posted: 04.11.20
word count: 1,097
prompt: #MarinetteChallenge

Continuing on with my late posts for Adrinette April.

The sound of the shutter effect on yet another camera caused Marinette's eyebrow to twitch in frustration. How many pictures of her sleeping - or appearing to be asleep as it more often was - did any one person need? There were only, what, sixteen people in their class? There was literally no reason for Marinette to feel like she was being stalked by the paparazzi.

"I swear, if one more person photographs me closing my eyes, I will take great pleasure in stabbing them with my pencil."

There was a long, tense pause and then, "I'm sorry, Marinette."

Marinette's eyes flew open to find Adrien, sitting at her table, in the chair across from her. He looked awkward, almost like a toddler who was caught doing something wrong. Marinette startled, horrified at the thought that she'd threatened this sweet, beautiful soul. She had no right to take her frustration out on Adrien, especially when it was she who agreed to the whole stupid hashtag-Marinette-Challenge in the first place. Trading her personal embarrassment for free advertisement and modeling across a dozen or so social media accounts had seemed like a fair trade on Monday, but today was Friday, and Marinette was about fed up with it. That still wasn't a reason to be mean to anyone, least of all Adrien Agreste.

"I just thought… well, you looked kind of cute, and I didn't think it was too late to join the class challenge?"

Adrien Agreste thinks I'm cute! Was the only thing that registered with Marinette for a moment. She was so focused on that statement that she almost forgot to respond.

"Oh! Yes! I mean, no! It's not… it's not too late. I just…"

"I guess it's more than you're used to, huh?"

"Yes! I mean, how many pictures of me sleeping are there possible to take?! There are only sixteen people in our class and I can swear I've gotten my picture taken at least ten times a day! Most of the time I'm not even asleep, I just look like I am and I really, really hope hashtag-Marinette-Challenge hasn't caught on in the other classes because then there's no telling when this will all stop and I wanted the free advertisement and it will be fun to have the class model my stuff, but not if it's gonna be like this for the rest of the school year! I don't even know all of the kids in the other classes!" Marinette dropped her head back into her arms on the table, both out of exasperation and from the embarrassment of losing control of her mouth in front of Adrien yet again. Now that he knows what a spaz she can be, Adrien will never want to speak to her again, let alone date her and fall in love with her and marry her and have three kids and a pet hamster with her!

"Just think of it as practice for when you're famous one day," Marinette thought she could hear a smile in Adrien's voice, so risked peeking up through her fringe to check. Yes, there it was, Adrien's Perfect Model Smile. Which meant that yup, she spazzed and now he's uncomfortable and doesn't want anything to do with her anymore. Great going, Marinette. "Photographers will be lining up to take pictures of you when you're walking red carpets and presenting your new lines."

"Ugh, I guess you're right," Marinette sighed and hid back in her arms. "It's just exhausting. I have no idea how you put up with this all the time."

"Do you want to hear a secret?" despite falling into a whisper, Adrien's voice sounded a lot closer than before. Marinette peeked again through her fringe and almost jumped out of her skin; there he was, right there, his eyes and nose only inches away from her own. Adrien mirrored Marinette's position, arms folded in front of him and chin resting on his forearms, only he looked absolutely adorable. Marinette hummed her agreement, her heart beating too heavily against her throat to risk actually using words (as if that actually made a difference). "You never start liking it. You either get good at pretending to ignore them, or you get a good bodyguard."

"I-I... don't know i-i-i-if... I can i-i-ignore them. Yet."

"Then we'll have to find you a bodyguard."


"I could do it."

"Nonononono! Noooooo! I c-c-can't… I c-c-c-couldn't!"

"You're right, I'm not very good at that sort of thing anyway. Perhaps Alya?"

"Alya started this."

"But Alya's your friend. You can just tell her you're concerned about the people in the other classes. She'll stop them, and remind the rest of our class that hashtag-Marinette-Challenge week is over. And if they still don't listen, I bet I could get the Gorilla to change their minds."

"Adrien don't." Marinette couldn't help the giggle that left her mouth, imagining Adrien commanding his giant bodyguard to knock around the heads of a few middle schoolers.

"He's really good at it!" When Marinette didn't stop giggling, Adrien continued. "But I guess you're right, we should see how good Alya does first."

"Thank you for cheering me up, Adrien."

"It's the least I can do for upsetting you in the first place. Did you want to see the picture before I post it this weekend?" Marinette nodded and sat up. It only took a second for Adrien to pull up the picture in his gallery.

Marinette lay with her head in the fold of her left arm, pencil held between the fingertips of her extended right arm. She appeared asleep, but Marinette had actually been mentally editing her current design project, and coordinating a couple of others.

Across the table, sat Adrien. He leaned on a fist, elbow propped on the table, watching Marinette as she slept. The smile on his face was fond, not quite indulgent, doting boyfriend, but something Marinette could be happy with. Maybe she didn't disturb Adrien as much as she thought she did most days. Clearly, he cared enough about her to cheer her up instead of just apologizing and leaving.

"Do you mind if I post it?"

"No," Marinette shook her head. "I don't mind at all."