player One Wins!”
“What?!” Adrien sat up, staring at the screen as Marinette barely contained her cackling beneath him. “When did you-”
“Pushed your fighter off the ledge while you were trying to take the controller from me,” Marinette said, buffing her knuckles on her shirt.
Adrien gaped at her for a long moment, crossing his arms and mouth slowly curving into a smirk. “Two out of three; I pick the characters this time.”
“Fine,” Marinette snorted, returning his smirk. “But you know if you want me to spank and humiliate you, you just have to ask.”
“…believe me I will,” Adrien said offhandedly as Marinette took a sip of her drink, whacking her on the back gently as she started choking on her water.
Chapter 4: Lunch
This chapter takes place between Chapter 19 and Chapter 20
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“How often do you guys text?”
Nino’s question startled Adrien out of his perverted fugue. His green eyes tore away from the image Marinette sent him and his head snapped up to a pensive looking Nino frowning at his own phone.
“Wh-what, like me and Marinette?” Adrien stammered, quickly stowing his phone in his pocket.
“No, I mean the people in an actual relationship,” Nino said, nodding across the table. Chloe stopped fishing cherry tomatoes out of her salad long enough to exchange a curious glance with her partner.
“Oh…right,” Adrien said, smothering his disappointment with a meaty bite of his sandwich.
“When did we become the couple people turn to for advice?” Chloe asked quietly. “I don’t remember signing up for this."
“I don’t know, but it scares me,” Nathanael sighed, closing his tablet.
“Like…how much is too much texting?” Nino asked. “I think I’m starting to flirt with too much over here.”
“Why don’t you tell us how much you text Alya and we’ll make noises of shock and disgust if it’s too much,” Chloe said, nose wrinkling as she shoved another cherry tomato onto Nathanael’s plate. “This salad has way too many tomatoes.”
“You ordered a BLT salad; what did you think the T stood for?” Nathanael snorted, discreetly slipping the tomato back on Chloe’s plate as she waved her empty tea glass at a passing waitress.
“Apparently it stands for too many fucking tomatoes,” Chloe sighed, wrinkling her nose. “God, this is like ordering a coffee and having half the country of Columbia waltz through the espresso machine!”
“How many texts have you sent today?” Adrien asked.
“Since this morning?” Nino said, scrolling through his phone. “…ten.”
Adrien and Nathanael shared a small frown. “I think Chloe sent me ten texts a minute this morning.”
“That’s because you weren’t picking up your phone,” Chloe huffed, shunting another tomato off onto Nathanael’s plate.
“You know how Max gets with his ‘team synergization’ meetings,” Nathanael sighed, rolling the tomato back over as Chloe went through her texts. “Last time he caught me texting you, he threatened to drop my phone onto an electromagnet.”
“He doesn’t even have an electromagnet,” Chloe sniffed.
“He could make one if he wanted to,” Nathanael said with a small shudder. “I’ve seen him cobble a toaster together out of a light switch and a wire hanger; I wouldn’t put anything past him.”
“Ten texts in like three hours?” Adrien shrugged. “That doesn’t sound like much to me…then again, I’m not in an actual relationship, so…”
Nino had the tact to pick up on the fact that Adrien was slightly wounded, snapping his cookie in two and dropping half on Adrien’s plate. Adrien looked at it with consideration for a moment before popping it in his mouth as means of accepting an apology.
“You’re fine,” Chloe said, frowning at her plate as she herded three wayward tomatoes onto Nathanael’s. “I don’t know why you’re getting so bunched up over ten texts anyway…I mean unless they were ten dick-pics in a row in which case, mayyyyyyyyyyybe take it down a notch.”
“Just regular stuff,” Nino shrugged, looking over his texts. “I said hey when she got to work, sent her a picture of a phone-case that reminded me of her, asked her what she wanted to do for dinner, asked if she wanted to go out on Friday, asked what her lunch plans were, asked if she wanted to join us for lunch-”
“Got it,” Chloe said, holding a hand up. “Basic, boring, couple-shit; so what’s the problem?”
“She seems kinda…distant,” Nino sighed, looking over Alya’s responses. “One word responses twenty-minutes apart…I can’t crack the code.”
“She’s probably cheating on you,” Chloe said off-handedly, ducking her head into her purse as Nathanael tipped the tomatoes back onto her plate.
“Wh-what?!” Nino choked.
“Yeah, she’s too busy Frenching some other guy to give you proper responses,” Chloe said, frowning at her plate and shuffling another three tomatoes over to Nathanael’s.
“Wh-why would you even say that?!” Nino demanded.
“Hey, don’t look at me!” Chloe said, holding her hands up. “You asked for suggestions; I’m just throwing it out there!”
“Oh BS,” Nino scoffed. “You have literally no idea what my relationship with Alya is like-”
“So why are you asking us to ‘decode’ your girlfriend?” Nathanael sighed, taking a sip of his soda and raising an eyebrow in Nino’s direction. “How are we supposed to understand Alya if you apparently can’t?”
“Well what am I supposed to do; ask her why it seems like she’s being distant?!” Nino demanded. “Is that what you do when Chloe’s being distant?”
Nathanael and Chloe let out sharp, airy laughs in unison, startling Nino. “Chloe,” Nathanael snickered. “Distant.”
“You could be less distant if you ask me,” Chloe said, attention returning to her salad. “Have this chat with your girlfriend instead of oh my god where are these fucking tomatoes coming from?! Are they breeding or something?!”
“Maybe there’s just more than you thought,” Nathanael said flatly, meeting Chloe’s suspicious glare with a blasé smile. Her eyes traveled down to Nathanael’s empty plate and back up to his face with a trademark Bourgeois Scowl.
“Oh my god! You are just hilarious!” Chloe seethed, lobbing a tomato at the side of Nathanael’s face with her spoon. “So fucking funny!”
“I like to think so,” Nathanael said, turning back to Nino as tomatoes continued to bounce off his cheeks. “Like the disgruntled fruit salesgirl to my left said; you’re talking to the wrong people about this.”
“You really just need to take a mature approach to your relationship,” Chloe said, struggling to shove a cherry tomato up Nathanael’s nose. “If you think she’s got something to say just ask.”
“Yeah, because that’s so easy,” Nino sighed, hand resting in his palm as Nathanael and Chloe play-fought across the table. “I can’t believe I’m taking advice from a couple who’s into tying each other up and poking each other with sharpened kebab skewers.”
Chloe halted her attempt to shove fruit up her partner’s nose long enough to shoot a confused glance at Adrien. “What does he think we do? Adrien what did you tell him about us?!”
“N-Nothing!” Adrien stammered, holding his hands up. “I haven’t told him anything!”
“Nobody tells me anything,” Nino muttered. “I don’t know why you guys are so shut-up about it.”
“It’s none of your business, that’s why,” Chloe sniffed, lobbing a tomato into Nathanael’s soda.
“Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to,” Nathanael sighed, spearing the floating tomato with his fork. “Unless you feel like divulging the ins and outs of your love life.”
Adrien muffled a loud snort, drawing the attention of everyone at the table, and several nearby diners. “Ins and outs,” Adrien chuckled, glancing between Nino and Nathanael’s confused expressions. “I…I thought you were making a…a sex joke.”
Adrien scratched the back of his neck as his friends stared at him with identical, blank expressions of disappointment. Nathanael angled the fork towards Chloe who plucked the tomato off the tip and tossed it at Adrien’s face.
“Shame,” Chloe hissed, grabbing another tomato with her spoon and flicking it at Adrien. “Shame on you.”
“Shame on the House of Agreste,” Nino said, chunking a piece off his cookie and whipping at Adrien’s head. “Shame on your whole fucking family for that.”
“Twenty euro in the shitty puns jar,” Chloe said, flicking a crouton at Adrien as he hid behind the drinks menu.
“Harsh,” Nathanael winced. “Not undeserved but…”
“If I pick up the tab, will you stop throwing your food at me?!” Adrien laughed, angling his menu to stop a stray hunk of bread Nino whipped at him.
“It’s your turn to pick up the tab anyway,” Nathanael pointed out, pausing for a moment before tossing a stray ice cube at Adrien’s shield.
“Hmmm…fine,” Chloe sighed, plucking the checks from the waitress’ hand as she passed and tossing them to Adrien with a shooing motion. “But mostly because I’ve somehow managed to run out of tomatoes to throw at your head.”
“I think there’s some over here,” Nino said, scooping up a stray cherry tomato from the floor as Adrien quickly scurried towards the register.
“We should really get him a jar,” Nathanael mused, chewing on his straw thoughtfully. “Blow all the money on a cocktail party at the end of each month.”
“We could probably afford to fly to Monte Carlo for cocktails every month, given his track record,” Chloe snorted, dreamy look drifting into her eyes. “…or maybe we should just go to Monte Carlo.”
“You want to ask Max for time off for me?” Nathanael laughed, running a hand through his hair.
“Come ooon,” Chloe whined, poking Nathanael in the side. “If I can get time off, you can. Besides, you’re Max’s partner, not his subordinate! Your name is on the letterhead right beside his…or was before Rubisoft.
“Thanks; I almost forgot we’re currently working for the devil,” Nathanael snorted, catching Chloe’s poking finger with one hand.
“At least the devil pays well,” Chloe shrugged, poking her boyfriend with her other hand. “Come oooooooon make Max move the Underguard tournament to Monte Carlo this yeaaaaar!”
“I wouldn’t mind you holding your thing in Tokyo again,” Nino shrugged, with a distant smile. “I’ve never actually seen people play your game for money but I was there for the afterparty; say what you want about e-sports-”
“Believe me; I do,” Chloe snorted.
“-but your company puts on a hell of a party,” Nino nodded.
“Amen,” Chloe said, clinking her glass against Nino’s and draining the last of her tea. “It’s all the fun of a society party with none of the society to ruin anything.”
“You just like being undeniably the hottest person in the arena,” Nino snickered.
“I’m the hottest person in every arena,” Chloe sniffed. “Unless it’s a Destiny’s Child concert.”
“She’s also a big supporter of the Rubisoft team,” Nathanael said as Chloe leaned on his shoulder. “And by supporter, I mean she spends the whole match screaming at our team to get back on the objective.”
“Do they lose though?” Chloe asked, angling her head up to look at Nathanael. “Have we lost since I started attending?”
“…fair point,” Nathanael agreed, with a small smile.
“Face it; I’m all that’s keeping your demonic company together,” Chloe said with a smug, taunting smile, pressing her finger against the tip of Nathanael’s nose.
“Our satanic executives thank you,” Nathanael chuckled, kissing the tip of Chloe’s finger as Nino made a fake gagging sound.
“Have you two always been this disgusting or is it a new development?” Nino laughed, leaning back in his seat.
“I don’t know, have we?” Nathanael said, glancing down at Chloe.
“You’ve always disgusted me,” Chloe purred, squeezing the sides of his cheeks with one hand and pulling him down for a kiss that made the diners one table over cover their children’s eyes.
“Okay, break it up, break it up,” Adrien laughed, coming back over to the table as he shoved his wallet back in his pocket.
“You have to save me from these two, dude,” Nino whined, scooting out of his seat as Nathanael and Chloe only seemed to intensify their kiss in response to Nino’s faux whining. “They’re being gross.”
“If you think kissing is gross, I think I figured out while your girlfriend is distant,” Chloe snickered, sliding out of the booth and tugging Nathanael along by his wrist.
“Yeah, thanks for the stunning advice,” Nino snorted, glancing at his phone before stuffing it into his pocket with a sigh.
“Oh my god stop bellyaching and just talk to her,” Chloe groaned, tugging Nino’s cap down over his eyes. “All this time talking to me when you could have called your girlfriend up by now.”
“Alright, alright,” Nino said, flicking Chloe’s hand away as the four stepped out onto the streets. “Thanks mom…you need a lift home, bro?”
“Actually going to go pick something up,” Adrien said, shooting a small smile at Nathanael. “The um…thing you designed is ready.”
“Ugh, do I want to know?” Nino sighed.
“Oh, please, it’s not it’s a fursuit or anything,” Chloe said, glancing at Adrien. “Is it? I don’t know what kind of things you two do and, frankly, I don’t want to but-”
Chloe trailed off as Nathanael flipped open his tablet, thumbing through it and showing her a sketch. Chloe lowered her sunglasses, cheeks flushing pink as she glanced between Nathanael and Adrien’s sheepish expressions.
“Is this that ‘commission’ you were working on?” Chloe asked as Nino peeked over Nathanael’s shoulders with a small squawk.
“…okay, this is in no way an endorsement of your weird lifestyle choices,” Nino coughed, rubbing his neck. “But you are going to straight up kill that girl tonight.”
“Well she did give me the idea,” Adrien laughed. “So she can’t be all that surprised.”
With a wave, Adrien and Nino began walking down the sidewalk towards Nino’s car and the bookshop just around the corner. As they walked away, Chloe glanced up at her partner.
“So…you wouldn’t happen to have sketched something like that for me, would you?” Chloe asked.
Nathanael just smiled, swiping the image to the side and revealing a similar drawing on the next page as Chloe let out a small squeak that echoed off the building and down the street.
Snippet that got the ax as I was working on SBIB 20 (which is jut monstrous jsyk). Wasn't actually going to finish this but I got suddenly inspired and wanted to showcase some Team Adrien in their natural habitat.
The Gaming tournament referred to is one for a game that Nath and Max developed. They accidentally killed League of Legends with a game they helped design and now all the e-sports kids are playing Underguard.
But more importantly, League of Legends has been killed.
Chapter 5: Party Planning
This chapter takes place between CH 23 and 24
Chloe: Okayyyyyyy people who’s ready to help me plan the most vindictive party in the history of the world?!
Chloe: Adrien got me the passcode to the building and we are decking it out for tomorrow!
Chloe: Who’s with me?
Sabrina: Busy, sorry!
Chloe: After all these years of warm, fulfilling friendship, you guys are seriously gonna leave me in the lurch like this??
Max: Mmmmm yes.
Sabrina: Kim and I have kinda blocked out the evening for some date night stuff, sorry.
Chloe: I can’t believe no-one’s gonna help me throw this party!
Nathanael: Hey what about me.
Chloe: You don’t count!
Chloe: You’re obligated to help me exact bloody revenge as my significant other!
Chloe: Also, where’s Kim in all of this?
Chloe: Doesn’t he get to weigh in on whether or not he wants to ruin a millionaire's life?
Sabrina: Sorry, he’s…occupied.
Chloe: Ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh FINE!
Chloe: See what happens next time you want to munch at our place!
Chloe: Spoiler Alert
Chloe: ITS NOT GOING TO END WELL FOR YOU!
Alix: breaking my poor poor heart lol
Sabrina: It’s not that we don’t want to help you out, Chloe; it’s just that…
Alix: no, that’s pretty much it
Max: I’ve done my share already.
Max: This little soiree wouldn’t be possible if Alya and I didn’t secure the necessary party favors.
Max: So consider the hand I had in this affair played.
Sabrina: Wait, I’m confused…what’s going on here?
Nathanael: Did nobody tell you?
Max: Marinette’s business has been the subject of a human pimple’s extortion for the past several months.
Sabrina: Oh…I actually knew that.
Chloe: WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME???????
Chloe: HOW COME I HAD TO FIND OUT WANDERING AROUND A KOREAN BARBECUE LIKE ANTHONY GODDAMN BOURDAIN?
Sabrina: Wasn’t my secret to share.
Max: Well, I for one respect that.
Alix: yeah, couldn’tve been easy for you to hide that all this time.
Sabrina: True…also I didn’t know it was Marinette who was suffering until today.
Sabrina: Online friendships and all that.
Sabrina: Scuse me; need to check on Kim!
Nathanael: Do I want to know what you and Alya did.
Alix: something naughty >;)
Max: Something we can talk about in private or on a secured channel.
Max: If anyone asks, I spent the evening alone with my partner.
Alix: also doing something naughty >;)
Nathanael: …you know what, it’s better if one of us doesn’t know.
Nathanael: That way the studio can survive if you get arrested.
Max: Like I said
Nathanael: I don’t believe you.
Nathanael: But okay.
Alix: either way shit is bound to shake out tomorrow
Alix: all we gotta do now is watch the fireworks
Max: From afar; too close and we might get burned.
Nathanael: Then there’s gonna be some singeing in my future.
Alix: nah, you’re gonna have a good seat tomorrow at the party
Alix: if miss prissy pants gets her way that is >:P
Chloe: Hey, bite me!!!!!!
Alix: lol isn’t that ur bfs job?
Chloe: I will kick you when you get back with the balloons.
Chloe: Don’t test me!!
Nathanael: I repeat; or...what?
Alix: oo someone’s gonna get spaaaaanked
Nathanael: Oh please, like that’s even a deterrent for her.
Chloe: -3- <3
Sabrina: aww <3
Alix: fuck me you guys are gross
Chloe: Isn’t that your boyfriend’s job? >:D
Alix: hey he did his job already
Alix: maybe if you weren’t consumed with hatelust your boyfriend could do his
Chloe: MAX ALIX IS ROASTING ME, MAKE THEM STOP!!
Max: Don’t you have streamers to hang?
Nathanael: I’m almost there with the supplies.
Nathanael: Didn’t know they sold ping pong paddles there as well.
Nathanael: That was a fun find.
Nathanael: Hey, Marcel has a big desk, doesn’t he?
Chloe: …why yes he does~
Nathanael: See you there.
Nathanael: Hey, talk to you later guys.
Chloe: Yeah, I think I’m gonna be…occupied~