The scorching summer sun beat down harshly from the cloudless sky. Marinette adjusted her hat then dipped her toes in the cool water of the pool as she opened her lollipop. "Man, it's hot," she said as Alya laid down her towel and sat beside her.
Alya adjusted her sunglasses as she glanced at the people milling around the rooftop pool. "I know, I just hope there's no akuma attacks today. It's too hot to be racing around."
Marinette swished her feet in the water, "I wonder what Adrien is doing today."
Alya smirked, "Probably relaxing in his bath with nothing on." She laughed as her friend gagged and spat her lollipop into her hands. "Sorry I couldn't resist."
"That image is going to be stuck in my head forever."
Alya threw her a sly look, "You mean you hadn't thought about it already?"
A slow smile formed on Marinette's face, "Oh not that particular scenario but something similar." They both giggled.
"You've got to ask him out girl."
"I've got to be able to put a whole sentence together that makes sense in front of him first." She placed the lollipop back in her mouth and washed her hands in the water.
Alya gave her a wicked grin, "Not necessarily. There are ways to communicate without words. I mean what if he was in that bath and you just happened to join him, no words required."
Marinette's cheeks grew pink and she turned to look at her toes, twitching them in the water, "But that's never going to happen."
Alya laughed, "Honestly what would you do if you found Adrien naked?"
Marinette wiggled her eyebrows and ran her tongue around the lollipop before slowly sucking it into her mouth.
Alya laughed harder, "See no words required."
From beneath a large sun hat Chloe raised an eyebrow, she'd caught that last exchange on video and she knew just what to do with it.
Adrien sat staring at his phone in shock. It wasn't uncommon for Chloe to send him clips of things she found amusing and he generally watched them to be polite but today's clip was something else. The clip was short and he recognised Alya's voice posing the question to which Marinette answered in a way that both intrigued and angered him.
So many girls flocked to him because he was a model. He'd thought things were different with Marinette and now he was beginning to question that. Did she see him as nothing more than a pretty face too? He sighed as he thought of when he first met her, she hadn't been a fawning fan girl then, perhaps she was genuinely attracted to him. That presented another set of problems. His heart belonged to Ladybug, he just hoped that Marinette wasn't too serious.
Marinette was horrified when she discovered that Chloe had sent the clip to everyone in their class. She hung her head in shame as she slid behind her desk. The girls gave her sympathetic looks. Kim made a snide comment about lollipops to which Chloe and Sabrina laughed. A hush fell over the classroom as Adrien walked in. He glanced at them all briefly before taking his seat.
Chloe cleared her throat to get his attention, "So Adrikins you got a lollipop for Marinette?"
Marinette sank lower in her seat as a couple of sniggers sounded. They were quickly silenced as Adrien threw a glare so harsh on Chloe that everyone was stunned. There was a venom to his voice no one had ever heard from him before, "What you did was despicable Chloe."
She tried to wave him off, "It was only a joke."
He turned to face her directly, "You need to apologise to Marinette."
Chloe scoffed, "She needs to watch what she says in public."
His head lowered and his eyes held a dangerous glint, "Apologise."
Chloe huffed and crossed her arms, "Fine. I'm sorry Marinette."
"Say it like you mean it," Adrien growled.
Chloe rolled her eyes and looked at Marinette, "I'm sorry."
An uncharacteristic snarl sounded from Marinette, "Don't do anything like that again."
Chloe flicked her ponytail over her shoulder and turned away.
Marinette peered at Adrien. "I'm sorry," she said looking so awkward he couldn't help but feel sorry for her.
"It's okay. I know that wasn't meant for my hearing."
She flushed and dipped her head so her hair covered her eyes.
Ladybug was out of sorts. Her fighting had been more aggressive than normal and she'd resorted to her lucky charm before thinking things through. Cat Noir raised his fist to bump hers and was rocked back on his feet when she knocked her fist into his. "Is everything okay milady?"
She placed her hands on her hips and shook her head, "I've had a crappy day."
He raised his hands, "I hope it's nothing I've done."
She shook her head, "No my problem is with someone else."
He tapped the tips of his fingers together, "Love tiff?"
She eyed him dryly, "No. Just a girl who is set on humiliating me."
His eyes narrowed, "How dare she." Then he cocked his head and studied her, "What did she do?"
She chewed her lip, "I'd rather not say."
He lay his hand on her shoulder, "I won't laugh if that's what concerns you."
Her earrings chirped, "Gotta run kitty."
"Come on, you can't leave me hanging like that."
Adrien sat in his room at his desk twirling his pencil between his fingers. "I've been thinking about what Ladybug said."
Plagg gave him a bored look, "What's new there."
"She said she'd been humiliated. Marinette got humiliated, I'm wondering if…"
Plagg laid his chin on his paw, "If what?"
"Could Marinette be Ladybug?"
"You're telling the story."
Adrien groaned, "You're no help."
Plagg floated down to sit in his empty cheese box, "There's a way to test that theory. Give her a lollipop and see how she reacts."
Stay tuned for more… Thanks for reading.