wink-of-an-eye

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Six

-A woman’s total came out to $6.32. She handed me $5.07 and waited patiently for her change. I let her know that there was $1.25 left, to which she let me know that this was the correct amount for her to receive back. Upon getting my point across, she handed me $1.00 more. Hesitantly, I pointed out the discrepancy, at which point she took the balance out of my hand and passed me a crisp ten.

-A bouncing baby with, what I suspected to be, a full diaper, showed me his talent of fitting his entire fist inside his mouth. Already, he has accomplished more in life than I could ever dream of achieving.

-When asked how she was today, a woman replied with only silence and a single thumb raised to the sky. This fleeting moment spoke volumes more than any mere words could.

-In one of the most tragic moments I have yet to witness, a jar of salsa slid out of a man’s cart and shattered into thousands of spicy shards, spraying all over his sandal-clad feet. This was not a tragedy for his loss of mild picante pleasure, nor did the sadness lie in the hot mess left for me to clean. The deeply troubling nature of the situation stemmed entirely from the squelches that accompanied each of his steps after.

-A man asked me not to bag any of his items, as he had, instead, brought along with him a large bucket.

-A five year-old girl approached my register, got up on her toes to rest her arm along the bar, and, holding up five of her little fingers, ordered as many stickers, to go. With a flick of my wrist and a wink of my eye, I served up this order, receiving only a blank expression in return. True artistes are never appreciated in their time, but I will never give up the Craft of Flair.

-I handed a child a sticker. His mother prompted him to thank me. When he did not, his mother revoked his sticker privilege and insisted that he say his thanks. Instead, he turned to me, looked directly into my eyes, and said, “Voodoo.” I deeply wish she had just let him keep the sticker. Another curse is the last thing I need right now.

-I saw a man in his eighties walk into the airlock at the store’s entrance, perch himself upon a motorized cart, and drift swiftly to sleep. I want this man to take me under his wing and teach me, as I could never achieve such sound slumber so speedily in such a trafficked place, but I know that I can never ask him as much. That would involve waking him up, and that simply will not do.

-I watched a young boy walk up to my lane, brandishing a pixelated sword from Minecraft and a Peter Quill mask from Guardians of the Galaxy. He asked me if I could ring up his aforementioned “Star Wars toys”, and after a brief pause, if I had heard of that new movie about the galaxy guards. When I told him that I had, he informed me that he was, in fact, the guy from that. Naturally, I was starstruck and asked him for more details. This rare celeb sighting was sadly cut short, as Star-Lord’s dad leaned over my counter, stole my hand sanitizer, and demanded to know what exactly was with these credit card chips he kept hearing about everywhere.

-A newborn child, scarcely two months-old, rolled through my lane and, in the moments that followed, changed my life. I smiled. She giggled. I waved my hand. She waved her foot. I stuck my tongue out. She waved both her feet. This is now, and will forever be, our secret handshake.

where adrien flirts
  • so adrien has a little problem: he likes marinette. like he really, honest-to-god likes her, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. his track record with girls isn’t so stellar. after he confessed his feelings to ladybug as chat noir, she calmly turned him down and admitted she liked someone else. so as nino would say, without a lady to tie him down, adrien agreste is single and ready to mingle
  • but he’s always been single?? and what does mingle even mean?? like, nino, what the hell, dude?? help a man out. 
  • so nino sits him down and explains how to get his crush. with his previous crush, nino tells him, adrien obviously didn’t do it right, and that’s why she turned him down (nino doesn’t know it was ladybug, and he just likes to think adrien was crushing on a supermodel who was totally out of even his league). 
  • nino: “you gotta flirt, man. the ladies love a dude who’s chill and cool and confident. you gotta rock it and own it. you got this.”
    adrien: “but how? every time I go to her, she looks at me, and I can’t… make my words work.”
    nino: “….you two are perfect for each other.”
    adrien: “what?”
    nino: “what?”
  • nino gives him an article with a few tips for flirting. this shouldn’t be too bad, and hey, it worked on alya, nino swears by it. so with 10 Flirting Techniques That Are Garunteed to Work on Women on his mind, adrien is determined to woo the ladies.
  • 1. set the stage with the “soft stare”: so all he had to do was stare at marinette as deeply as possible whenever they had a conversation while maintaining a calm and relaxed expression. marinette likes to stutter and stammer her ways through her words, and he couldn’t blame her, because he lost control when he tried to talk to her as well, and usually her antics made him smile and laugh. but according to the tips, he wasn’t allowed to.
  • it’s all good for a week or so, until nino pulls him aside and asks why he looks like he’s plotting how to murder marinette in her sleep like some type of serial killer every time he talks to her. 
  • he stops talking to her after that. alya tracks him down a few days later and whacks him upside the head for making her best friend cry by ignoring her. adrien goes back to talking to marinette as normally as possible after that because it’s better to talk to her as friends than invoke his “killer smile” while trying to flirt.
  • 2. be vague and leave her wanting more: adrien has this in the bag. he knows how to skirt around a topic, but that’s just because he has to make sure he kept his secret identity as a superhero of Paris a… secret. being vague is one of his best talents, it also helps with those stupid paparazzi who always follow him. the article offers some suggests: tell her you know a secret about her, tell her there’s something interesting about her and you can’t put your finger on it, tell her that’s she exactly your type but don’t tell her what you type actually is, etc. he spends most of the night plotting his exact words, and the next day, when he sees marinette, it just comes spilling out…
  • adrien: “i know your secret, marinette.”
    marinette: “…what?”
    well shit, adrien thought, the article didn’t tell him what happened after this.
    adrien: “…i know it. your secret… i knew there was something about you that i couldn’t put my finger on.”
    marinette: “…wait, so you know? ohmygodthiscan’tbehappening,ohmygod, how did you figure it out???”
  • adrien wasn’t sure what to do after this point, so like the article said, he leaves her wanting more and nopes the fuck outta there, cha-cha sliding out of the classroom and bolting down the hallway before she could catch him.
  • 3. the sensual look: once a girl is comfortable around you, give her a mischievous look that makes her think. the article (and nino) never really explain what the girl will think about, but adrien totally supports girl empowerment and helping those smart cookies get the best grades and brilliance recognition they deserve. if a mischievous smile is all it takes, then he’s more than happy to help.
  • he flashes her a quirky smirk in Madame Bustier’s lecture, marinette notices and freezes up. he thinks he did it wrong when nino just leans closer and says, “you broke marinette.”
  • adrien apologizes after class and swears he’ll never break her again. marinette just mumbles, “you can break me anytime.”
  • adrien thinks it’s counterproductive. 
  • 4. the surprise wink: whenever you pass her, just wink after you lock eyes, nino says, she won’t expect it and it’ll surprise her but give her the clear and distinct message that you are flirting with her. adrien wants marinette to know he likes her and wants to flirt with he rand wants to date her and just be with her, so he winks every time he gets. 
  • they see each other in class? wink he catches her eyes while they study for physics? wink they talk about madame bustier’s homework? wink she asks him for his opinion on her designs? wink 
  • at first, she giggles. after two weeks, she presents him with a bottle of over-the-counter artificial tears for his “eye twitch.” he stops winking after that and doesn’t talk to nino for the rest of the day.
  • 5. the playful bump: playful actions, like bumping, will definitely make a girl smile. 
  • adrien: “but nino, i could hurt her.”
    nino: “no, my dude, she knows you’re teasing.”
    adrien: “i don’t care if she knows. what if i knock her over?”
    nino: “no, you don’t do it hard, you just–”
    adrien: “what if she falls over and breaks her nose? i don’t wanna break her nose, nino. she has a cute nose.”
    nino: “adrien, you’re not gonna break her–”
    adrien: “niNO
  • 6. the understatement: understate the compliments you give her, okay, okay, adrien can do this. it’s simple.
  • adrien: “marinette, your eyes are blue… like avatar’s skin. just blue.. all over.. it’s great. not the brightest blue, but not the darkest. just blue. you have blue eyes, marinette.”
    marinette: *is speechless*
    nino: “…you nailed that, adrien.”
    adrien: “oh thanks, nino.”
  • 7. the double negative, “i don’t think you’re not beautiful”: 
    adrien: “but i do think she’s beautiful.”
    nino: “i know, you’re telling her that.”
    adrien: “but you just said i don’t think she’s beautiful?”
    nino: “no, no, you said you don’t think she’s not beautiful, so ergo you think she is beautiful.”
    adrien: “…grammar hurts my head, nino.”
    nino: “i know, my dude, i understand.”
  • 8. the sensual tease, tease her for liking you: okay, but adrien doesn’t know if marinette likes him like that? nino swears she does, and alya says so too, but it still makes him feel bad for teasing her. so he doesn’t tease her and just keeps doing stuff like he normally does, like walking her home from school and helping her study physics and giving her advice for her designs and keeping a stash of food for her on the mornings she runs late and he knows she didn’t have breakfast yet.
  • nino rolls his eyes, but adrien doesn’t care. his momma didn’t raise no hooligan. no, if he was going to flirt with marinette, at least he can be a gentleman about it.
  • 9. the moniker: giving her a cute nickname will let her know how special she is. adrien spends a week thinking about it, and nino gives him a few suggestions, but he doesn’t listen. if he’s giving marinette a nickname, it has to be something he does because it’ll let her know she’s special to him.
  • a few days later, he slips up and calls her “princess” because she’s pretty, sweet, smart, likes pink, and is a natural born leader just like a royal. marinette freezes when he calls her that, but she smiles and laughs eventually. she seems to like it, and he keeps doing it. it’s fitting, he supposes, for someone like her. marinette, his princess.
  • does that mean he gets to be her knight?
  • nino calls him a nerd.
  • 10. tell her how you feel: it’s the last step, and adrien agonizes over it for days. it can’t really be as simple as nino makes it out to be, but then again, his best friend has been dating a pretty sweet gal for months, so it obviously worked for him. adrien broods over it for a while, and alya warns him not to ignore marinette for days again, and he swears he isn’t. he’s just trying to find his courage. why oh why is it so much easier to face an akuma with certain death hanging over his head than tell a girl how he really feels?
  • marinette decides to take matters into her own hands, which he isn’t really surprised by because she usually is a head-strong, independent female. what he is surprised by is when ladybug swings into his bedroom window and transforms into marinette right before his very eyes.
  • marinette: “why are you ignoring me? did i do something wrong?”
    adrien: *adrien.exe has stopped working*
    marinette: “…adrien?”
    adrien: “…you’re… ladybug?!”
    marinette: “yeah, i know. you know. we’ve been over this–”
    adrien: “nononoNO, we most certainly haven’t.”
    marinette: *marinette.exe has stopped working*
    adrien: “…marinette?”
    marinette: “I… but you said you knew my secret.”
    adrien: “I WAS BEING VAGUE.”
    marinette: “WHY?!”
    adrien: “IVE BEEN FLIRTING WITH YOU.”
    marinette: “…you have?”
    adrien: “well, i was trying–”
  • plagg: *pops out of adrien’s pocket* “oh, are we trading secrets?”
    tikki: *pops out of marinette’s bag* “I think so?”
    plagg: *holds out paw to marinette* “fine. im plagg, i turn him into chat noir. nice to finally meet you. i’m glad you guys are finally telling each other, it’s been so tiring listening to him mooning over you. do you have any cheese?”
    marinette: “…you’re chat noir?”
    adrien: *dies*

so marinette and adrien are dating now, so in a way he thinks his plan worked? that doesn’t stop marinette from asking him how he thought he’d been flirting, so he tells her nino’s tips. she laughs for a week straight. that’s the last time he ever listens to nino.

an adrien version of this post. some people asked for an adrien version, it’s not directly a sequel, but still another au. just two nerds trying to flirt and failing spectacularly.