As Marinette waved goodbye to her grandmother boarding the plane, she stopped and let out a sigh. Don't get her wrong, she loved her family to bits. But having family over was always just a little bit stressful, especially if they were to see her room, with her dozens of posters and pictures of her crush, Adrien Agreste. She was more than a little lucky that she is so interested in fashion, and that Adrien is a model, or she would not have been able to get away with having her obs- crush on display when her friends visit. A loud yell broke Marinette out of her reverie.
"What do you mean you're going to hold our luggage?! You can't just keep our stuff for no reason!" Turning to look at the sound, Marinette was surprised to see a group of five girls, clearly foreign from everything from their accents to the way they dress. The girl yelling, a short girl with black hair that has a red streak in it, draws the most attention to their group. She has on a black hoodie that looks like she's gotten white paint all over it, a choker with a star on it, a necklace with an 'A' on it, a piecemeal shirt that's half-black half-red diagonally, short shorts (Marinette tries to keep comments of the girl's smooth legs out of her head), a belt on her left leg and a stocking with two garter belts, one above the other, on her right leg, ending in a pair of black boots. The Girl With The Red Stripe continues to voice her disapproval of airport security.
"You'd think they'd have seen a band before. This is Paris! It's a city of music!" Another girl, this one with bone-white hair, chimes in.
"Don't be so upset Ran-chan, they're probably such big fans that they just want a close-up look at Moca-chan's guitar~" Whereas the other girl - Ran, apparently- had a stern look on her face, this new girl, who Marinette is assuming is Moca, has a lazy, sleepy expression on her face. Ran spoke with determined fire, while Moca spoke in a slow, almost carefree manner. For some reason that she couldn't fathom, Marinette was drawn in by this colorful group of girls. It seems this Moca girl had on the same hoodie and necklaces that Ran did, with a halter top with corset laces over it, and a pair of black and white vertical stripe short shorts. It seems they share a liking for the single stocking with two garter belts on her left leg look, as she also has one, and on her right leg she has....a teal short sock? ending in a pair of black boots. Internal screeching about outfit coordination properly pushed away for later, Marinette has figured she's watched on for long enough and starts approaching the girls and the irritated security guard.
"We have to make sure...unscrupulous individuals don't cause our city any harm. The seedier a group looks, the more likely we are to check their bags. So you're to blame for us checking and holding your bags." The security guard says with a sneer. Marinette's blood absolutely boils . She cannot stand when people are treated unfairly, especially for something as harmless as their looks. Furious, she steps between Ran and the security guard, turning her molten gaze to him.
"How, in what world, do these teenage girls look like people who could harm a fly, let alone a city? You must really despise your position here because something like this is very likely to get you tossed. So please, stop harassing a group of girls because they look different!" Flustered and heaving for breath, Marinette turns her apologetic gaze to the girl she defended, as the security guard went on his way after throwing another snide look over his shoulder at the girls.
"I-I'm sorry for butting in, but I...I can't look away when injustice is being done! What he was doing was totally wrong. Please don't think all French people are like him. I promise, give us a chance and Paris will wow you!"
The girl with the red streak, Ran, seemed to mull something over in her head for a little bit. Coming to a conclusion, she shows the tiniest smile Marinette thinks she's ever seen and says
"...You defended us, but you don't know us. If everyone here is half as kind as you are, I know we'll be in a good place." The girls behind her all echoed her sentiments. At the moment, one of their phones rang, causing a tall redhead to step away from the group for some quiet. At this, Ran held out her hand, a little awkwardly, trying not to keep eye contact with the bluenette.
"Mitake Ran. Lead singer of Afterglow." Marinette smiled brightly at her seeming acceptance by the cool beauty.
"Marinette Dupain-Cheng, aspiring fashion designer. Might I ask, what is Afterglow?" Ran stands a little taller.
"It's our band we all play in. It's nice to meet you Marinette."
The white-haired girl, as if just realizing Marinette's presence for the first time, pulls a slothly smile on her face
"Ohoho, Moca-chan approves, hmn hmn! Moca-chan smells pan! " How this small girl can look so comfortable and yet have such a smile is a mystery to Marinette. Somehow, her monotone voice is at once calming and exciting. A girl with bubblegum pink hair pulls Marinette into a hug with a big smile on her face.
"Oh yay! A new friend! I love making new friends! Bassist Uehara Himari, at your service!" She says with a goofy salute, letting Marinette breath again. Oxygen flowing to her brain again, Marinette can take in this bubbly girl. On her head, she seems to wear the only cap of the group, a plain black cap with a grey 'A' in the center. She has the rest of the group’s boots, choker and hoodie, though her hoodie is tied around her waist. For her top, she's wearing a see-through white halter top with a black halter top underneath it, and a bright pink pencil skirt, a leather armband, and pink socks under her boots, hardly visible.
"No fair, Hii-chan,~ Moca-chan saw her first!" At this outburst, the two girls start arguing.
Suddenly, a light, sad voice calls from behind the group of girls, causing Marinette to turn around and see this small girl. She must be part of the group, she thinks, because she too has the boots, chokers, and hoodie of this band. Her appearance is rather minimalistic, Marinette concludes, seeing as this brown-haired girl, for accessories, only has a green bandana in her hair and a garter belt around her left leg. Even her dress is gentle, a pale gold sundress. It's almost like this small girl is trying to calm those around her with such a soft outfit.
"Sorry minna , I couldn't find a drink machine that would take Yen!" It's at this point that this girl sees Marinette and perks up, smiling brightly
"Hello! My name is Hazawa Tsugumi! Did the girls do something wrong?! I'm sorry!" Before Marinette can respond, the girl is bowing low and deep, something she realizes is meant as a sign of respect.
"Ah, no, s-see, the security guard was harassing your friends and I came over and gave him a piece of my mind. No one should be bullied, especially not for their looks." Hearing this, Tsugumi sighs and lets out a fond, if tired, smile. Marinette can't help but smile in response; even sad, this girl seemed to radiate happiness, like the sun.
A loud stamping boot, followed by a whispered
"Fuck!" is what draws Marinette's, and all the other girls’, attention to the girl with red hair. Moca sees the look of realization that hits Marinette, and leans next to her and says
"That's our Tomo-chin, kakuii, ne?" This ‘Tomo-chin’, was easily the tallest of all the girls, taller than herself even, and has long, blazing red hair, like an inferno. She has the same boots, chokers, and hoodie as the others, and like Himari, she has it tied around her waist. She wears a sleeveless camouflage vest halter top, and black skinny jeans that have a few diagonal zippers down the front of her legs, and a black and grey belt on.
"That was our ride, turns out someone rear-ended their car, so we're out of a ride to the hotel. Everyone’s okei, but it’s going to take a while to get everything wrapped up on their end." As she finishes her sentence, she heaves an exhausted sigh. It’s then that she notices Marinette, standing there awkwardly.
"Ah! Sorry, did the girls bother you? I'm Udagawa Tomoe, drummer for Afterglow." That earned a
"Hei! Why does everyone keep insisting we're bothering people!" from Himari. Tomoe looks at her with a 'are you serious' expression fixed on her face
"Because you three have a tendency to get yourselves into trouble." Tomoe replied with a straight face. Himari pouted, whilst Moca gave a 'fair enough' shrug, with a smirk. As she remembered something, Marinette perked up
"Wait, did you say your ride bailed? Why not ride with me and papa? I'm sure he wouldn't mind helping out friends, and I'm sure we have the space to fit everyone. That is if it's okei with your parents?" Were Marinette not in the midst of finding her father’s number, she would've seen the wince that went through the group as a collective at the word 'parents', but as it was, Marinette was unaware she accidentally stepped on a landmine. Himari jumped forward, grabbing Marinette's hands, tears clouding her eyes.
"You'd really do that!? You're a lifesaver!"
"Well, of course. You're in need of help, and I can help, so why would I not?" Marinette replied, a tad bit confused. Ran stepped up to Marinette and said,
"Not everyone is so kind. So thanks. We'd appreciate a ride."
Nodding, Marinette stepped away to call Tom, her father, and after telling him what was going on, he was insisting that he help. Thanking him and telling him to pull out the front of the Airport, she hung up and returned to the group.
"What's the verdict?" Tomoe said, trying and failing not to look too hopeful.
"Papa insisted that we help, he wants you all to have dinner with us tonight and tell us more about yourselves! He's calling maman now to get everything set up!" At this, the group cheered, happy to not have to worry about lodgings for the night.
After getting all of their luggage, and showing them to her dad's van, Tom insisted on loading everything in the back himself, saying
"You girls are probably exhausted from your flight, go on and relax, this'll only take a few minutes" with a big smile. As they all piled into the car, Tomoe looked back and blanched as she saw Tom lifting a good half of their stuff in one arm and putting it gently in the back.
"Your dad...is like...crazy strong. Are you sure he's human?" Marinette only giggled
"Of course he is, he's a baker after al-" Before she could finish her sentence, Moca, who was sitting in a very red Ran's lap from lack of seats, burst forward with more speed than Marinette has seen her make the entire time, and says
"You live at a bakery? Has Moca-chan died and gone to heaven?" Tsugumi, who was given her own seat, giggling at Ran and Moca's antics, spoke up.
"I get what that's like, my family owns a cafe, so it's pretty busy in the shop a lot." Moca just gave her signature smirk and said:
“ Tsugutteru as always, ne ?” After which was followed by a resounding agreement from the other girls and a squeak from the red-faced Tsugumi. Baffled by the...adjective? Marinette doesn't have much time to think on it, as Tom closes the trunk and gets into the driver's seat, heading for home, a blushing Ran pulling Moca back into her lap, muttering something along the lines of
“I don’t wanna have to hear you whine if you ended up hurt.”