"Come on, Alya! Stop checking the Ladyblog! You promised to help!" Marinette whined, clear irritation in her eyes and voice.
Alya chuckled. "Okay!" She tossed her phone on her best friend's bed and stretched her arms wide, allowing the girl to take her measurements for a new dress she was working on. Alya just happened to be her model for the day. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "It's just that-"
"-something could happen at any moment and you wouldn't know," Marinette recited perfectly, eyes focused on the task at hand as she wrapped the measuring tape around the girl's waist. She looked up, her blue eyes almost twinkling as her lips twitched up in a barely disguised smirk. "But believe me, I don't think Ladybug is...ah...active at the moment." Her eyes flickered momentarily to her clutch purse before focusing back on Alya, which did nothing but confuse her best friend.
"...okay...?" She mumbled, brushing a strand of brown hair out of her face but flinching and stretching her arms out again after Marinette shot a dead glare at her. Alya had a habit of forgetting her friend's most sacred rule when it came to modeling her designs; don't move.
After she had taken all the necessary measurement (you'd think she wouldn't have to do this every time, but Alya grew insanely fast) Marinette got the fabrics she needed while Alya went to fetch the tools. She helped the girl as much as she could, having remembered how to work with all of this from the many times she had helped Marinette. Although the things she could (or was allowed to) do were limited, the black haired girl liked doing these things mostly by herself.
The reddish brown haired girl let herself drop onto the bed, checking and updating the Ladyblog while she waited until her help would be needed again. She nearly jumped out of her skin as her phone gave the signal and she quickly tapped into the live news feed. She wasn't the only one who got startled though, Marinette jumped up and dropped her scissors, the sharp tool landing next to her foot, if she had been an inch closer she'd have been cut. She sighed. "What is it?"
Alya had already gotten up and was nearly bouncing on her feet from excitement. "Chat Noir has been spotted near the Louvre, fighting an Akuma. It won't be long before Ladybug shows up! I'll be right back!" She rushed out the door, calling a quick 'I'll make it up to you!' and 'goodbye!' before she was gone.
Tikki flew out of Marinette's purse and she quickly transformed before tracking Chat with the map on her yo-yo and making her way to the scene.
When she arrived, the villain Chat was fighting was already getting tired, and she had to admit, she was impressed. (She'd never tell him though)
A massive crowd was watching, Alya stood in the front, filming everything with an awed expression. Her eyes lit up when she spotted Ladybug and she squealed as the hero jumped down from the roof and landed beside Chat.
"My Lady," he greeted cheekily, kissing her hand.
She pulled back and started twirling her yo-yo. "Sorry I'm late, Kitty."
He winked. "No problem, I got it covered," he shifted his weight, leaning on his staff and twirling his tail in the other hand.
"Sure you do," Ladybug dodged an incoming attack from the Akuma, retaliating by swinging her yo-yo. "Chat, the board!" She called.
"Got it," he rushed past the villain as she distracted him, activating his Cataclysm to destroy the nearby billboard of Agreste's new clothing line. He didn't know what her plan was, but her ideas had always worked out in the past so he didn't question it. Besides, he was happy as long as he could destroy one of his father's billboards, even if it had his own face on it. Eh, he hated that smug expression the photographer made him wear anyway.
Alya was filming the entire thing, sneaking through the crowd and hiding in between people whenever she saw an officer. The moment one spotted her, they'd take her away from the danger, and she wasn't about to let that happen. As much as she loved Ladybug, she made sure to give Chat as much screen time. There were a lot of Chat Noir fangirls on the Ladyblog and she didn't want to risk getting them angry, one time was more than enough.
After the Akuma was defeated, Ladybug urged Chat to go because his Miraculous was running out (Alya had to film that too because of all the 'Ladynoir' shippers) the girl turned of her phone after having said a quick 'goodbye Ladybloggers!' She quickly uploaded the video to the blog and looked up, surprised to be standing face to face with her most favorite.
Alya wasn't proud to say she jumped and squealed like a fangirl.
"L-Ladybug!" She stuttered, eyes wide.
The masked hero smirked at her reaction, amusement in her eyes. "Hey Alya! I don't have much time so I just wanted to say that you're doing really great on the Ladyblog!" She praised, a friendly smile on her face.
Alya blinked, staring in shocked silence for a few seconds. She was aware of all the news reporters swarming them and bugging the hero for questions, but she ignored them and personally stepped towards her to say how much she loved the Ladyblog.
Someone pinch her now.
"I...uh..." She mentally cursed herself for not forming a normal sentence, counting to three to calm down...slightly. "T-thank y-you. My friend, Marinette keeps telling me that I work too hard on-" her eyes widened, that sentence seemingly sobering her up. "Marinette," she breathed softly. Alya couldn't believe herself, she left the girl while she promised to stay and help with her design. She never broke a promise, especially not one to her best friend. Marinette was going to kill her.
Ladybug titled her head, a frown on her face although Alya could see hints of a knowing look in her eyes. "Something wrong?"
Alya slipped her phone in her pocket. "I-I'm sorry, I gotta go," she turned and ran, giving Ladybug limited time to head back and pretend to work on the dress before the reddish brown haired girl arrived. She didn't waste any time. Ignoring the journalists, she swung her yo-yo, dropping onto the roof and running across, jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
As Alya entered the bakery, she quickly greeted Tom and Sabine before rushing up the stairs, telling herself that she would explain to them later. She smiled a bit sheepishly as she entered her best friend's room and found her taping pieces of cardboard on a white mannequin to create the shape of the dress. She'd remove it later, it was just to help her perfect everything. Marinette turned when she heard her door open, smiling and rolling her eyes at the expression on Alya's face. "Back already?" She questioned.
"Yeah..." Alya closed the door behind her, golden eyes looking guilty. "Sorry for leaving you like that..."
Marinette shrugged. "Don't sweat it, it's okay," she pulled one of the pins out of her bracelet and used it to secure a piece of cardboard to the mannequin. "How were Ladybug and Chat Noir?" She asked almost automatically, her eyes locked on the pieces of cardboard.
Alya shrugged and grabbed the tiny pink box in which she knew her friend kept her pins, she walked towards her and held the box out so she could take a pin when needed. "As awesome as always, but that's no excuse to break my promise."
Marinette smiled and grabbed a pin from the box, putting the sharp end between her lips and placing the cardboard in the right way before pulling it out and pinning it. "I told you, it's fine."
"I actually expected you to get mad, or tease me mercilessly."
Marinette laughed and shrugged her shoulders. "I'm in a good mood, I guess."
"How about I make it up to you by staying and helping until the dress is done?" She offered.
"You'll be staying for a while then, this doesn't just get done in one day. If we work the whole night we'll probably be done tomorrow morning."
"It's settled then," Alya put the box on the desk when the blue eyed girl didn't need it anymore, jumping on the bed and grinning. "I'm staying the night. That way we can work on the dress during the day and just relax and watch movies or something at night. It's weekend anyway, we've got time." She shrugged.
Marinette rolled her eyes. "Something tells me you've been planning this before you ran off."
Alya winked. "Maybe I have."
"Hey, Mari?" Alya asked that night, lying on her best friend's bed as the two of them watched a horror movie. The golden eyed girl had never been impressed with those kind of movies, it was fun to watch, but it just didn't scare her. As for Marinette...after the incident with Mylène, nothing scared her anymore.
"Hmm?" She answered, tossing a handful of popcorn in her mouth and rolling her eyes when the lead female character moved towards the strange sounds. Horror movie characters always seemed to have a death wish. The ghosts or murderers weren't even trying!
"Do you think Ladybug and Chat are cute together?"
Marinette choked on her popcorn and Alya quickly moved and slapped her friend on the back.
"Why-" she wheezed. "Why would you even think that?!"
Alya blinked, surprised at her friend's reaction. It wasn't that much of a big deal, was it? "I don't know," she shrugged. "The Ladyblog gets send a lot of fanfictions and fanart, and I have to read through all of them or check if something isn't appropriate, put it in the right categories and stuff. A lot of them are Ladynoir fanfics-"
"Ladynoir?!" She cut in, voice full of disbelief. They had a shipname?
"Yes," Alya's frown deepened. "Anyway, I read through all of them and thought it was pretty cute, so I re-watched all my videos to see their interactions and it was pretty clear Chat has a crush on her."
"Ever thought about the possibility of Ladybug not returning his feelings?" She asked, sounding almost offended that people would just assume something.
Alya raised an eyebrow. "Yes...but if you look at the way Ladybug acts around him st certain times...I think she likes him back, but either she doesn't know it or doesn't want to know it. Why does it bother you so much anyway?"
Marinette stared a bit blankly at the wall, her eyes locked but not focused on the multiple pictures of Adrien. Alya's words did something to her, and she did not like that. Chat was just her silly kitty, her most trusted partner. Adrien was destined to be her future husband...right?
Oh who was she kidding? She couldn't even say hello to the boy without becoming a stuttering and blushing mess.
"Marinette?" Alya called softly, waving her hand in front of the black haired girl's face.
She blinked, abruptly snapping out of her daze. She glanced at the golden eyed girl before turning and downing her lukewarm hot chocolate and wiping the whipped cream of her face. She threw the covers over her body and faked a yawn. "I'm getting a bit tired, goodnight Alya," she muttered, forcing herself to sound sleepy.
Alya wasn't fooled by it, but didn't mention it. "Goodnight, Mari." She mimicked the girl, downing the warm drink before turning off the TV and taking off her glasses, snuggling into the covers after that. She had borrowed Marinette's fuzzy blue pajamas, and right now, she remembered why she loved them so much. They were just so soft, almost heavenly.
When she heard Marinette's breathing even out, she grabbed her phone and unlocked it, scrolling through the Ladyblog posts before exiting the blog and tapping the icon for her pictures. She scrolled through, ignoring the edited pictures of multiple boys and girls in a Chat Noir or Ladybug costume and stopping when she found the one she was looking for. Her finger hovered over the edited picture of Marinette in a Ladybug costume, it was almost freaky how similar it was to the real Ladybug. Alya glanced behind her at her sleeping best friend and sighed, pressing the 'delete' button. Marinette couldn't be Ladybug, it was just too obvious. Besides, if that was the case, she would have told her, they were best friends.
Alya couldn't believe what she was seeing. Chat Noir had just transformed, without noticing her. And she had it on camera.
She felt as if her brain was getting destroyed from the inside, this wasn't possible, it just wasn't. She just couldn't believe that Chat Noir was in fact-
"Adrien?" She breathed.
He tensed and she slapped a hand over her mouth, quickly hiding behind a dumpster before he could see her. She stayed there, perfectly still and hidden from him, not even daring to breathe. When she heard his footsteps going the opposite way, she let out a sigh of relief before getting up and rushing out of there.
She headed towards the bakery, not waiting to tell Marinette. Alya was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't even notice the hero following behind her, she only noticed when he wrapped an arm around her waist and jumped onto a roof.
"Adrien! What are you-"
He placed a clawed hand over her mouth, stopping her from ranting any further. He had heard about her...uh...'legendary' rants from Nino, and now was not the time. "Alya, you have to keep this a secret," he said, voice sounding urgent and almost pleading.
"But...you're Chat Noir!" She stressed. "How in the world do you expect me to keep my mouth shut?!"
He flinched. "I know, I know. But it's important that you do."
"Does Nino know?"
"She insists on us not knowing each other's identity, so no."
His eyes widened and he paled. "No!"
She blinked, not expecting that reaction. "Can I at least tell Mari-"
"No, Alya," he sighed. "Nobody can know, she's actually the last person I want to know...besides my father."
Alya's eyes narrowed and she stepped closer, eyes turning murderous. "Why? Do you have a problem with her?"
He stepped back. "No! Far from it!"
She smirked and crossed her arms, leaning back to give him some space, which he seemed to appreciate. "A crush then?"
His face flushed and he rubbed the back of his neck. "I...uh...I...she...Alya!"
Her smirk stayed in place. She found it interesting how he didn't didn't answer the question and chose to avoid it instead. He may not know it, but he just caused a lot more investigating on her part. "What?"
"The point is, you can't tell anyone."
"Adrien..." She glanced down at her phone, her finger hovering over the upload button. If she pressed it, the video would be on the Ladyblog and the whole world would know that Chat Noir was Adrien Agreste. She glanced back up at him, her eyes locked on his catlike green ones. He was pleading with her, a worrying amount of fear in his eyes. She sighed and pressed the 'delete' button once again. Despite the lack of communication they had, she still considered him a friend, and she didn't betray her friends.
Chat let out a breath of relief. "Thank-"
"Why don't you want me to tell Marinette?"
He started blushing again. "I..." He sighed. "I think she hates me."
Alya blinked. "What?"
He shrugged. "It's just...she avoids me when I'm Adrien and acts really strange. But when I'm Chat and I talk to her...she's really sweet, kind and playful. I mean, I could just show up at her window and she would take the time to actually talk to me and listen to what I have to say-"
"That sounds like Mari, alright," Alya muttered, rubbing her temples. Boys were so stupid!
"I don't know what I did to make her hate me so much, but I don't want to ruin her friendship with Chat," he finished.
"She doesn't hate you, Adrien," Alya assured, rolling her eyes. "Believe me when I say she doesn't."
"All I can say is that you're really dense."
He blinked, confusion in his eyes. "What?"
"Nothing," she sighed. "You know you're asking me to lie to my best friend, right?"
"I know, and I'm sorry. But please, Alya, you have to promise me."
Crap, he had her cornered. She couldn't break her promises.
He smiled. "Thank you, do you want me to get you home?"
"No," she shook her head. "I just want you to get me down from here, I need the walk to clear my mind."
"Done," he grabbed her and jumped off the roof and into an alley, landing safely and letting go of her. "And again, I'm sorry," he apologized.
She didn't reply, just glanced at him before turning and walking away.
"Marinette?" Alya called, walking into the room. She expected to see her best friend, but instead, she found a weird looking red creature sleeping peacefully on the pillow.
Tikki lazily opened her big blue eyes, flying up when she noticed Alya. The ladybug Kwami froze in place. "Oh no..."
Marinette walked in, frowning when she saw Alya. "Oh, Alya! What are you doing he-" her eyes shifted towards Tikki and she paled. "Oh no..."
Alya's eyes shifted from Tikki and back to Marinette multiple times. Not saying anything.
"Alya..." Marinette started carefully. "I can explain, just stay calm when I do."
"I always knew you were strange, Marinette," Alya muttered softly, golden eyes snapping to her best friend. "But this is a little over the top."