Her makeup case was missing.
She dumped her bag on the desk, staring hopelessly at the empty spot amongst the candy wrappers where her super cute pink hard case should have been. The one with the daisies on it, where she kept her emergency concealer and a stick of eyeliner.
Marinette sighed, sweeping the mess back into her bag. Her lip balm was in that case, too, and with that thought, she licked her lips out of habit. She could already feel them cracking. Or maybe that was just in her head.
She licked her lips again, wincing internally.
“Yikes, Mari, you sick or something?”
She glared at Kim. “I'm not wearing makeup, but thanks. Every girl loves hearing that her natural face looks ill.”
Kim put his hands up in a placating gesture. “You look stressed is all. Late night? I know that essay was killing me.” he gave her a sympathetic smile and Marinette relaxed. “Looked like it did a number on Adrien, too. He's got the same eyes as you this morning.”
Marinette snorted in disbelief. Like Adrien could ever look less than perfect, late night or no.
Beside her, Alya was scrolling through a blog on her phone. She pointedly ignored Marinette's pouty face until she was inches away. Marinette rested her chin on Alya’s shoulder, pulling the best puppy eyes she could.
“I have literally nothing for you, Mari.”
“Alyaaaaaaaaaa the bags under my eyes could be checked luggage at an airport. You don't have anything?”
“Not unless you want to smear glitter gloss under your eyes and call it a fashion trend.”
Marinette groaned, burying her face in her arms as she slumped over the desk. She heard Nino and Adrien take their seats in front of them and contemplated the benefits of never looking up in class again.
She'd flunk out of school but Adrien wouldn't see how worn out and exhausted she was.
Stupid akuma. Stupid Hawkmoth, sending an akuma out at three in the morning. Stupid Chat Noir, being so adorably sleep deprived that he'd walked into a lamp post. Stupid her, for realizing she'd thought of Chat as adorable and subsequently spent the rest of the night mortified.
Stupid makeup case, not being there for her.
Something clattered on the desk and rolled to a stop against her arm. Startled, she forgot her earlier vow and looked up to find a small tube of very expensive concealer resting against her wrist.
“I think I'm a shade darker than you, but that's from a winter shoot so it should match your skin tone okay,” Adrien was blushing a little, avoiding her eyes as she stared at him. He was doing that thing where he put his hand to the back of his neck. “I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I heard you from the hall and you seemed upset and I had it in my bag with my usual concealer, so-”
“Thank you,” she cut him off, feeling her lips quirk. It was strange, being the one receiving an embarrassed explanation rather than the one giving it. She wondered if this was how he felt when she got rambly.
Absently, she searched his face for any sign of the exhaustion that Kim had mentioned, but found none. Only his posture betrayed any indication that he hadn't had a good night's sleep.
“Oh man, you should have seen him at his locker after Kim asked if he was sick. I think he dumped out half a cosmetics counter from his bag.”
Alya rolled her eyes. “Maybe he could give you some tips, Nino. There's times your shiny nose could be a beacon for ships.”
Nino laughed. “Probably. I'm just saying, I'm pretty sure that's not a good way to carry expensive makeup around. Get a case. My mom had this really expensive eyeshadow break in her purse once. I don't think I've ever seen her cry so hard.”
“Oh god, was it the Nude4 palette from RuralGrowth? I'd bawl too, they cost so much.”
Marinette didn't hide her smirk as Alya and Nino bickered back and forth over how much was too much to pay for high end makeup. She refrained from pointing out that the concealer Adrien had loaned her was worth more than two months of her allowance.
Opening her front camera in lieu of a mirror, she dabbed at her face until the circles under her eyes and wan paleness of her cheeks was carefully gone. Immediately, she felt better. Still tired, but not as self conscious about it, at least.
She wondered if Kim would notice her miraculous recovery and say something about it. He tended to be a little tactless like that sometimes.
She twisted the lid back onto the tube, looking up to find Adrien gazing intently at her, an expression she couldn't read on his face.
Fighting down her blush, she held his concealer out for him to take, but Adrien shook his head. “Keep it,” he said, giving her a beatific smile. “It's not my shade, anyway.”
She gaped. “Adrien-”
He shrugged. “Someone has to use it, right? It'll just go to waste, sitting at the bottom of my bag, waiting for a day to explode and ruin my tablet.” his smile turned into a smirk. “Save my poor tablet from that fate, Mari. Keep the concealer.”
She curled her fingers back around the tube, eyes never leaving his. If she ever had any doubt that Adrien Agreste was too sweet for words, it was squashed in that moment.
Alya leaned over, jolting Marinette's brain back into functionality as her personal space was invaded. A sly grin tugged at her lips as she rested her chin on her palm. “So Adrien,” she started, her voice a lilting purr. Marinette stared at her, mildly frightened. “The next time your makeup artist isn't looking, how about you palm some samples for your best girls?”
Adrien chuckled. “You got it, Alya.” he caught Nino’s flabbergasted and vaguely annoyed look. “What? You just told her she was ‘paying too much for what is basically fancy dirt,’ yes I heard you say that, and how dare you, Nino, makeup is an art.”
Nino threw his hands in the air, exasperated. “Of course it's art, have you seen the wings on Juleka’s eyeliner? I'm pretty sure they could cut glass. I just don't understand why it's so expensive to smear things on your face.”
“ART, Nino, ART. You can't paint the Mona Lisa with a stick and some mud. You need the right materials.”
Marinette blinked, looking over at Alya. Alya looked back, equally bemused. “They're...they're really having this argument. Right now. About makeup.”
“Yes,” Marinette confirmed as Adrien rattled off the products put on his face for a “natural” look photoshoot. Nino seemed both enthralled and befuddled the longer Adrien went on.
The conversation was cut off abruptly as Mdme. Bustier began class. Adrien slid Nino a note that got a snicker out of the other boy.
Seconds later, another note landed in front of Marinette, addressed to both girls.
“I've told Nino I'm taking him to a professional makeup artist so he can find out how much work and product goes into a full face. You two want to come with? Personally, I think he'd look great in a berry lip.”