When Jagged left, Marinette felt like she was on cloud nine. Not only had she been able to impress him with her talent, she also managed to convince him to give Chloe the VIP tickets and the backstage passes for the KISS concert on the following Saturday. But the true icing on the cake, was when Jagged promised her he would contact her to commission her again, when he needed an accessory or something else to wear, when on tour. Never in her life, did Marinette ever think she would be that lucky. Not counting the day, she became Ladybug and saved the city of Paris for the first time, as well as the day that she and Adrien became a couple, that was the best day of her life.
When she told her parents about everything that went on, the two felt proud and thrilled for their daughter. So much, that Sabine decided to make something special for dinner, to commemorate the occasion. She prepared one of Marinette’s favourite dishes, something she loved to eat, whenever she was feeling down, or when she was celebrating something, Gratin Dauphinois, along with a savoury cheese souffle. The blue-haired girl was a sucker for those two dishes, and on that night, her mother made them both.
While they ate, Tom and Sabine decided to organize a small family reunion, by calling both Tom’s parents, Gina and Roland, as well as Sabine’s parents, Ju and Feng, and her uncle, Wang, to tell them about what had happened and for them to congratulate Marinette on her several achievements. As they all talked, Marinette once more felt like the luckiest person on Earth, not only because of everything that had happened to her that day, but because she also had a loving family, with whom she could share both a meal with, as well as good news.
“I’m so proud of you, Marinette. I told you that one day your talent would be noticed by someone important, and as always, I was right, honey.” -Gina told her granddaughter.
“I’m not the biggest fan of these modern musicians, but I’m happy for you, Marinette.” -Roland told his granddaughter.
“We couldn’t be prouder of you, and of this achievement of yours.” -Feng said.
“We can’t wait to tell all our friends about what you did, Marinette. They’re all going to be so jealous of your grandfather and I, for having such a talented granddaughter, like you, sweetie.” -Ju told Marinette.
“Thank you, thank you all. Your words mean so much to me.” -Marinette told her grandparents, while having seconds. All that happiness had given her a lot of appetite, and with the food being some of her favourite dishes, she felt like her stomach would be able to eat four or five times more food than usual.
“When are you going to post the face paint design you did for him on your page?” -Gina asked Marinette. She had been one of her earliest followers, and she never lost a post. –“I want to share it with everyone I know, so they can see just how talented my favourite granddaughter is.” -she told her.
“Only after tomorrow. Jagged Stone asked me not to post it just yet, so he can show it to the members of KISS, for them to give him their opinion on it.” -Marinette answered her. –“And as for being your favourite granddaughter, grandma Gina, thanks, but I’m also your only granddaughter, remember?” -she joked.
“That still doesn’t change the fact you’re my favourite one, honey.” -Gina said.
“Come now, Gina, don’t say that. You’re going to make the girl blush so much; she’ll be as red as a tomato. I may not be there with you, but I can imagine just how red you are now, Marinette.” -Roland joked.
“Sorry, grandpa Roland, but I’m not blushing.” -Marinette said, lying about it. Like it happened every time someone praised her, she became as red as a tomato.
“Well, there’s nothing wrong about blushing a little, when someone praises you.” -Ju said. –“You should have seen your mother. When she was your age, she would blush for anything and everything. She only lost that habit when she became older.” -she told Marinette.
“Your grandmother is right. Your mother would blush quite easily.” -Feng declared
“It’s good to know that I’ve got something else in common with her.” -Marinette told her grandfather. –“It’s like they say, like mother, like daughter.” -she thought to herself.
After dinner, Marinette went back to her bedroom to celebrate with Tikki. Because of everything that happened to her that day, she had not had the time to spend some quality time her kwami. So, to apologize for that, and to also thank her for lending her powers for a brief moment that afternoon, Marinette took her a huge plate of cookies, which they ended up sharing. Just like Marinette, Tikki was thrilled with what had happened.
As the hours went by, the excitement in Marinette’s body and mind did not diminish. It was so big that she even forgot to text everyone, regarding what had happened. She had promised the whole class that as soon as she could, she would text them, telling them what was going on. And when she remembered to checked her cell phone, she had more than 70 unread texts, along with about two dozen unanswered calls. Most of them were from Alya and Adrien. Answering them back, she told them that it had been a fake code red and that that her mom had sent it to her, because they needed a little help with Alya’s birthday cake. She did not like to lie about what had really happened, but that was the sort of news that one should be given by phone or text. Everyone in her class, including her boyfriend and her best-friend would just have to wait until the following morning to hear what really had happened to her.
Getting ready for bed, she still felt like her head was in the clouds. Though the day started with something like exams, it had ended up with aftermath of an experience Marinette would never forget, as long as she lived.
“This was quite the day for you.” -Tikki smiled at Marinette.
“It sure was.” -Marinette said, as she pulled the covers and got ready to sleep. –“I still can’t believe it, Tikki. In fact, I’m scared that this is all a dream and that I’ll wake up in a couple of seconds.” -she admitted.
“Well, I can tell you that what happened to you is not a dream. Jagged Stone was here, this afternoon, he loved your work and not only he paid you for it, he also agreed to get you VIP tickets with backstage passes for the concert next Saturday. Plus, he told you that would contact you, in the near future, to create something for him to wear, when on tour.” -Tikki said, summarizing everything that happened that afternoon.
“Speaking of which, at this hour, Chloe must have been contacted by Jagged Stone.” -Marinette said, as she set the alarm on her cell phone. –“I can’t be late tomorrow. Not on Alya’s birthday.” -she thought to herself, as she finished setting the alarm. –“I’m actually surprised that she didn’t announce it on social media… Do you think that Jagged wasn’t able to get the tickets for us?”
“Be patient, Marinette. Chloe’s probably waiting for tomorrow to tell everyone. After all, she did say she wanted one of the tickets to be Alya’s birthday present.” -Tikki reminded her.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe she’s just waiting for tomorrow… like I am, when I tell everyone about everything that happened. I’m even a little afraid, that I might steal Alya’s spotlight tomorrow.” -Marinette said.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m sure you won’t steal the spotlight from her. You’re too good of a friend to do that on purpose.” -Tikki declared.
“I hope so. I really want Alya to be the centre of attentions tomorrow, not me.” -Marinette told her. –“Still, no matter how many times I think about, it sounds too incredible to be true… just like when I began dating Adrien.” -she sighed. –“I’m even afraid to say this, Tikki, but for once, my life seems to be going in the right direction. I mean, I’m not saying that my life was heading in the wrong direction, but with all my responsibilities and all the things that have happened, I felt like…”
“You felt like life owed you a little break, and that you needed for something truly good to happen and thar would last a little longer than usual, am I right?” -Tikki asked her, finishing her sentence. –“Well, you finally began dating Adrien, and now thanks to this Jagged Stone business, you’re once step closer to becoming a world-renowned fashion designer. I would say that life gave you the break it owed you.” -she smiled.
And she was thankful for that break. She did not know how long it would last, but Marinette was going to make the most of it. Dividing her time between school and superhero work was tough, and though she loved the freedom given to her by her miraculous, sometimes, she felt like she did not have the energy to keep up with both parts of her life. Luckily, she had the best boyfriend in the world, as well as a group of friends, who were like family to her, that were always ready to give her a hand. Even so, she believed that break was going to help her, in more ways than one.
“Absolutely. I won’t even be able to sleep tonight. I mean, I’m dead tired, but I don’t feel like sleeping, Tikki. Just thinking about what Jagged Stone could commission me next, I already came up with twenty or thirty different ideas, and most of them are incredibly cool.” -Marinette sighed.
“I understand, but try to close your eyes, even if it’s just for a little bit. You’ll need to be rested for tomorrow. You don’t want to fall asleep, when your best-friend blows up her birthday candles.” -Tikki told her. –“Oh, and I’ve seen the birthday cake your parents did for Alya. It’s beautiful, and she’s going to love it.” -she declared. –“Do you want to know what it is?”
“No, not this time. I want to be surprised, just like the others.” -Marinette confessed. –“But if you say she’s going to love it, then I have full confidence in your words, Tikki.” -she smiled at the kwami, before closing her eyes.
The following morning, when the alarm went off, Marinette sprung out of bed in one quick jump, while feeling refreshed and relaxed. Though it took her a bit to fall asleep, she eventually made her way to dreamland, where she stayed for what felt like a couple of minutes only, though it had been hours. She had a lot of things to do that morning, before classes began, and she could not waste a single second, if she wanted them to be ready when Alya arrived in school.
Arriving at school, just as the janitor opened the doors, Marinette was among the first to enter, making her way towards the classroom. She wanted to make sure that she had enough time to get the classroom ready for Alya’s birthday. Entering it, she smelled the unmistakable scent of lemon in the ait. Once again, the room had been cleaned with the sane lemon-scented cleaning product. Its scent was a bit strong, but over the years, Marinette and pretty much everyone in her class had gotten used to it. Going to the classroom’s supply room, she took out the ladder, as well a few more things to help her get things done. Like it happened, whenever it was the birthday of one of her classmates, or even Miss Bustier’s, they would get the classroom ready for the effect. It was a sweet tradition, they as a class, had. Wasting no time, she began to decorate the place, while waiting for anyone else to arrive, which did not take long. Marinette had just placed her birthday gift for Alya on top of Miss Bustier’s desk, when she heard a familiar voice calling her.
“You arrived early today.” -the voice said. It was Mylene. In her hands, she was carrying her present for Alya. This one was wrapped in purple wrapping paper with a yellow ribbon.
“Yeah… I wanted to get this ready, before classes begin.” -Marinette said, as Mylene approached her and placed the present next to hers. It was custom to leave all the birthday presents on Miss Bustier’s desk. When they first did this, their teacher told them that this way, they would not have to keep the presents inside their backpacks, while waiting for the right moment to hand them out. –“Do you need any help?” -she asked her.
“If you don’t mind, sure.” -Marinette smiled at her friend. –“Help me with this banner.” -she said, as she took it from her backpack.
“Oh, I recognize that one. It’s the one you made for Alya’s birthday last year.” -Mylene said.
“Yes, I just changed the number on it. I admit that I didn’t have the time to make a new one. But I’m sure Alya won’t mind.” -Marinette said, as she handed one of the banner’s end to Mylene.
“I agree. Alya isn’t the kind of person who will get mad about that.” -Mylene said, as she grabbed the banner’s end. –“By the way, what happened yesterday? Is everything really okay? You said in your text that you would explain everything today.” -she asked Marinette, curious, and a little worried.
“Oh, that… it was a false alarm.” -Marinette said, lying about it.
“Really? Then, what happened?” -Mylene asked, curious.
“I can’t tell you just yet. But I promise that until the end of classes, I’ll tell you and everyone else what happened, and why I asked you all to be a little patient about it.” -Marinette told her, as she climbed the ladder.
“Okay, but I’ll hold you on to that, as well as the rest of the gang.” -Mylene told her. –“When you left yesterday, some of us still thought about going after you, to make sure you were alright. But in the end, we decided not to.” -she said.
“And a good thing too. Otherwise, you would have found out what I’ve been up to, these last couple of days.” -Marinette mused to herself. –“It’s alright. Besides, like I said, I’ll tell you all later.” -she said, as she finished hanging the banner. –“You know, I wish we could ask our kwamis to help us with this.”
“Agreed. But we can’t risk Miss Bustier, or anyone else, seeing them. It’s too risky.” -Mylene sighed. –“Sometimes, I wish Pin would be able to just roam free, without the need of having to keep herself hidden from everyone.” -she declared, as she looked at her backpack, where the deer kwami was hiding.
“Me too. I wouldn’t mind having Tikki being able to roam free. She’s too special.” -Marinette commented, knowing the ladybug kwami was hearing her. –“Unfortunately, that might never happen… but changing the subject, what did you get Alya?” -she asked her.
“Oh, I bought her the first three books from one of my favourite book series, which I think she’ll also like, Skulduggery Pleasant.” -Mylene confessed. –“I’ve fallen in love with the characters in the books, and I pretty much have read all the books in a record time.” -she told Marinette. –“What about you? What did you get her?”
“I hate to say this again, but you’ll just have to wait and see.” -Marinette chuckled lightly.
“Wait for what?” -Rose asked, as she entered the classroom, also carrying her present for Alya. –“What did I miss?” -she asked the girls.
“Mylene was asking me what I got Alya for her birthday, and I was telling her that you’ll have to wait and see what it is… oh, and regarding what happened to me yesterday, I’ll tell you all later, as well.” -Marinette said.
“Okay.” -Rose smiled, as she placed her present on the desk. –“Well, I got her a shirt that I think she’s going to like. Juleka helped choose it.” -she told the girls. –“By the way, when can we expect the birthday cake to arrive, Marinette?”
“My dad will arrive with it around 10:30. And no, I’m not going to tell you what it looks like either.” -Marinette told her. –“Because I don’t know what it looks like. Maybe I should have checked it, before leaving home… nah, I want to be surprised, just like Alya and everyone else.” -she thought to herself.
“You sure are mysterious today, with all those secrets.” -Mylene joked.
“Just call me “Miraculous Mysterious Girl”, then.” -Marinette giggled, making the girls giggle as well. –“Now, come on, help me get the rest of the things ready, before the birthday girl arrives.” -she said, as she went to her backpack to get a few streamers she had brought with her. –“Oops, sorry, Tikki… have you seen the streamers?”
“It’s okay, and they’re right here.” -Tikki told her, as she grabbed the streamers and handed them to Marinette. –“Just remember to save me a piece of cake, okay?” -she said. –“I’ve been imagining just how good the cake is, from the moment I saw your dad working on it.”
“I’ll save one for you and for all the kwamis, don’t worry. We would never leave you out of this celebration.” -Marinette smiled at her, before closing the backpack.
And just like Marinette had said, at exactly 10:30, her dad, Tom Dupain arrived with Alya’s birthday cake. When he knocked at the door, Miss Bustier stopped the lecture and went to open the door. And upon doing it, she saw Tom carrying a large box containing her birthday cake. Greeting everyone, he placed it on top of Miss Bustier’s desk, next to the presents, and then proceeded to unbox it. They all were wondering what the cake looked like, especially Alya, who knew that whatever shape the cake had, it would taste delicious, like every pastry Tom did. And when they finally saw how the cake looked like, none of them was disappointed by it. Tom had sculpted the cake to look just like Alya’s cell phone. It looked exactly like the real one. Same shape, same colour, same Ladybug and Rena Rouge pendants attached to it. The only difference was in its size. In it you could see the words “Happy Birthday Alya”. Words could not describe just how beautiful it looked. From all the birthday cakes she had over the years, this one was the prettiest so far.
“It’s beautiful, Mr. Dupain.” -Alya said, as she looked at her birthday cake and admiring
“It sure is. Worthy of a photo… or several.” -Nino commented, as he pulled his cell phone and snapped a couple of photos of the cake. –“You better watch out and try not to mistake this one with the real one, Alya.” -she told his girlfriend, with a mischievous smile on his face.
“I think that will be hard, given the size of this one.” -Alya said.
“It’s a really beautiful cake, Mr. Dupain.” -Miss Bustier said. –“Probably the best one yet.” -she commented.
“Thank you. But I think, I still have to surpass the one I did for Marinette last year.” -Tom declared, remembering the birthday cake he did for his daughter’s last birthday.
“It was a really big cake; I’ll give you that, dad.” -Marinette told Tom.
“Tasty too. Who would have guessed that strawberries, cherries and vanilla would go so well together?” –Kim asked.
“Kim, no offense, but even if they did not go well together, you would have still eaten it, without a care in the world.” -Alix shot at him. –“Your stomach is like a black hole. Everything that goes in, doesn’t come out.”
Sensing that if she allowed Alix to keep saying those things to Kim, the two would end up starting one of their already famous arguments, Miss Bustier decided to intervene, and casually prevent that from happening. She knew that the best way to appease tempers was to joke about the situation and move on. And whenever Kim and Alix did that, she already knew what to do to deal with it.
“Yes, well, what you said is a nice comparison, Alix, but I think that perhaps we should leave that kind of comparison for when we’re discussing that subject in class.” -Miss Bustier said, ending the conversation, and preventing it from turning into one of the classic arguments between Alix and Kim. –“But, back to the cake, it’s a really beautiful cake.” -she said.
“Three cheers for Marinette’s dad and this cake!” -Alya exclaimed.
“Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!” -the whole class exclaimed.
“Thank you all for the kind words. I’m glad to see that you all like it… But right now, I best be going back. The next batch of croissants won’t bake themselves. I’ll see you later, honey.” -Tom told Marinette, who smiled back at him. –“And once again, happy birthday Alya.” -he smiled at the birthday girl, before leaving.
After that, the whole class joined Miss Bustier and sang “Happy Birthday To You” to Alya. The brunette did not consider herself an emotional personal, who cried over every little thing. But there were times, when even she could not hold her tears, and this was one of them. Seeing and hearing everyone singing to her, throwing streamers and confetti into the air, celebrating the one day in the year, when she felt more special, than all others.
“D’aww… guys, you’re making me cry.” -Alya said, as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
“Don’t cry, Alya. If you do that, Rose and Mylene will also start to cry and we don’t want a tear festival, okay?” -Ivan playfully said, which earned him a smile from Mylene.
“No, I won’t!” -Rose said, protesting.
“Won’t you? Rose, you’re the only person I know who cries, every time she sees Bambi’s mom getting shot.” -Chloe pointed out. –“And you do tend to cry whenever there’s a happy event.” -she smiled at her.
“Don’t tell me you don’t cry when Bambi’s mom gets shot in the movie? If you don’t, then you don’t have a heart.” -Rose playfully told the blonde.
“No, I don’t. I don’t usually cry when watching a movie.” -Chloe confessed.
“Look, it doesn’t matter who cries and who doesn’t. What matter is that our birthday girl is happy and that if she wants to shed a couple of tears, she can do it, and there’s no problem in that.” -Nino said, as he looked at Alya. –“Go ahead, cry a little, we won’t judge you.” -he told her.
“Oh, you…” Alya smiled at Nino, as a tear ran down her face. –“You, and just everyone else. You guys are the best, and I mean it.” -she kept smiling.
“Come on, hurry up with the crying and all that! I want to taste the birthday cake!” -Kim exclaimed.
“Kim! Don’t rush, Alya.” -Rose playfully shot at him. –“Though he’s right. I also want to taste that birthday cake. It’s so beautiful, that it will be a shame to cut it… still, if it tastes as good as all of Marinette’s dad’s cakes, it will be worth to see it being cut and eaten.” -she thought to herself.
“You’re not fooling anyone, Rose.” -Juleka whispered to her girlfriend’s ear. –“I know you also want to taste the cake.” -she once more whispered to Rose’s ear, earning her a devilish smile from the blonde.
“You know me too well, Jules.” -Rose whispered back at her girlfriend, calling her by the nickname she had given her, and making her giggle.
After they cut the cake and everyone had at least a slice of it, including the kwamis, whom Marinette served, while Adrien and Nino distracted Miss Bustier, it was finally time to open the presents. Alya was about to grab the first one, when Miss Bustier was forced to leave the classroom to take an urgent call. But she told her students to continue with the celebrations, adding that she would only take a few minutes to answer that call. Doing just that, Alya commenced to open the presents her friends had bought her. One by one, she opened them all. She began with Nathaniel’s present, which she loved. He had drawn a portrait of hers, which he then illustrated with watercolours and framed.
“Whoa, Nathaniel… this is way better than a photo. I love it!” -Alya thanked him.
“I figured you would like it. And like I said, I didn’t spend a single penny on your birthday gift.” -Nathaniel smiled at her.
Next, she opened Rose’s gift, which was a perfume she believed she was going to like. But what surprised her, was that the bottle was shaped like a fox. She instantly loved it, and told Rose that she was going to try it right then. Opening its box, she sprayed it on her wrist and smelled it. Its scent was a little strong, but delicate at the same time, reminding her the scents of a warm Summer afternoon.
“You always know which perfume to give to people, Rose.” -Alya
“Just one of my many talents.” -Rose said shyly. –“I’m glad you like it.” -she smiled.
She opened all the presents, until the only ones left were Marinette’s and Miss Bustier’s, which Alya decided not to open, until the teacher came back. So, she decided to open Marinette’s. She had insisted for Alya to open it last, not because she believed her present was better than the others, but because she believed that if she saw her present before she opened the others, she might not pay them the kind of attention they deserved. It was not the first time Marinette offered Alya clothes made by her, so she knew how the brunette would react. And when Alya ripped the wrapping paper and saw what it was concealing, she could not help shouting out of happiness.
“Oh, my God, girl! It’s beautiful!” -Alya exclaimed, as she held it in her hands, admiring all the details, while being fascinated by just how perfect it looked. It was clear to her that Marinette had outdone herself. –“I love it! It’s the most beautiful thing you ever created for me! And to prove it just how much I love it, I’m going to try it on, right now.” -she said.
Trying it on, Alya felt just how cozy and warm the hoodie’s fabric felt against her skin. There was no doubt to her that Marinette had picked the right fabrics to do that piece for her. She would go as far as to say that she felt the love her best-friend had put on that hoodie, when she sewed it. It was a beautiful hoodie, and on next winter, she was going to wear it all the time.
“So soft… Marinette, you’re an incredible designer and seamstress.” -Alya thought to herself
“You look just like the fox heroine we know you are. All you need is the other half of the outfit, a mask and her flute-staff and you’re ready to go.” -Nino told his girlfriend, who smiled at him.
“Thanks, Nino.” -Alya told her boyfriend. –“And thanks for this beautiful gift, Marinette.” -she thanked the blue-haired girl. –“From all the presents you have made over the years, this one’s the best one yet. Thanks, girl.”
“I’m happy that you like it.” -Marinette smiled. –“Totally worth the extra-work I had to put it in, just to see you react like that. Then again, anything I create with my sewing machine, for my friends, is worth every single second I spend in front of it.” -she mused.
Marinette felt like she was on top of the world, right then. Alya had loved her birthday present. But she had not been the only one who loved it. The rest of her friends were also impressed with her handiwork.
“I’m so proud of you, Marinette.” -Adrien told her. –“And I’m not just saying it, just because you’re my girlfriend. I’m saying it because that’s a really beautiful hoodie.” -he smiled at her. –“Makes me wish you would do one for me too.”
“You and me.” -Sabrina said.
“I wouldn’t mind having one based on my other self.” -Chloe said. –“Especially since a few years from now, you’ll be a famous fashion designer, and you know that I only wear the best.” -she declared, as she imagined how a Queen Bee hoodie designed by Marinette would look like.
“You should really create other hoodies inspired on our hero personas. I bet you would make them all as cool as this one, Marinette.” -Mylene suggested, as she checked Alya’s with a closer eye. –“I mean, I’ve seen one or two hoodies that were inspired into one or two of us, but neither one, nor the other looked half as good, as the one you made for Alya.” -she said. –“I would definitely love to see you create them.”
With only Miss Bustier’s left to open, Alya decided to thank everyone for the presents, while also waiting for the teacher to come back. She had loved all the presents. Some more than others, but she would never say which, because her friends had all given them to her, from the bottom of their hearts.
“Thanks everyone, for the gifts and for everything else. I loved everything” -Alya thanked them.
“The pleasure was ours, Alya.” -Adrien said.
“I hope you wear the blouse I got you.” -Chloe said.
“I will, don’t worry. I’ll be sure to add it to my best clothes section of my wardrobe.” -Alya told her. –“It’s just a shame that you couldn’t get us the tickets for the concert on Saturday… guess we’ll just have to wait to see Jagged Stone some other time.” -she stated.
“And who says I didn’t get them?” -Chloe said with a mischievous smile, as she pulled her cell phone from her pants pocket.
“Wait?! You got them?!” -Alix asked her, incredulous.
“Check your cell phones…” -Chloe said, as she pressed send on her cell.
A few seconds later, everyone’s cell phones rang, notifying them. Checking it, they all saw the same thing. Tickets to KISS concert, as well as VIP and Backstage passes. The blonde had kept her word and got them so much more than she had promised, and that made them feel like they had just won the biggest prize ever in the lottery. After losing the Jagged’s concert because of an Akuma attack, they believed they would not get another chance to see him live that doon. But as luck would have it, the universe, or fate, had other plans and Jagged would go on to open for KISS, a week after. They did know if that was karma rewarding them for saving Paris the other night, or not, but they knew one thing. Thanks to Chloe, they now had another opportunity to watch Jagged live. And on top of it, another rock band.
“Consider it my second birthday present for you, Alya. As for the rest, consider this a present for putting up with me and my sometimes-swollen ego, constantly.” -Chloe declared, as a she smiled at them joyous smile on her face.
“Just sometimes?” -Kim asked her, in a playful tone, which she answered back, by playfully sticking her tongue out.
“I knew you would find a way to get those tickets for us, Chloe.” -Sabrina said, praising her best-friend’s effort.
“How did you do it? Did you talk to Jagged Stone himself?!” -Alix asked Chloe, as her eyes kept staring at her cell phone’s screen. –“VIP and Backstage passes?! I swear to God, that I’ll never complain about Chloe, when she throws one of her tantrums.” -she mused to herself.
“Yes, I did. I don’t know how, but he found out that I have been trying to contact him to talk to him, so I could ask him if he could get us tickets to the concert on Saturday.” -Chloe declared. –“It was probably my dad’s secretary who finally managed to get a hold of him, and gave him my number, because he called me yesterday, after dinner and told me that I ” -she hypothesized.
“Actually… I’m the one who told him you wanted to talk to him about the tickets, and who gave him your number” -Marinette said, with a shy voice and an impish smile.
When she said that, the classroom was filled with an awkward silence. The kind of silence one sees and feels, after hearing something absolutely insane or preposterous. Still, it did not take long for someone to break it, and that someone was none other than Chloe.
“Say what?! Dupain-Cheng, you better explain yourself.” -Chloe told her, demanding an explanation.
“I’m with Chloe on this one. As your best-friend and birthday girl, I demand that you tell us the whole story, from the beginning. And don’t skip on the details, girl.” -Alya told Marinette.
“Yeah, spill the beans, Marinette.” -Kim said.
Figuring the cat was out of the bag, Marinette told them all what happened. She told them how Jagged Stone had contacted her and commissioned her a face paint for him to wear on Saturday, and how he showed up at her place the day before, and that the “code red” text she got was her mother’s way to tell her to come home, because he was waiting for her. She also told them, how she wanted to tell them all about this, but decided not to, because she knew they would be happy and thrilled for her, and she did not want them to get distracted from their studies. Last, but not least, she said that he praised both her work as a designer and as a seamstress, after seeing the Rena Rouge hoodie she had made for Alya, while adding that while she was finishing the face paint design for Jagged, the two of them talked about how Chloe had volunteered to get in touch with him and ask him if he could get tickets for the KISS concert, for her and for the rest of them. When she finished telling her tale, the others did not know how to properly react to it. If they did not know that Marinette was someone who did not have the habit of lying, and that hated doing it, when she was forced to do it, they would wonder if what she had told them was a whole bunch of bull. But she was not that kind of person, and they knew that if she was saying it, it was because it was the truth, and nothing else but the truth.
“You… You have got to be the luckiest person on Earth for that to happen to you.” -Chloe said. –“Even I, with all my connections, and my dad’s connections, don’t have things like that happening to me.” -she admitted.
“Are you sure you don’t have any Irish blood in you? Because what happened to you, could be described as luck of the Irish.” -Adrien asked her, in a playful tone.
“Nope, not that I know of. As far as I know, I only have French and Chinese blood.” -Marinette playfully joked back. –“But, maybe if I go back a couple of generations, I might have some Irish or Celtic blood, from my dad’s side of the family.” -she said.
“Irish blood, or no Irish blood, what matters is that thanks to you, I managed to talk to Jagged Stone and get us the tickets, Marinette.” -Chloe smiled at her. –“But you could have asked him for the tickets yourself. Why didn’t you do it?” -she asked her, puzzled. –“That’s what I would have done, if I was in your shoes.”
“Well… truth be told, I didn’t really remember to ask him to give me the tickets at the time.” -Marinette confessed. –“Actually he offered them to me first, but you deserved to get them, so you could offer them to us all, Chloe. Usually, I hate to lie to you and everyone else, but this is one lie that I don’t mind telling you all. Especially because the truth would make this victory feel a little bit bitter to you.” -she thought to herself. –“I know, I should have asked him for the tickets, but I already had so much in my head. You know how I am, when I don’t have my mask on. I freak out whenever I’m near famous and important people.”
The whole gang laughed, along with Marinette, when she said she freaked out whenever she was near famous and important people. They laughed because they knew it was true. When she was Ladybug, she would face the most terrifying Akumas, without even blinking an eye. But when she was plain old Marinette, she would freak out over the smallest things. Still, that did not bother her. Not anymore.
“I’ll say this. Once people find out you did this for Jagged Stone, you’re going to see a swarm of people asking you for a commission, Marinette.” -Juleka told her. –“And, I might be one of those people.” -she confessed.
“Me too!” -Rose exclaimed. –“I would really like if you could do a hoodie based on my Flamingo persona.”-she declared.
“Make that three.” -Kim said.
“Not three, four. Like I said before, you’re going to be pretty famous, and I only wear the best. So, yeah, I’ll also be wanting you to create a one of a kind hoodie, just for me.” -Chloe told her.
Hearing her friends say those words, Marinette had to withhold her tears. No matter how many times she was praised for her work, it was for her not to feel like she did not deserve to hear such sweet words about it. And because those words were said by her closest and dearest friends, Marinette felt she owed them for those words. And she knew just what she was going to do, to thank them for their kindness, their support and their amazing words. With the money Jagged Stone was going to pay her, she was going to make them something they would all love.
“You guys…” -Marinette said, trying not to cry, after what she had heard them saying. –“… I’ll be happy to make you all a hoodie, just like the one I made for Alya.” -she declared. –“And I’ll do it, free of charge.”
“Free of charge?! Marinette, you can’t do that!” -Mylene told her, shocked. –“I’ll be happy to pay for it.” -she said.
“So will I.” -Alix declared.
“Mylene’s right, and so is Alix, bugaboo. You can’t do that just because we’re your friends, or in my case, your boyfriend.” Adrien said, agreeing with both girls. –“You’ve got to think about how much it will cost you to make each one of them, and how much your work is worth. And the last thing we want is to take advantage of you.” -he told her.
“And before you say another word, let me just add to what your boyfriend said, that I think I speak for us all, when I say that we would all be glad to pay for those hoodies, without any kind of friend discount.” -Nino said.
“He’s right, you know?” -Juleka said. –“We won’t take advantage of you and your generosity, even if you think we should.” -she said.
“I’m with Juleka. We won’t do that, Marinette.” -Max told her.
Once again, Marinette had to hold her tears. She realized that it was going to be one of those days, where good feelings of all kind, and good words would be playing with her emotions. So, she decided to go with the flow, but always trying not to get too emotional, for she did not want to cry. She would save those tears of happiness, when she got home, so no one could see her crying, while thanking her lucky stars for having the friends she had.
“You guys… you are the best friends someone like me could have. You’ll call me to reason, even when I think I don’t need to be. “ -Marinette smiled at them. –“Very well, if you want to pay me what I think it’s fair for my work, then it’s fair. But in return, you’ll have to let me make you a small friend discount… one Euro.” -she said, to which they all silent agreed, by giving her a smile. –“And Alya, sorry for stealing your spotlight. I didn’t mean to.”
“No worries, girl. It’s my birthday, but that doesn’t mean I must be the centre of attentions.” -Alya told Marinette. –“And I’m happy that you shared with us what happened to you.” -she said, as she hugged Marinette. –“I can’t think of someone in Paris, who deserves what happened to you, more than you.”
And with those last words from Alya, Marinette allowed herself to shed a tear, but just one. She knew that if she allowed herself to shed more than one tear, she would not be able to stop, and she did not want her friends to see her cry, even if it was out of happiness, and even if she knew they would not mind seeing her cry a little bit. She believed it was not the moment or the place for it.
“By the way, did you get a selfie with him?” -Chloe asked Marinette. –“Every time I see him, I have to ask him for a selfie.” -she admitted.
“I know. He told me, when we were talking.” -Marinette chuckled. –“And yeah, we took one. Here, I’ll show you all.” -she said, as she looked for it in her cell phone gallery. –“Here we are. We took more than one, but this one is my favourite, because he’s holding the face-paint I did for him.”
“That’s the face paint you created for him?” -Kim asked her, to which she nodded her head. –“It looks super cool.” -he said.
“That’s one crazy face-paint.” -Alix said, as she looked at it.
“I called it “The Crocodile”. Looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?” -Marinette said.
“I’m so jelly right now, girl.” -Alya said, as she looked at the selfie of Marinette and Jagged on the cell phone’s screen.
“Don’t be. At the concert, you’ll have the chance to also take one with him.” -Marinette reminded her.
“Which reminds me, we’ll have to tell our parents that we’re going to the concert on Saturday.” -Nathaniel said. –“I hope mom agrees to this, or I’ll have to ask dad to convince her.” -he thought to himself.
“I’ll probably have to negotiate my presence at the concert with my parents.” Ivan sighed. –“And that means doing all the house chores, plus a couple more that my mom will come up with.” -he said, before turning to Mylene. –“Still, it’ll be worth it, just to go to the concert with you.”
“You say the sweetest things.” -Mylene said, as she hugged Ivan.
“One thing I know. My brother’s going to beg me to give him my ticket, when I tell him about this.” -Juleka chuckled, as she imagined Luka’s face, on the moment she would tell him that she had tickets for the KISS concert.
“He’ll definitely curse you for that.” -Rose joked about it. –“He’ll say… “Curse you, Juleka! Curse you and your luck!” -she said, while giggling.
“I think I won’t have any problems. The exams are over, and if the tickets were offered by Chloe, I don’t see my mom, nor my dad, stopping me from going to the concert. Especially, since I’ll be going with you all.” -Sabrina said.
“I might have to sneak out to go to the concert. I’m not so sure my dad will allow me to go to another concert this soon.” -Alix said. –“It’s a good thing I can always fly out of the balcony.” -she joked.
“What about you, Adrien? Do you think your dad will let you go to the concert?” -Marinette asked him. With everything that happened, she did not even consider the possibility that Adrien’s father would not allow him to go to this new concert.
“Don’t worry about it, Marinette. My dad had to leave on an unexpected business trip to New York this morning, and he’ll only be back next Monday.” -Adrien declared, with a smile on his face. –“That means, I only have to tell Nathalie about it, and we’re good to go. She’ll never say no, especially when I tell her that Chloe got us all VIP and backstage passes.” -he said. –“You’ll have your kitty cat, by your side, the whole night.”
“Well, your ladybug thanks you.” -Marinette said, as she caressed his face.
Suddenly, they all heard the door opening. Turning around, they saw Miss Bustier entering, having finished talking with whoever was on the other side of the line. Looking at her students, she could not help but to feel like a lot happened while she was out, though she did not know what exactly.
“Did I lose something, while I was out?” -Miss Bustier asked her students, who could not help but to smile mischievously at her.