Miraculous Weasel CH 3: Stormy Weather
"Welcome to the final of our KIDZ+ competition! Today, one lucky winner will be announced as our brand new KIDZ+ weather girl! We started off with 5000 contestants. But with the help of our audience at home, we've whittled our talent down to just two amazing ladies! So, let's meet our fantastic finalists now! To my right, the beautiful Aurore Beaureal, and to my left, the lovely Mireille Caquet! Who will be our lucky winner? Vote now! Text 1 for Aurore and 2 for Mireille!"
"Hmmm, good question" I mused to myself as I gazed down at my phone, where Alec Cadalti was broadcasting the finals for a contest that had been going on for the past week. I felt my seat shudder as the bus rumbled through the morning traffic. I was on my way to meet Adrien, who had asked me to come provide moral support for him during a photo shoot he would be doing today at the park. Why he needed moral support from me for something he did practically every day, I couldn't begin to guess, but I had decided to humor him anyway, mainly because it had been so long since the two of us had spent time together, even if it meant watching him prance and pose for hours.
I giggled to myself as I felt the bus come to a stop. I looked up and saw that this was the stop I needed, so I got up from my seat and darted out the doors when they opened.
"Hmm, Aurore or Mirielle?" I pondered as I started slowly walking down the street towards the park entrance, still gazing at my phone at the two choices who stood flanking Alec. Aurore was a blonde girl with a confident smile who carried a parasol and seemed perfectly at home in front of the camera. Mirielle had dark hair and her smile and body posture betrayed a somewhat reserved personality that made her look rather shy. I did a quick check into the profiles and backgrounds of both contestants and finally decided on Mireille.
After sending my choice via text, I tucked my phone back into my jeans and looked up to find myself at the park gates. Stepping in, my eyes swept the small park, running over the trees, the merry-go-round, and the multiple benches and lamp-posts before finally spotting Adrien near the park fence.
As I moved towards him, I saw that the photo shoot had already begun. The photographer was dancing around Adrien, taking pictures and exclaiming in bizarre phrases as Adrien leaned casually against one of the trees. Shaking my head at the man's silliness, I found a shady spot to watch where I wouldn't be in the way and leaned against a tree, my arms crossed and a small smile painted on my face as I watch Adrien pose for the camera.
Adrien was apparently so 'busy' getting his model on, that it took him ten minutes to notice me, but when he finally did, his face brightened up a little and he gave me a small wave. As I waved back, the photographer laughed out loud. "Yes! Wonderful! Let me see the boy wave at his mama!"
I clapped a hand over my mouth to smother my giggling as Adrien gave me an embarassed grin. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and pulled it out.
Unlocking the screen, I saw a text from Alya:
Hey girl. What's up?
I felt my smile curve into a wicked grin as a sudden idea struck me. I raised my phone and silently took a picture of Adrien posing. I sent it to Alya along with the message:
Just…enjoying the view at the park.
I chuckled to myself as I hit send. Knowing Alya, she would forward it to Marinette. My hunch about her had been right. It had only been a week since Stoneheart's attack, but Marinette had already developed a complete love-crush on Adrien. She couldn't even be in the same room as him without getting nervous, and you could just forget about getting her to speak to him! There was no way Marinette could ever finish a complete sentence with Adrien around.
My smile faded slightly as I sat down under the tree. As much as I enjoyed teasing Marinette about her crush, I genuinely felt happy for her and truly wanted the two of them to get together. Adrian was a great guy who deserved a girlfriend who loved him for who he really was, not for how famous he was, as I suspected was the case with Chloe. My sister, who was still madly in love with Adrien, had been trying to dominate Adrien's free time, and surprisingly, Adrian had not made much of an effort to stop her. I had warned Adrien that Chloe was using him, but he had only found Chloe's efforts humorous, and waved off my concerns.
I sighed and shook my head. Sometimes I couldn't believe how naïve Adrien could be, but I guess that was to be expected when you've been sheltered by an overprotective parent for most of your life. He needed a dose of reality and I believed Marinette was just the person to give it to him. I was determined to bring Adrien and Marinette together! So far my efforts had been in vain, mainly due to Marinette's awkwardness and Adrien's unawareness, but I wasn't giving up yet.
"Hey Alice!" Adrien's voice made me look up. But he wasn't there anymore.
"Over here!" I looked around and finally saw him waving at me from the fountain in the center of the park.
"Looking good, Adrien!" I waved back at him.
"Could you come over here for a moment?" Adrien called, beckoning to me.
I blinked in surprise, but then shrugged and stepped out from under the tree and headed towards him.
As I approached the fountain, I saw the photographer turn to look at me. His eyes ran up and down my body, like he was appraising me, and I bit my lip as a sudden thought struck me.
"Well Vincent, what do you think?" Adrien asked as I came up to them, and there was a mischievous glint in his eye.
Oh no! Adrien, you didn't! I groaned mentally as the photographer moved around me, observing me under an eagle eye.
"That luscious hair, those shining eyes, I have seen them before, but where?" He muttered as he continued his inspection.
Adrien chuckled. "Oh, come on Vincent, sure you remember Alice Bourgeois, the daughter of Audrey Bourgeois"
Adrien, don't! I pleaded silently, desperately shaking my head at him.
Vincent let out a squeal of glee that caused me to roll my eyes. "Grazia, the son of the fashion king and the daughter of the style queen! This is too good to be true!" Giggling like a school-girl, he seized my hand and began to lead me towards the fountain.
"Woah there, buddy!" I yanked my hand out of his grasp. "What do you think you're doing?" I asked, even though I was pretty certain I knew what his answer was going to be.
"Um…getting you up next to Adrien for the photoshoot." Vincent looked a little confused at my outburst. "I can't very well shoot the two of you if you aren't next to each other"
I knew it! My gaze snapped to Adrian, who shifted uneasily on his feet. "Adrien…" I said slowly, my voice becoming a mixture of annoyance and frustration, with a hint of betrayal. "I thought you invited me here to watch a photo shoot, not to be in a photoshoot!" Adriene shrank down a little at my tone.
"Sorry Alice...I...I just thought that it would be a great chance for us to hang out together" Adrien replied, straightening up. "We've done so little of that since you moved to Paris."
I crossed my arms. "'Adrien, It's only been a week. I'm still getting settled in, and besides, from what Chloe's told me, you're not exactly the best when it comes to scheduling."
"Which is why I thought it would be great if you joined me here" Adrien's face lit up with a n eager look. "That way we can hang out and I don't have to disappoint my father"
"But we can still hang out without me being in front of the camera, Adrien!" I reminded him.
Adrien's eager expression faded a little. "Alice, you're not still upset over what happened last time, are you?"
I frowned as Adrien's words caused memories to resurface in my head. Growing up as the daughter of a famous style critic, I had attended my share of fashion shows and had even modeled in a couple, at my mother's insistence. All those who I had modeled for said I was a natural. They said I walked the catwalk like a goddess, whatever that meant, and a lot of people were disappointed when I decided to stop modeling, about two years before I had moved to Paris. When they had asked me why, I simply told them that I didn't feel it was a good fit for me.
"Adrien, you know how I feel about modeling" I scolded shaking my head. Personally, it wasn't modelling itself that I didn't like, it was the fact that it reminded me of my mom, who had attended every one of my photoshoots when I was younger, and she had always been making exclamations and demands, and throwing such a huge hissy fit whenever those demands were not met, embarrassing me on multiple occasions, especially on my very last session, which had been one of the reasons why the two of us were so distant from each other now. My mother had pretty much ruined the modeling experience for me.
Adrien shook his head. "Come on Alice, don't put down modeling as a whole just because you had some bad experiences when you were younger. That was then, and this will be different, I promise"
"How can you be so sure?" I asked, narrowing my eyes.
"Well, for one thing..." Adrien's smile became cheeky. "Your best critic isn't around to complain!"
Despite my anger, I felt the corner of my mouth curve into a grateful smile. It was through my brief modeling career that I had first met Adrien, and the two of us had posed together in several photoshoots back in those days. Adrien was the only person I had vented all my frustration to, the only person to know the real reason I quit being a model, and I was thankful that Adrien hadn't brought this up directly in front of the photographer.
In truth, part of me wanted to go up there, to pose with my best friend and look cute. But as I stood there, my mother's angry voice suddenly started ringing in my ears.
"Honestly Alice. Stand up straight! The way you are slouching like that is ridiculous! Utterly ridiculous! The lights are all wrong! They're going to make my daughter look like she has stubble! I am SO firing the person in charge of the lighting. You! Where is my latte? I ordered one ten minutes ago! You're fired!
Shaking my head to clear away the sound of my mother's voice, I took a step back. "I...I don't know, Adrien" I said in a small voice.
Adrien groaned and shook his head before flashing me a warm smile. "Come on, Alice. You're a natural model. Everyone knows it!" He urged.
"Adrien!" I groaned, shooting him a dark look.
"What? It's true!" Adrien's smile was becoming annoying. "I think so. My father thinks so. My mother thought so. Don't you think so, Vincent?" Adrien turned to the photographer, who nodded enthusiastically. "Even my bodyguard thinks you'd be good, right?" He looked at the burly man, who was already smiling and nodding, though I wasn't sure if he really thought that way, or if he was just following Adrien's orders.
Adrien grinned triumphantly as he turned back to me. "Come on Alice, one more time won't kill you!" When I didn't move, Adrien's smile faded and he sighed. "Okay, let's try this. If you do this for me, Alice, I'll do something for you. Whatever you want, whenever you want it, just name it. You have my word"
Whatever I want? Whenever I want it? My eyes lit up as an idea began to take shape in my mind. I knew Adrien well enough to know that Adrien's word was his bond, and that kind of promise could definitely come in handy in the future.
Do it! You know you want to! A tiny voice seemed whisper in my ear, and for a second I thought with alarm that Minkk, my kwami, was loose, but when I looked around, I didn't see her.
Looking back to see three sets of longing eyes gazing at me, silently pleading, I felt my iron resolve weaken further. Adrien's eyes were practically puppy dog eyes, and he knew I had a hard time resisting those!
Finally, I sighed in defeat. "All right. I'll do it!"
"Grazie, Miss Bourgeois!" Vincent happily seized my hand and pulled me over to the fountain.
"If nothing else, it'll tick Chloe off a little" I muttered under my breath. Just this morning, my sister had been gloating at breakfast about the new designer clothes that our father had ordered, upon her request, from Mr. Agreste's producers and how she was certain that they were going to impress Adrien. I had jokingly asked my dad why he hadn't ordered any clothes for me as well, only for him to reply that Chloe had said I hadn't wanted any. Realizing that Chloe hadn't even wanted to include me, I had glared at my sister, who had simply smirked at me from across the table.
Yeah, being in a photoshoot with the boy of Chloe's dreams would definitely make us even.
"So, what exactly do you want me to do?" I asked as I joined Adrien on the fountain.
"We're just doing poses, that's all" Adrien said.
"Oh joy" I muttered sarcastically as Vincent began fiddling with his camera.
"Thanks for agreeing to this Alice, I've really missed working with you" Adrien placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Really?" I looked at him in surprise.
"Yeah, you were a far better model than Chloe was, remember?" Adrien smiled at me and I giggled, remembering how our parents had once tried to put me and my sister on the same stage as Adrien at a fashion show. Adrien's father had deemed Chloe 'too clingy' because she had refused to let go of Adrien and she had stormed off in a huff, but me, he had liked, and I had actually ended up having a good time, especially when my mother had been called out of the room by Mrs. Agreste.
"I remember" I said, and felt a smile cross my face as Vincent started shooting pictures. Any unease I felt suddenly seemed to leave me, I felt strangely... at home.
At first the shots were simple, mostly ones of me standing next to Adrien in various poses, but eventually Vincent began calling for more complex ones, like a shot of me leaping off of the fountain into Adrien's arms, and then a shot of the two of us walking along the edge of the fountain like we were on a balance beam, followed by a shot of the two of us sitting back-to-back, shyly looking at each other over our shoulders.
"Bravo, that's it!" Vincent shouted. "Give me the smile when your mama brings in the spaghetti!"
I bit my lip to contain my laughter at this guy's antics. "This guy is crazy!" I muttered out of the corner of my mouth. During my short-lived modeling career, one trick I had picked up was how to speak clearly while barely moving my lips. It wasn't perfect, but it allowed me to effectively communicate with people around me while the cameras were flashing. Adrien could do it too, to the point where both of us could have long conversations to help pass the time we spent in front of the cameras.
"Okay! And now, Oh no! Mama has dropped the spaghetti! And now, you must eat the spaghetti off the floor! Oh yes, you are angry! Show me angry! Yes!" The photographer continued to rant.
I heard Adrien chuckle. "He's just enthusiastic, but he's really great to work with."
"No kidding" I muttered as we shifted poses to face each other.
"So, does that mean you're having fun?" Adrien winked at me, his face sporting a cat-like grin that made me giggle.
"Maybe" I gave Adrien a small smile.
As the photographer's camera whirred and clicked, I suddenly spotted three faces peering out from behind a tree. Alya, Marinette, and a younger girl I didn't know. My smile widened when I saw them, but faded when I noticed the angry look on Marinette's face. Granted, I wasn't very surprised to see it. I had lured her here to give her a chance to hang out with Adrien, and now she finds me in a photo shoot with the boy she likes. I had to fix this!
"Psst, Adrien." I whisper as we changed poses to stand back to back. "Alya and Marinette, at your 2:00."
I saw Adrien glance towards where the girls were. "Huh, I wonder what they're doing here" He whispered a second later.
"I... may or may not have invited them to come watch the phot shoot with me." I said quietly as we changed poses again, this one having Adrien sit down and I lean on his shoulders. "Of course, this was before I knew I what you were planning. Marinette doesn't look too happy, does she?"
"Why would she be unhappy?" Adrien murmured as we set up a shot with our arms around each other like we were dancing a waltz.
"I…think she might be jealous. I invited them to hang out with me and here you've pretty much stolen me away from them" I couldn't help but giggle at the concept and Adrien chuckled.
"Yeah, you're probably right. I'll have to talk to them next time we have a break" Adrien said and I smiled as Adrien twirled me for the camera. As I returned to the starting position, I saw Marinette, Alya, and the young girl walking by, or at least Alya and the girl were walking, Marinette, on the other hand, was doing some sort of weird strut.
I try my best not to laugh, but end up failing miserably. I see Marinette stop and shoot me a glare.
"What's so funny?" Adrien asked.
"B..behind you" I giggle. Adrien turns to see the girls behind her. At his gaze, Marinette snaps to attention, her glare being replaced with a panicked smile and she waves.
Adrien chuckled and waved back. "She doesn't look jealous to me"
"Of course she doesn't, not while you're looking" I teased before an angry exclamation made both of us look up to see Vincent glaring at us.
We both grinned apologetically and he resumed shooting.
"I mean what I said Alice. I'm really glad you could join me on this photo shoot" Adrien muttered after a few minutes. "Shoots are a lot more fun when it's not just me"
"If you're trying to get me to consider modelling full time Adrian, forget it" I replied softly.
"Come on Alice, at least think about it" Adrien urged.
I let out a small sigh. True, part of me was enjoying myself. Maybe I should consider it.
"I'll think about it" I said, and had to force down a giggle when I saw Adrien beaming.
"Marinette!" A sudden loud exclamation made us loop up to see the little girl with Marinette and Alya was tugging on Marinette's leg and pointing towards a nearby balloon stand. "I wanna get a balloon with Mirielle on it! Can I? Can I? Marinette!" She wailed.
"Ngh! Silenzio!" Vincent snapped, turning towards the girls. Adrien's bodyguard put down the light he was holding and moved towards the trio.
I heard Alya try to persuade the girl to go with her, the girl stubbornly refusing, clinging onto Marinette's leg.
After looking at the photographer and Adrien's bodyguard, both glaring in her direction, Marinette shook her head at Aly and 'hobbled off' towards a nearby balloon stand, with the girl still clinging to her leg.
"But what about Adrien?" I heard Alya call after her and I smiled as an idea came to me.
As the bodyguard came back over and Vincent readied his camera again, I let out a moan and leaned against Adrien.
"Hey Vincent, can we take a break? I'm dying of thirst here!" I whined, giving Adrien a quick nudge.
Adrien got the hint. "Yeah, me too. Can't we take five, Vincent?"
Vincent groaned, but finally nodded. "Five minutes, no more!" He barked before turning away.
Sighing with relief, I stepped off the fountain and made my way towards Alya, who had a teasing smirk on her face.
"Hey Alice" Alya greeted me. "Funny, when you invited us down here to watch the photoshoot, I never expected to find you in it"
I chuckled. "Well, that's a coincidence, Alya, because until ten minutes ago, neither had I!"
"Oh?" Alya raised an eyebrow.
I sighed. "Adrien roped me into this by inviting me to come and provide him with 'moral support'" I accented the last two words with my fingers. "The next thing I know, He's convinced me to go up there and pose with him!"
"Ah" Alya nodded. "So, he suckered you"
"Oh, yeah, I'm a world class sucker" I said dramatically, crossing my arms.
"Well, Marinette's gonna be happy to hear that" Alya winked at me and I giggled.
"Good, 'cause I really don't want Marinette mad at me" I said, looking at Marinette and the little girl. "So, who's the kid?"
"She's Manon, her mother's a friend of Marinette's mom, and Marinette offered to watch her the whole afternoon." Alya explained.
I smirked. "Let me guess, she just…"
"Couldn't…say…no!" Alya and I chorused before laughing together.
A loud laugh made them look up to see Manon running towards the merry-go-round, with Marinette in hot pursuit.
"Manon huh? Well, she sure sounds like a real angel" I commented dryly.
"Oh yeah, she's all sugar and spice, at least when mommy's around" Alya added, making the both of us giggle as Marinette finally grabbed Manon by the arm and began speaking to her. Barely a minute later, however, Manon began dragging Marinette towards the Merry-Go-Round.
"Wow, Marinette really is a pushover" I commented.
Alya chuckled. "Manon probably gave her the baby-doll eyes. Marinette can't resist the baby-doll eyes" I giggled in agreement. "Just like you can't resist the puppy dog eyes!" That made me stop laughing, but Aly aonly laughed harder at the dark look I shot at her.
"Miss Bougeois!" The both of us looked up to see Vincent looking at me. "Five minutes is up! Quickly, before we lose the light!" He motioned back to the fountain, where Adrien was already waiting.
I let out a groan, making Alya chuckle again. "Tell Marinette that I didn't set this up, will you?"
"Sure thing" Alya nodded as I dashed back towards the fountain.
"So, did you sort things out with Marintte and Alya" Adrien asked.
"Kinda" I answered as we began posing again.
The photoshoot continued, but there was a definite change in the mood. I was starting to feel...distracted. Several times I ruined shots because I wasn't paying attention. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Adrien was having the same problem.
"Argh! No, No!" Vincent finally exclaimed. "The children have eaten too much spaghetti! We need more energy, more romance!" He rubbed his forehead.
I blinked. Romance? What did Vincent mean by that?
"Aha! I have it!" Vincent said a minute later. "Miss Alice, I want you to swoon!"
I froze, my eyes wide. "Excuse me?" I asked in disbelief.
Vincent cackled like an excited schoolgirl. "Yes, imagine that your boyfriend has professed his undying love for you. You are so happy that you cannot stand up, so you fall into his strong arms!"
My jaw dropped as I felt a blush creep its way onto my cheeks. Sure, I may be enjoying posing in front of the camera right now, but I have standards, and acting like a complete ditz, even when it was pretend, was not one of them.
"Uh maybe we could try another scene Vincent. Maybe one a little less dramatic" I heard Adrien suggest and I shot him a grateful look.
"Thanks" I whispered as Vince resumed his thinking.
"No problem. I know that you're not that kind of girl" Adrien winked at me
"Oh?" I chuckled "And just what kind of girl do you think I am, Adrikens?" I said, using Chloe's pet name for him.
"Uh, not you too" Adrien muttered, making me laugh.
"Come on, it's not that bad" I teased. "At least my sister isn't calling you Adrilicious" I chuckled at my new creation. "Actually, you know what? That does flow off the tongue a little better. Don't you think?"
"Very funny" Adrien gave me a look, but I could tell he was enjoying himself as well.
A sudden loud scream made us look around to see that a giant globe of ice had sprung up form out of nowhere, encasing the merry-go-round in an icy dome. Narrowing my eyes, I could just make out someone inside the dome. Wait, hadn't Marinette taken off in that direction?
A loud cackling drew my gaze skyward. Hovering above the merry-go-round was a girl with purple hair wearing a black dress and a similar-colored mask carrying a parasol.
I frowned thoughtfully; this girl looked familiar somehow.
"Alice, we've gotta get out of here!" Adrien exclaimed.
"Okay, um...let's split up! Do hide somewhere and I'll do the same!" I said, breaking away from Adrien and rushing to a strand of nearby trees. I ducked behind them as Minkk appeared out of my purse. "Time to go to work" I said to Minkk who nodded back. "Minkk, Showtime!" I transformed into Ermine, then peered out behind the trees. I saw Ladybug had already arrived on the scene and was investigating the icy dome. The girl responsible was floating towards the park gates, blasting at people with lightning from her parasol.
Growling, I rushed towards the girl, but Chat Noir suddenly appeared on the park fence as the girl passed through the gate.
"Hey Ice Queen! What's with all the terrorizing? Why don't you pick on someone your own temperature?" He called as I leapt onto the fence on the other side of the gate from where Chat Noir was.
"My name is not Ice Queen! It's Stormy Weather!" The girl yelled back.
"Oh really?" I broke in, making the girl spin around to face me as I leapt over the gate to join Chat Noir. "Coulda fooled me, Icy! Especially considering the cold shoulder you gave those people on the Merry-Go-Round back there!"
"My name is not Icy! It's Stormy Weather!" Stormy Weather shouted.
"Okay, Okay! We heard you the first time, sheesh!" I shook my head before giving Chat Noir a Can-you-believe-this? expression. Boy, this girl really had an attitude!
Chat Noir smiled at me before sliding down the fence to the ground. "Listen, I'm feline more generous than usual today" He said, swinging his 'tail' in circles. "So just cool down, and we'll call it quits, K?"
I shook my head and chuckled at the deadpan look on Stormy Weather's face. She opened her parasol and suddenly the both of us were blasted by a monster current of cold air. Though to me, it actually felt pretty good temperature-wise, I guess there are some perks to having fur.
Unfortunately, though I gripped the fence with all my strength, the current of air was so strong that I was soon sent flying along with Chat Noir. Remembering my gymnastics training, I quickly took note of my surroundings, unsnapped my whip, and lassoed a nearby lamp post. Tugging on my whip, I was able to land on my feet.
Chat Noir was not so lucky. He hit a few cars in a ping-pong style fashion before finally coming to a rest sprawled on the asphalt.
"Are you okay?" I cried out, running to his side.
"I'm fine" Chat Noir grunted as he got to his knees.
"And here I thought cats always landed on their feet" I looked up to see Ladybug land near us.
"Why thanks, M'ladybug, but we had it covered" Chat Noir said as I helped him up. He tried to kiss Ladybug's hand, which made me frown, but Ladybug noticed and pushed him back with a finger on his nose.
"No time for your childish charms, Chat Noir, but you're welcome"
"Ladybug, what happened to the people caught in the ice dome?" I asked
"They're safe, but still trapped. I couldn't cut through the ice with my yo-yo, but the fire department arrived and they're trying to cut through it" Ladybug said to me.
I let out a sigh of relief. "That's good to hear"
"Well, here's something that won't be good to hear!" I whirled around to see Stormy Weather approaching. "We should be expecting lightning storms, like right NOW!" She points her parasol to the sky. Purple energy shoots up into the sky, which instantly darkens, filling with thick, angry-looking clouds. Thunder rumbles ominously, then a bolt of purple lighting falls from the sky, right at us!
Reacting instantly, I end up tackling Chat Noir, the person closest to me. We tumbled down the street, eventually coming to rest with me on top of Chat Noir. I groaned and propped myself up, then froze as I realized where I was. For a moment, Chat Noir and I just gazed at each other.
"Um...hi" I gave him a nervous smile, feeling my face heat up. "S...sorry for..."
"Forget it. It's no big deal." Chat Noir smiled at me.
"Aww, love on the battlefield, how cute!" We looked up to see a smiling Ladybug watching us. I felt my face heat up even more as I climbed off Chat Noir so he could get to his feet. Ladybug giggled at the glare I sent her.
Chat Noir threw a similar look at Stormy Weather. "You just won yourself a catfight!" Chat Noir growled before charging at the akumatized girl.
"And you just won yourself some…Black Ice!" Stormy Weather flicked her parasol, turning the street into slippery ice. Chat Noir yelped in surprise as he suddenly lost his footing. Ladybug and I jumped back, grabbing onto cars in order to maintain our footing.
Storm Weather twirled her parasol in her hands before opening it, summoning a gust of wind that sent all of us flying. I managed to grab streetlight and hung on for dear life.
Something grabbed my tail, causing me to yelp and I looked back to see Ladybug holding onto my tail with one hand and Chat Noir's tail with her other hand.
After a few minutes, the wind died down and we all collapsed on the hard concrete. I groaned as the sounds of breaking glass and car alarms reached my ears and I looked up to see that Stormy Weather had blasted a video screen as she floated away on a cushion of wind.
"A little Chat Noir will take the wind out of her sails" Chat Noir boasted as he got to his feet. He started to run after her, but Ladybug reached out and grabbed Chat Noir's tail.
"Woah there, kitty, kitty! You'd better think before you leap" She scolded playfully before letting him go.
"So, either of you got a plan?" Chat Noir asked as he petted his tail.
"Guys, we can't attack her head on..." I started to say.
"Just follow my lead" Ladybug ignored me, smiling at Chat Noir before running towards the left side of the street. She leapt up and began running along the side of the buildings towards Stormy Weather.
"Huh, I didn't know she could do that, did you?" I turned to chat Noir, only to find him imitating Ladybug's actions on the left side of the street. Sighing, I followed them, dashing down the center of the street, crouching low.
Somehow, Stormy Weather sensed us behind her and turned just as the three of us leapt at her in a three-pronged attack.
"Not you again!" Stormy Weather growled before whirling her parasol at us, summoning another gust of wind that caught all three of us in mid-air and blew us back. I unsnapped my whip and used it to lasso another light pole, catching myself. As I pulled myself up, I winced as several cars, carried up by the wind, blew past me. I turned to see my two partners dodge the incoming automobiles, chuckling at the poses Chat Noir was making as the cars nearly missed him multiple times.
I leapt over to join my partners in the center of the street.
"This isn't working." I started to say. "We have to…"
"Look Out!" Chat Noir suddenly pointed skywards and we looked up to see a bus falling towards us.
Before I could react, I felt Ladybug grab Chat Noir and me, pulling us behind her. She stood in front of us, whirling her yo-yo in a shield shape. I shut my eyes as I felt the bus crash down on top of us, expecting to be crushed, but nothing happened.
I opened my eyes to see that ladybug's yo-yo had cut a hole through the side of the bus, saving our lives. As I smiled, the yo-yo stopped spinning and fell, on my head.
"Ow!" I yelped, rubbing my head and giving Ladybug a dark look while my partner grinned sheepishly.
"Ok, clearly attacking Stormy Weather head on isn't the answer here" I said as I got to my feet, feeling more than a little annoyed that no one had been listening to me.
"Ermine's right, we need a new plan" Chat Noir agreed as we climbed up onto the railings on the other side of the bus
"We need to find out who Stormy Weather really is" Ladybug said as she opened a window and we climbed out. "Once we know that, we can get a better sense of where the akuma is hiding.
"Yeah, but first we have to find her, come on!" I started racing down the street in the direction we had come from, Chat Noir and Ladybug right behind me.
"Maybe she's got some unresolved anger-management issues!" Ladybug offered as we ran down the street.
"Or maybe she didn't pass her driving test" Chat Noir commented as we passed multiple damaged or overturned cars.
"I know I've seen her before, but where?" I thought aloud as we ran. Something about Stormy Weather was definitely familiar to me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
As we ran past the damaged video screen, it suddenly flickered to life, showing a picture of Stormy Weather standing in front of a purple outline of France.
"Hello viewers!" the villain cackled. "Here's the latest forecast for the first day of summer! Looks like Mother Nature had a change of plans. Summer Vacation is officially over!"
"Already? But I look so good in a swimsuit!" Chat Nor groaned before wiggling his eyebrows at Ladybug, causing me to giggle.
"The catsuit will do, thank you" Ladybug smiled back. "At least now we know where to find her"
I frowned as I gazed up at the screen. "Yeah, but I can't help wondering if we're being set up" I commented, rubbing my chin. "I mean she's practically broadcasting to us where she is"
Ladybug and Chat Noir looked at me, then at each other.
"Well, if this is a trap, we'll just have to spring it. Come on!" Ladybug dashed towards the TV Station, with us on her heels. As we ran, thick snow started to fall and a cold wind blew past us. Thanks to the fur on my suit, I wasn't affected by the cold, but I saw Chat Noir shiver as I kept pace with him.
"You okay?" I asked.
"Just a ...little chilly" he replied, rubbing his arms as he ran.
"Too bad you don't have fur, like me" I chuckled, flicking my tail and smiling at him.
Char Noir smirked. "Maybe I should wrap you around my neck then, huh?"
I giggled at the thought, and before I could stop myself, I replied, in a slightly flirtatious manner "Maybe I should let you"
Chat Noir's eyes widened. "What?"
Realizing what I had just said, I felt a blush creep across my face. "Uh…nothing. Come on, we've got to stop Stormy Weather before she buries all of Paris in snow!" I accelerated, trying not to think about what had just happened. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I scolded myself. Now was not the time for flirting, and besides, Chat Noir was in love with Ladybug, not me!
By this point, we had reached the TV station. As we darted inside, we heard Stormy weather on the screen proclaim "Prepare for the worst weather in history!"
Ladybug and Chat Noir raced towards the back of the building, but I paused when something caught my eye a cutout standee of Aurore, one of the contestant finalists. My eyes moved from the standee, to Stormy Weather on the screen, and something clicked inside my head.
"Hey, you guys, look at this!" I called my partners back.
"What is it?" Chat Noir asked as he and Ladybug backtracked to where I was.
I motioned to a cutout standee of Aurore. "Does this girl look familiar to either of you?" I asked.
Ladybug's eyes widened as he gaze moved from the cutout to the screen. "It's her! She exclaimed.
"Oh yeah! I see the resemblance now!" Chat Noir nodded. "But who is she?"
"I think her name's Aurore, she's one of the two finalists in the Kidz + TV weathergirl competition." I explained. "I didn't see the results, but I'm guessing that Aurore didn't win"
"Yeah, losing a big competition on live TV could have made her angry enough to draw Hawkmoth's attention." Chat Noir nodded at me.
"The akuma must be in her parasol' Ladybug deduced.
"Then we've gotta get it away from her" I said as the three of us ran deeper into the building.
We reached the recording studio just as Stormy Weather was wrapping up her broadcast. "In Stormy Weather's world, it's winter wonderland, forever!" She declared as we took our positions outside the door. At Ladybug's signal, we charged and burst into the studio, only to find it devoid of people. A high-pitched giggle came from a television on the stage with a camera in front of it.
"It's a recording!" Ladybug realized.
"She did set us up!" I growled.
"I sure did!" We turned to see the real Stormy Weather cackling near another door. She raised her parasol and blasted lightning towards the grid of studio lights, causing three of them to break off and fall towards us.
Yelping, the three of us dodged the falling lights, but scarcely had we done so when the lights in the room suddenly went out, leaving us in total darkness.
I narrowed my eyes, trying to see through the darkness, and suddenly the room lit up in a greenish tinge and I found I could see clearly. I smirked as I realized I had somehow developed night vision in my mask.
Hearing Stormy Weather cackling, I turned to see her dark through the doorway.
"Frosty the Snowgirl's getting away!" I yelled, starting to give chase, but paused when I heard a yelp from Ladybug and turned to see that my partner had tripped over one of the broken lights.
"Do I detect a damsel in distress?" Chat Noir appeared at Ladybug's side.
"Some of us don't have night vision" Ladybug grumbled as I resumed my chase of Stormy Weather, confident that Ladybug was safe with Chat Noir. I raced out into the hallway to see a door at the far end open, and then close. Growling, I raced towards the door and burst through it, finding myself in a stairwell. Stormy Weather's cackling echoed from above me.
"Ermine!" I turned to see Chat Noir running towards me, pulling a blind Ladybug behind him.
"I think Stormy Weather's heading for the roof!" I said.
"Lead the way!" Chat Noir nodded and we began to climb the steps, but Ladybug kept tripping on the steps and
"Okay, that's enough! I think I can…" Ladybug started to say.
"Duck!" Chat Noir yelped and I looked up to see what looked like a fire extinguisher come flying at us. Chat Noir and I dodged it easily, and I saw Ladybug cringe as she heard the extinguisher crash to the floor right next to her.
"…follow you guy's lead on this one" she finished.
"Come on!" I yelled and began racing up the steps once again with my partners right behind me. We reached a door at the top of the stairs and burst through it, finding ourselves on the roof of the building.
Stormy weather cackled as she floated above us. "You airheads! You fell right into my trap!" She yelled before snapping her parasol open.
As we watched, a funnel of dark clouds began to appear around the roof of the building, surrounding us in a vortex of howling wind that made escape off the roof impossible.
"There's no way out! Party's over, fools!" Stormy Weather taunted us.
"We're just…" I heard ladybug start to say, but when she paused, I looked to see that she had noticed Chat Noir still holding her hand. She shot him a look and he released her, rubbing his head sheepishly. I sighed and shook my head. Por Chat Noir, he just didn't seem to get the hint.
"We're just getting started, Stormy! LUCKY CHARM!" Ladybug yelled, throwing her yo-yo up into the air. It spun on its string, releasing a cloud of ladybugs that swirled together to form…a red-and-black bath towel?
"A bath towel?" Ladybug's surprise mirrored my own as she caught it. "What am I supposed to do with this?"
"Let me try!" I told them before stepping forward. "ANIMOPRHIX!" I yelled, calling on my own superpower. My belt glowed and a bright light covered me from head to toe. I felt my body shifting, growing larger, and stronger. When the light faded, I had transformed into a large white bear which threw back its head and roared at the darkened sky above.
"A bath towel and a bear?" Chat Noir said as I fell back on my four paws. "Great, so we're about to be obliterated, but at least we'll be both warm and dry" I growled at the sarcasm in his voice, causing him to wince.
"Just hold your whiskers" Ladybug's tone indicated she was not impressed with his witt either as she wrapped the towel around her wrist.
Above us, Stormy Weather raised her parasol towards the sky. "This just in! I'm issuing a sudden hailstorm alert!" She crowed.
My bear eyes widened as large chunks of hail began falling from the clouds above. I saw Chat Noir pull Ladybug to him, extend his stick, and began twirling it like a bo staff, creating a shield from the falling chunks of ice to protect himself and Ladybug, but I was too big to fit under there.
I let out a roar as the hail slammed into my bear body. I could feel it, but it didn't hurt as much as I was expecting. I also didn't feel the cold at all. Maybe it was due to the bear's thick fur and fat.
"Ermine, are you alright?" Ladybug called from under Chat Noir's 'shield'.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I had to yell over the sound of the hail as I turned to face them. "I can feel the hail, but it doesn't seem to be hurting me too bad, at least not yet"
"That's a relief" Ladybug smiled at me.
"So what's the plan for getting the akuma?" Chat Noir yelled. "My arm's starting to get a cramp!"
Ladybug began looking around. After a minute she smiled and pointed to one of the large billboards that towered over us. "See that sign over there? Check it out!"
"All right!" Chat Noir stopped twirling his staff and I leaned over Ladybug to shield her from the hail. "CATACLYSM!" Chat Noir called on his superpower, his right hand became charged with destructive energy.
"Hey Coldilocks! That all you got?" Chat Noir taunted as he rushed forward. Stormy Weather growled from her aerial perch and began blasting him with lighting. My heart skipped a beat as Chat Noir narrowly dodged bolt after bolt of electric energy.
"Ptt, Ermine!" I blinked as Ladybug's hand suddenly waved in front of my nose. I looked down at her.
"When Chat Noir uses his powers on that sign, I need you to pull it down towards us. Okay?" She said.
I blinked, not quite sure what Ladybug was planning, but I nodded and began running towards the sign. Chat Noir, while still dodging the lightning bolts, reached the sign and slid along it, rubbing his hand along the supports that held the sign up. Upon contact with his hand, the supports rusted, groaning as they snapped under the billboard's weight. The board began to tilt towards the street below. As Chat Noir slid past me, I reached out and grabbed the edge of the billboard with my paws, my bear claws sinking into the metal. With a roar, I pulled backwards with all my strength, causing the billboard to tip and fall backwards.
I heard Stormy Weather gasp as the billboard fell towards her and glanced up to see the villain blast a hole in the billboard with her parasol. While she was distracted however, Ladybug used her yo-yo to lasso Stormy Weather's ankle. Stormy weather shot through the hole she had created, causing the billboard to miss her and fall onto a vent, which broke under the weight, revealing an HVAC fan.
Ladybug, meanwhile, had ducked under a pipe, pushed off from a crane, and leapt up into the structure holding the fan. Unfurling the bath towel, she used it like a wing to soar upwards on the fan's air current. Due to the force of the fan, Ladybug's yo-yo line ended up pulling Stormy Weather down as Ladybug flew up. The villain cried out in surprise as she was pulled downwards, before the crane, which had started to move after Ladybug had pushed off it, slammed into her, causing her to let go of her parasol.
"'Ermine, boost me!" Chat Noir yelled as he leapt towards me. Realizing what he intended, I put my paws together as best I could. Chat Noir stepped onto them and I flung him upwards. He grabbed Stormy Weather's parasol in mid-air and threw it towards Ladybug. Releasing her towel, Ladybug grabbed the Parasol and dropped down to the roof just as Stormy Weather crashed into it.
"Get out of here, you nasty little bug!" Ladybug ordered as she broke the parasol on her knee. Sure enough, an akuma flew out of it.
"No more evildoing for you, little akuma" Ladybug chanted as she activated the capture feature on her yo-yo and swung it around to build up momentum. "Time to De-Evilize!" She threw her yo-yo at the akuma, the device opened up and captured the evil being before returning to Ladybug.
"Gotcha! Bye bye, little butterfly" She opened yo-yo, allowing a pure white butterfly to fly out and disappear into the sky.
"MIRACULOUS LADYBUGS!" Ladybug threw her bath towel into the air, releasing the swarm of ladybugs that served as her second power. The swarm flew through the city, repairing any damage caused by our battle with Stormy Weather. Overturned vehicles were righted, shattered windows and screens were repaired, and the swarm's final act was to shoot up into the sky and dispel the dark clouds and snow that had been covering all of Paris.
I sighed happily as I watched the ladybugs work. This was the power I liked the best, the power to fix any problem instantly.
Suddenly, a bright white light lit up my body, making me shut my eyes. When the light cleared, I was human again.
As I rushed over to my partners, I saw Stormy Weather revert back to Aurore, who looked around, confused.
"Uh, what am I doing up here?" She demanded, her hands on her hips.
Ignoring her, I did a three-way fist bump with my partners. "Pound It!" We chanted happily.
"Is she gonna be okay?" I asked, glancing at Aurore, who had noticed up by now and was gaping at us with a look of amazement on her face.
"She'll be fine" Ladybug assured me.
"Good, because I actually have somewhere I need to be right now" I said.
"Same here" Chat Noir said "See you later, M'ladies" He gave Ladybug a dramatic bow, winked at me, then ran to the edge of the building and jumped off.
"Is he going to use that phrase every single time he sees us?" Ladybug groaned, but I could see her smiling.
"Probably" I chuckled as I unsnapped my whip, the colorful trail flowing through the air as I lashed it twice. "See you around?" I winked at Ladybug.
"See you around" Ladybug smiled as I followed Chat Noir's lead, racing to the edge of the building and jumping off. As I fell towards the ground below, I whirled my whip through the air and, when I was close enough, lashed it towards another building. The whip held and I used it to swing my way across buildings back towards the park.
I landed behind the same copse of trees I had transformed behind and transformed back.
"Well, that went well" I smiled as Minkk stretched.
"Yeah" I peered out at the fountain. I saw Vince and Adrien's bodyguard looking around, but there was no sign of Adrien himself.
Hmmm, I wonder where Adrien is, I wondered as I stepped out from behind the trees and headed towards the fountain.
"Miss Alice!" Vince cried out happily when he spotted me. "You are unhurt?"
"I'm fine Vince, thanks for asking" I replied, shooting him a disarming smile before looking around. "Where's Adrien?"
"I do not know" Vince said, looking around again. "He disappeared after you did"
"Really?" I raised an eyebrow, surprised that Adrien hadn't come out of hiding before I had gotten back. "Huh, I wonder where he could…"
"Alice!" I suddenly felt a pair of arms wrap around my waist. I turned to see a worried Adrien standing behind me. "Where were you? I've been looking all over for you!" He exclaimed as he hugged me.
I gave Adrien a smile when we broke apart. "I'm sorry Adrien, I ducked into the nearest building I could find and hid there. I was going to call you, but I couldn't get a signal on my phone" I lied smoothy.
"Oh" Adrien blinked for a second, then smiled back at me. "Well, as long as you're okay. I was really worried about you"
I giggled. "Oh Adrien, you don't have to worry about me. I've got enough common sense to know to stay away from super villains" At least while I'm like this, I added mentally.
Adrien chuckled. "Yeah, we'd better leave that to the heroes. I'm sure Ladybug, Chat Noir, and Ermine wouldn't want us getting in their way anyway"
I giggled again "Yeah, probably not. I doubt we'd make very good heroes anyway, we'd be too busy trying to protect our beautiful faces" I said sarcastically, pointing to the baby-doll expression on my face.
"Very funny" Adrien snorted with amusement.
"Can I have a lollipop? Can I? Can I? Can I?" The two of us looked up to see Marinette, Manon, and Alya walking towards us.
"Not just yet, Manon, I want to watch our friends first, okay" Marinette said gently to Manon, causing me to smile. Marinette may be a pushover, but she did have a way with kids.
"You guys mind if we watch?" Alya called over to us.
"Not at all!" I replied back.
"Yeah, we don't…"
"Wait!" Vincent suddenly cut Adrien off. "Who is that…that angel?" He asked, pointing to Manon, who looked around, until she realized Vincent was talking about her.
Oh no, I thought, cracking a small smile as Manon's face lit up. Don't tell me Vincent wants to put her in the photoshoot!
But he did. After obtaining permission from Marinette, Vincent lead Manon up to where the two of us were standing and the photo shoot began again, but with Manon as the centerpiece this time. The two of us took turns throwing Manon up into the air, we kissed her cheeks at the same time, making her giggle happily, and we took a family-style photo where I was holding Manon while Adrien was holding me.
As Vincent happily leapt around, taking pictures of us, I caught Marinette watching with a sad smile on her face, then her gaze slowly fell until she was staring at the ground. Alya patted Marinette on the shoulder in a supportive way. When she saw me looking, she raised an eyebrow at me and I responded by shrugging my shoulders and shooting her a sheepish grin.
Soon, we had to call it a day due to Adrien's schedule.
"Thank again for agreeing to this, Alice" Adrien said as his bodyguard left to bring the car around. "I had a great time."
"Me too" I admitted. "More than I expected, actually"
Adrien's face lit up. "So, does that mean you'll..."
I laughed and shook my head. "Alright fine, tell your father if he needs someone to model with you, I'll...consider it" I said.
"Thank you, Alice!" I suddenly found myself enveloped in a hug, which caused me to giggle.
"Okay, okay! Take it easy!" I said as Adrien let go of me. "Geez, the way you're acting, you'd think I was agreeing to be your girlfriend"
Adrien chucked. "No, I'd never do that to you Alice. You're like a sister to me. I'm just really happy that we're gonna have a lot more chances to hang out in the future. You have no idea how lonely it gets for me at home sometimes"
I looked up into Adrien's eyes and saw genuine sadness in them, which motivated me to take his hand in my own and gently stroke his cheek with my other hand.
"Don't worry Adrien, you have lots of friends now. Me, Marinette, Alya, even Manon" We both let out a chuckle at this before I continued. "You won't have to feel alone anymore, I promise"
I saw relief flood both Adrien's eyes and his face and he smiled at me before the sounding of a car horn announced that Adrien's bodyguard was back. Adrien gave me one last smile and then, before I could react, raised my hand to his lips, and kissed it.
My eyes widened in surprise as Adrien let go, winked at me, and then rushed off towards the waiting car, waving as he ran.
"Wow! What was that?" I heard Aly exclaim as I watched Adrien's car drive away.
"I...have no idea" I stammered as I slowly turned to face Alya and Marinette, dreading what I would see.
Sure enough, there was a frown on Marinette's face. Quickly, I apologized for everything that had happened. To my surprise, Marinette's frown soon faded and she told me not to worry about it. "You've known Adrien for a long time, and you're someone he's known for a long time. It makes sense you two would be good friends" She said simply.
I felt relief surge through me as Alya winked at me behind Marinette's back. I shot her a grateful look, relieved that the girl had been able to help smooth things out.
We were suddenly interrupted when Manon walked up to me. "Who are you?" She asked, looking up at me with curious eyes.
"You mean you don't know her?" Alya asked, sounding somewhat surprised.
"No" Manon turned to look at her, confused. Then her eyes lit up. "Wait! Is she another unicorn?" she asked, looking from Alya to me.
"A w-a what?" I giggled mid-sentence, looking at Alya, who looked a little embarrassed.
"I…may or may not have told Manon that I was a mythical, wish-granting unicorn from Respa, disguised as a human gi-whaa?" Ala started to explain, but was cut off when I quickly pressed a finger to her lips.
"Alya, what are you doing?" I said, pretending to lower my voice but making it so that Manon could hear me. "You can't go around telling our secret to human girls. You're gonna get all three of us in trouble!"
I chuckled at the confused look on Alya's face and winked at her and Marinette. Their confusion faded as they both caught on to my game.
"Three?" I looked down to see Manon looking up at me with wide eyes. "All three of you are Unicorns?"
I gave a fake gasp of horror and leapt back. "Oh no, she heard me!" I exclaimed dramatically. "She'll tell all her friends and we'll have to grant wishes for all of them!"
"Oh this is just terrible! What can we do to protect ourselves?" Marinette cried out in pretend horror, but her eyes glimmered with amusement.
"There is only one thing we can do, ladies" Alya pretended to look angry, but the corners of her mouth curved upwards.
"Wha-what're you gonna do?" Manon took a step backwards, looking nervous as all three of us turned towards her.
"We're gonna have to tickle her until she forgets what she overheard!" Alya exclaimed with a wicked grin.
Manon's eyed widened as the three of us closed in on her. "No! No, don't tickle me!" She bolted towards the fountain.
"Get her Unicorns!" I cried and the three of us pounced on Manon, tickling her until she cried with laughter, making the rest of us laugh as well.
"All right, as fun as this is, I need to take Manon home. Her mother will be coming by soon" Marinette said after a few minutes.
"No! I wanna play with Alice some more!" Manon protested, grabbing my arm.
"We'll play again sweetheart" I said soothingly, gently pulling myself away from Manon. "Real soon, you'll see"
"You promise?" Manon looked up at me with baby doll eyes, making me chuckle.
"I promise, and a unicorn always keeps her promises" I said sincerely before making a dramatic bow that caused Manon and the other girls to laugh.
After Marinette and Manon had left, Alya and I walked to the bus stop before she left me there too. As I got on the bus, I noticed several people gazing at me with wide eyes, but who looked away when they saw me looking back.
Frowning in confusion, I sat down and ignored the stares as best I could, but it was hard, especially when I hears two people across the aisle muttering to each other and I distinctly heard my name mentioned.
I snorted. Maybe they're just surprised that the daughter of the Style Queen would take a common bus around, I thought to myself, before chucking at my phrasing. Even when I was trying to avoid acting like my mother, pieces of her still managed to surface from time to time.
I kept feeling eyes on me for the entire bus ride, and even outside as well, when the bus stopped to let people on and off. By the time I finally got off in front of the hotel, I was feeling rather annoyed as to why everyone was looking at me. But that question was answered the moment I reached the top floor.
"HOW DARE YOU!" I winced at my sister's volume as Chloe stomped up to me, looking positively livid. Sabrina trialed behind her, looking angry.
"Chloe, what are you talking abo...?" I started to say, but Chloe cut me off.
"DON'T GIVE ME THAT!" Chloe screamed in my face. "You think you're so clever don't you? Setting up a photoshoot with you and Adrien behind my back!"
Oh, realization suddenly hit me. Chloe must have found out about the photo shoot.
"Okay Chloe, first of all, I didn't set that up, Adrien did. And secondly..." I started to explain, but Chloe cut me off.
"Don't you dare pin this on Adrien!" Chloe snarled, pushing me back against the wall. "Adrien would never choose another person to replace me as his queen!"
"Queen?" I blinked in surprise "What are you talking about?"
"She's talking about this" Sabrina stepped forward, holding out her phone so I could see what was on the screen.
My eyes widened. Displayed on the screen was what appeared to be a blog site, and splashed across the top, in big bold letters, was the title The New Power Couple of Paris?
Directly below that were two pictures of me and Adrien displayed side-by-side. One with me caressing Adrien's cheek, the other of Adrien kissing my hand. From the way the photos had been presented, it was clear that the author was portraying these gestures as romantic.
"Oh no" I muttered as I read the text of the article, which described our photoshoot as the 'affectionate re-kindling of a childhood romance' between Adrien and me. No wonder Chloe was mad!
"So, what do you have to say now?" Chloe said triumphantly.
I looked up at her as she grinned smugly at me, and smiled at her. "Whoever wrote this is lying" I said simply.
"What do you mean?" Sabrina asked.
"There is nothing romantic between me and Adrien." I said as I pried myself out of my sister's grip. "I do love him, but like a brother, not as a boyfriend"
Chloe snorted. "You expect me to believe that?"
"Believe what you want Chloe" I frowned, growing tired of this. "Now, if you'll excuse me" I made to go to my room, but Chloe grabbed my arm.
"Oh no! We're not done here!" She said, looking angry again.
Now I was getting angry. "Yes Chloe, we are" I said firmly, pulling my arm out of her hand. "I've already told you the truth about me and Adrien. If you're too thick-headed to realize it, that's not my problem"
"Thick-headed?" Chloe and Sabrina gasped, Sabrina in fear, Chloe in anger. "Why you little...!"
"Girls! What is going on here?" A voice made us look up to see my father, the mayor of Paris, coming out of the elevator.
"Dad! You're home early!" I exclaimed in surprise.
"Yes, I was just..."
"Daddy! Alice is trying to come between me and Adrien!" Chloe whined.
My father looked confused. "What are you talking about, my dear?"
"Show him Sabrina!" Chloe ordered, keeping a firm grip on my sleeve as Sabrina stepped forward and showed my father the article.
As my father read the article, I saw a frown cross his face.
"Dad! That article's nothing but rubbish! I swear there's nothing romantic between me and Adrien Agreste!"
"She's lying, daddy! She practically just admitted that she loves him! And...and she called me thick-headed!" Chloe whined.
"That's because you are!" I snapped, whipping my head around to look at her. "I told you the truth, but you're too stubborn to see it!"
"Daddy! Did you hear what she just..!"
"Girls! That is enough!" My father's tone made us stop talking. He handed Sabrina back her phone before advancing on us. "Alice, calling your sister that was unnecessary" He scolded me before turning to Chloe. "Chloe, I believe that Alice is telling the truth"
"What?" Chloe exclaimed.
"I was just speaking to Mr. Agreste before I left the office, he said Adrien told him something very similar to what Alice said when he found out about the article." My father said. "Which brings me to another point" He turned back to me. "Alice, Adrien says that you would be willing to partner with him on his future photo shoots, is that correct?"
Ignoring Chloe's angry sputtering, I nodded. "Yes, I was considering it, as long as it did not interfere with my schoolwork or hanging out with my other friends. Is that okay with you?"
My father shook his head, a satisfied smile on his face. "I see no problem with it. I will inform Mr. Agreste to begin working out a shooting schedule for you, alright?"
I felt a wide smile cross my face while Chloe gasped like a drowning fish.
"Thanks dad" I exclaimed happily.
"This is ridiculous! Utterly Ridiculous!" Chloe yelled before storming off to her bedroom, Sabrina trailing behind her, and slamming the door shut.
"Is...she going to be okay?" I asked, looing at my father, who sighed.
"Yes. Unfortunately, she does this somewhat often. But she will be alright" My father said before giving me a smile. "Congratulations Alice. I always had a feeling modeling was in your future"
I snorted. "Dad, this is not a career. It's like a extra-curricular activity, if anything."
My father didn't answer, he just smiled at me before patting my shoulder as he moved past me down the corridor.
Feeling somewhat overwhelmed, I headed to my own room. Once inside, I leaned against the door and groaned.
"Wow, it looks like you overcame one storm, only to encounter another one" Minkk giggled as she came out of hiding.
"Are you talking about my sister, or that article of me and Adrien?" I asked, wandering over to my bed and plopping myself down into it. "Anyone who reads that is going to think we're dating!"
"And that would be bad because...?" As Minkk's tone, I rolled over and looked up at my kwami, who was helping herself to some chocolate candy that I kept in a bowl on my desk.
"Minkk, any feelings I have towards Adrien are...sisterly, at best!" I said. "He's like the brother I never had. Why is that so hard for everyone to understand?"
Minkk giggled. "Oh I understand that, but what I don't understand is why you're making such a big deal out of this! I mean, This Adrien boy is cute, I will admit, but it's not like you'd let him 'wear you around your neck, unlike another blonde we know!" Minkk giggled as my face turned beet red.
I groaned, rolled over again, and buried my face in my pillow, but I couldn't stop the big smile from crossing my face.
I've had this chapter near completion for some time now, and decided that now would be a good time to try to finish it. Here it is, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!
Like I've mentioned, this story will be published chapter-by-chapter mainly on a response basis, if you want more chapters out faster, then respond, respond, respond!
Until Next Time!