Chloe Bourgeois hated snow.
Sure, it was pretty at first, beautiful even. And then, it turned to nasty, dirt-infused slush that made the ground slippery and uglier than it had been before. It also made her get up earlier to go to school, because the traffic was even worse with it, if that was possible.
Her biggest reason for hating it, though, was because it reminded her of herself. It reminded her how beauty was ephemeral, and once she lost that, she would be just as ugly as the slush.
That’s why, when Chloe finally got to school, her signature Chloe Bourgeois Scowl was in place, scaring off the underclassmen that didn’t know her, and knew instead the terrible rumors that still circulated these halls.
Ignoring them, she made her way to class and, the second she stepped through the door, she was instantly bombarded by cheers.
“Happy birthday!” everyone shouted, popping up from behind their desks. Marinette and Alya, bless their hearts, practically vaulted over their desks to smother her in hugs
“Um... what?” she asked, surprised and very confused. She was pretty sure her birthday wasn’t in the winter, and that everyone knew it.
“We saw you walking up from your car,” Marinette started.
“And you looked a little...” Alya said, trailing off to look at Adrien, who was walking over from behind them.
“Frosty,” he finished, laughing when Chloe flipped him off.
“Did we surprise you?” Marinette asked, pulling away from the hug so that Chloe could get to her seat and set her tings down.
“Well, considering it’s not my birthday and I had no way to see this coming, yeah, I was pretty surprised,” she said with a roll of her eyes.
“Then I say it was a success,” Alya stated matter-of-factly, pulling away and high-fiving Marinette.
“Now set your stuff down already, I have something for you!”
“I thought we agreed today wasn’t my birthday,” Chloe said dryly, walking over to her desk to set her bag down anyways. She draped her coat over her seat and stretched for a moment before turning back to Marinette and Alya.
In Marinette’s hand, there lay a cute little raspberry danish, the handiwork on its icing very clearly Marinette’s. In Alya’s, a cup of still-steaming coffee, Alya’s number written on the cup alongside a misspelling of Chloe’s name.
Any lingering dread over the snow still raining down on Paris vanished along with her scowl, and Chloe smiled at both of them.
“Best girlfriends ever,” she said, taking both and setting them at her spot.
“We know,” they said in unison.
She wanted to say something more, but just then, their teacher came in and called for the class to settle down. Marinette and Alya sat down next to each other and immediately launched into whispers. Adrien took his seat by Chloe, trying (and failing) to sneak a bite of the danish she’d been given.
Chloe took out her notebook, broke a piece of the danish off for Adrien, and resigned herself to a boring day of boring classes.
When the bell letting students out for the day finally rang, Chloe gathered all her things and headed to the spot outside of the school where she, Alya, and Marinette always met.
She arrived first, surprisingly, and watched the students pour out of the building. By the time most of them had passed her by, the snow on the steps and on the sidewalk had turned into what she hated most. Grimacing at the nasty slush being splashed through by the remaining stragglers, Chloe busied herself with her phone until her girlfriends finally came out.
“Chlo, there you are!” Alya shouted, waving her over.
“What do you mean, this is where we always meet.”
“Yeah, but it’s cold out; last week we agreed to meet inside the library, remember?”
“Um, of course I remember,” she lied, “I was just seeing if you guys remembered.”
The truth of the matter is, Chloe had a very hard time remembering details like that when they were discussed in person. Honestly, how could anyone expect her to remember something like that when she was lost in Alya’s eyes, or when Marinette’s laugh drowned out any other sound? It really wasn’t fair.
“Uh huh, sure,” Marinette said, reaching out to grab one of her hands. She jerked back when their fingers brushed. “Jeez, your hands are freezing! Let’s stop by my place real quick so we can get you some gloves, yeah?”
“Only if I can get some hot chocolate too.” Chloe put her phone away and fixed a stray hair.
“Oh, me too! With a lot of marshmallows, of course,” Alya added.
“Of course,” Marinette agreed, shaking her head in a loving manner. “C’mon, the sooner we get gloves and hot chocolate, the sooner we can go out to eat.”
As soon as she said that, a large gust of wind swept through, chilling Chloe to the bone. Glaring at the clouds above and seeing no end to them in the distance, she had the feeling they wouldn’t be going out that night after all.
Her feeling turned out to be right. They’d fought through the wind, hail, and snow to get to Marinette’s parents’ bakery, and by the time they all had gloves and hot chocolates, Tom had come up to tell them the news.
“The storm’s still going pretty hard,” he told them. “Sabine and I think it would be best if you girls didn’t go out until it passed.”
“But Papa, we-”
“No buts, Marinette. We’re just looking out for your safety.” With a kiss to the top of her head, Tom went back downstairs.
“You see, this is why I hate the snow,” Chloe grumbled out, plopping onto living room’s couch.
“Hold up,” Alya started. “You hate the snow?”
“Of course I do! There’s nothing to like about it!”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” Marinette said, setting her hot chocolate down so she could take off her layers.
“Yeah? Then please, shed some light on just what’s so great about snow when it turns into that nasty slush and keeps us from going on dates.”
“Well, for starters...” Marinette threw her coat in the corner of the room and threw herself on the couch beside Chloe. Alya sat on the arm of it so Chloe was between them. “If it weren’t for the snow, we wouldn’t be about to cuddle on this here couch.”
“And, without the snow, we wouldn’t be able to go up on Mari’s balcony later to have a snowball fight that I’ll beat you both at,” Alya pitched in.
Marinette took up the tv remote and turned it on, flipping through the channels until she came to a movie all three of them would like.
“Plus, it’s just super pretty to see the city covered in snow. All the lights make it beautiful.”
As if the universe were listening in on their conversation, the power went out.
Chloe jumped to her feet. “See!? The snow is awful! Storms are awful!”
“Okay, I see your point.” Marinette stood and walked over to one of the cabinets. “But also consider how romantic it’ll be when-” she reached in and pulled out candles- “we’re sitting upstairs watching the snow fall while we all relax in a candle-lit room.”
“I can play some of Nino’s mixes from my phone for us too,” Alya suggested, sliding off the couch’s arm and already heading to Marinette’s room.
Chloe sighed and followed after her, Marinette following behind them both with a few candles in her arms. She sat on the chaise while Marinette and Alya prepped everything, only getting up when Alya threw a pair of Marinette’s pajamas at her.
Once she was changed into them, she looked at herself in the mirror and had to appreciate just how well she could pull off reindeer and Christmas trees.
Alya came up from behind, wrapping her arms around Chloe’s waist and setting her head on her shoulder.
“You know, only female reindeer keep their antlers in the winter, which means all of Santa’s reindeer are girls. The chance of at least two of them being lesbians is at an all-time high.”
Laughing, Chloe kissed Alya on the cheek as she unhooked Alya from her waist. “And how do you know all that?”
“Adrien’s been blogging about it for like a week. He’s sent me a 13-snap snapstory explaining it.”
“Oh my god, of course he has. I’m so glad he can send that stuff to you guys now. I literally could not stand another year of Santa-related conspiracy theories.”
“His theory this year is really good, you should ask him about it,” Marinette called from up on her bed. “But do that later. For now, come on up you two.”
Exchanging a quick glance, Alya gestured for Chloe to lead. Walking up the stairs, Chloe wasn’t sure what she’d expected, really, but when she reached the top, the first thought that crossed her mind was how comfortable Marinette looked.
"Lay down with me, I won’t bite much,” Marinette teased, patting the spots beside her.
Without responding, Chloe climbed in with her, and Alya joined right after.
“Alya, music, if you’d please?”
“Sure thing, babes,” she said, turning on one of Nino’s softer playlists and setting it on a shelf behind them.
They didn’t do much talking after that, simply enjoying their time in each others’ presence. Marinette’s fingers played through Alya’s hair, and then turned to Chloe’s. Sometimes they’d kiss for a little, but mostly they just watched through the hatch as snow slowly covered it up.
Alya was the first to fall asleep, the darkness from the storm and soft music lulling her to sleep. Chloe could feel Marinette beginning to nod off too, but before she did, Chloe asked her a question.
“Yeah, Chloe?” she responded with a yawn.
“Do you still like the snow when it’s no longer pretty?”
“Sure I do. Papa and Maman used to take me on walks and swing me by their arms so I could splash in it better. Just ‘cause it’s not pretty doesn’t mean it’s not still fun.” She yawned again.
Chloe hummed and considered her girlfriend’s answer. They fell back into an easy silence, and when Chloe thought of how to reply, she found Marinette snoozing on her arm.
“Sleep well, you guys,” she murmured, raising herself up just enough to kiss them both on their foreheads. She settled herself back down against the pillows and sighed.
In that moment, there was no place she’d rather be.
Chloe Bourgeois loved the snow for that.