‘Just a friend’
I have a headcanon that Adrien’s teammates will adopt Marinette as their own and fully ship her with Adrien when they get together. Also that Marinette will bring pastries to the fencing practices and share them with the fencers.
So I wrote this. Kinda serious, kinda crack.
At the next fencing practice, Adrien noticed that his teammates were all looking at him quite…strangely. They all had these little, knowing smirks on their faces, prompting him to look back at them in confusion. Were they playing a prank on him or something? Even Kagami, their newest teammate, was grinning widely at him as if she knew something he did not.
If it was something fencing-related, that was probably true. She most likely did know about moves and tactics that he wasn’t yet aware of. But he had a feeling that whatever this was about, it wasn’t about fencing.
Since Mr. D’Argencourt wasn’t there to order them to practice, the fencers had a little free time on their hands. Free time that meant it was the perfect opportunity for Adrien to ask why they were all looking at him like that.
“So, who was that girl you were sparring with last time?” One of his fellow teammates, Rayan, asked with a particularly devious twinkle in his brown eyes. The others were all lined up beside him and leaning forward, still grinning and curious of the answer that would come out of Adrien’s mouth.
Adrien tilted his head, eyebrows lowered in puzzlement. “You mean Kagami?”
Kagami sighed and shook her head, but Rayan didn’t look nearly as disappointed. Instead, his grin turned wicked.
“No, I mean the other one. Before Kagami showed up.”
“Oh!” Adrien exclaimed upon recognition, eyes widening and a smile beginning to blossom on across his features. “That was my friend, Marinette.”
Kagami rolled her eyes, while everyone else’s mouths twisted into scowls, save for Rayan. He wasn’t at all deterred by Adrien’s answer.
“Your friend? Is she really just a friend? Come on, we all heard you say that she had to touch you.”
Adrien’s cheeks flushed about as red as Ladybug’s suit.
“Th-that’s because we were fencing!” he stuttered, something that his teammates noticed. Adrien Agreste never stuttered; he was always smooth and controlled with his words. “You have to touch each other in fencing, that’s how you get a point! She never fenced before, so I was trying to help her.”
“Of course you were. Is that why you walked right to her and not even look at the other newbies? You were staring at her the whole time,” Rayan pointed out with his smirk never faltering for a second. At this their teammates began to look hopeful and mischievous again.
Adrien frowned. He had a crush on Ladybug, not that he could tell anyone that without sounding like an average fanboy. Marinette was just a friend, that’s all. A very sweet, albeit clumsy, honest friend.
“I had my mask on, so you couldn’t see whether or not I was staring at her, which I wasn’t. And I chose to pair up with her because she’s my friend. I wouldn’t want her going up against someone she didn’t know, I wanted her to be comfortable.”
“Because you like her,” Rayan replied lightly, drawing out the ‘like’. “And what makes you think she wouldn’t have been comfortable with someone like me? I’m a charming person, don’t you think?”
Adrien’s eyes narrowed, not at all appreciating the implications of that statement.
“She came here to fence, not for you to flirt with her.”
“Or she came here because you fence and was hoping you would flirt with her.”
“Enough, already!” Adrien shouted, exasperated by this point. “Marinette is just a friend, that’s it. She’s nice, sweet, honest, and talented. I’m honored to be someone she can call a friend. And as her friend, I was trying to help her in a sport she was unfamiliar with. She’s just a friend.”
“Adrien, you can talk about your girlfriend later,” Mr. D’Argencourt snapped, coming up from behind his students. At once they straightened and turned, giving him their full attention. Adrien wanted to refute his claim, say that Marinette was just a friend and not his girlfriend, but he honestly didn’t think that Mr. D’Argencourt would care very much about the correction.
Their teacher didn’t let up on the stern frown he bore as he continued to address his students.
“I’m a little late so you just decide to idle and gossip? Get into position, now. Adrien, Kagami, I want you two especially to be paired up. Go!”
Kagami grinned as she walked by Adrien, teasingly tapping his sabre with her own as she went.
“You may be fooling yourself, Adrien, but you’re not fooling anyone else.”
Adrien pursed his lips. What did she know, she just got here, like, two days ago!
“Hey, you’re Marinette, right?”
Marinette turned away from her locker to see Kagami standing next to her. Instead of her typical fencing outfit, she wore a red sweater and black ankle pants, with red flats to complete the look. Honestly, with how similar they looked, Marinette wouldn’t be surprised if people thought Kagami was actually her own alter ego, Ladybug.
Although, that would give her greater protection for maintaining her secret identity.
She smiled, ready to open her mouth and offer a friendly confirmation that she was indeed Marinette and ask her how she was along with whether or not she was liking the school so far. Until she remembered how she very likely made the wrong call during Adrien and Kagami’s duel, which helped lead the new fencer into becoming akumatized.
She shrunk back with an apologetic grimace. “Listen, I’m sorry about-”
“Don’t worry about it,” Kagami replied nonchalantly, waving off the apology. She smiled. “It’s all in the past. Fencing is complicated to understand, and I know that was your first day trying it. Then there’s the fact that Adrien and I weren’t exactly making it easy for someone to see who touched who first.”
She chuckled upon remembering how they were practically fighting to kill. That was one of the reasons she liked sparring with Adrien best, he actually gave her a challenge. Marinette in the meantime exhaled with relief, thankful that Kagami didn’t blame her for what happened that day. Maybe she could take a lesson or two from Lila.
Speaking of which, wasn’t she a new student, too? Where did she go?
“Anyway,” Kagami spoke, getting back on track. Her smile shifted into a sly grin, something that Marinette was immediately wary of. “We have fencing practice today, and by ‘we’ I mean every single fencer here, which includes Adrien, and I mean Adrien Agreste, by the way.” She shrugged. “Just saying. I was wondering if you’d like to come and watch? Did I mention that Adrien will be there, Adrien Agreste? He’ll be there. At the same time you are. Just saying.”
Marinette blinked, unsure of what to say or even think in response to that. Did Kagami know of her crush on Adrien? But they just met! How could she pick up on that so quickly?
But she did just invite her to watch a fencing practice, that Adrien would be a part of! If he was suspicious of her just showing up randomly, she could say that Kagami invited her. He wouldn’t be creeped out if she had a valid excuse for being there. This was her chance!
“I’d love to!” she replied with a large smile, trying her best to rein in her happy squeals. It wasn’t easy. “Thank you for inviting me.”
“You’re welcome.” Kagami grinned and bowed her head before she walked away, down the hall and around the corner where she exchanged a high five with Alya.
The sole Ladyblogger wrapped an arm conspiratorially around the new girl’s shoulders.
“You know, I’ve been thinking of starting a club…”
“Thanks for inviting me again, Kagami,” Marinette said as the girls walked to the school courtyard, where practice would be held in about 15 minutes.
“You’re very welcome, Marinette,” Kagami replied with a smile that slowly morphed into her own secretive grin. She couldn’t wait for practice to start.
When they entered the courtyard they saw the other fencers chatting, testing out their equipment, or stretching. Kagami sneaked a peek out of the corner of her eye to see Marinette curiously studying each and every fencer, as though looking for someone specifically.
She bit back a smirk and motioned with her head in front of them.
“You can stay with me until practice starts. Let’s go in.”
As they walked, Kagami didn’t miss the way how Marinette’s eyes trailed after all the fencers, apparently still trying to find the one she was really here to see.
Rayan paused in bending his sabre, taking notice of Kagami and Marinette walking in his direction. His face lit up as he shouted his teammate’s name along with Marinette’s, being sure to be loud enough so that everyone in the courtyard would hear perfectly clearly.
Including one blond fencer, who lifted up his mask to see what was going on.
Rayan ran up to Marinette, placed his sabre across his chest and bowed like a gentleman. A corner of his mouth lifted in a sultry grin, as he tried his best to maintain the picture of seduction. It was kind of hard to when, in reality, he wanted Marinette to be with Adrien, not him.
But by pretending he was interested in her, maybe it would be enough of a push for Adrien to make a move.
“I’m Rayan, the one who you talked to during Adrien and Kagami’s duel? I’m glad we can meet face to face, you’re even more beautiful without my mask on.”
Kagami internally cringed at the poor flirtation skills this boy had. She hoped Marinette would be able to take it more seriously.
Marinette blinked, stunned for a moment because she was sure this ‘Rayan’ guy was flirting with her. She didn’t know what to do. This wasn’t Chat Noir, who she could teasingly push back by the nose and tell him to focus on patrol or the akuma.
So she settled by giving a small smile and shaking his gloved hand. “I’m Marinette. Thanks for talking to me back then.”
“The pleasure was all mine,” he answered smoothly before bending down to give her hand a chaste kiss.
Adrien pulled his mask down with a disgusted scoff.
Kagami was happy to report to Rayan that Adrien fought with an unusual aggressiveness that day. Although Rayan didn’t need it, as he got to experience it himself when Adrien innocently and otherwise nicely asked to spar with him next.
Adrien proceeded to win each and every one of their matches without breaking a sweat, attacking quickly and efficiently while barely giving Rayan enough time to parry.
Leaving Marinette a blushing and swooning mess on the bench.
They didn’t account for Luka joining their school. They also didn’t think that he would take an interest in Marinette, either.
“We must dispose of him,” Kagami murmured lowly, her fingers twitching for her sabre.
Alya shook her head. “We can’t, he’s Juleka’s brother. She’s our friend, we couldn’t do that to her.”
Kagami groaned in irritation. “Fine. But we have to do something.”
Turned out they didn’t need to do anything at all. Strangely, Adrien acted even more like a gentleman that day and during the next few weeks. He sometimes carried Marinette’s books, opened doors for her to let her pass through first, took extra time out of his day to seek her out and talk to her, and once Alya and Kagami saw him grin and tenderly kiss her fingers. Before pulling back and chuckling as though it was merely friendly teasing, of course.
Alya and Kagami weren’t fooled. Marinette tried to laugh along with him, it was too bad it came out shaky due to how much she needed to hyperventilate in her excitement.
Luka was simply considered another boy who happened to attend their school by the following day.
One day, it finally happened. No one knew how, or why, but to be honest those were just minor details at this point.
Adrien and Marinette were together. As in, in a relationship, together.
Word spread throughout the entire school, including the fencing team. And they let Adrien know that they knew that day at practice.
“So, is she still ‘just a friend’?” Rayan grinned broadly as he thrust his sabre toward Adrien’s chest. The latter smoothly parried and completed the riposte, successfully touching his opponent’s shoulder.
Adrien lifted up his mask with a smirk, bending the blade of his sabre as he answered.
“She’s my best friend, who also happens to be my girlfriend, now.”
“So how did it happen?” Rayan asked, hungry for details. Partly because he wanted to know, and partly because Kagami threatened to stab him if he didn’t return with answers. He honestly wasn’t sure if she was serious or not.
“We stood on top of the Eiffel Tower and proclaimed our love for each other,” Adrien replied, already predicting Rayan’s reaction, which didn’t disappoint.
He rolled his eyes. “Come on, Agreste, tell me the truth.”
“I am,” Adrien countered with a grin. He pulled his mask down and got back into position. “En garde!”
Rayan sighed, hoping that Kagami wouldn’t stab him anywhere that could kill him.
Marinette went to at least one fencing practice a week. The fencing boys adored her, and began to think of her as their little sister. Honestly, Kagami wasn’t sure who loved Marinette more: Adrien or her other teammates.
Most of the time Adrien wouldn’t even get the chance to personally greet Marinette first. She would walk in with a box of pastries, smile widely with a light blush dusting her cheeks as she waved to Adrien. In turn, he would return the smile and wave back. But before he could take a single step forward in her direction, one of his teammates would scream, “MARINETTE!” Which would then incite a small stampede of fencers straight for his girlfriend, sometimes even bumping Adrien out of the way as they ran.
Kagami would giggle and offer Adrien her hand if he happened to get knocked over in the stampede. He would then thank her and walk over to give his girlfriend a proper greeting, most oftentimes resulting in a kiss on the lips. His teammates would holler in joy every time, they’ve been waiting a long time for these moments, dammit, and they were going to fully appreciate them.
They knew that Marinette wasn’t ‘just a friend’.