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“Good evening Princess!“ Chat Noir’s voice announced his arrival just before he landed on her railing. Quickly taking note of Marinette’s scowl, he stepped down and looked at the sketch pad. "Oh dear. Designing evening not going so well?”
She dragged her pencil tip heavily through all the brainstormed designs in rejection. "Ugh. No. These are all awful.“
He caught her hand before she could turn the page. "What’s wrong with this one?” He tapped on a doodle in the upper right corner of the page.
She screwed up her face a little and sighed. "Technically nothing.“ Her fingertip outlined the sketch as she explained it. "It’s a simple suit, designed to appeal to young men for nice events that aren’t quite formal.”
“Date suit,” he said. "I like it. I’d wear it.“
She snorted. "The biggest problem with that one is that I have no one to model it. At least not until summer’s over. And I don’t want to wait that long. I have so much work to do to get my portfolio diversified.”
“All your friends go backpacking across Spain or something?” he asked, leaning his hip against the table and crossing his arms comfortably.
“Some of them have.” A number of her classmates, Nino included, were starting their gap year with that very hike. "And the ones who haven’t wouldn’t really bring it to life in photo format. They’re too shy, or too obnoxious…"
“I thought you were friends with that Agreste guy,” Chat interrupted. "Can’t you ask him?“
"Adrien?” She shook her head quickly.
“Not that good a friend?” he asked, sounding a little sad.
“Oh, no. I could totally ask him, and I’m sure he’d be super nice about it,” she explained. "But I couldn’t do that to him.“ She sighed. "I don’t think he really enjoys modeling that much, for all that he’s incredibly good at it. He’s so busy this summer, and he’s probably under some sort of exclusive contract that would make it… hard.” She shook her head again. "I know he’d want to help me, but I’d hate to make things more difficult for him.“
Chat stared at her for a moment, his expression thoughtful. "Can I volunteer?”