There’s also the argument ‘Books are supposed to challenge you!’ which is an interesting argument, but I don’t actually like it very much. Most of my books aren’t actually supposed to challenge you, they’re supposed to comfort you because life is a hard country and we all need a little kindness along the way. (It is totally fine if other people’s books are supposed to challenge you, just…err…#NotAllBooks or something.) I do not actually feel bad about this, because I think comfort is hard to do and generally worthwhile.
Ursula Vernon, and as if speaking directly to me
“Do you hate her?” “Almost as much as I love her.” Ser Jorah answered. “Pray excuse me, my queen. I find I am very tired." She gave him leave to go, but as he was lifting the flap of her tent, she could not stop herself calling after him with one last question. "What did she look like, your Lady Lynesse? Ser Jorah smiled sadly."Why, she looked a bit like you, Daenerys.” He bowed low. "Sleep well, my queen”. - [ACoK]
Adrien tries to keep himself calm and under
He isn’t her boyfriend, he reminds himself,
teeth grinding—well, in point of fact he is, but not as Adrien, damn his secret
identity—which means that he can’t personally push this bastard’s face in.
A second thought occurs to him a beat
later, which makes him grind his teeth harder.
The whole “Adrien Agreste is not dating Marinette Dupain-Cheng” thing
also means he can’t take the much-preferred option of grabbing Marinette,
dipping her low, and kissing the living daylights out of her. At least, he can’t do it without getting
slapped. Or, considering that this is
Marinette he’s talking about, getting an arm broken.
Nino taps him on a shoulder.
“Yes?” Adrien says, with a hint of a
disemboweling snarl in his voice. Nino
scoots to the side a little with his next step.
“Uh, you all right, man?” Nino says.
“Fine,” Adrien growls, keeping his eyes
fixed forwards, fists shoved into his jacket pockets.
Ahead of them, the transfer student—Adrien refuses to dignify him with a name—chats
casually with Marinette, who smiles and laughs at his jokes appropriately but
otherwise maintains a comfortable distance between them.
Adrien tries to force himself to
relax. This is Marinette, he tells
himself, whose instinctive reaction to basically everyone she meets is to make
them feel welcome and comfortable and a whole host of other adjectives that
Adrien doesn’t care to associate with him. This is the girl who not only loves him but
who makes a point of reminding him of that every chance she gets. He has zero reason to be concerned over his proximity to her.
The transfer student playfully bumps
shoulders with Marinette and Adrien growls deep in his chest.
“You’re more head-bumpy than usual today,”
Marinette says absently as she strokes his hair behind an ear. “What’s up?”
Chat purrs as he flops supine across
Marinette’s lap and bats at her chin; Marinette rolls her eyes at him and shoves
him off of her lap. “I need to pee,” she
says to Chat’s pout, and kisses him lightly on the forehead.
When Marinette comes back Chat flops back
onto her lap. Marinette sighs.
“Okay, kitty,” she says, running her
fingers through his hair, “what’s wrong?
And don’t bother denying it, you’re only ever this affectionate when
something’s bothering you.”
Chat sighs and tells her.
“Are you stalking me?” Marinette says,
narrowing her eyes at him. Chat springs
into a sitting position and waves his hands frantically in denial.
“No, no, not at all,” he babbles, “friends,
I’m friends with Adrien, dropped by, he was complaining about—“
“Relax, kitty,” Marinette says, “I was
kidding. Though that does explain how
you’ve been keeping tabs on me.”
She studies Chat as he sags in relief. “So Adrien was talking about it, huh?” she
“Loudly,” Chat says. He bobs his head to the side. “I think he’s still interested in you.”
“Well, he’ll just have to deal,” Marinette
says firmly. “I’m in love with you, and
you’re my boyfriend.”
Chat decides to not take the second it
takes her to answer as an omen.
“But anyways,” she continues, “I think that
your concerns about him are not, shall we say, entirely unfounded.”
“You have a plan, don’t you.”
“Not really,” Marinette says, waggling a
hand in a “maybe-maybe not” gesture between them. “Like, if he’s not going to make a big deal
of it I’m not going to either.” She
bites her lip and looks away. “I’ve
broken enough hearts for now, I think.”
“He doesn’t seem the sort to not make a big deal of it,” Chat notes
as he pulls her up against him, her back against his chest.
Marinette shrugs. “I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.”
student makes his move the next week.
“I am utterly enchanted by you, Marinette,” he says, dropping to a knee and
presenting her with a rich bouquet of flowers.
“From the moment I arrived here, your beauty has burned constantly in my
He shoots her what he probably thinks is a
heart-stopping grin. “Would you be open
to a dinner engagement this Wednesday?”
“Thank you,” Marinette says, taking a step
back, “but I can’t say yes. At all.”
His smile falters. “What?”
“My answer, unfortunately,” she says, “is
no. I am not open to going on a date with
“What, really? Even after I went to all this trouble?” he
responds, gesturing to his suit.
“Yes, really,” Marinette says, taking
another step back. Her hands rest easily
and warily at her sides.
His brow furrows in confusion. “Why not?”
“Because I’m not interested,” Marinette
“You could be,” he says, “if you got to
“She’s got a boyfriend,” Alya cuts in,
pushing Marinette behind her.
“Who?” the transfer student demands.
“Adrien,” Alya says. Marinette chokes on her next breath.
“What, pretty boy?” he says.
“Yes, pretty boy, excuse me, come along,
Alya,” Marinette says, grabbing Alya by the arm and dragging her off past
Adrien. “The fuck are you thinking you know I’m not interested in him anymore—“ he
hears Marinette hiss as they go by.
He hears footsteps and turns back to see
the transfer student standing entirely too close to him.
“You don’t deserve her,” he says, and tries
to follow Alya and Marinette, only to be blocked by Ivan.
Ivan is, in actuality, probably the only
person in the room who could give Rose a run for her money in the cuddliness
department. But, Adrien has to admit, he
has a very good growl.
The transfer student goes and sits grumpily
at his seat, chucking the bouquet into the garbage bin on his way.
Later that day, as Adrien is waiting for
the Gorilla, Marinette comes up to him and hugs him tightly.
“Please don’t tell Chat until I get a
chance to talk to him,” she whispers in his ear.
She leans back, pecks him quickly on the
cheek and says, with an airy, flirty air worthy of Chloe, says, “See you
tomorrow, Adrien,” before scurrying off.
It’s kind of creepy.
“So, long story short I’m pretend-dating
Adrien Agreste until we figure out a permanent solution to this mess,”
Marinette explains to Chat. “I am
really, really sorry about this.”
“Well, so long as you don’t bear his child
or anything,” Chat says. Marinette
punches him on the shoulder.
“I don’t have a problem with this,
Princess,” Chat says. “Whatever helps
you get through this.”
She stares at him for a minute. “You’re,” she says eventually, “like, not
going to threaten to punch Adrien if he gets handsy or anything?”
“What good would that do?” Chat says. “Besides, you hit harder than I do.”