word count: 1,060
prompt: video games
Alya was growing concerned. Marinette seemed to be rather attached to her phone these days and by rather, she meant, always. More often than not, she was growling at it. Alya couldn't understand why, when literally the only thing Marinette did was play that dumb piano keys game that their class downloaded a couple of months back. It had started off as a friendly competition to see who could get the highest score by the end of the week, but the friendliness fizzled out rather quickly, and so did the competition. Alya herself had left the group chat dedicated to the competition and hadn't looked at the game since. As far as Alya knew, the only ones still playing were Kim, Alix, and Rose. And, apparently, Marinette.
"Girl, you're still playing that game?
"Yes, now shush, Alya. I have to concentrate."
Alya did as she was asked, watching over her friend's shoulder. Marinette's fingers danced across the phone screen, tapping way faster than Alya thought was possible. The tiles usually started off pretty slow then gained speed as the song and level progressed. Alya could never last longer than about five seconds in the game, and it had frustrated her to the point of rage quitting.
"Wow, girl, you are good!" Alya cheered. "Who has the high score?" Marinette didn't answer immediately. Alya had the feeling she was not actually listening, which in fair defense, Alya had been warned. After a moment, one that felt longer than Alya thought it had a right to, Marinette's fingers stumbled and hit a wrong key. The screen froze, then blinked a blue screen.
NEW HIGH SCORE
"Me!" Marinette threw her arms in the air. "Ha, take that!" Alya grinned, finding Marinette adorable when she was worked up like this. There were dozens of subjects that Marinette got passionate about, but Alya found her best friend just too cute when she was filled with murderous rage over a video game. Even if the deranged look in her eyes as she posted the screen shot into the group chat was a little concerning.
Maybe Alya will return to the group just to keep up with the drama.
"Are you freaking serious?!" Nino jumped, surprised at his friend's sudden outburst. "Again?"
"Aw, dude, don't tell me it's that game again?"
"She stole my high score!" Adrien all but shouted. "I was reigning king for two weeks! That's like, a record!"
"Except that you were trying to beat the high score before that for three weeks."
"Okay, no, actually, Kim had the highest for four days, followed by Rose for another six." Adrien frowned, tapping through the apps on his phone. "Admittedly, that was pretty good for Rose." Rose didn't post in the group chat nearly as often as the rest of them, but when she shared her scores, they were usually pretty vicious.
"So who has the high score now?"
"Not right now, I'm busy." Nino leaned forward to look over his friend's phone screen and sure enough, his thumbs tapped black piano tiles back and forth across the screen.
"Dude, are you serious?" Nino was only shushed for his troubles. Rolling his eyes, Nino retrieved his own phone from his pocket and checked on the group chat dedicated to the piano tiles competition. Most of the class had dropped out at this point, and Nino didn't keep track of who all was still participating versus who was still watching for the winner. It didn't take a lot of effort to find the newest victory holder, it was still the most recent message in the chat. When he saw the result, Nino rolled his eyes again. Those two were idiots.
If Marinette weren't so angry, she would have found the false angelic expression on his face endearing. Unfortunately for both of them, Marinette was highly irate and could care less if Adrien looked like a dead fish for all the good it was doing him.
(On second thought, Marinette probably would have stopped to check his temperature and feed him a good meal if Adrien showed up at school looking like a dead fish, anxiety be damned.)
"I couldn't even get twenty-four hours? You couldn't just let me win for one day."
"All is fair in love and war, Princess," Adrien's angelic smile grew more into a devilish smirk.
"Oh, I'll give you a princess, alright, Mr. Model Man. We'll see how well you last when I get you on Super Mecha Strike III."
"Perhaps you should fight me with something a little more even-footed?" Adrien said, raising an eyebrow. "Everyone knows you're unbeatable at Mecha Strike."
"What, are you scared?"
Adrien faced down Marinette's glare calmly, but inside he felt his heart beating against his ribcage. A Marinette Dupain-Cheng glare was just as intimidating as a Ladybug glare, and that was saying something. The woman could practically stare an Akuma into submission, and when her eyes narrowed just so, Adrien knew the target was in trouble. He could feel the muscles in his face straining under the weight of holding up his carefree smile and hoped someone would steal Marinette's attention soon. It didn't really help that she was so freaking cute when she got worked up like this.
"Fine. The next person to hold a high score for three weeks wins. You got that?" Marinette redirected her stare towards the back of the glassroom where Kim and Alix sat together. Nearby, Rose also nodded her agreement. "Good. You're going down, Agreste."
In the end, they both went down.
Nathaniel, the finalist no one paid attention to, the only finalist who had never once to anyone's recollection held a high score, managed to pull out a ridiculously high score of over 9000 that literally none of them could come near for twenty-one days, and Nathaniel made sure that they knew it. The class held a celebration at a local cafe, and the Piano Tiles Debacle was put behind them. Adrien returned to being the soft sunshine child of Madame Bustier's class, and Marinette remembered how to be shy in front of him.
And then someone discovered PUB-G.