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A not so new favourite

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Marinette didn’t know what was happening to her. Everything had changed when she’d stumbled upon the photo section of the Ladyblog where people sent their photos of the superheroes.

She’d been having fun, laughing at the ridiculous shots people have made. She was particularly fond of one of Chat running on all fours like a real cat. And then she found something different - someone had managed to capture her and Chat when they had swapped their Miraculouses. So it was in fact photos of Mister Bug and Lady Noire that she was watching. 

She had been surprised to realise that her own memories of the time were very unclear. It was all a blur of wrong moves, arguing and rushing to set things right at the last minute. She hadn’t had time to pay attention to her partner, which was a pity. Because either the photos were lying or he’d looked like quite a catch.

She’d pored over those photos for too long, studying every detail until she was red in the face because phew, why had she never noticed how hot her partner was? Was she blind or was there something about him with her Miraculous? She was almost tempted to ask Tikki if she’d tempered with his appearance but she knew this wasn’t fair.

Whatever the reason was, she had ended up with someone new starring in her daydreams. It was again green eyes that made her heart flutter, but it was a different pair this time. And now they were accompanied by splashes of red that were, oh, so appealing.

As luck would have it, she and Chat had just swapped their Miraculouses and now she was in a constant state of anticipation of their next meeting. It was absurd. She could imagine him so clearly - he’d saunter over with a familiar smirk and she’d tell him…

“Looking good, Mister Bug,” she sighed, a dreamy smile on her face. 

“What?” Alya asked next to her and made her realise she was now in class, which was not the right place to be having forbidden daydreams.

“Um..”

“Is this dreamy smile because of Mister Bug?” Alya said, not whispering the way she should have. Marinette saw Adrien in front of her stiffen and cursed her runny mouth. Now he was going to think that she was… well, doing what she had been doing. She just didn’t want it to be widely known. 

“Shh!” 

“The answer to question number five, Marinette,” Miss Bustier asked then, making things worse. Because Marinette had no idea what the class was about all of a sudden. And she had a feeling that saying Mister Bug wouldn’t be appreciated

She looked at her notes which offered no help. 

“It says Mister Bug here.” With hearts drawn around it, no less. 

“I’m sure the superheroes of Paris would appreciate your support, Marinette, and would be flattered that they star in your daydreams. But please pay attention in class. Adrien, are you alright, you look a little red in the face?”

Marinette didn’t know about Adrien but she felt as if she was going to explode.

“I'm fine, I'm just feeling... light headed,” Adrien answered. 

“Oh dear. Marinette, you're class rep, take him to the nurse.” 

It wasn’t as if she had a choice so they headed outside. 

“So you're a Mister Bug fan, eh?” Adrien asked when they were alone. She’d already had a hard time looking him in the eye, now it was impossible. It was bad enough that he knew what she’d been caught doing. Now he had to go and ask her directly?

“N-no. You're cool. I MEAN he's cool. Nothing more.” 

Very cool of you, Marinette. Nothing suspicious at all.

“You also have a new ring?” He asked, pointing to the Miraculous on her finger and making her scream internally. Somehow their previous topic seemed safer. Why did he have to be the only one to notice her ring? She’d been doing so well. 

“Something I borrowed from a friend,” she said, trying not to let her nervousness show. Then she realised her mistake. She should have said it was a gift. A family heirloom. Whatever. Not the simple truth.

“Nice. Rose gold suits you. You should get matching earrings,” he said. Yikes. Had he noticed her bare ears as well? Why was Adrien so perceptive when he was supposed to be feeling unwell? At any other moment she would have rejoiced, because he was paying attention to her! But not now.

“I’ll look into it.” she smiled weakly, sighing with relief when she deposited him with the nurse. What a day.

*

This was her worst day. This was official. Why had Chat, Mister Bug, decided to visit her that day? When she’d been embarrassed in front of everyone because of her silly celebrity crush, as she’d heard Chloe call it.

She’d confidently thought that it couldn’t get worse. Now it was worse because he himself knew of her crush. Crush? Was this what it was? Oh no!

“My, my, Marinette, I’m flattered,” he whistled, eyes scanning the photos on her wall. Which were new. Maybe she’d been tempted to print a few of the Mister Bug photos she’d found. For research purposes? Yes, totally. Not because she suddenly felt like drooling all over her desk. (Although this had happened as well.)

“I like your superhero suit,” she blurted out. “I mean, it’s a very nice combination of details and I wanted to study it more closely. For… fashion reasons,” she concluded, grinning a bit maniacally.

“Oh really? I’m still flattered. Since it was me who came up with this, you know,” he motioned to his suit and no, this wasn’t good because now she was looking and he looked even better in the flesh. In the suit. Whatever. 

“How nice,” she swallowed, trying and failing to avert her eyes.

“Are you trying out a new jewelry line as well?” 

“Um, what?” She looked up, blushing when she saw his knowing smile. She’d been caught.

“You have a new ring,” he noted. 

“Oh, right,” she waved her hand around. Why was everyone noticing this?

“You’re bolder than me, I had to hide the earrings in my pocket,” he chuckled. Wait. He didn’t mean what she thought he meant, right?

“I-I have no reason to hide it. It’s just a ring,” she said weakly. 

“Funny how you obtained a ring just as you decided to remove the earrings you wear all the time,” he observed, sending shivers down her spine.

“Why is everyone so observant today?” She cried out in exasperation. “First Adrien, now you..”

“It’s ok, m’lady, you don’t need to worry. Your secret is safe with me.”

She closed her eyes and whimpered. There, he’d said it, he really knew. 

“And him,” she noted. “At least I hope so.”

“Well, this is where you’re wrong,” he said. Did he sound nervous all of a sudden?

“What do you mean?” She asked, looking at him again.

“It’s still me, he’s me,” he said, surprisingly earnest. Wait.

“You mean… “ She barked out a laugh. “You’re… “ Her eyes returned to her wall where next to Mister Bug’s photos were still some of Adrien’s. She had been blind. So blind. 

“Yes,” he added meekly. 

“Just my luck,” she groaned. 

“In my defence, I didn’t expect to learn of your daydreams. And I didn’t expect to notice your ring. But once it happened, I had to come here and try to kill two birds with one stone.”

"Two?"

"To confirm about the daydreams and your identity. Both of which I wished very much to be true," he admitted with a disarming smile. 

“So the cat’s out of the bag?” She giggled. The truth was that she was surprised but also delighted. And the mix was doing interesting things to her.

“You’re not disappointed, are you?” Concern clouded his eyes. “I mean, you’re joking, so is this a good thing?”

“I’m disappointed with myself, mostly. I should have seen it. I mean, look at you. The trouble is that by the time I started looking, I got distracted… “ Her voice petered out but not before it was too late. She had admitted it and now her cheeks were burning again.

She had been prepared for a proud grin or a teasing smirk. Let him gloat, she deserved it. Instead, he smiled softly at her and this was worse because oh dear, it wasn’t fair how right she was - he was a mix of Chat and Adrien and in the best possible way at that. 

“So,” he said as he sauntered over to her, making her gulp. “This isn’t a daydream, you know,” he noted, a teasing glint in his green, green eyes. “You have the real deal. So what are you going to do with it?”

She appreciated the fact that he left it up to her to have the last word. To decide where this was going. Because she now knew that she didn’t want to miss good opportunities anymore. She wanted it all and she was going to have it.

“Let me show you,” she smiled as she got up from her chair and stood next to him. Butterflies flooded her stomach but they were the best kind, not ones she needed to get rid of. They helped her to rise on her tiptoes and pull him down to her until their lips met. 

The sound he made, one of surprise and delight, just how she’d felt earlier, went straight to her head. She had the power to do this to him! Yes, this was much better than daydreams. 

And then she felt his arms close around her and he kissed her back, equally enthusiastic, and all rational thought vacated the premises. She surrendered to her new favourite pastime with her new favourite superhero, safe in the knowledge that they felt the same way.