So. This little story began as an idea in my head about a conversation between Chat Noir and Marinette... and then someone else pointed out that there was a much better probability of success if they were involved. Which sent my little bit of Marichat fluff in an unexpected direction...

It had been a particularly bad day at school. She stumbled over saying "Hello" to Adrien. Sabrina tripped her over into a puddle. Chloe's taunts had been sharper than usual. The math test had been all right - she was good enough at it that she could pass even when she had to fight akumas in her study period - but the Geography test had been just awful. She'd been too tired to notice that the north arrow wasn't pointing to the top of the map. Marinette lay back on her bed and sighed. Maybe she could skip homework for tonight. And have a nap before bedtime

There was a tap on her window, and two glowing green eyes peered in.

All right, no nap. Fine.

She put on her "talking to a superhero? Gosh, me?" face and unlatched the window.

"Hey, Princess." Chat Noir sounded... almost cautious. She knew him well enough by now to know that he'd turned up with a purpose.

"Chat Noir! Is there an akuma? Do you need something?" It was nice that she didn't have to overdo the fangirling any more, but sometimes she was tempted. Her partner was such a dork. And overacting *was* Marinette's specialty, a little voice said in her head, sounding suspiciously like Alya. Or was that overREacting? Anyway.

"Actually, I wanted to ask for your help with something", he said. "Can we talk?"

"Sure, let me climb up". Partner he might be, but there was NO WAY he was seeing the inside of her room if she could avoid it.

The night was warm enough, just. She was comfortable leaning on the railing, looking out at the lights. He perched himself on the railing next to her. "I... have this problem", he said quietly. "You know how Hawkmoth is always asking for our Miraculouses?"


"Do you know what they are?"

She suppressed a grin in favour of her big-eyed face again. "Nooo? Why would I?" It was easy to sound stumbly and confused. She had practice.

"They're, well, they're magical jewellery that we wear, Ladybug and I, and Hawkmoth too I guess. It's where our power comes from."

I bet your kwami would say something different, she thought to herself, but hid that grin too. Instead she asked "Why are you telling me?".

"Well, uh, I think someone in my civilian life has noticed my Miraculous and got suspicious. So I need, well, I need a fake. But I can't buy it myself as a civilian in case they realise I've switched rings. Soooo... I was wondering if, well, I know you know a lot about design and style and stuff..."

She looked at him and raised her eyebrows. "Are you saying you want me to buy you a ring?"

"NONONONO!" he almost shouted, blushing. "No! Well, um, yes, um, I was going to but that sounds bad, no, maybe this was a bad idea".

The look of panic on his face cracked her up, and this time she let the laughter out. After a moment he relaxed, still blushing a little, hand coming up to rub the back of his neck in embarrassment.

"It's OK, Chat", she said, reaching out and putting one hand over his. She knew her tactile partner would calm down a little faster if he was touched.

"I've got an idea", she said. "There's this guy in my class at school. Max. The guy who built Robustus. He's pretty good at researching stuff, he's smart and he does a lot of odd things just because he's, well, he's Max. He could buy a guy's ring without anyone thinking it was weird."

"Do you think he'd tell anyone?"

"I doubt it. If there's anyone who would understand the change in probabilities that it would cause, it's him."