1. Maybe it all truly started when she was saved by Chat as Queen Bee, following a time when Adrien had yelled at her (in actuality it had been a soft reprimand but it had been so loud to her…).
2. The feeling of flight gave her a rush greater than any shopping spree. She felt powerful, beautiful, unstoppable and most importantly…free.
Soaring down to intercept an attack against Volpina she wondered if Chat Noir felt the same (her thoughts deviating from Ladybug momentarily – she gets to be with Ladybug as a super gorgeous heroine oh she can’t wait to tell everyone) because she can see, while she might not know who he is under the mask but just from the way he moves - she knows that he's been hurt or suffocated by reality in the past. Just like her.
3. The rest of the class think it odd when the two blondes start up a rivalry over who’s the biggest fanboy (or girl) of Ladybug. Meanwhile, Marinette bangs her head against the desk.
4. It comes as a surprise to her when she realises that she's not jealous about Ladybug and Chat Noir’s partnership (jealous about Chat getting to fight alongside Ladybug as a teen and perhaps even more surprisingly, about Ladybug fighting alongside Chat as a young woman).
5. Starting in the senior years of high school it became very rare for Chloe to be the one to initiate any type of physical affection, due to memory of her abuse of it when they were younger. Still, she craved it desperately (it used to be that forcing her way into people lives was the only way to make herself feel solid but as a part of a team, little by little she learnt to rely on others...and to rely on one fellow guardian of Paris in particular).
6. She's always hated tears. They look fake on her no matter what. An utter eyesore. Not to mention it effortlessly destroyed her flawlessly applied make up.
But somehow, hearing "I forgive you" from the sweet daughter of a Baker, after understanding the errors of her ways, whilst seeing the encouraging expression of her only childhood friend, somehow makes her not mind the downpour at all.
7. Much to the amusement of everyone in their class, managed by Ms. Bustier, Chloe and Marinette become those two friends who would constantly banter. Yet during this, they both missed the contented look that Adrien always sent their way.
8. Marinette is a magnificent hugger, Chloe decides after one day when the big-hearted girl opened her arms without asking any questions.
Not like Chloe would have answered her if she had. Because how on earth, do you tell your tentative frenemy, that you’re upset because the redheaded boy you secretly like only draws pictures of Ladybug, despite a new heroine being on the scene (who-totally-is-not-her-by-the-way); while the blonde you were once so close too is distant and making friends that aren’t you, in part thanks to your own selfish past behaviour?
Instead she says, "Ugh, I hate boys"
9. Not long after she met her fuzzy and fashionably striped kwami she became uncharacteristically fond, but she resented the stinky-cheese carrying Plagg (it was only later, when she learns how much he truly cares for his Miraculous Holder that she began sneaking him speciality camembert; after tough battles in secret).
10. The day Nathanaël plucked up his courage to ask Marinette out properly and sincerely was the day Ladybug turned down Chat Noir for the last time…and Chloe and Adrien (unknowingly) had their first kiss together, both in costume at age eighteen.
But Queen Bee wasn’t used to feeling second best and Chat Noir was still nursing a bruised heart. It took time before they allowed themselves to indulge in each other again.
11. Occasionally, his claws ripped into her skin and she'd be thankful for it. He felt the same way about her hands around his throat (they knew it wasn't a healthy way to deal with the stress of being attacked day in and out but it's a secret they'll never tell).
12. Their identities remained secret until their first year at college. It was then that their civilian selves reconnected, as both Sabrina and Nino went to different locations for tertiary education. It was also around then that Chloe allowed herself to get closer to people emotionally (outside of being a heroine) after what felt like an eternity of using anything she could as a shield to keep everyone away.
13. It’s when their secret has been revealed to one another that this exchange happens, between a mix of denial, awkwardness and second-guessing:
"Admit it, Adrien I was awful to you and everyone else - or to jog your memory should I say - admit it, Adrikins ~ ”
Then with a mix between a grimace and a smile, "Okay, you were pretty awful"
14. After Gabriel is revealed to be Hawkmoth, Queen Bee let Chat cry on Ladybug's shoulder. Yet, come that night, she was the one to see him breakdown properly. After all, only people who are broken can see the cracks (and Chloe was intimately familiar, with the pain that family can bring).
15. Sabrina eventually grew her wings and began travelling internationally to find herself. Chloe is ever thankful that her friend chose to keep in touch, recognising her as having matured. Even after all this time, Chloe’s not sure she deserved it.
16. "I missed you, you know, in school"
"I missed you too,” he says, and tucks a stray lock of gold back over the shell of her ear, "the real you"
Her eyes might have blurred a little at that, and then coming back to herself, she manages a quiet "I'm sorry".
She knows his feline hearing picked up on it and she’s grateful (trying to say it any louder would have been too much for her, right at that moment).
17. They’re never usually affectionate in front of the rest of the team (or in public for that matter) but in private it’s a different story.
"If I’d known a little kiss was all it took to keep you quiet, I would've employed it as a stratagem ages ago"
"Watch it kitty-cat"
18. When Chloe reveals her relationship to Sabrina over the phone, making sure to keep her 'mystery man' just that, hearing congratulations and excitement from the red-haired woman, (currently in Brazil) makes a knot in her chest unclench which she hadn’t even realised was there.
19. Marinette picked up the pieces of the Agreste Company after showcasing her skills for a number of years, working her way up in the design industry. And in the meantime, the heroes of Paris chose to remain in close contact, in case any new suspicious activity arose.
It worked in that Chloe (to the unsurprise of those truly close to her), efficiently managed the legal department, Adrien continued to model while studying, Nino was consistently sponsored to have his music used in commercials and run way events and Alya acted as the media liaison.
20. Sometimes they purposefully dig at each others invisible wounds - Chloe having experience with using others to ease her own hurt and Adrien having learnt that being a little selfish - it was felt required to keep sane.
And without fail, it always lead to them separating with harsh words…only to come back together with soft apologies and gentle touches.
21. Moments came and went, when she's astounded by the fact, that yes, she wasn't that bratty tween who'd lashed out anymore and Adrien Agreste, in all his beautiful (im)perfection, was all hers. When such a moment did occur, she never knew whether to smile, cry or scream.
22. They say that first loves never die and whether this is fact or fiction this idea, it is what caused them to bring out the verbal daggers, when Nathanaël and Marinette announced their engagement.
"Do you look at me and see her?"
"Do you look at me and see him?"
23. No matter what stage in life, she held tight onto Adrien's hand at his mothers grave, just as she did when they were young.
24. Her skin tastes like honey and her scent reminds him of back when she could act sweet freely, away from the public eye as a child.
"Say it. Say it for me"
"I want you, only you"
26. She’s twenty-three when she asks him - and tries her best not to sound like she's begging him - to marry her. Not right away she assures. But she needs to know that she won't be left alone again, not like with her mother, otherwise she's determined to move on (even if it seems impossible).
But he accepts and they keep quiet about it until over a year later, when they're finally ready.
27. One day he finds out she's been throwing up; after comparing herself to the female models he often posed alongside. Another day, she learns that he's been having anxiety attacks, at the thought of being a father.
28. With Marinette and Nino's assistance, she carefully angled towards reconciliation between father and son, despite all that had transpired.
However, if Adrien had indicated that he was totally against it or didn't want to be in Gabriel Agreste’s life (instead of, longingly, looking at the single picture he'd kept) - she'd have cancelled the whole thing in a heart beat.
29. Unlike how she had once fantasised their wedding (in embarrassing grandiose detail) it was a small affair and thanks to Alya's intervention kept out of the spotlight.
30. It's their honeymoon and Chloe thinks as she goes to sleep, with her head pillowed on her now husband’s chest, that it's the first time she's felt so at peace (and not merely too preoccupied or fanatically pouring over high end catalogues and telling herself that she was perfectly fine) since the day her life had been shot to hell. Otherwise known as the day when her Mother didn't appear at the dinner table one night and hadn't thereafter.
31. She awoke in the morning to a text from a co-worker congratulating her success on a recent case, a hello from Sabrina over in Japan, a request for a heroine night out from both Marinette and Ayla and a soft kiss against her golden wedding band; inlaid with a hexagonal green diamond. She smiled. For once in their hectic life full of ups and downs it was, dare she say it? Purrfect.
(Just don't tell Adrien she made a cat pun, she'd never live it down.)