car o meter

Smoulder- Chapter 21

Summary: In which misunderstandings are cleared up, Marinette and Alya almost die via speeding car, and everyone’s dork-o-meter is ramped up to 1000.

Read on AO3 / FF.Net

Chapter 21


Marinette didn’t expect to be woken up by a screech, or a pillow hitting her face. But then again, she hadn’t expected a lot of things that had happened to her recently. A pillow was the least of her problems.

She groaned, sitting up in Alya’s bed as the fluffy weapon tumbled onto her lap. After they’d left the hospital, Alya had insisted that Marinette needed some girl time- to get her head clear of boys. Marinette heartily agreed. Amongst the drama of her love life, her seemingly never-ending studies and the regular stream of akumas, Marinette’s down time with her best friend had severely declined. So she’d sent a quick text to her parents when they’d left the hospital, saying goodbye to Nathanael and Louis in the process, and Nino had walked them back home before heading to his place.

They, of course, had stayed up far too late watching dumb movies and painting each other’s nails, and the talk had turned to boys before they could help themselves. One boy in particular. Between them, they came up with a plan of action for the spa. Alya called it ‘Operation: Dork Love’ and Marinette had deliberately messed up painting one of her nails in retaliation. She’d fixed it though…eventually, after enough pouting from Alya.

“What?” Marinette managed to mumble, never one to be a morning person despite being a bakers’ daughter. “Wazzamatter?”

Alya was frantic, racing about the room and cussing under her breath. Marinette tried not to look directly at her, she was making her dizzy.

“What? WHAT? Look at the time butt munch!” Alya squawked, throwing another pillow at her. Marinette managed to dodge this one, ducking under the projectile and grabbing her phone to check the time.

Her eyes widened in horror and she let out an unholy squeal, scrambling out of the bed, only to get tangled in the bedsheets and hit the floor with a dull thud.

Alya didn’t even look at her, let alone check she was ok.

Getting ready was a hectic affair, and waking up late was not in their best interests considering ‘Operation: Dork Love’ (damn why did the name stick?) and besides, Marinette was already nervous enough as it was. She needed time to make herself look good. Why did life constantly throw her best laid plans under the bus?

After a brief wrestling match over the bathroom mirror, which Alya won, they hurried around the apartment, making sure they had everything they needed. Alya would be driving them to the spa, using her mother’s rarely-used Love Bug (a name whose irony was not lost on Marinette); a beat up, mid-noughties Volkswagen Beetle- red of course. None of them wanted to catch the train after a day of spa bliss, it seemed counter-productive.

Before picking up the boys, they needed to drive to Marinette’s place so she could change clothes and grab her spa things. Alya seemed want to make up for lost time by attempting to break the sound barrier.

“Would you SLOW DOWN?!” Marinette yelped as Alya sped around a corner at almost Tokyo-drift levels of insanity. “I’d like to live today you know! I don’t need death getting in the way of my love life too!”

“Do you want time to make yourself look nice?” Alya yelled beeping her horn and cussing out a student driver. “What are you doing?” she asked, looking over at Marinette making, who was making the sign of the cross.

“Praying,” Marinette replied, ending the sign by closing her eyes. She was grateful they hadn’t had any breakfast yet, as she was certain she would have lost it by now. “Eyes on the road, I’m begging you.”

“You aren’t even religious!” Alya cried, affronted, as she narrowly missed a cyclist. “My driving isn’t that bad.”


When they finally reached the bakery both girls were stressed, frazzled, and on the verge of murder.

Tom, of course, laughed as soon as he saw them.

“Rough morning ladies?” he teased, offering them a few pastries.

“Don’t Papa,” Marinette moaned as Alya grabbed a croissant, shovelling it stressfully into her mouth, flecks of pastry flying everywhere. “Just don’t.”

The rest of the morning, thankfully, went a lot smoother after that. Fresh croissants and some herbal teas worked wonders on their nerves. It also helped that Nino texted, offering to hop on the metro and meet them at Marinette’s before they picked up Adrien, which saved them a lot of time in the Sunday traffic. Thanks to his generous gesture, they were no longer running late, though Marinette had to put up with a lot of gushing from Alya about how awesome her boyfriend was. She couldn’t blame her though, after all how many times had Alya been there to support her through the mess of her own love life?

As a peace offering for their earlier nonsense, Alya offered to do Marinette’s makeup. Light of course, and waterproof, as they’d be going into the Jacuzzis after playing tennis and Marinette would rather not look like her face was melting off when revealing that she was Ladybug.

The realisation smacked her in the stomach with a rusty knuckleduster.


It was TODAY.

The day they’d finally know each other. No more secrets. No more misunderstandings. Adrien and Marinette. Chat and Ladybug. Separate no more.

Keep reading

When my baby brother was much younger and I lived at home, I had him pretty often. Both my parents worked over time, I worked full time and went to school part or full time (depending on the semester and my ability to tolerate school), so my sister and I watched him nearly as often as our parents. I usually had a booster seat in my car. I was 15 was born and he doesn’t even remember life before I had a license. 

When a funk or funky sounding song popped up on the radio when it was on scan, he knew it was time to dance. Because I told him whenever a funk song came on, it meant my cars Funk-o-Meter was low and it needed to be refilled. It could only be filled by dancing.

Once he didn’t believe me and my car mysteriously started to slow to a stop in the middle of an abandoned road. 

He did not question the Funk-o-Meter for a very long time.