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Marinette fixed the pillows on her bed, gazing around her room, now spotless from the scraps of fabric and sketches she’d had strewn about earlier. Her head turned at the ring of her phone, a text. Her breath caught and she felt her heart stutter as she scrambled to her phone. Eagerly opening the new message, a grin growing at seeing Kagami’s name at the top. Her face flushed pink at the text, like most interactions with Kagami over text the tone was serious and to the point,

“Finished training. Mother said she’ll let me sleepover. Thank you for inviting me. I can’t wait.”

            What really made Marinette’s heart melt was the emoji’s that followed, a smiley face and peace sign hand. Marinette had put a lot of effort to help Kagami grow comfortable being more casual with her, getting the other girl to use emoji’s was quite an improvement over the last few months. She quickly typed out a reply to Kagami, expressing how she was excited too along with her own set of emjoi’s. She set her phone down and sighed, flopping onto her chaise dramatically,

            “She’s actually coming tonight.” She said dreamily. It had taken a lot of work to get Kagami’s mother, Tomoe, to warm up to her. But she had approved of the girl’s friendship and allowed them to hang out regularly. Marinette actually got to sleepover at Kagami’s a few times already but having Kagami over to her house was a whole new hurdle for convincing.

Tikki flew out from where she’d been grabbing a macaroon on Marinette’s desk,

            “Oh wow, I can’t believe her mom’s letting her.” she said with a smile before taking a small bite of the macaroon.

            “I don’t know how she convinced her mom but yeah.” She said, biting her lip eagerly, making Tikki giggle

            “Good luck stumbling over yourself all night.” She teased, eating the last bit of her treat before flying up and nuzzling Marinette’s cheek. “You fall apart in front of her as badly as you do in front of Adrien.” She said with another giggle. Marinette rolled her eyes and blushed as she leaned into Tikki’s affection.

            “I-I can’t help it.” She muttered softly, she looked to the side shyly. Ever since Marinette had began spending more time with Kagami she couldn’t deny how her feelings had grown. She cared for Kagami as a friend, but their time together had allowed Marinette to see a side of Kagami she couldn’t help but fall for. When alone, Kagami’s usually stoic expression had shifted to subtly expressive and passionate. Not the stubborn, competitive passion she had with fencing. Instead it was passion for the latest book she was reading, or curiosity about Marinette’s designs and expressing herself creatively. The Kagami Marinette had slowly fallen for was who Kagami became when they were alone, unafraid of meeting her mother’s stern expectations. “She’s just… so sweet, she really cares and is always happy to try anything. She’s never afraid of anything and she’s so pretty.” Marinette gushed with a grin. Tikki giggled again and playfully flew around the other’s head,

            “You’ve really fallen for her, Marinette.” She said with a smile, tilting her head. Tikki loved seeing Marinette so happy, “You should tell her. She might feel the same.” She urged. Tikki had watched the two girls interact and had her own assumptions on how Kagami felt. Marinette’s eyes widened in horror, shaking her head dramatically and pushing Tikki away in a panicked wave of her arms,

            “Wh-what no!” she said in horror, “I can’t tell her! What if-“ before she could finish her sentence the doorbell rang making her heart race more, “Th-that’s probably her. You better hide Tikki.” She said, her face a soft pink as Tikki nodded and flew off to a hiding spot.

            Marinette hurried down to answer the door, but her mom had answered it before she could. Sabine was greeting Kagami as Marinette came down the stairs.  The polite smile on Kagami’s face grew as she looked up at Marinette and they locked eyes, throwing off any coordination Marinette had hoped to have in her feet. She tripped and stumbled down the last few steps. Falling over herself wasn’t unfamiliar to her, so Marinette was quick to stand with a blush,

            “Be careful Marinette.” Her mother said in serious concern as Kagami’s brow raised and her smile grew more. She’d grown to find Marinette’s clumsiness only slightly bothersome and more of a cute quirk.

            “I’ll make certain she gets upstairs without any new bruises Ms. Cheng. Thank you for having me over.” Kagami said in a kind voice, and a nod. “Hi Marinette.” She added looking back at her friend as she made her way to the stairs.

            “H-Hi Kagami.” She said nervously, trying to calm herself as she grinned, “Here, uhm. Let me bake your tags. Ah. No - take your bags.” She said, holding out a hand to take Kagami’s overnight bag for her. A soft chuckle fell from Kagami as she stepped closer, swinging the small bag behind her back,

            “I think you should focus on where your feet fall. I can handle my bag Marinette.” She teased, making Marinette’s heart stutter at the sight of the other’s playful smirk. She nodded jerkily and turned on her heel to lead Kagami up to her room. Now trying to pay careful attention to make sure she didn’t stumble again. Kagami followed behind her, using her free hand to press gently on the others back, wanting to make sure she really didn’t fall again.

            The sensation of Kagami’s hand on her lower back had Marinette’s face pink, and she swallowed a nervous lump in her throat.

            “H-how did you convince your mother to let you sleep over?” she asked softly, looking over her shoulder to glance at Kagami as she opened the door to their living room. Kagami walked into the room behind her with a shrug,

            “I pointed out that my test scores and training has improved since becoming friends with you. If you’re a good influence I have reason to spend more time with you. She’s making me practice extra next weekend, but it’s worth it.” She said with a smile as they continued up to Marinette’s room. Her friendship with Marinette had been one she hadn’t expected, but greatly appreciated. She had never known someone so kind and full of love. Marinette seemed to have a soft spot for everyone in her life, even those she didn’t particularly like. Her kindness was what had allowed their friendship to blossom and Kagami couldn’t help but admire how the other wore her heart on her sleeve.

            Kagami knew better than to lie to herself. She had slowly grown to have feelings for Marinette over the months of their friendship. The other’s devotion to her art and friends, her awkward stumbling, and her warmth to let Kagami open up in a way she couldn’t at home or school had led to butterflies in Kagami’s stomach.

            “Is that true? Have you been improving since we started hanging out?” Marinette asked curiously, letting Kagami up into her room. The thought that she could be such a positive influence in the other made her heart swell.

            “If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here. You know my mother. She’s all about the numbers and seeing actual improvement.” Kagami said as she looked around the vaguely familiar room, they’d spent little time hanging out together here – most of their time was at her house or public spaces. She made her way to the chaise and set her bag down beside it. “Enough about my mother and school though. Where’s that game you were wanting to have me play?” she asked with a smile and raised brow.

            Marinette felt like she was as light as a feather, hearing Kagami confirm their friendship had noticeable good impact on her – a fact that might lead to more sleepovers – made her stomach do flips and breath catch. She was shaken out of her eager thoughts at Kagami’s question,

            “Oh. Yeah! Ultimate Mecha Strike III.” She said with a grin, grabbing the game off her desk and holding it up. “It’s super fun. I’ll warn you I’m  really good at it. I even won a competition for my school.” She said proudly, this was probably one of the few things she knew she could beat Kagami at – she hoped. She did have doubts. Kagami was good at everything she did.

            Kagami laughed softly at Marinette’s bragging, sliding her white blazer off and laying it on the chaise. With a tilt of her head and raised brow, a smirk growing on her face as she loosened her tie and tossed it on top of the coat.

            “You should know by now Marinette. I don’t lose.” She said, a competitive tone in her voice. She rolled the sleeves up on her black button up. The mixture of Kagami’s smug look on her face, and her outfit adjusted to be more comfortable had Marinette weak in the knee’s. She nodded eagerly, slapping the game down onto her desk as she flopped back down onto her desk chair.

            “You’re so perfect- ah I think you’re perfect. No - You think you’re perfect. I mean you’re great! But uhm... I’ll be… better. At this game.” Marinette stuttered, her face growing red at her word vomit. Kagami laughed softly, brushing her hair out of her face as she made her way to sit in the other desk chair beside Marinette.

            “How are you going to beat me if you can’t even trash talk me Marinette?” she teased. Kagami had noticed how Marinette stumbled over herself in front of her. The soft blush that constantly covered her face the more they spent time together. She had only seen Marinette get this way before with one person, and it made her stomach do flips to think that she effected Marinette the same way Adrien did. Marinette stumbled to turn the game on, grabbing the controllers and holding one out to Kagami. In return Kagami made sure to let her fingers brush over Marinette’s hand as she grabbed the game controller.

            Marinette held back the urge to melt into a puddle or scream at the gentle touch of Kagami’s hand. She nodded shakily, and turned to stare at the screen,

            “I don’t need to talk to beat you.” She sassed back, unable to look back at Kagami in fear of word vomiting again and making a fool of herself. She started the game and took a few minutes to explain the basic controls and goals of it to Kagami. Kagami’s eyes bounced back and forth between the screen and Marinette’s face. A small smile grew on her face as she listened and watched Marinette, her pigtails bouncing as she turned her head to look at Kagami once she finished explaining the basics. A soft blush covered both girls faces as they locked eyes, “Uhm… D-does that make sense?” Marinette asked softly. Kagami nodded gently, turning back to the screen,

            “Yeah. Let’s play.” She said, hitting the start button.

            It didn’t take long for Kagami to get frustrated at the videogame. She was surprisingly good for a new player. Her skill impressed Marinette and was just further evidence to her that Kagami was amazing. But still, despite Kagami’s natural skill, it was nothing compared to Marinette’s years of playing with her father. Round after round Marinette mopped the floor with Kagami in the game. Kagami’s face was a soft red in frustration. She was not used to losing, and it rubbed her the wrong way when she did. Marinette raised a brow in concern when she looked over to see how upset Kagami was getting. Hitting the pause button on her controller put the game they’d been playing on hold,

            “No. What are you doing? Why’d you pause it?” she asked, her brows furrowing as she turned to Marinette. The sight of the other’s concern made her slightly embarrassed at how upset she was. “I-Im sorry. I got.. uhm too invested-“

            “Don’t be sorry.” Marinette interrupted her with a soft smile, the last thing she wanted was Kagami to think she couldn’t express her feelings to her, “It’s alright to be upset. But it’s just a game.” She said with a shrug, “Besides, you’re really good for a beginner.” She complimented, setting her hand on Kagami’s knee and giving her a light squeeze to reassure her. “And we both know you’re great at so many other things, like fencing.” She added with a smile.

            Kagami’s blush grew, no longer from frustration but now because of Marinette’s kind words. She smiled and brushed her hair behind her ear,

            “You’re right. I’d destroy you at fencing.” She teased Marinette, a small chuckle falling from her. Marinette raised a brow with a mock offended scoff,

            “I wouldn’t say you’d destroy me…” she argued as she crossed her arms over her chest. Kagami chuckled softly, and in one swift movement she turned in her chair setting her controller down on the desk as and grabbing a flexible ruler by Marinette’s craft materials. In the same fluid twist of the chair that let her change objects in hand, she was able to finish the 360-rotation facing Marinette, ruler in hand and pressing it up under Marinette’s chin with a smirk. Marinette’s face flushed pink at the ruler pressing against her chin, making her tilt her head back slightly, the confident smirk and glint in Kagami’s eyes had her speechless,

            “Let’s find out?” she challenged. All Marinette could do to communicate was nod gently, feeling the ruler press against her chin with the movement. Kagami lowered the ruler and grinned, standing and moving to stand in the open floor of Marinette’s room. She knew realistically the rulers were much too short to even consider whatever this was fencing, but she didn’t care. She just wanted to have fun with Marinette, make her laugh and impress her. Marinette found her own ruler, trying desperately to break herself out of the daze she’d been put in by Kagami.

Marinette stood a few paces away from Kagami, taking the stance she’d learned from Adrien, ruler in hand. This moment felt vaguely familiar, the thumping in her chest, her sweaty hands and face pink with nervousness the anxiousness to impress her crush standing in front of her but also being hyper aware of her body, not wanting to stumble or trip.

“En-garde.” Kagami said, and the two girls greeted each other with the rulers. Smiles and blushes covering both their faces, “Pret. Allez.” And with that they were off. Kagami was more confident in her movement, lunging for Marinette and expecting an easy win. She was shocked to find Marinette shifting and parrying her, nonetheless it still wasn’t difficult for Kagami to tap Marinette in the chest with the ruler after making her parry a few more lunges. The two laughed softly as they both returned to their starting positions. Once again, Kagami was first to move. Marinette doing well in defensive maneuver, her downfall was when she attempted to get a hit in after parrying Kagami. With a swift move of her hand Kagami was able to parry Marinette and tap her chest again. Kagami’s grin had Marinette’s stomach doing flips, “Don’t hesitate Marinette. Trust your instincts.” She instructed sweetly, a tone of voice that wasn’t heard often from Kagami but made Marinette into mush more than she already was.

The two returned to their starting positions and began again. Kagami waited a moment, wanting to give Marinette a chance to initiate, but after a few seconds she knew the girl wouldn’t. So, she lunged again, Marinette was thrown off more with this round than she had been the others. Kagami’s soft tone making her head dizzy, the words ringing a distant memory for her. Marinette found herself avoiding and parrying Kagami just barely, and in her daze as she stepped back to avoid Kagami she tripped over her own feet. Her hand reaching out instinctively to prevent herself from falling back, but only managing to grab Kagami’s shirt. Effectively bringing both girls down.

They fell back onto Marinette’s floor with a thud, Kagami on top of Marinette, both blushing furiously at their new position. Marinette attempted to stutter out an apology, only to be interrupted by Kagami’s laughter as she rolled off Marinette.

“I’ve not had that much fun fencing in a long time.” She said between laughter, tears of joy welling in her eyes. She wiped them away and giggled softly and Marinette couldn’t help but laugh with her. The sight of Kagami laid back on her floor, hair a short halo around her and her shirt wrinkled, the edges untucked from her skirt and hearing her laughter ring in the air. It was all too much for Marinette, her tongue was tied, and stomach was full of butterflies. As Kagami stood up and held out a hand to help Marinette up she felt déjà vu again. As she took Kagami’s hand and stood slowly she realized why Kagami’s earlier words and this moment were familiar, “The only reason you can't stay on your feet is your hesitation. I never hesitate.” The voice echoed in Marinette’s mind, Kagami’s words.

A wave of bravery she only ever felt as ladybug filled Marinette, determination and pure adrenaline filling her as she stood. Tightening her hold on Kagami’s hand once she was up. Marinette pulled Kagami closer to her, not wanting to lose this moment of bravery she felt in herself and doing as Kagami had told her to – following her instincts. Her free hand laying gently on Kagami’s chest as she leaned into the other girl and kissed her. Both Kagami and Marinette’s faces grew pink as they kissed. The meeting of their lips only lasting less than a second before they broke apart. Marinette’s hands flew to cover her pink face in embarrassment,

“Ah! I-I’m sorry.. I-I didn’t want to kiss you! No. I did. I mean to. I didn’t. I-“ Once again Marinette’s flustered words were cut off my Kagami’s giggles. Kagami gently pried Marinette’s hands from her face, the sweet smile on Kagami’s face making Marinette’s panic pause for a moment,

“Don’t be sorry.” She mumbled, “I told you to stop hesitating. And you did.” She said, breathlessly – part of Kagami was still in shock that Marinette had kissed her. Her heart was racing, and her legs felt like they were static, she’d never kissed anyone before. “Even I was hesitating with… that.” she admitted softly. Her eyes darting away shyly, Marinette’s face went from embarrassment to shy concern and then to shock at Kagami’s words,

“Like. That. That? You… like me?” she asked, looking like a deer in headlights, her eyes wide as she tried to process the information. At the blush that darkened on Kagami’s face Marinette got her answer, giving her the confidence to lean in and kiss Kagami’s cheek. Taking the other girls hands Marinette led Kagami over to her chaise and sat beside her. Unable to help herself as she grinned like a fool, “Because, I’ve had the biggest crush on you for a while now.” She admitted with a soft giggle. Kagami giggled softly, her blush only darkening more as she brushed her hair behind her face,

“How could I not have a crush on the prettiest, nicest girl I’ve ever met.” She said softly, she slid her hand over the chair to lay on top of Marinette’s. She wasn’t used to admitting her feelings like this. Hearing Marinette’s own confession had made it easier for Kagami to open up.

Both girl’s hearts were racing as they giggled together, telling one another about how their crushes had grown and slowly shifting so they were cuddling together on the chaise. Hands caressing each other’s or playing with the other’s hair as they spoke. A few shy kisses being shared between stories told. The two stayed up late into the night laughing at themselves, a light airy feeling in their hearts as they gushed over one another until a serious look washed over Kagami’s face. Marinette looked up at Kagami as she felt her hands still in her hair that she’d been raking through, hair ties that once held her hair into twin pigtails dropped to the floor.

“Will you be my girlfriend?” Kagami asked Marinette softly, locking eyes with her. Marinette grinned and leaned up to kiss Kagami,

“Of course.” She said with a giggle, her lips brushing against Kagami’s before she kissed her again.