1 - The New Boy

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He appeared suddenly at school. A new face. A handsome face.

All students, gathered at the school courtyard, looked at him with curiosity. He got used to that. Yeah, he usually attracted public interest no matter where he showed up. And today was as always.

He looked around carefully. Hold on. Someone ignored his appearance. Two girls. There. In the corner. "Challenge accepted" he thought and moved towards them.

"Oh, it's ridiculous!" Chloe exclaimed, catching the attention of most of students around her. "Oh, come on!" she added irritably.

Marinette was in the middle of the Adrien and Kagami's story, when – to her surprise – she heard "Hi!" nearby. She jumped up, astonished.

"Hi..." she answered, having no idea who was that dark-haired brown-eyed boy.

"Hello." Alya added. "You interrupted our conversation. Don't you think it's rude?"

"Alya!" Marinette exclaimed, blushing in embarrassment.

"Yes, you're right." he answered. "Let me apologise. I'm new here and I thought it would be nice to meet someone..."

"Yeah... And you chose the only ones who were talking?" Alya had no mercy for him.

"Alya..." Marinette tried to calm down her friend. She didn't like such situations.

"I'm Victor Bonnet." The boy introduced himself.

"I'm Marinette Dupain-Cheng. And this is Alya Césaire." Marinette replied with introducing both.

"Nice to meet you."

"Speak for yourself..." Alya muttered. "Sorry, girl. There's Nino. See ya in class!"

And she left towards her boyfriend.

"Hi, Nino. Did you see that?" Alya kissed him and showed him Marinette talking to the new schoolmate.

"Who's that?" Nino asked.

"A new guy. Victor Bonnet."

"Who?" Nino repeated.

"Sounds like troubles. He aimed Marinette at a target."

"You sure?" Nino wasn't convinced.

"Don't you see that he's trying to pick her up?" Alya narrowed her eyes.

"Do you?"

"Oh, you guys are hopeless. It's obvious. Look at him!"

"Don't you think it's a bit strange? That he came and started picking her up?" Nino didn't follow her suspicions.

"No. She's gorgeous and lovely. It seems that he noticed that. Maybe because we were talking not looking at him like the rest of people... I don't want to be cruel, but he has no chance..." she added.

"Well... You're not cruel, just honest. But why you want to clip his wings. And I think that a little jealousy would help some people..." Nino said, addressing Adrien.

"You think?" Alya was a bit sceptical. "I'm afraid he's resistant to all signs. It's so obvious that they are made to each other! But no. Both would pretend that's not the case."

"Yeah, he's stubborn like a mule... Maybe it's not such a bad idea that someone will open his eyes..."

"They've been talking for a while by now..." Alya stated.

"In my opinion, he's charming her..."

"She's charm-proof."

"Er, I'm not so sure... Look at her. Don't you see how she's looking at him?"

"Who's looking?" sounded just over their heads.

Both jumped up in surprise and looked at each other. There was Adrien behind them. He just looked at the direction they had been staring for the last few minutes. He frowned for a second, but he controlled himself immediately.

"Who's that?" he asked, surprised with aggression in his voice. Wait a moment, was he jealous? No, come on! After all, it's Marinette!

"It's Victor." Alya answered winking to Nino. She noticed this special tone at Adrien's voice.

"Victor? Who's that guy?" Adrien tried to sound calm.

"A new schoolmate." Alya explained.

"Oh..." Adrien had no idea what he should say. Fortunately, he was saved by the school bell ringing for the lessons. He went ahead, directing towards Marinette. Just to say "hello". Nothing more.

"Hi, Marinette." he said, smiling like every day.

"Hi, Adrien." She answered calmly. With casual smile.

That was something new. Usually she answered with five different versions of "hello", squeaking by the way. And today was just "Hi, Adrien"? What was going on? And why her smile looked so... so... cute? He sat at the desk a little shocked with everything that had just happened.

Alya and Nino came in just after him. They looked at each other like they had a secret. Alya had a mysterious face. She noticed Marinette's casual behaviour as well. That was the first time since meeting Adrien a year ago! Unbelievable! Was it possible that fifteen minutes of Victor's charming cured her from the crush on Adrien? No, impossible! Such things just don't happen!

***

It was impossible to concentrate on the lesson. Both for Adrien and Marinette.

Adrien tried to understand what had just happened. Why he wanted to knock Marinette out of the "New Boy's" head. He tried to convince himself that was because Marinette was his friend and he didn't want that anyone hurt her. He didn't trust the "New Boy". Yes. That was the reason. For sure.

Marinette was analysing herself as well. She was surprised with all those things that had happened this morning. She couldn't believe that the New Boy – handsome and charming – chose her for a company on his very first day at school. She hoped – for a very short moment – that Adrien might have been jealous. But it was a moment. She learned very quickly that he acted as usual. Just "Hi, Marinette." in the morning and then nothing. Even a word for the rest of a day!

After school she was already heartbroken. Why she was so naïve and so hoping for a change... She had heard what he said to Kagami. Yeah. She was only a friend. She would always be only a friend... It was hopeless...

She hung her head.

"Hey, troubles?" she heard above her head.

She turned quickly. Victor. She felt a little – no, rather a huge – disappointment. She hoped that was Adrien.

"Nothing important..." she answered.

"You need a company." It wasn't a question, it was a statement. Then he added: "I'll walk you home, ok?"

"Eh, well... I... I was to go with Alya..." she tried to shy away from his company.

"Alya? She's there with her boyfriend, I think. You see?" he answered satisfied that he thwarted her plans.

"Oh, right... Ok, then... It's just around a corner..." she gave up.

She knew that she should be grateful that the handsome colleague was adoring her from his first minutes at school. Or at least flattered. OK, she was flattered a bit. But at the same time, she felt that she would give all his attention to have a company of Adrien instead of Victor...

Adrien, who just ran out the school and saw Marinette leaving with the New Boy. Something inside him was... He felt like... He wanted to run to them and just slam Victor into his nice face. How did he get such murderous thoughts? Because he wanted to protect her?

His thoughts were interrupted by the car stopped with a quiet squeal of tires. It was time for him. He wouldn't be able to break the romantic walkaway of Marinette and Victor. He looked at her. She turned back. He smiled and waved goodbye. She waved back. Just like that. Was her smile a kind of apologise? Or maybe he saw too much? Maybe she had noticed he was upset with another boy admiring her? No, he wasn't upset. He was her friend. And friends want their friends to be happy.

Oh, come on! Who he tried to deceive?

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