Summary: Marinette had been acting weird. Really weird. Actually, the truth was, she was acting normal. Very normal. With Adrien, no less. Wait, she had kind of been normal with him for a while now, but Alya was too wrapped up writing articles on Chat Noir's flirtless behavior to notice. What in the world was going on with her best friend?
"Alright girl. Spill. Right now."
Marinette laughed nervously, as Alya sat very purposefully in the center of the bluenette's room, fuming. "I have no idea what you are talking about," her fingers played with each other, making her nervousness concrete.
"MARINETTE DUPAIN-CHENG. Adrien Agreste spoke to you today." Marinette nodded. "And you spoke back." She nodded. "Without a single stutter, blush, or nervous laugh. And-" Alya glanced at the walls of her best friend's room, which were void of the model's face. "-this is not the first time. It's been almost this whole month, and I'm not taking anything less than the truth."
Marinette sighed. "Alya, I've told you. I'm over Adrien, I like someone else now."
Alya just gaped at her. She was pulling this again? "You said that, but it makes no sense." Then again, maybe Marinette was not lying…. After all, it was clear her life consuming crush had at last come to an end.
Marinette huffed. "Well, I told you. I'm not interested in Adrien anymore. Seriously." And the weirdest part was? Alya saw the evidence. The girl had a crush on Adrien since the day after Alya met her, so she had pretty much accepted it as a part of Marinette's personality. But now, it wasn't.
"OKAY. Then, who in the world is this mystery man? I literally haven't seen you look at or talk about anyone else." Could it be Luka? That didn't quite fit, but nothing did.
Marinette shook her head. "Sorry Alya, he's a mystery for a reason." What reason could possibly merit her best friend keeping such a secret from her? And how had she been so good at hiding it?
The reporter shook her head with a sigh. "You've been mooning over Adrien for 2 years, Marinette, and suddenly this mystery man shows up and it just disappears? I'm not leaving it at that, girl." Marinette gulped.
"It wasn't sudden," she muttered.
"Then what was it?!"
"Fine, fine, I'll tell you! Just- what he's like. He's…." Marinette drifted off for a moment, taking a moment to choose her words carefully, and then laughed. "He's a big dork, really. He seems like he doesn't have a care in the world, every moment filled with p- with jokes, and with a big smile. At least, that's what I thought. He's…"
She paused, and Alya sort of recognized that look. That admiration, and yet it was slightly different. Her crush for Adrien was filled with dreamy looks and smiles, but they all seemed…. Somewhat blind. Like she put the boy on an unreachable pedestal. However, it was only sort of like that look. This one, it was soft, but it was more than adoration. It was caring. Understanding.
"This boy, he's actually got a sensitive side I never knew he had. We actually bonded at first over our unrequited love," she laughed a sad laugh, her eyes downcast. Almost guilty, definitely pensive. "He had set up a beautiful date for her, but…. She never showed. I happened to be passing by, and… he needed someone to talk to. I realized that, maybe... he was different than I thought he was. Maybe, we were more similar than I thought."
"From that point on, we had this bond of sorts. A bond over broken love, but that's not what we talked about. Most of the time, at least," Marinette laughed again. Alya wondered how she had never heard anything about this boy before. And a little ashamed it took her a month to bring it up. "No, we just spent time together. We would watch movies, play MechaStrike, we would chat." The corners of her mouth perked, with some sort of secret joke.
"He began to visit more and more, and sometimes would just be there as I designed. And as he was there, he would be so supportive. He actually knows a thing or two about design, I never would have expected it. He keeps surprising me, again and again."
Her face twisted a little, her voice beginning to shake. "I'd seen how passionately he loved. How dearly he held his crush, how he spoke of her, and I realized just how much love there was in him. How, behind all of the jokes and bravado, he truly cared." Alya continued to listen quietly, in awe of sorts. She also realized this new crush of Marinette's had some similarities to that of Adrien's. For one, she hated Adrien at first, though it was just a day. She pegged this guy wrong too, and he seemed to prove her wrong.
"And before I knew it, this boy had my heart. He's kind, sweet, funny, serious, sensitive, and he makes me feel at home. Believe me, I've seen his flaws too," she smiled ruefully, her fingers clasped tightly together. "But they make him so human. That pain, I wanted to help him with it. No, I want to help him with it. I want to be there for him."
Marinette looked Alya in the eyes, for the first time since she had entered her room. "Alya…. I love him." Alya was left breathless with the raw honesty of the simple statement.
"I-" Alya shook her head, blinking. "I see," she marveled, her voice low. Any chance of her discovering this mystery man disappeared, it can't be anyone at school. Maybe it was someone Marinette knew before meeting Alya, that was only two years ago too. Though it would not stop her from wondering.
With a wry smile, Alya asked, "So now you're pining after him, then? Any chance you'll confess to him?"
Marinette blinked, rigid for a moment, and laughed, full of mirth this time. "Actually, I already have. And… so has he. He… he loves me too. Took us a while to get there though, believe me."
That kind of made sense, this kind of love doesn't come from unrequited mooning. "How could you not tell me?" She asked kind of quietly, kind of hurt. This was monumental.
Marinette smiled sadly. "I'm sorry Alya, he has something of a rough home life. If it ever got out to his family that we were dating…." Her fingers twitched, she was not telling the complete truth. But Alya had just gotten so much information out of her, and knew better than to push. There would be time for that, later.
"Fine, fine, I'm glad you've told me now," she shook her head with a smile. "If you ever want to gear him up in sunglasses and a baseball cap, maybe we could go on a double date, with me and Nino," Alya offered, hoping to meet Marinette's mystery man the easy way.
Marinette smiled, but shook her head. "Thanks for the offer, but I don't think that will happen."
"Worth a shot," Alya chuckled, and Marinette smiled. They sat in silence for a few moments, before Alya whispered, "Wow…" Marinette glanced up. "I just, never thought the day would come that you would be over Adrien."
"Ah," Marinette tapped her chin, smiling in thought. "It's not like I don't think Adrien's still cute, perfect, and has a heart of gold, I just realized how gorgeous the heart of someone a little different was to me," she explained.
Alya glanced up mischievously, "And mystery man isn't perfect?"
"No," Marinette admitted, but her eyes were full of warmth. "But I love every bit of him for it."
Alya smiled. It seemed, maybe this mystery man was actually made for Marinette. Every inner fanfiction she made for Adrienette sobbed, but she could not deny the love in her friend's eyes. She could not deny the way Marinette was incapable of speaking to Adrien, let alone caring for him, and the obsessive way she treated his very being, versus the tenderness and the even playing field she seemed to be on with this boy.
"Well," Alya began, standing. "I have places to be, articles to write, things to do." She had meant to be writing an article on Chat Noir's abnormal, flirtless behavior right now, but her friend's abnormal behavior, well, lack of abnormal behavior, mattered just a little bit more. "Thanks for telling me, Marinette. See you tomorrow at school?"
Marinette grinned. "Of course! See you tomorrow!"
AN: Thanks for giving this a read! This is my first genuine try at MLB Fanfic, and I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing it! I have a couple more chapters for this, but it won't be long. If it goes well, maybe I'll make some more