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(you love inadequately) but you steal hearts like mine.

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The pink heart-shaped letter stared back at her. 

She turned it around and saw the poem, the handwriting was impossible to confuse with the one of somebody else’s. At least to her, it was. 

Taking a deep breath, she took it away from the clipboard and brought it to the pile on the bed. 

Adrien was still completely oblivious to what she was doing, he was too busy playing videogames, and she wasn’t about to interrupt him. 

From the corner of her eye, as she checked on him, she saw the lucky charm he always used on top of the couch, right next to him. He was using it or at least hoping it would work on his match.

Her stomach twisted in knots. 

Without him realizing it, she took it and added it to the pile, which was only growing bigger and bigger, making Kagami’s heart emptier every damn time. 

She watched every gift on that pile with extreme care, causing her itching pain. 

Her hands roamed on top of them, feeling their texture and warmth, the love that they radiated, all the hours of effort and dedication behind them and with that, she also could see the disappointment that all these objects brought to the girl who saw them from afar. 

Kagami felt like she was about to vomit. 

Everything she thought to know was a lie. 

The world, the excuses she had used to make herself feel better were nothing but a damn lie.

Please don’t feel guilty!

Marinette’s voice rang on her ears.

That’s what she had said after Kagami confronted her last week, asking for an answer. And she was sure Marinette meant it. Every word that came out of her lips was reassuring, and she begged to Kagami to let it go, tried to convince her that it was all in the past, that she was happy for her and that she was with Adrien because that’s what it was meant to be, that it was fair.

Why did it feel like it wasn’t?

As ridiculous as it was, and she knew that it was, it felt like she had cheated on this game. 

Maybe because it wasn’t a game, and she had taken it as one, a game that she could win, a competition… Marinette never saw it as one, she was just pouring her heart out and… hoping. 

But that didn’t mean that she wasn’t in love with Adrien, she was . Or at least she thought so… well, she liked him enough to want to be with him all the time, and talk all the time and, god damn she was only sixteen how could she know what love really was? But after six months together with him, she guessed she could use the term ‘love’ without using it loosely. 

Kagami sighed and sat on the bed, she took the blue scarf and wrapped her hands on it, making a loop and then lifting it to the ceiling. The light making the very light and thin thread appear between the fabric and uncovering Marinette’s signature.

How had Adrien never see it? It took her only a day to find it. Adrien had had this scarf for at least two years now, how could he not figure out?

Irritation and anger were accumulating on the back of her mind, and she threw the scarf back to the pile and looked at it again.

There were so many things.

A scarf, a beret, a letter, a special edition comic book, a sheet of piano music signed by Adrien’s favorite musician, and so many other handmade things that just screamed Marinette in her eyes. 

She had confessed her love all these times, and Kagami was sure that there were many more too but there wasn’t a gift present to materialize the attempt. 

It made her so angry. 

She was angry at herself for telling Marinette to step it up, to not hesitate, to feel a little superior to her friend for being able to do what she hadn’t, and now she felt so sick. Marinette had tried again and again and again, but for some reason, Adrien had never seen beyond it, or the gifts had never had her name. Of course, Marinette would be insecure about it, of course, she would give up her time with him and give it to Kagami, because… because she really believed there wasn’t a chance for her anymore. 

She was angry with Marinette too, for thinking that, for giving up, because Kagami knew that if she had just tried a little bit more, she would have Adrien. 

But, no matter how angry she was at Marinette and herself, her anger was outrageous when it came to Adrien. 

“Hey,” Adrien stood in front of her, one hand dropping on her cheek and cupping it to lift her head, “What’s up? What’s with all these?” He pointed out at the pile and took the lucky charm first, putting it back on his pocket.

Where it always is. 

Kagami trembled with rage.

“Do you know what all of these are?”

Adrien rose a brow, confused, “Eh… my things?”
“Yes, your things…” Kagami nodded, her tone obscure, “Do you know where they all come from?”

“Uh, well, not all of them, they’re all gifts but- Why does it matter? You’re acting weird and you’re scaring me. Are you feeling okay, Mimi?”

Kagami shook her head and stood up, circling around Adrien before coming back to the gifts on top of the bed.

She took the beret first, it matched the scarf but with dark blue stitches around and a small heart that made it unique.

“From where did this come for?”
“My fan club in Brazil if I remember correctly. Why?”

“Funny how it matches this,” Kagami threw the scarf at its side, “Who gave you this again?”
“My father ,” Adrien narrowed his eyes, “What the hells is this Kagami?”

“Do you recognize this handwriting?” She said giving him the letter, or well, rubbing it on his face. 

“No, I don’t. I only have it around because it’s one of the loveliest things that someone has written for me and it makes me feel good. If you’re jealous I-

“I’m not jealous. I’m angry .”

“I don’t under-

“You can’t be that oblivious, can you? But I like to believe you are because if not, it just makes you straight up mean.”

Adrien stood up and walked towards her, challenging her gaze.

His hands landed on her arms and he squeezed gently.

“Gami, what’s wrong?” His eyes shone with tears.

Kagami gulped. 

Adrien didn’t like confrontation, and that made her feel awful, but this needed to be said. He had to know. 

“How can you not know? Why do you choose to ignore it?” She said between clenched teeth.

She reached for the scarf one more time, making the needed loop and extending it to him.

“Touch the middle,” She ordered.

“Touch it!” 

Adrien did so and his eyes expressed how genuinely surprised he was when he found a different texture. 

“What’s that? I’ve never noticed before.”
“That’s Marinette’s signature.”

“What? That’s not possible, my fa-

“Your father didn’t give you this scarf, Adrien, it was Marinette! She let you think he had because you looked happy, and if she told you then that would mean that your father forgot your birthday, but if you ask me that would make more sense than him actually giving you a heartfelt gift.”

Adrien’s eyes obscured.

Kagami bit her lip, regretting the way she said those words. It was the truth, he knew it was, but it still hurt him. 

She kept going with what she really wanted to say.

“Take the beret, Marinette’s signature is on that too. And the letter, compare it to Marinette’s handwriting, it’s the same. The sheet of music,  you can tell that the musician almost wrote Marinette, that’s why there’s a smudge of ink, and to be honest, look at any of these gifts,” She pointed at the pile, “And I assure you that every single one of them has something in them that tells you they’re from Marinette.”

Kagami took a harsh breath and sat on the bed, trembling too much to stay on her feet. The adrenaline rushing through her veins made her feel as if she had just finished a fencing match.

Adrien stood in front of the bed, taking one by one an object and analyzing it, searching for the mark that would confirm Kagami’s words.

He was shaking too and tears were streaming down his face.

“I don’t understand,” A small soft came out of his lips.

“She is in love with you… she’s always been.”

“No, that’s not possible, why would… no, I’ve asked her and she-” He had the letter on his hand and he wasn’t able to finish the phrase. The look on his eyes made her think that he was finally connecting all the dots. 

“I’ve always known she liked you,” Kagami said, she had calmed down, “And it made me angry at first that she was never brave enough to tell you, and then we became friends and I felt bad because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but she didn’t get angry, she was still sweet. I could tell she still liked you, but it didn’t make me feel bad as I thought, I told to myself that I had played my cards right and that Marinette decided to step aside, to let me have you.

The more time I spend with you, the more I see how much you love her… and I started to wonder why Marinette gave up if you are so fond of her, why would she think that she doesn’t stand a chance? But then, all of these started to appear, and your oblivious behavior around her, or how you talk of her, or how you think she sees you and it became unbearable.” 

“What do you mean?” 

Kagami fisted her hands and stood up again, this time she didn’t let herself feel or look weak. It was enough of that.

“I’m your girlfriend but all the time I’m thinking that I’m doing a bad job at it, and for a while, I thought it was because you still liked Marinette.”

Adrien flinches back in surprise. “I don’t-

“But you have dismissed her time and time again. I refuse to believe you’re this dumb, Adrien. I think you have convinced yourself to ignore it, I just don’t understand why.”

“I do not-”

“You like Marinette, you like her a lot, and you do stuff to keep her hanging, keep her hoping. You like me, I know you do, and you say you love me but I know you don’t, not like you wish you did, but just like with Marinette, you keep me hoping. And I’m tired. It’s clear that your heart doesn’t belong to me, and I’ve found out that it does not belong to Marinette either, so…”

So what?

What was she going to say?

What was the point of this conversation? More than just throw away all the anger she had inside her heart. 

“I’m gonna go home now,” She whispered and ran to pick up her jacket.

She wasn’t able too, Adrien wrapped his arms around her, he rested her forehead on top of her head and started crying.

“I’m sorry, I’m so, so, sorry.”  

He repeated it and repeated it, every time more unintelligible as he cried louder and louder.

“You deserve the truth,” He sobbed, “I’ll tell you the truth. I’ll tell you who my heart belongs too.”

Kagami gulped.

That said it all