Chapter 1: The Meet Up
Marinette couldn’t believe that she was sitting here in a café, waiting for some stranger to come by and have lunch with her.
I really should learn how to say ‘NO’ to Alya. Marinette thought wistfully as she remembered their earlier conversation as she stirred her straw in her drink.
“What?!” Alya looked at Marinette in shock, but then remembered to whisper when they attracted some unwanted attention from some nearby students at other tables in the cafeteria, “are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that you are giving up on the Adrien, your biggest crush ever, THE Adrien Agreste?! Gurl what is the matter with you?!” Only Alya could whisper so quietly and still make it seem like she was screaming.
Marinette had sighed as she played with her food, they were having lunch at school in the cafeteria after all by themselves, and thankfully the boys hadn’t joined them… yet.
With my luck he’ll show up and say that he’s in love with Kagami… Marinette mentally sighed.
“It’s just, I’ve wasted a year of my time crushing on a guy that doesn’t even recognize that I exist Alya, at least not romantically, so I’ve decided that I’m finally going to come to my senses,” Marinette took a deep breath and exhaled, “I’m finally giving him up.”
“Wait Gurl,” Alya wagged her finger at her, “what do you mean exactly that you’ve come to your senses?! You’re not exactly mental or anything.” She waved her hands at her friend in frustration.
“Alya, I had his schedule! I practically stalked him I was crushing so hard! That’s not normal! I loved him more than I should and I’m done!” Marinette waved her hands, “I need to grow up and get over him, he’s… he’s not good for me and obviously he doesn’t think I’m good enough for him.” She added sulkily.
“Now wait a minute Marinette!” Alya began.
“Alya,” Marinette interrupted and dropped her head resolutely, “it’s not that I’m getting down on myself. I’m just facing the facts. There are absolutely no romantic feelings there for me on his part. He lets Chloe and even Lila fawn all over him, he let Lila into his house and she kissed him and got a picture to prove it! As far as I know he’s hasn’t said that he didn’t like that.”
“Mari, Mari, Mari…” Alya shook her head, “you KNOW that those aren’t good examples, you’ve kissed him on the cheek too, remember?”
Marinette looked away, “yeah, I know. He didn’t react Alya, at least…” Marinette bit her lip a little before admitting, “at least not like he did for Lila, he probably enjoyed that…” Then she swallowed as she admitted one of her fears as she fought a tear, “from her.”
“Wait, no Gurl! I don’t believe that at all!” Alya’s voice rose for a moment, but then she saw the sadness, the pout and the conviction on her best friend’s face. “I mean… how can you think like that? He compliments your work all the time, he called you our everyday Ladybug for crying out loud Gurl!”
Marinette gave her a half smile. “Well, that’s just it. Compliments aren’t actions. He’s a nice guy and he’s probably just been trying to help me get over my stuttering around him.” Marinette squared her shoulders, “which is going to stop right now. I’m a busy young woman and I have a lot to do and no time to waste on a guy that doesn’t realize that I exist Alya and frankly, all my failed attempts to confess to him just proves that it wasn’t something that was meant to be.”
“But… but all that time we’re spent trying to help you confess to him…” Alya’s voice trailed off.
Marinette placed her hand on Alya’s arm briefly, “you know that I appreciate that Alya, but now that I think about it, I’m glad that it fell through.” Marinette was now dramatically explaining things with her own hands. “Obviously if Adrien LIKED me that way, he would have NOTICED me somehow or maybe would have asked me out himself. I mean, come on Alya, do you think that even Adrien is cruel enough to ask me for dating advice for him and Kagami if I had even appeared on his radar?”
Alya looked down at her own lunch in disappointment, “no, I… I guess you have a point, it’s just he compliments you all the time and...and…he called you our everyday Ladybug.”
Marinette looked at her friend and gave her a small smile, “yeah, that was a nice friendly thing to say, and honestly Alya please, for my sake and for his, just let this go. I mean, if I’m an everyday Ladybug, don’t I deserve a guy that notices me like Chat Noir notices her?”
Alya tilted her head and raised an eyebrow at Marinette in confusion, knowing Marinette’s stance on Chat Noir and Ladybug being ‘just friends’ and partners, not lovers.
“Look. Adrien tolerates and seems to like Cloe, Lila and even Kagami. They’re all outspoken girls, and I’m… I’m just me.” Marinette sighed and looked at her lunch, returning to play with it with wet eyes as she went on, “I’m clumsy, quiet, a bit insane sometimes, they’re all cool and collected and I can literally worry myself to death! They… they can fit in his world, it would be a learning process for me and honestly, I haven’t been treating him right. I wouldn’t want to date a guy that followed me around everywhere stuttering, stealing my phone, putting photos up of me everywhere and the calendar? I mean, I know I got rid of his schedule, but still, I was borderline stalkerish there and a fan girl besides. He… he just wants me to be a friend. So, that’s what I’m going to give him.” Then she swallowed, “or at least I’m going to try.”
“Gurl, you are my best friend, I’ll admit the calendar was a bit out there, but you got rid of it and I know that you’re not like those other girls, but that doesn’t mean that they’re better than you are.”
“I know Alya, it’s just, well, they’re probably better for him.” Marinette explained, “and I want a guy that notices and love ME. Which… which Adrien doesn’t. I’m, I’m tired of putting in all of this work that goes no where into a relationship that will never happen but only winds up coming back to me to break my own heart further and make me feel unlovable when nothing comes of all the effort except for more tears.”
“Marinette, that is so far from the truth! But, I can kind of see what you’re saying.” Alya conceded there was a sight pause before she added, “this is just, it’s kind of a sad ending to an era, you know?”
“Yeah.” Marinette replied sadly before she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
“You’re right though, you need a guy that will love you no matter what. Like Chat Noir loves Ladybug.”
“I don’t want a guy that’s only out to please me, I just, ugh, I want a partner Alya, someone that can love me, for… for, well for me.”
Not that I’m falling for Chat here either, Marinette mentally added, it’s just… it’s just that I NEED to let Adrien go and I want to be just as devoted to someone as Chat is to Ladybug. Chat doesn’t like Marinette that way anyway so… so I guess it’s about time and well over due that I give up on Adrien, because he doesn’t love me either. Marinette mentally chided herself. It hurt, but she reminded herself, I can do this.
“A partner…” Alya looked thoughtful, “whatever happened to Luka? Wasn’t he interested in you? I mean he did notice you.” Alya wagged her eyebrows at Marinette.
I never should have told you about his confession.
“Ugh!” Marinette covered her face with her hands in frustration, “I know he did. but frankly Alya, I really, really want a guy to not only notice me, but to ACTUALLY pursue me, to DO something about it!” Marinette removed her hands and gave her friend a look and mouthed, “even Luka doesn’t like me that much.”
Alya swallowed, knowing how Luka had sort of confessed to Marinette, but hadn’t tried to ask her out or anything afterward, so she took a moment to think before she answered, “I think as far as he goes, I think he wanted you to make the next move. But you know Gurl, maybe… maybe you’re right.” Alya lowered her voice and quickly added, “are you sure you don’t want to give it another try? With either boy?”
Marinette frowned, her eyes watering just a little bit. She didn’t like being right about her not being attractive enough after all. Not that I’m not attractive, I know I’m pretty. I’m just, not someone that is, well, WANTED like that by… by him, or them, I guess.
Marinette sniffed and wiped her eyes once more and took a breath, she was about to say something, but was interrupted.
“Hey Dudettes!” Nino called out happily as he came up from behind them and sat down beside Alya. Adrien of course immediately sat down on his other side, this being one of the few days that he was allowed to have lunch at school with the rest of them. “Now, did I hear something amazing just now, or did my ears totally hear that wrong? Did my Gurl just admit that she was wrong about something?!”
Marinette grinned at him sadly, Alya gaped and then frowned at her boyfriend. “You must have misheard her Nino,” Marinette quickly replied, “she only admitted that I was right and as you know Alya is never wrong so,” Marinette shrugged, “she’s right.”
“Dudette, is everything okay? You girls weren’t like having one of THOSE talks, right?” Nino asked, noticing that Marinette was a bit out of it.
Marinette closed her eyes and shook her head. I can keep it together around him, I have to learn how to eventually.
“If you need some privacy we can sit somewhere else.” Adrien offered as he stood back up as he nervously took in how Marinette didn’t seem like herself.
Marinette waved him back down, “no Adrien, you’re fine. I just… I just had to come to a tough decision today and Alya didn’t like it, but I think she’ll come to agree with me.” Marinette began to pack her things up as Adrien sat back down hesitantly, unsure of what that meant or what had changed.
Just, maybe not today. I need some space and time to myself, I think.
Alya frowned a little, “I’m totally texting you if you’re about to do what I think you’re about to do.”
“Yeah, don’t leave on our account.” Nino interjected.
Marinette gave a hollow chuckle, “trust me, it’s not you, it’s me.”
“Oh Dude. It’s that BAD huh?” Nino gave her a sad look.
“This isn’t a bad thing Nino. Why don’t you and Adrien finish lunch with Alya? I’ve got to go home and pick up my homework, I left it at home again.”
“I can go with you.” Adrien offered.
Marinette shook her head at him and uncharacteristically looked at him dead on, “thank you for offering Adrien, but you haven’t even eaten lunch yet, I’ll be fine. Really. Besides, I could really use some alone time, I just made a very difficult and private decision.” She glanced at Nino, knowing that he probably guessed this had something to do with his Bro, “I just need to let the idea of it settle in.”
I know Alya told you how I felt about Adrien. Thanks for caring, for trying, but well, I’m sure Alya will tell you later, huh?
Nino nodded wisely at her with a sad look in his eye and didn’t reply.
Adrien blinked, surprised and shocked that she had been able to talk to him so coherently without stuttering or the telltale Marinette signature blush and that she could so easily tell Nino something about whatever this was without Nino saying one word. Adrien’s smile faded just a bit before he finally replied hesitantly, “oh, well, be careful then?”
Marinette smiled as him slightly, “I will. See you later guys.”
Marinette waved at them and then headed home, only to hear Nino mention as she left, “Babe, should I ask what’s going on?”
She could just imagine Alya shrug as she replied, “it’s not my secret to tell, except maybe that, ugh, I guess our Mari is growing up...”
Somehow, that gave Alya the idea that she needed to set up Marinette on a blind date to help her find her soulmate.
So here Marinette sat, twirling her straw in her empty soda cup as she checked her phone and decided that she had definitely been stood up.
Alya had said eleven, and here it was 11:30am.
Time to cut my losses. Marinette mentally told herself as she took out some money and left it on the table to pay for her soda and as a tip for the waiter, she felt bad actually because the café had been strangely almost empty this whole time.
Marinette walked up to the counter and asked for a cocoa to go so she would have something to warm herself up after yet another disappointing chapter in her book all about her lack of a love life.
A minute later and as Marinette held her cocoa in hand as she stepped out of the café, fate decided to laugh at her again as she almost ran into a solid chest and she lost her footing. True to form, the young man caught her and her cocoa.
Marinette looked up into his eyes, and regretted ever telling Alya her plans…
Chapter 2: Running Into You
Of all the cafe's in the world you had to run into me.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“Hey Mari!” Adrien gasped as he helped to steady Marinette and handed back her cup of cocoa that she had nearly lost before letting go of her. He smiled brightly at her as he apologized, “what a surprise to meet you here, I’m sorry about nearly knocking you over like that. I was in a rush.” Then he looked over her shoulder and into the café where there was only an old man sipping his mug of something and a couple with their baby enjoying their lunch.
Adrien sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously, “I guess I was too late though, I missed whoever Alya wanted me to meet. My photo shoot ran over.” He quickly explained. Then he glanced at Marinette who was wearing a very nice outfit that she had just designed. “That’s a new outfit, it looks nice on you Marinette.”
Marinette nodded, “thank you. I’m surprised you noticed.”
“You always look nice Marinette.” Adrien replied as he tried to scan the café again.
Then she quirked her head and sighed, knowing where this was likely going, “you said that Alya had arranged a meeting for you?”
Adrien blushed a little, “well, yeah. Alya kind of cornered me and asked if I was seeing anyone and when she pried out the fact that I’m not dating the girl that I like because she keeps turning me down, well, she suggested that I should go on a date with someone else.” Adrien distractedly rambled on, “I mean, it’s not like I haven’t tried to get over her before, but ah, well, my girl is just, ahh, amazing.” Adrien blushed a little as he thought of his girl.
“Oh, that’s… nice.” Marinette managed.
“Anyhow, Alya practically insisted that I come, saying that she knew someone that wouldn’t fawn over me just because I’m well, me.” Then he looked over Marinette’s shoulder into the café again, “did you happen to see anyone in there?”
“Besides the people that are currently in there?” Marinette gave him a disappointed look before she shook her head, “no. We were the only ones in there, I mean, I’ve been here for over half an hour and only Kim and his girlfriend came in to get some takeout during that time.”
“Oh, well,” Adrien looked sad and confused a little as he shook his head and put on his model smile, “I guess the whole idea was too good to be true. She must have left after just a few minutes or something.”
Marinette blinked at him and tried not to cry, knowing what Alya had tried to do. At least she gave me two weeks before I was proven right. Here, why don’t you rub some salt in it Marinette, she pictured Alya saying, healing is for wimps.
“Or something.” Marinette quietly repeated back to Adrien and then took a breath before saying randomly, “well, then I guess I’ll just head home.”
No, I’m being too harsh on Alya. Marinette shook her head. Adrien is just genuinely not interested and he’s so focused on his‘girl’ that he can’t see me.
Then Marinette bravely decided that she would be obvious about it, “my date didn’t show up either.”
“Oh really? Wow! I mean, who would stand you up, you’re amazing Marinette.” Adrien gushed.
“Thank you.” She replied sadly as she lightly added with a small grin, “you’re not so bad yourself.”
He’s still looks good for a blind guy. Hmm, been hanging around Chat too much huh Marinette?
“Thanks. Well, his loss then.” Adrien nodded at her, “I mean, you’re a great person Marinette and just well, one of my best friends.” He put his hand on her shoulder the way he would to comfort his friends, as he asked, “will… will you be alright?”
Marinette nodded and waved the idea off with her hand with emphasis, knocking his hand off of her shoulder as if by accident, although she had definitely planned it. “Oh, I’ll be fine. I just need some alone time.”
Marinette decided to be brave and a good friend though, “will… will YOU be alright?” He had mentioned he was going on this date to get over that girl after all.
“Actually, I’m kind of glad it worked out like this.” Adrien shrugged, “I’ve tried to get over the girl I like before, but my heart just wouldn’t let go of the idea of being with her.”
“So, would you like me to walk you home then? Obviously, I missed my date.” Adrien put his hands in his pockets as he shrugged as if he didn’t notice that she didn’t want to have him touch her or be near her. “I’ll just have to tell Alya to send the girl my apologies for being late and for missing her, it just wasn’t meant to be.”
“You got that right.” Marinette mumbled.
“Pardon?” Adrien quirked his eyebrow at her.
“Oh, nothing, just, while you’re at it, could you please tell her that I was right about the guy she was setting me up with,” Marinette suggested with a lopsided frown and a knowing nod, “she’ll understand.”
Adrien looked confused, but then smiled as he suggested, “I’ll tell her that for you but hey, maybe we could hang out, we haven’t done that in a while. That is, if you’re not busy?”
Marinette chuckled, “I know, we haven’t hung out since the gaming tournament, but you don’t need to walk me home. I’m a big girl now and I know you’re busy too. Besides, I’ve got some important things to get back to. I don’t know why I let Alya talk me into coming at all, I should have known better.” Marinette shook her head with shrug, “besides, I don’t want you to trouble yourself over me.”
Besides I have important things like get over sweet blond guys with green eyes that don’t see me or the real me. She thought painfully. Between you and Chat you’ve sure set the bar high.
“Really, it would be no trouble. I like hanging out with you.” Adrien smiled at her.
Nope, nuh uh. I’m not falling for that smile again!
“Thank you for the friendly offer, though Adrien. Honestly, I just really need some time to myself. I-I need to deal with this rejection.”
“Oh, well. Alright.” Adrien looked like he was at a loss for words before he added, “I’ll see you in class tomorrow then?” Adrien looked at her sheepishly. “Right?”
Marinette nodded, “that’s right.” She waved as she almost forcefully replied, “goodbye Adrien.”
“G-Goodbye.” Adrien waved back, not understanding why that was so hard to say.
Marinette nodded once more and then with one final wave, she turned and walked away quietly echoing his last word to her as she thought about how she was going to inform her Bestie that after all, she was unfortunately right about him, “goodbye Adrien.”
😥 Why Adrien why?
Next chapter, Adrien's POV
Chapter 3: Consequences
Adrien gets a clue, but it's too late...
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
After saying goodbye to Marinette, Adrien went home and spent a boring afternoon alone, knowing that Nino and Alya were out on a date. Plagg was less inclined to talk than usual and when he went out on patrol, Ladybug seemed depressed.
“Something wrong Mi’Lady?” He finally asked.
His Lady Love shook her head, “no Kitty. I was right about something, it’s just sometimes it’s just one of those things that’s hard to accept.”
“Yeah.” She nodded, “I had a date set up today with my crush, he’s a sweet guy, but he never really saw me and he was late to a date that a friend of ours set us up on. I mean, I know he’s busy, but it hurts that he’s never noticed me on his own, not romantically anyway. So, I’ve finally decided that it’s time to let him go. I saw him come to the date late, but my mind is made up, he didn’t notice me there, again, not like that, so I’ve decided that it’s just time to move on.”
At first Chat grinned, but then he cleared his throat, “I’m so sorry LB, umm, would you like to go out and get some ice cream or something? Just as friends? I mean, you can cry on my shoulder if you’d like.”
Ladybug shook her head and chuckled, “thanks Kitty, but I think that that may be a bad idea. Honestly, you kind of remind me of him, just with a bit more flair, longer hair and more puns. Come to think of it you kind of look alike?” She glanced at her partner and then shook her head.
“Are you telling me that My Lady has finally come to a-purr-ciate the pawsome nature of her paw-tner?” Chat purred.
“I’ve always appreciated you Chat. It’s just, he was there first. But honestly, you’re eerily alike now that I think of it. You’re both blond with green eyes, sweet, strong, smart, I could go on and on.”
“Bodacious body?” Chat suggested, “extremely handsome purr-haps?”
Ladybug prepared to launch herself into the night, as she laughed, “if you agree to not let it get to your head, yes, I’ll admit that you have a lot in common with Adrien, and I’m not just talking about your looks, it’s just…” She looked away and sighed, “Adrien Agreste is a hard guy to get over.” Chat Noir suddenly choked as she ignored the sound and shrugged, “anyhow, I’ve got to go Kitty. I’ll see you later.”
Ladybug shot herself into the night and Adrien could not believe his terrible luck.
Especially when Alya wouldn’t tell him who his blind date had been since she had definitely decided that it wouldn’t work out and Alya could not be convinced otherwise because now she totally and completely agreed with her ‘friend.’
Adrien was certain that Alya didn’t know that she was Ladybug, but Adrien was certain that Alya’s friend was Ladybug. Still, he could not convince Alya to spill who she was, no matter how much he begged Alya for a second chance.
Adrien had never seen Alya more defensive of someone, besides Marinette, but he understood that Ladybug was just that awesome of a friend.
Weeks passed and Adrien was getting desperate. At least Luka and Marinette finally got together, Adrien was glad that she had finally gotten together with the guy of her dreams, but where did that leave him?
Adrien resolved to pay more attention to Alya’s friends and over time, Adrien couldn’t believe how blind he was when Alya finally told him to just drop it and quit pestering her since the girl had moved on and he had already met her, telling him that if he had been truly interested in her to begin with, he would have noticed her on his own. Now it was too late.
Adrien still couldn’t believe it.
After all, he had had a blind date with Ladybug and he had never shown up and now all that he could think about was the blind date that had never been and would never be.
You probably know where this is going...