Marinette should’ve known that it wasn’t fine. Nothing was ever fine. A tear slipped down her cheek as she recalled the events that happened earlier.
She was supposed to be meeting Luka for dinner. Not only was it date night, but it was their one year anniversary. Giving him a chance was one of the best things she’d ever done. While she knew a part of her would always be caught on Adrien, she knew she loved Luka too, and back then, when she asked him out⎯yes, she had been the one to ask him out⎯ she had been so happy. Happy to forget about Adrien, happy to spend time with Luka, happy to be in a relationship. Everything.
She should’ve known it wouldn’t last. Her ladybug luck could only take her so far.
She had just stepped out of her apartment after finally getting on her home-made dress, made just for that night when she got a call.
Digging her phone out of her purse, she hit the answer button, bringing the device up to her ear.
“Marinette?” Came a voice from the other line.
“Luka!” Marinette perked up. “Hey! I just left my apartment, are you on your wa-”
“Marinette.” Luka interrupted, bringing the girl’s rambling to a halt.
“Yes?” She asked, hearing a sigh from the boy.
“I’m so sorry. I know it’s our anniversary night, but I can’t make it. I got… Wrapped up in some music stuff. I really need to get some stuff done.”
Marinette paled, her wide smile falling from her face. “Tonight? Can’t you do it tomorrow?” She asked. It was then that she heard a bit of rustling from the other line and a few whispered words that she couldn’t make out. As if he wasn’t alone. “Luka?”
“I’m sorry, Marinette. I really can’t. Rain check?”
Marinette’s frown hardened. Luka never lied to her, so she had no reason to suspect that he was telling anything but the truth, but something was throwing her off.
Her frown hardened. “Sure. Whatever. I don’t care. Finish your music. I know it’s more important anyways.” She hung up before he could argue with her.
Drawing her phone away from her ear, she looked down at Luka’s contact info and she felt tears burn the corners of her eyes. Apparently tonight wasn’t as big of a deal to him as it was to her.
After blinking the tears from her eyes, she recalled what she had heard in the background of their call.
Without hesitating, Marinette brought up Juleka’s number and hit call.
“Marinette?” Came Juleka’s voice when she answered.
“Hey, Juleka,” Marinette greeted. “Out of curiosity, does Luka have any deadlines to meet for his music tomorrow? He won’t tell me.” She asked.
“I don’t think so. Last I heard, he doesn’t have anything due till next month.” Came the girl’s reply.
“Alright, thank you,” Marinette replied before saying goodbye to the raven-haired girl and hanging up.
That liar. She knew he hadn’t been telling the truth. But why? What was so important that he had to cancel their anniversary plans and then lie about it?
Pulling up Snapchat, she checked Luka’s location and saw that he was still at home. Perfect. If he wanted to stay home, then home they’d be.
Putting her phone away, Marinette walked over to her car and proceeded to make her way to Luka’s house.
Upon arriving, Marinette strolled up to the door and knocked rapidly.
Minutes later, the door was finally opening to reveal a disheveled, and shirtless, Luka, who was wearing a look of shock. As if he hadn’t been expecting her to drop by after canceling their plans.
His mouth gaped open, his eyes wide. It seemed like he was trying to say something to her, but couldn’t get the words out.
Just as Marinette was about to say something, she heard a voice come from behind him. “Luka, who is it babe?”
Of course. That’s why he had canceled. Not because he had to work on his music. But he was with someone else. He was with someone else, and it was clearly not a business call, if the dark marks on his neck that she was finally noticing were anything to go by.
Marinette’s face hardened as she tried her best not to cry. “What the hell Luka?” Marinette finally said, her voice coming out a lot lower and even than she had expected.
Her response seemed to be what brought Luka back to his sense. “Marinette, I can explain-”
“Don’t. I don’t want to hear it. I get it. It was a moment of weakness, and you said yes, right? That’s what you’re going to say, isn’t it? Someone, some girl, offered you her services, something I wasn’t ready to give you yet, and you just couldn’t resist, could you?” She spat at him, her anger taking over the grief she was feeling.
“Marinette, please. I-I didn’t mean to, I swear. It just sort of… Happened.” He argued.
Her fists clenched at her sides, her eyes slipping closed for a moment before she opened them again, and looked him in the eyes. “No. You’re not sorry. I should’ve been there, in the back of your mind while you were doing stuff with her that you couldn’t do with me.”
“Marinette-” He continued, trying to get a word in.
“No. I’m done. We’re done. You should’ve said no. You should’ve thought twice before you let it all go.” Marinette took in a deep breath. “You should’ve said no, and you might still have me.”
She turned around and walked down the steps leading up to his door. She paused as she reached her car to look back at him, still standing in the door frame, a look of disbelief on his face. “Was it worth it? Was she worth it?” She asked. Without waiting for his answer, she climbed into her car and took off back to her apartment.
At some point during the drive back, she had started crying. She didn’t know when, but it hadn’t registered in her mind until she was already home and in her room, ripping her dress off, quite literally. Having made the article of clothing herself, she knew just where she needed to rip in order to tear the dress apart. She didn’t care that it had taken her about 72 hours to complete. After tonight, she never wanted to wear it again.
When the dress fell off her in shambles, she climbed into a pair of pajamas she had set out for herself earlier in the day so she wouldn’t have to stumble around much when she got home, and then climbed into her bed.
She didn’t know how long she spent crying, nor did she care. Hours seemed to pass before a thump on the balcony outside her bedroom brought her back to the present.
Her sobs quieted down into little sniffles, as she lifted her head and looked up as her balcony doors opened.
“Princess?” She heard come quietly from the figure in the doorway. Tears welled up in her eyes once more when she realized who it was. There was only one person it could be, of course, she had found an apartment with a balcony just for him, but still.
“Chat.” Her voice broke as she said his name, and suddenly she was sobbing again.
In an instant, Chat Noir was by her side. “Oh Princess…” He murmured as he picked her up in his arms and sat down on her bed, bringing her into his arms. He didn’t ask what happened, just held her as she clung to him and cried. It hurt him to see her like this, but she needed him, and so he would do what he could to comfort her.
Ten minutes later, Marinette was finally starting to calm down again, her sobs suppressed back into sniffles. She leaned back away from Chat to wipe the tears from her face. Chat beat her to it though, his hand coming up to wipe away a tear that had slipped free before she could.
“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked her softly as he brushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
Marinette thought about it for a few seconds before nodding and taking a deep breath. “I broke up with Luka tonight.” Her voice came out low and hoarse from crying.
Chat sucked in a breath. While he had never loved Luka, he didn’t hate him either, and as long as he made Mari happy, then Chat was happy. “What? Why? I thought you liked him?”
Marinette’s eyes welled up again, but she refused to let the tears fall. “I-” Her voice broke. “I did. I do. Today was supposed to be our one year anniversary and we were going to go out to dinner to celebrate, but he called just as I was leaving to cancel on me.” She continued to tell him what she discovered this evening.
When she was finished, she looked up to see that Chat’s face had hardened, and that, surprisingly, his eyes shone with unshed tears. He was crying? For her? But why?
The question was thrown out the window and he burrowed his face in her neck. “I’m so sorry, Mari. You didn’t deserve that. What a jerk.” He mumbled.
Marinette threw her arms around his neck in a hug as she choked back tears of her own. “ Why? ” She breathed. “Why would he do this to me? I-I thought he loved me, Chat. It hurts. It hurts so bad.” Tears spilled down her puffy cheeks once more and Chat pressed her closer to him.
“I don’t know, Princess. And I’m not about to make up excuses for him. There’s absolutely no excuse for cheating on you. He’s an idiot for doing so though. Anyone would be lucky to have you.” Chat replied softly, pulling back just enough to brush her tears away. “But I’ve got you. I’ve got you, Princess. I won’t let you be alone tonight.” Marinette could only nod in appreciation. “Thank you.” She whispered in response.
And he kept his word. He held her as she cried, and continued to hold her once she finally fell asleep, only moving to put them in a more comfortable position. And when she woke the next morning, she smiled down at the black cat that was curled protectively around her. Despite the circumstances, she couldn’t help but realize how safe she felt with him, and how lucky she was to be able to call him her best friend.