It was all Adrien's fault.
In his defence, he was partly trying to put Chloe off….and get some more awesome puns and clever word plays to impress Ladybug during their next battle with an Akuma. Unfortunately though nothing could put Chloe off (nor did any pun impress Ladybug), not even a Pokémon marathon, and therefore Adrien endured a whole day trying to escape Chloe's octopus-like arms while jotting down notes and trying to focus on the awesomeness that was Pokémon.
He was so distracted with it all that he didn't notice the greedy, evil, gleam in Chloe's eyes during the Princess Day episode when a purely selfish idea entered her head.
He didn't notice that Chloe was suddenly distracted with her phone.
He didn't notice the satisfied, self-serving, smirk on Chloe's face.
So it was just as much as a surprise to Adrien as it was to everyone else when the Mayor announced three weeks later that Paris was going to have its own special holiday called Princess Day.
"What the bloody fuck," Kim demanded rudely, "is Princess Day?"
"It's a day to celebrate the beauty of girls," Chloe said airily, "in which princesses like me get to go shopping, eat free food, and be pampered and worshipped as they should be. All boys are expected to attend to the fairer sex and treat them as the princesses they are. Finally," Chloe tossed her hair arrogantly, "I am being recognised for the royalty I am."
"Yeah," Max muttered, "The royal pain, you are."
Kim grinned at him and they shared a congratulatory high-five that Chloe was completely oblivious to as she admired her reflection in her compact mirror. "Daddy is making all the schools close down for it tomorrow," she carried on, "and all the businesses have agreed on special deals for the girls, and there is going to be a competition to find the Queen of all Princesses, which, of course, I am going to win!" she boasted arrogantly.
"Of course," Alya rolled her eyes, "because the competition will obviously be rigged," she added in a mutter to Nino who grinned back.
"Of course you'll win!" Sabrina gushed. "You're the most princess-y person I know. There could be no one who could out-princess you, Chloe."
"I know," Chloe smirked (behind her these of the class gagged, pulled faces, and grimaced at the thought), "now all I need is a Prince to serve me throughout the day, Oh," she cooed sweetly, "Adri-kins! Won't you be my – where the hell is Adrien?!"
Everyone gaped at the empty space where Adrien had been sitting only mere seconds ago. It was as if he literally vanished into thin air.
(In reality he ran out of the class room the moment he heard 'all boys are expected to attend to the fairer sex' and immediately transformed into Chat Noir to complete his escape. He had no doubts that if Chloe had her way Adrien would be forced to spend a day being her whipping boy and there was no way in hell he was going to let that happen!)
"Eh," Nino shrugged, "bathroom?" he offered helplessly.
Chloe fumed. "Hmmph!" she huffed. "I'll just have to find another boy to make do with until he returns. It might not be a prince but a fumbling squire will have to do for now," she turned to look expectantly at Kim.
"Oh would you look at that!" Kim yelped, looking like a deer caught in headlights. "I've already have a princess!" and he then immediately fumbled for Alix's wrist and pulled her close. "I can't serve you Chloe, I'm already someone else's bitch."
"Really?" Alix smirked. "I can have fun with that."
Kim paled as he realised he probably threw himself into the second worst situation in this whole ridiculous Princess Day affair….but then again Alix would always be the lesser evil compared to Chloe.
"Fine!" Chloe snapped irritably. "There are others…" she moved her gaze onto Max, but the small, intelligent, boy had already suspected he would be next and had already rushed to hide between Rose and Juleka.
"Sorry," he said in a tone that suggested he really wasn't sorry at all, "but I have two princesses to serve."
"I'd hardly call them princesses!" Chloe said scathingly. "And I wouldn't want some geek like you to serve me anyway!" she huffed. "You would only drop all of my shopping because you're so weak and pathetic unlike some…" she eyed Ivan suggestively but the big, silent, boy didn't even give her the dignity of an answer as he glared back and wrapped an arm round his girlfriend. "I suppose Nino will have to suffice," Chloe sighed in a melodramatic long-suffering manner.
"Uh-huh," Alya jumped in, hands on her hips, "You back off. The boy already has his own princess to serve, isn't that right Nino?"
Nino shot a grateful look at Alya as he mouthed the words 'thank you' to her. "That's right!" he said loudly. "Alya is my princess tomorrow. I'm to do whatever she says."
"Grr!" Chloe growled. "I suppose I shall have no choice but to settle for a joker then!" she huffed s she whirled round to the only available boy in the room.
It took Nathaniel five, painfully, long seconds to realise that she meant him.
He paled rapidly when it did finally occur to him. "M-me?!" he squeaked as he pointed to himself. Chloe shot him a snarky look that virtually screamed 'no shit, Sherlock!' in response that immediately made poor Nathaniel feel two inches tall. "I c-c—can't!" he stuttered. "I h-h-have M…." he tailed off hopelessly when he saw Marinette's empty seat. "Where's Marinette?!" he whispered fearfully.
"She's late," Alya said apologetically, "again."
"Yes?" Chloe barked impatiently. "You have who exactly?!"
"Erm…ah….I…." Nathaniel stammered, "….Sabrina?" he asked hopefully. He turned his beautiful blue eyes into her direction with a desperate, pleading, look but was immediately disappointed as the red-headed girl shook her head and shot him a disgusted glare. "No one," he slumped in disappointment as he resigned himself to a day of hell, "I have no one."
"Just as I thought," Chloe said in a satisfied tone, "well then, tomorrow, you can arrive at mine bright and early and begin your day as my manservant."
Nathaniel sobbed at that.
"Sorry man," Kim said unashamedly, "but it was every man for himself."
Nathaniel's only response to that was just another helpless sob.
Adrien's first instinct had been to run home, hide under his bed, and not to come out until this stupid Princess Day thing was over.
Unfortunately one of the very few things his father's high-tech security system couldn't do was keep Chloe out of the mansion, and therefore Adrien had to re-think his plan. He obviously couldn't be seen as Adrien anywhere for the next twenty four or so hours, not until the whole Princess Day thing blew over and Chloe had no official excuse to order him about, so he was better off spending his time as Chat Noir.
But Chat Noir couldn't just be seen hanging about. People would get suspicious, or worried and start a riot out of fear and panic, Hawk Moth might make an attempt on his miraculous, and Ladybug would most definitely be unimpressed with him.
So Chat was going to need an excuse.
He was going to need to find himself a princess to serve for a day.
His first choice, as always, would have been Ladybug.
But he didn't know Ladybug's true identity and he wasn't entirely sure, that even if he did know it, that his Lady would consent to him waiting on her hand and foot. So he had to resign himself to another girl, just for the day.
As he mulled over his possibilities his saviour arrived running down the street in black and pink.
With a smirk, Chat Noir pushed himself off of the roof with his baton and landed smoothly on his feet in front of Marinette. The dark-haired, blue-eyed, girl had been rushing up the street like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. "I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" she cried out. "I'm la-gah!" she screamed in a strangled voice as she halted to stop before she collided into Chat Noir.
"Apologies, Princess," Chat purred, "I didn't mean to startle you," he then took her hand into his and pressed his lips against her knuckles. The feel of her soft skin against his lips sent the usual tingles shooting up and down his spine. He had to remind himself firmly, again, that his heart already belonged to someone else. "I wanted a quick word with you."
"Can't this wait, Chat?" Marinette huffed. "I'm going to be late for school!"
"It will only take a moment, Princess," Chat assured her, "I suppose you have heard the announcement of Paris' new holiday Princess Day."
"You mean," Marinette said scathingly, "the made-up holiday so Chloe can officially boss everyone around like she does every other day?"
Chat Noir chuckled at this. "Indeed," his eyes twinkled in amusement, "well I find myself at a loose end without a princess to serve tomorrow. So I was wondering," he abruptly went down on one knee before Marinette which made her cheeks flush a bright pink as she glanced round in panicked manner to see if anyone was watching them, "if the true Princess of Paris would be willing to let me serve her."
"Wouldn't you rather serve Ladybug or someone else?"
"My Lady is not my Princess," he said softly, unwillingly divulge his insecurity that Ladybug would never let him be anything but her partner in battle, "and there is no one else I would rather serve than you."
Which was true in its own right. He knew with all his heart that Marinette would never take advantage of him like most girls, Chloe especially, would. She was too kind, and nice, and fair to consider making him do anything particularly horrendous.
And he would, quite honestly, like a day with Marinette. One without the blushing, and stuttering and stammering, and anxious body language that gave him the impression that she was petrified of him and always made him feel self-conscious.
Marinette flushed fiercely at that. "Get up!" she hissed. "You look like you're proposing and people are staring at us!" she looked absolutely mortified.
He squeezed her hand tighter and set his jaw stubbornly. "Not until you allow me to serve you tomorrow," he said firmly, "Please Princess," he pleaded, "let me be your knight for the day."
"All right! Fine!" Marinette said quickly. "Now get up!"
Chat grinned as he jumped up onto his feet. "Thank you!" he pressed her the top of her hand to his lips again. "I promise you that you won't regret it. I'll make sure that you'll have the best day ever," he vowed, "You have no idea what you have saved me from. I will ensure that tomorrow you will be pampered and-"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!" Marinette interrupted as her cheeks turned a flaming red. She looked flustered and uncomfortable at all the attention he was lavishing on. "Just go, you silly cat! You're causing a scene."
"As you wish," Chat purred with a smirk, "until tomorrow Princess, adieu."
He pressed one last kiss on Marinette's hand before he gave her a courtly bow, stepped away, and pulled out his baton. Immediately it grew in length as he used it to swing himself back onto the rooftops and with a giddy laugh he began to run along them, jumping from one roof to the other, feeling free and elated.
He had just escaped Chloe's clutches and won himself a day with Marinette, a true friend, and now he was going to enjoy a day of freedom, away from expectations, and schedules, and people staring at him.
He just hopes that no one contacts his father about him skiving school for the day.
"GAH!" Marinette screamed so loudly that it echoed after him as realisation finally sunk into her. "I'M LATE FOR SCHOOL!"