Chapter 1: Locked In
“What?” Marinette snapped from Kagami to the sound of the freezer door, which was now shut all the way.
The two girls turned towards the freezer door, and then realized what has just happened. One of them rushed for the entrance.
“No no NO!” Marinette cried out while shaking for the freezer door, hoping that it would reopen.
“This can’t be happening.” Kagami sighed and crossed her arms. “Of all people to be locked in an old freezer, it had to be a Dupain-Cheng.”
To think the worst of enemies would end up locked together inside of a freezer.
“If she thinks she’s going to best us, then she’s got it all wrong.” Sabine bursted as she smacked the dough in front of her.
Tom and their daughter, Marinette, watched as Sabine kept up with her rant. It was very rare that Sabine ever got this angry, but when those moments came, it was always best to leave her be. From a distance.
“Well, we can’t just say no to the Mayor, dear.” Tom began, attempts to calm his wife down in full display. During times like this, Tom always had to make sure his wife didn't suppress further into her anger. No one wanted to see her worst state. “Besides, let’s look at the bright side. It’s a great way to show that our bakery is the best.”
“Of course it is!” Sabine let out in excitement. The beat up dough in front of her finally catching a break. “We’ll show those Tsurugi’s whose the best! Isn’t that right, Tom?”
Her husband smiled at the sight of his wife back to her usual cheerful self. “That’s right!”
For about as long as Marinette could remember, there was only one person that could get her sweet and kind mother all angry and aggressive, and that woman was none other than “Tsurugi”, as her mom simply called her.
All things aside, however, that’s about all Marinette knew about the other woman. Her parents never brought up what exactly caused this war between bakers and chocolatiers, but that’s all Marinette needed to know to take her family’s side. The rare meetings with the Tsurugi girl that was around Marinette's age only strengthened her stand on things, anyway.
There were certain moments where the Dupain-Cheng’s and Tsurugi’s had to cross paths publicly, and those were commonly moments in which either family was put up to the test as to who should cater the dessert for an event, or worse, . . . When both families had to cater desserts for the same event.
This was the exact case this time around, unfortunately.
Mayor Bourgeois was throwing a birthday party for his daughter dearest, Chloe Bourgeois. About several important people would be in attendance, such as Jagged Stone, Clara Nightingale, and even THE Gabriel Agreste. It was an event not to be missed, and not to forget, a huge opportunity to rack in serious business.
The event itself was only a few days away, but the time frame itself, was no challenge the Dupain-Cheng family couldn’t handle.
At first Marinette’s parents were thrilled upon hearing the news that they’d help out with such a big event. . . That was until Mayor Bourgeois ended the call with:
“Excellent! I expect you and the Tsurugi Chocolatiers to present amazing desserts!”
With those words the call ended. . . and began Sabine’s fury.
Now, Marinette watched her parents plan for the event that was approaching them all with full haste. All Marinette had to do at the event was help give out the pastries and get people interested in the bakery. Maybe sneak in a few glares at her worst enemy from the chocolatier side in between, but none the less, the job was simple. The best part was that she got to dress up for the event, and she already had a pink spotted creation in mind.
However, if Marinette had to be honest, she didn’t really care for taking part in the battle. If anything, it placed a lot of stress on for her because she always had to be striving to outbest the enemy. All Marinette wanted to do was to focus on her leading her own life and maybe pick up on bringing her fashion creations to life, but the battles of the bakery always had to come first. There were times where Marinette wondered if this would all stop one day. And if so, what would even stop it?
She let out a sigh, and stood from her seat on the stool near the kitchen counter.
“Marinette?” Sabine looked over at her daughter. “Ready to bake away desserts for the day?”
“Of course, mom!” The younger girl smiled at her mom, hiding her burden. "Where do I start?"
“Wonderful! Help out your father while I start sectioning off this dough.”
Marinette happily made her way to her father over by the bakery oven.
She didn’t look forward to the few stressful days that was preparation for the big event, but at least the decoration part of the pastries put her mind at ease.
“Are you worried?” A concerned man questioned towards a woman standing over a window.
“Me?” a stern woman of a Japanese background scoffed at the sudden question. Her deep black hair was tied in low bun and she wore shades. “No such thing. If Cheng wants to go head to head, so she will have this battle. I’m only honoring her wishes.”
“As it shall, Tsurugi-san.” Her right hand chocolatier bowed at the woman. “We will begin preparations for the event. We cannot disappoint the Mayor.”
“And disappoint we wont.” The dark haired woman replied, and then turned her head over to a young girl with short hair standing by a corner. She raised her hand for the girl, but her gaze didn't see her.
“Kagami, dear.” the woman called.
Kagami walked over to her mother. “Yes, okaasan?”
Her mother smiled down at the sound of her voice. “Would you please be so kind to help Keiji and Alexandre with decorations? Given the last minute notice, we can’t let those Chengs get the best of us, now can we?”
Kagami bowed before her mother. “Of course, mother.”
“Very well, off you go." The older woman nodded her head at the reply and then returned her unseeing gaze towards the warmth coming from the window where she stood. "I'll check in on the craftsmanship of the chocolates once you're all finished.”
Kagami nodded and headed for the decoration counter around the kitchen area of the business.
To the other Chocolatiers, Kagami would be best described as an obedient daughter. If her mother asked for her to do something, there were never any complaints from the girl.
The truth to the matter was, that Kagami just didn’t want to disappoint her mother. At school, Kagami was an amazing fencer, and everyone knew it. Yet, ever since her mother lost her sight, she had become far more invested in bringing that Dupain-Cheng bakery down. Wishes of having her mother ever seeing her fighting and winning in a fencing match we're all next to impossible, but the chances that she'd at least show some care in her own daughter's interests were not. In the end, Kagami figured the best way to keep her mother content was by following her mother’s own wishes about knocking down the rival business. If it meant keeping her mother happy, Kagami could put aside what made her happy.
Kagami thought to herself often if this fight would ever end, but as things were going, nothing seemed like it pointed towards that possibility. For now, she stood in front of the decoration table awaiting to begin.
“Let’s start with a few chocolate flowers!” Keiji, her mother’s right hand chocolatier spoke as he pulled a batch of melted chocolate in front of them. “We hear the Mayor’s daughter loves flowers, so starting these will do well.”
Kagami silently nodded and got to work.
Decorations were the only thing she didn’t mind doing.
"Oh! I'm so tired." Marinette let out as she slumped over her best friend's shoulder.
"Tell me about it." Alya replied, the same tone of frustration matching Marinette's. "My mom gets to cater the main food at the event and it's been nothing but a wreck at home."
Marinette sat up straight now, and looked over to Alya, frustration now dramatically switching to compassion. "I feel for you. How will we ever survive this mess?"
The girls burst into laughter. The park outside of Marinette's house was a good hangout spot for both girls, especially for lunch periods. They still had a good hour left on their break.
"Okay, girl, no need for the dramatics." Alya laughed and tapped at Marinette's shoulder. "Nino loves parties and all, but as soon as I told him it was Chloe's party he backed out."
"I'm honestly surprised not everyone hasn't, actually." Marinette replied. "That girl is so entitled."
Moments in which Alya and Marinette crossed paths with the one and only Chloe Bourgeois were never pleasant, to say the least. Since their families were in the food business, they both had the frequent "pleasure" of dealing with Chloe whenever they were catering events. Chloe, being the unkind person she was, always went out of her way to try and humiliate the girls either by giving rude remarks or trying to trip them in public. Out of both girls, however, Chloe always seemed to have it for Marinette. Sometimes this fact caused Marinette to question why she even put up with her mess. Likely, if Marinette didn't have Chloe's constant threat to ruin her family's business in favor of the Tsurugi Chocolatiers lingering over her head, she probably would have punched Chloe in the face long before already. Alas, not all wishes can be fulfilled unfortunately.
"Right? How could he let me fend for myself against her?" It was now Alya's turn to be dramatic. "He's supposed be my knight that's there to protect me from all things evil!"
Marinette giggled, but then stopped, finding herself caught up on a train of thought that has crossed her mind multiple times before. "You know, I wonder if I'll ever have a my own knight one day."
Alya looked over at her best friend, who now slouched. "Marinette, please, I'm sure you'll have your own knight in shining armor soon. Look at Nathaniel! The boy had been crushing on you since the day he met you!"
"Yeah, but, I just didn't feel the same way." Marinette replied guiltily. She could remember the day he confessed to her like it was yesterday. It wasn't easy telling a really nice person that she just couldn't see herself with him. "I'm surprised he took my rejection so well last year."
"And then there was that really hot musician . . ." Alya continued and help up her fingers, keeping count of 'Marinette pursuers'. "What was his name again?"
"Luka?" Marinette side-eyed Alya. 'She's really going there, isn't she?'
"Yes! Luka! He was a real cutie." Alya kept up with her tallies. "But he had to move so that's understandable. That was a shame."
"Had he stayed anyway, I don't think I would have really worked out with him." Marinette admitted before returning back to her slouch of guilt. "It was just for the best."
"Look, and that's okay girl!" Alya placed a hand of encouragement on Marinette's shoulder. "There's plenty of fish in the sea and I'm sure the right one will come soon. . . like maybe at tomorrow's party, perhaps?"
"You really think I'll find love?" Marinette doubtfully looked up at Alya. She had heard many wild ideas come from Alya in the past, but this one had to take the cake for craziest yet. "At Chloe's party of all places?"
"You never know. . ." Alya hummed with a tone of thoughtfulness. "After all, I hear Gabriel's hot model son, Adrien, is going to be there."
Marinette tensed up. She knew who she was referring to, but considering he was also a famous person, the thought that he was just another pretentious rich kid rubbed her the wrong way. "How do I not know he's just as stuck up as Chloe?"
"Well, I've met him before actually. He's a good friend of Nino's." Alya admitted as she tapped her finger lightly in remembrance. "He's nothing like Chloe, trust me."
"If he's friends with Nino then I believe it." Marinette now sat up straight, her face turning into a glare. "I just don't look forward to running into that Tsurugi girl."
"Ah! This. I was wondering how long it'd take for you to bring this up." Alya let go of Marinette's shoulder and got comfortable in her seat. The following rant was all to familiar to her by now.
"Like can you believe it? It's like the Mayor himself wants us to not only supply the desserts, but some battle for entertainment too." Marinette carried on with her ramble. "And then that girl is such an ice queen with that high and mighty attitude of hers. . . And then the way she makes me feel like I'm nothing compared to her. Ugh! I can't stand her!"
"Don't worry, if 'ice queen' tries it she'll have to go through me." Alya recited the same words she said over and over when Marinette got into her moments of rage regarding this topic. "Just worry about the hand outs and looking pretty tomorrow, okay?"
"Right, the hand outs." Marinette took a deep breath. Glare now gone. She and hew mother obviously shared the same trait of being able to switch from riot to quiet. "Just gotta focus on that."
"Thats the spirit!" Alya said as she now stood and twirled in a spin, already mimicking a dance for the party. "Just picture it. You'll be looking all dolled up, in a pretty dress, catering tasty desserts, and more worried about finding your significant other than instead of ripping the throat out of some girl. Sound like a plan?"
"Yup." Marinette sighed at Alya and then stood up from her seat the bench. "Can't wait."
Marinette wasn't hiding her sarcasm. Alya got the hint and stopped her twirling with a laugh.
"Good. Now let's go back." Alya reached for their things under the bench. "Don't want to be running late."
And late, they weren't.
Marinette stood in a crowded ballroom the Bourgeois owned hotel used for important events. It was no secret that this party was going to be massive, but it still surprised her at the amount of people that filled the massive room.
She wore a pink off-shoulder dress with a polka dot pattern she made herself for the event. It was one of the only things that brought her happiness at the moment.
"Things are going well so far. No Tsurugi or cat fights yet." Alya commented as she walked up to Marinette. She wore a clementine colored dress the hugged her figure with a beaded necklace. "Also no Chloe."
"That's because Chloe loves being fashionably late, as always." Marinette sighed in relief. "And Tsurugi has stayed in her lane tonight. So things are indeed going well."
"So you already saw her?" Alya gasped as she stole a macaroon from the tray Marinette held. The tone of her voice was that of someone who was almost impressed upon hearing the information. "And you said nothing?"
"No, but judging by the chocolates I've seen around, they're here already too." Marinette observed as one fo the nearby guest held a chocolate flower. If she didn't hate those chocolatiers so much, Marinette would have even admitted that the craftsmanship of the chocolate flowers for the event was impressive. Of course, she'd never openly admit that. "It's a good thing this hotel is so big."
"Yup! Sure is. But enough of that. Give me the tray." Alya didn't wait for Marinette to answer before she snatched the tray and set it on the table where the rest of the main pastries were. Once that was set, she grabbed the pig-tailed girl's hand and led her away into the crowd.
"Uh, Alya?" Marinette looked unsure. Being at the event, her parents allowed her to take moments to socialize and enjoy the party herself, but that was something Marinette didn't quite feel comfortable in doing. "Where are we going?"
"I told you already." Alya hummed but kept her gaze fixed a specific person they were nearing. "We're gonna try finding you the one tonight."
Marinette's faced sinked to further uncertainty. "Look, Alya, I know what I said but if I'm not doing the hand o
"Ah-ah!" Alya interrupted. "Relax a little. It'll only be a few minutes."
"A few minutes for what?"
Suddenly Alya came to a full stop, causing Marinette to bump into her. Before she could complain, she noticed a blonde handsome boy with green eyes standing before them. He wore a black suit that fit the formal theme of the party. The blonde turned to look over at Alya, which judging by the recognition he displayed in his expression, gave away that they both knew each other already.
"Alya? I didn't know you'd be here!" He said and hugged Alya. "Nino didn't mention it."
"Yeah, well he also didn't bother coming." Alya replied and pulled away from the friendly embrace. She now brought Marinette forward. "However, my best friend here didn't leave me hanging. This is Marinette Dupain-Cheng, she's into fashion."
The boy looked at Marinette, and she did have to admit his looks were through the roof. He was one fo the most gorgeous boys she'd ever set eyes on. Despite this, however, she couldn't bring herself to exactly "swoon" over him. She figured she just needed to get to know him better.
"Hi, I'm Adrien." he reached his hand for Marinette to shake. "Adrien Agreste."
"Oh, I'm Marinette, obviously." she said cheaply and shook his hand. "I'm a big fan of your father's work, by the way. His Spring collections are always to die for. "
"Thanks, father works hard for every collection." Adrien replied, giving the girl a warm smile. "He never disappoints."
"That he doesn't." Marinette nodded in agreement. For someone she originally thought was going to be a nightmare to deal with, Adrien really was as nice as Alya said. It was a nice change.
Of course, this moment was short lived by another blonde wearing a golden dress jumping her way towards Adrien.
"Adrikins! I'm so happy you came!" Chloe let out as she hugged Adrien in a tight hug. He was visually uncomfortable.
Alya and Marinette scowled. Their night was going so well up until now.
"Heeeey, Chlo!" Adrien replied, still polite despite his discomfort. "Father and I couldn't miss your birthday."
"Why of course, you wouldn't even if you tried!" Chloe finally let go of Adrien only to notice Alya and Marinette. The smile on her face faded. "Ugh, are these low-lifes bothering you, Adrikins? I swear, daddy needs to lay down some ground rules for the caterers to not bother the guests. They're here to cater, not annoy."
"Whoa! I'm sorry. Low-lifes?" Alya began in retaliation, getting into a defense stance, but was pulled back by Marinette before she could take a step forward.
"Let it go, Alya," Marinette whispered. She shared her best friend's rage, but knew how to control it by the amount of times this happened. "It's not worth it."
"No, Chlo. They're my friends," Adrien clarified. His expression hinted that this wasn't the first time she acted that way and that, unfortunately for Chloe, he didn't agree with her behavior.
"Friends? Please, they're just here to cater. Nothing more." Chloe bursted out laughing and then reached for his hand to lead away from the two girls. "Come on, let's hang out with Sabrina. Not these losers."
Before Adrien could retaliate, he was already too far gone into the crowd, and out of sight from the two girls. Alya took a breath to calm down and then looked over at Marinette, who still had her hand on her shoulder as a form of restraint.
"Well, queen bitch aside, that went well." Alya finally let out. "So what do you think?"
"Think about what? You already know what I think about Chloe." Marinette gave her best friends a puzzled look, finally setting her hand down. "And you more than anyone know it's nothing positive."
"I meant Adrien, girl." Alya laughed. At least she wasn't furious anymore. "You saw him for yourself. He's nice and good looking, right?"
"Well. . ." Marinette looked down at the ground thoughtfully. He was very much all of those things, but she didn't really feel anything about him yet other than the fact that she just met him. "Yeah, he is."
"Then get to know him more sometime, if you'd like. You guys may get along just fine." Alya began walking Marinette back to the table she was previously at. "The bright side to it if you two don't click is that he can still be a good friend. He could even give you some advice about breaking into the fashion industry, too."
"Yeah, at least there's always that." Marinette was still unsure about the whole thing and being anything more than friends with Adrien Agreste, but in the end she was thankful her best friend was trying to get her out there. The effort was sweet.
Before Marinette reached for her tray, she felt a sudden sensation that she was being stared at. She turned to her right and caught sight of a white figure with red spider lilies standing a few feet away from her. She focused her sight on the figure's face and then realized who it was. First Chloe, now. . .
"Tsurugi." Marinette growled.
"Dupain-Cheng." Kagami greeted in a similar defensive tone. "I see the pastries were so bitter you just had to leave them behind for a while. Our chocolates would never cause such a reaction."
"Oh, here we go." Alya sighed. She'd seen these confrontations many times in the past, and till this very day, she still didn't quite understand why the two insisted at taking a verbal stab at each other when the real problem was between their mothers, of all people.
"Ever heard of a break?" Marinette snapped at the taller girl. "Even ice queens such as yourself need to cool down too, no?"
"Really?" Kagami bursted out laughing. It was far from friendly. "That's the best you can do tonight? It looks like even your whit has gotten stale."
"Look, just stay in your lane, Tsurugi." Marinette rolled her eyes and grabbed her tray. "I really don't wanna do this tonight."
"Gladly, I don't need your presence spoiling my night." Kagami walked past Marinette just slowly enough to get one last jab in. "It's still ripe and hanging close to you would only ruin it."
Marinette watched with glaring blue eyes as the short-haired girl disappeared into the crowd. She felt like she was going to burst in flames.
"Ugh!" Marinette grunted. "Can you believe her? That high and mighty attitude of hers is gonna drive me to do something unthinkable. I can feel it."
"Just ignore her, girl." Alya answered calmly. "The more you engage her, the worse it'll only get."
"You're right." Marinette agreed and took a deep breath. "I have macaroons to give out, and guests who I'm sure would love them." '. . .and they're not stale.'
"Good," Alya smiled. "Let's get on with it."
Kagami set her tray down of chocolate flowers and let out an angry grunt.
The night for her was going well up until she had to run into her worst enemy. If Kagami could, she would just simply ignore her, but every time she saw that girl, she couldn't help but feel her blood boil. Like if she just needed to engage her in "battle" every time she crossed paths with her.
"This business rivalry is getting to me," she muttered to herself.
Now that her mother and her overseeing main assistant, Keiji, were all occupied with other things for the event, Kagami took this as the right opportunity to sneak away to her favorite hiding place in the hotel and just relax for a while. Since her family got hired to cater at the Mayor's hotel often, Kagami liked to sneak away and sit inside of an old freezer she learned the hotel used as storage. What made this freezer ideal for alone time was that no one entered it during events.
Kagami looked around in the crowd around her to confirm her mother and her employees were no where in sight. Once she confirmed there was no one form the family business to notice she was gone, she quickly vanished for the empty kitchen.
She just needed some time alone.
Away from any business.
"You know, I don't like that baker girl." Chloe stated. "Adrien wouldn't stop talking about her. Like what does he even see that seems so special about her? She's just the bakers' daughter. Nothing more."
She now stood with a red-head wearing glasses and a teal puffy dress. They both stared at Marinette handing out pastries from a distance. Adrien had gotten swept away by his father's assistant to deal with business matters, so now it was just the two girls. Chloe's face was full of disapproval.
"Well, why don't you do something about it?" The red-head advised. "It is your day after all."
"Good idea, Sabrina." Chloe now smiled, but not in a way that can be described as well-intended. "Seeing as this party is getting boring. . . I think I've got just the plan."
"Ooo!" Sabrina clapped her hands in excitement."Is it, chilly, by any chance?"
"It sure is." Chloe nodded, not taking her icy blue eyes off of her soon to be victim. "Now come on and help me."
Both girls walked up to where Marinette and Alya stood. Upon noticing the sudden approach, Marinette rolled her eyes.
"What do you want now, Chloe?" was all the bluenette said.
"Oh thank you for offering!" Chloe gave a devilish giggle. "I want you to go get some more decorative plates from the storage freezer. I noticed we're running low."
"What?!" Marinette gave an offended look and squeezed her hands on the tray she held, causing the macaroons on it to rattle slightly. "Chloe, that's not even m
"Oh, please," Sabrina interrupted and took the tray of pastries from Marinette. "You don't wanna disappoint the birthday girl on her special day, do you?"
"She's right, it's not like I can just tell daddy that your family's pastries didn't measure up and cause it to indirectly hurt their business. . ." Chloe pouted, but then gave a grin. She knew just the right words to cause Marinette to fall into her plan. ". . . or anything."
"Oh! But then wouldn't that mean that ALL of Paris will pick the Tsurugi Chocolatiers if THE Mayor says anything like that?" Sabrina added mockingly, making sure to fully spell out Chloe's intentions. "That would truly be unfortunate."
Alya now forcefully took the tray back from Sabrina. "Listen, Chloe, just because it's your party and all, it doesn't mean you can
"Alya, it's fine." Marinette sighed in defeat. By this point, it was only the norm for her to put up with this.
Sabrina and Chloe's grins only widened.
"Great! Now go on!" Chloe began pushing Marinette in the direction of the kitchen Sabrina followed closely behind. "My party needs them!"
Alya watched as Marinette was led away, and then sighed. It really surprised her that her best friend really would do anything for her family's bakery.
Marinette entered the kitchen once Chloe and Sabrina let go of her, and made her way to the old freezer the hotel didn't use often.
She stepped inside, trying to find the plates so she could return to Alya and the party as soon as possible. From further in the back, she caught sight of the bag of specific plates Chloe needed so badly.
"Why couldn't she just get them herself?" Marinette said under her breath and reached for them.
Once she grabbed them and turned for the door, a sudden voice caused her to drop the bag.
"Is someone there?" they called out from within the freezer.
Marinette's eyes widened, but then settled back once she realized another caterer was probably getting supplies just like her. She let out a sigh of relief as she heard footsteps nearing her from somewhere inside the old freezer.
"Oh, yes. Sorry, it's just that Chloe wanted these plates and if I don't bring them out she'd only get. . ."
The other figure now stepped out from behind a rack.
Marinette then caught full sight of the other person who was inside the freezer with her, only to reveal themselves to be none other than. . .
"Tsurugi." Marinette growled. All politeness in her voice from before was now gone.
"Are you kidding me?" Kagami scoffed in disbelief. "I only want just a few minutes away from you and here you are, coming to find me."
Marinette laughed. This was too good. "Please, as if you're that special to follow after."
"You wouldn't know anything about being special, Dupain-Cheng." Kagami smirked.
"Look, I don't care to do this right now." Marinette decided enough was enough and raised the bag of plates again. "Have fun in your ice den."
Before she could turn back to the door, an unexpected sound came from the entrance.
“What?” Marinette snapped from Kagami to the sound of the freezer door, which was now shut all the way.
The two girls eyes then settled towards the freezer door, and then realized what had just happened. One of them rushed for the entrance.
“No no NO!” Marinette cried out while shaking for the freezer door, hoping that it would reopen.
“This can’t be happening.” Kagami sighed and crossed her arms. “Of all people to be locked in an old freezer, it had to be a Dupain-Cheng.”
This remark caused Marinette to snap a glare at Kagami.
“Please, as if I asked for this.” Marinette retaliated. “Whose to say you didn’t plan this, Tsurugi.”
Now it was Kagami’s turn to return the glare.
“Oh! That’s rich coming from you! As if I would stoop to such a low level.” Kagami uncrossed her arms. “Besides, what good would it do to lock myself in here too?”
Marinette turned her attention back to the door. Finding a way out was more important than fighting with someone who wasn’t worth her time. She inspected the door and searched for a lock on their side, but found nothing. The only way they could get out was if someone came looking for them.
“Look, I’m sure someone will come unlock the freezer.” Marinette finally said and faced Kagami again. “I told Alya I’d be back soon, so once she sees I'm taking too long, she’ll come looking for me. I know it.”
“So what? We just sit here?” Kagami questioned.
“Unless you know how to unlock a freezer door from inside, then pretty much.” Marinette set the bag of special plates Chloe requested to the side of the entrance and sat down in front of the giant door.
Kagami watched as Marinette got comfortable, and then let out a frustrated sigh. She walked over to her side and sat down as well, not caring if her white dress got dirty. Her mother’s judgement hadn't involved anything visual for a long time.
At least the freezer air was a tolerable chilly temperature.
"Oh, hey Alya."
Alya turned to the sound of her name form where she stood, still waiting for Marinette. By this point, Marinette had been gone for far longer than she was supposed to and Alya took it upon herself to snack on the food set near her. It was a party after all. She noticed Adrien was now standing next to her.
"Adrien! Hey!" Alya greeted back as she helped herself to a macaroon from Marinette's bakery. "Need something? Perhaps a macaroon? Or maybe I could interest you in a soufflé?"
"No, not exactly. But thank you for the offer." The boy laughed, and scratched the back of his head nervously. "Actually, I was wondering if you knew where Marinette went? I don't think I got to meet her properly earlier. Besides, Chloe kind of got in the way of our meeting."
"Oh?" Alya's friendly smile now turned into one of mischief. "Could it be you're interested in my best friend?"
"Oh, well, it's nothing like that! She just seems really nice, is all." Adrien's face lightly flustered and he shook his hands in denial, but his facial expressions contradicted his motions. "But I do want to get to know her."
"Mmm-hmm." Alya nodded and reached for another macaroon. She was very pleased with the reaction she was seeing, but the fun had to come to stop, after all. "She's actually getting a few things right now, but when she's back, I'll make sure to let you know."
"Thanks, Alya. I just didn't feel right just leaving a bad first impression." Before Adrien could say anything else, he caught sight of a woman in glasses nearby motioning for him to come to her. He sighed. His father's assistant never took breaks, it seemed. "Looks like duty calls again, I'll see you around, Alya."
"See you around, Adrien." Alya smiled as she watched the blonde walk away. She then looked down at her phone for the time, and realized Marinette had been gone for far too long by this point. Fetching a bag of plates should have been a quick errand.
Alya sighed and shook her head in disbelief. "Just where even is that girl? It's been way over fifteen minutes already."
Familiar distant giggling suddenly caught Alya's attention, which judging from the direction originating away from the party, it only made her curious to investigate. She walked towards the sound coming from a nearby deserted hallway. Once Alya got closer and noticed it was Chloe and Sabrina, she hid behind an open doorway and listened in. They were the last two she saw with Marinette, and Alya didn't have a good feeling about it.
"It was so perfect! I can't believe she absolutely fell for it." Sabrina let out, barely breathing from laughing so hard.
"Of course it is," Chloe smiled happily. "After all I came up with the whole thing."
"You're a genious!" Sabrina wiped her tears caused from the laughter and then looked a little serious. "But how long should we leave her in there for? The temperature in there is tolerable and all, but shouldn't we let her out eventually?"
"I dunno." Chloe began adjusting her golden dress, as if she'd done nothing wrong. "I've got a party to attend to. It's not my problem."
"You're right. Let's go." Sabrina smiled again and then followed Chloe back into the busy ballroom.
Once the girls were gone, Alya growled and came out of her hiding spot, storming towards the kitchen. Mean and vicious as those girls were, they had gone too far this time.
“So… what were you doing in here?” Marinette suddenly spoke up, but then smirked. “I thought an ice queen such as yourself would prefer a much colder temperature than this.”
Kagami snapped at Marinette. “What, now you wanna do small talk?”
Marinette rolled her eyes. “We don’t know how long we’re gonna be in here, okay? Might as well keep ourselves entertained.”
Realizing that her previous remark wasn’t exactly a good way to start a conversation, Marinette then looked back at Kagami, this time with lament.
“Sorry. I take back that last comment, okay?” The apology, to a sort, did feel like a breath of fresh air to her. "It was really uncalled for."
The short haired girl closed her eyes. She couldn’t believe what was supposed to be just a usual catering event ended up with her locked up with her only enemy. With a sigh, Kagami reopened her eyes, but didn't look at the girl next to her.
“I just needed a break from my mom and the business.” Kagami finally confessed.
Marinette’s eyes widened in shock. What she used to see as a high and mighty girl that annoyed her, was now revealing herself to be just another girl in a similar situation just like her.
‘She… feels the same way I do…’
“Okay fine! The truth is I don’t actually care about this whole rivalry our families' businesses have. I only act this way to respect my mother's wishes.” Kagami continued, suddenly feeling a lot lighter than she did all night. “What I really want is to just go a day where I don’t have to go under my mom’s orders, however. Right now that's next to impossible. . . but I can only hope, right?”
A few minutes of silence lingers in the air between them, but then a sudden giggle from the pig-tailed girl interrupted it.
“Ugh!” Kagami glared at the giggling Marinette beside her, her usual glare now back. “Just what’s so funny? You think you’ve won this battle, Dupain-Cheng?”
“No!” Marinette let out before finally catching her breath to fully speak again. “No. It’s just that … That’s exactly how I feel sometimes too.”
The other girl’s eyes now widened, the previous glare now gone. “… Really?”
“Yes!” Marinette giggled a little more. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and all, but I’m just so tired of all this fighting. You see, I'd like to seriously pursue fashion design, but this whole 'Whose got the best desserts in all of Paris?' thing keeps me from even working on anything like that. Can’t we all just get along and make wonderful desserts together?”
Then as if that was supposed to be an inside joke between the two, they both bursted out laughing. They didn't have to worry about being heard.
To think that all this time, the glares, the verbal fights, and need for wanting to be as far away from each other, was all just a shield to hide the fact that they were both in the exact same place. Eventually, Kagami spoke up after the laughter between the two settled.
"Look, I'm sorry for how I've been towards you before." The apology felt fresh to Kagami, as well. "Who knew the sweets business was this cut-throat."
Marinette let out another giggle.
"Me too. . ." Her blue eyes now settled on the hem of her pink dress. “I just didn’t expect you, of all the people I know. . . that you’d feel the same way, Tsurugi.”
Both girls looked at each other, both of their eyes now met. No animosity in the others' eyes present when normally it would be.
“Kagami.” The brown eyed girl replied. “You can call me Kagami.”
“Marinette.” Marinette held up her hand to Kagami, giving her one of the most warmest smiles she’d ever seen. It was at this moment that Kagami noticed just how bright blue her eyes were, and that for some unknown reason. . . she didn't want to look away. “And you can call me Marinette.”
Kagami looked down at the hand stretched out to her, and reached out to shake it. Once her finger tips touched hers, she couldn’t explain this feeling that suddenly filled her chest. Marinette shook her hand slowly too, but didn’t let it go either. Instead drawing her gaze down at their hands.
Despite being locked up in an old freezer that was still chilly, both girls couldn’t explain why all of a sudden, the air around them felt so warm.
It was a moment neither girl wanted to end.
Who knew shaking hands with your worst enemy was one of the most sweetest feelings in the world?
While still holding hands, they both locked eyes again, and took in each other's features once more. Marinette found herself looking down at Kagami's full lips, which were only slightly parted. In this moment, she couldn't help but wonder what they felt like. Would it be wrong to touch them? And would they feel just as sweet as they looked?
These were thoughts Marinette never expected to have, but in that moment, she didn't care. She was beginning to slowly lose herself.
As if Kagami could read her mind, she too was now studying Marinette's lips, finding herself to be thinking similar thoughts. Without realizing, Kagami slowly pressed her hand to cup Marinette's chin. At this point, they both were no longer in control of their actions. Instead, they were just letting their inner desires guide them.
Before any other words could be spoken between the two, Kagami softly pulled Marinette's face closer to hers. Both girls felt their faces slowly lean in closer to the other's, not really understanding what was happening to the both of them, but accepting it as they closed their eyes. It was now something both girls fully wanted to do.
Why would something that seemed so wrong, be so right to do?
The air around them felt to be getting much warmer.
Out of nowhere, the freezer door suddenly slid open behind them, and the hand that was once guiding Marinette's chin closer to Kagami's face flew back. Both girls turned in shock at whoever stood at the entrance, still holding on to each other’s hand.
'Did they see? Will they tell on us?' was all that went through their heads.
Alya looked down at both girls in front of her, confused at the sight before her. She expected to find Marinette alone, but seeing her holding hands with Kagami was certainly new. After shifting her eyes from girl to girl and then to their hands, she finally broke the awkward silence.
“Um,” Alya finally spoke up. “Am I interrupting something?”
As if woken up from a trance, Marinette and Kagami let go of each other and stood up from the freezer ground.
The chilly feeling was back.
"We were locked in." Kagami was the first to respond.
"Y-Yeah!" Marinette added while doing her best to hide the blush she felt incoming. "I was on my way out but then the door shut and suddenly locked before I could even maki out. Weird, right?"
"Yup, it was weird." Kagami smiled. A nervous smile at that.
Alya still looked confused. She couldn't understand how just a few hours ago both girls were ready to claw each other, but now they seemed at peace next to each other. Something was up, but Alya couldn't place what it was.
"It was Chloe and Sabrina." Alya clarified and crossed her arms. "Chloe being Chloe, got bored and decided it would be fun to lock you in here. . . She just probably didn't expect she would be trapped in here, too."
"Of course," Marinette sighed and then looked at the taller short-haired girl next to her. "Kagami, I'm sorry you got caught up in this."
"It's fine. It had a good time, Marinette." Kagami dusted her dress from the dust it collected from the floor and then walked past Alya. "I need to get back now. I'm sure my mother and the others are probably looking for me, by now."
'. . . She had a good time?'
Smiling, Marinette nodded and then began to walk out too, except Alya stopped her in her tracks.
"Okay, did you two fall into a black hole while locked in here or something?" Alya finally questioned. The real questions she had in her head this time. "First, you apologized to her, then she didn't say anything insulting to you, and now you're both on first name basis? Without ANY growling in the pronunciations? Had I known the two of you were locked in here together, I would have expected your throats to be ripped out from each other!"
Had Alya gotten there a lot later, chances were a few things involving their throats would have indeed happened. . . it just probably would have involved more tongue than teeth. Those thoughts immediately made Marinette nervous. She cleared her throat.
"W-we just got around to talking is all." she eventually half admitted. "I learned she's not bad, and we actually have a lot in common. . . So we kind of get along now?"
Alya squinted her eyes at the response, but then sighed and gave in. "At least the good thing here is that the two of you won't kill each other anymore."
"Yeah, there is that." Marinette quickly dusted her dress. She didn't want to explain herself further over something even she herself didn't fully understand. "Now come on before my parents wonder where I went off to."
Once they rejoined the ballroom, Marinette headed for the table where her tray was still sat, but was stopped halfway by a tall blonde she had already met.
"Marinette!" Adrien let out happily.
"Oh, hello, Adrien." Marinette returned the smile. "Enjoying the party?"
"Yeah, now that I've gotten away from Chloe." he sighed.
Alya smiled between the pair and then noticed the song around them switched to that of a slow dance. "Oh look at that! It's a slow dance."
"It is." Adrien nodded and then held out his hand for Marinette to grab. "Wanna dance?"
"Me?" Marinette didn't expect that. "Uh. . ."
"Go for it, girl." Alya winked and then went for the tray. "I'll handle the sweets for you. Have fun!"
And with that, Marinette found herself being led off by one of the most handsomest boys she's ever seen into the center of the dance floor. As they were dancing, she could feel people staring at her. From the corner of her eye, she caught Chloe storming off angrily and Sabrina chasing behind her to return. She had to admit the sight was amusing, but that was it.
The entire thing as a whole felt like it was supposed to be the "big" moment where the girl falls in love with the handsome guy dancing with her. That this would only clarify to her enemy that she had "won" in this fairytale, or something along those lines. It was as if this very moment, to be far more specific, was supposed to have her falling deeply in love with Adrien, but that just wasn't happening. Perhaps in another universe, things would have gone like that, just not this one.
Marinette looked past Adrien's shoulder and then met a pair of pretty brown eyes complimented by freckles. Upon doing that, she looked away and felt an odd feeling she couldn't describe she felt previously in the freezer come back. Something that the boy dancing with her just couldn't cause her to feel.
From the side, Kagami watched Marinette dance with the other boy she knew too well as Adrien. She couldn't explain it, but she suddenly felt a knot in her stomach. Most would say it was because she saw her rival being noticed by one of the most well known guys in Paris, but the reality of it, that only Kagami just realized herself. . . was that her "rival" was with someone else. Not her.
Now that the topic came up to her mind, Kagami suddenly felt herself fall into a number of realizations that only just now hit her. She thoughtfully ran her fingers through her lips.
'We . . . were really going to kiss in there, weren't we?'
Then there was the fact that she was the first to grab Marinette's chin to pull closer to her. . . It all just felt so odd to think about now that the she was out of the freezer. Kagami knew growing up that she didn't care much for boys, but girls. . . ? That was something that never crossed her mind up until tonight.
She now looked down and frowned. If it was true that she really was finding herself interested in another girl, she couldn't imagine the outrage her mother would be in to not only find this out, but also that this other girl was none other than the baker's daughter. A Cheng.
"Keiji mentions the Dupain-Cheng girl was asked to a dance by Gabriel's son," Kagami's mother spoke up from beside her. The woman wore a similar white dress to her daughter's, but hers was a lot longer. "Cheng probably thinks she's all special now that her daughter is dancing around with an Agreste."
Her mother then turned her head to where Kagami stood, and noticed she was being silent. Her mother may be blind, but emotion was still something Kagami could never hide from her. "Oh, dear, don't be sad now. I'm sure a much better boy will notice you. You'll see."
'. . . But what if it's not a boy, who I want to notice me?'
Before Kagami could comment some excuse, another woman's voice spoke up in retaliation, and she knew all to well who that voice belonged to.
"Tsurugi. . ." Sabine spoke with her arms crossed. "It's best we leave our daughters out of this, don't you think?"
Kagami kept quiet. Around her mother and her rival, it was for the best if she didn't interfere.
"Noted, Cheng." The Japanese woman retaliated, but didn't turn in the direction of the other woman. "My daughter can do much better than that, anyways."
With that, both women scowled at the other's presence and walked in opposite directions that was anywhere but near each other, Kagami remained in her spot.
Now that she got clarification on where her mother stood as well as getting an idea of her own feelings, Kagami made a decision that she hoped Marinette would agree to. She made her way to a table where her family's business cards were and began scribbling down something on the back side of one of the cards.
If she wanted to get to get taking with and know Marinette better. . . it would have to be in secret from their families.
Kagami would only have to make sure her mother's staff, Keiji specifically, never saw her interacting with Marinette, because if any of them did. . .
It would all be over before it even started.
After the dance had ended, Adrien led Marinette back to the main table where she originally left her tray and thanked her.
"Thank you for accepting last minute, Marinette." Adrien said with a smile. "I felt so bad about after Chloe interrupted our meeting, but I do hope to see you around more."
"It was no problem!" Marinette returned the thanks. "I'm sure Alya and Nino will bring us along for plenty of hangouts in the future."
"I look forward to it. See you around." And with that, Adrien parted.
Marinette watched him return to the crowd to where his father stood waiting for him. He really was a great guy, just Marinette felt guilty that she couldn't see him as more than a friend.
“I see that you're an excellent dancer. Which reminds me, I never did mention that I love your dress." a familiar voice she had just recently grown so fond of spoke up. "Did you create it?"
Blue eyes darted to her right only to be met with those familiar brown ones from earlier. Such pretty eyes. . .
Marinette found herself smiling again, but looked away in order to not give away that they both got along now. In case her parents saw.
“You noticed?” Marinette replied, surprise on her face. Only her parents and Alya knew the difference between her creations and just clothes she put together, so getting the recognition from the other girl only made her all the more special to Marinette.
“It was hard not to.” Kagami laughed. A sweet laugh. "It's just as unique as you."
Before the freezer incident, Marinette probably would have thought she was being mocked, but she now knew the difference between mocking and appraisal when it came down to the other girl, and this was no mocking. Marinette found herself now in a web of questions as she saw the other girl laughing.
Was she always this breathtaking? And did Marinette just now realize?
“Look, we should meet up and get to know each other properly.” Kagami continued as she refilled her tray. “Our families may hate each other, but that doesn’t mean we should anymore. You're not that bad to talk to.”
Marinette felt herself get happy from inside. “I agree. Wanna meet up at the Pont Des Arts sometime?”
“Sounds like a plan.” Kagami finished refilling her tray and walked slowly past Marinette, managing to slip a a business card in her hand while giving her a wink. “Just say when, Marinette.”
With those words, Kagami walked deeper into the crowd and began to offer chocolates to the other guests. All Marinette did was watch, and then looked down at the scribbles on the back of the card in her hands. It was her phone number.
Marinette felt a blush develop on her face.
She couldn’t explain why talking to her made her feel so lively when just earlier that night, it boiled her blood. Before it angered so much when she called her by her last name only, but now that she heard her say her name. . . it made Marinette feel warmth.
Maybe they'd get to talk about what the other's intentions were before they were let out of the freezer. Perhaps further conversation about what could have happened had they been left in the freezer would also come about. . .
Either way, Marinette still felt giddy about it.
“Soo, I see that the two of you hit it off then?” Alya suddenly chimed in with a teasing tone.
“U-uh, what? With who?” Marinette's face went a deep red and she quickly hid the note inside one of the hidden pockets she made in the pink dress. Did Alya see that? "I have NO clue what you're talking about."
“Oh, you know!” Alya laughed and took a macaroon from the abandoned tray Marinette had still yet to pick back up. “With Adrien?”
Right, the dance.
“Oh, uh. Kind of.” Marinette blabbed, and trying her hardest to suppress the raging blood she felt on her face. It sort of worked. “He’s great.”
“See? I knew it! You did find someone tonight.” Alya celebrated and spunk around like she did the previous day at the park. “Looks like the princess found herself a knight with green eyes, after all.”
Marinette laughed nervously and then turned to where she saw Kagami across the crowd, who also happened to be looking at her back. Both girls smiled upon the eye contact.
Alya had one thing right. Marinette did find her knight that night of Chloe’s party. . .
. . . But her eyes weren’t green . . .
. . . and her armor was in the appearance of a white dress with red spider lilies.
If anything, she would be better described as something sweet.
This wasn't the first time Marinette went to go meet up with anyone, but just the fact that she was letting Kagami of all people, made this walk to the bridge feel so . . . forbidden.
Although memories of the freezer were still very engraved in her head, Marinette hadn't really given herself the time to fully process her own thoughts over the matter since school and the bakery duties kept her far too occupied. Now that she walked to the bridge decked in locks, she kept on pondering over the thought that she did indeed like Kagami, but didn't know in what way. All she knew in that moment once she got on the bridge is that she was really looking forward to meeting her, even if she couldn't fully describe her feelings, or why she was so willing to kiss her back.
None the less, she pressed on and then eventually caught sight of the girl she was there to meet, gazing over the river below. The sight put a smile on Marinette's face.
"Hey!" she called out for the short-haired girl.
Kagami turned to see Marinette making her way to her. "Oh, hey! You made it after all."
"I did." Marinette smiled nervously and came to a stop in front of the other girl. She then looked over the at the time on her phone to realize she was late. Marinette panicked. "Mon dieu! Did I keep you waiting long? I'm so sorry. It's just that getting away from my parents can be troublesome and
"Don't worry. I only just got here a few minutes ago." Kagami smiled at the troubled girl before her. " I had trouble sneaking off too."
That remark made Marinette feel a lot better. They really did have a lot in common, didn't they?
Marinette straightened up and began leading Kagami away to a nearby bench. "Then now that we're out of our castles, let's properly catch up before the guards find us."
Kagami found herself laughing. She had to admit she found it nice that Marinette had a good sense of humor. Nodding, she shortly followed Marinette to the seat. Now that they both sat there, together, but not locked up in a freezer, it hit Kagami all over that she really liked this girl.
'Has she thought about it? Maybe I should go for it and ask about the freezer now? Would it be alright if I hold her hand? What if--'
Marinette's phone buzzed and caused her to lightly jump. She took it out from her shoulder bag and read a message from a number she didn't recognize but then the content of the message confirmed the sender for her. She sighed.
"Something wrong?" Kagami suddenly asked. 'Please don't go yet.'
"Oh, no! It's just that my friend Alya gave Adrien my number and he just texted." Marinette put her phone away. "I'll worry about it later, however."
"Oh." Kagami answered and hung her head lightly in disappointment. 'Right. . . The Adrien thing'
That feeling of jealousy she felt at the party filled Kagami all over. 'Does she even really like girls?'
"So!" Marinette's voice snapped Kagami back from her thoughts to reality. As far as she could tell, Marinette hadn't noticed Kagami's emotional thought process. "Since you complimented my dress at the party, then you already know I love designing clothes. . ."
Kagami nodded for her to keep going. Even if she was with someone else, she could at least get know her better.
". . . And it just had me wondering all about you! What do you do for fun?" Marinette went on happily. "I'm sure making chocolates isn't the only thing you do."
"No, no it's not." Kagami laughed at the thought. "I actually am into fencing when I'm not in school or at the shop." Her smile now turned into that of a confident one. "I even happen to be the best in my class."
Marinette was very impressed and let out a whispered 'wow'. She knew the Tsurugi girl had a more lavish lifestyle than Marinette herself did, but "Fencing?"
That was really impressive knowledge for the Dupain-Cheng girl.
"Yeah." Kagami's smile now slightly faded. "My mother used to be a professional far back in the day. . . but of course these days she just focuses on running the Chocolatier business."
"These days?" Marinette frowned.
Marinette knew from the few times her mother talked about Kagami's mother that she was blind, and the rarer times she caught a glimpse of her at events where both families catered, the cane and shades only solidified that fact, but topic of how long that had been never came up.
"Yeah, before the accident, she was one of the best fencers there was." Kagami kept on. "I had at first picked up fencing when I was a child in hopes to be as great as her. . . that maybe she'd see me one day and be proud of me.
Kagami paused. "That however will no longer be the case. Doesn't matter how much I try to succeed."
Marinette felt horrible for asking seeing as how much the topic hurt Kagami to talk about. She placed a hand on her shoulder to comfort her. "I'm so sorry, Kagami. I shouldn't have asked."
"It's okay." Kagami knew the situation wasn't easy to talk about, but even just sharing her own personal struggled made her feel like she could breath a little easier. She rarely got to talk to anyone about her own burdens. It was nice. "Anyhow, she may not be able to see, but her craftsmanship in chocolates is an art form she hasn't lost."
"I must say, the designs in those chocolate flowers were really impressive." Marinette thought back to when she saw the flowers. Before she would have never said such a thing out loud, but of course, things were much different now.
"Yeah." Kagami nodded and then smirked at the pig tailed girl next to her. "That and the chocolates are the best in taste."
Marinette let out a fake gasp in shock at the remark, but was glad to see Kagami switch back to a lighter mood. "Oh please, not as best as our pastries."
Both girls laughed. It was really crazy how before such a comment used to spark a giant flame of rage, but this time it sparked a soft harmless flame. A flame meant to bring people together like it would on a cold night, even.
"Then let the best business win between our families." Kagami stood from the bench and motioned for Marinette to follow her. "For now, you and I will go for ice cream."
"Ice cream does sound good." Marinette stood and followed after Kagami.
Maybe the plans of confessing her feelings to her didn't go the way she hoped, but Kagami was at least happy she had someone she could connect with.
Since the meeting with Kagami on the bridge, Marinette often found herself laying down on her sofa bed happily replaying the times she had met up with her now former rival without her parents knowing. Every meeting was just a casual friendly catch up, but the emotions she felt replaying all of those moments made her feel new things she hadn't felt before.
These feelings she felt at that moment only drove her to design more outfits on her sketchbook.
Upon coming to a stop and inspecting the current design she was working on, she nodded and decided it was done and ready. She then flipped to another page she had torn in which another dress in similar fashion was finished. The two dresses seemed to compliment each other.
"Perfect for us. . ." Marinette unconsciously said.
'For us?' Her eyes went wide and then she looked even further at the two dresses sketched on the paper.
Without realizing it, she had designed two red dresses. Specifically two red dresses that could almost resemble wedding dresses inspired from different parts of Asia. Now that she traced back her source of inspiration behind the two dresses, she felt her mouth drop.
"Oh mon dieu. . ." Marinette let out in her room as she clutched the sketchbook onto her chest. If the realization wasn't clear since the night of Chloe's party, it was certainly clear now.
She had met with Kagami a few times after the party since, and nothing as steamy as what happened in the freezer happened again. Not even the almost kiss that nearly happened between the two girls was brought up.
In truth, it really was just the both of them meeting for ice cream, sometimes coffee, and sharing their troubles that was being related to the dessert business.
On the other hand, however, she found herself texting Kagami daily, and the realization of how happy she got just by talking to her only clarified Marinette's real feelings.
"She's my knight." was all she said.
How did she not see this earlier? It probably explained why she could never bring herself to return her feelings for the boys that would confess theirs to her. It would also deeply explain why Marinette didn't feel hesitant when they almost kissed.
Then there was those "sweet feelings", as she described them, she felt fill her chest every time she was around her. That little detail only brought another realization to light.
". . . And I'm in love with her." the whisper in those words caused her to blush.
Marinette couldn't believe it as she whispered those words out loud, but now that she did, she felt like she now could feel comfortable. It all made sense now.
A happy giggle escaped her lips.
"I found love!" She almost felt herself fill with happiness at accepting her real feelings, but then that happiness came to a hault.
"But. . . does she even feel the same way about me?" There it was. The doubt. "What if she really just wants to be friends?"
All of these meetings were not romantic. They were just casual meetings in reality.
"She hasn't brought up what happened in the freezer. . . Maybe it was a thing that was in the heat of the moment? Did I have it all wrong?" . . . 'Is she even into other girls?'
Marinette now felt her heart breaking upon that thought. The first person she finally felt herself to have fallen for was probably not even interested in her, let alone girls. She dropped her sketchbook on the side and walked over to a crate where she kept spare clothing material.
Right now, she didn't want to focus on her first possible love truly being a heartbreak before it even became something. Focusing on finding the correct materials for the dresses would keep her mind off of things, and help her be cleared and ready to face Kagami again.
Things for Kagami since the meeting with Marinette were pretty calm on her end.
That meeting alone only solidified one question she had in her mind since the night of Chloe's party, and it was that she in fact, was very interested in being with Marinette. Every other meeting after, although platonic, still kept Kagami fully decided that she would pursue to be with the other girl no matter the price. Of course, the issue revolving that was still the fact that both of their families still very much hated each other, but by now, nothing could get in the way of Kagami Tsurugi's determination.
Now that she was fully adjusted to her orientation, there was only one thing she still felt very bothered with. It was the only problem she couldn't keep away from her mind no matter how much she tried. Unlucky for her, this problem also happened to be trying to poke her sides in attempts to win the match she was currently in. Unlucky for him, Kagami was an absolute expert at counter attacks.
"Gotcha!" she let out.
The other figure fell back in defeat with a groan. Kagami lifted her mask and smirked at the sight.
'Just where he should stay. . .'
"Whoa! You're very vigorous this time around, Kagami!" The fallen figure let out in excitement and removed his mask to reveal himself as Adrien Agreste. "Have you been practicing on your own a lot?"
"Nothing of the sort, Agreste." Kagami scoffed and dropped her armed hand to her side. "You could just say I have a lot of pent up tension I needed to release."
"Hmm." Adrien nodded at the answer. It wasn't what he was used to receiving from her.
"That's all for today. Practice is dismissed." the fencing instructor announced.
A few moments later, Kagami had already finished packing up her fencing gear and all she had left to do was wait for Keiji to come pick her up from practice. Now that she definitely had these feelings for Marinette, she couldn't help but question if Marinette would ever feel the same way about her. As much as it hurt to think, Kagami still wanted to see her, even if it meant that Kagami's feelings were one sided.
Before she could exit the locker room, she caught Adrien still packing his bag. A potential answer. At that moment Kagami realized she just had to know the truth about him and Marinette.
'She. . . didn't mention being interested in him or anything. . .'
Regardless, her mind was made up. She walked up to the busy blonde. There was only one way to find out.
"So, I was wondering," She began confidently.
"Huh?" Adrien looked up at her from his seat on the bench, his face full of surprise. He then relaxed and smiled at his peer. "Wondering about what? Is it anything related to practice? If so then it's me who should be doing the wondering. That wasn't my best match to date."
"No," Kagami lifted her hand to keep him from continuing that thought. "It's actually about the Bourgeois birthday party. I was just curious abou
"Oh, Chloe's party?" Now this was a surprise to him. "Are you wondering if my father thinks your family's desserts are good enough to cater for one his upcoming shows?"
Kagami sighed internally. She never understood why the Agrestes always focused on business. It was something her mother and them shared. "It's more related to the dance I saw you had."
"Ah," his face now softened at the memory which caused him to stop in his tracks. "You mean with Marinette?"
"Yes, with Marinette." Kagami looked away at the mention of her name. "I just couldn't help but notice how close you two seemed. . . are you two together, by any chance?"
'Straight for the target.'
"Together?" Adrien repeated, and then laughed innocently. "Oh, no it's nothing like that. Marinette is a mutual friend of mine. Her best friend is dating my best friend. It's one of those things."
"Oh, really?" Kagami looked back at the blonde. There was some relief in her tone.
"Yeah, I only actually met her that night." Adrien then carried on with packing the rest of his fencing gear. "It's a real shame though, I really would have liked to spend more time with her. Texting alone isn't really ideal."
A feeling she could only describe as jealousy began to make its way to her throat. She had heard enough.
"That's a real shame, indeed." Kagami began to now turn and walk away before muttering under her breath. "I won't be giving up either way."
Adrien stopped packing and looked at Kagami, who was now further away and out of the locker room. He wondered if he had heard her correctly.
"Well, well, well. . .You look nice, today."
"What?!" Marinette turned wide-eyed at Alya. Normally, she would wear her pink pants, signature shirt and favorite blazer, but today, Marinette decided she'd wear a soft pink long sleeve top with a high waisted black skirt. One could say she was wearing this look to impress a certain someone she was due to be meeting in 30 minutes, even.
Now that they were leaving school, she found it odd that of all times, Alya just now mentioned her wardrobe change. Was she that obvious?
"Well you picked today of all days to dress real cute." Alya now leaned in with a smirk. "You wouldn't happen to be going out on a date, would you?"
"A date?! Pfft, NO!" Marinette partially lied. 'Although I do hope she likes it. . .' "It's just that I'm gonna be catering with my parents again this evening and I can't miss a chance to show off my creations. You know me, always have to impress!"
"Oh, shame." Alya pouted. "That outfit would have made a really cute date look."
'It does, doesn't it?' Marinette smiled at her pouting friend. "I'm sure the day will come, but right now I gotta run. See you tomorrow!"
With that, Marinette rushed home and left a waving Alya behind her. Once she got home, she set her school bag down and pulled out her shoulder purse. It was true that her parents were going to be away for another catering event, but the part in which Marinette lied was that she was meeting Kagami again this evening. Now that she did indeed confirm her attraction for her, she couldn't help but choose to dress up. She may not be sure if Kagami swung for the same team, but trying to impress her wouldn't hurt.
Marinette ran out to the La Seine, in which her and Kagami had agreed to go for a walk along the river for the evening. As much as it sounded like a romantic date, it unfortunately really just was just another friendly meet up.
That thought made Marinette sigh.
"You're here before me this time." Kagami's voice caught Marinette's attention. She turned and saw the other girl walking behind her.
"Oh, yeah!" Marinette smiled. "I just left home."
Once Kagami caught up to Marinette, she quickly took notice of Marinette's outfit, and couldn't help but smile.
'She really is talented. . .'
"This must be a new design of yours?"
"Yes!" 'Okay, don't be too obvious.' Marinette toned down her excitement at the fact Kagami did indeed notice and looked down at her outfit. "I didn't really have anywhere to wear it, so I figured why not today?"
"It looks very nice." Kagami hummed in approval. "I love it, Marinette."
That was more than enough to make Marinette happy. "Thank you, Kagami."
"Well, how was your day today?" Kagami began to change the topic motioned for them to begin their stroll. They only just met up and things didn't need to get too awkward between them so soon.
The blue-eyed girl followed along. "It was same old, same old. How about that fancy private school of yours? Any annoying stories of the day?"
Since their many meetings, Marinette and Kagami knew a lot more about each other aside from their hobbies. Things Marinette knew about Kagami outside of the business were that she went to a private school, the same one Chloe and Adrien went to, and that on certain days she had fencing practice. . . and that she was extremely good at it. It was something Marinette would one day like to see.
Things Kagami now knew about Marinette were that she attended a public school right across from her family's bakery, and unlike her, had more free will when it came to going out with friends.
Similarities they both knew about each other were that they both had things they wanted to focus more on than their families' business. . . But one similarity they also shared but had absolutely no idea about is that they both were crushing on each other.
Now that Kagami had gotten to talking to Marinette about "normal" stuff, she still was meaning to eventually getting to the Adrien thing. If this were anyone else, Kagami would normally not have any issue getting to the point of the matter when it came to finding answers. . . But now with every meeting that she met up with Marinette, she suddenly wasn't as bold as she normally was.
That was very new for her.
--And Alya was talking about hanging out with Adrien and Nino again sometime." Marinette kept on. "Adrien's schedule is packed from what we know so that's gonna take a while, probably."
This was it. Her chance.
"Speaking of Adrien." Kagami smoothly began. "Did you have fun dancing with him at Chloe's party?"
She may have gotten Adrien's side of the story, but what was still left to discover was how Marinette herself felt about the situation. If Adrien wanted to spend more time with her, who was to say that Marinette wanted the same thing with him?
"Oh, that." Marinette nodded at the memory. "It was fun, but I only accepted it in order to please Alya."
Kagami hummed at the answer, she already knew Alya and had briefly spoken to her a few times during catering events where her mother's business got chosen instead of Marinette's, but she didn't know that she was the one behind that dance.
"To please, Alya?"
"Yeah, it's because I may have moped about not finding the right one to her and then she took it into her own hands to try and make something of Adrien and me." Marinette admitted. "I appreciate her trying and all, but her ways can be a bit much, to put it lightly."
Kagami relaxed her posture as they walked. "Is that so?"
"Oh you have no idea." Marinette brought them to a stop in their walk. "Once she's set on an idea she doesn't stop. It can get pretty ridiculous."
"Ridiculous how?" Kagami came to a stop too. "Of the few times I've briefly spoken to her she didn't really strike me that way. . ."
"Consider yourself lucky." Marinette joked. "I lover her like a sister to me and all, but she can get her head up in the clouds when it comes to finding love. . .
Marinette sighed with a laugh. "Its like all Alya wants to see in me is to get swept off of my feet by some prince I only just met that very day and onwards with my happily ever after."
"Oh how cliche." Kagami laughed at the thought, but still didn't feel completely certain about the answer. She answered how the dance came about. . . but not how she felt about Adrien.
"Right? Just picture it this way." Marinette now began prancing around imitating the idea of a princess and reached her hand for Kagami to play along. "Oh! My fair knight, will you sweep me off my feet with a dance?"
Kagami snapped out of her troubled thoughts and then stared at Marinette's hand. Faint memories of what it was like to hold her hand in freezer filled her mind, but then she shook her head back to the present and smiled. Finally, she took it and played along.
"Why of course, fair maiden. Please dance with me into happily ever after."
Both girls danced beside the river. All other people that were there before were now ironically gone, so there was no one to give the girls weird looks. Kagami then spun Marinette around and pretended to dip her, as if their "ballroom dance" had ended.
Even though this was a pretend dance, Kagami couldn't describe just how happy this moment made her feel. Just like in the freezer, she didn't want this moment to stop, either. It was as if this was the dance they were meant to have together at Chloe's party.
Giggling, Marinette stood up straight again and began to walk backwards until she hit the wall of the river walkway. She was still in character. "Oh, but there is one more thing missing. A dance alone can't seal this happy ending."
"Why," Kagami giggled and jokingly pinned Marinette against the riverwalk wall with one hand. "Would a kiss, suffice to a happy ending?"
A short silence fell over them, but then both girls laughed at the corniness of the entire thing.
"Alya sure gets crazy about her ideas." Marinette made out in between laughs. "They just don't translate well in real life settings."
"Yeah." Kagami nodded in agreement but still couldn't stop laughing. "They really don't. . ."
When they stopped laughing, they looked each in the eyes again, and there it was again. That feeling they felt in the freezer.
That feeling they could both best describe as something sweet and nothing else. They both hadn't moved from their positions and were now breathing heavily at the close proximity.
Kagami looked down at Marinette's half parted lips, and couldn't help but go back to wondering on how they'd feel. Just like in the freezer, they were all alone now.
'If I went in for it now. . . would it be okay?'
How would things change between them?
Slowly, without thinking too much about it, Kagami felt her face close in on Marinette's and her eyes close.
Marinette watched as she got closer, and in return closed her eyes, finally wanting to do what she wanted to do in the freezer.
With a soft press and no one to interrupt them, their lips touched this time, and at that moment, it was as if everything in their worlds of constant bustle finally made sense to them. Marinette relaxed her face and returned the motion back by tilting her head, which only caused for Kagami to hold Marinette's face with her free hand in reaction.
Without realizing, Marinette only deepened the kiss and grabbed Kagami's face to pull herself closer. What had started out as a simple peck was now a passionate slow dance between their tongues.
Everything about this moment felt so warm, so welcoming. . . so sweet.
When they finally pulled away from each other, Marinette didn't let go of Kagami's face, leaving only soft gasps as they stared into each others eyes. Things were now very different between them now that their intentions were out in the open.
"I. . . You. . ?" Kagami began. She was still speechless over her actions, but her face said everything Marinette already needed to know.
"Yes." Marinette whispered back with a small blush on her lightly freckled cheeks. "I wanted to do that too."
Those words felt like they lifted so many weights from them both.
"Oh! Uh, good." Kagami let out a sigh of relief and started laughing. "And here I thought you were into Adrien."
"What?!" Now Marinette laughed and let go of her face. "Sure, he's nice and a good friend I met through Alya, but you could say that he's just not what I'm . . . into."
"So then what kind person are you into?" Kagami didn't expect to feel nervous over what she would say next.
"Well, I'm into someone whose brave, knows what they want, is strong, and confident. . . or to put it bluntly." Marinette blushed once more. "You?"
Kagami now blushed at the confession, but then smiled. "Then we must be a match, because I just so happen to be into cute, determined, and brave girl such as yourself."
Had anyone told Marinette that she would have found out that the girl she was most interested in felt the same way about her, she probably would have thought it was joke. Yet, here she stood, with that very beautiful brown-eyed girl declaring that she was just as interested in her. Then came a thought.
"Come on." Marinette grabbed Kagami's hand and ran with her to exit the riverbanks.
Kagami let out a small gasp but allowed herself to be led away by the other girl. "Where are we going?"
"I want to remember this moment. . ." Marinette said as they were still running, but then they came to a stop when they were back up the streets of Paris.
They were in front of a photo booth.
". . . So what better way to do that then to take a few pictures together." Marinette finished as she caught her breath.
Kagami smiled at the idea, and then opened curtain. "Then let's remember it."
Both girls stepped inside. It was crazy how a little box was where they could express themselves the most. The first few pictures were just poses of them holding each other, but for the final picture, Marinette pulled Kagami into another kiss. This time it felt more comfortable.
Once their private photoshoot ended, they both attained their own copies and kept them close. They were now on their way back down to the riverbanks.
"I think I'll keep this one in my locker at fencing practice. " Kagami said as she stared down at the strip. "That's the only place where no one from the chocolatier could see it."
"Maybe I should look into making these into lockets. . ." Marinette added thoughtfully and took a seat on a bench overlooking the water once they reached the riverbanks again. Only a few people were around talking walks in the distance.
"If you ever get around to it, do tell me." Kagami took a seat next to her and put away the photo strip in her pocket for now. "That way I could keep us with me everyday."
Now that they were seated with pictures put away, they both automatically held hands. To think that they went from wanting to do just that to now being able to do it without fear. It was a wonderful change.
"I guess it's safe to assume that we're pretty far past secret friends now, isn't it?" Marinette finally asked.
"I would assume so." Kagami squeezed her hand lightly. "Now our biggest issue still seems to be our families. . ."
Yes. There was still that.
"We can keep seeing each other like we already are." Marinette hoped. "You could say we've really been going on dates this entire time, so that wouldn't change."
'We have, haven't we?' Kagami smiled. "That's one way to put it."
Marinette squeezed her hand back and rested her head on Kagami's shoulder. ". . Maybe one day our families will come around."
Kagami sighed. "Maybe."
As much as wishful thinking as that was, it didn't hurt to have hope that one day, they didn't have to hide.
Marinette now lifted her head and turned to look at the other girl. A knowing smile on her face. "So. . . does this make you me your girlfriend?"
"Possibly. . ." Kagami turned to look back at her, still not letting go of her hand. "Only if this means this makes me your girlfriend, too."
Marinette giggled at the proposal and pressed a soft kiss on her cheek. "Then I take that as a yes."
Kagami smiled at her girlfriend.
This was one of the happiest moments she had had in a long time.
A moment to remember and never forget.
*crashes in through window* THAT'S RIGHT, FOLKS! IT'S ME! YA GIRL COMING AT YA WITH MORE MARIGAMI CONTENT!!
lol no I didn't forget the story and yes, I did decide to see this through. Just life itself has been keeping me busy (like adjusting to a new job, going to this concert, and so on.) Also "Marinette March" is happening on tumblr and I wanna try drawing a few things since I decided to pick that up again. This time is just busy >.< Anywhoosies, till next time!
Chapter 3: Answers
*burst through the wall* Yo, what's up folks? Marinette March ended and so did my participation, so I now bring you Chapter 3! Enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It really was ironic.
They'd gone from enemies who couldn't stand each other's existence, to then secretly hanging out, and now fully being in a relationship. It wasn't exactly how Marinette saw herself finding the one for her, but regardless, every moment being with Kagami made her heart feel warm.
Since their relationship began, both girls would make little gifts for the other for the other all the name of love. It had all started with Kagami putting together chocolate treats for Marinette.
"What's this for?" Marinette happily questioned at the little box of chocolates before her. "Had I known we were doing gifts I would have brought you something too."
"It's Honmei-choco." Kagami answered while handing Marinette the box of self made chocolates.
"Honmei-choco?" Marinette repeated, this time her question filled with nothing but confusion. Clearly it was something she was not familiar with.
"You see, in Japan, there's this tradition most couples do for Valentine's day in which girls make chocolates for their significant other. I used to think it was silly before. . ." Kagami explained, and then blushed before continuing. "But now that I have my own significant other, I wanted to give this tradition a try."
Marinette smiled. ". . . Even if it's not Valentine's Day?"
"Oh, come on." Kagami now laughed. "Every day I spend with you is far better than the holiday itself.
Marinette pressed a kiss on Kagami's lips.
She felt so lucky already.
And that was about a good memory that about summed up how they both were doing. They were just so happy they could shout it to the world.
"Come on, girl." Alya's gleeful voice interrupted Marinette's thoughts. "We're almost there and we can't keep the boys waiting long."
Well . . . they couldn't shout it just yet.
Now on this morning, Marinette found herself accompanying Alya towards the park located at the bottom of the Eiffel tower. They boys they were meeting were none other than Nino and Adrien, and Alya's intentions for making sure Marinette was coming was likely obvious that she was trying to set them both up.
Marinette only let out a quiet sigh as she followed her best friend and tugged at the jacket she brought with her.
'If only she knew. . .'
"Hey! You girls made it!" a familiar voice called to them as they walked up the steps.
"What makes you think we wouldn't?" Alya answered and hugged Nino hello, she made sure not to drop the tray he held.
"Hi Adrien!" Marinette nodded for the blonde.
"Hey Marinette." Adrien greeted back. "How have you been?"
"Oh, you know, the bakery is busy as ever." Marinette answered.
Adrien gave a polite smile. "That only means business is doing well."
"That it does." Alya answered this time as she admired the pair.
"We got us all coffee in advance." Nino finally lifted the tray of coffee he held. "Figured it would suit the weather this morning."
"Thanks!" Marinette gladly took a cup and sat down on the bench near the boys. "I needed this."
"Me too." Adrien took a seat on the same long bench and took a sip from his own cup of coffee.
"Oh, shoot!" Alya suddenly blurted. "I forgot my phone."
That was weird. Marinette knew Alya never went anywhere without her phone.
"Nino can you come get it with me real quick?"
"Oh sure!" Nino set the leftover coffees between Adrien and Marinette. "We'll be right back."
'Oh.' Marinette sighed and set the jacket down where Alya was meant to take a seat soon after. 'She didn't actually forget her phone, did she?'
"Thanks, babe!" Alya snuck a wink at Marinette and then walked away with Nino. "We won't take long!"
'Yup. She didn't forget her phone.'
Adrien and Marinette watched the pair walk off before turning to look at each other.
Now it was just the two of them all alone on a bench.
To Marinette, it was obvious that Alya probably planned to do this. Why else would she push for her to tag along so badly?
"So. . . I overheard Nino mentioning that you love to design clothes in your spare time?" Adrien suddenly broke the silence. "We only talked about my father's work and didn't really get to talk about that last time."
"Yes! Yes I do." Marinette slightly relaxed. Fashion was always a good topic for her. "Of course I don't get to work on many things as much as I would like to but I have recently found some inspiration lately."
"That's wonderful! Maybe you'll be Paris' next top designer one day."
"Oh thanks." Marinette smiled at thought. "Right now however I just focus on helping with he bakery and playing along with Alya's shenanigans."
"Shenanigans?" Adrien laughed. "Like what?"
"Oh. . . well," Marinette hummed. It wouldn't hurt to be honest with him about what Alya was trying to do. "Don't tell Alya, but she's apparently been trying to set us up since day one."
"Really?" there was a look of surprise on Adrien's face.
"Really." Marinette confirmed in disbelief. "Sorry if it that's why it seems that things get weird when Alya brings us together. She only means well."
"I see." A half smile formed on Adrien's face, yet it wasn't one that seemed genuine.
"It must annoy you." Marinette sighed. "I'll tell her to stop."
"No, no it doesn't!" Adrien quickly reassured the girl. "I'm just happy that we can all be friends. I mean that."
"That's good." This time the sigh Marinette let out was one of relief. "Here I thought it would make things awkward."
"It's fine." Adrien looked over at Marinette and smiled. "Even if it the circumstances would have been different, I wouldn't have been against the idea of being set up with you."
Marinette lightly gasped. ". . . Really?"
"Definitely." Adrien looked down at the coffee in his hands. "You seem like an amazing girl, Marinette. Anyone would be lucky just to be with you."
Those words were enough to clarify to her what he really meant, and suddenly she regretted ever mentioning the real reason why Alya was so eager around them.
Marinette took a deep breath.
This wasn't going to be easy, but if she didn't clarify her feelings now, it would only get worse from there on.
"Adrien, look. I know Alya keeps trying to push us closer together in hopes that we become something. . ." Marinette set her coffee on her lap and stared down at it. "But I just can't return any feelings like that. I hope you can understand."
Although she did feel a lot lighter now that she admitted it, she still couldn't make herself to see his face. Would he be hurt?
"Don't sweat it, Marinette." Adrien's voice spoke up, not sounding at all hurt as Marinette expected.
Marinette still wouldn't lift her gaze. "You're not upset?"
"Of course not!" Adrien's replied with a tone of sincerity. "Please don't feel like you need to apologize over it."
Marinette sighed in relief and took a sip from her coffee. Now that she set that record straight with him, she could see things no longer being awkward between the two. It was something she definitely looked forward to. Now there was just the problem with making sure her real relationship was kept secret an
"Besides you and Kagami are together, it's only common sense you're already committed to someone else."
Blue eyes opened wide and Marinette could not hold back the spit of coffee that went all over the pavement. Not caring that she just spat coffee, she looked at Adrien, who was just as surprised as her.
-- h --how? . . ." was all she managed to let out. The shock was still fresh.
"How did I know?" Adrien finished for her, but the look on his face also displayed confusion, like if he just spoke a fact that was already well known and couldn't understand why it was so shocking.
"Well. . ." Adrien now looked unsure. What he thought was already public knowledge was most definitely not public if her reaction told him anything. "I have fencing practice with Kagami Tsurugi, as I'm sure you already know by now, and one time when practice finished I caught a glimpse of the inside of her locker and noticed pictures of the two of you together. More together than just friends."
'So she did put them up there?'
Marinette felt her face get warm, and not because she just spat out coffee a few minutes prior.
Adrien kept going. "From that point I just figured it all made sense."
This was, as much of a shock as it was, very much impressing to Marinette to hear. A boy she only just met up with for the second time, already pieced together her real relationship status with Kagami? She took a long gulp of her coffee. She had to drink to that.
Yet, there was still more to how he knew that bugged her.
"Wait," Marinette finally spoke. "What exactly made sense?"
"Kagami's questions about us being together after that dance at Chloe's party?" Adrien kept answering, still surprised at how new this information was to Marinette. "Wait, are you telling me that this isn't it?"
"Well, it is. . ." Marinette confirmed. "But the thing is that no one else can know."
"Oh?" This answer was not something Adrien was expecting. "Why is that?"
It was then that Marinette began explaining their families' "hostile" histories, the rivalry that came with it, their sudden lock in with the freezer, how they found out they liked each other, and how if it all suddenly came to light that the two girls were now far closer than secret friends, it could only cause a lot of trouble.
". . . I know it sounds very complicated," Marinette finished. "But that's why we're asking you to please keep it to yourself now that you know."
"No worries, your secret is safe with me." The blonde gave his friend an understanding smile, but then it fell and replaced itself with another look of confusion. ". . . So then why can't Alya know?"
--" Marinette cut herself off. The moment of realization about that hit her.
'Why can't Alya know, exactly?'
"I . . . I guess I haven't really given it much thought?" Marinette began again, and then dropped her gaze to her almost finished beverage. "That or maybe I feel like I'd disappoint her somehow. . ."
Adrien furrowed his brow. "How so?"
"Well, she's always so supportive of everything I do. Even in the past where things haven't worked out for me, she's been there. . . But how will she react when she finds out that I've found happiness in the girl who I used to see as my worst enemy?"
"I don't think that'll be the case." Adrien reassured her. "I'm sure she'll still consider you her best friend even though her dating suggestions haven't exactly been spot on for you."
"You think so?"
"I know so." Adrien nodded. "Don't feel like you have to keep this a secret from just your parents. You do have friends you can rely on, and I'm one of them."
"Thank you, Adrien."
With Adrien's words of encouragement, Marinette finished her coffee and now felt a lot lighter. It's true that Marinette feared about what would happen once she told Alya the truth about Kagami and herself, but with Adrien's assurance, she could at least start making the effort. Now she just needed to tell Kagami her thoughts.
Marinette's phone began to buzz, and knowing that her parents were busy prepping that day for another catering event, it only meant they needed her help. She glanced at the screen she received from her dad only to confirm they indeed needer her help.
"Sorry! I've got to run. The bakery needs my help." Marinette apologized and started to quickly rise from her seat as she typed a quick reply to her dad. "Tell Alya business called."
"Will do." Adrien stood to see her off. "See you around!"
Green eyes watched the girl run off into the distance and although he could now admit that he had at one point possibly felt something more for her, it at least made him happy that he could support her as her friend. Specially when she needed one the most. Before Adrien could take his seat again, he noticed Marinette had forgotten something. Her jacket.
"Huh?" He grabbed for it as if intended to run after her to return it, but she was too far gone by that point.
"We're back!" Alya jumped from behind him, expecting to see Marinette close by, but then realized she wasn't there. "Where's Marinette?"
"Oh, her dad called her needing her help at the bakery today." Adrien answered while holding up her coat. "But she left this behind.
"Classic Marinette. She can be so forgetful sometimes."Alya let a knowing smile and grabbed the jacket from the tall blonde. "Thank you. I'll return this to her next time I see her."
With that, the three carried on with their morning. Marinette being the only one that was absent.
By the time Marinette arrived at the bakery, her parents were mostly done packing up the boxes for catering, and by that point, only needed her to watch over the closed business while they were away for that morning.
Although her hangout was cut short, it did give Marinette plenty of time to keep on with her sewing project. She was bout done with her own dress, but all that she needed to do was finish up the other dress in the set she envisioned.
Marinette sighed at the unfinished piece that currently hung from her mannequin. It was so frustrating to try and design a dress for someone whose exact measurements you didn't have. . .
Then a thought came to her.
She quickly grabbed her phone and began texting away. Her parents were gonna be busy at an event the entire first half of the day, and that only left time for Marinette to be able to have over someone without their knowledge.
"Oh?" was all Kagami let out as she read the message she received from Marinette.
M: My parents are away this morning and won't be back until lunch time. Would you be interested in helping me to with something?
Kagami looked up from her bench to see if anyone was around. Fortunately, everyone was busy in their own tasks for the day. She proceeded to type out a reply.
K: Sure! I can probably say I'm gonna go practice some more today. Where am I meeting you?
. . .
M: Actually. It's my place?
'Her . . . place?' Kagami thought over.
She did dream of one day being able to go visit her at her own place without having to hide from her parents. A day in which their family feud was hopefully over and done with. Now sneaking in while her parents were away? Not exactly something she thought of doing.
K: Then I'm on my way!
Though it was at least something, she had to admit.
Kagami quickly finished away the bonbons on her work bench and began to make her way out of the Chocolatier.
"Fencing practice again?" Her mother's voice stopped her in her tracks.
"Yes, okaasan." Kagami turned to her mother, who hadn't turned to face her daughter from her work.
Her mother hummed. "Be back before lunch time."
With that, Kagami thanked her mother and quickly exited the Chocolatier. Once the door shut, Tomoe Tsurugi stopped working and turned her head to her left.
"I'm beginning to get a feeling that Kagami isn't always practicing." was all she said.
Keiji nodded in understanding. "I've checked by where classes are held as you've asked. . .and I don't see her there."
"Yet, she sounds. . . happier. Something else is obviously happening here. . ." Tomoe gave a nod at the information and returned to working on the chocolates before her. " . . . And given that it's not fencing, could it be my daughter is seeing someone?"
"I'm not quite certain, okusama." Keiji now gave a thoughtful look. Now that she brought it up, it would only make sense the sudden rise in outings the girl has made. "I will look into this matter for you."
"Please do, Keiji." Tomoe replied. "I can't have my daughter get too distracted now."
"Of course, okusama." Keiji bowed before the woman. "I will see to it."
"It's a real shame that Marinette had to leave so early." Nino sighed and stood from his seat at the bench. "Having to help out in a family business really is demanding."
"You're telling me." Alya sighed while still sitting. "My mom has a whole team behind her, but I can only imagine if she didn't have the whole team how me and my sisters would probably help out."
"Stressful as it sounds, I'm sure it would be lots of fun." Adrien now stood from the bench too. "It'd be spending time with family, anyway."
Alya smiled. "Yup, there would at least be that."
"Alright, dudes. This morning was fun but now I gotta go pick up the little dude from his friend's place." Nino checked the time over his phone and then hugged Alya farewell. "I'll see you guys around!"
"See you around, Nino!" both Alya and Adrien said as they saw Nino leave the area.
Adrien then turned to Alya. "You ready to head out, too?"
"Well. . ." Alya hummed. "Actually I've had some Marinette related questions for you."
Had he not known about Marinette's real love life, Adrien would have been excited about talking about her, but now that he knew everything, including Alya's intentions, he only gave her a look of thoughtfulness. "What about Marinette?"
"I was just wondering what you thought of my best friend." Alya stood up from the bench and looked down at the forgotten coat in her arms from earlier. "I know she didn't get to stick around for long, but would you be interested in possibly hanging out with just her sometime?"
'She means a date.' Adrien would have liked the idea before, but now that wouldn't be a possibility, and he knew that. "I think she would only want to hang out as friends, Alya."
"Oh?" Alya's face looked puzzled. "I thought there would of at least been some sparks between you two. That's how it seemed at Chloe's party."
'Sparks may have been coming from me, but. . .' Adrien smiled and finally spoke. "I think she sparked fireworks with someone else that night."
"Someone else?" Alya was taken aback at the answer. "Who else would that be? I didn't see her with any other guys?"
'Because it wasn't a guy. . . but instead another beautiful girl. . .'
A honking sounds caught their attention. Adrien looked over and confirmed that his bodyguard was already there to pick him up.
"I've gotta go now." Adrien began walking towards the black car waiting for him. "Let me know next time we can all hang out!"
Alya stood there, not really sure what to make of that new piece of information.
'Did I miss something that night?'
Alya shook her head and began exciting the public park. She clearly had a lot of piecing together to do. . . and answers to seek.
"So. . . this is fully on." Kagami spoke up from behind a green room divider. "Do I just come out now?"
"If you don't then I won't know what it looks like on a person." Marinette joked. "Come on!"
Being inside of Marinette's room was something Kagami never really ever expected to be possible given their circumstances. Yet, here she stood, helping out her beloved girlfriend with her designs.
Kagami stepped out from behind the green divider to reveal a half worked red dress. It came down under knees and the sleeves came down to the elbows. The top half was a stained with red fabric while the bottom was a different fabric in white. It was easy to see the dress she wore was nothing but a base, but already the dress spoke that this was a design meant for a formal event. She didn't really know what the design was for and why Marinette was so insistent that she tried it on for her, but still, Kagami was enjoying being her personal model.
"How do I look?" Kagami asked while giving a confident twirl. "I see you noticed that red is just one of my colors?"
Marinette laughed and grabbed for her pin cushion.
"Oh, it is." Marinette agreed and started securing away fit imperfections only she could detect of the dress. "But this is just for me to see how this is looking for fit. I'm sure the finished design will look even better, trust me."
"Then I trust your word." Kagami nodded and glanced over at a nearby body mirror in her room. "So what's this dress for? Is there some big event or inspiration hit you?"
"Something like that last one." Marinette admitted with a smile. "But I'll reveal the reason when I'm done. For now I'll just say that this is half of my project."
The brown-eyed girl was impressed, and although only grew more curious as to what she event meant by that, respected the answer and hummed to herself in thought.
'Good things come to those who wait' was a good saying, after all.
". . . And that's about what I see needs work." Marinette finally spoke and stepped back to admire the placement of pins all over the dress. "Now it's time for the rest from here."
"Great!" Kagami looked over the pins from the mirror. "Do you want me to change back now? You can't really finish it with me wearing it."
"Well, not yet." Marinette grabbed for another box and pulled more fabrics. "I wanna try pinning down a few pieces I plan to add later real quick. So just stand tight."
Kagami smiled and lightly extended her arms. "Then pin away."
The phrase caused Marinette to giggle as she came closer with the extra fabric pieces. "What's this? The unbeatable Kagami Tsurugi is unstoppable against other fencers, yet surrenders to a simple girl with sewing pins?"
"Oh, please. I only surrender to a cute girl who knows how to handle her needles and sewing pins." Kagami smirked as she corrected. "Get it right."
"Good to know I have such a beauty under my spell then. . ." Marinette felt a blush but then the topic alone only brought a conversation she planned to have with the other girl.
"Speaking of fencing. . ." Her flirty smile suddenly faded into a look of concern. "Adrien apparently found out about. . . us."
"What?" Kagami stopped smiling. ". . . Why do you think that?"
"Well, he casually brought it up today when we hung out waiting for Alya and Nino." Marinette recounted and then raised a brow at Kagami. "Apparently what gave us away was our first "couple pictures" we took at the booth stood out from your locker?"
". . . Oh." Kagami wasn't expecting that to be their big lesbian reveal. "I'm surprised he even noticed that."
"I was too actually." Marinette shifted over to pin away black fabric along the waist part of the dress. "Although I guess questioning if he had any feelings for me prior to us dating probably would have been a big giveaway too?"
"Well . ." Kagami smirked down at Marinette. "Can you blame me for wanting to make sure nobody gets any funny ideas about my girl?"
"Okay, okay! You win that match." The blue eyed girl blushed and then stopped her pinning. "I'm done with the extra pins."
Kagami nodded and looked back at the mirror. The dress was beginning to take shape into a unique and modernized spin of traditional Japanese dresses. It gave her the feeling that whatever project Marinette was working on was meant for her, which is why she was using her for the fit. For now, Kagami agreed to keep it to herself that she figured this much already. It made her excited to see the final project.
"So far. . " Marinette got serious again and put away her supplies. "It looks like it's just him that knows, though."
Now that at least one person besides them knew about their relationship, it got Kagami thinking. "Do you think we'll have to get more secretive from now on?"
"Actually," Marinette shut her supply box. "I've been thinking about possibly telling Aya about us? She is my best friend, after all."
"Oh, sure." Kagami nodded at the thought. "Do you think she'll take it well?"
"I. . ." Marinette closed her eyes. "I don't know."
Kagami frowned. ". . . Is it because . . ?"
"No, no, I know she wouldn't have a problem with me liking girls. It's just the whole 'keeping this a big secret from her' thing that could go south with her." Marinette explained, and then let her thoughts wander back to their bigger issues. "Then if that didn't go well, I can't imagine what would happen if our parents found out."
That too had been something Kagami worried about often. She only knew her mother would probably ban her from leaving the Chocolatier without Keiji. She hoped things never got that way.
Marinette sat down on her sofa, it pained her that they had to even hide their relationship.
"If it all came to light all at once," she began. ". . . Do you think it'd just be us against the world?"
Kagami looked over at the sad girl, and walked over to take a seat. She softly cupped her face to turn and face hers.
"I know we've said that our parents problems may not suddenly vanish, but if it comes down to it. . ." Kagami spoke with warmth in her voice. "I promise that no matter what happens, I'll never let you go."
That got Marinette to smile again. She touched Kagami's on her face. "And I won't either."
It was a promise.
With true feelings spoken, both girls came together for a soft kiss.
Right now, it all seemed like the odds were fully against them more than ever, but all of that didn't matter.
They may be going through a tough time, and their love was next to forbidden pretty much. . . but they weren't alone, because they knew they always had each other.
Lost in this sweet passionate trance is where both girls wanted to remain.
And nothing could interrupt them.
The trap door in front of them quickly opened. Out came a distraught Alya holding Marinette's forgotten jacket.
"Hey Marinette. You forgot this today. I called out for you down there and you didn't answer. What gi
--" and as soon as Alya looked up to the two girls that were previously making out on the sofa, her eyes went wide and the jacket fell to the floor. Forgotten about once more.
Marinette and Kagami quickly pulled away mid kiss, but they were too late. Alya had clearly seen them, and clearly in the act this time.
"Oh my god. . ." was all Alya let out.
"Alya, please." Marinette stood up from the sofa and felt herself breaking. This was not how she wanted to lose her best friend. "Let me explain."
Alya could only repeat her shocked phrase and then held her hands up to her head as if finally piecing together all the moments in which Marinette made excuses that she was busy all originating to the moment she found them both in the freezer. Adrien wasn't lying when he said there was someone else for Marinette that night. She just didn't expect that other person to be the very same girl Marinette couldn't stand. "Oh my god. . ."
"Please, Alya. I mean to tell you . . ." Marinette began and felt tears building up. ". . . but I just didn't know how."
Kagami stood up and held Marinette's hand. She would try to help explain but she knew that this was something between them two.
Alya was silent. Still playing back all the moments she pushed off as Marinette being "classic Marinette" always being busy even though she knew she didn't always need to help her parents with catering.
"Alya. . . " Marinette pleaded with almost a whimper. ". . . Please say something."
"I can't believe this. . ." Alya finally spoke up and shook her head.
"Look, Alya." Kagami finally spoke. "I know this is shocking to you but I care a lot more than I can say for Marinette. I don't plan on going anywhere."
Marinette thanked Kagami with her eyes, but then shut them in pain. Even though she wanted Kagami to stay by her, she couldn't bare the pain that would come when Alya finally let out her rage about Marinette's lies.
'Please. . . not like this. . .'
Suddenly, Alya started laughing. "I can't believe this!"
Both Kagami and Marinette looked at Alya with complete shock. Marinette could have sworn she would have at least started voicing how upset she was.
"Are you not upset that I hid this from you?" Marinette questioned as tears finally rolled down her face.
"Are you kidding me?!" Alya finally fully stepped up to the room to walk closer to the girls. "Marinette, you finally found someone you're happy with! Why would that upset me?"
Marinette couldn't hold back anymore and started sobbing. Not in shame, but in complete relief. "I thought you'd storm out as soon as you found out."
"Oh, stop that, girl." Alya hugged her crying best friend. "I'm just sorry I didn't take notice of what you really want."
Kagami exhaled in relief to see that this was going well and gave them a little space for the hug. At least they now had friends they could rely on.
"Okay, then let me start over." Marinette finally pulled away from Alya and wiped her tears. She pulled Kagami closer to her and properly, introduced her. "Alya, this is Kagami."
Kagami squeezed Marinette's hand as she kept speaking.
"You used to know her as my worst enemy, the ice queen," Kagami let out a little laugh. That name seemed so ancient to her now. ". . .In reality, she's really an amazing girl whom I've come to feel more for than any other guy I've met. . . and now she's my girlfriend."
Alya obviously already knew who Kagami was, but it still made her happy that Marinette was properly introducing her. She held out her hand to shake Kagami's right hand. "Pleasure to finally actually meet you, Kagami."
Kagami reached out to shake Alya's hand. "The pleasure is all mine too, Alya."
"But! I just gotta say that as Marinette's best friend, that I trust you won't ever let anyone hurt her?" Alya crossed her arms.
"Anyone who wants to hurt Marinette will have to get through me." Kagami answered with full honesty in her voice.
Marinette finally laughed. She was so happy to see that her best friend and girlfriend were getting along so well.
Suddenly Alya's phone buzzed and with that Alya had to make her exit.
"Great, Nora is asking my whereabouts. I gotta dash." Alya sighed as she put her phone away and then turned for the opened trap door, only to take notice of the main reason she even stopped by. "Sorry I dropped your jacket."
"Trust me, it's fine." Marinette assured. After coming clean about one of her biggest secrets, the jacket was the last thing on her mind. "Text me?"
"Oh, trust me." Alya nodded and made her way for the stairs. She already unexpectedly walked in on them kissing, she really didn't need to barge in on anything else unexpected. "I will."
That was the day Alya took note that texting or calling ahead of time always goes a long way.
. . . and then I JUST found out AdrienetteApril is happening this month, so I may or may not participate in that. . . If another month passes and I haven't came out with Chapter 4 yet, assume that I most likely did lol. Anyways, until next time!