She’s never met someone like Kagami before.
When Marinette is paired up to spar with her, she definitely tries her best but knows she’ll always lose to the ice queen in her the back of her mind. Not like she’s not okay with it. The girl with similar blue-black hair, cut short into a bob, is the ideal woman in her honest opinion. She gives Marinette that snarky smile every time she wins a round. She’s a touch on the condescending side.
Kagami Tsurugi was pretty, confident, smart, always showed her real feelings and opinions, never a liar, and she stood out like a certain teen supermodel.
Marinette’s crush on Adrien had been put on the backburner since that day at the ice rink. Kagami was right, Marinette was the hesitant one. But “she never hesitated.” Something about that forwardness she never really experienced with Adrien, or from anyone else she had liked, really intrigued her. That advice never quite left Marinette.
Kagami was currently on a trip with Adrien to a competition, them by themselves, travelling across country lines. Marinette couldn’t fathom which person she was more jealous of, Adrien, or Kagami?
The more she overthought and dissected her hesitation and reactions and past conversations, the more she fell deeper into a trap she never thought was possible for her.
“I like Kagami,” she breathed, seeing a full page of sketches of the girl on her desk. Apparently, her mind focused a lot on her eyelashes, hair, and hands.
“Do you like her more than Adrien?” Tikki asked, already having been fully aware of her new crush.
She closed her sketchbook, “I’m... not sure. It’s different, Tikki. I’ve never liked a girl before.”
“But you also never had fallen for anyone before Adrien, Marinette,” the little godlike being interjected, “Are you okay with liking girls?”
“Of course. I’m not ashamed! I just didn’t think Kagami was on my radar. Or my type.” Marinette spun around in her chair. “She’s so much more abrasive than people I’ve been interested in before.”
Tikki rested on Marinette’s lap, “Well, you know what? Maybe that intensity will be good for you! I think your feelings must be strong enough since you voiced them, and multiple crushes at once isn’t uncommon. Adrien may not be your end all, be all. You’re growing up, Marinette, and I’m sure this will go fine.”
“Yeah, thanks Tikki. It should be fine.”
It was not fine.
Somehow, after fencing practice one day, Marinette found herself pinned against the wall of the girl’s locker room by a certain someone; Kagami Tsurugi wasn’t taller than her, actually she must be about three centimeters shorter, she made note of it. She also noted a clean, crisp apple scent masking light salty sweat, along with a chapstick sheen on the other girl’s lips.
“Ka-Ka-Kagami, what’s this all about?”
“Why were you staring at me?”
“I was! Observing you! We just came from practice, y’know?”
“No, I don’t know,” Kagami placed a second palm against the wall next to Marinette’s head, “it was a different kind of stare. You were looking at me strangely.”
Her aggressive tone sent chills up Marinette’s back, and she shuddered, “Kagami, I’m sorry, you’re absolutely right, I won’t stare at you, I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”
“Tell me outright,” she closed in, “I’m not uncomfortable. I never am. Tell me why you looked at me like that.”
“I… I…” Marinette gulped, swallowing her stutter, “I was thinking of what clothes would suit you, that I could make just for you, and the way your wrist flicks when you allez and your form when you lunge, and how gorgeous you look when you’re focused on besting your opponent. Also what kinds of hair pieces that would look good with your bob, and maybe earrings, now that I’m looking, it looks like you don’t have your ears pierced so never mind, but I can tell how hard you work and care about fencing. You get better everyday, you’re amazing—”
“You’re only going to hear me ask for permission once, and only once,” Kagami’s lashes fluttered slightly when her eyes shifted from Marinette’s eyes to her lips, “Can I kiss you? Riposte.” Answer.
Marinette flushed, nodding her head quickly, and the other girl reacted fast, soft lips on her own quicker than she could close her eyes. Her gloved hands wrapped around Marinette’s waist and when she pulled away to catch her breath, Kagami would capture her lips, continuing their kiss. If this kept up, Marinette was going to melt into a puddle.
“I like you a lot, Kagami, I think you’re special.”
“Funny, I was going to tell you the same thing,” a tiny curl of the lips told Marinette more than she thought she could know. “I’ve never met someone so different, so gentle; you have a light about you, Marinette Dupain-Cheng.”
Marinette covered her red face with her hands, “Compliments sounds so good coming from you. I think I might die.”
“You can’t die,” Kagami’s smirk got a touch wider, “what will Paris do without their Ladybug?”
“Oh my god? I am actually going to die…! How did you know?” Marinette clutched at Kagami’s shoulders, eyes wide. She could feel herself get clammier suddenly.
“I watch you too, when you’re not watching me. I’m surprised no one has realized the only young pigtailed girl with dark hair and almond shaped blue eyes was Paris’ greatest hero. You have the same speaking voice too, when you’re not nervous.”
"I think you already know what I’m going to say next, please, Kagami, don’t tell anyone about this.”
“Why would I reveal my girlfriend’s identity to anyone? I want to be the only one who knows the real you.”
“G-girl— Girlfriend?! This has been the craziest ten minutes of my life so far, more than when I decided I’d let Chloe keep the bee miraculous.”
Kagami took her gloves off, setting them aside.
“I know we’ve had our differences, Marinette. But I mean everything I’ve ever said to you. I can tell that you have the same feelings for me as I do for you. You’re like a flower bud before bloom, you remind me of the sakura of back home,” she kissed her hand, “I want to see that bloom myself. Even if you’re Ladybug, I want to see Marinette bloom.”
“Marinette Tsurugi, has a nice ring, actually…” Marinette daydreamed, “I mean, uh… Just ignore me.”
“No, Kagami Dupain-Cheng has a flair to it too, I must admit,” Kagami smiled.
“Kagami!” A certain blonde boy called out.
“Adrien,” the fencing prodigy replied, “How have you been?”
“I’ve been great, but you didn’t let me know you and Marinette are an item now,” green eyes crinkled, “I’ll have you know, she’s my best friend, and if I ever see her unhappy—”
“Please, Adrien. You don’t have to be so protective of her,” Kagami smirked, “I promise to take very good care of her.”