“I got tickets for Titanic, we should all go and see it together to celebrate tonight!” Kim walked into the club room of their university where all the kids hung out. He walked over to Ondine’s side and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
“Good idea! I’ve been wanting to see this movie!” Rose squealed, reaching out for a pair of tickets. Her and Juleka admired the detail on them. "I hear it's really good but also so very sad."
“Do you want to ask Adrien if he’d be interested in going, Marinette?” asked Alya.
Adrien’s father Gabriel Agreste had just been arrested recently, the news was buzzing about his alleged land reform scandal where he raked in millions of euros. Adrien too had been arrested for suspected involvement, as his name had been on the land deed that had been sold. However, it had been disproven as he had only been a child at the time of the sale.
Although Adrien himself was now free, his father wasn’t and was facing 15 years in prison.
All his life, he wanted to put that distance between them. He was disgusted whenever his father would use his power and influence to accomplish something that the average Joe wouldn’t be able to do no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears he invested into it. But he also knew his father had good in him and did things that helped people.
Marinette knew he wouldn’t be up for celebrating anything until his father was facing a better outcome. “I don’t know if he’s up for it right now, but I’ll ask him about it,” she responded, taking the tickets. “If not, you guys go ahead and see it.” Marinette smiled slightly, but she wasn’t her usual bubbly self. Her friends gave her sympathetic glances and sad smiles.
She called Adrien up when she reached home, but there was no answer. “Adrien, it’s me,” she began her voice mail. “Alya gave us two movie tickets. When you’re free, we should go and see it together. With everything going on, it’d be nice to get out and relax a little, you know? Call me back when you can.”
“Asking Adrien to a movie?” Marinette’s dad asked as he worked on kneading some dough.
Marinette avoided his glance and slowly walked past him to sit down in a chair. She never answered. Tom observed her. Her hunched shoulders and long face, downcast eyes that wouldn’t meet his. His focus drifted to the telephone and then back to her with a sad shake of his head before continuing with his kneading.
Adrien was alone at his favorite spot along the Seine where he’d sometimes go to watch the sunrise when he couldn’t sleep. The sun had yet to even set, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to sit still alone in his big, empty house.
What to do, what to do, he thought as he paced back and forth along the water’s edge, kicking sand as he went and scratching the back of his head as he grew frustrated. He was so deep into his train of thought that he hadn’t noticed his pager beep, alerting him to a message waiting for him.
That night, long after their friends had left the theater, Marinette fell asleep with her hand clamped firmly around her pager, waiting for it to beep to let her know he was okay. She knew he wasn’t okay, but if she could only hear his voice, only hear him say something to indicate that things would be okay….
Tom noticed her light was still on as he wandered up the stairs. When he saw she was asleep, he chuckled. “This girl, always forgetting to turn the light off before she sleeps…” After turning off her lamp across the room, he went to her bedside to tuck her in and he looked over at her and noticed the pager resting in her upturned hand. Then as his gaze wandered to his daughter’s face, he noticed a gleam around her eyes that streaked down her cheeks. With a heavy sigh, Tom removed the pager from her hand and left the room with a heavy heart.
It was morning when Adrien finally ventured out of his thoughts. Checking his pager, he saw Marinette had left him a message. Without hesitation, he got on his motorbike he had parked nearby and headed for her family’s bakery.
When he pulled up, Tom was out front, sweeping the sidewalk.
“Marinette’s asleep still,” he said.
“Oh. Then I’ll come back once she’s --”
“It’s fine, why don’t you come in and wait for her to get up? I’ll make some tea.”
Adrien nodded and took a seat.
“How are things going… you know, with your father?” Tom asked as he poured him a cup of hot tea.
Adrien pulled it to him, hands wrapped around it as he stared down into the dark liquid. He shook his head. “He… he did something wrong and got caught. He has to pay for his mistakes now.”
Tom nodded. “Marinette, because she was so worried about you, she’s barely been eating and hasn’t slept well. She even cried herself to sleep last night with her pager still in her hand. I was wondering who she was waiting to hear from.”
“I’m sorry, I made her worry,” a crease formed between Adrien's eyebrows.
“It’s okay, Adrien, you have a lot going on. But I just have to say this as her father and with some experience of my own…” Tom hesitated and shifted in his seat, leaning in closer. “When life brings you difficulties, if the two of you face them together and communicate your feelings, your love will only become stronger. But if you keep them to yourself, eventually all you’ll be left with is bitterness and hard feelings towards one another.”
“I don’t want us to become like that,” he said as he continued to look at his tea. “I believe in the end, things will be fine.”
“Good. I believe Marinette’s been really hurt not knowing what she should do to help you, so-”
“Dad! Good morning!” Marinette greeted at the top of the stairs. She had been listening in on their conversation.
“Good morning, sweetheart. Did you sleep well?”
“Fine, thanks, Dad. Adrien, why are you here?” she asked innocently.
“I stopped by to take you out for breakfast. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you called me until this morning, so I wanted to make it up to you.”
“Oh. I’m not upset about it, but I’ll take you up on the breakfast, anyway.”
Adrien gave a small smile. “Let’s get going then. Do you have anywhere in mind?”
“I do,” she beamed back, taking his hand in hers as they walked together out the bakery door.