Marinette fiddled with the phone in her hand, fully aware of the judgemental look Alya was giving her. She refused to look up and receive it though. Nope, not gonna happen.
"So let me get this straight," Alya pinched the bridge of her nose. "You purposely messed up Adrien's order so he would call you to reorder and you could talk to him?"
Marinette had the audacity to look embarrassed. "Well, when you say it like that, it sounds kinda weird."
Alya threw her head back, laughing. "No, weird is Nino eating ice cream with a fork. This," She gestured towards Marinette's general direction. "Is an absolute mess." She did kinda feel bad. All Marinette wanted to do was talk to her crush. Yet, her plan was full of holes, one of them being how there was a 99% chance that Adrien wouldn’t be the one answering the phone.
Still, as Marinette's number one supporter, she had a duty to aid her best friend in all of her crazy schemes. She grabbed the phone Marinette had been staring at like it had come alive and threatened to steal her soul. Dialing the Agreste business line, she waited. Marinette attempted to lean and grab the phone from her but Alya moved out of her reach.
“Nathalie Sancoeur.” Someone answered. It was that woman that always seen escorting Adrien. Gabriel Agreste’s personal assistant.
Alya put the phone on speaker and put on her best cheerful voice. “Hi, I work at Tom and Sabine Boulangerie Pâtisserie and there seems to have been a mix up with an order that was sent out to the Agreste household.”
She heard Nathalie sigh. “Look, I can’t be bothered with this. You should be more efficient when delivering your orders.”
“Now wait a minute,” Alya protested. “I just wanted to see if I could send someone over and replace the order-” Nathalie interrupted her.
“That’s not necessary. Adrien has already missed his scheduled time for pastries, “ Alya’s eyebrows furrowed, frustration evident. This woman was getting on her nerves, and what kind of nonsense was she spitting out about a scheduled pastry eating time? “I have a lot of work to attend and frankly, you are wasting my time.” Without waiting for Alya to respond, she hung up.
Alya switched between staring at the phone in disbelief and at Marinette, who had been silent throughout the whole exchange. There was a silence between them before Alya spoke up.
"I don't know," Marinette admitted, biting her lip. Her plan was supposed to be simple and it went downhill with a single phone call. That wasn’t even the worse part. She cost Adrien his chance at eating his pastries, and destroy any image of professionalism the bakery had.
She'd be lucky if they ever ordered from there again
A hand on her shoulder brought her out of her mental breakdown.
"Mari, calm down. I might have an idea."
Marinette perked up immediately. "What is it?" She asked helplessly. "Please tell me you can fix it."
Alya smirked, the look in her eye promising nothing good. She rubbed a hand through Marinette’s hair soothingly. “We’re going to take the pastries to Adrien, of course.” She snorted. “Like I’m going to let some snooty woman ruin your chance at love. I don’t run the Ladyblog by taking ‘no’ for an answer.”
“Maybe you should.” Marinette thought, a little scared.
One cab ride later and they were standing inside the Agreste Model Agency at the front desk. “Ayla, how did you even know Adrien was here?” Marinette asked.
“I never reveal my sources.” Alya was not sure how they were going to get in, but they would get in. An idea popped into her head and she told Marinette to wait for her signal. She repeatedly pressed the service bell. “Excuse me!” She yelled. “Hello, I need assistance!” A woman approached them and when she asked what they wanted, Marinette recognized that it was the woman that was on the phone earlier.
The way Alya was glaring at the woman, it would seem she realized that too.
Alya took a deep breath. Then, in the brattiest voice she could manage, that strangely reminded Marinette of Chloe, she said, “Do you know who I am?”
The woman crossed her arms. “Should I?”
“Yes, you should.” Alya pointed a finger at herself. “I have been waiting at this desk for 5 minutes,” She sighed dramatically. “And frankly it’s been the longest wait of my life. Your staff should be more efficient when tending to the needs of their models.”
Nathalie pinched the bridge of her nose. “I’m terribly sorry Miss, what is it you need?” She was preparing herself for Ayla to make an outlandish request that most of the models they work with do.
Alya propped a hand on her hip, eyes narrowed. “I need to go to the bathroom.”
Nathalie blinked. “Is that all?”
Alya tried very hard not to break her character at the clear shock on her face. Instead, she pretended to pout. “What do you mean is that all? Are my needs that unimportant to you?” She faked a sniffle. “I’ve never been treated so badly. I’m telling daddy about this!”
Nathalie was quick to act. “I’ll personally take you to the bathroom myself.” She guided Alya pass a dumbfounded Marinette. Alya sent Marinette a wink behind Nathalie’s back and made a motion for her to get moving.
Marinette made a dash around the corner, out of sight before the woman returned from leading Alya to the bathroom. Her heart was pounding against her chest, thoughts filled with the fact that, if she got caught, she’d be in major trouble. “What was I thinking?” Alya was crazy, this wasn’t going to work. They were going to get busted! Adrien would file a restraining order against her, and she’d have to watch him marry Chloe Bourgeois. She screamed internally. that was not happening, no way!
She took a split second to decide which way to go before making a sharp right. She was going to stop ruining any chance she had with Adrien and go home to think of a new plan. She stopped. Which way was the way out? A door opened and voices flooded the hallway. She entered the first door she encountered. A sigh of relief escaped her when the voices faded. Now, to get out of there before anyone saw her.
Adrien was standing there, a confused look on his face. He had every right to be, as she was hiding behind a door in a building that she had no business being in. Marinette slowly turned around. "Adrien!?" She stumbled back, nearly tripping over her own feet. “ Er, you’re here!” She shook her head violently. Mentally scolding herself, of course, he was here. Why wouldn’t he be at the building that had giant black bulky letters with the title “Agreste’s Model Agency”?
"What a coincidence meeting you HERE!” Both of them winced at the volume of her voice. She blinked. “At the modeling agency, that you..um, work at." She should really get a grip on her brain to mouth filter. He probably thought she was a weirdo.
"I'm not a weirdo, I'm just a girl with a crush." She thought. Yeah, that would not go over well. Marinette promised herself that if she made it out of this unscathed, she would track Alya down. Then she would murder her slowly, in the most painful way possible. More painful than her current predicament.
"Uh...I can explain! Um, you see,” She tugged on one of her pigtails, not daring to look at him. She struggled to find the right words to say, ultimately deciding on the truth. “I, uh.. messed up your croissant order," She left out the part where she did that on purpose, but he didn't need to know that. For the most part, it was the truth. "Then the mean scary business lady told me you weren't allowed to have any after a certain time so you could maintain your model body."
No, she did not glance at his body when she said that. Okay, maybe a little.
Marinette shifted from foot-to-foot. This whole situation was making her nervous, and she didn’t want Adrien to think ill of her. It didn’t help that Adrien’s current attire, or rather lack thereof, was making her brain feel like scrambled eggs. The blonde boy was clad in a pair of green and black swimming trunks, a single pair of white sunglasses resting on his head. “So, Alya had this idea for us to break in, and, umm…”She trailed off. Sweet lord, his v-line was deep. She gulped, face heating up. “Deliver the croissants.” Her voice was weak at that last part. She wished Adrien would cover up before she died, the cause of death being by blushing too much.
Adrien raised an eyebrow at her. "So where are the croissants?"
She froze. Oh no.
She left them on the counter.
At the bakery.
“I uh,” She frantically patted herself down, trying to find her phone so she could call Alya. Letting out a noise of triumph when she found it. She started to tell Adrien that Alya would vouch for her, but the words never left her mouth when she saw that, in a short span of time, Adrien had managed to close the small distance between them. They were practically nose-to-nose. Oh god, was that him breathing? Can breathing be attractive? If not, she was still definitely attracted to Adrien’s breathing. She caught a faint whiff of his breath, smelling like fresh mints.
He smirked. "Are you lying Marinette?" He teased.
Marinette Dupain-Cheng was alone with Adrien Agreste, with basically no space in between them. This was a dream come true. Adrien cleared his throat. "I mean, I wouldn't mind if you came here for something else. I’ve been meaning to ask you something anyway." Marinette was sure she imagined it, but was Adrien blushing?
Ready to combust on the spot, and against her better judgment, she asked. “What?”
‘Marinette, will you let me take you out on a date?”
Now she was sure she actually did combust on the spot. Marinette.exe stopped processing. This was an elaborate dream she had created for herself. Almost seemed real.
“Marinette?” Her hopeful eyes met his concerned ones.
She smiled bigger than ever before. “Yes.”
Maybe Alya knew what she was doing after all.