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Miraculous Team: Valentine Lovers

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It had been an especially exhausting day for Mylene Haprèle. Being forced to wake up at 4 in the morning to battle an Akuma, along with the rest of the Miraculous Team, she arrived back home half an hour before she had to get up to go to school. Once there, she, along with the rest of the class had to take an Algebra test, which she believed had gone horribly. And as the cherry on top, she had volunteered to help out her dad on a couple of errands for his next show, which took most of the afternoon. When they finally finished, she was feeling like she had been run over several trucks during a period of four to five hours. Her dad noticed that she looked tired, but she dismissed it, saying that she was just a little sleepy. But the truth was, she was not just sleepy. Every muscle in her body ached, all because she did not have the time to rest and get her energies back, like it happened most times, after a major battle. When they arrived home, her mother had not arrived from work yet with their dinner, so Mylene told her father that she was going to rest a little bit. Arriving at her room, the first thing she did was to look around and see all her stuff, which as always produced in her a sense of peace. Like every teenager, to Mylene, her bedroom was her sanctuary and like every sanctuary, she made sure that it had everything a person like her would need. The walls were lined up with numerous posters, some from movies she adored, others from productions her father had entered. There were also a couple of framed photographs on the walls as well; photographs of her with her parents, and of her with her friends. On the shelves above her bed, there were a couple of trophies she had won, as well as some souvenirs from her vacations and a little wooden box, where Pin slept. In her bookcase, there were dozens of books, most of them novels that she had bought or that someone had offered her, as well as books on theatre, acting method and cinema. Like her father, Mylene wanted to be an actress, after finishing high school. It was one of her dreams, and she believed she was going to achieve it, if she kept working hard.  

Looking at her bed, she jumped onto it, feeling the softness of its covers caressing her hands and face. To her, right then, that was the closest thing to Heaven. As for her kwami, Pin, he jumped out of her backpack, relieved to be able to float around, without bumping into one of the books Mylene had inside it. Looking at her, the deer kwami could not help himself from commenting on the way Mylene looked, after such a rough day.      

“You look exhausted, Mylene.” -Pin told her.

“No, not exhausted. Super dead is more like it.” -Mylene said, as she sunk her head on her pillow, with no intention of moving for the next hour. –“My muscles are killing me with pain, including those I did not knew I had, Pin.” -she sighed, while trying not to move too much.    

The battle against the Akuma had been a rough one. With a little help from Reptile, Hawk Moth had akumatized a failed jazz player into Bebop, an Akuma that turned half of the 5th arroundissement into a garish version of the French Quartier in New Orleans, and attacking everyone and everything that appeared in his way, by blasting them with killing versions of numerous Jazz songs, and forcing them to dance to exhaustion. When she and the other heroes arrived, they all felt like they had stepped into a musical nightmare. To make matters worse, Bebop moved at an incredible speed, while playing either the saxophone or the trombone. All the while, Reptile had decided to cause trouble as well, trying to force the heroes to focus on him, instead of Bebop, so the Akuma could then attack them, when they leas expected. In the end, the battle was won. The Akuma Butterfly was destroyed, and Bebop was returned to normal, as was everything that it had been transformed or destroyed. As for Reptile, being the slithering snake, he was, he disappeared through the shadows of the night. And although the Ampulla Amulet reverted everything to its original state, there was one thing it did not revert, and that was the weariness that crept into the bodies and minds of the young heroes; something that would stalk them for the rest of the school day that still had to begin.       

“Thank God it wasn’t an Akuma powered by a Scarlet Akuma Butterfly, or things would have been way worst. I swear in the name of everything that’s holy, that I’m going to kill Hawk Moth for this… who in their right mind akumatizes someone in the middle of the night, Pin?” -Mylene sighed, her voice muffled by her pillow.

“Someone who doesn’t have any respect for you guys, that’s who.” -Pin joked, trying to cheer her up, but with very little success.

“No offense, Pin, but leave the jokes to Flint, okay?” -Mylene told him. She was too exhausted to hear anything. She just wanted to rest, and perhaps sleep a little bit before dinner.

“Sorry. I was just trying to cheer you up a little.” -Pin told her.

“Thanks, anyway.” -Mylene thanked him, grateful for her kwami being so attentive with her. –“I’m going to for a little bit. Could you wake me up in about 30 minutes? I have homework to do, before dinner.” -she asked Pin.

“Thirty minutes? Okay, you can sleep, that’ll wake you up in a bit.” -Pin said, as he flew towards the bookcase, looking for a book to read.

Closing her eyes, Mylene allowed herself to think about nice things, as she felt her mind being carried to dreamland, where a nice dream awaited her. Usually her dreams were about theatre plays or even movies, where she would play the main role, accompanied by one or more of her friends. And there was no reason why this time it would be different. But, when she was about to fall asleep, she heard a noise, which at first, she thought was part of an impeding that was about to begin in her mind, and did not pay attention to it. It was not until she heard her name being called, and felt her left ear being pinched that she opened her eyes to see what was going on. Turns out, it was Pin who was pinching her ear.

“W-What?! What is it, Pin?!” -Mylene asked, as Pin stopped pinching her ear.  

“You got a visitor.” -the deer kwami said, as he pointed to her window.

Standing outside, leaning on the window sill was Ivan as Grizzly Bear, waving at her. Upon seeing him, Mylene’s heart almost burst from her chest, fearing that if he fell, he would get hurt, when she remembered that he would be alright. The dizziness caused by sleep made her forget for a second certain things, like the fact that like her, he also had powers, and a fall from the fourth floor would not kill him. Getting up from her bed, she quickly opened the window, letting the cold night air enter.   

“Sorry if I woke you up.” -Grizzly Bear said, greeting her with a smile, which she returned.    

“No, I wasn’t sleeping.” -Mylene said, telling a half truth. –“What’s going on? Do you want to come in? Don’t tell me there’s another Akuma on the loose. Is there?” -she asked the bear hero, hoping that was not the case. The last thing she needed was another Akuma attack to suck up the rest of her energy.  

“No, don’t worry, everything’s fine. There are no Akumas running around.” -Grizzly Bear told her. –“And no, I don’t want to enter. I was just wondering… could you come out just for a little bit?”

“Right now?” -Mylene asked him. –“Ivan… it’s not that I don’t want to, but I’m really tired, and I’m waiting for my mom to arrive.” -she declared. She really was exhausted, and now that she had nearly fell asleep, the only thing she wanted to do was going back to sleep, until her mother arrived with the dinner.

“I know you are tired, Mylene, and so am I, but this is really important. Come on, it’ll only take a couple of minutes, and then, I’ll let you go back to sleep. I promise you.” -Grizzly Bear begged her. –“Come on, it’s really important.”

Sighing, Mylene was not able to say no to Ivan. She did not know how he did it, but whenever he begged her for something, she would say yes. Smiling to him, she told him that she would meet him on the rooftop of her building.

“I’ll be up there in a couple of minutes, okay?” -Mylene warned him.

“Alright. I’ll wait for you up there. See you in five minutes.” -Grizzly Bear said, as he started to climb the front of the building, on his way to the top of it.

“What do you think he wants?” -Pin asked Mylene, as she closed the window.

“I don’t know, Pin. But the sooner we find out, the sooner I can go back to my nap.” -Mylene said, as she yawned.

Grabbing her jacket, and letting Pin hide inside one of its pockets, Mylene exited her bedroom and told her father that she had to go out for a couple of minutes. Asking her what she was going to do, she answered him, saying that Ivan needed to give her something regarding their homework, that Miss Bustier forgot to give her, before she left and he was downstairs. Understanding, he told her to go and come back quickly.

“Alright, dad. Be right back.” -Mylene said, as she closed the door behind her.     

Taking the elevator to the top floor, Mylene wondered what could Ivan want. He was not the kind of person who would transform into his superhero self just to chat with her. Usually, if he needed to talk to her, he would call her cell phone, or try to reach her on Facebook or Discord. If he was doing that, then the reason he was doing it was very important, or so Mylene thought.  

What could it be? Ivan’s not the kind of guy to do this.” -Mylene asked herself. –“I know he said it’s an Akuma attack, so that’s not it. And if he wanted to talk to me, he would just call my cell phone.” -she continued to think on what would the reason be for him to show up as Grizzly Bear and ask her to meet him on the rooftop. –“Ivan, what are you up to?

“You’re thinking too hard about what could Ivan want, aren’t you?” -Pin said, startling her and breaking her train of thought.

“W-What?” -Mylene asked. –“What did you say, Pin?”

“I said that you’re thinking too hard on what could Ivan want. And don’t tell me you aren’t because I know you. You’re nibbling your lower lip, and you only do that when you’re thinking too hard on something.” -Pin pointed it out.

“I am.” -Mylene sighed. –“I just can’t figure out what could it be so important that he came all the way here, as Grizzly Bear, to talk about.” -she told her kwami, while looking up, and seeing that they were almost arriving at the very last floor.

“Well, you’ll figure it out in a minute or so.” -Pin told her, as the elevator stopped.

Once the elevator doors opened, Mylene exited it and made her way to the last flight of stairs that granted access to the building’s rooftop, where she knew Ivan would be waiting for her. With each step she took, Mylene came up with a different guess, as to what could Ivan want to talk to her. Some of them sounded pretty realistic, while others sounded absolutely ridiculous, to the point where she just did not know what to think anymore. Reaching the end of the stairs, she searched for the keys that opened the door that granted access to the rooftop. Everyone in the building had one, mainly because in the Summer, it was the perfect place for a person to come and tan itself, without having to go to the beach or the solarium. And the best part was that the only needed was some sun lotion and a beach towel to do so. Finding it, she inserted it in the keyhole and opened it. And as she did it, a gust of wind hit her right on the face. To say that the temperature had dropped drastically, after the sun went down, would be an understatement. It was freezing outside. Still, Mylene quickly buttoned her jacket and exited, closing the door behind her. Looking around, she did not see Grizzly Bear around. She was about to call him out, when she noticed something rather large moving in the shadows, which startled her, again. Exhaustion and sleep were not a winning combination for Mylene, which recognized the silhouette belonging to Grizzly Bear. But when he came out of the shadows, he was not Grizzly Bear, but plain old Ivan Bruel, smiling at her.   

“Hey! You made it.” -Ivan said.

“Yes, I did.” -Mylene smiled at him, as he approached her. –“So, what’s the matter? What is it that couldn’t wait? Do you have a problem? And if so, how can help you?” -she asked him. –“By the way, did anyone see you climbing the building as Grizzly Bear?”

“Oh, no, no problems at all.” -Ivan smiled at her. –“And no, I don’t think so. And even if they did, I hardly believe that they saw me transforming back to normal, with all this darkness.” -he pointed out to the fact that Mylene’s building rooftop was quite dark.

“Just get to the point of what brought you here! Don’t you see the girl wants to know what’s going on?” -Muria declared, as he came out of Ivan’s pocket.

“Would you hold your horses for a minute? I want to do this right.” -Ivan told his kwami.

“You want to do what right, Ivan?” -Mylene asked him, more confused than ever.

It was then that Ivan felt a lump in his throat. He had turned into Grizzly Bear to come and ask Mylene is she wanted to be his girlfriend. He had tried before, during Halloween, but with everything that happened that night, he felt the moment was not right, and decided to wait. And after a lot of thinking, he decided that Valentine’s Day would be the perfect opportunity to pop up the question to her. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized that even if Valentine’s Day was just a couple of days away, he could not wait any longer. He had waited too long to tell her that, and he was not going to wait any longer.  

“W-Well, you see, Mylene, I… I…” -Ivan said, while beginning to stutter. –“Where did all that courage I had inside of me went?! I knew I shouldn’t have powered down. I’m nervous when I’m Grizzly Bear.” -he thought to himself, as Mylene kept staring at him, wondering what was he up to. –“Y-You see… I came here… well, I came here to… I came here…”  

Mylene looked at him, puzzled. She had only seen Ivan acting like that twice before. The first time had been two years before, when he tried to sing her a serenade, which ended up not so good, in part because he was incredibly nervous and because Chloe mocked him and told him that he had a terrible singing voice. As for the second time, it happened a few weeks after they got their miraculouses, when he first asked her to go out with him. Remembering them, everything became clear in Mylene’s head, as to what was happening right then.

Oh my gosh… he’s here to ask me if I want to be his girlfriend!” -Mylene thought to herself, realizing what was going on, and thinking that it was incredibly sweet of him to do such a thing.    

“Wait. Hold on for a minute.” -Ivan told her, as he placed his hands over his eyes. Mylene recognized it as something she had taught him; a trick that was used by actors when they were suffering from stage fright. It had been one of first tricks her dad had taught her, and Mylene had taught it to Ivan, telling him to use it when he felt that he was not in control of a situation. –“Okay, I’m a little less nervous now, so I think I can say what I came to say to you.” -he said. Seeing him do that, Mylene became happy to see that something she had taught him was helping him accomplish his goal.

You really didn’t need to do this, Ivan. But I’m glad you are doing it.” -Mylene thought to herself. The fact was that they had been unofficially dating for quite some time now. Between the movie dates, the walks in the park and the occasional kiss, they were already a couple. But seeing Ivan putting an effort to further develop their relationship felt nice, and she would be lying to herself, if she said she would not enjoy dating him officially.   

“I’m not very good with these things. People are always saying that I’m this big, brutish guy, who’s not afraid of anything or anyone, and whatever they throw in my way, I just find a way to overcome any obstacle.” -Ivan said. –“But the truth is… I am afraid of something. I’m afraid of losing you. You have been my closest friend for years, and … well, I love being friends with you, and ever since we got our miraculouses, that we have become more than that, we became partners, who are always looking out for one another,,, But I want to be more than just that, Mylene. I want to us to be more than just friends and partners.” -he declared. –“I want us to…”

It was then that he felt Mylene’s hands touching his, gently removing them from his eyes. Smiling at him, she then placed her hands over his shoulders, forcing hi to bend over enough for her, on the tips of her toes, kiss him on the lips. But that was not just one of those amicable kisses on the lips that they had shared before. That was a lover’s kiss, the kind of kiss that two people who are in love share. It felt different, while feeling strangely familiar at the same time to both of them. Once they broke the kiss, it was time for Ivan to be puzzled, while Mylene continued to smile at him.    

“I do.” -Mylene smiled at him, just before planting another kiss on Ivan’s lips. –“And you talk too much, when you’re nervous, silly.” -she giggled.

Hearing her say that, Ivan quickly grabbed her by the arms and span her in the air, making her giggle. After a couple of seconds, he put her down, while laughing. He was not the kind of person who was always smiling, unlike Mylene, but right then, there was no way he could help himself from smiling. After all, he had every reason to be smiling happily; the girl he loved had accepted to be his girlfriend. As for Mylene, she was used to smile all the time, but right then, her smile was one that Ivan himself had never seen before. It was the smile of a girl in love, who was experiencing one of the most beautiful sensations one could experience; to be asked to be that special someone in someone’s life.  

“You don’t know just how happy I am that you accepted my propose.” -Ivan said, as a tear ran down his face. Seeing that, Mylene could not help but to think that even the toughest of people have a softer side, and Ivan was one of those people. Hard, tough and slightly brutish, who had a heart of gold inside his chest.  

“I can imagine it.” -Mylene smiled at him. Though she still felt exhausted, the happiness that she was feeling right then, was enough to block the feeling of exhaustion she had, while also making her heart beat faster than usual. Deep down, she could still not believe Ivan had proposed to her. –“If you’re half as happy and joyous as I am…” -she giggled. 

“So… does this make us boyfriend and girlfriend now?” -Ivan asked Mylene, teasing her.

“Yes, you, silly bear!” -Mylene giggled, playfully elbowing him on the abdomen. –“I’m happy to say that I’m your girlfriend.” -she said, as she hugged him. –“Though, to be fair, we were already dating. We’d just never said it or expressed it like this…”

“Oh, wait, I almost forgot!” -Ivan said, gently breaking the embrace, as he looked inside his pockets for something, he had brought with him for that occasion. –“I wanted to give this to you on Halloween night, last year. But with everything that happened, I felt it was not the right time. And then, at Christmas I also tried to give it to you, but things did not go as expected either… but this time, I know there’s nothing that will stop me from offering it to you.” -he said, as he found what he was looking for. –“At first, it was supposed to be just a ring, but then I remembered that you don’t like wearing rings, so, I bought a chain and made it into a necklace. Here it is.”  

Dangling in Ivan’s hand was the ring that he had bought for her, now entangled in a silver chain. Looking at it, Mylene felt that both things were the prettiest things she had ever seen. They were quite simple, but they were beautiful.

“Do you like it?” -Ivan asked her.

“I love it.” -Mylene giggled, as she kissed Ivan once more. –“And I would be honoured to wear them.” -she said, signalling him to place the chain with the ring, around her neck.

Doing it so, the moment Ivan placed it around Mylene’s neck was an almost solemn moment for the two of them.

“I’ll wear this, whenever it’s just the two of us.” -Mylene told him.

“Only when it’s just the two of us?” -Ivan asked her, not understanding why she would do that.

“Well, it’s not that I don’t want anyone else to find out about us. It’s just that I like having you just to myself. It’s like having a secret that only the two of us know about. It’s exciting.” -Mylene asked him, as she held the ring on the tips of her right fingers.  

“Well, it might be a little difficult to do that, because I kinda told my parents that I was going to propose to you.” -Ivan admitted. –“And I might have asked Nino and Kim for a couple of tips on the matter.” -he smiled nervously.

“Oh…” -Mylene sighed. When she said that, Ivan thought that there was something wrong. But the following moment, he saw that there was nothing wrong, with Mylene smiling at him. –“Well, then, let’s keep it a secret between us for a couple of more days. You said it that you wanted to propose to me on Valentine’s Day, so, we’ll tell everyone else on that very day.” -she kept smiling at him. –“But until then, let’s keep it between the two of us, my sweet silly teddy bear.”

“Alright. Whatever you say, my little cute doe.” -Ivan said, making her giggle, as they both embraced.

And while this was going on, their kwamis, Pin and Muria, who had been completely forgotten in the midst of so many emotions, were happy to see their holders giving the next step in their relationship. Standing right there, they saw just how happy they were.   

“Do you think this means we’re going to play best men at their wedding?” -Muria asked Pin.

“Most likely.” -Pin said, being happy for both Mylene and Ivan. –“How many times have our holders actually ended up together?”

“Only once, back in the Middle Ages in what’s Belgium nowadays, remember?” -Muria told him.  

“I thought it had been during the Renaissance.” –Pin pointed out.

“Or maybe it was, I don’t know. Remember, the Renaissance did not happen at the same time everywhere.” -Muria said. –“Either way, it was only once that they did end up together. They wore the miraculouses for like six months and then, just before they handed them back to the guardian, they decide to get married… I still remember her, Adelina, the only girl who ever held my miraculous. She was delicate as a flower, but strong as an ox.” -he said, remembering that holder of his. –“What about you? Do you remember your holder back then?”

“As if I could forget about him. Bernard… now there was a sneaky devil. I was always saying that he had a way to get himself into trouble.” -Pin remembered. –“The two of them were perfect for one another. We were lucky to see them getting married, before they decided to return our miraculouses. Do you remember it?” -he asked the bear kwami.

“I remember seeing you cry, when they exchanged their vows.” -Muria declared.

“Oh, come on, so did you. You’re just like Ivan… a big softy.” –Pin shot back at him.

“Well, maybe I am, but that doesn’t mean I cry over everything I see.” -Muria said. –“Either way, I know I’m not the only one here who thinks that these two will end up married. They’re just perfect for one another.” -he said.

“They sure are.” -Pin said. –“And it will be hard for us two not to tell the others about them. Luckily, in a few days, they will tell everyone, and we won’t have to keep it just to ourselves.” -he said, knowing it        

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After dinner, Rose told her parents that she was going to do her homework, and asked them not to be disturbed. She requested this, because she knew that her parents would usually come and see if she needed anything, until going to bed. Just like all of her friends, she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. On top of fighting an Akuma and taking a test, Rose also had ballet practice that afternoon, where she got scolded by her teacher, saying that instead of spending her nights talking or playing against her friends online, she should spend her time sleeping. Rose, of course, could not tell her what she had really been doing, for obvious reasons.

Changing into her pyjamas, she put on her robe and started to do her homework. Because of the Algebra test she and the rest of the class took that day, Miss Bustier sent them just a couple of exercises to do, as well as a small text to read. Still, no matter how little her homework was, the feeling of exhaustion

“Hey, Rose, why don’t you go to sleep? You can read that text before going to school tomorrow.” -Flint told her, as he landed on top of the book she was reading.

“No, I have to finish it, other wise I won’t be able to sleep well.” -Rose told her kwami. Ever since she was little that the blonde could not sleep well, if she left something important to do. Usually, when this happened, she would wake up every hour, and would not rest properly. –“Besides… I promised Juleka that I would talk to her before going to bed.” -she said, trying to keep her eyes open.

“Fine, finish reading that text and then, go to sleep. I’m sure that your girlfriend will understand if you go to sleep. You’ve been up for nearly 17 hours, Rose. It’s not good for you to be awake for that long, especially with everything that happened.” -Flint told her, with a caring voice.

“I can’t, Flint. I made a promise, and I’m going to keep it. I’m going to talk to Juleka for 10 our 15 minutes, wish her goodnight and then I’m going to sleep.” -Rose told her kwami, as she gave a great yawn. –“I’m so sleepy…”

The flamingo kwami was about to say something, when Rose’s cell phone began to vibrate. Grabbing it she saw it was a text from Juleka, remembering her to log onto Discord, so they could talk, as soon as she could, and that she would be waiting for her. Thinking that she could both read the text and talk to Juleka at the same time, Rose did not hesitate. Logging in, it did not take long for Juleka to show up. She was also wearing her pyjamas along with the beautiful purple satin robe the blonde had offered her for her birthday the year before. Next to her was her kwami, Tamara, waving at both the blonde and Flint.   

“Hey, Rose!” -Juleka waved at Rose.

“Hey, Juleka.” -Rose sighed, while trying to keep her eyes open.

“What’s the matter? Why so gloom, Rose?” -Juleka asked her.

“Not gloom, tired… aren’t you tired as well?” -Rose yawned, as she looked the Goth and saw that she did not look exhausted at all. She looked the opposite of exhausted.

“Oh, that’s because I slept for a couple of hours, after getting home.” -Juleka smiled. –“Plus, I may have eaten two slices of my mom’s chocolate and toffee cake, which have given me enough caffeine to help me stay alert for another hour or two.” -she declared.

What was going on was almost surreal to Flint. Rose was acting like Juleka, and Juleka was acting like Rose. The whole scene looked like something out of “Freaky Friday”, where mother and daughter change bodies for a whole day.      

“This is just… I can’t even come up with a joke about this situation, without it sound like a bad taste joke.” -Flint thought to himself. –“Needless to say, that now, I think I’ve seen it all.” -he thought

“Well, at least one of us isn’t feeling like she was dragged through a minefield and then  

“Oh, believe me, I still feel like yesterday’s trash, but before I took a nap, I was feeling way worst than I am now.” -Juleka admitted. She still could not move her legs without gritting her teeth in pain, and the same could be said for her shoulders. –“Have you taken anything for the pain?” -she asked her.

“No, not yet. But I think a good night of sleep is all need. Luckily, tomorrow morning I’ll be feeling much better.” -Rose declared. –“I was actually thinking about going to bed a little earlier today, right after we finish our conversation, and I finish reading the text Miss Bustier gave us to read. Have you read it yet?”

“No, I haven’t. Actually, I completely forgot about it.” -Juleka admit it. –“But I’ll read it tomorrow, while having breakfast.” -she said. –“Either way, since you’re really tired and I don’t want to keep you form your beauty sleep, I just wanted to talk to you about something that I’ve been thinking about.”

“What is it?” -Rose asked.

“It’s about Valentine’s Day.” -Juleka told her.

“Juleka wants to know if you would like to go out that day, maybe go out and watch a movie or have dinner somewhere?” -Tamara asked her. The raven kwami had remained silent until that point.

“I don’t know… I would like to go out and have dinner somewhere. And it didn’t even have to be a restaurant or anything. We could transform and fly to the top of the Eiffel Tower or even the Montparnasse Tower and have ourselves a picnic there.” -Rose smiled. The idea of a romantic dinner with Juleka on Valentine’s Day was actually quite nice. –“But, I’ve been thinking about something else, regarding Valentine’s Day, you know?”

“Oh, yeah? What is it?” -Juleka asked her, curious.

“About our relationship. I’ve been thinking about it… and I think we should tell our friends about it.” -Rose declared, as she yawned for what was the umpteenth time.

Ever since they had declared their love for one another that Rose and Juleka had decided to keep it a secret from everyone close to them, including her friends. The only one who knew about their relationship was Juleka’s brother, Luka, who had accidentally saw them kissing and snuggling together, and even he had promised to not tell a soul about what he saw.

“So, you want us to come out of the closet?” -Juleka asked her.

“Yes, and no. I don’t feel ready to tell my parents, and I’m sure you don’t feel either, even if your parents might take our relationship better than mine will. But I want to tell everyone in our class.” -Rose declared. –“I think we owe them the truth, Jules. We’re with them every day. We risked our lives for them, and they have risked their lives for us. Like Marinette said, we’ve become the closest thing to a family, and… I feel that by not telling them the truth about us… I don’t know, I feel like we’re lying to them. And, to be honest, I’m sick of not being able to kiss you or caress your face the way I always do, when we’re alone, when we’re around them And I’m sure that you’re also sick of that.” -she said. –“We should at least be able to kiss in front of our friends, without having to hide our feelings for one another… I know that I’m sounding really, really selfish, but…”

What Rose said resonated inside Juleka’s heart. She was also tired of having to hide the fact that the two were dating each other. And not telling their families about it, because they did not feel ready to take that step was one thing. But not telling their friends, whom they were always trusting their lives with; friends whom they believed would be happy for them and whom they believed would have no problem in the two of them dating, was another thing. Just like Rose, she also wanted to tell them the truth. That way they would not have to hide their real feelings for one another in front of them. But unlike Rose, Juleka was afraid of what could happen if they did not accept their relationship. She was afraid that they might turn against them, or feel disgusted about two girls dating each other.

“I… I don’t know, Rose.” -Juleka sighed. –“Do you think it’s a good idea?” -she asked her, unsure about it all.

“Of course, it’s a good idea, Juleka.” -Rose told her, believing it was a great idea.

“But… But what if they don’t accept us for what we are? What if they feel disgusted? What if… what if in the end, they reject us?” -Juleka asked the blonde. You could hear the fear in her voice.  

“They won’t do that.” -Rose answered her with a calm and soothing voice.

“How do you know that?” -Juleka asked her. –“How do you know that they won’t do it?” -she kept insisting on the matter.

“I just know. Jules, we’ve faced tough situations and stared Death in the eyes with them by our side. They are our friends. Friends who would do anything to save our lives, if we were in mortal danger. Do you really think that will change if we tell them that we’re dating each other?” -Rose asked her.

“She’s right, you know?” -Tamara told her. –“I believe your friends will accept you for what you are, no matter what.” -she said.

“I agree with her.” -Flint said, agreeing with the raven kwami. –“Besides, it’s not like you’re committing a sin, or anything, by today’s standards… I mean you haven’t robbed a bank or anything.” -he said, trying to make a joke, but failing miserably, yet again. –“Sorry, I’m off my game today… either way, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you’re in love with each other and that you don’t want to hide it from your friends.”  

“Well, I can see most of them accepting… but what if one of them doesn’t? For example, what if Chloe feels disgusted about us, after we tell her?” -Juleka hypothesized.

“The old Chloe would definitely do that, I agree. But not this Chloe, Jules. She has come a long way, and we both have seen that.” -Rose answered her. –“Look, I know you’re scared about this whole idea, but I’m scared too, They are our friends, Juleka, and we shouldn’t fear telling them the truth, just because they might not react well to it… so, what do you say we both be scared of it, and go forth with it together, anyway?” -she asked her, hoping she would agree to it.

At such young age, most people think they know everything about love, but very little actually understand what love really is. They think that falling in love with a person means that they will love such person forever, when the reality of it is that most time, that never happens. Only a very small percentage of people with a young age understand that love is not forever and that to make it work, both persons have to make sacrifices, so everything works out in the end. Rose and Juleka were among that small percentage, who understood that when it came to love, there had to be work from both parts, so things could work. Rose knew Juleka feared she would be rejected by her friends, and although she too was afraid of that possibility, the blonde did not hesitate and asked her girlfriend to stand by her side. As for Juleka, she knew deep in her heart that Rose was both her soulmate and the love of her life, just like Rose also knew that she was her soulmate and the love of her life. And with that knowledge, she knew that if a person loves another, it must always try to stand by its side. What Rose was asking her was to take a leap of faith, while believing in the positive outcome of such leap. Such a thing is not easy to do, but deep inside her mind and her heart, Juleka also wanted to believe in Rose’s positivism. And so, she told herself that she was going to do it.

“Okay.” -Juleka sighed. –“Let’s do it together.” -she said.

“Are you sure? Do you really mean it?” -Rose asked her.

“I do.” -Juleka said. –“I’m still scared if they will all accept our relationship, but I want to do this with you, because you feel it’s the best thing to do.” -she smiled.

Hearing her say that, Rose’s heart was filled with excitement and feeling of release, and for a brief moment, she forgot about all her physical pain and her incessant desire to go to sleep. She knew just how hard it must have been for her to agree to do that, and she was thankful for that.  

“Thank you, Juleka.” -Rose smiled back at the Goth. As always, her smile had the power to fill up a room with positive energy, and eve illuminate the darkest of nights. It was a gift she had. –“I know just how hard it must be for you to accept to do this, and I thank you for doing it, from the bottom of my heart.” -she kept smiling.

“I’m the one who thanks you for giving me the courage to do it, Rose.” -Juleka said.             

“Can I interrupt?” -a voice called out.

That voice startled Juleka, who almost jumped out of her skin, while at the same time feeling like her heart was readying itself to escape through her mouth. Turning around, the Goth girl saw her older brother Luka, standing at the door, while leaning against the jamb, with a smile that Juleka knew one too well.  

“Luka!” -Juleka exclaimed, while Tamara remained still, trying to pass for a toy, like she always did, whenever there were people who did not know about her around. –“How many times have I told you to knock before entering?” -she asked him, clearly upset.

“In my defense, I did knock, twice, but you were so focused on your conversation with your girlfriend, you didn’t hear me… hey, Rose, how are things?” -Luka waved at Rose, who waved back at him.

“Well, I didn’t hear you out. Still, you should have keep knocking on it, until I finally listened to you.” -Juleka said. –“You scared the daylights out of me. Plus, I could have been naked.”

“Geez, Jules, I didn’t know you were such a scaredy cat.” -Luka joked, as he entered her bedroom. –“Besides, you wouldn’t get scared, if you weren’t doing anything you shouldn’t.” -he laughed, just to tease her, knowing that she did not like when he teased her. –“And as for you being naked, remember, we’re brother and sister, we’ve seen each other in our birthday suits plenty of times, since we were kids.”

Hearing him say that, Juleka just wanted to grab the closest thing to her and throw at him. But she did not do it. First, the closest thing to her was Tamara, who continued to act like lifeless toy and she did not want to hurt her, and second, because she felt that if she threw something at Luka, it would just give him an excuse to call her childish. She loved him very much, but it was times like those that Juleka wished she was an only child.

“True, but that doesn’t mean that you can enter my bedroom, without my permission. What do you want, Luka?” -Juleka asked him, wanting to know just what he was doing in her bedroom.

“Can’t a big brother come and say goodnight to his little sister?” -Luka said, as he got behind Juleka and kissed her on the head, while also looking at Tamara. –“Cute toy. Where did you get it?” -he asked her, as he grabbed the raven kwami and examined it with both his eyes and his fingers. –“These eyes look almost real, you know?”

“Rose gave it to me! And you’re not the kind of person to come and wish someone a goodnight, Luka. What do you really want?” -Juleka said, as she snatched Tamara from Luka’s hands, while raising an eyebrow at him, suspicious of his intentions. –“If he knew that you were alive, I’m sure he would be more careful with you, Tamara. Sorry.” -she thought to herself, while petting her kwami.

“Touché, little sister.” -Luka smirked. –“I just came here to tell you that I just found out that I got a gig on Valentine’s Day. I’m going to play in a bar near my school, and I was also wondering if you and Rose would like to come and see me. I can get you free tickets.” -he told her.

“We’ll think about it.” -Juleka said, not even giving her brother the time to add anything to what he was saying. –“Now, please, leave. I’m trying to have a conversation with Rose, okay?” -she asked him politely.

“Okay, okay, I know when I’m not wanted. Sweet dreams, little sis, and you too, Rose. It was nice seeing you.” -Luka waved at Rose in the monitor, who waved him back, as he exited the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Ever since he found out about Rose and Juleka, Luka had made his mission to tease his younger sister about that fact. And although he did that a lot, he was also incredibly supportive of their relationship, calling it “the cutest thing he had ever seen”, because of the two being the polar opposite of one another. Whenever the two of them were alone, he would ask Juleka how things were between the two of them, and make suggestions of places where she could take the blonde on a date.     

“Your brother’s really sweet… when he wants to, of course.” -Rose giggled.

“You got that right.” -Juleka smiled. –“When he wants to, he’s a sweetheart. But when he doesn’t want to… let’s just say that he’s anything but a sweetheart. Did he hurt you, Tamara?” -she asked her kwami, fearing that Luka might have accidentally hurt her.

“No, I’m okay.” -Tamara answered her. –“It’s nice to see that I can fool anyone, by making them think I’m just a toy.” -she smiled at Juleka.

“Well, you do a great job pretending to be a toy.” -Juleka smiled, as she tickled her, making her giggle. –“Sorry about that, Rose.”

“It’s okay, Jules. It’s nice to not have to pretend we’re just really good friends around your brother.” -Rose giggled. –“But his idea for a Valentine’s Day date is actually really good. We could go his concert, and then do that picnic, just the two of us.” -she suggested

“It’s tempting, I’ll give you that. And being Valentine’s Day, I’m sure that Luka will be playing every last love ballad he knows how to play.” -Juleka said, imagining Luka on the stage, while she and Rose were in the audience, applauding him. –“But going back to what we were talking about, how do you feel we should do it? How are we going to tell our friends about our relationship, and more importantly, when are we going to tell them?” -she asked her.

“To be honest, I was thinking, maybe on Valentine’s Day. We can gather them before, or after classes and tell them about it.” –Rose said.

It was not a very complex plan. In fact, it was a rather simple one. But sometimes, keeping things simple is the right thing to do. Coming up with incredibly complex plans, tended to produce undesirable, if not unwanted results. Plus, by keeping things simple, the odds of complicating things were very low.

“It seems simple and effective. I like it.” -Flint admitted. –“Why complicate things? You can never go wrong with simple plans.” -he said.

“It is a rather simple plan, I admit. But I guess it could work.” -Juleka admitted it.

“Of course, it will, Juleka. You’ll see. It will work.” -Rose smiled at her, before yawning. –“Sorry, but I’m getting really sleepy.” -she apologized, while yawning again.

“It’s okay.” -Juleka smiled at her. –“I’m guessing it’s time for my Sleeping Beauty to go and get her beauty sleep.” -she said.

“Not Sleeping Beauty. Cinderella. You know very well that my favourite fairy tale princess is Cinderella.” -Rose reminded her. Ever since she was little, the blonde felt that Cinderella’s story was so much better than Sleeping Beauty’s, even pointing out that Sleeping Beauty had to wait for her prince to come and save her, while Cinderella went to the ball to find him, because she was not in the mood to wait for him. –“But yes, it’s almost time for this Cinderella to go to sleep.” -she sighed, knowing that she still had to finish her homework, before slipping into her bed for a well-deserved night of sleep.  

“Alright, alright, my cute and petite Cinderella.” -Juleka smiled at Rose. –“I’ll let you finish reading that text, so you can go to sleep.” -she said. –“See you tomorrow, my cute and dazzling flamingo.”

“I’ll miss you. See you tomorrow, my beautiful and mysterious raven.” -Rose said, winking her right eye at her girlfriend, while also blowing her a kiss.

“See you tomorrow, Flint.” -Tamara said.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, see you tomorrow too, Tamara.” -Flint said, as the girls ended the call.