Chaleur

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Chloé's hands shook furiously as she stared down at the magazine spread of Fashion Weekly. The pages of the magazine crinkled under the pressure of her grip and she marched across the courtyard towards the blonde model that had stood her up on her birthday.

"Adrien! What is the meaning of this?" Chloe screeched. Both Adrien and Nino winced from the sheer volume of her voice. Adrien sighed exasperatedly. He was finally hanging out with Nino after god knows how long.

"What's the meaning of what Chloe?" Adrien asked wearily as he turned to her. Her mouth was twisted into a scowl and her cheeks were red with anger. She shoved the magazine in his face and his eyes crossed slightly to look at it because it was so close. He felt his body go numb at the spread and pulled the magazine from her grasp.

Adrien stared wide-eyed at the two-page spread of him and Marinette dressed in a striking red, standing against the dreary background of the Trocadero. Big smiles were stretched across their faces and if he weren't so shocked, he would have been in awe of how perfect the photo was.

"What's up?" Nino asked as he stood up from his seat and peered over Adrien's shoulder. "Whoa! You modeled with Marinette?" Nino gaped at the photo. "Alya is gonna freak!"

"Adrien!" Chloe hissed, bringing his attention back to her. "You skipped my birthday party to hang out with her ?" She stressed the last word as if the girl in question was so vile and ground her teeth. She glared at him hard—the intense iciness of her blue eyes would have made anyone else cower in fear.

"Chlo, I was working." Adrien sighed in annoyance, unfortunately too used to her tantrums. "Marinette happened to be at the Trocadero. I didn't even know this was taken." Not buying his excuse, she let out a humph before stomping off.

Adrien frowned at the photo. It wasn't that he didn't like it. He loved it. But he wasn't sure how Marinette was going to feel about being splashed across a fashion magazine for all of Paris to see. His father usually had to approve of the photos before they were printed so he didn't understand how...

Adrien paused. His father's comment on Marinette's smile had weighed on his mind the whole time they had lunch that day. He remembered her being scared stiff in the presence of his father and was quite sure that she couldn't muster a smile even if her life depended on it. So this was what his father was talking about.

Adrien studied the picture, paying close attention to the girl that smiled brightly despite the gloom that she stood in. She did indeed share his mother's smile. His stomach fluttered and warmth bloomed in his heart. He always appreciated the smiles that she wore from day to day. It was so different from the forced smiles that he often wore for work—so genuine. To see it permanently frozen in a photo had him completely enamored. He briefly wondered why he never thought of getting a picture of her—of all his friends, he quickly amended. But the affection that tingled across his body was soon replaced with worry. Did his father even get permission to use the photo?

Correction. Photos.

As he turned the page, there were several more pictures of them together, arranged in a collage. She was beautiful in each and everyone one of them. His cheeks warmed and he was conflicted between being in awe and in shock.

"So I take it that you didn't know about it either?"

Adrien was so absorbed in the magazine that he didn't even notice that Alya and Marinette had approached, coming back from having lunch at the bakery. He blinked at Alya's entertained expression and then looked over to Marinette. Her head was lowered slightly but he still managed to see the rosy blush across her cheeks. So it was safe to say that she didn't know about it.

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