Marinette was out of breath.
That didn't stop her from continuing to run away. Her feet pounded on the ground loudly as her heart beat hard and fast against her chest. She dodged and bobbed and weaved from upcoming obstacles such as other people also running away and bins and the odd tree or lamppost. She sped through the streets determined that she wouldn't be caught.
That didn't stop the Akuma from chasing after her though.
It was so utterly typical that Marinette hadn't been able to go for a simple walk without immediately walking into one. Hawk Moth's attacks were increasing in frequency and nonsense as each Akuma became more and more ridiculous.
And more, and more dangerous.
"COME BACK HERE!" the demented looking girl with large, feathery, wings and a bow and arrow, screeched. "LET ME MAKE YOU A PERFECT MATCH!"
Marinette shivered at that.
She had seen this Akuma's magic at work before the Akuma had focused her attention on Marinette. There was a guy out there somewhere that was going to wake up from an enchantment and realise he had just spent the last who knows how long trying to seduce a pensioner.
That was not a fate that Marinette wanted to wish on anyone let alone herself.
It was a difficult fate to escape from though almost as soon as the Akuma's eyes clapped on Marinette she had immediately zoomed in on Marinette's lack of romantic partner, probably could smell Marinette's despair at the lack of a love life or something equally humiliating, and has made it her mission to find Marinette someone.
She hadn't let Marinette out of her sight since which has made it incredibly difficult to transform.
And if she couldn't transform she couldn't purify the Akuma.
Which meant that people will be unwillingly match-made to one another for God knows how long.
This Akuma didn't even make sense!
How was hitting Marinette with an arrow laced with some spell was going to help in matchmaking?!
Marinette was going to hazard a guess that the reason this girl was Akumatised was because she was a terrible matchmaker and did something really wrong. She had probably upset someone important in her own life and was now out to prove that she wasn't as bad as they accused her to be.
Well she wasn't going to let the Akuma mess with her love life!
It was already a mess on its own with Adrien calling her just a friend and not turning up on secretly planned dates and let's not get started on her confusing, mind-boggling, feelings for her crime-fighting partner that were beginning to blossom.
Yes, her love life was already dire on its own accord. She really didn't need an Akuma to make things worse.
Marinette turned sharply down a side street and raced out into an empty, open, street. She just needed a place, a sanctuary of some sort, to duck under, a shade to hide in, a wall to hide behind, something to cover her before she transformed. Anything would do just as long as it concealed her from prying eyes. She couldn't risk transforming in front of the Akuma. Hawk Moth watched everything through his Akumas. He would find out her identity if she transformed in front of the Akuma.
She needed a distraction.
She needed Chat Noir!
"LET ME HELP YOU!" the Akuma screamed. "I WILL FIND YOU YOUR TRUE LOVE!"
"No thanks!" Marinette called back. "I'm good!"
She hadn't bothered to look back she was too determined to find somewhere to hide before it was too late. Her heart skipped a beat out of hopeful joy when she caught sight of an entrance to the underground. Just a few yards away, she just had to run a little bit more, and then she could escape into safety and trans-
"MARINETTE!" a distinctively familiar and masculine voice hollered. "LOOK OUT!"
It was all a blur.
One second she was running down the street and then the very next she was face first on the ground. The grey gravel of the road filled her view of the world as her stomach, arms, and legs all burned from the pain. She will undoubtedly be grazed all over to point of black and blue in the morning yet she never felt safer. The pain was nothing compared to the heavy, reassuring, weight on her back as she felt a comforting warmth seep through her clothes, the scent of leather, cheese, and something wonderful filled her nostrils.
Before she could even comprehend what had happened though she was rolled over onto her back and her gaze was locked in by two stunning emerald orbs framed by black.
Just in the nick of time.
Marinette nearly sighed in relief that is until she caught sight of a golden arrow sticking out of Chat Noir's back. She visibly gulped as dread bubbled up in her stomach.
Oh no! She thought despairingly. Not again!
Just because she had seen one arrow cause infatuation didn't mean they all did. Her mind was flooded with memories of the last time Chat Noir had been hit by a love themed Akuma and how it turned him against her. The fact that Chat's eyes instantly dilated made her very nervous as her stomach did a little turn.
"Chat…" she whispered helplessly, "…Chat….please…."
Chat Noir sighed dreamily in reply. "Marinette!" he murmured dazedly. "You're…you're...you're beautiful!"
"Mpfl!" Marinette squeaked.
Her cheeks burned with embarrassment as her mind instantly went blank. She barely registered Chat getting up and offering his hand to her or her acceptance as he helped her up onto her feet. She staggered clumsily into chest which caused him to burst into delighted laughter. She was so engulfed by his warmth, the radiance of his grin, and his scent, that she almost missed his hands skimming her body before they cupped her cheeks.
Her eyes almost fluttered close as she leaned into his touch but then she remembered the Akuma! Her eyes widened in horror.
She opened her mouth to say something. To tell him that they needed to stop the Akuma, to shake him back to reality, to get them to move, to….to...to do something! But before she could utter a single word Chat suddenly pulled her close so that their bodies were pressed up against one another and her mind went completely blank.
"Marinette," he repeated in a dreamy voice, "I love you."
And then he kissed her.