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Out of all of the days that Chloé could have chosen to visit her friend Adrien, she had to choose the day he and his baby sister were building a tree-house. A tree-house. With like, wood and nails and things. In a tree. It was a house in a tree. Chloé was pretty certain that people cut down trees for a reason, but she couldn't bear to tell Marinette that. The little girl was a menace and a horror, but she was the absolute cutest and a girl after Chloé's own heart. For someone so small and short she knew how to take charge of a situation and get things done.
She was basically a mini Gabriel Agreste. Just without the frigid temper.
"So, how do you suppose we get this stuff up there then, Marinette?" Chloé raised an eyebrow. Marinette had a table in the backyard of the Agreste manor piled with drawings - and were those actual blueprints? - pointing out to her brother what she wanted and where. Sometimes, Chloé was grudgingly impressed with the young girl. Granted, she was Adrien's baby sister, so of course she was going to be amazing.
"Adrikins, don't tell me you're really gonna let Marinette lead a building project?" asked Chloé.
"He's not Adrikins!" Marinette growled. It was a never-ending argument that Chloé was never going to let her win.
"What's wrong with Marinette's plans?"
"She's six for one," Chloé pointed out. "And they're written in crayon."
"Those were expensive crayons."
"And so were my nails."
"How you spend your money is your business, Chlo," Adrien snickered. Chloé scoffed, but leaned over the table to get a better look. "This is amazing, Princess."
"You don't use cute pet names with me," Chloé muttered. She received a look from both Agreste children and rolled her eyes in response. Seriously, these two could not take a joke. It was utterly ridiculous.
"Chloé, are you going to help us build the tree-house?" Marinette asked. Innocent blue eyes stared back up at Chloé and she scoffed. Those blue eyes didn't fool her, no matter how adorable they were. Chloé was trapped from the moment she walked on the property.
"Of course I'm sticking around to help the two of you," she told them anyway. "Someone has to make sure you don't hurt yourselves." Chloé ignored the look Adrien sent her. Just because Chloé didn't like to get her hands dirty - it took forever to get her nails back into good condition - and she preferred to work smart instead of working hard, that didn't mean Chloé could not do the work if she wanted to. Or if Marinette asked. She supposed the surprise was in her actually doing it, but really, he shouldn't be. Chloé was almost as wrapped around Marinette's finger as he was.
"Really?!" the child cheered.
"Really?" Adrien asked.
"Really," Chloé took another look at the pages, then the pieces strewn about the yard. "Marinette. You've got the plans, but do you know where to start?"
"Um… Not really?" she shrugged. The look on her face told Chloé that she hadn't thought that far and was disappointed in herself for having failed to do so. Marinette was six for crying out loud. Of course she didn't. "I thought Kitty could help me with that." Chloé pet the girl's head for the effort.
"Can you?" Chloé looked at Adrien.
"Um… sort of?" His hand went straight into his hair, ruffling it more than either of his parents would ever allow in public. Chloé found it endearing, if a bit unattractive. Didn't stop her from translating that answer as no.
"Of course not. That's why you two have me. Now, first thing's first." Chloé rearranged the pages so that they made more of a map of where each piece belonged than a pile of separate designs. "Is this what you were trying to explain before?"
"Yes!" Marinette cheered. "Coco, you're like magic, I didn't even have to tell you!" Chloé tried not to preen at the praise of a six-year-old, but it was seriously hard when one described her as magical with such adoring eyes. And that nickname was the sweetest.
And so the afternoon began with Chloé shouting instructions for Adrien, and he doing his best to fulfill them. When that proved to be a very ineffective way to get things done (which only took about thirty minutes), Chloé taught Marinette how to clearly instruct the two teenagers and stepped in to prevent Adrien further injury. Naturally she managed to break a nail five seconds later, but hey, it wasn't a nail through the hand like Adrien almost had, so silver linings or whatever. Didn't make Chloé any happier.
In the end, they had a tree-house. A frankly lopsided tree-house, and Chloé wasn't so sure that the rungs were safe enough to actually climb, but somehow or another, Chloé and Adrien had managed to put together something passably acceptable. The Princess's Tower. The floors - yes, both of them - were straight by some miracle, the walls were magically stable, no one managed to actually get stabbed with a nail, and Marinette was completely beside herself with pleasure as she ran around and explored her new castle.
And Chloé watched her friends, Adrien chasing Marinette just to toss her over his shoulder. The pair stood in the window and the fading sunlight lit their profiles gorgeously. They gasped at the view of the estate from so high up, and Chloé felt her heart stutter and warm. It was stupid of her to be jealous of Marinette Agreste, the baby sister, but there it was, fixed firmly in her heart, wedged in between the love she felt for both siblings, yet never separating the two. Chloé would give anything to be looked at the same way Adrien watches Marinette, like she's his entire world. He literally moved an entire building for her.
Chloé suddenly shook herself. Jealousy? Please, she was Chloé Bourgeois, she shouldn't be so ridiculous. It would take nothing short of a magic curse to separate those two, and Chloé was no wicked witch. She was much more suited to a fairy godmother.