GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat—Ch. 4

We’re back with our guest post; @obdobuk! Chapter 4 is now up for all to read, I can’t get enough of Miraculous Ladybug fan fic. Enjoy, folks!

For those who missed the previous chapters, you can find them here -> Ch. 1 Ch. 2 Ch. 3


Chapter 4

This time the scene was completely different. Whilst Nino was very popular at club Miraculous, his beats were famous in certain circles all over Paris. And after making his return to the city known, an old friend of his had been first in line to contact him for another gig.

 

“Nino! It’s Alix! You doing ok?” Nino was just finishing up his paper when his phone had rang. Eager for the distraction he picked it up without seeing who was calling.

“Alix! I’m good thanks. How are things with you?”

“Same old. Listen, I heard you were back in town and was wondering if you wanted another gig? Just like last time”.

 

Nino grinned at the memory and quickly agreed.

“Excellent. We’ll talk details later. But keep Halloween free! It is gonna be amazing”. With a smile on his face, Nino hung up and got back to work, already planning his set.

 

When Halloween came around, Mari, Alya and Nino found themselves in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in the Parisian industrial sector. The chill in the air was being held back by all the dancing bodies as well as a dozen burning oil drums. As Nino worked his magic, Mari looked around at everyone there.

 

Like herself, they were all in full costume. Nino’s gigs always needed a mask but for Halloween everyone upped their game. For the special night, Mari had made some small modifications to their dress. Alya now had a battery icon that pulsed green in time with her heartbeat. She didn’t know how Mari had done it but she didn’t care; she loved it. Marinette wouldn’t say what her own addition was.

“It’s a surprise. You’ll have to wait and see”

 

Alya had begrudgingly let it go, but it had now been all but forgotten. They both stood at the edge of the crowd checking out the competition, because that is exactly what this was. A competition.

 

Alix was a die hard fan of dancing in any shape or form. The competitiveness that had driven her in school had only become more fierce as she had grown up, and she organised some of the fiercest dance-offs that any of them had ever been to. In true Alix fashion, there would only be a single winner. Alya and Mari both had decided that they didn’t care who won. And since no one was counting, neither would be able to tell you that they had both won one each. Tonight was definitely not a tie-breaker.

 

“You could make it less obvious that you’re looking for him”, Alya commented at her friend as she scanned the whole crowd again.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about” Mari replied, turning back towards Alya.

“Of course you don’t. But given how tall the guy is, I’m sure you’ll see him the moment he walks in. Even though you’re not looking”. Mari tried to glare at her friend but she couldn’t keep a straight face. She was hoping Chat would show up tonight but she knew it was a long shot. She knew nothing about him. Odds are she would never see him again. But sometimes the odds were in her favour.

 

“Over there! Mari! Turn Around! But be cool about it!”

Heart racing enough so that she was glad she wasn’t the one with the blinking light, Marinette casually turned in time to see Chat Noir emerge from the crowd and head straight towards them both. He was wearing the same costume as last time but his hair seemed more dishevelled. His eyes, greener.

 

“Lady Wifi. Ladybug. It is good to see you both again”. There was a reckless grin on his face as he looked at Marinette and she felt her own mouth curve into a smile.

“Oh yeah” Alya spoke before she could. “I’m sure you’ve just been dying to meet me again”.

“Well I shamelessly admit I have a favourite”. Mari blushed beneath her makeup. “But a gentlecat must always be well behaved. Plus you are a highly skilled dancer yourself”.

“You’re damn right I am” Alya declared proudly. “But you got some skill yourself. You move like a guy half your size”.

“Thank you but I wouldn’t say I’m that goo-”.

“You are” Marinette interrupted. “You are an amazing dancer”.

 

This time it was Chat who went slightly red, as the bare skin beneath his mask gave him away.

“You are too kind my Lady” he mumbled, dipping his head slightly in thanks.

“I didn’t think I’d see you tonight Chat. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were following me”. Her smile showed she wasn’t being serious.

“My Lady you wound me!” he said, holding a hand to his chest.

“Oh poor little Kitty. Let me make it up to you”. Marinette reached up and scratched behind his fake ears and laughed when Chat purred.

 

“I must admit Buginette, I did not get here by accident. DJ Bubbler is the one I followed here. To see you again is just my good luck”. Mari blushed even more than before. She swore she could feel the heat radiating from your face.

“Well Kitty, I hope you didn’t just come here to flirt with me” She challenged him.

“Would that be so bad?”

“I’d be very disappointed. I came here to dance-”

“And to see the cat”, Alya said quietly but very clearly. Marinette chose to ignore her friend and the look on Chat Noir’s face when he heard her.

“And I mean really dance”, Mari continued. “This is a competition and you’re facing two past winners”.

“I guess I’ll have to show you what I can do. Without holding back. Do you think you can handle me?”

 

Feeling more playful than she had in awhile, Marinette completely closed the distance between her and this beautiful man. Looking up at him, she smiled and whispered, “Chaton, I’ll handle everything you’ve got. But I don’t think you can say the same”.

 

The blood roared through her body and the sound of his ragged gasp was music to her ears. She stepped back until she was next to Alya; his eyes never left hers. The grin upon his lips answered the challenge that she had given. Mari could not wait to dance.

 

/

 

Adrien felt like he was immortal. He had never experienced such a rush before in his life! Standing there with Ladybug, close enough that he could feel her racing heartbeat against his chest, had been the single most exhilarating moment of his life. He had walked away after that. Adrien had said he needed to get ready for the competition but in reality, he had needed to breathe. Simply being next to her had clouded his mind. Although nothing about that encounter had been simple.

 

He stood at the very edge of the warehouse, far away enough from the people and the fires so that he could feel the winter bite in the air. It helped cool him down after his encounter with Ladybug. Despite being so far away, Adrien was acutely aware of every move she made. And from the looks of it, she was watching him as well. He grinned widely not caring whether or not she could see it.

 

Adrien had already stretched before getting dressed and had kept himself loose and limber on the way here. But he paced back and forth to keep his muscles warm and took deep, slow breaths. If winning this competition would impress Ladybug then that’s what he had to do.

 

The music suddenly changed from generic dance to something far more upbeat. Exciting but suspenseful at the same time; Nino really was amazing, Adrien thought to himself. He joined the crowd as they flocked to the centre of the room, leaving a wide open space on the floor for the people to dance.

 

Nino raised his hands into the air and everyone cheered. This was so very different compared to the club, Adrien thought. At Miraculous, Nino had been atop a stage surrounded by the finest equipment and sound systems that could be bought. Here he was standing on a thick piece of wood laid atop two oil drums. There was a cheap desk holding basic equipment which was wired into a mismatched array of car speakers.

 

Yet the skill of the man remained undiminished. Nino performed with his usual enthusiasm regardless of anything else and the crowd was in the palm of his hand.

“We all know why we’re here! Let’s get to it! First up: Timebreaker Vs Lady Wifi!” Nino called out the match-up and everyone screamed before backing up a little bit more. Adrien watched as Lady Wifi came out into the middle with someone he had never seen before.

She was slightly shorter than Wifi and much slighter. Adrien knew right away she was built for speed. She wore a skintight cyclists uniform with dark sunglasses and slicked back hair. Timebreaker also had, he noted, wheels at the bottom of her shoes. Adrien hoped she would do well, but he immediately knew that Lady Wifi was going to walk away the winner.

 

Five minutes later he was proven right. The music had started, a light and quick beat, and Timebreaker immediately blurred into motion. She was definitely fast. But the crowd prefered Wifi’s skill. She moved with supreme confidence, her body being led by the music in ways most people couldn’t imagine. Adrien could easily see why she had won before. Every inch of her possessed rhythm and she used all that she had. Everyone watching could see she danced for fun while Timebreaker was obviously dancing to win. In the end she didn’t.

 

Adrien cheered with everyone else when Nino announced, “I guess it’s pretty clear who the winner is there!”

 

Timebreaker wheeled away looking annoyed as Wifi returned to Ladybug’s side. They were standing on the opposite side to Adrien so it was easy to meet her gaze. Bug smiled at him and laughed when he winked in return.

 

Others came onto the floor and proceeded to go toe to toe with each other. Given that this was his first time, Adrien was not surprised by how many people he didn’t know. But he realised that they all must have known each other. Gamer and Dark Cupid laughed together after their bout. Stoneheart had his arms draped around Horrificator. Vanisher and Antibug taunted each other as only old friends can do.

 

Adrien realised that despite the competition, everyone here knew each other behind the mask. But he was, as far as he knew, the only one who was a stranger to everyone. The only person that he knew was Nino, but the DJ didn’t know it was his friend behind the mask. Besides he was currently busy.

 

Adrien would have been quiet. Adrien would not have spoken to anyone. But he was Chat Noir. He had made his mind up to join a small group next to him when his name was called out, causing him to freeze.

 

“And now it’s last year’s winner Ladybug, against new boy Chat Noir!”

 

Adrien’s head whipped around and his eyes met Bug’s and in that moment he knew she had arranged this. The crowd screamed. Mostly for Ladybug he knew but he liked to think that some were for him. They both walked towards each other until they met in the middle.

“For some reason My Lady, I don’t think this is a coincidence”. Ladybug shrugged her shoulders and Adrien caught a glimpse of something shimmering at her back.

“You never know. Maybe you just got lucky” she smiled.

“Black cats aren’t known for their luck”.

“But ladybugs are”.

 

With a smirk, Adrien stepped backwards and waited. Ladybug did the same. A second later the music began and he could feel the beat in his very bones. Chat Noir threw his head back and laughed. Everyone had one song that belonged to them. That spoke to them in ways words never could. Whose rhythm and beats resonated with their soul.

 

This song belonged to Adrien.

 

He didn’t think or plan. He didn’t even open his eyes. Chat just let the beat take over his body and gave himself fully over to the dance. This was the song that had first made him want to move. This was the song that he had secretly learned to play on both the piano and violin. This was the song that made his heart race yet kept him perfectly calm. This was his song and he loved it.

 

This time when the crowd screamed, he knew they were screaming for him.

 

Adrien was one move flowing effortlessly into the next. His breathing had synced with the song as it always did and there was no stopping him. He felt weightless and yet strong. Flexible and unyielding at the same time.

 

Had Chat kept his eyes open at the beginning he would have seen Ladybug stare in awe at the look upon his face. Almost as if she recognised it. He would have seen her begin to dance in her own way. This music clearly wasn’t as powerful a motivator to her as it was to him but she brought every ounce of skill to the floor as she danced. However she knew that unless her special move killed it tonight, then Chat had won.

 

The music began to build, leading up to its climax and Chat danced harder. He felt renewed. As if reserves of energy had made themselves known to him. He was unstoppable. Unbeatable. Faster he moved with ever increasing grace and power. The crowd had never seen anything like it. And they never would again.

 

With a sharp spin, Chat brought his dance to an end. A flurry of moves followed by a dead stop made the crowd go wild. Kneeling on one leg, Adrien finally opened his eyes. What he saw short-circuited his brain. Ladybug was spinning in front of him.

 

But not like he had been. Faster than he had ever seen before. She revolved and something started to shimmer. As she span, two sparkling pieces of air unfurled from her back and spread out into-

 

Wings!

 

Chat couldn’t breathe. His Lady had wings! She too came to a quick stop, moments after Chat and a second before the music. Her wings stretched out from her sides, defiant in the face of gravity as she smirked down at him. Her chest heaved as she breathed in and out, her face glistening with sweat. Adrien knew that image would be seared into his brain for the rest of time.

 

Ladybug stared down at Chat Noir.

Chat Noir looked up at Ladybug.

For a heartbeat they were the only two in the room. The moment passed.

 

The crowd flooded in and engulfed them. The screams and the roars were deafening. Everyone wanted to grab hold and crush them together. They had never seen such a display. Whoever Chat Noir was he was incredible. If there was ever a match for Ladybug then it was him. They did everything but lift the pair onto their shoulders.

 

“DID YOU SEE THAT! THAT IS NOW THE NEW DEFINITION OF DANCING!” Nino was screaming into his mic, all composure lost. But everyone seemed to agree. Never before had Adrien had so many people celebrate him in this way. He couldn’t help but laugh when his eyes made contact with Bug’s and he saw people touching her wings reverently.

 

“AND THE WINNER OF TONIGHTS CONTEST IS…”

 

/

 

“I still can’t believe you let him win” Alya grumbled as they walked towards the front door. Marinette wasn’t sure who she was talking to and apparently neither did Nino.

“I didn’t let him win”, they both said at the same time. Alya was still unconvinced as they pushed their way through the huge double doors. They wiped their feet as Nino locked up behind them. The grounds had a security system but Nathalie had asked that they lock the door anyway.

 

“Whatever. I’m over it” said Alya who obviously wasn’t. “I’ll beat you both next time”.

“The only way you can do that is if we don’t put Mari against Chat again” Nino chimed in. “Those two just bring something out in each other”. Alya laughed at the look on her friend’s face; everyone knew she had a crush.

 

“I am starving” Mari stated, not even trying to be subtle about the subject change. “I’m going to get some food. If you can behave yourselves, you should join me”. Marinette walked towards the kitchens and Alya and Nino followed, laughing.

 

The kitchens were the same as the rest of the house. They were spacious and well equipped. No expense had been spared. It was, of course, as stylish as a kitchen could be as Gabriel Agreste would accept nothing less. There was an island in the middle of the floor that held the sink and oven. Around the wall was a long unbroken line of black marble countertop flanked above and below by cabinets holding everything that could be needed. Bowls of fresh fruit and vegetables were laid out and the giant double fridge was where Marinette’s head was currently buried in.

 

“This fridge literally has everything I could want”. Her voice was muffled by the fridge but the excitement was clear. Nino and Alya went over and helped her liberate the contents. They scattered chocolate gateau, pasta, pizza, lasagna, trifle and a few other things all around the island; there was more than enough space. Nino then went and raided one of the cupboards and came back with Doritos, Pringles and Oreos. Alya took the latter from him with a smile and a kiss. They sat around their midnight feast and happily ate.

 

A few seconds later they heard a whistle and before any of them realised what was happening, one of the cupboards opened and out walked Adrien, headphones in and arms full of ingredients.

 

Nino was the one who recovered first. “You know since we all live together under the same roof, you think we’d be less surprised when we run into each other”. He continued eating his pizza and Mari kept on with her cake. Adrien, eyes wide at the shock, dumped his haul on the countertop and pulled his headphones out.

 

“I…didn’t realise anyone else was down here” he said nervously. Marinette noticed that despite the ambush, he wasn’t shying away, or even stuttering. He really was becoming more confident with them all. The idea made her happy.

“Yeah man”, Nino answered. “We all just got back and were feeling pretty hungry. Hence the raid”.

“Yeah I was feeling pretty hungry too. Was planning on a little bit of cooking”. He gestured weakly at his pile of food.

“I didn’t realise you could cook”, Mari said between bites. She wanted to keep him talking as she’d noticed that he was more relaxed if he forgot about everything else. He turned a faint red, easily seen under the gentle white lighting.

“Yeah. Some of the cooks taught me how when I would hang out with them”.

 

There was a small silence as they understood the implications of his statement.

 

“Well don’t just stand there Romeo”, Alya suddenly spoke. “Show us these masterchief skills”. By this point, all three were eating casually and watching Adrien stare at his food. Later, Marinette would swear that before he started moving he rolled his shoulders in a very familiar way but neither of the other two saw anything.

 

She watched as he strode round to the food side of the island. Cake, pizza and lasagna found their way onto the plate in his hand before he moved back to his station. “Cooking fuel” he explained simply. Adrien seemed more relaxed as he began sorting through the ingredients. The pizza was finished before he began chopping the onions. Two small ones that were sliced and diced before anyone could complain about the stinging eyes. A green pepper, tomato and a few mushrooms followed suit.

 

“Holy crap man! You can handle a blade” Nino was in shock at the speed at which he had used the knife and Mari agreed. She had been raised around bakers her whole life and they had taught her everything she knew about cooking. But Adrien was cutting faster than anything she had tried before.

“Er yeah, I’ve had a lot of practice. I enjoy cooking.”

“You and my mom would get along great”, Alya said as she finished the last of the biscuits. “She’s a pretty good chef”.

“Pretty good?” Mari replied sarcastically. “She’s the top chef in Paris”.

“Which I would say is pretty good” Alya laughed and everyone joined in. Even Adrien chuckled.

 

They continued to watch as he cracked four eggs and whisked them together in a bowl with some salt and pepper. Butter went into a frying pan on the cooker and when it started to sizzle, Adrien poured in his eggs and lowered the heat.

 

“I’m impressed Agreste. And hungry. Slice me some when you’re done”. Adrien laughed and nodded whilst Nino looked at his girlfriend, aghast.

“You just ate a whole pack of cookies, pasta and trifle!”

“I’ve been burning more calories these days. You should know, you’ve been there with me” Alya winked at Nino and he turned bright red. Mari laughed at them both even as Adrien turned red and tried to suppress his grin.

 

The kitchen filled with the scent of fresh cooked food and they all felt their stomachs groan. Adrien scattered his toppings on the still raw surface and then expertly flipped his omelette, catching it in the pan.

 

The others applauded, making him blush again. While it cooked, Mari watched as Adrien absentmindedly finished his food before poking at the pan. She was glad he was here. There was no point living in one home but still not being friends with them all. She knew he hadn’t had the same social experiences as the rest of them so she hated to push. But after he had helped her when she was injured, Marinette was happy he was comfortable around them all.

 

Adrien finally cut the omelette into quarters with the edge of the spatula and gave everyone a piece. There was silence as the first bites were taken, then-

 

“Oh my God! This is so good!” Alya squealed, eyes closed in ecstasy as she savoured every bite. The moans of appreciation coming from Marinette and Nino agreed with her. Mari was in heaven. Everything about it is perfect, she thought. When she was done there was more than a little bit of sadness as she opened her eyes.

 

She looked at Adrien as he finished his own and said “not bad”. Everyone looked at him in shock. “What?” he replied suddenly nervous. “It was good but not my best”.

 

“That…was the single greatest omelette I’ve ever eaten in my life and it wasn’t your best?” Alya looked almost offended as she glared at Adrien. And whether it was out of shock or culinary pride, Adrien didn’t back down.

“No not really” he replied calmly. “The best one I’ve ever made was some sort of omelette/pizza hybrid. Eggs, pepperoni, onions, peppers, grated cheese then another layer of eggs. It was magical”.

“You HAVE to make that for us!” Alya insisted. The look in her eyes was almost maniacal. Nino put a restraining hand on her shoulder which she shook off. “If you do Marinette will make you her famous cookies!”

“Wait what?” Marinette’s head shot up from where she was slowly polishing off a big piece of lasagna. The dancing had used a lot of energy and she was seriously hungry.

“Omelette pizza in exchange for cookies that you could make in your sleep! You know that’s a good deal!”

 

Marinette was thinking with her stomach but her head agreed as well. “Deal”. All eyes fell to Adrien who shook his head with a small smile.

“Deal”.

 

“YES!” Alya pumped her fist through the air. “Ok what do we need? Do we have all the-”

“Not now Alya!” Three separate voices harmonised and brought Alya to a stop.

“Why not?”

“Because”, Nino began, “It’s 3am and we’ve all already destroyed almost all the food here. So how about we leave the food bartering until another time?”

 

Marinette laughed while Nino led his girlfriend out of the kitchen as she protested that “it is always the right time for omelette pizza” and turned back to face Adrien.

“It really was delicious Adrien. Thank you for sharing it”.

“It was my pleasure, I’m glad you enjoyed it”. They smiled at each other then surveyed the mess that was left.

“I guess we should clean up”.

“Well…yeah but…I might eat a little more first”, Adrien said as he moved closer to the food and her. “But if you’re tired then you should go to sleep. I’ll clean this up”.

“That is very kind of you” she grinned, pulling the cake closer to them. “But it would be rude of me to leave all of this to you”. Adrien moved and sat next to Marinette, close enough that their legs brushed, and took a forkful of the cake.

 

“This is really delicious” he appreciated. Marinette agreed and between them they finished the cake and most of the rest. What was left they packed away and cleaned the kitchen afterwards. They walked towards the stairs and Mari paused, confused, when Adrien turned away.

“I’m a bit too full to sleep, I was planning to take a walk around the gardens”. Her eyes lit up at the thought of her gardens at night. Adrien had clearly seen as he invited her along with a hesitant smile.

 

Marinette was very relaxed as they strolled through the gardens together. Neither said much but it was a companionable silence. Just like she felt with Alya and Nino. The grass was wet and the air cold but her plants sparkled in the sporadic moonlight. She breathed deeply of the grass and the leaves and the mud. The mix of green scents was almost soporific and Marinette found herself swaying more and more. But she still continued to move forwards, unaware Adrien had placed a steadying hand at the small of her back.

As they walked, she leaned against him more and more until, as they finally made it back inside the house, her head was on his shoulder and his arm around her waist. They wiped their shoes and slowly trod up the stairs. Adrien led her to her room and helped her open the door. They untangled from each other and Mari walked inside.

 

“Adrien?”

 

He had begun to walk away but turned back at the sound of her sleepy voice.

“Yes Mari?”

“I’m glad we’re friends now. I like you”.

 

Marinette was tired. Too tired to notice his widening eyes or his faint blush or his small smile.

“Me too Mari. Me too”.

 

She gave him a sleepy smile and wished him goodnight before closing her door. A change of clothes and a trip to the bathroom later, Marnette climbed into bed and immediately fell asleep. All the dancing and the very late night and the walking had tired her out. Her dreams were full of black cats and moonlight.

 

/

 

Adrien was pacing in his room. On one hand he was ecstatic. He had spent time with all three of them. He had been part of the group. He was so happy and more than a little proud of himself. On the other hand he was torn. Tonight he had flirted with Ladybug. She had been so close to him that she must have heard his heart racing. He had felt her press into him for the shortest instant. His head had spun and her laugh had almost killed him. Even now he could see her wings when he closed his eyes.

 

He knew he was falling for her. And fast.

 

But just now, when Mari had smiled at him and said “I like you”. A part of him had hoped she had meant it in a way he knew she didn’t. Her smiles and her laughs always made him feel happier. She was a genuinely amazing person. He didn’t know what to do.

 

“But she will!”

 

Adrien threw himself down at his computer and began composing an email. He didn’t mean for it to be so detailed, but his communiques had been rare lately so he ended up with a four page missive for his pen pal. She wasn’t the nicest of people but she meant well. At least to him. When he sent it, Adrien felt relieved. Her advice was always solid. He didn’t always follow it but it was good nonetheless. Changing his clothes, Adrien climbed into bed and nestled into his pillow.

 

Closing his eyes, he saw Ladybug spinning. He saw his friends laughing. He saw Marinette smiling at him. His dreams were sweet.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: “And there we have it. It took a few months but Adrien is now friends with all of them. And maybe more? Who knows. I guess you’ll have to read and find out. I know it’s weird for the middle of June but the next chapter will be a Christmas one. And who doesn’t love that? Thanks for reading!” – @obdobuk

One Post at a Time

Puntastic Postcards


If you follow my blog, you would notice that my sister tends to travel quite a bit. She often brings back souvenirs for the family and my souvenirs contain snow globes (I love them), books, tea, nerdy things and postcards.

She normally would not tell me that she sent one to me with silly puns on them. It’s always a nice surprise to come home and find a little something from her travels. I received two during the beginning of this month:

This beautiful wooden postcard was from her mini trip to Niagara falls. The imagery is etched on the wood, including the location. I love how it looks, it really captures the falls! This may have topped the one I received from San Francisco.

This one is from Stratford when she visited the Shakespearean garden. She said they didn’t have much postcards around, but this is a nice view of the place I think. I would like to have a stroll here and take a gander of a few things. Look at the scenery!

These little gems are special to me, because she takes the time to pick a card that I would like and writes something personal for me each time. The postcards and the snow globes are the two things that I adore receiving from her travels, the rest of the souvenirs are major bonuses!

GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat—Ch. 3

Hello everyone, we are back with the fan fic written by my first guest @obdobuk! In case you missed it, he is writing an exclusive short fan-fiction based on the infamous TV series, Miraculous Ladybug. For those who missed the previous chapters, you can click Ch. 1 and Ch. 2—happy reading!


Chapter 3

Adrien couldn’t stop laughing. It was six in the morning and he was in his room, sitting on his couch laughing hysterically. He knew he could be as loud as he wanted and no one would hear; he wouldn’t wake anyone up. If there was even anyone nearby to wake up. Adrien didn’t know if Nino had yet returned from the club and he didn’t know where Marinette and Alya were. He hadn’t seen them there at all, and had only been able to recognise Nino from the music decks he had been surrounded by.

 

The night had been amazing…

 

Adrien had waited an hour after the other three had left before sneaking out. Even though he lived without any supervision, sometimes his movements managed to make it back to his father. ‘Best to err on the side of caution’ Adrien thought, as he climbed out of his window before scaling the garden walls.

 

A taxi found a tall blond man in a black and green hoody wearing sweatpants and a cat’s mask that covered most of his face. Even without the streetlights, the driver would’ve seen the wide grin on his face.

 

Adrien made it into the club in the early morning and walked into his first dance scene. It was better than he had pictured it; the flashing lights and the smell of sweat and permeating everything was the thumping of Nino’s music. A group of young men and women around his age looked over at him and, like the cat he was dressed as, he went stiff and the hairs stood up on the back of his neck.

 

But there was no recognition. Two of them laughed and gave his costume a thumbs up before returning to their drinks. It took a few seconds before it sank in.

“They can’t recognise me”. Adrien couldn’t hear himself over the sound of the music but it didn’t matter. A smile was growing wider and wider upon his face as the joy built within his chest. Behind this mask, he was free.

 

With a howl of delight, Adrien threw himself into the writhing mass of bodies and let himself act as wild as everyone else. He loved every minute of it. Never in his life had he ever been able to act so…young. He was always having to be in control around people; first because of how he was raised and then because he was afraid they wouldn’t accept him any other way. But with this music, Adrien was free to let loose. Soon after however, the music changed.

 

Adrien followed suit as everyone around him stopped and focussed on two women standing in a growing space. They were swaying with the music and before they had even taken their first step, Adrien knew they would be amazing.

 

He was right.

They both moved like nothing he’d ever seen before. In all of his years, first dancing for fitness and coordination and then for fun, Adrien had never known anyone to move like they did. The internet girl was raw power with flawless rhythm while the bug preferred grace and speed.

 

Adrien was in awe. They were perfectly in time with each other without even looking. They danced better than anyone he had ever seen and, to him at least, the Bug was amazingly beautiful. If pressed, Adrien would say it was her eyes that got him, but in truth it was all of her. From the way she danced to the way she smiled and everything in between.

 

He cheered with everyone else when she had finished but didn’t have the nerve to go up and talk to her. Instead he kept dancing, wondering what it would be like to dance with her.

 

Three more times the two women came up to dance and every time he was blown away by their talent. Others had begun challenging them as well. Men and women who, incorrectly, thought they were as good as the two women who had dominated the dance floor tonight. Every time the call came for challengers, Adrien yearned to throw his hand up and test himself against them. But he held himself back until Nino had announced that this was the final dance.

 

Sitting on his couch, Adrien’s heart sped up again at the memory.

 

He had raised his hand and Nino had given him the moniker of Chat Noir as he walked into the wide open space. Everyone had cheered as he stepped out and Adrien could see Ladybug smiling and cheering for him as well. He was sure Lady Wifi was as well but he only had eyes for the Bug.

 

No one expected anything from him. Then he started moving and everyone changed their minds. He danced in a way that none of them had seen that night. Ladybug and Lady Wifi were short and slim. Adrien was much taller and much more muscular. When he danced, everyone gasped. The power he was able to use coupled with his grace and balance was incredible. From spinning in one spot to gliding weightlessly across the floor. Writhing with the beat as everyone roared.

 

But he only had eyes for her.

 

And the Bugs eyes were wide and glowing. ‘She’s impressed!’ His ecstatic thoughts pushed him to new heights. Bouncing from place to place. Twisting in mid-air before dropping to his knees. He let go and became Chat Noir, dancing like a madman. Doing things he had never tried before and pulling them off by the best combination of skill and luck.

 

It was fun. He felt the same way he did when he played music. Doing it for the thrill of the act itself. When he stopped moving, everyone screamed. But once again he only cared about her. He walked towards her and she rushed forwards to meet him halfway.

“That was incredible! I loved it!” Her smile was wide and her eyes bright. Every word made him feel amazing.

“Thank you Ladybug. That means a lot. I was hoping it would impress you”.

“It really did. Where did you learn how to dance like that?”

 

They were surrounded by the crowd, all patting them on the back and trying to push drinks on them but they only spoke to each other.

“Oh here and there”.

 

Adrien had no idea where this side of him had been hiding but he was enjoying it immensely. And it seemed so did she.

“Mon minou”, she laughed. “You’re being very mysterious”.

“A cat has to keep some secrets from his Bug”. Her eyes twinkled.

Your Bug?” Chat Noir leaned in closer as if for a kiss.

“If you’ll have me”.

 

Giggling, Ladybug placed her finger upon his nose and pushed him away.

“Easy kitten. We’ve only just met”. Over her shoulder, Lady Wifi had appeared and was pulling her away. “See you next time Chat!” In a heartbeat she was gone, vanishing into the crowd. And from then until he fell asleep, Adrien could not stop smiling.

 

/

 

Mari woke up late. Her, Alya and Nino had returned home at around six and she, feeling well exercised and delightfully spent, had immediately fallen into a deep sleep. When she awoke she just laid in bed and relaxed.

 

Last night had been wonderful. It had been so long since she had danced like that. Marinette couldn’t stop smiling. The music, the club…everything had been perfect. She flipped her pillow around and hugged the cool side close to her face. Her door opened as Alya made her way in before dropping onto her bed.

“Last night was epic” she said, worming her way under the covers.

“So good”.

“That guy at the end liked you”.

“Chat Noir? Don’t be crazy. I bet he’s like that with all the girls”.

“No way. There were girls there built like strippers, looking like models and wearing barely anything but his eyes never left you. He likes the way you move”.

“He moves pretty well himself” Mari admitted.

“And he looks good while he does it”.

“Don’t let Nino hear you say that”.

“Who do you think pointed it out?”

 

The lifelong friends laughed amongst themselves as they talked for almost an hour and Marinette kept thinking about the Chat Noir, the way he danced and the grin on his face while he did it.

 

It was an easy Sunday for them. They had no plans other than relax and recuperate. The three of them ate a small meal and relaxed in the lounge. The fire was crackling in a very cliche manner, as Alya pointed out, and they spent the entire day talking about last night. Nino agreed with Alya that the Chat Noir character had been particularly interested in Marinette.

 

Marinette denied everything.

 

“Do you think we should invite Adrien out with us next time?” Nino asked. Mari smiled at the mental image while Alya simply burst out laughing.

“That man can barely look me in the eye for longer than two seconds without running away. I think the dance scene might be a little out of his comfort zone”. Alya sat on one of the couches with Nino’s head on her lap, with Mari opposite them. He looked up at his girlfriend.

“I’m telling you he’s a nice guy. Just really shy”.

“So you think the best place to take a shy young man is a dance club surrounded by attractive people wearing revealing clothing all pressing in on you?”

Nino was silent for a beat then, “shut up”.

 

Marinette laughed with Alya but privately agreed, Adrien would hate it there. It’s a shame though, she thought. He should relax every once in awhile. Just then the image of him playing his violin came back to her and she almost groaned. She did not need this again.

 

 

The days passed and school continued but Mari and the others found that they were becoming used to the workload. It didn’t pile up as often as it had and they had more free time on their hands. Alya had taken to sleeping more and Nino to hanging with Adrien which Mari genuinely approved of. She still felt guilty that they were all living in his house and he did seem very alone when she saw him. Her free time was spent in the gardens.

 

Even though the weather was getting colder and a little wetter, Marinette loved the gardens. Growing up in the centre of Paris meant that apart from a few plants on her balcony, she had never had such greenery so close by and now she found that she enjoyed walking around the grounds.The pool was cold and the court was covered, but Mari did not care. It was the gardens themselves she was in love with.

 

The endless grass and the trees that hung over everything; their limbs strong and proud with the smaller branches sagging under the weight and reaching for the ground. Oak trees in every corner as if pinning the garden down with Willows and Walnuts and Sycamores scattered around. The flowerbeds were also full of colours and shapes, some fading with the weather while others held on a little longer. Roses of varying colours, Lilies, Hydrangeas, Daffodils. There was even, Marinette was delighted to find, a small bamboo plant growing in a secluded area of the garden. She had found it a few days earlier when she noticed a rough path behind one of the Oaks.

 

She travelled that path now as she had then. Behind the tree and through a small hedge until she came to a small area with the bamboo shoots rising out of the rich dirt. But this time Adrien was there.

 

With the quietest squeak, Marinette stumbled to a halt, rustling the leaves on the floor. She could see Adrien head perk up at the noise but he didn’t turn around.

“My mother planted this”.

The only thing that could have shocked Marinette more than randomly meeting Adrien, was Adrien talking to her as if it was an everyday occurrence. And without the stuttering or mumbling she normally heard from him, Marinette realised that Adrien had a very pleasant voice.

 

“I don’t really remember her much”, he continued. “Just a few memories, some of which I’ve probably made up from pictures I’ve seen. And then Nathalie told me about this place. Apparently my mother loved the garden. She refused to let anyone touch it; it belonged to her. She planted this in secret from my father and she used to bring me here. I remember that very clearly but I honestly thought it was a fantasy. Or a dream. it’s one of my favourite places”.

 

Adrien turned around and made eye contact with her. The moment he saw her, he froze. Marinette in turn panicked at once again sneaking up on him during a private moment and tried to flee. Spinning around, Mari tried to run through the hedge but her foot tangled on some roots and she went down.

 

“Marinette!”

 

As far as she could tell, she wasn’t injured but the moment she tried to stand up, her ankle flared and she went tumbling back to the ground. She was pushing herself up again when she felt Adrien kneel down next to her.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah I’m fine. Seriously don’t worry”. Marinette tried to stand again but once again, her ankle hurt so bad Adrien had to grab her shoulders to stop her from hitting the floor again. He threw her arm over his shoulder, moved both of his beneath her and then before she knew it, Mari was being carried full on damsel style by Adrien Agreste.

 

Now it was her turn to stammer and stutter.

“Ad-drien you don’t nee-this is real-you can p-put me down. I’m fine!” She tried looking up at him but when he looked back at her, her face turned red and she turned away.

“Marinette you could barely stand. I am not putting you down”.

 

Mari kept trying to persuade him but Adrien didn’t let go. Which, she admitted to herself, was probably the right decision. As he walked the distance back to the house, she noticed that he wasn’t even breathing heavily. She wasn’t very tall but she was still a grown woman with more muscle than most, thanks to her dancing. But Adrien might as well have been carrying a child.

 

Once back inside the house, he carried her to the lounge and set her down on a sofa.

“I think we should go to the hospital”, Adrien said as he knelt down beside her. “It may be broken”.

“It’s not” Mari replied. “I’ve broken a few bones before. This is just a twisted ankle”. Adrien looked torn.

“You know it’s no trouble right? I don’t mind taking you”.

“No that’s not it. I need my ankle far too much to risk it being silly. I promise. It’s just twisted”.

 

Adrien stared at her for a moment, brow furrowed as if debating if she was being genuine or not. Eventually he nodded.

“Ok then. No hospital”, he stood up and walked out of the room. “Wait here for a second” he called back.

 

Without having much of a choice, Marinette sat back and waited. She looked around the room and rubbed her hands together; she didn’t know what else to do. Eventually she heard his footsteps and, once again, had the urge to bolt.

 

Adrien came back into the room with his arms full of various items. He knelt next to her couch and began laying them out.

“Ok so I have ice, frozen peas, bandages, painkillers, cream and some water”. Marinette became more and more bemused as he listed everything.

“What’s the water for?”

“You” he said handing her the bottle. “You should drink”.

 

Still in shock at what he was doing, Marinette took a sip of her water which she almost spat out as he began unlacing her shoe.

“What are you doing?” she exclaimed, raising her hand to her mouth to stop water from spraying him.

“We have to take your shoe off otherwise it’ll start getting tight when the swelling gets worse”.

 

Marinette watched as world famous model, Adrien Agreste, fully unlaced her shoe and eased it off of her foot followed by her sock. Despite how slow he moved, it still caused her to grimace in pain for which, Adrien apologised. Then, lifting her foot, he slid the ice pack beneath her ankle before resting the peas on top. Mari immediately felt relief.

 

“Thank you” she sighed gratefully. Adrien, still sitting on the floor, simply nodded. “Who did you think I was? When you started talking about your mother” Mari clarified when he looked confused.

“Oh. I thought you were Nino”. He looked away from her and once again Mari felt bad that he was forced to have three extra people in his own home. Just because he was starting to get along with Nino doesn’t mean he suddenly loved the situation.

 

Her phone buzzed. “It’s Alya” she said, reading the message. “She said she’s coming home as fast as she can but it’ll be about ten minutes”. Mari had texted her friends about what happened just so that they would know. But trying to stop Alya from coming back was like trying to stop the tide.

 

Adrien nodded and stood up, avoiding her gaze and shuffling awkwardly on the spot. “That’s good. I’ll leave you alone then. You have the medicine” he said pointing at the small pile at her side. “Is there anything else you need?” When she shook her head, Adrien nodded once more and began to leave.

 

“Thank you!” Mari blurted out causing him to stop and half turn towards her. “Thank you for helping me out”. Adrien waved away her thanks and continued walking away. “And I’m sorry”.

 

This time he fully turned to face her, an expression of confusion upon his face.

“Why are you apologising?”

“Because this was your home and we kind of just started living here. I mean, we couldn’t have afforded to live on campus so if we didn’t want to travel almost three hours a day we would have been forced to go to worse schools. I’m really grateful to live here, we all are, but you had this amazing home all to yourself and we kind of just intruded so…yeah. I’m sorry”

 

Marinette didn’t know why she was talking so much. But she wanted to say something as she doubted whether she would ever have such an opportunity again. Curiously, Adrien hadn’t looked away. He stood in the doorway with a look on his face that Mari couldn’t decipher.

“Mari, this wasn’t a home before you came. It was a house. A big empty building with no noise and no laughter. Just me. I know it doesn’t seem like it because I’m not good with people but, I’m really happy you guys are here”.

 

Adrien gripped the back of his neck in a nervous gesture and turned from the room. “I mean, did you seriously think this was all my father’s idea?”

 

Marinette sat on the couch thinking about misconceptions and how to move forwards until Alya rushed in ten minutes later and immediately went into big sister mode. It was an exhausting afternoon after that.

 

/

 

With a mountain of pillows beneath his back, Adrien reclined on his bed while he worked. He was making good progress with his paper when the dinner gong sounded and his stomach growled almost a second later. A lifetime of hearing that bell before dinner had resulted in a Pavlovian response. Putting his computer to sleep, Adrien wondered about what he would bring up to his room tonight when a knock on his door caused him to start.

 

“Er…yes?”

Adrien could not begin to guess at who was at the door. Had Nathalie dropped by for an unannounced visit? It definitely wasn’t his father; he never knocked.

 

The door opened and Nino’s head popped through the gap.

“Hey man, gonna come down for some food?” Despite having spoken to both Nino and Marinette separately, the idea of eating with all three of them made him panic.

“Er well I have a lot of work to do” Adrien mumbled, feebly gesturing at his laptop.

“Are you sure? Alya is eating with Mari in her room because she can’t really move so it’ll be just me down there and I would enjoy the company”.

 

A noticeably relieved Adrien smiled and got up from his bed.

“It would be nice to eat at a table for a change”.

 

As he walked into the Dining room, Adrien felt as if it had been months since he had stepped in it last. ‘Everything seems so new’ he thought as he sat opposite Nino. The chef who laid out the meal of ravioli, steamed vegetables and garlic bread seemed very happy to see Adrien eating with a friend. But the young man didn’t notice.

 

“Mari told us what happened today” Nino said, filling his plate after they had both thanked Bruce for the food. “I mean she’s in pain and that’s not good. But between us, it sounds like it was pretty funny”. Adrien, who had not been expected that, almost choked on his food. Nino sat and grinned at the sight of his friend trying to keep his meal in his mouth.

 

“Oh man it definitely must have been funny” Nino continued as he began eating. Adrien eventually managed to calm down even though his eyes still watered.

“I mean, at the time I thought she’d broken her ankle so I was pretty scared but looking back…it may have been a little funny”. This time it was Nino who laughed.

“So what actually happened? I mean I know she tripped and fell but what were you guys doing out there? She never said”.

 

Adrien was a little shocked. He had expected Mari to tell them everything but it seemed as though she had kept the details to herself. She hadn’t told them about his mother’s secret garden.

“I was just in the garden and I heard someone come up behind me. Actually Nino, I thought it was you and I just started talking. After a bit I turned around and saw it was Mari”. Nino noticed the use of her nickname but said nothing. “I froze, she bolted and went flying. That’s when I picked her up and carried her back”.

 

Still unused to talking much, Adrien resumed eating a little more rapidly than he normally would. Even with Nino there were still times he became a little self-conscious. But he was trying to get past it.

“I’m glad you were there man”, Nino commented casually as he too kept eating. “It’s good to know Mari has another friend she can rely on”.

 

He’d said it so casually that Adrien had almost missed it but eventually he processed it. Friend, Nino had said. Was Marinette his friend? He wanted her to be. But he had caused her to fall over. Were they friends inspite of that? Were they friends because of that?

 

“This is good food” Nino said as he speared another piece of ravioli on his fork and ate it. “And it’s good to see you down here. You should join us more often man. We’d love to hang out with you more”. Adrien was now approaching a state of confused combustion.

 

The idea that they wanted to spend time with him made him ecstatic.

The idea of actually spending time with them all made him terrified.

The idea that Nino was lying to take pity on him made him depressed.

 

His expression must have betrayed how he was feeling as Nino hurried to add, “but there’s no rush. We have all the time in the year”.

 

The conversation turned to what shows they were watching when they had the time and Nino mentioned that one of his favourite animes was showing it’s long-awaited season two.

“But it was not made for a laptop screen. Titans should be slaughtered on a big tv”. Adrien laughed.

“Yeah my parents were not fans of television so I had to buy and install one myself”.

 

Nino’s head flew up and he locked onto Adrien’s eyes with such intensity that the model began to get nervous.

“Err…Ni-”

“You have your own tv?”

“Er..Yeah”

“What kind?”

“OLED. 60 inch”

 

Nino’s entire face began to glow as he imagined it in his head. Adrien, who had by now looked away from his friend, began eating the apple pie that had been served as dessert. He had almost finished it by the time Nino spoke again.

 

“Feel free to say no but, what do you say to you showing me your set-up and me showing you the glories of Attack on Titan?”

“I’ve been meaning to watch that. Sounds like a plan”. Adrien happily agreed to spend more time with his friend but after a second felt a little bad. “Are you sure you don’t want to see Alya or Mari? I mean you don’t have to-”.

 

Adrien cut off the rest of that sentence and Nino, displaying his usual social grace, didn’t draw attention to it.

“There isn’t much for me to do honestly, you did all the real work. I’ll check in on her though. You’re more than welcome to come with me. See how she is”.

Knowing that it was the polite thing to do, despite his nerves, was how Adrien found himself walking through Marinette’s doorway with Nino’s arm draped across his shoulders.

 

The first thing he noticed was that her room smelled like her. He knew he shouldn’t be surprised but he was. Pleasantly so. She wore a very nice perfume that he couldn’t recognise and her room was full of the scent. Adrien tried not to look around so as to respect her privacy. But he also couldn’t make eye contact with either girl for more than a split second without looking away. All in all, the distance from the door to her bed seemed much longer than it actually was.

 

“Ladies how are we doing?” Nino asked as they stopped at Mari’s bedside. “We just wanted to stop in to point and laugh at you”.

“Very funny Nino” Mari deadpanned while Alya threw a pillow at him.

“How are you feeling Marinette? Is there anything we can get you?” Adrien coloured slightly as he forced himself to meet her gaze. This caused her to redden as well.

“I’m fine thanks Adrien. I still have the medicine you gave me so I’m good for now”. She smiled in gratitude which made them both go red. It was painful for Alya to watch.

 

So of course she had to make it worse.

 

“Agreste. I hear you carried my girl from the bottom of the gardens all the way back up here without breaking a sweat. Is this true?” Nino almost lost it at the look on Adrian’s face. The poor guy had gone wide-eyed and could barely string a sentence together.

“Err…I-well”.

“And I know that’s not easy. She’s all muscle. Nice body, curved like a dream. Wouldn’t you agree?”

 

At this point Marinette became just as red as Adrien and tried to grab Alya to shut her up. But being immobile made it slightly difficult. Nino decided to get Adrien away before his girlfriend ruined all the progress Adrien had made.

“Ok crazy woman. Away with you. We have more important plans than listening to your nonsense”. Nino guided the still stuttering model out as he had guided him in. Just as he closed the door they both heard Mari explode at her oldest friend.

 

“ALYA I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

 

They had made it down the hall and into Adrien’s room before he had regained some semblance of normal speech. Nino was doing most of the talking and they were both fine with that.

“I didn’t get a good look earlier but I really like your room man”, he said as he looked around. “It’s very stylish but also really comfy”.

 

Adrien looked at his room through Nino’s eyes. As he had lived here his whole life it was much fuller than the other three. The bed, desk and the other furniture was clearly of the finest quality. There was a high end computer on the desk and various chairs and couches arranged around his room. Nino gestured towards the couch that was facing a wardrobe.

“Unless you are really into your clothes, I’m guessing you hid it in there?” Adrien nodded and they both sat down on the soft, warm sofa. One button on the remote opened the doors and another turned the tv on. The picture quality almost made Nino weep. “It’s so beautiful!”

 

With a grin, Adrien felt back to his old self. Or rather, his new self. They relaxed back and Adrien handed over control to Nino who began streaming the first episode. A second later he paused it and turned to Adrien with a look on his face.

“Are you one of those people who talk during movies and shows?” Adrien cocked a perfect eyebrow.

“Do I look like a barbarian?” Nino smiled in relief.

“Good. Alya and Mari do it all the time. Literally. All. The. Time”. Adrien made a face of shock and horror.

“How can you stand to watch anything with them?”

“When I absolutely have to, I get them both a lot of popcorn. Then they’re normally too busy eating to talk. But when I can’t do that, I join my best friend and watch stuff on his TV”. Adrien looked confused and Nino sighed.

“You, dude. I’m talking about you”.

 

Once again it took Adrien a second to process what had been said but once he had, he felt a swell of happiness wash over him.

“Oh. Cool”. He didn’t know what else to say but thankfully Nino didn’t expect much.

“Hell yeah”. Nino played the anime and they both settled in to watch.

 

“Also, I refuse to watch this in anything but the original Japanese”.

“Once again, not a barbarian”.


AUTHOR’S NOTE:A little bit of LadyNoir and a little bit of AdriNette. Thank you all for reading, I’d love to hear what you think so far! I am a great believer in the Bro-hood that is Adrien and Nino. And yes, I am an Attack on Titan fan as well. If only I could watch it on a TV like Adrien’s. Come back soon for chapter 4!– @obdobuk

GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat—Ch. 2

In case you missed it, I started featuring guests on my blog, and my first guest is @obdobuk! He wrote a short fan-fiction based on the infamous TV series, Miraculous Ladybug. If you missed Ch. 1, click here.


Chapter 2

Marinette dragged herself over to her bed and collapsed down on it. She was exhausted. It had been three weeks since she had started ENS and she couldn’t remember being as tired as she was in that moment. Nothing could have prepared her for the workload she had been given. From day one she had been dropped in the deep end.

Design analysis.

Fabric and material research.

Reports on recurring trends.

History of fashion.

Economics and management.

And these were, according to her professors, the easy weeks. All she wanted to do was sleep for the next fourteen hours but she knew she couldn’t. At least not without a shower; it had been a hectic day and she desperately needed the miracle that was her own personal shower. It was such a wonderful fixture that just the idea of it overcame her fatigue and allowed her to stand up. Her bag and portfolio, which she had dropped on her way down, could wait.

She shucked off her clothes and headed in.

When she had woken up on that first morning, Mari realised that she didn’t know what her bathroom looked like. Based on the rest of the house, she knew it would be amazing but was unprepared for the sheer magnificence of it all. When she had first opened the door, her jaw dropped. Marinette would have stood there gawping at her bathroom had she not really needed to use it. The first thing that she saw had been the claw-footed bath right in the centre of the room. A shimmering white fixture atop metal feet that glinted against the black marble floor. To the side was the sink and toilet, both equally white. And in the corner was a giant walk in shower; big enough to fit four. It was without a doubt her favourite part.

Marinette stepped into the enclosure and turned the water on. It fell from above like rain but also sprayed her body from multiple smaller jets. The water was almost hot enough to burn and she loved it that way. She spent at last twenty minutes under the water. Lathering, soaping and simply relaxing. And by the time she got out Mari was feeling much better.

She lounged in her room in a robe and a towel as she dried off. ‘Maybe it’s because I’ve been so busy’ she thought, ‘but I feel more at home here than I thought I would’.

Her room was definitely lived in; it was a mess. Reports scattered across her desk, catalogues and designs strewn across the floor. Posters she had received during her first week were up on the wall. Marinette’s process was chaotic and it showed.

She sighed contentedly. Mari loved her room.

Bzzzt

She picked up her phone to see Alya messaging her from the dining room. Dinner was being served. A second later she heard the loud gong that the cooks struck when the meal was ready. After the first day she had learned that they took great pleasure in being the one to hit the metal disc. Everyone had laughed.

Marinette hated being late for dinner. Not only because she was often hungry by then but because she felt it was rude. The cooks went to so much trouble for them all, they could at least be on time. In clean pyjamas, Marinette ran out of her room, down the hall and straight into Adrien as he came up the stairs.

“Oh my g- I’m so sorry Ad- Mr Agreste”. Marinette had almost reached out to steady him but he recovered his balance fairly well considering he had been at the top step upon one foot. He glanced at her once then looked away as he nodded in acceptance of her apology. Without a single word Adrien vanished into his room, leaving Mari standing there perplexed.

“Where you been girl?” Alya asked as she finally entered the dining room. The other two had already started eating and there was no one else around. Sitting down, Marinette filled her plate with slices of roast beef with stuffing, vegetables and potatoes.

“I ran into Adrien on the stairs. Literally. Almost knocked him down them but he’s pretty well balanced for a big guy”.

“Why must you attack our gracious and friendly host?” Alya asked so sincerely that Nino almost choked on his food.

“Go easy on him. He’s nice enough and he hasn’t kicked us out yet” Marinette said, pounding her friends back as he tried to breathe.

Between bites they talked of their day and their work.

“There’s just so much to do and I’m going insane! I just want to relax and have fun for a little bit. Is that too much to ask?” Alya looked up at the sky as if asking a higher power but it was Nino who answered.

“Well I may have the solution. I just got a gig next weekend”. By the way their eyes lit up, Nino knew they were in. “Maybe it’s time to dust off the old gear. I trust you brought them with you?”

Their laughter and smiles told him they had indeed brought everything with them.

Marinette happily finished the rest of the meal and the trifle for dessert. Had Nino proposed this before her shower she would have been to tired to even think of saying yes. But now she could not wait. Marinette loved to dance.

/

Adrien sighed as he collapsed back onto his bed. He was not making as much progress with his social life as he thought he would. He wasn’t making any progress. It had been two days since he had almost knocked Marinette down on the stairs but he still blushed when he thought about it.

“This is not the impression you wanted to make” Adrien scolded himself. His studies weren’t that bad. His tutors had always pushed him to work harder and learn faster so the rigours of university level education weren’t that difficult for him. He was studying Business and Management to prepare for the day he took over from his father. Adrien didn’t hate the idea as much as he thought he would. The company was a legacy. Something passed from parent to child. That his father would trust him with the company he had started…

But perhaps he would change the name. Agreste. His father would approve.

“I could run the company and take it to new heights. At least then I’d have an excuse for not having friends”.

Adrien’s dark humour was enough to get him moving again. He had very little work to do and, based on the last few weeks, he knew he had the house to himself for the next few hours. As he showered, Adrien realised that he didn’t loathe coming home as much as he used to. Knowing that people were going to be in the house with him. Even if he was yet to talk to them.

With his hair still damp Adrien strolled up and down through the hallways; his favourite room in this house had always been the music room. As he always did when he walked in, Adrien took in every inch of it as if for the first time. The stained oak floor and the white mantle. The black piano in one corner, the violin stand in another. A bookcase full of music and a window letting in the light.

Adrien took a deep breath full of wood and paper and then smiled. In his opinion this room was definitely the best. He walked around it, casting his hand out like a fishing lure and trailing it across every surface he moved past. His fingers came to rest upon the piano but it didn’t seem right. Not now. Now he was feeling restless…energetic. But not piano energetic. Adrien moved across the room and opened the violin case. Picking it up by the neck, the first thing he did was gently wipe it down. And then, after tightening the bow, Adrien brought the two together.

He was slow at first. Adrien let his fingers become readjusted to the strings; his arm relaxing into the once awkward angle required to hold the instrument. He drew the bow across the violin and produced a single, clear note. Then another. And another. A slow rising scale that echoed off the walls and the floor to surround him in crystal clear sound.

Falling back into the rhythm he sped up. And as he began to play faster, Adrien started to move. Pacing a simple circle around the room, in time with the music he was playing. He couldn’t stay still. Eyes closed, and now utterly lost in the music, he walked around the room. With every step Adrien played faster, and as he did all the loneliness and sadness in his life came to the surface. The harder he played, the better he felt after. So Adrien played very hard.

Sweat dripped down the side of his face but he didn’t notice. His fingers danced across the strings. His bow pulled the music from the instrument. Adrien was drowning in the symphony as the room itself amplified every note he made.

This was no musical piece that had been memorised. This was Adrien playing his deepest and darkest fears and underneath it all was the quietest presence of hope. He didn’t know how long he played. But eventually he became aware of the ache in his hand and the pain in his fingertips yet he kept on playing. He couldn’t bring himself to simply stop.

But after some time the pain became more noticeable so Adrien began to wind the music down. He Slowed his playing and quieted the sound. Eventually the bow stopped moving and Adrien took a deep, shuddering breath. It had been a long time since he had played like that. His heart was pounding, his skin was burning and there was a smile on his face when he opened his eyes and saw Nino and Marinette staring back at him.

No one said a word.

Everyone was in shock but for very different reasons.

Marinette was dumbstruck. She and Nino had come home early due to cancelled classes and heard the music. They had expected to find a music system, not Adrien playing fervently. When he had turned around she had gasped from the expression on his face.

Adrien was panicking. He hadn’t closed the door but the volume of his playing had drowned out any sound of their approach. They would think him a freak. What kind of normal person plays like that? He started to breathe faster than before. They would make fun of him. They would mock him.

Nino was amazed.

“Dude, that was incredible!” He strode towards Adrien’s frozen body as he spoke. “I’ve never heard anything like that. The way you played, it was perfect”.

His father had only ever criticised his music but no matter how hard Adrien looked, there was no scorn or mockery on Nino’s face. Just sincerity. Adrien became less panicked and more confused.

“R…really? You think so?” Nino nodded, his entire frame shaking with the energy he put into the act.

“Hell yeah man! I’ve sampled strings from all over and I’ve never even come close to finding something like that”.

With every passing second, it became less and less likely that Nino was lying to him.

“Thank you. What do you sample for?” If Nino noticed Adrien’s nervous manner, he didn’t care. For Nino, there was nothing that came in between him and good music.

“I’m a DJ. I sample some stuff and mix them with my own tunes. I focus mostly on hip-hop and R’n’B but I try to do a little bit of everything. Keep my skills sharp”. Adrien stood there, too afraid to move incase he broke whatever spell had been cast. He was talking to Nino as a friend. It was nerve-wracking and terrifying and he loved every second of it. “So how long have you been playing the violin?”

“Oh- er, I’ve been playing for years. My father had me start learning violin and piano when I was four”. Adrien tried to wring his hands but noticed he still held the violin. Thankfully Nino noticed as well and stepped back. For one heart-breaking moment, Adrien thought he would leave, but instead Nino gestured towards the violin case and then sat down on the piano bench. In a daze, Adrien wiped down the violin down and put it away.

“That’s a long time to play”, Nino commented from his new spot. “No wonder you sound as good as you do”.

“I- er I mean yeah I guess. I had a lot of time spare so did a lot of practising”. After a moment’s hesitation, Adrien slowly made his way towards the window before hopping up to sit on it’s cushioned ledge. It was getting easier to talk, easier to open up. “I was home-schooled up until this year. Lots of tutors and private lessons but not much else. So I would practice my music, watch movies, read books. Anything really”.

“That’s…did you not have any friends?” There was sympathy on Nino’s face and Adrien didn’t know how to process that.

“There was one or two, I guess? I have a penpal and she’s ok”.

“That’s not right man”.

Adrien took Nino’s words to be an insult against him and immediately fell silent. Ashamed all over again. But Nino made a snap decision then and there.

“What kind of movies do you like?” As it had before, the open and honest look on Nino’s face drew Adrien out from where not even Nathalie could reach him.

“Sci-fi I guess. Fantasy as well”, he mumbled without making eye contact.

“What do you know of Star Wars?” Finally his eyes locked onto Nino’s.

“I know that Han shot first”. Nino smiled widely and easily at his comment.

“My friend, we are going to get along great”.

As they talked about everything and anything, neither had noticed that Marinette had left a long time ago.

It was later that night when Adrien was eating dinner in his room. He had hurriedly declined Nino’s offer of going to dinner. One conversation was all well and good but the idea of sitting with all of them was still terrifying. Even though he was once again alone in his room it had been a good day. After weeks of living with them all, today had been his first conversation. And it had gone well.

Putting his empty plate aside, Adrien booted up his computer and searched Nino’s name. He had done this when they had been chosen before the school year began, but now he was looking for something specific. He grinned when he spotted it, the fifth link down the page.

Nino Lahiffe, aka “The Bubbler” is returning to Club Miraculous this Saturday night! No work! No stress! No responsibilities!

Adrien’s grin became wider and wider as he read more about the night. He had always loved to dance.

//

“I’m telling you Alya, he’s a good guy. Just really shy”. Nino continued to defend Adrien to his girlfriend while Marinette slowly ate her food, her mind elsewhere.

“I’ll believe it when I see him do something other than look at me like a robot before walking away from me”, Alya replied in between bites of her lamb stew.

“Marinette saw him, right Mari?”

“Err…actually…” The truth was that the moment Adrien had began talking to Nino, she had fled to her room. It hadn’t been the music that had gotten to her. Or the awkwardness of the silence when Adrien had seen them.

There had been a moment. When they had followed the sound they had found Adrien, fully in the grips of his music. He moved around the room in a dance that only he knew. His arm flew back and forth across the violin, sometimes fast and other times slow. But always perfectly. And then he had turned around and she had seen him. His skin shined with sweat and his face glowed with passion. The expression on his face…it felt like she had been punched.

Marinette had been hypnotised. She had seen him in hundreds of different fashion articles but never had she seen him like that. He played with such reckless abandonment, with nothing held back, and it showed. Marinette hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it and it was becoming inconvenient.

She kept replaying that moment in her head when she should have been working or eating. On Friday night she had bumped into Adrien whilst daydreaming about Adrien. The realisation made her blush and run away before he could even begin to apologise. As she fled, Mari heard him trying to stutter his way through the word “sorry” and knew that he was back to his reserved self.

Saturday was a different kind of day. She had an alarming amount of work piling up and Marinette needed to get it done. After breakfast she shut herself away in her room and worked hard all day on her reports, fashion analyses and her designs. When she heard the dinner gong, Marinette had finished nearly all of her work and caught up on next week’s reading. She definitely needed to relax. Her friends thought the same.

“I am so glad we’re going out tonight” Alya moaned over her food. “This damn year is kicking my ass. I just need a break”. Nino put a sympathetic hand on her back.

“I know what you mean”, said Mari. “There is so much work and they all want it done at the same time”.

“You know the rules of my club ladies. So get all of this worrying and stressing out of your systems because it ain’t gonna fly when I’m on the deck”.

Alya turned to glare at Nino who glared right back while Marinette laughed. Tonight would do them all good.

After getting ready, Marinette left at eleven with Alya and Nino. They were all excited, especially Nino as this was his first gig after summer and he was ready to go crazy.

“I hope you two are well rested because it is going to be wild!”. In the back of the taxi, Alya and Mari both laughed and assured him they could handle it.

The club was a simple black building that glowed with red and blue lights. They lined the door, the outside walls and the roof. The three of them walked right in, greeting the bouncers like old friends. Nino had played many gigs here in the past and Alya and Mari had been at every one of them. The inside of the club was surprisingly big. There was a wide open space that was meant to be filled with hundreds of dancers. A few seats and tables were scattered around the edge but that only made it more obvious that this was a place to move, not to sit still.

Spotlights of all colours strobed and moved over the dancefloor while a few smoke machines gave the air an almost blurry quality. Every time Mari walked into this club she felt as if she was walking into a dream, and because she had done it so many times before, the stress melted away. She knew she would have fun here.

The club was already very full. It was one of the most popular ones in the area and even though it was rarely empty, The Bubbler always packed it out a little more. The dance floor was already full of people moving with the beat as the DJ finished her set. She worked the crowd up into a frenzy and left them on that high as a gift.

“Alright everyone give it up for The Bubbler!” She screamed out over the crowd and the crowd roared back.

Nino took his place at the deck and was back in his element.

“You know my rules people. Say it with me!”

“NO STRESS! NO WORRIES! NO NAMES!”

Everyone in the club chanted out the mantra in one voice, Alya and Marinette screaming with everyone else.

“Yeah! Get those masks on people!”

This was Nino’s gimmick. His hook. Every one of his gigs had the same rule. Leave your life at the door and just dance. There was a flurry as nearly everyone on the floor pulled out masks and covered their faces. Some went into the bathrooms to paint their faces and came out unrecognisable.

Nino preferred face paint as he said a mask got really hot. Marinette agreed and painted hers red with black spots whilst Nino went completely blue. Alya went with a simple black mask but her costume made up for it.

“Do we really need costumes?” Mari had asked once.

“I don’t think so” commented Nino.

“Of course we need costumes” declared Alya. And that had been that.

Marinette had designed them both but Alya had been very enthusiastic with the ideas. In the end Alya had been given a black tank top, with the wifi symbol on the front and a fully charged green battery icon on the back with a pair of black and white striped leggings. For herself Marinette had a red sports bra with black spots and some soft black sweatpants and red trainers.

When she danced she preferred tight on the top and loose on the bottom. Alya was the opposite. Marinette had made these so that they would look amazing while they danced. And she had succeeded.

When all the masks were on, Nino turned up the music and everyone threw themselves into motion. There was no style or skill involved. Just the beat thumping through their bodies, the feel of the floor beneath them and the ecstasy of letting go of all worldly concern. It was modern day meditation and Nino was a Zen master. As she leapt and whirled and spun, Marinette caught sight of Nino at work and for a fleeting moment he had the same expression Adrien had that captivated her so. Then she twisted and the moment passed.

The crowd had a mind of its own. It moved and surged with the music, pushing and pulling people around where it wanted to them ago. One second Mari was pressed up against Alya and the next she was taken away. But through it all they never stopped dancing. Years of formal and informal dance training had given them both a great deal of strength and stamina. This meant that they were able to keep going long after people began to drop out.

Around a quarter of people had left the floor and were hanging off the surrounding tables and chairs. The rest were dancing slower apart from a few individuals, two of them being Mari and Alya. While everyone else was drinking cocktails, they’d only had water. Nights in were for getting drunk, nights out were for dancing. And when Nino met their eyes and smiled they knew what was coming and they felt as full of energy as if they had just arrived.

The beat changed and both Mari and Alya stopped moving. They stood perfectly still, one in front of the other. The kind of stillness that made everyone around them take a step backwards; they knew something was about to happen.

“Alright everyone, give it up for my girls. Lady WiFi and the Ladybug!”

Some recognised the names, most did not. They all cheered anyway.

The pair started slow. Tapping their heels with the music before rolling their shoulders. Arms flew out and began to move as their bodies swayed side to side. When the music became faster so did they. Alya moved first.

She spun out into open space and, to the cheers of the crowd, began to dance properly. And properly to Alya meant phenomenally to everyone else. Every part of her moving to the beat with effortless grace. Her head, arms, back, hips and legs all twisting and turning with the rhythm and with her partner.

When Alya had spun one way, Marinette had turned in the other. Fully given over to the beat running through her body, Mari was dancing on instinct. Letting her body decide how to move and knowing that Alya would be doing the same. They had been dancing together for so long that they instinctively moved together; sometimes even when they weren’t dancing.

The crowd was going insane. With every beat of the music and every pop of their hips, their audience got louder. People were standing on tables and chairs to watch them both dance.

Marinette felt free.

She moved without hesitation or reservation. This was where she belonged. She threw her head up, hair fanning backwards before pirouetting several times. The crowd roared as the room rotated around her and Mari couldn’t help the smile that grew across her face.

Her chest heaved.

Her lungs bellowed.

And she danced faster and faster. The screams vanished, replaced by the roaring of blood and the pounding of her heart.

Marinette’s entire body thrummed with energy. The music was building; it was almost over. She found herself close to Alya again and immediately grabbed her offered hand and pulled her in. They were moving with each other. Against each other. Twisting, turning, spinning with one another. So fast they were a blur in the flashing lights.

The music stopped.

The girls stopped.

The crowd roared.

A heartbeat before they had been unstoppable; Marinette and Alya holding each other as if in a waltz. Turning as if they were a tornado of movement. Mari had dipped Alya at the last instant and there they stood. Their skin glistened with sweat, multicoloured from the lights as they gasped for breath.

Marinette lifted Alya back upright and they began hugging and laughing before walking off the dance floor, arm in arm as their screaming fans parted before them.

“THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT! THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT!” Nino was roaring into the crowd and they replied with their approval. “GIVE IT UP FOR LADYBUG AND LADY WIFI!”

Mari and Alya reached the bar and sat down, still laughing. Immediately, offers of drinks came their way but they politely declined and stuck with water.

“Oh God that was amazing!” Alya gushed. “We haven’t danced like that in so long!”

“It was perfect” Mari agreed, sipping her water. “ And it was so much fun! I’ve missed dancing”. They relaxed at the bar for a short while, watching Nino work his crowd. Men and women approached them both hoping to turn conversation into something more, but they all walked away disappointed.

Twice more throughout the night Marinette and Alya went out onto the dance floor and blew everyone away. Each time the music was different and the moves were different as well. But the skills were the same. There was no stopping them. Occasionally Nino would call for challengers and a few did try to step up. But none of them could compare to the duo. Afterwards, Mari and Alya would talk with the ones who tried to outdance them. Laughing and joking, they would talk about dance and music and style before Nino once again lured them with his music.

It was early morning and the club was about to shut down.

“We got time for one more and I know my girls are up for it. So who is gonna try to show these two how they do?” The cheers were just as loud as they had been at the beginning of the night, everyone looking around for the final victim.

“Oh here we go people. We have one last player”. The people in front of Mari broke apart as a figure walked through them. He was tall and broad, with blond hair and a black mask concealing his face.

“Give it up, for Chat Noir!”


AUTHOR’S NOTE: “I’d say “surprise” but literally every one of you saw it coming. A quick thank-you to @starrycove for the inspiration behind this fic. Leave a comment below. I’d love to read it. Tune in next time, and thanks for reading!” – obdobuk

First Playoffs Game

We The North


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Today, I went to my very first Playoffs game! My sister treated me and 2 of my brothers to watch Game 3 of the playoffs against the Cavaliers. It was a good game, the end of 3rd to the 4th frustrated me quite a bit but it all comes with the game. Lots of uncalled fouls for and against us, but what else is new? It’s Toronto versus everybody.

I may have lost my voice and my hearing from all the noise and my own screaming. I had a blast, even though it was the first game I went to where we lost! I ended up getting my very first Raptors jersey and I chose the one and only, Pow-pow-pow Powell!

I was debating on getting DeRozan of Powell’s and ended up with Norman Powell. He’s one of my favourite players in the Raptors and am glad to have him as my first jersey! We also got a fan that can be waved to make noises during the game and I swear I abused the heck out of mine.

We may have lost in the end, but I’m still proud of our guys! Can’t wait for Game 4 this Sunday, let’s go Raptors!!

GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat—Ch. 1

I decided to start featuring guests on my blog, the guests will be providing something to showcase their work. It is an honour for someone to volunteer both their time and effort into my blog, so without further ado, I shall introduce my first guest; @obdobuk. He’s a fan of many books, shows, and films. He also writes about said list and he volunteered to write a short fan-fiction based on the infamous TV series, Miraculous Ladybug. Here’s the first chapter of 10, hope you enjoy!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: “I was asked by my biggest fan, the owner of the blog you’re reading, to write something. And this is the first part of that something. I hope you enjoy it and come back for the rest.” – obdobuk


Chapter 1

 

“But father I-”

“No”.

“You can’t ju-”

“Enough Adrien! I have already been quite accommodating in this. But what you ask for is impossible”.

Adrien Agreste sat facing his father from across his desk. It was a gargantuan work space and every inch of it was covered with sketches, fabric samples, catalogues, budget reports and everything else the CEO of the biggest fashion label in the world needed at hand.

“Father, one of the main reasons to attend university is the social component”.

“I am not sending you to get drunk and act frivolously”.

“I am aware of that father. But if I am to become the heir of this company then I must learn to be socially graceful so that our clients will have as much confidence in me that they do in you”.

The sad thing, Adrien thought as he bore his father’s scrutiny, was that he wasn’t even lying. Adrien’s education had consisted of many years with the finest tutors money could by. He could speak multiple languages and play the piano and the violin with exquisite skill. Adrien excelled in all of his subjects and had travelled the world with his father learning first hand the many cultures of the globe. But in all of his eighteen years, he had never made a friend. He just didn’t know how to.

“You make a valid point Adrien, but I will not allow you to live with the other students in the dormitories. It is unsafe and you will be a target for kidnap and ransom”. Adrien swallowed the desire to roll his eyes; the man before him would not appreciate such informality. “I have made my decision. You will attend the École Normale Superieure and you will live in our Paris residence” Adrien sagged in his chair. Once his father had made up his mind there was no changing it and it would be futile to keep trying. But perhaps there was a middle ground.

“Father, what if we opened up the house to a small number of other students. Those who are studious and respectful but unable to get accommodation in the campus dorms. I will be able to practice my social interactions and Gabriel, both you and the company, will benefit from the charitable move”.

Gabriel studied his son intently, impressed at the savvy behind the proposal. It was true that the company would benefit heavily from the kind move but it was not like his son to think in such ways. Perhaps he was a suitable heir after all.

“That is a good idea Adrien. I am impressed”, Adrien failed to hide his pleasure at his father’s praise. “I will arrange the details with Nathalie”. When Adrien was dismissed by his father he couldn’t help but punch the air in celebration. He had done it. It took almost seven seconds for the panic to set in.

By the time he had made it to his room he was completely freaking out.

“Oh God” he whimpered as he sank to the ground. “I have to make friends”.

/

Marinette sat on her bed reading and rereading the letter in her hands. It had been several minutes since she started doing so but the news had not set in.

Dear Miss Dupain-Cheng,

We are pleased to inform you that your joint application for the Gabriel Residence Programme has been successful. A similar letter has been sent to your co-applicants Miss Alya Césaire and Mr Nino Lahiffe.

As mentioned in the application information, you will all be living with Mr Adrien Agreste. The details on appropriate and inappropriate behaviour can be found in the pack accompanying this letter.

You will be able to move into the residence during the week before the beginning of the school term.

Congratulations once again,

Ms Nathalie Sancoeur

Marinette fell backwards onto her pillows with a ‘whumpf’ and stared up at the ceiling. It was happening. Her problems had been solved. She had been accepted into the ENS to do fashion design and now she didn’t have to worry about living expenses as everything would be taken care of.

She remembered the worry and heartbreak when she learned how much the on-campus residences cost, knowing her parents couldn’t afford it. This had been her last chance otherwise she’d have to travel three hours every day by bus or go to a closer school that wasn’t as good. She had smiled and played it down for her parents when they asked about it.

“Of course the other school is good”,

“They are pretty much the same”,

“It won’t really make a difference”,

But Marinette knew that going to her second choice would seriously harm her career prospects. The fashion world was already nearly impossible to break into, she didn’t need any further obstacles. And after all the waiting and worrying, here it was. The answer to all her prayers. She was going to ENS and she was living in the Agreste Manor for free. She would be living with her two best friends and Adrien Agreste himself.

Her eyes flickered towards the several posters of him that were scattered across her walls. Marinette immediately decided against taking them with her; to do that would be asking for trouble. She studied his face intently under the sunlight filling her room. Green eyes and a slim nose. A jaw that had become stronger as he grew older. It was no secret that she found him attractive but the real dream wasn’t to date him. It was to design for him.

This was Adrien Agreste! The most famous male model walking the runway. His father may have started his career but his skill and character had made him the model of choice for some of the biggest labels on the planet. Having him wear a Marinette original would be incomparable.

TAKE A LOOK AT MY CROCODILE!”

Her Jagged Stone ringtone pulled her from her thoughts of success and fame. Marinette knew who it would be and answered the phone, keeping it well away from her eardrum.

“AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!”

Alya’s scream was loud enough to echo through her room, even through the tiny speaker. Marinette laughed at her friends excitement and pulled the phone closer after she had ran out of breath.

“I take it you just got the letter?” Marinette inquired.

“I did! I can’t believe this! We all got in!” Despite being quieter, her energy had not diminished.

“I can’t believe it either. It’s going to be amazing. I have to start packing everything now”. As she said it, Marinette began imagining packing up her whole life into boxes and she could feel the tears begin to form.

“Hey don’t you start crying on me. It’ll make the phone sex really awkward”. Marinette snorted into the phone at her best friends comment.

“Oh yeah. That’s the awkward part. The tears”.

“Well at least it got you to stop. We need to find out when Nino can move in. That way we can all do it on the same day. I don’t want to risk being the first one there and meeting them all on my own. Now that would be awkward”.

Marinette agreed. The house had kitchen and cleaning staff, all of whom would be introduced to the three of them when they moved in along with Adrien Agreste and Ms Sancoeur. Facing that by herself made her skin crawl.

“Super awkward. We have a week left before we can move in anyway so we should probably start getting stuff ready”.

“Good idea. I have to go and tell my mom; just heard her walk in. She is going to freak out”. Knowing that Alya got her enthusiasm from her mother, Marinette knew she was right.

“I have to tell my parents too. I’ll talk to you tomorrow”.

“Bye girl”.

Setting her phone down Marinette stood up and slowly walked around her room. She had lived here since she had been old enough to get her own room. The loft bedroom with its own balcony had been her sanctuary whenever she needed to get away. It was strange to think that in a week she would not be sleeping here.

Marinette turned and ran out of her room before the tears could make a comeback.

 

Packing was hectic.

Eighteen years of life had to be sorted through and most of it disposed of before she could decide what to take with her and what to leave behind. The baby clothes were definitely not coming with her, she thought.

“You were such a fat toddler” her father commented as he found her onesie.

“Papa!” Marinette protested as her mother laughed.

“What? You were! You were my chubby little angel, and now I’m looking at a beautiful young woman getting ready to leave home”. Ever since she had given them the news about moving out, all three of them had taken to crying at random times. Right now it was her father’s turn. She walked up to him and tried her best to hug his enormous frame. He always smelled of bread and flour. It was comforting.

“I’m not going far Papa and I will visit when I can. I pro-”

“Don’t promise that Mari. I want you to enjoy your new freedom. Just don’t do anything too crazy ok? And call us every once in awhile so we don’t worry”. He tried to keep his voice strong but his daughter could see the tears he was holding back.

“I’ll make you proud Papa”, she whispered as she began crying again. “I promise”. Marinette felt her mother hold them both from behind, cocooning her between her parents.

“You have always made us proud Mari” she whispered.

/

Adrien paced his room. Back and forth. Back and forth. Anxiously waiting for the doo-

Ding Dong

His head whipped around and stared at his own door in terror as if he could see through it. They had come.

Adrien could not remember the excitement of the weeks before. He knew he had been looking forward to this but the jarring realisation that these people would be in front of him, watching him, had caused Adrien to nervously pace almost ten miles in several days. Now they were here in his home. In their home.

He took several deep breaths to try and calm himself but they didn’t work. So he pretended. Adrien reached into his considerable bag of facial expressions and brought out a happy gaze with an enthusiastic smile. With relaxed shoulders he reached for the door handle only for a loud knock to startle him backwards, fake composure vanishing.

“Adrien?” Nathalie’s muffled voice sounded through the thick door. “They’re here. We are to go and greet them”.

“Yes Nathalie. I’ll be right there”. With the thick carpets and walls it was almost impossible to hear anything outside of the room you were in. Especially if the door was closed. He hadn’t heard any footsteps and no matter how hard he tried, Adrien couldn’t tell if she had left or was waiting for him. Adrien pulled the door open silently to find her there. “Thank you for waiting Nathalie. Let us go greet my new housemates”.

They walked side by side down the North hallway until they came to the large staircase that bisected the building. The upper floor was simple. Two bedrooms and an office along the Northern corridor and the same configuration was reflected along the Southern one. Each bedroom had it’s own bathroom which had been one of the main reasons there had been so many applicants.

The lower floor was less symmetrical. There was the dining room, the library, the music room and the lounge as well as the kitchens, gym and Gabriel’s study bedroom. Both of which had been politely but firmly declared off-limits. Apart from that they were free to roam the house and grounds which included a swimming pool, a multipurpose sports court and a flower garden that had something in bloom nine months out of twelve. It was a wonderful and lonely place to live.

As he walked, Adrien found himself immensely grateful that he had managed to convince his father to open the house up to others. The idea of spending the entirety of his university career alone in this house, no better than a ghost haunting the hallways…it didn’t bare thinking about.

Then he reached the top of the staircase and he stopped thinking completely.

“Welcome all of you, to what you will hopefully come to think of as your new home”. Adrien was dimly aware of Nathalie addressing the three families that had gathered in the foyer. But Adrien’s attention was fixed on the three people who…were his age. He couldn’t help but move his gaze between the three of them while Nathalie did all the work.

“We are very pleased that you are all here and both Adrien and I look forward to getting to know you all. My name is Nathalie Sancoeur and I am the Personal Assistant to Gabriel Agreste. And this” she gestured back up the staircase, “is Adrien Agreste who will be living with you as you all attend ENS. I’m sure you will get to know each other very well over the next few months”.

Adriens mouth was dry, his throat like sandpaper. He couldn’t even begin to form a word of greeting or even a small smile. He was used to everyone in the room looking at him but this time it was terrifying. Thankfully, as always, Nathalie came to his rescue.

“If you all would like to leave your belongings here, we can begin with a tour of the house and grounds so that you can become comfortable here as soon as you can. As we do that the house staff will move your belongings to your new rooms. Nino you will be in the North corridor with Adrien and Marinette and Alya, you will be in the South corridor. After that we can introduce you to all the house staff who will be working here and then there will be a small meal for us all to talk comfortably”.

Had Adrien not been as overwhelmed as he was, he would have noticed similar expressions on the faces of all those gathered below. But he was firmly lost in his own panic. He only barely managed to follow the tour as it left the foyer, lagging several steps behind. Occasionally someone would look back at him as if to try and engage him in conversation but they would always turn back to the front without a word. Adrien was simultaneously relieved and disappointed.

/

Physically she wasn’t tired, years of dance training had given her great fitness, but mentally Marinette was exhausted. Filling the car with her belongings and driving away had been heartbreaking, but seeing her two best friends and the mansion they would be living in had cheered her up immensely. But lurking below that was the guilt she felt at seemingly abandoning her parents. All in all, she just wanted to rest.

The tour had been amazing. There was just so much! Every room was beautifully decorated and so full of light that she couldn’t help but wish she could design houses and clothes. But the bedrooms were the best bit. Marinette’s jaw had dropped as they walked into the room that would be hers.

It was huge.

Her room was the size of a small studio apartment and based on the smell of fresh paint and sawdust, it had recently been redecorated just for her. The first thing she saw when walking in were the floor to ceiling windows that would give her a beautiful view of the sunset every day. And beyond them was a balcony. On the left hand side of the room was a king size, four-poster bed that looked like the softest thing she had ever seen. On the right was a desk complete with computer system, two closets and several empty bookcases. And like the rest of the house, the floor was covered in a soft, thick carpet.

Marinette loved it.

Nino’s and Alya’s had been identical to hers in every way except both of their rooms faced eastwards. They had walked directly passed Adrien’s room however. Marinette had not expected them to be invited into it but nor had she thought it would be completely ignored.

Like he had ignored all of them.

As her thoughts turned to Adrien Agreste, her eyes flickered to where he loomed at the back of the group as they walked towards the dining room. She had hoped to talk with the person she’d be sharing a house with but he seemed quite cold and annoyed with the whole deal. ‘Clearly he doesn’t want us here’ Marinette thought to herself.

Glimpsing an empty foyer just before the entered the dining room told her that their belongings had indeed been taken up to their rooms. But all thoughts were wiped away by the sight of a table full of food.

There were small snacks such as sandwiches, fruits and pastries as well as more filling dishes. Homemade pizzas and pasta as well as stew, sushi and rice. And for a sweet aftertaste, eclairs, cakes of many flavours, fruit tarts and ice cream.

Standing behind the fully ladened table was the household staff. Ten uniformed men and women of varying ages and ethnicities.The four kitchen staff wore loose white trousers and shirts with the chefs hat while the four house staff donned suits of pure black with a crisp white shirt beneath. The final two maintained the grounds and wore sturdy pants with warm tops to protect them from the cooling climate. Each of them had a smile on their face and was paying close attention to the three young adults who would be living here full time.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the wonderful food before you was prepared by the cooks before you, Sasha, Bruce, Jacques and Ellie. All the inside spaces are kept pristine by Marco, Elisabeth, Jean-Luc and Francois. The gardens are cared for by Annie and Louise”. Each had nodded when they were announced and after the last one, Marinette, Nino and Alya led them all in light applause.

“Thank you so much for everything you have done for us” Marinette said.

“Yeah seriously. You guys are awesome” added Nino.

“We are really grateful” said Alya. Once again the staff dipped their heads in recognition but their collective gaze was much warmer as they looked upon these kind young adults.

“Please feel free to begin eating”. The words had barely left Nathalie’s lips before the three rushed forwards to sate their hunger, followed more leisurely by their parents. Conversation began at once as Nino insisted the staff join the rest of them for the meal. Marinette’s parents and Alya’s mother drew the chefs into an in depth discussion on cooking whilst Nino and Alya entertained the other staff members with tales of their old school.

Marinette leaned against a wall and sampled a sandwich and slice of pizza followed by an eclair which was every bit as good as the ones her father made. Given that no one was talking to her, she had the opportunity to observe everyone else. They all looked happy. All of them, she spied, except Adrien and Nathalie who were quietly talking to one another in the corner. Both looked serious as they quickly and quietly conversed. She should at least try to make conversation with him, she thought. It was his house after all. Mari intended to be polite and respectful but the moment she stepped in their direction, Adrien glanced at her once before turning and leaving the room. Thankfully he did so unobtrusively so the only one who noticed the moment was Nathalie. With a sigh she came over to join Marinette but didn’t say a word about what had just occurred.

“Marinette how are you finding the day so far?” Nathalie inquired politely.

“It’s wonderful” she replied honestly. “And a little overwhelming. This is such a beautiful home. It will take some getting used to”. Nathalie smiled politely.

“I understand completely. This house is a lot to take in but I’m sure you’ll feel at home here soon. So tell me how do you, Alya and Nino know each other?”

“Alya and I met in ballet class when we were children. We were both terrible but liked each other. And Nino was the DJ in another class we took together a few years later”.

They smiled and chatted a bit longer until the food had been finished and the meal over. After yet more thanks, the staff proceeded to clean everything away while the rest of them followed Nathalie to the lounge.

“Where’s Agreste?” Alya whispered as she moved to walk next to Mari.

“No idea. I was about to talk to him when he left. Hasn’t come back yet”. She didn’t mention that it was because she tried to talk to him that he left.

“He really likes his alone time”.

The lounge was a room designed to convey a sense of comfort. It had wonderfully soft couches and chairs all facing inwards to make it easy to talk. And behind the seating formation, a fire sat beneath the mantle casting a soft glow over everything. As Marinette sat down between her parents, the warmth of the room and the fullness of her stomach made her very sleepy. She hoped her bed was as soft as the pillows she rested against.

“I trust you have all enjoyed the meal and the day so far”. There was a chorus of assent from the families as they relaxed. “I’m glad to hear that”, said Nathalie. “I’d like to take this time to answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to ask, there really is no such thing as a stupid question”.

“How many of the staff will be here on any given day?” Nino asked from a luxuriously red armchair.

“On any given weekday there will be two cooks and three household staff. They will prepare breakfast should you wish, pack lunches if you ask them to and serve dinner in the dining room in the evening. The household staff will keep the main house clean and will not venture into your room unless you want them to. And they will happily clean any clothes you give them. They will not be offended if you prefer to do these things yourself nor will they be annoyed if you ask them for help. On the weekends there will be one of each. The gardeners only come in on Wednesdays and Sundays unless otherwise arranged”.

Marinette could see Alya’s smile from across the room. As the oldest sister, cooking and cleaning and laundry had often fallen to her due to her mother’s busy schedule. Having someone to do it for her must have seemed like heaven. Marinette on the other hand felt vaguely uncomfortable with the idea of giving someone her clothes to clean but she would think it over later.

“Is there a chance that Mr Agreste will turn up?” Marinette wondered if she would ever glimpse the CEO of Gabriel.

“Of course. He is ju-…My apologies. You meant Mr Gabriel Agreste”. Nathalies cheeks had flushed ever so slightly that Marinette wouldn’t have been surprised if no one else noticed. She thought Mari had asked about Adrien.

“Mr Gabriel Agreste spends his time between his offices in New York, Milan, and Tokyo focussing on his international reach. On rare occasion he is called back to Paris which is why his office and his bedroom are kept ready for him. That is also why they are kept locked. It is not a sign of mistrust but rather that there are a great deal of confidential documents which must be kept secure”.

Everyone nodded in understanding but no one quiet knew what kind of confidential documents a CEO would have.

“Is there any rules against parents visiting?” Marinette gently elbowed her father for asking the question but nearly everyone else laughed.

“No there are no rules against you checking in on your children”, Nathalie smiled. “However I would caution against doing so too often. Your children are, for the first time, venturing into the world as adults. Expected to look after themselves and their affairs in an independent way. To rely foremost on themselves and then their peers. They may not make their own food or clean their own clothes but everything else will be on their own shoulders. So while I’m sure it will be difficult, perhaps it would be best for them that you not visit as often as you would like”.

Every parent present knew there was wisdom in her words but it was still sad to hear. After a few more questions, Nathalie left.

“It was a pleasure meeting you all and if you three” she aimed her last words at Mari, Nino and Alya, “need anything then my number is in the letters you all received. Please feel free to share the number with your parents if you wish. Goodnight”.

As if her leaving was a signal, all the parents began gathering their coats and pulling them on. Marinette hugged her parents for the fifth time in ten seconds.

“I’ll be fine I promise”. Mari mumbled against them.

“We know sweetheart. But we will always worry about you” her mother replied.

“We love you so much Mari”, her father whispered. “And we are so proud of you”.

“I love you both too”.

Eventually they all left and for the first time Alya, Nino and Mari looked at each other in the house they now lived in. It was almost unbelievable and the sudden silence was more than a little uncomfortable. Not wanting to separate just yet, they all moved back towards the lounge and sat down facing each other. For a while they were all silent, lost in their own thoughts. They all started ENS within the week and had nearly everything sorted out before they moved. So until the school year started, they had nothing to do but explore their new home.

“This place is really…big” Nino said, almost to himself. The other two nodded in agreement.

“Really big” Marinette agreed. She was feeling something she couldn’t describe. A sense of getting lost, vanishing into the rooms. She said as much out loud.

“I guess we’ll have to spend time together to make sure that doesn’t happen” declared Alya as she leaned against Nino’s shoulder.

“I do love being the third wheel” Mari said as Nino reached out for Alya’s hand.

“Third wheels are important. Ever tried riding a tricycle without one?”

Marinette laughed at her best friends comment. With a quick glance to make sure the door was closed, Marinette asked “what do you guys think of Adrien?”

“He’s very quiet on his feet. I didn’t realise he left until we came in here”. Nino’s expression was very confused. Sociable by nature he didn’t understand why anyone would stay so quiet or remain hidden at the back.

“I genuinely think he doesn’t want us here” Mari stated. “We just walked into his house and started unpacking”.

“Well I’m sure it gets lonely here” argued Alya. “He needs the company”.

“I don’t think he wants the company” Mari countered.

Soon after, the long day hit them all at once and they stumbled up the stairs and managed to find their rooms without little difficulty. Although Nino stood for several minutes looking between two identical doors trying to decide which was his and which was not. Thankfully a small cough from one of the rooms sent him towards the other.

Marinette could barely keep her eyes open and definitely couldn’t summon the energy to unpack. She pulled a random t-shirt out from one of her cases, changed into it and was asleep the moment her head hit the pillow.

/

Adrien sat in his room as it got darker and darker. He didn’t close the curtains nor did he turn on the light. He sat on his couch and just stared into space.

He couldn’t do it. He had waited for so long and wished so hard to have the opportunity to make friends and when three had almost literally been dropped in his lap, Adrien couldn’t even begin to talk to them. He hadn’t even been able to pretend to smile and that was his job!

He had listened though. Strained his ears to hear every word.

Nino the music lover. An only child who lived with his grandparents. He seemed to be a fun and funny person who had chosen to study music.

Then there was Alya. Forceful and confidant. Someone not to be taken lightly. The oldest daughter of a world renowned chef, she had set her sights on being a famous journalist. Adrien knew she would succeed.

Finally there was Marinette. The daughter of two bakers and a genuinely nice person. A dedicated fashion designer and the only one in the whole group who had tried to talk to him, only to have her kindness rewarded by him running away.

“Listen Adrien”, Nathalie had been saying. “It’s ok to be nervous. They won’t think any less of you for being so”.

“I can’t do it Nathalie. I can barely keep myself from standing up. What is wrong with me? Why am I like this?”

“Nothing is wrong with you Adrien”. Her tone had been forceful, leaving no room for error. “Talking to strangers is a skill that needs to be practiced, like everything else. You have worked with the same models and photographers your whole life. A small circle of make up artists and assistants. It is only natural for you to be nervous”.

“But my tutors. I’ve had hundreds of them and never found it hard”.

“That’s because you never cared if they liked you. Now why don’t you just go and talk to one of them. Start with Marinette. She’s very-”

That was when Marinette, as if summoned by the use of her name, made as if to walk over to him. Adriens nerves, which had already been stretched since first seeing everyone, finally broke and he all but ran from the room. Hours later, the shame still burned inside of him.

He had listened later as well, when they were saying goodbye to their parents. Adrien had hidden behind a wall and heard the kind words and the love in every voice. It made him wonder what it would have been like to be raised by a father who actually cared about him.

Adrien got up and moved out onto his balcony. Each bedroom had one and the left side of his was a stone’s throw from the right side of Marinette’s. He would have to be careful not to come out here when she was on hers. It may make her uncomfortable. But right then he was alone and the sky was cloudy; the full moon appearing diffused behind them all. The night’s chill brought clarity to his mind, dispelling his own internal clouds. At least for the time being.

Nathalie was right. He needed practice and also to ease himself into it. He honestly didn’t know how to do that but he would try. That’s all he could do. Walking back inside, Adrien debated and then decided against sending his penpal an email. He had been meaning to send one lately about everything that had been decided but it would be better if he included today. Or at least it would be a longer email.

Adrien stripped down to his boxers and slipped into bed. Tomorrow was another day. He would try again.

ARTiculations—Earl Selkirk Gallery

FILL’ER UP Sketchbook Challenge 2017


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This weekend, I ended up going to ARTiculations to see the other artists’ sketchbook entries for the FILL’ER UP Sketchbook Challenge. I unfortunately couldn’t go to the private reception on Thursday of last week, due to work but I was thankful I managed to have time to stop by before the exhibition came to an end.

Today was the last day and when I visited yesterday, I decided to sign out my sketchbook with me. I saw some amazing work from my fellow artists and I was glad to be part of this challenge. The goal was to make art everyday and to try filling in your sketchbook until you reached the end. You didn’t have to finish the whole book though, you had an option to show just certain pages or the full book itself. I decided to make my sketchbook about myself, my favourite things, books, characters and things I didn’t​ like. If you wanted to see the sketches I made for this challenge, you can click below.

I was late with finishing the challenge, but I managed to do it and finished the book. This was my first time taking part in the challenge and I’m glad I did it! The cool thing about the show was the fact that people commented on your work by writing on sticky notes and leaving them in your Sketchbook.

This challenge occurs annually in the month of April, so if you didn’t get a chance to join this year best mark your calendars for next year. For now, look forward to the Inktober challenge this October hosted by Jake Parker!


After checking out the gallery and signing out my sketchbook, I decided to purchase a few things since I didn’t get to the last time I was there.

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I bought the Schizzi sketching sketchbook for graphite and charcoal, a colouring postcard of some areas in Toronto, a number 2 Taklon brush, and a black monotwin marker. Preparation and additional materials for Inktober, the postcards were for my sister. This store/gallery had some pretty cool materials, especially the notebooks and calligraphy pens and nibs. I can’t wait to see what other events they have coming up.

Hope you had a chance to check it out, if so were you one of the artists or someone who just visited? Leave a comment below!

Fashion Code 8

Code 8 Beanie


 

After months of waiting, I finally got my Code 8 Beanie from the campaign this week! For those who don’t know what Code 8 is, it’s a film that Jeff Chan directed and produced by Chris Paré, with the Amell cousins starring in their first feature together film along with Sung Kang and Aaron Abrams. It’s a sci-fi film that will be released​ by the end of this year! You can learn more from here: Code 8 Movie.

I actually received the postcards last December and never got to blog about it, so I figured I will include both here. The one signed by both Robbie and Stephen Amell and the one with Sung, Robbie and Stephen in his Arrow attire; both art pieces are by the incredibly talented Lord Mesa.

The Amell cousins had a live stream video (3 part streaming) of them signing the Code 8 postcard, as part of one of the perks from the Indigogo campaign. At one point, Robbie hits a pile that were upside down and almost signed it. I remember thinking “damn, I wonder who would get that one”, never thought I would be the one to receive it ha! Overall, this was the first campaign I ever took part in and I donated 3 times receiving these 3 items 🙂 The 10 minute short film can be seen in the campaign page or YouTube, the link for that is above the blog post. I cannot wait for this film, I recommend you all to watch the short film, it’s pretty cool and the feature film will be epic!

San Franci-scored

Guess who wen to San Francisco?

Not me.


 My sister visited San Francisco last month and came back with lots of souvenirs for me that it felt like I went there myself, ha. I received this cute postcard made of wood from her and she joked around that all she got me were pressed pennies and stamped paper. Mind you, I like those so I did not complain. I was shocked to come home to more than those little remembrances!

Things to know about me: I love snow globes, sour sweets, gum, stamps, pressed pennies and basketball. My sister pretty much went nuts when she bought souvenirs for the family.

I shall list the items you see above:

  • San Francisco city snow globe.
  • San Francisco sticker.
  • Macarons from Ketsourine Macarons Jiggly Puff from Pokemon, Totoro from Ghibli film, and two other macarons.
  • Various stamps from national posts including Alcatraz.
  • Pressed pennies; one of Rosie the Riveter and the other says “My friends went to San Francisco and all I got was this lousy penny”
  • Razzles sour flavoured gum.
  • Stephen Curry’s basketball Jersey.

The reason why she got me the Razzles was all thanks to 13 Going 30 film. We used to watch this film a lot and we always wondered what Razzles were and how it tasted. You would think that we would search it online and find them, but we did not. She not only found them there, but she saw that they had a sour flavour! They are really good by the way, not a lot of sour candy or gum affect me but this one did. Now it is on my top 5 sour favourites. I was so close to purchasing a box of these online afterwards, ha.

As for the jersey, I am a Raptors fan at heart but there are only two other teams I liked other than my own team: Lakers and Golden State. Lakers not so much anymore since Kobe left, he was one of my favourites in the team. Believe it or not, this is my first jersey. I have Raptors gear to represent my team, but I do not have a jersey. I wanted one of Calderon before, but he left. I have yet to purchase one, maybe when I go to another game I will do so.

Overall, this was a great souvenir haul from a place I never even went to visit yet!

Winterlude Ottawa Trip 2017

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A four day trip to Ottawa with Lore and my sister Krissah, our main goal was to take part in their infamous Winterlude festivities while sightseeing and the first thing we saw before we left was that the temperature there would be from -20 degrees to -13 during our stay! Even though it was freezing, I must say it just made our trip even more beautiful.

• 02/09/17—Day 1:
NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA


Our train left at 10:15 AM and arrived around 2 PM, overall it was a 4 hour train ride. This was my first VIA Rail train ride, so it was pretty exciting for me. We took the bus to the hotel (took a while to figure out which bus to take and we also needed change) then we decided to unwind and unpack the essentials before heading to the National Gallery of Canada.

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Let me just say that this place is beautiful! The architecture alone is just grand, and the spider sculpture at the front is insanely huge. I believe the gallery looks more alluring during the night due to the lights rather than the day time when it does not emphasize the beauty within the gallery. They had 5 exhibits that night, and we managed to see a couple of them. My favourite exhibition out of the ones we visited was by Alex Janvier; his art pieces were not only phenomenal but they were also very inspiring. I have never seen such art before, I was speechless by the end of the night. I took as much photos as I could, but these images do not do these pieces any justice. I highly recommend you visit the exhibition yourself to see these paintings face to face.

Alex Janvier’s Art Gallery:

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• 02/10/17—Day 2:
PARLIAMENT HILL – BYWARD MARKET


The destination for this day was to visit the Parliament Hill, our tour time was at 12:50PM. We had breakfast at Eggspectation, that was the first time I have ever went to this restaurant and let me tell you, this place was EGG-cellent! Check out my meal:

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The security check-up at the Parliament was very similar to the airport security check, once we were inside the groups are called by their tour guides to gather and the touring begins! While heading up, I managed to take a video of the Clock Tower ringing Christmas songs.

Learned a few cool tidbit from the tour, things like the House of Common seems to always have a meeting in session and is never available to see during a tour. The colours that were chosen along with the layout of this chamber was influenced by the British House of Commons since we are technically under Queen Elizabeth’s Sovereign. On the other hand, the Senate Chamber is solely designed by us, with the theme of red to represent royalty adorned by the paintings that depict the various wars that occurred in the past to show the weight carried when decisions are made in this room.

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The next part was the best because we went inside the Library! In the past, there was a fire and the Library was the only part that survived due to the fact the engineer designed the doors with steel doors. So the rest of the building has a different design compared to the Library and everything inside, books and records from the past were saved. I will not lie, I teared up when I got inside. It was beautiful inside just as its structure on the outside!

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After the library we were brought in a hall where all the kings and queens paintings were displayed. Here, the tour guide explained how the ceiling shows all the titles given to the authority figures in the building and the painter decided to add one for those in the future so it says “someone” in French but he misspelled the word. No one knew why or how it was never caught in the past. You can see the photo (not clearly) on the first collage photo at the top left corner. Queen Victoria’s painting has been rescued a couple of times, due to fire accidents to the point that her crown decor was cut in half, because they had to cut the painting out to save it. That is why her decor differs from the rest, since it is too heavy to carry, they decided to move the painting closer to the exit, haha. At the end of the tour, they lead you to the gift shop and the Peace Tower. I ended up purchasing two postcards and the library pin.

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The Peace Tower showed quite the view, you get to see the bridge to Quebec, the museum, the city and the lake. I liked how as you head up, you can see all 53 carillon bells inside the Tower. There you will see a diagram of what’s inside and above the Tower, while seeing what’s around each window view. Quite the way to end a tour, no?


BYWARD MARKET 


For the rest of our day, we decided to visit the Byward Market to see what is around the area, we went to visit the Paper Papier place and purchased some crafting materials. I purchased 4 pens, 1 calligraphy and 3 coloured pens (black, green and red). As we walked around we kept seeing mini sculptures for Winterlude:

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I thought they were really cool, the coolest would be either the tractor or the DJ bartender booth! What do you think? After the paper place, we went to The Cupcake Lounge as recommended by the owner from Papier. This bakery was so cute, the pastries looked like it was 90% icing but it is actually baked taller than most cupcakes. Their icing is spread atop and along the side, which makes it look fuller but it contains just the right amount of sweetness! I did not order any pastries, unfortunately. I just really needed some Chai Latte, but you can check out what both Lore and my sister ordered! We walked to Giant Tiger, mailed a few postcards then we saw Indigo Bookstore and obviously we went in. We bought a couple of things, you can see my purchases here. We ended the night at Zak’s Diner, and I must say this Diner was the spot to go in Ottawa. Again, you can see our meals from Krissah and Lore’s instagram!

• 02/11/17—Day 3:
WINTERLUDE – BAL DE NEIGE


In the morning we decided to Uber to Parc Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau, in Quebec City! We got lost for a bit before we found the Snowlflake Kingdom, but once we did I completely forgot where I was altogether. All the snow that you see in the photos below were hand sculpted! I particularly love the details for each sculptures, especially the Winterlude logo with the lady. It reminded me of Te Fiti from Moana!wp-1488836503907.jpg

The Parc had a lot of cool activities such as: dog sledding, zip lining, bonfire with the tepees, going through the snow maze, tobogganing, meeting the Ice Hogs mascots and fitting in snow silhouettes :p They had maple taffy on snow with a stick, and Beavertails obviously! Once we finished with all the snow fun, we headed to the tourist spot to use the bathroom while figuring out which bus to take back, seeing as we could not grab an Uber from there back to Ottawa. We ended up grabbing some fake passports for the event, saw my work’s Canada 150 merch on caps and some water containers before finding out that the Winterlude bus that takes you to the attractions were cancelled then we commuted back by bus. We ended up having lunch at Gabriel’s pizza, we just stumbled upon this place after getting off our bus stop and it was a blessing that we did! This was one delicious pizza, you can see Krissah and Lore’s posts on instagram by clicking their names :p

After lunch, we headed to the other Winterlude attraction which was at the Confederation Park; The Crystal Garden! Here we saw the 30th International Ice-Carving Competition, the skating rink, more Beavertails, Metro’s Tarp Igloo, huge ice sculptures from winners around the world, and the inflatable igloo of Canada’s C3. The ice sculptures were beautiful. Two sculptures were left to compete for the trophy and one carved a book about an owl with a bookmark while the other carved Winnie the Pooh Bear. Pooh Bear won, but I quite liked the book better. We ended the night with some room service, because one should try it at some point. Plus it was cold and we were tired so we just bought some drinks and snacks before heading back to the hotel. You can see what Lore got here, while mine is displayed below:

• 02/12/17—Day 4:
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL – HOME


Last day of the trip, and we started it right by going to mass at the infamous Notre Dame Cathedral and this place is just gorgeous. Pictures do not justify the architectural design and the beauty of the place. We even had the opportunity to be chosen to bring the offering and the gifts to the altar. I was in awe the whole time I was there.

After mass we decided to take photos with the sculpture outside the art gallery, because it was snowing a lot then we decided to visit the bookstore that we passed by before to see if it was open and we bought some cool photo album of the monuments in Ottawa. We had lunch at Memories then walked around the ByWard one last time and bought sweets from The French Baker before heading back to the hotel to grab our luggage and catch our train home.Overall, it was a nice trip. I’m glad I finally got the chance to visit Ottawa and during their infamous Winterlude of all times. We managed to do and visit many places while inserting our own mini stops. I can cross this off my list of places to visit 🙂 These are all of the souvenirs I hauled up during this trip: