word count: 1066
prompt: outfit change

Adrien was excited for the first day of school for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he's back for another year. His second year of public school. It was ridiculous how much Adrien was looking forward to it, he knew, but he couldn't help it, he got to attend a second year! That meant another year of making friends, another year of his best bro, Nino, another year not under his father's constant but absent supervision, another year of figuring out just what he wanted out of life. He was privileged and all, that he was beginning to understand, but he very rarely got to make his own decisions at home. Being at school, with his friends, he got to make his own decisions. He got to know what the options were. Hell, he was excited just knowing what the options were. That there were options in the first place. It was exciting.

So Adrien showed up half an hour early on the first day, one of the first people in the courtyard. He was never this early, and Adrien had to admit, he was probably slightly overzealous. Still, he found a table at the center of the courtyard, the place he found most comfortable, and sat down, on top of the table because he figured out he was allowed to at some point during the summer last year and he hasn't been able to quit since. He played on his phone while he waited for his friends to show up, running through some flashcards for his chinese lesson later in the evening. Before he knew it, Adrien was surrounded by most of his classmates from the previous school year, the quiet table he'd chosen became boisterous and full of life. Adrien smiled, watching his friends, sad that they wouldn't be put into the same group anymore. He and Nino were assigned to the same teacher with a few others, but Alya would be in a different class, along with Juleka, Nathaniel, and even Chloé.

"Hey, has anyone seen Marinette?" asked Nathaniel. "She promised she'll look at some sketches for me.

"Home girl is probably running late again," Alya shrugged looking at her watch. "Even on the first day, Marinette can't get her head on straight." The disparaging words were said with a small smile and a fond tone. Those listening giggled all giggled knowingly. Surprised that he had not noticed before, Adrien's mind decided to fixate on his missing friend. Marinette had a hard time last year, what with Lila and Chloe both attacking her, and she was often a target for Akumas. Maybe her parents pulled her out of François Dupont and were intending to send her to a different school? What if they were planning to send her out of Paris altogether? Adrien's heart did weird things at the thought of never seeing his shy friend again. Marinette had made most of Adrien's time in school worthwhile, he would be extremely saddened to see her go.

"I'm here!" Someone screamed from the front gates. "I'm here, I am not late, so HA! Take that!" A pink blur ran into the table, scattering the friends and drawing laughter and attention to their table. Adrien blinked, unaware that an actual human being could move so fast. When the dust settled, a girl was revealed, dressed in pink and black. Her shorts were nearly scandalously short, and her blouse girlish, cut in a way that accented her figure. Adrien blinked again, trying to draw his eyes to a more proper place. Unfortunately, they kept drifting down to the expanse of smooth, gorgeous leg on display and the cute doll flats she wore on her feet.

"Marinette!" The class cheered and it took a moment for Adrien's eyes and brain to get on the same page. When Adrien finally found himself able to look at her face instead of her everything else, he was surprised to find that it was indeed Marinette Dupain-Cheng. She looked a lot different from how she did last year. She still wore a lot of pink, but it was different. The shorts showed off her legs (is it weird to find them so pretty? that was weird, right?), and the blouse pulled in just below her um… her… her bust and her arms were actually exposed this year. There was… there was a lot of skin. So much skin. And it was tan and pretty and Adrien didn't know she has freckles across her shoulders too and oh, God, maybe he should stop staring and what happened to the pigtails?

"Uh… dude? You okay?" A finger poked Adrien in the side and he startled, jumping almost off of the table in his surprise.

"Um. Yeah. Yeah, I'm alright." No, Adrien was very not alright, he was going to die completely dead.

A few minutes of staring later, their group separated to search for their new classrooms, which was when Adrien discovered that he and Marinette were in class together again. Not only that but they were also assigned the same desk. Marinette smiled at him as he sat down, the same bright and cheerful smile she had always given, only this year it looked more steady. It was as if she had been all nerves last year and now she felt confident.

"Looks like we get to be desk mates this year," she cheered.

"I… uh… yes. We mates are…. I mean, Good mates we… I mean… Mm-hmm."

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, you're totally fine - I mean - I. I am totally fine." What is wrong with you, Agreste?

"If… you say so, Adrien."

Marinette gave him a wary glance, along the lines of concern. She seemed to fall in on herself, self-conscious and Adrien felt even worse. He didn't mean to make her feel bad, he just… she was just really pretty. It was messing with his brain.

"Oh," said Marinette. Adrien stopped studying the wood of their desk to give her his attention. "Thank you for the compliment? And I'm sorry for messing with your brain?" Her face was pink, but a small mischievous smile graced her lips and Adrien just knew he was in trouble. All year.

Adrien was definitely going to die this year. Happily.