Adrien threw his bag of fencing gear over his shoulder and pushed open the door leading out of the boys locker room. At that exact moment, Kagami appeared out of the girls locker room and waved at him timidly, her bag of gear in her hands. He smiled at her as they met in the middle of the courtyard and walked towards the exit of the school. “What are your plans for tonight?” Adrien asked as he slid his hands into his pockets.
Kagami clasped her hands in front of herself as she stared at the ground in thought before turning her head to look up at him, “The usual I think. Finishing my homework, violin lessons, flower arrangement practice, and then maybe I’ll have some time to do some light reading.”
“Not really my thing, but my mother wants me to at least learn. My arrangements leave a lot to be desired though.”
“I’m sure that they’re beautiful.”
Kagami laughed happily, “You need to see them first before you say that.”
Adrien smiled, “You should show me someday then.”
Kagami nodded, “I would love to. Don’t be too horrified.” They came upon the edge of the stairs leading down to the street in front of the school. Kagami’s chauffeur had already arrived for her and she nodded towards him, “See you next week Adrien. Get home safe.”
Adrien waved as Kagami gracefully ran down the stairs and stepped into her car. He watched it pull away before he turned his head to look down the road, wondering where his own transportation was. It was rare that the Gorilla was late.
Adrien automatically braced himself for the impact as Chloe jumped onto his back, “Hi Chloe.” He shrugged slightly to get her to release her grip and turned to face her, “What are you still doing here?”
“Miss Bustier asked me to stay behind today to help with the class project, and since I had time, I agreed, since I am such an amazing person.”
Adrien quirked an eyebrow, “That’s great of you Chloe.”
“Now, who was that just then,” Chloe planted her hands on Adrien’s shoulders and moved closer so that she could glare over his shoulder and down the road that the silver car had gone, “She better not be trying to steal you away from me because--”
Adrien gently removed her touch and placed her hands back down to her side. “She’s just a friend Chloe.”
Chloe turned her head to look at Adrien, who was giving her a soft smile, “A friend? Well… I guess I’ll let that pass.”
“Are you bothering Adrien again? You really should stop,” Alya interrupted as she appeared with Nino and Marinette by her side.
“I don’t mind.”
“Adrikins loves me, of course he doesn’t mind. We’re destined for each other.”
“Chloe… you’re just a friend.” Out of the corner of Adrien’s eye he noted a strange movement come from Marinette but couldn’t quite understand why it was that she seemed to be curling into herself and looking like she had just tasted the most sour of lemons.
“Adrikins, you can’t possibly mean that! We’ve known each other for--”
“You’re just a friend like Alya is just a friend--”
“Please don’t put me on the same level as Chloe.”
“And how Marinette is just a--” Adrien interrupted himself as he was sure he saw Marinette perform the same jerky movement again. His eyebrows furrowed, “Are you feeling okay Marinette?”
“What? Um, I’m fine feeling- Feeling fine!” Marinette squeaked as she hid behind Alya.
Alya simply shook her head at the interaction, a fond smile on her face. “Come on Marinette, we need to get to my place before Nora explodes. Nino, you coming?”
“Nah, I’ll just hang with my boy until his bodyguard comes. I’ll see you later tonight dudettes.”
Alya rolled her eyes affectionately as she leaned up to kiss Nino on the cheek before she flicked him on the nose, “What did I say about calling me dudette?”
Nino simply grinned, “Sorry dude.”
Alya shook her head not able to hide the smile on her face, “Alright Marinette, come along now.”
“B-bye Adrien,” Marinette squeaked as she waved as him, nearly stumbling down the stairs if not for the firm grip that Alya had on her arm.
“See you later losers!” Chloe smiled triumphantly. And at that moment, her own limousine pulled up in front of the school as well. A frown graced her features as her butler stepped out of the car and held the door open for her, giving her a gentle smile and waiting for her patiently. Chloe sighed before she turned to Adrien, pointedly ignoring Nino, “See you tomorrow Adrikins!” She pounced on him once more with a forceful kiss to the cheek before she ran down the stairs and slid into her car’s seat. Jean-whatever closed the door after her and climbed back into the car, the black limousine driving away.
“So Kagami is just a friend, huh?” Nino asked as he came to Adrien’s side.
Adrien sighed and set his bag down on the floor and rolled his shoulders, “You too?”
“Hey man, I can only say what I see.”
“And what do you see?”
“That you have mostly awesome friends dude.”
“Mostly?” Adrien quipped with a knowing grin.
Nino pointedly eyed the direction that the limo had just left in, “Mostly.”
“Actually Nino, I don’t know.” Adrien rubbed the back of his head as Nino stayed silent, waiting for his best friend to continue, “Although Kagami and Marinette are both my friends, the way that I feel about them… it’s just… different, you know?”
Nino’s eyebrow shot into his hairline. Boy was he about to score a lot of points with Alya, “Different?”
“Yeah… just… I don’t know… just different.”
“That was not an explanation dude.”
Adrien sighed as he took a seat on the top step, Nino sat down beside him. “Kagami’s great. She’s really into fencing. We have a lot in common. I don’t think that I’ll ever run out of things to talk to her about but then…”
“Then there’s Marinette.”
“Uh huh. What about Marinette, dude?”
“She’s so kind and although I also don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to talk to her about either, mostly cause she’s so shy our conversations…,” Adrien smiled tenderly, a light flush washing over his face, “Go on for longer than most, it’s just… I don’t know. It’s hard to describe.” Adrien waved his hands in the air trying to maybe… gesture? what he was trying to get across. From the look on Nino’s face, he was definitely not succeeding.
“Marinette’s not shy dude.”
“Marinette is the opposite of shy.”
Adrien thought about it for a second. Memories of an entranceway, a boat and a terrace. “No… she isn’t shy, is she?”
“I just… I don’t understand how I can feel so differently about two friends.”
“Dude, it’s cause one of them is more than “just a friend”, duh.”
“What are you talking about Nino? ”
“Seriously, just think about it. You just said that Alya is a friend, that…” Nino shuddered, “Chloe is a friend. I mean how do you feel about them? I mean dude, between Kagami and Marinette, which one of them feels more like Alya and Chloe?”
There was no question about it. Adrien didn’t even have to think before he spoke, “Well that’s obviously Kagami but…” But that was because, out of all of them, Marinette was the only one he knew as Chat Noir. She knew all parts of him. All parts of him knew her.
“I think you should be able to figure out from there man. Your ride is here.”
Adrien turned his head to see the Gorilla pulling up to the curb, “Thanks for staying Nino, I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“See you tomorrow dude. Think about it okay?”
“I will.” Adrien walked down the steps and climbed into his car.
Nino stood watching his best friend and as the car pulled away a wide grin appeared on his face. He was soooo going to get so high in Alya’s good books that he was never coming down. Adrien Agreste was about to realize that Marinette was definitely not “just a friend”.
“Maybe now he’ll realize how much he stares at her,” Nino muttered to himself as he made his way to Alya’s place.
Adrien laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking about Marinette, Kagami, Alya, and Chloe. It was odd. He had known Chloe the longest; he had spent the most time with her, but when he thought about all of his friends, the one that he thought about most, could conjure the most memories of… was Marinette.
Her blush, her smile, the stutter in her voice as she tried to get sentences through to him. He had always thought that it was sweet that she was so shy, but she wasn’t shy. Nino was right. He had known it himself too. Marinette was far from shy. So why did she always stutter in front of him? And why would he wait for the world to end before he stopped listening to her or god forbid, interrupt her.
He couldn’t stop thinking about her. His eyes were always drawn to her. His noticing of her strange movements today wasn’t new. He didn’t know when it started, but he always thought about her now, always looked for her whether he was Adrien or Chat Noir. When she wasn’t there, she was on his mind.
It was all very confounding.
“You’re an idiot. Where’s the camembert?”
“Plagg shut up.”
“Where it always is!”
Plagg trilled, “I love camembert.”
“It’s the only thing ever on your mind isn’t it?” Adrien continued to stare at the ceiling as he heard the sounds of Plagg opening the mini fridge in the corner, put there specifically to hold only cheese.
Suddenly Adrien shot up from his bed as he stared wide-eyed at his kwami. “I’m in love with Marinette! She’s the one that isn’t just a friend!”
Plagg simply stared at him with narrowed eyes, “And I love camembert.”
“Shut up Plagg! I’m having a revelation.”
“About freaking time.”
“You have done well Nino,” Alya muttered, “This is better than I could have ever imagined.”
“Dude… this is a mess.”
“But it’s comedy gold.”
“I thought you cared about Marinette.”
“I do! And it’s obvious she’s about to get what she wants… that is… if Adrien can ever finish his sentence.”
They were two dorks in love, stuttering so much at each other that Alya wasn’t sure if the truth would even be out by the end of the day. But when it did come out… boy was it going to be miraculous.