She was stuttering. Every other phrase was garbled nonsense. Her cheeks burned in embarrassment. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she wondered why she couldn't speak to him normally. She was 14 going on 15, for crying out loud! She had already realised that the possibility of moving past friendship was trepid at best so now she was aiming for just being a close friend.

She didn't expect her vernacular problem following her into this endeavour. Maybe it was because she still liked him, but he was her first crush: she would always feel something for him. No matter how much time passed.

She had to give herself credit. Most days it was light stuttering and hesitations. But right now she wasn't functioning well. It had to do with what he asked.

"Marinette, do you like anyone?"

Her heart went into overdrive at the question as her head spun. She chanced a look at Alya and Nino. They couldn't help her. Adrien might just turn the question on them and then they'll have to find excuses not to answer. They were a couple but hadn't come out to the school yet.

So there they sat at one of the benches waiting for school to begin. Marinette wished this was one of those days where she had woken up late because she had stayed up late at night because she was sewing or sketching.

After a few more moments of inarticulate articulation, she clamped her mouth shut. She looked straight ahead, trying to avoid eye contact with the green-eyed boy next to her. Why did she agree to sit next to him again? Perhaps a lapse in insanity caused her to believe she was ready for this.

"Uhm, Adrien, Nino was telling me about his new DJ gig, weren't you? "

Nino looked at her confused before catching on to what she was trying to do. Change the topic.

"Y-Yeah. Alix is throwing a party in 2 weeks and she asked me to Dj."

Luckily for them, Adrien didn't turn the question to them. Instead slowly taking part in the conversation with Alya and Nino

She pulled out a sketchbook, flipped to an empty page and let her pencil do the work. That was the end of the conversation for her. She was too embarrassed to continue speaking. She was riddled with stress at her predicament and sought to sketch the feeling away until the bell signalling the beginning of school tolled. It would give her a chance to escape into class and be lost in her lectures and temporarily forget her worries.

She could scarcely remember how they got to this topic. At first, they were just recounting their weekends. Marinette had spent her time at the movies with Alya and the girls. She arrived late of course, but all she missed were the previews. It was some horror movie that before would have kept her up all night, but after being a superhero for a year and some months, it only scared her a little and she was able to sleep (albeit with the lights on). She also had a run-in with a certain stray cat that she would not bring up to her friends. Nino said he had simply crashed for roughly 36 hours. Went to sleep Friday night, woke up Sunday morning. His mother was worried, but he claimed that it was the best sleep he had in a while. Adrien had his personal trainer come in, he had some photoshoots and was looking at these different studies.

"Nothing too interesting" he had said.

She continued to draw in her sketchbook. Before her eyes, a high collar halter tent dress appeared in graphite. She debated in her mind whether or not to make it a baby doll dress.

Marinette felt eyes on her. Adrien. Against her better judgement, she chanced a look at him. At some point, he fell off from the conversation. Alya and Nino didn't even notice that he was no longer part of the conversation. They were in their own little world. Adrien had instead chosen to look at her, green eyes deep in thought.

She quickly averted her eyes. She wasn't accustomed to such examination.

"Hmm" with an ambiguous sound he came to some conclusion.

"Marinette?" He called, trying to bring her attention on to himself and away from her sketchbook.

Needless to say, it did not work.

Her face stayed glued to the book. Her vocal cords we're closed. All she could do was give a jerky nod to show that she was listening.

He sighed, "I don't know if it's me or something else... But you're always so tense and nervous. Especially around me."

She felt worse. He was blaming himself for her social ineptness. Why couldn't she be as confident outside of the mask as she was behind it? It was the only way she could speak to Adrien like a normal person. Who was she kidding? Even with the mask, she word-vomited. Ladybug just had a faster recovery period due to her responsibilities whereas Marinette's was basically non-existent.

Sometimes she wished Adrien Agreste and Chat Noir were the same person. When Chat Noir showed up unannounced at Marinette's attic room, she found it deceptively easy to converse with him. Even do some light teasing and flirting. He was one of her favourite persons in all of Paris (not that she would tell him that). It's why right now we were black and green ribbons in her pigtails. A little Chat appreciation for her favourite hero. He had helped out when a gust of wind blew her designs out the window. He was passing by and was able to find and return them to her in perfect condition yesterday evening. He spent an hour at her place just chatting about nothing and eating her father's pastries before having to leave his "Princess" for the night.

"I've been doing some reading and I think that I've found a way to get you more comfortable around me"

She was curious now. Honestly, she would give anything for the ability to act normal around him. She turned her head to face him.

"Usually I would ask before I do something like this but it would be best to catch you off guard."

Ask before? Catch her off guard? What is he going to-

The feel of lips on hers stopped her thoughts. It was warm and soft and totally unexpected. Her eyes blew wide taking him in at the contact. His eyes were closed. She decided to follow his lead closing her blue eyes. His long fingers held the back of her head as both his thumbs caressed her cheeks as he held her head in place.

She couldn't believe it she was kissing Adrien freaking Agreste. On the lips. It lasted nought but a second, but a second could last a long time. He pulled away and appraised her expression. Her face was hot and most likely sported a dumbstruck expression. Sure it wasn't her first kiss (that belonged to Chat) but she was just kissed by the guy she was trying to get over.

If she looked to the side she would see her best friend and her best friend's boyfriend were staring at her, jaws on the table.

"Studies have shown that kissing helps release a happy cocktail of chemicals in your brain."

He kissed her on the right cheek.

"These chemical include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which can make you feel euphoric and encourage feelings of affection and bonding. It also lowers your cortisol levels."

He kissed her left cheek.

"Meaning it will relieve your stress, reduce your anxiety and boost your self-worth"

He kissed her forehead.

"So what I'm going to do is that from today, I'm going to kiss you every day, "

He kissed her nose

"Every time I see you: when you arrive at school whether it be early like today or when you cut it close and reach to class right when it's about to start. "

His left thumb continued to move back and forth on her cheek. She felt the cold metal of his ring along her jaw close to her left ear by her miraculous.

"Every time you leave the school I'm going to kiss you. When you're down I'm going to do it. When you're nervous it stressed. I'm. going. To. Kiss you., " he punctuated each word of the last sentence with a kiss on the lips.

His voice dropped to a whisper, "I'm going to kiss you until you remember to relax around me, kay?" He gave a firmer kiss to her lips this time, lingering a beat too long in her lips.

She stared at Adrien dumbly. Only one thing passed through her head.

"Aren't we friends?"

"Sure we are. Friends can kiss, Marinette."

He believed friends could kiss?

"I don't see you kissing Nino"

He chuckled.

"I don't think Nino or his girlfriend would appreciate me trying"

That made sense.

"You know?!" Came the in unison voice of the couple. They were sputtering.

"I'm not blind. I see the way you look at one another"

If he wasn't blind, then he was clueless if he never picked up her feelings.

The bell finally rang. It was time for first period. Alya and Nino flew up first, racing their way up the stairs to class. Adrien stayed behind and walked silently next to her.

"When we get to our seats I'm going to kiss you" he informed her plainly. He was so direct with her. She never knew he had this side.

"What would the class think?!" She was suddenly panicked. She was class representative and this could get out of hand.

He leant down and gave a quick kiss.

"I don't care. I'm going to do it every day and they'll grow accustomed to it."

They were almost to the door.

"C-can I kiss you when you need a happy cocktail of chemicals?" She asked looking down.

"Sure. But only when you're ready"

They reached to class and Adrien dropped his books in his seat. He was about to lean down when he was caught off guard. Marinette had lifted to her toes and gave him a kiss on the cheek before running off to her seat. The class looked on shocked at the display. Rose was already asking for a girl's meeting at lunch over text.

"Girl, is this really happening?"Alya whispered in her ear.

Marinette's eyes followed ChloƩ and Sabrina as they entered. ChloƩ threw herself on to Adrien calling him the pet name she gave him. He didn't kiss her, actually he moved his body away from her as she leaned in for a kissed before coming off completely and going to her seat. Adrien turned and winked at her before turning back to talk to Nino.

"I guess it is" she replied quietly.

It was the start of a beautiful, yet slightly unconventional, relationship.

This is a complete work originally posted on the archive. Over there it's the G rated one shot that is this chapter and the M rated multi chapter fic that I will be posting here. I enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading it. My only regret is that you guys did not get the chapter updating experience, although, I would be spacing out the chapters.