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let's be winners by mistake

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Tears filled her azure eyes, and she tried to blink them away but instead they trailed down her cheeks. Marinette turned her face away from his observing eyes and tilted head, hands clenched at her sides. 

“I think I’m in love with you and I’m terrified.”

She heard Chat’s breath hitch in what she assumed was surprise, and then there was silence. It was the longest moment of her life, afraid of what he might say but terrified to look up, even though her muscles strained to do just that. 

He took a step toward her, closing the distance between them enough so she could feel his body heat slowly enveloping the space around them. She winced and turned away from him more, her eyes clenching shut while her shoulders tensed near her ears. A single gloved hand came to rest upon the cheek furthest away from him, gently turning her head, slowly, until she was looking up into his eyes. A breath whooshed out of her lungs once her distressed mind registered his caring, loving, expression. His thumb brushed against her cheekbone, wiping away the dampness on her flushed skin. 

“What if I told you,” Chat said slowly, taking a breath before continuing, “that I think I’m in love with you too.”

Despite the implications of his response, Marinette still looked desperately up at him, needing to bring up the other people who held an even firmer grip over their hearts. 

“But what about Adrien, and Ladybug-“

Chat captured her lips, stealing the words from her tongue with a shuddering gasp. Marinette’s eyes shut tight, tears being forced out to trail across her skin once again. Her arms flew up to wrap around his shoulders while his hugged her hips against his own, claws brushing against the bare skin of her back that was revealed when her shirt rode up from the raising of her arms.

He pulled away from her lips, pressing his forehead against her own

“Can we forget about them?” he rasped, his voice so down-trodden and quiet that Marinette could feel another sob rise in her throat. 

“Wha-“

“Please,” he pleaded desperately, tightening his arms around her. “Just for tonight.”

Marinette took in the image of the broken man in front of her, one who was so tired of having his love rejected, who wanted everything to be different, to spend at least a little time with the woman he could have loved if fate had dealt him a better, kinder hand. 

Marinette’s heart broke even more than it already was, and she nodded. 

Chat kissed her again, but this time Marinette wasn’t sure whether the wetness on her cheeks was from her tears or his. 

It didn’t matter. They were both equally broken, each valiantly trying to fill the void in their chests with another who didn’t quite fit.

But that was fine. Because just for one night, they could try. Just for one night, they could forget. 

And that was all that they needed.